Sunday, November 29, 2009

Asparagus about to be baked

Asparagus about to be baked
Originally uploaded by trenttsd

Ssshhh, don't tell my dh but I am on an asparagus mission.
I aim to buy asparagus tomorrow (Monday), and for the first time, bake it on a cookie sheet with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.
Have you done this? If so, I appreciate tips.
I am guessing 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Anyway, people tell me this is a delicious way to prepare asparagus. The way I cook it so far is to steam it on the stove top.
Now a friend told me that she bakes portabello mushrooms and Japanese eggplant in the same manner, slicing the long eggplant lengthwise before cooking and placing the cut side down on the cookie sheet so that it carmelizes a bit.
Does this sound as delicious to you as it does to me?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Comments from a kind reader in Devon, England

I have received many kind comments from readers of our book "Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday" and each of these comments is very precious to me.
One woman whose comments about our book warmed my heart is Monix who lives in Devon, England.
I love Devon, England, by the way, and have not met Monix in person, though I find her blog charming.
Here is what she wrote on September 27, 2009 on her blog at
"I recently bought a copy of Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts and I recommend it to anyone who wants to recapture the real spirit of Christmas."
I love to see our book being read and enjoyed around the world and I understand it is being sold to readers in India and South Africa in addition to the United Kingdom. It is fun to imagine a reader far away holding my book and enjoying it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Originally uploaded by lordog

"Give thanks to God. Call out his name.
Ask him anything ... spread the news of his great reputation." Is 12:3-4

Happy Thanksgiving to all my bloggy friends around the world, as family and friends gather here in the USA. Joy to all of you.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Winners of the two books are ...

Insert trumpet flare here, please
Ta da!
Kat at Heart2Heart won the copy of Thirsty and Jennifer won the copy of Touched by a vampire.
Congratulations, and my next book giveaway will feature a Christmas book for children, among others.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nutcracker Collection at Our House

The nutcracker collection on our fireplace mantle last year. The lion nutcracker on the left symbolizes Aslan, for me. What is your favorite Christmas decoration?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Faith and Fangs, Touched by a Vampire, book giveaway

I am happy to give away a copy of "Touched By A Vampire", by Beth Felker Jones, to one person who leaves a comment here by November 23, 2009.
The subtitle is "Discovering the Hidden Messages in the Twilight Saga". which is that bestselling series of books by the new household name, Stephanie Meyer.
Touched by a Vampire is the first book to investigate the themes of the Twilight Saga from a Biblical perspective. Some Christian readers have praised moral principles illustrated in the story, such as premarital sexual abstinence, which align with Meyer’s Mormon beliefs. But ultimately, Beth Felker Jones examines whether the story’s redemptive qualities outshine its darkness.

Cautionary, thoughtful, and challenging, Touched by a Vampire is written for Twilight fans, parents, teachers, and pop culture enthusiasts. It includes an overview of the series for those unfamiliar with the storyline and a discussion guide for small groups. I think that "Touched by a Vampire" is a valuable resource for parents who want to guide their young readers, and find some meaning in the saga. Beth Felker Jones is assistant professor of theology at Wheaton College, so her credentials are impressive.
She offers many thought provoking questions related to the books in the series, including "Does your family try to put on a perfect face to the world?" and "How can ordinary, weak people reflect God's goodness to the world?"
A chapter titled "The superhero and the girl next door" examines gender roles in Twilight. Jones notes that there are two sides to Bella, she is both strong and weak and Jones writes that readers identify with Bella because she is an everygirl.
I haven't read the Twilight books, I admit it!
Thank you to the publisher for supplying my review and giveaway copy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Faith and Fangs, Thirsty, book giveaway

Today is the first day of the book blog tour for the novel "Thirsty" by Tracey Bateman.
This book was provided by the publisher and I am giving away one copy to one lucky commenter.
"Thirsty" has a vampire main character in it, and a human heroine, and a Christian perspective. Nina Parker is the center of this novel. She is 3 months sober, just out of alcohol rehab, and living 3 states away from her ex-husband and their two children.
There's no place like home, they say.

"Hello, I'm Nina Parker…and I'm an alcoholic."

For Nina, it's not the weighty admission but the first steps toward recovery that prove most difficult. She must face her ex-husband, Hunt, with little hope of making amends, and try to rebuild a relationship with her angry teenage daughter, Meagan. Hardest of all, she is forced to return to Abbey Hills, Missouri, the hometown she abruptly abandoned nearly two decades earlier–and her unexpected arrival in the sleepy Ozark town catches the attention of someone–or something–igniting a two-hundred-fifty-year-old desire that rages like a wildfire.

