Category Archives: Jo’s Journal

A Children’s Author I Love: Clare Beaton

I know many of you who read the blog are crafty.  I’m guessing you’re quilters, knitters, crocheters, cross-stitchers, or similar hobbies…but if you don’t, I’m sure you must appreciate them.  In light of that, I thought I would introduce you to an author/illustrator that I am in love with.  Her name is Clare Beaton.  She works to make children’s picture books..and her work is amazing.

I have many of her books in my collection.

I have Zoe and her Zebra

How Big is Pig?

One Moose, Twenty Mice.


The first book I ever purchase by her was There’s a Cow in the Cabbage Patch.  I don’t know if this one is in print anymore.

Paperback There's a Cow in the Cabbage Patch Book
Recently when I was at the thrift store I found another of her books that… Continue reading

Amazon Finds

If you’ve been a long-time reader here, you know that links from my site to Amazon, earn a commission for me.  For example, if I put a link on the blog to Lori Holt’s Seams So Easy Guide…this one…that I completely adore, and you click the link and buy it, Amazon gives me a 45 cent commission on the sale.  I’ve explained that before.  If you’re on Amazon and end up buying a present for your granddaughter’s birthday while you’re there, they give me a commission on that as well.


Amazon then gives me a listing of the items people bought.  I have not idea who bought what.  No names are listed.  No addresses are listed.  I just get a list of what was bought.

Well, I often curiously look at the lists to see what other people end up buying besides the item I put a link to.  Sometimes I am so intrigued by them I end up buying them.  Today I’m going to show you two things that blog readers enticed me into buying…

First up:
A battery-operated can opener.  As I age, I’m having a tougher time using items that require hand strength.  I can’t get a lid open to save my soul.  When I saw this can opener that was battery-operated and small, I decided to give it a try.

I clipped it on the can like this…

Pushed the button…and … Continue reading

A Little Ancestry Work

You all know I’ve been working on my big cross stitch piece Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs.  The piece is designed to record family that is important to you.  Well, that has prompted me to do a little more research and looking up to find the information that I need.

I had a good idea of what mine is.  My husband Kramer, I know little about.  His family didn’t really talk a lot about ancestry stuff and now that he’s gone, my best resource to know more is gone too.

Olivia from Pumpkin Hollow Quilts is a Flosstuber and she was the one that I first saw stitch Anniversaries of the Heart.  She didn’t record birthdays as some people do.  She recorded marriages and relationships instead.  I liked that idea.

Here is my January block.  That one is dedicated to our son Karl.

I’ve now finished my February block.  This one is dedicated to my Johnson grandparents.  My Grandpa was Iver.  My Grandma Elsa.  They have five kids- Harold, Esther, Agnes, my day Carl and Bert.  If you look at my stitching you’ll see that I put their initials in the block.  My Dad often went by “C.I.” so I put C.I. in red for my Dad.


I really have been loving this.

I’m working on the next bonus block now…See? Continue reading

How He Loved Me

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  So many of you will be looking for boxes of candy, jewelry, flowers, or something really romantic.  I recently saw a post on Facebook and I thought it very appropriate to talk about here on the blog.

This was all inspired by a gal from Facebook and her tag is Love Always, Heather.  You can find her HERE.

She wrote this:
He always pushes the grocery cart.

(and when we get back to the truck, he always unlocks the doors immediately so that I can get in, and then proceeds to unload the groceries, while I’m sat in the truck with the seat warmers on. rain or shine – every time – this is our grocery game plan)
Can I let you all in on a little secret?
It’s taken me many years to appreciate being loved like this.
You see, I spent (ie. wasted) a lot of time looking for all the ways in which love in shown in the movies, in the magazines, and on the commercials.
Flowers.
Chocolates.
Romantic meals.
Surprise getaways.
And guess what?
I was disappointed time. and time. and time again.
All because I was looking for the ways that I was being told he should show his love –
Instead of paying attention to how he actually does show his love.
And when I eventually came to that realization, Friends?
That was the relationship game changer.
For he rarely buys flowers,
But he calls me everyday when he gets off of work, to see if I need anything picked up.
He never thinks of buying chocolate,
But whenever he sees anything that resembles a slice of plant based, organic goodness, he always buys it for me – And is always so proud to surprise me with his latest grocery store find.
He can only boil eggs and butter bread,
So while I have never walked into a dining room with candles flickering and plates of gourmet goodness laid out – He wakes up every Sunday morning, puts on coffee, pours up my favourite mug, and passes it to me while I’m cozied up on the living room couch (and if my mug is in yesterday’s dirty dishes, he’ll always wash it out. bless him).
And while he cannot put together a travel itinerary to save his soul,
He has sat in a theatre on Broadway with me to watch a musical. He has walked through Ernest Hemingway’s home with me. He has been through more museums and libraries in a lifetime than he cares to admit. And he has never complained about any of it. Not even once.
And it’s more than that. So much more than that.
He’s gotten up in the middle of the night with a crying baby. If his restaurant order is better than mine, he’ll always switch plates. He watches Sleepless in Seattle when he would rather be watching Jason Bourne (at least I think that’s his name). He knows my most favourite ‘lady products’, and will run to the pharmacy to grab me them whenever needed (if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is).
…And, he will always, always push the grocery cart.
You know, the more I think of it,
The flowers, the chocolates, the romantic meals, and the surprise getaways?
That’s all just momentary anyway.
The flowers die. The chocolate and meals get devoured. And the surprise getaways happen, and then they’re over.
But it’s in the moments that you can depend on (over and over and over again), well, that’s where the love is found.
The good love.
The always love.
Like your ‘most coziest blanket on a fall day’ love.
…And it’s THAT kinda’ love that I want to walk through this life feeling.
Don’t search for the flowers, Ladies. Nor waste your time in want of the chocolates.
Search for the one who will push your grocery cart.

For that’s where the always kinda’ love is ♡”

I was loved like this… and like Heather, it took me… Continue reading