Monday Morning Breakfast ... and a Giveaway!

By C.L. (Cindy) Beck

Have you ever noticed that some days it doesn't pay to wake up above ground? Well, maybe I exaggerate slightly, but still ... some Mondays just don't start out like they should.

This morning I intended to review the new Chocolate Cheerios. (By the way, I have a great giveaway going on here, for a Chocolate Cheerios Gift Pack worth $30!) With a measure of excitement—I can't help it, food is always exciting—I poured a bowlful. Setting the box on the counter, I turned away to get the milk and as I did, the cereal tipped over and little chocolate "O"s spilled all over the floor.

Now, let me tell you a little about my dog, Corky Porky Pie. If he's doing something I don't want him to, I can holler at the top of my lungs, whistle loud enough to wake the undead, or fire off a bazooka, and he'll never hear a sound. Yup, a dog is just like a kid.

But, let me spill a tiny bit of milk, drop the crumb of a cookie ... or several Chocolate Cheerios ... and he's there at the speed of light.

Since dogs aren't supposed to have chocolate, I kept my cool and in a soft voice yelled, "NO! Do not eat those. NO, NO, NO!" Okay, so maybe it wasn't so soft. It didn't matter though, because Corky Porky's extra sensitive hearing suddenly degenerated into the hearing of a ninety-two year-old dog.

Hmm, at the rate of seven years in dog life to one in human, that would give him the hearing capabilities of a dog that's six-hundred and forty-four. Yup, sounds just about right!

But, back to the story ... I moved the cereal on the floor with one foot, just barely ahead of his quicksilver tongue. Then we played a game of ring around the rosy, with Corky following my foot in circles as I tried to keep the cereal away from him.

Finally, after he was still fresh as a pan of cinnamon rolls from the oven, and I was too dizzy to shove even one more Cheerio out of the way, I grabbed him with one hand, gathered cereal up with the other, and then let him go as I walked over to dump the food in my hand into the trash.

Behind me, I heard a slurping sound and looked over to see Corky Porky Pie on his side, with his little black nose stuffed under the stove—a space that couldn't have been more than a quarter inch—and his pink tongue wildly flicking every which way. Just as I stepped to intervene, he hopped up and with a crunching noise that rivaled boulders tumbling down a mountain side, he ate something.

There was nothing I could do about it, because reaching down a dog's throat and into his stomach is not a talent I wish to cultivate. At any rate, I felt relief because I no longer worried about him getting sick from the chocolate and throwing up in front of the home teachers.

Instead, now I just hoped that when my visiting teachers arrived, they'd understand when Corly Porky Pie upchucked a couple of pistachio shells.

[Author's note: By the way, when I was finally able to sit down and eat the Chocolate Cheerios, they were yummy. And in keeping with all the federal gobblety-gook, I do have to disclose that I got them as a gift from General Mills. However, if Corky had eaten them, he wouldn't tell anybody.]

© C.L. (Cindy) Beck, 2010

DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE CURRENT GIVEAWAY, Feb 22-Mar 5, 2010: Chocolate Cheerios Gift Pack!
The gift pack includes a box of Chocolate Cheerios, a chocolate-colored ceramic cereal bowl, and a chocolate spa kit, all worth $30!


Toyota Lawn Mower ... and Winner of the Coupon Contest

Posted by C.L. (Cindy) Beck

If you're a giant corporation like Toyota, you have to learn to take your licks when you goof up. Producing cars with accelerators that stick is a costly mistake, but the uppity-ups at the Big T can console themselves with the fact that the company has now achieved the enviable status of being featured on YouTube.

Which brings me to the video at hand. When you watch this clip, dear readers, don't feel alarmed. I suspect the whole thing is either a TV commercial or a set up shot by an amateur videographer. However, just let me reassure you ... I'm certain not a single lawnmower was harmed in the making of this film.


The winner of the coupons for two boxes of General Mills cereals is Carol L. Congrats, Carol! Yummy breakfasts lie ahead.


Tag, You're It!

You can tell spring is on its way because the game of tag is starting to make the rounds. Yahoo! I love playing tag! My lovely and talented co-author, Nichole Giles tagged me (thanks, Nichole!) and here are the rules:

Answer the following questions with single word answers then pass this along to 5 other bloggers.

