A Blogcation

James Taylor at Christmas

Wikipedia

Just a little heads up:

I am taking a week off from blogging to concentrate on a number of things that need my attention–so while I will be responding to commenters today–I will not be seen or heard from much until December 1st. Enjoy this last week of November and see you back here next Saturday.

Note: Make a note in your calendar to come to my virtual Christmas Party on Saturday, December 15th.

Here is my Formal Invitation:

Virtual Christmas Party

Date: December 15th

Where: Virtually Here

Why: It Is Christmas!

Theme: Come as your favourite author or character in a book.

Co-host: Robin Coyle (she does not know this yet)

Bring: Your favourite appetizer from the 1970’s

Music Provided by: James Taylor and Rodents & Rebels

Special Entertainment: Margaret Atwood. She promises to be festive.

Requirement: Description of your author or character’s outfit, appetizer, and favourite song request from either James or R & R.

I will provide an update closer to the 15th. Idea stolen from Robin Coyle who threw a virtual Cocktail Party that was a raving success. You can wear your shoes in the house if they are clean. Reindeer socks will be provided at the door for those who need them.

See you in a little less than a week!

English: Author Margaret Atwood attends a read...

English: Author Margaret Atwood attends a reading  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

~ Inspiration ~

Mark Twain

Mark Twain (Photo credit: iansand)

Inspiration from the blog world is easy to come by. Here are two I happened upon in the last few days:

Robert of 101 Books:

“Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very”; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” –Mark Twain

I am guilty, guilty, guilty of overusing very. I find it a very good word, which I like to use verily. I believe I will take Mr. Twain’s advice, if not literally, at least in my editing process.

Nancy at Life Takes Over said this in response to a comment I made on her blog.:

I read a poster this morning that said: “No one can go back and change a bad beginning; but anyone can start now and create a successful ending.”

I love that we all have the chance to make our endings our own~and we are not held captive by bad beginnings.

Do you have a word that you overuse; or do you believe that “All’s well that ends well”?

Name That Shakespeare Play!

Name That Shakespeare Play! (Photo credit: Tracy Lee)

Published in: on November 12, 2012 at 12:51 am  Comments (50)  
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~ ? ~ Or Commenting: A Dangerous Sport

Confused Winter Hummingbird

Confused Winter Hummingbird (Photo credit: Ed Gaillard)

Do you ever get comments that you don’t quite get? Or that you think may be humourous, but then again, may not be? And how about those ever so helpful comments you get that tell you that you are wrong about something (because they did not get your attempt at humour). And they always say: “I know you will not take this the wrong way,…..” (but I do). Then once in a while you get these people who take the moral high road and give you a tiny slap in the blog. It does not happen often. I have received (just a minute I am going to check here) 5,523 comments and less than ten were, shall we say questionable or insulting.

 But a few more were confusing—but I confuse easily.

 Because I love to read comments, I will sometimes answer with a ? and then the commenter will elucidate their thoughts (which it turns out was really quite clear in the first place—I am just a doorknob). Sometimes I will serve up a noncommittal answer to their comment with a clever emoticon, or thank them for stopping by when I am not sure what was meant.

When I first joined the blog world I made some mistakes in commenting. Once I was flippant, then tried to cover it up by making an apologetic re-comment. Once I corrected someone who needed no correction and found out that everyone loved her and that if I were to keep my place in the blog world, I better never hint at saying anything untoward to her again (sorry again Brigitte, though the angel that you are, you took no offence).  And once I did correct a spelling mistake in someone’s blog—because the rest of it was so perfect, I could not help myself. They thanked me, but I will bet they did not really want to.

So I have given. And I have received. But I have learned. And I am shocked that I have made so many friends—seriously who knew? I guess people who have a Facebook account know that you can have cyber friends, but I do not have a FB page. I have a Twitter account, but for the life of me, do not yet understand it. So my blog is my foray into having friends at the other end of a keyboard—and I must say I like it (I really like it – this is me channelling Sally Fields in a rather warped way).

So, if any of my comments ever offend you—I am sorry. If any confuse you, just ask me to explain, because I am sure it is my confusion not yours that is to be blamed.

 Adieu, and keep on commenting. (Yes, I mean you brother John. Sister Peggy comments on everything! lol)

~ ALL IS WELL ~

Hay

(Photo credit: maraker)

Bloggers make good muses! I am getting so inspired by other bloggers and what they provide on their blogs that it is hard not to use them as my muses.

