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Bean Berries

Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant living in northern California among the redwoods. A life full of family, friends, crazy situations and more. A book and a cup of coffee are always near by. Christianity is a way of life, not a religion.

Updated: 2018-03-06T12:39:41.110-08:00


A Whole New Adventure for Cindi


Mary Kay. How many hear that name and think of pink Cadillacs? But Mary Kay is so much more than makeup and big pink cars! In October 2012, I embarked on a new adventure; I started my own business as an Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. Trust me, in my wildest dreams I never thought I would be pursuing the Mary Kay dream. But here it is, nearly two months since I started down this road to self-discovery and skin care classes and I'm having the time of my life.

Since starting this business, I've learned how to take better care of my skin and help other women learn how to do the same. It's fun getting together with girlfriends to do facials and put on makeup. What woman doesn't want to feel pampered every once in a while?

I've started my own Mary Kay personal website where my customers can shop 24 hours a day and I have met some truly inspirational women. And, my sister has decided to join me in pursuing the Mary Kay dream. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I got to present her with her Mary Kay pin that welcomed her into the sisterhood of Mary Kay.

That's my sister Ammi in the denim jacket and that's yours truly in red. For now, we are pursuing the Mary Kay dream.


'Just For Fun' reading challenge and more!


As a book reviewer, I get the opportunity to read lots of books.  I have more books in my house than I will ever be able to read, according to my husband.  I get sent books from authors and illustrators, I get sent books from publishers and agents, and I can't resist buying or trading books either.Image from wikipedia commons But sometimes, it can seem like a chore rather than an enjoyable experience when you have a stack of books that are waiting to be reviewed and you just want to get lost in a book and not think about character development, plot elements, and dialogue.  I'm not saying I don't ever get lost in the books that I review, because many times I do.  But sometimes I just want to set it all aside and reread an old favorite, some nonfiction, or some NY Times Bestseller that doesn't fit in with the kinds of books I generally review.Enter the JUST FOR FUN Reading Challenge on Goodreads.  Goodreads is a site to keep track of all the books you have ever read, want to read, and didn't even know existed.  It's a place to connect with other book lovers and discover what books you have in common and how you each interpreted a particular story.  Until January 31 anyone can join the JUST FOR FUN Reading Challenge which is moderated by Lori.  It's not a huge challenge, just a challenge to read one book per month purely for enjoyment.  And there is also the opportunity to win some great prizes throughout the year.So, here is MY list of books I hope to read this year, JUST FOR FUN!  What will YOU be reading?January:  Little Bee by Chris Cleave  February:  fathermothergod: My Journey Out of Christian Science by Lucia GreenhouseMarch:  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty SmithApril:  A Death in the Family by James AgeeMay:  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldJune: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo IshiguroJuly:  Persuasion by Jane AustenAugust:  Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms by Carmela CiuraruSeptember:  Odd Thomas by Dean KoontzOctober:  Middlemarch by George EliotNovember:  Young Pioneers by Rose Wilder LaneDecember:  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom RiggsAll book images courtesy of Goodreads.[...]

Southern Humboldt School District needs your help


Please contact California state legislators and let them know how important school transportation is to the rural areas of Humboldt County.

The Honorable Edmund G. Brown

Governor, State of California

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814

... The Honorable Wesley Chesbro

Member, California State Assembly

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814

The Honorable Noreen Evans

Member, California State Senate

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear State Senator Evans,

Dear California State Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro,

Dear Governor Edmund G. Brown

I am writing to object to the targeting of the students in rural California for disproportionate cuts because state revenues are significantly less than anticipated in the adopted 2011-12 State Budget. The State Budget trigger will cut all Home-to-School and Special Education Transportation funding from January 1, 2012 through June 30, 2012. 90% of the students in the Southern Humboldt Unified School District require Home-to-School Transportation. Most of the families are unable to provide transportation for their children to go to school. Many of the District’s families are low-income, many are single-parent or two-parent families who are working. They do not have the funds or the time to provide transportation services.

Additionally, many of the students in the Southern Humboldt Unified School District live more than a mile from the school campus, while most live more than 30 miles from school. There are no sidewalks, no regional transportation, and no bicycle lanes along the rural roads; there are no other options available for the students to transport themselves to school. The elimination of Home-to-School and Special Education Transportation funds would endanger student safety going to and from school.

For these reasons, I am writing to urge you to reverse the targeted Home-to-School and Special Education Transportation cuts that are part of the State Budget enacted on June 30, 2011. If this is impossible; I am further asking you to at least reconsider this decision to all rural school districts. The across the board cut is detrimental to rural communities and it seems constitutionally unfair where a majority of students within the district are cut off from attaining an education. Please consider a decision that is fair for every student.

