What Wendy Said

China Visa Process

Planning a trip to China. The Visa & Passport

My husband and I have a bucket list. We pretty much sit around on our day jobs and do the things that are required of us, but secretly in our minds we are always thinking about where we will go next. Once we decided that we were going to just go straight to the top of the bucket list and clear off China (the number one must do thing on our list) it became a rush to the airport for us. That’s pretty much how most of our trips happen. One minute we are dreaming and the next we are booking tickets. I admit that this one has taken me a little by surprise in the budgeting. At this moment, I am about $1500.00 over budget on what I thought it was going to cost. One of the things I most tell people when they ask me about trip planning is to allow a markup for the things you don’t know. Something like 20-25% usually will cover it for us. This trip has, however, exceeded that for sure. I suppose, it probably speaks to my inexperience that I didn’t budget in for the cost of a visa to either China…

The Seven Wonders of the World

Over the last couple years we have been blessed to get to travel. I have seen so many amazing things, I can’t even count. But the list of things that we still want to see is far longer than the list of ones we have already enjoyed. The Great Wall of China is always at the top of a bucket list. So we have decided to take one last trip this year to mark that one off while we are still able. I know, it sounds like I think I wont have enough time to see everything. My 13 year old son said “Mom, are you sure that you don’t have cancer or something that you are not telling me” when I told him that we were going to China. I don’t feel like I am in a hurry. But I do feel like when I leave this world I am going to not have gotten to see all the amazing things that I want to see. The truth is, so many of my friends and family say to me, YOU ARE CRAZY FOR GOING THERE when I am planning trips. Or, I AM NEVER GOING THERE, is pretty common…

My hubs latest scary books :)

My husband is a talented writer. He writes kids books, adult only scary books with somewhat of a twisted view of things, comics, graphic novels and sweet poems and so much more. I am always amazed at the things he writes. He really doesn’t have a specific type of writing. He can write something about a sweet lover one minute and a zombie eating his children the next. I love to watch him create. Check out his work at www.BilRichardson.com.

Complete Visitors Guide for Hatfield McCoy Feud Sites

April 2018 this page is under construction Hatfield McCoy Country is an area that covers about 50 miles square but if you drive to each of the locations as I have them listed here you will travel many more miles than this. I have tried to give you the most direct route for seeing everything without any more backtracking than is necessary.  So, it’s a very long  journey for a single day. In a perfect world you can do it all in a weekend visit. Come in on Friday and stay in one of the main towns. Pikeville Kentucky Matewan West Virginia Williamson West Virginia Each of these three towns will offer its own kind of charm. You can click on each of them above to get more information on starting your journey from a hotel in the individual communities. I have built THIS MAP to begin at the Hatfield McCoy Country Museum in Williamson West Virginia #1 on the maps. After visiting the Museum you can start your journey at #1, The Hatfield McCoy Country Museum, and move along the numbered locations as I have them and you can see everything in the simplest route possible with the least amount…

Bullet Journaling FREEBIES

FREE. That’s right, You can print these pages for your own personal use, Absolutely FREE. I have recently discovered BULLET JOURNALING. I have been a SCRAPBOOKER for many years and designed and developed several scrapbook products for the scrapbook industry that are still very useful in making your scrapbook pages. But recently, I began to use those same products for my new passion…Bullet Journaling. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.   Now, before you start to tell me about how busy moms don’t have time to bullet journal or color pages in a day planner, just wait. In my mind, a busy woman doesn’t have time to NOT plan every single day.   Read the Post for the FREE Bullet Journal Downloads Below.     Subscribe | Follow These 3 Templates Rock and I designed them 🙂 You can search about on this site and find lots more information on these three templates. I designed them with Hot Off the Press and I use them constantly on my scrapbook pages and in Bullet Journals. Check them out on my scrapbook tab.   Here’s my thinking, if you want to make the most out of your…

My Son Michael’s Family Tree

Michael J Baisden & Son, Michael Jaye Baisden, II Mikey was named after his father. I have so many photos of them together it is insane. I followed them around when Mikey was little and captured every single moment of them because somehow in my head from the very start I knew that they would not have enough time together. I love all those photos now and especially love all of the scrapbook pages of them together. (This photo is from when he came home from the hospital and a few days later his step-sister, Leann came to see him.) Gone, Not Forgotten Anna Rose Wellman There are not a lot of photos of Ann with Mikey. He was very new when she passed away. This photo makes me happy because it was the first time she had ever seen Mikey. We took him down to Lenore, West Virginia, where they lived and I snapped this photo of her holding him and she was gone less than a month later.  Blog Posts about Mikey My Son Michael’s Family Tree By whatwendysaid | April 10, 2018 Michael J Baisden & Son, Michael Jaye Baisden, II Mikey was named after his father….

