Monday, April 30, 2012

X, Y and Z

Due to a nasty case of flu or some other horrid virus I've missed blogging the last couple days.  So, today I'm doing a three-fer.

X, Y and Z sorta go together, don't you think? Like hot cocoa, fuzzy slippers and cold mornings.

Or, hot summer days, cold lemonade and homemade ice cream.  Perfect!

Here's some other famous, or not so famous threesomes. 

The Three Stooges - Moe, Larry and Curly  Did you know Shemp was an original stooge?

Charlie's Angels - Remember when just about all the girls had hair like Farrah?

Pep Boys - Manny, Moe and Jack - I used to tease hubby if we had three boys, that was what I was naming them. He wasn't amused. :-)

Three's Company - Janet, Chrissy and Jack

What's your favorite threesome?

Friday, April 27, 2012

W is for...Water

Water, water, everywhere and all the boards did shrink.
Water, water, everywhere nor any drop to drink...
Rime of the Ancient Mariner

With the record flooding going on in Iquitos, Peru lately, it reminded me of a poem I'd read long ago. reminded me of the above lines from the poem. 

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was written by an English poet named Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1797-98.  It's his longest work and was published in 1798.

It's a really cool poem about the adventures/misfortunes of a sailor. He stops a guy on the way to a wedding and tells him the story. The voyage starts well...

"The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top.

The sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he!
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea."

Then things go bad...

"And now the storm-blast came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o'er taking wings,
And chased us south along.

The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around:
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound!

Finally an albatross comes along and leads them out into clear sailing again.  But...the sailor kills it with his crossbow.  Then things really get bad...that's where the water, water every where line comes the others sailors tie the dead bird around his neck...

You'll have to read the rest to find out what happens but it's something you'll enjoy I think.  He's a link.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for...Virus

I think I have the flu. Aches, fever, chills, cough, congestion and general icky feeling. Got some meds, gatorade and am going to bed.  Hope y'all feel better than I.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for...Unforgettable

Ever read a book or watched a movie that you couldn't forget:  One in which the characters remained with you long after you finished, or one that you revisited ever so often cause you just couldn't forget the story?

Or what about a book where you actually forget the character is fictional? (Shhhh...we won't tell them they aren't real.)

As a writer, that's what we want.  We want you to love our characters as much as we do.  And believe me, we really love 'em.

Here's some of my unforgettable no particular order.

Black Beauty & The Black Stallion series- I went through a "horse" phase as a kid and read anything horse related.

I also went through a dog phase.  I loved the original Lassie, Come Home and the Big Red series.

Les Miserables - My 11th grade English teacher suggested this book along with several others that I really loved.  That was the year I actually read Animal Farm for fun. Don Quixote, Canterbury Tales and even Shakespeare.

Most stories by Edgar Allen Poe - I LOVE Poe.  The Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat, The Raven, just to name a few.

What about Harry Potter?  How can we ever forget him and his friends?

And one I'll never forget cause of the ending.  Gone with the Wind.  I was sick the day I watched the movie.  I'd heard as long as I could remember I needed to see the  movie and read the book.  After spending hours on the couch the movie ended with Scarlett standing in the field say "I'll never be hungry again."  All I know is it's a good thing I was sick that day and I'd not wasted my time  for that ending. :-)

What about you?  What' books or movies have stuck with you over the years?

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for... Samson

That's right, Samson. 

Samson is a Siberian tiger in my short story Tyger, Tyger.  Did you know tiger footprints are just as individual as fingerprints? I learned a lot about tigers while doing the research for this story.  More than I'll ever need to know but I really enjoyed writing this one.

You can read Tyger, Tyger in my short story collection, Six Pack of Murder and find out if Samson is the bad guy or innocent victim. The electronic download (Kindle & Nook) is only .99 and includes 5 other short stories along with the first chapter of my upcoming novel Dark Descent, which is due to be released in June. Here's the Amazon link.

