Monday, July 25, 2011


Let's be honest:  sometimes we really don't like free advice--meaning that we didn't ask for someone else's opinion, but it was given, anyway.  Often, that breeds resentment.  However, once in a long while, good advice comes along, whether asked for or not, and it makes all the difference in our decision, situation, or action.  Below are some of the best examples of advice I've ever received:

1.  Writing:  "Just get the words down, then worry about mechanics and structure during the editing phase."  Oh, how that has freed me from constantly trying to find "just the right word" in context, etc.  Writing flows so much easier if one just gets those thoughts down.  I've often surprised myself by having to do little editing later.

2.  Loss:  "Don't try to think of what to say, because sometimes words won't help, anyway.  Just show up, show love, and BE THERE for hurting people."  We might be afraid of saying the wrong thing, so just say you are praying for them.  People appreciate the caring.  They probably won't remember what you said, anyway, but they'll remember that you were THERE when they needed you.

3.  Disappointment:  "Imagine yourself beyond this situation, going about daily living in a week or a month.  It's not really that bad, is it?"  You know, as simple as that sounds, the sun does come up the next day.  And sometimes, I have been so glad that things turned out differently than I first wanted!

The Bible speaks of those situations in life that are beyond our control.  As a Christian, I am to turn problems over to the Lord, allowing Him to work through me (and then not grab the problems back and try to keep handling everything myself!).  "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  (Matthew 6:34 NIV)

Besides, what can be changed by worry?  NOTHING.  We are only promised today, anyway, and although we are to plan for the future, we are not to fret over it.  If doing that, we are missing out on what today offers us.

4.  Feeling alone:  "Get out and do something for someone.  There are lonely widows who would welcome a cheery smile, a plate of freshly baked cookies or muffins, and some conversation."   And remember, it's not against any law to interact with someone much older or younger than you!

5.  Hemline:  "To quickly repair a hem that came loose, use masking tape.  It will hold all day until you get home and can sew it."  I know this one works, because it's happened to me while at work.  Nobody has time at work to sit down and sew a seam, even if you ARE the type who wouldn't be caught dead without your little sewing kit in your purse.

6.  Quick dessert:  "Buy a prepared graham cracker pie crust, fill with a can of chocolate pudding/pie filling.  Top with whipped topping and chocolate sprinkles, then pop into the fridge until needed."  Company's coming unexpectedly, and you need something FAST.  I'm talking about those pudding/pie fillings found in the baking aisle of the grocery store--there are other flavors and all kinds of variations:  use vanilla pudding/pie filling, top with cherry or blueberry pie filling, then just before serving, place a dollop of whipped topping.  Or, line a baking dish with vanilla wafers and sprinkle chocolate chips over them.  Place your favorite flavor of pudding over that, top with crushed cookies and chocolate chips.  Lastly, make pound cake "sandwiches" by filling two slices of pound cake (again, bought from the store) with nutella spread.  Yummy!

7.  Unsightly spot on blouse:  "Always keep a neutral scarf in a purse or desk drawer at work.  If you accidentally spill something on your blouse at lunch just before an important meeting, whip out the scarf and tie it attractively around your neck, strategically hiding the spot.  Voila!  Nobody will know."   I've done that, using a scarf clip to hold the scarf where I wanted it. 

8.  Mistreatment:  We've all been mistreated in varying ways and degrees.  "Unless what happened to you was criminal and you must press charges, let it go.  It is not worth the anger, pain, and suffering on your part, because I can assure you that the other party is not suffering nearly as much!"  Letting go is much harder than it sounds, but it can be done by turning the hurt over to the Lord.  Many times, I've gotten up the next morning and the feeling or emotion was simply gone.  A couple of times I've even revisited the situation in my mind, but the difficulty was g.o.n.e.

9.  Sore throat:  "A couple of teaspoons of honey will soothe a sore throat, making it less scratchy.  An hour later, follow that with a cup of hot (as you can stand it) tea.  Repeat several times as needed."  Grandma's advice works best on the beginnings of a sore throat, not three days later when it is red and swollen.  By then, a doctor is probably in order.

10. Mascara mishap:  "When applying mascara, and smudges get on your nose or under the eye, dab it away with a cotton swab dipped in liquid foundation."  I seem to get mascara under my eyes when applying it.  The cotton swab trick works quite well, and prevents disturbing my already-applied foundation.  A dab of facial powder over the spot seals the deal.

