Thursday, May 30, 2013


When strawberries are ripe, it's officially summer for me. This year the strawberries were a little late because of the cool spring we've had. We did manage to find a couple of gallons at our favorite Amish farm, and they are delicious.

My hubby and I usually take a little trip to Princeton, KY two or three times a year. We have a special restaurant we love to eat in outside of Princeton. This year, our youngest granddaughter, Josie, graduated from elementary school, so we took her for lunch to Adams Breezy Hill Farm. It' is a working farm where they sell produce, but it is also a quaint little restaurant with homemade bred sandwiches and delicious fillings. They also have delicious homemade ice cream. I highly recommend the coffee when it is available. The peach is wonderful also.

This was Josie's first trip to the restaurant, but I think she'll want to come back. I always have their chicken salad with grapes and walnuts, on sourdough bread. It is delicious! Josie had a hamburger, as most 11 year old's would have, but she said it was delicious. Hubby gets the pork chop sandwich. It is huge, with 2 pork chops on it and pear jelly.

We started going to Breezy Hill Farms about two years ago. It is such a treat, and we've been know to make up reasons for this treat. It's not fancy, but rustic with antiques and grapevines with tiny lights. I noticed Josie taking it all in and enjoying the ambiance. The restaurant has grown so much since we began visiting it that they are now enlarging their dining room and are building a rock pizza oven. I can't wait for that to get finished.

The Amish farm where we get strawberries is just down the road from the restaurant, so we made two trips in one. We did get delicious strawberries and I made freezer jam yesterday. My grandchildren call it, 'Grandma's red jelly." That's the only name they've ever used for the jam. I make several cartons and try to save them when the family or friends are here for breakfast.

We did all this Tuesday, and Tuesday night we headed for church. Not our usually night for service, but the area churches of Christ have a Summer Youth Program. They go between churches each Tuesday night during the summer. It is so wonderful to see so many young people singing and worshiping together. Afterward, the church served hot dogs, nachos, and all the trimmings. We had 405 people, and probably fed around 350. The singing was beautiful. The sound of that many people singing acappella was beyond words. We have over 200 in attendance on Sunday mornings, but the singing is never like it was Tuesday night. Words cannot explain it.

Monday, May 27, 2013


I'm putting this on tonight because i will be spending the day with my youngest granddaughter. She graduated from elementary school last week, and we are taking her to lunch tomorrow and have a day of fun. I wanted to get this review finished before I went to bed tonight. Have a wonderful day.

I was sent Stealing the Preacher by the publishing company, and it is one book I could read again and again. Kzren Witemeyer is the author. This is he third book of hers I have read, and I enjoyed all three of them, but especially this one.

The previous book, Short-Straw Bride, introduces you to the Archer family. Four boys who virtually raised themselves. The first book was about Travis, but this one is about Crockett. I loved Crockett in the first book, his character stuck in my mind in a way few second characters do. I was thrilled to find Karen had written about him in this book.

Crockett Archer became a preacher, and is striking out on his own. He was until he was snatched by an ex-train/stage robber, Silas Robbins. Crockett was a birthday present for his daughter, Joanna. What a present he turned out to be. I laughed and cried through the whole book. A different kind of book for me to read in that the story was different. Karen made me feel like I was there with Joanna and Crockett, and goosebumps run up and down my  spine while I read it. I loved it and I give it 5 stars.

I'm very anxious to see the next book Karen writes. Yes, I will purchase it. I hope you will read the book and enjoy it as much as I did.

On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can scarcely believe it when he's forced off the train by a retired outlaw and presented to the man's daughter as the minister she requested for her birthday. Worried this unfortunate detour will ruin his chances of finally serving a congregation of his own, Crockett is determined to escape. But when he finally gets away, he's haunted by the memory of the young woman he left behind--a woman whose dreams now hinge on him.

For months, Joanna Robbins prayed for a preacher. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. A man to help her discover answers to the questions that have been on her heart for so long. But just when it seems God has answered her prayers, it turns out the parson is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett to stay in her little backwoods community? And does the attraction between them have any chance of blossoming when Joanna's outlaw father is dead set against his daughter courting a preacher?

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Sandra Robbins' latest book, A Lady's Choice, hit the book shelves recently. This is another historical by Sandra, but not a mountain historical. I have loved the two that are out about the Smokey Mountains. This one is a little later in time, and lots more historical stuff. This is one of Summerside Press' American Tapestries series. Sandra is in the company of good authors.

A Lady's Choice is about the suffrage movement, Women's Rights, is a better name for it. Personally, I have taken voting for granted as something we, as Americans, ought to do. But what about the one's who could not vote in the early 1900's? How did women feel in that day?

Sandra did a very good job relaying the feelings of women who felt they were being ramrodded by the men. They had no say in anything. Women at that time were a subservient people. Their husbands had them "under control."

This book gets into the Women's Rights Movement. As I read the book, I was reminded of the Civil Rights Movement. Women were treated much like the blacks in the south during the 1950's-60's. Men had no clue to what or how women felt. I was surprised at the number of women who told Sarah they were secretly on her side.

The love of her life, Alex Taylor, goes to work for a man very much against women's rights. Sarah does not see how she can go any further in their relationship unless he quits his job. Sandra does a wonderful job in letting you feel her distress and Alex's also. Very good writing in that area.

When Sarah is sent to Occoquan Workhouse and treated so badly, we get a glimpse of what she went through. Then the "Night of Terror" in that prison, and the beatings, abuse, and downright dirty treatment of the women, I felt her plight.

I enjoyed this book very much. Hang in there in the beginning, even Sandra will tell you it starts out slow. Then hang onto your chair because you will be rewarded by the rest of the book. Very good. I give it 5 stars.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


The last couple of days have been bad with a bunch of tornadoes coming across the southwest. There is nothing worse than having a tornado race through your property. The reports are staggering and my heart goes out to those who where in harms way.

Last night we watched Fox News and the interviews with the survivors. I remember one woman telling about the way it felt in the storm shelter when the twister came over.She talked about the pressure that felt like the storm was coming in. She nailed it! The pressure is unbelievable, and the noise is deafening. The pressure seems like it wants to suck you in. Nothing compares to that feeling.

My heart goes out to everyone, but especially the parents who lost children at the school. I know their feelings. Tragedy is something we never forget, and I pray God will heal their hearts. You'll never forget it, but there is healing.

Right now the parents feeling is so raw. That's the only way to explain it. When I talk to parents who have lost children, I explain it like a surgery. Something has been ripped out of your body and the incision is raw and hurting. In time, the incision heals, but there is a scar. The scar reminds us of what happened, and the scar in our hearts will always be there. Each day, it does get better, if we let it. Trust in God and faith that you will see your loved one again helps with the healing.

We had storms last night, and I see a dark cloud on the horizon as I write. I don't like the days after a tornado. Storms pop up everywhere. We have several American Christian Fiction Writers in the areas that were hit. I pray they are all safe as their families are.  You are all in my prayers.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Tuesday afternoon I wrote the last sentences to Susannah"s Hope. I think I'm going to put a short chapter on the end of what I have written. I hinted to a present she has for Val when they get home, so I need to bring that to life. I loved the way I ended it. So much seemed to be coming into my head, or rather the characters moved me.

Now, to do other things. Several years ago, I began a series of lessons for women. I have three finished that I could find. There were more, but the computer crashed that I had them on, and I didn't back them up on a flash drive. But, it is fairly easy to re-do. My elevator speech: Teaching women how to deal with problems in their lives by putting God first.That's under the allotted fifteen words. Basically, that is what the book will be about. We all have problems, but if we put God first, they are easier to deal with.

The premise of the book is a spider web. Satan is the spider, always trying to lure us into his web. We have to clean out that web each day in all areas of our lives. I will go into our Christian life, family life, friends life, and other areas. There will be thirteen chapters or lessons. Since I have a good start, I hope I can finish it by the end of June.

When I looked at what I had written years ago, I was amazed at how well it was written. A lot better than my novels. Maybe I should think more about writing this type of books. I have another one in my head about the Golden Years. So many people wait to die when they reach 60. There's so much more to do, and older people have so much time and knowledge to help others.

