Thursday, December 30, 2010

Shine: My word for 2011

# 010 3-14-08
Originally uploaded by phill55188

For 2011 I am choosing a word as the word to inspire me all year. Do any of you do that? This is the first year I will be doing this.
The word I choose is "shine". I think it has a lovely ring to it, and there are some great Scripture quotes for "shine."
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16 NKJV
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness comprehends it not." John 1:5
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)." Ephesians 5:8 This one mentions light and not shine, but the idea is here too.
Many of the blogs I follow are written by bloggers who really do shine and inspire me, and I aim to do the same here.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Parsnips and my easy recipe

Originally uploaded by pin add

Ah, the humble parsnip. Parsnips remained a mystery to me until about 5 years ago, when a relative showed me how to prepare them.
Let me tell you, parsnips are delicious.
Her directions are: peel them and slice thin, about five slices per inch.
Boil water, put in parsnips and cook them on low boil for 5 to 10 minutes.
Drain and add butter, salt and pepper.
Now isn't that easy peasy? Well some of you probably are amused with me, since you have cooked parsnips for many years.
Some people mash them; I like parsnips just as described here, and don't mash them.
Now who will share with me here the mysteries of cooking turnips and rutabagas?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas Dear Friends

Merry Christmas to All of You, Dear Blogging Friends. The Day is Near To Celebrate the Birth of the Holy Babe.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas tree with lights on and Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Here is a photo my husband took Friday, December 17, of our Christmas tree, with decorating in progress. On Friday we have lights and the angel tree topper added, and on December 19 the ornaments. We saw "Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Chronicles of Narnia" yesterday and enjoyed it, and love the books. We decided to see it in 2D, not 3D. Have you seen this movie, or any, in 3D? Did you like it?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Surfer Statue with Santa Hat

I took these photos on a recent winter day, when someone had put a Santa hat and leis on this sculpture of a surfer. Our surfer is ready for Christmas now as he looks out over the ocean toward Hawaii.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Darkness and the Light of Christmas

All Saints Church, Mattishal + Tree
Originally uploaded by rocketjohn

In the church I attend, these Advent Sundays include a rather dark church and 3 tall Christmas trees at the front, shining with white lights as the main illumination and decoration.
At the front of the church is a simple table with an empty wine glass and an empty bread plate, instead of the communion table of wine and bread.
Two ministers stand behind this stark table, to anoint us with oil, if we wish, and yes, I do.
This solemnity is precious to me and seems so right. The trees with white lights are very pure and full of promise.
Soon He will be born.
What parts of Christmas make your soul sing?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pretty photo by Amrita

My friend Amrita took this photo of my book and gladioli and tuberoses from her garden, and is letting me post it here.
Her blog is YesuGarden and she posted about my book, and also photos of a children's church service at her church in India on November 21, 2010. I think you would enjoy a visit to her blog, as I do.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Blue Christmas tree

Blue christmas tree
Originally uploaded by micamica

I think all Christmas trees are pretty, do you agree?
This blue and silver one in Japan is unique and shines in its own way.

"Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children they are all thirty feet tall." by Larry Wilde.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Rumeli fortress, European Istanbul from the Bosporus Strait

Rumeli fortress, European Istanbul from the Bosporus Strait
Originally uploaded by Mickey Bo

I wanted to change up my blog posts a bit, and had a block about what to share here.
Then I thought about Istanbul, and the college I attended there for one year, and voila. I found this photo of Rumeli Hisar, a fortress that guards Istanbul and the Bosphorus.
This is an outstanding fortress to visit, which I did many times. It is located at the base of the hill below the college I attended so I saw it often.
To prevent invasions via water and the Bosphorus, a heavy metal chain was strung across the Bosphorus, which stopped ships from entering the city.
If you visit Istanbul aim to see Bebek and Rumeli Hisar, for a trip back in time. I sure loved my year in Turkey. The entire country is full of historical sites that are beautiful and I made many friends there.
One thing that is especially gorgeous about Istanbul is sunset when the mosques are silhouetted by the setting sun.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dealies
Originally uploaded by Martin Cathrae

Hi Blog Friends. I send you all a wish for a healthy and joyful Thanksgiving, in the United States and all around the world. My family of four will be having turkey and all the traditional foods, and I hope you will all enjoy a delicious meal.

