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Sarah at Christmas

Friday, June 30, 2017

Sun, Love It?


Some people love the sun. I have a couple of relatives who crave it. These people lay in the sun for hours. They want a tan. Ugh. Skin cancer is a looming problem for them, but they love the heat and don't mind the risk.

A little sun goes a long way with me. Say thirty seconds, and then I'm ready for the cool indoors.


Even though I love a football game, my hat isn't enough to keep me comfortable. I'm miserable in Texas heat.

Photo courtesy Pixabay

You'll never find me lying on a beach.

Now to an analogy.

Hubby and I face heated challenges these days. No, it's not the weather, it's life.

This week, ten years ago, Craig Biggio set a record at bats with three thousand hits. Wow! Has it been ten years? I remember those days well. They were happy, carefree days for hubby and me.

But the sun is hotter for us these days, and it's not climate change. God has a way of presenting problems that cause heat and turmoil.

If you're in a period that gives you freedom with no challenges, enjoy the time. As Scripture predicts, the sun shines on all and the rain falls on all. So at some time in life, you'll face a situation you don't want.

I thanked God this morning for the ones He's allowed. Nooooo! Truthfully, I want them gone, but I also know they are here for a purpose. I fight anger and frustration over them, and I'm clueless as to the reason these unwanted opportunities visit us, but I thank him. He also knows my heart. He understands I don't care for heat and sun. He sees my difficulties.

I'm hoping I can make it through this fiery test without getting burned. Shadrack, Meshack, and Abendego were in a furnace and they survived. You'll find them in the book of Daniel, chapter three.

How about you? Are you in a place you don't want to be today?

Remember, God can go with us through the rain or sun. He created both.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Hot Radishes in Texas


Planning the 4th of July picnic in hot, steamy Texas?  Want something different?  Don't forget the radishes.  These hot, spicy, little devils will bring a smile to your lips and a tear to your eye.


These little buggers will start the firecrackers off just right.

Stay tuned for the new recipe to follow.

You'll love it!

Banger, Firecracker, China Cracker

COMING SOON

Radishes for the 4th.
Read the soon to be published recipe on Texas Hill Country
Texas Hill Country

In the meantime, read a Sarah book.
She's a red, hot read. Laughter will cool you off.



Friday, June 23, 2017

Win! One of my books!



I'm on Gail Palotta's blog. I'd love you to stop by, read an excerpt from my latest book, Mattie's Choice.  Register and win one of my eBooks.  

While you visit with me over at Gail's, 
you might win Clue into Kindness.






Georgia loves her husband, Alan. She shows him kindness with actions and words, but Alan responds in a heartless, selfish way. To receive respect and admiration from people, he believes he must have a perfect wife—so he criticizes Georgia at every opportunity—even tells her she’s fat! Alan’s best friend Ken and his wife Jana reassure Georgia that she remains the gorgeous beauty queen she was during her college days. Who will Georgia believe—her friends or the mysterious, handsome stranger who comes into her life? Circumstances bring a change to Alan’s attitude. But is it too late to save this marriage?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Read Sarah for Free

Here's and excerpt from Sarah: Laney's Angel

Sarah is dyslexic, and bumbles her way through assignments.  My books bring humor and faith. These days we need to smile. 

