Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Mount Rushmore from My Perspective!

January 17, 2014

Whenever I tell people that I am from Rapid City, the topic of Mount Rushmore comes up. Sometimes they mention it first, but often I’ll say “Rapid City, where Mount Rushmore is.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now, I know that it is technically outside of Keystone, SD but for most of the country Rapid City is the more recognizable name. I’m thinking after this present Geico commercial I’ll have more people commenting when I mention Mount Rushmore.

Have you seen the commercial? The gecko is walking along talking when all of a sudden he comes out on a ledge overlooking beautiful mountain scenery. The first time I saw it I thought, that looks like home, just as the camera panned around showing the gecko standing in George Washington’s eye!

Then he says, “Do you think I could see Mount Rushmore from here?” I like the commercial, admittedly because it reminds me of home.

I love Mount Rushmore. I don’t remember the first time I ever saw it, but it is my opinion that it is the most amazing National Monument I’ve ever seen. The size, the natural beauty, the work involved, and did I mention the size? I try to go at least once a year but sometimes it is longer. It never fails to take my breath away. I especially love going for the lighting ceremony in the evening. Sitting there among people from all over the world while hearing again the history of the mountain always inspires me!

When I talk about Mount Rushmore I encourage people to go visit. One co-worker in Florida told me that she had heard that Mount Rushmore was falling apart so she didn’t go! I assured her that it was still intact and would be for, well. . . for a long, long time!

I wish every American could see Mount Rushmore at least once. Of course that isn’t possible, and none of us will ever see it from the perspective of the gecko!

So, as you can imagine, when I decided to set my latest book in Rapid City it had to have a connection to Mount Rushmore. Maybe you can’t get to Mount Rushmore, but you can get a little flavor of Rapid City and learn more about the history of the carving of the mountain by reading the latest Double Cousins Mystery, The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Rushmore Treasure.

Maybe, just maybe it will even inspire a family road trip!

Click to Pre-order!

Click to Pre-order!

Advertisements

The Double Cousins Strike Again!

December 4, 2013

DC3 Front Cover

I am delighted to announce that the third in the Double Cousins Mystery Series has gained final approval and is being sent to press! I do not believe the books will be available for Christmas, as hoped, but they certainly will be available soon online for pre-orders on Amazon etc. They should be in your hand in about one month.

This time the Double Cousins are solving mysteries and learning lessons about the value of helping others in Max’s hometown of Rapid City, SD! With Mount Rushmore, Storybook Island, and the Flood of ’72 there is plenty of historical interest in this new mystery!

Stay tune! In the meantime. . . have you read the first two books in the series?

Click here to buy!

Click here to buy!

 

 

Growing Pains Bring Good Deals!

November 29, 2013

Every once in a while one of my siblings will mention that a niece or nephew is suffering from growing pains. Their legs hurt and Mom knows it is probably related to the fact that her son or daughter has just grown an inch in the past week. No kidding.

 

Growing is great, isn’t it? But it can cause difficulty, even pain.

 

The third in my Double Cousins Mystery series is in the final stages of design. Within a few days we hope to have it off to the printer and while I don’t expect to have it out in time for Christmas it will be available shortly thereafter.

 

In addition, my first book for adults was released this summer. All I Have Needed-A Legacy for Life has been a delight to produce and share with others. It is opening up new opportunities for speaking. My writing and speaking ministry is growing.

 

However, with that come some growing pains. The main one at this point is the website. My wonderful husband built my website himself back when I had one book. When the second book was added he revised the site. He has worked hard to maintain an up-to-date site but it is now getting more time-consuming than he can handle.

 

For one thing, it needs to switch focus to encompass the entire scope of the ministry, not just the Double Cousins Mysteries. So, we are in the process of finding a web designer to help us build a new, long-term solution to the web-page need!

 

Now, Christmas is right around the corner and I have books to sell. I have the perfect gift, whether you are buying for a child, a teen, or an adult. The two Double Cousins Mysteries are written for ages 7-13. The Legacy book is written in such a way that pre-teens and up would enjoy the short pieces.

 

But, all of the books are not listed on my website for sale! What should we do?

 

I have decided to run a Social Media Sale this year. If you are connected to me through social media YOU will be made aware of the sale. So, here goes.

 

For the rest of the year I am offering a copy of each of my three books for a total of $25.00 plus shipping. That is a value of $35.89 for only $25.00 plus shipping. You will save over ten dollars for the three books! Of course, if you want bulk numbers of any of the books they are available at $10.00 per book plus shipping.

 

So, if you wish to order you can send a message via facebook or email to doublecousins.net@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to mail you the books and send an invoice with it which you can then pay. If you live close to me I would be happy to deliver and avoid the shipping charges.

