Saturday, February 25, 2012

Irrational Fears and New Goals

I have an irrational fear. That's of hospitals. I'm ok if I'm going to visit a new mom or doing something Mary Kay related, but to actually go and visit someone in the hospital -- that's terrifying for me. A couple of years ago when the woman I've adopted as my grandmother had to have knee replacement surgery, I went and visited her the day after her surgery. She wasn't in ICU or anything like that. Just a regular room. I literally sat in the car for 10 minutes before walking in. And through the entire visit, I was extremely tense. I can pinpoint exactly when this fear started. I was 11 years old and Daddy had died. True he didn't actually die in the hospital, he'd collapsed at breakfast, but the hospital is still what I remember vividly. Since that time, hospitals terrify me. In fact, one of my favorite books, Donovan's Daughter by Lori Wick, is my favorite because of how I relate to the main character, Marcail.
Marcail has a fear of doctors and finds herself married to one. Her fear stems from the doctor who diagnosed her mother's illness and shortly after her mother died. While I don't fear doctors, it's the same concept for me with hospitals.

But I'm slowly making strides. Yesterday I'd invited myself over to my cousin's for dinner. I do that pretty regularly, so it's nothing really new. Earlier this week, my uncle had been put in the hospital for a heart cath. He ended up needing to have a triple bypass surgery. And then he had a bleeder, so they opened him up again to stop it. Which they did and he's doing ok. Needless to say, he's still in the hospital, ICU basically. So instead of dinner and a movie at my cousin's, we went to visit my uncle in the hospital. For the first time, I really was ok. I didn't actually go back and see him as his visitors were restricted to immediate family only, so I visited with my aunt, my uncle's sister, and his daughter in the waiting room. I know that the only reason I didn't have to give myself a pep talk was because I didn't actually see my uncle. That and I'd been praying before hand for the strength to go. I'm nowhere near over the fear, but I am making progress.

I've decided to set some new goals for my business. We have a brand new skin care line, Botanical Effects. Here is the new e-catalog featuring this line. So my goals. I want to facial a minimum of 30 people in the month of March to try the new botanical line. I want to do another 30 in April, and another 30 in May. Which means I need to call my customers to tell them about this new line and ask them to be on my panel to try it. I've been using it for a week and I love love love it. And I need to hold parties all 3 months so that I will also have the sales and even possibly earn my red jacket. So March I'm focusing on skin care. I have a few samples of the botanicals I'm sending to a few of my customers who live out of town/state.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Promise Me This Giveaway Winner

And the winner is. . .


Congratulations girl! I'll have it mailed out to you by Saturday.

I used to pick the winner.

I'll be doing another giveaway in March, probably around the 15th, so keep watching.

It's been quite fun to read everyone's comments and see what everyone's favorite flowers are.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Not This Time - A Review

Beth Dawson's best friend's, Sara, husband has been kidnapped. There's been a gas attack at a local wedding. Sara's been acting odd. The authorities find links between the kidnapping and the gas attack and a terrorist organization. Beth doesn't know who to trust. Because appearances aren't what they seem. Can Beth and the authorities find the answers and stop events from getting Beth or Sara killed?

The third book in Vicki Hinze's Crossroads Crisis Center Series, starts off with a bang. Literally. A fast paced thrill of a ride that kept me guessing the entire book. I didn't put the pieces together until the last few pages. While this is the third in a series, readers don't have to have read the other two to understand this. Fans of mystery and suspense will enjoy this book.

Rating - 4 stars

I received this book for free from Waterbrook/Multnomah's Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to like the book. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Promise Me This Blog Tour, Book Review, and Giveaway

I am delighted to be a part of the Tyndale blog tour for Cathy Gohlke’s newest book, Promise Me This. You find find the full blog tour schedule and a link to the Tyndale website at the end of the post. This post will be broken into three sections – a little about the author, my review, and finally a giveaway.

About the Author

Cathy Gohlke is the author of William Henry is a Fine Name and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires, both of which have won the Christy Award. She has worked in many different fields including a school librarian and drama director. She and her husband make their home in Maryland. Visit her website at .

My Review
Annie Allen stood on the docks of Southhampton watching her brother, Owen, set sail on the Titanic. The young girl had no idea that that glimpse of him would be her last. Michael Dunnagan didn’t belong on board of the Titanic. When Owen saves his life, Michael is determined to fulfill Owen’s dreams, the biggest of which is to bring Annie safely to America. An ocean separates the two, yet slowly over the years Annie and Michael develop a friendship that leads to love through letters written back and forth. When Michael finally has the funds to bring Annie to America, he discovers that World War One has broken out in Europe and that Annie has vanished. He heads to England in the hopes of finding her. Will the dangers of the war keep them apart, or will they find each other at last?

