Friday, February 29, 2008

Motivating the Younguns'

Hello again from the Deep South!

Here in Louisiana our children are gearing up for the state standardized tests. As a third grade teacher I have been intensely prepping my students for the dreaded i-Leap for nearly two months. This week, for the first time, I am finally seeing some results. (Thank goodness, since the dreadful test is in two weeks). Personally, I'm not a fan of such tests, but since no one ask me my opinion I'm obligated to administer the monster to my innocent third graders. Wish us luck! (We're going to need it. LOL).

As a reprieve from continuous test practice, we were honored with a guest speaker at our school today. Robert Little is a motivational speaker that visits schools and events across the nation to motivate and encourage young children. He is also a children's book author. So, today, my students and my six-year old son ( he also went to his school) were able to attend their first book signing! They were thrilled and so was I. Our school library also purchased copies of his four children's books so the children would be able to check them out at leisure.

Since, I'm a romance writer, teacher and single mother, I dutifully sent money with my child so he could purchase his own copy of one of Robert's books. I thought I'd share his choice with you. We are now the proud owners of a signed copy of Robert Little's Grandma's Biscuits.
Grandma's Biscuits by Robert Little
The art and text together in this beginning reader book, Grandma's Biscuits, convey the fondness of a young boy for his grandma's biscuits. More importantly, it shows the love and bond between a grandmother and grandson.
Since my son has a special bond with his own grandparents, I thought he made a wonderful choice!
Tamelia Tumlin

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Blessings from the Top of the Tree

A few days ago, we had a pretty rough windstorm—pretty rough for around these parts, anyway. Not anything approaching tornado severity, but enough to knock down a few trees, tear off a bunch of roof tiles and stir up some pretty nasty allergies.

My husband, Johnny, has severe lung problems, so winds have become something to dread. They often bring on a week or so of tough times for him.

This morning, Aunt Vera dropped by our place, her arms piled high with three plastic grocery bags. All of them were stuffed full of pecans from her trees.

“They were all over my yard, after that wind the other night,” she announced. “I had to do something with them, and I know how Johnny loves pecan pies.”

All of the nuts within her reach on the trees had been harvested prior to the storm. These little gems came from the upper branches, the ones she couldn’t get to. “I guess they would have stayed up there until they rotted without that wind,” she said, with a wry little shake of her head. "I always hate to think of all that waste!"

After Aunt Vera left, I looked at those three bags of snacking nuts—three bags stuffed full of potential pies and other delectable desserts—and I saw them through new eyes. They were the fruits of the storm—blessings from the top of the tree. Good things beyond our reach.

God just has a way of shaking them loose and raining them down all around us!

In future, I hope I can remember to look at the storms of life differently, as well. During the blizzard, it’s hard to see anything but toppled trees and destruction to property. It’s difficult to look past the blowing garbage and allergic reactions.

While the wind’s blowing, it’s almost impossible to remember that after the storm, God always sends a rainbow. After the winds and the rain, we reap the sweet-smelling, clean air and sunshine.

After He tries us, He showers us with good things…the very things we couldn't have before.

After the storm, we get the blessings from the top of the tree!

Proverbs 10:6 - Blessings are upon the head of the just…

By Delia Latham

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Will trade kidney for book deal.

Like many creative types, I often get depressed. Not severe depression, but I get the "blues" rather often. As far back as I can remember, I dwelled on things. At times when my mind is clear and I feel good about myself, I can experience negatives things such as criticism or make mistakes without much dwelling. But when I get depressed, I will dwell on the tiniest things forever. The only way I can describe it is re-living a moment over and over and over again.

