Monday, March 8, 2010


Often my blog posts are about craft or the writing life, but today I thought it would be fun to chat about my favorite things. Oprah does not have dibs on favorites. I can’t afford to give the products like she does, but most of my favorite things are free.
Prayer—It boggles my mind that I can talk to God whenever I want. If you’re a talker like I am, then you know good listeners are hard to find. God is an attentive listener. I listen to Him too. Once in a while, He speaks to my heart in no uncertain terms. What a privilege prayer is.
Sunrises and sunsets—Our house faces east and west so except on overcast days, we’re gifted with gorgeous displays twice daily. My favorite sunrises and sunsets take place over water. Even the pond out back reflects the beauty. I’ve taken a slew of pictures of the rising and setting sun, but none seems to capture God’s awesome sky painting.
Oceans, lakes, rivers—viewing large bodies of water fills me with this amazing peace. And awe. We spend some time near the gulf in the winter and take walks along the beach. I drink in the sight of the ever-moving surf like a parched camel. Minus the slurping, of course.
Walks—I love nature and being outdoors. I usually walk with my husband. He’s on a mission and doesn’t like to stop or even slow down. This is exercise to him, but for me it’s exploration. A time to connect with him, nature, the dog down the street. LOL
Combine these favorites—A stroll along the beach at sunset captures a little piece of heaven on earth. Unpubbed Island goes mainland.
Love songs: I can’t imagine this world without music. My favorites are love songs. Rod Stewart’s classic love songs top the list. We enjoy dancing too. But we're no Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Creating: Scarves and afghans with knitting needles and yarn, art with colored pencils and paper, greeting cards with rubber-stamps and card stock, fictional people with my imagination and the computer. I’ve noticed writers often create more than books. God wired us to create.
Books: Books are near the top of my list of favorite things you can buy. And I hope you buy lots. LOL I love reading books. I love writing them. I love holding them. I love seeing them—coffee table books and a stack of paperbacks make a house feel cozy, lived in. Trust me our house looks very cozy. Having a book on bookstore shelves is a thrill! Seeing friends books on the shelf is great fun!
Last month I announced in Seekerville the release of my mail-order bride story The Substitute Bride. Where has the month gone? Tomorrow The Substitute Bride will be removed from Wal-Mart and grocery store shelves. Hey, maybe they all sold. Yep, I live in LaLa Land, a nice place. Visit me any time. If you want a copy of The Substitute Bride and don’t win today, its still available online at eHarlequin and Amazon and can be found and ordered at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-A-Million bookstores.
My Critique Partner, Shirley Jump—No way could I list my favorites without mentioning Shirley. We’ve been critiquing for 15 years. More than critique partners, we’re friends. I asked Shirley to name her favorite thing. I already knew her answer. Shoes! She wears all these fabulous five-inch heels. I marvel at how easily she moves around on those stilts. I look up to her. Literally. She’s already taller. Add another four inches and I’m getting a crick in my neck. Shirley’s women's fiction release from Harlequin Next, Around the Bend is in stores now. I love the cover of this fun mother/daughter road trip story. Look at the daughter’s shoes. So Shirley! Here’s a blurb:
Thelma and Louise they're not. First of all, Hilary and Rosemary Delaney are not friends—worse, they're mother and daughter.
Hilary's a wayward thirty-something running from a marriage proposal, and Rosemary's her disapproving mother, a retired lawyer who can't drive and won't fly. So they're driving together across country.
In a cherry-red Mustang.
With a potbellied pig named Reginald, and a life-size cutout of Rosemary's late husband.
Should be a fun trip. As the miles tick by, Hilary ponders why the word "marriage" has her so terrified and finds she's got a lot to learn—about her mother, love and life in general.
Together, Hilary and Rosemary will discover what's around the bend…if they don't drive each other crazy, or drive off a cliff first.
Shirley will give away a copy of The Other Wife from those leaving comments today.
Seekers and Seeker friends—in case you don’t know how important you are to me, let me make it clear. I am so blessed to have all of you in my life. Early on, I wrote in a vacuum. Not the Hoover variety, but alone with no one to share the ups and downs of the writing life. So thanks to Shirley, my fourteen Seeker Sisters and our special followers who bless me daily.
These favorites require an open wallet.
DeBrand chocolates—a hometown favorite that’s delicious. I indulge in Hershey Kisses more frequently, but DeBrand’s is a treat, especially their truffles. Yummy.
Vera Bradley bags—Vera Bradley originated in my hometown too. The owners started the business in a garage. Lots of imitators but Vera Bradley was first. They’re so well made they last for years. I’ve got garment bags, duffels, and cosmetic bags. Vera Bradley has an annual sale that draws thousands and golf and tennis events to raise funds for breast cancer research.
Beauty products—I love make-up. Wear it. Spend money on it. Can’t do without it. With all the different skin types, I won’t go into brands. Besides we don’t have all day. LOL I’ll tout two products I love: Eyelash curler—opens up the eye and makes the lashes look longer. Get a no-stick variety that doesn’t pull out your lashes. Highlighter pen—reflects the light and makes lines around the mouth and between the brows seem to disappear. Tip—apply under eyebrow arch to lift your eyes, your entire face. I could be in denial and it’s not a river in Egypt. LOL
Cleaning Products—I like anything that makes cleaning easier. I’m allergic and sensitive to fragrance so I want effective and odorless products. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser—this guy is my hero. Easy on the hands and like every great hero does what he promises. Swiffer dust mop: I dust the furniture with the Swiffer cloth then turn it over and attach it to the mop head and run it over our solid surface floors. It’s great at removing dust and hair but won’t pick up crumbs. Remove and toss in the trash. Couldn't be easier.
I asked my husband to name his favorite thing. He said, "You." That man is hilarious. He was afraid this was a trick question. LOL Then he said, "Titleist Pro V1x golf balls." He claims they’re the only golf balls he's used that will stop on the green. These are expensive to smack around the course and lose so he asks for them for Christmas and birthdays. Vince and Mel, if you’re out there, please don’t hesitate to pop in and tell us your favorite guy things.
I brought my breakfast favorites this morning—strong coffee, cheese blintzes with blueberry topping, apple fritters—crunchy on the outside, soft and sweet on the inside—and fresh fruit.
Share your favorite thing/s for a chance to win an autographed copy of The Other Wife and The Substitute Bride. Two winners today! Notice the shoes!
Please remember to give your e-mail address in @ and dot form. Thanks!
Blessings, Janet


