Shannon Marie Hyle – A Special Sister

Two years ago on December 8, 2006, my youngest sister died unexpectedly at age 49.  Shannon Hyle was a special person, not just to her immediate family, but to all who knew her.  The church overflowed with bereft people the day of her funeral. 

Now it is two years later and our lives adjust to go on without Shannon.  It comforts us to think she can peer down and approve the progress we’ve made through our grief.  I’m sure she’s thrilled that her daughter, Diana, finished graduate school and is working as a librarian.  She’s equally thrilled to see her youngest, Samantha, succeeding in her second job and that she’s found a loving man to share her life with.

Here are tributes to Shannon written by various family members:

Carol Garriott   Our Golden GirlRemembering Shannon …Be Still and Listen

Virginia Allain  I Am Missing YouA Poem for ShannonA Happy Message From Shannon

Gail Martin  The Lady Bugs Are Back

and from her friends:

Kevin Colebank To Shannon Martin Hyle

Scott Lupo  Very Sad News

Shannon Hyle reading

You can see Shannon’s own writings on the Our Echo site.  I particularly love her essays on books she loved, “Falling in Love among the Bookshelves,” “Life Without Georgette,” and “My Bookshelves.”   We found one of her writings after her death and posted it for her, Memories from Shannon.

Shannon loved using stamps to make delightful cards.  I found her cards that she posted on the SplitCoastStampers galleryonline.  Use the search function and put in vcm3007 (Shannon’s username for the site).  She posted some of her paperbag scrapbooks there too.  She has 142 pages at the site with about 12 cards per page.

Christmas card made by Shannon Hyle
Christmas card made by Shannon Hyle

I created a tribute webpage for Shannon on Squidoo with more photos and memories.

If you have memories of Shannon that you’d like to share, please leave a comment or you can post them on the Our Echo website for Shannon’s friends and family to see.


Learn from the Old-Fashioned Ways

The McGhee family in 1930s Kansas
The McGhee family in 1930s Kansas

My mom has quite a few articles on eHow about thrifty ways of living from her childhood days of the 1930s and during later times of WWII and the 1950s.  Take a look at them and you’ll find tips that apply even today.

How to Raise Good Children the Old-Fashioned Way …How to Use Health Remedies from the Good Old Days …How to Survive a Quarantine the Old-Fashioned WayHow to Recycle the Old-Fashioned Way …How to Conserve Water the Old-Fashioned Way …How to Plant Trees with Limited WaterHow to Have an Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving …How to Have an Old-Fashioned Halloween …How to Decorate Easter Eggs the Old-Fashioned Way …How to Decorate for Christmas the Old-Fashioned Way …How to Camp Out the Old-Fashioned Way …How to Stay Safe from a Rabid Dog the Old-Fashioned Way …

This one was featured as the eHow of the Day on November 25, 2008: How to Save on Heating Bills the Old-Fashioned Way

Capturing Flowers with My Camera

A year and a half ago, I discovered the macro setting on my digital camera.  Since then I’ve had lots of fun taking pictures of wildflowers in New England, Kansas and Florida.  I even found that Wal-Mart was a great place to get close-up pictures of roses, tulips and other flowersflowers at Disney

This summer in New Hampshire two months of rain produced bumper crops of mushrooms from red to yellow to even purple ones.  I took lots of mushroom photos.  Check out my photos on Webshots to see all these. 

I even ran out in the rain to take pictures of spider webs with dew or raindrops on them.  As you can tell, I’m fascinated by the tiny things that I can photograph.

Here are my photography articles:  How to Find Flowers to Photograph …How to Photograph Mushrooms ,,,How to Take Spider Web Photos …The Beauty in Tiny ThingsDawdling Down to the Mailbox

Positive Thinking

I noticed that a number of my writings fall into the category of positive thinking.  It must be from reading Pollyanna at a young and impressionable age.  Actually I’ve found positive thinking helpful throughout my career and even in retirement. 

Writing Challenge

This week I’m participating in a writing challenge at the eHow website.  A number of the regulars there signed up to write 20 articles each.  We have a week to write the 20 articles.  I’ll post links to mine here, so you can see how I’m progressing.

Sunday, November 16

How to Make an Outdoor Party RoomHow to Find Flowers to PhotographHow to Cook a Pot Roast as Good as Mom’s

Monday, November 17

How to Cope with Reading AddictionHow to Find Support Groups for Children Taking Care of Elderly ParentsHow to Replace an RV Mattresses (these last two were requested topics at eHow)

Tuesday, November 18

How to Photograph Alligators on a Florida VacationHow to Avoid Problems with Teeth Whitening ProductsHow to Make American Chop Suey the New England Way

Wednesday, November 19

How to Pick Blueberries at a Pick-Your-Own FarmHow to Sign a Dog up for READing Paws   …How to Make a Craft Work Area in a Small Space

Thursday, November 20 

How to Take Animal Kingdom Photos That You’ll Love   Only had time for one article after spending the afternoon at Disney.  Now I’ll have to squeeze out 2 extra articles over the next 2 days.

Friday, November 21

How to Start a Holiday Ornament Tradition …How to Take a Day Trip on the Casco Bay Ferry

Saturday, November 22  (last day of the challenge and I need to write six articles to meet the goal)

How to Change Your Thinking about Spending …How to Have a “Little House on the Prairie” Christmas …How to Decorate for Fall or Thanksgiving …How to Take Photos at Epcot 

That’s it folks, I’m one article short of my goal, but eHow is going through a shakedown period after rolling out new features on the site.  Trying to get the articles posted without losing parts of them is too frustrating.  Hopefully they will have all the bugs worked out soon.

Crafting with Clyde and Gail Martin

My mom tried all sorts of crafts over the years, from stenciling on pillowcases in the 1950s to macrame plant hangers in the 1970s.  After retirement, my dad and mom worked on some crafts together like the wagon wheel rugs based on a vintage craft from their Kansas pioneer background.  Here’s How to Make Wagon Wheel Rugs from Rags.  They also made large Christmas decorations from pom-poms.  How to Make a Pom-pom Candy Cane for a Door or Wall Decoration.   I also liked the fluffy cats they made from pom-poms.  Mom started making rag dolls with the extra strips of sheeting left from the wagon wheel rugs.  How to Make a Prairie Doll of Rags is based on her childhood memories turned into recent crafting activity.

Mom's Prairie Doll
Mom's Prairie Doll

Celebrate I-Love-to-Write Day

Today, November 15, 2008 is National “I Love To Write” Day.  This might be a good time to take up writing.   Our family has a writing tradition.  My father’s mother kept a journal for much of her life.  I started journaling when I was in college and that was over 30 years ago.  I even collect vintage diaries and have some that date back to the 1880s.  Here’s an article I wrote about that: How to Sell Antique Diaries.  I also wrote How to Fill Gaps in a Journal.  My other articles on writing include: How to write a trip poemHow to Write Family Memories Triggered by PhotosHow to Write Family Memories for Our EchoHow to Create Poetry Using Online Forms

My mother’s mother entered a writing contest back in the 1920s so writing runs through both sides of the family.  My mom has been writing family memories for the past 30 years, her sister writes a monthly community newsletter and my sister just published a collection of poetry.