Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A New Blog to Brag About

Hi all!  It feels like centuries since I've been here at this blog and I must say I have missed you all.  I've been working hard to get the word out about my paying gig over at and while things are better, they aren't where I want them to be.  I'm coming to you - my blog friends - to ask for help.

I write three columns at  One focuses on the world of Christian fiction.  That includes book reviews, author interviews, upcoming releases, author events, etc.  Right now in that column I have a slew of author interviews coming out.

The second column I write has to do with recycling, repurposing, reusing, green living.  This column covers DIY projects, recycling events, green fashion shows, etc.

The third column covers children's fiction.  This column is similar to the Christian fiction column, but the focus is on books for kids.  At the beginning of October I compiled a list, with the help of readers, of the 365 best children's books and I will be reviewing each and every one of them over the course of a year.  I have started a blog specifically for those book reviews. 

365 Best Children's Books Ever has just started and I'm desperately looking for followers and sponsors.  If you own a children's bookstore, know someone who does, write children's books, are in the publishing business (you get the picture) please consider following me and possibly buying advertising on my site.  Each advertiser will receive a spotlight post and will also be promoted in my columns.  I can be reached by email at cindirose67 AT yahoo DOT com.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Year of the Best Children’s Books Ever; you pick’em and I’ll read’em - San Francisco fiction |

I have taken on a new task for myself. Something that I can point at and say, "Hey, I did this! I am going to read 365 children's books in 365 days.

Which 365 books? Well, that is up to you. Visit the link and tell me what you think are the best kids' books everyone should read at least once in their lifetime. I want to read everything from wordless picture books to young adult novels. I will post a review of each and every single book I read. And it's all up to YOU to tell me what to read.

So get to it. Go to the link and type away. Then share this link with others. I need 365 titles after all. And I have something in the works that will benefit others besides myself with this project. Info on that is still to come.

A Year of the Best Children’s Books Ever; you pick’em and I’ll read’em - San Francisco fiction

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Where I've Been and What I've Been Doing

Since about May, I have been almost non-existent in the blogging world.  I am so afraid to look in my reader as I haven't been there in months either.  It makes me twitch to think of all those great articles just waiting to be read. So.... I just don't go there in hopes that it will go away,even thought I know it won't.  So, what HAVE I been doing?!?

Here, for your perusal is where I have been spending my time and working my fingers to the bone.  Ha!  I found a way to be able to go on and on about subjects I love and get paid for it.  I found a site,, it's an online news site, each major city, and some smaller ones, each have their own editions.  I write for San Francisco/northern California.  I have been there writing articles.  I write three columns.  Here are the links to those pages.

San Francisco Children's Fiction      San Francisco Christian Fiction   San Francisco Recycling  

I'd love it if you would subscribe to any or all three of my columns.  It's free and each article comes to your inbox.  The reason I'm finally coming back here to my blog is this.  The recycling column is about more than just recycling.  It's about repurposing, reusing, upcycling; creating from something that was no longer wanted.  Many of you do the same things every day and I would love to highlight you or write articles about you and what you are doing to make the world a greener place while creating.

 So,  if you are interested in having me write about you or you know of something that would be great to let northern California readers know, drop me a line.  I would love to hear from you. 

I think I'm going to look at my reader now...I hope I make it out alive!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cute and free Father's Day gift!

Here is a link to free Father's Day coupons you can print.  They are adorable and you can adapt them to fit the age of your child.  Have fun with them!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Red, White, and Blue

My absolute favoritist holiday ever to celebrate is Independence Day.  Don't get me wrong, Christmas and Resurrection Sunday are at the top of the list for remembering my Savior and what He has done for me.  But 4th of July?  Bring on the sun, the lemonade, and the fireworks!

In honor of the upcoming holiday next month, I thought I'd share some craft ideas I have found.  I want to do all of these, but....well, we will see.  Let me know if you try any of them.  I love to see pictures!

From Small Fry & Co. is a too stinkin' cute red, white, blue, and denim pennant garland!

photo courtesy of Small Fry & Co.

A YEAR AGO I found this adorable craft at U Create for a flag made from an old window.  I'm ashamed to say I still haven't tried it.  But it is still in my faves so I will someday!

Of course, Martha Stewart has some fun stuff.  Like this welcome mat.  Too cinchy!

I've also had this one hanging out in my favorites folder for over a year.  Serendipity's cutey patooty idea is just that!

And how adorable are these trim bracelets from Happy Together?  This one is definitely a must for the Fourth of July!

If I actually make any of these I will definitely show pictures.



Yeah the sun is shining.!  After a week of wind and rain (yes, in JUNE), it is a beautifully glorious day.  The window is open letting fresh air in, the crows are outside arguing, and the annoying I scream-from-5 am-til-midnight kids that live behind us are currently silent. 

We have the possibility of a move to the next town 10 miles away and that would be a huge blessing.  A yard, a garage, a yard, peace and quiet, and a yard.  Did I mention we would have a yard?  Front and back?  Wow!  Green stuff that grows out of the ground and you can actually walk on bare-footed and you don't have to sweep.  Although you have to mow and water, such an improvement over cement for the last 3 years.

It's near the city bus system, not too far from town, and close enough to my bestie, Starla that I can walk over to her place.  Yipppeeee!  Another perk?  Being in the same town as my grand baby.  Who recently turned 1!  And who is walking and jabbering all over the place and destroying the house from one end to the other.

