Friday 56: Outlive Your Life

Every Friday, LadyD Books participates in a weekly meme called The Friday 56. Right now I'm reading a book by New York Times Best Selling Author, Max Lucado. It's called Out Live Your Life.

Product Description

These are difficult days in our world's history. 1.75 billion people are desperately poor, natural disasters are gouging entire nations, and economic uncertainty still reigns across the globe. But you and I have been given an opportunity to make a big difference. What if we did? What if we rocked the world with hope? Infiltrated all corners with God's love and life? We are created by a great God to do great works. He invites us to outlive our lives, not just in heaven, but here on earth. Let's live our lives in such a way that the world will be glad we did.

Friday 56 Guide:

* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions
on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
Post a link along with your post back to this blog Starting Fresh and to Storytime with Tonya and Friends
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

 Here's Mine:

"Congratulations! You just qualified to serve in the most ancient of ministries: hospitality."
From-- Outlive Your Life: You Were Made To Make A Difference

With 4 wonderful grandchildren and this weekend's activities of Harvest Fairs to attend, wishing you and yours a very merry "pumpkin-filled day" of awesome memories. Indeed, an opportunity to serve pumpkin pie to neighbors, friends and family.


“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Patch

 Wordless Wednesday

 Wordful Wednesday

We had a blast our local pumpkin patch. How about you? 

And to add to the fun, here's a favorite Paula Dean Pumpkin Pie recipe:


  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
  • 1 piece pre-made pie dough
  • Whipped cream, for topping


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color.
For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.
Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.

More Pumpkin Trivia

[puhmp-kin or, commonly, puhng-kin]
1. a large, edible, orange-yellow fruit borne by a coarse, decumbent vine, Cucurbita pepo,  of the gourd family.

2. the similar fruit of any of several related species, as C. maxima  or C. moschata.

3. a plant bearing such fruit.

1640–50;  alter. of pumpion  ( see -kin), var. of pompon  < MF, nasalized var. of popon  melon, earlier pepon  < L pepōn-  (s. of pepō ) < Gk pépōn  kind of melon
Word Origin & History

1647, alteration of pumpion  "melon, pumpkin" (1545), from M.Fr. pompon,  from L. peponem  (nom. pepo ) "melon," from Gk. pepon  "melon," probably originally "cooked by the sun, ripe," from peptein  "to cook." Pumpkin-pie  is recorded from 1654. Pumpkin-head,  Amer.Eng. colloquial for "person with hair cut short all around" is recorded from 1781.
Computing Dictionary

pumpkin definition

 A humourous term for the token - the object (notional or real) that gives its possessor (the "pumpking" or the "pumpkineer") exclusive access to something, e.g. applying patches to a master copy of source (for which the pumpkin is called a "patch pumpkin").
Chip Salzenberg  wrote:
David Croy once told me once that at a previous job, there was one tape drive and multiple systems that used it for backups. But instead of some high-tech exclusion software, they used a low-tech method to prevent multiple simultaneous backups: a stuffed pumpkin. No one was allowed to make backups unless they had the "backup pumpkin".
 Books: CasaCucurbita
The Wizard of Pumpkin
The Maltese Pumpkin
A Farewell to Pumpkins(Arms)
One flew over the Pumpkin Patch
The Pumpkins of Wrath
Cucurbita in the Rye

Movie Titles:
Best Horror Film on 1998: Honey, I Shrunk the Pumpkins!
Great Expectations
Pumpkin Field of Dreams
Romancing the Pumpkin(Stone)
Find more at:
All the best,
-- LadyD 

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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Secrets to Tutu Making Success - DVD Giveaway

One of my blogging buddies, Brimful Curiosities, has posted a great giveaway on her blog. You can find the details at DVD Giveaway

Head on over and leave a comment. Hope you win!

 The Secrets to Tutu Making Success DVD includes directions on how to make 15 different tutu designs, including the Basic Tutu. None of the designs require a sewing machine. Even a novice crafter can easily whip up a tutu by following this DVD guide. In fact, the only sewing required for most of the designs is a few simple stitches to close and secure the elastic waistband of the tutu. Jenni speaks clearly throughout the entire video and her instructions are very easy to follow. It's like attending a tutu making course, but you can learn right in your own home on your own time. 

