Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Traditions

My grandmother Higdon was a superstitious woman. She was always looking out for her family by telling us to be careful not to break a mirror or we would have seven years of bad luck, not to let a black cat cross our path, not to walk underneath ladders, and NEVER open an umbrella in the house. Any one of these could cause some long-term disaster.

As this year ends, I remember my childhood and the most important thing we did as a family on New Year's Day--that was to have a big helping of black-eyes peas. Meme (that was what I called my grandmother) said that it would bring us prosperity. It seemed to work; we always had enough money to meet our needs.
Some other New Year's superstitions and traditions:

*Kiss your lover at mid-night to assure love all year long.
*Open you doors and windows at mid-night to let the old year out and the new year in.
*Wear new clothes on New Year's Day so that you have new garments all year.
*A baby born on January 1 will have good luck all their life.

***Is there a special tradition you practice on New Years that may have been handed down or practiced by your ancestors or family?

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year's Resolutions


Do you make New Year's Resolutions? I've made them for years and never get more than one or two completed, but I love the challenge. Here are a few of mine for the coming year.
1. Lose 5 pounds.
2. Get rid of a "ton of junk" at a yard sale.
3. Relax more.
4. Write, write, write.
***What are your goals for 2009?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

N-E-W Y-E-A-R

I've been thinking of a way to list my personal blessings as the New Year unfolds before me. So using the letters N-E-W Y-E-A-R here I go....

N-New friends of this blog
E-Every family member is precious to me
W-Warm comfortable country home

Y-Young attitude-always learning
E-Each moment of life is a gift from God
A-Angels are all around us
R-Riley, my miniature schnauzer + Tai, Tora, and Tucker

***How will you fill in the letters of the New Year?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What Will Next Year Bring?

May God make your year a happy one!
Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;
Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy to travel any path;
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you when people and their causes need you most,
and by making you anxious to be there to help.
God’s love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead
-Author Unknown

New Year's Day Giveaway

Hi Gals... I hope your Christmas was full of holiday cheer.

As most of you know, I'm having a PASHMINA SCARF / SHAWL GIVEAWAY.

This time I will draw two (2) names. The lucky winners will be drawn on New Year's Day~ 2009.

Here are the rules:
~ 1 Point for leaving a comment. Enter everyday!
~ 3 Points if you become a "follower" (See other "follower" photos at right)
~ 5 Points each time you mention my giveaway on your blog. (Please let me know if you do this. Thanks a million!)

The scarfs are well worth the effort.

Good luck to all.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

If Christ Be Thine

My dear friend, if Christ be thine, there is no song on earth too high, too holy for thee to sing; nay, there is no song which thrills from angelic lips, no note which thrills Archangel’s tongue in which thou mayest not join. Even this day, the holiest, the happiest, the most glorious of words, and thoughts, and emotions belong to thee. Use them! God help thee to enjoy them; and his be the praise, while thine is the comfort evermore. Amen.
-Spurgeon

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL ! ! !

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Goal Is?

I know we haven't yet celebrated Christmas, but.....

The new year will be here soon and most of us will want to improve our lives by setting goals for ourselves. I seem to always have five or six I'm working on and actually accomplish a few of them by the end of the year.

This year I intend to concentrate on a quote I read this evening. I'll post it in my journal and read it daily.

"Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything. Unless in the first waking moment of the day you learn to fling the door wide back and let God in, you will work on a wrong level all day; but swing the door wide open and pray to your Father in secret, and every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God." -Oswald Chambers

~What one goal do you have for the New Year?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Greatest Gift

How many people have you hugged today? Love is the greatest gift of all.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Forever Gift

I read somewhere that a writer is almost always a reader and that those who read are compelled to write. I know that's true in my own life. I have always been "in love" with books...they are a large part of my life. And I've always been a writer--mostly private-- until I produced this blog. Since books are so important to me, it is only natural that I want those around me to experience the joy and inspiration they can bring into our lives.

Now getting to the point of this post. I'm suggesting to each one who reads this entry that we give at least one book as a gift this Christmas and that we give at least one book each month, throughout the year, to someone we care about.

A couple of years ago I ordered, from Amazon, inspirational books for women in our county jail. I DID NOT send novels. The books I donated were all non-fiction, easy to read Bibles, and self-help types (Joyce Meyers, Beth Moore, etc).

After being released, a young lady came to my door. She gave me a big hug, cried, and thanked me for a Bible (called The Book) that I had sent to her while she was incarcerated and told me how it and the other books had changed her life. That's a special moment I WILL NEVER FORGET.

Books are "forever" gifts. Once read, they become like an old friend and companion. They have taken us to places we only dream about or inspired us to reach for the higher calling inside ourselves. Each book touches us in some way and becomes a part of our lives forever.

*** Which book will you give this Christmas?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kendyl Grace ~ Our Christmas Angel










Hello friends!

I received an email today from our daughter Lori (Kendyl Grace's grandmother). Many of you have been keeping up with Kendyl's progress and know that she was born a few months ago with a very serious intestinal condition. She made a miraculous recovery and came home from the hospital for the first time on Thanksgiving Eve.



Lori's email is primarily to all of you who prayed with us for Kendyl.

"I wanted to take a moment out of this busy time to update all our prayer warriors on Kendyl's progress. She has been to her doctor twice since leaving the hospital and each time her doctors have been very pleased with her progress.

She has been steadily gaining weight and is now officially 9 lbs 2 oz! She is eating on demand (and she is very demanding) and sleeping when everyone is up and staying awake when everyone wants to go to bed. So in other words, she is a typical newborn!!

She has started to smile and coo. She loves to lay on her back and look up and around. She can be a bit fussy here and there and has maintained her stubborn streak!

Have a very MERRY Christmas and I have attached a new picture to remind you of your prayer miracle!!! God Bless!! Lori and Joe"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Whispers Of The Past

Christmas is a time of many traditions and a time to get out all of our holiday collections. We sit them on mantles and window sills, hang them on walls and in doorways, but most of all we decorate our trees with them.

Jim and I finally got around to putting up the tree last night. It's not the same without the children (I call them children, even though they're grown) being here to participate in all the excitement of the night. When they were young we would play Christmas music and Jim would bring out the big old box with our 30 year old fake tree in it and the season would start at that very moment, in earnest.

Last night as I opened box after box, I discovered many wonderful memories of Christmas past. There were the little glass drums that Jim and I bought for our first Christmas, 45 years ago. There were the ornaments that I had done in crewel work over a period of years and the fancy ornaments my mother had done by hand once while she was visiting us. There were also the little dolls (see a few of them above) I had collected over all those years, so many that at times one couldn't see the tree for all of them-- until I stopped putting so many on the tree. Now there's just the memories and Jim and me trying to have a Christmas party together. Getting old certainly has it's drawbacks.

The end result is a tree of beautiful lights, adornments and whispers of the past.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rose Mary's Cabin

Rose Mary over at Life In A Cordwood Cabin has posted a photo of the shawl/scarf she won in my last week's giveaway. Be sure to take some time to visit and take a look.

Thanks Rose Mary for posting the pic. I hope you enjoy the gift.

Rules for my next giveaway are listed below.

Merry Christmas to everyone!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

NEW GIVEAWAY STARTS TODAY

Hi Gals...

It's time for another PASHMINA SCARF/SHAWL GIFT GIVEAWAY. This time I will draw two (2) names. The lucky winners will be drawn on New Year's Day~ 2009.

Here are the rules:

~ 1 Point for leaving a comment. Enter everyday!

