Deb's Monthly Review
bullet August 2001 bullet Festivals for Travelers,
Sites of the Month,
Special Feature, Quotes,
Opinions, Rants, Praises.

New: What Do Writers Do All Day? (Deb's Writer Cam)
Special Quote
"Writing is the only thing that,
when I do it, I don't feel I should
be doing something else."
--Gloria Steinem
The Other Side Of The News: To parents, teachers,
and other guardians
of children:

The Review is a place where adults or kids should be able
to stop by and browse comfortably.
But, remember - I have no control over outside links.
For happiest results, please surf the Web with your kids!


The Artsy Site
Of The Month:
Listen to (and buy) old radio shows.

Handy Site
Of The Month:

Creamy (egg-free) Caesar
A nice summer Caesar Salad without the dangers of raw egg.

Web Page Design Site
Of The Month:

10 Tips For Making Your Site More Useful
Written for women, but tips apply to either gender.

Seasonal Site
Of The Month:

Family Camping Lists
What to take for cooking, sleeping, and more.

Just Fun Site
Of The Month:

Babygrand Games
Click on the Etch-a-Sketch link™ for some fun.

Downright Serious Site
Of The Month:

Digital Freedom Network
Worldwide focus on folks who have been persecuted for practicing
free speech.

Historical Site
Of The Month:

Capture The Moment
Pulitzer Prize Photographs (for both slow and broadband connections).


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a card shop.
Click on the logo
to see for yourself!


Think you know it all?
Prove it at
And if you don't know
something you can get
some answers there.

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August Events
festivals For August Travelers

August 1-5, 2001
Gold Rush Days
Egan Drive area,
Valdez, Alaska
Historical reenactments, salmon bake, parade.
More information: Call 907-835-2984.

August 2-4, 2001
Raspberry Days
Garden City Park,
Bear Lake, Utah.
Crafts booths, parade, rodeo, fireworks, raspberry treats.
More: Call 800-448-BEAR(2327).

August 3-4, 2001
Blueberry Festival
Village Green & Library Lawn,
Montrose, Pennsylvania.
Pancake breakfast, lunch, raffle, massed band concert, games, antiquarian book sale, silent auction, white elephant sale, crafts games.
Additional information: Call 570-278-1881.

August 3-18, 2001
West Tennessee Cotton Festival
Crockett Mills Community Center,
Crockett Mills, Tennessee.
Pageants, arts and crafts, truck and tractor competitions, quilt show, dance.
Details: Call 901-696-5120.

August 3-5, 2001
Dublin Irish Festival
Coffman Park on Post Road,
Dublin, Ohio.
Celebrate Irish food, drink, dance and culture, 25-ton sand sculture (with room for kids to build their own structure nearby), 2-mile walk, Irish mass. There is an admission charge, but you can come at off-peak hours and get in free.
More information: Call 614-410-4545.

August 3-5, 2001
Huckleberry Days
Downtown area,
Whitefish, Montana.
Street dance, berry cooking contest, pie-eating contest, sidewalk sales.
More information: Call 406-862-3501.

August 4-5, 2001
LA Tofu Festival
237 South San Pedro Street,
Los Angeles, California
Health and fitness expo, childrens pavilion, parade, taiko drumming, cooking demonstrations. There is a one-dollar admission.
More: Call 213-473-1620.

August 4-5, 2001
Dry Bean Festival
unknown venue,
Tracy, California.
Entertainment, merchandise, cooking demonstrations, chili cooking contest, arts and crafts, Bean Run, antiques. Up to 60,000 people attend.
Additional information: Call 209-835-2131.

August 4-5, 2001
Eden Corn Festival
American Legion Post, Route 62,
Eden, New York.
This is the 38th year for the festival, which features a parade, games, arts and crafts, a car show, food, rides and games.
Further Details: Call 716-992-9141.

August 4-5, 2001
Aloha Festival
Presidio Parade Grounds,
San Francisco, California.
Polynesian dance and music, arts and crafts, educational workshops and cultural exhibits, food. There is no alcohol allowed at the event. There is a parking fee.
Additional information: Call 415-281-0221.

August 9-12, 2001
Hope Watermelon Festival
various venues,
Hope, Arkansas.
Watermelon eating contest, Fun Run, seed spitting contest, watermelon judging, arts and crafts, dog show, fish fry, chicken supper.
More: Call 870-777-3640.