Happy reading...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for...Survival Bracelets

As I mentioned the other day, I'll be going to Peru in January.  It's quite an expensive trip plus I'll be needing to get other stuff done such as a passport, malaria meds and jungle gear since we'll be going up the Amazon River into the jungle for over a week.

One of the things I'm doing to raise the needed funds, is to make and sell Parachute Cord Survival Bracelets. They are called Survival Bracelets because if needed, you can unravel these and have yards and yards of seriously tough cord. Lots of hikers, outdoorsy folks wear them. I've even seen stories from people who have actually unraveled them and gotten out of emergency situations with them. 

I love these and wear one most of the time.  I have an assortment of colors so I can coordinate with whatever I'm wearing or the mood I'm in.

 Here's some pictures... 
The top one is a desert camo...different shades of brown.  Next is a camo green.  Third is a red, white and blue with a kinda silver edging.

Next is a purple and white with the same silver edging.  I like purple. :-)

The darker one is black edging over a mixed green It's green with different shades of green and a bit of silver.  I love this one.

And lastly, a rainbow colored one.  This one goes with just about everything and would be good for kids.

Top one here is yellows and oranges.

Here's that green again with a silver edge.

A better view of the desert camo and a couple of the others.  There were too many to make one picture.

I've also done a couple as dog collars.  This is that orange/yellow and one in the purple.  The rings are gold or silver.  I really like these cause they are tough enough for most dogs.

These are a smaller braid.  Kinda a beaded X pattern.  The orange/black one is actually what my daughter uses for her cat's collar.

These are a bit more feminine I guess.

 These are some of the colors I have available but I can get others if you want something special.

I made a bracelet from Mom out of the Pink blend with a silver edge.  She's a cancer survivor so I thought it appropriate. I'd have posted a pix of it but don't have one.  Sigh...

The color under the red/blue/silver is black/gray blend that is very nice.

Bracelets are $ 10.00 but that includes shipping.

If you'd like a slip collar for your dog, let me know the length and I'll quote you a price.  I can also do matching leashes.

Color desired
I'd like Special Order Info

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for...Rangers

The Texas Rangers, that is.  Not those guys...the baseball team. :-)

I've always liked baseball.  I remember watching the World Series back when the Cincinnati Reds were playing with Pete Rose and Daryl Strawberry.  Mom and I watched the whole series that year.  I don't remember who they played against but it's a good Mom and me memory.

Since we moved to Longview a little over a year ago, we've gotten back into baseball again.  It really helps that our church has several Ranger fans and that ever so often they all go to the game together. In fact, we'll be going on the Saturday before Mother's Day. 

I love attending a live game.  There's just something about being in the stands, that has to be experienced. I encourage each of you to head to the stadium when you get the chance.  And you don't have to pay a lot, get the cheap seats.  The view is still great and you don't have to worry about your face ending up on the television.

So...  all you baseball fans out there... who do you cheer for?

 Found this and just had to share.  It's a bonus picture today. :-)

Q is for...Quotes

I love quotes.  At least some anyway.  I have my favorite writerly quotes such as...

"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass."  ~ Anton Chekhov


"The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter - it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning".  ~Mark Twain


"A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author."  ~G.K. Chesterton

And I have a couple favorite day to day quotes such as...

“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” ~ Laurel Thatcher Ulrich,


"Nothing is to be feared but fear itself". ~ Francis Bacon (That's right, he said it long time before FDR.)


“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow. ”  ~ Mary Anne Radmacher
What about you, got any favorite quotes you'd like to share with us? 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for... Peru

***  WARNING - Religious post about to happen.  IF this might offend you, then read no further  ***

Last year, my pastor became involved in The Amazon Project through Youth Frameworks.  It's a really cool project and has really grown over the last six or eight months.  He's been to Peru and up the Amazon River several times now and God is working in a mighty way there.  I don't know all the details but they are teaching and reaching the people for the Lord.  My pastor is actually teaching seminary classes for the people there.  It's so cool because he is fluent in Spanish and goes to Mexico each month for a couple days to teach in a seminary there.  He teaches Greek in Spanish.  My poor brain would be so confused.

