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blueshoefarm at gmail dot com.... and that would be how to reach me

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Blogging Hurts

You know what is really sad? I set one of these up for work (a blog.) In two months, it has almost surpassed traffic totals that took me (almost) two years to build.

Ferry Ride

As I was driving toward the ferry last night and the sun was layin' long across the city, giving it a very fall-like glow, I thought : Holy crap, i will not be seeing this lovely city every week now that I quit my job! I will miss that.
On the ferry commute this morning I am behind a beautifully restored '65 mustang that has issues starting. This is the third time this month I have been behind a car with engine probs. I will not miss that. Or driving across Bainbridge! YAY! I will not miss that doldrum event!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Matronly lady Jumps a Battery

Driving out of our road onto the main highway. There was a truck smooshed onto the side of the road (not much room for a car before the road dropped off into forest) with battery cables draped over the sideview mirror. As I was waiting to turn right and zoom off to work a wee little lightbulb went off in my head. Duh, he wanted a jump. I threw the minivan into reverse, pulled up alongside and asked if he was waiting for a jump. Answering yes, I pulled in front of the truck, he hooked up the cables and it started right up. He looked up at me kinda awkwardly and stumbled over a very gracious thank you -- "an angel stopped to help me today... a beautiful ( lovely /somewordlikethat) angel." Now, to put this in perspective remember where I live. I bet never in a million years has a woman ever stopped to help that he wasn't directly related to. He was expecting the jovial man-talk of work and trucks etc etc and got this perky tall woman stopping. And, I never think of myself as lovely nor an angel, I am just a person that see someone needs help and I had the ability to solve that particular problem. I actually embrace the matronly, middle aged type lady I may be-- who drives the white minivan with the small dent because said lady backed her own truck into her own minivan.
Then, got taken out to a surprise dinner by a friend,
and then was told to have a --lovely evening, Miss-- by a stranger. (see matron reference above)

Photo credit : This photo is so appropriately from

Blogs - Soap Opera - Part II

So I got sucked into this online hissy fit between three bloggers. It is like reading those reality shows I won't watch, except there is no editing to make it more palatable for primetime television.
Only one was actually having hissy fits you could see online. Her sister and brother in law were having their own uncomfortable online blogging episodes and the point of all the brouhaha a) her attacks on a blogger who is one of the big bloggers with the aforementioned clean and easy-reading blog, visually appealing and supposedly well-funded by advertisers and b)she had a crisis of faith, as in, completely went away from the church. This may be fine and dandy to do on the West Coast of the U.S. but from reading her it sounds like hell on earth in her part of (Kansas? Iowa? anyway the corn and bible belt) She is pretty feisty. Reading her I stick by my "I think menopause is hitting her bad..." or else she has tucked alot of 'shoulds' under her belt without knowing why and when the hormones started changing she began to question things. Really really question things. I don't envy her one bit. She has alot of anger, although it is well-worded anger. Her stories of how her family is dealing with her make me sad.
Note: I am editing all the blog name specifics out of this and my previous post. I wanted to comment on the impersonal/personal nature of blogging and how we bloggers may or may not match our online blogging persona. What I don't want is to benefit traffic-wise just because I put some big name bloggers in my verbiage here. And I was. So now I am not.

Blogging Guidelines - 2

I am beginning to get this whole blogging thing. You wanna make money at this? Don't do what I am doing here. (obviously, this is one of those navel-gazing personal journal type blogs for my mental health)
My helpful hints:
1. Keep to one subject.
2. Don't go down paths of extreme crankiness or judgementality.
3. Have a focus to your blog so people can easily identify.
4. Use pictures.
5. Write well. And be succinct. Don't wander on and on and on in a story.
6. Be perky. Always. Be exuberant. And likeable. Don't air your dirty laundry. And... crucial... link into something others may want from you (covet) whether that be money, glamour, great marriage, cute kids, knowledge of some niche market, great house, rare autos, extreme profiency with a variety of sex toys, well-read, writer-ly mannerisms, artistic tendencies, this list can (obviously) continue.
7. Regarding that link: be humble. Whether a single parent, baker extraordinaire, GLBT southerner, or D.C. insider... vanity does not really catch the big populations within blogging.
8. Look at the 'biggies' for guidance, their blogs are easy to navigate, tastefully colored, short posts, colorful photos with a consistent positive message. ("you can do what I do... we can be to me") To find them, just see what others link to. There is pioneerwoman or dooce for starters. I don't really follow big ones because they are full of stuff I can read in magazines. Unless they do house restoration hints. Then I am all over them.
9. Reminder to blog readers: for some this is a business or a vanity piece. Even though we are all equalized in this media (anyone can comment, anyone can link) that does not mean it is a real world you are reading about. I have read such cranky posts from (mostly women) who have felt disillusioned by other bloggers. The bloggers weren't in real life like their blog presence. That would be hard. In real life you get to see the real person, not a built fantasy person which is what comes out of a 2-D blog posting. This is part of the reason I became hesistant about going to author readings. When a couple of my favorite authors turned out to be DUDS personality wise, it ruined me on their writing. They did not match my built personality for them that came out of their writing.
10. Have fun. Pick something easy for you to share with a bit of a spark.
11. Get your own domain name. (lose the blogspot or wordpress link) Watch out for the skanky domain manager companies.
12. Be patient. You are one of 126,000,000 blogs.

