Thoughts about Blogging

(An alternate title could be “Please scream inside your heart” like the signage at that theme park in Japan meant to discourage screaming on rollercoasters and reduce the spread of Covid-19.)

I’ve blogged since the summer of 2012. On one sunny day in June, my DIL told me I was really funny and I should write things down and begin to blog.

I knew nothing about blogs; never even read one, so she took the reins and opened a WordPress account for me.

That was eight years ago, as I was reminded by my WP anniversary.

At its heyday in 2014, my little blog averaged around 7,500 visits a month. For some unknown reason, my highest read posts were recipes.

After attending a BlogHer convention, I was excited and energized, ready to monetize, to grow and expand my brand and my voice.

I’ve always been a writer, especially about things that cause me to wax passionately: saving wolves, rescuing abused animals, finding humor in life from my own lens; researching and meeting and learning about all kinds of people (from Al Gore to His Holiness the Dalai Lama), reviewing cool products, and most of all, I LOVED responding to readers and comments from all over the world.

I still do. I respect and appreciate your time and the effort to reach out to a virtual stranger and engage in conversation.

Now I notice that my posts only have a handful of likes and some none at all.

My overall followers from all platforms is around 3500.

Did I lose my enthusiasm?

Nope.

I know why, I DO, but I still can’t talk about what happened except to say that if you read between the lines on certain posts, you might catch a glimpse of infinite profound sadness, more death than death because I’m still alive and breathing.

The walking dead. An episode of the Twilight Zone in real life. A literal black hole.

As I’m slowly getting back into the rhythm and comfort of writing, finding my voice again, I’d like you to know that I appreciate everyone who has stayed faithful to my blog and continues to read my words, even the ones between the lines.

Much love. Seriously. ‘Cos if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s what love is. And what it is not. On any planet. Stars might be crazy, but I’m not, so I’ll continue to scream inside my heart. And my head. In a princessy way, of course.

 

Plant Motherly Milkweed for Monarch Butterfly LOVE

The motherly milkweed provides sustenance to the Monarch butterfly and is crucial to sustain the species.

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Everyone who loves butterflies should plant milkweed and since NObody doesn’t love butterflies, there should be enough milkweed planted to sustain the entire cosmos.milkweed7To clarify, I’m not referring to the plural of one my fave cocktails, but the cosmos of our universe.milkweed2

According to Monarch Joint Venture…

Monarchs cannot survive without milkweed; their caterpillars only eat milkweed plants (Asclepias spp.), and monarch butterflies need milkweed to lay their eggs. With shifting land management practices, we have lost much milkweed from the landscape.

Please plant milkweed to support monarch populations, and their incredible migration!

Planting milkweed is a great way to help other pollinators too, as they provide valuable nectar resources to a diverse suite of bees and butterflies.

For a brief how-to flyer on planting and gardening, download MJV’s Gardening for Monarchs or the Wild Ones “Wild for Monarchs” brochure.

As soon as I put the plant in the ground, it became inundated with all the Monarchs in my little part of the world.milkweed6

I planted it FAR away from the vegetable garden so the hungry little caterpillars wouldn’t decide to vary their diet and eat all my veggies.

Reminder! Don’t use pesticides or herbicides. milkweed3Click here for free butterfly garden and milkweed seeds:
https://www.livemonarch.com/free-milkweed-seeds.htm
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More information at Bring Back the Monarchs
http://monarchwatch.org/bring-back-the-monarchs/milkweed/milkweed6

Californians can help save the monarch butterfly by restoring habitats where they can thrive. Take action now: Tell lawmakers to vote “YES” on AB 559 to restore monarch butterfly habitats. http://ecovote.org/SaveTheMonarch >>

He Could Have Been a Serial Killer

Was I crazy to invite a man from the virtual world of blogging into our home?

Not a meet-up in a coffee shop; not at a public location where it’s safe, where we could arrive and depart without fear of being followed.

I didn’t even blink when I shared our address with this “friend”.

His online photo could have been fake; his writing just a ploy to lure a naive female to let down her guard and welcome him with open arms.

But there had to be trust on his end too, right?

