Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.
Friday, July 31, 2009
News anchor and reporter for Fox News Radio, Todd Starnes takes a humorous but serious look at life and faith.
"Todd's story reminds me of the many ups and downs I faced during my weight loss. Along his journey Todd not only lost a significant amount of weight, but he also lost his parents to sudden illnesses. He survived a significant surgery, ran a marathon, and despite it all still managed to complete the task. Todd's story reminds us that God uses the least of us to do the greatest things, that way there is no question that it is indeed God at work."
I found myself groaning at corny one-liners, gritting my teeth at a few well aimed comments that convicted me, and laughing with Todd Starnes on his journey of discovery. With self-deprecation and a sweet, sometimes dipped in churlishness, spirit Todd details his journey from death to life. I appreciated his candor and wit. And I appreciated his willingness to share the hard stuff and the blessings he discovered along the way. I’m giving a copy to a friend who recently had an emergency quadruple by-pass. After all, laughter is great medicine, and we all are given today with no promise of tomorrow, so why not spend the majority of our time laughing.
Todd’s own words sum up the heart of his message and journey and I can't come up with anything better.
“It’s that simple. Really.
I may never go skydiving or ride a bull, but I have survived open-heart surgery. I’ve lost a lot of weight, and I’ve run the New Your City Marathon. And somewhere along the way, I learned that Gods’ mercies are new every morning and that His strength is perfect when mine is not. And with apologies to Tim McGraw, I’ve chosen to live the rest of my days not like I was dying. Instead, I’ve chosen to live like I was living.”
Thursday, July 30, 2009
We've been cleaning lately. With all the remodeling we've done, we've become really good at packing, hauling and temporarily moving something to a new home.
Unfortunately, with things packed in cardboard and stacked, it's easy to forget what's where. It's also kind of nice to look at clutterless sections of new and improved and it seems kind of criminal to load em up right away.
That said. We've found some treasures. This is my childhood piggy bank. I believe my mom made it in a ceramic class when I was very young. You can see that it may have taken a tumble or two and possibly has had surgery.
I had forgotten all about Petunia Pig. It was fun to find her nestled away in a box of treasures.
And now I can look at her whenever I want. And I just knew you'd want to meet her.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
One of the best things about blogging is that I can actually write a post and schedule it to post magically while I'm busy doing something else.
I'd like to share my to-do list for the day.
1. Get up whenever I darn well feel like and toast the day with french press.
2. Ignore Blogger.com completely, and my e-mail, and the phone...because there is not a phone to ignore and the internet requires a twenty minute trip into town.
3. Read a bit...while sitting in the sun and listening to the sound of water lapping against the shoreline.
4. Decide to create something delicious from a pile of produce, or not.
5. Laugh a little, or a lot, depending on how funny Twenty-Two and Rob are choosing to be, actually, maybe I'll be the funny one.
6. Float on the lake amongst the loons and the occasional seagull.
7. Read a little more. Or take a nap. Or just hang out doing absolutely nothing.
8. Maybe a trip into town for a peek via wifi and over an iced double mocha of some sort.
9. Say a prayer or two. After all, a relaxing week is a GIFT from God.
10. Enjoy every laid-back minute of the day and hope you are having a great day, too.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Well, obviously I've chosen stark black and white, no picture to make my point. But, seriously, even then I'm not invisible am I?
I've had a bit of a problem within society of late. Cars turn in front of me as if I'm not there. My vehicle is an emerald green mini-van...kind of hard to overlook. And at the grocery store the other evening, twenty-two and I were both nearly mown down twice. Once when a woman dived for Kashi bars, where we stood, discussing which ones to get. Maybe she was hungry, really, really hungry or had horrible low blood sugar. Who knows. The second incident involved a cart and an angry elderly lady. I've blocked out the details though I may still have the resulting nervous tic.
I'm short. Maybe that's the problem. Most people look right OVER my head not even noticing that I'm standing right in front of them. Or, maybe, the issue has to do with the silver in my hair. You know how hard it is to see gray or white cars on cement at twilight...
Monday, July 27, 2009
In the everyday stretch and squeeze of motherhood, Tricia Goyer often feels smooshed by the demands of life. In Blue Like Play Dough, she shares her unlikely journey from rebellious, pregnant teen to busy wife and mom with big dreams of her own.