Results from
* 126 million – The number of blogs on the Internet (as tracked by BlogPulse).
* 84% – Percent of social network sites with more women than men.
* 27.3 million – Number of tweets on Twitter per day (November, 2009)
* 57% – Percentage of Twitter’s user base located in the United States.
* 350 million – People on Facebook.
* 50% – Percentage of Facebook users that log in every day.
* 500,000 – The number of active Facebook applications.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Story of a Wee Lad in a Corn Maze

Here is a story about the 12 acre corn maze in the shape of Washington. When our son Wilder was 4ish and I was still with their pop, we all went up to the corn maze. As we entered, with stalks way over even my 6' head, clear very clear instructions were given to both kids : Don't go out of sight of us. Don't go around a corner without us. This is huge, and there are many many routes and areas to get lost in.
The second we had finished those instructions, Wilder trotted a bit ahead and WHOOSH, gone. Like turned a corner, we were telling him to wait for his ol' parents to catch up, and ... gone.
When we reached the end of the narrow path, it split, and no son. We ran to the end of both paths and looked down them, no son. We freaked, but within reason. When you are in a GIANT corn maze it is not like freaking out and running around is going to help. Since you already don't know where you are (read :maze) you don't want to lose everyone in your group. We hollered his name. We asked people if they had seen a "little boy in a red vest" --he was gone about 10 minutes. Dennis and I split up, and looked down different paths. I had visions of him in tears huddled in some tiny ball between corn rows... bereft and missing his parents. Or some psycho had grabbed him (he was really really cute), or I would need to rent a plane to fly over and find him, or rent a boom truck to elevate me section by section over the corn, or.... (this is where my art degree comes in -- prone to elevating simple situations to creative global emergency levels)
Then all of a sudden, when we would ask about the red vest boy... people walking by would say "you mean Wilder? yeah, he was down there" or " I saw Wilder around this path"
We were getting reports of a self contained little kid, who was greeting everyone with pleasantries and introducing himself. As we were hollering his name, all of a sudden a voice came back through the stalks "Wilder's parents?"
Turns out, Wilder had calmly been walking around, and when he came upon a family, he put his 4 year old body facing them, legs akimbo, put his hands up and said : Stop, my name is Wilder and my family is lost.
Well, we found him. The rest of the day people of all ages would say "Hi Wilder" when we passed and he would greet them back by name. And every year we visit the maze since then Wilder has to endure this story over and over and over.............

Washington State Corn Maze

Photo: Corn maze photo courtesy : The Farm at Trail's End, Snohomish.
Photo : Wilder four years ago in the maze. Why I can never live in Kettle Falls. Oh the humiliation.

It is time for the family/friends trip up to the 12 acre Washington State corn maze outside of Everett. As you navigate the maze, there are hand-made sights and sites of landmarks throughout the state. The Olympia capitol building (looks like a giant birdhouse), Seattle's Space Needle, Peace Arch from Blaine.
When you get around Hanford, where our nuclear reactor is, they paint the corn stalks neon.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I quit mine. Have been told it is somewhat insane to quit a job without having another. I will let you know when I am working at McDonald's. Last day of work : November 1st. Yes, I am looking for a new position closer to home, at least, not a ferry ride away. Or if it is a ferry ride away, one that pays so well that I can hire a house cleaner and a manure scooper. And someone to brush the dog and rebuild my bathroom. And one not afraid of ladders, like me, so my gutters are always clean. And, someone who can build fences. I am sure there is more I need done, but that is my short list.

Photo: Pumpkin carvin' at the house a couple years ago.
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