Thursday, January 31, 2008

Happy Birthday, Payton!

My adorable grandson, Payton, is one year old today! It's hard to believe that it's been a year since we got the joyful news of his birth. I'm flying down tomorrow to Texas to celebrate this milestone. As a proud grandma, I hope you'll indulge me as I show off this slide show of Payton's first year.

13 Reasons Why I Love "Lost"

"Lost" returns tonight! To celebrate, I'm repeating a previous "Thursday Thirteen" in which I listed 13 reasons why I love the show:

1) It keeps you guessing.--If you saw this season's finale, you know what I mean. What could POSSIBLY be going on? (I guess I'll find out--at least partially!--tonight!)

2) Those jaw-dropping moments. --Remember when you first saw John Locke's circumstances before crashing on the island? Remember the first time we "saw" Jacob? Remember, again, the very end of this season's finale? Those "whoaaa" moments remind you of what a terrific show this really is.

3) Matthew Fox as Jack--I personally believe Fox should have been nominated in the best actor in a drama category (in last year's Emmys). There were so many instances this season of great acting on the part of Fox. Remember the look on his face when he saw Kate and Sawyer through the video monitor? That moment alone was worth an Emmy nomination.

4) Michael Emerson as Ben--Yeah, we can't stand Ben, but don't we love to hate him? Emerson has to be one of the best actors on television. His Emmy nomination was well-deserved.

5) Josh Holloway as Sawyer--How many times have you gotten a good chuckle out of Sawyer's nicknames and pop culture references?

6) Terry O'Quinn as John Locke--Yes, John Locke is often strange and his actions inexplicable--take his behavior in the finale. What's up with that? Still, he's one of my favorite characters...and I also believe his (2007) Emmy award is well-deserved.

7) Naveen Andrews as Sayid--The character of Sayid has probably done more good for Iraqi PR than anything the UN could come up with. Face it, there are many, many wonderful Iraqi people, and the character of Sayid is very appealing.

8) Dominic Monaghan as Charlie--I am so, so sorry that the character of Charlie is dead. Some people would like to believe that's not true, but I have a hard time seeing him survive his fate in the season finale. Even though he started out as a drugged-out loser, Charlie was sweet and appealing.

9) Evangeline Lilly as Kate--She annoys a lot of my friends and family, but I do still like the character of Kate, and I think she's central to the show.

10) Jorge Garcia as Hurley--Hurley is absolutely vital to the show. For a while, I was watching "24" fairly regularly, and it's excellent--but there is almost no comic relief, if any. The intensity blasts you nonstop. But the great thing about "Lost" is that just when everything gets a little too spooky, scary or strange, there's Hurley saying, "Dude..." and bringing everything back down to earth. I totally love Hurley.

11) Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond.--Desmond has been a great addition to the show. I think we've yet to find out just how essential his story is. And as I've mentioned before, I could listen to that Scottish accent all day.

12) The soundtrack.-- Composer Michael Giacchino does a beautiful job scoring the show. Listen to his haunting "Life and Death" in the video below.

13) The characters and the writing.-- I've mentioned some of them already, but the characters are what keeping bringing me back, even when the show sometimes strains credulity. And the writing--the storytelling, the dialogue, the plotting--is just terrific.

Bottom line, "Lost" is my favorite TV show, and one of the only TV shows I ever watch.

If you haven't watched it, I suggest you start with the first season DVD set and then go on to the second and third. If you can watch the first two or three episodes without getting hooked, I'll be extremely surprised.

And now, the video:


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My true color

That's ironic, because orange is probably my least favorite color. But these personality tests are fun to take. I got this one from Laura's blog.

Take this test!

You're a bold, confident orange. A warm, powerful color that indicates a strong, welcoming personality, orange is the mark of people who are social and extroverted by nature. Vibrant, with an upbeat attitude, you have a bright, inviting demeanor. Energetic and fun-loving, you're a real friend-magnet. Your easy charm and unassuming manner make you the sort of person people want to meet and get to know better. Well-rounded and fun to be around, you enjoy helping others, so it's no surprise that orange also symbolizes attraction. Orange is an extraordinary color — for an extraordinary person.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Are you fighting the frump?

"We need to stay viable, we need to look vibrant, and we need to stay visible. Because if you feel good about yourself, veryone around you will feel good too. Confidence is contagious. You have to get to the point where you can look in a mirror and say, 'Wow! I look fabulous!'"--Charla Krupp

I had to chuckle the other day when I was reading Karla's lively and entertaining blog, Looking Towards Heaven. Karla encouraged readers to join Mrs. Fussypants of Mrs. Fussypants' Guide to Life in what she calls "Fight the Frump Friday." (By the way, I LOVE Mrs. Fussypants' slogan: "We Can't Both Look Good, It's Me or the House!")

