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Archive for the 'Potpourri' Category

Fidgeting: It’s Good News

Most of the Wii Fitness games–Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus, Active and Your Shape include fitness tips. One of the tips on Your Shape mentioned Fidgeting. Fidgeting is when a person is uneasy or restless and they move their limbs in a nervous manner.

Did you know fidgeting is good? If you’re a fidgeter, you use up to 700 calories per day. I’m not usually a fidgeter, but I think I might change my ways.

Do you fidget?

Don’t forget the scavenger hunt to win a blue Sony reader. Here’s the link to the contest details at the Samhellion blog. The contest closes on 31 December 2009.

Christmas Greetings

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I hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends. Thank you to Calico Crazy who designed the beautiful Christmas ornament and sent it to me.

Christmas has almost finished here in New Zealand. I’m now the proud owner of a pink Asus netbook. Hubby gave it to me. I won’t have any excuse not to write now!

Merry Christmas!

For those of you who would like an e-book reader, the fourth and final Samhain Publishing scavenger hunt starts today. The big prize is a Sony e-reader while other readers will win e-books. Follow this link to the Samhellion blog to learn full details. The contest ends on 31 Dec 2009.

Just Add Water

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The copy of NZ Woman’s Health I purchased (see yesterday’s blog post) had an interesting article about water and some of the myths people believe about it.

Here are some I found particularly interesting.

1. Bottled water is NOT better than tap water. In most cases tap water is safe to drink and contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc. It’s actually better if we drink tap water because it means fewer plastic bottles in landfills.

2. We should drink 8 glasses of water per day. No one is sure where this came from. The amount of water we require depends on our size and the type of activities we take part in during the day. Quite a few foods contain water as well so it’s not always necessary to drink glasses and glasses of water.

3. Tea and Coffee cause dehydration. Not true. As long as you don’t drink to excess, tea and coffee actually contain water along with the caffeine. Around five cups or less per day is considered okay.

I try to drink extra glasses of water during the day, but mostly it depends on my day and the availability of restrooms. What goes in invariably comes out!

My hubby often wakes in the small hours of the morning. Whenever he does, he has a glass of water and always brings me one too. I’m always thirsty in the morning so a glass of water is very welcome. Isn’t he well trained?

How much water do you drink each day? Do you like drinking water?

Sleepless Night

I had trouble sleeping last night. I don’t know if it was because I read Margie Lawson’s guest post about sleeping at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales or if it was a sign of things to come. Margie’s post was very interesting and included suggestions about ways to aid sleep. It’s worth reading if you have a chance.

Normally, I sleep really well. Last night I was tired. I slept a few hours and woke. Unable to go back to sleep, I applied my brain cells to the problems I’ve been having with my current work-in-progress. Problem fixed! I know how to end my story in a way that isn’t as lame as my original idea. I must have drifted back to sleep and I woke about seven, feeling really tired. According to hubby I was grinding my teeth. I haven’t done that for a long time. It’s something I usually only do when I’m stressed.

If anyone has listened to a person grinding their teeth they’ll know what a horrible sound it is–way worse than snoring. I don’t know why hubby didn’t wake me up.

The good news is that I remembered all the plotting I’d done during the night–it didn’t fade away into dreamland. Here’s hoping I sleep better tonight, but if I don’t, I have another story I need to start plotting.

What do you do if you can’t sleep? Is anyone else tired of 2009 and ready for 2010 to begin?

Almost the Kitchen Sink…Examining Handbags

I met two girlfriends for coffee this week and the subject of handbags came up. I’ve been thinking about doing a blog post on handbags and their contents for ages so I con…ah, persuaded them to let me photograph what they were carrying in their bags. Note – they both censored their contents a little!

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This is what my friend Tessa Radley had in her handbag.

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This is what my friend, Jo had in her handbag.

I’ve been carrying around my briefcase this week. It contains my alphasmart, wallet (credit cards, driver’s licence etc), house keys, flash drive, camera, Palm PDA (e-reader), small makeup bag, canvas bag (instead of using plastic bags), chewing gum, about five pens, notebook, a library book about Distance Relationships, bus ticket, iPod, tissues, sunglasses, business cards in silver case, and cell phone.

Maybe you should call me Gadget Girl. :grin:

The typical handbag of a typical woman in 1945 contained:

One or two lipsticks
A compact(the won’t close)
1 fresh handkerchief
2/3 crumpled handkerchiefs
A package of letters
The laundry bill
3 tickets from the cleaner
1 nylon stocking to be repaired
1 address book
1 pack of cigarettes
3 packs of matches
1 leather picture folder
All ration books (including expired ones)
Several cards with address of a furrier,
a wholesale place for children’s coats, a beauty parlor, a graphologist, etc.
2 scraps of paper with telephone numbers
and no names
1 hairnet
1 bottle of vitamins
3 samples of slipcovers
1 fountain pen
2 pencils
1 parcel of V-mail letters covering
several months held by a rubber band.

The typical handbag of a typical woman today:

ATM Card
Cell Phone / Blackberry
Change Purse
Checkbook
Crumpled Tissues
Hand Cream
Hair Brush
Keys
Lip Balm
Nail File
Makeup case filled to capacity
Pens
Wallet and credit cards

One bag is not enough
Our contents spill over into our totebags,
where you will find:
Agenda
Bottled Water
Paperback Book/Magazine
Newspaper
Shoes to change at work
Umbrella

I thought the differences were quite interesting.

Source: Accessory Web

Do you carry a handbag, and if so, what do you have in it? (note – if you’d like to send me a photo of your handbag contents I’ll post them next week)

A Stroll Through the Past

I’ve had a bit of a rough week and took myself off to the doctor today. Since I’m not feeling too clever, I thought it was the perfect time to revisit some of my favorite posts from the past.