He didn’t know what he was walking into — literally. He may have never been heard from again.

As it is, I think he could possibly be forever traumatized by the sheer number of seashells strewn on every shelf, adhering to most walls…

seashell mirror

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He could have been a serial killer — to parrot my mom, who always cautioned me not to be too trusting, not to get into cars with strangers — you know, mom-speak.

My mom died long before the world of the internet connected those of us who might never have had their paths cross.

Although we didn’t know him at the time, this young man attended the same university as my son, and yes, we were probably only rows away from each others’ families on graduation day, but the internet facilitates these exact types of serendipitous human bridges.

So, on one of the hottest days of the year, the Jester himself, writer extroidanaire at The Matticus Kingdom (you really should follow his blog!) stopped by Casa de Enchanted Seashells to spend the afternoon with me and my tugboat man where I obnoxiously tried to stuff him full of food (Jewish mom syndrome).

Oh, and he’s a published author as well, with Fauxpocalypse: a collection of short fiction about the end of the world that wasn’t–available on Amazon.

There was lively conversation on all fronts and I can’t wait ’til he’s back in the area with his lovely wife and the Little Prince.

Nope, not a serial killer, but an awesome guy!

You were wrong this time, Mom!


Have you ever invited a stranger into your home? Was it a good or bad experience?

Thankful Thaturday: Ten Things of Thankful

1326892407_clip-art-shell-beach-clip-art-pearl-wallpaper-1400x1050I don’t often, (I really mean hardly EVER) participate in hops or join groups of bloggers writing about the same subject, including gratitude, but I met a new friend online, Lizzi Rogers, who writes at  Considerings, and she inspired me to share a list of ten things for which I’m thankful.

Here’s an extra one…Thank you for your kind invitation to share my Ten Things of Thankful.

Considering that my personal planet shifted on April 28 when I received That Dreaded Call at 3AM, causing me to fly  (literally) across the country to be at my son’s side in the hospital, living there 24/7 for about two weeks while he underwent emergency surgery,  helped to pack up his office at Yale (he’s a professor) and brought him back to California to recuperate — two days after I got home, I had to take my tugboat man hub to the airport ON MY BIRTHDAY to begin a month-long assignment — AND two days after THAT, I began to see sparkles in my eye that had nothing to do with diamonds, that was a very mean signal that I had a retinal tear for which I had laser surgery to repair (successfully). Whew! That was ONE LONG SENTENCE,  but hardly worthy of a Faulknerian comparison.

Oh, and my lovely MacAir exhibits the BLACK SCREEN OF DEATH so I’m on a very old but still functioning Lenovo laptop, which leads me to my first of TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

1. I turned 60 on May 14, and I am old but still functioning, just like that old Lenovo.

2. My very painful laser surgery to protect my retina from further damage in my left eye was a SUCCESS!

3. I didn’t lose any sight, even peripheral vision is totally intact.

4. My absentee mariner husband sent me a box of presents — because he is AWESOME and makes me happy even in absentia.

5. There’s nothing more fun than shopping, except for knowing that very same plastique has the ability to purchase an obscenely expensive ticket to fly that very same day 3,000 miles to the East coast (actually two tickets, ‘cos hub came with me).

6. I’m VERY THANKFUL that my DIL refused to leave my son’s side in the ER and insisted they admit him, and that action actually SAVED HIS LIFE.

7. I’m glad that I listened to my RN mom who told me to never leave anyone’s side when they’re in the hospital and she taught me how to be a VERY ASSERTIVE patient advocate.

8. After a brief setback with a couple of infections that responded to antibiotics, my son will have a full recovery from major abdominal surgery, so every day is a wonderful day, because it was touch and go for a while and I don’t even want to think about what could have happened.

9. The eye surgeon told me I can start going back to the gym and resume my work out routine of boot camp, weight lifting, yoga, and Pilates.

10. My wonderful tugboat man is coming home this week! (Hopefully, saying it doesn’t jinx it. You can never be sure until he’s on the plane.)

And now I’m on my way to the Genius Bar at the best Apple Store ever, located in the same shopping center as Anthropologie! Hopefully, the black screen of death is a simple fix. Fingers crossed.

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