Category Archives: metablogging

through the woods

It’s true that I just really wanted to use that post title, following yesterday’s “over the river.” When I thought of what images to go along with those, it occurred to me that I had just used bunches of them for my post “tunnels through trees.” Happily, I do tend to collect a lot of images, which means that I always seem to have more photos that I haven’t yet posted here. (At least, I don’t think I’ve posted this one here. But I believe I did on Instagram.) In any case, I do quite like this photo, with its various contrasting and criss-crossing lines: curving tire tracks in the light snow and the crisp straight-line shadows of the morning sun streaming through the trees. This photo was from February of 2013, but the trees look about the same now at the end of November, with only a few stubborn leaves hanging on the trees.

So here we are at the end of November. I more-or-less participated in NaBloPoMo, in that I posted every day and left a link to my blog on the official NaBloPoMo site (I’m number 870 out of the 1427 blogs listed there.) But I didn’t much have time to check out any of the other blogs listed. And given that I had been posting daily the previous 2 months, it didn’t feel much different. Not like in 2007, when I created the now-defunct Ministry of Silly Blogs, and otherwise connected with quite a few bloggers who became friends.

And now that I am through the woods of November, I need to decide whether I want to continue to post daily. In these 3 months, I have actually not written very much. There still remain the backlog of posts running through my head, including some on important topics that I feel compelled to address. But even though I have not quite written what I had hoped, I have appreciated having this creative outlet, and making myself use it regularly. I have enjoyed posting many of the varied collections of photos that have been accumulating in my photo library.

Happy birthday, dear blog.

I can’t let the date slip by without acknowledging that today marks the anniversary of my starting this blog. Eight years in, and I still find that I have things I want to share (if not always the time to share them). I still enjoy the process of posting, as well as looking back and seeing what I’ve posted in the past. And as ever, I am thankful for the friends I have made along the way. If you are reading this, thank you for sharing the ride with me!

Green grass, red leaves

If I say I am going to post every day, by gum I’m going to do it.

Even if it means doing so on my phone from my parked car at 11:30 at night before I drive home.

To distract from the complete lack of content, here are some fallen Japanese maple leaves on my lawn.

Upping my game

It’s November again, and I am diving into the daily blogging commitment of NaBloPoMo once more. In fact, I got a head start. I decided to blog daily in September. (Uncharacteristically, I did not declare it). And then I kept on going through October. I haven’t been able to put much time into writing, and, as ever, there are many posts in me that I still hope to write. But I have had fun working my way through my hoard of photos and sharing them according to my whims. This month, I have no particular goals beyond spending a bit of time each day doing something that I enjoy.

I also need to up the pace of my research. Things have been so very hectic with parenting and the new house that I have rarely managed to get in more than my minimum time commitment to my research on a given day. Conference deadlines are coming up, and the time has come for me to get cracking on the last push for my degree. I need to find many more hours each week in order to reach my goals. To that end, I hereby declare that for the month of November, I am upping my daily minimum of time spent on my research to 2 tomatoes. Day in, day out. No time off for good behavior. (Or Thanksgiving.)

Wish me luck!

a cloud that caught my eye

I considered using a post title with some sort of sky, cloud or storm idiom, and even briefly considered titling this post “Post title with some sort of sky, cloud or storm idiom.” But not having much to say, I figured I would just post the photo along with a title that describes the photo. Wow, I have now typed a lot of words that don’t say much of anything.

You see, whenever I go a long stretch without posting, I find myself struggling with what to say once I start up again. Somehow, I managed to post only once all last month. It was one of those cases when I found myself so overwhelmed by the many things I felt I should say here that I instead said nothing. With heavy world and national events weighing on my mind, I found myself unable to post the fluff that most easily flows.

So here I am once more, starting in with posting something with light and bright. A bright fluffy cloud.¹

¹ Of course, the lightness of a cloud is deceptive. A fluffy floating cloud can actually be quite heavy, being as it consists of hundreds and thousands or even a million pounds of water.

O, blogger, where art thou?

Somehow, I managed to let over 2 weeks pass since I last posted. I have been back from Dublin for over a week. It took me a while to readjust to local time, and I spent the week following my return in a bit of a fog. And a bit of a funk.

I didn’t manage to post anything while in Dublin, in large part because the internet connection I had where I stayed was pretty slow. (Okay, pretty agonizingly slow.) While there was a better connection at the conference venue itself, I didn’t tend to bring my laptop with me to the conference. Also, I was generally pretty busy being out and about seeing things, at least when not hunkered down and working and/or conferencing. I did, however, take plenty of photos, which I do hope to share here. (How many times have I said that? Well, I do always hope to.) In any case, the trip was wonderful, and I was charmed by Dublin.

Since I’ve been back, I’ve come close to posting a couple of times, but ran out of either time or steam. Or both.

I’ve been pretty busy since I’ve been back, too, especially the last couple of days. And I’m going to be pushing forward with my degree over the coming months.

Really, these photos have nothing to do thematically with what I’m writing about here, but I wanted to start posting something, and I liked these photos of raindrops on some flowers in my yard that I took last week. These were taken with my iPhone, and I am sometimes amazed at the clarity that its little camera can manage.

So, I’m back home. And back to blogging. (Expect to see some Dublin photos soon!)

the cruellest month

I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.

There is a part of me that knows that every month bears its burden of sad anniversaries. There is good and bad to be found in each month. The scientist in me wants to graph the months, and the major events I have associated with each. Major illnesses and deaths, natural disasters, terrorist attacks on the one hand. Birthdays, holidays, wedding anniversaries, exciting trips on the other. I think a clustered bar chart of some sort would work just fine. Perhaps such a graph would show that each month was more or less the same.

Yet somehow, I can’t shake the feeling that the month of April would have a great big tall bar for the bad category, compared to the sorry little representation of happy events. Much of this would be due to April of last year. I have started writing out, in a level of detail that is both agonizing and cathartic, the hell that was April of last year. (I probably don’t need to share that here. I’m sure for someone else there would be far more agony than catharsis to read such a thing.) In short, the month was marked by, in rough order of appearance: impending death, sharing news of major illness with young children, sudden plans for travel, rearranging of work schedules, single parenting, fever, cancelled plans for fun activities, long drawn-out dying, pink eye, death, sharing the news of death with young children, poison ivy, memorial service, funeral, stomach bug, cancelled plans for fun activities, marathon bombing, Officious Dental Hygienist, shootings, explosions, manhunts, and cancelled plans for fun activities. Last April was a relentless series of grieving and petty grievances. And it was supposed to be a month marked by intense productivity for my research.

I can’t help but be reminded that it was also in April, back in 2010, that my nephew’s tumor was discovered, the start of an ordeal that brought on so much stress and worry for many long months and even a few years. The start, in fact, of some of the hardest times I have had in my adult life. (That was also the same month that I had my own run-in with poison ivy, too. It sounds like a small thing, but my doctor said it was the worst case she’d ever seen. I had blisters lasting for 5 weeks.)

April has a bad reputation for me.

So this year, I found that I was bracing myself for April to be another bad month. This is why I picked this month to blog every day. Making myself do something daily that I enjoy has helped get me through the sad anniversaries. Now, there are under 2 hours left of the month, and I think we have come out mostly unscathed. I say “mostly” because the month has not been great. There were some happy things, and some fun things, but also a few bad things of varying scales. I don’t even really want to get into it now. (Really, I don’t tend to think of myself as superstitious, but I find myself not wanting to jinx things. So it would seem that I am superstitious. Also tired.)

So, I bid good-bye to the cruellest month. Next month promises to be a full, and hopefully less thorny, one.


The thorns of April.