Thursday, October 13, 2011

Embracing Change with Ruthy and Oprah, Only Oprah's More Famous!

Change.

We're told to embrace change, yet we hate it. Fear it. Dagnabbit, we downright just plain smack-dab do not like to change one little bit, right? We sit on the same side of church... maybe the same pew, week after week.
My friend Mia sent this because we think alike... Go for the gold. Never give up. Eat chocolate regularly. ;)
We order the same coffee continuously at Starbucks, a little afraid to try that new Salted Caramel Mocha because we might waste $4. (It's delicious, by the way... tried it in St. Loo. Had a gift card so my risk was MINIMAL with someone else's money, LOL!)


We rarely drive a different route to the same old place because, well... we don't.


And DETOURS ANNOY US.


AND WE LIKE TO BUY 5 PAIRS OF JEANS THAT FIT US PROPERLY BECAUSE WE KNOW HOW RARE THAT IS.


Yup. We're generally not big on change.


Until it happens and we get used to it and realize that the new turn our lives took was better than anything since sliced bread. And I, for one, like UNSLICED BREAD just fine, thank you very much, there's nothing like it, right? Why, we've got my recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook and my kitchen right over at the Yankee-Belle Cafe right now!

Okay, this is Ruthy circa 2002... A bunch o' youse like to call it my "NUN" picture and you know who you are.


Brats, the lot o' youse! :)


Note the turtleneck... The blazer... The sweet cross... My writer's pin. My friend Jim Millet took this picture after we did a "Mary Kay" makeover writers' meeting. And yes, the hairstyle is THE EXACT SAME as the one I had in my senior picture in high school. Twelve years before. ;)


Oy.


And here's Oprah... Now there's a woman who has embraced change. She's lived the ups and downs, goods and bads of her life in the public eye and not only was savvy enough to cash in on it, she's helped others in countless ways. You know how I love Ben Franklin. His wisdom, wit, and wiles, and will... He said, "Having been poor is no shame; being ashamed of it is ."

Oprah owns her past and uses her time and talent to help others. And make money. I love seeing smart, savvy women succeed and while we're polar opposites politically, here is a woman who has made "change" butter her daily bread


That takes guts, courage, brains and a comfort level with public exposure that few people have. But we can attain it... God offers us amazing opportunity, but our human stick-in-the-mud-I-want-it-my-way-and-right-now attitudes are often our own stumbling blocks.


WHY DO WE DO THAT???? TRIP OVER OUR OWN EGOS AND ATTITUDES? 'SUP WI' DAT?????
So here I am picking out a puppy. This is Maddie, the pup who grew up to be our wonderful first mother... Naughtiest puppy EVER, but she's a great dog.
What would it have been like if I gave up on this naughty Golden Retriever puppy? Like Garth Brooks' "The Dance" (one of my favorite songs of all time) I'd have missed out on a lifetime of wonderful by trying to diminish a year of pesky puppy-ness


Oprah's struggles with weight and self-image are well documented. She was in millions of living rooms daily, people watching her laud diets and weight loss plans, lifestyle changes, exercise programs.


I'm going to go with diets are not fun. Self-denial is not fun. Weighing grams of ANYTHING that isn't a newborn child is not fun.


But she did it, right? For all of us to see. And she made fun of her failures and made us feel normal. Because we are.


When I hear "The Dance" I'm reminded of the Erma Bombeck saying I have on my desk, a gift from one of my beloved young mothers: "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I do not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me."


How that would please God! That the talent he gave went well used and not frittered away on fears, worries and what if's.


What if I fail?


What if I'm rejected?


What if I lose?


What if I'm embarrassed?


Oh, please. Those are CHARACTER BUILDERS. Not for the fictional buds that crowd your brain, but for you. For me. For us. Every step we take builds our "platform". If you keep moving, the ground beneath you becomes more solid, because each step forward brings growth. WHAT IF THAT BABY REFUSED TO STAND????



See what I mean? They don't. Even though they fear, the inherent (had to slip an SAT word in here someplace, you know????) urge to walk thrusts them forward.


We've watched people love and hate this woman. We've watched her build an empire financially, politically and collectively. She's a powerhouse, and we tend to have more problems with women being aggressive and assertive and successful than we do with men of the same ilk. (great word: ilk. LOVE IT!!!!)


But that's our problem, not hers. She has ridden the tides of change for decades, managing to turn turmoil into success. Amazing.
I got my hair cut after I got the call...


AND I LOVED IT!!! HOW FUN IS THIS, KICKY. SASSY. SAUCY!!!!

But after that first cut, we could never get it quite right again....

Oh mylanta, who knew that messing with a 35 year old hairdo could cause such angst???? Such trauma????



And then my buds at Harlequin said: "Love the pic, but it's grainy. You need a high resolution pic, could you get one done please????" (Obviously for the THRONGING MASSES OF FANS, right????)

So I did:

And my family hated it.

Michelle at Solutions Spa said, "Why didn't you come in and have me do your hair first???"

Gulp.

Umm, didn't think of it because I'm SO NOT a person who gets professional photos done. Like... ever.

Oy again.

So Mandy (daughter of my heart and mother of Mary Ruth) and Beth (younger daughter and mother of Elijah and Baby Xavier) decided to borrow a $1000 CAMERA FROM BETH'S BOSS AND USE IT TO TAKE NEW HIGH RES PICS.

Did you see that $1000 price tag?????? Read it again, just in case you missed it. You know me. You know my life is filled with dogs, cats, kids and TODDLERS. Do you have any clue how much havoc one toddler can wreak on a cheap device??? Much less a costly one?????

But in the end my fears were for naught. In the middle of a crazy day of children, animals, visitors, etc., Mandy did a five minute photo session in the front yard:



Done. Note that we didn't pan "out" to see the weeds. Or peeling paint. No way, Jose! And if you noticed that the auburn of old has been softened to the blonde of new, well, yes.

It has.

Because L'Oreal offers choices to old gals like me, and I decided to embrace one.... Because change is good!

Oprah ended her show this year to move on to other things.

I changed my hair.

It's okay to start small. It's just not okay to sit still and let life move around you. Grab hold. Seize the day, the moment. Embrace life.

And change.

Okay, here's the deal for today, my friends!!! I'm giving away copies of Yuletide Hearts to three commenters....



So here is the gorgeous, I-LOVE-IT-SO-MUCH cover of bad boy Matt Cavanaugh's story: "Yuletide Hearts"

It's just been released to subscribers and will be available on harlequin.com in two weeks... And in stores around November 15th.

Get it here, FIRST. Leave a comment.... Get yourself in for the weekly drawings, the books, AND....

The Toshiba Netbook !!!!


Coffee's inside. And cake...

Because how can you have a birthday without cake? I submit that you cannot!


Ruth Logan Herne likes to be called Ruthy, she's somewhat annoying but also endearing, she hides a big heart beneath a snarky shield and loves, loves, loves to write beautiful, embracing stories for Love Inspired books. Yuletide Hearts is her seventh (can you believe that???? REALLY????) published novel and will be followed by three more Men of Allegany County books in 2012/13. She's been married to a VERY PATIENT man for a long time, has six delightful children and a daughter of her heart, amazing daycare moms who make things happen all the time, and is surrounded by children, dogs, cats, chickens and one very famous rooster. She thinks Seekerville rocks the big kahuna (whatever that is) and loves that the village now offers mainland repose for all kinds of things... Because change is good! ;)





227 comments :

  1. Haha wow there are multiples of the same pics of you, Oprah, books and babies...Blogger did that because it knows how awesome each of those people/things are. ;-) I'm not sure if I'm ready to embrace change just yet but you have me thinking about it...well that and coconut cake (my fave)! I LOVE the new hairstyle BTW! So chic.

    XOXO~ Renee C.

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  2. Sure, blame it on Blogger. Those pictures were poster size. Poor Blogger. I had to call 9-1-1.

    All fixed.

    And you are BEA-U-TEE-FUL Sister Ruth. I mean, Ruthy.

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  3. Oh that cake looks yummy, I think I'll sneak a piece before bedtime.

    Change can be a good thing. Although, I don't care for it but it can bring nice surprises.

    Your new hairstyle looks great. (says someone who's worn her hair the same way for the past 15 years)

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  4. All those multiple pics had me looking up, down, sideway, etc.

    I RESIST change. I do. I do.

    Okay, once I step past a barrier into something new, I usually have a good time. But then I lock in and don't want to leave the new comfort zone.

    Coffee will be ready promptly at 3 a.m.

    Helen

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  5. I'm all for change--except with my hair. I don't look good with long hair so I've kept it short for more years than some of the people on this blog.

    And I'd love to win a copy of your Christmas release--I'm such a sucker for yuletide books. In fact, I've already started reading my Christmas books already--they're my gift to myself after a day of edits.

    Patty
    pattywrites(at)hotmail(com)

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  6. I'm so glad I got here before Tina fixed the hundred photos you uploaded, made me LOL, and I needed a laugh. Blogger is such a pain in the buttocks lately, I feel ya!

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  7. Ruthy, you always inspire me. I like the new hair. It's a good thing to embrace change, even if it's an angry strangle hold death grip, LOL.
    I found out the hard way that if I fight God he's going to ALWAYS win, especially when it comes to change. That's sort of lead to the realization of what I think is my brand, and remind me the seeker or guest blogger who said your brand finds you... because I think it's true. And I think mine is "Heroes who only learn the hard way."
    I like Oprah, and while she might be more famous, none of her books are in my TBR pile =)

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  8. Change is hard. That's why they make coins out of metal.

    (Compliments of Michael-the-Eagle-Scout-soon-to-be-18yo-son)

    I'm with you, Ruthy. Hate change, love what it does for me. After all, I'd hate to be me in high school forever!

    But change is necessary - it's growth, and growth is good. Becoming closer to the people God has planned for us to be since before the beginning of time. Why would we want to fight that?

    I'm putting out fresh baked cinnamon swirl bread to go with Helen's coffee. Whole wheat and healthy!

    And please put me in the drawing for Yuletide Hearts - I have this thing about completing a set!

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  9. Oh! I went back to the post and the pictures have been fixed!

    That cake looks scrumptious enough to die for, even if it isn't chocolate.

    Do you think we late-nighters can finish it off by morning?

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  10. I vote we eat all the cake now.

    I'd like the recipe so I can make another one before the day people wake up and realize it's missing.

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  11. I would love to win a copy of 'Yuletide Hearts'! Please enter me in the giveaway!

    frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  12. Yes, some change is good. I've considered coloring my hair black, just to see if I could handle it.

    Of course, I tell people and they talk me out of it, el maybe I talk myself out of it before I started and they backed my inner voice.

    The pics are great, Ruthy.

    I need to do some myself. I just to borrow a 1000 dollar camera. Maybe that will help.

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  13. I have been changing... finals. Because we got a new textbook. Which really is a better text.

    But I HAVEN'T FINISHED TEACHING THE CLASS YET! Heck, I haven't finished reading the new book yet!

    But as of 15 minutes ago, I've finished writing the final :p.

