Category Archives: Blogging

Summer Reflections

My Pink Rose

My Pink Rose bush

The morning that I am writing this I have opened all the windows, in every room of my house. This has become a pattern with me on warm summer mornings. Before the air conditioning turns on, I walk around opening windows. Letting the fresh breezes in, as well as the sounds of birds chirping, makes me feel lighter somehow and sets in motion a quiet start to the day.

When I’m in a calm mood, I light a candle and do a spiritual reading or two. I like to sit outside with my coffee, soaking in some early morning sun and centering my thoughts. When the day gets off to a hectic start, sometimes it’s harder to do this. But try I do, and many times I manage to squeeze in one or the other, time outside and/or the spiritual readings.

This summer is the best for me so far in terms of mid life. It has been a rocky few years with hot flashes and I’ve not wanted to be outside much. This seems to be shifting, finally, and I can stand being outside for longer periods. I can tolerate warmer temperatures, even needing a sweater on chilly evenings. I’m relieved at this and can almost remember what it was like to love summer.

Next year Jim and I will turn the big six oh. I’m actually excited about the landmark. I feel like I can at last say, I’m too old for this or that, plus I can own my silver hair more fully, I can tell someone I’m just too old to commit to that, so sorry. For the last couple of years I was planning the big landmark party (in my head) that I was going to throw for Jim and I, for this big birthday. Now my enthusiasm for it has gone right out the door. It’s been replaced by a desire to have a week at the beach with my kids and grandkids. Jim is game for this thank God.

Penny’s baptism is coming up and I’m excited to be planning that. Everyone is coming over to our house afterwards so my event planning skills are of good use here. I’ve already got my lists- what I’m going to serve and how to set everything up. I even mapped out my calendar- when I will do what- after long sessions of questions from my mother prompted me to just get it down on paper. Inviting immediate family members only kept the list down. It’s hard to draw boundaries with that. I want everyone here but it’s in my backyard, with limited space, I have to set parameters with myself as well or I will go crazy with worry as to where everyone will fit.

My days are filled with taking care of mom, babysitting Penny, meeting brides, and grilling whatever catches my eye at the farmer’s market. I’ve eaten fresh peaches, zucchini, onions, and tomatoes already and I’m loving it. Every now and then the committee in my head chastises me for not working more, for enjoying this time with my family too much, for not making a full time income. But I tell it to stop, that I am loving this time that I have with my mom and grandchildren. I will never get it back and so there. I’m going to love it.

Here’s more pictures of my summer so far. I’m blessed.

Penny's from Heaven

Penny’s from Heaven

My June Wedding, Tara and her Bridesmaids

My June Wedding, Tara and her Bridesmaids

Meeting an old friend, Drema after twenty years.

Meeting an old friend, Drema after twenty years.

My favorite sunrise picture

My favorite sunrise picture

Lillies at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden

Lillies at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden

Jim and Michelene's jars of honey and lotion at their Honey Party

Jim and Michelene’s jars of honey and lotion at their Honey Party. Katherine’s Daughter events is their sponsor 🙂

Mom looking at pictures of her brother's recent trip to Greece

Mom looking at pictures of her brother’s recent trip to Greece

Another June couple, Nichole and Arnold!

Another June couple, Nichole and Arnold!

The new house built across the street- I think it's sold.

The new house built across the street- I think it’s sold already

Dundee Farm, Sewickley, where Michelene and I promoted Beefuddled Farms, her and Jim's honey business

Dundee Farm, Sewickley, where Michelene and I promoted Beefuddled Farms, her and Jim’s honey business

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
Henry James

 

 

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Moving in a New Direction

My original blog picture!

My original blog picture!

How do you know when it’s time to move on?

Well, I know. When I feel that restlessness, that movement deep within me that says it’s time to break out of my own comfort zone.

When I created the website for my business Katherine’s Daughter Events, I found a fabulous webmaster (thanks to my sister Mary!) who held my hand every step of the way. From the beginning of our friendship Susan encouraged me to not only create my own events website, but to move my blog where I would have more control over what I can do with it.