As her story unfolds, Tricia realizes that God has more in store for her than she has ever imagined possible. Sure, life is messy and beset by doubts. But God keeps showing up in the most unlikely places–in a bowl of carrot soup, the umpteenth reading of Goodnight Moon, a woe-is me teen drama, or play dough in the hands of a child.
In Tricia’s transparent account, you’ll find understanding, laughter, and strength for your own story. And in the daily push and pull, you’ll learn to recognizes the loving hands of God at work in your life… and know He has something beautiful in mind.
Tricia Goyer is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including Generation NeXt Parenting and the Gold Medallion finalist Life Interrupted. Goyer writes for publications such as Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family, speaks to women’s groups nationwide and has been a presenter at the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) national convention. She and her husband, John, live with their family in Montana.
My thoughts: (You silly, little readers, of course I have thoughts. : ) )
If you've read Tricia Goyer's previous non-fiction you may be expecting discussion questions and anecdotal stories from other Gen X'ers, and, of course, a section for journaling in each chapter.
But, Blue Like Play Dough is simply a peek inside the thoughts and heart of a woman brave enough to bare her soul.
Writing requires blood. Birth always does, and sharing something as intimate as thoughts and shaping them for someone else to understand is a vulnerable and sometimes messy delivery. A pin prick, from a good writer, is often plenty to get thoughts communicated. But, in a work like Play Dough, Tricia had to open a vein and share struggles and challenges that many of us attempt to bury from even ourselves.
Moms aren't the only women who can benefit from the wisdom that Tricia has discovered during her walk of faith. Any woman who struggles with feeling inadequate, alone, like a failure, overwhelmed or ashamed may find a soft, brightly colored nugget of truth that could open her heart to the reality that God loves her very, very much and that He has created an adventure for her if she'll only place herself in His capable and loving hands.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
So, homemade strawberry krispie bars can't hold a candle to Eileen...but it's the thought that counts, right. (and sorry for the traumatizing book. )
Happy number 18, Shelby. I hope today is just the beginning of an amazing adulthood. I love you very much.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Caught up in the self-imposed pressure to do and be all the things they think a Christian woman ought to do and be, countless women are working desperately to convince everyone, including God, that they have it all together. Few have any idea that the Creator of the universe looks at them with delight even when they yell at the dog, drive a minivan littered with French fries, or think bad words about that rude clerk at the store.
A Perfect Mess offers hope to every woman who yearns for a vibrant relationship with God but worries she isn’t good enough or doesn’t do enough to merit His affection. With characteristic authenticity, speaker and author Lisa Harper shares poignant stories from her own imperfect life to showcase the real-life relevancy of the Bible in the lives of modern women.
As she guides readers on a story-driven journey through selected Psalms, they will be inspired to experience for themselves how God’s incomparable love transforms the messiness of life into a gorgeous work of grace.
Lisa Harper shares some powerful truth wrapped in stories and humor and self-deprecation. Harper covers a baker's dozen of Psalms, the better loved and known like 119, 23, 139 and 51 among them. Life issues and emotions common to all humanity like overwhelming emotions, fear, paths, faith are discussed in twelve simple chapters and roughly 200 pages. Most illustrations are woman focused but a man could find some areas that would either convict or be balm to his soul as well. The format and transparent, honest writing coupled with discussion questions makes Mess a great idea for a woman's Bible or small group study.
Each chapter covers a Psalm and Harper breaks it down a few verses at a time adding illustrations from her colorful life. A dead goat and baggy pants ended up being quite a little story about the love of God and His mercy toward His pathetic little messy ones.
Other scripture and some historical and/or Biblical information is tossed into each chapter as well. Six or seven questions for consideration/study end each chapter. The questions are ones that could be verbalized, given a little time for thought, in a large group or journalized for personal study.