    My hair is changing. If I was a gentleman it would be a distinguished salt and pepper now. But I'm not. And my dermatologist told me the grays are more like to stick around than the browns. /sigh/

    I miss my long hair. DH always wants me to get 'something new' done to it but if I cut it much shorter, I'll hate it. Maybe my 'something new' this time will be no cut [or the smidgiest of trims] and grow it back out.

    My 4yo is changing his bedtime. Right now its... well, midnight and he's still up.

    I'm attempting to change how I see myself. It's coming. Slowly. I posted on my blog about it not too long ago. If I'm coherent later, maybe I'll link to it.

    Honestly, the Carol you saw at conference, those of you who were there, and the one who's on the Internet is probably closer to my 'real' personality, but cruel tweens and teens turned me into a shy, wallflower type. It's only by the grace of God that I'm turning back into the more outgoing, gregarious person I love being.

    And that's probably enough change for now. I should probably go to bed before y'all change your mind about me... :D

    And Ruthy - I WANT THAT BOOK! :D

    carolmoncado at gmail dot com

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  14. Ruthy, how did you peg me so well? I abhor change. I complain, gripe, and generally become a nuisance until the newness wears off. I'm sure my family would love to lock me away at times like these. But, you can't choose your family. (Well, my husband could, but the decision has been made and he's stuck. LOL)

    My hair on the other hand is something I've changed regularly. It's safe to change that because it'll grow back. My husband hates it when I go from long, the length he likes, to very short. My response? "You don't have to deal with it everyday."

    We felt God prompting us to change churches several years ago, and it was the hardest thing we'd ever done. In fact, I still don't feel completely connected where we are attending. Probably has something to do with the introverted tendencies I can't seem to shake, but I'm trusting God that His plan is better than ours was. That's what change is about after all, isn't it? Letting go of our control, and trusting God to take care of us.

    Would love to read your book so count me in!

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  15. Because I love to be contrary (ha!) let me just say that I love change. I used to change countries the same way other people changed apartments. When I lived by myself I rearranged the living room every other week. Change is good!!!
    Now, surprises? Not so much. I don't like suprise parties, surprise gifts, or any dish with the word 'surprise' in it. (That last one may go for the rest of humanity, I'm not sure.)

    So, I think this means I like to MAKE the change and not be changed. :) Terrible. Narcissistic. (SAT word!)I need to let God do His thing and enjoy the ride.
    Wonderful post, Ruthy. And those pics ar beautiful! Every one!You'd have been a real pretty nun. Good thing you weren't, eh?

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  16. P.S. I'm totally in the Christmas spirit because I posted on Kathi Macias' blog and she sent me her new book 'A Christmas Journey Home'. I was going to leave it until Christmas time, but I couldn't help my self and got dragged in. Incredible story about border folks on both sides, hit home for us in our mixed culture house. Beautiful!

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  17. Oh my goodness...this post made me laugh (I so understand the hair thing...even at 33 it's a big deal to me!) but also spoke directly to my heart. I am just now learning to embrace change. It's take me a long time but I am wholeheartedly ready for some adventure!

    Adore the new hair! Actually I liked all the photos with the different styles. :)

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  18. Seekerville is one of the last things I check before I go to bed, and, I have noticed some are up later than me. I also noticed some must check it first thing on very early mornings. In honor of Ruthy's post here is the verse of the hour. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. I Corinthians 15:51.

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  19. Change scares me to death. LOL. But I know God's in control and it'll turn out all right.
    Great post, Ruthy! Would LOVE to win a copy of Yuletide Hearts. I want to read more about this Matt Cavanaugh. ;)

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  20. Ruthy...you are so darn fun! ;) Love your post!

    Change can certainly be scary... To think that in several months (May 2012, to be more precise) I'm not going to be in school anymore (unless I go the graduate school route...). Either way, it's going to be a BIG, STINKIN' change!! (I'm trying to rant more like Ruthy.) But as you said, change can be good, right?

    Right. :)

    Yay for Ruthy's new book!!!

    ~Amber

    stokes[dot]a[at]suddenlink[dot]net

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  21. Early congrats on graduating, Amber! My biggest change will also be school related next fall ... =)

    Ms. Ruthy, was it the $1000 dollar camera or the fact that your photographer knew you so well that your photo turned out so wonderfully? I think it's the latter. ;-)

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  22. This is a fun post Ruthy!
    I got here first and WOW....there sure were a lot of big pictures.
    Jan K.

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  23. What a nice thing your daughters did. And a beautiful way to honor the mother of their heart.

    I think my favorite picture is the one of you with the puppy. There is something about it that speaks pure joy.

    Christina

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  24. Enjoyed the post Ruthy! I know change first hand. I was a military brat and moved constantly. New places new friends and being extremely shy in my youth made my life lonely. But each time we moved good things happened.

    At work, things are changing constantly lately. No one likes it but if we focus on the end result the pain we're going through now will all be worth it...right!?! I hope so. :}

    I love the cover of Yuletide Hearts and would love to be entered into your drawing to win a copy. Thank you Ruthy!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  25. love ALL of your pictures, ruth...fabulous posting (as always!)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  26. TEEEENA!!!! THANK YOU!!!!! None of that showed up on my screen.

    They just wouldn't load.

    I could see them in blogger pic files. But they wouldn't come through and didn't show up in my preview.

    Oh my stars. HYSTERICAL!!!!

    Embrace the day. ;) And TEEEEEENA!!!

    Sister Ruth.... LOVE IT!!!!

    JAMIE!!! Who thinks of hair when you're a mom????? Okay, some people do, but I wasn't one of them. But 30 years of the same style???? Oh, yes, makeover time, LOL! And you are beautiful. Lovely. Great hair. ;)

    Helen, great coffee, and better observation. Aren't we the funniest people ever?

    Patty, I love your hair. It's so cute, spunky... almost elfin. Very Meg Ryan adorable. And if you're totally stylin' already, you don't need change, right??? :)

    MELISSA!!!! I can only imagine what that looked like. But how weird that none of it came through on my computer in the preview... THEY JUST WOULDN'T LOAD, SO I TRIED AND TRIED AGAIN.

    Obviously.

    Oh, mylanta. BUT LUCKILY THERE'S GOOD FOOD AT THE YANKEE BELLE CAFE...

    Blogger treated me well over there. How bizarre is that?

    (I actually planned it to give youse late birds a good laugh. Clever, right????)

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  27. I related so much to your post. The last four years have brought me marriage, a new town, a new job, two children, another town and another job. Whew! I'm tired. But what a blessing the journey has been!

    Thanks so much for sharing. And I love the hair pics. Your hair looks beautiful and so does your backyard.

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  28. NANCY IS MY NEW FAVORITE!!!!

    :)

    Thank you! And I agree, your 'brand' finds you. I always knew I wanted to write heroines who had been knocked around in life, mentally, physically, emotionally....

    And I read a lot of T. D. Jakes because his ministry to women is what I wanted in a fiction arena. Wendy Lawton calls people who rise above "overcomers"... Some say survivors. I like Wendy's take, because it fits.

    And heroes that learn the hard way???? HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    I call them "MEN". ;)

    Jan, you're in and I hear you, SISTAH!!!! Love the joke, too. Grown-ups fight change like toddlers resist naps...

    What a stubborn lot we are!

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  29. Tina, I have more cake in the back, honey. Grab another coconut and a chocolate, okay?

    TINA P: Black hair?????

    Subtle.

    LOVE IT!!!!! ;)

    And yes, see what an expensive camera can do????? (I still quake a little inside knowing it was in my house over night. I'm not even kidding. But what a cool machine that was!)

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  30. Carol, if we look at ourselves through the eyes of our beautiful, illustrious, darling ego-centric where's-my-laundry-Mom? children, we'd all give up.

    Your personality shines. It literally glows through your voice, your banter, your warmth, your willingness to join in and share. Being a busy mom and full-time worker might quiet that a bit, but what do they know?????

    Not all that much. I like the Carol I see here and in St. Louis. Outgoing, funny, friendly. A little loud, (like me) and DESTINED TO GET INTO TROUBLE for that reason. That's why Pepper, you and me get along so well.

    We're kinda naughty.

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  31. Dianna, it's like lookin' in a mirror because we hesitate on that first step...

    And the second.

    And most likely the third!

    Changing churches is hard. It's a big step out of the comfort zone. Huge.

    But... I love that God surrounds us, in and out of church. It's our human-ness that makes us seek a building. And I love a church community. I love my church community. But wherever you are, I know you'll "bloom where planted" because that's our job. Part of it, anyway.

    And your smile is a light unto the world. What a gift!

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  32. Virginia, that's an awesome way to look at things!

    And you're right.

    I'm pretty sure you're just power hungry, my friend!!! :)

    As long as we control the change, we're good to go... Like changing banks... Changing grocery stores... changing homes....

    Yup, you nailed it. It's when OTHERS decide the change for us.

    Oy.

    That's when sparks fly!

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  33. I love that you live in a mixed culture house, Virginia....

    You've mentioned that before and it cracked me up remembering a Derek Jeter interview... A reporter asked him if he ever had trouble growing up in Michigan, being from a bi-racial household.

    Jeter just deadpanned for the camera, grinned and said, "No. Never. Everybody thought I was Hispanic."

    :)

    His dad is African American... His mom is caucasian... And they're like the nicest people on earth. I love normal people. JUST LOVE THEM.

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  34. Christy-Critty is my new best friend!

    :)

    Critster, really???? I had the same hair for thirty years....

    Thank you for not making me feel like a total dorkasaurus for that!

    They say women age in "decades"... Well the forties are fun, my friends!!!

    (Tina, hush. You too, Mary. All o' youse!!!!)

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  35. Oh, Mary Cline, I love that verse!!! You bless me with that! Now I'll smile all day, and NOT because my teeth are too big for my mouth!

    Natalie....

    Natalie....

    Natalie....

    Matt Cavanaugh. Oy. You wanna talk hot? Wonderful? Rugged? A marine????

    A spiritually wounded hero (Nancy will like him!!!) who wronged a lot of people in his youth...

    And wants to make amends. Starting with this abandoned subdivision, a victim of the housing bubble collapse.

    Think Hispanic/Celtic mix... Drop dead gorgeous.

    And ready to tackle whatever comes his way. :) Melissa said she wasn't sure which hero to love more, Jeff Brennan or Matt Cavanaugh, but I think Matt got the nod in the end... because he's...

    Sigh....

    Wonderful. ;)

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  36. Amber, my beautiful friend, you survived the BIGGEST change.

    High school to college...

    If you end up in the work force, that's so much fun! We love making money! Getting paid rocks the big Kahuna!!!

    Grad school???? The nicest thing about that is they actually treat you like an adult, not a snot-nosed punk who parties too much on weekends.

    My kids loved grad school. To a point. ;)

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  37. I love that we have a woman guarding the dragons. THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT, RIGHT HERE!

    THAT'S AN OPRAH THING!!!

    Bring on the dragons, baby. The women are here!