~ 3 Points if you become a "follower" (See other "follower" photos at right)

~ 5 Points each time you mention my giveaway on your blog.


The scarfs are well worth the effort.


Good luck to all.

We Have Snow and Mistletoe

Hi Ladies...come on in and stay awhile. Let's visit.

It's been another busy day...baking and getting ready for our family to gather here on Christmas Eve. I have the usual fire going in the fireplace and there's snow on the ground outside--more is expected tonight.

A few nights ago Jim and I watched "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby and were wishing right along with them for some snow. I couldn't believe we could actually have a chance of seeing our own white Christmas, but the odds are looking pretty good at this point. Temps are supposed to stay in the low teens for several days and that means there won't be much melting. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I took a photo (see above) of a few new items I bought at Ross for the Christmas table. I just couldn't resist the large and smaller bowl, covered casserole, cookie plate, water pitcher, and deviled egg dish. Especially, the egg dish. They are one of my weaknesses and something I collect, I think.

I usually have the traditional red and green holiday theme, but this year I'm going with pinks and burgundy as seen in the dishes above.

So anyway that's what is going on here. Hope you are all feeling the Holiday Spirit!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Love

In these last few days before Christmas I find myself busy with cleaning, baking, and presents to buy, but when I stop to think, the gifts that matter most are the pure expressions of selfless love.

The most important things we can give anyone is kindness, understanding, appreciation, and affirmation.

So today I want to suggest a few ways to celebrate THIS SEASON OF LOVE.

1. Give a card listing things you sincerely appreciate about the person.

2. Do one random act of kindness each day from now until Christmas.

3. Make some one's favorite holiday treat and surprise them with it...tied with a bow and a message of love and appreciation.

4. Give a Christmas ornament with special meaning.

5. Buy matching shirts for you and your "special someone." Stick a note in the pocket, saying, "You are my soul-mate. We are a match made in Heaven. Love forever and a day."

6. Ask someone who lives alone to attend a Christmas event with you and afterward take them out for coffee and dessert.

7. Resolve to smile at everyone you meet--even if they don't smile back.

8. Affirm the unique personality and talents of everyone you know.

9. Love with all of your heart--don't hold back, even if your heart's been broken before.

10. Say "I love you" to your family members and hug like you mean it. It may be difficult at first, if you haven't been expressive before now, but it will become more natural over time.

11. As the song goes-- "Let it begin with me." We can't wait for someone else to make the first move-- it may just leave us waiting forever.

12. What other ways can we demonstrate God's love?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Enjoy Today

Last evening Jim and I built a fire in the fireplace, had a nice warm dinner of steak and baked potatoes, and watched a DVD of an old classic Donny and Marie Christmas show. It was so different back then. The program was centered around the birth of Christ and family and they weren't afraid to talk about it. I bought it (see right hand column) from the Amazon.com site last year and it's always a delight to watch.

Today Jim and I are going to be busy with Christmas preparations. I have a list for him to work on and I'll be busy cleaning and baking. I want to make sugar cookies, freeze, and then frost them a couple of days before the BIG EVENT.

There is still so much to do and so much baking to finish, but I'm trying to live in the moment and enjoy every little thing I do for my family. We just never know what life will bring next, so it's important to appreciate the people and blessings we have in our life at this moment.

Well, I better get busy! Not a minute to waste! Merry Christmas to all and enjoy TODAY!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Chocolate Covered Cherries

We all have our specialities and mine is Chocolate Covered Cherries. I've been making them for many years. Each holiday the family looks forward to having them on the Christmas table.

After I mentioned them a few days ago, readers ask for the recipe. So here it is:

CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRIES

1 jar maraschino cherries, drained

Evaporated milk

1/2 cup margarine at room temperature

1 pound powdered sugar (more or less)

Soften margarine to room temperature; blend powdered sugar (sifted), adding a little evaporated milk to aid in blending until consistency of dough. Wrap each cherry in the sugar-butter mixture and chill.

Melt 5 to 7 squares of semi-sweet chocolate or a package of chocolate chips in top of double boiler; add about 1/3 block paraffin and melt.

Dip each chilled cherry in chocolate and place on wax paper to set. Chill in refrigerator.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

AND THE WINNER IS......

The winner of the new PASHMINA WOOL SCARF is Rose Mary at Life In A Cordwood Cabin. Please send me your address and your 3 choices of color in order of preference, so I can send your gift out right away.

Thanks to all who entered and CONGRATULATIONS and MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ROSE MARY!!

Look for another drawing soon.

Christmas Comes Early

Hello friends!

As most of you probably remember, last summer I took up biking after years of not even touching one. That was a real experience--the fear of falling, learning to balance again, and adjusting to stopping with hand-brakes. But I continued to practice and by the end of summer was riding pretty well for an old gal.

Well....last evening Jim and I were doing a little Christmas shopping at our son's store (he's the manager) and right there beside the front window was the bike of my dreams!

Oh...my... gosh!! I just had to have it!!!! This was the Christmas presents of ALL CHRISTMAS PRESENTS!!!!! Just what I wanted--a Barbie Pink beach cruiser-- a bike with no gears or handbrakes. They're like the old fashioned kind I had when I was young, but a little more sophisticated in color and style. You don't use your hands to stop it--you use the pedals. Just my speed!!!! I hear they're very popular now in California.

Son, Matt, took the bike out of the window for me and said I could ride it around the store. That was nice of him, but no thanks, for Pete's sake! Can't you just see the spectacle? Well, we compromised and I sat on it to see if the height was right. No, the seat was too tall. Matt adjusted it. Now would I ride it around the store? NO THANKS, AGAIN.

Jim could see that "my inner child" WANTED THAT BIKE and agreed it would be my early Christmas present. Matt put a SOLD sign on it and Jim will come with his truck and pick it up today.

A new bike for Christmas!! Haven't had that happen since I was a little girl.

Speaking of childhood gifts...what's the gift that stands out most in your "childhood memory?"


***Don't forget. The drawing for the new scarf is this afternoon. Leave a comment to enter.



Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One More Day Until.....

Hello Ladies!

Life In A Cordwood Cabin is having a giveaway. I've entered my name and I thought you might also be interested in entering. Take a look at her blog.

Don't forget to enter my Pashmina Shawl/Scarf (valued at $99.00 and up) giveaway. I'll draw a name tomorrow!! (All you have to do is leave a comment.)

Note: Leave a cookie or candy recipe in comments and you will receive an additional 5 entries. Enter as many times as you wish.

Hurry...time is running out!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Merry Christmas to all.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Christmas Cookie Exchange

Hi Friends....

Come on in...so glad to see you!

The holiday music is playing, my candles are burning with the scent of cinnamon and the fire in the fireplace is warming the entire house.

I'm inviting you to my No-Bake Christmas Cookie Exchange. It's no-bake (all we need is the recipe), so there will be very little work for you to do. It's all just for fun and friendly sharing.

Here are the rules:

-Leave your favorite Christmas cookie recipe under my "comments"

-Your recipe can be for either bake or no-bake cookies. Candy is also acceptable.

- Copy and then paste it into the comment box.

- If you see a recipe in my comments that you want to try, you may copy it for your own collection.

- Anyone leaving a recipe will receive 5 extra entries into the new PASHMINA scarf giveaway. Giveaway will take place in a few days...in time for Christmas.

***So get out those cookbooks and/or file boxes and tell us about your family favorite. I'm looking forward to receiving and sharing your scrumptious recipes.

Holiday Blessings.

Cookies Galore

Hi all....

