2006 Winter Olympics

Monday, February 27, 2006

I love the Olympics; I'm the ultimate unabashed fan. Back in the days when they telecasted the entire event, I would sit glued to the TV watching every athlete compete.

Of course, now I can't, constrained by what the network selects to broadcast and my own schedule. Still, I managed to catch quite a bit of this year's Winter Olympics. I thrilled to the scenery as I love Italy so much. I yearned to return and once more absorb it all, the food, the culture, the scenery. I anguished with the fallen. If ever there was a woman who defined skating for the past decade, it's Michelle Kwan. I saw her perform live when she was a teenager. I grieve for her disappointment but her years of beautiful skating surpasses a gold medal.

I ignored the irritating, boorish such as Bode Miller. I only hope he gets his public and private act together before his picture appears on another magazine. I absolutely loved the snowboard events!!!! Extreme to the max and entertaining to boot.

I was so happy that speed skater Apollo Ono skated a perfect 500 and got his gold medal. His dedication and love of his sport was simply inspiring.

However I have to admit: I'm glad the Olympics are over. I'm exhausted from staying up to 11:30 every night watching the events. I need a 2-year break until the Summer Olympics in China. But, when 2010 rolls around and the Olympics are in Vancouver, once more I'll be glued to the set, watching these kids who have worked so hard and dedicated their lives to their dream compete. It doesn't matter whether they medaled; it's all about that they tried.

To all the 2006 Olympians across the world, thanks for the glorious competition!

:) Carol Stephenson


Saturday, February 25, 2006

I probably shouldn't be writing about this today. At the start of the new year, I had resolved to start cooking more. I have been watching FoodNetwork to learn basics and bit by bit, stocking my kitchen. And I have to say, I've been cooking two new recipes per week. However, with the stress of revisions, reading Rita books and all the deadlines on my plate, I'm going to opt out of cooking this week and get ready-made meals.

However, I have been fascinated with all the kinds of salt. Now I'm a Morton's girl, growing up with the blue container in our kitchen. I still have Morton's on hand. However, I've learned that some chefs use kosher salt, others sea salt. So now I have both on hand for recipes. So far I haven't developed the refined taste buds to tell the difference, but supposedly the type of salt you use does impact on the flavor of the meal.

Once upon a time table salt was table salt. Go figure.

:) Carol Stephenson

Maddie's Training

Monday, February 20, 2006

Take one little 3-yr-old Shih Tsu plus an owner who hasn't had a dog since she was a kid and what do you get? A headache for the poor PetSmart instructor who has the dynamic duo in her Basic Training Course.

A week ago Sunday was Maddie's first class. The instructor believes in click-&-treat training so she was going around from dog to dog to show us how to do a simple command. Most of the dogs in Maddie's class are puppies longing to be molded and did whatever the instructor wanted.

Marvelous, you say? Ha. The instructor got to Maddie and Maddie did sit for her. When the instructor gave Maddie her treat, Maddie promptly spit it out onto the floor.


This past Sunday we didn't fare much better. Maddie is too distracted and excited to behave during the class. She's also barking and growling at the other dogs...when she's little Miss Friendly Neighbor to all the dogs in our hood. The instructor thinks she's feeling threatened being in a confined space so I'm going to get to class early and walk Maddie around the outside of the training area, hoping to get her acclimated.

My little angel.

:) Carol Stephenson

King Tut

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I saw the King Tut exhibition in Fort Lauderdale today. I got chills from simply standing in front of 3000-yr-old artifacts. The intricate craftmanship was astonishing. I saw the exhibition when it last toured 26 years ago in Chicago, but I think I appreciated it more this time. However, what truly amazed me were the items made of wood--how decorative they were and how they managed to survive in that temple. Unbelievable.

:) Carol Stephenson

Revision ripples

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I'm coming up for a tiny gulp of air. I've been busy slaying revisions on SHADOW LINES. Since some of the revisions went to characterization, there's a ripple effect throughout the entire manuscript. If I made this change about the heroine Eve's relationship with her sister in chapter one, would she be saying/doing the same thing in chapter five? You have to sit back and think about nearly every line. Often another change has to be made and then more ripple effects.

I'll be happy when I hit 'The End' as there can be no changes to those words.

:) Carol Stephenson

The Danger Within Your Neighborhood

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

The other night I was walking Maddie and ran into a neighbor who also owns a Shih Tsu. We chit-chatted as our dogs said 'hi'. The neighbur mentioned a house down the block that recently sold would be up for sale again. The woman living there was a sexual predator living within in yards of a small private school.

Now I live in a nice residential neighborhood where kids play together in the streets and the retirees putter about in their yards. Knowing a predator had moved in among us sent a chill down my spine. Then I learned that the State of Florida now made it possible to do a residential search:

Florida Sexual Offender/Predator Neighborhood Search


When I ran a search of my address, I discovered 10 registered predators living within a mile. Frightening. Hopefully, other states have this program as we need to protect our kids.

Know thy neighbor has a whole new meaning.

Carol Stephenson

Extreme Makeover

Monday, February 6, 2006

If ever there was a feel good story...

In 2003 the East Boynton Beach Little League won the US title but lost in the World championship to Japan, with that memorable picture of all the kids racing out in to field to give thanks to the Buddha statue. However, last year Hurricane Wilma absolutely destroyed the East Boynton Beach Little League's field.

In the course of 4 days, Extreme Makeover with the help of 300 volunteers, some coming as far as Oklahoma, has rebuilt the field. The results are supposed to revealed on Wednesday. Some of the new features are supposed to be hurricane-proofed.


:) Carol Stephenson