Saturday, April 19, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Qualified Proverbs 31



Qualified - having the required skills, qualities, talents or accomplishments

18.  She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

We all have things to do during the day, whether it's work outside or inside the home.  Maybe we want to learn something new.  That seems to happen for a lot of adults in the evenings (or after the kids have gone to bed).  Maybe we want to improve a skill we already have.  That can be a new recipe, scientific research, writing a book, making a business plan.  We are only limited by the level of our desire to learn.

26.  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

Before we were married, my husband once asked me what I thought was the difference between ignorance and stupidity.  My response ran along the lines of, "Ignorance is the simple not knowing of a subject.  Stupidity is refusing to learn."

None of us come into this world knowing everything.  Precious few, if any, leave the world that way, either.  What we learn on the way, and what we do with that knowledge is a measure of living "a good life".  

Tell us a little today about a skill or talent that you have developed, improved or mastered, and how that made (makes?) you feel.  Have a great weekend!

~~~oOo~~~

(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to dictionary.com for the definitions, and to picmonkey.com for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Friday, April 18, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Productivity and Proverbs 31



Productive - being able to produce, generate and/or create an item or service

19.  She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

I have to admit that I could not have told you what a distaff was, so I looked up the definition.  (It is what the 'raw' fibers are attached to when spinning threads for weaving, knitting, etc.)

We all can be productive in whatever work we are given to do.  I know a young-ish man with profound autism.  Unless he was eating, bathing or being taken somewhere, he would sit in the same chair in the same corner of the living room all the time.  Then someone taught him how to feed papers into a shredder.  He fed those papers into the machine like it was the most important thing on the planet, and even learned to change out the bag.  Important, valuable work?  Well, we may not think so.  For the most part, I believe people are driven to create, to be useful, to feel needed.  But this man's work ethic would put many of us arguably more 'capable' folks to shame.

25.  Strength and honor are her clothing, and she shall rejoice in time to come.

Strength is the capacity to do our work, whatever it may be.  Honor is the invisible force compelling us to move from being able to do something to actually doing it.  If we are working on a project, and do not have a needed skill we can either: go out and learn it ourselves, or ally with someone who does have that ability.  If we need help to finish, it is better to ask for that help than to stew and leave the job incomplete.  It doesn't matter what our calling is, when we work it to the best of our ability, and complete it, we can look back with satisfaction on a job well done.  

Today is "toot your own horn day"!  Tell us of an experience where you were productive in an endeavor (professional, creative, family-oriented, etc.)  Have a great day!

~~~oOo~~~

(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to dictionary.com for the definitions, and to picmonkey.com for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Organization and Proverbs 31



Organized - to be or to cause to become neat and orderly.

21.  She is not afraid of the snow for her household:  for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

Wow...this is really close to yesterday's topic, isn't it?   But it's kind of like when you are at supper and someone asks you for the salt, you should hand them both the salt and the pepper.  Some things just naturally go better together.  

To be adequately prepared for winter, or when it snows, one must be prepared.  And it is a whole lot easier being prepared if one is organized.  Say you live in Tornado Alley.  Having a family emergency plan of what to do in case of a twister is practically a necessity.  All but the youngest family members (infants and toddlers) can have an assigned job.  It helps them to learn responsibility and fosters a sense of pride.  So if, God forbid, a twister does approach your house, the plan gets put into action and lessens some of the fear naturally associated with such natural disasters.

24.  She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

Someone who is sloppy and unorganized in business does not stay in business long.  If you don't deliver a product or service when you have promised, customers and potential customers will lose confidence in your abilities to supply their needs and look elsewhere.  

If you are particularly skilled at organization, you could make a business out of that talent.  There are innumerable people and businesses that could benefit from someone helping them to organize.  Practices and procedures can become more streamlined and everyone can breathe easier.  

Getting out of the hole of disorganization is not easy by any means, but the result?  Priceless.

How has being organized (or disorganized) affected your life, your business, your writing?

~~~oOo~~~

(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to dictionary.com for the definitions, and to picmonkey.com for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Neatness and Proverbs 31



Neat - habitually pleasingly clean and orderly


29.  Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

I don't think most people set out to do a bad job, or to be mean, or to give up.  Maybe some do, but those are not the people about whom I am talking today.  I'm talking about those of us who try, but sometimes do not reach our goal.  Maybe we are looking sideways at what our friends or competitors do, or have, rather than looking up to see our God.  It is human nature to try to "keep up with the Jones's", but I submit that it is more important that we make the best us that we can.  We can't do that if our inside selves and outside surroundings are in disarray.

31.  Give her the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

There's a reason we wear our "Sunday best" to worship services.  There's a reason 'casual Fridays' usually don't include hole-y jeans.  There's a reason we don't take glamour portraits after a hard day's work in the garden.  Now there's nothing wrong with an honest day's labor, no matter if it shows up on "Top 10 Paying Jobs" lists or not.  

I remember a line from a movie, "Chariots of Fire", where a father is advising his son and says, "You can praise the Lord by peeling a spud, if you peel it to perfection".  Those of us who write (and that's all of us, isn't it?) - do we turn in manuscripts with misspellings and jam smudges on the pages?  Uh, I hope not.  We turn in our best work, because we want it judged on its merits, not the cosmetic aspects.

So, as I am a poster child for the domestically-differently-abled, today I am asking for your tips on how to be neat, orderly and organized!

