Friday, December 17, 2010

Starbucks Coffee, Potty Training, And Anything Else I Can Think Of

I know you probably won't believe this, but I've only had Starbucs coffee
once before
in my intire life. I was in Morristown, NJ training with my guide dog George
at The
Seeing Eye. George the dog is dead now, but back then, he led me in to
where I sat for a while and drank a cup. Today, though, i am enjoying my own
made by me. Here's how it happened.
The Starbucks truck either dropped a load or wrecked or something, because
the intire
load was damaged and they were giving it away. My hubby brought me a dented
can for
free. I keep it stored in the freezer and use it sparingly, but oh, is it
good! I
got to laughing when I thought of what my grandmother would say if I told
her how
much it would cost to buy a can this size from Amazon. I guess when you grow
up during
or right after the Great Depression, $24 for a can of coffee is a little
silly. Anyhow,
though, for now mine is free. :)
So, what on earth do you do with a three-year-old who wants to wear diapers
of panties? She knows there are still some diapers in the drawer, and when I
her she is too big for them, she says, "No, I'm still a little baby."
"But," I say, "if you pee in the potty, you can have some chocolate.
Besides, don't
you want to be a big girl like your sissy?"
"No," she says, her lip all out and tears filling her eyes.
Guess I'll have to throw those diapers away and have her watch me do it. I
sure hope
she is broken of them, soon. Afording them is not an option, anymore.
I tell you what, asking God for patience did not turn out like I thought it
i asked Him to make me abetter person, patient and kind like it says in
5, and you know what He did? He gave me children, that's what. lol This road
of mothering
is a hard, steep climb upward. There are sharp rocks that dig in to my hands
feet, heartaches that make me want to cry, mud that makes me slide backward
so that
I keep repeting the same mistakes over and over again. And yet, along the
way, there
are such joys that I could have never imagined. I mean, sometimes, when I
stop to
rest on one of those bolders, I get to laughing so hard that tears come to
my eyes.
Once in a while, I stop and look back over the way I've come, an i can
hardly believe
it. For sure and for certain, I am not the same Shannon who said "I do" ten
ago. How can something be so difficult and wonderful, all at the same time?
For instance, this potty training business. I absolutely can't stand finding
she has wet her pants or done something else. I mean, I want to yell and
I hate touching it, and yet, how else is a blind woman supposed to know how
bad the
mess is if she doesn't touch it? But, the same child who will not make potty
easy on either one of us, wraps her sweet, little arms around my neck and
says, "I
love you, Mommy." The very same five-year-old who interrupts me everytime I
my mouth to have a private talk with someone, said in her prayers the other
"And, Lord, please help everybody that they know you before it's too late."
Yesterday, I was watching a video from our church. My five-year-old, Faith
was singing
with me in the video, and I tell you, I got such a blessing, tears came to
my eyes.
Y'all want to know what God wants for you and your children? He wants you to
in them a deep love for Him...that's all. Because, see, if you do that,
else will fall in to place. It isn't about what we as parents can give them.
all about what we can show them.
God has worked a miracle in my life, y'all. In fact, He's still working on
me to
make me what I ought to be. I'm serious. i am a better person because I am a
I am a better person, because I am a wife. I am not the girl I used to be.
I'm not
even the woman I used to be, but someone new, someone that would not be, if
it were
not for the grace of God.
Totally off subject...I have an iPhone. Did y'all know that? Anyway, I love
it. With
sighted assistance, I can even take videos and pictures with it. I can also
to music, get a call, talk then go back to listening to music, all with a
touch of
a finger. I recorded a little video of my girls with my Papaw here at my
house, and
here's the link.
My mamaw is whispering in the background, and the other voice in the
background besides
mine, is the voice on my phone.
Well, I have clothes to fold and put away, a couple of rug rats to bathe and
ready to go down the road. My daughter is getting her glasses today, Lord
and there's some grocery shopping to do. I'm also hoping to cheat and eat
out a bit,
but we'll have to check the finances, first. Sorry for not blogging often,
but I'm
trying to get back in to the swing of things, and I'm working on a very
post about obedience that I'll post, soon. Until next time, keep safe, pray
ceasing, and remember to smile 'cause God loves you so very much!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's CHRISTmas!

They are calling for 2 to 4 inches of snow to fall before the day is over,
and I have birthday shopping to do. My baby was born 3 years ago today. Wow!
Hard to believe, but there you have it. I saw a 2 month old baby last night
and heard her cry. i couldn't help but smile, thinking to myself, "I love
babies' cries, especially when they aren't going home with me." :)

So, with the empending birthday shopping to do, I hoppped...not really...out
of bed this morning and turned on the trusty laptop. First, I checked the
weather to see when this snow is supposed to hit us. last night they were
saying it wasn't supposed to come until noon or after noon. However, now
they are saying late morning to early afternoon. So, it would behoove me to
keep an eye out and get our shopping done as early as possible.

While checking email on the trusty laptop, I found a message in my inbox
from Education World. I get newsletters from them, periodically, and mostly,
I enjoy them. I am new to home schooling, and while I don't use a lot of
their ideas, I do use some. I like to have a general idea what my
kindergartener would be doing if she were in public school. As you can
imagine, this month's newsletter dealt with the holiday season, and that is
what I am going to blog about today.

To teach young children about the different holidays celebrated in December,
they gave craft ideas. My favorite, of course, was the trees made of
pinecones. I might even try it. The second craft idea was Hanukkah cookies.
The third was candle-like things to celebrate a Hindu holiday I had never
heard of called Diwali, which is a celebration of lights. The last idea was
to make fruits out of paper, because Kwanzaa is a celebration of the first
fruits of a harvest. A shame they are not interested in celebrating the
firstfruits of the resurrection.

Forget, for just a minute that this blog is called "OldTime Christian". Ok?
Now, using this email from Education World as a guideline, they forgot a
faith. They gave craft ideas to teach about Kwanzaa, Diwali, Hanukkah and...
xmas. Yes, you heard me, xmas. The craft idea was to make little trees out
of pinecones. They did not call them Christmas trees, either, just trees.
So, i will say it again, they forgot a faith. They forgot CHRISTmas.

Now, remember what this blog is called, "OldTime Christian". HOW DARE THEY
LEAVE OUT THE REASON FOR THE SEASON! If Americans weren't celebrating
Christ's birthday, first, then there would not be a holiday to wrap peagan
beliefs around.

Now, I know peagans celebrated around December 25 long before Christianity
came along. I've done my research. So, if you are peagan and want to dance
naked in the streets like some did, go ahead. I won't stop you, but don't
you stop me from celebrating the birth of my LORD. Don't mess with my Bible,
my belief in Jesus, my right to celebrate how I wish. The constitution gives
me the right to practice any religion I choose, as long as it isn't
infringing on someone else, and infringing on someone else is what this
world is doing.

When I was in elementary school, I had a teacher who is Jewish. She taught
us about Hanukkah and the menorah. She brought a dradle to school and taught
us to play. However, she did not tell us that she didn't want to hear about
our Christmas celebrations. In fact, she arranged a trip to a local church
each year and asked me to sing, "Away In A Manger" along with the organist's
accompaniment. Looking back, I wonder if there was conviction going on
there. Out of the mouths of babes and all that. In saying that, one year she
took us to visit her synagogue to meet the Rabbi. Never once did anyone try
to convert anyone else. Nor, did anyone put another down for their beliefs.
It has always stuck in my mind, and I still have a healthy respect for Mrs.

Now, I'm not saying that you can't celebrate your holiday this December.
What I am saying, is let me celebrate mine. If you are going to teach
children about Kwanzaa, Diwali, and Hanukkah, teach them also about the
birth of Jesus Christ.

I have to say, though, I am so glad we are home schooling. Teaching my
children that there are other beliefs is one thing, but forgetting to teach
about Jesus Christ, is a mistake I will not make. He is the focus in our
house! AMEN? Jesus is the reason for the season around here. In fact, He is
the reason for Christmas, Easter and every other day of the year. Quite
possibly there won't be $1000 spent for gifts in our home, but we have
Jesus. We probably don't have the place decorated as beautifully as the
neighbors, in fact I know we do not, but do they have the Master living in
their hearts? you tell me, what is more important.

You talk about peace on earth and good will toward men, but do you realize
there is no peace without God? Do you realize that you wouldn't even be
alive to talk about it, if God had not created you, not knitted you together
in your mother's womb?

