Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins #161



1. Wouldn't it be easy if money really growed on trees. I wouldn't have to worry if hubby is EVER going to find a job again.
2. Spending time with my kids and grandkids better than ever!
3. I love the taste of chocolate cake in the morning.
4. Having moved the furniture around, I can now rehang the pictures in the living room.
5. The first thing we're going to do is buy a new house when we win the lottery.
6. Please turn it off, I'm going crazy, drip, drip, drip; please!.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to playing cards with our neighbors, tomorrow my plans include baking and Sunday, I want to prepare for the many many things on my agenda for Monday!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Points of Power by Lavaille Lavette review

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:




and the book:



Points of Power: Discover a Spirit-Filled Life of Joy and Purpose

FaithWords (January 5, 2010)

***Special thanks to Valerie M. Russo of Hachette Book Group for sending me a review copy.***


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Yolanda Adams is listed among the artists who have achieved the greatest critical and commercial success in blending R&B styles with gospel music. She has released twelve albums, two of which were certified platinum, one gold, and has won over twenty awards for her music. She currently hosts The Yolanda Adams Morning Show and makes her home in Houston. You can find out more about Yolanda at

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $19.99
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: FaithWords (January 5, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446545783
ISBN-13: 978-0446545785

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:





Points of Power is just what it appears to be...powerful! Radio personality Yolanda Adams reaches out to the very heart and soul of women and encourages them to pursue a closer walk with God. Full of great lessons and thoughts, Points of Power is a wonderful book to read and enjoy.

You can purchase the book HERE .

* I was sent this book to give an honest review and was not paid for my review *

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday- the model



my granddaughter Kelsi (aspiring model)
She will be 14 in three weeks.

TODAY is "National Chocolate Cake Day"

CHOCOLATE PUDDING CAKE
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup sifted flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1 2/3 cups boiling water

Cake and sauce bake together in one pan to make a cake-like topping with a saucy chocolate base.

In a bowl combine butter, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla. Sift together flour, 1/4 cup cocoa, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt; add with milk to sugar mixture.
Blend well. Stir in oats.

In an 8-inch square cake pan, combine the remaining half cup of sugar, remaining 1/4 cup of cocoa, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in the boiling water.

Drop oat mixture by tablespoons onto cocoa mixture in pan.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 45 minutes.

Serve warm, spooning chocolate sauce from pan over each portion.

Serve warm, topped with vanilla ice cream or Cool Whip.

Makes 6 servings.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Language of Love and Respect


The Language of Love and Respect: Cracking the Communication Code with Your Mate

I have a hard time communicating with my husband so I was happy to review this book. It taught me how each of us loves and it works!

The energizing cycle is one example Dr. Eggerich gave as a visual to work through this cycle. He used the acronym COUPLE as a way to remember how to get through the steps (women's view)

C-Closeness . I want to be close to my husband it makes me feel secure

O-Openness I want to talk not just short answers open up to me

U-Understanding. Don't try to fix me just understand what I am going through
P-Peacemaking. Tell me your sorry.

L-Loyalty. Remind me that you love me. That I am your one and only

E-Esteem. Honor and cherish me (MENS view)

CHAIRS

C-Conquest. Recognize and thank him for his desire to work

H-. Hierarchy. Thank him for his motivation to protect and provide for me

A-Authority Acknowledge his desire to lead, he is the head of the household

I-Insight. Listen appreciatively to his ideas and advice ---this one was hard for me to learn

R-Relationship Value his desire for you to be his friend and stand shoulder to shoulder to him

S Sexuality respond to his need for you sexually

The only thing I didn't like about the book was there seemed to be a lot of repitition. But I still highy reccomend reading this book.

You can purchace the book HERE .
* I was sent this book to give an honest review and was not paid for my review *

Spouses Day

Robert and our granddaughter Maddie

Today is "Spouses Day"!

My spouce is Robert and he is also my best friend. Most of the time, he knows what I'm thinking about the same time I do..scary, huh? But I love this man with all my heart and soul. He is also the hardest worker I've ever seen and an amazing grandpa.
He was diagnosed with a life threatening disease this past year, and we pray every day that he gets better soon. If you are a praying person, please say one for Robert today.

Tell me about your spouse. How did you meet? Why is he/she special? or, better yet, blog about him/her.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Curious as a Cat #203

Curious as a Cat

1) Do you have a short fuse? not at all. I am usually real easy going and not easily upset.

2) Where is the most beautiful spot on earth that you've ever seen? My personal most beautiful place is an overlook near Carlsbad, CA. I found such peace there and it was like I was so close to God the whole time I was there. I love and miss the ocean greatly.

3) How old do you want to live to be? Well, I'd like to live to be 100, but having had my transplant last year, I know that won't happen. But I would like to make it to 75. Then I could see all my granddaughters grow up.

4) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.




It reminds me of a loopy Eiffel Tower.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Stealing Jan 24

Sunday Stealing: The Negativity Meme

Foods which disgust the crap out of me: oysters, stewed okra, anything slimy or raw

TV show I loathe: The Bachelor and Bachelorette

Movie I loathe: any horror films and "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo"

Music genres I loathe: punk

Magazine which annoys me: plus size magazines with skinny models

Makes me cranky at restaurant: waiting a Long time and rude waitresses

Makes me cranky in public: people talking on their cell about private things in public

Makes me cranky in general: being around smokers

Pisses me off at home: not much, really!

Pisses me off at work: nothing, retired

Pisses me off in general: never having enough money and barely getting by.

Makes me impatient at home: laundry..I despise doing laundry..all the waiting

Makes me impatient at work: nada, retired

Makes me impatient in public: long checkout lines

Celebrity I hate: John Gosselin, oops..you said celebrity..my bad.

Music artist I hate: Tiny Tim (it's an oldies thing)

I could care less about: politics

Annoys the crap out of me weekdays: no mail

Annoys the crap out of me weekends: football on tv and mu hubs on the couch watching it

Blogger's habit that annoys you: following but never commenting

Feature on your blog you hate: just about the whole thing. My blog is nothing at all like I envisioned it.

