About Me

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Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ A Quick Note to Say...




Hope you didn't get too many boxes like this for Christmas.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Fudge Induced Rambling


With a thud, Santa crashed through the chimney. (It would definitely require Santa magic to get through our chimney...which may or may not be here next Christmas....In case you are following our on-going construction saga, Rob is tearing out the ceiling around said chimney today...)

But I digress.

Did he visit you as well? Santa, not Rob.

We gave books as gifts and opened several more. New C.S. Lewis works will take up residence on our shelves, a monster coffee table book about American history now lives here, and even a Max Lucado I haven't read before.

Speaking of books, I'm thinking through my favorites, gearing up for a Top of 2008 list. And I'm reading bits and pieces of books I've started or promised to read for review.

Stay tuned for updates.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Okay. A little tacky but...still. Gotta give it points for amusement value....


HOLIDAY CHEER

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Favorites ~ No Eye.....



I LOVE this song. I first heard it on a cassette tape...remember those... and I may have worn the tape out.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Super Cinema Saturday ~ Fred Claus




My Review:

It's hard to compete with nostalgic classics like A Christmas Story and pure childish fun like Elf. Many have failed.


Fred Claus. Well, Fred nearly pulls it off. Enough for me to purchase the movie and make it a must watch at least once during the Christmas season. Vince Vaughn plays a sarcastic screw-up, and fans of his or sarcastic screw-ups are sure to find Fred Claus appealing.

Of course there are the sappy and yeah-right moments that make the movie a warm, fuzzy family movie. Cheesiness happens, but really, in the North Pole you gotta expect some sugar and/or cheese. There are a few off-color comments and/or double entendres but it is pretty clean overall.


The most amusing theme is the sibling rivalry. Nicholas (Giamatti) is a saint of course, and Fred, well, he's the older and forgotten brother, which requires a few laugh-out-loud counseling sessions. Several "cameo" appearances make the movie fun for adults and will likely keep them engaged if Vaughn isn't enough to do so. The kids will love the whole North Pole fun and frivolity.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Favorites ~ Breath of Heaven



I think sign language is so graceful and I love that I found this version of a favorite song.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Favorites... A Different Angle


Birdie brought this amusing website to my attention. I may the only person in the world who's not been there, they have over a billion page views. : ) But better late than never.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Living Rich for Less ~ Ellie Kay



I haven't read Living Rich for Less, yet. I'm going to be honest...sometimes facing money issues is the last thing I want to do. But in today's climate, and with my current checking account balance, wisdom with money is a must.

I also haven't read more than excerpts from Ellie Kay's books and articles/comments. But what I've read has been spot-on in the common sense department and usually couched with humor. That said, I'm a fan of what I have read.

But don't take my word for it, click on the book cover and check out some of the mini-articles she's posted on Amazon. The one regarding purchasing gift cards might save you some grief and more than pay for the book should you want to purchase. Here's Ellie's website for more money wisdom.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Michelle Griep ~ E-Mace-i-pated.





I introduced you to Michelle on Friday. But today it Gallimore's birthday. Happy Birthday to you...etc. Michelle shares her thoughts via the standard Dregs ?'s. And a little bit more from me, too.


Fiction character you would most like to be or most identify with and why?

I always wanted to be Lt. Uhura on Star Trek because her uniform is pretty sweet, she gets to wear a funky ear piece, and she never had a bad hair day in her life.


If you could ask any person, living or dead, a random question -- what question would you ask of whom?

I’d ask Mr. Rogers about the whole sweater and sneaker attire…was that really your idea or your mother’s?


Some out there in writing land have strange rituals. Share yours.

It involves blood letting and small mammals, which I’m pretty sure is illegal in most of the contiguous United States. Good thing I live in the state of confusion (sorry, couldn’t resist).



If you could change something in any novel, what would you change about it and why?

I’ll be stepping on some toes here, but personally I’d cut a dinner party or two out of Sense & Sensibility.


What crayon in the box describes you on a good day? Bad day? Which one do you aspire to be?

I’m a marker girl myself, so I’m not really up on crayon colors.


Pick one…..Pink iguana, purple cow, periwinkle giraffe. Which one and why? Can be negative or positive.

Not touching that with a ten-foot pole.



Favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie.

Classic: Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries. (from Monte Python and the Holy Grail)

Most Recent: The sun stretched its rays further and stronger, like a thousand lances determined to strike a strong blow and leave a red mark. (from In the Shadow of Lions by Ginger Garrett)


If you were assured of writing a best-seller, what genre would it be? Give us a sliver of information, a characteristic or glimpse of a scene.

Time travel – I love to throw myself into history, and of course I’m always the heroine. Naturally there’d be an unbelievably muscular hero who’s a warrior with a big heart that’s completely devoted to the heroine. And sorry, Fabio would NOT be on the cover.


