Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cheating and a Little Late

Okay, it's the 7th today. Seven days after Canada Day. We celebrate it here on the July 1st but I'm too lazy to stay on top of things.

So here's a post from a couple of years ago and a quiz. Do you know all the answers? Some of the answers? To be fair I didn't ask anything in the quiz that I couldn't answer myself about Americans (and it's a lot harder to memorize 50 states than 10 provinces and 2 territories.)

Sorry no prizes. I'm poor. It's just for fun.

So here's the post...

I am grateful that I live in a country where I can speak as I please. I am not discriminated against because I'm a woman. I can worship any way I want to. If my child is sick he/she can receive free care and I don't have to lose everything I own in the process. I can receive an education. I can buy property. My choices are mine, not one told to me by government. There is food to eat even though I'm poor. I have shelter. There are laws to protect me but not to infringe on my freedom. I know there are other great countries in the world and I know that Canada ranks up there as one of the best. There are things I don't like about Canada (like the weather) but many I do. I'm also grateful for the good neighbors we have in the U.S.

And for you non-Canadians there, here's a test to see how much you know about Canada. It's an easy test and based on the things I know about the states.

1. Can you name the 10 provinces and 3 territories?
2. Who is the current prime minister?
3. Who was the first prime minister of Canada?
4. What is the capital of Canada and where is it?
5. What three oceans surround Canada?
6. What's the official language?
7. What's the national anthem?
8. What's the official emblem?
9. What's the official animal?
10. What figurehead/symbol is on all Canadian money and what color is our money?

Did you know that land wise Canada is the second largest country in the world. Only Russia is bigger. Canada and the US share the longest border in the world. Canada has the most coastline in the world, and although we don't have a tropical paradise like Hawaii, California or Florida, we do have one of the largest rain forests in the world. It's on Vancouver Island where I'm originally from.

Book Review: To Have Or To Hold by Josi S. Kilpack Take a moment and see what I have to say about this LDS author's work.

Giveaway: Anne Bradshaw from Not Entirely British is giving away a book. Pursued by Lynn Gardner. It looks like an exciting mystery adventure.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up"

My friend Trisha came to church with us Sunday. At the end of church, when I dropped of my mother at her apartment building, Trisha got out of the van to change seats and consequently fell on the sidewalk while attempting to close the sliding door. How she did it I don't know. But she did, and then she couldn't get back up. She has a bad ankle and she's a little on the heavy side, which is not a judgement on my part because I am too. Okay, I'm a lot on the heavy side.

So I'm trying to get her back up, and then my 75 year old mother, who is also on the heavy side and has a walker, and has purple legs due to some condition, decides to help Trisha. Before I know it, Mom comes over without her walker and bends down to help pull Trisha up. I could see what would happen. I knew what was going to happen. I tried to stop it from happening, but before I could tell Mom to stop whatever she was doing, my mother fell down.

If we thought getting Trisha up was a problem, (she did get up) it was nothing compared to helping my mother off the ground. She was unhurt (except for banging her head) but she simply could not get her legs under her to get herself up even with help. And she was wearing a skirt.
"No, don't help me anymore," she said after several attempts, which I can't blame her for since I was useless.

We called 911.

Once I knew my mother was okay and it was only her dignity on the line, I could see the humor in the situation and the resulting domino effect.

“Tell them I've fallen and I can't get up,” my mother told Trisha who was on the phone with the dispatcher.

“She wants to know how far she's fallen,” Trisha said.

“She fell from standing to sitting,” I replied.

Three handsome paramedics, who looked like actors in a show about paramedics rather than real paramedics, came and immediately asked my mother if her head and neck were okay and if she had any injuries.

“I just need help getting up,” she insisted.

One cute paramedic asked Trisha and me what happened. When we explained the situation he couldn't help laughing.

“It's a good thing you didn't fall down too,” Trisha said to me. "Can you imagine all of us lying in the grass unable to get up?"

“I would have gotten myself up again,” I said wanting to maintain my dignity in front of these guys who like I said, looked like they belonged on a television show instead of in front of my mother's building.

They managed to get my mother on her feet easily because that's what big, strong, handsome paramedics do.

“Do you want me to walk you to your apartment?” I asked her.

“No, I can get there myself,” she insisted. “I'm independent.

“All right,” I nodded allowing her some shred of dignity.

You can bet those guys went back to the fire station and had a good laugh.

I swear I saw this episode on Emergency.

My nine-year old daughter having overheard my remark about being able to get myself up couldn't resist saying "Two grandma's, one who can get up and one who can't."

My life is a sitcom.

To enter a giveaway for a gift certificate and find out more about LDSWA go to Anne Bradshaws blog Not Entirely British.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Dream Scheme Part 2: Do the Math

Some of you few, very few, will recall that I wrote about the great Dream Scheme. You can read about it here. The Dream Scheme Part 1. Or you can just scroll down several posts and read the others on the way.

So for the Dream Scheme 2 we're going to do a little math. Stop groaning. I'll do the math, just follow along.

When you're approached with the great money making opportunity you will be told that it's simple, all you have to do is get five people to join and then help them get five, and so on and so on and so on. The concept being that you will make a percentage off of each of these people. It's so easy. After all it's only five people out of the hundreds that you know. Apparently you do know hundreds. The Dream Scheme people have statistics to show this. You just think about all the people you run into at church, work, your kid's school, clubs, places you volunteer, the shops you frequent, your old school friends, the doctor's office - anyone you have ever met and will meet. Surely you can find five people who will want to share in this great opportunity. Once you get them then you can help them with their five. It's so doable. Now lets doable the math.

