Monthly Archives: November 2014

Thankful for Nostalgic Christmas Decorations

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11/30/14

November 30, 2014 ~ Today I am thankful for nostalgic Christmas memories. Our family starts decorating for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving. Thankfully, I’ve never really gotten into the Black Friday shopping thing, so my choice is easy. Over the weekend, we set up our Nativity and the village; we hang stockings and lots of garland. We decorate our entryway on the inside and outside. We finish with decorating the tree on Sunday.

I’ve always loved Christmas decorations. My decorating style leans toward nostalgic / vintage as opposed to trying to re-create a magazine photo shoot. I own lots of decorations that I’ve had since my childhood. Many of my ornaments and other pieces have great memories attached to them.

Each year, we hang the lights and ornaments while Bing Crosby sings White Christmas to us. We drink egg nog and eat chocolate chip cookies, warm from the oven. I have lots of ornaments … as I unwrap each one, I share the memories they bring to mind. I share stories of Christmas’s from when I was growing up. We reminisce our family’s memories. Some of my ornaments are from my great grandmother – some from friends – some I made myself. Many times the ornament represents something significant that happened that year. Sharing memories this way is one of my favorite family traditions.

♥ Today I am thankful for nostalgic Christmas memories ♥

thankful for shop small saturday

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11/29/14

November 29, 2014 ~ Today I am thankful for Small Business Saturday. The holiday season is upon us! For many people, shopping is a big part of the season. It seems like Black Friday has been around forever, Cyber Monday came on the scene a while ago and Shop Small Saturday started several years ago.

I have to confess, before becoming a small business owner, I never really thought much about where the money I spent while shopping went. I usually just went to the store that advertised the best deal on the items I wanted … which, more often than not, was a “big box” or department store chain. These stores spend millions of dollars on advertising to lure you to their store. Many times when you get there, you find messy aisles; items discarded wherever and frazzled employees. Sadly, many of those frazzled employees are rude and have no concept of customer service.
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Thankful for Thanksgiving Leftovers

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11/28/14

November 28, 2014 ~ Today I am thankful for Thanksgiving dinner leftovers. Our family tradition is that my sister-in-law usually hosts Thanksgiving dinner each year. She is a wonderful cook and a gracious hostess <3.

Every year she buys new Tupperware type containers and ziplock baggies for her guests to bring some leftovers home in. My family loves leftovers, especially leftovers from a big holiday meal or party. I realize that not everyone likes leftovers … I have a friend whose family simply refuses to eat leftovers – how sad. Turkey with stuffing and homemade gravy is my favorite day after Thanksgiving leftover meal. I’m doubly blessed because I get extra yummy food and new food storage containers 🙂

♥ Today I am thankful for Thanksgiving dinner leftovers ♥

thankful for memories of Thanksgiving

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11/27/14

November 27, 2014 ~ HAPPY THANKSGIVING !! Today I am thankful for childhood memories of Thanksgiving. For those of you who may not already know, I was raised by my grandparents. Sadly, my grandpa passed away when I was in 7th grade and my grandma passed when I a senior in high school. I am truly thankful to have wonderful memories of both of them 🙂

I’m a morning person, so I’m an early riser by nature. I have wonderful memories of waking up on Thanksgiving morning to the wonderful smells of onion and celery sauteing in butter on the stove … the starting point of my grandma’s wonderful stuffing recipe. Continue reading

thankful for computers and software

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11/26/14

November 26, 2014 ~ Today I am thankful for modern day computers and software. The other day, I was talking to a friend from high school about our class reunion (how many decades is not important). We were discussing how much things had changed over the years.

When we were in high school, the computer course we learned (or tried to learn) was called FORTRAN. We had to create flow chart programs. We had to enter our program into a key punch machine, usually resulting in a thick stack of cards. Then came the moment of truth … were your flow chart commands correct?? To find out, you loaded your key punch cards into the reader to be printed. If the pin feed printer spit out a long banner = success 🙂 … short banner = failure 🙁
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thankful for social media

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11/25/14

November 25, 2014 ~ Today I am thankful for social media. Yesterday, I shared my blog post on facebook and twitter. I had blogged about feeling miserable because of cold and sinus issues. I’m feeling better and when I logged on today, I was so touched to see lots of comments saying they hoped I felt better soon. It’s nice to know that people care about you … real live friends and those you only know virtually. Birthdays are fun on facebook too … just sayin’ 🙂

That being said, social media can have a down side too. I hope I’m not alone in this when I say that facebook (and the others) can be real time stealers. Many times, I’ll think to myself, I’ll just check facebook or Pinterest really quick and before you know it, an hour or more will have passed.

I love social media – being able to keep in touch with old friends and making new ones 🙂 However, I’m trying to discipline myself by allowing myself  “X”  amount of time to browse. I actually set a timer … now if I could only sign off when the timer dings … just kidding, I do most of the time 😉

♥ Today I am thankful for social media ♥

thankful for cold medicine

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11/24/14

November 24, 2014 ~ Today I am thankful for cold medicine. I’ve been fighting off a cold for more than a week and yesterday it finally won. I realize there is no cure for the common cold, but I am very thankful that there are over the counter cold medicines that help alleviate symptoms.

