Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Every now and then bad things happen to good people.  You know there are those moments when no matter how hard we try we have no control over events in our life.  With that said that is just exactly what happened to my main character, Timmy(name has been changed) one morning not so long ago.  It seems that our main character got a 4:00 a.m. phone call from the local nursing home where his dad resided.  The staff needed him to come down and help them settle his dad down.  So, Timmy got up, dressed, grabbed his lemonade jug from the fridge, downed it and headed off.  The story actually unfolds a little bit later when Timmy heads home.  After leaving the nursing home he felt sick, he was sweating, he was nauseated, his stomach was rolling unmercifully.  Luckily his office was closer than his house so he decided to head there......but it was too late.  The damage was done.....without his permission.  Fortunately his office is in a rural area and he was able to pull into the back and try to hose himself off.  He ended up cutting his underwear off his body and hosed himself down.  He was a mess.  Once he had cleaned up and changed he called his wife and asked her about the lemonade he had downed that morning.  It was her response that made this story so priceless.  She replied with the fact that she had NOT made him lemonade that morning.  The "lemonade" he had consumed was in fact HER colonoscopy morning drink.Oh this is priceless!  This is something that would happen to me.  So, now I have to ask.....has something like this ever happened to you? 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer Leadership Training

Today I had to be in Auburn at the Marriot for Uniserve 19 Summer Leadership Training.  I needed to be there at 8 to help T.C. (our Uniserve director) register the participants.  It was going to be a full day from 9 to 5.  We began with a session on Effective Membership Enrollment.  I am an officer in our local Education Association, the ACEA.  We are part of the Alabama Education Association, the AEA.  We are part of the National Education Association, the NEA.  I pay dues to be a part of this organization....that does not mean I believe 100% in what they believe....but the benefits and trainings they offer are too good to pass up.  I joined when I was in college during my internship.  One of their best benefits is the million dollar protection policy in case something happens to me in the classroom.  I hope I never need to use it.....but I have seen it in action.  Our membership has dropped in the past several years because of competing organizations who offer a lower membership fee....and believe me that is about all.  One of them does not even have an office...they have a P.O. box....period.  Labarron Mack did the membership drive session and he was great.  Lanny Lancaster followed him with a session on Laws That Effect ESP's (Education Support Professionals).  This is the first time I have ever attended one like this and it was most enlighteniing.  Lanny is very humorous so I enjoyed his stories and warnings.  Rhonda Jett did the final session before lunch on the Tenure Law.  Many people have misconceptions about tenure.  Tenured teachers could always be termenated.....there just had to be a reason....and documentation.  I know getting that big T after my name was something I worked hard for and it was nice to know that someone could not come in and just fire me because their sister's son needed a job.  We ate a nice lunch at the hotel and returned with full bellies to my favorite of all sessions on Professionalism 101 done by Lynn Pettway.  Mr. Pettway is a professional to the core.  I love to sit in on his sessions.  He makes me proud to be a teacher and makes me want to be professional about it.  He talked to us about the way we need to dress, and how we need to handle social media and cell phones.  Many teachers get into trouble for things they do outside of their job when they find themselves plastered all over facebook.   About that time my lunch kicked in and it was all I could do to keep my head off the table as Amy Marlowe presented on Bugets and the 2011 Laws abd Their Effects.  Amy is very interesting but my behind was tired of sitting.  The last hour was dedicated to Round Table Discussions and Door Prizes.  I won an AEA T-shirt.  All of our group won something....that was a first.  I left the Marriot and met Frank. Renee, Beth and Ron at Olive Garden for dinner.  It was a great way to end the day.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Project 365 - Week 30

Well, as you are about to see my week is all about VBS and crafting for the most part!  It has been a long, scorching hot week.  Rain this week was hit or miss and it only hit us once.....and that was briefly.  Everything is dying.  My favorite fields of sunflowers looks so sad that it makes me want to go to Auburn a different way....only there isn't one unless I want to go a bizillion miles out of the way.  Sigh!  Want to see some more really cool pictures from some amazing people then hop over to Sara's blog and check them out.  You might even want to finish up the year with us....or think about joining us next year.  I hope you enjoy my week as much as I did.

Sunday, July 22nd

A wagon train passed my house today.  It was pretty cool to see them.  The guy that owns them also owns a huge Conestoga wagon and a gorgeous fancy buggy.