Level 1 - Start with you. 1 person =1
Level 2 - Get 5 to join = 5 + you = 6
Level 3 - Those 5 people get 5 more each. 5x5=25 + 6 = 31
Level 4 - 25 people get 5 more each. 25x5=125 + 31 = 156
Level 5 - 125 people get 5 more each. 125X5=625 +156=781
Level 6 - 625 people get 5 more each. 625x5=3125 + 781=3906
Level 7 - 3125 people get 5 more each. 3125X5=15,625 + 3125 =18,750
Level 8 - 15,625 people get 5 more each. 15,625X5=78,125 + 18,750 = 96,875
Level 9 - 78,125 people get 5 more each. 78,125X5=390,625 +96,875 = 487,500
Level 10 - 390,625 people get 5 more each. 390,625X5=1,953,125 +487,500=2,440,625

Okay at level 10 we're at over 2 million people.
Level 11 has us at over a billion people.
By level 12 you've come to a number large than the population of the earth.

And what level do you actually start at? You know it's not number 1.

But you may say, no one is going to have those numbers.

Exactly. You can't get that many people to join. If you did, who would be left to do the actual work? Including making those products you're supposed to be selling.

So somewhere along the line someone is not making those numbers. They're failing. In fact pretty well everyone is failing, and they're being taken doing it because they have to invest in those products and tapes and everything else to stay in the business.

The only ones making money are the ones at the top. And it isn't you. And if it is, you're doing it by taking advantage of others. If you're seriously thinking of joining find out what level you're at in the great scheme and why is it that all those ahead of you haven't done the 5x5x5 thing because if they have, where are all those people?

Lori Copeland has been writing for around 30 years now and has almost a hundred books to her name. Go to Welcome to Morning Shade for a review of three of her books.

And for a contest to win the book Easterfield by Anna Jones Buttimore go to Not Entirely British.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Someone's In the Kitchen...

I got a call from my friend Trisha today who's investigating the church. “Do you have the number for the missionaries? The Elder I talked to yesterday at church gave me the wrong one. Everytime I call it, they answer that it's someone's kitchen.”

“That's odd,” I said. “Here let me look it up.” I looked it up and gave it to her.

“That's the same number I have. It sounds like the name of a business? Are they living at someone's kitchen?”

“I don't know,” I answered puzzled.

“Could you call them and find out for me?”

So I dialed the number. The voice on the other end answered, “Hello, this is Elder Kitchen.”

I am not making this up.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Thoughts on American Idol

I've been watching American Idol since season 2. When this season began to unfold I decided my two favorites were Matt and Kris. Soon though as I watched Adam do some amazing things, like singing really well, he replaced Matt as one of my favorites.

Two completely different performers are Adam and Kris and yet I liked them both. Adam knew when to scream, he knew when to keep it soft, he knew that women like me would like to see his hair slicked back looking like a cross between Elvis Presley, John Travolta and Zach Efron in Hairspray. He was more than an amazing singer, he was a performer. And we never knew what he would do next. He was willing to take a chance, and either succeed fantastically or take a face plunge in the dirt.

On the other hand Kris, like Adam, could take a song and make it his own, however, his own were often stripped down versions. He was best with his guitar or at the piano. Adam was "watch my world and see how wild I can be". Kris invited you into his world and made you feel like he was singing to you in his home while enjoying an ice cold coke. He didn't need to scream to get his point across. He sang with strength yet softness. He appeared to be enjoying himself as much as Adam, just in a quieter way.

I was always anxious to see what these two would do next. You never knew how they were going to change a song, only that they were.

I figured Adam would win as did everyone else. His performances were just too unique and often outrageous not to. Besides he was able to hit notes that only dogs could hear. I hoped for a showdown between him and Kris thinking that Kris would be a nice second placer which wouldn't hurt him in the least. While everyone was thinking it would be a Danny Gokey/Adam finale, I ended up predicting it correctly because - well I always have. See I have a sixth sense about these things. I've always predicted who would win (well except for the Ruben/Clay fiasco but I was a newbie then).

And then the final performance night came and I realized several things:

1. Although Adam was fun to watch for one song, it was too much to listen to the over the top screaming for three songs. Instead of enjoying it, I started feeling anxious and wondered if my stove was on fire, my headlights were on and if I forgot another doctor's appointment. Would I want to listen to an Adam Lambert CD for an hour? Probably not. Would I want to listen to a Kris Allen CD for an hour? You bet. He didn't make me think that there might be a stranger trying the back door. Adam might give a more exciting concert, but wouldn't it get a little tired after awhile? Maybe Kris' concert would be just as enjoyable and I could feel secure that my house would still be standing when I got back. Hey, I know it doesn't make sense but I can't help it.

2. The finale song was written for Adam's voice. Even Kara, the co-writer pointed out to Kris that the key was too high for him. What? Did they say "Hey lets write a song that will make Kris suck?" Only it didn't make Kris suck. But why did they write a song just for one of the contestants? Don't they always talk about song choice and finding the right song for the right singer, and then they stick a song and an arrangement (you can bet they wouldn't let Kris rearrange it) to a guy that it just doesn't suit. This smacked of Idol being way to sure of themselves about who would win.

3. The judges gave Kris speeches that signified basically that he wasn't going to win, but gee, he was such a great guy and talented too and golly gee, what a great contenda.