August 11-12, 2001
Festival of the Arts
Downtown off Hwy 287,
Virginia City, Montana.
Art exhibits and sales, auction, quick-draw contest.
Details: Call 406-843-5555 or 800-829-2969.

August 17-19, 2001
Bite of Portland 2001
Waterfront Park on Front Avenue,
Portland, Oregon.
More than 20 restaurants and an equal number of Oregon wineries participate in this event, which includes plenty of musical entertainment in addition to the food. There is also a comedy stage. Proceeds benefit the participants of Special Olympics. There is a suggested three-to-five dollar donation for admission.
Additional information: Call 503-248-0600.

August 17-19, 2001
Wild Blueberry Festival
unknown venue,
Paradise, Michigan.
Arts and crafts, entertainment, pie eating contest, hay rides, concessions, fish fry, blueberry brunch.
More: Call 906-492-3219.

August 18-19, 2001
Blackberry Festival
Covelo, California.
Entertainment, country breakfast, farmers market, car show, 5k run, 10k run, wine tasting, arts and crafts.
More: Call 707-983-1070.

August 18-19, 2001
Arts & Fun Festival
IDES Fairgrounds, Stage Road,
Pescadero, California.
Thrift store fashion show, entertainment, area for kids, food and crafts. Funds benefit area youth programs. There is no admission charge. Please leave Fido home.
More: Call 650-879-0848.

August 20-26, 2001
International Kite Festival
On The Peninsula Beach area,
Long Beach, Washington.
Kite flying demonstrations and competitions.
Additional information: Call 360-642-2400 or 800-451-2542.

August 23-26, 2001
Telluride Mushroom Festival
unknown venue,
Telluride, Colorado.
Potluck supper, field walks to identify mushrooms, workshops and lectures, displays of mushrooms, mushroom parade. There is a registration fee.
More: Call 303-296-9359.

August 24-25, 2001
Potato Days
Main Street,
Barnesville, Minnesota.
Arts and crafts, bingo brunch, lefse cooking contest, whist tournament, flea market, antique equipment display, potato picking contest, potato sack fashion show, potato soup feed, potato peeling contest, chocolate festival, parade, mashed potato sculpture contest, parade, street dance.
Additional information: Call 218-354-2145 or 800-525-4901.

August 24-25, 2001
National Lentil Festival
Reaney Park and downtown,
Pullman, Washington.
Lentil cooking contest, parade, arts and crafts, 5K Fun Run/Walk, fishing derby, lentil pancake breakfast, skate board competition, softball tournament, All Day Tour de Lentil 100K Bike Ride.
More: Call 509-334-3565.

August 25-26, 2001
Cotato Accordian Festival
La Plaza Park,
Cotati, California.
Accordian music is featured in a variety of music genres. There will also be a polka dance party and a zydeco dance party. There are food and merchandise booths. There is an admission charge.
Additional information: Call 707-664-0444.

August 27-September 3, 2001
Burning Man Festival
Off Hwy 447 (closest town Gerlach),
Black Rock City, Nevada.
Music, theatre, talk of rituals, weddings, more. NOTE: This is an event full of surprises and is loosely structured in many ways. If you are not comfortable with that, you will not want to attend. There may be nudity, drugs and other activities (not necessarily condoned by the folks who put together the festival) that offend some folks. This is also a desert and you will be camping in primitive conditions. Leave Fido elsewhere, and bring supplies. There is a substantial admission charge.
Unable to locate phone number for more information.

August 31-September 3, 2001
North Carolina Apple Festival
unknown venue,
Henderson, North Carolina.
Arts and crafts, food, recipe contests, more.
More: Call 828-697-4557.

August 31-September 3, 2001
Marshall County Blueberry Festival
unknown venue,
Plymouth, Indiana.
More than 500 arts and crafts booths, parade, sports events, fireworks, amateur circus, plenty of blueberry treats.
More: Call 800-626-5353 or 219-936-9845.

It's always best to call ahead to verify festival information.
Please tell them you saw the information in Deb's Monthly Review.

Looking for information on travel agents and other travel assistance?
Want to find the search engines that focus on travel needs?
Need to know what to do about extra insurance on a trip?
Are you trying to find out how to convert currency?
You can get information on all these plus sign-up for a bi-monthly magazine at Travigator II

Remember those pomanders kids used to make,
with whole cloves used to stud oranges?