So to end this entry, it is not precipitating out there yet, so I would
appreciate your prayers that it waits until our shopping is finished. To
those who celebrate it, have a Merry Christmas. And, to those who do not,
may your celebrations be filled with conviction to serve God and His son
Jesus, and may you not rest until you call upon His name. You think that's a
little harsh? Well, you're reading something written by an OldTime
Christian. What do you expect?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

TO TAME A HEART, Coming Soon!

"Trusting in God used to come easy to rancher Deric Christy, but when
lightening strikes, his faith is shattered. He falls prey to the voice of
the enemy and finds himself the only suspect in a murder investigation.
Dependent on a God fearing female physician, he soon realizes he can no
longer run from the demons of his past.
Times are tough for Dr. Faith Valentine. When she is asked to treat a
stranger in town, her compassion will not let her refuse, but jealousy
abounds, and there is a murderer who wants to keep a secret. Faith and Deric
both must learn how to put the past behind them and allow God to work all
things out for good.
Meanwhile, Chase Colton, foreman on a neighboring ranch, attempts to
convince his boss their love for one another can stand the test of time, if
she will only say, "yes."
Sequel to "Wild Heart" ISBN #1608132447."

6 inches by 9 inches, this paperback will contain approximately 572 pages. I
am self publishing through CreateSpace

As you who follow this blog know, I had pitched it to an agent back in June.
The agent declined to represent the book. At first I was upset and thought I
would rewrite the whole thing, but after much prayer and thought, I am
publishing, anyway. There might be mistakes. You might not like it, but if
you enjoyed Wild Heart and want to know more about the characters you met in
that book, hold on, cause things are about to happen.

I'm guessing it will be about a month before the book is available for
purchase. Although I am not certain of the price, I believe it will be in
the neighborhood of $14.00. It's so long, CreateSpace wouldn't let me go
cheaper than that. If you are interested in preordering an autographed copy
through me, you are certainly welcome to do so. Just drop me an email at
and let me know.

I know it has been a long time since I posted a blog, and I am sorry for
that. Home school, writing and being a stay-at-home mom is keeping me rather
busy. :) I promise to try and do better in the future. Until then, keep us
in your prayers and come back soon!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Blind Baker

As the title implies, I have been baking quite a bit, here lately. It's like I can't get enough of it. I blogged about making the Challah bread, which you can read. It's title is simply, "Challah bread." But, I've been making more than Challah. This month, alone, I have made 1 batch of Challah, 3 batches of cinnamon rolls, 2 batches of bagels 1 whole wheat and one regular, 2 batches of brownies, and 1 loaf of banana bread. In this post, I'm going to share some of those funniest and/or most interestingest points of those baking adventures.

On Saturday, July 3, the day I made 2 batches of cinnamon rolls and 2 loaves of Challah, started out busy and ended busy. At 9 that morning I was in the kitchen washing dishes. After the kitchen was cleaned, I cooked some chicken for chicken salad I planned to eat for lunch that week. When it was done, I cut it up in small pieces and put it in a container in my fridge to wait. I had to get things from the grocery store before making the salad. Then, my dear husband cooked pancakes for us, and I washed dishes afterward. After draining the sink of sudsy water, I hurried to take a shower and get ready to go to Walmart.

Mom and Dad...Lord, bless them...drove me to Walmart and we were there 2 hours getting the stuff I needed. My wonderful husband stayed home with the girls, which made the trip go smoothly, if it did take a while. So, anyway, when I got back home around 6:15, my DH cooked spaghetti while I washed dishes and started making my dough.

I had 2 bowls, one for the Challah and one for the cinnamon rolls, and I think I got confused somewhere along the way, because my cinnamon roll dough took forever to come together. All the while I was trying to mix up dough, my 2-year-old was running a fever and wanted her mommy to hold her. I did while I ate my dinner. :) Finally, the children's Motrin kicked in and the fever went down.

I was managing pretty well with the Challah dough, when I plopped it on to my bread board and started kneading, and found a piece of egg shell in it. :D The recipe calls for an egg, and I guess I'm not so good at cracking them as I would like to be. But, all in all, both doughs came together, but not without a lot of sweat and cramping hands. At one point, when my DH came through the kitchen to get some ice cream, I asked for a bite. You should have seen me, standing there, dough all over the place, sweat rolling in rivers down my face, holding that cold sweetness of chocolate in my mouth.

When it was time for the dough to rise, I put it in separate bowls and covered them, and then ran bath water for my girls. I spanked them all soundly and put them to bed...haha gotcha! lol Nah, I bathed them and lie down with them until they were asleep. At that point, I got back up, braided my Challah and set it on the baking pan to wait for the oven to come up to temperature. While it baked, I rolled out the cinnamon rolls. While using a heavy hand to sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on the rolled out dough, I ran out and had to find more, but it all worked out. The DH went to bed about that time, and i was not only alone in the kitchen, but in the dark...quite literally. haha! He turned the lights out on me! Can you believe it?

Pulling baking pans in and out of the oven, punching the timer again and again, washing the dishes as I went, and checking email, I spent the rest of the night in the kitchen. I went to bed around 2 that Sunday morning, and got up around 6:30 or 7 and readied myself and the baby to go to med express where we found out she had sores in her mouth and throat. No strep, though, but doctor did give an antibiotic.

The day I made the regular bagels, my friend, Anita was here to visit, and even though the bagels fell apart, I was surprised that they turned out so good. That first time, I rolled the dough in to snakes, pinched the ends together and tried to roll them, but the second time I made the bagels, I made balls and punched my thumb through them. The second batch stayed together and looked prettier, too. The interesting thing is, I didn't know you have to boil bagels before baking. I was worried about doing this, because the instructions say to flip them in the boiling water after 30 seconds, but I just used a big spatula and instead of flipping, I kind of stirred them around a bit. i only put 1 bagel in at a time, too. Next batch of bagels, think I might make cinnamon raisin ones. Yum!

"Ok Shannon," you are probably saying, "get to the funny part." Well, here goes.

I wanted to make brownies for my friend who was staying, but I didn't have a lot of energy to keep me going. So, knowing it doesn't take long to whip up a batch, I started in. I must not have been paying enough attention. I ran to the cabinet and grabbed a bag that felt like chocolate chips. i cut it open and poured half of the contents in to the brownie batter. When something hard hit the counter, I was like, what? I grabbed up the item, and like a dummy, put it in my mouth. Oh, my y'all, I had poured dried beans in to that batter, and I could not get them all out by spooning in to a cup. I had to throw it out and start again.

Now, I had some very very very ripe bananas on my counter and needed to get rid of them, so why not make banana bread? Well, while I waited on my dad to bring me some vanilla for the brownies, which never happened, BTW, I mixed up the banana bread for the first time. The instructions say to mix bananas, cinnamon and milk in one bowl, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in to another, and butter, sugar and eggs in a 3rd bowl. Well, when I was about to assemble all the ingredience in to one bowl, I realized i had forgot the eggs, my beaters were clean and my mixer was put away, so I just cracked them, put them in and gave them a vigorous stir. I also made a mistake when adding the salt, baking powder and baking soda, by putting them in the wrong bowl. Instead of the flour bowl, I put them in the banana bowl. haha! So, I gave up on the vanilla and made the brownies, which turned out yummy. I put the banana bread batter in the oven and an hour and 15 minutes later, cracked on top it came out. I tasted it the next morning,! It was moist and so very good. Usually, I don't eat banana bread, because it's too dried out or burnt, but that was perfect. Also, I tend to under cook things, so there's no way it tastes burned. The only thing i want charred at the very edge, is maybe a real, good steak, or some grilled chicken.

So, let's see, does that cover it? I think so. I want to make zuchini bread, but I don't have any zuchini and don't know of anyone who grows it. I'm too poor right now to buy some at the store, but now that I can get fresh fruits and vegetables through WIC, I'll get some next time I can. One good thing about my girls, if I don't tell them what's in it, they usually eat my creations. Then, when they grow up, they will try to say they don't like something like zuchini bread, and I'll say, "Oh yes you do." :)

Until next time, keep smiling, keep praying, and come to my book signing at Taylor Books in Charleston on July 26 from 1 PM to 3 PM. It's for my children's book, "Gold! A Tall Tale."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

This Might Make You Mad, But...

Be forewarned, this post contains doctrine that is contraversial.

"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall
judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the
word; instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all
long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not
endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to
themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their
ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Timothy 4:1-4 KJV

You all have seen them, email forwards with sweet and inspiring stories with
a challenge at the end to forward it if you believe in Jesus. I read them,
sometimes, but hardly ever pass them along, mostly because I don't see the
need. Passing along Bible verses or true stories, maybe, but most of the
time, these forwards aren't even true or scriptural. For instance, read
this story below. It showed up a few days ago in my in box, and I have
decided to show you in the Bible, why this email, while sweet is not
biblical. First, read it. Then, read my comments afterward.

