Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Yesterday at our church's small group class, a interesting question was asked. What advice would you give to the soon-to-be married or the newly married?

I was amazed at the response. They didn't feel that it was good idea to tell the truth. Marriage is hard and is filled with a lot of hard work. (I struggle with this attitude - topic for another time. Lying to the next generation maybe why we have a generation gap!)

Here is the advice I wished I had received. Stop judging everything your spouse does by your family's "we've always done things this way." Just because we've done it this way doesn't make it the only way for something to be done right.

Here is an example from very early in my marriage. Where does mustard go when it's put away? His mother put it in the cabinet. My mother always refrigerated ours. Who was right?

This could be a big conflict. Could you image the fights over the condiment of mustard? Unfortunately, it is things like this that are the beginning of a lot of martial troubles. No, not mustard but little petty things.

The label on the mustard bottle does not claim that it needs refrigeration. We put the mustard on the cabinet shelf. Then I had to confess that I prefer my mustard cold. Luckily, he didn't have a preference. Now, you will find the mustard in our refrigerator.  

It seems like a little thing but communication is really the key. We need to express our wants, needs, and preferences but we need to listen to their wants, needs, and preferences and that's when compromise is necessary. Beware the need to control everything around us. It will make us miserable.


Leann Holland

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What will you do for work?

During the early days of this recession, my husband's construction business was a scary place. We were hit really hard before they even labeled it a recession. Then the work started picking up, not great but we survived. The recession was labeled. The 401k's and IRAs lost money. The mortgage crisis hit. The stock market dipped further. Work was slow and steady like the tortoise in classic children's story.

My husband had to work jobs out of town away from the family. Sometimes the accommodations were nice. Some were not. One job in Georgia, in December, he lived in a log cabin that was not winterized and had no heat. It was a cabin that had seen Sherman march by in the civil war (The cabin was on the wrong side of the river and Sherman decided not to cross for it). It had been unkempt for years before some restoration had taken place. General cleaning was not one of the tasked performed.

We are in the process of selling our house and relocating to our home state which we left nineteen years ago. This is the reason I haven't posted in some time. It would be a hard time in which to get a new job here and we can't move until we sell our house. [Sidebar: Actually we've had one contract and another interested buyer back out because in these tight credit times, they can't qualify for a loan (credit problems).]

My husband has proven his love of his family again, working a job that requires he live like an animal. My husband works with a crew that restores dilapidated old log structures and makes them functional and usually beautiful.

This current job site is six hours from home on a log addition to a grand home. The homeowner chose the hotel in which to house the crew, a hotel owned by his uncle. He told them it was nothing special. He drove the guys to their home away from home.

The initial impression, judging the book by it's cover, was spot on. My husband wondered how such a place could still be operating. The truly scary part is the condition of the room. The toilet hasn't been cleaned in at least weeks. The garbage container still contains the leftovers (beer bottles and other trash) from the previous occupants. One of his coworkers ran to the store to obtain cleaning supplies as he was so concerned about the conditions. While my husband checked the bed for bugs, he's not sure how well he'll sleep tonite. Bugs weren't apparent. Cigarette lighters and more trash were found behind the headboard. Then he check the condition of the mattress, praying for clean sheets. An abandoned mattress lying around in the precivil war era log cabin looked to be in better shape than what he is expected to sleep on tonite.

What would you do? Leave or Stay? Come home with no job to face three hungry teenagers. What will you do for work?

Count your blessings tonight when your head hits a clean safe pillow.

Leann Holland

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Do you Zazzle?

Earlier this month, I stumbled on an interesting creative outlet. Zazzle is a print on demand for artist; enthusiast, hobbyist, or professional.

How is it different from all the other photo services out there?

Zazzle allows you to use your digital art/photos to create personalized items. (Yeah, I know a lot of places allow you to do that.) But can you sell your items to any else? At Zazzle, you can. And you can get paid a 10% royalty (you can set the royalty higher if you choose too.)