American Spice has 1-pound bags
of whole cloves on sale.

Click on the Great American Spice icon to order!

Buy great spices at great prices


I Can't Wait To See How This Story Turns Out
(Part Two of Two)

Note To Parents: I try to make the Review "safe" for a general audience, but because of the intense nature of the topic this month, this section contains references to grown-up issues which might not be appropriate for those little folks reading with you here. Please use your good judgment in deciding whether or not to share this particular Special Feature with kids.

This month we're finishing a look at the life of a writer.

"Sometimes, neophytes ask me what it takes to be a writer, and how can they know if they have it. I tell them, go home and bang your head on a porcelain sink until it doesn't hurt any more. If you can't wait to do it again tomorrow, you probably have what it takes to become a writer."
--Bradd Hopkins

Are you a would-be writer? If you've already decided the writing life is for you, very little I say will make an actual difference in whether or not you proceed. If you are not certain, I'm a little fearful of encouraging you further, because you really need to be so driven to write that no one could prevent it from happening.

"Know something, sugar? Stories only happen to people who can tell them."
--Allan Gurganus

At first glance this statement might appear to say that you have to literally live out a story in order to relay it to others, but I think what he is actually saying is that any story is in the eye of the beholder. Two people might view an event, but only one of them might be moved to see it as the basis for a good story. If you are ready to be fueled by things around you (remember that "third eye" I mentioned last time?) you will be so full of tales that you won't be able to contain yourself.

"It's better to write about things you feel than about things you know about."
--L.P. Hartley

This will go against the grain of some writing teachers, but I think the advice is sound. If you decide to set your story in Moscow or to make your main character a scuba diver, you can learn about these things if you do not already know about them. You can immerse yourself in literature, interviews, experience or travel. But what will hold your reader's attention longest is the thread of humanity running through the tale. People in Moscow feel pain and joy, hunger and triumph, lust and envy. So do people in Terre Haute, Indiana. Make us care about the characters in your story. Then we'll follow them anywhere and accept what they do, just to find out what happens to them.

"Thoughts fly and words go on foot. Therein lies all the drama of a writer."
Julien Green

If you've ever taken a course in active listening, you know that the human brain is capable of listening to people talk while processing several other things at the same time. When you listen to someone, you can also be aware of their body language. Try asking someone to recall the color of a childhood residence, and then watch their eyes. Most people will glance upward and a bit to the left as their brain accesses the visual memory. I recall a class in which we each shared some very emotional past experience, and we learned after listening to one another that the pitch of a person's voice actually rises when they come to a particularly emotional moment in the telling of a memory. These are all extra signals you can watch for when you interact with people in your everyday life. Taking note of these small details will help you when it's time to create amd describe the characters and dialogue in your own stories.

Watch actors. They use their whole body to portray a character. If you ever watch the old silent films you might laugh at the exaggerated movements and facial expressions, but remember, they had no voice intonations with which to relay the character's feelings. (if you think it's easy to do it without physical exaggeration, have a try at playing charades.)

I did a (very) wee bit of amateur stage work as a young person, and we "TV babies" of that generation had to learn that the subtle movements we were used to seeing on TV would not work on a stage. If you make a gesture, you must make it a big one, or it becomes lost in the scene. Actors being filmed for close-ups barely have to move their facial muscles in order to let us know what the character is thinking and feeling, and if they overdo it, it will look out-of-place.

Having said that, there are occasions when you want that exaggeration for comedic (or other) effect. At any rate, you can learn a lot as a writer by watching good actors work. You might even try your hand at acting in order to become more aware of how your own body tells a story, sometimes a very different story from the words you speak to other people. I have to confess I sometimes have fun watching body language in tedious social situations. For instance, if two people are talking, and a third person attempts to join them, the first two can actually chase the third person away without ever telling them to leave. They can remain in a closed position, facing each other, and not turning their bodies to include the third person in the imaginary circle it would take to make the person part of the "space".

