Thursday, July 7, 2011

Moving My Blog

Hi followers,

I'm moving my blog to a different account.  It will still be Alfabet Soup and I will be more active with it.  The blog address is slightly different, though.  Please continue to follow me here!
I hope you'll come along.  :)


Friday, June 24, 2011

Book Spotlight: Die For Me

Over the last year or so I've had the pleasure of following a then-aspiring author on her journey toward publishing her first book.  It began simply when I started following her personal blog, Chitlins and Camembert.  I became interested at first because she happens to live in a place full of romantic notions, ancient history, and plenty of inspiration for an author - France.  One of my favorite places on earth.

As I began to look around online for groups that I could join to develop my own writing, I noticed her in several places that I was beginning to frequent.  I "friended" her on Facebook and a couple of other sites.  I wasn't a stalker, really.  But she represented something that I wanted for myself.  To live in France and publish my first book.

Being an aspiring author myself, I shared in her excitement and rejoiced with her when she received that first phone call, "We would like to purchase your book."  Any writer's dream call!  I've enjoyed reading her blog posts about the incredible journey since that fateful call.

And now, her first book, Die For Me, is out!  I've just finished reading it on my cool new Nook Color (thanks Mom!).  What a read it was, too!  Vincent is the all-around cool, sexy, gorgeous guy who just happens to be immortal.  And Kate is the heroin that we all believe ourselves to be - a little scared and unsure, but in the end, worthy of an endless love.

This is not your typical girl-falls-for-the-immortal love story.  No, no.  These immortals are different; they are revenants....but you'll have to read it for yourself to find out more.

I highly recommend it!  Five Stars!

Way to go, Amy!  Congratulations on your success.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Coffee made from feces?

Today on Fox News online, there was an article about Kopi Luwat.  This is a coffee bean made from the feces of the civet, a small animal found mostly in Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.  Here's the article:

"Kopi Luwak is the world’s most expensive type of coffee, which sounds pretty good…until you hear how it is made.

Instead of being picked off of coffee plants, the beans are gathered from the droppings of a small mammal called a civet. Found primarily in Indonesia, Vietnam and The Philippines, the civet eats raw coffee berries, digests the outer pulp and passes the beans in its feces, which look something like a PayDay candy bar.

Apparently, enzymes and other chemicals in the animal's digestive tract react with the protein in the beans, eliminating much of the bitterness present in most coffees and creating a highly appealing flavor, despite how it came to pass.

Dried, thoroughly cleaned - we're told - and then roasted, Kopi Luwak can cost upwards of $3,000 a pound for the finest varieties, although more typical beans can be found for around $300 at a number of retailers like Porto Rico in New York City and

Just want a tasteFunnel Mill Rare Coffee and Tea in Santa Monica, California will sell you one for $73.50.

But even if it you were offered it for free, would you drink it?"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

An addition to the Bucket List

I figured I would eventually come up with some other items for my Bucket List.  So far, since the 14th, I've only had time to come up with one more, but I think it's pretty significant.  With the recent happenings with our beloved James gone missing and the search for him everyone's mind has been preoccupied with that, including mine.  Over the past several days I have seen such an outpouring of love, concern, and encouragement from the young people in our community.  I say "young people" because I can't seem to count the number of teens who have rallied together to pray for the Eunice family and to worship God in the midst of their sorrow.  But, there are adults, too, of course, and I see them offering such comfort to anyone who seems to need it.  I want to be like that.

So often, I am paralyzed by fear.  Fear of rejection, fear of the unknown.  But, James brought this to light for me in his writing of April 2010 when he stated that sometimes God gives him a little nudge toward someone, but then he puts it off.  He encourages us to stop stalling.  So, paralyzed or not, I'm going to begin to reach out to people despite my fears.  I think this is God's test and James' challenge for me.  And, if we are truly God's children, how can we do otherwise?  I think that's what James was trying to say.

How about you?

As of this morning, the community is still searching for this beloved young man.  Will you add yours prayers with ours?

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Tribute to James Eunice

The young man who went missing two days ago lives on.  He lives on in his message to us that he wrote in April 2010.  Take heed, take heart.  God knows the plan.

by James Eunice, April 2010

"Take time to love someone. Today, Tomorrow, For the rest of your life. Because when that unexpected day comes that they pass on, you'll be left wondering what you could've done better. How you could have made them feel more welcome, and show that you do care for them. Don't wait until it's too late like I did. Show the love that Jesus has for you to everyone you see. Let your heart break for what breaks His. Christ is enough. Let Him show you life. You never know who He may touch through you. It is so sad that it takes a tragedy like this to comprehend how our days are numbered. Only He knows. Keep your faith in Him. He will bless you beyond belief. Our job is right now. This very second. So often, God gives me a little nudge towards someone.. and I put it off until the next day.. and then the next and then the next. Stop stalling. God put us on this earth for HIS glory. Not ours.. and so many times, the things I do always point back to me and my stupid self righteousness. So do something with me. Everyone. If this just touches one person, I will have done my job. Don't stall. Judgement is a heart beat away."

