Thursday, October 29, 2020

Does 2020 have you worn thin?

Part 1 of an Interview Stacey Thacker,

Author of Threadbare Prayer

Life sometimes brings difficult situations or circumstances that can leave us feeling run-down, drained, worn-out, and threadbare. Illness, the death of a family member, the loss of a job, natural disasters, a pandemic. The events of this year have left us struggling in ways we cannot articulate. These are the times we most desperately need prayer, but they can also be the times we simply don’t have the words to form a prayer. How do you pray when you can’t find the words?

In Threadbare Prayer: Prayers for Hearts that Feel Hidden, Hurt, or Hopeless (Abingdon Press), Stacey Thacker presents 100 simple yet heartfelt devotions to guide readers on the days they don’t know what to pray. Each entry in this attractive, gift-worthy devotional contains a Bible verse, a brief thought, and a simple, concise prayer to encourage the reader’s heart.


Q: What is a threadbare prayer?

A threadbare prayer is a simple prayer based on Scripture that is easy to remember. Sometimes we go through seasons when we are feeling hidden, hurt, or hopeless and want to pray, but we just don’t have the words. I’ve gone through those times and found focusing on one simple prayer at a time was the key to holding on to Jesus.

A threadbare prayer can also be something we whisper in our hearts because we don’t have the strength to voice them aloud for others to hear. In those quiet moments, we can be sure that Jesus isn’t threadbare at all, and He will hear us and hold us together.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your new book, Threadbare Prayer. Who did you write it for and how is it intended to be read?

Let’s begin with who I thought about when I was writing this book. I thought about my friends, women I know from college and bump into at church or online who are feeling discouraged, overwhelmed, desperate and broken. Right now, I think that describes a lot of women—they feel worn and like they are hanging by a thread.

At the core of her heart, I think a threadbare woman is determined not to put distance between herself and God—but to draw near, press in, and cling to the hem of his robe. She shouts her ache to Jesus who she knows is holding her heart.

This book is a way to do just that. I wrote it so we could all focus on the Word, honestly pour out our threadbare hearts, and hold on to Jesus. He does beautiful work in our broken places if we let Him.

Q: How did the idea for the book come about?

I started writing Threadbare Prayer in my journal, during my Bible study. They were, from the beginning, very personal. I shared a couple on my blog and social media, and my friends and readers all said, “This is your next book!” I was actually surprised, but I’ve learned to listen to my followers throughout the years! So, I started to be a little more intentional about writing and sharing them and began to think about what a book about threadbare prayer could be.

I knew each prayer would have a verse, a short devotional, and the threadbare prayer. I also knew that a threadbare woman doesn’t have a lot of time or capacity for a deep dive into prayer. It needed to be meaningful and rich but simple. In the end, the idea for it to be a gift style book of 100 prayers emerged and I couldn’t be happier! It is the perfect book to leave on your coffee table or desk at work and give to a friend. I’m so happy with how it has turned out.

Q: In the book, you share stories of some of your own threadbare moments. Can you share some of the times when you have found yourself grasping for words to pray?

Throughout the book there are glimpses of some of my most threadbare moments. They include a period of three years where my dad passed away, my almost 9-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a severe and relentless chronic illness, and my husband suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. I found myself alone, fearful, weeping, and wondering what God was doing.

During each of these times, I would describe my prayers as desperate and simple. I didn’t have fine or fancy words. I couldn’t remember long passages of Scripture. I just had small breath prayers that I repeated over and over. “Lord, you are my shepherd, and I lack nothing” (Psalm 23:1) was one that I prayed when Mike was in ICU and later in rehab. I knew, Jesus was enough. He wasn’t threadbare, He was holding on to me.

Q: Is it always a major life event or stressor that causes threadbare periods or can these times also come from busyness and general weariness?

I think right now we are seeing that being threadbare can actually be a lot of little things that we are faced with in everyday life. Pandemic? Suddenly being HOME for 6 months, virtual learning, having to figure out how to see our parents who live in another state during quarantine?

I actually found the word “threadbare” in a book I was reading. As I read it, the word “stuck” in my heart, and I looked down and noticed my jeans had become threadbare and worn at the knee. Little by little with daily wear and tear, the hole got bigger. Isn’t that a picture of how little things can wear on us and we find ourselves hanging by a thread just trying to get the laundry finished or the groceries put away?

Q: What would you say to someone who is in the middle of a desert right now who can’t seem to see the better days ahead?

I would say that Jesus is powerfully drawn to your threadbare heart. His invitation in Matthew 11:28 is to “come to him and he will give you rest.” He is a comforter. He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). He is not far off. When you are hanging on by a thread, pray. Be honest. Pour out your heart. Take one Scripture and tell your heart the truth about who He is. Praise him. And let him do a beautiful thing in that broken place.

He will. I’ve seen him do that in my own life.

Visit Stacey Thacker online at staceythacker.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@OfficialStaceyThacker), Twitter (@staceythacker), and Instagram (@staceythacker).

 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Bachelorette: Clare: Week 3: Is this the week it falls apart?

I was throwing a hissy fit 45 minutes ago that I didn't want to cook dinner, that I wanted Mexican food. However, I made myself cook because I needed to make my last recipe before my next box comes tomorrow. 

I did accomplish setting off my smoke detector in the process tonight. I'm probably going to smell burned something all night. I actually didn't burn anything, I just made smoke. 

