Saturday, February 9, 2019

Birthday Fun Facts

my birthday, 1984 (age 6)

Yesterday I turned 41. Not bad; not old but not terribly young, in my opinion. I don't mind being in my 40's, I mind being 41. Why? Because I don't – for some strange reason – like odd numbers. It feels wrong. So I am going to pretend I am 40 until I turn 42.

Here are some fun facts about my birthday:

~ I was born in Washington, D.C. in an army medical center. It was no luxury, either. Mom jokes and says I was born in a broom closet, that's how small the room was. Apparently there were a lot of babies born that day.

~ My grandma (mom's mom) came out to Maryland after I was born, to help mom out (my sister was very little when I was born). My grandparents lived on a farm and didn't have a lot of money back then. So how did she get the funds to purchase a ticket to visit? She played some game in the Superbowl and won $100.00. Her ticket was $99.00. Perfect!

~ Since my birthday is so close to Valentine's Day, mom always had a Valentine's Day theme for my parties as a kid. She would make a heart-shaped cake and decorate it with pink frosting and a lot of sprinkles, and she would buy Valentine's Day M&M candy and Hershey Kisses, and decorate the table with a heart-themed tablecloth (and don't forget red and white balloons!).

I have very fond memories of my birthdays. I am blessed to have a family that went out of their way to give me such memories.


Sunday, January 27, 2019

Amazon Kindle Giveaway!!

My newest children's book, a chapter book for readers up to age 9-10, is available on Amazon for your Kindle. I'm currently running a giveaway and there will be two winners. To enter this giveaway, please click on this link Amazon Giveaway - Border Buddies. If you win, or if you purchase a copy of my book, please leave a review on Amazon. Positive reviews mean a great deal to authors!!

You can also find my first three children's books by visiting my website at Melanie Lopata ~ Author

Sunday, January 13, 2019

My Latest Children's Book


My fourth children’s book is almost ready to be released. This one is a chapter book for readers around ages 5-9 and is the first in a series called Border Buddies


This series is based on my two border collie dogs, Luke and Cole, and is about fun adventures that they go on, trouble they get into, and new friends they meet.

The book was more difficult than my first three, not just because it was my first chapter book but because putting it together was more difficult than the others that were simpler. You would think a chapter book with only one photo above each chapter number would be easy and quick to put together and self-publish. You’d be wrong in that thinking. I went through hours of formatting, re-writing, editing, proofing, and photo placement. My editor, Nay Merrill, edited the book and then had to do another final proof later because I had made more changes. (An author never does final editing of their work…we don’t see mistakes others may see because our work is “our baby.”)


So, after many weeks of putting the book together, after many months of re-writing, the book is finally finished and submitted to a self-publishing company. If all goes well, the release date will be this week. You can stay tuned for publication by visiting, liking, and following my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/MelaniesBooks/



You can also visit my author website at http://melanielopata.weebly.com/



This book will be available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I hope you and your little ones enjoy reading it.



Thank you for your support!!


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Did You Know Part XIII

Did You Know...

I always need to have something in my hand (pen, paper clip, etc), something to hold onto, and I always have to fidget.
 image from www.wired.com


When I grocery shop at Hannaford (my local grocery store), I write my list in order of aisle and I have to begin at the produce end (rue the day when I start at the freezer section!!).
image from www.ruegirl.com

In the car, I turn the radio down (or off) when I am about to reach my destination or am trying to find my destination.
image from www.rbr.com


I'm sure I am not the only one...right? RIGHT???


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019 - Answered Prayers


I live in Upstate New York where natural disasters are far and few between.  We don't have to worry about tornadoes or hurricanes or forest fires.  Not on a normal basis, anyway.  However, we do sometimes get extreme winds and pretty bad winter weather.

This morning, the first of the year 2019, the winds were so strong they shook the house and woke my husband and I up from our sleep.  I laid there worrying, as usual (I am a worrier), and began to pray.  I didn't just pray for my house and safety but the safety of my family and friends, and – of course – animals without shelter.

My prayer for my house was specific.  “Please keep us safe in our home and don't let any damage come to our house or car due to winds.”  Simple, right?

Joe and I went downstairs to see if there was any damage outside.  We saw that two of our many fence panels were hanging by a thread and one of the posts was cracked.  We have three dogs, so we need our yard to be completely fenced in.  Not to mention it was cold and raining with strong winds, so it wasn't like we could run out and fix it right away.

So, we leashed up the dogs to take them outside to go potty, and then we waited.  But like I said, the wind was nerve-wracking.  It was shaking our house and, of course, we were wondering if we needed to go to Lowe's later in the day to replace the posts and fence panels.  And then we wondered if the ground would be soft enough to dig holes for the posts.  How long would it take?  Would we be able to fix the fence today?  What a pain to leash the dogs up every time they had to go outside.

The only thing we could do was try to get some sleep and worry about it later.  As I laid in bed, I thought, “Why, Lord?  I prayed to You.  I asked You to keep our home safe from damage.  Why did You let this happen?”  But I heard nothing but my anxious, beating heart.

Later came.  The rain stopped and the winds ceased just a little.  We bundled up and went outside to assess the damage.  As I stood there in the cold and wind, while my husband gathered his screw gun and other tools he may need, I thought – again – why, Lord?

Then the Lord answered me.

“Did you ask Me to protect your house and your car and keep you in safety?”

Um...yes.

“Did I keep you safe and let no damage come upon your house and your car?”

Um...yes.

Oh.

I then realized the Lord DID answer my prayers.  I didn't ask Him to keep my property from damage and place a hedge of protection around our entire property, just our house and our car.  And He did.

God wants us to be specific in our prayers.  He may answer “yes” and He may answer “no” because He has a plan for all of us and sometimes He does allow things to happen to teach us or guide us or be there for others who may need us some day.

He not only answered my prayers but taught us a lesson.  Don't procrastinate.  We had – thankfully – two new fence posts lying around that we bought this summer to replace two older fence panels but never did—the same panels that had fallen in the wind.  We didn't need to buy new posts OR panels because the panels were not damaged.

After about an hour of freezing, the fence was fixed.  And I was humbled.

Thank You, Lord, for answered prayers.