NurishPet & Free Pet Resources You’ll Use for Years to Come!

Welcome to the Work Hard, Play Hard Giveaway Hop brought to you by The Hopping Bloggers!

Work Hard Play Hard Giveaway Hop 2018

Hosted By: Mama’s Geeky & Women and Their Pretties

Each giveaway has a value of a minimum of $15, however some are worth much more. Be sure to enter to win all of them because there is no limit to how many you can win. GOOD LUCK!

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NurishPet has so many great products!  We’re loving the Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil that we’ve been trying out!  They’ve got a good bit of other great health for pets.  It seems having them has gotten so complicated.  I grew up on a farm and always had dogs, horses, calves, cats, and so many other types of animals.  Back then, we treated most things in our pets on our own.  We fed our dogs scraps and they lived long, full lives.  It’s great that we know so much more about how to help our furbabies be healthy these days, but it can be so overwhelming at times!

Free Pet Resources You Won't Want to Miss: An Ever Ongoing List

Giving my dogs fish oil isn’t a new thing, in the past I’ve done so from time to time, as there are many benefits.  I was super excited to try out NurishPet’s Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil as there are tons of great things out there about them.  Made in the USA, these soft chews are all natural, gluten and dairy free.  Both my Great Dane and Chihuahuas absolutely love them.  Providing fish oil can give your dog nutrients that they need and, as a bonus, they seem to think they are treats!  They support the immune system, heart health, anti-inflammatory properties, healthy skin and coat and cognitive function.  This particular product also has Vitamin E, Kelp and Vitamin C.

Be advised: I have read multiple resources that discourage from feeding fish oil daily, stating that it can cause their bodies to stop producing some things as they become dependent on using those that come from the supplement.  Instead, use them as a weekly treat, which will also ease the pain on your wallet!

Our Resource List for Your Reading Pleasure

Feed with Love: Better Food For Dogs

Emergency Procedures for Your Pet: First Aid

Follow This Pinterest Board, Specifically for Pet Stuff!

Have a Good Resource?

Shoot me a message and I’ll add it to this list!

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Win NurishPet Dog Treats #5

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Winter Fun 2012 #GreatDane and #Snow

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Originally posted 2013-11-21 00:10:01.

Warmze Review: Awesome Bottle Warmer!

bottlewarmerWarmze’s are perfect for on the go Mommys!  In just 30 minutes, a frozen bottle of breast milk can be ready to go or a mixed bottle can be perfectly heated.  Given that the majority of our family lives at least 3 hours away, I can see this coming in handy for trips!  Or even just to keep in case a doctor’s appointment runs longer than planned!  The wrap will even stay warm for up to 10 hours, which is really great for long road trips.  The only downside is that the heat wraps aren’t reusable, but a set of 4 (for small bottles) will only run about $13, so that’s not too bad given that it’s not something that is needed regularly.  Plus, the warmer packs are eco friendly, so you don’t have to worry about that.  😀

From The Company

One self-heating warmer will conveniently heat several different bottles throughout a day-no boiling water, no metal disk to click, no running to car for car charger, no electricity, no batteries or microwave. In just 30 minutes you will have a perfect tepid bottle (90-104 degrees) the temperature recommended by Pediatricians. It works for breastfeeding moms that pump (thaws frozen milk) as well as those that have to use formula.
The non-toxic, biodegradable warming wraps are air-activated and last for up to 10 hours or 3-5 bottles per one warmer wrap. The bottlesoc is re-usable and helps keep baby dry by preventing leaks and allowing the large cotton ruffle to wipe dribbles.

Check out the video, it tells you just about everything you need to know about it! I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Originally posted 2013-11-20 20:36:23.

Website Writing: Ten Tips on Creating Fantastic Content Everyday!

What is good content?  There really is no set definition and it’s completely subjective based on what our readers want to look at, have time to deal with, and feel the desire to share.  We can’t control it in any way.  We are completely at the mercy of the whim of our beloved readers.  It’s easy and tempting to throw your hands up in the air pretty quickly, but don’t give up!  After some work, research and practice you’ll find yourself writing those articles that create repeat and active readers.  In the meantime, and for all times, don’t let that stop you from writing about things you enjoy.

