Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Time to Celebrate!

A to Z blog hop at Patterings
Welcome to A to Z!
We'd love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

This week is the letter C.

If you're joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.
~*~*~*~

It's time to celebrate!!

Our baby has a name!
What? You didn't know I had a baby in progress? LoL. Actually, some of you did. It's the Christmas anthology I've been compiling.

Awhile ago the idea to put together a Christmas anthology hit me. It was a full-blown brain blizzard. I put it off but the idea wouldn't leave me alone so I finally shared it with some people...and that led to going for it.

A group of us, represented by the wonderful Linda Glaz, decided to take the plunge and go for getting a book out in time for Christmas. I've had the privilege of compiling the book and I have to tell you, I have been SO BLESSED by the stories. I cannot wait to share them with you!

At this point I don't have a cover or release date but that's okay. The book is well underway and it's all I can do to sit quietly and wait.

Oh, wait!
I still haven't told you the name! LoL. (Did I mention how excited I am?!)

*drum roll*

Christmas Treasures: 
A Collection of Christmas Short Stories

Stay tuned for more information as I get it.

So tell me, what's your favorite kind of Christmas story?

PS--Keep an eye on Facebook to see who has stories in Christmas Treasures!

~*~*~*~
If you're joining us for the A to Z meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter C, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here. Also, if you don't have the linky gadget on your site, click the link to get the code so you can add it.





Monday, October 20, 2014

Monkey Bath

Sometimes when we are at work with the monkeys someone will go by and make comments about them being dirty or having fleas and lice. (It makes me mad, but I keep my mouth shut. But really, if the monkey was like that, do they think I'd bring him out like that? Do they think the fair board will allow me to set up and work there? Really, sometimes people talk before they think. Other times I think they're in a hurry and don't want to stop so their kids can see a monkey up close.)

ahem.
Rant over.

Sure, some monkeys are dirty. Some monkeys do smell. Some monkeys might even have fleas or lice. *shudder*

But NOT all monkeys! 
And certainly not mine!

Those of us who have monkeys and love them, take care of them, and that means they get baths.

Toby loves his bubble bath. Adores it!

A few days ago, author Karla Akins, who is also an animal lover (be sure to check out her well-loved pets!) sent me a link to this video and asked if my monkeys do this...



YES!! They do! I use baby shampoo for their bubble bath and on their fur like you see in the video and they scrub and scrub, using their hands, feet and tail. Sometimes though, I end up as wet as they do.

Monkey Monday at Patterings

Maybe another day I'll show you what happens when Toby decides to he doesn't want to take a bath...

And thank you, Karla for this great video clip! Squirt is adorable!!

So tell me, do your pets like their baths?


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Beauty Instead of the Beast

A to Z blog hop at Patterings
Welcome to A to Z!
We'd love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

This week is the letter B.

If you're joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.
~*~*~*~
It's been raining here at my house for days and days. Even when I wasn't home it was raining. We've had everything from storms to drizzle. Constant drizzle to tornado warnings. 

Yesterday my daughter came out of her room and growled when she looked out the kitchen window. "See, this is why I hate winter! It's so dark and gray. It's awful." I know what she's talking about. Often the winter--the dark days become like a Beast in our lives, making it hard to see anything else. Thankfully, later that day God reminded me of something I need reminding of often...


My youngest son stepped outside for something and came running back in to tell me to come see.


Beauty had flooded the sky.









Often we're so focused on the Beast that we miss seeing the Beauty.


After snapping a few pictures (okay, lots of pictures), I turned around to go back to the house. This is what I saw...


More beauty, even if this picture doesn't show it well.

A double rainbow.

What a reminder that there's beauty all around us. Even on dark days full of storms and the constant dripping of drizzle.

Sometimes we just need to step to where we can see and then look around.

Beauty is there, if we'll just look.

So tell me, what's something beautiful you've seen lately?

~*~*~*~
If you're joining us for the A to Z meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter B, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here. Also, if you don't have the linky gadget on your site, click the link to get the code so you can add it.



Monday, October 13, 2014

Changing of the Colors

Sometimes the best way to make a change is to do something drastic. Like remove the background I've been using for years. The background I love adore. The background that is truly me.

So I did it.

I removed my background.

I've always said I never wanted a white site, and we both know that using words like always and never is never a good idea.

Maybe I was holding onto my pink and green stripes too tightly...

Losing readers is something I've spent a lot of time thinking about over the years and lately too. I want to know what makes a person leave a site.

As I've tweaked my focus from time-to-time I've seen people stop following, and I'm good with that. Time is such a huge issue for everyone and I'm honored and humbled that anyone reads my blog--when I started blogging it was out of obedience, not to be found by others. I've worked at staying obedient even when it felt I wasn't doing what should be done to build my site. I want it to be relevant and good. I want people to leave with a smile, sometimes. I want to give them something to think about, sometimes. Sometimes I post things because I feel I need to.

Recently, on Facebook as well as on my agent's client loop, I asked for input on my site and my friends came through for me. They gave me encouragement and things to think about and opinions--I asked for opinions. =) I'm so thankful for all their input! I will be making changes here, as soon as I settle at home for more than 5 days in a row. LoL.

Some of the responses to my request for input made me think about what makes me leave a site...and there are some sites I will NOT go to, some that I leave without reading a word of the content (content I know they have and would like to read), and some sites that I'll scowl as I read the content and leave ASAP.

What is it that makes me leave a site like that?