But conversation I mentioned that I wanted to go to Peru and help out. And guess what...I'll be going in January of next year.  I'm so excited. I'm already planning what to take, what I need to do and get done before then. For example...passport.  Gotta have one. :-)

And...Spanish.  I really want to be able to speak to the people there in their language.  Now, years ago in school I took two years of Spanish and was very good at it but over the last 20 plus years, I haven't used it so it's been filed away in the brain, way back in a dark corner where no one ever goes.  But, the last couple weeks I've been studying and it's coming back.  I've always loved the Spanish language and I'm excited to be relearning and using it.

Back to Peru, though. Right now, they are having record flooding.  This is the building used for seminary classes. As you can tell, it's in water.  Not long ago the water was coming in the door ( about 12-18 inches off the ground). Last I heard about a week ago, water was up to the windows and still rising.  (Probably 3 foot off the ground.)  It floods every year in Peru but this year it's really bad.  Whole villages have packed up and moved to higher ground.  Farms are being wiped out and people's lives are being uprooted. Here's a link to an article about the flooding in Iquitos. As you can see from the pictures, it's serious.

So, I'm asking y'all to pray for the people of Peru, especially those affected by the flooding.  Pray for those making the trips to Peru and the work they are doing.  I also ask that you pray for me as I prepare to go myself. 

Lastly, I know things are tight financially, but if you have a few spare dollars...or even pennies...and want to support a worthy cause, check out Youth Frameworks.  They do a great work.  Or, in an effort to raise funds for my trip, (it's not cheap) I'm selling handmade Paracord Survival Bracelets.  I'll be posting pictures in a couple days (on "S") of the colors I have available and the details to purchase/donate.  Until then, you can contact me at jeanlauzier @ Just remove the spaces. :-) Oh, I'm also making dog collars too. They look really cool.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for...

Oklahoma...where the wind comes sweeping down the plain...  One day I'd like to see the musical.  The closest I've come so far is one of the "muppets" on Sesame Street singing "Aaaaaaklahoma"  then "Eeeeeklahoma" then "Iiiiiiiklahoma".  Each time the "director said "CUT!" he'd change to the next vowel in line.  When it got time to do "O" they called lunch time so they never finished the skit.  Sad that I still remember that and it was probably 20 years ago that I saw it.

It's also for "Open wide and say ahhhhhh."  I have a friend who had to go to the dentist today.  I really dislike dentists.  When I was young, I spent lots of time with my dentist.  I never got my eye teeth and have a small gap between my front two teeth.  The dentist wanted to pull all my top teeth and replant them, closing the gap.  Thankfully I was too young at the time and by the time I was old enough, we'd moved.  I still have my gap and try to avoid dentists as much as possible.

Lastly, O is for  onions.  I don't like onions.  Mom says I used green onions (scallions) to teeth on as a very young child but I don't believe her. :-)

What about you, got any favorite "O" things?

Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for.... NUTELLA!!!

Yeap, I'm shouting Nutella.  But really, Nutella is a word you say kinda low, with reverence.  Say it with me...Nutella. Is there anything better on warm toast?  And what about straight from the jar while waiting for the toast to get ready?  Nutella on cupcakes...perfect! Nutella on brownies...perfect!

Caramel Nutella Crumb Bars anyone? I haven't tried 'em yet but they look good enough to eat the picture.

Nutella Chocolate Chip they'd be great with cold milk. (You have to be member of website to see the 'how to' part of recipe but I'm sure you can figure it out if you don't want to join.  It's free and they have lots more Nutella recipes so might be worth the minute it takes to join.)

