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Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Flower Cart #theblogginglounge

Standing at the back door looking out to the greenest of green grass while my coffee brews
 makes the morning feel fresh and new. Maybe makes life feel fresh and new.
Yes, a new start. A new chance.
Not that life has been bad to this point, not at all.
Yet, since the goal is to be a better person each day, the green-ness is a reminder.



Ariana Browning's photo.




The little cart with ivy growing and blooms just about to open is alone in the center of the yard.
It sits with no distractions.
Seeing it feels warm. Seeing it feels as if nature is tapping on my shoulder. Come play!
And play, I shall.
I am not able to refuse the call of sun and warm air and green things growing.
I will tend to the flowers and the pristine water in the pool.
I will sit near the bird bath and hummingbird feeders and enjoy their chirps.
I will sip my coffee in silence just soaking in all that makes me happy about my own 
little piece of the earth.
Just the sight of the little cart I filled with growing plants will be enough to step into this day 
with a smile of summer's promises.

Jo

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Busy Blog Pages

I write this piece as a blogging service announcement. You may agree or disagree or just think I'm nuts in the head. All fine with me. I'm going to write it anyway, cuz I feel like it needs to be said.

My expertise comes from being a professional (albeit unpaid) blog reader and commenter. I read and comment a great deal more than I write. I love a well laid out blog page that makes reading easy and commenting easy breezy.

Some of the biggest problems I, as your reader, have encountered involve the junk on your page other than your blog. The ads that pop up and have to be removed so that I can read on. The left side list of places you want me to share your blog that interfere with your words. The badges that take up a quarter of your page that I have to scroll through to get to the comments. Typing my name, email and website addy every time I want to comment. Captchas! Music that plays automatically when I open your blog. I like quiet. A blog written around pictures which don't show on a mobile FB platform. Subscribe to me pop-ups while I'm reading in the middle of the page.

One or two of those don't really bug me that much, but dang, if you want readers you really have to think about someone who is trying to read your words being able to actually read them without a bunch of stuff to work around. Your readers are lazy and they came for your words. Not for your extra add-ons.

Just suggesting here that I'm probably not the only reader who doesn't come back often if it's too distracting to read. And I don't comment where there is a captcha and often don't comment if the site can't remember my email or web page addy after I type in my name.  Ain't nobody got time for that!

Just sayin' make it easy for the people you are trying to attract! Doesn't that make sense?

Or no? It's your blog and your readers. It's just my opinion.

Jo

Friday, January 17, 2014

SAD Update

January 17, 2014

We are in the midst of a horrible winter, weather wise. We've had a record snow fall and an epic ice storm and we have seriously just begun the season. It's tough to even watch the forecasts because, honestly, I don't want to know what's next. What I smile about is that over 100 days have passed since the SAD season has launched and this sufferer is not suffering. I am looking at each day as it comes and I am facing each one as happily as I can manage because, after all, it's only one day. I can do anything for one day. And the tomorrow? I'll do it again.

Each morning starts with a smile to me. Just because I like who I am. Then a quick look at the days motivational phrase. Today it was, "There is comfort in familiar places and good friends."  That's a nice thought for any day. From there I give myself a quick list of blessings in my life and finish my first cup of coffee with hazelnut coffee mate.

All of this is done inside my head, privately to me. Except the coffee, that's a nice warm and fresh cup in my hands and warming my chilly body while settling and setting my mind for this day.

I cannot recall another Michigan winter that has been so calm. I can't think of any other cold, dreary or stormy season that I could easily laugh everyday. Nor another fall/winter that I could curl up with a book because I wanted to get lost in the story and not because I couldn't face reality, just because I wanted to enjoy fantasy.

2014. Welcome and bring it! I'm good. I'm grateful. I'm strong and I'm winning!

Jo

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

WHO AM I?#theblogginglounge

Photo: The Blogging Lounge Prompt #1 for January 8th, 2014. Share links in Facebook group or on my site (arianabrowning.com), specific blog link can be found on sidebar on left. Let's see those creations! #thebloggingloungeSo okay...my name is Jo. I am, like most people, very complex. I can be different things at different times.   
I am a daughter. Momma is 91. Dad passed away in 1978.
I am a sister. I have one brother and one sister.
I am a wife. Roomy has been with me over 31 years.
I am a mom. I gave birth twice, one girl and one boy. I also inherited four children when I married Roomy. He had two girls and two boys. Life happened and the girls divorced us. The boys are still part of our lives, but one more than the other, partly because one moved out of state and isn't interested in what is going on here. We have adjusted to this. Can't say we ever really accept it, but it is fact and we can't dwell on what we've lost because we have three families who need us to dwell on them and we happily do so.

About 2 years ago I retired for the second time and finally last December, a year ago, Roomy retired for the third and final time. It's been a year of adjustment for us and honestly, it's been pretty easy in most areas. Probably the hardest part has been finding our alone time. Or should I say my alone time. He goes to the downstairs "sports arena" to watch TV every evening and has done so for many years. We cannot watch much TV together because there are very few shows we both like. That's fine because I'm usually on FB and watching anyway, so there wouldn't be much conversation. It's the morning time that was hard. He likes to get up EARLY and I'm a night owl and sleep in. I also like to quietly drink my coffee and NOT TALK. He is a chatty boy in the morning. He has learned to sit quietly until I speak. It's all good. :-)

I write in streaks. I have a lot to say now and then, yet other times I feel mute. I suppose it has a great deal to do with how busy I am with household projects or family business or just grand kids. I don't like to write in small windows of time. I like to write when I can write until my head is empty. It fills with stories and characters and ideas and blog thoughts and eventually ~ I just have to sit and purge the gray matter until I am clear headed once again. That's when I HAVE to write. My goal has always been to be disciplined enough to sit for at least an hour a day and write SOMETHING. Alas, I am not that disciplined. I apparently am a writer of need. Full head...write. It works for me, so...

I was for many years a hairdresser and I always said that, right after my name. Now, I just say my name. I am kind of happy about that. I feel like I am a woman without a title and I am good with that because, as I said earlier, I am complex and many different people. So I'm now just Jo. The girl with many hats and a smile for everyone. And a hug for most!

Jo