******

Chapter One  
“This assignment will prove more complicated than the last one she had.”  The lieutenant folded his wings behind him and studied Sarah’s dossier the Commander had placed in his hands.
“Yes, I know.” The Commander wrinkled his brow as he looked down at Earth from his position in The Heavenlies.  He stood midway between the upper and lower realm with his great wings unfurled. “I want Tomas called in to help her with this one.”
“Tomas is ready to go back to combat duty after guarding a rambunctious toddler. I’ll find a replacement for the child.”  The lieutenant made a note on the numerous files in his hand. “Tomas is now assigned the case.” After making an additional note in the folder and rubbing his forehead, the officer looked at his Commander. “This task to help Laney is a bit much for Sarah—even if she has the assistance of Tomas.”
“Yes, it’s risky to assign Sarah. The Evil One is after Laney and Laney is in grave danger, but Sarah’s duty is romance. Our novice angel is not commissioned in protection skills. Make sure Sarah understands this.”
“Sarah has a reputation for blunders. Do you think she can successfully get Laney and Cannon matched before bad things happen to our young female earthling? Laney and Cannon are tough cookies. They will resist the idea of marriage to each other.”
The Commander laughed. “Sarah and her antics crack me up, but I promised her another opportunity with the humans. She goofs a lot, but her compassion makes up for the bungles. When on Earth, our newest angel takes on earthling’s traits, and I wouldn’t commit this task to Sarah if I didn’t have confidence in her ability to get the job done. However, Tomas must be allowed to work his assignment without her interference. Tomas is Laney’s defender, not Sarah, but knowing Sarah, she will try to help Tomas.” He turned; expanded his wings to an even grander span, and readied to zip off. “Keep me posted.”
“Yes sir.”
Sarah prepared for her descent from The Heavenlies. By earth’s schedule, it had been months since she had been below. But there was no timetable in The Heavenlies.  Eternity recognized no calendars, clocks, or time pieces and it had no beginning or end.
She had once served the Superiors in Houston, Texas, and now her orders were to return to the same city. But Houston was huge. How could a clueless angel find the way? Grasping her orders, Sarah had no sense of direction for getting around in heaven or on earth. She wished for one of those GPS devices those humans used, but angels weren’t supposed to need them.
Pointing her body toward earth, she zoomed like a bomb straight down to Texas. When sky scrapers came into view, Sarah righted herself and drifted to the terrain’s surface. She landed in a parking lot surrounded by buildings. Good—back on this special planet called Earth.
Sarah had never been to the other galaxies in the universe, but many angels had. She hoped her missions were always for the earthlings. She liked these people.
Her stomach rumbled.
Why was she always hungry? It would be necessary to find a place to fortify strength before finding Laney. Once the assignment started, it might be hours before a chance to satisfy appetite presented itself.
She glanced at the signage on the building. How fortunate—an eatery: Pop’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers. While invisible, she ducked behind the structure and made sure no one would see her. It wouldn’t do for earthlings to see a woman materialize out of nowhere.
Now then—when people looked, they would see a young lady dressed in jeans and tee shirt. On the last trip to earth, she’d had discovered stilettos wasn’t her thing, so this time she opted for a pair of sneakers.
The day was hot. She had the ability to cool herself with her internal thermometer but decided to check inside to see if any adjustment was necessary.
She strolled up to Pop’s lunch counter. A man with a white beard and baseball cap over his white hair stood ready with a pencil in his hand. “What would you like to order Miss?”
“I’ll have a cheeseburger, fries, and chocolate malt.”
He handed her a number for her order; she summoned money from the handbag, paid the man, and chose a table. After a few minutes, the man brought the burger basket to her. “Would you like anything else?”
Sarah looked up at the kind man and smiled. “I could use some directions. I don’t know my way around Houston.”
The man smiled. “Me either. I don’t think I can be of much help to you.”
Sarah lifted her eyebrows. “How long have you lived here?”
“All my life, but I stay close to Dallas. Don’t get to Houston very often.”
Sarah frowned. “Aren’t I in Houston?”
“No ma’am, you’re in Dallas.”

“Oh merciful heavens!” 



Friday, June 16, 2017

These little buggers bug me



Music, Ant, Playing, Fiddle, Play


Don't you love ants? The tiny little buggers show up in unexpected places. You anticipate them at a picnic, but in your bathroom?  What drew them there? No sugar in that room. They are so small, get through the tiniest cracks and  are a nuisance to get rid of.

Tiny but annoying.

Do you have ants in your thoughts? Life? Do you find yourself swarming with frustrations that won't go away? 

We all do.

But ants have a purpose. They kill off other insects that cause harm to plants and produce.

Beg your pardon? Huh? They can be useful?

Yep, that's what experts say.

So, in this comparison, are you saying that the tiny annoyances of life can be a good thing?  They can actually benefit me?

Yes, that's what I'm saying. The things that harm us now can be used for a blessing later.

Just wait for it.

But in the meantime, get rid of the ants in the kitchen.




Ant, Bug, Insect, Animal, Face, Happy, Antennae

Romans 8:28





Monday, June 12, 2017

Pack Rat or Hoarder?





“The ancestor of every action is a thought.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Thoughts produce actions, or a choice of actions.  Whether it's an action and a reaction, we can choose our thoughts and responses.

What are you choosing today? Positive thoughts and constructive behavior?

