Thursday, July 30, 2009


Flower Garden גינת פרחים
Originally uploaded by Exothermic

"Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made." Henry Beecher 1858

What are your favorite flowers?

This week I bought Double Magenta Petunias that will trail over the containers, and Blue Springs Penstemon, with flowers that are the unique & glorious blue with tinge of pink and purple mixed into the blue.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Beatrix Potter's Birthday & Garden

Hill Top @ Near Sawrey
Originally uploaded by Mexicanwave
Does every gardener wish to visit Hill Top Farm, the home of Beatrix Potter?
She was born July 28, 1866, and purchased and preserved Hill Top Farm in 1905.
The farm is located in the English Lakes District, in Near Sawrey.
I highly recommend the movie "Miss Potter". Her story of being an accomplished author & painter in times when women had limited options, the way she preserved this rural retreat and farm and even the cinematography combine to make this a must see movie, for my husband and I.
Visit for a glimpse of Hill Top Farm today. Beatrix Potter left Hill Top Farm to the National Trust when she died in 1943, with the proviso that it remain unchanged, including her furniture and china.
Happy Birthday Dear Beatrix.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mozzarella and Tomato Salad

Tomatoes and Mozzarella
Originally uploaded by ohdearbarb

Any time of the year is perfect for a Mozzarella and Tomato salad, and summer is ideal if you have tomatoes and basil in your garden.
This salad is from Italy and is also called Insalata Caprese salad.
First, buy a container of the tender round cherry size fresh Mozzarella balls. On the container it will say "Fresh Mozzarella."
The other essential ingredients are tomatoes, fresh basil and olive oil. I add a splash of balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Any tomatoes are fine, and cherry tomatoes are wonderful. Feel free to use whatever you have available.
Some people like to add some black olives and or capers, and a pinch of oregano. That sounds delicious, doesn't it>
Today I cut up 2 medium tomatoes, used 20 of the Mozzarella balls (called Ciliegine on the container), added about 4 tablespoons of olive oil, ten gently torn basil leaves from the garden and there it is.
Let it sit in the refrigerator until you are ready to feast.

Monday, July 20, 2009

one free copy of Cecil Murphey's new book

"When Someone You Love Has Cancer: Comfort and Encouragement for Caregivers and Loved Ones" by Cecil Murphey.

Cecil Murphey is a gifted author and generous in his help to other authors. I know this first hand, and am happy today to participate in his book's blog tour. One person who leaves a comment on my blog will receive a free copy of his book, and one commenter on one of the blogs on the tour will receive a wonderful prize (see below).
Here is what Cecil shares with readers about how he came to write this book. "When Shirley walked in from the garage, she didn't have to say a word: I read the diagnosis in her eyes. I grabbed her and held her tightly for several seconds. When I released her, she didn't cry. The unshed tears glistened, but that was all.

I felt emotionally paralyzed and helpless, and I couldn't understand my reaction. After all, I was a professional. As a former pastor and volunteer hospital chaplain I had been around many cancer patients. I'd seen people at their lowest and most vulnerable. As a writing instructor, I helped one woman write her cancer-survival book. Shirley and I had been caregivers for Shirley's older sister for months before she died of colon cancer.

All of that happened before cancer became personal to me--before my wife learned she needed a mastectomy. To make it worse, Shirley was in the high-risk category because most of her blood relatives had died of some form of cancer. Years earlier, she had jokingly said, "In our family we grow things."

In the days after the diagnosis and before her surgery, I went to a local bookstore and to the public library. I found dozens of accounts, usually by women, about their battle and survival. I pushed aside the novels that ended in a person's death. A few books contained medical or technical information. I searched on-line and garnered useful information--but I found nothing that spoke to me on how to cope with the possible loss of the person I loved most in this world.

Our story ends happily: Shirley has started her tenth year as a cancer survivor. Not only am I grateful, but I remember my pain and confusion during those days. That concerns me enough to reach out to others who also feel helpless as they watch a loved one face the serious diagnosis of cancer.

That's why I wrote When Someone You Love Has Cancer. I want to encourage relatives and friends and also to offer practical suggestions as they stay at the side of those they love."

Leave a comment here for the chance to win the free copy of this book. Also, a grand prize gift worth $300 will be given to one person who leaves a blog comment on one of the blogs participating in this tour, July 20-31, 2009.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Giveaway and Review of Holy Roller by Julie Lyons

I am pleased to offer a free copy, provided by the publisher, of the new non-fiction book "Holy Roller" to one person who makes a comment here from July 13 to July 18.

The author, Julie Lyons, was working as a crime reporter when she followed a hunch into the South Dallas ghetto. She wasn’t hunting drug dealers, but drug addicts who had been supernaturally healed of their addictions. Was there a church in the most violent part of the city that prayed for addicts and got results?

At The Body of Christ Assembly, a rundown church on an out-of-the-way street, Lyons found the story she was looking for. The minister welcomed criminals, prostitutes, and street people–anyone who needed God. He prayed for the sick, the addicted, and the demon-possessed, and people were healed.

Lyons ’s story landed on the front page of the Dallas Times Herald. But she got much more than just a great story, she found an unlikely spiritual home. Though the parishioners at The Body of Christ Assembly are black and Pentecostal, and Lyons is white and from a traditional church background, she embraced their spirituality–that of “the Holy Ghost and fire.”

It’s all here in Holy Roller–the stories of people desperate for God’s help. And the actions of a God who doesn’t forget the people who need His power.

Friday, July 10, 2009

my book's blog is up and running

Hi Friends, Old and New.
As you may know I co-wrote a very upbeat book about how to celebrate Christmas, last year, and my co-authors and I posted fun and inexpensive tips 6 days a week last year, so there is a wonderful treasure trove of Christmas tips at our blog.
This week we are starting again with even more fresh ideas.
Visit for Christmas in July :)
We love you to share your comments and ideas on the blog, and also appreciate blog followers greatly.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wild Horses and Great Plan to Save Them

Wild Horses 3
Originally uploaded by hep73

Like me, did you grow up reading all the Black Stallion books, and the Misty of Chincoteague books, and riding horses or ponies? I have long admired and loved horses and their deep eyes and myriad personalities. Now our wild horses are faced with a crisis, as their numbers are growing.

I am so happy that there is an excellent plan to create a 1,000,000 acre sanctuary for America's wild horses. Madeleine Pickens at
describes this plan that she is working on.

Since America's wild horses roam on federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, which allows cattle grazing by private ranchers, the number of horses the land can carry is limited legally. Shockingly the BLM has about 30,000 of our wild horses in large and small holding pens and facilities, since the number of wild horses allowed on BLM lands (owned by us taxpayers) is limited, so they round up the "excess" horses and put them in pens. Some are adopted, but there are so many that euthanasia is being discussed.

Mrs. Pickens' wonderful plan outlines a private purchase of a huge ranch which can be home to perhaps 30,000 wild horses. At her website please click on "send an email to Ben Salazar" in support of this plan. Another useful website is