Today on Misifusa’s Blog, (presenceofpresence) she offered her readers a short video featuring Louise Hay, the great inspirational and motivational author and speaker. This lovely lady is 86 and carries with her all kinds of wisdom—but today her words particularly hit home. She was being interviewed and gave some advice on how to deal with problems when they raise their ugly heads.

Deutsch: Louise Hay in London , April 2008, Sc...

Louise Hay in London , April 2008, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ms. Hay says that when she is confronted by a problem, first she says “All is well” then follows it up with: “Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation only good will come, and I am safe.”

She says that uttering these words “quiets your inner turmoil down enough to give the universe time to give us a solution.” Now, you can define universe however you want. For me it is a combination of getting my wherewithal together, combined with a little faith and hope.

The last question she was asked in the interview was:  “Where do you go from here?”

She said: “I don’t know. Life will bring it to me.”

And that is how it goes—life provides us with the next step—all we have to do is believe that “All is well.”

~My Wish List for this Week ~ October 15 to October 20~

Homefront-USB-Stick (4GB)

Homefront-USB-Stick (4GB) (Photo credit: THQ Deutschland)

It is Sunday night, and we are on the cusp of another work week. Thought I might list some of the  things I need to get done this week and check it out at the end of the week and see if I made any progress.

There are a number of bloggers who make a list of things they need to get done or just want to get done during the week, post it, and then  survey their successes at the end of the week and gauge how they have done. It seems to work for them, and since I have not posted an Organizing Post for a long time, this should serve to catch me up. Without further ado, here is my To Do List for October 15th – 20th:

1. First things first: I must write my On The Homefront column for the week for my newspaper deadline, which is Monday, and as of 6:45 on Sunday night, have no idea what the topic will be.

2. Write up council news taken from last week’s council meeting—discounting all the drainage and sewage discussions this leaves me with a few hot topics: the parade that stood in danger of being cancelled; expansion of more greenhouses; and a development that got a reprieve and approval even though they “forgot” to meet their deadline. I am sure  a few more things will pop up when I peruse the agenda again.

3. Write up the article for the Wine, Writers and Words Workshop I helped organize for deadline so it makes it in this week’s paper.

4. Continue doing book work for our company. This involves a lot of filing, figuring, and finagling.  I found out this week that being half-organized  is almost worse than being totally unorganized. I just assume that nothing is in its place, and everything is unfiled and not where it should be–so  that when I find I have actually put some things where they belong I am surprised, so my next goal is —

5. Get everything into files—I have started a system, so now I just have to keep at it. I just have to retrace my half-organized steps so I do not have three files with the same name (you may not think this is possible, but in my world it is.)

6. Get some groceries and plan meals. Sounds easy but it is not. Or not for me. Will let you know how I do here. At least I have cleaned the fridge of any wanton leftovers from Thanksgiving.

7. Get the house in some semblance of order which means  get the pile of clothes off the bed and into the closet or drawers. Seriously, I cannot die suddenly, as my bedroom is in such a terrible mess I would be blushing in the next life over what I left behind.

8. Email my youngest son, Tyler who is at college and my sister Peggy every day. Expect to hear back from Peggy. Be surprised if Ty ever emails back. (I am one of his free calls on his phone, so we do talk often).

9. Do some kind of  post for this blog every day; keep up with my blogging friends.

10. Prepare a presentation for my Writers’ Group about blogging. (Something many of you have already generously contributed to.)

11. Work on my October book and an intro to my On The Homefront book—thinking of calling it “The Worst of On The Homefront.”

Okay, think I am getting carried away a bit here, but it will be interesting to see what I can cross off, what I can take a bite out of, and what goes by the wayside. Actually, on review, I am exhausted—whose idea was this anyway? This week may prove to be a long road with no turning,….

English: Fishes and Peggy Hill Farm One of tho...

A long road  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Published in: on October 15, 2012 at 12:33 am  Comments (50)  
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~ I Get By With a Little Help from my Friends ~

“Oh I get by with a little help from my friends,
Mmm, I get high with a little help from my friends,
Mmm, I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends.

Do you need anybody?” ~ The Beatles

Blogging Heroes

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

YES, I need you! I have totally embraced blogging—I love writing almost daily, I love the feedback, I love the friends I have made, and I love the whole blogging community. So, today I am going to ask you, my wonderful friends to help me out a bit. My Writing Group has asked me to do a little presentation about Blogging and I have a few ideas to share about my experience, but I was wondering if you would like to throw your two cents in.

I will be talking to a group that wants to be introduced to blogging. As far as I know, none of them are bloggers yet, though a couple of them have set up accounts. What advice would you give them, and how would you encourage them to get them started in the world of blogging. What do you like best about blogging, and what is something that you do not like or did not expect.