Me? I'm in limbo. I'm trying to overcome a sense of doom. I feel overwhelmed, How will I respond to those feelings?  I must choose.

Our daughter, the one with dementia, is returning to Austin in a few weeks. We've worked like crazy to get things ready for her.  She and her hubby were pack rats. We've been cleaning her garage and house so a caregiver can move in with her. 

 
Before the cleaning days


After the cleaning days.

She and her hubby chose to live like this. If he hadn't died, left my hubby as executor, and she didn't have dementia, we'd have chosen to leave things alone. If people want to hoard, that's their choice. His death and her dementia, caused us to make choices. Ones we didn't want or need.

The choices we make affect others. He didn't know he'd die. She didn't know she'd have dementia. But while they were healthy, they could have chosen to live cleaner lives....in more ways than one. Alcoholism caused his cancer and her dementia. 

I don't enjoy revealing personal details, but if I can help someone change actions, it's worth it. Think about the actions of today and what they will bring you and others tomorrow.

More later.








Saturday, June 10, 2017

Coming Soon, MATTIE'S CHOICE





The Cherokee Nation and Tahlequah (Images of America: Oklahoma)

$19.38 on Amazon

The progressive, accomplished character of the Cherokees is evidenced by the pictures and stories in this book. Here you will meet the leaders who helped rebuild the great Cherokee Nation, legendary figures like Sequoyah and Will Rogers, and the patriots and artisans who have kept the tribe’s culture and tradition alive throughout history.


I was looking for images to fit the scene below when I came across this remarkable book. I lived in Tahelquah, the Capitol of the Cherokee Nation, my first year of marriage.  Hubby and I both attended Northeastern State while he pastored his first church. I admired the spirit and intellect of the Cherokee and incorporated Tahlequah in my novel, Mattie's Choice. My husband is part Cherokee, and although my book is fiction, his family inspired the book.

The excerpt you are about to read below is Mattie's backstory. Mattie eloped with Jesse but jealousy eats at him. He forbids Mattie to see her family. He believes she will leave him for her former, better life if she visits with them.  

Will Mattie choose to give up family? You'll need to read the book to discover the answer. 



