Well, that may be the longest stretch of NOT posting on my blog since I started it way back when…well, I don’t actually remember when my first post happened.
But I have not posted for a whole month. And even then, and during the weeks before that, it was mostly the easiest post possible. (Thanks to whoever first coined the term WordlessWednesday!)
I do think about it all the time though. In my mind, I create what I think are clever photography slide shows, or I write interesting or inspiring essays. But real life, the one outside my internal process, has been loudly in charge for a while. (Oh, the pitiful list of excuses I could insert here…sigh…and the thing is, my life-interruptions are similar to every person’s on the planet this last 16 months so no special sympathy for me…)
I’ve barely had the time or energy to read my favorite bloggers either.
Self-centeredly, I do continue to check my notifications occasionally and am always pleasantly surprised to see a new follower. And a “like” on some older post can make my day!
I always intended to welcome each new follower (I still hate that word “follower”. I’m not leading anyone anywhere! OK, each new “reader”) And I even saved each new name, but somehow those numbers climbed to 628 behind my back!!!
Realistically, I know that number does not mean that there are actually 628 people out there is the world who, with great anticipation, look forward to checking each day to see what I posted….only to be disappointed. Most likely the number is closer to 3 or 4 who look occasionally, just to see if I still happen to be alive.
In hasty conclusion, because one of those life-interruptions is happening as I type, I long to be back at this more regularly.
OK, so I’m selfish. I decided to make this post be about ME.
I’ve been curious lately about my WordPress “statistics”. In my perusal of old posts, I came across a Draft titled: 7 months, post 149, 92 followers June 13, 2016. I never finished it, I’m sure because I thought it was way too egotistical.
I have tried all these years to be fairly unconditional with myself about all things quantitative with my Blog, so I was surprised recently to see that my number of “followers” (a word I continue to feel so pressured and embarrassed by…) had ballooned to 499!
And even more shocked that I started really wanting just that ONE MORE Follower!
Come on! 500 is such a great number!!
So I’m claiming that desire and offering up a reminder of a few of the posts I feel the best about. Maybe someone will see one they missed, read it and share it? Maybe someone who is a new visitor here will become a “Follower”. (Oh my gosh, can’t we just say “reader”. Followers need a Leader and I am so much more LOST myself than most!)
I hope you will find something from this list that you enjoy, or even better, learn from.
And to the 499 of you, who clicked some box that now labels you in my blogging world as a follower, Thank You so very much for your continued visits, and for the pressure your numbers put on me to be better and better at this whole Blogging thing.
With love and gratitude,
This was my reader’s favorite. I was actually quite surprised by this, and very touched. I love this sculpture, by a dear artist/friend, Virginia. She made it for herself after being one of “Peggy’s” volunteer caretakers in hospice (for way longer than any of the medical staff expected.) Peggy just kept rallying, saying she was not ready because she was working on accepting her second wing. Virginia, the artist, hadn’t planned on selling the piece. but my sweet James knew how much this piece moved me and, for my birthday, surprised me with it.
I have been glued to a camera since my little Brownie, received as a birthday gift in the 4th grade, but I have never enjoyed it as much as I do these days. The convenience and quality of photos available with my phone has been a real pleasure. I definitely have a few favorites, but truly take no credit for them. My favorite category is Accidental Photographs, those long-shot ones you think will never turn out good, show something you weren’t expecting or even that happen with the equivalent of a Butt Dial…
Here’s one of many. I do crack myself up. I think I’m funnier than anyone else thinks I am.
I never really look at the tiny number over on the left side of my blog page but this morning, I did.
I was so shocked. I had no idea that 399 people followed me.
I have to confess that my very serious intention has always been to be that blogger who gratefully welcomes every single new person with a note. I mean, how cool is it to have someone take the time to look at your blog, and maybe even read it? (I can definitely be wordy sometimes!) I wanted to thank every person.
I really did have the best intentions.
My adopted Dad used to tell me “If you think time goes by quickly in your 50’s and 60’s, just wait until you get to 90. You will finally understand the concept of “Warp Speed”!
Time just gets away from me sometimes.
Healing from a badly sprained ankle/foot, I finally had a minute to send out all my individualized Welcome comments and I glanced at that number…399…wait, it just changed to 398, and then shifted to 400…
FOUR HUNDRED WELCOME NOTES!!!
Needless to say, I am hoping today’s post will serve as an expression of my delight that you are reading this!
And as my Thank You (even though it was dramatically better in person than I could capture with my phone) here is last night’s breath-taking sunset, just for you.
I truly appreciate each of you. Please accept this post as my sincere Thank You!
Please keep reading, and let me know you are there by commenting! Any kind you want!
Disclaimer: I started this when the challenge was first issued but then lost complete control of my computer. She goes off on these non-working vacations from time to time, and she just returned this morning. Please, someone feel free to tell me if this is inappropriate or if it even works. This will be my first post for lens-artists.
