Search This Blog

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Weekend Happenings and a Guessing Game

I have been very busy this weekend. 
He have visited one of our cemeteries and have two more to go to.
And, it has been soooo hot! 
On our deck thermometer, which gets direct sunlight, it was 111 degrees today.

These little baby robins seem to be doing okay, though.
Aren't they cute?

And, I also found a dove's nest in our grapevines. So far two eggs have been deposited in the nest.
There was a rumor Friday that Ripley was on sale, so we checked it out.
Sure enough, they were right. Ripley was on sale!
But, believe it or not, I never bought anything from the Courthouse lawn.
I didn't even buy any of this silvercrest Fenton or salt and pepper shakers!

We did go to a few yard sales, though, and I picked up a few things.
I saw this in the yard of one of my friends.
I would have liked to have brought it home with me, but it wasn't for sale.
Do you know what it is?

Here's another view of it.
I bet some of you know.

Any guesses?
I'll come back tomorrow and tell you what it is.

Here is the answer.
Okay everyone, we had some pretty good guesses. 
They said this used to be at our Capitol building a long time ago in Charleston.
That little spot on the back of it used to have a ring attached to it to hitch your horse to.
These were steps used for a lady to step up onto her horse and sit side saddle.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Writing Wednesday

I'm a little behind on my Writing Wednesday post.
Have you heard the old saying, "I've got too many pots on the stove?"
Well, that is the way it is around here. I have got too many things I am working on and I am behind.

I have a work in progress that I have finished, but it needs a lot of editing!
At the moment I am calling it a novella.
For the life of me I cannot seem to write a full length novel.
I guess that is why my specialty is children's books.

Anyone else have that trouble?

I distributed the June copies of Two-Lane Livin' today. If you have time, click over to their site and check it out. If any of my readers live in the Jackson County area, there are copies of it at the Jackson County Library in Ripley, First National Bank in Ripley, Crabby Patti's in Ripley, Your Family Restaurant in Kenna and the McDonalds in Fairplain. They will be at the Ravenswood Library tomorrow night when I go there to my writer's meeting.

The Library was having a book sale today! Tables and tables of books! Bag up what you want and put a donation in the jar on the table. Well, I got a few.


As you can see, I got a wide variety of books. 
Civil War books, writing books, children's books, etc.
My husband picked out a few, too.

Happy Writing.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Make Believe Get-a-Way

We've been busy around our little house,
as I am sure all of you have been. 
Seems like there is always some tidying up to do.

Sometimes we feel tiny and get overwhelmed in the hustle and bustle of it all.

That is when we should take a break.
No place special  -  a castle will do.

Or maybe take a refreshing bath to calm and sooth our sore muscles.

And, if that doesn't help. We will take a nice long walk. A little seclusion is good for the soul.

I hope you enjoyed our little make believe get-a-way from it all.
I feel better now, how about you?

Oh well, now it is time to get back to work.

posted by Janet Smart at

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Writing Wednesday

Writing Wednesday is here again. I really enjoyed last week's comments about What a Writer Needs.

I agree with all of you. I couldn't find it when I looked back at the post, so maybe this comment was emailed to me, but she said a writer needs to write! How true that is, many people say they want to write or they are going to write some day, but they never get around to writing - they keep putting it off.

That advice goes with submissions, also. I used to bring my rejection slips to our writing group's meetings.  I was getting praised on my rejection slips. They said, "Well, at least you are submitting."

You never know if your work has a chance unless you submit your manuscripts. You may get rejection letters or never hear from the publisher, but at least you gave your work a chance by submitting. Later on down the road you won't have to say, "Oh, if only I had submitted my stories."

Unlike most of last year, I have been submitting this year. I am giving my stories a fighting chance.

West Virginia Writers are having their annual writer's conference on June 10, 11 and 12 at Cedar Lakes, WV.
I am so lucky - Cedar Lakes is only a few miles down the road from my house. I just sent in my registration form on Saturday. You can go here and check out the schedule, the workshop presenters, and all the details.
Cedar Lakes is a beautiful place to have a conference. It even has a covered bridge!

It is a very popular place in our area for church picnics, family reunions and get togethers of all kinds.

I've been visiting there ever since I was young. 

 Summer of 1972

There is still time to register if anyone is interested in going.

Happy Writing and don't forget to submit your manuscripts!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Have a Courting Lamp!