I don't want to get my hopes up.  I do want what GOD wants for me, even if that means NOT moving right now.  But....I can pray and hope, right?

In other news, I may have already said this ages ago, I can't remember and I'm too lazy to look, I am a "writer" for is an online newspaper, so to speak.  They have regional links for the entire United States.  I'm currently writing for the San Francisco/northern California edition.  I write about Christian fiction.  Book reviews, author interviews, new releases, author appearances, that sort of thing.  I would love if you would hope on over and take a look at what I've written.  If you love Christian fiction, or fiction in general, this is the place to keep up on all the latest stuff.  I recently interviewed Francine Rivers, author of countless books including Redeeming Love and her newest, Her Mother's Hope.

I have also been so busy with lots of church activities.  AWANA is on a summer break, but I recently took over directing our Children's Church program.  I'm still involved with Ruth's Room and we recently sent a care package to Pago Pago.  I will be teaching 5th and 6th graders at this year's VBS program and the women of the church are undertaking a mentoring program for our older teen and young adult women.  Add to that the fact that the church started a garden, we have a weekly craft night available, and I'm also responsible for keeping the church kitchen supplied and in working order.  Whew!  No wonder I'm so busy.

Well, off for now.  Maybe I will have a craft or two to post in the near future.  Till then....lalalalalalalala...the sun is shining!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

God's Timing

I feel guilty.  I have been away from here for so long and I feel like I have neglected cherished friends.  God has really been at work in my life.  I have been unemployed since the beginning of December.  I was denied unemployment, even on appeal.  Then my income tax refund was withheld because of my husband owing back child support.

I'm not complaining.  I have looked for work, etc. but there is nothing or God has not opened the doors yet.  God is breaking me down, remolding me.  Teaching me to trust in Him entirely.  And it's scary sometimes.  But I will not compronise.  I will not give in or give up.  I just may be absent from here.  Please keep me in your prayers.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Is Your Man "Wild at Heart?'

image found at

I just finished reading Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of A Man's Soul by John Eldredge.  The back cover of the book reads,

Every man was once a boy. And every little boy has dreams, big dreams: dreams of being the hero, of beating the bad guys, of doing daring feats and rescuing the damsel in distress.  Every little girl has dreams, too: of being rescued by her prince and swept up into a great adventure, knowing that she is the beauty.
   But what happens to those dreams when we grow up?  Walk into most churches, have a look around, and ask yourself: What is a Christian man?  Without listening to what is said, look at what you find there.  Most Christian men are...bored.
   In Wild at Heart, John Eldredge invites men to recover their masculine heart, defined in the image of a passionate God.  And he invites women to discover the secret of a man's soul and to delight in the strength and wildness men are created to offer.
When I read that back cover I thought, "Oh boy, another man thinking every woman wants and needs to be rescued."  But the more I read, the more the points the author talked about made sense to me.

According to Eldredge, if man is created in God's image, and if God created this wild world, and if God gave man the authority and desire to have dominion over the natural world, then why do we, as a society, spend our time telling our little boys, "Don't climb on that?" "Stay out of the mud?" "Quit running!" 

Women are also created in God's image.  We know that God created men and women to be different.  Women and men display different attributes of God.  For the most part, women are created to display the nurturing, compassionate, tender attributes of God.  But society teaches girls that they must be pretty to attract attention, but "they don't need that attention."  "Women can do anything men can do."  "Females don't need rescuing." 

Women may not need to be rescued, but sometimes we like to feel like our husband would rescue us if it were required.  Sometimes our husbands want to feel like they are the conquering hero that we adore.  What does all of this have to do with God and being the person God wants you to be?

Ultimately it comes down to this, if we deny the very nature that God created us with (not the sinful nature) then how can we fully live out the life God has for us?  Eldredge says every man has three desires.  Those desires are:
  1. a battle to fight
  2. and adventure to live
  3. a beauty to rescue
In the 250+ pages that follow the introduction, the author provides anecdotes and scripture to make his points.  The chapters were just the right length, and the concepts were easy to understand.  I especially liked how the author related the points he was trying to make to himself and the spiritual journey of his own life.  My favorite chapter was titled "A Beauty to Rescue."

Whether women will admit it or not, at some point in their childhood, they played princess.  We wanted to be the beauty in the story that a hero would come and rescue from the terrible situation we somehow found ourselves in.  As we grew up, some of us began to believe this was only a fairy tale.  Some waited patiently until all hope was lost.  There is only one man who is the Ultimate Rescuer...Jesus.  He rescues every single woman (and man) from the death brought by sin.  But here on earth, God designed marriage and when the man is the warrior, lover, rescuer and the woman is the maiden, lover, encourager, the fairy tale does come true.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely!  I recommend that couples read it together or at least both read it.  It has allowed me to recognize and understand some of the behaviors of my own husband and allowed me to cherish him even more for them.  Also, I don't like to be vulnerable.  I don't want anyone to think I'm weak or "can't handle it."  I'm not fooling anyone and I honor my husband by letting him be my earthly protector. 

I received this book free of charge from Thomas Nelson Publishing.  I was not compensated for my opinion in any way except by receiving this book.  All opinions given here are 100% my own unless otherwise stated.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day - 2010

I don't know the author of this poem.  If you do, please let me know so the person can receive the proper credit.

