Apr 19 2012

What fun to have BlogHer specials!

Isabel Anders’ “The Wisdom of Little Women,” as introduced on BlogHer, is now for sale at SunbonnetSmart.com.

At $2.00 off the published price with no charge for shipping and handling!

But wait! There’s more!

Zazzle is offering mugs with Isabel’s books on them at $5.00 off each mug all day today! Offer good through midnight tonight, Pacific Time, Friday, April 19, 2012.

A lovely little book of timeless sentiments and profound
musings, all discussed within the walls of the March
family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts.

 

“The Wisdom of Little Women”
compiled by Isabel Anders

 

To purchase, click here.

4 1/2″ x 5 1/2″

$4.99 includes S&H

If you love Isabel Anders’ poignant BlogHer posts on feminine wisdom like I do, you will be swept off your feet with this sweet little book, “The Wisdom of Little Women.” Isabel has a way with words, to be sure, but a way with thoughts, even more. She knows how to selectively squeeze the best out of any publication she reads, and she has read a wealth of them. She collects quotes rather than baubles, preferring an intellectual array of riches to carry her through any life situation. What’s better? She freely shares her gems with us, categorized for handy reference and referral.

Isabel at a “Becoming Flame” book signing in Tennessee.

Isabel “nearly always” wanted to be a writer. Over the years she has produced or contributed to inspirational books on a variety of subjects, including Soul Moments, Simple Blessings for Sacred Moments, and The Faces of Friendship. She also co-narrated the devotional/music CDs, Soul Openings and Soul Openings 2, and authored the illustrated 2008 calendar, Seasons for the Soul. The blogs she is posting for each month on BlogHer http://www.blogher.com/april-15 are versions of the calendar’s essays.

Madeleine L’Engle, Newbery Award-winning author (for A Wrinkle in Time), contributed an Introduction to Isabel’s first book, Awaiting the Child: An Advent Journal. Isabel authored 40-Day Journey with Madeleine L’Engle in 2009.

Having worked in book publishing and educational publishing, Isabel now works out of her home in middle Tennessee, as Managing Editor of Synthesis Publications (resources for preaching and worship based on the Revised Common Lectionary).

Her newest book, Spinning Straw, Weaving Gold: A Tapestry of Mother-Daughter Wisdom, will be released in June. It is a sequel to her 2010 book Becoming Flame: Uncommon Mother-Daughter Wisdom. http://www.blogher.com/becoming-flame

In 2011 Isabel collected quotes and wrote Blessings and Prayers for Married Couples: A Faith Full Love.

She and her husband Bill, who is retired, live on the Domain of the University of the South and worship with the Sisters at St. Mary’s Convent, as part of a varied congregation supporting the work of ministry and outreach to families in need.

Bill renovated their historic home that began as a two-room cabin built in 1896, and to which they added a wing and now call Everafter Cottage.

 

You heard it here, first!

Isabel is just beginning new research for an e-book:
Louisa May Alcott: God, Family, Work

 

To purchase, click the book.

“The Wisdom of Little Women” 11oz Mug,  click here.

To send a Zazzle Gift Certificate, click here.

$5 Off T-Shirts, Mugs, & Hats
Limited Time! Enter code:
NATIONAL5DAY
at checkout in the “Zazzle Coupons/Gift Certificates” box $5 of the t-shirt, mug and/or hat net sale price will be deducted when one or more qualifying t-shirt, mug and/or hat items are purchased. The net sale price is the price of the product (excluding shipping and taxes). The coupon code NATIONAL5DAY must be entered during checkout to receive the offer. Offer does not apply to screen printed apparel. Offer is valid through April 19, 2012 at 11:59 PM PT. This offer does not apply to past purchases and may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or volume discount offers. If a volume discount applies to your order, you will receive either the discount set forth in this offer or the standard volume discount, whichever is greater. Offer valid on Zazzle.com only.

NaBloPoMo April 2012



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Apr 06 2012

Owning a business is like being the conductor of an orchestra.

The instruments can be tuned, the notes learned and the music played, all by the individual members, but to have the vision of oversight, to understand the whole piece and how the various parts are to be played together takes a leader with vision, foresight and timing.

Yes, timing. Knowing what to do when. When to push ahead. When to fall back. When to pursue opportunity and when to shut the door in its face. Timing and risk management are the two essential talents of a great conductor and good business person.


The movie Little Women was recast and released in 1994.

Sometimes one little click on a computer can lead to a whole new life. For instance, in November 2011, I was working on the back end of SunbonnetSmart.com, putting in the sales area to sell my e-products when I noticed a comment on one of my posts.

Cat Morrow, who has a wonderful organic food and natural lifestyle website left a comment about my Your Family Cow source of raw milk post. And Cat was connected to something called BlogHer. One click of the mouse, looking at Cat’s web site, then looking at BlogHer, changed my life forever.

