Monday, August 21, 2017

A Few of My Favorite Things

Janet here. I'm humming along with Julie Andrews as she sings "My Favorite Things," one of the iconic songs from "The Sound of Music." Go here if you have a yen to sing along.

I'm grateful for countless things! My gratitude list is headed by God, the Church, then family and friends. But there's little things too. Things that put a smile on my face. Little things like what Julie sings about, those whiskers on kittens, woolen mittens, apple strudels and noodles, oh and wild geese... 

I think she missed the mark with the geese. Hope I'm not offending our friends in Canada, but geese are way too plentiful in these parts. Still, they mate for life, fly in a cool formation and God created them. God never makes mistakes. 

Every now and then, I like to share our favorite things so we can get to know one another better. I'm not going to list the obvious things like books and computers, as I'm sure everyone hanging out in Seekerville likes or needs those.  

In no particular order, here's a few of my favorite things:  

Polish Pottery: We use our Polish pottery dishes every single day. Artists, not machines, puts all those dots, shapes and flowers in place, using applicators to dab on the paint or sometimes painting freehand. Talk about patience! Polish Pottery is made in an area in Poland with the right kind of clay for this hard, heavy tableware. 

Coffee: I'm not myself until I've had at least one mug of coffee. Preferably two. That's kind of scary, but I'm just being honest here. I've read coffee is good for us so I refuse to call myself an addict. I like my coffee black unless I'm treating myself at a coffee shop in the afternoon, then I have a decaf mocha latte or frappe, depending on the season. It's better than dessert. I've learned to whip one half cup of milk with one teaspoon of sugar, then mix with iced coffee for a refreshing drink.

Purses: Writers like Love Inspired author Lenora Worth talk about their shoes, but for me it's purses. Perhaps because I can't wear the super cool sky-high stilettos and ultra flat sandals without support. Purses come in all sizes and shapes and materials. I used to mostly carry the big ones but now I'm looking for smaller models that still hold my stuff, yet don't weigh my shoulder down. This black and white strip with hot pink stitched bow is my latest find.

Uni-ball Vision fine point ink pens: I'm not a fan of pencils or ballpoint pens. This is my go-to pen. They're all over the house and in every purse. An unopened pack like this one is reassuring as my pens seem to run out of ink at the same time. My DH strongly dislikes these pens. This may not be a worthy external conflict in our books, but it is in real life. LOL

Can you spot the Monarch that found my milkweed?


Lightning BugsI have a lot of favorite bugs. Mosquitoes and flies didn't make my list but the Praying Mantis, Bumblebee and Monarch Butterfly sure do. I planted Milkweed in my garden for the Monarchs. Their caterpillars dine on milkweed leaves and the butterflies lay their eggs on the plant so milkweed is essential for the Monarch's survival. I'm fascinated by these insects and want to help any passing through on their way to Mexico. Still, it's the amazing lightning bug that zips me back to my childhood. Do you remember the thrill of chasing and catching them, poking holes in the lid of a canning jar and putting them inside? I cringe to think how many might've died inside those jars at my hands. But enough survived that today at dusk a friend's woods behind her house dances with their blinking lights.
   
Rainbows: If the sun is shining while it's raining, I hurry to the windows to look for a rainbow, the reminder of God's promise to never flood the earth again. Isn't it cool that He created such a colorful symbol to reassure us? I always look for the beginning and the end of the rainbow.  

Summer Food: I'm cheating here because I can't pick just one. I love corn-on-the-cob, watermelon, tomatoes, green beans, beets, peaches...all fresh and delicious and healthy. Well, healthy until I slather the cob by swirling it on a stick of butter, an efficient way to get the job done that our son-in-law taught us. Yum!  

Hot Fudge Sundaes: I didn't put these under summer foods because I enjoy an occasional hot fudge sundae all year long. A scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge. No whip. No nuts. Simple and delicious. 

The Royal Seal Japan label is still on the bottom.
Lady Head Vases: I have a small collection of lady head vases. These whimsical flower holders were popular in the forties, fifties and into the sixties. Most of my vases are ladies, though men and children vases were made. I couldn't resist this little girl and her umbrella. 

I should've put eclipses on my list of favorite things since today is the Big Day, but I didn't buy the eye gear or make a box so I will watch the eclipse on the computer. Has anyone traveled to get a better view?

You may be thinking, what does my listing favorite things have to do with writing? 

We writers need to remember to give our characters some favorite things that that will add depth to who they are and make them feel real. Perhaps even bond the reader to them. Those favorite things can be surprising or quirky, poignant or humorous. For instance, the heroine plants and tends hollyhocks in her garden because hollyhocks grew on the fence at her grandmother's, the one person in her life who'd loved the heroine unconditionally. Just give the characters a reason for loving them. Or not. No rules today.    

What is on your list of favorite things? Leave a comment for a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card to help feed your reading habit.

You writers might share the things your characters love and how they reveal who they are.

I brought my favorite apple fritters, along with spinach quiche and sliced tomatoes, coffee and fresh melon.

Janet Dean grew up in a family who cherished the past and had a strong creative streak. Her father recounted fascinating stories, like his father before him. The tales they told instilled in Janet a love of history and the desire to write. Janet is a two-time Golden Heart finalist, Genesis and Carol finalist and a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. Her Love Inspired Historical novels are also Golden Quill, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Booksellers Best, Inspirational Readers Choice Award and Holt Medallion finalists. Visit Janet at her Website: www.janetdean.net

173 comments :

  1. To heck with my characters. Let's talk about my favorite things. They get enough stage time.

    1. Purple pens.
    2. Cook books (Unable to resist even though I hardly cook).

    3. Pitchers. Small, medium and large.

    4. Cake stands.

    5. Lavendar

    6. Vintage typewriters

    7. Vanilla

    8. Mugs

    9. Coffee

    10. Chamomile tea

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    1. Tina, great list! I'm a fan of cake stands and pitchers. Mine are antique pattern glass, the poor man's crystal. I dare not go to antique stores. I have enough of everything. Still I would love to have a vintage typewriter.

      Janet

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    2. What is it about cookbooks that draws us?? I love them! And collect them. I've started buying some as e-books now because they're more affordable. But I miss holding them in my hands to flip through them.

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    3. Wow, add me to the group of cookbook lovers, and like Tina, I don't cook all that much. On the occasions I try a new recipe, I make a mess all over the kitchen with various pots and pans, mixing bowls, little bowls for egg-breaking and spice-mixing, chopping board and knives, wisks and wooden spoons. Then we critique it and mostly it goes into the list of "Not Worth Making Again". Back to burriotos at Federicos. :)

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    4. Purple pens--love those! And I'm in withdrawal because mine disappeared and I think a granddaughter took it with her when they moved overseas. 😞

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    5. YES!! Purple pens (because anything purple is better somehow) and vintage typewriters (still want one but for now, will have to covet others) :)

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    6. Cookbooks - I have a friend who has a huge collection of cookbooks. But does she cook? No ... she keeps some of her cookbooks in the oven. When someone asked about her cooktop, she wasn't sure whether it was gas or electric :-D

      Nancy C

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    7. Nancy, you made me laugh out loud!

      Janet

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    8. I LOVE reading cookbooks. I forced myself to stop buying them but I often get them as gifts.