Stop Bullying

While watching Cartoon Network - which, by the way, I don't normally allow my children to watch - a couple of commercials came on about bullying.  Bullying has been brought to light in everyones' minds in recent years with the violence of school shootings.  The commercials suggested we check out the following site, so I did.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tragedy and Hope

Yesterday the community where I live was delivered a hard blow.  The 17 year old son of a beloved family from my church went missing.  He had been duck hunting on a local lake with a friend.  The two apparently separated and when the friend came back, James' boat was empty but still running.  No one knows what has happened to him.  Searchers have been working around the clock since 2pm yesterday.  Our church and community has rallied together to pray hard for this young man and his family.

My reason for this blog post is twofold.  One, to reach out to others out there who will join us in praying for James.  He is (I refuse to say "was") so loved within our church.  He is only 17 but has already impacted so many lives.  My own teenage daughters were impacted by him and left better for his presence in their lives.

My second reason for this post is simply for selfish reasons.  I don't know James on a very personal level, but I know him through my girls and have talked to him several times on Wednesday nights at youth group.  He is hard to miss.  A very tall young man with a personality to match.  I've never seen him with anything but a smile on his face and love in his heart for those around him.  But, even though I don't know him personally, his disappearance has left a huge hole in me.  I cannot think about him and his circumstances without tears coming.  He epitomizes everything a young person should be.  

His disappearance strikes us all hard.  I listen to my daughters' heartbreaking cries, I see the devastation from others around us.  It's as though our own mortality has risen up to slap us in the face.

But in the midst of the heartbreak is a grain of hope.  I see our youth and families rallying around each other and the Eunice family.  I see them on their faces before God crying out, asking for hope, knowing that God will provide it.  I see encouragement and love.  I have never (NEVER) seen a group of young people that love so genuinely.  I'm proud of every single one of them and how they are handling this tragic event.

I'm asking anyone who reads this to pray for James Eunice and his family.  Pray that, whatever the outcome, we can continue to see God's will and grace in this, that we continue to stay true to His word and never falter.  I, as so many others do, believe that James is a child of God and He knows exactly where James is (thank you to Tim Allred for reminding us of this).

As a selfish human, it is my prayer that James is returned home, safe, to his family.  

Until then, I am praying....

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Bucket List

I admit that I'm a sporadic blogger.  I love to blog.  I love to write.  But finding the time to actually sit down and do it....well, that's another thing entirely.  I surf other blogs and find so many that I like and I enjoy reading what others have to say.  When it comes to my blog, however, I often think, "why would anyone want to read what I have to say?"  I have followers and that's a really cool thing!  I love followers - what blogger doesn't?

I guess today is just a day of reflection.  I're supposed to do this around New Year's and make new goals for the upcoming year.  I'm getting started a little late this year, I guess.

I've heard about the movie the Bucket List although I've never seen it.  I know, I know.  But, I think I have the general concept down:  Write down the things you want to accomplish before you leave this life, Set goals to accomplish those things, and Do It.  I don't know about you (if you're even reading this) but I have so many things that I want to do and accomplish.

Do you ever feel like you were put on this earth for a purpose but you can't quite put you finger on it?  Do you ever feel like you are doing something worthwhile and yet, at the same time, you are just spinning your wheels?  Do you ever feel like you're standing on that proverbial ledge, ready to take the leap to something greater but you don't know what that something greater is?  Do you ever feel terrified, at a loss, confused?  I guess that's where I am at this point.

So, I think from this point onward, I'm going to use Alfabet Soup more as a journal than a blog.  Since I'm on the computer so much anyway, I think it will give me a good forum for logging the steps I take toward fulfilling my bucket list.  And if you (if you're even reading this) feel so inclined to lend me moral support along the way, I would be eternally grateful.

My one hope is that I can stick with it.  There are so many things I would like to do and the list seems a bit daunting.  It's funny....I always tell my kids, "You can't eat the elephant all at once."  Guess I should take my own advice, huh?

So, for now, here is the beginning of my bucket list:

1.  Finish my novel
2.  Go back to Paris
3.  Lose weight
4.  Graduate with honors with my Associate in Criminal Justice
5.  Begin my Bachelor's degree
6.  Begin my Master's degree
7.  Travel Europe
8.  Go on a mission trip
9.  Grow my non-profit
10.  Write an article
11. Run/Walk for a cause
12. Be a better blogger

Ok, so it's not very long right now, but believe me, I'm sure I will add to it as time goes on.

If you want to get ideas for your own bucket list, here's a website I found with LOTS of them: