The 500 subscriber milestone … exciting? A little.

I hit 500 subscribers to this blog at the end of last week.

On one hand that is pretty cool. On another hand I have a feeling some of those bloggers subscribe because they are looking for me to reciprocate. The issue is that many of those who subscribe never comment here so I have no idea who they are which means I’d probably never subscribe to their blog. I’m old school and think of blogging as a social activity of sorts. We exchange ideas or share a little bit of ourselves and others do the same in the comments.

I’d like to know who you all are, in other words so, please, feel free to introduce yourself in the comments. I love to get to know the bloggers who follow me. It was really nice to have some of you tell me about yourselves last week on the post where I shared about myself and the blog.

For those who are new to the blog, you may have noticed I blog a little bit a lot of things here. I share some posts about my faith (usually entitled Faithfully Thinking), I share fiction (usually on Fridays and sometimes on Thursdays), I share photographs, and I share what I’m reading/watching/doing on Sundays. In other words, I sort of share whatever comes to my mind at any given moment (scary, I know.).

If you are interested in reading some of my fiction you can find link to excerpts from my book A Story to Tell HERE and A New Beginning HERE. You can also follow my novels in progress, The Farmer’s Daughter (I’ve been publishing new chapters on Fridays) at the link of the top of the page (or HERE) and Fully Alive HERE.

Welcome to the new subscribers and hello to the old. Glad to have you visiting my corner of the world.

A little about me and this blog

I’m not sure when the last time I introduced myself on here was so I thought I’d do that today. 

Obviously, I am a writer, since I have a blog, but I am also a wife and a mom, a photographer and a follower of Christ. I attended college for journalism, earned a Bachelor of Science in it, and worked in small town newspapers for about 14 years, covering a wide variety of events and topics — from visits by former presidents and First Ladies to murder trials to stories about veterans of World War II to the reactions of 9/11. By the end of my time in newspapers I was on a desk job, typing up obituaries of all ages and by my fourth or fifth infant or child obit in less than a month, I knew it was time to move on.

I never got to the jaded status some newspaper reporters get to. Sometimes I wish I had. Going home, hugging your child to your chest, and getting fat on ice cream and fattening foods to try to drown out what you had heard that day or wrote about is no way to live.

I couldn’t compartmentalize wives crying over their sheriff deputy husbands’ murders, a mom losing her 6-year old to the brain tumor he’d fought his whole life (and her losing her life to that same type of rare tumor a few years later), five children dying in a house fire, car accidents, drug over doses, and children being abused. 

After years of all that with family drama piled on I think my brain broke a little bit. I feel bad now for the people who got caught in the friendly fire, mowed down by depression that had gripped my heart with ice fingers. Eventually, I ended up staying home with our son while my husband continued to work as a newspaper editor. Somehow, we were able to juggle life on one salary, but it was not and has not been easy. It has been, however, worth it.

 I’m still home with the kid, but now it is kids. Just two and I’m fine with that. In the same way I never wanted to be famous, I never wanted a ton of children. Not that I don’t like children. I just liked the idea of one or two, though when I was younger I never thought I’d have children at all. Now one of my main jobs is raising these two awesome children and homeschooling them (for now anyhow).

Because I don’t have a “real job”, I spend my days cooking (and rarely cleaning..I’m so bad at that) for the family, taking photographs of the family (I once tried it professionally but grew to hate it), writing on my blog, and most recently writing fiction in the form of novels.

I don’t have money for an editor, patience to try to query, so I simply write and publish on Kindle Unlimited, knowing there are probably some errors, typos, plot holes, but knowing I enjoy the storytelling side of things and I’m not too worried about having a huge following or readership.

I share stories on my blog as well and enjoy the interaction I receive here.

My fiction is what some might call “hokey” or what others might refer to as “cheesy” but I think sometimes life needs that. I experienced and wrote a lot about the cruddy stuff of life – the murders and death, rapes and fatal crashes or fires when I worked at newspapers. Even though my husband is still in the news business and that’s where I lived for so long, you won’t find me pouring over the news for hours on end or scrolling news sites for the latest tidbit of information.

These days I can barely stomach three minutes before I’m clamoring for the hokey, for the cheesy, for the light story that won’t remind me of all I learned in those years of journalism. I pull away from gritty crime shows, or at least from binge watching them. I crave what highlights the good moments of life, the lovely moments, the romantic moments.

