Short Thought 190 (overheard)

Two thirteen year old girls were talking in the library.

“I don’t like my face without my glasses.”

“Take them off. Let me see.”

“No, my eyes are fat.” (takes off glasses)

“Your eyes aren’t fat! They’re unique. They’re unique!”

I didn’t dare look at the girl with the “fat” eyes. Even though I really wanted to know what fat eyes looked like.

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So now that it’s fall…let’s still talk about summer!

Now that it’s Officially Fall you might think I’d write a fall-inspired type post. You’d be wrong. I still have a few pieces of summer show-and-tell that I hadn’t got to. And I really want to!

Earlier in the summer I bought my first solar string lights from Amazon for a few dollars. I put them on my seasonal screen tent and have loved them ever since. The photo doesn’t do them justice but here they are. They are so fun! Very colorful at night. They turn on as if someone flipped a switch (I try to “catch” them going on sometimes).

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A few flowers have continued beautifully into September.

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Thunbergia vine (an annual) took all summer to get “going” but it’s so sweet now

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Today. Morning Glory vine I grew from Dollar Tree seeds. How great is that?

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Morning Glory flower

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Best view is from above

 

Moving on… A few photos from when the “fair” came to town Labor Day weekend.

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I have never had deep-fried food like this. I thought I might try something – a deep fried Oreo perhaps – just once for the novelty but they were $5! And I said hell no.

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This did not look like a seat on which you would be doing either.

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I love merry-go-rounds/carousels. Yep I paid my $3 and rode it but it was too slow and kind of boring.

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I saw a squirrel run up this tall tree stump to get away from the fair commotion. Top left.

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He looked down at me while I talked to him and took his picture. Sorry, no “zoom” on my tablet! But I like his ears silhouette and the little paw hanging.

 

Finally, despite the fact summer is supposed to be about eating fresh vegetables, I found I wasn’t getting a lot of variety and was eating rather odd meals at times. Determined to straighten up, in late August I finally fixed an old favorite, “salad plate”, which is a mix of cold vegetables, whatever you want. I made a white bean dip to go with it.

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I needed to be *tempted* and this beautiful array did the trick. Geez, it tempts me now looking at the photo! But I’d have to actually get the stuff again and make it, sigh.

 

Take me to your leader. On second thought…

I’ve had a small folding ladder with two steps for many years. They were – as so many of my things are – a roadside find. I painted them a festive blue & white and they’ve been oh-so-handy. What house does not need a little step ladder?! Anyway, not long ago I needed to relocate them to a new storage spot. They now hang on the wall, easy to reach but not taking up valuable real estate. And so it was that I finally took close note of the figure in the illustration on the side label demonstrating how to properly use the steps.

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What is this?? Not quite a man, not quite a woman, not quite human really. The tanktop, pants and belt suggest homosapiens but the feature-lessness of the bald head suggests alien. It’s digit-less “hands” aren’t helping matters either. Now that I’ve noticed this being I can’t stop looking at it. What ARE you? Tell me!

Short Thought 189

People often don’t seem to realize that a big, bold, shitty move (or a series of small, bold, shitty moves) in a relationship needs to be corrected by a big, bold good one (or ongoing good, smaller ones) of equal or greater value. Offering a weak “My bad” or “Oh, sorry” don’t cut it. Worse is saying and doing nothing, forcing the wronged party to try to prompt or cajole appropriate amends. It’s almost a subtle form of gas lighting, acting as if nothing egregious occurred.

writerinsoul

September 14, 2017

This post is overdue. If only in my own mind. It’s been percolating since I wrote my post Thoughts on the Blog as I approach my three year anniversary (part one?)  back in March this year. As I said then, and I say to myself often, this is not a job, my blog is not a job. Yet….I have a sense of obligation to it that I can’t shake. Or I don’t want to shake. It may not be a job (there’s no pay, no set schedule, no deadlines, no people “counting on” me) but the blog is an important part of my life. There is no denying that.

My postings this summer have been skimpy. It wasn’t for lack of ideas; I had a number of them in mind that I never posted. When other things in my life need to take priority, the blog has to drop down the list. The irony is that in not posting, I saw how much posting means to me. It isn’t that I didn’t know exactly, so much as NOT doing it made very clear how important blogging here on WordPress is to me, even after three plus years.