Spicy Bacon with Nutella...I'll probably pass on this but for all you bacon loving, Nutella lovers out there...

Cinnamon Nutella Hot Cocoa...makes me wish it was cold.

Bella Nutella is pure Nutella food porn.  I think I gained 15 pounds just gazing at the pictures. From cookies to cakes, pies to tortes, puddings and even drinks, this is the place to swoon. I've got it bookmarked for later drooling. :-)

Another thing that goes perfectly with Nutella is my Six Pack of Murder. You can get Six Pack at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, White Bird Publications or I'll be happy to send you an autographed copy, just email me for the details.

And lastly...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for ... Monsters Inc.

This is my absolute favorite animated movie. I just love everything about it...except Randall. :-) I love how the characters grow and change over the course of the show. And I just love how the bad guy is someone unexpected. No matter how many times I've seen this, I still watch it whenever I come across it on the television. I also have it on dvd. :-)

Now, I never had problems with monsters in my closet as a kid but after watching this, I kinda wish I had. Maybe I'd have thought of writing this and would be raking in the money it's making.

Another thing I love is 2319!!!  Who would have ever considered that monsters were as afraid of us as we are of them? I like to randomly shout 2319 while in drives my kids nuts. :-)

If you haven't seen Monsters Inc., then I'm going to challenge you to find a copy and have a movie night with your family.  You'll love it...and so will they.

Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for...Learning

Once you stop learning, you start dying.
Albert Einstein 

Albert was pretty smart for a guy with bad hair. :-) I made another comment or two about his hair and the puter ate my post soI had to start over. I'll leave his hair choice alone this time.

I don't know much about the man but I like this quote.  There is so much in this world we don't know.  Plenty of things to learn to keep us busy until the body wears out.

For example, I've recently restarted studying Spanish for an upcoming trip to Peru.  (More about that on day P.) I had two years of Spanish in high school and was able to converse well but over the years of not using it, I sorta lost most of it.  However, the more I study, the more I remember.  I'm now able to find the bathroom (very important), ask for food (also important), tell if I need to see a doctor or go to the hospital (good to know in a jungle), and ask about restaurants (not so important in the jungle).  I can even properly greet those I come into contact with and that's definitely important. :-)

Thing is, the more I study Spanish, the more I want to study it, the more I want to learn.  And, the easier I learn other things. I'm doing some memory work for another project and I'm retaining quicker and with less effort than when I started.

Today I'm going to challenge you to learn something new.  It doesn't have to be a new language, though if you really want to learn one, go for it.  You're never too old to learn a language, it just seems that way. If you want to learn a new craft or hobby, then do so.  

Don't limit yourself.  Challenge your mind instead.  The brain is a terrible thing to waste. (Just ask Kowalski.)

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning." Albert Einstein

K is for...Kowalski

I absolutely LOVE The Penguins of Madagascar!  And while Kowalski isn't my favorite of the bunch, he's very cool.  He's the brains of the outfit, the inventor and the one who comes up with all the options.  He's the tallest and thinnest and tends to be a bit egotistical.

Private is the youngest, shortest and roundest of the gang. He's also the sweet, naive one with a generous heart. 

Skipper is the leader.  He's a bit paranoid and sees most things as a military operation.  He's really good at giving orders. I love his flat head. :-)

My favorite has to be Rico though.  He's totally awesome.  Starting at the top with his mohawk and scar, his love for his plastic doll (Ms. Perky) and that wild look in his eyes...he's just fun.  He doesn't say much but no matter the situation, he has the right tool.  He just has to regurgitate it. From lit sticks of dynamite, running chainsaws, a phone booth, hammers, and  even a bomb, if the Skipper needs it, Rico has it inside. 

One thing I like about the whole thing is that the whole family can watch.  So many cartoons now are not for children. So, if you haven't checked 'em out, give 'em a try.  I think you'll like 'em.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for...Junk!

Ever heard the saying "one man's junk is another man's treasure?"  That's why we go to garage sales, right? There's just something about picking through someone else's stuff that is either interesting or creepy.  I can't figure out which at the moment. :-)

Yesterday I cleaned out my garage, repacked some boxes, set aside some things to be gotten rid of.  This morning a big truck from the Salvation Army picked it up and took it away to find news homes.  I was glad to see it go!

The man told me they help victims of fires, natural disasters and even those in financial crisis with the donations they receive.  That's very cool.

I don't know about you, but I kinda tend to forget them except around Christmas when they are out ringing their bells.

So today, I encourage you to do your spring cleaning, donate to a worthy charity.  You'll get rid of some things you don't need and help others who need them.  It's a win-win situation.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for.... ICE CREAM!!!

That's right...  I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!  I think ice cream is one of summer's most perfect treats.  There's nothing like settling down with a cone or bowl of frozen wonderfulness on a hot summer day.  Especially since there is a flavor for everyone.

From ice cream sandwiched between cookies, piled high on cones, in dishes with whatever toppings you desire or blended into shakes, ice cream is just plain wonderful.  And if you are lucky enough to get your mouth on some homemade ice cream...let's just say YUM!

I remember way back when I was really young, setting on the front porch with a handcrank ice cream machine. Cranking until my arm ached then letting someone else take a turn.  Then, there was the old A&W Drive In.  We'd go there for rootbeer floats.  The mugs were always chilled and frosty.  Another "yum" moment. :-) Remember ice cream trucks and their tinny sounding music? The "ice cream man" was a popular guy with the kids.  We always got those fudge bomb pops or fudgsicles.

Here in the Texas, we have Blue Bell Ice Cream.  It's really close to the taste of homemade. Plus, they have enough flavors to keep things interesting.  For example, I LOVE keylime pie ice cream on a hot summer day.  But my favorite would probably have to be mint chocolate chip. Or maybe cookies and cream...or maybe the turtle swirl...or maybe, nevermind.  You get the idea.

What's your favorite flavor and how do you like your ice cream? Got a favorite ice cream memory?

Here's a link to recipes featuring ice cream. Enjoy!

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for... Heroes

Ask a kid who his hero is and you'll likely get the name of some cartoon "good guy" such as Spiderman, Superman, Wonder Woman, or Batman.

Or, you may get the name of some athlete or sports personality.

My question...does being able to throw a perfect spiral or sink a free throw from half court make a person a hero? Does getting up on stage, belting out some words in tune and in time with the music while doing a little dance make a person someone we should look up to, or want our children to look up to?

When I checked the definition of hero, here's what I found. "A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal." 

Here's my thoughts on heroes.

A hero is the person who runs into danger to save others.  People who put their lives on the line to protect those who need it, even if they don't want it or appreciate it. 

Firefighters, police officers, military members are all heroes. These are people we can look up to.

But common, ordinary people can be heroes, too.  How many times have we heard of strangers who rush to the aid of disaster victims? Or children who face their fears and save their friends or family. 

Even animals can be heroes.  Family pets often perform heroic deeds for their owners.  And what about those animals trained as service animals?  Can we not call them heroes? I bet their owners do.

During WWII, 29 dogs were killed in military service.  Most of them were Doberman Pinchers. These dogs were most definitely heroes.  25 of them are buried on Guam on the Naval Air Station.  Here's a photo of the War Dog Memorial that marks the spot.

Today, I want to encourage you to find a true hero and let them know you appreciate their service.

G is for Goofing Off

Which is what I apparently was doing the other day when I should have been blogging and gotten a proper "G" post done.

But...we all need a day in which to goof off ever so often. I mean, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. That applies to Jean, Sandra, Chris, and everyone else out there.

