Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Classic Metaphors

I love my writer's group--Authors Incognito! They are always so helpful when I'm stuck in a rut. I can ask them any question and get some great suggestions. One of my friends, Janice, posted these helpful classic metaphors today--sometimes it's so hard to feel inspired when it comes to metaphors. I hope these help bring inspiration to your day! And if you don't know I'm speaking tongue in cheek after reading the examples below, then you might be a little dense, like a large brick of moldy cheese.

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides
gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances
like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like
a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without
one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the
country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a
solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-
temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog
makes just before it throws up.

6. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

7. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated
because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a
surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

8. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a
bowling ball wouldn’t.

9. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag
filled with vegetable soup.

10. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an
eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city
and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

11. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

12. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when
you fry them in hot grease.

13. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who
had also never met.

14. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was
the East River.

15. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap,
only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

16. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike
Phil, this plan just might work.

17. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not
eating for a while.

18. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck,
either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping
on a land mine or something.

19. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender
leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Locks of Love: A Network of Caring

If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know that I enjoy posting articles for yourLDSneighborhood.com on the Social Networking block. Social Networking is more than just an internet tool; it’s a way of life that affects people all over the world.


Today I wanted to talk about a special form of networking that has brought smiles to many people—it’s called Locks of Love.


You might have heard of this wonderful organization, a charity where children who have suffered from cancer and chemotherapy treatment and other diseases which cause hair loss are given beautiful wigs made of real hair so that they can find some normalcy in a life that’s been turned upside down. LocksofLove.org accepts donations of hair to have these wigs made and I’ve seen some wonderful stories done on people donating hair, but I didn’t know the details of how this process works. I was under the impression that if you didn’t have 10 inches of hair to donate then you couldn’t be a part of this program. I am happy to report that I have found new information to dispel that myth.


If you’d like to visit the Locks of Love website, you’ll see detailed information on the types of hair they accept. Yes, they like to have 10 inches of hair to use in wig-making, but did you know that if you do not have the full 10 inches, you can still donate your hair? Locks of Love sells all other hair of shorter lengths to offset the cost of the wig-making.

I’m very excited about this because we recently had a celebration of hair-cutting in our home. My two beautiful daughters donated their hair to Locks of Love.


My five-year-old Gracie has the most beautiful blonde, THICK hair you can imagine. It was a nightmare to try and brush out, but she loved her “Barbie” hair and I admit I loved it too. We enjoyed braiding it, putting it in a bun, doing cute ponytails, rolling it in curlers, etc. But Gracie said that maybe she would like to have short hair. I wanted to be sure she understood that this was an irreversible change. We talked about it and then I got on the Locks of Love website and showed her pictures of children who were bald and explained how she might help.


Gracie was so excited! We planned a date to cut and style her hair and then donate the hair. She even told her kindergarten teacher that she was getting her hair cut in March. We planned to do this when we visited my family in Idaho and have my friend cut it. Sadly, my baby got sick with RSV and we were unable to go. So I checked the guidelines again and found that I could cut her hair. This was scary—I’m not a beautician, but I called another friend and made an appointment to trim and style Gracie’s hair after I cut off the length. I did this because the hair needs to be completely dry before mailing it in and because her hair is so thick, I thought it might be best to cut it when dry.


Gracie was excited, Mom was apprehensive but we took video and photographs of the event and cut 8 inches of her hair.

My three-year-old, Maggie took part in the hair celebration as well donating a darling 4 ½ inch ponytail full of blond curls.

The best part about this process is we took a regular event of cutting hair and turned it into a learning process for our children. Gracie and Maggie were able to look beyond themselves and see how they could help others. Maggie was kind of along for the ride since she didn’t fully understand, but Gracie understood and was excited. My children were able to participate in a network of love to help other kids.


Locks of Love estimates that nearly 80% of the hair donated to their program is by other children wanting to help.


Doesn’t that just bring tears to your eyes? I know I’m a mom, so I do that sort of thing, but I’m so happy that there are programs like this which make it so easy to serve others.

They even provide a printable certificate you can fill out for your child and they will also send a thank you if you provide an address with your hair donation.

So if you’re thinking about getting a cute spring haircut, please check out the guidelines below and see if you would like to send in a donation of hair.

GUIDELINES FOR ACCEPTABLE DONATIONS

  • Hair that is colored or permed is acceptable.
  • Hair cut years ago is usable if it has been stored in a ponytail or braid.
  • Hair that has been bleached (usually this refers to highlighted hair) is not usable. If unsure, ask your stylist. We are not able to accept bleached hair due to a chemical reaction that occurs during the manufacturing process.
  • Hair that is swept off of the floor is not usable because it is not bundled in a ponytail or braid.
  • Hair that is shaved off and not in a ponytail or braid is not usable. If shaving your head, first divide hair into multiple ponytails to cut off.
  • We cannot accept dreadlocks. Our manufacturer is not able to use them in our children’s hairpieces. We also cannot accept wigs, falls, hair extensions or synthetic hair.
  • Layered hair is acceptable if the longest layer is 10 inches.
  • Layered hair may be divided into multiple ponytails.
  • Curly hair may be pulled straight to measure the minimum 10 inches.
  • 10 inches measured tip to tip is the minimum length needed for a hairpiece.