I also dwell on my life situation and what I hope for in the future. My financial situation (like so many people) gets me down. We're like millions of Americans who can pay our bills, but we live paycheck to paycheck with no end in sight. If we ever received a lump sum of $15,000 or more or if we had $200-300 extra month, we could pay off one of those large debts. Then the dominoe effect would begin. We would use the money from that bill to pay off the next and so on. The solution is so simple - and yet so unattainable - that it makes me sick. Every time I hear about a celebrity dropping $20K on a dress, it makes it worse. That dress, that the celebrity will only wear once, could make a life-changing difference for my family.

With all this in mind, I desperately search the internet for ligitimate ways to make extra money. So far, I haven't found one. I've seriously considered donating blood plasma, but the only center within 100 miles of me is 45 minutes away in Tyler, Texas and they don't offer childcare. I could make $200/month there, but I would just spend it on gas and babysitters, so that won't work. I can't get a second job because childcare would take most of the money I would make.

And to top it all off, any job I get to make money to help my financial situation would take time away from my writing.

What I would really love is to make money

So I've been dwelling again. I got on the internet and did a search for ways to make money...without a computer, thinking that would filter out all the internet schemes. I got some interesting results. I thought I would share a few with you.

1. Mentioned before, you could donate blood plasma.
2. There are many sales options: Mary Kay, Avon, Ignite Energy.
3. You could also offer a talent or skill, such as dance lessons, tutoring, or babysitting.
4. A second job, if your full-time schedule permits.
5. Ladies, you can sell your eggs...well, not really your eggs, but you can be compensated for your time.
6. Men, you can sell your "special men."

* Ever wonder why it's illegal for women to sell their eggs, but it's commonplace and perfectly legal for men to donate their sperm? *

Anyway, as I was sitting there - seriously contemplating selling my time (eggs) for money, I thought, "Why not a kidney?"


Now I'm thinking crazy.

But the real issue here is that I want a book deal sooo-ooo bad that I would trade my eggs for one. But probably not a kidney.

Does that make me crazy?


Wednesday, February 20, 2008


As a confessed CHOCOHOLIC, I thought a blog about addiction would be appropriate for the month of February - when people overdose on sweets.

Let's talk about addiction.I had a very unfortunate experience recently regarding a conversation about addiction and "accidental overdose." Addiction has three levels, in my opinion. Let me give you a rundown.

1st Level: Illegal Drugs

A big dose of tough love here. No such thing as an accidental overdose! Everyone, and I mean everyone, knows the difference between legal and illegal drugs. And unless you live under a ice block in Antarctica, you know that illegal drugs are addictive from the first use. You also know how dangerous they are and that death is a possibility every time you snort up, shoot up, smoke up or whatever. I really don't care how much you LOVE your favorite celebrity. If they died after use of an illegal drug, whether they intended to die that minute or not, it was NO ACCIDENT.

2nd Level: Prescription Drugs

Now this is a touchy subject for a lot of people. Prescription drugs are regulated, but often misused. Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem. It's also one that I think could lead to an accidental overdose. At the starting line of this race are the doctors who prescribe the drugs in the first place. Then there are the pharmacists who have a system that prevents people from mixing medications that might cause complications. And then there are the people who actually take the pills. Let's assume that the doctors explained the risks and procedures surrounding a particular prescription. Let's assume the pharmacists ran a check on all your outstanding prescriptions, and seeing no problems, explaining the risks and procedures surrounding a particular prescription. Then it's up to you. If you knowingly abuse a prescription medication, then an overdose is NO ACCIDENT. But if your doctor failed to explain things to you. Or if the pharmacists didn't pay attention to the 7 other medications you were taking, then there is a possibility of accidental overdose.

Case in point: Heath Ledger.


Either the system that doctors and pharmacists use for keeping track of people's prescriptions isn't that reliable or Heath Ledger did some lying. Maybe both. Either way, I seriously doubt that the doctors and pharmacists failed to explain the purpose and dosage of those medications.

I'm at a loss here. Are the doctors at fault for prescribing so many medications? Or was Heath at fault for abusing those medications? I think it's both in this instance. If he didn't have access to those medications, then he obviously wouldn't have had an overdose. But no matter how many medications you have, you should always follow the dosage instructions. That much is Heath's fault.