Coming Soon


Avril counted the strokes as she brushed her hair. When she totaled one hundred, she laid the brush aside and turned to her husband.
“Charles, are you ever sorry you married me?”
Charles made it to her side in one giant stride, placed his hands on her shoulders and met her eyes in the mirror.
“Never one day, my dearest. I fell in love with you on sight. If President Jackson hadn’t forced your ancestors to move to Oklahoma, I’d have gone to Georgia to find you. I can’t believe my life without you.”
Avril smiled. “But you were born into a prominent Virginia family. I doubt your parents wanted you to marry someone of Indian descent.”
“It wouldn’t have mattered to me what they thought.”
“I guess Jesse feels the same way.”
“Maybe. That’s one thing we don’t know for sure, but he probably doesn’t care. The Colbys came from Kentucky, and Kentucky was once heavily populated with Indians. Back in his day, President Thomas Jefferson met with an Indian delegation and told them to mix in marriage. White men have married Indian maidens over the years. Everyone knows the story of Pocahontas. Nevertheless, such marriages are frowned on by some. I know several who keep their blood a secret. I’m guessing Mattie’s Cherokee heritage doesn’t matter to Jesse or he wouldn’t have married her. Our families accepted each other. Jesse doesn’t accept us. If it hadn’t worked out for us, what would you have done?” Charles massaged her shoulders.
“I would’ve done all I could to change their minds—just like Mattie says she’s doing.” Avril grinned at him in the mirror.
Charles laughed and kissed the top of her head. “One look into your beautiful black, flashing eyes is all that it takes for me to do your bidding. Our Maury and Mattie have your dark, good looks. I’m not surprised Jesse fell in love with Mattie. I simply wish he was a reasonable man.”
“With their fair skin and blue eyes, our younger girls resemble you and your English ancestry, and I’m sure it won’t be long before they have boys courting them. I just hope they marry someone who won’t split the family.”
Avril stood and Charles placed his arm around her waist, tucked her into bed, turned off the electric lamps, and joined her.
“We see my family, but I’m sorry we don’t see your folks more often. I regret that, but I’m satisfied you didn’t move me back to Virginia.” Avril reached for his hand.
  “Don’t worry about Virginia. We’re staying here. Oklahoma still has the best opportunities.” He squeezed Avril’s hand. “If I could’ve come with the first land rush, I’d have met you sooner. “I had to wait an extra four years for the second land opening, but I got here as fast as I could.”
“Yes, you and about fifty thousand other white men,” Avril stated in a subdued tone. “Many of my Cherokee ancestors weren’t happy about the first land rush, and they were also irritated about the second one. They’d endured too many broken promises from the government, and those broken promises resulted in our Trail of Tears. Then look at what happened. After a mere fifty years of giving us a new home and calling it Indian Territory, the government approved land for white settlement. Those authorizations removed Indian control and the white man took over. We lost our land again.”
Charles squeezed her hand again. “I hate that. My good luck came at a price for your people. I’m sorry.”
Avril acknowledged his hand hug with one of her own.  “I know, but it wasn’t your doing, and thanks to you, I’ve benefited from the white development, so I have mixed emotions—happy for me, sad for my people.”
Charles remained quiet and waited for Avril to speak again.
Avril clucked her tongue and began once more. “I doubt the men were thinking about taking land from my ancestors, just as you weren’t when you came. Like you, they wanted to build a life for themselves and their families. Most arrived in Guthrie with nothing but a dream, and even after years of living there, they didn’t acquire much—if anything at all. It’s sad, isn’t it? Sad for them and my people.”
Avril grew silent for a few moments and then continued. “The required age was twenty-one. You were twenty-two. I admire you for taking a chance.”
In the dark, Charles shook his head. “Thanks, sweetheart, but I didn’t consider it a foolish gamble. Guthrie was Oklahoma’s territorial capitol and I believed in the city.”
“You made a large amount of money in the construction business during those boom days, but most of those people didn’t make it. They suffered loss and defeat, just like my ancestors did. I have no idea why God allows some to achieve and not others. Do you?
“No I don’t have an answer to that question.”
“Are you happy you sold out and moved to Fossil Creek?”
“Of course I am. This is where I met you. Besides, it turned out to be an astute business decision. I had a hunch things were changing. Sure enough, the political leaders moved the capital to Oklahoma City. Fossil Creek appealed and was logical. A smaller place is better for a family, and I wanted one. Tulsa is a day’s journey by buggy, and Oklahoma City takes about two days. I can conduct business in the bigger cities if I need to.”
Avril chuckled. “The trip would be faster if you bought a gasoline buggy like Maury plans to do.”
Charles caressed her arm. “And chug down the road in a cloud of black smoke from one of those things? No thanks.”
In the black night of their bedroom, Avril smiled. “I predict Ford will eventually fix that smoke problem.” She was silent a few minutes and then continued. “I’m pleased you’d already built Hillside before we met. I moved right in. God has blessed us.”
“Yes, He has, but I don’t want to flaunt our position. We enjoy what some consider a sizable fortune. I could have hired more help, but we both agreed that wasn’t a good idea. Our children know the value of a dollar and how long it takes to earn one. Maury builds pens and coops. He also helps with the planting and harvesting. The girls learned how to cook, clean, sew, grow a garden and tend animals. Our daughters don’t know how to bookkeep money accounts—no need for that, but Maury does.”
“I think you should teach our daughters to bookkeep as well.”
 Charles chuckled. “Now sweetheart, let’s don’t get carried away. There’s men’s doings and then there’s women’s doings. I’ll teach Maury about business. We’ll continue to be involved in construction and land development here in Osage County. We can use our influence to help others.”
“Even Jesse?”
“We’ll see. Time will tell. At this moment, Jesse doesn’t want anything from me.”
“What about Mattie? If she asks to come back home, will you let her?”
“Of course I will, but I don’t believe in divorce. Besides that, divorce isn’t an easy thing to get these days. I doubt there’s a court that would issue one. I don’t believe in interfering with a man’s marriage, either. We’ve taught our offspring to keep an oath once it’s given, and Mattie gave one to Jesse.”
“Mattie is a woman-child. Not quite grown up enough in some ways and too much so in others. She didn’t realize what she might be doing.”
“Especially where Jesse is concerned. I’ve got to think on it. She’s put us all in a dilemma.”
He released her hand and turned his back to her. “Goodnight, Avril.”


