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Help Me Up My Clod Score ... by C.L. Beck

By C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck

Tags: Yahoo! Voices, Wil Wheaton, writing, Angry Birds, hooters, clout score




About a hundred years ago, I hatched a brilliant plan. Oh, all right, it was really only 2 years, 2 months and some odd days, and the plan was mediocre, but this is a semi-true story which means I get to say what I want and disguise it as truth.

But ... already I've digressed.

Anyway, so, a hundred years ago (minus 98 years), I conceived of a brilliant plan to make it rich on the Internet. None of you have ever thought of that, right? No visions of blogging your way to a head of hair like Donald Trump's, or dreams of making a YouTube video that goes viral and you end up being mentioned on Wil Wheaton's website.

Yes, Wil Wheaton. You know, the kid that played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek, eons ago. Yup, he blogs about being a geek, in language that my mother would not condone, and makes money off it. I'd give you the link but I'm jealous that he's making moolah and don't want him making any off me.

M. O. O. L. A. H.

Don't ask me why he's making money. The article I read was about hooters and I missed the humor. Or the reason why the site could get a multitude of hits and provide an income.

"Russ!" I hollered to my hubby as he sat working at his desk in the other room. "Do you remember Wil Wheaton? Why would he make money blogging about owls?"

There was a long, poignant pause. I thought Russ was strolling down memory lane, to the days of his youth when he played with Star Trek toys and pretended to blow up planet Alpha Beta Krappa. And then I remembered we were already married when Wil Wheaton was part of the cast, and how I had put my foot down and said that a 30-year-old man who slept with a woman at night (that would be me) did not need Star Trek toys.

I peeked in around his door. "What are you doing?"

"Hmm."

I stepped closer and looked at his computer screen. I scratched my head. "Why are those birds beating up on a couple of pigs?"

Russ's eyes never left the screen. "It's called Angry Birds, and the pigs are stealing the birds' eggs."

"I don't get the point. Pigs can't climb trees, so how can they steal bird eggs?" I scratched my head again. (It's not that I have lice. I mention scratching my head as a writing technique so you'll know I was perplexed.)

And then I realized that it didn't matter. No, not about the lice, but about pigs. We live in a world of make-believe, where pigs can't fly but can climb trees, where a viral video does not carry germs that give someone a cold, and where under-employed actors can make money by blogging about owls.

By now you're probably all wondering what this has to do with my brilliant plan from yesteryear. Well, since I didn't realize one had to be a star the caliber of Wil Wheaton to make money off the Internet, I started writing articles for Associated Content. Which just recently became Yahoo! Voices. And may eventually become something else. Hopefully not Articles Submitted for Free.

My goal was to make money off my writings. And to reach what is known as a high Clod Score. Oops, typo. I mean "Clout" Score. Don't ask me how it works, or why management came up with that concept, but I think it had something to do with the submitting authors making it rich when pigs fly.

So far, I've made a grand total of approximately $707 and .2348765 cents there. Sadly, I'm not sure which of my articles earned the .2348765 cents, but I'm sure it was of Pulitzer prize quality. Or close.

All of which means that over the past 2 years, 2 months and some odd days, I've earned roughly $1/day. I'm sure my pay is so low because I haven't reached the coveted Clod 9 level. If I could only reach Clod 9, I'd make a whopping 15¢ more per thousand page views. Yes, friends, that means every time someone reads one of my articles (all articles are only one page in length, even if they're the size of War and Peace), I get an additional .015¢ more per article than I got before reaching Clod 9.

Or is that .000015¢?

I'm not sure. Math was never my strong point. And apparently writing isn't either, based on my $1/day.

Here's the thing. Now's your chance to prove that underpaid writers are just as important as under-employed actors who blog about owls. Head out to my Yahoo! Voices page and click open one of my articles. Hey, it would even be great if you read it! But, if you're not in the mood for reading, look at one of my slideshows with purty pictures. Either will work. I need 488 additional page views to hit Clod 9 before 2012 rings in.

2012. That's like ... really, really soon. So don't waste any time, because we all know that under-employed actors should not make more money at writing than underpaid writers.

Oh, in case you're wondering, my hubby has explained that Wil Wheaton was not writing about owls. He was writing about Hooters. You know, the restaurant that features waitresses with big ... ummm, I'm trying to think how to say it nicely ... chests. Bosoms.

Ah ha! The fog clears, and it becomes evident to you and me how Wheaton had lots of hits on that article!


Happy Holidays... by C.L. Beck

From our little house to yours ... wishing you
a happy holiday season and a merry Christmas!

~ Cindy


Photo © Cindy Beck

"Circle of Sisters" Call for Submissions

Posted by C.L. (Cindy) Beck
Tags: Call for submissions, story shout-out, JoLyn Brown, Circle of Sisters


Photo © Paiviti


A good friend of mine, JoLyn Brown, is compiling true stories for a book titled Circle of Sisters. Here's what JoLyn says about her project:

Every day, ordinary women who belong to the Relief Society Organization put their hands in the Lord's and go to work. These women rely on personal revelation to get them to the right place at the right time, and every day, miracles are happening. I know that you have seen these miracles in your own lives. I know they have changed you for the better... My goal is to create a collection of these stories.

Since starting this project, I have been amazed at how much clearer the purpose of Relief Society Organization has become to me. As I searched my own life for experiences that changed me, I have seen how even in times when I thought I was giving the service, I received so much in return. It seems our lives are interconnected, with each person's story overlapping and reaching into another's. Our power to make a difference is remarkable and with the Lord's help, we can each experience first hand what it feels like to be a part of something incredible.

Please keep in mind that I will not be able to offer any payment for your stories, but this may be a chance for you to get publishing credits which is always great.

JoLyn has a publisher who's expressed interest in the concept, and if you're interested in sharing your story with her, click here for the submission guidelines. The deadline for submissions is January 14th, 2012.


$25 Sam's Club/Chex Mix-change Winner

$25 Sam's Club Gift Card and Chex Party Mix-Change Winner

Tags: Giveaway, Chex Party Mix, Sam's Club, MyBlogSpark



It's time to announce the winner of the $25 Sam's Club/Chex Mix-change Giveaway. According to the random generator at Random.org, the winner is ...

JC!

Congrats, JC, and enjoy your $25 Sam's Club card and your Chex cereal.

(Thanks to all who entered! Disclosure: The $25 Sam's Club/Chex Mix-change Giveaway has been provided by Sam's Club and Chex through MyBlogSpark. However, my opinions of the event, of the companies involved, or the quality of the products mentioned are my own.)