I think we're all interested in beautiful ideas for Christmas gift giving or attractive food to adorn our holiday tables.

While looking around the web tonight-- trying to find some really good cookie ideas, I found this great suggestion for a cookie tray (picture above). It comes from the Wilton cake decorating website. Gorgeous spritz cookies are presented in a Christmas tree cake pan and decorated with a red bow. I think this is a wonderful idea, either to give as a gift or to add to your Christmas table.

I will most certainly make these this season.

***What's your favorite Christmas cookie?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm Not Like That

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have the need to explain something.....

I've been doing what I do a lot of.....surfing other people's blogs. Don't you just love reading their stories and looking at all the cute graphics? But there's one thing I notice that they all have in common....they look like real nice, easy-going people.

Now we come to the explaining part of this post. My photo looks so...how do I say this? Stuffy!!
There I am in a turtleneck sweater and jacket...sitting up straight as a board. Some might say I look uptight and a little self-righteous, but that's really not "me" at all.

The photo was taken for a political campaign, to be used on political signs and fliers. So that's the best picture I have and the one I'm stuck with... for now.

Who am I really? Wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend. Very easy going, down to earth, friendly, happy, creative, and much more.

So there...I've confessed and feel much better!!

Blessings to all.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I Received An Award

Surprise!

Yesterday I received an award!!

My blogging buddy, Patty, over at A Light In The Window gave it to me. The award is called “Real People, Real Blogs” and it's for people who write about real life.

Thank's Patty. I'm very pleased with the honor.

It came with Some Rules:

* Please put the logo in your blog

* Place a link from the person whom you received the award

* Nominate at least 7 or more

* Put the links of those on your blog

* Leave a message on their blog to let them know

I'm nominating the following blogs--
Joanne over at http://joannedemaio.blogspot.com/
Jeannette at http://outsidelookingin-jeannette.blogspot.com/
Terri at http://terri-treasures.blogspot.com/
Janna at http://somethingshewrote.blogspot.com/
Pat at http://atpatsplace.blogspot.com/
Angie at http://angie-ledbetter.blogspot.com/
Lea at http://leawilliams65.blogspot.com/

Holiday Blessings to all.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm In A Holiday Mood

Hi Ladies!

I just got home this evening from holiday shopping at Ross (discount store) and bought some of the sweetest plates and bowls for my Christmas table. I'm so excited about serving the family's favorite foods in them at our Christmas Eve buffet dinner. My little shopping trip has really put me in the mood to start baking and getting ready for the special night with my big family.

Most of us have our favorite platters, plates, and bowls; some will even be lucky enough to use china and flatware that have been handed down from generation to generation. And in those precious vessels we will serve delicious concoctions. Below are goodies I'll make and serve on Christmas Eve.

Bon appetit!!

1. Seafood salad (with crab and shrimp)

2. Deviled eggs

3. Potato salad

4. Baked beans

5. Green bean casserole

6. Stuffed baked mushrooms

7. Broccoli salad

8. Cabbage salad

9. Cherry salad

10. Orange salad

11. Homemade rolls

12. Red Velvet cake

13. Coconut cake (I ordered one from QVC last year and it was so good that I ordered another one for this season.)

14. My famous chocolate covered cherries

15. Pecan Pie

16. Cookies


***What are some family favorites you'll make for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"C" is for......

Hello and Happy Holidays!

My newest meme includes lots of my favorite holiday things.

C- Coconut cake
H- Happiness everywhere
R- Red velvet cake
I- Icing on the sugar cookies
S- Sincere wishes
T- Trees freshly cut
M- Mistletoe kisses
A- Angels in the church play
S- Surprises!

I'm not going to "tag" anyone in particular, but I do hope you'll do this little meme on your blog. Or.....leave your answers under my comments.

***How would you fill in the Christmas letters?

Hope you're having as much fun getting ready for Christmas as I am!!

Holy Ground

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning
***How and where did you experience Heaven today?

Monday, December 1, 2008

She's An Eagle When She Flies

I was listening to a number of songs by various artists tonight and came across this one, written by Dolly Parton (below). The older I get, the more supportive and appreciative I am of strong, yet compassionate women (see black insert at right), so this one by Dolly, was especially meaningful to me. I want to share it with you. Maybe we can all take something important from it. What will you take?

She's An Eagle When She Flies

She's been there, God knows, she's been there...
She has seen and done it all.
She's a woman... she knows how to
Dish it out or take it all.
Her heart's as soft as feathers, still she weathers stormy skies,
And she's a sparrow when she's broken,
But she's an eagle when she flies.
A kaleidoscope of colors....
You can toss her around and round,
You can keep her in your vision,
But you'll never keep her down.
She's a lover, she's a mother,
She's a friend and she's a wife....
And she's a sparrow when she's broken
But she's an eagle when she flies.
Gentle as the sweet magnolia
Strong as steel-- her faith and pride.
She's an everlasting shoulder,
She's the leaning post of life.
She hurts deep and when she weeps
She's just as fragile as a child,
And she's a sparrow when she's broken
But she's an eagle when she flies.
She's a sparrow when she's broken,
But she's an eagle when she flies.
Oh, bless her, Lord.
She's an eagle when she flies.
-Dolly Parton

***Remember, to be entered into this month's drawing, you must leave a comment. Good luck to all.

Kendyl Grace

A couple of weeks ago, I reported that little Kendyl Grace would be coming home from the hospital within a day or two. Well, things didn't go as expected. One little thing and another came up...a slight weight loss, a possible bout with jaundice (which didn't materialize), and a few other little issues. The doctors wanted to keep her a bit longer to make sure she wasn't going to have some major incident when she got home, which might endanger her already fragile health. We were beginning to wonder what might come next. But............

The evening before Thanksgiving, Amber and Joe Jr., grandmother Lori, and grandfather Joe walked into Aunt Linda's and Uncle Mike's house with the gift we had all been waiting for.....the homecoming of baby Kendyl Grace (after 70 days in the hospital). We all gave out a shout of joy and ran toward them, getting our cameras out, taking pictures, and begging to hold her. Needless to say, one or another were holding her all evening and she didn't mind; she seemed to enjoy every minute of it.

Looking at Kendyl, you would never know she had been premature and deathly ill at birth. What a SPECIAL THANKSGIVING OUR FAMILY HAD!!!!!

Thanks goes to her wonderful doctors, to all of you for your prayers, and to our Lord Jesus Christ who carried her the entire way in His arms. What a blessing.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Listen To The Music

Welcome to my new Christmas setting. I hope you like it.

I've also added several Holiday songs, so turn up your computer's volumn...sit beside my fire and listen.

Blessings!

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Winner Is.......

The winner of the new pashmina shawl/scarf in the Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway is -Small Footprints. Please send me your name and address to: fatimastreasure@hotmail.com so I can send your prize.

Thanks a million to all of you who participated.

My next giveaway starts on Monday, November 30--just in time for Christmas!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Relay Writing--The End

---------------CHAPTER ONE----------------

(Linda R. )-Patricia Vender was a cautious woman. Her phone number was unlisted, which was not an unusual choice for a woman, but she would take a normal caution and go one step further. Where some women might not list their phone number, Patricia also never gave her name--not on her answering machine and not on her voicemail. Indeed, she wouldn't even give her name if someone asked her point blank on the other line, "Is this Patricia?" Her reply might be a simple, "Why?" Or, she might take it even further and ask back, "Who are you and why do you want to know?"

(Gumbo Writer) With all her precautions and safeguards in place, Patricia couldn't have been more surprised when she picked up her ringing phone in the kitchen and heard a deep smooth voice say from the other end, "Well, hello, Patricia. It's been too long."