This was the first I had heard of Mrs. Fussypants or "Fight the Frump Friday," so I was totally intrigued.

One of my goals (I'm not really calling it a resolution) for 2008 is to look as good as it is within my power to look. That can sometimes be a tall order when you get to be "a certain age," as I am. But as I commented on Karla's post, to paraphrase Dylan Thomas, I will not go gently into age-induced frumpiness!

So I was fascinated by a book Karla mentioned: How Not to Look Old, by Charla Krupp. Now, Charla's pretty opinionated about some of the wardrobe items she thinks we need to get rid of in our quest for a more youthful appearance, and I can't say I agree with her on every point...but here's the list:

Holiday sweaters with bells and appliqués (reindeers, teddy bears, bumblebees, pumpkins).
Granny necklaces that tell how many grandchildren you have.
Souvenir T-shirts.
T-shirts with meant-to-be funny sayings.
Acid-washed jeans.
Ripped jeans.
Shoulder pads.
Flannel shirts.
Muumuus. (**Does this really need to be stated?)
Photo handbags (the older you get, the more sophisticated your accessories should be).
Flesh-colored hose.
Penny loafers.
Oversize blazers.
Mommy robes.
Thin gold chain necklaces.
Elastic-waist pants.
Granny undies.
Baggy sweats.
Bearlike, full-length fur coats.
Short shorts.
Cargo pants.
Stockings with reinforced toes.
Three-piece suits with vests.

Agree or disagree, it's worth thinking about! By the way, Krupp doesn't think we should try to look like a teen-ager. In fact, that's strongly discouraged. But I must admit, I'd really like to read the book.

Also with a big hat tip to Karla, here's a video of Charla Krupp with more pointers and advice on how not to look old. (I totally disagre with her about underpants, by the way--but I must say, she really makes a strong case for the Le Mystere Renaissance bra...)

What do you think? Are you fighting the frump, or is it just not important to you? And if you are waging the battle against frumpiness, got any tips or advice? Let's hear 'em, ladies!

Monday, January 28, 2008

He wants to walk around the world

"One of my biggest fears is to look back on my life and wished I would have lived it differently. Therefore I refuse to live a life of mediocrity. I meet so many people who have lost sight of their dreams and ambitions and settle for something else. I feel like I have been given this gift of life and I want to live it to the fullest."--Daren Wendell

One of my favorite books as a young woman was Peter Jenkins' Walk Across America--the true story of a disillusioned young man who decided to trek across the country in a quest for meaning. Along the way, he found God and even a wife.

Today I met a remarkable young man whose vision is even greater--some might say crazier. But Daren Wendell's life motto, straight out of John 10:10, is "live life to the fullest," and he wants to walk around the world.

Daren estimates that his trip will take about 7 years. His goal? To raise money for the Blood Water Mission, which aims to "empower Africans to build healthier communities through sustainable clean blood and clean water solutions."

Me interviewing Daren in the Radio 91 studio

You can find out more at Daren's website. I hope to blog more about our interview later, and perhaps include some sound clips.

An award! Yay!

What a great way to start off a Monday! Grams of has bestowed another award on me...

The ever-encouraging Grams writes:

"Cindy has a excellent blog for sure!! She is a wonderful Christian lady. She is a radio announcer and she has all kinds of interesting information on her blog!! I really love this lady and you will too if you go visit and find out what she is all about!!"

Grams, thanks so much. You are a blessing!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Scottish and cute...what's not to love?

Today is the birthday of poet Robert Burns...and scroll down for my Fit Friday report...and I'm blogging today at the Internet Cafe

Scottish poet Robert Burns was born on this day in 1759, in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland.

Why do I care? Well, I must admit I don't have an excessive fondness for Burns' poetry, which is mostly written in a sometimes unintelligible Scots dialect. Here's a sample, from the poem "To a Mouse":

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin', tim'rous beastie,
O what a panic's in thy breastie !
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle !
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee
Wi' murd'ring pattle !

(By the way, that's the poem that contains the famous lines: "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men /Gang aft a-gley..."

So why am I fascinated with Robert Burns? Well, for a couple of reasons--firstly, I have an affinity for all things Scottish and have longed to visit Scotland for years.

