Candy Marie Bridges's Blog

July 20, 2014


What is Catching up with Daylight?

I’m eager to share the answer with you, but first, I will share a quick thought about Time.

 Time is dependable and consistent. Our watches and clocks persistently tick tock in forward motion, even when we aren’t looking at them.  I have a great battle with time each and every day. There’s never enough of it in a day to get done what I want. But, like a clock, I’m just as persistent with moving forward with goals and projects.  Sometimes though, my goals and projects must be put on hold because life forces a detour. I’ve obviously detoured away from posting on my blog for awhile, but hope to get back into sharing some of my thoughts on various topics of interest and I hope you will respond with your own thoughts.


 So………What is Catching up with Daylight all about?

A New Novel by Gail Kittleson



Gail is a wonderful friend, author, speaker and teacher who motivated and inspired me to write my memoir, Meet Me In The Mountains.


If you are a lover of memoirs and stories that encourage self-reflection, learning and inspiration,

Catching Up With Daylight will not disappoint.

Below is an interview that Gail graciously gave me. I hope you will find it interesting and purchase her book which you can find at the bottom of this page.


So, what motivated you to write Catching Up With Daylight, Gail?

My PhotoA few chapters were in response to an assignment at the Oregon Writers Summer Institute. I was teaching at Eastern Oregon University, and was privileged to participate in their wonderful summer writing course.

We wrote about a view of our childhood home, a very powerful process.

Those assignments eventually became chapters in the book. Then, when we moved back to Iowa after my husband’s return from his first deployment in Iraq, renovating one of the first houses in our little town motivated me to write more.

And, I knew from middle school on that I ought to be a writer, but lacked the self-confidence to plunge in. I’d had a few poems and articles published in magazines, but deep down, I knew writing should be a priority, and it wasn’t.


How did writing this book affect you, and how do you want it to affect the reader?

My PhotoOh, that’s a biggie! For one thing, it took years and way more editing than I ever imagined, so my writing skills increased greatly. The first draft embarrasses me. But that’s the ballpark writers play in, and we may as well accept it.

Completing a project and having a publisher deems it worthy of publication brings satisfaction. But possibly the best part of the undertaking is readers who say, “We grew up in the same home as you,” or “You’ve written what I couldn’t put into words,” or “This book motivated me to practice lectio divina and it’s revolutionized my devotional times.”

Also, I’ve learned that owning what’s in our hearts—our histories—takes time and tenderness. Vinita Hampton Wright, in her wonderful book, The Art of Spiritual Writing/Loyola Press, taught me much about listening to and being faithful to our calling to write. It’s a rather peculiar call, fraught with all sorts of pitfalls and deeply tied to our sense of worth. So, of course, it’s not easy.


What would you share with others embarking on this journey?

My PhotoI’d say let go of your expectations and agenda and just write. The book develops a life of its own and becomes your teacher, but that requires humility. Over the past decade, Catching Up With Daylight has taught me lessons, including some I wouldn’t have chosen.

In memoir writing, you write for the reader, yes, but also for yourself. All these years, you’ve journaled, but now you synthesize experiences in a new way, through the life view you’ve developed. And as with all of life, that can produce both growth and pain.


But you would still encourage others to write?

My PhotoAbsolutely. Follow your heart, use your gifts, see where it leads, and above all, find a good editor—enjoy!

And thanks for having me visit, Candy.



Gails book is available in both Kindle and Paperback.  Purchase it today at: up with daylight


About the Author

A late bloomer, Gail believes our stories are our best gifts, and writes to empower women. She has instructed ESL and college expository writing, facilitated women’s retreats and workshops, and survived thirty-four years as a pastor/Army Chaplains wife (smile). She presently writes, edits, and teaches memoir writing classes. Grandchildren and gardening color her life. She and her husband enjoy both Iowa and the Arizona mountains.

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Published on July 20, 2014 08:30 • 115 views

December 4, 2013


I’m sure you’ve heard IT before…
“Please hold while I transfer your call.” 
I heard this multiple times this morning during what I thought was a simple and quick phone call to my health insurance company. I just had a couple of general questions about my Health plan.
 I am NOT exaggerating when I tell you that after
from Member services to Benefits reps to Sales reps to Commercial reps and Individual plan reps, my mind was drained and my body tense.
One gentleman whom I somehow got transferred to twice asked me the second time we spoke, “Why did they transfer you to me when I can’t answer your question?”
Excuse me………………..????
 I try to be as polite as possible while at the same time I ENVISION big rooms filled with CUBICLES  OF customer service people  CHECKING THEIR EMAIL ON their cell phones WHILE eating donuts. MAYBE EVEN PLAYING WORDS WITH FRIENDS WHILE while speaking to THEIR CUSTOMERS.  I am also thinking that if they wanted to, they could HANG UP RECEIVER-001
accidentally on purpose
hang up on me and make it look like a disconnect.

