Thursday, August 27, 2009

I kissed my husband good-bye this morning!

Before you get worried, I just kissed him good-bye for the day, as we were both leaving for work.

What's so remarkable about that? Well, for the past 20 years, I have risen before anyone else in my family...while they were all still sleeping soundly.

My daughter was just two years old, my sons 9 and 6, when I started the morning shift at WQFL (101QFL.) I stayed on that shift for all these years...until just a few days ago.

Some of you may have heard or read about the changes at the radio stations where I've been on the air for all these years. Two stations under the same management...WQFL came first; WGSL (Radio 91) arrived on the scene in 1988. I did the news on both stations, and was morning show co-host on both of them at different times. Recently, however, the stations were sold, and Radio 91 is no more.

I actually started working at WQFL in 1981, but it was in 1989 that I began that morning shift.

Getting up at 4 AM to be at work by 5 isn't all bad. For instance, I never had to deal with heavy traffic. Rockford is an early-rising town, but the streets were never crowded during the four AM hour.

And getting off work around 1 PM was great...IF I wasn't too sleepy to function.

A morning show is a fun thing to be a part of. There's a fun and an energy that's particular to that day-part. And usually, once I was there and well into my first cup of coffee, I was fine.


Since this past Monday, I have been working a different shift. I get up at 6:30 in the morning. My first feeling is one of joy, because even though the sun might not be shining brightly, it's NOT the middle of the night!

My husband and I get ready alongside of each other. We have time to chat about our coming day.

As I write this, it's 8:35 PM. In my past life, I would be thinking, "I really should be getting to bed."

Now, I know that even if I don't hit the pillow till 10:30, I'll still be getting enough sleep...8 hours...something I NEVER got on weekday nights with my previous shift.

Frankly, I'm not sure what the future holds for me. I'm doing a mid-day show on 101QFL right now, and I'm loving it...but I'm not sure how permanent the gig is. I'm kind of taking one day at a time, which is really all we can do anyway, right?

But I'll tell you this. I don't think I can ever go back to the 4 AM rising thing. I'm enjoying living like a normal person too much.

And I get to kiss my husband good-bye in the morning!

I don't think I'll ever take that for granted.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop: The Case of the Aerial Abode

Are pictures of a house made from an airplane for real?

An e-mail currently making the rounds asks “Would you like to live in an aeroplane?” (that, by the way, is how the British say “airplane”). It shows several pictures of a house built around an old Boeing 727 perched above the ground.

Well, our sources tell us the pictures are definitely real…although instead of a private residence, the airplane “house” is actually an exclusive suite at the Hotel Costa Verde in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

You can go to the hotel’s 727 Fuselage Page to find out all about the suite and see the pictures. The page explains:

“We salvaged this airframe, piece by piece, from its San Jose airport resting place. We carefully transported the pieces on five, big-rig trucks to the jungles of Manuel Antonio where they have been resurrected into a unique jumbo hotel suite. Our classic airplane, nestled on the edge of the National Park in our Costa Verde II area, is perched on a 50-foot pedestal. At this height, you will enjoy scenic ocean and jungle views from the hard wood deck built atop the plane's former right wing.”

The plane's interior is Costa Rican teak paneling from the cockpit to the tail. It features two bedrooms, each with its own private bath, kitchenette, dining area and ocean-view terrace, among other amenities. It’s really quite beautiful!

And it’s all yours for 500 dollars a night in season—January through April—and 400 dollars a night the rest of the year.

Master bedroom of the fuselage suite

By the way, the hotel website admits their Boeing 727 home isn’t the only such dwelling in the world. The say they were inspired by a Forbes Magazine article about a company offering hurricane-proof living via surplus Boeing 727 airframes.

Confirming another Internet rumor, this is Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop…reminding you to check it out BEFORE you hit that “send” button!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop: The Case of the Celebrity Coincidence

Did three celebrities who died recently have in common the fact that they all appeared on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” on the same day back in 1979?

The rumor currently circulating has to do with Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. Long time Tonight show announcer and sidekick Ed McMahon passed away on June 23rd, followed two days later by actress Farrah Fawcett and singer Michael Jackson.

