Sunday, March 29, 2015
Spring is still dragging her feet around here and letting Jack Frost hang around days too long. But next week, warmer air is supposed to show up and maybe that will mean flowers start showing up too. Are you ready for flowers?
I hope you're ready for a new flower to guess. Or to name if you don't know the name already. Or even if you do, you can say the name you think might fit the flower better. So, give it a try and enter my Name the Flower contest. You might win a couple of books, one of mine and one of a different Christian author.
BUT FIRST, LAST WEEK'S FLOWER NAME
Several of you named last week's beautiful flower. A few guesses were Adder's Tongue, Dog-tooth Violet, Dutchman's Britches, but nobody came up with the flower's actual name or at least not the name for the flower in my Wildflowers & Ferns of Kentucky book. However, some of you came up with great new names for the flower. Dewdrop, Teardrops, Grandmother's Dancing Bells, Green Whisper, Job's Arrow or Flying Geese. Now those are some good names. The Flying Geese and Grandmother's Dancing Bells really caught my fancy. Karen's name of Job's Arrow showed some great thinking too.
But the flower's actual name is Shooting Star. Here's what the wildflower book says about this flower. "The rocket-like flowers of this strikingly beautiful plant appear designed for space flight. It is frequent from Central Kentucky westward but rare in eastern Kentucky."
It's not rare in my wildflower woods area, but it's a flower that always makes me want to take one more photo.
NOW CAN YOU NAME THE NEW FLOWER
The flower up top is the new flower to name. It's one of my favorites to find. Let's see if you know its name. You can post that or you can still use your imagination and give it another name if you wish. You can even simply say you haven't a clue about a name. Any of those will get you a new entry into my Name the Flower Contest. Remember, each time you name a new flower posted here, you get a new entry into the giveaway.
I'll pick three winners from the entries by random drawing on April 19, 2015. So April 18, 2015 at midnight EST is the deadline for entering. You must be 18 to enter and if the winner chosen lives across the ocean, the prizes will be in e-book form. If you haven't guessed on one of the other flowers and left your contact information, be sure to leave it with your comment. If you've already left it on a different guess for this contest, then I'll have it.
Thanks for playing my Name the Flower game.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Making Up Names
I'm glad some of you who didn't know the name had fun with my suggestion to pretend you were the first person to discover the flower and thus were able to name it whatever you wanted. A couple of you came up with interesting names. Yellow or butter ruffles. Fluffypants. Not sure about that last one, but the petals do look fluffy.
Coming up with the absolute perfect name for a character in a book or story is one of the fun parts of writing for me. I get to name my main characters (the good ones and the bad ones) and dozens of minor characters in each book. I get to name where they live and the pets they have. I sometimes even name their vehicles. So why not name some wildflowers?
But the Real Name is...
A Guide to the Wildflowers and Ferns of Kentucky by Mary E. Whatron & Roger W. Barbour says. "The celandine poppy has yellow juice as well as yellow flowers. There are 4 petals...buds are covered with 2 hairy sepals and the fruit is bristly hairy. ...The species, which grows 10-18 inches high, is widely distributed in the state and is frequent in rich mesophytic woods, especially on slopes where leaf mold is deep."
From this new picture of the wood poppy this week, looks like it will grow in the middle of rocks too. But I do find my wildflowers on those kind of leaf covered slopes the book mentioned.
Okay, flower number two is up top. Remember, a new guess on this flower gets you another entry into my giveaway. But if you do guess, please leave a way to contact you or if you don't want to leave your e-mail here or have trouble leaving a comment (I know some of you do but I can't seem to fix that) then e-mail me your entry at annhgabhart at yahoo dot com.
Basic Giveaway Scoop
Here's the basic scoop on the contest in case you didn't see it on Sunday's post. The winners will get their choice of one of my books and a grab bag book by a different Christian author. The contest is open to USA and Canada for print books and e-books for international entries. You must be 18 to enter. Deadline for entries is April 18, 2015 at 12 midnight EST. I'll announce the winners here on April 19.
