Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I'm very happy to present my third VGB (Volunteer Guest Blogger), Linda Schmidt. 

I met Linda three years ago at an amazing writer/spiritual retreat in Des Moines, Iowa. If you're interested in knowing more about it, there are two or three short blog posts about it. Just click on the Des Moines and Iowa labels below. 

One is particularly funny because I wrote it in May 2010, I'd just reached my 50th Follower and I was so excited! I guess so. I'd been blogging since the end of 2008!

That particular blog post also mentions Linda Schmidt and her beautiful poetry. I asked Linda to be one of my VGBs and she agreed, sending the following poem and pictures. Linda doesn't have a blog, but she will be stopping by to read comments. 


Everything I need to know,

I learned from the dogs in my life.

From Sookie, I learned unconditional love and loyalty.

No matter whether I was away for a few minutes or hours or days,

Sookie always welcomed me with extravagant greeting.

The runt of the litter, he developed thyroid problems and lost

large patches of hair, yet his spirit was beyond compare.

When Sookie got skunked, instead of keeping my distance,

I learned that he, too, was miserable and needed to be loved,

not less, but more.

Even though I knew Sookie's death from Cushing's disease would occur,

I was consumed with grief, but learned, somehow,

a day at a time, that life does go on.

Teddy B. Jackson
From Teddy B. Jackson, I learned the importance

of seeing situations from someone else's point of view.

An Australian shepherd with an intense herding instinct,

Teddy B. lived much of his life on probation

after corralling or biting too many persons who entered his territory.

Others would have put him to sleep or locked him away,

but I strove to understand him and develop a better way

of dealing with what humans judged as "criminal" deeds.

From Maizy Gracie, I've learned patience, social skills and adaptability.

She waited over a year in rescue before joining me

a week after Teddy B.'s death.

Now, Gracie waits quietly at the gate when she's ready to come in,

and stops without complaint along the trail

while I linger to photograph wildflowers and birds.

She's outgoing, always making new friends,

and able to cut through friction to resolve disagreements amicably.

Though not the official therapy dog I at first thought she might be,

Gracie has developed an online fan club and ministers daily

to special people in ways far beyond my limited imagination.

When we visited Niagara Falls, a group of school girls from India

crowded around Gracie with their cell phones, excitedly snapping photos

with her instead of the rushing waters of the falls!

Indeed, in these and many more ways, the companion canines in my life

have taught me how to be a far better human being.
 --Linda Schmidt, 2012

** Addendum: 11:45 am.....Linda sent me a new photo of Gracie from this morning and I just love it. I asked if I could add it to this post and she said "Sure!"  Below is Linda's caption:

Notice Gracie's eye roll in this pic I took this am...

she's saying "I've had enough of this stuff!"  

Thank you, Linda! And readers, please feel free to leave a message because she'll be checking in from time to time, to answer questions and/or comments.

* Welcome to my newest follower M.L. SwiftI hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! * 

"My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am." -- Unknown

Friday, February 22, 2013


It's time for another
I Wonder:

created by Rose Petals from Heaven

I wonder why all the other big winter storms have been given names, except for our Midwest storm. Did you see what our storm was called? We were given The Letter Q. Huh? Yes, not even an entire name; just the letter "Q"......Weird!

I took this photo when we were getting huge flakes and they were coming down so fast. It was beautiful, but I obviously don't have the right camera for it! Although "Q" lasted for HOURS, it varied between huge flakes, tiny flakes, sleet, and a little freezing rain.

Poor Vern! Wouldn't you hate to go outside in the cold and snow to use your bathroom facility? This was when it first started.

This is part of our front yard, taken at 4:00 pm today. The sun finally came out for a while, although it's still cold. I just love the long shadows showing on the snow. 

Here's another looking out our front door and up the street. Although the official snowfall for our town is 6", I think we had 4"-5". Because of the sleet and freezing rain, the top really glistens and sparkles, and holds weight for a while before feet crunch & sink in!

