Saturday, March 31, 2012

Just Plain Mad...

That's's time for the A to Z Blogging Challenge again.  I had a great time last year so will be jumping in feet first for more fun.

I'm not sure what theme I'll go with, I'll be figuring that out today but I want to invite everyone to come back each day for new posts.

Also, those folks who take the time to leave a comment will be entered in random drawings during the month for books and other cool prizes. I'll figure out that today too. :-)

If you're a blogger and want to join us, there's still time. You can get more info here.

Bloggers... Warm up those fingers...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mad about...Nutella!

Okay, I admit it.  I've come to Nutella late in life but I'd seen it advertised as "healthy" and while I appreciate healthy things, I don't usually actively seek them out.  Even if they do have chocolate in 'em.  However, I'm here now and let's just say wow!

Nutella was created by a man named Pietro Ferrero, who was a pastry maker back in the 1940′s. Apparently, there was a shortage of cocoa due to the rationing of World War I, so this genius (evil mastermind)  used hazelnuts to add substance to the spread and to extend their chocolate supply.

Lately, breakfast has become Nutella on whole grain toast. It's warm and gooey and yummy and definitely not healthy. And while I'm happy to eat it straight from the jar, here's a link to some recipes that include Nutella.

 Nutella Recipes (5 pages of 'em)

 21 More Nutella Recipes ( I want to try the Nutella Mug Cake!!!)

Nutella Cheesecake (I have GOT to try this one!)

Six Pack of Murder (Not a recipe but goes great with Nutella.)

How do you like your Nutella?

And don't forget about our March Madness Giveaways.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mad About... The Hunger Games

Okay, I'll admit I came late to The Hunger Games but once I got here, I settled in for a good long time.  In fact, my youngest daughter bought the book several months ago and after she read it, it laid around for a while where she left it. (in the living room) I didn't pay much attention to it and I don't know why I picked it up but I did, started reading and didn't stop except to fix dinner for hubby that  night.  I finished it about 2 in the morning and then laid awake pondering the characters, what could/would happen next and wishing I had the next book in my hands.

The next day, I headed to the store to pick up the next book in the series and much to my dismay, it was available in hardcover only.  Now, I don't know about you, but I hate paying hardcover prices for a book I'm not sure of.  I mean, how many sequels don't live up to the first?  This one did. :-)

I managed to get book 2 & 3 at the library and devoured them in two days.  Let's just say, nothing got done except the necessities.

Both books, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, lived up to the standards set in The Hunger Games.  I'll be getting a hardcover set to keep and reread soon. :-)

But, The Hunger Games had me do something I've never done before.  Seriously consider going to the midnight showing of the movie on opening day.  I didn't do the midnight movie but I did get there opening day.

I was totally pleased with the movie version.  There were a few deviations but they were live-withable. The actors did a great job portraying the characters. I'm not sure who my favorite is.  Woody Harrelson made a great Haymitch. And casting Donald Sutherland as President Snow...brilliant.

If you loved or even liked the books, I encourage you to see the movie.  I've got my toes crossed they make a second one.

May the odds ever be in your favor.  :-)

Hunger Games - Beanie Baby Version  My daughter found this the other day. I just had to add and share.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mad as.... Angry Birds

I LOVE Angry Birds.  I even put it on my phone so when I'm waiting on hubby or son I have something to occupy my time. 

Seems like the green pigs...this must be where the green ham comes from...stole some eggs.  The birds are angry and are doing a "big bad wolf" imitation of sorts. Instead of blowing houses down, they launch themselves from a slingshot and knock down the structures. Each bird has different abilities so you have to plan accordingly.

I think my favorite Angry Bird is the yellow one.  But I like the black one too.

I even like the silly green pigs.

Want to give Angry Birds a try?  You can play free here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mad as a Box of Frogs

 That's right...a box of frogs. This is an English saying that leans toward the crazy side of madness. But don't you just love it.  I can't wait to say it in conversation.  I mean, that's just mad a a box of frogs or she's mad as a box of frogs.  It just sounds so cool.  I'm definitely adding this to my list of things to say.