And, here's a confession: I've had a little crush on Robert Burns ever since I first saw his picture when I was a teenager. There are not that many likenesses of Burns, but in every one of them, he looks remarkably handsome. Can't you just imagine a Scottish accent coming out of that face? Gerard Butler, you've got nothing on Robbie! :)

It's pretty amazing that Burns' birthday continues to be celebrated around the world--even right where I live, in Northern Illinois--with "Burns suppers." This from Wikipedia:

The format of Burns suppers has not changed since Robert's death in 1796. The basic format starts with a general welcome and announcements followed with the Selkirk Grace. Just post the grace comes the piping and cutting of the Haggis, where Robert's famous Address To a Haggis is read, and the haggis is cut open. The event usually allows for people to start eating just after the haggis is presented. This is when the reading called the 'immortal memory', an overview of Robert's life and work is given; the event usually concludes with the singing of Auld Lang Syne.

And now...

Fit Friday!

Help!!! I've somehow injured myself.

This has been a good week, exercise-wise. I've been to the gym three times, and I had planned to go back today, but I'm wondering if I should. Ever since I started using the rowing machine, I've had a problem with discomfort in my left leg. It's almost feels like it's off kilter or something. I can't describe it. I've been working out despite the discomfort, and actually it doesn't really hurt WHEN I'm using it...whether on the elliptical or on the rower.

However, last night it was hurting so much, I had a really hard time getting to sleep. I took some ibuprofen, but it took a long time for it to take effect.

I need advice from those of you who are knowledgeable about exercise-related pains. Should I stay off of it for a couple of days, or continue to work out despite the discomfort? Should I see doctor or chiropractor, or will the discomfort go away on its own? I'm really at a loss...and pretty discouraged because exercise is SO necessary to me as a diabetic.

Any thoughts would be welcome.

To participate in "Fit Friday," go to A Spacious Place

And I'm posting here today:

Won't you join me there?

13 Things That Make Me Happy

It goes without saying...a lot of happiness comes from my precious grandson, Payton!

Things that make me happy:

1) Learning, or realizing anew from firsthand experience, a wonderful truth from God's Word

2) Going to visit my loved ones who live out-of-state--or getting visits from them

3) Diving into a really good book

4) Eating out. I know that sounds really shallow, but I just love to eat out!

5) A day off

6) Sleeping in

7) Losing a pound--or more!

9) A compliment from my husband

10) Getting a voice-over job...and more importantly, actually getting paid for it

11) Anything good that happens to anyone I love

12) Getting something new to wear

13) Spending precious time with my adorable grandson...or when that's not possible, getting adorable pictures of him in the e-mail!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Life Ends and Begins

Thoughts on Heath Ledger's Passing

I was saddened to hear of the passing of actor Heath Ledger. Although I never saw "Brokeback Mountain" and don't plan to, I recognized that he was a very talented actor. One look at this trailer from the upcoming Batman movie, "The Dark Knight," illustrates that fact vividly.

At this writing, the results of an autopsy on the actor are inconclusive, and his family is maintaining that the death was an accident.

Whatever the cause of his death, it saddened me to read that Ledger had been unhappy for some time and may have had substance abuse problems.

I had to note that he was not much older than my oldest son. Really, a young man. And now his two-year-old daughter, Matilda, is without a father.

Every time I read a story like this, the words to this song come to my mind (click on the song's title to hear the entire song):

Thoughts on the 35th anniversary of Roe V Wade:

My grandson, Payton, in his mother's womb over a year ago

I can't believe I let January 22nd go by without blogging about this! I think it's the first time since I began this blog that I didn't mention it.

So, belatedly, I am talking about it. I am unashamedly pro-life. I do like a quote from Bryan Kemper, president of Stand True Ministries--he says his organization "seeks to be lovingly pro-life rather than angrily anti-abortion." I wholeheartly concur with that approach.

According to this article, pro-lifers are getting younger and younger. Kemper says they see themselves as survivors of abortion, because many of them have siblings that were aborted.

I just received an e-mail from my sister-in-law in California that one of my nieces will have her labor induced tomorrow. My prayers will be with Tabitha, and I rejoice that a new life is coming into the that will be welcomed with open and loving arms.

I realize that all babies don't have that privilege. But I do know that there are thousands of couples who would give anything for one of those lives that are thrown away. May God bless the women who choose to carry their baby to term, despite the sacrifice, so that loving parents will have the joy of raising that child.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Need a "Lost" fix?