(Small Footprints) The hair on the back of her neck went up. This was not a welcome voice. She was immediately tossed back to a different time ... a dangerous time ... one she'd rather forget.

(Willa Fae) And one she thought she had managed to forget...until now! Why had she not listened to her gut and let the answering machine get it? Much too slowly she said, "I'm sorry... you must have a wrong number."

(Pat) She put the phone back into the cradle and buried her face in her trembling hands. Her mind was racing in a dozen different directions. She could not still her wildly beating heart. She knew she had to organize her thoughts and decide what to do next.

(Linda R. ) She went up to her attic office and reached around in a back closet for a small wood box. She opened the lid and pulled out a picture. It was him, from a time when they were much younger. She stared at it for minutes, then she placed it back in the box and pulled out the letter.

(Joanne) There had to be a way to forget, to erase the memory. She took the letter back downstairs, set it carefully in the fireplace, and set a match to it. The paper curled at the edges, then melted completely into the flame.

---------------CHAPTER TWO-------------------

(Terri T. ) She stepped back, her spine bent with the weight of memories.Why now? She threw a warning at the phone; then grabbed it in her fist and thrust it to the floor causing spinters of plastic to race like water droplets over the tiles.

(Barbara) As Patricia stooped to pick up the pieces, she heard a loud knock on the front door. Every fiber of her being told her it was him. Robert had found her.

(Marilyn ) "What do you want?" Patricia said.

Robert let out a long, slow breath. "You're still angry with me after all this time."

Patricia wrenched her arm as she slammed the door. It bounced back and hit her in the cheek because one large cowboy boot had stopped it from closing. "Patricia, I need to talk to you," Robert said, "I'm getting married."

(Linda R. ) "Why did you come here to tell me that?" She asked, looking tormented by his arrival.

"I tried calling you, you didn't talk to me. It took me years to find you." He moved into the house.

She drew back further from him. "There's a reason I've avoided--even hidden from you all these years. You know as well as I do what it is. I can't believe you'd take such a risk by coming here. What if they saw you?"

(Barbara)Robert was as handsome as ever. He looked at her with those deep blue eyes she had once loved so much."You know I'd risk anything for you," he said as he reached out for her hand.

(Joanne)"Even a marriage? You'd put another woman at risk with you?"

"There's one way for this to be over. Just tell the truth, that I didn't do it."

She turned away. "How?" she whispered. "They won't believe me."

He paused before saying quietly, "They will if you marry me."

(Linda R. )"It's too late for that Robert. So many years have passed--I won't cover up one mistake by rushing into another."

"What's happened to you? You've changed."

"You happened to me, Robert--you and Tom, Joanie and the rest of them. Your crazy ideas." She paused almost stopping herself. "I should tell you, I destroyed the letter."

(Pat ) Her mind flew into a frenzy. Had he just asked her to marry him? How could that be? He told her that he was getting married. None of this made any sense and her head was throbbing with the flood of emotions, confusion, and fear that she was experiencing!

(Avily) Pushing at her temples in a vain attempt to block the whirling thoughts, she glanced up at him. "You might as well come in. Coffee?"

"You know I'm not here for coffee."

She nodded, leading him to the living room. "What did you tell her? I mean, about what happened?"


----------------CHAPTER THREE-----------------------



(Joanne)"The truth. Everything that was in the letter."

She poured the coffee with her back to him.

"You need to come clean," he insisted. "Your family needs to know who was driving the car that ..." His gaze shifted to the two suitcases standing at the back door. "You're leaving?"

(Willa Fae)"That's what I do best, isn't it? "

"NO! Not this time! You're going to stay and we'll face this together. It's time!......It's time for us!"

Her eyes widened and her mouth opened. She had no words. Was this the same person she once knew?

(Barbara)Patricia recoiled in disbelief. "Time for us! Time for us?" she screamed. "How can it be time for us? You're getting married?"She was close to tears.

There was sadness in Robert's eyes, too, as he looked directly into her weary face.

(Avily)"I was getting married... until I came here and saw you. There's no way I can go through with it."

The echo of her palm slapping his face struck her with the realization of what she'd done.She clapped a hand over her mouth. "Oh, Robert," she murmured. "I didn't mean to... But what do you mean by coming in here, after all this time, and telling me this?"

(Angie Ledbetter) "I had to get your attention, Trish." He slowly raised his calloused right hand to her shoulder, as if asking permission.

Trish felt rooted to the spot by the weight of so many years' heartache, instead of a mere man's hand. Her head swam with the igniting flames in her belly. The ones she thought she'd tamped down forever.

(Barbara)"I've searched for you" Robert said, touching a finger to a tear that ran down Patricia's face. "I never wanted you to leave me. I can't let you go. Never again! Please come back with me, so we can stop living this lie."

(Linda R. )"Did you really tell the investigator--what was her name--Ms. Marsh?--everthing that was in the letter?"

"Yes, I did." He answered."And, they didn't come to arrest me--how can that be?"

"I didn't tell them where you are. Your family doesn't even know where you are--only me.

(Pat) She knew that if Robert had found her, it would only be a matter of time until the investigator found her. She felt limp. She said, "What shall I do now?" She sat down with a look of resignation on her face.

(Barbara) Robert crossed the room to gaze out the window overlooking the backyard and the green hills beyond. His mood was thoughtful and steady. "You must believe what I'm going to tell you. The accident was not your fault nor mine. I know some of our friends said terrible things and you ran away before the investigation was finished. I sent the letter asking you to come back, but you didn't answer. After that I lost contact with you. I could never give up until I got you back.

"Robert, I burned your letter just before you came here today. I saved it all these years; it was the only thing I had left of you. When I touched it...when I read it, I could still feel you near me. But I had to let go of it, I had to get you our of my mind and heart."

Robert continued, "I hired a private investigator. She eventually found you here, hundreds of miles away from me, and gave me your address and phone number."

"You were always in my thoughts," Robert said, slowly moving toward her again. "It was almost too much for me when you disappeared. Now that I've found you, it's not important what the others think. Please... please forgive the things I said in anger; the things that others said. All that matters is that we are together now. The rest will take care of itself. We have to go back and face the results of the accident together. We'll get through it. You're going back with me.... I won't let you say no."

Robert took both of Patricia's hands in his and pulled her up to him; his eyes told the story.... whatever the future brought, he would protect and stand by her forever.

-----------------------------------The End---------------------------------

Thanks to all who participated in my Relay Writing. We'll do this again in the near future, so keep an "eye out" for the next project.

In the meantime, HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING DAY!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

You're All Invited To My....

Hello!

I'm so glad you could come over on such short notice!!

Just open the gate... and come on in. It's windy out here today and there's quite a chill in the air. This cold air must be coming off that new snow up in the mountains. I heard on the news that several inches fell last night over the Pass.

As soon as we get inside we'll sit around the fire and have a cup of coffee. That'll warm you up. Some of the ladies are already there.

I know Thanksgiving is just a few days away, but I thought it would be fun for all of us to get together and do some writing...to relax a little before the big holiday.

I have a surprise for all of you. I hope you'll like it.

Are you ready?

I'm hosting a Relay Writing Party. I'd like for my "friends" to join me in writing a fictional story. Here are the directions:

1. I have asked Linda Reznicek to write the first paragraph. You'll find it below.

2. Add to the story as you wish--one or more times each day, is just fine. But you should only write 50 words or less each time.