I wonder about all the different types of precipitation. It's one of those subjects I can just get lost in, thinking about this majestic world we live in. What about you? Do you ever "I Wonder"?

"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather." -- John Ruskin

Thursday, February 21, 2013


I'm happy to present my Second VGB (Volunteer Guest Blogger), Kathy Matthews. Kathy is a multi-talented gal from Oregon. She dabbles in writing, plus when you visit her blog, you may see old photos from her family in a Sepia Saturday blog meme, you may cast your eyes on some of her wonderful vintage finds, you may read a book review or two or three, or marvel at her gorgeous photos of the Oregon lakes, mountains, and Pacific Coast!  I've told her a few times that she really should frame and sell some of them...they are that good! 

Yes, Kathy has a fun and interesting blog and she shares my optimist view about life. 

So, bloggers & friends....please e-mail me if you have something you'd like to share as one of my VGBs, too. I have no time limit set for this, so there's plenty of room. 

Card making: Resourcing Old Calendars Into Cards

Thank you, Becky, for letting me be a guest on your blog! 

Some time ago, I got the idea to make cards from an old Mary Engelbreit Desk Planner that I had saved for years. Because these cards are made from somebody else's artwork, I didn't feel like it would be very ethical to sell them.  In the beginning, I was going to give the blank cards away and I didn't want to spend a lot of money on them.  After I was finished with them though, I decided to send them out to my friends and family instead. 

These cards are easy, fun, and allow for a lot of creativity.  Kids would enjoy this project also.  I came up with an idea to make a card that has more writing space for those of us who like to write a lot.  What I did was put the greeting card part on top, so when you open up the rest of the card you have a front and back of white writing space.  

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

The white part above opens up to an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet for letter writing.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

This is how I made them.  I had already cut out pictures from the M.E. Desk Calendar.  I have a pair of pinking shears that are too dull for fabric and I like to use them for cutting the boarders.  I used two premade inexpensive blank cards from the variety store for each card.  The brown one above was a 3"x 5" and the white one was a 5" x 7".  I assembled the cards as I was watching TV, and then went to my kitchen island to spray on the sticky adhesive.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

I have a favorite box that I use, so that the spray doesn't get all over the place. This tacky spray works just great for my purposes.  But you had better be sure when that you lay something down, that is right where you want it.  No re-dos with this stuff.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

I have a stack of old newspaper pamphlets that I use inside the box.  I lay down a new sheet each time that I need to spray the sticky spray on the back of a photo, drawing or piece of paper.  Make sure to coat the backs of the illustrations evenly with the spray, and then place them were you want on your premade cards and smooth them down with your fist.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

I ended up making 19 cards from the calendar that day. Here are a few of them:

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

These were not all done yet, I decorated them later, by using paint pens to make the dots on the sides.  

The cards below I made using the same technique, but with my own photos.  They are not quite done yet either, but I wanted to include them in this post. I made a total of 30 cards that day.  

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

Here are some cards that I made from my pictures at another time. These are not layered, and are made from pre- manufactured cards featuring my own pictures:

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

So, there you go.  Cut, paste and color, that is all there is to it.  

I hope that you all have a wonderful day, and thank you, Becky, for allowing me to showcase my little cards on your blog today.  

Kathy M.

Well, Thank YOU, Kathy for agreeing to be one of my guests!

Oh, and readers, I can vouch for Kathy's cards. I've received a couple from her and they are just beautiful.....and oh.....*hint*...I just LOVE the card with the old radio on the front! 

Please stop and leave a comment for Kathy. You can also e-mail her directly at:  

"If you go looking for a friend, you're going to find they're very scarce. (But) if you go out to be a friend, you'll find them everywhere." -- Zig Ziglar

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Guess Who's a Guest Blogger?