My Hackney Family Name

The Results are in…I am a Hackney !! Here are the results of my ancestryDNA test. England, Great Britian 91% Ireland, Scotland, Whales 4% Eastern Europe 2% Western Europe 1% Southern Europe 1% Caucasus 1% I started trying to track down my daddy’s name a week ago using Ancestry.com and their FREE trial membership. In that week, I have 368 years of our family name traced back to London, England near the area where Hackney’s began. My results from my DNA test came in this week and I was excited. No big surprises with my name, Hackney and my DNA results. I am 91% from England. It made me feel secure that my parents didn’t get the wrong child at the hospital that my DNA test said I was pretty much a thoroughbred at 91% Hackney. Then I started to search the internet for clues into who my dads family was and in a blink, I had spent a week digging through the internet buried in documents.  I will squish it down into a simple to understand list of the 12 generations that make up our tree. If you are my cousin on the Hackney side, it is the exact same…

Cruise #1 Carnival Feb 2016

Carnival Glory Caribbean Cruise Febuary 26, 2016 This was our first time cruising. Bil and I took this trip alone. Our son stayed with his dad and it was a completely different experience than it was each of the other times that we cruised with him along. We can never take another cruise alone now that Mikey discovered it. He actually never wants to go on vacation with us unless its a cruise. We flew from Charleston West Virginia to Miami and then go on the ship to sail. We drove down to Key West Florida to spend a couple days before the cruise.                   Carnival Glory Carnival Glory may still be my favorite ship of all the ones we have gone on. Maybe that’s because it was my first time and it was so cool but I remember that ship as having great pools and being fun to ride on.             It’s My Birthday It was my birthday. That was just by chance. The cruise date just happened to fall on my birthday that year. This giant clock was in one of the ports on the…

Diggers

National Geographic Diggers Bill has loved the history of the feud for many years now. Long before it was ever on the History Channel he was studying and working to build tourism in Hatfield McCoy Feud Country.  Bill has worked in tourism for the last 20 years in Feud Country as part of his position as Associate Professor for WVU. This moment was something he had waited a long time to see.  DIGGERS In the Diggers series, Saylor and Wyant scour the country for lost pieces of American history — from Civil War buckles to family heirloom rings and silver coins. Where there is an empty yard, field or beach approved for metal detecting, the duo see a treasure trove, and will go the distance to uncover “the juice,” as they call it, working in close collaboration with a local archaeologist or historian at every site. It’s not just the raw value of the object that gets them excited; it’s the thrill of the hunt and the possibility that the next artifact they dig up could yield the discovery of a lifetime, similar to the lucky Brit who found the Saxon hoard. In this case, it was the real McCoy!…

Blood Feuds

BLOOD FEUDS Another exciting moment in our area. Blood Feuds, the show on American Heroes Channel came to do an episode about the Hatfield~McCoy Feud. Bill, my husband was interviewed on this episode and talked about the historic family feud. We had several on this episode that did such an amazing job speaking to our history. Reed Potter looked awesome and spoke so well about the feud on this episode, I thought. I am adding the story below from one of the many stories about this but I also want to add a few behind the scenes photos of them filming this one. The Blood Feuds episode can be seen online still and it is worth watching if you are interested in the Hatfields & McCoys. I have tons of things to add to this page so I will update it as I find them.   BLOOD FEUDS The Hatfields and McCoys are coming back to TV in a new show. The American Heroes Channel or AHC will highlight the famous feud in an episode of its series “Blood Feuds.” The show will air at 10 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20. AHC can be found on Channels 287 and 285 on…

Carnevale 2018

Paris, France

MEMORIES FROM THAT DAY It was June 14, 2016 and we had only arrived in Paris the day before. The 6-hour time difference made it so that we both felt like it was way up into the middle of the night when we finally settled in for the evening. Excitement and the full day light outside made it hard to close our eyes. It didn’t get dark until about 10:30 pm. ​The alarm went off at 4:00 am and both of us had long since woke up and started our shower and preparation for the makeup and hair person who would come at 4:15 am to get me ready for the big day. I was so nervous about what I would look like. I am somewhat of a tomboy and the idea of having to dress up and put all the makeup on was really stressing me out. The lady came to the door of our little Parisian room at the Hotel Realis du Louvre and I let her inside and was thankful that she understood far more English than I did French. That large building outside our hotel window really is the Louvre Museum. The most famous museum in the world…

