Making a Marriage Last ... by C.L. Beck

Photo © CL Shearin

A strong marriage takes work. Being married to a mental health counselor, I know all about the methods for making a marriage last. And based on a phone conversation I just had with my beloved,  I'm thinking I should write a book about it ....

Point #1 in my new book,  Making a Marriage Last: Call and let spouse know you're thinking of him/her.

I punched Russ's number in on the phone and said, "Hi, where are you at?"

I heard the hum of tires on pavement in the background as Russ responded. "Just leaving the state hospital and on my way to 5 Guys Burgers and Fries to pick up supper. I'll be home soon with it."

"Oh ... you're that far away?"

#2. For marital bliss, one of you (or the other) should always keep the house neat, tidy, and cobweb free.

I paused before continuing the conversation, then sighed, and swiped at a meandering cobweb as it drifted down from the ceiling

Concern tinged Russ's voice as he said, "What's wrong? Why did you sigh; aren't you feeling well?"

I swung my hand in circles, trying to fling the sticky cobweb off.  "No, I'm fine. Just bored. And I thought you'd already left a while ago and were close to home with the burgers and fries by now."

"Well, I'll be there soon with the food and it will help un-bore you." He said it in this cheerful, chirpy voice that annoyed me. I don't know why. Maybe because I was experiencing low blood sugar since it was taking so danged long for him to get those burgers and fries!

(Note to Self. Should Point #3 be, "Do not make gagging noises when spouse sounds cheerful and chirpy?" Or, "Do not strangle spouse when he/she sounds cheerful and chirpy?" Reconsider book. Instead, maybe do one on 50 Ways to End a Marriage.) 

I rubbed my cobwebby hand across a pad of paper, trying to get the stuff off. The pad pushed a stack of books off the desk with a crash, causing Corky Porky Pie to leap up from his sleeping position underneath and bang his head. Just to clarify, for those of you who don't know -- Corky Porky Pie would be the dog, not the thirty-six-year-old kid who lives halfway across the country.

#4. Grown children who live far away should not expect an inheritance any time soon. Or ever! (Oh wait ... that goes in the parenting book.)

More concern tinged Russ's voice. "Is everything okay there? I heard a crash."

I watched another cobweb float down. One with a spider attached to it. (Note to Self. Remove words, "Keep house cobweb free," from Point #2)

After pondering the bug for a second, I decided to let Russ kill it when he arrived home. (Note to Self. Doesn't Russ hate spiders? Review blog article about Russ and spiders before writing book.)

#5. To make a marriage last, do not feed the dog any snacks least he barf them back up later into spouse's shoes.

Corky Porky saw the ugly arachnid from the corner of his eye, ran over, and gulped it down. I grimaced as he "urped" and headed over to deposit stomach juices and a half-eaten bug in one of Russ's slippers. "Umm, everything is fine," I said into the phone. (Note to Self. Do not hand Russ his slippers when he enters the door. Let him get them himself.)

Russ cleared his throat slightly. "Okay, then. I'll be home in a jiffy with those burgers and fries."

I suddenly realized my view of marriage might be slightly tainted -- hopefully only for the moment -- by my overwhelming hunger and coma-inducing low blood sugar.  I took a couple of chugs from last night's bottle of apple juice that had managed to stay on my desk through the crash.

Point #6 in my soon-to-be written, enormously popular best-seller, Making a Marriage Last: Let spouse know of your love and concern for his/her safety.

As my sugar level started to rise, I felt less cranky and said, "Drive carefully."

Russ's voice sounded a little distant as the cell phone reception wavered. "Don't worry. I will."

By now I was feeling back to normal, "Ok. Love you," I said. "Watch out for those big trucks on the freeway. I wouldn't want you in an accident because ..." I paused, searching for just the right words to convey the depths of my feelings, " ... because I don't like my French fries bent!"

(Note to Self: Consider possibility that I am not cut out for writing a book on marriage. Instead, write a best-seller titled, Fiction vs. Fact for Repelling Spiders.)


