My Journal

I’ve told you all that the blog is much like a diary or journal to me.  It really is.  Growing up I always tried to keep a diary or journal and never made the leap and actually did it.  I can’t tell you how many times I tried.  I think my first time ever was when I was in 4th grade and my mom bought me a five-year diary.  Remember the ones with the mini keys.  I had one.  Mine was brown.  I made about 30 entries in it over the five years.

I never did find a way to truly write a journal until I started blogging.

When I did start blogging I was told that I should keep it “professional”.  I should only write about quilting.  I was told it should be for business only.  I hated that idea.

The person in me wanting to write a journal thought blogging would be a great way to get me to actually keep a journal.  Besides, separating business and personal was never my thing.  My family is such a huge part of everything I do.

One day long ago, Kelli and I were having a sewing day.  We were still living at the farmhouse.  Kelli got it in her head that we should make FOUR Perkimon Daydreams quilts…one for Kayla, one for Buck, one for me, and one for her.

The quilt is a monster and to make four of them would be crazy…in fact, making them all did make us a little crazy.  Kelli went around and tied headbands of 1 1/2″ strips on our heads.


Then she tied them on the dogs.  At the time, I had Gracie and she had Puppycat.

There is no way to write a blog post and make any of that look professional.  We weren’t one drop professional that day.  We were goofy and crazy and had so much fun.

I’d rather you all see me and our family how we really are…goofy and crazy…raw but sometimes put together.  That’s how we really are.

I’m so glad I made our family part of the blog from the very beginning.  It’s lead me to blog about so many personal things that I might not have a memory of or saved a photo of had I not added personal stuff to the blog.

The other day I was doing a search looking for a recipe and I came across a post I had done after we had a party after Carver was born.  My family had come and we had a cheesecake bake-off party.  It was a way to get lots of desserts to my house so I didn’t have to make them.  It was fun too.

I found a picture of Kramer…not a good one but it was him…

Family-8
We really don’t have lots of pictures of him so any pictures were great.  The picture that really caught my eye…this one…
In the pictures are the cheesecake bakeoff winners…my sister in law Wendy, our daughter Kayla, and my niece Jody.

For those of you who are newer here, Jody is my niece.  She’s four years younger than me.  We were really close.  She’s was actually more of a sister to me than my own sister as Jody and I were closer in age.  Jody died of breast cancer in September of 2019.  It was hard.  I lost her and my husband Kramer in a matter of three months.

If you look in the picture, you can see that Jody is holding Carver.  He was a newborn.  So sweet.  Jody loved babies and was always the first to grab them up.  At the time she was dealing with her cancer and holding little ones, means even more when you have cancer.

We have talked a lot to Carver about Kramer.  Carver remembers him.  I made a book about him and Carver can almost recite it…but from time to time he’ll say to me, “remember Jody died too.” Yep, buddy, I do remember.

The only thing…I don’t think he can put a name and face together with Jody.  We didn’t take a lot of pictures together.  We were always too busy chatting and hanging out…playing show and tell with the latest projects we were making so photos didn’t get taken.

So when I saw the picture of Jody holding Carver I messaged that picture and the picture below to Kalissa and asked her to show them to Carver.  You see, this is the toy that Jody crocheted him for a baby present.

Carver still has the toy and immediately, unprompted, he ran and got it.  He started hugging it and Kalissa said he snuggled up on the couch with it like a teddy bear.


Some people are remiss about talking to little ones about people after they die.  We are not that family.  We talk about our missing loved ones often.  We want to keep Kramer and Jody a part of us.  We want to honor them and give them credit for the difference they made in our lives.  We regularly shed a tear in front of the kids and it’s entirely okay.  The kids then know, we really loved them, and should something ever happen to them, we will cry about missing them too.  That’s how kids see deep love.  That’s how they see we are human.

Carver has seen me shed a tear or two over missing Jody.  I’m glad that now he can connect the face, the toy, and the name.

