Snowflakes, Shannon and Squidoo

I’ve reached my goal of creating fifty Squidoo lenses (webpages). The one below is the fiftieth. Take a look at it. My sister, Shannon first introduced me to the Snowdays website back when I lived in Texas. That’s the basis for this Squidoo lens.

Making Snowflakes Online
Remember folding a piece of paper and cutting bits out of it to make a snowflake? It was a lot of fun. Now you can make one like that online and even send it with a message to a friend. No little bits of paper to clean up afterwards with these snowfl…

You can go to the Snowdays website and look at all the snowflakes people make and the messages they put on them. Down in the left hand corner you can FIND-A-FLAKE. If you put in Shannon and Belle Plaine, it brings up Shannon’s snowflake from 12-02-03.

You can bring them up by number also. On 12-06-08, I made a tribute snowflake for Shannon. It is number 7217122 if you want to see it. You can even leave a message on it. If you put in Ginger and for the location Florida, it brings up 2500 flakes. I didn’t make all of those as there are a few other Gingers in Florida apparently. My specialty was twinkle flakes, so if you click on one of the Ginger flakes and it opens with a little twinkle to it, then that’s mine.

I checked and found some of mine that you can see. Twinkle ones: 4576440 and 2462900. I also made figural ones. Here’s a Halloween one: 2689996. While there, I made a few new ones for old times sake, but I can see that I’m out of practice.

Anniversary of a Loss

It’s coming up… the third anniversary of the day my younger sister died. It’s easy to remember since it falls so close to my birthday. I find the day a bit daunting.

I feel sadness welling up in me as I think of her life cut short and so suddenly. The quandary is how to get through that day and how it affects others. Should I make a special call to my other sisters and my parents? We could talk about Shannon’s life or not, maybe just reassure ourselves that the others are OK. Maybe if I don’t call, they will be busy with their lives and not pause to remember and be overwhelmed by the sadness. Perhaps it’s better not to bring it up. Maybe they won’t even notice the date until it’s past, and won’t have to work their way through all those emotions again.

If I don’t call, will they think I don’t care and don’t remember? Will they feel all alone in their loss and pain? In previous years, I posted a memory piece about my sister on the Our Echo webpage. Our family regularly posts family stories there, so that seemed a natural way to share. Many of us are writers so writing about Shannon was a natural outlet for our feelings. Click on this link to read more family memories of Shannon Martin Hyle. Her maiden name was Shannon Marie Martin.

Shannon Marie Martin
I like this photo of Shannon getting her face washed by her daughter Diana

More Fun Using Blurb

I have five books in various stages of completion on Blurb.  It’s just so much fun arranging the pages, choosing backgrounds, fonts, and matching text and photos.  Maybe I should get a job as a book designer.  Here’s what I’ve been working on tonight.

Samantha's Wedding

I hope to get it sent off to Samantha and Marvin quite soon.  Samantha is my sister, Shannon Hyle’s daughter.

Update on this…. It’s done and posted to the Blurb bookstore in case anyone wants a copy.  Here’s the link to preview the first fifteen pages.

Someone asked for more detail on how to create a book like this using I do have a web page that explains more about making a wedding book using

More eHow Articles from the Family

Keep checking Mom’s articles on eHow.  She has added the following topics: How to Make Clothespin Reindeer Ornaments …How to Make Whipped Topping from Non-Dairy Creamer …How to Make a Snowman from a Brick …How to Make a Candy Cane Reindeer …

She added twelve articles in November as well.  If you have any special requests (recipes, crafts, family history), she will probably write it up.  Just ask her.

Ginger has some new ones too.  She’s added: How to Make a Star Ornament from a Paper Bag …How to Decorate a Golf Cart for Christmas …How to Make Snow Flakes Online (this was a favorite site of Shannon’s) …How to Quit Obsessing Over Bad Economic News …How to Celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia and a host of other topics.

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.

I Love Books and Libraries

Dad - reading an old favorite
Dad - reading an old favorite

I made a good career choice when I picked librarianship.  It kept me fascinated for 30 years.  All aspects of library work from children’s librarian to reference librarian, middle management to library director, offered new challenges and rewards.

Even though I’m retired, I still “brake for libraries.”  There’s some irrisistable draw to an old Carnegie library building filled with books.  Our whole family loves to read.  Here are my articles on books, reading and libraries:

My family has a number of articles about their love of reading.  Take a look at these:

How to Personalize a Bookshelf by Gail Martin …My Wall of BooksLook Who I Met In The ArchivesA lot of Lincoln is on our bookshelvesMy Parents Had Bookshelves Too

From the Bookshelf Indeed by Carol Garriott …Life Behind the Circulation DeskWhat is it About HarryNew Book Out

Life Without Georgette by Shannon Hyle …Falling in Love Among the BookshelvesMy Bookshelves

She Was a Woman Before Her Time by Cynthia Ross …Books, Books & More Books