Saturday, November 17

A Week of Thanks and Giving Challenge

It will soon be American Thanksgiving. Though I am Canadian and we had our Thankgiving in October, I would like to take part in this challenge, since Amber at Amber's Altered Art has invited international bloggers to take part. Thank you, Amber.

The Thanks and Giving Challenge is simple. This is what Amber had to say, "I would like to start off this challenge with a Thanks and a Giving for the next 7 days...and extend it to all my blog friends to do the same...then post a link here to your blog..."

So, today I am thankful for being able to spend time with my grandsons. The boys and I are very close and we enjoy spending time together. I am also thankful for all the blessings that I receive each day.

Now for the gift - This beautiful graphic that is actually one of the Thanksgiving postcards from my collection. Enjoy!

Friday, November 16

And the Winner is...

Well, I closed the giveaway at 12:02 AM EST, which is my time, and decided to go to the random thingy and do the draw now so the winner would be announced early in the morning.

Drum Roll, please. And the winner is... # 27

Lady Di Tn of Kitty Justice

Congratulations!!! Please email me with your mailing address so I can get your book in the mail at the beginning of the week.

Thanks to everyone that participated. I appreciate all of your interest and your wonderful comments.

Show and Tell Friday

Well, it's time for Show and Tell Friday again. Where has the week gone? I'm a little late with my Show and Tell , butI have good reason. I had to wait until I had everything done and the photos taken. Here is what has been going on at my house today.

I made some chocolate cupcakes, iced them and added some sprinkles. The grandsons love chocolate cupcakes and so does my husband. The boys like them with white icing and sprinkles, so I obliged them and made them just like they like them.

By this time the baking bug had hit me and I decided to make some date squares. The boys had never tried them until this summer because they thought from the name that they wouldn't like them. We were out and about with my mother one day and I bought a date square but didn't tell them what it was. I gave them each a piece and told them to try it and let me know if they liked it. They both said it was delicious. That is when I told them it was a date square. They've been after me ever since to bake them and requested them for my Mom's 80th birthday party.

While I was in the baking mood, I figured I might as well make a batch of icebox cookies. This is from my grandmother's recipe and when she made them, they were called icebox cookies because everyone had an icebox. After refrigerators became popular, the name was changed by some people to refrigerator cookies, but our family still call them icebox cookies.

I haven't baked this much for some time. We don't eat a lot of baked goods. I do make lots around Christmas and give treats away to family and friends. This year will be no exception.

When I went to see the boys tonight, I took them some of each. They were delighted. I hope they enjoy them. That's the best part about baking - knowing that others enjoy what you make.

Many thanks to Kelli at There's No Place Like Home for hosting Show and Tell Friday. If you'd like to join in the fun, just click on the name of her website to find out how.

Back to History - Reading Choices for 2008

Shannon at Shannon's Reading Log has issued a Back to History Challenge. This is what she says:

HERE WE GO... This is a challenge to sharpen the mind, go back & visit times long since forgotten in this day in age. The Back to History Challenge is designed to encourage readers to stretch themselves in the history genre. I am truly interested in getting people to venture into unfamiliar territories of literature. So...take this challenge and discover what history has to offer you!
A FEW RULES... All participants should try to mix up their reading choices. Please do not have ALL biographies, or ALL memoirs, etc. There is no limit on any sub-category, but remember...this is supposed to be a CHALLENGE. You should be getting out of your comfort zones and finding something new to explore. You should read one historical non-fiction, or historical fiction novel a month. Ultimately...let’s have fun!

You must formally sign up through Mister Linky to participate in the Travel Back to History Challenge Challenge, which will take place during the months of January - December 2008. Mister Linky is providing a place to store all the participants' sites for everybody to peruse. If you choose to join, you must have your final list posted by Dec 30, 2008.

To sign up with Mr. Linky, visit Shannon's site HERE!

Here are my twelve choices, though they may change, according to my reading interests changing or the books being unavailable to me through the local library. I may also change my mind if new books come out that I'm more interested in than the ones I've listed. This is allowed.

1. The Ever-After Bird by Ann Renaldi - a historical fiction of the Underground Railroad.

2. Hidden in Plain View: a Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad by Jaqueline L. Tobin and Raymond G. Dobard.

3. In the Company of Secrets by Judith Miller - a historical fiction set in Pullman Illionois in the 1880s.

4. Fire by Night by Lynn Austin - Civil War historical fiction.

5. Blood Red Ochre by Kevin Major - a story of Canada's Boethuck native peoples who lived in Newfoundland and are now extinct.

6. Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin - Civil War historical fiction.

7. Scajawea by Ann Lee Waldo - historical fiction of the native woman who traveled with Lewis and Clarke.

8. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom - non fiction of the woman who was a leader of the Dutch Underground during WWII.

9. Buckskin and Broadcloth: A celebration of E. Pauline Johnson by Sheila M.F. Johnston and Raymond R. Skye - non fiction.

10. On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894 by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane - historical non-fiction about the Ingalls trip from South Dakota to Missouri taken from Laura's diary.

While searching for titles that interested me (I used Amazon) I found many others that I would love to read as well. Please take up the challenge and join.

Christmas Book Giveaway

Since I started my blog in September, I've made 88 posts and made a lot of new friends. So, my 100th post will be coming up soon. That means it's time for a Giveaway. Whoever leaves a comment on my blog this week will be entered to win. There is nothing you have to do except leave a comment. At the end of the week I will randomly pick a winner. Here is the prize:

The Shoe Box is a tender and moving Christmas story from author Francine Rivers. The book also includes a note from the author about the significance of her story, plus her own family's favorite traditions and holiday recipes. This is a great book! I have one of my own and thought that it was the perfect time of year to give one to one of the wonderful people who comment on my blog posts before November 16th. The draw will take place on the 17th.

Excerpt from the book's jacket:

Timmy O'Neil came to live with Mary and David Holmes on a cloudy day in the middle of September, two weeks after school started. He was a quiet little six year old boy with sorrowful eyes.

Not very long afterward, they wondered about the box he carried with him all the time. It as an ordinary shoe box with a red lid and the word Running Shoes printed on the side.

As Timmy makes new friends and finds a loving home with Mary and David, he remains unwilling to share the secret of his mysterious shoe box... until the night of the church nativity pagent opens his heart to one very special person.

The recipes in this book are fantastic and I know that the lucky winner will use at least one of them for Christmas dinner this year. I know I will. Good luck to everyone.

Thursday, November 15

Fun Stuff

*** This is my 100th post. Please join in the giveaway which ends Friday at midnight and will be drawn on Saturday.***

On Monday, Pea at Pea's Corner participated in a fun meme and invited anyone who would like to join to do so. I'm a little slow this week, but here it is:

Go to Amazon and click on Advanced Search. Put in your name and see what comes up. I was quite surprised. This is what I found.

A few years ago I answered a Call for Submissions to Haunted Encounters Ghost Stories from Around the World. My story was chosen to appear in the book.

The two that followed this one were Chocolate for a Woman's Blessings and Chocolate for a Woman's Dreams. I had a story included in each of these. They were edited by Kay Allenbaugh and published by Simon & Schuster.

I have had many blessings in this world and having my stories included in these three books was a wonderful experience.
I am not tagging anyone for this meme, but if you decide to participate be sure to let me know so I can visit your blog and see the results. It was kind of fun.

Thankful Thursday

I've had a hard week. Everything has been stressful and I'm tired. However, I am not going to complain. Instead I'm going to give thanks for my blessings.

* I am thankful for the unconditional love of my grandsons. They are very forgiving and always lift me up with their laughter.

* I am thankful for a husband that is patient (mostly) when I am in a bad mood and not being the person that I like myself to be.

* I am thankful that God helps me through the times of depression. I've done this battle before and won. I will be victorious in it again because He sustains me.

* I am thankful for all of my blogging friends who stop by and make me smile. This means YOU! Each of you brighten my life.

* I am thankful for my Alaskan malamute, Meeko, who knows when I'm not feeling my usual self and comforts me or makes me laugh at his silly antics.

* I am thankful for a roof over my head, food on the table and enough money to pay the bills. Many have far less.

* I am thankful to be a child of God, for my Father knows my every need and He is with me in all things.

If you need to count your blessings, join Thankful Thursday by Crystal at God is in Control or click on the graphic below.

Wednesday, November 14

The Muskoka Mystery

Today I thought I'd do something a little different and tell you a story about beautiful Muskoka, Ontario. Muskoka is a beautiful area at any time of year, but especially in autumn. Forests stretch for miles, loons call from a lake and moose, black bear and other wonderful animals live there. It is a remote area with small villages and towns and very friendly people. Now, to the Muskoka Mystery.