This post will help you get on track to creating amazing content all the time, driving readers and customers to your site daily!

As bloggers and website owners, we all know that it’s hard work, it takes constant dedication, and an insane amount of creativity and a tolerance for annoyances so be sure and write articles you enjoy writing, at least from time to time.  My absolute favorite posts on my site are those I’ve written about psychology like this one on overcoming depression.   It came from my heart, was well researched and I find it well written.  It is not, however, one of my most viewed pages.  That’s okay.  I wrote it for me, I enjoyed it.  If it helps one other person, that’s enough for me!

Content Marketing for small businesses is essential whether you are a blogger, have an online store, or even a local business.  In order to stay relevant and attract attention, one must stay ahead of the curve.  If you ever figure out how to do that, by all means come back here and let me know!  I’m typically more of a haul butt around the corners and hang on kind of girl!  So in my ever evolving quest of self-improvement, both personally and for this site (check my post about domain authority and SEO), I’m putting together a post full of content marketing tips.

Whether you run a Lifestyle Blog, Parenting Blog, Wedding Blog or a brick and mortar business, we all have one thing in common: an Achilles heel made up of a balance between what they want and what gets their attention.   A fantastic marketing campaign can make us, break us or keep us on the bench but even the best marketing can’t save us if our content doesn’t draw people in and bring them back for seconds!  So, with that in mind I’ve brought you a top ten list, because everyone loves those, right?

Ten Tips on Creating Fantastic Content

I must note right now that I was on a role with this post, right up until I got to the point of the article.  Then my brain started going into the land of random thoughts.  Ugh.  I hate that land when I’m working.  Okay, back on topic….  Well…..  maybe just a quick break  THEN back on topic…  I swear….

More coffee….  That’s what I need….  Check out this totally irrelevant video I took on our trip to Silver Dollar City Attractions and the Branson Showboat.  That should keep you entertain long enough for my content brain storm!

Okay, back on track….

Let these tips help get you on track to creating content that everyone wants to read!

  1. Be bold!  Click bait is crazy effective in getting people to come to a website, though often it is not enough to keep our readers interested.  However, talking about content that will touch on our reader’s passion is always a good idea.  No matter what side of an issue your opinion lands on, it’s going to be controversial.  One doesn’t have to offend or alienate anyone in order to discuss challenging topics.  There will always be someone who passionately agrees or disagrees with you, it’s nice to hear everyone’s varying point of view.
  2. Do your Homework! It’s a bit easier to know what will be well received if you are a niche blogger or business.  A local bakery sharing some tricks of their trade is going to be a great way to both drive traffic and attract customers.  After all, who better to get tips from than a delicious baker and how could one not be attracted to patron a business who cares so much about their customers that they are willing to help them out.  I’d certainly be more likely to go to that bakery to try them out the next time I needed a delicious treat!  However, if you aren’t a niche business or website, then it’s time to get to your homework.  There are tons of ways to search for what’s being searched the most in order to find something your audience would not only be interested in, but is likely already looking for.  You could even spend some time checking out what’s trending on Pinterest!  That’s what I call fun homework!
  3. Be transparent! While it is possible to sit on the fence and get an engaged audience, as readers and visitors the majority of us would prefer to know where an author stands.  It helps to encourage a feeling of community to know where someone stands.
  4. Photo Identification: Be sure and put a good description in the alternative text of the image. After all, algorithms aren’t eyeballs reading your pictures!
  5. Photo Placement: Don’t put the photo at the beginning of your post. Those pesky algorithms are known to skip over pages that start with a picture as they are harder to classify.
  6. Keep It Simple! Don’t write super long paragraphs.  It’s easier to read a short paragraph than a long one and people are more likely to stick around for an enjoyable read than a labor intensive one!
  7. Writer’s Block? We’ve all ran into that wall at some point (as in my insane distraction above).  If you are stuck, search for writing prompts.  They will not only force you around your blockade, but they may also inspire some fantastic post ideas!
  8. Keep a Running List. I have a tendency to some up with ideas for posts at the most random times, make yourself a list and grab something off of it every now and then to mix things up!
  9. Get off your butt! (or on it technically) When you have a minute, write!  Whether it be on paper or the computer just write.  You can add it to your site anytime, but the inspiration gold may not stick around that long!
  10. Have fun! While blogging and coming up with content is a job, make sure you enjoy what you are doing and writing about!  It will reflect in your writing and your readers will appreciate it!