So... dinner is cooling off beside me as tonight's episode starts. Picking up where we left off with last episode, they are in middle of the cocktail party before the rose ceremony. We didn't have a rose ceremony last week. 

All the men want to make sure to get their time. 

Yosef is hung up on Clare being the oldest Bachelorette in history and supposedly the most mature. He's not into the raunchy humor that was the dodgeball game. He wouldn't have participated if he had been on that group date. Good for him, the father. Kudos. But do you really think that Clare came up with that date? Really? Yes, she brought up the strip idea, but I promise, the producers planted the seed. The producers run everything. 

Some of the guys are concerned about what exactly Yosef is going to say. I don't know why they care. If he makes himself out to be a jerk, it's better for everyone else if she kicks him off.

Yosef interrupts whoever she's talking to and raises two red flags. 

#1 was the group date he was on where she made the comment that they were here for her. He points out she is there for him too, and he gave up time with his daughter to be there. Clare says she understands because her mom is dying. He interrupts and asks to be able to finish what he's saying.

#2 was the whole dodgeball thing... the humiliation and so forth. Clare said that is why he was not on that particular date. He calls it classless and that he expected more from the oldest Bachelorette. He is appalled to be a part of all of this. They get in middle of a don't interrupt me, no listen to me fight. Clare tells him not to talk to her that way, that he wouldn't want him to be the father of her children, and to get out of there. 

I guess she kicked him off before he could technically quit. 

And then there was 21.

He repeats his line about the oldest Bachelorette in history. That's at least three times this episode he's said it. 

Clare goes of crying about him disrespecting her when he's done nothing "to that man." She's the oldest Bachelorette because she didn't settle for men like that or so she says. 

Here comes Dale to her rescue to hold her, kiss her on the head and console her. Clare cries that Yosef said the men were just appeasing her. Dales said he's there to please her. 

She wants to spend so much more time with him. He's everything she's wanted in a man. 

Chris Harrison talks to her a bit. He says he heard she had a good night with Dale. Chris asks if she wants to continue the cocktail party or call it a night. 

All day she wanted to spend time with them, but now she doesn't want to have conversations. She wants to take a moment, then do the rose ceremony. 

As a reminder, several men already have roses: Riley, Jason, Chasen, and Blake Moynes. 

  1. Dale (shocker to be the first off the batt {not}!)
  2. Zac C.
  3. Demar
  4. Brendan
  5. Jordan
  6. Joe
  7. Jay
  8. Bennett
  9. Eazy
  10. Ben
  11. Ed
  12. Ivan
  13. Kenny
  14. Zack J.
Going home are the guys whose names she couldn't remember: Blake Monar, Brandon (I guess, the picture doesn't look like the guy that left when trying to figure out from the cast photos--the guy that left had some gray hair on the sides and doesn't look like any of the cast photos), and Garin. 

After the three men leave, Dale gives the toast. 

The next day, some of the men compare notes of what happened the night before. Of course, Dale talks about having four sisters and being protective. 

The men wait around for the date card, and Chris Harrison arrives on the scene. Because of what happens, everyone will get dates this week. 

The first date card reads, "Jason, Jay, Eazy, Chasen, Blake, Ed, Riley, Dale... Today we separate the men from the boys." 

Clare is bummed and needs some advice. DeAnna Pappas must have been in quarantine, just waiting to give advice. She talks about it being 12 years since it was her turn. Clare gushes about Dale. 

Some guy thinks Clare is already past last night. I don't know who. I wasn't looking at the TV right that moment. Oh, it was Jason the stone cold dude from last week.

Clare has a pair of Dale's pants that smell like him. It's his ripped pants from the group date. 

Blake thinks this date is a date full of her favorite guys. It is a bunch of guys that got roses on dates. 

DeAnna says, "When you know, you know."

Clare replies, "This might be the shortest season ever."

The guys have been waiting for hours. It's evening before Clare arrives for the date. She said they originally had a day date planned, but it's late now. She wants to just have a cocktail party so they can have quality conversations. She's going to go get ready now and will see them there. 

Dale prefers this because it is going to be quality time. 

Eazy is disappointed because he thinks the day portion would have given him a chance to shine.

After a toast, Dale campaigns for a chance to talk to her for even just five minutes because of some things that happened last night. He does encourage a group hug. 

Riley finds it less than sincere. 

Clare leads Dale to her cabana. Then, her bedroom where they start off talking about the night before. He's proud of her and wants to check in. They ask each other if their hands are sweaty. Then it gets snuggly and so forth and so on. 

Meanwhile the next date card arrives. "Zack J. - I'm looking for my best friend." 

Now back to the longest five minutes Dale could ever ask for. The rest of the guys are wondering if they should send out a search party. It's been an hour by now. Eazy goes looking around trying to find where they are at. He knocks at the door. Finally, Clare answers, but says Dale is there. She wants one more hug before he leaves. 

Dale is all smiles when he gets back. None of the other men are. Riley gives the stare of death. Dale says he tried to leave early. Liar. 

After a short period of time with Eazy, they had back to the group. Clare asks the producers if they can hurry the rest of the time along. 

Riley interrupts Ed. Ed wants a few more minutes, but Clare sends him on since it's getting late. Jay says they have to be aggressive for time. Dale claims he was roaming and didn't know they were in there. Liar. 