3. Leave your addition under comments. Be sure to read the last comment that was submitted and add on to it.

4. The plot, settings, events, characters, etc. will develop as each writer's imagination unfolds the story.

5. Each day I'll add your segments along with your blog's name to the story until the entire work is finished. It's a great way to introduce readers to your work.

6. Your readers are also invited to our party, so please mention us on your blog. We want as many participants as possible. The more writers, the more fun we'll have.

7. Don't be shy. This is NOT a competition.


As I mentioned before, Linda Reznicek agreed to start our story with the following paragraph. So let's go.....


Patricia Vender was a cautious woman. Her phone number was unlisted, which was not an unusual choice for a woman, but she would take a normal caution and go one step further. Where some women might not list their phone number, Patricia also never gave her name--not on her answering machine and not on her voicemail. Indeed, she wouldn't even give her name if someone asked her point blank on the other line, "Is this Patricia?" Her reply might be a simple, "Why?" Or, she might take it even further and ask back, "Who are you and why do you want to know?"


OK...your turn. Leave your addition under "comments." Can't wait to read it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

5 Simple Pleasures

These are 5 of my simple pleasures. What are yours?

1. Spending an evening playing board games.

2. Burning a cinnamon-roll candle.

3. A bouquet of fresh flowers.

4. Hot chocolate with marshmallow fluff.

5. Warm brownies and cold milk

Tagging Brings Back Memories

Angie over at Gumbo Writer was tagged by a blogger friend and in turn tagged any of her readers who wished to take the tagging challenge. Since I don't have anything else to write about today, I'm going to attempt (yes it's not easy) to answer these questions about myself.

Five Things I Was Doing Five Years Ago (this one is difficult)
1. Serving on my town's City Council
2. Starting my own home-based business
3. Having good times with my family
4. Writing
5. Helping my husband through a health crisis

Five Things On My To Do List
1. Make up some hot roll mix
2. Do my business mailings for the day
3. Finish reading The Shack
4. Clean the kitchen
5. Get ready for Thanksgiving travel

Five Things I Like To Snack On
1. Fresh cauliflower w/ ranch dip
2. Fresh cucumbers w/ ranch dip
3. Apple slices
4. Anything sweet (I eat this more often...bad girl)
5. Chips and mild salsa

Five Things I Would Do If I Was A Millionaire
1. Give financial help to family and friends
2. Help build a new city library
3. Buy a new home
4. Buy a vacation home on an exotic island
5. Buy a houseboat

Five Places I've Lived
1. East Tennessee
2. California-twice
3. Maine
4. Las Vegas- twice
5. Alaska

Five Jobs I've Had
1. Store clerk
2. Owned a baton twirling studio
3. Managed a store in a mall
4. Managed a mall
5. Owned a mail order business

Five People I Am Tagging
Any reader who would like to participate. I hope you'll take the challenge and let us know a little about your unique self.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Hot Bath In Cocoa

Yesterday I came across this interesting recipe for homemade bath salts. It sounds like a nice, inexpensive gift idea. Just combine the ingredients, put it in a pretty jar, tie a ribbon with a note around the lid, and give it to a family member, friend, co-worker, or guest.

Cocoa Bath Salts De-Stress Recipe

Ingredients:

1/8 cup Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder

1/8 cup powdered milk

1/4 cup Epsom salts

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Optional: 2 to 3 drops lavender essential oil.

Directions: Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined and then add as the bath water is running.

A hot bath in cocoa! What could be more relaxing than that?

***Do you have a favorite homemade gift you make for people on your Christmas list? Please share it with us. We would love to hear about it!!

READERS: Don't forget to enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway for a new pashmina (soft wool) shawl/scarf.

Contest ends on Thanksgiving weekend.
1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column where the pics are.
2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. Enter as many times as you wish, but remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."
3. When your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.
GOOD LUCK TO ALL.


Chocolate With A Zip

I've always loved hot chocolate, especially with marshmallows or whipped cream served on top. Yesterday, I came across an old, but interesting way to "change it up" a bit.

Try putting a little extra "zip" in your cup of cocoa with peppermint. Either melt a few peppermint candies into the hot beverage or add a peppermint candy cane as a stirrer. It's not only delicious, but also adds a festive touch for the holidays.

Gift idea: One cute Christmas mug from the $1.00 store, one packet of instant cocoa mix, and a candy cane. Wrap in red cellophane and add a nice holiday ribbon. (Especially nice for a child's gift.)

***What's your holiday drink of choice?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Unique Christmas Giving

We all love giving and receiving gifts at Christmas, but sometimes families grow so large that it's
impractical to give each member a gift. Our family is exploring new ways of giving this season. We're talking about all the family's adults (anyone 18 years or older) drawing names. We usually hear the Christmas story (read by grandpa), open presents, do a White Elephant gift/fun game on Christmas Eve after enjoying a big buffet meal.

My family is always looking for new ideas, so I would be interested in hearing how you and your family celebrate Christmas Eve/Christmas. Please leave your comment with details.



***Don't forget the THANKFUL TURKEY DAY GIVEAWAY. Details below.

Giveaway

READERS: Don't forget to enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway for a new pashmina (soft wool) shawl/scarf.

Contest ends on Thanksgiving weekend.

1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column where the pics are.

2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. Enter as many times as you wish, but remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."

3. When your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Quiet Change

The gardeners were here all afternoon --blowing and raking the moist golden leaves into mammoth stacks. Two young men piled and then gathered the leaves, while another hurried around on a riding lawn mower, cutting the viridescent grass for the last time this year.

But for the short, manicured grass, the lawn is now barren. The Serenity Garden is dusky, still, and quiet. It seems to be settling in for it's long, peaceful wintertime nap.

Just as our environment changes with each season, so does the flow and circumstance of our daily lives. I take comfort today in the beauty of God's Divine handiwork in nature and in myself.

***What daily, monthly or yearly changes have you seen in your environment or your life?


READERS: Don't forget to enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway for a new pashmina (soft wool) shawl/scarf. Contest ends on Thanksgiving weekend.

1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column where the pics are.

2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. Enter as many times as you wish, but remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."

3. When your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.

Merit Badges

When Boy Scouts learn and become proficient at certain skills, they earn Merit Badges.

As wives, moms, daughters, sisters, citizens, friends and employees we are seldom given rewards or praise, so today I'm encouraging imaginary merit badges for myself and my blogging friends.

I'm going to give myself two badges.

1. Baking- I've won several baking contests and Best of Show ribbons in the past, so I think that can be called proficient.

2. Fishing- I've fished since I was a little girl and I'm pretty good at it. Even taught some of my grandchildren to fish, so I'll also call that one a skill.

Now... those happy thoughts make my day!!

***Give yourself imaginary merit badges. Tell us... what will they be? You can also bestow a badge on someone else. To whom would it be given and what would it be given for?



READERS: Don't forget to enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway for a new pashmina (soft wool) shawl/scarf. Contest ends on Thanksgiving weekend.

1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column where the pics are.

2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. Enter as many times as you wish, but remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."

3. When your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Past Recollected

A few days ago I wrote a piece on "1962" -- the year I graduated. I was married the next year, 1963, so I thought I'd continue recalling the past since I'm "on a roll" and the last posting seemed to be popular with some of my readers.

