Thursday, January 31, 2013

5-Minute Cures for Blogger's Block

Acting Balanced

I've had the hardest time coming up with a topic today.

I've got a list of topics for April, due to pre-planning for the "Blogging from A to Z" challenge. (Check back tomorrow for more information on that.)  I've also got a list of topics for February (with a theme of "love" - I know.  Original. Right?)  But today, I've been staring at the two graphics above, trying to figure out something of value to write.

Well, just about half an hour ago, I started thinking of things I could do in 5 minutes or less that would get my mind off a blank page and let my subconscious take over for a few while I was engaged in some fairly mundane task.

So, here's what I came up with, off the cuff:

  1. nail care (paint, trim, file, etc.)
  2. exercise (treadmill, jumping jacks, bicep curls ... whatever)
  3. call a friend
  4. pay a bill
  5. pray or meditate
  6. plan a meal
  7. answer an email
  8. take your dog outside.
  9. wash your vehicle's windshield
  10. stomp on some aluminum cans for recycling.
Not all earth-shattering, or even game-changing.  And I guess the closest I came to actually using one of these was the pray or meditate.  I went outside with my notebook and my husband's pen.

It was not as productive a session as yesterday, when reading a blog post about a Valentine's advent calendar inspired me to write a list of 100 occasions for which you could make an "advent calendar".  If you've never used a "list of 100" as a journaling technique, I highly recommend it.

My point is that in the process of coming up with a list of things I could to in five minutes to get out of my rut, it occurred to me that writing about the process of getting out of my rut would make a pretty good post!

So, what do you do when the ideas are not coming as fast as you would like?  Tell us in a comment.  You never know who may need the very idea that you post!

NOTE:  I don't know why going to the list changed the text alignment to center.  Any ideas?  Besides that, I like the way the list shows up when centered.  Kind of like a Christmas tree!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

WW - Repurposed Heart and Flower

A Wife's Work v2.0

I wrote the following pretty much off the cuff, following the "Monday's Child"-type poem style.  As my poem was posted to some marriage link-ups, however, my version is about being a wife.  One of the comments I had was that I should turn it into a graphic and possibly Pin It.

So I did that, using my pre-school  Photoshop skills.  Any tips for improvement would be greatly appreciated.  In the meantime, here it is:

Oh, BTW, last year I posted a total of 22 times to this blog.  This post represents my 23rd post in the month of January!  Yay me!  And a million thank yous to the bloggers and link-ups who have made that possible.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Matrimonial Monday - A Wife's Work

   Marriage Moment

Sunday's wife loves the Lord.

Monday's wife uses the ironing board.

Tuesday wife takes care of her man.

Wednesday's wife learns to can.

Thursday's wife teaches her son.

Friday's wife haves some fun!

Saturday's wife helps a friend.

I Thank God that a wife's work will never end!

Blogathon2 Wrap-Up Post

Accomplishments During Blogathon2

* I have completed Mini-Challenge #1:  How To Create a Blogging Planner on the blog A Jewel in the Making.
* I have completed Mini-Challenge #2.  Give to Get on the blog  Holy Splendor.
* I have completed Mini-Challenge #3.  Grammar Police, also hosted by Holy Splendor.
* I have completed Mini-Challenge #4:  Blog Brand Consistency on the blog Newlywed Survival.

I have printed out a 2013 blog calendar for each of my blogs.
* For Back Porchervations, I am using the calendar associated with Mini Challenge #1 (see above), adding copies of selected pages as needed.
* For Prayers for My Marriage, I am using a blog calendar located at Confessions of a Homeschooler
I created 4 new posts.

I have entered the first month of ideas on the Prayers for My Marriage calendar.
* I created the blog "Prayers for My Marriage" after participating in Matrimonial Monday, a blog hop hosted at A Proverbs 31 Wife and Exceptionalistic, on the 23rd of this month.  I used ideas from a set of prayer cards from Time Warp Wife, starting on that date.  I anticipate finishing that series of entries on the 22nd of February.

Facebook followers sent from 31 to 36.

Twitter followers increased from 616 to 657.

I'm in 58 Google+ circles, up from 51.

I have started moderating comments, so that I can be more responsive to my readers.

I started hosting my very first link-up: Mental Health Mondays.

I have a new page on my blog, with buttons to the link-ups in which I currently participate.


Did I get everything done that I set out to do.  Not by a log shot.

Am I feeling pretty danged proud of myself anyway?  HECK YEAH!

I'm going to miss my new Blogathon2 buddies, but I subscribe to most of them now anyway, so even that's not so bad.

Have a great week blogging, y'all!

Mental Health Mondays #1

PURPOSE:  to reduce some of the stigma associated with mental illness by talking about it public.


