Ten Facts You May Not Know About Me…Jeannie Watt

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Hi Everyone! I’m back again to share with you ten things about me. Writing ten things sounds easy until you start…then it gets hard. But here goes…

1. I love to sew. Just love it. My mother taught me to sew when I was nine during

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my first year of 4-H. Being a kid with a short attention span, I hated sewing! A hem took an eternity, and I had better things to do! But all of my friends were in 4-H sewing, so I continued on. By the time I hit high school, I realized that I could make clothing that I couldn’t afford (this was pre-discount store time) and sewing became a passion. It was also easier after I’d attained some skills and my attention span was (slightly) longer.

 

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2.I also love ponies. I learned to ride on a pony, but wanted a big horse. My younger brother had a big old gentle work horse that I coveted. However, after I finally got a big horse, I discovered that not only did I love ponies, but they loved me. I’m a pony person. I had a herd of thirteen when my husband finally put his foot down and said I had to pare down the herd. So now I have three. They’re pets.

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My house in Nevada.

3.I live off the grid in rural Nevada and have for the past twenty-two years. When we first moved to our house, which is good sized and has all the amenities of any home anywhere, we would turn the power off at night and read by kerosene lantern. Now we read on our cell phones and tablets. How times h
ave changed. It was a great way to raise kids.

 

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4. That said, I’m about to move onto my parents’ farm and cattle ranch in Montana. It’s a very small cattle operation, but enough to keep us busy. We’ll be raising heritage beef, which has a lean-tender gene. Low marbling, yet lots of flavor. My dad has quite a breeding program going on.

30s-ensemble5. In addition to loving to sew, I collect vintage patterns on ebay, then sew them into clothes that I may or may not be able to wear. Sometimes they look a lot different on the pattern than they do on a real body. I’ve discovered that I have 1930s shape. Those patterns fit me well.

6. I worked in an underground mine when I was in my twenties, back when there weren’t many women underground. I worked for a year, then returned to college to get a degree in geology. I also got a degree in education.

img_15287. I started running when I was in my forties because my kids were in cross country. I hated it, but like sewing, eventually came to embrace it. I’m slow and steady.

8. I taught junior high science for 29 years. I miss my kids, but I love being retired!

9. I hate heights—my husband and I once re-roofed a garage working on our bellies for the most part, because he’s afraid of heights, too—but I don’t mind spiders.

img_303310. My family and Iimg_3012 attend the Great Dickens Fair in San Francisco every year. I made all the clothing for the family. I found that I really enjoy tailoring. I think we look very dapper.
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And there you go–ten things about me. I’m a sewing, pony-loving, off-the-grid, ranching, mining, running, height-fearing, spider-tolerating, Victorian costumer!

 

 

 

 

Jeannie Watt
Jeannie Watt lives off the grid in an historic cattle ranching area and loves all things western. When she's not writing, Jeannie enjoys sewing, making mosaic mirrors, riding her horses and buying hay. Lots and lots of hay.

38 Comments

  1. Jeannie, what a life you’ve led! I’ve heard more and more about people living off the grid in order to return to a simpler life and, of course, some who want to be prepared in case society falls apart. Will you continue to live off the grid after you move to your parents’ ranch?

    Sewing is becoming a rare skill, except for historical garb. How cool that you make Victorian clothing! And lovely Victorian clothing, at that.

    Did your kids learn to ride on ponies, too? The two in your picture look sweet.

    Thanks for giving us a look at the Jeannie behind the scenes!

    1. Hi Kathleen,

      I will not be living off the grid in Montana and I must tell you, I’m kind of looking forward to doing things whenever I want instead of scheduling them for “when the power is on”. There are real pluses to living independently, but also challenges. One time we lost power for a week and had to haul water in…not a lot of fun, but it made us tougher. 🙂 The battery operated laptop made my life sooo much better, because I could write when the power is off.

      My kids learned to ride on horses, because we got the ponies after they learned to ride. The ponies were for mama.

  2. What an interesting life you are having!

    1. It has been an adventure, Estella. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  3. I used to love sewing. I learned when I was in high school and used to make clothes. But I gave it up for so long that I can only do minor alterations now. I love the costumes that you made. They look fabulous and very expensive if you were to buy them.

    1. Thank you, Janine. I gave up sewing for about five or six years, then went back to it. It was kind of hard to pick up again, but then it became an addiction.

  4. Loved learning more about you, Jeannie. And those Victorian costumes are stunning! You definitely have the sewing chops. My favorite tidbit is that you used to read by kerosene lantern light. How cool and authentically western is that? Love it!

    1. Thank yo,u Karen. I can tell you that reading by kerosene lamps leaves dark marks on the ceiling 🙂 No wonder they made Victorian ceilings so high. J

  5. I love sewing, especially clothes. My preferred era is the ’50s, and I found a goldmine of vintage ’50s patterns at a garage sale one time, all in my size! They’re my go-to whenever I want a new dress.

    1. Color me jealous, Rachael! Finding old patterns my size would be a dream come true! Enjoy.

  6. Wow, Jeannie! It’s great to finally know something about my newest Filly sister. And what an eye-opener. You sew really well. I think you could get a job making clothes if this writing-gig doesn’t pan out. LOL! As though that will happen. Or you could become a miner. That’s so interesting. I wonder what possessed you to do that at such a young age. I’m sure you’re going to be heartbroken to leave Nevada after being there so long. But Montana is gorgeous.

