Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Mary Connealy, while photographing a buffalo walked right up to it and it killed her. Duh! ******
You know they would.
How could they resist?
If the buffalo hadn't taken me out,
To get your name in a drawing for a signed copy of Sharpshooter in Petticoats, please tell me about the closest you've ever come to being killed by a wild animal. And yes, if it's the best you've got, a kitten scratch will get you in.
Mary Connealy writes fun and lively "romantic comedy with cowboys" for the inspirational market. She is the author of the successful Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages, and Sophie's Daughters series. Her novel Doctor in Petticoats is a finalist for a Rita Awards, her novel Calico Canyon was nominated for a Christy Award and her novel Cowboy Christmas won the Carol Award. She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her husband, Ivan, and has four grown daughters, two fine sons-in-law and two spectacular grandchildren.
Find Mary online at:
Petticoats & Pistols
"Good riddence, get someone that stupid out of the gene pool."
I just love the way buffalo look and I've driven by them a zillion times and stare like crazy because I find them fascinating. But I never pull over and just take a real look.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
"It's really spring,"he exclaimed. "A crocus is up."
We've been living in this house just under a year (we moved in mid April of last year), so this is the first time we've really watched the yard "wake up." So far, this small sign of the changing seasons is all we've seen. Probably didn't help that it snowed last week. Right now, our yard is generally gray, with a bit of (ever)green.
And, of course, that tiny tinge of bluish-purple and yellow. For now, anyway.
To be honest, for those first couple months in our new home, we didn't spend much time paying attention to what was growing outside. We were trying to get unpacked (which, of course, we're still not done with!) and accustomed to our new surroundings.
I do remember, however, how beautiful it looked in the summer (not, of course, that I took a picture or anything:::roll::: ). Lots and lots of color in the front AND back yard. The folks who owned our house before we did were quite adept gardeners, and we get to reap the rewards of it.
I'm looking forward to watching my yard explode with life and color over the next few months. Who needs TV? I've got God's beautiful "show" right outside my door!
The Barn Door
Jewels of Encouragement
Monday, March 28, 2011
I have to say, Spring is probably my favorite season of the year. After the long winter (yeah, yeah, I know, living this far south I have nothing to complain about concerning winter, but that's beside the point) Spring can never arrive early enough for me.
Spring means rain.
And rain means mud.
Lots of mud. Granted, this picture doesn't begin to show you the depths of mud we have, but after all, this picture was taken almost a month ago, after only our first round of rain. It gets faaaar worse than this.
the more it floods.
Here's a picture from my kitchen window. Normally we have grass in our "lower yard" which is named so for a reason. The tiny creek that turns into a sand bed in the summer, fills its banks and overflows them regularly in the Spring, making it appear like our house is built on stilts. Thankfully, it's built on a little hill, keeping us high and dry.
Of course, one of the wonderful side effects of the rain (and warmth--LOVE that Spring warmth!) is what it does to all the plants. Spotting the first daffs is a highlight of my driving times.
There are daffodils scattered along the roads--anywhere there was once a house there's daffodils, brightening our rainy days. Seeing the very first blooms (these ones!) is cause for rejoicing.
Naturally, the fishermen appear just as surely as the daffs do. Ponds, streams, and even fishing off the bridges. This year I noticed some on the lake wearing their duck coveralls! Now that's dedication. Or maybe they were just as anxious for Spring as I was?
Spring means the end of Cabin Fever. I get to head out and hunt for all the things I've come to love about living in the country. Including the plants that you can only see if you're looking closely--like this Wild Ginger blossom.
For years, I didn't see the blooms on this little treasure and the first year I did, I only saw it as it was about to fall off. Some Springs are so wet and chilly that I miss it, but not this year.
Another highlight of Spring is getting to go for walks. Parts of the route I take walking is lined with wild rose bushes. In a month, this one will be in full bloom and covered with pink blossoms.
I love seeing the new leaves and growing things...
Of course, every nice Spring day brings out the bikers. At first they're decked in full leather, but it soon dwindles to just their jackets.
Yup, it's a sure sign of Spring.
So tell me, how's Spring where you are?
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Here are ten ways to know if you have become the slightly obnoxious, (okay, at times really obnoxious) "Over the Top" Grandparent:
1) You hold up traffic at busy intersections trying to interest the driver in the next lane with pictures of your grandchild's first visit to Santa (and it's now August).
2) You buy a new black suit, take it to Walgreen's, and have the photo department burn a life-size picture on the suit jacket of the delivery room nurse holding up your first grandchild seconds after birth (no need to wear a tie -- the umbilical cord does the trick).
3) You have a billboard installed in your front yard with a picture of you and your grandchild -- rotating spotlights are used to highlight dimples.
4) Crime drops in your area as even would-be intruders are afraid of being confronted in the middle of the night with your accordion-like string of wallet-sized pictures of the twins.
5) You have pay extra for the three vanity license plates on the back of your car that combined read, "IM GREATST GRANDPRT IN WRLD W/ QUTEST GRANDCHLD EVR IN HISTRY OF WORLD -- HONK IF U'D LIKE TO C PICHURES."
6) You try making the same face your little niece does when she eats oatmeal to the nice highways patrolman who pulled you over. He reaches for the handcuffs.
7) You are hired by the Sleep Insomnia Clinic to cure patients by endlessly talking about sweet Janey's first music recital and how her mother also played the piano when she was just that age (you have a 100% success rate within 10 minutes).
8) Waterboarding is no longer needed at Guantanomo Bay to extract information, rather interrogators simply pipe in (non-stop) video and audio recordings of little Suzy's first year of practicing the saxophone (everyone eventually breaks).
9) Several hospitals are able to cut the amount of anesthesia needed to put patients "under" before surgery by hiring you to stand next to the operating table and recite over and over all the cute little things your grand daughter said to you on the phone last week (belly-laughing at them all). Like magic patients lapse into deep unconsciousness.
10) You invent a code that foreign nations cannot break based on the adorable little names your adorable little grandchildren call you (...grinpappa calling grandmeow...please send secret formula to grampooza from pappaw....do you copy?)
Obnoxious picture carrying and blog writing Grandma Cheryl
Mom's Stuck on Spin Cycle
Friday, March 25, 2011
My friend looked at me with a strange look on her face.
"Ish," I said.
She had never heard of the word "Ish." For clarification, it's from the same family as the words yucky and icky. Additionally, If you don't want to say ish, you can say "ishy." Used in a sentence, you might say:
"I'll meet you at the mall...say 5ish."
"Ish...I got mud on my shoes."
"Must be a Minnesota thing," my friend said. Turns out it is. This past Sunday during announcements at my church, I heard "ish" 3 times in one announcement.
So, this got me thinking...what phrases or words are particular to your Midwest state?
Thursday, March 24, 2011
"Umm... Mrs. Chillsome?"
Sarah Chillsome groaned almost silently (almost). "Yes, Amy?"
"It's Amanda Lynn, please."
"Okay, Amanda Lynn. And you can call me Sarah. What do you need?"
"I can't sit cross-legged."
"I am physically unable to sit Indian style. My limbs don't bend that way."
Sarah forced the corners of her mouth up. "Okay, then. Why don't you just sit in whatever position makes you most comfortable? Does that work?"
Amanda grinned, her eyes sparkling. "That sounds great. I'll just be sitting here with my knees bent in front of me. Would that be okay?"
"That's perfect." Sarah widened her gaze from Amanda Lynn to the other young adults in her class. "Now rest your hands on your lap."
"Mrs. Chillsome, I don't really have a lap right now."
Half the class snickered.
"Well, then, Amanda Lynn, you could always rest them around the front part of your legs. It should give the same effect."
"That's a great idea, Mrs. Chillsome. I'll just do that."
"Wonderful." She took a deep breath. "All right now, class, close your eyes."
Sarah paused, waiting for an objection. After several seconds, she continued.
"Now take a deep breath through your nose and let it out slowly through your mouth."
"Mrs. Chillsome? I have decreased lung capacity."
"You have what?"
"Decreased lung capacity. If I take too deep a breath I could start hyperventilating."
"I see." Sarah spoke slowly and deliberately. "I would recommend, then, that you only take as deep a breath as you can, um, safely."
Amanda Lynn hit herself lightly on the side of her head. "Now why didn't I think of that? You sure are helpful, Mrs. Chillsome."
"Sure. Sounds good to me."
That was a rhetorical question, you dingbat!
"Great. Return to your position, Amanda Lynn, dear, and we can continue."
"Okay - all set."
"Wonderful. Now continue with your breathing, and picture a peaceful place in your mind. Imagine yourself at the beach, on your porch swing, in a meadow: anywhere that you can just let go of all your stresses and worries. Focus on that scene, and let all your troubles flow out of you as you breathe out."
Sarah gritted her teeth. "Yes, Amanda Lynn."
"The hole in my mouth is too small. All my troubles won't fit."
"Why don't you just let them out a couple at a time, dear? They'll all escape sooner or later."
"Well, they keep sneaking back in up my nose."
She stifled back a snicker. "How about if you open your mouth a bit wider? Maybe that way more will get out than come back in."
"Thanks, Mrs. Chillsome. I'll definitely give that a try."
A couple minutes later, Sarah glanced at her watch and sighed. "Okay, class. Slowly open your eyes. Unfortunately, class is over. Thank you so much for coming. I hope this was helpful for you."
Sarah stood at the doorway and shook hands with each student in turn, apologizing with her eyes. Amanda Lynn was the last to exit.
She grabbed Sarah's hand eagerly. "Oh, Mrs. Chillsome, I just can't thank you enough. I feel so relaxed and calm now. That was such a wonderful class, I think I might just sign up for another!"
"Wonderful, Amanda Lynn," Sarah mumbled. "Just wonderful."
The Barn Door
Jewels of Encouragement
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Founded in 2006 by Tracy & C.J. Darlington, TitleTrakk.com is an interactive website spotlighting Christian books, music & movies. Updated weekly, we feature author and musician interviews, album and book reviews, music videos, movie reviews and interviews, book excerpts, surveys, polls, and fun contests. Learn more: http://www.titletrakk.com/
The 1st chapter of Bound by Guilt
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Watch the trailer:
Monday, March 21, 2011
I freely admit…I’m a suburbanite. I’m not a card-carrying member of the soccer mom association, but I do drive a mini-van. It hasn’t always been this way, though. I grew up in the hood in South Minneapolis. The city bus was my mode of transportation by necessity. It’s been a long time since I had to depend on public transit and I haven’t missed it one little bit.
However, when some out-of-town company visited this past week, I thought it would be an adventure to spend a day cruising around the metro area via light rail and bus. After all, it would be the environmentally respectful thing to do, leaving a small carbon footprint and all that.
All I can say is, wow. Lots of things have changed in the past 20 years, but there are still some timeless truths and general wisdom I’d like to share with you that might come in handy next time you venture onto public transportation.
First and foremost, hand sanitizer is your best friend. Invest in some. Gallon size, preferably.
Sometimes it’s better all the way around to not make eye contact. Trust me on this one.
A raging head cold with complete nasal blockage is actually a blessing in disguise when sitting next to someone who’s chosen not to bathe in the past 3 months.
Just say no to body piercings. And tattoos. Did I mention gauges should be avoided as well? Especially if you’re over 40.
Did I miss a memo or is leopard skin back in style? Whatever, it’s wrong. Step away from the faux dead animal fabric.
Trust your gut feeling, or if not that at least trust that when armed policemen enter your particular car, you might want to get off at the next exit.
If there’s an animal cookie on the floor, I don’t care how hungry you are. Don’t eat it. Don’t feed it to your kid, either.
And last but not least, while it might seem like multitasking prowess to chat on your cell phone while riding the bus and eating a salami sandwich all at the same time, fight the urge. I don’t need to hear about your boyfriend’s losing battle with toenail fungus and it’s kind of creepy to pick out bits of white bread and greasy meat from the back of my hair.
While public transportation has the potential to be highly entertaining, this is one reality show I think I’ll take a pass on. As for the whole carbon footprint thing…small feet are overrated. Somehow paying $75 to fill up my mini-van doesn’t seem nearly as expensive anymore.