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!”

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Mars With Venus Rising

About The Book:  

Mars . . . with Venus Rising (Pelican Book Group, August 2015)

A meddling horse, paper bag floors and a flying saucer on the town square. The little town of Mars has it all---including a brand new resident who might spell heartache for one of its own.

Twenty-something Penn Davenport yearns for an exciting life in the big city and wants to shed the label of orphan that she's worn for years. To achieve that dream, she must pass the CPA exam then move away from the two aunts who reared her after her parents died in a plane crash.

When John Townsend---full of life and the joy of living---moves to town, he rattles Penn's view of herself, her life, and her dreams . . . which isn't such a bad thing until she falls for him and discovers he's a pilot.  Purchase a copy:
About The Author:  Hope Toler Dougherty holds a Master's degree in English and taught at East Carolina University as well as York Technical College. A member of ACFW, RWA and SinC, she writes for Almost an Author. Before writing novels, she published non-fiction articles on topics ranging from gardening with children to writing apprehension. She cheers for the Pittsburgh Steelers, ACC basketball, and Army West Point Football. Hope and her husband, Kevin, live in North Carolina and chat with their two daughters and twin sons through ooVoo.
My Thoughts On The Book:  The storyline got off to a slow start for me, but it did get better, much better, and it turned out to be a darling story of love, overcoming obstacles, faith,  and courage.  I fell in love with the two aunts, Penn, and John and I know you will too.  Dougherty makes the characters come alive and you grieve for them, laugh with them, worry about them, and love them. 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publishing and Pelican Books as part of their Blogging Review program.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!    


Z Is For Zorba The Greek...

On this final day of my musical themed 2016 April A-Z Blog Challenge I have decided to leave you with two songs.  One is childish and funny and the other is a beautiful theme song from an old 1960's Anthony Quinn movie.  Z is for Zorba the Greek and Zip-a-dee -do-dah. "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" is a song composed by Allie Wrubel with lyrics by Ray Gilbert from the Disney 1946 live action and animated movie Song of the South, sung by James Baskett. For "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah", the film won the Academy Award for Best Original Song[and was the second in a long line of Disney songs to win this award, after "When You Wish upon a Star" from Pinocchio (1940). In 2004 it finished at number 47 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.
The song Zorba the Greek comes from the movie with the same title.  There are no lyrics.  It is a dance that Anthony Quinn teaches a young man. 
This month has been a whole lot of fun.  I hope next year you will think about joining us on the A-Z Challenge!  See you next April.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Y Is For Yesterday

This is the next to the last day of the 2016 April Blog Challenge and the last two letters of my musical theme are tough ones.  Y is for one of my favorite Beatles songs, Yesterday. 
"Yesterday" is a song by English rock band the Beatles written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney) first released on the album Help! in the United Kingdom in August 1965.  "Yesterday", with the B-side "Act Naturally", was released as a single in the United States in September 1965. While it topped the American chart in October the song also hit the British top 10 in a cover version by Matt Monro. The song also appeared on the UK EP "Yesterday" in March 1966 and the Beatles' US album Yesterday and Today released in June 1966.McCartney's vocal and acoustic guitar, together with a string quartet, essentially made for the first solo performance of the band. It remains popular today with more than 2,200 cover versions and is one of the most covered songs in the history of recorded music.  "Yesterday" was voted the best song of the 20th century in a 1999 BBC Radio 2 poll of music experts and listeners and was also voted the No. 1 pop song of all time by MTV and Rolling Stone magazine the following year. In 1997, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) asserts that it was performed over seven million times in the 20th century alone."Yesterday" is a melancholy ballad about the break-up of a relationship. McCartney is the only member of the Beatles to appear on the recording. The final recording was so different from other works by the Beatles that the band members vetoed the release of the song as a single in the United Kingdom, although other artists were quick to do so. It was issued as a single in the US in September 1965 and later released as a single in the UK in 1976.  In my opinion it is one of the best songs ever written.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