  1. I really enjoyed this post! :)
    Some of my favourite things would be:

    books! Getting lost in the world of a good book never gets old!

    mascara! I have quite a few different mascaras... :)

    shoes! One can NEVER have enough cute shoes!! :)

    my computer! my iMac is... amazing... :)

    my Bible! I love reading God's Word and hearing Him speak through it to me. Hearing God's Voice whether in Scripture or otherwise is just plain awesome!! Nothing can match hanging out with God!!

    ...And that just is the tip of the iceberg of my favourite things! I could go on and on and on, but I'll stop at that! :)
    Thanks again!

  2. I love:

    My kids.
    My roommate.
    My piano.
    My computer.
    My books.
    Coca Cola!!!


  3. Awwww! Look at all those favorites! Wow. :-) I just can't believe you've already had a third book out!
    Congrats to Shirley too!

    Right now, off the top of my head, one of my favorite things is my new bookshelf. I've never had my own before and now I have all my books arranged on its shelves. It's so beautiful sometimes I go into the guest room just to look at it (and at the books). *grin*

  4. What a interesting post

    Some of my favorite things:
    my husband
    my family .... kids, grandkids and great granddaughter
    The Bible
    living in Arizona
    the ocean


  5. Good morning, Kim! Love your list of favorites! And so agree that nothing can match hanging out with God. Mascara is a favorite of mine too. Shoes, books. You and I think alike, gal. Mostly. I don't have an iMac computer, but users seem to love them.

    Thanks for sharing your favorites!


  6. Helen, you don't mince words. Love the list! How could I forget my family? LOL If you'd like coke in the morning, help yourself. There's a couple of the old-fashioned glass bottles in the fridge.


  7. Hi Jessica,

    Your new bookshelf sounds great! Too many books stacked around and cozy can become cluttered. Better yet your guests will have a supply of books at their fingertips. Are there any Seeker books on those shelves? :-)

    I'm awed you could limit yourself to one favorite. Makes me feel downright greedy. LOL


  8. Hi Jo!

    A great-granddaughter is a huge blessing! How old is she?

    Arizona is a long way from an ocean. You must get your ocean fix on vacation like I do. That's probably why it's special to us. I know people who live thirty minutes away from the gulf and rarely see it. Obviously it must not be on their list of favorites.


  9. Wow, Janet, I love almost all of the things on your list!

    I just love I can call up God and know I won't be put on hold or have to talk with customer service. I sent "God Tweets" daily, almost hourly, in fact.

    I love books, crafting--knitting, scrapbooking, stamping--beaches, sunsets, purses, but I'd also like to add my MacBook, too. Couldn't get by without my least by choice.

    Very fun post, Janet. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Hi there, Lisa!

    Love that you call those on-going prayers "God tweets." :-)

    I couldn't get by without my computer, but it drives me crazy upon occasion. One of those love-hate relationships. Probably shouldn't admit that lest it decides to seek revenge. LOL


  11. Morning Janet, What a fun post. And great way to get to know you better. I would have guessed most of those but there were some surprises. smile.

    One of my favorite things is food so thanks for the yummy blintzes. Cooking relaxes me and relieves stress. Guess that's why I love food so much.

    God,dh and family, the Bible, Bible study classes, animals, hiking, my comfort bicycle, camping, denim, and books of course. And best of all, my friends, especially my Seeker sisters.

  12. Janet,

    What a great way to start off a Monday!

    My family, especially my new little granddaughter.
    York Peppermint Patties
    My church family who doesn't care how bad you sing as long as you sing!


    RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

  13. Great list, Sandra! Cooking doesn't relax me but eating sure does. :-) I knew animals would be on yours. Denim too. I'm not a big fan of jeans. The snap digs a hole to China. Or so it feels.


  14. I'm with you, Rose--grandchildren are the best! Congrats on your new granddaughter.

    I love lilacs too, but their fragrance is too strong for my sensitive nose. I used to love to bring lilacs and peonies inside. No more. Sigh.


  15. A few of my favs: jewelry (I'm the Queen of Bling!); shoes (ADORE those 4" heels); books;('nuff said); praise and worship; (Praise God from whom all blessings flow); sitting on my back deck watching the birds at our bird feeders (tweet tweet). OK - so I'm on this new vitamin regimen and I'm just a little hyper!! ;)

    "These are a few of my favorite things" I'm singing as I type! ;)

  16. Oh, Janet, what a relaxed, fun post!! Perfect for a cloudy Monday in Missouri!! And you know what? I feel SO much closer to you now, as if we just spent the morning talking over coffee! It's so nice to get a deeper peek into a good friend I already love by reading about her favorite things!

    At the risk of sounding like Julie Andrews, some of my favorite things are not raindrops on roses, but raindrops on lilacs!! :) There's a memory that goes along with that, which is often what makes some of our favorite things our favorite things.

