“Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.”


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

To blog or not to blog, that is the question

Recently a few friends of mine asked me why I like blogging. I guess I really hadn't given it much thought until that moment... and that's when I reponded by saying I like writing, I like photography, and I enjoy sharing the things that I like with others.

And then I went home...
and thought about it some more.

For me, blogging is a lot like having a conversation. I get to share my day/thoughts/work with others... and in turn, I get emails from those take the time to read what I have to say. In turn, I often go to THEIR blog and email THEM about what they have to say. Yes, the conversation takes a bit longer... but I like it.

When I was younger I always had a penpal. We would write long letters, exchange photos and trinkets, newspaper clippings and even candy. I once sent a watch to a penpal in Papua New Guinea and  he sent me  jewelry in return. I treasured that jewelry. It's still in the memory box I've kept it in for more than 30 years. I wonder if he kept that watch.

But blogging is also a means to promote your cause - and to entice others to join in with you. For example, I use my TRAMPS blog to discuss issues regarding lies in advertising (photoshopping photos) and to rally others to join in on the boycotts, letter writing campaigns, and other activism to forward the cause of eliminating deceptive advertising. So far, tho I have a small group thus far, I feel as though I am at least doing SOMETHING productive.

Blogging also allows us to connect with others indirectly. It used to be that we would tell someone to tell someone else something that we wanted them to know - but the info couldn't come from us. (Talk about deceptive! I know... but it works). Now people just put it on the blog and it's out there. No need for a middleman.

Or we can passive aggressively get points across that we normally wouldn't have the strength to do ourselves. 

And example is me posting a message to the asshole in Hawaii. (I believe the post is called something like HEY ASSHOLE IN HAWAII). That was meant for just ONE single person (well... and the spouse too, if they're also continuously creepin'). This is someone I don't really like seeing what I do or reading what I say. I can't stop him, of course, but I can make sure HE KNOWS that I know that he's still (after many years) obsessed with reading what I have to say. This is kinda fun for me (and if you want to know who I'm talking about, email me and I'll give you the 411 on this loser.) 

Then there's other people I HOPE are reading my blog. This is another form of being passive.. but it's not passive aggressive... it's more like passive communication. I WANT this person to see what I post because I often post about (this person) and though I'm angry at (him/her) I still miss (him/her) and hope that some day this person will figure it out and try to make amends.

 But I'm not always being passive... sometimes it's all about promotion.

Yes, I also blog to promote stuff. Like my book or my photography. It's a great marketing tool - much like a website, but way easier and WAY WAY WAY more personal. I love reading emails from those who bought my book and when they tell me where they're all from, I put a pin in a map so I can stand back and gwak at all the places my little book has traveled.

So I guess I blog for many reasons. To promote, to bitch, to share, to advise and even to communicate with people I'm not communicating with directly.

I'm sure I'll add more reasons in the future. But for now - this is my answer. That and... I just enjoy it.

Celebrating Halloween with the kids!

Passive aggressive blogging

During Hurricane Sandy, American Apparel and Gap decided to launch a marketing campaign in an email blast aimed at 9 Eastern states for 36 hours of the storm - trying to draw them into leaving the safety of their home and shopping for a 20% discount. "Just enter SANDYSALE at the checkout line" said the ad.

I've heard a lot of marketing campaigns before but this one struck me as completely tacky. GAP also tweeted to their public to stay safe during the storm AND do a little shopping at Gap.com.

Since then, Gap has semi-apologized while American Apparel remains quiet.

I'm not the only one who felt this was inappropriate. Some friends in the area who received the ad told me that they feel it was completely inappropriate and, as I said earlier, tacky... and they would not be shopping at either store for a long while (if ever).

Both have launched crappy campaigns before, but I believe this is a first for them.

Way to go GAP and American Apparel! You've managed to once again make yourselves look like idiots!

Happy Samhain!

My favorite holiday has finally arrived!
Mexico Day of the Dead

Halloween... AKA Samhain... is the biggest and most significant holiday of the Celtic year. It is the beginning of the Celtic calendar, and the only pre-Christian holiday that has stood the test of time. It is celebrated between October 31 and November 2nd in countries all over the world.

Originally it was the Celts who celebrated All Hallows Eve (31st) and the Day of the Dead (Nov 1st) - believing that the veil between our world and the spirit world was the thinnest, and souls would mingle with the living for 24-48 hours. Others believed that souls that had died the year before were walking the earth... on a journey to the other side. Masks were worn so the souls would not see the peoples faces, especially of their loved ones, and want to stay on the earth for another year.

Bonfires were often lit at this time to honor the dead, and today many people offer apples, bread or root vegetables to the spirits to honor them on their journey. Lit pumpkins, gourds, and squash would line the streets, creating a path for the spirits to follow.

So how does my family celebrate Samhain?

We throw a party!

Let's see... we have a ghost pinata for the kids, apple bobbing, pumpkin carving, and we even have a gingerbread haunted house.

Plus a big dinner with all the fixins'.