If you have been following me for very long, you know I love Fenton and I love hobnail milkglass.
I have posted here about my milkglass finds before.

I went to a yard sale Saturday and saw this pretty little thing sitting on the table. I picked it up and just had to have it. I thought it was Fenton, but wasn't 100% sure until I went home and looked it up. When I looked it up, I found out that it was a Fenton oil courting lamp!  Isn't she cute. She wanted $2 for it, so it found a new home with me. Now I guess Charley and I are going to have to do some courting.

I also bought this beautiful Westmoreland milkglass vase.
It is very heavy and I think a bouquet of flowers would look so nice in it.

I keep saying I am going to stop going to yard sales.
But how can I when these items are waiting on me to come get them?
Does anyone else out there have a courting lamp?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What's Blooming at your House?

We have a rainbow of blooms at our house, their colors bursting forth in the spring air.

Each iris is just as pretty as the other. 
The only one I ever bought was this one and it was supposed to be yellow. 
Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be this color. 
I didn't like it at first, but I have grown to love it's unusual shade.

A couple of years ago, I pulled up a few of them and traded them for these to a lady 
that came to one of my yard sales. 
A small yellow iris tinged with brown.
This is the first year they have bloomed.

This solid yellow iris was given to me last year. Isn't he beautiful?
Thank you, Gloria!

I have many, many purple irises.

And a beautiful white patch started by one given to me by my mother in law.

I also have many poppies that were started by ones given to me by a neighbor.

A snowball bush!
I grow my snowball bush for sentimental reasons.
My grandmother had two of them in her yard and they were always a backdrop for family pictures.

Bleeding hearts always show off at this time of year.

And, I am being taken over by hostas. I transplanted three from my flower garden.
I separated them and three became eight! They multiply faster than bunnies!
A fern surprised me by sprouting up in the middle of this one.

This little critter didn't seem to be interested in any of my flowers, he just wanted to check  out the garage!
When he gets a little bigger, I don't think he will be as cute as he is now, so we took him and dropped him off down by the creek. I believe he is a baby snapping turtle.

What's blooming at your house?
Have you had any unexpected visitors lately?

By the way, there is a great give-away over at The Blessed Hearth. Go check it out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Writing Wednesday - What a Writer Needs

What does a writer need?

Of course a writer needs pencils (with erasers), lots of tablets for jotting down all those great ideas, a large supply of printer paper (I've learned to save by printing on both sides of the paper) and a good printer (I love my Laser Jet printer)

A writer needs to be able to write while their better half and children keep interrupting them.

A writer needs patience. A lot of patience!

A writer needs to have funny, interesting, and/or talkative friends and neighbors to get great story ideas!

A writer needs a vivid imagination to write a long manuscript from a small idea that came to them while waiting in line at the grocery store.

A writer needs to be able to write in less than 500 words a wonderful picture book that the publishers will love.

A writer needs to keep from rolling their eyes when friends tell them anyone can write a children's book.

An agent would be nice - and so would a publisher.

A writer needs books - how to books, writing books, a dictionary, a thesaurus and lots of books in your genre (and others) to read - and a best selling book!

Since a writer needs lots of books, a large bookcase would also be nice.

A writer needs to have a tough skin so rejections won't hurt them.

And most of all, a writer needs to have a passion for writing.
A passion to tell stories.
A passion to make people laugh. 
A passion to write a story that lights up a child's eyes and brings a smile to their face.
A passion to write a story so good that the reader wants to keep turning the pages until the story is finished.

What would you like to add to my list?

Posted by Janet Smart at

Fuzzy Wuzzy Baby Birds

Newborn baby birds with fuzzy tops. What could be cuter?

Just hatched and being closely watched over by her nearby robin parents.
 click on this shot to see a close up of these young cuties!

We have nests filled with babies in our Pine tree, two holly trees, Catawba tree, and apple tree.


 If you look close, you will see a baby bird's big mouth open for lunch.

I hear the tweeting sounds of babies coming from all of our birdhouses.
I think the older and more rustic the birdhouse is, the more they like it. 
Earlier in the spring, I saw two types of birds fussing over ownership of this old house.

Yes, I think we are having an explosion of fuzzy, wuzzy baby birds in our little acre of green.