I hope you enjoyed meeting Avril and Charles, and I hope you'll soon meet Mattie and Jesse.  


You'll find other books by me on Amazon, bookstores, and online retailers.  Here's the link to Amazon.













Thursday, June 8, 2017

Count your Books






How would you like to count these books? Dust them? 
No? Me neither. 

 If you pull one book out, will they all tumble down?


I love books. I love writing books. Whoever stacked books in the above photo does too. He/she must have a fantastic mind. How else could he/she find the one they looked for? To be honest, that clutter would drive me crazy.

Hubby and I are spending mountains of time helping our daughter, but work continues. 

I've finished the edits for Mattie's Choice. At least I hope I've finished. I thought so once before and then I got a new editor. The new editor and I went over the book again, so now I wait for the galleys.



Mattie's Choice chronicles the lives of two women in the historical years between 1925 and 1975. Mattie and her sister-in-law, Ella faced harsh circumstances, but remained strong in spite of setbacks. The choices these ladies made were difficult.

I'll be happy to add Mattie's Choice to my shelves.  Have you read any of my Sarah books?  They will make you chuckle.  Mattie's Choice will make you cry.  Depending on the day, you may need to do both. Cry and laugh.




I hope today is one filled with faith, hope, and laughter.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Gay's Days






God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I've always liked that prayer and find it useful for all situations. I'm praying often these days for serenity, courage, and wisdom.

I've not written in several days, and I've missed our visits. I'll try to quickly update you.

If you've been reading my blog, you know my family has been hard hit in recent months. Changes in our lives are occurring so fast that keeping up is impossible. I usually share faith and humor on this blog, and I'm not sure revealing sad, negative experiences is beneficial to me or you. I'd rather communicate happy, positive thoughts, but I must look through the rain to find cheery ones these days.

There is good with the bad. Here's a few lighter moments.

Our daughter has made friends with an 87 year old, sweet lady named Becky. Becky lives in the apartment next to her's. This lady keeps a garden in the courtyard at the assisted living facility.  These two, one younger in years and one older in years, eat ice cream together every night. Their favorite in Blue Bell, Moo-ilennium Crunch. They go through a half-gallon as fast as a bolt of lightning cracking the night sky. I took two half-gallons to them last Friday. This is Sunday. They probably need more.

Image result for blue bell moo llennium crunch

Becky goes out late every evening to take care of her plants and veggies. When she didn't return, our daughter went to find her. Becky and her walker had gotten stuck in the mud from a recent rain.  Our tiny daughter waded through ankle deep sludge to help Becky. Becky is much taller and larger and daughter couldn't help her walk out. They both fell and ended up covered in mud. Daughter decided help was needed and went inside to find the staff. Becky's call button didn't work, and Daughter forgot she had one. Daughter and Becky laughed themselves silly after the adventure. They retreated to their rooms for a shower, then they treated themselves to a second bowl of ice cream. 

Not everyone at the assisted living facility has dementia. Some want to downsize and others need safety from falling. Daughter enjoys pushing a few around in their wheelchairs. 

Our daughter loves to talk, and dementia hasn't slowed down her love of chit-chat. She visits with every one in the facility, and her optimistic attitude blesses most of the residents. I say most. One resident ask her to speak softly. Her loud voice bothered his ears. I found that sweet and funny all at the same time. Perhaps her dementia makes her think all the 80 and 90 year old people have hearing loss. No need to tell her to speak up.

Dementia is a cruel disease and it becomes more punishing as it develops. It's merciless to the one who has it, especially at the stage our daughter is in. She recognizes her limitations and they frustrate her. 

The disease is odd too. Our daughter has become a hoarder and becomes upset if something is thrown away. She has a fish bowl of Sweet and Low pink packets in her room. She adds more packets each day to the collection. The director of the facility tells me a lot of her residents with dementia are like that. One lady scarfs up foam cups and hides them.

We placed our daughter in this lovely facility so we can remove articles from her home. We need to make space for a caregiver to move in and look after her. Her hoarding tendencies make it impossible for her to be around us when we remove articles. She wants to put everything back. Here's a picture of her garage, and it only is half the garage.


Lots of work to do.

Enjoy your day, and find a smile. 
Smiley, Yellow, Happy, Smile, Emoticon


I hope the changes coming your way are happy ones.