The Gibb Brothers

The Bee Gees were always one of my favorite groups when I was younger. One of the biggest reasons that I enjoyed them, was because they were brothers. Seeing a family work together, and especially for so many years, is pretty special. Barry Gibb lives on, the oldest of the brothers. What a legacy they have left for all of us. This is a song Barry wrote. I enjoyed looking at the pictures in the video. I hope you do as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qLT26K89Qo

The Piano Guys and Lexi Walker…

Music is something that I’ve always loved. At one time, when I was younger, I had it playing in some form, in the background of my day. When I was driving, doing housework, or washing the car. Music was just part of me. I enjoyed almost any genre, played on a wide range of instruments. I could find something to appreciate about a person’s musical talent.

With the chaos of spending my day with five children, I didn’t play music as much. Quiet was a very good thing to hear. Then I would just appreciate the tick-tock of my clocks.

Tonight, many people will head out to church for evening services. Not as many as there once was on a Wednesday night. The busyness of everyday life has taken away that commitment that parishioners once had. People are exhausted from their days filled with work, errands, and the very long list of the, “I have to”. Wednesday, for me has always been rather like a Sunday. A time set aside to let life slow down a bit, and renew our minds.

Christmas has come and gone, and we have greeted the New Year. But the reason we celebrate Christmas is still fresh in my thoughts. The music that is part of the season is still whispering at the edges. I don’t want to hear Christmas music before Thanksgiving, but I will fudge a bit in January, not wanting to let go of that certain feeling you have at Christmas time. When I come across not one but two of my favorite songs, being sung beautifully together, and with the Piano Guys…well, I had to share with all of you! Tonight, as you make your way to church, think on this song. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGHUmpUu7Gw

Goodreads Giveaway!

It’s the Christmas Season and the time for giving. I shared this on Facebook and Instagram, but not with all of you. I’ve just opened my Instagram account, so still finding my way around there. I’m older, so stick with me, it takes a while to figure it all out. Only yesterday I discovered that I could link my group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/216963165342784/

to my author page on Facebook. It’s probably been available for months, or even years, but at least I have it now!

I’m having a giveaway on Goodreads! This is for my newest release and runs until the 8th of January…2018! Wow! It will take me a while to remember that year. Until about July I’m still functioning in the previous one. So, be sure to enter. To date, I’ve given away 18 books in giveaways on Goodreads. So check it out!

Follow this link to enter for a chance to win one of three signed copies of my newest release! https://www.goodreads.com/givea…/show/269283-when-love-grows

That also gives you time to read the first book in the series, When Hope Blooms. You may purchase the first book, or any of my books right here: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Ann-Dykem…/e/…/ref=sr_tc_2_0…

All books are available in paperback, or kindle editions on Amazon. If you purchase the paperback, the kindle edition is yours for free!

Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million (BAM), and Walmart also carry my books for online purchasing. Please share with all your book-loving family and friends, and remember…reviews are greatly appreciated! Merry Christmas Everyone!

When Love Grows Cover - 6.2 x 9.5 measurements I love the colors on this cover! Red is my favorite one, and it does remind me of Christmas colors.

From Shabby to Chic

I had made a goal to post every Tuesday. As you can see, that did not happen this past week. Home renovation projects have kept me very busy. They are going well, but very slow. But at least they are moving along.

There is something about the holiday season that gets me motivated to set the house in order. Maybe it’s the cooler weather, maybe the fact that I like the house to look nice for the decorating. At any rate, it’s that push I need to get it done. Kitchen renovation - 11-04-2017 (2)

This is a picture from early November. The wall cabinets had finally been moved thanks to one of our son-in-laws. Thank you, David! Those cabinets were original to the house, and very heavy. So far, they have held a lot of dishes and are still hanging! New paint color in kitchen - 11-16-2017

This is after painting the color on the walls yesterday. The white parts are where more cabinets are to go and the back splash. I put  20 hinges on the cabinet doors on Tuesday. That made for 100 screws, by hand. I don’t use power tools if I can help it. They really rattle my arms and joints. That is usually where the sons-in-law and our son come in. I rely on them for a lot!

I know I drive my family crazy with the home projects. I really like doing them from the standpoint of taking something old and shabby and making it beautiful again. I just don’t have the desire to live in a home project anymore. I guess I’m at the age where I want it done, and I can just use the kitchen for what it was meant for. I’ll post more pictures when the kitchen is finished…hopefully that won’t be too long!

This week also produced more progress made on my next release…When Love Grows! That is always exciting. My editor is now in the last stages of formatting and making everything look really pretty. Here is a sneak preview…

When Love Grows Cover - 6.2 x 9.5 measurements

If you enjoyed When Hope Blooms, you will love the continuation of Sybil’s story. She could be compared to my kitchen project. Taking something rather shabby on the inside, and making it beautiful. You may purchase When Hope Blooms right here: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Ann-Dykeman/e/B01B2BYPK6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1510855121&sr=1-2-ent 

If you are a Prime member, you can have the book by Monday. Books make wonderful Christmas presents as well. Be watching for When Love Grows on Amazon, very soon!

