Monday, October 31, 2011

This Day in History November 1, 1848

I always believe in reporting really interesting things in women's history, and this day in history provides one of the most interesting facts in women's history in this country.  It was on this day in 1848, when the first 12 female medical students were admitted to medical school in this country.  It was Boston Female Medical College, and the picture above shows an early graduating class (1885) of that school.  These first 12 students graduated in 1850, and most of their studies focused on midwifery.

Now you might think that a woman was the one who pushed for this momentous event, but you would be wrong.  It was Samuel Gregory who recognized the need.  Why?  Because he did not agree with male doctors attending females in childbirth.  You might think this archaic, but I understand and appreciate his view.  I gave birth at home with a midwife.  The only man in the room was my then-husband.  While I would have been all right with a male doctor, if the truth be known, I still prefer a female examining me down there.

For 26 years, it operated on its own--it was renamed New England Female Medical College. It was the year after Samuel Gregory's death when it merged with Boston Medical University, thus becoming the first coed medical school worldwide.

Although this did not happen on this date in history, let me cover one very notable student from this school.

Rebecca Lee Davis Crumpler was a graduate of this school.  She became the first African American physician in this country.  She mainly treated former slaves following the Civil War.  She was not a member of the first graduating class, but she was able to become a doctor thanks to what happened on this day in history!

For more information, check out:

The Black Purse by Stephanie Sellers Answers to Questions

If you remember, the giveaway ended for The Black Purse by Stephanie Sellers, and as part of the giveaway, author questions were posed.  So here are the responses.

What do you find the hardest p[art of writing a book? Beginning the story or deciding when to end it?

1.The beginning of a book sells the book, hooks the reader and like a carriage ride, defines the demeanor. So definitely the beginning. Been known to rewrite and overwrite and undo so many times that the flavor changes and have to seek out editing eyes.
It's not like a salty soup where you can just toss in a cut tater and take out the bitter. It's more like cleaning fish.

 What is your favorite genre to read?
2. Suspense. Because it mocks life. You never know what you're gonna get. (Romance just makes me ornery. Those hunks on the front covers usually have baggage that'd fill a driveway ditch and it's usually called another woman. Haw!)

how has your life inspired your writing?
3.Watching people inspires my writing more than personal experience. But some of that people watching becomes personal when it affects me or loved ones whether positive or negative.
On the negative, I used to wonder why God allowed suffering. Now I know. So we'll cling tighter to Him and be able to tend to others as they really need. Or write about it in a way that gets their attention.
And on the positive, all the good stuff in life is for a reason to live another day in an imperfect world.
Seems dramatic and it is. Life is one big piece of sweet and sour candy on a stick. The stick is for poking your eye out when you do what's called a mistake. And that's what inspires me, the real thing, not what I wish life was like. That's what made 'Black Purse' so disturbing. It's from real life drama.

How much time do you put into research and do you include real historical events and places in your story? I have always found historical fiction that takes into account real history to be much more exciting to read and relate to.

4.  While there are many facts in ‘Black Purse’ it is centered on one major fact: North Carolina’s Lumbee Indians are recognized only by the State. This has led an entire group of people to behave like they must either excel or die trying, (substance abuse is rampant), to prove themselves worthy of simply existing as God’s beloved children. Sadly, the tragedy continues as they instruct new generations that they won’t stop trying to prove themselves ‘authentic’ Native Americans until the Federal Government gives them full recognition.
I applied the study of psychohistory to ‘Black Purse’. Psychohistory is the science of historical motivations. It studies why people do what they do. And it usually leads to a debate of what, if anything, one single individual can do to change history. And as noted from the beginning of the story, ‘The only way to change something is to bring it into the light’.
And there are factual locations that are near and dear to my heart. North Carolina's Sandhills are home and referred to as horse country. There are equestrians of all types living here year round and seasonally. This is also the home of Lumbee Indians, Southern cultural conflict, the good ol' boys' network, and women who have been put back and shut up for generations. And these are 'facts'.
In the seven years of writing ‘Black Purse’ my chief sources for information were personal observation and online. Here are few of my sources for Lumbee research, horses, psychohistory, and sexual brokenness, listed in like sequence.
•    Observation
•    Online Encyclopedia
•    Lumbee Indian Websites
•    ‘The Only Land I Know: A History of the Lumbee Indians (Iroquois & Their Neighbors) by L. Adolph Dial &David K. Eliades
•    ‘Talking with Horses’ by Henry Blake
•    Years of experience
•    Lloyd deMause’s website on Psychohistory 
•    Pure Passion’s website on healing sexual brokenness
•    Observation

If you would like to purchase this book, check it out here.

