Saturday, July 16, 2011

Learning German

There's something new to be learned everyday.

Did you know that the accented syllables in German are determined by several things: the number of vowels, the structure of the sentence, and how many accents there already are?

Did you know that some words like cranberries and bacon are English words that have not even been translated into German but are spoken the same as in English?

Di you know that German names often come from family professions, just like in English, such as Zimmerman - which is the same as Carpenter in English?

I am forever amazed that there are so many more things to learn than I could possibly even imagine.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Campfire Musing

The moon is out. There's a chilly little breeze blowing through the trees...It's the perfect evening for a campfire.

I can't help but wonder how many people have huddled together over a campfire and shared common dreams, fears, and experiences as they stared into the dancing flames. Fire is such a unifying, terrifying, comforting, powerful force. We try to tame it; it overpowers us. We are in awe of it's beauty and strength. How did the first human feel when seeing it for the first time?

Unlike any other force on earth, it is liquid energy,  and defies a full explanation, because to examine it would require handling, and it will not be handled without consequence.  It burns everything in its path, and leaves behind total destruction  and sometimes,  life and rejuvenation.  

Is it good, or evil? What is its relationship to God?

We have long associated fire with punishment. We speak of burning away the dross, of cleansing with fire, as if it had redeeming qualities.

Surely it is far above human capabilities, and akin to divine power. But the other side is that it seems to belong to the devil. For he will inhabit the flames of hell. The mind reels, snaps back to feel the sting of a mosquito on the arm.

Time to go up to bed.We are back to reality. After all, the log is burned out. All the marshmallows are eaten.

The mystery of fire remains.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Living the Dream

My husband once wanted to work in a children's home. I wasn't feeling it. So we never did. We also both dreamed about running a bed and breakfast someday.

This morning I woke up to 7 people under 25 in my home. There was laughter, kidding, food and fun til 2 in the morning at least. Three more adults completed the overnight picture.

As he left for work this morning I asked, "Sorry we never went to that children's home. But, are you living the dream?"

"I'm living the dream." he said as he kissed me goodbye and went to work. Then I made breakfast for 10.

Definitely living the dream!

What's your dream? Are you living it?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How to Review Books for Free!

At first glance this may seem like a commercial. It is. But it's not about how you can buy something. It's about how you can get something for free.

First of all you must have a blog site that you use regularly. Blogspot and wordpress are two very popular blog hosting sites, although there are others.

Then, contact the publisher(s) from whom you'd like to read books.,  hosted by Thomas Nelson Publishers, who cranks out christian based literature, is a site made for reviewers, and is very user friendly. You can choose from available books in print or ebook format, and must choose one at a time.

Bethany House Publishers, also a publisher of christian based literature, encourages would-be reviewers to email them at, and they will direct you to a choice of books to review. Multiple books may be reviewed, but they ask that your turnaround time be close to a month.

Grand Central Publishing, a mainstream publisher, can be contacted at this email address:

Simon and Schuster, mainstream as well, will receive inquiries from facebook or at this email address. They ask for a sample review.

You will be asked for your mailing address so they can send the books to you. There is no obligation to send them back, or post a positive review.

The usual requirement is that you post your review to your blog, on a main bookseller's website such as, or and send the review to the publisher as well. If you have a website you can post it there, too.

A general rule for length is 250 words, or roughly three paragraphs. In the first two paragraphs summarize the book, its plot, thesis, or main idea. If you decide to include a spoiler, by all means warn your readers! Then give your honest opinion of the book.

Finally, most publishers ask that you state in the review that you have been given a complimentary copy of the book in return for your honest opinion.

Books delivered to my mailbox for free is like Christmas all year round for me! And I get to read some really great books!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

How To Be a Sparkling Conversationalist

Talking. Communicating. It's what humans do.

Ever noticed that some people are more interesting to talk to than others?

Me too.

My mother's admonition, when I was a teenager, has forever changed my way of thinking about conversing.

"Ask people questions about themselves. Then you'll never run out of things to talk about." I tried it. It worked. I found that I never had to think up things to say, but I did have to learn how to ask questions. Amazing! People rarely get offended or bored when they get to talk about their own interests, but you will soon bore someone to tears by droning on about your own life.

"If you talk to people about themselves, they'll listen for hours." - Benjamin Disraeli

Have you tried this? Does it work for you?