Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tagged Again!

I've been tagged once before, but this time I was tagged by three different people: CozyMoments, TPDesigns, and mooretaste.

So, now I'll list eight things about myself. I got a combination of eight or six items mentioned by my three taggers, so I figured I'd go ahead and do eight.

It took me a little while to think up more things about myself I could list this time around, but here goes.

1. I've been a songwriter.... I wrote about a dozen songs when I was in college, singing and playing my guitar frequently at a summer camp and for the Baptist Student Union on my campus. Mind you, I didn't say they were good songs, but my friends seemed to enjoy them. One was about the camp where I worked one summer and the kids even gave me a standing ovation! But they were kids...what did they know?!

2. I've been a published writer.... I wrote for a couple of years for the Womens Missionary Union. I had a blast doing it, learned a lot, and met some fascinating people. But one day I had to set aside an article I was working on because I'd gotten a call-back from a missionary in Thailand to interview her for another article. I had to park the phone on my shoulder to talk to her while my hands were busy changing my daughter's diaper and it suddenly occurred to me ...perhaps I should wait a few years before taking on that many deadlines!

3. I've been a published photographer.... Some of my photos appeared in the WMU publications I also wrote for, some in other Baptist publications, and quite a few in the alumni magazine of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas where I worked with the PR Department for about three years. It's always a kick to see your name in print!

4. I've been a cartoonist.... Okay, don't get excited. I just doodled some cartoons for my junior high school paper. No autographs, please!

5. I've been a crafts teacher. I worked five summers in a row at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Encampment in Cedar Hill, Texas. Four of those years I was director of the crafts program. Give me a little plastic lacing and I can make a lanyard in my sleep!

6. I've been a guitar teacher.... Besides giving tips to beginning guitar players here and there, I've actually been paid to give guitar lessons a couple of times. I also taught a couple of guitar classes during Music Week at my church. Just me vs. seventeen beginning guitar students in one class...the biggest challenge was keeping the guitars all tuned up!

7. I've been on TV a couple of times.... Again, don't get too excited. I worked as a production assistant for two shows on the old ACTS (America Christian Television System) Network, which later was sold or merged with something else. But it was a great experience since part of my job was scheduling guests for talk shows and hosting them while they were in our studios. Another job where I met some fascinating people! A couple of times, they needed me to appear on the show. Once they had someone on who was evaluating colors, you know, figuring out if you were a "winter", or "spring", etc. I agree with my Aunt Becky who has always said her color was in Red Tag Special! Turns out I'm one of the rare people who can be just about any season of the year, so I posed a challenge to our guest for that show! Another time they were doing a feature about parenting preschoolers, and since I was the parent of a preschooler at the time, my preschooler and I appeared for a brief interview. We took a picture of my daughter getting her make-up done for TV to add to her scrapbook!

8. I've been there, done that, and will never grow my hair long again!

Now here's who I'm tagging...each of you have to list eight things about yourself and tag eight others:



Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Meet Brother Blotz

I want to introduce you all to a new feature in my Etsy shop.

Meet Brother Blotz:

Brother Blotz was born the same year I was, another product of Doug Dillard's creativity, I guess you could say. Yes, my father is Doug Dillard. Throughout my childhood, Bro. Blotz was featured in numerous Baptist publications, as illustrations in books, and starred in a series of cartoon books of his own. To quote my father's website: "Brother Blotz cartoons use humor to poke holes in our pomposity, chide us for our inconsistencies, and hopefully make us want to do better. He first appeared in print in 1961."

Brother Blotz, one of my favorite pastors, taught us all that even in church, we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously.

When I got my first button machine I realized I could finally do something I'd always wanted to do...put Brother Blotz's image on a button.

So I scanned some pages from the first book, "Meet Brother Blotz" and the cover and made the buttons pictured above. My father loved them! A few months later I attended a conference where I knew I would encounter several of my father's old friends and I took a few of the buttons to give to them. Usually, when I attend these events, my dad says "If you see anybody I know, tell them hello", so I thought the buttons would be a nice touch.

Then I recalled the sweatshirts my father had made for the family when I was a kid and decided to duplicate the design on 2 1/4 inch buttons:

When I sent them to my dad he got the idea that I should make these available in my Etsy shop and he would link to it from his website, And that's what we're going to do.

Brother Blotz now has his own section in my Etsy shop, with buttons, keychains and magnets available for purchase. So, if any of Brother Blotz's friends and family are looking for unique gifts, they'll know where to find them!

Here's to you, Brother Blotz...and thanks, Dad!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I live near Annapolis, Maryland and a lot of my neighbors commute to offices in DC everyday. People around here work for the FBI, CIA, NSA, and other government agencies (not that they can tell us anything about what they do). We knew people who were in the Pentagon that day.

I was on my way back from a quick trip to the store when I heard the news of the first plane on the radio. The announcers were speculating about whether or not it was an accident when the second plane hit and I thought, "That's no accident!". I hurried home, turned on the TV and called my husband at the church where he was working at the time and told him what was happening. They had a TV at the church, but it was hooked up to a vcr, not to cable TV. He turned it on and rigged up a make-shift antenna to get the signal of the local ABC station and everybody there gathered around. At home, I didn't want to be alone and I called one of my friends whose son was in my daughter's class and we talked a while as we watched the news.

Turned out lot of the parents in our neighborhood were picking their kids up early from school, just wanting to have them at home with them, I guess, or maybe panicking about their safety. I had called the school and was assured that the kids were fine and they were trying to go on with school as usual so the kids wouldn't be frightened. But my daughter told me she was one of only a couple of kids left in her class by the end of the day.

The oddest thing to me was the lack of planes in the sky. We live in the flight path of BWI airport so there are always airliners flying overhead...but not on that day...and not for several days afterward. What we did see was fighter jets...we're close enough that they would turn around overhead as they made their regular patrols over DC. We're used to seeing the Blue Angels come to town for air shows over the Naval Academy, but these guys meant business.

I have friends in New York City who say it's hard to take when people tell them that it's time to move on with their lives.

When you hear the phrase "move on", you think about leaving it behind you and getting back to life as it was. But that doesn't happen with something like this, and I don't think it should. Yes, you have to get on with life, but something like this stays with you, along with the lessons you learned that day. We all have our own political viewpoints, but I don't think today is a day to argue about those...just a day to remember what it means to you to be an American.

It's a day to remember to tell people you love them and to make the most of every day. Not because, as some would ominously say, you never know when it will be your last. (I think it's too depressing to think of it like that.) But we should make the most of every day because every day has the potential to be a life-changer, for you or for someone else. Every day is precious, no matter how ordinary it may seem.