Mental Health Mondays is my freshwoman foray into the world of hosting a blog link-up. Mental Health has been an interest/concern/passion of mine for most of my adult life. One of the gifts I received at the onset of puberty was a tendency towards depression.  I call it a gift, because without having dealt with depression for nearly 40 years now, I would have become a much different person.

I'm not advocating that everyone go out and get them a bottle of depression at the corner pharmacy.  It is also a very frustrating condition.  Sometimes I get angry that I will probably have to take meds for this the rest of my life.  Then I am very grateful that these medications exist and I don't have to suffer.

I am also not off my rocker, a sandwich short of a picnic or not playing with all of my marbles. I don't own a rocker (although I'd like to); my picnics are never short of food and I do not discriminate between my marbles.

But don't call me normal, either.  That is also a dirty word at our house.  Differences can be celebrated.

Many people tend to treat someone with a mental illness as "less than human".  For four years, I worked with adults who had MR/DD (mental retardation and/or developmental disabilities) in a residential/teaching facility.  Most people  out and about were at least kind, but some people's behavior was just...bad.  I've seen people move to the opposite side of an aisle in a store, get up and move to a different table in a restaurant, and make inappropriate comments.

I even heard of one hospital ER staff making a comment, "Why don't they take 'them' to the vet where they belong?"  I cannot attest the veracity of that statement, but unfortunately it would not surprise me.  And it's probably a good thing I wasn't there.  One thing that job changed in me was an increased willingness to jump into the middle of confrontational situations.  If I had been there, the so-called medical professional would have been a patient in their own ER and I would probably be online from the prison library.

And a Humongous (I spell-checked) Mental Health Mondays Hug to Michael Garcia from Houston, a waiter who refused to serve a man who was making extremely rude comments about a family whose little boy has Down's Syndrome.



1.  Please put this button in your post:

2.  If you are a "hater", I'm sure there are places you can go to get what you want, but this link-up is not one of them.  If you will not play nice with others, you will go home before milk and cookies on the Porch.

3.  A social media follow or two and/or a subscription would be VERY MUCH APPRECIATED, but not required.

4.  Posts should have some sort of relation to a mental health topic, but other than that it's wide open.

5.  As this link-up is BRAND new (TODAY!), spreading the word will bring you cosmic brownie points.  Well, maybe not, but I would really appreciate it!

Blog Buttons 2.0

Back Porchervations

Thank you for your prayers!
Above is firstly, the link up button for "Inspire Me Mondays" at Create With Joy. Secondly, is an updated version of a button I tried out for Back Porchervations last week. Lastly, is a button for my new blog. Plain and simple, yes; but it's there! This means I get to cross another goal off my Blogathon2 list.  Yay!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Blogathon2 Update 2

Let's Get Social Sunday

I've been updating my Blogathon2 kick-off post all weekend in order to keep track of my progress on my goals and mini-challenges.  I think it has taken on a life of its own.  Normally, I would not post something as gargantuan as this post, but sometimes a look into another's process can be a learning experience.  And there are a bunch of links to some pretty great posts, blogs and bloggers.

If I could ask one thing of you today, could you follow me on a couple of the social media sites?  I've got buttons in the sidebars that are linked to my profiles on various accounts.  I would be honored.

If I could do one thing for you today, I would promise to follow back and answer any comments on this post..

So, into the fray....

Updated Goal List of Blogaton2
Goal or challenge completions are indicated by crossing them off the list.
Goals or challenges which are in-process are shown in italics.

1.  I will participate in at least 3 mini-challenges; this works out to a rate of at least one per day.  My choices of which challenges in which to participate will be random.

* I have completed Mini-Challenge #1:  How To Create a Blogging Planner on the blog A Jewel in the Making.
* I have completed Mini-Challenge #2.  Give to Get on the blog  Holy Splendor.
* I have completed Mini-Challenge #3.  Grammar Police, also hosted by Holy Splendor.
* I have completed Mini-Challenge #4:  Blog Brand Consistency on the blog Newlywed Survival.

2. I have printed out a 2013 blog calendar for each of my blogs.
* For Back Porchervations, I am using the calendar associated with Mini Challenge #1 (see above), adding copies of selected pages as needed.
* For Prayers for My Marriage, I am using a blog calendar located at Confessions of a Homeschooler
3. I will write a week’s worth of entries for Back Porchervations. 2 down, 5 to go)

4. I have entered the first month of ideas on the Prayers for My Marriage calendar.
* I created the blog "Prayers for My Marriage" after participating in Matrimonial Monday, a blog hop hosted at A Proverbs 31 Wife and Exceptionalistic, on the 23rd of this month.  I used ideas from a set of prayer cards from Time Warp Wife, starting on that date.  I anticipate finishing that series of entries on the 22nd of February.

5. I will increase the number of my blog's (Back Porchervations)  Facebook followers from 31 to 100; 
* I have used the "Build Audience" tab in the Admin Panel to send individual messages and make a post to my personal FB page.(where it will show that thanks to mostly farm games I have 4400 "friends"). UPDATE: I have 34 followers.