[She jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating
room. She
said: 'How is my little boy? Is he going to be all right? When can I see
The surgeon said, "I'm sorry.. We did all we could, but your boy didn't make
Sally said, "Why do little children get cancer? Doesn't God care any more?
were you, God, when my son needed you?"
The surgeon asked, "Would you like some time alone with your son? One of the
will be out in a few minutes, before he's transported to the university."
Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good bye to her son.
She ran her
fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair. "Would you like a lock of
hair?" the nurse asked. Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy's
put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally.
The mother said, "It was Jimmy's idea to donate his body to the University
for Study.
He said it might help somebody else. 'I said no at first, but Jimmy said,
"Mom, I
won't be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy
spend one
more day with his Mom." She went on, "My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always
of someone else.. Always wanting to help others if he could."
Sally walked out of Children's Mercy Hospital for the last time, after
spending most
of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy's belongings on the
beside her in the car.
The drive home was difficult. It was even harder to enter the empty house.
She carried
Jimmy's belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her
son's room.
She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his
room exactly
where he had always kept them. She lay down across his bed and, hugging his
cried herself to sleep.
It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Lying beside her on the bed was a
letter. The letter said
"Dear Mom,
I know you're going to miss me; but don't think that I will ever forget you,
or stop
loving you, just 'cause I'm not around to say
'I Love You'
. I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see
other again. Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won't be
so lonely,
that's okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if
decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn't like the same things us
do. You'll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know.
Don't be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place. Grandma and
met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a
long time
to see everything... The angels are so cool. I love to watch them fly. And,
you know
what? Jesus doesn't look like any of his pictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I
knew it
was Him. Jesus himself took me to see GOD! And guess what, Mom? I got to sit
on God's
knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important. That's when I told Him
I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you good bye and everything. But I
knew that wasn't allowed. Well, you know what Mom? God handed me some paper
and His
own personal pen to write you this letter I think Gabriel is the name of the
who is going to drop this letter off to you. God said for me to give you the
to one of the questions you asked Him "where was He when I needed him?" 'God
He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He
right there, as He always is with all His children.
Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I've written except you. To
else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn't that cool? I have to give
God His
pen back now He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life.
Tonight I
get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I'm sure the food will be
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you.. I don't hurt anymore the cancer is all
gone.. I'm
glad because I couldn't stand that pain anymore and God couldn't stand to
see me
hurt so much, either. That's when He sent The Angel of Mercy to come get me.
Angel said I was a Special Delivery! How about that?
Signed with Love from God, Jesus & Me..."]

Ok, so here's the Scripture taken from the King James Version of the Holy

John 3:12-13
"If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye
believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to
heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in

According to the words of Jesus, Himself, ain't nobody in heaven, but Him,
God and heavenly beings like angels and such. When Jesus went to raise
Lazarus from the dead in John 11, He told His disciples "Lazarus sleepeth."
When the disciples said it was good that Lazarus was sleeping, Jesus made
sure to say that Lazarus was dead. Then, when they got to where the dead
lay, Jesus called out for him to come forth. Lazarus came out wrapped in
his graveclothes. In First Corinthians chapter 15 long about verse 51, it
says, "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall be
changed," so see, it says "sleep", not roaming the hills of glory on our way
back down here to be raised up again. Ok, that's all the Scripture I'm
giving you, showing that little boy did not go to heaven. Whether we sleep
in Jesus waiting for His return or go to heaven waiting, is a doctrinal
point folks have been fighting over for centuries. I'm not trying to start
a fight, so let's move on. Since this is not the gospel according to
Shannon, here's another verse.

Matthew 27:46 KJV
"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eli, Eli, lama
sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

So, was God with Jesus when Jesus was dying on the cross? Most definitely,
because He is God's son, He had the strength to endure, but if God cannot
look on sin.

Here's another thing, if God can only stand so much of His children's
suffering before sending an angel to carry them home, then why did he not
send an angel for Job? Yes, I believe God cares. Yes, I believe God hates
suffering. But, as difficult as it is for us humans to comprehend, God is
more interested in the eternal, rather than the temporal.

I know this post is long, but I have one more point to make, so stick with

I know hurting and troubled people are only looking for comfort and a sense
of peace wherever they can find it, but folks, it's time we stop letting the
world dictate what we believe. Just because a certain doctrine is popular,
does not mean we have to follow along. Read the Bible for yourself. In the
words of the apostle Paul, "Study to show thyself aproved unto God, a
workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
That is found in 2 Timothy, chapter 2 verse 15. Further more, if you want
to show the world you are a born again believer in Christ, get out there and
prove it. Email is fine. Playing on the internet is fine. Computers are
fine. But, what about your neighbor? Is he hurting? Is she hungry? Do
the kids down the street need shoes or a new jacket for school? Does your
church need a Sunday School teacher? Does your mom or dad smile when you
come around?

In this day and age, computers, email, blogging, text messaging are the
norms, but they can be so impersonal that I think we lose something
important, when folks start to think we can only witness while using google.
So, send your inspirational emails. Keep blogging with something good to
say. Keep updating those healthy websites that promote family, cooking at
home, going to church and living right. But, quit believing everything
sweet that ends up in your in box. Stop believing everything you hear on
TV. Get out your Bible, open it, and read. I think you'll be amazed at
what your Father has to say.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Making Challah Bread

As it turned out, yesterday, I did not make bread sticks. I made Challah
bread, instead, and I had a friend on FaceBook tell me this morning that it
looks very nice. So, I thought I would not only share the pic, but the story
about it with you.

Around 3PM yesterday, I pulled up my recipe and began. Instead of giving you
the actual recipe first, like I did yesterday, I'll just give it to you as I
tell it. Ok?

So, anyway, in to a large bowl, I poured

2 cups of very warm water
2 tsp active dry yeast

I let it set for a few minutes, while I gathered up the rest of what I
needed. About 6 to 10 minutes later, I added to this mixture

1 tsp salt
1/2 cup regular white sugar

Then, I stirred it.

Next, I added, 1 cup at a time

3 cups of unbleeched all purpose flour

Some say you need Pilsbury or Hudson Cream, or King Arthur, but I'm poor so
I just have Kroger unbleeched flour that costs about $1.99 for a 5 pound

Anyway, I mixed well after each addition of flour. Then, when all 3 cups
were mixed in, I added

1 egg that I did not bother to beat
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

and mixed well.

Then, mixing after each cup, I added 3 more cups of flour. Then, I abandoned
my spoon and started mixing by hand. I ended up having to add another cup,
which makes a total of 7 cups of flour.

After mixing well, I put it on my board and kneaded for a good while. Then,
I placed it in a bowl greased with the extra virgin olive oil and turned to
coat all sides of the dough. Then, I wet a towel in hot water, rung it out
and placed it over the bowl to let the dough rise.

After an hour or so, when the dough was doubled, I dumped it bak on to my
board and separated it in to 4 balls, 2 larger than the other 2. Whatever
dough I wasn't using at the moment, I put back in the bowl under the wet
towel, cause I'm slow and didn't want the dough to dry out.

So, I took one of the larger balls of dough and separated it in to 3
sections. I rolled each section in to a long snake about 16 inches. It took
some doing, cause I'd never done that before. I will caution you to make
sure you have plenty of dough, because it will break if you are trying to
use too little.

I had my 4-year-old to hold the 3 together at one end while I started
braiding. This was the bottom of one loaf, and so I did it again with the
other larger ball of dough.

When the 2 bottoms of the loaves were placed on a parchment paper lined
baking sheet, I took one of the smaller lumps and pulled it apartin to 3
sections, braiding it the same way I did the bigger one. When it was
braided, I put it on top of one of the ones in the pan and made the top of
the second loaf. When both top braids were on the others, I tucked in the
ends, hoping it would not turn out ugly, as most of my bread does. It might
taste good but doesn't always look its best.

