Posts Tagged With: blogging

My 1ooth post mile stone!

It is hard to believe that I have actually posted a 100 times since starting this adventure. Blogging is one of the best things I have tried to do as an adult and I am really enjoying it. I have learned so much over the last couple of years and can only say thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reply with a comment or a “like” to my posts. I am thankful that all of you just take the time to stop in a read once in a while. It is amazing how many wonderful people I have met through this adventure. I am lucky to call people from all over the world my friends, from several  down under in Australians to a hard-working Canadian, a few transplanted Americans who are in Bosnia and Chile and people from all over the USA who share my interests. It is a wide wonderful world and I am soooo glad I write with all of you!.

Christopher and I out mushroom hunting in my cast... life really slowed down with it

Christopher and I out mushroom hunting in my cast… life really slowed down with it

This year has seen much less travel, hunting and fishing then I had hoped to write about here at Mountain Mama. Things here have changed as things always do. I have had a broken bone in my foot for 12 months and when every thing is done I will have been in a cast 14 months. Who in the world would have thought that a bone around the size of a dime would cause this much pain and hassle. Then we were informed that my mother in law has throat cancer and we have gone through treatment and she is now living with my family. The cancer alone has changed our whole family and all of our lives. It is a constant struggle to maintain her health at this point and I spend much of my day waiting on her needs and wants. It is worth every struggle to see her regain her health and independence over the next few months. I have gone from a career woman and mom, to a full-time care giver, house wife and homestead gardener over these last 100 posts.

I had high hopes when I started blogging that in some way I would find a way to make an income from my posts and be one of those bloggers who travels the world for free with their blog. I was thinking that blogging would some day be my work but instead it is my love. I would not want to get payed and sponsored into some kind of box. I love that this is a limitless space where I am free to share things with like-minded friends. I love to share my failures and gains with all of you. I love that like a stone thrown into a clam water the ripples that my words create flow away in never-ending rings…. that some where in cyberspace I have found all of you and you have sent your ring of words back to me.

Reflection of Stone Bridge on lake at Black Water Falls State Park. Wv

Reflection of Stone Bridge on lake at Black Water Falls State Park. WV

 

So as I look back over the last 100 times that I have sent messages out in to the Cyber Universe I can see so much improvement in my blog and my posts. It has been a great therapy for me and my creative soul and I just hope to keep sharing, learning.

Faerie mushtrooms

Faerie mushrooms

~THANK YOU FROM WILD WONDERFUL WEST VIRGINIA~

Categories: blogging, Cancer, Family, friends, Friendship, gardening, Healing, writing | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Power in Not Being Trendy

I was never popular and trendy in school, were you? I was always the outsider looking in. I always wondered who made up the rules and who said that this was the best way to look and act. Often times I have found that my creative nature is the reason for my lack of being trendy. I was never drawn to the pre-made formula that is followed by the cool people. Many of my friends back then and still today are aspiring  artist, actors, musicians and writers. People who found the individual much more important than mass appeal. I still feel this way and find at times that I am still fighting the same old battles with myself again. I want more people to read my blog, but at what cost? I want my writing  friendly,welcoming and good for any age reader. I never want someone to feel that my writing is critical or hate filled or overly offensive. I must be true to myself and hope for the best when it comes to the popularity contest of the internet. But who are we kidding, the internet is just like middle school where bad taste is cool  and the rest of us just get passed over.

totally uncool in high school. 1986

totally uncool in high school. 1986

I know that I am not the only one who finds popular culture shallow and boring? I have found myself following a bunch of blogs that have some huge followings and discovering that I had to stop reading them. Maybe I am to old…being 45, maybe I want to much from other bloggers, maybe I am just finding the topics of conversation shallow. I find it hard to believe how many followers some blogs have and the amount of cuss words that are in each paragraph. It made we wonder about my blog again.