A mama robin sitting with her babies, their nest perched high in the pine tree.
Do you have an explosion of fuzzy wuzzy baby birds around your house?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Memories and Mementos

  Mother's Day Flowers

I enjoyed Sunday surrounded by my three boys and a daughter-in-law. My oldest son works 6 days a week and we don't get to see him as often as I would like. It was a nice get together.

We enjoyed eating dinner with the memories of past mothers in our family surrounding us.

We ate on dishes that had belonged to Charley's mother. This was the china I remember her using when I was dating Charley in the 1970s. She used them often, not just on special occasions. I think that is the way it should be. We don't have the whole set, many had been chipped and broken down through the years. I was lucky and found a group of the exact same dishes at a church yard sale last year. No one else wanted them -- and on the last day I paid half price for the box of assorted pieces to add to ours.

 Strawberries were served in a beautiful old bowl of my mother's. 

The old tablecloth that covered our table, now crumpled and waiting for the crumbs to be shook out, was given to me by my Aunt Irma. She was my mom's baby sister.
When I was growing up, mothers wore either white or red carnations on Mother's Day. You wore red if your mother was still living and white if she had passed away. Maybe some still do, but I don't see people doing that as much any more. I didn't wear one yesterday,  but it would have been white.

I didn't have my mother yesterday, but the little baby on her lap has many loving memories of her. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Yard Sale Goodies

I thought I'd show you a few of my yard sale goodies.

I got a set of 4 rose colored placemats and this box of old stained glass ornaments. I thought the ornaments would also look good hanging in a window at Christmas time.

Cookbooks! I love cookbooks. I also found the children's book, Wizard of Oz. I've seen the movie many times, but have never read the book - now I can read the book! That little thing in the upper left hand corner is an old folder that holds sewing needles. I love vintage sewing items.

I had to pick up this glassware, since it was so cheap. Two more sets of salt and pepper shakers to add to my collection, a teeny tiny Coke glass and an old glass syrup server. The syrup container is very heavy and I love the red plastic lid on it. I wish it wasn't warped, but oh well, everything can't be perfect. I've never seen one before with a lid on it like that. Have any of you?

And, I'm not sure what this is supposed to be. My husband gave me a worried look when I picked it up. It is almost 19 inches tall and looks old. I have some old potato mashers, but none this big. I thought it would be good to crush big bags of ice with that you buy at the ice machines. You know how they get hard and stuck together sometimes.  I wonder what Charley thought I was going to use it for?

It is getting to be that time of year.  
Have you been go any good yard sales lately?
What is your weakness? 
If the price is right, what do you just have to have when you see it at a yard sale?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Writing Wednesday

Hi everyone, it is another Writing Wednesday. I really enjoyed your comments last week with the story starter writing prompts. Thanks to all of you who commented.

Now for a little good news, I learned last week that three of my poems that I submitted to Holler, are going to be in their Spring Edition!

Today I want to talk about what you do with your writing after it is written.

Some writers are content with just getting it out of their souls and down on paper.
Some writers want to see their stories published.
Some writers want to get paid for their time and energy they spend on their writing.

Which one are you?

I think I am a little bit of each one of the above.

I love putting my thoughts down on paper. I love getting it just right with the help of my writer friends.
We had a meeting of the Appalachian Wordsmiths last week, and we really went to work on my two picture book manuscripts. One had very small changes to it, but they made a big difference. The other one needed more intense edits, because of the rhyming, but I think it is close to being ready.

I also would like to get my stories published and get paid for them. I have been a stay at home mom all my life and it would be nice, since my husband is now retired, to be able to contribute to our income, no matter how small the amount may be. Every little bit helps.

Lately, I've been thinking of unique ways to get our words published. And you might even be able to make a few dollars while you are at it. A few I thought of are:

Type your poem in a distinctive font, print it on nice paper and frame it. (Hang it on your wall or sell copies of it at a craft show)
Enter contests (you might win).
Stitch or iron your profound words onto fabric. (t shirts, quilted items, etc.)
Find a great topic and print pamphlets, newsletters or chapbooks.
Or we could really be unique and get it published. Or if all else fails, self publish! There are many good books out there that are self published.

What kind of writer are you?
Do you have any tips for getting your words published?
Please share them if you do.

By the way, this is Children's Book Week. Enjoy the Magic! 
Celebrate by reading a children's book to yourself or to a child.

Happy Children's Book Week!