April 28, 2010

Lead Me to My Rocking Chair



SCRIPTURE: John 5:36     “I (Jesus) have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.” (NIV)

REFLECTION: The late Mrs. Grim was 94 years old when I interviewed her for a newspaper article. Her claim to fame was 57 years of service to the Salvation Army, a record in Uniontown if not in the Western Pennsylvania Division of the organization.

     She couldn’t understand why I was interviewing her. She had done nothing special, and she felt like she was bragging when I had her talking about her life. Yet, the work she was finishing testified to the fact that the Father had “sent” her.

     Through the years, she had played (more…)

April 25, 2010

Cruel and Unusual Punishment for Children



About Carolyn: I wrote, received, and administered a Pennsylvania Children’s Trust Fund grant, which was designed to heal adults of their childhood abuse, enabling them to break the chain of abuse with their children. Within the grant I taught community members how to be first-responders to domestic violence/child abuse, ran a family support program and counseled adults to aid them in the healing process.


What do the following statements have in common?

 “I got real angry and flipped out… I started to freak out.

“I blew up.”
“I have a short temper. I just lost it.”

     They all include an uncontrollable rage resulting in (more…)

April 22, 2010

EARTH DAY 2010: Being Stewards of the Earth



Being Stewards of the Earth

Monte Holland

     Today is Earth Day’s fortieth year.

     The first earth day was celebrated on April 20, 1970, when we lived in the Borough of Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. That year, Slippery Rock residents with foresight decided that the time had come to start a community recycling program. Within the year I was participating.

      Before we rehabbed an old barn in the Slippery Rock Community Park, recyclers in the area dropped off bags of recyclables at an outbuilding on the property. 

     We gathered used barrels, in which to sort glass, cans, and aluminum, from Armco Steel Corporation (today, AK Steel). Much time was devoted to the sorting, which included breaking glass and crushing cans to conserve space in the barrels. With the help of the Grove City unit of the Pennsylvania National Guard, and the U-Haul International, Inc., we transported glass to Clarion and metal to Neville Island, which produced enough money to meet our expenses.

     The center also recycled newspapers, many of which were used by farmers for animal bedding.

     We didn’t accomplish a (more…)

April 19, 2010

Eyes of lavender, violet & amethyst



     There are no photographs of Madame Rosalie de la Val, an émigré to America during the French Revolution and a major character in my historic romance novel. This fact leaves me free to create her physical characteristics in my image.

     Madame is a very strong, very unusual, woman. I visualize her being petite, with black flowing hair and violet eyes that change shades, or colors, according to her mood.


     Within three months of her 1791 emigratioon to the United States she became an independent land speculator, participating in a playing field that included General Henry Knox, Colonel William Duer, General Henry Jackson, and William Bingham. They themselves were involved in the whirlwind of land speculation following the American Revolution, which included large tracts of land in Hancock and Washington counties, Maine.

     She skillfully, artfully, and very business-like, maneuvered through this field, in spite of the fact (to continue reading click on: )



Discovering Hardy Lavender

Violet infestation? Why complain?

CANDIED VIOLETS: Remembering My Mother on Her Birthday

From flax to linen: The Stahlstown (Pa.) Flax Scutching Festival

Kudzu in Pennsylvania? OH, NO!

April 18, 2010

Discovering Hardy Lavender



     Laundresses once hung their linens and clothes on its branches.

     Archeological evidence shows it was used in the ancient Egyptian, Phoenician, and Arabian mummification process.

     King Charles VI of France sat on seat cushions stuffed it.

     It was once called “Four Thieves Vinegar.”

     What is it?


      It is lavender.

     The likely root of the word lavender is Lavare, a Latin verb meaning “to wash.” This root gave way to laundresses once being called “lavenders.”  Another possible root is the Latin word “livendulo,” meaning livid or bluish.

     Used in the process of mummification, excavators found unguent-filled jars, containing something resembling lavender, at the opening of Tutankhamen’s tomb.

     England’s King Louis XIV not only enjoyed the scent of lavender that was emitted from the seat cushions he sat on, he enjoyed bathing in lavender-scented water. French royalty Charles VI demanded lavender-filled pillows wherever he went.

     During the 17th century Bubonic Plague in London, grave-robbers, caught pilfering the belongings of plague victims confessed that their infrequency of suffering from the deadly disease was due to washing in a mixture of lavender and vinegar after they completed their dangerous task.


      While researching information for my historical romance novel, Intertwined Love, ( ) the lavender plant was mentioned. This made me curious: is the plant something I might work into the novel?

