Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We are...

...Furiously happily(!) sewing.

We hope by tomorrow Earthgirl will have a new dress to wear to a wedding, Easter, and all summer.  Inspired by my creative frenzy, Earthgirl is drafting an spron pattern for Samantha and Nellie. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Own Personal Blog Rules*

* subject to change often as new ones occur to me.

As my first blogging anniversary passed by, I reflected on blogging, why and how I do it, what I like and don't like in my own blog.  I though I would share a few of my own personal blog rules for  my own personal blog.

My Own Personal Blog Rules*

1.  I won't use our actual names or location.  I realize that it might be easy enough to discover these, but I do not intend to just hand over that information.

2I strive to be much more positive than negative in my posts.  My blog is nicer than I am. (Side note - I try to be more positive than negative in comments I leave on other blogs, too.)

3.  No "rants."  I might rant a little in person, to my friends and family, but I usually regret it.  Therefore, I avoid putting "rants" out there for all to see.

4I strive to not embarrass family and friends with my words or pictures.  

5.  I strive not to embarrass myself by sharing all my faults. If you know me in person, you'll find out most of them pretty soon.  If not, well, you still might figure out my faults.  But I don't plan to announce them all.

6Though I embrace the opportunity to encourage with scripture and talk of spiritual things, I avoid theological and political controversy and argument in this format.   There are so many other places these issues can be addressed, and I'm not that good at it.

7My goal is to post at least twice each week.  Why? Because I lose interest in blogs that have posts widely spaced.  That said, it is my blog, and I am not making it a ball and chain.  Sometimes a week goes by...

8 I try to catch typos before I post, and, if warranted, edit after I post.  I am not offended if a friend leaves me a little heads-up about a typo. Sometimes, though, the apparent poor grammar is just a Southernism - y'all OK with that? {Quick note - I just pulled this post to correct a typo I had not seen in the very first sentence, even though I had read and reread this post at least 8 times before posting.}

9.  I vet my links sufficiently to feel reasonably certain they will not offend my friends.  That said, I don't avoid links to big sites that will certainly have some objectionable content  (e.g., news sites, Wikipedia or Amazon), but check out the info on the specific little item to which I link, trusting  the reader to know that linking to, say, Little House on the Prairie on Amazon does not mean that I endorse every book Amazon sells.

My Own Personal Blog Style Guide**

** Also very much subject to change

1I write about different topics that interest me, and about which I know something, in hopes that they will interest my friends, and bring new friends.

2. I keep my blog relatively simple and readable.  I like a pretty background, fun sidebar goodies, etc., but sometimes I become frustrated trying to find a post in a "busy" blog.  I also feel headachy trying to read light-color type on a dark-color background.  I avoid blog templates that have swirlies under the text.  Same reason - headachy.  

3.  I use pictures in most posts. I like to see pictures in other blogs, so I put them in mine.  A picture is worth, you know, 1000...

4.  I avoid using very many pictures.  I mean, my daughter is cute and we love her, but I try to not make a post with 22 pictures of her in her newest dress.  Unless, of course, I am doing some sort of tutorial for making this dress. 

5.  I mix decent writing with conversational writing - lots of dashes, (asides), and incomplete sentences...

6I use plenty of links.  My huge list of Bookmarks was one of the reasons Crispy encouraged me to blog.  I am a resource resource.

7.  Re: Links - I try to avoid saying "here, here, and here,"  but rather give an idea of what the link is: "This pattern and this cloth."  (those are not real links; just color samples)

I wonder if some of you have  your own set of Blog Rules and Blog Style?

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I'm mailing something to my brother and sister-in-law today.  I am trying to remember what their address is.  No, they didn't move.  They live right on the farm where I grew up in the beautiful home they built a decade ago.  Their mailbox is right where it has been.

Some of my brother's 2009 crop of peanuts
In recent years, my home county, along with many other places, has changed the addresses for most of their rural residents.  Instead of using an RFD (Rural Free Delivery) address, such as "Route 4, Box 72" (not their real address), residents now have official number and road addresses, such as "1472 Maytown Road" (also not their real address.)  This makes it easier for emergency vehicles to find a particular house. So many folks live on smaller roads, and even little field roads, and each road had to be named.  Sometimes the road is named after the family who lives there; other times after original landowners.  Sometimes the road is named by the community name, or where it travels to and from.  As I travel up US 27 toward home, I pass by Benevolence-Pumpkin Road, one of my all-time favorite road names.

But I do not recall whether the Post Office prefers the current or former addressing system.  Doesn't matter - it's a small enough place that whichever address I use, the letter will get to them.  And, of course, if either of them or my Mama should see this blog post, I could get a phone call or e-mail. 

About 15 years ago, when my grandmother was over 90 years old, her home county underwent this address-updating, and the house that was older than she was got a new address.  She mailed out little letters to everyone in her address book, telling us all that though she had not moved, the Post Office informed her that she had a  new address.  She closed the letter with, "I am so glad they let me keep my name."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Feel Free to Not Comment

There are no lurkers at my site. None.  If you are reading this without commenting, you are not a lurker.  You are simply not commenting on this particular post.