    And you're right, of course. Mandy has been my 'bud' forever. We have this great story of being in a huge park. I didn't know she was there. She was just a little girl, maybe 8 or 9...

    And she saw my station wagon and realized I'd brought my kids over to the park, a park that was no where near her home or mine.

    I remember turning to Dave and saying, "Mandy needs me."

    And he said, "Huh?"

    I said "Mandy. She's calling me. She needs me."

    He gave me this husband look like 'did you forget to take your pills today, honey???'

    We headed up a hill, and as we got to the other side, he heard her calling...

    No way could we actually hear her across that park. Big park, hills, cars, trees, walking trails, fall leaf litter crunching beneath 8 sets of feet.

    But I knew she was calling for me. And that's how it's been ever since. I've just always felt God knew we needed each other, and God provides! Good job, God!

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  38. Oh, Janet....

    HOW ON EARTH DID THAT HAPPEN?????

    AND WHY DIDN'T THEY SHOW UP IN MY PREVIEW????

    NOW TEEEENA WILL KNOW HOW INEPT I AM!!!

    Ha. Like THAT'S a secret!

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  39. Cristina, I love the puppy one too. I used that for my Blogger pic for a couple of years....

    And then Erica Vetsch found SOMEONE WHO STOLE IT AND WAS USING IT AS HER PIC....

    Really.

    True story.

    The woman's last name was Vetsch and Erica was researching her name...

    And stumbled on my pic with someone else's name.


    Eeeeewwwwww..... Beyond weird. Right????

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  40. Cindy W, I love what a military lifestyle does for building internal muscle.

    Deb Giusti amazes me. She quietly handles EVERYTHING with a warmth and dignity that I'm just in awe of. Grace. Poise. Righteously good looking.

    And you can't help but love her. I think being willing to accept the changes inherent (there's that word again) in military life builds great character and layers of awesome experience.

    AND ISN'T THAT COVER JUST SO STINKIN' BEEEEE-YOOOOOOOUUUUU-TEEEEEFULLLLLL?????

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  41. Karen, bless you! Thank you, kiddo!

    Annie Rains, that's a lot of change, honey!!!

    All good stuff. But what a big adjustment. That's story fodder right there, my friend! And you're building your 'platform' one change at a time. But quickly, LOL!

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  42. Oh Tina, this day person is now awake and all I find is coconut cake CRUMBS???? do you know how much I like coconut? That's one thing that's not going to change. (although if Ruthy wants to bake a chocolate cake with coconut frosting, I might embrace change).

    Seriously, I loathe change. I'm one of THOSE people. But recently I made a big change for me.

    I've always been a night owl and my best writing time was a from midnight into the wee hours. But I teach 9 year olds
    and lately my eyelids can't stay open past 10. So sad.
    So, the person who could easily sleep in til noon (not really) has been getting up an hour early to write before work.
    Surprisingly, it's working really well and the bonus is I go off to work in a really good mood after spending an hour in my fictional world.

    Happy Thursday all!

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  43. I came before to post but something happened (blame it on the rejection email for a job I applied for)
    I have to say I LOVE the cover of your new book. It looks wonderful (Christimas doesn't look like that here)
    Love the different photos also.

    I have some timtams Im happy to share with everyone. but now this aussie needs sleep. (and I thought i would be able to handle working 4am - 7am!!!)

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  44. Yes, I am guilty. I don't change things very much. I think it's because of fear and also the stress of worrying if things don't work out. (Don't need any more stress!) I guess it's kinda like "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

    Mmmm that cake looks so good! Think I'll have a slice with Helen's coffee.

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  45. What a great post.
    I have a brother, husband and sons and have lost any fashion sense I may have had growing up. I couldn't decide what to do with my hair either. Finally on vacation I went into a great clips in another state and got a new haircut. I was tired of agonizing over what to do. My husband says he likes it and my sons haven't said a thing.
    I like your new cut, Ruthy. I think it's beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing this fun post today!
    Jackie Layton

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  46. Ruthy, you look fabulous, dahling. Love that sort, sassy hair. Suits your personality.
    Change is good, though oft nerve wracking. What if we don't like it? What if we get it wrong? What if THEY don't like it? Whoever THEY are. What if we look stupid? Change moves us from the comfortable to the uncomfortable.
    For the most part, I like change. Just ask my husband who says the rooms in our house are getting smaller because I paint the walls so often. Change is inevitable (and not just in my choice of wall color). The bigger question is whether we are willing to embrace it.

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  47. Mary C., I am so stinkin' proud of you, girlfriend!!!!

    I'm a huge proponent of writing BEFORE work because dagnabbit!!!!

    So many things need to be attended to after work, don't they????

    I'm happy dancing for you in upstate because that's awesome.

    No pain. No gain. And I tell myself that every time I have to stay up late for something and know that alarm clock is laughing at me at 4:00 AM....

    Stupid clock.

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  48. Jenny, I am so sorry about the job rejection. I hate rejections.

    And yes, I still get them. We all do.

    But boy, it stings. And look at you, sharing your TIM TAMS....

    You got heart, my Aussie friend!

    And when my daughter was in Adelaide, she said that the store windows were decked out in New England style... Snow. Snowmen. Frosty corners....

    In Aussie summer, LOL! How fun is that????? Does that happen all over?

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  49. I LOVE your cover on your Christmas book. I'm be buying that for my Christmas "read" this year.

    It was so great to meet you in St. Louis!

    Change is hard isn't it? But many, many times life becomes better. Don't you think?

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  50. Ahhh. I love starting my mornings with you, Ruthy. Great post, and just so y'all know, I REMEMBER those hairstyles. The thing is, in person you focus on her eyes and her wide-open smile, not the hair. Although I have to admit the new 'do is my fave. So far ;)

    I'm also here to back up the message of change. For our new townfolk, my first published novel was a historical. Writing that book was like a virtual trip to a faraway time and place, so much fun.

    But the market wasn't exactly making a spot for me, and I couldn't sell my next historical. Or the next. -sigh- After months of brooding and some Academy Award-worthy drama, I finally took Ruthy's advice.

    Try inspirationals. You can do it, kiddo. Just give it a chance. Of course, she was right. I have to put that in here because she LOVES hearing it. And if it's in print she can prove I said it ;)

    That leap of faith has brought me not one but 2 contracts from Love Inspired, the latest of which I just accepted yesterday. Melissa Endlich is the editor I've been looking for the last 10 years. She gets what I write, and she wants more of it.

    Taking a couple steps off the beaten path we've created can completely change our landscape. And the outcome of our journey.

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  51. Oh my goodness. The evolution of Oprah and Ruthy. Can blogger handle all that fame and fortitude in one post??

    Loved it Ruthy!

    Change is hard to embrace. Embrace? Heck it gives me hives just thinking about trying a new hair cut.

    But yes, L'Oreal and Clariol make the choices (and chances) more bearable with the temporary color fixes you can test drive, LOL!

    Loved all the photos. And the toddlers. And the puppies. And the quotes.

    I'm too tired to change today.

    Maybe tomorrow I'll give it a shot.

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  52. Starting my day with Ruthy and Seekerville.....what could be better?!?! Love your new hair, Ruthy.....and have read and loved all your books! So please enter me for your Yuletide Hearts...I am already reading Christmas stories!
    Thanks!
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

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  53. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraOctober 13, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    Thank you for encouraging us to change Ruthy. I think the biggest changes I did was one decided to graduate high school a year early and then almost two years later I told my parents I was moving to TX with or without them. I don't remember a whole lot of fear but that could have been because I was only 18 to 19 years old and was going on teenage pride. LOL but looking back there were some fearful moments after the big decisions. Thankfully everything worked out for the best and I know I would not be in the same place today if I hadn't made those decisions.

    The cover for you book is so pretty!!

    fantum2004ATsbcglobalDOTnet

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  54. Ruthy - you are my new favorite. This is why I'm staying with you first when I get off the island ;).

    Lost my mom at 10, right after getting glasses, braces, a not-very-girlie hair cut [one change I HATED] with my dad as a teacher at my school. It wasn't pretty.

    The fun-loving, everyone's friend kid turned into an awkward at best pre-teen whose 'friends' did nothing to help the situation [I know - everyone goes through that awkward preteen/teen phase, my personality change was more than most I think].

    I'll get in trouble with you any day, darlin'. I'm holding you to the offer to sing more Phineas and Ferb [where IS that vid anyway?] and hang out preconference next year ;).

    And now I'm off to my part-time job ;) teaching the bigger kiddos about American Government...

    Love ya ladies!

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  55. Great haircut, Ruthy! A lovely change. Not all change feels or looks quite that good, but what we can't control, we must accept or at least live with for a time. Thankfully God is in control.

    Yay, cake for breakfast!!! Yummy with coffee.

    Janet

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  56. RUTHY!!! What a BRILLIANT blog, my friend and VERY savvy with Oprah's name in the title for those search engines ... I am truly humbled by your gray matter ... and your grit!!

    Love, love, LOVE the comparison between you and Oprah!! You two are practically twins separated at birth except you're a lot skinnier both in your bodacious bod and your wallet ... and a WHOLE lot funnier and wonderfully snarkier.

    LOVE all your lines but especially: "every step we take builds our "platform". If you keep moving, the ground beneath you becomes more solid, because each step forward brings growth."

    WOW! That's SO true and SO good, and I'm not just talking Oprah good, but Confucius good, you know??

    And, OH-MY-LANTA (to borrow a phrase), the new pic is TO DIE FOR (not that I would or you should, mind you), seriously. Absolutely BEE-U-TE-FUL!!! Looks like a pro did it, so tell Mandy she done REAL good!!

    Cannot WAIT to read Yuletide Hearts ... you had me at "bad boy," but then I am SO predictable that way, aren't I???

    Give those babies extra graham crackers and juice today, Ruthy, 'cause you are gonna be ONE BUSY LADY in the comments section today with 52 at 7:24 AM, so only two bathroom breaks, you hear???

    Love you to pieces (Reeses Pieces)!!

    Hugs,
    Jules

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  57. TEENSTER SAID: "Those pictures were poster size. Poor Blogger. I had to call 9-1-1."

    OH MAN, cannot BELIEVE I missed the Ruthy billboards ... I'm ticked!!! Do it again, PUH-LEEZZZZZ????

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  58. NANCY SAID: "I like Oprah, and while she might be more famous, none of her books are in my TBR pile =)"

    Now there's loyalty for you ... and good taste!! Nice one, Nance. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  59. I guess I'm the oddball. Don't say it Ruthy.

    But I love change. I so easily get bored with the same-o same-o.

    Probably cause we moved so much growing up.

    Change happens.

    Change is fun.

    Embrace change because it brings exciting new friends, events, activities in your life.

    Well some things I don't change, like my hair, clothes, etc. but those are boring to me so its not that I don't want to change its that I just don't get around to it.

    But new activities, new friends, new places, new sights, new jobs (I used to change schools and grades every two years when I was teaching-so fun)--those are worth the change.