The thought of putting on my blood pressure wrist meter was quickly nixed because after an hour and a half of people juggling me from person to person, I was sure my BP monitor would explode.

tO COUNTERACT DOING NOTHING WHILE ON HOLD, I decided to check my options online for a new cell phone.
After all, it’s Cyber Monday
i LEARNED EARLIER IN THE DAY THROUGH EMAIL OF A cYBER MONDAY CELL PHONE SPECIAL just for me.   IT SAID I’M eligible TODAY ONLY to get free shipping, free activation and a free SMARTphone with a two-year activation contract. again, I am researching this INFORMATION ONLINE while on hold waiting for the next hEALTH insurance CUSTOMER SERVICE PERSON.

tHE NEW SMART PHONE looks really good. IT SEEMS LIKE A NO-BRAINER. AFTERALL I need a new phone. Mine is getting tired and slow and it’s just time. The reviews I’M READING ARE ENTICING ME TO ORDER THE PHONE. The screen on the SMARTPHONE is bigger, the memory is generous, the camera is awesome, the apps are good. It’s got a wireless charger. 
I’m pretty sure I’m going for this baby, but BEFORE I ORDER IT, I Have a question about the mobile hotspot option. I think I will click on the chat now button ON THE SCREEN IN FRONT OF ME and ask. 

My left index finger clicks the mouse and up comes…
the chat screen. 
NOW i AM BEGGING TO STAY ON HOLD SO i CAN FOCUS ON THE CHAT SCREEN. Excited to know the answer to my question, I glare at the CHAT box READY TO POST MY QUESTION and I see the FOLLOWING words:
Please hold for a sales representative, we appreciate your patience. Your current estimated wait time is 3 min 13 secs. 


Until Next Time……….




What’s new in the studio! A Free Holy Family Cross – valued at $23.00

This beautiful cross is 10″ high

Holy Family Wall Cross
for those who order a minimum of $40.00 of purchases on my website:
The FREE HOLY FAMILY Cross special ends Dec. 20th or until we run out of crosses.

You must enter the words HOLY FAMILY in the Special Instructions/Notes Box
 found on the Order Summary page during the check out process.
I am adding more Coffee Gift Tote Bags each week. If you know someone who loves coffee and would like a special and memorable gift all inside a re-usable Christian themed Tote Bag, please check out the selections offered on my web site.
Calligraphy and Coffee Gift Totes by Candy

Calligraphy and Coffee Gift Totes by Candy


 Congratulations to Courtney in Alabama who won a copy of my book, Meet Me In The Mountains. thecoverfor audible-001

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Published on December 04, 2013 09:10 • 87 views

November 14, 2013

What do two flat tires and a mammogram
have to do with each other ?

low tire pressure


I am about to tell you so just be patient and roll with me.
Pun intended.
     This past Tuesday morning I had an appointment to get my yearly mammogram. On my way out the door, I said goodbye to my husband, walked to the garage, got inside my car and started it up. As soon as the engine kicked over, A bright blinking yellow light appeared on the information panel. I  hate it when that happens.
     The message was telling me that both front and back tires on the right side of the car had very low tire pressure. According to the numbers displayed, only half the amount of air that’s required to maintain the normal range was in the tires.
     Not sure where I should go first, my Mammogram appointment or to the tire store, I said a quick prayer, pulled out of the garage and drove 17 miles from Pine on the windy road leading to the more populated town of Payson. I decided to go to my mammogram appointment first and then head to the nearby tire store to get my tires checked.
     I know many of you women, like me, participate in the yearly ritual of the dreaded mammogram. You also know the test is rather………. humbling. Per normal, my doctor orders a mammogram for me during my yearly physical. Even though I am not keen on the procedure, I know it can save lives with prevention and through detection. And so I go.


waffle iron

     Before I left the house, my husband asked me what a mammogram test was like. The only way I could describe it to him was to compare it to using our waffle iron except without the indents in the iron plates and the heat.  His response was, “Ouch.”   “It’s not too bad”, I said.  I’ve had many over the years and each year it’s a little more bearable. But still…….
     After my mammogram appointment, my car limped along to the tire store. The technician checked the tires concluding each tire had a nail in it. He also told me all four tires were getting low on tread and needed Replacing soon.  “Okay”, I said, go ahead and repair the two with the nails in them for now and I will consider getting new tires soon.
     As soon as the tires were repaired, I drove out of the parking lot and headed on down the mountain to the big city of Phoenix. While driving, I reflected on the two events and looked for some sort of message I could glean.  Here’s what I found.


