Thursday, July 31, 2008

13 Random Pictures Saved in my Computer

I have a LOT of pictures saved in my computer, many specifically for use on this blog. There are pictures of celebrities, family and friends, name it. Here are 13 random ones:

1.And they did yesterday!

2. One of my favorite movies, one of my favorite actors.

3. My adorable little niece, Arden.

4. My brother David, currently in Afghanistan.

5. The city in which I live, Rockford, IL, at sunset.

6. I got this from some website that lets you custom-generate things like this.

7. I originally saved this to go with my article about men in ties. Actor Gerard Butler, looking good.

8. One of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies.

9. A lighthearted picture that is now son Justin on his senior trip in April of 2001, a few months before 9/11...the Twin Towers still intact in the background.

10. A kiss from another one of my all-time favorite movies.

11. A precious real-life daughter Elizabeth and my niece Katie give my grandson Payton a "sandwich kiss."

12. Speaks volumes...a soldier in prayer.

13. My husband Doug and my little grandson dancing.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stuff to tell you...

--So have any new revelations about "Lost" come out during the big Comic Con? Ehh...not really. But this guy attended the "Lost" panel discussion with writers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof and reported on it. (There are also videos on YouTube of the panel, but I found them a little hard to watch because of the bootlegged production values...and because the writers did so much joking around, it was a little hard to get anything out of it, so I gave up.)

Just a few things to note: the writers say there are no clones on "Lost," they re-iterate that there are no nanobots (one popular theory for the smoke monster), and that the character of Libby will be seen in more flashbacks.

--I can think of things to drink that are certainly more refreshing and energizing than eel juice, but apparently some folks in Japan like it!

--If you're the caregiver of someone who is terminally or critically ill, or physically or mentally disabled, this is for you. The SomeOne Cares Christian Caregiver Conference will be held September 16 - 18 in Ridgecrest, NC. There'll be several guest spakers, panel discussions and more, as well as a Friday night concert with the wonderful Scott Krippayne. And good news: some scholarships are available.

From the website:
This conference is designed to reach those who are searching for spiritual comfort, relief, and direction as they experience the loss, frustration, anger, grief, and hopefully, the joy of caregiving. The goal of SomeOne Cares is twofold.

--Share what God's Word has meant in your life, and maybe win a video camera? Instead of asking, “What Would Jesus Do?”, an American Bible Society ministry, wants to know, “What Can You Do?” To enter the month-long Flips Ahoy contestthat begins on August 4th, participants should go to and upload an audio, video or
written account of the ways in which they have experienced the Word of God in their lives. On September 2nd, one winner will receive a new Flip Video Camcorder. A donation of $1,000 will also be made in the winner’s name to the Light of the Amazon, a project designed to provide medical,dental and social assistance to communities in islands within the Amazonian region. (

--A very cool video of the Casting Crowns song "Who Am I," using hand mimes. Beautiful!

Monday, July 28, 2008

"He showed me all the faces"

remembering my dad on the anniversary of his death

My parents, circa 1990

It's hard to believe it's been 4 years since my dad passed away--on this day, July 28, 2004. I've been thinking about him a lot for the past several days.

On Friday night, my husband and I went to a concert of the southern gospel trio, Greater Vision. What an incredible blessing it was. I cried for much of the concert, but in a good way. You see, my dad loved music so much--that love of music, and any musical talent with which his children and grandchildren were gifted, is his legacy to us.

He would have loved the concert. So many songs spoke to my heart, but one in particular made me think strongly of my dad.

My dad never pastored a huge church or ministered in an enormous arena...but I have a feeling that when he got to Heaven, he was probably surprised at the vast amount of people his life had touched.

The song is "Faces," by Rodney Griffin, who sings in the group Greater Vision. Here are the lyrics:

I dreamed my life was done. I stood before God's Son
It was time to see what my reward would be
With love he reviewed my life to count what was done for Christ
For that is what will last eternally

See, I'd done my best to share that Jesus really cares
And He would save if they just believe
Oh, but seldom did harvest come, and so few did I see won
Until the Lord said, "Turn around and see."

The he showed me the faces of the ones who'd come because of me
So many faces that my life had led to Calvary
All those years I thought nobody saw as I labored in lowly places
That's when Jesus smiled and showed me all the faces.