    Thanks for the coconut cake Ruthy. yummmm

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  60. I'm with Renee, I love coconut cake! Congrats, Ruth on your new book. :-)

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  61. You are beautiful, Ruthy, really beautiful. I love the new pic with the sun on your hair. Love it!!! I wish you lived in Alabama. You are awesome and all your energy would inspire me, I think.

    I actually like change--little changes, mostly. If something's not working, it's time for a change!!! That's my philosophy. And we live sort of in the country, so I like to change up my routes to and from town. Like to see other country roads. I love an open road. I tend to go a bit too fast. I love to go fast. But I haven't had a ticket in something like 17 years. Yay me! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

    Anyway, I digressed. I do love your new hair. The old hairdo was good. The new is better. And I hate getting pics made too. Hate it hate it hate it. But I need some new ones. Mine are horrible. But, no money for that. Maybe I can think of someone with a $1,000 camera. Not a bad idea ...

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  62. I knew there was something different about you. I just got highlights in my hair for the first time in forever! That little bit of change was welcome coming into fall.

    Ruthy + Christmas themed romance = happy Julie!

    Please put me in for the drawing.

    Peace, Julie

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  63. YAY! It's Ruthy-through-the-years!!
    The things that matter most stay the same.
    Your grin and your sparkling eyes :-)
    Were you thinking of food in those pictures? Puppies? Cute baby feet?

    When it comes to food, I LOVE change. I love to try new things.
    And travel? Yep, same here.

    But when it gets down to the nitty gritty changes...argh - God gets his scalpel out and I'm not to fond of the process.
    Good for me.
    Good for others.
    But it takes hindsight to see that 'goodness' sometimes :-)

    I LOVE the quote "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I do not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me."

    Wow and Amen!!
    And I'd love a chance to win Yuletide OR the Notebook! :-)

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  64. Mmm, this new cake is good, Tina.

    Ruthy will never know the difference.

    Change.

    I don't like change. Have to be dragged kicking and screaming through it. But most of the time, once I get used to the new style, situation, software, computer, I find I like it.

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  65. Awe, Ruthy! I just love you, you know? Thanks for all the wonderful words and much needed reminders!

    Drawing for a Ruthy book? You bet! Throw my name in the hat! Please!?! Otherwise I'll have to hunt it down on the Wal-mart shelf again. Which I've done. Which I will do again. Gotta have those Ruthy books!

    Cake? Mmm... Tomorrow is Garrison's birthday. He'll be six, but hopefully not sick. Doc thinks he's at the end of this crazy "mono type" virus. I just hope the sore throat goes away so he can enjoy food. Naturally, he wants a birthday cake.

    Ok. I have to go to bed. My brain is fuzzing out and I've actually written and rewritten the same stuff about four times. Time to go. Enjoy the cake all and I'll try to pop in later! :D

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  66. Oh. My. Word! 65 comments and it's barely past 6:50 a.m. in my neck of the country!

    Ruthy, loved this post. Love your hair, too! Definitey sassy. :) As a forty-something, I agree with you, Ruthy. The forties are fun. I'm comfortable in my own skin (even when my surroundings change. Well, most of the time I'm comfortable here). :)

    The idea of change is scary, but often it does yield better results than I could have imagined. Moving from one place to another with a military man has yielded precious friendships and a more settled inner life. Having children added chaos but giggles, tickles and laughter (focusing on the positive here!) to our family. God is constantly in the process of changing me, helping me to look more like Him. When I let Him have His way, change comes with less heartache.

    Thanks for encouraging me to embrace all change, Ruthy. Not just the change I orchestrate in my life. :)

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  67. Oh my gosh, Ruthy, someone stole your picture!? That's definitely a compliment, although a creepy one. shudder.

    But it is a wonderful picture! Anyone who's ever held a puppy can relate to that smile on your face. :-)

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  68. Great post Ruthy! The pics look great! Very cute babies! And very cute puppy too!

    Would love to be entered into the drawing!

    Blessings!
    Amanda Barratt
    amandabarratt33@gmail.com

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  69. Jenny, so sorry about the job rejection. :-(

    Dianna, I can relate about the changing churches thing. We left our old church in June and still are visiting. My kids are unhappy, crying about half the time after going to church. This is probably scarring them for life. They will never get over it and will hold it over my head until I die. "Mom, you remember that year you made us visit all those stinking churches and I was 13 and feeling awkward anyway and you made me face a new set of mean teens on a regular basis?"

    But I'm hoping, instead, they will say something like this: "Mom, you remember when we changed churches and we ended up visiting all those churches? I'm so glad we did that because it brought me out of my shell and made me see myself and others the way God sees me."

    Uh, even the optimistic me doesn't believe that's going to happen! LOL!

    But I can hope and pray, right? (Please, God.)

    And now I better get to work on that new book!!!

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  70. cool! I'd love to win the book.

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  71. Patsy, that's the "What if I fail? What if it doesn't work?" mentality that we all share...

    And sometimes it's wise to be cautious. Other times it's good to throw caution to the wind and just change things up a little.

    Jackie!!!! Aren't we so funny about our hair???? God bless my daughter-in-law Lacey who showed me that there's nothing wrong with taking care of our hair, our bodies, our skin... Moms are the absolute WORST at thinking of themselves.

    But sometimes it's just nice to get somethin' done!

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  72. Mindy, I love changing things up, too. So fun.

    And I hate big, unexpected change. Illness... divorce.... accidents...

    But those are the 'blessings' that build us, right? Even if we don't see it at the time.

    Paint????

    I LOVE COLOR! ;) I'm not surprised we have that in common, LOL!

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  73. Oh, Rose, I loved meeting you too! You're even prettier (brat!!!) and nicer (double brat!!!) and YOUNGER (GRRRRRRR......) in person.

    And yet....

    I don't hate you because you're too darn nice, LOL!

    I love that cover. Love it. Love it. Love it. Ad nauseum.... And such a sweet story inside!!!

    With a kid and a dog! YAYAYAYAY!!!

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  74. Changing churches! Man, that has to be the worst change ever!

    When we moved from KY to KS six years ago, we never did find a new church in the new town. My dear husband and I would visit, leaving the children at home, and then we'd have our family worship together just before lunch. We visited more than 20 churches before we decided that it was worth driving three hours once a month to go to a decent church in another town.

    But we moved again, and I love our new home and our new church!

    Didn't I say I hate change? Mostly, it's good.

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  75. So true -- the only "constant" in life is change. And how right you are that we're such creatures of habit. I sometimes deliberately make myself come home by a different route, go to a different grocery store, add a detour into a carefully planned day. I've read that doing things like that actually boosts creativity. That it helps our brain to connect with other parts of our brain that may be sort of dormant because the circuitry has followed the worn, rutted no-brainer path too long.

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  76. I know how it is to not like change... same hairstyle, buying multiple shirts, jeans stc. I'm like that for the most part.

    Would love to read Yuletide Hearts!

    Patty

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  77. Okay, Ruthy...you got to me today. Definitely today! Change. I hate change, I really do (I'm my mother's daughter, most definitely). Yet I know it's good for everyone, including me.

    And then that Erma Bombeck quote. I started tearing up at that. Why? Because I know I'm not using my God-given talent. I've wanted to write since the Fall of 1971 (7th grade), when a new English teacher came in and assigned a creative writing project. I took off and never looked back. And now I just about freeze at the idea of sitting down and actually WRITING, although I have completed novels and have tons of ideas and new books begun. (BTW, I have always loved Erma Bombeck, so for you to put that quote out there...well, it hit me upside the head with a 2x4. If I end up with a headache, can I blame you?!!?)

    And then you got me with the dog thing, too. My husband and I love dogs, but when we brought a puppy (part of a neighborhood rescue) into a house where we already had a very protective I'm-a-one-family 5-year-old dog, for the longest time I regretted it. I considered adopting out Shadow because, once again, we were dealing with PUPPY stuff (housetraining? Ugh!), and then there was the older dog hating other critters. When Kira, the older dog, died in October 2007, we lavished more love on Shadow. When we had to have him put down in August 2009 (8 months after my mom died and 2 months after my dad died, so already I was on grieving ground), at the age of almost 11 1/2, because of a ruptured disk in his back, I sobbed. Even now I am fighting the tears. It's amazing how you discover AFTER THE FACT how much you loved someone/something; I still miss him like crazy. And now we have a part-Lab we rescued almost 2 years ago and he is driving us (ME) nuts and I think about turning him back into the Humane Society where we got him. But I don't like feeling like a failure, and I feel like that enough without adding a poor dog to the long list...

    Change! Ha! Have gone through enough of that this year, with our son and daughter-in-law moving in due to financial problems. They added an adorable baby boy to the mix in late July. Where has my house gone to? Where is my beloved peace and quiet?

    Embrace the changes. Embrace the changes.

    I guess you're just succeeding in making me cry this morning, aren't you? ;-) I know that wasn't your purpose in writing...right? :)

    I love following you on FB--your wit and humor, your family, your LOVE for your family, your puppies...

    Thanks, Ruthy, for bringing something different into my life these past few months! I love your writing and look forward to reading many more of your books :)

    Hugs,
    Melanie

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  78. Lovin' the photos, marking change! You look MAH-velous, no matter when. That smile BEAMS!!! :)

    Excuse me...

    "Yes May?"

    "Mom? I like my haircut just the way it is. Can you see me in a poodle cut? I'm not a Schnauzer-doodle. And I know you like Loreal like Miss Ruthy... (I don't know why - it smells not so good.) But for me, platinum is best, don't you think?"

    "Ah wise May. You do have a point."

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  79. Loving reading all the comments. :) Ruthy, I forgot to tell you I was really challenged by the Erma Bombeck quote. I don't want to live my life in a way that leaves "talent" left rather than used for God's glory and purposes. Thanks for sharing that.

    For the record: I am not into changing my hair. I've never colored it (though I now have gray for highlights), and I wear the same styles for years on end. I've been growing it for two years now, and still getting used to how it styles. I'm sure there will be change in this area of my life too. :)

    See, I'm still pondering change. :)

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  80. Where do I begin, nun girl.

    While it's true you looked like a nun, you were a smokin' hot nun.


    (That may be a sin....yes, I think it's NOT okay to say the words 'smokin' hot nun are. If that's not a commandment it probably ought to be)

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  81. Hi Ruthy,

    Challenging and encouraging post!

    I admit I hate change, but even more than that I hate not doing something because it might be scary. I always tell my friends and family when I'm old and in my rocking chair I'd rather look back and say "I did that...moved there...tried that and hated it and would never do it again." Then to say "I was too scared to even try."

    So I can't say I embrace change, but I embrace the challenge change brings.

    LOVE the cover to YULETIDE HEARTS!!

    --Kirsten

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  82. JAN--Change is hard, that's why they make it out of metal.

    My new favorite one liner.

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  83. MIA!!!! Your SECOND Love Inspired!!!!!

    I'm so psyched for you and so glad you're on board with Love Inspired!!!

    Happy dancing/Snoopy dancing in upstate New York for you!!!!

    And I would never (hahahahahahahahaha!!!) say I told you so, darling.