Yep, we "Lost" addicts have just a short time to wait...the show comes back January 31st. In the meantime, TV is offering daily profiles of our Losties. Today they focus on Claire Littleton.

And here's a Q and A with Mr. Others himself, the extremely talented Michael Emerson---Ben Linus to you.

--Speaking of 70's TV (as I was yesterday)..."baby, if you ever wondered, wondered whatever became of" the cast of WKRP in's an update.

--Plugged In Online reviews Cloverfield here.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Good-bye to Suzanne Pleshette

There was no bickering between Bob and Emily, no nagging, mocking or bossing around. Emily could be sardonic, and with that deep voice and steady gaze, no one did sarcasm better than Pleshette. But mostly she had a way of looking at Bob, or saying 'Bob,' that let him know she was either pleased or displeased, and he wisely snapped to.--Robert Bianco, USA Today

I was sad to hear that actress Suzanne Pleshette died Saturday at the age of 70. No matter what she did in her later career, I will always think of her as Emily on the 70's version of the Bob Newhart show.

The husky-voiced actress was suffering from lung cancer.

As Robert Biano writes in USA Today: "Few sitcom marriages have been as much of an equal partnership, he a psychologist, she an even smarter teacher. None was more fun."

She went on to do a lot of other roles, but the passing of Suzanne Pleshette makes me nostalgic for that 70s version of the Bob Newhart Show, and for TV sitcoms that relied on terrific acting and writing instead of relentlessly dwelling on sex.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Fit Friday

Are you trying to get fit and healthy in 2008? My own quest is continuing, so I decided to connect with Kelly of A Spacious Place, with her idea of "Fit Friday."

Kelly has lost over 50 pounds in the last seven or eight months, and she sounds like she has a good common-sense approach to fitness.

She writes:

"...I would love for you to join me on Fridays and run along side me in this journey to be 'fit for service.' I have by no means arrived, but feel compelled to share the victory the Lord has given me in this area and hopefully encourage others. Each week I will share tips on exercise and healthy eating. Please leave any specific questions you might have in the comments! Also, feel free to save the Fit Friday button and add to your sidebar."

Kelly has some great tips and advice in her Fit Friday post today...including a link to a quiz where you can test your exercise personality.

My own report:

Here's what I did, exercise-wise, this week:

Monday: 30 minutes cardio (mix of elliptical, rowing machine, and stationary bike)
Tuesday: 20 minutes cardio, 20 minutes weights
Wednesday: 30 minutes cardio (15 minutes elliptical, 15 minutes rowing machine)
Friday: I will be going to the gym this afternoon, and will do 30 minutes of cardio and 15 to 20 minutes of weights

During the past couple of weeks, I've discovered the rowing machine at my gym. It's a lonely machine...I think I've only seen one other person using it, ever.

So one day, in an effort to alleviate the boredom and/or short attention span of using mostly the elliptical, I wandered over there. I asked one of the staff members to show me how to use it, and I hopped on.

Four minutes later...yep, that was all I was able to do the first time! Let me tell you, it's a workout. I've gradually built up my time so that on Wednesday I was able to do 15 minutes, and the website of the manufacturer actually advises to just do ten or 15 minutes the first couple of weeks.

But you know what? I really kind of like it. It provides a change of pace from the elliptical, which is my favorite. And it works all your muscle groups.

Be sure and leave a comment if you have any weight loss or fitness tips and advice!

Everyone go out and have a fun and blessed weekend!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The 13 Most Popular Dogs

My husband Doug with our toy poodle, Brandy

2007 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S., according to the American Kennel Club:

1. Labrador Retriever

2. Yorkshire Terrier

3. German Shepherd Dog

4. Golden Retriever

5. Beagle

6. Boxer

7. Dachshund

8. Poodle

9. Shih Tzu

10. Bulldog

Plus three that are gaining in popularity:

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

2. French Bulldog

3. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Denzel Most Popular

"I read the Bible every day. I'm in my second pass-through now, in the Book of John... It's better the second time around."

For the second year in a row, Denzel Washington has been voted America's favorite movie star. In this year's Harris Poll, Tom Hanks is number two, also for the second straight year. Johnny Depp has jumped from seventh place to third, while Julia Roberts and Will Smith are in fourth and fifth place.

And apparently you don't even have to be alive to be one of America's favorite movie stars. John Wayne is sixth on the list.

Matt Damon and Sean Connery are tied for seventh, while Sandra Bullock and Bruce Willis round out the list.

About Denzel...

Few stars are as downright likable and appealing as Denzel Washington. He has proven his acting ability by playing bad characters, but he seems to have an innate graciousness.