The conversion inside my head went like this.” Wow I really must be doing some thing wrong if ———( you fill in the blank)’s blog has been Freshly Pressed and got 1000 followers over the course of  a month.They must have something important to say if they are this popular with only 12 posts. I must read the rest of these posts to see what it is that makes this blog so trendy. I am sure that I can learn some thing from this author. OOOOPS, well I am not finishing all these posts, how can I even get through this one? What a total wast of time. I guess it is back square one. If this is what it takes to get followers I am in real trouble again.”

Well I did read some of the posts and found that every post was a confrontation, a middle finger in the readers face. I also discovered that every paragraph had at least one “F” word in it. The topics were about hate, destruction and rebellion. I got the impression that as long as I  wrote about how screwed up everything is, I would be a topical writer and a head liner. If I exposed every flaw I found at other blogs and wrote about how terrible their grammar and spelling was then I would be viewed as an expert.

It would all be a lie. I am to passionate of a person to spend a large portion of my free time trying to write a post that will get all the hipsters here reading every week. I will never say anything controversial enough to incite a blog word war. I am to sensitive about others feelings to slam another persons hard work with hateful words of criticism.

self Portrait with book 6-2014

self Portrait with book 6-2014

So in the end I feel empowered and don’t have to worry about being cool. I am free to write for the pleasure of it. The way creative people have been doing it since the pen hit the paper. I find that not being trendy leads me to wider topics and deeper feeling and more artful expression. Some days I just have to remind myself this is not a competition about who is the most trendy and remember that this is about letting you see my world through my words and nothing more. If one day my youngest son reads these words and loves them then I have reached my target audience and the rest is for the joy of it.

Christopher on swing set

Christopher on swing set

 

Categories: About me, Art, blogging, trends, writing | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments

Updating, Focusing, WV Mountain Mama Blog

This week the class of I am taking has covered a lot of ground and I am so thankful that I have already thought about and started some of Word Presses suggestions before I signed up for the class. The pace is fast and with all of my family health issues I have been working on the suggestions in groups. Hopefully the changes that I made were good ones and you can let me know what you think. One of the first changes the group talked about was themes and images we use as headers. I like my theme”Adventure” and the back ground that it came with “wood grain”. I have a country blog and wanted a theme that supported an outdoor country feel. I really did not want my blog to look like a term paper. I used to draw beautiful fonts and images all across the top of my term papers before turning them in ,so this was the nicest back ground I could find. WordPress needs more of these! Something with a rustic wood like barn wood would be even better! Those of us that write about homesteading, farming, country life, are usually left with just a header photo and a nice font and that is it. So I will continue to use country images in my header and I take most of the photos that in my header. I spend a lot of time taking photos that will  show the season or fallow an idea I have for a post. I also changed the name of my blog slightly… It was just” Mountain Mama” but after thinking about that title and with the suggestion from a friend (thanks Lisa) and other bloggers, I did think I should include a the words, West Virginia. Since that is what I am trying to promote..so I am now West Virginia Mountain Mama. I had never really thought to much about “my brand” and this project helped me focus on what I wanted to say on my blog. I still will share my personal family stuff, but I really want this blog to reflect my passions of food, family, friends and West Virginia adventures. So no political ramblings, no reviews of books unless they are cook books, no product plugs unless it is food related… I am not much into this stuff any way but it is nice to say NO to things. cropped-hunting-bus.jpg We also have covered using widgets and images. I hate widgets in some ways. Yes, you need them but in general I hate programming them to work. Widgets are what you see on my side bar, my fallow buttons, my gallery,my calendar and so forth. I moved some around and added a couple of titles to a few but in general I was already happy with the ones that I was using and what they did. My personal favorite one is the About Me.com button. I am going to update that image as soon as I find time.I want to change it to a photo of me since most of my posts are about other people and food.I am sure that readers would like to see who they are reading about, commenting on, and building a relationship with. Do you agree? Then we talked about social media… the pros and cons. We covered the power of some of the social sites like Face Book, Twitter, and Reddit that they can really drive up your ratings and ad followers.   I came from social media to blogging. So I have already linked my blog to Face Book.  It is interesting to learn how many bloggers have FB pages just for their blog. It is a topic that I have discussed with several website owners and bloggers. How much do you really want to share over the web and Face book.  Is your brand so important that you want to have more than one FB account? One for the family photos and terrible jokes and rants and one for your blog with only posts that pertain to your topic of blogging. I am on the fence with this. I have a Face book button on my side bar that allows readers to see and look at my Face Book page and I have a button at the bottom of each post so that any reader can add my blog post to their personal Face Book page if they want to. Most of my blog followers are part of my FB family already and most of them can see what I post everyday. I just take a little more time in thinking about what I put on both sites. I want readers to see things that are positive, informational, educational and fun no matter where they run into me. It is important to me to build up the world and its people not to tear them down.