I will increase the number of my blog's Twitter followers from 616 to 700;
I joined Twiends and Tweetbig in order to add some momentum to my Twitter business.  Too many links to follow from this Squidoo lens.
UPDATE:  I have 645 followers

I will increase the number of Google+ circles to which my blog belongs from 51 to 100.
I googled "how to increase followers on Google+" and picked the site WonderHowTo for ideas.
UPDATE:  I have 54 followers.

7. I will start moderating comments on both my blogs in order to increase my responsiveness to my readers.

8. I will get domain names for each of my two blogs.

9. I will have one incoming guest post (a post on my blog by someone else) and one outgoing guest post (a post on someone else's blog by me) for each of my two blogs.

10. I will host one blog hop each day at Back Porchervations

11. Back Porchervations will participate in at least one blog hop (hosted on another blogger's site) for each day of the week.

12. Both of my blogs will feature one giveaway per month.

13.  I will participate in the "101 in 1001" meme.

14.  I will do more  shoutouts to help build up by friends' blogs.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Blogathon2 Update

Updated Goal List for Blogathon2

Goal or challenge completions are indicated in this color.
Goals or challenges which are in-process are shown in this color.

1.  I will participate in at least 3 mini-challenges; this works out to a rate of at least one per day.  My choices of which challenges in which to participate will be random.

* I have completed Mini-Challenge #1.  The page which details this challenge is located at How To Create a Blogging Planner on the blog A Jewel in the Making.
* I have completed Mini-Challenge #2.  The page detailing this challenge is located at Give to Get on the blog  Holy Splendor.
* I am working on Mini-Challenge #3 as I write this post.  The page showing this mini-challenge is located at Grammar Police, also hosted by Holy Splendor.

2. print out the 2013 blog calendar x2 (one for this blog, one for my new blog, Prayers for My Marriage) 
* For Back Porchervations, I am using the calendar associated with Mini Challenge #1 (see above).  I will add copies of selected pages for successive months.
* For Prayers for My Marriage, I am using a blog calendar located at Confessions of a Homeschooler
3. Write a week’s worth of entries for Back Porchervations.

4. Enter the 1st month of “Praying for my Husband” on the PFMM calendar 
* I started the blog "Prayers for My Marriage" after participating in the Matrimonial Monday hop, hosted at A Proverbs 31 Wife and Exceptionalistic, on the 23rd of this month.  So I used the prayer cards from that date to start out instead of starting from the beginning of the 31 cards, or waiting to begin the series (or the blog) until the start of Februrary

5. 100 Facebook (31), 700 Twitter (616) and 100 Google+(51) 6. Have a finished blog button for both blogs

7. Start moderating comments in order to be able to respond to each one in an easier fashion.

8. Get 2x domans for my 2x blogs

9. Line up 1 incoming and 1 outgoing guest post x2

10. Set up one blog hop for each day of the week on BP

11. Participate in one blog hop (hosted on a friend’s blog) for each day of the week (for BP)

12. Set up one giveaway per month 2x 13. 101 in 1001

14. More shoutouts for outstanding blogs, bloggers, comments/ers etc etc etc

Friday, January 25, 2013

Blogathon 2 Kickoff

Biannual Blogathon Bash    
I'm so blogxcited right now I can hardly stand it.  If you haven't signed up for the blogathon, you can still participate by going here.  There are 105 of us so far and this is definitely a "the more the merrier" kind of thing.  Kathleen Garber, aka Mother Blogture (my term) has a w-e-a-l-t-h of information on the site, accessible by the button above.  Go there.  Now.  I.  Am.  Serious!
Little bit about me:  My name is LuAnn.  I am an Invisible Woman of God, a Wife, a Homeschooling Mother of 3 (male-16, male-14, female-9 but making out her 10th birthday wishlist for the big day 8 days from now), a Wordcrafter.  I have a quirky sense of humor.  Originally I had put "writer" in my little list, but wordcrafter is a better choice, because not only do I like to use words...I like to make them up!  
I made up the word "porchervation" for this blog, to mean an observations made on a porch.  I'm also counting blogxcited and Mother Blogture; I was hoping for wordcrafting as well, but that apparently has already been spoken for.  
Some goals I have for this Blogathon2 include:
  1. participate in at least 3 challenges (arbitrary choice of one per day)
  2. print out the 2013 blog calendar x2 (one for this blog, one for my new blog (Prayers For My Marriage).  Unfortunately one of our computers needed reformatting, and the other one is occupado, so I need to find out which one I've squirreled away the file on.
  3. write a week's worth of entries for Back Porchervations, because that's probably how long I'm going to sleep after 8 am ET on Monday.
  4. enter the first month of "Praying for My Husband" card topics on one of the above calendars.
  5. 250 Facebook (currently at 31), Twitter (currently at 616), and Google+ (currently at 51) followers; OK. It's obvious those numbers need some how about 100 FB, 700 Tweeps and 100 Googlers?
  6. Have a finished blog button for both blogs.
  7. Start moderating comments in order to be able to respond to each one in an easier fashion.
  8. get 2x domains for my 2x blogs.
  9. line up 1 incoming (on my blog) and 1 outgoing (on a friend's blog) guest post x2.
  10. set up one blog hop for each day of the week on this blog.
  11. participate in one blog hop (from a friend's blog) for each day of the week.
  12. set up one giveaway per month 2x
  13. 101 in 1001
  14. more shoutouts for outstanding blogs, bloggers, comments/commenters etc etc etc 
OK.  I'd love to put more and make a post so long that I would do nothing else (sometimes I prepare a little too well), but I'm going to go out (figuratively speaking because it's C-O-L-D outside) and get blogging!

