Thursday, December 31, 2009

writing magazine articles, any questions?

Hi all,
Did you know that I write articles for magazines? Often my topic is garden related but I do range over any subject I find interesting.
I have also written on prayer walking, visiting botanic gardens, training Karelian Bear Dogs to save Grizzly bears, African American bicycle soldiers in the 1890s, bats, the history of wine, the history of bicycles, rescuing aquarium fish and penguins from New Orleans hurricane, etc.
A friend recently told me that I am a prolific writer of articles, and that took me aback, and I like that way of looking at my writing. I did not think of myself that way.
I told her that I have 3 contracts for articles in 2010 and that I aim to write at least 6 articles for publication in 2010. Can you see I am never satisfied? That is not the ideal way to be!
Are you interested in writing for magazines?
One tip is to submit articles to magazines that you love to read.
If any of you have questions about writing for publication please send them to me and I will answer them as best I can.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday Brown Pelican

Pelagic Boat Trip - 2008 Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival, Baird
Originally uploaded by mikebaird

Brown Pelicans have a special place in the hearts of my family members

Monday, December 21, 2009

Season of Hope and How Rich We Are

Hope is the theme of this season.
For many, hope's birth will be celebrated this Christmas, when a small wonder was born in a rude stable in Bethlehem.
I treasure what C.S. Lewis wrote about a stable that was much bigger on the inside than on the outside, because it contained the whole universe.
Do you know that today when I ate fresh red raspberries, straight out of their container, I realized that I am rich?
Eating raspberries in late December is something King Henry VIII may have been able to do, but not a solidly middle class citizen of that time. My husband and I are watching the Tudors tv series so Henry VIII is royalty that comes to mind.
In some ways, we people living in 2009, live like kings and way beyond that of a royal lifestyle. Royalty hundreds of years ago could not imagine tv, or electric lights, or likely even raspberries in winter.
Sometimes when I exercise in a warm water pool I tell the other ladies in the water that we are like queens and princesses, buoyed up by healing waters at a nominal cost.
So I hope each of you dear readers enjoys some sweet winter berries and other tender gifts today.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Chihuahua Christmas

december25 020
Originally uploaded by patriotworld

I learned that California's dog shelters have a glut of Chihuahuas and east coast dog lovers are clamoring for more Chihuahuas to adopt.
I am happy to read today that animal rescue groups, including an actress, are paying the airline tickets for many of these great dogs to be sent to the east coast for adoption.
The first flight of about 25 dogs were all adopted with a waiting list of 100 people wanting to adopt.
I love all of God's creations, and Chihuahuas are special to me, because my family dog as a child was Chili Rey of Martini, a wonderful Chihuahua.
We drove from Wisconsin to the Florida Everglades many years ago, for a camping trip at Christmas, and Chili went with us, as protection. Ok, he did not charge at an alligator to protect us, but he did love us bunches.
I wrote about this camping trip in the book I co-authored, "Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts", and he was a dear little dog, so I am very happy about the new program to match Chihuahuas with families.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Joy and Santa Claus Hat

Santa X Factor
Originally uploaded by sarniebill1

One fun thing I have found at this time of year is to wear my Santa hat when I am out and about.

It gives a spark of joy to folks all over town.

One man held out his arms and said "Santa, you are here!" I replied "I am Mrs. Santa, my husband is very busy."

Two young clerks in a bicycle shop, where I was on a secret gift buying mission, loved my Santa hat, and one of them offered to trade me hats. His was a plain watch cap, and I told him no way, mine is prettier. His co-worker said "See that spot on his hat, that is dog drool."

So no way in the world did I do a hat trade.

I realized that the silly Santa Claus hat I wore cheered people up, and that cheered me up just as well.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Angels From the Realms of Glory

heark, the herald angels sing
Originally uploaded by Melvin T. Schlubman

Do you love the words to hymns?

I bought a book "Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World's Greatest Hymn Stories" and aim to post about it in future.

Today I read the lyrics to "Angels From the Realms of Glory", written by James Montgomery (1816) and Henry Smart (1867).

It begins:

Angels from the realms of glory,

Wing your flight o'er all the earth;

Ye who sang creation's story,

Now proclaim Messiah's birth:

Come and worship, Come and worship,

Worship Christ, the new-born King.

