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Thank you…

…for letting me be a tiny blip on your blog-o-sphere radar. Thank you to everyone who has read and / or commented on my posts.

This is the most difficult blog post I’ve ever had to write. Today is my last post for Pages from Stages. It has been such an honor to be a part of this blog. I love each and every one of my blog buddies here so much! Not to sound cliche, but I really do hold them near and dear to my heart. While I won’t be posting each week here with them, we’re still friends and we’ll be keeping in touch and running into each other in many places, I’m sure.

I am in an extremely busy season in my life. I won’t bore you with the details, but I have a LOT going on. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day sometimes. This decision was beyond hard. I agonized over it. I prayed over it for so long. And I received my answer. God is asking me to give up Pages From Stages. What writing time I can carve out needs to be spent on my book(s). God knows His plan for me. He’s in control and He knows exactly what He’s doing. That doesn’t always mean it’s easy. I just have to be willing to obey and trust Him.

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…” Ecclesiastes 3:1

I have some sadness in my heart, but a great peace. I know this is the Lord’s leading and I trust Him.

I enjoyed getting to know our faithful readers. Your comments have been a blessing and a gift I’ll always cherish.

I’ll be stopping by to comment from time to time. So dear readers, I’ll not say goodbye, but instead…I’ll be seeing you.

May God be with you and bless you,
Susan Hollaway
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So many good blogs…how do you pick a favorite?

Thankfully, I don’t really have to. There’s a plethora of blogs to peruse on the internet, and it’d be difficult for me to pick just one favorite.  So, I’m going to highlight two writer blogs from which I glean a great deal.  I also want to share a different kind of blog I just found –a food blog.  Let’s get started…

Seekerville is a great blog for writers. It was founded by a group of writers who have all since become published authors.  They all have a heart to help other writers and they provide so much information. They teach, encourage, and make their faithful followers feel like part of the blog family. They also host many guest bloggers.  There’s always something new to be learned from Seekerville. And more often than not, you will find an amusing tidbit tucked in to make you smile, chuckle, sometimes laugh out loud, and if you’re me –snort!

The second is Kristen Lamb’s blog. She always has something to share worth reading. She’s a no-holds-barred, shoots-straight-from- the-hip kind of gal. She’s smart, witty, clever, a great writer, published author, and a social media expert.  I get her daily blog posts in my inbox so I don’t miss them.

There are other blogs out there that I enjoy visiting. Some of which apply to other areas of my life.  I’m on a quest to eat even healthier and searching for more recipes and ideas with total whole foods packed with nutrition. Oh, and easy.  Right now, I need easy.  Enter  Pepper Lynn, loving people through food.   I’ve just discovered this blog and I think that it’ll be a mainstay in my internet diet.

I’d love you to share what are some of your favorite blogs.

Have a blessed day!

Susan Hollaway

Strawberry Cream Cheese Croissants

I ran across this recipe on the internet and thought it looked really tasty.  It’s one of those “pretty” desserts.  A  little fancy too!   A perfect dessert for an afternoon tea time with friends, a ladies’ luncheon, or a brunch.  Or just because they look amazingly good and you want one.
Photo courtesy of. Rumbly In My Tumbly blog
I must give credit to the owner of this recipe. It’s  one of her original creations.  Her name is Shannon, she lives in the state of Washington, and is the owner of  Rumbly In My Tumbly blog.
I have not yet tried this, but I want to.  For my family, this would definitely be a special occasion recipe. Here you go….courtesy of Shannon, the amazing baker!
A Rumbly in my Tumbly original

Ingredients:

1 package of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1/4 cup of homemade strawberry jam
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg + 1 tsp of water for egg wash

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Cream until there are no lumps. 

Unroll each crescent roll. On the fattest part of the triangle place 1 tsp on cream cheese mixture and one tsp of jam. Roll into a croissant shape.

Whisk together egg and water for egg wash and brush over each croissant.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until croissants are golden brown and inside is no longer doughy. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Is your mouth watering yet?  Mine is. Hmmm.  It is a delicate looking dessert, but maybe if
I sling some sausage or other hearty fixins’ on the plate, I can get away with making
these for Father’s Day when we have our tradition of serving breakfast in bed to hubs.
 
 
I’m sure it will be delicious. For other scrumptious looking
goodies, click on over to Shannon’s place. She sure to have more lip-smackin’
good recipes to please your palate.  
Blessings, 
Susan Hollaway
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A Mother’s Love

It fills you up! Something happens when you become a mother. A kind of love like no other comes and washes over you expanding your heart. Here is this little creature that is totally dependent upon you and you pray you’re up to the task.

You teach  your child so many things. And she teaches  you.  So many things you thought you’d outgrown long ago, suddenly become uber important to do. Were they this fun when you were little?  Laying on a blanket in the yard talking, watching the clouds, and being silly. Crouching down on your hands and knees watching ants.  Chasing butterflies with a net and oohing and aahing over the beauty you catch . Flying a kite and running across the park with wild abandon, with not a care of who might be watching. And the most beautiful bouquet you’ve ever received comes arranged in a grass-stained fist clutching dandelions and clover.