Monday, July 23rd

Mrs. Betty Jean's white dinner plate hibiscus is really putting on a show this year.  Today this one was opened completely so before we went to Auburn I had to grab a shot of it.  Monday night we began decorating for VBS.  The theme is Operation Overboard.  Mrs. Sherry has a keen eye for decoration.

Tuesday, July 24th

Back to the church on Tuesday night to finish up the decorations.  VBS starts tomorrow night and we need to have everything ready.  I have 150 little fish done and will do the name tags tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 25th

Miss Ashley is practicing her lesson for the pre-schoolers with Ocho the Octopus.  Preacher Frank and Mrs Beth are cutting up at the registration table.

Thursday, July 26th

We attended a funeral today for one of our church members, Mr. Laurice.  VBS is tonight so I spent some time completing some crafty projects in between the two events.  Bracelet to the left I made for my dear friend Jo's birthday next week.  It is a story bracelet.  Necklace in the middle, the Tree of Life, I made for my precious Mae Lynn.  She has breast cancer and I am taking her some soup and the necklace on Saturday.  The bracelet on the right is mine and I added a four leaf clover, treble clef, and my initial.  I then hung the tray chalkboard.  I bought it last week at one of the yard sales we hit for a dollar.  It was made in Italy.  I planned to write you a message on it before I took the picture but discovered I had no chalk.  Sigh!  This is one of my Pinterest pins.   I can now chalk(no pun intended) one off.

Friday, July 27th

Today my friend Marian and I went to Newnan so she could get some little tigers for a table centerpiece for her camping group.  After we finished we decided to go into Atlanta and eat lunch at Mary Mac's Tea Room. Check out my blog entry about it.   It was awesome.  If you are ever in the Atlanta area you have got to eat here.  They are located at 224 Ponce de Leon Ave.  Just plug it into your GPS.  Warning:  Get there early or you will stand in line.  Tonight was the last night of VBS.  Three days was a gracious plenty.

Saturday, July 28th

Frank and I went to Alex City this morning to take Mae Lynn her soup and present.  When we left there we headed to Auburn to Penny's so we could exchange his suit pants.  Lunch at Fire House subs, a quick trip to Sams and then home via Beth's house.  Her yard had some great shots in it.  The double flower, her tiny tommy toes, and the cute little bird thing.  We gassed up before getting home and then spent a restful two hours before the Rock Mills gang rode again.  We went to Eastaboga to the Talladega Short Track for the races.  It was great fun.  I know the stands look empty but by the time the races began it was full.  Frank and I ended up leaving early because there was no breeze and the fumes from the cars made me sick.  We got home a little before 11 and I am feeling it this morning.  I am sure the rest of the group did not get home until well after midnight.  It was fun.  Next Saturday we are going to Santuck to the Flea Market.  I can't wait.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

101 out of 1001

My new friend, Shannon over at Sincerely Shannon  started this project on July first and I think it ties in perfectly with my plans to do more with each day.  I realize we all have the same 24 hours but since I was sick I have just not been able to make as much from each day without just being zapped.  I want to do more so when Shannon's mom, Joyce, invited us to check out Shannon's blog I could not wait to do this.  I was curious as to why 1001 days?  Her reasoning was simple....."Big resolutions always seem to fall short. So instead this is a mis-matched list of long term and short term things to simply check off. It's stretched over 3 years period so there's less pressure and retirement looming in the future. Some of them are silly little things I want to try or be able to say I've done. Others are more serious things that I'd like to make permanent fixtures in my life.:  I thought it sounded like a good place to start.  I figured I would break mine down into segments of 101.  This may take me awhile.  As I complete a task I will add another in its place.

The start date: 7/24/12 - The end date: 7/24/15
1. Plan and take an Alaskan cruise.
2. Spend a night in the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
3.  Read a book a week.
4. Spend more time with friends.
5. Hone my shooting skills with my pistol.
6. Meet a blog friend in real life.(Met Mary Cooper from Knoxville, TN)

