Dunbar’s Theory of 150 Revisited, yet again…

There are so many in my “Reader>Followed Sites” list that have been there for quite some time –

Folks I enjoy whether reading or chatting via comments, exchanging letters, emails, etc.

Though I’ve tried to be vigilant in keeping my ‘followed’ community around 150 or less for some time, (Dunbar’s Number Theory Take 1, Dunbar’s Number Theory Take 2), so many I follow are, or have become, prolific writers, promoters of fellow artists, etc., that I’ve been re-thinking my life choices and goals for online social media stuff for quite some time, now –

I can log in here or FB and find plenty of souls/perspectives I’m invested in maintaining a connection with…even if it takes me awhile to get good at such things…

Seriously, I don’t think anyone is going to pay me for spending the day keeping caught up with the latest/greatest from every soul in my circle, without the implementation of ads I’ll have to keep an eye on and tweak settings to make sure what you’re shown is something I actually use/recommend –

(NOT!  I only have this lifetime, currently, to work with to avoid errors and I can make plenty of my own, without waiting for auto-this & that to make more for me, doncha ya know….)

And, since I ain’t living off the land in a hermitude, without internet access, and I work many hours in local, in-person, customer service of one form or another – yup, time to re-think my goals….

(Yes, I have successfully logged 60+ hour work weeks for months now – forgot to celebrate that post-stroke recovery level achievement – yes, yes, I’m ramping back – I just wanted to prove to myself I could do it, once more…not as well as I once juggled many tasks/projects, BUT, I have regained some stamina, nonetheless…)

Experiments in Re-Fashioning over past year

I have tried, when not able to log-in routinely, to catch up with my faves that I feel a personal, cyber-neighbor type friendship with, all at once –

This usually results in 3-5 souls awaking to a flood of notifications of “Likes/Comments” and several others wondering just why I couldn’t carve out the time for them… perhaps – perhaps not, but that’s how I see it in me own quest for authenticity –

IF!  IF! I say, others think of my presence or lack thereof,  at all, in their busy, busy lives!  I’m not that arrogant, really!

(Old News Flash that I’ve been watching over the past few months, here in American culture  – The term ‘narcissist‘ and all the hoopla over what, exactly,  THAT term entails is becoming ever more a cultural myth here, with such broad examples given as ‘warning flags’ to watch out for/ protect yourself from – sigh, apparently, I may just be a narcissist – though I didn’t think I was….

You should know, I don’t intend to be so, but in all honesty, I might just be one – you do remember my love of ferreting out me own blind spots, right?  How to Recognize & Avoid Narcissists is the  latest craze to hit here, that has intruded upon my radar in a variety of forums and interactions…

I like to think this trend is riding on the coat-tails of the ever-popular, “You are awesome and center of the Universe, no matter what anyone tells ya; if someone brings a flaw to your attention, they are just jealous of you or a negative person who lives a sad, sad life….” movement that was born out of the Self-Help movement that strove to meet, initially, very real social ills and needs – from some decades back –

-On the other hand, perhaps the Universe is trying to give me a clue….

-Or perhaps, I just need to hang out and observe for another 30-40 years…

Who knows?

My Long-Time Bloggy Pals Suffer Me Kindly –

I follow some bloggers who have stayed the course & really grown in popularity over the years since I first arrived upon WP shores  –

Why, don’t you know, I remember you back from when you first started, or was introduced to me by another bloggy pal – or was kind enough to visit my place here in cyber land, so I could meet you…

And Nostalgia Sets In

I look back fondly to the time when I could keep up with my  reader full of nothing but those I followed (I STILL don’t read “Freshly Pressed” feed, unless I accidentally clicky-clicked too quickly or have a FFMSD (Fat Finger Mistakes Syndrome Day).

My only defense for such shenanigans is…

“Obviously, I have good taste…look how many in my community are growing in talent, skills and appreciative followers who comment on their talents?

…and, more importantly,  haven’t I learned enough to stop myself before adding yet more folks I won’t keep up with, regularly, to my “Follow List”?