The time has come. We are moving this blog, Katherine’s Daughter, over to a self hosted site in the next few days where it will be easier for me to manage and hopefully, grow my readership beyond what it is right now.

What will happen to you? Absolutely nothing if you are already an email subscriber. You will not notice a thing and you should still receive all of my posts via your email. I applaud you, my faithful reader, for sticking with me and I look forward to having you along on this next phase of my blogging journey.

If you are jointly a WordPress follower and an email follower, you will have to re-subscribe if you still want to receive email updates. I will still show up in your WordPress reader. So we can still hang out together!

This is a brave new world for me and recently I heard the quote “Facing fear is the new black.” I love that. I believe in plowing ahead, stretching out of my comfort zone and taking new chances.

So here we go into the next new phase! I’ll keep you posted!

Love, Joanne 🙂

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Hallelujah Anyway!

How do you begin? The answer is simple: you decide to. Then you push back your sleeves and start writing–I.e., scribbling words down on paper, or typing at a computer. And it will be completely awful. It will be unreadable s*#t! You won’t have a clue how it account to anything, ever. And to that, I say, Welcome. That’s what it’s like to be a writer. But you just do it anyway. At my church, we sing a gospel song called, “Hallelujah anyway.” Everything’s a mess, and you’re going down the tubes financially, and gaining weight? Well, Hallelujah anyway.

-Anne Lamott, recently on her Facebook page

This endearing part of a recent Facebook post by Anne Lamott only cements me further to her. No one speaks to my inner author quite like Anne.

Despite the swear word and a few teensy typos, I decided to run this quote as is because it motivates me. I want and am seriously ready to venture beyond my weekly blog posts, book reviews and such and write something of quantitative value.

Anne Lamott and Me! On the occasion of my most recent birthday!

Anne Lamott and Me! On the occasion of my most recent birthday!

For the last couple of years, I have wanted to write a non fiction book about Grace and my coming into the Light. A fellow blogger friend of mine has a book release TODAY and I am so inspired by this! (Go Heather!). Can I say it? To write a book and get it published is a really big dream of mine.

Anne is right. The best thing to do is just get started. This can apply to any dream- a new job, new contacts, new life- you name it. Just get started. And as Anne said it may be awful but so what! At least we got started.

Is there something you have been procrastinating about? If you’re interested, we can tag each other in our dream project. Tell me about it in the comment section below and we’ll cement our commitment. I am going to write my book and you are going to _______________.  If you’re overwhelmed at the moment and can’t take on another thing, just offer a few words of encouragement or your favorite quote about energy, motivation or desire.

Seriously, let’s do this together….xo

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Thank you!

Artwork by Rae 02-01-81 – 06-06-09

Every afternoon when I leave work, my boss says “Bye! Thank you!”

When I make dinner for my grandson Gavin, he says “Thank you Nana!”

My husband Jim loves to open his sock drawer and find it filled with clean socks. He says “Thank you!”

It sounds like such a little thing but really when you think about it, it’s not. How many times a day do you say “Thank you”? I try and say it all day. Honestly, I say it to strangers in the supermarket, customer service people on the phone, the receptionist at the dentist office. I bet those are people who don’t hear “Thank you” much.

Princess Willow

My favorite way to hear “Thank you!” is when Amy’s granddaughter, Willow, will say Grace before a meal. It was her third birthday last week and I was there to share in the special occasion.

When we sat down at the table, we all held hands. Amy asked Willow if she would say the prayer. Willow’s face lit up and she said “Thank you!” with a big smile. It was a joy filled moment!

Many of my dear friends say that gratitude is the way to live a more peaceful life. I agree. I try and be grateful every day and I want to share that feeling with others. By saying “Thank you”, I appreciate what others do for me and I keep gratitude front and center. It may be hard to believe, but saying it in a heartfelt way and with a smile can change someone’s bad day to good.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’d like to start a world wide movement to say “Thank You” more. I’m going to start right now by saying “Thank You!” to all my blogger friends, email subscribers, Twitter and Facebook fans who read my stories on a regular basis. You have no idea how much your comments, “Likes”, private emails and personal comments (when I get to see you!) mean to me. I love writing stories and I appreciate all your heartfelt support.

