Friday, June 29, 2012

My Summer Blog Series - "Backyard Exploring"


Backyard Exploring

The kiddos and I love exploring in our backyard. We're always on the hunt for creatures, or any other things that grab our attention. And I always try to capture a photo of our finds (with the exception of a couple of snakes we've found and a giant 3-1/2 inch spider -- of which it became more like a running race in the opposite direction, LOL). Our most recent discovery were giant mushrooms. Yes, GIANT MUSHROOMS! Well, maybe not as large as some species of mushrooms around the world, but giant to us!

Here are a few pics...

The mushroom was about 6-1/2 inches in diameter.

I wonder if it's edible?

A family of mushrooms! :-)

Here are a few more pics from some of our past backyard explorations...

We found this green frog hiding inside our kids' inflatable water slide...hubby threw it in the grass!

Found one of these types of spiders in my was 3-1/2 inches BIG!!!! I nearly jumped out of my skin!!! I much prefer them in the backyard, not in the house :-)

Red ant seeking food. These little pests just love building mounds in our backyard. It seems the more we try to get rid of them, the more mounds they construct! UGH!!

Chloe is backyard exploring!

I was curious, so I couldn't help but do a little research on mushrooms (yes, I'm such a dork! lol). I think the above mushrooms belong to the Lepiota family of mushrooms, which depending on the specific species, could mean they are either "inedible" or deadly "poisonous!" Darn, just when I thought I could use them for cooking. Good thing the yard guys came today and mowed down these potentionally deadly saucers! LOL

God Bless!
T Denise Clary

How many are Your works, Lord! In wisdom You made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures.
Psalm 104:24 (NIV)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

How a Book is Born, LOL!

I know that many of you may have already seen Mariah Bear's infographic she created recently illustrating the publishing process. For those of you who have not seen the chart, I thought I'd share so that you can get as much of a laugh out of it as I did. Titled "How a Book is Born," below you'll find a funny, yet somewhat accurate assessment of a book, as it makes its way through the publishing process.

God Bless!
T Denise Clary


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

One Year Anniversary Month!

The month of June marks the one year anniversary that my ebooks were first independently published.  What a blessing this past year has been for me. Although my numbers pale in comparison to many other indie-authors, I am proud to say that I have sold over a thousand ebooks in the past year. Yay!!

Many thanks to everyone, especially my husband Joel,  who has stuck by me and continues to support my dream!

God Bless!
T Denise Clary  :-)

Published June 20, 2011

Published June 21, 2011

Published June 21, 2011

Published June 21, 2011

My Summer Blog Series - "In the Midst of a Storm..."


In the Midst of a Storm...

My family and I arrived back in town on Sunday from a visit to Florida. We initially traveled by plane to Tallahassee to visit  my husband's sister and family for a few days and then we drove to Tampa to attend my cousin's wedding. It was a great visit! We attended a beautiful wedding (indoors, thank goodness!) and both Tallahassee and Tampa were wonderfully scenic. However, halfway into our trip, the weather turned downright dreadful. We were able to see and experience some sites while there (mainly in Tallahassee), but Tropical Storm Debby (along with the many tornado warnings) put a little bit of a damper on our visit while in Tampa. Not to mention, trying to fly out in stormy weather didn't exactly give me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Through prayer however, I was able to be at peace in the midst of the storm and relax during the two hour plane trip back home.

In spite of the stormy weather, I was still able to capture some fantastic pics of our trip...

"Walking in the park with Auntie Kim"
My husband's sister with our 3 yr old.
Tallahassee, Florida
We embarked on the River Boat Tour at Wakulla Springs State Park along the Wakulla River.
Tallahassee, Florida

The kids enjoying the River Boat Tour on the Wakulla River.
Tallahassee, Florida

The beautiful sites along the Wakulla Springs River Boat Tour.
Tallahassee, Florida

The beautiful sites along the Wakulla Springs River Boat Tour.
Tallahassee, Florida

The beautiful sites along the Wakulla Springs River Boat Tour.
Tallahassee, Florida

One of the MANY gators we spotted.
Tallahassee, Florida

Although difficult to see in the pic, this bird was HUGE with its wings stretched out across the river branches.
Tallahassee, Florida

A family of ducks in the Wakulla River.
Tallahassee, Florida


My cousin Sheldon (pictured right) and his beautiful bride-to-be Tanya. Taken the day before their wedding.
Tampa, Florida

The happy couple moments after the wedding ceremony.
Tampa, Florida

The view from our hotel suite at the Grand Hyatt hotel. You can see the overcast clouds as the storm was rolling in.
Tampa, Florida

I couldn't help but notice the amazingly picturesque Florida skyline (as shown in a couple of pics above), yet in spite of it's allure, it was also a reminder that a storm was approaching. How ironic that in the wake of a storm, God's grace can still show a glimpse of beauty. That little reminder of God's grace gave me all the peace I needed to enjoy the rest of my stay in Florida despite the stormy weather. Whether rain or sunshine, it's good to know, "God's grace is sufficient for us, for His power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9 -- or in this case, a storm! :-)

God Bless!
T Denise Clary

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New Bible Verse ~ Sunday, June 24th

New Bible verse posted as of Sunday, June 24th. Have a great week!