"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men;
but be careful that you do not take the day and leave out the gratitude." E.P. Powell

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Friend

Originally uploaded by Meir Jacob | מאיר יעקב

I discovered this poem, which I consider PERFECT, and hope you like it too.

Friend is a word of Royal tone;
Friend is a Poem all alone.                            by A Persian Poet

I dedicate this post to all my friends, both here in blogland and those who live near me and who I see in person. I love you guys.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nanaimo Bars Recipe, Chocolate and Butter Cream

A friend at work introduced me to the sinfully delicious chocolate Nanaimo bars. She brought them in to work to share at Christmas and we all went into transports of joy as we tasted them.
There is chocolate and butter and sugar galore in these treats, which originated in the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.
The recommended size for the pan is 8 inches by 8 inches, sprayed with vegetable oil or covered with parchment paper. The recommended custard powder is Bird's, which you can find online or in specialty shops, or you can substitute vanilla pudding powder. I bring the butter to room temperature before beginning. I don't have a double boiler so I use a large saucepan with water in it and a smaller pan leaning in the large pan.

Ingredients for bottom layer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1/4 cup white sugar, 5 TB cocoa powder, 1 egg beaten, 1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans, 1 cup shredded or flaked coconut.
Melt first three ingredients in double boiler, gently whisk in egg, stir in rest of ingredients, and press in to greased pan. Refrigerate for about an hour.

Ingredients for second layer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, 2 TB cream or milk, 2 TB vanilla custard powder, 2 cups confectioners sugar.
Cream together 1st three ingredients, then add sugar and stir until smooth, then spread over bottom layer.
Top layer:
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (one ounce each), 2 TB unsalted butter.
Melt these slowly, when a bit cooled pour on top and chill in refrigerator.
To prevent the top layer of chocolate from cracking when cutting, use a sharp knife and bring to room temperature before cutting.
This recipe gives about 16 servings and I read that they are about 300 calories, but I don't know for sure about the calories.

Prepare to be very popular when you share these Nanaimo Bars.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Joy and Cyclamen

Originally uploaded by mjbinut

Sometimes do you do a small thing and find it brings you joy?
Share here in a comment please, as we all appreciate ideas about adding beauty in a simple manner to our lives.
Yesterday I bought 2 red cyclamen plants and 2 green ceramic pots, and put the cyclamen in said pots.
They now reside on my south facing kitchen window sill where they lend a red glow to the kitchen, and lighten my mood each time I spy them.
For the price of 2 bouquets I got this longer lasting treat. I am also a fan of flower bouquets, I might add.
"Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice and sing praises." Psalm 98:4

Thursday, November 4, 2010

House decorated for fall

My husband took this photo on October 23, 2010, on his trip to Connecticut, and I love the way this house is decorated for autumn and Thanksgiving. It is very natural and appropriate, don't you agree?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Christmas book's blog is full of ideas for you

Many of you know that I co-authored a book titled "Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday". For the third year we are posting 5 days a week, beginning July 5, with ideas about celebrating the holiday at 
We give you lots of craft tips, and easy gifts to make, and ways to decorate,  frugal tips, and humorous or sweet things our families enjoy. I love the publisher's work in this, and how they hired great artists so it is full color on each page and a hardcover book that is fun to hold. Did I mention recipes? and Scripture?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall colors of leaves in Connecticut

"Listen! the wind is rising,
and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings,
now for October eves!"
poem by Humbert Wolfe

Photo taken by my husband on a trip to Connecticut, 10/23/2010.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Autumn leaves in Connecticut