Harper is charming and often funny, but also capable of diving deep into teaching truth and allowing the Spirit to convict the reader's heart. I folded over several pages to go back to and ponder the truth within and I also plan to hand the book over to my anxiously awaiting twenty-two-year-old daughter who will get much out of this simply complex study of human nature and God's divine design.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Stretch 4 Life
Educate, facilitate, increase range of motion, and repair muscular trauma
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX—Flexibility is an important aspect of overall health and well-being. The body has an enormous and amazing way of healing, and incorporating simple stretching exercises can be extremely helpful in speeding up recovery as well as in maintaining good physical fitness. Licensed massage therapist and educator Lori Walter has developed Stretch 4 Life, a proven and effective tool for people of any age and level of muscular fitness. By using this full body stretch routine, relaxation and flexibility can easily be achieved. The Stretch 4 Life DVD and manual are a wonderful resource for anyone who wishes to pursue enhanced health and well-being. This fabulous routine will also help reinforce healthy habits.
With this practical and easy to use program, Stretch 4 Life will enable anyone to achieve increased flexibility. Tailor any stretch sequence you need to aid in your journey to better health. Individuals can get started with only a few simple stretches to begin the healing process. Later, as the range of motion and strength improve, individuals can increase the specialized plan by simply incorporating additional stretches from the manual and DVD.
Lori Walter is a licensed massage therapist and stretch instructor. She has developed this Stretch 4 Life routine over her 13 years of work with the goal to help people heal and repair their structural integrity. For more information or to place and order, visit www.Stretch4Life.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need to stretch?
Although the mind is the dominant center of control, by attaining relaxation in the voluntary muscle system, we can influence relaxation in the involuntary muscles and other systems of the body. While the muscles in the heart will perform their jobs without conscious effort, we can assist them by ensuring that the muscles we can control do not become tense and thus interfere with the processes. Instead those muscles can be relaxed, which conserves our energy for those times when we need extra. By learning to relax we have a useful tool for release when life gets more complicated.
What techniques will I learn to help me relax?
Muscle work always has at least two parts. A muscle contracts and shortens or it relaxes and lengthens. In this way muscles also work together but in an exactly opposite and reciprocal relationship. For example, when we bend an elbow, the biceps muscle contracts and the triceps muscle behind lengthens to allow the movement. Sometimes this interaction may be disturbed, as when our foot goes into a cramp. The muscle remains in a state of contraction, which becomes painful because it is prolonged and very fatiguing. Relaxation is the physiological state that follows muscle contraction. To achieve relaxation, we will learn to move in one direction followed by a balance of movement in the opposite direction.
What is diaphragmatic breathing and why is it important?
Respiration at rest is performed most significantly by the diaphragm, and any “action” occurring in the abdominal area is quite passive. In fact, if the muscles of the abdomen are not relaxed and passive, then breathing is forced up into the chest. Diaphragmatic breathing and relaxation of the abdominal wall complement each other by helping us stay loose and keeping our breathing slow and deep.
Why is posture important and can I learn to stand up straight now?
Correct posture is energizing to the system of the body. It is the position your brain likes best and will re-learn it quickly and easily.
If you are looking for an instructional DVD on how and why to stretch this may be the one for you. Developed by a massage therapist over years of study and success with many subjects, this DVD is geared toward the instructor who wants to teach the best and most body-friendly stretches, or the student who wants to learn exactly how to do each subtle move.
The format begins with the common questions one might ask about why and what is involved in stretching with a demonstration for each answer. Then several stretches are modeled by two subjects. Proper breathing, muscle movement and beginner, intermediate and advanced techniques are shown and explained. The voice over is loud enough to understand. The movements are slow, studied and repeated.
Those who are looking for a routine or a set of exercises will not find what they are seeking within this DVD.The moves are very basic stretches/warm-ups. And I'll be honest in admitting that I did some skimming because there is a lot of information that I didn't want to sit through. The background music was slightly more annoying than soothing and I appreciated the models willingness to show the techniques but would have liked to see an occasional smile.
I can see the benefit for patients who are beginning recovery, the elderly or those in chronic pain as the moves are designed to repair muscles and increase range of motion as muscles grow more flexible and stronger. Adding these kind of stretching repetitions before bed or first thing in the morning and learning how to do them correctly would be worth the DVD purchase price as well.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
So apparently some readers think I'm way too into the grand dogs and have gone so far as to loan out their children to pep up my life.
Thanks...but not so much.
In light of the need to get a more interesting and exciting life, I decided to devote the first Saturday in months wherein I did not have to leave the house until after dark to a creative day.