Romans 13:8 (NIV)

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

God Bless!
T Denise Clary

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Guest Blogger: Editor Jennifer Moody "Choose Your Words Carefully"

Choose Your Words Carefully
“The difference between the almost right word and the right word
is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
~Mark Twain

I read a lot of books (it goes with the territory). I’m open to pretty much any genre (except the really scary horror stuff … I’m a big chicken). Authors who have a true, molded gift for writing can blow me away with their work. Sadly, that doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. But oh when it does … I question whether I’m talented enough to read my Kindle while driving down the interstate. (I don’t, of course. Kids – don’t try this at home, er, on the road…)

My daughter makes fun of me because I often refuse to read books that everyone is raving about. Oh, I’ll read them … later. I don’t know why, but I don’t want to read them when everyone else is reading them. So I wait … and read them six months later when all the hootin’ and hollerin’ has subsided. (Twilight and The Hunger Games are two that come to mind.)

Then there are books that I know I will never read, no matter how much people rave about them. For example, I had NO plans of reading 50 shades of anything whatsoever. Everyone I knew was reading it and asking me if I had (um, no), but when will I (um, never). I didn’t care how well it was selling; I know darn well that sales don’t always have anything to do with the quality of work. It wasn’t until an Editor/Author friend asked me if I’d read it to give her my opinion (she wanted to know “what’s the big whoopin’ deal with this book?”) that I relented. By chapter five I could no longer take the horrible word repetition. I could not sit back and just read because every time she described something and followed it with “…oh my,” I thought … Ugh, she said it again! Why didn’t her Editor tell her she’s saying “oh my” too many times?!

It happens 72 times in the book, y’all. SEVENTY-TWO TIMES.

...Enough about that. The point here is, when you’re writing, choose your words carefully. Read, reread, write, rewrite. I know, I know, I’m always saying that, but seriously, think about the picture you’re painting. See if you can re-word it in a way that makes the reader form his own image, rather than always doing it for him.

“Don't tell me the moon is shining;
show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
~Anton Chekhov

The world needs more Anton Chekhovs. You’re out there. I’ve read your work (even if they weren’t talking about it on the morning show; in fact, especially if they weren’t talking about it).

Thank you, to all the wonderful writers out there, for sharing your gift with the world.


Jennifer Moody is a Professional Editor and the Owner of MoodyEdits. To learn more about Jen, visit her website at You might enjoy her take on living a happy life, on her blog “Editing My Life One Day at a Time” at And if you wanted to be nice, you could like her Facebook page at

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Summer Blog Series - "The Week of Non-Stop"


The Week of Non-Stop

Last week was very busy for the family and I. Below is a glimpse of my week in a nutshell...

The Week...thru Wednesday
First and foremost I am happy to report that we actually finished de-cluttering our house. Yay!! It took us a full 7 days to completely de-clutter the house and get it in shape for the cleaning people. I'm still amazed that I lasted as long as I did and didn't give up on the daunting task. But I'm pretty sure my energy and motivation were continually fueled with the thought of having a clutter-free home! And to top it off, a cleaning crew (well, 2 little ladies) came in on Wednesday and cleaned and polished up everything! Wow, you talk about a major difference in the look and smell of our home. Take a look at the pics below... 

Last of the load to go to the donation center. Wow!

I finally organized all the closets. No more clutter!

The cleaning ladies polished up everything!

Wednesday Continued...
Our home was cleaned just in time to welcome our out-of-town guests that came in on Wednesday, just as the cleaning crew were finishing. Our friends Jason and Heather, along with their kids and dog Reese, came to stay for the night as they were passing through our city. Our friends Jason and Heather (whom my husband and I originally met on a cruise years ago) were moving from Texas to Maryland. We'll miss them living close, but love the fact we have an excuse to visit them on the East Coast! I think we'll be planning a trip as soon as they get settled.  :-)

Below are some pics of Jason & Heather and my husband & I on the cruise where we first met them, and a pic of them leaving our home as they continue on their road trip to Maryland...
My husband and I with Jason and Heather on the cruise where we first met, 2008.

Jason and Heather and their family, leaving our house moving from Texas to Maryland.

Thursday ~ Friday

On Thursday and Friday, I attended the Annual Meeting for the State Bar of Texas. The Annual Meeting is a legal conference where attorneys from all across Texas meet every year in June.  I saw old familiar faces and attended a lot of good CLE (Continuing Legal Education courses). One thing that I distinctly remember taking away from the conference is an inspirational quote I heard in one of the CLE courses. I thought I'd share and hope you get inspired by the quote as much as I did. The quote is from attorney Linda Strite Murnane titled, "There is No Such Thing as Can't." See below...

There is no such thing as "can’t."
There is such a thing as "won’t,"
"don’t want to,"
"don’t choose to,"
"don’t adopt this as my priority,"
but there is no such thing as "can’t."
"Can’t" represents a lack of choice.
 And when we resign ourselves to a reality
that does not include individual choice,
we accept barriers others would impose upon us.
 —Colonel Linda Strite Murnane, Esq. 

