Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What Child Is This - Moody Blues

Did you know the Moody Blues did a Christmas album? Neither did I until I discovered this.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Little Drummer Boy

When I really thought about the lyrics of this song, it seemed so profound. The little drummer boy didn't think he had anything worth giving to a king, because he didn't have anything of great monetary value. All he had to give was his talent, and that was what pleased the Baby Jesus. All of us have some sort of a talent, and if we use it in service to the Lord, he will be pleased.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Baby Changes Everything - Faith Hill

It's a universal truth, known to mothers everywhere. A baby will change your life. Hallelujah!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Breathe of Heaven

The first time I heard this song, at a community Christmas concert a few years ago, it took my breath away. What a huge burden of responsibility Mary must have felt, to carry the Christ child. Surely she must have needed the comfort and reassurance of the Spirit constantly. I'm sure she had guardian angles around her at all times.

I believe we all have times when the burdens we have to bear seem too much. What I love about this song is the message of reaching out to God to help us do what we have to do, and even just to exist from day to day. "Help me be strong. Help me be. Help me." We have heavenly help available to us too, if only we will ask.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Wexford Carol - Alison Krauss and Yo Yo Ma

Just when I think I've found the most beautiful version of the Wexford Carol (last year), I find another even more lovely and haunting. Alison Krause has such a pure, lilting quality to her voice, and Yo Yo Ma is . . . Yo Yo Ma.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I Need a Silent Night

Do you ever feel like you just need to step away from all the holiday rush and take a breath?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

O, Come All Ye Faithful - Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Christmas Lights - Trans Siberian Orchestra

I'm really feeling lazy on this Saturday morning, and I have a "Too Much To Do List." Usually, I can get in gear with the right music. In December, that means Trans Siberian Orchestra.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Give This Christmas Away - Operation Christmas Child

Here's an opportunity to teach your children (and yourself) how wonderful it feels to share with those who are less fortunate. Operation Christmas Child is a project run by the Samaritan's Purse ministries to deliver Christmas gifts to needy children overseas. It's a simple thing to fill a shoebox with gifts to delight a child. Watch the video. You'll get the general idea. Then you can follow the link above to find instructions, gift suggestions, and dropoff locations.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pat-A-Pan (David Archulet and Orla Fallon)

Who would have thought to pair up Celtic Woman and David Archuleta? Okay, so this not exactly Celtic Woman. Orla Fallon (she's the one with the flaming red hair) who used to be a member of Celtic Woman had her own Christmas special this year and David Archuleta was one of her guests. This is the same arrangement of Pat-a-Pan that was on David's Christmas album last year. Orla is the backup singer prominently displayed over by the grand piano.

(Last December I posted a fan-made video for David's Pat-a-Pan that is one of the best I've ever seen. You can find it here.)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

One Last Christmas

This video will probably make you cry. Have your tissues handy, and don't say I didn't warn you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pearl Harbor Day

Somehow, I never really made the connection until now that the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred in December, so close to Christmas. It somehow makes it a little more poignant to think of all the servicemen who lost their lives, and their families back home who were probably getting Christmas packages ready to send before they heard the news.

For all those who have served or are currently serving in the military, thank you for all you are doing.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Where's the line to see Jesus?

A friend of mine sent me a link to this video and I planned to post it some time this week. Then I thought, wait a minute. This is the whole point. We've turned Christmas into the world's biggest birthday bash, and it is a lot of fun. But Christ is the reason we have Christmas. Maybe we should think about what he would like for his birthday. Here's a clue. Pull out your Bible. Read John 14:15. If you're not sure where to start, read John 21:15-17.

You can help spread the message, too. Wherever you are, there are probably radio stations playing Christmas music. Give them a call and request "Where's the Line to See Jesus" by Becky Kelly. It's on iTunes.

Silent Night - Jackie Evancho and Katherine Jenkins

Every time I hear Jackie Evancho sing, I am astonished at the huge mezzo-soprano voice that comes out of this little 10-year-old girl. In this performance of Silent Night, Jackie and Katherine Jenkins' voices are so well matched they sound almost like the same person singing both parts.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Lights - Coldplay

I just found this brand new Christmas video by Coldplay (the Viva la Vida guys). What do you think? A new Christmas classic? Okay, maybe not classic, but better than a lot of stuff I've been hearing on the radio.

