Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Constipated Zen

It is true that it is has been a longer gap than usual for posting.  I  have been waiting for some profound thought to give me stimulus for a wise, intelligent or even humorous exception to the rule.  I have been waiting for something to write that elaborates, enumerates, or illuminates.  I noticed the other day that this blog has shrunk in followers which is a nice bit of evidence on how boring I have become.  Of course, I would continue to write even if no one read this, because I do still write for my own creative outlet.  It is like eating and pooping...I just have to do it.

Alas, my dear brain has entered a far dimension these days...maybe I left it in Aruba with that curious blue lizard?

Maybe  I gave it too long a rest after finding my future daughter-in-law and I are in such a magical and wonderful space together and I do not want to tamper with that by thinking too much.

Maybe I have absolutely emptied it - my mind?  That is a scary thought.

Wait!  I am trying to find a focus here!  It is like knocking on the door of an empty room for conversation.  No one answers because no one is in there.  I open the door and there are just dust bunnies and faint shadows and the hollow sounds of my footsteps.

Death and politics.  This is all that seems to sneak into my thoughts when I let it..  And certainly both of those subjects are not small enough to write about nor safe enough to even consider these days.   Beauty and peace find their way to my other blog, so that outlet is well satisfied, and not surprisingly, that blog has grown in number of readers. 

You know that I am going to die, if not imminently, and I know the same about you.  I cannot change that by writing about it.  ("if you mean 'famous' or 'superior' you want eminent; if you mean 'impending, about to happen' that is imminent; and if you mean 'present, inherent,' your word is immanent.")  That was tricky.

You know who I am going to vote for and I might know the same about you, but since we are adults it is unlikely we will change each others minds if we are not in agreement.  The world, especially Europe and the Middle East, seems to be collapsing.  The poor are getting very poor which means dark days ahead globally.  So, should I write about that?

That leaves puppies and babies and what I ate for breakfast..since I am on my own this weekend it was a biscotti with coffee..  Maybe I should post a photo?  Nope, this is not Facebook...........Guess I will go see what is happening there.

Thursday, February 09, 2012


Friko posted recently about how polite we are in our comments to other bloggers.  She compared this to the advertising that tells us what we want to read about ourselves so that we will buy their products. "You are a smart woman so you really should try this." I do think that we are usually very kind and complimentary in our blog comments.  I know that I have never told anyone that their post was interesting and just needed a grammatical correction here and there and should probably have a more concise conclusion.  I actually don't think I ever thought it even!  I would never mention typos since I am the Queen of those.  I also know that I am most strongly attracted to those blogs that seem transparent and honest.

I think that perhaps we are kinder to our readers than we would normally be because we want them to continue to read the daily stuff we write; maybe they can improve their writing skills by reading us.  We want them to enjoy our breakfast descriptions, our new purchases, our baby pictures, our fun with pets events, our music choices and above all our daily angst and whining.  In exchange we will endure their goat's antics, their garden photos, their dirty cartoons and their painful poetry...and in Tabor's case, her overuse of the period as a pause feature.

When I commented on Friko's post I explained that I tell the truth 99% of the time, which perhaps most of us do.  If I cannot write anything nice I will NOT make a comment.  Of course, this does not mean that my lack of comments on your blog post means I did not like it.  I  might not have read it, might have figured I had nothing to add, or might not have understood it enough to comment, as I can be a little thick.  I do not follow most of the many fiction writers blogs, but I guess if I did I would be glad to critique their work honestly if they asked...but I could only critique as a reader, as I do not see myself as a good editor.   On other types of blogs, daily journal types, if someone was writing about some difficult time in their life and I thought that they were in a rut and whining too much, I probably would not comment honestly because I have no idea what stage of their life they were in and whether I had the full story of this drama.  Even most honest writers can only write about their lives through the glasses that they are wearing.  And if someone else spent too much time writing about their cat, I would not comment with "What a bore you are becoming."  I wouldn't be reading their blog in the first place.

Most of us do not get paid for this sterling prose that we type, and therefore, really do not deserve a critique. Some of us have the time and interest to create meme challenges, award icons and links to those posts we read that impress us.  That keeps the soup stirred so it doesn't burn and also helps us meet each other.