7. Get my Karen’s Korner business up and running.
8.  Spend two weeks in Ireland.
9. Attend a big photography class somewhere fun.
10. Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio.
11. Finish cleaning out my mom’s house.
12. Hit the 50 state marker (I lack 2 more).
13. Spend some time every fall in the Smokies.
14. Attend my 40 year class reunion from high school.
15. Do Route 66 with someone special.
16. Learn to crochet.
17. Finish all my unfinished projects before starting new ones.
18. Walk regularly.
19. Exercise regularly.
20. Start a women’s bible study at my church.
21. Put on a women’s mini conference
22. Sing more.
23. Get another new stamp in my passport.
24. Purge “things” from my house.
25. Learn how to make a pound cake.
26. Drag out my sewing machine and sew stuff again.
27. Complete Pinterest projects I have pinned.
28. Finish and publish my book.
29. Do a Christmas of all handmade gifts.
30. Study my bible every day..
31. Be more adventuresome with my cooking.
32. Pick one cookbook and try every recipe in it and blog about it.
33. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or for UMCOR.
34. Drink 8 glasses of water a day for a week.
35. Read all of Karen Kingsbury’s books.
36. Take a cooking class.
37. Learn to play 5 new songs on my guitar, from memory.
38. Learn to play the mandolin.
39. Learn to make jelly.
40. Take Frank to Washington D.C.
41. Buy a fancy pair of cowboy boots.
42. Take a girls trip each year.
43. Eat healthier.
44. Manage my diabetes

45. Pray more.
46. Save six month’s salary.
47. Go to a blogger/writers conference.
48. Pack a healthy  lunch every day during the school year.
49. Organize craft supplies and my office.
50. Load all my CDs on my ipod.
51. Deep clean my car interior and exterior.
52. Learn how to properly knot a man’s tie and bow tie.
53. Have a mani and pedi on a regular basis.
54. Learn how to use makeup.
55. Get a hammock for my backyard and use it.
56. Get a swing for my backyard and set it up.
57. Use this list as a springboard for my blog.
58. Plan a great ten year anniversary surprise for Frank in 2013.
59. Use my Canon camera daily.
60. Get a 300 lens for my camera.
61. Photograph eagles.
62. Vote in the presidential election.
63. Eat a fish taco
64. Develop a clothing style that fits me.
65. Go to a movie  or out to dinner in a restaurant by myself.
66. Make bread pudding and wine sauce (like Mary Mac’s Tea Room)
67. increase my herb garden.
68. Spend time with the people I love.

69. Let my nails grow out.
70. Finish my painted mailbox.
71. Blog every single day for a year….or at least get 365 posts in in a year.
72. Use my professional camera more and my iPhone camera less.
73. Modge Podge more
74. Surprise someone special.
75. Take a trip to Germany.
76. Do something selfless or unexpected for someone each week.
77. Paint the porch rocker white.
78. Start catering more.
79. Host a Christmas Open House at the parsonage.
80. Learn to use my Cricut with ease.
81. See a truly amazing sunrise and get a picture of it.
82. Send birthday cards to all the special people in my life.
83. Visit museums quarterly.
84. Go through my vinyl records and get rid of most of them
85. Copy all my vinyl  to my computer and ipod.
86. Copy all my cassettes onto my computer and ipod..
87. Stock my car for emergencies.
88. Learn to make fried apple pies like Aunt Virginias.
89. Go to Mallorca and Spain.
90. Join the local volunteer fire department.
91. Make notecards for myself and others.
92. Design my own business card.
93. Complete my Charm dishes set.
94. Attend a bagpipes concert in November at Callaway Gardens.
95. View Christmas lights that are amazing.”
96. Update my resume.
97. Complete a teacher portfolion for myself.
98. Do some you tube training videos for fun things.
99. Become an American picker.
100. Retire from teaching with 25 years.
101. Keep a positive attitude at work for the next three years.
Wish me luck....I will need it.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mary Mac's Tea Room

