BRBCG FAQ (TMI?)

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Astute readers (and, undoubtedly, all the readers of my blog are astute) may have suspected that the photograph in my previous post isn’t really me. And, of course, you would be right, although the hair is not entirely unlike my own at the moment. (By the way, I think that picture is from a movie. Not sure which one, but it looks Monty Pythonesque to me).

Though lots of folks do post photos of themselves on their blogs, others leave you guessing. And so the mind conjures up a notion of what a person might look like which may be nothing at all like they actually do. It’s funny how our minds so readily form an idea of how someone looks based only on their words. One of the reasons I love reading blogs is that I’m so curious about lives that are different from mine. And that curiosity often makes me wish that folks had a Frequently Asked Questions feature on their blog, because so frequently I do have questions about them that aren’t answered in their posts.

So I thought it might be fun to imagine a few questions curious readers might ask me if they could and to answer them. Quite likely, I’m flattering myself to think you’d be all that interested in knowing more about me, but if you’re not, that’s okay. You are now free to stop reading and go watch You Tube or something. For the rest of you, here goes:

(1) So, Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl, why don’t YOU put up a picture of yourself?

Well, first of all, since I run away when someone points a camera in my direction, there aren’t that many current pictures of me around anyway. Which is just as well since the photos that people do manage to snap also make me run away. I feel as though the stories of what I’ve been through in the past 30 years are all written on my face. However, if you’re curious, that’s me in the above shot. I put it there because I had to put something up to illustrate this post. Daddy took it in our backyard when I was sixteen. Check out that plaid maxi-dress!! If you’re wondering about the weird mark on my forehead…well, Daddy had this picture stapled in a scrapbook. I wish I could ask him why he stapled it right in the middle of my forehead instead of in the corner or something, but I can’t since he’s passed on. Maybe that will be my first question when we are reunited in Heaven:  Why, Daddy, why? Right in the middle of my forehead! What were you thinking??

(2) Why do you call yourself Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl? Aren’t you, like, 51 years old?? I mean, you ain’t no spring chicken, lady!!

Hmm…good point. Maybe I should have called myself Blue Ridge Blue Collar Geezer or Blue Ridge Blue Collar Granny. But really, I just liked the sound of Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl. It rolls trippingly off my tongue. And you can see I was a girl once…a long, long time ago.

(3) Okay, how about a silly question, BRBCG….what are three things about yourself that you’d be embarrassed for people to know?

Only three? But there are so many! Okay…One: I still read Rex Morgan, M.D. and Mary Worth in the newspaper comics every single day. I have no idea why. Two: From about age 8 to age 11, I dressed myself like Pippi Longstocking.   She was always one of my favorite storybook characters. Pippi was a free spirit—she was “different” and she made no apologies for it. She also kind of raised herself, which, to some extent, was true of me in my earliest years. I identified with Pippi, so after I started earning good money at age 8 from working in tobacco every summer, I bought my own clothes and dressed as close to Pippi as I could. All I really needed was a little monkey named Mr. Nilsson. Three: When my children were small and I was fixing them a sandwich or something, I’d sometimes take a bite (Hey, I was hungry!). When they’d question the missing bite, I’d tell them it was a Giant Rat that did the deed named Raggedy Rat. “That Raggedy Rat is a rotten rascal!” I’d exclaim. I thought I was fooling them, but they later told me they always knew who the Real Rat was.

(4) Speaking of your children, why do you so often brag on them? Don’t you think that kind of shameless pride is a bit unseemly?

Yes, I suspect it is. But I’ve never been one for false modesty, and I am real proud of my children. We’ve been through a lot of hardship, financial and otherwise. Yet they’ve accomplished a great deal in their young lives. More importantly, they are kind, caring, and compassionate people who have many, many friends. Ooops…there I go bragging again!

(5) Why do you write such long posts, BRBCG? We lead busy lives—we don’t have time to read tomes.

Ummm…well why have you read this far? Oh, sorry…you’re right. I do tend to go on. Maybe I can blame my Southern heritage. When we Southerners start telling a story, we get a little wound up sometimes and carried away. I’m really grateful that there are still people out there in this age of TwitterTweets who will read my lengthy posts. The funny thing is that in person, I’m very quiet and don’t talk much at all. Say, speaking of that, isn’t it time we ended this post?

(6) Good idea. So why haven’t you ended it yet?