(Author's note: If you enjoyed this mostly true bit of humor, then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on future fun. )

"Making a Marriage Last" © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck
Tags: making a marriage last, low blood sugar, spiders

Two Thugs, and Betty Crocker Cereal Muffin Mixes

By C.L. Beck

Photo © ex

The Stolen Lamborghini: Two thugs, Tony and Vido, are altering the identification information on a stolen Lamborghini. Vido's hammering out a new VIN tag for the car and in the middle of it he walks over to the pantry, pulls out a box of Cocoa PuffsTM, looks at the bottom, mumbles to himself and then goes back to work.

When the tag is finished, Vido holds it up for approval. “Atsa pretty good, huh?"

Tony looks confused. “Not bad, but why it gotta da words ‘Cocoa Puffs 23872’on it?"

Vido rolls his eyes. “Cuz, you bigga dummy -- datsa da car's new cereal number!”

And Speaking of Cereal: Betty Crocker® has a new breakfast product that Vido and I just heard about  ... Cereal Muffin Mixes! According to the ever-youthful BC (no, that is not British Columbia, it's Betty Crocker), "Whether your family is gathering around the breakfast table or simply grabbing a bite on-the-go, new Betty Crocker Cereal Muffin Mixes will provide a tasty and convenient way to jumpstart your day!"

Interested? Then visit http://bit.ly/CMcoupon to download a printable coupon for $.80 off a package of Cereal Muffin Mix.

Money off -- I knew you'd love it because you can't beat that. Even Tony and Vido would agree!


(Disclosure: The Betty Crocker information and coupon above was provided by Betty Crocker through My Blogspark. For more disclosure information, please read the disclosure page.) 

A Small Plug: If you enjoy having your funny bone tickled, then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on future fun. 

"Two Thugs, and Betty Crocker Cereal Muffin Mixes" © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck. The joke, "The Stolen Lamborghini" is copyrighted by Cindy Beck and may used if credit and a link to bythebecks.com is listed.
Tags: Betty Crocker, MyBlogSpark, thugs, Lamborghini

"Faith, Hope, and Gravity" Review ... by C.L. Beck

Book Description: “Faith, Hope and Gravity” is the spiritual, magical adventure of teenager, Liam Kane, as he discovers some of the same lessons Merrill Osmond learned as the world-traveling lead singer of the Osmond Brothers. Like Merrill, Liam is often misunderstood as he helps those seeking for purpose in their extraordinary talents. Liam’s visionary abilities gain him international notoriety as “The Prophecy Boy” who swims with dolphins, dreams of a mysterious red door, and champions those who are often misjudged for their uncommon gifts. Surviving kidnapping, near-drowning, and imprisonment leads to the discovery that despite differences, when people respect each other and their wide variety of abilities, the thread of commonality that runs through mankind grows ever stronger.

Merrill Osmond
About the Authors: Merrill Osmond is a world-class entertainer, producer, author, motivational speaker and renowned lead singer of the Osmonds. Merrill and his siblings have produced 47 platinum and gold records and Merrill has written the lyrics for five #1 hit records. Merrill is a co-founder of the Osmond Foundation, which originally produced “The Children’s Miracle Network” Telethon. He has produced presidential inaugural events for both Reagan and Bush. Merrill is excited to release his first novel, Faith, Hope, and Gravity.

Shirley Bahlmann
 Shirley Bahlmann has written a wide variety of genres, including historical fiction, novels, biographies, how-to, and how-not-to books. One of her favorites is a children’s book titled “When the Chicken Crossed the Road” which comes with instructions and a chicken-colored washcloth so you can roll your own chicken! Shirley finds the most annoying thing about being a prolific writer is sleep, because she’d rather be writing.

