Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chicken Soup for the Soul....and Body!

Comfort Food Line to Begin with Soups,

Followed by Full Range of Favorites

COS COB, Conn.Aug. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Chicken Soup for the Soul, the famous book publisher and world leader in life improvement, inspiration and wellness, has created a line of nutritious, quality comfort foods that will soon be available in supermarkets and food retailers across the country. 

Chicken Soup for the Soul Foods will launch its national line of comfort foods in early 2013, beginning with soups. Inspired by real people and their stories about food, family, and feelings, the line will expand quickly in 2013 and 2014 to include a full range of more than 100 comfort food products in a variety of different categories.  Perfect for singles or busy families, many items will offer convenient ways to shorten meal prep time and serve delicious meals in minutes, such as gravies, broths and meal starters that can be used to start a variety of different meals, including pot pies, casseroles and stews.  All items in the food line will also be designed with today's health-conscious consumer in mind.

To read entire press release, click HERE

Sounds yummy!!

P.S. Stay tuned for an upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul book give-away!

*Note: added August 29th 10:00 am

After reading Donna's blog this morning about a mutual writing friend of ours and a Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor, I realized this would be the perfect blog post to mention her: Alice Muschany.

I invite you to hop over there and read about Alice's accomplishments, both in publishing and life itself!

"Vegetables are a must on a diet.  I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie." -- Jim Davis

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Weird, Ugly Toes - Final Chapter

I started to use Chapter Two in the title, but I didn't want readers to think OMG, how many chapters is she going to write about this?! 

So.....I've had ugly toes all my life, as well as flat feet! Sometimes I wonder how my little Size 6 feet manage to carry around my not-exactly-petite weight. Sometimes I put arch-supports in my shoes, if they'll fit inside them, which usually doesn't happen.

You know how "normal" footprints leave a shape like this:

Google photo

Mine leave a "sort of" foot-shaped blob, with weird toe indentations, kind of like this:

Google photo


Now, the reason for writing about my toes/feet. Since I'm so short, many times my feet don't touch the floor when I sit. It all depends on the kind of chair, the height of the chair, and how far back I sit, etc. When I'm at my desk, using my laptop, I'm sitting on a wooden kitchen chair. The most comfortable position is to rest my feet on the horizontal wooden bar underneath the seat. I almost always have on some kind of shoes. This summer it's usually sandals. But Saturday night, I sat here for hours, typing away on my memoir, in my bare feet. I must've curled my already curly toes around the wooden bar and there they stayed for those hours. When I got up, pushing my chair back, I had excruciating pain in the second to the last toe on my left foot. At first I thought it was a charlie horse, but it didn't go away and the more I walked on it, the worse it felt. I have no idea exactly what the problem is, but I'm still limping around today, and I need to do some errands. Anyone have any ideas??  

I apologize if my readers had wild ideas about the podiatrist and me, and wanted to read all about it, because nothing happened, other than him giving me a prescription (which worked really well), AND him telling me that I "could have surgery to get those fixed" if I wanted to. I've considered it off and on for years, but until I can't walk or stand correctly anymore, I won't have it done. And besides, if I was going to spend a lot of money on any kind of cosmetic surgery, I'd begin with my face! 

"It's just my imagination. Some people have flat feet. Some people have dandruff. I have this appalling imagination..."  actor Tom Ewell, as Richard Sherman in The Seven Year Itch.

Monday, August 27, 2012

My Weird, Ugly Toes

Have I shared the intimate details of my ugly toes? Probably not. Etiquette would say it's not proper.

Well, they ARE ugly and thank goodness The Ronald never was the kind of guy who had any objections to less-than-perfect toes. Otherwise, they would've definitely been the Deal Breaker.

Ever since I was 12 years old, I wished I had straight toes like all the other girls had. They could paint their toenails. They could wear cute sandals and flip-flops. But not me. Nope. I had to wear tennis shoes or sandals that covered my toes. And all these years later, that's still my summer choice.

At least one toe is definitely a hammer toe. No matter how the others are actually categorized, they are curly.  I have curly toes. They don't go sideways or upwards. Now, THAT would really be weird! The times I did decide to polish my toenails, I only did the big toe and the one next to it. The other three would never be seen, so why bother? My tiny bottles of polish lasted forever, as you can imagine.