(Oh, and sorry about the pop-up ad. It's a YouTube Vevo thing. Just close it.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hallelujah in the Mall

When I first saw the video of this flash mob in a mall, I thought it must be the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on a lunch break. But no, it is the members of Chorus Niagara at the Welland Seaway Mall in Ontario, Canada. They're really good! I would love to do something like this.

Mary's Boy Child - Bony M

This is my husband's favorite Christmas song, so I like to include it every year. This year I found a different video, from a television appearance in Germany (I assume, since the host is speaking German). Keep watching for the short bonus at the end.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas is Coming - and I'm Not Ready!

December just snuck up on me this year. And look at this blog, still all decorated for fall and Thanksgiving. I guess I've got a little work to do, to turn this into my Musical Advent Calendar again this year.

Let's get things started with the Muppets!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

So Much To Be Thankful For

I've heard a lot of arguments about Christmas taking over Thanksgiving. Should we put up the Christmas lights while the weather is still good, or hold out for the day after Thanksgiving? Should radio stations start playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving? Should I start listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving?

Part of the problem is that there is not a lot of recognizable Thanksgiving music. There are the good old hymns, like Now Thank We All Our God, that have been around forever. But most radio stations (other than BYU Radio) are not going to play old church hymns on a regular basis.

So in my campaign to keep Thanksgiving from being overshadowed, I went searching for more popular songs about thanks and gratitude. I came up with a surprisingly long list, ranging from pop to rock to gospel to country. But one of the best is found on Josh Groban's Christmas album Noel. (Go, Josh! Way to sneak one in there!) Here it is for your listening pleasure, with a really nice video by (Keep reading below the video for the rest of my Thanksgiving song list.)

Now some of these songs on my list are religious, and some are not.

Thank You - Led Zeppelin
Thank You - Sly and the Family Stone
Thank You - Dido
Thank You - Alanis Morisette
Thank You for Being a Friend - Andrew Gold
Thank You - Keith Urban
I Thank You - Sam and Dave
Thank You for Sending Me An Angel - Talking Heads
Thank You Girl - The Beatles
Thank You for the Music - ABBA
Thank You Song - Linvingston Taylor
Thank You Friends - Big Star
I Thank You - ZZ Top
Thank You - Ashanti
Thank You - Boyz II Men
Thank You for Loving Me - Bon Jovi
Kind and Generous - Natalie Merchant
Thank You - Simple Plan
Thank God I Found You - Mariah Carey
Thank You - Bleach
Thank You - Jamelia
Thank You Baby - Shania Twain
Thanks for the Memories - Bob Hope
Thanks for the Memories - Fall Out Boys
Gratitude - Paul McCartney
Thank You for Hearing Me - Sinead O'Connor
Thank You - Jay Z
Give Thanks and Praises - Bob Marley
A Thousand suns - Hey Rosetta
Be Thankful for What You've Got - William DeVaughn
Let the Day Begin - The Call
Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
Because You Loved Me - Celine Dione
Thankful Man - Trace Adkins
If Tomorrow Never Comes - Garth Brooks
Lucky Man - Montgomery Gentry
It's Good to Be Us - Bucky Covington
Last Day of My Life - Phil Vassar
I Hate Everything - George Straight
Good to Go - Jason Aldean
Blessed - Martina McBride
God Bless the Broken Road - Rascal Flatts
Thank God for the Road - The Flatlanders
Thank You for a Life - Kris Kristofferson
Lucky Stars - J. P. McDermott
Lucky - Pat Green
Happy to Be Here - Todd Snyder
Thanks - Chatham County Line
Everything is Fine - Josh Turner
But for the Grace of God - Keith Urban
Thank You World - The Statler Brothers
These Are the Good Old Days - Roy Rogers
I'll Thank You All My Life - Jean Shepard
Thanking the Good Lord - Merle Haggard
Thank God for Believers - Mark Chestnut
Thank God I'm A Country Boy - John Denver
Unanswered Prayers - Garth Brooks
It's a Great Day to Be Alive - Travis Tritt
A Satisfied Mind - Vince Gill
Thankful - Mary Mary
Thankful - Johnny Long (with Michael McDonald)
We Have Overcome - Israel Houghton and New Breed
The Color Green - Rich Mullins
Gratitude - Nichole Nordeman
Blessed and Highly Favored - The Clark Sisters
Thankful Boys and Girls - Billy Crockett
A Grateful People - Watermark
Thankful - Kelly Clarkson
You Raise Me Up - Josh Groban
For Good - Kristen Chenoweth

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

100 Things For Which I Am Thankful

Here's a new Thanksgiving meme. List 100 things for which you are thankful. Then tag 5 more bloggers to do the same. Here's my list.