Below is the post I wrote shortly after my dad's death in 2004:

In loving memory

My father, Thomas V. "Pepper" Garrett, went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, July 28th, 2004.

Many of you know that my dad has been dying of cirrhosis of the liver/liver cancer for the past few years. In fact, not too long ago I blogged about my memories of wonderful times spent conversing with my dad.

He was a Baptist pastor and missionary whose entire life was dedicated to ministry. He was a wonderful man--wise, funny, kind, generous, musically talented. He adored his family and was happiest when we were all gathered around him.

I had planned for quite some time to visit my folks July 26th through August 4th. I knew my dad's condition and quality of life had deteriorated greatly, and although I didn't really expect him to die that soon, I wanted to spend some time with them, particularly to give my mom moral support and help in any way I could.

As it happened, the Thursday before the Monday I was to fly to Texas, my parents moved into the Christopher House, a hospice in Austin. An appalling feature of my dad's disease was that he suffered from nocturnal agitation. Although he was extremely weak, he could not stop walking around the house at night, to the point where his feet actually swelled. Besides depriving him of sleep, it did the same thing to my mom, who was his major caregiver.

My dad's hospice nurse had suggested taking him to the Christopher House for a few days so stronger medication could be administered that would give him and my mom some rest.

As it happened, my dad went to sleep on Thursday night and woke up only once--briefly on Friday night--until the following Wednesday.

Beverly, Dad and me July 2003

After ascertaining that my dad would probably be dying at the Christopher House, I was extremely concerned about whether I would be able to see my dad alive one more time. The airline tickets for my daughter and me had been purchased on Hotwire, and couldn't be changed.

Fortunately, I had said everything I wanted to say to my dad in previous visits. I had no regrets on that point. I just wanted to see him alive one more time.

As soon as Elizabeth and I arrived in Austin, my sister took us directly to the Christopher House. My dad was in a deep sleep, but when I told him I was there, he physically responded and even tried to open his eyes.

The next many hours in the Christopher House were extraordinary. My sisters, my mom and I kept watch over my dad, frequently joined by other loved ones. The nurses and doctors had told us that my dad could hear us, so they encouraged us to talk to him and sing to him. Although we often broke down in tears, there were also times of laughter and reminiscing.

When we sang to him, it was amazing to see him respond even while asleep. He would move his mouth and raise his eyebrows as if trying to join in with us. My dad could never hear anyone singing without wanting to join in! He was a beautiful singer and musician, and loved singing for the Lord more than anything.

My dad, mom and sisters before my dad's illness

On Monday night, my mom and my siblings all spent the night in the small room at the Christopher House. My mom and Beverly slept on a small couch that folded out into a small bed. I slept on a recliner. Lisa slept on a mat on the floor; David slept on the bare floor. We had grieved and said what we thought would be our final good-byes to our dad, but he didn't pass away that night. The vigil continued on Tuesday. It was extremely difficult to see my father's labored and ragged breathing, and it continued to worsen.

At 12:30 AM Wednesday morning, Lisa and her husband David and I decided to go to her house and try to get some sleep. My dad's heartbeat was still relatively strong, and it didn't appear he would die in the next several hours. We knew the next day would probably be a rough one, and decided it would be better to face it after having had some rest.

However, shortly before 7 AM on Wednesday morning, my mom called to tell us my dad only had a few minutes. Shortly afterwards she called to tell us that he had indeed passed away, at 7:05 AM.

You often hear stories about Christians seeing a glimpse of heaven as they died. D. L. Moody reportedly said: "Is this dying? Why this is bliss...There is no valley....I have been within the gates...Earth is receding; Heaven is opening; God is calling; I must go. "

My dad never spoke, but my sister and my mom tell me he woke with a start; his eyes came open, clear, bright and aware, and he looked up with an expression of incredible awe and joy on his face. As they talked to him, telling him they loved him, he continued to look upward with that rapturous expression before taking two peaceful breaths (his earlier breathing had been labored and difficult), then he went home to glory.

I wish I had been there. But just hearing my mom and sister describing mom called it a "beautiful" death...renews my faith. Heaven is not just a lovely myth; it is REAL. And I believe my dad caught a glimpse of it before his soul actually departed his body.

The funeral, on Saturday, was more a celebration than anything else. There were tears, but there was laughter as well. There was joy! Beverly, Lisa and I had pre-recorded "Home Where I Belong" and Lisa had pre-recorded "Beulah Land," (we would never have been able to make it through the songs live) and a tape of the song "At The Crossing" was played.

