Saturday, April 12, 2014

Yes, Virginia, there are still liars in the world......

As if you didn't already know! Liars are common in the world we live in. I write this post because liars are on my list of pet peeves, coming in at the number one spot! Number one because, I know not of one single instance where lying solves any problem, or makes anything better- REALLY! (If you don't know what a pet peeve is, look it up.) Lying only prolongs the inevitable, and creates a distrust. They cause people to "dig holes" for themselves, some of which are virtually impossible to get out of. One lie leads to another lie, and so on. Some people even lay blame on the lie itself, when, clearly, lies don't lie. People do. "Little White Lies?" No such thing. All lies are categorized into one big group: UNTRUTHS. I can see telling someone something, and circumstances changing. That's not a lie. That is a change in circumstances. Duh.(Explanation may be necessary here for some people.) Lying to save someone hurt or embarrassment is putting a band-aid on a twelve inch, infected cut. It doesn't work! Telling a lie at the spur of the moment does not "get you out of trouble" either, contrary to some popular beliefs. Lying creates a huge, gaping, black hole. People are sucked into this vomitous vortex, and the hole grows larger, and larger. I've often heard it said that for every lie a person tells, he has to tell five more to cover up the first lie. Hmmm. Let's do the math here. Five more lies times 5, and then those twenty-five times five, and on, and on. Get the picture? Did you really need me to tell you all of this? Probably not. But, as my preacher uncle always says, "If they'd been here, I'da got 'em!" If they'd read this, I would too. Chances are the people who read this post are all saints, and have never told a lie in their lives! And chances are you're a good person whom everyone looks up to, and you tell lies to make yourself look better to other people. Oh it's easy. Lies pop into my head. It's just life, but I CHOOSE not to say them. I choose to tell the truth, even if it hurts. So, No, Virginia, there is no Santa, but if you want to hear a lie, I'll get someone else to tell you there is......

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Country Mouse goes to the Big City!

No, I did not wear my blue jeans, nor my cowboy boots in the big metropolis of San Francisco, California, but I did wear a big smile, and, of all things, a coat!! Believe it or not, I was cold in California! My journey began as a bit of a joke, and turned into reality when I got up at 3:30am last Sunday, and embarked upon a fun-filled trip to a BIG city! My accent apparently gave away the fact that I'm not from the West! Most people guessed I was from Tennessee or Georgia. I met lots of people on the airplane ride across the country, and none of them made the mistake of thinking I was returning home or anything like that. Once I said one word, they all seemed to know I was as out of place as a turnip in a tulip patch. But some said I didn't "look" like I was from Tennessee, so I asked what does "from Tennessee" look like? You guessed it! Cowboy boots, and blue jeans! Contrary to popular belief, we, in Tennessee, do not always dress in the expected attire. You think the queen "always" wears her crown? :) So. I "finally" made it to the airport in San Francisco where two crazy ladies were waiting to pick me up, Thank God. For some reason, I almost made flight arrangements to San Diego. Whew! So glad my brain cells decided to wake up at the last minute! I would have hated to spend four days alone! Anyway, I was especially thrilled to see the Golden Gate Bridge in the waning afternoon sun! It was a spectacular sight! I could hardly believe I was actually there!! (I think we crossed it four times while I was visiting! I took pics every time too!) I was in such awe of a normal everyday landmark for the people of San Francisco. I'd dreamed of actually seeing the Golden Gate Bridge since I was a little girl, and it was well worth the trip. I could have gone home happy right there, but we spent the next three days taking in the sights in and around the city. I saw waves crashing against rocks at Bodega Bay, ate clam chowder at The Tides restaurant, got my picture taken in front of the church where "The Birds" was filmed, walked the boardwalks in Old Town Sacramento and Fisherman's Wharf/Pier 39, ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp, and went on a tour of the Jelly Belly Factory!! It was loads of fun too. I saw the "Painted Ladies" houses that you see at the beginning of a "Full House" episode, and we even visited a Goodwill! It was nothing like Goodwill here in Tennessee. All in all, it was a loaded, fun-filled, jam-packed adventure!! We're already making plans for another excellent adventure here in Tennessee!! And, if you're taking a last minute trip by plane, Priceline is the way to go! They have a feature on their site that lets you "Name your Price." I really didn't think they'd accept my offer, which was well below half of the listed price, but they did!! The catch is that you don't get to pick the time you leave, and the time you arrive, going or coming. So, if it doesn't matter about the times, naming your price is a good way to save a lot of money! Was I tempted to move to the big city, and leave my little country life? No way! I'm not organized enough to live in a condo, or an apartment, and I don't have the patience for city traffic! (That is a calling.) Plus, even though San Francisco has a Starbucks stationed every two or three miles, and even though the mountains are gorgeous there too, give me good old Tennessee any time! Life here is not fast-paced, and you won't find a Starbucks for at least thirty miles! People actually do let you into traffic, and everyone here nods or waves when they pass you. I'm sure I'll visit again though. There's lots more of California to see, but for now, I'll be content in my little nest, here in the south, with my camo-clad crew of coon hunters, two coon dogs, one squirrel hunting dog, and a cat named Prissy. (And she really lives up to her name! If you haven't looked at my pics, take a gander. Some of them are really good!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

