Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's a Wonderful Life, Isn't It?

What grace we are given to live each day, to touch others’ lives, and to be touched by the lives of those around us. The Christmas season is always a time of reflection for me. How did I make a difference in the lives of my family, my friends, or even of strangers whose paths have crossed with mine? Did I help them along in their journey through life or did I hinder their growth in some way?
I have always been a very traditional person. I treasure the values and the truths instilled in me since childhood. I love the traditional candlelight services at Church on Christmas Eve, spending the holidays with family and friends, and I even take special pleasure in giving and receiving gifts. Yet, in the midst of celebration, I often wonder why and how my life is important in the grand scheme of God’s plan.  
There have been numerous books written and movies made that help the lead character examine how the world would be different if they had not been a part of it. Of course, one of my very favorites is Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”. To some this movie is slow, outdated, a good film to fall asleep to, or to poke fun at. Although for me, this movie seeks to help us all understand how the smallest kindness or the least likely encounter can truly change another person’s life.
We are given but a short span of time to carry out God’s plan .We live our lives each day taking it for granted that we will still be around the next day, the next moment, the next second. This is the way we should live our lives, not in fear of death, but in pursuit of life and of life everlasting. I can think back through the many relationships and friendships I’ve built in my life, and know that not only have I impacted their lives, but they have also left their imprint upon mine. Some moments I would love to be able to go back and “do over”. There are words I’ve regretted saying and words I’ve regretted not saying. Sometimes a chance to share only comes around once, and then is forever gone.
Each day we are offered opportunities to change lives, to show the love of Christ to others, and to give of ourselves. Should we accost each person we meet and try to force our beliefs upon them? Would this make a difference or would it scare others away? If we follow in the footsteps of Christ, we can see the pattern his life took. He gave freely of himself each day. His love was not overt, not pushy, but through simple acts of kindness he drew multitudes to their knees. Christ performed many miracles in his short reign on Earth, but to me it was his honesty, his kindness, his spirit of love that drew his disciples to follow him.
I believe in miracles. I believe they happen every moment. I believe my very existence is a miracle of grace. Through this grace I too must offer God’s love to those around me. It might be a mere smile or even opening a door for someone. At times, it might be redirecting someone’s footsteps back along the path of righteousness.
I am not a prophet, I am most definitely not a perfect person, I am merely a small breath of God’s love that exists in his world. And though I strive to follow in his footsteps, I often stumble. Yet, as I reflect back over my “wonderful life” I realize that even through many times of trouble and many times of joy, it is how I cope with each event that reflects to the world the person I am in Christ. As I travel through each day of my life I can offer my friends and family the love which lives within me through Christ. To those lives mine gently brushes, I can offer small acts of kindness to share a little glow of Christ’s love with them.
And so, as my ramble concludes, I offer these simple yet powerful words as my Christmas gift to you.
New International Version (©1984)
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Thursday, December 16, 2010

O Holy Night

"O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!" 


O Holy Night is my most favorite of all Christmas hymns. Whenever I sing these words my soul fills with the glory and the majesty and sheer exalting glory of God. As I sing the words "Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angels voices!" my heart swells, tears flow, and I feel compelled to bow down and give praise to God. I believe in this magical, mystical time of sharing in the spirit of God, that I do hear angels voices singing praises and God's glory surrounds me, as all the world withers away. 


Words... the power of words can mold us, shape us, draw us close to the very heart of God. Words written by a mere man over a hundred and sixty years ago, yet they are so compelling, so pure, so filled with the glory of God that they are still sung today. 


God grants us the glory of his presence in so many wondrous ways. The gift of verse; of the written word; of the exalting music which he bestows upon his disciples will exist through all time, and continue to draw us towards his light and his love. 


As Christmas approaches, excitement reigns in the hearts and minds of us all. It is my prayer that in this time of giving and celebration, we pause long enough to realize the true meaning and the true gift of Christmas is love. True love, which God gave so long ago in the gift of his son, Christ Jesus.  


Sing the words of this beautiful song to yourself, to your children, to the world... 


"Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!" 


and I pray you are as moved by the spirit of God's love as I am.