Not long after their deaths, rumors began flying that the three had all appeared on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show back on September 18th, 1979. Wouldn’t that have been an eerie coincidence?

Well, yes, that would have been an eerie coincidence.

However, it’s not quite true. For one thing, the date—September 18, 1979—couldn’t be right. Sources tell us that on that date, a Best of Carson re-run aired. It was a re-run of a show that originally ran in March 1978, when Johnny’s guests were Walter Matthau and Bob Uecker.

THIS much is true, though—Farrah and the Jackson Five, including Michael Jackson, were guests on the Tonight Show one day apart from each other at one time. That was in August, 1974—when the Jackson Five were guests on August 19th, and Farrah was a guest on the show the following evening, August 20th.

But Ed McMahon wasn’t there on either of those dates…bandleader Doc Severinson was filling in for him.

So, you can stop the Twilight Zone theme. While it may appear true that celebrities die in threes, these particular three celebrities were NOT on the Tonight Show on the same date.

Clearing up another internet rumor, this is Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop…reminding you to check it out BEFORE you hit that “send” button!
--Listen to this post here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Welcome to My Home

My house is not fancy or luxurious by any means, but I love it. The fact that I live in this house was totally a "God" thing, and I truly do regard it as a gift from God. I don't think I've ever done this, but I thought I'd share a few pictures of my home here on my blog. Hope you like it!
A shot of the livingroom. Two things I love most about it: the vaulted ceiling and the fireplace.

I have two book-cases in my living room...this is one of them. The two pictures on the top are one of my sister Lisa and me...the other one is of my grandson Payton, I think before he was even one year old.

The other bookcase, which is on the opposite side of the fireplace as the other one. The picture is of my three wonderful children, Elizabeth, Justin and Jonathan. I picked up the Paris clock (I'm addicted to all things French!) at Hobby Lobby recently for seven dollars!

The fireplace...I love it, even though the gas fire doesn't work very well. I just love the way it looks! The painting above the mantel was a gift from my friend Teri. I love it! On the mantel are pictures of my children, including the one on the far left of Daylyn and Jonathan on their wedding day.

The piano, which is often played by my daughter Elizabeth (even though it badly needs tuning.) More family pics atop the piano. The harp-shaped candle-holder was a clearance item I picked up at The Persimmon Tree during my recent trip to Geneva, IL.

The couch, where you can see our little toy poodle, Brandy, relaxing (with strangely glowing eyes.) The senior pictures of each of my children are on the wall behind. The staircase behind the couch goes to the basement, where there is a guest bedroom, bathroom, TV room, office, and unfinished storage area.
A view of the kitchen. One of the things I love about my kitchen is that it is so well-lit. I can't stand working in a dim kitchen!

Another view of the kitchen. The theme is fruit, including the fruits of the Spirit.

One last kitchen shot. In this one you can see the hutch that although not an antique, is very special to me because it used to belong to my grandmother.

Hope you enjoyed your visit to my home!

Friday, August 14, 2009

My nephew's blog is FUNNY.

My nephew Jeff Swanson

I've known for a while that my nephew Jeff Swanson is a terrific writer, but he's really outdoing himself on his new blog.

This post
, in particular, cracked me up...and you'll be able to relate if you've dabbled in more than one social networking site! I can totally relate, and at one time I even WAS a teenaged girl. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

13 Things to Tell You

A veritable potpourri of fascinating facts and links!

--Apparently, real men eat fried chicken made with Coke.

--Thanks to movies like "Julie and Julia," food is really big in the entertainment world these days. (My daughter, who works at Borders, says books about Julia Child and French cooking are selling like hotcakes--no pun intended!)

--Should Christians be cremated? Pastor Chris Brauns has some thoughts on the subject.

-- Ten of the Most Beautiful Places in the World, at least according to this photo blog. (Hat tip to Angela Hunt.)

--I may be the only person left in the world who doesn't have an mp3 player, and I'm asking for one for my 31st anniversary next week. I took an informal poll on Facebook and Twitter as to which one I should get, and the iPod is winning. What do you think?