Well, I’m not sure exactly how to do this but seeing a photo challenge about Blue is just what I needed to get off my stalled out blog-butt. I have been lazy since the demise of the WPC weekly challenge.
I confess, in advance, to being slightly obsessed with blue.
And though I am primarily an accidental photographer, I welcome any comments on my photos, or their stories as well.
Now, a photo (or two, or three, or…) of Blue.
I am a Blue Angels Fan and they were just here, flying over my house for 4 days.
I have collected Cobalt glass since I was a small child.
And one of my favorite things to photograph is contrails.
Maybe one of each?
(Here is what I wrote about the Blue Angels experience this year. Visit if you like…)
I even participated in a year-long, color-themed “Altered Book” project and my book was titled Defending Blue. This whole Blue challenge has inspired me to write that story up separately, but here’s a teaser…
Thanks so much for this challenge. Comments and feedback really appreciated!!
OK, hit another writing snag and am using this great challenge to loosen up the writing muscles. Thank you Cee.
The questions (and my answers) this week on Cee’s “Share Your World” challenge are as follows.
Was school easy or difficult for you? How so?
Really difficult, for so many reasons…mostly an undiagnosed learning disability, I suppose, but a lot of mixed messages. In the 4th grade, I wrote the story of my pet duck (Fluffy). My teacher told me I was failing the 4th grade (how can that even happen?) and that my writing was stupid. (She should have failed the 4th grade.) But the principal, who read my story, gave me a “Writing Award” and posted my story in the class case outside his office for the rest of the year.
See question number One. Of course, I love ducks. It has grown to all birds now. But I really can’t think of an animal I don’t like. Maybe not all of them up close and personal, but I love learning about animals. Do you know much about Lemurs in Madagascar? Fascinating!
What is your favorite large city you have been to? What is the one thing you remember most?
Well, I’m torn between San Diego and Seattle, both cities I have lived in. I guess what strikes me the most is the similarity between the surrounding areas of each. Though there is a major discrepancy in weather, as well as flora and fauna, the topography is so much alike. Desert nearby, as well Visible mountains. And water. It’s everywhere in both cities. Bays, inlets, streams and rivers, islands that require boats or ferries to access, and yacht harbors!! So many yacht harbors.
I can’t actually remember if the seabird above is from San Diego or Seattle…
What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.
Sreejit Poole’s Dungeon Prompt. The topic is so fascinating and his description, very compelling. He calls it Rage against the Machine. I sat down immediately to write out my response. I’m not done yet (see above comment re:hitting writing snag) but have enjoyed being so immersed in the way I am answering his challenge. Very inspirational, and a great balancing exercise, for me, about Dark vs Light. How to write about the dark without going dark myself….
I’m responding to a Challenge from a blogger I admire. Another great way to get the writing juices flowing. She posts 4 questions that we are to answer, with or without photos. Here are this week’s questions (with my answers). If you already know me, you will be able to guess which of the questions got me thinking the most!
(I’m experimenting with changing text color so hopefully my answers will be in BLUE!)
What do you consider is the most perfect food for you? (It can be your favorite food to something extremely healthy.) The POTATO! I can’t think of a single way a potato can be prepared that I don’t absolutely LOVE. Maybe because my mother was born in IDAHO and most of my ancestors are IRISH! I’ve loved potatoes since I was a kid when my Dad would fry up a bacon-onion-egg-cheese-potato mix. He’d hand us a salted, raw slice for crunching on while we waited for our favorite breakfast!
Are you focused on today or tomorrow? Lately, neither. I am apparently focused on yesterday for a while. Reminiscing, revisiting, reclaiming, reuniting, remembering…all things I’ve spent this year doing, and enjoying every minute of it!
I’m slowly writing up stories from the Epic Roots Road Trip we took this summer.
If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?
I would ask John RayYoung:
“What beliefs did you get from your father Joseph Young, that you passed on to your son, my great great grandfather, Brigham?”
“What did you teach him about religion?”
“What did you model for him about the treatment of women?”
What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.
I was inspired this week by my friendship with Karuna.
If you have not seen her blog, she shares an amazing spiritual journey and is becoming quite adept at photography!
Our history is so long, with its ebbs and flows, and yes, bumps. I love knowing someone for a really long time. Karuna is the reason I started blogging and I am so grateful. I have thoroughly enjoyed the process, even when writing about difficult subjects.
I went on a vacation. I called it our Epic Roots and Reunion Road Trip. I thought I would write something clever and entertaining each day like I read from others, but it turned out to be impossible to write. Every day was filled with unexpected adventures and absolute necessities, the latter defined completely objectively!
Now I am home and though I am still savoring many highlights from the 34 days we had on the road, I have no clue where to begin writing about it.
