Blogging

Sometimes You Get Surprised

Software can sometimes be frustrating and other times it can surprise you. Today, quality time was spent giving this site a new look. I was pleasantly surprised with the theme that I am using from MultiThemes. It is an add on theme to RapidWeaver, the software I use to build this site. Using the theme was a pleasure. I was able to control many things. Believe it or not, there was a lot of work to get the site to look this sparse. One of the best things about the theme was that it was free! I hope the new look is compelling enough for people to want to stick around.

Two things are currently on my mind about the site. First, I don't think that the hyperlink color is very distinguishable from the rest of the text in the posting body. Unfortunately it is tied to the color of the categories, tags, archives and other text in the sidebar as well as above and below each posting. Those elements are all hot or hyper links. For some reason the link text does not stick out as much when it is in with a lot of other text. Do you think the links are distinct enough? Second issue, I am not sure if I should have a home page or just have the blog be the home page. This website is more than a blog and that is why I have kept it. It has the two albums and the weather page. I'll also add a links page and other different pages at some point in the future. Because there are other things besides a blog here, I may be compelled to keep it. I know the home page is not the place where I have put the most up to date information. The blog has been the place for current events. When I add or change something on the site, I usually blog about it anyway. Let me know if you think the home page should stay or go. Remember to vote early and vote often.

While editing the home page today, I discovered I had not updated it in a year. Olivia the former star attraction on page one, will be a year old next week! The new photo is from the marsh behind my house. We are lucky to be living in such a beautiful area.
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Following Sara's Instructions

Naked Jack-in-the-Pulpet Seeds
Per Sara's instructions, I donned surgical gloves and began squirting woody white seeds from the little red berries that could burn my skin off. The seeds were encased in a rusty colored goo that resembled the consistency of snot. After a while I figured out that if you rolled the seeds on a paper towel, the rusty snot would liberate itself from the seeds. Then they air dried for just a few minutes. After drying I rolled them on a new clean paper towel. This rolling removed the rest of the lethal snot/goo. I then placed them in a screen type strainer and gave them a light rinse, then it was back to a new paper towel for more drying. The picture above is the end result. They have now been placed in a paper envelope (never put them in plastic) where they will await planting in the spring. Why so much attention to detail? Any time you plan to propagate a plant that looks like this one does you take extra care. This plant has the potential to resemble a penis.
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Jack-in-the-Pulpit Seed Propagation

Jack-in-the-Pulpi Seeds
Sara, Mary and I have been having discussions about the Jack-in-the-Pulpit seeds from our garden. I just thought you'd like to read more about it.

Wasn't that just the quickest little post?
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NaBloPoMo Ends Today

I'm Pooped
This is day thirty and this is post thirty. You know what? I really enjoyed it. Thanks to Eden Marriott Kennedy for creating and managing this great event. It has helped me be more disciplined about what to blog. It's also produced a nice springboard for continuing. Being committed to a set block of time forced me to establish some practices and think of things that needed to be done to sustain the site. The great thing was that there was not much grumbling about what to post. I just did it. Some things that happened to me during the day made good material for a post and I was excited to get it here. Other days would be uneventful. On those days I would go to a list of ideas I had created. The list was made before the month started. It's is not used up either. More content is coming! On days when there were guests in the house or other work needed to be done, I was able to a quickly post a photo, a short snippet from the day's events or something I found on the web. Another byproduct, my niece and friend Sara were inspired from my participation in the event to invest in their blogs. I tried to read postings from other NaBloPoMo participants too. I was amazed at the variety of bloggers out there. THANK YOU to everyone who left comments. I appreciate them. Don't stop commenting! It felt good, . . didn't it? Keep doing that comment thing. You won't go blind and you hands won't fall off. Best of all you can do it in private. . . or in public. . . you don't mind if people watch, do you? I know some people like to watch. Return here often and look for more stuff in the future, maybe even tomorrow.
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No One Cares What You Had for Lunch -100 Ideas for Your Blog by Margaret Mason

No One Cares What You Had for Lunch -100 Ideas for Your Blog by Margaret Mason
This book is very timely since many bloggers are currently participating in National Blog posting Month. When bloggers sign up for NaBloPoMo they should be taken straight to Maggie's website so they can purchase a copy of her book. (the t-shirt on that page is funny, but has nothing to do with blogging) This book will help you create a fabulous blog everyone will want to read. She takes you out of your comfort zone and into places that are challenging and fun. The format of the book is well organized and easy to follow. Maggie's clear knowledge of the subject, will help take the worries out of finding content for your blog. Her writings affirmed the choices I made when I dove straight into a thirty day blog posting commitment. I also plan to follow some of her suggestions for my blog content. I highly recommend you buy a copy and read it for lunch. When people ask "What did you have for lunch today?" You can reply, "I had a Mason Blogger with fries" It was yummy!

You may also find these slides interesting. They are from a talk the author did this month in Indianapolis. I know that Maggie's narrative, that went along with these slides, would be as inspiring as reading her book. She is also very fun!
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Confessions of a Mommy Blog Reader

It started with this quote from iGoogle's Quote of the day widget I had on my browser homepage.

People often write me and ask how I keep my wood floors so clean when I live with a child and a dog, and my answer is that I use a technique called Suffering From a Mental Illness. - Heather Armstrong, Dooce, 07-07-06

I really liked this quote. I wanted to find out about this person. I thought I'd find a book or magazine article. It lead me to the Quotation Page. There I found 10 witty tomes from this woman who had the word Dooce next to her name. What's a Dooce? Her bio said "Blogger from Salt Lake City." I find her website and started reading, and reading, and laughing, and crying, and laughing, and thinking, my god! where has this woman come from. She has amazing writing skills. I find out more at her FAQ page. My favorite gem is #6. She speaks her mind, takes no prisoners and slaps people with reality about how silly and self righteous they can be. But the weirdest thing is that basically, this woman is a mommy blogger. There are zillions of these mommy blogs on the internet. Most of them are so colored in pastel and syrupy sweet that they make you want to puke from cuteness overdose. I found myself returning to her site daily. This woman was different. She was edgy, thoughtful and sarcastic. She also has this amazing dog named Chuck. No hot links for him, you can't miss him. He has his own annual calendar for sale on her website. Her husband Jon has his own blog. This sometimes makes for interesting blog volleys between the two of them. I could not stop myself. I was checking her site almost daily. Then it got worse. Jon posted this entry about a trip Heather was on. And then there were these pictures, and Heather names each one of these ladies with a hot link. I ask my self "there are more like her?" naaahhh. But yes she was cavorting with other mommy bloggers. This can't be. Of course I had to find out if they were as opinionated and funny as Heather and yes they were and very talented writers. The thing is, these woman don't sugarcoat motherhood. They tell it like it is, the good, the bad, the ugly. They seem successful and know the blogging world well. Alice, Eden, Maggie and Melissa all bloggers, and all hanging out with each other doing this. Oh my god! and I start reading more and more and subscribing to their blog feeds. Now I'm hooked.
Next thing that happens is that Eden has this challenge called NaBloPoMo and here I am. Good gravy. . . fifteen more posts till the end of the month.
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Here we go!

I just Joined NaBloPoMo07 because Eden said to. November 1, 2007 was also drawing near. We will see if this lasts.

Kaboom!

Last night I was inspired to post, because my niece felt she had to gush about the horseshoes. (Please wash your hands after reading the post). I had to reply. Some things just have to be stopped. That is why they invented Imodium. But today, in a benevolent mood, I bought the domain name that matched the title of her blog. I'm done being nice. Game on horseshoe fans!

Enough said.

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