Friday, June 26, 2009

Farewell to Farrah

I haven't much to say--it's not like I knew Farrah personally. I feel sad in her passing though. Sad for her long struggle with cancer, and sad for her friends and family who now suffer.

I believe it was a right gentlemanly thing for Michael Jackson to pass away that very afternoon, thereby turning all the media circus away from Farrah and her loved ones. Now they can grieve privately.

Life is a fleeting thing. We need to be sure to take full advantage of every moment, and live every corner of our life so that when it's our time to go we won't be regretful.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Weekly Summer Give Away

There is still plenty of time to sign up for free stuff. I am part of a weekly, summer giveaway hosted by Authors Incognito member, Danyelle Ferguson. I apologize for not posting this sooner--I've been busy with weddings and such.

Jun 22
Cook Books by Kelsey A. Dollar, Kelsey A. Dollar/Danyelle Ferguson
Jun 29
EZ View Desktop by The Original ($200 value)
The Original
Jul 06
Kids, Teens, and Mom Care Package: Summer Fever '07 Music CD & Kindermusik: Get Up & Move! CD & Agent in Old Lace by Tristi Pinkston, Tristi Pinkston/Danyelle Ferguson
Jul 13
Scrapbooking Supplies, Kim Thompson
Jul 20
Loyalty's Web by Joyce DiPastena,
Jul 27
Gift Certificate for Vinyl Lettering, Valerie Ipson
Aug 03
Signed copy of Please, No Zits, Anne Bradshaw
Aug 10
The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum (autographed)Lisa Mangum/Danyelle Ferguson
Aug 17
Coyote's Grand Adventure, Tina Scott
Aug 24
Recovering Charles by Jason F. Wright (autographed & numbered)/Carmel Kick by Raine (collectable mini-shoe)
Danyelle Ferguson
Aug 31
English Trifle by Josi Kilpack, Josi Kilpack

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Be a Dreamer

Dreamers were not allowed when I was growing up. This simple activity got me in trouble at school on more than one occasion when I was caught staring out the window (yes, I grew up back in the day when classrooms had windows).

Dreaming is one of the things that led me to reading, however, and that can’t be too bad. Can it? My parent’s home in Mesa was equipped with a swamp cooler and there were plenty of summer days when the weather outside was more tolerable than in the house.

During those times, I could be found perched in the large pecan tree in our front yard. It was my favorite spot on earth. Why, you ask? We had four pecan trees in our yard, but the one in front had a branch that forked, and I used that spot as my hideaway. I’d take a book there and read until someone made me come down.

I’d also people watch, because the tree was large and the branches overgrown with leaves in the summer. From my perch, I could see everything going on in my neighborhood—which was great for a junior detective, which I sometimes pretended to be.

To read is to dream, I think. As a child, when I read, I could be a pirate, or Maid Marian, or Heidi, or my favorite--Pipi Longstocking. It’s the same for me today. Whenever I read, I immerse myself into the novel and become part of it. Because of this, I’ve been to many faraway places and had a variety of experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Without dreams life would be rather mundane. It’s because I dared to dream that I became a writer. I’d have never done it otherwise. Because I dared to dream, I also became a watercolor artist. I’d have never done that either without my dreams.

I read a sign once that I’ve tried always to take to heart, it said, “A goal without hard work is merely a dream” So, in this sense, a dream is the beginning—a goal that’s thought of. When we add our hard work, our dreams can turn into reality, and I’ve proven that on many occasions.

I dreamed of writing for magazines, but it wasn’t until I worked at it that my dream became a reality. I had never won anything or received acclaim for my writing or art, and it wasn’t until I dreamed that I could that I dared to try. Although I’m no superstar, I have won several awards for both my writing and my art.

Not many people know that when I was a kid, I dreamed of becoming a concert pianist. I’m not that good, but through my church I was able to fulfill this dream, too. I’ve played for soloists, choirs, and I’ve even played at a wedding and a funeral. I’m glad to be done with that dream though, because it scared me witless.

I think dreaming is a lost art. It’s something that they should teach in elementary school along with math and English. Our children and our society as a whole need to realize that dreaming is ok, it’s healthy, even. Let’s all be dreamers and dream that we’re successful at what we want to do, and then make it happen.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Quintessential Chicken Salad Sandwich

I've neglected my post this week because my fourth son got married. After his mission, he didn't want anything to do with living at home--he rented an apartment and stayed closely attached to his high school sweetheart. This is the fifth wedding in our family, and you'd think I'd have it figured out by now--or be more relaxed. Now I know why I was sent five sons instead of five daughters. I have two daughters, and only one of them still needs marrying off, and that won't be for a few years yet. (That's my sigh of relief.)

Here's a recipe that I always get compliments on, and I've served it at my last two weddings--once for my daughter's reception, then recently for a family luncheon to get acquainted with the newest additions to our family. You can either use cooked chicken or turkey with equally good results.

The Quintessential Chicken Salad Sandwich

6 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast (boiled and cubed)
1-2 lb bacon, chopped, cooked and drained (I use real pre-cooked bacon bits)
2 small cans of smoke house almonds, chopped
2 bunches celery, chopped fine
1 qt mayonnaise & ¾ C. lemon juice—mix and pour over other ingredients
Chill and serve on rolls or croissants

It’s a sandwich with more flare and flavor than ordinary chicken and mayo. Add a scoop to a croissant, and you’ve got the perfect luncheon fare for a wedding, bridge group, or something simple to impress the in-laws.

I’ve had this recipe for over 5 years, and I’ve never made it without compliments and requests for the recipe. It’s especially easy when using the real, pre-cooked bacon bits. The almonds give it—mmmm, it’s making me hungry just writing about it. My preference is a simple dinner roll—I don’t need a fancy croissant—just give me the basics.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Crazy 8 Game

I’ve been tagged! I’m it! For this crazy game of crazy eights, it seems that I am to write eight responses to—what? Wait! Not eight questions, but four! It seems that I lucked out.
So, here I go, in cyber space’s first getting-to-know-Tina opportunity.

8 things I look forward to--in no particular order:
1. Eternal life
2. Being published nationally
3. eating freshly baked cinnamon rolls (in an un-calorie-counting world)
4. eating ice cream (in any world)
5. a good steak
6. visits with my kids and grandchildren
7. going to the temple
8. going on walks

8 things I did yesterday:
1. visited with grandchildren
2. drove home
3. worked
4. made bread
5. read a book
6. wrote a book review
7. kissed my husband
8. missed my children

8 things I wish I could do—in no particular order:
1. fly in a hot-air balloon
2. go white water rafting (which is crazy because I don’t swim)
3. go back to Denmark
4. speak Danish (but really, not a logical wish)
5. travel without a budget strain—will someone pay me to travel? Please.
6. be more visible—I’m trying, but it’s a step-by-step process for me
7. be published nationally—actually that’s closer to first on my list
8. lead all of my children to eternal life—also a deeper, truer wish than the others

8 shows that I watch:
This one is harder because I don’t believe a lot of tv is even worth mentioning. How about 8 books that I’ve enjoyed—in no particular order:
1. Harry Potter series
2. Twilight series
3. Loyalty’s Web, by Joyce DiPastena
4. Wake Me When It’s Over (and sequel), by Robison E. Wells
5. Seeking Persephone, by Sarah M. Eden
6. The Stranger She Married, by Donna Hatch
7. Delicious Conversation, by Jennifer Griffith
8. Prince Etcheon and the Secret of the Ancient, by JoAnn Arnold
I can’t leave it at that—I have to mention The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum—an excellent read that I’ll review here later.