So--some bits of advice cover difficult situations, while others simply offer simply a quick fix. In any case, just "go with the flow" and try some of these when the occasion presents itself.  You might be surprised at how well they work for you.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


These days, every time I turn on the TV, read the paper, or listen to the radio, something else has come along to make me gag.  What is wrong out there?? 

One little word:  S-I-N.  Farewell to those who stopped reading this post after the previous statement.  Morality is overturned, cheating is the norm, bad is good, and good is bad.  However, for those hangers-on who know what I'm talking about, we just shake our heads at the headlines when yet another anti-scriptural idea comes to the fore.  For example, a large percentage of politicians these days seem bent on showing us a reasonable facsimile of the middle school mindset!  I could definitely get on my soapbox about the so-called "think tank" in Washington, DC, but I haven't been able to find it lately.  So I'll move on to something else.

Human nature has not changed for thousands of years--we're still the same greedy, self-centered, underhanded beings that we were in biblical times:  "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV).  In my lifetime, however, I've seen an alarming trend of sin being flaunted openly--just about anything is "okay."  It used to be, "as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else."  Now:  "Who cares if someone else is hurt?  I want to do this, anyway."  Parents, I pray for you as you attempt to raise your young children by biblical standards in today's society.

Men of God who preach the Bible are vilified for using hate speech.  Churches who stand for biblical principles are labeled as haters, unloving, and prejudiced.  "Love the sinner, hate the sin" is a concept of God that the world out there does not understand at all.  Christians are to hate sin, as God does, but we are to love the sinner, as God does.  I hate murder, but those who murder can be redeemed spiritually if they seek God's forgiveness.  And to speak the truth, however distasteful it is to this culture, is an important facet of sharing God's love:  His truth must be proclaimed.  Eternity beckons all mankind, and it is up to us--those who are Christians/disciples/followers of Christ, to share "the good news."  I'm afraid we aren't doing that very well these days.

David Platt's book, RADICAL, hit me squarely between the eyes.  You should pick up a copy and read it.  I stand guilty as charged--I'm not doing enough to share God's plan of redemption with those around me.  This post is my feeble attempt to proclaim, to all who are reading this post, that peace CAN BE found through Jesus Christ, who came as Savior to the world.  Oh, I know some won't like those words, but that is not my problem:  it is theirs.  "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23 NIV).  In the depths of our hearts, if we are being honest, we know that is true.  Just look around. 

I invite you to seek the truth. Begin by reading the Gospel of John, often called a microcosm of the gospel.  For Christians, life still has its difficulties, but peace and joy will take root, helping those who are redeemed to live in this world with His strength.  The battle is far from over, and it won't be over until Christ returns to this earth as promised. 

My gag reflex?  After each initial shock, it settles down once again.  After all, I've read the ending of THE BOOK, and for those of us who are His, we will be just fine in eternity.   Life down here is merely the boot camp to prepare us for that.  The Girl Scout motto, "Be prepared," works well for eternal life.  God's Word is a road map to prepare us for eternity.  He does not leave us to wander and wonder where we'll end up.  He's already clearly shown us the way, but we must choose to find out what it says, and then follow it!

Monday, July 11, 2011


We are pleased to welcome back to this blog our premier guest,  Shadow, the dachshund "author."  His latest book, I AM DACHSHUND, where he also sports his pen name Sarge, was just released a few weeks ago, and we're looking forward to what he's going to share with us about that. 

Well, how does it feel to have TWO books under your belt now?

SHADOW THE DOXIE:  Thank you, although I've never actually worn a belt--I have a collar, though--does that count? (chuckles)

MDH:  Just a figure of speech, my boy.  I understand that I AM DACHSHUND has been the buzz in the dog lovers' community these days. 

SHADOW THE DOXIE:  People are actually stopping me on the sidewalk as I take my afternoon exercise!  They're wanting to know where they can purchase this book, will I autograph it, and how many Papa Duke stories are in this one.

MDH:  Well then, why don't you share that information right here with out readers?  I am sure there are dog lovers out there who are wondering the same thing! 

SHADOW THE DOXIE:  I AM DACHSHUND is available all over the web:  Amazon, Target, Christianbook, Family Audio Library, OakTara Publishing--to name a few.  Bookstores these days have limited shelf space, although they will gladly order my book if you don't see it on their shelves.  I'm not quite as famous as those well-known authors who have their books featured in bookstore windows, I'm afraid.  The premier doxie site on the web,, is featuring I AM DACHSHUND as their Book of the Month for July.  Hurry on over there and check out everything dachshund, then read their very flattering review.

