Working on a Goal: To Make 50 Squidoo Lenses

Here’s what I’ve accomplished so far. The Squidoo website has an honor called becoming a Giant Squid. To apply you have to have 50 quality lenses (mini-websites on Squidoo). I don’t want to make just 50 lenses as some may be discounted as lacking in quality is some way. Maybe my goal should be to make 60 lenses, then 10 could be knocked off and I’d still qualify. The other part of the equation is having high-traffic lenses. Mine are pretty new and some are specialized topics that may not draw much traffic.  We’ll see how it goes.

  • 100 Things I’m Grateful For
  • A Pet Badger
  • An Old-Fashioned Christmas
  • An Old-Fashioned Halloween
  • An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
  • Bertha McGhee
  • Book Oddities
  • Celtic Music
  • Children Remembering World War II
  • Clyde Martin’s Family History
  • Collecting Aprons
  • Cynthia Ross – Kansas Author
  • eHow Article Writing
  • eHow Dolly Visits Central Florida
  • Fabulous Florida
  • Feedsack Dresses
  • Gail Lee Martin – A Lensography
  • Getting Older
  • I Love Books and Libraries
  • It’s Turkey Day
  • Keep Track of a Child at Disney or Other Theme Parks
  • Lake Cottage
  • Make the Money Last
  • Meet the Author: C.J. Garriott
  • Octogenarian Self-Publishes Memoirs
  • Promoting a Self-Published Book
  • Self-Publishing with Blurb
  • Shannon Marie Hyle (Martin): A Tribute
  • Solivita Gift Shop
  • Sugar Valley Lakes
  • Teterville, Kansas
  • The Flint Hills of Kansas
  • Turn an eHow Article into a Squidoo Lens
  • Tyro, Kansas
  • Unique Christmas Trees
  • Walking Off Thanksgiving Calories
  • Write Family Memories for Our Echo
  • Writers at 80 and 90
  • Advertisements

    Thanksgiving Decorating

    Nature celebrates the harvest season and cooler weather with a burst of color. Bring some of that color inside your home to enjoy. Here are ways to do that.

    Pick up a few pieces each year after Halloween and Thanksgiving when autumn leaves, pumpkins, gourds, chrysanthemums, and other traditional fall decor goes on sale. Even jack-o’-lanterns can be used beyond Halloween if the back view is a plain pumpkin. Just turn it around. Over the years you’ll build up a good-sized selection to fit your seasonal decorating needs.

    Store the items in a large bin with heavier items on the bottom and more fragile items like silk flowers and leaves on the top. Bring out the bin when it’s time to decorate for fall.

    Look around for areas to enhance with the fall items. Fill the traditional places like mantels and tabletops. Add a swag or wreath to the front door. Don’t be shy with the groupings and colors. Put enough pieces together to catch the eye.

    I like to change the feel of my entertainment unit with the seasons. By creating autumn vignettes on each shelf, it makes a colorful wall in the living room.

    As Thanksgiving draws near, add some pieces that relate to that holiday’s traditions. Think turkeys, pilgrims and cornucopias.

    Decorate outside the home too with corn shocks, pumpkins, and scarecrows.

    Tips & Warnings If you use candles, be sure they are set apart from anything that could catch fire (silk flowers, leaves, etc.).

    Books I Could Put Down

    Often when readers recommend a book, they say, “I couldn’t put it down.” I love it when I find a book like that. That’s what reading is all about, finding a book that you don’t even want to close for meals or sleeping. Staying up past bedtime immersed in a great book is a wonderful experience.

    Unfortunately sometimes I bog down in a book. For some reason it doesn’t meet my expectations. I hate to give up on a book once I’ve started it. It lays by my reading chair sometimes for weeks. Somehow it seems reproachful with it’s bookmark permanently stuck at the halfway point. I feel guilty that I’m not enjoying it and postpone reading anything else. I’ll dip into it now and then, hoping it will capture my fancy and get some zip going in its plot. Eventually I’ll pick up another book, but keep the rejected book at hand. Who knows, maybe I’ll be in just the right mood for it another day.

    Since I review books for Amazon, I like to be able to say good things about a book. An author worked long and hard to write it and a publishing house thought it worthy of putting into print.  As a librarian, I prided myself on finding good books for my library patrons to read.  Several reviewers saying a book was uninteresting meant my library didn’t buy it. Deep down, I believe that for every book there is a reader, even many readers. A mis-match between the book and the reader results in someone not liking a book. Another reader might find it fits them perfectly.

    With that said, I’m not pointing out these books as hopeless. Maybe they would be just right for you. Unfortunately for me these books were ones that I could put down and not pick up again. I feel sad about them, but I’m going to put them all away and start a new book that might engage my interests. HopefullyI’ll read late into the night relishing the story  as each page turns and words flow past creating pictures in my mind.

    Books I Could Put Down:

    • Waiting for Lila by Billie Green
    • Rainbow’s End by Irene Hannon
    • Don’t Bend Over in the Garden, Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes by Lewis Grizzard
    • Coming Undone by Susan Anderson
    • Creature Cozies by various authors
    • Without Pity by Ann Rule
    • What Am I Doing Here by Bruce Chatwin
    • A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle

    Dance of the Cranes

    Yesterday I saw the sandhill cranes dancing. It was right in my backyard and a family of cranes came poking along. Their focus was on extracting grubs from the ground, so they poked and poked with those long beaks into the St. Augustine grass. Then one of them noticed me in the screen room. He, or she approached the screen, looking fixedly at me. Probably someone has been feeding them grain, which you aren’t supposed to do. Anyway I feared it would poke at the screen, so I moved away abruptly.

    At that point, the crane turned and flapped his wings. Another crane in the group responded with a wing flap and a hop. They both hopped and flapped for several minutes and then the young cranes joined in. These were the cute twin cranes from the spring, but now almost indestinguishable from the adult cranes. The four of them postured, hopped, flapped their wings and ducked their heads at each other with open beaks. Quite a display.

    I wish I’d had a movie camera at hand. Since they kept up their dancing  for awhile, I hastened in for my camera which was just inside. When I came back out, they had settled down and returned to grass poking. As I stepped outside the screen room to take a better picture of the group, they noticed me again. Two of them gave a token hop and wing flap which I captured on camera. That was the end of the show.

    I’m not sure if the activity was from being startled by my original abrupt movement or what. Previously I’d thought the dance was supposed to be a crane courtship activity. Since this was a family group of four cranes, that didn’t fit unless the young cranes were just practicing in response to their parents’ behavior.  Anyway I felt quite priviledged to have seen it.

    dancing sand hill cranes
    Florida Sandhill Cranes Dancing

    Lake Lot – SOLD!….But Prairie Lot Still Available for $250

    Just a a few weeks ago, I launched a new effort to promote a lake lot that we wanted to sell. I created a Squidoo lens to show it off, posted photos of the lake and lot on Facebook and Webshots and wrote a couple of blog entries about it. I’m not sure what did the trick, but we got an offer last week for the lot and the sale was completed yesterday.

    If you missed out on our lot, I’m sure there are a few left around Sugar Valley Lakes, just south of Kansas City.

    For now, all we have at Sugar Valley Lake is a prairie lot (not on the lake). The prairie lots sell for very modest prices and allow the owners to use all the amenities of the Sugar Valley Lakes resort. That means you can become a member of the golf course, launch a boat to fish or water ski on the lake, use the tennis courts, pool, etc.

    Our prairie lot is on raccoon drive and includes a stand of trees. Most of the prairie lots are just grasslands, so ours is a bit special. You could camp on it with an RV or tent while enjoying weekends at the lake. The taxes on it are only $5 a year, and the annual fee for the resort is several hundred dollars. If you live in the south-central Kansas area, it’s a modest cost for the amount of recreation you can enjoy there. If you like to fish or boat or golf, then call me at 863-427-2830 for more details about this prairie lot. It’s available for the very reasonable cost of $250. I want to have it sold by Christmas time.

    Note the power lines running by the lot (upper part of picture). It wouldn’t be a big job to get linked up and have power at your site.

    Lot for Sale
    Sugar Valley Lakes - lot for sale

    Special Day for Writers

    Yesterday was I Love to Write day and I missed celebrating it. Guess I’ll have to write lots today to make up for missing it. Really I do love to write.

    • I need to post some more essays on Helium to try reaching my goal of two writing stars this month. If I wait too late in the month, the essays don’t have time to move up in the rankings. Low ranking for too many articles will keep you from getting the coveted writing stars.
    • I also need to edit and complete about ten drafts on the eHow website. Some of these drafts have been hanging around for four or five months. The website finally got smart and set expiration dates on all the drafts. Now all the procrastinating writers on the site, including myself, are scrambling to clean up our article lists.
    • My next writing goal on eHow is to reach the 500 articles milestone. I had a little setback last week when I lost six articles in their clean up sweep.
    • I also want to create some more Squidoo lenses that relate to my mother’s book (Gail Lee Martin’s My Flint Hills Childhood). There’s minimal writing for each lens. Mostly it’s adding modules and links.
    • There are several PR opportunities that I want to follow up for my mother’s book. 
    • For my summer writing group, I promised to post weekly family memory writing triggers on my blog. That way they could keep writing over the winter.

    Wow, I guess I’d better get busy writing.