Well, because I wanted to ask if any of my readers had questions for me. Because then they could ask them in the comments, and I would do my best to answer them. Unless they’re too personal or something. And the questions can be silly or serious. Because Lord knows, I am both silly and serious, often at the same time. Of course, again, I may be flattering myself to think I’m interesting enough to inspire questions… :-)

(7) OMG, BRBCG…why is this post still going on??  When are you going to end it??

Now.

47 Responses to “BRBCG FAQ (TMI?)”

  1. chris Says:

    Good post and it so relates to my latest, way too long and way too self-revealing post. Only I didn’t put a picture of myself. I’m blond, blue-eyed and beautiful, really! So feel free to rattle on, some of us really like the personal perspective.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Thank you, Chris. I really enjoyed reading your post about your life and vision (artistic and otherwise), how there are so many different ways of seeing, and how you came to be an artist. You are very talented.

  2. clairz Says:

    Well, BRBCG, since I am a gypsy, always moving from here to there, I just naturally wonder about all the places you have lived. Would you tell us?

    I love the way you write, by the way. It really lets your readers know who you are!

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi there, Gypsy Clair! Well, I’m afraid my life as a nomad hasn’t been quite as interesting as yours. My daddy was a restless soul, so we did move a lot, but it was mostly within North Carolina. Okay, here goes: Born in West Virginia, moved to Greensboro, NC then Oak Ridge, NC to Warsaw, NC to Wallace, NC to Kinston, NC to Goldsboro, NC to Bayboro, NC to Apex, NC to Chapel Hill, NC to Winston-Salem, NC to Greensboro, NC then back to Winston-Salem then on to Durham, NC to Raleigh, NC then up to Virginia to Roanoke, VA then back to Raleigh, then Wendell, NC then Creedmoor, NC to Wake Forest, NC. Then we finally realized my life-long dream when we moved to the North Carolina mountains (where I finally feel at home) to Boone, NC then finally to Asheville, NC where we are now. Whew! So I’ve pretty much lived in almost every part of North Carolina, from the coast to the Piedmont to my beloved mountains.

  3. Lora Martin Says:

    Hmmm, I pictured you with short dark hair. Funny that.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi there, Lora. Well, in fact my natural color IS darker. We lived near the coast when I was 16 and I spent much of that summer at the beach. So my hair turned that color from being constantly in the sun, but my usual color is a darker brown, though it is now more of a salt-and-pepper grayish-brown. So, I actually did at one time have short, dark hair.

  4. Betsy from Tennessee Says:

    Hi Beth, Neat Neat post–and never too long for me!!!! I just love the way you write. You really do need to write –and get published!!!! Think I’ve said that before–several times.

    What a gorgeous 16 yr. old… NOW—what I’d really like to see is a picture of you NOW. Okay????

    Hugs,
    Betsy

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hey there, Betsy! Thank you for your kind words. But I’m a little shy about the idea of a current picture, especially since I tend to stick to one side of the camera and avoid the other like the plague. Maybe after I get my hair cut… :-)

  5. Ariel Says:

    Mommy, even though I know pretty much all of this information already, I’m still fascinated to read it. You are a beautiful person, inside and out, and I’m always curious to know more about you.

    I’m glad you did Raggedy Rat, because when I have kids, I can use that excuse and not feel bad about it, haha.

    Oh, and thank you for bragging on us. Yet again. :)

    So here’s a question: if you had to pick one, what is your greatest fear? If your greatest fear is answering the question, “What is your greatest fear?”, then you don’t have to answer. :D Also, what is your favorite memory within the past 10 years? That’s a really hard question. Don’t ask me back, I can’t pick favorites.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hey there, babygirl! I don’t really want to think about or give voice to my greatest fear because I believe so much in the power of words and thoughts to create reality, but I’d be pleased to talk about my fondest memories. There are too many to pick one absolute favorite, but two that come to mind are hikes that the four of us took together—both of which I wrote about on this blog. The trip to and hike at Max Patch (with the stop at Trust) and the day we had Craggy Gardens almost to ourselves (when it and the Parkway there were closed for repairs) and we felt the presence of Grandma, who loved it so.

  6. Benjamin Says:

    Hey there, Mommy…

    I had forgotten about that photo…it’s funny, your face hasn’t changed much over the years…it’s still young, radiant, and smiling (your eyes smile, too)!

    One question I have: what was the first thing you ever cooked? (as in baked, fried, etc., etc.)

