Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

478 Words About Why I Can’t Write

October 11, 2012

Several weeks ago, I read Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, a memoir by Anna Quindlen, a well-known journalist, columnist, and novelist.  As I always do with a library book (since I don’t have to decide whether or not to buy it), I waited until I’d finished it to read the reviews on Amazon.  I like reading reviews after I’ve read a book.  Sometimes, it’s a little like being a fly on the wall at a book club, and reading other’s thoughts on a book often gives me insight or clarity that I’d earlier lacked.  Besides, if I read them before, it can color my own opinion.

I liked the book quite a lot and was amazed—since our lives are so radically different—at how many of her reflections and observations I could relate to.  She’s famous.  She’s wealthy (with a “summer” house).  She’s well-educated.  She’s had a pretty easy life.  I’m not.  I’m not.  I’m not.  And I haven’t.   Nevertheless, I found myself smiling and nodding in recognition a lot as I read.

So, I was very surprised to read so many negative reviews (although there were lots of folks that felt as I did).  I was struck by how many people seemed to feel that her life of privilege rendered her incapable of relating to ordinary people and that ordinary people would be incapable to relating to her life.  I can say that as a very ordinary person myself, I didn’t feel that way at all.  And since she lives a life of fame and privilege, I don’t find it particularly surprising that she writes from that perspective.

But the thing that struck me most was how many people said that the writing was “egocentric” and “self-centered.”  One person said that it was all about “me, me, me.”

People.  Hello??  It is a MEMOIR.  It’s supposed to be about me, me, me!  (Or in this case, her, her, her.)

Anyway, for some reason reading all those negative reviews made me think about my recent Thirty Days of Grateful Praise.   I started wondering just how many people might have thought that about my writing.  That is, that there is too much “Me, me, me” on my blog.

This notion, of course (since I am a ridiculously neurotic person and have felt particularly neurotic lately), sent me into a state of being unable to write anything on my blog.  Hence, the lengthy blog silence. I do apologize.

So…haha…I have just written over 400 words to tell you that I can’t write.  Only to discover, to my surprise, that perhaps I can.

Nevertheless.   I WAS going to simply post photos of the last month here at the Doublewide Ranch, so even though I’ve now written more than 450 words, I’ll post the photos anyway.  Then, there will be 6,478  words.

Yes, I know.  As we say here in the South, I’m a mess.  :-)

(30) Thirty Days of Grateful Praise: You

July 31, 2012

These springtime bluets seemed to be growing right out of the rock. They look delicate, but they are tough little buggers.

If you click on my “About” link, you’ll see where I mention that I started my blog in 2007, in part, as an attempt to re-awaken my muse.  Going through repeated hardships can sure suck the juice out of you, and that’s pretty much what happened to me—my well of inspiration went bone dry.  The last straw was when my abusive ex-husband’s third wife contacted me out of the blue in late 2006 and asked if I’d help her.  I must admit—I didn’t want to do it, but I did because they had a six-year-old son together, and he was the one who was suffering most.

Helping her (and she was a lovely person) was even more intense and difficult than I thought it would be.  I relived not only my own abuse, but I heard of the egregious lies he had told about me.  I don’t know why the outrageousness of his lies surprised me—I certainly knew he was capable of it—but it did.  It seems I am constantly blindsided by the depth of meanness that people are capable of.  I never seem to learn.

Anyway, I’m not sorry I did what I did because she finally found the courage to leave him, and she and her son are doing very, very well now.   But going through that, on top of everything else, somehow killed the spark in me.   My creative spirit was a dried husk of a thing.  So I decided to start a blog, hoping that being forced to write often might squeeze out whatever juice was left.

And it did.  I learned that I could write, that my muse was only sleeping, not dead, and that there were people who actually wanted to read what I wrote.  Imagine that!   But even better, I’ve made connections through my blogging that have helped to sustain me—in so many ways.  Your kind words not only have given me more confidence in my writing, they have restored some of my faith in the goodness of people.  And, oh! how I needed that.

So…thanks, y’all.  Thanks especially to those who have stuck by me as my family has gone through yet more hardships—your kind comments have meant a great deal.   And I’m thankful, too, to those who read before, even if they no longer do. It’s always difficult to know why folks stop reading your blog, but I’ll have to say that I’ve grieved every reader I have lost, because I do think of y’all as friends.  But no hard feelings—I know they had their reasons and I respect that.