So, I covered the dough with a dry towel and let it rise while the oven was
warming to 375 degrees. The recipe called to bake it for 35 minutes, but
mine was done at 25, instead. And, as you can tell from the picture, it

When it comes to the taste, well, you could taste the yeast like you can in
my french bread, but this Challah bread is not something I would want to eat
soup with. It's sweet, note the 1/2 cup sugar, but it is so soft and chewy.
I would eat it as sandwich bread. I'm also thinking that next time I make
cinnamon rolls, I'll use this dough instead of the classic white bread
recipe I had been making them from. It might make a good pizza dough, as
well, but I'm not so sure I'd want my pizza that sweet. Pizza, IMHO is
supposed to be savory, not sweet. Anyway, it's very tasty with peanut butter
or just plain butter on it. It's good fresh or the next day, but pretty
crumbly the day after.

Was it good with spaghetti? Well, it came out of the oven just as we were
sitting down to eat the spaghetti, so we didn't eat them together, but it
was a wonderful after dinner treat. Notice, I didn't call it dessert, for it
wasn't sweet enough for that. I'll definitely be making it again. Wonder if
I could get good directions on how to make a round braided loaf. :)

So, I neglected to mention the spaghetti and meatballs from yesterday's
post, and that is because they did not turn out as well as I had hoped. I
don't know if hamburger does not like the slow cooker, or the sauce didn't
agree with my taste buds, or what, but I didn't like it. Neither did my
husband, but the girls ate some without complaint. At present, I have the
rest of it in a container in my fridge awaiting a new home with my
grandmother, who hopefully will like it better than we did. :)

And, just as a side note, and so you won't think I'm a total couch potato, I
did get my floor swept today. :D

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Day of Cooking

I have decided to try a new recipe in the slow cooker today. The thing is, I like to doctor things up a bit. Here is the original recipe.

Slow cooker meatballs
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/4 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti saucee
1 (16 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14.25 ounce) can tomato puree
1. In a bowl, mix the ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, onion, and
egg. Shape the mixture into 16 meatballs.
2. In a slow cooker, mix the spaghetti sauce, crushed tomatoes, and tomato
puree. Place the meatballs into the sauce mixture. Cook on Low for 6 to 8

Now, here's how I'm doing it.

I didn't have parsley, fresh or dried, so left it out. I didn't have Italian bread crums, so in to the 1 1/4 cup of them, I added:

a generous amount of garlic powder

a generous amount of dried minced onion

a handful of fresh onion finely chopped

a pinch of dried oregano

a pinch of dried italian seasoning
salt and pepper

I mixed this in the bowl before adding the thawed hamburger and egg, which I did not beat. When it was mixed up as well as I could get it, I formed it in to meatballs. It made 16, but they were kind of big ones.

As for the sauce, I had a 26 ounce can of hunts 4 cheese, a 15 ounce can of tomato sauce and a can of crushed tomatoes, either 14 15 or 16 ounces, I'm not sure. I poured them all in to my slow cooker, which btw is different than a crock pot and I just learned this fact. So, anyway, I added to this tomato concoction the following:

a generous handful of garlic powder

a generous handful of dried minced onion

a handful of fresh onion chopped

3 fresh minced cloves of garlic

and will add salt and pepper to taste, later.

I put the meatballs in the sauce and swirled a spoon around to cover them with the sauce. Then, I put on the lid and washed up my dishes. :)

What am I going to eat with it? Why, spaghetti, of course. When the hubby gets home, I'll put a pot of water on to heat. I'll probably add to it a generous spoon of margerin, and 4 cups of whole grain spaghetti that I'll break before cooking. Breaking the spaghetti noodles up until they are about 4 to 6 inches long each, keeps my hubby from having to cut it up. (We aren't good noodle twirlers). Anyway, I'll cook the pasta for about 10 minutes and serve with the sauce. My 2 girls won't eat meat in their spaghetti, so I thought the meatballs would be perfect. My hubby and I can have as much as we like and the girls don't even have to eat around the meat. Hopefully, watching us eat meat and knowing we do not die from it will eventually teach them that meat is ok. :)

I'm considering making bread sticks to go with dinner, but haven't made up my mind yet. I'll use my pizza dough recipe, if I make them, but we'll see.

What I should do is sweep and mop my house...but this post is entitled "A Day of Cooking", so we'll talk about cleaning another day. :D

What I will tell you is how, as a blind person I mince garlic. I'm not exactly the safest person when it comes to knives, so I won't go in to great detail about how I chop and all. No, I'll let you read my friend's blog for that.

But, here are some tips of my own that I learned from my husband.

Take your head of garlic with the papery stuff still on it and holding it, bang it against your cutting board. You can role it in your hands as well to get the skin off. Those little things inside are called cloves, something I didn't know until a few months ago. ::D Anyway, I place a clove on my cutting boardand hold my knife, a wide bladed thing, in my right hand. I hold it so that the blade's sides are facing up and down. Then, centering it over the clove of garlic, I smash it down. Yes, I missed most of the time in the beginning, but practice makes perfect, and eventually, the clove is smashed in to submission and the papery skin comes right off. Then, I cut the smashed clove in to tiny pieces and put it in my sauce or whatever is cooking. Sometimes, I keep a paper towel beside me to place garlic skins on and to wipe my fingers on as I go. If I'm mincing a lot of garlic, I get aggravated and rinse my hands under the fosset.

So, because the 4-year-old is needing her mommy's attention, and because I need to put lotion on my hands, I'll end this cooking lesson for today. Y'all have a good monday!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Day At The WV Writer's Conference

Five days after the day at the WV Writer's Conference, and I'm still amazed at how God worked things out. Out of all the good things that happened that day, I think the most intriguing is that my husband who is not a writer was never bored. :) In fact, he mentioned going back next year for the entire weekend. I could hardly believe it. I thought about writing another poem to tell you how it went, but my rhyming is a bit off today, so we'll just stick with what I got.

We left around 10 minutes to 7 Saturday morning in the midst of a thunder storm. We went through McDonalds drive through and got a breakfast barrito (not spelled correctly) and some sweet tea. As the hubby drove, we talked, and eventually, we drove out of the rain and in to sunshine that was welcome but which would not last. We took the corect exit, but the hubby, who is bad for missing signs, missed the sign pointing to Cedar Lakes conference center, so we ended up driving through the town of Ripley. I called a friend who got us on the right track.

When we got there, we parked and went in to the dining hall, only to be told we needed to go to the visitors center to register. So, we hopped back in to the car and drove around and around until, finally, we made it to the approrpriate building. Signing in, buying our meals and finding the ladies' room didn't take too long, and soon we were looking for the assembly hall.

One thing I did not expect was the amount of people there, but that place was crowded. I registered and was given a name tag. Then, I paid for my 2 pitch sessions, one with Peter Lynch of SourceBooks, and one with Kelly Mortimer of MortimerLiterary Agency. Then, we found a seat near the front of the room.

A few minutes later, 2 agents and 2 editors sat before the crowd who sat in rows of chairs and talked about pitching, publishing, writing, and anything else that was brought up. They were very informative, and the crowd got to ask a lot of questions. I really can't remember everything they said, but I felt, when it was all over, that I had gotten to know each one of them in some way.

When that session was over, we sat in on a workshop given by Christine Witthohn of BookSense. She talked about how to do a pitch session and gave folks an opportunity to practice their pitches on her. I was too scared to try it, but I think I learned enough by watching the others succeed or fail. It was very informative, and after listening, realized I needed to tone my own pitch down.
We had lunch, after that, a cheese pizza, a bowl of potato soup, a bag of potato chips and some lemonaid. When we were finished eating, we found another restroom, then got in the car to head to the building where the pitch sessions were to be held. I spent the next thirty minutes reading over what I planned to say. I even practiced on my husband. My stomach was in knots, and I was ready to hurry and get it over with. :)

Finally, at 1:00PM we went inside and waited. I was the third person to pitch to Kelly Mortimer, and I believe it went well. After giving her my pitch, I said, "Well, I don't know what else to say."

She asked a few pointed questions, getting more of the story out of me than I would have told her. Then, she said, "Well, first, I love the color of your eyes. I wish mine were that color."

I thanked her, then she said, "Send me a partial."

I didn't have the nerve or the time to ask what in the world a partial was. :) But, told her I would. She gave me her email address, thanked me and stood to give me a hug. She seems to be a real friendly person. If you want to check out her blog, you can find it at

I was Peter Lynch's seventh person, and I felt a little more confident that time, because I knew the things Kelly had wanted to know. Turns out, he doesn't accept my genre, but he gave me his card and said to send him a query letter, anyway. He said his wife works for a publisher who does specialize in my genre and he'd forward the info to her.

So, after that, I walked out in to the sprinkling rain, and was able to breathe again. I think it took a minute for it to sink in that Kelly wanted to read part of my story, but finally, I calmed down and called a friend to give the good news.

