Good News Monday and Free Offers


I hope you had a lovely weekend, it rained most of Saturday here and it’s a bit cool but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it.   I have lots to share with you, I haven’t even shown you the furniture I collected one day when my neighbors moved at the end of term. ;-)   So today I have good news first, followed by my lovely finds on Saturday (this time for the garden) and I’ll end this post with three free offers I hope you will enjoy.

Good news to start the week

  1. EWG (Environmental Working Group) unveiled their shopper’s guide for 2014 providing you with a complete list of which foods contain pesticides.   You can view the list here or donate $10 to receive your own Shopper’s guide book.
  2. You may not be looking to become politically active through boycotting brands, this free downloadable boycott guide is a handy reference to know which companies use GMO ingredients or which so-called natural brands have been bought out and which corporation now owns them.
  3. Arizona has plenty of hot air, by 2018 , Arizona will get non-stop clean energy from all that hot air.
  4. And finally, something I found at my local grocery store.  While GMO labeling has been fought hard on both sides of the issue, there seems to be away around labeling of GMO foods.  I was picking up some peanut butter when I spotted a jar of what looked like peanut butter but said it was for people with peanut allergies.  I looked to see what it was made with (curious me) and spotted this (see photo below). So it’s illegal to state a food has GMO ingredients in it, but not illegal to say a food is free from them?

no GMOs


Saturday morning I woke and headed out in between the rain to visit a bake goods and plant fundraiser sale.  I brought home a rooting cutting of a burning bush (love these) for $5. and two pots of lamb’s ears which are famous for attracting hummingbirds and bees for $1.75.   Here are a few pictures of what they will look like if you aren’t familiar with these two plants.

First the burning bush has autumn leaves which look like this.

burning bush

Burning Bush fully grown (source)


Lamb’s ear’s are another perennial plant which grows taller stems which the butterflies, bees and hummingbirds love.  In searching for a picture of the plants in summer I stumbled on this page which shares crafts as well that can be made from parts of the plants.  These multiply over time so you can add just a few to get started. I used to have these all along the side of my home and the bees were so drunk on nectar they couldn’t care less we were there.


Free Offers


This week I wanted to give each of you something extra to start your week.  The idea came to me when Kathy decided to offer her book for free just because it was her birthday.   I think you will find there is something for everyone here to enjoy. If you don’t have a Kindle you can download the free app for your phone or computer to enjoy these books.  If you enjoy these books it would be greatly appreciated if you left feedback at Amazon.  DISCLAIMER:  I have previously read both of these stories and enjoyed them greatly.


finding grace

First up, Kathy’s book Finding Grace:

Ever wonder what it takes to be uniquely and passionately yourself in a world determined to make you like everyone else?

Grace Martin intends to find out as she stumbles from one life lesson to another. With a peculiar but supportive guide and mentor named Mrs. Pettermint, Grace slowly breaks free of traditional family and religion, and courageously explores life, relationships and various spiritual traditions seeking the answers to life’s big questions. Finally, just when she feels she is close to having it all figured out, her beloved mentor dies leaving her nearly $60 Million Dollars. However the only way to claim that inheritance and find the peace she longs for is for Grace to face the critics of her past, the betrayals of the present, and her doubts for the future.

Finding Grace shows that in today’s world it is possible to be spiritual without being religious. And for many women, the path to grace is often being willing to celebrate ourselves exactly as we already are.


confession cover

Justin, My son is offering his story Confession this week as well

A serial killer decides it’s time to confess his sins, but not for the reasons you might think. This is his story of learning he loved to kill to perfecting his art as told to his confessor. You will find yourself inside the thoughts and motivations of one man who loves to kill.

grandmother's kitchen

Finally, I am offering my book:  memories and recipes from grandmother’s kitchen

Rita, born in 1919, knew what it meant to give love through her kitchen. Her trays of cookies and breads always ready for guests was well-known. When you entered her kitchen you knew you were welcome. When Rita passed away in December of 2000, I inherited her collection of recipes, now I am sharing them with the world in hopes this collection will create new memories for your family.


 Do you have good news to share this week?


38 thoughts on “Good News Monday and Free Offers

  1. Always delighted to see a bit of good news. The advertizing on the peanut butter can still be misleading. I wouldn’t ingest it on a bet. Our market has an extruder in which peanuts or almond are placed whole, then extruded into peanut or almond butter without anything added. I bring it home and put it in a glass jar. As for Arizona’s hot air, nice they can find a way to make use of it. It has become more intense over the years. More concrete, less ground. Up in the mountain area where I lived, they had an energy plant That used all the green waste that was brought to it to generate electricity. We took it and dumped it there for free. Tree limbs were ground into mulch and we could buy it back from them. Unfortunately, there was little other recycling. Not cost effective for that area. I’ll keep the lambs ears in mind for my garden and I love the burning bush. We had one at the Arizona house. :( Miss it. The bush, not the house. Thanks Lois also for the free books. They are downloaded and will read ASAP.