But my heartfelt thanks to you, dear friends, who continue to read my rambling, raving, and ranting writing.   And who put up with silly puns and possibly excessive alliteration. :-) To y’all—who continue to help me believe both in myself and in the kindness of people.  I am deeply grateful for you.

Cheep Therapy

February 10, 2011

“I realized that if I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.”

Charles Lindbergh

When I recently expressed regret at my paucity of posts, Benjamin asked why I couldn’t just post pictures. “Don’t you think your readers would like that?” he said.

Good question. After all, when I resumed writing on my blog after my recent hiatus, I promised to write shorter posts. A quick scroll down the page reveals just how well I’ve lived up to that promise. Yep, I’m as long-winded as ever.

It seems I still struggle with believing that my more modest writing efforts are worth posting. Sure, I’ve written stuff, but I couldn’t bring myself to post it. Same thing with posting just pictures. I do okay with my point-and-shoot, I reckon, but anyone that reads blogs regularly knows just how many blog photographers out there are professional level. I am often in awe of the photos I see on blogs, so I start feeling shy about posting nothing but my sometimes comparatively blurry pictures.

Why is it so hard not to compare yourself with others?

Last week, something happened that knocked us all for a loop. I don’t want to get into it here, but suffice to say, it brought back memories that we thought were long buried. Heartbreaking, hurtful memories.

I did what I always do when I’m sad—I went outside. When I stepped out on the porch, our yard was full of robins. Probably at least a hundred or more. I love robins. Sure, maybe they’re not the brightest birds in the biosphere, but I love the way they hop. Hop. Hophophophop. Peck ground for worm. Hop.

So I sat on the porch and watched them hop for a while. Hop. Hop. Peck. Hophophop. Peck. Hop. Hophophop. Pretty soon, my fists unclenched, my breathing slowed, and I wasn’t thinking of a thing but the hophophop of the robins in my yard. And I realized just how therapeutic birds are for me. They calm me—whether I’m watching them hop, admiring the grace of their flight, or laughing at the way they splash with abandon in our birdbath.

So, thank you, my avian friends. Thank you, hophophopping robins. Thank you, little sparrows splashing so happily in puddles on the porch. Thank you, bluebird, who left me that pretty feather by the back fence. Thank you, goldfinches, for the way you perch on my coneflowers to eat seeds, steady even after the coneflower bends with your weight. I promise to plant even more flowers and shrubs next year, so all of you will have seeds and berries to eat in the leaner months.

It’s the least I can do for friends like you.

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”

Henry Van Dyke

My Alter Ego and Me

November 17, 2010

(Junaluska reflections)

I have a confession.  I’ve had another blog.  Since June.  Not that it’s been completely hidden—it’s been in my Bloglist (Mr. Schwump Has His Say), but it’d be easy to pass over.  Just like Mr. Schwump himself. 

Not that I’ve posted on it much—only two posts since Benjamin broke his back—but I guess I just lost my spark for a while.   I’m still looking for that spark, but I’m happy to at least see the occasional small flicker. 

(The good news is that, thanks be to God, Benjamin is feeling better.  Thank you very much for your thoughts and prayers.)

Perhaps you’re asking, “Who’s this ‘Mr. Schwump’??” Well, I explain that in my first post on the other blog, if you’re curious. (If you’re a big fan like I am of The Andy Griffith Show, you might remember the humble Mr. Schwump.)   It’s worth clicking through, though, just to see the really cute possum we caught!  And the surly groundhog!  Not to mention the snakes…umm…entwined.

Maybe you’re wondering, too, “Why another blog?”  Well, I’m glad you asked.  I explain that, too, in the first post on Mister Schwump, but to make a long story short, here goes:

I can be awfully neurotic at times, especially when it comes to writing.  It got so that on Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl, I’d write a post, only to go into a sort of crazed obsessive/compulsive edit mode.  I couldn’t stop finding fault with what I’d written. But despite the fact I’d edit ’til the cows came home, I’d still not feel satisfied with what I’d written and would suffer terrible anxiety every time I published a post.  Stomach-churning, heart-pounding, hands-atremble anxiety. That’s not the reason I quit the blog, but it was a factor. 