When the other guys find out Dale got more time, no one is happy. 

Chasen breaks up the latest makeout session, but Claire wants to spend her time with him outside. 

Riley tries to call Dale on what's going on. He tells Dale to stop being a politician. Eazy says to get real. 

All the guys have figured out Clare is leaning towards Dale. When she comes on the scene, she say enjoyed every single conversation. Rose time. She thanks Dale for stepping up and being bold. She gives him the rose. 

In her syrupy sweet voice she thanks them all again for a good time. She says she's going to bed and leaves.

The rest of the guys are beat down. When all the men regather, they all confront Dale. He says he was just the best man suited for the situation. It makes no sense. He's not only a liar, he's a bad liar. Dale says he put his heart and soul into the conversation. 

The next day, Clare brags about how much sleep she got last night when she picks up Zack. Of course, we know who she was looking at.

Because there is only so much to do at the quarantine resort, they are going to have a spa day. They start with a pedicure. His feet are super ticklish, so he's having some issues relaxing. 

Then, Clare gives him an avocado face mask. His energy is nervous which makes her nervous. She wishes Dale was there. 

Some of the guys wonder if Zack can take the attention off of Dale. The other Zac wonders if Clare and Dale had been talking before they got there. 

After they clean up the guacamole, Clare and Zack head to a different pool. She thinks Zack's energy is off. She really wishes she was with Dale. Clare's dog runs out. She's going to take the dog in and says they should get ready for the rest of their date. She starts to lean in to kiss him, then stops. Zack tries to call her back and kiss her, and she blows it off. Supposedly, he pulled away, but did he? It was an awkward moment. She's wondering if she's over sensitive due to her traumas.

Zack arrives and waits and waits at the fake meal. Chris Harrison rolls in and sits down with Zack. Clare isn't coming to dinner. Zack isn't sure how the misunderstanding happened. This means Zack is going home. 

And then there were 20.

The guys know there's a connection with Dale, and there's really no use in the rest of them being there.

We don't see the date card, but it read "Don't take it personally."

The guys are glad that Dale is not there today. It's going to be a roast. Margaret Cho is going to help them with their jabs. They are supposed to come up with their best jokes. A roast wouldn't be a roast without an audience. Seeing as they are in quarantine, the audience will be the rest of the guys. 

Knowing that Dale will be there, all the guys are planning on roasting him. Bennett expects to get some remarks thrown his way, but he's not too worried knowing where most of the men's attention will be.

Bennett scares Margaret for some reason. That's the first barb.

Ben throws some shade that way too. He hits on Dale. 

As each man comes up after that, it's pick on Dale time.

 

Claire says it gets uncomfortable. 

Bennett really drills in on him. Then does a literal mic drop.

 

Dale is like, "Bring it on!"

Riley says Bennett spoke what everyone wishes they could say. He hopes it makes Clare dig deep to see why Dale is there. Clare asks Margaret if maybe it's jealousy. 

Clare wasn't amused by any of it. She says everyone can hate on, but they can't hate on love. She and Dale are a good fit. Neither of them makes a lot of sense. 

Later on the second group gets a cocktail party. Clare claims she loves a good roast even though she was saying it wasn't funny earlier. She decides to take Bennett off first. "You went after Dale so hard. What was that." He said it was only appropriate since he monopolizes time. Claire quizzes him about the comment about, "Best suited." Bennett tries to change the subject, but she wants to know what was said about Dale and being best suited. The guys are wondering if Dale saying that would have brought attention away from him.

With every guy, Clare brings up what they said about Dale. Clare wants to know about Dale's comments on being best suited. The guys try to change the subject. It doesn't work. 

The guys gather and compare notes about how Clare talks about Dale all night long. It's time for a date rose. Who talked about Dale the least? What they talk about means a lot to her. She didn't get what she needed with the guys, so she isn't giving out a rose. She tells them she has lots to think about and she'll see them at the rose ceremony tomorrow. She says if they are mad because she likes someone...

 

I really don't know what she expected. Someone to defend the object of her affections? She said, "It doesn't feel right that they were dishing on my fiance." Yes, she said that to the producers. On her interview, she wants to give the rose to ...

The rest of the guys have figure out that no one else has a shot. She isn't giving any of them a chance. Someone throws out the idea that they all walk out.

And with that... We have to wait until next week for it to actually blow up. 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Sanctuary

I taught today and forgot to get a video! I'm too out of practice! I'm going to try to remember to get a few on Wednesday night. 



Sanctuary

By John W. Thompson; © Kruger Organisation
Used by permission. CCLI # 1132191

(girls echo)
Oh Lord prepare me, to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true.
With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living
Sanctuary for You.

It was you Lord, who sent the Savior
Heart and soul Lord, to every man.
It is you Lord, who knows my weakness,
You refine me with Your own hand.

Lead me on Lord, through my temptations
You refine me from within
Fill our hearts with the Holy Spirit,
And take all our sins away.

Lord teach Your children, to stop the fighting,
And start uniting, all as one.
Let’s get together, loving forever
Sanctuary, for You.

And when He comes with shouts of glory
And our work on earth is done
O, how I long to hear Him saying,
“Faithful servant well done.”


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The Bachelorette: Clare: Week 2: Who is writing this season?

Let's just jump right into tonight's episode of The Bachelorette.