Movie star you despise: Ben Affleck who cannot act his way out of a paper sack

Politician that you hate: George Bush

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday 9: I Think We're Alone Now

Saturday 9

1. What celebrity in a fantasy would you like to be alone with? oh that's easy- Johnny Depp

2. Have ever dated a good friend? no, that is why he is still a good friend

3. What is the most embarrassing song that you like? Wake me up Before you Go-Go by Wham, it gets stuck in my head way too often. I know- strange huh?

4. What is your favorite tear jerker movie? Steel Magnolias and Beaches are my top two

5. What about yourself makes you least secure? my weight

6. Do you believe in destiny? yes, well I believe in fate.

7. What 'issue' do you think your opinion is so right about that you end up trying to sway others to your point of view? doing drugs..there is NO point to it at all. It kills you and I just ask "Why do it?".

8. What are 5 things you don't care about? cigarettes, drugs, politics, who Tiger Woods had sex with or where he is hiding, John Gosselin

9. Have you ever been in a situation where you weren't sure if you were seducing or being seduced? Yes, once, and it began a nightmare for me that lasted 5 very long years

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins #160

1. You have a chance to change your life today. Just decide to, and do it!.

2. Get up and dance right now!

3. There is a headboard I want to buy so badly but I'm thinking of doing a handmade one instead like on HGTV. What do you think?

4. If you do bad things, you will always get caught eventually and pay later. Things always come back to haunt you when you least expect them to.

5. It's time to get off our butts and get on with our 2010 goals.

6. Our moving to Alabama is up in the air but we will know tonight if we got our house or not.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching tv with my hubby and relaxing at home, tomorrow my plans include shopping and dining out, unless we find out we got our house, then our weekend will consist of packing and Sunday, I want to cook and have a great meal!

Today is "National Blonde Brownie Day"

BLONDE BROWNIES

1/4 c. butter
1 c. packed golden brown sugar
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lg. egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 c. walnut or pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 350 (340 for glass) 8x8 pan, greased. Melt butter over low heat in a medium saucepan. Stir in sugar and mix well. Cool slightly. Combine flour, baking powder and salt - set aside.

In a medium bowl beat egg and vanilla together. Add brown sugar mixture, blend thoroughly. Stir in flour mixture. Stir in nuts. Spread batter in greased pan. Bake 25 minutes. Top will be slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted 1 inch from center will come out barely moist. Cool in pan on rack completely before cutting.

My hubby LOVES these. Simple and easy to make.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Basic Book of Digital Photography by Tom Grimm and Michele Grimm

Simple Ways to Make Better Pictures with Your Camera PhoneBy Tom Grimm and Michele Grimm,Authors of The Basic Book of Digital Photography: How to Shoot, Enhance, and Share Your Digital PicturesAs camera phones become more prevalent, they are expected to become as popular for casual photography as regular point-and-shoot digital cameras. Unfortunately, camera phone photos are often poor or mediocre. But that is usually the fault of careless shooters, not the quality of the phone's camera.

Here are five simple ways to instantly help you make better pictures with your camera phone. Professional photographers Michele and Tom Grimm offer these and many more tips in their brand-new handbook, The Basic Book of Digital Photography.

1) Keep the Camera Phone Steady. Many cell phones are small, lightweight, and awkward to hold for shooting. In order to prevent blurred pictures, use both hands and brace your arms against your body. For additional support, lean against something solid, such as a tree or a wall. A common problem is the delay after you press the shutter release until the camera fires, so remember to remain motionless until you are certain the shutter has opened and closed.

2) Get Close to Your Subjects. Move closer physically, or adjust an optical zoom lens (if available) toward its telephoto setting. Note that shooting close up at a wide-angle setting can distort your subjects, which is particularly unflattering for people. Do not use a digital zoom function; it only enlarges the pixels in a picture, which degrades the image.

3) Make Sure Your Subjects are in Good Light. That way your pictures will show the most detail. Beware of harsh sunlight that creates dark shadows and high contrast in phone photos. If available, use the built-in light or flash even in daylight to give more clarity to your subject. Or, when indoors, turn on more lights if you can. Try to avoid backlighted subjects, unless you want them to turn out as silhouettes.

4) Keep the Lens Clean. Most lenses are protected only by a see-through plastic or glass cover, which can quickly get dirty when carrying your camera phone in a pocket or purse. Also, the lens is quite small, so dust or finger smudges will be more evident in your pictures. Wipe the lens gently with a microfiber cleaning cloth designed for regular camera lenses or eyeglasses.

5) Always Shoot at the Highest Image Quality. The names of the quality settings vary with the phone manufacturer. For example, the choices might be called: high, medium, low; or super fine, fine, normal; check your phone's user guide. Image files are automatically compressed to save space in the phone's internal memory or on a removable memory card; the higher the image quality you set, the less compression.

You'll also find settings for image resolution, which may be called image size. We recommend you always select the highest resolution, especially if you expect to print your photos. The higher the resolution, the larger the picture will be displayed on a computer or television screen. Also, more detail will show in the image. Image resolution/image size in some camera phones ranges from 320x240 pixels (low) to 1600x1200 pixels (high).

By the way, do not confuse image resolution with the resolution of the image sensor in a camera phone, which is expressed in megapixels, abbreviated MP. Little attention is paid to image sensors and their maximum megapixels (MP) in camera phones, but higher-end models range from 5 MP to as many as 10 MP.

If you are serious about getting quality photos and are buying a new camera phone, look for a model with high-resolution capability, autofocus, an optical zoom lens, built-in flash, and a large LCD screen to compose and review the images. For the most versatility, the camera phone should also have a slot that accepts a removable memory card. As you might expect, top-end camera phones can be expensive and often cost more than regular non-SLR digital cameras.

Most user guides for mobile phones have minimal information and instructions for the camera, but read carefully to learn as much as you can about its various features, as well as any limitations. For example, most camera phones can be set to shoot in black-and-white or old-time sepia tones rather than color.

Try out all the different settings by shooting practice photos, and then analyze the results. It is worth the time to become familiar with the camera operation so you won't be fumbling with the phone and pressing the wrong buttons when a photo opportunity suddenly appears.

Photos you make with a camera phone are automatically saved in the JPEG (.jpg) image file format. They can be viewed on the phone's LCD screen as a group of thumbnail photos or as larger individual images. On the screen, you can select images to delete, or to send to another mobile phone, a Web site, desktop printer, photo kiosk, or computer.