James Montgomery was inspired to write the words after reading Luke 2, in particular verse 13. He was orphaned at a tender age, when his parents felt the calling to be missionaries in Barbados, and they died there. His parents had left him in Ireland in a Moravian community. He became a respected community leader and publisher of the Sheffield Iris newspaper, and this song was first sung on Christmas day in 1821 in a Moravian church in England.

I love to sing these songs when alone. Trust me, you don't want to hear me, though I do sing with enthusiasm.

This Advent season is when angels are especially winging o'er all the earth, I believe.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Candy Cane Christmas

Candy Cane Christmas
Originally uploaded by tres.jolie

Here's a little red story, in honor of candy canes.

I recently learned that straight white sticks of candy were a welcome treat in Europe hundred of years ago.

The choir master of Cologne Cathedral created the modern shape for the canes in 1670, by having the sticks bent at the top to look like a shepherd's staff or crook.

This shepherd's staff shape was to remind church goers of the shepherds who tended their sheep in the hills of Bethlehem on that holiest of all nights.

Christmas music at the Cathedral was sometimes disrupted by children being noisy, so the choir master devised the clever idea of handing out "candy canes" to children as they entered the cathedral.

His ploy was so popular that it spread quickly throughout Europe, as churches adopted his idea and in 1847 August Imgard, a German immigrant, used candy canes to decorate his tree in Wooster, Ohio. Red and white stripes were first seen in about 1900, and now they are a welcome and tasty Christmas decoration in countless homes.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

And the winner of a children's book is ...

Originally uploaded by worobod

Hi All,
The winner of one of the two children's books is Coralie of A Vintage Cottage Home blog.
She can select either book, and send me her snail mail address, to thekilns at excite dot com
Congratulations Coralie, and thank you to all who commented to enter.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday Poinsettia

Originally uploaded by /!

Wordless Wednesday Poinsettia.

Friday, December 4, 2009

children's book giveaway God Gave Us Christmas & God Gave Us Love

The author, Lisa Tawn Bergren, wrote 2 lovely children's books, "God Gave Us Christmas" and "God Gave Us Love", each featuring the polar bear family.
I will send one of these books to one bloggy friend who leaves a comment here by Dec. 8, 2009 and that person can choose which book. Yes, each of you who leave a comment on my blog, is a bloggy friend of mine.
"God Gave Us Christmas", ideal for ages 2-9, begins when a baby polar bear asks "Who 'vented Christmas? Was it Santa Claus?". Little Cub goes on a hike with Mama Bear, and sees God's creations, including dancing lights in the sky and learns that God created this holiday.

In "God Gave Us Love", also for ages 2-9, Little Cub and Grampa Bear have a fishing adventure, and Little Cub learns about loving even the unlovable, and how all love comes ultimately from God.
Any child would love having these books read to them, or reading them on their own.
The books were provided for review by Multnomah Random House Publishing.
Leave comment for chance to win one of these two sweet books.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

review of Treasured by Leigh McLeroy

In her book "Treasured: Knowing God by the Things He Keeps" author Leigh McLeroy examines the tangible treasures that God gives to people as he guides our lives. She weaves together things she has kept as humble treasures, beginning with examining a box containing things her deceased grandfather left, and going on to look at objects from Scripture.
Leigh recalls how God sent a tiny heart shaped leaf to her doorstep when she was sad and lonely one Valentine's day, being as she wrote, "an unmarried forty something woman." This leaf is one of the items in her own treasure box. Her ideas will help you create your own collection of treasures.
She continues with separate chapters about treasures in the Bible, including the olive sprig sent to Noah, a shepherd's harp string and a golden bell.
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
Anyone interested in exploring what their own treasured objects are, and learning more about Bible treasures will enjoy reading this book.
For purchase info see

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas King Cake

Christmas King Cakes are familiar to lots of families, especially if you are from Louisiana and other southern areas, since this cake tradition arrived in the United States, in New Orleans, in 1870.
These cakes are often enjoyed on January 6, on Epiphany, to celebrate the coming of the wise men to visit the baby Jesus.
A King Cake is baked with a bean, or a plastic or ceramic 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.
The cakes have icing in three colors: purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. 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.
You can buy King Cake Mix, and I located two online stores that sell Mam Papaul’s Famous King Cake Mix, which includes praline filling, icing, a baby figure, and serves twelve. These stores are in Louisiana, which is appropriate.