    Wait.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    Okay, I would, but that doesn't matter because the rare times I AM right, I like it to be for other's success. And that's the goal behind Seekerville... to make that path a little broader, a little easier.

    Raising a mug of pumpkin spice latte on your behalf, my friend!!!

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  84. And I will add:
    12 years since your high school graduation????


    snort

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  85. Audra, we can compare hair colors. See which one we like best!

    And you know when I first noticed change being GOOD for people? When teachers changed grade levels and admitted a year or two later tha tit was good in the end. That they'd gotten a little stale teaching same old, same old.

    And I realized the same held true in just about every aspect of life.

    Jackie Smith you're in and THANK YOU!!! I'm honored beyond belief that you loved my stories.

    Grinning in upstate!!!

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  86. Change is ICKY. SOOO resistant to it - may be a TINY bit of autism I'm CONVINCED lives in this body of mine. But I KNOW KNOW KNOW the amazing benefits. NEEDED this reminder, dear Ruthy (and the books - prolly not as much as the reminder, but STILL).

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  87. Laura, thank you on all counts. And what a brave kid you were... Finishing early and striking out. I love that panache. That courage. You rock, kid.

    And even if it hadn't turned out okay initially, what a growth opportunity. It's so easy to linger in shadows... So safe.

    Much harder to jump into the light and grab the day.

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  88. Ah, Carol... You're one tough, nice cookie after being kicked around by life.

    And you're definitely what Wendy would call an overcomer.

    Life hands out regular smackdowns. Taking them sitting still????

    Well. That's not okay! I'll look forward to sharing space on the mainland with you and hangin' with you pre-anything. Except maybe like cardiac surgery. Those gowns are NOT ATTRACTIVE!!!

    Janet, yes. It's the change we can't control or don't choose that sends our knickers into a twist.

    Luckily we're tough. High on God and tough as nails girls.

    Girls rule.

    Boys.... Oh my stars, aren't they the cutest things ever???? ;)

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  89. Jules, you DO NOT want to see whatever came up at 12:01 AM...

    I'm just glad I was sound asleep but I'm surprised that i didn't hear TEEEEENA all the way cross country, finger wavin', hair pulling... I probably RUINED HER WRITING TIME.

    Sorry, Teeenster! I'll make it up to you!

    (Seriously, if you only knew how many times I RE-DID those stupid pics on Tuesday and got NOTHING.... But obviously Mr. Blogger has a good memory.)

    Oy vay.

    And Jules, did you see how SHORT my post was compared to yours yesterday?????

    I was positively SUCCINCT, my friend. Why do you and I talk so much? Is it inherent??? (See id you can count how many times I used "Inherent" in today's post for an extra prize)

    Or is it that we just like to hear ourselves jabber??????

    And I yelled at you yesterday, but I'll do it again. STOP READING REVIEWS!!!!

    Revell wouldn't be publishing those lovely, romantic tomes if they weren't being BOUGHT...

    And I've been a Julie Lessman fan from the beginning... When we met in a contest... Kind of like Mary...

    ;)

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  90. Sandra, you're not odd, you're wonderful! And that's a grat spirit you passed on to your classrooms. To move forward. Embrace change.

    The FUNNIEST thing about Sandra's clothes vs. mine???? At Orlando last year, her Southwest attire is all flowers/prints/colors....

    Mine was NY DRAB by comparison.

    I had to go out and buy some new tops just so I wouldn't look frumpy next to Stylin' Sandra.

    Brat!

    Ashley, you're in and thank you for jumping in to comment! Good girl!!!

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  91. I can't say I'm a big fan of Oprah (I know, I know! I'm going to unpopular among many here), but I enjoyed the post, Ruthy. And might I say, you look a darn sight better than that other lady (what's her name again? ; ) )

    Whitney

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  92. Melanie, thank you! You still like me even though I BOSS YOU AROUND....

    But I boss my Pepper and Carol around too, and they mostly like me. Kind of like my kids. ;)

    You know (and this is in total sincerity) when your life starts out at rock bottom, you've got no direction to go but UP...

    Or dwell at the bottom.

    So even a step by step trip up makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE in life. And those steps build that "platform".

    No bottom dwellers in Seekerville!!! Not even lawyers (waving at Zach and Sara in Manhattan) are bottom feeders/dwellers in Seekerville! Our village rocks with God-given enthusiasm for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    And chocolate. Always chocolate!

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  93. Ah, Ruthy! I just had a Spirit moment in my kitchen, standing at my counter (where I like to work early in the day), as I read your blog. Erma Brombeck's quote brought the rush of tears that tightened my chest and said, "Pay attention! This is important!"

    I always loved Erma's humor and wisdom! Yes, we need to use all our gifts and never hold back. Fear is the enemy that eats at our soul and our creativity. Instead of looking back, we need to force our hesitant selves to move forward and step out in faith.

    Change is good.

    We have to try in order to succeed.

    I often say, expect the unexpected. Today's one of those days. Something good--very, very good--is in the air.

    Let's all embrace the moment and accept the Lord's call to be more than we ever imagined.

    Love the newest pic, by the way.

    Total transformation. Michael Hauge would call it a move from your identity to your essence, which is so, so beautiful!

    Cyber hugs to all...

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  94. Julie!!! You're in chica, on all the goods! And I'm so stinkin' excited to have my FIRST CHRISTMAS STORY EVER!!!!!

    (which I shouldn't even be saying because I'm supposed to jump up and down for it in November, but I love it that much...)

    Twinkle lights. Who doesn't love twinkle lights??? What kind of cretin doesn't LOVE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS????

    Ooops.

    Actually our war veteran hero for next November's book doesn't like lights. Christmas. Carols. Think Scrooge only younger. Way cuter. Rugged. Scarred. War-torn... And guilt-ridden.

    Yup. That's Brett Stanton, our Christmas hero for 2012... And I'm going to wager a bet that you're going to fall in love with this 40-something hero because he's Gibbs-hot and Mike Rowe-cool.

    SUH-WEEEET!

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  95. Oh Ruthy
    When I read your comment to Jules I thought you wrote "I needed a Julie Lessman fan from the beginning."
    LOL
    Which is true!
    If you read a Lessman novel, you can BE a fan, but you'll certainly need to BRING a fan. LOL

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  96. What?!? Brett Stanton?

    Ruthy! Whetting our appetites A WHOLE YEAR in advance!?!?!

    Snarkiness I like. But throwing us a bone like that one and then taking it away?

    Pure mean, woman. Pure mean.

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  97. Pepper, isn't that a great quote??? And I FELT it when I read it, that what a gift that is to God. To use what he's given. Not squandering it. And he tells us that so often in the Bible but we're so needy...

    We don't like to listen.

    Silly us.

    And Melanie, yes, some woman stole the pic of me and the puppy and used it as her/his own. And that was a great heads up Internet lesson, right??? Or a GREAT OPENING for a suspense story!!!

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  98. Pam, eat all the cake you want! I've got more where that came from, my friend!

    Linnette, praying for Garrison! What a great name! And I hate those long-lasting viruses. Such a worrysome pain for Moms!

    You're in for books and all! And I love that you enjoy my Ruthy-books. That just makes my day, kiddo!

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  99. Gibbs hot and Mike Rowe cool?

    RUTHY!

    I think I love him already!

    And he's not coming for a year?!

    So if we're kinda like your kids, can we beg for an early Christmas present? Like a year early?

    And much as I love ya, don't think I'd want pretty much anyone around pre cardiac surgery /shudder/ [but you'd come. You know you would. You love me just that much. Plus I'd have blankets wrapped around me too.]

    Oh right. Back to serious change stuff...

    A few years ago, God said 'trust me' when I gave up all of my classes. Two weeks before school started, I was handed 3 classes on a silver platter. That dwindled to 1, but then some other stuff happened and I'm now on a different campus and I <3 it so very much more than before. Twas scary to say 'okay God, if you want me to quit teaching I will' but in the end He worked it out - and that's when I started getting serious about my writing too.

    I love the pic of you with the puppy. I really really do. And the new one. And you can bet that if I don't win this one, it'll jump in my cart. Because I can't stop it.

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  100. How did you guys see the babies???

    They aren't visible on my screen. I thought Teena deleted them when she fixed the CATASTROPHE that posted at 12:01 AM....

    But yes, the pic was ADORABLE!!! Love to you, AMANDA!

    MELANIE!!!! I LOVE THAT YOU'RE CHURCH HOPPING! I HAVE MEREDITH BRENNAN AND HER MOTHER DANA CHURCH-HOPPING IN "A FAMILY TO CHERISH" DUE OUT IN JULY!

    I love that people try other places. Other ministers. Other folks. It IS a growth experience. And hey, if they're scarred for life, they've got more to tell OPRAH, honey!!! ;)

    ROSE.... You're in, honey!


    Jan, it's hard to find a perfect fit, isn't it?

    Normally I just pretend I fit then make fun of people afterwards.

    Oh. Whoops.

    Did I say that out loud??? ;)

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  101. Ruthy, that "Oh, Please!" in the middle of this post made me want to fly to that other Rochester and just hug you! I could hear your voice so perfectly!

    The picture is gorgeous! And so YOU!

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  102. Okay, busy day, and I CANNOT take time to read through all 100--count 'em, 100!!!!--comments ahead of mine!

    Wow, Ruthy, loved the sampling of hairstyles and colors through the years! Some astute Seekervillagers may have noted in one of Julie's photos yesterday that my hair looked...well, let's just say naturally frosted.

    While in later photos of me I'm a ravishing (?????) brunette! (Technically the L'Oreal label says "medium ash blond" but that's another story.)

    So yes, change is good, especially if it makes you feel younger. And possibly look younger, too, from a distance anyway.

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  103. The stolen picture thing...that was SO. WEIRD.

    And more than a little creepy.

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  104. Glynna Kaye, I do the same thing! Just to jump-start my brain out of same-old mode!

    I love that we do that together! So fun!

    Melanie...

    Oh Melanie, I can so commiserate on the dog thing, the house thing, the loss thing, the changes.

    Life's crazy. Pass the pretzels.

    BUT....

    When life was crazy when I was a kid, my brother Terry (we love him) gave me a senior picture of himself. On the back was written:

    "Don't let your environment control you. You control it."

    Those words made me see that even at 11 or 12, I had choices. I could exercise those choices each day despite the dire circumstances surrounding me.

    Did it fix anything?

    Not at that time.

    But THAT'S when I started building my platform. When I decided that nothing would hold me down in that hole with no where to go but up... Because I would go up.

    So I count blessings ALL THE TIME. Blessings like you, people whose stories touch my heart and soul. People like you who have known difficulty but still choose to take on the task.

    I love a good dog.

    But never as much as a child or children. And (do not be shocked and hate me or call the Dog Whisperer) some dogs can't be re-integrated into a family setting.

    (Obviously my three dogs are doing okay, but that's after I took Maddie to puppy training and then 'trained' the others. Kind of. But they're very naughty when I'm away, much to Dave's chagrin.)

    I love that we can connect on facebook and no one there cares if my windows are smudged, my weeds are thriving (oy!!!) and the kids get DIRTY.