I am off on a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina for an early Valentine's getaway and will complete the drawing and announcement on the prior post when I return.  I only got a dozen blogger's interested which may say more about my photography than it does about interest in my blog!  Oh well, I am not going to dwell too long on either painful thought.  Play nice while I am away.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Writing in the Third Person

Trying to keep track of her is like trying to keep track of that annoying summer fly in the bedroom while you are reading.  She buzzes in and then she buzzes out...creating an annoying distraction.  What on earth has she been up to?  She has at least a dozen half-read books scattered across her nightstand... symptomatic of a scattered brain.

Last time I saw her she was out in the garden staking plants that had been pummeled in the inch of rain deluge the night before.

Then 30 minutes later she was squashing Japanese beetles with her bare hands!  Yuck!

Then, just after that, she had her camera in hand and was adding ANOTHER 100 flower photos to her million plus files, hoping to find something that will attract attention on the Internet.

Now she is staring at the pile of laundry with her hands on her hips.

She should be making reservations for her fall trip to Colorado and Utah.  (OMG!  Does that mean we must suffer through  more photos?)  She should be planning the menu for the end of July trip with family to Hilton Head.  She most certainly should be exercising so that she does not resemble the beached whale in the swim suit when she gets there.

I give up...where is she now?  She is due for another blog post.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Did You Disappear?

Several people commented in posts and even commented on my blog comments on the recent two-day outage of Blogger...although Blogger did not admit they were out of whack for that long because you could read what had been published in a prior time.  I had been pretty busy away from the computer during that time and only noticed at the very end when I was trying to check my posts.

It was a little frustrating for me not being able to post anything or read anything new, but because I am easily distracted  I moved on to something else. 

Some of you wrote that you felt as if you had been cut off from communication with an important side of the world.  I began to wonder if I would have felt the same if it had been a rainy or cold day where I was stuck at home with nothing to do.  If I had time to reflect, I am sure that I would have been a little panicked at not being able to get in touch with readers of my blog.  What if Blogger had gone down permanently?  I am sure they have back-up servers to return to a prior time...but what if?

Peruby has a disaster recovery plan idea which she wrote about.  I never thought about a back-up plan for a hobby, but that is an interesting thought.  How did you feel about all this?  Do you have a back-up plan?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I have never been a big joiner, even in causes I believe in; I have to steel myself to join things.  I tend to be the type that thinks if you join have to JOIN it. Joining means to me that you will go to the meetings, setup for the events, volunteer to do the boring stuff that the other members tend to avoid.  You will be active and not just lend your name or a few dollars to the cause, club, institution.  As a result of this Puritanical attitude, I tend to avoid joining the majority of things that come my way.

My Master Gardener program requires 40 hours of volunteer/leadership work the first year.  You are committed to the cause of sharing the gardening experience whether you like it or not.  You can count the monthly meetings and the time spent driving to and from places.  Since January I have put in about 10 hours.  This week I am committed to several errands and an event which will add another 4 or 5 hours of my time.  Of course, as spring commences, gardeners are needed everywhere.  I was talking to a fellow MSTG (Master Gardener) and she said when she first started her project, there were few places to volunteer time in our rural area.  Over the past few years, many more opportunities have developed.  I am guessing this is due to baby boomers nearing retirement and looking for things to do and thus creating community gardens for areas.  I must say that our business meetings are certainly energetic and the last one had about 30 attendees!

While I was thinking of this process of joining I recently noticed new joiners (followers) to my blog(s).  I do not know how they found their way here in most cases.  I do not know if they even read my blog, because many do not comment on posts or comment only once.  I keep thinking that sometimes bloggers like to collect followers like friends on FB.  No communication is involved.  It is just a collecting thing.

I have two lists I follow in blogging.  Sometimes I "follow" the blog on their page and then that blog shows up on the Blogger Dashboard page if they have made a recent post.  The other way is the old-fashioned way of creating a link to the blog in the html code of the my blogs design which then shows up in my sidebar of my blog page when they post.  This I still tend to do more often than the former.  I keep forgetting the other list.  Many on this second list have drifted off into the digital black hole of neglect.  They started writing with the best of intentions and then blogging lost its appeal or they were using it as a tool to sell something and not really blog, or life and living got in the way.

My concern  has become that this following of blogs is just like joining.  My lists are getting long and I feel an obligation to read the majority of the posts of blogs I follow.  (Although I am not talking about your blog, of course, I head there first every time!)  I do not want to hurt anyone's feelings although I do not always feel a need to comment on the post, and as cute as that kitten is, I really have no time to read about it.