It’s all in the small, incremental adjustments we all tend to make, here and there… sometimes we guess right, sometimes we do not … 🙂

On the Other Hand….

I have a deep mistrust of online, sorting algorithms on any social media site – Yes, online world, it’s never ending updates / improvements, coupled with some of the ‘marketing’ advice I see repeated over and over, continually transports me to yet a new level of cynicism …

I’ve come full circle, many a time, to the ideas expressed in the long-ago published work, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”  by Dale Carnegie.

It is full of sage advice on human nature and a cadre of choices for  inauthentic behaviors (dependent upon how it is applied and with what motivations….)

I revisit in my mind this work, which I consider, simultaneously, to be a great sociological work AND the entire reason why the Selfie movement took off and a trend that is touted as an item on the Top 10 lists of  both

‘Narcissistic Warning Signs’

AND

‘Effective Marketing Strategies’

that simultaneously flood search search engine results to the uninitiated searcher, who wants to learn the value of the Selfie –

I’m still sitting on the either/or, both/and fence on this particular, broad, generalized, topic….

Until further clarity arrives

I confess to still being stuck in the stubborn mindset of-

If I have time to spend learning online social media algorithms to use to my advantage, or figure out how to manipulate human nature,  I’d much rather spend that time on reading/chatting/connecting with those in my circle who make a profound difference in my life, thank you very much…

Maybe they read, maybe they don’t, but if I want them to know I thought of them today, I’d better tag ’em or read/comment on  their stuff, so they actually see my warm wishes in their feed – 🙂

(Please note, I understand, fully, my personal quotes are too long to be considered viable for Click to Re-Tweet Quote tagging – Wait, do I even still have a Twitter account? I used it extensively in 2012 to keep abreast of the Waldo Canyon Fire…have I even logged in since then?  🙂 Are you starting to grasp the enormity of my Social Media Ineptness?)

In the End…

I’m reminded of my pleasant surprise when my brother acknowledged my introvert qualities, even when I’m the Family Mascot for “Chatty Kathy, Social Butterfly, Can talk to total Strangers” status

“Yup, Sis, You’re an Introvert – you’d rather have a deep, meaningful conversation with one person, than a superficial one with every person at the gathering…”

I was pleasantly surprised to know someone else saw me the way I saw myself, and stated my prefs as a trait, not some flaw to be fixed… 🙂

And yes, for those who put up with my inept fumbling around online, I am appreciative of your patience….

As Sunset approaches…happened…is long past…

I struggle with deciding whether to cook supper or fix a plate of crackers, peanut butter and cheese – I’m rather hungry – I may take the time to fix boiled eggs for supper & quick snacks for the week – – or maybe not – –

Funny, I cooked for the dog the last 48 hours (via crockpot/soaking/planning) do you think I thought about such things for moi?  nope!

Cheese, Eggs and Peanut Butter – the Staffs of Life when the garden ain’t yet ready for in-field human grazing – (Haven’t evolved to eating native prairie grasses via grazing, just yet, and dandelions not yet making an appearance….)

? Shall I stay up late to re-pot some plants, or spend some time with them tonight in order to figure out if they can wait on me, for new, roomier, composted digs,  for one more day –

Thank goodness it ain’t Earth Day –

I (unofficially) dub today as

“The Day I Tried to Catch-Up with my WordPress community – and failed – again…”

Thanks for being kind while I read, commented, liked and tried to ‘catch up with you” –

And, given my…now…let me see…how long has it been?

22 month Social Media/Copywriting/Real Marketing for dweebs journey?….

I, through sheer stubbornness or wisdom, as you see fit, am rather sticking to my ways, for now –

Perhaps it’s just my preference for giving focus to what I love and the beauty I wish to promote, as it shows up on my radar –

Never mind there are so many things beautiful things showing up online, each day, I can’t keep up with it all – in personal touch way…

I hope, someday, in the time/space continuum, to be shown whether this tendency is my shining glory or my deep-set flaw –

Until then….

