56 Years and a Video Story: The Wedding Dress

Ellouise and Jim Schoettler

56 Years ago today

December 30, 1955
Assumption Catholic Church
Charlotte, NC

I tell a story - The Wedding Dress - about the dress in the picture.
To celebrate our Anniversary I am posting a video version of the story - it took almost 40 years for the story to jell.

This is a true story that was talked about in our family from the day I purchased my dream wedding dress in a thrift shop in Fresno, CA. The story blossomed with each new life-change - my daughter's wedding to the births of her children. That's one of the joys of family stories - they grow and change with life.

This telling was recorded in 2009 for the Stories in Time TV program. I often tell it because I love it.
My daughter Robin Schoettler Fox is a writer. She published her version of this story.


NEW VIDEO: Conversation with storyteller Elizabeth Ellis

Texas storyteller Elizabeth Ellis came to town and we had a chance to chat on camera at Channel 16 for Stories in Focus. Not surprising that this conversation is loaded with just what you expect from Elizabeth, wisdom and good conversation. Enjoy.


NEW VIDEO: Conversation with storyteller Adam Booth

Recently my friend Adam Booth came to town and we had fun with a conversation about storytelling on camera at Channel 16 for Stories in Focus - - with the plus of one of Adam's stories. Hope you enjoy it.


Video: Christmas Traditions

5 days until Christmas

Do you remember how slowly 
time moved when you were a kid?
Now it flies by - - -

In this video I have tied an old English poem, a sweet personal memory and a bit of history together for a story.

Traditions are passed down from generation to generation in our families. Sometimes we are lucky enough to know where they come from.


Re-Gifting - 2

Jim and I are not
shopping in the Malls this year
to tell you the truth
it is a relief

Sticking to 
shopping at home
has taken us quite a while
to select the gifts

The first rule for Re-gifting
is that
the gifts have to be carefully chosen
its just clearing out

so we have taken a lot of time
to think
about the people we are giving to
to choose gifts that speak of them

Believe it or not - this is harder
it takes more effort
to re-gift
than to pick up the new and shiny
in a store

Second rule:
you have to be
to part with one of the treasures.

Thinking it would simplify things
I suggested we decide on a theme
 - - books - -

Strangely that did not make the chosing
it made it more difficult.

its taken quite a bit of sifting and rummaging 
to find just the one
a book -
that connects with each person
from the ones that Jim and I have loved
and kept

But voila

last night we finished the list
we wrap!

After Christmas
I will
post the titles along with the who and why of our choices.

Hope you have
also completed your shopping
and moved on
to wrapping.

                                                                                   Happy Holidays.


Nanny's Christmas Ditty

Nanny's Old English Christmas Ditty

Playing with another way to tell as story or a bit of a story. Lots to learn - that's for sure - but it really is fun.

If my friends, Bernadette Nason and Geraldine Buckley had recorded Nanny's little bit they would be charming you with their wonderful, authentic British accents. However, when Nanny taught it to me she spoke with a very fine North Carolina soft drawl - even though Elizabeth Grose, her London-born grandmother must have been speaking the "King's English" when she taught it to Nanny.

First, I recorded the "ditty" into Garage Band - then selected the picture, a photo I took outside Gettysburg and later digitally altered - used IMovieHD to create the "movie".

What's not to love about technology!


A Different Prayer

Collaged Book

I made this book
from magazine scraps
the night before Jim
had serious surgery
20 years ago.

Worried and afraid
I worked all night
at the kitchen table
snipping colored scraps
from a magazine
hardly knowing what I was doing
just following an instinct
to make a pattern of images.

These days I am once again
worried and afraid
for Jim
cancer a mean and silent menace
after two years of quiet
has re-emerged
and is threatening.

These nights I use technology
for diversion
learning new skills
editing audio files for
The New Front Porch radio program
or watching streaming Net Flix
movies into the wee hours.

Whatever I am doing
is a prayer for healing.

Story too is prayer
bits of love
precious moments
stitch a healing shawl.


Collage and noodling

Altered Card Series
e. schoettler

I don't have anything
to write about
I pull up a picture.

Don't they say
a picture is worth
1000 words?

Guess what they are - - -
wish I knew.


Pride and Prejudice at Round House Theater

 Round House Theater production of Pride and Prejudice.

Sometimes an impulse really turns out well.The reviews have been so outstanding that Jim and I decided to give an afternoon with Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy to our local family for a holiday treat. It did not disappoint - the reviews led us well - a delightful afternoon.

First: the set was marvelous - a large rotating box - a doll's house - that opened to the different rooms. Action took place in and around it. The movement created a very enjoyable and dynamic environment.