3rd Level: Over-the-Counter Drugs

Meth labs everywhere have shown the world first-hand how dangerous over-the-counter medicines can be when put in the wrong hands. I think that there are more "wrong hands" than it seems. My hands are wrong hands. Your hands are wrong hands. Any hands without a medical license are wrong hands.

Case in point, yours truly. When I was in high school, I started having problems with my allergies and sinuses. I was plagued with headaches every day of my life. One day, I went to the medicine cabinet to see what I could take for my headache. I reached in and grabbed the first pain reliever I saw: Ibruprofen. I hadn't heard anything about Ibruprofen. I just needed something for my headache. So I took the recommended dosage and it worked great. If I would have seen a bottle of Tylenol, I would have taken that. But Ibruprofen is what was available, so I took that. The next time I got a headache, I took the Ibruprofen. And the next time. And the next time. And the next time. Always taking the recommended dosage. When the bottle ran out, I bought another. And another. And another. Again, always taking no more than the recommended dosage. For 6 or 7 years, I took 3-5 doses of Ibruprofen within a 24-hour period for headaches, never thinking anything of it.Until I met my husband. He was the first person to notice how much Ibruprofen I went through. And he commented on how I bought a bottle almost every time we went to WalMart. He worried me so much that I went to an ear, nose, and throat doctor to see if he could figure out what the source of my headaches were. He asked a lot of questions. When he found out about my use of Ibrupprofen for headaches, he informed me that Ibruprofen is highly addictive. And that while I may have started taking it for legitimate headaches, the continued headaches were probably just cravings for more Ibruprofen. I weaned myself off of Ibruprofen and started taking Tylenol for headaches only when the pain was extremely bad.

Now, I still have severe allergies and chronic sinusitis. And I still wake up every morning with a headache and have frequent headaches throughout the day, but I've learned to treat my allergies and sinuses first and only take something for a headache if the pain persists.

I learned something very important from my ENT: that Ibruprofen is addictive. It doesn't say that on the bottle. I learned something else from him, too. That Ibruprofen is an anti-inflammatory and shouldn't be used for headaches. Tylenol is a general pain reliever and non-addictive. Ibruprofen should only be taken for inflammation. But inflammation can only be diagnosed by a health professional.

What the-!?!Am I crazy, or should Ibruprofen even be on the OTC market?

The point I'm trying to make is that OTC medications are not regulated, promote self-diagnoses, and are VERY dangerous. My advice is to talk to the pharmacist before you take anything OTC. And always follow the recommended dosage. And if you find yourself taking OTC pills for a recurring problem, go see a doctor to find the source of the problem. Don't get in the habit of treating and treating and treating your symptoms.

Overdose on OTC? It happens. Sometimes it's an accident. Sometimes it's not. Again, unless you live under an ice block Antarctica, you should know better than to take an entire bottle of anything. Or even a handful. But I do believe an accidental overdose if possible at this level.

Well, you heard my LENGTHY thoughts. Now tell me what you think.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Caution: Cherub on the Loose!

Okay, so I couldn't let the month go by without some bow to the traditional hearts-y holiday. Now I could have been lazy and just made a couple of changes to my newsletter editorial for this month and reprinted it here, but ... Applause, please! ... I didn't. I slid my rear into the chair, glued my fingers to the keyboard, pasted my eyeballs on the monitor and came up with something. Amazing how, as one's marriage matures, it becomes harder to find something new to say about Valentine's Day. My marriage is quite mature - come the 22nd of this month, it'll be 34 years old. So, yeah, we've probably said everything there is to say over the years, but ... what's the harm in saying them all again, huh? Huh?

Anyway, here's my concession to the love month. Hope you enjoy it!

Caution: Cherub on the Loose!

