Friday, April 29

Friday Fiction: Taste and See

Taste and See

It weren't but about 10 feet from the door to the pretty lady's desk, but it seemed to take forever to cross it. My little brother 'n me toted' that big box between us and set it down. Starin' at my grimy toes, I said, "Our daddy says thank you, but we don't need no handouts. We're getting' along fine, thank you kindly."

Daddy'd tole us at least five times, "Be sure'n tell them church folk thank you. We don't want them thinkin' we ain't got no manners."

He sure was mad when he'd come home and saw that box sittin' on the table, bustin' with fancy food stuffs. He commenced to turnin' red, and he grabbed the back of the rickety chair so tight, I was waitin' for the wood to splinter.

He leaned over the box and stared me down. "What'd you boy's go an' do now?"

"Nothin' Daddy! Swear.'

"Don't you swear." Daddy stuck his face in mine, and his eyes got real dark. "You know the Good Book says just let yer yes's and no's be true."

"Sorry, Daddy. No, we didn't. Me 'n Mickey were doin' our homework here at the table when the doorbell rang."

"How many times I tole you not to open that door for no one." One of his hands let loose of the chair and I ducked under my arm.

"We didn't, Daddy, I sw.. PROMISE. We just peeked out the window--they didn't even see us. This man, he was holdin' this here box of food. And this lady, she rang the doorbell again. Then the man set that box down in front of the door, then they got in a car and drove off. When I was sure they was gone, me and Mickey drug it inside so's no one would steal it. It's ours now, right? They gave it to us?"

The box was overflowin' with cans and boxes and bags, but I was starin' at one big bag stuffed with cookies. My tummy was rumblin' and my mouth was waterin'. I jumped when Daddy spoke up.

"Did you boys eat anything?" He'd let loose of the chair, and his fists were balled up at his side.

"No! An' I didn't let Mickey, either, even though he cried." I was glad my tummy growled real loud right then. "But can we, maybe, have a cookie?"

"Tarnation, boy!" Daddy yanked off his sweaty cap and slammed it on the table. "If'n the Lorda meant for you to have cookies, He wouldn't of taken yer mamma. An' if'n he'd of meant for us to have this kinda food, He'd of provided it." He gave the box a shove, never minding the scratch it made on Mamma's table. He spied the card, and snatched it off'n the corner of the box, snappin' the pretty red ribbon it was fastened on with.

"'A gift to you from McClerran Community Church'. Figures. You boys, go wash up. You gonna take this here "gift" right back to those meddlin' church folk. They got no right assumin' we in need of charity. 'Gift.' Huh. Handout's what they mean, and the Anderson's don't need no handouts. Be sure 'n tell them thank you, now. We don't want them thinkin we ain't got no manners, ya hear me boy?"

"Did you hear me, little boy? It's a gift -- it's yours." I looked up at her then, that same lady from earlier at the house. Her smile was so nice and her eyes were so soft, I wanted to tell her everything, I wanted to take the gift, but then I thought about Daddy.

"Yes, ma'am. And Daddy says to tell you thank you, but we're fine." My tummy rumbled again and I hoped she didn't hear it and know I was lyin'. I grabbed Mickey and we scooted out the door. I wanted to get home quick. I didn't lie to Daddy?we didn't eat anything out of the box. What I took wasn't somethin' to eat.

Evelyn watched from the window as the two waifs ran across the parking lot and down the sidewalk. She wiped away a tear and turned back to the giftbox she'd prepared for the Anderson's. Not even her freshly-baked cookies had been touched. But then she noticed what WAS missing; her son's old Christian comic books she'd tucked under the cookies were gone.

"A child shall lead them, and Your word will not return void. Thank you, Lord."


