A Woman I Know: Jude & Link Up

The spotlight is on Jude in this seventh installment of my A Woman I Know series.  My weekly link up post is published on Saturdays (usually) and, during the month, I cycle through four recurring themes, a different one designated for each of the weeks. On the occasion when there is a fifth Saturday in the month, I publish this special feature. You can get caught up on the past features about Amy, JoyaCathy, Bernice, Josephine, and Sheilah by clicking on their names.

Photo provided by Jude

My friendship with Jude is a result of blogging, although she herself is not a blogger per se (nor does she have any involvement in social media other than Pinterest). We met back in February when we both attended a blogger meetup in Phoenix that had been arranged by Sherry, the creative genius behind the blog Petite Over 40. Jude’s connection to blogging was as a reader and occasional contributor to the blog Jodie’s Touch of Style. Any fan of Jodie’s must be a good egg, right?

The meet up in Phoenix was a small group but we had a marvelous time seeing some of the sights of the city and getting to know each other (click here to read my post about that weekend). The bloggers that I met that weekend are all showcased on my Wall Of Fame and now Jude is getting her own feature.

Phoenix meet up (L to R): me, Diane, Sherry, Margo, Jude, Patti.

At Goat Yoga

By the end of the Phoenix weekend, plans were under discussion about another meetup and it was in early May that Sherry sent out a formal invitation for an October meetup in Seattle. In the back and forth emails, Jude made an offer to share a hotel room with anyone wanting to save on costs and I took her up on it. Ever since meeting in Phoenix, Jude had become a reader and supporter of my blog who never missed on leaving wonderfully encouraging comments on my posts. She even reached out privately to me during each of the challenges I’ve faced during this past year to send positive energy and offer words of comfort. Sometime over the summer I’d landed on the idea of featuring her in an upcoming A Woman I Know post and she graciously said yes when I asked her.

With plans made for Seattle in October, we were able to use that time to take photos and get to know each other better. Sharing a hotel room with a virtual stranger can be awkward but we had a blast. We found ourselves talking for hours and joked with the others that we’d stayed up late braiding each others hair. I found her stories to be very interesting and her counsel to be spot on. To fill in the gaps in my memory, I sent her the following questions and these were her responses.

In front of street art in Seattle

Q – How do you describe your fashion style?

A – My fashion style is eclectic, boho, trendy. As a former Social Studies teacher, I’ve always appreciated world cultures and with spending my fashion formative years in the 60’s and 70’s, I’ve always loved denim, embroidery, lace, tribal textiles and leather. As a middle-school teacher, it was easy to enjoy and follow trends as well. Loving fashion was another way to connect with my students.

Q – What recent trends are you current liking and which have you disliked?

A – I’ve loved the last several years of boho revival. I like many current trends but can’t physically handle some (like spike heels, thong underwear, butt high cutoffs) YIKES!

Q – What’s your most recent clothing purchase?

A – My most recent purchases were embroidered jeans and an embroidered tunic blouse. Retail, thrift, and consignment offer many treasures!

Checking out the sights from the observation deck of the Space Needle

Me and my Seattle partner-in-crime

Q – You moved not too long ago so how has it been settling into the new homestead?

A – The moving process was physically and emotionally exhausting. I spent 63 years in Minnesota and although South Dakota is a neighboring state, it is VERY different. I’m adjusting to a new culture, economic base, lifestyle, and climate, although I’m more isolated from retail therapy. I have no close friends here yet. The natural beauty of the Black Hills is overwhelming and I’m enjoying the calming feeling of reconnecting with nature. My husband and I built our new home so it is on a property we love, facing views we love, with a design that reflects us. It’s an adventure.

Q – What do you like the most about your new hometown? What do you like the least?

A – The people here are very genuine, hardworking, and kind and they appreciate their connection to the land. I’m finding that shopping opportunities here are more limited. There isn’t a lot of wealth and frivolous spending happening so “window shopping” locally is less satisfying.

Q – Do you have a bucket list and what 5 things are at the top of it?

A – No bucket list, but I do enjoy hearing about bucket accomplishments of others who have them.

Overlooking Puget Sound

Q – How and when did you first discover blogs?

A – I discovered blogging about 3 years ago through a personal connection I made with another woman who was following me on Pinterest.

Q – What types of blogs do you follow?

A – I primarily follow fashion bloggers but I also follow young writers on Medium. I enjoy a wide range of topics like psychology, spirituality, politics, social science, sexuality, health, nutrition, humor, and poetry.

Q – What truths have you learned from them?

A – Following bloggers has connected me in a meaningful way with a world community of women. When I discovered that I could communicate with women from all over the world, I was delighted and so intrigued!! I found that we are so much alike and our love of fashion was an easy way to connect. More amazing is that reading blogs is a catalyst for discussions on a variety of topics that women care deeply about. State lines dissolve, country borders disappear, laughs resound, emotion and pain are palpable, fabric and color bring mutual creative delight, and we discover ways to look and feel good TOGETHER with new FRIENDS!

Shopping in Seattle (L to R): Jodie, Rob, Charlotte, Sherry, Jude, Valerie.