 

Please include in your information the names you want inscribed in the books and I’ll be happy to personalize them and sign the copies for you!

 

As always, the books are also available on Amazon and through your local bookstore. They just need the name of the book and the author and they should be able to order them for you!

 

Read on!

Learn more about Miriam Jones Bradley's books

Learn more about Miriam Jones Bradley’s books

The Next Thing

November 14, 2013

“Just do the next thing you have to do.”

 

I’m sure you’ve heard this quote also. I depend on it often. It is a great reminder when I am stressed, depressed, overwhelmed, or busy! Sometimes it’s all you can do.

 

So the past few weeks that has been my motto.

 

Now, I don’t want to imply that I’ve had a depressing or stressful few weeks. Stressful at times, but stress CAN be good.

 

The truth is, much of my last month has been awesome! But, it has been busy and it did require many days of just doing the next thing on the list.

 

Blog posts were on the list—but obviously—they were never the next thing.

 

I have at least one encouraging friend who would tell me—and has before—that writing will come. When it is all over, I’ll have many wonderful things to write about!

 

I know for a fact that I have been inspired to write many times over the past month. After all, I had my twin nieces here for three weeks and we traveled all over the Southeast visiting family, saw the ocean, and just spent wonderful time together.

 

There were many blog-able moments. The problem is they slip away, don’t they? It flits through my head, I should blog about that, and then it is gone. Oh, I know. I should write it down. But, often those thoughts flit through my mind while I’m driving, as I doze off to sleep at night, in the middle of a conversation. Never when I can write them down.

 

I sometimes am sad at the stories I am not writing down. They could be lost forever.

 

Ah, but not forever. God remembers. If He reminds me of them, then I’ll write about them! How’s that for a plan? It works for me!

 

So, the next couple of months doesn’t look any less busy. I have work, a conference, a book signing, Thanksgiving, travel for Christmas, and hopefully the release of the third in the Double Cousins Mystery series with all of the hoopla that requires!

 

So, I’m going to put the blog posts on the to-do list again. This time closer to the top. We’ll see how that goes!

Peace and Desist

September 20, 2013

Monday I was driving up the mountain, listening to music and enjoying the gorgeous scenery. The trees have hints of the glory to come with the fall colors, yet the summer wildflowers are still riotously blooming in the ditches.

As I drove, I listened to a CD. Music calms me and keeps me awake and Monday I needed both. After working all night Sunday and sleeping most of the day I was intent on safely getting up the mountain. As to the calming aspect, let’s just say these past weeks have not gone as I planned. At all.

Instead of the schedule I put together, there has been one put together by God. Or rather, let me put it this way. There hasn’t been one. I like to say that “I must have a plan. Now, the plan can change many times and I can adjust, but I must have a plan.”

God seems to be testing this.

Not only has the plan I planned not happened, but I’ve been forced to live day by day. Believe me; it’s not been very pretty.

So, here I was focusing on safe driving, music, and beauty when a song wiggled its way into my brain and brought back a memory.

The song is “Don’t Be Afraid” by Roger and Debbie Bennett. It starts out with the story of the disciples and Jesus in the boat during the storm. Immediately, a memory popped into my head and I giggled.

I was instantly back in a Sunday School room in Rapid City with my class of 4-6 year-olds. That Sunday it was just my niece and nephew. As a way to review the previous week’s lesson I asked them if they remembered what Jesus said to calm the storm.

Their little brows furrowed, they stared into space, and tipped their little heads, then my sunshiny niece jerked upright and she offered this answer:

“Peace and desist?”

Now, what I wanted to do was sit down on the floor and laugh. But I chuckled to myself and answered something like, “Close. I think it was ‘peace be still’.”

Later, I discovered that when the children at their house got too noisy, my brother-in-law would say “Cease and Desist.” So, she wasn’t far off and she certainly had the right idea.

Then, another phrase from the song crossed through the post night-shift fog.

“So when the world says it’s over, the Master says, ‘No, I’ve just begun’”

That phrase took my breath away. There are some big requests for which I continue to pray. There are those seemingly impossible situations for which I have to trust Him. Then there are the ones I’m facing now. Not so big. Just normal life tests and trials, but believe me, when it messes with “my PLAN” it seems bigger than it is.

But, the truth is this: the same God who calmed the storm and said “Peace and Desist” still calms the storms in my life. WOW!

When I arrived at our house in the mountains and looked at Facebook I found one of those posters with an inspirational quote.

“Sometimes God calms the storm and sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.” 

So there you have it, “lesson of the week from God to Miriam”. . . pretty sure!

Buy me, now!

Buy me, now!

September Morning

September 11, 2013

      September Morning

Crushed

By the numbers and images.

Falling buildings, broken hearts

Crashing Planes, crushed bodies

Jumping people, hijacked dreams.

