Category Archives: Blogging/Writing

Sunday’s Favorites {around the web} #1

This week I read some amazing blogs from all around the world.

I thought I would share my favorites.

must reads

Culture or Bible? by CBC Portugal Missions

31 Days to a Heart of Hospitality by Edie from Life in Grace {Loved her 31 series on hospitality.  It was my favorite series.  Now she’s offering an eBook, so don’t miss out!}

One thrifted dress worn 7 ways (and all of them beautiful) by Lisa Leonard

Warm Your Heart Mantel by Dream & Differ

One Thing We’re Waiting for and Why it’s Time to Stop by Emily Freeman

Can you Imagine?  By Jamie The Very Worst Missionary

Arm Knitting by Broken Poet


Here’s what happened on The Fringe.

I told a personal story about When Going Means Walking in The Rain.

I introduced you to my Redneck Gourmet.

I shared The Cure for Dry Skin.

I participated in Five Minute Friday.  Here’s my five minutes on “Again“.

I talked about Some Changes on The Domestic Fringe.

Can I just say that I appreciate every comment and Tweet yesterday?  I needed all those words of encouragement and I am more excited than ever to be sharing each day with you on The Domestic Fringe.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds!  I know God has a plan and purpose and I want to get on board.

Do you have “must reads” to share?  Leave a link in the comments.



Changes on The Domestic Fringe

You may have noticed that this blog went through an identity crisis this week.  It’s because I am gearing up for something big (read on and you’ll find out what) and I’m trying to find my way in this wonky world of blogging.


I think I changed my header four times before settling on this one.  If you hate the little house and bird, please don’t tell me, because I cannot bring myself to create one more lousy design.  I actually like this header and think it’s going to be around for a long time.


Note:  Everything creative is subject to my whims and weather conditions.  The longer it remains below zero, the more time I have to play around, because you know I’m not going outside in this wicked weather.


I know the entire layout is slightly altered and may be a bit difficult to navigate, so let me help you.

  • The comments button is at the top of the post.  I don’t like this any more than you, but I can’t change it.  Sorry.  Please know I appreciate every single comment and I read them all.  I’m attempting to be better at responding to all your comments.  It’s a goal.
  • The pages are at the top, above my header graphic.  I changed up the “About Me” page.  It’s not exactly what I want it to be, but as in everything, I am growing and learning.  I also added a “Begin Here” page for newbies to The Domestic Fringe.  Please let me know if it’s helpful.  You’ll find my love story, “Fringe Love” at the top along with the “Shop” page.
  • Please click on the buttons in the sidebar if you want to follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.


If you follow along with me in a reader, you may have noticed that you can no longer read the full post in your reader.  It provides a few lines and a link over to my blog.  Some of you have emailed me to ask if I can change this.  The answer is yes and no.  Please let me explain.

My word for 2013 is Better.  I’m working towards doing better in so many areas of my life.  One of them is blogging and another is finances.  

As a team, my husband and I need to earn more money.  I know the trend these days is cutting back and living with less, but honestly, we went that route long ago.  I guess in a way, without even knowing it, we were financially trendy a long time ago.  We have worked and reworked our budget and there’s nothing left to cut.  We are responsible for our family, and the ugly truth is that living takes money.  In order to meet our needs, we must earn more.

Grab this button!Copy, paste, and link back to

Grab this button!
Copy, paste, and link back to

I’ve gone the traditional route and looked for a job.  I seem to be striking out in my local job market; however, I have something fabulous growing and blooming right before me.  It’s something I love.  It’s not work to me, because I enjoy every moment of it.  It’s my blog, The Domestic Fringe.

By the end of February I have plans to transition this blog from a WordPress hosted site to a self-hosted site.  This will allow to monetize my blog.

I know some of you just checked out, but please know, I only want things to change for the better.  I’ll still be writing about the same things – the ordinary, the daily, the humorous, and sometimes the ugly, but I hope to have sponsors and partner with companies and brands I love.  I intend to do everything I can to ensure this transition works for both of us.

I know it’s a risk.  I know only a few make it in blogging.  I know my stats aren’t big enough and my talent isn’t great enough, but I also know God gave me a special gift in this blog.  That gift is you.

