Posts Tagged With: writing

Irony is Not Lost on Me, As a Dyslexic Writer

Jolynn and Christopher

people who love us don’t see our disabilities just our ability to love. JoLynn with Christopher the youngest son

 

I am always grateful and surprised when I find that one of my blog posts is liked or posted on a Face Book page. It makes me feel like I am reaching all of you and writing in a way that others can relate to.The irony of this entire blogging adventure is that I have a learning disability commonly known as Dyslexia.That problem should prevent me from even attempting to be a blogger, let alone a published writer. My dyslexia is actually in the form of dysgraphia very similar to dyslexia but my problem effects….. writing words and spelling rather than reading them….  ironic don’t you think?

My mind finds it very  difficult to memorize or recall the correct order of letter and number sequences. Things just jumbled up in the brain and come out any possible way but the correct way.Making writing a slow process. It may seem strange that I would take up writing as my favorite hobby where I battle with my limitations so much. The irony is that I get a lot of attention and positive feed back from my writing.

This week I was informed that a blog post/story I have written had been republished on a regional Web Magazine. The MiBurg website usually shares stories that are from the Eastern panhandle of the state in the area of New Martinsburg but this time the theme of my  post was about the entire state and about the AmeriCorps that work in the those areas. The post “The Secret to West Virginia No-profits: Collaboration” was a post about my work and I never thought it would go farther than my blog, my work Face Book page and maybe a local Web Magazine Elkinite. If you are looking for the story on Elkinite or MiBurg look unders the tab IDEAS, thanks!

So as I  look on my situation, where the battle of words is a blessing and I curse, I wonder if others with disabilities feel the same way as I do. I often feel that it makes no sense at all  that  I am writing and getting followers to a blog. That my blog has led me to TV and published writing sites and even my job. I live with the irony every time I put a word on a page. That the one thing I have success at doing is the one thing that I am weakest at.

Jolynn holding television camera in my kitchen

JoLynn Powers holding television camera from the Barnwood builders crew Aug 2015

 

So in the wonderful words of Alanis Morissette: because Word Press is now charging me a fee to link You Tube Videos to my Blog posts…. Booooo !!!!

Isn’t It Ironic 

An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It’s a black fly in your Chardonnay
It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late
Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think

It’s like rain on your wedding day
It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid
It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take
Who would’ve thought, it figures

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids good-bye
He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought
“Well, isn’t this nice.”
And isn’t it ironic, l don’t you think

It’s like rain on your wedding day
It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid
It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take
Who would’ve thought, it figures

Well, life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

A traffic jam when you’re already late
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It’s meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn’t it ironic, don’t you think
A little too ironic, and yeah I really do think

It’s like rain on your wedding day
It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid
It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take
Who would’ve thought, it figures

Well, life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
And life has a funny way of helping you out
Helping you out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: About me, blogging, dyslexia, Elkinite, Elkins Main Street, hobbies, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Lives of Service, The Gulf War and Americorps

Thomas Powers In Germany in Recovery Tank

Thomas Powers In Germany in Recovery Tank

While today ( Jan 17th) is the 25th anniversary of the Bombing of Baghdad and the official start of what was the Gulf War. My family’s service to America comes to mind. My husband served in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves for ten years from the age of 17 to 27 serving in the Gulf War until its end in March 1991. His role during the war was as a Military Policeman dealing mostly with POW.The years before the war Tom spent a tour in Baumholder, Germany where he worked as a recovery specialist with the 363rd mechanized division. He was a volunteer enlisted person all of these yearsI also recently have become a volunteer for our country although not with any military function. I have been officially joined AmeriCorps. A domestic federal volunteer program that serves local at risk communities. Much like the military you sign up for contracted amount of time and work for lower than average wages to serve communities that face economic struggles. Some of the problems that AmeriCorps works toward fixing include natural disaster recovery with FEMA, working to help homeless and aging veterans, educational issues in low-income areas, medical and dental issues in rural areas, and economic revitalization of depressed communities. Just like the rest of my family,a father who was a marine and a brother who is a retiring colonel from the U.S. Army and an MP husband, it was my turn to serve the people who I love and the communities I want to see prosper.

