I Thought I Told you…

by Carole Browntumblr_mb6rdy6llW1rwyxwco1_5001…that I LOVE October.  So to spread a little cheer, I’ll share a few quotes and pictures that will have you smiling and thinking and maybe give you the urge to shuffle through some autumn leaves yourself. Enjoy!

October Loves:

  • Brick walkways and streets
  • Rain 
  • Lamp lights

 

 

 

 

 

 

“October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills once more in sight, and the enduring constellations above them once again.” 

October Loves:

  • The clear starry nights
  • The transition between warm days and cold ones
  • The colorful trees that encourage us to look UP!

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”  Anne of Green Gables

October Loves:

  • The colors of Autumn
  • The harvest of Autumn
  • The sense of Autumn

 

“October is the month for painted leaves…. As fruits and leaves and the day itself acquire a bright tint just before they fall, so the year near its setting. October is its sunset sky; November the later twilight.” ~Henry David Thoreau, “Autumnal Tints”

October Loves:

  • Children at play
  • Snoopy loves Fall! 🙂
  • Bright cheeks

October is crisp days and cool nights, a time to curl up around the dancing flames and sink into a good book. ~John Sinor

October Loves:

  • Fresh Apple Cider
  • Pumpkins
  • Crisp Apples

Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter. ~Carol Bishop Hipps, “October,”

 

May you all have a blessed rest-of-the-October, and may your work be fruitful and abundant. 

 

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You’re Saying it All Wrong!

by Carole Brownmonkey-474147__340

I ran across this list the other day and checked it out to see if I was guilty of any. What do you think? Are you guilty?

Have fun reading it!

  1. Nip it in the butt or Nip it in the bud?
  2. I could care less or I couldn’t care less?
  3. One in the same or One and the same?
  4. You’ve got another thing coming or You’ve got another think coming?
  5. Each one worse than the next or Each one worse than the last?
  6. On accident or By accident?
  7. Statue of limitations or Statute of limitations?
  8. For all intensive purposes or For all intents and purposes?
  9. He did good or He did well.
  10. Extract revenge or Exact revenge?
  11. Old timer’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease?
  12. I’m giving you lead way or I’m giving you leeway?
  13. Aks or Ask?
  14. What’s you guyses opinion or What’s your opinion, guys?
  15. Expresso or Espresso?
  16. Momento or Memento?
  17. Irregardless or Regardless?
  18. Sorta or Sort or?
  19. Conversating or Conversing?
  20. Scotch free and Scott free or Scot free?
  21. I made a complete 360 degree change in my life or I made a complete 180 degree change in my life?
  22. Curl up in the feeble position or Curl up in the fetal position?
  23. Phase or Faze?
  24. Hone in or Home in?
  25. emoji whatever freeBrother in laws or Brothers in law?

 

There you have it. Now, ‘fess up! Are you guilty of any of these?

 

Are You Ready for Autumn?

by Carole Brown

I LOVE Autumn. One of my favorite seasons, when the end of September is nearing, I began to get antsy w/anticipation of decorating for it! I thought I’d share a few photos that might give you a little inspiration for the season.

First, here are some ideas of WHAT can be used: 

The obvious and not-so obvious:

  • Gourds and pumpkins
  • Nuts, berries (like wild ones: bittersweet, etc.), leaves, acorns, 
  • Containers: jars (unique and old), cans (big and little), outdoor objects like wheelbarrels, bicycles, chairs, benches, window sills, porch steps, wooden stumps, picnic tables, discarded toys, etc.
  • Other stuff: hay bales, hay stacked into tall shapes, veggies, fruits, herbs, farm equipment, old wheels, trash cans

Now, the pictures:

barrel n gourds free

 

Love this old barrel topped with harvest gourds, pumpkins and vines. 

 

erika free

 

Totally adore these blues, purples and yellows! What an eye-catching decor. Already planning on using this idea!

 

 

drawing on wood free

 

 

If you’re good with art work, you might love this one. I can’t draw a straight line, so it’s out for me…but stencils and other sort of things might help create this or many different designs.

 

 

twig pic frame free

 

 

Love this too! Planning on using it this fall with my own “adaptations” to it! 🙂

 

 

thanksgiving outdoor decor free

 

So cute! I can’t stand the one-eyed thing (just me!) but you could decorate it to suit your fancy

 

 

What is your favorite you use? Want to include a picture? Would love to see it!

10 Steps to Declutter Your Home.

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Clutter is an epidemic in the US. Many of us have way to much stuff to enjoy what we have, but we worry about parting with some of it for sentimental reasons or because we spent a lot of money on it. How much money we wasted is in the past. If we want a peaceful environment, room to stay organized, and a place for everything so we don’t have to spend precious time looking for it, we need to get rid of our stuff. Trust me. It will feel so good when your done.

Start at the front door of your house. Many people are paralysis when they consider where to start. I’ll make it easy for you. Start at the front door. Are there any shoes there you don’t wear? Do you have too many coats? If you have more than three winter coats, you have too many.