It's the morning after the first night, supposedly. Everyone knows that lasted way into the morning because it was daylight when the roses were handed out, so we're a day or two out.

Claire's going on about Dale with all the heart eye emojis. 😍

Chris has a morning pow-wow talking to them about being able to talk to people without masks, etc. since they have been quarantined. He tells them that Claire has said her husband is in this room.

Chris reveals the first date card:

"Riley, Jordan, Yosef, Ivan, Ben, Bennett, Zack C., Zack J. and Dale... I'm looking for a guy who speaks to my heart."

They follow the path of hearts to wherever on the resort Claire is and give her hugs. Dale picks her up to twirl her around. 

Claire put Dale on the group date because she couldn't wait to see him again.

They are going to figure out their love languages. They are going to speak to Claire's heart. The goal is to find out how the men express themselves, and if they can.

Ben is up first. He's pretty articulate. They go one after the other. Most impress Claire. She thinks most are sincere.

She can't wait to hear from Dale. 

He is not the most eloquent by a long shot.

The other men are sitting around the pool chilling when the guys from the group date go running back to their rooms, grabbing a gift that they had packed for Claire and go running back for the date. 

She opens them one at a time. The guy that was obsessed with chess gives her a Queen from a set. 

Another gives her a baseball from the last game he played in 2012.

Another gives her a t-shirt she can sleep in and smell him. I think it just came out of the suitcase because he didn't have anything else. 

One guy brings something dog related.

Next love language is physical touch. Everyone has to put on a blindfold then hug her and she rubs on him. 

Riley decides he's not going to hug. He's going to kiss up her arm. Claire says she knows who he is by his smell.

She thinks she knows all the guys already, even though they just met. 

Dale is up, and she is giddy. All the other guys are uncomfortable. 

The last love language will be quality time after they go and get dressed up. 

It's cocktail party time! She can't wait to spend time with Dale, and I don't get why, at least not yet. 

After a tiny bit of group chit chat, she asks if they should get the night started. No one volunteers first to pull her off. Claire has to pry. 

Finally, Bennett volunteers. As they walk off, she asks why no one was eager to talk. She says the conversation is good, but there's something in the back of her mind. She wants to know why the men weren't eager to speak to her.

She gets up and goes back to the men. She wants to know why no one was trying to pull her away. Claire asks about the silence. She says that if they want to chum up, she can go home and go to bed. They claim they didn't know it was time to do that. 

Dale claims he is on cloud 9 and has been since the beginning. After a few men speak up, Dale ends up pulling her away. 

Riley and Yosef get into it because at one point Yosef says, "I'll speak for the group." Riley makes it clear to Yosef that he can speak for himself.

Claire thanks Dale for pulling her away. Truth is, she went away from Bennett just so she can talk to Dale.

Claire tells him that even from this early on, she has feelings for him. He says the same thing, but I thinks he's just playing along. Kiss. Kiss. 

The rest of the men are gathered waiting for the next date card. Blake feels like he is going to get the one-on-one.

"Jason... Love will set us free... Clare."

Blake was wrong. He's sad.

Back to the men on the date...

The guy she's talking to (Seriously, ABC can't give names at the bottom of the screen?) asks how she got here. Claire talks about the abusive relationship she left in order to do the show the first time. Oh, that was Zack C. 

Riley apologizes for not jumping out of his seat to talk to her. He has her stand up and pretend they are dancing to Boyz II Men at the prom. He asks her what she's looking for in a husband. He says he checks the boxes and kisses her before going back to dancing. 

You know, this kind of would have been more interesting with social distancing and masks. 

At the end of the date, she sits them all down for a little speech and gives the date rose to Riley. 

Dale really thought he was going to get the rose. 

Yosef says that the hot-headed woman was not who he thought she was, and he may need to have a conversation with her. 

Before going on their date, Claire sends Jason a note, asking him to write a letter to his younger self. 

Jason isn't particularly looking forward to being vulnerable. 

This date is an evening date from the get-go which is unusual. Clare learns Jason was also a football player and was once 100 pounds heavier. Clare asks if Jason watched her season with Juan Pablo. She says she just recently started opening up and letting go. Tonight, they are going to practice letting go. She asks if he wants to start with breathing or screaming. He chooses screaming. 

The next exercise is to write down things that people have said about them or they believed about themselves that they need to let go. 

They alternate back and forth. His words were: Manipulative. Selfish. Can't love. Insecure. Cold and mean. 

Hers: Needy, hard to love, too picky, a *itch

They break their tablets to let them go. 

It's time to pull out their letters. I'm as troubled by his letter to himself as the words he used to describe him in the last exercise. 

Is Clare unconcerned? She starts to ask if there were some dark ugly stuff. He admits he's scared of letting demons out and if it's going to be too deep for her. Clare says it won't push her away. In the past, she went for the guy that was closed off and all those things on the tiles they broke. 

He starts to open up about what he and his brother saw as kids. His parents have been together 35 years, but he isn't so sure they should have been. Clare says there's nothing that scares her. 

Clare says she wants to know more about him, and gives him the rose. 

Clare then pulls out the dress she wore at the end of her season with Juan Pablo. They burn the dress in the fire. That seems like an odd thing to do. 

She claims the date the most successful first one-on-one ever. 

WHAT? That date was odd and awkward. 

The writers/producers botched that one up. 