It is the Veteran

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.

It is the VETERAN who salutes the Flag every time it passes by.

It is the VETERAN who serves under the Flag, even if it means he has to die.

Thank a VETERAN today, and every time you see one.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Celebrities...The Nice Ones

View from atop Shively Road, a local road to an old logging community

Living here in Northern California, (waaaaaaaaaay north, like five hours north of San Francisco and 2 hours south of the Oregon border) I don't run into celebrities too often.  If I travel out of the area, maybe once in a while I might see someone famous from afar.  And if I go to a concert or something, I'm in the nosebleed section because that's all I can afford.  But, I decided the ones I have met face to face and conversed with - even if it was only through Facebook or email - are really nice.  They are real people, just like you and me.  They have to drive their kids to school.  They get the flu and poison oak just like we do.  So, in order to let you know who I'm talking about, here is a brief synopsis of my latest "famous people" encounters.

~Barbara T. Marshall This absolutely gorgeous-inside-and-out lady recently spoke at the North Coast Baptist Association's Women's Conference.  It just happened to be held at the church I attend.  Barbara is the President and Founder of Thriving in Christ Ministries and the author of RANSOMED... Loving yourself from the inside out.  She travels internationally to speak and give seminars. It just so happens that Barbara is married to the brother of a local Baptist Christian woman.   Barbara shared stories about herself that weren't too pretty.  But they were stories that other women can relate to.  After the conference I got a chance to talk to Barbara and discovered that we each have an oldest child that is not in the best relationship and that there are grandchildren involved.  Barbara agreed to lift my daughter up in prayer and I agreed to lift hers up.  She also took the time to talk to one of the youth girls in our church.  She wasn't stand-offish just because she in an international traveler and speaker.  She didn't talk incessantly about her book and how it would change our lives if we bought it.  She is a real sister in Christ.

~Robert Elmer This author of over 50 books recently released the historical novel Wildflowers of TerezinI contacted him and asked if I could interview him about this newest release, thinking I might hear from him in a month or two, if at all.  Imagine my surprise when I sat down to check my email a couple of mornings later and had a reply from him.  An honest to goodness, he-typed-it-himself response.  I sent him some questions and he quickly responded with funny and honest answers.  He's one cool dude.  (If you want to read my interview with him, head over to my post at where I wear the hat of San Francisco Christian Fiction Examiner.)

You know how you can follow just about anybody on Twitter?  Or you can request to be a friend or fan of others on Facebook?  How many of those celebrities that you follow or friend do you think actually post their own stuff?  MUCH LESS, comment to you directly?  I haven't done any in-depth study or anything, but my educated guess is that it's not many.  Well, here are some who do.  All are authors.

I know that is just a tiny little speck of a brush with the "big fish" but I'm having fun anyway.  I'll keep ya posted if I have any of them over for coffee or tea. *wink*

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Summer Wish List

Is it too early to start making plans for the summer?  Not necessarily places I want to go or things I want to see, but all the things I want to accomplish this summer.  Well, I decided I needed some accountability, so I'm setting forth a partial list of things I want to accomplish before fall rolls around.  If I get started now, I will have more time for enjoying the sun, some sweet tea, and the company of a good book.  In no particular order, here is the list.

  • Make this Little Black Dress I posted about back in February
  • Make about a dozen Brags and get them out to Hurricane Rojo
  • Clean and organize my craft room once and for all
  • Bust out the serious crafts I want to make and market the rootitoottoot out of 'em
  • Clean all the closets and get rid of all the "stuff" I truly don't need
  • Spend some quality time with my kids this summer doing all the things we used to do
  • Can and bake the way I used to do
  • Finish all the books on my bedside table
  • Go camping
  • Hang at the beach for the day
  • Spend the weekend with BunBun doing nothing but eating ice cream and watching old movies and not letting anyone know we are home
Do you have a wish list?  How many things are on your list?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Are You a Fan of Sarah?

Which Sarah am I talking about?

Sara Bareilles? The musical one from MY COUNTY that wrote and performed Love Song?  Nope...not that one, even though I am a fan.

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and the original Fergie? Nope...I like her and I think she got a raw deal from the Royal Family, but it's not her I am referring to either.

How about Sarah Jessica Parker?  Definitely not...I liked her when she was in Square Pegs, but since then, nope.

Have you figured out which Sarah I'm referring to?  If you haven't guessed Sarah Palin by now, I just don't know what to say.

You say the name "Sarah Palin" and you get some really strong reactions.  Some people think she is a total nut job and they just wish she would go away.  Others adore her and think she is the next best thing since sliced bread.  Me?  I lean towards the next-best-thing thing, but let me explain.

Here are the reasons I like her;
  1. She is a strong Christian woman.
  2. She speaks her mind.
  3. She is intelligent and knows what she is talking about.
  4. She exposed the crooks in both parties.
  5. She put the people of Wasilla (as mayor) and Alaska (as governor) first.
  6. She is not afraid to be honest and mingle with the "common" folk.
  7. She admits that she makes mistakes.
Now, those are some pretty general reasons.  However, I wasn't so sure about her the first time I heard her name.  I was driving home from work and I heard on the radio that John McCain had chosen a woman as his running mate.  The first thought I had was, "He just sealed his fate.  There is no way he can win now."  And I truly believed this.  Even though we have come a long way since Geraldine Ferraro ran as the Vice Presidential candidate with Walter Mondale, I still believe that our country doesn't value the strengths some women have.  But I went home, and began listening to Sarah Palin give speeches.  I was impressed.  I watched the interviews and the way the liberal media bashed her; mostly because she didn't play ball with the good ol' boys and because she was normal.  I mean, seriously, as a middle America, stay-at-home soccer mom, who would you rather have in the White House? Someone like Sarah Palin or a career politician like Joe Biden?