15 Ways To Help Heal a Sore Throat

SoreAs I lay in bed sleeping peacefully, something inside of me must of thought I didn’t have enough crap to deal with.  In dreamless slumber, my body devised a plan to put more on my schedule, help add a little stress before Thanksgiving, where who knows how many people will be visiting.  So, as I woke up, it began it’s plan. My body jumped into action, as it is good at conniving evil plans, the left side of my throat began to swell as I swallowed and my left nostril, not to be outdid, filled itself with mucus so that only half of my nose could be deemed useful.  Aaah, teamwork.  An essential function of any successful team.  And here I was worried that I might actually get my house ready, grocery shopping done and the laundry caught up a few days in advance.  What a fool I must be!  So, in my brilliance I am launching a defense.  At terrible risk of an uprising, of getting caught and having it turned against me in an attempt to sabotage my healing attempt, but I shall stand brave.  It has been 17 minutes since I began writing this and the medicine has started clearing up one nostril, though the other has begun it’s betrayal.  My throat is still killing me on one side and my head has begun to pound.  Oh, how I love the flu.  Such fun this is!

Remedies

Gargle with one of the following:

*Cayenne Pepper: Mix 1/8th of a tsp of cayenne pepper with 1/2 cup warm water.

*Salt: Add 1 tsp of table salt to a cupful of warm water.

*Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix 2 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar with a cup of warm water.

*Ginger: Make a strong brew with freshly grated ginger (about 3 tsp per cup of boiling water), steep for about 5 minutes then stir in a spoonful of honey and sip.

*Thyme: Brew 1 tablespoon dried thyme in 1 cup boiling water. Strain before using.

*Hydrogen Peroxide: Gargle 3% hydrogen peroxide to fight the infection. If the taste is too much for you, dilute with some water first (about 50/50).

*Raspberry leaf tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons dried leaves. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Allow to cool. If you also have a fever, the gargle can be used as a fever-reducing drink, too. Do not drink any liquid you have used as a gargle.

*Sage: Mix 1 teaspoon in 1 cup boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Add 1 teaspoon each cider vinegar and honey, then gargle four times a day.

*Turmeric: Mix together 1 cup hot water, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gargle with the mixture twice a day. If you’re not good with the gargle, mix 1/2 teaspoon turmeric in 1 cup hot milk and drink. Turmeric stains clothing, so be careful when mixing and gargling.

*Homemade Tea: Mix 8 oz water, 1 Tbsp honey and 1 Tbsp cider vinegar.  Heat and drink while warm.  (Not good for the little ones!)

*Lemon Juice: Mix 1 tablespoon each of honey and lemon juice in 1 cup warm water and sip away.

*Lime Juice: Combine 1 spoonful with a spoonful of honey and take as often as needed for a sore throat.

*Steam Tent — sitting with your face over a bowl of steaming hot water and your head covered with a towel to keep the steam in. Adding 1 to 2 drops eucalyptus oil can be a soothing addition.

*Stay Hydrated: It is recommended that you drink 10 8 oz glasses of water per day.  Drink as much as you can!  You’ll need hydration to fight bacteria!

*Garlic: Peel a fresh clove, slice it in half, and place 1 piece in each cheek. Suck on the garlic like a cough drop. Occasionally, crush your teeth against the garlic, not to bite it in half, but to release its allicin, a chemical that can kill the bacteria that causes strep.

