Saturday, June 23, 2018

I Don't Dance: Blog Tour {Spotlight}

A happy summer to the lot of ya!
I'm super excited to be a part of the blog tour for Jesseca Wheaton's newest release, I Don't Dance!
It was released on the 21st (in honor of the beginning of summer), so you can pick it upon Amazon here.  Or, you could just add it to Goodreads here.

About the Book:

Ty and Jen have been friends for nearly as long as anyone can remember. But when Ty goes off to college and leaves her behind, he has to face the reality that he cares for her as more than just a friend.
As graduations approaches and with only one summer left before he begins basic training, Ty must make a decision. Military life is never easy; is it fair to force it on the one he loves?
In the midst of wrestling with the question and coming to the realization that summer is quickly drawing to a close, Ty struggles to face questions he cannot answer, and is forced to examine his own heart.
Is it possible that God has a future for him with Jen? Or will the summer close with only memories of days gone by?

Their relationship would be old fashioned. But that was okay. Because old fashioned and whimsical fit perfectly with a southern summer.

About the Author:

Jesseca is a daughter, sister, and a child of God. Her days are spent reading, cooking, spending time with siblings, or playing piano. And writing, of course! At an early age words fascinated her, and her love for the printed page has only grown. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the sunny state of Kansas, and she’s convinced there’s no place like home.

1st place: Paperback copy of I Don't Dance + Scotty McCreery's Clear as Day album (US winners only)
2nd place: E-book copy of I Don't Dance + $5 Krispy Kreme gift card

Blog Tour Schedule:

Wednesday, June 20th
Libby May//Review - Geoturtle
Allyson Kennedy//Author Interview, Review  - Authoring Arrowheads
Liz//Author Interview, Review - Home with the Hummingbirds
Victoria Goodbrand//Author Interview - Victoria’s Book Nook

Thursday, June 21st
Soleil Bourdon//Review, Book Spotlight - Reviews By Soleil
Faith Potts//Review, Book Spotlight - Stories by Firefly
Janelle Martin//Review - The Ramblings of a Bookworm

Friday, June 22nd
Laura//Review - Beautiful Things
Chloe//Review - Purely by Faith Reviews
Rebekah Eddy//Review, Author Interview, Book spotlight - Rebekah’s Remarks
Molly Anne//Review - Set Apart for Him
Abigail McKenna//Review - Novels, Dragons, and Wardrobe Doors

Saturday, June 23rd
Angela Watts//Book Spotlight - The Peculiar Messenger
Kaylee H.//Book Spotlight - Keylee’s Kind of Writes
Kellyn Roth//Review - Reveries
Kate//Book Spotlight - Twin Thoughts

Monday, June 18, 2018

A Special Announcement {Calling all Indie Authors}

I love graphic design.  It started when I made a mock cover of a book for a friend of mine, then realized that it's actually super fun!  So I've thought about starting a business of sorts for some time, and now it's become reality!
A friend of mine—who happens to be epic at formatting books—and I decided to go into business together!  You can find our website here (Inside Out Designs).  Hope to see you there!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Mercy Said No

I was just a child, when I felt the Savior leading
I was drawn to what I could not understand
And for the cause of Christ, I have spent my days believing
That what He'd have me be, is who I am

As I've come to see the weaker side of me
I realize His grace is what I'll need
When sin demanded justice for my soul

Mercy said no,
I'm not gonna let you go
I'm not gonna let you slip away
You don't have to be afraid
Mercy said no,
Sin will never take control
Life and death stood face to face
Darkness tried to steal my heart away
Thank You, Jesus, mercy said no

For God so loved the world, that He sent His son to save us
From the cross He built a bridge to set us free
Oh, but deep within our hearts, there is still a war that rages
And makes a sacrifice so hard to see

As midnight fell on crucifixion day
The light of hope seemed oh so far away
As evil tried to stop redemption's flow

Mercy said no,
I'm not gonna let you go
I'm not gonna let you slip away
You don't have to be afraid
Mercy said no,
Sin will never take control
Life and death stood face to face
Darkness tried to steal my heart away
Thank You, Jesus, mercy said no

And now when heaven looks at me
It's through the blood of Jesus
Reminding me of one day long ago

Mercy said no,
I'm not gonna let you go
I'm not gonna let you slip away
You don't have to be afraid
Mercy said no,
Sin will never take control
Life and death stood face to face
Darkness tried to steal my heart away
Thank You, Jesus, mercy said no