  • Black sites or too-dark sites. I just can't do them--can't read white text on a black or dark background without killing my eyes and my eyes work hard enough without adding to their struggle.
  • Evidence that the site owner doesn't care about how the site looks. I find this in content-is-king-everthing-else-is-stupid group. Yes, content is king, but if the owner demonstrates they don't care about their site, why should I?
  • Cluttered. AND, I've found that this is very subjective. What I find cluttered is far different from what a minimalist finds cluttered. 
  • Ugliness. There. I said it. If I come across a site that strikes me as ugh-gly, I leave. Sorry, but I do. Chance are that I'm not the only one.
The interesting thing has been to see how my site fits into half of those categories (some people hate pink and my site is was definitely very pink). Do I have to please everyone? No way! It's not even possible. But, I can find a way to mold what I have here into something that doesn't drive people away before they read a word. And that's what I'll be working on. I may find something I like quickly and easily, but then again, it may take several tries. I'm not in a hurry and I want to get it right. The site may be pink when I'm done with it, but I doubt it'll be as pink and as bold as it was. The thing is, I'm staying open to change. So, if you see me changing faster than the trees up north, please bear with me. 

So tell me, what makes you leave a site?

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Anxious About...

A to Z blog hop at Patterings
Welcome to A to Z!
It's here! And I'm so excited. Another round of A to Z.

We'd love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

This week is the letter A.

If you're joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.
~*~*~*~

This year I've learned a lot about anxiety.
It's not a learning curve I sought out.
It's not been a fun lesson.

But it is the path I've been on and I know God has used it in my life. When the anxiety became too much I turned to the only One I knew who could handle it and do something about it. I dug into the Word and I think it saved my sanity.

I know it saved my peace of mind.

Not only did I find peace of mind, I found peace. All-encompassing peace. The peace that passes all understanding.


Now I'm anxious to--as in really looking forward to--share what I learned about anxiety and worry. I've been working on a study about worry and sometime this fall I'll be putting it on Kindle.

It's a good kind of anxiousness. One that I like.
One that I can live with.

So tell me, what's an anxiety you can turn the tables on and turn it into the good kind of anxiousness?


~*~*~*~
If you're joining us for the A to Z meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter A, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here. Also, if you don't have the linky gadget on your site, click the link to get the code so you can add it.



Monday, October 06, 2014

Done with Monkeying...

Done for the season!

This last weekend was our last monkey gig on the calendar. Which isn't unusual. I've gone from an empty monkey schedule to three events within a few hours, but not this time. It's too cold for monkeys outside! And I have to admit, I'm glad to see the cold weather come this year--it means I get to stay home for awhile. =)

Here Fonzie is enjoying the frozen treat Eileen gave hime while at the St. Clair Fair, in Belleville. He LOVED it!! (thank you, Eileen!)


Monkey Monday at Patterings

Wednesday, October 8th, A to Z starts! That's THIS Wednesday. And if you've asked for the links for this run of A to Z I'll be getting them to you soon.

Just didn't want you to think I'd forgotten. ;-)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A to Z, Take 4

A to Z blog hop at Patterings
Can you see me
happy dancing?

A to Z is back and I'm so happy. This is my favorite blog meme to participate in and host.

What's a meme? A meme is when a group of people get together and post on a similar topic or theme. It's the blogger's version of a progressive dinner...or a potluck dinner. Full of variety and fun.


Here's why the A to Z meme is my favorite...
  • Because A to Z gives me the perfect excuse to just post on any random thing that happens to begin with the letter of the week. 
  • It often opens my eyes to things in my world that begin with that letter and lets me post on things I wouldn't normally post about. 
  • I take a lot of pictures and it's a fun outlet for them.
  • A to Z is a great post jump-starter for me, often giving me just the spark of inspiration and creativity I need.

The A to Z meme will be starting again Wednesday, October 8th. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join us. It's a come as you can thing--no commitment, just jump in and post on the week's letter as you can.

I'll be posting a blog hop linky so each of you can have the linky gadget on your sites. It's more user friendly that way. =) If you'd like all the linky codes (A through Z) so you can schedule ahead, email me (patterly {at}gmail{dot}com) and I'll get it right to you.

Here's the deal for A to Z:

  • Anyone can play. Some of us will be returning A to Z-ers, but any one can join us and we would LOVE to have you along! The more the merrier! Grab a friend and join us!!
  • Anything goes. If you're pressed for time, pressed for brain cells (a common ailment of mine), stumped, whatever... a simple list will work! Or a picture or a verse—anything to get a post up. Seriously. Just make sure it ties in with the week’s letter. It can also be as focused or even a complicated post about a word that starts with that letter. Anything goes, related to the letter.
  • One letter a week. We'll start with A and finish April 1st, unless we take off for the holidays.
  • Wednesday's the day. (This is different from past rounds, so take note!!) Posting day is Wednesday. Or Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. ROFL. If you're like me, you might not remember on Wednesday, so any day works. I don't care, but that brings me to...
  • Let's link together! Part of the fun of a meme is linking together so we can encourage each other on. I'll put a linky up on my site each Wednesday, shortly after midnight so you can link up. Since this is a hop, you'll be able to put the linky code in your post too so the links appear on your site. (So very handy! *grin*)
  • Guilt-free participation!  Time is precious commodity for all of us. If you participate, all I ask is that you take a few moments and visit and comment on TWO other participants' sites. No need to visit everyone, but a couple is very appreciated.


Want to know more about memes and why you'd want to participate? Check out Making the Most of Memes for more information.

Would you feel more comfortable joining us if you had more of an idea of how or what we do? Check out past A to Z posts and feel free to follow some of the links at the bottom of each post.

Grab the button and join in the fun! If you're joining us, we'd love to have you add the button to your sidebar or inside your post, or both.


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.


Don't forget, A to Z starts back up on Wednesday, October 8th. 
Hope to see you then!

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