My First Published Novella is finally here!!

Yes!! That's right!! My first published fictional work is live on Amazon, AND is ranked #2 in Christian Historical Romance!!!! I could have never dreamed it would do this well overnight!! And we just got our first review of 5 stars!! The reviewer said she couldn't put it down!! I'm so excited! God has been instrumental in this from the beginning, and the whole project has been a wonderful experience. The title of the book is, "Threads of Time," and is available through the link below. "Threads of Time is a novella collection of seven stories revolving around a quilt meant to grace the marriage bed of the young woman who made it, but it never fulfills it's original purpose. The quilt travels through many hands over the years, lending comfort to those who possess it, and finally ends up in an estate sale in the present day. My story is titled, " A Night With No Stars," and is about a postmistress and a widower in the small town of Valentine, Nebraska, who struggle with the idea that love can't mend a broken heart, or can it? All the ladies who took part in writing these stories are a team of friends who all write and support each other through prayer and encouragement. "Threads of Time" contains stories of restoration,laced with romance and Christian values. It's listed on Amazon for a low introductory price of 99 cents!! You can't beat that!! It won't be that price for long though. Get it before it goes up!! Plus, Kim Vogel Sawyer did the editing, and her dad and daughter each contributed a story in the collection!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Homeschooling is a Calling

Well, I now have an official website at! Actually, it's a work in progress, but if you go there you'll see a pic of me, and a link to this blog. That's a start, right? I've been mulling over my choices for the New Year, and I plan to blog at least once a week. I can't call it anything cutesie like Juesdays with Jalana. Just doesn't make the cut. I'll just post and see where it goes. Hopefully, we'll see a little bit of traffic, and I'll be able to post more often. At any rate, I wanted to post about homeschooling today. For some of you that homeschool, there are reasons, very good reasons, for teaching your kids at home. For me, it is a calling. I struggled with the idea for almost three years before I really took action and did something about it. I always wanted my mother to homeschool me, but she always said she couldn't. When I became a teacher, I thought that would be great to have kids and take them to school with me, and for a while, it was. But God began to speak to my heart, telling me that He wanted me to be at home with my children. Of course I ignored the suggestions for a while, telling God that He didn't know what He was talking about, you know, me homeschooling. I'd have to quit my great job that I loved, and go home to a bigger job with no pay, no insurance, and no retirement plan. Could I really sacrifice what I wanted for what God wanted? Evidently, not yet. I continued to give God all the reasons, or excuses why I couldn't do it, but still He nudged. I really thought that if I got my husband, Keith, "on my side," that God would be outnumbered, so I just talked to Keith one day, telling him about the nudges from God. Keith's reply? "So quit your job and homeschool. Just do it." Just like that. I lost my edge. I could hear God laughing at me, saying "I told you so." With Keith on God's side, I had to come up with other excuses. "What would we do for groceries? I mean, we have five kids. Food doesn't just "appear." What about clothes for 5 growing children? Insurance? I continued working, knowing that God wanted me at home. One day, I saw a book at Goodwill, and it jumped out at me. It was titled, "Women Leaving the Workplace," by Larry Burkett. Larry will never know how that book spoke to me because he died three years before I read it, but God spoke to me through that book. If you are reading this, and thinking of becoming a stay at home Mom, you need to find a copy of that book! Making a long story shorter, the end of the schoolyear was fast approaching, and I had a decision to make. I had shared my thoughts with only a handful of friends, but somehow, the principal at the school I taught at got wind of it. The day after the last day of school, he called, telling me that he'd heard I might not be coming back. He really needed to know in order to balance his teacher budget for the coming year. So..... I bit the bullet and told him I wasn't coming back! He told me that he hated to lose me, but I had to do what was best for me. I hung up asking God what we would be eating since I'd just kissed our grocery money goodbye. That call took place at 9:30 am. At 11:30am, the mail lady pulled into my driveway and began honking her horn for me to come out. I went to her vehicle, and she handed me a certified letter. I signed for it, thinking in my head that it was some bill I had forgotten to pay. My stomach was in knots as I turned the letter over, and the mail lady pulled away. The return address was from Keith's former employer from two years before. He'd been laid off. I called Keith at work, and he told me to open the letter. Lo and behold, he'd been called back to work, officially, two days before. The great thing is that the job came with full benefits, and the salary was twice what he'd been making. We would have grocery money after all..... The moral of this story is: When God tells you to do something, don't make excuses or question His decision. He knows what He has in store. He takes care of His children, and He has a plan. You just have to follow it and obey. It's that simple. And we still feel that if I hadn't "bit the bullet" that day, we never would have received that certified letter in the mail. I had to step out in faith, just as God had been nudging me to do all along........“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have a Winner!!"

