Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hollywood's Highest-paid Actress List for 2006

1. Nicole Kidman
($17 million per movie)

2. Reese Witherspoon
{$15 million per movie)

3. Renee Zellweger
{$15 million per movie)

4. Drew Barrymore
{$15 million per movie)

5. Cameron Diaz
{$15 million per movie)

6. Halle Berry
($14 million per film)

7. Charlize Theron
($10 million per film)

8. Angelina Jolie
($10 million per film)

9. Kirsten Dunst
($8 million to $10 million)

10. Jennifer Aniston
($8 million per film)

posted by Rachelle
at 4:48 PM


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Featured Book of the Week

Landon Snow and the Island of Arcanum
by R.K. Mortenson

In the latest adventure of Landon Snow And the Island of Arcanum, Landon, once again visits his grandparents in Button Up, Minnesota. If your familiar with the first two books, Landon Snow and the Auctor's Riddle, and Landon Snow and The Shadows of Malus Quidam, you'll know that Landon's adventures always start at the Library in Button Up.

This time, Landon's most dangerous journey yet, begins in a rowboat-shaped tombstone that floats. And it's lucky for him that it floats because a few drips from the library ceiling turns into a powerful waterfall.

The stone turns into wood. The stone book propped up in the prow of the boat turns to paper. The left page says "ANCHOR". The right page says "AWEIGH".

"Anchor aweigh?" said Landon.

Holly whispered, "Did you hear that?"

No one has time to respond, however. The next instant saw the water before them dropping away as the water behind them grew into a giant swell, pitching them headlong into the abyss.

Landon will have to protect his two younger sisters, Holly and Bridget, who wind up in the boat with him headed towards The Island of Arcanum. On the Island, the animals of Wonderwood are imprisoned and the evil shadows of Landon's nemesis, Malus Quidam lurk!

With the help of some old friends, a horse named Melech, an odd fellow named Hardy, a girl named Ditty, and the poet/prophet Vates--Landon seeks to unlock the island's dark secrets and escape with the animals intact.

But first, he must navigate his way through unchartered waters and battle the villainous Archans...Can Landon and his friends rescue the animals from deep within the island's stronghold?

About the Author:

R.K.Mortenson is an ordained minister with the Church of the Lutheran Brethren. He has been writing devotional and inspirational articles since 1995. He currently serves as a navy chaplain in Florida and lives with his wife, daughter and son in Jacksonville. Visit his website at

posted by Rachelle
at 5:05 PM


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Don't Sit Up Straight

The longstanding advice to "sit up straight" has been turned on its head by a new study that suggests leaning back is a much better posture.

Researchers analyzed different postures and concluded that the strain of sitting upright for long hours is a perpetrator of chronic back problems.

Using a new form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), researchers studied 22 volunteers with no back pain history. The subjects assumed three different positions: slouching; sitting up straight at 90 degrees; and sitting back with a 135-degree posture—all while their spines were scanned.

"A 135-degree body-thigh sitting posture was demonstrated to be the best biomechanical sitting position, as opposed to a 90-degree posture, which most people consider normal," said study author, Waseem Amir Bashir, a researcher at the University of Alberta Hospital in Canada. "Sitting in a sound anatomic position is essential, since the strain put on the spine and its associated ligaments over time can lead to pain, deformity and chronic illness."

Back pain, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, is the most common cause of work-related disability in the United States. It costs Americans nearly $50 billion annually. Sitting appears to be a major cause of this ailment.

"We were not created to sit down for long hours, but somehow modern life requires the vast majority of the global population to work in a seated position," Bashir said. "This made our search for the optimal sitting position all the more important."here

When strain is placed on the spine, the spinal disks start to move and misalign. At a 90-degree sitting position, this movement was most prominent. The disks were least moved when subjects were sitting back at a 135-degree sitting position.

"We have to do something that is similar to the lying position," Bashir told LiveScience. Lying down in a relaxed position with your knees slightly bent is the best position that a person can be in, because it doesn't cause any stress on the ligaments, the thigh muscles as well as on the back.

Sitting on a chair that provides proper support, such as a slightly tilted back car seat, can mimic the relaxed supine position. Slouching caused a reduction in the spinal height which means that there was high rate of wear and tear in the lowest two spinal levels.

"This may be all that is necessary to prevent back pain, rather than trying to cure pain that has occurred over the long term due to bad postures," Bashir said.

The study was detailed today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

posted by Rachelle
at 5:32 PM


Monday, November 27, 2006

How do you start off an email conversation?