Let's see what happened the year Jim and I were married:

1. A loaf of bread was 22 cents

2. 1st US state lottery took place in New Hampshire

3. AT&T introduced the touch tone phone

4. Beattles released "I Want To Hold Your Hand"

5. The movie Cleopatra was released

6. Tatum O'Neal was born

7. Zip codes were introduced in US

8. Marten Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have A Dream" speech

9. JFK was assassinated

10. Robert Frost died

11. Maurice Sendak published "Where The Wild Things Are"

12. Betty Friedan published "The Feminine Mystique"



***What do you remember about the year you were married?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Matt

Today is our youngest son's birthday. Matt was born to Jim and I in 1980 in Maine. He was our fifth child and a delight to our growing family.

Matt was born in the quiet, early morning hours. When I looked out my hospital window after daylight, that morning, snow was heavily coming down-- the road was covered with it, and I could see children, wrapped in winter gear, getting on their yellow school bus.

It had been eight years since a baby had been born to us and when the nurse brought him to me, it almost took my breath away(literally)! It felt so good to hold that little boy in my arms.

Raising Matt was a delightful experience for his dad and I. He was truly a little bright light. He was always busy and was very active in sports. He always had lots of friends and still does.

Matt is a loving son and brother and we wish him a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!

---------------------------------------------------------
READERS: Don't forget to enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway for a new pashmina (soft wool) shawl/scarf. Contest ends on Thanksgiving weekend.

1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column where the pics are.

2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. But remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."

3. If your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.

Whole Latte Life Interview

The Whole Latte Life has a excellent interview today with our daughter Linda Reznicek. Linda is a horsewoman who shares her life experience and philosophy of living with horses in this thought provoking discussion with author, Joanne Demaio. Be sure to stop by Whole Latte Life today for a good read.

***What is your philosophy on life with animals?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Some Change is Good

You might have noticed some new additions to my blog. I've added several items which I think may be of interest and help to my readers.

1. Bible Search and Bible Study button. This is absolutely fantastic! Just enter a word you are looking for in the Bible and every verse with that word in it will appear. If you hit the Bible Study button, you will go to a page of Bible helps which include commentaries, concordances, dictionaries, and even tons of classic sermons!!! It's extremely easy to navigate.

2. Click on the Book Cover Art button and it will take you straight to Amazon.com.

3. Click on Make It From Scratch. It will take you to a fanastic site that offers inexpensive food and craft ideas.

4. Happy Housewife and Penny Pinching Mom offers information of numerous sales and deals around the country and such more. Take a look.

5. Scroll down to almost the end of this page for the wonderful C.H. Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals. It may take a little time (though not that much)--the devotional is well worth you time. I've already gotten a very special "message" from it this morning. You will not be disappointed.

***Let me know how you like the additions.



Don't forget to enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway for a new pashmina (soft wool) shawl/scarf. Contest ends on Thanksgiving weekend.
1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column where the pics are.
2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. But remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."
3. If your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.

Monday, November 10, 2008

1962

I grew up in the 50's and 60's when rock 'n roll was in it's "hayday" and Elvis was every teenage girl's secret sweetheart. I bought all of his records, saw all of his movies and clipped movie magazine articles for my scrapbook. Those were the good ole days!!

I graduated high school in 1962. Today I'm remembering the events and the pop-culture of that year.

1. The Beattles released their first recording- "Love Me Do"

2. The first silicone breast implants were used

3. An electric sewing machine was $49.95

4. The average price for a home was $12,500.00

5. Gasoline was 28 cents per gallon

6. JFK was our President

7. We were involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis

8. Marilyn Monroe died

9. The first Walmart store opened

10. The first KMart store opened

11. John H. Glenn was the 1st American to orbit the earth

12. Elvis Presley starred in "Girls, Girls, Girls"

*** What do you remember about the year you graduated from high school?


Don't forget to enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway for a new pashmina (soft wool) shawl/scarf. Contest ends on Thanksgiving weekend.

1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column where the pics are.

2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. But remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."

3. If your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Pleasant Thanksgiving

A few days ago I read an article on what not to do at Thanksgiving dinner. I started thinking of things to do to make holiday dinners successful. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Arrive on time

2. Begin the dinner with a prayer of gratitude

3. Participate with an attitude of service

4. Practice the Golden Rule

5. Practice your table manners

6. Keep all conversation positive and upbeat

7. Be a good listener

8. Stay flexible

9. Practice thoughtfulness

10. Offer to help with clean-up

11. Respect the home of the host

12. Remember: Relationships are more important than opinions!

***What positive holiday dinner tips can you add to the list?



Don't forget to enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway for a new pashmina (soft wool) shawl/scarf. Contest ends on Thanksgiving weekend.
1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column where the pics are.
2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. But remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."
3. If your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.

Home

Jim and I are back home from our trip to Linda (our daughter) and Mike's ranch in Spokane. We were there to stay with our teenage grandchildren while the parents were away on a trip of their own. We had a fun-filled 36 hours with Shiloh, Coleman and Jeff.

Friday evening Jim and I went to the children's hospital to see Kendyl Grace and her parents, Amber and Joe Jr. She's doing good and the doctors expect her to come home next Friday.

Saturday we all went out to Cabela's at Post Falls for an afternoon of eating and shopping. Our oldest daughter, Lori and her husband Joe, went with us. It rained most of the day, but no one seemed bothered by it. We were too excited about being together to worry about a little drizzle!!

Saturday evening, Jim and Joe, went out to Papa Murphy's and brought pizza home for everyone. We ate, talked and laughed the evening away!

Jim and I both felt like we were staying in a nice Bed and Breakfast while at the ranch. Before leaving on their trip, Linda and Mike had everything planned out beautifully for our comfort and the children were wonderful hosts-- always concerned about us. What gracious and well-mannered young people they are! I am so proud of them!

We were sad to leave everyone, but we are home now and one of the first things we did on this cool misty evening was build a nice warm fire and then sit down in our recliners to go over the stacks of mail that had been delivered while we were away. Now it's time to get back to business.

***If you could go on the trip of your choice, where would it be?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Angels All Around

Still in Spokane....

Last evening, on the way home from visiting Kendyl Grace at the children's hospital, we encountered thick fog. Jim slowed the car as we inched our way through the white, ghost-like mist. With tense bodies, and eyes completely focused on what little we could see of the two lane road, we eventually arrived at the ranch.

Our dangerous trek home reminded me of times I/we have been close to disaster and were protected by the unseen spirit world.

Several years ago, Jim and I made a summer shopping trip to Spokane. We drove our usual 55-60 miles per hour on the highway, except when passing at speeds of over 70. After arriving home, our daughter, who was living next door to us, ask to borrow our car. She needed to take her son to his friend's house- a slow, short drive away.

Shortly after she left, she called with bad news. The front axle of our car had fallen onto the pavement as she turned into the friend's driveway!! It was unbelievable. Jim nor I had driven the car since getting back from the Spokane trip. Not only was it unbelievable, it was miraculous!! We realized, then, we had been only two or three minutes from certain death.

I've thought of that experience many times since then and thanked God for his protection. How many times have we been carried in the arms of angels and didn't realize it until later?

***Has there been a time when you looked back and realized God's protection had been with you?

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Power of Now

I'm at Linda and Mike's ranch today, enjoying the soft, gentle rain outside the window. It's almost a mist.

Last evening, I sat beside the fireplace, it's orange and blue flames calming and embracing me, as I read "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle.

An opening thought struck me immediately and remains with me this morning. I want to share it with you in hopes that it will give you encouragement and bring reflection for your day.