One of the things I sometimes think about WordPress is that line from the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy says, “People come and go so quickly here!” When you get attached to a blog or a blogger and they disappear, with or without warning, it can be quite disconcerting.

I didn’t follow Doobster religiously, but I did read his blog Mindful Digressions a number of times as did many others. He got tons of comments on his analytical, thought-provoking posts. He seemed like somebody that would be blogging indefinitely. Then, in 2015, he was gone. Just gone. The boiler-plate WordPress message said the blog was now private and you could “request” access. I requested. Nothing. I requested again. Nothing. Gone. (As someone who didn’t read regularly, the most I could find via someone else’s blog is that he quit for personal reasons.)

Some of you followed John of Get Off My Lawn Please. Over a year ago he had substantial changes in his personal life, promised to return shortly and never did. When you know people only online, it can be tricky to gauge how far to push your interaction. Saying,”Where the hell are you?! Come back!!” to anyone you don’t know well or only know online doesn’t really seem appropriate. (I told John not to let anyone pressure him into returning prematurely, including me. I take it back.) Still, in the end I realize you have to respect what other people do or don’t do with their blog. (Note to self: Repeat as necessary.)

I spend quite a bit of time online. I am attracted to social media. I follow community groups closely on Facebook. Email is a significant part of my life. Other than this blog, though, I don’t share a lot of my personal life. The blog is definitely the place I talk about myself; my life, my interests, my thoughts, my past.( It’s also the primary place I post photos.) What really appeals to me, both in writing and in reading other blogs, is the DEPTH that is available in blogging. I like to write – as well as read – long, thoughtful posts. I’m not on twitter. Most people do not have brilliant, witty, insightful 140-character thoughts. I don’t think in 140 characters, I don’t talk in 140 characters, nor am I particularly interested in reading the same.

On WordPress, especially when you stick around awhile, you can get to know how someone thinks. I won’t say you can intimately get to know them, but in many – or some – cases, there is an approximation. There may be a tendency – both on my part and others’ – to extrapolate, to read a bunch of posts and fill in or assume the rest of the person’s personality. I try to guard against that as I’ve learned (not on WordPress but elsewhere online) that what people write on the internet can be quite different than the reality of the person. Over time and hundreds of posts and comments though, bloggers do reveal themselves or significant aspects of themselves.

I mentioned this in my March post but I won’t argue online. Never have, won’t do it. It’s a rule (when I’ve broken it in private emails, I have usually been sorry). I will, however, argue with you – people I know – in real life. Debate what is being said. Challenge someone. Which is a part of me I largely leave out – or soften – here. Arguing with strangers, that is people I’ve never met, doesn’t seem wise or profitable. It’s like arguing with phantoms. (I also think words online are so easily misconstrued; arguing is just asking for trouble. We are more empathetic in person and maybe less reactive.)

The little corner of WordPress I’ve carved for myself strives to be decent and if not profound at all times, at least worthwhile. And when I refer to my little corner, I mean what I am putting out in my own blog, but also the kind of people who are drawn to my blog and vice versa. I have no doubt there are nasty, mean-spirited corners of WordPress, same as everywhere else online. I just don’t see the point. Not that my blog is any kind of Pollyanish zone – NEVER! – but I want decency to prevail. I think the people who read my blog would agree, both those I know of (by name or blog name), and I imagine, those I don’t.

A word on Stats. For readers who are not also bloggers, “stats” are numbers available to bloggers to show how many readers have read your blog each day. These stats do not reveal WHO is reading, but simply show figures. It can show which posts have been popular and which not so much. Stats may show where the readers came from; that is if they came to your blog by way of Google, for instance. (One of my favorites showed that someone arrived at my blog by typing the search term “potatoes that look like rocks.” You wouldn’t think that anybody would search such a thing, but there they are! When I see something like that I hope that the person isn’t disappointed by arriving here as a result of their search. Yes, I feel beholden to strangers doing searches on rocks. Such is my life.)