Michelle, Rochester, New York
Michelle, 32, Rochester, New York

I find that most people in the "About Me" part of their profile speak in broad terms. I like to get more specific about their interests. If they say, "I like to exercise," I say, "I see in your profile you work out. I like to run. What do you enjoy most as far as exercising?” Or if they say, "I like to travel," I ask them where their favorite place was that they have gone and if they could pick one place to eventually go to, where would it be. There are always interesting things to find out about a person, and most of the time a person enjoys talking about themselves!

Aubrey, Wheaton, Illinois
Aubrey, 22, Wheaton, Illinois

Icebreakers can be tough at first, but I find it helpful to break the ice by commenting about something they have written in their profile. Whether it is something we have in common, a unique trait I think they have, or just a compliment, it's nice to see someone has actually read your profile and has taken interest in it! It's a great way to spark conversation without talking all about yourself up front.

Ruth, Kennesaw, Georgia
Ruth, 49, Kennesaw, Georgia

If I take the initiative to make the first move, I always try to look for something special about the person -- their interests/occupation/interesting picture. When they do respond, then you have the beginnings of a conversation.

Scott, Cedar Park, Texas
Scott, 43, Cedar Park, Texas

I like to take a minute to look at their pictures and read their profile. Hopefully, I'll find something interesting to comment on, something we might have in common.

Corey, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Corey, 28, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Sometimes it does seem weird when you first contact someone on Yahoo! Personals, but I believe that the best way to initiate a conversation is to start off with some simple questions. I'll ask about a certain picture they had in their profile, about their family, about friends or what that person likes to do in their spare time. Usually when I ask about those questions, the conversation takes off in many different directions, and if the conversation doesn't take off then it’s a hint to me that, well, maybe this person isn't who I thought they were.

Elizabeth, Batavia, Illinois
Elizabeth, 45, Batavia, Illinois

I usually say something like, "Thanks for getting back to me/contacting me. I've read your profile and would like to get to know more about you." Then I tell a little bit more about me and ask a couple of questions like, "Have you always lived in ...?" or "Where were those photos taken? It looks like Puerto Vallarta." That usually opens up a new conversation.

John, Chicago, Illinois
John, 35, Chicago, Illinois

I would start a conversation based on some similar interests that you hopefully noticed while viewing their profile. Another approach would be to simply comment on some of their photos, and I don't mean "Hey, nice photo." I mean things like "Great sunset behind you, where were you when that was taken? The best sunset I've ever seen was in..."

Amy, Santa Clara, California
Amy, 38, Santa Clara, California

I begin by asking a question about something that I found interesting or unique in their profile. If they haven't written much, I ask a question about something they've listed as an interest.

Brian, Phoenix, Arizona
Brian, 25, Phoenix, Arizona

I always start a conversation just like I was there in person, except I'm really at home just in my shorts because it’s 100 degrees outside. Just be yourself, and maybe give them a more in-depth description of yourself and ask the same of the other person to find out more than what's written in their profile.

Charlotte, Phoenix, Arizona
Charlotte, 24, Phoenix, Arizona

When someone replies to me, I tend to let the initial excitement take over. A good profile really helps, as you can pull from things they've started to tell you -- ask questions and just let it flow. That is VERY important -- you should not have to force it. If it is that weird or uncomfortable, no matter how cute, it isn't going to work out.

Carl, Foxboro, Massachusetts
Carl, 35, Foxboro, Massachusetts

I always start out the conversation by asking the question, “Why are you on this Internet thing? Is it to have a serious relationship or just to have fun?” You get a good idea about the other person's intentions. You may also want to read their personal profile and ask the person about what they wrote. For example, if they like to travel, you would ask them where they like to travel or whether they have plans to travel again soon.

Nina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Nina, 22, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Ask them about where they went to school, and what they do...the basics!

Hugo, Wake Forest, North Carolina
Hugo, 32, Wake Forest, North Carolina

It should never feel weird. Online dating is no different than approaching or being approached by someone in a real life setting. You should respond with what comes naturally. I look over the profile and if it's pretty descriptive, I simply comment on something that was written. If the profile isn't descriptive enough, I ask that they tell me more about themselves. It's a good way to break the ice.