O Holy  Night  written by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847. Music composed by Adolphe Charles Adams.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Thought for Today

God understands our prayers even when we can't find the words to say them.  ~Author Unknown

What we are is God's gift to us.  What we become is our gift to God.  ~Eleanor Powell

Certain thoughts are prayers.  There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.  ~Victor Hugo

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Greatest Gift of All

Christmas had always been a joyous time at our house. There was the excitement of church pageants, choir rehearsals, buying and wrapping gifts, secrets whispered about, and always imagining that your dreams would all come true on a magical Christmas morning. One of my very favorite "life moments" arrived early each Christmas morning when the whole house was still asleep. I would slip silently down the hallway, quietly open the door, and peer into the livingroom. In the dawn's soft light I would draw closer and gaze in wonder at all the delightful magic that had appeared under our Christmas tree. I never touched anything. I only wanted to look at it in undisturbed, silent, peaceful solitude. After a few moments, I would tiptoe back to my bedroom, climb into bed, and drift off to sleep. Later, as my sisters and brother ran about screaming in joy at all the wonderful things "Santa" had brought, I would remember the beauty of the undisturbed scene.
As in all things, lives change. Now I was sixteen and Christmas was fast approaching. I wasn't sure what to expect this year because my parents had recently divorced and my mom could not find a job.Times were hard for her because she had not worked outside the home in over twenty years. As usual, that Christmas morning, I awoke early. I crept down the hallway and peeked through the doorway. The tree was smaller, but the glow was still there. I gazed at the gifts under the tree. There were fewer this year, and only one small envelope for me. I wasn't disappointed, only curious. I couldn't wait to find out what was in the envelope. I laid in bed and waited for the trumpeting of feet in the hallway, then I slid out of bed and wandered into the livingroom. Everyone sat around the tree smiling and laughing as they admired their gifts. My mom caught sight of me and drew me towards the tree. Then she placed the envelope in my hands and kissed me lightly on the cheek. I sat down next to her and slowly opened the envelope. Inside I found only a folded slip of paper. I unfolded the note and read the following words: "I owe you one Christmas gift." I watched my mom's eyes fill with tears as she smiled at me. I hugged her hard to let her know I understood her sacrifices. It reminded me of the love God has for us, his children, and the great sacrifice he gave to us by allowing his spirit son to become flesh and blood that we might live eternally. I felt the truth of Christmas that day, but it was not until years later that I realized that simple "I owe you" was the greatest gift of all I'd ever received.

Thought for the Day

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.  ~Norman Vincent Peale

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.  ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things - not the great occasions - give off the greatest glow of happiness.  ~Bob Hope

 I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:  the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.  ~Burton Hillis

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Remember the time...Thanksgiving Memories & Recipes

Thanksgiving brings many things to mind each year. In fact, it is my all time favorite holiday. I love the warmth of spending time with family and friends. Everyone offering their thanks for the blessings received during the past year, as well as offering thanks for the day and future days to come. It is a time when generations gather together to bond once more. Thanksgiving is a day when our family can come together without the pressures of gifts, enjoy delicious food, family, and football (please excuse the Cowboys this year… they had to play poorly in order to let the Rangers shine!)LOL! The game will still be on, although my husband is not allowed to touch the remote control - or any electronics for that matter… he gets a little too excited when they don’t make the right plays, which puts the remote in grave danger! Me, I could care less. How I became so passive in sports when everyone else in my family is so involved, I’ll never know. 
My mind wanders… my mom’s cornbread dressing was kept a strictly guarded secret for years. Finally, several years ago when she was no longer able to handle Thanksgiving on her own, she decided to pass the recipe down to her own children. Today, I’m going to share it with you. I hope you decide to try it. If you’re not from the south it may be different from what you’re used to, but I promise, it is well worth trying. I’ll also include her recipe for turkey, although I’ve adapted this to fit my busy lifestyle. The dressing I can’t give up making because it’s become a tradition my daughter and I do together… that bonding moment you know.
Ah the debate… is it dressing or stuffing? Every Thanksgiving as I make dressing to go with our turkey, my daughter loves to debate that we shouldn’t call it dressing because the proper name is stuffing!  It’s become a part of our tradition because in my southern family we’ve always made dressing. Some of her friends that originated from the northern states make stuffing; so of course, she had to adapt to what was popular with her friends. This mild debate goes on every year, yet it abated somewhat the year we “stuffed” the turkey with white bread stuffing instead of our traditional dressing. That totally changed her mind and her desire to fervently debate the difference between dressing and stuffing.  Our definition of the difference between dressing and stuffing: dressing is baked separately from the turkey in its own pan, and then set out to “dress up” the turkey, while stuffing is baked inside the turkey and dug out of the bird before served.
Now everyone has their own idea of the perfect Thanksgiving accompaniments for their turkey, but in our home the dressing has always been more desired than all else, including the prized turkey.  Not to be disrespectful to those who prefer stuffing, but we’ve been very disappointed when “subjected” to this northern bread stuffing. While this is fine for those folks that grew up with the white bread and sage variety, for us there is nothing to compare to my mom’s recipe for southern cornbread dressing.  Moist, herb flavored, slightly sweet; this dressing is the perfect accompaniment to turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy. Other side dishes beware because they will be shunned in favor of the dressing, gravy, and turkey.
I hope you enjoy…
Mom’s Cornbread Dressing Recipe (not stuffing!)
Preheat oven to 400⁰
1 large skillet or pan of cornbread (cooked at least 1 day before making dressing)
8 slices of white bread (2 to 3 days old)
¾ c. diced celery
1 small or ½ large onion diced
1 small apple diced
2 eggs (uncooked)
1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
½ tsp. pepper (or to taste)
5 tsp. sage (or to taste)
5 c. turkey broth or more until mixture is really moistened.
Crumble cornbread and tear white bread into small pieces. Place in large mixing bowl and combine with all other ingredients. Mix well, then pour into casserole dish and bake until top is brown and crunchy.  Inside of dressing should still be very moist.