There was a song writing workshop at 2:30, and the hubby and I sat in on that. It was pretty neet, because we got to listen as Pops Walker played his guitar and sang. There was a lady with him, but honestly, I don't remember her name. She sang real pretty, though.

At 4 that after noon, there was what they called an Appalachian Inquisition, where a panel of folks, mostly college professors and professional writers from WV answered some interesting questions. One of the questions was "Do you think there is an appalachian voice? If so, is it changing, evolving, dying or staying the same?" Most of them answered that it was evolving. The audience was allowed to ask a couple of questions, then it was over and time to get ready for the banquet at 6:30.

The banquet was really nice. Set at each place, as we went in, were plates of fruit and cheese, a salad and a dessert. They had unsweet tea and ice water to drink. Most folks ate their fruit and cheese, then the salads and the dessert before the servers could bring out the main course. :) I didn't, though. I waited until after I ate the main course before eating my strawberry cheese cake. They had either baked steak or chicken. We chose steak. There were sides of new potatoes and mixed vegies, brocooli, coliflower, and carrots. We stayed long enough to listen to the keynode speech, but I had not entered any contests, so didn't stay to hear who won.

We found the restroom for the last time, then left. On our way home, we stopped at Daniel Boone park in charleston, WV for my husband to perform a wedding for a colleague from his work. It took all of ten minutes, from arriving, to the "I do" part. :D We were home by 9:40 and in bed not long after that.

Early Sunday morning, I turned on the laptop and emailed Kelly Mortimer the prologue and first 3 chapters of my book. Monday afternoon, she replied saying that what I had sent was great and thanked me. So, I know she has it. Now I wait.

It would have been nice to stay for some of the entertainment, but, honestly, I was tired by then, and since that day, I've been sleeping like I haven't slept in a very long time. I guess I was more stressed out by the conference than I thought. It was wonderful to have Mom keep my girls all weekend, and we're talking about doing it again next year for the whole thing.

So, now you know what it was like. Please keep praying that Kelly Mortimer likes the book. Also, I need to get that query letter ready for Peter Lynch. Other than that, there isn't much else to do. The next biggest thing on my agenda is home school, and sending out the intent form, so remember us in prayer for that, as well.

Getting a bit hungry and have more email to check, and I think this post is long enough, so I'll go for now. Y'all take care and comment if you like. I love hearing from those who read the blog.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Twas The Day Before The Writer's Conference

Twas the day before the writer's conference,
And all through my house,
TV's are blearing, girls are playing,
And I'm wondering, should I wear this blouse?

The laundry is caught up,
Well, mostly I guess,
But i have all day to finish,
And another night to res'.

Still working on my manuscript,
Trying to make it my best,
My stomach's getting a bit queezy.
Feel like I'm 'bout to take a test.

Will the agent like my log line?
Will the editor be enthralled?
I've worked so hard on this book of mine,
My heart will break if it's destined to fall.

My daughters are staying the weekend with my mom.
The husband is driving me to Cedar Lakes.
Our funds are meager, it's a fact,
And if I think too much, I'll just get the shakes.

But as I sit here writing this silly poem,
I hear a voice whisper in my ear.
It's telling me to calm down.
It's assuring me, God's still here.

Back in February of 2009,
God gave me a story to write.
And if the Father gives you something to do,
He has plans to make it come out right.

He gave me the story,
All of it, in fact,
And he gave me the log line,
And the info for the back.

He will give me the words,
To say during the pitch.
If I trust him, He'll be there,
And it'll go off without a hitch.

Just so y'all know,
That's faith talking here.
I'm stepping out and believing,
I won't fall on my rear.

So on Saturday June, 12,
No matter what time of day,
Please mention me to God,
Please, for me, remember to pray.

And the log line that I have settled on, goes something like this:
Fearing he is just like his alcoholic father, a recent widower forsakes God,
and an innocent mistake forces him to face his past and his demons.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Some Folks Are Never Satisfied

Y'all know what? Complaining, or venting on the internet can be a blessing
and a curse. This morning, I'm going to let it be a blessing and mention no
names. However, if you know me, you'll know who I'm writing about without

Ok, so there is someone I know who is getting puny in her old age, but
doesn't want to admit it. She was to have company on Saturday, and she felt
that she needed to fix a big meal for her guests. I thought I would offer to
help, so I said, "I'll make that peanut butter pie for you, if you want.
Just bring me the stuff, except for the butter, sugar, vanilla and peanut
butter, and I'll mix it up for you."

She brings me the cream cheese, pie crust and whipped cream, and I made the
pie. I took special care using my mixer, to insure that it was as mixed up
and fluffy as I could get it. I also took care to ladle the pie filling in
to the crust, so that I would not over fill it. I smoothed the top with one
of those flat, rubber spatula things, put the top on and set it in the
fridge. My husband, bless him, even said it was the nicest looking pie I had
ever made. I told the lady who I made it for to keep it in the fridge over
night to give it time to set. So, what does she do? That evening, she cuts a
piece and tells me yesterday, "I ate a piece of that last night, and it was
a bit runny, but good."

Having not seen the pie for myself, I hated that it was runny, but figured
it would be all right. So after dinner, which I'll tell you about in a
minute, I asked for a piece of the pie. And, y'all know what? It wasn't
runny at all! It was smooth and creamy and it had set correctly! And, yes, I
am proud of myself!

But, while cutting a piece, one of the guests says, "Oh, that looks good!
Are there 2 layers to it?"

"Know," the hostess says, "it's just where Shannon didn't get it mixed up
very well, I reckon."

Now, that would not have been so bad, if she had not been complaining all
after noon. Her husband had been trying to help her cook, but she complained
about the type of butter he put in the green beans, how much flour and
cornmeal he used to make the corn bread, and how large the chunks of
potatoes were. "I'll never get them mashed up," she said about the potatoes.

Thinking I might be of some assistance, I opened my stupid mouth and said,
"When they are done boiling, let me know. I'll mash them for you."

I mean, I do cook for my family...sometimes.

So, when the potatoes were done, I proceeded to take the mixer to them.
Someone adds butter and milk, and I keep a-mixin'. After a few minutes, I
stop and stick a finger in there, and low and behold, they are lumpy as all
get out. Then, the hostess says, "Honey, you got it coming out the side."

Well, excuse me, but I'm used to mashing potatoes in something bigger than a
small sauce pan, so that I don't make such a mess.

Anyway, I turn the mixer on high and go round and round the edges, and the
hostess says, "Honey, that looks fine."

"No it doesn't," I tell her. "It's still lumpy."

"I don't see any lumps," she says.

Then, she asks the guest to see if there are any lumps, and the guest agrees
with me. So, I continue to beat the taters, adding salt as I go.

Finally, they were done to suit me, and we sat down to eat. Everything was
good, and then came the peanut butter pie thing. So, even though she wasn't
able to beat the potatoes, or mix up the pie, I didn't do as good as I
should have.

Well, le'me tell y'all something, if you can't see well enough to get the
lumps out of your taters, shut up and let someone else do it. If you don't
know how to make a peanut butter pie, shut ye pie hole and let someone who
does know how, do it. If you don't like the way it looks, be polite, say
thank you, and when you are alone, learn to do it yourself. I was only
trying to be nice and offer to help. I mean, I take care of Terry and my
girls and we make it just fine. There's nothing wrong with my 2 hands that I
can't offer to help someone who needs it, but if that's the thanks I get...

Well, now I guess I've spilled the beans on how a blind woman cooks. Yep, I
use my fingers a lot. Don't worry, if I ever cook for you, I'll be sure to
wash my hands, but y'all, my fingers are my eyes, sometimes. How else would
I know if the taters were lumpy or not, if I didn't feel them? How would I
know if the peanut butter pie is mixed up or not if I didn't touch it? And,
here's what might scare would I know if the water is boiling if I
don't hold my hand over the pot and feel the steam? Yes, I do all these
things. Sometimes, when cooking with a crock pot or slow cooker, I even put
my fingers down in there. When I pour hot coffee, I put my finger down in
the edge of the cup and when the coffee burns it, I know the cup is full.
lol When I fry hamburger, in a big pot rather than a tiny skillet, I get
some on the spoon and feel it to see if it is done. Course, you can tell by
the way it feels when you stir it, if it's done or not. As for draning
pasta, well, you put ye colander in ye sink, hold your pot at the side,
check with your...fingers! Right! To see if you have it lined up and pour.
Sometimes, I get pasta down in the sink, but mostly, this works. As for
baking things, timing is the key. Oh yeah, and I've also touched things like
my bread and cinnamon rolls when they are just out of the oven to see if
they are done. You got to be more careful here, as the pan is mighty hot,
but if you are careful and use a very light touch, you won't get burned.