Have a super Blogathon2, y'all!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thirsty for Comments Thursday

Acting Balanced
As this is the first time I have participated in this hop, I'm going to re-iterate the purposes and methods verbatim from the host site.
What is Thirsty for Comments?
This is a blog hop dedicated to giving good comment - please, when you are visiting, actually READ the post that is linked and make a thoughtful comment!
This is NOT a hop for "I'm here from the hop, follow me back" comments!
Link up your own SPECIFIC POST that you'd like comments on - remember - no giveaways!


We are looking to add one or two new Co-Hosts to Thirsty For Comments!  All of the HTML is written and shared each week, so all you have to do is post... and participate!!!

If you're interested, please email Heather!
The rules are simple -
1. Link up a SPECIFIC POST (NOT just your blog URL) that you'd like to have more comments on - NO  GIVEAWAYS or OTHER BLOG HOPS - they will be deleted
2. Visit AT LEAST THREE other blogs and READ the posts and then comment thoughtfully on the post.
Extras (nice but not required):
  • Add the Thirsty for Comments button to your post
  • Blog about Thirsty for Comments
  • Add Thirsty for Comments to your Meme List!
  • Leave a comment here on how we can improve Thirsty for Comments :)
This is a cause near and dear to my heart.
I know quality commenting takes time and effort.  I've spent days just making comments on dozens of hop entries.  But if you're going to make the effort, and want reader-followers and repeat visits, not just to see that little # of followers go up by "1", it's SO worth it.
We all have our good days and our bad days.  We all have "stuff" come up in our lives that needs dealing with - right now.  I deal with depression and some days it's all I can do to read posts, let alone make a comment.  On "those days" for me, I give my self credit for doing what I can, because I know that when I feel better, I will also do better.
Like Shakespeare's Juliet said, "...the more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite".  She was talking about love.  I'm talking about blog love.  It's a cosmic balance issue.  It's a golden rule issue.
OK.  I'll step off my soapbox now.
Two last things:
  • Felicia Pratt started a group "Valuable Blog Commenting"  on the site.  If you are not already a member, and you believe in giving and receiving valuable comments on your blog, I urge you to check it out.
  • If I haven't worn y'all out already, check out my "Nobility of Motherhood" post available from the list on the right.  I feel like it is my best writing in a while.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Meet Sophia The Snow Waver

MM - Working on Semi-Precious

I thought I had done a blog post about starting to memorize Proverbs 31:10-31 a while back.  Well, I can't seem to find it now, and so what will I do?  I'll start over.  And hoping to use this blog link-up to do a series and keep myself accountable and better-organized.

For the first week, I'm going to tackle Proverbs 31:10-12

10  Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

11  The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil

12  She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

I have never been the best wife and probably never will be - but then who wants that sort of competition thrown in amongst a group of women who ought to be supportive of one another?  No "Real Housewives" for me, thank you.  But I haven't even been the best wife I could be.  And that smarts.

The good news is two-fold...or maybe three.  I don't have to stay that way.  The process of improvement in this area of my life is not necessarily leaping tall buildings with a single bound, but smaller steps, consistently applied.  And God is patient, so there's still hope for me.

I won't bore you...yet (lol)...with a list of my failings as a wife.

But going with the whole rubies/gemstones theme, I have come up with a system to kind of mark my progress on this journey:  Amethyst - caring for self; Sapphire - caring for children; Aquamarine - caring for home; Amber - caring for finances; Citrine - caring for husband; Ruby - a humble heart, caring for God.  

A few random notes:  I chose aquamarine to fill the "green" part of the spectrum because it is my husband's birthsone.  I chose citrine for the orange part of the spectrum because there is no iconic orange gemstone (like amethysts are purple, rubies are red).  The only purposely-chosen color/meaning choice was the ruby-caring for God.  Because what better way is there to be the best wife for a particular husband if not being a woman of God?