Susan, Atlanta, Georgia
Susan, 34, Atlanta, Georgia

It's always awkward getting to know someone new. I think it's easier to take the pressure off of "where might this lead" and relax and talk to him like a friend. Keep it casual and light as there's no need to delve into heavy topics early on. It's funny because the veil of the Internet creates an environment for premature openness. I know I've discussed things online and on the phone that I wouldn't dream of talking about if I'd met the person out somewhere. I now keep it to the basics (books, movies, sports, travel and career) until we meet in person and I feel comfortable revealing more personal details. Think of how you might interact with someone who you encountered at a party or another social situation.

Wes, Bloomington, Minnesota
Wes, 30, Bloomington, Minnesota

It's never easy because it's always awkward and you don't have the non-verbal cues to read. I usually try to keep it light and add a little humor (at least it's funny to me) when possible.

Kari, Chicago, Illinois
Kari, 29, Chicago, Illinois

I would hope that in their response they have made some comments or asked some questions about you in order to keep the conversation flowing (obviously a good sign of their interest in continuing a conversation). If not, I would point some questions or comments back their way based on what piqued your interest in them in the first place -- their profile, looks, occupation, hobbies, etc. Above all, though, random bouts of humor can go a long way in getting things "unweird." Don't be afraid to show them your personality!

Greg, Fort Myers, Florida
Greg, 26, Fort Myers, Florida

Starting a conversation is always casual -- tell a few jokes, compliment the person, tell them why you were interested in talking to them in the first place. Keep it simple. Ask a lot of questions, and try not to only talk about yourself!

Jessica, Bordentown, New Jersey
Jessica, 26, Bordentown, New Jersey

I don't have a "formula." Basically I share a little about my life and work and maybe some current events. I make sure that it's not too much info; I personally don't like being overwhelmed with too much from someone at first. I figure if something develops, there's lots of time to fill each other in on everything. Plus, you have to consider your privacy initially and feel someone out.

Ryan, Santa Monica, California
Ryan, 25, Santa Monica, California

Usually I read their profile and pick something that we have in common to talk about. Then there are the standard questions like where are you from, how long have you lived here, and what do you do for work and fun? Usually once the conversation starts it's pretty easy to keep going. For every email exchange I think it's a good idea to leave a few hooks, or questions for them to respond to, if you are really interested in getting to know the person.

Cherie, Chicago, Illinois
Cherie, 24, Chicago, Illinois

I like to mention what made his profile stand out for me and why. That makes it easy to move to asking questions about him and/or telling him a little more about myself. Good luck!

Lance, Columbus, Ohio
Lance, 37, Columbus, Ohio

I usually start by thanking them and then asking them some questions to help me get to know them better. Sometimes I will start out with questions based on the answers they have chosen for their profile.

Casey, 30, Denver, Colorado
Casey, 30, Denver, Colorado

Answer with a sense of humor. You never know how seriously to take someone (or how seriously you want them to take you!); knowing that, be light-hearted about it.

Christopher, Charlotte, North Carolina
Christopher, 27, Charlotte, North Carolina

I usually try to act like I am face to face with someone and approach it as if the person is there. It eases the tension if you can just be yourself and realize it is just like meeting in person except there may be some distance.

Brent, Dallas, Texas
Brent, 31, Dallas, Texas

When someone contacts me back, I usually start off the conversation by telling them a little more about myself -- specifically, things that aren’t in my profile that relate to interests we might have in common. I comment or ask questions about items I found unique in their profile. I try not to write too much or be too specific about myself early on -- there’s no need to write a novel or exchange Social Security numbers just yet.

posted by Rachelle
at 11:06 PM


Sunday, November 26, 2006


If the seagulls can reach the pinnacle of the skies,
then why can't I reach you?
You're not too high nor so low
Yet I just can't stretch out my hands to reach for you

If a mother can touch her newborn child,
then why can't I touch you?
You're not so far away I know
But there's a certain distance between me and you

If the breeze can caress and kiss the petals of a rose,
then why can't I do the same with you?
You're just there, so near
Yet all I can do is express it through a stare

And if a writer can express his feelings through inscribing words,
then why can't I say a word or two about the warm affection I've always felt for you?
All I can say is a mere "hello"
But I can't utter the words "I love you"

posted by Rachelle
at 10:37 PM


Saturday, November 25, 2006


Maybe I'm screwed up
Or maybe just a bit confused
About what's going on inside me
That I can't seem to muse

Maybe I'm surprised
Or maybe just not used to
But I know this brewing
Has something to do with you

I can't seem to forget you
No matter how I try
And the more I attempt to
The more that I backslide

Sometimes the feeling just hurts so bad
That all I can do is sit and sigh
And when the pain just seems so much
I can't stop myself from starting to cry