I became drawn to AmeriCorps for the same reasons my husband joined the military. If you asked either of us if we would help out a friend or neighbor who needed a hand, making their lives better with the work we are doing, we would jump to help. The other benefits are also a nice incentive.  The army has the E.I. education bill and Veterans benefits and AmeriCorps offers similar benefits. I am actually using my time with AmeriCorps to pay off the final portion of my college loans. They also offer money for college tuition and medical insurance. They both also offer travel with living expenses to new places ( domestic travel only with AmeriCorps). Mostly they aim to help the people of this country in some way and that is something that repays you in things more valuable than money.

I came to this place in my life because the events of the last year. It became clear after helping my husband’s family with the care of his dying mother that I finally felt the draw to serve. I had never given so much of my time to another person in my life other than my own kids. It was eye-opening to see how the healthcare world works and how without a family member or close friend things get missed and care can be inconsistent at best. So I knew after her death, I wanted to work in a field that made a difference for people. So I starting looking into the different ways I could make a difference and that lead to AmeriCorps. Essentially their work here in my state, fit right into what it is that I am trying to do with this blog. To uplift and rise above the problems that we face as community and state.

I will be working with the economic redevelopment of a nearby rural community, under a program called Elkins Main Street. I am so excited to share my skills with a very small non-profit that wants to try to build up an old downtown area. I have no idea where this will lead me but I am sure to learn allot and meet some interesting new people. I am also again surprised that this blog is one of the reasons I received a service offer. That my writing and creating this site had a huge influence on the people in charge. I will be working with them on a new website on WordPress. I will be promoting the work that they do on Facebook and trying to help share the activities we all are working on with my photography.

This new adventure will change my blogging some, I will be writing more on the weekends and evenings. So my posts will almost always be at night. It will also add to the fun that I have, as I work on fairs,festivals, work with historic buildings in Elkins West Virginia. It is a new adventure for me I aim to continue this blog to share what I am learning.

I find it a little ironic that it was this weekend that I joined AmeriCorps, as this is the same week that my husband 25 years ago faced the fact that a ground war was only days away. I guess everything happens in due time and it is just my time to serve. I think my husband is happy with my choice and he understands what it is like to serve. I am so excited about this opportunity and look forward to serving the people of West Virginia. Hopefully you all will be along with me as I see new things and help new people. Thanks to AmeriCorps I get to start a new direction in my life and make a little money along the way.

New River Gorge Bridge with fall folage 2000 by jolynn powers

New River Gorge Bridge with fall foliage 2000 by Jolynn Powers.

Categories: About me, AmeriCorps, Army, community service, Country life, Fairs and Festivals, Friendship, historic locations, West Virginia | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Believe Me, I am not a Journalist!

I had the great fortune in the last 12 months to work with the crew of Silent Crow  Arts Production Company. These are the people who work very hard to make the television shows The Barnwood Builders and many others like the Deadliest Catch. After working with the cast and crew last summer I have been able to reflect on what it is  that I hope to accomplish with this blog. After talking with two of the producers and one photographer last summer (2015) I had a revelation that I would have never come to with out their input…… “I am not a Journalist ! This will never be a Journalistic Blog!

During my college career I wanted more than anything to become a female western artist. I wanted  trained in the highest forms of drawing and painting and to travel the western states of the United States exploring the culture and drama of life. Yet, when I started doing more research about these woman and their histories I found that many had less formal training then I had. That many just created from the heart and found their happiness in just being able to share with their communities. Some of these female artisans shared traditions handed down from generation to generation and others created from spiritual believes. Many traveled to the west and became inspired by the natural beauty of the area. They all  felt that they needed to share what they were seeing in their own way. I knew that I wanted to share my world views also,  I just did not know how it would come to pass.

It took me 13 years to change from painter to writer of stories about Appalachia. The Eastern mountains are the most undiscovered, unappreciated  area of our great country. So I changed my medium from working with pencils and paint to words. I am learning to paint pictures with words and share stories with my photos. I feel as if I must tell the stories I find about these woods, these towns, and in these people.

Before working with Silent Crow Arts, I had thought that I needed to learn more about journalism. That it is was important to get the facts and report the statistics of those facts clearly. Well that idea was TANKED after a short but meaningful conversation with Katie Rolnick on the site the Barnwood Builders episode.  She kindly explained that she had come to television production from a back ground in journalism and that it helped  her some but, it was not the only way to tell a story. Then she went on to remind me that I was a story-teller  already  and that was how I became part of the show. My mind became shocked and confused at the time.It took the last 6 months for me to process what she  meant. Yea, I am slow sometimes…. aren’t we all?

Katie Rolnick Producer of the BarnWood Builders on the DIY Network with Miss Lee

Katie Rolnick Producer of the BarnWood Builders on the DIY Network with Miss Lee

Recently, I finally excepted her description of my hobby as a story-teller (Narrative Writer) only after understanding what that means and the difference between being a story-teller and being a journalist. The differences are huge and I found that journalism leaves the heart and soul out of a story. The soul of my stories would be missing if I only wrote the facts of an event or experience. If I had to cut out the family that I love to write about, the pain and sadness that I experience, our silly adventures we go on, then this blog would not be mine at all. It would be a travel guide to West Virginia. I hope with your support to continue to write about it all… the good,..the bad,.. and the ugly.

So my blogging goal ( resolution if you fallow that way of thinking) is to keep writing about what I love. I want to keep you in the loop of the great things I find here, things that keep me inspired and happy. I want to write about our struggles too, the things that I want to see change and what I think we can do to change them. I want to share my family…. even if they are as goofy as I am. I want to show you photos of the beauty that I see all around me and finally I want to paint pictures with my words. I plan to work harder on editing, and learn more about creative writing so that I can convey things more clearly… ..Sometimes I just do not have the time to do the editing I need to do and that will change as Christopher grows older.

It took almost a year for me to fully understand how and why I am part of a TV show. It has taken at least that long to for me to understand that I am not a journalist but a story-teller and to become comfortable with that title. So here is to all the new stories I hope to tell in the New Year…. May they all be good ones!

German beer glass Circa 1987 Happy Beer New Year 2016

German beer glass Circa 1987  Kirn, West Germany ,         Happy Beer New Year 2016

Categories: About me, Barnwood Builders, blogging, Country life, writing | Tags: , , , , , | 18 Comments

A Blogging Junky and the Blogger Monster on My Back.

How many of us bloggers write more than one blog? How many write poetry and flash fiction on top of the blogs that we all generally write each week? How many have several topical blogs or work blogs? I am guessing hundreds if not thousands of us do. It must seem crazy to the outside non-blogging world that any of us would write more than we have to. I am thinking that this writing thing is a habit or an addiction… something like junkies feel.

It all starts out with your friends doing it. They share their stories and some tips on how to take that journal of thoughts or notebook of ideas and turn them into some thing much cooler, a…. blog.

Yea, you get to be one of the cool kids. 

You get to try writing on a real blog, where people you have never known before will read and write back to you. You get that first high. The one that comes from writing that first page and first post. Wow you get to hit the  publish button and you are now a writer. Not the hide under the bed kind of writer anymore,but a writer that is now on the World Wide Web, out their in the universe for everyone to see.

The first LIKE changes everything, just like a first high would.

Someone out their LIKES me and wants to share some good stuff with me. I am liked, I touched some one,I am part of group, I am not alone, that is how they hook you. You can’t believe that some one out their understands you… so you write more and more. At some point  you gain a follower or two. Two people who read your nut ball stories and rambling thoughts regularly and may even drop you a note about how wonderful your writing is and how true your statements are. You are in deep now, you schedule posts, maybe research topics and take colorful photos to gain more followers and get more LIKES.

It is official it’s a habit,you have a Blogger Monster on your back.

You think about writing when you aren’t doing it. You talk to people about it when you are doing other activities and wonder how you will fill you time if the power goes out and you can’t get to the computer that day. You spend time sending notes to other bloggers that your personal friends and family know nothing about…. Sending smiley faces and recipes back and forth at all hours of the night and day.

It is a full-blown addiction.

So what do you do? Stop writing? Could you if you wanted to? Do you want to ? I am guessing like myself that in many cases the answer is NO!  I enjoy it too much and it fills a large gap in my creative life. It gives too much back for me to stop. So I am wondering if I am a WordPress Junky, If one blog is just not enough. Maybe I just have more to say deep down inside, about even more important things or more edgy things that I may need to share with a whole different group of people.Maybe I just need to write more than one or two posts a week … my  posts now are  just not enough.

I see where this maybe going… it maybe true…. I think I have a Blogger Monster.

I think it is time to spread myself out a little farther, to try to write something different. I want to experiment with more styles and topics. I want to try poetry and fiction and short stories. I hear that is where the really cool kids hang out. You know who I am talking about, where they create just for the fun of creating. Heck, those kids don’t even really try to teach you anything they just let the words just sore.