My daughter majored in dance and I have fond memories of her wearing pink tutu's in her Nutcracker performances, especially white ones and then she wore blue ones, too.

Now I have a new granddaughter and I'm thinking it's time to sew some for her and her dolls and her stuffed animals. Oh, joy! I thought Brimful Curiosities did a great job on her daughter's red tutu. Have you ever made a tutu before? I think I would like to try.

-- LadyD

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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The Miracle of Mercy Land: Blog Tour and Review

The Miracle of Mercy Land

Kelly Blewett, a freelance publicist working with the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, invited LadyD Books to participate in the blog campaign for River Jordan's The Miracle of Mercy Land. The blog campaign runs from October 25-29th. Indeed, I said "Yes", so a big thank you goes to Kelly and WaterBrook Multnomah for providing the book for review.

Book Summary:

Mercy Land has made some unexpected choices for a young woman in the 1930s. The sheltered daughter of a traveling preacher, she chooses to leave her rural community to move to nearby Bay City on the warm, gulf-waters of southern Alabama. There she finds a job at the local paper and spends seven years making herself indispensable to old Doc Philips, the publisher, and editor. Then she gets a frantic call at dawn—it’s the biggest news story of her life, and she can’t print a word of it. 
Doc has come into possession of a curious book that maps the lives of everyone in Bay City—decisions they’ve made in the past, and how those choices affect the future. Mercy and Doc are consumed by the mystery locked between the pages—Doc because he hopes to right a very old wrong, and Mercy because she wants to fulfill the book’s strange purpose. But when a mysterious stranger shows up, Mercy begins to understand she may have to choose between love and loneliness . . . or good and evil . . . for the rest of her life. 

The Miracle of Mercy Land

The Author

River Jordan began her writing career as a playwright where her original works were produced, including Mama Jewels: Tales from Mullet Creek, Soul, Rhythm and Blues, and Virga. 
Ms. Jordan's first novel, The Gin Girl (Livingston Press, 2003), has garnered such high praise as "This author writes with hard-bitten confidence comparable to Ernest Hemingway. And yet, in the Southern tradition of William Faulkner, she can knit together sentences that can take your breath."
Kirkus Reviews described her second novel, The Messenger of Magnolia Street, as "a beautifully written atmospheric tale." It was applauded as "a tale of wonder" by Southern Living, who chose the novel as their Selects feature for March 2006, and described by other reviewers as " a riveting, magical mystery" and "a remarkable book." 
Her third novel, Saints In Limbo has been painted by some of the finest fiction voices of today as "a lyrical and relentlessly beautiful book," and "a wise, funny, joyful and deadly serious book, written with a poet's multilayered sense of metaphor and meter and a page-turning sense of urgency," and reported by Paste Magazine as "a southern gothic masterpiece."

Her fourth novel, The Miracle of Mercy Land, arrives on September 7, 2010. Her first non-fiction work, Praying for Strangers, An Adventure of the Human Spirit will be published by Penguin/Berkley on April 5, 2011.

Ms. Jordan teaches and speaks around the country on "The Power of Story", and produces and hosts the radio show Clearstory Radio from Nashville. When not traveling the back roads of America, River lives with her husband and their Great Pyrenees lap dog in Nashville, Tennessee.

My Thoughts

The story is set in a  sleepy Southern town in the 1930s. There we find one of the main characters, Mercy Land, a trustful newspaper reporter, who encounters a mysterious book that holds the past, secrets, and future of every person in Bay City. Mercy works along-side Doc, the owner of the local town newspaper, The Banner. He is an elderly guy, full of wisdom and experience and becomes Mercy's closest friend and mentor. 

Someone from Mercy's past,  John Quincy who is a bit mysterious yet ever so handsome and smooth in all his ways, comes to town and is also interested in this book. Mercy tries to uncover the book’s purpose but soon discovers that the contents within burden her with the responsibility of so many choices that could affect future lives forever, including hers.

I couldn't put this mesmerizing book down. I finished it in a few days and was so impressed with River Jordan's professional writing style. She is an excellent word-crafter. Her words come alive and make me feel such a part of this marvelous story, a spiritual thriller.

The Miracle of Mercy Land is a magical story of twists and turns, going deeper into hurting, broken lives and discovering the power of redemption in mercy and love. 5 stars! The book has elements of mystery, romance, and historical fiction. A win-win combination from this brilliant author. I look forward to reading more from River Jordan. 5 stars!