If you enjoy Women’s Christian Fiction, these stories are for you. I’ve had a lot of great feedback from them so far, and that’s wonderful to hear. People have loved the Rubyville series and getting to know the Barton women. Happy readers are very important to me! So make you, or someone you know very happy this holiday season by purchasing a Deborah Ann Dykeman book! I think you’ll be glad you did. Have a great Thursday!

Around the World…in seconds

Yesterday I had the most views here that I’ve ever had! How exciting! I love to see all those little flags lined up, showing all the places people visited from. Wondrous world that we live in!

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Thank you to everyone that stops by, reading my posts, liking and commenting. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you!

And I am just one ‘like’ away from 100 likes on my author Facebook page! That’s pretty exciting as well. Follow this link if you’d like to make it officially 100 likes and above.

https://www.facebook.com/deborahanndykeman

I know for some of you this is probably not a great accomplishment. I read your blogs and after only a few months, you have a couple thousand followers, and thousands of hits. It hasn’t been that way for me. I started this blog back in May of 2015, and it has grown, but it’s been slowly. It can be discouraging at times. You wonder what you’re doing wrong. I admit it’s been hard for me to know what to focus on here. I’m kind of out there with a lot of different stuff. So I’m thinking on that. But I have met some wonderful people…encouraging people, through this WordPress community. And it’s so much easier than sending a message in a bottle, hoping it lands in some faraway place! 😉

Thank you all for your support. If you have any tips on how to make this better…I’d love to hear them. Meanwhile, I’ll keep reading your posts and learn all that I can. Have a great Wednesday!

Sometimes It Hurts

It is a sad day at our house. The two babies, (the two kittens) my husband rescued, were taken to the Helping Hands shelter in Topeka, Kansas, where we pray they find good and loving homes. They were only with us for almost three weeks, but they became a part of our lives very quickly. I must be getting old, but the emotional upheaval is more than I can stand. 20205746_10207245748420537_865269655_o

I sincerely pray that loving families adopt them, and that they have a good life. At least we know that three weeks of their lives were better than what they would have been if my husband hadn’t found them.

Last Friday night, our older cat came to the back door to eat. Cassie was to be an indoor cat, and for the most part for much of her life she was. But she really enjoyed the outdoors, and she was a very savvy cat. She would jump to the garage roof when it was not safe in the yard, and observe whatever dog, skunk, or intruder from her perch. When I left for work at 5:30 am, if Cassie was outside, and on the roof, I woke my husband to walk me to the car. Something was not right outside. Cassie would greet us each time we arrived home, running to our car and waiting for us to open the doors, greeting us with a “meow!”.

The arrival of the kittens didn’t make her happy. At one time, she rarely stayed outside after we went to bed. She would obediently come in when called, sleep with our youngest daughter, usually under the covers, and then head out again in the morning. During the cold months, her time outside didn’t last long, and on really frigid days, her nose was all that peeked out. But with the kittens here, she preferred to eat outside, or quickly in the kitchen, and then she left.

Last Friday night was the last evening she came for supper. We have called and searched, and Cassie has not answered. She was born the November of 2006, and became part of our family around Christmas time. She was a good cat.

So, we lost not one, but three cats over the past couple of days. Our hearts are heavy, and sadness meets us each time we enter a room where they once played, or snuggled on the sofa. And for now, I don’t want to hurt like this again for any family pet. I’ve lost too many over the years.

Our youngest daughter is devastated of course. I can’t blame her, but it’s the reality of life. One that I don’t understand, one that I don’t want to live through again. At times like these, you think it best to not care for anything, not let your heart melt at the touch of a kitten on your toes, or the soft feel of their fur against your cheek. For if you care for no one, or about nothing, you have little to lose. Right?

This life is painful at times. Your heart is ripped from your chest, and wounds are tore open, left to bleed. The loss of a loved one or a family pet is never forgotten. But it does ease in time. Time softens the sharp edges of pain, and blurs the memory just a bit. And I’m thankful for that. Maybe someday another cat will share our home, maybe Cassie will still return. But for now, that sharp pain is there. And I don’t like it. This is Cassie, taken last autumn.14536809_10155389110863009_1992044396_o

Mood Music

Sometimes you need some music to set the mood. I have a PowerPoint I need to work on this week. Rather than get frustrated with my lack of knowledge where that program is concerned, I thought I would listen to some music to help ease the pain of inexperience. I found this on YouTube, and I’m pretty excited. The man’s name is Tim Janis. I had never heard of him before, which is not saying much. I don’t get out and around like I once did. If a child or a grandchild doesn’t mention it, or it doesn’t fall on my doorstep, I don’t hear about it. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much! I don’t generally watch the news, or listen to it on the radio. I don’t read a paper. Whatever I see or hear comes to me through the internet when I’m checking my e-mail or Facebook. They may not be the absolute best sources, but that’s what I do.