A Boy & His Daddy

Please enter your name. Please enter a valid email address. Subscribe! Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again. My son’s Daddy has been very sick for about a year. He busted a hole in his heart and then four months later did the same thing again. They call it an aortic discetion. I have personally watched him suffer through so much over the last year. We have been divorced for many years now, but we share a love for this boy like no other. Mike called me from the ER the night before Christmas Eve and then he ended up having open heart surgery on Christmas Eve. He has been close to death for months. On more than one occasion he had no pulse and was unresponsive. I have had to sit our son down and explain to him that his Daddy wouldn’t make it and that he needed to be prepared for his death so many times the last six months. But today, he got the sweet surprise of finding him at his sister’s house just about ten minutes from us. He didn’t want me to tell Mikey that he was coming home so he could…

Where are all the cars?

Today I was remembering the transportation in Venice while working on this scrapbook page.   One of the things I love most about scrapbooking is how much you think about the thing you are trying to remember with the page while you are making it.   In Venice your brain can never really get around there not being cars when you get there. You make the decision you are going to go someplace, and it hits you that you can’t just go out and get in the car. There are no cars. That becomes less painful once you get your bearings and realize that you truly can walk across the entire island in about an hour if you don’t get lost, but I wouldn’t count on ever going someplace that you don’t get turned around in Venice. Several times we went out to just roam about and spent about an hour just snapping photos of beautiful doorways. We felt like we were on the other side of the world and we had seen so many things that we didn’t even care where we were. Suddenly I stopped to catch a photo of Bill standing on a little bridge and as I…

Paris in the snow

I love Paris. That is not a secret to the people who know me. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it in June of 2016. Of course, I was wearing my wedding dress and getting married so it was a special day already. On my second trip to Paris it would be freezing cold and covered in the first snowfall that Paris had seen in many years. It was wet and nasty but amazingly beautiful. I am so thankful that I got to see it a different way. The night that we walked out to see it we went to the little street where we took wedding photos especially because it is by far my favorite spot in the world. If I die, Bil knows that I am to be taken immediately to this location and my ashes scattered at the foot of the Eiffel Tower forever. While we were walking about at the bottom of the Tower in the snow we were approached by a news crew that asked if we would care to talk about how we felt about seeing the Tower closed once we arrived. We had no idea that he meant that…

Friends Forever

Please enter your name. Please enter a valid email address. Subscribe | Follow Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again. Friends Forever just sounds like something you write in the back of someone’s yearbook. But in this case, it’s true. I have been friends with these girls for as long as I can remember. Though we had not all been together in the same room in the last 30 years, you wouldn’t have known it from the evening we shared. We graduated from Belfry High School in 1988 and this year will be our class reunion year. I was thinking when I thought about writing a post on our night together that when I go to the Dr he always says, “Do you smoke” “Do you drink” as standard questions. My answer is always the same, No I don’t smoke but on occasion I do have some drinks. Turns out last night was the occasion. Whew! Ya know that moment when you beg God to let you just live through something and swear you will never do it again, welcome to my morning. I remember now the reason that I don’t drink. Normally I would have a ton…

Why is this time so scary?

The entire time you are pregnant you think of everything that can go wrong. They are so fragile, and it is definitely a scary time as a mother. When they hand you a baby and you hold it for the first time, you are certain of what they will become. You imagine at that moment their entire future. They will go college, marry the man or woman of their dreams, have your grandbabies and they will be safe and happy. I think it’s a pretty standard mom dream. When they are in this middle age, just before puberty, right after their childhood, you are just happy if they still laugh. My daddy is 71 years old. We were talking, and he said how he would love to be 25 again, but only if he could be 25 in like 1960. He said how he didn’t really want to be a kid again if he had to do in today’s world. I immediately thought of my son. Am I the only person who thinks it’s harder to be a child today than it was in the late 70’s and early 80’s ? I pray that when he looks back on his childhood…

Smile !