Enjoying a wonderful dinner (L to R): Rob, Sherry, Charlotte, Jude, me, Jodie.

Jude’s sentiments echo my own and they remind me that one of the reasons I started my blog was a desire to connect with others. Beyond the creative outlet or opportunities for monetary gain, blogging has widened my horizons and brought so many wonderful women (and men) into my life that I would never have the chance to meet otherwise.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Now, onto the Fine-Whatever link up for this week. My featured contributor from last week’s link up is Amy from the blog Amy’s Creative Pursuits. In her post, Amy shared highlights from the past year on her blog and I found hers as well as so many others such a treat to read.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief introduction to Jude, a truly fabulous woman. March is the next month with a fifth Saturday. I’m still mapping out my A Woman I Know posts for 2018 so be warned my thus far untapped friends and family, I may soon be calling to ask you for a favor. Please consider saying yes.

Let’s connect! Subscribe, tweet, follow, friend, love, pin … all options are available and waiting for you. I look forward to hearing from you. And don’t forget to add a post or two to the link up.


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30 thoughts on “A Woman I Know: Jude & Link Up”

  1. I remember reading about that blogger meet Rena and thinking what a fantastic day it looked. Isnt it great to meet blogger friends this way? This is one of the things I love about about blogging is how you can find good friends. Happy new year to you Rena xx

    1. Laurie, meeting so many wonderful new people, both IRL and virtually, has been the best benefit of blogging. Thanks for being one of them and happy new year to you, too.

  2. What a fabulous post, Rena! Jude looks like someone I would totally be friends with, too! I love that you have discovered her through blogging and became friends Jude yet she is not a blogger! While I am so grateful to have made the wonderful blogging friends that I have (yourself included of course), it seems super special to make a connection and a develop a friendship with a person who is a reader and not a blogger. I made a very dear friend in a reader who won a giveaway on my blog and we frequently have very long email conversations that are wonderfully fulfilling…and she lives in Spain…so I can say I have a very dear friend in Spain…whom I met through blogging! I adore this series….thanks so much for sharing about the amazing women you know! And Happy New Year, my friend.


    1. I had only dreamed that I would be able to expand on my circle of friends when I started my blog and I’m amazed now at how much it has grown. There is so much to be learned from others and I’m grateful for the connections, support, and encouragement that has been shared with me. And you, Shelbee, are at the top of that list. Thank you for your friendship and happy new year to you as well.

  3. Isn’t it amazing the connections we have made from this blogging???
    I think Jude is one of those real women that tells you how it is and everyone needs a friend like that!!
    What a fabulous interview, Rena!!
    And have a wonderful new year celebration tonight….see you in 2018

  4. What a lovely way to end 2017. I’m very honored to be featured in this series Rena. This is as close to a “blog post” as I will come. Your kindness and friendship is an unexpected reward of following the “lives” of women who are so much more than a mutual love of fashion. Thank you my friend. Love, Jude

    1. You are so welcome, Jude, and so very deserving of this tribute. Your supportive, encouraging, and insightful comments have helped me more than you can imagine.

  5. Jude is so special in so many ways. She is so alive, so genuine, so very kind and wise. You have captured her beautifully here, Rena! This post makes me miss both of you. I hope you have a wonderful kick-off to 2018! May it be a wonderful year for you and for Jude.

    Love and Hugs,

    1. I’m so glad that you like the post and that it has captured the essence of Jude that many of us have had the pleasure to experience in person. Both the Phoenix and Seattle trips were highlights of 2017 for me and I’m so grateful to you for making those opportunities happen. Happy New Year to you!

    1. Patti, thank you for all of your well wishes and encouragement, especially in this past year. I nearly cried at midnight because I was so glad to see the end of 2017. Happy New Year to you and I too hope to see you again soon, my friend.

    1. Cheryl, I agree that Jude should start her own blog. There have been times I’ve thought to ask her to be a ghost writer for me because she has such a gift for words. I learn so much from her comments (it’s probably the teacher in her, LOL)

  6. One of my resolutions for this year (and probably the easiest one ) is to leave two comments per day on blogs that I either read or join in Link Ups with. I haven’t done this before due to changes and more responsibilities at work, but that has settled down and I finished another course and got some more initials behind my name!!!
    So Rena, I chose you first. You seem very cool and we both live in SoCal, so we at least have the weather in common. I enjoy your blog and am glad that you find so much fulfillment from it. Let’s both have a great New Year!!

    1. Rosie, thank you for choosing me for today’s commenting. I appreciate the time it takes to do so as I too have a day job that can be quite demanding at times. It’s my intention to comment more as well especially in response to comments left on my posts as well as posts added to my link up.

  7. I would love to be more confident in my fashion choices. I’ve been trying to mix it up some since I’ve basically only been wearing three colors for the last few decades. Black/gray/dk blue. It’s a huge change for me.

  8. Thank you so much for the feature! You are so sweet! I JUST LOVE blogger meet-ups. I only had one blogger meet-up so far, but it was such a wonderful experience I will never forget it!

A comment from you would be lovely