These blogger lists are somewhat like my speedwell plant that I posted about on my other blog.  It is lovely, interesting, and in the beginning a most compelling plant.  But then it spreads and becomes a maintenance issue and must be tended, and the fun starts to fade a little and obligation rears its hard head.

Do any other bloggers face this concern?  How do you deal with it?  I bet most of you are this all just silliness on my part?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blogging is Not for the Weak of Heart

I never realized that blogging would impact me this way.  I have lost another blogger.  Oh, he never  rarely commented on my blog and I wasn't even on his blog list of blogs that he followed.  Actually, he posted only rarely as well.  He and his wife were the only hippies that I really knew, although vicariously.  Being as I never met them, and he blogged less and less, I guess I can't really say I knew him, can I?  So why do I feel as if I did?  Why do I feel as if we once met somewhere and were just keeping in touch via the Internet?

His independence of spirit and willingness to live his beliefs and his interesting photographs were the things that drew me to reading his blog.  After retirement from being a Postman, he lived in the mountains of Southern California in a tiny house.  He and his wife, a lovely bird-like creature, once a model, sold their car and made do with bicycles to get to the local train station on infrequent shopping and visiting trips.  They belonged to food cooperatives, grew much of their own food, and for the most part lived off the land.  He valued independence from society as most hippies do and was hard on those who did not treat nature with respect.  He was wary of any big brother interference in his life and raised his children by the strict standards he set for himself.

He and his wife had recently moved down to the plains for a brief period to help his mother with her house.  Then, after that, he blogged less.  And then, on January 22, he disappeared from this earth.

Being the self-reliant guy he was, he left no indication he was having health problems and I do not know how Peggy, his wife, is coping and whether she will be able to stay in the home she loved so much.  They were a loving couple clearly happy in this end of life living so close to the earth.  I would never have known what happened to him had not his son, in pain, posted a brief epitaph.  If you want to know more about him and his life style go here.

This blogging is not for the weak of heart nor the loner without a family shoulder to rest on.  It will grab you and shake you to your core and cause you to question your values and ideas and take a long hard look at your life.  When I began blogging it was all about putting into the ether sphere questions and feelings and events of my life...but then the great out there began to impact me back.  Who knew?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Thursday Thoughts 13... #30: Blogging Along

Doesn't this look so neat and clean   ;-)

  1. According to my Blogger statistics readers have searched and found my blog with the phrase "i think too far ahead" and "bad karma stories."  Is that flattering or scary and should I be concerned?
  2. I used to have 58 followers here.  I know that is not many for those of you in the solid 3 and even 4 figures, but I lost one follower the other day.  Was it something I wrote?  That hurts because while I love my followers I am not very good at cultivating them. A 'princess' has joined my entourage since I wrote I am back to back to 57!  Did I lose another one?
  3. I am currently using '50.7%' of my Picasa photo storage for Blogger.  As a person who took almost 900 photos just last month and deleted only 400, the fear of the eventual need to upgrade storage in my blog photos stalks my every post.
  4. I am trying to wean myself from checking Blogger a half dozen times a day (or more!) when I am home alone.  I need to enrich my life, I guess.  I am so addicted to your comments and to the fact that you read what I say and I even do not mind criticism (polite suggestions on viewing things a little differently) although most bloggers are too polite.  Maybe I could be Fran Lebowitz and not care what people think.
  5. I also am dismayed by the bloggers that I link to that have quit posting...I just can't seem to find the courage to remove those links from my list.  I also feel the same way about FB.  People befriend me and then NEVER post anything!  I wish I had the courage to defriend them as they have become stalkers in my mind...but they KNOW me, so it is not as easy to do as it might be in my blogging network.
  6. I actually am trying to consciously keep my blogger reader demographics broad.  I know that I have much in common with those my age and with my interests, but for the same reason I will never live in a retirement community, I am trying to proactively add younger readers and readers with different views to my lists.
  7. If you think you have been blogging a long time, the first blog (daily online journal) was published electronically in 1994 by a young man named Justin Hall and the link to that blog is still ongoing and here.
  8. In 2004, "blog" was the word of the year...I didn't know they had a word-of-the-year.  I am so stupid sometimes.
  9. The precursor in naming a blogger or online journalist was escribitionist.  Maybe that should be a word of the year.  (Colleen, see if you can work that into your next Scrabble game.)
  10. I look at blogging as chapters of a diary of someone's life and Facebook as the footnotes (which are sometimes more like anecdotes or my   daily boring life activity notes).
  11. Is it true that a new blog is created every second around the world?  How many die every second?
  12. Perhaps the most important change blogging has made is allowing social activism from the smallest 'end of the tail' and not just from the large and 'popular' opinions.  Information is powerful, especially when we find others thinking like us.
  13. The most important change for me is learning that you do not have to meet someone face to face to get to know them and sometimes there is a little magic that happens in blogland and we become very good friends.  I can remember how shy and intimidated I was about blogging when I first started.  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Compliments, That Fragile Gift