America staggers

Under the weight.

Fear, anger, disbelief,

lost innocence.

Our hearts are fallen,

Our minds unable to conceive this evil

Hiding amongst us.

As the fog of dust and ashes

begins to settle,

We lift our flags

In homes, businesses,

and even amidst the rubble.

Reaching a hand to God

We pull ourselves first

to our knees, and then

United

As “one nation, under God,”

We stand as fast as we can

To face a changed September,

Mourning.

by Miriam Jones (2001)

Legacy of Hard Work!

September 6, 2013

I have been thinking about work this week.

 

Maybe it is because Monday was Labor Day. Maybe it’s because I am working a couple of extra shifts this week and I’ll have forty-eight hours in by the end of the week. Maybe it’s because I’ve been trying to schedule some school visits and work on marketing books.

 

I don’t know why, but I know who it makes me think of. I cannot think of work without Grandpa Jones popping into my head. Oh, all of my grandparents were hard workers. But, hard work is a characteristic of Grandpa Jones that almost anyone who ever knew him will comment on. He worked hard.

George & Mildred 70s 0001

He learned to work as a young child. When he was eight years old his family moved from Kansas to Nebraska in a covered wagon. Within a couple of years he was doing chores for neighbors when they were gone. Now, lest you think that was no big deal, think again.

 

What it meant was that he went to their homestead, some distance from his parents. He stayed by himself at this homestead. He did the chores in the evening. He fixed his own meals (often including pies which the lady of the house left for him) and then he put himself to bed. Without the benefit of an electric alarm clock, he had to wake himself up in the wee hours of the morning so he could get the morning chores done and walk a couple of hours to school. Yes, walk. A couple of hours.

 

Grandpa wasn’t afraid of hard work. He thrived on it. He taught his children to work hard. He taught his grandchildren, too. He taught us that there is a grand feeling of satisfaction in a job well done. Hard work makes you feel good!

 

So, this week, when I am working extra hours at the hospital, picking and canning green beans, and working on my writing/speaking career I am confident of one thing.

 

My Grandpa Jones would be proud of me. Right proud, I expect.

For more legacy stories click below!

Ranch_Aug_730005

Grandparents Day! The Countdown is On!

September 4, 2013

 

197006a Four Generations Jones-McKnight-Stover

3 Days 13 Hours 56 Minutes

until Grandparents Day according to www.grandparents.com! How are you going to celebrate? I’m going to celebrate by sharing quotes with you today, and flooding social media with quotes for the next few days. WHY? Because I had amazing grandparents. They changed my life! I know the power of the grandparent and it is my mission this week to help you stop and think about it too! So here we go!

 

I feel like my grandparents and parents gave me a tremendous amount. And if I can pass some of that on, then I’ll be very happy. Caroline Kennedy

I went to church with my grandparents sometimes and I loved it. Anne Lamott

 

True love that lasts forever… yes, I do believe in it. My parents have been married for 40 years and my grandparents were married for 70 years. I come from a long line of true loves. Zooey Deschanel

 

One curious thing about growing up is that you don’t only move forward in time; you move backwards as well, as pieces of your parents’ and grandparents’ lives come to you.               Phillip Pullman

 

Perhaps it is partly that we need to love books ourselves as parents, grandparents and teachers in order to pass on that passion for stories to our children. It’s not about testing and reading schemes, but about loving stories and passing on that passion to our children.                    Michael Morpurgo

PROVERBS

“To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root.” Chinese Proverb

“A people without history is like wind on the buffalo grass.” Sioux Proverb

“A house needs a grandma in it.” Louisa May Alcott

 

“Because (grandparents) are usually free to love and guide and befriend the young without having to take daily responsibility for them, they can often reach out past pride and fear of failure and close the space between generations.” Jimmy Carter

 

“What is it about grandparents that is so lovely? I’d like to say that grandparents are God’s gifts to children. And if they can but see, hear and feel what these people have to give, they can mature at a fast rate.”  Bill Cosby

 

“Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete.” Marcy DeMaree

“It’s good to see them come, and it’s good to see them go.” Mildred Jones (my Grandma!)

Buy me, now!

Buy me, now!

A Project Idea from a Cardboard Box

August 21, 2013

Today I have unpacked several boxes in the continued effort to get what we need in order here in our new home. As I unpack I am sorting into three places. Give away, Garage Sale, and Storage. The hope is that we can eventually get rid of all of our unneeded things (I typed “unwanted” but had to back up and delete that word and substitute “unneeded” because—face it—we don’t have unwanted things.)

 

So, in one box I came across a treasure. Recently I was given a notebook that belonged to my mother. It holds her quote file, messages notes, etc. Here is a picture of it.