Tim Janis has been around for awhile. You may read about him here on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Janis. In my opinion, he sounds a bit like Enya and John Barry, kind of wrapped up together. Which is wonderful for me, because I’ve always loved their music. Out of Africa was a movie I really enjoyed, and a big part of it was the music from John Barry. (My husband thought it was wonderful music to nap to). Somewhere in Time was the first movie that I saw with his music, and I was enraptured. Our oldest daughter has the middle name of Elise because of that movie!

So no more talk, you can enjoy Tim Janis as well, right here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAFRD9hScmI

He has so many tracks you can listen to on YouTube. And they all have gorgeous photography to go along with it. I would love to just sit and watch, but that can’t happen today or I won’t get a thing done! Be sure to ‘like’ and subscribe to his channel. I don’t think you will be disappointed. And if you’re in the area, he will be performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City on December 1, 2017. He must be really good! 😉

Changing the Storyline of your own Life

I love the idea of a digital detox! Great read for those of you feeling a bit overwhelmed and needing a break.

And Then What?

Realising I was suffering from burnout I underwent a digital detox for a week. Feeling rejuvenated as a result, I took some time to step back and think about all the things that had led to my suffering from burnout in the first place.

All of the projects I am involved with are long term undertakings that will take time and effort over a number of months if not years to complete. As a perfectionist, I want to tie things up in a neat bow and then walk away. Sometimes that just isn’t possible and that’s a hard lesson to learn for a perfectionist to learn.

Long road Long road by Ozzy Delaney courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/q44Tc4 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

If you are an indie author running your business you don’t have a boss telling you it is time to leave the office. You are the boss and…

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Life Is Not Miserable

Flash mobs have always intrigued me. I think they are especially wonderful when they happen in everyday, mundane places like the local shopping mall, an airport or your library. I would love to be at my local library and have a group of people break into song! When the music is from Les Miserables, even better!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu6y1NhECGU

This world is so full of all the bad and the ugly. Our everyday life can be a struggle to just get to work, pay the bills and put food on the table. Little moments when people sing or play the piano, or any musical instrument, need to be appreciated. None of us are so busy that we can’t take a moment to appreciate the talents that God has gifted to people.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q22o3uXvb8c

These videos are shared from YouTube. I’ve shared them because of my appreciation for people’s creativity and musical abilities. Please be sure to check out their YouTube channels for more great music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwN2r8Lma_8

Clean Sheets to Sweat On

I would like to think that I’m a strong, survival-type person. In my dreams, I could have traveled the prairie, seeking a new home for my family. In those visions, I’m cheery as I sit beside my rugged husband, bumping over the rocky trail, just two ruts in the tall grass. I would be ready to jump from that wagon after a long day, gathering my children for the chores ahead. Building a fire and preparing our evening meal would be the perfect way to end another fruitful day of travel as we neared our destination. Sleeping under the stars, the wind whispering over my little world would lull me to sleep.

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In my dreams!

The reality is that I’m a bit spoiled. Yes, I am a hard-worker, and I could probably survive a lot. But there would be much complaining about the situation. As I sit here and type in my 80+ degree room, the hum of the fan behind me with sweat trickling down by back, I can’t even imagine what those pioneer women went through! I feel as though I’ve been traumatized by the fact that our central air needs to be replaced!

I need to be extremely thankful for all the years that central air plugged away for us. When we moved into this house almost eleven years ago, we knew the heating and air-conditioning unit was used and reconditioned. Each change of season, I’ve prayed that it would work, and it has with the exception of two times. Both times the air-conditioner needed charging, the second time last June. And it didn’t look good then. But, several thousand to replace everything is rather overwhelming. You kind of hope it will just all go away and a storm will go through, cooling everything down.

Well, that won’t happen here in Kansas. Not this time of year. We are looking at another three months or more of 90+ degree heat, every day until mid-September. And that’s when I begin to whine. A lot!

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So, I’ve been trying to focus on what I do have, versus those pioneer women. I have an actual home, not a soddy, or covered wagon. My home has windows that I can open and close. Each night I can take a cool shower in my very nice, remodeled bathroom. I don’t have to bathe in my mixing bowl, or walk to the creek watching for critters. When I’m clean and refreshed, I have clean clothes waiting for me that I’ve washed in my lovely front-loader, and dried in the machine right next to the washing machine. When we are hungry, we can go to our fridge and open the coolness within, and stand there breathing in that cold environment. I don’t have to cook over a cast-iron stove, or campfire unless I really want to, just for the fun of it. And if I’m really miserable and hot, I have a very nice car to ride in that has wonderful cold air.

When I think of it like that, I don’t have much to complain about. I have conveniences that women didn’t have one hundred years ago. I would like to think I could have survived those pioneer days. But I don’t know if I would have. Life was hard, and there wasn’t much time for whining. You just had to survive.

And tonight when I go to bed, I’ll try to remember that I have a bed to sleep on, not blankets piled upon the rocky ground. The mattress may be harder than I like, it may be stifling in the bedroom. But, I have a bed, and clean sheets to sweat on. Life is good!