    Other favorite things include cinnamon hazelnut coffee in my special GWTW mugs on weekends (especially my Rhett cup! Sigh). Cabernet shimmering scarlet in the light as it glazes the sides of my gold-rimmed, globe-like wine glasses Keith gave me for Christmas. Watching JAG in a warm bed on a cold night with my husband. Books that pull me inside the pages and never end. Old romantic movies where love scenes fade to black. And the most important thing? A nine-Kleenex prayer/worship time with God, when I almost feel as if I can touch His face.

    Sigh. This was a wonderful way to kick off the week, Janet -- thank you!


  17. Whiskers on kittens
    brown paper packages, tied up with string...

    oh. Wait. :)

    Thanks! What a great way to start the day, week, rest of the month and year.

    These lists are great. Here's a few more:

    Jesus Christ.
    Why anyone would die for me is a mystery, and yet He did. And because of this incredible sacrifice, by the only perfect person who ever lived, we all can spend eternity with God in Heaven. IMAGINE THAT!!!!!!!

    We are BLESSED to live in America, the greatest land there is (with apologies to the Canadians and Aussies and others who are here!). I thank God often for the blessing to have been born here. I'm thankful for our freedom and that there are those who continue to stand between us and harm's way. So thank you to our military and first responders, and to their families.

    Health - blessed to have good health and working to keep what I have. We have friends and family who have lost theirs, and it is a struggle.

    God, in His infinite wisdom and with a great sense of humor, has blessed me with the MOST amazing husband. Wow. He is a gift.

    And I'm especially thankful of late for finding Seekerville. It's a special, special place.

  18. Janet, will you be my best friend? You sound so wonderful! Seriously, you and the other Seekers just need to come and live in my neighborhood. But I don't think I'd ever get any writing done. Maybe that's why when we get to heaven we won't care about writing! We'll be too busy talking to each other!

    If I don't win your book, I'm definitely going to order it. Can't wait to read it!

  19. I loved your post today Mrs. Dean it was just to fun.
    My favorite things Well the first few would have to be The Lord, my Bible, and Prayer, and I agree with you there is something so special about prayer that he would even take the time to look down out of heaven, and see someone as wretched as I am I can't explain, but that He wants to TALK to me and. HEAR from me, and that He LOVES me Wow!! that just puts me in so much awe!:)

    I love makeup and I mean I really love it. so much so that I sell it!:)
    I need Your email address so you can give me all your makeup tips:)LOL!
    I love Lindor milk chocolate truffles with the peanut butter center YUM!
    My Jack Russel her name is sugar because she is solid white and so sweet!:)
    Books I could not live without them they make the world a better place!:)
    And shoes oh shoes one of the pure joys of life!:)
    Great post today I really enjoyed it!

  20. Janet, My husband and I went to a 50th wedding anniversary on Friday night and they played this long, long slide show with all the pictures of their lives.

    I've seen this type of things many times but maybe never at a 50th anniversary. I was so struck by watching their fifty years unfold. These aren't rich people. They've worked hard all their lives. Meat packing plants (both of them) the county road crew, cleaning houses.

    They are, to me, the story of America. Hard work, a commitment to each other, love of family.

    It was really beautiful. Their three kids were there. Five grandkids. Their first great-grandchild. All of this played across that screen.

    And there they were, they'd made it. I'll bet there were times it wasn't that easy. Not because I've ever heard that about them but because it's the truth for all of us. Some times things are rough. Sometimes it'd be easy to go than it is to stay.

    But you can watch those pictures and know that if they'd done it any other way, they wouldn't have created the home and family and legacy they have today.

    They ended that slide show with him (he's retired but he has a small business plowing snow and he bought the fanciest ATV you've ever seen to plow with-it has a cab and looks like a miniature pick-up truck. He's sort of famous for driving that monster ATV around town)
    And the still pictures turned to a movie and after every sentimental country western song imaginable, the last song was 'She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy. With pictures of them riding around on that 4-Wheeler. The whole place just laughed their heads off.

    So, I'm claiming that for a favorite thing. Long marriages, family, memories, friends, all set to great music.

  21. After that long, sentimental walk down memory lane...

    Favorite things
    Tetley's Earl Gray Tea with the drawstring bags.
    Master's Hand Candles, current favorite scent, Treasures of Tuscany
    Apricot Torte from the Lithuanian Bakery in Omaha, NE
    A meal with all my girls there. I figured out pretty early on, I'm proud of that, that they were going to grow up and leave me and I learned to treasure moments when they were all together.

  22. Isaiah 40:31 It reminds me of my dad.

  23. I love paper. Expensive paper with a fiber content especially but I love the high white printer paper. I love newsprint. I love when a sheet of paper comes out of the Xerox machine still warm and I always think, "Hot off the presses."
    I love stationary, at Christmas I love buying paper to print up my Christmas card letter with pretty boarders.
    A new spiral notebook. Sticky notes.
    I've always loved the feel and look of paper.

  24. Great post and I loved how the things of God are at the top of your list!

    Just a couple of my favorites...

    ~God/ Jesus Christ
    ~Knitting (except last night when I made a big mistake and had to wrip it out. Grrr)
    ~Seekerville. :)
    ~My blogs

    Thanks for chance to have more books. :)


  25. Ditto everyone else. (God, Bible, husband, kids, books, books, books.) But right now I'm grateful for my Kindle, which allows me to keep buying books even though I don't have any more room on my bookshelves.

  26. Books, crocheting, hiking, cat, my church and the youth kids I work with!
    Fun post!

  27. What a fun, uplifting way to start the week -- though I fear that Julie Andrews singing "These Are My Favourite Things" inside my head might set me off the deep end soon if she doesn't pipe down. LOL.