Unaware of the darkness stalking her, Nina is confronted with a series of events that threaten to unhinge her sobriety. Her daughter wants to spend time with the parents Nina left behind. A terrifying event that has haunted Nina for almost twenty years begins to surface. And an alluring neighbor initiates an unusual friendship with Nina, but is Markus truly a kindred spirit or a man guarding dangerous secrets?

As everything she loves hangs in the balance, will Nina's feeble grasp on her demons be broken, leaving her powerless against the thirst? The battle between redemption and obsession unfold to its startling, unforgettable end. Markus is an old vampire who is obsessed with love for Nina, since she looks like the lady love of his life, who died long ago, and another vampire wants the love and allegiance of Markus, and will kill anyone who thwarts her desires.
This is the first novel I have read by a Christian author, where the novel has a vampire in it. The author did a great job of welcoming the reader in to her characters' world and entertaining the reader.
Two other novels feature a Christian writer's take on merging the vampire legend with Christianity, Eric Wilson's Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy and John Olson's Shade. I will keep a lookout for these two, now that I have read "Thirsty."
The publisher has given me one copy of "Thirsty" to give to one person who leaves a comment on my blog, and who I will select using

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gooseberry Patch publisher giveaway ends today

Ooops, I accidentally posted this cover in two posts. Since there is a comment I won't delete this duplicate post, since I love all my commenters and want to keep the comments.
See yesterday's post for the details about the publisher's giving away 3 of their books.
I created this post as I was playing around trying to make photos of book covers BIGGER on my blog, and succeeded here, but recently all the cover photos I post are too small.
Anyone know how to adjust the size of the book cover photos?
Thanks in advance, friends.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

You can blog to win Gooseberry Patch cookbooks

Yes, three gorgeous Gooseberry Patch cookbooks are going to be given away by the publishers to one lucky blogger.

The books are so pretty and fun while being useful!
To enter their giveaway post about the books by midnight EST Wednesday Nove. 11, 2009 and leave a comment on their blog with the link to your blog post.

Oh me oh my, I hope I win! They have a recipe book on slow cookers, 101 Christmas recipes, Autumn recipes and so many more.
If you read about it here, and win, let me know so I can do a happy dance for you!
I read about this contest on Sandy aka Doris the Great's blog at

Monday, November 9, 2009

Coloring books to buy or make, Inexpensive gifts

Many kids love coloring books and these make fun gifts. Today in the store I saw packs of crayons, 64 gorgeous colors for under $6.00, and on sale for $3.00. You may find them on sale too; if you do, leave a comment here, please, to inspire other bargain hunters.

Coloring books cost from one dollar to five dollars, and you can find many subjects including trucks, cars, dinosaurs, fairies, Bible stories, famous people, Disney characters, and the all important horses subject. The horse and pony topic was very beloved by me as I rode horses at age 10 at the local riding stable. Hello dear Frosty and Sunset, my favorite horses from the stable.

To save lots of money and use your creativity do an online search of "make coloring books" and a whole world opens up. You choose the subjects and print the coloring pages.

National Geographic has a page of outlines you can print of all kinds of wild animals and other sites offer topics ranging from bugs to farms to Christmas and holidays.

The website offers lots of page for you to print, which you can assemble into unique coloring books tailored to your favorite kids and their interests.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Christmas Santa cat

a.k.a. Mrs. Claws.
Originally uploaded by Malingering

This is from and I think it is delightful.
What a cute Mrs. Santa Cat!
Can you tell I am getting in the mood for Christmas?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Book Finds

I read about Friday Finds on and want to take part in sharing a book that I've "found."
Please leave comments here on a book you are excited to be reading or plan to read so I can get more ideas for my TBR list :) I am delighted to begin reading "Swann's Way", which is volume 1 of Marcel Proust's "In Search of Lost Time", which I recall being translated as "Remembrance of Things Past." Thus far, the words are formed and flow like quicksilver, or a mountain stream. They are dream like, and are the thoughts of a young boy.

I bought the translation by C.K. Scott Moncrieff, although many people recommend the newer translation by Lydia Davis. When I looked on Amazon I saw translations and thesaurus editions in Chinese, Turkish, Swahili, Hindi, Afrikaans, Catalan, Thai and more. Wow, that is an honor for any book! I would love to see my own book published in other languages.
"Thank you to me" for buying this book at a local bookstore. When we post reviews on our blogs we are 'sposed to say from whence the book came.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Our YouTube video and a review

For a very kind and informative review of my book, "Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday" visit Cathi's Chatter and her post on 10/29/09

On her blog Cathi also includes our YouTube video for the book, and Karen Robbins, a co-author, created the video.
Here is a link to the YouTube book trailer. The dogs with the Santa Claus hats are Brenda's dachshunds and so cute!