I couldn't help thinking that maybe the American people wouldn't want to be so blatantly manipulated and maybe the quiet guy with the guitar and the strong yet gentle voice might win. And then suddenly I realized that I wanted Kris to win.

Results night only confirmed it. So much of it was geared towards Adam's drama. He performed with smoke and wild costumes with Kiss, and later his number with Kris and Queen was suited to his voice and style again, not Kris'. It was wild, it was exciting, it was all over the top just like Adam and Kris was getting stomped on.

And yet I preferred the remarkable duet Kris did with Keith Urban. It was strong and fun, and he held his own with a guy who's sold millions of records around the world and appeals to a wide variety of people. I love Kieth Urban, my kids like Keith Urban, Keith Urban is genuinely liked and admired in the business, and he's current.

"Wouldn't it be cool if Kris won?" I said to my daughter. "It would be the biggest upset ever on the show."

"But he won't, Adam will win," my daughter replied.

And so I really wanted Kris to win. It would be the last unexpected twist in a season where we had two contestants who did the unexpected. And frankly I honestly believe that Kris could have a longer career than Adam. For one thing, he won't be wrecking his vocal chords.

And so when Kris name was announced, I screamed. I've never screamed before at the results. It was one of shock, and admittedly joy because my initial pick, the underdog, the dark horse, the pussy cat, the guy who for some reason everyone compares to an animal, the guy no one thought could, won.

His humility "Adam should have won" was just an example of what kind of guy he is. Adam's graciousness was wonderful as well.

In the end, it doesn't really matter who wins. As has been proven in the past, winning or losing is not a major factor with a singers success. Yes, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood were able to make extremely successful careers out of it, but then so were Chris Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson and Clay Aiken.

I'm hoping that both Kris and Adam will do well. They both deserve it.


I've posted a book review. Read "Might As Well Laugh About It Now by Marie Osmond.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Adventures at the Wedding Part 1

"I only have enough helium for the balloons," the bride's mother, Marilyn*, informed me. "So we can't have anyone playing with the helium."

I nodded. "I'll keep the boys away," I said, secretly thinking that it was me that should be kept away from it.

My son had been married in the Seattle Temple the previous day to a lovely young woman. It had been a glorious beautiful afternoon and the couple looked estatic. Now we were all in Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver, decorating the church gym for the reception that evening.

Later that morning while talking to my 24 year old daughter, Claire*, about an archway that needed decorating, my 15 year old daughter ran up to us. "The balloons are all blown up and there's still helium left."

Claire and I took one look at each other and made a dash for the little room that housed the helium tank.

There's nothing like singing with chipmunk voices to draw a family close together. "You guys," I said to the five of my children who were in that room with me, "don't be so loud or Marilyn will find out."

"Marilyn will find out what?" Marilyn said, poking her head around the door.

I looked guiltily at her, my mouth filled with helium. I gulped. "The balloons are all blown up," I squeaked.

"All right," she said and then disappeared.

The next day at brunch and present opening my now-married eldest son turned to me and said sternly, "So I heard you said to the others while sucking on helium to be quiet or Marilyn would find out."

"You heard about that?" I cringed.

"Marilyn told me."

"And what did you think when you heard that?"

He grinned. "I thought, 'that's my family'."

*Names have been changed to protect...well, me.


A post on Cindy Becks website made me remember something my 18 year old told me.

"It was once said that the U.S would get a black president when pigs fly. A hundred days into Barrak Obama's presidency, swine flu."

There's another give-away at
Anne Bradshaw's website. This time it's a couple of CD's by Jesse Clark Funk.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Dream Scheme - Part 1

I think I’ve figured out how to make a fortune.

First you’ve got to set up a marketing concept. Put yourself at the top, gather a few friends, (you’re going to need them to show that money can be made) let them in on it and put them underneath you in the shape of a pyramid. Now you need a product so that you’re not a pyramid scheme and can call yourself a legal business.

It could be anything because it’s not really the product that matters. It’s the marketing concept that matters.

So then you need to pick something that every one needs. How about personal care items? Soap and toothpaste are good options. So are vitamins and weight loss products especially since everyone is looking for the magic cure these days. Later on you can branch off a bit to water purifiers, cosmetics and groceries. Make sure you price your items very high. After all, your buyers will not be comparison shoppers. You’re going to teach them about loyalty to the product. In fact, you’re going to tell them that they have to spend 500 bucks a month on the product so that they can make money.

Pick a name. Call it The Dream Scheme or some other name that conjures up visions of success. You can always change the name later if there’s any trouble.

Now you’ve got to get people. Trick them into coming to a meeting. You could tell them you’re having a party or offer to take them out to dinner, but get them there somehow. Once you have them trapped, tell them that people who have jobs will never get anywhere. Tell them that people who own their own businesses are miserable and unhappy. Tell them that the only real way to make money is to join your company. Show them that if they buy the product, they’ll get money back, then show them that if they can get a bunch of other people to sign up under them they can earn money off of those people. Just like that old shampoo commercial (I told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on…) Only don’t limit it to two. Suggest they get 5 or even 10 friends. And then their people can get 5 or 10 more. Of course these numbers can get to like 100 billion people, but people won’t think about that and it looks good on paper. Point out that anyone who doesn’t want to join is either stupid or scared. Tell these people that it will only take a few hours a week.

