Posted in A-Z Blog Challenge

#AtoZChallenge Reflections

I think the Challenge is a fun way to engage with other bloggers.  It’s a way to get back into the blogging saddle if you’ve been out for a while.  It’s also nice to know that other bloggers are in the same boat as you, going through the same bloggy thing at the same time.  Everyone has their own unique interests and style, but we’re all committed to April and a post a day. 

For me, personal life interfered a bit this year and I haven’t been able to get to as many blogs as I hoped, and I still plan on catching up with the ones I was following.  Thank goodness for my feed Reader to keep them contained!

Oh yes, I’m planning on participating in 2019!  If the Lord is willing and the creek don’t rise, as they say!  😉 

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All rights reserved by Vanessence

Blogging A-Z Challenge

Posted in Blogging, Personal

10th Blogiversary!

It’s my blogiversary!  A sort of “big” one in the blogging world, a whole 10 years!  According to “Gifts by year” sites, the 10th Anniversary gift is tin or aluminum for traditional, and diamond jewelry for modern.  Yeah, we’ll stick with diamonds, lol.  In honor of my 10th Blogiversary, I made a couple of images but I couldn’t decide which one I liked better.  Maybe I’ll put one in my sidebar as a badge.  Feel free to copy if you like.  Smile

Blogiversary 10

I copied my first post and re-posted it at the bottom of this post.  In so many ways, it feels like nothing’s really changed.  I actually started blogging on Blogger, but imported all my posts into WordPress not too much later.  Back then, WordPress only had a handful of themes, lol.  I started with a different blog name, an offshoot of the name my husband was using at the time.  He was Darc and I was Ness, and together … yeah, you get the idea.  Open-mouthed smile

Back in 2013 we decided to shake things up a bit.  Google Reader was shutting down and for some reason I don’t recall, we decided to shift blog gears a little, too.  So, new blog-dentities all around.

What have I learned in a decade of blogging?  Well, one thing I’ve learned is that a lot of people come and go, and many bloggers took off running when FaceBook came on the scene.  And Twitter.  Lots of people like the short, punchy update styles of those sites, and blogging seems to require more.  Of course, you can do those short update types of posts here and have it automatically forwarded to those sites if you want.  I think blogging offers more alternatives for all the different kinds of writers than places like FaceBook or Twitter.  I also think blogging offers more opportunities.  FaceBook seems more geared toward a community of people you already know, Twitter … well, 140 characters, enough said!  But blogging – you can find new friends, include old friends, and find whole new groups of people to join, from anywhere in the world.  Short posts, long posts, picture posts, posts in between, blogging can cover all of those.  It’s like a one-stop-shop of connecting.  And on WordPress, you can even do private posts for those things you just want to write but not necessarily share.

I’ve learned there’s a new crop of bloggers in town, a crop that needs to share who they are and what they cope with.  Bloggers who are looking for community, and who use blogging as their soapbox.

I’ve learned that a lot of people are so over that “make money blogging!” thing, thank goodness!  Sometimes people will use a blog to promote a product or service, but no one tries to use their blog itself as a money maker anymore.  Blogiversary 10 B

I’ve learned there are people out there who follow your blog with no intention of ever connecting with you, they’re only looking for a return follow to sell their product and they un-follow as soon as you follow them back.

I’ve learned that some of the best friends can be made through blogs.  *waves at friends*  Open-mouthed smile

I’ve learned that it’s usually best to just go with the flow on blogging – just blog what you feel.  I spent four years blogging every single day.  I reached this silly place where I joked that the world would stop if I didn’t blog. but in a weird way, you can over-do this thing.  There really isn’t any pressure, no one’s keeping score, no one’s judging your posting productivity, and nothing bad will happen if you don’t post on a certain schedule.  I promise.

I’ve also learned that by and large, stats are meaningless.  Oh sure, I did the thing with keeping the stats page open all the time just to see if anyone had visited my blog, in the beginning.  It’s fun at first.  But eventually you realize that you won’t get any new visitors by watching the stats page, lol.  Stats pages really are more for businesses who are trying to target buyers and if that’s not you, then stats won’t really serve a useful purpose, other than to see all the neat places that people are from.  That, and to find the isp of the person who left a nasty comment and is trying to troll you.  Winking smile

Ultimately, I’ve learned that blogging itself is meaningful.  A blog is so much more than just a picture that you might see of someone’s vacation.  A blog is someone’s heart on display.  It’s all the things they think are funny, the things that hurt them, the things that anger them, the things they struggle with, the things that inspire them, the things that bring them joy, and the things that make them weep.  It is their memories, their present situations, and their future-hopes up there for all the world to see.  So tread lightly in your comments on someone else’s blog, because hearts are tender, and meaningful, things.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing this journey with me.  To 10 more!

