Friday, September 30, 2011

Pine Forest Baby Blanket

I FINALLY finished knitting the baby blanket for my ex-boss and got it in the mail to him and his family – woohoo!!!



I am thrilled with how it turned out.



Isn’t it pretty?  I can just imagine a baby girl wrapped up in this.



And this is the little note I put inside when I mailed the blanket.  I wanted mom to know it’s ok to wash and dry.

I used Baby Bee Sweet Delight yarn from Hobby Lobby in the Boo Pink color.  It really is very soft and I can see me using it again and again for baby blankets.  The pattern is Pine Forest Baby Blanket (Ravelry link) and is free.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordy Wednesday–Dogs Love to Swim!

Once again this post and picture is in honor of our upper 90’s weather.  Tomorrow they say we’ll be flirting with 100 degrees again.  *insert long-suffering sigh here*



This photo was taken earlier this summer while playing at the beach at the lake.  My grand dog is pictured – Xena – wearing her life jacket and I want you to notice the yellow ball at the top.  Xena, like most labs, just loves the water, running, swimming and BALLS! She had a BLAST running after that ball and was just exhausted after a while. 

Unfortunately dogs just don’t have the sense to stop running and chasing when they get worn out, so we had to intervene a bit.  No matter what we did with that silly ball she would find it, so finally Loni stuck it in the handle of the life jacket and it WORKED!  Xena went back to more leisurely swimming and her breathing returned to normal.

And of course you’ll see Miss B sitting on the back of the boat.  Rarely do I remember her sitting much while on the boat, so this must have been one of those moments of getting her second wind as well.

Oh how that water looks inviting right now!  Smile

REVIEW: Dangerous Mercy by Kathy Herman







Dangerous Mercy
by Kathy Herman
408 pages
David C Cook Publishers

ABOUT THE BOOK:  Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. —Matthew 5:7

When eighty-five-year-old Adele Woodmore moves to Les Barbes to be near the Broussards—and her namesake, their daughter—she wants nothing more than a comfortable, quiet life. Employing men from Father Vince’s halfway house for the homeless to do odd jobs and landscaping, she delights in the casual conversation she has with them, the fledgling friendships, and the idea that she is helping them get back on their feet.

A series of murders in Les Barbes has cast a pall over the town and, in fact, one of Adele’s handymen becomes a person of interest to the police. But Adele cares for these young men, she knows them, and continues to show them kindness in spite of her friends’ concern. And then one day a murderer walks through Adele’s defenses, sits down at her kitchen table...and they begin to talk...

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dangerous Mercy, go HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Suspense novelist Kathy Herman is very much at home in the Christian book industry, having worked five years on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and eleven years at Better Books Christian Center in Tyler, Texas, as product buyer/manager for the children’s department, and eventually as director of human resources.

She has conducted numerous educational seminars on children’s books at CBA Conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served a preliminary judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association , and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market.
Since her first novel, Tested by Fire, debuted in 2001 as a CBA national bestseller, she's added sixteen more titles to her credit, including four bestsellers: All Things Hidden, The Real Enemy, The Last Word, and The Right Call.

Kathy's husband Paul is her manager and most ardent supporter, and the former manager of the LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas. They have three grown children, five almost-perfect grandchildren, a cat named Samantha. They enjoy cruising, deep sea fishing, and bird watching—sometimes incorporating these hobbies into one big adventure.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordy Wednesday–Cousins on a Boat

I’ve seen so many people do a Wordless Wednesday post where all they do is share a picture.  I’m not able to do that because, as my beloved says, I can make even a long story longer. 

However….  in honor of our temperature back up in the 90’s again I wanted to share a picture from this summer.  Because with this heat it would’ve been a GREAT day to be on the water.  Well except for the pesky problem of the blue green algae that has our lake closed right now. 



These two Cutie Patooties (or as Uncle Gary calls Brooklyn, Cutie on Duty!) were sitting up at the front of the boat as we headed out of the cove one day this summer.  They were all grins and giggles and highly anticipating the swimming and beach fun we were about to have.  That anticipation is even more fun when you have your cousin next to you!  On the left is my precious granddaughter Brooklyn and next to her is her cousin Kaitlyn, who is 3 months to the day older than Brooklyn.

(And lest anybody worry, we are in the No Wake Zone here and going very slow, which is why they are sitting up there like that. And you can see the pink and green sandals of their mamas right there!)