Someone is going to be unhappy in their job. Play on that. Don’t forget to pull out the pictures of mansions and yachts. Focus on their greed. Be sure to tell them that a few hours a week now, will mean a lifetime of freedom later. Make sure you say that they will be helping others. It will make them feel good.

Now you need to make up bunches of instructional CD’s and hold lots of seminars. Charge your people for it. Charge lots for them. Especially the seminars. You can make a bundle here. Say that they don’t have to go to seminars or buy CD’s – unless they want to be successful.

Later on when these people are working a few hours and struggling, tell them they need to work harder. Point out that a few hours a week is not going to get them anywhere. Reassure them that a few babysitters now will mean much more for their kids later. Tell them the reason they're not doing well is because they’re not buying enough instructional tools. They need to buy more CDs and DVDs, go to more seminars, and buy more product.

Tell them that everybody is a candidate. Get them to think about the company 24/7 or they might miss a great opportunity. Even vacations and family outings are times to work the business.

If someone starts making a little money, encourage them to “live the dream”. This is when you can tell them that you can get them a deal on a car. Of course the deal won’t be any better than at a car lot, in fact make sure he pays more. Emphasize the company loyalty thing. This way, they buy the car from you (more money in your pocket) and then you can also make a percentage from being their upline. Plus it’s a great way to show all those others that people can make money doing this and your car buyer will think he’s getting a great deal because he’s getting some money back. Reassure him that the debt he goes into will be little compared to the money he’ll make.

Don’t forget to tell your people that there will be “negative” people in their life who will tell them that it won’t work. Tell your people to get rid of all negative people in their life even if its close friends and family members. You only want them surrounded by positive people who are in the business or want to join. Make sure their social circle is only made up of company people.

Be sure to tell them that God wants this for them and they’ll be serving God by doing this business.

Make sure people believe that they are close to the top. No one wants to be on the bottom. People on the bottom don’t make money for themselves, they make money for others. Of course they don’t need to know that they are the people on the bottom.

Don’t focus too much on the products. It’s not products you’re selling, it’s a concept. The product is just something tangible to hang the whole thing on and to make sure you’re working within the law. Of course for people to stay in the business they have to buy a lot of product, but remind them that the more product they buy, the more money they’ll make.

And don’t forget to show them the tax breaks. Tell them they can write off their car and house and utilities. Tell them that the taxman will pay them, and they won’t be paying the taxman.

Of course the only people really making money will be you and your friends on the top of the pyramid scheme. Oops, not scheme, dream. It’s a dream. Make sure you say this word over and over again.

And I bet you, if you follow these steps, you’ll make a fortune.

I wrote this several years ago and post it here now in hopes of informing someone. I just read a book called Merchants of Deception that reminded me of this particular column (which by the way my editor refused to publish because he thought it was too controversial and would upset too many people). Hey, but I'm not afraid of a little controversy.

I will be doing a series on MLM's (multi-level marketing) and pyramid schemes. Note, this is not the same thing as the home party businesses. Those businesses are legitimate although they might share some characteristics of MLM's just as MLM's will sometimes do home parties.

And go read my review of Merchants of Deception. You can also get a link to obtaining a free copy of the book there.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

That 25 Thing List

If you're on Facebook at all you've been asked by everybody to list 25 things about yourself that people might not know. I'm finally succumbing to that, so here it is.

1. Hah! Drawing a blank already. I wrote a humor column for several years about my life so I must have given everything away then. Let me think. My second toe is longer than my first toe - on both feet. They do match.

2. No one has ever broken up with me. I've done the breaking up. Yep, left littered hearts all over the place.

3. I haven't had a date since my divorce six years ago. I know, it's pathetic. I haven't met a single man in that time either. Where do they all go when they get divorced? Do they just drop off the face of the earth? Do they all buy sail boats and drift around the world? Do they go on adventures to the center of the earth? What happens to them? Isn't it pathetic that I actually admit to this?

4. I'm a convert to the LDS church. When I was 17 Elder Smith and Elder Smith came to my door and taught me about Joseph Smith. It's a good thing I knew about the Osmonds otherwise I would have thought everyone's last name was Smith.

5. I collect things. I still have my record collection from the seventies, my books from when I was a kid and my first watch from when I was five (it's a necklace watch from my godmother). I also have dolls, teapots, cross stitch supplies and lots of dust. I'm not especially attached to the dust, I'm just lazy and if I don't disturb it, it doesn't make me sneeze or itch. We seem to have a deal.

6. I'm very good at needlework. I've been paid to do it and have had my work on the front of a magazine and charts. The trouble is, cross stitch takes forever and pays almost nothing. I decided it wasn't worth it to do a project I hated just to make next to nothing. So cross stitch is a hobby. I do very elaborate pieces with beads and specialty stitches and specialty threads. I have about 20 projects started and several hundred waiting for me. I'm trying to figure out a way to take it all with me when I go.

7. I've been told by several people that I should become a professional actor. Trouble is, I don't know how, so right now I satisfy that need by being in local productions. My favorite role was playing The White Witch in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. My kids had lots of fun calling me a witch all the time.

8. Other families do soccer or hockey. We do theater. My kids are all in the current production we're working on now.

9. My favorite week of the year is performance week. We eat, live and breathe at the theater that week. People feed us, we perform and play. Why can't I get paid for this? I would be quite happy never having to cook or clean and instead focusing on being somebody else and getting applauded for it.

