Sunday, October 27, 2013


We've just returned from visiting Scott in Seville, Spain. They spell it Sevilla.

It is a traditional city in Spain with very few people who speak English.

This tower is the first "sight" we saw. We took the EA bus from the airport and were supposed to get off here.

We stood up when the bus stopped. The driver opened the doors and before we got out, he took off. So we had to get off at the next stop and figure out how to get back to the tower because that's where we were to meet Scott. We wore our jeans and were carrying and pulling our luggage. It was hot. Like ninety-four degrees hot. By the time we found Scott we were beside ourselves. He walked with us to our hotel in Triana and helped us check in. Then we found a place for dinner.

I was fascinated with the tile work all over the city. Some of the tiles were laid thousands of years ago and still survive.

I've been talking to Tim for a while about placing tiles between our steps leading upstairs one day. Now I'm truly inspired.

I'm still suffering from jet lag, but I'll share more in the days ahead.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Memories in Munfordville

Last night my husband and I took a chair to Goodwill. We didn't have room for it nor did my son's family.

Tim carried it into the storage room for the lady at Goodwill. She thanked us and we began to walk away.

As I looked back I could remember it at my grandmother's house in Munfordville, KY.

It sat in her living room. Whenever my dad was with us, he almost always sat in it. I can remember at Christmas time leaning on the arm of the chair and watching Dad open his Christmas gifts.

My mother remembers doing homework in that chair.

My grandparents had a farm with a chicken house, a barn, cattle, corn and tobacco fields, a pond, and a garden.

One thing that was unique about the farm was a Civil War fort on it. It was the most basic of forts. Basically it was a great big sallow hole in the ground. I can picture maybe 30-50 men lying on the ground peeping over the sides and shooting at the enemy.

My brother and I would go out to the fort and spend hours playing.

So back to the chair...when I turned back and looked at the chair for the last time a lot of memories came back to me. I got in the car and started telling Tim as he drove away. He looked at me as only a husband can and asked if I wanted to go back and buy the chair. I said no, and he told me I could keep the memories even without the chair.

I'm tempted to go back and buy it anyway. I'll keep you posted.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 11, 2013

L is for Last as in Made to Last by Melissa Tagg

Today I'm so excited to welcome Melissa Tagg to my back porch. She graciously answered a few questions for us.

I know you're a Tim Tebow fan, but what about football in general. Do you prefer college or NFL? Favorite college team? Favorite NFL team?

Haha, okay, I actually know very, very little about football and really can’t classify myself as a fan. BUT I’m hoping to write a story soon about a female high school football coach, so I’m on a quest this fall to learn the game…and to hopefully fall in love with it.

As for my favorite team, now that Tim doesn’t have a team anymore, I don’t really have a favorite, I’m sad to say. BUT one year back when I was a reporter, I participated in an office football pool. Everyone else in the office had a favorite team—I didn’t. At the time, though, I had two friends in grad school in Pittsburgh and I’d already bought plane tickets to go out and visit them that winter. So I randomly decided to become a Steelers fan for the season. It was a good year to do so, because they ended up winning the Super Bowl AND I won the office trophy. Woohoo! So that’s about the closest I’ve come to having a favorite team. :)

Tell us a little about your story.

At its core, Made to Last is about discovering who we are underneath the trappings of success (or lack thereof) or relationships (or lack thereof) or the labels we give ourselves. It’s about a home building TV show host who has to juggle a fake husband, former fiancĂ© and the cute reporter who is shadowing her every move.

Are you good with your hands? Do you fix things around your house (Or apartment?)

Umm…I wish I could say yes. I really do. But no, I’m not good with my hands (unless typing counts…or playing piano…or tickling my nephew). I’m horrible with building things and crafts and that kind of things. And when something needs fixed around my place, I call my landlord or my dad. Haha!

What is your favorite HGTV show?

Uh-oh, you may have stumped me here. I watch very little TV so I’m not up on my HGTV shows. But isn’t there an international house-hunting one? I have caught some episodes of that before. I like seeing what homes are like in different countries.

How did you come up with the idea for this book?

It all started with the 1945 movie Christmas in Connecticut. In it, Barbara Stanwyck plays a journalist who has built a fake life for herself…including a fake husband. She’s forced to actually find a stand-in, pretend husband in order to keep up her ruse. I loved that angle, so I borrowed the fake marriage plot point and ran with it.