I am not even sure there is a treatment or a cure for what is happening. I am guessing the one thing that will help is to write more. I will add another blog to my writing life. Not sure what it is all about yet but it will be a fiction site where I can work out short stories and poetry with the hopes of one day making my love of books and words come together some how. That somewhere out there are others who love West Virginia, its people,and places and want to hear some more of her stories. Maybe then when I get to spend more time with this monster  so I can sooth it and make it lie down for a long rest. Until then I guess I will just try to keep posting here every week and working on getting some thing up and running where I can write fuller deeper stories.I hope to bring you all along when I am ready, That is if you want to go down this path with me. I will let you know where and when this addiction has landed me as soon as I settle down. In the mean time this mountain mama will  post every week and be getting ready for the fall and winter seasons. Time flies and I have so much to still do.  Jolynn

New light sconce light fixture and some of the base board and ceiling molding

Christopher work at my desk in the new family room

Categories: blogging, Change, history, nostalgic, writing | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

Emotionally Drained and Ready for Change

The Month of November has really hit my family hard. It has brought us through a whirl wind of emotions and challenges and changes. The days have blown by with funeral activities and children’s parties. With our time spent comforting grieving family and friends,followed by happy school children in costumes, and a sick body fighting a cold. I spent my 47 birthday watching the episode of Barnwood builders that I helped to create holding my breath. Trying not to cry at the wrinkles and lines on my face and the heavy body that I still have not dealt with after my foot surgery. I have felt the deepest most satisfying happiness and the most painful sadness, all in a matter of days…and I am tired.

Christopher and Paige Halloween 2015

Christopher and Paige Halloween 2015

Most of you already know that over  a year ago I quit my outside job and went home to take care of Grandma Powers around July of last year. I then followed that with a foot surgery to remove a bone that would not heal after 13 months in a cast. We then moved over Christmas and started a remodel project in the end of April and spent days filming with the Barnwood builders. Then we also got the news that Grandma’s cancer was back and things looked bleak for the future. We finished our remodel and the filming of our show in Aug of this year and watched as grandma’s health began to fail, knowing that we would only have a few months with her. Then as Nov came and went we lost Grandma… I was supposed to celebrate Halloween ( my favorite holiday) With little Christopher at his school with a party and Saturday night take him trick or treating…I just could not do it. With a cold and broken heart I just wanted the comfort of my home and time with Tom. We  handed out candy and enjoyed the beautiful night air on the porch. My faithful son Cody took his little brother out for Halloween tricks and treats and made memories of their own. Then my birthday and the show airing. I was so thankful to have family and friends celebrate with me. Yet… I worried, so nervous, that somehow I would look like a fool on national TV. I would some how not be “Me”. In the end it was good. It was more “Me” then I care to admit, I look my age and I love these mountains and it shows right there on national TV. So I laughed along with the boys at the end of the night. I really might be just a Hillbilly at heart.

Barn with crew, shed and outside wall removed

Barn with crew, shed and outside wall removed

I know I have had more adventures in the last two years then some have in a life time. I have felt more in those two years then I ever thought was possible. I have laughed,cried, felt peace and the hand of God working in my life. I have hugged my children harder and been blessed more than my imagination would let me believe.I have sacrificed my time and money to be a caregiver and a mother. I have worked for no one, but for everyone, and not received a penny and it was all worth it in the end.

Grandma Wanda Powers Mowery, Paige and Christopher Powers, Dec 12 2014

Grandma Wanda Powers Mowery, Paige and Christopher Powers, Dec 12 2014

Some people think riches come in the form of a paycheck or money stored, but it doesn’t. Riches are experiences… and memories…… and dreams shared. They are the only thing that is left in the end. Money can not be taken to the other side… only love can. I have spent the last few years of my life making memories that I will never forget and shared love that I can never get back. I have forgotten about the “Me” and focused on the “We” and have reaped what I have sown in heaping amounts. These years have not hardened, but softened me, softened my heart towards God, my Family and My Friends and even my body. It has been a wonderful time of learning and growing as a person, a woman and mother. 