Mom’s Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe
12 to 14 lb. turkey
Salt or garlic salt
Remove the giblets and the neck from inside the turkey
Wash the turkey thoroughly inside and out
Liberally season the turkey inside and out with salt or garlic salt and pepper
Add a sprig or two of rosemary inside the turkey
Fill the roasting pan ½ full of water and carefully place prepared turkey in pan.  Cover and bake at 350⁰ for 5 to 6 hours or until turkey is well-done.  Check often and keep the water level in the pan at ½ full. Finally, to crisp and brown the skin remove the lid from the roasting pan, remove the turkey and place it on a foil covered baking sheet. Turn the oven temperature up to 400⁰ and continue baking until the skin is crisp and brown - 30 to 40 minutes. Retain the broth in the roasting pan to make the gravy.
 Mom’s Turkey Gravy
Turkey broth
Boiled eggs
5 heaping tbsp. flour
Cooled broth (about 1 cup)
Bring 4 to 5 cups turkey broth to a boil. Add finely chopped boiled eggs to boiling broth. Combine flour and cooled broth in a glass until all flour has dissolved. Slowly add this mixture to the boiling broth; stirring constantly. Bring gravy to a slow, bubbly medium boil and cook until thickened; stirring occasionally. 

Remember, everything can be prepared the day before. You can make the dressing and refrigerate it overnight, then stick it in the oven to bake Thanksgiving morning. Cook the turkey the day before, then place it in the oven for the final browning 45 minutes or so before lunch. The gravy needs to be made right before dinner is served, but you can do what I do and let your sister make it! We try to make Thanksgiving a time to share together and not a day to spend away from our family just cooking and cleaning. Therefore, our tradition has evolved and everyone brings a dish to share, and we serve everything on fine "Chinette" with esquisite plastic ware. We then make sure to clean our plates completely before placing the "dishes" in the recycling bin. And there's always time later during or after the game to sample one or more pies! Have a relaxed and blessed Thanksgiving Day!
Blessings Always,                                                                                                                     Susan

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thought for today

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Saturday, November 13, 2010

St. Jude Math-a-Thon

 We're making progress towards reaching our goal of raising $3000. for the children at St. Jude Children's Hospital. So far the students have raised over $2900. Please leave a comment, and I will give you details on how to donate directly for our school. Thanks so much for your generosity!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thought for Today

There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.  ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Sweet childish days, that were as long as twenty days are now. ~William Wordsworth

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.  ~Graham Greene

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Human and Humane Self-Help Author ~ Dolores Ayotte

One of my new-found friends is about to release her second book, "Growing Up and Liking It". The cover is adorable, and I can't wait to read this book. I also thoroughly enjoyed reading her first book, "I'm Not Perfect and It's Okay", which explains through love, honesty, and a wonderful sense of humor how to have a fulfilling and happy life. Her writing flows smoothly and engages the reader right away. Her reliance upon and strong faith in God is evident throughout her book.

On her website Dolores writes about being "The Human and Humane Self-Help Author"

"My circle of healing ends here, but in essence, it has created a new beginning, as it is only one link in the gold chain of life. Now that I have found my voice, I want to share it with everyone who will hear/listen to me. I want you to know that you are not alone! Try very hard to embrace this fact, and you will start to heal. Trust me. I know that anything is possible with faith, but it takes time. Be patient and give yourself that time. When you see glimmers of light, you will have new hope, and with new hope, you will find a new and happier life." ~  Dolores Ayotte 

You can visit Dolores on her website:   and find out more about her latest book. You may also want to visit her blog as well. It's one of my favorite's!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Adventures Along the Wayside

At the end of a very long week, I looked forward to a short day trip today with a good friend of mine. Our journey led us down through the highways and byways of East Texas. We traveled down sun streaked roads through the piney woods, and reveled in the fresh autumn air.