I was thinking of compliments the other day.  Perhaps as a result of my submitting my blog to that site for review.  Why do we we want them?  How do we get them?  How we treasure them!  Can we trust them?  I am not a good person for compliments...getting them, that is.  I do not receive them gracefully and I rarely believe them in full.  I am a reasonable cynic, although, I, of course, think that is being a realist.  Perhaps because my mother was very sparse in handing out compliments to her children.  She was an expert on the criticism sharing I remember.  I also think I am not a generous person with compliments.  If I give one, it usually has a pretty solid kernel of truth in it, or I will not give a compliment just to make someone feel better.  Unless, of course, they need one for survival at that time in their life.

My FB friends are most generous when commenting on my photos. I love that they love the photographs that I post.  But it IS like having loving friends comment.  Your friends always praise your work because they like you and want to be nice and want you to succeed or they are friends of your children and have been raised to be polite and do not really care enough about you to criticize you.  Your FB friends are complimentary because only the jokes can be derogatory.  Perhaps, they do not want to be de-friended if they were too honest!  An FB friend said my photos reminded him of Ansel Adams.  That compliment only made me smile, because I knew it wasn't true.  It wasn't even close.  But, it was a friendly, well-meant exaggeration.

Bloggers are most gracious in posting about my photos and my writing.  Their comments truly warm my soul, especially when I know many of them are far better with the camera or the computer keyboard than I could ever hope to be.  Some of them even make a living at it, the writing or photography---not giving compliments.  Therefore, while I get a big smile when I read these compliments, I also feel deep in my soul that they would never qualify their remarks with a dose of harsh honesty or even gentle criticism.  So, of course, they are only left with agreeing or praising me or perhaps reading my blog in stony white silence..."if you can't say anything nice..."

But, real compliments are the best when they come un-expected.  Sometimes they are wordless and just the expression on someone's face,  such as the time my 16-year-old son failed to shift gears successfully on the Bronco going up the inclined driveway, and I took the driver's seat and did it quite easily.  I wish I had had a camera, because I had never seen that look in his eyes before.  Admiration from a child (especially a teenager) is golden.

I overheard my daughter talking to one of her friends when they were deciding how to get pictures at the swim fun day.  She suggested asking me because she said 'my mom is a semi-professional at it.'  Gold, pure gold.

When my husband goes back for seconds at some experimental dish I have tried, I think that is a lovely compliment.  He usually says something about how good it is...but he says that often when I cook.  When he gets seconds I know he really likes it.

Yesterday, the oven repair men (young) said that I was a really nice lady when talking to me about working out the warranty issues with the company.  I somehow felt they really meant it because they had nothing to gain from me and it made me feel good about working at my negotiating skills over my life.

I wonder how other bloggers feel about comments, compliments and criticisms.  Do you need to be prepared or can anyone bring it on if it is honest and helpful?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bye, Barry

I cannot say anymore than others have posted. Yes, we will miss those lovely rambling walks with Lindsay across the woods and dunes and Barry's wonderful writing about his family. Linda, thank you for sharing these past months.  So many others will be posting tributes in the days to come as he touched many bloggers.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


This photo above was taken during the war in the South Pacific.  The man in the middle was my husband's half brother.  I do not know if he did anything particularly brave during his tour of service, but I know that some of the battles on those islands were pretty scary.

When we think of heroes we usually think of soldiers, firemen, policemen and others facing an emergency and being able to save others while risking their lives.  Remember Captain Sully?