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Five Tips For Every Vegetable Gardener

Living on a farm, we naturally grow a lot of food.  I mean, farmers feed the world, right?
We also feed ourselves (imagine that!).  But we don't eat the heads of wheat or ears of field corn (field corn is field corn, not the kind of corn you eat at a barbecue) often associated with farmers.  We grow gardens.
Of course, this is more of the ladies' project at our house while the guys work on the farming on a larger scale, but it's the produce that we eat as opposed to the stuff that comes out of a combine.
For as long as I can remember, my mom has annually grown a garden, and I've slowly begun to take over more and more in that aspect—I'd much rather be outside in the garden than cooking supper!
While I know that growing a vegetable garden is a different experience for everyone, I've got five things that everyone can practice and benefit from.
Especially people that live in 'deserts' like Kansas.

1. Water.
This is a no-brainer, I know, but keeping your garden watered is crucial to a healthy supply of produce.  "I know," you might be saying.  "That's obvious."
Actually, it's not as obvious as you think.
Unless you live in North Carolina or Ohio or some other such rainy state that requires you to water your garden just once a week or less, it's difficult to keep your garden watered.  I don't know how much produce we've lost just because we didn't realize just how much water the plants need.
Then again, if you water it too much, you can either drown the poor things or rot their roots.
Don't worry, I've never done either of those.  It's kind of hard to in Kansas.
We have two gardens—a big one and a smaller one.  While watering them both, I'll often spend four hours or more out there.
"I don't have time to water everything that much," you might say, or "it's to tedious."  Well, that's where soaker hoses and sprinklers come in.  Set them going and then go enjoy your air conditioning, congratulating yourself on the genius-ness of your watering system.
Which brings me to my next point.

2. Trenches.
So this is kinda pointless if you have a sprinkler or soaker hose, but DUDE IT'S A LIFE-SAVER.  If, for some reason, you don't have any soaker hoses or sprinklers, stick the corner of your hoe into the dirt and dig a trench directly beside the row you're wanting watered.  Or, if you're wanting to water a single plant, just dig a trench in a circle around it.  This keeps the water at the base of the plant instead of running everywhere and watering weeds instead.
In order to really soak the row (see above reason), have the water running slow.  I don't mean less-than-fire-hydrant slow.  I mean barely-above-a-trickle slow, depending on how large the plants are.  This allows the water to soak into the ground, reaching the roots of the plants.  This works especially good with corn, which needs a lot of water to produce well.
The downside to all of this, though, is that sometimes the water will find a breach in the dam and run everywhere.  Or rain will come and wash most of the trench away.
Just roll with it, you'll be fine.

3. Plant your vines in circles.
Confused?  First of all, when I say vines, I don't mean cute little sweet pea vines or any of those fancy vines climbing a trellis.
I mean any vegetable (or fruit, for that matter) that grows on a vine—cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, watermelon, cantaloupe, etc.
Because, dear peoples, not only will this cause the vines to grow outward in a circle (I don't know if that's even a legitimate reason or not but oh well), when they're big enough you can dig a hole in the middle of the circle and fill it with water, thus watering all the plants at once.  Once again, a time-saver.

4. Always carry a hoe.
I don't know how many times I've found myself in a predicament in which I needed a hoe but didn't have one closer than across the yard.  Granted, almost every time it's because water leaked out of a trench that I dug, but the principle is still there: always have a hoe nearby.  You never know when a trench needs repaired.  Or a weed needs killed.
Just be careful not to whack yourself, okay?

5. Freeze.
So, after taking all of my lovely gardening advice, you're bound to be overflowing with produce, right?  Think positive!
And what are you gonna do with all of this produce that you're overrun with?  Sure, you could sell it at your local farmer's market, or set yourself up on the tailgate of your truck on the side of the highway with a sign that says "COME GET YOUR VEGGIES."
Or, you could slave over a hot stove canning.
Orrrrr, you could freeze it all.  Honestly, I don't think I've ever canned once in my life.  We've always either eaten all the produce, or frozen it.  Not only does it keep you from heating your house about a million times warmer, but it keeps the food.  We've eaten frozen produce over a year old.
Of course, the food doesn't have the shelf life that canned food does, and takes up freezer space, but if you're anything like us, you'll be using it up pretty much as fast as you're stocking it.
One thing that has really come in handy for us is tomato juice.  Or is it sauce?  Whatever you want to call it.  Just grind your whole tomatoes up in a blender, pour it into freezer baggies (don't forget to put the year on the bag—might be kinda important), then stick it in the freezer!  We'll use this all year long for spaghetti sauce, tomato soup, enchiladas... pretty much anything that requires tomatoes.  And it's healthier than store-bought!
Onions also freeze super well.  Once again, grind them up (just don't puree them like tomatoes; that's kinda gross) and put them in the freezer, and whenever you need to cook with an onion yet don't have any fresh ones around, break off a chunk and throw it in the pot.  Works like a charm.
However, I definitely wouldn't recommend freezing green beans.  Yeah, we tried that once.