Thank you for your consideration of this critical matter.


12 months of Christmas...Coming soon!


In an effort to be better prepared for Christmas 2012, I have decided to work on ornaments and gifts throughout the year.  The reason I have decided to announce this goal to the world is to keep myself on track.  If I have readers following my progress - I'm hoping - that it will prompt me to stay on task throughout the year.  I haven't got all the details nailed down, but I think I have a few ideas settled already.   I found the ideas for some of these ornaments on

The best part of this 12 months of Christmas?  12 lucky readers will win a collection of the ornaments made throughout the year - one winner each month!  And at the end of the year readers will have a chance to win one of everything I made throughout the year!  Details on this fun giveaway to be posted in a future article.


January: The Christmas family; Mary, Joseph, and Jesus   These Christmas ornaments are made using old-fashioned clothespins from Crafts Re-Designed, this Popsicle-stick Nativity from What to Expect, and one other one I'm designing myself are all planned for January.

February: Angels  This hilarious angel ornament made from a tampon comes from Fave Crafts, possibly the cutest pasta angel I've ever seen from Craftily Ever After, and again, one I'm working on designing.

March: Stars  This simple paper star comes from Good Housekeeping, this German paper star (we made these in my 7th grade class and I'm German, so these are a must) is from With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart, and a variation of this glittery star from The Robin and the Sparrow.

So stay tuned in and make sure you check back tomorrow for more on the ornaments I will be working on in April, May, and June!


Review and Giveaway: 'Night of the Living Dead Christian' by Matt Mikalatos


I'm sure all of my readers would love to own a copy of Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos, and one lucky reader will own it if they are chosen in the giveaway.  But, I will get to the giveaway details after the review.Matt Mikalatos is also the author of Imaginary Jesus, which won rave reviews from professional critics and everyday readers alike.  Although I haven't read Imaginary Jesus, I was excited to be able to have the opportunity to review - and give a copy away thanks to Tyndale House Publishers - Night of the Living Dead Christian (NOTLDC). NOTLDC is the story of an average neighborhood that is being overrun by zombies, werewolves, and vampires.  The main character, Matt, is introduced when he is out taking his nightly walk as Chief Officer of the Neighborhood Watch program.  He meets a mad scientist (er, eccentric genius) named Dr. Culbetron and his robot HIBBS 3000 just as they are about to test a new invention.  When it is tested, hundreds of zombies show up, determined to get at Matt and Dr. Culbetron.  The story continues as Matt, the doctor, and the robot encounter a vampire Matt went to high school with and a werewolf who lives down the street.  It becomes the mission of all five to cure the werewolf and the vampire of their monster tendencies without becoming zombies in the process.Watch a video of author Matt Mikalatos discussing Night of the Living Dead Christian!This is a hilarious story that had me laughing out loud several times at the characters' antics.  When the werewolf is introduced, the reader learns his name is Luther Martin.  His father is a Lutheran pastor and is almost fanatical about the influence reformer Martin Luther had on the modern church.  As a result, the poor werewolf's name is Luther Ann Martin.  The funniest character, however, is Matt.  His delusions of self-grandeur aside, he is quite witty and incredibly perceptive.  In a review for Imaginary Jesus, the DC Christian Fiction Examiner had this to say about author Matt Mikalatos:If Mikalatos’s wry wit doesn’t pull you into the book within a couple pages, his action-packed chase of imaginary Jesus will soon have you flipping pages. But be warned. Beneath the excitement of the adventurous chase and the humor of his comic wit, Mikalatos packs some heavy, biblical punches This reader whole-heartedly agrees that the author has created a novel that is just as compelling with NOTLDC.  While laughing at the situations the characters find themselves in, the reader is confronted with their own beliefs about what real Christianity looks like.  Is it blind devotion to a particular religious leader that only allows followers to use one translation of the Bible, certain songs at worship, and certain styles of dress?  Those are zombies.  What about those that feel they are never really forgiven and their sinful man must be 'killed' again and again, having a stake driven through their heart on an almost daily basis?  Vampires!  And what about those that just can't seem to control their animalistic tendencies to hurt and tear apart those they love?  The ones that try to fix themselves through therapies, church attendance, and any other means possible?  Werewolves!In the end, all the characters make some kind of change and the truth of Christianity and Christ's love is revealed.  Mikalatos has been called the 21st century's C.S. Lewis because he exposes the hypocrisy of the modern church.  His style has been called a cross between Monty Python and C.S. Lewis.  Whatever words are used to describe author Matt Mikalatos, one thing is certain.  He has a long writing career ahead of him and this reader wants to devour everything he writes.NOW TO THE GIVEAWAY!Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a free copy of Night of the Living Dead Christian. The publi[...]