Hearts made of paper, and cardboard, and gold;
Hearts on a chain, in a ring … hearts to hold.
Hanging in windows and taped to the doors,
What in the world is this heart fever for?

It keeps coming ‘round, second month, every year -
Heart fever, lovesickness, and plenty to spare!
They say a small cherub, with romance at heart,
Shoots love-poisoned arrows and deadly heart-darts.

He’s dangerous, this Cupid! Beware his dead aim!
Once hit by his ammo, you’re never the same.
He’ll turn a strong heart into soft, melty mush,
You’ll whisper “I love you,” when you should just hush.

Be careful of chocolates this time of the year,
They’re filled with some magic, not what they appear.
Steer wide and steer clear of the ones in red hearts –
Their power is awesome, a real work of art!

Don’t dare open cards, not on Valentine’s Day –
They cast quite a spell with the words that they say.
Unless you’re prepared for a time of romance,
Just leave them unopened – don’t take the chance!

But if, on the other hand, love is your goal,
Then eat all the chocolates your tummy can hold!
Hang up paper hearts – make them red, pink and white.
Find someone you care for and hold on real tight.

Give in to heart fever, let in the love bug -
Be sappy, be happy, give affectionate hugs.
Find someone real special and hasten to say,
“I love you! Be mine! Happy Valentine’s Day!”

by Delia Latham

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cupid's Confessions

Meet Cupid

Cupid , the delightful cherubic imp sporting a blindfold and bow and arrow, is the Roman God of Love.

His mission? To pierce unsuspecting victims with his arrow and make them fall in love. Even the hardest of hearts is no match for the son of Venus. And guess what ladies? You’re next on his list!

Luckily, I was able to wrangle an interview out of the cheerful cherub to find out some of his secret weapons. Here’s a few to get your Valentine’s Day off to a great start.

Top 10 Most Romantic Movies

1. Titanic
2. When Harry Met Sally
3. Gone With the Wind
4. How to Lose A Guy in Ten Days
5. Casablanca
6. Sleepless in Seattle
7. You’ve Got Mail
8. Pretty Woman
9. An Officer and A Gentleman
10. Hitch

Top 5 Most Romantic Songs

1. Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers
2. Truly, Madly, Deeply- Savage Garden
3. I Will Always Love You- Whitney Houston
4. Take My Breath Away- Berlin
5. Don’t Want to Miss A Thing- Aerosmith

Top 5 Valentine Gifts

1. Picture Show- Have a trusted friend take several pictures of you (The rating is up to you). These can be color or black and white. Create a slide show for your sweetheart.

2. Candy Confessions- Buy several snack size candy bars or candy packets. Type personal notes about why you love your sweetheart. Punch a small whole into each bag/bar and tie the notes to each piece of candy. Place all of the candy with your confessions in a heart-shaped container.

3. Temptation Treasure Hunt- Leave several love notes on heart-shaped paper around the house. Each note will be a clue to the next until he reaches the last one which will of course lead to you- holding a box of chocolates, his favorite movie and a smile.

4. Relaxing Massage- Turn off the lights. Light several candles. Place rose petals on the bed and prepare to give your better half a relaxing massage. Of course, our significant other can return the favor. Loose muscles lead to a light heart.

5. Cupid's Getaway- In advance arrange for both you and your sweetheart to be free of children and off from work. Blindfold your sweetie and take him/her on a romantic getaway for the night. A child-free relaxing weekend might be just what you need. Take in a hike, a picnic or whatever your heart desires.

And last, but certainly not least, Cupid advises that you “Have fun and rediscover the reasons you fell in love in the first place.”

So ladies, there you have it. Straight from Cupid’s mouth. Secret weapons that bring two people together forever. Have a great Valentines Day!

