Category Archives: life

Life Unedited

It’s been much too long since I’ve played with the little kids over at Gypsy Mama. I say “little kids” because Lisa Jo, my hero and the hostess of Five Minute Friday, is young enough to be my daughter. Most of the bloggers who join up are too. Oh sure, some of us grannies play, but mostly it’s the young’uns.

I love the Five Minute Fridays. I love reading the posts of those who play, and I love the idea of writing for five minutes with no editing. The prose might be broken, mispellings, horrible punctuation, or just random sentences that don’t belong. I love it for so many reasons, but mostly because that’s life. Life is unedited.

We patch the holes of pain, put on makeup to hide our blemishes, comb and style our hair just right, and choose our dress carefully before going out. We attempt to hide the holes of our mistakes, the cracks of pain. Life is unedited, and unplanned. At least by us.

Now, my five minutes are up.  I’ll go back to Gypsy Mama, and play with the others (read some of their posts.) Come and join us. You can write or just read. It’s fun.

Learning about New Friends

Cruising around the internet it’s fun to meet new people. In the last couple of days I’ve met several thanks to the sewing/quilting challenges and a blog building challenge, also known as the ultimate blog challenge.

For the ultimate blog challenge we are attempting to post every day to our blog for the month of January. Every.single.day. Whew.

Since Mondays are about introducing you to others, quilters, authors, inspirational speakers, I figured why not start with me? Here they are, ten questions I borrowed from another blogger.

1.What was the Happiest Moment of your life –

When I realized my boyfriend, later to become my husband, loved me and I loved him.

David & Nita 1972 cropped

2.What is your earliest memory?

Going to my great grandmother’s house with my mother when I was three or four. The house had hard wood floors and I wore those patent leather with hard soles. I liked the sound of the shoes on the floor. Most of the adults tried to get me to walk quietly, but grandma, from her bed would call out, “Leave that baby alone.” Later I’d go in and climb up in the bed with her. She had cancer and the bones in one leg were practically gone. It had to have hurt when I climbed up on that bed and jostled her until I was settled. She never said anything, just smiled at me and then we’d talk.

Great grandparents

Great grandparents

3. Is there something about me that you’ve always wanted to know but have never asked?

Probably, but I don’t know what it is at the moment.

4. What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?

We aren’t promised a tomorrow and there isn’t always an answer. Some things have to be taken on faith.

5. Do you have any regrets?

I try not to. Every mistake or decision I’ve made helped make me who I am and I’m a pretty cool person.

6. When in life have you felt most alone? The morning my husband left. We’d been married 34 years and now God had called him home. All I had left were the memories and our fantastic kids.

7. How would you like to be remembered?

As a caring and loving person. There’s a saying about being the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning satan groans and says, “crud, she’s up.” I want to be remembered at that woman.

8. What does your future hold?

I have no idea. Fun. Adventure. Learning. Books. Quilts. The future is waiting to be discovered.

9. When did you first fall in love?

I thought I was in love when I was 17. In hindsight I was in love with the idea of being in love. When I met my husband I learned about real love.

10. Can you tell me about your first kiss?

Now why would anyone want to know about my first kiss? I was in high school; I really didn’t have much to do with boys until then.

There you have it, ten things you never you needed to know about me. Anything I left out? What about you? Want to answer that last question and tell about your first kiss?

Scrapping October

 “I have not failed 1,000 times.  I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.” Thomas Edison said while searching for  ONE way to make a light bulb.

I haven’t started, or restarted this blog 1000 times, at least I don’t think so. But, I am still struggling with what I want to say, and how often.

I join different groups only to drop out because  I’m not the right fit for them. Yet, here I am again. Joining yet another group and trying something different.

Starting tomorrow, Monday Oct. 1, I will link up with The Nester, and a myriad of other bloggers to spend 31 days writing posts about one subject. Each blogger will choose her (his?) own subject. Mine is scraps.