We don't see the reading of the group date card, but it said something about showing they had some balls or something like that. *headshake*

They start off in teams playing dodgeball. They are split in two groups. The winning team gets to head to the later part of the evening. The losing team heads home. 

Clare decides they should play strip dodgeball. 

(Time out for some math... 10 guys on this date, there were 9 on the first one, plus Jason is 20. There were three guys that had no date at all.)

Old what's his name that usually came on and did the sports commentary died recently, so he was unable to join this time. You know, the old actor who didn't know what was going on half the time. 

Jay was the only man left on his team and takes out the three men of the other team. Blue team loses their shirts. 

The red team takes out the blue again, and there go socks. 

The blue team sucks. Clare wants to make it more even. Red team takes off the shirts and the blue team is down to their jock straps. 

The red team wins four in a row. Blue strips on down and heads home, but not before Clare gets hugs. 

I can't even tell you who was on what team other than Blake is on the defeated blue team. Demar too, I think. 

As the Twittersphere is saying, if this was a man doing this to women, it would not be accepted. Sadly, I can't say that I'm surprised. 

The men back home want to know what's going on when the blue team gets back home. Some men are laughing. Others like Bennett are not amused at all. 

The five men from the red team thought this was a great date. 

The first man to speak up and pull Clare off is Eazy. He gives her a foot massage with her shoe on. That's kind of weird. 

Chasen was bullied as a kid for being short. That's all I got out of his time. He got a fairly decent makeout session.

Back at the resort, Blake is steamed. He wants some time. He didn't appreciate the walk of shame home and no time. 

Jay wants his own gym. That's where the conversation was when Blake interrupts. Blake asks for some time, and Jay says, "Didn't you lose?" He eventually gives in. 

Jay goes and tells the rest of the guys that Blake showed up. Some of the guys don't believe him.

Blake knows he's going to take heat for coming, but he doesn't care. (Remember, he reached out to Clare during quarantine when he wasn't supposed to, and Clare was all about that.)

The five guys on the date, come and break up the party with Clare and Blake. They won fair and square.

Blake says, pardon me, but "I wanted to show her I had balls." (Already did that literally...) That had to be a scripted moment. 

Clare sends the guys off, then tells Blake she appreciates him coming, but he needs to go so that she doesn't disrespect the other men. Again, Blake head's back dejected.

Brandon is up next. Brandon says he wanted to be on here because she was the Bachelorette, but when asked, he knows nothing about her. Nothing. She calls him on his crap. 

She decides to send him on home because she can tell he's faking it. He can't come up with one thing he likes about her. 

And then there were 22. 

She sits down with the other four and tells them that she sent Brandon on home. She picks up the date rose and presents it to Chasen. 

The next day, Yosef tells the men that he is going to confront Clare about making the men strip down. He has more respect for himself and his daughter to do that. Props for that, seriously. However, don't you think the producers had more to do with that than Clare herself?

Chasen wants to jump in and pull her off first again, but Clare says she wants to talk to Blake to start the night off.

The other men want to know how that's going to go down. They think that may be the last they see of Blake.

Clare tells him he was surprised to see him. Blake said it wasn't something he expected to do. Clare tells him not to worry because she did like that. She pulls a rose out and gives to him so he doesn't have to suffer the whole night. 

The room is silent as he walks back in with his rose. Eazy said from here on, there are no rules of engagement. It's all go. 

Claire is ready for her Dale time. I find him so terribly boring. She thinks he's deep. 

Claire blindfolds Dale and does love languages touchy touchy part 2.  

No rose ceremony to end the night. Only previews of "The Dale Show." 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

More fall signs -- get them now!

I have more fall signs to share with you! I'll ship these anywhere in the US.

First up are mini pumpkins -- $10 each. They are 7-8" wide.


These next pumpkins are larger. These and the leaves are all $15 each. 







See something you like? Let me know! Just message me through the blog!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Fall craft sale!

I'm going to share some of our Crafty Dad and Daughter products since we won't have craft shows this fall. (Another reason to hate COVID.) If you are interested in anything you see, I'll ship anywhere in the US for whatever the USPS cost of shipping is.

With this pumpkin sign, we have you covered with both Halloween and Thanksgiving!

This 2-sided sign gives you twice the bang for the buck! $25 each (plus tax in Texas).

If you are interested in one of these, let me know quick! I have the blanks ready, but they aren't lettered yet.

Halloween side:
1) Trick or Treat
2) Happy Halloween

Thanksgiving side:
1) Give Thanks
2) Happy Thanksgiving
3) Let us come before him with thanksgiving.
4) Gobble 'til you wobble







These acorns are already made up. They are super cute in person. They are also $25 each. I was trying to take pictures at night in my entry hall, and the photos are not great.



This is a big leaf that can be personalized with a family name or have something like "Happy Fall Y'all!" added to it.


I have two of each phrase available on cotton bolls for $25 each.


See something you like? Just message me through the blog, and I'll get back to you!

I'll post some more items tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Bachelorette: Clare: Week 1: It's too early for man-to-man issues

Here we go again! I really don't know why I torture myself blogging like this, but I really need to get back into a regular blogging routine, so maybe that's why. I've been off whack for a year because I'm just been so busy, and let me tell you, I've not slowed down during the past 7 months of COVID. 

I may not have had reason to get out of the house, and I haven't been doing craft stuff either, but I have been putting in a lot of work hours and I'm feeling it. I'm not sure if blogging for two hours on The Bachelorette is going to be a wind down or wind up. But, here we go. 