X Is For Xanadu

Today's letter for my musical themed A-Z Challenge is X.  My X is for Xanadu by Olivia Newton John.   "Xanadu" is the title song from the soundtrack album Xanadu, and is the title song from the 1980 film of the same name. A rare collaboration for ELO, the song is performed by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Olivia Newton-John. Xanadu was  a film that was originally conceived as a relatively low-budget roller disco picture. As a number of prominent, A-list performers joined the production, it evolved into a much larger project, while retaining rollerskating as a recurring theme, especially in the final scenes of the club's opening night.   The single reached number 1 in several countries (AUT, BEL,GER, IRL, ISR, NL,NOR, ESP, UK), and was the band's only UK number 1 single. The song peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.  I don't know if you saw this film but  for me it was a huge flop.  I loved the music.  My momma used to say that there is something redeeming about everything.  Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

W Is For Wagon Wheel

The first time I heard my musical offering I loved it.  The harmonies were so awesome and I love singing harmony.   Old Crow Medicine Show and Darius Rucker are the two I like best.  So, with only four days left of the 2016 A-Z April Blog Challenge, my W is for Wagon Wheel.  "Wagon Wheel" is a song originally sketched by Bob Dylan. It was later modified by Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show. Old Crow Medicine Show's version was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in April 2013.[ The song has been covered many times, most famously by Darius Rucker in 2013, who made it into a No. 1 Hot Country Songs and Irish singer Nathan Carter in 2012.

The Last April Wednesday Hodge Podge

Welcome to another edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you're visiting from the A-Z Blog Challenge you'll find my letter W post by scrolling all the way down to question #8. If you've answered the questions today add your link at the end of Joyce's post by clicking here, then go say hi to your neighbor. Hodgepodge links only please!  Here we go-

1. This is the last Hodgepodge in April. Share something you learned this month. 
I learned that April is a long month with no days off and 62 is not a bad age to be.
2.  It's National Poetry Month, and we all know you can't escape an April Hodgepodge without a little poetry. Keeping the first line as is, change the rest of the wording in this familiar rhyme to make it your own - 'Hickory Dickory Dock...

Hickory Dickory Dock
I'm a Senior and it's a crock
I thought 60'd be tough
But it's really not  rough
My bones just feel like they've been hit with a rock.

3. What were one or two rules in the home you grew up in? Growing up, did you feel your parents were strict? Looking back do you still see it that way? 
I have to agree with Joyce.  We must have been raised in the same era.  At my house it was always elbows off the table.  Always say "yes ma'am/no ma'am, yes sir/no sir."  There was a third one too...if you get in trouble at school/church you will be in worse trouble when you get home.  I tried to walk the straight and narrow.

4. Tell us about a kitchen or cooking disaster or mishap you've experienced. Do you have many from which to choose? 
I had a boy, Chuck, over at my house (against the rules) and we were cooking french fries.  We started kissing, forgot the grease, had a small fire, he grabbed the pan and took it outside and ended up with first, second, and third degree burns to his hands.  I was only 15, but had to drive him to the ER to be treated.  Boy, did I get in a lot of trouble.  The two of us had to scrub all the smoke damage from the kitchen.  What a mess.

5. Plant a kiss, plant doubt, plant a tree, plant yourself somewhere...which on the list have you most recently planted? 
Plant a tree (actually it was knockout roses) in my front yard to fill a gap where another bush had bit the bullet.

6. What's your most worn item of clothing this time of year? Are you tired of it? 
My black travel  jacket which is perfect for springtime weather. Am I tired of it? Never!

7. I'm wrapping up the A-Z Blog Challenge this month and our Hodgepodge lands on letter W. What's one word beginning with W that describes you in some way? How about a word to describe your home, also beginning with W?
Warm and Welcoming would be my words.  Anyone is invited in anytime.  If my house is a mess just overlook it.  Your company is what is important to me.

