Sunday, April 24, 2016

Interview with Professional Bull Rider Lynx Maddox

Connie: Today’s rodeos feature the most skilled cowboys and cowgirls. They show off their roping, riding, and many other talents to the world. Being a rodeo cowboy, especially a bull rider, is a dangerous occupation where the only the strongest and smartest will take home the victory.
I’d like to welcome, Lynx Maddox, one of rodeo’s top bull riders, to Sunday Snippets today.

Lynx: “I’d like to thank all of the Sunday Snippets readers for logging on for my interview.”

Connie: “For the readers who aren’t familiar with PRO rodeo cowboys who support community projects for worthy causes. Lynx, you were at the Fairgrounds this weekend to support and build awareness for projects to prevent domestic violence, isn’t this correct?”

Lynx: “Yes. Dan and were at the Snake River Stampede last week where a local band helped collect donations to support a newly built women’s shelter.”

Connie: “I know you are reluctant to brag. . .but virtually all former and current world champions have competed at the Stampede at one time or another. However, few are as generous with donating their purse winning as readily as you are.”

Lynx: “Now, I wouldn’t say that. Everyone does what he or she can to help contribute to these worthy causes. . .be it in dollars or in time. . .Weren’t we gonna discuss the sport of bull riding?”

Connie: ”Yes, Wildcat, we are. According to the ABBI guidelines for judging bull riding, based on five categories: buck, kick, spin, intensity, and degree of difficulty. All of which sound extremely uncomfortable for the rider. Would you mind explaining what this all means?”

Lynx: Dry chuckle. “‘Buck’ refers to the height achieved with the front feet and shoulders as a bull begins each jump of a trip. Technically correct bulls will complete this action by kicking their hind legs, however not all will kick, and that is a separate category from buck. Bulls that “get in the air” and get their front feet a foot or two off the ground as they peak and break over get the most credit in the buck category. Another consideration is the number of jumps they complete during the course of the trip. Still another factor can be how much ground they cover.”

Connie: “I know the ‘Kick’ refers to the extension and snap of the hind legs at the peak of each jump. But I don’t know the determining factors for scoring.”

Lynx: “Again, the score is determined by how high and how hard the bull kicks, how much vertical body angle he achieves as he kicks, and whether or not he kicks each and every jump. Additionally, bulls that kick at the peak of each jump instead of waiting until their front feet reach the ground deserve more credit in this important category.”

Connie: “So at any time, a bull rider can find himself falling under one of the massive animals?”

Lynx: “Well, I reckon so, but that is not the aim of the rider. . .”

Connie: “Sorry, but. . .”

Lynx: “Heard about what happened–”

Connie: “In Cheyenne, Wyoming? Yeah.”

Lynx: “The ‘Spin’.” Takes a sip of coffee. “Also referred to as the speed category, spin is the most difficult to assess if a bull is only ridden for a jump or two. In this situation, a judge must assume that the amount a bull was spinning (or the number of rounds) would have continued at the same rate for eight seconds. For this reason, it is important, in order to achieve high marks in the spin department, to “turn back” or begin to spin as early as possible so that more time is spent spinning than covering ground.”

Connie: “The ‘Spin’ is assessed the same way?”

Lynx: “Basically yes.”

Connie: “The final category is ‘Degree of Difficulty’. Difficulty equals painful, I take it?”

Lynx: “Naw. By the end of the ride most bull rider’s bodies are numb.”

Connie: Smothering a laugh. “Please continue.”

Lynx: “There are a number of factors that can occur in a bull’s trip that elevate the degree of difficulty, and it is important to note that the bull that does everything else right automatically has a high degree of difficulty for that simple reason. Therefore, just because a bull is honest and doesn’t use tricks to get a rider off, he shouldn’t be penalized in this category for doing things right. Having said that, there are those elements of a trip that some bulls employ that make them harder to ride than bulls that don’t. These things don’t necessarily make a bull better, and again it should be mentioned that the most desirable methods of increasing degree of difficulty are by doing the core elements (buck, kick, and spin) well. Furthermore, the bull that is using time and energy performing some of the trickier elements generally associated with degree of difficulty is usually losing ground in some other area. The most generally defined elements of this category are: drift or fade, accomplished by a bull covering ground as he spins; moving forward in the spin; belly roll; drop; direction change; and lack of timing.”

Connie: “Lynx, thank you so much for taking time from your packed schedule to explain the element of rodeo to those of us here at Sunday Snippets. You make bull riding sound like everyone’s nine-to-five job. But we all know that isn’t true. Rodeo is a very dangerous sport.”