Go in a clockwise circle around the room and organize. Next circle the room. As you get to each place in your room, decide what you need to keep and what needs to go. Then go to the next room.

Keep four boxes and trashcan with you.

The first box is labeled “Put Away”. This is for stuff that you need to put away or find a place for. Resist the temptation to put it away now. You might have a lot more room when you’re done.

The second box is labeled “Give Away” or “Sell”. These are items that have some value but you don’t need. It’s difficult to part with something you spent money on, but if you give it to the poor or sell it, you’ll feel better about freeing up that space. After you’re done decluttering, sell this stuff on e-bay or at a garage sale and make some money, or take it to the Salvation Army or AmVets. There also might be some items family members would cherish. Consider giving some of your stuff to them.

The third box is for storage. These are items you need, but you don’t need them all the time. Christmas and Fall decorations would fall in this category. Label each storage box with what is in that box for easy reference later.

The fourth box is for keepsakes and memorials that mean a great deal to you. This box is not for the pencil your nine year old took to school his first day of Kindergarten. These keepsakes should be important and irreplaceable. Things like your wedding certificate and your children’s first teeth might go here. After you’re finished organizing, you can go back to this box and decide how to display some of these items. If you don’t have room to display them, it might be better to get rid of them. Keeping a keepsake packed away in the garage for years doesn’t help you feel any fond memories about it.

The trashcan is for everything else. Be merciless about this. You don’t need 20 pieces of string just in case. You don’t need a cleaning product you never used but bought because it looked good on QVC. You don’t need a 20 gallon drum of Spic and Span. Get rid of it and free up your space and your life. You might also want to have a recycle bag for items you can take to the recycle plant later. See, you are helping the environment by decluttering.

Evaluate your stuff. Have you used it in the last year? Do you intend to use it within a month? Does it have great sentimental value? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you can keep it. Otherwise get rid of it. You will be amazed at how much stress you can get rid of by getting rid of your stuff.

Repeat in every room.

Go through the keepsakes again. After you’re finished organizing, you can go back to this box and decide how to display some of these items. Keeping a keepsake packed away in the garage for years doesn’t help you feel any fond memories about it. One idea is to start a scrapbook or memory box for each of your children. If you have too many keepsakes to fill one memory box for each child or to display your treasures, go through them again, and try to cut them down by half.

Organize Puzzle Shows Arranging Or OrganizingFind a place for all your put away items. At this point, you may have to get rid of some of them. You don’t need 53 pens and 7 pairs of scissors. The first time I went through this process, I found out I had seven 99 cent turkey basters. My husband convinced me to keep two so I had a back-up, but nobody needs seven turkey basters. Get rid of excess items.

Find a place for your storage boxes. They should be easily accessible but not take up prime space in your home. A storage closet, shelves in the garage, the attic, or the basement work well for storage boxes.

Find a place for your garage sale or e-bay items and label the boxes with the date. If you don’t sell them within a year, take them to the Salvation Army. You never will get to selling them if your haven’t within a year. Do not open the boxes to look through them at this point. You’ve gone without them for this long. It’s time to let go.

Repeat decluttering process at least once a year. Enjoy the peace that comes from a decluttered house.

God’s Wonderful World, Scenes and Imagination

by Carole Brown

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. –the Bible

As an author, I marvel at the sights of this beautiful planet. My imagination soars with the heights and floats with the breeze and waves. I imagine my established characters, and sometimes new ones, in these scenes.

Pictures and scenes are one of the greatest ways to foster ideas. I take LOTS of pictures in our travels. Some of them have made it into videos of my books. Others serve to keep my mind agile and brisk with ideas. 

Tell me, what kind of story ideas do these pictures give you?

20170902_151627[1]

Do you see a young couple hiking in the northwest? What troubles do they stumble into? A dead body? A raging fire? Kidnapping? Finding themselves with new purpose? Do you imagine a family camping here and encountering wild creatures? Fishing? Hunting? Or can you see something entirely different?

For this one: I imagine one that I’ve begun and have yet to finish: 

Set in Mexico, in a missionary setting, a young girl meets two very different impressive men, but which one is the right one–for her? Then, she must also figure out which one is the drug lord… Can she do both–and survive?

 

20170808_170718

What do you imagine here happening?

An Amish story? an 1800s novel? A wagon train passing through? Or perhaps a country farm setting with a wife who dabbles in mystery problems in the nearby town?

To me, I can see another story,  I’ve begun and hope to finish soon, set during the late 1800s, Destiny and Michael riding their horses through one of the fields he owns, arguing, both strong people who must decipher whose father was the gold thief and find love in the midst of their suspicions.

 

Forest for Cara2

In this one, what does this scene depict in your mind?

A scary situation? Mystery? A lost child? Can you feel the terror? Do crazy thoughts of someone jumping out at you lurk in your imagination? Can you see children in an adventure book strolling this path?

To me, I can see in my Alex and Denton Davies series, the two of them walking this semi-dark woodland pathway, searching for clues or chasing after a suspect.