1. Sometimes I have to do things I don’t want to do in order to keep myself safe.

2. Some things I can replace and others I can’t or prefer not to.  I know you women around my age who are naturally aging can pick up on the subtle the undertones of my thought here.

3. Whether you have an old set of tires or a brand new set, be happy and appreciative that life rolls on.

Until next time,



Studio News !


  With the holidays approaching, I am busy creating new Coffee Gift Tote selections.  This week I have created a colorful and festive combination.  The Tote Bag is called Patchwork Promises. Inside the Tote Bag you will find all the items shown below. This special gift is perfect for a family member, host or hostess of a party, holiday function, ministry leaders, and just because. Get more info on this Coffee Gift Tote Bag and more at http://www.amenchristiancalligraphy.c...


Up until November 30th, 2013, I am paying for your shipping

FREE Parcel Post SHIPPING on this Tote Bag.


Patchwork Promises Coffee Gift Tote Bag

Patchwork Promises Coffee Gift Tote Bag



Just a couple of more weeks to enter the Goodreads Giveaway to win one Copy of my book, Meet Me In The Mountains. Enter to the right of this page.

Please Like, Pin or email this blog to others. Thank you!


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Published on November 14, 2013 06:59 • 107 views

November 7, 2013


19 years single, 23 years married, 5 years a widow and 5 years married

19 + 23 + 5 + 5 =

 Adding up the numbers above will give you my age.


  What have I learned in all those years of being single, married, and a widow?


That life can be….




Isn’t it great when life goes along just like you want it to? Like when you love your job, the kids are healthy, the bills are paid, the marriage is good, friends are there for fun and support, there’s a full tank of gas in the car, your cell phone is fully charged and food in the cupboards. You feel blessed and life is nothing short of awesome.

And then all of a sudden out of nowhere, something happens to us or a loved one and it hurts.

Often stunned, we temporarily fall out of peace, serenity, and consistency. We are torn when told of the death of a loved one, experience divorce, mental or physical illness, job loss, etc.  Accepting unexpected news turns into a mind game as you try to process it all.

We may feel like running away.

Even so, down deep we know the right decision is to deal with the issue or challenge, even if it means our lives will change.

Change usually involves decision-making and decision-making often brings change. Both can be intimidating, uncomfortable and scary.

Most every time I make a decision, that little voice in my head says:


What if my decision is wrong?
What if this is not the best for me?
What if I fail?
What if?    What if?    What if?



———-  Till Death do us part  ———-

I had to make some tough decisions for my children and for myself after my husband Mike suddenly died in 2003. By the way, there’s no manual for how to deal with that storm. There were people who helped guide, suggest and critique my options, but ultimately I made decisions for myself and my children. I am not the only one. There are countless men and women who have to make tough decisions in their lives each and every day.

  ———-  Life after Death  ———-


I was a Widow (yucky word) for five years.

The thought of re marrying another man brought on huge “What ifs.”  Did I really want to make a life-long commitment to another man? Should I be getting married again? What if something happens to him? What if my family doesn’t like him? What if he’s not who he says is? …….And on and on.


Love seemed to kick those What if’s right out the door and I married again in 2008.


I will be honest and tell you that both my current and late husbands personalities are so different. I had to learn and decide how to communicate effectively when I got married at 19 years old to my first husband Mike, and then learn and decide how to communicate differently at 47 years old when I married my second husband Jim. Jim would probably say the same about his learning to communicate with me.

I love being married. I loved sharing life with my first spouse and my current spouse. As those of you who are married know, marriage is not always easy. Honesty, forgiveness, being conscious of each others needs and wants and having an attitude of compassion and affirmation towards each other is unbelievably important.