Ok, so I didn't intend for this to be a cooking lesson for the blind, but,
hey, maybe some folks need it. ;P And, just FYI, the best way to eat a blind
woman's cooking, is with your eyes closed. :D

Fshew! I feel better! Thanks for letting me vent! :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This Oldtime Christian Speaks Out!

I know I don't blog as much as I should, and first, I want to apologize for
that, especially to those of you who follow me. But, today, I am going to
talk about something I read on the internet that bothers me, something I
never dreamed we would have to address; gender.

Now, if you are under 18, and you have been raised in a Christian home,
check with your parents before you read on, because this is an adult topic.

I was reading rules for a writing contest, a poetry contest for women, and
I'm not kidding, y'all, here's what it said, and I quote, "Individual must
be a woman; our definition of "woman" is broad and includes transsexual,
transgender, genderqueer, and female-identified individuals."

Talk about being inclusive. COME ON! Did I read that right? Now, granted,
this contest is not geared toward Christianity or anything religious that I
know of, but, from an old time Christian's point of view, which, btw this
blog is, what is this world coming too?

Of course, there are people, both men and women who, through no fault of
their own, have too much of one hormone or another. Or, a person may have a
hormone deficiency of some kind, but there are drugs and medications out
there for that, people. According to the description of "woman" why, even a
man who thinks he's a woman could participate. I mean, is this how the
gender-friendly bible reads? Please, do not answer that. I don't want to

The next point I want to make is, God is not gender free. Genesis 1:27-28,
the King James Version of the Holy Bible reads, "So God created man in his
own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he
them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and
multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it: and have dominion over the
fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing
that moveth upon the earth."

You see what that says? God created male and female and blessed them and
told them to be fruitful and multiply. He did not say, do whatever feels
good. He blessed the union of a man and a woman. Ok, so yes, let's touch on
homosexuality, why don't we.

"And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will
make him a help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed
every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto
Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every
living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all
cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for
Adam there was not found a help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep
sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and
closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib, which the LORD God had
taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam
said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be
called Woman, because she was taken out of the Man. Therefore shall a man
leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they
shall be one flesh." Genesis 2:18-24 KJV

The word "meet" used here, does not mean the stuff you slap on a grill or
throw in the skillet. Nor, is it a version of the word, "mate". It means,
perfect, or something that fits. So, even after naming all those cows and
birds and things, there was not found a help that would fit, or a help that
was perfect for Adam, until God brought him the woman.

So, you free thinkers out there, you might think you were born liking people
of the same gender as yourself, but you weren't, because God created you,
and He created you to be interested in and enjoy the opposit sex.

And, in case there is some mistake, here, it's a sin to have yourself
surgically altered in order to enjoy the same sex and make it look good. You
are a man and you wanna be a woman, or are you a woman who wants to be a
man? Grow up, get over it, and seek your creator's help in doing so. God,
who btw is male, not female, will help you. He loves you; you are His
creation, after all.

Can a homosexual be a Christian?

Well, can an alcoholic be a Christian?

Can a murderer be a Christian?

Am I confusing you? Let me explain. Sin is sin. There are no big sins or
little sins. A liar is the same as a murderer, a murderer is the same as a
rapist. A person who worships a graven image, is the same as a person who
abuses children. You following me? To god, sin is sin. An alcoholic commits
sin, by destroying their lives and bodies with alcohol. A murderer commits
sin by ending another's life. A liar breaks one of the ten commandments. In
each of these, a person is going against God's will, therefore, it is sin.
When a person practices a homosexual lifestyle, they are committing sin,
because they are going against what God has ordained.

Have you ever told a lie? I have, and I remember doing it. Have you ever
killed someone? Have you ever stolen something? I have. Have you ever
coveted something that was not yours? Have you ever put something or
yourself above your relationship with God? I have. Have we sinned? Oh yes.
The important question here is, are we forgiven? We can be. Right? I have
been forgiven. I am not perfect, but saved by grace. Have you? You can be.

Jesus didn't spend most of His time with the religious leaders. He spent it
with the outcasts...the sinners. He forgave Zacheus for stealing folks'
money. He forgave Peter for denying Him. He forgave the thief on the cross.
He forgave Paul who had persecuted the church. And, I believe,that if a
person, no matter what sin he or she commits, is truly sorry...repentent of
that sin, god will forgive, be it murder, coveteousness, or homosexuality.

So, come on, you Christian soldiers, show this world your light can shine!
Stand up for what the Bible says! Preach it one more time!
Our God expects holiness, not a wishy-washy faith,
So, get your house in order! He's coming back someday!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Congratulations to Connie Newhouse who just won a copy of "Wild Heart" my
very first published book on audio CD! The book is narrated by W.B. Ward. To
learn more about W.B. Ward, please visit his website at
To learn more about "Wild Heart" and me, visit my website

Thanks to all who participated, and if you still wish to win one of my
books, keep coming back, because there is going to be another contest in
honor of Mother's Day, which is coming up. Take care and be blessed.

Friday, April 2, 2010

An Excerpt and a Contest!

Turning away in disgust, Gage wondered what the purpose was in having a
Chief of Police, when he did not seem inclined to keep the peace. He
wondered why no one seemed concerned that lives were at stake. Did anybody
care what became of either man? Would anyone have a funeral for the one who
would be unlucky enough to be too slow at the draw? He seriously doubted
it. Uppermost in his mind was the kid's identity, or rather, was he the
same man who had murdered Jeb Colton? There were no forth-coming answers to
his many questions, but one thing he knew for certain, was that there was
bound to be trouble, no matter who was left standing when the smoke began to
When the sun had finally reached its highest peak in the sky, he could see
Harry, revolver resting in its holster on his hip, walking slowly down the
left side of the street. Glancing to his right, he saw the kid on his way
to meet his opponent. The two met about twenty feet apart in the middle of
the street.
In the ominous hush that had seemed to fall over the town, Harry's voice
could be heard loud and clear, as he taunted, "Are ye sure ye don't wanna
back out, breed? Wouldn't want any of your Injun blood contaminatin' this
here street, if'n it can be helped!"
Concentrating on the kid's appearance, Gage almost missed the quiet reply.
"It isn't my blood that will be contaminating the street; it'll be yours,
Mr. Baker. Are you sure you want to die today, because we could just call
it off and."
"Cocky little whippersnapper, ain't ye!" Baker said, a little cockily
himself, but he was unable to hide the note of nervousness that kept him
from meeting his opponent's eyes.
"You're a fool," the kid said in disgust.
"What's that? What did ye call me, there, Boy?" Baker asked, nastily,
resting his right hand on his gun.
"I called you a fool," the kid answered, still not bothering to raise his
voice. "If you're wanting to shoot it out, then let's quit all this talk
and get on with it."
Hearing something in the kid's voice that made the little hairs on his arms
stand at attention, Gage narrowed his gaze and studied the man more closely.
His voice had not been loud, nor was it familiar, yet it sounded more like a
woman's than that of a young man.
He had no more time to wonder about it, however, for at that moment, out of
the corner of his eye, he saw Baker begin to draw his weapon. But, he had
no time to cock it, before the kid's bullet hit him between the eyes, and
the unused gun fell to the ground along with a very dead Baker.
As long as he lived, Gage would never forget the look on the kid's face at
that instant. Shock and horror seemed to mingle with a very feminine
expression-the beginning of tears. Then, like a curtain, an expression of
cold indifference fell over his face, and, as if nothing out of the ordinary
had just taken place, he turned to leave the scene, revolver still in hand.
It was all over in a matter of a few moments.
For a split second, silence ruled the spectators. Then all at once, a mass
of people began to flock toward the middle of the street.
Paying no heed to those around him, Gage stepped in to the street, and
without stopping to analyze his reason, began following the tall, slender
figure out of town; he just could not let this kid walk off without finding
out his identity. Behind him, he could hear shouting as folks were
undoubtedly removing the lifeless body from the street. A few were trying
to get close to the kid, too, but the cold expression on his face and the
fact that he still held his revolver at the ready, kept everyone from
getting too close, except Gage.

Excerpt taken from "Wild Heart" the audio version. If you would like a
chance to win a free copy on audio CD, send an email to
Put "Wild Heart audio" in the subject line and tell me in the body of the
email why you think I should pick you to receive the free copy. The person
with my favorite answer will win. Contest ends on Friday, April 16. Winners
will be announced on here on the 17th. Good luck and God bless!