I sure enjoyed spending time with my WP Community today!

Thank You!!

Oh, NO! I Explored the Quick Draft Function….

Remember my little ditty about trying to be more disciplined regarding my interaction here at the WordPress Community?

(No link added – I’ve  whined about my own failings for over 5 years now –  I didn’t tag any of those whines with “Discipline Loser” so, you’re on your own to find them… they may be lost admist a 2,000 word ramble about politics – You’re on your own in this wilderness… )

Recently, I confessed to my own failings,  regarding my own processes, which were in need of updating/streamlining – linked for your “Well!  At least I know How To Do That!! viewing pleasure…

I Cannot Count the Times…

I’ve worked my way through the WordPress Reader, commented, Liked, etc., and was inspired to write about my own take on some topic –

“This is Important – I know a story that illustrates this – I’ll remember it Later, when I’m in Writing Mode….”

I Like to clearly delineate Reading/Interacting activities from Writing Activities

You know me – I start writing and before long, it’s 3am the next morning and the only reason I’m aware It Is So, is via my tummy informing me I forgot to eat yesterday…

OR I start reading, hitting the Like button with wild abandon and commenting and oh-so soon, it’s 4pm in the afternoon and I move today’s scheduled tasks to tomorrow, with the self-chatter,

“It’s okay – this community has been good to you – You have given back in Likes/Comments/Views Stats for and let them know you actually read their stuff, and are not just some noob who engaged in a poorly advised marketing-strategy tangent…”

I May Have Upset My Age-Old-Stable Apple Cart…

Today, I had the thought,

” Isn’t there a Quick Draft section on my home Dashboard?  Hasn’t it been there since WP v 1.2??   Maybe I ought to use it to keep track of links to other posts/ideas for future posts…”

Warning – My foray into blog pic processing efficiency has morphed into Godzilla-type proportions…

This whole “Dr. Heal Thyself” efficiency topic is on my radar for my personal blog – the last bastion of my life where I was previously content to go with not-working flows – you will hear about this journey, ad nauseam, until I either streamline it OR get distracted by some new, bright, shiny thing someday hence –

The results of today’s experimentation are mixed –

Why My Old Way is Best….

I’m still really attached to separating out “All About Me” (writing)  and “All About You” (reading/commenting/chatting via the comments section) activities – –

May seem silly to you, but, it is what it is and where I’m at, for now….

This new way makes it harder to separate things into their proper place – –

  • Did the post I just read inspire me to comment, only to find I really ought to just post my own thoughts on the matter, and summarize in comments with link to my own rambling? Who wants a 2,000+ word missive awaiting approval in their comments section?  Or is posting a link to your own take on the matter just cheesy? (BTW – is ‘cheesy’ still on the pop-culture slang list, or do I need to wait another 10 years before it comes back into vogue?)
  • Is it even possible for me to keep up on Notification and Replies to my comments on posts 10-20 spots back in the Reader, without losing the thread of what I was inspired to write, just now, and hope to Gawd the Quick Saved Draft makes some sense 14 days from now, when I get back to it after being distracted by the bloggy pal who lives in a different time zone and is online the same time I am? (You know what an “Off-On-Tangents-Everything-Is-Connected-Seize-the-Moment” gal I am….)
  • Do I honestly think I can successfully navigate this new “Throw everything together and hope I don’t get lost chasing my own brain-tail” method?

Why the Explored New Way is Better

  • I can quickly leave a short comment, Like and still leave myself a ‘reminder’, replete with link to brilliant Blog Buddy, without wasting time trying to find the article I loved weeks later, when I get around to publishing my thoughts – (Just where, exactly, in the updated interface, is the ‘Blogs I Like/Commented On Link?  Used to be so easy to find….)
  • I meet my reminder needs without publishing a blog that consists mainly of Re-Blogs and very little original content (One of My Pet Peeves – )
  • I have plenty of saved Drafts to muse upon, find helpful links to and maybe, just maybe, will actually remember to edit/publish someday…instead of trying to find that elusive .txt file I saved… somewhere in My Documents folder….