I am tired now, I will rest a few days, maybe a month, the days will slowly be filled again with work and school and children. I will let life lead me for now, to a new career, to new schooling, or who knows where, but I am ready for a change. That will start me on a new adventure with new memories and more love.

people who love us dont see our disablities just our ablity to love

people who love us don’t see our disabilities just our ability to love

Categories: About me, Barnwood Builders, Death, family memories, Friendship, Halloween, Holidays, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

The Versatile Blogger: Sharing the blogs I love

I have some of the best blogger friends, they never stop sharing their support for my little piece of cyber-space. Doug over at Carnivore Confidential  a professional Butcher with a witty blog has been so kind to share the Versatile Blogger award with me. We share a passion for all things wild from hunting wild game to spending free time cooking and foraging  in the mountains and streams of our prospective Countries of Canada and the U.S. So I have found a few minutes to try to pass along the love and send this award to those I really enjoy reading and  sharing time with, hope you like them too!

versatile-award

The rules for the Award are pretty simple….

1st .Thank the person or blog that nominated you…….. Thanks to Carnivore Confidential for thinking of me and my blog about living life slowly and fully every day.

2nd. List 7 things that you may not know about me. This is always hard for me, I forget what it is that I have shared here and what I haven’t. So forgive me if I am repeating things.

1. I raised in a restaurant family… my mother owned a small cafe on the Campus of the University of Colorado (Boulder, Co. USA) where I got to hang out in the summer. This is where I found my love for food and cooking.

2. I lost my father at the young age of 5 to heart problems.

3. I read almost everyday and never go anywhere without a novel tucked into my purse.

quietly reading a book

quietly reading a book

4. I have tattoos.. from years ago when I was young and wild and will add to them when I am old and wild.

5. My favorite ice cream is Butter Pecan. Really who does not love some kind of ice cream.

6. I started writing this blog while staying home taking care of a 77-year-old cancer Patient and a preschooler..you and this blog were my saving grace.

7. One of my first jobs over the summers while still in high school was working in a Butcher shop… yea I was a wrapper and set up girl for a three cutter shop that made its own sausage and brats. Now you see the connection to Doug and his meat tips blog.

3rd. share blogs that you think deserve this award. In my case I shared 10 and just want to say I have more that I love to read but these are ones that I think others should check out.

I read a lot of blogs and I love all of them and I even know some of the larger blogs do not accept awards. So I will not asks any bloggers to pass along the award but want to give a high 5 to a few that I have been really touched by. I want them to know I think a lot of what they do and what they write about. My blog reading covers a wide array subjects and life styles so hopefully you can find some thing that interests you. If any of these bloggers have time it would be great if you can share this award with others so we can read new blogs and make new friends. Just fallow the rules and send it on!

1. Dolly’s blog at Strange Remains is a forensic blog about strange and unusual crimes, tall tales, folk-lore and terrifying true events from our history and our world.

http://strangeremains.com/

2. Jennelle’s  blog’s is a wonderful foodie project from another West Virginia blogger.. eat well and explore more of West Virginia my friends at Delicious Portager.

http://www.deliciouspotager.com/

3. Holly’s blog is a photographers view of the world down under… Holly travels Australia taking photos of the magic she see in her world. Take a trip with Red Terrain.

https://redterrain.wordpress.com/

4. Dan’s blog is the same style as mine and you just never know what the topic you will read about from post to post. He shares photos, memories, life tips, and other funny and insightful stories. Check it at out at No Facilities.

http://nofacilities.com/about/

5. Shawn and his wonderful wife are writing about being new to homesteading in Appalachia at Hillbilly’s in Training. So much fun for me to see them battle some of the same battles I fight everyday.

http://hillbilliesintraining.org/about/

6. Willow Creek Farm’s blog is my way of staying in touch with my roots an alpine farm in the mountains of Colorado.

https://willowcreekfarm.wordpress.com/

7. Eddie Two Hawks does not accept awards… but I just cant help but say that if he posted every single day I would try to read his wise, insightful, spiritual, beautiful, posts. They are the quite in an other wise noisy storm.

https://eddietwohawks.wordpress.com/about/

8. Matilda at Simply Grateful House Wife is my kindred spirit in the blogging world. We raise gardens, kids and husbands, with a kind heart and a grateful spirit.

https://simplygratefulhousewife.wordpress.com/about/

9. Want to learn more about gardening and DIY projects then take some advice from Pobet at Town and Country Gardening.

https://survivalfarm.wordpress.com/

10.Debbie and her family of 5 little ones and a hard-working Dad just makes my day every time I read her witty insightful blog… remember Put Your Booger in My Pocket I laugh through every post!

http://putyourboogerinmypocket.com/about/

So there are some of my weekly blogs that I will continue to fallow for as long as they will have me!  Thanks Doug it has been a while since I was able to take part in an award and help support some of the other bloggers.