Yes, I should have done many, many other things. I should have written a few articles to send out for possible publishing...this would have pleased my accountant. He said something along the lines of "make money this year...blah, blah...playing around with a hobby...blah, blah....professional...blah, blah, blah."
I could have thrown together a proposal for three non-fiction ideas I have (which would probably have pleased me in some primitive part of my brain).
I should have cleaned a few closets, organized a few shelves, scrubbed some cupboards (which would have pleased the entire household, the dogs = stale cereal as treats, the others when not having to play "Guess the Gunk" with leftover containers). I did do a few loads of laundry. But the rest of the day was invested in making jewelry.
Oh, I didn't just make it. I was a woman possessed graduating on to greater strength magnifying eyeglasses and stopping only for a peanut butter sandwich when I couldn't stand one more stomach growl. My fingers are sore, my back is hunched, but the jewelry is done, Dude.
Monday, July 20, 2009
So, I had a chance to read this book twice. But I had such a stack of books teetering over my side of the bed that I had to turn it down. (The fact that I was dealing with a firefighter concerned me....fire codes and all that.) But now, I read the first chapter (which you can do, too) and read a few reviews and I'm crabby that I didn't have someone send me the dang book. Shawn was kind enough to humor me with some Dregs Q & A though....
Shawn Grady signed with Bethany House Publishers in 2008. He was named “Most Promising New Writer” at the 39th Annual Mount Hermon Writers Conference. Through the Fire is his debut novel.
Shawn has served for over a decade as a firefighter and paramedic in northern Nevada. From fire engines and ambulances to tillered ladder trucks and helicopters, Shawn’s work environment has always been dynamic. The line of duty has carried him to a variety of locale, from high-rise fires in the city to the burning heavy timber of the eastern Sierras.
Shawn attended Point Loma Nazarene University as a Theology undergrad before shifting direction to acquire an Associate of Science degree in Fire Science Technology as well as Paramedic licensure through Truckee Meadows Community College.
Shawn currently lives in Reno, Nevada, just outside of Lake Tahoe. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife, three children and yellow Labrador.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Firefighting burns in Aidan O'Neill's blood. The son of a fireman, O'Neill has a sixth sense about fire and often takes dangerous risks. When one act of disobedience nearly gets a rookie killed, O'Neill is suspended. His weeks off are supposed to be a time to reflect but instead he escapes to Mexico, where another rash act of bravery actually kills him. But only for a few minutes.
Called back to Reno, he's now haunted by visions of hell and paralyzed in the face of fire. And at the worst time, because an arsonist is targeting Reno. With a growing love interest with one of the investigators complicating everything, Aidan must discover where his trust rests as the fires creep ever closer.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Through The Fire, go HERE
If you could ask any person, living or dead, a random question -- what question would you ask of whom?
Maybe Paul the Apostle- what was the thorn in his flesh.
Favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie.
There's many- but how about: "Punch it, Chewy."
How does something worm its way into your heart? Through tears, truth, humor or other?
As far as fiction goes, books that feel genuine and real and resonate eternal truth can really impact me.
Where would you most like to travel ----- moon, north pole, deep seas, deserted island, the holy land or back to a place from your childhood, somewhere else? – and why.
Oh, hands down the moon. You get to take a rocket through space to get there.
Which compliment related to your writing has meant the most and why?
Today I was told by someone that a part in Through the Fire made her cry. That's one of the biggest compliments because I know that the words transcended the page and moved her spirit.
What is your favorite word?
Superhero you most admire and why?
I like Spider-man. I like how he's not indestructible. I think he's easier to relate to then most other super-heroes.
Super power you'd love to borrow for awhile?
I love to season my cast iron dutch oven.
Friday, July 17, 2009
High Seas Adventure Meets a High-Tech Quest for Pirate Gold West Indies, 18th century Young Ted Bascombe is rescued by notorious pirate Captain Henry Thatch, finding himself caught up in a world of crime, adventure, and a daily fight for freedom.... Key West, 21st century Marine archaeologist Greg Rhode embarks on a treasure-hunting expedition in the turquoise waters of the Florida Keys, but he's as beguiled by a beautiful diver with different-colored eyes as by the lure of pirate gold...The Hunt Is On! Interweaving these two stories, pro deep-sea diver Tom Morrisey spins a multilayered tale of two young men's quests to escape their past by losing themselves to adventure on the high seas. Romantic and thrilling, this unique novel explores the timeless truth that "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
If you would like to read the first chapter of Pirate Hunter, go HERE.