For the drawing on my blog, Tina is our winner of the five books by Christian authors. And from Lena Nelson Dooley's blog post about me, Michelle from MO won my little Sweet Pea doll. Congratulations to both of these ladies!! Tina tried to leave a comment on my blog, but it wouldn't let her, so she sent me an email instead. Thanks so much to those that participated in both contests!! And I hope to have more in the future. Stay tuned. . .

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Little Ditty About my Doll-Making Hobby and a Chance to Win one of Them!!

It all started when my daughters saw a reborn doll and decided they had to have one!! I did lots of research, buying paints, supplies, and vinyl baby parts. I painted dolls for each of them, and a hobby was born! My babies are painted to look real. They all have personality, and have been mistaken for real babies on numerous occasions. I took one of my babies to the ACFW conference for a donation to the Silent Auction. In the airport, I put the baby in the bin to go through the x-ray machine. A security guard tried to stop me, looking very distressed. He had to actually touch it to believe it wasn't real!! And on the same trip, people stopped me over and over, asking about my baby. Imagine their surprise when they realized it was a doll! The dolls are painted with details such as veins, fingernails,eyebrows, etc. I hand root the hair and eyelashes, strand by strand, and fill the soft body with glass or poly pellets for weight. This gives the baby a "real feel." They are dressed in real baby clothes, and are usually given a pacifier, toy, and blanket. My mother helps with the painting, and making clothes fit!! Sometimes I take orders, but mostly I just sell the ones that I complete. Mrs. Lena Nelson Dooley, an award-winning Christian author, has ordered a doll from me, and I've almost completed it's hair. She has red hair, and wanted curly red hair on her baby. It's turning out really well. Lena also hosted me on her blog today, where we are giving away one of my painted babies. It's called "Sweet Pea." She's asleep, and is so adorable that I may have to paint another one for myself!! So if you would like to win a beautiful hand-painted doll from me, visit Lena's blog at and leave a comment!!! AND if you follow my blog this week, and leave a comment on this post, I'll enter your name in a give-away from my blog. I'll be giving away a package of 5 books from bestselling Christian authors, one of them being Lena Nelson Dooley!! But remember, you must become a follower, and leave a comment!! Thanks!! Here are some pics of my babies. The third one is the giveaway on Lena's blog! So hop on over there and get yourself in the contest!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings--My Take On It

First of all, let me say that I LOVE this cover!! It really goes with the character, and the colors and design are gorgeous!!! This is Regina Jennings debut novel, I've been told, and she has done an excellent job of pulling me into her story. It's a tale of woe that turns to love, as two people learn to trust again. Rosa is a young Mexican widow, and Weston is her husband's widowed cousin. In this stirring story, the two are constantly thrown together, making it virtually impossible for a few romantic encounters not to surface. Weston feels compelled to protect his cousin's beautiful widow, and she, in turn, feels indebted to him as well as drawn to him. But there's always Molly, who is constantly throwing herself at Weston, and there's the back taxes, and the fiend of a man who is threatening to take the farm for his own. With plenty of conflict and just enough romance, this book is definitely a winner. My only con is that there were times where I couldn't tell who was talking. Past that, I give Kudos to Regina Jennings for a great first book!!! I love Rosa and Weston, and found myself rooting for Weston until the end. If you like Historical Fiction, this is definitely a book to add to your list!!! I received this book free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.