One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure


A JUNKIN’ WE WILL GO…..

Do you like junkin’? You know, that thing a person does when they choose to enter stores full of other peoples’ old stuff? I love junkin’! And I had many opportunities to go junkin’ while I was on my book signing vacation. Thank God for kindred spirit friends who love it too. We had so much fun, it should have been illegal. First of all, my bff Sue and I didn’t have to go far in Searcy, Arkansas to find great deals. Let me sing the praises of the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I found a lamp with a gorgeous patina already on it for my back porch and Sue found the most incredible punched tin chandelier that she is planning to put candles in for her patio. DSCF6876
After Re-Store, we hit The Bees Knees and The Emporium, both incredible stores with unbelievable prices. I can’t believe my luck! I found baskets for a dollar, signs to start a collection on the door of my husband’s garage (glad to find out later that he liked the idea), a mechanic stool for him, and a BUNCH of other stuff. I used the wire baskets ($1) and a red lantern ($4) to make book shelves in my kitchen for my cookbooks. DSCF6873 When I left for Warrensburg, Missouri, my car was loaded. Good thing I had only one suitcase and one overnight bag!
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There were good deals to be had in Missouri as well. My sister Shannon, and my sister-in-law Betty were bitten by the junkin’ bug and together we were a force to be reckoned with! Delightful finds and treasures galore at Those Were The Days in downtown Warrensburg! For example, I found a set of wine glasses with black stems for a dollar. Holy Toledo, like I needed wine glasses, but I couldn’t help myself. I just couldn’t pass up that deal. And that is nothing compared to the deal I got on this Harley Davidson sign ~ on CLEARANCE!! My husband loved it, thank God, and he riveted everything (quite the overkill) just in case the wind, or something/one else, takes a fancy to it.
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After Missouri, my sister and I went back to her hometown of Heber Springs, Arkansas where the hunt continued. Oh Lucky me!! I was able to complete my late mother’s old key collection and added to it a decorative plaque on which my husband kindly mounted a glass door knob I saved from my old home place.
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And I found a garden angel like I’ve never seen before, as well as a huge chicken planter, both HALF PRICE of low prices to begin with!DSCF6879DSCF6880
Some where along the way I picked up this beautiful lantern (only $6) which was perfect to put citronella candles in and mount under our pergola outside.DSCF6877

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So one man’s trash is another man’s (most likely woman’s) treasure. I spent somewhere around $100, not including the HD sign. That doesn’t count, you see, because that was for my beloved. And even though I got such wonderful treasures, I couldn’t help but feel a bit guilty for having spent the money I’d been saving for so long on trivial stuff. Stuff that nobody else wanted. Stuff that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. I’ve been blessed, so very blessed. And I’m proud of my inexpensive and delightful finds but I promise you, they are not what it means to be blessed, or even happy. Things don’t make you happy. They can’t make you or break you. If you’re not careful, things can own you, instead of you owning them.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about all the Lord has done for me. I don’t deserve it. He has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams, and why I don’t know except that He loves me. Imagine that. In my musings, I realized that I am certainly not doing enough for Him. His plan for all of us is to take care of each other, to give.
Now, I know this sounds strange but I like to put a name to a year, depending on how I feel I am led. For example, last year was the ‘year of giving’. I felt that God was telling me to give till it hurts. This year is the ‘year of service’. Pretty much self-explanatory, right? I don’t get out a whole lot so one might wonder how I serve. Well, I try to serve my husband in ways he doesn’t expect. I don’t know if he notices or not, but because I’m rather self-centered, it can sometimes be a stretch. And I am a prayer warrior. I pray. A lot. Sometimes I doubt my efforts do any good, but then I realize that it’s not for me to know. Only God knows. So I keep praying.

There is a page on fb that I really like. Administered by a man named David, One Spark is a site that people anonymously post things they’ve done to help other people. And many ask for prayers as well. Somebody posted an idea that I really like: they keep packages in their car to hand out to homeless or unfortunate individuals who might need personal supplies like toothpaste, deodorant, easy open cans of food, plastic forks and spoons, water, baby wipes, etc. Isn’t that a fantastic idea? I want to do that too. I want to put together something that I can keep in the back floor board of my car so I can easily reach and hand out of the car window to someone I might see that needs a drink of water or something to eat.
Can you imagine the impact if all of us did that?
Personally, I don’t see a lot of homeless people out here in the country, but I’m going to make an effort to have a couple of bags on hand for my trips to town. Who knows who God will put in my path? That’s just how He rolls.
You’ve all heard the scripture “whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, that you do unto me”? One time I did a deed for one of my former co-workers and she was so thankful. I recited that scripture to her and watched her face fall. Very quickly, I realized that I had just indicated to her that I felt superior to her – ‘least of my brothers’. Don’t make the same mistake I did. None of us are better than the other. Nothing can make us superior to another – not race, not place, not things. Especially not things.

Won’t you join me in praying for our brothers and sisters who are at a place in their lives where nothing seems right? And please, pray for peace.

Do you have a comment or an idea you would like to add? I would love to hear from you.

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Rockin’ the Book Signings!


I had the BEST time over the last coupla weeks! Not only did I get to see beloved friends and family, I also had the privilege of two book signings scheduled ahead of the trip.

First; Heber Springs, Arkansas at the Hobgood Gallery. Ellen Hobgood enthusiastically hosted the book signing event in conjunction with her Art Walk Wine and Cheese party. It was a wonderful affair with lots of good art, good food, and good people.