1. The gospel of Jesus Christ.
2. My mother, who didn't just read to me. She showed me that she loved to read.
3. My father, who told me I could have anything I wanted, if I worked hard enough.
4. My husband, who tells me I look pretty even when I am at my worst.
5. My son, the genius.
6. My daughter, the other genius.
7. I live in an area some people dream of visiting at least once in their lives.
8. Chocolate. Duh!
9. Seven sisters.
10. One brother (poor, long-suffering guy).
11. The spouses of numbers 9 (most of the time) and 10 (always).
12. My 48 nieces and nephews.
13. My numerous great nieces and nephews, who are multiplying exponentially. I've lost count lately.
14. 5 great-great nieces and nephews. No, I'm not that old. My niece Vai is.
15. Attention deficit disorder. I am a master of brainstorming.
16. ADD meds, so I can get something done once in a while.
17. My day planner (which keeps me sort of organized, when I remember to use it).
18. Electricity.
19. Smooth pens.
20. Mechanical pencils.
21. LDS General Conference.
22. The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
23. The Holy Bible.
24. Genealogy.
25. Yak Tracks.
26. Modern medicine, without which I would not have a day job.
27. The internet, also without which I would not have a day job.
28. Personal computers, which are very useful when accessing the internet, and writing.
29. Blogging, wherein I give everyone my opinion, whether they want it or not.
30. Castle.
31. The new Hawaii 5-0.
32. The right to vote.
34. LDStorymakers annual writers conference, my right brain spa vacation.
35. David Farland's Daily Kick in the Pants.
36. Wood stoves and radiant heat.
37. Four seasons.
38. Especially summer.
39. Books.
40. Libraries.
41. Bookstores.
42. Internal combustion engines.
43. Words. They are so fun to play with.
44. The English language. It is so versatile. If you can't find a word to express what you mean, make up a new one (or just steal it from another language).
45. The French language. Vous ne pouvez pas inventer de nouveaux mots, mais qui s'en soucie. Parce que même le plus laid des mots sonnent si beau en français.
46. Vicks Nyquil.
47. Vicks Dayquil.
48. Puffs facial tissues with aloe and Vicks Vaporub. (Why yes, I recently had a bad cold. Why do you ask?)
49. Ibuprofen.
50. Excedrine.
51. A good night's sleep.
52. Facebook. It's a love/hate relationship.
53. Farmers.
54. Supermarkets.
55. Duct tape.
56. Macaroni and cheese.
57. Lasagna.
58. Pizza.
59. Edited movies.
60. Good friends I may not see for ages, but when we get together again it's like we were never apart.
61. Shadow the Cat.
62. Scoopable cat litter.
63. A decent WiFi connection.
64. Good music.
65. Specifically Journey (old incarnation).
66. And Mozart.
67. Dancing.
68. Zumba!
69. Holidays.
70. Snow days.
71. Cell phones. How did we survive without them?
72. MP3 players. Remember vinyl records? 8-track tapes? cassettes? CDs?
73. Jump drives. Remember floppy disks when they really were floppy?
74. Old Faithful.
75. Waterfalls.
76. Lavender aromatherapy.
77. Yerba mate.
78. Blue Delft.
79. Pretty much anything blue.
80. Big chunky sweaters.
81. Family reunions.
82. Meeting cousins I didn't know I had.
83. Automatic washings machines.
84. Peaches.
85. Wildflowers.
86. I can breathe without thinking about it.
87. Mostly good vision.
88. Reading glasses.
89. Other people who are willing to do the icky jobs.
90. Talents, mine and other people's.
91. Good neighbors.
92. Unbiased journalism. (That could be an oxymoron.)
93. A really good story.
94. Snow tires.
95. 100 watt incandescent light bulbs.
96. Daffodils.
97. Teachers who really care about their students.
98. Clean humor (like Ryan Hamilton and Humor U).
99. Digital cameras.
100. Indoor plumbing.