I know all moments in life aren’t like that; I know too well, but I think it’s okay to focus on them as much as we are able.

You might wonder if I am full of myself, since my domain name is my own name, but the truth is that my blog is Boondock Ramblings. I started it 13 years ago but took a break and abandoned the domain name and couldn’t get it back later when I wanted it. Back then I blogged about my son and life in general and was somewhat of a “mommy blogger.”

I made my name the domain name a few years ago when I thought I’d make money at either being a photographer or a writer. Lately, I haven’t cared much about either of those things but it would be a real pain to change my domain address again, so I have kept it as my name. Who knows, maybe it will come in handy if I really do become a famous author one day, even though that is not something I want at all. I like meeting new people on my blog and sharing my writing, but if I had too many followers I’d probably shrink back into my shell where I am much more comfortable.

So, how about you? What’s your story? I’d love to hear it. Let me know in the comments.

Sunday Bookends: Things I’m already sick of, new house, new books.

For those who are following along, we moved into our new house this past week and though it’s only been a few days we somehow feel almost at home already. Sure, there are some days everything feels a little weird and surreal, maybe even a bit disorienting because the house and the neighborhood are new to us. For the most part, though, we are settling in well. It probably helps that we are 10 minutes from the house I grew up in and the house where my parents live now (which was actually my grandmother’s house when I was growing up.)

In a lot of ways, this house has features I’ve always wanted in a house, including a tiny bathroom. You know what I mean, right? One of those bathrooms that are so small it’s equally cute and claustrophobic-inducing? Yeah, I have one now. Just one tiny door, one toilet, and a tiny sink and no windows. Cooool. Yeah, I know, I’m weird. I’d take a photo of it for you but .  . . uh, it’s tiny. I did take a photo of the cool wallpaper and decor though. I love how the people who owned this house before decorated.

We also have a gorgeous staircase, which I’ve always wanted, a banister my kids can slide down, large windows with beautiful light in the living and dining rooms, a wide-open kitchen, a front porch we can sit on (complete with a porch swing) and one of the best things is that there is a small space in our backyard for a garden.

Oh, and I now have this fridge that has a digital setting on the outside and on the inside, the light slowly brightens when you open it. Yes. Little things like that excite me. I know. It’s sad.

I’ve had almost no time for reading with unpacking, calling heating oil companies and the propane company and then weeping slightly on Friday when the snow started to fall. Yes! Snow. About three inches of the yucky, cold, white stuff. I was in denial, rocking in a corner when it started. I was also getting yelled at in an email by our mortgage broker because I didn’t give her a positive review in the survey her boss sent me. Yeah. That was fun.

I started About Your Father by Peggy Rowe last week but literally got two pages in before I fell asleep, not because it is boring but because I was so tired that day from all the moving and getting adjusted. I can’t wait to read more of it this upcoming week.

I haven’t been able to work on my books at all with everything going on and just as it started to settle down my computer died. Luckily the stimulus money will help me buy a new one (and luckily my son is letting me use his to write my blog posts until it arrives.) Maybe I will actually get to finish Chapter 3 in Fully Alive next week and hopefully Chapter 4 in The Farmer’s Daughter. Who even knows at this point.

I’ve been posting some on my blog, but I won’t lie: I’m not reading a lot of blogs. Part of the reason for this is there has been no time with the move and all the drama that has gone with it. The other reason is I’m flat out of sick of talking about You Know What and I don’t read many posts where other people are talking about it.

I’m tired of sappy “we’ve got to stay strong” posts (even if I understand and agree) and posts that regurgitate facts that aren’t even facts because the “facts” change every single day. One day it’s “don’t wear masks they don’t help.” Less than a week later: “Wear a mask or you’ll die!” In PA it’s now: “Wear a mask or you’ll go to jail.” So, yeah, that roller coaster has been “fun.”

I’m already sick of the term “social distancing,”, DIY face masks tutorials, Facebook posts lecturing people, blog posts lecturing people, family members lecturing other family members (no, not in my family, don’t worry. This isn’t a veiled comment against my family!) and Americans seeming really, really happy being told what to do and what not to do. I did, however, enjoy this Youtube video that was not your traditional DIY facemask tutorial.