I know I can't do anything
To bring back our past
But still I wish that someday
We'll be one in heart at last

Now, I have to forget you
I have to go my way
I know I must move on
And keep the past at bay

But though we part our ways
and sorely say goodbye
I will and love you still
If I must keep it belied

posted by Rachelle
at 9:13 PM


Friday, November 24, 2006


There's a sudden strange silence
Amid the busy whirl around me
Disclosing the scars of my innocence
From a dreadful yesterday

Shadows paint the spectacle
Of a vision that used to be enchanting
Catching me half a miracle
While a song consumes my thinking

Gradually I drifted into another reality
Like a wind from nowhere blown
Lost in a paradise of adversity
Only to find destiny on my own

posted by Rachelle
at 8:53 PM


Thursday, November 23, 2006

...about Love

I once had a friend who grew to be very close to me. Once when we were sitting at the edge of a swimming pool, she filled the palm of her hand with some water and held it before me, and said:

"You see this water carefully contained in my hands? It symbolizes Love."

This was how I saw it: As long as you keep your hand caringly open and allow it to remain there, it will always be there. However, if you attempt to close your fingers around it and try to possess it, it will spill through the first cracks it finds.

This is the greatest mistake that people do when they meet love...they TRY to possess their loved one. They demand. They expect.

Love is meant to be free, you cannot change its nature. If there are people you love, you must allow them to be free.

Give and don't expect.

Advise, but don't order.

Ask, but never demand.

It might sound simple, but it is a lesson that may take a lifetime to truly practice. It is the secret to true love. To truly practice it, you must sincerely show your affection and expect nothing in return. That's why it's called unconditional love"

Passing thought... Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take; but by the moments that take our breath away.....

Life is beautiful!!! Live it well!!!

posted by Rachelle
at 1:35 PM


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Win LOADS of books all at once!

Katie Hart is holding a contest that runs until January 2007 on her website where you can win huge prize packs. The packs include the following:

A Bride Most Begrudging by Deeanne Gist
The Cubicle Next Door by Siri Mitchell
Shivering World by Kathy Tyers
All She Ever Wanted by Lynn Austin
Beyond the Blue by Leslie Gould
CD - My Other Band - Volume One
Four selections from Katie Hart's ARC/galley pile

Comes a Horseman (hardcover) by Robert Liparulo
River Rising (hardcover) by Athol Dickson
Mark of the Cross by Judith Pella
Three selections from Katie Hart's ARC/galley pile

A Garden to Keep (hardcover) by Jamie Langston Turner
The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Caught by Neta Jackson
Paper Moon by Linda Windsor
Three selections from Katie Hart's ARC/galley pile

"But how do I win any of these packs?" you ask. Simple! Just tell others about her site, Waterfall Books and the huge book giveaway! You may email your friends, post the announcement on social/dating networks like Myspace and Hi5 or send out bulletins everywhere, etc. It's up to you. Pump out your creative juices to spread the word. Just know your limits so you may not be banned for spamming.

Whenever you've done something to promote Waterfall Books, email Katie ( to let her know. She is giving one point for each promotion you do - two points or more for creative or extra influential ways of promotion. At the end of January, there will be a tally of points and the top 3 highest point getters will receive the prize packs mentioned above respectively!

But there's more! Come back here and leave a comment informing me that you've subcribed to her yahoogroup and you've done what you ought to do (promotion, marketing, etc) and then you'll be entered to win a book from me!

The winner will get to choose any of these 7 brand-new books:

Don't forget to leave your contact info in your comment. I'll pick a name from all the entries and post the winner on January 15, 2007.

So, what are you waiting for? Start charming away and keep those subscribers comin'!

Links ideal to include:

posted by Rachelle
at 3:38 PM


Monday, November 20, 2006

James Bond has Met his Match in a Tap-dancing Penguin

The Warner Bros. animated penguin romp "Happy Feet" debuted with $42.3 million, grabbing an edge for the weekend's No. 1 slot over Sony's Bond adventure "Casino Royale," which opened with $40.6 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The two films were close enough that their rankings could change when final numbers are released Monday.

"'Happy Feet' is just ahead by a flipper," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. "It's unusual to have two movies this close, battling for that No. 1 position."

Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner, said "Happy Feet" was solidly ahead and that the rankings would not flip-flop on Monday.

"It's not going to happen," Fellman said. "It's a clear victory here."