 

 

 

 

Originally posted 2013-11-20 03:45:12.

SEO & Domain Authority: Easy Ways to Get them Growing Today

SEO scores and a good Domain Authority are crazy important for websites.  They let search engines know that your site should be mentioned first, which of course will drive more traffic to your site.  Increasing views, revenue and so on.  But how do we get that score up?  There is a ton of information out there and it can be overwhelming trying to learn.  Since I’m working on building my score, I thought I’d share with you some things that I’ve found.  In order to gain domain authority, one has to legitimately build a higher SEO score.  How do we do that, well….

  1. Find terms and phrases, AKA keywords, which generate traffic to your website. This can be challenging and may take some experimentation.  Don’t give up!
  2. Wondering the do’s and don’ts of keyword usage? com suggests the following: use your keyword in the title at least once (preferably at the beginning), once prominently at the top of the page, 2-3 times throughout the body, at least once in the alt attribute of an image on the page, once in the URL, and at least once in the meta description tag.  Do not use them in link anchor text!
  3. Learn what your target blogger opp section, as you want their search terms to bring up the link to your website.
  4. Make sure all images have ‘alt text’, this will help search engines understand and therefore be able to find them. If there is a video or soundwave, add a transcript to them. Search engines are not good at knowing how to describe pictures, so they often skip over them.  How funny that the search engines seem to throw their hands up too?  Ha!
  5. Limit your links. Links on pages that have hundreds or more links are probably not going to rank. Remember that the search engine has to look at all of these links, and they get sick of clicking every one too.  It’s best to have fewer, quality links rather than a ton.  If you want to do a post with a ton of links, consider making them ‘no index’ so as not to annoy the search bots!
  6. Eliminate errors on your pages. I will admit I’m sick and tired of going back through my old posts to fix my earlier ignorance, but it must be done.  Unfortunately, errors inhibit and prevent search engines from crawling around sites and ranking them.  Google’s Search Console can be used to check your site for free.

Of course, if you are having trouble getting it, be sure and embrace blogger outreach!  There are a ton of networks out there, which help without charging.  Not to mention the fact that a good blogger friend network is a priceless resource!  You can also check out my blogger opp section, or get automatic alerts by joining our Blogger Exclusive Newsletter!

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO (found here) has helped me with most of this information and there is far more there for you to discover, I highly recommend heading there to get more of an understanding.  In the meantime, this should help you get on your way to a higher SEO score and a better Domain Authority!  I’ve included a few additional links that I thought you might be interested in.  I’ll be sure to come back and add more.

 

I’d love to hear your tips and success stories,

Increase your domain authority and improve your SEO traffic with these easy steps that anyone can do!

 

please share them with us!

Blogger Resources

Paid Blogging Jobs

4 Ways to Enforce Your Copyright

 

The Sparkle Box

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Let me start this review with a confession: I had heard of this book before.  Last year, somewhere around Christmas, I heard an interview with the author on Focus on The Family.  It really touched my heart and I’ve literally thought about it all year long.  The author’s goal seemed to truly be the lesson the book teaches: to give to others.

It is not often that I am inspired by a children’s book.  I read the book in order to do the review and had to force myself to come in and write.  Not because the task is so daunting, but because the book has me so inspired I don’t want to sit down and write.  I want to do something.  Anything.  Make bread for the shelters, donate, something!  Not simply to fill a box, but to make a difference in someone’s life.  One of my favorite scriptures, and one my husband and I remind each other of constantly is this:  “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  Matthew 25:40 KJV. 

This book will not only teach your children the joy of helping others, but it will make you want to go out and help someone else, anyone else.  My family has taught me throughout the years to help others.  Even my little brother who seems to be on a poor attempt at running from God has reminded me through his actions to do whatever I can to help others.  When we were kids we went through a period where our Mom couldn’t afford to pay the bills, much less provide for Christmas.  That year, a man we had never heard of, came to our home with a basket of fruit and a gift for my brother and I.  I don’t remember what my brother got, but I got a curling iron gift set.  I’ve never been a girly girl, don’t even know if I ever actually used that set, but what I do know is that I hold that as one of my fondest memories.  It was a great lesson and has been a constant inspiration for me to help others throughout my life.  Granted, I don’t wish that upon anyone, but the lesson could never be the same.  The closest I’ve seen to something teaching this lesson is this book.

About The Sparkle Box 

A Gift with the Power to Change Christmas

Sam is so excited about Christmas! He’s thinking about his Christmas list, looking forward to holiday parties, and puzzling over one very mysterious gift: a sparkly box sitting on the mantel. In the midst of the festivities, Sam and his family participate in various acts of kindness to others. On Christmas morning, when Sam finally opens the Sparkle Box, he finds only slips of paper that record the family’s good deeds. Sam’s mom explains that the things that they’ve been doing are, in fact, a gift for Jesus, for Jesus said that whatever we do for those in need, we do for Him.

Author Bio

Author Jill Hardie and her family began placing a gift for Jesus under their Christmas tree as a way of bringing more meaning to the holiday.  The first time they opened His gift, the commercialism of the season melted away and they felt a profound joy and peace.  Jill hopes that The Sparkle Box will spark a new Christmas tradition, bringing light into thousands of lives.

Illustrator Bio

At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life.  After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children’s books began to take shape.  She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut.

Find It!

Website

Buy It

Book Trailer

Author Video

Facebook

#TheSparkleBox

Giveaway

Must leave a physical address.  However, if you are a military family and have an APO, I will personally ship it to you if you win, so go ahead and enter!

Originally posted 2013-11-19 10:07:11.

Sanctuary Blog Tour

sanctuary tour banner

Tour Schedule

 

sanctuarySanctuary by Pauline Creeden

“Left Behind for the Hunger Games Generation”
In a heart-racing thriller described as Falling Skies meets The Walking Dead, Jennie struggles to find a safe place for what’s left of her family. But it seems as though there is no place sacred, no place secure. First the aliens attacked the sun, making it dimmer, weaker, and half what it used to be. Then they attacked the water supply, killing one-third of Earth’s population with a bitter contaminate. And when they unleash a new terror on humankind, the victims will wish for death, but will not find it…When the world shatters to pieces around her, will Jennie find the strength she needs to keep going?

 

Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Praise for Sanctuary
“Pauline Creeden managed to mix more genres into one book than I could possibly imagine. The overall concept, aliens attacking the earth, is straight out of Science Fiction, but then you throw in a few zombies and post-apocalyptic fiction with how the dead/sick humans are acting. Overall, the entire story was charged with the adrenaline and thrills of a suspense/thriller novel, but the mood was terrifyingly eerie like a Horror story. There was almost too much sensory information for my primitive human brain to handle. Still, all of these genres combined made for one unique and fascinating story. This kind of book is of the same flavor as The Hunger Games with its originality, which I really appreciated.” – Katelyn Hensel for Readers’ Favorite

“Sanctuary is a fast-paced Christian fantasy thriller that is original and quite entertaining. The story revolves around Jennie and her family, Pastor Billy and his wife, and two brothers who are polar opposites of each other. Each chapter is presented in the point of view of Jennie, Brad or Hugh (the brothers), which gives Pauline Creeden’s Sanctuary, a multidimensional feel. The three different story-lines merge into a full-fledged fantasy/horror novel that never sags or lets up on the action. While there are Christian themes present in Sanctuary, and Jennie’s faith is an important part of who she is, I, a non-Christian, did not feel I was being preached to or proselytized. I recommend Pauline Creeden’s Sanctuary — it’s well-written and a lot of fun to read.” – Jack Magnus for Readers Favorite

 

Book Trailer

 


PaulineAuthor Pauline Creeden

In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.

Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.

Armored Hearts, her joint effort with author Melissa Turner Lee, has been a #1 Bestseller in Christian Fantasy and been awarded the Crowned Heart for Excellence by InDtale Magazine. Her debut novel, Sanctuary has already been nominated for two awards in YA Science Fiction.