The way the service ended was extremely fitting. My dad loved nothing more than when his close and extended family members would gather around the piano and sing. With my cousin Elaine playing the piano, several of my cousins sang "I'll Fly Away." It was wonderful! My dad would have loved it.

How do people who don't know the Lord make it through the deaths of their loved ones? I'm so glad we don't "sorrow as those who have no hope." We'll miss our dad terribly, but we'll see him again. And he is happier and better off now than he ever was in these "Shadowlands."

I'll close with the poem my mom chose to put in the programme of my father's funeral:

"SERVANT of God! well done,
Rest from thy loved employ;
The battle is fought, the vict'ry won,
Enter thy Master's joy.

The voice at midnight came
He started up to hear
A mortal arrow pierced his frame,
He fell--but felt no fear.

The pains of death are past,
Labor and sorrow cease;
And life's long warfare closed at last,
His soul is found in peace.

Soldier of Christ, well done!-
Begin thy new employ;
And while eternal ages run,
Rest in thy Savior's joy."--James Montgomery

(Originally posted August 2004)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

13 Pictures from My Summer So Far

Here are 13 pictures from some of the things I've done so far this summer. Actually, I haven't gone on vacation yet, or anywhere special, but I have spent some quality time with some of the people I love!

(A few of the pictures below are from the Patriotic Prayer Breakfast hosted by our radio stations, 101QFL and Radio 91, on the 4th of July.)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

My adorable grandson, Payton, enjoys dinner at a Mexican restaurant.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Melange

He's the man you love to hate on "Lost"...but what "Lost" fan would deny that he's an incredible actor? Michael Emerson, who plays Ben Linus, has once again been nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor. Last year, he lost...there's that word again! castmate Terry O'Quinn, who plays John Locke.

This year, Emerson is up against William Shatner (Boston Legal); Ted Danson (Damages, Zeljko Ivanek (Damages) and John Slattery (Mad Men). Any of those actors would have to go some to top Emerson's acting job on "Lost."

Here's an article about reaction to Emerson's nomination.

"Lost" itself is up for an Emmy for Best Drama Series. The show's competition?
Boston Legal,Damages,Dexter, House and Mad Men.

I'm disappointed that Matthew Fox wasn't nominated...I think he's done an incredible acting job on the show during the past season.

Other stuff to tell you...

--Julie Anne Fidler, who formerly blogged at "Fidler on the Roof," is blogging again at a new spot: Caffeine, Jesus and Pontification.

--Chaplain Andrews,a blogging U.S. Army Chaplain currently serving with the 1st Armored Division in Iraq, is devoting Mondays to blogging about military marriages--something that's sorely needed.

--Can anyone tell me if/why I should get into Twitter? What's the need for it? Why do you like it?

--For chocolate addicts everywhere: a memo pad that looks like a chocolate bar.

--More gleefully cringe-inducing circa 1970's independent Christian albums in today's edition of Divine Vinyl at Purgatorio.

--Do you love historical romance? Robin Lee Hatcher tells us about a new blog that will be just the thing for you.

--My husband and son got up close and personal over the weekend with baseball sensation Josh Hamilton. Thanks to a mutual friend, Doug and Justin had dinner with Hamilton after the Texas Rangers/Minnesota Twins game last Friday night. Apparently not only does the young man have a wonderful Christian testimony, but he's a genuinely nice guy.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Top 13 historical spam messages

Ever wonder what it would have been like if people in the distant past had had to deal with e-mail spam? Wonder no more. Thanks to, here are 13 of the top historical spam messages:

13. Earn up to 10 pence per fortnight knitting stockings at home!

12. You'll be mutinous if you don't check out these hot Tahitian babes on Bountycam!

11. Slice off the pounds with the Antoinette Cake Diet!

10. Ogg, Please Read: Name-Brand Berries for Your Cave Paintings!

9. Pleafe purchafe thefe golf ballf.

8. Ahoy! You're PREQUALIFIED for 10 pieces of silver from Blackbeard Lending!

7. Augmenteth Thy Codpiece!

6. Can't start smoking? We can help!

5. Buy Your OWN Island with NO TRINKETS DOWN!!

4. Order Your British Redcoats Playing Cards!

3. 90% off Printing Press Cartridges! Works on all Gutenberg Models!