Camera phones with WiFi, Bluetooth or IrDA (infrared) technology make it easy to download images to a wireless-enabled computer or printer, or to a photo kiosk that makes prints. Some phones have a port to plug in a cable that connects to your computer to download the image files. Of course, if your camera phone has a removable memory card, it can be inserted into a memory card reader that is built in or connected to your computer.

However, you probably will be sending most images from your camera phone directly to another mobile phone or to a Web site or in E-mails. The fees to transmit image data from a camera phone can add up quickly. If you shoot and send many photos, we suggest you buy an unlimited media package from your mobile phone service provider in order to save money.

Finally, as with any camera you use, remember to be respectful of your photographic subjects and situations. Despite the temptation, don't take voyeuristic photos or use your camera phone in places where photography is prohibited, as in health club dressing rooms, and many museums, theaters and concert halls.
©2009 Tom Grimm and Michele Grimm, authors of The Basic Book of Digital Photography: How to Shoot, Enhance, and Share Your Digital Pictures

Author Bios

Tom Grimm and Michele Grimm, authors of The Basic Book of Digital Photography: How to Shoot, Enhance, and Share Your Digital Pictures, are a husband-and-wife photojournalism team who have spent nearly four decades traveling the globe; the couple has visited every continent and more than 130 countries in search of the perfect photographic image. Their photographs and articles have been published worldwide in magazines and newspapers and on the Internet. The Grimms are authors and illustrators of thirteen adult and children's books.

For more information, please visit
http://www.tomgrimm.com/.

"I am still reading the book and have learned SO much already. I no longer use the automatic settings on my camera. This book will teach the novice photographer, like myself, many things you need to know. I highly reccomend this book to everyone and it would also make an excellant gift. "

You can Buy the book HERE
.
* I was sent this book from Julie at FB Associates to give an honest review and was not paid for my review . Thanks Julie!*

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


My Wordless Wednesday always has words...hmmmm.
This was taken by my daughterinlaw in Alabama.
A field of crosses representing over4000 abortions there.
Interesting!
Have an awesome Wordless Wednesday (with words, lol).

Monday, January 18, 2010

Splish Splash I Was Taking a Bath.....





Lily and Maddie in the tub!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Stealing Jan 17

The Trivia About Me Meme

Opening…

Do you get regular massages? No, but I wish.....

Do you have an answering machine? Yes

What cuss word do you use the most? damn

Are you underweight or overweight? very Over...almost a hundred pounds

Can you see your veins? veins, what veins?

Favorite…

Soap? Dove

Fruit? oranges

Kind of red meat? steak

Fish? Shrimp

Candy bar? snickers with almonds

Have You Ever…

Eaten a whole bag of potato chips? sadly, yes

Eaten lobster? never tasted it

Climbed a mountain? nope

Been skydiving? no but would like to before I die

Been water skiing? nope, can't swim

Do You…

Wish you could change something about your life? my weight and health and finances

Like your nose? I actually like my nose just fine

Like salt and vinegar chips? NO

Eat salsa? yes

Own a boat? nope, back to the can't swim thing.

What Is…

A small thing that people let slide but that actually has dire consequences? say what?

Your most macho trait? winning at Wii

The longest relationship you’ve ever had? 25 years

Your most embarrassing thoughts? Now you know I can't tell you that... but they are naughty!

Your most shameful moment? the day I said yes to my last relationship and then got beat for the next 5 yrs.DO NOT let this happen to you.

This/That…

Bath/Shower? usually a shower, but love an occasional long bath

Markers/Crayons? crayons

Pens/Pencils? pens

Jelly/Cream Cheese? jelly

Bagel/Toast? toast

Finish…

My greatest weakness is… food

I wish I was… thinner and wealthier.

Three things I wouldn’t do for a million dollars are… kill someone, jump in the ocean or lake (back to that can't swim thing again), and well...geez...there is not much I wouldn't do for a million dollars.

The oddest thing I’ve ever put in my mouth is… wow, I have no idea...oysters I guess.

Firsts…

Credit card you had? Capitol One Visa

Loan you got was for? a car ( a 1966 Dodge Dart, bought for a whopping $600 in 1972.

Paycheck was for how much? $160.

Time you had stitches? when I broke my elbow, when I was 38.

Time you went to the hospital for something? liver transplant, Nov 2008

Lasts…

List everything you ate in the last 24 hours? peach yogurt, white beans, cornbread, chicken noodle soup,and a piece of cake

Last thing you used a credit card for? gas

What was your job previous to the one you have now? customer service operator at AT&T in Los Angeles

Last thing you celebrated? Christmas

Last time you were at a sports bar? Vegas, 2006

Screen Play by Chris Coppernoll

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Screen Play

David C. Cook; New edition (January 1, 2010)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings of The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Chris Coppernoll has authored six books including A Beautiful Fall and Providence. A national speaker to singles, Chris is also the founder of Soul2Soul, a syndicated radio program airing on 800 outlets in 20 countries. Chris holds a Masters degree from Rockbridge Seminary and resides outside Nashville, Tennessee.

Visit the author's website.

Screen Play, by Chris Coppernoll from David C. Cook on Vimeo.



Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (January 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434764826
ISBN-13: 978-1434764829

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


I absolutely had to be in New York by 1:30 p.m. Did my life depend upon it? Yes, as a matter of fact, it did. Just the thought of calling Ben or Avril with bad news from O’Hare churned my stomach and made my face prickle with a dizzying fear. I joined a sea of travelers bundled in parkas, hoods, hats, and gloves; they stretched out in front of me, pressing in and wresting me through a queue of red velvet theater ropes.


All of Chicago wanted to flee the blizzard they’d awakened to. Sometime after midnight the sky exploded with snowflakes. Icy white parachutists fell from their celestial perch as innocently as doves. The year’s last snowstorm tucked the city in with a white blanket knitted through the long winter’s night.


When I reached the American Airlines check-in, I hoisted one of my two black canvas bags onto the scale for the ticket agent.


“Harper Gray?” she asked, confirming my reservation.


“Yes.”