10. I keep thinking of giving up writing. I'm not making money at it and then everytime I do seriously consider giving it up, something happens that tells me that I shouldn't. Like selling a story to a major magazine, or getting into a Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul, or getting a book published. It's driving me nuts! It's like having a carrot dangled out at me that I get to touch now and then. I don't need to be J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer, but being able to support my family using my talents would be nice.

11. I have an Office Administration Diploma. I'm not an Office Admin person. I hate the phone, I hate 9-5. And most Office Admin work is mind-numbing.

12. Yeah, I hate the phone. I don't know what that's all about. I have a cell phone which I keep forgetting to charge up. I cringe when the phone rings. I figure it can't be good.

13. I love playing pool. I found a friend who loves it too, so we go to lounges where they have coin operated tables and play. We both suck but neither of us cares. It's a cheap past time.

14. I am not an athlete. I have never been an athlete. When I was a teenager I looked like an athlete. Boy did I disappoint some gym teachers. "All right everybody, let's watch Anna and see how not to do it."

15. I hate gym teachers. They've got a mean streak.

16. I'm 46 and still have ALL my teeth, I don't wear glasses, and I'm not on any medication. It's a good thing I'm not on medication because I've noticed that the letters on pill bottles have gotten smaller.

17. When I was a kid I could sing. I was even picked along with four other girls to be a singing angel, the only ones who sang anything. Nobody wants to hear me sing now.

18. When all my kids get together it's like being in the middle of a sitcom. They're all hysterically funny and people that they bring just sit there with their mouths open, that is when they're not laughing. We should have our own show.

19. I've been parasailing, was almost thrown off a cliff by a horse in Mexico, took a pie in the face onstage, was given a dead deer on my kitchen table as payment for an antennae, took a ride in a six seater airplane, gave birth seven times without any drugs, had a tire explode while travelling sixty miles an hour down a highway in nowhere Montana, survived a 20 year marriage, been chased by squirrels, and travelled across Canada, up to the NWT and down to Utah in a 20 year old Chrysler Labaron. I'm learning to handle things.

20. I'd like to get married again but I don't think I want to live with a man. I would like to have side by side his and hers houses. That way we can sneak across at night and feel like we're doing something wrong.

21. My body has a high survival instinct and won't allow me to starve. If we were all on a deserted island with no food, everyone else would wither to nothing and I would look like I ate you all.

22. I had anorexic behaviors for thirty years, but I gained weight. I actually liked feeling hungry.

23. I have a severe rodent phobia. Most especially rats, but all their rat cousins too. My children have never been allowed to have a hamster, gerbil or even a guinea pig. Those things escape and then you find them in your shoe. I do not want to find a rat in my shoe. I'm convinced that's why squirrels chased me. If I ever get married he better not have a rodent phobia because both of us standing on chairs screaming won't help me.

24. I tell myself that if I don't find my knight here on earth, I'll get a real knight in the next life. You know, from the 1100's or something. Wouldn't that be cool to be with someone from anther time? But I understand they were short back then. I don't want him short.

25. There is a 120 pound woman inside of me screaming to get out. It's too bad it looks like I ate her.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Chain Letters and God Striking

The other day I received an email. You know those ones that get forwarded and forwarded from friends and no one knows where the original came from. Normally I read these and then just delete, but this one made me respond with a well thought out comment. So I decided to share this email and my reaction to it.

Subject: FW: All I ask...

All we can do is get the word out to everyone! The movie Corpus Christi is due to be released this June to August. I totally agree with the message below. Let's stand for what we believe in and stop the mockery of Jesus Christ our Savior. where do we stand as Christians? At the risk of a bit of inconvenience, I'm forwarding this to all I think would appreciate it too. Please help us prevent such offenses against our Lord. It will take you less than 2 minutes! If you are not interested, and do not have the 2 Minutes it will take to do this , please don't complain when God does not have time for you, because He is far busier than we are.

A disgusting film set to appear in America later this year depicts Jesus and his disciples as homosexuals! As a play, this has already been in theatres for a while. It's called Corpus Christi ' which means 'The Christ Body.' It's revolting mockery of our Lord. But we can make a difference. That's why I am sending this e-mail to you. If you do send this around, we will be able to prevent this film from showing in America and South Africa . Hey, it's worth a shot! Apparently, some regions in Europe have already banned the film. All we need is a lot of prayer and a lot of e-mails. Remember, Jesus said 'Deny Me on earth and I'll deny you before my Father'.

So here's my reaction to this email.

Although I find the subject matter reprehensible, I don't believe in dictating what other people think, create or watch. If these people wish to make this movie (and it's not new, the gay community has embraced the concept of Jesus being gay, and I believe they are the only ones who have embraced this idea), then it is within their rights to do so. Sure they're blaspheming God, but I think He can take care of that.

Those who seek control and power frequently do so by trying to control communications. My father was born in a country where information was closely controlled by the government, much like the Nazi's did with the radio and book burnings.

Imagine if someone decided that The Book of Mormon should be banned, or that movies made by LDS people should not be shown to the public because it doesn't fit in with their view of Christ. Or that the Bible should be burned because it doesn't fit in with secular vision of the world.

It is not up to us to decide what people can see. It is up to us to proclaim the truth. Attempts to ban a movie only makes us look like controlling religious fanatics and no one wants to hear the truth from a religious fanatic. The gospel is better spread by proclaiming the truth with peace, love and service, not by banning the lies.

Even in the War In Heaven, Heavenly Father allowed Lucifer to speak and then He allowed us to make our own choices.