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hey there, sweetiepie! Well, of course, you might guess that the first thing I ever made was a cookie, since that’s what I do best and most like to eat. :-) When I was around five, I think, I made these—your Grandma called them Missouri Cookies, for some reason. I still have her original recipe, all splotched and stained from years and years of sitting on the kitchen counter while we made them:
      2 cups sugar
      3 tablespoons cocoa
      1/2 cup of milk
      1 stick of butter

      Cook to a full rolling boil–about one minute. Remove from heat and add:
      3 cups quick-cooking oats and a dash of salt
      1 teaspoon vanilla
      1/2 cup of peanut butter (crunchy is best)

      Mix well and drop by teaspoon on wax paper and cool ’til firm.

  7. Wandrs Says:

    No shame in reading Mary Worth every day. The shame starts when you blog about it. Which I do. Every day. At maryworthandme.com.

  8. Jayne Says:

    My question is simple… Do you have any clue how much joy you bring to others by sharing your life as you do? Fifty blogs with perfect photos pale in comparison to your little spot on the web my friend.

    OK, so here’s a real question… how did you meet Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man? :c)

    Oh, and… no, my comments are not yet done (I am a fellow Southerner after all)… it’s obvious that you are a beautiful woman, and I’d bet that scar in the middle of your forehead has faded a bit by now. XOXO

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi there, Jayne! Oh my gosh, what a sweet thing to say! Thank you, my friend. I love your blog, too—I always look forward to it.

      Well, that is a great question you’ve asked here. The way BRBCM and I met is quite a long story. In fact, I would say it is a story for another post—probably yet another long, rambling, sit-down-because-this-is-going-to-take-a-while post. :-)
      Coming soon…

  9. Judy Says:

    I love this post and have enjoyed reading all the other questions, too. Pippi Longstocking was my girls favorite character when they were little. I sat through many a movie with them and I loved her as well. Since I love to cook, I loved Benjamin’s question about your learning to cook??? What are some of your favorite dishes. Since I am a fellow southerner I love long posts and my comments tend to be long, too. This was a great idea! Oh by the way, the hair in that picture is to die for and you are just such a beautiful girl.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hey there, Judy! Well, while I really, really love to eat, especially Southern food, I’m actually not the very best cook. My family is always really sweet about eating whatever I put on the table, even my less successful experiments, but my career as a cook never panned out (ha,ha) Where I really excell is in baking, which I really enjoy. I especially love making cookies at Christmas, particularly my Mama’s cinnamon-nut cookies and my oatmeal/chocolate chip/butterscotch chip/pecan/coconut cookies. I just made some recently to send my children in a college care package, as a matter of fact. :-)
      By the way, Judy, I really love your new recipe blog—I think I’ve gained a few pounds just from looking at those delicious photographs!

  10. Don Says:

    How many of your neighbors are you social with, in terms of doing things together and enjoying each other’s company? I know you wrote about one neighbor who was not all that friendly. Have you found real community among your neighbors or do you find it elsewhere?

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi, Don. Well, actually the neighbors that weren’t friendly were at the previous place we lived. They were the ones with the mean golden retrievers—I’d never met mean goldies before! And I should mention that we did have some friendly neighbors there that we talked to on a regular basis. Here, where we live now, we haven’t known our neighbors for a very long time, but they seem nice. We only met them after I baked cookies and bread and we sort of showed up on their doorstep with food in hand! Which I guess was kind of pushy, but I didn’t know how else to meet them. :-) But, truthfully, we don’t have a lot in common with them, so it’s doubtful we’ll ever do much more than have the occasional pleasant chat. I think it’s more likely we’ll find our sense of community when we find a church home—a place where we feel accepted for the oddballs that we are. :-)

  11. WaterRoots Says:

    Oh my Beth, what a lovely post! I so much enjoy your writing. I personally think it’s not long enough. Whenever I finish reading, I’m actually disappointed that there wasn’t more, and look forward to the next one. It’s not the length of your posts or even the topics that I enjoy, although the topics are certainly very interesting and entertaining, but your style. Some people just put words together that form lifeless sentences, others bring their writing to life, almost as if their own spirit is climbing right in there. That is definitely you, my dear. Your writing is alive; that’s what makes it so special. Even if you wrote just a few sentences in each post, your blog would still be the most interesting around.

    Well, there I go…blabbing away. Some of us northerners can talk up a storm too. Hmmm…wonder if I lived in the south in a previous life.