Author's note: Scriptures referenced in closing prayer: Isaiah 11:6, 55:11

© 2011


Fiction Friday is a weekly opportunity for writers to share their work and receive a smidgen of feedback. It's also a GREAT place for readers to peruse inspiring and encouraging fiction from up-and-coming new authors. If you're new, don't be shy! Our host this week is Debra Elliott at "Writing with Debra. Add a link or follow a link at the bottom her story.

Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Thursday, April 21

Have you met Patty Wysong?

Do you need a blog spring-clean? A little tweaking and adjusting?

Are you craving a complete blog make-over, something fresh, new, and YOU?

Maybe you want to learn how to tweak and adjust your blog?

Or have you shied away from starting that blog because you have no idea where to start?

I know just the person to help you. Patty Wysong has a passion for HTML and CSS and all things bloggy. Her designs are beautiful! AND she's an all around awesome person. She even conducts workshops to share her knowledge, Check out her VERY reasonable and VERY professional blog design services at her own blog, Ordinary Lives.

Finding the Extraordinary God in our Ordinary Lives

Oh, yeah, to celebrate her faith-step into professional status, she's giving away a FREE premade blog layout - just leave a comment here for a chance to win! Double your chances by clicking the link to her blog, and leaving HER a comment, too! WOO HOO!

Happy and Blessed Blogging!

Happy and Blessed Blogging!

Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Friday, April 15

Friday Fiction: The Storm

Welcome to Fiction Friday!  Whenever the weather turns tornado-y, I flash back to one night stormy night when I was a tot. What KatieBelle experiences during "The Storm" is  drawn from that vivid child-hood memory.


The Storm

KatieBelle was having a nightmare. A giant was coming to get her. He was moaning, and every time he took a step toward her, his feet made a loud BOOM that shook her bed,

And the moans and BOOM's were getting closer together.

KatieBelle didn't like to be woken up, but this time was different. When her mama shook her awake, she was glad. But the BOOMing and moaning didn't stop. they got louder And now bright lights were flashing in the window and lighting up her whole bedroom.

KatieBelle flung herself into her mama's chest. "It's a giant, Mama! A giant's coming!"

Her mama wrapped KatieBelle in a hug. "No, KatieBelle. It's not a giant. It's a storm. A bad storm."

The nightmare was fading away, and another loud BOOM woke KatieBelle all the way up. Her daddy lifted her out of bed, and said, "We have to go now."

Before she knew what was happening, KatieBelle was in the back seat of the car. Her mama must have remembered to get her pillow and blanket off her bed, because they were nestled around her as she drifted in and out of sleep.

Thunder BOOM's turned into crackle-snap-POWs, and KatieBelle could feel the car being tossed around like a ship on a stormy sea.

The car stopped moving, and a cold wet wind rushed in. KatieBelle tried to pry her eyes open, but she was just too tired. Then she was in her daddy's arms again, until he set her on her feet was pushing her forward.


KatieBelle was frozen in place. Daddy wanted her to go, but go where? She was so glad when her mama picked her up.

Her daddy ran ahead and flung open a wood door in the ground. He hollered at them to hurry up, and mama carried her door.

The steps down into the cellar scared KatieBelle. It was dark, and there were cobwebs and spiders in the corners. She wished Mama hadn't put her down. The concrete steps were crooked and uneven. She couldn't see the bottom.

Her mama shone a flashlight down the stairs, and took hold of KatieBelle's hand, but she was still afraid she was going to fall.

Finally, she slumped on a rough bench up against a dirt wall, with a dirt floor under her feet. The air was damp and cold, and smelled of damp, cold earth. KatieBelle knew this smell; she knew this place.
She was in Aunt Hilda's root cellar. KatieBelle had been her before, with her mama, to put up boxes of potatoes and turnips and apples.

Her daddy lit his camping lantern, and the hissing, bright light made KatieBelle feel safer. She was so cold, though! She was shivering, and she started to cry.

KatieBelle didn't hear her mama ask for Daddy's coat, but when Mama wrapped it around KatieBelle, it She breathed in her daddy's smell and felt like she was under blanket of peace.