Coupon Cabin's 25 Crazy Dayz of Giveaways--2 Prize Packs Up for Grabs! (ends 11/25) WW #Coupon Cabin Hop (Closed)

Welcome to CouponCabin’s 25 Crazy Dayz of Giveawayz! This multi-blog event is hosted by Simply Stacie, Makobi Scribe and Sassy Mama in LA and is sponsored by CouponCabin. This is the biggest event the blogosphere has seen with over 400 giveaways each at $25 value or more plus a huge giveaway with some major prizes like a MacBook Air, iPad2 & Visa Gift Cards. You can find all the giveaways from the participating blogs by visiting the host blogs, Simply Stacie, Makobi Scribe and Sassy Mama in LA. Each host blog will feature a different set of giveaways for you to enter!

No matter what type of coupon you're looking for, you'll find it and over 100,000 others at, a leading destination for coupon codes, printable coupons, deals and more. Now with a new and improved grocery coupons section and the largest selection of coupon codes that are guaranteed to work, CouponCabin is the best place to start your search for savings. This holiday season, CouponCabin is dedicated to making holiday savings as easy as pie by bringing you the best deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can also download our CouponDetector and we'll let you know when the site you’re shopping has coupons and deals available.  Never pay full price again with help from!
CouponCabin is giving away the following fabulous prizes:
  • Grand Prize: MacBook Air (11-inch, 128GB; ARV $1,199)
  • 2nd Runner Up: iPad2 (16GB, with Wi-Fi +3G; ARV $629) & $200 Visa Gift Card
  • 3rd Runner Up: iPad2 (16GB, with Wi-Fi +3G; ARV $629)
  • 4th Runner Up: $300 Visa Gift Card
  • 5th Runner Up: $200 Visa Gift Card
  • 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Runner Ups: $100 Visa Gift Card each

Please visit Simply Stacie, Makobi Scribe and Sassy Mama in LA to enter the giveaway and make sure to say My Devotional Thoughts referred you! You can enter on all three sites or just one- it’s up to you! If you enter all three giveaways that just means more chances for you to win.

It just so happens that I am sponsoring my own giveaway this time. I have two international prize packs to give away. Here they are.

Prize Package #1:
This is a 12-piece stainless steel cutlery set put out by Best Kitchens.
Video Features12-piece set
Video Features3" Paring Knife
Video Features5.5" Utility Knife
Video Features7.5" Bread Knife
Video Features8" Carving Knife
Video Features8" Chef's Knife
Video FeaturesFeatures Include:
Video FeaturesPackage Includes:
Video FeaturesSerrated blades never need sharpening
Video FeaturesSix 4.75" Steak Knives
Video FeaturesSoft grip handles
Video FeaturesStainless steel blades
Video FeaturesWooden Storage Block

Prize package 2:

  1. Jobar's Silhouette Night Light

And to fill out this prize package, I have added a Crayola Mess-Free Color Wonder Mater coloring pack and a set of 3 nail colors from Sheswai Lacquer in a burlap drawstring bag.  

So that means there will be 2 winners--international!  This giveaway ends November 25 at 9 P.M. Pacific time.  All entries need to be put in the rafflecopter form. 

When you are done entering my giveaway, don't forget to hop on to the other blogs below to enter the other fantastic giveaways in Coupon Cabin's 25 Crazy Dayz of Giveaways!

Puppies Vs. Babies: The Ultimate Showdown!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puppies vs. Babies for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Puppies vs. Babies online contest

Anyone who knows me is well aware of the fact that I absolutely love animals.  And if you're talking about puppies, my heart can actually melt when I see their cute, fluffy faces.  I'm not saying I want to get a puppy and have to deal with all the training, accidents, and all the other things that go along with puppies, but there isn't much that is cuter than a puppy.

Unless you are talking about a baby.  There is nothing like seeing a happy baby when you have had a bad day or you just have lost that zest for life.  Babies have a way of brightening any room they enter.  And after all, how can you remain unhappy when a cute, little baby is in the room?  Again, I am not saying I want to deal with the training, accidents (sounds like puppies, doesn't it?), and all that goes with a baby, but it is undeniable.  They are so cute!