What period of history intrigues you the most?

Medieval


What would you write if there were no rules or barriers? (epic novels about characters in the Bible, poetry, greeting cards, plays, movies, instruction manuals, etc.)

Whatever I feel like I wanna do! Gosh!


What makes you feel alive?

A cattle prod…don’t ask.


How does something worm its way into your heart? Through tears, truth, humor or other?

Time – I’m a slow learner.


Book, music, person, food you would take with you on a very long trip.

Book: Bible Person: Jesus
Music: Third Day Food: Chocolate


Where would you most like to travel ----- moon, north pole, deep seas, deserted island, the holy land or back to a place from your childhood, somewhere else? – and why.

England. I’m an Anglophile at heart.


Favorite season and why?

Autumn because of the amazing colors and the fact that hot chocolate is once again in season.


Favorite book setting and why?

Jane Eyre when she’s walking the misty moor and Rochester appears on a rearing horse. That’s how God most often works in my life. I’m usually walking around in a daze and bam! He appears.


Which compliment related to your writing has meant the most and why?

Actually, I try hard to ignore compliments and criticism (mean-spirited, anyway) because I don’t want to get a big head, nor do I want to have my heart pierced.


What would you do today if you knew you had only a week to live?

Eat lots of chocolate, drink lots of coffee, and tell lots of people about Jesus. Wait a minute…I do that anyway.


What is your favorite word?

Pinworms


What word annoys you more than any other?

Can’t


Superhero you most admire and why?

Underdog. What’s not to love about a pup in a cape?


Super power you'd love to borrow for awhile?

Invisibility


Favorite chore

Cooking


Anything you'd do but don't because of fear of pain? What is it? Ex. Bungee jumping, sky diving, running with scissors.

Stiletto Heels


Grammatical pet peeve…sound off.

Just say no to sentence diagramming.


Societal pet peeve…sound off.

Young men, pull up your pants or spackle that crack. I’ve seen enough boxers in my laundry basket. I do not need to see yours.




And a little bit of pondering from me...as inspired by Gallimore.....


Top Five Uses for a Fictional Raven


by Kelly Klepfer, inspired by Gallimore

5. A prime-time CSI type lackey for collection of DNA or evidence planting. With talons, intelligence and wicked sharp beaks, a raven can plant evidence or borrow evidence. Creativity is required here. If your Stunningly Great American Novel is set in a historical setting, DNA is a moot point. However, never overlook the possible inclusion of an evil wizard or psychotic bad guy to need to collect a lock of hair or a strip of skin.

4. Eye candy. Literally. Okay, this is gross, so close your eyes o' squeamish ones. Ready? Here goes. Carrion birds consider eyes a great delicacy and believe in eating dessert first, if you get my drift.

3. Nothing like a soaring black bird with a wing span equaling the height of a child. Yes. Edgy.

2. Swooping and terrorizing. Do I need to say more? Obviously the bird likes eyes, has an amazing wingspan and can collect DNA. Think about the implications. And Red Riding Hood thought that the wolf was a fright.

And the number one use of a fictional raven: Stalking. Two glossy beady eyes. Awesome sight and smell skills. That's what I'm talking about.

Hope you've gleaned helpful information and sufficient ravenicity to add drama, edge and creepiness to your work-in-progress. Romance and childrens' authors may want to consider the tastes of their readers. You don't want to get letters now do you? Perchance letters delivered by a raven....

The above was inspired by Michelle M. Griep's novel Gallimore. For those of you who are interested in raven antics as specified above, you'll find much satisfaction should you crack open the book. Trust me. Michelle went right for the big dog bird...no prissy little humming or songbirds for her.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Michelle Griep's Gallimore




I'm stepping slightly away from the Christmas overload at the Dregs.

Today I'm posting a link to my new and improved book trailer for Gal
limore.

I'm also suggesting that you check out author Michelle Griep's website and the Gallimore page at Amazon.

Seriously, this book, Gallimore, cemented our friendship. We discovered, way back when, while ripping each others' words to shreds via our on-line writing critique group that Michelle and I...

a) consider our love language to be mutual...one that involves pratfalls and/or physical noises/pain.


b) that GOOD coffee is a major weakness and pretty much necessary for sustaining life.


c) that as imperfect as we are as moms, we a
ren't completely insane nor all bad.

d) that a friend has nothing to do with miles between but the hearts involved.


e) you can meet great people on the internet, though it it advisable to be pretty sure the person is "great" before dragging innocent children along for a visit.


f) sisters don't always have to come from the same genetic pool or set of parents.