But I found I missed writing.  So I started another blog.  I’m sorry not to have mentioned it.  I wanted to tell you—it felt strange not to—but I was afraid you’d naturally compare it to this one and find it lacking.  My alter ego Mr. Schwump doesn’t worry so much about “perfect” writing…and he doesn’t ramble on and on like I do. :-)  He trusts that his story deserves to be told, whether anyone out there cares to read it or not.  Even if the writing is only average.  As it turned out, my most faithful readers were my sweet children, who know and love Mr. Schwump (or, at least, the Mr. Schwump in me).  And they were my only commenters (under…ahem…assumed names. Apparently, they have alter egos, too–ha,ha).

I did say “long story, short” so I guess I’d better get to the point:  I want to feel, like Mr. Schwump, that my story deserves to be told.  And I want to be able to write without that Nasty Critic in my head telling me that it has to be perfect to be worthwhile.  (Not to say that my posts were ever perfect—far from it—but I always felt like I had to try to make them so.)  So as of today, my alter ego, Mr. Schwump, will be ending his blog and will begin to write on Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl.  He’s going to teach me how to write freely and with joy again.  How to write without giving the Nasty Critic so much credence.  And in the spirit of writing freely, I’ll be writing even more honest and true than I have in the past.  Words flowing straight from my mind and heart to my key-tapping fingers.  No, the posts might not be as polished as my old ones (again, NOT saying that my posts were all that polished, but that I couldn’t stop trying to polish them).  You may even choose not to read them, though they will be shorter (I’m trying to learn to be more succinct, too) than my previous posts so will require less of a time commitment.

I’m hopeful that somehow in the process, I can come to believe, like Mr. Schwump, that my story is worth telling.  And that my life, however dull or ordinary it might be, is worthwhile.  My messy, imperfect, often boring life.  So what I’m saying here is that I’m sort of, more or less, reviving Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl.

Besides, y’all never took me seriously anyway when I said I was quitting, did you? :-)

But my greatest hope, as always, is that even my most ordinary writing about my most ordinary life will resonate with someone. Or give them pleasure.  Or make them laugh. And that somehow, somewhere, someone will find truth in it. 

Because in the end, I reckon that’s about all that matters. 

(Autumn rainbow at my house)

Summer at the Doublewide Ranch: An Update

September 29, 2010

(Why, yes…that IS a pink flamingo in the background!)

I’m finding it hard to write these days.  Even emails…and the comments I leave on your blogs.  You’d be surprised how long it takes for me to write those comments, as ordinary and dull as they sometimes are.   I’m not sure why I’m struggling so, but whatever the reason, I did want to give you a small glimpse of our lives this summer here at the Doublewide Ranch–in pictures.  If a picture really is worth a thousand words, then here are 10,478 of them. :-)

(Notice there are TWO monarchs here.  Monarchs in love?)

(I love that morning glories will claim anything they can reach.)

(Cosmos and the cosmos)

I also thought some of you might want to know how Ariel and Benjamin are doing.  Ariel is feeling much better, though she does feel quite tired in the evenings.  But who wouldn’t with full-time school, part-time work, and lots of trips back and forth from Chapel Hill to Raleigh where her fiance works and lives? Benjamin’s broken back seems to be healing well, especially considering he walks miles a day all over campus, lugging books and laptops and such.   Thank God the young are fast healers.   Physically, at least.

But the heart’s a little trickier.  If only a broken heart were as simple as a broken back and you could rest in the assurance that that broken heart will knit itself back together in a few months time, with a little extra care.  But, of course, nothing’s simple when it comes to the spirit.

Benjamin is feeling sad.  I wasn’t going to mention this, but it occurred to me that not mentioning it implies that I think there’s shame in being depressed.  But there’s not.  And I don’t.  It’s been a tough year for my boy, and…well…life has never been easy for him.  Sometimes, the world is not kind to those who are different.  Really, it’s hard for any of us to be completely “ourselves”  because we are so often burdened by other’s expectations of us. But it’s especially hard when you’re autistic, as Benjamin is,  and you’re constantly expected to adapt yourself to a world you don’t completely understand. 