Colonel Linda Strite Murnane, Esq. 

Saturday was a day spent running errands and shopping. A mini-greenhouse that my son and I found on the Internet finally came in. We had ordered it for our little vegetable garden we started this summer. A very fun project that I will post about soon, but for now, here are pics of my husband (and 3 year old) putting the greenhouse together...

Father and daughter putting together the mini-greenhouse.


Sunday was of course Father's Day. After spending the morning in church, I treated my husband to a mini spa day (well sort of). I needed a pedicure, so I thought why not take my hubby along to get one too, LOL. We also brought our 3 year old daughter with us and it was her first time getting a mani/pedi. I got a kick out of watching how excited my husband was to get his feet and legs rubbed on. He was in heaven! And my 3 year old also was equally excited!!  After our trip to the nail salon, off we went to my parents house to enjoy dinner with the folks, followed by an evening of entertainment at a "Father's Day" concert featuring gospel artist Fred Hammond. Definitely a great day hanging out with the family! Here are a few pics from the day...

Father's Day pedicures!

Enjoying the rub-down, LOL!

My daughter's first pedicure...

...and manicure

Father's Day concert featuring Fred Hammond.

My parents with my 3 year old at the concert.

Whew! Last week was definitely a busy week, but I thank the Lord for continually giving me the energy and strength to get through the also helps that He's blessed me with the best family and friends ever!! They are definitely a source of energy and strength.  :-)

God Bless!
T Denise Clary

We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. - Hebrews 6:11 (NIV)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New Bible Verse ~ Sunday, June 17th


What better way to celebrate this Father's Day, by not only celebrating the fathers in our lives, but also remembering and thanking our Heavenly Father for ALL He has done, and giving us the ultimate gift...the gift of life! Happy Father's Day, have a great week!

John 3:16 (NIV)

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God Bless!
T Denise Clary

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Summer Blog Series - "Time to Spring Into Summertime Cleaning"


Time to 'Spring' Into Summertime Cleaning

Have you ever looked around your home and just said enough with the clutter?? Well that was me a week ago. A week ago I felt the urge to do a massive cleaning in my house. Not the usual cleaning here and there, but a MASSIVE cleaning. More like the mythical "SPRING CLEANING" you hear about. I say "mythical" only because I hear people talk about spring cleaning, but I rarely ever see people I know accomplish it, let alone actually do it. Let me back up for a moment and define to you what I refer to as "spring cleaning." I define spring cleaning as that type of cleaning where you empty out all your drawers, closets, shelves, and any and all other space in your home to not just clean, but DE-CLUTTER!  All of those items you kept for years and years and vowed you'd use one day, but never have. All of those clothes in your closet with the mindset that you would fit back into one day, but never did...Basically cleaning out and getting rid of everything not needed, wanted, worn, touched, or even looked at in months, or even years.

So a week ago I decided I was going to attempt to do some spring cleaning. I have attempted before, but I failed miserably because I always find myself keeping the very things I have vowed to get rid of. But this time was different! I felt different. I felt the need to really clean and de-clutter the entire house from top to bottom with an urgency. Although very determined, I still gave myself a little incentive. I decided that I would hire some professional house cleaners to come in to help clean my home after I had an opportunity to de-clutter. So I made an appointment for someone to come clean a week from the day I decided to de-clutter. I gave myself (and my family) 7 days to de-clutter our house prior to the cleaning people coming.

Today is Sunday and we only have 2 more days after today to get rid of stuff prior to the cleaning people arriving. I'd have to say that my family and I have done pretty good thus far. I really surprised myself because my momentum is still going strong! Even though I am a bit exhausted now, coupled with the fact that my 3 year old has been a bit of a hindrance because everything we put into the donation or trash pile is a new toy or play thing for her, we managed to get the entire upstairs done (with the exception of a few minor spaces). YAY!!!! Today we started on the downstairs which was another HUGE undertaking!

It feels so good to have half of the house done! Not to mention how much better all the rooms look and feel!!! I've even noticed my son staying in his room a little longer from what I believe is due to it being clutter free. The rooms upstairs look more like they did when we first moved into our home 5 years ago. Here are a few pics to show you our progress. The following pics are of all the stuff we took to the donation center, they don't even include the amount of stuff that went into the trash...

Amazing isn't it??!! Amazing how much stuff we had to give away to people who could really use it. And that's only HALF of the story...of our 2-story home. I can't help but draw the comparison of physically cleaning my house, to spiritually cleaning our bodies and minds of all the junk and clutter! Just like I felt so much better de-cluttering my home, the Lord wants us to feel better on the inside by de-cluttering and renewing our spiritual beings of all the things that we have allowed to come in. De-cluttering and renewing your spiritual being will not only help you feel better on the inside, but will show on the outside as well as you present yourself to others. For some of us (me included), it's time to de-clutter our lives physically AND spiritually!

I pray that the Lord will continue to give me the strength and mindset to finish the job! Amen :-)

God Bless!
T Denise Clary

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. - Psalm 51:10 (NLT)