Today I had one of the best experiences of my life.  My dear friend, Marian took me to Atlanta to eat at Mary Mac's Tea Room.  It is on Ponce de Leon Blvd and let me tell you I cannot remember when i have eaten food that was this wonderful.  I want to take all my other friends there and soon!  So what makes this place so amazing.  The history of it is one thing.  Mary Mac's Tea Room was opened in 1945 by Mary MacKenzie.  It was right after WWII and enterpising women were establishing restaurants and calling them tea rooms because they were not allowed to own restaurants.  According to our sweet little waitress the restaurant has changed a bit since 1945 but the food has not changed at all.  She informed us that every morning the staff shucks corn, snaps beans, washes the greens, slices tomatoes, bakes their breads and desserts, makes mouthwatering banana pudding and brews up the "table wine of the south" also known as sweet tea.  Mary Mackenzie's successor was Margaret Lupo(1962-1994) and she did everything just like Mary Mac.  John ferrell is Margaret Lupo's hand-picked successor and the food still upholds the tradition of Mary Mac.  There were at least thirty vegetables on the menu and I had a had tie picking two.  We were ushered to our table by a smiling server and then our waitress took over.  On the table was a order form and menu.  I had never been so Marian had to explain the steps to me.  While I was surveying all the food options and trying to make some choices, Marian ordered friend green tomatoes with a killer parmesan horseradish sauce.  I decided on chicken and meat vegetables and finally settled on the chicken and dumplings, with steamed cabbage and green beans. I ordered bread pudding with wine sauce for dessert.   Marian had pork chops, mac and cheese, and broccoli casserole with spiced peach cobbler.  As soon as our order was in the waitress brought us a demi tasse with pot likker in it and a tiny cornbread muffin.  We broke the muffin up into the bowl of pot likker and ate in silence.  I did not want to miss a single bite.  Their pot likker has chicken broth as a base and let me tell you it was delightful on the tongue.  The tomatoes were served up just as I took my last bite of pot likker.  As soon as we finished our tomatoes the main course hit the table.  The service was amazing.  As we finished our main course the desserts were delivered and we met Mary Mac's first Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Jo Carter.  She met each person in the restaurant and touched them with her beautiful smile and as we talked she rubbed my back.  I felt like a princess.  She chatted amiable with us and then introduced us to the manager, Alan McLean.  Alan was from Newnan and he asked us where we were from.  In telling him somehow Alexander City(we called it Alex City) and he told us he had been engaged to a girl from there once.  Believe me Alex City is a small place and when I asked him what her name was there was a 50-50 chance I would not know her.  He told me her name and I nearly choked on my bread pudding.  His former fiancee was my cousin, Donna.  I even think I have met him back in the day when they were dating.  The two of us talked fast and furiously about Donna and her family.  I am definitely a firm believer in six degrees of separation.  How many times would something like that happen? be honest if it can does to me.  Mary Mac's was recently honored by the State of Georgia and the House of Representatives as "Atlanta's Dining Room" and I can see why. If you are ever in the Atlanta area type 224 Ponce de Leon Avenue Ne into your GPS and eat lunch here.  Just FYI they have something on their menu called the Southern Special that is served family style, all you care to eat, dine in only, for parties of two or more......and I will bet it is wonderful.  If you can't tell....I loved this place.  Oh and one more thing, they are open every single day of the year....except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so that gives you 363 days to stop in and enjoy the company and food of Mary Mac's.

Five MInute Friday: Beyond

I have found this lovely new place to free write and you know...sometimes that is very important for a writer...especially when your well is dry.  That is how Lisa-Jo found me.....and I found her.....knee deep in the water and dying of thirst.  How about you?  In Lisa-Jo's own words, "It’s #FiveMinuteFriday free write time!  Where a flash mob of folks spend five minutes all writing on the same topic and then share ‘em over here.  Want to know how Five Minute Friday got started and how to participate? All the details   are here. And every week I’ll pick a post that caught my eye and share it down there in my side bar – see where it says “Featured Five Minute Friday”? Yea -that could be you!  Because, as we all know, the most important rule of Five Minute Friday is leaving an encouraging comment for the person who linked up before you. So getting to feature one of your fine posts is like frosting as far as I’m concerned.  So, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

OK, are you ready? Please give me your best five minutes on:::


Beyond my back yard is a pasture with horses grazing on the grass directly behind my house.  Beyond my back yard is a house where Celia and Chris live.  She has been helping me this week cut out 150 fish for VBS and then we modged podged a box for a drawing her son Will's baseball team is having on Saturday.  The prize is 100.00 and I really hope I win.  Beyond my front door is my husbands scroll saw shot where he has made me a crafting corner with a folding table he bought for me at Wal-mart this week.  I call it Karen's Korner...wonder why?  Beyond today is Saturday and I am going to take soup to a dear friend who has breast cancer.  She is going through radiation and does not have much appetite....she brought me soup when my mom is a good comfort food.  Behond me sitting here right now is a television playing the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.  This is my favorite part of the who shebang.  Beyond this world is heaven and this week we buried one of our beloved church members, Mr. Laurice.  He was one of the sweetest men I have ever met and so very funny.  He will be sorely missed....but I will see him  and all my loved ones again someday....beyond.  Beyond is what is coming.  Something not done or seen has not happened....and beyond five minutes and I will be posting this blog and be done with my five minutes of free writing.