Marriage is different for me this time around. Not better or worse. Just different and in a good way. I have an appreciation for love and time together in a way that I can not describe. I am seasoned with age and life experiences that have put life into a more solid perspective.  I have learned how God is with me in every situation, circumstance and event no matter what decisions I make.

A little over two weeks ago, my husband Jim and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary by renewing our wedding vows.

Five years may seem like it’s too soon to make this renewal, but for us it was the perfect amount of time. A time to acknowledge before God and witnesses our desire and decision to keep on keepin on with each other. In good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, till death do us part.5th anniversary-001

 When life hurts, I suggest you take on the challenges by asking God to guide you. 
Decide to grow in grace through the pain
and you will become stronger in faith and hope.



 Enter below to win a Mini Coffee Gift Tote Bag!

 What’s new in my Studio?

A new Special Selection Gift Tote bag with an amazing amount of goodies inside. Check it out today!

Blessed beyond Measure Coffee and Gift Tote Bag

Blessed beyondmeas


Inside this Blessed Beyond Measure Coffee and Gift Tote Bag, you will find 5 foil packs of delicious Gourmet coffee (Each pack brews a regular pot of coffee), A Ceramic Serenity Mug, Pirouline Artisan Chocolate Wafers, A Wall Cross and a God Bless this Gathering Place Key Holder. All the items are wrapped in tissue paper or gift box.

Purchase this complete Tote Bag as a thank you for your Thanksgiving Hosts or a Birthday, or a Gift of appreciation for that someone special.

More Coffee and Gift Totes found at:

There are more options to personalize your own Coffee and Gift Tote Bag by choosing delicious Coffee types, Tea, Desk sized inspirational framed Print, Coffee Mug, and a Journal.

With all the holidays and parties coming up, these Tote bags make great gifts for family members, co workers, bosses, teachers, friends and church ministries. Please check our selections today.

Don’t forget to
Enter below to win an I Thank God For You Mini Tote Bag

Values at $28.50.

Included in the tote bag are 5 foil packs of coffee. (Each pack makes one pot of coffee)  Included are Two packs of Holy Grounds regular roast, One pack of Vanilla From Heaven flavored (my favorite!), One pack of Be Still decaf, One pack of Raise The Dead bold roast, One can of Pirouline Chocolate Wafers, a Coffee Mug that says, I Thank God For You, and a plaque that says, In everything, give thanks.

I thank God for you Mini CoffeeTote Bag

I thank God for you Mini Coffee Tote Bag


Win an I Thank God for You Coffee Gift Tote Bag
Enter your name, email and phone and then
Click Submit below.
Drawing to be held on November 15, 2013

NameFirstLastPhone (optional)Email

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Please enter your first and last name along with your email below and we will draw a winning name on November 15, 2013


You can also to win a copy of my book Meet Me In The Mountains found to the right of this page.


Until next time



I, (name), take you, (name), to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

Bride: I, (name), take you, (name), to be my husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

- See more at:

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Published on November 07, 2013 14:15 • 53 views

October 26, 2013

Duck Dynasty

Duck Dynasty

Mom, you have to watch this TV show called, Duck Dynasty!

Why? I asked. “Because I think you would like it, replied my son.”

His suggestion peaked my curiosity, so my husband and I ordered the first disk of the first season of Duck Dynasty from Netflix. We watched all six episodes in one night. My husband, Jim calls this, “A Marathon Night.” With no commercials, we watched several episodes in a little over two hours.

So what’s Duck Dynasty about?


You can pretty much narrow the show down to this: The life of an extended Louisiana family of redneck millionaires. They are the Robertson family and are all a part of a Duck Call Company that the Father on the show, Phil, started many years ago. One of Phil’s sons, Willie, is the CEO of the company, Duck Commander. Willie takes decisions for the business much more seriously than his siblings and his crazy eccentric, Uncle Si. Their ideas and shenanigans are much different from the CEO, Willie.

This is where the shows storyline usually takes off.

Uncle Si and Willie’s brothers repeatedly find excuses to escape from their work at the duck call warehouse so they can play. This usually means heading towards swamps, forests, bayou’s and fields. Their “play” includes catching huge frogs, shooting ducks, harnessing the honey in bee hives, blowing up beaver dams that stop the water to their property, catching big fish, shooting snakes, squirrels and so much more. They hunt for two reasons. For food or to stop danger, like the snakes.

There is often competition between the men as to who can catch and hunt the most, or build the best of things.