My husband was in Windsor Locks, in Connecticut and took this photo October 23, 2010. In the next few days I will share more of his photos of fall here.
We live in a more temperate climate now and miss the autumn display of leaves in oranges, yellows, pinks and reds.
"Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees. " Faith Baldwin
And in the immortal? words of David Letterman
"Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dreams of pumpkins

field of pumpkins
Originally uploaded by rasdourian

Dreams of Pumpkins
A field of pumpkins warmly glows
With cheerful orange tones
Not just round but many shapes
All ready to come home with us.
Eager hands pick a little one
or a gigantic orb
To set on porch or table
Leading us to Halloween,
Then Thanksgiving ,
and on to the Holy Holiday.
                    Poem by Terra Hangen, that's me

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Santa Claus hand painted by my friend

This Santa is a new and treasured possession. My friend hand painted this wooden Santa Claus, and this year it joins my home's decorations. She painted it in 1992, I know because she wrote that on the back.
My friend was an expert in Tole painting and in Folk painting, and took classes as far away as Russia and taught many artists over the years.
What new Christmas decoration are you adding this year?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My adventures as a peanut farmer

Originally uploaded by nanaow2006

Shall I give up trying to get the local squirrels to stop planting raw peanuts in the shell, all over my backyard?
Oh the naughty dear ones dig up a plant, bury the peanut and leave, so each morning I am likely to find the plant lying on the soil, and I quickly replant it.
When this happens to a plant several times it begins to look quite raggedy.
I tried sprinkling cayenne pepper at the base of the squirrels' favored plants and the verdict is not in on that. It seems to have some limited success.
One friend on Facebook suggested I take away the squirrels' shovels.
Another finally tried covering tulips bulbs with netting, which worked and he grew beautiful tulips.
Several people think I should give in and become a peanut farmer. I wonder how much money I could make growing peanuts?
Meanwhile, I am trying to catch a squirrel and get his shovel away from him. Wish me luck.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Legend of the Christmas Spider

The year is moving along at a very fast pace, for me, and Christmas is on its way.
Starting today I am occasionally posting Christmas related posts, as I know many of my readers love this holiday, as do I and many of you know I co-wrote a book about celebrating it.
Legend of the Christmas Spider 
Do you have a spider ornament for your Christmas tree?
The ornaments themselves can be quite cute and not at all scary. I have always liked Daddy Long Legs spiders and usually rescue them when I find them in our shower area, but I know some of you may think ick when you see a spider. I have one handmade spider ornament made of clear and gold faceted beads and another made of a shell with glitter on it.
The legend of the Christmas spider explains why a spider ornament is welcome on many Christmas trees.
A humble spider, according to the legend, watched a family decorate a tree one Christmas eve. He was fascinated by this activity and when the people went to bed, he crawled all over the branches looking with wonder at each shiny ornament. He wished he had a way to help decorate the tree as his gift to the Holy Child. As the spider examined the ornaments he left a trail of spider webs which covered the tree.
When Santa Claus arrived he turned the web into gold and silver strands that shimmered brightly.
 So when you decorate your tree with angels, fish, reindeer, Hallmark ornaments, Santas and more, consider adding a reverent spider to the tree too and share this story with your children.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Swiss chard recipe

light through swiss chard
Originally uploaded by greenhem

Do you like Swiss chard?
I grow the Rainbow Swiss chard, which has stems that are red or yellow or white, since it is so pretty.
Last night I cooked it in my favorite way. First I cut off the thickest stems and sauted the stems in olive oil with plenty of chopped garlic.
I put the rest of the chard in a pot with a steamer tray and an inch or two of water, and steamed it covered until cooked, about 10 minutes.
Drain the chard and toss it with the olive oil, cooked stems and garlic and you have a delicious side dish.
How do you prepare chard at your house?

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Fog

Sailing In The Fog
Originally uploaded by Cynnerz Photos

There is some fog off the coast near our house, which is cooling things down to a perfect 75 degree temperature here.
You know I love cats and here is a favorite poem.