Bowl of fresh picked and cleaned Elderberries

Bowl of fresh picked and cleaned Elderberries

We also looked at blog statistics and discussed what to look at for trends, popularity and comments. Some blogs are even setting up at calendar to publish by, making their posts on a schedule, that will NOT  happen here! I am in no way promising anyone that I will be able to write on a scheduled day or time. I love to write and I have a lot of things I want to share but when that happens is when life allows it. I understand that many people need it to motivate them but I have enough stuff in my head to fill 25 more blog posts so you will see them when I have time to write it all down.I did find it interesting to learn that my most popular post was one about Markers Mark bourbon. The title is Goggled  when some one searches for information about the distillery or about their bourbon. So Titles do have some influence on your views. So in the future I will see if I can use better titles to help new readers find my blog. My second best post was on how to can home-canned apple sauce. That post was a reader request and I am glad I followed through on writing it. The statistics of my blog were interesting. I did find that I had more readers on Sunday and Monday than most days so I will continue to try to post then. Over all with one year under my belt I am just happy I’am here and still writing. With the week almost over I have actually refined a  few things on the blog and have add a couple of things to my “To Do” list for the weekend. I am finally starting to see a more complete image of what I want this blog about and maybe even a clearer image of myself along with it. Hope that you can keep reading along with me and let me know if their is something you love or hate about the blog so I can work on the weak spots and save the what it is that you all like. Maybe one day I will get it right! As always thank you for stopping by and helping me on this adventure. Jolynn.

Categories: blogging, writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Back to school with WordPress and class #201 Branding,Traffic and Growth

I never really thought that I would be blogging ( with dyslexia), let alone trying to increase my readership, stats, or trying to get together enough information for a book. So I am happy to announce that I  have rejoined the learning world and signed up for WordPress class. I will spend the next few weeks working on assignments that should make my blog  a better place for you the reader. I hope to gain some insight and knowledge on how to better focus my goals and increase my readership.antique-typewriter2 The assignment for this today is to explain to all of you what my goals are for this blog and where I want to be at the end of the year. My goals are pretty simple and are two-fold. First I want to highlight, inform, share and raise awareness of the wonders of the place that I live. West Virginia gets pretty bad rap from other states. It was quite offensive when WVU’s  Mountaineers Played in the big twelve, Orange bowl last year and on National TV a sports caster had terrible things to say about our state. Second I would like to at some point publish a regional cooking/ canning book. I find that regional foods from my area are not talked about much and the art of canning/ food preservation is a passion of mine. I want to combine the two and in some way and share great food/ great photos/ and a regional feel to my story.

Route 55 Seneca Rocks, WV

Route 55 Seneca Rocks, WV

The  things that I hope to accomplish with this class are: To increase my Followers to 500 by July… about an increase of about 200. To increase my amount of canning and food posts to 15 over the next three months. To take more and better regional photos.  Then finally to get freshly pressed… this a WordPress.com  goal.

Home made apple butter

Home made apple butter

I also want to learn if I need to use a different Theme for this blog so that I could post my cooking and canning under one heading and my photos, stories and family adventurer under other headings. what do you think? I will need all of your help along the way. I will need your feed back and support and maybe one day you all will be able to say that you got to see the before and after of what my blog becomes. So the new adventure begins and I will tag all of my class posts with  the numbers 201. So that they will be easy to fallow and I can track them from today to the end of the year when I get to write about what I actually did accomplish. Thanks  for following and I hope to post something about my assignment every week so you can see what we are learning.