I love the community and the opportunity to know you better, to make you laugh or think.  I love when you take the time to send me an email or leave me a comment.  I love when someone says “That just made my day.” 

For me, that’s what blogging is all about.  And if I can earn an income while enjoying this community we’ve built, all the better.

I have to at least give it a try.

So the answer to your question, whether I can show my entire post in your blog reader, is yes.  I can.

However, I have over 700 subscribers who never, ever show up in my stats.  Although my personal success as a blogger doesn’t lie in how many people click on my blog, my financial success does.  Your taking a second to click the link in your reader and land on the post you want to read would double my monthly stats, making me more attractive to the companies and brands I desire to work with.

Is it selfish of me to ask you to follow a link?  Yes. 

I just hope you understand my heart in all this.  There’s a reason I’m being a pain in your butt.

Do you forgive me?

If you’d like to help me and support The Domestic Fringe, please just keep reading and share the posts you love.  I covet a Tweet or a Pin or a Like on facebook.

Thank you for being part of this community.  Thank you to those who read and love and support me each and every day.  I wouldn’t be blogging without you.

If you have any questions or concerns, please leave them in the comments (button at the top of this post) and I will be more than happy to answer them.

Thank you so much for understanding and supporting me.



rings reflected in water

‘Tis a lesson you should heed,

Try, try again;

If at first you don’t succeed,

Try, try again.

Then your courage should appear,

For, if you will persevere,

You will conquer, never fear;

Try, try again.

~ Author Anonymous

It’s a poem I made my kids memorize when they were nothing more than babies.  Now they use it on me whenever they see me frustrated, failing.

Try, try again they tell me.

Again is the story of my life.  I do it every single day in the big things and the little.

Laundry, dishes, sweeping – those are again and again.

But my life and yours, they are made up of more than ordinary tasks.  They are also the big things – the marriage, the parenting, the squeaking out a living in tough world, the chasing your dream.  These are also agains, because they take constant striving, work.

And then there’s God, the One full of grace, who offers us forgiveness and love and freedom.  He pours these gifts over us again and again, nothing withholding.  He doesn’t begrudge us the chance to try, try again.

Somewhere deep inside I think again may be our lives.


Today I am joining Lisa-Jo Baker and so many others in Five Minute Friday.  You get one word and five minutes to write your thoughts, no editing or over-thinking.  You simply sit down and write.

Today’s word is Again.  If you’d like join us in Five Minute Friday, click one of the links, set a timer, and begin writing.

Happy Friday!

I hope your weekend is filled with the promise of again.

Tips for New Bloggers

If you are new to The Domestic Fringe, welcome.  I’m so glad you stopped by for a visit. Here are few things we recently talked about.

Better: My Word for 2013

A Knock on The Door

balloon wreath

DIY: Balloon Wreath

My Kid’s Loose Lips

Better Blogging: A Free Printable Blogging Calendar

boots and boot socks with circle scarf wiww

How to Make A Circle Scarf & Boot Socks from An Old Sweater

Are you a new blogger or are you an old blogger who needs a fresh start?

Today’s post is for you.  I’m dishing out advice over at Fancy Little Things.

Blogging is sharing yourself, your writing, and your passion for life.  You get the chance to be 100% uniquely you, while connecting with like-minded people.  Blogging takes your sphere of influence, the one that consists of family, friends, and your local community, and grows it to include people from all around the world.

You get to blog!  It is a great gift that comes with responsibility for your words and gives you influence.  So blog responsibly and have fun!

5 Tips for New Bloggers

I don’t want to give it all away, so follow the link and visit me.


Better Blogging – Getting Organized

blog organization templates

Better Blogging

2013 is the year of Better.  In my New Year’s Resolution post I told you about how I need to stick with the things I’m already doing, but do them better.  That includes being a better blogger.

I approach blogging like I do everything else in my life, I fly by the seat of my pants.  I am driven by whims and emotional outburst, creativity that most often strikes when I’m in the shower or falling asleep, and last minute ideas that are underdeveloped.

Unfortunately, this means that my best ideas and stories never make it to my blog.  P-L-A-N is a four letter word; therefore, I never use it.

I’ve decided a little organization may not kill me.  It might even make this a better blog.

I know, shocking revelations on The Domestic Fringe.  What will I say next?  I’m going to organize my laundry room??  Heaven forbid.