8. Insert your own random thought here.  I am using this space for today's A-Z Blog Challenge too- I chose a music theme for my month of A-Z and today

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

V Is For Via Dolorosa

Todays musical offering is one of my favorite songs to sing. It is such a powerful song and usually it is heard around Easter. As a pastor this song brings Easter home for me..  V is for Via Dolorosa by Sandy Patty

Monday, April 25, 2016

U Is For Under The Boardwalk

I can hardly believe the month is almost over and so is A-Z Blog Challenge.  It is down to the nitty gritty of my music themed month.  I thought I would start Monday off with a twofer. The letter U was a no brainer and is for the Drifters, Under the Boardwalk and the Righteous Brothers, Unchained Melody.  Bet you didn't know that "Under the Boardwalk", a hit pop song was written by Kenny Young and Arthur Resnick and recorded by The Drifters in 1964.There are two versions of the song. The mono 45 USA released version contains the line "We'll be falling in love". Beneath the line "We'll be falling in love" on the stereo album version, the line "We'll be making love" can be heard. These are two entirely different recordings, not edits of one another, as the line "on a blanket with my baby is where I'll be" is sung differently in each version. The version appearing on the Drifters' Golden Hits compilation is a composite of the two, using "making love" in the first two choruses and "falling in love" in the third. Because of the line "making love" several radio stations banned the song, or altered it with the line "we'll be falling in love" instead.  "Unchained Melody" is a 1955 song with music by Alex North and lyrics by Hy Zaret. North used the music as a theme for the little-known prison film Unchained, hence the name. It has since become one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century, most notably by the Righteous Brothers.  The song  achieved a second round of great popularity when it was featured in the 1990 blockbuster film Ghost. In 2004, it finished at number 27 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.  I hope you enjoy my musical choices for today.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

T Is For Take It To The Limit

My Saturday letter of my music themed A-Z April Challenge is T and my song is Take it to the Limit, by the Eagles in 1975.  I had a hard choice picking the right song because I love so many T songs.  Who am I kidding, I love music in general. "Take It to the Limit" is a song by the Eagles from their fourth album One of These Nights from which it was issued as the third single on November 15, 1975. It reached No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and was also the Eagles' greatest success to that point in the UK, going to No. 12 on the charts. Billboard ranked it as the No. 25 song for 1976.  This song has a special meaning for me.  It reminds me of a time a few years back and it also reminds me that I am strong and will survive.  If you are interested in my post on Taking it to the Limit click here.  Have an awesome weekend.

Friday, April 22, 2016

S Is For Somewhere Over The Rainbow

It is another day in my A-Z Blog Challenge Music Theme and my song today is an oldy but a goodie.  S is for Somewhere Over The Rainbow.  I am sharing two versions today.  The first one is by Judy Garland and has to be my most favorite.  She sang it in the movie, Wizard of Oz.  "Over the Rainbow" (often referred to as "Somewhere over the Rainbow") is a ballad, with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg.  It was written for the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, and was sung by actress Judy Garland in her starring role as Dorothy Gale. The song won the Academy Award for the Best Original Song and became Garland's signature song, as well as one of the most enduring standards of the 20th century.The second is by Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo'Oleand I like it too, because I love ukelele music.... although it did have to grow on me a bit.  I hope you enjoy my Friday contribution to the letter S.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