The fog comes
on little cat feet
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

By Carl Sandburg

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Stay cool my friends

Best swimming pool in South East Asia - Vinpearl
Originally uploaded by 99 James Kieran Nguyen

Hi all, any of you in a heat wave please have a cool moment looking at this blue water. Can you find a pool or run through a sprinkler, or sit in an air conditioned theater to cool down?
I know it is 113 degrees in Los Angeles, and supposedly 100 where I live, but it is a mere 94 on the patio at my house and ocean breezes are cooling us down.
To imagine 113 degrees and no electricity for fans or air conditioning is frightening. We don't have air conditioning but we love our fans!
One cooling trick I use is I water our garden while wearing flip flops and then spray my feet with cool water from the garden hose. Ah, refreshing.
So I am sending COOL thoughts to any friends who are too warm.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Brilliant suspense fiction, Someone to Blame by C.S. Lakin

I read many of the best psychological suspense novels and this is a brilliant one, as the author, C.S. Lakin, sets an ominous tone from the first page, which carries through the book. Matt and Irene are in deep grief over the deaths of their sons, and their daughter Casey is as depressed as they are.
When they move to a small town to escape their sadness, they find there is no escape, as the town is beset by many crimes from arson to assault, and a troubled and angry young loner, Billy Thurber, appears.
Matt wishes “If only he could hack away at memories and break them into harmless pieces” and for Irene, “An ice age had settled at the very core of her being and she could only guess at the years it would take to melt those glaciers down to manageable size.”
A nasty vigilante group forms to kill the person they think is guilty of the crime wave, while Casey develops a crush on Billy.
The denouement is thrilling and brought me to tears as I watched the mom decide whether to risk her life to protect someone. This rises up from her inner turmoil over not saving or protecting her sons.
The publisher kindly sent me an ARC of this book and I recommend it highly to everyone who enjoys psychological thrillers or novels about families in stress, with the hope of healing.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I added Coleus to my garden

Solenostemon "Coleus" #7387
Originally uploaded by Nemo's great uncle

Do you love Coleus plants? Last week I bought a 6 pack of all different Coleus. Wow.
My garden can not contain ALL the types of plants that I like, and I am so glad I added these to shade and semi-shaded areas. One by one, we add plants we like, don't we?
The color variety for Coleus leaves is incredible, ranging in colors from copper, peach, fiery red, white, green, yellow and pink, and to a maroon so dark it approaches black.
I read that it is really an annual since the plants are tender and won't tolerate frost. Coleus range from 6 inches tall to 3 feet tall, and include trailing varieties too.
You can take cuttings before the first freeze, root them in water or cutting mix, plant when roots develop, and winter them indoors.
Some Coleus thrive in full sun, and many prefer semi-shade or shade. I found a place online that sells only Coleus at (their ordering season is ended until Dec. 1, 2010) and I haven't bought from them, but wow, they sell 300 varieties. The photos at their website are very inspiring, including a purple Coleus. This link is working now, as of Sept. 21. I had typed it in wrong, sorry!
I think Coleus are very pretty indeed.
Do you grow them?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

flower heart on wordless Wednesday

flower heart
Originally uploaded by STEF MCK

I know lots of you, like me, love hearts and love flowers, so this photo combines them and is a day brightener, don't you agree?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chicken liver is delicious the way I cook it

chicken liver
Originally uploaded by stu_spivack

Now that I discovered a source of natural free range chicken liver, I have begun cooking it again.
As long as the source is good, like the Rocky Jr. Frying Chicken liver I found in our local natural food store, this is a healthy and delicious dish.
Just dip the livers in flour with salt and pepper and cook in a pan with olive oil and turn occasionally for perhaps 10 minutes total time.
This is a wonderful dish with a salad and baked potato or whatever you like to add.
Rocky Chicken is "sustainably farmed, raised on 100 percent vegetarian diet, and given no growth stimulants or antibiotics". I don't know if this is a big or small company, but you can look for similar companies in your area.
The price of $2.99 a pound is a very reasonable way to feed folks.
Scandalous omission! I forgot to write here that I always also cook onions in a pan too, just sliced and sauteed in olive oil. How could I forget when I first posted this? I think onions and liver are perfect together.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Skunk visitor