That said. Here's a little piece about Christmas that Michelle wrote up for our reading pleasure (he,he so I kind of departed from the Christmas theme.)

Dieting is for Sissies
by Michelle Griep


Have you wakened from your Thanksgiving tryptophan coma yet? Seriously, it's December, people.

Frankly, we have become a bunch of food wienies. We snarf back a plateful or two of a little turkey then moan our way to the sofa, forced to sit and rest a spell while the game is on. How dare we blame our couch potato status on an innocent amino acid?

If we lived in Europe about 600 years ago, we wouldn't dream of whining about the serious after effects of turkey gluttony. Not at all. For starters we'd probably need to be alert and on our toes. Though the twelve days of Christmas was an implicit time of peace, one could never be certain that the peace wouldn't come after a brutal attack and the loss of a few heads.

We'd also have to make sure we didn't offend the neighborhood wassailers. The savvy Dark Age dweller would make certain to have food, drink and maybe a bit of pocket change for the needy should the singers bearing spiced cider show up at the door. Those most generous received blessings for a fruitful new year. As for the stingy, well, let’s just say they might want to watch their back until the next holiday season.

Finally, people today don't have a clue what a feast truly is. I’m talking massive boar head complete with a rosemary/bay garnish and a mouth stuffed with an apple or festive orange. Think someone possessing a cooked goose is some sort of joke about big trouble? Not during the Middle Ages. It’s more like a slam implying that you had to settle for an ugly fowl while your neighbors served swan or peacock.

Interestingly, the pie we think of over the holidays is pumpkin. Child’s play compared to a knight’s appetite. They didn't mess around with something trivial like a slice a la mode. One keeping up with the Knight Jones’ party featured the Queen Mother of all pies. I wonder if it was called the 12 Days of Christmas Pie as it must have taken nearly that long to eat the 165 pound monstrosity. It also included several reminiscent ingredients like geese, blackbirds and partridges.

Which brings me to my final thought… a few extra pounds around the middle was certainly not cause to sign-up for a lifetime membership at the local Y. If you were fortunate enough to eat well and have the belly to show for it, you were a success.

That being said, I think I’ll have me a few more Christmas cookies.



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wonder-Full Favorites




I'm not going to get to all my favorite Christmas stuff.

But I'm going to try.

Today I present two of my favorite Christmas books.

We are a book loving family and this has, in part, been fostered by aunts who love books, too.

Each year, Aunt Kathy bought a beautiful book for the kids. And each year we poured over the always vibrant and unique drawings and savored the words that wove fascinating stories.

I don't remember if Aunt Kathy gave us these books, or if we got them through another source, but I do remember that they enveloped us with warmth and memories and a sense of awe from one Christmas to the next Christmas and beyond. These simple stories still reside with us and are opened but every once in awhile, always with smiles and a sliver of wonder.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More, More Favorite Things....



Okay. I'm DONE with Elf scenes. But I had to include the taxi, and voila, this one has it.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

Christmas Favorites -- While You Were Sleeping





Two versions of a favorite Christmas song. But it's a bit bigger than Christmas. Casting Crowns' While You Were Sleeping.

The top version is just the song. The bottom version is the same song but with visuals, some from The Passion of the Christ.



Saturday, December 06, 2008

Super Cinema Saturday ~ Hancock




My Review of Hancock: Viewer warning -- Language, violence, alcohol use. Complete bad boy behavior earning a PG-13 rating.
(There is an unrated version which I'm sure is even more over the top.) But...keep reading for my review.


I knew nothing about the storyline in Hancock other than he was a superhero with a seriously bad attitude. I rented it just because we are compelled to watch all the superhero movies.

What I knew was definitely true. Everyone hates him. His first heroic act in the movie began with a little boy shaking him out of his drunken stupor. He then flew off and created millions of dollars in damage.

In spite of the cursing, which there is quite a bit, and a few scenes of unpleasant violence, and lots of drinking, this movie delivers a great couple of messages. Hancock lets an image consultant help him through the steps of becoming a better superhero and in the process a better man. Ray, Justin Bateman, is a terrific father/family man and friend to Hancock. There are scenes that are downright touching.

A plot twist completely caught me by surprise. (I could've read the box and not been completely surprised, though.)

Hancock is one of the more entertaining and creative superhero movies I've seen. We will be purchasing it for our family DVD library.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Dark Pursuit ~ B. Collins





Go here to read the first chapter.













Dark Pursuit—A twisting story of murder, betrayal, and eternal choices

Novelist Darell Brooke lived for his title as King of Suspense—until an auto accident left him unable to concentrate. Two years later, reclusive and bitter, he wants one thing: to plot a new novel and regain his reputation.