Make sure to link back to the person who tagged you (like I did above, on Nichole's name), and be sure you let those you tagged know about it.

Have fun!

Your Cell Phone? Poiple
Your Hair? Hmmm
Your Mother? Ma
Your Father? Dud
Your Favorite Food? MashedTaters
Your Dream Last Night? Boring
Your Favorite Drink? ChristmasPunch
Your Dream/Goal? Bestseller
What Room Are You In? Office
Your Hobby? Learning
Your Fear? Cancer
Where Do You See Yourself In Six Years? Wiser (I hope)
Where Were You Last Night? Home
Something That You Aren't? Mean
Muffins? Raspberry
Wish List Item? Trailer
Where Did You Grow Up? U.S.
Last Thing You Did? Ate
What Are You Wearing? Clothes
Your TV? Off
Your Pets? Dog
Friends? Wonderful
Your Life? #amwriting (I’m stealing Nichole's answer here!)
Your Mood? Smiling
Missing Someone? Yup
Vehicle? Camaro (In my dreams)
Something You Aren't Wearing? Armor :)
Your Favorite Store? Staples
Your Favorite Color? Blue
When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Hours
Last Time You Cried? ??
Your Best Friend? Russ
One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Bathroom (Ha ha. :)
Facebook? Yup!
Twitter? Yup! (Come follow me! :)
Favorite Place To Eat? Tucanos

I pass this award to:
Laughing Orca Ranch
Tristi Pinkston

The Cat Duet, also the "Mormon Mishaps & Mischief" Blog Tour

Posted by C.L. Beck

Aaaah yes, (yaaawwwwn and stretch) another Moan-day rolls around. Being a Moan-day, everyone is in need of something fun to start the work week out right, so here's a video to make you smile.


We're running a blog tour this week for Mormon Mishaps and Mischief. Go to any of the stops on the tour for great reviews of Mormon Mishaps, and/or author interviews with me and Nichole. We're offering a $20 gift card as a prize on the blog tour, so head over to any and all of the following sites and enter to win!

Feb 5th ~Rachelle Writes
Feb 6th ~The Write Blocks
Feb 9th ~C.LaRene Hall
Feb 10th ~Story Painter
Feb 11th ~Dan Olsen
Feb 12th ~ Queen of the Clan


Donations to LDS Church Relief Fund, and Red Cross

Thank you so much to all those who commented here by Feb 5, and thereby donated $1 each to Haitian Relief. There were a total of 21 comments (not including mine) and 20 of those wanted their $1 donation to go to the LDS Church's Emergency Response Fund.

One other individual wanted her $1 to go to the Red Cross, because she felt a larger portion of the donation would go to actual relief than with other charities. Just to clarify a point on that, you'll notice below that the LDS Church states that 100% of the donations go to help those in need.

However, both charities are great places to donate.

It seemed kind of sad for me to donate only one little dollar to the Red Cross, so I added a couple of bucks in for those of you who were going to comment and forgot. :)

Below are copies of the transactions, so you'll know I really did follow through on the donations. Thanks again for caring about your fellow man and for being the kind, generous people that you are!


LDS Church's Humanitarian Emergency Response, Transaction Summary

Dear Cindy Beck,

We are grateful for your donation of $20.00 to Humanitarian - Emergency Response.
We appreciate your efforts to make a tangible difference in someone's life, and to bless the lives of others around the world. 100% of your donation goes to help those in need.


Humanitarian Services
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Transaction Date: 2/7/10 Amount: $20.00

Designations: Humanitarian - Emergency Response
Comments: For Haitian Relief

Red Cross Transaction Summary

Transaction Date: 2/7/10

First Name: Cindy

Last Name: Beck

Gift Amount: $10.00 This organization's tax ID is: 53-0196605

One Weird Animal

In honor of Groundhog Day—well, yes, if we're going to have a day named after some weird animal, we'd better at least honor it—I'm posting a humorous children's story. We're all young at heart so I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

And for those who just realized they're in charge of Family Night tonight, you can always read the story to your kids and then pass out groundhog food ... nuts, berries, maybe a snail or two. However, if you invite me to the event, I'd prefer you overlook the snails and serve groundhog cookies, instead. No, not cookies made from a groundhog (yuck!) but cookies shaped like a groundhog. Aw shucks, don't worry, I'm not picky. Oreos would work just as well.