I love the way Phil, the Father on the show, looks so forward to bringing his wife, Ms. Kay of almost 50 years the treasures of his hunting endeavors. He repeatedly boasts of her delicious cooking skills and affirms to his grand sons the priceless gift of finding a woman who can cook and especially one who loves to cook.

There is a no-nonsense approach to teaching the grandchildren, both boys and girls about living off the land. The children watch by example, without mercy, how to skin and cut up the animals and fish they will soon be eating for supper.

Even though this show is a reality show, I have yet to find 100% reality in it. But, compared to some of the crude and immoral reality shows out in today’s world, I find Duck Dynasty an entertaining look into a conservative, faith filled extended families life. They aint perfect, but watching them play their roles as men, women and children with southern old-time cultural values is fun to watch.

Willie, the main star usually shares a positive message at the end of the show which relates to the episodes theme. Something we can glean from if we choose.

My son was right. I do like the show. Maybe it’s because I live away from the city like the Robertson family and like most of them, I have an appreciation for the simpler things in life. I enjoy nature and honest hard work with some play thrown in every so often.

Here in Pine, you will find a few bearded mountain men here and there and when I spy one, I always name them “Jasper” in my mind.

Even though we live in a rural town, we do enjoy some of the niceties of the big city like electricity and water, but then again, it’s unpredictable as to sudden cut offs or outages. Especially the electricity. We have a generator when that happens so we adapt to our surroundings and it offers us a chance to learn patience.

Frog peeking out of birdhouse

Frog peeking out of birdhouse

We don’t eat frog legs here, even though we do have frogs in our pond that sing to us at nausea-um certain times of the year. Deer and Elk roam free and we enjoy seeing them in our yards along with Blue birds, Javalina and other wild mountain animals, insects and critters.

My husband and I don’t hunt our local wild animals for food. Instead we mosey on down the mountain about 100 miles to hunt for food in the city jungle… at Sams Club.


We don’t ship Duck Calls here, but we do ship other items found on  my web site store,   There are gift items for many occasions and we now have a new line of Coffee and Tea themed Tote Bags which can be personalized by filling them with your choice of delicious Coffee, Tea, Desk sized inspirational framed Print, Coffee Mug, and a Journal.

With all the holidays and parties coming up, these Tote bags make great gifts for family members, co workers, bosses, teachers, friends and church ministries. Please check our selections today. And don’t forget to enter our contest below for an I Thank God For You Mini Tote Bag. It’s valued at $28.50. Included in the bag are 5 foil packs of coffee. (Each pack makes one pot of coffee)  Included are Two packs of Holy Grounds regular roast, One pack of Vanilla From Heaven flavored (my favorite!), One pack of Be Still decaf, One pack of Raise The Dead bold roast, One can of Pirouline Chocolate Wafers, a Coffee Mug that says, I Thank God For You, and a plaque that says, In everything, give thanks.

I thank God for you Mini CoffeeTote Bag

I thank God for you Mini CoffeeTote Bag


Please enter your first and last name along with your email below and we will draw a winning name on November 15, 2013

In the meantime, check out the current selections of Tote Bags for you to fill right online and give as gifts. Click Here to see what we have for you. More Tote Bags are being added each week.




Until next time,





The post What do I think of Duck Dynasty? appeared first on Candy Marie Bridges.

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Published on October 26, 2013 15:45 • 90 views

July 11, 2013





For some unknown reason…
I’m drawn to fences.


red brick fence



I check them out while driving in my car or even walking around. I notice them in neighborhoods, along highways and country roads marveling at some of the creative designs made from stone, block, iron and wood. 
When I see an old beat up wooden fence, I try to imagine how many years ago someone painstakingly cut huge amounts of tree limbs and used barbed wire so they could contain livestock, keep people out or keep the kids within the yard.
Natural stacked stone walls and fences like the ones you see in Italy are abundant and almost tell their own story when you look at them. Stacked Stone Fence
I like Red brick fences with brick pillars and black ornate wrought iron separating the red brick columns. It’s clean and rich looking.

Some fences give owners complete privacy and then there are others like barbed wire or slats allowing you to see through to the other side, but they also send a message quietly saying, “Keep out” “Keep off”, or “Keep your distance.”
Speaking of fences, today is the day the wooden dog-eared fence in the backyard of the Retreat House will come down. Over the past five years, the warped fence has taken a gradual, yet continual leaning that has begged for help. The next three days, a new tan-colored vinyl no-maintenance fence will be installed. The guys are out there now in the backyard and they are digging twenty-four post holes both by hand and by way of jack hammer. Jack Hammer Living in the mountains, we are over inundated with rock. No matter where you dig, you will come up with rocks and even boulders.  This is where you have two choices.
Dig somewhere else or use “creative design.”