A Sunny Holiday Giveaway

Posted by C.L. (Cindy Beck)
Tags: Sunny Holiday, giveaway, Zazzle

Mug-Everybody Needs a Friend mug

If you could choose any career you wanted, what would it be? If I couldn't be a writer, my other chosen profession would be that of a very rich philanthropist. (You noticed I added "very rich" into that phrase, huh? :o)

Why would I choose that? Because I love to help others by giving things away. And what could be more fun than having so much money that you had a grundle of greenbacks to give to those that needed them?

Even though I'm not a rich philanthropist (well, not yet anyway), I'm still lucky/blessed enough to have the opportunity to give things away occasionally. Right now, my friends and I are holding a fun, $20 gift certificate giveaway until Dec 28. The winner gets to spend $20 at any of the 6 shops listed below. It's easy to enter ... just go to A Sunny Holiday Giveaway and follow the instructions!

To give you a taste of the fun things you could purchase with your winnings, here's where you'll be shopping ...

Hang In There mug

Misty Dawn Photography
Misty Dawn Seidel is a nature photographer who's photography includes wildlife, domestic animals, macro photography, sunsets, abstract, landscapes and more. If it catches my eye, she photographs it. At her shop you can find a variety of gifts printed with her photos. You can see more of her photos here.




A Bit o' Sunshine
Ruthi Cox is an artist, photographer and poet...and she combines all three in the products she designs in her shops at CafePress and Zazzle. Her words dance with the art and pictures, encouraging readers to live life to the fullest.

(The winner can shop at either store, but will need to choose between her CafePress or Zazzle shop).



Send Out Cards
Send Out Cards is a company that makes it easy and inexpensive to send cards to loved ones. The $20 credit you can win covers the cost of setting up an account plus 15 regular cards (non photo type ) or 10 photos cards with postage, if you choose to spend it there. To see all the great variety of cards they have, just click the "Send Free Card" link. (Don't worry, you don't actually have to send a free card...but hey, it's free, so why not!)



Teddy Christmas Mug pink Santa hat &Pink ribbon mug

By the Becks
This shop has a wide variety of fun gifts to make you smile. They also have touching breast cancer awareness gifts, and the family which runs this shop donates 5% of the proceeds from each of these to Susan G. Komen Foundation and other breast cancer charities.



2012 Sunflowers Calendar calendar


Wheatgrass Designs
Wheatgrass Designs features the photography of Oz Girl. She grew up in Akron, Ohio, then moved to Rural Kansas, where many of the photos in her shop were taken. Her photos are eclectic, ranging from bright and vibrant flowers to western and rural countryside themes.



Lady ornament
Scribbleprints
If you've been following this blog long you know Scribbleprints is where I share my artistic side (and my funny side too). The features my wild scribble art and humor, plus just a touch of water color painting and photography. I have shops both at CafePress and Zazzle.



COUPONS TO HELP YOU SHOP FOR THE HOLIDAY!
This giveaway doesn't end until after Christmas, but you can shop right now at these shops and save with the following coupons:


There are multiple ways to enter, so head over to A Sunny Holiday Giveaway now, and get your entries in!



$25 Sam's Club/ Chex Mix-Change Giveaway

$25 Sam's Club Gift Card and Chex Party Mix-Change Giveaway

Tags:
Giveaway, Chex Party Mix, Sam's Club, MyBlogSpark



Yes, oh yes, it's time once again for Chex Party Mix! However, let me tell you with sincere conviction that any time of year is Chex Party Mix time in my book. Honestly, that's how I've felt since my first taste of it when I was a youngster!

So ... have I told you before how much I love the stuff? Well, of course I have, and I even gave you a recipe my mom introduced to our family many years ago, back when the earth was young and giant animal species roamed the planet. (You'll note I did not say, "Dinosaurs roamed the earth" because that would get me in trouble with Mom.)

At any rate, I can not say enough good things about Chex Party Mix. To top it all off, Chex and Sam's Club, along with MyBlogSpark, are offering the chance to win a $25 Sam's Club Card and a box of Chex in the Chex Party Mix-Change Giveaway.

What Chex Says
Searching for ways to mix up this year’s holiday bash? Then why not host a Chex® Party Mix-Change, a modern spin on the traditional cookie swap with a delicious and savory twist! With several Chex Party Mix recipes that can be made in just 15 minutes and Sam’s Club stores providing you with everything needed to host a fabulous party, there’s no excuse to not call on family and friends for a celebration.In fact, with all of the extra prep time being saved, you’ll be able to spend more time mingling with your guests this year than working in the kitchen.

How to throw the ultimate Sam’s Club Chex Party Mix-Change: Visit ChexPartyMixChange.com for even more party-planning tips and be sure to also check out Sam’s Club, your one stop Chex spot that has everything you need to throw a Chex Party Mix-Change!

A few handy links:


Giveaway Rules for Sam's Club $25 Gift Card and Chex Cereal
Runs from Dec 5 to Midnight, MT, Dec 11 2011.

For one entry: Leave a comment on this blog article. If you can't think of anything to say, share which of the ChexPartyMixChange.com recipes you might like to try. (I'm thinking the Chex Pumpkin Pie Crunch sounds soooo yummy, and the idea of a party mix-change instead of a cookie ex-change sounds like a blast!)

For two additional entries (making a total of 3): After leaving a comment on this blog, click on this link and leave a comment at the bottom of my story, "Fast Chase (Story about a Police Office and a Sheltie)." It's written under my pen name, Cindy Lynn. Don't forget to mention you came there by way of my blog so that you get credit. Should the Internet act funky and you're unable to leave a comment, you can verify you were there by sending me an email at cindybeck dot author at yahoo dot com, and telling me the name of the officer.

If I don't already have your address, please leave your email, Twitter, or Facebook address here so I can contact you. The winner will be announced the week of December 12.

(Thanks for entering! Disclosure: The Chex cereal, Sam's Club gift card, giveaway information, and prize pack have been provided by Sam's Club, Chex Party Mix, and General Mills through MyBlogSpark. However, my opinions of the event, of the companies involved, or the quality of the products mentioned are my own. If for some reason there is no winner, or I can not get in contact with the winner, I will redraw or give the prize to charity, at MyBlogSpark's and my discretion.)


Winner of the Seventh Generation Dishsoap Giveaway

Posted by C.L. (Cindy) Beck

Tags: Giveaway, Seventh Generation, MyBlogSpark



It's time to announce the winner of the Seventh Generation Dishsoap Giveaway. According to the random generator at Random.org, the winner is ...

Schmidty!

Congrats to Schmidty, and thanks to all who entered.

(Disclosure: The Seventh Generation information and giveaway have been provided by Seventh Generation through MyBlogSpark. However, my opinions of the event, of the companies involved, or the quality of the products mentioned are my own. If for some reason there is no winner, or I can not get in contact with the winner, I will redraw or give the prize to charity, at MyBlogSpark's and/or my discretion.)

Wordless Wednesday ... 1899 Chevy Corvette

1899 Chevy Corvette



Have a happy, Wordless Wednesday!