More on the whole color scheme of my wifely self-improvement scheme after I've gone through the verses of Proverbs 31 in the weekly posts.  I'd sure LOVE to have you along for the ride, so come on back to the Porch anytime! :O)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blog Button V1.0

Introducing my Blog's button v1.0 (cause I haven't figured out how to get the text on the button itself yet.  Once I figure that out, I will publish an update. :O)

Back Porchervations
But what I do have is thanks to this unbelievably timely post about making your very own blog button at:
Go check 'em out!

The Nobility of Motherhood

Let's Get Social Sunday  

Since when did it become a "little thing" to be a mother?  One of the blog posts I read this week involved a SAHM having trouble filling out employment sections of applications.   (I don't know if this was an application for employment, college, sweepstakes, or whatever.)  What do you put when it comes to "most recent job"?  Many commenters offered suggestions of which most had corporate-sounding names: "COO - Chief Operating Officer of the X-Family", and others like that.  My issue is not with the blogger or with the commenters.  The titles chosen, if applied in the outside world, would accurately reflect the duties performed by the person in question.  I support my "sisters", be they single or married, with kids or not, working outside the home or not.  My beef is with whomever decided that being a woman, wife, mother was "not enough".

Some years ago, an young woman found out she was pregnant.  Her fiance knew the child was not his, biologically, but chose to stand by the young woman.  (BTW, how cool is THAT?)  When she was in labor, the local hospital maternity ward was overflowing and she had to give birth in a ... less than antiseptic location.  Word got around, and many people brought the new mom and little baby boy gifts due to the unusual way in which he was brought into the world.

A short time after that, the "father" came in and said, "Honey, we gotta now."  Still recovering from childbirth, the new mom was probably less than thrilled.  "We're going WHERE? WHEN?  That's not really an ideal neighborhood...."  Well, the long and the short of it was, they went.  A couple of years later, they were able to return to their old neighborhood.

When the boy was 12, he disappeared on a shopping trip.  The parents went out of their minds with worry.  And where did they find him?  In a room full of old men!  These days, the police would probably run background checks on all the old guys, to make sure none of them had criminal records.  But this was another day, another time.  Turns out all that happened was some rather educational discussions.

This boy went on to be many things to many people.  On his death "bed", he asked a friend of his to look after his mother.  She had a profound effect on her children, and through them, a much larger audience.

If anyone were to tell Mary, or her son Jesus, that being a wife or mother was not a noble pursuit for a woman, ... well, I'm sure they would have indicated their disagreement in some form or fashion.  Now I used  this example because I am a Christian.  I know there are similar examples of noble womanhood in other belief systems and faiths, and encourage those whose spiritual beliefs are different from mine to share their stories too!

In fact, I am asking for your opinion, not only of my writing on this post, but also of the idea behind it.  Your thoughts are IMPORTANT to me.  I would be honored to read your comment below.

IMO (In My Opinion), we need to reclaim the dignity and power of the names "woman", "wife" and "mother" ... regardless of the individual circumstances in which we find ourselves.  We are the tenders of the hearth, the nurses of the sick, the teachers with students in many stages of life, the team-players.  We have the hands that rock the cradle.  Whether our influence stretches only to the closest four walls, or around the globe, we change the world every day.


NOTE:  This post was edited to reflect it being submitted to the Thursday Favorite Things link-up at Katherine's Corner.  Other entries are accessible by using the button above.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friendship Friday - 52 Books

This is my Friendship Friday offering and my "Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks" Challenge Kick-Off.  WOOHOO! :O)
Five Fun Facts About Me:
  1. I have lived in Pennsylvania, Utah, Texas, Kentucky and Switzerland.
  2. I had my first child at the age of 35.
  3. I love, l-o-v-e-, LOVE live theatre - attending, acting, writing - you name it.
  4. Reading one more book will put me in a tie with last year's total...which would be more impressive if last year's total was not so pitiful.
  5. I have a mama bear heart for life's underdogs.
Go click the Friendship Friday button above for more great reads.  Seriously.  Go do it.  Now. ;p

As for the reading challenge, the above button will take you to the home page of the hosting blog.  One book a week.  A small price to pay for sanity.  Books are a great way to learn new things.  Even from fiction books.  You may learn how to string together your own words in a better way.  You may learn things better not said when you are , say, interviewing vampires and such.

I am looking to the mini-challenges they will have to add some juice to my "OMG what book am I going to read this week" choices, as I have not made reading a prior for many years (I know, but I'm not dead yet, so there's still time to get better, right?)

I can say that I am reading two books at the moment:

The link is to the Kindle page at Amazon.  The book is also available in regular page-turning format.  So far, so good on this one.  The title was what caught my eye initially.  My life could use a little disrupting.  I am so ready to start steering my own boat, as it were, and not to leave the choices of destinations entirely to other people.  When I'm done, there will be a review post.

