Tag Archives: fresh

Gardening Small


The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden is full of helpful information for beginning gardeners as well as seasoned gardeners. From when and how to start seeds to the when and how of the harvest. This book also gives the reader several options for preparing the ground for the garden.

Great illustrations of how to lay out a garden to optimize space make this book even more helpful . The book is full of practical hints as well as information on companion plants. There is also information on how to extend your garden by suggesting plants to put into the ground right after harvesting an earlier yielding crop.

I can hardly wait for the weather to be warm enough to give this book a practical work out in my garden.

more about the book | more about the author

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review

Lovely (Blogging for Books)


Novel Interiors by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti is a lovely coffee table book. It is full of inspiration for rooms to reflect love of literature. I have paged through this book several times, and each time found new inspirations.

This is not a “how to” book, but a book filled with amazing ideas and beauty that any “do it yourselfer” like my self will find more ideas and inspiration than time. The quotes sprinkled through the book are a wonderful addition.

This book will sit on top of my coffee table to be thumbed through time and time again.

I received this book from Blogging For Books for this review.

Your Family in Pictures a review

9780823086207  Your Family in Pictures

This book is much like a recipe book but for photographs. Me Ra Koh’s step by step advice for getting your family in the mood, or setting the stage for fun and unusual family photographs is easy to follow. Prompting the reader to not just capture the formal family portrait but to also remember to capture cherished every day, such as naps, cuddles, homework time and many other rarely though about photographic moments.

The icing on the cake is right under every photo in the book, the settings she used to get the photograph. While these settings are not going to be exact for everyone who tries them, they give a starting point. I could have used these tips when learning to use my DSLR.

Even though I consider myself fairly accomplished with my camera, I am sure I will refer to this book often for inspiration and tips.

I would recommend this book to every couple as they begin their journey together. I would make a great wedding or baby shower gift.

Click here for more information

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Gratitude Production 101

gratitude production 101

Here are all the links to all 7 blogs in case you missed one. Trust me you do not want to miss one. All on the same subject, all so different yet so similar.

Before November gives way to December and all that seems to go with this time of year, make sure to read these. After this week of reading these I feel better prepared to enter this busy season. I will be more intentional with my thanksgiving, more satisfied with what I have, more compassionate to those who don’t have, more focused on the real reason for the season. I will be more thankful.

Take a few minutes, ready them one right after the other, like chapters in a book. it won’t take long. Choose just one or two of the suggestions to try see if it doesn’t change the way you look at celebrating the birth of our Jesus.

Day One by Traci Castaneda : Thanksgiving Blog Venture Day 1

Day Two by Terry Porter : Thanksgiving and Gratitude

Day Three by Bev Landgren : 365 Days of Grateful

Day Four by Joe Castaneda : Be Thankful. Be Thankful. Be Thankful.

Day Five by Tom Tanner : Rooted, Built, Established and Abounding in Thanksgiving

Day Six by Danny Ray : 3 Ways to Make this Thanksgiving the Best One Ever

Day Seven by Becca Forrest : Intentional Thanksgiving

I am working on a special project for this weekend. Stay tuned!

Have a blessed tomorrow.

I had a day


I had a day last week that I have been pondering, still unsure of where it came from and what to think of it. Maybe if I write it down I can process it a little better.

This day I wanted to take a break, it was more than that, but I am even having a hard time explaining how I felt. I wanted to not be a mom whose son was dead, I wanted to not be a manager, I did not want to knit, I did not want to not knit. I did not want to take a run, I did not want to not take a run. I did not want to sit out in Jason’s garden, I did not want the reason for it. I did not want to cry, I did not want to feel, I did not want to be sad, I did not want to be happy. I did not want to do anything, I did not want to be idle.

Does any of that make sense? I have heard the expression “stop the world and get off” but have never felt it like I felt it that day. I was at a loss with what to do with myself, I was restless and lifeless all at the same time.

So, I put on my favorite Christian praise station, put on my headphones and made myself take a run. I really did not want to, and I really did not want to not want to.(Hope that makes any kind of sense.)

This is what I sorted out on my run, the fireworks tents started going up this week, these mark the beginning of Jason’s end. I also realized that my favorite season will forever hold some sadness, I am a summer gal, but it holds some darkness now. (I don’t really like that.)

By the end of the run, I felt like I had run to the arms of my heavenly father and he held me close. I cried, we had a long talk. Then I sat in the arms of my husband and he held me close.The world was okay again.

I am a blessed woman, my amazing daughter is just that, amazing. My two step children remind me every day of the love between siblings, and they make me smile. I cannot say enough about my wonderful husband, he makes sure I live the most carefree life possible. He makes sure I feel loved and cherished. And last but certainly not least, my heavenly father who is never more than a breath away.

Yes, the world is okay again, I have regained my balance. I am truly blessed beyond measure.

Is. 43:1-2, 4
Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to Me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.

I did it! (but not on my own)


I did it, I set a goal 9 weeks ago to go from no exercise at all to running a 5k. Yesterday was the day – I did not have any goals except to finish. I finished, shocked to find I was 10th in my division, females 45 to 55. (I am hoping there were more than 10 of us 🙂 )

I did not do this alone, family and friends rooted me on from the start. My first time out running I could barely run for 30 seconds. I was not sure I could do it, but I pushed ahead with the encouragement from others. Strangers offered encouragement God was gracious to send me “winks” as my friends Joe and Traci Castaneda call them. (You can read about those here) .

I am so grateful to my husband who has not minded the neglected house, and a few more “on your own” dinners as I prepared for this run. I am grateful to friends who offers tips and hints when I was really struggling. I am grateful to friends, family and co-workers for cheering me on. All of these things were essential in my journey.

It makes me think about the great cloud of witnesses that surround us in our spiritual race here on earth. How very much like preparing for an earthly race is like our spiritual race.

I am so much more mindful of what I put into my mouth since beginning to run, there is a definite cost/return mindfulness.

I am dedicated to practice, getting out and running on a regular basis. I am mindful of what inactivity will cost me in working towards the goal.

I am mindful of being public/transparent in my process, I knew if I told people I was doing this that I would be more accountable.

Isn’t this so much like our spiritual race? Shouldn’t we be mindful of what we take in?, Shouldn’t we be dedicated to practicing/studying on a regular basis? Shouldn’t we be transparent and let others help keep us on track?

IMG_1034Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Heb 12:1

futile to resist

I could feel it yesterday, tugging at my soul. I tried to resist, it is not time yet. I have so many “inside” projects yet to finish.

But it kept nagging, poking at my heart. It was calling me, “come on, just a little time, just a little yard work, you know you want to. . .” I gave in. I found the promise of spring all over the yard.

Mr. Hummingbird greeted me at the back door, as he often does.


Buds on trees.


Flowers wanting to burst forth.


Even lowly weeds, heralding the promise.


Babies frolicking in the meadow.


It is on its way . . .


My word for 2014

IMG_5937This year instead of resolutions, which I haven’t done for years anyway, I decided to pick one word to practice and ponder all year. This year I have chosen Thankfulness. This word really is so many other words; grateful, thanks, praise, gratefulness, thanks, gratitude . . . it is a pretty easy word to find enough to read about and ponder all year.

I also wanted a word I could put into action, not just to be thankful, but to show thankfulness. I think this can be acted out in many ways also, remembering to tell others in my life how thankful I am to have them. Show how thankful I am for what I have by sharing it with those who are not as fortunate.

I wanted a word that I could put into action in my everyday life, including work. I wanted a word that I could involve others in. This word Thankfulness, has been my word for about 20 days. (I got a slow start, this whole thing of Christmas and New Year’s falling in the middle of the week really threw me off this year.)

At work I posted a large sheet of paper on my door, my goal was to write one thing every day on my way into my office that I was thankful for. I invited others to join it, what a treat that has been. Every day there is something new on it that I did not put there. Funny things and serious things, it starts my day with such joy. So many people have joined in that I have had to add another sheet.

I am also doing my best to post a quote or Bible verse, every day on Facebook. I search through my photography for a photo that I love, then look for a quote that fits. This means I am reading many quotes every day that inspire me. I am also studying the word for my devotions.

My goal in all of this is that by the end of the year, thankfulness is so woven into my fabric that it is not just a habit, but truly a way of life.

I do have so much to be thankful for . . .

Her blood runs though my veins . . .


As I walk my journey through the grief of the loss of my son, Jason, I feel like last week I turned a bend in the road and saw something more clearly than I had ever seen it before. I saw my grandmother in a completely different way. My grandmother lost children, not just a child, but children. One of her three living children was born with special needs, there has to be a certain type of grief that goes with this also. For most of her parenting years and beyond she was a single parent.

My grandmother lost several children before they were born. I bear the name of of her oldest surviving child. At three years old she watched this baby pass, her oldest, this one of diphtheria. I cannot imagine how helpless she must have felt. My mom was in her mid 50’s when she was struck by a car and killed. When my grandmother passed this last year at the ripe old age of 98, she had one surviving child, one with special needs.

When my mom passed, I was so busy grieving the loss of my mom and the loss of my children’s grandmother that I did not really grasp that my grandmother lost another child. My dad traveled for his work, so my mom and grandmother were companions/friends not just mother/child. This must have been such a huge hole in my grandmother’s life. But she never really said. I don’t recall her ever crying in front of me.

I don’t remember my grandmother talking much about her losses. There were many, I know she lost at least 2 children, at or before birth. I think there were more. I wonder what she did with all that pain? Did she think of her babies every day? Did she miss the companionship of my mom like I miss that of my son? She lost a husband to divorce when she had 2 young daughters to raise, and then later after her children were grown, she lost the love of her life just a few months after they married.

I find myself almost crushed beneath the weight of these losses. I wonder how I would have done with this much loss. I have been pondering this the last few days; I wish she were still here to talk to. (My grandmother passed 2 months to the day after my son, Jason.) I understand more of what she must have gone through, and the magnitude of her loss leaves me in tears.

In the last few months of her life she spoke of a little girl that came to her room and played with her “knickknacks”, and a woman that walked beside her sometimes. We smiled at her when she talked about these “visits”. I wonder, were these her children? Was the lady my mom, and the little girl the one she lost at three? Did these visits bring her comfort?

As I deal with the loss of my son, I wonder how she did not go a bit crazy. How did she hold it together? Did she cry at night? Did she have any one to talk to? I wish she had kept a diary. I wish I could ask her about these losses. I wish I had thought more about what she might have been going through.

I know with all that I am she rested in the arms of Jesus, she was a prayer warrior. I know she was a strong woman of the plains of Oklahoma, and her blood runs in my veins. I rest the arms of my Savior, I rest in the arms of my husband. I enjoy the company of my daughter, from all these things I draw strength. I am strong because of the heritage she leaves me. I am strong enough to know that sometimes I need to be weak and ask for help. I hope she knew that also.

Thankful continued

Day twelve:

I sit here sipping my coffee, peppermint mocha, thinking about all the things I could write about today. I have so much to be thankful for, so many things race through my mind.

Today, I am grateful for mornings, quiet ones that move into do nothing days. I am grateful for mornings for this but mostly because they are a fresh start. A chance to be better than the day before. I chance to be kinder, more understanding, love more.

Mornings, they are when God’s mercies are new.