    Books and bookstores would be on the top of my list. And...I'm so excited -- I got your book "The Substitute Bride" and finished it last fact I stayed up a bit late to get to "The End".

    I managed to get a pile of seekerville author books and they're tospy-turvy on my nightstand (the books not the authors!). So that's another favourite of books just waiting to be read. (You can see that I have a book theme going with my favourites).

    I enjoyed your book, Janet. You pulled me in with the concept and your characters and from the first time Ted and Elizabeth meet there's sizzle. I'm still trying to figure out how you did that. I love reading a book where I feel that connection and it's there in every chapter even if you don't really get them together until the end.

    And I felt like I was there right along side Elizabeth, struggling to work things out (though not as forgiving as she was...I was -- and still am-- so mad at her father!) So I guess I needed that message of forgiveness.

    Another thing I liked was the way you intertwined Ted's faith into the story. There's nothing more attractive than a strong man who realizes it isn't a weakness to rely on the Lord. And what I really, really, really loved was that it wasn't preachy. You obviously wrote the book with a storytelling in mind, not preaching but that doesn't mean you weren't successful in uplifting this reader (and making her think about what forgiveness really means. pout!)

    Okay -- I've rambled on enough. But thanks for providing me with a good read. Hope you have another out soon. I can't believe "The Substitue Wife" is already off the shelf after only a month!

  28. my favorite thing is Jesus, then my family. But my worldly thing I like best are books, I love to look at my shelves and see all of them sitting there, they are my friends.

    I take care of them as I did my children, don't bend the spines any more than I can help, take off the cover when reading a hardback book, don't bent or write on the pages.


  29. We share many favorites, Edwina. Including "Sound of Music." :-) I enjoy bird watching too. I'm into eagles right now. Not that I'd want them hanging around songbird feeders! We've seen a pair down here in Florida and back home in Indiana too. Florida eagles are smaller, but still huge.

    Vitamins make you hyper? What kind are you taking? I might like some. :-)


  30. Julie, hon, all of your favorites sound romantic. Why am I not surprised? :-) Your time with God this morning reminded me of my own teary session. Sweet tears.

    GWTW mugs filled with strong coffee would be a great way to kick off the day. Where did you get them? LOL

    Hugs, Janet

  31. Hi, first time poster here. Great topic.

    My favorite thing is to cuddle up with my nine year old daughter. She loves to have me play with her hair, and love doing it.

    I love going to the gym with my husband. We do our own things there, but while I'm shooting baskets, he'll walk the track above me, and call down to me. Other times, he'll sit in the hot tub while I'm swimming.

    As far as material things, the coolest invention ever is the SwimP3. I can swim to the music!

  32. KC, your list of blessings is heartfelt and right on! I was thinking favorites so didn't list all my blessings. I'm feeling pretty shallow. Thanks for the reminders of what really matters in this life and the next. And thanks for the kind words about Seekerville.


  33. OMGoodness this post and all the comments just left a lump in my throat. Because, like all of you, my favorite things are God's gifts to me: Jesus' sacrifice, His Holy Spirit that speaks to me non-stop (especially when I don't want to listen!) & this beautiful world He created. !!! Especially the moon & stars on a clear winter night, with their lights sparkling against that blackest particular favorite. Especially if my honey's keeping me warm!
    I'm a girly girl too,& I love it all: makeup, shoes, bling..., but one of my favorite things is tooth whitener! I drink coffee & tea, hot and cold, & so I need those strips! I love TAB also, but I've drastically reduced my consumption.Bonus: if you've got your teeth wrapped up in a whitening strip, you can't eat as much!LOL!
    Facebook is a favorite, since it's put me back in touch with family I haven't seen in almost 30yrs, & my new great nephew born last week.
    Seekerville is my favorite blog, because you ladies teach from the heart, and from being there, doing that, and steering me towards the better path.
    And the food's good too.Love ya'lls coffee.
    Thank you for a wonderful post Janet!

  34. Aw, Melanie, you're terrific!!! Isn't it great how the Internet makes us all neighbors no matter how far apart we live?

    We won't write in Heaven? Hadn't really thought about it, but I suppose not, what with living with the greatest Author of them all.

    Thanks for buying a copy of The Substitute Bride if you don't win. Sales make me smile. You know I'll be buying your book. How long has it been since I judged the manuscript and I've never forgotten it?


  35. Lindsey, I'm with you! I'm continually amazed that God is the lover of my soul!

    You sell makeup? Then you should be giving me the tips!!! Isn't it fun that makeup shares the list with puppies, books and chocolate? We ladies know what lifts our spirits.


  36. You're so sweet, Janet.

    Oh, and I didn't list any of my favorites. One thing I really love, and I have this in common with Beth Moore, is women. I just love my sisters. I don't have any biological sisters, but I love laughing with my soul sisters. :-)

    And Lindor dark chocolate truffles. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Wish I didn't love food so much.

  37. Mary, now you're making me teary-eyed again! Fifty years with my husband... I'm greedy, I want more. Thank you, God, for that man!
    And for everyone who commits to their marriages and families. As to the music--"Unchained Melody" and "Unforgettable" come to mind.


  38. Thanks for getting practical, Mary, and helping me pull myself together. I've never tried drawstring tea bags! I want to, especially Earl Gray, my favorite tea. Trouble is tea is second to coffee. Tea is my afternoon pick me up. Coffee arm wrestles me awake. LOL Coffee should've been on my list. But I had to stop somewhere.

    You must have a blast with your girls! I love our daughters' husbands and our grandchildren, but mother and daughter time is precious indeed!