See you next Friday!  I am headed over to link up with Lisa-Jo and all the others.  Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mama's Hands

Ever since I was a child I have had a thing for hands.  I can see my parents hands as if they were in front of me right this minute.  My mama's hands had such soft skin.  They always felt velvety to the touch.  Her skin was olive toned(from her Indian ancestors) and as she aged age spots begin to dot the landscape of those wonderful hands. Her fingers were long, slender, and unadorned. I loved watching her hands at work as she sewed, cooked, wrote....anything.  She would sit for hours with her hands folded in her lap and listen to me.  When I was young and sad or hurt.  I would lay my head in my mama's lap and she would run those beautiful hands through my hair gently.  I loved those hands.  I wanted my hands to grow up and be just like hers.   When my father was diagnosed with cancer the first time.  I was there to see her wringing her hands as the doctor gave the prognosis.  I was there the second and third time the same prognosis was given.  I watched her reach over and take my dad's hand in hers and lovingly look at him with her soft brown eyes so full of love.  I watched her sit beside him in those final days when he was in respite care and those hands fed him, bathed him, stroked his fevered brow.....just as she had done for me when I was but a child.  After my dad passed away and she was in the nursing home I would go by and hold her hand, rub lotion on them for her,  and we would just sit in a comfortable silence.  Her thumb would rub and down my thumb.  One day she put her hand on the arm of the chair beside mine and said very softly, "Look baby, you have my hands."  I looked down and sure enough....there they were...her hands.....complete with tiny age spots.....only these hands were on my body.  I reached up and stroked her face and hair....and simply said...."yep!"  When I am really missing my mom I get out some lotion, rub it in my hands, and sit in the quiet and think back to a time when she was with me.....and I smile.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday Hodge Podge - Vol 86

Joyce's Hodge Podge this week is entitled, "The Games of the 86th Hodgepodge".  I know you are asking yourself....what kind of games....right?  Well to quote our hostess, "unlike the Summer Olympics which only occur every four years, the Hodgepodge rolls around every Wednesday. No training, sweat, or heavy lifting required either, so what are you waiting for? Come play along..."
1. The Summer Olympics officially begin this Friday...will you be watching? If you could see just one event in person which one would you pick?  I too love the Olympics, summer and winter, and we'll watch a lot of the coverage. The opening and closing ceremonies are by far my favorite things to watch....but when it coms down to the actual games I will be glued to the gynmastics events.  I love to watch both the men and the women.  There is something mesmerizing to me as they run, jump, twist, turn and fly.  I cannot wait!  We have VBS on Friday night so we are taping the show til we can get home and watch.
2. Do lazy days make you feel rested or unproductive?  I feel rested if I am being lazy and planned on being lazy.  I feel distressed and unproductive if I had planned to accomplish something and chose to be lazy instead.  Since I have been ill I find I am lazier than usual.  I work when I feel like it and am lazy when I get tired and I tend to tire easy these days.  I have several projects I need to finish up before starting back to school.
3. July 25 is 'officially' Threading the Needle day...can you sew? On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being not at all and 10 being Betsy Ross-like, how would you rate your skill with a needle and thread?  I would say about a 6.  When my daughter was young I smocked a lot of her outfits, sewed constantly, did french handsewing, candlewicking, cross-stitching, needlepoint, and such.  I tried my hand at quilting but could not meet the little old ladies quilting group I sat in with's they let me bring them refreshments and tell stories....sigh....I guess that is my calling. 
4. Threading the Needle can also mean to walk a fine line between two things or issues (think awkward social situation). When was the last time you had to 'thread the needle', figuratively speaking?  I have several issues I walk fine lines through....remember I am a preacher's religious issues sometimes get a bit out of hand....and I, like Joyce, hate political stuff....especially on facebook. I wish people would leave it for somewhere else.  I am not good at threading the needle.  I am a no waves kind of person. 
5. Kidney, pinto, black, or navy-your favorite bean?  I love pinto beans in chili, pinto beans with cornbread and a slice of Vidalia onion or a Walla Walla sweet onion, or beside a plate of some kind of Mexican food in the refried form with cheese.  Yep...hands down it is definitely pintos.
6. Have you ever hosted a garage sale? Was it more success or bust?  I have both hosted and co-hosted a garage sale many times.  They can be great fund raisers.  I have had some great successes raising over 1500.00 and some busts barely making 100.00.  I have learned that when doing it is a church/school/etc fund raiser....don't take peoples trash and try and sell it.  If it is broken, busted, doesn't work....don't donate it for someone to have to price, try and sell, and then trash for you....throw it away yourself.  You would not believe the bags of one pair of shoes, one sock, a busted screen television that we have dealt with  Thank you for your contribution....but.  I feel like a garage sale is too much work for mostly too little reward. I prefer giving gently used clothes to Goodwill or some other charity.
7. What makes you roll your eyes?  People who text or talk on phones when I am behind them and drive erratically when I am behind them, people who read while driving, and people who make foolish remarks about stuff they know nothing about. (especially when it involves schools and teachers, and the governemt)....
8. Insert your own random thought here. July is National Blueberry Month.  I love the things.  Not only are they good for you....they contain antioxidants....they taste delicious.  So I decided to share one of my favorite Maine blueberry recipes.  I got this in Bangor when Mary and I spent a week with her sister Noel. She is a fabulous cook and I came home with several yummy recipes.

