Monday, May 20, 2019

Hawaiian Chicken

Summer is quickly approaching, and with summer comes vacation planning!

I don't know about you, but I'd love to go to Hawaii!  Unfortunately, with two kids in college, that won't happen any time soon. 

But I can always dream, and this Hawaiian Chicken recipe makes me feel like I'm there... well not really, but it sure tastes good!

Hope you enjoy it, too! It's a crock pot recipe and only takes minutes to assemble, but you will need to set aside up to five hours for it to cook. It's delicious over rice!

This recipe is from my General Electric Slow Cooker Recipe Book.

Hawaiian Chicken

3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved (I use thighs)
1 16 ounce can pineapple slices, drained (I use chunks)
1 15 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Combine all ingredients in the crock. Stir well. Cover and cook on:
Low - 4 to 5 hours or High - 2 to 3 hours

Where will yo be vacationing this summer? 

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Aliens and Race Relations

Today I thought I'd share something fun about a famous interracial couple from history.  I'd never heard of Betty and Barney Hill, but if you're familiar with UFO trivia, you might know of them.  This article is from ListVerse.


Betty and Barney Hill were from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Barney worked for the post office and Betty was a social worker. The Hills were also members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and community leaders. On the night of September19th, 1961, Betty and Barney Hill were heading back from a vacation in Southern Canada to their home in New England. They claimed to have observed a bright light in the sky that appeared to be following them. They arrived home at about 3 am and realized (later, when it was pointed out to them) that they had lost about 2 hours of time. Two weeks later Betty began having nightmares. In her nightmares, she described being taken aboard an alien spacecraft and then having medical experiments performed on her. Betty and Barney then decided to undergo hypnosis.  
In separate sessions, they described some similar experiences of being taken on board an alien spacecraft. Betty said she was shown a star map which she was able to memorize and reproduce later, which some believe is showing Zeta Reticuli as the aliens’ home. Under Barneys hypnotic session he said a cup-like device was placed over his genitals and thought that a sperm sample was taken. He also said he heard them speaking in a mumbling language that he did not understand. The UFO incident was distracting and embarrassing for Barney Hill. He feared that the tabloid publicity would tarnish his battle for equality and dignity. The Hills eventually went back to their regular lives but were always willing to discuss the UFO encounter with friends and UFO researchers. The release of the book “Interrupted Journey” in the mid-1960s, and a movie called The UFO Incident, starring James Earl Jones and Estelle Parsons turned Betty and Barney Hill into the world’s most famous UFO “abductees.”

Interesting Fact: Some psychiatrists suggested later that the supposed abduction was a hallucination brought on by the stress of being an interracial couple in early 60s. Betty discounted this suggestion, saying that her relationship with Barney was happy, and their interracial marriage caused no notable problems with their friends or family. Barney died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1969, and Betty died of cancer in 2004. Many of Betty Hill’s notes, tapes and other items have been placed in a permanent collection at the library of the University of New Hampshire, her alma mater.

Had you ever heard of Betty and Barney Hill, or have you ever known anyone who claims to have been abducted by aliens?  Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Originally published 7/1/13

Monday, May 6, 2019

Public Speaking: How Not to Bomb

Today I'm re-posting a guest post written by Alice Osborn, author of Write From the Inside Out. She shares some great advice that will help you better prepare for your next public speaking engagement. 

Alice Osborn
My name is Alice Osborn. I am a poet, speaker and editor. I live in Raleigh, NC, where I help writers become authors and better business people.

When you’re nervous before a reading, open mic or a speaking event you’re that way because you don’t want to bomb . You don’t want to be humiliated and asked never to come back.  You also don’t want to let your audience down. Maybe you’ve had a less-than-ideal speaking experience and you’re afraid lightning will strike twice. I’d like to share a few tips with you on how not to bomb, or at least how to bomb less! Now, let go of your nervousness and give your best performance to the people who have come to see you!

Alice's Latest Book
Know Your Audience
If you’re an author giving a reading, know your audience! Are they familiar with your work or are they completely new to it? If they are new to it, warm them up by telling them why they’ll love your work and use humor! If you’re the first speaker, you won’t have a lot of material to riff about except complimentary stuff about the venue, the hosts and the warm crowd, but if you’re performing after an open mic segment or after another speaker, talk up the folks who have  gone before you and give them a little love. Doing so will endear you to your audience.

I had a little issue with a speaking engagement when I realized that my talk was geared towards entrepreneurs and not corporate employees. Oh, boy! I should have asked my speaking coordinator who my audience was so I could prepare. But here I was and I spoke to them about how being creative and flexible would make them more effective in their presentations—something from the entrepreneur world that they may not deal with on a daily basis.

Collect Stories             
As you go about your life, collect anecdotes that will resonate with your audience and that will help you break the tension. Just be sure that they’re relevant to you and your reading.

Show Up Early
When you show up early rather than on time you give yourself the chance to arrange the room and get a feel for the acoustics. I’ve shown up early at gigs and have rearranged the chairs to go from a classroom to a U-pattern—it’s made all of the difference!

Don’t drink too much
This applies more at a reading or an open mic, but don’t drink even if you think it’ll help you when it’s your turn at the mic. Drink plenty of water and when you’re all through, then have your favorite adult beverage.

Prepare
Rehearse your talk and material ahead of time—mark your pages if you’re reading from your book so you’re not thumbing randomly. Check to see where you’re stumbling and adjust. Time your talk so you’re going over or under. Preparing is vital for success and I consider this my most important tip.

Possessing strong speaking skills as an author is vital for your continued success.  You might also consider using video to record your performances and then later see what you could have done better. 

Your Turn

OK, so those are my tips on how not to bomb. What have I missed? Please feel free to add a few more suggestions in the comments for us!

Alice Osborn, M.A. is the author of three books of poetry, After the Steaming Stops, Unfinished Projects, and Right Lane Ends; she helps authors become business people and business people become authors. Alice teaches creative writing all over the country where she uses sensory images and road-tested prompts to stimulate her students’ best work. Her work has appeared in the News and Observer, The Broad River Review, The Pedestal MagazineSoundings Review and in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband and two children. Visit her website at www.aliceosborn.com.

Originally posted 5/7/12