Which Route will I stick with?

Can’t Say, right now…Time will tell…but today’s foray into New Ways has me a tad worried as to whether this approach is a “Keeper” or “Rip that Weed Out” option –

Why First Attempt Isn’t a Keeper –

  • I didn’t make it through my ‘Blogs I Follow’ reading list – –
  • I saved Quick Draft ideas of several items that are, to my mind, all tangents off one root thing – – and now I’ll have to read all of ’em and compile a post that is shorter than 3,000 words to explain just why they are all connected….

On the Other Hand….

I Now Have 13 Drafts of Stuff to Expound Upon or tell you a story about –

Which, is easier to handle –

After all, is there not a “Move to Trash” button for my Clicking Pleasure?

I do so love clicking buttons – – my Mom’s greatest fear since I was old enough to walk is I may, someday, end up in charge of NORAD or National Security….

“Ooohh!  Look at this Red Button! (*Push*) Okay!  I saw Red and was Motivated to Push It – What Happens Now?”

Bet you a quarter….

I can consolidate some of those Drafts into one (maybe) short post –

I’ve found what folks ponder/worry/write about, etc., follow a route or pattern –

Sometimes the Reading List echoes what’s currently trending…

But more often than not, those interconnected musings eeriely echo what everyone in the Collective Conscience just got Nudged by the Universe to pay attention to…

Note* – If you live where a US quarter denomination still buys something you want/need (like penny candy) or represents a higher proportion of your living wage than is doable, No Worries – you can still participate Safely in the “Take some Risks” game! 

Pick whatever works for you, in your neck of the woods, for your wager  –

My family has traded quarters for years – and sometimes, when things were rough, one or the other of us had to give an IOU for the quarter, until  the next time we were right, and someone else was wrong – thus wiping out said IOU – 

Quarter Bets Here, at Bally Bin,  do not involve bookies or enforcers showing up at your house to make sure you pay up by this Friday…

Playing to Win Hint*  There’s always someone in your safe group that is so certain of their perspective, you can gently, without remorse, lure  into doubling down – which, when you win, not only wipes out your debt, but gives you a future free pass at making a bet you might lose, when you’re willing to wait 3 years to see if they accept the reality that you have proven your theory sound….

Here – Wagers are all in good fun – the mild hint of spirit of competition sans dire, costly consequences when it turns out somebody was…Wwwwwwrong…which is hard to say – –

Did I ever tell you a turnpike off I-70 in Eastern Kansas IS NOT officially named the Topeka Turnpike?   Or that if you install drip irrigation without a flow regulator, it WILL NOT blow up your whole 4-zone system or water bill?  Or that rammed earth tires do really help conserve moisture, provide protection and speed up the Lasagna method of Gardening no one thought would work in the arid West?

Of course I haven’t – those examples are still sitting in the Drafts Folder -Waiting to see if I can turn ’em into helpful, how-to posts and not

“Ya Owe Me a Quarter….” posts…

That would just be rude… 🙂

**********

Thanks for the Journey, Inspiration, Community today – –

Yesterday, I planted the last 50 fruit trees, mineralized my existing garden patches and put three more foundational items in place for migrating my clients to better, more future-friendly-flexible solutions….

I Awoke today to cloudy skies, a body not so badly hurting, but still in need of some babying, and a mind-set of:

‘I’m moving forward, inch-by-inch- I worked on Sunday- Today shall be my day of rest and spiritual respite within my community….”

Thanks for enriching my day of rest 🙂

P.S. This one published straight away – you know how I can’t resist writing about about how awesome you are…

Can Hope Persevere?

Fresh from a ‘check in and see what’s going on” visit to Facebook, I simply must write an op-ed… which stands for…

“Opinionated Editorial”

I tell you, there are so many things ‘shared/posted/liked’ at Facebook, that just trigger My Need to spout off hard-arsed & uninformed opinions – my blog and you did have to work to get here, right?