-----1899 Chevy Corvette © C.L. (Cindy) Beck-----



Zazzle Me

By Cindy Beck

You're probably asking yourself, "What in the heck is a Zazzle?"

Don't look at me. I don't know. Maybe a cross between a zoo and a dazzle?

No, that would be a zoozle. Or maybe a doozle.

I'm not sure how they came up with the name, but I can tell you about the site. It's basically an online store that allows people to upload their own images onto products like greeting cards, clothing, and a whole slew of other fun stuff. In fact, it can be addicting. So ...

Hi. My name is Cindy, and I'm a Zazzler.

Just to be clear, I am not a cross between a zoo and a dazzler. Although, I have those moments where I wonder if I'm not living in a zoo. (Ahem ... that would be the fault of the hubster and the dogster, but don't tell them I said that!)

Anyway, that's another story. Or stories. Ones that you can find all over the archives of this blog. In the meantime, take a look at a few things you might be interested in at my Zazzle store.



And now that you've had a good look, go ahead ...



(Have you ever been a Zazzler? Or used an online print-on-demand store? Grab a sec and leave a comment about it.)
--------

UNIQUE GIFTS created by Cindy Beck at ByTheBecks Zazzle store
Tags: unique gifts, online gifts, Christmas gifts Background image on "Zazzle Me" graphic © Flaivoloka at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1043150 Purple Smiley © Ocal at http://www.clker.com/clipart-glassy-smiley-emoticon.html 


Seventh Generation Dish Soap Giveaway

Posted by C.L. (Cindy) Beck

Tags: Giveaway, Seventh Generation, MyBlogSpark



Although wizards might have house elves to clean up after supper, we mortals end up washing dishes--unless we can convince our spouses to do the deed for us. And if we have to spend time in soapy water, we might as well have it smell good, so it can transport us off to a fantasy land at the same time it's removing food residue the dishes. Seventh Generation dish soaps can't actually take us anywhere, but when I tried them, the fragrances certainly were enjoyable. My favorites so far are Lemongrass and Clementine Zest, and Fresh Citrus and Ginger.

What Seventh Generation Says:
The power of scent is remarkable. It can have positive effects on your mood, reduce stress, and even help you sleep better. But not all scents are created equal. The fruit, floral and herbal ingredients used to create the scents in Seventh Generation’s new natural dish liquid come from fields, not factories.

Seventh Generation dish liquid contains only essential oils and botanical extracts, and delivers real cleaning power. Your tableware will be left fresh and ready to serve your next home cooked meal.

With authentic ingredients like lavender from the fields of Drome in the foothills of the Alps, clementines from sunny Calabria and lemons from the soils of Sicily, Seventh Generation natural dish liquid is free of unnecessary synthetic colors or chemically engineered scents.

Enter the “Nature Makes Perfect Scents” sweepstakes at seventhgeneration.com/scents and you can have the chance to take a trip for two to visit one of the sourcing sites of Seventh Generation natural dish liquid fragrance ingredients. Visit seventhgeneration.com/scents to learn more about each scent’s origin.

The Seventh Generation Prize Pack



  • (4) bottles of Seventh Generation natural dish liquid varieties in Free & Clear, Lavender Floral & Mint, Fresh Citrus & Ginger, and Lemongrass & Clementine Zest scents
  • Premium 3 Qt. 12” x 9” Baking Dish from Le Creuset
  • (2) Twist© loofah sponges and (2) Twist© scour pads made from 100% post-recycled materials
  • Set of 3 organic cotton dish towels

Seventh Generation Links
Seventh Generation Website http://bit.ly/SevGen
Seventh Generation on Facebook http://on.fb.me/SevGenFbook
Seventh Generation on Twitter http://bit.ly/SevGenTwitter
“Nature Makes Perfect Scents” sweepstakes page http://bit.ly/SevGenSweeps

Giveaway Rules for Seventh Generation Prize Pack
Runs from Nov 17 to Midnight, MT, Nov 27 2011.

For one entry: Leave a comment on this blog article. If you can't think of anything to say, tell which of the Seventh Generation natural dish liquid varieties you are most interested in trying.

For two additional entries (making a total of 3): After leaving a comment on this blog, click on this link, and leave a comment at the bottom of my slideshow, "The Art of Rolling Over, as Perfected by Corky Porky Pie." It's written under my pen name, Cindy Lynn, and there are only 4 photos, so it's a quick peek. Should the Internet decide to act funky and you're unable to leave a comment, verify that you were there by sending an email to cindybeck dot author at yahoo dot com, and tell me what type ground Corky Porky is on.

If I don't already have your address, please leave your email, Twitter, or Facebook address here so I can contact you. The winner will be announced the week of November 28.

(Thanks for entering! Disclosure: The Seventh Generation information and giveaway have been provided by Seventh Generation through MyBlogSpark. However, my opinions of the event, of the companies involved, or the quality of the products mentioned are my own. If for some reason there is no winner, or I can not get in contact with the winner, I will redraw or give the prize to charity, at MyBlogSpark's and my discretion.)


Winner of the Kroger $25 Gift Card Giveaway

Tags: (Kroger, MyBlogSpark, giveaway)

It's time to announce the winner of the Kroger $25 Gift Card Giveaway. According to the random generator at Random.org, the winner is ...

Anonymous (Tami)!

She not only commented here, but also picked up two additional entries by commenting at my article, "Gardening Superstitions."

Congrats, Tami, and have fun with your Kroger gift card.

(Thanks to all who entered! Disclosure: The Kroger Gift Card Giveaway prize has been provided by Kroger through MyBlogSpark. However, my opinions of the event, of the companies involved, or the quality of the products mentioned are my own.)


Thoughts for Thursday: On Fishing

Posted by C.L. (Cindy) Beck

Tags: Thoughts, quotes, writer, humor



It's time once again for "Thoughts for Thursday" which theoretically occurs every week at this site, and so far has only happened twice in the past month. But hey ... I need time to hit my stride!

So here, without further ado, are the Thoughts for Thursday:

funny pictures - One of the Worlds Great Truths
See more Lolcats and funny pictures.


Kroger $25 Gift Card Giveaway ... and a Tale of Chocolate Cake

Posted by C.L. (Cindy) Beck

Tags: Kroger, General Mills, MyBlogSpark


Photo © Machadow


Yesterday I'd planned on having chocolate cake as the dessert for Sunday dinner. I baked the cake ...

Oh, all right; I can not tell a lie. I didn't really bake it. Betty Crocker is good friends with my hubby, Russ, and she helped him make it! But, I did frost it which should count for something.

Anyway, so we had this yummy, chocolatey, moist cake (Am I making you hungry yet?) just waiting to tickle our taste buds, and when we opened the fridge to get a glass of cold milk to go with it ... acckkkk!