Ah, who can resist a good Amish fiction, eh?  (BTW, ditto on the link.)  The whole genre kind of reminds me of my childhood.  One of the school field trips was to a fall festival up in "Pennsylvania Dutch" country and it was one of my favorites.  Then there was the whole "Witness" movie phenom, where many of us learned that Harrison Ford was more than just a pretty face up there on the screen.  And actually, there are quite a few Amish in our neck of Kentucky.  FIL (when he could still drive long distances) would occasionally ferry some of the local brethren around longer distances (like out of state)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Inspire Me Abundantly


OK, so if you caught my post from yesterday, you'll remember that I'm kind of having a love/hate relationship with my "One Word for 2013" of "ABUNDANCE".  

But abundance (as opposed to over-abundance, which is a whole other can of worms) is something I want to recognize more of in my life this year.  We don't have a lot of material wealth, but we don't go to bed cold and/or hungry either.  And we are blessed with many, many things that money cannot buy.  And, if you can have only one or the other, I'm quite satisfied with the type of abundance we do have, thank you very much. :O)

Anyway, I got crafty last night and this morning, while I was stressing about Chris's first day of on-site college classes in over, oh, 20 years?  (He took exclusively online classes last Fall.)  I joked that he should take the teacher an apple.  He laughed and the professor snickered when he was told.  At 45, hubby is older than the prof, who attends the same church with is family that my daughter and I do - what can I say, we live in a s-m-a-l-l town.

Oh, and I noticed when he came home that my l'il one had a spot of trouble dressing himself this morning, because his shirt was buttoned one askew.  But it was his first day and I didn't want to break his wee spirit, and I know he will get better.  (I may have to go outside with one of the puppies for a few minutes, before my giggles wake up the house.)

The 3rd graphic above is my attempt at similitude to the totally ROCKIN' "One Word" button made for me by Melanie of the Only a Breath blog, which button appears at the head of this post.  I don't know if she is still doing the freebies, but HERE is the post detailing her wonderful offering!  

Each disc is about 1" in diameter and made of white polymer clay.  The letters are made of hand-rolled strings of black clay with purple, lavender and kelly green accents.  I have no idea why I made flowers from the dots on two of the letters and it is (really) just coincidence that the two letters on which I did this were both "N"s".  Wonder what that means.  Hrmmmmnnnn....

They are as yet unbaked, and thank goodness for that, because then I still have a chance to correct that arthritic "U" and tighten up the "N's" and the D (which my husband mistook for an "O" at first, when he thought the word was in a language other than English). *ROFL*.  So far, I'm thinking of tying them together with ribbon through holes, in vertical fashion.  

Let me know in the comments any suggestions you might have as to how I can doll up this project, and if you are a new follower (so then I can follow you back).  I'm guessuming that I already follow everyone that follows me so far.  I'm kinda rabid about that...but I am also human.  I even started following a Norwegian language blog and a French-lanugage blog this week; Google Translate is a wonderful thing!

And click on that first button too, the one that says "Inspire Me Monday" to hop on over to Ramona at Create With Joy to get LOTS of inspiration from bunches of bloggers!  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Let's Get Abundantly Social

Let's Get Social Sunday

So, ok, when I picked the word "abundance" as my 'one word' for 2013, this isn't exactly what I expected.  

Two weeks ago, my husband's Mamaw was in the hospital.  She is 90, and at the time her blood sugar was over 500.  She also suffers from some dementia.  The prognosis at the time was not good.  We started talking about making sure the boys had some nice black pants.  That kind of "not good".  Then she was supposed to go to a nursing home (which had previously denied her due to verbal aggression - Mamaw is a plain-talking old hillbilly great-great-grandmother).  This time it was some MediCare snafu.  Whatever.  Now she is back at home, being looked after by two of her sons.  Uncle is nearly 70, and has asthma and a heart condition.  FIL is a few years younger, with diabetes, arthritis and had his right leg amputated above the knee before I met him.  We help out where and when we can.

Last week, our oldest (now 16) developed an abscess and went to the ER.

Yesterday, FIL was not feeling well.  His wife took him to the closest hospital, and they transferred him to the next biggest hospital with "kidney insufficiency".  When DH spoke with him, he said it was "just dehydration" and that he would be going home the next day (today).  He's still there, but should be home within a few days.  With his different infirmities, he takes more medication than some large circus animals, and needs to keep his fluid levels up.  Apparently the last little while he has not been doing such a good job with that of late.  I don't know how close he was to kidney failure...but it was probably within spitting distance.

On the one hand, I could look at it as "three family members, three hospital visits, three weeks"...that SUCKS!  On the other hand, I could say, "three family members, three hospital visits, three pretty decent outcoemes"...and that's pretty GOOD!