I tag:
Sue at MyEyeQ
Wendy at Goddess of the Corn
Danyelle at Queen of the Clan
Christine at Day Dreamer
Debbie at Debbie's Inkspectations

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day - In Gratitude

In the month of November we celebrate Thanksgiving. This month, I'm trying to ignore all the early Christmas merchandising, and think of what I am thankful for.

On my list of blessings I am thankful for are all the things that come as a benefit of being a citizen of the United States. I can belong to whatever religion I choose, or no religion at all. I can say whatever I want to say, write what I want to write, read what I want to read.

But all of these privileges have a price. It is the soldiers of the U.S. Military who have paid that price, from the Revolutionary War, right up to the war against terrorism that is going on now. So to all veterans, past, present, and future, I give thanks to you and for you.

In memory of PFC Jacob Hamilton Allcott. Born July 26, 1984, in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Killed in the line of duty April 22, 2006, Baghdad, Iraq.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Why I am Unfriending You on Facebook

Hello, my name is Marta, and I am a Facebook addict. I finally admitted the truth after my daughter staged an intervention.

"Mom," she said, as she saw me checking my home page (again), "You're on Facebook even more than I am."

It's true. In fact, I have more Facebook friends than both my teenagers combined. It takes time to keep up with all those status updates and pictures, and blog links, and YouTube links, and all the other links and likes and pages and events.

(But not the games. I don't play any of the games. I promised myself when I first created my Facebook profile that I would not get sucked into wasting my time on Farmville. I grew up on a farm. If I wanted a farm, I would buy live chickens. Oh, but a couple of my Facebook friends have real chickens, and they post about them once in a while, mostly when one is sick, or when they get out of the pen.

But I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah, my Facebook addiction.

My friend Tristi Pinkston convinced me to join Facebook in the first place. She's a writer (see her blog here) and she uses Facebook as a marketing and networking tool, along with fun and socializing. She was trying to reach 1,000 friends. (As I write this, she is up to 1, 339!) I thought, why not? Everybody is doing it. What could it hurt?

So I created my profile and sent Tristi a friend request. Then I friended my children and other relatives and former classmates and people from my online writer's support group. Other people were sending me friend requests. Facebook was constantly suggesting people who had several friends in common with me. I just wanted more and more.

It was the strangest thing. It was like I was a different person on Facebook, more outgoing, funnier. It sort of took away my inhibitions. I'd never been a talkative person, but now I was telling everybody I knew about silly things that happened during the day. I was commenting on other people's posts, too, and they were responding to my posts. It was fun, a little intoxicating. I even caved to a friend's pressure and posted a current picture of myself. And I HATE having my picture taken. Is there a word for pathologic avoidance of cameras? Photophobia? (No, that can't be it. That's a symptom of migranes.) But I digress.

After a while, Facebook began to rule my life. I had to check it first thing in the morning and before I went to bed at night. I logged on during my lunch break and took quick looks while I was supposed to be working. I didn't want to miss anything. I knew it was too much, but I just couldn't seem to resist. I tried setting limits for myself on how often I would look, or how much time I would spend. It would work for a while, but eventually I would give in.

Then I had a couple of wake up calls. There was my daughter's comment, which I mentioned above. I also listened to President Dieter F. Uchtdorf speak about "Things That Matter Most." I started to think about what was most important to me and how I was spending my time. There were large discrepancies. For instance, frittering away precious minutes and hours on Facebook, when I really want to FINISH THIS @!#$% BOOK. On my inventory, God, family, health, and writing are at the top of the list. Various friends and acquaintances are scattered all over the list, ranging from "hold on to this person for dear life" to "who is THAT and how did he/she get on my friend list?" Facebook, unfortunately, is down near the bottom of my list with Dancing with the Stars and Oprah and eating cotton candy. Fun, but not necessary.

And so, my dear Facebook friends, that is why I will be unfriending so many of you in the near future, unless you are a relative or one of a certain few friends who would be a relative had I had anything to say about your parentage or matrimonial choices. It is not personal, but it is necessary. Most of you, I will see at the next class reunion, the next writer's conference, or my next trip to the grocery store. I will still be blogging here. (Feel free to leave comments.) And I will be back on Facebook, as soon as I FINISH THIS @!#$% BOOK.

