Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Social Media Marketing

I muddle my way through the web, research trends, read and comment on blogs, share information on twitter, Instagram, follow and pin on Pinterest and this my friends, I do for me to build my business.  So, this week, no one was more shocked than me to receive a call from a mentor in reference to my social media marketing.  "I want you to do for me, what you do for you."  "What do you charge for that?"

What do I charge?  Well, I researched costs and fees of social media marketing.  I couldn't believe it - $1,000-$20,000 per month depending on the number of social media outlets, number of posts, content -vs- photos, information -vs- inspiration and the list goes on.  Once I added all that up - "what I do for me" - I could never even begin to ask someone to pay for that and charge - "what I can do for you."  I can't even afford myself - lol.

I shared this story with a friend who said, "why not try to make some money at what you enjoy doing?"  So, I put on my thinking cap and came up with a pretty neat idea.  It will be something "I could do for others, like I do for me."  An affordable social media marketing option.  

First, I need to work out some of the details, but I think I came up with a new project for 2o17.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.   

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wool Projects

I have been working on a few felted wool projects.  Some will be for gifts and others for sale.  

I officially brought in the "tin o thread" - it's getting serious around here!  Yes, this is a vintage metal picnic tin - full of embroidery floss...sometimes I hoard useful items.  (smile)

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Vintage Christmas Memories

My business, Town Hall Trinkets, LLC, is a resale business.  I specialize in estate "buy outs" - that is where a majority of my inventory comes from.  After 25 years of doing this, you can imagine I have come across some pretty neat items.  

As I was digging for some Christmas resale in my storage pole building (54' x 45'), I came across a box full of cool items.  I must have packed all the Christmas I "liked" in one box over the years, because I really like all of it.  After looking at the items, I was thinking about all the different decades of Christmas decorations.  

I remember all the shiny brite ornaments, silver "tinsel," spay cans of flocking snow, felt cardinals (my mom made), these and other handmade ones on our tree.  As I sifted through the box, I was thinking how many Christmas trees did these ornaments adorn?  What memories were made by their just hanging there?  This is part of  my hoarding problem, I tend to personalize items that weren't even mine.  

So, this had me thinking, what was your favorite childhood ornament or memory of a tree?  Please leave a comment and let me know.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Welcome Viewers

It never ceases to amaze me, when my blog stats shows a page view from Turkey, Brazil or some other far away place that I would love to visit.   I'm not sure where or how they found my page, but it amazes me.  Blogger has a list of traffic sources, referring sites and key word search lists that help  me figure out where some of it is coming from.   I enjoy checking my stats to see who and where my views are from.

Blogger contacted me:  "due to the increase in international viewership", they needed to add a security code.  I'm not sure what all that means, however the change hasn't interfered as my page is currently at an all time record high.  So, I know some of you are new and welcome.  

I write all of this for me - my virtual diary - however, you are more than welcome to follow along.  In fact, on the right hand column there is a followers area where you can join as a member to my blog - it's fun.

I can't guarantee my post will be free of spelling errors and run on sentences.  However, I can guarantee it will always be uplifting and helpful - even if the post was meant to do that just for me (smile).  

In the past 6 years I have posted and shared many things about my life.  I just went back and read my first post:

From that introduction to our daughter's cancer story, caring for my parents, the loss of them, other friends and loved ones, helpful hints, furniture projects, craft ideas, parenting, 4H, showing animals, fair projects, cookies, recipes, gardening, Motivational Monday's and travel - this blog sure has been a journey for me.  I've enjoyed every post.  

If you look to the right there is a blog achieve that shows how many post I wrote for a particular year.  You can always click on a year and go back and read something I wrote.   Also, if you scroll way, way, way, down to the bottom of the cover page, there is a search button.  You can type in key words like:  cookie, faith, repurposed, any word you can think of and type it in, press search and any post about that subject will come up.  

I look forward to sharing more of my adventures with you.  Thanks for looking and as always...Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Sunday, November 20, 2016

We Interrupt The Regularly Scheduled Blog Post to Give You a Message

You know, as a #onewomanshop #solopreneur, I need stay on top of my schedule and work when it is available and so I have been.  

My intentions were to sequentially post about my trip to Scotland and Ireland.  So sorry, I left you at the colored doors in Dublin.  I hope you've enjoyed them as much as I did.  I will get back to sharing about Ireland soon.  

We in the United States will be celebrating our Thanksgiving this week.  This is my holiday to host and I love doing it.  So, I wanted to share with you some of the many things I'm thankful for this year.

1.  Turning 50 - only He knows the number of our days, and He truly has blessed all of mine.  Even the ones that held trials.

2.  A helpful husband.  Al and I work so well together!  We truly are a team.  He helps me every day in many ways.

3.  Friendships with my children.  As a very hands on mother, I dreaded the empty nest stage.  However, I rather enjoy the relationship and friendship I have with my daughters and their husbands.  We respect and love each other - even with our quirks (mostly mine...).  