Low on milk. Very low.

The choice was milk with cake, or milk with breakfast. I would have opted for milk with cake, but Russ isn't too fond of having his breakfast shredded-wheat-thingies-that-taste-like-a-cereal-box without milk.

Improvisation became necessary, and I now know from experience that lemonade and chocolate cake do not go particularly well together. It would have been better to pair the lemonade with the shredded-wheat-thingies-that-taste-like-a-cereal-box. Especially since it would have been Russ eating that for breakfast, while I could've had another piece of chocolate cake to start my day!

All of which leads me to a point. Kroger is having a cool event in which shoppers can receive free milk. Plus, a $25 Gift Card Giveaway! Here's the scoop from Kroger on the free milk.



What Kroger Says

Want to save even more when shopping at Kroger? Purchase any four participating General Mills products* that your family knows and loves and Kroger will reward you for your purchases. It´s that simple! Head to your local Kroger to take advantage of this great offer:

From November 13th through November 26th, with the purchase of any four participating General Mills products, you will either receive free milk (up to $3; limit of 2) or to receive $3 off your shopping order**

Look for some of your favorite participating General Mills products like Cheerios, Pillsbury Ready to Bake Cookies, Nature Valley Bars and Fiber One Bars

Promotion varies in different locations. Please be sure to check your local Kroger Co. Family of Stores for specific deals and offers which include Kroger, Ralphs, King Scoopers, City Market, Dillons, Smith´s, Fry´s, QFC, Baker´s, Owen´s, Jay C Food Stores, Hilander, Gerbes, Food4Less, Fred Meyer, Pay Less Supermarkets and Scott´s Food & Pharmacy

What´s better than being rewarded for buying your favorite products from your favorite store? Visit Kroger.com for more information and great ways to save and be sure to check out the Kroger Facebook page to join the conversation and share which General Mills products you´d like to stock up on during the promotion.

Kroger Links


*Excludes General Mills meal and baking products including; Betty Crocker, Old El Paso, Progresso, Hamburger Helper, Macaroni Grill, Wanchai Ferry, Yoplait
**Promotion varies based on store location; check your local Kroger store for details (Cash Offer: Mid South, Delta, Mid Atlantic, SW Louisiana stores, Central Missouri stores and Dillons Missouri stores)


Giveaway Rules for Kroger $25 Gift Card
Runs from Oct 31 to Midnight, MT, Nov 6 2011.

For one entry: Leave a comment on this blog article. If you can't think of anything to say, share which participating General Mills products you plan to stock up on during the promotion at Kroger.

For two additional entries (making a total of 3): After leaving a comment on this blog, click on this link, and leave a comment at the bottom of my article, "Gardening Superstitions." (It's written under my pen name, Cindy Lynn.) Be sure to mention you came there by way of my blog so that you get credit. Should the internet decide to be funky and you're unable to leave a comment, you can verify that you were there by sending me an email at cindybeck dot author at yahoo dot com, and telling me the name of the two trees mentioned in the title.

If I don't already have your address, please leave your email, Twitter, or Facebook address here so I can contact you. The winner will be announced the week of November 7.

(Thanks for entering! Disclosure: The Kroger gift card, information, and giveaway have been provided by Kroger and General Mills through MyBlogSpark. However, my opinions of the event, of the companies involved, or the quality of the products mentioned are my own. If for some reason there is no winner, or I can not get in contact with the winner, I will redraw or give the prize to charity, at MyBlogSpark's and my discretion.)


Gold Medal White Whole Wheat Flour Giveaway WINNER

Tags: (Gold Medal, MyBlogSpark, giveaway)



It's time to announce the winner of the Gold Medal White Whole Wheat Flour Giveaway. According to the random generator at Random.org, the winner is ...

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen!

Congrats, Ronda, and have fun cooking with the Gold Medal White Whole Wheat flour.

(Thanks to all who entered! Disclosure: The Gold Medal White Whole Wheat flour product, information, and giveaway have been provided by Gold Medal through MyBlogSpark. However, my opinions of the event, of the companies involved, or the quality of the products mentioned are my own.)


You Know You're a Writer When ...

Posted by C.L. (Cindy) Beck

Tags: Thoughts, quotes, writer, humor

Photo © asafesh

Because I love quotes, thoughts, quips, and anecdotes, I decided to follow my friend Rachelle Christensen's idea and institute a Thought for Thursday post on ... yes, can you believe it? ... on Thursdays!

This first one deals with the way writers think, but you don't have to be a writer to enjoy it.


Thought for Thursday

You know you're a writer when your grocery list reads:
Creamy fresh milk
Grapes, picked glistening from the vine
Lettuce pulled from the earth by strong, brown arms

~ Adair Lara

Even though I'm a writer, I've never written a list like that. The grocery store part of my brain is much too practical ... and in much, too much, of a hurry. However, I can tell you that I love Lara's list and just might have to start doing mine that way.

Have you ever written a list like that? Drop off a comment and tell me what your grocery/hardware/mini-mart list is like. Do you write it on scrap paper? On an envelope? In pen? Pencil? Informed people need to know on this Thoughtful Thursday!


Winner of the Sam's Club Pink Promotion Gift Card Giveaway

Posted by C.L. (Cindy) Beck
Tags: breast cancer awareness, MyBlogSpark, Sam's Club giveaway)




The Sam's Club Pink Promotion Gift Card Giveaway not only promoted breast cancer awareness, but also gave readers the chance to enter a drawing for a gift card. It officially ended at noon, yesterday (October 4), and the winner is Rachelle Christensen. (Congrats, Rachelle!)

Thanks to all who entered, and for those who help in the fight against breast cancer!



Sam's Club Pink Promotion Winner ... and a Pink House

Posted by C.L. (Cindy) Beck
Tags: Sam's Club, breast cancer awareness, Yoplait, Komen



October is the month where so many people (bless their hearts) take steps to promote breast cancer awareness or to raise funds for breast cancer research. For my part, along with an annual donation to breast cancer awareness groups, I purchase pink products and redeem Yoplait pink lids. I also created and help maintain an awareness blog called Breast Cancer Resources in Charles County, MD.

In addition ... I recently held the Sam's Club Pink Promotion Gift Card Giveaway which not only promoted breast cancer awareness, but also gave readers the chance to enter a drawing for a gift card. It has now officially ended, and the winner is Rachelle Christensen. (Congrats, Rachelle!)

Still, my efforts are small in comparison to what some are able to do. I just received news from MyBlogSpark about a woman who painted her house pink. Now that's going whole hog!



What MyBlogSpark and Yoplait Say

Head over to Facebook.com/Yoplait and the Save Lids to Save Lives link to watch Yoplait and the Denver Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure honor long-time breast cancer volunteer Joanie Lucas.

Joined by neighbors, volunteers and Yoplait, Joanie painted her entire home bright pink to remind people that the fight against breast cancer starts right next door! The house will remain pink for the month of October to symbolize women across the country who are working to make a difference in their neighborhoods and communities through programs like Yoplait´s Save Lids to Save Lives and their local Komen Race for the Cure. During the webcast, Joanie Lucas, Komen representative Michele Ostrander, and Yoplait representative Berit Morse discuss Joanie´s efforts and simple ways people can support the cause.


What I Say

October has just started, so please take a little time to support breast cancer awareness and to help raise funds for breast cancer research and support groups. Breast cancer patients and survivors the world over will thank you!

And again, congratulations to Rachelle Christensen, the winner of the Sam's Club gift card.


Sam's Club Pink Promotion Gift Card Giveaway

Posted by C.L. (Cindy) Beck

Tags: (Sam's Club, MyBlogSpark, breast cancer, giveaway)


As some may remember, breast cancer is an issue that is important in my life. My mom is a 15 year (plus) survivor, and is actively involved in a breast cancer survivor group, as well as in awareness activities. And one thing I like about this Sam's Club giveaway is that it's not only the opportunity for someone to win a $25 gift card, but also the chance to give back to breast cancer education and research by purchasing specially marked General Mills products. For example, my family loves Yoplait yogurt and I'm planning on purchasing some with the gift card I received through Sam's Club and MyBlogSpark.

What Sam's Club and General Mills Say
This October, by making simple everyday purchases at Sam´s Club, you can help support breast cancer education and research. Beginning September 19th, Sam´s Club stores will feature exclusive pink packaging on some of your favorite participating General Mills products in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Give back by purchasing your favorite cereal or snack!

For 5 years, General Mills has partnered with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Foundation to bring breast cancer support to local communities, and this year they are making their annual donation of $2 million to the foundation to advance breast cancer research and support education and community outreach projects.

Purchase specially-marked General Mills products like Cheerios and Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies at your local Sam´s Club and help decide how half of that contribution will be donated by voting at PinkTogether.com from now until April 14, 2012.

General Mills´ donations will be divided between two important Komen programs: the Treatment Assistance Program, which assists women in securing care they otherwise may not be able to afford, and Prevention Research, which helps unlock the keys to preventing breast cancer. Voting results will be announced on Mother´s Day 2012.

Sam´s Club website http://bit.ly/samsclubweb
Sam´s Club on Facebook http://on.fb.me/SCFBook
Sam´s Club on Twitter http://bit.ly/SCTwitter
Pink Together on Facebook http://bit.ly/samsclubpink


Giveaway Rules
US entries only. Runs from Sep. 29 to Noon, MDT, Oct 4 2011.

To Enter: Leave a comment on this blog article. If you can't think of anything to say, mention in what ways you give back in the fight against breast cancer, or which of your favorite General Mills products you're most excited to see featured in the Pink Promotion at Sam´s Club.

If I don't already have your address, please leave your email, Twitter, or Facebook address so I can contact you. The winner will be announced on Oct 5.

(Thanks for entering! Disclosure: The information and gift card(s) have been provided by Sam´s Club and General Mills through MyBlogSpark. However, my opinions of the event, of the companies involved, or the quality of the products mentioned are my own. If for some reason there is no winner, or I can not get in contact with the winner, I will redraw or give the prize to charity, at MyBlogSpark's and my discretion.)


Gold Medal White Whole Wheat Flour Giveaway ... by C.L. Beck

Tags: (Gold Medal, MyBlogSpark, giveaway)



Wahoo, another giveaway! I love giving readers the chance to win something fun, tasty, and cool. This time, the giveaway prize pack contains a coupon for a sample of Gold Medal White Whole Wheat flour, a cool-looking cookie jar, and recipe cards. You can't beat that ... the flour to make cookies and a cookie jar to put them in!

I must admit that I used to believe it didn't matter what brand of flour I bought. Generic was fine ... or so I thought. Then I learned differently. The variety of wheat, as well as the quality of the flour, makes a huge difference in my finished product - whether it's brownies or banana bread, cookies or cake. And I've always felt Gold Medal was top quality!

What Betty Crocker/Gold Medal Says
Unlike most whole wheat flours that are made from hard red spring wheat, Gold Medal White Whole Wheat flour is made with hard white spring wheat. So, it’s whole grain, but with a similar taste and texture to all-purpose white flour. Perfect for family favorite recipes like breads, pizza dough, cookies, muffins and brownies, Gold Medal White Whole Wheat flour bakes up golden and has a milder flavor than baked goods made with regular whole wheat flour. From breakfast to dessert and everything in between, find classic recipes that use Gold Medal White Whole Wheat flour at www.bettycrocker.com and make adding whole grain to your daily routine even easier, without sacrificing on flavor.

Giveaway Rules
US entries only. Runs from Sep. 29 to midnight MDT, Friday, Oct. 14 2011

One entry: Leave a comment on this blog article. If you can't think of anything to say, try sharing what type recipe you'd use the Gold Medal White Whole Wheat flour in if you win.

Two entries: Tweet this contest, and leave a comment on this article giving your Twitter address so I can verify it's been done.

If I don't already have your address, please leave your email, Twitter, or Facebook address so I can contact you. The winner will be announced on Monday, Oct 17.

(Thanks for entering! Disclosure: The Gold Medal White Whole Wheat flour product, information, and giveaway have been provided by Gold Medal through MyBlogSpark. However, my opinions of the event, of the companies involved, or the quality of the products mentioned are my own. If for some reason there is no winner, or I can not get in contact with the winner, I will redraw or give the prize to charity, at MyBlogSpark's and my discretion.)


Who Needs a Cat Bed? ... by C.L. Beck

Who Needs a Cushy Cat Bed When You Have a Flowerpot?

Tags: cat, humor




Have a happy, Wordless Wednesday!



What a Dog Does When He's Cold

Stories and Humor to Make You Laugh, Posted by C.L. (Cindy) Beck
Tags: dogs, pets

Here's a fun video for all the dog lovers out there. Now if only I could figure out how to teach the Corky Porky Pie this trick!



Waterfall in Alaska ... by C.L.Beck

Stories and Humor to Make You Laugh by C.L. (Cindy) Beck
Tags: Alaska, waterfall



Photo © Cindy Beck

Have a happy, Wordless Wednesday!
(Even though today is actually Thursday... again!)

Fun Betty Crocker Recipes ... by C.L. Beck

Ooo, Yummy, Give them a Try! ... posted by C.L. (Cindy) Beck

Tags: recipes, Betty Crocker





Not long ago I wrote an article about snacks to eat while watching Dancing with the Stars. Well, okay, not technically written by me, but by my alter-ego, Cindy Lynn. Anyway, it seems it was such a great idea that it made its way to the Betty Crocker kitchens.

Oh, all right. Probably not. But they must have been on the same wavelength because recently I received an email from MyBlogSpark about fun Betty Crocker food ideas that match favorite TV genres. And I thought some of you might enjoy the links for a few of the recipes, so here they are!


Betty Crocker's Fun and Delicious Food Ideas


Betty Crocker´s food experts have created fun and delicious food ideas that bring your favorite TV genres to life! And now they´re teaming up with reality TV star and "bachelorette" Trista Sutter to share more great ideas that are perfect for TV viewing parties with friends and family!

School Days

Put down your pencils and check out the shows that are sure to be on your honor roll this fall. We love sharing in the triumphs and heartbreaks our favorite students encounter on campus each week - whether they are belting out tunes in show choir, competing on the football gridiron, or just goofing off in study group.

Slushee Cup Cakes
Go to the head of the class with this new twist on the traditional poke cake. Two cupcakes are "poked" and splashed with fruity slushee syrup, then topped with colorful cherry or blue raspberry frosting and glittery sugar. You´ll give them an A! Get the recipe at bettycrocker.com/fanfare.

Center Stage Shows

Talent competitions are in the spotlight, as rising stars sing and dance their way to fame and fortune. But while contestants may come and go, it´s the judges - both spicy and sweet - whose personalities really keep us tuning in each week.

You Be the Judge Popcorn Mix
These pop corn mixes are customizable with a variety of flavors that bring personality to the table. Which one is your favorite - Sugary Sweet, Angry Jerk, Worldly Spice or Flaky Nut? You Be The Judge! Get the recipe at bettycrocker.com/fanfare.

It's All Relative

While the modern American family is being reinvented every day, we still relate to the all-too-familiar characters on our favorite family shows. Whether it´s the overachiever mom, the dad who´s trying to be cool, or the precocious but loveable kid, these characters are both smart and funny, especially when they come together over what really matters most.

Cheesy Po-Tot-Chos
You won´t have to ask twice to get everyone in front of this pile of potatoey tots, topped with cheese, salsa and fresh veggies like tomatoes and avocado. This twist on classic nachos is so good - it may be a fight to snatch the last tot! Get the recipe at bettycrocker.com/fanfare.

Geek Chic

The geeks are suddenly chic! The socially awkward, but super-smart set is all over the small screen this fall, speaking a language all their own. What they lack in social skills, they make up for in humor. We wouldn´t hold it against you if calculate a countdown until next week´s episode.

Solving for Pi Cheesecake
It´s a simple equation: mango + raspberry + cheesecake + pie = delicious! Take a cue from the molecular gastronomy trend and scoop up this deconstructed dessert that literally "pops" with flavor! Get the recipe at bettycrocker.com/fanfare.

----

A whole plethora of recipes are at the Betty Crocker site, and I've only picked a few to post here. Head out to bettycrocker.com/fanfare and take a peek. You're sure to find recipes you'd love to try. Or if you're a guy, to have your spouse fix so you can try!

If you get a minute, drop off a comment and tell me which recipes sounds best to you.

(Note: Details received from Betty Crocker through MyBlogSpark.)



Outside of Sitka, Alaska ... by C.L. Beck



Photo © Cindy Beck


Have a happy, Wordless Wednesday!
(Even though today is actually Thursday.)




A Blonde Paints the Porch ...

Stories and Humor to Make You Laugh, Posted by C.L. (Cindy) Beck
Tags: blonde jokes, humor


The author is unknown on this blonde joke, but it came to me from my friend, Cathy Witbeck, and it had me laughing.


A Blonde Paints the Porch



Photo © lhumble


A young blonde girl in her late teens, wanting to earn some extra money for the summer, decided to hire herself out as a "handy woman" and started canvassing a nearby, well-to-do neighborhood.

She went to the front door of the first house and asked the owner if he had any odd jobs for her to do. "Well, I guess I could use somebody to paint the porch" he said. "How much will you charge me?"

Delighted, the girl quickly responded, "How about $50?" The man agreed and told her that the paint, brushes, and everything she needed were in the garage.

The man's wife, hearing the conversation, said to her husband, "Does she realize that our porch goes ALL the way around the house?"

"That's a bit cynical, isn't it?" he responded.

The wife replied, "You're right. I guess I'm starting to believe all those dumb blonde jokes."

A few hours later the blonde came to the door to collect her money. "You're finished already?" the startled husband asked.

"Yes," the blonde replied, "and I even had paint left over, so I gave it two coats." Impressed, the man reached into his pocket for the $50 and handed it to her along with a $10 tip.

"Thank you," the blonde said, "and by the way, it's not a Porch, it's a Lexus."

------

(All right, enough of that. I hear those groans out there! :0)



Look into my Eyes ...

by C.L. (Cindy) Beck



Photo © Cindy Beck

Have a happy, Wordless Wednesday!




I've Been Liebstered!

by Cindy Beck



Normally I wouldn't have a clue what being "Liebstered" means, and would quickly call the CDC to find out if it's infectious. Luckily for me, though, when Leisha Maw gave me the Liebster Award she also explained it wasn't a disease.

Whew (flinging sweat off brow), I'm sooo glad!

Thanks go to the awesome Leisha Maw for the award, and here are the rules:

Bestow the Liebster Award to awesome bloggers who, at the moment, have less than 200 followers. Then ...

1.) Show thanks to the blogger who gave the award by linking back to them.
2.) Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3.) Post the award on your blog.
4.) Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the Internet – other writers.
5.) And best of all – have fun and spread the karma!

So, without further cause for alarm, (and while trumpets herald in the distance) here are my five picks for awesome writers:

My Rich and Random Life (Langley Cornwell)

Cathy Witbeck - Story Painter
Shirley Bahlmann Biz
Inksplasher (Karlene Browning)
On the Couch (Russ Beck) Okay, so we're related, but that doesn't mean I can't give him an award, right?

Have fun, y'all!



5 Rules to Remember

Posted by my alter-ego, Cindy Lynn
Tags: humor, happiness, Associated Content



5 Rules to Remember in Life


1. Money cannot buy happiness but it’s more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle.

2. Forgive your enemy but remember the so-and-so's name.

3. Help someone when they are in trouble and they will remember you when they're in trouble again.

4. Many people are alive only because it’s illegal to shoot them.

5. Alcohol does not solve any problems, but then, neither does milk.

~ Author unknown


And now that you've had a laugh ... if you're looking for other fun or interesting thoughts, check out my articles at Associated Content.

Until next time ...

~ Cindy Lynn
Author, Poet, and Philosopher at Associated Content


Sam's Club Giveaway and Box Tops for Education WINNER

By C.L. (Cindy) Beck
Tags: giveaway, contest, freebies, Sam's Club, box tops for education


Oh yes, it's time to announce the Sam's Club Gift Card Giveaway winner. After putting the entries into the random generator at Random.org, the winner is ....

LANGLEY CORNWELL!

(Sorry about the shouting, but Langley lives a long ways away and I wanted her to hear me.)


Langley, please contact me with your full name, complete mailing address, and telephone number. I need all those to submit for your prize. It should arrive at your place within two weeks after it's submitted.

Thanks again to General Mills and MyBlogSpark for sponsoring the giveaway!


It Ain't No Picasso ... by C.L. Beck

Stories and Humor to Make You Laugh by C.L. (Cindy) Beck
Tags: Mythbusters, art, humor


Image by Ali Goksel.com


"Hey, look," I said, waving the newspaper under my hubby's nose. "There's an art competition at a local gallery. Should we enter a photo?"

Corky Porky Pie barked his agreement, but Russ continued watching Mythbusters. What is it that's so interesting about that show? After all, how many times can a guy watch Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman shoot chickens out of a cannon before figuring out that a frozen chicken can not fly under its own power?

I tried again in a dulcet tone, "HEY, CHICKEN BOY, DO YOU WANT TO ENTER THE ART SHOW?"

Oh, all right ... I'll admit it ... I hollered.

Apparently, my dulcet tone startled him. Russ jumped out of the chair like he'd been stung, and the Porky Pie ran around Russ's ankles, barking loud enough to pop balloons. Or at least ear drums.

I'd like to suggest that what followed happened in slow motion, but then Russ would probably submit the idea to Mythbusters so they could test the reality of slow motion by shooting chickens from a Howitzer. Which would probably only work with tiny, live chickens flying backwards as they're shot out of the cannon.

But, I digress. Unable to take a full step without killing the dog, Russ stumbled around, arms flailing, looking very much like ... dare I say it? ... a chicken with its head cut off. That is, until he finally managed to trip and land face down on the couch.

I raised my eyebrows. "So, did that little dance mean yes or no?"

"Brsghgtrxwvbpxuumph."

I reached over and patted Russ on the back. "Sorry, but I can't translate 'Brsghgtrxwvbpxuumph.' Maybe if you take your face out of the cushions it would help."

Russ raised his head, and for a minute I thought he might turn it completely around, like that chick (oh yes, another chicken reference; we are replete with them today) in The Exorcist. Instead, he blinked his eyes and replied, "I was asking which picture you wanted to enter."

The Porky Pie cocked his head and looked at Russ, then cocked it the other way and looked at me. Sometimes I think he's smarter than I give him credit.

I would've cocked my head in question, too, but didn't want to mimic the dog, so I scrunched my eyebrows instead. Something Corky Porky Pie is incapable of doing ... so far.

Giving it a significant pause, I said, "It is my considered opinion that we have a number of blue ribbon quality photos that are certain not to win. So let's find something strange, manipulate it in PhotoShop to make it stranger, and submit it."

Russ hefted himself off the couch and poked me lightly in the forehead with his finger. "You've heard of the movie, A Beautiful Mind? Well, you have a devious mind. Tell me, did I know that about you before we married?"

"Umm, I'm thinking not, but welcome to marital bliss, Chicken Boy."

For the next few minutes we discussed which strange photos we had that were suitable. We finally settled on one taken by Russ of an old guy in New Orleans, dressed in a woman's hat decorated with chicken feathers (well, okay, maybe it was plastic flowers), wearing lots of beads, a purple shirt with orange pants, and playing a ukelele-type instrument.

"He's considered to be local color in the French Quarter, plays the ukelele for money and is known all over the country. I paid him to let me take his picture." Russ's voice reflected pride in his artistic accomplishment.

I shook my head in disbelief. "Really? Local color? He looks more like a nut. Who wears beads and a flowered hat after Labor Day? I hope you didn't pay him much."

Turns out Russ didn't, but I'm not going to tell how much he paid because it might make him look cheep ... er ... cheap.

On the day of the deadline, we gathered two other unusual pictures, along with the one of the ukelele-man-who-thought-he-was-a-woman that I'd weirded up ("weirded up" ... is that a real phrase?) and submitted them.

Several weeks later, we received an invitation to attend an "Artist's Open House" to view the winning entries. We dressed in nice clothes, because the press was scheduled to attend.

When we arrived, imagine our surprise to find a bearded gallery curator wearing jungle shorts and sandals. I whispered to Russ, "I don't think I weirded that photo up enough."

To make a long story short, our ukelele-man-who-thought-he-was-a-woman won third place. We were tickled until we saw the first place photo.

Russ stared at it for a long time, while trying not to look like he was staring. "Wow, I didn't know you were allowed to enter naked people."

"Me either," I said. "And that photographer might have taken the grand prize, instead of just first place in photography, if he'd gone to the trouble to weird up that woman and give her three of something. After all, it worked for Picasso."

------

[Note: Although I've posted humor articles here for quite some time for YourLDSNeighborhood.com, clicks on their newsletter indicate a demographic that's more interested in serious topics. For that reason, I'll no longer post humor articles for them here, and will post serious articles twice a month for them at my other blog, Cindy Beck: Meandering Thoughts. If you're interested, stop by there and click to follow through Google Friend Connect, or to follow by email. Thanks for reading my humor articles in the past!]



------ "It Ain't No Picasso" © C.L. (Cindy) Beck, 2011------



This blog sponsored by YourLDSNeighborhood.com.



Please show your appreciation by stopping for a visit. And take a minute to check out their newsletter, and yourLDSRadio as well!



Sam's Club Giveaway and Box Tops for Education

By C.L. (Cindy) Beck
Tags: giveaway, contest, freebies, Sam's Club, box tops for education


I'm so excited because I haven't had a giveaway in quite a while, and this is a cool one. So ... ta-da! It's time once again for the Sam's Club $25 gift card giveaway. (Don't you just love the chance for a free gift card?)

What Sam's Club Says

It seems like just yesterday when the kids came home from school, threw their back-packs on the floor and chanted, "It´s summer!" But as the hustle and bustle of back-to-school quickly approaches, Sam´s Club wants to remind you that it´s never too early to start collecting Box Tops. This year, Sam´s Club and Box Tops for Education can help you prepare for the fall when you shop their back-to-school event.

Earn more cash for your local school at Sam´s Club this August with the 6 Box Tops on a Pack promotion.



When you purchase participating Box Top items, you can collect even more Box Tops on some of your favorite General Mills brands such as Honey Nut Cheerios, Nature Valley Oats 'N Honey Crunchy Granola Bars, Totino´s Pizza Rolls, and more!

Sam´s Club has your favorite back to school items from computers to clothing, and at the best values.