The problem I have is this:  Which is cuter--puppies or babies?  Talk about a tough decision!  Nothing can melt your heart like a baby unless it is a puppy.  Nothing can brighten the mood in a room like a puppy unless it is a baby.  Leave it to Discovery to ask us to make such an impossible choice!

You're probably wondering which way I voted.  You would ask, wouldn't you?  Well, I generally don't like to share how I voted.  Whenever I am in a classroom (I am a teacher) and my students ask who I voted for, I tend to talk around the issue and not tell them.  Nothing can ruin the mood in a music class like a serious political debate.  

Puppies vs. Babies

But since I am a blogger and telling you about this voting contest, I suppose I can share.  And since a baby or puppy is not running for office (hey, maybe they should so they could get this country out of its serious trouble, but this is not the time or place to discuss that!), I guess I can tell you how I voted.  I have to admit that I voted for puppies.  Why--you might ask?  I suppose because puppies are a little bit easier to control than babies.  Babies are absolutely darling--yes this is true.  However, we all know that babies need a lot of care and are often crying a lot more than looking cute.  Puppies, on the other hand, do a lot less crying and are often easier to train and control.   

So, do what I did.  Head over to the site and vote today before it's too late.  And don't forget to share how you voted and why!  I'm sure many of you have strong opinions on this, and I would certainly rather discuss this than the upcoming election!

Don't worry, it's okay to disagree with me.  After all, if you vote differently than I do, I'll just smile and tell you that you are wrong (just kidding!).  So head over to their site and vote today!  It may be the most important vote you make this year!


Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, October 30, 2011

This Day in History October 31, 1892

I was absolutely amazed how many things in history happened on October 31.  I certainly had my pick, but I decided to pick something a little bit different.

It just so happens that it was on this day in 1892 that the very first short story collection of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was published.  Yes, Sherlock Holmes had appeared in magazines previously, but this was the first book collection of short stories.

Doyle was born in Scotland om 1859, and studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh That was where he met Dr. Bell who became his inspiration for the character Sherlock Holmes.  Once his stories began to sell well in magazines in 1891, he was able to give up his medical practice and concentrate on his writing.

I would love to elaborate on his biography, but if you are interested, you can check out these sites for an incredible amount of information:

I don't know about you, but I enjoy Sherlock Holmes.  I enjoy reading the books and watching the movies.  I think his mysteries were some of the finest and best-written.  I honestly never found them boring.

Solution Sunday: Women of Faith Over the Top Seattle Event--It Was Awesome!

Well, I did it!  I got my first experience ever being a Women of Faith blogger!  And all I can say is WOW!

In case you don't know what I am talking about, check out this post.  I was chosen some time ago, and I was in total shock.  I invited my sister-in-law, and she was able to go.  I got a hotel right next to downtown Seattle's Key Arena.  We were actually walking distance, if you can believe it.  We only had to pay parking once.

I went to a Women of Faith conference many years ago--before my daughter was born and while I was still married.  I only went to a portion of the conference, but I remembered it being pretty good.

We got there right as the conference was starting on Friday morning.  We came in just as the worship time was winding down.  And we were blessed to hear Patsy Clairmont speak with her newly-dyed red hair!
Owly Images

I really don't know where to begin.  Andy Andrews was awesome--I had not ever heard of him.  And I loved Debbie Warner, Marilyn Meberg, Lisa Whelchel, Sandi Patty, Mandisa!  Who did I forget?  Selah!

I am going to only list the highlights for me.  If you ever get a chance to hear Andy Andrews, you will not regret it.  He was an awesome speaker, history buff, and very ADD!  He actually made Patsy Clairmont look normal.  I learned so much from them.

I was a Mandisa fan from the time I saw her on American Idol.  She has lost over 100 pounds, and I spent a good amount of time just crying as she gave a powerful concert.  The woman is awesome and definitely on fire for God.

I remembered Lisa Whelchel from Facts of Life--indeed a great speaker.  But when it came to Debbie Warner, I spent most of my time in tears.  I definitely want to get her book.  Her story touched my heart in a multitude of ways.