So sure, some people will go to see this movie. That is their choice. What conclusions they come to from it is their choice too.

If you want to make something a success, the best thing to do is get it banned, because then people will want to go to it to see what the fuss is all about.

The other thing that bothers me about this email is the inference that if I don't get on the bandwagon calling for a ban on this movie that I'm not there for God and that I'm denying Him. Nothing is further than the truth. I just don't happen to agree with the overzealous viewpoint of this email. It's actually pretty presumptuous to claim to speak for God as the writer appears to be attempting to do and it's offensive to claim omnipotence as to tell me what my thoughts and actions mean.

Now after sending that email back to my friend I did a little research. Normally I do the research first, but this time I did it backwards because I had a knee-jerk reaction to this particular email.

There is no such movie, again another scam email.

So why am I even bothering posting?

Several reasons...
1. I needed a post subject.
2. As a reminder to please, please do some research before forwarding on these things. In fact, don't forward anything on. They're all scams and overwhelmingly stupid.
3. I wanted to state my opinions on banning anything.
4. My disgust at the manipulation in these emails suggesting (actually, outright accusing) that those who don't forward it along are bad.
5. I've never sent chain mail to 6000 of my best friends before, and I'm not going to start now and I'm still alive.

I really, really want to win Lemon Tart by Josi S. Kilpack. So I'm posting the link to Anne Bradshaw's post about it. Not Entirely British Contest. Although, by posting it, it means that all of you will run over there and enter the contest too, thereby making my chances just that much smaller. Oh well, I'm going to have something bad happen to me because of that stupid email anyway.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fix Those Template Problems and a Really Funny Blog

Every now and then I come across something I feel the need to let others know about.

I have always had blog template issues. Fortunately I've found a template for this blog that I love and have no intentions changing, however some of my other blogs haven't been as fortunate.

Aside from finding great blog templates which has been difficult, when one has been found often they don't work and they always require you to scrap your widgets, which requires rebuilding your blog. So changing the look of your blog isn't easy, especially if you've got lots of lists.

Well, because of some of you I've discovered a great site with free backgrounds, and because you use the templates at blogger, you don't lose your widgets each time you change the look of your blog. It makes those boring blogger templates into something else entirely. And they also have pages of helps to improve your template, such as turning a two column blog into a 3 column, a boon to those of us who are html illiterate.

By the way, I love 3 column blogs, so much easier to divide up the information you want to relate to people.

I was thinking of scrapping some of my blogs, but I loved the designs at this site so much that I was having too much fun updating them.

So where is this great place? It's called The Cutest Blog on the Block and it deserves it's name. For a peek at what they can do, take a look at a couple of blogs that I updated. Views From Hobbit Hole, Annamaniacs, This, That and That Other Thing, and 10 Minutes of Crazy. All were done with the Minima Template from Blogger, and none of them look like each other. And if I get tired of any of them, just a couple of clicks will update them without losing all those hard worked on widgets.

The hardest part is deciding which background from the Cutest Blog to go with. They have so many and are always bringing out new ones.

And now, I have to mention a blog that I love to read because she's so darn funny. I'd give her an award but I have nothing to give. So here's to Cindy Beck at Write Up My Alley...by Cindy Beck. She deserves to be read.

I'm going to go cough up a lung now. Oh, did I mention that I pulled a muscle in my leg? Because it's just not enough to be sick, I have to be crippled as well. My children, none of whom are toddlers anymore, have decided to play "Mom's sick, let's destroy the house because she lost her voice and can't yell at us and doesn't have the energy to chase us down."

Hey, but I am blogging.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm Sick as in Hack! Hack!

I'm sick.

It's not serious. Just a cough that makes the flem rise in my throat so that I end up choking, unable to breathe and giving me visions of passing out gasping for air.

Has anyone ever died of flem suffocation?

When I'm sick I prefer to be like an old dog that curls up in a secret place and dies. I don't want anyone around me. I don't want to bother anyone. I don't want phone calls, or visits at the door to cheer me up, or someone plumping my pillows. Such visits would require me to clean my house and entertain, and I'm just not up to singing and dancing and doing my Margaret Hamilton impersonation quite yet.

My children who also have a cough are different.

"What do you want?" I snap at my 15 year old daughter who has come into my inner sanctum.

"I'm sick," she whines. She pulls the quilt she's wearing closer around her.

"So? What do you want me to do about it? You're thinking I have the superpower of healing?"

"I just want to hang out."

"But I'm sick too, and I don't want to hang out with anyone. Don't you have a sibling somewhere you can hang out with?"

Okay, I know. Bad Mom. When I'm sick I don't care. There is a reason why I didn't become a nurse. I can't stand sick people. They whine and expect you to take care of them and they don't get your death jokes.

"Mom, what's for dinner?" Someone asks.

"I don't know. I don't care. I'm sick. There's the fridge, there's the cupboard, there's the stove. Figure it out."

There's no one else around here that can drive. So I go out in the frigid temperatures taking kids to dance classes, church activities and seminary.

My fifteen year old just walked into my inner sanctum. "What are you doing?" she asks.

"I'm writing about being sick. You want to hear it?" I begin reading to her. "I'm sick. Nothing serious. Just a cough that makes the flem rise..."

"Oh, gross! I'm not listening!" She makes a beeline for the door.

"But it's got you in it!" I call out to her.

"I don't care! It's gross!" she yells back and disappears.

I think I've found the secret to getting them to leave me alone when I'm sick.