Maine Blueberry Cornbread Muffins

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. Sift flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, salt and baking powder together into a large bowl. Dredge the blueberries in the sifted ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the milk, butter and egg. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Let muffins sit for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
They are delicious for breakfast or as a bread side for a dinner meal.  I hope you will try them out.  My family loves them.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Love Finds You in Mackinac Island Michigan

About The Book:  As the Gilded Age comes to a close, Elena Bissette's once-wealthy family has nearly lost its fortune. The Bissettes still own a home on fashionable Mackinac Island, where they will spend one last summer in the hope of introducing Elena to a wealthy suitor. But Elena is repulsed by the idea of marrying for money.

Quickly tiring of the extravagant balls, Elena spends most evenings escaping back into Mackinac's rugged forest. There she meets Chase, a handsome laborer who shares her love for the night sky. The two begin to meet in secret at an abandoned lighthouse, where they work together to solve a mystery buried in the pages of a tattered diary.

As Elena falls in love with Chase, her mother relentlessly contrives to introduce her to Chester Darrington, the island's most eligible bachelor. Marriage to the elusive millionaire would solve the Bissettes' financial woes, and Elena is torn between duty and love.
About The Author:  Melanie Dobson has written ten contemporary and historical novels including five releases in Summerside's Love Finds You series. In 2011, two of her releases won Carol Awards: Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa (for historical romance) and The Silent Order (for romantic suspense).

Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master's degree in communication from Regent University. Prior to her writing career, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family and a publicist for The Family Channel. She later launched her own public relations company and worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for more than fifteen years.

Melanie and her family enjoy their home in the Pacific Northwest. The entire Dobson family loves to travel and hike in both the mountains and along the cliffs above the Pacific.

When Melanie isn't writing or playing with her family, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.  For more about Melanie Dobson and her books, visit
Win a Kindle Fire from Melanie Dobson, “Mackinac Island”(click here to enter) Giveaway! 
Want To Buy The Book?  I would strongly recommend click here.
My Thoughts On The Book:  If you have ever  been to Mackinac Island and fallen in love with the quaintness of life that still exists there then this book is a must read.  Once you step off the boat you realize that this island is a place time has forgotten.  Mackinac Island has not swung too far past the Victorian era and both residents and tourists alike love the feeling of existing in the past for however long their visit to the island lasts.  Dobson's characters are so lifelike that you feel as if you have known them all your life.  The transition between the diary of one character and the life and actions of the more modern characters is amazing and keeps the reader hooked from the beginning of the book to the very last page.  It is an awesome read.
Disclaimer;  I received this complimentary copy of this book from the Litfuse Group Blog Tour program in exchange for a fair review. I would give this book a high read recommendation and 5 stars.  It is one you don't want to miss reading.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Project 365 - Volume 29

Week 29 is put to bed and the year is over half over.  Whoa....where has the time gone.  In two more weeks I head back to school.  The kids don't come until the 20th of August because the Bureau of Tourism for the State of Alabama made sure we did not start two weeks earlier. there goes my Fall Break...and the second week of Christmas.  Thanks guys.  If you love photographs and want to see some truly amazing ones then after you look at mine head over to Sara's blog and look at everyone elses.  Of course, you can start taking a picture a day and finish out the year with us.  If that is the case then jump over to Sara's blog and link up with your own shots.  I would love to see what is going on in your life.

Sunday, July 15th

Kat and Brian came to church this morning to tell about their trip to Moldova.  We all went out to lunch at T. J. Rockers.  After lunch they headed back to Montgomery and we went home.  I got a call and Mrs. Betty Jean's hibicus plants were all blooming so I popped in over there to grab some shots.  The white and red ones have huge blooms, but the white one was partially captured in the flower stake so you can't really tell how huge it is.