2..Discount maile-order leeches delivered by plaine browne buggy to your home -- without a barber's prescription!

and the Number 1 Historical Spam Subject Line...

URGENT VIRUS ALERT! Don't Open Your City Gates for Giant Wooden Horses!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Does your blog have a mission statement?

I guess I've never really thought about it in those terms, but I guess I do have a mission of sorts when it comes to blogging.

This week, Becoming Me is hosting a Blog Mission Tour. She writes:

Whether that mission is to share your passion for cooking, minister to the hearts of others, promote an organic lifestyle, keep record of your life, or anything in between, we want to learn about it and you.

My personal mission statement--the one I've adopted as my own--is actually a quote attributed to Mother Teresa: "O Lord, let your light shine on others through me."

So what is the mission statement of "Notes in the Key of Life"?

Well, if there's anything I've learned in working for a company for lo, these many years, it's that the briefer and more succinct your mission statement, the better. So I'll try to condense it down to this:

To inform, entertain and uplift my readers while letting the light of God's love shine through me.

To expand on that a little: My blog emphasizes current events, good books, clean entertainment, spiritual encouragement, women's issues, health and fitness, and family matters (including stuff related to my own family). In all I post, I hope I'm informing, entertaining and/or uplifting my readers while hopefully being the "salt and light" the Bible calls Christians to be.

I know that not all my readers are Christians, so my hope is that in my postings and interaction with my readers, I am the kind of representative of Christ and agent of His love that would draw people to Him.

Not saying that that will always be the case, unfortunately...but that's my goal.

If you want to participate in this blog mission tour, just click on the button at the top of this post.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

People be bloggin'...

I blog, therefore I am???

When you have nothing to blog about, blog about what OTHERS are blogging about...and spread a little link love in the process!

--I loved this post at Quoth the Maven....another reason to look forward to heaven

--Show me a home re-decoration project, and I'm there (I can't resist just about anything on HGTV!) So I really got into Linda's spare room project at 2nd Cup of Coffee (complete with a slideshow!).

--Apparently Reformed Grits eats a lot more than just grits. Check out this mouth-watering avocado salad recipe.

--The latest edition of Divine Vinyl at Purgatorio: gleefully cringe-inducing as always. Note: you probably won't "get it" unless you were exposed to independently-made Christian record albums during the 70s.

--Joel Griffith at The Seventh Sola has an interesting take on all the recent Obama "kerfuffles" (don't you love that word?)

--Mei Flower cannot understand why she got a postcard (that appears to be hadnwritten) from Brendan Fraser.

And now I invite YOU:

Do you have a post you'd like to point people to? Whether it's yours or someone else's, let me know in my comments section!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday Melange

Tony Snow remembered for his deep faith

Tony Snow, who passed away Saturday at age 53, is being remembered not only as a terrific guy, but a man of deep faith.

William Kristol writes in the New York Times:

"Tony Snow was a conservative. But he didn’t have a prejudice in favor of melancholy. His deep Christian faith combined with his natural exuberance to give him an upbeat world view. Watching him, and so admiring his remarkable strength of character in the last phase of his life, I came to wonder: Could it be that a stance of faith-grounded optimism is in fact superior to one of worldly pessimism or sophisticated fatalism?

"Tony was one of the nicest guys you’d ever meet — kind, helpful and cheerful. But underlying these seemingly natural qualities was a kind of choice: the choice of gratitude. Tony thought we should be grateful for what life has given us, not bitter or anxious about what it hasn’t."

Tullian Tchividjian, pastor, blogger and grandson of Billy Graham writes:

"Last fall he (Snow) spent the day with my granddad. I arrived to my granddad’s house one hour after Tony and his wife left. I was sorry to have missed him. They spent their time talking together about the way God meets people as they walk 'through the valley of the shadow of death.' Not only was Tony dealing with the pain and suffering that accompanies cancer, but my granddad was still reeling from the death of my grandmother three months earlier. I wish I could have been there to listen in on this conversation between two godly men speaking about God’s goodness and faithfulness in the misdt of life’s real and painful trials.

A year ago Tony wrote an article for Christianity Today entitled Cancer’s Unexpected Blessings. In this article, you’ll find a man whose understanding of God differs radically from those who believe that God always heals those who possess enough faith...What Hebrews 11 makes clear is that it takes more faith to believe in God’s goodness and faithfulness when he chooses not to heal. Tony’s article exemplifies this."