I can't say that I'm a fan of Clare Crawley, but I am a fan of an older Bachelorette. At 39, she's just four years younger than I am, so I can relate more than a someone 24 in some way. I have a stupid and pointless hope that an older contestant might bring about more maturity and be a bit more relatable. I know it won't happen, but one could wish. 

For one thing, the men are mostly quite a bit younger than she is. Part of casting before getting a woman picked. Then a shift with COVID. Then, I guess they better be young because rumor has it (or not so much rumor but confirmed fact), we're going to have a change of Bachelorette at some point. I wonder when that's going to come about.

Instead of being at the usual Bachelor Mansion, they had to do something else... COVID free. 

In February, Chris called up Clare to ask her to be the Bachelorette. She eagerly agrees to join up. She hasn't found love since she got rejected by Juan Pablo and gave him what for at her final rose ceremony. Then, she headed to Bachelor in Paradise and talked to the raccoons because she was half-crazy.

But all of that has made her stronger, and it is her time (or so she declares). 

In March, they were set to start filming, but California was shut down two days before they started. In April, she was going crazy on her couch alone. (Weren't we all?) 

Clare thought it would never happen, but in June, they headed to LaQuinta, CA where they have a resort all to themselves to start taping. They tested everyone for COVID before they got started. They should have tested them for more than that, but... nevermind.

She's happy to hug and kiss knowing she won't get COVID. #facepalm

Once the men arrive, they are all quarantined before they are tested. We are witnesses to swabs shoved up some noses. Other men take bubble baths and give themselves facials. Another guy places chess against himself. Another jumps on his bed and hits his head on the ceiling. 

After their negative tests after a few days of quarantine, they are cleared to interact with all the others at their secluded resort. 

I want to go to a resort and get to socialize with people. 

Just when we think it's time to meet the men, we have to endure the sit-down between Chris Harrison and Clare. Clare wants a man that is there for her. She's going to challenge him. 

Clare talks about how different she is now from the woman who got out of the limo after an abusive relationship seven years ago when she met Juan Pablo. She wants to meet a man who was a true gentleman like her father. She has a DVD that her father left her right before he died that she has never watched. She won't watch it until she has her man as it was a message for the man she marries. 

Bachelorette Cast

The thirty-one men are:

Ben - 29 - Army Ranger Veteran - Venice, CA -- In quarantine, he said he was used to being in seclusion by himself in the past. It didn't bother him. He takes a deep breath with Clare. It was much needed in her book. 

Riley - 30 - Attorney - Long Island City, NY -- As an attorney, he helps a jury come to a verdict. His verdict is Clare is beautiful in that dress.

Zac C. - 36 - Addiction Specialist - Haddonfield, NJ -- They hug and talk about how long it has been since they've hugged anyone. Her first impression is he's a sweet guy. 

Jordan M. - 30 - Cyber Security Engineer - Santa Monica, CA -- He is basketball player tall. It also looks like he couldn't find pants to fit because of that. Like waiting for the flood. But, I guess that is stylish. He has on velvet shoes that Clare complimented as he walked up. 

Jason - 31 - Former Pro Football Lineman - Arlington, VA -- In honor of Clare's entrance all those years ago (with a fake baby belly) he has his own fake quarantine gut. I forgot about Clare doing that. When he goes in, Jordan asks him about his godchild. 

Ivan - 28 - Aeronautical Engineer - Dallas, TX -- His mom is from the Philippines, so he greets her in his mom's native language. 

Kenny - 39 - Boy Band Manager - Chicago, IL -- He wears a t-shirt with a picture of her dogs on it. Clare wants to pet them. 

Brendan - 30 - Commercial Roofer - Milford, MA -- His moment is quick. He wears a bow tie. I think bow ties are dorky, so that's my impression of him. 

Mike - 38 - Digital Media Adviser - Calgary, AL, Canada -- Because it's a long night, he brought her some sandals to wear to be more comfortable. 

(Let me just add here that I typed up all the guys, locations, ages, etc. off the cast bios so that I wouldn't have to pause so much as I got all the details, but they are going so fast through the guys that I'm still having to pause so I can find, cut and paste the names to do this.) 

Jeremy - 40 - Banker - Washington, DC -- He promises to try to make her laugh as much as possible.

Blake Monar - 31- Male Grooming Specialist - Phoenix, AZ -- There's some assumptions I could make about that profession, but let's just not go anywhere near that.

Tyler C. - 27 - Lawyer - Morgantown, WV -- He packed up his whole life in an old station wagon and drove it up to meet her. He promises when he cleans it out there's room for kids. He has an accent, and she asks where he's from. He just leaves his station wagon sitting out front. Someone else has to move it. 

Bennett - 36 - Wealth Management Consultant - New York, NY -- He rolls up in a Rolls Royce. He has a tux and scarf. An impression yes, but do you want to come off as a snob? 

Blake Moynes - 29 - Wildlife Manager - Hamilton, ON, Canada -- He's one of the more attractive in my book, but I think he's going to be trouble. 

Chris - 27 - Landscape Design Salesman - Salt Lake City, UT -- He's waited 139 days to meet her. 

AJ - 28 - Software Salesman - Playa Del Rey, CA -- I don't like his maroon suit. His friends say he gives terrible first impressions. He twirled her to get him started. He squeezed her hands too hard. 