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    9. count me in on a vintage typewriter. would LOVE to have one of those...

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  2. BTW, I love your favorite things, Janet. And love that striped purse.

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    1. Tina, thanks! I still have the tags on the purse so I appreciate the encouragement. :-) Just not sure if it will go with enough clothes.

      Janet

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    2. I like the purse too, Janet! Seems like it will go with lot of things - would even liven up jeans and tee shirts.

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    3. Dana, another vote yes! Thanks! Jeans and a tee is a great idea.

      Janet

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  3. What a fun post! I'll jump the gun a bit because it's still yesterday here in Mountain Time. But we're planning on getting up early and driving 2 hours from the Black Hills of SD where the eclipse will only be 94% to our friends' house down in Western Nebraska where we'll get to watch the total eclipse.

    As for a few of my favorite things--I agree on the coffee. I like mine with a little heavy cream. Just enough to make it smooth and to temper the singe-your-tastebuds heat straight out of the pot.

    And I have a few pieces of Polish pottery that my Mother-in-Law brought over from her visits in Germany. I cherish those beautiful dishes!

    I love fresh notebooks...I can't walk by the office supply section of a store without wrestling through some strong impulsive urges! The spiral and composition books CALL to me. Especially this time of year when they have all the cute new designs for back-to-school shopping.

    I love overcast, rainy days. They're perfect for snuggling with the kids, reading a good book (or writing one), and are easy on my sun-sensitive blue eyes.

    I love folksy music. Celtic is a favorite--both the high celtic orchestrations and the Irish pub songs. I love a good bagpipe. And I grew up on Bluegrass and old Western music.

    I had to think really hard about what some of my protag's favorites would by and why. She loves the scent of a specific herbal tea because it reminds her of when she lived near fields where the plants were grown before she lost her daughter. And she loves quiet places outdoors--hiking to them and camping in them--where she can get away from crowds and just listen to birdsong and babbling water and where no one is making demands or pressuring her to live up to their expectations.

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    1. Megan, I hope you'll have a cloudless day to see the eclipse.

      Thanks for this diverse, terrific list of your favorite things. I love notebooks too. I'm especially fond of spiral bound journals. I write in one every morning during my devotions.

      I prefer sunny days. Sunshine seems to recharge my batteries. :-)

      Your heroine feels real, someone I'd like to know.

      Are you Irish?

      Janet

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    2. I'm a fan of rainy days over sunshiny ones too.

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  4. Janet, I have that song from Sound of Music playing in my head as I write this. That's one of my top favorite movies :-)

    Some of my favorite things:
    Listening to peeper frogs on a early spring evening, and crickets on a early to mid-summer night. Squirrels & chipmunks, although I don't see many in our neighborhood. Oh and I discovered we have a mama deer with two babies that like to roam our neighborhood and come down our cul-de-sac to munch on someone's flowers (I'm sure she's not that neighbors favorite thing, lol)! Can you tell I love wild animals? I love watching the ocean waves whenever we go down to the beach, hearing them roar and smelling the slight tang of the salt air. That says "home" to me :-) I love watching the dogs play on the beach with their owners, finding sea shells, or sand dollars. Oh, can't forget the sunsets over the ocean! I think we have some of the most beautiful in the country! Listening to some favorite worship music, it always brings me in the presence of the Lord. The more I think of favorite things, the more I come up with. How fun :-)

    I miss lightning bugs! We don't see those here on the Oregon coast where I live. I grew up in Illinois and used to watch them every night. I also used to catch them in a jar with holes in the lid so they could get air. I also miss hearing cicadas in the summer. I loved their song although they are ugly bugs...lol!

    I really enjoy reading a characters favorite things in books,It makes them more real to me. You're right when you say it can bond readers closer to them because that's what happens for me.
    Thanks for the Amazon gift card chance. Books happen to be at the top of my "favorites" list :-)

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    1. Trixi, you're a fan of nature and so am I! I love the ocean and watching the sun rise or set anywhere. We live in a beautiful world! The critters are interesting to watch. Though I wouldn't want my flowers eaten. The poor deer have lost their habitat to the suburbs.

      I've been hearing cicadas for quite a while. One landed on our deck and it was huge.

      We drove up the Oregon coast to see lighthouses but it was socked in. Must be wonderful to live there and see the whales.

      Janet

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  5. Me too Tina, who cares about my character's favorite things! :)

    Soooo, not the ordinary things reader/writers love...

    I love

    my children spouting off obscure facts that I don't even know and when I check they're right

    loquacious toddlers with big vocabularies and Elmo voices

    the smell of sawdust

    My pillow (I hope it's indestructible because if it ever goes kaput, I'm not sure I will ever be able to sleep again if I can't buy another one)

    Pre-raphealite Art

    Logic Puzzles

    Finding Barbie Coloring books with lots of different style dresses (none of this story nonsense where she's wearing the same dress for multiple pages)

    Soft grass under bare feet

    eating green beans right off the plant

    Men/boys carrying babies around

    Circus Peanuts (Not actually from the circus, but rather the confused candy that's shaped like a peanut, is the color of an orange, and tastes like a banana)



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    1. Melissa, you have a fascinating list of favorites.

      What do you mean by pre-raphealite Art? Before Rapheal? What kind of art is that?

      It's been a long time since I've gone barefoot but you've made me want to.

      I'm not a fan of circus peanuts, but glad someone is. LOL My dh loves orange slices. I say, where's the chocolate?

      I've eaten strawberries and tomatoes off the plant, but I want my green beans cooked till their soft. I'm not a fan of crisp green beans that are served in restaurants.

      Janet

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    2. It was an art movement that disagreed with how Raphael "ruined art" is sort of the short sweet version.

      You've probably seen quite a lot of it, here's ten famous ones that I've bet you've seen one or two. : https://www.artfund.org/what-to-see/art-and-artists/top-10-pre-raphaelite-paintings

      And here's a quick little primer if interested in more than my quick explanation with some more paintings: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/becoming-modern/victorian-art-architecture/pre-raphaelites/a/a-beginners-guide-to-the-pre-raphaelites

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  6. What kind of pillow do you have, Melissa J?

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    1. It's a memory foam sort of pillow I got from Belk...and it has no tags. :( (My guess off their website is it's their Comfort Revolution line) However, it's like a literal 5 lbs. and thin, very telling. I would have to go into the store and find it for the exact one, but I've gone in every few years and checked to make sure they have one, and so far they have, but I'm sort of afraid to buy one (It's like an $80 pillow unless it's on sale) because the only way this pillow is dying is if it's in a fire or if the foam starts to disintegrate, and if I buy another one too early...well, then it'll disintegrate too.:( I'm praying this thing is a material that will never decompose and they can bury me with it. :) I've had it for more than a decade, it's yellowed with age and has nicks of missing foam, but it still feels like new, so here's hoping! (And now you know more about my pillow than you likely wanted!)

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    2. Oh! And the reason I love it is because I'm a pillow folder and/or I sleep with my arm under the pillow. So it can't be too thick because I have my whole entire arm under there, but needs to be dense enough I don't actually feel my bony arm. And every other pillow eventually succumbs to getting all bunched up in the corner where I fold it and becomes clumpy and uncomfortable, but no matter how much I squish/roll this thing up, it's completely unharmed. I Heart my pillow. :)

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    3. Melissa, you're a pillow connoisseur! I have a soft "My pillow" and like it. It folds, then fluffs again.