Stuff to tell you...

--Were you disconcerted when Samantha on Bewitched suddenly had a brand new Darrin? Or when the appearance of Will Smith's aunt on "The Fresh Prince" suddenly changed completely? Here's a funny list about such casting switcheroos--appropriately titled "The Darrin Effect." (hat tip to USA Today Pop Candy.)

--Are you a Green Bay Packer fan? Here's where you can weigh in on what the Packers should do about Brett Favre.

--Poor Miss USA Crystle Stewart--she is the second Miss USA in a row to fall down during the evening competition at the Miss Universe Pageant. You can watch her embarrassing moment here, but I for one think she made a graceful save and still looked gorgeous. And I give her credit for being able to walk in high heels and an evening gown at all.

--With the Olympics coming up, Voice of the Martyrs tells us that despite what you may hear, Chinese Christians are still being persecuted for their faith. VOM is now offering a prayer band that can be worn during the Olympics to acknowledge your prayer support for Chinese Christians. (hat tip to

--I recently posted the interview I did with Jimmy Moore of "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb." Well, after I interviewed Jimmy, he interviewed me...and you can now hear that interview here.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

13 Good News items

We're inundated with bad news every day. Rising prices, job layoffs, war and I decided to try to find some GOOD news. Here are 13 items (by the way, researching for this post has convinced me that I want to add to my regular internet stops!):

1. Army medic, home on leave, got to deliver his own child

2. Vehicle and gear stolen from Christian band "Rush of Fools" has been recovered after the band asked for prayer

3. A house cat has adopted a rejected panda cub

4. The radio station where I work, 101QFL, is sponsoring the Drive-Through Difference, in which listeners are encouraged to pay for the person's meal who is behind them in the drive-through at a fast food restaurant. People are reporting getting a huge blessing out of doing this!

5. A new book says laughter is good economic medicine

6. Rice prices may fall due to good production prospects (from

7. Mail carrier catches baby under window (from

8. Hero pulls woman from crushed car just as fire erupts (from

9. Iraqi lieutenant gets prosthetic limb from Coalition forces (from

10. A Minnesota center helps paralyzed vets find jobs (from

11. As the economy worsens, people are spending less money on junk like sleazy adult entertainment (I think that's good news, anyway! :))

12. British and Iraqi soldiers are building camaraderie through soccer (from

13. The economy is rebounding in Silicon Valley

Let me know if you have some good news items to report!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Modesty is making news

"We want girls to know they can be beautiful and stylish and modest. We tell them first impressions are important. ... And what does it say if the first impression is showing everything?" —Inchi Sugarman, chair of the Sacramento Pure Fashion Show, an event designed to showcase modest clothing for teens (hat tip to Plugged In Online)

I read the above quote in Plugged In Online's Culture Clips with interest. As a Christian woman, I believe in modesty, and I applaud efforts to promote the concept, especially among young women. (More on that Pure Fashion Show here, and more about the Pure Fashion organization here.

Our goal is to emphasize a young woman's inherent dignity and therefore create in her a desire to dress and act in accordance with that dignity. We understand that many young women today are losing their sense of innocence at a very young age, and Pure Fashion aims to reverse this trend by offering a fun, exciting and effective virtue formation program that can impress the hearts and minds of young girls at a very critical stage in their lives.
--From the Pure Fashion website

All across the modesty spectrum

The so-called modesty movement appears to be gaining momentum, online as well as in real life. A quick Google search immediately turned up a wealth of sites dedicated to modesty and/or modest fashions. Some of them, like Eliza Magazine, have some connection with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the magazine's founder, former Ford model Summer Bellessa, is a Mormon.) Eliza Magazine also has an online blog.

In fact, several of the modest fashion sites seem to have LDS connections.

I even ran across one that was Muslim-connected, which I have to tell you, I balk at. I would NOT want a Taliban-like control over my clothing decisions, and I'm not about to don a burka.

Even that polygamous sect that made headlines in Texas recently is now marketing its modest fashions online now. Read "modest" as "something that Louisa May Alcott might have worn in 1865."

Some of the modest fashion sites I found did border on the frumpy, I hate to say. OK, some of the fashions WERE frumpy and unattractive. (Is it really necessary for a skirt to go completely to the ground to be termed "modest"?) Others, however, featured really beautiful, classy clothes that were flattering without being revealing.