R Is For Ramblin Man

Welcome to the 2016 A-Z April Blog Challenge. Wow I cannot believe that we are at the letter R!  Where has this month gone?  My theme this year has been a musical one and I have loved sharing some of my favorites with you.  The letter R is another one of those that I have multiple favorites.  Bing Crosby's Red Sails in the Sunset, Roustabout by Elvis, Rainy Night in Georgia by Brooks Benton, Red Rubber Ball by The Cyrkle,...and my list goes on.  I constrained myself today and chose only one song for your listening pleasure.  It is one I love to play and sing and is actually performed by some good old boys from Macon, Georgia.  "Ramblin' Man" is a song by American rock band The Allman Brothers Band, released in September 1973 as the lead single from the group's fourth studio album, Brothers and Sisters (1973). Written by guitarist Dickey Betts, the song was inspired by a 1951 song of the same name by Hank Williams. It is considerably more inspired by country music than other Allman Brothers Band compositions, which made the group reluctant to record it. Guitarist Les Dudek provides guitar harmonies, and it was one of bassist Berry Oakley's last contributions to the band.  The song became the Allman Brothers Band's first and only top 10 single, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Q Is For Questions 67 and 68

Another day is Music Theme land on the A-Z Challenge. I am a huge Chicago fan, so it is fitting that today my song is Questions 67 and 68.  "Questions 67 and 68" is a 1969 song written by Robert Lamm for the rock band Chicago (then known as The Chicago Transit Authority) and recorded for their debut album The Chicago Transit Authority. It was their first single release. Lead vocals are shared by Lamm and Peter Cetera.  The questions in "Questions 67 and 68" address the nature of a romantic relationship Lamm had during 1967 and 1968. The lyrics include the title phrase only as the last words. I love this song and it is really fun to sing when you are driving or doing house cleaning.  It is one of those songs that inspire me to rock out.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

P Is For Papa Was A Rolling Stone...

P is my A-Z Blog Challenge Letter Today and I have a Plethora of P songs for you today. I am a huge Temptations fan so my main choice is Papa Was A Rolling Stone.  I have always loved singing this song.  (This song topped the charts and later also became a hit for the Undisputed Truth (1972), Wolf (1983), and George Michael (1993, as a medley). "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone" is listed in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 1973, it won Grammys for Best R&B Song, Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus, and Best R&B Instrumental Performance.)

Penny Lane, by the Beatles is another one of my all-time favorite P songs.  (This chart-topping song, named after a street near John Lennon's childhood home, is included in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.)
Patches is my last P song.  There are two songs that bear this name.  The one I love was done by Clarence Carter.  It is NOT the teenage love song.  This is a guaranteed cry song.  It reminds me of my father. (This R&B ballad, written by General Norman Johnson and Ronald Dunbar, tells the sad story about a boy from Alabama nicknamed Patches (because of his ragged old clothes) who promises his father on his deathbed to take care of the family. "Patches" won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 1971.)   

Monday, April 18, 2016

O Is For Ode To Billie Joe

Welcome to my music themed A-Z Challenge for 2016.  My song today begins with the letter O and is one of my favorite songs when I was younger, Ode to Billie Joe.   I still love to hear it and when I do it haunts my soul.  The song is a first-person narrative that reveals a Southern Gothic tale in its verses by including the dialog of the narrator's family at dinnertime on the day that "Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge" Throughout the song, the suicide and other tragedies are contrasted against visions of everyday routine and polite conversation.  The song begins with the narrator, her brother and her father returning, after morning chores, to the family house for dinner (on June 3). After cautioning them about tracking in dirt, "Mama" says that she "got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge" that "Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge," apparently to his death. Questions arose among the listeners: what did Billie Joe and his girlfriend throw off the Tallahatchie Bridge, and why did Billie Joe commit suicide? Speculation ran rampant after the song hit the airwaves, and Gentry said in a November 1967 interview that it was the question most asked of her by everyone she met. She named flowers, an engagement ring, a draft card, a bottle of LSD pills, and an aborted baby as the most often guessed items. Although she knew definitely what the item was, she would not reveal it, saying only "Suppose it was a wedding ring." "It's in there for two reasons," she said. "First, it locks up a definite relationship between Billie Joe and the girl telling the story, the girl at the table. Second, the fact that Billie Joe was seen throwing something off the bridge – no matter what it was – provides a possible motivation as to why he jumped off the bridge the next day."  My cousin, Amanda and I used to sing this song when we were younger and every now and then Amanda would shake the sadness of the song and switch the words around and it before it was over we were howling in laughter.  A's version was like this:  "It was the Jird of Thune....another deepy, slusty, Delta Day.  I was out copping chotton and my brother was haling bay.....It does not take a lot for a couple of 10 year olds to laugh hysterically.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Power Of A Pencil