By: Romance Author Tamelia Tumlin
Prince of Thieves- Available on Amazon
For Better or For Worse- Coming soon from The Wild Rose Press
Her Royal Protégé’ - Coming soon from Red Rose Publishing

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Disney Trivia

Update: Apparently, these cool trivia games are sponsored by a dating service, and the pre-made HTML they gave me only leads to their dating site. Soooo...copy and paste this address into your browser instead:

Then scroll down to the bottom, where you can find the CORRECT links to all the fun quizzes that I posted on this site.


Think you got all your crowns in row? Take this Disney Princess (and prince) quiz!

I done pretty good, huh?

Trust me, it's harder than you think!


Are you a Geek?

Update: Apparently, these cool trivia games are sponsored by a dating service, and the pre-made HTML they gave me only leads to their dating site. Soooo...copy and paste this address into your browser instead:

Then scroll down to the bottom, where you can find the CORRECT links to all the fun quizzes that I posted on this site.Sorry...DeLyn

Call me strange. Call me odd. But don't call me a Geek! I took the Geek Quiz, and found out that I am only 18% geek. There are many layers to Geek-dom and walking down the halls of your high school while reading an Anne Rice novel isn't the only factor. Ha! So there!

18% Geek

Are you a Geek or just...creative?


Moon Survival Challenge

Update: Apparently, these cool trivia games are sponsored by a dating service, and the pre-made HTML they gave me only leads to their dating site. Soooo...copy and paste this address into your browser instead:

Then scroll down to the bottom, where you can find the CORRECT links to all the fun quizzes that I posted on this site.Sorry...DeLyn

Well, it's official. I will NEVER work for NASA. I took the moon survival challenge and failed with an F!


Would you survive a crash landing on the moon?


Who's Linking to Me?

Update: Apparently, these cool trivia games are sponsored by a dating service, and the pre-made HTML they gave me only leads to their dating site. Soooo...copy and paste this address into your browser instead:

Then scroll down to the bottom, where you can find the CORRECT links to all the fun quizzes that I posted on this site.


Ever wonder who has a link to your blog? With this tool, you can find out. I don't know if they have one for websites. This one is for blogs only. But it's so cool. I found out that I have a lot of love forUpdate: Delia, who has a link to my blog on her website.

Be warned, you could find out just how UNPOPULAR you are! Hehehe!


The Death Report

Update: Apparently, these cool trivia games are sponsored by a dating service, and the pre-made HTML they gave me only leads to their dating site. Soooo...copy and paste this address into your browser instead:

Then scroll down to the bottom, where you can find the CORRECT links to all the fun quizzes that I posted on this site.


More fun for February...

In this activity, you type in your birthday, and they tell you who died on the day you came into this world. Not that I am promoter of all things morbid, but as a creative person, I do enjoy all things odd.

I was born March 15th. Here is a list of people who died on that day. The only one I knew about was Julius Caesar.