Joe - 36 - Anesthesiologist - New York, NY -- "I'm here to save your life... your love life."

Garin - 34 - Professor of Journalism - North Hollywood, CA -- Another maroon suit. He tells her how much fun they are going to have because he's there to have fun. 

Robby - 31 - Insurance Broker - Tampa, FL -- One of the quieter guys it seems. 

Eazy - 29 - Sports Marketing Agent - Newport Beach, CA -- He runs through a big paper sign that says "Future Husband." He wears a salmony pink three-piece suit that is garish in my opinion. I can't spell what his real name is. That's why he goes by Eazy. He also used to play football. 

Jay - 29 - Fitness Director - Ft. Lauderdale, FL -- His gimmick is arriving in a straight jacket because he went a little crazy waiting to get there. 

Chasen - 31- IT Account Executive - San Diego, CA -- He arrives in a suit of armor. 

Demar - 26 - Spin Cycling Instructor - Scottsdale, AZ -- Wearing a parachute pack, he says he may have already fallen for her. 

Ed - 36 - Health Care Salesman - Miami, FL -- He arrives in his own bubble.

Yosef - 30 - Medical Device Salesman - Daphne, AL -- Arrives with a plate of moon pies. 

Jordan C. - 26 - Software Account Executive - New York, NY -- He brings popcorn. 

Zach J. - 37 - Cleaning Service Owner - St. George, UT -- He gets down on one knee and opens what looks like a jewelry box. It's part of a figure with his pants pulled down mooning the recipient and it makes farting noises. How is that a good first impression? 

Brandon - 28 - Real Estate Agent - Cleveland, OH -- He is the only guy this far to kiss her on the cheek. 

Dale - 31 - Former Pro Football Wide Receiver - Brandon, SD -- He hugs her so big he picks her up. She is smitten with him. She comments that it feels like she just met her husband. She has a big reaction to him. So big that Chris Harrison has to step back out and talk to her. 

Page - 27 - Chef - Austin, TX -- Not much of an impression there. 

Tyler S. - 36 - Music Manager - Georgetown, TX -- She's just speeding through them now. 

After coming in and doing her little intro speech, the first man to pull her away is I have no idea. C'mon flash his name. (Chasen or Jeremy - I'm trying to compare to website photos, but still not sure. Chasen.)

I think if half these men knew how old she was though they wouldn't be there. 

Eazy talks with her about how they kick back and relax. She talks about her dogs. He talks about his mom calling him every Sunday and asking if he went to church and met any women. 

When she sits down with Dale, she seems a bit more serious. They talk about her mom and how she's doing. He talks about dealing with his sister's health issues and understanding where she's coming from. He talks about finding out she was the Bachelorette when it was announced. She says on an interview that there's butterflies talking to Dale, but everything felt so natural. 

When the men are gathered in a group, her dog runs in and she jokes it's a test to see how they react to her. 

There's a parade of various men trying different ways to get her attention. Joe and his origami. Bubble man and trying to bowl in the bubble. 

The guy from Long Island talks about the movie My Cousin Vinnie. That feel flat, so they bond over loving the outdoors. (That was Jason.)

Chris Harrison rolls in at some point with the first impression rose. I think we know where that is going. 

Yosef is a dad, and he thinks he is going to get that first impression rose. He says being a good dad is showing how a woman ought to be treated. 

Tyler C. was in a special to know something about Yosef ahead of time. He was flirting it up on Instagram with friends of Tyler. No clue how they ran in the same circles. Tyler does pull him off man-to-man. The men sit around watching. Jordan C. wishes he had his popcorn. So, I don't know how Tyler's friend has men from the show DMing her on Instagram. It doesn't go very far as to what was going on. However, Yosef finds Clare to say he thinks Tyler is trying to drag his name through the mud. 

Clare goes to get Tyler and talk. This is too early for drama. She sits them both down to talk. The vagueness and explanations already annoy me. Clare doesn't want to keep this going because she has other men to talk to. She leaves them to hash whatever out. I like Tyler for the moment, but I could toss Yosef already. 

Blake seems familiar. Did we meet him somewhere? Blake was the only one to reach out to her during quarantine. She nails him for breaking the rules of contact, but that meant a lot to her in a time she was struggling. They exchange the first kiss of the season. 

Clare finally goes in for the first impression rose. 

Yep. Dale. Blake was sitting there and for a brief second, I wondered. Only a millisecond. 

She tells Dale of all the people she talked to, she wants to talk to him more. They also kiss. 

Chris Harrison taps the glass, ends the party, and Clare heads out to figure out who gets a rose. There were some guys she wanted to talk to, but didn't, so apologizes on her way out. 

Rose time!

  1. Blake Moynes
  2. Eazy
  3. Ben
  4. Riley
  5. Zack J.
  6. Tyler S. 
  7. Joe
  8. Jason
  9. Demar
  10. Chasen
  11. Jordan C. 
  12. Blake Monar
  13. Kenny (He had been freaking out until then.)
  14. Brendan
  15. Garin
  16. Ed
  17. Bennett
  18. Zac C.
  19. Jay
  20. Brandon
  21. Ivan
  22. Yosef (I really dislike him already. There's something about him.)
Going home:
  1. Mike
  2. Chris
  3. Jordan C. 
  4. Page (He didn't get to show the tattoo he wanted to show her.)
  5. Robby
  6. Jeremy
  7. Bennett
  8. AJ
To close out the evening, we get a peek at some of the dates. There appears to be some mature audience moments and by that I don't mean in respectful behavior. 