My scripture today is John 10:22-30 .  The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box. There are 5 things you need to know, he told the pencil, before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be.
1 ... You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone’s hand.
2 ... You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you’ll need it to become a better pencil.
3 ... You will be able to correct mistakes you will make.
4 ... The most important part of you will always be what’s inside.
5 ... On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.
The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart.  Today’s message is The Power of the Pencil: 5 Things You Can Learn From Your Writing Utensil.  The first thing you need to do is  Allow Yourself to Be Held
Just like a pencil, in the hand of the right person, can do some amazing things, you can do amazing things if you allow yourself to be held in God’s hand. 
A pencil can make beautiful drawings in the hand of an artist.  
A pencil can craft amazing stories in the hand of a writer. 
A pencil can solve the most complex algebraic equations in the hand of a mathematician.
A pencil can sketch the most perfect blueprint in the hand of an architect.
A pencil can write the most touching note in the hands of a loved one.
But in the wrong hands, a pencil can become useless or worse, used for the wrong things.  In the hand of a two-year old, a pencil becomes a dangerous toy. 
The child stares at the pencil adoringly before placing it in his mouth where it can do a lot of harm.
In the hand of an enraged fiancĂ©, a pencil becomes a dangerous weapon.  Pictionary wasn’t her favorite game, and she wasn’t the best at it. And as the game wore on, emotions were high, the adrenaline was rushing, and my brother and his then fiancĂ© got into a heated battle. The outcome- stabbed with a pencil.
In the hand of an ill-tempered teenager, a pencil becomes an instrument of perverse language on the stall of the bathroom.
But we’re like the pencil, in the sense, that we have the ability and the capacity to do some pretty awesome things as long as we’re in the right hands. In the hand of God, your possibilities are endless. Your story is as yet untold, but your life is being written by the hand of God.  Allow yourself to be placed in the Father’s hand and see the amazing things you can do.