I think “Thank you” can be a pathway to peace of mind and a happy heart. Give lots of “Thank you’s” away and just watch how it changes  your life!

Are you with me? Say “Thank you!” a whole bunch today!

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My 50th Post!

“By the time we hit fifty, we have learned our hardest lessons. We have found out that only a few things are really important. We have learned to take life seriously, but never ourselves.” Marie Dressler

Picture by Cally Jamis Vennare

Here I am, at my 50th post. It’s hard to believe it but yes, that’s 50 stories on Katherine’s Daughter.

First I want to thank you, my friend for reading this blog. I can’t believe the friends I’ve made (and found) through my writing and I know it’s only going to get better. I can’t wait to see who I’ll know in another 50 posts from now.

There has been much pleasure in writing this blog and very little pain. The pain has mostly come from learning the technology to use my host company, WordPress, to its fullest. I am still in the learning process but I am much braver than I used to be! If anything, I have more confidence with themes, appearances, settings and such, something I never really knew anything about.

The pleasure of writing my blog is equivalent to me holding both my arms wide open. It is limitless. If I try not to over think, over criticize or over edit myself, it is truly a wonderful experience. It does take a certain discipline to sit down and create stories. But I don’t try and force them; I just listen to my heart and soul. That’s all you really have to do.

If you’re reading this and have ever thought of having a blog, I want to encourage you to go for it! (What are you waiting for?) My only advice to you is to have your blog name picked out before you get started. After that, it’s all a delicious piece of cake.

So thank you again, for being one of my readers! I appreciate you more than you know. Onward, to the next fifty stories!

*Bloggers- if you’re reading this, what keeps you going, what keeps you writing?

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Writing, Faith….and Chocolate Truffles

I took the brave step this past weekend of creating a Facebook page to go with my Katherine’s Daughter blog. Now I will admit, I am a fan of technology but not a brave one. I hesitantly step along (almost as if I am walking through a lawn laced with dog poo) tap tap tapping on my new fancy cell phone, adding clever things to my blog (note the Goodreads section), occasionally tweeting and all the while doubting whether I am doing things right or not.

Note: I have to blame my weekend Facebook/Blog adventure on my sister Mary. She encourages me, so believes in me (Cally too, but Mary is a real motivator!), that sometimes when I talk to her, I think I am Superwoman.

So Saturday morning, with coffee cup in hand, I began to create the Facebook page. Within a half hour, I became instantly overwhelmed. I wondered if I did it wrong, wondered if I should be doing it at all, blah blah blah, Good Lord, what am I possibly thinking!! Jim, sensing my oncoming headache, offered to take me out to lunch. I said yes. Thank goodness, for Anthony’s Coal-Fired Pizza and those delicious wings.

When I returned, I bravely checked my Facebook page. To my amazement, my friends were slowly starting to LIKE me (thank you!!). Just like Sally Field, they LIKED ME! I am feeling much better now and, thankfully, not so overwhelmed. Also, my daughter’s paramour gave her a delicious box of chocolate truffles that I must admit, seem to smooth out all those rough edges of worry and moments of insanity.

The Yummy Truffles!

If you are wondering why I am doing all this- the blog, the writing, the Facebook- I will tell you this…I am really not sure. All I am sure of is… I am following my dream of writing to you. I want to share my thoughts, inspire and walk hand in hand with you while we both look for the Grace and Love that is present in our everyday life. It’s here and I can feel it.

That said, I am not good at self promotion. You will not see me pushing you to read, share or even comment on my blog posts or Facebook page. That is up to you. If you decide to do those things, I admit they are meaningful to me because it means I have touched a cord within you.

I’m just going to have Faith that I am going in the right direction. I will keep going, one day at a time….and…. I’m taking a few of those truffles with me! Thanks for walking along and being a part of it all!

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