      Janet

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    4. Melissa, my pillow is a Talalay latex pillow from a Belk sale! :) I love mine, too (Mine's not memory foam, it more like old fashioned foam). The first one I had for about 10 years. Then I finally had to get a new one. So far so good on this one! We've also really liked the the Z Pillow from Malouf that we ordered online. Those lasted several years as well.

      Isn't it funny how attached we get to pillows! I usually travel with mine so I sleep better.

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    5. Well now I am on a pillow hunt online at Belks. I fold mine too and now use two because I have issues with them. Thank you all for the hints. Putting on my hat and going hunting.

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    6. Happy hunting, Tina. If you have a Belk nearby, I'd highly suggest going in and feeling them.

      Missy, I'm not sure this is actual memory foam, because it doesn't stay suppressed, but it's not old fashioned foam I don't think, it's got a strange dense feel to it, but I love it!

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  7. Great post, Janet! At the top of my list are hummingbirds. Here in Charlotte, we are blessed to enjoy their presence from May until late September, early October. My next love are purses, preferably large totes to hold my favorite journal, fancy pen and a book or two.

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    1. Jill, aren't hummingbirds amazing! They seem to like our neighbor's evergreens. Do you know why? Do they somehow get to the sap?

      Large totes are great to fill with all the stuff we want to have at hand. But they get heavy. I'm downsizing, or trying to. :-)

      Janet

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    2. Jill, I love hummingbirds! Saw them a lot in Colorado but not so much in Nebraska. They're super groovy!

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    3. Janet, hummies will go after the sap in certain trees. Our evergreens are bustling with hummies. I think they nest there too.
      Sharee, come to Charlotte! We just spent the last half an hour watching a feeding frenzy. There were at least 30 whizzing all around our feeders. They are groovy! :)

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    4. Jill, thought that had to be the reason. Thanks for verifying!

      Janet

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  8. I love birds... I love frogs and toads. I love the songs of the birds by day, and the frogsong of the night.

    And katydids, clacking in the August nights up here. My father-in-law stayed up late for weeks years back, ready to shoot the "bird" making all that racket outside his window at night! They didn't have central air then... and that katydid never did get shot! When I realized what he was hearing, and told him, he was unbelieving at first... and then kind of bummed...

    Grandpa learned to live with the noise of a katydid, squawking all night long.

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    1. Ruthy, those katydids can raise a racket! Thanks for sharing the hilarious grandpa story. Since you're a katydid fan, do you know if they're different than cicadas or one and the same? I may have to Google, if you don't know.

      Janet

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    2. Ruthy, I love summer night sounds!! I always miss it so much in the winter when the night gets so quiet.

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  9. Janet this post is fun. You're pottery is lovely and I'm with you on the uniballs.

    I love tea pots, Painted Ponies, and a few pieces of Limoge that belonged to my parents. And I love Elsie Dinsmore.

    I also love lavender and love that it is the base of a lot of men's colognes and that it is a favorite shaving soap for men in England. My hero wears an after shave with hints of lavender.

    I'm somewhat loath to include coffee as a favorite because having grown up in New York I always figured it was an automatic requirement for life or at least for clearing brain fog and becoming human. But under threat of having or not, it is most definitely a favorite.

    My other favorites aside from people in my life are reading and shelties and horses. All of my horses will be in the barn today as we are right in the path of the eclipse.

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    1. Barbara, teapots are just plain adorable and make me think of ladylike gatherings, pinkie raised. :-) But coffee is essential, as you say.

      How many horses do you have? I hadn't thought about protecting the eyesight of animals during the eclipse. Anyone know what to expect for wild animals? Maybe they wouldn't think to look to the sky.

      My neighbor owned a sheltie and she was smart as a whip and very obedient.

      Janet

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    2. Janet, I have heard some comments about animals during the eclipse. There is no more need to protect their eyes than any other day. They don't look at the sun normally, so wouldn't likely look at the eclipse, either.

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    3. Duh, that makes sense. Logic is not my forte.

      Janet

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  10. Oh, I love this! In no certain order, here are a few of my favorite things...

    Spending time with Family & Friends
    Coffee
    FaceTiming with grandchildren
    Fuzzy blankets
    Journals
    Cookbooks
    Coffee cups/mugs
    Essential Oils (especially diffusing them)
    G2 Pens (I use a purple one to grade papers)
    Giraffes
    The Smoky Mountains
    Hummingbirds


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    1. Rhonda, wonderful list! The Smoky Mountains are so lovely and well named. We haven't been there in years. We need to remedy that!

      Hope your school year is going well. Our teacher daughter is a big fan of purple in whatever form.

      I love that we can see and chat with those we love who live far away, but I sure don't like how I look when I facetime.

      Janet

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  11. This is fun. I agree with Rhonda about the G-2s. I use a red one for line-editing hard copy. Bold point, please.
    Agree with Janet and the other coffee fans. I have one cup in the early morning, black, why spoil the taste of good coffee. Too much coffee makes me mean, so I switch to tea in the mid-morning.
    Agree with Melissa about men and boys carrying babies, which is why all my fictional heroes Must Love Kids.
    Not sure about the Canada geest, in New Hampshire that means winter.
    But I do like the first snowfall, so there's that.
    Otherwise:
    -- Earl Grey tea in a china cup.
    -- Getting a Seekerville prize book in the mail. My heart beats when I see that bubble mailer.
    -- Dollhouses, my hobby.
    -- Attiquing for shabby chic or French country finds.
    -- Fresh produce, especially the corn and tomatoes.
    -- Chocolate, milk or dark.
    -- Christmas trees and outdoor lights.
    -- 50s television. Last night I watched some episodes on my Sgt. Bilko DVD.
    -- PBS costume dramas and mysteries.
    -- Old hymns.
    -- My Revised Standard Bible.
    That was fun. Didn't get much writing done over the weekend, but hope to recoup today.
    Kathy Bailey
    Recouping in New Hampshire

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    1. Hi Kathy, many of your favorites are things I love, too, but hadn't remembered until I saw them on your list. :-) Old hymns pop into my head during devotions. Songs that have been part of my life forever but we rarely hear today.

      Tell us about the dollhouses. Do you furnish them?

      Oh, Christmas trees delight my heart. I love to sit in a dark room with only the tree's illumination and listen to carols.

      Fresh snow is beautiful. Slick walks and streets not so much. I'm guessing you get a lot of snow.

      Have fun recouping today!

      Janet

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  12. I love books of course. Snowmen, yarn, and peanut butter cups are must haves. Amazon gift cards are another favorite thing.

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    1. Cathyann40, peanut butter cups! Yum!

      Are you a knitter, crocheter?

      Janet

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  13. From one Janet to another, here are a few of my favorite things.
    Books, books, and more books.
    Lots of milk chocolate (with nuts) to go with those books.
    A cup of hot tea to wash it all down with.
    My idea of Heaven on Earth.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Janet E, you've created a delightful scenario!

      Milk chocolate is my favorite but I typically keep dark chocolate around, my idea of a healthy snack.