Lots to read today. Are you a Twilighter? Or just thinking about reading the books? Or do you hate them but still like reviews. Read my review of New Moon.
As part of my abuse series I've written a post based on an article in Meridian Magazine. Read Church Leaders Urge Us To Stay Married. Now before you read it, just know that I have no problem with Church leaders urging us to stay married. I have a problem with the article written by this particular couple.
But then, I've never been afraid of a little controversy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Biggest Loser is Not for Winners

I made the mistake three weeks ago of turning on the show "The Biggest Loser" on the day that I discovered I had lost 6 pounds after a week of dieting.

Now in the real world 6 pounds in one week is a major achievement, almost on par with winning an Oscar. But on "The Biggest Loser", 6 pounds is cause for an all out attack that includes being sent to a shark tank and the very real threat of being kicked off the show, sent home in shame, not as the biggest loser, but as a loser with a big L on your forehead. (Okay, I made up the shark tank thing, but the rest is true).

So how does the average dieter at home process this when they have successfully lost their 1-2 pounds that week (recommended by all dietitions) and are now sitting down in front of the tv with their low-fat cottage cheese and celery sticks.

Now admittedly, these people don't have such silly distractions as family and work to keep them from their weight loss. Their whole lives revolve around that gym where they exercise 30 hours a day until they puke and then exercise some more.

Yeah, that's the exercise plan I want. The one where you end up puking. Honestly, if I had to deal with morning sickness, six of my children wouldn't exist. But let's all get on that band wagon of making yourself sick. I guess that accounts for some of the weight loss.

And lets not forget the professional trainers that gleefully work people so hard that ex-marines break down sobbing. And that was the nice trainer who gloated over that accomplishment.

One guy dropped 18 pounds in one week and he didn't even deliver a baby. I can see what his body is saying "Where the heck is our arm? Don't we have an arm around here somewhere? Quick hang onto every pound because we're losing parts!"

I keep wondering when these people will snap, grab their trainers and serve them on banquet tables with apples in their mouths. Of course this is after the torture process where they pelt them with doughnuts and peanut brittle screaming "this is for the time you made me run up that mountain while I was having a heart attack," and "that's for the time you bridled me and tried to ride me like a horse while holding a twinkie in front of my nose."

Far better to watch "Ruby" the real life story of a severly obese Southern Belle who still lives in the real world as she tries to lose weight. She has friends both male and female who adore her. She's heroic and honest about her journey and most of all it's realistic. Nobody is making her puke and she's able to maintain her dignity.

Anne Bradshaw is having another contest. This time it's for the CD by Sara Lyn Baril. Click on Not Entirely British and have a look see.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weird Shoes - The New Version of Torture Chambers

I've never been a shoe girl. I prefer barefoot or sneakers. However I did find a pair of shoes for my daughter that has left me foaming at the mouth. I can't wear high heels anymore - another reason to lose weight. They're the prettiest high heeled black shoes I've ever seen. As soon as this weight comes off those shoes are mine.

Remember Cinderella and her shoes? How she danced in glass slippers I'll never know. It's probably why her fairy godmother told her to come home at midnight. Any longer and she would have permanently damaged her feet.

So in honor of shoes I bring you these little gems.

This is from the Hannibal Lector line. Anybody up for liver and Chianti?

Barefoot or high heels? Barefoot or high heels?

I just can't make up my mind.

I Know! I'll go with up on my tippy toes high heels and pretend that I'm a ballerina.

So the question now is....

Do I go sensible Oxford schoolteacher/librarian? Or red patent leather Mary Jane schoolgirl? Or gladiator slave master?

Or maybe just a simple platform tippytoe pump.

And here's a couple of choices for the vegan crowd. Notice, no animals suffered for these although with the second one, I'm sure a couple of fairies lost their homes.

However it does look like a porcupine died for this one.

And a couple of fish died for these flip flops.

I hate rats. With a passion. And I'm all for killing off every rat in existence. (I think they're Satan's animal. But do we really need to wear them on our feet? Sigh, but I guess when we kill we're supposed to use every part of the carcass.

And here in Canada it's rude to keep your shoes on when you enter someones home.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Diet Doesn't Mean Die

I am officially on a diet. Yes, I know that's die with a t. And I know that diet is considered a bad word and diets don't work and...

Yet, I'm on a diet, and I'm enjoying it.

Oh, quit twirling your forefinger around your ear and shaking your head. Yes, I said it. I'm enjoying my diet.

I spent years starving myself to fat, yes starving. It's a long story which I'll tell some other time, but it involves having a body that has a very high survival instinct, so that if we were all stranded on an island together and there was no food, I would grow fatter and you would all wither up and die off and I wouldn't even have to resort to cannabalism. I've tried to eat properly and never quite figured it out because if I had I'd be thin and gorgeous the way Inner Anna constantly claims I am.

I'm finally following a program that tells me exactly what to do and what to eat because, darn it, I need someone to do that and since I can't hire a personal chef and trainer, and Oprah won't come to my house in spite of repeated emails, this will have to do.

And I'm enjoying it.

The Curves diet works in phases and I'm in phase one right now. Fourteen hundred calories and the food is good. It's real food. No pre-packaged stuff. No excess chemicals. And next week I get more calories per day for the next three weeks, and then more calories for a month because it's all about raising your metabolism.

See, I left my metabolism somewhere between the Rockies and the deep blue sea and I've been searching for it ever since. I WANT IT BACK!