Cat Morrow of NeoHomesteading:
her comment changed my life!

I read BlogHer and I read BlogHer, article after article, post after post and Chatter after Comment. I decided that BlogHer was the most amazing marketing tool I had ever seen, on the Internet or off. And that weekend in November, I made a big decision. I decided to orchestrate my business differently than I had planned. Being the owner of my business web site blog and entrepreneurial, I decided to conduct my symphony in a different way. I changed the score, the instruments and the musicians to put my energies in a different direction.

“It takes people a long time to learn the
difference between talent and genius,

especially ambitious young men and women.

Amy was learning this distinction through
much tribulation, for, mistaking enthusiasm
for inspiration,
she attempted every branch
of art with youthful audacity.”

The Wisdom of Little Women, p 24

I had lots going for me in that I was ambitious, but not a young woman. I knew well the difference between talent and genius. I also knew not to mistake enthusiasm for inspiration, that marketing products and ideas are two different things. And I recognized without a shadow of a doubt, with over thirty years of business experience behind me, that hooking my SunbonnetSmart cart up to BlogHer was a wise thing to do. And so, I put all of my energy into doing what I like to do best: nurturing women, networking and writing. I was like Little Women’s Jo March in that:

“…when the writing fit came on, she gave
 herself up to it with entire abandon, and
led a blissful life, unconscious of want,
care or bad weather, while she sat safe
and happy in an imaginary world…”

The Wisdom of Little Women, p 24

I have been very happy in my BlogHer world, insulated by positive women leaving beautifully soulful Comments. But now, duty calls. I must now get back to my business and work to make a living in this recession-based whatever it is we are living in. Like Jo, I must work “by the magic of a pen” to turn comforts for us all. What I am saying is that I have the business experience and I see so much talent on BlogHer, I feel called to help those who are looking for a market and don’t know how to get out there.

What got me thinking about all of this is, remember that back end of my web site that I was working on last November, well it’s still there, just waiting until I get back to it. So, we have a sales interface all set up, waiting to go. A couple of weeks ago, when Isabel Anders was mentioning she wanted to expand awareness of her The Wisdom of Little Women book, I told her that we could sell it on my web site in a turn key fashion, put it up and see what happens.

The Wisdom of Little Women is a popular
item at the Orchard House Museum Gift Shop.

Now, having read The Wisdom of Little Women, I see all of us, those of us on BlogHer, as Little Women. We are all working hard to keep the home fires burning while the world is pictured as being in turmoil. In an instant it hit me that we can work together, like the March family did, to weather our storms.

Throughout this thinking process of the last couple of weeks, culminating with actually meeting the three BlogHers, Chelsey, Sabrina and Carol, in New York City, I have decided I would like to publish e-books and I’m throwing my sunbonnet into the ring. Why not turn my web site into an outlet for anyone on BlogHer that is interested in getting their book out on the web?

We can have the same fun we are having now, but help supplement our incomes as well.

Listen to Grammy Sunbonnet when she says,
“We’re not going to get by on our good looks alone.”

 

Orchard House, the home of Little Women in the book, and the
Alcott family in real life, is now a museum in Concord, MA. Their
gift store sells Isabel’s book, The Wisdom of Little Women.

Say, BlogHers, can’t you take a hint?

Let me know what you think of this. I am counting the seconds
while waiting to hear from you in the Comments below.


NaBloPoMo April 2012

 

To purchase Isabel Anders’ book:



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Sep 25 2010

John Hamilton Higgins, resident of Rockville, Maryland.

Captured by Confederate Soldiers on June 28, 1863.

One of the most peculiar experiences of my life happened in the summer of 2009 when I was keeping up with the local news. Here, in Rockville, Maryland, we have a weekly, local newspaper called the Gazette. It arrives, every Wednesday, delivered to our doorstep, or close enough, thrown onto the driveway.

One Wednesday, I was sitting on the back porch slowly turning the Gazette pages, when I realized I was eyeball to eyeball with a photograph of my great, great grandfather, John Hamilton Higgins in a display ad for a new on-line exhibit, Montgomery Connections. There he was, employed as a spokesperson from beyond the grave for the Montgomery County Historical Society located over a couple streets on West Montgomery Avenue.

Great, great grandfather Higgins was part of the Historical Society’s fantastic multilingual outreach program, Montgomery Connections. The story of his capture by Confederate soldiers when they marched through Rockville on their way to Gettysburg was being profiled by the Historical Society. What was really amusing was a phone number in the Gazette’s display ad that said I could call up the Society and listen to Sophia Barnard Higgins, who was John Higgins’ wife and my great, great grandmother. As we had never spoken, I hurried to the phone to see what she had to say. Dialing in to the Historical Society, I heard a reenactor reading a letter my great, great grandmother had written. She wrote her mother after her husband, John Higgins, was captured, then released and after she knew he had lived to tell the story.

