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Thursday, May 14, 2015

better late than never

We bought our house over 2 years ago. It was a HUD home in less than show worthy state. The previous owner was a drug dealer and for the last month or so of his life in this house, he did not pay his bills. So he bbq-ed in the front yard and the house was disgusting from top to bottom. Yay! I painted all the walls, ceilings, and kitchen cabinets before we moved in. I will be the first to admit that I did not do a professional job. I just know it smelled much better in the house after painting. I am still, 2 + years later, painting the trim in the house. I lack 2 bedrooms and the hall. Today I tackled the trim in my bathroom. I also tackled a super nasty thing that has bothered me no end since we moved in: cigarette burns on the bathroom countertop. I hate them. It was a gross reminder of what had gone on in this home before we bought it. I had bleached them, scrubbed them with vinegar, and anything else I could think of. Nothing worked. I finally got the brilliant idea to check YouTube. Voila! I watched several and deduced what I could try. So here are my before and after pics:

These are before. Yucky burns ran the entire length of our countertop. Bleck!
Here is my after! Yay, clean!! The videos I had watched recommended steel wool and scrubbing powder (like Comet). As you can see in my second photo, I just used an SOS pot scrubber. They are steel wool and have a heavy duty cleaner built into them. It took a bit of elbow grease, but every single spot came off. That includes one in my shower. (don't ask me how they did that). I am a happy camper, but my arms are about to fall off from painting and scrubbing. Well, I just thought I would share this small victory with whomever shall read this.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Book news

Hi! I am so excited that my book is available for purchase on I thought I would tell a little about my writing in this post. Most of my friends know I've led an unusual life. I was born a navy brat in Rhode Island, of all places! We lived in Puerto Rico when I was a small child and many, many other places as I grew up. This includes Texas, Missouri, a brief 2 months in Guatemala, and Bolivia. I have encountered so many amazing people and experiences in my life so far. In 1998 I went to live with my aunt and uncle while I attended Dallas Baptist University for a year. I have my aunt to thank for introducing me to the whole world of Jane Austen. I was immediately hooked and wanted to watch the 6 hour version of Pride and Prejudice over and over. I read all of her books, several times, and sought out every version of each of the movies based on her books. (I draw the line at 90s interpretations). Well, back to writing. I am really not talented in many areas, but I love to write.
   Several years ago, I wrote 2 novels based (very loosely) on things I had experienced. They are my way of turning on the creative and writer side of my brain. True, they are extremely fictional, but there is emotion in those stories that I needed to express. You can read both of those novels here on my blog in some of my early posts. They are fun, suspenseful stories that I still enjoy reading. In thinking of sequels, I discovered that it was really not the genre that I was passionate about. I am very passionate about Jane Austen. I am not a dress up fanatic, but there are principles that resonate with me. I love the fact that I feel content when I read her books. There is nothing dirty or disgusting to wash from your brain. Yes, there are scandals. However, what they called scandals and the scandals of today are quite different. I have these same elements in my books. I have another angle added to my stories; I am a Christian and I am not ashamed to express my faith in my books. Just because a story is "clean" does not make it Christian.
Without further delay, here is the link for the print version of my book Helen Redding. While the sale of this book will really help my family, I am publishing as a step of faith for myself. I am pursuing my dream of being an author. My sincere thanks to all who have encouraged me, read my books, helped me, and shared my posts. Thank you!
It's our 15th anniversary today. I love my bear hubby!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

New things and Old things

Hi friends! I'm back. I know, you didn't ask. Ok, I'm going to write about something old first, save the exciting stuff for later. Oh, the suspense! Just kidding.
  Years and years ago, (sorry, just had to do that) my family lived on an organic produce farm in the foothills of the Ozarks in Missouri. My mom was always a huge believer in eating healthy and my brother and I were always subject to strange vitamins and supplements. (Dolomite comes to mind. Yuck!) Anyway, one of the health fads to pass through our farmhouse was Kombucha. At first I thought mom was making us swallow glasses of vinegar. After a while, though, I acquired a taste for it. Mom had quite the collection of Scobies (an extremely cute name for gross, slimy mushrooms). I knew at the time that I was bolstering my immune system with the strange tea, but not sure what else it was doing to me. Well, in 1996 we packed up our lives and moved to Bolivia as missionaries. We couldn't take the scoby with us (customs might frown upon a slimy mushroom in your suitcase) and thus, it was the end of our kombucha days.
  Fast forward a lot! I have hypothyroidism and it tends to manifest in nasty cycles of tummy issues a couple of days a month. I had begun to buy the fancy bottles of kombucha from the local health store and it helped me immensely. Kombucha is absolutely loaded with probiotics. Your body needs all the crazy bacteria and fermentation that goes on in that glass jar. As the saying goes, sooner or later you become some sort of manifestation of your mother. Here I am making kombucha! Let me tell you how I did it.......First I made a scoby from a bottle of store bought fancy kombucha. I read this blog post. It not only told me how to grow a scoby from the store bought stuff, it also has the recipe for the regular stuff. Here is a picture of my scoby and the tea it is now basking in to make a big jar of kombucha.
The stuff under the scoby is so strong it will curl your nose hairs, but it's still good stuff. I'll just pretend I'm taking a shot. haha. Next, I plan on making some flavored fizzy kombucha like the fancy store stuff. Here is a link for that recipe.

Ok, moving on to new stuff. Most of my friends already know that I self-published my first novel. I'm currently writing my 5th novel in the Jane Austen genre. It took me more than 3 years to get up the courage to self publish. I have been rejected by more than 30 literary agents. That tends to affect a person. I know the stories of lots of extremely famous authors who were also rejected a multitude of times. It proves that the agents don't always know what they are talking about. However, that thought didn't comfort me. Well, I finally asked the Lord to give me courage to go for it. Yep, it's done. Whew. I'm waiting by my mailbox like a school girl for my final proof copy. I love to write!! I have always had a crazy imagination and would dream up entire stories in my mind. It took me just a couple of days write the one I just published. I had the whole thing in my head and I had to just sit at the computer until it was done. My kids have gotten used to giving me space while I am authoring. I love how my step of faith has encouraged them. Now my girls are writing their own books. I love how I can't get them to do creative writing for homeschool, but mom publishes a book and they will start writing up a storm. Ok, so I will post a picture of my book. I drew the cover art and Amazon didn't like it because it's blurry. That is how I wanted it, though. so there.

I will make a special blog post when it is ready for purchase on Amazon!