 

I had to run to the Dollar General yesterday when my husband forgot his wallet. The plan was to meet him outside but he wasn’t outside when I got there so I had to grab a face mask and head on in to find him. It was so apocalyptic in there with people all walking around with masks, glaring at each other. There was one couple without masks, violating the signs on the doors that stated the governor has made it mandatory to wear masks in the store, smirking at everyone else. I wasn’t sure if I should be mad at them or not, since, like I said, the recommendations change every few days.

Plus, I’m tired of being offended and outraged about everything like the rest of the world. In other words, I decided to let them do their own thing and be their own people. I know. I’m awful.  How could I let others live their own lives instead of living it the way I think they should?

Yes, I may have a little bit of sarcasm issues today.

I thought I’d share a few photos I took over the last week or so, some at the new house, some at my parents. I had to pull these off my DSLR using the phone so I’m not sure if the quality will be great, but, eh..whatever.

So what have you all been doing, watching, reading,  and how are you handling life with all this craziness? Let me know in the comments and yes, I will read them, even if they do have to do with You Know What. I’m merely taking a break from that topic, when I can, not boycotting it all together (mainly because there is no actual way to do that!)

Sunday Bookends: Light romances (in book and movie forms) welcomed this week

I won’t be rambling too much about what the rest of the world is rambling about this week because first, we all need a break and two, I’ve discovered situations like this really bring out the crazies and I’m crazy enough for myself.

So, on to books I’m reading and watching this week. I’m sticking with light romances both in books and movies, even if they are a little bit stupid. I don’t mind if they are stupid because then I can make fun of them while I read them or watch them. Luckily, I read a book this week and watched a movie I didn’t have to make fun of.

I share a Kindle account with my mom, mainly because I’m more technical and set it up for her. Most of the time this is fine because my mom utilizes Kindle Unlimited more than me. The main issue is that Mom is retired and reads more and faster than me so, sometimes, while I am in the middle of a book Mom will return my book to “take out” another one, which is what happened this week.

Luckily, I was able to get the book, True to You by Becky Wade, back and finish it. It was really worth finishing and I’m glad I did. The book had me hooked from the beginning, even if the main character did grate on my nerves part of the time (a very little part of the time). I fell in love with the love interest as much as the main character did. If I wasn’t married and John Lawson was real I would. well —  I’d still only stare at him from afar because I’m totally not his type.

Anyhow, this was the first of a three-book series about The Bradford Sisters. There are also two novellas in the series.

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I shared the plot of the book last week, but thought I’d share it again this week, in case you are interested.

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. However, when John, an adoptee, is diagnosed with an inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his ancestry.

John enlists Nora’s help to uncover the identity of his birth mother, and as they work side-by-side, this pair of opposites begins to suspect that they just might be a perfect match.  But can their hope for a future survive their wounds from the past?

I am planning to start the second book this weekend.

I also watched a light romance movie this week: Road Less Traveled with Lauren Alaina (A country singer), Donny Boaz, and Jason Burkey.  Without giving too much away, I will say this movie was not your typical small-town girl who goes home, runs into an old boyfriend and falls back in love with her old boyfriend movie. Not exactly anyhow. It threw me for a bit of a loop. The acting was pretty good and realistic, but I will say that it made light of getting drunk a little more than I thought it should.

As I have mentioned before, I am a prude, in many ways, but not in others. Still, it doesn’t offend me if someone is drunk in a movie. What bothered me was how often the characters were holding a beer, wine, or in a bar and how many times they were roaring drunk – like to the point they couldn’t remember what they did while drunk. And I guess we were all supposed to laugh about that? I don’t know. That bothered me, but I still enjoyed the movie.

The weather warmed up this week, a little anyhow. On Monday it was 70 and the temperature steadily declined over the week, but it was still warmer than it has been. The kids and I walked to our local health store for snacks, unaware of the craziness that would settle over our country in the next couple of days and that shelves would empty of food.

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DSC_8717DSC_8730Sadly, there are many in our community, like us, who can not afford to stockpile and instead live week to week so we are hoping those who have the money or are running up credit cards will leave us some food for our next paycheck. Even if we had the money we wouldn’t be stockpiling the way others are because fear is a liar. We will make it one way or another. My parents are the stockpiling kind and have assured us we can have some cans of beans if it gets too bad.