Washington is also a believer, and in a December 2007 interview with Reader's Digest, he said he reads the Bible every day: "I'm in my second pass-through now, in the Book of John. My pastor told me to start with the New Testament, so I did, maybe two years ago. Worked my way through it, then through the Old Testament. Now I'm back in the New Testament. It's better the second time around."

This article talks more about Denzel's faith...and does briefly raise the question of how a believer can appear in movies that do contain graphic violence, nudity and profanity.

Washington is currently appearing in the movie The Great Debaters.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A trip down Memory Lane

As I mentioned the other day, my son Justin scanned some old pictures, and I couldn't resist sharing a trip down Memory Lane. (Even if it means I have some pretty crazy 80's hair in them.)


Jonathan is two years old in this picture, and I am going through my Gunne Sax dress phase. (If you don't remember them, here's an example.) Note also that my husband still had hair in this picture.


I was pregnant with my daughter Elizabeth in this picture. Note the 80's hair in full effect. I had no trouble achieving this look, because for the first time in my life, having naturally curly hair was actually a plus!


My sons were not thrilled that their new sibling was a sister until they actually got to hold her. That's my gorgeous mom helping Justin hold his little sister. To this day, Elizabeth is crazy about her brothers.

Me and my baby daughter.

Early 90's

Big hair still going strong. Big bows for little girls were also quite the trend.


Fast forward to last summer. The times when we're all together are not as frequent I have to make sure a family pic gets taken during those times!

Hope you didn't mind sharing my trip down Memory Lane. Only one question emerges when I look at old pictures...well, two, I guess--"What was I thinking?" and "Where did the time go?"

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday Melange

Main Entry: mé·lange
Pronunciation: \mā-ˈläⁿzh, -ˈlänj\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from Middle French, from mesler, meler to mix — more at meddle
Date: 1653
: a mixture often of incongruous elements

Stuff to mention:

--The wonderful Grams of! has given me another award! Well, actually it's more of a club than an award. I've been inducted into Blogaholics Anonymous. This is one award you can feel free to give yourself, so go ahead, add the button to your sidebar if you like. As Grams says, it's fun.

--As Linda of 2nd Cup of Coffee points out today: American Idol comes back tomorrow!

--Did you get to check out the new version of Jane Austen's Persuasion on PBS? I didn't...but Carolyn of Radical Womanhood did, and she tells why she prefers the 1995 version.

--A new survey of the unchurched by LifeWay Researchis getting the attention of media and the blogosphere. Among the findings:

--78% of the "unchurched" said they would be interested in hearing more about Christianity from someone.

- When asked whether Christians they knew talked about their faith too much 71% disagreed.


--A Cowboy’s Wife is having a contest on her food blog! You can win a Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer and she’ll ship anywhere so everyone is eligible!

(Wow, I would sure love to have one of those mixers!)

Friday, January 11, 2008

"Old School" Family Photos

I discovered something today that delighted me. My son Justin had scanned several old family photos and put them on his MySpace. The one below is one I've always loved: my husband and my two boys, circa 1985?

This was before my daughter was born...she came along in 1987. I love this picture because they look so happy and adorable. It's a cheap photo booth picture that somehow captures the essence of these three boys that I love so much. It also captures a moment in time that's gone forever. Like me, my husband is older. The boys are men now. I love them just as much, but they'll never again be the young man and the two little boys in that picture.

Don't you just love old family photos?

What are your favorite man blogs?

Sometimes, the blogosphere can seem like a pretty feminine place. That's just a perception, of course, because there are tons of male bloggers. In my case, I think it's because I've connected with groups like Christian Women Online who are, of course, well...women.

But as I check my own personal blogroll, I see that there are some men on there. And today I added two more guys who aren't political or theological bloggers--just funny guys who happen to have wives who are also bloggers. They are Big Doofus and Honey, I Fed the Kids (don't you love that name for a blog?)

I thought I would enumerate some of my favorite man-blogs here. Please let me know about others that you really like, in my comments section...or put yourself forward if you are a man-blogger!

My usual disclaimer: as with any blog, my mention doesn't mean I personally endorse and/or approve of everything they say in their blogs.

Here we go, in no particular order:

Whirled View with Dan Burrell--Dan is a pastor (albeit in between churches right now) who has some interesting and insightful thoughts on a variety of issues.

Reflections in Life--Randy is a former co-worker of mine who has an appealing, thoughtful writing style and blogs about all kinds of things.