Categories: About me, blogging, Class 201, West Virginia, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

A Liebster Award nomination

Me like most of my blogging friends, I do not write my blog as a way to get awards or acclaim. I write to make friends, to share great information about topics, places and events that interest me. I also write this blog as a form of a diary. I lost my father young and have always wondered about him and his view of the world and what knowledge he could have shared. So my writing is a way to share with my children and grandchild a little about who I am. So when I get awards, even a simple award, I find it strange and funny.I never think that someone out their likes my stories and finds them worth reading. I want to thank my Friends at Cheese Acres Farm for my nomination for the Leibster Award. Please stop and hit their link to learn more .liebsterblogaward This award helps show case the blogs that I fallow and helps promote the small blogs with around 200 or less followers. Most of them you will find on Word Press but I do have some blogging friends around the glob that use other blog sites also.With receiving the Liebseter I was given a list of 11 questions to answer about my self and this blog to allow all of you to get to know me better.

1. Have you always lived in the state/ province that you are now in?    Answer:  No, I grew up at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder Colorado, lived several places including a short time over seas in Germany and ended up in the Appalachian mountains of  north central West Virginia and have been here about 20 years.

2. How did I get my farm/ homestead/ blog name?   Answer:  From a friend, JD Wissinger, who wrote on my Facebook Page that I was a Mountain Mama. We joked that I was a John Denver fan grew up in Colorado and lived in WV  making me alot like his songs so it just stuck.

3. Do I or my family eat out much? Do I try to cook while traveling?  Answer: No, not unless traveling… but I do love pizza out, and a good seafood meal now and again.

4. What varieties of critters do I own?  Answer: Sable rabbits is the only animal that I own for now, but have owned dogs, cats, chickens, horses, goats, mice, turtles, fish, frogs, gerbils, in the past.

5. Is their any animals you want but have do not have yet? Answer: yes, I hope to get a puppy next year. My husband wants to get a Germany short hair pointer.

6. What is your favorite season?  Answer: Fall in a hardwood forest is breath-taking.

7. Are you a morning or evening person?  Answer: nether I am an afternoon person… I don’t like getting up before 7 am and don’t like staying up past 11 pm.

8. Who does that cooking at your house? Answer: Me although I do get help from the family.

9. Are you a go with the flow person or a plan it out kinda person? Answer: I go with the flow baby!

10. How long have you been a blogger? about two years but only one on the WordPress platform.

11. Why did you start your blog? Well for the a couple of reasons, first I wanted to share what my family loved to do and see if I could  eventually make a living from it. I also wanted to save the memories we made for the future generations of our family.

 

My random 11 facts are as fallows.

1. I love classic rock and have seen Pink Floyd in concert.

2. My favorite food is pasta, and it shows.

3. I love to read historical fiction novels.

4. I lead a reading group in our small town.

5. I have always wanted to travel to Ireland.

6. I love farm fresh, eggs.

7. I love second-hand stores.

8. I doodle while talking on the phone.

9. just bought my first ATV last month.

10. I hate folding laundry.

11. my favorite hobby is mushroom hunting.

 

Now I will  share with you 11 blogs that I fallow and love that have around 200 or less followers. So here are some of my favorite undiscovered blogs. I think this list is really more a reflection of when I started following each blog then a favorites list . One of the first blogs I ever followed was Homestead Dad and it is one that I still fallow faithfully.

Strange Remains

Wild Forage

Growing Stories

Gather and Grow

The Hunters Widow 

Molly in the Mountains

Hunt/Fish/Play 

A Random Harvest 

Deliciouspotager

Eat the Season

Homestead Dad

 

Now that I have shared some of my favorite blogs I hope that you take the time to look a few over and find more wonderful people who are writing about their corner of the world.Then the next step is for me to pass this award on to the bloggers listed above and hope that they know how much I enjoy what they do. If they want to pass along the award they just need to fallow these steps.