Benjamin is the bravest and strongest person I know, but he’s struggling these days.  And there’s no shame in that.  And there’s no shame in my being honest, either, even if reading this makes some uncomfortable.  I simply cannot manage a pretense of happiness right now.  

So I’m asking for your very special prayers for a very special child of God–my beloved son, Benjamin.   May he know how much he is loved–by his family, by his many friends, by my readers who have come to know him through my posts.  But even more, may he know how much he is loved by his Creator, his Heavenly Father, who sent him to us so that he might shine his unique and lovely light in our lives and in this world. 

And Benjamin’s light  is a beautiful, blessed, and holy light indeed.  May he always see and know that, too.

A Barely Discernible Ripple

May 5, 2010

(Morning light through morning glory leaf—on my porch)

Well, it’s just 10:46AM, and I see on the WordPress site that WordPress bloggers have already written 69,148,215 words today. That’s a lot of words. And here I am about to add my 700 or so.

It’s humbling to realize that my little blog makes barely a ripple in that vast ocean of words, those overwhelming waves of words that wash over us daily. But it’s gratifying, too, to think that sometimes, somehow, my almost indiscernible ripple just might make a discernible difference in someone’s life.

It still amazes me, after over two and half years of posting on this blog, that people come back time after time to read my thoughts. And sometimes it scares me, too, because I’ve so often clicked “Publish” filled with fear and doubt that my words would measure up to your expectations. And, very likely, sometimes they haven’t. But one thing I know for sure is that my words have been honest. And true to who I am (for better or for worse). That was important to me.

I never found my niche in the blogging world, never found a place in the blogosphere where I fit in. No surprise, really. I’ve never found my niche in the “real” world either—even after 52 years. And maybe I never will, but I’m so grateful when I do find kindred spirits amongst my fellow pilgrims. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it seems miraculous.

You can probably guess what this is leading up to. Initially, I’d planned to end it cleanly—by deleting my entire blog. You’ve seen those blogs that people just abandon, floating out there in cyberspace. Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man says that they are like ghost ships— those abandoned vessels found adrift in the sea with no one aboard. So I thought the least I could do was to give this vessel of my life a decent burial.

But now that the time is here, I can’t do it. Delete my blog, that is. It would be almost like I’d killed a part of me. And even a part of you, my valued readers, since you have blessed me with so many beautiful, insightful, and moving comments over the years. And so, I’ll leave Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl up for now, in case I decide to return someday. Because I’ve really come to love the connections I make through my blog, and I know I’ll miss them. Amazing what happens when you extend a virtual hand out into cyberspace—sometimes hands reach back and gently grasp yours.

By most standards, my blog wouldn’t be called a success. It never brought me fame or fortune. Some people make money advertising on their blogs; others find paid work (in writing) through their blogs. That never happened with me, though I have found rewards of a different kind. And that’s why I’m quitting, at least for now. I need to put all my energies into finding the kind of work that pays the bills. Sure, it would be great if that work involved writing, but, realistically, it’s far more likely to involve a broom and toilet brush than a word processor.

But enough about me. I want to talk about y’all. Because y’all are amazing. You probably have no idea how much your comments and the love, compassion, kindness, wisdom, and humor in them has meant to me. Occasionally, in difficult times, I’ve gone back and read them and been buoyed by your benevolence. And your kind words about my writing have kept me writing and even believing that someday I might be published in a bigger (and more profitable) venue.

So thank you. I won’t say goodbye because I’ll still be hanging around in cyberspace, visiting your blogs to see what you’re up to. Not as often as I do now, but often enough to make sure you’re behaving yourselves and staying out of trouble. Or not. :-)

So. No final goodbyes. Just…so long for now from the Doublewide Ranch. Thanks for stopping by and sitting a while on my front porch. I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit. You’ve been the best of company, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

For Smiley

February 4, 2010
 
 Why is it so hard for us to lay our souls bare—-to expose our deepest griefs and yearnings?  What are we afraid of? Why do I feel something close to shame when I talk about my sadness? I wrote this several days ago, but have been unable to hit that “Publish” button.  But if I don’t, then it would seem that I don’t believe the words I write.  So if you’re reading this right now, it means I finally had the courage to click “Publish.”  It will also mean that I’m sick to my stomach, as I always am when I put myself out there like this.  But I guess it’s better to risk your heart than to close it…
 
When I first started blogging, it was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing. I didn’t give a lot of thought to what my objectives were other than a desire to revive my dormant writing muse. As time went on and I began to post on a regular basis, I was genuinely surprised to realize that people out there were actually reading my stuff. And every so often, someone would tell me that something I’d written had moved them or changed their thinking or, best of all, given them hope.
 
