My Book (in the Making)

I’ve been an aspiring writer most of my life.
My family has been forced to endure countless stories. They are a captive audience since I’m the cook in the house.
Listen or starve.
Surprisingly, they are big fans. Because they are a hungry lot.
I’ve mentioned before that I could wallpaper my bathroom with rejection letters from publishers.
But that would be weird.
Blogging has quenched my thirst to be published. For now.
I will have a book one day. Count on it.
Thanks to one of my readers, Amanda, for introducing me to Blurb. I’ve had so much fun reading about this amazing service that actually takes your blog posts, pictures, even comments and creates beautiful hardcover books.
Now, you won’t see me pedaling my books at a lemon aid stand near you, although I did think about making my kids do it. I could make great posters and set up my card table in front of Border’s Books. Oh, I kill myself.
But I do plan on having my favorite posts and

pictures bound annually to pass on to my children. I will conveniently leave out this post and that post. Oh, and I would never put this in a book.

I also thought Grandparents might appreciate a book too. Of course, one of my favorite Blurb features is choosing what would go in each book. I wouldn’t exactly want my father-in-law to know I thought he looked like a ‘trucker’ in the 70’s. I’m smart, that way.

Click here to read more about creating a blog book.

Here are some great features of creating a blog book with Blurb.
  • Works with many blogging platforms – Supports Blogger,, TypePad, and blogs.
  • Edit in real time – Allows you to customize and edit your book as little or as much as you like.
  • High quality – Our Hardcover, Dust Jacket,Hardcover, ImageWrap and Softcover books all feature professional bindings and coated, semi-matte paper. Up to 440 pages accommodate thousands of blog posts.
  • Fast turnaround – Orders arrive on your doorstep in approximately 7 to 10 business
  • days.
  • Automatic slurp action (watch the video) – Imports and maps blog text, images, comments, and links into professionally designed page layouts.
  • AffordablePrices start at onl
    y $12.95 for a 40-page softcover, $22.95 for Hardcover, Dust Jacket and $24.95 for Hardcover, ImageWrap. The
    bookmaking software is free.
For more great tips that work for other people, check out Works for Me Wednesday.

Down on the Farm

There are unspoken rules in the country. 

I think it’s one of the reasons my kids love visiting their grandparent’s rural farm.  Once we get there, we rarely leave. 

The farm is isolated and it’s quite a trip to big city conveniences.  They raise beef and have two enormous gardens. The days are planned around four-wheeler rides and huge home-cooked meals.

There are blood-sucking ticks, poisonous copperhead snakes and pond fish the size of small dogs.  There is enough dirt to fill a landfill and enough wind to keep a thousand kites in the air.  For every person at the farm, there are double the amount of mud-caked boots lining the porch.  Of course, they are turned upside down to keep snakes and deadly spiders out.

You could say it’s a little different from our normal life.

If you would have told me fifteen years ago when I was contemplating joining this family that I would enjoy this, I would have laughed.  Out loud.

But I do.  I even have my own rubber boots for the farm.  They are hot pink.

There are many rules at the farm, according to my kids.  These guidelines were not taught or studied or even spoken aloud.  And yet they stand, firmly, like the bulls in the pasture.  You don’t challenge them.

From my kid’s perspective:

  1. You do not change your clothes because they are dirty, mud-splattered, damp from pond water or smeared with cow manure.  It is the farm.  It is enjoyed more if you are dirty.
  2. You haven’t really had a successful trip to the farm unless you have a chigger or black gnat bug bite. 
  3.  Coffee and sweet tea are offered to children of all ages, especially infants and toddlers who have never had it before.
  4. Everyone on the farm participates in a tick check every evening after baths.  It is a mandatory requirement.  If you are lucky enough to have a blood-sucking vermin attached to your skin, you have had a great day and are patted on the back and offered Grandma’s special itching ointment.
  5. Petting, holding and kissing un-vaccinated farm cats and dogs is acceptable on the farm.
  6. Pointy sticks that would poke your eyes out at home are perfectly harmless.   Watching the baby of the family use said stick to dip in the dog’s water bowl and then lick, only brings laughter from adults. 
  7. Finding a box turtle, carving your initials in its shell and writing your name on it with a Sharpee marker before letting it go, is better than visiting Disneyworld.  Any day.
  8. Traipsing through muddy ponds in rubber boots, crawling under barbed-wire fences, digging the fruit worms from rotten peaches only heightens your farm experience.
  9. Eating a raw, unwashed onion from your Grandpa’s garden spade is awesome. 
  10. Your Grandma’s home cooking and baking is so much better than your Mom’s that you mention it at least 4 times at every meal while staying at the farm.  You also clean your plate and declare asparagus from the garden to be your new favorite food.
  11. Your visit to the farm is not complete without discovering a discarded, smelly turtle shell or some other animal carcass (a.k.a farm treasure) to take home and place on your dresser for the next 3 months. 
  12. Sitting still through Sunday church with 37 other country church-goers and 9 special songs is not a problem.
  13.  As you drive away in your dirt-covered car,  sobbing, you continue until you see your parents get out their calendar and plan the next visit to the farm.
Once the tears had dried, my daughter said, “Mom, do you know the best part about you marrying Daddy?”  Well.  Yes, I do, I started to answer. “It’s the farm,” she stated in a matter-of-fact way.
Yeah.  That’s on my list too.

A New ‘Most Embarrassing Moment’

I woke up the other day, needing some “Me” time.
So, last week, I grabbed a babysitter and set out for a girl’s day out.  We shopped, had pedicures and ate lunch.
At Cracker Barrel.  Because we’re Southern.  And because there’s sweet tea.
I had a Veggie platter.  Don’t applaud my healthy choice.  My veggies were deep fried.
We were simply stuffed full of southern fried goodness, but we couldn’t pass up the dessert of the day.
The waitress brought this out.  With multiple spoons:
I know.  I had the same response.
We giggled like silly girls when she dropped this off at the table.  
I love sweets.  I, mean, love them.  Even when I’m dieting, I buy all the Weight Watcher’s desserts because I-must-have-sugar.  It’s an autoimmune disorder and I’m seeking medical attention. 
Let me just say.  Treat yourself.  Find the nearest Cracker Barrel now.  Drive 149.3 miles, if you must.  
This strawberry shortcake was divine.
When I took the first bite, an explosion-of-sorts, happened in my brain.
And I let out a noise.
It sounded strangely like a moan.

Oh, yes.  I did.

Well.  We laughed.
And, I ate more.
The waitress came over.  Put her hand on my shoulder.
She gave me a knowing smile and said, “Moan if you must.”
Oh, yes.  She did.
I licked the platter clean, picked up my babies and decided I need to have a girl’s day out more often.  
Giggles, shortcake, and all.
For more great me moments, visit Tammy at My Life.

Sometimes We Just Need a Lift

Psalm 40:2
lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

Thank you God for helping me out of the muck of my own making.  I get in sticky places often and You set my feet on stable ground.