Muskoka is a beautiful scenic area north of Toronto, Ontario. Here is a map of the area.

I've visited Muskoka several times over the years and would visit again in a minute. Crystal clear, sparkling lakes that are great for fishing and lovely to photograph, thick, dense forests and wonderful people make the area feel like home.

Earlier this year, the TV program, W5, aired a segment called, Mystery of Muskoka. It seems that four seniors disappeared from the area between 1998 and 1999. All of the seniors shared a common thread - all suffered from mental illness and were pretty much alone in the world. Not a trace of any one of them has ever been found.

All four of these seniors had one other thing in common. They were all connected to a family named Laans, who ran Christian senior residences in Huntsville, Ontario. Three of the seniors, all men, lived in one of these homes. The one woman of the group lived in a garden shed on the Laans property. She was well known in the area as the Cat Lady. It seems she took in and fed dozens of stray cats.

The names of the missing are as follows:

Joan Lawrence aka the Cat Lady - age 77

John Crofts - age 70

Ralph Grant - age 69

John Semple - age 89

It seems the Laan siblings liked money. In 2003 and 2004, they were convicted for embezzling money from the seniors they professed to help. When seniors died, the Laans siblings continued to deposit their pension checks into their own bank accounts. They also deposited checks for Crofts, Grant and Semple into their accounts and never reported them missing.

After all these years, the whereabouts of the four seniors is still unknown. What happened to them? How could they vanish off the face of the Earth without someone knowing?

As I stated earlier, there is lots of thick, dense forests in the Muskoka area. Did all four of these seniors wander into the bush never to be seen again? Did they die of natural causes and if so, what became of their remains? Were the seniors killed and if so, who killed them?

So many questions and no answers in sight. The Ontario Provincial Police have been looking for these answers for almost a decade. What dark mysteries does the Muskoka wilderness hold beneath all of its beauty? Will it one day give up the answer to all of these questions? For the benefit of the seniors' families, I certainly hope so.

Community Blogger Award

T*mmy from My Gentle Retreat has honored me by presenting me with this Community Blogger Award. Thank you, T*mmy. I always enjoy visiting My Gentle Retreat and cherish you as a friend.
Kathleen Mari at The Open Window

Lori at Pink Faded Roses

Dawn at Call Me Grandma Dawn

Ann at Ancient One's Place

Ruth at Body, Soul and Spirit

Congratulations Ladies! You are all very deserving.

Tuesday, November 13

Thank You, Cynthia

Cynthia, at Walking On has honored me by presenting me with the Blogger of Integrity Award. This is what Cynthia said when she presented the award to me.

For Social Conscience: Mary at Mary's Writing Nook. My Canadian friend who teaches all so much of both countries and the treasures we have been given on Earth.

Thank you, Cynthia. You and Biper hold a special place in my heart.

This award was originally created by Aussic Cynic, who posted:

"After looking, reading and watching many many Blogs and bloggers I decided to issue some recognition to those fellow bloggers I feel maintain integrity in their Blogs. All these bloggers incorporate within their wonderful sites, an integrity not always seen. They share terrific stories, topics, discussions and images."

So with that said, I'm presenting this award to the following people.

For Creativity:

Willow at Willow's Cottage. Willow is always busy knitting up some beautiful creation. Currently she's working on a lovely sweater.

For Staying True to Their Beliefs:

Denise at Samaritan Women. Denise is a beautiful woman of God who has had many trials during her life, yet she keeps her eyes heavenward.

For Keeping it Real:

Sharon at Rose of Sharon. Sharon is a wonderful woman who makes life seem so real while keeping the faith.

For Social Conscience:

Joan at Erstwhile Librarian. Joan always has something of interest on her blog and I always enjoy visiting with her.

For the Spirit of Giving:

Pea at Pea's Corner. Pea lives in my corner of the country and is always ready to lend a helping hand. Thanks, Pea, for helping me out today.

Congratulations, Ladies. You are all very deserving.

Fairy Kisses


In the meadow, oh so green,
Awesome sights I've often seen.
Always on a summer's day,
Woodland fairies come to play.

Shimmer of their wings so fair,
Flower's fragrance on the air.
Hide and seek between the trees,
Peeking through the lush green leaves.

Then so softly on my cheek,
Gentle touch both mild and meek.
Lifts me to delightful bliss,
T'is the lovely fairy's kiss.

