Monday Madness! Free Book: The Meeting of Anni Adams: The Butterfly of Luxembourg

So with Labor Day yesterday, I didn’t get time to post my Monday give away…but better late than never!

The Meeting of Anni Adams: The Butterfly of Luxembourg written by Lonnie D. Story is this week’s free book. This is actually an inscribed copy that Lonnie sent me back in 2007. From the back cover:

Born November 11, 1926, Anni Adams grew up traveling throughout central Europe with her professional gymnast father. By the age of fourteen she had been throughout Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium, and France. Then came Nazi invasion.

Everything Anni had known came unraveling at the seams. Evacuated from Luxembourg, she survived the poverty, humiliation, and uncertainty of refugee camps following the German occupation of her homeland. She eventually returned to her home and the submissive lifestyle of the Nazi rule, which she quietly resisted for more than four years.

Author Lonnie D. Story skillfully interweaves a riveting account of Anni’s life story and the history-in-the-making events that surrounded her. Throughout her long and successful life, Anni has had great tragedy and suffering. The Meeting of Anni Adams is a true story of survival and the American dream come true.

All you have to do to get it is one of the following. I will say that the more of the following you do, the more times your name will be entered into the drawing!

1. Like this post on my Facebook page, Melissa’s Idea Garden.

2. Like my Facebook page, Melissa’s Idea Garden.

3. Share this post on your Facebook page.

4. Like my Facebook page, Police News Blotter – a website  full of good police news!

5. Leave a comment on this post.

6. Leave a comment on a post on Police News Blotter.

Just in case you aren’t the lucky winner, but you are interested in reading the book!


How Did This Turtle Get a Straw in His Nose?

I am a big fan of National Geographic and every week, I get an email from them hitting some of the highlights of the past week. The video below was one I watched with sadness, disgust and finally gratitude that this team was able to help this poor turtle who had the misfortune to run afoul of one of our straws. There is bad language in this video – and it will break your heart to see what this poor turtle has been suffering from.

TBT: 1st Service Greeter Team

In January of 2014, I gathered with other 8:30 service greeters from Blue Ridge Community Church. Brian and Michael were heading to Africa for a missions trip. We had helped support them for this journey and they wanted a photo of us to take with them. Almost 2 years later, all but one of these greeters is still on this team. And we have added more to our crew! 2015-09-03 07.30.57-1From left to right: Charlotte, Gwen, Rob, Chris, Leigh, me, Katrina (my daughter), Corine, Michael, John, Denise and Brian.

Each Sunday morning, we meet at 7:30 and share with one another and pray for one another and for other needs God brings to our attention. Then we head out to our various posts and greet everyone coming in the doors that morning. This is what being in community is about. The support and love of our Christian brothers and sisters. Each week, we strive to make everyone who is visiting us that day realize how special they are to us and to God.

Happy 70th Birthday, Daddy!

70 years ago, my father entered this world…a part of the chain that would lead to the life of yours truly. The pictures below are of Dad at around age 7 and me around age 9 and then dad now at age 70. Daddy has always been my friend. He was someone I could talk to, get great advice from, and who loved me for me. I never felt like he was judging me or wanted me to be something I was not. If I had a problem, Daddy was the one I went to to fix it. He still is.

So many memories we have made together and/or shared. Fishing in a boat and eating peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches. Hikes in the fall when I had a day off from school. Card games. Movies he took me too while mom had ceramics class. Hugs. The club house he made me out of a rabbit’s hutch. Homemade wine. Helping me bury Candy, my first and only pet while I was growing up. Replacing the valve cover gaskets on my 1975 Monte Carlo. Sunday drives and ice cream cones from High’s. My handmade bed that I still sleep in every night. The beautiful jewelry box with a drawer full of memories that he made for me for a graduation gift. Long talks. Shooting can filled with water. Target practice on walnuts. The sled track he made for me using a mortar box to smash it down and water to make it super fast. The snow woman he made during the winter of 83. Giving just a bit too much gas to old Gert so we would spin around on a snowy road. Stories of his growing up. The decks he built for my house. Him holding his grandchildren when they were born. His love of the great outdoors. His thoughtful conversations and insights. A bowl of beans at Jesse Reynold’s. Washing the fire truck.

Dad, I don’t think I can ever find enough words to tell you how much I love you! Thank you for the gift of life and for the love that you have showed me every day since!



2015-07-19 14.06.144th grade


Movie Review: Hope Springs

This 2012 movie with Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep and Steve Carell was absolutely wonderful!  It was about a couple who has been married for 31 years – things have become distant and the Kay wants things the way they were in the beginning. She learns about Steve Carell (marriage counselor) and surprises her hubby with a week long intensive marriage counseling session.

I laughed a lot, I cried some, I felt for these two folks trying to find their way back to one another. As true in  marriages – there was no one ‘wrong’ thing – there were missed moments and instances of one thinking they were doing the best for the other by not talking. This movie is a must see for all married couples!

Monday Madness! Free Book! Bethlehem Baptist Church Cookbook

Some of the best cooks in the world are church members…they have to be because of the potlucks and dinners they make for people who are home due to illness, pregnancy, etc.  Today I am offering this cookbook to one lucky person!

All you have to do to get it is one of the following. I will say that the more of the following you do, the more times your name will be entered into the drawing!

1. Like this post on my Facebook page, Melissa’s Idea Garden.

2. Like my Facebook page, Melissa’s Idea Garden.

3. Share this post on your Facebook page.

4. Like my Facebook page, Police News Blotter – a website  full of good police news!

5. Leave a comment on this post.

6. Leave a comment on a post on Police News Blotter.

I will draw one lucky name on Friday! Good luck!