I also found a band called Box of Frogs. One site classified them as "blues" but I'm not so sure about that.  I do know I'm adding Box of Frogs to my musical like list.  I'd never heard of them until I was researching this post but apparently they were quite popular at one time. In fact, Box of Frogs was started by members of the Yardbirds.

Here's a link to the YouTube I discovered.  I've got a real eclectic taste in music so this fits right in. :-)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Marching Band Humor

Why did Mozart kill all his chickens?
They kept running around yelling, "Bach! Bach! Bach!"


Speilberg thought of an idea for a action drama about famous musicians played by superstars. Sylvester Stallone, Steven Segall, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwartzenegger all showed up. Speilberg told them to pick what musician they wanted to be as long as they were famous.

"I'll be Mozart because I've always admired his classical music," said Stallone.
"I liked Chopin's piano music and I think I'll play his role," said Bruce.
"I think I'll be Beethoven because he wrote excellent music," Segall said.

Speilburg was excited because he loved this idea. When he asked who Arnold would be, Arnold said, "I'll be Bach".


 Two musicians are driving down a road. All of a sudden they notice the Grim Reaper in the back seat. Death informs them that they had an accident and they both died. But, before he must take them off into eternity, he grants each musician with one last request to remind them of their past life on earth. The first musician says he was a Country & Western musician and would like to hear eight choruses of Achy-Breaky Heart as a last hooray. The second musician says "I was a jazz musician...kill me now!"


"Haven't I seen your face before?" a judge demanded, looking down at the defendant.
"You have, Your Honor," the man answered hopefully. "I gave your son violin lessons last winter."
 "Ah, yes," recalled the judge. "Twenty years!"

Why do bagpipe players walk while they play? To get away from the noise.
Once upon a time, there was a blind rabbit and blind snake, both living in the same neighborhood. One beautiful day, the blind rabbit was hopping happily down the path toward his home, when he bumped into someone. Apologizing profusely he explained, "I am blind, and didn't see you there."
"Perfectly all right," said the snake, "because I am blind, too, and did not see to step out of your way."
A conversation followed, gradually becoming more intimate, and finally the snake said, "This is the best conversation I have had with anyone for a long time. Would you mind if I felt you to see what you are like?"
"Why, no," said the rabbit. "Go right ahead."
So the snake wrapped himself around the rabbit and shuffled and snuggled his coils, and said, "MMMM! You're soft and warm and fuzzy and cuddly...and those ears! You must be a rabbit."
"Why, that's right!" said the rabbit. "May I feel you?"
"Go right ahead." said the snake, stretching himself out full length on the path.
The rabbit began to stroke the snake's body with his paws, then drew back in disgust. "Yuck!" he said. "You're cold...and slimy... you must be a conductor!"

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mad as a Wet Hen

Here's another interesting idiom.  And I'm not so sure it really is accurate.  I mean, I've seen wet hens before and they weren't angry.  Maybe it has something to do with the origins of the saying. Again, I'm not so sure on this but it's cute.

Seems like when hens get into the "I'm gonna hatch me some eggs" mindset it takes a lot to get 'em out of it.  Even if you gather all the eggs. So, what you do is dunk her in a bucket of water.  Now, it takes several times for this to change her mind and apparently after the third or fourth dunking she gets seriously ticked off. But at least she goes back to laying instead of sitting around.

So, while Mad as a Hatter tends to mean crazy, Mad as a Wet Hen mends very angry.  Don't you just love March Madness!

Picture by Linda Silvestri. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Marching to the Beat of a Different Drummer

I don't know about you,, but I've always done things my own way.  At least when I can.  I've never followed the "in crowd" or done things just 'cause they were "cool" either. And that's okay. It's one of the things that makes us special, helps us stand out from everyone else.

I call it being an independent thinker and it's one thing I've tired to teach my kids.  As my dad used to say, "Just because everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?" Naturally, I had to tell him it depended on why they were jumping off.  I mean, I can think of several good reasons to jump off a Gozilla on one end and Mothra on the other and you're in the middle of what will soon be a battleground.  Best to get out of the way.