And the more I watched how Sarah Palin handled herself and I read and heard the things she was saying, I began to believe that she was really the person she was portraying.  She wasn't faking to get elected.  She wasn't playing the political game.  I was really disappointed when the election results came in.  I truly supported John McCain and Sarah Palin and I was saddened to see our country elect someone who didn't have as much experience as Sarah Palin (as the V.P. candidate) did as the actual Presidential candidate. 

I just finished Sarah Palin's book Going RogueI don't know if I have ever read another autobiography.  If I have, it must not have left a very big impression on me.  I learned more about the political process.  I learned more about Alaska and the fiercely independent spirit of the people that live there.  I learned that when it comes down to it, Sarah is just a regular mom who is committed to doing her best and raising her children to be good citizens. 

Even if you don't particularly like Sarah Palin or the world of politics bore you, try her book.  You might just be surprised.  Oh...and in case you are wondering; yes, I'm a fan of Sarah.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Betty Crocker/Safeway Winner

To choose the winner I went to  When I got there I followed the directions. (Enter some choices, one per line, in the text area below, and click "Choose" to pick randomly from them.)  Each number corresponds to 1 comment.  If you remember I said I would give you 3 extra entries if you did all three entry methods.  That's why some people are listed 6 times.

1 Vickie B
2 Vickie B
3 Vickie B
4 Vickie B
5 Vickie B
6 Vickie B
7 suburban prep
8 Keri
9 Keri
10 Keri
11 Keri
12 Keri
13 Keri
14 Kim
15 Kim
16 Kim
17 Kim
18 Kim
19 Kim
20 Kim
21 Starla
22 Starla
23 Starla
24 Starla
25 Starla
26 Starla
27 Starla
28 Tabitha
29 Aunty Clara
30 Karin
I got this number.
25 = Starla!

Thanks to everyone who entered...and stay tuned.  There are always more prizes to give away!

I Want Chickens!

Am I the only one to have noticed a resurgence in keeping chickens lately?  Surely not, because when I got my latest issue of Organic Gardening, this was on the cover.

Isn't that one of the most beautiful chickens you have ever seen?  That is none other than Heidi, an Appenzeller Spitzhauben pullet.  I think she has a chance at becoming America's Next Top Chicken Super Model. 

All kidding aside, I love chickens.  Back when my babies were still babies, we lived on an acre and a half.  We had pigs, ducks, a rabbit, cats, a dog, a couple of steers, and chickens.  Oh, I was happy as a hog rolling in mud.  I couldn't have asked for a better start to life for my children.  To see them tossing scratch to the chickens, feeding table scraps to the pigs, and the best, to see their pudgy little hands carefully bringing an egg into the kitchen.  The look on their faces - bliss. 

I mean how can you resist finding eggs like this in the nest?  Knowing that it's fresh, wholesome, and plain old good for ya?  Not me.  When we first started out, I think we got about six chicks.  One ended up being a rooster.  So you know what that means....eventually you get more chickens.  We started selling our eggs.  I can't believe that I was selling my fresh eggs for $1.25 a dozen and making a profit.  Times sure have changed.

As I read the Organic Gardening article, it took me back to the days when I would have Rhode Island Reds following me around the place.  Such a pretty and calm chicken.

These Plymouth Barred Chickens were another of my favorites.  Love their chic black and white markings.

This momma Buff Orpington and her chicks remind me of my favorite hen of all, though.  Matilda was so gentle and almost like a pet.  She would be the first one to greet me at the gate every morning. 

The magazine article reignited my love for chickens.  My desire to hear them clucking first thing in the morning and cooing softly as they settled themselves for the night.  Reaching under a fat hen to get an egg for breakfast or to make a cake from scratch is one of life's simplest pleasures.   Alas, I live in an apartment with no yard.  And when I say no yard, I mean no grass, nothin'!  Oh... I long for the day when I can have a couple hens and even a rooster to call my own.

Maybe when I do get chickens, I'll head over to or EZ Clean Coops  and pick up a top-of-the-line chicken coop.  Or maybe I'll just build me a Red Neck one. 

Which do you like best?

Available from   

Available from EZ Clean Coops

Red Neck Coop

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What Has Happened to My Life?

When you are a kid, you think summers last all year long.  You think that when they tell you to come in when it gets dark that you have hours and hours before you have to go in.  And you think that when grown-ups tell you that time flies the older they get that they have no idea what they are talking about.


I'm the grown-up and time flies faster and faster every year.  Who am I kidding?  Every day!  I remember when I had first quit my job in December and was trying to make ends meet that i was busy as I crafted, attended shows, and blogged.  Hahahaha....and a great big HA!  WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY LIFE?!?

I have less time now than I did when I was working.  I have waaaaay more blogs that I follow and still no time to read them, much less comment.  I have no idea where the time between Christmas and almost summer went, but Whoa!  SLOW DOWN!  I can't see anything as time goes whizzing by me with so many things I am missing. 