ME! Before I thought of asking for VGBs for my blog, I was asked by Linda Joyce to be a guest blogger at hersThankfully, Linda is a very kind and patient person, because it took me forever to decide what to write about and keep it within the word limit. But finally last night, I e-mailed my post to her and it will be ready to read tomorrow, Wednesday the 20th at 8:00am CST. So please stop by and leave a comment to let Linda know you were there! Thanks, everyone.

* Note: I've been told that my post is not yet on Linda Joyce's blog. I'm sorry for any inconvenience. I've e-mailed her to ask about it. Thank you, Kathy! It's now 10:00 am CST. I'll add another update when I know more. 

* Okay, there was a minor glitch, but you can now read my guest post on Linda Joyce's blog. Thanks! 10:20 am CST

And speaking of next guest blogger will be Kathy Matthews from Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy. Her post will be here on Thursday, the 21st. I haven't come up with any kind of schedule for my VGBs, so there's no deadlines, etc., if anyone else is interested. I'll just keep using them every few days.

I leave you with 
"Stuff That's Been Keeping Me Busy"

Finishing and submitting my essay to Tiny Lights that was due 2/15.

Sending my memoir online to my local FedEx, to have it printed on both sides of paper, in its new and correct collation. I just picked it up two hours ago, but haven't had a chance to sit down and READ it yet! 

Gathering information about different contests and calls for submissions I've come across, so I'll have them in order and possibly remember to submit something in time. 

And a bunch of other stuff I don't have the energy to type. Geeez!

"The trick to getting things done is to list things to do in doable order." -- Robert Brault

Monday, February 18, 2013

* One Year Ago Today *

I find it hard to believe that it was one year ago when I wrote the following poem and posted it on my blog, February 18, 2012. At the time, it was Untitled, but later I named it "Daddy's Girl."

I'd been seeing prop planes everywhere I went, whether walking or driving, and that particular afternoon the words just came to me. I sat at my laptop and this is what I wrote:

Daddy's Girl

I strolled along the pavement,
the sound of quiet surrounding me
like a quilt. The stillness was deafening
until I heard the engine of a prop plane 
flying overhead. Pausing and shading my eyes,
I squint and watch it putter across
the powder blue sky.
Memories flood my soul,
immediately tugging my mouth
into a wide grin.

The next day I walk the 
same path. A distant cardinal chirps,
most likely believing it's already spring.
Why shouldn't he?
These past few days have been nothing
but glorious.
Just the calendar page declares
it's only early February.
I turn, searching for his brilliant crimson color
among the vast bare branches
but my eyes cannot find him.

I notice the sky is full of vapor trails.
Those wispy, cloud-like streaks also 
carry memories for the child within me. 
I think back. All those years ago.
The newness of jet airplanes and the
thundering explosions of sonic booms.
My dad explaining the magic & mystery.
I close my eyes, and for a moment
I'm standing motionless in my front yard again.
Staring up, marveling at the sight above,
taking it all in and thinking as profoundly as
a five-year-old possibly can.

Blinking, I hesitate for a moment, then
become aware of my present surroundings.
I begin my walk back home.
Tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow 
I'll return to the same path,
thinking back and I'll
reminisce once more.
Sentimental journeys.
Always bittersweet.

©2012 Becky Povich

Although I'm amazed that I wrote poetry, what's even more amazing is that it was a breakthrough day. From then on, I began to write more often, felt more confident, and had very little writer's block. 

If you're not familiar with my love of prop planes, the following post will help.

* Welcome to my newest follower Pat. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! * 

"I don't believe that life is supposed to make you feel good, or make you feel miserable either. Life is just supposed to make you feel." -- Gloria Naylor

Friday, February 15, 2013

* First VGB: From Claudia Mundell

I'm happy to present my first VGB (Volunteer Guest Blogger), Claudia Mundell of Claudia's Page. Although the lovely and talented Claudia mentions me in her post, it was not a requirement! So, come on bloggers & friends....please e-mail me if you have something you'd like to share as one of my VGBs, and we'll go from there. I only have about five so far, so there's plenty of room. 