      Janet

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  14. What a fun Monday morning exercise, thinking about our favorite things!
    It also works for a "get to know you" in 10 easy steps :)

    the smell of a fresh cut lawn

    the smell of summer rain

    sitting at the beach with my toes dug into the sand, hearing the waves, with a book in my hands

    quotes, I have them in journals and 2 boards full over my desk

    a hot relaxing shower after a long day, followed by...

    clean fresh sheets on the bed

    maps/globes

    books, to read and to display

    watching the birds at the feeders outside my window

    summer food-cooking on the grill, tomatoes for that first BLT, peaches, strawberries, vanilla custard, fresh veggies from the garden

    coffee


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    1. I forgot the chocolate, how is that possible?!

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    2. Tracey, we were at the beach last week. Spent the week under a beach umbrella with my toes in the sand, reading!! Heaven!

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    3. Hey Missy, Heavenly is right, I love a week at the beach!

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    4. Tracey, you've given us a list that touches the senses. You must be a writer! :-) Seriously, I love the smell of fresh cut grass, summer rain and fresh sheets. The ocean is my favorite place besides home.

      Janet

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    5. Okay, Tracey, your list made me happy!

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    6. Hey Janet, I thought about it after I made my list and they are mostly sensory in nature. I think there may be a writer down deep inside me, probably why I love hanging out with the cool people here at Seekerville.

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    7. Hey Tina, glad it made you happy, it made me happy looking at it too, but I'm not surprised, the sisters separated at birth thing and all :)

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    8. Tracey, we sure love having you here!

      Janet

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  15. What a fun post, Janet. Books and chocolate would go at the top of my list. I am not a coffee drinker, so I drink hot chocolate every morning. Like a coffee drinker, I am grumpy until I get my hot chocolate. I love tote bags and have several. I like ballpoint pens. I had to laugh at your comment about the pens because my husband likes the kind you do and I do not like to write with them at all.

    I don't have to travel anywhere to see the eclipse. I can step out my back door, so feel very fortunate.

    Please enter me for the gift card!

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    1. Sandy, if not for the controversy over pens, we'd both be living in marital bliss. LOL

      Hot chocolate is wonderful but I want mine hot, not warm, which is often how it is when I order it out.

      What gear are you using to see the eclipse?

      Janet

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    2. Janet, I have eclipse glasses. Actually have two pair since I bought some and then they were giving them away at church a couple weeks ago. I am also going to try some kind of pinhole device as well. We have some wispy clouds going on but so far with 2 1/2 hours until totality it is quite sunny. Hope it holds out.

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    3. Glad you're all set for the big reveal!

      Janet

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  16. I love reading everyone'ylist. Some of my favorite things are:

    1. Sassy Westies
    2. Shoes
    3. Purses with matching wallets
    4. Bright colors
    5. Lilies
    6. Hot tea
    7. Chocolate
    8. Traveling
    9. Good books
    10. Norman Rockwell Figurines

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    1. Hi Terri, pets are always favorites, aren't they? How many westies do you have?

      I love bright colors, too. I love color period.

      Norman Rockwell paintings and figurines tell a story and trigger emotion. I love that about his work.

      Janet

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    2. I have two Westies and I love that they are confident.

      And today I'm decked out in very bright hot pink shirt. Matching bag and shoes!

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    3. I have a Westie who id definitely confident.

      Pink shirt, bag and shoes? Impressive!

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    4. Terri and Jackie, pat your Westies. I'm sure you're looking sharp today, Terri, in your matching outfit!

      Janet

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  17. When I read the title I immediately heard the song playing in my head, and I thought, oh cool, Mary Poppins. You know, cause, Mary Poppins and the Sound of Music, they're practically the same. They're both older live action movies that have music in them, take place in a different time period, that I only remember ever watching once or twice. Oh, and they both are about nannies taking care of kids.

    A short, abridged and completely unorganized list of a few of my favorite things (other than the obvious ones like God, laptops, and family) are...

    boots, hoodies, jeans, pretty covers, bookstores and libraries, ice cream, chocolate, alliterations and rhyme, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Dr. Who, BBC dramas, Star Wars action figures, trees, waterfalls, ponds, lakes, oceans (basically anything made up of H2O), fresh air, windy days, and every animal everywhere (unless they have rabies), babies (and, oh all right, toddlers too), sunrises, sunsets, the feeling of the sun on my face, books... and so on.

    Please enter my name for the drawing, and forgive my obvious ignorance in matters of Mary Poppins and Sound of Music. I know, I'm such a Philistine.

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    1. Nicki, I'm the same way with water!

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    2. Nicki, delightful list! I'm like you and Missy about bodies of water. We have a pond out back and it adds so much to our enjoyment.

      You're not ignorant about Mary Poppins and Sound of Music. I hadn't thought of the excellent comparisons you mention.

      Windy days mess with my hair so not a favorite. LOL When it's really windy, I feel sorry for the birds trying to fly.

      Janet

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  18. Janet, I loved this! You really made me think about my characters.

    As for my favorite things...
    reading at the beach (just did that last week!!)
    watching a beautiful sunrise or sunset (did that last week, too!)
    Uniball Signo pens for everyday use (micro point)
    Pilot Precise pens for editing (purple and red)
    eating at farm-to-table restaurants (or any nice restaurant)
    my warm dog sitting on my feet in the winter
    summer night sounds
    getting snowed in (because that rarely happens, so it's special) :)
    snuggling with my daughter (and the rare times my sons will snuggle)
    reading books with characters that I can't get out of my mind
    watching favorite TV shows on DVR
    singing with the church choir--music/lyrics that give me chill bumps (Spirit bumps)
    cooking a special meal for my family and having them enjoy it
    Having the whole family together
    time with good friends

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    Replies
    1. Missy, family and friends are the best! I like to eat at nice restaurants. Actually I like to eat anywhere. :-)

      You mention Pilot pens. I thought that my favorite pens used to be Pilot pens but now they're not called that. Maybe my memory is bad or the company was sold.

      Janet

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    2. Missy, I love snow days too and binge watching Gilmore Girls :)
      Oh yes and restaurants. Love eating out and someone else doing the dishes :)

      Delete
  19. BTW, Janet, I love your bow purse!

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    1. Missy, you make two votes for my bow purse. It's so cute but I want to make sure it works with enough clothing to make it worth it.

      Janet

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  20. Love seeing your favorite things, Janet! And yes, I've sometimes "given" my own favorite things to characters in my books!

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    1. Glynna, go you! I thought about my books and except for nature and family, my characters didn't have little favorites. I'm going to work on that.

      Janet

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  21. Janet, what a fun post. I also enjoy purses and all kinds of bags. I had to force myself to walk away from a bag on sale for $7.00 because I know I've got a weak spot for them.
    In my WIP, my heroine loves antiques. She doesn't know much about her family, and when she finds pretty things, she likes to imagine maybe a relative used the piece of had something like it.
    Thanks for reminding us to inject personality into our characters!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jackie, thanks for sharing your heroine's favorite antiques and her heart tugging reason. I'm impressed!

      Janet

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  22. Good morning, Janet! Your post got me thinking about my personal favorite things. Definitely my doggies, and now the kitty our daughter left behind after they moved overseas. Also my favorite pillows for sleeping--can hardly bear to travel anywhere without them!

    Now I'll have to start thinking about favorite things I've given my story characters . . .

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    1. Myra, what kind of pillow is perfect for you?