Of course, it thrilled me to think that, with my words, I could encourage or maybe even enlighten someone. Or make them laugh. But I’ve realized over time that it is most important to me that my blog be completely true to who I am, whether I am feeling happy and hopeful or sad and lonely.
 
Now that I think about it, I think maybe THAT’S what I really want, more than anything. To help people feel less alone. I know how it feels to feel alone. When I was small, I felt alone when my oldest brother abused me—physically and otherwise. Thank God he stole a car when he was fourteen and was sent to reform school, giving me two years of peace. Well, not complete peace. My sister was prone to inexplicable rages and almost killed me twice. Daddy had a real hard time pulling her off the second time, and I passed out before he could pry her fingers from my neck. He said later that had he not been there, she would have surely killed me.  I think my parents did the best they could, but they were overwhelmed. Mama always said I practically raised myself.
 
But had you seen the girl I was back then, you never would have known all this. I had plenty of friends because I was always smiling or laughing or trying to make others laugh. My uncle called me “Smiley.” But I remember that sometimes I’d be in the middle of a group of my friends and suddenly be seized with the most overwhelming feeling of loneliness. But I never told anyone. Because I was Smiley—the girl who was always happy. And the world loves a happy girl.
 
I can’t help but notice that I get the most comments when I write a happy or cheerful post. And who can blame you? Lord knows, we need all the positive we can get these days. I myself am drawn to positive people because I think there’s always something to hope for and I believe that almost always, joy follows sorrow.  And it’s a lot more fun to write a happy post.  But sometimes I do feel sad. Or angry. Or lonely. So I reach out with my words, knowing that it’s not always just the positive posts that help the lonely feel less alone. Sometimes it’s good to know that others feel sad or angry or lonely, too—that you’re not the only one. So maybe sometimes even my less cheery posts might help someone out there to feel less alone; to know that it’s okay to feel that way and that there are those that love you whether you’re feeling happy or sad.
 
Please know that I don’t mean this at all as a rebuke to those that don’t comment on my angry or melancholy posts. I’m sure you have good reasons why you don’t, and that’s okay, too. Perhaps it’s because YOU are feeling sad. But I do want to thank those that do. I think you understood that my last post wasn’t just about poor customer service, but about how awful it feels when another human being treats you unkindly. So thank you. For accepting me as I am and for helping ME to feel less alone. I am grateful.
 
But really, I’m writing this to that little girl named Beth from so long ago. The one with the stubby hair and wide crooked smile that never stopped. For Smiley. I’m writing this to tell her that I love her whether there’s a big smile on her  eager freckled face or big tears flowing down it. I’m writing this to tell her that it’s okay to feel sad. But that she should never feel lonely. Because even though sometimes people will turn from you when you’re sad, there are always those who love and embrace you for who you are—no matter how scarred or broken. There are always those who will extend a hand of kindness—whether virtual or real—to let you know that you are not alone. You are not alone.
 

BRBCG FAQ (TMI?)

November 10, 2009

scan0004

Astute readers (and, undoubtedly, all the readers of my blog are astute) may have suspected that the photograph in my previous post isn’t really me. And, of course, you would be right, although the hair is not entirely unlike my own at the moment. (By the way, I think that picture is from a movie. Not sure which one, but it looks Monty Pythonesque to me).

Though lots of folks do post photos of themselves on their blogs, others leave you guessing. And so the mind conjures up a notion of what a person might look like which may be nothing at all like they actually do. It’s funny how our minds so readily form an idea of how someone looks based only on their words. One of the reasons I love reading blogs is that I’m so curious about lives that are different from mine. And that curiosity often makes me wish that folks had a Frequently Asked Questions feature on their blog, because so frequently I do have questions about them that aren’t answered in their posts.