--Check out the trailer for BJ Hoff's latest book, Where Grace Abides.

--Remember when we used to have real telephones? Apparently there's a real market for vintage phones.

--I read The Nanny Diaries recently because I picked it up on the cheap at a dollar store. I found it very entertaining and, if it's depiction of rich families who employ nannies is an accurate one, very disheartening. It's one thing to have a nanny as an adjunct in raising your child, but do some people pretty much turn the raising of their child over to a nanny? Sad.

--Eeeuw, creepy: Death Masks of the Famous.

--Found a great site for public speakers, media people and anyone who wants to know the correct way to pronounce people, places and stuff! Its

--My latest fave healthy treat: Fuze empower pomegranate and acai berry. Yum

--Soon, visitors will be able to look at Navy Pier from a balloon.

--Very interesting: the 100 Best First Lines of Novels.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Andrew Peterson talks about songwriting, storytelling and the evil Fangs of Dang

One of the ways that I think that we're created in God's image is that
he's given us this satisfaction in speaking light into the speaking something out of nothing. This idea that something that wasn't in the world yesterday is in the world now, and I was the guy who got to be part of that process of speaking it into being.--Andrew Peterson on creating music and fiction

Before Andrew Peterson, Sharon Hinck and Jeffrey Overstreet converted me, I wasn't much of a fantasy fiction buff. It was Sharon's Sword of Lyric series that first lured me in, Jeffrey's Auralia Thread series drew me further, and Andrew's Wingfeather Saga sealed the deal. I guess I do like fantasy fiction after all!

I enjoyed reading On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness so much, as well as interviewing Andrew Peterson the first time and seeing him in concert, that I was delighted when the second book in the Wingfeather saga appeared. North! Or Be Eaten abounds with more of Andrew's vivid imagination, whimsical humor and riveting storytelling.

Andrew Peterson and me at a fall 2008 concert

I talked with Andrew Peterson recently about the newest book in the Wingfeather saga and about the differences and similarities between writing books and writing songs (something which he does quite well!),about what kind of an imagination it takes to create an entire world, and about where God and spirituality fit into that world, among other things.

--In this clip, Andrew says he thought that with his songwriting background, writing books would be a snap...but it wasn't quite that easy.

--In this clip, Andrew says songwriting and bookwriting ARE similar in some key ways.

You can listen to the entire 20-minute interview here.

As always, talking with Andrew Peterson was a joy...and I'm already eager for the next book in the Wingfeather saga!

to my review of On the Dark Sea of Darkness.

For more on Andrew Peterson, go to his website...and for more quirky and whimsical info on the world the Igiby children inhabit, go here (one of my personal favorites? The Creaturepedia.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

In need of a "Lost" fix?

As with all things "Lost," it raises more questions than it answers, but here you go:

UPDATE: Hmm...well, my friend "Dale Gribble" tells me this video may be a fake.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

13 Favorite/Famous Movie Quotes

(OK, this is a repeat...originally posted in June of last year...but it's worth reprising! Feel free to add yours in my comments section!)

This was the subject of our Fun Poll on the Marlar in the Morning show 101QFL a while back, and I thought it would make a good Thursday Thirteen. Here are some favorites (some of mine, some of other peoples') in no particular order...

--"What we do in life echoes in eternity." "Gladiator," 2000.

-- "You're gonna need a bigger boat." "Jaws," 1975.

-- "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." "The Godfather Part II," 1974.

-- "Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac ... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!" "Caddyshack," 1980.

--"Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary." "Dead Poets Society," 1989.

--"Every man dies, not every man really lives."--"Braveheart," 1995.

--"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."--"The Princess Bride," 1987

--"I'm your huckleberry."--"Tombstone," 1993.

--"Round up the usual suspects." --and--

--"Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."--"Casablanca," 1942

--"Life goes by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."--"Ferris Bueller's Day Off," 1986

--"I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure."--"Chariots of Fire," 1981

--"Although my memory's fading, I remember two things very clearly. I'm a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior." "Amazing Grace," 2006

What are your favorites?

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