All rights reserved by Vanessence

 

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A Meaningful Post …

Posted on September 3, 2006 by DarcsFalcon

“Leave a meaningful post,” my husband said to me, after I started my blog. “Define meaningful,” I wanted to ask, but knew better. If you knew my husband you’d know that asking any kind of open-ended question will either lead to a smart-assed retort or a thoughtful reply that we can generate into hours of verbal fun. And I mean that in a good way. My husband gives really good mind. Smile

My son’s pretending to cut my hair (after a trip to the salon today) and the baby wants to nurse, and I’ve only had about 3 hours of sleep. Sleep is meaningful, especially when you haven’t had any. I should know. I think in the last 5 years I’ve only slept about 6 months worth. Life has certainly been eventful, and that’s meaningful too.

This weekend got me thinking though. It’s an anniversary of sorts. My husband and I met face-to-face for the first time over Labor Day weekend. That meeting changed my life, and there’s not much more meaningful than that. One day I might detail how we met. Our coming together is the sort of thing that I’ve only seen in movies and read about in books – it just doesn’t happen in real life, and certainly not in mine, until I met him. It was magical, ethereal, the stuff that dreams are made of, and more precisely, the stuff that dreams made. It was one of the most spiritual events in my life, on several levels.

Labor Day weekend also makes me think of labor. Not the kind the holiday was intended for, great American labor and ingenuity, but labor as in giving birth, and that’s pretty meaningful too, to bring life into the world.  I’ve spent years breastfeeding my children and I consider that to be one of the most meaningful things I’ve done. I may not win mother of the year, but I’ve given my babies the best start I could. And I hope that’s meaningful.

I look around our place and see the boxes as we are preparing to move, I see my baby toddling about and my son in his Spiderman costume, and in a way it all gels. This is what life is about. It’s not the big things, it’s the little things, the day-to-day raising of your family, the little gestures of thoughtfulness, making dinner and doing laundry, spending time just hanging out as a family. This is what meaningful is about. Giving meaning to the moments, making them count, making them peaceful and a comfort; keeping, as best we can, bad things from happening. Yes, there are monsters out there, all kinds of bad things that can and do happen, and I guess I’ve learned that as much as we want to make wonderful things happen, sometimes preventing the bad things from happening can be just as much, if not more, meaningful.

A Meaningful Post … | The “Ness” in DarcNess 😉

Posted in Blogging, Fun

Blogger Recognition Award

VE, over at Kind & Bold blog has nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award!  How cool is that?

Blogger award

Here are the rules:

1: Write a post to show your award.
2: Thank the person that nominated you.
3: Briefly describe your journey as a blogger.
4: Give advice to other bloggers.
5: Nominate the deserving ones.

My Blogging Journey

Is it okay to talk about it when I haven’t gotten to the end yet?  Winking smile

In all seriousness, I started blogging Labor Day Weekend 2006.  Yep, I’m going to have my 10th blogiversary this year.  This blog that you’re reading is the latest in my blog journey.  I’ve been here for about 3 years now, and with WordPress since about 2007. 

Blogging Advice

I don’t think of myself really as qualified to give advice about blogging.  I can give you advice on lots of other things though, lol.  (It’s a mom thing.  Winking smile )  Even though I’ve been blogging a long time, I still feel kind of like a newbie sometimes.  There is such a vast world of blogging knowledge (bloledge?) and new stuff is coming on the scene all the time.  It can feel hard to keep up sometimes.  I have learned this though.  For new bloggers, here’s what I recommend:  Have fun.  Blogging shouldn’t feel like a chore.  Write what’s on your heart, what interests you, what you think about, what you’re curious about, what you’re angry about, what you love, and then make sure you love what you write.  If you don’t, you can’t expect anyone else to, either, and let’s face it, the biggest reason we blog is to connect with others.  If we were just blogging for ourselves or only to express ourselves, we’d just journal, not blog.  Winking smile 

Nominate Other Bloggers

Okay, this is the part I hate.  Lots of people don’t like awards.  You’ll see them with pages that say something like, “Award Free Blog.”  And many people don’t like the sense of pressure that being nominated for an award brings them.  So I don’t like to do it.

But, I do have an awesome list of blogs on my Blogroll!  I try to keep up with blogs I follow, although I confess I’m still a bit behind.  There are so many lovely people out there, like VE who nominated me. 

Any of these people would love to meet you!  I follow some seriously awesome bloggers.  Smile  So give them a look-see and tell them I sent you.

And you can consider yourself nominated if you’d like! 