I’ve given you ample opportunities to protect yourself, your reputation and brain – Can it PLEASE not be my fault if you failed to heed the warnings?  – 🙂

P.S.  – Don’t Iron your Own Clothes While Wearing Them… just saying….Cuz I Care…

***********

If you ever need Blogging Ideas

Just log into your social media – it’s rich fodder for

“OMG! I simply MUST elaborate on this subject!” topics

Whether said posted Inspiration really happened or Not…

🙂

Okay, you actually clicked to hear what I really started off to say… so here ya go…

***********

True Community Policing in Action

I was alerted by a ‘shared Viral Feed Post” about Some Trooper, in Some State, Somewhere, Working his favorite ‘speed trap’ Spot, only to discover Young Business Leaders of Tomorrow plying their trade down the road from him with homemade signs alerting:

“Speed Trap Ahead”…

and a handy-dandy Tip Jar shortly thereafter, to collect donations costing less than a ticket would from thankful souls – –

Do I really care if this story is true or not?

Nope.

But I hope it is…

***********

I love the story.

To me, it’s an example of True Community Policing in Action!

Why?

Because I’m Naive and choose to believe all active players in the story have the best intentions in place:

  • Make our Local Community Safer
  • Earn our Survival While Serving Our Community

AND, I also choose to foolishly believe said participants are smart enough to recognize they will be defiled, punished, judged by those who read the story and don’t spend 2.5 seconds thinking about the benefits vs. the costs, long term  –

  • Trooper may be demoted, docked, chastised for not meeting pencil-pusher quotas
  • Kids will be seen as money-hungry selfish brats who don’t value a penny and what it can buy today

On the other hand – MAYBE, just maybe –

  • Trooper won’t be called out on Over-Time pay to cover another fatality in the Neighborhood
  • Kiddos make some spending cash AND get to be kids and occasionally forget they live alongside a high traffic road without risking life or limb –

Actually, my hard-arse, cynical brain thinks:

“Probably not true… but how Frickin’ Awesome would that BE, if it were true?!?”

I continually walk the high-wire balancing act between “I want to Believe” and “I Know Better…”

***********

What do I Really Want to Believe?

…That the story is true –

  • Trooper is a good guy who just wished to Serve –
  • Kiddos in Community joined in with good hearts and entrepreneurial spirit
  • Higher-Up-The-Food-Chain-Persons made sure to hand out Commendations, Certificates And Ample/Generous Notices if said Community Minded Actions resulted in violations of regulations regarding business licenses, sales tax/income tax due)
  • Local, State and Federal elected officials take the time to laud, announce and promote this spirit of Cohesive, Community Service

Yes, I May Be Naive –

However, I still prefer my unicorns and rainbows perspective over what may be the reality of the whole matter –

Why am I so Stubborn?

Because I believe you, no matter where you’re at, or what reality you experience, are, at heart, like me –

  • You cherish your loved ones
  • You wish to thrive in this life and serve your community/tribe
  • You yearn for the freedom to do live, serve and contribute in the manner you believe is best – and are open to re-examining ‘best’ alternatives when we disagree about what needs to happen to move forward in a manner that works for our current community AND the community we choose to expand the definition to cover in our self-improvement future –

If Only –

…We could just find some middle ground to agree upon as a starting point of what’s ‘best’ – overall- and ‘works for now’, with plenty of free space and open range to debate, discuss, brainstorm and  improve as we go along….Who knows what may happen?