      Janet

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    2. I've been using a Bucky bed pillow for about two years now and love it. I can shape the filling to fit the way I need it to for comfort and support, and it pretty much stays that way until I move and need to change it.

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    3. Myra, I've not heard of that pillow. Obviously pillows matter as several of us like ours!

      Janet

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  23. Janet! Love your post of things you love. I love your books. I love the monarch butterflies. We have thistles and the butterflies flock to them. I've taken a ton of pictures. And I love running.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sally, Monarchs are some of my favorite things too!

      Delete
    2. Sally, thank you for your sweet words about my books! I didn't realize butterflies flock to thistles. All kinds?

      You run? On purpose??

      Janet

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    3. My thistles have the purple flower thingys on top. Butterflies seem to love them.

      I do! On purpose! My goal for next year is to run a 10k and a half marathon. I ran an 8 miler this year. The 5k I ran this past weekend, I'd run an 8 miler before I'd run it again lol. It is a rough course with some very steep hills.

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    4. Sally, I'm so impressed that you run! Hills have to hurt!

      Janet

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  24. My favorite things -
    Books, of course, fiction first, then books on writing, books on the Bible and Bible times, Books on England and Scotland, books on the Old West and the Prairie

    The hubby's goofy jokes, complete with accents and animation
    Black coffee
    Family visits, kids' sports, playing ukuleles with my daughters
    The best dogs in the world--Cash and Tee--Mini Aussies
    Hershey's Milk Chocolate, with or without almonds
    Chocolate chip cookies
    Our butterfly garden - complete with Monarchs, Queens, Swallowtails, hummingbirds
    Irish Soda Bread with raisins and crusted with coarse sugar, toasted and buttered

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dana, your hubby must keep life interesting. Laughter is great medicine. Life with him must be such fun.

      I'm not familiar with Queen butterflies. Must check them out. We haven't had many butterflies this year. I'm concerned.

      Irish soda bread is delicious when it's crusty. Is your family Irish or Scottish?

      Janet

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    2. Janet, my grandpa came from Scotland as a young man, so I consider my family Scottish. My hubby always says "I'm Irish" when he needs to excuse himself. We'll see if we need to turn in our kilts for lederhosen in about 8 weeks when we get our DNA results from Ancestry.com. :) LOL

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    3. Dana, how exciting! Hope you'll let us know whether you're Irish or Scottish!

      Janet

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  25. I love wildflowers--drawing them, photographing them, reading about them, hunting for rare ones, and just enjoying seeing what's blooming. And knowledge of wildflowers has a tendency to make it into my writing, even if it's just one plant in particular that is relevant to the story; it's pretty easy to work it into historicals as pharmacological plants and wild edibles were much more in demand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rachael, wildflowers are so pretty. I have the book Wildflowers Across America by Lady Bird Johnson. It's a great resource for knowing what flowers are native to an area.

      I also have Rodale's illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs. I used this book to find herbs that would work for a tonic my doctor hero Luke peddled in my second book.

      Janet

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  26. Oh Ms. Janet, this is too much fun. Some of my favorite things:
    Anything purple because it makes things better
    Cardinals singing
    The sound of my children giggling
    Hot tea on a cold day
    80s music when I’m on a roadtrip
    Almond M&Ms
    Bath and Body Works Sleep lotion
    My bed (it’s hard as a rock and I love it)
    The smell of fresh laundry
    Bunnies hopping around my backyard
    Hiking in the mountains
    Walking early in the morning when the sun is just waking up
    Yarn (I have a ton of it because I crochet but can’t resist a sale)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just started crocheting! I love it. I bought some yarn. Decided I needed something to put it in so it wasn't just sitting around. Bought a tub. Found out I needed TWO tubs to hold all the yarn lol.

      Delete
    2. Yep! Done that. And space bags are fabulous for squishing it all down so it'll fit.

      Delete
    3. Sharee, I love the cardinal's distinctive call and the males' pretty red feathers. Bunnies are great, as long as I have them fenced out of my garden. :-)

      Your list is full of the five senses!

      Janet

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  27. Grandkids
    Old people
    Watching clouds drift
    Birds in the sky
    Fire in the wintertime
    Coke, popcorn and a good movie
    Antiques
    Great Danes
    Outdoor exercise during spring & fall
    Sound of a newborn's cry
    Copper and pewter

    old dogs, children and watermelon wine. Wait. No...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Connie, lovely, varied list! I love that you love old people. Do you work with them?

      The cry of a newborn awakens every mothering instinct I have. It's all I can do to stay put and let the parents handle it. Especially when they're strangers. LOL

      Never had watermelon wine. Not sure if it made the list or not. :-)

      I love movies but rarely go, even when there's something I want to see. I think we're over scheduled. :-(

      Janet

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    2. LOL. Janet, the watermelon wine came from a George Burns song. I've never had it either.

      No, I don't work w/old people, but I love to watch them and wonder what they were like when they were young. They always seem so sweet, but if you could get them in a conversation, you'd probably learn all kinds of interesting things they've done.

      I mentioned the popcorn and movie, but I prefer it that at home. When I was a kid we used to do that in my family. Gather around the tv and Dad would always ask mom to make popcorn and brings us a Coke. I still love doing this w/my husband and kids. Bonus if the movie's good.


      Delete
    3. Connie, we used to make popcorn when IU, our favorite team, had a basketball on TV. The family dog would eat everything we dropped. Fun memories!

      Janet

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  28. Thank you for a fun post, Janet!

    My list includes:
    The Lord
    My husband
    Our families
    Friends
    Cats
    Butterflies
    Books
    Flowers

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    Replies
    1. Hi Phyllis, you've got all the important stuff high up on your list. Are the cats your pets? Any particular flower? It's hard to choose. I love hydrangeas. Snapdragons are great little survivors. Both handle being cut and brought inside.

      Janet

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  29. Everyone's lists are so inspiring!
    1. My spinning wheel.
    2. My stash of wool fibre, and silk rovings.
    3. Sock yarn to be knit up.
    4. Coffee.
    5. Writing books.
    6. Spinning books and magazines.
    7. Our Folio Book Collection of Classics
    8. I had a set of 12 Collector Plates of famous Tall Ships from 1987 that were lost in our first military move. Broke my heart.
    9. Precious Moments figurines for special events. Stopped collecting them when husband joined the military and I realized how much stuff we'd lose on moves.
    10. Christmas ornaments from places we've lived or visited.
    11. Disney ornaments for the kids over the years. Each one represents whatever was their obsession for that particular year.
    12. Every Mary Stewart Gothic original book eg. Touch Not The Cat or My Brother Michael.
    13. Did I say sock yarn? :)
    14. Afghanistan scarves my husband bought me when he was over there in 2010. He bought them at various times.
    15. He collects mugs from places he's been - I have 3 kitchen cupboards with 3 shelves each full of mugs. We have 5 kitchen cupboards!
    16. Collector spoons from places we've been. I started on our honeymoon 29 yrs ago and have over 100 from Dubai to South Africa to Scotland. Maybe I should say - places HE's been! :)
    17. and like everyone else PURPLE pens whenever I can find them!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurie, you can spin wool? And knit socks? I'm so impressed! I bought sock yarn once and never could figure out how to make them.

      We buy ornaments from places we've visited. Our Christmas trees are a walk down memory lane.