 Yes, scraps. I’m a quilter, I love scraps. The scraps that make up our lives, as well as fabric scraps. The posts won’t all be about scrap fabric, although I’m sure several quilt posts will find their way into the scrap bag. Below is a list of the scrap posts.


Day 1 – Scrapping with discarded books
Day 2 – Scraps of History
Day 3 –  Jars of Scrap                                                                                                                 Day 4 – Scrap Fabric Hexigons from Circles                                                                         Day 5  –   Half Dozen Ways to use Scraps                                                                              Day 6  –  Mug Rugs and Hugs from  Scraps  

Day 7-  From Trash Can to the Bed 

Day 8 –                                                                                                                                             Day 9 –                                                                                                                                            Day 10 –                                                                                                                                          Day 11-                                                                                                                                                Day 12 –                                                                                                                                          Day 13-                                                                                                                                                Day 14-                                                                                                                                           Day 15-                                                                                                                                          Day 16-                                                                                                                                            Day 17-                                                                                                                                            Day 18-                                                                                                                                           Day 19-                                                                                                                                               Day 20-                                                                                                                                          Day 21-                                                                                                                                           Day 22-                                                                                                                                         Day 23-                                                                                                                                                 Day 24-                                                             Day25-                                                                                                                                                        Day 26-                                                                                                                                              Day 27-                                                                                                                                        Day28-                                                                                                                                                  Day 29-                                                                                                                                                Day 30                                                                                                                                                  Day 31

It takes 21 days to create a habit. By the time October is over and I’ve blogged daily I hope I’ve found my niche and know how I want the blog to continue.

If not, November’s another month and I’ll try again.  Come along and join us, read the other blogs, or choose your own subject and blog with us.I hope you enjoy the Scraps of October. Be sure to check out The Nester, and some of the other bloggers.  I love comments, and try to answer them as well as check out the blogs of my commenters. so, let’s talk.🙂

A Quilted Goodbye

        Fifteen year old Ceaira (pronounced sierra) is on her way home and the people of Henryetta Oklahoma are working to fulfill her last wish. Ceaira grew up in Henryetta and that is home to her. Two years ago her step-father had to move the family out-of-state to follow his job. Unfortunately family finances were not going to stretch to include the ability to return Ceaira to her hometown for her final resting place. While Ceaira will not be there, but will have gone to her true home, she wanted her body resting near her friends.

Her friends in Henryetta have done several projects to raise money for her, including a benefit quilt show.  I tried to line-up the three pictures at the top of the blog. As you can see, WordPress and I don’t speak the same language.

The first picture is a collage of Ceaira that greeted attendees when they entered the show. The middle is the sign outside advertising the show, and the last picture is one of Ceaira looking happy and healthy.

The show included a silent auction, a concession stand,  as well, over 48 quilts or quilt tops for display, and this hand embroidered, hand quilted lap size quilt:

Each embroidered picture is an icon from route 66. Also on display were these quilts:

A quilt of strips, using up leftovers to make a quilt of comfort and love.

More scraps. This one was a group project. Members sewing the strips, and the assembler would tell them what colors she needed to make it all come together and look like it was planned.

No, the one inch squares were NOT strip pieced, or sewn on a machine. She cut her small scraps into 1 1/2 inch pieces and hand stitched them when she had a few minutes. Before long she had enough to surround the other blocks.

I just love the look of this quilt. Combining log cabin blocks with fan blocks makes a fun quilt.

A fun quilt made for a granddaughter who was in a black and white phase when the quilt was started. As you can see, she embraced color before the quilt was finished. Each block is used twice, the pieces are turned making them reverse blocks. The blocks are all squares or half-square triangles. Definitely going to try this one.🙂Love this quilt. It’s called the Underground Railroad. Before Saturday I thought the Underground Railroad referred to a sampler quilt made with specific blocks. However, the name on this one identified it as an Underground Railroad quilt. Further study, with a couple of other ladies, revealed that it could be a Jacob’s Ladder quilt if the pieces were turned different.