    • Marlene, Arizona has gotten worse over the decades. It is getting hotter and with all the non-native plants needing water it’s no longer what they call dry heat. I always thought that I could easily live without electricity if I didn’t have winter. But that changed when I lived in the Phoenix area. You might have been there when I was and heard about the transformer that caught on fire from bird droppings leaving us with no power for a while in the dead of summer. I got so sick when I couldn’t find a way to cool down.

      As for that soy butter, no I wouldn’t feed it to my kids either. In addition to what you already mentioned there is too much evidence that soy adversely affects the estrogen balance in children, especially boys. Making a nice hummus or even grinding your own nuts and seeds for a child that is allergic to peanuts would be a healthier and safer option.

      Btw, thank you so much for introducing me to Pauline, I am now following her.

      • Wonderful to hear you are following Pauline. She is such a lovely lady and I love her art as well. I stay in the shower when it gets hot. In and out, in and out. The mountains were we lived north of Phoenix was much easier to tolerate. Lived in Phoenix in 78. After Memphis, it was a nice change. Not so much anymore though I have many friends there still.

        • My daughter-in-law’s mother still lives in the phoenix area and my son stays in touch with a few people there as well. Most of the friends I had there have moved to other parts. It seems Phoenix is a very transitional area nowadays.

  2. Thanks for all the freebies, as well as the lamb’s ear mention. I had it at my old house and never got around to planting any at this house. We plan to move next spring but I made myself a note to plant some at our new (smaller) place.

    • Christy, I didn’t realize you were planning to move so soon. I saw where you wanted to travel lightly without a home base. Lamb’s ears are so beautiful when they fill out. I first saw them at my grandparent’s best friend’s home. I was so drawn to them that when they decided to thin theirs out they called my grandfather and asked him if he would bring them to me as a gift. The entire trunk of my grandfather’s full-sized car was filled with them. It was the best gift ever.

  3. I love the burning bush… It will be spectacular when it grows.. .. The GMO labelling was interesting… And sorry to hear it was raining over your weekend… Here its been one of the hottest this Spring.. This evening its just started to rain…
    But I got a tan working out in the garden and walking…

    Today I had my little one and tomorrow too.. as her parents are both off work on annual leave, they all went to the coast last week for a weeks holiday.. But I am giving Mum and Dad a little me time together… :-)

    I know I am enjoying being the fairy princess! Making castles and she saw the film Frozen… Sooooo everything is being turned into Ice at the moment :-) :-D ..
    So I am enjoying myself :-)

    Take care Lois…Love Sue xoxox

    • Sue, I know what you mean about the movie Frozen both my granddaughters love it, it’s the focus of many activities and conversations at the moment.

      We’ve had a few nice days so far so I’m tanned as well. :-) Our weather seems to be the opposite from yours as it’s been below average, down right cold some days and nights, and wetter than normal for May.

        • Nope, you are not alone.:-) As I understand it our warmer weather should return the beginning of next week. I laughed and told my kids the cold returned because I had finally packed up most of the cold weather clothing and took the heavier blanket off my bed. I’m considering putting it back on for tonight.

          • Maybe Lois, Big smiles, its because of the Frozen games we play lol… You would laugh as we played outdoors yesterday, using my stepping stones on the lawn in one of her frozen games, the cloud passed suddenly across the Sun.. It went darker quite quickly, She looked up at the sky and said where did the Sun go? I told her then told her to unfreeze me quick she did her magic spell and as if by magic on cue out popped the Sun again from its cloud.. You should have seen her face.. Now that was Pure MAGIC!! :-D

          • They certainly do :-) Yesterday we had her all day again, this time she came with the full Frozen princess outfit which her other Granddad had bought her.. She was really into sitting on her throne! Lol xxx :-D

          • Lol. I would love to bundle up a collection of short movies to show the children when they are grown but it would take the fun out of enjoying these moments.

  4. Food labeling is a strange business, isn’t it, Lois? Interesting twist on the GMO labeling. Now I wish foods would say “not made with palm oil.” I think I might need to write a post on that soon–it’s really heartbreaking what the palm oil industry is doing to the environment and wildlife. But that’s not really good news, is it? Hmmmm…let’s see…just saw a wonderful movie–sort of a documentary–with my family from Disney Nature called “Chimpanzee.” Really showed how our fellow creatures have deep feelings for each other. I recommend it!

    • Joy, palm oil is one of the worst. First like you pointed out it’s bad for the environment and wildlife but it’s also bad for our heath to ingest it.

      I’ll keep my eyes open for Chimpanzee, sounds like a nice family movie.

  5. You always lift my spirits with these posts. I have to admit I’ve been feeling a sense of environmental defeatism lately what with April being the first month in recorded history to have posted an average CO2 concentration over the 400ppm mark, and the “unstoppable Antarctic Ice Melt” headlines.

    I’m totally excited about that power plant! I’ll have to chat with CatMan about it so he can fully explain the physics of it to me. And the list of pesticides was sobering. I have to admit that there are a few things on the dirty dozen list that I have’t quite been able to break myself of… namely sweet bell peppers, cucumbers (although I do peel them) and fresh snap peas. Those items are just soooo hard to find organic, and when you do, they cost an arm and a leg! But I have switched to all organic apples, grapes, potatoes and spinach, and I’m pleasantly surprised to see tomatoes so low on the list – below bananas & oranges even!