She returned my driver’s license, dropping her gaze to the workstation and tapping my information into the system. At the kiosk next to me, a large Texan with a silver rodeo buckle typed on his iPhone with his thumbs, mumbling something about checking the weather in Dallas.


Computers, I thought. What don’t we use them for?


It was obvious how many of my fellow travelers were heading somewhere for the New Year’s Eve festivities. I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on a cluster of merry college students reveling in their Christmas

break. They joked and chattered, mentioning Times Square, unbothered by long lines or the imminent threat of weather delays. At thirty, almost thirty-one, I could no longer relate to their carefree lifestyle. Too much water under the bridge, most of it dark and all of it numbing.


“Here you are,” the ticket agent said, handing me a boarding pass still warm from the printer. I fumbled with my things, stuffing my photo ID into my wallet as a mother and her young son squeezed in next to me. The crowd current swept me away from the ticket counter, denying me a chance to ask the agent the one question I most wanted answered.


Is anyone flying out of here this morning?


I rolled my carry-on through the main concourse. I’d used the small black Samsonite for so many trips, I thought the airlines should paste labels on it like an old vaudevillian’s steamer trunk. A row of display monitors hung from a galvanized pipe, cobalt blue icicles glowing all the brighter in the dark and windowless hallway. I joined a beleaguered crowd of gawkers studying the departure screens. Their collective moans of frustration confirmed what I already knew. My flight—indeed, all flights out of O’Hare—was:


DELAYED


I pinched my eyes shut. This was not what I needed. Not today, not today of all days. I absolutely had to be in New York by 1:30 p.m. Did my life depend upon it? Yes, as a matter of fact, it did.


©2010 Cook Communications Ministries. Screen Play by Chris Coppernoll. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.


I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. "Screen Play" is special because it's written from the perspective of the female character, and yet written by a male author. Chris seamlessly dives into the persona of Harper Gray, plunging her into one of those nightmare days we all have. I am in love with this novel. Can't wait for you to read it for yourself. Enjoy the journey.

* I was sent this book to give an honest review and was not paid for my review *

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Letters To Darcy by Tracy Ramos

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Letters to Darcy: a mother’s heartfelt letters to her unborn child

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (November 9, 2009)

***Special thanks to Maggie Rowe of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Tracy Frisbie Ramos is the mother and home educator of six living children, ages two to eighteen, and is joyfully expecting a new child to join their family in November. Tracy’s mission in life is to serve God by raising godly children who will make a different for His Kingdom on earth. It is Tracy’s hope that the legacy of her seventh child, Darcy Anne, will continue to spread the message that children are a gift from God and that the life of the unborn is sacred and should be protected. She and her husband, Jason, currently live in Magnolia, Texas.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $9.99
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (November 9, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414333846
ISBN-13: 978-1414333847
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:




Foreword

There comes a time in one’s life when a single decision changes everything. For Tracy and Jason Ramos, that decision was to allow their unborn daughter Darcy Anne to live. Faced with the reality that she was carrying a baby with trisomy 18, Tracy was given the option of ending the pregnancy early, after being assured that her baby was not compatible with life. The Ramoses chose life over death because of their faith in a sovereign God who does all things for His glory. Darcy Anne arrived a few months later as a beautiful bundle of joy, just like the Ramoses’ previous six children.

Although Darcy Anne’s life expectancy was only a few hours, God kept her alive for fifteen amazing days to teach each of us some valuable lessons about life. This gift from God reminded us that life is measured not in days but in daily experiences. Tracy and Jason knew that because their time with Darcy Anne would be short, their memories would have to be long. And so, each hour of Darcy’s life was filled with the joys that most girls have years to enjoy: birthday parties, hugs and kisses, painted toenails, and even a ride on her daddy’s motorcycle. Tracy and Jason treasured each memory with Darcy Anne as if it would be the last.

You are about to read Tracy’s thoughts that were captured in her Web diary. Hundreds were reading about the daily emotions the Ramoses experienced. People who did not know Tracy and Jason began watching a fragile life change the world, one heart at a time. As it turns out, this little four-pound-seven-ounce bundle of joy provided an international audience with a message that should never be forgotten: Each day we live should be for God’s glory, and each of us brings glory to God by the way we live each day.

Tracy and Jason chose life over death for their daughter, and she brought great glory to God as a missionary for life. Those of us who lived this journey with the Ramos family will be forever changed. For those of you who will read of this journey, my hope is that you will see how God has a plan for everything He creates. Darcy Anne is a testimony that life is precious from the moment of conception and that it is given to humankind to fulfill a purpose. Darcy Anne’s purpose was to bring a family together, to unite a church, to remind all of us of how we are to live our lives, regardless of their length.

—Ted Seago

Honored pastor of Darcy Anne Ramos

Grace Community Church

Magnolia, Texas

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

This was one of the most beautiful days of my life. I just found out that I am pregnant. Even though we were not planning on having any more children, God had other plans. I always said that you were our first surprise baby and that you were special because God chose for you to become part of our family. Inside, I was leaping with joy. I saw the plus sign on the pregnancy test, and joy filled my heart. I had felt a void from the decision we made to not have another baby. But God intervened and filled that void. I was overwhelmed with gladness. I waited a week to tell your daddy because I knew he would be shocked. I actually first told your aunt Nekita and then your big sister Ate Brittany.1 I wanted to explode with excitement and tell everyone, but for the first time in your mommy’s life, I showed self-control.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Today was our church’s Valentine’s Day party. We had a great time. I was mostly excited about telling everyone that I was pregnant with you. Darcy, our church really loves babies and got so excited to hear about you. They really were so happy. Daddy even sang me a special song. He forgot the words, but it was still really pretty. He sang “And I Love You So.” Now whenever I hear that song, I will think of you.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

This was my first real scare. I started having crippling pains and bleeding. I just knew that I was going to lose you. I was devastated. I knew that I was given this seventh chance and now it was over. I gave up all hope.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The bleeding continued all night. I decided to stay home from church and rest. The bleeding finally stopped at noon. I was so relieved. I was glad but still very anxious.

Monday, February 25, 2008: First Sonogram

Today, I decided to go to the doctor and have an exam. I wasn’t scheduled for my visit till next week, but since I was having problems, they went ahead and saw me. They did a sonogram and said everything looked good. I even got to see and hear your heartbeat. Never was I happier. You were a fighter from the very beginning, just like Mommy!