  39. Mary, how sweet that the precious promise of Isaiah 40:31 reminds you of your dad.


  40. Mary, my d/h, a frugal man, doesn't understand why I'd pay for white and bright printer paper when I'm just going to scribble all over it, and then throw it away. It's good to know I'm not alone.


  41. Tetley's must have created the drawstring bag. It's an amazing invention.

    The world should beat a path to their door.

    But it's hard to find. I buy mine online.

  42. Favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

    2nd favorite book--a very close second: A Lantern in her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich.

    Favorite pure fun book: Mischief by Amanda Quick

    Favorite song: If I Stand by Rich Mullens

    Favorite Movie: While You Were Sleeping starring Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman

  43. Hi Casey! What are you knitting? Sorry you had to rip out stitches. That's not fun!

    I've been hearing about your Operation Encourage a Writer Blog from Julie. Sounds like it could be a favorite!


  44. Kathryn, I can see lots of advantages of a Kindle but I'm not crazy about the idea of looking at more screens. And I'd miss holding books. But the convenience is great!


  45. Wendy, bless you for working with youth! You're pouring yourself into what really matters and really into the future of this country. Thanks for that!


  46. Kav, you've made my day! My week!! Hey, my month!!! Thanks for all the sweet things you said about The Substitute Bride and Elizabeth and Ted!!! Glad you felt the sizzle between those two. Nothing is sweeter to an author's ears than to hear a book impacted a reader without coming across as preachy. Bless you!!

    I'm sure all Seeker authors love being topsy-turvy on your nightstand!!!


  47. Janet,

    I've never understood what it is with women and bags. My wife probably has ten bags in the closet that she's never used.

    Concur with your husband on the golf balls. Titleist golf balls bite better than any other golf balls I've used.

    Please don't include me in the drawing as I already have a copy of The Substitute Bride. Thanks.

  48. Hi Edna, I treat my books like friends too. No turning down pages or breaking their spines. Or at least I did until I started writing. I've written in a few. Mainly underlining passages that show me how an author hooked me or made me sigh or cry. But I have remorse about it. LOL


  49. Welcome, Mary! Thanks for taking the plunge and commenting. I'm impressed that most of your favorites mean you're keeping in shape. I need to work out. Time is a huge issue but also an excuse. We accomplish what we make up our minds to do.

    Playing in your daughter's hair reminds me of my mom. When she'd talk on the phone--this is back when phones tethered us--I'd sit at her feet and she'd run her fingers in my hair. Thanks for the memory. Your daughter is blessed to have a cuddling mom.


  50. Pamela, thanks for your sweet words about Seekerville!!!! Where would we be without all of you?

    Yay for starry nights and teeth whiteners!!! Bright feels right. LOL Keeping them that way is the problem. The teeth, not the stars. LOL Some gals drink through straws to prevent staining, but I can't imagine doing that with coffee. Might melt the straw.


  51. Melanie, I don't have a sister so I treasure my girlfriends. Soul sisters for sure! Isn't Beth Moore awesome? God has given her a gift!


  52. Thanks for sharing the specifics, Mary. I've never read A Lantern in her Hand or Mischief. More books to add to my TBR list!


  53. Hey, Janet, got the mugs as a gift from a good friend ... along with a GWTW purse, wallet, figurines and cardboard cut-out of Rhett and Scarlett. :)


  54. Hi Walt!

    So golf balls bite? I've wondered why my game stinks. No wonder I struggle with my swing. I'm afraid of them. Thanks for a new excuse. :-)

    I love shoes but find it easier to buy purses. I bought this adorable summer purse but have nothing to go with it. So it'll either sit in my closet or I'll have to go shopping. Have your wife give me a call. I'll help her get those purses out of her closet. LOL


  55. Ah, Jules, how large are these cardboard cutouts? LOL Makes me think of Shirley's road trip book.
    Your friend knows and loves you. I've got a GWTW Christmas ornament. Love it!


  56. Well now I'm all ver klempt...

    What a lovely, lovely post that just hit the 'awwww' factor of my heart like a bulls-eyed arrow.

    But way sweeter. Thank you, Janet for a reminder to be grateful, to give thanks, to give praise. Just wonderful stuff, honey, and I'm smiling to read and picture all of these comments.

    And not a snark among 'em.

    Just for today I'm going to leave it that way and NOT SAY A THING about how much space Mary's taking up or if that's freudian or not...

    Or how many things are her favorite because doesn't the very word favorite come with some sort of numerical delineation??? Sheesh, Connealy.

    Give other people a chance, won't you????


    Mary, I loved your story (in all seriousness for a minute...) of the 50th anniversary party. Oh my stars, how fun to ride on that 4 wheeler behind the man of your dreams fifty years later and still laugh. There's a dream come true!!!


    I'm eating blintzes, sipping tea and smiling.

    But I am going out to buy more teeth whitener. Great reminder!!!


  57. I'd like everyone on this blog to read A Lantern in her Hand, then report back to me.

    You know I'm not a crier and this book just makes me cry like a lunatic. Like for three days.

    It's very wise and sweet. I haven't read it for a while simply because I don't want to cry that hard again.

  58. You forgot to list the smell of books! LOL! I love the smell of a new me there's nothing better! I'll admit the first thing I do when I enter a library or book store is take a deep breath! I guess that's another reason why I will probably never own a Kindle. :-P

    As for some of my other favorite things I absolutely love a nice Mustang (so you know I want to be entered to win Shirley's book)! Are there any books out there where the hero drives a Mustang? If so it would be an automatic favorite of mine LOL!

    Of course I love my collie and the Steelers too! ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee

  59. Ruthy, you almost left snarky at home. Almost. :-)

    So aren't you going to share your favorites?