Usually, when I catch a cold, it’s a head cold that settles in my sinuses. I spent the whole day lounging around in my jammies either reading or watching TV. I’m hoping that by resting all day yesterday, I’ll feel better today and be able to accomplish everything on my schedule.

I’d also like to mention that I am thankful for kleenex … I can’t even think about the old days when people used handkerchiefs … eeww !! I’m doubly thankful today, since I missed yesterday.

♥ Today I am thankful for cold medicine and kleenex ♥

Thankful for no alarm clock days

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11/22/14

November 22, 2014 ~ Today I am thankful for no alarm clock days 🙂 Weekdays, as well as some weekend days, usually start with an alarm clock going off at 5:45 am. Most of my days are pretty busy, with me dashing from one thing to another … but that is just life in the 24/7 world we live in.

Last night when we were driving home from our small group meeting, we realized that we didn’t have any commitments for today. When I realized tomorrow would be a rare no alarm clock day, I felt giddy and clapped my hands together (fyi … my hubby was driving).

Of course, I woke up at 7:30 this morning (nature calls), but technically it was still sleeping in for me (plus, I’m a morning person by nature). My hubby, who is a night owl, actually slept until 10. I don’t think the actual time matters so much as that waking up was a choice – a voluntary act on my part … I didn’t have to get out of bed if I didn’t want to 🙂

♥ Today I am thankful for no alarm clock days ♥

photo by: Alan Cleaver
Thankful for electricity

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11/21/14

November 21, 2014 ~ Today I am thankful for electricity. I confess … I totally take it for granted. It’s just there, at the press of a button or flip of a switch – until it’s not. The power outages that I typically have usually only last hours … which is plenty long enough for me to realize how much I depend on it being there for me when I need it.
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Book Review & Giveaway ~ Cache A Predator by M. Weidenbenner

Cache a Predator is a geocaching thriller about a father’s love, justice, and the unhinged game of hide-the-cache.

Officer Brett Reed will do anything to gain custody of his five-year-old daughter, Quinn. But when a judge grants Brett’s drug-addicted ex-wife custody and slaps him with a protective order for losing his temper, he fears for Quinn’s safety. Who will protect her now?

When Quinn is found abandoned on the streets, she’s placed in a temporary foster home until Child Protective Services can complete an assessment. It should only take a few days.

But a lot can happen in a few days.

Especially when there’s a deranged psychopath on the loose, someone who’s attacking pedophiles, someone who wants to protect children like Quinn, and someone who’s planting body parts in geocaching sites.

This book is hidden in cache sites all over the US and Canada with the goal for it to travel to all 50 states. It’s mission is to spread awareness of child abuse and how it harms victims, families, and communities.

My Thoughts:

Michelle Weidenbenner has written a great mystery/thriller for her first novel. She does an excellent job introducing all the characters and how they all relate to one another and the storyline.

Officer Brett Reed loves his daughter, Quinn, and will do anything it takes to keep her safe. Only she isn’t safe … Brett lost the custody battle to his depressed, drug addict ex-wife who is always either wasted or hung over. When Quinn is found wondering the streets alone, she is placed in foster care until both parents are interviewed.

Meanwhile, someone is maiming male pedophiles from the community and hiding the “trophies” in local geocaching sites. The police follow leads they get from studying the cases of the victim’s victims to try to catch this psychopath.

The author ties all the ends together nicely with an edge of your seat ending complete with twists and turns. I hope she plans on a sequel to this story … I already miss the characters and want to see how they continue on.

 

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“The author has developed her innate talent to frame events with a clarity and color that keeps the reader anxious to turn the page to get to the next level of interest.”

“”This book is like watching Criminal Minds or Law and Order.”

Midwest Review said, “Any who look for deep psychological elements in their mysteries will find this a satisfying read, moving beyond the usual one-dimensional focus on mystery to reach out and tweak the reader’s heart.” – D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer

About the Author

Michelle grew up in the suburbs of Detroit with five brothers. She enjoys writing her novels and encouraging writers and readers alike. She is living her dream writing stories of real people searching for their dreams and confronting their fears, showing the passion of the characters’ plights, often giving her the ability to show the reader the ‘other’ side of the story. When she is not writing she enjoys life on the tennis court and is known as “Queen of the Rim Shots.”

Her debut novel, CACHE a PREDATOR, a geocaching mystery. was launched in July, 2013 and has been an Amazon best-seller in the crime/thriller category.  Her other works include: Willow, Scattered Links, Kelly’s Story, Eclair Series, and The Vision in a Kiss.  She has won contests in both The Writer’s Journal and The Writer’s Digest. Love is Just a Word (Scattered Links) was a bronze medalist is the 2010 Frasier Contest, a 2011 semi-finalist in the ACFW Genesis Contest, and won the Aspiring Writer’s Contest withe THE READING ROOM, 2013.

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

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