The first Quack, uh excuse me, I mean Doctor that my mother took me to, had me wear a stupid contraption that was supposed to straighten out my toes, similar to the one below. (I guess I should state that I'm sure these work for many people, but not for me.)

Google photo

I don't know if this malady is hereditary or not, but my Great Aunt Grace had some real doozies. There's a chapter in my memoir about her and her husband, Great Uncle Albert. The chapter's title is Piggyback Toes & Coffee Can Spittoons. That's because poor little Grace's toes rode on top of each other, and Albert smoked a lot of cigars.

Anyway, life went on, with my toes being covered every summer until the mid to late 1970s. I started to wear those wooden Dr. Scholl's sandals. Those were my years of self growth, with my devil-may-care attitude. Who cares about my toes? I'm going to wear what I like, what's comfortable, etc. 
During that time, I developed my first and only Plantar's Wart on the bottom of my foot. It was very painful so I made an appointment with a local Podiatrist to see what could be done about it. I don't remember what shoes I had on, but the minute he saw my toes, he said "How long have your toes been like this?" To which I replied, "All my life, but that's not why I'm here." I then proceeded my Show and Tell about the wart.

Every time I think back about that, I have to laugh because of the look on his face and the way he said it. He appeared to be a new, young doctor and maybe mine were the first weird, ugly toes he'd ever seen.

There really is a definite reason for writing this blog post, but I'll save the last part for tomorrow. It's almost 1:00 am, and I'm getting a bit sleepy...........Zzzzzzzz.....

“I wish my hair was thicker, and I wish my feet were prettier. My toes are really ugly. I wish my ears were smaller. And my nose could be smaller too.” – Britney Spears

Friday, August 24, 2012

Reader Appreciation Award

Thank you, Margo Dill, for giving me this Reader Appreciation Award

The Reader Appreciation Award is given to writers who have supported other writers’ blogs. How cool is that?


There are just a few guidelines for accepting this award:

l) Acknowledge the giver of the award and provide a link to his or her blog. 
2) Copy and paste the award to your blog. 
3) Pass the award on to up to ten bloggers.

4) And notify the selected bloggers of their nominations. 
I haven't participated in blog awards for quite some time, only because they can be very time consuming, but I happily and graciously accept this award!
Margo is such a neat gal and I'm grateful to know her personally. It's largely because of her that I'm where I am today as a writer. She was the Conference Chair at the Missouri Writers Guild conference in 2007, my very first writers conference. It was held at the Embassy Suites in St. Charles, Missouri. Her knowledge, guidance, and fun personality immediately put me at ease, even though I felt way over my head among the large crowd. 
I'm also happy to be currently working with Margo on my memoir.
And now for my nominees. (Please do not feel obligated to accept and/or pass this award on to others, due to whatever reasons.)
1) Judie (Rogue Artists) Here is how Judie describes herself in her blog profile: I paint, draw, carve, throw, write, and when I am not feeling creative, I read or play golf. I also run with scissors. (*I love her sense of humor!*)
2) Val (Unbagging the Cats) Here's a little something from her profile: Interests - writing and reading funny stuff. (*which she definitely can write!*)
3) Sue (Sue's News, Views 'n Muse) Something from Sue's profile: I'm a grandma that loves to write...and a writer that loves to grandma. (*I love it that Sue and I like many of the same movies, and a few of the same writers.*)
4) Pearl (Pearl, Why You Little...) Pearl's occupation, per her profile: Cat Wrangler, Pot-Stirrer, Domestic Drudge and One Snappy Dresser. (*Pearl's writing is hilarious. I think she and "Val" should team up for a Prize Winning Comedy Writing Team.*)
5) Claudia (Claudia's Page) Claudia is a beautiful writer and a beautiful person. (*I hope to meet her in person one of these days!*)
6) Peggy (Peggy Eddleman: Will Writer for Cookies) From Peggy's info: I love happy kids even more than I love cookies, I make lists as often as I eat lunch, and I love having every light in the house on almost as much as I love writing. (*She's my kind of gal. And many times, she posts a photo of a mouth-watering cookie on her blog post!*)
I'm stopping right here, with six wonderful writer/reader/bloggers! The more I looked at the list of blogs I follow, the more I began to fret over who to choose, etc. I can pretty much guarantee that whichever blog you might decide to peek at on the Writer Blogs I follow, you'll find lovely, interesting people! (and the same goes for my other set: Other Favorite Blogs)

"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." -- Sylvia Plath

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hugs and Vern

According to 123 Greetings, August is Hug Month, so here's a little hug from me to you!