"You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!"
-Eckhart Tolle

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fantastic Favorites

There are some things we just can't live without. And since we are into November, here's a short list of my Fall favorites:

1. Yellow wet-look rain slicker

2. Red wool Sweater

3. A garden rake for the orange and yellow falling leaves

4. Clicking snow tires

5. Tartan plaid stadium blanket

6. Down comforter

***What items would you add to the list?


Don't forget to enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway for a new pashmina (soft wool) shawl/scarf. Contest ends on Thanksgiving weekend:
1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column where the pics are.
2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. But remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."
3. If your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Kendyl Grace (Update)

Kendyl's grandmother (our daughter Lori) just sent me this update on Kendyl's condition. This really makes me smile!

Hi everyone,

Here are some updated pictures of Kendyl Grace.

The little pink preemie outfit she is in was sent by Jimmy and Christina! We are just getting to be able to put her in front buttoned clothes and she got her first official bath yesterday.

The doctor is still hoping for her to come home by Thanksgiving. He calls her progress miraculous but we all know and give credit to Jesus Christ for answering the prayers of friends and a loving and faithful family unit.

Should she go home by Thanksgiving it will be 6 weeks ahead of what the doctors had originally expected.

Please continue to keep her healing in prayer because she is a living example of the power of our prayers. She is feeding from a bottle every 3 hours 60 mils and pooping A LOT!

This experience keeps reminding me how fragile life is. There are many many babies in life threating situations at this very minute and please remember them in pray as well. The hospitals are filled with little babies fighting for life and health.

Love, Joe and Lori

November Blessings

November things that make me smile:

1. Flannel PJ's

2. Golden brown baked turkeys

3. Hot Chocolate w/whipped cream on top

4. My electric blanket

5. Fresh cut firewood

6. Frosty evergreens

7. The first gentle snowfall

8. Homemade vegetable soup

9. Bacon frying in a cast iron skillet

10. Spicy pumpkin bread

11. Long lazy winter weekends

12. Toasting marshmallows over glowing coals in the fireplace

***What would you add to the list?



Don't forget to enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway for a new pashmina shawl/scarf. Contest ends on Thanksgiving weekend:

1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column where the pics are.

2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. But remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."

3. If your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Where Will You Be?

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day!!

I'll take Riley for his grooming appointment in late morning, Jim and I will VOTE in the afternoon (hopefully the lines won't be too long), then go to lunch and do errands, and get back home for the election returns.

Becka and Tony will join us for a little Election Party in the evening. We'll have pizza brought in and, perhaps, play Spades.

It's going to be an exciting night, to say the least.

***What are your plans for Election Night?



Don't forget to enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway for a new pashmina shawl/scarf. Contest ends on Thanksgiving weekend:

1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column where the pics are.
2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. But remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."
3. If your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Memories With KFC

Jim and I are going to Linda and Mike's next weekend, and since they're expecting snow, Jim had to put the snow tires on the car this afternoon. I hope it does snow while we're there, because we don't get much here it the valley and I love SNOW!!!

After the tires were on, we decided to go out to lunch at KFC. We hadn't been there in over a year, so it was a bit of a treat. Yum!! We usually go out several times a week, but somehow we always forget about Kentucky Fried Chicken.

As we sat in the restaurant, it brought back memories of when the children were little, and how we would all go to KFC with friends after church. We were an Air Force family, so we've eaten fried chicken all over the USA.

I would also eat at a fantastic KFC, several years ago, while visiting my mother in East Tennessee. It served everything buffet style--pinto beans, green beans, turnip greens, yams, mashed potatoes and gravy, chicken livers, cold slaw, baked beans, corn on the cob, and of course, fried chicken. They served much of the same food I was raised on and it was wonderful.

In the KFC here, we have only the basics--not that good, rich, southern fare that I so love and crave. But Jim and I did have a good time talking about the good old days and fried chicken memories.

***Where is your favorite place to eat and share memories?



Don't forget to enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway for a new pashmina shawl/scarf. Contest ends on Thanksgiving weekend:

1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column where the pics are.

2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. But remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."

3. If your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November 1st

We made it through "ever-changing" October and now we're into "family-friendly" November. I love the crisp weather, warm fires in our fireplace, and perhaps, even some snow, as we look forward to the Thanksgiving holiday.

But first..... we have to get through Tuesday's Presidential election! I just can't hold it back any longer....PLEASE VOTE!! This election is important in so many ways and I'm looking forward to going to the polls and casting my vote. I WILL be happy when all the stress is over and when we finally know who will be taking office in January.

How very fortunate we are to be citizens of the USA. May God continue to bless America.

Don't forget to enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway for a new pashmina shawl/scarf. Contest ends on Thanksgiving weekend:

1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column where the pics are.

2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. But remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."

3. If your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Where Were The Kids?

Well, Halloween is over for this year.....

Jim and I went out to lunch and ran errands in the afternoon. On the way home around 4:00, it started to pour rain! I thought we would probably have a lonely Halloween evening. But to our surprise it only rained for an hour or so!!

Lots of candy was ready in a bowl on the table and a warm fire was ablaze in our big brick fireplace. Jim and I were ready for the doorbell to ring and hear happy voices calling out "trick or treat." Seven o'clock came...no kids. Seven-thirty came...still no kids! Eight o'clock the doorbell rang...two little girls. Eight-thirty...two more little kids. Nine o'clock it's all over!! Four children in all. What's happening with Halloween?

Is it the scare of harm to children, is it the economy? Whatever the cause......things have certainly changed since my children were little. Back then the neighborhoods were teaming with "trick or treaters" and the doorbell was constantly ringing.

I talked to several friends tonight and all of them mentioned they had few or no visits.

***What was your experience with Halloween this year?



Don't forget to enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway for a new pashmina shawl/scarf. Contest ends on Thanksgiving weekend:
1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column.
2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. But remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."
3. If your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.
NOTE: If you are already one of my "Followers" please know that your name has gone into the drawing box.

Spooky Things

It's Halloween and time to think about "spooky" things. I'm listing 12 things that really creep me out.

1. Spiders

2. Snakes

3. Creaky houses

4. Slimy things

5. "Chainsaw" movies

6. Wild animal sounds in the night

7. Ghosts stories

8. A black cat crossing my path

9. A broken mirror

10. Warts

11. Bats

12. Spider webs

***Can you add to this list? Happy Halloween!!



Don't forget to enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway for a new pashmina shawl/scarf. Contest ends on Thanksgiving weekend:
1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column.
2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. But remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."
3. If your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.
NOTE: If you are already one of my "Followers" please know that your name has gone into the drawing box.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

GIVEAWAY WINNER

The winner of the Fall Festival Giveaway has received her prize and sent a message. Here's what she had to say:

"Just wanted to let you know I got the beautiful scarf. It is such a pretty color of pink. It is so soft too. Thank you again for such a wonderful giveaway."

***Question: Which color do you find yourself buying most often?


Don't forget to enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway (details below).

1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column.
2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. But remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."
3. If your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.
NOTE: If you are already one of my "Followers" please know that your name has gone into the drawing box.

Rainbow Colors

When I was a child, we lived "just up the road" from a country store. Once a week my mother would give me a nickle to spend, there, on candy. I loved looking at the various confections which lined the long, oak and glass candy display counter--several types of chocolate candy bars, Sugar Daddy (which could last all day), taffy, gum drops, jaw-breakers, bubble gum, marshmellows, and colorful stick candy. Pressing my nose to the cool glass, I would finally point to the one I wanted to purchase, and Mrs. Fielden, the store's owner, would hand the candy to me.

One of my favorites was a foil roll of multi-colored Life Savor candy. My favorite color was red and I would eat all of those first and then go on to the others; yellow being my last choice.

