Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Scene of the Blog Featuring Jackie of Housewife Blues and Chihuahua Stories

I stumbled across this week's featured blogger by following a comment she left on another blog. I have to admit that the name of Jackie's blog-- Housewife Blues and Chihuahua Stories-- made me smile and want to investigate the pages immediately. I never get over the thrill of finding yet another person who loves books as much as I do, do you?

I found Jackie to be an extremely organized and an extremely giving person, so it's my intention to let her speak for herself rather than prattle on about what you can find on her blog. I urge you to visit Housewife Blues and Chihuahua Stories, and to say hello to Jackie while you're there.

If this is your first visit to Kittling: Books-- Welcome! If you'd like to see any of the photos in larger sizes, all you have to do is click on them, and they'll open in new windows. If you'd like to see the creative spaces of other book bloggers, click on the Scene of the Blog tab at the very top of my header. You'll be able to sample by blog name or by location. Let's visit Jackie now!

Reading spot complete with Reading Buddy.
Hello my name is Jackie, go by Jackie B Central Texas on my comments across the blogs, @jacabur1 on Twitter, jacabur when I sign up to follow blogs. I love to read and share my books, promote Indie and mainstream authors, talk about my cats and my Chihuahua among other things on my blog posts.

As a lifelong born and raised Texan I cut my reading chops as a child with Westerns, favorites were those by Louis L'Amour thanks to my Father. As a preteen got interested in Sci-Fi, then as a teenager found historical and contemporary romance books appealing. In my 20’s my taste branched out to include Mystery Suspense Thrillers, some Horror and by my 30’s through now my all time favorite genre love has been for Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy and any mixture of things that go bump in the night particularly Werewolves and Vampires.
A comfy spot to curl up with a book.

In my late 40’s I have discovered that  all those genres still appeal and have added Erotic Romance to the mix to spice things up and to keep me warm on chilly winter days when I cuddle up in my recliner with a book or my ereader.

My blogging love affair started back in April 2009. The blog called Housewife Blues and Chihuahua Stories was created, at first it was going to be a way to share my love of my Chihuahua and the books that I read. That changed in May of 2009 when my Father contracted pneumonia and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital and then from there spent over a month in a Rehab facility. When he and my Mother were gone, she stayed with him the whole time and I went to visit them during the weekdays and weekends, my blog became a way to help me fill all the hours when I was alone in our home with only my pets for company. In June of 2009 my Dad came home, he lived 13 days and died on Father’s Day morning. For the rest of 2009 my blog gave me a way to overcome my sorrow, my rage and my guilt of his passing as I wished so very much there was a way that he could have gotten well instead and there was nothing I could do!
Where the blogging happens.
In September of 2011 we were among the hundreds of people who lost their homes to wildfires that raged through Bastrop County here in Central Texas. My blog once again helped to keep me sane after losing a lifetimes worth of memories when the home contents burned, thousands of pictures, books and other miscellaneous mementos of 30 years of marriage and almost 50 years of living all gone in one day!

We are now in another home, slowly have refurnished, my books to read are now numbered back in the range of 200 or more rather than 20 or so that I had in a bag and grabbed along with clothing and things we took when we evacuated that Labor Day weekend. It seems surreal now that all we had when we moved in was 4 suitcases of clothes for myself, my husband and my mother. All the pets carriers, their food, my Chihuahuas medicine and a few toiletries and framed photos.
Another cozy reading spot.

Since 2009 I have made a lot of contacts with other bloggers who read the same series and authors that I do, to this day they are still some of the bloggers who I follow and enjoy the posts of regularly through my emails and  twitter shout outs.

My blog is going to be three years old this April, cannot for the life of me think back to what it was like before I had it to keep me occupied in my free time. Whether it be following the Waiting On Wednesday posts that allow me to find new books to add to my Wishing to Read list, whether it be enjoying seeing how authors/fellow readers set up their work/reading spaces on posts like this one, whether it be nosing through the In My Mailbox posts that other readers like myself share and drooling over all those shiny books or better yet whether it be when an author queries me on whether I would like to read and review their work blogging is fun and interesting every day.

Thanks for having me over today Cathy, it has been fun and if there is anything anyone would like to ask feel free as I am an “open book”. LOL
Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Jackie. You've been through some very tough times! I know that many of us have learned how significant blogging can be when we're experiencing some of the worst things life can throw at us.

Many of my readers know that I have a thing for quilts, even though I don't have the talent to make them myself, so I just have to say that I love the one on the back of that rocking chair. Pretty!