    Darn, I think I’m late joining in here and most of my questions have been asked. So, let’s see now. What to ask… What to ask…

    Oh, I have one! A simple one, really. But slightly odd? Okay, quite odd. But I figured the others would ask all the normal questions anyway.

    If you could be one animal, what would you be? And why?

    Wait, just one more! A normal one.

    What kind of music do you enjoy?

    (By the way, that’s such a nice picture; what a beautiful teen you were.)

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi there, Martha! What a nice compliment–thank you! As you know, I love your writing, too. Your piece today moved me to tears, and yesterday, you had me laughing out loud with those hilarious pictures of the luckiest ferret in the world—Bailey.

      And those are great questions. When you asked me what kind of animal I’d want to be, my first thought was “Bailey!” ha,ha She is one fortunate ferret!
      It’s a pretty cushy life she lives there. :-) But seriously, I think I’d want to be a bird, specifically a wood thrush. Because, of course, I’d like to be able to fly. And I’ve always wished I could sing well, and the wood thrush has one of the most beautiful songs ever.

      And music…I love music, which makes it rather odd that I only have one blog post on music (which you can click on in my sidebar). I like classical, folk, blues, some rock, some alternative, some bluegrass, some gospel. Here’s a list from my Blogger page of some of the music groups and people I like: Eva Cassidy, Patty Griffin, Doc Watson, Chet Atkins, Amos Lee, Eastmountainsouth, Girlyman, Kris Delmhorst, Mindy Smith, Norah Jones, Wailin’ Jennys, Weepies, Whitstein Brothers ,Winterpills, Yo-yo Ma, Bruce Cockburn… Oh! And I love, love, love Christmas music—I have a huge collection. And I am still moved to tears when Pavarotti hits that high note on “O Holy Night.”

      Obviously, a wide variety…:-)

      By the way, you could be an Honorary Southerner, if you’d like. Can you say, “Hey, y’all, how y’all doin’?” :-)

  12. Sharon Says:

    I knew I had a beautiful friend! Loved the things you shared, too. I would still be reading Mary Worth if she were in our paper. And Little Orphan Annie. And Dick Tracy. And my favorite, Brenda Starr, Girl Reporter. Also, handwritten recipes with all the splotches and stains are the best recipes, don’t you think? You’re the best.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hey there, Sharon! Brenda Starr, Girl Reporter! You know, I never had the pleasure of seeing that one, but it sounds right down my alley. And, yes, absolutely, recipes with splotches and stains are the best. And my mama would usually add a handwritten comment on the recipe like, “Delicious! Family likes!” or “Mmmm..!” I treasure those especially.

  13. eemilla Says:

    I love your long posts because as many before have stated your writing is such a joy to read. Your comment about learning to make cookies sounds like something I could hear my mom or myself saying. My mom calls those cookies cow patties, and Ingles calls them no bake chocolate cookies.

    Speaking of food and travel, what’s your favorite Southern dish, and where do you most hope to travel to?

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi, Eemilla! Thank you…you are very kind to say that. By the way, I love the name your mom gave those cookies—”cow patties” is perfect!

      Hmm…let’s see…my favorite Southern food…It’s really hard to pick just one—I love hush puppies, I love liver pudding, I love Cheerwine, I love Moon Pies. But maybe my favorite Southern thing ever would be my Grandma’s chess pie. It was so, so good. The saddest thing is that I never got her recipe. As far as travel, well, I’ve never traveled much beyond North Carolina and Virginia, but I’d really love to see all of the U.S. some day, especially out West (I loved your posts on San Francisco!) and up in the New England states. And I’d like to see Canada, too. I’ve always wanted to go to Niagara Falls, from the time I was a little girl.

  14. Clara Melvin Says:

    Hi Beth, I’m sorry being so long to comment on this post. I just now finished reading all the comments and your replies. Ditto on everything that has already been said. Your blog can always bring a smile to my face no matter what kind of day I am having. To be able to write as you do would be one of my greatest wishes! You remind me of a person who always sees the beauty in everything. I have two questions. Do you still look anything like your picture when you were sixteen years old? If you do….you are beautiful! and my second question. What advice would you give parents who are raising a child with autism? I have a reason for this question. I will tell you later. You are loved! clara

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi there, Clara! Awww…thank you…that is such a sweet thing to say. And thank you for reading my blog—I love yours, too!