Having never read anything by Cathy Gohlke before, I was delighted to pick up this book. The emotional waves of the book had me crying several times. Yet at times I also wanted to shake the characters. The biggest theme of the book is sacrifice. Owen sacrificed his life to make sure that Michael had a future. It’s not until years later that Annie fully understands not only her brother’s sacrifice, but also that of Christ. Michael, too, also struggles with his guilt for surviving when Owen did not. He too takes years to understand that Owen’s sacrifice was a picture of what Christ did for him. The emotional roller-coaster is a ride I was glad to go on. There’s so much more to this book than just the Titanic! I’m giving this book 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers for the purpose of reviewing. I was not required to like the book, only write an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’ve got a special giveaway today. Because gardening is so important to the story, I’m doing a giveaway based on a garden theme.

The flower seeds I have to giveaway, bluebonnets, grow wild in the spring here in Texas. In fact, my cousin’s backyard teems with them most springs.

To win this bundle of bluebonnet seeds, garden gloves, and a copy of Promise Me This, you need to leave a comment telling me your favorite type of flower and what you like to do in the garden. To gain a second entry, leave an additional comment telling me you follow my blog via the Google Friend Connect. All entries must have a valid email address attached. You can enter your email in this format – yourusername(at)hotmail(dot)com. I can only ship to the US. I will draw a winner on Wednesday February 22, 2012 after I’m home for the day.

While I can’t grow anything, in fact I have a tendency of killing more plants than I grow, I've frequently told stories of how I've managed to kill an aloe vera plant. I do enjoy flowers. I love tulips. Especially yellow ones.

Tyndale website
Cathy Gohlke's website
Promise Me This Blog Tour

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sweeter than Birdsong - A Review

Kate Winter has her heart set on graduating from Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio. The problem - she is terrified of speaking in front of others. She knows she can be free of her family and her mother's determination to marry her off to a wealthy man. Despite her fear, she agrees to sing in the musicale production that fellow student Ben Hanby, a musical genius, is directing. Ben's also got a secret - he works for the Underground Railroad. When an accident force Ben and Kate to work together, both of their secrets are threatened. Somehow, Kate must find the courage to sing a song of freedom.

This is the second book in the Saddler's Legacy Series by Rosslyn Elliot. Set in the years prior to the Civil War, I was drawn into the story and the historic Underground Railroad. Freedom is a theme I found in the book. What is the price of freedom? For the slaves, it's quite possibly their own lives? For Kate and Ben, it's the willingness to go and do whatever it is that God calls them to do. Being based upon a real life family, the Hanbys, I enjoyed being able to get into their world and to read some about them. I love the time period of the Civil War. The drama of the Underground Railroad and feeling the emotions that the slaves, Ben, Kate, his mother, and others had while attempting to shelter the passengers gave me a new impression of the time period. I've never had to live in fear like the slaves. This is an excellent book, and I'm delighted to have read it.

Rating - 5 stars

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson's booksneeze program for the purpose of reviewing. I was not required to like the book. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

When the Soul Mends - A Review

A message from her sister, Sarah, draws Hannah Lapp back to the Amish community that she fled in disgrace three years ago. As she gets pulled into her sister's problems, secrets come to light and answers are given. Hannah also finds herself being pulled towards her first love again. She's got a comfortable life outside of the Plain community with a family that loves her. Will she choose to stay in the Amish world or leave it all behind to continue to live as an Englischer?

This the third and final book to Cindy Woodsmall's Sister of the Quilt Series. It is the conclusion to Hannah's story. I've not read the other two books, but I didn't find that by not reading them, I couldn't follow the storyline. On the contrary, I was able to follow the story and even figure out what had happened in the previous two books. Forgiveness is something that Hannah struggles with. And I loved how the incidents from her past allowed her to actually forgive those who had wronged her. The characters are all very strong and while it's Hannah's story, it's not just about her. The plotlines of the secondary characters also followed the theme of forgiveness.

Overall, I'll give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I received this book for free from Waterbrook/Multnomah for the purpose of an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A beautiful blanket

I love love love this blanket that I finished yesterday. It's one of my favorites. I think I love it so much because it's green. But it was also really fun to make. I got asked yesterday if I had ever considered selling the blankets that I make. And I honestly answered with a no. For me, the joy I find in making a blanket is part of the joy of gifting it to someone. I get to spend time choosing colors, type of yarn, and the pattern. I've made one blanket that I was paid to make. And I didn't really have fun making it. It felt like work. So no, I don't see myself actually selling my blankets. One of my Love Languages is to giving/receiving of gifts. And to me a blanket is something I can give. I constantly have a list of blankets to work on or who is getting the next one, etc. My cousin just adopted a little one from Taiwan, and so her blanket is going to be the next one I make. It'll be in pinks, purples, and yellows. I'm hoping to go through my stash and see what I've got so that I don't need to purchase the yarn. I've got one started, but not finished, for my niece (my college roommate's daughter). I've not even picked the pattern for my nephew's one (my college roommate's son). I saw a pattern the other day that's a Victorian one, and I want to do that one for my sales director. And of course, there are about 4 or 5 that I want to make just for me.

I go through phases. There are some times I like to crochet and to work with the yarns and then there are times that I don't want to go anywhere near my project basket.