I’ll finish up with two Wedding Ring quilts. That pattern is one of my favorite, and the one I haven’t had the courage to try yet. I have some ideas, so I may try it soon.


Hope you enjoyed this abbreviated view of the quilts on display. The money raised at the show, and various other avenues in recent weeks, help the family fulfill their daughter’s last wish. In addition the hope is the family is comforted by the caring and love shown by the people who supported the effort. Ceaira and her family are in God’s hands, he just them feel our hands of love.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.  John 5:24

 

 

 

 

Three Tips for Improved Blogs

In a never-ending search for ways to be more active online I’m devoting March to my blog. Each Monday I’ll look at suggestions and ways improving our blogs to help strengthen my writing platform. After all, that’s supposed to be the idea, have a good solid platform and people will find the books. Uh-huh. We’ll see. Last month I worked on my Twitter account. This month it’s blogging.

The goals are to blog consistently, and increase my readership. I’ll let you know at the end of the month how well it worked.

Today, I have 3 suggestions for a good blog.

  1. Find an area and stick with it. Yeeeah, this is a case of do as I suggest and not as I do. I can’t seem to stay in one area with my blog.
  •  I’m a writer, so I blog about writing, but I don’t feel experienced enough to only  blog about writing.
  • I’m a quilter, remember. my book is a collection of quilt stories. Again, not an expert quilter, and don’t want to just blog about quilting.
  • Then there’s my faith, inspirational, uplifting comments and ideas I want to share.

However, experts on blogging suggest we bloggers find and stick with one market.  While I haven’t been able to follow that advice, I do follow bloggers in each of those categories that do stick to one subject.

Writing bloggers like Duolit , who have a blog  for independent published authors, but I find it helpful. When I want to learn about book marketing, I check out their blog.

Quilting bloggers like, Kim at Kim’s Crafty Apple,  I know when I go to her blog there will be information on quilting in some form. Sure I learn a little about her life, but mostly I learn about quilting.

Inspirational bloggers like, Karen Jordan at Telling the Stories that Matter the Most. I know if I’m hurting, or want to be uplifted Karen is sure to have a story that will help.

This is why ‘experts’ encourage us to find an area and stick with it when we blog. Although, that is good advice, I’ve never been known to do what was best. Maybe it’s the latent rebel in me.

I’m not alone, there are other bloggers who cover a variety of subject. Bloggers like Amy Shojai’s Blog, Bling, Bitches, & Blood. Or Hilary at The Smitten Image, then there’s Carol at Ruminations of a Red Dirt Hussy.

2.  Have a schedule. Even if your blog, like mine, zigzags all over the place, have a posting schedule. This will allow your readers to have an idea of when you will post what.I try to do that:

  • Monday is for writers, currently it’s marketing, but that could change.
  • Wednesday is God’s word, that’s still a work in progress. I started one way which didn’t work, so am looking for what will work for me.
  • Friday is Five Minute Friday, where I write for five minutes, no editing, no second guessing, and link up with others at The Gypsy Mama.
  • Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays are supposed to be for quilting, again, a work in progress.
  • Sundays are silent, I post pictures.

3.  Be consistent. Right. Another case of do as I suggest and not as I do. Once we have a schedule, we need to stick with it. Again, it makes it easier for our readers. Also, having a consistent time to post helps them. Some like to post in the late evening, others prefer posting in the early morning, or maybe the afternoon, depending on their real life schedule. So far, my posting time has been horribly erratic.

Now you know what I’m not doing, that I should be doing. How about you? Do you follow any of these rules, or do you break them? Why? Do you have other “rules” you follow that helps keep your blog active? Please share with us.

 

 

Twitter Tips

“Experts” tell us to use Twitter as another selling tool for our books. Except, we aren’t supposed to just promote our books. What? Sounds a little  backward, use it to sell, but don’t sell.

Twitter is like a party where we can network, but really, we are there to socialize. Some people are more social and have 1,000 or more followers, friends, social contacts. Others of us are less outgoing, and have far fewer. When this month started I had 325 after a month of ‘working’ Twitter I’m up to 445, the goal was 500 and, do the math, you’ll see, I’m still 55 people short. However, an increase of 110 people in less than 30 days sounds like success to me, plus I still have three days.