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Vickie Hendrix-Siebenmorgen and Ellen Hobgood both gave painting demonstrations. Yes, I did pay attention to their detail and techniques!

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I love this portrait of Ellen by her friend Angela Davis Johnson. It is a perfect likeness of her. While I’m at it, let me drop a few names of some of the other artists featured in the gallery: Terri Parson, Debbie Kincannon, Lori Weeks, John d. Wooldridge, Debby Hinson. These are only a few of the many represented.

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Fast forward to Trail Regional Library, Warrensburg, Missouri

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Mary, Frances, and the whole staff did everything they could to make me feel special. It worked! Imagine my delight upon finding homemade cookies (my favorite food group) and punch provided by some amazing women just for this event. I have to say everyone I met was incredibly nice, beyond kind, and very encouraging.

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Yes, I actually did give a talk on what inspired me to write Secrets of the Old Ladies’ Club. For those of you who don’t know me, it was an exercise in bravery. Trust me. My knees knocked, my heart pounded, my stomach was queasy. But I managed to ‘bluff’ my way through it. In fact, I actually felt empowered by the end! I am Woman, hear me roar!
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I know it sounds cliché, but I can’t thank everyone enough for giving me the opportunity to tout my first novel. It is an amazing feeling to make your dreams come true. Not sure how many people can actually say that!

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FRIENDS AND FAMILY ROCK!!

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Don’t forget to pray for peace, ya’ll. The world needs your prayers.

Lessons from a Hot Mustang Convertable


Honey, I’m ho-o-ome! I had a wonderful time on vacay but when my tires rolled onto the first strip of sacred Louisiana ground, I have to say my heart soared. Yum, it is delicious to be home again. I have lived here longer than I have ever lived anywhere. I grew up as an Air Force brat so I can safely say I’ve been around the world and back – all before I was 16 years old. I moved around a bit after I grew up too, successfully squelching future wanderlust. I love to travel but I like having my roots planted. There is a sign on my wall that says What I love Most about my Home is Who I share it with. That’s pretty much a blanket statement about how I feel, especially because my beloved stayed home while I fled the quiet life to search out family, friends, and fans. Sort of. Ok, the fan part? I said that because I had two book signings while on my trip; one in Heber Springs, Arkansas and the other in Warrensburg, Missouri. I had a blast, but I’ll go into that later. First I want to tell you about a lesson the Universe (read Higher Power, then translate that into God) threw at me via a black convertible.

Create a mental picture, if you will; me, driving on a four-lane just past Little Rock, Arkansas, going south. It’s early morning, traffic is practically non-existent, unbelievably. A blonde chick in a very impressive, shiny, muscular Mustang passes me going maybe five miles over the speed limit. Then she changes lanes in front of me. Then she slows down. Somehow, I think she made a mistake. So I change lanes because, after all, I am going the speed limit and if I stay behind her, she may find out the hard way that she is driving too slow. Can’t have that, can we? Don’t think about me being in my >ahem< late fifties with more grey than blonde hair, looking more frumpy than hot, driving a twelve-year-old car with two hundred and six thousand miles on it. Well, let’s say blonde chick didn’t read the signs because she passes me again and slows down directly in front of me. I rode it out for a few miles until Stupid Pride won a tug of war with Common Sense and I had to pass her again. This time I gun it and take off down the road. I’m pretty smug about it. I think to myself that’ll show her it’s not the ride, it’s experience that counts. She eats my dust for about twenty miles.

Yeah, experience. That’s what is important, right? Some things you just have to trust and experience is one of them. I am an experienced woman. Old enough to know better, wise enough to resist. Every wrinkle earned from life’s toughest times. A maturity that comes from working hard and solving the riddles of life. Yadda yadda yadda. So, I am full of myself, driving and passing, bobbing and weaving through traffic, feeling like an expert experienced driver-woman. I find myself in the left lane, traffic thickening, more cars in line going who-knows-where. The car in front of me doesn’t want to speed up even one mile over the limit and the camaraderie of cars surrounding it becomes impatient. Finally a break. The one in front pulls over and I speed past. But, picture this, traffic slows down and becomes slightly compressed around me. I notice blonde chick is behind me again. My ego deflates and I somehow feel less experienced and important because she has caught up with me. We travel along for a bit before I look to the right and see that there is room and all I have to do is change lanes and let the hot convertible whiz by but I hesitate. If I do it, I will lose.

Suddenly, I realize blonde chick doesn’t even know she’s in a race. And, by the way, where is the finish line? As I change lanes and she zooms past, it dawns on me….It’s not how fast you get to the finish line, it’s not even getting to the finish line, it’s who you help get there that is important.

It took a silly, pride-full, analogy of traffic and racing to get ahead to teach me this lesson. It’s not getting yourself there, it’s helping someone else get there. That is what we are called to do as a people of God. I know it sounds ridiculous, but you see, sometimes that is the only way He can get through to me. I am, at times, pretty silly. And maybe a little slow. Pun intended.

Let me take this one step further and share the scripture waiting for me on my calendar when I got home. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
Now that can’t be a coincidence, can it? I don’t think so. I call it sweet confirmation, a Divine nod in the direction of ‘you got it, girl’.

Oh, you thought I was going to say I got a speeding ticket, didn’t you? Sorry. I think I was driving faster in your head than I actually was on the road.