Still, I'm ready for a less stressful version of abundance to being manifesting in my life. ;)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friendship & Follow Friday

Combining the Friendship Friday blog hop at Create With Joy with the #FollowFriday doodad at Twitter, following is a list of the first 28 entries into the above hop, along with their Twitter page links:

Beneath the Surface: Breath of Faith -
Blogging While Nursing -
Couponing & Cooking - could not find
Depart the Text - could not find
Hey Mommy Chocolate Milk - could not find
Jack’s Paper Moon – could not find
Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic -
Just Winging It -
Learning Lessons in Mummyography -
Live, Laugh, Love -
My Life as an Adventure - could not find
My Fashion Forward Blog -
New House, New Home, New Life - could not find
Raising Figure Skaters -
Scrapydo - could not find

And, for your convenience, twittable entries of the above for #FollowFriday.  I believe this can also be abbreviated #FF, but since I do not know, I'll do it longhand:

#FollowFriday @AroundtheTableB @breathoffaith @kalleyc @Paula_CallMePMC @CreateWithJoy1 @DearCreatives @epears12 @JanineHuldie

#FollowFriday @jahuston @Mummyography @livelaughhlovee @Loyturns60 @mfashforward @thenanahood @MarlingJulie @butifnot @raisingskaters

#FollowFriday @Jen_Avellaneda @selfsagacity @XMasDolly @totally_rachel 

And for those who would rather just RT my above tweets:

OK.  I'm tired, my eyes are blurry and I'm going to bed.  Any corrections or additions, leave a comment and I'll get to it during the day.  HAPPY FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Inspire Me Monday - A Cautionary Tale

(This is my post for the "Inspire Me Monday" blog hop at the Create With Joy blog.  Click the button above to find more inspiration!)


Have a little one that does not like to brush their teeth?  (I know, what in the world does this have to do with creativity and/or inspiration?  Hold your horses, I'm getting to that.)

At 8:15 this morning, I was in the dentist's chair.  Why?  I was getting fitted for a set of dentures.  I am 51 years old (I don't feel that old, though.)  How did this happen to me at such a "young" age?

My mother was a good one at reminding me to brush my teeth.  I don't know why but it's just not something I ever caught onto by myself.  I'd like to lay the whole problem at the feet of genetically soft enamel.  But I can't.  If I want to find the source of this difficulty, I need only look in the mirror.  Of course, looking back, I now regret not having paid more attention to my dental health (brushing after every meal, flossing, etc.)

Last October 8, I went to a dental clinic sponsored by the University of Kentucky clinic system.  They helped out low-income folks like myself with dental, eye, and "female" care.  I had every single one of my teeth pulled that day, and the first week of recovery was ROUGH.  I'm pretty sure I took my Tylenol quota for the year within the first two weeks.

My church had let me know about the clinic and are assisting me with the cost of the dentures.  I could not have gotten this far without them.

Now, some people may look down on me after finding this out, for my lack of discipline...or whatever.  But I cannot, nor will I, worry about that right now.  Nor am I looking for pity.  I would like people (especially children) to learn from my example...and NOT do this to themselves.

There is a website,, that gives a lot of good information on dental health for all stages of life.  This is not a "sponsored post".  I have no connection or affiliation with the ADA or any dentists for marketing purposes.

I also don't want to scare people into taking better care of themselves.  I would really, really like to i-n-s-p-i-r-e people at really how easy it would be to significantly improve their health and their lives by engaging in a few simple acts of self-care on a regular basis.  In the end, it really is much easier than the alternative.

And if you already do this, HUZZAH!  Pat yourself on the back!  And after that, I invite you to join me in encouraging others to do the same.

Happy Monday, y'all!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Learning My Own Strength

There are a several instances in my life recently that have taught me I am really a lot stronger than I thought.

There is a fan light in the bedroom (no lamps).  The fan we leave on pretty much all the time; the light we turn on and off as needed.  A couple of weeks ago I reached up to turn off the light and was surprised to have the little ball chain come off in my hand!  And it came off up inside the mechanism itself, so there is no fixing it without replacement of at least the chain and maybe just the whole light.

Several days after that incident I was getting out of the Suburban and the handle snapped and came off in my hand (I don't remember if it was the same hand or not *LOL*).  The driver's door still opens from the inside, but you either have to have a strong finger and quick reflexes or put the window down, open the door from the outside and roll the window back up, which is nicer when it is not raining.  I was even more surprised when hubs informed me that the handle was made of cast iron!

I am Wonder Woman! *haha*

The hardest thing I've ever done required strength of a different nature.