And remember, if you don't know the actual flower name, just think about what you might name it and tell me that.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Hey, did you notice? It's SPRING! The calendar says so. Now if some of us can get Mother Nature to go along with the calendar, we'll be happy. Here things are beginning to look and sound like spring. The spring peepers are in full voice at night and in the morning, the birds are singing their spring songs. I haven't heard a mockingbird yet, but he'll show up soon. Maybe the mockingbirds are scouting out a new nest location and building their new home.
A First Wildflower
I did actually see my first wildflower today. The flower up above wasn't it, but I did post its picture on my Facebook page. Usually that first flower is a dandelion, but so far I haven't spotted one of those. If you've read my book, The Blessed, you might remember how my character Lacey did a spring dance every year when she saw her first dandelion. Some springs it was harder for her to do that happy dance than other springs.
Name the Flower Contest
But seeing the first little wildflower of spring gave me an idea for a new giveaway contest. This one won't be very hard, but I hope you'll have fun with it. Name the flower. As always, you don't have to be right. You just have to give it a try (and leave your e-mail so I can contact you should you be a winner.) That said, I know all of you will get all the flower names. Still, even if it isn't a hard to guess contest like some of my mystery puzzles, (well, some of them were hard to guess) maybe it will still be fun.
The prizes are guess what? Aww, you did guess. Books!! I'll draw three winners. And every time you name a new flower, you'll get a new entry. So be sure to come back and check on the next flower every new blog post. That's usually Wednesdays and Sundays if I don't forget what day it is. That has happened. :) The winners will get their choice of one of my books and a grab bag book by a different Christian author. I have several autographed books that I need to give away and some others that aren't signed but the story is still good. I'll figure out which ones are up for grabs and let you know in one of my posts. That's besides my books. You can check out which of mine you might like to read by checking the titles out on my website. There are sample chapters and more there on all my inspirational fiction books.
The contest is open to USA and Canada for print books and e-books for international entries. That international postage is prohibitive. You must be 18 to enter. Deadline for entries is April 18, 2015 at 12 midnight EST. I'll announce the winners here on April 19.
Get Ready, Set, Go
So I'm ready to hear what you know about this flower. For years I called it the wrong thing. Oh, and if you don't know the real name or even if you do, another fun thing to do is pretend you were the first person to ever see this flower and that you got to name it. So what would you have called it?
Remember to leave a way to contact you if you want to be in the running to win a book. I can't respond directly to your comments.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Only three government officials knew the location of the fallout bunker, but in the case of nuclear attack, the President and his cabinet along with Congress members would be evacuated to the bunker and locked away behind thick steel walls in hopes of keeping the government up and running. It was kept stocked with enough food and water for 1,000 people for forty-five days. We took a tour of the bunker area and I could imagine a war breaking out between the occupants in those close quarters!
It was a fancy place for this old country girl, but I did enjoy Dorothy Draper's colors throughout the hotel or the part of the hotel I saw. But I didn't go take the "waters." Instead we took in the spiritual waters of the Southern Gospel songs.
Do you like imagining the romances that may have started at this place? The business deals made? Murders plotted? I mean just by writers like me. LOL.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Celebrating Mom's birthday!
|Mom (on the right) and her sisters, Evelyn and Margaret|
|Mom and me and my dogs|
|Mom and her grandkids|
|Mom with my sister and her granddaughters|
|Mom and a great granddaughtr|
|Mom and another great granddaughter|
|Mom loved our family reunions|
Thursday, March 12, 2015
This week we've been at a gospel music convention and hearing a lot of the old favorite Southern gospel songs. Songs like "Have a Little Talk with Jesus," "It is No Secret What God Can Do," "I'll Fly Away," and so many more. I'm not as big a fan as my husband. I tend to listen more to the words than the blend of the singers or the music. But my toe taps on many of the songs. I liked hearing "It is No Secret." I hadn't heard that song for years and those words say a lot.