  60. Hi Renee,

    I'd forgotten the scent of a new book. Like Mary says, hot off the presses.

    A Mustang is a nifty car. And in my mind should be red like the Mustang in Around the Bend. I love red. Another favorite. :-)

    For you, Renee, the Steelers go without saying. Nice that you have two of your favorites in your comment photo. :-)


  61. Thanks for making me reflect Janet.

    Just a couple things I love.

    My husband of course.

    The soft downy hair and the smell of a new born baby.

    Puppy breath

    Walking in the rain. Singing and stomping in puddles.

    Catching earthworms with my grandchildren.

    Sitting on the couch in silence cuddling with my hubby.

    Playing with my grandkids.

    Hugging my sons.

    A cup of hot tea, done English style.

    Walking in fresh new snow.

    Reading a good book.

    Sitting next to the fire on a cold day.

    Mountain lakes in the sunlight that look like crystal glass.

    Peanut butter and honey on toast.

    A good pair of jeans.

    Catching a dream.

    Getting together with my sisters.

    Seeing old friends, making new ones.

    A good laugh... a good cry.

    Finding a mistake in taxes that leans in my favor.

    Anyway, I could go on, but there's a few.

  62. We have so many things in common that we love besides books, Janet--sunrises and sunsets, walks, oceans, and of course, chocolate! My favorite would be a walk on the ocean shore with my hubby at sunset while savoring a bit of chocolate! I'd love to win either of these books. thanks for the chance. crmcc at setel dot com

  63. LOL I guess I need to get my Mustang out, put the top down, and get a picture of Coco and me in our Steelers garb reading a book so all of my favorites are in my pic! :-P

    XOXO~ Renee

  64. Janet,
    Let me start off by saying, wonderful post! Bravo! I could listen to you *talk* anyday : )

    My favorite things:
    Books! How'd you know this would be on my list *wink*

    Friends, Family, and Blogger friends (yes, you get your own title) - I wouldn't be nearly as sane as I am today without my supporters that surround me.

    Surprises - Nothing like a good 'ol surprise now and then.

    Music - I have been playing piano for 13 years, I participate in the school musicals, and I am in the school choir and jazz choir. I LOVE music! I have a huge amount of respect for musicians (much like authors) because they're so brave and hard working to get a finished product like a song or album out in the world for everyone to hear.

    In addition to music, my iPod! - I cannot live without my iPod, I swear I couldn't!

    My arthritis - I know, I know...why would anyone be thankful for arthritis in a teenager!? However, it has allowed me to become more in tune with myself and my body. I have learned how to cope with bad situations. I have found out how strong I really can be. Ultimately, I feel it has made me a!

    Okay, I'll stop rambling *wink* Those are just a couple/few ideas. However, I think everyone here could talk about this subject forever!

  65. Hi Janet:

    My favorite things are things I’ve done when others said that I should wait and that acting now would be a mistake. For later is a liar. Later is a land where the rules have changed – and not in your favor. Later is an auction where treasured items are now called clutter and put in boxes for the highest bidder.

    My favorite things are things I didn’t say when I could have said them and been a hero; because those were times when winning the battle meant losing the war and somehow I knew this -- when others didn’t.

    My favorite things are things I said to cheer an outsider, so unexpected, so well accepted – it cost me little, just disapproval – a disapproval which now cheers my soul.

    My favorite things are not objects but actions. I am a man and thus I act. For I’m not what I think.
    I am what I do.

    It’s a guy thing. : )

    In the end, it’s what we’ve done.
    It’s what we’ve done.

    And now I’m done.
    A writer’s end.

    In a moment: I’ll begin again.



    Vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

    (my ebook reader ate my copy of, 'The Substitute Bride'. ;( )

  66. Great post! Your books sounds like they will be a great read! Some of my favorite thing are Books, chocolate, quilting, family! Please enter me!


  67. What an interesting post! On such a almost spring day (here), it was so relaxing to read! I would love to win either of the to read. Thanks!!!

  68. This reminds me of one of my daughters and her 'Reverse Bucket List'

    All the things she's committed to NEVER DOING. Once in a while she'll see someone do something and say, "That's going on my reverse bucket list."

    Swimming with the sharks.
    Running with the bulls.

    I'm thinking of starting my own reverse bucket list.

  69. Hi Janet,
    What a fun post!!! So many fun things!
    My niece and her adorable smile,
    My nephews jokes (he is only four and they always end with "on his head" which cracks me up everytime)
    Musical theater,
    A love story,
    Snuggling up with a warm blanket on a cold day,
    Hot fudge sundaes,
    fun socks,
    Sonic's slushies,
    Okay I'm getting too carried away, back to the WIP. Thanks for the fun post Janet,

  70. i always enjoy your postings :)


  71. Janet:

    Went to the Bluff today. Had my wedding rings cut off. (Lost the main stone and couldn't get them off for repairs.)

    But then the day got better. Went over to the Super Center and picked up a copy of Winter's End!!!


    P.S. You're right on with those bottles of Coke. I'll have one now please. I never drink it from a can or plastic. Always pour it over ice in a glass.

  72. Fun post, Janet! I had to go look right away at the Vera Bradley site. Looks like there's a shop not far from me that carries a lot of her designs--yay!!!

  73. dont enter me I have your book thanks!
    My favourite things.
    my autograph bear (a bear with autographs from my cricket team in australia)
    I too love sunrises and sunsets.
    I love seeing nature when I go on trips.
    love going to the zoo
    Love going to the cricket.

  74. I have your marvelous book, thanks! (favorites: Love Inspired Historicals) but I couldn't help coming late to this. My favorites are listed all over this blog! LOL. I didn't realize how much I like.