I'm going to spend a little more time talking about Sandi Patty.  If anyone knew me as a teen, they knew that Sandi Patty was who I wanted to be.  I sang her songs, and my voice was very similar.  We have about the same range and the same power to our voices.  I was devastated when she had an affair, divorced, and remarried.  I was preparing to go off to college, and I thought I would never be able to listen to her again.  I was too hurt.  And I think I had a little bit of that hurt still going into this weekend.  But now I am the one who is divorced, and I even fell in love with a non-Christian.  I have been through a lot.  I can say with certainty that God has done a work in her life, and her message meant a lot to me.  God has changed my dreams from what they were as a teen.  Just like God has changed Sandi Patty's dreams.  Thank you, Sandi! She has also given me hope because here she is 55 and still has a dynamite voice!

Marilyn Meberg was fantastic--very theologically sound,  I can't tell you how much I appreciated everyone.  And Selah ministered to me as well.

The main message for the weekend was "Don't give up!  God knows what He is doing!"

While at the conference, I participated in a twitter conversation.  If you go to twitter and type #wofott in the search engine there, you will find a load of my tweets.  I almost tweeted more than Sandi Patty did!  And whomever the women of faith tweeter is, she kept responding to me.  They thanked me, encouraged me, and even said that they sang "Great is Thy Faithfulness" just for me!  I had so much fun tweeting.  I plan to do that regularly.

I want to thank book sneeze and  Thomas Nelson publishers for providing 2 free tickets to me in exchange for my honest review of the event.  I am definitely going next year.  My sister-in-law loved it too!  If you ever get a chance to go, go!

Satisfied Saturday (on Sunday) Week of October 31-November 6

Well, I bet you noticed (or maybe you didn't) that posts were sparse the past couple days.  I was gone to Women of Faith Conference in Seattle (look for a post about that today, too). So I am just getting to my recipes.

This week's recipes are taken from the following book:

If you are not familiar with this book, I suggest you check it out! And she has a website too!

Meal 1:  Garlic Pork Chops p. 173
Mashed potatoes, green beans

Meal 2:  Beef Curry with Raisins p. 135
Broccoli couscous

Meal 3:  Creamy Tortellini p. 58

Meal 4: Southwest Chicken Pasta Salad p. 62
Crescent Rolls

And I'll take something from her website for dessert:  (not really from her site but linked to it)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

This Day in History October 30, 1534

"Albeit the king's Majesty justly and rightfully is and ought to be the supreme head of the Church of England,"

This text is taken from a very important act that Parliament passed on this day in 1534--the Act of Supremacy. This was the act that made King Henry VIII the "Supreme Head of the Church of England." 

I am sure that the majority of my readers are aware of the colorful life of King Henry VIII.  Remember?  He is the one who kept trying to get a male heir and either "divorced" or killed the ones who wouldn't (couldn't) give him one.  And this was a bit of a problem.  Up to this point, Catholicism was the official church.  The Pope refused to grant him a divorce so he could marry Anne Boleyn.  This was the act that required an oath of loyalty from English subjects that recognized his marriage to Anne Boleyn. And we know she didn't last long, did she?  

I was interested to discover that a new Act of Supremacy was enacted under Queen Elizabeth I (Henry's daughter!). I am so grateful that I didn't live during this time.  I could say much more, but I have to admit that it was pretty petty of the king to have a law passed so that he could marry the woman he loved (and hoped would give him a male heir).  I guess he didn't realize that it was woman's the fault.  If we want to get technical, it was Henry's fault!  He didn't give the right chromosome to make a male child!!  (Just thought I'd throw that in--I get tired of the women being blamed when all they can give is an X chromosome.)

If you are interested, check out these sites:

Friday, October 28, 2011

This Day in History October 29, 1792

Well, what I have to share ties in really well with Pacific Northwest culture and scenery.  Those of you who live in the Pacific Northwest may recognize this mountain very quickly (sorry, I wouldn't have known for sure--I only recognize Mt. Rainier readily).  This is Mount Hood, and it can be found in Northern Oregon--50 miles east-southeast of Portland.

The height of Mt. Hood has varied, and it is the highest point in the Oregon Cascade range--fourth highest overall.  It is considered the Oregon volcano most likely to erupt, but the odds of an eruption in the next 30 years are 3-7 percent.  The Native American name for Mt. Hood was Wy'east, taken from the name of the Multnomah chief.