 

– Acknowledge the blogger who nominated them and display the award symbol.

–  Answer the eleven questions that the nominator gives you.

– Give 11 random facts about yourself.

– Nominate 11 blogs that you think are deserving( that have less than 200 followers) try not to renominated people who have  already been given the award.

– Feel free to pass on the this award if you do not have time for it.

– Let all the bloggers know you nominated them.

Give them 11 questions to answer.

 

So if  you feel like you have time to participate in this award  here are my eleven questions for you!

1.  Where were you born?

2. What is your favorite food?

3. What is your favorite season?

4. What is your favorite Hobby ( besides blogging)

5. What kind of home do you live in?

6. What kind of animals do you have?

7. Have you always liked writing ?

8. When did you start blogging?

9. Why did you start blogging?

10. Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?

11. Are you married or single?

I  have found a wonderful group of friends with blogging and I hope you can share some of your favorite blogs too.

Categories: About me, awards, blogging, hobbies | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Challenged Writer, Blogging with Dysgraphia/ Dyslexia

Train Bridge at Black Water Falls State Park, WV

Train Bridge at Black Water Falls State Park, WV

The conversation at my resent book club meeting swirled with questions about not only our resent read,”Triptych” by Karen Slaughter but also about how people live and work with learning disabilities.The protagonist of  Triptych, Will Trent suffers from Dyslexia. As I have first hand knowledge, we spent more then the usual time discussing how I survived my education, how and why I even attempted college, and why I write a blog now. I write as a hobby and why I do it is a question that keeps coming up in my blog and from friends and family. So to clarify  I though I would write another post on some of the things that I face when I came to the realization that I really did want to write as a hobby.

The photo above is a metaphor of how most Dyslexic/ Dysgraphics think and how we some times make connections that others do not. Universally most of us with this learning disability are intuitive and can get the over all meaning or concept of an idea quickly and may jump from idea to idea with out the need of fact-finding information or research to support an idea. Like this bridge my mind arches over a lot of numbers, details, research data to understand the over all idea being expressed. I don’t need the support of facts to understand the concept and the more data that is given to me the more confusing the idea becomes. Then to take it a step further, If some one is teaching me something new, and I understand the steps involved to take on the new skill, I will most likely just jump ahead and figure out the next step in the process on my own or may even find a new way to finish the process in a new way. So my mind is constantly linking  bridges over ideas. Touching on the topic and leaping forward to the next landing to get enough information to leap off again. The problem is that you must at some point be able to show how the bridges link. You must support the information or idea that you are using and learning. This is where the problems lie.

To explain and support ideas you have to write about them, prove them with scientific method or mathematics. All of which are troublesome for most of us with this learning disability. My personal problem is with letter and number recall and recognition. My brain translates the world in a symbolic way. Meaning that I read and translate my world more through a group of images and understand their meaning rather than individual letters and numbers. I would have been a perfect scribe in Egypt when hieroglyphics were the modern written language, as this is how I process information.  So I see letters and numbers as more of a shape than an individual character.  So letters and numbers that look similar get confused easily.

Letters of confustion

Letters of confusion

to this list I would add, W-M, M-N, W-V,  Then some of the numbers that are just as confusing are the numbers

5-6, 3-8 and sometimes 9-6. So let me explain this in another way.  If I were to show you a photo of a Yield Sign… like this

yeild sign

You would normal say that you know this shape and know its meaning even without the written words.” Stop” signs are the same way… but what if you turn them on their sides or turn them up side down? Dose that change the meaning of the Stop sign? Dose the caution needed when seeing this Yield sign change if it is on its side or upside down,… not  really. Even if we see an upside down Stop sign or a ” caution sign”  side ways we can finger out the meaning of the sign. This is not true when it comes to letters or numbers, the letter b does not  have the same meaning as the letter d although they appear as the same symbol just back words. So with the confused rules  of reading and writing words become a challenge to decode. Now string lots and lots of confusing letters and numbers into a paragraph. A simple sentence becomes a night mare. The English language fallows very few rules and the ones that they teach are usually broken, leaving us with learning disabilities  hanging. With mountains of words that make us confused, unable to sound out, with no pattern to fallow the Dyslexic/ Dysgraphic is left to tricks and basic rules of grammar to try to share in your world  . So as you could expect reading and writing becomes a monumental tasks of trying to decode the images into readable sentences. It takes forever for me to write on paper.I never even share my grocery list if possible because the spelling is so bad most people would never find what I was looking for. Just think how you spell spaghetti. Well I do not spell it like that! We here at home just laugh and go on with our shopping.

