Friday, February 19, 2010

Pre-Easter Basket Giveaway!

Biggest giveaway yet!

This lovely basket has hand-knit socks, a hand-knit scarf, and a hand-knit wrap, PLUS vanilla-scented tea lights and chocolate covered cherries! Pamper yourself in warm knits, light the candles, and enjoy the chocolate!

How do you win?

Post this contest with a link on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog. You can enter this way EVERY DAY! (1 entry per posting per day)

Comment and tell me how you pamper yourself. (1 entry each time)

Leave a comment to tell me where you shared the news, and remember only followers can win!

Good luck, everyone! Winner will be announced March 1!

Monday, February 15, 2010

How Gullible are You?

After listening to endless stories of the Bernie Madoffs of this world, I've been pondering our gullibility. He bilked believers of more than $65 billion dollars, including many who should have spotted this Ponzi scheme.

Nearly three decades ago, I was standing in line in the grocery store. As a newlywed, I had compared prices and stretched our meager food budget to its limit. A well-meaning (but rude) shopper behind me delighted in pointing out my purchases and what she believed were the deficiencies in my diet. I retaliated by mentioning that standing on tile floors causes cancer. I have to admit I enjoyed watching her try make her feet contact the floor as little as possible.

Many years later, I recall trying to teach a group of teens at church not to accept things at face value. I told them we had a new directive to pray only while hopping up & down on one foot. Being good kids, they kept trying (it's hard to hop on one foot with your eyes closed) until I told them it was a lesson on confirming sources of information.

Several years ago my father called from California all excited about investing in oil wells in Texas, where I live. Spotting several red flags, including a limited time offer, I got him to hold off until I could investigate. The Better Business Bureau informed me the file they had forwarded to the State's Attorney was over an inch thick. That was all I needed to know.

Being well-educated, well-heeled, or well-informed was no protection. Even Morley Safer of 60 Minutes was bamboozled on camera (see for the video).

What are we to do? First of all, stop. Take a breath. Try not to let your emotions (especially greed) interfere with your decisions. Research your sources. If you're not sure where to start, call or visit the reference desk at your local library.

Most importantly, as the stories above reveal, double check everything. Especially if it comes from a prankster. Like me!

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Giveaway!

Jenni James is  having a giveaway in honor of her upcoming book, Northanger Alibi on her blog at Check it out--the buzz is that this is a GREAT novel!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Winner and a Trip!

Congratulations to Grum, who won my gently used copy of "The Crayon Messages" by Christine Thackeray! Send your snail mail address to and I'll get it on its way!

Last weekend I went to Tucson to see the blessing of grandson #2, James Connor Parsons.

My husband and I love being grandparents, especially when he gets to play trains with William!

Another fun part is going to the zoo. The Tuscon Zoo takes about an hour, which is just right for a nearly three-year-old. We got to see the elephants being trained.

And saw many peacocks, one of which was an albino! New to us!

We also got a chance to attend the "Tucson Gem and Mineral Show". Loads of very cool things to see, and great jewelery to buy. People from all over the world were there, speaking many languages. Everyone seemed to understand the phrase "How much?" We even had an Australian offer us a pedicab ride back to our car! One highlight was this man pulling a wagon selling coconuts. The outsides had been removed, and when you bought one, he whipped out his machete, whacked off the top, flipped out the extra piece, stuck in a straw and a spoon, and handed you an icy treat! Heather bought one to take home to her hubby, but just had to sample some (as you can see). It was almost her birthday, after all!

We had a blast, and were sad to leave, but looking forward to the next time!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Value of the Unexpected, and a Contest!

Yesterday was my birthday. My coworkers did an AWESOME job of helping me celebrate, as did my family.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband took me shopping for birthday gifts. I picked out a white blouse, a new jacket, and some boots. When we returned home, he put them in his closet for safekeeping.

In the meantime, life went on. I couldn't find my brown jacket. I wear it all the time because it goes with so many things. I hadn't left it in either office, the car, or anywhere else. I wondered if I had left it at church or a friend's house.

Imagine my surprise when I unwrapped my presents . . . including my old jacket. My husband had gathered it with the rest and it had been hanging safely in my closet. I was just as excited to see this "old friend" as for my new treasures.

Looking for a new treasure that could very well become an old friend?

I'm giving away my copy of Christine Thackeray's book, "The Crayon Messages". See my blog post of January 26 for my review. Loved the book.

Leave a comment telling me which of the following you've done to win:

Posted this on facebook with a link (1 entry)
Blogged about the contest with a link (2 entries)
Tweeted with a link (1 entry)
Left a thoughtful comment sharing an unexpected treasure you have found (1 entry)

Remember--must be a follower to win!

Winner will be chosen Tuesday Morning, February 9.

Good luck!