Now, why on earth would I be talking about Mt. Hood today?  It received its present name on this date in 1792.  Lt. William Broughton, a member of Captain George Vancouver's discovery expedition, named it after a British admiral, Samuel Hood.  Lewis and Clark were the first Americans to see the mountain in 1805, and the story continues from there.

I would invite any of you who would like to check out the wonderful information and pictures on these sites about Mt. Hood.

It is nice to get to cover something that comes from my area of the world for a change!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

This Day in History October 28, 1965

Well, today we cover something that I have seen in person but was not ever allowed to go inside!  On this date in 1965, the magnificent St. Louis Gateway Arch was completed.  It is a 630-foot high parabola of stainless steel that marks the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial on the waterfront of St. Louis, Missouri.

I guess this brings back some painful memories.  When I was married, I got to see this, but my husband would not let us go inside of it.  He said there wasn't time.  He always promised to bring me back someday.  The next time I did go back, it was closed.  So, I have yet to be inside of it!

It is sad that the designer of this arch didn't even get a chance to see it come to fruition.  He died of a brain tumor in 1961.  The arch did cost less then $15 million to build, and about 4 million visit it each year.

If you would like more information, check out these sites:

Free-Wheeling Friday--After All is Said and Done by Belinda G. Buchanan Book Review

(Warning--video does contain some adult pictures--no nudity, but definitely adult)
Summary from good reads: Nobody wakes up one morning and decides that today is the day they are going to cheat on their spouse. When the opportunity presents itself however, it ultimately becomes a choice. And that choice, whether good or bad, can have irrevocable consequences.
Ethan and Jessica Harrington are doctors who work alongside fellow doctors Gavin and Sarah Williams. After Jessica has an affair with Gavin, their lives are thrown into turmoil as they deal with the aftermath and subsequent fallout. For the better part of a year the four of them have been working to piece their marriages back together. Sarah and Gavin are still reeling from a devastating miscarriage, while Jessica and Ethan are hesitantly looking forward to the birth of their first child. Sarah’s hopes are immediately shattered when she learns how far Gavin’s infidelity has gone. Suddenly thrown into an unwanted independence she fights to find her way. Jessica struggles to repair her marriage to Ethan as they become parents. But when Ethan, a borderline alcoholic, learns a dark secret, his world steadily begins to crumble. His drinking, fueled by this discovery slowly engulfs him. Jessica’s love for him is only matched by her fear of his temper. With his marriage now in pieces and his sanity questionable, Ethan struggles to come to terms with his alcoholism and face his past. Theirs is a story of the tremendous amount of love some people have for one another, regardless of the pain that is sometimes inflicted. 

After All Is Said And DoneAfter All Is Said And Done by Belinda G. Buchanan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Initially, I was drawn to this book because it dealt with alcoholism and unforgiveness.  Both are issues that have dramatically affected our family, and the latter is affecting it now.  I joined a blog tour to give away a copy of it, and the author did a guest post along with it.  After reading her guest post, I knew I had to read this book.  I contacted her, and she graciously sent me a copy to review.  She warned me about any issues I may find with the book (I can't tell you how much I appreciate it when authors do that), but I was convinced this was a book I was supposed to read.  And I am so glad I did!

The writing style, plot, and characterization in this book are absolutely exquisite.  In the beginning, I struggled to keep the characters straight.  (My fault, not the author's).  I finally got Gavin, Jessica, Sarah, and Ethan straightened out.  I'll let you read the book and figure all that out yourself.

I truly feel that this book was very realistic.  Sometimes an author will write a book and water down the topics so that there is a "happy ending."  Belinda Buchanan does not do do this.  She handles the issues of infidelity and alcoholism in a way that is real, human, and tragic.  And she shows you exactly what bitterness and unforgiveness can do to a person.

I am glad that author warned me about the "adult" portions.  Yes, there was some profanity and intimate scenes.  Most intimate scenes occurred between married people and did not go into great detail.  Practically all profanity was used sparsely and at what most would feel were appropriate moments.  I was not nearly as offended as I might have been if the profanity was rampant and incessant.

The amazing thing about the characters is that I grew to love Ethan in spite of everything.  In fact, I was amazed to discover that through everything (don't want to spoil it for anyone), I still loved him and never stopped.  I wanted him to make it, and there were some emotional points.  In fact, as I read a good portion of these portions, I was in a classroom with a group of students, and I really forgot where I was!  I was not overly aware of what was going on in the class.  There were also points that just hit too close to home.  I came from an emotionally abusive marriage, and some of the situations very difficult to read.