I am also still making and receiving phone calls, letters, e-mails, and text messages. What, like I'm supposed to go cold turkey on everything?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Good Mom/Bad Mom and the Zucchini Brownies

Good Mom hunted down her recipe and made daughter's favorite zucchini brownies for school activity.

Bad Mom broke news to son that brownies were not for family.

Good Mom got daughter to school activity on time.

Bad Mom forgot to take brownies.

Good Mom announced to son that brownies were for family after all.

Bad Mom had brownies for breakfast. They were good!

This recipe from makes the most gooey, decadent, and chocolaty zucchini brownie I have found so far.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Want to be part of a miracle?

(Okay, some of my readers may need a glossary of terms. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (nicknamed the Mormons). A ward is a local congregation. A bishop is the unpaid leader of a congregation. The Relief Society is my church's organization for women.)

I once had the chance to be an angel. Sort of an accessory, tag-along angel, but still, I was able to take part in a miracle. Oh, and I promised to keep some details and identities secret, so please excuse me for being a little vague here and there.

Back in college, I lived in a section of town affectionately called the "student slums," which was just off the south edge of campus and consisted of older apartments and even older houses. Most of us in our student ward were scraping by on grants and scholarships and part-time jobs, which is why we lived in some of the cheapest student housing to be found.

One Sunday morning, a friend of mine pulled me into a top-secret meeting with the Relief Society presidency of our ward. She had discovered that another young woman in our ward, who was far away from home with no family support, had just encountered a financial disaster, through no fault of her own. It was only in the range of a few hundred dollars, but it might as well have been thousands. She was determined to deal with it herself, and trying to save all she could from her part-time job. But, unless she dropped out of school to work more hours, it would be months before she could save up what she needed.

My friend had an idea of how we could help this girl. She told the Relief Society president her plan. The Relief Society president ran it past the bishop, who thought it was a wonderful idea, and told her to go for it. The plan was for those few of us who knew the plan to pair up and visit all the members of our ward. Our script was something like this: "There is a member of our ward with a financial need. If everyone in the ward could contribute just one dollar, it would be enough to take care of it."

We began with a prayer, then went on our errand. The response we got from everyone was amazing in its consistency. In the women's apartments, each one ran to get her purse. In the men's apartments, each one immediately reached back and pulled out his wallet. No one told us no. A few people weren't home, but others managed to sneak in a larger donation, so in the end we had just a little more than what was needed.

After we finished the collection, the next stop was the recipient's apartment. We explained what we had done and that only those few of us in the room with her knew who the money was for. As we handed her the very fat envelope of dollar bills, she burst into tears and thanked us profusely. She had prayed desperately for help with this problem, and this was how God answered her prayers. Our little group was humbled and thrilled that we had been God's hands in giving one young woman a miracle.

Again, I can take no credit for what happened, other than walking from apartment to apartment and giving that little speech. God touched the heart of my friend when she saw the need of someone else and gave her the idea of how all of us could help. My friend followed through on that inspiration, and dragged me along to help.

Why am I telling this story so many years later? Another friend of mine is now trying to help her sister and brother-in-law, who have a financial need. This family has had one disaster after another, and were in danger of losing their home. They are doing everything they can think of to earn extra money, but they need help. You can follow THIS LINK to read all about it. If enough people can give just a little, one family's prayers will be answered.

That's how God works most of the time, you know. He whispers to us, "Look, here is someone who needs your help." Then it's up to us to follow through. So here's your chance to be part of a miracle.

Friday, June 18, 2010

What would you do with 40 extra hours?

Starting Monday, I am taking 5 days of forced vacation. I've acrued enough paid personal leave with my job that my employer insists I "use it or lose it" by the end of June. I'm going to have an extra 8 hours of free time every day for a week. Wow. That's almost as good as someone dropping me off at Barnes and Noble with a $1000 gift card.

So my dilema is, what do I do with all this free time? I could fritter away the whole week sleeping in, catching up on my "books to be read" pile, taking afternoon naps, and watching inane reality TV on cable. But I don't want to get to the end of the week and wonder where it went.

Should I duct tape myself to my chair and do nothing but write? Should I hack my way through the jungle that is supposed to be our yard and garden? Should I dive into some of those household cleaning and organizing projects that just never seem to get done? I suppose I could spend some time preparing three balanced meals for my family every day. But that might be too much of a shock to their systems. I'd better be careful with that one.