Ground Dog Day

By C.L. Beck

Photo copyright KMoney56, Wikimedia Commons

“We’re going to have a contest,” our third grade teacher said. “Saturday is Ground Dog Day. There’ll be a prize on Monday for anyone who can tell me if the ground dog saw his shadow.” At least that’s what I think she said. I was too busy dreaming of landing a spaceship on planet Toe-Jams to know for sure.

“Yes?” The teacher nodded at Celia, my red-haired, smarty-pants, next-door neighbor.

Celia twirled her pigtails between her fingers and said, “What if we bring in a picture of him?”

The teacher smiled. “Then you get the prize and five points extra credit.”

Extra credit, extra shmedit. I didn’t care about that. But winning a prize? I wiggled my ears and thought about it. I was certain to win. My dog, Weener, was so close to the ground that grass tickled his belly when he walked. He had to be a winning ground dog.

The bell rang and I tore out of class. My purple Reeboks flopped. My untied shoelaces flapped. Rounding the corner, I planned on all the things I’d do when I won. Like buy an airplane, so I could fly to school in the mornings instead of walking.

Then a terrible thought hit me. Our teacher hadn’t told us what the prize was. “It better not be something lame—like a ribbon,” I said.

Reaching my house, I ran inside. “Mom, where’s the camera?” I called, huffing and puffing. “And where’s …”

“BARK, BARK!” Something flew off the couch. It slammed into my chest, knocked me to the floor and licked me.

“Umph. Glad to see you, too, Weener.” I stroked his brown ears, then got up and started searching.

I looked in the pantry. The camera wasn’t there. I scarfed down a stale saltine cracker and licked a blob of peanut butter from the jar. Next, I checked the closet. There it sat on the shelf.

“Come on, Weener, let’s go see your shadow and get a picture,” I said to him, grabbing the camera. We walked outside. His shadow glided along the ground next to him.

“Weener, look at the camera and smile,” I said.

He flopped on his back and stuck his paws in the air, looking like he’d been shot. The sun went under a cloud.

“Come on,” I said. I picked him up and put him back on his feet just as the sun came back out. I pointed the camera at him again. “Smile and say fuzzy pickles.”

Weener spun in a circle, chasing his tail and barking. Then he fell to the ground in a dizzy, yapping heap.

He made me so cranky. Here I had a ground dog of my own and he wouldn’t hold still for one little picture. I lifted him up and set him on the picnic table. “Now don’t move!”

A voice behind me asked, “What are you doing, Kyle?” I turned to see Celia standing there, making weird Celia faces.

“What does it look like? I’m getting a picture of a ground dog.”

Celia flipped her pigtails around her fingers for a minute. Then she said, “That’s a wiener dog.”

“No fake. Shortest wiener dog in town. That’s why I’ll win the prize on Monday.”

She scrunched up her nose in a know-it-all way. I said, “He’s a great ground dog. You can’t get any closer to the ground than Weener.” By now, I was wishing Celia would fall into a volcano.

She started giggling, her red pigtails bobbing up and down.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

“It’s not ground dog,” she said. “There’s no such thing. It’s ground hog. Groundhog Day.”

I blinked twice. “Groundhog? What’s a groundhog?”

Celia rolled her brown eyes. “It’s a large, fat rodent with short legs. And reddish fur.” She thought for a second. Then she tightened the elastics on her pigtails. “It digs a hole to live in. Some people call it a woodchuck.”

I crossed my eyes, pointed at my head and made circles with my finger. Celia never noticed. She said, “There’s a famous groundhog called Punxsutawney Phil. If he sees his shadow on February second, there’s supposed to be six more weeks of winter.”

“Uh-huh. Right.” I lifted Weener off the table. “Celia, don’t you have homework to do?”

“No, but I’m going to go watch the Discovery channel,” she said, walking away and twirling her hair.

I patted Weener on the head as we walked back into the house. “Who cares about that ol' prize anyway. And no such thing as Ground Dog Day? Don’t listen to Celia Smarty-Pants. Ha! Next thing you know, she’ll be telling us there’s no such thing as April Tool’s Day, either.”