Tom Morrisey torques up the tension, tackles bitterness and rolls out an extremely readable and fascinating story in Pirate Hunter. Interconnected eras meld as heroic, but broken, men face weather, revenge, greed, evil and redemption. Tom Morrisey has secured his spot on my favorite author shelf.
Morrisey writes rock-solid and often beautiful prose while creating characters that are believable and plot lines that snap, zing and crackle with intensity. Man, woman, Christian, undecided, I can't imagine anyone feeling like a few hours with Morrisey is anything less than a very satisfying and well-spent chunk of time.
With diver and pirate lingo, historical bits and pieces, and three-dimensional characters, Morrisey unfurls two distinct yet silmilar tales. I grew to respect and admire the pirates as much as the modern day hunters. I also appreciated the soul-searching struggles of the main characters as they became open to the truth that wanted to set them free. Strongly spiritual, but not overtly preachy, plenty of adventure and a bit of blood without extremely gruesome scenes, heavy emotion without the trickery to pull emotion from the reader, Morrisey handles the story with excellent wordsmithing and storytelling. The only folks who may not dive fully into this story are folks who want blow-by-blow relational details where love is involved and those who don't want to deal with any technical details.
Pirate and Morrisey fans are going to want to check into this one.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Creaky and crooked little bridge we crossed on our two mile walk. Perfect night for a stroll. Nice breeze. Low humidity and great scenery.
I'm reading a book I hope to post and review tomorrow. So far, very good, but I want to finish it.
Lily gets her turn in the "bathtub." Can you tell she really LOVES bath time?
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The dogs met their "vacay-nanny" today. We can't take them with us to the lake, so they have to stay home. The dog mommy asked around and found someone who might be the perfect stand-in.
Lily and Lola warmed right up to her. Lola spun around and chased her tail because she didn't have one of her skin-ripping, shin-splitting bones to ram into the patient might-be-the-next-best-thing-to-mommy. Lily sidled over and eventually ended up, belly exposed and tongue lolling, on her lap.
The home where they'll be staying has two resident boy dogs. A golden and a lab. We didn't meet them, but the scent-retrieval experts did not sound any alarms. As a matter of fact, both Lily and Lola spread out on the hard wood floors and snoozed while the grown-ups talked.
There was discussion regarding treats and plenty of them, car trips with the boys, and walks. I guess Lily and Lola get to have their own vacation while we're gone.
In case you're wondering, the picture is at the base of the walking bridge. Water jets shoot randomly out of the ground. Wet dog smell x 2! Got to love that.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
E-Mail forward ha-ha.
I got an e-mail called "Why Men Don't Live As Long As Women." and it was chock-full of stereotypical, tasteless, and often mean-spirited photos and comment. But since some of them made me laugh out loud....I must.
So here are a few of my favorites and I'll admit that a few of them seem like very clever, bad, but clever ideas that might even have hatched in my brain.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Heard (and seen) around town.
Warning: Don't read too close to dinner. Not for the squeamish.
Scene: Mall parking lot.
Muffled and then increasingly loud voices. Unknown direction. Heads are not visible.
"I'm going to lose it." Spoken fully in Gaggle. The gurgly and intense 'I'm going to hurl voice' one uses when attempting to keep the contents of the stomach intact. "Cough. Cough. Cough." Wet with promise.
"You need to wipe his face off." Low guttural groan.
"I can't unless you hold his hands." Female voice, more controlled.
Intense gagging. Loud coughing.
"You need to hold his hands. Hold his hands."
Followed by, "I'm going to be sick!" "I'm going to lose it!" Extreme gagging.
We come upon the scene, two aisles over, wherein a female stands working away with a canister of wet wipes. A car seat is perched on the trunk of the car. A child, standing in only a diaper, is barely held onto by bending man. More gagging.
As we drive away man holds child and ralphs projectilely next to the vehicle.