Today on NPR there was a program about Ryan White, the young man who died from AIDS 20 years ago.  He was a hero to me.  I will never forget him. His honesty, strength, humor, and leadership while only 13 helped bring an understanding of this terrible disease to most of America who were fearful and prejudiced.  His calm practical approach to dealing with this fate was truly inspirational.

There is another hero, from blogdom, that I want to mention.  She has been a blog pal for a few years, and I cannot remember what made me visit her blog for the very first time, but I kept coming back because she was a real life hero to me.  She wrote poetry, prose, and told things about herself that most of us would want to keep secret.  But she told them with such magical humor her readers could laugh out loud.  She made me comfortable.  Her name is Tammy Brierly.

This Sunday she is going to free dive out of a plane!  Brave for a 48 year old woman you may think.  But this is not why she is my hero.  She is doing this in spite of brittle bones, an inability to walk by herself and a continual battle  with other side effects of ALS---Lou Gehrig's disease.  There is no cure, but since her diagnosis years ago she has done more, and been more spirited and accepting of life than 100% of the people I know.  I have never met her personally, but she has become my inspiration!  She is making this jump to bring awareness to this incurable disease.  She spends most of her time now on Facebook so I did not link to her blog page because it is an easier venue for her.  

I am so thankful for heroes like these.  They certainly make me want to be a better person.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

That Yucky Verbal Diarrhea

Those of us who love to write but have nothing really significant to say and even less skill in saying it are like the distracting  nats of the evening air. We arrive at a pause in the day, not large enough to really cause a ruckus, nor interesting enough to cause a little pain, but still annoyingly dancing there in front of your face and being a distraction from the lovely sunset as you lose your place in blogdom.  You feel guilty because they did comment on your post yesterday and so you tediously read through the post and hope to find some grain or idea to help you comment and to return the favor.

This writing is an addiction with us. We love the words and we love the pictures we can paint with them. No, we cannot paint like Van Gogh or tell a story like Vermeer with light and shadow, but we are compelled to take the white screen canvas and sprinkle letters here and there hoping they form words and hoping eventually the words form sentences and perhaps, miracle of miracles, a complete thought! Keeping that train of thought on the track is another task frequently beyond our enthusiastic and spastic skill. Getting to the point of a story or valuable lesson is certainly a challenge for our energetic scribbling. You may wonder...DO we have a POINT as we scribble through the list of the mundane activities of our day?

But, you, my blog readers, are ever so forgiving, because you faithfully return. You let me splash a noun here and smear a verb there and even overuse the exclamation point. You let me clutter the canvas with superlatives.  You wonder if I have ever heard of "spell check."  You wonder why I put every other phrase in quotes and you wish the parenthesis keys on my keyboard would break.  You let me split infinitives (whatever they are) and end sentences with prepositions all in an effort to capture something that was recently remembered from my past or to describe something routine that happened that day and to try to make it significant......because you know that sometimes I get lucky and actually post something interesting and a little thought provoking.   And then we can both smile at the end of the day.  I need you in this dance of design.

(The photo is something I was motivated to do because one of my bloggers is working on textures with her photos and I remembered I had this taken this rose photo in my garden this past summer.  I have reduced the size substantially, but it still holds the texture effect, I think.  You will have to click on the photo to really get the furry texture.)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Missed Opportunity

Since I began blogging I realized that I had joined a family of writers and photographers and cooks (some anyway) with interesting ideas to share. I may not agree with everything they say, but all of them do express it so well and help me stretch my mind. The photo above is how close I came to Colleen's town and had we not been in such a rush to cross the mountains before dark, I just might have driven through the little town of Floyd and stopped in at the local cafe! I have been reading about this special town for several years and I am sure that I would have spotted Colleen right on playing a game of Scrabble. Missed opportunities are the story of my life.

What does amaze me is how many times I come close to where some blogger lives!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Out of Pocket

It seems that the fates have converged in a unique formation in the coming weeks. My PC which is about 8 or 9 years old has decided it will not cooperate any more. I am sending it into the repair clinic before I lose everything that I do not back up---which is everything on the PC.

Symptoms include auto shutdowns, lock-ups, and inability to keep my photography software open for any length of time. The fan kicks on frequently and closing a program can take a very long time. I hope I don't need a new PC, but my gut feeling is that the store will recommend that!