What if you had the power to amend the choices you made in the past? Would you do it even if it changed everything?

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press; Original edition (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307457052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307457059
 For more information and a look into a chapter of the book, visit her site.
I LOVED this book!

-- LadyD

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

Review: The King's Christmas List

The King's Christmas List
by Eldon Johnson

The King's Christmas List
By Eldon Johnson
Published by Thomas Nelson

Book Description

“Emma couldn’t wait to go to the King’s birthday party, but what should she bring? Emma and her little dog Shu-Shu were thrilled to be invited to the King’s birthday party. But what do you get a King for his birthday? Emma and Shu-Shu have no gift, but they bring the Christmas cake they made with Mom and put on their Sunday best as they dash to the King’s carriage. And of course, Emma couldn’t go anywhere without her beloved Cherry-Bear. On the way, they have encounters that lead them to bestow their cake, winter-cape, and even Cherry-Bear, on others. Now they’re chilly, rumpled, and empty-handed—what will the King think? Emma frets, but when they finally meet the King at his palace, they discover they gave the King exactly what he wanted.

Children and parents will be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas, and that the greatest gifts we can offer to the Savior are gifts to the least of his brothers and sisters (based on Matthew 25:40). Families will be able to go online and be directed to notable charities to give their own gift to the King.”
The King's Christmas List

My Thoughts

This is a sweet story with a simple message written for the whole world to know of.

It's about giving to others, like one act of kindness or paying it forward, especially at Christmas when the emphasis is on materialism with kids echoing to one another, "What did you get for Christmas?"

This beautiful picture book with stunning illustrations by Bonnie Leick show the main character, Emma wearing a red dress and a red bow in her hair, along with her wee gentle dog Shu-Shu against a white, snowy background.

The book, well written by Eldon Johnson,  begins with the two of them playing in Emma's playhouse that her Daddy built.  I can remember when my husband built a playhouse for our little one and such wonderful, magical events took place inside.

Emma finds herself in The King's Kingdom when she opens the door to her playhouse. Why even the mailbox is glowing and inside she finds an invitation to the King's birthday party.

Soon a beautiful horse drawn carriage arrives for Lady Emma  and her gentle dog Shu-Shu to take them to "His Royal Christmas Celebration".  Along the way, Emma meets people who are in need.

She stops to offer them what she has with her and continues her journey to the King’s party. When Emma arrives at the party she sees that no one is giving a gift to the King and Emma doesn’t have a gift to give to the King either. 

She later finds out that her giving to the people she meets on her way to the party is the best present she could give to the King. If you were invited to a King's birthday party, what would you bring him? Many would say, "their heart."

Ideas for your gift giving this year can be found at the back of the book. Begin your journey here.

I love this beautiful children's book! Excellent for gift giving and an added blessing for home and Sunday School libraries. 5 stars!

This review was made possible by ThomasNelson Publishers.

Thank you,
-- LadyD

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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Friday 56: Take the Stress Out of Your Life

My dear friend Dan sent tons of books to me through the mail. I was so surprised to see Fed Ex drive up on a rainy day. Yes, it's true that sometimes even California gets a little rain and all the farmers rejoice!

So, one of my special books written by a medical doctor and his proven approach to minimize stress and maximize health...  looks interesting.

If you have not heard of Friday 56, I invite you to follow along and play this cute meme and meet some wonderful bloggers. Here's how it goes:

 Friday 56 Guide:

* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions 
on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
Post a link along with your post back to this blog Starting Fresh and to Storytime with Tonya and Friends
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

 Here's mine:

" As we calm our minds, our muscles will usually relax, and as we calm our muscles, our minds will often become more focused."

Take the Stress Out of Your Life: A Medical Doctor's Proven Program to Minimize Stress and Maximize Health [Book with Two Audio CDs]

By: Jay Winner, M.D.

Do you find that you have a book close by you today? If so, I'd love to hear about it.
Happy Friday!