Our short journey led us to a little out of the way spot, down on Hwy. 64 just about smack dab in the middle between Canton and Tyler. You have to watch carefully for the small log cabin set just off the road, in fact if you happen to blink, you'll probably miss it. Although if you do, it is well worth your time to turn around and head back up 64 to Maggie's Burgers and Malts. Inside the little cabin you'll find friendly service, really good food, and a genuine relaxed atmosphere. As we sipped on our chocolate shakes and devoured our grilled chicken sandwiches and tator tots, all the heaviness of the work week seemed to slip right away.
As a misplaced East Texas girl who still longs for the sight and smell of the tall, loblolly pines and stunning oaks that line the East Texas hillsides, the view surrounding this little cabin was quite stunning. We gazed out the window admiring the beautiful countryside, and talked about how nice it would be to have a little place nearby and raise donkeys. Don't ask me why, it's just a dream we've been spinning at work when the pressures of the day fall too heavily on our shoulders.
After lunch, we drove back to Canton to walk around the First Monday Trade Days Old Mill Marketplace. The air was cool and pleasant, the shoppers were relaxed and unhurried, and the shopkeepers friendly. We wandered around on "the mountain", and then came back to the long "mill" shops. As we wandered through the rows, we saw a lot of changes since the last trip we'd made to Canton. It was obvious that the recession had finally made it's way to this small town and it's traditionally crowded first Monday trade days. The usually bustling buildings were surprising quiet, and many of the vendors we'd expected to see were no longer there. This change left me a little sad actually, and I hope next month there will be a resurgence of folks strolling through the Christmas shops at the Old Mill Marketplace. It is always on my list as a special place to find unique gifts for family and friends. Finally, as we strolled through the last two building, we both spotted an item we wanted. Mine was spontaneous, while my friend's had been a planned search for a specific item from the beginning of our journey.
As the day wore down, we headed back to the car and home. It's always hard for me to leave the East Texas area, but the day's purpose had been accomplished. We'd shaken off the dust of a hard week and found the relaxation we'd both sought in the quiet, peaceful atmosphere of East Texas.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Versatile Bloggers Award: Creative One59

Thank you for your award. Here's a little information about me. I've been married eight years to a wonderful and loving man, I have five children, eleven grands and three great grands. I am a published author, artist, original design hand made jewelry maker. I'm currently taking a writers course with Long Ridge Writers group. I am a true believer in God because he is the master of my fate, and my all and all. I am a genuine people person and have attracted many new friends on hubpages, I also have writings on, Triond, My Lot,etc.

I am also too wordy at times, like you I always have a lot to say. I am a good listener and lite weight problem solver.My Husband and I will be mvoing to Casa Grande, Arizona in the spring of 2011.
May God continue to bless you and yours. Godspeed. creativeone59

Monday, October 25, 2010

Thought for Today

  • What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories. ~George Eliot
  • Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family.  Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted.  ~Paul Pearshall

Saturday, October 23, 2010



Here’s the rules:

1. thank the person who sent you the award

2. share 7 things about yourself

3. grant the award to 15 blogs you like.


Fantastic! What a wonderful way to honor and share our favorite blogs! Thank you so much Dolores for including me in your list of favorites! I feel extremely honored! You have so much talent and such a lovely blog, mine pales in comparison!

Let's see, seven things about myself...

1. I'm married to my best friend, Alex. Together we have 5 wonderfully, special  children and three fabulous grandsons.

2. I'm an author and a teacher. My goal is to become a full time author and a mentor in the classroom. 

3. I believe all things are possible through my belief in God. He has shown me many times in my life that if I wait upon him, what I need will be forthcoming.

4. I have made many, many new friends since my novel Moon Dance was published January 27th, 2010. I treasure my friendships with both my forever friends and my new friends. As I learned in Camp Fire Girls many years ago... make new friends, but keep the is silver and the other gold. 

5. I'm often too wordy! At least that's what a college English professor told me once. Could have something to do with my writing style, could just be my natural tendency to "talk to others" through my writing.

6. I've been told I'm a good listener...I do at least try to be!

7. Seven should be something really special... let's see...My husband, several friends and I are traveling to Wales next summer! I'm so excited to be returning to my ancestral homeland!

Now drum roll please...

I am passing on the torch as it were to some of my favorite blogs, which now have the honor of THE VERSATILE BLOGGER'S AWARD. And the winners are:

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I think autumn is definitely my favorite season. As the temperatures in Texas start to drop from those long days of heatstroke, depressingly hot summer days, it's as if a renewal has filled my being. A lightness is in my step that's been missing for several months. Autumn draws me outside for long walks in the cool evenings, or just lazing and reading/napping on my backporch with the fan creating a gentle breeze that washes over me ever so slightly, and draws the cool, comforting autumn air over me.
Even my pets seem so much more active and happy during autumn. My 51/2 year old Shiba Inu starts playing like a puppy again, the three year old, and even the cat join in with romps through the house and in the backyard. Every leaf or crab apple that falls from the trees is a new adventure for them to investigate and maybe even bury because digging in the dirt can bring such joy to the dogs.And oh my, when the squirrel decides to come for a visit and taunt them, they could not be more thrilled.  
I have nothing against springtime. I love this season as well, but springtime doesn't offer the treat of knowing there are cooler days to come. Springtime ushers in those long hot days of summer in Texas, while autumn, on the other hand promises mild, delightful days for several months, with only a few really cold days thrown in sparingly as winter approaches and takes over. Autumn temperatures in Texas dwindle slowly and last throughout most of the winter. Usually, only when spring approaches do we have those really severe cold snaps that often frighten our poor little plants back into the earth after they've thought February was just the right time to come on out and play in their colorful dresses. There they stand in all their glory,  dancing in the March breezes and singing silent songs that touch my heart with joy. And then, of all things, we have an ice or snow storm that chases them away.
Autumn in Texas may lack a lot of the color changes that you can see up north ( which I truly enjoy). but it does offer the promise of a mild winter when a cozy sweater and jeans are all you need to keep you warm and toasty.
Autumn also offers the joy of crunching through leaves, the smell of disturbed earth when I plant bulbs in hopes they will blossom in the spring, the joy of taking long walks in the cool evening air, and the promise of "fireplace" weather not far off in the future.
Today was the first day I really felt that tingling of an actual autumn day. It was lovely and I will cherish the memory as I sit inside at work tomorrow...ummm today...and I'll hope for another beautiful, cool autumn evening to explore and enjoy.
Blessings always,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thought for today

A catless writer is almost inconceivable.  It's a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys.  ~Barbara Holland

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wishes & Dreams

Hi all,
As an author of Christian historical romance, I have a special request for all of you. Our school is participating in a service learning project for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital from October 11th -November 11th. I am donating 40% of all my book sales during this time to St. Jude. Our students participate in the St. Jude Math-a-Thon each year, and even though we are a Title 1 school, our students have raised over $33,000. for St. Jude in the last 10 years. I know there are many schools that raise this much in one year alone, but most of our students live at or below the poverty level, so it is amazing to me how much they truly care and give of themselves. This year 139 students have chosen to forgo their prizes and donate 100% of their donations to St. Jude. You can order a signed copy of my book by e-mailing me at and 40% of this sale will be donated to St. Jude Hospital. You can also donate directly to our school at by selecting Berry Elementary School in Arlington TX 76010.

On another note, for those of you new to my blog, I've included a couple of recent reviews of Moon Dance ~ a novel

* Susan K. Earl’s characters in Moon Dance were so vividly described that I found myself wanting to go back a page or two to see a picture of a previous scene, but that scene was only in my mind! It was almost like watching a movie of these two poor families who were brought together by their children’s love for each other. Both families lived their faith in God and shared that faith with others. The time setting of the Great Depression allowed us to learn how the families coped during hard times and how they relied on neighborly love and God. The lessons taught in this beautifully written romance can and should be lessons we are teaching today in our families. — Linda Duff Niemeir, Co-Author, Sharecropping in North Louisiana: A Family’s Struggle Through the Great Depression

    * I loved this book…It has great character development and a great story that kept my interest, in fact, I couldn’t put it down- I read it in one night! The love story is sweet, and how the characters dealt with hard, lifelike problems was touching to me. I really enjoyed it! ~ Jennifer Neher

You can learn more about me and my writing on my website and at: I hope you'll check out all my hubs while you're there. Happy reading! 

Please retweet, repost, share this with all your friends :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Follow That Blog !!

I'd love to have you follow my blog, please join me and discover a little about me and the way my thoughts flow. Sometimes thought provoking, sometimes scattered, and definitely not an everyday thing, but sometimes you may find thoughts, ideas, or stories you may enjoy.
So step on over, sit a spell, and take a moment to read my blogs. Nothin' fancy, but I'd love to have you join me and share your thoughts as well! If you have a story or site to share, e-mail me at and I'll be happy to post your stories, poems, interests on my blogger page. Until then...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Starry Starry Night

Thought for Today

  • Ideals are like stars:  you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you reach your destiny.  ~Carl Schurz

  • Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.  ~David Frost
  • Research tells us fourteen out of any ten individuals likes chocolate.  ~Sandra Boynton

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thought for Today

Wise words from my favorite little ol’ bear, Winnie the Pooh:
“A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.”
“Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.”
“When late morning rolls around and you're feeling a bit out of sorts, don't worry; you're probably just a little eleven o'clockish.”      (I have a lot of these… but chocolate seems to help!)
"I don't see much sense in that," said Rabbit.  "No," said Pooh humbly, "there isn't. But there was going to be when I began it. It's just that something happened to it along the way."

[[A.A. Milne]]                                          

Traveling Wilburys - Handle With Care

Friday, September 24, 2010

Front Street Festival

Special festival pricing: $20.00 including tax for a personally signed copy of Moon Dance ~ a novel by Susan K. Earl. Also, 40% of my festival book sales will be donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Our students at Berry Elementary School in Arlington, TX are completing the
St. Jude Math-a-Thon between Oct. 11th and Nov. 11th. The 40% donations from my festival book sales will be added to our total Math-a-Thon donations.  Our school's goal this year is $3500. Berry students have raised over $33,000. for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in the past 11 years! Go Berry Bears!!
If you can't make it to the festival, and you'd like to purchase a book at the "festival" special price directly from me, send me a message, and I will still donate 40% of these sales to St. Jude. 
Donations to our Berry Elem. Math-a-Thon can also be made online, go to and select donate now, select schools, select Berry Elementary School in Arlington, TX. 
Many thanks to all who attend the Front Street Festival, and to those of you who support my number one charity!                                                                  
Blessings, Susan

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Traveling Mommy: About this Blog

 I wanted to share this new blog with y'all. I know you'll enjoy it!
The Traveling Mommy: About this Blog: "Traveling is so much fun! I never did it much as a kid. My first plane ride was an NJROTC trip in high school. Did I mention I joined NJR..."

Monday, September 20, 2010


What is a purpose driven life? Do we seek our purpose in our own lives and in our own time, or is our purpose chosen for us? This “deep thought” crossed my mind as I watched a movie on the Lifetime Channel tonight. When we are young we are constantly seeking to find ourselves, to free ourselves from the conventions of our parents, and to become that person we know in our hearts we are meant to be.
Did we begin our search for purpose from the time we were born? Did we understand the value of truth, of life, of God?
I think back to when my daughter was a baby, a young child, a teenager, and now as the adult she has become. She has always had a goal in mind, a desire to forge into the fire and get exactly what she wants. Even as a toddler she had to do things her way. My husband always told her she should have become an attorney because she can debate any issue and win. We are fortunate that all our children grew up with parents who taught them the difference between right and wrong, who said no probably more often than we needed to, but we have been blessed that our children have “found” their purpose in life, at least for today.
My search for my purpose in life has led me down many roads, through many mistakes, but it has always led me back to the light that steadily guides me through each day.
In my work as a teacher, I influence many young lives every day. I wonder if this is my purpose in life. Am I here at this moment in time to teach, to speak, to show one particular child their way, their purpose in life? I don’t know, so I persevere and try to teach my students to be the best that they can be, to follow the “rules”, to express themselves, to just be kind one to another. Some students have been so battered by life itself that they are unsure as to their purpose in even being at school. To these the only purpose the school serves is as a refuge, a place of safety, of the security of the sameness of the every days. They know at school they will find food, shelter, and someone who will hear their cry. As a teacher, I can only guide them through my words and actions as I teach them the curriculum they have to know. I can enforce rules by not being harsh, but consistent in my discipline, and by letting the students know that they are safe within the environment of my classroom. In my classroom there will be order, their will politeness, there will be caring one for another. I try to instill in each student the understanding of the strong need for them to be responsible for their own words and actions. At times, I feel my purpose is fruitless, and some folks tell me I should just let the students play more and try to earn their trust by trying to be their best friend. Yet, I am a role model of their future. If I show them that the world wants only clowns, then we would have far too many clowns in the world. I want to reach each student and draw out what they most desire to become, even if they don’t know it yet.
My search for purpose has led me in the direction of writing as well. When I was a child, I wrote secretly to express feelings and desires I had no other way of sharing. As I grew older, my purpose for writing changed as well. The purpose of my novel Moon Dance grew from a desire to learn more about my aunt and her life as a cattle rancher. As this research progressed, my purpose changed once again as well as the very style of my writing. Rather than strictly historical research, my novel bloomed into a story of a young woman and a young man’s struggle to overcome obstacles in their life through their faith in God and their strong family ties. As I continued my writing, it suddenly took on a life of its own and became a passionate story of deep and abiding love.
My purpose now as an author is to continue writing, as I always have; ever waiting to be inspired by a thought, a desire, or even a cloud in the sky. And yet even now, I ask myself “What is my purpose? What is a purpose driven life? Do we seek our purpose in our own lives and in our own time, or is our purpose chosen for us? “
Our children are grown, our grandchildren are growing up as well, and many of my former students have graduated and began on their own journey to find their own purpose in life. I just carry on one day at a time; teaching, writing, or speaking about writing as I seek to find where my “purpose” will lead me next.
Blessings,                                                                                                                                             Susan

