Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Your Gardening With Kiddos Stories

Hi Gardeners and Friends of Kiddos,
I am writing an article about gardening with children.
Do you have a tip or story to share with me, to add to my article?
I will tell you here when and where the article will appear.
Thanks in advance, online friends.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley
Originally uploaded by Auntie P
I have a touch of spring fever, and this weekend as the cure I bought a package of 10 Lily of the Valley pips, as they are called, and planted them in a royal blue ceramic pot.
I used a gift certificate that one of my sons gave me for Christmas, so enjoyed the moment of picking out the fancy pot and the Lilies of the Valley, as a gift from him.
I also bought a package of 10 Gladiolus, "Flevo Laguna", which promise to be pale yellow with red edges. I didn't plant those yet.

Did you give in to spring fever, and buy some plants?
Buying from a catalog counts too.
If you like, share here what treats you planted, or aim to plant.

Christian Writers Market Guide

Are you a Christian writer, or do you long to be one? This book is an essential guide for finding markets, both magazines and book publishers, greeting card markets, and more, and offers lists of writer's conferences and writer's groups across the USA.
I buy one each year and fill it full of notes as I query magazines. It is updated each year and the 2009 edition is now available.

The Resource Guide to Getting Published

For 24 years running, the Christian Writers’ Market Guide has remained the most comprehensive, complete, essential, and highly-recommended resource for beginning and veteran Christian writers, agents, editors, publishers, publicists, and those teaching writing classes.

This year’s Guide is even handier with a CD-Rom included that features the full text of the book for easy searches of topics, publishers, and markets, as well as 100 pages of exclusive content including indexes and writing resource listings.

This is the resource you need to get noticed—and published.

Completely updated and revised to feature the latest on…

more than 1,200 markets for the written word
416 book publishers (32 new)
654 periodicals (52 new)
96 literary agents
100 new listings in Resources for Writers
226 poetry markets
316 photography markets
25 African-American markets
and 166 contests (29 new)
Author Bio:

Sally E. Stuart is the author of thirty-six books and has sold more than one thousand articles and columns. Her long-term involvement with the Christian Writers’ Market Guide as well as her marketing columns for the Christian Communicator, Oregon Christian Writers, and The Advanced Christian Writer, make her a sought-after speaker and a leading authority on Christian markets and the business of writing. Stuart is the mother of three and grandmother of eight and lives near Portland , Oregon .

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A book titled Rest, chance to win a copy

Yes, I just read a book titled "Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity", written by Keri Wyatt Kent.

In 2009 what I hear from everyone I know is that we are all too caught up in busyness, and I find that this book is an antidote to that swept away by a "to do" list bustle.
The comfortable chair and garden view on the book's cover will draw you in, and inspire you to create that world for yourself, or that is what it did for me.
The favorite concept I read here is what the words "no" and "yes" mean, and how they affect us. Kent wrote on page 127 these words that resonate with me: "It's not nicer or better to say yes, because every time you say yes, you're saying no."
Wow, it is true!
If you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to another. Say yes to grocery shopping Thursday at 4 p.m. and you won't be playing with your child at 4 p.m. or writing a song, or making a quilt.
Kent advices us to pick our yeses carefully.
A technique she describes is pausing, and I am already using it. She says that we can benefit from stopping multi-tasking, and instead, concentrate on one thing at a time, even if only for twenty minutes.
Before moving on to the next activity, pause for thirty seconds to sit still and breathe.
Keri is having a book blog tour for "Rest" and one person who leaves a comment on this blog will be selected to win a free copy of her helpful book.
If you visit her blog she lists other blogs on this book tour where you can also leave a comment and enter to win a free copy. Head over to to find out more.
And consider a 30 second pause before you do that :)


Monday, January 12, 2009

The Power of a Gardener

Flowers at front garden
Originally uploaded by Tasumi1968
"We are the living links in a life force that moves and plays around and through us, binding the deepest soils with the farthest stars."

This is a quote by Alan Chadwick, a gifted organic gardener. E.M. Schumacher (Small is Beautiful) called him "the greatest horticulturist of the 20th century."

Chadwick was an Englishman who fought in World War II, which was his inspiration to 'grow' world peace through all of us, working individually and together, with the life forces of the garden.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The American Patriot's Almanac

This book is full of compelling stories about American history, with a different historical event being presented each day of the year. Here is an entertaining way to learn about our country, in easy to read informative snippets. An attractive hardcover binding holds many treasures within, including the documents that help make this country a focus of liberty loving people all over the world.
The text of the Gettysburg Address and the Bill of Rights is right at hand here, and the story of Betsy Ross, pictures of the flags of the Revolutionary War, an entry about jazz, another about Labor Day, and the authors’ selections for the best 50 All-American movies.
I was reminded of many movies I have seen and am inspired to watch them again, and quite a few I have missed and will look for. “Best Years of Our Lives”, and “Seabiscuit” are two of the fifty recommended films.
For every American and particularly for families that home school the authors, William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb, are especially adept at making history fun. Did you know that St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in the U.S. colonies in 1737 in Boston? Now that is a long and venerable tradition. You will find many lesser known events including the entry for June 13 which has the story of Lafayette and the sentry.
There is a chapter of prayers for America written by many people, including Abraham Lincoln's Prayer for Peace.
August 20 presents “E Pluribus Unum” which highlights for me the strength of the United States, “Out of many, one.” We are a nation built by people from many lands, tied together by a bond of patriotism, love of freedom and mutual aid.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Christmas King Cake for Epiphany

Hi All. I am giving you a few days early notice, in case you want to celebrate January 6 or Epiphany with a King Cake.
“We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2

One of the best parts of working with five co-authors writing our book about celebrating Christmas was that I learned about traditions that were new to me. One that Cathy Messecar told me about was the Christmas King Cake, which gets its name from the symbolism of Jesus, Our King, and also from the tradition that the three kings delivered gifts to Jesus on Epiphany, twelve days after His birth. January sixth, or Epiphany, is the usual day to begin the King Cake celebrations.

This will be familiar to some of you, especially those from Louisiana and other southern areas, since this cake arrived in the United States, in New Orleans, in 1870. A King Cake is baked with a bean, or a plastic baby figurine, symbolizing the baby Jesus, in it. Tradition says that whoever gets the piece of cake with the bean or baby in it is King or Queen for that day, and is obliged to host the next Christmas King Cake party. In Louisiana it is common for schools to have the party on a Friday, with the person who finds the trinket bringing the cake for the next school day.

Cathy told me that “When I bake a King Cake with my grandchildren, I get another opportunity to teach them about the life of Christ and doing something for the sole benefit of others.”

The cakes have icing in three colors: purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. One good tradition to share with your family is that an extra piece is always cut and set aside, and given to the next needy person you meet.

Some King Cakes use an actual bean, or a ceramic bean, instead of a baby figurine. This tradition is celebrated world wide, with each country having its own twist. Mexico celebrates “La Rosca de Reys” on January sixth, with a bean inside an oval shaped cake decorated with dried and candied figs, cherries, quinces, etc.

In France “La galette des Rois”, King Cake can be found at most bakeries during the month of January. In about 1870 the bean was replaced by a ceramic trinket called a “feve.” Feves are made in many styles and are collectibles in France today.

You can buy King Cake Mix, and I located two online stores at and that sell Mam Papaul’s Famous King Cake Mix, which includes praline filling, icing, a baby figure, and serves 12. 29 oz. for $7.99. For busy folks you can buy these cakes online for $44.95 which includes UPS overnight delivery from and bakers will find recipes at

This tradition is the ideal time to read the story of the travels of the kings or wise men aloud, in Matthew 2:1-12m and to explain about Epiphany, and how they journeyed by camels over the desert, following a star and their yearning to give Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.