Monday, July 16th

On June 19th we bought a new griddle because our old one came apart at the seams.  I chose the one from the bottom picture.  It was an Oster.  I did not use it immediately, but when I did we discovered that there was not a grease trap with it.  No problem...I used a saucer....but after the meal I went online to see about ordering the part.  It was not happening.  I ended up calling the company and they said there was no part to order and they would simply send me a new product.  When we got home from errands on Monday there was a massive box in the garage.  We opened it and found our new replacement griddle.  It is not quite like the one we originally bought...but it actually has a nicer griddle face.  Thanks Oster!  You have a customer for life.

Tuesday, July 17th
We got up early this morning, dropped Beau at the Vet's for teeth cleaning and headed to Dothan to see my Uncle Larry and Aunt Wanda.  Uncle Larry had back surgery a couple of weeks ago and I felt like I needed to head down there and get some Uncle Larry and Aunt Wanda loving.  She fixed us an amazing lunch and I grabbed a shot of his barn.  You all know I have a thing for barns.  I meant to get a shot of them but never took the camera out after the barn shot.  I will head back down there is a lovely ride....especially going through Eufaula and seeing all the lovely antebellum homes.  We got home just in time to pick up the dog and settle in for the evening.  Tomorrow is going to be a busy day.

Wednesday, July 18th

We are headed to Nashville today.  We left about an hour later than we planned due to a massive thunderstorm that knocked the power off for a bit.  Neither of us could remember what was we stayed put til the power came back on.  Headed out up Hwy 431 to Gadsden where we will be picking up I-59 to I-24 just outside of Chattanooga.  Here we are on I-24 coming into Nashville.  If you look real carefully you can see the Batman building9my name for the A T & T building).   We are going to spend a few days with my cousin, Melissa and her husband Clay.  Traffic is pretty heavy but at least there is no rain at the moment.  We are going to stop at the Cokesbury store.  I want to get Frank and robe and some stoles.  After that we are headed to a men's only consignment shop called Flips.

Melissa has done some remodeling on her house since the last time I visited.  She redid her kitchen and den and living room.....her house is so beautiful.  She and Clay live there with two inside cats and one outside one.  We had a quiet evening, Clay grilled some amazing pork chops for us and we had fresh asparagus.  It is interesting trying to plan a meal for two diabetics and two who do not eat whey...but somehow we managed to do it.  There was a pretty good storm later in the evening.  I hope it is raining in Rock Mills.

Thursday, July 19th

Thursday Missy took the day off and we went shopping.  We hit a new shopping center area with a Belks.  Frank got bow ties, I ended up with two tops and a shrug, and Missy got two tops and two pairs of capris.  Belks was having a great sale.  After Belks we had lunch at Five Guys and went to Opry Mills.  Frank wanted a holster for his little .22, we found two cool shirts for him, and Missy got some jeans at the Bass Pro Shop.  We then went to Rack Room Shoes and the two of them got a pair of shoes - buy one get one half off. It was a productive day.  Back to the house to meet Clay and head out to a new restaurant they wanted to try out called the Black Pearl.  What a great supper, great company, good service, and the view was amazing.  We took the scenic route home and played Words with Friends while another storm kicked up.  Frank took some video footage of the lightening.  We will be heading home tomorrow and I think it will rain on us the whole way.  I am hoping we are getting some of this rain.  We are in extreme draught right now and need it.  All of my plants have bit the dust.

Friday, July 20th

I-24 and thunderheads are looming.  The Cumberland Plateau just outside of Monteagle is one of my least favorite stretches of highway.  I do not like the runaway truck ramps.  Nickajack Lake is so beautiful....even today with all the gray sky.  With all these clouds we did not get a drop of rain.  Rock Mills had had no rain while we were gone.  Great.  After we got home the rains came....slowly and sporadically....but came none-the-less.

Saturday, July 21st

There were 16 listings for yard sales in the Roanoke area today.  This is a rural area so nothing is close by.  We hit all the ones in the city area and came up blank so we headed out into the country down County Rd 87 and hit the mother lode.  Our first yard sale was a multi-family and their kittens were not ready to give up their stuff.  We found three in the purse boxes and I thought they were precious.  They told us of more within a two mile area and we headed on down the country road.  We passed so many barns I have yet to photograph, yet I did catch one.  Across the street from one yard sale was another one.  I got a lazy susan for my dining room table that is just the perfect size.  I also bought some other knick knacky things.  It was fun.  We headed to the house and Frank worked in his shop the rest of the afternoon.  We went to LaGrange for dinner, to go to Walmart, and to go to Home Depot.  I bought some plants, brought them home, and potted them.  I finished up around 9:30....but those pictures will be for next week.  I didn't take them until this morning.  Have a great week and I will see you here again on the 29th..