I love you, Darcy. I love you so much.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Well, the bleeding started back up. It seems like this is happening again. It only lasts for about twelve hours and stops. This time isn’t as bad as the last. It sure does scare Mommy when this happens. I hope you are okay.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I decided to stay home again from church. I am very nervous about doing anything strenuous. I want to make sure you are okay.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Today was my first legitimate doctor’s appointment. I got so sick that I threw up everywhere. Don’t worry, Darcy. I think it was food poisoning and not morning sickness (even though I’ve had a lot of that, too). Dr. Ritter was very nice and did not make me endure the exam but rather just talked to me about what to expect and the extra tests I could get if I wanted them. I also had Daddy pull over along the side of the road on our way home to throw up some more. I was very sick.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The bleeding started up again. This seems to be happening once a week, on Saturdays. Maybe it is because I tend to do more on the weekends. I hope that I am not overdoing it. I will try to be more careful on weekends. I have continued to have crippling pains, and they seem to be getting worse. It affects my arms and legs. I love you. I have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday. I will ask him what is going on then.

I love you and hope you are all right.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I missed church two Sundays in a row and thought I would go today. I talked to some ladies at church about my symptoms and asked if they could be a sign that something is wrong. But they gave me some advice, and I am going to take it. When I got home, my symptoms got really bad. I got a rash all over my belly, and it itched so much. I am going to my regular doctor tomorrow to see what he says. I hope this is not a result of something being wrong with you. I will pray.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I went to my doctor to see what is wrong with me. He didn’t want to diagnose me and referred me back to my ob-gyn. I guess I will see what he wants me to do.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Remember when Mommy said that I was a fighter? Well, I am stubborn, too. I waited till today to go see Dr. Ritter. The pain is too bad to endure anymore. So I went after I had Well, the bleeding started back up. It seems like this is happening again. It only lasts for about twelve hours and stops. This time isn’t as bad as the last. It sure does scare Mommy when this happens. I hope you are okay.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I decided to stay home again from church. I am very nervous about doing anything strenuous. I want to make sure you are okay.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Today was my first legitimate doctor’s appointment. I got so sick that I threw up everywhere. Don’t worry, Darcy. I think it was food poisoning and not morning sickness (even though I’ve had a lot of that, too). Dr. Ritter was very nice and did not make me endure the exam but rather just talked to me about what to expect and the extra tests I could get if I wanted them. I also had Daddy pull over along the side of the road on our way home to throw up some more. I was very sick.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The bleeding started up again. This seems to be happening once a week, on Saturdays. Maybe it is because I tend to do more on the weekends. I hope that I am not overdoing it. I will try to be more careful on weekends. I have continued to have crippling pains, and they seem to be getting worse. It affects my arms and legs. I love you. I have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday. I will ask him what is going on then.

I love you and hope you are all right.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I missed church two Sundays in a row and thought I would go today. I talked to some ladies at church about my symptoms and asked if they could be a sign that something is wrong. But they gave me some advice, and I am going to take it. When I got home, my symptoms got really bad. I got a rash all over my belly, and it itched so much. I am going to my regular doctor tomorrow to see what he says. I hope this is not a result of something being wrong with you. I will pray.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I went to my doctor to see what is wrong with me. He didn’t want to diagnose me and referred me back to my ob-gyn. I guess I will see what he wants me to do.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Remember when Mommy said that I was a fighter? Well, I am stubborn, too. I waited till today to go see Dr. Ritter. The pain is too bad to endure anymore. So I went after I had lunch with Daddy. Dr. Ritter prescribed some steroids, and I need to take them. He didn’t want to refer me to an allergist yet, just in case my symptoms cleared up. He did say that it has nothing to do with you and that you are not experiencing any bad side effects from the steroids or my symptoms.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dr. Ritter has cured me. Steroids took all of my symptoms away. I must have been allergic to something. I’ve stopped eating all weird stuff. I hope I stay well and you are okay.

I love you, Darcy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

All of my symptoms have come back with a vengeance. I went back to Dr. Ritter. He is sending me to an allergist. I went to see her, and she gave me more steroids. She said to be careful with them because of the risk of getting gestational diabetes and having a big baby. She also referred me to a rheumatologist. The allergist wants me to make the earliest appointment with the rheumatologist, which is the middle of April. She ordered some blood tests. I will go tomorrow to have blood drawn.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I went to have my blood drawn. Daddy and I have our regular lunch date since it is Thursday.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

It is Easter! And Bella gets to share Easter with her birthday. We were going to go to Incredible Pizza, but they were closed. We took her to CiCi’s instead. We will have to go to Incredible Pizza some other time. Isabella’s little secret sis made a special cake for her. It was so pretty and yummy!

Postscript

Although life at the Ramoses is starting to resemble a somewhat routine pace, life after Darcy has felt as if we are suspended in another reality. Darcy shook our complacency by causing us to reevaluate many of the ways we viewed circumstances and treated people. She compelled us to rely fully on God and to trust in His providence.

It’s true that we experienced new depths of pain and anguish, but as is the case with any life-changing experience, we are forever changed because Darcy accomplished the purpose God had for her coming. Little Darcy led us to love more deeply, to forgive, to have faith, to never limit God’s power, to accept His grace and pass it on, to seek more closeness with God, and to abandon our sinful pasts and move ahead to new beginnings.

Our children Brittany, Isabella, Alexys, Mallorie, Roman, and Bryson learned that living the abundant life is about making the right choices and that the choices they make have temporal and eternal consequences.

God sent Darcy to us to help us heal. This is our new normal.

As for the thousands of family members, friends, and caring strangers from all over the world who visited the Web site, Darcy’s impact on them was profound too. Perhaps the greatest change occurred in the hearts of those who, before reading about Darcy, had already made the choice (and had even set up appointments) to have abortions but later changed their plans. Many have renewed their relationships, not just with the Lord but with their loved ones, especially their children.

In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all.

Isaiah 11:6


I have not yet had time to read this book, so a personal review will be coming soon.