So I thought it might be fun to imagine a few questions curious readers might ask me if they could and to answer them. Quite likely, I’m flattering myself to think you’d be all that interested in knowing more about me, but if you’re not, that’s okay. You are now free to stop reading and go watch You Tube or something. For the rest of you, here goes:

(1) So, Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl, why don’t YOU put up a picture of yourself?

Well, first of all, since I run away when someone points a camera in my direction, there aren’t that many current pictures of me around anyway. Which is just as well since the photos that people do manage to snap also make me run away. I feel as though the stories of what I’ve been through in the past 30 years are all written on my face. However, if you’re curious, that’s me in the above shot. I put it there because I had to put something up to illustrate this post. Daddy took it in our backyard when I was sixteen. Check out that plaid maxi-dress!! If you’re wondering about the weird mark on my forehead…well, Daddy had this picture stapled in a scrapbook. I wish I could ask him why he stapled it right in the middle of my forehead instead of in the corner or something, but I can’t since he’s passed on. Maybe that will be my first question when we are reunited in Heaven:  Why, Daddy, why? Right in the middle of my forehead! What were you thinking??

(2) Why do you call yourself Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl? Aren’t you, like, 51 years old?? I mean, you ain’t no spring chicken, lady!!

Hmm…good point. Maybe I should have called myself Blue Ridge Blue Collar Geezer or Blue Ridge Blue Collar Granny. But really, I just liked the sound of Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl. It rolls trippingly off my tongue. And you can see I was a girl once…a long, long time ago.

(3) Okay, how about a silly question, BRBCG….what are three things about yourself that you’d be embarrassed for people to know?

Only three? But there are so many! Okay…One: I still read Rex Morgan, M.D. and Mary Worth in the newspaper comics every single day. I have no idea why. Two: From about age 8 to age 11, I dressed myself like Pippi Longstocking.   She was always one of my favorite storybook characters. Pippi was a free spirit—she was “different” and she made no apologies for it. She also kind of raised herself, which, to some extent, was true of me in my earliest years. I identified with Pippi, so after I started earning good money at age 8 from working in tobacco every summer, I bought my own clothes and dressed as close to Pippi as I could. All I really needed was a little monkey named Mr. Nilsson. Three: When my children were small and I was fixing them a sandwich or something, I’d sometimes take a bite (Hey, I was hungry!). When they’d question the missing bite, I’d tell them it was a Giant Rat that did the deed named Raggedy Rat. “That Raggedy Rat is a rotten rascal!” I’d exclaim. I thought I was fooling them, but they later told me they always knew who the Real Rat was.

(4) Speaking of your children, why do you so often brag on them? Don’t you think that kind of shameless pride is a bit unseemly?

Yes, I suspect it is. But I’ve never been one for false modesty, and I am real proud of my children. We’ve been through a lot of hardship, financial and otherwise. Yet they’ve accomplished a great deal in their young lives. More importantly, they are kind, caring, and compassionate people who have many, many friends. Ooops…there I go bragging again!

(5) Why do you write such long posts, BRBCG? We lead busy lives—we don’t have time to read tomes.

Ummm…well why have you read this far? Oh, sorry…you’re right. I do tend to go on. Maybe I can blame my Southern heritage. When we Southerners start telling a story, we get a little wound up sometimes and carried away. I’m really grateful that there are still people out there in this age of TwitterTweets who will read my lengthy posts. The funny thing is that in person, I’m very quiet and don’t talk much at all. Say, speaking of that, isn’t it time we ended this post?

(6) Good idea. So why haven’t you ended it yet?

Well, because I wanted to ask if any of my readers had questions for me. Because then they could ask them in the comments, and I would do my best to answer them. Unless they’re too personal or something. And the questions can be silly or serious. Because Lord knows, I am both silly and serious, often at the same time. Of course, again, I may be flattering myself to think I’m interesting enough to inspire questions… :-)

(7) OMG, BRBCG…why is this post still going on??  When are you going to end it??

Now.

Face to Face

September 12, 2009

Mr. Tomato and Mr. Apple blog

So, earlier this week I suddenly realized that last Sunday was my two-year blogiversary, and I was thinking that I really should write something thoughtful, insightful, and profound to mark the occasion. But then Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man and I saw this face on a little tomato. And I found an apple with a mouth and two eyes looking right at me so, of course, I couldn’t resist sharing them both with you.  And really, this (and this from 2007–a favorite) probably gives you a truer sense of who I am than anything else I could write.