In many ways, I wish we could go back to Monday when we were sitting on our front lawn with our biggest worry being that people driving by as the busses let out for school would think that my children were actually drinking beer, instead of the natural soda they were drinking.

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In house news, we are busy packing and are supposed to be moved out, per our contract, by April 3.

To keep the escapism alive, I blogged more of A New Beginning this week and am keeping the rest of my blog posts for this week as light as possible.

So what are you reading or watching this week? Is the weather getting any warmer where you are? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

 

Looking back at February, ahead to March, and favorite posts from the blogosphere

February was a little bit of a crazy month. Normally it drags on because we are dealing with the winter blahs, but this year it flew by pretty fast because of house showings and then eventually the sale of our house. Now we are knee-deep, somewhat literally, in packing up the house and clearing out, some of which we had already started.

Weather-wise, the temps rose and fell throughout the month, which was wonderful for our sinuses and mood (she said sarcastically). It was like “We’re happy!” “Now we’re sad!” “We’re happy!” “Now we’re sad!” all month long.

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Looking ahead to March, there will be more packing and then the actual moving, with the plan to be in the new house by April 3. There will also be more homeschooling, somehow, in between all the packing and moving. So far, homeschooling is both a blast and completely aggravating. I’ve considered writing a post about homeschooling again, but, sad to say, I had some who looked down their noses at me for doing it so I hate to think they’ll read any posts about the struggles and gloat. I know, very immature of me to worry about what others think, but I’m still working on that.

I wrote a variety of blog posts on a variety of topics (which is why the word “ramblings” is in my blog name.)

I shared a few weekly round-ups:

 

I also shared several chapters of A New Beginning, and you can find the links to all of those HEREor at the top of the page.

I share a couple posts about faith:

I also wrote about:

 

I also enjoyed many posts by a variety of bloggers in February and I thought I would share them with you today in addition to my February review.

I loved all the photos and daily events with Derrick, but I especially loved this one he called The Horse Whisperer. The photos and story behind it were beautiful.

As always, I have to share one of Pete’s stories from Lunch Break Fiction, but this time I also get to share he has a book out. I just purchased it and I am so excited to read it! I loved this post from February entitled Metrics. If you haven’t read Pete’s short stories, you’re really missing out.

I like pretty much every post shared at My Life with Gracie so it’s hard to highlight just one, but I did like when John shared his copy of Doctor Doolittle with Gracie and the other chickens.

Mama’s Empty Nest shared this throwback post written from the perspective of her cat and it was hilarious and sweet.

Melinda Johnson wrote about Facebook Being a Stalker Boyfriend and she’s completely right. You all know my disdain for Facebook.

Bettie, one of my favorite bloggers, shares so many touching posts butthis one was interesting because it gave me the chance to hear her voice and more of her story. What a blessing!

I enjoyed this post by Heather Dawn about waking up on the wrong side of the bed (even with coffee!) because I could relate to it.

I could also relate to Autumn at Autumn Rain about her worry that she’s too late to blog, to write, to . . . well, whatever. And, no, Autumn, we are not too late. It’s never too late.

There is a lot interesting posts to digest at Our Little Red House, so I picked just one about her garden in the month of February. She gets to have a garden in February since she lives in Arizona.

This post from Becoming HIS Tapestry entitled Love Me; You Don’t have to Trust Me, hit home as there have been people in my life I haven’t fully trusted, but who I have loved.  Honestly, it might tip some of your preconceived notions about love right up on their head.

Some difficult, but important posts from the last month included:

This one on Storied Pathwayswhen she wrote about her grandmother, who is in the hospital, and who has meant to much to her. Get some tissues.

The Whole Truth Laid to Rest on A New Life was such a hard read, but just so necessary in a day and age where so many don’t respect life on the simplest, smallest levels. *trigger warning* This is the personal story of a woman who had an abortion years ago and is now facing the pain from that decision. No matter what you believe about the issue, this is her story and she has the right to that story as much as anyone else.

So, how about all of you? Read any good posts in February? Do some exciting things? Share links or stories in the comments and see you at the end of March for my March update (if I remember to do it or even have time with the move and yes, this post was supposed to be done for the end of February. Oops.).