Ah… yes… I may Inhabit Fantasy Land…

But I still Hope…

🙂

The Storm that Approacheth has Arrivedeth –

Picture of Storm Rolling in
The blessed wind brings the storm our way – the light white is the wall of clouds approaching

Late yesterday afternoon, after managing to untwist and untangle the dry, clean laundry from the sagging clothes line, I took a stroll around my place to see what changed during the two lovely weather spring days I spent holed up and hobbling around the house –

*Note to self – remember to tighten the clotheslines before next laundry day – –

Even with Oakley’s digging, rooting and completely successful transfer of nearly all the mulch I placed over the Jerusalem Artichoke bed last fall, into the house (over the course of the entire winter, one or two pieces clung to shaggy coat at a time) I see signs of new Artichokes rising amidst the decay of last years stalks (which I didn’t get trimmed close enough to the ground…)

Jerusalem Artichokes - 2015
Jerusalem Artichokes – 2015

I admit I’ve rather forgotten what these fellas look like when they first poke their heads through to air, but these 3 are in the right spot and don’t look the same as the weeds I pulled nearby, so keeping my fingers crossed they are what I hope they are – 🙂

To my delight and then dismay, I see that one of the tulip buds unfurled –

Picture of yellow tulip
That is Yellow! Yellow I Say!

Delight because the few dips in temperature had not sabotaged the dream of tulips this spring…

Dismay because the bulbs I purchased last fall were clearly marked “purple” and “white” – this is yellow – maybe yellow is the new purple….

*Note to Mom -Thanks for helping me plant these bulbs last fall –  it’s perfectly okay if you did, in fact, drop a bulb outside the rock border area – we’re pretty laid back in regards to perfection around here – 🙂

Alas, I will wait to see what the others reveal during their unfurling – granted, this area did contain existing tulips before I accidentally weeded too vigorously the first year – then left entirely alone the second year until the wild poppies were done and I knew where to be careful, so as not to disturb wild poppy seeds.

Perhaps, one of the old existing bulbs decided to make an appearance, now it has been assured of a proper backdrop and doesn’t have to fight with foot high weeds –

You don’t always know, for sure, what you’re Sowing

I’ve planted seeds before that ended up not producing what was indicated in the packet picture – –

One year, some round squash, tiger-striped dark and light green, appeared right in the middle of the oblong, yellow, spaghetti squash patch –  we knew not what to do with it and was unable to identify it or a relevant recipe, so it simply became a fall decoration – –

Sh – ahem, correction, Things happen –

**********

I can picture it now – dedicated heirloom seed saver is in workshop, patiently putting together seed packets for internet orders –

The door flies open, wind whirls across the neat seed piles waiting to be packaged –

Hubby stomps in, manages to close the door before it blows off its’ hinges and gustily exclaims:

“Man!  That wind is a blowin’ gangbusters today….What?! Why are you looking at me in that tone of voice?”

🙂

**********

And now I’ll share the real storm that arrived –

The storm of my outraged sense of justice, compassion, tolerance

For Pete’s sake, I’m not even sure what part of me has been outraged, but here I sit, dealing with it….which means if you continue to read, now you are part of the process…

These past few days I’ve been told of or witnessed several instances of someone declaring,

“I don’t really think you can be a (fill in the blank with trade or talent) without formal (fill in education, training, expensive equipment) and anyone who says you can, is wrong or lying to you…”

Now, while that may be true for some things (being an astronaut or brain surgeon come to mind) the occupations, activities or trades that graced the ‘fill in blanks’ in these recent statements were not either of the aforementioned, highly specialized, endeavors –

They were, instead,:

  • Author
  • Gardener
  • Builder of Dwarf Cars

Poppycosh!

On Being a Writer (someday to be Paid Author)

Yes, I had some ‘training’ for writing – I went to state mandated school for 12 years and had to take some form of writing, reading or English class each and every year – I also was raised by those who loved to read, in a house full of books –

And no, I’m not (yet) a paid author – and neither do I have a Master’s or Doctoral degree in any such related studies –

Yet here I sit, boldly and brazenly writing and publicly publishing – as most every one here in the WordPress community does.

While I agree that education and practice can enhance a writer’s craft, I do not believe it to be the must-have ingredient in the making of a paid author –

What is necessary?  To my mind?