    Anyhow, my good news is that the Belmar shopping district, which is very near my house, turned 10 years old recently and the statistics indicate that it has been a rip-roaring success financially. This is wonderful news because Belmar is a “new urban” development built on the site of a dead shopping mall. It has shopping, dining and housing all within walking distance, and had some of the first LEED certified buildings in the state of Colorado. It was a big gamble for the city of Lakewood (the suburb just west of Denver where I grew up) to build it.

    They also recently finished a light rail line through Lakewood, with a bike path along most of it. It’s wonderful to see apartments springing up along the line and people embracing biking and mass transit. Apparently Lakewood is buying up property along the rail line to build more bike infrastructure and encourage bike/pedestrian traffic. It’s encouraging to see that these sorts of developments are paying off financially. It gives me hope that more municipalities will invest in this sort of thing when they see that environmental design and financial success go hand in hand.

    • Cat, your good news is Wonderful! You mentioned the shopping center before it’s good to know it took off and was embraced. So many shopping centers are closing across the country. I’ve visited Lakewood a couple of times what a great place to embrace bike paths and light rail. Just think if the automakers hadn’t pushed for the interstate system we could have a fantastic light rail system for the entire country by now.

      I need to keep doing my good news posts because, like you, I get pretty depressed with the state of things. I need something to grasp at and hope all the individual things will add up to make a difference. The Antarctic ice was all over the news and while I won’t be around when it is melted I will have family still living, I can’t imagine the problems that will come from that. I heard a woman explaining how we should have enough time yet to build walls around low lying areas, like Florida before it happens. I can’t imagine how awful it would be to see a giant wall around the US holding the water back.

      • “Just think if the automakers hadn’t pushed for the interstate system we could have a fantastic light rail system for the entire country by now.” Truer words…

        Denver used to have an extensive system of trams, street cars, and electric trolleys. But after WWII the automobile became king and all of the street car rails were paved over to make room for more cars and gasoline guzzling buses. You can still see the rails peeking through the asphalt now and then when the city gets behind on its paving projects. It all just makes me shake my head in dismay.

        • Cat, I’m pretty sure it would be cheaper to unearth those rails and build a few trolleys and street cars than to keep maintaining the roads and dealing with the pollution and traffic accidents.

          One of the cities closest to me, Pittsburgh used to have the trolleys and street cars even as late as the 1980s but they are gone now as well having been replaced with double buses.

  6. Hey Lois! Thanks for sharing my birthday gift with all your readers! I am having so much fun giving it away! I wrote it so that others could read it and I can’t think of a better way to get exposure….thank you for playing a big part of that!

    and WOW! Just saw you are giving yours away and have already downloaded it to my kindle –Thank YOU! Apparently I missed the post when you mentioned you had released it. Yay!

    I am so looking forward to reading your FIRST and giving YOU a review!!! ~Kathy

    • Kathy, I so enjoyed your book that when you offered it I knew I had to help you get the word out. I’m glad you had a lovely birthday.

      Hope you find a recipe, or a few, that will become a family favorite from my book. I put these together for family but knew my grandmother would love knowing there was a way to share her recipes with the world. A review, if you like it, would be much appreciated. :-)

  7. Beautiful plants you bought and I love the link you gave for uses for Lambs Ear (the heart!!) Quite similar to mullien which my granddaughter recognised in our garden as “toilet paper plant”

  8. Thank you, Lois. You always give so much in ways of information, sharing fellow bloggers and now the gift of free books. I truly appreciate you and what you put out in the world, my friend. I wish you all the best of blessings.:-)

    • Pat, I had fun putting the free books together. When my son heard I was going to share Kathy’s and my book he told me to pick one of his and offer it too. :-) I chose Confession because it’s one of the few that isn’t horror.

      Thank you for all you do too.

  9. thank you for the info on lamb’s ears, to attract butterflys and hummingbirds. have to give it a try.

    another “interesting” use, I have read a couple of times..Have to say I have never tried this, but…it sounds “interesting”

    somehow I have happened on articles a few times now, which claims that not only does lamb’s ears multiply easily and well, apparently it makes a darn good “toilet paper”..

    • I had lambs ears for years and didn’t know anyone used it for toilet paper. I don’t think I will try it, but if you do you are free to share what you thought of them. ;-)

  10. good news to share..well, maybe not what you were expecting, but it sure brought a smile to our faces…

    couple of days ago we went for a walk In a new park. this little chickadee was sort of flying up to/very close to use. I extended my hand, and the rascal sat on the fingers, and looked in for seed. (didn’t have any)..Went back the next day, with some seed, and he landed again,only picking out the sunflower seeds. didn’t want the others.

    it was pretty darn adorable, and sure was smile inducing.

    • Lynn, that made my day. I have yet to have a bird land on me. And the sunflower seeds are the first gone in the bird feeder here. I can’t blame them I love sunflower seeds too.

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