So instead of saving the best for last, I’ll start with the last important event we had, which also happens to be one of the very best!
I got to meet one of my very favorite Bloggers!!
It all started when her photography caught me eye. Each week, she’d post for the weekly WordPress Photo Challenge. I loved her photos, truly a talent, but even more, I loved her words and philosophy. So I started commenting on her site, then following her.
If you have ever had it happen, you know what a special treat it can be when you come across someone who articulates exactly what you think and feel, but a lot better! It makes for a great friendship!
I asked her once if she’d be willing to engage in an actual conversation with me about a particularly laden topic and I don’t know if she batted an eye, but her resounding yes was instant.
I think that exact exchange started a real friendship. We decided to do it in a phone call but then of course, life happened and we have yet to have that talk. But the connection has built anyway. And we will get to that talk someday.
While planning, I noticed on the map for the Epic Road Trip, we were passing right through her town on our way home so guess what? James and I spent a lovely afternoon with her. She is so sweet and kind and generous. She was completely prepared to make up the guest room for us, even though she had just spent 10 days or so caring for her grandchildren whose parents were busy in Houston in the Harvey aftermath.
Unfortunately for us (but maybe lucky for her) we were on a dead run from Mississippi back to Washington State so we all settled for a short but memorable visit.
I had brought her a piece of art she had seen in a picture on my blog and she gave me one of her photos, enlarged and stunning!
I had the delightful experience during the holidays recently of feeling like I had become good enough friends with several fellow bloggers to send them trinkets for Christmas (or whatever)!
But I feel incomplete. I still have THREE more to send.
One blogger is deciding whether or not I am a stalker. Here is her gift.
Another person knows for sure I am stalking him but doesn’t seem to mind that much. Unfortunately, he is too far away to mail something to. I’ll just hold onto his gift until he visits us stateside. Or maybe I’ll just wear these in his honor!
And lastly, my most amazing new connection is in the middle of a huge move (after a life time of moving, maybe one of her LAST!) and I am hoping to hand deliver her tiny gift later this year when we will be vacationing practically next door to where she has moved!
I know this is an obscure post with seemingly secret references but think of it as a mystery! I bet if you ever read my comments, you can guess who these three new friends are.
As for the three who already received their tiny gifts (Blair, Marilyn and Lisa) thank you again for trusting me with your land addresses. I love these newly forming friendships.
My friend Karuna was right. The Blogging Community is truly special! I’m loving it!!
PS If you recognize your gift, let me know in a comment!
52 chapters/stories for my book…that’s how many I have written but the rape chapter is the hardest.
I started out being kind of namby-pamby about it. That’s the feedback I got from my mentor/auntie, an author I deeply respect. She said “Kathie, you have to remove the sugar coating and tell us what actually happened.”
It took many years, but I finally did what she asked, leaving out no disturbing detail. To that version, she responded with “Well, maybe not THAT detailed!”
So I am trying a completely different approach this time.
I am house-sitting for dear friends as I write this. I am in a situation I rarely put myself in…alone for days (and worse, nights) in an unfamiliar house, in a very remote setting. I did all the things that for me are normal when I am in any new place… checked out all conceivable exits…found the quickest routes away from the house, noticing fast exit dangers, like locked gates, stuff to trip over, etc.….discovered any weaknesses in normal security (windows, door locks) and tested how they all sound. And I found the best hiding places inside the house in case escape is not an option.
It’s a pain in the butt to be me.
The point of telling you this is that even though I have done a shitload of therapy and healing work on having been raped, one result remains the same. I live my life differently than most people.
Here’s the opening I wrote when my mentor requested a more “detailed version”, but I edited it in this draft to honor her feedback to not be THAT detailed….
If I do ever get this chapter on paper the way I want it, I will keep my original title.
What I want to know is would you want to read a story that starts like this???
Being Raped has to be the title of this chapter. The odd tense of the word “being” implies a current circumstance that captures the experience, as if describing a state of being rather than an action.
That’s why it’s perfect.
In an instant, an event like this can become the definition of WHO you are. There is a part of the act, the trauma, the experience that continues in your body, your psyche, your mind, and your heart…as if it is in fact, still happening right now, always in the present tense.
If you have been raped, the incident just goes on and on and on, granted less loudly with time. But for you, intrusion, in any form will shock your body right back awake, no matter how far into the back of your Secret’s Closet you’ve shoved that rape, hoping to keep it fast asleep.
This will be true for the rest of your life…no matter how much therapeutic work you do. No matter how deeply you are able to heal.
You will never not know the terror of being awakened with a knife at your throat.
You will never not remember the feeling of being held down in your own bed by two men.
And you will never forget the popping sound of a gun being fired, RIGHT BY YOUR HEAD, in the middle of this surprisingly quiet chaos… rousing the thought that though you may survive this knife, you still might end up getting shot!