 

entry way free

And one last one to stir your creative juices…

Does this bring to mind a warm, cozy feeling? Can you see an abominable snowmen lurking close by? Or can you see a couple meeting on the ski slopes? A family adventure? A lonely older person meeting his soul mate? 

I see a mountain lodge where a female detective looks for a psycho suspect and runs smack dab into a love she hadn’t planned on. But can she find the bad person…and keep the love?

 

 

Can you see how we can use pictures and images to further our writing, to increase our creative juices, to spur us to keep writing, and to give us the encouragement we need when we’re stumped?

Take advantage of everything and all things that keep you writing.

Tell me, what do YOU see in these pictures? What do you use to sit down at your writing desk and add a few more pages to your document?

Five Lessons Learned from This Summer

by Carole Brown

Seasons have a way of teaching us things we need to know, and this summer, I’ve certainly had many opportunities. Did I take heed and learn the lessons God 

little-boy-in-dandelions free

brought to my attention? I certainly hope so.

  • Pay attention to the children. They’re only little once and every minute counts when you have the opportunity to be with them. And who knows which one may be crying out for help in unspoken words? Encourage their endeavors, laugh often, criticize less, listen to the spoken and unspoken words from these “founts of wisdom, love a lot, and do what you can for them. It’s so very much worth it!

 

  • Pay attention to the world around you. My youngest grandson recently picked upgravel-rocks free a common ole gravel and gave it to me declaring it unique and lovely. Was it? In his eyes, yes. In my eyes? Yes, for two reasons. He gave it to me and the gift automatically transformed a common gravel into a thing of beauty. Remember how the sand feels on your bare feet? How long has it been since you’ve listened–really listened–to the world around you? Don’t lose these natural soothing sounds. Don’t forget to love the beauty that surrounds you–simple or magnificent. All of us can’t travel to exotic places, but beauty is found everywhere. 

 

  • Time flies.  As we grow older we realize what our youth didn’t: time certainly doesclock free fly. A few days ago, August started; now, today I’m catching glimpses of the end of the month. Sigh. We’ve had two vacations at the lake house, one vacation at the beach, one at camp, and a short trip to Gettysburg. Now, Grandsons have begun school, and we’re looking at Autumn! Don’t let any period of time pass you by without having memories to write down, share with others, pictures, or paste into scrapbooks. What were your most valuable moments? What words were spoken that will forever glow in your heart?

 

  • Some things only pass by us one time. I’m reminded often tosunrise free take advantage of playing with make believe with my grandson, to listen while my older ones still want to ask questions or tell me their observations. Do I think differently? Sometimes, but that’s not what it’s important. How can I neglect their trust now then expect their attention when they’ve grown up? Why would I want to sleep in another ten minutes when hubby wants to take that sunrise walk? Don’t lose focus that…sometimes we only get that one opportunity. 

 

  • Say less. I did one of those fun, but crazy, quizzes on Facebook the other day wherequiet free they determined (scientifically, I’m sure. Lol) what color I was. As I suspected, they described me as I already knew was my basic personality. One of the things mentioned was my desire to get along, and that’s true. I don’t like havoc and disturbance, problems and disagreements (although I’m realistic enough to know we’ll encounter them) in my life. I like making others happy. How do we do that? We can’t always, but sometimes, as I was reminded this summer, the less said, the better. We don’t always have to reply, we don’t always have to voice our opinion, and we certainly don’t always have to defend ourselves or what we believe (although I don’t believe in being a doormat either!). Sometimes we have to learn when the time is right and walk away. 

Were there more? Plenty! But if I can carry through on accepting and initiating these lessons, I will have improved my own life and possibly encouraged others to be better persons. 

How was your summer and did the season/events help you learn valuable lessons?

 

My Top Ten Favorite Hobbies

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Everyone has things they enjoy doing for fun. Here is my list of 10 favorite hobbies. I didn’t include spiritual activities such as Bible study, prayer, and worship, but I love them too. I also didn’t include my ministry activities such as Gospel illusions, puppets, and preaching.

 

10. Playing board games and card games: I love to spend an evening with friends playing games.

9. Dancing: I took 20 years of dance lessons when I was younger.

8. Knitting: I learned how to knit from my grandmother, but I taught myself how to make more than scarves when I was pregnant with my first child.

7. Going to the movies with my husband: I love to watch good, clean movies.

6. Researching my ancestry: This is a lot of fun, and you wouldn’t believe what I’ve found out.

5. Studying history: This is probably why I write historicals.

4. Watching classic movies: I love classic movies, especially movies from the 1940s and 1950s.

3. Traveling: I’ve been to 40 states and 8 countries. Going to the other states and a few more countries is on my bucket list.

2. Reading: I have always loved to read. I remember reading with a flashlight under the covers when I was a kid and supposed to be asleep. When I was a teen, I read classics and Shakespeare for fun.

1. Writing: Writing isn’t really a hobby since I am an author, but I do enjoy it enough to include it on the list.