Oh, the glamor of parenting.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
I almost didn't watch this movie. One of my friends detested it and I trust her judgment and consider her tastes and mine to be pretty similar. However, she has read the book and loved it while I have not read any of the Kinsella novels.
I'm writing my review from cluelessness over how the story played out in the book and without comparison between book and film.
I loved this movie. Aside from a handful of a-words, several oh God's, I believe an s-word and a scene of a couple in bed (just there, not doing anything) this is a clean and charming movie. A scene of credit card bill totaling performed while tossing back shots of tequila ended up being a bad idea when a wrong letter is mailed to the wrong person -- which could make for a great discussion opener on the consequences of drinking. I think I can recommend it for family viewing, not only because of what it lacks (sex and over the top innuendo and crudeness) but for what it portrays. The main character (Fischer) has a big problem that she has to come to grips with once her life falls down around her darling half-off boots. She struggles and lies and makes some really poor choices but sucks it up and chooses to grow up, becoming an excellent and charming role model in the process.
Isla Fisher is an expressive actress and her character Rebecca Bloomwood reminded me of Elle from Legally Blonde, a smart-cookie bubblehead with a big, sweet heart. Hugh Dancy is aw-shucks with a British accent hunky. The elements of romance aren't totally believable, this is chick-lit translated to chick-flick after all, but sweet and fun. The plot line has predictability since it follows those genre guidelines. A lot of physical humor, some fun special effects (talking/gesturing mannequins), and lots of color and textures make it visually appealing. We rented it because my daughter wanted to see it. I liked Confessions so much that I watched it a second time when she invited friends over to view it. Out of four picky females and one male, the consensus was that there will be some copies purchased for personal film libraries, including us, we will be buying this movie.
Bottom line. If you've read the book, keep looking at reviews to determine if this novel to film will work for you. If you haven't read it and are looking for a fun, sweet film reminiscent of Legally Blonde, you could do far worse.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Here's Liz -- Unleashed with the Dreaded Dregs ?
Fiction character you would most like to be, marry, or most identify with and why?
It’s hopeless. I’ll never find a man, because wouldn’t you know it, real men rarely live up to Miss Austen’s heroes. But that hasn’t stopped me from compiling a list of the top three fictional characters I’d like to marry. Not all at once, mind you. But if one should be unavailable, I’d be pleased to move on down the list.
1. Nat Eaton – The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
2. Gilbert Blythe – Anne of Green of Gables by L.M. Montgomery
3. Mr. Darcy – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Some out there in writing land have strange rituals. Share yours.
I don’t know if it’s a ritual so much as a bad habit. :) I like to get into my pajamas, prop up pillows behind my back, and plot my laptop on my legs. It’s bad, bad posture, terrible position, and the place that I write better than any other.
Pick one…..Pink iguana, purple cow, periwinkle giraffe. Which one and why? Can be negative or positive.
Purple cow. Hands down. :) Purple is my favorite color and I was born in Iowa. Lots of cows there. :)
Favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie.
Definitely one of my favorite word pictures is in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. When Harry stumbles across Ginny and Dean “snogging” in the corridor, a monster roars to life in his chest. It’s the perfect picture for what it really feels like when you suddenly realize that you’re head over heels for someone. And I love it when Harry and Ginny finally kiss and the monster “purrs.” So perfect.
What period of history intrigues you the most?
The Civil War era has always intrigued me. I love the fancy dresses and uniforms. The balls and the women who stayed at home, waiting and wondering about their men. I’m enthralled by the idea that brothers fought brothers, and all to preserve their way of life. I was reading about the war several years back and saw some statistics about the number of lives lost. Over 600,000 casualties. More Americans lost their lives in the Civil War than in any other war America has ever fought … because both sides were Americans. What causes a man to go to war against his neighbor? I just find the reasons for the war and the different battles so interesting.
What would you write if there were no rules or barriers? (epic novels about characters in the Bible, poetry, greeting cards, plays, movies, instruction manuals, etc.)
Movies. Really good, really funny movies. But I don’t think I have much of an aptitude for that style of writing. Maybe I’ll take some classes on it. :)
How does something worm its way into your heart? Through tears, truth, humor or other?