In conclusion, I so wish that those close to me who are struggling with bitterness could learn the lessons that the characters did in the book.  They so need to understand that hatred and anger accomplishes nothing if you keep holding onto it.  You must let it go.

I am very grateful that the author gave me this book for free in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are 100 percent mine.

View all my reviews

If you are interested, check out the giveaway for this book that ends on Monday.  It is open worldwide! 

Trick or Treat Halloween Hop (Ends 11/2) WW (closed)

Welcome to the Trick or Treat Halloween Hop hosted by">Tales From the Nursery,">Formula Mom, and">Mama on a Green Misson, where you will go trick-or-treating virtually at each blog for a chance to win some totally ghoul prizes.  Will they have tricks or will they have treats?  You must click through the linky to find out! 

My giveaway probably has something for everyone.  I was able to find all sorts of things to celebrate this season of the year.  Read on to find out more about it.

 You can see that this is a wide variety of placemats.  I will tell you that they have been minimally used, but they are clean, and possibly some were bought and never used.  My mom found them when she was cleaning out stuff.  We have a bunch, and it seems that fall placemats are hard to come by.
Brand new--2 hanging ghost decorations that say "Boo!"  Aren't these cute?

I love this set of fall earrings.  I like the orange bells best, and the black ones (there are hoops and little round ones that you can't see for some reason) could be worn year round.
I could not pass this up.  it was evidently made for a boutique, and it says "Come in for a Bite."  I don't like vampires as a rule, but this was just too cute.

I also have a wide variety of Halloween candy.  Mainly chocolate.  I'll not tell you what ones, but you're sure to find something to please everyone.

I am not certain of the cost of everything, but I can tell you this--it is at least $25 worth of items!  I would say it is worth more like $30-$40.

So now to entering.  I am using rafflecopter, so please put all entries in the form.  Comments are generally used for any problems you may encounter or any nice compliments you might want to send my way!  But they are always appreciated!

The giveaway is open worldwide, and it will end on November 2 at 9 P.M. Pacific Time.

When you are done entering my giveaway, don't forget to go enter the giveaways at the other blogs!  Best of luck and Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Reminder to Enter My Book Giveaways that End Soon!

Just thought I would send all my blog followers a little reminder.  I have several book-related giveaways that end very soon.  A few of them are very low entries!

The Black Purse Book (Ends 10/28) U.S.

This one has 3 entries, and the author is begging more people to enter.  Furthermore, if you are a book blogger (big or small), she would love for you to review her book.  Post your interest on this post (or the giveaway post) with your blog address and/or e-mail, and I will hook you up!  

Something Inside of Me by Chitoka Webb--10 winners! (Ends 10/31) WW

This one has 10 copies to give away to people!  Entries are less than 30 at this point.  Your chances are very good.  I can't say enough about this book--it is inspiring and life-changing!

After All is Said and Done E-Book (Ends 10/31) WW

I think there are 3 or 4 entries on this one, and I can now report to you that this book is outstanding.  I am planning to give it 5 stars.  I am almost done reading it, and it has really struck a cord with me.

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop (Ends 10/31) WW

Monster Mash & Bash Giveaway Hop (Ends 10/31) WW

Big giveaway hops!  Check them out!!  Good luck to everyone.

This Day in History October 27, 1954

While she is not the cultural icon she once was, I think many people still know who Marilyn Monroe was.  My dad is a huge fan--he used to have a whole collection of pictures and articles about her.  It was kind of strange coming from my dad who is totally clueless when it comes to women being sexy and all that stuff.  I am what one would call a "minor fan" of hers.  I prefer her dramatic roles to her musical comedy roles.  And I am one of those people that believes she was actually killed because she knew too much about the Kennedy administration, but that is another story.

On this date in 1954, she and Joe DiMaggio divorced.  (Sports buffs might know who he was.)  She wed the baseball star on January 14 of that year.  They were only married 9 1/2 months, and it was said that DiMaggio got tired of all the attention that his celebrity wife received.  Reportedly, DiMaggio did not even make an appearance in court.  She called her husband cold and indifferent, and the divorce was granted. It is also reported that her famous "subway dress scene" in The Seven Year Itch where her dress blew upwards revealing some of what was underneath sent him over the edge.  He became jealous and possessive, and Marilyn Monroe thrived on that publicity.