One of Pauline’s short stories has won the CCW Short Story contest. Other short stories have been published in Fear & Trembling Magazine, Obsidian River and Avenir Eclectia. An urban fantasy short will appear in The Book of Sylvari: An Anthology of Elves from Port Yonder Press, and a vampire short will appear in Monsters! from Diminished Media Group.

 

Website * Twitter * Goodreads * Pinterest * Facebook

Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 11/30/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:

Why on earth did I write a Christian novel that has both aliens and zombies in it?

When I was a teen/young adult and my faith was wavering at best, there were several movies out with the likely design to shake faith even more. End of the world movies were in their hay day. Alien invasion was another big one. And I couldn’t help but wonder. If something like this actually happened, would anyone be able to maintain their faith?

And now today, Zombies are on the rise.

Could aliens be reconciled with the Bible? Zombies? This is the purpose of Sanctuary.

Because of its poetic nature, the book of Revelation lends itself to a plethora of interpretation. I am not saying that my book is the only true possibility, but it could be one. Could not demons be misinterpreted as alien life forms? Might not Satan use this mirage to his advantage to explain the bitter water or the blotting out of the sun, moon, and stars? And then there’s Revelation 9:6 – “And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.”

Zombies?

If anyone reading this book at least opens themselves up to the fact that yes, a biblical interpretation could resolve the problems between faith and an apocalyptic reality, then Sanctuary has completed its purpose.

EXCERPT:

When Jennie reached the back door, she saw them. Four large dog-like creatures with pinched faces like bulldogs and lion-like manes. They snarled, and one of them leapt at the window on the top half of the door when it saw her. Jennie jumped back and fell hard on the cold tile floor. The bottle of painkiller bounced across the kitchen tiles. The creature slammed against the window a second time, cracking it. She blinked hard. Her heart sunk, and the hairs on her arms stood on end. A horrendous gargling howl rent the air, causing a shiver down her spine. She held her breath and waited for the creature to slam into the door again.

“What on earth?” she whispered to herself.

When the third attempt never came, she scrambled toward the door. Blinking hard, she used the door knob to help herself stand. Out the cracked window, her mother was still out of sight, but the last of the dogs headed across the field behind her backyard.

“MOM?” Jennie called out.

The rumbling faded, and the vibrations in her chest receded with the dogs. She pulled open the door and rushed onto their back deck. “Mom, where are you?”

When she reached the banister, she looked over the side. Her mom lay sprawled with one hand on the lattice. Blood gushed from Mom’s leg and her opposite arm. Jennie’s ears rang and flooded with every beat of her heart.

Jennie didn’t know how she got to the second floor of her house, but she found herself shaking her sleeping father. How had he slept through the rumbling? “Outside, it’s Mom…”

Her father leapt from the bed. Mickey, her little brother, lay asleep and undisturbed. Dad ran down the stairs and outside in his flannel pajama bottoms and white t-shirt. He scooped Mom up to his chest and carried her inside. Blood stained his shirt in crimson.

“Jennie, call 911!” Her father had said it at least three times before it finally registered in her brain.

She pulled the cell phone from her pocket, but it refused to connect. With a groan, she grabbed the cordless from the wall receiver, glad her heart stopped pounding in her head so she could hear.

“All operators are busy at this time,” a mechanical voice deadpanned, “Please stay on the line, and the next available operator will take your call.”

“They have me on hold, Dad. Should I hang up and try again?” She held the phone in both hands away from her face.

“No, just stay on the line.” Her father lifted the shredded jeans from Mom’s leg. “It looks like a shark bite. What on earth happened?”

Jennie took in the damage through tear-filled eyes. A huge chunk was taken from her mother’s calf, exposing the fibrous tendons that covered the bone in her leg. A bloodstain grew on the beige couch. Was she going to die? Panic rose up.

“What happened, Jennie?”

“I…I…They looked like lions, or dogs, or something. The rumbling shook the whole house…I tried to go outside to get Mom, but—” A sob blocked her throat.

