By Stephanie Bunker
Moapa Valley Progress
Best selling author, Dian Thomas came to Lin’s Marketplace in Overton for a special book-signing event on Monday afternoon, June 11. Thomas has written eighteen books, many of which are now available at Lin’s for purchase.
In recent weeks, Thomas has been on tour visiting Associated Food stores throughout Utah. Earlier in the year she did a round of book signings, visiting 46 stores. Thomas then took a break and spent a month giving guided tours in China. Now she is starting her second round of book signings.
Not only is Thomas a writer, but she is also a television personality. Years ago she first appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. After that, Thomas’s book “Roughing it Easy” made the New York Times Best Seller List. Thomas later had regular segments on the Today Show and ABC’s Morning show for a total of 14 years. Of these experiences, Thomas wrote in her book, Holiday Fun Year-Round: “The problem was to come up with new ideas for the show every week! This made me stretch my thinking and perspective.”
At Lin’s, Thomas showed displays of her creative camping ideas from her books, “Roughing it Easy” and “Recipes for Roughing it Easy.”
As Thomas visited with people passing by, she was doing some dutch oven cooking. She had a dutch oven set on a gas stove and was sautéeing squash and onions.
This was just one of many camping ideas on display. She was also showing her homemade camp shower made by flipping an umbrella upside down, then placing a light shower curtain around the spokes of the umbrella. The umbrella could be hung from a tree, she said.
“It isn’t expensive stuff,” Thomas commented about the many of the camping ideas she presented.
As she was doing her dutch oven cooking, Thomas couldn’t lift the lid on the dutch oven because it was too hot. So using her creative mind, she grabbed a paper plate and folded it to fit under the handle.
“Whatever you don’t have, you just figure it out,” Thomas said.
Thomas also displayed a hand washing station set up for camping. She had poked a hole in the bottom of an empty Clorox bottle and filled the bottle with water. If the hole is round, it creates a suction cup when the lid is twisted on tight and it doesn’t let water out. But when the cap is twisted loose, water can come out of the hole, allowing one to wash his/her hands.
Thomas also put a bar of soap in a nylon stocking then tied it to the Clorox bottle to complete the hand washing station.
Thomas had two different types of fire starters on display. She put lint from the clothes dryer in each hole of an egg carton, then melted wax over it. The wax helps the flame burn hotter and longer. When you are ready to start a fire, you just tear one section off of the carton leaving 11 more starters for later.
Some could say that Thomas could do magic with her other fire starting trick. She took two batteries, put them together and rubbed fine steel wool over the ends. Before you know it she had a fire going in the steel wool.
Thomas also shared a few camping food recipes including meatloaf in an onion. She cut an onion in half, hollowed out part of it, and put hamburger inside. She then wrapped it in tin foil and put it on the coals for 15 minutes on each side.
Thomas’ most recent book is about her own weight loss journey, and her tips to help others lose weight as well. This book is called, “Tipping the Scales in Your Favor.”
“Losing weight has to be a lifestyle,” she said. “It needs to be your lifestyle.”
Thomas eats three meals a day with three snacks.
“It all depends on choice and portion size,” she said. “Arrange things in your fridge in small containers for smaller portions.”
She went on to say that keeping her portions small helps her limit herself.
“If peanut butter is your weakness, put one tablespoon in a small container and make several of them, then only eat one for a snack,” she said.