Definitely humor. I love to laugh, and when something or someone makes me chuckle, they’ve found a place in my heart. Books, movies, songs. All of it. If I genuinely laugh, it’s nearly a given that I’ll really love it.
It’s not that I love sweeping. I just love going barefoot around my house. So when the hard wood floors start to get dirty, I can really tell. It kind of grosses me out. So I love it when they’re clean and swept and barefoot ready.
Frizzy hair, purple scarf and a book – make a scene.
Jill Dalrymple just wasn’t going to finish her paper.
Peeking over the edge of the leather-bound tome propped on the library table, she couldn’t tear her gaze away from the handsome man on the far side of the opposite table. He glanced up, blue eyes zinging, and her eyes immediately dropped back to the page in Shakespeare’s collected works. Smoothing her hand over her obnoxious perm, she sighed. How had she ever let her roommate talk her into trying a home perm? Was it 1986 or something?
But the real problem was that she’d never finish her report if she didn’t stop sneaking peeks at Mr. Blue Eyes. Nope, she needed to go back to her dorm room if she was going to get anything done. Packing up her book bag, she hurried toward the door.
Heads popped up from behind research books across the wide open library. Several irritated students shushed the commotion, but Jill didn’t stop until she felt a hand on her arm.
Spinning around, she came face to face with the blue eyes she’d been admiring all night.
“You forgot this,” he said, holding out her purple, knit scarf.
“Fred.” His smile brightened, and their fingers brushed as she took back her scarf. They both looked down at the contact at the same time.
He nodded, his blond hair falling onto his forehead. “See you here tomorrow?”
“Umm …” She brushed her wild hair over her shoulder. “Sure.”
Myles Parsons is just another inmate in Kenzie Thorn’s GED course until he kidnaps her, offering only a feeble explanation–that he’s actually FBI Special Agent Myles Borden. Terrified, Kenzie doesn’t want to believe his story of being undercover to protect her. Moreover, she can’t believe that someone might really want her dead.
But just when Myles thinks he has her out of harm’s way, his plans start to fall apart. He attempts to take Kenzie to a safe house—but the stubborn woman won’t go! So together they must uncover the clues that will reveal a most shocking perpetrator. All the while Myles tries to keep his distance from Kenzie … but finds himself falling in love.
The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn adheres to the suspenseful romane genre -- boy meets girl, sparks fly, hearts burst, some big miscommunication or issue rips the couple apart then comes the longed for happily ever after conclusion. Add the elements of faith or inspiration and you’ve got a Christian romance.
I have to admit that romance isn’t my favorite. I tend to lean a little more toward realism and the issues that wreck budding fictionalized romances often make me crabby. Really. And, no matter how nice it is to hope for, real men rarely speak romance. Romantic suspense is a much better fit for me. That said Liz Johnson has created the classic, must-have romance characters and scenarios but added a few fresh elements that made Kidnapping an enjoyable read. A nice twist or two ramped up the suspense and the ending was very satisfying. Her storyline is creative, her writing is solid and the faith elements are strong.
Those of you who love romance should look further into this novel. Chickens need to be aware of a little intensity and some blood. Non-romance fans may decide to investigate further into it after checking out the story premise.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
Lily lounges and Lola checks out the scenery on the Iowa/Nebraska state line.
When they've hoofed it a half mile or so, they began to calm down enough to get a nice sit out of them.
Lily checks out the river. And apparently I'd yelled for them to say "Cheese!" since they are looking very expectantly at me.
I think we hit a perfect and balmy 90 degrees. Then five days later we shivered through the second coldest 4th of July on record. Go figure. They say that if you don't like the weather in Iowa to stick around for 20 minutes because it'll change.
Friday, July 03, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
My friend Kim says I'm eclectic. My friend Michelle says I'm a freak. They probably mean the same thing and I'm taking both as a compliment.
Here are a few scenes from Saturday's shopping marathon.
Notice the adorable kerchief-headed ninnie-muffin. These photos were the alternating views in my rearview mirror.
And let's just say a van containing five females who happen to find kerchief-headed ninnie-muffin hilarious is not a quiet van.
The cup-on-the-head incident pales in comparison to the delirious scarf dance at the store that directly followed the cup-head factory.