     Numerous questions came to mind. Does the plant grow in the cold climate of Maine? If it doesn’t grow in Maine, was it imported there? What is the folklore connected with lavender?

     I jumped online to surf the web, starting with the question about growing the plant in Maine. The first site claimed (to continue reading this post, click on: )



January Catalogues Lead to June Gardens

Laurel Mountain Borough, Pennsylvania: Quaint

My Spider Plant Lives: A Devotion

You are invited to visit Intertwined Love’s blog site

My Childhood Home: 29 Spring St., Portsmouth, N. H.

Amish Grace, Thomas Cornell, & Intertwined Love: Risks of Writing Historical Fiction

April 14, 2010

Punishment or Neglect: Neither is Correct



Neither is correct

About Carolyn: I wrote, received, and administered a Pennsylvania Children’s Trust Fund grant, which was designed to heal adults of their childhood abuse, enabling them to break the chain of abuse with their children. Within the grant I taught community members how to be first-responders to domestic violence/child abuse, ran a family support program and counseled adults to aid them in the healing process.

     The media reports of a Palm Bay, Florida eight year old girl not only having her mouth washed out with a bar of Irish Spring soap, but being forced to eat it too, brought to the forefront some not-so-fond childhood memories .

     I recall my step-father washing my mouth out with soap. I also remember watching him do the same thing to one of my younger siblings—his biological children. I was eleven or more years older than the preschoolers I was observing.

     The Florida man was the father of a younger child in the household, and, according to his mother, Adriyanna Herdener, he is the head of the household. She deferred the punishment to him.

     This was an example of simple punishment becoming what police called a (more…)

April 13, 2010




Nancy Briskay Cornell Lipsius

     I sat in my “summer office” (a window-lined porch) on the cooler spring days, but on the warmer days I sat on my patio under a hemlock tree, writing. Either spot put me in view of nature’s spring glory.

     I watched as birds investigated and chose three of my four birdhouses for their nests. I saw my first Tiger Swallowtail butterfly, the first cardinal pair, the first bluebird, and numerous robins, those harbingers of spring’s arrival. I came across the following piece written by my mother, who died January 3, 1998.


     She is dull in appearance, brown-speckled front and a rather nondescript color to her back and wings but she sits on her porch with bright, alert eyes, cocking her head, peering into the breakfast room.

     She is always the first to arrive and the last to leave. She is also the bravest. We call her Jennie.

     Jennie calls to the others and soon (more…)

April 10, 2010

I Hate My Job!



A Devotion

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 46:10    Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
Related Scripture:  Isaiah 2:11, 17

REFLECTION: Bill hates his job as grocery store check-out clerk. Not only is it a job he does not want, but you should see the people, he says. They are nasty! I hate this job! I just ring the groceries and bag them, don’t even speak to the people unless they speak first!

     Rebecca, a Christian, tries to tell Bill, also a Christian, that each person going through the line is a child of God. They have their personal problems and pains to deal with, and Bill has an opportunity to (more…)

April 6, 2010

A Non-Poet Celebrates National Poetry Month



If you have a hoe

You can scrape the snow

     In winter.

If you have a hoe

You can make a hole

     In summer.

     I’m sure when the Academy of American Poets initiated National Poetry Month in 1996, they didn’t picture a non-poet, such as I am, sitting and encouraging a (more…)

April 4, 2010

Easter and Spring are Happening

Filed under: JOURNAL — carolyncholland @ 1:00 am
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     Today is Easter. Hallelulah!

     A day of rejoicing for Christians, who celebrate the occasion of Jesus’ rising from the grave, emerging gloriously triumphant.

     It’s also the beginning of April 4, 2010. After a wild winter of record-breaking snowfalls, the past week emerged with gloriously warm weather—with temperatures up to eighty degrees. As the snowdrops and crocus fade, spring yellows predominate—the yellow-headed colts’ feet proliferating, the daffodils holding up their heads proudly, and the forsythia bushes loaded with yellow blossoms.

     Melanie, my holiday houseguest, and I strolled through my home community, Laurel Mountain Borough (PA), yesterday afternoon. I became reacquainted with residents I hadn’t seen since last fall. Sue filled in details about a resident in harm’s way, while Melanie provided loving attention to a black and brown tiger marked cat. We stopped at another resident’s home to learn more about this resident, but no one was at home.

     Ann was in her yard with her daughter, Sue, and Sue’s dog Bonnie. I felt good that Ann couldn’t recall (more…)

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