      To answer your questions: I really appreciate your kind words, but no, I’m afraid I don’t look very much like I did at 16 at all. A lot of my hair has fallen out (from stress, I think) and that stress caused a very early menopause (at 44) which also took a toll on my looks, not to mention the teeth I lost because I couldn’t afford to get them fixed. Plus, what hair I have left is dry and gray and much too long, so it takes a while to form it into something resembling a hairstyle. But, as I tell my children, it’s the inside that matters…*Sigh*

      To answer your other question: I think, first of all, I’d say love your child unconditionally. See them for the sweet and precious gift from God that they are. It’s normal after your child is diagnosed with autism to grieve the loss of some of the dreams you may have once had for them, but you will soon replace those with new dreams. Accept your child for who they are and love them for it and let them know every day that you love them and that you see them as a blessing.

      Spend all the time you possibly can with your child. I know sometimes that’s not easy, but it is essential to spend time just being with your child and watching them and listening to them and seeing all the wonderful strengths they have, so that you can help them to embrace and use those strengths. Engage your child. Although I am by nature very quiet, I used to talk a lot to Benjamin when he was a baby. Even on a simple trip to the grocery, I’d hand, for example, an apple to him and talk about that pretty bright red round and shiny apple and how good it was going to taste. It was helpful, too, that Ariel was so close to him in age (they are almost exactly a year apart). She definitely did her part to engage her brother.

      Read everything you can about autism. Learning about it will help you help your child and will also give you confidence when all the experts and all the advice givers tell you what you should do or what you shouldn’t do. Listen to and carefully consider what the experts and advice givers say, but in the end, you know your child better than anyone in the world. For certain, you should listen to others, but trust, too, your own intuitions.

      Ask for help and accept it with grace. Tell people what you need. I am a person who finds it very hard to ask for help. So I rarely did, but I wish I had. I didn’t get much support or help at all from my extended family, but I did get some from friends and I think I would have gotten even more if I’d only asked. And one more thing: when your child starts school, try very hard to see the teachers and others at the school as your child’s friend and advocate. Sometimes, unfortunately, they’re not. Sometimes you have to fight for what you need; sometimes they are judgmental and even unkind. But most of them are sincere in wanting to help your child. So try to see them in a positive light, even when you’re not sure they have your child’s best interests at heart.

      I hope this helps, Clara. Really, children on the autistic spectrum vary so widely in their abilities—so I’m always hesitant to offer advice. But I think what I’ve written would apply in most cases. Let me know if I can help further.

  15. CountryDew Says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. I can tell that you have a good heart and that even though life has not been as kind to you as it might have, you are a survivor and quite resilient. I have enjoyed reading you and getting to know you through your blog.

    It’s rather amazing how we formulate different ideas about people whilst we read their blogs, isn’t it? I have always pictured your hair with lots of curls for some reason, maybe with a little bit of gray.

    My question: What did you think of Roanoke when you lived in that area, and would you return?

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi there, Anita. Thank you for your kind words. I AM pretty resilient, I reckon. I am grateful for God’s grace and my sense of humor—it helps!

      And, by the way, before I was stricken with the dreaded “curl resistance,” I did have curly salt-and-pepper hair. :-)

      We loved Roanoke! Ariel was born there (actually she was born in Bedford), and we liked it very much. I still miss a lot of things in that area—McAfee Knob, the Star, New Yorker subs… And in fact, we have considered going back some day. It’s interesting to me that so many of my readers come from Virginia. I’m pretty sure I have a lot more Virginia readers than North Carolina readers. I’m not sure why that is…but maybe that’s some kind of sign??? :-)

  16. Clara Melvin Says:

    Thank you Beth. That is very helpful information on autism.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      You’re welcome, Clara. Please let me know if you have any more questions. I’ll do my best to answer them.

  17. wesleyjeanne Says:

    Okay. It’s so unfair that you post this–one of your best posts–on the one day that I was out of town and had little to no access to my computer or time to read my favorite blog.

    Of course now I have to catch up by reading all of your many many lovely, complimentary and so very true reader comments.

    I personally think that your posts are never long enough, this even more so. Tell us more stuff about you! Tell us about moving to the mountains. How/when/why did you? Tell us about your garden. Give us a blow-by-blow of your average day. And I can’t wait to read the story about how you met BRBCM!

    Give us more of your fiction and poetry.

    But really, know that anything you write here, we’re going to read and adore and revel in the beauty of the soul of you that shines through your words.

    And you go brag on your kids, young lady. You have every right! They are wonderful, thoughtful, intelligent, creative, spiritual people.