Jen of Pretty/Modest

Some of the sites are mainstream and/or evangelical Christian. Pretty/Modest is a blog edited by the lovely Jen, who also blogs at Shining City. Jen writes:

I'm kind of a 'classic' girl, tending to dress more like Audrey than a Britney. In fact, Britney isn't even part of my dialect. There's some Marilyn thrown in there, but I tend to be of the persuasion that a woman can be sexy without revealing cleavage, bellybutton, buns, long stretches of leg, or any combination thereof. Head-to-to prairie rat wear is out of the question: one can dress attractively without leaving so little to the imagination as most women today do. If I find pretty things that are also 'modest' - as in, they cover attractively - I'll mention them. Gladly. It's not quite as hard to find lovely, fashionable clothing that is still ladylike as some would have you believe.

"Modest" does not have to mean "ugly". And frankly, that "modest" stuff sticks out like a sore thumb in public, not in a good way - and a lot of the people wearing it are, honestly, anything but modest about wearing it.

The blog goes beyond garments to showcase unique and beautiful jewelry and accessories.

Other sites cater to brides who apparently want to leave a little something to the imagination when they walk down the aisle. There are some really gorgeous wedding fashions at Beautifully Modest. I wanted to post a couple of pictures here, but all the images are copyright-protected. I encourage you to check out the site yourself.

Will girls go for it?

While I applaud the movement, I'm wondering just to what extent it will catch on among teen-aged girls and young women. It seems to me that a young girl would have to have a motive to be modest--and that would have to be directly related to a desire to practice her faith.

All young girls know what attracts the average boy, and that's the more skin, the better. Today's popular music, especially the hip-hop genre, glorifies girls who show it all. As far as the entertainment industry goes--even those young actresses and singers who start out with wholesome, squeaky-clean images, seem to end up shedding those values along with their clothes.

So what would prompt a beautiful young girl with a terrific body to keep it relatively covered up? In my view, only Biblical and/or religious principles would be the motivating factor. (I would like to think that any young woman who valued her innate dignity and true worth would be on board with it, but frankly, I'm a little cynical.)

Anyway, I've always believed there's no reason for a modest woman to look like a frump. It's possible to be perfectly modest and look fabulous at the same time--and now there are websites, magazines and clothing companies aimed at helping you do just that.

(The dress pictured above is from Christa-Taylor.)

Monday, July 07, 2008

I respond to a book meme

Barbara of Stray Thoughts tagged me with this meme several days ago, and I'm just now getting around to answering it! Reading is one of my very favorite things to do, so it should be no problem. Here we go:

1. Do you remember how you developed a love for reading? --As soon as I was able to string letters together into words, I loved to read!

2. What are some books you read as a child?--The first book I remember absolutely falling in love with, at around age 8, was "Little Women." Not long afterwards I discovered C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, and they knocked my knee socks off!

3. What is your favorite genre?
--Definitely fiction, and to a lesser degree, biographies and autobiographies.

4. Do you have a favorite novel?
Absolutely. "Jane Eyre," by Charlotte Bronte.

5. Where do you usually read?
EVERYWHERE. In bed, on the sofa, in the bathroom, in the tub, on my deck, in the car or plane when traveling, at the table when I'm eating alone, even in front of the television if other people are watching it and I'm not that interested in what's name it!

6. When do you usually read? Absolutely ANY chance I can get. I have found that's one of the bonuses of my kids being grown up...I seem to have more time to read; but let's face it, I always made time for it.

7. Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?

8. Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?

9. Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?
Actually, I buy very few books. Because I interview authors as part of my radio job, I'm blessed to be able to get complimentary copies of many books. The others I check out from the library, or have my daughter (who works at Border's) buy them...but again, that's rare.

10. Do you keep most of the books you buy?
Unless the book has sentimental value to me, I almost always pass them along to my mom, who also loves to read. Those that I don't think she would be interested in go to people I think might like them, or I donate them to a church library.

11. If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them?
I shared the Chronicles of Narnia with all of them, and they've ended up (especially my older son and my daughter) becoming fans of Lewis' other works as well.