I know what my parents were talking about.  My cousin, who I grew up with and played Clue and Monopoly and Life with...just turned 50!  Are you kidding me?  That means I'm getting old!  How did this happen?  What?  My ears are getting bad. 

Did you say "Life is What Happens While You Are Busy Making Plans?"

Yep...that's what I thought you said.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Summer 1984 or How I Met My Husband

I have to start this post by saying that I don't have a scanner and because I don't have a scanner, there is no way I can show you pictures that relate to the story I am about to tell.  Rest assured, someday I will be able to post those necessary pictures.  For the mean time you will have to trust me that I looked totally hot in the 80's (big hair and all) and so did the other person in this story, BunBun.  Also... this is a very long post.

It was nearing the beginning of the summer in 1984.  I would be a senior in the fall and then after to college.  My brother, who is 3 1/2 years younger than me, was ending up his Babe Ruth baseball season.  For some reason, I don't know if it was boredom or what, but I went to one of his games.  (Not something I normally did because I had an afternoon and weekend job at Heidi's Bakery.)  As I watched his game, I noticed a really cute guy on his team.  I must have asked him about this guy.  I soon was going to all of his games, what few there were left to play.  My dad was also an assistant coach and had a list of all the players names and phone numbers.  Between going to the games and flirting with this guy and having his number already....well, I did what my mom said girls shouldn't do; I called him.

Baseball season ended and summer began.  I was busy hanging out with friends and working.  Going camping and planning how cool my senior year in high school would be.  And I was still talking to the this guy on the phone.  Only he was calling me too.  And he kept asking me to be his girlfriend.  And I kept saying no.  I didn't want to say no.  I wanted to say YES!  But I didn't.  I kept saying no because he was only going to be a FRESHMAN and I was going to be a SENIOR.  And my best friend kept telling me how dumb I would be to have a boyfriend who was only a FRESHMAN.  She kept telling me that everyone would tease me and think I was like, totally not cool, ya' know?  So I kept saying no. 

So school started and I saw this guy EVERY DAY at school.  We didn't live in the same town so school was the only place we saw each other.  And we were still talking on the phone every night.  Even though he was going out with the little sister of my best friend.  The friend that said I should NOT go out with him because he was too young.  Then one day they broke up.  And then the next day we were walking towards each other between classes.  And then I was walking up to him and KISSED HIM!  And kept walking to my locker! 

Yeah...we were boyfriend and girlfriend after that.  We fought. We made up.  We fought.  We made up.  He taught me how to ride a dirt bike.  He made me BLTs without the L.  He worked mornings before school milking cows and setting irrigation pipes so he could buy me a ring for Christmas.  He let me wear his favorite flannel shirt and his big brother's old football jersey.  We spent every weekend together either at my house or his house.  We talked on the phone every night.  His dad, Carl, let us sit in the front seat (bucket seat) together, when Carl would drive me home.  We were in love and we planned our future.

But then the end of my senior year came.  Friends told me I should break up with him.  We were fighting more as I talked about going to college and he felt he was getting left behind.  One thing led to another and I broke up with him a week before graduation.  It was the most terrible feeling I had ever experienced.  What should have been a fun-filled week of activities was overshadowed with sadness and stupid high school antics.  On the night of my graduation, he was there with his mom.  After the ceremony he kissed me and begged me to take him back.  I was so dumb as I pushed him away and ran off with my friends.

As summer began again we both did stupid things.  My best friend and his best friend were now a couple and it made life difficult.  I avoided him completely.  When I did have to see him I was mean.  Why?  Because I could be.  Somehow, the friend who had told me to break up with him in the first place convinced me to get back together with him.  So I did.   And it was like we had never been apart.  But things were different.  I was a "grown-up" now.  I had just turned 18 and I was getting ready to move out on my own.  I had just started classes at the community college. And I was working a lot more.  He was a sophomore in high school and he hated being there when I wasn't.  So he cut classes.  He hung out with the wrong crowd.  And he did something else.

I went to meet him for lunch one day at the high school.  While I was waiting for him, this girl (not a nice girl) came up to me and asked me why I was waiting for her boyfriend.  What was she talking about?  He didn't have time to be with this girl and why would he?  She was nasty and everyone knew it.  As he walked out and saw me, he smiled.  Then he saw her.  AWKWARD.  He walked off with me and I began to question him about her.  What was she talking about?  We argued; that's really all I remember.  I know I was living on my own then and he came home with me.  I can't remember what was said, but I know he convinced me that she was lying and I was the only one he loved.

The next night my world fell apart.  I found out that he had been seeing her all summer long.  That he was still seeing her, while HE WAS SEEING ME.  I was crushed.  I repeatedly called his house that night so I could confront him but the line was busy.  I finally got a hold of him after midnight.  I made him tell me the truth and he admitted that he had only gotten back with me so he could hurt me the way I had hurt him a few months ago.  I told him I hated him.  I broke the 45 of Madonna's Crazy For You single ("our" song) on the phone and told him that was the sound of my heart breaking.  Then I hung up the phone.  The next day I mailed the broken pieces to him.