Next year, my daughter will be a senior in high school. Where did the time go?  She posted the following post on facebook this week. “My life is like a musical. All I have to do is break out into song, even at the weirdest times, and my mom joins in even when she doesn’t know why.”  Awww. That warmed my heart.

It’s true. There’s been many a hairbrush and wooden spoon break-out concerts in our living room and kitchen over the years. When her dad and I break out into song or dance, however, we do get the occasional eye roll. But secretly, I think my daughter likes it.

 It may not be sidewalk chalk and catching butterflies anymore, but we still have loads of fun. It’s been such an honor to be a mom. The fact that God gave me this child to nurture, teach, and raise up to further His Kingdom takes my breath away. 

Susan Hollaway

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My Top 3 Pet Peeves

If my resource is correct, the use of the term “pet peeve” is circa 1919.   But back then,Walmart wasn’t around and not everyone had indoor toilets.  Bear with me, I’m getting to three of my main pet peeves.

1. Cashiers at Walmart who find it imperative to comment on what you’re purchasing. OR they hate their job so much, they find it necessary to share that with you.

One example: I once had a guy who asked if he could break the carton of eggs I was purchasing. I must say that caught me off guard.  “No thanks, ” I said. That didn’t stop him. He kept on. After about three or four more comments, I finally said kindly, “You can buy your own eggs if you want to break them, but please leave my carton alone.”   I truly think he was “trying” to be friendly and teasing. But he didn’t know me and he was supposed to be checking out– as in ringing up– my groceries, not inspecting and commenting on specific items.

2. I like the toilet lid down when not in use. And when the top lid that completely covers the toilet isn’t shut (even at someone else’s house), I  have to shut it. I can’t seem to help myself.

3. When someone sits (in their vehicle, of course)  at a red light with their right blinker on, traffic is clear and they don’t go ahead and turn.  They just sit there. It’s legal in Kansas.  Turn already.  =)

Well, those are my top three.

Blessings, everyone!

Susan Hollaway

Coffee or tea?

Picture courtesy of this site.

Coffee-lovers abound in this country. But I’m not one of them. I love
the smell of coffee, but don’t care much for the taste.  I can drink it, but I have to be really cold. Or have a sweet cinnamon roll accompany it.   But then that makes that cup of coffee really high in calories.

All the specialty coffee terms are enough to make your head spin.  Or at
least mine.  I think it’d take a lot of training for me to become a coffee-house
barista. However, I do love a challenge and it might be a fun job.

Picture courtesy of this site.

I’m more of a tea-lover myself. There’s nothing like a good cup of tea to start off my day.

Does that stop me from enjoying walking down the coffee aisle where you can grind your own beans? Nope. It smells good! But give me a good cup of tea–hot or cold–and I’m a happy girl.

When my daughter was younger, every afternoon we’d have tea time. It was such a neat way to spend time together. The traditions of “tea” in the United Kingdom really appeal to me. Maybe I should just adopt them.

I don’t know if there’s nearly as many options or choices with tea as there are with coffee. But I love tea so much, I even enjoy a good cup of Lipton. I am trying, however, to branch out and experience more variety with tea. I’m thinkin’ it’s going to be a very enjoyable journey.

Whether you favor coffee or tea, savor it and the time it takes to drink it. And if the ritual allows you to share it with someone you love..all the better!

Cheers!

Susan Hollaway

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Bad Things Happen and I Can’t Make Sense of It

I was going to share a recipe today, then it just didn’t feel right with all that’s happened recently.

Bad things happen and I, for one, don’t always understand it. But because we live in a sinful world, bad things are going to happen.  That fact doesn’t always make it any easier to digest.  Our hearts and minds still ache. And we grieve. I felt shock, then numb, when I heard about the Boston Marathon and the tragedy there.  It seemed so unreal, yet it did happen and so many were affected.  I can’t imagine what those directly involved and their loved ones must be feeling.  Then a fertilizer plant had a horrible explosion and lives were lost and numerous injured. Lives change or end in the blink of an eye. SO very hard to grasp.

Bad and inexplicable things are happening all around us.  Why does a young baby get cancer?  Why does anyone get cancer? Why was a young life cut so short?  Why was someone hit by a drunk driver? Why? Why? Why? We could ask those questions all day long.   And I don’t suppose I’ll ever have the answers.

So I cling to Jesus. And I pray. And I cling. When words don’t come, I cling some more, and the Holy Spirit intercedes on my behalf to pray the words I can’t bring forth.

My heart truly aches for those across this country that have suffered injury and lost loved ones. We know about them because the media has informed us. But Cherie and Julane are right. There are many in the world who are suffering, and their losses and tragedies don’t make the news.  Let us never make assumptions about others.  And let us never cease to pray.

As we pray for those we know about, let us also lift up those nameless to us suffering or grieving quietly. Maybe even doing so alone.  Ask our Almighty God to comfort them, for HE knows their names and every need.  God hears every single prayer from every single person.

I may not ever know the answers to so many of the questions I have of this world. But I have hope. How does one continue to have hope in a world so messed up? Where things don’t always make sense?  I have the answer to those two questions. His name is Jesus.