    I love me some dirty kids, LOL!

    It takes us right back to Erma's quote.... To have used all we have when we stand before God, and honey, that's just one day at a time.

    But I kinda love that I made you cry!!! ULTIMATE POWER!!!! ;)

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  105. Jeanne, that quote is famous for a reason. It hits home. Strikes a chord.

    Makes me want to eat chocolate. Mmmm... I love chocolate.

    And Maaaaary. Sr. Ruth here, at your service! Smokin' hot, huh????

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Love you, kid, and no it's not a commandment. Great lookin' chicks CAN be nuns. Sisters of Charity. It's all in the wrist, right?

    KIRSTEN! YES! Even if you don't embrace it, you accept it. And run with it.

    And I love how often I look back, only to discover how WRONG I was. I'm such a dork.

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  106. Connealy gets a PRIZE for being the only person to get the 'twelve year' remark.

    SKIMMERS!!!!!

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  107. Thank goodness for extra cake, since it's only 10:30 a.m. here, and there's already 103 comments!

    What a great, thought-provoking (and hilarious!) post, Ruthy! I'm ambivalent toward change, because I know it's necessary, and yet I sometimes fight it. Last time I moved, I cried as we left our apartment, the first place my husband and I had lived as a married couple. We were moving to a new state, to a new job, that I knew was where we needed to be, and what we wanted, but it was still bittersweet.

    And yet, right now, I'm HOPING and PRAYING for a change. God knows I've been praying for it for a long time, and I THINK it's right around the corner.

    I like looking at it like this: women love to shop for new clothes. Why? Because we get tired of the old ones and need a change, something new. Of course, most of us can't buy a whole new wardrobe at one time, but we buy a new shirt, a new piece of jewelry, a new purse. Little changes that make us feel fresh, but mingling with the old.

    Now I want to go shopping...

    ~Stephanie

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  108. Oh Ruthy,
    I got it - but I don't correct my elders ;-)

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  109. I forgot to mention that Erma Bombeck quote is a challenge, if I ever heard one, and I'd like to step up.

    Also, please enter me in the drawing for your book, Ruthy! Christmas stories are so much fun!

    SQL

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  110. Change, death, and taxes right? :)

    Great post Ruth! It'll happen whether we dig in our heels or not :)

    Wishing everyone some grace under fire :)

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

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  111. Ruthy,

    Don't get me started on HAIR! Ugh!

    Enough said.

    Love your new pic!! Better than any professional photo shoot. And love your new cover. LI is doing amazing covers lately.

    And I hear you about change - but I still resist it like mad! LOL. Funny I just found Oprah's new network (channel) yesterday and watched a bit of her LifeCourse show. Don't have time to get hooked on all her shows. Maybe I better delete that channel from my listings!

    Have a great day everyone!

    Cheers,
    Sue
    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

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  112. Oh, and Oprah may have changed her hair a lot, but it took her 25 years to change her show!!

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  113. Joanne Sher, you're in, DAHLINK!!!! And your gratitude for the reminder is my children's RESPITE from a daily lecture, LOL!

    So they're immensely grateful that I'm directing my efforts toward Seekerville today!


    Whitney, HAHHAHAHAHAHAHA! Thank you so much! You're stinkin' adorable yourself! And while I (yes, "O", I'll admit this) have never watched Oprah, ya gotta give credit where credit is due, right?

    And oh mylanta, she's had a LOT of looks in two decades.

    A LOT. And that's amazing in itself!

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  114. Carol, I LOVE how things jump into your cart!!!

    SWEEET TO THE HIGHEST POWER!!! ;)

    And yes, I'll come to your surgery. Keep the blankets on, 'kay? 'Sall I'm sayin'. ;)

    Oh, Deb... that is such a beautiful, soul-stirring take on this. And how lovely that God sent a woman, a plain, ordinary, fun woman like Erma to bless us through decades. The power of the human word is amazing.

    And I love your feeling... We are so blessed, ever-blessed, holy in his name.

    And that's the power of One, right? Praying together, helping each other.

    Love you, kid. Hey, did you bring lunch? I'm mighty hungry!

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  115. Myra and I are both charter members of the L'Oreal... Because we're worth it Club, LOL!

    And Erica, yes... Yes it was.

    Who DOES THAT????

    Eeewwwwwwwwwww.........

    Must go wash hands.

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  116. "Gibbs-hot and Mike Rowe-cool"

    Cannot wait! Love Mark Harmon and Mike Rowe :)

    And you can keep bossing me as much as you want, Ruthy! I was taught to respect my elders. *whistling innocently* Of course, I also tease them mercilessly if they tease me (just thinking of some great people at church as I type this)...

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  117. Oh, wait...too many Melanies on here, believe it or not. Maybe you weren't bossing ME around; maybe it was the other Melanie. Ack!

    'Cause I just now saw your direct post to me so am thinking the earlier one wasn't to me. LOL (Down, me-the-center-of-the-universe ego, down!)

    Yeah, when you can make someone else cry, it gives you not just power, but the ability to evoke emotion in that person. And you've got it, lady!

    And I really need to get off the computer. Speaking of dirty windows (and furniture and floors and...), today was supposed to be a huge clean-up day around here for d-i-law and me. She's been sick, so maybe not for her. What's MY excuse? (I prefer decluttering and organizing over cleaning? How long can that excuse last?)

    BTW, chocolate? Only if it's mixed with peanut butter--yum! However, right now, as you fellow western NYer know, it's APPLES! Chopped apple cake the other day, apple brownies made yesterday. Soon the pumpkin bread will burst out, but gotta love NY apples :D

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  118. Change is good but change can be scary. What if I change and don't like the results? We don't think, "Big deal. Just change again." We think "No more change."

    But change can be good. Love the new haircut, Ruthy. You always put it to us pointed and sharp. But since you always make yourself an example, the painful truth of your posts is always palatable.

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  119. Just thinking Seekerville is built on the idea of change.

    You gals never wanted to stay on the island. You took up residence with a plan to change, to leave. To go from unpubbed to pubbed. And, because you embraced the potential for change, you've made it.

    An interesting post would be what the Seekers seek for their publishing futures. I'm betting there's some change involved.

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  120. Yes, I brought lunch, Ruthy!

    Atlanta Bread Company. Like Panera!

    Sandwiches, soups (BTW, it's cool in GA and I'm making chicken noodle soup for dinner. Smells so good!), salads, bakery items... Yummy!

    Dig in, everyone!

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  121. Oh Debby, thank you! I haven't had Atlanta Bread Company food since we moved away from Kentucky! Love it!

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  122. Ruthy,

    Fabulous post as always! You've probably heard the saying "there are two things in life that are guaranteed: taxes and death." I submit we should add "change" t0 that as well.

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  123. Thanks for the prayers, Ruthy! Garrison came into my life at a very difficult time. He's my reminder that God is my rock and my defender - my garrison. :D

    Glad I made your day. :D Honestly! You have a unique voice and great stories. Love 'em! :D

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  124. Seekers:

    I was looking and I think I have at least one book of almost all the Seekers on my shelf. I may have more back home in Missouri. In fact, I think I have everybody except Sandra. I have Pam's on Kindle, though I'd love a copy for my shelf. Yikes! I can't find a Debby or an Audra book! Debby's may be in Missouri. No Myra! *shakes head* We've GOT to do something about that, girls!

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  125. Awww, Ruthy! You look wonderful! And how brave to change yourself like that. You've seen me. My hair is basically the same exact way it was in high school too. lol
    I'm thinking of a cut though!

    Congrats on your 7th book! Awesomeness. :-)

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  126. "Change is hard that's why they make it out of metal." Laughing my backside off here and that's a good thing, after all the treats this week and last I need it! Thanks Mary!

    XOXO~ Renee C.

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  127. Ruthy, the only reason I had decent clothes is because of my sister. She drags me to the store at least twice a year and gets me in style.

    Otherwise I'd be in jeans and chambrey shirts FOREVER. LIke you though, I do buy five pair when I find one that fits. LOL. And it isn't because I don't want to change. I like looking nice. Its just that I was behind the door when God gave out the gift of artistic styling.

    Now you on the other hand are very artistic. I love what you do with your clothes. Even if they are NY colors. So fun.

    A smokin hot nun. Mary. You are toooooo funny

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  128. Gorgeous pictures, Ruthy (you look fabulous!!!) and huge congrats on the books and all things! Love that you're embracing change and reminding all of us to do the same ;).

    Hugs to all the wonderful Seekers, too! xox

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  129. Great post and pics! I will be the first to admit that I hate change and like you say I just adapt to it after a while. I know sometimes change is good but that doesn't mean I have to like it and it even works out for the best a lot of time.

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  130. Ruthy~ Great post! Though I don't resist change too terribly much. Have had a lot of practice at change. My folks divorced when I was 5, initiating a long string of changes, but they weren't all as bad as the first. By the time I was 15 I had lived in 4 towns and attended 5 different schools. When you're a kid, it really stinks because there's nothing you can do about it.

    Since I got married 10 years ago, we've lived in 6 different homes (4 of them we owned). I tried for a while as an adult to resist change, but such resistance has always been futile. Now I just unpack and hang my pictures as quickly as I can so I can enjoy them and remember what they looked like in this house.

    I love all your pics. So cute.

    My favorite Garth Brooks song is "Standing Outside the Fire." It's along the same lines as "The Dance."

    Life is not tried
    It is merely survived
    If you're standing outside the fire

    Love it.

    Carol~ I need to cut my hair, but I hate doing it. Should we schedule something together for moral support?

    The cake is beautiful and looks delicious. I can't handle that much coconut, so who wants my frosting?

    I want that book.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

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  131. Church hopping. I love church hoppers, in the short term, of course. In the long term I think it's a little like transplanting a flower to often, it can't take root and grow if you keep messing with it.

    In the short term, it's wonderful. I might feel that way because our little church has been a resting spot for several different church hopping families in the 5 years we've been there.

    Church hopping? Hop on in...and stay a while.

    Ruthy~ I caught the 12 year remark. It's your lie, tell it like you want to, I say. ;)

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  132. Stephanie, we're so childlike. We know we NEED to do something and still we resist it.

    And the bittersweet? That's what makes a great story, my friend! I can see you crying, waving goodbye to your "House of Dreams" (Anne of Green Gables) but isn't it fun to move on, grasp the reins and hold tight to see where the ride will end up?

    Shopping sounds good. Can we stop at Starbucks?

    My treat.

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  133. Eva Maria of the great name...

    I love that image: grace under fire.

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

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  134. Susan, I agree... delete TV...

    EXCEPT FOR GIBBS, LOL!

    :)

    Welcome aboard fellow change-fighter! Please take a seat.

    We're human. We like the status quo.

    And yet we kinda lust for more.

    So we WANT change to happen in our favor. But we want to CONTROL it.

    We're in deep trouble, LOL!