Mommy's book

 

Today I found a little notebook. It doesn’t look like much and at first I couldn’t remember what it even was. I opened it and memories came flooding back. This book holds many of MY favorite quotes. Quotes from bible studies I did. Quotes from devotional books. Even a quote from the Godliest man I know—my daddy. (He is SO uncomfortable with me saying that!)

quote notebook

 

Here are a few of my favorites. Enjoy reading them and when you are done I have a suggestion for you!

 

“Obedience issues are not related so much to temptations to yield to evil as they are to struggles to do what I should.” Cynthia Heald

 

“Wisdom=belief that accepting god’s way, no matter how painful, leads ultimately to joy.

Foolishness=refusing to believe that going our way even though it genuinely relieves distress and feels good, leads ultimately to despair.”

 

“Approval seekers look good; they have to… But people-pleasing isn’t godly, nor is it healthy. Appeasers usually end up feeling used, unappreciated, and driven to become all things to all people in order to maintain their image and receive continued approval. They appear giving, but in fact they are enslaved to their insatiable need to be admired.” Nancy Groom

 

“’Come unto me and I will make you to become. . . ‘Whatever God wants you to be. Becoming what God wants doesn’t mean massive self-improvement plans, but ‘coming to God.’” Marvin Jones (my daddy).

 

 

So, what about you? I saw that single subject notebooks are ten cents apiece at one big box office supply store. How about buying one for each person in your family? Then, start collecting your favorite quotes. Today is National Senior Citizen Day. Take the kids, go see a senior citizen, and get their favorite quote in your book! Now that would be an awesome life’s project to get your children started on!

Buy me, now!

Buy me, now!

Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of the book shown here. The drawing will be on Grandparents Day, September 8th.

Three Hundred Cures for Lonely – A Story

August 15, 2013

 

“What are you doing, honey?”

Lisa straightened her shoulders and brushed the tears away, then turned from the bulletin board on the library wall. “I was looking at the notices for activities in town. There has to be something a ten-year-old girl can do in the summer.”  Lisa gritted her teeth, trying not to cry again. “I thought it was going to be easier moving in the summer cause I wouldn’t have to start a new school in the middle of the year. But now I don’t have any friends at all.”

Mom pulled her close in a hug.

“I’m so lonely, Mom. I miss my friends from church and the youth writers’ group. There’s nothing in this town.” Her voice rose. “Nothing except three hundred boring old people and the smell of cow manure. I want to go home.”

Mom sighed. “I know, honey. This move has been hard on you, especially moving from the city to such a small ranching community.”

“A ranch community surrounded by stinky feed lots.” Lisa wrinkled up her nose.

Mom laughed. “That’s true. But, you remember how we prayed and God definitely gave us all peace about moving here?”

Lisa nodded and swallowed hard trying to get rid of the huge lump that seemed to have found a new home in her throat.

“Excuse me; I’m sorry to interrupt.”

Lisa jumped and looked up to see the librarian, Mrs. Shell, standing beside her mother.

“I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation and I think I might have an idea for you, young lady.” She reached out and touched Lisa’s shoulder. “I have a need and I believe you might be the perfect answer.”

“What is it?” Lisa asked.

“My sister.” The librarian played with the reading glasses that hung around her neck on a chain. “She lives with me, just across the street from the library. She recently had a stroke and can’t get out much anymore, because she can’t walk.”

Lisa shook her head. “I’m not a nurse-y girl.”

Mrs. Shell laughed. “She doesn’t need nursing. She just needs someone to come by a couple of hours a day to keep her company. She used to write for a newspaper and she loves to read. I think you two would get along really well.”

“A newspaper? She’s a writer?”

“Oh my, yes! She has written for newspapers and magazines for years. Now she spends her days reading, but she gets lonely.”

“I know about that,” Lisa said. “I never knew what lonely was until we moved here. Can I go, Mom?”

“I think that would be great.” She squeezed Lisa’s shoulder. “You do have a gift of encouraging people, even older people.”

The next afternoon Lisa burst into the house. “Hi, Mom. I just came home for a minute to get something.” She dashed through the kitchen and down the hall to her room. A few seconds later she appeared in the kitchen again holding her journal.

“Mrs. Moore wants to hear something I’ve written. She’s the most amazing woman. She has written for thirty magazines and ten newspapers. She says that she will help me with my writing. She’s going to teach me how to do an interview. She. . . “

“Whoa!” Mom held up her hand. “Don’t forget to breathe.”

Lisa grinned. “Sorry, Mom. I’m just so excited to have a friend. And she’s a writer!”

“Oh, Lisa. I’m happy too. But I do have a question.”

“What’s that?”

“I wonder what the other two hundred ninety-nine old people in town have to offer.”

Lisa grinned. “I don’t know, but maybe I’ll interview all of them and find out.”

Buy me, now!

Buy me, now!