Secondly, I am heading out on a jet plane to the other side of the country for a week's change of scenery. I will be eating and sleeping with relatives some of the time and some of the time I will be spending with my camera outside---I hope.

Thirdly, I have a post on this blog that has been pre-scheduled and several on my other blog, so that my readers will not disappear. But I will not be responding or reading blogs in the coming weeks.

Behave yourselves while I am gone, please. (OKAY...don't behave IS short after all.)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Canvassing by Weary Hag

Weary Hag posted the following questions on her blog a while back. She has taken a respite from blogging and rarely posts anything, so I had to read this and give it a go. Feel free to tackle and then let her know you answered.

1. While typing - do you prefer classic or italics?
Same answer as #2 below.

2. While reading - do you prefer classic or italics?
Classic always. Italics for me is for emphasis or scientific names.

3. Worst experience while blogging? [i.e. page froze, lost data, caught using dated or false info, typos - what made you gasp - even a li'l]
I sent out several comments while logged in as ME. As you may know I have a weird fear of being ‘found out.’

4. Best experience while blogging? [i.e. new friendship/relationship formed, wrote a post that was just short of genius, learned new com tech skill, etc]
Writing something that makes me feel good and then having one or more of the readers tell me it made them feel good as well. Or getting compliments on how well written it was. I am an addict for that kind of stuff. Words are powerful when they can change feelings or help someone make it through the day.

5. Let's assume you're an avid blogger - someone at an intimate dinner or party suggests that blogging is for idiots. In what way do you beat the dog meat out of them - [read: handle the situation] - if at all?
I might answer that I often thought **** (you fill in the blank) were idiots, but I now can see their side of the story. Or perhaps I might say that blogging is so vast in scope and participants represent most of mankind, so there are no more idiots in blogland than in any other activity. (Now twitter is another story.)

6. Do you pass your blog URL out to people like sneeze molecules or do you generally keep it to yourself and your own group of mutual blog buddies?
I keep it very secret and only those who stumble upon it and stay become my personal treasured readers. ;-)

7. Do you share your blog with family [children/spouse/siblings/parents] or do you deliberately keep it from them?
Nope. No one knows and when I die, I will have to leave the password in my will so that someone can let my readers know why I stopped blogging! (Besides my family never comments on stuff I post on the family blog...why share the real me?)

8. This is for those who only use a fabricated name when blogging: Do you ever wish you could tell people just exactly who you really are or are you content to remain anonymous to the masses?
I am very content to remain anonymous. I am a coward and would not be as honest a writer if people knew who I really was.

9. This is for those who use their true name when blogging: Do you ever wish you had remained anonymous or are you pleased as punch to get your real self out there?
See #8.

10. Of these - which is your favorite genre to read in the blogging community: [choose ONLY one]: a) how-to & advice, b) brief topics covered with a comedic edge, c) personal adventures or experiences, d) photos with captions, e) up-to-the-minute newsy type stories told with blogger's perspective or spin
I really like reading all genre’s but personal experiences/adventures tend to grab me the most.

11. From one to ten, when reading a blog post ... do spelling & grammar really count? (not the occasional typo). One: they don't count in the least .............. Ten: stop reading midstream and move on.
I guess about a 7. If the post is really good, I can ignore the errors. I am a terrible speller even though I almost made straight A’s in school…hard to believe, huh? But Blogger has a spell check so there is little excuse for that kind of sloppiness. My grammar has gotten very sloppy and I wish Blogger had a grammar editor.

12. Have you been approached to write a book or magazine article or to contribute to an existing publication in any way, solely based upon your blog? (and I don't mean by smokinbettylou or tedthetool)
Hah! Don’t I wish!

13. Do you prefer the read & comment type of post or the interactive style (like this one)?
I like this type once in a while. I prefer the read and comment because it is easier to read and shoot from the hip.

14. Which applies to you most often? a) I read and comment, b) I read and move along ...
About 50/50.

15. Are you involved in any other networking venues or is blogging your one and only? [i.e. FB, YT, MSpace, LiveJournal, Classmates, photo hosting sites, etc.] No need to name them unless you want to ...
I have a family blog, I am on Facebook but rarely visit there, and have several photo sharing site(s)…but most of my computer time is just blogging here.