Lynx: “I can’t deny that fact.”

Connie: “Where are you off to tomorrow?”

Lynx: “Tonight. After I wrap things up at the Fairgrounds, I’m driving up to Running Springs, Montana.” Rising to his feet, he tips his hand and exits the booth.

Connie: speaking over the canned music, ‘The Yellow Rose of Texas,”Thank you, Wildcat. Let’s all thank Lynx Maddox for stopping by today.”

Lynx is 99 Cents at (Kindle).

Remember to stop by and visit these wonderfully talented who are members of the Sunday Snippets Blog Hop!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

What Is Your Favorite Food?

Today"s topic:  What is your favorite food or meal? 

My favorite food?  I think favorite foods change as a one matures and evolves from life experience.
As a child I recall visiting my grandparents in Plainview, Texas.  The scent of sulfur from a match and the whoosh of the gas burner lighting, heralded the fragrance of biscuits, sausage, and fried eggs, over easy. A neighbor's clambake in Charleston, SC, when I had to stand on tippy-toes to see over the edge the table, provided my first experience salty-Atlantic smell of steamed clams and oysters.

As a teenager living in Florida, fresh-caught seafood, coleslaw and freshly squeezed lime was the food I enjoyed.  I also discovered a revulsion for both turtle soup and grits.   

As an adult, coffee at Cafe DuMonde, stands out as one of my favorite encounters with food.  
The breeze from the delta, the cool morning, a soft sunrise, and fresh benigns dusted liberally with powdered sugar, still makes me smile.  I believe food is always tied into social activities or memories of a special experience--this is what makes us include the food in family gatherings.

Turkey, of course is the celebrated food this time of year.  Often the leftovers are served as grandmother sandwiches, soup, turkey ala King, the possibilities are seemingly endless. While the remaining teaspoon or two of leftover jellied cranberry sauce is swirled in cream cheese as a frosting atop chocolate brownies.  

What is my favorite food?  The food that is so scrumptious that I am forever hooked?

That is a very tough question. SoCal offers avocado, vegan, and array of designer foods.  However, bowing to Texan days-- chili is one of my favorites. Served as an entree, topping a baked potato, or Baja-style on a garden salad with onions and cheddar cheese, I have a recipe especially for the crockpot (this is different from the Not-for-Sissies version featured in Lynx). And since I am a fan of (non-alcoholic) eggnog, I discovered an easy eggnog point cake recipe--both of which I will share.

Easy Eggnogg Pound Cake
1 (18.25 or 18.50 ounce) pkg. yellow cake mix
1 (4-serving size) pkg. instant vanilla pudding and pie filling mix
3/4 cup Boren EggNog
3/4 cup vegtable oil
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon round nutmeg
Powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In large bowl, combine, cake mix, pudding mix, Eggnogg and oil; beat on low speed until moistened. Add eggs and nutmeg; beat at medium-high speed 4 minutes. Pour into greased and floured 10-inch Bundt pan.

Bake 40 - 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Store leftovers covered at room temperature.

Homestyle Chili

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (lowfat)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cans (about 15 ounces each) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained.
2 cans  (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 to 3 teaspoon chili powder
1 to 2 teaspoons dry hot mustard
3/4 dried basil leaves 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
1 to 2 dried hot chili peppers

Cook and stir ground beef, onion, bell pepper and gRlic in large skillet until meat is browned and onion tender, drain.

Add beans, tomato sauce, tomatoes with juice, chili powder, mustard, basil, black pepper, and chili pepper.  Mix well.

Spoon into crockpot, cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours. Or 4 - t hours on high.  Remove chili pepper before serving.

Remember all of my novels and novellas include my personal recipes.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Vintage Perfumes: The Fragrances That Defined Each Decade by Connie Vines

Welcome to this week's Sunday Snippets!

Since my next BWL release is an anthology I'd thought I'd touch on a subject that is near and dear to my heroine, Persia Richmond.  A perfumer and perfumery owner of a shop in the French Quarter of New Orleans,   

And, I must confess, is a snippet of my past.  Having been a fragrance consultant at an exclusive fragrance perfumery, I too, share Persia's love of fragrances, art glass, and the art of perfuming.

Nothing can transport you back in time like a fragrance. They say that your sense of smell is the most powerful and evocative sense, and it’s true: Emeraude reminds me of my mother, Quorum my husband, and Halston Z-14 reminds me of my teens and guys who bathed in a cologne—rather than indulging in a spritz or two.