So, on my Facebook page, I asked my friends what their favorite gospel songs were. I got a great variety of answers with several people mentioning old hymns like "Amazing Grace" and "The Old Rugged Cross." Many of them were like me and said it was impossible to narrow it down to one song. That's sort of how it was at the gospel gathering. Each old song I heard was a new favorite. There was one that my husband used to sing in a group he was in a long time ago called "Boundless Love." Those lyrics and music used to get audiences to their feet every time the guys sang it. I think it was a Cathedral Quartet song. But it tells about how great is the love of the Lord. Boundless. Without limits. What a great thought.
Then, a favorite song of many, and one that Darrell sang in most of the groups he was in was "The Lighthouse." I wrote a blog post telling the amazing story of how Ronnie Hinson was gifted with the song when he was a very young man. He wrote it in seven minutes without ever having actually seen a lighthouse. You can read that story here. It's truly an amazing song writing story. I guess as a writer I do enjoy hearing the stories behind how the songs were written even though I have no song writing abilities or have ever thought about writing songs. I like having plenty of pages to tell my stories. LOL.
I asked Darrell just now what song he heard this week was his favorite, and he couldn't pick one. But I'll guarantee if he had picked some favorites, they would have had good bass parts.
I think the favorite song I heard this week was "It is Well" sung a cappella by the Blackwood Brothers. Beautiful and moving. We had that song played at Mom's funeral and it has seemed to follow me around after that. At first, hearing it brought the sadness to memory, but now it's more an affirmation of Mom's life.
So what is your favorite gospel song?
Monday, March 9, 2015
March is usually a headed toward Spring month here in Kentucky. Flowers begin to appear. There are days with a generous dose of warm sunshine to soak into your skin after the winter cold. The normal temperature for a Kentucky day in early March is in the 50s. Sometimes we're treated to much warmer. And sometimes we're slammed with much colder as we were last week. Record breaking cold all across the state with the temperature dipping into the minus regions.
We had snow to match the low temperatures, or perhaps the low temperatures to match the snow. Wednesday every bit of the snow we had on the ground melted and it rained. Until it started sleeting and then snowing. And snowing and snowing.
We sometimes have snow in March in Kentucky. But not 16 or 20 inches. That's January snow. March snow is generally a few flakes blowing in the wind. Flurries one minute, sunshine the next. Or if the snow does fall down and coat the ground, the sun warms it up and melts it away pronto. But not this snow with the minus temperatures. It didn't care that it's March and Spring is only two short weeks away. Winter isn't ready to quit.
But there is good in most everything if you look. And so I'm looking. What good things can we think of for this snow?
1. It was a beautiful snow. Really. Friday morning when I went out at sunrise the trees were sparkling and the cedars were coated in snow just like a Christmas card. The snow on the ground sparkled too. Made me think of those detergents I used to buy to wash baby clothes. Ivory Flakes or Dreft, I think. And sometimes if a little breeze shook some off a tree, the flakes sparkled like diamonds in the air. Beautiful. Really.
2. I got lots of extra exercise walking in the snow over my boot tops. Had to be good for my leg muscles. Had to be.
3. That much snow is filling up the ponds and underground springs. Nourishing the plants and flowers that are waiting under the snow.
4. They say it has to be at least minus five to kill deer ticks. If that's true, then this winter should thin them and other insects out around here.
5. Kids and wanna be kids got to build snowmen and go sledding and had the fun of a snow day out of school.
6. There was plenty of fresh snow to scoop up for Snow Cream.
7. The trees might not bud out and bloom too early and get killed by the frost. Maybe.
8. Oscar was ready to come inside. If new experiences help our brains, then maybe the same help dogs learn too. He had to figure out all the different ways to walk in the snow from pushing through the powdery stuff to walking on top of a frozen crust, to breaking through the crust with some of his steps back to deep powder again.
9. It gave many people reason to help their neighbors with shoveling and plowing out their roads or donating to homeless shelters.
10. It will make us appreciate the spring sunshine and flowers all that much more for having to wait for it. The flowers are coming. Well watered by the snow.
11. A snowy, cold day is a great time to settle down with a good book and a cup of something warm.
12. It's a perfect reason to make a cup of hot chocolate.
What good things can you add about the snow?