Your turn.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cautious and Secretive

As you are reading this I am probably on a cruise ship heading to Nassau, or perhaps on the Disney Island beach watching my grandchildren run in the surf, or maybe in the bar of the ship having that final nightcap after all the Disney creatures get tucked into bed (least likely scenario). I have pre-scheduled this post so you don't forget me. I look forward to reading your comments when I get back.

It seems to me that the more popular blogs are those where people post their true identity and their actual pictures. I think we are more comfortable reading about someone we know is real and then it seems more honest because they show us who they are and tell us where they live either generically or more specifically. They are up front with us and we like that.

I think I commented once on my blog about my need for anonymity as I blog. I comment about relatives and friends and want the freedom to say exactly what is in/on my mind and not feel I have to couch terms to avoid hurt feelings or misunderstandings. A reader of my blog might think I do not say anything too controversial about others that I know, and perhaps they are right. But I still like to be able to write whatever I feel at the time. While I might be a liberal in many areas I am rather conservative in terms of my privacy. I really don't need those I love/dislike to know I am going through a down time or having second thoughts about decisions in my life. But it gives me pleasure to post this personal journal for my loyal blogger friends to comment on. (As Colleen writes
"Things I would not tell anyone, I tell the public." ~ Michel de Montaigne.")

There are other reasons why I do not blog more honestly. While I admire those who are 'out there' in all truth with their identities, I am a bit of a worry wart. I fear that being able to learn much about my grand-children from reading this blog could give a lurking pedophile an edge up on contacting them and becoming friends. Carefully reading several years of posts can give a good detective many clues about an identity. Sure, the odds are stupendous that this would happen. (Really, Tabor, how many people do you think actually read your blog?)

Also, I worry that telling others when I am on travel is like putting a sign up for lurkers who can find my house and take advantage of it. It is just like the community/church newsletter where people put in comments about their trips AFTER they return.

I guess the thought is always in the back of my mind that whatever you blog can end up on the front pages of the major newspaper. People have lost jobs, gotten divorced and even committed suicide due to something published on their or another's blog. This process is not as private as we tend to think, and unfortunately, people are not as nice as we like to think.

When ML came to visit last winter on her book promotion tour, I had to reveal my honest name and email so that she could stay with us. But that was no problem as I am not hiding my identity from my readers, just those millions of lurkers out there. (Yes, I repeat, probably very few lurk at my blog...but it only takes one crazy person.)

Therefore, I will continue to remain a mysterious woman of culture and education and sensitivity!

Now that I think of it, this post might be a story-line for the Butler and Bagman Chronicles. Although he would make it funny and sexy while I seem to be making it sad and scary.

(I wonder if I am getting seasick right now....?)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Through a Photographer's Eyes

There are many breathtaking visits that happen with blogging. Experiences and thoughts and ideas and photos that would or could not exist without such an easily accessible format. Just a few years ago, all this would have been impossible. The world indeed has become a much smaller place and I think that is good for us. I think it helps us see we are part of something much bigger, and even thus, we are much more powerful than we think.

I am fascinated by the art and science of photography and photographers have tremendous responsibility when they capture a photo to tell a story. Here is a terrific example.

Kinglake: One Month After Black Saturday

Sunday, March 08, 2009

A Dear Old Coot

I think one of the biggest surprises I have discovered in blogging is how one can grow to love and admire another blogger. Some become like a brother or sister. When I first started blogging I went to Gene's blog and after reading his funny and somewhat shocking post (as were all of his posts) I started to leave my first comment. When I found that I was going to be number 36 or 38 or whatever, I almost didn't post anything. I figured he was so popular...who would read down that far?

I am glad I posted anyway, because he told me he was glad I had commented and that I should never feel bad about being the last to post. Throughout the years there was a little contest among his readers about who would be the first to comment on a post. I continued to read his blog after that. He was sometimes a little shocking for me, but always with a great sense of humor. He was like that relative you love who always has to tell a dirty joke at Thanksgiving dinner just to see the reaction. Yet, he would return and comment on my blog at various times with a joke or encouragement.

I reviewed his blog on my blog roll comments posts when I used to do that before my blogs-I-follow list got so long.

He passed away yesterday and I will miss him as if he was my good friend. Oddly, I had just visited his blog yesterday in hopes that he would be back in good blog form. I stole the photo from "Vicki" who was a much closer friend than I, but I do not think she will mind.

