Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Be A Part of History!
Bethany House is taking a survey of readers' opinions for Ann Tatlock's upcoming release, Every Secret Thing. Ann has been writing for BHP since 1998. The novel they are working on now is about a young woman's tumultuous return to her hometown where memories, mysteries and an old love await her.
The art department has designed three different covers for the book and would like to see which one you like and why. The survey is anonymous and will take about two minutes. If you're interested click here.
For more about Ann, you can read an interview my editor did with her and you can also visit her website. I will be sure to let you know which cover they choose and when the book is released.
Once you've voted, feel free to come back here and let us know which one you chose and why.
posted by Deeanne at 12:02 PM
Monday, January 29, 2007
I donated blood for the first time last week ... and passed out. (Not as prettily as the gal in the drawing, though. I wish!) As a kid I never did well with blood tests. It wasn't unusual for me to faint or throw up. As an adult, I didn't have any trouble so long as I was lying down when the event occurred.
The last time I braved sitting up for a blood test was when Greg & I went to get our marriage license. I didn't want to look like a wimp in front of my finance. He did his test lickety-split. Then the lady couldn't hit the vein in my right arm, so after several tries moved to my left arm--no luck. Went back to my right arm and by the time we were done, Greg was about to pass out, too! Ha!
Anyhoo, for the longest time I didn't weigh enough to donate blood. But I don't have that excuse anymore. Determined to do my part, I went to the blood bank, told them I hadn't fainted in years and was ready to give it a try.
They have these awesome recliners that lean way back and elevate your feet. The fella who took my donation got a vein with his first try and we were off. I did pretty well for about the first four or five minutes. Then I noticed how difficult it was becoming to squeeze the little ball they gave me. My arm was growing weaker and weaker. My fingers were tingling. My head was beginning to feel light.
I didn't want to stop squeezing the ball because I wanted the blood flow to be good (so I'd be done soon). I resorted to squeezing only with my thumb. Very shortly after that, the technician said I was done. He removed the needle, released the turnicate and ... all the blood whooshed away from my brain.
If you've never fainted, it is an incredibly helpless feeling. You know you are fixing to lose it. You tell your blood to go right back up there where it belongs--but it doesn't listen. You get really, really clammy, then really, really hot. The last thing to go is your hearing.
I looked up at the tech and said, "I'm so, so sorry." Then passed out.
Just before I lost all consciousness, I heard him holler, "Get some ice packs!"
When I came to, it was like you see on TV where all those heads are looking down on you. My recliner was completely surrounded by techs. I had a bazillion ice packs one me--one on each shoulder, behind my neck, on my chest, on my tummy, and I can't remember where all.
In a loud piercing voice, the tech on my left sternly commanded me to "cough!"
Cough? Right. I was too weak to move. To weak to keep my eyes open. No way did I have the strength to cough. Still, I gave it a try, pathetic though it was.
"Open your eyes," she said.
A pause. "Both eyes, Mrs. Gist."
And so it went. They brought me some soda, but I was too weak to hold the cup, so they got a straw and held it for me. (It was warm--yuk. Fortunately, I was too weak to ask for ice. That would have been a little much, even for me.)
Over the course of an hour, I gradually returned to normal--normal enough to sit up and then walk and then drive. But it took a while. They gave me strict instructions to go across the street to Sonic and get me a big ol' burger with tater-tots covered in cheese and to drink lots of fluids.
I did just as the doctor ordered, then came home, collapsed into bed and slept for over an hour.
So ... that was my big adventure last week. I wonder what it is in my genetic make-up that triggers this kind of reaction in me? I don't faint at the sight of blood. I don't have any great fear of needles. I'm not quivering with fear when blood needs to be drawn. Nor do I have any control over my response. Kinda strange, isn't it?
What about you? Are you like the gal in the recliner next to me who sashayed in, gave a couple dozen pumps of the little rubber ball, then jumped up and waltzed out without even blinking? I was soooo envious of her. Imagine being able to give blood that easily. What kind of donor are you?
posted by Deeanne at 8:26 AM
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
The First Quarter Newsletter for 2007 goes out on Monday. If you've not signed up for it, you can do so here. Included in the newsletter is:
I also try to include never-before-seen-photos. This time, there is a photo of me in the third grade. It was my year for the number three. According to my passport, I was three feet, three inches tall, weighed a whopping 33 pounds and was in the 3rd grade. Talk about the runt of the litter!!
- What's New
- Upcoming Events
- Blog Highlights
- Contest Winners
- Family News
And don't worry about being inundated with newsletters. I shoot for sending one out every quarter, but average about 3 per year. (There's that number three again!)
Sign up here to join us.
posted by Deeanne at 9:26 AM
Monday, January 22, 2007
The Measure of a Lady is being featured this week on DearReader.com. This is an online book club where members read the same book and then discuss it. The facilitator has a whole bunch of categories--nonfiction, classics, audio, business, teen, all kinds of things. The inspirational category (called "Good News") doesn't seem to be too active, so I thought I would send a few of you over there to participate in a discussion (if you want to).
When you get to the main page, click on the "Forum" tab at the top, then scroll down and click on "The Measure of a Lady," then click on "Respond to this Message" to offer up your comment. You don't need to be a member of her book club to participate.
posted by Deeanne at 9:56 AM
Friday, January 19, 2007
The digital camera Greg ordered for me for Christmas arrived this week. It is a Casio Exilim. I wanted something small enough to fit in my purse, but with the ability to take good pics and with a screen that was large enough for me to see the image without my glasses. A pretty tall order.
I haven't been able to play with it much because I don't have a memory card yet. But I downloaded the owner's manual and it was 266 PAGES!! I've managed to make it through about 75 pages so far. I don't know why I bother to read all that stuff because I won't be able to retain it. But I feel like I oughta read it anyway.
One cool feature is the "BS" button (BS for Best Shot). When you press the BS button it gives you thumbnails of various kinds of photos you could take (sports, nighttime, scenery, fireworks, portrait, children, candlelight portrait, flowing water, splashing water, backlight and so on). What's nice about this is that when I am trying to take a photo of somebody with a window behind them I can actually push the BS button, click on the backlight image and the camera automatically configures itself for the best exposure.
Since the thumbnails are easily identifiable and also have a text reminder when you place your arrow button over them, I'll be able to utilize the bells and whistles more readily. (With my old camera I would think to myself, "Well, I know there is a backlight option somewhere on this menu, but I can't remember where." Then, I'd just take the photo and hope for the best.)
Do all these options really make a difference? I mean, will there really be a difference if I were to just point and shoot for a pic of my dog versus going to the BS section, selecting the PET thumbnail and then taking the pic? I dunno. But, it makes me feel like I'm getting the best shot. I'll do some experimenting and see.
Also, it has a panel along the side that asks me if I am taking a big poster size photo, a 4 x 6 or a photo for email purposes. Again, I simply highlight, then shoot. That, I really like. Because many of my photos are for my blog. Now, I won't have to spend a lot of time reformatting my photos to a size manageable for the internet.
All in all, I'm excited and can't wait until the weekend when I can play with my new toy.
posted by Deeanne at 11:06 AM
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Our ice storm arrived last night as predicted. Schools are closed and roads are hazardous. I can never figure out why the kids want school canceled on days like this. We can't go anywhere or do anything and now we won't get Good Friday off (which will probably be a glorious day weather-wise). But, there's no telling that to the kids. They are living for the here and now and school off today is better than school off tomorrow.
Our poor oleanders are bowing under the weight of the ice. I hope the limbs don't break and that the trees fully recover. They are so pretty during the spring and summer!
So, as we snuggle around the fire and drink our hot chocolate, we keep an eye on the forecast. Which says that on Sunday it will be 60 degrees. Ha!
posted by Deeanne at 11:20 AM
Monday, January 15, 2007
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
In honor of today's holiday, I thought I would send you to a sight where you can read some of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s sermons. They are amazing. Have a great holiday and stay warm.
posted by Deeanne at 12:13 PM
Friday, January 12, 2007
My name is Deeanne Gist and I'm a 24
fanatic. Greg and I started watching 24 on DVD last year. Our Blockbuster carried seasons 1 - 4, so we started with 1 and had made our way through all 4 seasons by September. We absolutely loved it.
For those of you who never watched it, the show is centered around the CTU (Central Terrorist Unit). They are a branch of the government that try to stop any terrorist activity that threatens our country. What makes this different from some of the other shows, is that it is set in "real time."
In other words, the entire story takes place over a 24 hour period. In the first episode, CTU might hear of a threat on the President's life. Let's say that happens at 1:00 pm on a Tuesday. Well, then the first episode takes place from 1:00 - 2:00 pm on that Tuesday. (I'm not talking about air times here. I'm talking about the setting of the story.)
The next episode (showing a week later) will be what happens at CTU from 2:00 - 3:00 on that same Tuesday. There are 24 episodes in all, so the final episode takes place from 12:00 - 1:00 pm on Wednesday--a full 24 hours after the initial "threat" occurs. Does that make sense?
In any event, it is full of action and drama and nail-biting scenarios. You get attached to some characters, annoyed with others and disappointed with yet others. This past Tuesday (the 9th), Season 5 was released on DVD. I was at our Blockbuster when the doors opened.
Greg and I have watched 8 hours (or 8 episodes) already. Since Tuesday! How embarrassing is that?? We are in a dilemma now, though. Because at the rate we are going, we will be finished with Season 5 by the end of the month. And Season 6 starts up on TV this Sunday. (These HAVE to be watched in order. We can't start on Season 6 until we are through with Season 5. Nor can we jump in on Season 6 in the middle of everything without know what went on earlier.)
After much discussion last night, we decided we'd tape the episodes on video and watch them when we had the ability to fast forward through the commercials. In the meanwhile, I've gone back to Blockbuster this morning and picked up the next 8 hours of Season 5. Can't wait until tonight, so I can find out what happens next!
Are any of you 24 watchers? Are you all caught up? Are you watching the big 2-day, 4-hour premiere on Sunday and Monday? (On Fox)
posted by Deeanne at 12:32 PM
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
This is the last month I'll be able to say I have four teenagers because our 19 year old daughter will soon be turning 20. So, we are at the beginning of the end of the teenage years.
This daughter is away at college and will not be able to come home for her birthday, nor will we be able to go to her. So, she had us make her favorite meal and freeze it so she could take it with her (when she left after Christmas break--thus ensuring the tradition of getting the meal of her choice on her birthday. She chose a chicken-and-squash casserole.)
I enjoy shopping for the kids--even though it is right after Christmas. Mainly because we have had them make Christmas lists and Birthday lists since they were really little. They have become quite adept at it. So adept, that they will list what stores to buy the item at, how much it costs, where I can find it cheaper, an internet link in case I can't find it locally and even full color pictures of the item for clarification. Check out our daughter's list here. (The formatting went a little haywire when I uploaded, but you get the idea.)
Is that just a hoot? But, truly, it makes shopping so much fun. We actually have three birthdays this month. As of today, the kids are 19, 18, 17 & 15. By the end of the month they will be 20, 19, 17 & 16.
Wanna know something funny? I will actually have *two* 19-year-olds for about a week. Our second baby was born 6 days before his sister's 1st birthday, so they are the same age for six days of every year. Ha!
Well ... I'm off to the mall!
posted by Deeanne at 12:56 PM
Monday, January 08, 2007
New Bible Study
Ladies Bible Study starts up in two weeks. So, I browsed our church's website to see what studies they had to choose from this semester. I was all set to do something non-Beth Moore (since I just did Daniel and I knew they would be offering it again). Yet, lo and behold, they were offering Beth's Breaking Free.