Categories: awards, blogging, writing | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

A Gun Owning Woman and my Freedom of Speech.

I am a gun owner and if that is a problem then you do not need to read the rest of this.

I am a sports woman who loves to head to the range with my family, loves to hunt wild game and is a supporter of my local college riffle team. I married a man who reloads his own ammunition and has a back ground in both law enforcement and the military. Guns are a part of who we are and what we do for fun. The point is that soon I and thousands of other Bloggers, Writers, Website designers, may lose the right of ” Freedom of Speech”. If what I read today  is true,( the Washington Examiner shared this article) my blog post about my husbands reloading bench,our hunting trip, the information I could share on how being a better marksman or any conversation about guns I have with you my readers could be censured.

Cody Powers at the range having family time

Cody Powers at the range having family time

I am also worried as a sports person,that I could not write about the specifics about the gun related things we do. In the future I could be fined or sent to jail….. (send me please) for just doing what I love. The penalty for sharing gun and ammunition information over the internet is a fine up to 1 million dollars and 20 years in jail. I worry that when I have a moving post on a topic that is legal and informative, I will be unable to share it, unless the government has a look at it first. Hummm, are any of you  feeling  like we have moved to a police state here, the results for the general population will be terrible.

I am fully aware that our country is divided on the gun subject. It is a hard  subject to debate for those who do not own a weapon of any kind. At first this regulation might appear that the government is only taking the larger public’s safety into account ( I have my reservations about that). But I argue that a lack of information is more dangerous than anything a Gunsmith or Ammunition company can share on the internet. If we as a population can not share ideas, we allow a few to control our future, a future that will always be controlled by people who know weapons.

Jolynn Powers turkey hunting spring 2015

Jolynn Powers turkey hunting spring 2015

I want you and I to have the right to send out information about hunting, gunsmithing, reloading, crime and safety. I want these topics debated openly. I have the right to share what we are doing as much as you have the right to NOT READ IT. I want to share what my WVU riffle team is doing and what their Olympic competitor coach is teaching. I want to share the pages from an antique survival  manual that shows how to safely use a .22 riffle. I want to tell you about my friend, whose husband got killed, during Turkey Season shooting accident and how it avoid it. If what the above artificial states is true, then my friends you and I will not have the freedom to talk about school shootings or about how to safely clean a pistol.

The idea of protecting the innocent from information that could be used in terrorism is a failed argument. If we are only going to control the information on the internet what is the point… Books have long taught the skills to kill, hunt, reload and build weapons of many kinds. Long before the internet my nephew blew his hand off with a pipe bomb at 14. Where did he learn about the idea ….. movies. If he had been lucky enough to have better supervision  in his life he would have never attempted to build what he looked up for free in a book from the library. At 14 he could have used that weapon to kill many and never once looked on the internet for the information.

Tom Powers teaching Christopher Powers about gun safty

Tom Powers teaching Christopher Powers about gun safety

If this is  what the government thinks may stop terrorism, I am very worried about our leaders. Is the public so ignorant to believe that terrorists from middle eastern countries find all of their information on legal American fire arm company websites or blog posts from people like me or even ammunition manufacture Face Book pages. I bet not… but maybe this is the way the government plans to stop the bloggers from writing about the facts about gun ownership, repair and uses, punish the whole because of the few radical writers.

Again it is a sad state that I am even worried about this topic. I love my way of life, I love sharing it, but when my husband decides that he wants to update an antique riffle for my son to use for hunting, I want the right to tell you about it. If the government is so worried about the information that we openly share and are planing to stop the education of its citizens, we are on a very slippery slope, my friends. If I have to ask my government permission to give you information that one day may save your life or a life of your neighbors, I think we are going to wish some one had stopped the government from stepping on the “Freedom of Speech” and if we are lucky our “Freedom to Bear Arms” too.

Thomas Bennton Powers my sons Great Grand father with monster buck

Thomas Benton Powers my sons Great Grand father with monster buck

Categories: blogging, deer hunting, Freedom of speech, hobbies, reloading, rifle and shoot guns, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 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

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