Some how I was fortunate enough to learn to read,the letters do not jumble when I see them just when I recall them from memory. I discovered in school that I could tell you about the story and I could draw pictures of what I had read but could not repeat what the author had done and write about the story they had created. It was exhausting to try to recall all the words and how to spell them and all the rules of writing. I spent my entire education in spectacle education classes until my second year in college. Then I discovered that typing my papers was so much easier than hand writing them. My brain discovered a different pathway with a keyboard and it was easier, not perfect but better. My body memory kicks in and I only think of a word and I type it almost correctly.

Isis drawing done during the worst of high school 1987

Isis drawing done during the worst of high school 1987

I have heard that a person must do an activity about 52 times to commit it to memory…. what if that never happens. What if you can never remember something no matter how many times you see, hear or act out something. That is the challenge, to continue to repeat things again and again well over 52 times to memorize them. The language decoder in my brain is faulty and non-repairable.  I work around the words and letters that give me the hardest time. Some times that means using a totally different word or trying, 4 different spellings of the same word. Thank God for spell check on the Word Press site this has given me a way to correct most of the misspellings and some of the grammar errors.

Most Dyslexic/Dysgraphics are also kinetic learners, meaning that they learn through physical movement rather than reading or through hearing. This leads to most of us being thought of as ADD/ADHD although I was never thought of as hyper until I was an adult. I am like some many others with this disability, happiest when on the move or working with my hands. I discovered Art young and used it to pacify my anger and frustration at school and the learning systems that did not work for me. So I excelled with art, reading and public speaking but still struggled with writing my own papers and speeches. It was later in college that I found that I actually liked writing.I love doing research on Art history and loved the idea of at some point sharing an artist statement with the world. I loved books and reading so I knew that I wanted find a way to share words in a more artistic way but just didn’t see how at the time. This was 1999 and blogging was not something I would have even known about.

15 years pass and I am still struggling to find jobs that don’t focus too much on writing skills. I have sold furniture, done interior decorating, worked in retail and now do merchandise audits from retail chains. I worked on our farm and others and love it, but something was missing. Sharing and creating something of my own was a major part of my daily life. I had spent 4 years in college to learn more ways to create and at home on the farm their was nothing but work. I could have made artist books, painted or worked on my drawings. But the truth is that I had a hard time dealing with the distractions I faced as a mom and farm worker.  The supplies for painting are expensive, and the thing I loved most was engraving and a press was about an hours drive away and taking a 4-year-old into a studio full of caustic chemicals, acids and inks was not a great idea.

engraving of big horn sheep during last years of collage 1998

engraving of big horn sheep during last years of college 1998

Then a friend started a blog and I began to read more and more blogs and it seemed to me that I could do just about anything with a blog floor mat. Their were poetry blogs, cooking blogs, political blogs and even cartoon and artist blogs. I thought that even though I can not spell, I can share what it is I love through all of the options bloggers have. I can take photos, I can write poetry, tell stories and cook and share them, so why wouldn’t I want to have one of my own. The spelling and technical aseptic are all secondary to creating. Creating a world of my own is why I fight to write.  I know it really makes no sense at all, that I would spend  hours every week doing the one thing that is hardest for me. I guess my only answer is that I love a good challenge.

I am in no way saying this is a competition with others. It is a competition with myself, with the inner demons who tries to put me down, saying that what I do is not good enough. This is who I fight, the same self loathing and judgments that any creative person fights. I challenge myself as some athletes challenge themselves, to work harder, reach farther and do your best.  This kind of challenge is good for the soul and I can’t wait to see where it takes me!