“A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” – Coco Chanel  

This may have been a dramatic overstatement, however, when I was in the business of selling perfume, quotes such as these, gave women confidence when she entered a room! And Chanel No. 5 is one of the most popular fragrances of all time, a bottle of it is sold every 30 seconds (this includes me :-), too).  

Coco Chanel also stated that women should wear perfume wherever they hoped to be kissed. Wise words indeed – please note that this does not mean ‘layered’ in perfume, as perfume counter girls armed with spray bottles will advise you.  No one should be able to smell your perfume unless they’re that little bit closer than is polite, then it should be something delicious and intoxicating.
Whilst researching which perfumes were popular over the decades I was surprised how many of these I’ve actually owned. Over the years, I’ve tried Anais Anais, Shalimar, Opium, Poison, Red, and Patou 1000 before I finally settled on Chanel No. 5. Of course, I selected one of the most expensive perfumes on the market, but I guess there is a good reason why it’s been a bestseller since it was launched in 1921!  

Vintage Perfumes: The Fragrances that Defined Each Decade

It’s surprising how many of these perfumes are still best sellers even now, but then why would they go out of fashion?

Popular Perfumes in the 1920s.

Chanel No. 5, launched in 1921, was an immediate success even though it was the preserve of the rich at this time.  Famously worn by Marilyn Monroe, the square bottle design was rumored to been inspired by the design of a whiskey decanter.

Guerlain’s Shalimar launched first in 1925. It is one of the most popular fragrances of all time and was said to be inspired by Mumtaz Mahal, the women for whom the Taj Mahal was built. The perfume was named after the Gardens of Shalimar in Lahore, Pakistan, which were also built for her.
Popular Perfumes in the 1930s.

Tabu by Dana Fragrances which were popular in the 1930s included Tabu by Dana (a sexy evening perfume), which was launched in 1932 and Je Reviens by House of Worth, both of which remain available today.

In 1934 Elizabeth Arden developed Blue Grass.

Perhaps the most notable perfume of the 1930s was Joy by Jean Patou, voted Scent of the 20th Century at the Fragrance Foundation FiFi awards in 2000. It was created in 1929 (the year of the Wall Street Crash) and even though it was marketed as ‘the world’s most expensive perfume’, it was a huge hit. It is also considered to be one of the greatest floral fragrances of all time.

Popular Perfumes in the 1940s.

L'Air du Temps by Nina Ricci (in a pretty glass bottle with a bottle stopper fashioned as two doves). After the war lighter and fresher perfumes became more popular, one of which was the still-popular Miss Dior by Christian Dior in 1947.

Popular Perfumes in the 1950s.

Femme de Rochas was a rich, sultry perfume aimed at the femme fatale created in 1944.
Arpege by Lanvin is a floral romantic perfume, created in 1927,  but became particularly popular during the 1950s.

Max Factor’s Hypnotique and Primitif (as advertised by Jean Patchett above) were popular and an affordable perfume for the masses compared to the fragrances by the big fashion houses.
Soir de Paris by Bourjois was a popular fragrance amongst teenagers during the 1950s. It was discontinued in 1969, but relaunched in 1992.

Popular Perfumes in the 1960s.

Oh! de London by Tuvache, YSL Rive Gauche was a popular 1960s scent Hubert  de Givenchy created L’Interdit for Audrey Hepburn and she wore the perfume for many years before it was released to the public in 1957. She featured in the adverts for L’Interdit throughout the 1960s.
Tuvache’s Oh! de London is a bright sparkling scent which perfectly captured the mood of the swinging sixties.

Guerlain introduced the heady oriental scent Chamade in 1969.

Popular Perfumes in the 1970s.

Charlie by Revlon and Diorella by Christian Dior, a perfume for the independent woman who has everything, were both very popular.

Opium by Yves Saint Laurent, launched in 1977, and was a heady, rich oriental evening perfume.
Christian Dior released the classic perfume Diorella, which combines citrus and musky notes.
Anais Anais by Cacharel, launched in 1978 and was an immediate hit (my brother gave this to me as a Christmas Gift).
 Did I list one of your favorite perfumes?

Or, perhaps a fragrance you’ve never dared to try?

Perfuming is an art.  Indulge your senses, enjoy the fragrance—it’s mystical, it’s magical, is the new you:-).
Happy Reading,


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