Ferndale vs. Fortuna in High School Football Championship


Ferndale takes the field; victorious over Willits.

Ferndale Wildcats, my son's high school alma mater, won a championship football game yesterday against the Willits Wolverines.  (That's my son in the lower left corner.)  On Friday night, my high school alma mater, the Fortuna Huskies won their championship game against Berean Christian.  So that means that Ferndale and Fortuna will be playing against each other, AGAIN, next week.

Read this article for some background on the rivalry between Fortuna and Ferndale.

Now given the vitriolic comments that were left on my Facebook page when I commented about the rivalry mentioned in the article above, what happens at this championship game OFF the field will be anyone's guess.  However, I want to go on the record NOW as stating the following:
  • I never said, nor suspected that the students guilty of taking the Milk Can were members of the Fortuna High football team.
  • I have the utmost respect for Coach Mike Benbow and the other members of the coaching staff at Fortuna High.  I attended Fortuna High with Coach Benbow and have always known him to be fair, honest, and a tough but likable coach.
  • I WILL be wearing Wildcat Red at the football game and I will cheer loudly for the 'Cats.
  • I will NOT engage in arguments OFF the field with other parents/fans.
If you can make it to this historical play-off game between Ferndale and Fortuna, I encourage you to attend.  It should be a tough game and when the final whistle blows, both teams will be able to say they played their hardest.


UPDATE ON GIVEAWAY! 'Night of the Living Dead Christian' by Matt Mikalatos


UPDATE ON GIVEAWAY!The final deadline to enter this giveaway has been changed.  New deadline is Thursday, December 15 at 11 p.m. with the winner announced on December 16.  Review of this book will be posted on Saturday, December 10.  All other rules and conditions still apply.Did you read that right?  Is Tally's Place actually hosting a giveaway?  Yep!  And I'm really excited about this one.  If you are a book lover and or fan of Christian fiction, this chance to win Matt Mikalatos' newest book is just for you.  Here are the basics:Next week I will be posting a review of Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos.  This is the same author that wrote Imaginary Jesus.Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a free copy of Night of the Living Dead Christian.The publishers of this book have also given me a certificate good for ONE FREE COPY of Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos to be won by a lucky reader of Tally's Place.Exciting, huh?  So you may be asking how you get a chance at winning a fantastic new book, but have no worries.  Here are the MANY ways you can enter this giveaway.Leave a comment on this post.  Just say, 'Hey, I want to win this book' or 'Enter me!'  Just make sure I have a way to contact you should I choose you.  (Email or a link to your blog is perfect.)When I post the review, YOU MUST leave a comment there as well.  You can say something like 'Wow, can't wait to read this book' or 'I know someone that would love to get this book from me as a gift.'Blog about this giveaway!  Leave the link to your blog in the comments section.Tweet about this giveaway and leave me the link that shows you did.Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment that tells me so.Visit my San Francisco Christian Fiction Examiner column, leave a comment on one of the articles, then leave a comment HERE telling me which article you commented on.Stumble one of my Christian Fiction Examiner articles and let me know which one.Follow Tally's Place and leave a comment telling me you are a new follower.  If you already follow, tell me that too!Okay.  That is 8 (EIGHT) ways you can get a chance to win Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos from Tyndale Publishers and Tally's Place.The Official Rules and StuffContest will end on Monday, December 5, 2011 at 7 p.m. Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 11 p.m.  The winner will be announced no later than 8 a.m. Tuesday, December 6, 2011. Friday, December 16, 2011 at 8 a.m. If you enter this contest and I have no way to contact you, I will choose another winner.  I must be able to reach you by email in order to obtain your physical mailing address so I can mail the certificate to you.The winner will be chosen by a random number generator.  I will mail the certificate within ONE WEEK of choosing a winner.The certificate will be sent by CERTIFIED MAIL with a RETURN RECEIPT.  This helps both the winner and me track the certificate to its destination.  It helps me know it was received since a signature is required for delivery.So what are you waiting for?  Get going and make sure you leave a comment so you can win this book.[...]