When will Susannah be published? I hope soon, but we are still critiquing and there are 36 chapters. I want it finished now, but I know I have to wait. God is teaching me patience.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Yes, I have it. I am miserable! I know where I want to go, but I'm having a hard time finding the path. I'm down to the last 3,000 words of Susannah. This is horrible! I know the ending, but I'm having difficulty finding the way to get there.

I have a friend who doesn't write her last chapter. Someone else does it for her. I asked her why, and she said she didn't like to say good-bye with her characters. That's not my excuse. I know my characters will be in the next book, so why am I having so much trouble?

When I was finishing Callie's Mountain, I had the same problem. It must be something mental. Today I told myself I'll finish it. I want to get it finished. I want to start something else.

Several years ago I started a devotional/ladies book I called Cobwebs of the Soul. I want to finish it. I have been encouraged by my friend Mike Shank author of Muscle and a Shovel, to get this finished. In fact, he encouraged me to write more. So, I am taking his advice.

Number one on my agenda today is to finish Susannah. As soon as my critique partner can get to critiquing and get it finished, it will be published. Number two is to start Cobwebs. Number three is to start on Vacation Bible School.

It's been a couple of years since I've had anything to do with VBS. We always have a very good adult class, and I've enjoyed sitting at the feet of several very good teachers. The way VBS is done here, we only have to work one night. I'm on Monday night, I think. "On" is the word to use. I'm a Sorcerer. I'll be showing the children that magic, sorcery, horoscopes, is all a trick. I want them to learn to get away from those things. There is so much in the outside world today about sorcery, talking to the dead, magic, charisma, etc. That gives me a lot to work with. It's going to be fun.

The more I write here, the longer I am putting off what I need to do. So, I'm taking myself to Northern Virginia and get Val and Susannah married. They can't until I get them to Maryland, so away we go.

Friday, May 10, 2013


I'm just popping in to wish every mother a wonderful Mother's Day. No matter how you spend it, enjoy the day.

First row: Chet and Josie. Second row: Jerry, Katt (Kathy in real life), Grayson. Third row, Diane, Oma, and Larry, Fourth row: Ron and Savannah

It's special to be a mother, whether biological of by adoption. Sometimes I think about my children when they were small, and I miss their chubby hands around my neck. They are adults now and their children are growing up.

I thought you might enjoy a picture of my family. My husband, Jerry Cretsinger (I very rarely tell our real last name); our daughter Diane Turpin, her husband Ron, and daughter, Savannah; and our son Larry, his wife, Oma, and their three children Chet, Josie, and Grayson. I'm very protective of my family and hate to put their names on the internet. I'm proud of Diane and Oma for being such wonderful mothers.

Every mother, enjoy the day. Remember your children if they are not with you. Think of the joy of being a mother.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


I'm through making my statement. I feel better after writing about how I felt about God and our country. Sometimes it helps to let off steam.

I'm editing chapter 29 of 35 chapters of Susannah. I love that girl. I never thought I could love a character as much as I loved Callie in the previous book, but Susannah and Val have taken my heart. I wanted to make a big change in her life and it happened like I wanted it to. She is no longer the arrogant girl in Callie's Mountain. She is a beautiful caring woman.

My plans are to finish my edit by the end of this week. My critique partner will begin looking at my chapters again. She had a huge re-write on her last book. I don't agree with what the editor wanted, but I guess she is more informed in the selling of books.

I am so anxious to get this book on the market. Okay, let me tell you up front, it is about a mixed marriage. Let me justify it by this, it happened at that place at that time. That is history. Were people prejudiced? Yes, very much so. That doesn't mean we can hide our faces in the sand and think it didn't exist.

Recently, I thought a lot about mixed marriages and how the Bible looked on them. God commanded the Israelite people to be pure. You can read about their food, their cleanliness, and how they were not to marry foreign people. We've been studying that in Deuteronomy and there Moses tells the children what they can and can't do. Exodus does the same thing, but he brought it home to them again before he died.

In Acts 10 when Peter was sent to Cornelius, the barrier was broken. Peter, being a devout Jew, would not have been able to enter Cornelius' house. It was forbidden by the Jewish religion. Cornelius was a Gentile, a person with little respect from the Jews. By God breaking that barrier, we can now enjoy other people of other nations.