And I didn't talk to him for 20 years.  Even though we lived in the same town.  Even though he worked right next to my husband in the lumber mill.  Even though our children were in grade school together.  Even though my middle daughter and his second son were in the same class at a very small school.  Even though this same daughter and son dated for awhile.  Not once.  Not until that same daughter and son graduated from 8th grade.  And at that 8th grade graduation we talked to each other.  We said, "hi."  That was it.

In that 20 years apart, a lot happened.  Here is the shortest version I know how to provide.

  • Met and married a man that was 9 years older than me and had been married one before.  I turned 20 one month after the wedding.  He also had a 4 year old daughter when I met him.
  • I quit college and went to work full time at the bakery until I got pregnant and ended up having an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Had 3 babies in 3 1/2 years.
  • Was a full-time mom, gardener, chef, nurse, teacher, etc. until the youngest started kindergarten and then I got a part time job.
  • Lost our house, moved back to the company town, and went back to college.
  • Full-time student, full-time mom, full-time everything.
  • Finished school with a BA in Elementary Education.
  • Started seeing my previously-night-shift husband full time and realized...yeah.
  • Said hi to HIM at graduation.
  • Moved out on my own for the first time in 20 years.  Without my kids for the first time in my life. 
  • Made lots of dumb mistakes.
  • Decide to turn over a new leaf on June 1, 2007
  • Quit school and went to work in the woods with his dad.
  • Got the bad girl from a few paragraphs up pregnant when he was 16.
  • Tried to be a dad to his son, but was prevented by the mom.
  • Wrecks cars.
  • Gets married and goes to jail the next day for drunk driving.
  • Has 3 kids and is a great dad.
  • Gets a divorce when the youngest is 1.
  • Sustains a major back injury at the lumber mill that leaves him permanently unable to work.
  • Gets thrown in the slammer a few more times for drunk driving.
  • Says hi to ME at graduation.
  • Gets arrested for drunk driving and sent to San Quentin for 3 months and rehabilitation facility for 9 months.
  • Gets out of rehab on May 23, 2007
The rest of the story next time. And don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Betty Crocker & Safeway Giveaway

I recently received a Betty Crocker prize pack and Safeway gift card in the amount of $25 from  Included in the prize pack were the following items:

  • VIP coupon for one Betty Crocker Brownie Mix
  • Red Oven Mitt
  • Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl
  • Silicone Baking Pan
  • Betty Crocker Mixing Spoon
  • $25 Safeway Gift Card
What a great parcel to get in the mail!  I quickly used the coupon for the brownie mix and the $25 gift card.  I have stashed away the other items to use as a gift.  What I really liked about the Betty Crocker Brownie Mix was that it was made with Hershey's chocolate; I chose the dark chocolate mix....Yum!

Want to download some great coupons directly to your Safeway Card?  Go to Bake Sweet Memories and get started!  The website also has
  • yummy recipes (Lemonade Party Cake in my fave)
  • great gift ideas (Breakfast in bed is always a winner)
  • sweet and funny e-cards (right now, featuring Mom)

Would you like to receive your own Betty Crocker/Safeway Prize Pack?  You can go directly to to become a member of their program.  It's really easy to sign up.  Or you can enter the giveaway going on right here on my blog for a chance to win a prize pack.  The prize pack DOES NOT include a VIP coupon for a Betty Crocker Brownie Mix.

Here are the rules:
  1. This first entry is mandatory.  Leave a comment telling me your favorite Betty Crocker product.
  2. Become a follower of my blog or let me know you already are a follower.
  3. Subscribe to this blog in the reader of your choice or let me know you already do.
  4. If you do ALL THREE of the above entries, I will automatically double your chances.  In other words, if you do ALL THREE ENTRY METHODS I will put your name into "the hat" 6 times!
  5. Winner will be randomly chosen @ 8 PM (pdt) on Saturday, May 8.  Winner will have 24 hours to confirm with me in a comment on the WINNER POST.  I will then forward your info to My Blog Spark, who is responsible for sending your prize.

Contributions to Society

We are a country made up of many cultures and ethnic groups.  Our country has been referred to as a melting pot - where all peoples come together and and eventually are all the same.  We have been referred to as a stew - where all peoples come together and take on some of the "flavors" of those around them while retaining there own distinct flavor and colors.  And the United States has been referred to as a salad - where all peoples come together and make a delicious meal but each ingredient is unique and retains it's own flavor.  I think all of these have been accurate descriptions of our country throughout history.  As Americans began to call themselves "American" it was the desire of many to have everyone be the same.  It was the desire of some in charge of running the country and it was the desire of some coming to this country.  That would be the "melting pot philosophy."  Then as leaders and the common man began to see the value in other cultures, America took on the "stew philosophy."  We could take on some of the aspects of other cultures while retaining our own cultural traits.  The "salad philosophy" is like we are one country but everyone is distinct.  Each culture is equally valuable and together makes up a great nation.

Not all subscribe to anyone of these philosophies.  I can see positives and negatives in all of them.  Regardless of what your own personal philosophy of the many varied cultures that make up America is, I hope we can all agree on one thing.  That one thing, is that America would not be the prosperous and blessed nation that we are without contributions of people from all walks of life and all ethnic backgrounds.  I could start this series by focusing on the contributions of people from my ethnic background - German and Eastern Europe.  However, since Hispanics are such a major portion of public and political discourse these days, I have decided to start with that ethnic group.