KatieBelle lay her head down on her mama's lap, and the thunder, the wind, and the hiss of the lantern rocked her to sleep.

© 2007


Fiction Friday is a weekly opportunity for writers to share their work and receive a smidgen of feedback. It's also a GREAT place for readers to peruse inspiring and encouraging fiction from up-and-coming new authors.
Our hostess this week is is the bubbly, vivacious, and multi-talented Sara Harricharian. Dash on over to her fiction blog, Fiction Fusion for more ... yes you guessed it,  FICTION! :-)

Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Tuesday, April 12

Book Review: Promises to Keep

Promises to Keep
by Ann Tatlock

When a family wakes one morning to find a strange old woman reading the newspaper on the front porch of their new home, they have no idea how their lives are about to change. Although Tillie Monroe is the catalyst of the changes to come, she isn't the main character.

Promises to Keep is told from the first-person perspective of 11 year-old Roz Andrews, whose family has been broken by alcohol and abuse. Her mother has taken her, her teenaged brother, and her baby sister to live close to her grandparents. What Roz wants more than anything is to have her daddy back.

Roz' voice has a youthful, yearning quality that made me want to keep listening to her. Add to that an odd and intriguing opening, and I quickly became enamored with this book. Within two or three chapters, I felt a connection with Roz. Her simple but deep narrative made me want to befriend her. Her experiences and emotions brought memories of my own pre-adolescent confusion and pain, hopes and dreams, and best-friends-forever pinkie-promises.

This was my first book by Ann Tatlock, and I'm sorry I didn't discover her earlier. My thanks to Bethany House for providing a review copy of Promises to Keep in exchange for my honest review.

Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Tuesday, April 5

Party with a Purpose!!!

You’re invited!

I am hosting an online e-party benefit for Haley's Place...a playground in honor of Haley Eason. 

Haley is a young member of my church who has been fighting cancer for 9 years - since she was 13. Her faith, bolstered by the prayers of many, has healed her time and again, but it appears her fight may soon be over.

We are installing a new playground in her honor, and all proceeds from this E-Benefit will be donated to Haley's Place by my gracious and loving Mary Kay consultant, Kathy Wylder.

Would you shop with her between the days of Wed. April 6th until April 10th?!?!?!

This is what you do…

Get comfortable!!  You can even shop in your
jammies!! Visit my consultant, Kathy Wylder’s web page

Kathy Wylder will confirm your order and arrange payment and
free delivery/shipping.

Thanks in advance, I hope I can count on you!!!




April 06, 2011 8:00 AM ET -

Sunday, April 10, 2011 12:00 AM ET



Mary Kay® Personal Beauty Profiler

Mary Kay® eCatalog

Mary Kay® Virtual Makeover

Kathy Wylder

Kathy Wylder

Independent Beauty Consultant

If you don't want to shop, but feel led to make a small donation, you may do so through my church's website! Just click that button to the left.

Be a blessing, and Be blessed!!

Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Monday, April 4

Does your attitude sparkle?

We can't always choose our circumstances, but one choice we do have is our attitude. Join me today at Jewels of Encouragement to hear more!

Be blessed AND encouraged!!!

Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Friday, April 1

Fiction Friday: Just Desserts

Fiction Friday is a weekly opportunity for writers to share their work and receive a smidgen of feedback. It's also a GREAT place for readers to peruse inspiring and encouraging fiction from up-and-coming new authors. Our hostess this week is is the queen of multi-tasking, Julie Arduini. Pay her a visit at The Surrendered Scribe. After reading her intriguing flash fiction. add a link of your own, and then follow the other links for some good reading. Be sure to scatter comments along your way.

I'm still under the curse of writer's block, so I pulled out something old but fun for today. While the following is not a true story, it is based on several events conglomerated together and fictionalized for the FaithWriters "Cooking or Baking" challenge. Enjoy!!!