Today there are very few genteel races. America is a melting pot of races. We have intermingled and intermarried for centuries.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


One of the best programs in America, and the world, is Boy Scouts of America. I may be partial because my son-in-law is employed by BSA. We are a BSA family. My son was in BSA. I love what they stand for. At least so far.

When something is running smoothly, there will always be a kink. The kink in BSA is whether to allow homosexuals to be scout leaders. I am totally against it. Most of the BSA are against it, but our government says they have to allow gay men to be scout leaders, you cannot discriminate against them, so our government says. In fact, there will be a national meeting of the BSA beginning May 22. Do you want a gay man to be your son or grandson's scout leader? I don't. It's hard enough to find good leaders, and now they want someone who does not believe what God teaches to be a leader? No way!

You may think there is nothing you can do, but you can let your voice be heard. Go to and fill out the form. Send a note to the national council, council leaders, and whom ever else it states. Tell them what you think. Stand up for your rights! If we let this slip by, we are making a bad mistake for our young boys.

I never ever meant for this blog to be political or religious, but if we don't make a stand, things will continue to happen. Should Christians be political? Yes, that's why the country is in such a mess. We have set back and let things happen. If we do not speak out about atheism or homosexuality, we will have to live with it. I beg each of you to become friends with your political leaders. Let them know how you feel. We may feel like we are the minority, but we can be the majority. We need to be heard.

Pray for the Boy Scouts to uphold what they have been teaching the boys. Pray they will make the correct judgments by doing what is scripturally, not politically, correct. Keep God in Boy Scouts of America.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


I try to steer away from religious subjects, but today is the National Day of Prayer. I've considered myself to be a prayerful person, so I have taken this day for granted until today. On the television, Fox station, they stated that a member of our president's cabinet wanted us to consider this a "National Day of Reflection."

Okay, folks, what more can the government take away from us? They have taken God out of the school, want to take God off the back of our money, and now we cannot even have a day representing what this country was based upon. Where are you Christians?

Someone told me one day that they didn't have anything to do with politics. You'd better, or we'll be restricted to what we teach in our churches. We will not be able to teach the Word of God. I am so afraid of what this country is coming to.

How did this happen? This is my theory, not anyone's. Just mine. I believe we are afraid to stand up for the truth. We sugar-coat it to make it sound good. We forget to tell our children the little word, "no." We let them do more or less what they want to and never reprimand them. We as parents, have lowered the gap.  We do not inspect laws that are being voted upon until it's too late. We let other people in government do what they want, not what their constituents want. We are letting atheists and homosexuals convince us and our children that what they believe is right, and the Bible is not to be believed. We allow all kinds of programs to be on television that encourage foul language, homosexual acts, sex before marriage  and many other things. Are we asleep or just ignorant?

I have copied below something we all should be interested in. Religious freedom. This is from Family Research Council, I can only ask, what will be next? Go to the above website and sign a petition to keep this from happening. I just signed it. This is taking things too far.

April 29, 2013 - Monday

The very troops who defend our religious freedom are at risk of having their own taken away.
Last week, anti-Christian and left-wing activists met at the Pentagon with military officials to discuss pressing issues in the military. What issues would be of such importance to gain such a high-level hearing?
According to these far-left consultants, religion is one of the chief problems plaguing our troops. As theWashington Post reported, some are saying that "religious proselytizing" is at the top of the list of problems in the armed forces -- even on par with sexual assault.
As a result of such complaints from the left, the Air Force has -- according to the Post --published, but not yet distributed a new document with the directive that leaders of all levels (including chaplains) may not "promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion." The penalty these secularists are seeking for those who don't comply with their view of religious speech is court-martial.
If this policy goes forward, Christians within the military who speak of their faith could now be prosecuted as enemies of the state. This has the potential to destroy military recruiting across the services as Americans realize that their faith will be suppressed by joining the military.
Our brave troops deserve better. If chaplains and other personnel are censored from offering the full solace of the Gospel, there is no religious freedom in the military.
Please join me in signing the petition to Secretary Hagel urging him to protect the religious freedom of our troops - and not to proceed with the purge of religion within the ranks called for by anti-Christian activists.
I believe if we all stick together, we can defeat these wrongs. Pray and work to do that.