-- LadyD

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

Wordless Wednesday: Both Sides Now

Wordless Wednesday

 Wordful Wednesday
"Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere, I've looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun they rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done, but clouds got in my way
I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's cloud's illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all
Moons and Junes and ferris wheels the dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real, I've looked at love that way
But now it's just another show, you leave 'em laughin when you go
And if you care don't let them know, don't give yourself away
I've looked at love from both sides now
From give and take and still somehow
It's love's illusions I recall
I really don't know love at all
Tears and fears and feeling proud, to say, "I love you" right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds, I've looked at life that way
But now old friends are acting strange they shake their heads, they say
I've changed
But something's lost but something's gained in living every day
I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all"
Judy Collins Lyrics: Both Sides Now 

Remember the song?

-- LadyD

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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Ella Sarah Gets Dressed

Cover of "Ella Sarah Gets Dressed"Cover via AmazonMargaret Chodos-Irvine received a Caldecott Honor Award Book with "Ella Sarah Gets Dressed."

Ella Sarah isn't like her sister.

Or her mother.

Or her father.

She's like Ella Sarah.

And when it's time to get dressed.

She knows just what to do.

Margaret Chodos -Irvine is the illustrator of Buzz and Apple Pie Fourth of July, both written by Janet S. Wong, and Hello, Arctic! by Theodore Taylor. Buz was named an ABA's Pick of the Lists and a Los Angeles Times Book Review Best Book of the Year. Ms. Chodos-Irvine lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and their two daughters, both of whom love to dress up.

I have a new granddaughter now. This is a perfect  picture book with beautiful illustrations and simple text describing a toddler's behavior so accurately. 5 stars!

I also love to sew and quilt and have for many, many years. Are you a seamstress and/or quilter?
Here are a few blogs where I get my inspiration and yes, free pattern ideas!

Do you have a favorite sewing blog?

Happy reading and Happy Sewing!
-- LadyD

You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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Friday 56: The Hero With A Thousand Faces

The Hero With A Thousand Faces

 I just received this book in the mail from my friend Dan. He insisted that I read this one or put it on my bookshelf with a huge red arrow pointing to it so that I can show and tell to all. Have you read this one before?

 Friday 56 Guide:

* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions 
on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
Post a link along with your post back to this blog Starting Fresh and to Storytime with Tonya and Friends
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Here's mine:

"But these only served to advance the inevitable; for while still relatively young, the youth exhausted for himself the fields of fleshly joy and became ripe for the other experience.
From: The Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

About the Book:

"This was required reading for a graduate course in the Humanities. This is a great book written by a very engaging storyteller. Joseph Campbell describes the monomyth in his book The Hero With a Thousand Faces as embodying all the necessary elements of the hero's journey in the many myths in human history. Campbell discovered through extensive research that humankind shares a universal monomyth in its various religions and legends especially pertaining to the creation of the world and humankind. Campbell borrowed the term monomyth from James Joyce's book Finnegan's Wake. Campbell's intuitive insight in human myth proves that for thousands of years these myths display a certain standard structure, which he summarizes beautifully in his book."
About the Author:

Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) was an inspiring teacher, popular lecturer, and author, editor and translator of many books on mythology, including, The Mythic Image.


 Happy Friday,

-- LadyD

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis Amplify

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Wordless Wednesday: Happiness is a Butterfly

Wordful Wednesday:

I love butterflies! These photos were taken in a Rainforest exhibit in San Francisco. It's a wonderful place called The Academy of Sciences.  I took so many snaps but these are just a few.

Marilyn Scott Waters (The Toymaker) offers PDF instructions  for making paper butterflies. Visit her site, you'll be glad you did. Easy Paper Butterflies Follow her instructions on this cool video:

Quotations About Butterflies:
"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."  ~Rabindranath Tagore
"Butterflies are self propelled flowers."  ~R.H. Heinlein
"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."  ~Hans Christian Anderson
 "Love is like a butterfly:  It goes where it pleases and it pleases wherever it goes. " ~Author Unknown
 "I only ask to be free.  The butterflies are free."  ~Charles Dickens
 "We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."  ~Maya Angelou
 "Grown-ups love figures.  When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters.  They never say to you, "What does his voice sound like?  What games does he love best?  Does he collect butterflies?" Instead, they demand:  "How old is he?  How many brothers has he?  How much does he weigh?  How much money does his father make?"  Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him. " ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943, translated from French
"May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond."
~Irish Blessing
Would you agree, happiness is a butterfly?! I love them all in their delicate uniqueness. Perhaps you have a favorite?

-- LadyD 
“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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