"Casino Royale" took an early lead over "Happy Feet" on opening day because of strong adult audiences Friday night. "Happy Feet" dominated the rest of the weekend, drawing big crowds on Saturday and Sunday when family films do their best business.

The box-office leader the last two weekends, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," slipped to third with $14.35 million, lifting its total to $90.5 million.

With the rarity of two movies in the $40 million range, Hollywood had a robust weekend, the top 12 movies taking in $133.6 million. Still, that could not measure up to the same weekend a year ago, when the $102.3 million debut of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" paced the top 12 to a $171.9 million total.

"Happy Feet" features the voices of Elijah Wood, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and Robin Williams in the story of a penguin who cannot carry a tune like his brethren but can tap-dance up a storm.

"Casino Royale," introducing Daniel Craig as British super-spy Bond, fell right between the debuts of the previous two 007 flicks, which had been No. 1 and 2 among the franchise's openings.

The last Bond movie, Pierce Brosnan's "Die Another Day," holds the franchise record with $47.1 million in November 2002. Brosnan's 1999 Bond adventure "The World Is Not Enough" premiered with $35.5 million in November 1999.

"I think a $40 million-plus start for a new series of Bonds with Daniel Craig is a great beginning," said Jeff Blake, Sony vice chairman. "Casino Royale" also brought in $42.2 million in Great Britain, Russia and 25 other countries where it opened this weekend, Blake said.

In narrower release, two other new movies bombed, Universal's jailhouse comedy "Let's Go to Prison" taking in $2.1 million and Fox Searchlight's junk-food chronicle "Fast Food Nation" grossing $390,000.

Christopher Guest's Hollywood spoof "For Your Consideration" debuted strongly in limited release with $394,000 at 23 theaters. The film released by Warner Independent features a huge ensemble including director Guest, co-writer Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara in a comedy about Academy Awards fever among the cast of a small Hollywood drama.

Emilio Estevez's Robert Kennedy saga "Bobby" opened well with $67,000 in just two theaters. From the Weinstein Co. and MGM, "Bobby" features an all-star cast including Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, Anthony Hopkins and Lindsay Lohan in the story of people gathered at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles the night Kennedy was assassinated there in 1968.

"Bobby" and "For Your Consideration" expand to nationwide release this week.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released Monday.

1. "Happy Feet," $42.3 million.

2. "Casino Royale," $40.6 million.

3. "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," $14.35 million.

4. "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause," $8.2 million.

5. "Flushed Away," $6.8 million.

6. "Stranger Than Fiction," $6.6 million.

7. "Babel," $2.9 million.

8. "Saw III," $2.8 million.

9. "The Departed," $2.6 million.

10. "The Queen," $2.3 million.


Universal Pictures and Focus Features are owned by NBC Universal, a joint venture of General Electric Co. and Vivendi Universal; Sony Pictures, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; DreamWorks, Paramount and Paramount Classics are divisions of Viacom Inc.; Disney's parent is The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is a division of The Walt Disney Co.; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight Pictures are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros., New Line, Warner Independent and Picturehouse are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a consortium of Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Sony Corp., Comcast Corp., DLJ Merchant Banking Partners and Quadrangle Group; Lionsgate is owned by Lionsgate Entertainment Corp.; IFC Films is owned by Rainbow Media Holdings, a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corp.

posted by Rachelle
at 8:04 PM


Friday, November 17, 2006

Weight Loss Tips for the Holiday Season

As we move into the holiday season, it seems like many of us put off our health and weight goals to the new year.

Why wait?

In my view, the holidays are one of the best times to decide to give yourself the gift of ... health.

Here are some ways to get started during this season of celebration:

posted by Rachelle
at 9:31 PM


Saturday, November 11, 2006

How to Avoid Emotional Eating

Life can be stressful... and oftentimes, many people reach for food as comfort. If you find yourself regularly eating in response to stress, anxiety, sadness, boredom, anger, loneliness, relationship problems, or poor self-esteem, try to break the habit with some of the strategies below.

Contest Update!

The winner of a copy of Nancy Jo Jenkin's debut novel, Coldwater Revival is... (drumroll pls...) Chadwick! Please email me at rea_shylle[at] to claim your FREE copy. Thanks for joining the contest everyone!

posted by Rachelle
at 8:46 PM


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Carpets in Workplace Linked to Adult Asthma Risk

Being exposed to certain types of surface materials at work appears to increase adults' risk of developing asthma, a new study shows.