I have learned the importance of digging deep post holes so the concrete that surrounds the posts will make a solid and strong bond eliminating sway or give. This is part of the problem with our old fence.  The person who built it did not dig the minimum of 24″deep for the posts to set so we have the swaying and leaning problem.
I think we can use the analogy of a fence and boundaries to our own lives. 
We create and choose our own personal boundaries in life. We decide on boundaries with friends, family, work, moral issues and time.  I remember just before getting married to my second husband, the marriage counselor discussed the importance of setting boundaries both as a couple and individually. 
I learned that very often, setting boundaries includes the word,
For example, the boundary of not allowing the occasional mental drain from family, friends or spouse.  No to making me feel guilty about saying no-thank-you to a commitment I know I can’t keep. No to allowing others to make me feel I am not worthy. No to my own temptations that might harm my marriage, other relationships and myself. 
Even with the tools of personal boundary setting, I am human and sometimes I allow my own or others thoughts to tempt me towards hurt, guilt and even despair. 
So what’s the solution?

How about a counter-attack with the word,
Yes, I will choose to keep my distance when needed from places, people and situations that might hurt me physically, emotionally and spiritually. Yes, I will selectively allow others within my boundaries, even if I don’t agree with them and I will accept them for who they are and what they believe.  And I will pray for them.  I will divert from seeing more negativity to seeing the good in people, circumstances and situations. And, yes I will be confident and resolute in my decisions to do what’s best for me, my spiritual health and my sanity.

But the most important Yes of all, is allowing the Lord God Almighty who loves us unconditionally and who can see through, around, over, within and under our fences.  No matter what type of fence you build within your mind or heart, there is no fencing God in or out. He is there all ways and always.


Until next time………..





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Published on July 11, 2013 07:55 • 497 views

March 21, 2013

Follow Me on PinterestPin It     Photo: And St. Francis receiving the latest icons from an advanced workshop in Scottsdale.

     When I was a little girl, religious icons not only fascinated me, but in a way, frightened me. I didn’t understand the meanings behind the simple two dimensional images.
     Now that I am a little older, I look upon icons much differently.  I realize they are alive with connecting us to the story behind the image they portray.
     The definition of Icon is, “IMAGE WRITING.” Icons are said to be written, not painted and the entire process in creating one is a form of prayer.
     I found it interesting that St. Luke the Evangelist was the first Iconographer.  In many icons, the saints hold a scroll that quotes their own words or a scriptural quote which highlights some outstanding feature of their life and struggle. One example is St. Monica, whose successful labor of prayer of the conversion of her son St. Augustine is summarized in the quote from the Psalms: “In my distress I called unto the Lord, and He heard me.”

According to local teacher and Iconographer, Brenda J. Fox, the art of creating an icon can be accomplished without any former experience in art.  I recently spoke with Brenda about her love of this rich and meaningful art form. The first question I asked Brenda is what got her interested in iconography? She said, “Iconography found me.” It was in an art history class where Brenda first saw icons.  She later took a week long vacation where she spent time at an icon workshop learning and participating. Her teacher and now Mentor, Peter Pearson was surprised at Brenda’s talent with writing icons.  He encouraged her to move forward in her journey and Brenda eventually began teaching her own iconography workshops.  In addition to an Iconographer, Brenda is also an Art Therapist.  Her icon workshops incorporate the Jesus Prayer that monks and priests pray in addition to prayerful music like Gregorian Chant music.  It’s a very spiritually enriching and rewarding experience. 
     Just a couple of weeks ago, Brenda and I discussed a plan for an icon workshop here at Breath of Life Retreat House.  We worked out the details and I am excited to announce the date for her workshop will be this coming July 19 – 21, 2013.  The class is limited to twelve students.  You will find more information here.

If there is enough interest and the July date fills up quickly, we will work on adding another workshop date.



     If you are looking to get away, relax and retreat in the beautiful mountain town of Pine, Arizona, Brenda’s Icon Workshop will give you a  peaceful environment to learn how to write an icon.  Brenda’s happy personality will encourage and uplift you.
    If you have a group from your church who would be interested in the workshop, but you need funds to make it happen, we have an easy fundraising opportunity for you to raise money for individuals or for your whole group.
Click Here for more info or contact Candy at to learn more.