Even before I lost a couple of followers over my last post, I had decided that I wanted to do this, so this post is not for that reason.  It's because I recognize that I wouldn't be where I am today with out contributions by courageous, brave, intelligent men and women from all countries.  Also, my grand-daughter has Hispanic blood running through her veins.  I want her to be proud of every bit of "her" history.  If I am going to help her to learn about her story, I have to be educated myself.

I found this great website called Hispanic Contributions to the United States of America.  Here is just a small amount of the information I learned there.

  • In the Mexican-American War, Captain Juan Seguin and other Hispanic Texans fought at the Alamo against General Santa Anna's soldiers, essentially fighting alongside American heroes Davey Crockett, Jim Bowie, and William Travis.

  • Father Junipero Serra, founder of the California missions, became a pioneer in the fight for human rights for the Native Americans.

  • In medicine, Dr. Walter Reed is generally credited with originating the theory of yellow fever transmissions by mosquitoes. The truth is that he only confirmed this theory. Carlos Juan Finlay, a modest Cuban physician, was the one who actually originated it.

  • In the art world, muralist Diego Rivera became known not only in Mexico but throughout the world.  He painted murals not only in Mexico but also in Detroit, San Francisco, and New York City.  He was married to another famous Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo.

  • Dr. Ellen Ochoa, in 1990, was the first Hispanic woman to become an astronaut.  She served on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1993. The astronauts were studying the Earth's ozone layer.

  • Where would migrant farm workers be without Cesar Chavez?  He co-founded the United Farm Workers with another Hispanic, Dolores Huerta.  This organization helped farm laborers get improved working conditions and better wages.  He was also committed to limiting immigration and against the practice of hiring undocumented workers as strike-breakers.

  • And I have to add Selena and the portrayer of her in the movie, Selena, Jennifer Lopez.  (Edward James Olmos was in this movie too.)  Selena was often called the Queen of Tejano music and was just to about to start a cross-over to American radio when she was murdered by the president of her fan club.

I could list hundreds of Hispanics that have made contributions to society and America.  As Americans, we should always remember that North America wasn't discovered by Europeans.  This continent existed for centuries before any white man set foot on the soil.  Once those first Europeans arrived and the nation of the United States was established, this has been a country of various peoples from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds.  We are a better nation for the contributions made by these people.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How Childish Are You?

I am curious...and I like to have the last word.  In response to my post about Arizona's tough new immigration law, I lost a couple of followers.  Big deal, their choice.  In that post I included a link to a previous post where I vented some frustrations about illegal immigration and how it affected me personally. How childish do you have to be to do the following?  Some one commented on that post and asked me a question that I would be happy to answer for them.  Here is the problem...they didn't have the intestinal fortitude (guts) to leave a name with their comment. would you like me to answer a question if I don't know who you are.  Here is the question they asked.

You make excellent points.

I'm curious, did your ancestors have green card or any working document ready to show when they arrived on Ellis Island? I'm guessing no. That is all.

Now, I'm guessing that this was a comment left by one of those who are no longer following me.  I readily admit that I have stopped following some blogs because the author held beliefs that I did not agree with.  Let me also say, I follow many blogs where I don't agree with everything that everyone posts.  The one or two I have stopped following were way out there in my opinion.  Ultimately, if someone doesn't want to follow me, then please leave if you don't enjoy what I write.  I'm fine with that.

Back to the question and my answer.  As a matter of fact, yes, my ancestors had all the proper documentation they were required to have when they came to this country.  THEY FOLLOWED THE RULES. 

And, in fact, my maternal grandmother traveled 4 times back and forth between the United States and Hungary between the ages of 2 and 16.  Her parents came to this country for a better life.  When she was 2 they returned to Hungary to help out HER grandparents.  She returned to the U.S.A.  by herself when she was 15 so she could maintain her American citizenship.  She left her parents in Hungary, her father working hard and her ill mother helping out when she could.  She then went back to Hungary again, BY HERSELF to retrieve her parents.  Unfortunately her mother passed away while in Hungary and her father would not return to the United States without his wife.  My grandmother (now 16) then got on another boat bound for the USA with her cousin who was 18 and a friend who was also 16.  These ocean voyages took weeks.  They didn't have any one traveling with them to insure their safety.  But they filed the proper paperwork to leave and return to this country every time because they wanted to be Americans. 

My ancestors wanted to have a better life.  They wanted to contribute to a nation they believed in.  They didn't come to this country and immediately start engaging in illegal activities.  They didn't try to smuggle their relatives into the country in their steamer trunk.  They worked hard, they paid taxes, they owned property and  they left a legacy that spans several generations.  My grandmother never regretted her decision to come to this country without her father.  She missed him and was sad that she would never see her parents again.

One more point I would like to make before I get off my soapbox.  Many that come to this country illegally -and I know there are illegals in this country who are NOT Hispanic - they claim that they come to this country illegally because the paperwork and the requirements are so stringent and costly and time-consuming.  Wanna know something?  It's much easier to get into this country now than it was 100 years ago.  Do you think that the requirements weren't stringent back then?  Do you think the paperwork wasn't costly back then?  Do you think it wasn't time-consuming back then?  People who TRULY want to be American citizens will do what it takes legally, not matter the cost, the time, the restrictions.

Sermon complete!