    1. Hi Linda–I became a miner because the money was really good. It was in the late 1970s and they’d just started letting women work underground. One of the best experiences of my life. I drove a small train and hauled ore. I will totally miss Nevada, but I’m looking forward to becoming part of my new Montana community. Thanks so much for the kind words.

  7. What fun tidbits into your life! My hubby and I hope to be off-grid someday. Can’t wait to get there! I adore those clothes. I would love to sew vintage clothes, also. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Living off the grid is an adventure. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 🙂

  8. Jeannie, I always wanted a pony when I was growing up, but we lived in a neighborhood in a small town here in Oklahoma. My dad always would say, “Cheryl, a pony wouldn’t be happy here.” (Of course, that always got me–I didn’t want to make a pony unhappy!) LOL LUCKY YOU!

    My mom taught me to sew. She could just make anything, and lots of times with no pattern. I never could do that–I needed a guide. She made most of our clothes–my two sisters and mine–and one year she made my first prom dress–it was gorgeous! I wish I still had some of the things she made for me now that she’s gone.

    You have sure led an interesting life and continue to! I enjoyed getting to know more about you!
    XOXO
    Cheryl

    1. HI Cheryl–Your mother sounds so talented. I certainly can’t do that, but my mom had a friend that could. Lol about the pony being unhappy. No, we do not want to make ponies unhappy.

    2. You have lived an interesting life. My mother and a summer teacher tried to reach me to see. Just not for me. I made an apron of sorts at the summer class and a blouse when I was in college. That was the last time I sewed. I just can’t figure it out. I had lots of Home made clothes and I was growing up because my mom could see anything. That gene skipped me. I love horses and learned to ride on a pony. It was great to learn a out your life.

  9. Jeannie, how absolutely fascinating! You sure live a cowgirl life. Best of luck in Montana!

  10. Very interesting life you have lead so far.

  11. How fun getting to know a bit about you Jeannie! What a different lifestyle you have led from me. Our one commonality is that I love to sew too. However, having raised boys who lived in sweats or tee shirts and jeans, I’ve had little need to sew (and little time to so I guess that worked out.) I compensated by doing a lot of crosstitch LOL. I would love to make a quilt now…Not for a bed cover as much as I would like a few wall hangings and table runners.

    1. I think quilted table covers and wall hangings are wonderful! I wish I could quilt, but I don’t have the knack.

  12. P.S. thanks for sharing the pictures of your fabulous Dicken’s era clothes!

    1. I had so much fun making them! Thank you.

  13. Sewing, 4-H, ponies and costumes-What’s not to love. I’m with you on the running however. After the back injury/surgery it’s just plain walking, which I love.

    Best to you on the move to Montana, and love the Dickens costumes!

    Doris

    1. Thank you, Doris! Hugs on the back injury.

  14. Jeannie, I am super impressed with your sewing skills! I didn’t learn to sew until midway through my college years and made a lot of my own clothes from then until my first child was born. Once I had a toddler crawling around on the floor I put away all my pins and needles and just never got back in the habit. Now I only take my machine out (still use my very first one!) to do mending and easy things like hemming curtains.

    1. I still have my first machine, too! I couldn’t imagine having another. Thanks, Winnie.

  15. I love this, Jeannie. I’m learning so much about my Filly Friends!

    1. These have been fun days, Mary. I really enjoy them.

  16. I so enjoyed learning what you shared with us. I think it really great that you live off the grid. And your various life adventures were wonderful. I love your Victorian creations–thanks for the pictures. My mom was the sower who made most of my clothes growing up. I’m more a craft person with quilts and weaving. Oh, I would so love to go to the Dickens Fair to see you and your friends. It sounds so wonderful. All the best on your ‘new’ journey, this time to Montana. I really admire all the things you’ve done.

    1. Thank you, Eliza! Weaving? Now that’s a art! The Dickens Fair is so much fun, and costumes are not necessary to get in, but they do make it more fun.

  17. Oops. I meant sewer and not sower! lol. and I’m a former editor too. and spellcheck doesn’t help with those kind of mistakes. I read a book a while ago where the character was being shown something, I forget what, but the type was “shone” so I should know better. 🙂

    I also forgot to tell you I’m afraid of heights to and admire that you tackled your roof anyway.

  18. should be: heights TOO, not to. sigh…

  19. Eliza–lol. I always do this. The only thing is that I can edit my post, but we can’t edit comments. Thanks so much for posting.

  20. What fun. Thanks so much for sharing. I took sewing in Home Ec in high school. but didn’t do much with it after that until my last year in college. I was flying to California and “needed” a suit. I parked myself with my grandmother and with her help sewed a fully lined linen suit. It took me much longer than it would have taken her (she sewed for the whole family), but she was patient and made me do it myself. I have enjoyed sewing for years and did a lot of it when the children were young. I haven’t had time to do much lately, but have several projects I would really like to do.

  21. Loved getting to know you better, Jeannie!

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