You see, my great, great grandmother, Sophia “Dora” Barnard Higgins, wrote a letter to her mother, Sophia Cropley Barnard who lived in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., telling her about John’s capture and forced march out of Rockville to Brookeville, Maryland, twelve miles away. “Dora” didn’t know John’s fate until he came walking back through the gate at their home on Adams Street, but she had had her hands full herself, guarding their Higgins Hardware Store in town center Rockville. She stood out front and kept soldiers from raiding their store for supplies for six hours, all by herself. All of this real time action is told in Dora’s letter to her mother and you can listen to ‘Dora” read her letter by going here.

The Confederates soldiers that went through Rockville on June 28, 1863 were on their way to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in preparation for what would become the Battle of Gettysburg, fought just days later on July 1, 2 & 3, 1863. If you are interested in learning more about the Battle of Gettysburg, you can do your research by clicking here.



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Sep 24 2010

With all that Virginia has to offer, we always go to Dinosaur Land.

When you live in the suburban Washington, D.C. area, basically meaning Maryland and Virginia, and you start to look for dentists that have a mercury free practice, as you surely will someday if you have mercury fillings in your mouth, you’ll end up in Ft. Royal, Virginia at the Dental office of Dr. Craig A. Zunka, but that’s another story. At the same time, if you were driving to Front Royal in 2002 with children in the car, you’d end up at Dinosaur Land and eating ice cream at the Royal Dairy, and that’s this story.

When I go on “Back Road Auto Trips,” which are my favorite, I am always trying to subconsciously recreate the outings of my childhood in the 1950s before the Interstate highway system. I long for the trips with my grandmother and her friends who all had pocketbooks with colorful handkerchiefs and rolls of peppermint Life Savers and who doted on me as I tried not to roll around in the car’s big back seat before the days of seat belts. One way or another, no matter where we were headed, we’d be sure to stop for an ice cream cone so, every trip I go on to this day, I am always in search of old fashioned soda fountains with Formica counters and polished chrome.

The beauty of a 1950s road side restaurant menu.

Imagine my delight when a trip to the dentist, not usually something to which one looks forward, became my favorite place to go and that was the day we discovered that Front Royal, Virginia was home to the Royal Dairy. It was the kind of place you’d “just happen to stop by” when you were out for a ride with your grandparents. You know, the kind of place with the big menu encased in thick plastic with brown leather binding that had the center open inside for the changing of the “Daily Specials.” The burger and fries kind of place where the hamburgers were free formed by hand and the lettuce and tomato slice garnish sat next to a pickle spear.

Well, those of you born before McDonald’s will know what I mean and appreciate the trips to old ice cream parlors and malt shops such as the Royal Dairy.

The Royal Dairy could dish up ice cream in any flavor with any topping.

Alas! A deep sadness came over me when I looked up the Royal Dairy to get their link and encourage you to go. After sixty years in business, the Royal Dairy closed in 2006. No more malteds for the kids at Randolph Macon and no more ice cream for us when we travel to Front Royal. I suppose that’s progress and the customers of the new Korean Sushi restaurant are happy to have such an option, but somehow, it’s just not the same.  Do you have a traditional ice cream shop where you live that I could put in my sights? I’d love to know where it is! Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

As you can see, I love to travel back in time and remember things as they were.  If you really want to time travel, as far back as the age of the dinosaurs, then our next stop, Dinosaur Land, is for you. What a great place for the little ones who love dinosaurs and will get excited about great, big dinosaur recreations located on a pleasant walk through a Virginia woods. Of course, you have to love tourist attractions and I do because they are another part of my longed-for past. I’m big on the culture of roadside America, that special time when cars became more dependable and families headed off to sight see in their station wagon.

Dinosaur Land is a big hit with kids discovering their “inner dino.”

If you want a pretty ride through the Virginia countryside with a great destination at the end, try Dinosaur Land out for size. Everyone is friendly and the gift shop has much of interest, including a section for Civil War buffs. If this seems like fun to you, here is a link for more information.

And here is a map of our part of the country in case you need to get your bearings:

The red star is Dinosaur Land, just outside of Front Royal, VA.

When we travel to Virginia, we use a guidebook that lists attractions that are “off the beaten path.” You’ll find Dinosaur Land on page 155, if this type of visit appeals to you. Here’s “our” book:

If this book seems like it would fit your interests, it can be previewed by hovering your mouse over this link:

Virginia Off the Beaten Path, 10th: A Guide to Unique Places (Off the Beaten Path Series)



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