(Oh, thank you so very much for asking, I’ve been bustin’ a gut, waiting to proclaim the answer, sans a paper certificate that comes attached with a $120,000-$200,000 price tag…I trust you to forgive me my sins…)

Necessary:

  • A mind that observes reality and wants to know what the possible back story leading up to the ‘observed now’, might actually be
  • An imagination that can come up with many varieties and flavors of said back story
  • The curiosity to ask, “What motivations, life experience, problems to be solved, led up to this moment?”
  • Compassionate room in the mind for all the possible answers that present themselves

Add to that a love of the ebb and flow of words – whether said love was gained through years of reading, or a simple born-in ‘hearing’ for such things…

The great writers I love and appreciate know how to craft each line –  first as a small tributary –

One that flows and then joins another, and then another, until the whole, massive, roiling, moving torrent bursts through the delta and joins the calm of the ocean –

Or spills over the edge of the cliff and lands with an impressive display of mist, rainbows and thundering applause at the bottom of said cliff, which, in the end, wasn’t so steep or deadly, after all –

These things are, to my mind,  necessary to graduate from Beginner to Master –

Take the classes – perfect your craft – learn the rules so you can break them at will –

But don’t ever, EVER! EVER! believe the person who tells you your natural way of seeing the world and your love of sharing said vision via a river of words isn’t good enough for you to be dubbed a writer.

It is…And You Are…And you’ll only get better as you move forth in your journey…

Next on the list of things reported as ‘you simpletons can’t do’…

…is Gardening

If you have been waylaid/lambasted by such feedback, I simply refer you to two resources that applaud your courageous, gambling heart:

First – Mr. Gardener Extraordinaire’s wise musings, which I will re-cap below, to save you the strain of clicking yet another link:

(If you like the following, you might find the linked story useful; otherwise, know the important points of gifted-to-me wisdom are listed below).

  • A few years back, the Master Gardening certificate was big doing’s around here.  So he bought the book, read it, and found out he’d been gardening wrong for 60 years.  Since he raised a family and kept many of the residents here in fresh veggies for the same amount of time, he threw the book in the dumpster and went back to his ‘wrong ways.’
  • Every year, something will go wrong – something won’t grow, or won’t keep good or will end up dying.   Doesn’t matter how long I garden or how good I get at it, every year, something will let me down.

And, secondly, if you would like to start gardening without taking a college or Master’s course, but are rather scared silly by those who say you can’t just jump in and do – I encourage you to check out Sophie’s Free Super Simple Guide to Growing your Own Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs eBook

Yes, technically, reading about such things does mean you’ve done some ‘learning’ but what comes across most in her guide is

“Don’t Worry – You Can Do It – It’ll be Fine!”

Though I’ve read many a book and blog about gardening over the years, nothing touches the great gush of support and confidence one feels just from reading Sophie’s take on the matter.

Since I’m more than happy to experiment and try…

…whether I actually know anything or not…

…gardening is just a life long exercise in observation and experimentation, to my mind.

I do feel bad…

…when my clumsy attempts or wrongly pursued ‘good intentions’ end up killing something –

I confess – I’ll have many mass murders to answer for when I reach the Pearly Gates…

I trust those Dandelions who find safe haven here will be in massive enough numbers to speak up for me and tip the scales at my eventual trial…

On Building Dwarf Cars

Take a few minutes (4:35 to be exact) to marvel at the talents of one Ernie Adams.

(You will find the statement that raised my hackles around 2:19 if you’re in a hurry and just want to know what dwarf cars have to do with writing or gardening)

Barcroft Cars Presents – Ernie Adams & His Dwarf Cars

In Conclusion –

Yup – it is satisfying to work at your ‘craft’ in order to journey from Apprentice to Master.

A yearning to try, the confidence to laugh at mistakes and a sincere joy in the doing of said craft is all that really counts –

Pepper in the education, degree, public approval or expensive equipment when and how you see fit.