Thanksgiving Thoughts About Family


Thanksgiving is almost here.  As families gather and join together to eat and share memories and make new ones, I'm thinking about people that are no longer in my life.  So often we go about our busy schedules, working, cleaning, shopping, just the hustle and bustle of living and we forget to appreciate those around us until it's too late and they are no longer with us.Thanksgiving, when I was a kid, was a huge affair.  My paternal grandparents had six children that survived to adulthood that then started families of their own and everyone got together at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  As a child, these were glorious times of Aunty Mary's Baked Beans, Uncle Ed's Buttermilk Pancakes, and laughter, games, and cozy laps.  By the time I was in junior high, these gatherings had gotten smaller.  Nana and Papa came to our house on Thanksgiving and the rest of the relatives would stop by throughout the day to share dessert, chat, and play board games.  Nana and Papa, my dad's parents, are both gone now and for some reason, I'm especially missing them and some other family members this year.Nana was the oldest sister in a family of three girls.  Her name was Leola and her younger sisters were Virginia (Aunt Ginny) and Lynn (Aunt Lynn).  Her mother died shortly after Lynn was born, so it was up to her to be the influential female in the house.  Pictures of my Nana when she was younger still have the power to silence me and take me back to a time when women were ladies.  She was stunning on her wedding day in August 1929.  She was 18.Papa was the youngest in his family.  His name was Henry and his siblings were Alma, Emil, Ernest, Emma, and George.  (And I feel like I'm forgetting someone!)  He was devastatingly handsome with his red hair combed straight back, as was the style at the dawn of a new decade.  He was 20 when he married Leola.They soon were the parents to four girls, Margaret, Henrietta, Mary Ann, and Jeannette.  One month before their first son and my dad John was born, Henrietta died at the age of 8.  There is one picture that exists of Henrietta and she is an adorable tom boy of a girl with short dark hair and dancing eyes.  I would have liked to see the woman she became, but GOD needed her more.  After my dad was born in 1940, two more children were added to the family, Clara and James.By the time I was born in 1967, I already had 10 older cousins, but I was to be the only baby in the family for nearly four years until a brother and another female cousin were born.  Then more siblings and cousins were added to my family.  As our family grew, so did the bonds that connect me to these people.  Aunty Marg, my dad's oldest sister, was like a second mom to me and she doted on me because she had two sons and no daughters.  We were incredibly close as I grew up and she would sew her own house dresses, always making sure to make a tiny version so we could match.  Aunty Jeannette lived far away with Uncle Pete and their two girls, Sandra and Tina, and later on, their son Shane.  We would visit them wherever Uncle Pete was pastoring a church and I always had so much fun.  I remember visiting Hanford, California and swimming in a backyard pool.  When we visited them in the Mojave Desert we visited Red Rock Canyon, the ghost town of Calico, and played with red ants in the front yard.Aunty Mary and Uncle Melvin provided me with my first playmates and closest childhood friends.  There were three girls (Leola, Margaret, or Markie, and Doris) and three boys (Bill, Stan, and Edward) in this family.  I was closest to the two youngest girls, Markie and Doris, and we spent hours playing games outside and board games inside.  The stories we could tell!Aunty Clara was the silly aunt t[...]

What I'm reading now: 'Wings' by Aprilynne Pike


I can't believe it, but it's been nearly a month since the Humboldt County Author Festival and I got the chance to meet 25 children's fiction authors and illustrators.  And I didn't just get to meet them.  I got to talk to them and have them sign books for me; some for myself and some as gifts.

I finally dug into the tote bag full of books last night and pulled out Wings by Aprilynne Pike.  To be honest, this isn't really a book I had planned on reading (I'm not much into teen fantasy), but when I met the author she was so stinkin' cute and charming, I couldn't help but want to read what she had written.

I'm so glad I picked this book!  For one thing, it's set in my neck of the woods, northern California.  So far north we are closer to Oregon than we are to San Francisco.  We are right on the coast in the heart of redwood country and though the book is set in Del Norte county, I totally recognize all the places that are mentioned in the book.

I'm about a quarter of the way through this story about a girl named Laurel who moves to Crescent City from Orick.  She has been homeschooled all her life, but now that she is 15 her parents feel it's time for her to attend high school.  She doesn't really want to, but she makes the best of it.  She becomes friends with some kids, mainly a boy named David and a girl named Chelsea.  She has never felt like other kids and now something is growing in the middle of her back!  Her mom says it's a zit, but it's getting bigger and it is not going away!

I don't want to share much more because I don't want to give away the story, but I'm so loving it!  This author has done a great job of capturing the friendship between high school kids, in a good way.  It's refreshing to read a young adult novel that isn't filled with curse words and risky behavior.  Granted I haven't read the whole thing, but I would be totally surprised if the author's tone just changes all of a sudden.

Well, that's all I want to share for now...  Gotta get back to reading and find out what happens next!  If you've read the book, feel free to comment, but keep the ending to yourself! 