Skunk 02
Originally uploaded by StarWatcher307

Don't scare the skunk, please. No sudden movements or sneezing when the skunk family visits our back patio.
They are so pretty. One very large skunk visits and two small young ones, and they enjoy cat food.
The skunks live in our wild thicket of blackberries, we guess. Our house is in town and our back garden is wild and beckons songbirds and all kinds of God's critters.
Do you have any skunk visitors at your house?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Oliver the cat at rest

Oliver with Arms Extended
Originally uploaded by Mr. T in DC

Cute cat, right? Wonderful thoughtful expression.
I found this photo on flickr to share with y'all.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Gopher plant in our garden

This photo of me and one of our gopher plants shows how tall gopher plants can be. I like the look of these plants, but they don't seem to completely repel gophers. We have gophers living three feet from our plant, and the gophers are munching away on our vegetables in a most alarming manner.
Before posting this photo I researched these plants, Euphorbia lathyris, AKA Gopher spurge, Cape spurge, Mole plant or Mole spurge and read that the white sap is very toxic, so be very cautious when handling the plant or cutting it. People have gone to the ER room because it caused an allergic reaction with severe itching and swelling on hands and face.
I read that the gopher plant can spread so much by its seeds that it is considered a noxious weed in some areas like the Pacific Northwest. Here at our home in California it hasn't spread and we have two large plants.
Have you grown gopher plants? Did they repel gophers?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Greek Orthodox Church Destroyed on 9/11

Greek Orthodox Church Dome and Cross
Originally uploaded by bongo vongo

Finally this is in the news, with the New York Times picking up the story on August 23, 2010.
A Greek Orthodox Church was the only religious building destroyed on 9/11 at Ground Zero, and so far has not been allowed to rebuild.
This has been a lot of years to still not give them permits.
Yet the mosque got a quick green light.
This is not justice.
Here is the article:
The church simply wants to rebuild; it should have gotten the permits years ago and I hope it gets the ok to build now.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cute cat and flowers

Originally uploaded by aikan

A cat and flowers, two of my favorite things, and I know lots of you blogger friends agree. We loves us our cats and our flowers.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Be bold

"Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid."
This quote is meaningful to me and I hope you like it too.
The author is Basil King, who wrote books and was an Anglican priest and married, while suffering at times from depression due to his becoming slowly blind, and having serious thyroid problems.
Basil King was born on Prince Edward Island in Canada in about 1850. I wonder if he knew of L. Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables. King and Montgomery are both noted Canadian writers.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I won, I won, the cutest herb garden pasta set

I am so happy! Yes, little ol' me won a give away on Anne's blog at http:/
Anne gave away a $45 gift certificate to use at
I had not visited that online store before and Wow, they have a huge variety of things at very reasonable prices. The certificate was for anything in the store.
This set arrived yesterday in the mail, via Fed Ex and last night we used the large bowls as dinner plates, for salmon, ratatouille and roasted potatoes. The pasta set bowls are microwave and dishwasher safe, and very pretty.
Please visit Anne's blog and say hi.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Two Profound Prayer Ideas

Chicago Temple Stained Glass
Originally uploaded by Atelier Teee

I was listening to Catholic radio on Sirius on Saturday, which I have in my car so can't take notes on details.

I heard two wonderful insights on prayer.

One was from a Jesuit priest, which he learned from an elderly man who had a rich prayer life. The man often prayed for two hours and the priest asked him what he prayed about, and what words he used, during such a lengthy time in prayer. The man replied "I look at God and he looks at me."

That sounds very beautiful to me.