 

Thank you to the 350 people who follow me and the people from 92 different countries that have visited me

I don’t look at my stats too often (she lies, trying not to look as vain as she sometimes, unfortunately, feels), but last week I noticed I had gained a few more followers (I think I’m up to 360, not tons, but a lot for little ole’ me). I’ve also been checking out where my visitors are from and was surprised to find that I have had visits to my blog from 92 different countries in the last year. I find it so interesting that my readers are from so many different countries. I also find it interesting there are this many countries in the world and that there are a few on my list I have never heard of (Maldives and Suriname, I’m looking at you).

The majority of my visitors, of course, come from the United States. In 2019, 8,262 visits were from Americans. I thought the second highest visitor count would be from Canada (I don’t know why since I don’t really post anything that would be exclusively interesting to Canadians) but instead India is in second place with 835 visits. Not that anyone really cares (about the same as about this entire post) but rounding out the top five countries where my visitors came from were Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. Off-topic, but I only know one Australian and I think she’s too busy homeschooling her brood to even check out my blog so I don’t think those Australian hits are from her. I actually met her while blogging 13 years ago on a different blog (a mommy blog). There is some unimportant and unnecessary trivia for you.

I think some of my followers are simply looking for reciprocal follows on their blogs, which is the nature of the social media culture we find ourselves in these days. Many of my followers author blogs about psychology or mental health, which really isn’t a surprise considering my mental health is pretty unstable most days. I’m sure people who know me in real life aren’t surprised I’m being stalked by mental health experts (or self-proclaimed experts).  They are probably expecting to find some business through me. Ha! But maybe some are following because they are actually interested in the ramblings of the girl from the boondocks (no, really, they want business.)

Some people probably follow me based on my posts about faith, some because of the fiction, maybe some for the photography (though those posts have been sporadic at best lately), and maybe some for the ramblings about creativity. Most bloggers say you need a niche for your blog (I heard the same from the photography world) but being random can pay off too.

Sure, I don’t have the following of other, high-profile bloggers, but I really don’t mind that. I like my small little corner of the blog world. If I did start to accumulate a high amount of followers, I’d probably delete this blog/site and start another one. I share for fun, not for attention. I mean, a little attention is okay and nice, but a lot of attention? No thank you!

I have never looked at a social media “influencer” (whatever that is), or someone famous and felt envy, wishing I could have people pay attention to me like they do them. I mean, can you imagine having all that attention on you in this highly political, always offended, always ready for a fight environment? Blogging or sharing wouldn’t be fun anymore. Instead, it would be like walking into a minefield and hoping you don’t set off a row of landmines that destroy your life and your love of writing.

In other non-important stat information from my blog for 2019 and 2020:

I had a total of 11,351 views in 2019 and 6,904 visitors (this doesn’t add up with how many views I received from different countries, but I think that total was 2019 and 2020);

161 blog posts (not many by most standards);

2,067 views from WordPress;

1,870 views from Facebook;

and a handful from other sites.

In 2020 I’ve had:

3, 544 views;

1,986 visitors;

and 49 blog posts (which actually seems like a lot for it only being the end of February).

So, if you are a blogger, do you keep track of your stats? I don’t normally, so if you don’t, that’s good with me. If you do, that’s cool too! Let me know in the comments (if you want to, of course).

Round ‘em up! Weekly blog roundup

There were so many good blog posts this week around the blogging community and I’m excited to share them with you on my weekly round up. As usual, I’ll provide a link to my blog posts from the past week or so as well, but this week I want to focus on some cool bloggers I follow or have discovered.

Pete at Lunch Break Fiction does it again with The Gift. Do yourself a big favor. If you aren’t following Pete’s blog yet go over right now and “click” follow. You won’t regret it. It’s full of touching, awesome, engaging short stories.

Manitoba Mom, hanging out up there the frozen Canadian tundra (just kidding about it being frozen. I think.) always gives me a lot to chew on and think about, in a fun and entertaining way, mixed in with some deep thoughts as well. This one about five tips on how she plans to manage the cold winter months coming up in January and February is one I can relate to because I struggle terribly with keeping my sanity in the winter months. We’ve been lucky to have a stretch of warmer days but the darkness is still here and I know the cold will soon make its return.