MDH:  Give it time.  It takes awhile to get the word out, you know.  Tell us a little about this new book. 

SHADOW THE DOXIE:  I have some new and very entertaining stories from Papa Duke--in fact, one of them is not even about Papa getting into one of his famous "fixes" (that's Southern for "difficulties").  Also, my new doxie friend Duke is introduced, but I've had to teach him a thing or two about the world out there.  I also gain a new human sister as well.  That's all I'm sharing--buy the book, people!

MDH:  We have a few readers' questions for you today.  Ronald from Raleigh, NC, asks:  "Is there as much food mentioned in this book as in the first one?  I began starving every time I picked up that book!"

SHADOW THE DOXIE:  Oh yes!  In my family, food is practically one of the family members, so I write about a New Year's open house party, birthday cookouts, and I also visit Sellars and Renata in Georgia with Grandma and Papa.  Sellars and Papa take me to a VFW cookout and I sample my first barbequed ribs.  Oh my . . . falling-off-the-bone tender meat . . . tangy sauce . . . (licking his lips)

MDH:  Hmmm . . . are you okay?

SHADOW THE DOXIE:  Huh?  What?  Er, sorry!  I was just zoning out thinking about those paw-lickin' good ribs I had that day.  Perhaps we'd better change the subject.  Now I'm getting hungry myself!

MDH:  Gladly.  Jeannine in Lynchburg, VA, asks if you have to wear anything in I AM DACHSHUND like your hat and coat that Holly made for you in the first book.  You weren't too thrilled with them, although everyone else admired your "look."

SHADOW THE DOXIE:  Ahhhh.  Now that tidbit is reserved for those who read this book!  Can't give away that sort of thing this time. 

MDH:  What sorts of things are you doing to promote this book?

SHADOW THE DOXIE:  I put in as many appearances and I can at dog events, such as those rescue organization wiener roasts--sounds painful, but they are roasting HOT DOGS, not dachshunds.  I'm hoping for another shot at a commercial--remember, recently I starred in a dog food commercial in the UK.  It has been successful.  My agent has contacted Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, to see if he and I can come up with something mutually beneficial to both of us.  Perhaps Cesar would feature me as an example to other dogs and their owners.  I'm not a problem dog, you know!  Oh, I like to bark now and then, but none of that bad stuff that some dogs seem bent on doing.

MDH:  What a grand idea.  Let us know if that happens, because millions tune in to The Dog Whisperer.  What great exposure for you!

SHADOW THE DOXIE:  Oh, that's still tentative.  Haven't heard anything back yet.

MDH:  We wish you the best with I AM DACHSHUND.  Oh, before I forget:  is there another book in the works?

SHADOW THE DOXIE:  Yes, in fact.  I'm working on Book 3, entitled DACHSHUNDS FOREVER.  My lil' buddy is coming right along, so I might allow him a chance to say a few words in it.  This book is a WIP right now.

MDH:  Folks, pick up a copy of I AM DACHSHUND and see if you also get hungry as you read--I hear there's some good Southern food to be read about!  Signing off for today, and we thank you for joining us.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Okay, it's time again for some lighthearted pictures.  I didn't come up with the captions (although I wish I had), because they really nail 'em!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I invite you to tune in to Robby's Hobbies at 11 a.m. - 12 noon on Saturday, July 9: I'll be a guest on this show, the theme of which is "How God uses people's passions for the Kingdom." I will discuss my new book, I AM DACHSHUND (and my writing), along with other guests who will discuss their hobbies as well.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dachshund Website Features I AM DACHSHUND! is featuring I AM DACHSHUND as their Book of the Month.  Check out this fantastic site for all things dachshund, and you'll be "delighted" at all the good things they offer.  Below is DD's review:

It's Christmas morning – yes, you're reading this in July, but bear with us for a minute here – and it's time to distribute the presents. There are four generations of a loving – a truly loving – family in the room, along with two friends so close that they are pretty much family members anyway. There are dogs, too, including Shadow the dachshund, who is narrating the scene for us. There are no hidden rivalries or contentions or just-below-the-surface resentments. It's the kind of Christmas morning we all wish we could have. And the beauty of it is this: once we start reading it, we become members of that big, extended family, and we're there with them.

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