Evidently, she falls for Dale and leaves early. But, it will be dramatic getting there. 

We shall see!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Win a copy of The Plans We Made

When past secrets hold the only key to hope for the future…


My team of bloggers is featuring the new book, The Plans We Made by Kathryn Cushman and Lauren Beccue this month. Learn more about the book and authors, and enter to win a copy of your own at the end of the post. 

Plus, Lauren is doing a special giveaway when you order the book! You can't beat that!


About the book:

When past secrets hold the only key to hope for the future…

Caroline Chapman is reeling from a broken engagement. Determined to start again, she moves cross-country for her dream job of planning events in the historical mansions of Newport, Rhode Island. Just as her life is getting back on track, she gets an email that shakes her very foundations.

Linda Riley’s life looks picture perfect - a wonderful husband, two great kids, involved in church and the community. Then comes the diagnosis that shatters the facade. In order to save her son’s life, she must reveal secrets that can rip everything apart.

Connected by more than painful circumstances, these two women discover a sacred bond. In this beautiful story of love, loss, and the fight for life, Caroline and Linda experience the reality that life doesn’t always go according to The Plans We Made.




About the authors:

 

Kathryn Cushman graduated with a degree in pharmacy from Samford University. After hanging up her lab coat, she shifted her focus toward writing. Her previous works have received multiple nominations for both the Carol Award and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. The Plans We Made is her tenth published novel.
 


Lauren Beccue graduated from Holy Cross with a BA in English and now lives with her family in Santa Barbara. She writes about faith and family, with an emphasis on agricultural passages of the Bible. This is her first novel.



MAKE YOUR PLANS IN PENCIL! 

 

Now, go buy your copy of The Plans We Made online or at a local bookstore, then be sure to head to Lauren’s website to claim your bonus freebie!

 

THREE CUSTOM PENCILS:

  • Make Your Plans in Pencil
  • The Plans We Made
  • Proverbs 19:21

Just contact Lauren with your name, address, and where you purchased the book, and she’ll send you a set. That's it! (US only and get 'em while they last.)



Monday, October 5, 2020

Blog tour sign-ups are now open for Ottoman Dominion!

 

The final volume of the Empires of Armageddon trilogy

will have fans of Joel Rosenberg, Ronie Kendig, and

Frank Peretti on the edge of their seats up to the final page.

 

 

If you read Ishmael Covenant and Persian Betrayal, you are going to want to get in on this tour! This is the third and final book in the Empires of Armageddon series by award-winning author, Terry Brennan, available from Kregel. 

Even if you haven't read the other books in the series, you can still join the tour. I'll do my best to get you Ishmael Covenant and Persian Betrayal as long as you are willing to post on all three books. They may have to be the digital versions, but if you need hard copies, let me know via the form.

The dates will be November 17-December 8.

When I send out all the details ahead of the tour, I'll have a Q&A you can use, we'll do a book giveaway and will provide you with all the tour materials you will need. I'll also have a form for you to submit your tour links.
 

Click here to claim your copy!

 

About the Book

 

"James Rollins meets Joel Rosenberg in Terry Brennan."
~ Jeannette Windle, award-winning author of Veiled Freedom

Diplomatic Security Service agent Brian Mullaney wants out. He's been drawn against his will into a dangerous international mission with world-ending implications--and his final assignment is going to pit him directly against the terrifying, evil entity known only as the Turk.

But when the Turk's minions breach the US embassy in Israel and the American ambassador disappears, Mullaney has no choice. He must accept his role as the final guardian of a mysterious box, his only weapon against the powers of darkness bent on preventing the second coming of the Messiah, no matter who or what they annihilate to accomplish their goal. Can this man who's already lost so much find the strength and faith to save the world--and fulfill the prophecy of peace?

The final volume of the Empires of Armageddon trilogy will have fans of Joel Rosenberg, Ronie Kendig, and Frank Peretti on the edge of their seats up to the final page.

 

About the Author

 

Terry Brennan is the award-winning author of The Sacred Cipher, The Brotherhood Conspiracy, and The Alepp Code, the three books in The Jerusalem Prophecies series. His latest series is the Empires of Armageddon which includes Ishmael Covenant, Persian Betrayal and Ottoman Dominion.

A Pulitzer Prize is one of the many awards Terry Brennan accumulated during his 22-year newspaper career. The Pottstown (PA) Mercury won a Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for a two-year series of editorials published while Brennan was the newspaper’s Editor.

Starting out as a sportswriter in Philadelphia, Brennan became an Editor and Publisher for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New York and in 1988 moved to the corporate staff of Ingersoll Publications (400 newspapers in the U.S., Ireland and England) as Executive Editor of all U.S. newspaper titles.

In 1996, Brennan transitioned into the nonprofit sector, spending 12 years as VP Operations for The Bowery Mission and six years as Chief Administrative Officer for Care for the Homeless, NYC nonprofits that serve homeless people.

Terry and his wife, Andrea, live in Danbury, CT.

More on Brennan can be found at www.terrybrennanauthor.com.

Facebook (Terry Brennan)
Twitter (@terrbrennan1)