1. Classic Romance Plots – The secret of writing a great romance is to take a classic plot and twist it to make the story unique…

2. Penises in Paranormals – the curious case of interesting bits…

3. Gifts for writers – is there a special person in your life who writes?

4. Collaborative Writing Partnerships – the wonderful Josh Lanyon and Laura Baumbach share their experiences…

5. Marcia James shares her views and ideas about promo for writers…

6. Do you like paranormal romances featuring feline shapeshifters? I discuss some of my favorites…

I leave you with a puzzle of sorts. Male writers are from _______, Female writers are from _______.

What would you put in the blank spaces?

Happy Flying

I love this ad and stop to watch it every time it comes on the screen. I love the expressions on the faces of the crew and passengers. At first they seem confused, and then they get into the groove. We flew Pacific Blue when we went to Samoa. It was a good flight, but they need to make sure they have more change for people who make purchases!

I fly a couple of times a year. The more I fly, the more I dislike it. I’m always very pleased when I stand on terra firma again.

Do you like flying? What do you think of the ad?

The Pubs With Expensive Beer

Some of you might have heard the song about the pub with no beer. A pub is a sad place if it runs out of beer, that’s for sure. Last night on the news there was a story about a shortage of hops, which is forcing beer prices to skyrocket. A few years ago there was a glut of hops on the market. This meant many growers ripped out their crops, swinging the pendulum in the other direction. A shortage of hops meant an increase in prices and some brewers stopped making varieties of beer that used lots of hops.

Hops are a little like grapes. The crops from different regions taste different and bring different properties to the beer. They contribute to the aroma, flavor and bitterness of the beer.

I know one person, namely Mr. Munro, who will complain if beer prices rise too much. I like to drink beer when it’s a hot, sunny day. There’s nothing more refreshing during the heat of the summer. I’m not a fan of English ale, the beer served at room temperature in British pubs, but I do enjoy lager. After several years of working in English pubs, I’m a dab hand at pouring a beer.

And speaking of crops, I’m doing my monthly blog at The Raven Happy Hour today and talking about crop circles, UFOs and my book Romantic Interlude.

Do you like beer? If so, what sort do you prefer? Will a price rise worry you?

It’s All About the Fizz

About two weeks ago, my sister told me about this new program she’d started watching on the Living Channel about organizing wardrobes and cleaning. My first thought was “Huh! There’s no way I’m getting excited about housework and cleaning!”

While our house is reasonably tidy, it’s not spotless. My opinion is that life is too short to obsess about a clean house. I tend to let things slide when I can, preferring to do fun stuff instead.

Fast forward a few days, and I was channel surfing. I came across the program called Lush House and settled in to watch it. Each week features a different family, along with their cleaning and organizational problems. They might have carpet stains, severe clutter, disorganized rooms, poor ventilation, problems in the garden and other cleaning nightmares within the house. Along comes Shannon Lush to solve all their problems. She uses natural methods of cleaning and dispenses lots of cleaning tips. By the end of the show the family and their pets are organized with their houses all spick and span.

I was fascinated with her basic cleaning supplies—all natural products and inexpensive. I thought about all the expensive cleaning materials underneath my kitchen sink and decided I’d try some of Ms. Lush’s methods. It wasn’t as if I was wasting a lot of money if they didn’t work.

During my next shopping trip, I purchased a packet of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and a bottle of white vinegar. What you do is sprinkle baking soda on the area to be cleaned then spray it with white vinegar. It makes a very satisfying hissing sound when the two items react, lifting dirt and grime at the same time. I was pleasantly surprised at the way it cleaned my sink and stovetop. I’ve also used the baking soda/vinegar to clean my oven with some success. The grime is a bit baked on in my oven so it will take two or three cleaning sessions, but it does work. The baking soda/vinegar can also be used to clean dishwashers, toilets, baths, and showers. I tell you it’s miracle stuff, and the child in me really enjoys the hiss and sizzle the baking soda and vinegar make when they react.

Here’s a link to the fact sheets and the various cleaning problems Ms. Lush has tackled to date.
Ms. Lush has also published several books on cleaning the natural way. I tell you—I’m a believer. I really like using the more natural products. It’s got to be better for the environment and it’s sure easier on the pocket!

Do you like housework? What is your favorite cleaning product?

Participation v Winning.

WinnerThese days people place a lot of emphasis on participation. In schools our children are asked to participate and are rewarded for joining in with the sport or activity. Often they receive certificates or rewards for merely participating.

What has happened to winning and striving to excel? What has happened to fostering the burning need to win?

When I was at school they taught us to join in, but winning—that was where the real reward was as far as we were concerned. Every Monday morning the captain of each sports team had to stand up in assembly and tell the rest of the students how the team had performed during the weekend. That was a really good incentive to try hard and win because none of us wanted to report a loss.

I hate losing. Coming last or toward the bottom makes me want to try harder and do better next time. It doesn’t make me give up. Winning and losing teaches me skills to take forward into life, inspires me to achieve the best possible result. Winning or doing well makes me strive to maintain that level of excellence. Winning means something. I remember coming first and feeling a sense of pride and achievement but how many times do you remember participating? Years down the track I remember the successes more than anything else.

I don’t agree with the political correctness that says we should reward people for participating. I’ve lost before and have been disappointed at my losses, but it hasn’t wounded me so much that I’m frightened to try again. I think it’s important to foster a society where we recognize winning. Competition is good because it teaches us to reach for the stars, it gives us a challenge and rewards for those who perform best.

What do you think? Is participation better than winning or losing? Should someone always win?