Please Note:

  • Shorter hair will be separated from the ponytails and sold to offset the manufacturing costs. Although the shorter hair cannot be used in the hairpieces, it still greatly helps to reduce costs.
  • Gray hair will be accepted and sold to offset the manufacturing costs.
  • Colored hair is not usable if it is colored over bleached hair.



yourLDSneighborhood has added exciting new things to its website. Please drop by and take a look, browse around, check out our vendors, our radio station, our authors, our musicians and more. Check out the Neighborhood. And while you're there, subscribe to the yourLDSneighborhood Newsletter. In addition to being able to shop in the new virtual neighborhood, the newsletter brings you articles, products, services, resources and interviews from around the world-all with an LDS focus. Look for issues delivered to your email inbox every week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Best Homemade Pizza Ever

The best form of socializing is often done over a slice--a slice of pizza that is!
My family loves pizza, as do most families, and with the economic crunch maybe you're looking for ways to still enjoy your favorites but pinch a few pennies at the same time.

Have you decided maybe you can't afford to grab a pizza every week or every month like you're used to? No reason to stop enjoying what you love when you can make it yourself!

Now, I've tried lots of homemade pizza recipes and what I usually found was that although the crust was tasty, it was oftentimes too thick and bread-y. And we always had the problem with keeping our supreme pizzas from being soggy from all the water off the vegetables. Well, we've solved that problem and have been enjoying homemade pizza an average of every 10 days for the past 4 months!

The secret to success for us was to roll our crust out thin. It raises, but we still like it on the thin side because it doesn't go soggy and pizza is wonderful for leftovers. The other secret is the high heat * You must bake at a high heat to have success. I recommend baking at 500 degrees or higher if you're using lots of fresh vegetables. This cooks it up perfect and the moisture from the vegetables doesn't make your pizza soggy.

I'm so nice I'm going to share my recipe with you. I found it on the internet and then my husband and I did a little tweaking and perfecting to get it just right. So here goes....follow the recipe and have fun! I make 2 pizzas and breadsticks with sauce for around $5.00--could be less depending on what toppings you choose to use.

Best Homemade Pizza Ever!!

Sauce:

1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 teaspoon dry oregano

1/2 teaspoon marjoram

1/2 teaspoon dry basil

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Combine and let sit for 1 hour. I like to double the sauce recipe so that I can have extra sauce for dipping breadsticks later!

Dough: Increase a little bit to have enough for breadsticks and 2 large pizzas or make 1 1/2 times the recipe

1 1/3 cups warm water (105 degrees F)

1/4 cup non-fat dry milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cups flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 package dry yeast

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (for dough)

9 ounces vegetable oil (3 ounces per pan)

Butter-flavored Pam

Put yeast, sugar, salt, and dry milk in a large bowl. Add water and stir to mix well. Allow to sit for two minutes.

Add oil and stir again. Add flour and stir until dough forms and flour is absorbed. Turn out on to a flat surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Divide dough into three balls.

Put 3 ounces of oil in each of three 9-inch cake pans, making sure it is spread evenly. *But I use my Pampered Chef stones. I use a large bar pan and a 15 inch circle stone to cook two pizzas, then I use my 12X15 rectangle stone to make the breadsticks. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball to about a 9-inch circle. Place in cake pans. Spray the outer edge of dough with Pam. Cover with a plate. Place in warm area and allow to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

For each 9-inch pizza

Heat oven to 475 degrees F. Cook at 500 degrees if using lots of vegetables

Spoon 1/3 cup sauce on dough and spread to within 1 inch of edge.

Distribute 1 1/2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese on sauce.

Place toppings of your choice in this order: Pepperoni or ham, vegetables, meats (cooked ground sausage or beef)

Top with 3 ounces mozzarella cheese.

Cook until cheese is bubbling and outer crust is brown. Cut into six slices.


yourLDSneighborhood has added exciting new things to its website. Please drop by and take a look, browse around, check out our vendors, our radio station, our authors, our musicians and more. Check out the Neighborhood. And while you're there, subscribe to the yourLDSneighborhood Newsletter. In addition to being able to shop in the new virtual neighborhood, the newsletter brings you articles, products, services, resources and interviews from around the world-all with an LDS focus. Look for issues delivered to your email inbox every week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Contest at Not Entirely British

I want to win the contest this week at Anne Bradshaw's blog, Not Entirely British. She is sponsoring a give-away for Annette Lyon's latest book Tower of Strength, a book based around the Manti temple.
Hopefully I'll win, but if you want to enter, just check out Anne's blog or you can click here to purchase Annette's book now. :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Rachelle’s Book Club Review: Mara Daughter of the Nile By Eloise Jarvis McGraw

Would you like to take a tour of ancient Egypt during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut?
Take a walk down the streets through the eyes of a slave girl and enter the pyramids to see how royalty lived in this excellent book, Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw.

My librarian recommended this book, first written in the 1950s, and I’m so glad she did. It’s a Young Adult book I probably never would’ve chosen otherwise. McGraw does an incredible job of creating the setting of ancient Egypt. You get a feel for how the different classes of people dressed and ate. The slave girl, Mara, has a wonderful personality. I love her sassy charisma and intelligence.
There’s a great story of intrigue and romance in this book—my favorite type. I love a good mystery with a dash of romance.

This is from the back cover of the book:

Mara is a proud and beautiful slave girl who yearns for freedom. In order to gain it, she finds herself playing the dangerous role of double spy for two arch enemies—each of whom supports a contender for the throne of Egypt.

Against her will, Mara finds herself falling in love with one of her masters, the noble Sheftu, and she starts to believe in his plans of restoring Thutmose III to the throne. But just when Mara is ready to offer Sheftu her help and her heart, her duplicity is discovered and a battle ensues in which both Mara’s life and the threat of Egypt are at stake.


If you are looking for a good, clean read for your teens or yourself check out Mara, Daughter of the Nile. I enjoy books written in this format—the setting is so aptly described it gives the reader a virtual tour. I learned some interesting things about ancient Egypt through reading this novel and was swept away by the story.

yourLDSneighborhood has added exciting new things to its website. Please drop by and take a look, browse around, check out our vendors, our radio station, our authors, our musicians and more. Check out the Neighborhood. And while you're there, subscribe to the yourLDSneighborhood Newsletter. In addition to being able to shop in the new virtual neighborhood, the newsletter brings you articles, products, services, resources and interviews from around the world-all with an LDS focus. Look for issues delivered to your email inbox every week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Annette Lyon's New book and Contest Giveaway

Annette Lyon has a new book out, Tower of Strength, and an awesome contest going on right now at her blog. This book trailer is awesome and I can't wait to read the book!



Visit Annette's blog if you'd like to learn how to enter to win one of her cool prizes!

Create

I wanted to share this inspiring video with you today. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and are inspired to CREATE!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Blogging For Dummies: How to Leave a Hyperlink with your Comment

I would like to thank my good friend Cindy for helping me with the following helpful blogging tip.

If you've traveled the blogging world, you've probably seen lots and lots of comments on blog posts. Once in a while, you might see someone leave a comment and they leave a link which goes back to their blog or website. How do they do that?

So I'm happy to share with you how to leave a link in the comment section of a blog post.

If you want to leave a link in one of your comments, you go ahead and type your comment and then before the word that you want highlighted with your link you type this:


So if my comment was something like this, "Hey, loved your post. I had some similar ideas at my blog, if you'd like to stop by." *And I wanted to link the word "blog" then I would write it just like this in the comment section:


You can either use your general blog address for "YOUR URL", or you can use the address for a specific post, depending on what you want to accomplish.

You can put any combination of words or word in the "YOUR WORDS" section to link back to your specific webpage.

Be sure to preview your comment before posting, as it will tell you if you've goofed the code.


Did you know you could preview your comment? Yes, for all of those "Type A" personalities who hate to leave a typo in your comment (that's me too!) you can preview your comment and make sure it says what you meant before hitting publish your comment.


Please use discretion when leaving links in your comments though. People don't like irrelevant advertising on their blogs. Most people won't mind if you link back with a thank you for commenting on one of your posts or if you have a special announcement, but I've received many comments which are basically "blog spammers" who go through and leave hundreds of comments every day on random blogs to get traffic to certain websites. For your blog, if you are unfamiliar with the commenter and they leave a link, it's a good idea to check that link out first. Then you can decide if you want to post the comment or delete it. When I first started my blog I received a comment with a link to an unsavory website and so I deleted it. Just something to be aware of.


Once again, I'd like to thank Cindy for her help and hope this answered some of your questions too!

Happy Blogging!



yourLDSneighborhood has added exciting new things to its website. Please drop by and take a look, browse around, check out our vendors, our radio station, our authors, our musicians and more. Check out the Neighborhood. And while you're there, subscribe to the yourLDSneighborhood Newsletter. In addition to being able to shop in the new virtual neighborhood, the newsletter brings you articles, products, services, resources and interviews from around the world-all with an LDS focus. Look for issues delivered to your email inbox every week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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