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Email to Nowhere

Well, I did it.  I switched the email account attached to my WordPress.  I just can’t deal with the headache that losing Windows Live Mail is causing me anymore.  I had no idea that finding a replacement desktop email program would be such a flipping nightmare!  I mean, I still have to have something for my mail, but anything I’m looking at just isn’t going to be easy to work with.  Thanks, Microsoft!  That’s exactly how I didn’t want to spend my Summer vacation!

I liked having Windows Live Mail handle everything.  It meant I didn’t have to be online to go through and respond to comments.  Because that’s a nice touch, blogging through email.  I really like that WP offers that perk.  Now I’ll be doing that through Gmail.  And hey, if I’m on my phone, maybe I can use Google’s voice-to-text feature to respond, lol.  That might be a kick.  Because, you know doggone good and well I can’t type to save my life on a hand-held device of any kind.

I feel like for the last few years, every time I turn around another tech thing is breaking or shutting down.  Oh well.  At least now, I can focus a bit more on catching up with everyone in the blogosphere.  I’ve been so consumed with trying to fix this that I’ve become lax here.  Still have to find a replacement email solution before the end of the month, but I won’t feel the pressure, hopefully.

And I just remembered that I forgot (heh, how’s that for a line?!) to make Challah for tomorrow, so guess what I’m doing!  I can comment while the dough rises.  😀

xox

~~Vanessa

 

Posted in Blogging

Ewonderhub Blogger Award

Ewonderhub Blogger Award

award.jpg

I was nominated for the Ewonderhub Award by  Marie, at CHEZ SHEA | THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF LIVING THE DREAM

Thank you, Marie, for nominating me!  I am honored, and humbled, that you considered me.  Smile

Write a brief story / history of your blog.

Goodness. I had to stop and think about this one!  I started blogging Labor Day Weekend … 2006.  Yep, I’m going to have my 10th blogiversary this year.  I’ve morphed a couple of times – started on Blogger, then even blogged for a few minutes on LiveJournal, before landing on WordPress, in 2007 I think.   This particular blog I started in 2013, after Google Reader retired, and my husband and I decided we needed to shake up our respective blogospheres a bit ourselves.  And not only do I have this blog, but I have several others as well.  For a time, I was trying to keep my interests separate, plus, I wanted to have a place to blog about things like spiritual and political stuff without offending people who read my regular blog.  I still have those blogs – I think it helps me focus.

A take down of advice to New bloggers

You would think, having been a blogger for so long, that I would have some really cool insight or advice, wouldn’t you?  lol  Many days I still feel like a newbie myself, even though I had a period there where I blogged every day for something like four years.  For new bloggers, here’s what I recommend:  Have fun.  Blogging shouldn’t feel like a chore.  Write what’s on your heart, what interests you, what you think about, what you’re curious about, what you’re angry about, what you love, and then make sure you love what you write.  If you don’t, you can’t expect anyone else to, either, and let’s face it, the biggest reason we blog is to connect with others.

Also, while the editors that come with blogging platforms like WordPress or Blogger might be nice, it’s perfectly fine to use a tool like Windows Live Writer.  (here’s a page that tells more about it: Windows Live Writer Basics)  For Windows 10 systems, you can use the Open Live Writer version that Microsoft has set free to developers, and this version works with Blogger.  In something like 8 years since I discovered Windows Live Writer, I think I can count on one hand all the blog posts where I haven’t used it.  It’s a great tool, and works on the desktop so you don’t even need to be online to write, which is nice if you have a limit on your Internet access.  Personally, I think it gives you a bit more control over your posts. I don’t think I can even talk about blogging anymore without talking about Windows Live Writer, lol.

Nominate 10 other bloggers

Okay, this is the part I hate.  Lots of people don’t like awards.  You’ll see them with pages that say something like, “Award Free Blog.”  And many people don’t like the sense of pressure that being nominated for an award brings them.  So I don’t like to do it.

But, I do have an awesome list of blogs on my Blogroll!

My A-Z Accomplices

My Poblano Pals

My Poets

My Writers

My Friends

(some of these folks have private blogs or blog rarely, but I like to keep the links up because I love them)

My Favorites

 

Any of these people would love to meet you!  I follow some seriously awesome bloggers.  Smile  So give them a look-see and tell them I sent you.

All rights reserved by Vanessence

Rules for the Blogger Recognition Award
  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Attach the award to your post.
  • Write a brief story / history of your blog.
  • A take down of advice to New bloggers.
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers
  • Comment on their blogs to notify them of the nomination.

Thank you, Marie,  Aw…Thanks!! | CHEZ SHEA!!

Posted in Blogging, Fun

Awards!

