Ask Jo: Questions, Comments and a Way to Help

Every so often questions and comments come from readers that I think others would like to hear my response to.  That’s when I feature them on the blog.  This is one of those days.

First up from Gloria:
Remember the fabric that I used for the Halloween quilt that everyone was waiting for.   This one…

Midnight Magic 2 Ghost Tiny Stars Yardage | SKU# 24106-11
Gloria called and told me that it was not available through the link I had provided and that they were indeed sold out.

People are looking for it so they can make our quilt Halloween Hoopla.  This was the print I used.  The fabric was on backorder and a product of supply chain issues.

This is the print.  It is called Midnight Magic 2 Ghost Tiny Stars.  If you type “Midnight Magic 2 Ghost Tiny Stars” into your search engine, I think you’ll find some places where it is still available.

I know many of us are heartbroken for the people of Ukraine.  All of us want to do something but don’t know what to do.  I’ve seen quilters quilting with blue and yellow the colors of the Ukraine flag.  I’ve seen stitchers working on special cross stitch projects to mark this point in history like this freebie… from Beth Twist of Heartstring Samplery.

You can find the free chart HERE.  I have it downloaded but decided not to drop everything and start stitching.

If you care about what is happening in Ukraine and the surrounding countries I HIGHLY encourage you to read this blog post from Becky of Quilted Twins.  For those of you who don’t know, Becky (known for her AMAZING free quilt patterns-find them HERE) and her husband are originally from the United States but are living in Poland and working as missionaries.  In the post, Becky tells of conditions in Poland because of the large influx of Ukrainian refugees and offers a way for us to help.  I strongly believe being Becky lives there and already works with missionary groups in the area, she will get the money where it needs to go.  I have made a donation and I encourage others of you to read her post and decided for yourself if you think this would be a cause you would like to support.

I am often confused when a crisis happens to try to figure out how I can help.  Having Becky there on the ground made it easy for me to see that a monetary donation was the way to go…

HERE is the link to Becky’s blog post about the needs of refugees.  You have to scroll down a bit to get to the part about the needs.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone for their well-wishes on my decision to not do regular childcare anymore and I want to clarify something.

I’m really not retiring…I’m just switching gears and dropping my full-time job.

AND…I’m picking up my part-time job, adding hours to it, and I’m going to try to do a better job at it.  If you’re a long-time blog reader you might remember that I do get an income from the blog, affiliate links, and the quilts I submit to magazines. Working the blog, as I’ve told you all before, is really a part-time job for me.

So good news for all of you, I hope to do be doing more of all of that…blogging, creating quilts, as well as other projects, and exploring more things that allow me opportunities to make money via the internet.  I’m still going to be working full time it’s just that my full-time job will be doing more of the things that allow me to be creative.

I’m really not retiring but more of switching of gears.  I am thrilled about it…but also a little nervous as that means learning new things.  I am THE WORST at learning new things (just ask my kids).

For example, a blog reader asked if I could put a tab at the top of the blog for the Blessed Stitch Along.  Um…the answer, No.  No, I cannot.  I do not know how.  I really don’t.  In the past, I might have ignored the comment.  I might have asked Kayla to do it…but now–  I’m committed to figuring it out and learning.  All of this stuff I previously never had time for.  (CORRECTION!  I did it!!  Kayla walked me through it)

I’ve also got a couple of comments saying I’m so lucky that I can do whatever I want as many can’t because of financial obligations.

I made the decision to step back with childcare knowing full well there are consequences.  I’ll likely never be able to truly retire until I can’t do my job anymore.  I know that.  I’m okay with that.  I don’t have a giant nest egg-no big 401Ks.  I made the decision anyway.

My house is paid off…I don’t know if I’d call it “lucky” though.  It took losing my husband, his life insurance money, and really hard work on my part since his death to make it happen.  I’d happily take back a house payment if I could have my husband back.

For our family, it wasn’t luck but calculated choices and a HUGE amount of faith.  I remember when we were still living at the farm and our house that I live in now was in the remodeling process.  I walked a lot back then… every day at least two miles or more.  My entire walk was a prayer sent up that we would find a way to be able to pay for the house…that we could find a way to finally buy a home for our family…the entire walk was a prayer.

I had faith then and I have faith now that this will all work out and be okay.

It’s a little scary, but I’m up for taking the risk.  Happily, I’m a frugal gal and am confident I can find a way to make it work.  Speaking of frugal.  Look at me!!

Here is my drink packet drawer. 
If you remember I told you earlier in the week that I still have an “off taste” with food and drinks from the oral chemo and radioactive iodine treatment so rather than throw out the drink packets that I don’t like, I was just drinking them anyway…the “off taste” I have makes everything taste different so why not?!

Several of you silently rolled your eyes at me…that’s okay.   It’s just me and my ways…Hopefully, by the time I finish these last few up, my taste buds will be working right again.

Anyway…thanks for the well wishes you all sent cheering me on for leaving regular childcare behind.  I’m so looking forward to a new adventure.  Let the creative juices flow!!