The Seventh Sola--Joel is another former colleague of mine, whose writing is intelligent, incisive and often humorous.

--You may not agree with this primarily theological team-blog, but it's doubtful that you'll be bored.

The Journey--Rodney is a Christian radio announcer in Australia who blogs about a variety of things.

The Evangelical Outpost--There's a reason Joe Carter's blog has a massive readership. He never fails to be interesting and timely.

(later this same day): Well, I just found out that one of my favorite blogs is back in business! Purgatorio is the creation of a guy (yes, he is a Christian) named Marc Heinrich. He calls it "a panoply of evangelical eccentricities, un-orthodox oddities & christian cultural curiosities," but you just have to see it. Purgatorio took a very extended blogging break, and I didn't know he was back until just today. My very favorite features are the "Divine Vinyl" posts.

Some others worth mentioning:

--I love the sense of humor of I Drank What?, but sadly, he doesn't blog very regularly

--Malcolm's Pop Culture Dish is interesting and entertaining

--John of Least Signficant Bits is humorous, entertaining, and takes some great pictures

Let me know if there are others I should add to my list!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thirteen Celebrity Pics That Showed Up on My Blog in 2007

OK, this is the last Notes in the Key of Life 2007 retrospective, I promise! But even though this isn't primarily a culture blog, some celebs' pictures did show up here during the past year. Here are 13 of them...and if you click on their name, you can go to what I posted about them.

January--David Beckham

February--Matthew Fox

August--Kim Alexis

September--Zachary Levi

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

OK, this is just ridiculously cute!

My niece, Katie, showed me this video and I just had to share it. Guaranteed to bring a smile!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Do you want to lose weight this year?

By the way,just a side note about the picture of the woman weighing. I saved this picture to my computer a few years ago, and I honestly don't remember where I found it. But it has become sort of my "stock" photo whenever I blog about weight loss.

Recently I used it with a Thursday Thirteen post, Thirteen Lifestyle Changes I'm Making Since Finding Out I'm Diabetic. I got this comment from John of Least Significant Bits:

"This is going to sound totally bizarre, but the lady in the photo at the top of this post weighing herself goes to the same church as Lovely Wife and I.

"She's a model and actress in commercials and her husband is a financial planner here in Melbourne, I scrolled down, that picture of Katie stopped me in my tracks. She's also on a commercial for one of those little getaround wheelchair thingys and Lovely Wife and I cheer every time it comes on TV."

Is that cool, or what? Anyway, back to the title of my post:

Do you want to lose weight this year?

I've blogged already about how discovering I'm diabetic has motivated me as never before to get serious about health and fitness. But I wanted to let you know about some sites that are really inspirational in that regard...and ask you for yours as well!

Probably my favorite is the former The Amazing Shrinking Mom, now titled The Diet Naked Blog (now that's a title that's sure to generate some hits! :))

I love Melodee's writing style and approach to weight loss. And if you love before and after shots, you have to check out Mel's. The picture of her at her heaviest, contrasted with the picture of her this past Christmas Eve, is incredible.

Through Mel's blog, I found the site of this woman, who has gone from 296 to 129 pounds in three years. Amazing!

I've lost only 17 pounds and have a long way to go...but I take all the encouragement, advice and support I can get. What inspires and encourages you in your weight loss? Any websites I should know about that are of particular help? Let me know in my comments section, please!

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Authors Speak

...listen to Christian fiction writers talk about their work

I interviewed several Christian fiction authors during 2007, and often included sound clips on my blog. Here are some of the wonderful authors I talked with (each sound clip is around 2 minutes or less):

Liz Curtis Higgs

Here, Liz talks about how she wrote My Heart's in the Lowlands as if the reader was her traveling companion:

Deborah Raney

Here, Deborah talks about why she wrote Remember to Forget about domestic abuse:

Lisa Samson

Here, Lisa talks about the main character in Quaker Summer:

Sharon Hinck

Sharon Hinck talks about her book, The Restorer:

Randy Alcorn

Here, Randy talks about how he came to write Deadline:

Allison Bottke

In this sound clip, Allison Bottke, author of One Little Secret, encourages "boomer babes" to fulfill their long-held dreams:

Sandra Byrd

Here, Sandra explains that she doesn't really think of her book, Let Them Eat Cake, as "chick lit":

Francine Rivers

Here, one of my favorite authors, Francine Rivers, tells me about the novel she's currently writing:

Jeffrey Overstreet

In this sound clip, Jeffrey Overstreet talks about his novel, Auralia's Colors:

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