I've heard so much about that study--how life changing it is. So, I'm tickled pink to be able to do it. And what's more (no pun intended), I get to do it with my brand new Bible. Over the holidays I finished transposing all my highlighted Scriptures and notes. I even glued an oversized envelope on the inside of the back cover so I'd have someplace to store my index cards (where I write the memory verse I'm working on that week/month) and where I can slip prayer requests.
So, I'm all geared up and ready to start. What about you? Are you doing a Bible study this semester?
Labels: beth moore, bible study
posted by Deeanne at 11:38 AM
Friday, January 05, 2007
As the kids grow older, the dynamics of our "family" vacations change. This summer, we went boating without our 18 year old son. This winter, it looked as if we would be going skiing without either of our boys. Since I go down the mountain in a zig-zag pattern and everyone else goes straight down, I long since quit skiing and simply bought a lift ticket so I could meet everyone at the top of the mountain for lunch. (Meanwhile, I shopped, did the spa, met them for lunch, shopped, did the spa ... you get the idea.)
So, when it became apparent that this year only the girls were going to be able to go, I suggested that Greg go with his brother instead of me. That way, the girls could ski together and Greg would have a skiing buddy, too.
I, meanwhile, stayed home and ... shopped, did the spa, met friends for lunch, shopped, did the spa ... you get the picture. ;-)
Well, I have to confess that when Greg and his little brother get together, they seem to pull out the worst in each other. So, as I packed the four of them in the car to send them on their way, the boys looked as if they'd just been given the golden ticket to the Wonka Chocolate Factory.
I peered into the backseat and firmly commanded the girls to make sure the boys behaved.
"Oh, we'll be good, honey. Won't we Phil?" Greg said.
Phil vigorously nodded. "Absolutely."
Greg winks at me, pulls the car door and just before it closes, he hollers, "PAR-TAY!!!"
Then *slam*, the door is closed and he is zooming out of the driveway.
I am happy to report, they all came home injury free and with many stories to tell (and some, I suspect, they didn't tell at all). I've included more of the photos they took on my Scrapbook page. I think our sons are now wishing they had gone along, too. Well ... there is always next year!
posted by Deeanne at 10:39 AM
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Happy New Year
I love the new year. It has such a "fresh start" feel to it--like taking a plate that has smears of A-1 sauce, bits of gristle, rivulets of steak juice and one more bite of ikky spinach, then holding it under a water faucet. Watching all the remains of my meal being whisked away, leaving a shiny, new plate just waiting to be filled with something new and fresh and wonderful.
As Christians, of course, we experience this kind of renewal internally on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. I guess that's why I'm a morning person. I love going through that process with the Lord every morning.
Anyhoo, standing at the precipice of a brand new year is so exciting. I looked at last year's resolutions to see how I did. They were:
Percentage wise, I didn't do too well. Only 50%--and that's if you don't count the fact that I had someone else organize my medicine cabinet. So, it got done, but not by me.
- Organize my pantry (with all those cool Tupperware containers)
- Organize my medicine cabinet
- Organize my closet
- Organize my arts & crafts closet
- Organize my sewing closet
- Organize my attic
Still, I did clean out my closet and it is still such a joy to go inside it. I organized my attic, though it gets all messed up this time of year until the transition from Christmas to back-to-normal has been completed. And I didn't clean out my arts & crafts closet, but I did set up a scrapbook room--which I am just *loving.*
So, that leaves this year. Obviously, I'd still like to accomplish what I didn't in 2006. So, right off the bat, my resolutions for 2007 will be:
Dare I stop there? No, this year, I'd like to add something a little more benevolent to my list. Something that benefits someone besides me. But it has to measurable. I've got it. I want to go on a mission trip. I've never been on one in my entire life and lately I've really had a desire to.
- Organize my pantry (with all those cool Tupperware containers)
- Organize my arts & crafts closet
- Organize my sewing closet
So, resolution number 4:
4. Go on a mission trip.
Okay. Your turn. What are your resolutions for 2007?
And by the way, welcome back. I missed you last week!
posted by Deeanne at 11:01 AM
Back to New Blog