I have been blogging for a little over a year, but did not really embrace the whole experience until about May of this year.  From the outside looking in, I would never have realized the satisfaction that can be derived from having a blog, nor did I expect to make some pretty wonderful friends. The blog world is full of all kinds of people, and those I have run into have been with very few exceptions, truly kind and generous.

So what would you tell a group of writers who were interested in blogging?

(And if you are not a blogger, but a commenter, what do you get out of reading the posts of those who blog?)

 

Published in: on October 13, 2012 at 8:09 pm  Comments (69)  
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The Letter ~F~ Or If Hamlet Were Writing This: “To comment or not to comment~that is the question”

The third quarto of Hamlet (1605). A straight ...

The third quarto of Hamlet (1605). A straight reprint of the 2nd quarto (1604) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Failure to communicate appropriately is the topic of this little post today. I have found myself guilty of perpetrating this crime, and am looking for an antidote.

My question: Are you careful when you comment on other blogs?

I try to be careful, but every once in a while when I am in a bad mood—I get carried away and reveal more than I generally would, or heaven forbid—criticize someone. Then I feel bad. Really bad—because you cannot take your words back—they are out there.

I try to judge any comments I leave behind on someone’s blog or response to a comment on my blog using one criterion: if I received that comment how would I feel? But sometimes I fail to meet my own criteria, and leave a comment that could perhaps be misunderstood or that I would not want to receive.

I am really not the proverbial good sport—I try to be, but I am not. I am generally a pretty gentle soul, or at least that is how I present myself. But we all have our breaking points. Today I left a comment on someone’s blog whom I trust, and the criticism that I voiced was not toward her at all—my comment to her was complimentary, but then I complained about a comment I received recently that irked me.

I wrote an Addendum comment to her telling her that I think I do not take criticism well in the blog world because, on the whole, I receive such overwhelmingly warm and lovely responses, that something that even hints of criticism (and it really was only a gentle hint) gets my nose out of joint. I have since decided to “mature up” and not take myself so seriously. But I find that I am at my most vulnerable (and height of grumpiness) when other things are bothering me.

It is a bit of a conundrum—the antidote being: do not leave comments or responses when you are in  less than a jolly place. So when my universe is spinning a bit out of control, I am going to  put my tap happy fingers to another task for the moment, hold my tongue, and find my happy place before unleashing my reaction to the world.

Published in: on September 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm  Comments (64)  
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Comforts ~ Day 5 or Now We Are Getting Maudlin

English: A Dentist and her Dental assistant

English: A Dentist and her Dental assistant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This gratefulness stuff seems to be working on some level. I was in a bit of a funk when I started this, and though this is only Day 5, things seem to be looking up. It has been subtle, but as you will see from my three things today, things are starting to go my way. Silly, simple things—but aren’t those the things that throw us off, and make our lives miserable? So without further ado:

1. My youngest son is going back to school next week and before he goes he must get a dental appointment. His dentist only practices in our town on Wednesdays and Fridays. So, today I called to try and get an appointment for next Wednesday. The dentist and her staff are on vacation all next week—but get this—they are triple booking on Friday so they can take care of their patients! They worked Tyler in at noon because he usually goes in to work at 3. But when I told him he said, “But Mom, I told you they changed our hours to 1-9 instead of 3-11 on Friday.” So I called back, and they again changed his appointment to 10:00 so he could get to work at 1:00. They mentioned that we may have to be patient!

2. The hits on my blog are still out of this world. It seems you all got into the groove and it carried over to Thursday and I received the second most hits in my year of blogging. For this I am grateful—and feel like such a part of the blogging community.

3. Again this is about my youngest son. He called while at work today to say he told his supervisor he is going to quit his summer job a few days early, so we get to spend some time with him before he goes back. Though I am not looking forward to his departure—those few days off will give us a chance to catch up on our favourite TV show, “Community” (he has it on DVD) before the new season starts, pack  leisurely, and get in a little “do nothing” time.

So these are the simple things that rock my world. Though not earth-shattering, they are happy making.

Published in: on August 17, 2012 at 12:42 am  Comments (44)  
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~A Plea~

 

English: Monkeys Blogging Español: Simios blog...

English: Monkeys Blogging Español: Simios bloggeando (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not too proud to beg. I reached my one year goal of 300 followers by my anniversary date–but want to get 10,000 hits–I only need 188 (as it stands now)  to reach that goal. Sooo…………I am sending out this friendly invitation to you and all your friends to stop by today and give me a few likes and a few comments, so I can reach that goal. I started this blog a year ago, but did not really get in the blogging mode until about April of this year. And oh, by the way, if you want to add to my follower list, that would be wonderful too–just because I hit my goal, that does not mean I don’t want to exceed it.