    A few things I didn't see listed were crayons, kids' questions, and rings (I love all 3 of these things.)

    One of my favorite things is sleep. Deep, trouble-free, peaceful, restful sleep. Not just my own sleep (though I relish a good nap!) but also the sleep of others, for example a baby who rests comfortably after illness.

    Books, oh, my, I could go on...Great post! (On one of my fav blogs!)

  75. Hi Tina! Ah, the scent of a newborn baby. Wish someone would bottle that! I can't wear regular perfume...that allergy thing... but I could wear baby any day. Though folks might wonder...

    Puppy breath? Really? Maybe I'm remembering doggy breath. Earthworms and getting wet? Happy for you. I hate getting wet. But hugs and cuddling, now you're talking! Good we're not all alike.


  76. Hi Rose, we're soulmates. Why didn't I think to take chocolate on that sunset stroll along the surf with my husband? I know! We get an ice cream cone first. Guess what flavor I get? :-)


  77. Renee, you actually have a Mustang! The picture of you and all your favorites would be perfect!


  78. Hannah, you're a sweetie! You and God like to listen to me. :-)

    Wish I had your musical talent. I love to sing. And I'm loud. I've had a couple pewsitters turn around and look. What's up with that? LOL Congrats on working hard at yours. Our daughters were in choir and school musicals. I admire anyone who is brave enough to use the talent God gave them.

    I didn't know about your arthritis. Proud of you for making lemonade from your lemons. I've got arthritis in my thumbs and it acts up once in a while so I know it's not fun. God bless you.


  79. Vince, thanks for your lovely list of favorites. I'm going to print your comment. You're a thinker, a wise man. And a kind man with the heart of a poet.

    You'd told me you were going to download The Substitute Bride in January. I heard nothing. Not a peep. That scared me after your wonderful reviews of my previous books. What a relief to know you haven't read it yet!!!! How often does an author say that???? LOL


  80. Virginia, my mother quilted. I respect the work involved and the gorgeous quilts that result. I tried it but I stabbed my finger often and bled on the fabric. I decided there were easier ways to give myself pain.


  81. We love readers in Seekerville, Jackie! Thanks for your interest in The Substitute Bride and Around the Bend. Lots of chuckles in both but some truths too.


  82. Mary, a reverse bucket list would make an hilarious post! Do it!


  83. Heather, hot fudge sundaes are wonderful! Mmmm. Now I want one! The only ice cream in the house is Skinny Cows. Wonder if I melted them in the microwave if I'd get anything similar? Hope the book comes along nicely!


  84. Karen K, you couldn't have said anything nicer. :-) Thanks!


  85. Ouch, Helen! Not fun, I'm guessing that pinched. Sorry you lost your stone!

    Your glass of coke is iced and waiting on the counter. I like to drink out of the old fashioned bottles. Makes me feel young. LOL


  86. What an awesome post.


    I would watch sunrise and sunset over Flathead Lake, Montana every single day for the rest of my life if I could.

    Books. Especially fiction and cookbooks and cottage decorating books.

    Germaine Copelands prayer books.

    Dark chocolate.

    Peppermint patties (bought 2 today)

    Legal pads and mechanical pencils.


    Bazooka bubble gum.

    Quilts. Faded old quilts.

    Mugs. I have way too many. I love mugs.

    Stop me. Stop me.

  87. Reverse bucket list.
    Oh wow. What a great idea!!! Please! Write it up!!

    Tina - I have 2 jars of my Grandmother's buttons. :)

    This has been such an uplifting post. A real treat to enjoy today.

    Vince - I enjoyed your posting so much I quoted you on my FB page a few minutes ago. Outstanding, as always.

    Y'all have a great evening!

    Cheers to Seekerville!
    (I have to go. It's about time for 24...)

  88. Loved reading this today, Janet!

    My favs?
    Coffee in the morning.
    Watching the sunset.
    Sitting on the beach and having the surf lap against my toes.
    Babies, especially those in my family! :)
    Good friends...Seekers top the list!
    Sitting with the Lord.
    My hubby, a good man who loves me -- lucky woman, right?
    Typing The End on a manuscript.

  89. Hi Myra, How nice you have a shop that carries Vera Bradley nearby. Wish you could come to the annual sale. There's some great deals, especially on discontinuted designs.


  90. I think one favourite thing I for got was

    good online friends. many I have never and will probably never meet here on earth but without I may have gone mad. they have been there with all the problems with mum,last years eviction etc. and are still there when I need them. When I feel down there is always a post or note that will pick me up.

  91. Hi Jenny! How fun that you have the autographs of your cricket team! Do you get to attend all the games?

    Holland, Michigan has a Tulip Time festival in May. Millions of tulips are planted everywhere. It's breathtaking.

    Zoos are fun! I especially enjoy the elephants and giraffes.


  92. OMG, Janet! I could've used this post at the beginning of my day rather than the end : )

    I love all the gorgeous stuff you mentioned, except maybe the make up, never learned how to handle the stuff. But I"ll agree with you that Dale is the best, and I've been walking with him...yes, he's on a mission, LOL!

    I love to smell the air after a rainstorm, especially now that I'm on allergy shot and CAN smell things : )

    I love the water and vacationing on a lake or near the ocean is my favorite trip. Then, I return home and drink coffee out on our deck and gaze at the mountains. I think God had fun putting the world together : )

    And chocolate. I love Lindor dark chocolate at Christmas. I'm sure the sparkling wrapping has something to do with the joy I have in twisting open the cellophand and popping the ball of delicious in my mouth, but really, beauty is not the same as heavenly taste, LOL!