So...what's your favorite way to goof off? I spent time with family, transplanted some plants that needed to be put in the ground and just recharged a bit. :-)

Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for... Frogs

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
~Mark Twain~

I don't know about you but eating a live frog first thing in the morning, or any time of day for that matter, would be a fairly icky thing. But I like what those "get-things-done" kind of people have applied the quote to.

If you have a task you don't want to do, then do it first thing.  Don't let it sit there, mocking you all day. We all know the longer we put off the thing we don't want to do, whether it's a phone call, chore or other item, the worse it gets. We dread having to finally tackle that task, it ruins our whole day.

But...if you tackle that distasteful job first thing, get it done with, out of the way, then the worse is over for the day and you can go one and enjoy your day. It's a good philosophy and I'm trying to apply it.

Right now, for me, my frog is exercise.  It's not the thing I want to do first thing in the morning. But, once it's done, I feel better and don't have to dread it the rest of the day or feel guilty when I've put it off too long so that I don't get it done.

What's your frog?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for Editing and Editors

A publisher once told me an editor's job is to help the writer ensure that what the writer wanted to say was said...or something to that effect.   In other words, editors help the writer get their message out, the way the writer envisioned it...only better.

I kinda like that. It's not the editor's job to change the story, just make it clearer for the reader. 

So, here's to all the editors out there.  Thanks for all you do for us writers.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for... Doofus

Since the cats a day of their own, Doofus said he wanted one too.  So, this is Doofus.  He's a Golden Retriever that we raised from a litter.  He had a proper name at one time but no one can remember what it was.
 As you can see, he's a big, lovable doofus.  Which is one of the reasons he got his name.  He doesn't chase cats or squirrels though he does howl along with sirens at all hours. Playing ball is one of his favorite activities, laying in his "pool" is another.

Tell us about your favorite dog!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for Cats!

Today I'm giving a shout out to the critters that share our home. First up, is Skittles.  Skittles came to us from a neighbor who'd found him when he was just a couple weeks old.  He was just a bare handful at the time but now has grown in to quite a big lapful. My hubby belongs to him.

Here's a recent picture.  The above was taken the day we got him.

Next came Scamper.  She took a ride under a car hood to Walmart one day when she was about 5 weeks old and we just happened to be the ones who chased her across the parking lot several times, and ended up bringing her home. My oldest daughter belongs to her.
 This was taken shortly after we brought her home.  She's a bit shy but has a pretty color.

Our most recent addition is Rumple, short for Rumplestiltskin. He showed up at the church on New Year's Eve, spent the night and most of the next day, which just happened to be Sunday. Rumple seems to have claimed me but likes to share his love among the whole family.

So, that's the felines that live here. What about you, got a special cat?

Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for.... Bat Plants!

That's right...Bat Plants. 

Not long ago, Mom and I were out shopping and stopped by a nursery and looked around.  This is one of the plants we found.  It's officially a "Bat Faced Cuphea" but we just thought it was cute as could be.  Naturally, I brought one home.

Hummingbirds are supposed to love it though I don't know since I haven't seen any hummingbirds this spring.  Still, it's a nice addition to my flower collection.

Got a favorite flower? 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A is for... APRIL

I figured since we are doing this in April, then why not let "A" represent April. We all know today as April Fool's Day but here are some other fun, unique holidays throughout the month.

2nd - National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day
4th - Tell a Lie Day
6th - Plan your Epitaph Day (Kinda creepy if you ask me. )
7th - Caramel Popcorn Day and No Housework Day
11th - Eight Track Tape Day ( Are there any of these still around?)
13th - Scrabble Day
15th - Titanic Remembrance Day
17th - Blah, Blah, Blah Day   (this day is to do all of the projects people have been nagging you to do)
19th - National Garlic Day
22nd - National Jelly Bean Day
26th - National Pretzel Day
28th - Kiss Your Mate Day
30th - National Honesty Day

For more holidays and a bit more info on them, click over to here.

Which holidays will you be taking part in?  I'm definitely going for the PB & J Day. :-)