I need to come up with a plan.

What would you do with all that free time?

Monday, February 1, 2010

True Courage

I went to a Young Women's program with my daughter last night. One of the speakers was Lisa Carter from West Yellowstone. Her topic was courage. She had been discussing this at a family gathering and asking for opinions.

Her older sister, who has gone back to college, said, "I think it takes courage to go back to school at 53."

Lisa's daughter piped up, "I think it takes courage to go to school at 50 below."

They never, never cancel school because of weather in West Yellowstone.

I'm torn between feeling like a whimp because I don't like to go outside if it is below freezing and feeling smart for not living in West Yellowstone.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Earthquake in Haiti - What can you do?

As I see the images coming out of Haiti after the devastating 7.0 earthquake of January 12, I have that feeling again. It's the same feeling I had while watching the devastation in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and the ruins of the twin towers after 9/11. I want to do something to help. What I can afford to donate seems so little, and a little impersonal. I wish I was there, digging survivors out of the rubble. I could pass out food and water. I know some basic first aid, and I'm not sqeamish about blood.

But the truth is, I'd probably just be in the way of the doctors and aid workers and experienced search and rescue teams. And the money I would spend just to get there would be put to better use as a donation to an organization already providing relief. There are three groups I am positive would put donations to good use.

There's the Red Cross. They have local chapters everywhere. Call to find out how you can donate blood or money, or both.

There's a group called Doctors Without Borders. They get medical teams who can provide quality care to the places they are needed the most.

There is also my personal choice for donations, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church has already sent emergency supplies, personal hygiene kits, and newborn supplies from the neighboring Dominican Republic. This weekend, two planes carrying 80,000 pounds each of food and emergency resources such as tents, tarps, water filtration bottles and medical supplies will take off from Denver and Miami. A planeload of volunteering doctors will leave soon from Utah. A meetinghouse in Port-Au-Prince, which was mostly undamaged, will be converted to a temporary medical center.

I have participated in church activities where we put together the hygiene kits I mentioned above. They each contain two combs, four toothbrushes, one tube of toothpaste, two bars of soap and two hand towels in a heavy duty one-gallon sealable bag. These are collected and stored until they are needed, like now.

But perhaps the most important thing I could do, from my safe, comfortable home in the Rocky Mountains, is to pray for the people of Haiti.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Oooooh, Shiny!

In the winter I walk around in a semi-mummified state. Since we live in a high desert, it's very dry and cold outside. In our house we heat with a wood stove and electricity, which produces dry heat. You've seen movies where somebody suddenly dries up, crumbles into powder, and blows away in the wind. I'm not quite there yet, but close. I can slather on the lotion and moisturizers, which help, but as soon as I wash my hands the protective covering is gone and I feel myself withering away. (And my age has nothing to do with it, so don't even go there!)

For Christmas, I received an industrial-sized bottle of Olay Quench body lotion. (Keep reading, this isn't a paid ad or anything.) I tried it and it worked beautifully. My hands felt very soft without feeling greasy. So the next time I washed my hands . . . my skin was still soft! Whatever they put in this stuff works miracles.

A few days later I was typing on the computer. I do a lot of that, you know. The bottle was sitting on my desk and I put a little more on my hands. As I was holding my hands up and once more marvelling at the results of this miracle in a bottle, I noticed little sparkles. My hands were reflecting the light! It was like body glitter, but much more subtle and nearly microscopic. What in the world did they put in that lotion?

A quick check of the back of the bottle gave me the answer with the last ingredient on the list. Mica. It's a rock. It's very shiny and soft, for a rock, and you can peel it into extremely thin layers, and apparently grind it up into tiny shiny particles. Yep, I took a geology class in college so that I could identify ingredients in my hand lotion. I can also identify quartz and obsidian, also very shiny. I don't remember much else from that class. Most rocks are dull and just, well, rocks. Although there was this one very cute guy in my class . . . But I digress.

So I'm thinking, why are the advertising people not all over this? A lotion that makes your skin sparkle in the light? With the current Twilight craze, their sales could go through the roof! (Vampires are now sparkly. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, ask a teenage girl.) Maybe I should contact the company. I wonder if they work with freelance writers?