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Crack Dip

Crack Dip
1 box of Funfetti cake mix

1 large sized(the biggest-I think it is 16 oz) cool whip

If you can’t find the funfetti cake mix use white cake mix and sprinkles.

Fold the dry cake mix into the cool whip and chill.  Serve with graham crackers, teddy graham cookies, ginger snaps, vanilla wafers ,or a sweet cracker.  It is addictive.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Enough

I have started following a new blog called Tales From A Gypsy Mama.  I love her stuff but the thing I loved most about her was her meme on Friday called Five Minute Friday.  Every Friday at exactly 12:01 a.m. she posts a topic and once you wake up and do your have five minutes to free write on a given topic.  I love this....when I was in college I attended the SunBelt Writers project and that is what we did each morning.  If you are interested in joining up....check out LisaJo's blog.  I am excited about pardon my randomness.(Taking a deep breath before diving in)


I stare in my cabinets and see multiple glasses that who uses?  It is just Frank and I here in this house.  I have green glasses and Goldinger "Dublin" glasses in the dining room, I have some kind of Walmart glasses in the kitchen mixed in with some strange collection of weird pair of any and a few couples of some.  When is there ever enough glasses.

We are in Nashville, Music City, Nashvegas, .....and I live in Rock Mills, AL.  The traffic here is horrendous.  If I lived in this town or anytown this size I would know every single back road.  I hate interstates (unless I am trying to get somewhere) and crazy drivers.  I like scenic rides and beauty.  We came across the Cumberland Gap on our way here and even though it was I -24 the view was breathtaking.  My favorite ride is through the Appalachians....anywhere along the way.

It is early morning here in Nashville.  The clock is ticking as my fingers fly across this keyboard.  I only have five minutes and my time is nearly up.  I thought writing for five minutes would be easy.....but my mind seemed to shut down.  I listened to the thunder, watched a light rain fall, listened to Melissa get ready for work, dreaded packing up to head home,  answered Melissa's questions about the missing blue jeans she bought yesterday.....and discovered....I had written enough.


Now I am headed back to Lisa Jo's blog to link up and comment on the person before me.  Have a great Friday and hopefully we will have a safe trip back to Alabama.  I think it is going to rain on us all the way home.  I just hope we got some of this....we are in desperate draught situation. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Black Pearl

We have been in Nashville since yesterday visiting with my baby cousin, Melissa and her precious husband, Clay.  We came into town while they were at work....and hit the Cokesbury store and a men's consignment shop called Flips.  Let me tell you....if you are a consignment shopper...then Flips is not for you.  The prices were sky high!  We went to Melissa's and hung out til they got home and then Clay wove his culinary magic on the grill with some amazing pork chops, fresh asparagus, and grilled onions.  We ate dinner and it was absolutely fabulous.  Let me tell you if you are ever in Nashville and can get Clay to cook for you....go for it.  He is a master.  Today Melissa took the day off and we got up and decided to mess around.  We went to Providence and went shopping at Belks.   Melissa needed some new tops and pants.  After a successful trip to Belks....we ate lunch at 5 Guys Burger and Fries and then headed to Opry Mills to go to the Bass Pro Shop and Rack Room shoes.  We walked all over the Opry Mills mall and Melissa lucked out again at the Bass Pro shop.  She definitely had a great day.  We headed over back over Briley Parkway to the house.  It was 96 degrees outside and felt like it was 101.  When we got back to the house Frank and I decided to run down to Kroger and check out the stuff they have that we don't.  We bought a few items and when we returned to the house Clay was at home.  Supper tonight was going to be at the Black Pearl.  We got ready and were there when it opened at five. 
The food was fabulous.  The atmosphere was great. 

You can eat inside or out and enjoy the beauty of the sunset and the marina.  We opted for eating inside because it was miserable outside.  I personally loved the decor.  The food was good and the service was wonderful.  If you are ever in Nashville you need to google The Black Pearl and try it out.  They are on facebook so if you want to see what the special for the day or what band is playing on the weekend you can.  After supper we took the long way home, settled into the living room and played Words With Friends against each other.  I have a crazy family and I love spending time with them.  We are heading back to Alabama tomorrow so we can get some unfinished jobs finished up.  I love my life....I love my family....I love traveling.  It does not get any better than this!  Happy Thursday!