At times I’ve felt quite frustrated with my blog, wanting to “grow” my readership and seeing well, not a whole lot. It’s times like that, somehow or some way – so far  – that I get just enough encouragement to keep going. Someone will write a lovely, thoughtful comment, or I’ll see a surge in my stats, or the mood will pass. To be quite honest, I can see that my thoughts on the blog are not much different from some other areas of my life where I get frustrated or disappointed at times (and question why I’m doing something or feel a sense of impotence, that I’m stalled so far as “making things happen”).

Expectations and I have a long, muddied history together. I am no Buddhist. I HAVE EXPECTATIONS. WANTS. DESIRES. With the blog, as life, finding the Happy Middle Ground (the place that allows you to keep getting out of bed and putting one foot down in front of the other every day year in year out) is my challenge, balancing my expectations against what is or can be.

I have such philosophical internal meanderings about the blog and sometimes the way out is I think of something funny or see or hear something that makes me laugh and I’ll post it and it kind of saves me and moves me past inertia or waffling. When something is funny to me, I must share it! And here’s the blog, waiting patiently, always, for just that.

Something that’s been kind of nice in this Summer of Scant Postings in the Year of WordPress 2017, is that as I’ve continued to check in (if not post), I’ve seen that people are still reading my blog, reading old posts. That is very gratifying. It’s like the time I’ve put into the blog over the past three years still pays dividends. Emotional ones, if you will. I think it’s great that people have come around even when the blog doesn’t have fresh (and in blogging, “fresh” is pretty much that last 24-48 hours) posts. It gives my heart a little lift.

I didn’t plan to be so absent this past summer. I am not leaving WordPress or my blog. Or the other bloggers I’ve found and cherish here. I didn’t forget people (other bloggers might be surprised how often I think about them, people I’ve never met or even spoken to). I don’t know exactly how the future continues for WriterInSoul, just that I want to continue to blog – infrequently or not – and hope that in three years, I’m still sticking around. I can’t imagine anything taking WordPress’s place in my life (well, unless they start charging those of us with freebie blogs or get bought by Jeff Bezos or something). I’m hooked.

July rains bring…August mushrooms

August is usually a brown month. The plants are spent and dried out, the ground parched. Not this year. An unusual amount of rain has kept everything nice and green as well as brought up an array of mushrooms around my town that I might not typically see.  I’ve got mushrooms on my mind lately because of the recent release of the remake of “The Beguiled,” a Clint Eastwood movie I saw on TV when I was a child that did for my feelings about mushrooms pretty much what “Jaws” did for my feelings about shallow water at the beach. (I’ve yet to see the Sofia Coppola-directed remake but I absolutely will – eventually.)

I’m too lazy to look up their names so here’s some interesting and nameless mushrooms that caught my eye.

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Follow the leader?

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What a color!

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I liked how they formed a mysterious circle. “Crop circle mushrooms?”

 

p.s. I am still having internet issues so forgive me in advance for not replying promptly to any comments. I do still like ’em!

Come on in!

In my last post I wrote about the importance of passions to happiness or contentment. One of mine which is incredibly satisfying is gardening; that is, making nature beautiful (or more beautiful if you will). I love both the working part and the enjoying part. Creating a gorgeous garden is like creating art and in the end there’s something to look at, just as with a painting or sculpture. It has a calming effect and delights me. Even a small yard can have many charms.

In the fall a large nearby tree came down (it was pretty much dead) and its absence gave me more sun which means brighter flowers and even a crack at vegetable growing (veggies need a lot of sunlight). I think the 2017 yard is the most beautiful it’s been. When I look out I am sometimes taken aback by it. I took these photos on the last day of July.

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MUST have a screen against mosquitoes

 

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On the right, a fabric shower curtain to block a not great view

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Lydia, the one-armed watering girl

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BASIL!! My favorite

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The coloring on this moth is fantastic

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This is a prize. It’s a dipladenia (an annual flower that’s supposed to die) I bought in summer 2016, wintered inside and brought back out and BAM! Gorgeous again.

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Silver Arrow grass plant, a garden star

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The grass plant kept getting bigger so I dug/wrestled a piece out and potted it

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The Bathing Station (for the birds not me) 2017

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Trying some different basil types, Purple, Thai

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More basil types, Lemon, lime

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Tomato attempts

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This guy kept a beady eye on me

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