Things I like about my diet:

1. The food tastes good.
2. I'm pleasantly surprised by how big some of the servings are.
3. I love the control I feel I have.
4. I'm trying new foods and new combinations.
5. I can label foods "Mom" and have a good chance that no one else will eat it.
6.It's not special food so I can eat it for the rest of my life and I don't have to sell any of my children to be on it.
7. I have support whenever I go to the gym. They always ask how I'm doing. There are other women who are doing the same thing. And the Curves staff keeps track of my numbers. Plus it doesn't cost me anything extra, just my fees for the Curves gym.

Things I don't like about my diet:

1. No pizza
2. No chocolate - hold it, there is a chocolate protein shake. So I do get chocolate. Okay, no chocolate bars.
3. Sometimes I'm disappointed by the serving size.
4. Raisin bread calls out to me. So does hot buttered toast. Simple stupid things like that.
5. I have to cook.
6. If someone dares touch my food then I have major freak outs. As in "I can't eat all the stuff you can so when you eat my food you're telling me that you want me to starve to death!"
7. I don't know what to eat when I go to Boston Pizza with my friends.
8. I'm obsessing about food. I've never been a foodie (hence the starvation technique) and I don't like to think about food, but now I'm thinking about it all the time.

And so here it goes. There are a myriad of reasons for me to lose weight. Now if I can just convince my body to let it go.

Read my review of "My Not-So-Fairy-Tale Life by Julie Wright

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

More from Aunt Madge

"See, they do ask for me. And you didn't think I had fans."

"One person asked for you. It doesn't mean you have fans. Plural."

"You're just jealous."


"Admit it Anna, you're jealous."

"I'm letting you use my blog to advertise your blog. How jealous can that be?"

"Because sweetie, you know that by advertising my blog you're getting people to come to yours."

"Aunt Madge, do you see this teenage thing I'm doing with my eyes? I'm rolling them."

"And it's very unattractive. Maybe you should write to me for advice about that bad habit of yours and your jealousy issues. See, there, you're doing it again."

"All right, if there's anybody still reading this, go visit Aunt Madge at askauntmadge.blogspot.com so that she can stop driving me crazy for awhile."

"You know if you keep rolling your eyes that way they might get stuck in the back of your head and you would spend your life looking at your brain."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Contest and Why Can't I Sleep at Night

I like contests. I rarely if ever win, but I keep trying.

Anne Bradshaw currently has a contest going on her website. Just click on the link to find out about it. It involves a book and financial freedom.

Sigh, I guess I have to have some kind of finances to have freedom.

Still battling some depression, tiredness and writer's block. The other night I was really good and got to bed by midnight. I read for awhile and started dozing off so I turned out the light.

And then I was awake all night long.

Why can I doze off with a book and the light on but not when the light is off? And don't tell me to go back to reading, I did, but after a couple of hours I had to get up and move around.

So it was six in the morning before I got to sleep. And can I be productive during the awake hours? Nope, because I'm too tired to write, and there is that writer's block thing.

I'm yawning now and it's 3 in the afternoon. Almost time for the kids to get home and do the runaround between dance, church activities, dinner and whatever.

And now I'm rambling, all so I could put out a post for the contest.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Marley and Me Review

I've posted a review of Marley and Me. I was pleasantly surprised by it.

And to all those out there looking for reviews of books, I would be happy to review yours although I warn you I'll tell you what I really think, not just what you want me to think. I think that's why I wasn't asked for anymore reviews.

But then if your book really is wonderful, there's nothing to worry about.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Goals, Not Resolutions

Resolutions are made to be broken. We all know this. The minute you mess up you give up. As in "I'm not eating sugar anymore" and then you do on the second or third day of January, so you just give up and eat any and every kind of sugar for the next 363 days until the next January 1st when you try again.

I prefer to set goals. Goals don't really care if you mess up a little. It just means that you forgive yourself and get back on track. So you ate that entire bag of chocolate chip cookies, it doesn't mean you get to eat a bag of chocolate chip cookies every day until next January. Goals are something that doesn't go away just because you stumble. And goals aren't set in stone. They can be revised according to what works. Goals are also the big thing you strive for but then you make little goals to help you along the way.

It turns out that I've been making the same two goals every year. I just haven't accomplished them.

I was going to post them but I decided my goal list was too personal for human consumption.

So instead I'll just mention that I'll be working on my health, my finances, and my writing.

Interestingly, six of my seven children will be reaching age milestones this year. 25, 21, 18, 16, 12 and 10. Only my 24 year old will not be having a significant birthday.

Other things to look forward to this year - My eldest son is getting married in March, in the Seattle Temple. Although I haven't met my new daughter, I have only heard good things about her and she seemed just right for him by my conversation on the phone. So, he's picked a great girl and he's marrying her in the temple. Isn't that what we as parents strive for?

I'm in a play this year. I'm playing a male marionette. Not only do I have to learn to move like a puppet, I have to do it as a man. Talk about a challange. I just watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with my youngest daughter and I pointed out Dick Van Dykes performance as a puppet while he's planning a castle escape, to my daughter. "That's how we're going to have to learn to move," I told her. Dick Van Dyke is brilliant with his body.

So there we go, two things to look forward to.

I've been having a tough time and feeling pretty down lately. I'm nowhere where I expected to be at this time in my life and certainly not since my divorce. It's disheartening but I rarely give into pity parties.

So I'm hoping 2009 will be better, different and offer something life changing.