Devotional for kids from MasterBooks: 'God's Amazing Creatures and Me'


If you are looking for a devotional book for kids to use in Sunday School, children's church, or even with your own children, MasterBooks has a wonderful book geared to boys and girls ages 6 through 10.Book InfoTitle: God's Amazing Creatures and Me     Author: Helen HaidleIllustrator: Paul HaidleISBN: 9780890512944List Price: $8.99Using the characteristics of 43 animals, the author writes about these animals in an interesting way and uses them to teach kids Biblical values.  Each devotion includes fascinating information and facts about an animal, a short Bible story, a memory verse, and questions for children to ponder and answer.  For example, the lionfish is included in the devotion titled Deadly Beauty.  This beautiful, yet dangerous sea creature reminds us that even though the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden looked delicious and appetizing, it was forbidden for a reason.  Anyone who even touched it would surely die.  Other animals found in this children's devotion book include the caterpillar, the goat, the Northern Goshawk, the gibbon, and the turtle.Such Biblical and moral values taught include honesty, perseverance, and faith.  The resurrection of God's believers and His daily protection are also explored in language that children can understand without being oversimplified.  The last devotion in the book doesn't use an animal as its object lesson at all; is uses a bean seed.  Just like the bean plant grows lusher, taller, and stronger the further its roots grow into the nourishing soil, so do children and adults when the make studying God's Word and Biblical principles a daily habit."As you... have received Christ Jesus, the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith."Colossians 2:6-7This book can be purchased online from the publisher, Amazon, and Powell's.  It may also be found at your neighborhood independent bookseller.I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.  I received no compensation for my review.[...]

'Once Upon A Time' brings fairy tales to the small screen


Are you obsessed with fairy tales?  Does a good yarn get you going?  Do you believe that good always wins and that evil is always punished?  If you answered yes to even one of these questions, I suggest you check out the new drama on ABC, called Once Upon A courtesy of thetvwatchtower.files.wordpress.comThe premise of this program is quite simple.  As everyone knows, the evil queen tried to kill Snow White and was unsuccessful.  Snow White was awakened by Prince Charming and they were supposed to live happily ever after.  But...When the evil queen discovered that Snow White and Prince Charming were about to be married she placed one final curse on them.  At some point in the future, they and the rest of the fairy tale kingdom would be cursed to live in modern times trapped in a town called Storybrooke.  The worst part of the curse?  None of them would remember who they really are or anything about the past.There is only one person who can break the spell and return the kingdom to its former glory; Emma Swan.  And who is Emma Swan?  She is the child of Snow White and Prince Charming who was miraculously saved as an infant from the evil queen's curse.  She grew up in modern times as a foster child.  At some point she had a baby boy who she placed for adoption.  She has no knowledge of who she is or that she is the one meant to free the fairy tale kingdom.But, after three episodes, (it airs on ABC at 8 p.m. on Sunday) Emma is definitely involved with the residents of Storybrooke, who are really fairly tale characters.  She was brought there by the mayor/evil queen's son, Henry.  Why?  Because Henry is the little boy she gave up for adoption nearly a decade ago.  It's interesting to see the story unfold each week as the action moves back and forth between the fairytale kingdom and modern times.  Without even mentioning who they were in the fairy tale kingdom, it's easy to see who some characters are.  Little Red Riding Hood has been transformed into Ruby, a sexy barely-adult young woman who constantly grumbles at Granny's attempts to rein her in.  Granny runs a cafe.  Mr. Gold - who owns everything in town - was Rumpelstiltskin in his former life and the hunstman who saved Snow White's life is now the sheriff.  Jiminy Cricket?  He's a child psychologist.In the most recent episode, viewers got to see how Prince Charming, whose first name is James, and Snow White first met.  Viewers also saw Henry's attempts at bringing school teacher Mary Margaret (Snow White) and a comatose John Doe (Prince Charming) together.  The fireworks between Emma, Henry's birth mother and Regina, his adopted mother (the town's mayor/evil queen) are fantastic.  Mary Margaret/Snow White is perfectly played by the adorable Ginnifer Goodwin.Those that have missed the beginning episodes of this amazing new twist on fairy tales can get up to speed by watching full episodes of Once Upon A Time for free at ABC's website.  The next episode, which airs on Sunday, November 13 at 8 p.m. Pacific Time is titled The Price of Gold.  What about you?  Have you seen this program yet?  What do you think of it? [...]

Thomas Jefferson's Bible to be exhibited at National Museum of American History (NMAH)


It's so interesting how the liberal media and those that believe them like to tell Conservatives that the Founding Fathers weren't Christian/didn't read the Bible, etc.  Just yesterday while reading the lastest issue of Vanity Fair (hey, Johnny Depp is on the cover!) I ran across an article about how the Tea Party is destroying everything the Revolutionists accomplished.  While I didn't read the article yet, I'm sure it says something similar to the denial of the Constitutional framers having any acknowledgement of God.  Which brings me to Jefferson's Bible.