Plan ahead and take advantage of the savings made simple at Sam´s Club. Your wallet - and your local school - will be thanking you! To learn more about the Box Tops Education Program and how you can help contribute to your school, visit BoxTops4Education.com

A Few Links

Sam´s Club Website http://bit.ly/samsclubbtfe
Sam´s Club Facebook http://on.fb.me/samsclubfacebook
Sam´s Club Twitter http://bit.ly/samsclubtwitter
Box Tops for Education Website http://bit.ly/samsclubboxtops


Giveaway Rules (Aug 1-7, 2011)

Leave a comment on this blog article from now until midnight, MDT, Aug. 7, 2011. If you can't think of anything to say, try sharing which General Mills´ products you might be most excited to see featured in the "6 Tops on a Pack" offer at Sam´s Club! (As for me, I like to see them on Rice and Corn Chex, because I love to use those two cereals to make Party Mix and Mexican Munchies!)

If I don't already have your address, please leave your email, Twitter or Facebook address so I can contact you. The winner will be announced on Monday, Aug 8.

(Thanks for entering! Disclosure: The Sam´s Club gift card, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark. However, my opinions of the event, of the companies involved, or the quality of the products mentioned are my own. If for some reason there is no winner, or I can not get in contact with the winner, I will redraw or give the prize to charity, at MyBlogSpark's and my discretion.)

"Hang 'Em High" and Authorama

Thought you'd like to hear this exciting news from my friend and fellow author, Tristi Pinkston....

Author Tristi Pinkston is excited to announce the release of the third novel in her Secret Sisters Mysteries series.


Titled Hang ‘em High, this novel takes place on a dude ranch in Montana. When Ida Mae’s son invites her to come for a visit, of course she brings Arlette and Tansy along with her. They are expecting to spend the week looking at horses, avoiding the cows, and making amends in Ida Mae’s relationship with her son. What they don’t expect is to be stuck on the ranch in the middle of a blizzard and to be thrust headlong into the middle of a mystery.

***

Help Tristi celebrate her new novel in two ways. First, come participate in the two-week-long blog contest, where you can win a book nearly every single day! All the details are up on Tristi’s blog.






Second, come to the book launch!


You are invited to an

August Authorama!

Saturday, August 13th

Pioneer Book, 858 S. State, Orem

12 – 4 pm

Games, prizes, balloons, face painting,

and Dutch oven cobbler

prepared by world champion cook

Keith Fisher.

Authors Tristi Pinkston, J. Lloyd Morgan, Cindy Hogan,

Nichole Giles, and Heather Justesen

will all be there to sign books.

This is one book launch event

you will not want to miss!

A Hair-raising Event ... by C.L. Beck

Stories and Humor to Make You Laugh by C.L. (Cindy) Beck
Tags: hair-raising event, hair, humor


Photo © tnimalan


Today I'm writing about those hair-raising events that happen to all of us in life ... tornadoes ... earthquakes ... haircuts.

Not long ago, I went to get my golden locks trimmed. Oh, don't look at me that way—okay, I went to get my gray locks trimmed. My stylist works from her home and as I got out of the car and walked to the door, I noticed her cat, sitting in the yard and pondering something.

"Hey, cat, what are you thinking?" I asked. In psychiatric terms, talking to a cat has a name, but I forget what's it's called. Probably Alzheimer's disease. Nonetheless, in small towns people look more favorably upon the uniqueness of each individual's quirks, and so my neighbors don't even comment about my habit of talking to critters.

At least not to my face.

But ... I digress. I waited, but the cat didn't answer. Instead, she gave this little hop, ran a step or two and gave another hop.

"Ah ha! Miss Meow is up to something," I said, only this time under my breath so that the neighbors didn't think I was crazy.

I walked closer, watching the cat pounce around the yard like a furry Slinky. And then I saw it—a little gray mouse not smart enough to stay close to bushes and trees, or to hide. Instead, it had meandered across the dry grass, in plain sight of Miss Meow.

A door slammed behind me and I jumped in surprise. A voice said, "Cindy, why are you standing out here, staring at Miss Meow? Have you been talking to the animals again?"

Turning, I saw my hairstylist standing on the porch, her blow dryer pointed accusingly at me, like a modern day gunslinger about to blow me away. Except she was more like a hairslinger.

My cheeks flushed warm, and I wasn't sure if it was from guilt or the hot sun. Not wanting to admit I'd been talking to the cat, I ignored her, walked onto the porch and gestured toward the feline in question. "She's catching a mouse."

"Eeeeeeewwwww!" Mrs. HairSlinger wrinkled her nose. "I hate mice!"

"Yes, but they have a place in the cosmos, in God's great plan for the eternities, with each creature created by a loving Heavenly Father who—"

"They stink up the house!" Mrs. HairSlinger interjected, pinching her nose closed with two fingers. "And they're creepy. They jump and run up your pant legs."

She had a point there, and mice weren't necessarily my favorite, but rather than watch my reputation as Mrs. Doctor Doolittle flushed down the drain, I tried again. "Creepy? Not hardly. What about Mickey Mouse? He's cute."

Mrs. HairSlinger placed her hand on my forehead and mumbled, "She doesn't seem to have a temperature. Maybe the neighbors are right, and she's just plain nuts."

I cocked one eyebrow. "I heard that. Just because I'm an animal lover doesn't make me deaf, you know."

She opened the screen door, and motioned for me to step inside. "You do realize that Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character, right?"

"Humph! Of course I do." I glanced back at Miss Meow, who by now had managed to capture the pitiful creature and was slinking toward the porch with it in her mouth. It gave me the heebie-jeebies. I jumped into the house, Mrs. HairSlinger followed faster than a speeding a bullet, and we slammed the door.

A sly smile crossed her face. "I thought you loved animals?"

"I do, but mice are a little lower on my list, and although I love Mickey Mouse, I have to admit I'm not partial to a wild one running up my leg."

An hour later, with my golden locks trimmed to perfection (yes, I said golden and neither I, nor Miss Clairol, are taking it back), I walked to the front door with Mrs. HairSlinger following. Opening it, I turned to her and jokingly said, "I hope that mouse isn't still out here because—"

"Aaaaaaaaeeeeee!"

A 500-decibel scream from her ripped through my eardrums, and I panicked. Having no clue what the problem was, I didn't know if I should duck and cover, or run. She grabbed my arm in a grip I would have described as vice-like, if it hadn't been for her nails piercing my muscles and coming out through the other side. It made it a little hard to bolt for the car.

She pointed at the welcome mat. There lay the mouse, dead as can be and left for us as a gift, albeit an unwelcomed one, from Miss Meow.

In retrospect, I found it pretty funny—well, after my hearing returned two weeks later—but I'm not so sure Mrs. HairSlinger will ever be the same again.


------ "A Hair-raising Event" © C.L. (Cindy) Beck, 2011------



This blog sponsored by YourLDSNeighborhood.com.



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