Kaitlan Sering, his twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, once lived for drugs. After she stole from Darell, he cut her off. Now she’s rebuilding her life. But in Kaitlan’s town two women have been murdered, and she’s about to discover a third. She’s even more shocked to realize the culprit—her boyfriend, Craig, the police chief’s son.

Desperate, Kaitlan flees to her estranged grandfather. For over forty years, Darell Brooke has lived suspense. Surely he’ll devise a plan to trap the cunning Craig.

But can Darell’s muddled mind do it? And—if he tries—with what motivation? For Kaitlan’s plight may be the stunning answer to the elusive plot he seeks...

My Review:



Brandilyn Collins continues to produce multi-dimensional characters and some seriously amped up plots. Every one of her books ends up being my newest favorite Collin's title. Dark Pursuit is no exception.

Her protagonist is a broken man with a broken brain. His granddaughter desperately needs his help. But will he stay awake long enough, will he stay coherent enough to help save her life, or will he hasten her death?

Enough twists and turns will keep readers flipping pages late into the night. Sympathetic characters pull at reader emotions. Fear and horror will keep the Big Honken Chickens's feathers ruffled. Murder, mystery, intertwining stories, power, control and the unknown -- sound intriguing? Oh yeah. Great read from a masterful story teller.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...




There are only so many favorites I can have? Right? We'll see. Let me share a few of my all-time favorite Christmas things/stuff over the next few weeks.

Today I spotlight A Christmas Story. Who can resist Ralphie as a deranged Easter Bunny? Or a Triple Dog Dare?

One of my favorite lines?

"Randy lay there like a slug. It was his only defense." Yes! You'd be surprised (or annoyed) at how often I can use that line in my day to day conversations.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Robin Jones Gunn






Hey Dreggers...

Robin Jones Gunn dropped by to visit for a spell. It's been awhile since I posted an interview. So enjoy.


Fiction character you would most like to be or most identify with and why?

[Robin Gunn] I’d like to be Ransom from C.S. Lewis’ “Perelandra” because Ransom is transported to Venus and observes another sort of Adam and Eve before their fall. He tastes food not grown on Earth and rides dolphins. He is a character that has stayed in my imagination for decades.


Some out there in writing land have strange rituals. Share yours.

[Robin Gunn] I rise early in the morning when I’m on a tight deadline. Usually 3am. I make a pot of tea in my favorite china tea pot, put on soft music, light a vanilla scented candle, pray and start writing. I’ve been doing this for over twenty years. Not every day, of course, but sometimes 3 or 4 days a week just so I can write unhindered and uninterrupted.


Favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie.

[Robin Gunn] I love “As You Wish” from Princess Bride. I even titled one of the Christy and Todd the College Years books, “As You Wish”. For me, the phrase is how I often end my prayers – “as You wish, God, not as I wish”. Isn’t that how Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord’s Prayer with the line, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done”. Also, when Jesus prayed before the crucifixion that “this cup could pass from him” He said, “Not my will but Yours be done”. I think the act of such surrender is critical to ever entering into a true and deep and lasting relationship with our Father God.


What period of history intrigues you the most?

[Robin Gunn] Mid 1800’s, specifically 1840’s to 1860’s.


What makes you feel alive?

[Robin Gunn] First Light on the island of Maui. I’ll attach of photo I took a few weeks ago while our family was camping on Maui. I unzipped the front of the tent just before dawn and quickly crawled out to snap this photo. Then we hiked down the trail and swam in the pools beneath the waterfalls.


Book, music, person, food you would take with you on a very long trip.

[Robin Gunn] My husband. Always love having him near.


Where would you most like to travel ----- moon, north pole, deep seas, deserted island, the holy land or back to a place from your childhood, somewhere else? – and why.

[Robin Gunn] Anywhere, anytime. As St. Augustine said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” I want to read it all!


What would you do today if you knew you had only a week to live?

[Robin Gunn] Exactly what I’m doing. I had a number of serious health problems a few years ago and that caused me to start living each day as if it were my last.

Thanks, Robin.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Monday in December Scenes from the Ranch





Meet Hal.

Actually, I don't know what his name is, I just know where he lives.

I guess in honor of Whitetail Deer Season and for want of any other reason to post a deer head on my blog, here he is.


Hal watches over me as I sleep.
He used to wear many ties, but now just leans against the wall.


Squeamish readers should be thrilled that I didn't post the actual movie footage I took of Hal. Didn't know the camera setting was awry. Trust me, the shuddering deer in the flickering light accompanied by the sound of breathing and the pitter patter of dog paws could've shown up in your nightmares.


The last gasp of fall foliage coated in winter's icy grasp.




And if you've followed my E-Bay comforter obsession you may recognize my prize. Yes, the set looks even better than I'd hoped on my very
own bed.