The second thing I heard on Sirius radio was a quote by Sister Angelica, who said she often prays "Lord, what do you want me to do at this moment?"

Isn't that profound? Her prayer often ends with immediate action by her.

Now, those are two wise people, and I note that each of them is a senior citizen. Sometimes it takes time to learn how to pray and to spend time with our Father.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wolf of Tebron book review: A hero, a wolf and dreams

Wolf of Tebron by C.S. Lakin.
I enjoyed going on this hero’s journey with Joran and Ruyah, in this fantasy that contains elements of fairy tale and myth. Joran is an unlikely hero who sent his wife, Charris, away in a jealous fit, and Ruyah is a huge silver wolf who has long watched Joran from the woods and hills nearby.
Joran does not know why, but he has the ability to talk with animals, whether a goat on his farm or a wolf or wild songbird.
The outward purpose of the journey is to rescue Charris, who is magically imprisoned in ice in an unknown place. The author skillfully interweaves the hero encountering danger with passages where wisdom is shared and beauty is seen.
Lakin includes lyrical descriptions, characterizing the essence of light itself as “liquid joy”, and the wolf leading the way as “But he set his attention on Ruyah’s tail, which floated on the fog like a disembodied swatch of fur.”
The travelers are forced to visit Cielle, the moon’s sister, then Sola, the sun’s mother, the South Wind and finally the Sea, and face despair, fights and the threat of death as they journey toward Charris. Sola says that the moon is a jealous being and won’t give up Charris, and she is right.
I am not going to give away any plot here but I recommend that you read this fantasy which intertwines dreams and reality, and enjoy the journey.
This is the first book in the Gates of Heaven series.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

How did you choose your blog's name?

Azaleas at Valley Gardens
Originally uploaded by Anguskirk

I found a great blog today at and yes, I was attracted to it by its charming name. I adore scented sweet peas, and grow them.
Recently that blog's owner asked that question "how did you choose your blog's name?" and as I visit the blogosphere I have often wondered that myself.
I am attracted to blogs by their names and find so many with pretty, whimsical or practical blog names.
Today I also found the blog.
Wonderful name, right?
My is inspired by my name Terra, which is Latin for earth, and by my love of gardens and all things green. Thence, Terragarden
Of course, frequent visitors here will know that I see this as a place to celebrate many things. Right now I am on a "protect our wild horses" journey.
How did you name your own blog?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sunflower Scarecrows on Wordless Wednesday

Flamstead Scarecrow Festival 2008
Originally uploaded by cybaea

Wordless Wednesday. It is hard to be wordless; I will just say I hope these guys or gals give you a smile.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gardeners and Imagination

Art in the Garden, Tirau
Originally uploaded by EssjayNZ

"Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination. I believe that people entirely devoid of imagination never can be really good gardeners." -- Mrs. C.W. Earle. Pot-Pourri from a Surrey Garden, 1897.
I found this photo of a charming combination of flowers and art on Flickr. Do you love whimsy and a bit of art in your garden? I know I do; it adds a spark of fun when imagination runs loose in a garden.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Terra's Twitter Tips