20 thoughts on “Ask Jo: Questions, Comments and a Way to Help”

  1. I have thought for a long time that you might be able to sell your quilt patterns through Etsy, your daughter Kayla could edit them for you. I wish you well in whatever endeavor you try. I totally understand the wishing your husband was back instead of having your home paid for, many women are so unhappy in their marriage they would never understand.

  2. You are a wise lady and as you know you are the one to know what is best for you. You made the decision after much thought and discussion with your family. I am so happy for you that you are able to cut out the childcare job.

  3. Jo, I admire you and being a person that has probably gotten plenty of eye rolls myself, I applaud your faith and frugal ways! Keep being you!

  4. Switching gears is always scary. I applaud your decision and the support from family, friends, and readers. Wishing you all the best Jo! Looking forward to where your creativity takes you. I’ve enjoyed your content completely. Hugs, Allison in Plano, Texas

  5. I totally hear you on the “lucky” comment. It takes a lot of hard work and saving rather than spending to be able to lose income by choice. Death is a terrible way to pay off debt-my Mom did it back in 1994. There’s no luck about it! I did/do realize the other income streams you spend time on and that you were retiring only from childcare.

    Thank you for sharing Becky’s blog link.

    Happy almost Sunday :-)

  6. Wishing you the best as you move forward, Jo. If you are at peace with your decision, that is all that is important. Enjoy!

  7. Thank you for a way to help people who are suffering right now. You just never know what to do, and its good that you have guided us somewhere we can feel like we have done a little something. Such a heartbreak.
    You will miss your childcare kiddos, but you will all get through it. Good for you to make your own choices, and having back up plans.
    Love this blog!

  8. I’m so glad you included the link for donations to benefit the refugees. I feel confident anything I can give will be used wisely. My heart is so sad for the people and it’s hard not to worry. Thank you again. Blessings.

  9. Thank you for posting Becky’s link. I donated. Such a sad situation.

    And to the person who said you are lucky……luck has no part…’s all hard work on your part.

    Best wishes!

  10. iam happy you are not going to have the communicable “bugs” young children can bring to you. I believe you could easily be considered immune compromised so it is a great decision.

  11. Jo, you’re doing what you almost have to do to get well.
    Best wishes on all fronts. Thank you for giving us a direction to do something to help the Ukrainians

  12. Jo, you are quite the inspiration for many of us. Your attitude, careful thought, love of others and family, making do, keeping going, acknowledging loss, etc. Your blog is so much more than just quilting.

    Keep the faith and dont ever let anyone’s posts change your wonderful attitude. We all love you just the way you are.

    A favorite saying of mine is “good luck is the intersection of opportunity and preparation.”

  13. YOu are blessed, really blessed! Congratulations on your new venture. When I purchased my interior design business back in 1984, I consulted with a well known realtor. She told me, “If you don’t take risks, you never get anywhere.” Thank you for the cross stitch links for the free pattern. I picked up a languishing cross stitch project and worked on it last night. My hands are starting to sing when I do stitches so hope that doesn’t last. I couldnt find any of my hoops and I know I have some. And ran out of purple. My church has oodles of floss so I’ll get it on Wednesday. Thank you for your continued blogging.

  14. Thank you for adding the tab for the stitch along. And a huge thank you for doing the stitch along. After seeing your beautiful cross stitch work, I really wanted to give it a try too, but wasn’t sure where to start or how. Then you offered this stitch along. I received my kit and am eagerly awaiting our start date.

    I have been reading your blog for a few years and I am very grateful that you are a person who is willing to share your story. It has helped me, and I’m sure many, many others, to navigate life. We all learn so much when we listen to others. Thank you for sharing so much with us!

  15. I love love love Becky’s blog at Quilted Twins which I learned about from you. Was so happy to see her blog about what was being done in Poland for Ukrainian refugees. I now have a place to donate where I believe the donation will be 100% used in the best possible way.

  16. Susan the Farm Quilter

    As we pray for, and support, the people of Ukraine, also please support the families left behind by our military members who are going to Europe to help support the NATO nations there. So much pain caused by Putin and the choices he has (and continues) to make.

  17. Thanks for the link to Becky… Altho I have also donated to a few larger organizations, (ex: ICRC, UNHCR) I always am left wondering where will that money *actually* be spent, since they service so many ppl worldwide. Knowing Becky and her husband are “local” to the affected area, I’m sure my funds will be allocated directly to where the most help is needed.

  18. Thank you for sharing the link to Becky’s blog. Her post moved me to tears. It’s so scary and heartbreaking. My prayers go out to the Ukrainians and all Europeans, actually, for the shelter and support they are providing to the refugees and just because it’s too close to them for comfort. I’ve read too many WWII novels, I think. I figure the real life suffering was probably indescribable.

  19. You will reap many benefits for learning new things. Studies show that continuing to learn new things and making new connections in the brain will help to keep you young and alert
    You and your family will benefit for years for your actions. Gods blessings to you and your family.

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