Aside from the overflowing basket of clean clothes that has been on my kitchen island for three days (Ya, I’m not making that up.), I’m taking steps to organize my life and live better.

Right now I’m working on my blog.  I downloaded a free printable blogging calendar from Elisa Pulliam and I am using it.  If you want, you can print your copy here.

organized blogger

I can’t promise I’ll be able to plan more than a week or two out, but it’s all about baby steps.  My goal is to eventually plan one month at a time.  This way I’ll know the direction I am heading and I’ll be able to work towards that goal without distraction.  At least, that’s the plan.

I know me, so if I get one to two weeks planned at a time, it will be a major accomplishment.

This is how I am blogging better in 2013.


Oh Vanity of Vanities – Fiction Friday Revived

You may need a little background before you read this excerpt from my larger work of fiction (still very much in progress).  I drew inspiration from my own bad hair cut, wrote about it, and continued the story line.  It’s all purely fiction, but you can gain a little understanding if you go back and read about my bad hair cut.  Then you’ll understand where this entry picks up.

Not My Life is the story of a pastor’s wife, Patty, who believes privacy is for fitting rooms and confessionals.  She wants to share her story with the world, even if it’s sometimes at the expense of her dignity.

That’s as basic as the story line gets.  Yes, I draw from personal experience.  No, this is not my life.  It’s fiction.  Aka – imaginative, made-up, full of untruth.  It’s a story, plain and simple


March 27, 2012

I promised myself I was not going to leave the house today.  I asked God if one day of sulking would be too much to ask, and He reminded me of Jonah.  Jonah sulked after Ninevah repented, and I figure spiked bangs and chopped locks damaged my psyche nearly as much as being swallowed by a whale.

I cried for an hour yesterday afternoon.  I couldn’t help myself.  Frank still laughs every time he catches a glimpse of my hair.  I’ve asked him to please stop, but he says it’s out of his control.  It’s automatic, like a reflex.  He sees my hair, thinks back to the now famous ‘Cut of 2012’ and falls into uncontrollable giggling fits.

If I could just take my head off and leave it home…how I wish!

I stood at the bathroom mirror for forty-minutes today trying to fix what’s left of my hair into a style presentable for Easter Sunday.  Did I tell you I’m singing on Easter?  A solo!  After using half a bottle of mousse, I knew this haircut is God’s punishment for my vanity.  As I stand before our congregation and sing He Arose, I will wish with all my heart that an empty tomb will open and suck me into oblivion.  Oh vanity of vanities!

I never suspected things could get worse.  I’m already suffering the trials of Job himself, if he were a woman.  Since my hair is too atrocious for taming products, I resorted to using Jane’s miniature claw clips.  When I finished wrangling my hair, I looked a little like Lady Liberty, only my spikes were pastel.  An entire row of rainbow clips framed my face.  If I were an Easter egg, I might be styling, but I am the minister’s wife!  I am singing on Sunday.  God (and maybe miracle grow) is the only one who can help me now.

So I turned to Him in prayer.

An Easter bonnet.  I’m sure he spoke that thought right into my very heart. So I grabbed my windbreaker from the hall closet and slipped one of Frank’s Yankee’s caps over the line of rainbow clips in my hair.  Swinging my bag over one shoulder, I headed out the door. To Macy’s I would go!

Walking through the door, I scanned the the brightly lit aisles filled with the pinks and greens of spring.  God bless Macy’s.  I didn’t see a familiar soul on the entire first floor, so I ventured in.  From three aisles away, I spied the perfect hat, wide-brimmed and floppy.  It was the color of not- too- summery butter-cream.  As my eyes locked on my millinery savior,  holy hands flew to the sky.  Unfortunately I quit paying attention to those around me and crashed right into the back of Mrs. Merryman.  Her generous skirt rose like a hot air balloon, and she landed on my left foot with a thump that rumbled the second floor.  I looked down and noticed my shoes – lime-green, cheese-thin flip-flops, and that’s not the worst of it.  My feet were cold early this morning, so I borrowed Frank’s wool hunting socks.  Apparently in my haste to hide my hair, I forgot to take them off.

Our jumble of hands and skirts attracted an extremely large crowd of eyewitnesses.  Frank would have been jealous.  I had a larger audience than he does on a pot-luck Sunday, and you know how many people show up for food!

