Friday, January 6, 2012

The Art of Blogging

Why do people blog? I think about this question a lot. Why do I blog? Blogging is an art. It truly is, and I am amazed at how many blogs are out there, and the huge range of blog styles, and subject themes.
When Blogger first came out, I had already been blogging for 2 years through "My Space". I stopped for about 6 months, just like I did in 2011. Just couldn't blog for some reason.. blog block, you might say! When I started to use Blogger (the website I blog through), it was incredibly easy to use, and design to make you own, and it "manages" your blogs so well. I was totally hooked and happy to be blogging again.
Some little facts I have learned about my blog history. I have blogged 496 times since 2007 (not including My Space). I have had 29,123 page views in the past 4 years. In the past year (the year of the "not Blogging much"), I have 17 unfinished blogs. Each of those blogs are good and interesting blogs, but are off season, or out of sequence if I complete them. How does one deal with these. I have 5 great summer blogs about Grammie Camp, my garden, kayaking, camping and my kids. There are winter blogs about snow storms, curling events and holidays.
So here are my questions... do I finish these blogs... am I blogging for you?... or am I blogging for me.? I originally thought I might be blogging for me... a journal of sorts. A way to look back on my life with my family and friends. But, here's the kicker... I love to write about these things... for me... but I seem to worry more about what my readers will think if I blog about something that is out of season or that my blogs are boring for those reading them....
In trying to diagnose why I didn't blog much last year... I have come to some conclusions.... I lost my vision of why I blog. I am still not clear on it, actually, but in taking a break from it, I know I miss it, I realize I am blogging for me... and you guys are my bonus. Thank you for reading .... boring.. or not... your great friends.
Here's one little challenge with blogging.... pictures. I love taking pictures of mundane little events... things I want to remember. The problem is... I have so many cameras (big, little, iPhone, iPad) now, and they all take different methods to retrieve the pictures.. that I forget to down load them, or they download in the wrong place because the clock on the camera is wrong... or I just can't find a camera at the time.
I am trying to learn to manage this picture taking/retrieving thing a little better now, and I hope to wipe out THAT excuse for not blogging. That being said... here are a few things I DIDN'T take pictures of.. but are note worthy.

1. Our dishwasher broke on Dec 18th. I was home alone, and puttering in the kitchen when I started to smell burning rubber and the dishwasher sounded like it was grinding. I opened the door of the dishwasher to see what was stuck... and it kept running!!!! I freaked about a bit, and opened and shut the damn door 10 times before I figured out that I should unplug the stupid thing. Whew... my 10 year old workhorse of a Dishwasher is covered under my Sears Maintenance plan so I figured... call them.. they would be there with their superhero cape on to fix it before Xmas.... NOPE.... they couldn't even come to LOOK at it before December 28 and once he did, he determined it was the computer thingie in the door.. and "parts" needed to be ordered (that will be a couple of weeks)... Well, I was looking at a whole Christmas Season without a dishwasher.. When I whined about it on Facebook, I have several sympathizers, all boohooing with me. But my friend Kerry pointed out that she had several special memories of do dishes with all her family over Christmas and I got to thinking she was absolutely right. Washing dishes 3 to 5 times a day was sort like a drive in the car with your friends or one of your kids. You have them trapped for a bit, and you get talking and before you know it.. the dishes are done.. the kitchen is clean and you've heard all about a few things that there wouldn't have been time for telling if you were not trapped in the kitchen!!

One more noteworthy.. picture less event... I burned my face and inside my nose over
Xmas...How you wonder... you will never believe it!! My good friend "Pinterest" had this very simple but yummy looking sticky bun recipe on its website and I had been dying to try it. I waited until Boxing day to make it, because I had 8 staying for breakfast and I had Caleigh here, who loves to try this little projects with me. It required a bundt pan and I just happened to have one.. but its one of those spring form pan type things, and I figured it would be fine. We built this recipe without any problem and popped it in the oven and it was going to be ready in 30 minutes. Perfect timing to serve with all the other breakfast yummies I had put together.
5 minutes into the baking, Scott points out he can smell sugar burning, and I did too.. but I blew him off, saying its the sugar on the top of the buns. But after 10 minutes, it was getting stronger and stronger... and you know what I am going to say... right? The sugar leaked through the bundt pan edges on the bottom and was burning to the bottom of the oven. The stupid cake had like 20 more minutes to bake and the oven was FILLED with black smoke and every time I opened the oven, the house was blasted with smoke... I didn't want to ruin the cake... so I pour a few cups of water on the bottom of the oven to stop the burning put out any fire potential... I just needed 20 minutes. The water seemed to calm down the smoke and the smell for a few minutes. I waited another 10 minutes and when I opened the oven door to check on the cake... the STEAM from the water I pouring in... burst out the oven door and up my face, in my nose and across my lips and eyes too.
The searing pain was such a shock, I had no idea what just happened. I closed the oven door and stood there trying to assess what I had just done... and then the little nerves all over my face started to explode... PAIN PAIN PAIN... I quietly went to the bathroom and got a cold face cloth to put on my face and discretely fix the problem before anyone in the living room found out how stunned I just was...
When I looked in the mirror it was way too obvious I had burned my face... I looked like those people on "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" who had one half of their face burned by the space ships flying by". Anyway, I survived (my nose and lips took 5 days to recover) but the cake didn't. Someone took it out of the oven 10 minutes before it would have been cooked because the smell and the smoke was just too much to handle. It would have been delicious.. except it was just too doughy in the middle for my liking. I will make it again, mind you.. it was simple and pretty.... but I will get a better pan first... If you would like to try this fun little sticky bun recipe.. click here... and of course I don't need to tell you what NOT to do.

moments don't always get a picture... but sometimes you don't need a picture to visualize... like Lucy getting into the little green bin while we were away.. and spread around or ate all the month old soggy cranberries, the veggie ends from supper, the coffee grounds, the banana peels, the supper scrapings... and old hard marshmallows
I had dumped in there from the summer!
And imagine the site when I found Apollo behind the washing machine... massacring the catnip I hung near the furnace to dry last fall. I thought he was trapped under the dryer or something, the amount of thrashing I was hearing... it was him rolling in bliss at this amazing FIND.!!! Who has a camera for these moments... but again.. who needs one!


Anonymous said...

Donna- I absolutley love reading your blogs (whether they are about old or current topics). You are a gifted writer and story-teller and reading your blogs makes me feel just like I am talking to you!
I am so happy that you are blogging again and I look forward to reading each and every one that you write!!

ancient one said...

What Debbie said... I love your blogs!! Glad your burn is well.

GailM. said...

Gesh, I didn't know you burned yourself... ouch... Often I open up the oven only to get my glasses full of steam... I can't see a thing.....with oven mits on, it's hard to remove the glasses etc... so I look way up, only to look down under my steamed up glasses...

I love love love reading all your blogs... but you are my sister and I might be bias!!!!

Anonymous said...

I always have and always will love your blogs Donna. Dig out those old ones and share them dude! You know us Peters love to hear old stories (over and over eh?):) I'm going to try your recipe but in a different pan. Is your dishwasher fixed yet? Lucy must have a cast iron stomach. Perhaps Jack is your blogging muse? love KofO

Cricket said...

I love your blogs. Wow, a new way to burn yourself. I never would have dreamed this could happen. I think this is called live and learn. Glad to know you are A okay though. Keep blogging!