Disclosure- I have received no compensation other than the copy of the book to review and/or giveaway. Any opinions expressed on Lil'Maddies MeeMaw are my own. My reviews are never reviewed or edited in any way by sponsors.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins #159

1. The lesson I learned yesterday was that my in-laws are wonderful people. I don't know them very well, and have asked them for anything. We are in financial straits right now, and yesterday a big check arrived in the mail from my in-laws to ME. I was and am still in shock . Thank you Pat and Don!

2. Church is where my friends and family meet.

3. All these years and I still wish I had opened my own business way back when. I know I still could, but finances prevent that right now til hubby goes back to work.

4. My son was sitting there on the porch waiting for us when I arrived at Christmas.

5. The truth is I love my husband.

6. Saying "I do" and my hubby crying is what I remember most from that day.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to curling up with a new book, tomorrow my plans include preparing for my hubby's return after two weeks of being gone to my son's in AL and job searching and Sunday, I want to spend the day alone with my hubby!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Becoming Lucy by Martha Rogers (First Wild card tour)

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:




and the book:



Becoming Lucy

Realms (January 5, 2010)

***Special thanks to LeAnn Hamby Publicity Coordinator Strang Book Group for sending me a review copy.***


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Martha Rogers is a former schoolteacher and English instructor. She served as a newsletter editor for the writer’s organization, Inspirational Writers Alive! for six years and is the state president. She is also the director for the annual Texas Christian Writer’s Conference and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Her novel, Not on the Menu (May 2007), is a part of Sugar and Grits, a novella collection with DiAnn Mills, Janice Thompson, and Kathleen Y’Barbo. Rogers has a Master’s Degree in Education, worked for twenty-eight years as a secondary teacher, and has worked as a supervisory teacher at University of Houston Clear Lake and as an instructor of English Composition at Houston Community College. Martha and her husband live in Houston, Texas and have worked with teenagers at First Baptist Church for twenty-four years.

Visit the author's website.



Product Details:

List Price: $10.99
Paperback: 297 pages
Publisher: Realms (January 5, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 159979912X
ISBN-13: 978-1599799124

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:



Oklahoma Territory 1896

Jake Starnes hunkered down in his jacket. He smelled
frost in the air, but the cold in his bones came from fear, not
the temperature. A gust of wind threatened to take his hat. He shoved it down tighter to secure it.

He peered ahead at the barren landscape and the outline of the town of Barton Creek. Naked trees stretched forth to the skies against a backdrop of prairie grass that spread as far as the eye could see toward distant mountains. It bore no resemblance to the beautiful hills of Texas where he grew up. He missed them, but he'd probably never get the chance to see them again. He sighed in resignation to the life that lay ahead. A life he hadn't chosen. It had chosen him the day he chose to wear a gun.

Mrs. Haynes sat beside him and nudged his arm. "How much longer will we be? Dear little Lucinda. I pray she doesn't have to wait too long for us. I thought Ben would be done with the stock, but since he wasn't, I'm thankful you were available."

"Happy to oblige, ma'am. Won't be long now." Mrs. Haynes had talked about her sister's "poor orphan child" for the past two months. He could sympathize with the child because he lost both his parents just after he turned fifteen. She must be grieving terribly.

The pressure of Mrs. Haynes's hand on his arm brought him to the present. "Jake Starnes, you're not paying one bit of attention to me. If your mind is on the work you left at the ranch, don't worry about it. Ben and the others can take care of your chores."

"I know they will." Gray clouds covered the late October sky. "It's getting darker. Hope we get back home 'fore night sets in. That wind's coming straight down across the prairie with nothing to stop it."

"Dear me, I do pray Lucinda is dressed warmly." Mrs. Haynes pulled her shawl more tightly about her shoulders.

"You said she's coming from Boston, so she knows about cold weather." He peered at the horizon. The few buildings of Barton Creek drew closer. Another ten minutes and they'd be in town.

Jake's stomach began churning like those blue-black clouds rolling across the sky. Were it not for the little girl waiting for them, he'd have turned back home now. If the sheriff in Barton Creek recognized him or had questions about him being a stranger in these parts, he'd be in a heap of trouble.

He'd avoided going into the settlement ever since he came to Oklahoma six months ago. His wanderings ended at the Haynes's spread, where he'd stopped to ask for work. His first intention to stay only a month or so then move on changed when the Haynes showed him a kindness and love he sorely missed. They had become the family he had lost years ago.

Now the thought of entering the town caused fear to rise like bile. What would happen if the lawman in town recognized him and Ben Haynes learned about Jake's past, a past he wanted to forget?



Lucinda stared down at the dusty ground beneath the worn wooden bench of the Wells Fargo depot and twisted her black-gloved hands in her lap. She searched the area for a familiar face. Where were Aunt Amelia and Uncle Ben? Her escort had fallen ill in the last town, but Lucinda had been determined to come on alone despite protests, and now she sat here with no one to meet her. Doubt clouded her mind over the decisions of the past month.

With no one else to call family, she'd had no choice but to come west. Aunt Mellie and Uncle Ben could never replace Mama and Papa, but being a part of the Haynes family would help take away the loneliness haunting her days.

She swiped at something as it brushed her cheek. An insect of some kind flew away, and she shuddered. What other strange things would she see this day? Her gaze swept across the scene before her. Several buildings across from the depot included a general store. She stood and made her way across the uneven ruts crisscrossing the street, if the hard-packed ground could be considered a street. A sign advertising Anderson's General Store squeaked on its chains. Welcome warmth greeted her when she pushed her way through the double doors.

A woman behind the counter peered at her. "May I help you, dear?"

The aroma of lamp oil and peppermint mingled in the air. "I stepped in to get out of the wind. I'm waiting for my Uncle Ben and Aunt Amelia to pick me up."

The gray-haired woman wiped her hands on her white apron. "Are you talking about Amelia Haynes?"

"Yes, ma'am. I've come to live with them."

The lady beamed. "Welcome to Barton Creek. I'm Bea Anderson, and that's my husband Carl over there." A slightly bald man helping a customer grinned and nodded in her direction.

Mrs. Anderson pulled up a stool beside the wood stove. "Sit a spell and get warm. Ben and Amelia should be here soon."

A young man by the shelf of canned goods turned and smiled. Lucinda offered a small one in return. Heat rose in her cheeks as he continued to stare.

