Well howdy Sugar Pie Gals! Come on into the Farmhouse and let’s have ourselves a little chat.  On my last post I invited all of your questions and I received an overwhelming response! Thank you! Today I’m going to answer a few of them and then continue answering more in future posts.  But first I wanted to give you an update on my Summertime book! The bulk of the book is completed! Whew!! I just have a little editing left and a few other loose ends to tie up. Then my son Dusty (my fabulous Web Site Designer!) will transform it into digital form so you will be able to download it instantly at your computer and print it out if you would like. My editor is still trying to choose and narrow down the fabulous entries for the Summer Ideas and memories contest. There were 199 submissions! They’re all so delightful it’s very hard to choose! I do have to say, having  my Sugar Pie Sistas ideas, tips and memories included in my book will be the sweet cherry on top!
Regarding the music that I play on my blog….it’s been there all the time! If you are not hearing it, click on the “BLOG” button at the top to refresh the page and it should start! Hope that helps!
Now let’s get started with your questions!
Q. How did you happen to become an author?
A. Well, several years ago I developed a series of  “Home Life” products that promoted communication in families. I guess you can say that I was “discovered” at the Christian Booksellers Convention by Harvest House Publishers. I was a vendor at CBA selling my products at wholesale to Christian Bookstores and other retail businesses.( I ran my business at home and had other Cottage Industry Moms manufacture the products for me.) Anyhoo, I was approached about writing a book which turned into four books that I co-authored with my wonderful sister-in-law Linda. It  was a blessing indeed! As you can see from the picture above, the character of my first book was named after my son Dusty. My other  sis-in-law Mara did the amazing illustrations for Dusty’s Beary Tales. Wow is she ever an awesome artist!!  Click here to see her blog and learn how to watercolor! Be sure to tell her I sent ya! Unfortunaltely, my books are no longer in print but you can still find them on Amazon.
Q. I’m excited for your upcoming book. I know you mentioned that it will be available to download. I would love to have it in real book form. I think you said that it would be available as a regular book at some point, didn’t you?
A. My Summer book will only be available to download. I did say “At some point in the future I hope to have it published and available on Amazon”, but “hope” is the key word. As for now I don’t have any plans for that unless I get “discovered” again!
Q. Can we see more pictures of your home?
A.  I actually got a lot of requests to show the other rooms of my home. I seem to share more pictures of my kitchen or fireplace mantels because that is where I change my decor more often. Here are a few photos of some of my other rooms. It’s funny how our tastes change. When we built our home almost 5 years ago I was going for  a mostly “Lodge” look. While I still like a cabin feel, I am now more drawn to Farmhouse style. So if it was in my budget to change the decor, colors and all,  I would go more farmhouse-y. For now I call my decor Farmhouse Lodge. I also want to share that with the exception of the sofa’s, upholstered chairs and mattresses, everything else I purchase to decorate my home I buy at discount, second hand, or antique stores. I also shop at Target for cute stuff too! It’s easier on the budget, and it’s much more fun to hunt and find unique pieces at good prices. My headboard cost $125.00 in the bargin room at the back of the furniture store. Not bad eh?
Master Bath
Summer’s Homework nook and library
Ozark Hillbilly Bathroom
Q. I guess I’d like to know how you came about your parenting and homemaking skills. Did you learn from your mom? grandma? friend/mentor? All by yourself?
A. I would have to say I learned from several women. Certainly my mom was a great example. She kept a tidy home, and had a scrumptious supper on the table every night at 5:30 when my dad came home from work. She is very creative and always decorated for Christmas in a big way! Our home turned into a Christmas wonderland….and for me as a child it was so delightful. I gleaned tips from my aunts who had the gift of hospitality and my mother-in-law who is an amazing cook and always sets a beautiful candlelit table. Another huge influence was from Emilie Barnes. She is an amazing woman and author of several homemaking books. As a young wife and mother I had the privelege of going to several of her homemaking and Christmas Seminars. I learned about how to get organized so I could have “More Hours In My Day’. I learned about the importance of making happy family traditions and memories. I was honored when Emilie began selling my homelife products at her seminars. She became a dear friend along with her hubby Bob.  Emilie’s dear friend and co-author Sheri Torelli is now giving the seminars. They have a web site at emiliebarnes.com.  As a young mama, I read everything I could get my hands on about homemaking, getting organized and how to raise a happy family. Emilie Barnes is the go-to gal for getting inspired and motivated!  I don’t consider myself an expert… I’m still learning stuff!
If you are overwhelmed with all that you have to do The 15 Minute Organizer is a book that will help you gain control of the chaos in little 15 minute chunks of time.
15 Minute Family Tradititions and Memories:Can I say that I love this book!! I have read and re-read it a million times! Emilie just knows how to inspire us gals into getting excited about making fun and heartwarming memories with our families!
Q. Is this (the house you are in now) the last home you will build?
A. No, “if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise” we will build another home. My husband is in the home building/ property development business, so he gets  itchin’ to build every few years. We want to build a smaller home in a true white clapboard farmhouse style just like the one pictured above. I would love to have a kitchen garden just outside the kitchen door and a chicken house with about 6 chickens….and one rooster named Jim-Bob. We are waiting for the economy to turn around before we move forward.
Q. My 12-year old son wants a cell phone so he can text his friends, and maybe download apps. We already have internet access & computer time limits, but they always want more! It’s great our kids are learning so much, and I do love the computer & reading blogs, but wanted your thoughts about balancing a happy home life & the pull of technology. And I’m concerned about things he may see “accidentally”.
A. I hear ya on that one! My daughter Summer (almost 12) wants a cell phone. But we are holding off for now. All of her friends have a phone but we are not ready for her to have one yet. Too often kids get so immersed in the world of texting that it can easily take away from time with family along with homework and household jobs. The only reason that I can think of for her to have one is for emergencies. I did not have to face that situation with my older kids because they were already teenagers  when cell phones came about, and by then I wanted them to have one so they could call me if they were going to be late or to tell me they got to their destination safely. When we do allow Summer to have a phone, it will come with limitations. As far as being exposed to inappropriate things on the internet I recommend the resources found on Focus On The Family-Internet Filters and Mobile Accountablility . Click here for more info.
In fact any parenting/marriage and family questions you  have can most likely be answered at the Focus On The Family Web Site. They are among the best when it comes to getting information about home and family.
Q. My question is what is the light that you have in your pantry? Did you get that from the Somethin’ different website. I just love the ones they have in Cracker Barrel and they are almost identical to the ones you have in your pantry. Also, I’d love to know what kind of dishes you have that have the pretty white scroll work on the edges. I’ve seen them in many of your posts.
A. I’m thrilled that my light fixture reminds you of Cracker Barrel! That’s one of my favorite place to go eat!! They have yummy Chicken ‘n’ Dumplin’s!! Anyhoo I got the hanging lamp from Irvin’s Country Tinware. They have a catalog and an online store. Lots of fun stuff!!
My dishes with the white scroll work come from T.J. Max. I can often find dessert plates and creamy white pitchers there for just a few dollars!
You might be interested in looking at the Jaclyn Smith Traditions dishes from K-Mart, they come in white (and a few other colors) and have a pretty scroll design pictured above.
Q. Where did you get that cute cupcake apron?
A. From Heavenly Hostess! They have lots of fabric choices!
Well, thank you for stopping by for pie y’all! I’ll be answering more questions in future posts! As always I am so blessed by your kind comments! You girls are sweet as  cherry pie!!
Lots of hugs!
Aunt Ruthie

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