I gave birth to our daughter when I was 41.  She was born at 32 weeks and weighed 3 lbs .4 oz at birth.  I had had gestational diabetes and PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension), so we knew she would be coming early....just not how early.  The doctor told us that T-girl would have to stay in the NICU until her original due date and until the time she weighed at least 5 lbs.  That meant nearly 8 weeks of not sleeping in the same place as my baby.  I would have to go back to work before she could come home.  Bar none, that experience required the most from me mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

The is a great story in its own.  When she was 3 days old, I had some elders from my church come into the NICU and give her a blessing.  After that, she progressed so rapidly, that she was able to come home at 22 days, and while she weighed less than 4 pounds!  Now she's standing beside me (literally), correcting my spelling and letting me know what she wants for her 10th birthday in about a month!



1.  What are your strengths?

2.  What strengths would you like to develop?


Let's Get Social Sunday

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

One Word 2013 Intro

I chose "abundance" as my One Word for 2013 because it seems to be one thing that is lacking in my life.  For example, this morning, I had to pawn a metal detector to get money for gas so my husband could go check on his father, who recently had a mini-stroke and was not sounding good this morning.

While I am grateful for the many, many blessings my family and I do have (and there are plenty), there are times when it would be nice not to have to choose between getting a small Christmas tree or a holiday dress for my daughter.

We have a roof over our heads.  We have utilities.  We have internet access from home.  This may seem like a luxury, but if it weren't for the internet, I wouldn't have the family I have now.  Hubby and I met in an online RPG in the mid-90's.  He came out to Utah for a visit ... and never left.  Now 15 years and, 2 states and 3 children later, here we are, still a family.

I have my faith in God.  I hope to be as the wise and industrious servant, in Matthew 25:21, to whom "His lord said unto him, Well done, though good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things:  enter thou into the joy of thy lord."  We don't have a lot of creature comforts, and frankly, I wouldn't mind a few more; but if I won the lottery today, I'd be one of those folks who are broke again in a couple of years.  I have some learning to do.  And what better teacher.

We have each other (husband and wife, two sons, 1 daughter, 1 cat, 1 dog, and 6 puppies), and I would not trade that for anything this world has to offer.


The button above was supposed to link to Only a Breath blog (where you can get your own nifty button gratis) but I was having trouble getting it to work, so I added this text link down here.  Come visit!

Wordless Wednesday - Face Pin in Progress

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Me All Over Again

I wrote in one of my last posts about wanting to be a better wife and mother.  As a Christian, I am using the verses of Proverbs 31 from the Bible as a guide on my way.

It is my sincere hope and intention that people of other faiths or belief systems will feel welcome on the Back Porch at all times.  I try to present my beliefs respectfully and hope that anyone reading my blog would feel free to express themselves (in a family-friendly way) as well.

So, my first nugget comes from Proverbs 31:10-12 (KJV):

  • Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. defines "virtuous" as "conforming to moral and ethical principles".  While I like to think I am a good person, there is always room for improvement.  I certainly don't feel like my worth is "far above rubies"...yet. :)

  • The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
To me, this verse means that I am my husband's reliable partner.  I use my skills to make our lives better and continually "upgrade" those skills.  Well, folks, I have not done a very good job in this of late.  So my goal for the next month is to do a better job.  The one area that jumps out at me and SCREAMS for attention is my rusty old broken down domestic engineering abilities.

The first, or one of the first ideas that hit me when I thought of this goal is to get out of  C.H.A.O.S.  (Anyone familiar with the FlyLady will know that this means "Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome".  Part of the problem is that we have 2 adults, 2 teens, 1 tween, 1 cat, 1 dog and 6 puppies in our 3-br apartment.  Part of the problem is our conspicuous lack of storage areas.  Here are some of my smaller goals designed to correct the part of the problem that is in my control:
  1. By Tuesday, 8 January, 2013, we will be able to invite people into the living room.
  2. By Tuesday, 15 January, 2013, we will be able to invite people into the kitchen.
  3. By Tuesday, 22 January, 2013, the nickel tour will include the "master bedroom".
  4. By Tuesday, 29 January, 2013, the laundry nook, bathroom and front porch will be presentable.

  • She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 
IMO, this verse has to do more with the things I think and feel concerning my marriage, rather than the things I do.  Overall, I have positive feelings and thoughts about my husband and our marriage.  There are little things that get under my skin about him (and his skin about me) every now and again, but marriage was not meant to be a non-stop party.  Every once in a while, you need to clean up.

So don't be surprised if a little "what a guy" statements make it into the blog every once in a while.  For instance, my husband went back to college last fall after a 20 +/- year break.  He got all A's in his classes.  I am so proud of him!  I told his mother and her husband, his father and his wife, my brother, people at church ... basically anyone who sat still for any length of time. :O)


How are your goals going?  Are they big enough to hold your attention?  Are they broken down into manageable bites to help you remain motivated?  Let me know!  I'd love to provide encouragement on your journey!!!

I wrote this post  to help fulfill my own Christmas wish to be a better wife and mother.  I wanted to link it to the "One Word 2013 Blog Hop" at my friend's blog "Create With Joy" because she is the source of a lot of good information and connections.