I forgot to ask Claudia for her bio and when I went to her blog, I couldn't find a profile page, either. Please check out her blog because she's a wonderful person and writes beautifully. Be sure and scroll all the way down to the bottom of her blog to see her publications. She's too shy, I guess, to have them readily available!

The Therapy of Blogging

The first decade of the new century started off rough for me. My dad died, my dog died, my hubby lost 18 inches of his colon, my sons faced some hard growing up experiences (always hard for a mother to watch), my job was downsized and eliminated, my mother’s house burned, the financial market floundered, and my husband along with three other men in his Fortune 500 company were forced into retirement. I felt one slam after another.

My husband was not happy about his retirement (neither were the other men), and it was grueling to see his discontent. I had to find a way to let off my own pressure somewhere other than home. Journaling never worked for me because I never stayed with it once started. On July 4th of 2009, I came to the computer and sat down. I had avoided blogging, but suddenly decided to teach myself something new, to focus outward with some small part of my life. I set up the pages, wrote, posted and it felt good. The rules were simple for me: post several times a week, write conversationally, stay off religion and politics, and not to whine!

As I posted, I also read other blogs. I found the nicest people out there in Blog Land. I read numerous pages and many of us shared activities or situations in common. Sorrow, joy, tea, writing, reading, aging and more became common ground for forming some authentic cyber friendships. The other writers began to post comments on my blog too. Oh, I found myself looking for their names, their thoughts. When I didn’t hear, I began to worry about them, wondered if they were okay in their own worlds.

The gifts came too: a tea plaque from Linda, writing markets from Donna, a give-away box from Susan, a special Precious Moments figurine from Becky, handwritten letters from Lynn and more. I felt like Sally Field when she accepted the Academy Award. Why, they like me, really like me! But I liked them back and appreciated their connections. I was glad I had gone out on a limb, risked exposing myself on the blog, and I had found a valid and sincere community of caring people I had never met.

I have met in person for brief moments Linda from St. Louis, Donna from St. Peters, and Ginny from Aztec, New Mexico, and I know personally John from Wales. I hope to meet others someday. It doesn’t matter though if we never meet face to face because these blog buddies pay off every day when they leave comments on my blog. Their words and thoughts, the shared time in print, and the jovial connections all validate me. The online associations prove to me again that the world is a great place to be and that sharing friendship over a cup of tea or on the page…well, it is all still human connection. Blogging made mighty fine therapy for me and pretty cheap to do too! -- Claudia Mundell


Thank you, Claudia! And readers, please feel free to leave a message because she'll be checking in from time to time, to answer questions and/or comments.

* Welcome to my newest follower Terra. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! * 

"How rare and wonderful is that flash in the moment when we realize we have discovered a friend."- William Rotsler

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

* Gifts From Creative and Delightful Carmelina *

My beautiful "2000 Follower Give Away" gifts from Creative Carmelina! 

I apologize for the delay in getting my photos posted, but I was having problems with my camera. And as usual, the colors don't seem quite right, but if you click on the link above, it will take you directly to the specific post with Carmelina's gorgeous photos.

Carmelina is so creative and talented. She used a dress pattern as gift wrap!

This elegant crocheted starched tea cup set is just beautiful!

Lovely hand crafted floral note cards with envelopes!

Two of my favorite things in the whole world: embroidered flour sack towels!

Charming pink doily and white crochet dish cloth!



Since Carmelina is such a sweetheart, she included some extra gifts for me!
The above cream colored doily with lovely embroidery in the center.

And....these darling handmade pins!

What a fun surprise when I opened the box brought by the mail carrier!
Thank you again, Carmelina! I will definitely use and cherish my gifts!

* Welcome to my newest follower Maria. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! * 

** One more thing. My first Volunteer Guest Blogger (VGB) will be Claudia Mundell of Claudia's Page this Friday, February 15th. Be sure to stop by! **

"Give generously, live joyfully, love abundantly." -- Unknown

Sunday, February 10, 2013


First, I apologize for not posting my originally intended photos of my beautiful winnings in Creative Carmelina's give-away. Time just got away from me this weekend. Stay tuned, though, because Carmelina even wrapped the items  so delicately and I have pictures of everything!