Mrs. Merryman forgives me, or so she claims.  She was quite miffed sitting in her heap of pleated skirt and store bags.  I can’t blame her.  I barely forgive myself.   She didn’t utter the words “I’m sorry” until I swallowed my last little bit of pride and took off the Yankees cap.

Actually, her hand flew to her mouth.  It was hanging like she had loose hinges on her jaw, and she said, “Oh, my lands!  Who did that to you?”

Before I could tell her, she sucked in a breath that seemed to deplete all oxygen from the air, and muttered in a barely audible whisper, “It was Helen. Wasn’t it?  I’m so very sorry my dear.”

One single tear walked from my right eye to my chin.  Then it fell on my water-proof windbreaker. Macy’s went silent.  I swear I heard the tear-drop hit the floor.

Thankfully Mrs. Merryman can still walk.  She said she’ll be in the third pew from the front on Sunday, waiting to see me on stage in my new hat.  I’ll look like a cross between Audrey Hepburn and Lady Gaga.  I wonder if I’ll make headlines in the Happy Valley Herald?  I only hope Frank will thank me for the publicity, otherwise, he’ll probably call Helen back to finish scalping me.

It’s So Not My Life,



Now, I’d love for you to join me in Fiction Friday.  If you’d like to share a little fiction today, please leave your link in the comments.  This weekend I will take the time to read all the linked posts.  I can’t wait!

All I ask from you is that you grab my nifty Fiction Friday button my sidebar and proudly display it your post.  Also, please link back to this post.  Thank you!

Hope you all enjoy your weekend.

P.S.  I created a facebook page for The Domestic Fringe.  I thought it might make staying in touch easier.  You can click the “Like” button in the upper right corner of my sidebar and we’ll be friends forever.  I promise to “Like” you back. 😉

Fiction Friday – Picture This

“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.”  ~ Judy Garland

 Chapter 4

 Tony sat on a park bench, far enough away not to get in the way, but close enough to see the curve of Lacy’s bottom in her designer jeans.  This isn’t the Lacy I know, but I sure do like her, he thought.

Lacy became another woman when she had her camera in hand.  Usually shy and quiet, she directed the three boys in active play, running after them and capturing spontaneous fun with click after click of her camera.  She must have taken two hundred pictures and they’d only been at the park for twenty minutes.  A middle-aged couple, her with her fancy clothes and he with his golf shirt, stood nearby.  They were at least twelve or thirteen years older than Tony, but you wouldn’t know it by their faces.

“Maybe it’s all the child energy surrounding them.”  Tony muttered, running a hand through his thick curls.

There were days when he already felt ready for retirement, especially this last week.  He thought moving from fighting fires to driving the emergency truck would give him a little break, but things were busy lately.  Last week he assisted in treating and transporting three heart-attack patients and Mrs. Horrender.

Stretching his legs out in front of him, he leaned his head back and closed his eyes.  Sleeping on the couch left him with knotty muscles and droopy eyes, but he’d do just about anything to be close to Lacy.

An hour or so later, Tony sensed rather than heard Lacy plop down on the bench next to him.  He lifted his head, running a calloused hand over his face.

“Looks like you may have gotten a bit too much sun.”

“Felt good.  I don’t see nearly enough sun in the north country.  No wonder you like it down here.”

Lacy leaned back, sighing contentedly.  Finishing a photo shoot always calmed her, focused her thoughts, and quieted her memories.

“You done with those pictures of yours?”

“For now.  I’ve still got a couple of hours work at home, uploading and tweaking the pictures in Photoshop.  I can’t settle for good enough when it comes to my pictures.  I feel like I owe the families more than that.  I want them to look their best.  More importantly I hope every one of my customers loves their pictures.”

“That’s why you’re so good at what you do.”  Tony said.  “How’d you get into photography anyway?”


I’d love for you to grab the Fiction Friday button and link your fiction up with mine.

Just click on the green Mister Linky logo and then add your specific URL.

This is designed as a time to encourage writer, wanna-be writers, and anyone who wants to take on a little challenge.

Go visit the others who link and be generous with your comments.

It’s always interesting to see your writing through someone else’s eyes.

Fiction Friday with The Domestic Fringe

Cannot wait to read your work!