"These findings underline the need to consider the health aspects of materials used in floor, wall, and other indoor surfaces," Dr. Jouni J. K. Jaakkola of the University of Helsinki in Finland and colleagues conclude in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

A number of materials used in furnishing indoor environments may emit pollutants with the capacity to irritate the airways, the researchers note. While studies have linked certain materials, pollutants and even renovations to asthma in children, they add, there have been no reports on how such exposure might affect adults' asthma risk.

To investigate, the researchers compared 521 adults newly diagnosed with asthma over a 2.5-year period and a control group of 932 adults without asthma. They were surveyed about the materials they were exposed to at home and at work as well as whether they had renovated their homes over the past year.

Exposure to plastic wall coverings on the job increased asthma risk 2.43-fold, the researchers found, while people who worked in offices with wall-to-wall carpeting were 1.73 times more likely to have developed asthma. When mold problems were present at a person's workplace, and there was wall-to-wall carpeting there, the risk of developing asthma more than quadrupled.

Also, while home renovation in itself had no association with asthma risk, the researchers found that people living in homes where plaster had been used to level floors were at an 80 percent increased risk of asthma.

"Our study provides new evidence that both plastic and textile surface materials in workplace indoor environments may play a role in the causation of asthma in adulthood," the researchers conclude.

SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, October 15, 2006

posted by Rachelle
at 1:15 PM


Monday, November 06, 2006

How Diabetes is Diagnosed

Being knowledgeable about the symptoms of diabetes is a point of paramount significance. Just today at the hospital, I came across a patient who had type 2 diabetes. As our tete-a-tete concluded, he said he wanted to talk to me about his grandson.

He described to me an overweight boy who isn't physically active, is often thirsty, and urinates frequently. "These are the classic symptoms of diabetes," I told him. He said he would have him [grandson] tested as soon as possible so proper measures could be taken as necessary.

The symptoms of diabetes may begin gradually and can be hard to identify at first. These includes fatigue, excessive hunger, unplanned weight loss, blurred vision, and irritability. If you have any of these symptoms, get tested right away. Don't ignore these warning signs or convince yourself it could be something else.

I often hear people say, "I have blurred vision but I just need to change my glasses," or "I wake up several times at night to go to the bathroom but that's because of the other medications I take." Symptoms such as these can have different causes. But the point is that if you have them you should be tested for diabetes.

It may seem obvious that it should be easy to determine whether someone has diabetes. Too often, doctors watch blood glucose levels rise slowly, using the A1C (glycosylated hemoglobin) test as an indicator. The problem is, the A1C test does not diagnose diabetes and patients don't even seem to care and only take action when diabetes is already affecting their daily lives.

The diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is made after:

Remember, it's up to you to know about the tests to diagnose diabetes, and to ask for them if you suspect you or someone around you may have diabetes.

posted by Rachelle
at 12:21 PM


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Halloween Adventure

For years, I've been averse to writing dark poetry and the like. The reason behind? Simply because I carry the graphic images to my sleep. The word "trying" always meant an exercise in futility. But now, things have changed. I'm venturing into uncharted territory. Because of a poetry prompt, I finally created my first raw dark poetry! Though not edge-of-your-seat gripping, it's a quick read (sort of the literary equivalent of wine that pours well) and entertaining! It would probably get you out of your rut, even for just a while... Here it is:

Halloween Adventure
by Rachelle Arlin Credo

I was barely nine or ten
When I came to hunt for ghosts
At a barren makeshift house
that seemed deserted, or almost.

As I stepped up the stairs
The stench was in the air.
I knew then what I was in for,
And I wished I wasn't there.

My hands were quivering
when I turned the flashlight on
the eerie silence was deafening
Then I heard a groan.

I ran towards an armchair
and sat comfortably indeed;
Flicking the broken bulb on
just right above my head.

I sat there for an hour or so,
Till I heard a bit of static;
The TV monitor was flashing,
Something moving in the attic!

I grabbed my bag immediately
and rushed up the rickety stairs
from the crack beneath the door,
lights flashed in static glare.

"Anyone there?, I called out
But no one dared to speak
I was about to move down the attic
when I heard something squeak.

I turned back in anticipation
of whatever I might find
I could hear my heart thumping
and chill tingling up my spine.

I pushed the door open
and discreetly moved inside
when alas! I saw a girl
standing by my side!

She was wearing white
a cloak of silent terror
Her eyes, sunken red
streaked with shades of horror.

Suddenly, she vanished
in a flicker of surprise
I felt a sigh of relief
I thought I was gonna die!