The saying "marching to the beat of a different drummer" comes from the writings of Henry David Thoreau, who wrote:

"If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away."

I think Thoreau and I might have gotten along.

What about you?  Do you march to the beat of a different drummer?

And just because it's March Madness, leave a reason to jump off a bridge in the comments and the best will win something special.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mad as a Hatter

I love's a writer thing. I like discovering their roots, where they came from and so forth.  I also love colorful sayings such as "mad as a hatter." But have you ever wondered why hatters were mad?

Seems like at one time, mercury was used in the making of hats.  Naturally, hatters were in contact with the toxic metal a lot so were basically poisoned.  Apparently the effects of mercury poisoning is trembling, shakes, wild, aggressive mood swings and unsocial behavior which gave the appearance of madness. 

Of course, the most well-known mad hatter is from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  I remember reading the book as a youth and watching several movie versions.  While I haven't seen the latest version, I love the Disney's animated version they released in 1951. I really do feel old.  Sigh...

I think I need to read the book again. :-)

Don't forget to play my version of March Madness.  Details here!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

I like the month of March.  It's one of those unpredictable months for us in east Texas.  Not winter, not quite spring.  Yet we get a little of both and sometimes some summer.  For example, yesterday the temp made it up to 80. Driving around town, I had the windows down and the breeze blowing in my hair. Later I had a tangled mess to deal with but that's okay. Some days a lion, some a lamb.

Seems with all the storms happening the last couple days, especially in Missouri and Kansas that March is coming in like a lion. And while the going out like a lamb part is unknown at this time, we can hope that spring and its milder nature isn't far from us.

Here's some interesting "March" stuff.

March was originally the first month of the year and but when we went to the "Gregorian" calendar in 1752, January became first. March was named after the Roman god of war, Mars.

There are several weather related sayings for March.  

* In like a lion, out like a lamb. 
* As it rains in March, so it rains in June.   Maybe we should keep some notes just to see how this one works out.
* March winds and April showers? Bring forth May flowers

The Bloodstone and Aquamarine are the birthstones for March. The flower of the month is the Violet.

On March 1st Ohio (1803) and Nebraska (1867) became states.
Texas declared its independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836.
Florida, Maine and Vermont also became states in March.
Sam Houston, Alexander Graham Bell and Robert Frost were born in March, just to name a few.
So, what's your favorite thing about March?  Does March hold any special significance for you?

Don't forget to join my March Madness

March Madness

That's right, it's time for March Madness.  Thing is, I really don't care for basketball.  So, I've decided to play my own version of March Madness, without the basketball. And in this game, you're the winner.

Here's the prizes:

5 Amazon gift cards for $25 - one every week
5 Paracord Survival Bracelets - handmade in your choice of colors - one each week
Books - not sure which ones yet, but they'll be good
Chocolate - how could we not include chocolate

Grand Prize Surprise (I'm not telling - will be drawn on April 15.) 

Complete an item on the list below to earn entries in the drawing.
 For single entries:
* Leave a review on Amazon
* Leave a review on Goodreads

For double entries:
* Share a link to this post on Twitter
* Share a link to this post on Facebook
* Share links to upcoming blog posts during the month of March on Facebook and/or Twitter.
* Follow me on Twitter and/or here on the blog.

For 5 entries, purchase an e-copy of Six Pack of Murder by Jean Lauzier (That would be me.)

For 10 entries, purchase a paperback copy of Six Pack of Murder.

To collect these entries, just email and let me know you left a review and where.  For the Twitter and Facebook entries, you can "tag" my name in your Facebook post and automatically see it.  For Twitter, include #SixPack in your tweet so I'll be sure to see it.

Be sure to email me your receipts so I can add the correct number of entries in the drawings. For those of you who have already purchased Six Pack of Murder, you can earn entries by doing the things in the above list too.

Let the madness begin...  Here's a "bitly" link to this post for your convenience.