Why did I want more followers if I can’t ‘sell’ my book to them? Because, I can ‘sell’ myself to them, they’ll eventually buy the book because of my tweets, or they’ll tell someone else about my book. Also, more followers mean, more interesting people for me to meet.

I’ve met some quilters who are generous with their tips and talents, often sharing tutorials, many of which I’ve included on my blog. More followers, mean more information for me to use when blogging. The blog, of course, is another way of selling books. There are too many quilters to mention, but recently I learned about I Spy bags from Lorelei.

I’ve met writers who encourage, and entertain me. Writers I’d never meet except online. Writers like Mariam Kobras, German author of THE DISTANT SHORE.  Mariam is  author who wrote her first book while overseeing detention at the local school. Now, how could I NOT like her? I love sharing tweets with her, and she in turns introduces me to some of her friends.

Since my book, DEVOTED TO QUILTING, is essentially a devotional, following fellow christen writers seemed a no-brainer. I’ve met some great uplifting people that way. People like Lyn Smith, a minister, speaker, writer, and just plain fun person. Then there’s LisaJo at  who combines family, ministry, and writing. LisaJo’s Five Minute Friday is not only a good way for me to have a Friday post, but introduces me to some fabulous people each week.

So, how do I find these people? How have I increased my friends at the twitter social? I adopted the following strategy:

1. Reply to other tweets-If someone tweets something you find amusing, helpful, or just fun, comment. When I don’t know something, I tweet a question. Twitters are friendly people, they will usually respond, either as a reply or as a direct message.

2. Retweet other tweets. When someone posts a tweet I agree with, or enjoy I retweet it. It only takes a second, and you never know where it will lead.

A few days ago I retweeted a tweet about the future of obtaining a college degree for Agriculture jobs. I live in a rural area, and all of my children have, college education that led to jobs in agriculture. My husband and his brother both taught agriculture. It was a subject dear to me, so I shared it.

A few days later, that retweet, with my twitter feed was mentioned in the Agriculture Blog Daily. http://paper.li/AR_ranchhand/1327775386 His tweet which mentioned me, went out to 2888 followers. Will all of those 2888 people check out my tweets? No. Will any? Maybe. And it’s likely I’ll get new followers, which will eventually translate into more sales.

I didn’t know my little tweet would be spread so far. I didn’t do it for the exposure; I did it because I believed in the original tweet and wanted to share.

The tweets I retweet don’t always result in such exposure, but that doesn’t matter, that’s not the reason I do it. Sometimes I retweet for friends to help get them more exposure; others do the same for me. We help each other.

4. Post links to other blogs or websites you find interesting. I often have trouble thinking of something to tweet, I don’t want to be advertising my book all the time, and I don’t want to be too personal. That’s when sharing links to other blogs or websites comes in handy. Some of my writer friends aren’t on Twitter, or if they are I haven’t found them.  But I can tweet the link to their blog or website for them. This often gets them new readers and shows other twitter people some of my interests.

5.  Answer if someone replies or retweets you. It’s just polite to thank someone for retweeting one of your tweets. If possible, respond to their replies. It gets the conversation going, which helps them to know you and hopefully will sell more books.

Twitter is just one little road that leads others to you, and your books. Enjoy your twittering.

These are some of my Twitter tips. I’m still learning, I’m sure there will be another Twitter post in the future. Do you have others; is there something you do on Twitter that has helped you?

A Week in Photos

Sunday. It's still winter, so am keeping a few "winter" decorations out

Mon. Max the guard dog on duty.🙂

Tue. 1/10 Sign of the Gerty Store

Another view of the Gerty Store sign. She makes awesome fried pies!

This is what happens when you get in a hurry to finish the blocks. Thur. 1/12

At the OKC Winter Show 1/13

Wall hanging of mine and David's hands. 1/14