      Your hubby's mugs are taking over your kitchen! I just want you to know I appreciate your husband's service and you for making all those moves and handling things alone while he's gone. Have you checked eBay for those tall ship plates??

      Janet

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    2. I originally bought them from eBay and once the seller realized I was the only one bidding on them he gave me a special price to take them all. I just loved them and I've never seen them again. I also scrapbook and on our second move, everyone of those came in the van with us too. I learned the hard way! we've lost clothes, wool fibre, all kinds of stuff on moves. Yes, I spin and my wheel was broken on a move but I couldn't claim it because it was bought second-hand and I had no receipt! Luckily I made friends with a gal at church whose husband is an *engineer* not a wood-worker but he fixed it up for me. :) I spin and knit for relaxation and am going to make a couple of heroines do it in future books just for fun. And my hubby cannot stop himself from collecting mugs! We have them from every Base he's even just stopped over for gas at, never mind a mission! lol...he's the pack rat in the family but I do love my collector spoons he's brought back from Isreal and everywhere. I'm not much of a cook and I don't garden (not allowed on military property although I did when we owned our own home) but I do love to spin and knit. :)

      Delete
    3. Laurie, so glad you were able to get your spinning wheel fixed. I'm sure you've made some beautiful things.

      I knit too, but only scarves or anything that doesn't have to fit. Before our first baby was born I knitted a blanket and a sweater. The sleeves were ridiculously long once she arrived, but the blanket worked. I learned my lesson.

      Janet

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  30. JANET, good morning! I LOVE your favorite things. Many of them mirror mine. (UM... *clink* Coffee cheers!!!!)

    My favorite things:

    * The color RED
    * Teapots
    * Gingerbread men (wall art & decorations)
    * Apple things
    * Vintage cookbooks (the recipes AND photos!)
    * Old movie classics (Singin' in the Rain, anyone?)
    * Jimmy Stewart, Doris Day, Lucille Ball... Ahhh)
    * My husband's kisses (*a-hem)
    * The beach
    * Seafood; Country Cookin'
    * The book of Psalms
    * Sticky notes, Ultra-fine tip Sharpies, & offc. supplies
    * The scent of lilac

    (Ohhhhhh.... I must stop. ;) )

    Things my characters like:

    * Baking
    * Sunsets
    * Underdog causes
    * Blue jeans
    * Puppies and kitties
    * Men with rough edges, but hearts of gold.

    Thank you for asking! SO MUCH FUN!

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    1. Cynthia, Fun list! Teapots appear to be popular with lots of us. You're the first to mention your favorite color. I'm guessing you look great in red.

      I like gingerbread men, too--to eat!

      The favorites your characters have make them feel like us! I guess that's the point.

      Janet

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  31. Hi Janet!

    I love your list of favorite things. We have many in common, except I'll pass on the coffee (but I love my tea!), and to me, purses are utilitarian, not an accessory. :)

    And my pen of choice is a fine tip fountain pen, although I do love the uniball pens, too. Have you seen the color infused ones? I have a set and use them for writing. The ink is black with just a hint of color.

    But the Polish Pottery! I have a mug that I picked up in Michigan last spring, and it brightens my "mugs and books" shelf in my office. I love the striking colors!

    A few of my favorite things? This list could get out of hand, but I'll limit it to ten:

    Worship
    God's Word
    The wind in the pines
    Sunshine
    Soft little puppy feet
    Babies & children
    Chocolate
    The good kind of tired (earned)
    Spending time with my hubby
    A good book


    Things my character likes (Jonas Weaver from my current WIP):

    Rich soil
    Katie's smile
    A full wood pile
    Family times together
    Schnitz Pie

    Fun stuff! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jan, my pens are fountain pens with fine tips so maybe we're talking about the same thing. I haven't seen the color infused black ink. Wonder how they do that?

      Great list! Glad you've got a piece of Polish pottery in your office. A couple other Seekers have pieces too.

      Describe Schnitz pie. Is it a German recipe?

      Janet

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    2. It's a common recipe from the 1800's, and is from the Pennsylvania Dutch.

      "Schnitz" or "Snitz" is dried fruit, most often apples. Schnitz Pie is apple pie made from reconstituted dried apples. A real treat for 19th century folks...I guess...I always use fresh apples for my pies!

      To make it, you boil the schnitz in water until it's soft, and then run it through a colander. Add cinnamon, sugar and a bit of salt, then bake in a pie shell.

      Hmmm, I think I know why Jonas likes it!

      Delete
    3. Jan, Dried is a great way to store fruit. Fits your books perfectly. Was this done before canning or just an easier way?

      Janet

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  32. Fun post Janet. I stayed home today to have a "science day" with Guppy. (school hasn't started yet) We're going to watch the eclipse on TV, then view the 85% eclipse here on the East Coast with our box projector doo-dads we made following Boy Scout instructions online. Little man is excited.
    My list of favorite things:
    The Rocky Mountains
    Dolphins
    Sea turtles
    Scuba diving
    Reading
    Dark chocolate
    Children's Animation
    The Princess Bride
    Lightning bugs

    I'm sure there's more, but we're wrapping up eclipse prep for little man. My most favorite thing with my hubby.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. DebH, picturing you and Guppy enjoying the eclipse together!

      I love dolphins. One time a couple of them leaped in the wake of a boat I was riding in. I'll never forget it. They're so intelligent and fun loving.

      Where do you like to Scuba dive? I'm impressed that you do that!

      Janet

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    2. I like to dive in Florida or the Bahamas, but most of my diving has been right off the coast here in Virginia Beach. Have done Hawaii as well and a few quarries (fresh water) which were fun.
      Eclipse watching with Guppy was fun. Since we did not experience total eclipse/darkness, he was a bit disappointed - but over all he thought it was cool.

      Delete
  33. Janet, what a fun post. :) And the reminder to give our character favorite things is spot on. :)

    Let's see a few of my favorite things:
    movie night and homemade popcorn with my hubby
    Home made popcorn any time, anywhere
    My boys' smiles and laughter
    Nutella by the spoonful (but I don't indulge very often)
    Roses
    Sunrises and sunsets
    growing flowers in my planter--this year it's pansies, dianthus, begonias and primroses
    Photography
    Morning walks
    Dark chocolate
    scented candles
    Coffee--always coffee. Maybe I should have listed this one first. ;)

    I didn't do any prep for watching the eclipse. Sigh. Too many other things to do. I hope everyone who's watching it loves it!

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    Replies
    1. Jeanne T, I plan to watch the eclipse on TV. We're not in the direct path but I'm hoping we'll still see a big difference in the light.

      Pansies' little faces are adorable! Do you and your hubby watch movies at home? We need Netflix.

      Janet

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    2. We do watch movies at home. Almost always. We have a good collection, but we need Netflix too. ;)

      Delete
  34. I'm watching the eclipse. I am one minute away from totality!!!!!! (I live in the path of 97% totality and its not even close to dark out!)

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    1. Mary, thanks for the report. I'm surprised it's not almost dark there! Keep us posted. I'm not in the path but it did get a little darker.

      Janet

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  35. Fun to see everyone's list...
    I like G2 pens
    notebooks/journals
    Books
    Kindle books
    Seekerville
    Shoes/Purses
    Peanut Butter logs
    Amazon gift cards (so count me in the drawing please!)
    THANKS, Janet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jackie S, I've seen several G2 pens. What are they exactly? I don't know Peanut Butter logs but I'm sure I'd love them. I love peanut butter.

      Janet

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  36. Delightful post, Janet! That pottery is lovely. Isn't it nice to have things that are made by hand? In fact, items made by friends and family are some of my favorite things :-)

    That purse is great, by they way!

    Nancy C

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    1. Hi Nancy, I have a lot of things that are handmade. The family items are most precious to me. I tried making baskets once so really respect basket makers.

      Yours makes three votes for the purse. Maybe I'll snip off the tags.

      Janet

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  37. So enjoyable to read through all the lists -- and recognize so many things that bring joy. Thanks, everyone!

    Nancy C

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  38. Delightful post, Janet. Like you, I'm a Polish pottery fan. Also have fond memories of catching lightning bugs as a child when I visited my grandparents.

    Other favs...

    The beach
    Fresh cut flowers in my house
    A bowl of fresh fruit in the kitchen
    Family gatherings (be still my heart)
    Paper in any shape or form
    Artichokes
    First cup of coffee in the morning

    I could go on and on.

    Just watched the eclipse. We hit 97%!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debby, ah, fresh flowers and fruit make a house so homey.

      Was it dark there during the eclipse? I want a firsthand report!

      Janet

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  39. Hi Janet:

    This morning I read a short story by a dear friend which was just sent to me yesterday by his widow who is now living in Mississippi. The title was: "I Remember Grandma's Hollyhocks". This is indeed odd because up to now I would have guessed that 'Hollyhocks' were a cut of pork.

    One of my favorite things is strange co-incidences that are very hard to explain. Today is one of them. I also thought it odd that the fact that your husband does not like your pens would perhaps be a problem. To me and my wife such cases are to be cheered. It means you won't have to share those items!

    Favorite things my wife does not like: Coffee ice cream, genuine feather pillows, dark meat chicken and turkey, chocolate mint cream pie, driving with windows open, and I'm sure there are more.

    Other favorite things:
    1. remote control buttons.
    2. extensions to ceiling fan pull strings.
    3. bratwurst eaten with fingers after dipping the end in a pile of horseradish mustard.
    4. very thin pizza.

    Isn't it interesting how many of our favorite things do not cost much money?

    Vince

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    1. Vince, that's a big coincidence! I'm glad you've discovered Hollyhocks. Did you look them up online? They're sturdier than gladiolas and will come up for a couple years but may not reseed themselves. Ours didn't flourish here but they grew around my grandmother's garden and I remember admiring them. I liked her honeysuckle too, the reason I planted a vine on our trellis. Now it's taking over or trying to. The wisteria is giving it a run for it's money.

      You make a good point. I should be happy my DH isn't snatching my favorite pens but I just can't accept he doesn't admire them like I do. As a salesman, you should understand this. :-)

      Perhaps we have Julie Andrews to thank for not getting greedy with our favorite things. Now if the song had listed boats, houses and cars, our response might've been different. :-)

      Janet

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  40. JANET, thank you for this fun post! Your bow purse is too cute!

    Some of my favorite things are:
    Signed paperbacks
    Dark chocolate
    Spicy Chai Tea
    Bright toenail polish in the Summer
    Time with friends
    Reading the day away.....


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caryl, great list! My toes are bright red. How about yours?

      Janet

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  41. Checking back in after the eclipse. So fortunate to be able to see it, and the clouds stayed away! It was absolutely amazing. It was definitely everything that it was hyped up to be!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yay! Was amazing to see on the Internet!

      Janet

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  42. Hey, Janet! I'm popping in to say I loved your list! It's a fun reminder. My heroine's favorite fruit in The Beautiful Pretender was cherries, and in the beginning I had her salivating for a bite of a cherry tart that was meant for her mistress. All through the book I would occasionally mention her love for cherries, and then at the end, the hero made sure there were plenty of cherries at their wedding feast. It was a sweet moment. :-)
    I need to add a little more personality, I think, to the characters in my WIP, so I'm thinking about what I could add as a favorite thing for the H/H.
    The eclipse was so exciting! I watched it with my two daughters and my daughter's roommate--they drove up from college. We had about 98% here. It got so dark and cool that the cicadas started their nighttime singing! But it didn't get completely dark. It was just really, really dim. It was weird. Fun to experience it! I love nature and God's amazing creativity!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Melanie, thanks for sharing your heroine's love of cherries. Love that the hero made sure she had plenty of her favorite!

      I'm thrilled to hear your cicadas started singing with the eclipse. They probably were really confused when the sun came back out! Our world is as amazing as our God!

      Janet

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  43. Oooohhh -- favourite things is such a fun topic though that song is stuck on replay in my mind now. :-) Bet you'll never guess what is waaaaaayyy up at the top of my list? Books!!! Are you surprised? And authors! And fellow readers who love to share about books. And book cover artists who make such beguiling covers that are impossible to resist and libraries and bookstores and bookmarks and a really good narrator reading a favourite book and especially absolutely the honest to goodness real kind of 'book' book -- not the digital imitation. :-)

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    1. Kav, you're a book lover for sure!! And you're not alone! I like to hold books in my hands, too, but LI books aren't on the shelves long so I'm thankful for digital copies that ensure good stories don't die.

      How are your shoes coming??

      Janet

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  44. Loved your list, Janet!

    I don't collect pottery, but I had an Etsy shop for several years and through that experience I came to love so much of the mid-century household items. I found it impossible to part with some of them, so I ended up with quite a collection. Seeing it always makes me smile. I've worked a few vintage/antique items into my characters' favorite things.

    Also, I bought my first piece of vintage clothing at the ripe old age of fifteen – a flapper dress with a black top and gold skirt. Even as a kid I loved old things (even people, LOL) and so after that dress I began a serious collection. I have a whole room full of clothing, hats, shoes, jewelry, eyeglasses, wigs, scarves, etc. Most of it vintage. My husband built racks and shelves for everything. The grandkids enjoy that room immensely. They dress up and put on fashion shows :-) A character in one of my WIP has a fascination with vintage clothing and I've had a lot of fun with that.

    And like TINA, I love vintage typewriters!

    Thanks for such a fun post!

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    1. Laura, wow, I'm impressed with your collection. Your dh is a great guy to build racks and shelves to store them! I'm guessing you get some adorable pictures of the grandkids wearing the vintage clothes!

      Janet

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    2. Yes, he is a sweetheart and so good at building things. In addition to the vintage items in our Etsy shop, we also sold items he made from reclaimed/repurposed lumber. The shop was a lot of fun - for a while. Btw, I rarely shop for shoes (I'm clumsy, so no heels) but I love bags and purses. The one you shared here is so cute!

      Delete
  45. I like anything Marvel merchandise, especially Captain America. I did get to see the eclipse at work because I borrowed a prepared colleague's eclipse glasses to see the eight percent covered sun.

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    1. Hi Boo, do you collect any of the Marvel merchandise? Is it pricey?

      Glad your colleague shared the eclipse glasses!

      Janet

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  46. Janet, How fun to think of my favorite things, and as a pre-planning tool, think of some of my characters' favorite things. I love my children's smiles, date night with WH, hot fudge sundaes (you were absolutely right), a bookshelf full of unread books, unsweetened ice tea, Cary Grant movies, Italian restaurants, sunflowers and that's just a partial small list. For my hero, his daughter's happiness. For my heroine, a well oiled engine. Thank you for such a positive topic!

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    1. Tanya, ooh, Cary Grant was a cutie! I haven't watched an old movie in ages.

      Congrats on being aware that story people have favorites too!

      Janet

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  47. Super fun post, Janet. I love your list. I, too, love purses (over shoes or any other accessory). Your lady-head vases made me think of my grandmother, Rachel. She collected them also. A few of my favorite things include:

    My Kindle Paperwhite
    Snuggles with my daughter (sadly, my sons are past this age)
    Anything tuberose
    Breakfast foods, especially poached eggs
    Hallmark Christmas movies
    the first snowfall
    Peak foliage which also falls on my wedding anniversary
    Walking around Quebec City
    Macarons (especially hazelnut and raspberry)

    I love thinking up favorites for my characters. And, that they pick up on what those are for the other and gift them with those favorites.

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    1. Josee, fun, happy list! I want to join you on that walk around Quebec City and a stop for macarons!

      Your characters are thoughtful people, the best kind.

      Janet

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  48. My favorite things.

    Watching my kids perform
    Pretty much anything pumpkin-flavored.
    Cool nights
    thunderstorms
    Coffee (though pumpkin spice coffee with a pumpkin scone might be too much)
    New books
    Christmas carols

    There's more, but this is a good start.

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    1. Walt, that's a great start! Isn't it amazing to think about all the little things that bless our lives?

      Janet

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  49. JANET!! You had me at hot fudge sundaes!! That's the ONLY thing Keith and I ever get when we go to a frozen custard place!! Except I like LOTS of whipped cream, so I'll bring my own can if we ever have sundaes together ;)

    LOVE this post, and would you believe it's the 2nd time I've been asked this today? We had company all weekend who left late this afternoon AFTER we watched the eclipse out in our boat on the lake in between swimming in a cove and eating lunch on the boat. VERY fun! And not at ALL crowded -- barely any boats around. :)

    My friend asked me what some of my favorite things are, and I said:

    Sitting on my veranda while it's raining.
    The blue heron couple who live in our cove.
    Cardinal birds and hummingbirds.
    Hazelnut, caramel machiatto, or salted caramel coffee.
    Old movies.
    Musicals (especially Sound of Music & My Fair Lady, Mama Mia, and Phantom of the Opera)
    Lip gloss.
    Dinners with friends.
    Family get-togethers.

    And you are SO right about giving our characters favorite things, my friend. I love giving my heroes an addiction like Snickers or Tootsie Rolls. :)

    Fun post, Janet!

    Hugs,
    Julie


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    1. Julie, I want to sit on your veranda with you and listen to musicals while eating hot fudge sundaes! A blue heron visits the pond out back. We never see the mate, though we have seen him chase off other herons so they're territorial. The "little woman" must stay in the nest. Would love to know where it is.

      Have fun feeding your heroes sugar addiction!

      Janet

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  50. What a FUN post today, Janet!! :)
    Sorry I'm super late - - tried to get on computer earlier and lost internet service (ugh).
    I always enjoy giving my characters a favorite pet, candy, hobby, and even favorite color. Helps them come alive more for me as I write! ;)
    Some of my favorite things (besides my God, family, friends, and Bible) are:
    Cats
    Lighthouses
    The color pink
    Sunflowers
    Cream-filled donuts
    M&Ms
    Listening to birds singing in my Elm trees
    Needlepoint
    Playing my piano
    Georgia Peaches ;)

    Thanks for starting our week out on such a happy note!
    Hugs, Patti Jo

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    1. Patti Jo, your list made me hungry. :-) I didn't know you played the piano, but in my mind, I can see you playing dressed in pink with a kitty curled up beside you.

      I thought all the elm trees had died out years ago. At least they did around here. So glad they're in the south.

      Janet

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  51. P.S. YIKES!! Cannot believe I forgot to mention COFFEE!! That goes up at the top of my list right underneath CATS, hehe!! ;)

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  52. Ooh. I love pens and stationery. Apparently this is an inheritable trait πŸ˜†; all my children love them, too, even the boy. My girls and I definitely obsess over purses. Sigh.

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    1. MH, do you write letters? Notes? Letter writing is almost a lost art.

      Isn't it fun to have girls to share those obsessions with?

      Janet

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  53. Unfortunately, soda is one of my favorite things. Specifically: vanilla coke...if only I liked drinking water as much as coke. But my love of water only has to do with beaches.

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    1. Megan, I haven't had a vanilla coke in ages. They're good!

      Janet

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  54. Janet, I really enjoyed your column today. It warmed my heart. And from the amount of comments you have received many other writers also could relate. I'm a purse hog too. So many I had to buy clear plastic containers to store them. The first thing I do each morning is drink a glass of water, (per Dr. Oz) then have two full cups of coffee. Can't start my day without it. I collect Spode plates in blue, Art Deco in blue such as vases, jars and royal blue pieces. My whole house is blue even my carpet. I love Christmas ornaments and other holiday decorations and can't wait to take down my red, white and blue and exchange it for orange pumpkins and my Autumn stuff. My characters are created with pieces of me, my family and friends and people I admire and could never be. Thanks for the lovely, romantic blog today, very inspiring and a feel good burst of happy thoughts to start my day.

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    1. Suzanne, I love blue! I have antique blue and white plates with a couple of Spode on our walls. Blue makes my heart sing. :-)

      I think we put pieces of ourselves in every book, especially in the moral of the story, the point.

      Hope your day is great!

      Janet

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  55. One of my favorite things: my grandpa's watch. I took off the old expandable band and I switch out bands to match whatever I'm wearing so I can take the memory of him with me wherever I go. I love the scratches on the watch face. I'll never have them buffed out. They remind me of watching him fix the tractor or tinker in the garage.

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    1. that is soooo cool. I love Grandpa memories. mine liked to work with wood.

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    2. Stephanie, I agree with DebH, your favorite thing is so cool! You're blessed to have had a hardworking, talented grandfather you admired and loved.

      Janet

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  56. We were in the "path of totality" so no traveling, which was a blessing looking at the traffic.

    Agree with many of your favorite things. One of mine is Seekerville authors, yourself included! :D

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    1. KC, that's just the sweetest thing to say! The Seekers thank you. Thanks for stopping in with May.

      Janet

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  57. My favorite things? Oh, so many! Fresh tomatoes from my garden. Catching lightning bugs (fireflies) with my 3 1/2 year old granddaughter. Her laughter when we catch them. Rainbows. God and His Grace! My husband and daughter. Living almost 67 years and being as healthy as I am. Books, books, books and my joy of reading!
    Oops! These sound more like blessings than favorite things but maybe, for me, there is no difference!
    Blessings to you!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Connie, there is no difference when we're talking about the "big" stuff. We're blessed for sure. Thanks for sharing the little things too. Fresh tomatoes, fireflies and rainbows should be song lyrics. :-)

      Janet

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  58. I have too many favorites to list, but my furry friend Teddy is in the top five. Enjoyed your post!

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    1. Debi, hello. Thanks for stopping by with your pal Teddy.

      Janet

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  59. Coffee & Books, they go well together!

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