Several years later, the Life Savor company came out with rolls that were entirely red. I loved any red, cherry flavored candy, including "Smith Bros." cherry flavored "cough drops". That was a long time ago, but those are good memories and it is still my preferred color and flavor today.

***What's your favorite Life Savor flavor?



Don't forget to enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway (details below).

1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column.

2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. But remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."

3. If your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.

NOTE: If you are already one of my "Followers" please know that your name has gone into the drawing box.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

She Whistled

She was willowy and elegant and tanned--exotic. I thought she looked like a Paris model, and unlike the women in my family, she whistled.

I was a little girl and I watched her from a distance, as she moved gracefully around her yard, hanging clothes on the line or gardening. She didn't know I was there.... well, I wasn't actually there next to her; I was playing in my own yard, but I could see and hear her whistling and humming her show tunes.

I picked up one of my old books last week and there in the margin was a note to myself, "Dorothy taught me how to whistle." I hadn't thought of it in years, but the inscription instantly brought back the childhood memory of a mesmerized child and the dream of learning to produce the same magical, musical notes from my own lips.

One day, long ago, she took me aside and patiently taught me to produce those delightful bird-like sounds. From that day forward, I became a whistler just like her. It's brightened many dark days and added music where there may have been none.

The memory reminds me that we may never know who's watching us and the difference we have made, good or bad, in the lives we touch.

***Has someone "special" touched your life and made a difference?



Note: Become a "Follower" and enter The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway + make a comment for a 2nd chance (see details below).

My Ten Point Quiz

Give yourself 1 point if today you--

1. Kissed your special someone "good-morning"

2. Drank a cup of coffee

3. Hugged a kid

4. Smiled at yourself in the mirror

5. Whistled a happy tune

6. Put on your lipstick

7. Read a chapter in your new book

8. Took your vitamins

9. Called a friend

10. Said a prayer

What was your score? I hope it was a perfect "10".....

***What would you add to the list?


Note: Become a "Follower" to be entered into The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway + make a comment for a 2nd chance (see details below).

Monday, October 27, 2008

NEW GIVEAWAY STARTS TODAY

Since my Fall Festival Blog Giveaway was so much fun, I've decided to start another one immediately.

This one will be called The Thankful Turkey Day Giveaway. The prize will be another scarf (retails for $99.99 and up in major department stores) and the drawing will take place on Thanksgiving weekend.

The rules are a little different this time. Here they are:

1. Your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers" in the right hand column.

2. Once you have become a "Follower" I will enter your name into the drawing box, then each time you leave a comment, your name will go into the box again. But remember, your blog MUST appear in my community of "Followers."

3. If your name is drawn you will have 48 hours to send me your address. If I don't hear from you within that time, a second name will be drawn.

NOTE: If you are already one of my "Followers" please know that your name has gone into the drawing box.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

AND THE WINNER IS.......!!

Congratulations to KKJD1. You are the winner of the pashmina scarf.

Please send your address and your first three choices of color to: fatimastreasure@hotmail.com

Thanks to all who entered. I'll have another giveaway soon, so please keep watching.

Last Day For My Giveaway

Today is the last day to enter my Fall Festival Giveaway (details in past postings below). The contest will end at 6:00 PM this evening. I can hardly wait to draw the name of the winner!!

***Please comment.....What is your favorite color?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Super Easy Recipe

I just discovered this super easy cookie recipe. I haven't tried it, but I'm making it very soon!!!

Lemon Angel Bar Cookies

1 can lemon pie filling
1 box of 1 step Angel food cake mix
1/2 cup water

Mix together and bake in a jelly roll pan (ungreased) at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Cool, then drizzle with a thin icing of your choice. Cut in small bars.



***Do you have a super easy cookie recipe?


Don't forget to leave your comment. Tomorrow is the last day to enter the Fall Festival Giveaway for the new pashmina shawl.

Friday, October 24, 2008

What's Your Blog?

When I created my blog, over six months ago, I thought it would be a somewhat isolated place where I would publish some of my thoughts and practice my writing. Over time it has evolved into many things, not the least of which is a virtual magazine of women's issues and interests. Some of my posts are a bit serious and some are trivial and fun, but all are designed to elicit thought and conversation.

Whatever this blog has developed into, I have taken enormous pleasure in producing something that, I hope, holds the interest of my readers. Whether it is my own creative personal writing, book reviews, family happenings, news items, movie reviews, or contests, it is fun to open the blog each morning and see the friendly and engaging comments from all of you.

Blogging. What a wonderful experience in social connection! It has taken me into an expansive world that, in the beginning, I did not expect.

***What is the mission of your blog?


Don't forget to comment on this post. Our Fall Festival Giveaway ends on Sunday. Your comment will automatically enter you into the giveaway. Good luck!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Favorite Movie

We've talked about a lot of things, but I don't think we've ever talked about our favorite movies.

A friend of mine emailed today, telling me about a couple of movies she had seen recently. Her observations reminded me of some I've attended in the last few months--some were very good and one was just terrible.

Her email also made me think of some of my favorites that I would definitely recommend. They are:

1. The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood

2. Appaloosa

3. P.S. I Love You

***What is your favorite movie?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JIM

Today was Jim's (my husband) birthday! Our oldest daughter, Lori, came into town from Spokane for an overnight visit and to wish her dad a Happy Birthday. We, three, went out to dinner tonight and enjoyed lots of good food and conversation.

Tomorrow (Thursday) night, Becka, Tony, Matt, and Tilenna will be here for a belated party and Sunday afternoon, Linda, Mike, Shiloh, and Coleman are coming into town for a birthday visit. Jim says this is the first time he has had a birthday that went on for almost a week!! He is DELIGHTED.

Our family is very grateful for Jim. He is a wonderful and devoted husband and father.

How do you celebrate birthdays in your family?

***Don't forget to leave a comment, so you can get another entry into the Fall Festival Giveaway!! (Details below.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Kendyl Grace (Update)

Several of you have been following the progress of our little angel, Kendyl Grace and have ask for the latest information.

She is still in the hospital, but is doing well. Her mother is now allowed to diaper, dress, and bottle feed her. Amber stays with her several hours each day. Kendyl Grace is a true miracle and we continue to be so thankful for all of your prayers.

***Don't forget...when you leave a comment, your name will be entered, automatically, into my Fall Festival giveaway (see details below). Good luck to everyone!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Yummy Cherry Cobbler

2 (20 ounce) cans cherry pie filling

1 package white cake mix

1 1/2 sticks margarine, melted

1 (4 ounce) package slivered almonds (optional)

1. Spread pie filling in a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
2. Sprinkle cake mix over the cherries.
3. Drizzle melted margarine over top. Sprinkle almonds over the top.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Top with whipped topping. Enjoy!

This is one of my favorite desserts and I've made it many times over the last 40+ years. You may have made it, too. If you haven't, you might like to try it.

***Don't forget to leave a comment on this posting, so that your name can go into my Fall Festival Giveaway. (See post below for details.) If you've already left a comment on the last post, that's ok...leave another one here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Festival Blog Giveaway

I love pampering my friends, so today I'm starting another free give-away. The prize will be a brand new Pashmina scarf (see photo). The color will be chosen at random and will stay in keeping with Fall earth tones (brown, orange, green, yellow, red, etc).

Here's how the give-away works:

1. Starting today, each time you leave a "comment" here on my blog, your name will go into a drawing box. At the end of this week, one winner will be drawn from all the entries.

2. I will announce the winner's name, on my blog, next weekend.

3. This drawing is totally free of any charge to the winner.

Good luck to all.