Please hug your family and friends and let them know you love them. Don't put it off until tomorrow. *And don't forget to hug your four-legged friends! Today is Vern's 11th birthday!!

Vern -- July 2012 -- Awwww

"Everybody needs a hug.  It changes your metabolism." -- Leo Buscaglia

Sunday, August 12, 2012

* Nostalgic Sunday *

Two Saturdays ago, my oldest son, Scott turned 40. (Yes, I was a child bride!)

I made him a card/book to celebrate the occasion, using eight pages (sixteen sides) of 12x12 construction paper, 3-hole punched, and laminated with a Lifetime Guarantee, from me! 

The below page is the first one in the card/book. I've always loved this photo of him. He was so cute and sweet, and his pose looks like Jack Benny's!

I dug through boxes of loose photos, and searched through photo albums, looking for the ones that were Just Right. Then I used stickers and did a little of my own printing. I used binder rings to keep it all together, and he really loved it, which made me very happy.

The below page explains what pictures are on it; Germany 1973. Scott was only three months old when he and I flew by ourselves from St. Louis to Frankfurt, Germany. 

Scott sent the below photo of himself standing in front of Stonehenge in June 2010. I think it was the very next day he was rushed to a hospital in London for emergency removal of his burst appendix. It was a very scary time, as you can imagine. If you'd like to read my posts from then, just click on appendix in the Labels below. 

Happy Birthday, again, Scott. I love you!

"Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What's that suppose to mean? In my heart it don't mean a thing." ~ Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

And He Thinks I'M the Klutzy One?!

I've mentioned my klutziness, my clumsiness, my banging into furniture and doorways that have been in the exact same places for years. I admit it. I'm a danger to myself. I constantly have bumps and bruises. Plus, I have EST (Extra Special Talent) in the "I can't believe I did that" category.

Example: Reaching into the clothes dryer to grab some towels. Somehow I manage to stick any one of my fingernails right into the teeniest crevice that I've never noticed before, and the nail breaks off.

Example: When using my bare foot to kick one of Vern the Wonder Dog's treats to him, I scrape my big toe so far and deep into the carpet that I almost give myself turf-toe, falling to the floor almost simultaneously crying and laughing.

Okay. See the picture below? It's part of our dining room. The chandelier was over the middle of our dining room table, until a few weeks ago when we gave it to one of "yours, mine, or our" sons. I had been sitting there with my laptop on the table because Vern likes to lay and look out the front window. (The window in my upstairs office is not that close to the floor.) So, in absence of that table, I put my small desk there.

That light fixture is plenty high enough that I don't have the problem of running into it, BUT my six foot tall husband, The Ronald, kept banging his head on it!! Which to me is even klutzier (and dumber) than the things I do, because his eyes are RIGHT THERE in that area! He kept insisting he didn't see it and if I didn't want to hear his *&#%@*, then I better hang something on it...for him to see.

So, voile'. There hangs one of my favorite things: Wind chimes! I think they add a bit of karma and help my writing mojo. What do you think? About my klutziness? The Ronald's inability to see what he's about to walk into? And my lovely chimes adding ambiance? Or anything else you want to comment on!

 *Welcome to my two newest followers, Renae and Mary. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you! *

“My couch is coffee-colored. I can thank Starbucks and clumsiness for that.” 
― Jarod Kintz 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Maeve Binchy

One of my all time favorite authors, Maeve Binchy, died this past Monday, July 30th. 

I wanted to post a tribute to her, but my buddy, Karen Wojcik Berner wrote such a beautiful piece about her, I'm directing readers to her blog: Bibliophilic Blather

If you haven't read any of her novels, you've truly missed some beautiful writing.

Just one of her books I've read

 "My heroines do not become beautiful elegant swans, they become confident ducks and get on with life." -- Maeve Binchy