For His Purpose wrote about developing patience with people who are sometimes difficult to deal with and I could absolutely relate to this, especially since I used to work with people daily when I worked for smalltown newspapers. For this post, she’s been dealing with a particularly challenging person in her personal life, and again, I can completely relate to struggling to show a person like this the love of Christ, when all we really want to do is run screaming away. (I have a feeling I might be that person for other people  . . . hmmmm).

Bettydraper offered this lovely post about the day she became a Christian and how it ties into the real meaning of Christmas so perfectly.

I’m pretty sure I already shared links to some of Our Little Red House’s 12 days of Christmas craft posts, but just in case, here is another one. What ingenious ideas she’s had or gleaned from others over the years to recycle objects and turn them into beautiful Christmas ornaments or decorations. She offers other unique craft ideas throughout the year as well.

The Feet of A Messenger offered this look back at 2019 and how much she’s changed and grown in 2019 and also how far she still has to go. Trust me, I could relate to this (as you know by reading some of my more whiney blog posts earlier this year.)

I’ve also been discovering some new fiction writers who blog serial stories, or short fiction pieces, this week which is exciting for me since I’ve been blogging my own fiction since May.

I bumped into BeetleyPete who is in the midst of a serial story about a murder mystery. I’m heading back to the beginning to catch up on this one since the parts I started to read intrigued me already.

I’m also intrigued by Rachel Smith’s fiction and can’t wait to delve into her stories this week.

As for my blog posts in the last week or so:

So what have you been up to on your blog and otherwise? Read or write any good posts you would like to share? Leave a link in the comment section and I’ll share them in my next Blog Roundup (which I hope to make a bi-weekly post, or weekly if I have enough posts to share each week).


Lisa R. Howeler is a writer and photographer from the “boondocks” who writes a little bit about a lot of things on her blog Boondock Ramblings. She’s published a fiction novel ‘A Story to Tell’ on Kindle and also provides stock images for bloggers and others at Alamy.com and Lightstock.com.

 

 

 

Tuesday Blog Roundup: Catching up on my blog and the blogs of others

It’s that time of the week when I like to catch up on some other blogs I’ve been reading and share what you might have missed on my blog in the last week or so. I also love for you to share any good blog posts you’ve read or written as well so please be sure to do that in the comment section.

First, some favorite posts from other bloggers from this past week (or so);

Christmas Tree Tea from Mama’s Empty Nest where she writes about her “hodgepodge” Christmas tree and how it brings up many memories from her past, but especially the time she held Christmas teas after she retired from volunteering with the local PTA groups.

Brenda from Becoming His Tapestry had a timely post just this morning. 10 Ways to Destress This Christmas. My goodness, could I relate. Not because we are busy in this family with Christmas parties or extreme decorating (no one invites us to parties and we barely decorate). I related when she talked about avoiding going into debt during Christmas because God never intended us to celebrate the birth of his son by going into debt. Preach it, Brenda!

Our Little Red House always has some awesome craft ideas and she’s doing 12 days of Christmas crafts for, well, Christmas. This one interested me because it uses old toilet paper rolls and anything that uses up toilet paper rolls interests me. There are only four of us in this house but we seem to fly through toilet paper sometimes.

Mama Duck had a sweet post about “One of the Best Christmas Gifts I Ever Received.”You’ll have to check out the post to see what it is.

I enjoyed this post by Jenni at Housewife Hustle about sleeping goals for her children.I could relate to this one since I’ve had sleep time challenges with both of my children, especially the youngest since she doesn’t yet have her own bedroom. (That will change when we move.)

Dawn raised a concern about blogging that I also have on her blog Every Small Voice in a post entitled Blogging Popularity.

PMeyers writes about Navigating Christmas Without Momon her blog Mind Heart Matters. She lost her mom to a brain tumor this year and she has been writing candidly about that horrific journey in such an uplifting and encouraging way (the way her family handled this situation was amazing, but I wish they hadn’t had to).  Get out the tissues for this one, but please know there is some joy here too and if you are so inclined, leave the blogger an encouraging message.

As for my blog this last week, I was as eclectic as always in my topics.

On Saturday of last week I blogged about how to Tune out the ‘Negative Nellies’in our lives.

On Sunday I continued with the new weekly Sunday Bookends post where I talk about what I’m watching, reading or doing for the week. I used to hook up to a book blogger for this post, but I’m not really a book blogger so I’m just doing my own thing now (although still reading the book blogger posts).