4.  Church.  My brother is my pastor.  We are a small congregation of like minded individuals that make a family.

5.  Challenges, yes, challenges.  After all, even the tiny seed has to fight it's way to daylight.  It seems everything I have ever done I had to scratch my way to do it.  I wouldn't change that - it has made me a strong person.  

I could go on and on - I have so much to be thankful for.  I hope you take time this week to reflect on those things you are thankful for and thank Him and those that deserve it.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Justine Christal Photography (&More) Blog - Scotland & Ireland

Our daughter, Justine, also writes a blog where she shares her amazing photos.  While on our trip, the noise her camera was making, sure brought her a lot of attention.  Her camera takes panoramic view shots.  So, as she stood at the edge of cliff - "chchchchchchchchchcchch" (camera noise-lol) heads would turn.  I am excited to share her blog post with you and the amazing pictures.  The link is here:

When Justine was in junior high, we switched schools.  We live in the country with no young neighbors.  Her new teacher was trying to set up a friendship with Justine and another "country" girl.  This girl said, "Justine is nice, but she is such a homebody."  Well, we did provide all her needs, she had a menagerie of pets, what did she need to leave home for?  Anyway, that statement cannot be said of her now.  She loves to travel and is planning her next trip.  

So, Justine, keep exploring, sharing and learning more about this wonderful world the Lord has created!  We enjoy seeing your view from your camera! 

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.   

Friday, November 4, 2016

Views of Dublin, Ireland

Our hotel and the above sea side views were across the street.

The pictures above are from The Giant's Garden.  The garden was built based on Oscar Wilde's story, Selfish Giant.  I honestly, had never heard of it.  I added the youtube link for an animated version of it.  It's so good, how had I not heard of this?  

We also had a tour of Trinity College.  The Book of Kells is on display there.  No pictures were allowed, however, the beautiful script and illustrations are amazing.  I'm not going to pretend to understand fully how, where, what and the everything about the Book of Kells.  What I understand is that Monks protected these manuscripts from all kinds of danger through centuries.  These are the first 4 gospels of the Bible.  

The library at Trinity College, called the long room - wow, beautiful.  It houses over 200,000 of the oldest known books.  The library receives thousands of books a week.  

Did you know that the harp is the national symbol of Ireland.  This harp is in the library and is 1 of the 3 oldest Gaelic harps known in existence.  This harp is called the O'Neil Harp.  It is said that the harp was the only instrument allowed to be played during the crusades.  Many harpists held high status during that time.  

You know the song "Molly Malone" the link Sinead O'Connors version:

Dublin is a city full and rich with history.  A setting of cobblestones, painted doors and new industry.  A progressive city which honors it's past.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Doors of Dublin

Dublin, Ireland, has gorgeous Georgian buildings.  On our city CIE tour, our guide, Clara Kelly (can you get any more Irish than that?!) told us the history of the buildings as we drove by.  Justine wanted to walk back to these neighborhoods and get some pictures of the doors.  

Thank goodness, Anna has a natural GPS - the "trapping and tracking" Native American gene skipped me.  Usually, Justine gets lost easily too, however I was surprised when she roughly knew where they were.  Anyway, did I mention how much walking we did?  Well, we did!  These neighborhoods were blocks away from where the coach dropped us off and picked us up.  We really took advantage of our "free" time by walking all over each city.  Many in our group stayed close to the coach and went shopping - we went on adventures.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland's beauty is often times tarnished with the conflicts of the IRA.  Now, truthfully, in 1970 something, I was in grade school, I didn't understand the IRA or their issues.  It wasn't "my" fight and still isn't.  I do remember my dad saying something like..."those darn Catholics, making people do what they don't want to do."  I also remember hearing him say, "that crazy IRA."  So, both ways.  But, being forced to live on a reservation, not allowed to go to public school as a child...I can dad was sympathetic with the IRA.  So, this post will be my opinion, in light of whom raised me, how I was raised.   

Our CIE tour guide for Ireland was John.  He was the best!  I love it when someone is passionate about something and he is about his country.  He explained the history of Ireland and England - trust me, it is centuries of bad things the English did to the Irish.  Now, John didn't say anything bad about England - he was just saying the facts....this is my opinion.  

What I didn't understand was that the conflicts in Northern Ireland has nothing really to do with Catholics against Protestants.  Yes, the reason they originally had conflicts was because the English rule was Protestant and they made it illegal for any Irish family to worship and raise their children in any other religion.  That was the root of it.  However, the conflict really is, Nationalists (those Irish only thinkers) and Loyalists (stay loyal to the crown - William of Orange).   If someone understands another country coming into their country and taking their customs's the Native Americans.  That is probably why, I'm sympathetic to the Irish - I HATE when people tell me what to do.

So, Northern Ireland is filled with Nationalists and Loyalists.  In fact the conflict continues.  Did you know that Belfast has a wall or walls...literally a wall - that divides these two neighborhoods?  It is called the Peace Wall.  Can you image?