Her father grabbed a throw pillow and held it against the leg. Mom’s exposed forearm laid across her chest in much the same condition as her calf.

“Grab me the duct tape.”

Jennie suddenly remembered the phone, put it back to her ear, and headed to the hall closet. She reached for the shelf above the jackets and grabbed the junk basket next to the toolbox.

“Please stay on the line. An operator will be with you shortly.”

She shoved the phone in the crook of her neck and fished through the box. Half the contents dropped around her feet. Who cares? When her fingers wrapped around the silver duct tape, a short-lived relief sent prickles down her arms. But the urgency gripped her chest in less than a heart beat, and she threw the junk basket on the ground with the rest of the items.

“Hurry, Jennie!” her father called from the living room. “And turn on the TV. Maybe they’ll have something about what’s going on.”

She handed her father the tape and turned toward the TV. The mechanical voice on the phone came through again, followed by more easy listening.

When she clicked on the TV, the shouting and wailing began before the picture warmed up on the screen. A sideways picture of New York City broke through, with the shaky voice of the newscaster voicing over.

“What we are watching now – I can’t believe it – is live footage of Times Square,” the newscaster’s voice paused for a deep breath. “We’ve lost our man on the scene and his camera man to what appears to be some kind of new alien creature. Just a short half-hour ago, the doors to the ship that hovered above Central Park opened and these dog-like creatures flooded out.”

Jennie couldn’t pull her eyes from the screen. She straightened and dropped the phone on the hardwood. The battery popped out and skidded across the floor.

Originally posted 2013-11-19 00:01:47.

7 Tips To Make Thanksgiving Easier

  1. thanksDo everything you can in advance!
  2. Many recipes can be made ahead and frozen (like cheeseballs, cookies, cakes)
  3. Slice and chop vegetables you’ll need for recipes up to 3 days before you need them, just seal them in an air tight container
  4. Pies can be prepared ahead of time then frozen until a couple of days before you want to bake them.
  5. Use your crockpot!  Find a side dish that can be cooked in your crockpot and you’ll have one less thing taking up your oven and stove.  Plus, most crockpot recipes can be prepared the night before then you just have to start it when you are ready!
  6. If something messes up, don’t worry!  It’s not that big of a deal, it won’t be remembered, and that one thing isn’t the reason you are celebrating anyway!  Take a deep breathe and remember that!
  7. Remind yourself that your guests didn’t come because your house was somehow rumored to be perfect, they came because they love you!  So if you forgot to deep clean something, or clean it at all, don’t feel bad or even apologize for missing it!  They don’t care, and that’s one other thing no one will remember!

 Do you have any tips or shortcuts?

We’re all ears!

 

 

Originally posted 2013-11-18 00:35:37.

1 Girl Nation CD Review

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About 1 Girl Nation

Landing in the space where One Direction meets TobyMac, 1 Girl Nation is an exciting blend of upbeat pop music, with lyrics that are totally focused on living life for God, even while you’re young. 1GN, as they’ve already been dubbed, stars Carmen, Kayli, Kelsey, Lauryn Taylor and Lindsey, five girls with a passion for telling their fans about Christ through their music. Their first single, “While We’re Young,” can be heard on radio stations across the country and their self-titled debut album is available now!

img3.2My Thoughts

Even after reading the description above, I expected to hear something that I really couldn’t enjoy but I was pleasantly surprised.  1 Girl Nation has a sound that reminds me of a mixture of 80’s girl bands, modern day secular music, and a hint of contemporary Christian wrapped up in a praise and worship band.  As their pictures suggest, their music is fun and joyful.  With their primary target audience being pre-teen, teens, and young adults I think 1 Girl Nation should be on their way to the top!  I don’t think it will be long before they are being blasted all over Christian radio stations.  They sing songs that make you feel good but aren’t like the typical music you hear.  It wasn’t far into the CD before I was bobbing my head and enjoying the music.

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Originally posted 2013-11-16 06:23:20.

Welcome to the Zoo!

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