~~~oOo~~~

(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to dictionary.com for the definitions, and to picmonkey.com for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Maturity and Proverbs 31



Mature - fully developed in body or mind.

14.  She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

When you are young, your food is brought to you; when you mature, you go and get it.  Youth is the promise and possibility; maturity is the fulfillment and delivery of the promise.  Both need the other to function at optimum level.

15.  She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

Many women are intimidated by the archetypal "Proverbs 31 Woman".  What we've got to remember is that this is a woman with the resources available to be the wife of a king.  She does not have to get up on a cold winter morning when she is sick, to get her children breakfast and make sure they get off to school.  This is not to say that her life will be all ease.  She will still be judged on the smooth running of the king's household.

In the comments, please share a time when you "got down to business".  Have a great day!

~~~oOo~~~

(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to dictionary.com for the definitions, and to picmonkey.com for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Monday, April 14, 2014

BOOK REVIEW - Dyed and Gone by Beth Yarnall



SYNOPSIS:

Hairstylist Azalea March is looking forward to a wild weekend in Las Vegas with her friends. Oh, sure, they’re supposed to be there on business, attending the biggest hair show on the west coast, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a little fun. But fun quickly turns to drama. On the first morning of the show, Dhane, the biggest celeb of the hair-styling world, is found dead. As it turns out, Azalea’s friend, Vivian, not only knew Dhane, but the tale she weaves of how they met is faker than a showgirl’s uh… assets. When Vivian confesses to the murder and is arrested, Azalea knows there’s no way she could have done it and suspects Vivian may be trying to protect someone. But whom?
Azalea now has to convince Alex, the sexy detective from her past, to help her prove Vivian’s innocence and comb through clues more twisted than a spiral perm. But the truth is stranger than anything found on the Las Vegas Strip, and proving Vivian’s innocence turns out to be more difficult than transforming a brunette into a blonde.

MY REVIEW:
Being a devotee of the cozy mystery, I suppose I have a little mental checklist by which I rate my current read.  Here's how Dyed and Gone combs out:
Azalea March is a stylist/salon-co-owner, attending a big hair convention in Las Vegas.  She nurses her broken heart as only Vegas can accommodate.  All seems to be going well until a celebrity stylist winds up dead.  I don't want to give anything away, but let's just say it is in a way that could only be discovered at a hair convention/competition.
Zee's best friend and co-owner, Vivian, confesses to the murder, having been found in Dhane's (the dead man's) room.  James (Vivian's boyfriend) arrives in Las Vegas, with his friend Alex (a police detective and one of Azalea's semi-failed relationships) to see about getting Vivian out of jail.  
It was interesting to see the interaction between Azalea and Detective Kennedy of the LVPD.  One minute it's cold and business-like, the next it's like he is a second love interest (after Alex, in full on-again phase).  
As it turns out, Dhane had a sister, Trinity, who seems to have a tenuous connection to reality at best.  Now everyone is worried about what will happen to her, when another twist appears.  Not only did Dhane have a sister, but a wife as well!  
Before the end of the book, of course Azalea pokes her head in one too many doors and winds up riling a couple of people who have been smelling too much hair dye.  
But for the most part, our intrepid salon-owner has a heart of gold. Loyal to her friends, caring about and helping people who often overlooked by society and even doing nice things for irritating investigators.
There are more twists, turns and tangles in this easy to read cozy than in one show's worth of Cher's wigs!  (But weren't they FABULOUS!)
I would have liked to get a better sense of where the story was headed in the future or a more pronounced finality to the last scene.  But I am looking forward to the next installment of Azalea's story!  And I hope you will too!
~~~oOo~~~
AUTHOR INFORMATION


Best selling author, Beth Yarnall, writes romantic suspense, mysteries and the occasional hilarious tweet. A storyteller since her playground days, Beth remembers her friends asking her to make up stories of how the person ‘died’ in the slumber party game Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board, so it’s little wonder she prefers writing stories in which people meet unfortunate ends. In middle school she discovered romance novels, which inspired her to write a spoof of soap operas for the school’s newspaper. She hasn’t stopped writing since.
For a number of years, Beth made her living as a hairstylist and makeup artist and co-owned a salon. Somehow hairstylists and salons always seem to find their way into her stories. Beth lives in Orange County, California with her husband, two sons, and their rescue dog where she is hard at work on her next novel.



(Disclaimer:  I received an e-copy of Dyed and Gone from the author and publisher through Great Escapes Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.  My opinions are my own.  No other compensation was offered, requested, or received.)

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~~~oOo~~~


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#AtoZChallenge - Loyalty and Proverbs 31



Loyal - faithful to one's oath, commitments or obligations.


11.  The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

Do you know someone who always has your back?  How great is that?!?  I will venture a guess that we all have at least one friend who is loyal to us, and at least one to whom we are loyal.  This quality is essential in families as well.  It is how a parent can tell a child that they love them, even if they are angry with something the child has done.

12.  She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

When someone to whom you are loyal makes a mistake, in most cases you don't walk away and pretend like you don't know the person.  You walk with them through the valley.  Even if the wrong done crosses into the legal or criminal spheres, consequences will have to be faced, but you still want the best for the person.

Share with us today how you show loyalty or how loyalty has been shown to you!


~~~oOo~~~

(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to dictionary.com for the definitions, and to picmonkey.com for the ability to customize the graphics.)

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