"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2

Friday, August 26, 2011

Step Into A Scene Of Your Own Written Words

It’s Friday, and it’s almost the end of August.
Where did the month go?  
Do you wonder the same thing? It’s been a busy month for all of us.
This week’s post is going to be light and airy with just two questions that I hope you will take the time to answer.
You’re a fly on the wall in one of your own stories...
If you could step into one scene of your own written words, where would you go? I want you to choose a place that you’ve written about in a book, short story, or poem. We’ve all been to these places in our minds with our characters…at a kitchen table, in a forest, a ballroom, a tree house, a stable, a hospital room, in an office, an airplane, a cave…AND, who are the main characters there with you?
Make me curious.
For me it would be - the grand keeping room at Kingsdale Mansion, near Philadelphia. The month is March. It is 1864. A party is taking place. Jacob and Mary are there. Mary is asked by Jacob’s father, Edward, to recite Lord Tennyson's, Charge of the Light Brigade. What Edward requests is a huge honor – no woman has ever been asked to recite this traditional reading in front of guests before.

“Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death,
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death,
Rode the six hundred…”

I wanted to say thank you all for the well wishes last week. My back is feeling much better and I’m back to work.

To all of you on the east coast - stay safe. Be prepared as they say Hurricane Irene is a huge storm. We’ll keep you in our thoughts and prayers.
Between you, me and the gatepost,

Friday, August 19, 2011

What Kind Of Reading Mood Are You In?

This week, I’ve been off of work. The strangest thing happened. I drove down to Indianapolis to pick up my son and when I got out of the car, I couldn’t straighten up. My lower back was killing me. I'd been having back pain for a few weeks, but this was different. I thought for sure something was out of place.
When I got home, I tried to do a few laps around a nearby track, hoping it would straighten me out. No luck. I went about 25 steps and had to go back to the car. Monday morning, I went to the doctor. He diagnosed me with severe back strain.
“Severe back strain? I haven’t lifted anything heavy in the past few days.”
I guess when I first started to feel the twinge a few weeks back, that’s when it happened.
“Well let’s see…what did I do a few weeks back? Work?”

Wow. Apparently I did something at work (I do lift things there) and the strain just got worse because I didn’t take care of it. Who knew? If you feel a constant twinge of pain in your back, do yourself a favor and baby it!
So, the doctor gave me a shot to relax the spasms, two prescriptions, and a week off of work. The first two days were strict bed rest only. Being confined to the bed is not for me. I’m just a grumpy patient. Anyway, I'm feeling much better and will return to work after the weekend.
There were a few positives to this back strain ~ having the time off of work is nice, especially since my son will be leaving for college this Tuesday. 
I'm nearing the end of the final read through of my book. Yay! It’s going quicker than expected.
I also joined Goodreads. I’ve only been on a few times. I’m just getting the hang of it – feeling my way around.

So much to do online when confined to bed!
I also ordered three books from Amazon:
The Doctor’s Lady by Jody Hedlund     
The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz  
Fairer Than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott    
I’m looking forward to reading these books. I think by the picks, you can tell what kind of reading mood I’m in. The order should arrive by Tuesday. The books all sound like winners. I just don’t know which one to read first!
What are you reading? What kind of reading mood are you in at the end of this summer? Anyone else on Goodreads? Can you give me some pointers on using it? I would love it.
Between you, me and the gatepost,

I hope everyone got a chance to stargaze last week. One night we counted 11 meteors.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wish Upon A Falling Star

Sunset ~ in the sky above the clouds  ~  looking back over the USA ~
heading east over the North Atlantic to Europe
Photo by Loree Huebner

Please don't forget to check out the Liebster Blog awards at the bottom of this post!

Wish Upon A Falling Star

I’m a sky watcher. I’ve always been one. My dad got me interested when I was a child. He was one. He always had a telescope or awesome binoculars. First time I saw Orion's Nebula...I was hooked. We would look at the clouds during the day, then sunset, and the moon, planets, and stars at night. We also made sure that we saw the monthly, yearly, or special celestial events and rare Northern Lights displays over Lake Michigan. One of my favorite celestial events is the Perseid Meteor Shower. It’s near the end of the second week in August every year. Yep, that’s this week.

EarthSky says the best viewing will be on the 12th and 13th.

You can always see meteors streaking the sky 3 days before and after this date. I saw one tonight. I hope you will take time to take a look for a shooting star or two…
Sky watching is something that I passed down to my kids. We are always together during this week as a send off to the "technical" end of summer. This year is an exception. One daughter is in Edinburgh, Scotland for a 10 day visit with a friend who lives there. Another daughter is in Ohio on Lake Erie. She's on the peninsula at a cottage for some end of summer fun. My son is down in Indianapolis. He will return home on Sunday. He finishes his internship on Friday. No matter where we are, far apart, we will take the time to gaze up at the stars and think of one another.

We share that common bond…and love.
I love to look up to God’s beautiful heavens. Space is so endless. It gives me a creative mind as I look and watch. I dream up stories to write and send up prayers of praise and thanks. When my mom saw a shooting star, instead of saying “Make a wish…” she would say “Quick, say a prayer to Jesus. Someone needs a blessing.” Somehow, that always stuck in my head. To this day, when I see a shooting star, I say a prayer.

I will sing of the Lord's great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfullness known through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever;
that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
~Psalm 89:1-2

Sunrise ~ in the sky above the clouds ~ over the UK
Photo by Loree Huebner

Whether you say a prayer or make a wish. I hope your blessings or dreams come to pass.