Picture courtesy of Hugh Talman / NMAH, SI

Yes, Thomas Jefferson.  The man who was a president of the United States twice, the man who helped write the Constitution of the United States, the man who is often called one of the Founding Fathers had a Bible.  And he read it every night.  According to the October 2011 issue of Smithsonian magazine, Jefferson cut scriptures from the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and created a narrative of the life of Christ.  He called it The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazereth.  Although Jefferson is quoted as saying,
"I not only write nothing on religion, but rarely permit myself to speak on it,"
it does not mean he didn't submit to a higher power.  This Bible, created by Jefferson, was something that he told only his closest friends about, but he admitted to reading it before retiring for the night every night.

This Bible was acquired by the Smithsonian in 1895.  Now it has been painstakingly restored and will be exhibited to the public beginning November 11, 2011 through May 28, 2012.  It will be on display at the National Museum of American History's Small Documents Gallery in Washington, D.C. NONE of the Founding Fathers placed ANY importance on the Scriptures and a moral lifestyle?  Interesting.


Spend Less, Shop More: Black Friday 2011 tips: Half Price Books tote bag ...


Courtesy of my friend, Jenn King, here is a Christmas shopping tip for the day after Thanksgiving!

Spend Less, Shop More: Black Friday 2011 tips: Half Price Books tote bag ...: There's a new leaked Black Friday ad online for Half Price Books, and it looks like we'll be seeing a tote bag giveaway at opening again thi...


What's a non-Halloween-celebrating Christian to do when Autumn shows up?


For those that know me well, you know exactly how I feel about Halloween.  I'm not here to debate that issue at this time.  I am here to state the simple fact that I don't celebrate Halloween, although I did in the past.  I have come to hate the holiday and everything it represents, as it is so far from what it was when I was a kid, it's barely recognizable anymore.  Anyway....

I DO, however, LOVE Autumn.  This is a somewhat new revelation to me.  Summer has always been, and still is, my favorite season.  But I love the smells, colors, and feel of those crisp Autumn mornings and the taste of hot apple cider in the afternoon on a gloomy day.  So how do I celebrate the season? Reading, of course! That's not all, but it is one of my favorite past times.

Here are some reading suggestions related to Autumn or that have been released in the Autumn months.

Adult Reading

Five Historical Romances to Keep You Warm

Six Suspense Titles For Fall

Creepy Christian Fiction

'Harvest' Christian Fiction

Fall Colors in Christian Fiction

Children's Reading

A Harvest of Children's Books; An Autumn Reading List for All Ages

The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin

The Night Before Thanksgiving

Dem Bones

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Books for Kids about Hibernation

More Children's Books about Autumn

How do YOU celebrate Autumn?  Have any favorite books to add to these suggestions?



Can't believe it's been nearly a year since I've posted ANYTHING on this here little blog.  I don't even know what I should do with it, since I never write here anymore.  I'm so consumed with life and making my thoughts known in another forum, that Tallysplace has fallen by the wayside.

Do I even have followers and readers anymore?!?

I'm thankful for having written here and getting my feet wet in the internet publishing world (is that the right terminology?)  But, maybe I should come here more often and write down my feelings, thoughts, and opinions of life and the world around me.

Someone that used to be a friend recently contacted me through a friend of a friend of a friend (how many friends IS that?) and asked that I remove a post in which there were a few pictures of her teenage daughter.  Mind you, we were friends when this post was written, permission was given, and she was shown with some other teen girls in our church.  Nothing inappropriate.  Now, nearly 2 years later, she decides she doesn't want pictures of her daughter on the internet.  Fine, I can understand that.  But 2 YEARS LATER?  And she wants me to remove the whole post.  Nope, just removed any pictures and references to her daughter.

If you happen to see this post and even read anything from Tallysplace anymore, could you comment and let me know your thoughts?  Do I have time for this blogging thing?

Here is how I feel right now.

image courtesy of, found on

A New Blog to Brag About


Hi all!  It feels like centuries since I've been here at this blog and I must say I have missed you all.  I've been working hard to get the word out about my paying gig over at and while things are better, they aren't where I want them to be.  I'm coming to you - my blog friends - to ask for help.

I write three columns at  One focuses on the world of Christian fiction.  That includes book reviews, author interviews, upcoming releases, author events, etc.  Right now in that column I have a slew of author interviews coming out.

The second column I write has to do with recycling, repurposing, reusing, green living.  This column covers DIY projects, recycling events, green fashion shows, etc.

The third column covers children's fiction.  This column is similar to the Christian fiction column, but the focus is on books for kids.  At the beginning of October I compiled a list, with the help of readers, of the 365 best children's books and I will be reviewing each and every one of them over the course of a year.  I have started a blog specifically for those book reviews. 