Photo: Iconography workshop...we completed our icons in 2 days! (a total of 18 hours)! Pray on...


Reminder: I have recently recorded my book and it is available on
I would appreciate any tweets, likes and pins shown on the page you are taken to after clicking the cover of my book below.
Narrated and Written by Candy Marie Bridges

Narrated and Written by Candy Marie Bridges



 Have a happy and blessed Easter!


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Published on March 21, 2013 19:34 • 365 views

March 3, 2013

Follow Me on PinterestPin It



Okay are you singin it now?
Standin on the corner in Winslow Arizona…. Such such a fine sight to see………….Take it eaaassy Take it eeeassy.

Standin on the Corner in Winslow Arizona 


Joanne, Gloria, Candy, Marie and Laleen

     I take it easy once a year. How?
     By going on my yearly Girly Trip! There are five of us including my Mom, my Godmother, my Best Friend, another dear friend and myself.  We choose a different destination each year.  This year our time together was spent here at the Retreat House in Pine where I live and work in addition to spending a day in Winslow. Our usual M.O. includes Venting, Sharing, Praying, Supporting, Eating, Laughing, Crying and Sight Seeing or movie watching. Not necessarily in that order.
     Each one of these ladies have influenced my life in a significant way. My Mom of course, birthed me and has loved me by action and word.  My aunt and Godmother has and still supports me in my life through prayer and encouragement.  My best friend, Laleen has been a priceless gift since third grade and Gloria has blessed me with her friendship and desire to help here at the Retreat House, especially during the year and a half of renovation.
     The last night the five of us watched one of my all time favorite movies starring John Voit.  The title is The Five people you meet in Heaven.

Five people you meet in heaven

     If you haven’t seen it, please do.  It’s an inspiring and creative story how each of us touches one another’s lives in ways we don’t realize.  When we share life stories to those who love us, both joyous and painful, we and those listening realize we are not alone in our suffering. Isolation and fear of the unknown can cripple us to the point of self destruction. The pain life throws us often doesn’t make sense at the time and sometimes the agony is almost too much to bear. Life can hurt. No doubt. I know this and I know you do too.  Take time to spend time with people that will lift you up, pray with you, listen in love and support you.  It’s priceless medicine!
Announcing ! ! ! ! ! !

thecoverfor audible-001

My book, Meet Me In The Mountains, is now available on 
Listen as I share my story with you while you work, drive, exercise or relax.  If you haven’t already, signed up for It’s a great place to download books and then listen to them on your ipad, iphone, computer and Kindle devices all at your leisure.

I am giving you a FREE GIFT when you An Irish Blessing


purchase the audio version of my book at and then let others know by clicking the LIKE, TWEET, and PIN IT buttons found on the same page.
After you order, send me an email to

 letting me know that you placed an order through and I will mail you  a FREE  5″ X 7″ desk sized Irish Blessing Prayer. Don’t forget to give me your address in the email.

An Irish Blessing
An Irish Blessing  value: $12.50


Here is a recent review of my book below:

5.0 out of 5 stars Meet me in the mountains, January 11, 2013

Sandy Y.

This review is from: Meet Me In The Mountains

I loved this book because it helped me to understand better where my faith should be .

It also helped me understand how to get there. I had been praying for just this. I have this book all the stars I can give it plus more.



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Published on March 03, 2013 13:52 • 69 views

February 15, 2013

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This blog is a rerun from last year. I remember it so well and wanted to share it again as it still applies

“I will just bite my tongue!”

That’s what I tell myself to do when I want to respond to someones ridiculous statement or claim. I choose to do this to avoid saying something that might be hurtful or embarrassing. 
Below is an example:

This past Ash Wednesday after Mass, I dropped my car off at the Chevy dealer for some repair work. The gentleman that was writing down the unusual noise my car was making was cheerful and very kind. While speaking to him, I immediately noticed his left ear.  The rays of the sun were partially shining on his earlobe and I noticed a hole in it the size of an m & m. Plain. Not peanut. I seriously could see through the hole in his earlobe almost to the other side of the parking lot. 
I instantly started thinking all kinds of thoughts as to why he didn’t have the gauge in his ear that created the opening.

