OMG! Blog Winners Announced--It's Totally Exciting, but Contain your Enthusiasm

The Winner Takes It AllImage via WikipediaWell, friends, I know you are totally excited to see if you won my blog contest. I know that you've barely been sleeping, eating, or even breathing because all you could think about was having your very own winsome goddess pack that would help you through your darkest, deepest drama queen moments.

First, let me give you the bad news. You probably did not win. There could only be two winners, after all, and like maybe four people entered. So, you know, the odds weren't in your favor.

Instead, the odds favored Susan Campisi and Bellis, two local readers who you should never bet against because they win everything. Susan, for example, recently won plumbing and fencing problems. I'm sure Bellis has been just as lucky, but she's more discreet about these things so there's no telling what kinds of windfalls she's had to duck out of the way out.

Because, early on, Vanda was being difficult, Susan and Bellis have a choice. They can each choose before the aforementioned winsome goddess pack or a homemade chocolate cake. But, Bellis and Susan, don't ask for both. You can't have your cake and your goddess too.

So, ok, ladies, what will it be?

(PS: Thanks to all of you who entered my contest, especially newbies who added me to their RSS feed. I appreciate your support.)
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Meet my Blog Friend Daisy (and her human transcriber Barbara)

No offense to any of you, but my Daisy is my cutest blog friend. She has short white hair, bright black eyes, and the sweetest smile ever. She is also a poodle. She blogs here:
http://fur-licity.blogspot.com, and she has quite a harrowing tale (tail?).

She was raised in a puppy mill, where she was seen as little more than a furry pair of ovaries. By the time she got to Barbara and her forever home, she was a trembling, terrified mess. She didn't know what a toy was. Loud noises scared her. She even feared the affection and love Barbara offered. In fact, the blog started as a way for Barbara to process the challenges of taking in a traumatized dog.

Has it been two years now, Barbara? I think so. Daisy is so much better now. She plays. She loves. She trusts--that's the big one--because that means Daisy can, finally, experience some sense of peace. Now, when it thunders, she stands on the bed and protects Barbara.

Check it out. Say hi to Daisy. She's quite a trooper.


Goddess of the Week: Coventina

Inscribed bas-relief of CoventinaImage via Wikipedia
Apparently, Allison has a new pool. She would like a goddess of all things aquatic. I give her Coventina.

Coventina is a water goddess from Northumberland, England. She had a temple there, and in that temple there was a well. People would ask Coventina for favors, and if she granted the favor they would come and drop a coin in her well. The coins would say things like, "To Couventia, Aelius Tertius, prefect of the First Cohort of Batavi, willingly and deservedly fulfils a vow." Or, "There once was a goddess Coventina, who people did ask, beg, and plead-a. I asked for a man, who was hot, tall, and tan, now I'm barefoot and pregnant. Who needs ya?" (Actually, that one sounds a lot better in the original Latin.)

The point is, Coventina is a generous goddess, and she can fulfill all your watery needs, but she expects recompense, otherwise kids are going to poop in the pool left and right--and then you'll be high, dry and indebted to the pool man. Much better to just pay your dues. Throw some coins in that pool! And don't be skimpy. Nobody wants your pennies. Even my struggling, working-class college students won't stop to pick up pennies. So throw in some dollar coins. They won't get stuck in the filter will they? They might? Jeesh. You gotta work hard to please a goddess these days. How about this? You have a nice barbecue and you offer Coventina a nice flotation device. It might work, but don't sue me if your concrete cracks.

Channel Coventina: When you need a favor. No need making your own pool; if you get what you want you can throw a coin in any fountain. Better yet, just assume you'll get your wish and throw the coin in the fountain from the get go. How do you think that old coin-in-the-fountain tradition started anyway?

Need a goddess? I got goddesses? Post a comment telling me your need. (You can also email me if you're feeling shy.) Then check back in a week or two and see what I found you.

PS: There's still time to join the drawing for your own goddess pack. Just let me know you want to be included. The drawing is next Monday. There are two drawings: One for faithful readers and one for new followers.
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Moral Dilemma: Found Money

Various Federal Reserve Notes, c.1995. Only th...Image via WikipediaNormally I am of the philosophy that found money is something I want more of. If I'm walking down the street and find a quarter/a dollar/ten dollars!/twenty dollars!! That's a good day. Yet today when I found ten bucks at school I felt nothing but dirty. Here's what happened:

I stepped out of my class so my students could fill out their student evaluations. I moseyed down the hall as I am wont to do at times like this and--wham--there was a five dollar bill at my feet. I looked around. On each side of the hall there was one or two students hanging around, waiting for the next class to start, but in the near vicinity of the money there was no one. There was really no way anyone could possbly know who that money belonged to. So, feeling a little cheap because I am after all supposed to a PROFESSIONAL, I grabbed that money and stuffed it in my pocket and gave a silent, "WOO HOO!"

Almost instantly, I felt bad. My students are working class kids. They work so hard to be at school and here I was woo-hooing at their expense. Fleetingly, I thought: "I should just drop this money. Yes, I should drop it on my way to my car. I should let someone else experience the joy of a found money moment. But then the greedy part of me said, "Keep the money. You deserve this money because you lost your cell phone on Tuesday and that is karma's way of evening the score."