You do have to be careful not to go overboard when you begin to use these things. A person might lean forward in his chair while listening to you, and you might interpret that to mean he is really interested in what you are saying, when in actuality, he may have a bad lower back, and is trying to relieve his discomfort. Take body language as a group of signals, a general collection of hints that can increase your understanding of how people communicate. Then, when you write, you can take an isolated body movement and use that to underscore your character's mood or state of mind.

"I never know what I think about something until I read what I've written on it."
--William Faulkner

Another thing writing (and English) teachers often preach to students is for them to find their own "voice" for telling a story. All this means is that you can tell a story with an attitude and an approach different from any other person in the universe, and that your story will ring true only if you tell it honestly, in a way only you can do.

This is also another one of those dangerous elements of writing. If you consider yourself to be a moral, or at least mild-mannered, individual, and are not prepared the first time you feel a rush while describing in graphic detail the glee with which a character maims her enemy, you might frighten yourself so much that you get up and walk away from your work. You should know that this is something that happens from time to time, and it does not make you a diabolical person. We all have dark places in our hearts, and if we want to be good writers, we will use the dark parts of ourselves as well as the light, to make the story a good read. Just because you can describe some murderous person is no reason to fear you will become that person. I have learned that my characters are an odd mix of everyone I've met, everyone I am, everyone I have yet to meet, and everyone I could become. If you embrace this concept as a gift, your characters will almost take on a life of their own.

"I was working on the proof of one of my poems in the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.
--Oscar Wilde

Some folks say the only real writing is in rewriting and editing. I think this can be true, because sometimes you just let the words flow for the first round and then you go back to polish and trim and shape your work. But sometimes you can second-guess yourself so much that you betray your own trust. One of the things that sometimes helps is to write with abandon and then set the piece aside for awhile. When you come back to it later, you will begin to see what a reader just finding your work might see.

"It's hard enough to write a good drama, it's much harder to write a good comedy, and it's hardest of all to write a drama with comedy. Which is what life is.
--Jack Lemmon

If you have ever grieved heavily for a loved one, you know what it's like that first time you have a good laugh. Your fun is supplanted by sudden guilt for enjoying the moment. Your laughter seems out of place and distorted, like an image in a funhouse mirror. But life is not made up of only joy or only sorrow. From the moment we are born, we begin, in one sense, to die. We all go ahead and live life anyway, loving and learning and even having fun. Using this undercurrent to balance your stories will touch your readers. They will bring their own life experience to your words and be bonded even more closely to that imaginative world you have built for them.

"If you think you're boring your audience, go slower not faster.
--Gustav Mahler

"A story isn't about a moment in time, a story is about the moment in time.
--W.D. Wetherell

There is no true beginning to the stories we tell. We are neither the first nor the last to mirror events, and the real world has gone on for quite some time. If you are having trouble writing a really gripping first paragraph for your story, you may be trying to go too far back into the lives of your characters. Pick a defining moment in the character's life and jump in with both feet. You can mention a few past details as you write, but don't get bogged down with trying to explain the whole long biography of who someone is. Show us who he is by moving the story forward. Begin your tale with that saddle-sore cowboy wearing a month of dust as he hits the ground running to tackle that calf for roping and branding. Don't start off by circling all the way back to describe the history of the whole trail drive.

"When in doubt, blow something up."
--J. Michael Straczinski

"When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.
--Raymond Chandler

"Always grab the reader by the throat in the first paragraph, send your thumbs into his windpipe in the second, and hold him against the wall until the tagline."
--Paul O'Neill

"What we want is a story that starts with an earthquake and builds to a climax."
--Samuel Goldwyn

I agree with Straczinski and Chandler to some extent. You can certainly liven things up by having wild threats or acts of violence occur without warning in your stories, but I like to consider what Alfred Hitchcock once told Francois Truffant in an interview. (and I'm paraphrasing here). Hitchcock said you could have two people seated at a table talking, and then suddenly have a bomb go off beneath the table. You might get a few seconds of shock value. But if you gave the audience (or readers) a bit of information that your characters did not have, you could get something more lengthy and memorable. If you let the audience know that someone had planted the bomb beneath the table, and let them know that the bomb was timed to detonate just in the midst of the conversation, your audience would then be on the edge of their seats, wanting to let the characters know that their lives were in great danger. With this bit of extra information, you have let your audience in on the building of suspense, and you will have their rapt attention for a lot longer than you would if you simply exploded the bomb without warning.