Unless

You’re going to be an astronaut –

(you really do need some pricey protective gear and rocket scientists to aide your quest, otherwise, you could die while trying…)

Or a brain surgeon

(yes, I confess, I’d really prefer you have some formal training, else I might die while you’re taking a stab at your new career…)

If this is the case, for You – Right Now!…

…disregard all the previous ramblings and go find someone who writes knowledgeably about such things, cuz, seriously, you won’t find much helpful advice here – 🙂

Catching 400

After my little Housecleaning venture, I realized what a fool I’d been – Though I follow many, I do have favorites and it occurred to me that it’s very simple to go to my “Blogs I follow” list, clicky-click and work my way back through those I love and hold dear – –

Meaning, some of you have already had to log in and see umpteen Likes/Comments waiting approval from TamrahJo – I imagine a scene of sighing and eye-rolling, “Why can’t she just keep caught up?” you exclaim in frustration!   My bad, yet you all are so talented, you trigger memories, quotes and such that I, in my childlike state, simply must share about!

This is a blanket apology, I guess…. If you haven’t logged in to find me cluttering up your notifications box yet, count your lucky stars and know your day is coming – – 🙂

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I started sweating what to blog about earlier last week, when I found life quiet enough to once again take frequent sojourns here in WordPress land and discovered I was nearing my 400th post mark – – for those of you who are frequent posters, you are free to laugh  – – for those just starting, truly, it’s no big deal since this coming August, I’ll have been blogging for 4 years – – or, more accurately, I’ve had a WordPress account for 4 years – – which breaks down to less than 10 posts per month and is by no means anything to brag about – since I quite frequently do 60 posts on one day and go deep undercover for months at a time – –

Here’s the Highlights:

Apparently, if I ever want to take blogging seriously and establish a niche, I really should limit myself to reviews and How-to’s as they are my most consistently popular posts – I”ve decided against taking this seriously because reviews and how-to’s require remembering to take pictures before/after – hours spent in Photoshop labeling parts and different stages of construction step-by-step lists and really, just what could I say I was an expert in, given my God-given nature of flitting from one brilliant idea to another with no time spent learning the fine art of mastery on any of them….

Since first starting my blog here I’ve moved from writing about self-help/healing and social/political causes to nattering on about all the different perspectives, observations and silly nonsense that is catching my attention this week, day, nanosecond.   A friend once laughingly said to me:

“You know, in various circumstances, it’s appropriate to say, “That’s so last year” or “So last season” – For you, you’re safe in saying, “That’s so one minute ago”

Since BallyBin’s inception, I’ve moved 4 times (only once due to my own planning and volition) navigated a divorce and recovered from a stroke.    I’ve gone from a workaholic to someone who celebrates when I can work 4 hours at a time without needing to rest.    I’ve shared the heartbreak and distress over the loss of my son/dad which precipitated the 7 years of massive changes and challenges (I started blogging mid-way in the journey).

I’ve spent countless hours in front of my computer, discovering other bloggers and chatting at all hours of the night because I wasn’t well enough to work or confident enough with my stroke Elmer Fudd voice to socialize in person – those of you who were my only social contact during this time kindly refrained from pointing out all the typos my right hand made during my stroke recovery process, offered your support and ideas when I struggled with an obstacle and made me feel not so alone and despairing as I watched many of you deal with your own struggles and come up with some really awesome solutions –

Over the past 4 years and 400 posts, I’ve made friends in countries I didn’t even know existed – I’ve learned to be very grateful for where I live and to understand even more fully the strength of the human spirit –

I’ve virtually visited and seen sights I may never get to in person, through your talent with a camera and willingness to share.

I’ve learned that my story, as rocky and unsophisticated/un-enlightened as it is, seems to hold value for some – that what I get excited about is a shared passion by others and reminds me there are always, always some birds to flock with when you’re feeling alone and out of sync with the rest of the world.

So I guess, instead of attempting to write some in-depth analysis of our current economic system, or plumb the depths of the human soul, or tell you once again about building a Garden of Eden in my backyard, I’ll simply make my 400th post about you –

Thank you from the bottom of my heart – I may have made it to this point intact, anyways, but not as inspired, comforted and joyful as I did by being allowed to share in your journey.

Happy 400th to all of us.