Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blogging Etiquette

Dear Mom,

What about blogging etiquette? I often wonder if I need to acknowledge someone who has made a comment on my blog. Is it rude that I don’t? When I comment on someone’s blog, I never go back and look to see if that person responded to my comment (unless I’m asking a question, then, if I remember, I’ll go back and look). I barely have time to read blogs, much less go back and check if they’ve commented on my comment. Who has that kind of time?

I know we bloggers all like comments, but it seems we need to make it easier on ourselves and not comment on comments. But maybe that’s because I don’t do it and I’m being lazy.

I’m not a rude person. I’ll return a call, reply to a letter and email someone back—unless they’re forwarding me something that doesn’t require any kind of answer. I listen when people talk and try not to butt in, but I have been known to blurt out something when someone’s talking. I especially do this with my children. My reason for that annoying character flaw is due to the fact that I’m afraid I’ll forget what I have to say. Lately I’ve been taking note and stopping myself. And I can’t remember what I want to say when it’s my turn.

But back to blogging. I appreciate comments even though I don’t respond. Sometimes their response is more entertaining and thought provoking then the blog I wrote. My mind races—why am writing? Oh yeah, writing is my lifeline. What keeps me sane.

If I don’t respond to blogs, it doesn’t mean I don’t like what is written. I’m either feeling inadequate or someone’s already commented the same thing I wanted to say and I’ll feel “dupid” repeating. Or I’m busy… writing.

Do other bloggers feel this way or is it just me? What about blogging etiquette? I could do some research, but when would I have time to blog?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Trudy The Pig

Dear Mom,

When my stepdaughter Robyn was five or six years old she was hit by a van—nearly took her life. Trudy the pig was given to her—the stuffed animal became her companion in healing and has remained in her possession some 30 plus years. Robyn gave Trudy to her daughter Logan. One of their dogs got a hold of Trudy and made quite a mess of her—that and the fact Trudy’s 30 years of wear was showing.

Robyn asked me if I’d mend Trudy for Logan for Christmas. She handed me the pathetic looking pig. I now realized it was Trudy’s insides that could be found all around the house. I happily agreed to sew up her holes. After careful inspection, I saw Trudy was blind, missing an ear and her tail was gone. The hind legs were bandaged so Trudy was crippled too! Her nose had been replaced and a big hole was under her belly.

Here’s Trudy in her before condition: I searched for material to match her original nose, the under hooves of Trudy’s legs, and the inner part of her ears. Trudy came along with me to the store to match the pink—or what was supposed to be pink fur—and I found some pink fleece and felt. Robyn indicated Trudy had blue eyes and I found some of those too.

Mending Trudy started with replacing the hooves, and stuffing her hind legs. I hand sewed everything with the exception of recreating the ears—then they were hand sewn on to her head.

Some of my hand sewing with embroidery thread didn’t look so hot, so I sewed over it with pink yarn to hide the flaws. That required pushing the needle through with a thimble (figured out why those are necessary) and then pulling the needle through with a pliers. Now that made sewing fun.

After cutting out two heart shapes and sewing on one for Trudy’s belly and one for her leg, I moved on to making her ears. My husband thought it would look better for Trudy to have two new ears rather than leaving the old one in place. I had to agree, but it was painful to cut off the original ear. I felt like I was removing a finger off one of my childrens' hands. I decided to keep the original ear and placed it in a shadow box so that Robyn could have a piece of her Trudy.

Once Trudy was all stitched and mended, I gave her a bath with some upholstery stain remover. Using a small brush, the dirty matted fur started to come back to life—as best that could be expected anyway. I sprinkled Trudy with baby powder and she looked happy—and I hoped Robyn and Logan would feel the same way.

Seeing both their faces at Christmas and listening to their screams, “Trudy’s back!” after Logan removed Trudy out of the box made it worth all the time and effort in restoring Trudy.

Although I’m hear to tell you, I wouldn’t do that for just any pig.

New Trudy

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Dear Mom,

As the weather cools, (okay, so it's down right freezing now) birds flock to our backyard because of the small ponds and waterfalls. We also have large high windows on either side of the room, and on sunny days the birds must think they can fly right through to the other side. They are in for a big surprise when they hit head on into glass. Sometimes I’m startled hearing a big thump. I look out to see if they’ve picked themselves back up or if they’ve met their fate and moved onto another life.

The other week one plopped right in front of the door where I was sitting. My heart went out to the precious little thing. I didn’t know what to do. I felt rather strongly about not interfering with one’s lessons in life, and yet the pull to help one in need was as strong. Sometimes there’s a fine line. Inwardly I declared myself a vehicle for Spirit and asked God, “What should I do?”

Thoughts were running through my head. Should I call my husband? Should I get a box and pick it up and take it to the vet? Should I let it alone and whatever happens, happens? I calmed myself and heard, “Just give it love.” Yeah, that seems to be the best thing to do in any situation really. I stepped outside and observed its heavy panting. I gently petted it and sang HU. HU is a love song to God and while I sang I asked for guidance on what was best for the little bird.

I observed its beauty—the various colors of soft silk like feathers with bright yellow and orange tips on the end of its back wing. As soon as I asked God for help, the bird sat up. I couldn’t help myself and went inside and grabbed my camera and took a few pictures.

The bird’s panting lessened. I then went inside to get some breadcrumbs. I thought how silly that must be—hear eat a few crumbs right after you've nearly knocked yourself out to death. I’m sure the little thing was so scared with this gigantic person hovering over it. Could you imagine if something that big hovered over you?

I noticed the filter to our pond was clogged with leaves and decided since I was outside, I may as well unclog it. I told the little bird to take it easy, grabbed the strainer and pulled out some leaves. After I finished, I put the strainer back and the bird was gone. I was happy for the bird. I hollered, “Be sure and tell your friends to watch out for the window."

P.S. I told my husband the story and he agreed that it was probably the singing—the bird had to get away. My husband thinks I can't sing. Cute isn’t he?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Dear Mom,

I journal—handwrite—every day or nearly. Sometimes on busy days it slips by, but I try and make it a priority. It’s my life line, what keeps my sanity. I purchase composition books during school supply sales and pick them up for 50 cents. But to liven them up a bit, I’ll cut out pictures in magazines and cover them or paste in sayings or pictures throughout the notebook—and surprise myself when I approach that page.

Like the other day—“There are no traffic jams when you go the extra mile.” There’s a picture of the front of an old car along with the quote. I had been thinking about this during the holiday season with all the stuff to be done—but when I give 100 percent—with love—in whatever I’m doing, it all works out. No traffic jams. What’s hard is trying to remember that all the time. I get caught up in this or that and hit a road block. That can be good because it makes me stop and think—what’s really important here? There’s something so totally freeing to be able to drive over the road block knowing that I’ll arrive at my destination, and I can do it with my heart on my sleeve or a chip on my shoulder. The heart on my sleeve makes my ride much more enjoyable.