Copyright (c) 2001 - 2007 by
Mary M. Alward
All Rights Reserved
Dreamwork Designs

Monday, November 12

Just A Reminder

Just a brief reminder from Sharon and I.
If you are planning on joining us for-- Be A Blessing This Christmas,Let Your Light Shine-don't forget to get your post up on Monday morning. We want to see what you have planned and then you will have till the 10th of December to be a blessing.

Sharon will have a Mr. Linky on her site where you can add your name. I'm having some difficulty adding Mr. Linky here but will keep working on it. If not, please go to Sit With Me Awhile to add your name.

Sharon and I look forward to all of the suggestions and will give you until December 10th to allow you to Be A Blessing This Christmas, Let Your Light Shine. At that time, we will ask you to post information and photos on the blessing that you gave this year and how it affected each person that took part.

My ideas:

1. Give new or gently used children's books to the local Christmas Baskets (or whatever it is called in your area) program. I will be doing this. It's something I do every year.

2. Send a Christmas card to a recovering soldier. Here is the address:
According to a decision made by then Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Transportation Policy in 2001, all mail addressed to A Wounded or Recovering soldier will be destroyed. This is to keep the American men and women in uniform safe. I apologize for the improper information.

In lieu of sending the card, please consider joining Angels in Camouflage and adopt a soldier in order to send cards and/or a care parcel.

3. Fill a bag with Christmas goodies for the local food bank.

4. Give a coat or blanket to a local organization that provides necessities for street people.

5. Bless a child in New York City by donating a pair or two of mittens. Send mittens to:

Lynn Brundage
78 Grove Avenue
Lockport, NY
USA 14094

Lynn collected mittens for children last year and if I remember correctly, there were 800 pairs given to children who might otherwise have not had a pair.

6. If you live in Ontario (and possibly all of Canada) Tim Hortons is distributing brown paper bags to be filled with non-perishable food items, which can be dropped off at one of their locations. The food is donated to the local food bank. Be sure to remember to drop in some candy canes or a bag of non-perishable Christmas candy.
7. I loaned $25 to a man in Mexico through Kiva so he could build an addition on his kitchen. The family lives in a very little shack. He needed $800 and between some other generous people and myself, he received his loan.
Update: While surfing around to different blogs, I followed a link that took me to a site where you can send cards to the troops. Please click on the link to Let's Say Thanks in Support of our Troops. You can either chose one of the greetings already there, or choose Other and write a more personal greeting. Let's support our men and women in uniform. Send a message today.

The Bible Game - A Great Christmas Gift

Are you wondering what to give your kids or grandkids, nieces and nephews for Christmas? What could be better than a Bible Game?

Game Features

* Games take between 10 and 15 minutes.

* Tic-Tac-Toe Gameplay.

* Masterpiece paintings and over 1,000 questions.

* 12 categories.

* Reasonably priced.

The game is for 2 or more players and for ages 12 and over. This is a marvelous way to teach and learn about the Bible.

Follow this LINK to learn more. Those in the US can enter to win a free Bible Game. This looks like a lot of fun.
Note: I am in no way affiliated with this game. It just looks like fun and a great way to teach and learn about the Bible.

Memory Verse Monday

Karen at Karen's Ramblings is once again hosting Memory Verse Monday.
The verse I have chosen for this week is:

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.

This is so true. Each of us have burdens to bear but in all things we should be thankful. God is with us every step of the way - up hills and through dark valleys. Give thanks for what we are blessed with.

In other news, be sure to comment on one of my postings this week to have your name entered into the Christmas book draw. The information can be found here. If you'd like to tell others about it, feel free to post about it, but this is not a requirement for entering.

Sunday, November 11

Remembrance Day November 11, 2007

This is Remembrance Day in Canada. This is the one day a year that we honor our veterans.

On November 11, 1918, The Allied powers signed a cease-fire agreement with Germany at Rethondes, France, bringing World War I to a close. Between the wars, November 11 was commemorated as Armistice Day in the United States, Great Britain, and France. At the time, Canada was a British Colony and the war was also over for us.

My ancestors also fought in WWI. The Tollhurst brothers took part in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. One brother was wounded and his younger brother carried him miles to get medical aid. Then the younger brother went back into the action. At the end of it all, the older brother was blind and the younger brother lay dead in France. Such are the sad stories of war.