In case you don’t know, Gauging is a form of slowly stretching the earlobe to create a hole so one can wear bigger jewelry.
Questions ran through my mind.

Did he forget the gauge?

Did he realize that having a big hole in his ear was now something he didn’t want after all?

Or did he accomplish his goal with the gauge that created the hole so he could sport the little see through porthole to the world just as it is?

Of course I bit and held my tongue and did not mention anything.
While I was answering his questions about my car, I noticed he was a little nervous while writing. He darted his eyes away from me each time we made eye contact.

Actually it was more like “forehead contact” for him.


Just as I finished signing the work order, he couldn’t stand it anymore and politely pointed to my forehead. “You, You have something black on your forehead,” he said. “Oh yes, I know”, I immediately responded. It’s Ash Wednesday. They are ashes on my forehead. Embarrassed, he apologized and said that he felt like he just put his foot in his mouth. I reassured him not to worry and be prepared for more customers that might have ashes on their forehead.

I used to be embarrassed to have ashes on my head when I was younger, but now they are proudly worn as a sign of the beginning of a journey. A journey that will last 40 days and like Jesus, I am called and reminded to depend on God for my strength. Through fasting, prayer and alms giving. These practices trigger thoughts of what my priorities should be. Being unselfish, forgiving, humble and open to the Holy Spirit. A time to come closer the Lord.

As for my biting my tongue, I will continue to do this to remind myself that sometimes it’s the best choice.
Below is a biblical account from James on the Power of the Tongue.


James, Chapter 3

Power of the Tongue *Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you realize that we will be judged more strictly,for we all fall short in many respects. If anyone does not fall short in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body also. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide their whole bodies. It is the same with ships: even though they are so large and driven by fierce winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination wishes. In the same way the tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions.

Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze. The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. This need not be so, my brothers. Does a spring gush forth from the same opening both pure and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, produce olives, or a grapevine figs? Neither can salt water yield fresh.


Below is my narration of Chapter 20 of my book, Meet Me In The Mountains.

The full downloadable version is currently being formatted with

Chapter 17

Chapter 20

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Published on February 15, 2013 05:00 • 59 views

February 4, 2013

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     What do I mean by Two down, seven to go?
About a month ago, a friend of mine asked me what my goals were for this next year. It only took me about five seconds to share seven of them with her. Trust me, I have lot’s more, but was trying to be realistic. One of my goals was to complete a new website for Breath of Life Retreat House where I live and work. A second was self narrating my book to soon be available for download on the new and popular, i tunes and more.
     Since time permitted me to take on the two projects during the past several weeks, I split my time as best I could to tackle both of them during the month of January.

The first was the new Breath of Life Retreat House website
As I am sure you can imagine, designing and building a web site is a huge undertaking.
     I spent countless hours uploading, downloading, calling tech support, formatting, reformatting, navigation and sub navigation, calling tech support, page organization, calling tech support, photo and montage design and creation, calling tech support, etc. You get the idea. I really enjoyed the challenge and hope the site is more appealing and informative for our retreat guests.
     I am thankful to God for the persistent and compulsive drive I have to figure things out, even if I feel like crying and giving up at times.  If you know of or belong to a ministry, church, quilting group, writers group or scrapbooking group, I invite you to send them the link to the site.  I am also open to criticism, suggestions and opinions. Click the image below to visit the new site.
  The New Breath of Life Retreat House Web site

The second goal and project was to self narrate an audio version of my book
     During the time I was writing my book a couple of years ago, it was my desire to have the book also available in an audio version. Up until now, I couldn’t imagine how I could do it. That is until I recently learned about ACX, Audible Creation Exchange.
     Just like the new web site, narrating and recording my book proved to be another challenging project. I learned about microphones and ambient noise, what type of clothing to wear and not to wear when recording, where to record, pop filters, editing, re editing, formatting, uploading, etc.
     As of yesterday, I submitted all twenty-four chapters of my book, Meet Me In The Mountains, including the foreword, preface, epilogue and credits to  They say it takes between two to four weeks to confirm the professional quality before it is available for purchase. I hate waiting, but I must. I will be patient.  So as of now, I can cross these goals off my list and continue on.  Number three? Stay tuned.


I am up to chapter 19 here on my blog

Feel free to listen to this chapter below.

I hope when my book is available on Audible,

you will order the completed version.


My Project 83-001




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Published on February 04, 2013 10:44 • 57 views