Are you interested in purchasing a printed copy? Go to
Search for my book by title, "Wild Heart" and get yours today! It's only
$5.99, but will go back to $19.95 after April 4. If $19.95 is too much to
pay, email me and ask about getting an autographed copy for $12.

Take care and happy Easter. May Sunday morning find you in church!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Featuring Author Donna Daniels Wade!

Today I am featuring another Publish America author, Donna Daniels Wade.
Her book is "Wisteria Trees and Honeybees" ISBN # 978-1-4489-8986-7, and you
can learn how to obtain a signed copy by visiting her website
From her website you can also listen to some of her children's stories and

Her children's book, "A Simple Christmas Wish", has been accepted by Publish
America for publication. She expects it to be released closer to Christmas.

"My hobbies," Wade says, "include sailing, songwriting, singing and of
course, writing. I enjoy reading a variety of things including works by
Danielle Steele, Dean Koontz and John Grisham, just to name a few. I
actually didn't start out wanting to be a writer. I started writing my
story more as therapy but then my imagination took off and Wisteria Trees
and Honeybees was created. My story is the result of ideas springing from
experiences, some mine and some others', mixed with a bit of humor and a lot
of imagination. Most ideas for stories come from life experiences or from

Wade believes her book is special, because "most people, young or old, can
relate to parts of it; for example, the feeling of being alone even in a
crowd or the feeling of helplessness. It covers the full range of emotions,
from hate and bitterness to courage and happiness. Readers will be
encouraged to look beyond what the world has taken from them and discover
what they can give to the world. Wisteria Trees and Honeybees is a story of

"The best advice I can give aspiring authors," she encourages, "is to write
for you, not for someone else. The story has to be yours, from your heart.
For me, writing is therapy. I just happened to choose to share it so that
others may be inspired and benefit from it."

To purchase a copy of "Wisteria Trees and Honeybees" from the publisher, go

Thank you Donna, and thank you readers. God bless.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another Author Interview

Hello all. Today I'm featuring another first-time author. His name is Doug
Jackson and his book is "The State of America, a Journal by Doug Jackson".
It's published through Publish America.

Jackson's hobbies include Tennis and painting, and when asked, says when he
isn't writing, he is reading and vise versa. Hunter Thompson, Charles
Bukowski and Ralph Emerson are his favorite authors.

Jackson began as a lyricist and believes that what he calls the "downfall of
humanity" and the problems in today's society are what give him inspiration.
In his own words, he states, "I am the voice of one crying in the
wilderness. Hopefully the reader will get a feeling of hope in mankind from
reading my book."

When I asked Jackson if he had any advice for someone who wishes to become a
published author, he said, "Keep writing, the material and our growth is
what's important."

I asked Doug if there was anything else he would like to share with us, and
he answered, and I quote, "The human consciousness has been drowned out by
We, as a people are consumed daily by irrelevance and computers.
Watch someone when they are alone, they cannot be without the cell phone for
a second.
Insecurity has taken over because we do not think for ourselves anymore, I'm
sure if we ever did.
Compassion for the fellow human being has taken a back seat in today's
How many days will pass until the actual apocalypse is upon us?
I for one believe it is wavering above our heads today.
Without a complete restructuring of mentality we are doomed.
Faith can only go so far, as the man on a row boat in the middle of the
ocean, praying
to make it to shore without paddling."

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Doug's book, please visit the
following link.

Thank you for joining me for another author interview. God bless!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Things About Me You Probly Didn't Wanna Know :)

Ok, y'all, you know those silly emails that go around wanting you to forward and put your own answers in? Well, this is what this post is all about. I thought I'd post it here, just so y'all will know all those silly little things about me. In truth, I only do these questionaires for a couple of friends who would have hurt feelings if I didn't. Enjoy.
> 1.   What time did you get up this morning? approx 5:30 AM
> 2. Diamonds or pearls? doesn't matter
> 3. What was the last film you saw at the movie theater? I don't remember the name but it was about a mom and dad who between them had 18 kids
> 4. What is your favorite TV show? worst cooks in America followed by hell's kitchen
> 5. What do you usually have for breakfast? just whatever
> 6. What is your middle name? Nicole
> 7. What food do you dislike? tomatoes
> 8. What is your favorite CD at the moment? prefer downloadable mp3s
> 9.  What kind of car do you drive? in this reality, terry drives a 2005 aveo, but in my alternate reality, I drive a pink cattalack lol
> 10. Favorite sandwich? turkey with provolon, lettuce and Mayo
> 11. What characteristic do you despise? lying, backbighting and two--facedness
> 12. Favorite item of clothing? none
> 13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? somewhere I've never been, like Ireland
> 14.  Favorite brand of clothing? ones that last.
> 15. Where would you retire to? I don't like to think about getting that old :)
> 16.  What was your most memorable birthday? My 16th, when my eyes were bothering me real bad, my mom made me a peanut butter cake that fell and when mom fell down our front steps with baby Veronica in her arms and had to go to the ER. 
> 17.  Favorite sport to watch? none
> 18.   Furthest place you are sending this? don't know
> 19.  Person you expect to send it back first? don't know
> 20.  When is your birthday? January 3
> 21.  Are you a morning person or a night person? Morning.
> 22. Favorite Color? purple
> 23.  Pets? none
> 24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? nope not yet
> 25. What did you want to be when you were little? teacher, writer and a singer
> 26. How are you today? ok
> 27. What is your favorite candy? chocolate
> 28. What is your favorite flower? roses, as long as I don't have to grow them lol
> 29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? March 18, 10th anniversary
> 30. What are you listening to right now? window eyes and a show on nick Jr.
> 31. What was the last thing you ate? Do I have to admit that? 
> 32. Do you wish on stars? No, I trust in the Lord.
> 33. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? purple
> 34. How is the weather right now? chilly but not too bad, considering
> 35.The 1st person you spoke to on the phone today? nobody yet
> 36. Favorite soft drink? coke
> 37. Favorite restaurants? Logans, and steak escape 
> 38.  Real hair color? Brown
> 39. What was your favorite toy as a child? dolls
> 40. Summer or winter? Spring and Fall.
> 41.   Hugs or kisses? kisses
> 42.  Chocolate or Vanilla? chocolate
> 43.  Coffee or tea? both, but mostly I'll pick Tea
> 44.  Do you want your friends to email you back? if they want to
> 45. When was the last time you cried? can't remember
> 46.What is under your bed? scary things!!!
> 47. What did you do last night? went to the dentist and ate a cheeseburger after coming home. Then gave the girls a bath and went to bed.
> 48.  What are you afraid of? latex balloons
> 49.   Salty or sweet? sweet, but occasionally I'll want some salty chips
> 50.  How many keys on your key ring?don't know, and too lazy to check
> 53. How many years at your current job? been a stay at home mom since August 22 2005  6:03AM, duties doubled on December 4 2007 5:18PM
> 52.  Favorite day of the week? Friday, and I think that is because when going to school, Fridays were the last days of the week before an entire weekend of no school. can't drop the habbit
> 53. How many towns have you lived in? 7
> 54. Do you make friends easily? usually
> 55.  How many people will you send this to? I think 3 plus maybe post it to my blog
> 56. How many will respond? only those who have the patience to fool with this silly quiz lol

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Thoughts on a Sunday Morning

