Writing My Life

Now and Then

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… MAYBE spring actually arrived today …

We’ve only enjoyed 5 days that were warmer than 70 degrees this spring, and this was one of them.  To celebrate, I want to direct you to 3 of what MAY BE my favorite spring time posts. These entries also celebrate my SECOND year of blogging! (Actually, I’ve been blogging since 2007 if you count my Link2Literacy blog for teachers that I work on from time to time, but who’s counting, right?)

Anyway here are reruns of 3 spring-a-lings. (I LOVE to make up words!) Is RE-posting sort of like RE-gifting???

  1. Spring turns a young man’s fancy to love, right? Well, young men are NOT the only ones! Click HERE to read about romantic WORMS – yes, I said worms! I was a little desperate for topics in the early years, but this one is still pretty funny.
  2. BUT spring can also bring out the worst in some of us as we tackle noxious weeds, plant-eating insects, and my personal UNfavorite- VOLES. Go HERE for a tale of what’s even worse: ALIEN voles! (Not ones who sneak across boarders, but those who create crop circles! Seriously!)
  3. Last of all, I want to remind those who think spring might be here (people like me and dozens of others who posted on FaceBook about the SUNSHINE) that Mother Nature can be cruel, especially here in Utah where our weather tends to be “bi-POLAR”! (Clever little play on words, isn’t it?) The quick slide show posted HERE shows one and all what a difference a day can make in Utah.
Please stop by one or more of the above sites because I LOVE COMPANY. Happy Springtime in the Rockies to you all!


after 383 days and 108 posts, am I a bona fide blogger?


I didn’t know what to write, but I started anyway. Now, over a year later, I’ve posted 94 entries and 14 pages, equaling 108! If I divide that number into 383 days, I learn that I averaged a post every 3.5 days for just over a year. ADDITIONAL division (is that an oxymoron?) indicates I added about 9 entries month  to seasons. Now the question is this: Am I a bona fide blogger?

When I launched my blog on April 29, 2009, I read some data about how long the average person lasts before bailing out of the blogosphere. I can’t remember how long that definitive time is, but I think I’ve passed it. And I hope I’ve posted often enough to be considered a practicing, dedicated, determined blogger. Are there criteria out in the blog world that defines such web loggers? If so, are longevity and frequency of blogging the deciding factors, or are there more?

I remember one time I missed out on an award that co-bloggers (cobloggers? coggers?) bestow upon one another. In order to receive the recognition, the writer had to post quality and frequent entries. My new blogging friend sent me a message saying that she would have passed the honor onto me, but she didn’t think I posted often enough. I was okay with that because she posted often and surpassed my efforts. Her message actually inspired me to write more because I WANT AN AWARD, dang it!!

Actually, I started writing more because I LOVE BLOGGING/WRITING/CREATING/COMMUNICATING/ REMEMBERING/REFLECTING/and LEARNING! To commemorate this blogging milestone – which is a little weird because this post doesn’t honor the year date or the 100th post or anything like that (I zipped right past both of those occasions! Duh!) – I think I should look back over the past 383 days and 108 posts to examine what I’ve discovered about blogging and about me.

  1. It is ridiculously hard to come up with a creative name for a blog. good times AND seasons is the latest in a long string of ideas. I started with the site’s address, The Sixth Season because I had turned 60 and saw each decade as a season of sorts, but then I was reminded that if that was the case I was actually embarking upon my 7th season. Duh! I’m still not satisfied with the good times … title, but I DO love the Ecclesiastes reference.
  2. Post titles are also hard to create, AND they are really important because a catchy title can attract readers AND might be enough to “get featured on ‘Freshly Pressed'”! I think one of my best post titles is “hair-i-tic” but it better fits one of my pages, and so now I have “hair-i-tic” and “hair-i-tic 2 ~ a PLEASANT hair-raising experience” – a not-so-great title.
  3. It is VERY difficult to create a unique blog that continually features unusual, entertaining posts. I tried to come up with something few, if any bloggers, had thought of. My first idea was Needing Naomi, a blog site dedicated to mothers-in-law because, like stepmothers, I think m-i-ls get a bad rap. But I couldn’t think of a way to sustain the idea without getting in trouble with my own daughters-in-law, and I do that enough without writing about it. Until some INCREDIMAZING idea hits me, I’ll stick with remembering, observing, and reflecting – boring, I know, but right now, it’s all I’ve got.
  4. It’s VERY hard to be creative, and when I try too hard it blows up in my face. When I first started my blogging avocation, I struggled with writing ideas, and thus came up with some very strange ones. Here are a couple:
    1. …  time to dislike … (a post about voles. Yes, v.o.l.e.s.)
    2. …a time to embrace – love in the spring … (a post about worms. Yes, w.o.r.m.s.)
  5. I’ve also learned that you can NEVER guess what will attract readers. The most popular entry I posted is “… a time to ramble …”. I’m not sure why 1,539 people have clicked on it. Could it be links to David Letterman and Sarah Palin? Or references to Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee? Or a silly discussion about old-fashioned slang terms or outdated hairstyles? Could I be riding on the popularity of Ann Cannon’s Deseret News column or her blog because I quoted her? Could it be the tags I listed? Not many visitors left comments, so I am really IN THE DARK!

