May 28, 2009

Winner of The Great Eight!

And the Winner is...

Comment#65 - Helen!
Helen said...
The Secret Garden has been a favorite of mine since I was seven.
Watch for my email, Helen. Congratulations!

May 24, 2009

Memorial Day

Let us remember those who gave their lives to protect our freedoms. May God bless all of the men and women who are currently serving, and those who have served our country in the armed services.

May 13, 2009

Book Giveaway: The Great Eight

I'm giving away my very gently used copy of The Great Eight: How to Be Happy (even when you have every reason to be miserable) by Scott Hamilton with Ken Baker. I read this once, so it's practically new, and is a very good book (Read my Review here). I try not to keep books after I've read them. I'd rather pass them on for someone else to enjoy. That someone could be you! PLUS, I'll be including a Surprise with the book - maybe some chocolate, or a candle, or...who knows?

Here's how you can win:

First Entry - This MUST be done FIRST, in order for any entries to count!
Post a comment telling me what your favorite book is (besides the Bible - that's too easy.) Please don't say "Enter me", or "I want to win this", or anything along those lines. If you do, I'll delete your entry.

For a 2nd Entry, Follow my Blog (See my sidebar) and add a 2nd comment saying you have done so. If you already Follow my Blog, say so in a 2nd comment. I'll be checking this.

You must be over 18 years old and have a US mailing address to enter. Make sure your email is either in your comment or linked to your profile, so I can get in touch with you if you win. I'll accept entries until May 27th at 11:59pm EST, then I'll choose a winner by Random Number Generator. I'll email the winner May 28th, and if they don't respond within 48 hrs, I'll choose another winner.

While you're visiting my blog, feel free to look around. I LOVE comments! = )

May 12, 2009

Book Review: The Great Eight

I'm a HUGE figure skating fan, and Scott Hamilton is one of my all-time favorite skaters. I think the reasons are because he seems so full of joy, his routines are entertaining, and he makes me laugh. I even enjoy his skating commentary, which is saying a lot, because although I love watching skating on TV, I find the commentators pretty dull. Scott Hamilton is the exception.
In The Great Eight, Scott Hamilton shares his secrets to happiness and success in life, work, and relationships, despite what may seem like insurmountable obstacles. Prior to reading it, I had no idea how many physical obstacles Scott had experienced in his life. I knew he'd had cancer, but he also suffered from a serious childhood illness, and later in life, a brain tumor!
As a foundation to his skating instruction, Scott's early childhood lessons were centered around mastering a perfect figure eight. For several hours each day, he had to practice this one skill, over and over again, until he could perform it flawlessly. Although at the time he didn't understand why, he later realized that this built the necessary foundation of his skating proficiency, and was ultimately the main reason he won the Gold Medal at the 1984 Olympics.
In this book, he proposes that learning the fundamental skills of anything in life, whether it be skating, teaching, marketing, writing, etc. is vital to reaching your potential. He goes on to outline, his eight keys to reaching your goals in life and gaining happiness.
I found this book very inspiring and uplifting. From Scott's first childhood skating lessons (during which he had to wear a feeding tube due to his illness), to losing his job with The Ice Capades, to battling cancer, to dealing with a brain tumor, to finally finding the woman who would become his wife (while in his forties), he remained optimistic and inspires others do so as well.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to feel more optimistic!

May 9, 2009

Have a Blessed Mother's Day!

Butterscotch Brownies

May 9th is National Butterscotch Brownie Day (Who knew?) I love Butterscotch Brownies in their simplest form. No butterscotch or chocolate chips for me, not in these bar cookies anyway. Nuts are ok, but I prefer them without. I guess I'm a Butterscotch Brownie purist. As far as I can tell, Blondies are the same thing, just a different name. So, anyway, here is a simple, easy recipe for a great bar cookie. Enjoy!

Butterscotch Brownies

Adapted from "The Joy of Cooking" (the 1975 edition).

1/2 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 to 1 cup finely chopped nuts (or 3/4 cup grated coconut) *Optional*

Set oven rack to upper middle level.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9- by 9-inch baking pan.
Melt together in a small saucepan the butter and brown sugar.
Set aside to cool slightly and while it cools, sift together into a separate bowl the flour, baking powder and salt.
Beat egg and vanilla into butter mixture.
Stir flour mixture into butter mixture.
Fold in chopped nuts (or coconut).
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake blondies on upper middle rack at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack, cut, and serve.
Makes 1 dozen bars.

May 4, 2009