You don't always have to go into lengthy detail when you choose to build suspense. You can drop small hints, perhaps focusing on symbolic objects or details in a scene. This is sometimes referred to as "foreshadowing".

"A writer lives, at least, in a state of astonishment. Beneath any feeling he has of the good or evil of the world lies a deeper one of wonder at it all. To transmit that feeling, he writes."
--William Sansom

"You have to develop a conscience and if on top of that you have talent so much the better. But if you have talent without conscience, you are just one of many thousand journalists."
--F. Scott Fitzgerald

"I believe that good questions are more important than answers, and the best children's books ask questions, and make the readers ask questions. And every new question is going to disturb someone's universe."
Madeleine L'Engle

Part of your creative writing voice develops out of your sense of values and sense of morality. If you are, for instance, a Catholic priest who writes, it may go against your grain to include in your work a sense that evil will just naturally ultimately win out over good in the total scheme of things. My personal opinion is that you should accept this part of your voice as gracefully as you accept that dark part of you that creeps into your work. While you don't have to beat your audience (readers) about the head and neck with your religious or ethic foundation, neither should you apologize for having that foundation from which to build stories. And if you try to cheat, it will eventually show through, and be sure, your audience will find you out. It's one of those paradoxes of the literary world that, while your readers may not feel obligated to show the least bit of loyalty to you, they do expect you to be loyal to them with quality and consistency. When they curl up with one of your stories (or watch your work on stage or film) they will be jealous, possessive, and demanding. You'd better not disappoint them.

"Sex almost always disappoints me in novels. Everything can be said or done now, and that's what I often find: everything, a feeling of generality or dispersal. But in my experience, true sex is so particular, so peculiar to the person who yearns for it. Only he or she, and no one else, would desire so very much that very person under those circumstances. In fiction, I miss that sense of terrific specificity."
--Anatole Broyard

Should you tell all in your stories? I choose not to, because I feel, as Broyard does, that some life experiences transcend human description, and are best left to wonderment and private interpretation. It's also true that for the most profound experiences in life, too much detail can serve only to cheapen its meaning. I also think readers don't want to be told everything. Part of the fun of reading is in the joining of one's own experience to that of a story. I know this presents a dilemna for writers when it comes to writing about sex or about violence. Do you stop writing at the bedroom door? And do you fade out before you reach the graphic details of someone having his foot blown off in the front lines of a battle zone? I can't answer those questions. You will have to search your heart and do what works for you. I believe you can be true to the tale and true to your personal convictions at the same time, though it may not always be easy. And anybody who promises you that it's easy has not truly tried it.

"There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."

Learn the craft. Read, write, do your research, study grammar and study people. But know that there is no magic formula. You may sometimes sidestep a rule in order to coax meaning from words that the rules do not fully permit. Go ahead and do it, but do it with the full knowledge and responsibility that you have done so.

I've gone into quite a bit of detail about living the life of a writer. What about those who live life with a writer? All I can say is, Lord help them. This is actually the most difficult part of the writing life for me to explain. It's a bit like living with someone who has a troupe of controlled circus performers inside their head. These characters are both performers and ringmaster, and at any given moment they may rise from some shadowy place beneath the surface to either entertain you or to (psychologically, at least) throw you across the room. They may even dare to go about their antics as though you did not even exist in the world they share with "their" writer.

And in one sense, you do not exist in that world. No other person really ever owns a writer, perhaps not even the writer himself. You can eat with a writer, you can share laughter and pain, you can even catch a peek beneath the tent of activity now and then. But you are always an outsider in some cosmic sense. In the first part of this piece I mentioned that writing was lonely work. Some of you may have thought I meant that it's lonely because you are often alone when you work. No. What I really meant is that you exist with a feeling of being so set apart and unusual that almost no one else on the planet could possibly ever really understand the core of your personality.

Sometimes people ask my husband about my work, and he surprises them by telling them he rarely reads what I write, unless it is some technical project. This may sound strange. We've been together a long time, and you might think he would want to know all I'm thinking, but he's too wise a man for that. He is among the people in my life I can count on one hand who put up with me in spite of my fellow cast of thousands.