Without second thoughts,
I dashed down the stairs
Towards the entrance door
and out of the haunting scare.

I thought that tale of ghosts
were just sick scary jokes,
For haunted houses told before
Turned out to be a hoax.

Yet that day I learned
though it had to be the hard way
that there really are supernaturals
and they coexist with us today.

Comments from members of my poetry group:

posted by Rachelle
at 1:50 PM


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Scariest Videos 1-5

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" may be scary stuff...but you ain't seen nothing yet! These vile videos are horrifying enough to give you nightmares until Halloween 2007. Brace yourself for my top picks for 5 SPOOKIEST VIDEOS, and remember--in cyberspace, no one can hear you scream...

1. "Worlock" by Skinny Puppy

2. "Sober" by Tool

3. "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails

4. "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" by Marilyn Manson

5. "Burn The Witch" by Queens Of The Stone Age

posted by Rachelle
at 10:58 PM


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Giveaway and excerpt! COLDWATER REVIVAL by Nancy Jo Jenkins

It's time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) Around the FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and their latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature author is:
Nancy Jo Jenkins

I'm also giving away a copy of her debut novel, Coldwater Revival.

Just three weeks before her wedding, Emma Grace Falin has returned to her hometown of Coldwater, Texas, consumed by a single, burning desire. She must confront the guilt and shame of a devastating event that has haunted her since childhood.

One of Emma Grace's six-year-old twin brothers died while in her care, sending her on a journey that will take her through the dark valley of guilt, sorrow, depression, and anger.

Although she rejects Him, God continues to offer restoration and healing into her troubled life.

Nancy Jo Jenkins has woven an unforgettable tale of shattering loss, desperate grief and despair, and one family's amazing journey to restoration and forgiveness. A masterful debut, Coldwater Revival will forever be etched in your memories and upon your heart.

"...What a stunning debut novel."
--Wendy Lawton, Literary Agent, author of Impressions in Clay

"An astonishing debut! Coldwater Revival is a hauntingly beautiful story made doubly so by Nancy Jo Jenkins stunning, lyrical writing. I was mesmerized from cover to cover."
--Deborah Raney, author of A Nest of Sparrows and A Vow to Cherish


Q. How long did it take you to write Coldwater Revival?

A. I perceived the idea for Coldwater Revival in June, 2003, and completed the manuscript in March, 2005.

Q. Tell us about your journey from writer to published novelist.

A. During my teaching career, I dreamed of the day when I could write the stories that continually swam around in my head. I didn't know at the time that it would take me four or five years of attending workshops, conferences, retreats, lectures, and of studying tapes, books and other materials before I was ready to put my newly-acquired knowledge to use, and begin writing the stories that God had prompted me to write. In March, 2004, at the Mount Hermon Christian Writing Conference, I submitted a book proposal to Steve Laube (Literary agent), and Jeff Dunn, (Acquisitions Editor) for RiverOak. Both gentlemen asked me to send them all I had written on Coldwater Revival, which at the time was 109 pages. During the summer of 2004, both men offered me a contract. My book was published by RiverOak and released in May, 2006.

Q. The agony and healing Emma Grace went through are so real. What personal experiences did you draw from to portray Emma Grace's feelings so well?

A. There was a time in my life when I suffered with depression, though it was not due to a death in the family, as Emma Grace's was. At the time, it seemed that I was in a daily knock-down, drag-out fistfight with sadness. I was truly blessed in that I was never prescribed any kind of medication to treat my depression, which proved to be relatively short-lived. But I did receive counseling, which was just what I needed to win the battle with this debilitating condition. During that time of depression I endured many of the symptoms that Emma Grace suffered through. Excessive sleeping was about the only symptom we did not share. There were times when I couldn't swallow my food, and times when I could almost touch the face of that same blackness that almost overwhelmed Emma Grace. Her sorrow and guilt were difficult scenes for me to write, and I found myself crying each time I wrote about Emma Grace's sadness and the continual ache in her heart.

Q. Emma Grace loses all desire for life when her brother dies - not eating or talking, just living in the blissful cocoon of sleep. Do you have any advice for folks who are in that dark place right now?

A. Communication was the key that unlocked the door of depression for me. Communicate with God, even if the only words you can utter are the words, "Help me." But I also benefited greatly from talking to a certified counselor; one who was trained in helping people express their pain, their needs, their fears. I hope that anyone who feels sad and lonely for an extended length of time, will contact their pastor, or someone who can direct them to a Christian counselor.