"Get Your Glam On" Fashion Show Review - part 2

If you are just tuning in , you are now in the middle of a three part Fashion Show Review of "Get Your Glam On".  Part 1 can be found on Rio Dell Baptist Church's Ruth's Room Blog - click here to go there.
If you are continuing from Ruth's Room's Blog - Welcome to Tally's Place!  Tally is the granddaughter of my wonderful, bestest friend, Cindi.  After reading the fashion show review be sure to come back and read some of Cindi's past posts - she is a talented multi-faceted writer that writes from the heart -
and become a follower so that you won't miss her future posts!
Now on to the "Get Your Glam On" Fashion Show Review............
This next outfit was like a math equation 3-1+1 = a great outfit!
This outfit started out with a matching tunic top - but we wanted to give the outfit a different direction - so it was out with the typical and enter the stylish two-color velour mini dress now top over cotton India pants and a sash wore as a headband.  Ending with some fabulous bronze heels...

Urban Chic - would wear well in the city or enjoying the life in the country.............
A green sleeveless dress topped with a gray button vest, belted together with a green and purple flower design belt - adorned with a wooden bead necklace, scarf and a leather backpack style bag ......

"Woodstock" was the first word spoken by the some of the audience when Evelyn came out in this 60's- inspired outfit. A purple suede zip up dress becomes a vest over the red turtle neck with a bit of modern update with the black corset belt.  The blue jeans have red roses embroidered down one leg and the pant legs are tucked into a pair of brown thick heeled ankle high brown boots.

This outfit Callie is wearing displays the use of different textures and layers using only black and white as the colors. The three-quarter length sleeve is a thick, fiber-woven top, with a black and white checked slim skirt over a pair of footless leggings and a pair of black and white vintage pumps.
This equestrian-inspired outfit started with a pair of authentic riding jodhpurs and a grey turtle neck and a red plaid buttoned blouse with elastic at the waist and ruffles on the bodice area and a red and black trimmed jacket and brown leather knee-high boots with buckles.   I think Callie is looking for her riding crop....

I'm seeing spots.....
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!
Genesis is having fun taking a stroll with a polka dotted dresses with an 80's flair. She is wearing a white, button-up blouse with small black polka dots underneath a strapless cotton, dark pink dress with large black polka dots. A thin knit shirt with floral designs becomes a pair of leggings and the ankle high black boots give it a rebel flair.  So Awesome!!!
Miss Evelyn is wearing a pair of black slacks that features a darling vintage appeal with the embellishments in front - styled after a "sailor's " look - there are buttons down each side trimmed in a vanilla white.  The thin strapped vanilla color, sequined tank was too long at first and  hid the front the slacks  - so a knot was made at the side where the tank had a drawstring feature and the strings came out of the middle of the knot..... Black and white bangles with a vintage drawstring bag adorned with beads finish the look.
'Lil Miss Sunshine
Molly appears refreshed in this pale yellow knee length dress.  It has a fitted top with some ruching in matching organza around the top. The full skirt makes it a fun dress to wear.  It is a beautiful contrast to Molly's dark eyes and locks.

Disco Fever
Here is Makala in a shiny out-of-sight outfit.  She is wearing a short-sleeved gold sequin mini-dress.  Her wedge heels were refashioned to complete the look - they started off being espadrilles with crocheted lace in the wedges, this was carefully removed and the soles masked with tape and spray painted in a metallic gold. Next, a thin layer of all-purpose tacky glue was applied to the whole heel, then sprinkled heavily with metallic gold large flake glitter. She was accessorized with silver belt and necklaces to compliment Lexi.
Flower Child - this one was a fun outfit to put together.....
She is wearing a rust-colored sweater mini-dress with Dolman sleeves. Layered under the dress is a burgundy tutu with fall leaves in the hem.  Across the body is a patchwork corduroy messenger bag, a headband of burgundy ribbon with smaller leaves flow nicely with Genesis long hair. Her shoes - which she is holding in her hand because she came out skipping along the runway -  are tall heeled with green straps that buckle around the ankle and are adorned with a purplish flower across the toes.
This darling vintage purple dress came in and it just had to go in the fashion show....
It is a 50's era dress with a straight waist and a full skirt fitted bodice and short sleeves.  To bring it up to date, it was paired with a brown blazer with the sleeves pushed up, brown knee length boots and a vinyl see-through messenger bag. Evelyn's sassy short hairstyle is an asset to this outfit.
Baby It's Cold Outside....
Here Callie looks stunning in this long slender evening gown of black and silver brocade.  Keeping her warm is a black faux-fur bolero jacket.  And topped off with a frosty white rose headband.
Off To The Kentucky Derby and then Tea with the Queen....
Molly is back with another classic outfit in this back with small white polka dot print dress that has layers at the hem to give it a full look.  It also repeats the layered look in the collar and two white buttons at the neckline for accent. A black hat with a scarf tied around the brim, long white gloves and a jeweled bracelet, a vintage black clasp top purse and black sling back heels complete this look. One lump or two?
of course in Hawaiian, Aloha means both Hello and Goodbye so Genesis is the last girl in part two....
...and she is ready to hit the beach and a luau with this authentic Hawaiian made sun dress. Genesis is wearing a red with white hibiscus and palm all-over print design.  Her flip-flops are made from wood.
This concludes the end of "Get Your Glam On" Fashion Show Review Part 2!  To continue on to Part Three and the conclusion of this review - head on over to ReFashioned Threads by clicking here.
Thank you Cindi for letting us invade your blog - *hugs to you*


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