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Tis the Season ... by C.L. Beck

Received in an email, photographer unknown.

Thanksgiving is over. It's time to drag out those tangled Christmas lights, climb on the roof and then spend hours putting them up, so that at the very end you can accidentally slide off the garage and land in the hospital.

Or ... you could do it this way. (Look at the house to the left and then the one on the right.)



Really, you gotta admire the guy's ingenuity!


What's playing in my head: The Twelve Pains of Christmas by The Bob Rivers Comedy Corp.

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~CONTEST NEWS~

LAST WEEK'S WINNER : Congrats to Nichole Giles on winning the Yoplait Kids insulated lunch bag. Nichole, please contact me no later than midnight on Wednesday, Dec. 2 to claim your prize. Send me an email with your mailing address and phone number at cindybeck(dot)author(at)yahoo(dot)com.

If the prize isn't claimed by Wednesday, a new winner will be drawn.

THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAY:
$6 Baskin Robbins gift certificate

THE PRODUCT: You'll seriously want to win this, because Baskin Robbins has the best eggnog ice cream in the universe!

Please note that is my personal opinion. Baskin Robbins did not give me any animals, minerals, or vegetables in exchange for my thoughts, and my words should not be construed as an endorsement, testimonial, or anything like unto it.

MY OPINION: What? I need to give it again? Okay, B&R has the best eggnog ice cream west of the Pecos. Where ever in the heck the Pecos is.

HOW TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this article . While you're at it, slip over to my sidebar, subscribe to my newsletter (it only goes out once a week and is short) and tell me about it in your comment. Or tell me if you're already subscribed, and it will give you an extra entry. Deadline to enter is by midnight Friday, December 4.

Winner will be announced no later than Monday, December 7.

Looking for Fun ... and a Contest!

© C.L. Beck, 2009



The whole social networking thing had me baffled for the longest time. Why would anyone want to spend their day announcing to the world that they just blew their nose, or they had broccoli stuck in their teeth?

However, when one of my publishers said, "It's a good idea for my authors to join Facebook and Twitter," in that soothing, do-it-or-die tone of voice, I decided all on my own to join.

Now, though, I'm worried. When I'm on line doing the social networking scene, does it mean I can catch an on line social disease? Something with a catchy (no pun intended) name like, Going-going-gone-orheeha?

I'm not sure. All I know is that the other day, I wanted to post a note about the Ephraim Co-op holiday craft fair. It seemed like a simple thing to do and I was pretty positive that despite my history of never being on the cutting edge of anything ... except maybe a steak knife ... I could accomplish it with class and decorum.

I typed in my note, which asked people if they were looking for something fun to do for the holiday weekend and then instructed them to go to Ephraim.

Whenever a note is posted on Facebook, the site always puts the postor postum Post Toasties postee's name first, so people know it's not from some impostor with broccoli in his teeth, pretending he belongs to Facebook.

When I finished entering my note it read, "Cindy Beck: Looking for fun for the Thanksgiving weekend? Then head down to the Ephraim Co-op for the holiday craft fair."

When I clicked the little button to post the information, I realized immediately that Facebook didn't love me. It split my entry so the first line read, "Cindy Beck: Looking for fun."

Then it put the remainder of the note further below.

How many people are on Facebook? Millions? Needless to say, all my years of Catholic high school kicked in and I was mortified, but there was no undoing the announcement.

For all of you who read that entry, may read it, or hope to read it, please take note. Most people think I'm fun, but despite what Facebook says, I most certainly am not the kind of girl who's looking for fun!

At least not the kind of fun that's followed by Going-going-gone-orheeha.


What's playing in my head: Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper.

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~CONTEST NEWS~

LAST WEEK'S WINNER : Congrats to Carol L. on winning the Twilight-inspired fragrance. Carol, please contact me no later than midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 25 to claim your prize. Send me an email with your mailing address and phone number at cindybeck(dot)author(at)yahoo(dot)com.

If the prize isn't claimed by Wednesday, a new winner will be drawn.

THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAY:
A Yoplait kid's prize pack that includes a coupon for a free six pack of Yoplait Kid's yogurt, a kid's insulated lunch bag, place mat, and spoon. This is a really cute prize pack that your kids (or grandkids) will love.

(The coupon offer for a free six pack of Yoplait Kids yogurt is not valid in some states, including Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota and Tennessee.)