She broke her gaze and pointed to glass jars filled with a rainbow of colors. "Thank you, but I must go back over to the depot. I'll take a few of those peppermints if you don't mind."

Mrs. Anderson filled a small bag with the candy. "It's a mite colder out now. Sure you don't want to stay here until they arrive?"

Lucinda handed the woman a few coins and grasped the bag. "Thank you for your concern, but I don't want them to have to hunt for me. Maybe I'll see you again."

"If you come to church on Sunday, you surely will." The bell over the door jingled, and another customer entered. Mrs. Anderson turned her attention to the new patron. The young man smiled and nodded as Lucinda turned from the counter. She didn't smile in return. Mrs. Anderson should have introduced him. Were proper manners of no importance here on the frontier?

Lucinda crossed back to the depot that was down from the town's answer for a hotel. The only fully brick building in sight, it had grand windows, and cut glass adorned the wooden doors, but it couldn't compare to the ones in Boston. Of course, nothing in these buildings resembled the beauty of the masonry of her hometown.

She returned to the bench and popped a peppermint into her mouth. The sharp sweetness teased her taste buds as she savored her favorite candy. It brought back memories of Papa bringing a bag of treats home to her every week.

She'd be eighteen in less than six months and old enough to take care of her own affairs. Until then, however, she had to comply with the lawyer's recommendations. At least her aunt and uncle were family, and she longed to be a part of a family once again. She missed having someone concerned about her welfare. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson had been kind, but they had their own affairs to tend to. Her only fear now lay in losing her own identity so far away from everything she knew and loved.

With no idea what lay ahead, one thing was sure: she would have to learn to do without the amenities enjoyed as the only child of a wealthy family. But if Aunt Amelia could come out here and live and be entirely happy, Lucinda had to at least give it a try.

A gust of wind whipped open her dark blue cloak and stirred a small whirlwind of dirt. She coughed from the dust and wrapped the thick wool tighter around her body to ward off the cold. If Aunt Amelia and Uncle Ben didn't arrive soon, she'd have to go back inside to escape the weather.



Mellie Haynes shivered in the frigid air. In a few minutes she'd be with her young niece. Dear Lucinda. How would she fare in this country? Amelia missed her sister and the wonderful letters they exchanged, but that couldn't begin to compare to the grief Lucinda must bear.

The Haynes ranch house may not be as elegant as Lucinda's home in Boston, but it was warm, comfortable, and large enough to accommodate her own son and daughter as well as Lucinda.

She pictured her young niece and Becky together. Surely Lucinda's upbringing would have a positive effect on her
daughter's hoydenish behavior. Of course, Becky was only twelve, but the time had come for her to learn more ladylike ways.

Mellie considered the young man beside her. Jake couldn't be much more than a few years older than Lucinda. Such a handsome face, but so full of sadness, it had drawn her to him like a moth to light when he arrived at the ranch all those months ago. He'd become more like a second son. She wanted to erase that haunted look in his eye and believed she'd succeeded until today.

When they reached the main street, her heart beat a little faster. Her precious niece huddled on the bench, staring at the ground. She would offer Lucinda plenty of comfort and love to help her adjust to all the changes in the days ahead.



Lucinda sat with head bowed against the wind as it blasted around the corner. She yanked on her bonnet to keep it from flying off into the street. She hadn't felt this lonely since the day after the funeral.

Wagon wheels creaked and broke the silence. Her name echoed across the street, and she glanced up. Aunt Amelia waved and called to her again. Relief flooded Lucinda's soul. She bolted from the bench and ran into her aunt's welcoming arms.

Aunt Amelia hugged her tightly. "Oh, my dear, I'm so sorry we're late. Your uncle Ben couldn't leave the ranch, so I had Jake bring me."

A young man in dusty boots and a brown hat stood waiting by the wagon. Hair the color of the wheat fields she'd passed in Kansas escaped from under his hat and brushed his shoulders. He tipped the brim back with a forefinger, and his eyebrows arched as though surprised to see her.

Aunt Amelia hugged her again before stepping back. "Oh, let me look at you. You've grown even more beautiful since we saw you at the funeral." She turned to the cowboy. "Jake, come and meet Lucinda."

The young man sauntered across the unpaved street and removed his hat. Steel blue eyes met Lucinda's gaze and sliced through her with razor sharpness. She gulped. No one had ever looked at her like that.

Aunt Amelia introduced him as Jake Starnes. A muscle twitched in his well-tanned jaw, and a gust of wind blew a few strands of hair across his face. Still, he stared. Curiosity swelled from within, but she averted her eyes. The handsome young man in dirty boots and a blue jacket was like no other young man Lucinda had ever met.

She lifted her chin into the air and turned her gaze toward the station. "My bags are over there."

He stepped behind Lucinda to survey two trunks and a mound of other pieces. He emitted a low whistle. "All that stuff yours?"

At Lucinda's nod, he shook his head, then hefted the smaller trunk onto his shoulder. With his free hand he grasped the handle of her largest bag. "I reckon it'll fit, but we'll all three have to ride on the bench." He strode across the way to a wagon hitched to a pair of horses.

Lucinda scurried to keep up. Dismay swelled in her chest as she surveyed the wooden contraption. No carriage? How far would she have to ride up on that narrow seat? "How far is it?" she asked.

"It's about an hour's drive out to the ranch. Mrs. Haynes, maybe we should have brought the bigger buckboard."

Aunt Amelia covered her mouth with her hand. "I'm sorry. I should have thought of that, but this will have to do for today."

Jake pushed his load into the back of the wagon. He turned to Aunt Amelia and offered his assistance to lift her onto the wooden plank bench. After she settled herself, he nodded toward a step on the side and reached for Lucinda's elbow.

Lucinda tensed at his touch but accepted his help. She perched next to her aunt. Not even a cushion on the boards to soften the impact, but the thickness of her petticoats and coat would ease the bumps a bit.

As soon as she was situated, Jake turned back to the station. "I'll get the rest of your things."

Jake's dark jacket strained across his broad shoulders as he lifted the final two boxes and almost staggered under their weight.

Aunt Amelia leaned against her arm. "Jake's a strong young man and a big help on the ranch."