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"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." ~George Bernard Shaw

"We all possess the thunder of pure fury and the calm breeze of tranquility.  If it wasn't for tomorrow, how much would we get done today?  Whatever your purpose... embrace it completely.  Get lost in the clouds every now and then so you never lose sight of God's wonder. " ~Paul Vitale

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thought for the Day

Besides the autumn poets sing,
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the haze.
~Emily Dickinson

Recent review of Moon Dance ~ a novel by Susan K. Earl

A romance, but much more! Susan K. Earl's characters in Moon Dance were so vividly described that I found myself wanting to go back a page or two to see a picture of a previous scene, but that scene was only in my mind! It was almost like watching a movie of these two poor families who were brought together by their children's love for each other. Both families lived their faith in God and shared that faith with others. The time setting of the Great Depression allowed us to learn how the families coped during hard times and how they relied on neighborly love and God. The lessons taught in this beautifully written romance can and should be lessons we are teaching today in our families. -- Linda Duff Niemeir, Co-Author,Sharecropping in North Louisiana: A Family's Struggle Through the Great Depression

Friday, September 17, 2010

Please visit my author page and "like" it. :) I truly appreciate all of you who've already joined my page. It makes my heart swell to know I have so many wonderful friends who support me! Grazie mille! Mèrcie! Tapadh leibh! Diolch yn fawr! Muchas gracias! Thank you!

The Beatles -Let It Be

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Our Pet "Family"