365 Best Children's Books Ever has just started and I'm desperately looking for followers and sponsors.  If you own a children's bookstore, know someone who does, write children's books, are in the publishing business (you get the picture) please consider following me and possibly buying advertising on my site.  Each advertiser will receive a spotlight post and will also be promoted in my columns.  I can be reached by email at cindirose67 AT yahoo DOT com.


A Year of the Best Children’s Books Ever; you pick’em and I’ll read’em - San Francisco fiction |


I have taken on a new task for myself. Something that I can point at and say, "Hey, I did this! I am going to read 365 children's books in 365 days.

Which 365 books? Well, that is up to you. Visit the link and tell me what you think are the best kids' books everyone should read at least once in their lifetime. I want to read everything from wordless picture books to young adult novels. I will post a review of each and every single book I read. And it's all up to YOU to tell me what to read.

So get to it. Go to the link and type away. Then share this link with others. I need 365 titles after all. And I have something in the works that will benefit others besides myself with this project. Info on that is still to come.

A Year of the Best Children’s Books Ever; you pick’em and I’ll read’em - San Francisco fiction


Where I've Been and What I've Been Doing


Since about May, I have been almost non-existent in the blogging world.  I am so afraid to look in my reader as I haven't been there in months either.  It makes me twitch to think of all those great articles just waiting to be read. So.... I just don't go there in hopes that it will go away,even thought I know it won't.  So, what HAVE I been doing?!?

Here, for your perusal is where I have been spending my time and working my fingers to the bone.  Ha!  I found a way to be able to go on and on about subjects I love and get paid for it.  I found a site,, it's an online news site, each major city, and some smaller ones, each have their own editions.  I write for San Francisco/northern California.  I have been there writing articles.  I write three columns.  Here are the links to those pages.

San Francisco Children's Fiction      San Francisco Christian Fiction   San Francisco Recycling  

I'd love it if you would subscribe to any or all three of my columns.  It's free and each article comes to your inbox.  The reason I'm finally coming back here to my blog is this.  The recycling column is about more than just recycling.  It's about repurposing, reusing, upcycling; creating from something that was no longer wanted.  Many of you do the same things every day and I would love to highlight you or write articles about you and what you are doing to make the world a greener place while creating.

 So,  if you are interested in having me write about you or you know of something that would be great to let northern California readers know, drop me a line.  I would love to hear from you. 

I think I'm going to look at my reader now...I hope I make it out alive!


Cute and free Father's Day gift!


Here is a link to free Father's Day coupons you can print.  They are adorable and you can adapt them to fit the age of your child.  Have fun with them!


Red, White, and Blue


My absolute favoritist holiday ever to celebrate is Independence Day.  Don't get me wrong, Christmas and Resurrection Sunday are at the top of the list for remembering my Savior and what He has done for me.  But 4th of July?  Bring on the sun, the lemonade, and the fireworks!In honor of the upcoming holiday next month, I thought I'd share some craft ideas I have found.  I want to do all of these, but....well, we will see.  Let me know if you try any of them.  I love to see pictures!From Small Fry & Co. is a too stinkin' cute red, white, blue, and denim pennant garland!photo courtesy of Small Fry & Co.A YEAR AGO I found this adorable craft at U Create for a flag made from an old window.  I'm ashamed to say I still haven't tried it.  But it is still in my faves so I will someday!Of course, Martha Stewart has some fun stuff.  Like this welcome mat.  Too cinchy!I've also had this one hanging out in my favorites folder for over a year.  Serendipity's cutey patooty idea is just that!And how adorable are these trim bracelets from Happy Together?  This one is definitely a must for the Fourth of July!If I actually make any of these I will definitely show pictures.xxoo,[...]