Mr. Apple blog

Yep, I’m a sucker for this kind of stuff. Just yesterday, our local news featured a potato shaped like a duck, and I laughed in delight like a five-year-old. And my friend Clara had this picture on her blog earlier in the summer of a heart-shaped spud, which thrilled me to pieces. And, too, I love those stories you hear of someone who had lost hope and faith but found a reason to believe again when they found, say, a corn flake with the image of Jesus on it or a rock shaped like a cross or a knot in a tree that looks like the Virgin Mary.

I hope I don’t sound deranged when I tell you that I see faces everywhere. In tree trunks, in fence posts, in flower blossoms. And even when the face isn’t readily apparent, all I have to do is add two little googly eyes, and there it is. Yep, it’s true—I could entertain myself for hours with two little googly eyes and a world full of wonders. And even if you’re not so easily entertained as that, I hope these goofy shots will at least make you smile and remember, just for a moment, the pure pleasure and joy of silliness. :-) 

Mr. Snapdragon blog

There’s one in every crowd.

There's something strange here blog

Hey, what’s that critter on sitting on the bull thistle?

bull thistle critter blog

Egads!  It’s the rare Fuzzy Breasted Spiky Headed Thistle Bird!

Mr. Squash too blog

Mr. Squash blog

It’s not easy being squash. 

Just In Case You Still Remember My Last Post…

May 26, 2009

Since it’s been nearly two weeks since my last post, you’ve probably all pretty much forgotten what the post was about.  But just in case you do remember and just in case you’re curious about whether or not my shameless exploitation of Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man’s hurt toe actually got me into Blog Log…why, I’m happy to report that…yes…yes, it did.

But the thing is, Brian was a little late with Blog Log this week (apparently he was moving last week), so until today, I thought I had embarrassed myself  for nothing.  In fact, I was just about to publish a post bemoaning my previous post and exposing the egg on my face.  It was going to be titled something like The Folly of Following Fickle and Fleeting Fame.  (You know how I love alliteration) :-) Here’s an excerpt from my unpublished post: 

Yes, it’s true—it seems I humiliated myself and exploited my beloved husband’s injury for naught. It would appear, in fact, since it has been two weeks since the last Blog Log was published, that the Mountain Xpress has decided to discontinue the column. And they apparently made this decision just as I published my post where I all but begged to be in Blog Log again.  So it seems, as usual, that my timing is thoroughly and painfully off.  Which, of course, is nothing new.  I’m always the one who remembers the punchline of a joke long after everyone has walked away; who arrives at the party after all the food is eaten, half the crowd is gone, and the balloons are starting to deflate; and who sends a cheery “Get Well Soon!” card only to find out that the person I sent it to has just passed away.

*Sigh*
 
My, that certainly was a light-hearted little piece, wasn’t it? :-)  However,  I then went on to say:

But, on the bright side, Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man is still employed!  And his completely blackened toe did not wither and fall off!  In fact, it no longer looks gangrenous so I can now see it without flinching. 

Yep, it’s a good day alright when your toe doesn’t fall off!  I mean, I really hate it when that happens.  Bummer.   Yeah, nothing ruins a good day like losing a digit.

Seriously, we are truly grateful that Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man still has a job.  And that his toe didn’t drop off. :-)  He even scored some free vegetable plants for our garden last week when there was a closeout at one of the places he does maintenance, along with some herbs that we can’t identify (but they sure smell good).   And I found the butterfly bushes I’d been wanting at a price I could afford.  Plus,  all the perennials I planted last year have come back this spring, except for the purple verbena.   All that…and I got on Blog Log, too!  Almost too much excitement for one week!  Things are definitely looking up.

So thanks, Brian.  I hope your move went well.  And I sure am glad the Xpress isn’t dropping Blog Log.  I enjoy it, even when I’m not on it.  But I sure do like it when I am. Makes me ridiculously happy.   Quite a thrill to see Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl in print, even if that isn’t really my name.  That would be “Beth.”  With a “B.”  As in beaming.  As in buoyant.  As in bountifully blessed.


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