The story of Monroe is one of great tragedy, and she was a very talented, beautiful girl.  I have to admit that when you look at her figure back then, she was actually not the super-skinny, big-bosom model so many worship now.  It is so interesting how times and the concept of beauty changes over the years.

If you would like to read more about this event and Marilyn Monroe's life in general, check out these links:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This Day in History October 26, 1751

Today we celebrate the Puritan hymnwriter of Grace Tis a Charming Sound and O Happy Day--Philip Doddridge.  He was born in London, England June 26, 1702--the youngest of 20 children!  Yikes!  He was not expected to live when he was born, and he struggled with health issues all of his life.  Amazingly, only he and his sister survived infancy. And he was orphaned at the age of 13 when his parents both died in the same year.

To make a long story short, he chose to be a noncomformist minister instead of staying with the Church of England. He was good friends with Isaac Watts and George Whitfield.  He received a Doctor of Divinity Degree from the Univeristy of Aberdeen in 1736.   He died of tuberculosis on this date in 1751.

For more information, check out these sites:

His best-known hymn:

Monster Mash & Bash Giveaway Hop (Ends 10/31) WW (closed)

 Welcome to the Monster Mash & Bash Giveaway Hop hosted by A Book Lover's Dream.  This is another great place to win books and book-related items.  And speaking of book-related items, that is what my giveaway is.  For many years now, I have been enthralled with War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells.  My daughter loves it too.  She has read part of the kid's version, and she has tried to read the original book as well.  I was first introduced to this story via Jeff Wayne's musical version.  This is a 1978 CD version of the book that is more like an audio book with music.  It follows the story fairly well, and it stars some great people like Robert Burton, Julie Covington and others.  I used it in my teaching around this time of year, and the students always enjoyed it.  If you never have read the original book, I highly recommend it as well.

So, my giveaway will be a little different this time.  If you live in the U.S.,

You will receive this CD and up to $10 worth of other items from Amazon (so I can get the free shipping!).  If are international, I will be sending War of the Worlds book with up to $10 towards one other book from Book Depository.  There will be only one winner, and what you receive is decided by where you live.  If you live in the U.S., you will have the choice between the two prize packs.  But I have to highly recommend the CD--even if you are not familiar with it.  (If amazon ships to your country with a similar deal and the items are available in your country, you may be able to go with the first prize package, but we will decide once the winner is chosen.)

So now onto the entries.  I am using rafflecopter for this giveaway, and all entries need to go in that form.  This giveaway will end October 31 at 9 P.M. Pacific Time. And after you enter my giveaway, don't forget to hop on to the other giveaways!

Monday, October 24, 2011

This Day in History October 25, 1764

On this day in 1764, the woman pictured above (Abigail Smith Admas) married the man below (John Adams, our second president). This marriage lasted an amazing 54 years!
When she married John Adams, he was a young lawyer.  Abigail was known for being a great historian of national events in her letters.  She and her husband corresponded quite regularly throughout all the important historical events--Continental Congress, Vice-Presidency, and more.

She was the first Second Lady and the second First Lady (although neither term was used until after her death). Following her husband's presidency, they retired to their family home for the next 17 years.  However, she was the mother of John Quincy Adams--our sixth president.

I think the thing that draws me to this story is that if you read between the lines, John and Abigail Adams had a loving relationship.  It seems that he was not a domineering husband (as so many were back then).  And she definitely loved and supported her husband.  When we say they were married 54 years, I think we could easily say that it was not a marriage of convenience but it was a marriage based on friendship and love.  They had the secret.  Too bad that most people don't have that kind of success.

For more information, check out:

Music Monday--Scotty McCreery Clear As Day Review

Well, I finally got it listened to!  And I am definitely a Scotty McCreery fan!  Let me tell you a little about how all this happened before I review the CD.

I did not watch American Idol this past year (except for when I had the dog bite and the finale--for some reason).  I did not like the fact that Simon was not on it (loving X Factor!).  I didn't like any of the judges, to be perfectly frank.  But I did hear about the two finalists on the country station each morning.  The main DJ did not like Scotty McCreery.  And I wasn't too impressed when I saw the finale.  I don't think I even watched the entire finale, if I remember right.