You truly can cast ALL your cares upon Him. If you don’t know Him, any one of us here at Pages From Stages would love to share Him with you.

Because He Lives, I can face tomorrow.

Bless you,

Susan Hollaway

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Me, craftsy?

When my daughter was little, I was a craft maniac.  I always had a project going and we loved it!  I definitely would have said I was craftsy.

I guess that season in my life has passed. We’re just so busy with other things, that I don’t do crafts anymore. In order to entice me, a project would have to be something that would help me be more organized and make my life simpler or more beautiful.  And if I don’t have to dust it very often, that would be beautiful.

Our blog theme this week made me look back and laugh at all the crafts I’ve attempted in my life. Some were a success and some—not so much. I remember sitting in ceramics class and hearing the ladies say, “Ceramics is like therapy to me.” Really?  All that detail work and cleaning green ware?  I had to stop going to ceramics before I needed therapy.

needle-and-thread-thThen there was cross-stitching. I used to really enjoy that. Then I made something for someone and they liked it so much, that they wanted me to make 150 more of them…for gifts.  Okay, so it was only 15.  But have you ever made fifteen of the same cross-stitch project? I don’t recommend it.

So I tried knitting. Perhaps I should take that back up when I’m more sedentary and have a lot less to do. Or maybe not. Knitting frustrates me.

Some brilliant mind created Pinterest. When I have time, it’s fun to browse through and look at what all these craftsy people have created. I sometimes get craft envy, but it usually doesn’t last very long.  However, I have found lots of things I’d love to add to my honey-do list. (Don’t tell my husband.)

I’ve definitely put crafting on the back burner. Maybe even in complete storage. Besides, I’m hearing the sounds of spring and I want to be outside more. In fact, as I’m writing this blog post, the male woodpecker is back again this year banging his head against the metal dreamstimefree_90514vent pipe on our roof.  The experts say they do that to attract female woodpeckers.  What a bird brain!  On second thought, maybe I’ll get online and see how to make a cage to set around that metal pipe, so Mr. Suave Woodpecker will stop “courting” on my roof early in the morning.  Hmmm. Where are my tools?

Happy Crafting!  Or not.  =)

Blessings,

Susan Hollaway

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Why I No Longer Curl My Eyelashes

Lincoln 2013 137Fine-textured hair equals thin eyelashes.  At least with me. Add not very long and light in color, and well, you can understand why in my younger years I was tempted (ahem, vain) enough to curl my eyelashes.

And I did. Until the dreaded day when my lashes got caught in the curler and they ripped out. Completely. Every single one. On one eye. Did you know that you can actually hear eyelashes being ripped out when it’s done  in great number?  It’s sort of  like ripping off a band-aid–quick, but not painless.

Hindsight truly is 20-20. When you’re looking in the mirror at one completely bald eyelid–thin, short, and  light in color on the other one looks pretty good. And just in case you’re wondering, it does take quite a while for eyelashes to grow back. Too long in my humble opinion.

I was so embarrassed. The one consolation was…by not being able to wear any eye makeup or mascara, the bald eye lid wasn’t quite as noticeable since my lashed lid was thin, short, and light in color. At least that’s what I told myself.

Surely, it was a freak accident. I mean, it couldn’t happen again. Could it?  That’s what I thought. I was wrong.  Lincoln 2013 136To this day, when I see eyelash curlers in the makeup aisle, I shudder.

I’m no quitter, but when it comes to eyelash curlers… I quit!  Once was bad enough, twice was ridiculous.  Believe me, when my daughter started wearing makeup, I used my experience as a teachable moment.  My husband has thick, long eyelashes, and fortunately, my daughter inherited some of his eyelash genes.

Are you a die-hard curly eyelash girl? Still want those gently sweeping, curled eyelashes without using a curler? Take heart. Believe it or not,  there’s instructions on the internet on how to curl your eyelashes with just your hands. Less dangerous? Maybe.  But I’m a busy wife, homeschooling mom, writer, and clean offices part-time. I do not have time to push my eyelashes up for three minutes at a time, then repeat two to four times until I get the desired curled effect. I don’t even have time to glue on fake eyelashes, much less spend up to twelve minutes  curling my own.

Of course, you could try the spoon method. You read correctly.  Spoon.  If rubbing your eyes can actually cause a person’s retina to detach, I hate to think what I could do with a spoon if it slipped. Remember I ripped out my eyelashes with a “supposedly safe” eyelash curler designed to do the job. Spoon method? No thanks.

I actually read an eyelash tip once that said to never wear brightly colored mascara like turquoise or magenta when going  to a business meeting. Really? Someone has to be told that?  But then, who am I to judge? I ripped out my eyelashes for cryin’ out loud. (Why does Luke 6:37* echo in my mind?)

No matter how alluring the makeup and mascara ads might be, turn the page! Change the channel! Embrace your own eyelashes. Thank God for them.  At least they’re still attached to your eyelids.

May you see God’s beauty all around you… with or without curled eyelashes.

Susan Hollaway

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* Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

If pets could speak in human….

I think my daughter’s dog would be saying…..

Katy

Are you gonna’ eat that?