Rest in peace you dear old coot.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Re-arranging the Furniture

The danger of changing ones blog is like the danger of changing the furniture placement in your house. If your family has been away for a while they can stub their toes as they come inside and then may look around and wonder if they entered the wrong house. Blogs styles become familiar and comfortable to readers but I was getting bored with the Tuscan architecture. Let's see if I can stay happy with this.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Blog Roll #4

Since commenters have been so generous to visit this blog I must add some new names to my blog roll. (This is Blog Roll #4 and will go to the list that resides at the bottom in the right hand column--once again thanks to Old Hoss who started this honor listing idea.)

Four new bloggers to read. I have more to add, but can only manage a little at a time.

First there is Grammie—Awaiting Buddha. The name for this blog came while she was waiting for that first grandchild. She is a potter (something I always thought I would take up....someday!) She started her blog for the same reasons the I did...that many of us chart our life experiences as we enter this last stage in our lives.

Brenda---Plus Brenda is one of those fascinating citizens of the Commonwealth having lived many parts of the world and now in Australia. She acts in and writes melodramas. I never knew anyone who did that. How she found me I do not know, but I am most flattered! Of course grandchildren and the shortness of some of her entries encourages me to visit more often.

Bad Aunt---Present Simple A New Zealander teaching in Japan...always rewarding reading such life adventures on a blog. She has been blogging a long time, since 2004. I have not had a chance to read many of these older entries. Since she teaches English to Asians, she probably has something in common with my recent house guest Mary Lee.

Whoops, forgot to add Darlene at her "Hodgepodge" in Arizona. She is 83 and one of those bloggers who reassures me that life does go on and it is rich and full. She is smart and sassy and reading her blog makes me feel good and even sometimes brings a tear to my eyes. Please stop by and say hello.

Welcome dear bloggers to my little blogroll!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Meeting the Spirit of Blogging

The ghost of Mary Lee

Many bloggers, especially those who have been posting for a number of years, have had an opportunity to meet and greet an actual person that has a blog that they have been reading. While I was fascinated by this social activity, as I would read about the event in the many other blogs, I often felt that it must be something like a blind date... exciting in the beginning but usually somewhat disappointing at the end. We all have images and expectations of these bloggers that we think we know from regular reading of their blog, but to put these expectations to the test I felt would only result in somewhat of a failure. What we see through the blog can be revealing, but we are complicated individuals and I think we only see a ghost of that person since we are not able to read any body language or hear a tone of voice in the sometimes superficial ongoing digital conversations that we have.

I had an opportunity to meet a 'blogmate' recently and was filled with a little dread in the beginning...would they like they really know m I know them?! I mean this wasn't just a lunch date, I actually invited her to spend the night. I live in an out-of-the-way place and when someone visits it means they have an hour and half drive to the activity that brought them to this area in the first place if they decide stop by my house as part of their travels.

I wrote Tammy about this potential meet-up
to voice my concerns because she meets bloggers fairly often, many of them involved in her mission in life. She encouraged me to go for it and insisted that I would not be unhappy with the meet-up at all. While I realized I should take her advice I also took it with a grain of salt knowing that Tammy is a really nice person and I cannot imagine her meeting anyone that she would not be able to adapt to or like.

So when Mary Lee Fowler emailed me that she was coming to give several book talks in my area and wanted to see if we could meet and also asking how close I was to several nearby cities and towns where she would be, I offered to drive up for a coffee or lunch. Then I threw caution to the wind and also asked if
she would like to come down my way. I explained that it was a lengthy trip and she should plan on spending the night if that could be worked into her schedule. She accepted! Of course, the closer we got to the day, I became a 'little' nervous wondering about her expectations and mine. Some of the few readers of my blog may be wondering about my maturity right now...but I am a little anal and want things to go fairly well or not at all. (ML is probably smiling at this revelation as she reads this.)

Well, of course, the meet-up went very well. We were in sync on politics and religion and didn't have any tension in talking about the things for
which we feel great passion. We also both love the out-of-doors and worked in a long morning wooded walk to a small beach, which is a great activity for someone who has been sitting in a car for over 10 hours. She had to leave by early afternoon which gave us just enough time to not get tired of each other. I cannot help but think how brave she is to drive alone almost 600 miles to meet a stranger and spend the night in their house! I don't know that I would have that fearlessness. I certainly hope she sold a lot of books.


Next post I will write about her book which I read.