Minaxi, over at Gameplan Happily Ever After, is the kind of sweetheart, that when she saw I was having kind of a rough day, sprinkled bloggy awards on me to try to cheer me up.  See what I mean about sweet?  And you cannot spend 5 minutes in her company without smiling, because she’s an optimistic, cheerful sort who loves to spread joy and happiness.  Go look, you’ll see what I mean.  Smile

These are the awards Minaxi gave to me, and in turn, I give them to you.  Aren’t they pretty?  You know you want them.

I’ve never been comfortable with nominating people, so I will leave them here for anyone who wants to participate.  I will answer Minaxi’s questions at the end though, and try to think of some of my own.  (Good grief, did I really say that out loud, as though I could think of questions to ask people?!)

 

It’s Raining Awards! 🙂

Rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine-Award
1. Answer the eleven questions from the blogger who nominated you.
2. Nominate eleven wonderful bloggers and write eleven questions for them to answer.

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Rules for One Lovely Blog Award

onelovelybloggeraward

1. Thank the person that nominated you and give a link to their blog
2. List the rules.
3. Display the award on your post of the award.
4. List seven facts about yourself.
5. Nominate (up to) 15 bloggers for this award and comment on one of their posts to let them know you have nominated them.

It’s Raining Awards! 🙂 – Gameplan Happily Ever After

Minaxi’s questions for me:

1. Favorite vacation place (which you have been/ in bucket list)

I have always wanted to go to Ireland, and Alaska.

2. Top of your wish list currently? (can be anything)

Um … lottery!

3. A person/memory/possession you are proud of the most in your life.

My awesome kids.  Smile

4. Three qualities that define you (you can list more if you want)

This is really hard.  I mean, I could say I have really long hair, but that doesn’t define me because I could cut it.  Hahahaha!  As if!  Do you have any idea how long I’ve been growing this stuff?!  — I could say I’m Christian, but that doesn’t define me in the sense like a talent or skill or anything.  I didn’t earn it and I wasn’t born with it.  My faith doesn’t “define” me so much as sustains and changes me.  — As for personality, I suppose I could go with Introverted, but is that nature or nurture?  Am I a quiet sort because I learned to be, or was I that way already?  See?  It’s a hard one!  I guess you could say I’m still figuring that one out.  Winking smile

5. One weird fact about yourself It MUST be weird

I can pick things up with my toes.

6. What can rebound you from sadness? That makes you feel better on a bad day.

Hearing my kids laugh.

7. Would you change anything about you? If so what trait?

Sheesh, most things!  I’d be taller, thinner, smarter, prettier, and sing in tune.  And rich, can’t forget that one, lol.

8. What is the one thing that turns you off totally?

Disloyalty.

9. When do you usually write? Like do you have any specific time daily for writing?

Nope, no specific time, just fill in bits and pieces as time permits, between the other things I do.

10. What posts do you wish to see more in blogosphere?

More LOLCats!  The world needs more LOLz.  Okay, seriously, I think that whatever a person is looking for in the blogosphere, they will find more than they expected.  There is a wealth of posts on any and everything.  It only needs more of whatever you’re looking for.  Smile

11. All time favorite movie? (more than one is also fine. I understand :D)

A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Sleeping Beauty.

*****

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to answer these questions and follow the “rules” listed above as best you can.  [It’s the blogosphere, we don’t really do rules here very well.]

  1. Were you born where you live now, and if not, where?
  2. Do you play an instrument?
  3. If you were in a white room, with no windows, and there is only a single picture on one of the walls, what’s in the picture?
  4. Do you blog on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone?
  5. Potato chips or corn chips?  Or crackers?
  6. Gold or silver?
  7. What historical figure would you most like to meet?
  8. Would you ever be willing to spend long periods in stasis to travel to other planets/galaxies?
  9. Do you have a game console?  If yes, which one(s)?
  10. Do you watch movies on a TV or computer/tablet?
  11. Android or iOS?

I did it!  Whew!  I didn’t think I was going to make it!

Thank you, Minaxi, for being your sweet and caring self.  *hugs*

All rights reserved by Vanessence

Posted in Blogging, Garden

In Bloom, Blooming, Blossom

Guess where I went this weekend?  Woo, plants!  I’ll be busy all week getting these beauties in their new homes.  I am so excited!

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I can’t wait to get started on my garden blog series this year, like I did last year.  I just don’t know what to call it.  Last year I just called my garden posts “nature Monday.”  How lame!  lol

What do you think?  Should I call my 2016 Garden Series “Monday In Bloom,” “Blooming Monday,” or “Blossom Monday”?  I can’t decide.

I hope you’re having a great Monday!  I suspect some of us are having a tiny bit of blog-challenge hangover, lol.  Time for some of the hair of the dog that bit ya!  Winking smile  Sláinte!

All rights reserved by Vanessence