John told us that what is built on one side of the wall is also built on the other side.  So each community has the same stores and such.  John said they like it this way and to each party it is fair.  What isn't fair in my opinion, is that if you are a Nationalist, you and your family might not get the best jobs, have the best future here as prejudices and fear run deep.  Hey, if any country knows about prejudices and's America..."we" should not point any fingers here!  

John took us past these walls and asked if anyone wanted to stop and take a picture.  Justine, you know, is a Social Worker.  She is so much more educated about conflicts in the world than I, she was asking John all kinds of questions.  I learned so much from their dialogue.  Justine asked if she could sign the Peace hopes of peace for this area...she started something, as almost the whole bus came off and signed it.  Good job Justine.  Even though she doesn't always agree with my (our) views politically, we must have done something right to raise such a passionate, caring individual.  One who can think for herself!  Anyway, the wall murals were beautiful. 


John did say that one motivating factor to this movement was our own Civil Rights movement.  

John said that a journalist came and interviewed 2 women, one from each side of the wall.  Both said that they are proud of the peace that has come between these parties.  When asked if the wall should come down, both said "not yet."  I reminded John of that famous quote from Edmund Burke - "those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it."  He agreed.  I wrote about this in relationship to our own political conflicts this year.  Here is the link:

So, the Irish flag

tells us everything we need to know...Green is for Nationalists, Orange is for (William of Orange) Loyalists and the White is for peace between them.  

I always pray for peace in all parts of our world.  I also pray for those in power over me, whether I agree with them or not.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Humble Thistle

The thistle is the national flower of Scotland.  Legend tells the story of invading Norsemen who wanted to sneak up on Scottish Clansmen.  So they decided to take off their shoes to proceed with a surprise attack at night.  One of the Norsemen stepped on a thorny thistle and screamed waking the Scottish Clansmen.  Their surprise was spoiled and the Norsemen were defeated all because of the humble thistle.  

This thistle plant was the certpiece of this flower garden.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Strong Scottish Women

Richard was our CIE tour guide for the city of Edinburgh.  He joined our group, kilt and all.  I enjoyed him as a guide because he shared not only historical facts, but interesting stories of Edinburgh citizens.  Sean Connery is from Edinburgh - but, this post is about strong Scottish Women.

One thing that impressed me about Scotland, was the strong women that helped to shape this country.  Mary Queen of Scots, ring a bell?  Queen at 6 days old, hidden and raised in France, widowed at 18, (forced?) to marry 1st cousin, mother of James VI, forced to abdicate the throne to him at age 1,  murder, scandal and rumors surround her, her whole life.  She later is held in exile in London for over 18 years and found guilty of plotting to assassinate Queen Elizabeth (her cousin) and subsequently beheaded.  Wow, I need to read more about her.

I admire strong women.  I come from a long line of them.  I can imagine, that some great, great, great, great grad mother was cut from the tartan that was wove with these strong fibers.  

There are two stories about two women from different centuries that Richard shared with us.  I wanted to post about them, mostly so I can remember them.

The first was "Half Hangit' Maggie"  As stories go and there are many that follow the life of this woman; I will share it as Richard told us.  The time Maggie lived, superstition and speculation governed the laws.  Many unexplained situations were viewed as being of the "devil" and innocent people were hung or executed for unsustainable reasons.  Maggie, was one such story.  She was working for an innkeeper and had an affair with his son.  She ended up pregnant.  At that time, it was illegal to conceal a pregnancy, however she did.  Her baby was born prematurely and died.  She took him down to the river bank to toss him in, but was unable to do so.  The baby was found laying on the side of the river and traced back to her.  She was found guilty and sentenced to a hanging.  This is where she was hung, this is the marker for all those who were executed here.

Maggie's body was put in a coffin.  On the way to the cemetery, the driver heard kicking and knocking from the inside.  When he opened up the coffin, Maggie was not dead.  As Roman law states, once dead, you're dead - you can't be executed twice.  So, Maggie was "dead" in the eyes of the law.  She was one smart "cookie" as she used that to her advantage.  I don't agree with her methods, but I don't blame  her for using this to her advantage.  She was an untouchable, in the eyes of the court as she was "dead."  She lived the life of a criminal, running a black market, racketeering and prostitution.  All out in the open as she and everyone knew she could get away with it.  When she finally died, some 25 years later, she had a hero's burial.  She goes down in Scottish history as the only person to "beat" the government.  The bar is named after her and is across the street from that execution memorial.  

The other woman comes from more recent of times - Madam Doubtfire.  You know, Mrs. Doubtfire - Robin Williams.  Madam Doubtfire was a local "junk" dealer.  She had a small shop where she sold all kinds of trinkets she picked up from the trash or bartered with from local residents.  I've read she was a "cat" lady too.  Anyway, the author lived in Edinburgh and knew of this local "character" (I use that, because I'm sure she was thought of as that) and chose to use her name in the book that later became a movie.  So, I now find Mrs. or Madam Doubfire lots more interesting, maybe even a little too much like me (wink).

We left Scotland filled with stories, history and a new love of the highlands.

We crossed the Irish Sea and on to my stories of Ireland.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconisn.