Wednesday, August 08, 2012

An Early Morning Walk in the Garden & Blogging Reflections

Every morning before Hubbs leaves for work, he comes back into our room to give me a kiss. (Every body altogether now, "Awww!")  Usually I go back to sleep after he leaves (since it's around 6am) and get up about 7:45am. But after a fitful & uncomfy nights sleep last night, I was wide awake. Oh, I tried to go back to sleep, but decided to get up instead of laying there frustrated that I couldn't sleep.

Then I remembered the pink Morning Glories blooming on the arbor around the tall gate in the yard that I shared with you here.  (We have two yard gates, one tall, the other short).  I dressed quickly (quickly for me that is!) grabbed my camera's and went into our spare room to peak through the blinds at the top of the arbor. Sure enough I spied two small clusters of pink! So out into the beautiful, foggy, albeit it more than sticky, morning I went.

Thankfully the rising sun was having a hard time burning through the dense fog, keeping the heat at bay, allowing me to putter about in the garden.
Sunrise through the fog.

A symphony of crickets kept me company.  It was early enough there was no din of commuter traffic yet (we're 150 feet from a highway) and the neighbor across the alley wasn't out in her yard yet with her (apparently hard of hearing) sister.  Whole lotta "WHAT?!" going on out there when those two are in the yard together.  Truly a rare peaceful time this morning.

'Queen Elizabeth' grandiflora rose.

I watered a bit, took some photos as you can see here, deadheaded one of the 'Strawberries & Cream' Hydrangea & 'Mardi Gras' floribunda rose and checked on the beans growing around the short gate arbor.  The aphids have been at them since the vines first started growing this season.

'Easy Does It' floribunda rose.

By that time I was wiped out by the humidity & lack of breeze, which would happen normally but especially because I had my six week iv session yesterday afternoon. So I came inside, sat at the kitchen table with the fan blowing on me and re-hydrated with some water then iced tea. By that time, the highway traffic was creating a constant rush, much like the ocean coming in at low tide but not nearly as pleasant.

Pink Morning Glories.

As y'all know, back in 2010, after I nearly kicked the ole proverbial bucket, I stopped writing. Not because I wanted to, but because I just couldn't.  And it extended to here at Diggin' Around for the most part (D'A for short through the end of this post).  More often than not, I began posting photos here (and I pretty much stopped posting photos to my other blog, New Jersey Through My Eyes - NJTME for short through the end of this post).  My heart wasn't in my beloved blogs, but I didn't want to give either of them up, especially D'A.  But, posting photos was easier with all I was going through at the time and I guess I let it become 'the easy way out' so to speak.  Around the same time, for whatever reason, I turned to Twitter, which I had never really cared for previously. (In fact, I deleted my original account, started up a new one maybe a year or so later in 2009).  I realized the shift and despite being able to blog from my BlackBerry as easily as I use the Twitter app, Twitter won out.  (I was essentially on bedrest from mid-July 2010 through the end of October so I wasn't on the pc all too often, sometimes on my laptop in bed, but, mostly on my mobile).

Now, please don't misunderstand, I'm not complaining nor am I putting Twitter down.  I've 'met' wonderful, like-minded folks via Twitter and it led to my Adventures In Gardening memoir column on The#gardenchatBlog which is an incredible opportunity and I love writing it!

But, earlier this year, I really started missing my blogs, especially D'A, and wanted to re-focus on them.  I've always loved blogging, from the tinkerings with layout & appearance to the writing of posts & posting of photos.

I've hit some bumps along the way what with Mom's mini-stroke the end of February & all that ensued after, (Hubbs') Dad beginning the awful journey of passing away at the same time and then leaving us June 24th & all that ensued after with the funeral planning between us & my down in FL (where Dad passed away), not to mention the utter immobilizing heartbreak I've felt, along with my usual health issues and so on. It's been a long, hard, busy and sad year thus far.

This past weekend, Saturday mostly (and some of Sunday), while Hubbs took his (elderly) sister to the airport for her flight back to FL, I stayed home in case Mom needed me for anything (she had hernia surgery last week on 8/2).  I finally had the time to just sit and read my favorite, Favorite blog, A Fanciful Twist.  I decided to read through the posts until I got to one I recognized and read Vanessa's blog all the way back until April 23rd!  While I wasn't so surprised, I was indeed shocked. April 23rd was the last time I'd read my favorite, Favorite blog, one I've been reading for more years than I can recall?!  Good grief.  I had missed so much!

Vanessa wrote a post some time back about how much the blogging world has changed in the last year, what with folks not commenting on posts like they used to, something I've been aware of, mulling over & disappointed with for a long time now.  Like her, it's made me sad and I too have missed the friendly interactions with readers & fellow blogging creatives. (Forgive me for not linking to her post directly as I forgot to bookmark it at the time I was reading it - I'll update with the link here once I go back through to find it).

Now, I do take blame for the lack of interaction here at D'A.  (I've never had much over at NJTME from the start).  My trend of posting photos and essentially turning D'A into a photo blog (which was never my intention to do with it from the start) for such a long time vs writing posts that included photos like I always had, negated commenting because there wasn't anything to generate a reaction much of the time. Plus, as evidenced above, I hadn't been keeping up with reading blogs or commenting on them myself so I wouldn't expect folks to keep up with me.

But, I also blame the whole "social media" thang that's exploded, adding to all of the 'stuff' we 'have to' keep up with online these days.  Because of that added pressure, it's become easier to "like," "tweet," "fb recommend," "g+1" or "pin' posts vs actually taking the time to comment on what's being shared. Sure, I am truly flattered when my posts are tweeted, g+1'd, etc., but I prefer the interaction with comments.

Reading through A Fanciful Twist was refreshing & inspiring and really kicked my arse into gear with refocusing on my own blogs. I'd already changed the header here at D'A last week after noticing I still had one from this February/March on here! What?! Known for changing my headers for every season & holiday, a late Winter header in the middle of Summer was totally unacceptable! So I created a new one using a photo of 'Mardi Gras' floribunda roses blooming in my garden last week or so. Saturday, I changed a couple of font colors, went back to a white background and now D'A has a nice, August feel to it. I also cleaned up the right hand column, moving some things to below the last post on the page and deleting others.  Oh, and I added a Halloween countdown widget, of course!

There wasn't much to do over at NJTME.  I love the header, made from a photo I took locally in 2009, so I just changed the background to white and added a Halloween countdown widget there too!

Oh stop, y'all know how much I LOVE Halloween!

Overall, blogging is an awesome creative experience for me, combining some of what I love most: writing, photography, design and above all, sharing.  I'm so happy to be giving it the attention I feel it deserves in my life again. I blog because I love it, plain & simple! I've always blogged for me first and I'm thrilled that you relate to and enjoy my writings, photos, experiences & passions.  I'm honored when you share with me at the end of a post because that's some of the stuff of life right there!

So, what's next in my neck o' the blogging-sphere?  In addition to catching up on more favorite blogs, I'm planning out more posts and revisiting ones I never got around to!

Stay tuned..

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