Lucinda's cheeks again filled with heat. Ashamed to think her aunt caught her observing the cowboy, she let her gaze wander back to the street and the buildings. How different from what she expected, but then she had no way of knowing what awaited her in Barton Creek.

Before she could take time for further inspection, Jake returned to heave the last small trunk onto the wagon.

Jake frowned up at her. "'Tain't Boston, but it's growing."

His words echoed her thoughts and unnerved her even more. She clasped her hands to keep them from shaking.

He unhitched the horses and climbed up beside her aunt, then reached behind him for a heavy wool coat. Jake pushed his long arms into the sleeves and buttoned it around his chest. A flick of the reins and the team moved forward.

Wide-open range and grasslands spread across the scene with distant hills giving character to an otherwise dull landscape with its brown and pale greens. Leafless trees sent crooked fingers into the overcast sky. The land looked as though God had created it and then forgotten it. Lucinda shivered as the wind sent chilling gusts through her cloak.

Aunt Amelia grasped Lucinda's hand. "Our house isn't a big one by any means, but we have plenty of room for you, and Becky is excited to have another girl around the ranch. You'll share a room with her."

Share a room? Lucinda hadn't counted on that either. What other surprises lay waiting for her? The view of bleak land sowed more seeds of doubt in her mind. She should have insisted on staying in Boston. How would she ever fit into life on a ranch in such a lonely place?

If only Mama and Papa hadn't been so protective, she might not be as ill at ease as she was now. The sound of her name broke into her reverie. "What was that, Aunt Amelia?"

"I said Lucinda is rather a formal name for the west. How about Lucy? It's short and easy to say."

Change her name? What next? She rolled the name on her tongue but didn't care for the feel of it. If she changed her name, then she'd be giving up one more part of herself. Manners restrained her tongue from a sharp answer. "I'll have to think about the name for a while if you don't mind, Aunt Amelia."

Her aunt pursed her lips. "Of course, dear, but you can call me Aunt Mellie. Everyone at the ranch and in town does except for this young'un here." She nudged Jake in the arm. "Don't you think she looks like a Lucy?"

Jake shot her a quick look. "Sounds fine to me, ma'am," he said politely.

"Yes, Lucy is a good name." Mrs. Haynes grinned at Jake but spoke to Lucinda. "His name is Jacob, but we all call him Jake. Even your cousins have shortened names."

Love emanated from her aunt, but Lucinda would wait awhile before agreeing to change her name. She leaned forward a bit to observe Jake just as he cut his gaze to hers. A strange feeling of excitement engulfed her, but the unknown sent an icicle of fear through her heart.



Jake matched Lucinda's stare until she turned her head. Was that fear he saw in her eyes? What had he said or done to frighten her?

He observed Lucinda's ramrod straight back, her hands clutching a dark blue cloak around her. Raven black hair peeked from beneath a bonnet. He didn't know her age, but she had to still be in her teen years. What had led him to think Lucinda was a child? Of course Mrs. Haynes always referred to her as a little girl. Nothing prepared him for the young lady seated on the other end of the wagon bench.

Mrs. Haynes eyed Lucinda's traveling clothes. "We'll have to get you some more comfortable things for life on the ranch."

Jake swallowed a chuckle as Lucinda protested. "No need for that. Mr. Sutton thought I needed a proper traveling gown, but most of the things his wife helped me with are much more practical." More practical? Jake doubted it. A refined lady from Boston like her wouldn't know the first thing about what to wear at a ranch. A twinge of sympathy ran through him. She looked as out of place as a pig at a cattle auction.

"Here we are," said Mrs. Haynes. "Welcome to your new home, dear."

Before them the Rocking H ranch spread out across the horizon. The roof outlines of the house, bunkhouse, and barns drew near. Jake urged the horses forward, eager to deliver his unusual charge and return to his work. Lucinda's troubles were none of his business. Besides, he had enough troubles of his own to carry.


I actually loved this book. It took me to a different time, and I cannot wait to share it with my 14 yr old granddaughter. I know she will love it too. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesdays / Snow Angels


Lily loved the snow, what little bit there was of it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Queen's Meme #20 The Blabbermouth meme.

Welcome to The Queen's Tuesday Meme #20

Sometimes silly. Sometimes serious.Always fun!Step out of the box. Be creative.Use your imagination.No one's answers are quite like yours.

Once upon a time in a faraway Bloggiverse there lived a maiden named Queen Mimi Pencil Skirt. She slayed her own dragons, stoked her own fire and well.....wrote memes by the light of the Bloggingham moon. One day a kind blogger from England noticed her meme lovin' ways and royally crowned her Mimi Queen of Memes. As time passed in the peaceful kingdom of Bloggingham, her Royal Highness found comfort in the company of fellow bloggers who also loved memes. But the Queen had a wicked disposition too. It is widely reported in historical Blogosphere archives that any and all bloggers found guilty of not completing their memes were promptly thrown into the dreaded Bloggingham dungeon. If I were you, I'd do the meme.

1. When you were a child did you ever blab a family secret and get in trouble for it later? OMG YES!!! My aunt was cheating on her hubby, and I really liked "Uncle Jack" and had no idea what was going on. Her hubby , my unvle "Walt" was a trucj driver and he came in and asked me what we had been doing. I proudly told him about spending all our time at uncle jacks place with the goats and mules, etc... To this day she blames me with tearing up her marriage.

2. Have you said anything in the last 24 hours that you regret? nope

3. Have you ever blabbermouthed something to a significant other that in hindsight you really should have kept to yourself? YEPPERS, been there, done that! Sometimes my mouth talks before my brain thinks.

4. Have you ever written anything on your blog that you wish you could take back? no

5. Are you the blabber or the blabbee? Tell us your most embarrassing blabbermouth moment. I am usually the blabbee.... Just gives 'em something to talk about til somebody else comes along. I have overheard myself being talked about...it hurts!

6. Who is the biggest blabbermouth tattletale in your household? my youngest son

7. You are the Blog Paparazzi! Which blogger's real photograph are you most interested in getting? Dixie Chick, just because

8. If you could hire the loudest and most skilled blabbermouth in the universe to do your talking for you and advertise it well, what message would you like to spread to humanity? Don't hold back. Be everything you can be every minute of every day... have fun daily, laugh a lot, don't sweat the small stuff, and LIVE!!!