    Oh, one more thing: I went to a dress-up day in elementary school as Pippi Longstocking. My mom stuck wires in my braids so they would stick out!

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hey there, Wes! Thank you, my dear friend. I am truly overwhelmed by all the kind things you said. (And by ALL the comments here). Quite honestly, I’m really so surprised (and so pleased) at the response here—I really thought when I wrote this post that people would probably be a little bored by it and that a few might make polite comments and that would be that. In fact, I almost didn’t post it. But I’m very glad I did.

      And, of course, you know I’m a big fan of your blog. Your writing, your photography, your chronicle of your family’s sweet life. I love every post.

      I would very much like to see a picture of you as Pippi Longstocking, if you have it. I know you were a very cute Pippi. :-)

  18. wesleyjeanne Says:

    from that photo I can see that Benjamin has your smile. Beautiful.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Thank you, Wes. My children both look a bit like me, but actually turned out smarter, more talented, and better-looking than their Maw. When I told my midwife that we weren’t planning to have more babies, she looked genuinely upset and said, “I hope you’ll reconsider that—you really do turn out amazing children!” She was actually serious, and I always wondered how she could see that since they were both babies at the time. But now, I can see she was very discerning. :-)

  19. colleen Says:

    I used to tell my sons that they had potatoes growing in their ears. That meant they needed to bathe. I once tried to dress in purple every day and wallpapered my room purple. You look like a breath of fresh air in the photo…I’m stalling now to think up a question …might have to come back with one.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi there, Colleen. Potatoes growing in their ears! Ha, ha…I love that. I’ll bet they’ll tell their children the same thing. Ariel has already said she would carry on the legacy of Raggedy Rat, which is very heartwarming to me. :-)

  20. colleen Says:

    Who would play you in the movie? Who (besides family members) has influenced your life and/or been your inspirations.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Great questions, Colleen! Of course, I want to say Susan Sarandon because I’d love to look like her, but I guess I should pick someone that looks like me. That’s a hard one. Hmmm…how about Ron Howard (remember Opie?) with a long, curly wig on? :-)

      To answer your second question, I think I’d say our lifelong dear friend Ernie. I knew her from the time I was small because she was a close friend of my Mama’s. As children, we loved petting and playing with her Seeing Eye Dog Katie (when Katie wasn’t working). I got to know Ernie really well, though, after my Mama died because she lived in Raleigh where we used to live. She was totally straightforward to the point of bluntness, but she was kind and honest and a loyal friend. She accepted and loved me for who I was and was always encouraging me and telling me I was a good mother. And she loved my children with all her heart and they loved her back. She even gave them a slate and stylus and taught them Braille so they could write her letters. We were utterly heartbroken when she died four years ago. She was buried beside her Seeing Eye Dog Katie.

  21. Debi Kelly Van Cleave Says:

    iiiiI wish I could read all the comments but no time. I just wanted to say I enjoyed another funny post and I was happy to see your face. Just as pretty and open and bright as I expected.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hey, Debi! Thank you for reading and for your kind words. I’m looking forward to YOUR next post—I love every single one of them.

  22. Shannon Says:

    I’d like to know if you are moving your juices forward to work on a longer book? And as far as pics, the “me” I see in my pictures is never the “me” that I see in my mind on how I look. But in your writing one sees the spirit and spark that is the true roadmap of a person’s life, so much more than in a mere image.

    And I’ve often found that people I know that are shy about pictures don’t see themselves with the same eyes that their loved ones do.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi there, Shannon! Well, one thing is for sure—you definitely see the “real” me in my writing. Maybe sometimes too much so! :-)

      As a matter of fact, I’m really starting to take some serious steps towards getting back to my novel. It is a very odd thing but for some reason, when I write a lot of non-fiction (as on my blog), I find it hard to write fiction. So I’ve thought seriously about ending my blog. Still trying to decide on that one, but meanwhile, I’ve started writing short stories again. I don’t know if they’re any good, but at least I’m writing fiction. I guess my short stories are my baby steps towards writing my novel again.

      • wesleyjeanne Says:

        I am thrilled beyond belief that you’re writing fiction!
        Please please please share some of it with your readers here!

        and please don’t get rid of the blog.

      • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

        Thank you, Wes. I’ve got to say, if I ended my blog, I’d sure miss comments like these. :-) They’ve certainly made me re-consider. Thanks to everyone for reading and for commenting—I’m very grateful.

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