2007 - Charles Harrelson, American hitman and father of Woody Harrelson
2007 - Bowie Kuhn, American commissioner of baseball
2006 - Red Storey, Canadian football player and hockey referee
2006 - George Rallis, Prime Minister of Greece
2005 - Shoji Nishio, Japanese martial artist
2005 - Bob Bellear, Australian judge
2004 - John Pople, English chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
2004 - Sir William Pickering, New Zealand-born space scientist
2003 - Dame Thora Hird, British actress
2001 - Ann Sothern, American actress
1998 - Benjamin Spock, American pediatrician and writer
1997 - Victor Vasarely, Hungarian painter
1997 - Gail Davis, American actress
1994 - Mai Zetterling, Swedish actress and director
1991 - Bud Freeman, American jazz musician
1990 - Tom Harmon, American football player and broadcaster
1990 - Farzad Bazoft, Iranian-born journalist (hanged)
1989 - Muhammad Jameel Didi, Maldivian poet
1988 - Dmitri Polyakov, Soviet double-agent
1983 - Rebecca West, English writer
1981 - René Clair, French film director
1977 - Hubert Aquin, Quebec novelist, political activist and editor
1977 - Antonino Rocca, Argentine professional wrestler
1975 - Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate
1972 - Aleksandr Ivanovich Laktionov, Russian painter
1970 - Tarjei Vesaas, Norwegian writer
1966 - Abe Saperstein, American basketball executive
1962 - Arthur Compton, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
1959 - Lester Young, American musician
1957 - Ernst Nobs, Swiss Federal Councilor
1951 - John S. Paraskevopoulos, Greek-born astronomer
1941 - Alexej von Jawlensky, Russian painter
1937 - H. P. Lovecraft, American writer
1914 - Jalaleddin Ali Mir Abolfazl Angha, Sufi master
1898 - Henry Bessemer, English metallurgist
1891 - Joseph Bazalgette, English civil engineer
1891 - Théodore de Banville, French writer
1849 - Giuseppe Caspar Mezzofanti, Italian cardinal and linguist
1842 - Luigi Cherubini, Italian composer
1820 - Clemens Maria Hofbauer, patron saint of Vienna (b. 1751
1711 - Eusebio Kino, Italian Catholic missionary
1701 - Jean Renaud de Segrais, French writer
1673 - Salvator Rosa, Italian painter and poet
1670 - John Davenport, Connecticut pioneer
1644 - Louise Juliana of Nassau, Regent of Bohemia (born 1576)
1575 - Annibale Padovano, Italian composer
1536 - Pargalı İbrahim Pasha, Grand Vizer under Suleiman the Magnificent
1416 - John, Duke of Berry, son of John II of France
1311 - Walter V of Brienne, Duke of Athens
1145 - Pope Lucius II
493 - Odoacer, King of Italy (murdered) (b. 435)
220 - Cao Cao, King of Wei (b. 155)
44 BC - Julius Caesar (b. 100 BC)

137,760 People

Who died on your birthday?


How Many Five Year Olds Could You Take in a Fight?

Update: Apparently, these cool trivia games are sponsored by a dating service, and the pre-made HTML they gave me only leads to their dating site. Soooo...copy and paste this address into your browser instead:

Then scroll down to the bottom, where you can find the CORRECT links to all the fun quizzes that I posted on this site.


On the radio this morning, the DJs took a quiz to find out how many five year olds they could take in a fight. Now I know this sounds morbid at first, but just think about this as just figurative and for fun. I teach Kindergarten, so I know first-hand that five year olds are nothing to be taken lightly. I go into my classroom everyday knowing that I am outnumbered. I maintain control, but if those kids decided to overthrow me, they could do it easily. After taking the quiz myself and discovering that just 12 of them could do it, I'm scared than ever! : ) Here's my results. Take the quiz, if you dare...


Tamelia, I'm particularly interested in your result. Let me know.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Diet Dillusions...

This has nothing to do with writing, but February is getting off to a slow start, so I thought I would post something. Why not something funny? Here are some of my favorite diet dillusions:

1. If you think the calories you burn while opening the packaging are enough to justify eating a big slice of pie, you might have diet dillusions.

2. If you think eating small bites means fewer calories, you might have diet dillusions.

3. If you think it's okay to eat entire chocolate cake as long as the rate in between bites is atleast 1 hour, you might have diet dillusions.

4. If you think you can eat whatever want as long as the sun shines over your right shoulder, you might have diet dillusions.

5. If you think dieting is as simple as knowing your colors (stay away from white and bulk up on green), you might have diet dillusions.

On the flipside, here are some DECADENT Diet DOs:

1. Chocolate really is good for you. In small amounts, the flavanoids in dark chocolate cocoa help prevent heart disease.

2. Yogurt contains live cultures that aid in digestion. Yum!

3. Red wine is rich in antioxidants that are good for your heart. But the rule with this one is 1 glass a day with a meal.

Well, thanks for stopping by. I'm working on a BIG project for the blog right now, so come back soon!