As I told you yesterday, my Uncle Bill landed at Dieppe. He was part of Operation Jubilee, which was a disaster. They shot those boys like sitting ducks in a pond. Uncle Bill was wounded - his friend died in his arms on the beach. Uncle Bill recuperated and was sent to Caan, where he was wounded so badly that he was sent home. He knew all of his life that there was a piece of sharpnel near his heart. He lead a normal life, but was aware that at anytime, the shrapnel could move. It did just that in 1980 and Uncle Bill died in his sleep.

We are losing so many of our veterans from WWII. There aren't many left. We need to educate our young people on the role these men and women played in protecting our freedom.

According to Saturday's Toronto Star, there is only one WWI Canadian veteran still living. We lost one in 2007. So the history of that war can only be found in archives and history books.

Thank a veteran today for the sacrifices he gave and is still giving. Shake his hand and show him that he did make a difference.

Why Wear A Poppy

Please wear a poppy," the lady said,

And held one forth, but I shook my head,

Then I stopped and watched as she offered them there,

And her face was old and lined with care;

But beneath the scars the years had made

There remained a smile that refused to fade.

A boy came whistling down the street,

Bouncing along on care-free feet.

His smile was full of joy and fun,"Lady," said he, "may I have one?"

When she'd pinned it on, he turned to say;

"Why do we wear a poppy today?"

The lady smiled in her wistful way And answered;

"This is Remembrance Day.

And the poppy there is a symbol for

The gallant men who died in war.

And because they did, you and I are free -

That's why we wear a poppy, you see.

I had a boy about your size,

With golden hair and big blue eyes.

He loved to play and jump and shout,

Free as a bird, he would race about.

As the years went by, he learned and grew,

And became a man - as you will, too.

He was fine and strong, with a boyish smile,

But he'd seemed with us such a little while

When war broke out and he went away.

I still remember his face that day.

When he smiled at me and said, 'Goodbye,

I'll be back soon, Mum, please don't cry.'

But the war went on and he had to stay,

And all I could do was wait and pray.

His letters told of the awful fight

(I can see it still in my dreams at night),

With the tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire,

And the mines and bullets, the bombs and fire.

Till at last, at last, the war was won -

And that's why we wear a poppy, son.

"The small boy turned as if to go,

Then said: "Thanks, lady, I'm glad to know."

I slunk away in a sort of shame,

And if you were me, you'd have done the same:

For our thanks, in giving, if oft delayed,

Though our freedom was bought - and thousands paid!

And so, when we see a poppy worn,

Let us reflect on the burden borne

By those who gave their very all

When asked to answer their country's call

That we at home in peace might live.

Then wear a poppy! Remember - and Give!

by Don Crawford

Be A Blessing This Christmas, Let Your Light Shine

Sharon at Sit With Me Awhile and I would like to encourage the women and men in our blogging community to start a sweet tradition.We would like to get everyone involved-even the children.

We want to be a blessing in His name this year.We would like you to come up with an idea that will enable you to reach out to someone in need during this Christmas season. If you are already involved in some type of Christmas giving tradition, we would like to hear about that too.

Here are some ideas:

*Collect food for a food bank

*Shoeboxes by Franklin Graham

*Angel Tree-they provide gifts for children with parents in jail

*Collect donations for a local charity

*Bake cookies for a nursing home

*Decorate a room at a nursing home for Christmas

*Let your children make Christmas cards for soldiers in Iraq

*Send a care package to a soldier

We want your ideas.On November 12th, we will ask you to post your ideas and link back here so that others can get some ideas.We will give you a month to complete your adventure in giving.

If you have children or grandchildren- please get them involved. We have been given so much-let’s show them how great it feels to be a blessing during this time of the year.

If you have children involved -maybe you could interview them and let the post be about their responses. And , if you can take pictures we would love to see them..

Once your post is up come back here and we will have another Mr linky up so that we can all share in the joy.

Our final post will be on the 10th of December. After you have your post up come back and add your post to Mr Linky.

Lets be a blessing in His name this year. Please be thinking-spread the word and come back here on November 12th to join with us. Let’s choose to reach out in the name of our Lord and be a blessing and a light.

Please feel free to grab the button that I have created for us. It is a pleasure to join arms and work together with you in His name.

Update: I have a couple of other ideas that some of you might like.

1. Volunteer at a church or shelter that is providing a Christmas dinner to the less fortunate. They are always in need of help and often the dinner is the week before Christmas.

2. When you make out your Christmas card list, add this address:

The American Red Cross

c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center

6900 Georgia Avenue NW

Washington, DC USA 20307 - 5001