The next thing we need to do is Get Sharpened.  Just like a pencil has to be sharpened to become better, you can be sharpened by going through various problems and trials, but it will indeed make you a stronger person.  In James 1:2-4 we find these words:  2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  Our troubles, though not brought on by God, are used by God to make us a stronger person. Jesus promised us that in this world, trouble would come our way, but he didn’t stop there. He said that He’s overcome the world, and thus, because he’s in us, we’re world overcomers, too.  I’m sure we can look back on our lives and remember some tough times. But when we think about it, we’ve come through, and it’s made us stronger. I remember some tough times myself. My dad had lost his job and it was Christmas.  We went for three months with no salary coming in….and my mom was a stay at home mom. My mom got a job as a made at an apartment complex in Palm Beach to make ends me.  We prayed a lot….and eventually my dad got a job.   That was a tough time, but you know, I look back on that, and I can see the hand of God sharpening me and making me better. I never once blamed God, because I knew that it wasn’t His will for me to go through that. Instead, we looked to God to provide and through it all He helped us to persevere and come out on top.  So you may be going through something that the enemy’s thrown at you, but I encourage you to allow God to sharpen you through this time and work His perfect will so that you’ll come out on top. In Romans 8:28 we are told:  28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
The third point is that we need to Correct Mistakes.  Just like a pencil has an eraser to be able to correct mistakes, you, through the grace of God, can correct mistakes and grow through them.  In 2 Timothy 3:16:  16Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another--showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way.  Paul writes to Timothy and says that Scripture can be used to correct our mistakes. And Scripture prompts us to do things about the mistakes we’ve made. One thing it tells us to do is to confess our sins.  1 John 1:9 is one of my favorite verses about confessing our sins. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  How many of us have made mistakes? I know I have.  Some of our mistakes have to do with other people. We get in arguments, we say things we don’t mean, we yell “I hate you” from the very pit of our selfishness, only to feel such remorse after the thought of what we’ve done sets in. How do you correct such a mistake? Well, Scripture helps us out there, too especially in Ephesians 4:26:  26"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold.  Basically, take care of it real quick. Go and apologize for what was said. Set things straight. For every mistake we may have made, God has an answer, and a measure we can use to correct it.
The fourth point is that It’s What’s on the Inside.  Just like a pencil’s most important part is the lead that’s inside, it’s what’s on the inside of us that’s important. The part of usthat makes us who we are is what’s on the inside.  2 Corinthians 5:17 - 17Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it!  How many times have I heard my parents say….never judge a book by it’s cover….It’s what’s on the inside.  A lot of people look at the outside to judge someone. They only care about appearance or stature. But it’s not about what’s on the outside. It’s not about the clothes you wear, or how you style your hair. It’s not about your weight or your height. It’s not about your face or your teeth. It’s not about your eyes or your nose. It’s not about how much money you have. It’s not about how popular you are. It’s about what’s on the inside.  1 Samuel 16:7 says:  7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."  Our hearts are the most important part. Our hearts is who we are. And if we live our lives like our heart’s the most important part, then our heart will show through, above and beyond our outer appearance. It’s our hearts that’s going to move us forward. It’s our heart that’s going to help us succeed. 
My last point is:  Leave Your Mark.  Just like a pencil’s purpose is to leave its mark, you are to leave your mark wherever you go. No matter what the situation, you must continue to serve God in everything.  No matter where you go, you can make a difference. You can leave behind a legacy. You can influence people and do it by just being yourself. You don’t have to fit into the in crowd. You don’t have to give in to the peer pressure. You don’t have to follow everyone else.  Colossians 3:17 - “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  You’ll make your mark by being you. You’ll make your mark by standing up for God. You’ll make your mark by declaring your faith.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

N is for Never My Love

Today's music theme contribution is brought to you by the letter N.  Letter N is the sponsor of Never My Love, by the Association.  I was a huge fan of theirs and managed to see them a couple of times in the expanse of their career.  This song reminds me of all the wonderful memories of when I fell in love slow dancing as a teen. I don't know about you but it still makes me want to slow dance. Did you know that in 1999, the song was recognized as the second most-played song in history, with performances of more than 7 million, according to BMI. The #2 rank on the Top 100 Songs of the Century, listing the most-played songs on American radio and television, placed "Never My Love" between the #1 song "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", written by Barry Mann, Phil Spector, and Cynthia Weil, and the #3 song "Yesterday" by Lennon–McCartney. BMI estimated that the song had received, as of 1999, what amounted to about 40 years of continuous airplay in its 32 years.  I don't know about you, but that is pretty impressive.  So, sit back and enjoy......after you press the play button, of course. I have given you two versions.....then....and now.
In 1967


Friday, April 15, 2016

M is for Mr. Sandman

 Today is my 62nd birthday and so I am choosing a song for my music themed A-Z April Blog Challenge that makes me happy.  My letter is M today and my song is Mr. Sandman.  "Mr. Sandman" (sometimes rendered as "Mister Sandman") is a popular song written by Pat Ballard which was published in 1954(the year I was born) and first recorded in May of that year by Vaughn Monroe & His Orchestra and later that same year by The Chordettes.   The song's lyrics convey a request to "Mr. Sandman" to "bring me a dream" – the traditional association with the folkloric figure, the sandman. My favorite version is done by Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, and Dolly Parton (The Trio).  Once this song gets in your head it is hard to shake.  Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Simple Pleasures

About The Book: Simple Pleasures: Stories from My Life as an Amish Mother (MennoMedia, March 2016).  Young Amish homemaker Marianne Jantzi invites readers into her family's life on the snowy plains of Ontario.  The mother of four young children and wife of a storekeeper, Jantzi writes about her daily routines and heartfelt faith with equal measures of wit and warmth. Sewing, cleaning, cooking, gardening, and helping to manage the store take up most hours in her day, but Jantzi finds time to pen columns for the Connection, a magazine beloved by Amish and Mennonite readers across the United States and Canada. Never sugarcoating the frustrations of motherhood, Jantzi tells it like it is, broken washing machine and bickering children and all. But through her busy days, Jantzi finds strength in simple pleasures of family, fellowship with her Amish community, and quiet time with God.  Purchase a copy:
About The Author:  Marianne Jantzi is an Amish writer and homemaker in Ontario, Canada. Formerly a teacher in an Amish school, Jantzi now educates and inspires through her "Northern Reflections" column for The Connection, a magazine directed mainly to Amish and plain communities across the U.S. and Canada. She and her husband have four young children and run a shoe store among the Milverton Amish settlement of Ontario.
My Thoughts On The Book: I have always had a fascination with Amish life and read a lot of Amish fiction.  I asked to review this book because it was stories of an Amish mother and let me tell you, this book was spot on.  It was a actual visual of what Amish life is like. Marianne Jantzi shares stories of her personal life as an Amish mother in an Amish community.  Each detail of her book gives a vividly painted mental picture of simple pleasures found among the plain world.  I loved it.  The book reminded me of stories my grandmother would tell about her childhood.  A true joy to read!  
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publishing and Herald Press as part of their Blogging Review program.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!    

L Is For Listen To The Music

Wow!  It is hard to believe that we are over the hump.  12 more days to go.  My theme is music, my letter today is "L", and my song today is...well before I tell you I must say I love a lot of L songs.  There are so many good ones....Lightning Strikes, Lodi by CCR, Lean on Me by Bill Withers, Let it Be by the Beatles/Everly Brothers, Love Me Tender by Elvis....and the list goes on.  My song today is Listen To The Music by the Doobies.  There were definitely a Motley Crew back in the day...but they could get down with some music.  The Doobie Brothers are an American rock band. The group has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide throughout their career.   The band has been active in five decades, with their biggest success occurring in the 1970s. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004.  I think that is pretty impressive.

I LOVE Them....and this song!  I hope you enjoy it.  It is a great song for the day before the weekend to get your groove on.

Sit, Stay, Love


About The BookSit, Stay, Love (Harvest House, April 2016)
Take one abrasive professional athlete, a quirky out-of-work schoolteacher, and an overweight geriatric dog, and you're ready for a lesson in love . . . Tippy style.  Pro baseball pitcher Cal Crawford is not a dog guy. When he inherits his deceased mother's elderly dog, Tippy, he's quick to call on a pet-sitting service.  Gina isn't thrilled to be a dog sitter when her aspirations lie in the classroom. Furthermore, she can't abide the unfriendly Cal, a man with all the charm of a wet towel. But with no other prospects and a deep love for all things canine, she takes the job caring for Tippy.
As Gina travels through Cal's world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame. When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too . . .Discover the charming story of Tippy, the dog who brought a family together.

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About The Author: 

Dana Mentink lives in California, where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and an award winner in the Pacific Northwest Writers Literary Contest. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third and fourth grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with her husband, two daughters, a dog with social anxiety problems, a chubby box turtle, and a feisty parakeet.
My Thoughts On The Book:  I was attracted to the book by the little dachshund on the front cover.  I honestly thought the book was going to be about animal training and was delighted when it wasn't.   This book was so much fun to read.  I found myself laughing out loud with many of Tippy's antics.  Mentink does a great job in the character development area. Each character seems to come right off the page and I felt as if I knew each one personally.  This was a fun and easy read.  I loved the book!  I think this book would be a great feel good movie!  I would pay to see this!!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publishing and Harvest House Publishers as part of their Blogging Review program.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!