Well, there SO many more things that I have learned – like how to use a camera so I can post pix on blogs – but the 2 BEST lessons I have learned are …

1.) there are an unbelievable number of good writers in BlogWorld! I am constantly impressed with the humorous, insightful, descriptive, and entertaining writing available in blogs throughout the world. And they are written by everyday people like me, but more talented. A-FREAKIN’-MAZING! My hats off to the multitudes of bloggers out there who light up this sometimes dismal world. I LOVE YOU GUYS!

2.) There are lots of terrific people I’ve met through words and photos posted on web logs. I feel a real kinship to several, and although I’ve never squeezed their hands in greeting or seen their flesh and bone bodies, I admire these people. They inspire me, impress me, entertain me, and make blogging more rewarding than I ever imagined. And whether or not I’m a bona fide blogger, I’ll keep on because it is a big part of my life now, as are the friends I’ve met via this unusual route.

Thank you so much!


“… a time to [‘dislike’] …” hate is such a harsh word

Don't be deceived by this furball!

Don’t be deceived by this furball!

May I say that I loathe voles? First of all, the name is so ugly: V–O–L–E.  (Can you hear the disdain in my voice?) I had never heard of these creatures until moving to the western desert of Utah in 2004. Upon hearing the vile name, I concluded they were a cross between vampires and moles – hence the name. But then I saw the evidence of their existence: crop circles.

Yes, there in my backyard were two perfectly round circles. The largest measured about 9 feet in diameter, while the little one was only 5 feet across. Perplexed at the site, I initially dismissed the possibility of aliens, but when I considered the alternative –  pranksters who sneak onto private property to create circles with tiny lawnmowers – the alien idea didn’t seem so far-fetched.

At the time, Hubby was also unfamiliar with voles, and he guessed that gophers were to blame. I disagreed saying those varmints were totally unfamiliar with geometry, but then again, they do like golf and we live next door to a course.

When I asked our neighbors, I learned the ugly truth: Voles had landed in our yard and only our yard! As I understand it, they came from Volecan, a far-away planet that is slowly dying.

Originally their appearance reflected their name – very hideous, but they quickly shape-shifted into something akin to field or meadow mice. I guess they received some kind of intel that included glimpses of Mickey Mouse or Ratatouille and mistakenly thought we earthlings would welcome them or at least ignore them. Of course this was phase 1 of their ultimate plan. You see if we ignored them, they could repopulate at such a rapid rate, they would take over the earth in less than a decade.

But the Voles underestimated our dislike of pesty aliens who mess up lawns and gardens! Hubby and I immediately hired a Vole-Slayer, and none-too-soon! The repopulation was progressing at a terrific rate. THEY WERE EVERYWHERE!

I wish I could say that was the end of the Vole Invasion, but it wasn’t. I’m afraid the hired Vole-Slayers resorted to chemical warfare that fateful summer. And while the tactic exterminated many of the creatures, some obviously survived as evidenced by what we found after 11 feet of snow melted this year.

The Voles have returned, but they are not the same as their fore-creatures. While they may still look like cute little field mice, the chemicals definitely affected the survivors of the  2004-05 war against them. Instead of perfect crop circles, our backyard now looks like a miniature corn maze – dozens of crazy paths weaving and winding through our lawn – our once beautiful, lush Kentucky bluegrass.

We don’t dare risk hiring the Vole-Slayers again for fear of what the fuzzy, frenzied fur-balls might mutate into, but I’ve heard a former dolphin trainer has invented a sonar system, currently available at Home Depot, that makes yards uninhabitable for Voles and the like. While this may not kill them off, it may force them to look for another planet upon which they can reek havoc!