They have an associate program. So advertising your art or someone else art from your website can you earn 15% royalty.

I love the selection of items on which you can place your designs (art/photos). Ipad cases, Iphone cases, T-shirts, ties, ornaments, greeting cards, necklaces, stainless steel travel mugs, and many other categories, they are still adding new products. In the three weeks since my first visit they have add two or three more shapes of stickers.

I have added a link on the right for my Zazzle store and here it is again, Bending Tree Designs .

Yes, I do Zazzle. What about you?

Happy Spring,

Leann Holland

Friday, March 11, 2011


I've been hard at work writing. My current YA WIP (work in progress), Droke's Way: A Journey Home, is at a crisis moment. It's the make or break moment of the story.

Last Sunday, I took a break from the writing to focus on the business side publishing. One of the blogs I read was advice to writers. Don't make your antagonist too big or powerful.

Underdog - Ultimate CollectionI've been watching a TV series on the American Revolution. Talk about a David and Goliath moment. America shouldn't exist. We lost more battles than we won. We were outmanned, outgunned, out everything. Yet here we are. A story that shouldn't have been told.

Is that why our folklore is full of underdogs?

Our nation has made the transition from Underdog to Top Dog. Where do we go from here? We've become the Goliath at which we thumbed our noses. We had a common goal, a purpose. We've reached the peak. Now what?

Will we tear this nation apart with fighting amoung ourselves or will we get the fairy tale endings? Luckily, I can't peek at the end of the story. It's still being written.

Love to hear your opinions.

Leann Holland

Monday, February 14, 2011


On the world's most celebrated day of love, as a writer and poet, I should feel inspired, right?
Well, I did create an unique work of art embedded with a small poem for my husband. Do I share?

I want to and yet . . .  It feels tacky, to create something for one person then make him share it with the world. (okay, maybe all twenty five followers of the this blog or all one hundred of my facebook family and friends.) But still it's suppose to be an intimate moment.

Is it different than talking plans over with your girlfriends or buying cards and sharing? The challenges of living in a digital age are like walking a tight rope high above the street. But we can't climb down or put the genie back into the bottle. She's here to stay!

Happy Valentine's Day,

Leann Holland

P.S. I decided to post my husband's card onto his facebook page.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bikini Car Wash - Book Review

The Bikini Car Wash

I have wanted an ereader for years. But the recenty explosion of models and companies finally allowed to them to enter into my price range. On Black Friday, I purchase my first ereader. I love it. The reason you need to know information is when I borrowed Bikini Car Wash from my libraries ebook I didn't realize this was a romance book.

I really enjoyed this book. It is a good story about returning home and making peace with your past. When I read other reviews on Amazon, I realized it was supposed to be a romance. The reviewers were correct in stating that the romance portion of this story is weak. I can understand their disappointment if they were expecting a romance. It wasn't. The self discovery and discovery of family secrets made this an interesting story.

Keep Reading,
Leann Holland

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hello 2011

We started the year with a spur of the moment trip to visit our hometown. It was the first time in thirteen years we have have been "home" during the winter months. Had a great time with family and a magical sled run created by my brother-in-law.

In our area according to the news reports, this is the snowiest winter in fifteen years. In someways making our snow vacation to the Icy North seem a waste, but visiting with family is always worth it.

Weather Bomb! Snowmageddon! Snowicane! Snowapolyce! What do you think of snow storm naming?

As I was researching this topic, I was amazed at the information about individual regions naming winter storms as NOAA names hurricanes. Alice, Bob, Gerry, and Dave really seemed laughable after President Obama's Snowmageddon. Seriously though, where do we go after these mega names? Will we consider a blizzard named Betty a threat?

Go ahead a laugh, I know you want to.

Happy Sledding,

Leann Holland

P.S. The news on 1/11/11 also claimed there is snow in 49 of our 50 states.

Dream Snow