Categories: About me, Art, blogging, Drawing, dyslexia, education, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Happy Anniversary to me twice

Funny how a life time slowly unfolds. I would  have never guessed the my WordPress blog anniversary  and my wedding anniversary would fall on the same day. I never planned it to happen like this but it is a great way to remember the  things in my life that I enjoy the most.

This year Tom and are officially married 22 years but  I do tend to think of it as 23 years mainly because I was pregnant with our first child  most of that year. We were unable to get married  because Tom was off fighting in the Gulf War and only returned a few days before my oldest sons birth in April of 1991.  We finally made it official and chose to get married on Valentines Day of 1992. I could have picked any day and Tom would not have complained as long as we were all together. I chose this day because like this year it was a holiday that fell on a Friday and we could get married and have a long weekend and the court-house was open and Tom was able to get the day off work. Real romantic? Well, we were young and broke and had a baby to take care of so it was  great fun for us even if it was not fancy, huge and expensive. It was a perfect start to a wonderful life together and some how it  foreshadows our lives and how we would live them the next twenty years.

Tom and JoLynn Powers first wedding kiss 2-14 -1992

Tom and JoLynn Powers first wedding kiss 2-14 -1992

Over the years we have spent most of our time and money on outdoor adventures. We have traveled many miles to hunt, fish, camp, trail ride, and farm over 23 years. It has never been about who has the biggest house or nicest car it was always about learning and trying some thing  new. I am so glad that I have found someone who, like me, loves to focus on what the next mountain has to offer and what we can learn from it. Life is a Journey not a Destination.

The other thing that I am so happy about is being  a part of is the WordPress world. I actually started blogging a full year before I moved to Word Press. I found that the other web sites hard to manage and they did not have the space for large photos . I moved and never looked back . I have  met so many wonderful writers and bloggers, that now just like my marriage, I can’t imagine my life with out all of you as part of it. I continue to work on writing better blog posts and learn more about writing. I have a dream that one day I will fill a canning cook book with stories and memories and recipes the you all help me to compose. I would have never known that their were people out their who love and live the same quite, deliberate way that we do with out my blog.

Word press anniversary-1

Word press anniversary-1

So thank you WordPress, it has been a great 1st year and I hope to keep working towards my dreams and sharing them here. Who knows, in  about 20 more years Valentines day will fall on a Friday again and I will be a published author, a great Grandmother, a wife and a woman who is still trying some thing new!

Categories: About me, blogging, family memories, Marriage, Valintines | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Five Facts Friday, Random Things About Me

Five random facts friday,  is a creation of  a friend and fellow blogger Nancy Claeys who tries to get us  to post fun things about ourselves that others may not know.It helps all of us rural folks get to know each other better and share things we have in common when we are sometimes the only ones around for miles!

http://aruraljournal.blogspot.com/p/random-5-friday.html 

nancy claeys link photo

nancy claeys link photo

 

Markers Mark tasting room. Near Loretto, Ky

Markers Mark tasting room. Near Loretto, Ky

1.  Kentucky is one of my favorite places to travel to…. if I had to move, I would move to Kentucky…. They love the same things that I love so it feels like home any time we visit. They love Horses…. Southern Food… and Burbon… What’s not to like?

2. I have accomplished one of my New Years  resolutions from 2012… I wanted to recycle more.. and with the end of the year I did… lots and lots more. I wanted to do more than just my milk jugs so I really started digging into every plastic container we ever used and I had at least  4 , 13 gallon trash bags full of plastic every month… I never though we were so wasteful but the truth is out now!  

3.  I  love canning and making jelly and jams and butters. So this year I made well over 100 1/2 pints of the stuff and gave most of it away as gifts… thankfully my husband does not mind.

aplle cider jelly my best jelly so far

apple cider jelly my best jelly so far

4.  I am getting interested in making fermented foods from our garden so the next year will be full of wine, extracts, pickles, kraut and home-made vinegar. If you think about it I have to of the major bases covered… sweet, with jams and jellies and now tart with pickles and wine.