I am now a self-confessed stats watcher, which is both a good and bad thing. I think I have the most wonderful readers in the world–you are all so supportive of other bloggers, and I have made some  bbffs  (best blogging friends forever) and lots and lots of acquaintances who are fast becoming friends too.

I do not mind if you feel sorry for me and want to give me some pity “likes” and comments — I will take whatever you have to give.

Also, if anyone understands Spanish–will you tell me what that monkey in my picture is saying — if it is off colour I will replace it! (LOL) In Canada, French is our other official language, and we are not exposed to that much Spanish on a national level.

I also put the shoe company name Nike as a tag to see if I can generate any traffic that way. I am just shameless!

 

Published in: on August 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm  Comments (88)  
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Awards Galore! O Happy Day ~ Or If This Doesn’t Spur Me On~I Don’t Know What Will!

award_beautiful-blogger-award_2010

award_beautiful-blogger-award_2010 (Photo credit: Chingster23)

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award (Photo credit: nhighberg)

liebster-award

liebster-award (Photo credit: SurvivalWoman)

I have come to the conclusion that I am versatile, beautiful, illuminating, lovely, addictive, inspiring, sunny and appreciated. How did I come to this conclusion?

Fellow bloggers in their generosity have honoured me with The Versatile Blogger Award, the Beautiful Blogger Award, the Illuminating Blogger Award, The Liebster Award (before I had over 200 followers), The Addictive Blog Award, One Lovely Blog Award, the Very Inspiring Blog Award, the Reader Appreciate Blog Award and the Commenter Blog Award!

My head has swollen to such an extent that I can no longer get through the doorways of my house, and have had to hire carpenters to take out the front double window of my abode so I can get outside for some fresh air! Seriously, who would have thought? What a wonderful blogging community I have become a part of—and how generous, sweet, and kind all those who bestowed these awards are.

I have felt extremely guilty for not publicly acknowledging these awards—I have tried to privately express how honoured I was to receive each award and hope I have not missed anyone. Due to a number of factors, I will not be posting any of the awards on my blog because I am too stupid it is just a decision I have come to, somewhat reluctantly. (The awards pictured here are from the WordPress Gallery–it was easy to pop them in–I am all about easy when it comes to pictures and images.)

All I can say is a heartfelt—thank you, thank you, thank you for being accepted and encompassed into this lovely, beautiful, illuminating, versatile (you get my drift) community.

So without further ado—I present you with my individual thanks:

Versatile Blogger Award: thank you to

palomasharma.wordpress.com

gobakeyourself.wordpress.com (also gave me the Addictive Blogger Award)

theviewoutside.wordpress.com (Vikki)

thejoylevel.com

Beautiful Blogger Award: thank you to

boblobslaw.wordpress.com

sharechair.wordpress.com

Illuminating Blogger Award: thank you to:

emptynestfullstomachs.wordpress.com (sandy and denise)

brigittesbanter.com (Brigitte obviously)

hometogo232.wordpress.com

One Lovely Blogger Award: thank you to:

thecoffeeclubandme.wordpress.com

easyondeyes.wordpress.com

nutsfortreasure.wordpress.com

themidwesternmaven.wordpress.com

ltclifeonhigh.wordpress.com  (Lillian said I could have this or the Sunshine Award– I am greedy so I will take both)

thehandwrittenlife.wordpress.com

The Liebster Award: thanks to:

janereads.wordpress.com

Commenter’s  Award: thanks to:

thoughtsfromanamericanwoman.wordpress.com

Readers’ Appreciation Award:  thanks to:

hometogo232.wordpress.com

Very Inspiring Blogger: thanks to:

holinscott.com

zenscribbles.wordpress.com

I tried to keep good track of all these wonderful awards. If I made a mistake with your name or blog address, I am sincerely sorry—this is hard work putting all this together, and blog savvy I am not yet—though I hope to become more so in the future.

I am coming up to my one year anniversary, and I have to say I am overwhelmed by the response I have received. Thank you everyone! (I am dancing a little victory dance here—but it is good you cannot see it—I am rather awkward.)

I will no longer be accepting awards—as thrilled as I am to receive them.  So thank you all – you have given me a great boost to continue blogging and hopefully continue to deserve to be part of your world. I cannot stress enough how happy these make me—but my organizational abilities are such that I cannot be held responsible for saying the proper thanks.

P.S. If I have forgotten anyone or made any glaring errors, I would be happy to include you or correct the error!