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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm Going Naked!

Does anyone ever wonder why prices are going up everywhere around us except for our salaries? How can one afford to buy or pay for anything when we don't get raises, and in many cases, our pay is cut or we lose our jobs?

The state of the economy sucks these days. Each year, college tuition rises. Gas prices fluctuate on a daily basis (today, I saw a station that had gas for $3.19). Supplies go up all the time, especially the supplies I need for work. Even fast food restaurants have changed some of their prices.

I already owe a small fortune in debt. Like most Americans, I have a handful of credit cards. Each of those has a high balance on them, but since I was one of the unlucky ones to have my hours cut down at work and my pay when the economy took a nose dive, it's getting harder to get by without using a charge card. I just don't have the cash on hand anymore.

Lay offs and cut backs seem to be the norm these days, so I ask you, how come grocery stories, colleges, gas stations, restaurants, department stores, etc., aren't doing their part to help us poor losers who can't afford the rise in prices?

Businesses may be suffering -- boohoo, excuse me while I get out my handkerchief and wipe the tears away. The answer to their problems is to take all of our hard-earned money away and force us out of our homes. Well, I say RISE UP, good folks! Don't sit there and feel sorry for yourself. Let's do something about this economy and the rising of prices. If we don't, it could mean the end of all we know. Now that's something worth shedding a few tears for.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time ...

Just when I thought my Christmas was ruined and it was going to be a miserable time, a minute thing happened that made it all worth it. My niece and I had decided weeks ago to stop at IHOP after work on Christmas morning. It wasn't until a couple of days before Christmas that I decided even though my Christmas was going to suck, why not make someone else's day more pleasant? So we decided to leave our waitress with a hefty tip.

Unfortunately, things started off rough. We finished work around 5:30 am, but IHOP didn't open up until 6 am on Christmas morning. I still had one more present to get for Christmas. It was from my mom for my dog :-) However, 99% of the stores were closed in our area. We were heading back to IHOP and I came up with a brilliant idea. I wanted to try the Walgreens down the street. They are usually open 24 hours and have pet supplies. I hoped they would be open on Christmas morning.

To my surprise, they were open and what's even better was Channel 7 News was there reporting on last minute shoppers at one of the few stores open on that morning. The reporter asked to follow us around and then he interviewed us. We appeared on the news at 8 am that morning. Wow! That just about made my day.

But it wasn't the end to my newfound cheery disposition. We went to IHOP and did our thing. When we finished, we handed our waitress a $50 tip. There was one other waitress there. She had always waited on us before so we gave her a $30 tip. Both of them were genuinely surprised and gave us hugs. So we decided to leave $20 with the cook.

It was one of the greatest feelings in the world to bring joy to another human being and see the smiles upon their face. I guess it really is better to give than to receive.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Legend of the Christmas Spider

If you’ve ever gazed at the beautiful tinsel sparkling on your Christmas Tree and wondered who came up with idea of decorating the tree in this way, wonder no longer. According to German legend, it signifies a Christmas miracle from many years ago.

The day before Christmas, as the small house in Germany underwent its Christmas Eve cleaning, the resident spiders, not wanting to be swept up with the broom, hid in the attic. When nightfall came and all were settled into bed, the spiders crept downstairs. To their amazement, in the middle of the living room was a beautifully decorated Christmas Tree. They were so excited that they ran all over the tree. They scurried up the trunk and leapt from branch to branch. Unfortunately they had left their mark. A gray spider web now covered the whole tree.

When Weihnachtsmann, also known as Father Christmas, arrived he was amused to see the tree covered in spider webs. Now he faced a dilemma. The family would be disappointed to see their beautiful tree all wrapped in the webs, but the spiders were so pleased with their handiwork that he did not have the heart to take it down. What could he do?

He thought and thought and came up with a wonderful solution. He turned all the webs into beautiful shimmering silver strands. When the family awoke on Christmas Morning they ran to the living room and saw their tree sparking and glittering in the morning sun. Their delight was unsurpassed. They had never seen such a beautiful tree. Only the mother knew that a true Christmas miracle had occurred overnight.

From that day on tinsel became a treasured ornament for trees all over the world. Those who know the legend make sure that they give thanks to the industrious spiders by hanging a beautiful silver or gold spider ornament in a prominent location on their tree.

http://www.essortment.com/all/christmaslegend_rvao.htm

Books Now Available at Other Bookstores

Well, it finally happened. I just went to bn.com, booksamillion.com, and betterworldbooks.com, typed in Shelby Patrick, and both my books (When Angels Sing and The Fear Within) came up as available to purchase. How cool is that?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

when-angels-sing

Book Launch Successes and Failures

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2010/12/guest-post-my-book-launch/

Hmm, kind of sounds similar to what I had to go through -- expecting help but soon realizing I had to do most of it myself, running around like crazy the week of the book launch, and having to pay all the bills. I'm glad it worked out for him; unfortunately, I only had six people show up and I sold six books. Not much and definitely not much profit to cover my expenses, plus I had intended to donate a portion of sales to the Michigan Animal Rescue League. I wish I had had a larger turnout, but oh well...

Terry Cordingley: What It Means to Be a Professional Author

Terry Cordingley: What It Means to Be a Professional Author

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's Cold Outside!

Teachers, kids, and schools sure have it easy these days. When I was a kid (wow I'm old re-telling stories like my dad always did), we rarely ever got off from school. The only time our school was closed was if the power had gone out or we got snowed in. But that's it. Our schools never closed for cold weather. Everbody else has to deal with the cold -- people go to work, go shopping, go out to eat, etc. The reasoning behind school closings around here when the wind chill hits zero or below is that they don't want kids standing outside freezing to death while waiting for the bus. Okay, I can understand that, I suppose. Have they ever heard of winter clothes?

Why is it when it's cold out, kids can't wait for the bus, but they can play outside? How come the mail carrier has to endure the cold to deliver mail door-to-door? Why does the newspaper carrier have to go to work just so you can get the all-important local news? But kids and teachers can't go to school because it's cold outside? We live in a cold weather state, so deal with it.

I remember last year, during the winter months, tons of schools in the area were closed a lot. I don't know how the kids finished learning when their schools were off so much. But apparently that's okay. An education isn't as important as getting the day off -- because it's cold outside.

I hate the cold and I can't stand winter. I don't like driving in the ice and snow and I can't stand going out into the cold and shivering. If I could hibernate the entire winter, I would, but that's just silly. We can't do that. We just have to learn to live with the cold, as much as we might hate it.

I wish I could stay home from work when it's cold outside, but I can't do that either. I have a job and responsibilities. Just think about those poor emergency workers or auto insurance companies who have to deal with the many accidents that occur in the wintry cold months. They don't get off because it's cold.

Are adults expendable that they have to risk their lives and endure the cold while the youth of today get to snuggle up inside a cozy, warm house? Hmmm....