Later in the week, I rambled about theChristmas romance movie binge I’ve been on. Read this weekend about how that binge ended.

On Friday of last week, I shared Chapters 6 and 7 of A New Beginning, my continuing serial fiction that I post on “Fiction Friday” (incidentally, Friday is my worst blog traffic day, but I like the alliteration of Fiction Friday so much, I don’t have the heart to change the posting day.)

Then Sunday I posted another Sunday Bookends, where I talked about Dick VanDyke and my lack of reading lately.

So how about you? Any favorite blog posts of your own or others you’d like to share? Please feel free to share the links in the comments!


Lisa R. Howeler is a writer and photographer from the “boondocks” who writes a little bit about a lot of things on her blog Boondock Ramblings. She’s published a fiction novel ‘A Story to Tell’ on Kindle and also provides stock images for bloggers and others at Alamy.com and Lightstock.com.

 

 

Sunday Bookends: House selling, snowstorms and rediscovering art

Last week our house went up for sale and we prepared ourselves for a long wait before someone asked for a showing, even though we were hoping for a quick sale because we have a house we want to buy closer to my husband’s new job (and the purchase is contingent on the sale of the one we currently live in). Our house is a cozy, well-lived in house perfect for our little family, but it’s also a fixer-upper, so we didn’t expect people to rush to buy it. Imagine our surprise, and panic, when someone asked for a showing two days after the house went online. We were given seven days to repair a few, minor issues we thought we’d have at least a month, if not longer, to repair. As of now, we are down to four of those days with the majority of the repairs made, but a few still needed – including cleaning out my very full bedroom closet.

Of course, just because we’ve had a request for a showing doesn’t mean the people will be interested or buy it. This could be a long process and we know that. Our challenge next week will be getting the kids and the cat and dog out of the house at the same time. We don’t have friends or family near us so we’ve decided the kids will go to the library and I’ll wait in the parking lot with the animals in the van (since I have no plan to try to shove our cat into that little carrier again. The last time was for a trip to the vet a few months ago and my skin is still healing from some of the gashes she sliced across my skin.) I’m sort of hoping this process isn’t too drawn out since I don’t relish the idea of dragging the animals and all of us out of the house each time someone wants to look and see if our house can become their house.

The contents of that very full closet in my room have left me crying almost daily as I work through it, tossing scrapbooks into containers, photos of people who are now gone or no longer speak to us falling out of them. Then there are the journals, which I no longer look at because they contain too many cans of worms I prefer not to open. A couple interesting items I did find were old sketchbooks from college that contained images I took hours and hours to create but usually didn’t finish. Art was such a stress reliever back then but now I don’t seem to have the patience for it. Maybe I’ll get some patience back during the social media break I’m doing during December.

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I remember working on this project, which is made up of thousands of tiny dots made with an ink pen (a process called stippling) as a stress reliever but also as a way to focus better during college lectures. I find I can focus on sermons and lectures better when I can doodle of have something to do with my hands. I know there is science behind that but I don’t really want to research it and explain it here, so we will address that in another blog post.

Anyhow, I was working on this piece of artwork during a sociology lecture when the professor, walking up and down the aisle, pontificating about something sociology related, stopped and suggested I should be taking notes, not working on art. But then he said “So, can you listen to me better while you’re doing that?” I said I could. He looked at it again and said “That’s quite good. Carry on.” and then continued to walk up the aisle, rambling away.

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I need to finish that picture now that I’ve found it again. It would be a nice distraction, dotting away on a piece of paper, while the stresses of life (house selling, family and friend losses) swirl around me.

I should also finish this pen and ink sketch I started of The Beatles, I think.

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Our first snowstorm of the winter looks like it may hit us today and tomorrow, complete with a couple layers of ice and then up to 12 inches of snow. It even has a name- Snowstorm Ezekiel. At this point, we are just waiting to see what it actually brings in terms of snow or ice versus what the forecasters are saying. The big blob of pink and purple has been moving toward us but I haven’t seen much outside yet.

The snow will keep us inside but that’s a good thing considering we still have quite a few repairs to make and cleaning up to do before the showing.

So, how about you? What are you all up to or what have you been up to? How is the weather where you are? Cold? Warm? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll leave you with a verse from the book of Ezekiel in honor of Storm Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 37: 9-14 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”