The word "lurker" just sounds so not-nice.  If I am reading a site, I may not comment for a number of reasons - no time, my computer is slow today, not wanting to add a 45th comment that says, "Cute idea. Thanks for posting,"  need to get back to school...dishes...laundry....but I'm not stalking anyone.  I'm not a Peeping Tom.  I'm just not commenting right now.

You are welcome to read without commenting!  You are not obligated to give me feedback.  Now, doesn't that take the pressure off? I might ask your opinion, hoping for some feedback, but I will never beg lurkers to come forward and leave a comment.  Why? Because there are no lurkers on my site!  There are folks who read, some of whom comment in this format. 

That said, I love comments.  I love to know someone has read a post and feels like saying so.  I have not had much of any problem with bad comments or spam, so I don't feel I have to add a "Type this word" feature (at least, not yet), and I allow anonymous commenting so that it is easy - you don't even have to log in to anything.  In fact, my very own husband comments occasionally, using "Amonymous," though he does sign his comments "PB" for Pluto Boy. So, feel free to comment.  And feel free to not comment.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sewing Seeds

In the past, Randi of i have to say has invited me (along with all of Blogdom) to join her in Sewing Seeds.  I have wanted to, but it just did not work out before.  but this time, I was able to jump in and sew a couple of skirts for little girls in Haiti.  What a blessing to send these skirts with prayers for the little girls who will wear them.  I think there will be future projects for Sewing Seeds, and hope others will participate.

The skirts are lying atop my quilt backing.  The little lapquilt project took a backseat to this deadline.

I made the ruffled skirt using a tutorial from Sew Mama Sew, with slight modification to the waistband, and  made the pink bunny skirt sort of without a pattern - or maybe with several patterns/tutorials in my head?)

The fabrics come from the stash of quilter's fabric I bought at an estate sale. The lady who had owned these fabrics before was active in a local quilters' group that makes and gives quilts to needy families.  I think she would be happy that some of her fabric is going out to bless.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Book Review: The History of the Medieval World

I did not enjoy writing and presenting book reviews as a student.  Why would I jump at the chance to write a book review now?  Because the book is Susan Wise Bauer’s The History of the Medieval World, a 700+ page second volume of what promises to be a full history of the whole world. 

Peace Hill Press and Norton gave bloggers an opportunity to look at the book in advance of its release date, and I jumped. We have enjoyed Ms. Bauer’s Story of the World series for children as well as some of her books for adults.  I love her writing style and could hardly wait to see this latest massive undertaking.

And massive it is.  Nope, I have not read the whole thing, but I have read 10 or so chapters, all the chapter headings, and pages at random.  I will begin with a bottom-line summary:  I love it.  I want to buy it and read it and keep it on my bookshelf and pull it out again and again. 

Each of the 85 chapters contains in its title and subtitle a little history lesson.  I learned just by perusing these headings.  For example,

Chapter One
One Empire, Under God
Between 312 and 330, Constantine imposes his will on the Roman Empire and gives the Christian church a hand with doctrine

I knew a little about that.  The chapter reads beautifully, and I learned much more than I ever knew. But how about this one?

Chapter Fifteen
Northern Ambitions
Between 420 and 464, the Liu Song displaces the Jin, the Bei Wei of the north brew magic potions, and the first state persecution of the Buddhists begins

Who persecuted the Buddhists? The Confucians?  That’s what I guessed.  But no!—the emperor was part of an oddball sect of Taoists.  And the magic potions?  Enlightenment and eternal youth, available in a cup.

The narratives are lively, and the maps are not overwhelming. I would like to have seen more illustrations. Each chapter ends with a timeline connecting its events with events of the previous chapter and elsewhere in the world. 

Like most public and private schooled U.S. students of the last generation or so, I feel fairly comfortable with U.S. history, passingly familiar with a bit of European history,  and woefully lacking in the whole rest of the world’s history.  I’ve been learning along with my daughter.  The History of the Medieval World will be part of my life-long education.

Disclosure:  Peace Hill Press is entering each Blogger who posts a review a chance in a drawing for a $100 gift certificate for Peace Hill Press.  They provided access to an advance galley for this review.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hanging on to Innocence

We don't live in the country; we live in a neighborhood.  We don't shop in Mayberry; we shop at Publix and Walmart.  We don't attend a church full of perfect Christians; we are part of a church full of recovering sin addicts (thanks, Pastor, for that perspective).  Our Homeschool group is not full of parents and children who never make a mistake and who are all more righteous than we; it is full of all flavors of Christian Homeschoolers in all kinds of places along the road of their Christian walks. 

But I want to hang on to my daughter's innocence.  And I want to help her be strong against the wiles of sin.  And I want her to minister, and yet not be influenced. 

I realize more and more that to expect my little girl to stay a little girl until she is old enough, to expect her to grow up to live a pure life, is asking her, advising her, begging her to swim upstream.  

This article from Focus on the Family, along with its companion articles, encourages me with good perspective. 

 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world 

Philippians 2:15

Fall 2009  
Extra credit for identifying the location

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