    Thanks for the great reminder to sit back and give thanks for our wonderful world, Janet!!!

  93. Mary! I want to visit your Lithuanian bakery!! Yumbola. Let's see, Omaha is only about 10 hours away...I might surprise you some day : )

  94. Janet, what a beautiful post!

    Renee, my real life hero hubby drives a Mustang GT! :)

    Tina P., I, too, love puppy breath (not doggy breath. there's a big difference! LOL) and the sweet scent of a babie's head!

    Tina R., I love mugs, too! Do you have a Life is Good mug yet?? You HAVE to get one. They're the best. Like an old fashioned diner type--thick and heavy. I have two and rotate them. I never use anything else now. :)

    Other favorite things:
    --time with my family, of course.
    --Having my son home from college so we're all together.
    --dinner on the balcony at the beach, overlooking the Gulf.
    --a good book that I can't put down that makes me laugh and cry.
    --dinner and a movie with girlfriends
    --Makeup! Especially my Mary Kay Ulitimate mascara and Bare Minerals Natural lip gloss (that tastes a bit like chocolate and Krispy Kreme!!).
    --comfy sweatpants and a tee shirt
    --shopping for a new purse (this is my daughter's least favorite thing, by the way. She hates getting stuck while I shop!)
    --My four-legged babies
    --having the sunroof open in my car (like today!!)
    --Music. All kinds.
    --being invovled in a Beth Moore Bible study with a group of wonderful women
    --American Idol :)
    --Watching Castle--love the show!!
    --eating out

    Oh my gosh, I could go on and on. Thanks, Janet, for making me take time to be grateful. :)

  95. Crystal, great to see you! I'm glad you enjoyed The Substitute Bride and that Love Inspired Historicals are favorites.

    You've given an interesting list.

    New crayons are the best. Remember how much fun it was to get a new box? The bigger the better.

    To get a great night's sleep every night is a dream of mine.

    Our girls "Why?" phase got old in a hurry. But they did ask and say the cutest things. Your blog
    When I was a Kid is such fun!



  96. Tina! Your list is such fun! I love quilts, mugs. I have an old fruit jar filled with buttons. I'll have to check out the other favorites on your list. I'll admit I'm not big on Peppermint patties, but Rose likes them too.


  97. KC, you'll probably faint so sit down before you read on.

    I've never seen 24.


  98. Debby, You're the only writer who mentioned typing "The End" as a favorite. Any authors out there who hate to finish a book they're writing?


  99. Thanks, Jenny, for sharing the value of friendship, especially online friendships. Hope this is a far better year for you!


  100. LOL Missy! I need to find a "real life hero" who drives a Mustang GT! My Mustang isn't a GT, it's a 1990 LX convertible but it's still a V8 which to me is the only thing that matters. :-P

    XOXO~ Renee

  101. Favorite flower: Daffodil

    Favorite potatoe chips: kettle fried barbecue

    The sound of a new born baby crying. They only make that sound for a week or two. It's a very rare cry.

    Fajitas at Chili's

  102. Audra, I'm love that you've found your lost sense of smell. Besides smelling being able to smell the air after a rain, eating must be more enjoyable too.

    I'm sure God appreciates us enjoying the lovely world He made.
    A little bit of solitude gives us the chance to look around and appreciate the beauty surrounding us. Thanks for sharing!


  103. LOL, Renee. I'm dangerous when I get behind the wheel of his car. I enjoy that power too much! :)

  104. Oh, and Chick-fil-a!! And we're finally getting one in out town!! Woo hoo! I won't have to drive 30 minutes for my fix. :)

  105. Missy, what a fun list! I enjoy driving with an open sunroof and eating out.

    Here's hoping your daughter grows into her shopping shoes. :-)

    We're blessed!

  106. Chick-Fil-a is delicious. Fajitas, too, with sour cream, shredded lettuce and quacomole. I love tacos with all the trimmings. Yum. Suddenly I'm hungry.


  107. When newborn's cry their lips quiver. So sweet. Thanks for the reminder, Mary.


  108. Yes Janet I get to about 2 games with my state team as I support Western Australia and Live in South australia I try to go to the 4 day game and the one day game.
    I also see Australia play each year.

    This year is much better I just wish mum was not so down. She has a bug (stomach bug again) and is not well and when shes like this its hard to visit.

  109. Loved the post. I love Vera Bradley bags. I received my first (and's reversible) as a gift from my sister. I also love See's Candies but can't get them here in Northeast Indiana.

    Please enter me in your drawing & God Bless you.

    Cindy Woolard


  110. I'm sorry your mom is sick, Jenny. I'll add her to my prayer list.


  111. Hi Cindy, I've tasted See's hard candy, a gift from my niece in the San Francisco area and they were very flavorful.

    I didn't know Vera Bradley bags were reversible. Cool!


  112. Great post!
    My favs--
    Good Books


  113. Thanks Denise! Thanks for your interest in our books.

    Tina will announce the winners in the Weekend Edition. Plus we'll contact them by email.


  114. awesome post; I like how you stated that you are mind boggled that you can talk to God whenever; I never thought of it that way before and I thank you for sharing that. I just took for granted that I could talk to Him whenever/wherever.

    -- beautiful sunsets
    -- driving in a car in the rain around town
    -- the beauty of flowers
    -- plain potato chips with Dill Pickle dip
    -- puppy dogs/baby kittens
    -- noticing a man eating a meal you've prepared and thoroughly enjoying it.
    I could go on and on also but will stop. have a great day.

  115. Hi Robynl, enjoyed reading your list! I'll have to try potato chips with dill pickle chips. A snack doesn't get much easier than that. :-)