For this reason, among others, that I am so thankful that I made the decision to open the blog to include my family and not keep it strictly a professional blog. It gave Carver a chance to put a name with a face.  It prevents me from having to type out recipes for my kids all the time.  I can just say the recipe is on the blog.  It lets me keep my goal of having a journal along with showing you all my quilts too.  Besides, I think the blog is a whole lot more interesting with the joys and sorrows as well as the antics of my family included.  So that is the latest from Jo’s Journal.

42 thoughts on “My Journal

  1. Judith Fairchild

    I’m so glad your blog is mixed family,quilts and cross stitching. I hVe learned so many good things that toy Jody made is such fun. I think the way you honor your loved ones is right children do worry and grieve when someone disappears from their life.

    Reply
  2. Elle

    I love your Blog just the way it is! Your life is rolled up into one big jumble of intertwined people, events, work, craft, cooking, joy as well as grief, and it’s all you!

    I’m with you on making loss and grief part of everyday life. I want to share a quick story with you. We buried my brother of suicide and my Dad of lung cancer within 6 weeks of each other back in 1994. My sister’s son was born 1.5 years later. When he was 6, we were headed down to see Mom for a day. He piped up and said “Aunt Elle, my Grandpa loves me. You know where he is?” Tell me Ty, where is Grandpa? “He’s livin’ with Jesus”. Yes Ty, Grandpa indeed lives with Jesus. :-) We then lost my BIL suddenly of a massive stroke and Mom of bladder cancer, both in 2007. We talk about them as well.

    Family is family, be they living on earth or in our hearts. God Bless you all and hugs to you.

    Reply
  3. Cherie Moore

    I totally agree with you about the blog…..much more interesting with family bits included and about talking and mourning loved ones with family. Plus I’ve learned so much about all different things…instant pots, different ways to finish x-stitch, how to to get organized…..and how to make the dishwasher work again ;-). Thanks, Jo!

    Reply
  4. brenda

    you have explained it so much better than I was able to when I was trying to describe and recommend your blog to a friend.

    Reply
  5. Kate

    I am so glad you do your blog with personal information. It makes me feel like I know you and want to call you “friend.” am so glad I somehow got connected to the blog too. I think it has been somewhere between 2 and 3 years that I have been connected to your blog and I look forward to reading it daily. Thank you and keep up the good work!

    Reply
  6. Debbie B

    I love it all, Jo! You do a great job and I love reading all about your life. You know how to keep it real and enjoyable at the same time. Thanks for all your sharing!

    Reply
  7. Marty in AZ

    Jo, I love your blog just the way it is! If it were only about quilting, I probably would not stick with it. But I read both posts every day–I wouldn’t want to miss anything going on in your life and the lives of your family! I feel like I know you all and you are my friends.

    Reply
  8. Becky

    Jo, I came to your blog via one of your patterns in a magazine. I was caregiving for my terminally ill husband at the time, and at some point learned that you’d recently lost Kramer. Your thoughts on his loss have been so meaningful to me I can’t even begin to thank you enough. My Tom died almost a year ago now, and during this time of Covid I’ve had very little physical contact with other people, so it’s especially generous of you to share your experiences in this virtual way. I applaud you for making sure your loved ones are honored. I find some people are very uncomfortable when I mention Tom in casual conversation though it’s natural to me—we shared 40 years of loving and learning from each other and I find I’m still learning through hindsight. I’m glad to hear you have no plans to change your format!

    Reply
    1. Carla

      So sorry to hear not only of your loss but of your isolation, Becky. Jo’s blog is indeed a little bit of everything. It’s thought provoking, encouraging, funny, educational, cheerful, and sad. It’s real. I’m glad you found it. She is indeed like visiting a friend. And Jo, that’s a great picture of Kramer. Real life.

      Reply
      1. Becky

        Thank you, Carla. I’m reminded that I recently came across a recording of Tom’s voice that I didn’t know existed. Nothing consequential but, like you said, a little slice of real life.