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing with us today, Melissa. I hope you have much success with your book.

Here's a quick link to Amazon if you can't wait to read Made to Last.

Here's a little more information on Melissa if you're interested.

Melissa Tagg is a former newspaper reporter and total Iowa girl. Her first novel, Made to Last, releases from Bethany House in September 2013. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, Melissa is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies and daydreaming about her next book. She’s passionate about humor, grace and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at

Melissa Tagg is a former newspaper reporter and total Iowa girl. Her first novel, Made to Last, releases from Bethany House in September 2013. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, Melissa is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at

During her reporting days, Melissa interviewed presidential candidates and llama farmers, rode a hot air balloon and flew a plane, and once came face to face with a buffualo. But today she gets her kicks by letting her characters have their own fun. She’s passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings.

Links where people can find Melissa:

My website/blog:

Made to Last back cover blurb:

Miranda Woodruff has it all. At least, that's how it looks when she's starring in her homebuilding television show, From the Ground Up. So when her network begins to talk about making cuts, she'll do anything to boost ratings and save her show--even if it means pretending to be married to a man who's definitely not the fiance who ran out on her three years ago.

When a handsome reporter starts shadowing Miranda's every move, all his digging into her personal life brings him a little too close to the truth--and to her. Can the girl whose entire identity is wrapped up in her on-screen persona finally find the nerve to set the record straight? And if she does, will the life she's built come crashing down just as she's found a love to last?

What people are saying:

"Entertaining and light-hearted... Made to Last is a sweet love story that asks poignant and universal questions about truth, faith, and forgiveness." --ForeWord Reviews

"Clever plot. Engaging, funny, fresh writing. A winning voice with deeper layers that touch the heart."
-Rachel Hauck, award-winning and bestselling author of Once Upon a Prince

"If there is such a thing as a perfect story, Melissa Tagg has written it with this first novel. Laugh-out-loud funny, a delightful premise, hunky heroes, surprising plot twists and poignant, heart-tugging moments, all wound together with beautiful writing. Made to Last is a keeper that will charm its way onto your shelf, and into your heart."
-Susan May Warren, RITA Award winner and bestselling author of Take a Chance on Me

"Made to Last is a fun romantic comedy that will have you turning the pages. Melissa Tagg is a fresh voice to watch."
-Jenny B. Jones, award-winning author of Save the Date and There You'll Find Me

"Melissa Tagg has written a fun, fast-paced romance. Her first novel will certainly not be her last."
-Kristin Billerbeck, author of The Scent of Rain

"A must for fans of romantic comedy! Melissa Tagg's endearing characters charmed me and their story line captured my imagination. Reading Made To Last was like eating a hot fudge brownie sundae with girlfriends. Fun. Delicious. Completely entertaining."
-Becky Wade, author of My Stubborn Heart and Undeniably Yours

"Sweet, fun, and faith-filled, Melissa Tagg's Made To Last is a story made to delight lovers of romance and behind-the-scenes reality TV. Pull up an armchair and enjoy!"
~Lisa Wingate, National Bestselling Author of Blue Moon Bay, one of Booklist's Top 10 of 2012

Friday, October 4, 2013

K is for 5K

Have you noticed how many people are running 5K races now? They've become very popular. Yet our nation has an epidemic of obesity. I'm not sure I understand how both things can be on the rise.

My oldest son married a runner. So Bill has begun running too.

He participated in Extreme Rampage with his brother-in-law, Caleb Benge, and sister-in-law, Sarah Benge Clifton.

One of the healthiest times of my life was when I ran. So I've decided to begin running again. I probably won't do a 5K, but we'll see what happens.

Here's my plan for transitioning from walking to running.

Week One:

Monday: Run 3 min/Walk 2 min; Repeat six times.
Tuesday: Walk
Wednesday: Run 3 min/Walk 2 min; Repeat six times.
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Run 3 min/Walk 2 min; Repeat six times.
Sunday: Rest

Run-Walk Workout: Warm-up by walking five minutes at a brisk pace. Begin my run/walk intervals. Then cool down and walk last five minutes.

Do you run? I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Cannonball Jellyfish

Before moving to the coast, I knew getting stung by a jellyfish was painful. I researched what to do for a jellyfish sting. Take Benadryl an...