THE PRODUCT: Yoplait sent me a gift pack, along with a coupon for free yogurt so that I could test out their new YoPlait Trix yogurt.



Here's what they have to say about it:
Everybody knows that "Trix is for kids." That's why Trix yogurt is the most fun and colorful yogurt, with two colors in every cup and "kids-only" fruity flavors like Wildberry Blue and Strawberry Banana Bash!

While kids love the great taste and the double blast of color under every lid, Moms love the wholesome goodness of real Yoplait® yogurt.

Yoplait, the only leading yogurt with vitamin D in every cup!



MY OPINION:
I tried the Triple Cherry/Wild Blueberry flavor and loved it. Since I'm a person who uses kid's sparkle toothpaste, and still loves the flavor of bubblegum, it's a pretty safe bet that if I enjoyed the yogurt, kids will, too. The colors are bright, the flavor is great, and I just finished up my third cup of it a few minutes ago, so that tells you something.

HOW TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this article . While you're at it, slip over to my sidebar and click to become a follower ... or tell me if you're already a follower ... and it will give you an extra entry. Deadline to enter is by midnight Friday, November 27.

Winner will be announced no later than Monday, Nov 30, and will have until midnight on Wednesday, Dec. 2, to contact me or ... sorry ... another winner will be chosen. Email me at cindybeck(dot)author(at)yahoo(dot)com.

(This giveaway sponsored by Yoplait and MyBlogSparkTM .)

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"Mormon Mishaps" is at the Printer ... and ... a Twilight-inspired Perfume Contest



Mormon Mishaps and Mischief
(my latest, co-authored book) has gone to the printers! To let you share in that excitement, plus to give you the weekly chuckle, here's an anecdote from the book.

From Mormon Mishaps and Mischief: "A Good Impression" by Cathy Witbeck

One lovely Easter Sunday when I was a little girl, my mother put me in the frilly new dress my grandmother had bought me, combed out my ringlets, and washed my face. We wanted to make a good impression. At church, we met Grandma, and I thanked her in my baby girl voice for my sweet new dress. I especially thanked her for my new matching purse. Then I showed her what I had found in the barn to put inside: a dead mouse. My dad laughed. My mom didn’t.

Can I just say how pleased my co-author, D.N. (Nichole) Giles, and I are about the book? We're doing the Snoopy dance! (For those who don't know what that is, it's the little dance Snoopy does whenever he's excited.)

You can pre-order Mormon Mishaps even as we speak ... er ... I mean write, at Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com or Borders. It will officially be available in bookstores around December 8th.

But ... it will also definitely be at Barnes and Noble (Orem store) on December 9th. Yes, save that date because we're having a book launch party!

Everyone is invited. Yup, EVERYONE!

We're planning on including readings by our contributors, treats, prizes, and of course, plenty of copies of Mormon Mishaps and Mischief for signings. Come join the fun and get an autographed copy ... or two! They make great Christmas gifts!

When: Dec. 9, 2009, from 6-9PM
Where: The Orem Barnes and Noble, 330 E 1300 S (University Parkway), Orem, Utah

So, remember to mark your calendar for December 9th, and I'll see you there! If you live out of state, can't make it to the book launch and are interested in an autographed copy, email me at cindybeck(dot)author(at)yahoo(dot)com, and I'll see what I can do.
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Okay, let me take a deep breath ... in comes the good air, out goes the bad air ... and move on to the next exciting item.

Custom Scents Online has created a line of fragrances inspired by the Twilight characters, and to celebrate the upcoming movie release, they’re giving away a sampler bottle of perfume. I jumped at the chance to participate because I know so many of you are Twilight fans. Plus, it gave me the chance to try out a free sample of my own. I chose "Bella" and love the scent of jasmine in it.



The fragrances are wonderful ... yes, really wonderful. There's one for each Twilight character, and so there's sure to be one you'll love! And that includes fragrances for guys, as well.

A number of blogs are holding the contest and my blog is the last one scheduled, but once all the contests have been run, one lucky commenter will also be randomly drawn to win the grand prize of a full bath and body set in the scent of choice. How great is that?

You'll find the specifics about entering below.


~CONTEST NEWS~

LAST WEEK'S WINNER : Congrats to Valerie Ipson on winning the Yoplait YoPlus prize pack! Valerie, please contact me no later than midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 18 to claim your prize. Send me an email with your mailing address at cindybeck(dot)author(at)yahoo(dot)com.

If the prize isn't claimed by Wednesday, a new winner will be drawn.

THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAY:
As mentioned above, I'm giving away a sampler bottle of choice of a Twilight-inspired perfume. However, you only have until midnight on THURSDAY, November 20, 2009, to enter.

How to Enter:
1. Visit www.customscentonline.com and select the fragrance you'd like if you win the contest.
2. Come back to my blog and leave the name of that fragrance in your comment. If you'd like, while you're here, slip over to my sidebar and sign up to become a follower of my blog. Mention that you're a follower, and it'll give you another entry in my contest.
3. You may also comment at all participating blogs to increase your chances of winning the Grand Prize. Click on the "Twilight Inspired Fragrances" button in the sidebar (to the right), for the list of blogs.
5. You may comment at any of the participating blogs up through November 20th, even if the contest is over at the other blogs, and still be entered to win the Grand Prize.
6. Prizes are only shipped to addresses within the U.S.

*Winner will be announced no later than Monday, Nov 23, and will have until midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 25, to contact me or ... sorry ... another winner will be chosen. Email me at cindybeck(dot)author(at)yahoo(dot)com.*

(Disclaimer: Please note my family members are encouraged, enticed, and eligible to comment on my thoughts, but unfortunately, are ineligible to enter the contests.)
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What's playing in my head: The Snoopy Theme by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.
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Serious Thoughts for Veteran's Day ... by Cindy Beck

A Tribute to Freedom: "As Long as My Heart Beats"




Despite the fact that I usually write humor, certain circumstances require deeper thoughts. Veteran’s Day is one of those occasions.

My dad served in the Air Force as a career military man, and he’s now retired. I have been, and always will be, proud of him and the way in which he served his country, and his willingness to go to war to defend our liberties.

It’s to him, and to all valiant veterans, that I dedicate the following thoughts on freedom.
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As Long as My Heart Beats
© 2009 Cindy Beck

What can be written about freedom that hasn’t already been penned? The words of our American forefathers—far more articulate and expressive than anything I could ever compose—declare our right to freedom in the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”1

All I can give then, are my simple thoughts ….

Freedom is what gives me the right to walk the hills at daybreak, watching the pink and gold clouds caress the mountaintops, with no worry that someone will demand a passport, papers, or even ask why I choose wandering instead of working at a government stipulated job.

The meadowlark’s tune in the canyon sings to me of those who came before—men and women of bravery and courage, who loved liberty more than life and willingly gave their all, making the supreme sacrifice so that I might listen, in peace and free from bondage, to that lark’s lilting song.

A stone’s throw away lies a brook that ripples and laughs on its way to the mighty sea. It speaks to me of freedom to worship a Heavenly Father, to gather with other believers on a bright Sabbath morn and express our love of God in songs, that like the babblings of the brook, rise to the heavens—a right granted with no restrictions by a government that would curtail beliefs in the Holy One of Israel.

And yet, that brook also gurgles of the rights of others to not worship any supreme being at all. Freedom has not always been, but ever should be, universal. All mankind, not just Americans, have been “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” And I, like the stream, must be willing to allow—no, not just to allow but to encourage—freedom to flow to others, even when their beliefs are different than mine.

The dark-eyed doe that browses on the tender grass reminds me of the right to bear arms, not only as a means to obtain food, but as a protection against an unrighteous government—perhaps foreign, perhaps not—that would choose to rob me of the precious freedoms that I hold dear.

The fawn that suckles near her side causes my heart to swell with gratitude for the liberty to not only choose to procreate but also to decide the number of little feet that might pitter-patter through my life. Freedom insures that the dark-haired, Down syndrome daughter holds as much worth as the blond-haired, highly intelligent son, and that no parent has to choose the life of one over the other.

It is freedom that allows me to attempt to convey in my own simple words the eloquent truths that Thomas Jefferson expressed so well. And as long as my heart beats and forever after, it is my hope that freedom will reign in this great country.

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This article sponsored by YourLDSNeighborhood.com. Please show your appreciation by returning to and browsing through the Neighborhood!



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CONTEST WINNERS: Nichole Giles, you're the winner of the Progresso soup mugs and spoons! Please contact me no later than midnight on Wednesday, Nov 11 to claim your prize. Send me an email with your mailing address at cindybeck(dot)author(at)yahoo(dot)com.

If the prize isn't claimed by Wednesday, a new winner will be drawn.

THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAY: A really cool, “Get Healthy” prize pack that includes a stylish sports bag, sports towel, ear buds and two free coupons* for any flavor of the new YoPlus Light yogurt.
*Please note: Free coupons are not valid in Louisiana, Nevada and North Dakota.



THE PRODUCT: Yoplait was kind enough to send me a gift pack that included a coupon for their new YoPlus Light Yogurt. They had the following to say about their new product:

YoPlus Light yogurt is a quick, healthy snack that also helps regulate your digestive system without compromising calorie intake or taste!

With only 70 calories, YoPlus Light contains a special blend of probiotic cultures, 3 grams of natural dietary fiber and the same great taste you expect from Yoplait. Even better, YoPlus Light is now available in three new delicious flavors – Key Lime Pie, Honey Vanilla and Strawberry Banana – and is already available in supermarkets nationwide.


MY OPINION: I tried the Strawberry Banana and found it to be really tasty, with chunks of strawberry through out and a creamy texture that almost (almost) reminded me of ice cream. I'd love to try the Key Lime Pie and think that's what I'll use my second free coupon on.

Over the weekend, I picked up a stomach bug and nothing settled well. Last night, when my stomach was churning, I ate a cup of YoPlus yogurt. I'm not giving a medical endorsement here, nor claiming you'll have the same results, but I can tell you it was one of the few things that I could eat without discomfort.

Also, when my husband, Russ, saw the sports bag in my complimentary gift pack from Yoplait, he liked it so much he wanted to claim it as his own. Methinks I need to start hiding my gift packs.

HOT TIP: You can now download a $1.00 off coupon for YoPlus Light here.

HOW TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this blog entry telling what you do for digestive health (or any other comment you'd like). Contest ends Friday, Nov 13, 2009 at midnight.

*Winners will be announced no later than Monday, Nov 16, and will have until midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 18, to contact me at cindybeck(dot)author(at)yahoo(dot)com, or ... sorry ... another winner will be chosen.*


This giveaway sponsored by Yoplait and MyBlogSparkTM

COMING NEXT WEEK: Win a sampler bottle of Twilight-inspired custom scents! You won't want to miss out on this contest. Starts Nov. 16, here at my blog!

Please note that my family members are encouraged, enticed, and eligible to comment on my thoughts, but unfortunately, are ineligible to enter the contests.
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Crash Landing ... and Progresso Soup Mug Giveaway

Posted by Cindy Beck



As he reviewed pilot crash reports, my Air Force military science professor stumbled upon this understated entry: "After catastrophic engine failure, I landed long. As I had no power, the landing gear failed to deploy and no braking was available. I bounced over the stone wall at the end of the runway, struck the trailer of a truck while crossing the perimeter road, crashed through the guardrail, grazed a large pine tree, ran over a tractor parked in the adjacent field, and hit another tree. Then I lost control."

From: The Good Clean Funnies.


~CONTEST NEWS~

CONTEST WINNERS: Taffy Lovell, you're the winner of the bottle of lavender oil! Please contact me no later than midnight on Wednesday, Nov 4 to claim your bottle of lavender oil. Send me an email with your mailing address at cindybeck(dot)author(at)yahoo(dot)com.

If the prize isn't claimed by Wednesday, a new winner will be drawn.

THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAY: Prize pack that includes two Progresso soup mugs and spoons!



I recently received word from Progresso about four new Progresso soups that have 28% of the recommended Daily Value of fiber per serving (7 grams) and have no artificial flavors. The new varieties include Chicken Tuscany, Creamy Tomato Basil, Hearty Vegetable and Noodles and Homestyle Minestrone.

Progresso was kind enough to send me a gift pack that included a can of their new Chicken Tuscany soup to review. I'm not usually a big fan of the Italian-flavored soups, but I really enjoyed this one. It had wonderful flavor and I loved the white beans in it.

HOW TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this blog entry telling me which of the above Progresso, high fiber soups sound good to you (or, you can leave any other comment, as well). Contest ends Friday, Nov 6, 2009 at midnight.

*Winners will be announced no later than Monday, Nov 9, and will have until midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 11, to contact me at cindybeck(dot)author(at)yahoo(dot)com, or ... sorry ... another winner will be chosen.*

Disclaimer: Please note that my family members are encouraged, enticed, and eligible to comment on my thoughts, but unfortunately, are ineligible to enter the contests.)

(This giveaway sponsored by Progresso and MyBlogSparkTM)
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What's playing in my head: Animal Crackers in My Soup.
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