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TBT: My First Car

It was 1983 and I was looking for my very own car. I had a savings account that my parents had opened for me when I was a wee lass. It had $1200 in it. I used it to buy a 1975 Monte Carlo – I called her Quicksilver and I loved her!

Dad, Me and my Monte CarloI had big plans for Quicksilver – I wanted to paint her black and put on mag wheels – those plans never came to fruition, but I drove her for five years and was happy every time I got behind the wheel. In my opinion, she was one of the prettiest cars ever made.

So many memories when I look at this picture – it was taken when we lived in Blumont Estates. I was wearing my pants with fur on them – mohair I think it was called. My dad was wearing a Homestead Builders hat – from when he worked with Kenny Smith and I was wearing my unicorn polo shirt (no alligators for me!).  The big tree behind the car was the largest on our property. It took two people with outstretched arms to reach all the way around the trunk. When Dad and I went to test drive this car – he rode in the back. He told me there were inches of beer cans back there! Dad, Mom, and I built this house. So many drives in this car on the parkway, to the drive-in on Timberlake road, back and forth to college. Truly a picture is worth a thousand words.

Tuesday’s Tips: Favorite Uses for Coffee Filters

I love my Keurig, but coffee filters are an item I still keep in my cabinet.  They have a ton of uses and are super cheap! Here are some of my favorites!

1. Clean your eyeglasses –  no need for expensive cleaners or cloths, just grab a coffee filter and a few drops of water – your glasses will be lint free and clean in no time! You can also safely use coffee filters to clean your computer screen, cell phone, or other small electronic devices as well as windows and chrome! NO LINT!

2. Cover your bowl in the microwave – no more splatters – the top of your bowl is covered and it is way cheaper than a paper towel and less tricky to pick up than putting a plate on top of your bowl.

3. Make your own air freshener – put some baking soda inside of a coffee filter, tie it off and put it where needed (near cat litter box, in with your shoes, the sky’s the limit!)

4. Spread oils/shortening/butter – coffee filters are great for spreading these around and the filter’s fibers won’t break off like a napkin’s would.

5. Pet pooper scoopers – pick it up and toss it in the trash – no need for plastic baggies that are bad for the environment!

6. Protect your china – lay a filter between each plate to protect from nicks and scratches.

7. Make tea – use loose tea in your automatic coffee pot to make tea, use coffee filters to make tea bags, or to make herbal tea (put herbs inside of coffee filter and tie them off to make your own herbal tea).

8. Nail polish remover – coffee filters work as well as cotton balls.

9. Hold small items – whether you are putting together furniture, working on your car or working on a craft  with small parts – put those in a coffee filter to keep them from getting lost.

10.  Keep Cast Iron pans from rusting – Place inside of cast iron skillet to absorb moisture.

For more amazing ways to use coffee filters, check out these links!  Wake Up World, Spend With Pennies, One Good Thing by Jillee, and Indestructables.

Monday Madness: Book Giveaway! Hard to Dance with the Devil on Your Back by Ray Buckley

Welcome to Monday Madness. The place to be for your chance to win this week. You can get entries into the giveaway by doing one or all of the following. The more you do, the more entries you receive!

1. Receive one entry for liking my Facebook post.

2. Receive one entry for sharing the Facebook post.

3. Receive one entry for commenting on my blog (Melissa’s Idea Garden)

4. Receive five entries for liking and leaving a comment on my new Facebook page Police News Blotter (three entries if you just leave a comment).

5. Receive five entries for liking and leaving a comment on my other new Facebook page Melissa’s Idea Garden. (three entries if you just leave a comment)

The contest is open until Thursday midnight, Eastern Time. On Friday, I will draw a name and I will mail (or hand deliver) the book to the winner.

This week’s give-away is for “Hard to Dance with the Devil on Your Back” by Ray Buckley. This is a Lenten Study for adults. It had been in my stack for a while and it floated to the top, so it was time to read it (Lent season or no). Ray Buckley is a professional Native American storyteller who uses his storytelling gift and his Christian beliefs to bring alive the Word. I found this study to be chock full of enlightenment, stories, and a reminder that God is always inviting us to dance – no matter what the circumstances are.

If you’d like to own this book for free, just follow the guidelines above for a chance! If you don’t win, you can always purchase the book for yourself.

You Version – A Useful App

I signed up for YouVersion a couple of years ago. In case you don’t know what that is, it is a wonderful website that you can go to on your computer or through an app on your phone so that you can link to a bible where ever you are, whenever you need to consult the word.

BibleThere are a variety of versions available, there is a search function and there are devotionals you can sign up for. The devotionals range in length from a few days to a year. You can set up reminders for yourself, you can follow friends on YouVersion and they can follow you if you want. I have enjoyed this app because it has reminds me to take time with God on those days that I let life get in the way.

A couple of months ago, I discovered something about YouVersion that I found really helpful. Maybe you already know. Maybe I am missing something in my app. But here’s what I discovered. I have done a variety of the studies offered – always on my phone. Most times there was only a bible verse. What I am really hoping for with these studies is some guidance, some external food for thought. So I wondered why these were called ‘studies’ when it was just a verse.

A couple of months ago, I signed into YouVersion from my computer. I am doing Day by Day with Billy Graham. On my computer, the whole process is much better for me! The verse of the day is highlighted, but the whole chapter is also there. And in a side scroll, there is the devotional from Billy Graham! I was missing that for the first 100+ days because it doesn’t show up on my phone! So, if you are like I, check it out on your computer. There really is more there for you to see!