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  135. Ruthy, just checking back in because I had a minute. :) For the record (again), I did catch the "twelve years out of high school" comment. :) I chuckled and accepted the humor you offered. :) But I confess, I did a double check on the photo and what I know of you. :)

    Also, in case I need to mention it, will you please enter me in your drawing? I'd love to read something of yours. :)

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  136. Melanie, that's so funny!!! But I yell at both of you equally because it must just be a "Melanie" thing!

    I scold her to not be a down-in-the-dumps Debbie....

    And you to get your butt in the chair and write.

    :)

    I'm a scolder.

    I LOVE IT!!! :)

    Here. Have some apple crisp. And don't you just love clean windows in the fall with the leaves turning? The slant of the sun????

    LOVE THAT SO MUCH!

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  137. Ruthy, Ruthy, Ruthy,
    Were you channeling me when you wrote this?? LOL! You know me and change -_- I am like the biggest....unfan if there is such a thing. Change causes my anxiety to flare and I do mean flare as in full blown attack baha so no. We is not too buddy buddy :P Right now I'm not going through too much change per se, but we are trying to find some more medical answers and it might involve surgery and that IS change. I know it sounds stupid but on some level I have been really scared at the notion of a life NOT in pain. WHaaaaaaaaaaaaaa??? How stupid is that?? Well, you've gotta understand. I'm 19, right? Right. I have been in just about constant daily pain since 3/4th grade so we're talking what age? Like 9ish? So 10 years of my life, over half of my life, has been in this pain. I literally cannot imagine doing any of these tasks that I have not in pain! I have hope we'll get to the point that I'm controlled, not pain free because I know that won't happen, but just havem y pain controlled. But sometimes it's scary. But you know I also know that change is part of life. And now I'm on my lovely lil white Lexapro lol and it helps control my anxiety and my depression and change seems possible to kick in the butt! Not to mention wise words and pics of cute kids, puppies, Oprah, and one beeeeeeeeeeeauuuuuuuuuuuuutiful lady also help ; )
    So thanks so much for this post today! It's great to be back : )
    Love yous, Ruthy! Muah!
    Hannah
    hccelie(at)gmail(dot)com

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  138. Haha, Ruthy you're right!
    I SO love a wounded hero. Spiritually, physically, emotionally, the more wrecked, the better =)
    The bible's just so full of them, and so are my stories, haha.
    I laughed at your Hispanic/Celtic mix because this is actually one of my characters in Chasing the Lion, Torren Gallego. In the movie version I've of course cast Dhaffer L'abidine as him. If you want an Oh, mylanta moment go google him. I promise you won't be disappointed. ;-)

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  139. Ah, Patricia... you're right. We sought change. And then prayed and worked until it happened.

    And now we step back and think well...

    What's next?

    And then you've got Deb feeling like wondrous things are going to happen and we feel that way. Emmanuel. God with us.

    So who knows? But I love the move to the village because the food choices are MUCH MORE VARIED.

    I was tired of fish... Even good fish!

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  140. Deb, I miss Atlanta Bread Co!

    YES!!!!

    THANK YOU!!!!

    (um, now could you really bring me something? Cause I'm hungry. I mean...

    Really.)

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  141. Mary said: "Change is hard, that's why they make it out of metal."

    I nearly laughed out loud, in the library.

    Mary if you get me in trouble with that mousy-looking librarian with the laser eyes, I'm gonna track you down and make you sign every book of yours that I own.

    Oh, wait, that's already in the works...for next Saturday.

    I'm supposed to be working on a post for my blog.

    You people are so distracting, and I just don't need any help in that department.

    I'm outta here...for now. I'm sure I won't be able to resist the pull for long.

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  142. Um Ruthy, I love your festive new cover. It's fun and Christmasy, but it really doesn't make me think "bad boy." Sorry about that. :-)

    And thanks for your inspiring haircut story. Maybe I should get my hair cut . . . or not. Great new pic, though!

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  143. I love coconut cake and I love change!!! Some changes are bad, but most are an ADVENTURE!!!

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  144. Edwina, my well-dressed and perfectly accessorized friend, thank you!

    And Linnette, I just love the name. Just love it. And will probably use it.

    JESSICA... Um, the words YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL come to mind. Brat. Don't change a thing...

    But if you did a slightly taperd Jennifer Aniston look a little shorter in front... :) Look at me giving FASHION ADVICE!!!

    LACEY WOULD LAUGH HERSELF SILLY!!!

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  145. Linnette, you honor us. You know that, don't you?

    Thank you.

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  146. MARILYN BRANT!!!!

    Dudette, thank you for stopping by and saying hi!!! So nice to "see" you, chickie!!!

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  147. Hmm... Ruthy, I hadn't thought about it that way. I just love to love my friends. :-) You all have been a huge source of encouragement to me and writers must stick together! Nobody understands us like we do. :D

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  148. Ruthy, you really hit a chord here! I would say everyone resists change by the comments today! For a woman, HAIR seems to be one of those things we all resist! I really connected with you on that score! When I went to my THIRTY year high school reunion 3 years ago, just about everyone there said to me, " you haven't changed a bit from high school"!!! Was that good or bad, I said to myself????? I decided right then and there I needed a new hairstyle! After 23 years of marriage, 3 kids, etc. I deserved to look like a new version by myself! "Mom & wife" can get a makeover! Now, 3 years later, I am going to be a grandma for the first time and have yet another hairstyle and this one I LOVE! I have to say I don't even look like a grandma :)

    Change is good and is that coconut cake I see??? I's on my over for sure.........
    Valri westernaz@msn.com

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  149. Mary C.... You teach nine year olds?? Everyone stand up and salute Mary C. I home school and my own 9 year old is enough for me. A whole class of them? Scary! :D Teachers are awesome people!

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  150. Ruthy, that Jerek Deter quote is hilarious!!!
    My husband was our Spanish language youth group leader and I wanted to help the youth groups but couldn't volunteer on the English speaking night... I worked at a University so I got two free classes a term- so I started Spanish right quick. And at the same time he took an English class. About six months later we actually had our first date... With a lot of hand waving and drawing pictures on napkins. It was like LOVE PICTIONARY. I still have some of those napkins. :)

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  151. Ruthy, you are on fire today! I LOVE the entire "Anne of Green Gables" series and just re-read "Anne's House of Dreams" for about the 50th time last week!

    Interestingly, the Anne books are all about her not wanting change, and then embracing it when it does come. I remember her fondly weeping at the thought of Diana being married someday!

    And Starbucks with you? Anytime!

    :)

    ~Stephanie

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  152. hello! I should've skipped that link to the bread darn it! now I'm hungry and no way I"m making homemade bread..yeast hates me...just about anything baked hates me I think.

    not too wild 'about change unless I can analyze the possibilities to death. of course nearly 21 yrs into the same job I really wish I'd embraced change 20 yrs ago and changed jobs! or jumped the bf from you know where a whole lot sooner.

    well off to see if they have the water turned on yet(major repair being done in the townhomes-3rd this month and we're not quite halfway yet) then try for another nap before night shift.

    Susanna

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  153. Virginia, that's such a sweet story about you and your husband.

    Love it.

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  154. And STEPHANIE!!!!!!!!! DOUBT YOU'LL NOTICE THIS IN THIS CROWD OF COMMENTS BUT

    HI!!!!!!!!!!!!

    stephanie came ot my booksigning last night with Lorna Seilstad.

    She's so sweet...and young.

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  155. And Naomi, htere's the deal with haircuts. You're still so young, you can cut your hair adn then live long enough to grow it out if you don't like it short.


    Ruthy...well, for her a hair cut is sort of a lifetime committment. She ain't got time to let it grow again probably.

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  156. And Jamie Adams made the CHANGE IS HARD joke. I was just enjoying it in my own comment.

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  157. Ah Ruthy, I hate change.

    What if I don't like my hair cut short? I don't want to take the chance.

    I've been trying to change some of my writing habits, and it's very hard. For years I've been writing on several stories and, it's just in the last few months I've made it a habit it write several times a week. I owe a lot of the credit to the Seekers encouraging words.

    Thanks so much!

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  158. Ruthy, your new photo is lovely.

    I try to be more open to change, but it's difficult. And I am one of those who's kept my hair the same for ages.

    I would love to win a copy of "Yuletide Hearts," but if I don't, I will be buying it.

    melaniej_evans@yahoo.com (aka Yet Another Melanie)

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  159. Ruthy, I love the hair changes!! Cut and color. Nice job on the outdoor Beth/Mandy photo. Good call! :)

    My photo is now 5 years old. I think I've probably changed a little in that time. :) I need to get a new one! Can you ship me that camera up here??

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  160. RUTHY,

    YES, you little brat, I DID see "how short" your post was next to mine. Apparently when it comes to talking about the "good, bad and the ugly" of my writing journey, I have a LOT more to say on the subject! :)

    I told Keith that you and I compete over who has the shortest verbose post, and he suggested my next post be entitled "How To Edit" and then have only a single paragraph ... :)

    And, drat, how I wish I HAD seen your billboard pix because it would have made me feel better. I wrestle with posting pix EVERY SINGLE TIME, but I always check the post at midnight to see if everything is a go. And trust me, if I saw a huge billboard picture of myself, I would fix it IMMEDIATELY ... right after I screamed. And no, not from fright, you little brat, from my nervous-breakdown personality!

    Soooo ... how many boxes of graham crackers have you gone through today, Ruthy-kins??? :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  161. PEPPER SAID: "When I read your comment to Jules I thought you wrote "I needed a Julie Lessman fan from the beginning." Which is true! If you read a Lessman novel, you can BE a fan, but you'll certainly need to BRING a fan. LOL

    LOL, PEP ... you are quite the quipster, my friend -- thanks for the plug! ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  162. Yes it's time for afternoon snack. This crazy candy corn is gonna be the death of me! Just realized how much I ate while being on the computer!

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  163. The nun picture? Twelve years after graduation?

    I believed it.

    Yes, I did.

    Only Mary has the chutzpah to say any different in public...when it's Ruthy's day to post.

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  164. HI MARY!!!!!

    It was great to meet you again last night, and Lorna for the first time. And I can be sweet...sometimes... ;)

    And for the record, I'm 28... I'm shooting to be published by 30. But if not? Age is just a number and I can just as well get published at 31, or 32 or whatever age God feels me and my writing are ready to touch people. But I'm hoping it's 30...

    :)

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  165. Oh! Please enter me in the giveaway! I love reading Love Inspired novels (and winning the Netbook would be GREAT).

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  166. Another Melanie...? *sigh* ;-)

    I saw the 12 year thing, too, but wisely kept comments to myself; besides, I don't like to offend unless it's totally in teasing with someone I've known longer than a few months via computer.

    Forgot to say that I love the pic taken outside, too!

    When do all you published writers actually write??? Is there a special hour when you sit at a different computer that is not hooked up to the internet and you just write? Me, it's too much fun to come on and check FB, Seekerville now (I guess today's Ruthy post really hit me), do some genealogy research, read e-mails, play Mahjong...

    Ruthy, you did enter me, right? I hope so! I've gotten so desperate for new-to-me Christian fiction that I've finally gotten into some of the old Love Inspireds that have been hanging around for quite a while. In fact, am reading one from 1999 now!