We certainly appreciate being able to visit with you this week!

Don't forget to stop by next Wednesday when I'll be featuring another book blogger from our worldwide community!


  1. Cathy thanks for having me on your blog today and all yiur kind words as well. The quilt was actually an "accidental" buy. My Mom got it when we were shopping for new bedding after the house and contents burned. She traded me for one I bought that she liked better so I put the green toned one on my rocker for padding and it looked perfect against the wood tones and my tabby cat loves to sleep on it folded up as a cushion in the chair!

    1. I can never resist a quilt myself!

  2. It sounds like Jackie's blog has seen her through some difficult times. Hopefully they're all behind her now.

  3. Kathy thanks for following me over, yes the blog really did make a difference. It allowed me to focus on some positive things while living through the negative ones life threw our way. My books, my online contacts, authors, pets and family saved my sanity in the last 3 years!

  4. Hi Jackie, nice to learn a bit more about you. I cannot imagine the horror of having to leave your house and everything in it behind you. Glad you are doing well again.

  5. Nice to see you here, having been through the experience can tell you truthfully you never want to have to do it yourself. So many precious mementos from family and friends that we will never be able to replace still haunt me at night!

  6. Another person who lost almost everything in that Bastrop fire was my friend's sister. She got her pet out and not much else, so I really sympathize with all you and your family lost. I like your cheerful attitude as you rebuild your life, and I'm glad your mother has you to help her.

  7. Your friends sister was lucky Barbara, a lot of people lost every animal they owned both inside and outside.
    My neighbor was one of those, his one cat showed back up and her paws were burned off and she could only drag herself by the stumps of her legs. I am so glad did not have to see that because thinking about the poor baby being in that kind of pain makes me ill!

    My elderly neighbor next door to us lost his wife earlier in the summer of 2011, he had to be forced to leave by the police and he only got out with the clothes on his back/shoes on his feet/dog and very little except what he carried around in his van.

    I felt so sorry for him because he has cancer and his eldest son had a heart attack 2 days later and the poor man did not know which was worse being burned out or worrying about losing his boy!

  8. I had quite a collection of quilts Cathy. My husband works in two offices so he spends part of his week at home and part of it he is gone and so we use our travel trailer as his second residence and quilts are about as thick of a cover as he uses. Now only have 2 of the quilts left and after we started over have only bought 6. 2 sets of them or 4 quilts are matching pairs, a pretty blue toned and the green and brown mix that keep on my rocker.
    Some women collect purses, I have a thing for quilts and comforters!

    1. Much better than purses, if you ask me. I've loved quilts since I first snuggled up in my great-grandmother's crazy quilt when I was a very small child. All the different pieces of fabric (and my Gramma Brookshier could tell you what garment each came from), all the fancy embroidery stitches, even the smell of the thing. She'd made it in the 1880s, and it was used and loved to death until it literally fell apart. To this day, I wish my mother had saved some little piece from it!

  9. Totally here you Cathy. In 1993 bought a Delft blue and white wedding ring quilt, it was so pretty until it started falling apart. In 1997 my little toy fox terrier was buried wrapped in the small blanket I had made him out of part of that quilt, it was his favorite cover to sleep on.
    The quilt I mourn losing was given to us as a Christmas gift years ago by my SIL, it strip made of multi color strips with an old time white with blue stripes backing. Nice to cuddle up under on the couch because it was a thick quilt rather than the thin ones like I have now.

    1. That's one of the things I loved about my g-grandmother's quilt. It was nice and thick and heaven to snuggle up with.

  10. Thanks for sharing Jackie! I can imagine how blogging and the book blogging in particular helped you go through the though periods of your life. It's such a wonderful community!

  11. Cathy that thickness was the best part, never really liked the quilts colors but it worked all year round as a cover to snuggle up with.

    Alex it really helped me to focus on positives while life was dealing a negative hand to me and mine. It gave me a way to keep my balance and not give in to being overwhelmed with grief and to thus day I thank everyone in the community who encouraged me and helped to make things brighter!
    Most of all the blogging kept me aware of things to smile about, even when there was no smile on my face.

  12. I love your lounge Jackie, I'd never need to get up again if I added a pile of books at my feet!
    You have had a tough few years but manage to remain positive - kudos to you. Thank you for sharing your story with us

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  13. Shelleyrae times are getting better, every day my pets give me a reason to laugh, the wildlife in my backyard makes me smile and good books to read keep me "traveling" even if just in my mind. Life throws curveballs and some of them really knock the wind out of you but luckily my second wind is kicking in!


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