5. I have almost finish my first year of blogging and it has been the most fun hobby that I have added in years. So glad I tried to join into this vast pool of knowledge and friendship… Thanks Nancy it has been wonderful to share with you and your followers.

Thanks again for stopping by and if you can stop by the blog hop linked above.

Categories: blogging, recycling | Tags: , , , , , | 24 Comments

Letter Writing in the Electronic Age

Letter from Mary and Ron 2009  

Lets get this straight from the beginning, I am completely guilty of not sending out enough real cards and real letters. I still try very hard to make a physical holiday card/letter every year and have for well into 10 years now. I am not sure if the recipients of those letters love them as much as I do, but they are so fun to make that I do it for the sheer joy of creating them. I also send out cards, I make home-made ones, others are store-bought with the recipient in mind. I always write a nice note or add a funny photo or even confetti to the cards. I know  what you are thinking …Really who has time to think about a card the much? I do! I  want the people in my life to remember how wonderful they are to me and this is how I do it. I take the long road and write on paper or print it out and put it in the mail with a lovely stamp and doodle on the back and let the my joy spread slowly with anticipation about what is in side. I am telling you good letter writing is a lost art.

birthday card from my mother

birthday card from my mother

  I love e-mail don’t get me wrong. Inside the work place it is the very best way to communicate with co-worker and it is so much easier and cheaper to sending a thousand letters to people around the globe. I get that, but what I don’t get is why we would Facebook the words …. “Happy Birthday” to 46 different people in a year. It is fun the frist year… adding up the number of sentiments, comparing it to your friend who has 1100 friends and some how got 800 “Happy Birthdays” compared to your lousey twenty six.  But the following year you are disappointed with the fact that very few people take the time really say anything of value and you certainly don’t remember in a month who even typed the standard line on to your wall. If you are lucky some one might drop you a short note via E-mail about your plans for the weekend or the party you are planning but it is not the same.winter wishes holiday card

  I have a friend who I communicate with regularly in every way that is possible. We send letters, cards and talk on the phone we like home-made letters and we have both been known to save, for years, the letters and cards that we have sent each other. Do you do that with e-mail? How often have you gone back 10 years and looked over your best friends e-mails about their divorce, or pulled up a Happy Birthday e-mail from high school. It does not happen and no one stops and cries over a love note on Face Book.  Thank you card

I have and will again look over love letters and poems that I have received over the years. The torn corners of blue lined note-book paper, the napkin from a bar with a note and home-made cards all mean the world to me. I love them they take me back to a time, place and person who took the time to write them. Remember that you are making memories when you take the time to not just write your blog or that e-mail but write something on paper. You are physically touching another life when a letter arrives in the mail box. If that person on the other end of your gesture does not see the importance of your words and toss them in the trash, then forgive them and do it anyway. Any normal person will still smile and linger over your gift more than if it was electronic.chicken card

Yes, it is slow and more expensive for me to send out  holiday cards and letters. Many things are so much better when done slowly and when they cost a little more. Paper and ink are such a wonderful combination why not share them.

  As I am sure you can already tell I am in the process of sending out more than three dozen letters for the up coming Christmas holiday. It is tradition and it is fun for me to get responses from those that receive them about how they enjoy them and the photos I enclose. In my world I have friends who save and reread some of them and I keep copies for myself. I still cry at times over a holiday letter that  friends send out about their  very tough year where a family member dies or a relationship ends.

   I will not say that I am a skilled writer to anyone. I can barely use this blog most of the time due to my dyslexia. But I am good at getting to the heart of things and seeing things that others over look. So when I  write that letter, note or card, it is hard work. It is painful for me … I hate that I misspell and forget grammar rules but I put it out their.. I stick my neck out and take the time to share my love in a real way.  I made a difference to some one a thousand miles away  who is taking chemo today… did  you? All with a letter I sent.

Categories: dyslexia, holiday cards, letter writing | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

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