REVIEW-Here’s To Friends by Melody Carlson







Here's To Friends
by Melody Carlson
313 pages
David C Cook Publishers

ABOUT THE BOOK:  Once upon a time in a little town on the Oregon coast lived four Lindas—all in the same first-grade classroom. So they decided to go by their middle names. And form a club. And be friends forever.

Decades later, they're all back home in Clifden and reinventing their lives, but the holidays bring a whole new set of challenges. Abby’s new B&B is getting bad reviews and husband Paul is acting strange. Still grieving for her mom, Caroline is remodeling the family home, but boyfriend Mitch keeps pressuring her to go away with him. Artist Marley, distracted by a friend's family drama (and a touch of jealousy), can't find her creative groove. And Janie’s drug-addicted daughter has just appeared up on her doorstep! When a long-planned New Year's cruise turns into a bumpy ride, they learn once again that, in your fifties, friends aren’t just for fun—they're a necessity!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Here’s to Friends, go HERE.


MY REVIEW:   What an enjoyable book this was!  Imagine four friends enjoying one another’s company into their 50’s – and their friendship began in the first grade!

Melody Carlson has become one of my favorite authors as she can make a story so real.  I looked forward to reading this book every free moment I had – it’s that good.



Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards. And her "Diary of a Teenage Girl" series has received great reviews and a large box of fan mail.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


**My thanks to CFBA for furnishing this book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Milk Glass and Orchids

I love milk glass because I think it’s pretty.

And I love how certain things can evoke strong memories.

I see it and instantly I’m 8 years old again sitting at the table in my grandmother’s kitchen, food all around us.

I do have a few pieces of my grandmother’s milk glass, but I have it put away to only bring out on special occasions.  Like so far never. Which is bad because we all know that we should splurge on ourselves and our own family and USE THE GOOD STUFF!




Since I enjoy milk glass so much I got the idea to buy a few of the small pieces and put them in my windowsill with plants. I could never bring myself to use my grandmother’s pieces for this, but seeing them in the windowsill does remind me of her. Smile



I have to confess too that Keith has bought orchids for me on a few occasions, so I have a particular fondness for them.



Isn’t this AWESOME?  We were out in Canton, TX at the ginormous flea market when I found this piece for only TWO DOLLARS!!!  It’s very small, probably would only hold about a cup and a half or so, but just perfect for the teeny tiny orchid.

I couldn’t bring myself to put any sort of drainage hole in the piece in case I decide to use it for something else later, so we’ll see how well the flower does!


* Linking to Nifty Thrifty TuesdayTip Me Tuesday, Twice Owned Tuesday, Anything Related, White Wednesday

Monday, September 19, 2011

Movies on Monday

I have a confession to make – one of my guilty pleasures is “end of the world” movies and books.  I have no idea why and honestly if I thought about it a lot I’d probably get the heebie jeebies over the subject matter most times.  Perhaps it’s more of a cheering over the resiliency of the human spirit?  Regardless, I love them and those closest to me tend to tease me about it a lot.



I tell you that to explain why I was so excited about seeing the movie Contagion – and really why Keith is such a good husband because he was NOT all that interested in the movie.

We went on Saturday night to a theater we’ve gone to many times, but they have since remodeled a portion of their screens into a Dine-In Theater.  Just happened to have a B1G1 free entrĂ©e, so perfect time to try it out.  We were very pleasantly surprised by the food because the other theater in town that does something similar has only greasy fried foods on the menu and we’re trying to stay away from that.  This one was great!

But the movie?  I was so disappointed.  It had the potential and the actors to be really great, but it was almost boring.  There really wasn’t much edge of your seat excitement or worry over the main characters.


Jakarta Pandemic

Part of that feeling could be because of the book I started that morning – The Jakarta Pandemic by Steven Konkoly.  I finished the book today and have to say that it was rather eerie in it’s believability for me.  It focuses more on one family and their surrounding neighborhood and how as time goes by during a pandemic there are bigger things than just the flu to worry about.  (It’s a great book, so if you have the same guilty pleasure of end of the world books go and order it – it’s just $3.99 on Kindle.)

And circling back to the movie – I’m wondering if part of our lack of enjoyment was due to the couple behind us that coughed and blew their nose the whole time…..DURING A PANDEMIC FLU MOVIE!  It did rather add to the creep factor.  Surprised smile

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday Stumbles

Time for another riveting edition of Saturday Stumbles!  These are just a few of the fantastic things I’ve stumbled across during my travels through Pinterest this week.   And since it looks like the 100 degree days are behind us now (fingers crossed!) I’m going to share fall links today. 



- When I pinned this Pumpkin Cream Cheese spread I had no idea that it was a low point treat!  I love the idea of pumpkin and cream cheese together and finding out that it isn’t terribly bad for me is such a bonus.  Now I just need to find some of the low point bagels she refers to and I’ll be happy as a clam!


Thanks Scripture

Fall Subway Art

- Two very beautiful fall printables that have a very good chance of ending up on my mantle this year.  One is a scripture and the other is subway art.  I wonder with the heavy brown backgrounds though just how much ink they would use?  You know I’m pretty cheap that way.  Winking smile


thanksgiving napkins

- I really love the look and feel of cloth napkins every day, but especially during the holidays.  Purlbee a tutorial for making Linen Thanksgiving Napkins  that are meant to be quick and simple.  The classic look really appeals to me and obviously with using different colors you would be set for any holiday.


- I have pinned countless wreaths for all seasons, but I think I’ve about decided on this Burlap Fall Wreath for this year.  The rustic look and the burlap flowers just really appeal to me.


baked apples

- The idea of making Baked Apples in the Crockpot really had me intrigued.  And when she said “This dessert has the same flavors as apple pie without the guilt of a fattening crust!” that clinched the deal!  There really isn’t all that much butter and sugar with this recipe and everybody knows that an apple a day keeps the doctor away…..   Winking smile


Enjoy – and if you are on Pinterest let me know your name so that I can follow you!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Angelic Floral Arrangement

It strikes me as rather funny that I love to do so many crafts, and even consider myself pretty good at them, and for the life of me cannot arrange flowers!

Fortunately my daughter can! So when she showed up at my doorstep with her roommate to “hang out” while the roofers were working on their apartment I jumped at the opportunity. The three of us headed to Hobby Lobby for flower selection and while they did give my the final say really they did it themselves.

A story about the vase – it has huge meaning for me and I’ve finally gotten around to using it!  On the one year anniversary of my dad passing away one of my grandmother’s friends brought flowers to her in this vase.  I think that is such a touching thing to do and hope that I can remember that if ever I’m in the same place.  Anyway, I have the vase now and it means the world to me since it has an attachment to daddy and grandma. 



And this is what they came up with!  They were pleased with the flowers because pink is my favorite color, but they didn’t want it to be baby pink.



The wall color doesn’t really show well, but it’s kind of a flat, funny greenish grayish type of color.  Perfect as a background to the floral arrangement!



My mother-in-law just gave me this picture and I put it next to the floral arrangement, then was delighted to see that the pink flower in the picture is very close to the pink flowers the girls picked out!  Contemplating changing the silver frame – spray paint just might be involved.

Seriously, every time I walk into the bedroom and see this it makes me smile. That’s a sign of it being absolutely perfect!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday Stumbles

WOW – it’s been a very long time since I’ve done one of these posts!  And really I’ve kind of gotten away from using StumbleUpon so much since I’ve fallen head over heels IN LOVE with Pinterest!  Not only can you follow people there and spend way too much time on the computer find new crafts and recipes, but you can also add the button to your internet browser toolbar and mark things you find to save for later!  Brilliant!

So here’s a few things I’ve found recently that I CANNOT WAIT to try!

- I seriously <big puffy heart> coffee and unfortunately for my thighs and arteries I especially love it with cream and sugar.  Have you ever read the ingredient list on the flavored creamers?  Hmmm.  So then I found this link to Homemade Coffee Creamers at Deliciously Organic and just about swooned!  I’m hoping to try a few very soon because these are real ingredients people!

- I think I might be a little embarrassed if anybody could see just how many Mason Jars I own.  Years ago I used to do a lot of canning and still hope to get back to it some day as there is nothing in the world like homemade salsa or jam.  Until then I keep finding mason jar ideas online and have almost talked myself into breaking into the box of jars.  I saw the idea of putting a photo in a mason jar and filling it with olive oil – I kid you not – and you end up with a sepia effect.  See it here on The Funky Bear.

- I have a board on Pinterest simply called Pumpkin.  I adore absolutely anything pumpkin and since I found myself pinning so many pumpkin things I cleverly deduced that it needed it’s own board.  Then when I saw a recipe for Pumpkin Snickerdoodles – oh….you complete me!   Since our weather is finally under the 100 degree mark I’m thinking I should be able to fire up the oven SOON for these babies!

- I’m not so sure I could pull off wearing this Pressed Penny Bracelet now that I’m a grandma, but I am sure that I can make it happen for my granddaughter!  What a cute idea to pull all of those pennies together that you get as souvenirs and turn them into something sassy to wear!

- One of our favorite things to do when people is over is play games – any kind of game.  Classics like Uno and Skip-Bo probably get the most play time and with good reason – everybody is able to play along!  Shady Tree Diary showed how to use ordinary plastic soap boxes to store your card decks in to keep them clean and organized and I am so on board with this.  Dollar store here I come!

Hope you found something on here that inspired you too!  Smile

Friday, September 09, 2011

Review-To Have and To Hold by Tracie Peterson & Judith Miller








To Have and To Hold
by Tracie Peterson & Judith Miller
341 pages
Bethany House Publisher


ABOUT THE BOOK:  When Audrey Cunningham's father proposes that they move to Bridal Veil Island, where he grew up, she agrees, thinking this will help keep him sober and close to God. But they arrive to find wealthy investors buying up land to build a grand resort on the secluded island--and they want the Cunninghams' acreage.

Contractor Marshall Graham can't imagine why the former drinking buddy of his deceased father would beckon him to Bridal Veil Island. And when Boyd Cunningham asks him to watch over Audrey, Marshall is even more confused. He has no desire to be saddled with caring for this fiery young woman who is openly hostile toward him. But when Audrey seems to be falling for another man--one who has two little girls Audrey adores--Marshall realizes she holds more of his heart than he realized. Which man will Audrey choose? And can she hold on to her ancestral property in the face of overwhelming odds?

If you would like to read the first chapter of To Have and to Hold, go HERE.


MY REVIEW: Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to review a book. This book is not an edge of your seat thriller, the greatest love story ever told or a laugh out loud comedy. What it is though is a very good book.  The kind you enjoy picking up and reading and getting to know the characters.  The kind that leaves me knowing I will look for more books by this author duo.

The comedy parts I loved….Aunt Thora with her gun reminded me so much of Granny in the Beverly Hillbillies – at least in my mind.  Audrey was the devoted daughter, torn and trying to decide what to do in their situation.  And of course Marshall, who was trying to figure out what he did wrong from the very beginning.

A book I thoroughly enjoyed and I give 4 stars to.



Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels. She received her first book contract in November, 1992 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row. In 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers. She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests. Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max.

Judith Miller's first novel, Threads of Love, was conceived when she was commuting sixty miles to work each day. She wanted to tell the story of a pioneer girl coming to Kansas and the faith that sustained her as she adjusted to a new life. Through a co-worker, she was directed to Tracie Peterson who, at that time, worked down the hall from her. Having never met Tracie, Judith was totally unaware of her writing career, but God intervened. The rest is, as they say, history. Since that first encounter many years ago, Judith has been blessed with the publication of numerous books, novellas and a juvenile fiction book. Joyously, she and Tracie had the opportunity to develop a blessed friendship. In fact, they have co-authored several series together, including The Bells of Lowell, the Lights of Lowell and The Broadmoor Legacy.

**My thanks to CFBA for furnishing this book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Meeting the New Dog Cousin

We just had the BEST weekend with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law!  Seems like any time I see any of my family I end up saying I wish we were able to be together more, and isn’t that a good sign?  ~ very happy sigh ~

I suppose I could say the weekend really “went to the dogs” – except that really that would be a groaner. 

They had two Shelties for many years and one of them passed away recently, shortly followed by the other.  The time was right for them to adopt two new Shelties and we were quite excited to meet new dog #1!

On the way out to their place we stopped at a travel stop for a break and were delighted to see that this particular place had a dog park!  Joe of course was happy too as he always travels with us.  The picture below shows what he looked like the entire time in the dog park – nose to the ground!  My word there must have been a thousand things to smell out there and he wanted to find every one of them!  Happiness is many distinct smells on the ground…at least when you are a dog!

photo (3)


And this is their new Sheltie!  She is an absolute doll and already, after only one week, fits into their family and routine so well you’d swear she’d lived with them for years.  See that tail wagging?  That’s her during every waking moment.

photo (2)


They pick up Sheltie #2 in a few weeks and I’m sure we’ll want to go and meet her as well.  Because really – they are cousins to our golden Joe, so we do need to welcome them to the family!

“A dog can express more with his tail in minutes than his owner can express with his tongue in hours.” - Anonymous