12. What are you reading now?
I've just started "Fatal Deduction," by Gayle Roper, which was sent to me. I just finished a book titled "Woman of the House," by an Irish writer named Alice Taylor. She was one of the authors that came up when I googled "writes like Rosamunde Pilcher" (Pilcher is one of my favorite writers, and I've read everything she ever wrote.) Before that, I read several books by Marcia Willett, who I also found with the Google search. I checked all those books out of the library. In the middle of those, I read Angela Hunt's "The Face," which I believe is due out in November. It was OUTSTANDING.

13. Do you keep a TBR (to be read) list?
Only in my head.

14. What's next?
Probably while I'm reading this Gayle Roper book, I'll read Robin Lee Hatcher's "Wagered Heart," which I've been intending to read but it just got lost in the shuffle. I know it will be good. Also Nancy Moser's new novel about Martha Washington. I also want to check out more Marcia Willett books.

15. What books would you like to reread?
Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, the Chronicles of Narnia, Pride and Prejudice...

I do want to tag some people with this meme, but I haven't had a chance to decide who I'll tag. If you do it on your own blog, leave a comment and let me know so I can link to it!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

13 Things Independence Day-related things

Happy 4th of July!

Here are 13 Independence Day-related bits of info...

1. There are 30 places in the nation with the word "Liberty" in their names.
2. There are 11 places with the word "Independence" in their names.
3. The most populous of the above is Independence, Missouri (pop. 113,288)
4. Independence Day was first observed in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776. In 1941, Congress declared July 4 a federal legal holiday.
5. Here's what 2nd President John Adams said about Independence Day:"It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore."
6. What do Ann Landers, Neil Simon, Gina Lollobrigida, Calvin Coolidge, and Louis B. Mayer have in common? --They were all born on the 4th of July.
7. Americans love hot dogs: During the July 4th weekend alone (the biggest hot-dog holiday of the year), 155 million will be downed.
8. Legend has it that the Chinese made the first fireworks in the 800s, filling bamboo shoots with gunpowder and exploding them at the New Year with the hope that the sound would scare away evil spirits. According to tradition, Marco Polo brought this technology back to Europe.
9. In 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 9,800 fireworks-related emergency-room visits. And there's no tally of the countless blistered hands, traumatized pets, singed shrubs, and melted G.I. Joe dolls. (from
10. "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood originally reached the Top 10 on the country music charts in 1984, and again rapidly climbed the music charts after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The song also was on the country charts in 1991 during the Persian Gulf War.
11. The patriotic poem "America the Beautiful" was published on July 4, 1895 by Wellesley College professor Katharine Lee Bates.
12. In the 1996 movie, "Independence Day," the President's speech was filmed on 6 August 1995 in front of an old airplane hangar. The hangar once housed the Enola Gay, which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima exactly 50 years earlier on 6 August 1945.
13. What will you be doing on the 4th? I plan to start off the day at the Patriotic Prayer Breakfast which is sponsored by the radio stations I work for...and end up watching Rockford's amazing fireworks show!

Have a fabulous 4th!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Stuff to tell you!

A veritable potpourri of newsy or just plain interesting links...

--Just how far has television come in its non-family-friendliness? Check out this quote from Dave Madden, who used to play Reuben Kincaid on The Partridge Family:

"The kinds of things they do in Two and a Half Men could never, ever, ever have been done in 1970. If they did that, and it actually got on the air—which it wouldn't—we'd be out of a job the next day. I remember once on The Partridge Family, Danny came home and said that something bad had happened to him at school. My line was, 'Boy, that's really rotten, Danny.' Well, they came in from the network and said, 'Change rotten to awful. Rotten is too strong a word to use in prime time.'"

From Plugged In Online Culture Clips.

--Of course you've heard of High School Musical. How about Sunday School Musical?

--The top 10 American Idol contestants kick off their tour tonight.

--Here's an interview with top 10 contestants Brooke White and Jason Castro.

--Lost Boy: The Documentary, a film based on Harvest Christian Fellowship Pastor and Harvest Crusades Founder Greg Laurie's new autobiography, will make its national television debut on Daystar Television Network July 3 and 4.(I recently heard a radio interview with Greg Laurie about this, and it was riveting.)

--The documentary The Case for Faith, based on the book of the same name by Lee Strobel, will soon be available on DVD.

--Ben Stein has been honored by the Entertainment Merchants Association with their Freedom of Expression Award for his expositions of his economic and political beliefs... as evidenced in his movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

--From USA Today: 12 shows (some classics) that you can watch on the web.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!
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