So I went into my class, and I even told me class what happened. I even pulled the money out of my pocket to show them. Only then did I realize there were two fives folded together. It was TEN dollars. You could tell by the looks on their faces that they really believed they deserved to find that money. I told them about my cell phone, but that did not seem to convince them. One students said, "You should give the money to me." But then a few more said, "You should just the money. It's not like you can find who it belonged to." Still, I felt bad, so I said, "I think I'm just going to drop this money on the way to my car--don't follow me."

For a few minutes, I really believed I would drop the money. Then I thought, I'll drop ONE of the fives. But who was I kidding? That money is right here on my desk staring up at me.

You go through life thinking you are a certain kind of person, and then something like this happens and you know that, really, you are a different kind of person, a worse person.

So what do you think? What would you do?

Don't forget: You can still sign up for the blog contest. Just post a comment telling me you want your named dropped in the hat. You could win a goddess pack! Or, because Vanda is especially difficult to please, if you are local, you could win my fabulously delicious chocolate cake. You have to be a follower though, so click on the follow button. It's easy peasy.
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Crazy Blogger?

Anybody else having Blogger problems. It looks like Blogger reposted my last post and stripped it of all its previous comments. Don't worry! I know if you want to be in the contest. Weird though...


Margaret's Exciting Blog Contest!

Smile 2Image via WikipediaWell, of course, I did hope that people would be enthusiastic about my exciting blog contest (see below). But I had no idea the response would be so overwhelming. Altadena Hiker said, "I never follow anyone, and I'm not about to start with you!" Desiree said, "Oh, you crass commercialist! First, you become a commercial shill and now this! I spit on you! !!"

Obviously, I'm besides myself with excitement. As they say, "It doesn't matter what people say about you, as long as they're saying something about you." Of course, since they're only saying this to me, I'm not really sure if it applies, but the point is: Join the fun!

The contest runs until Monday, May 23. There will be two winners: One faithful reader and one new follower. Faithful reader: post a comment telling me you want to be in the drawing. That's all you need to do. New Follower: push the follow button on the right. Post a comment telling me that you're a new follower and want to join the drawing. That's all you need to do.

Winners will receive all the things they need to make their own winsome goddess altar, including a certificate describing your personal goddess and a bunch of other stuff that will be cool and help you think about how this goddess can help you achieve your goals.

(P.S.: If you are reading this through Facebook or Networked Blogs, you'll need to leave that and go to http://margaretfinnegan.blogspot.com to post a comment.)

(P.S.S.: The real point of the contest is to GROW the blog in the hopes that it will increase my PLATFORM in the hopes that editors will want to buy the novel my agent is shopping around, so really it's for a good cause, aka: me).

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Goddess of the Week: Rosmerta

Statue of Rosmerta and Mercury from AutunImage via WikipediaThis week the goddess is for me. I am so grateful for all my blog readers, many of whom I think of as real friends. I'm grateful for your comments. I'm grateful for your time. I'm grateful for your questions, requests, visits and interest. So I need a goddess of gratitude, and I choose the Gaulish goddess Rosmerta.

Rosmerta is a goddess of abundance, but besides that she's a bit mysterious. All we really know is that she hung out in ancient France, she carried either a giant cornucopia or a purse, and that she sometimes wore the Roman god Mercury's little FTD cap (the one with wings). Some people take from that she was Mercury's ancient French eclair-of-love, but I like to think she stole that cap because it represented the height of haute couture. Either way, she's a goddess of plenty. She gives plenty, and I'm grateful for the plenty I've been given.

In honor of Rosmerta, I'm giving back to you. That's right...I'm having a CONTEST! Two lucky winners will win their very own goddess packs. Your goddess pack will include everything you need to make a winsome altar to your personal goddess (as chosen by me with your consultation), the goddess who will help you remember who you are, who you want to be, and why you need to keep your dreams alive.

One winner will be chosen from current followers. Just post a comment telling me you want to be included in the drawing and two weeks from today (May 23) I'll put all your names in a hat and have one of my lovely daughters draw a name. If she draws your name, you win!

One winner will be chosen from new followers. Just add my blog to your RSS feed! Then post a comment saying you're a new follower and want to be included in the new follower drawing. Two weeks from today (May 23), I'll put your names in a hat and have my other lovely daughter draw a name. If she draws your name, you win!

I'm so excited! Post your comment! Let's get started!

(P.S.: I'm still really loving the exclamation point! !!!)

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The Scout Report: National Security And the Market

As you make your investment choices for the season, please remember that national security always affects economic developments. The safer the backyard, the better the garden grows, as it were.

With this in mind, it is worth remembering that barking protects YOU. Only deluded do-gooders with their heads in the clouds see it as "invasive," "loud," "annoying," "excessive." The same is also true of sniffing. Is your "guest" hiding something "up there?" I could tell you if you'd just back off with "sit," "stay" already.

Now is the time to increase, not decrease, our defenses. And by that I mean, it is time to implement code "dark gray," wherein you keep the front door open so that I can sit on the porch and "observe" suspicious "neighbors" and, of course, keep a close on eye on local hostiles: the cats.

In regards to the market, safety always translates into dollars. In particular, increasing attention to the defense budget, via a more liberal distribution of "num nums," should positively impact the nation's mood, and, hence, consumer spending.