When I first heard his single on the radio, I thought, "This is nothing spectacular, but it is okay."  I had heard that he was a strong Christian, and that intrigue me.  I saw his video, and well, he began to grow on me.  Yes, he can be compared to Josh Turner (I am definitely a fan of his!).  But every time I see him, all I can say is that he looks so young!!  And I wish people would lay off him about the World Series National Anthem rendition.  He did not sing "Jose"--he is from the South, and it was his accent!!

Okay, now to the review. (Oh, I forgot.  I decided to get the CD when he said that he went back right after winning Idol to take an AP English test!!)

Out of Summertime is just a basic opening song for the album.  But then he goes into his I Love You This Big--his first single.  I really like this song now.  I'll be posting his video of it at the end of this.  Clear as Day is another nice song, but nothing terribly special.

His fourth song is probably his next single--The Trouble With Girls.  This is really a cute song.  I wonder if this is his experience??  Probably not!  Then we come to my first big favorite:  Water Tower Town.  This is a great country song that celebrates all that is right with a little country town.  Walk in the Country is also nice.   And I like Better Than That.   Write My Number on Your Hand will give you a really good chuckle.

He follows these songs up with one of the top two songs on the album--Dirty Dishes,.  I would love to see this released as a single.  It is all about thanking God for things which sometimes irk us.  I highly recommend it.  You Make That Look Good is another song that will get you smiling. Back on the Ground is a nice song that reminds you of the importance of your family.  And then, the pinnacle of the album--That Old King James.  Although I am positive that this will never be a single, it confirms to me that Scotty is a Christian.

This album is a definite 5 out of 5!  All I can say is that I hope and pray that Scotty will not go the way of Carrie Underwood.  I don't mean to run her down, but her Christian stand has been compromised on so many occasions.  And no, I am not trying to be judgmental.  I think there is a lot of pressure that is placed on these stars.  And because of the position in which they have been placed, they are held to a higher standard.

So if you like good, old country music, be sure to check out Scotty McCreery's album!

Why God Matters by Karina Lumbert Fabian and Steven Lumbert Virtual Book Tour

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was not sure what I would think about this book when I began reading it. I am a Christian but not a Catholic. In fact, I know virtually nothing about Catholicism. I was not sure how much this book would relate to me.

I was so happy to discover just how much I enjoyed this book. Each chapter was written like a mini-devotional, and it hit me right where I was living. Advice was practical, heartfelt, and Biblically sound. It gave me hope for the desperate situations in which I find myself lately. The authors understood what it meant to live out their faith.

I was most pleased that the Bible and Christian principles were emphasized over Catholic traditions. Once in a while, references to Catholic practices I do not practice--praying to saints, rosary beads, etc.--were mentioned, but I did not find these offensive. I found that these were not the emphasis of the book. Praying to God in times of distress and keeping one's faith strong were the most important premises of this book.

This is book I will be keeping and will turn to often when I am going through hard times. I would recommend reading it as a devotional and not just reading it straight through. Each short chapter is thought-provoking for a whole day or week. It will definitely uplift your spirits and return your focus to where it should be--God.

View all my reviews

Karina Lumbert Fabian Bio:

Karina Lumbert Fabian was born into the Catholic faith, but truly grew to love it as an adult. As a busy mother of four, she finds some of her strongest encounters with God's love happen in the ordinary events of the day-to-day. Karina started her writing career with diocesan newspapers but has settled into writing fun-filled fantasy and science fiction that nonetheless incorporates the principles of faith-filled living.

Deacon Steven Lumbert Bio:

Deacon Steven Lumbert officially converted to Catholicism in 1988, but had been a "practicing" Catholic long before that. He met his lovely and loving wife, Socorro, while serving in Roosevelt Roads Naval Base in Puerto Rico, in 1966. They raised their daughters, Karina and Regina, in the faith. Steve spent 30 years as a Colorado State Trooper, but retired when God called him to the diaconate. Currently, he serves the Diocese of Pueblo as the Associate Director of Deacon Formation.

Video book trailer:

Video of interview on's This Is the Day:

Video of interview on Ave Maria Radio's Kresta in the Afternoon:

Buy links:



Book web site:

Karina Lumbert Fabian Facebook:

Karina Lumbert Fabian Twitter:

Karina Lumbert Fabian Blog:

Tribute Books website:

Tribute Books Facebook:

Tribute Books Twitter:

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
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