My Opinion: The authors' descriptions of people and events in Faith, Hope, and Gravity makes the reader feel as if he/she is right there in the story. As a main character, Liam is a likable individual and Osmond/Bahlmann present him in a way that makes it easy to sympathize with Liam's difficulties. The lessons offered in the story hold true in life -- everyone has troubles and trials of one kind or another, even if they've never experienced bullying, a broken hip, or visions of the future. Osmond/Bahlmann ultimately propose a universal truth -- the goal in life is to remain true to oneself and to one's gifts.

Open the book on a laid-back Sunday afternoon, read for a bit, and see if you don't find that the characters and plot make for light, pleasant reading.

Merrill Osmond's Site
Shirley Bahlmann's Site

Other Stops on the Blog Tour:
Sept 13- Fire and Ice
Sept 14- I am a Reader
Sept 17- Debbie's Inkspectations
Sept 18- Aimee Brown
Sept 20- Kathi Oram Peterson
Sept 24-Danyelle Ferguson
Sept 27- Susan
Sept 28-The Book Bug
October 1-Jewel Adams


"Faith, Hope, and Gravity Review" © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck  
Tags: Faith, Hope, and Gravity, book review, Bahlmann, Osmond

(Compensation Disclosure: The only compensation received for this review was an electronic PDF copy of Faith, Hope, and Gravity so that it could be read and reviewed on the blog. For more disclosure information, particularly in reference to my philosophy on book reviews, please read the disclosure page.)

Calgary Real Estate ... by C.L. Beck

A humor article by C.L. Beck, sponsored by your friends at CliffStevenson.com.

Photo © rblissett
Calgary ... the land of snow and ice. Or maybe palm trees and girls in bikinis. I'm not sure which. But, I do have friends from Canada and none of them are wearing skimpy bathing suits, so I'm thinking my first description of Calgary real estate is correct ... eh?

Preparing for that Calgary Weather
I recently received a request to look at a website featuring Calgary realtors. Being one who likes to come prepared,  I pulled on my parka, snow boots, wooly mittens, and sat down at the computer, waiting for it to freeze up. (Come on, you know that was funny ... cold, Calgary winters ... computer freezing up!) 

To my utter surprise it didn't, so I took a look through the site. It was well designed, and easy to navigate. It contained lovely pictures of homes that had sold. But to my astonishment, not many of them were sitting in snow. Here I'd envisioned igloos and husky Canadian loggers in red, flannel shirts and suspenders (well, naturally, pants, too -- this is a family-oriented blog,  you know) and all I'd seen were homes.
The Photo of Cliff Stevenson, a Calgary Realtor
At the thought of Canadian loggers, the room seemed overly warm so I unplugged the electric blanket that I'd originally wrapped around my parka. Feeling disappointed that the site didn't have typical Canadians in furry hats -- who were picking their teeth with hockey sticks -- I sipped my hot cocoa. That's when I noticed the picture of Cliff Stevenson, the website's owner. He looked young. Very young. Thirty years ago, though, I would have said he was nice looking.
(Wait, is a married woman of my age allowed to say some guy is good looking?)

My glasses fogged and rivulets of sweat ran down my face. Guilt engulfed me for even noticing he was cute. And then I remembered the steamy drink in my hand and the hot water bottle stuffed under my parka.

All's Well that Ends Well

I removed the winter clothing, then sighed with relief as my temperature dropped -- it hadn't been Stevenson's picture causing the problem after all. Despite a small case of heat rash -- and  finding a few web pages at the site that seemed still under construction -- I decided it'd been a pretty good half hour, filled with interesting information about how to buy and sell homes.

And the best part? I'd only suffered one count of heat exhaustion in the process.

(Author's note: If you're thinking about selling your home -- even if it's not in Calgary -- there's an interesting blog article by Stevenson called, "Do You Want the Pine or Apple Scent?" Among others at the site, it's worth reading.


(Disclosure: This article is sponsored by your friends at CliffStevenson.com. For more disclosure information, please read the disclosure page.)

A Small Plug: If you enjoyed this semi-witty humor article,  then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on future fun.

"Calgary Real Estate" © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck  
Tags: Calgary realtors, Calgary realtor, Canadian, Cliff Stevenson