Yeah the sun is shining.!  After a week of wind and rain (yes, in JUNE), it is a beautifully glorious day.  The window is open letting fresh air in, the crows are outside arguing, and the annoying I scream-from-5 am-til-midnight kids that live behind us are currently silent.  We have the possibility of a move to the next town 10 miles away and that would be a huge blessing.  A yard, a garage, a yard, peace and quiet, and a yard.  Did I mention we would have a yard?  Front and back?  Wow!  Green stuff that grows out of the ground and you can actually walk on bare-footed and you don't have to sweep.  Although you have to mow and water, such an improvement over cement for the last 3 years.It's near the city bus system, not too far from town, and close enough to my bestie, Starla that I can walk over to her place.  Yipppeeee!  Another perk?  Being in the same town as my grand baby.  Who recently turned 1!  And who is walking and jabbering all over the place and destroying the house from one end to the other.I don't want to get my hopes up.  I do want what GOD wants for me, even if that means NOT moving right now.  But....I can pray and hope, right?In other news, I may have already said this ages ago, I can't remember and I'm too lazy to look, I am a "writer" for is an online newspaper, so to speak.  They have regional links for the entire United States.  I'm currently writing for the San Francisco/northern California edition.  I write about Christian fiction.  Book reviews, author interviews, new releases, author appearances, that sort of thing.  I would love if you would hope on over and take a look at what I've written.  If you love Christian fiction, or fiction in general, this is the place to keep up on all the latest stuff.  I recently interviewed Francine Rivers, author of countless books including Redeeming Love and her newest, Her Mother's Hope.I have also been so busy with lots of church activities.  AWANA is on a summer break, but I recently took over directing our Children's Church program.  I'm still involved with Ruth's Room and we recently sent a care package to Pago Pago.  I will be teaching 5th and 6th graders at this year's VBS program and the women of the church are undertaking a mentoring program for our older teen and young adult women.  Add to that the fact that the church started a garden, we have a weekly craft night available, and I'm also responsible for keeping the church kitchen supplied and in working order.  Whew!  No wonder I'm so busy.Well, off for now.  Maybe I will have a craft or two to post in the near future.  Till then....lalalalalalalala...the sun is shining!!![...]

God's Timing


I feel guilty.  I have been away from here for so long and I feel like I have neglected cherished friends.  God has really been at work in my life.  I have been unemployed since the beginning of December.  I was denied unemployment, even on appeal.  Then my income tax refund was withheld because of my husband owing back child support.

I'm not complaining.  I have looked for work, etc. but there is nothing or God has not opened the doors yet.  God is breaking me down, remolding me.  Teaching me to trust in Him entirely.  And it's scary sometimes.  But I will not compronise.  I will not give in or give up.  I just may be absent from here.  Please keep me in your prayers.


Is Your Man "Wild at Heart?'


image found at amazon.comI just finished reading Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of A Man's Soul by John Eldredge.  The back cover of the book reads,Every man was once a boy. And every little boy has dreams, big dreams: dreams of being the hero, of beating the bad guys, of doing daring feats and rescuing the damsel in distress.  Every little girl has dreams, too: of being rescued by her prince and swept up into a great adventure, knowing that she is the beauty.   But what happens to those dreams when we grow up?  Walk into most churches, have a look around, and ask yourself: What is a Christian man?  Without listening to what is said, look at what you find there.  Most Christian men are...bored.   In Wild at Heart, John Eldredge invites men to recover their masculine heart, defined in the image of a passionate God.  And he invites women to discover the secret of a man's soul and to delight in the strength and wildness men are created to offer.When I read that back cover I thought, "Oh boy, another man thinking every woman wants and needs to be rescued."  But the more I read, the more the points the author talked about made sense to me.According to Eldredge, if man is created in God's image, and if God created this wild world, and if God gave man the authority and desire to have dominion over the natural world, then why do we, as a society, spend our time telling our little boys, "Don't climb on that?" "Stay out of the mud?" "Quit running!"  Women are also created in God's image.  We know that God created men and women to be different.  Women and men display different attributes of God.  For the most part, women are created to display the nurturing, compassionate, tender attributes of God.  But society teaches girls that they must be pretty to attract attention, but "they don't need that attention."  "Women can do anything men can do."  "Females don't need rescuing."  Women may not need to be rescued, but sometimes we like to feel like our husband would rescue us if it were required.  Sometimes our husbands want to feel like they are the conquering hero that we adore.  What does all of this have to do with God and being the person God wants you to be?Ultimately it comes down to this, if we deny the very nature that God created us with (not the sinful nature) then how can we fully live out the life God has for us?  Eldredge says every man has three desires.  Those desires are:a battle to fightand adventure to livea beauty to rescueIn the 250+ pages that follow the introduction, the author provides anecdotes and scripture to make his points.  The chapters were just the right length, and the concepts were easy to understand.  I especially liked how the author related the points he was trying to make to himself and the spiritual journey of his own life.  My favorite chapter was titled "A Beauty to Rescue."Whether women will admit it or not, at some point in their childhood, they played princess.  We wanted to be the beauty in the story that a hero would come and rescue from the terrible situation we somehow found ourselves in.  As we grew up, some of us began to believe this was only a fairy tale.  Some waited patiently until all hope was lost.  There is only one man who is the Ultimate Rescuer...Jesus.  He rescues every single woman (and man) fr[...]

Memorial Day - 2010


I don't know the author of this poem.  If you do, please let me know so the person can receive the proper credit.

It is the Veteran

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.

It is the VETERAN who salutes the Flag every time it passes by.

It is the VETERAN who serves under the Flag, even if it means he has to die.

Thank a VETERAN today, and every time you see one.

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