People have asked me how to use Twitter and how to gain followers, and one friend called me Twitter Queen, so I just knew I had to write some tips to share with her, and with any of you who are on Twitter and are Twitter Princesses.
Here are some ways to increase the number of your twitter followers and to find people who share your interests.
When you find a tweeter that you like, follow them and visit their profile, which shows icons for each person that they follow. Click on icons and see if you like the person and then follow them. This technique works great when you follow a friend since you can see who they follow and consider following some of the same people.
When you read a tweet that mentions another tweeter e.g. @terragarden click on them and if you like them follow them.
Use the hatch mark when you post a tweet, e.g. Today I planted a lemon tree #lemon #garden
This allows people to find your tweet when they search #garden or #lemon in the search box.
If you are looking for more folks to follow, use the search box and the # symbol with topics you like. #fantasy #novel #Christian #Avatar
It is ideal to post at least a few times a week.
I sometimes use so I can post tweets ahead of time. If you are going on vacation this is very useful, or if you have a theme you want to post about in advance.
Ask a question like “I’m going to visit England, what is your favorite site to see in Cornwall?” or “what is recipe for eggplant parmesan?”
When a person follows you it is usually good to follow them back, and when a person follows you, you can send them a direct message which only they read.
I signed up so that each time someone follows me I get an email telling me that “xxx is following you”, so I can decide if I want to follow them back.
Retweet. When someone sends a tweet that you like select the “retweet” button and retweet it to all of your followers. Sometimes you really help people if their tweet says something like “my new book xxxx is released this month” or “my radio show at xxx about caring for children in summer is broadcast on xxxdate.”
Use #FF and #Followfriday in a post that lists some tweeters you recommend. Use the @ sign in front of their twitter name. #FF is done on Fridays.
To find out which tweeters you follow that don’t follow you, use The program will take a few minutes to check and then you can look at each person in this category and decide if you want to follow them or unfollow them. Use to find tweeters who follow you and you don’t follow. Some of these you will want to follow back.
I joined Facebook on July 22 (yesterday) and want to set it up so that each of my tweets and blog posts show up on my Facebook page. There is always more to do, and more to learn. I would love tips on starting out at Facebook.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dalmation and France on a scooter, fun book

Gregory Edmont's travel memoir is a must read for anyone who enjoys a fun road journey with an American and his Dalmatian dog, from Paris to the south of France. Gregory goes south on his Vespa with JP, his dog, on a journey where JP will father a litter of dalmatians. That is the plan anyway. The French woman who bred JP and sold him to Gregory has suffered a terrible loss and JP is the key to fixing this. I will say no more except that there is a French priest, some restauranteurs and butchers and quite a page turning travel tale.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What is true beauty in a person?

Originally uploaded by Peta-de-Aztlan

Recently a lady friend of mine confided that her friend told her that he was horrified and depressed when he looked in the mirror. He told her that his eyes are small and his face is covered in wrinkles.

I told my friend that I am sure that God doesn't make junk. There is beauty every where.

Wise men know this and have written "Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, precious kind that God delights in." 1 Peter 3:4 The Message

I find many attractive people in our culture like Jonathan Rhys Myers, Mel Gibson, Russell Crowe, and the classic beauties like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. Yet, Audrey wrote this:

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.
- Audrey Hepburn, actress

That is why this post has a photo of one of the most beautiful people who has ever lived,in my opinion, Mother Teresa.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Zebras everywhere!

Zebras everywhere!
Originally uploaded by BrianScott

Do you love zebras too?
I think each zebra is beautiful and unique, and it has been said that God shows a sense of humor in his creation of zebras, and giraffes, among other animals. The Duck-billed platypus has to make me giggle too.
Ah zebras. Let's enjoy their beauty and protect them.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

True love and a home-grown tomato

Heirloom tomatoes
Originally uploaded by slambo_42

"There's nothin' finer in life than true love and a home-grown tomato." -- Gary Ibsen. The Great Tomato Book, 1999.

Does this guy know what he is talking about? I definitely agree with him.

Do you plant a variety of tomatoes each year? I always do, with cherry tomatoes, Early Girl, Big Boy, and then some new to me, like Stupice and Zebra.

In my area, where we don't get ideal huge amounts of heat and sun, I sometimes plant San Francisco Fog, varieties from Russia, and Stupice which is from Poland. Cherry tomatoes do well here.

Some lucky folks from hotter areas have already harvested their tomatoes. Mine are still green and the stuff of dreams.

Of course I also plant basil and oregano to perfect future tomato salads.

What varieties of tomatoes do you favor?