Remember The Time ...30 Days of Memories...Mayby More - Day 12




 Our Pet "Family"
As I drove to work this morning, I happened to notice one of my neighbors sweeping off her driveway, which is not an unusual activity. Although what first caught my interest was the sight of her tiny puppy running back and forth after the broom, yipping loudly and trying valiantly to “catch” the broom without being swept away with each stroke.
This brought a smile to my face and conjured up images of the various ways our own pet “family” has been welcomed into our family. Over the years we’ve had several special pets, but the three we have now have somehow “taken control” of our home. The first little rascal that scampered into our hearts was a tiny six week old puppy that weighed only two and a half pounds. My daughter Amber had decided she really needed a dog, so she spent hours researching online to find exactly the right breed. She came across a web site on a Japanese breed called Shiba Inu. We’d never heard of the breed, but found it had been introduced into the U.S. about ten years before. We searched pet stores and shelters trying to find this breed, and after we’d almost given up, we found a breeder almost right down the street from us. So Micah came into our family. He was so tiny we were afraid to let him outside by himself for fear an owl or hawk would swoop down and devour him. The girls had such fun taking pictures of him sitting in different containers that would show off just how tiny he was. One of my favorites is this pic of him in an IBC root beer carton!
Micah was, and still is at age five, a spitfire of energy. He races around the living room as if it is an obstacle course. He is extremely fast, intelligent, and quite this mischief maker. Shortly after his third birthday, in which Amber made us take him to a doggie diner for doggie cake and ice cream, we met our next addition to the family.
In early July, three years ago, my husband Alex and I were preparing for a trip to Italy. We had planned to stop by Amber’s house the afternoon before we left, but were inadvertently delayed when we walked out in the front yard and found this little puppy nibbling on toadstools under the pine trees in our front yard. My heart just flooded with pity for this little pup, so we invited her in for some food and water. She was a matted, dusty mess, but she seemed so happy to be in a safe environment. I called Amber and she and Micah rushed over to inspect this new little vagabond. We decided our first move should be to clean her up. She had no identification, no collar, and she looked quite atrocious, but after her bath we all noticed how similar she looked to Micah. I couldn’t believe another Shiba had just wandered into our yard.
Amber’s first thought was that we needed a name that would go with Micah’s, so she began her internet search for baby names and came across “Maxie”. We thought it suited her well. Next she looked up the Shiba Inu site and read about the different types of Shiba’s. Micah is registered with papers and is a beautiful ,reddish brown with a white chest. Maxie on the other hand is mostly all white with only a little reddish brown on her back and up to her ears. Amber’s research found that the reddish shiba’s and the red and black shiba’s are considered the most valuable for show dogs (not our intention at all), but the white ones are considered rejects. She also has an underbite which gives the appearance of a cute, crooked smile.
We had a strange feeling that our new little girl had been “put out” by the breeder and left to fend for herself or die. Yet, even with her hard start in life, Maxie has a very sweet, loving personality and immediately ingratiated herself with the family.
As I said earlier, this happened the day before Alex and I left for Italy, so Amber took Maxie home with her. One early morning, as we were headed for Venice, Amber called to let us know of her recent adventure with the two dogs. She always took Micah to Petsmart and let him ride in the basket and “pick out” his treats, so she decided to take both dogs. She arrived at Petsmart, put Micah in the basket, and then put Maxie in the front, small section of the basket next to her. She had almost reached the door when Maxie decided to go on a short adventure of her own. She jumped out of the basket and ran into the Sam’s Club next door to Petsmart. Amber panicked and told Micah to stay. She left Micah and her purse outside of Sam’s Club and ran all through the store trying to catch Maxie. Outside Micah stayed in the cart, howling at the top of his lungs, and gathering quite a crowd around him. Finally, Maxie tired out, sat down, and waited patiently for Amber to pick her up and carry her back out to the basket. Needless to say, Petsmart was cancelled. Alex and I had a good time laughing over the picture this created, but Amber didn’t find it the least bit funny. Now we had two dogs that were very adept at running obstacle courses through the house at top speed, and Maxie found that if she jumped up on the couch and ran along the back of it, she could jump in front of Micah and beat him around the room. We did take Maxie to the vet as soon as we returned from Italy, and our vet said it appeared she’d been on the streets for several months, and was approximately 4 months old.
The next summer, Alex and I traveled to Michigan to visit our daughter Joanne and grandson Jake. We spent two wonderful weeks with them, and then returned to find a stray cat family had taken up residence in our backyard. There was a mother cat and four young kittens sprawled out under the trees, resting or playing with each other. This lasted until Amber came over and brought the dogs. As soon as they went out in the backyard the cat family vanished under the fence. About a week later, Alex came home from his walk and told me to hurry and get a towel because there was a little kitten right in the middle of the road. I was a little apprehensive about a feral kitten, but we quietly approached it and it didn’t move at all. I gently picked it up with the towel, and we took it inside, placed her in a small basket and gave her a little watered down milk. She didn’t move out of the basket for several days, but she would sneak over to her food and water when she thought we weren’t looking. The vet said she was a very healthy seven or eight week old kitten.
Once again Amber wanted to pick an “M” name for this new addition to our family as well. We decided on Maisy, but more often than not I just call her KitKat. It took many months to get her to be a “lap” cat. I had to force her to sit with me, but after a bit, she would climb up in my lap on her own and purr loudly. Amber says we have trained her to think she is a dog now because she acts just like the two dogs, she sits up like a little prairie dog and begs for what she wants. Often times when we get in from work, our animal “family” all want to sit with us on the couch, but I have a sneaking suspicion Maxie would like us to just move off and let her have the couch all to herself.
Animals can add a special touch to your day. I know when I come after a hard days labor, Micah and Maxie will be waiting with their toys in their mouths, bodies wiggling, ready to greet me with unconditional love. The cat on the other hand waits for me to come to her and then demands that I give her at least five to ten minutes of my time before I can even think about relaxing for a bit myself.
I’ve told Alex that it seems a little dangerous to plan big vacations anymore because we never know what might be waiting on our doorstep for us the next time we travel!
We’re content with our three pets. They are often very demanding because we spoil them a lot, but they have given us a lot of stress relief and love in return.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend… it is Friday tomorrow!!

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