Do you stargaze or skywatch?  I would love to hear from you.
Between you, me and the gatepost,


I would like to send an ENORMOUS thank you to Rachel Brooks! Rachel awarded me with my first ever blog award.  Rachel has an awesome blog and I read it often, so go on over to her blog and check out what she’s got going on. It touched my heart that she thought my blog was worthy of an award.

What award? Well, the Liebster Blog Award of course! (Yeah, I didn't know what that meant either ;)

The Liebster Blog Award is for blogs that have under 200 followers. This award is a great way to share some blogging love, get people’s names out there, and help bloggers build up their followers.

There are some rules that come with the Liebster Blog Award. Yes, rules! Don’t roll your eyes though.

1. Thank the person who gave you this award and link back to them.
2. Give away the Liebster Blog award away to 5 bloggers blogs.  Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And best of all - have blogging fun!
6. No pressure here (I’m adding this one) If you don’t want to or don’t have the time to pass it along…no biggie. I know we’re all busy and have an agenda to follow. Just do it if it feels right.

There are so many awesome bloggers out there that I wish I could put them all. I know some bloggers are on vacation, moving, or just unplugging for a week or two.

Okay, here are the five fabulous bloggers who have been awarded the Liebster Blog Award!
Check out their fabulous blogs:

Friday, August 5, 2011

Antique Characters & The History Corner With Eric Huebner

Antique Characters
I was in Indianapolis this past weekend. On Monday after lunch, my daughter said to my hubby and I, “I’m going to take you to this cool antique place on the east side of town.”
It was hot ~ 103 that day to be exact. I really wasn’t up for antiquing. My daughter guided us from the circle downtown, down several blocks, under I-70, to a remote area with only one big warehouse around.
“That’s it!” she announced.
“What?  This is it?  Are you sure about this?”
“Yes. You’re going to love it.”
We drove through the gate and parked the car. As I got out of the car, I looked up at this huge building. It stood 3 stories. I felt like I was going to a secret hideout or something. The doors to the warehouse were open wide. You could hear the giant fans blowing inside. We weren’t even to the steps when my daughter turns to me and says, “Can’t you just smell the old?”
On her words, a chill ran down my spine. Goosebumps zipped up and down my arms and legs ~ even in the 100 degree heat.
I could smell the old.  It smelled old and musty, but at this point I was game. I love antiques.
Inside, they had stuff from every decade going back centuries. I loved seeing the 60’s dining room table that I could picture in an episode of The Partridge Family or an Austin Powers movie. The backs of the walnut chairs were like that of a figure eight, with royal blue fabric in the circles and on the seat. I wished I would have taken pictures.
In each area, I felt a different spirit…ghosts of the past. Suddenly, characters were coming alive in my head.
I began to picture the people who may have owned some of these strange and unusual objects. I picked up a very old jewelry box and imagined it belonging to a pioneer woman. The box kept all of her personal treasures, letters, and love tokens…What’s this? A hidden compartment? I could write a story from there…
I found some old tin types. I held one picture of a man to my heart. We live in a world of so many pictures and images of loved ones. I wondered what if this was the only picture of my loved one to carry? I imagined the woman who held it to her heart in the 1800’s…Who was she? His daughter? A love? His wife? Yep. I could write a story from there...
My husband held up a pair of large tongs that the ice man used to bring ice to your house. I imagined his cart pulling up to a house. His biceps bulging as he carried the heavy block of ice. He got to the door. What did he find inside? Uh huh. I could write a story from there…
This went on for an hour or so. We didn’t make it all the way through the antique warehouse. It really was quite hot. I was exhausted after the first floor.
I plan to go again on my next trip down to Indy. This place took me totally by surprise. Among the antiques, I found some characters there - one’s that I didn’t know I knew.
How about you? Where do you find inspiration for characters? Ever be surprised at where they appear from?
I would love to hear from you.

Between you, me and the gatepost,


And now...


The Devil's Den ~ Gettysburg, PA
Photo by Loree Huebner

On June 28, 1861, the NY Tribune published the following headline:

Forward to Richmond! Forward to Richmond!
The Rebel Congress must not be allowed
to meet there on the 20th of July!

The newspaper and the North clamored for action to avenge Fort Sumter.  President Lincoln's generals told him that the army was not ready.  The men could not rapidly execute the complicated maneuvers bringing a unit from marching column into line of battle and back.  The President, however, was insistent, saying to General McDowell, "You are green it is true. But they are green also. You are all green alike."
McDowell's 35,000 man army was the largest force ever fielded by the United States.  The minuteman tradition of the volunteer soldier still ran strong.  Regardless of the hasty preparations, the National army could surely thrash the impudent Rebels.  The resulting July 21, 1861 battle of Bull Run was a hard fought affair that turned into a rout as the undisciplined Union army came apart after nearly achieving success.
The Confederates were able to bring reinforcements to the battle by rail at the critical moment.  Due to the use of railroads, telegraph systems, machine guns, reconnaissance balloons, submarines, steam-powered metal warships, and mass production, many historians call the American Civil War the first modern war.  After the defeat at First Bull Run, the North prepared greater combinations for a sterner contest.  Oddly, this early defeat may have prepared the way for eventual victory, but not before another four years of warfare and hundreds of thousands of casualties.  The Southern people conducted a heroic defense of their homeland and historic institutions.  The martyred abolitionist appears to have been correct when he said, “I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land can never be purged away but with blood.”

Until next month - Three cheers and a tiger!