One of the things that I didn’t know in advance was how many photos would be taken of us by strangers while at Carnevale.  I guess, I thought it would be fun, but I don’t think I ever knew that photographers would come from around the world to photograph those of us in the costumes and masks.  On the first day when we put our costumes on and walked out to San Marco Square we were shocked by the fact that we couldn’t reach the square. As soon as we made our way out of the tiny little street that met up with the Grand Canal we were met with a rush of paparazzi and every single step we took for the next four days was labored. ​With what is a space that feels less than a single square mile and a gathering of more than three million people, it becomes a close encounter quickly in Venice. But the feeling of excitement when you are pursued by thousands of photographers is hard to explain. I remember thinking after a few hours that it was mad that so many people pressed for a photo. We had all kinds. Those who waited patiently in line…

Top Things to NOT see in Cairo, Egypt (And a few you should)

When we arrived in Egypt we had been traveling for a very long time. I think we were about 14 days into the trip. We had been to Paris and Venice and it was not our first time to either, so we felt at ease in both locations. That was not the case with Egypt. Of all the places I have ever visited, Egypt is the one that felt the most like I was in a foreign country. It seemed like everything was odd. Simple things seemed different. I don’t know exactly how to explain it, but I will try. In the United States we throw trash in a garbage can and a truck comes and gets that, and a bigger truck goes to get that, etc. I don’t even know where it ends up, but it is handled by some type of system larger than I care to think about. Its just the normal way it works here. In Egypt, they don’t handle the trash at all. If you used it, you dropped it when you were done with it. It laid there until it rotted, someone else wanted it or it got covered over with some more trash….

Italian Men Fall In Love Quickly

To just not be forgotten

I don’t know that I will ever be able to remember everything that I hope to remember about our vacation to Venice. Some days I really can’t focus because my mind is so cluttered with the memories and it feels like I could never forget a single detail. But the truth is I do. I forget most things that are feelings or moments, sweet and precious. I have photos and I look at them often, but I find that the little things that I write down are in the end the things that I get to recycle and experience again in my mind. Does that even make sense? My oldest son is going to be thirty years old in January. That doesn’t seem possible to me. Am I that old? Is my youngest son really going to be 13 in May? Once, I held their little bodies in my arms and fell in love with them. I don’t think I will ever forget those days. Once, I was published in a book. Like in a library. Those don’t exist much anymore. Libraries or books. But someplace there’s a volume sitting on a shelf with words in it that I wrote and…

I am many things

Please don’t ever be Aaron’s Mommy

Please don’t ever be Aaron’s Mommy The sweet words of a 4 year old. 4 Mikey is four at the time of this story. 20 Aaron was 20 at the time of this tale.  100% Between the two of them they have 100% of my heart. Please don’t ever be Aaron’s Mommy Mikey is 4 and Aaron is 20. Needless to say there are a few years difference in their ages. I pretty much started over a whole new family with Mikey. But for as long as Mikey is able to remember Aaron has been “Bubby” and has been a steady part of his life. If Mikey looks outside and see’s Aaron coming into the guest entrance he will run around the house and make his way to the side door to open it to let “Bubby” into the house. Aaron likes to wrestle with Mikey and rough him up. It always ends in me saying to them “Okay thats enough” Because I’m scared Mikey will get hurt ! Although now that I am thinking back it seems I remember that Aaron is usually the one who walks away in pain ? Mikey seems to always catch him just right.  …

whatwendysaid.com

Beautiful Day

I love to scrapbook about our travels. I am only just learning to do digital scrapbooking. I have been paper crafting for many years now but in the last six months I have tried really hard to learn to use photoshop. I had a software by Microsoft that I used since 2016 and when I upgraded my computer this last time, sadly, it stopped working with the new windows versions. I almost took the computer back. I figured this was the perfect time to give digital scrapbooking a try since I needed something to learn on. I discovered a website where I have spend hours downloading lots of goodies that I can use to make the pages. I think learning shadows and layers is freaking hard. I will get there. For now, I am just thankful that every now and again I can create a page that I am not ashamed of. The funny thing is, I could make this page with real paper in just a few minutes. LOL I thought digital scrapbooking would be faster. NOT SO ! Does anyone have suggestions for good digital scrapbook beginner blogs or sites? Love any suggestions you may have.   Subscribe…

Little Boy, Where’d you get your britches?

This page is my entry for this months challenge on a blog that I subscribe to and love ! The page requirements were as listed here: 1. Use orange and brown. 2. Use woodgrain. 3. Use fabric. 4. Use something with wings. 5. Use a toilet paper roll. 6. Use song lyrics in your title I met these qualifications in the following ways…. Of coarse my paper choices were orange & browns and I used my Tim Holtz inks for distressing in Orange and Brown. Then I cut down a piece of 12×12 scrapbook paper to a 8 1/2 x 11 size so that I could run it thru my regualar printer and do journalling on it. This piece of paper was a piece of brown woodgrain which was requirement number two. For the using of a piece of fabric I really had a struggle. I used to be a quilter before I picked up scrapbooking so I’m no stranger to fabric..I just hardly ever touch it now. and I dislike sewing in a major way . So, to be sure I met the qualification I used a piece of fabric to roll up and make a stem for my flower….