Just Deserts

How in the world do I ‘grate’ an onion? Felicity grimaced and puffed the hair off her face. She reluctantly dialed her mother-in-law’s number. “Mom, it’s me again. Sorry to be such a bother, but I want this to be perfect, you know?”

“Sweetheart, I never think you’re a bother. How can I help?”

“Well, your squash recipe says to add a grated onion. How do you do that? I’ve never grated an onion.”

“I use my food processor. Cut the onion into quarters, then just process it until it’s juicy.”

“Oh, I can do that. Thanks, Mom. I’ll try not to bother you again."

“Felicity, dear, you are NOT a bother! Call me as often as you want to. I’m happy to be here for you today.”


Felicity grabbed a bottle of water and plopped into her favorite chair with a contented sigh. Her chocolate Labrador retriever laid her head in Felicity’s lap. Felicity snuggled her and rubbed the rich brown coat that inspired the dog’s name. “I’m sorry I haven’t had time to play with you today, Coco. You’re such a good dog. Yes you are.”

The house filled with the mouth-watering aroma of roast pork, the squash casserole was in the oven, and the salad was tossed and waiting in the refrigerator next to the shrimp cocktail appetizers. She had even made the disgusting bread sauce her husband loved.

Their one-year anniversary dinner was going to be such a surprise for Will, especially since she was serving it the day before their anniversary. She suspected that he might have a romantic night out planned for tomorrow. Well ... she hoped, anyway. Her mother-in-law had supplied recipes and instructions for all of Will’s favorite dishes, including the piece de resistance – chocolate milkshake cake for desert. His mom said it he’d always requested it for his birthday.

A glance at the clock had Felicity up and moving again. She had just enough time to shower off the cooking grunge and make herself beautiful before Will got home from work. It wouldn’t do to have the atmosphere for this great dinner spoiled by looking (and smelling) like she had been slaving in the kitchen all day. She gave her dog a hug and a pat. “Be, good, Coco. I’ll be right back.”


Will pushed his chair back from the candle-lit table and rubbed his bulging stomach. “Mmmm, Felicity, wow, everything was so good, especially the squash casserole. And I can't believe you made me bread sauce. Thank you.”

“Was it as good as your mom’s?”

“Better. I didn’t think that was possible, but it really was.” He let out a loud belch. “Excuse me!”

Felicity giggled. “I guess that means you really did like it. So, do you have room for desert now?”

“Wait ... just a minute.” Another belch rumbled from his belly. “Ok, I think I’m ready now. So tell, me, master chef, what masterpiece did you prepare to top off this perfect dinner?”

“What’s your favorite desert?” Felicity held her breath. Please let his mom be right.

“Milkshake cake?” Will’s raised eyebrows and wide eyes made him look like a little boy.

“Hmm. Well, let’s just see, shall we?” Felicity rose and sauntered out of the dining room.

“Oh, no! Coco!”

“Felicity? What’s wrong?” When she didn’t answer, Will followed her to the kitchen and found her crouched on the floor weeping. “What? What is it, hon?”

She merely pointed. On the counter she indicated, Will saw an empty cake tin surrounded by crumbs and frosting. His eyes narrowed as they followed the trail of crumbs and spied Coco cowering in the corner, licking chocolate frosting from her furry jaws.

“Stupid dog! BAD dog!” Felicity wailed. “She ruined everything!”

Will lifted Felicity off the floor and into his arms. “Honey, shhh, it’s ok. Everything’s not ruined. Believe me, that dinner was awesome. I’ll tell you what. I’ll take Coco for a long walk. She probably needs it after eating an entire cake. And while I’m gone, you can just whip me up another one. How’s that sound?” Will grinned, and winked at her.

She pummeled his chest in mock anger, and laughed. “Yes, please take her for a walk. Get her out of my sight. Maybe, if you’re good, I’ll make you another milkshake cake for your birthday. And that dog will be at your Mom’s house.”

© 2007


Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)