    In case you need my e-mail for the entry, it's mpike@rochester.rr.com.

    And thank you sooooooo much for the kind words and gentle (?) scolding. Sometimes I think I need someone to get in my face and go all Nike on me and say "Just DO it!" ;-)

    (I'm not a big Oprah fan either, for a few reasons, but I do recognize that she has done a lot of good for a lot of people. Just sayin'!)

    I neeeeed to get off of here...

    Enjoying the banter too much... :)

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  167. Dears, if you use the updated blogging interface, you can get a "real" preview of what your post will look like. No guessing and wondering how the pix will turn out.

    Very handy, this technology thing!

    (In the right hands, of course.)

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  168. Ruthy, she would be talking about the department store windows they have different scenes each year. One store has a magic cave that is very americanize.
    I love Melbourne thE Myer windows have a different theme each year (Tina would have loved it 2 years ago it was Olivia).
    We do tend to have American scenes dont see to many aussie BBq's at THE Beach. sorry about the caps in wrong spots.
    i really hope to get to melbourne for Christmas this year.

    ON Rejection taking Julies advise to look at it as a blessing. if I had gotten the job I would had to get up at 3am and go to bed really early so when would i read????????

    i am going to send out more letters next week and eventually i will learn how to write a good letter.

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  169. Is there any cake left?! Or COFFEE?? Sorry I'm joining the party later today, but have been on the go pretty much allll day (but am having SO much fun preparing for daughter Amy's Wedding!!). ~ Ruthy, you are so precious and cute, and I am still so very thankful I was able to meet you in person at ACFW. And also thrilled I had my pic made with you and several others (one of the highlights of the conference for me!). LOVED your post today---and all those cute photos! Especially that last one of you, and also those adorable toddlers--oh my! Such precious kiddos! (I know....I use way too many exclamation marks, but sometimes I get carried away---especially after reading another energizing Ruthy post! :) Hugs, Patti Jo

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  170. Oprah's more popular than Ruthy.

    Well blow me away.

    After reading this, I have a new appreciation for nuns.

    Please leave me out of the drawing. I have all of Ruthy's books, but only bought half of them. I should let someone else be blessed.

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  171. Andrea, I'm in agreement on all counts!

    Too much church-hopping can be 'standing outside the fire'....

    But I love ecumenism, too.

    Kids and change and disgruntled feelings. Boy, that's the background for so many great stories. The lack of control when you're a kid is HUGE for building trauma.

    Even mild "I can't do a thing about it" trauma.

    You're in for the book and all the other goodies, honey!!!

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  172. Oh, Jeanne, you're in automatically, honey!

    And sure, I had my first kid at age... ummm.... like, EIGHT!

    :)

    I thank God for anti-wrinkle cream EVERY DAY.

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  173. My friend ordered me here today--knowing how my week has been going--or at least the parts I've shared with her. It's probably a good thing she didn't tell me what it was about or I might have let being busy sidetrack me for yet another day. *eye roll*

    Thanks Ruthy. I like the rut I've called home. I like my 2o year old hair style (so does my hubs, which doesn't help) and I like my corner of the world as it is. Comfy. Little risk. Deceptive, isn't it?

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  174. NANCY.

    YUM. ;)

    I saw Eddie Ramos as Matt Cavanaugh, the cute guy that does the State Farm commercials but this guy is YUM!!!!

    HANNAH!!!! So good to hear from you chica, and I can't wait to hear good things!!!! And whatever medical things come your way, just know that God is your strength and I think you're BEAUTIFUL!

    And take time to grow up. Life is so much more in your control once you're grown up. It's fun to be out of school, working, making your way. Great learning curve!

    God bless you, dear one! And of course you're in for the drawings!

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  175. Jeepers, I was all excited to comment and then I saw the pic with me pretending to be a Seeker - eeps! Sorry about that. I can photoshop me out if you want.

    I absolutely love the new pic, Ruthy. That high res one is ... okay ... but it doesn't show your spark.

    I love detours because they're an adventure - usually they're someplace I haven't been and it's new fodder for my camera and my idea folder.

    Great post, Ruthy. And is that coconut on that cake? Yumm!

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  176. Ruthy, I hope you brought a REALLY big cake.

    WAWZAH - 178 comments! It's PAWMAZING!

    Super post today by the way. Thank you... :)

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  177. Virginia, you're too sweet. I can't take praise for it because I adore teaching 9 year-olds. Well most days.
    They're so sweet and fun. I've taught everything up to HS but 4th grade is my niche.

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  178. Wonderful post.
    I love all of your pictures.
    Thanks for the giveaway and post.
    Blessings,
    Trinity Rose
    wandaelaine at gmail dot com

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  179. That cake looks so good! I would love to win a copy of 'Yuletide Hearts' - the cover looks fantastic by the way. Thanks for the opportunity.

    ~Megan~

    lovetoread205 [at] gmail [dot] com

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  180. Anita Mae, don't you dare photoshop yourself out.

    That photo was fun.

    so are you.

    We love all our Seeker friends. Aren't we family?

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  181. Valri...

    I hear ya', agree totally and salute the hair!

    With a coffee mug, of course!

    :)

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  182. Virginia, I can just envision what that must have been like! What a hoot!

    And nine year olds are FUN TO TEACH...

    As long as they're tied to something.

    :)

    Stephanie, I love those books! How romantic is the idea of a world with NO ROMANCE???? And "House of Dreams"....

    LOVE IT!!!!

    I always figured that I was doing the "Anne" thing while raising my children... "Writing living epistles".

    But I never once doubted what I'd do once that task was complete... write books I'd love to read!

    I figured if God gave me enough time...

    And he did.

    Good job, God!!!!

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  183. I had forgotten that about Anne: "Writing living epistles". I love it!

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  184. Susanna! Remember bread is the staff of life....

    But also the padding on the belly!

    I love bread. It's so darn good!

    Connealy, you came out of your black hole to play with us I see!!! Sweet!

    :)

    You hate detours???? Surely you jest. What IS a Nebraska detour honey? Take a left at Kansas and another one through Missouri????

    Stephanie came to your book signing???? WHY?????

    Oh, wait. Did I say that OUT LOUD?????

    Gadzooks.

    And hey, my hair grows FAST, Connealy. I'll have to trim it twice before 2013... What's left of it, that is.

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  185. Anita Mae - I didn't think you were a pretender! I was trying not to seethe with jealousy.

    Well, make that present tense.

    Lucky you!

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  186. Connie, it's not us... it's you.

    And the stage you've arrived at. But yeah, do not quit.

    Unless you have to. Life does that sometimes. But then come back, recharged! And if you're doing it regularly now, think of how much more fun it would be every day...

    I am so excited to write every day!!!! (Probable proof of dorkiness right there, right???)

    Melanie Evans, I totally get it. I think that having to change as the kids matured (not hair, of course. Or husbands. Training ONE of those was more than sufficient!) pushed me to embrace change more easily. As they went off to college in places like Philadelphia... Washington D. C.... New York.... Boston... Well, then I had to be savvy enough to hold my own in all those places.

    So I pretended to be cool.

    This fooled NO ONE, but it made me feel better.

    And I remember one woman SCOFFED when I told her I was a romance author. I was at Penn in Philly and it was years before getting the call!!!! but her scorn was obvious.

    Whatever.

    I love what I do. God is great, beer is good... and people are crazy!

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  187. Annoying? Ruthy?

    Never. ;-)

    No,I really mean that. From the bottom of my heart...way, way, way, waaaayyy down there. ;-)

    But seriously, GREAT post! I ♥ it! ♥ it!

    Like I ♥ you! :D

    BTW your book is taunting me from the tippee top, of my TBR stack. Sigh. Soon, I promise, love, soon.

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  188. I will not begin to confess how I bribed the children today, Jules...

    Trade secret.

    It did involve another adult or two, LOL! Babies do not care about blog schedules. They care about food... dancing to Billy Currington... marching... and chasing the cat.

    They do not understand that I was IN DEMAND.

    Silly babies.

    And Missy, that camera... It cost more than my washer/dryer combo. And they're front loaders!!!!

    Okay, maybe the same.

    Oy. I can't even talk about it but you'll probably see THAT SAME PICTURE in 30 years and be shaking your head saying...

    GIVE IT UP, WOMAN!!!

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  189. Patty, Dave loved my long hair.

    But then he didn't have to take care of it. Try to tame it in the summer. You get the picture.

    And once I got the call I decided a few changes were in order. I needed to barter time from ANYWHERE possible, right? When you're working full time and looking at book contracts and revisions, you've got to be sensible. So the hair was an extension of that. Easy peasy... Like my bread recipe today at Yankee Bell Cafe!!! ;)

    And Dave fell in love with my hair about the time he got the first advance check.

    Men.

    Fickle.

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  190. Patsy!!! Step away from the candy corn...

    My friend Sandy (Jon's mother from Minnesota) just brought us fudge from Shields????? A sporting goods place that, well... makes fudge, I guess.

    Not near the worms, I hope.

    Anyway, the fudge is WORTHY of calories. Candy corn is kind of not worthy.

    Here. Try the cherry/chocolate cordial.

    To die for. (but don't die necessarily. We like you!)

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  191. Stephanie, that's a good goal. And even if it's a little later than that, you're at the first prime of your life.

    The Seekers have set a new standard for the PRIME of life as long as we all live to be 122.

    PERFECT!!! :)

    My son is aiming to be published by his mid-thirties. He's 28 also, and he sees how much fun it would be to be published and established LONG before his mother did, LOL!

    Good goal. And stop being nice to Mary. Oy. She's such a pain.

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  192. Patti Jo I would have been SO MAD if you didn't find me, hug me, and hang with me! Oh my stars, woman, you are special! You are one of us!

    Seekervillagers unite!

    I had so much fun meeting you, but I wish we had more time to just chat.

    Next year skip more classes. Play hooky with me. Unless I do a class and then you MUST COME so I don't feel all alone.

    I love fraternizing at conferences. That's the best part.

    Well. Starbucks, too! ;)

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  193. Well, okay, Sandra if you say so. Can I add it to my new website's photo page then, so that I can say, I knew them when...

    Who's photo is it? I'd ask Ruthy, but I think she's gone to bed. We must've tuckered her out today. *heh

    And Jan, don't be jealous. If you hang out with the Seekers long enough, you're bound to be in some pics. :D

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  194. Mel pike, we all need a Just Do It kick now and again...

    My theory is/was that since I pushed my children until they most likely HATED ME...

    I could do no less with myself.

    But writing isn't work to me. It's pure pleasure. And I only wish it was that way for everyone because then NO ONE WOULD BOTHER WITH SLEEP!!!

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  195. WALT!!!

    Salute, man.

    :)

    And the Christmas book is sweet... sweet.... sweet.... I love me some Jinglin' Bells!

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  196. Ruthy, I promise to get the Christmas book. However, as I received your last one from you, I think I should go back to sleeping in the cold and fighting the crowd for it. :-)

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