Second: an excellent cast who were obviously enjoying the play and playing it. I doubt anyone would disagree when I say that the A&E version of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice sets a gold standard for presenting the story and characters - for me no one can top Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy. That said - I want to credit this cast with a very fine job.

Third: For this production the interpretation was totally true to the book and Jane Austen's words however it chose to draw the focus to the humor in the story. To do that Mrs. Bennet was a larger focus of the action and the actor playing her was perfect in drawing her larger than life. The audience loved her.

Makes me want to re-read the book to follow their train of thought in working out this delicious adaptation.

Another plus was the "talk back" with the cast after the show - good questions from the audience brought forth some interesting answers from the cast. I was particularly interested to learn that the principals, who have done the play together before, often change some of their scenes - i. e. the proposal-
as a way to keep their performances fresh and spontaneous.

An afternoon at the theater - so satisfying and invigorating to be drawn into another world. I walked out of the theater wanting to come back to see it again. Hmmmm, who knows.....



1. A sweet memory to add to my collection as I review 2011.

Ellouise and Lynda in Granny's front yard at 2308 E. 7th Street.
circa 1942

During WWII Daddy joined the US Army Air Force. We were so proud to wear these "over-seas" hats he gave us. And, we worked hard to learn a proper salute.

When I was in Charlotte this past February I told the story of the day I started the first grade at Elizabeth School for an assembly of first and second grade students. Elizabeth is the school where Daddy took me the on the first day of school and then left for the "war." Being back at Elizabeth School is one of the sweet memories from this past year.

My sister Lynda lives in North Carolina and I talk to her often. Sometimes we talk about the "old-days" and share memories of people who are gone -- but mostly we share the "dailies" of our lives so that we know each other well today. We laugh, exchange recipes and talk about our grandchildren. I am grateful for her friendship and appreciate and admire this loving, compassionate woman - - - who is my sister.


Three Beautiful Things

1.  Grandson Dan's high school football team won the North Coast Championship game last night in an exciting cliff hanger game. Today they were selected to compete in the CA High School Bowl Game next week-end in Southern CA against a team from Fresno. Ahhhhh the excitement continues.

2.  A Christmas treat for our family group here in MD was an afternoon at Round House Theater for the well-reviewed Pride and Prejudice. Its a favorite for all of us and this production did not disappoint. Supper afterwards at a local La Madeliene so we could review the play - - 4 thumbs up.

3.   Grateful Jim is feeling better after a really rough ten days. Thanks be to God.



A Williamsburg Wreath to keep the spirit of Christmas in mind.

16 days until Christmas.

Will I shop?
I don't think so - unless it is at home.

I am not a Mall person.
Actually dislike the jostling crowds
and the over-whelming temptations
that have me bending and breaking my plastic cards.

I think I will carefully select
and re-gift
items I already have.

Nothing wrong with that  - -

Give items I once loved
that have been gathering dust
A second chance.

It will be a kind of
Occupy ---
a sharing
if you will.

I can tell you one thing

Jim will approve.

This will be a Christmas
for appreciating 
the richness
of the blessings we already have.

Jim is my greatest gift. 

What's your's.


Video, Quilting, and Reviewing the Year.

"Air Vigilante", one of my favorite stories, told here at a House Concert with Bernadette Nason. Such a lovely day!

As this year winds down
its nice to remember
the sweet moments
of the months just past.

Do you do that?

Its like picking out the happiest
and prettiest
when piecing a quilt.

I tell a story, "The Cussing Cover"
where when a woman made a quilt
she sewed in all the heat
of a bitter quarrel with her husband.

Seems to me
its makes more sense
to sew in all the love you can gather
and sleep
wrapped in that comforting warmth.


Grateful for:

Here's looking at you, kid.

Grateful for:
Delicious homemade chocolates from MyLinda. Yummmmmm.
Not something one receives every day.

But mostly for:
Thoughtful compassionate children.
Dearest Jim.


Master Class, Storytelling Concert & 7

e. schoettler

Tired tonight. Its been a very satisfying day - story wise true  - - but I produced it and that is tiring.

Started the day early with completing the tasks for producing Plot to Narrative - Elizabeth Ellis' new workshop.  Great project, loaded with information that can help storytellers jump their stories up several notches. Its great - and I recommend you find one of these days with Elizabeth and sign up. She leaves you empowered to develop stories to be proud of.

Her storytelling concert tonight was excellent. The group gathered in the intimate Kensington Row Bookstore - a space that complements the storytelling art form.
Any time with Elizabeth Ellis telling stories is FINE!