Q. Emma Grace's grandmother lives in the city while the rest of the family lives in the country. Why do you think she didn't move out to the country with the rest of the family long ago?

A. Granny Falin immigrated from Ireland to America with her husband and son when Emma Grace's papa was just a lad. This family shared a dream about their new country. It would be a place where they could find work and prosperity, raise their family, and put down roots. Even the Great Hurricane of 1900 couldn't wash those dreams from Granny's heart. Though her only remaining child lived a hundred miles away in the rural township of Coldwater, Texas, Granny could never leave Galveston. The island and the sea that surrounded the island were her home now. It was where the ashes of her husband and three children were buried. It was the home she and her husband had dreamed of during their desperate years together in Ireland. If she left Galveston and moved to Roan's home, she would be giving up the dream she had shared with her husband.

Q. Papa and Elo have a tough time showing their emotions. Elo, especially, is so hard to read in the book. Why do you think some people hole up inside themselves rather than sharing their emotions?

A. I believe we are born with a portion of our personality already deeply embedded within us. Some people are reticent to express their feelings and emotions, while others have no problem whatsoever in expressing what they feel or think. I have known many individuals who are like Elo; people we sometimes refer to as "the strong, silent type". Papa and Elo are powerful protectors and providers who waste little time and effort on words. Both of these men feel that "actions speak louder than words". Added to that is the fact that Elo feels extreme discomfort when his mother and sisters are emotionally distraught, therefore, he maintains a rigid demeanor, in part, to provide a stable link in the chain that makes up his family - The Falins.

Q. Do you have other books coming out soon?

A. Thank you for asking about my upcoming books. I'm about to submit my proposal for a novel entitileld, "Whisper Mountain". This story takes place in the early 1900's in the Great Smoky Mountains. It is the story about lost love, and a desperate woman's journey to fill the void that deprivation and loss have left in her heart. The story has elements of mystery, intrigue, murder, and of course, romance. I'm very excited about this story. I've also begun writing a sequel to "Coldwater Revival" which will parallel both Emma Grace's life after 1933, and the adventurous trek Elo begins when he falls in love.

Coldwater Revival


Some miracles pour down on us like a mighty river. Some fall with the gentleness of raindrops.

To hear my papa tell it, I was the tiniest miracle ever dropped from the heavens. At least from the cloudy firmament hovering over Coldwater, Texas.

Seems my bent toward stubbornness first evidenced itself while I was ripening in the fountainhead of my beginnings, and it persists until this day. Culling out the hottest day of 1915, I arrived two-and-a-half months ahead of schedule, on a day so hot the Devil himself must have been riding the wind. Anyway… that's what Papa claimed.

“Should've stayed put in your swimming pool,” he used to tease. “Been a heck of a lot cooler.”

But, of course, I hadn't. My willful foot had reared back and mulekicked Mama in the stomach, commencing her birthing pains. Thus I was born, smack in the middle of Mr. Oswalt Peavy's dry, dusty cotton patch.

Chapter One

Coldwater, Texas

Three weeks before I was to marry Gavin O'Donnell, I set my feet upon the beaten path leading to Two-Toe Creek. What I had to offer Gavin in marriage–my whole heart, or just a part–depended on the
decision I would make today.

As my feet tracked the dusty pathway they stirred loose soil to the air. My heart stirred as well, for the guilt I had buried in its depths smoldered as though my brother had just died, and not five years earlier. In the shadowed days following the tragedy, my disgrace had glared like a packet of shiny new buttons. I'd not thought to hide it at the time. In truth, I'd thought of little, other than how to survive. But at some point during that time of sorrowful existence, when my days and nights strung together like endless telegraph wires, I dug a trench around my heart and buried my shame.

From that day until this, I deeded myself the actor's role, closing the curtain on my stain of bitter memories, hiding my sorrow behind a veil of pretense. But that old deceiver, Time, had neither softened my guilt nor put it to rest; only allowed it ample pause to fester like deadly gangrene. Now, as the day of my wedding drew near, my heart cried out for healing. It was, you see, far wiser than my head. My heart understood its need for restoration – before I exchanged wedding vows with Gavin. For this reason, I now walked the trail to Two-Toe Creek. To revisit my failures of yesteryear and reclaim the peace that had slipped past the portals of my childhood. Perhaps then I could give Gavin the entirety of my heart.

To enter to win today's book, "Coldwater Revival" just leave a comment on this blog post, with your email ad under your name. The winner will be announced on Saturday, November 11.

posted by Rachelle
at 2:48 PM