I suppose you all are wondering why there is no edition of Author Fridays? Well, there are a couple of reasons. First of all, I have run out of authors to interview. I still have two more, but their books aren't published fully, yet, and I like to interview those who have books ready for purchase. The second reason is that I just do not want to do them on a regular basis anymore. If you are an author and had hoped to see your interview here, then drop me an email at
or simply leave a comment. Put "author interview" in the subject and I'll see what I can do, but doing them weekly has gotten to be a little more than i want to commit to. I have enjoyed writing about other authors, though, and I have learned a few things along the way. One important thing I have learned is that you can't judge an author or their book by the publisher. Just because someone has had the misfortune to be sucked in by Publish America, does not mean their book isn't any good. If you know anything about me at all, you will know I was one of those unfortunate souls who bought their load of bull. Before I leave this particular subject all together, let me just say that people won't buy your book if it costs $19.95 or higher, no matter how pretty it looks. Publish America tells you on their website and on their author forums that it isn't the price tag on a book, but they are lying. My book, "Wild Heart" looks very nice. The cover is good, the pages and printing look nice, but no matter where I go or what I do, no one except family and close friends will pay $19.95 for it. Recently, I set some books out for our local Shoneys store to sell for me. I had them to put out a sign saying, "Reduced to $12". I sold more books in three weeks than I ever did before. But, I digress, I think. I was telling you what I have learned from doing all those interviews. So, I have learned that there are as many writing styles as sand at the beach. Some work, and some do not. For instance, I had one author to begin every sentence with "I". That, my friend, gets annoying after a bit, and I sure do hope that when preparing the interview for the blog that I fixed that problem. Now, I'm not saying I'm an English or language arts major, 'cause I'm not, but I did well in English in school, and I know what sounds right and what does not. You know, I think listening to audio books has helped me in this, because I will take something that is written, be it an article, a story or whatever, and I will try to picture how it would sound if being read as an audio book. Ok, so how do you picture a sound, right? Well, I try to imagine the passage being read aloud, and usually it changes the perspective, dramatically. As a child and even today, I love to be read to. Some of my best childhood memories are mom reading aloud to me before bed. I love a good story with strong characters that have believable lives. The story doesn't have to be real, but the author must make it seem real, whether it is or it isn't. I'll never forget how surprised I was to learn the entire story of the Star Wars movies. My husband took me with him to see the last movie, #3...oh dear I can't even remember what it's called! "Revenge of the Sith"? Maybe? Anyway, the action was a little difficult to follow, because I couldn't see it, but the story line captured my imagination. I had never watched any of the movies with him, but for once, I did. I sat through all 6 movies, and while they are still not my favorites, I loved the story behind them and was touched at the very end when Vader saw Luke and acknowledged him as his son.
Ok, so now that I have proved to you that I need to go back to English class and learn about paragraphs, lol I'll get on with it. I can't write much more, 'cause it's almost time to get ready for Sunday School, but I did want to let you, the faithful few know why there is no author interview. I plan to post excerpts of my books, and maybe I'll even do a few book reviews. Plus, I'll fill you in on all the wild things that go on around here. I tell you, with a blind mama and a bright couple of lil girls, there's never a dull moment.
Speaking of reviews, just now, i am in the process of reading a book by an author I interviewed way back in the beginning. Whenever I receive an audio clip of the book, I listen avidly, so i can't give a review, yet, but when I finish reading, i will. It's "Across Time, Across Tears" by Sheridan Elaine Claude, and I wish I had the entire audio file, so that I could listen straight through. Like i said, I won't give a review until I'm finished, but so far I'm hooked. So far, it's absolutely amazing, and my heart is already involved.
Well, time to get ready for church, so until next time, keep safe, keep praying, and remember to read a bestseller, "THE HOLY BIBLE"!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

valentine flowers Feb 12 2010

I was yackin' on the phone, yesterday, when Terry comes in, real quiet like. Kierstin was saying something, but my mouth was running, and i didn't hear her.
"What is it?" I asked. "Why are you home so soon?"
"Kierstin is ratting me out, if you'd listen to her,' he said.
Then, he sat something on the table and said, "Happy Valentine's Day, baby."
The flowers were such a surprise, and the smell so sweet that I can't stop going over to them, just to press my face against them and breathe in. He also gave me a card, and bless his heart, he recorded himself talking to me, and the card plays it, plus a song. Wasn't that sweet? I just had to share.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Author Fridays Presents...Tasha Wright!

Welcome to another edition of Author Fridays!  Sit back, get comfortable and read about this week's featured author, Tasha Wright!


Tasha Wright, a first-time author, has written a book that she feels everyone can relate to.  "It shows people that true love is something that can withstand all obstacles and time is not a factor," she said, when asked what makes her book so special.  The book is entitled, "Carelessness of the heart", and it is published by Publish America.


"I am a twenty-nine-year-old Texas native," Wright says.  "I know since I am publishing it may seem a little cliché but I do love to write.  This is my first book published but I do have many, many other books that I am working on and my second book is complete and the copyright is underway.  I love to read, and I have a bookcase filled with many genres.  The author who inspired and unleashed my passion for reading was actually Steven King.  Although, I do not write horror, his books were the first that I read that started that spark in me.  My favorite author would be Michael Baisden."


Wright never really fantasized about becoming an author. Writing started as a hobby, and she would let her sister-in-law, LaTamangela Wright read what she wrote.  Tasha wrote a short story, but her sister-in-law kept giving it back, saying, "you have to keep going.  I have to know what happens."  Before she knew it, Wright had just about written a book.  After completing the manuscript, she found writing was something she loved to do, and she hasn't stopped.


"When I write," Tasha says, "I have found if I can just write the first sentence my work evolves, and it pretty much creates itself. After I get the first two chapters down I pretty much know which way I would like to go with the story. I never use anything from my life experiences or others."


As for advice to someone wishing to become published, Wright says, "Practice patience and never get bummed out when you hear the word "NO". You will become all too familiar with the word no, because your work isn't going to be something that everyone specializes in. Stay persistent and believe in your craft."


Anything else that you would like to share with us?


"I would just like to say to anyone who purchases my book, I truly thank you, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I wish everyone the best of luck who are also on this journey of publishing and inspiring to become published as well."


If you are interested in learning more about Tasha's book, go to


Thank you for joining me for this week's edition of Author Fridays! Be sure to come back next week, same time same place to read about our next featured author, (To Be Announced.)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Author Fridays presents...Barry Fike!

(Author's note: this post is late because the email server I use to post entries is down.)

Welcome to another edition of Author Fridays! Sit back, relax and read about this week’s featured author, Bary Fike!

Barry Fike is a first-time author. His book, “Mikveh” was published in January 2009 by publish America.

Fike was born in Alabama and moved around quite a bit as a child. His father was a minister. He became interested in researching topics at the age of ten. he has a Bachelor’s in Speech Communication (Freed-Hardeman University), and a Masters in both Theology (Logos University) and Education (Pepperdine University). He is married with four grown children and one granddaughter. his hobbies are reading and researching biblical topics. “I love to read material on first century Judaism and it’s correlation to modern day Christianity,” he says. “My interest in Judaism of the first century, and the corresponding centuries, fascinate me as they give me a foundation for my belief in God and Jesus. My favorite authors are Abraham Joshua Heshel, Prof. David Flusser, Prof. Roy Blizzard, and Prof. Brad Young.”

“I first had the desire to write in ninth grade when I began to work on a novel based on “The Phantom toll Booth” that I read when in fifth grade,” he goes on to say. “From that time on I excelled in term papers in college and worked on several curriculums at schools and youth groups. I began to do research in the field of first century Judaism and the background for the belief that would later become known as Christianity. My inspiration for my writing comes primarily from my wife, Connie, whose patience and enduring qualities have helped me to evolve in both patience and scholarship.”

Fike’s second mentor is Dr. Roy Blizzard who first opened his eyes in 1988 that would lead to his current beliefs.

When it comes to ideas for his books, Barry says, “Ideas for my books come primarily from my background theologically. Since baptism is a major tenet in the group that I was raised in, the possibility for learning new information concerning baptism was fascinating. Currently I’m working on another theological problem that I’ve wrestled with most of my life: Women’s role in the church. I’ll be taking a fairly “liberal” position that my “denomination” usually doesn’t see eye to eye with me about.”

A Rabbi that recently read Barry’s book said: “Loved your book. It really (more than most Jewish books on the topic) gave me a fresh perspective on Mikveh, because you look at the topic with such fresh eyes. I would be hard-pressed to give you feedback relevant to Christian audiences -- it seems as if you are rather fearless and unflinching!”

“From reading my book,” Fike believes, “a Christian will gain a new appreciation for something that many considered a Christian innovation. Instead, they will learn about the rich history of ritual immersion beginning with the children of Israel in the wilderness and continuing until, and beyond, the time of Jesus.”

As for advice to those wishing to become published, Fike encourages, “Work hard and don’t quit sending your book to publishers. The major ones will take quite a bit of work, maybe even some money on your part since you are an unknown. Try to find publishers who will pay all expenses hoping that you’re the next Steinbeck or Hemingway. At least that way you’ll be published and can begin to show off your rhetorical skills. The problem with such publishers is that they usually don’t have editors and you’d better do a pretty good job in editing your work or it can look shoddy and ill prepared for the public to take seriously. Anyone that loves to write and research should share their material with the world. You never know who might pick up your book and it change their life or give them a new perspective.”

If you are interested in Barry Fike’s book, click on the following link for more information

Thank you for joining me once again for another edition of Author Fridays! Be sure to come back next week, same time, same place to read about our next featured author, (To Be Announced).