Allow me to use the example of actors again. Sometimes married actors have to do love scenes with people to whom they are not actually married. I have heard several of them say their spouse chooses not to come to the set or to the rehearsal on those days. Why would anyone want to watch their spouse share (even on a "pretending" level) something so intimate with another "character"? It has to be tough to handle, much the same as it is tough to handle living with someone who invents and manipulates living creatures with (seeming) ease.

It's a strange existence in which you can be going through the grocery store and seeing some man picking through the broccoli, and you find yourself studying his face on the sly, imagining how a character who looked a lot like him might go out of the store and go home and tell his wife he was leaving her. I've been known to initiate a conversation with a stranger in the hope of imprinting the sound of their voice on my mind so I can remember it later when I need a character to say something like, "There was never any question as to his guilt. It was his denial of our guilt I was questioning." Sometimes you imagine one character saying one line, and you suddenly have to find a place to write down the first paragraph of a novel. It's partly habit, partly instinct, partly creative drive and partly human need to be understood by reaching out with universal themes that other humans can recognize and respond to.

So you always thought it would be fun to write? Oh, it will be. It will be like nothing else you have ever done, if you do it right. Every thought will open the way to another thought and then another, until you find yourself used to being viewer and participant, actor and director, acrobat and ringmaster. Why run away and join the circus when the circus has already joined you? You'll be keeping one toe in contact with the base of reality most of the time, but you'll be most comfortable in that other world where you reinvent reality as it could be.

Some of you are already reaching for pen and paper. You just caught a glimpse of sunlight through the fork of an oak tree branch and your mind is already forming the beginnings of the first scene for a story. It's not a safe life you'll lead, and it's not easy. But you know there is no other way to live.

Bungee jumping without a cord? Car chases without a stunt driver? High-wire work without a net?

You'll do it all and you'll take us along with you. You're a writer.

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Once upon a time there was a man with a gentle voice and quiet charm. He made several movies and worked in a TV show playing a character who rode a motorcycle from town to town, touching lives, and singing a little here and there. Then some of us didn't hear much of him for awhile.
We wondered if he would ever come to sing for us again.

Michael Parks is not only singing, but he recorded 17 songs for us to enjoy.

If you haven't closed your eyes and dared to dream for a long while, take heart. These are songs to dream by.

And you'll believe he sings just for you.
This one was worth waiting for.

Take a trip to Listen Recordings
where you can order your copy.

Michael Parks - Coolin Soup' - Listen Recordings


A Little Browsing...

We're pleased to host the work of artisan Joan Garnand on our little patch of light on the web. Joan's creations are finally finding their way out of her Tennessee community and into the hearts of admirers everywhere.
Check out Joan's zucchini/squash casserole recipe.
This busy lady also began her TV stint this past spring, and is sharing her cake decorating and candy-making skills on a local Chattanooga station.
She is spending this spring doing face painting and hand-painted stationery at Tennessee festivals.

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In addition to seeing professional rodeo competitors, you can watch teams of prison inmates from various parts of Oklahoma participate in the 2001 Oklahoma Prison Prison Outlaw Rodeo. The event is coming up soon, so get tickets now.

Pick-your-own fresh produce is plentiful this time of year. You can find famrs in Vermont, North Carolina and Arizona.

One of my favorite spots is in Utah. You can imagine yourself standing and looking over God's shoulder while He paints with sunlight on the craggy canvas that is Bryce Canyon National Park.

When you need to know how many pixels wide something on your monitor screen is, try this handy free tool called Screen Calipers.

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Find great restaurant reviews and more at


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Rubber stamp collectors!
Did you send for yours yet?

Anne-Made Designs has a 258-page catalog.
To get yours, you'll need a check for $8.50.

(if you are new to stamping, I should tell you
it's a common practice to pay for catalogs)

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Put some unusual color in your spring meals with the Exotic Grain Sampler,
which includes Purple Thai Rice, Himalayan Red Rice Black Japonica Rice and Black Barley.
Get yours at Indian Harvest.

Gourmet Gifts @ Indian Harvest! Click to Shop!


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A thanks on your page and a link back to this page would be great. Do drop me a line or two of email so I can see and enjoy your page.

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Do be a dear and ask before you lift whole portions of the Special Review or something.
Remember! Those of us who publish on the web are not saying our work is in the public domain.
When in doubt about your use of someone's else's writings or graphics, ask!
If you want to use graphics or text on a commercial page, contact me first, please, and we'll work something out.

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