        Reply
  9. Lisa B

    I’ve learned a lot about, first, farm life, and now life in general in your area. Thanks for including your family along with your dogs and quilts in your blog!

    Reply
  10. Jill Klop

    I love that you blog about family. I started to read your blog because I saw Gracie. We are beagle people too! Kalissa is the same age as my son. You are my age as well. So many personal things are what has kept me with you for so long. You’re not just a quilter to me…you seem like a friend!

    Reply
  11. Celesta

    Thank you so much Jo, for sharing your family with us, you’ve made my days better by
    making us all feel like we’re part of your family.

    Reply
  12. Terri

    Oh my goodness, I remember y’all and the blogging about those Perkimon Daydreams quilts! Thank you for just being you and sharing your life and family with us. ❤️❤️

    Reply
  13. Linda in NE

    I love your blog just the way it is…business, family, everyday life, quilts, adventures. I always look forward to reading the latest post.

    Reply
  14. Chris B

    I love your blog! This post touched me because you are right on the money about keeping those who are gone alive for all of us. I have to ask, did you really make 4 Perkiomen Dream quilts?. I know you made two but FOUR?…

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      We have three completely finished. The fourth is a top. Kelli is supposed to piece the backing for hers so I can machine quilt it.

      Reply
  15. Nancy W

    Love it all! You are the best reality show ever….you have a loving family that you graciously share with us…thank you to the whole family.

    Reply
  16. Susan the Farm Quilter

    This past year has been a difficult one for me in so many ways. Since last March, there are 5 blogs that I read whenever they are posted…yours, Kalissa’s, Bonnie Hunter’s, a quilting friend in Australia, and a quilting friend in England. Reading this post today has just shown me why I am reading these five blogs…y’all talk about your lives, not just quilting (which is why I started reading the blogs, except Kalissa’s). I read numerous quilting blogs, but for some reason when life crashed last March, I would only read these 5 blogs because you did talk about the other parts of your lives and felt like friends sitting around and chatting – and I definitely needed that connection!! Thank you!!

    Reply
  17. Marie Attew

    Love your blog I have to say yours, Kallisa’s and Kayla’s are the only blogs I read. Love reading about your Crazy Zany family. ❤️

    Reply
  18. Kim J LeMere

    I look forward to you blog and I appreciate hearing about other things besides quilting. How to fix things, cook new dishes and how to juggle life with all its bumps, and blessings. I was not following you when Carver was so tiny, how sweet to see the picture of him and Jody. Now I have to go look up what is a dream quilt.

    Reply
  19. peg sullivan

    Love your blog. It is like connecting with a friend daily or so, especially during the Rona!
    Keep it up, please.
    Shalom, Pegeth

    Reply
  20. BRee

    Your blog is very much appreciated by so many of us. Thank you for all you do to keep us informed and entertained and for being there when we need someone!

    Reply
  21. MoeWest

    I may have found your blog because of quilting but I love it and always read it because you do share your family life. You may do it to document memories but it touches and enhances the lives of others like me. Don’t change a thing!

    Reply
  22. Janet R

    Your blog is one of a select few that I read. I enjoy hearing about the family, recipes, successes, not-so-successful. It’s real! Reading about quilting is fine, but it’s all the rest of it that keep me coming back. Love the pictures you found and helping Carver with his connection with Jody. One of my grands didn’t meet my mom and the other two were very young. We talk about her, show pictures of her, and have special items around the house.

    Thank you for being you!!

    Reply
  23. Sharon Harmon

    Your blog is definitely my favorite blog. I look forward to it every day. Without that personal touch, so many of us would not have had the opportunity to know and love your wonderful family.

    Reply
  24. Gloria Gleason

    I could just copy Sharon Harmon’s message! I am a daily reader, checking on everybody, looking at your projects, etc. I would love to drop by for a visit! Keep up the wonderful job you do at every turn!

    Reply

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