Friday, July 9, 2010

my post on my Christmas blog

Rebecca of is so sweet to tell me I can post this picture from her blog here today. The kitten is so cute, and the swirling snow, which I miss .I grew up in Wisconsin and now live in mild California. I am celebrating Christmas in July as my co-authors and I rev up our blog based on our book about Christmas. My first post there this season is today, July 9, and is about a family camping trip to the Florida Everglades one Christmas many years ago. Please pop over and take a look at

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Regal Lion

Dr Pepper sign - vim, vigor and vitality
Originally uploaded by yumievriwan

Isn't this lion regal? Is he a bit sad too?
I love lions, both the wild lions in Africa and the lion Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
The African Wildlife Foundation is a great group that protects these noble animals. I am a member and the group can be found at

Monday, July 5, 2010

Christmas in July and our Christmas tips blog

Many of you know that I co-authored a book titled "Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday". For the third year we are posting 5 days a week, beginning July 5, with ideas about celebrating the holiday at

Stacie wrote a great blog post about my Christmas book. Thank you Stacie for your enthusiasm about the book and please visit this link where you can also read her tips about preparing for Christmas early.

On you CAN look inside our book by clicking on that "click to look inside" note, and you will see that our book is full color on each and every page, and is a hardcover book, priced at a reasonable $12 or $13. But the "click here" doesn't work on my blog. Oh well, you can see the pretty cover and it sparkles with silver stars.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Meyer Lemon Tree For Me

Meyer Lemon Tree
Originally uploaded by meganpru

Whee, Happy Birthday USA, and lucky me!
I bought a Meyer Lemon tree today, and when one of our sons comes over, he will plant it.
I already have a seven year old Meyer lemon in a half wine barrel planter, which gives a few lemons a year, and I have high hopes for this new baby, which will be planted in the ground.
Lemon trees have it all: gorgeous fruit, lovely scented flowers, pretty all year round. The fruit of the Meyer lemon is thin skinned and sweeter than the Eureka and other full size trees.
The Meyer will grow 5 to 10 feet tall at maturity and loves full sun.
Welcome to my house, noble little tree.
What is your most fun recent garden purchase?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Unicorn Tapestry

Paris - Latin Quarter: Musée national du Moyen Age - La Dame à la Licorne - "Sight"
Originally uploaded by wallyg

I hope you like unicorns too! I saw this series of 6 tapestries, called "The Lady and the Unicorn", which are housed in Paris in the Musee de Cluny (Musee National du Moyen Age), when my dh and I visited Paris.
These were woven in Flanders of wool and silk ca. 1490 and are one of the greatest art treasures of the Middle Ages.
The Cloisters in New York has a series of beautiful unicorn tapestries too, also woven in ca. 1490.
The unicorn tales are fabulous, and several novels focus on unicorns and painters find them engaging subjects. I wonder how the artists entice these graceful creatures to hold still and pose.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Unicorn Sign

Unicorn Sign
Originally uploaded by Steffe

Now this is a sign I long to see because I love the idea of unicorns.
I could stay quietly near the unicorn crossing and take photos of unicorns and offer them each a carrot and a sugar cube as a treat. I visited Paris with my husband and saw the wonderful unicorn tapestries, where the white unicorn trustingly lays his head on the lady's lap. These tapestries were woven long ago and are very beautiful.
We also enjoyed the movie Legend which has beautiful and noble unicorns in it. So if you have seen a unicorn, let us know please.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nasturtium in salad

backyard salad
Originally uploaded by radicalfutures

Do you grow the pretty nasturtium flowers, in yellow, pink, white and especially in hot orange? The flowers are delicious additions to a salad.
To me the nasturtium flower tastes like a peppy yet mild radish, an ideal radish.
We are having steak on the grill tonight cooked by my dh, rustic baguette with a bit of olive bruschetta, and a favorite salad of mine. The salad has cucumbers, tomato, fresh basil from the garden and nasturtium flowers. They look pretty too!
Dressing at our house is olive oil, red wine vinegar and splashes of Trader Joe's seasoned rice vinegar.
It is so tasty and pretty to add nasturtiums to salads that I am inspired to buy a pack of seeds tomorrow, so we will soon have even more pretty flowers.