Well, have you done any of these?  Or all?  Great minds think alike!

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Mystery Blogger Award

Hey folks, I was tagged by the lovely Angela @ The Peculiar Messenger (thank you, by the way) for the Mystery Blogger Award!  I haven't done any tags in ages, so I guess it's about time I do another one.

What is the Mystery Blogger Award, you ask?  Well, I'm not exactly sure myself.  Except that it reminds me a lot of the Liebster Award you might've seen floating around.  So I kinda stole copied this quote from Angela's blog:

“This is an award for amazing bloggers with indigenous posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.” – Okoto Enigma

What a compliment!

-Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog
-Tell your readers three things about yourself
-Nominate 10-20 bloggers you feel deserve the reward
-Answer the questions from the person who nominated you
-Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice with one weird or funny one
-Notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs

Well now, I've never been one to exactly go with the crowd.  So I'm gonna be a little rebel and answer the questions first, and then I'll give you three facts about myself.
Just to shake things up.


1. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Hm... well, I don't know if this could technically count as a 'superpower', but I'd want the power to be able to know the right things to say at the right times.  As my dad says, "you have two ears and one mouth—use them in that proportion."  It'd be nice to know when to talk and when to listen.  Because too often I, as John Wayne would say, am "short on ears and long on mouth".
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak. ~Ecclesiastes 3:7

2. What are three hobbies you enjoy doing in the summer?
I would say gardening because I'm actually learning to enjoy it, but it's more of a full-time job than a hobby.  But I don't get paid for it.
Except with food.
But as for other hobbies?  Reading and writing would definitely be vying for first place... but reading will always be my first choice.  Then writing.
And a third hobby?  Hmm... well, I'm not sure if this could be classified as a 'hobby' per se, but riding with Kordell in the tractor.  Hauling bales, baling, running the grain cart, hauling manure... we've done it all (you can read all about that here).
Or rather... he's done it all and I went along to lend moral support.

3. One hilarious thing that has happened to you during a summer?
Uh... a friend's grandma mistook me for someone else and asked if I'm engaged yet.  Does that count?
Oh, I also had a sleepover with a friend and we stayed up till 2am and ended up talking about random things like zombie bats (don't even ask).  And Mrs. Bill Clinton.  And the book of Revelation.
And I was messaging with a friend and she had a terrible typo that I won't share right now but I couldn't stop laughing at (though technically that happened in spring, but it felt like summer).

4. Have you ever done something very spontaneous?  If so, what?
Well, last summer my family took a two-night trip to Kansas City—spontaneous, as in, it wasn't preplanned until the day before.
And just the other day my sister-in-law showed up at our house and invited me to keep her company while she cleaned our church.  That's happened more than once.
This post was slightly spontaneous.
I am very spontaneous. *nods*

5. Do you have any pets?
Two dogs, T-Bone and Bandit.  They're technically not mine, buuuut we kinda share the yard.  Bandit is a sweetheart—lazy, but a sweetheart nonetheless—and T-Bone is a grumpy old man (in his 80's in dog years).
Also, they're definitely not house pets, in case you were wondering. ;P

Well now, that was interesting!

Three Random Facts:
-When I get tired, I get goofy.  Really goofy.  Just ask the people who've had sleepovers with me.
-I'm a rollercoaster junkie.
-My twin and I have identical initials.  And my sis.

I Tag:
Rebekah @ Rebekah's Remarks
Mary @ Sunshine & Scribblings
Carissa @ Run With Endurance
Blessing Counter @ Counting Your Blessings
Livi @ Living For the Other Side

Yes, I know that's only five.
But hey, like I said, I'm not one to follow the crowd.

Your Questions:
1. What's your favorite type of weather (cold, sunny, rainy, etc.)?
2. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
3. What are your three favorite summer hobbies?
4. If you could be any person you wished for a day, who would you pick and why?
5. What would be one piece of advice you'd give to a clock?

Until next time,