I've toyed with the idea for quite a while to host quite a few Guest Bloggers. I've seen it done on other blogs (and I've been a guest myself) and it's a great way to meet new people. SO...I'm asking for VGBs...Volunteer Guest Bloggers! 
Clip Art
Please contact me by e-mail, not in the comment section. If you don't already have it, it's on my Profile page. Let me know what you have in mind for a post. If I think it will work, you're hired! (well, not exactly hired.....there's no pay involved, ya know!)

One thing I'm not looking for: Anyone wanting to market any goods. At this time, I don't want the posts to be about selling or promoting anything. I want something written from your heart....just about any subject. 

You don't have to be a writer or one of my followers. If you know someone you think would like to write a post and they'd be a good fit, please let them know. And, obviously, if I've mentioned being a guest blogger to you, please e-mail and remind me! 

I haven't decided how many bloggers I'd like, so don't hesitate because you think maybe I've already received too many requests. 

This will help me greatly to keep working on my writing without totally being away from blogging so much. 


"Right now I'm having amnesia and deja-vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before." Steven Wright

Friday, February 8, 2013


Somehow another Friday quickly arrived and soon will be phffft! (and I accomplished many things...didn't waste a lot of time ) As soon as I typed that funny word, I remembered there's a 1954 movie with that as the title. Can you imagine?? (It's a comedy with Jack Lemmon, Judy Holliday, Jack Carson, and Kim Novak as the main characters.) 

"Hey Becky. What movie are you going to see at the show this weekend?"


"Huh? What did you say?"

"I said, I'm going to see Phffft!"

My goodness, there must've been a lot of unintentional spitting going on when people spoke that word! 

(For trivia buffs, The title "Phffft" comes from Walter Winchell's column which was widely read during the 1950s. When a celebrity couple's marriage broke up, Winchell would describe the break-up as "phffft".)
Have you ever had those annoying "eye floaters"? I've had them off and on for years, but a couple of weeks ago one appeared that was larger and darker. So, I decided maybe I should see my opthamologist. My appointment was yesterday afternoon and I'm happy to report that mine isn't serious, just annoying! I can live with that!

The following is from Webmd.

Eye floaters move as the eyes move. They generally appear to dart away when you try to focus on them.
Eye floaters can appear in many different shapes, such as:
  • Black or gray dots
  • Squiggly lines
  • Threadlike strands, which can be knobby and semi-transparent
  • Cobwebs
  • Ring shaped
Once you develop eye floaters they usually do not go away, though they tend to improve over time.

Causes of Eye Floaters

Most eye floaters are caused by small flecks of a protein called collagen.

The back compartment of the eye is filled with a gel-like substance called vitreous humor.

How do you like that?? I have "humor" in my eyes!  

Do any of you ever watch Live From Daryl's House on the cable channel Palladia? I stumbled across it a few months ago and I LOVE it! Daryl Hall is the other half of the famous Hall and Oates singing duo of the '70s & '80s. Daryl has other singers come to his house and they play music and sing songs from both their careers. I haven't seen a show yet I didn't like. 

Writing Contest: It's the annual Column Contest of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. You don't have to be a bona fide columnist to enter. There are categories for bloggers, too. Click on the link for full details. Deadline is April 1st. (and that's no joke!)
Yesterday I submitted a story for a contest that I'm really excited about. I worked on it for days! That's all I want to share at the moment, though. Send me some good karma, please!
AND, I'm still working a lot on my memoir. When does the editing end?!

P.S. I received Carmelina's package and will share photos of my goodies on Sunday!

* Welcome to my two newest followers Wendy and SusieI hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! * 

"Every day, think as you wake up: today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it." -- Dali Lama