If the weather was nicer (and not so soggy, cold, and crappy out) we'd have a big bonfire and play some music around the fire.

Typical fall party stuff.

We also honor the dead. If we know of someone who has passed within the year, they are remembered.

And we also honor the upcoming year... just like one does on New Year's Eve.

It is definitely a great night and tonight my parents and my kids will be here to break bread (literally), watch the kids play games, listen to Celtic music and remember those that passed... while looking ahead to the future.

It's a wonderful night indeed.

I hope yours will be as well.

Take care,


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall photos from here and there

A chuckle ....

Hillbilly ways may be shared by others

I "borrowed" this photo from an online news report about Hurricane Sandy... only because I totally did the plastic rain boots.

And I only dig them because my mom used to make me put bread wrappers over top of my snow boots in the winter to make them water-proof, and I, in turn, had my two oldest kids do the same.

I always assume that weird things such as this is just us hillbilly's making use of what we have. Seeing another person NOT here in hillbilly land using the same techniques is refreshing.

But then again, he may be an immigrant.
That is.. immigrating from Appalachia.

Si gets to go to the midnight release of

 .... Assassin Creed.

Hurricane Sandy

Wow! Been looking at the photos from all the damage and despair from the current Hurricane and part of me feels so terribly emphatic for all those people stuck with said damage and despair... and the other part wishes I was there to photograph it.

Luckily, the sensible, empathetic part wins.

Recently heard from my friend Freddie who lives up yonder (close to Providence) and he said things are okay with him. That's good. I was worried. One news report said his town had been evacuated. Yikes!

He rode it out playing guitar.

I've seen him play guitar and heard him sing.

Believe me, it's a great way to pass the time during the storm.

Here's a pic of Freddie (stolen from his Facebook). I'm too lazy to find mine and load them in. Sorry Freddie.. but everyone had to see your handsome face!

Be safe! Be warm! And Be good!


A bit of wet, mushy snow on this cold Tuesday morning

And a trip into Athens for a midnight release....

 Silas loves the Assassin Creed video game series. He's been paying on the latest game for more than 5 months now, and last night was the night it would be released... at MIDNIGHT, of course.

So this is Si dressed up and ready to head out. We got there around 11:30pm and stood in line with the other excited gamers (a very few had girlfriends, or girls with them, I'd like to add). Silas was the youngest there. Another benefit of homeschooling. lol!

At midnight the energy grew in the crowd as one-by-one they picked up their gamers.

Honestly, I've never seen anything like it. And... ummm... not too sure if I will again.

At least Si had fun.

And I know there'll come a time when I'll look you in the eyes and say: "I told you so"

 Andy Grammer, the guy I just saw in concert... wrote this amazing song that's now climbing up the charts called Miss Me.

Damn I love this song! I can't stop singing it to myself... I'm so engrossed in the lyrics that I find myself belting it out, even when I'm at the grocery store or today at the gas station.

Even now. As I sit here at 1 am, just returning from a very rainy Athens (a story for another day), the song played on the radio right before I turned on my street... and I'm here... singing it. Quietly, tho, for now. But still... it's belting in my head.

And that's where it keeps spinning... repeating over and over. These lyrics especially.

Set me up for the falling, gave me no warning you were gone
Let me down I was reeling, I can't believe what you have done
Go do what you've gotta do, damn words will follow you
Everywhere you go
And I know there'll come a time when I'll look you in the eyes and say: "I told you so"

And I promise you this, you're gonna miss me, miss me

As long as you live you're gonna miss me, miss me

Going to bed now.
With these words playin' in my head over and over.

And I know there'll come a time
When I look you in the eyes and say
I told you so.

You're gonna miss me... miss me.

Goodnight everyone.
Sweet dreams.

lol! I count everything as a fieldtrip!

Monday, October 29, 2012

You tell 'em Einstein!

Oh yes... I know people such as this.

And then there are smart people who don't seem to use their brain at all!!

We got a wee bit of snow.

First of the season! Zappa seemed to enjoy it!

Si got his school mug today

This is for his morning tea or hot chocolate as he does school work. It's actually huge!

Photo odds and ends

 Came across some recently taken (and not so recently taken) photos and given it's a cold, wet, soggy afternoon - and I'm on a short break from homeschooling - I thought I'd post a few that I especially liked.

 Baby JoJo out with Izzy and I for a "playdate"

 Pop Scott and Izzy have a conversation on the front porch.

 The left is Rowan and Izzy riding in the stroller - and the right is the same mode of transportation with cousin Tiffany in the back + Chrissy in the middle and a cramped Alex in the front. Chrissy is Izzy's mom and Rowan is the son of Alex.

 It took a while but I removed every photo, repainted the frame or reframed it, then rehung each one and added a few A's for our family last name. I love the way it looks... and , um... can you tell I really dig photos? I call this "The Shrine"... given it's a shrine to my kids!

Izzy giving me the stink eye at Burger King (on her playdate with Baby JoJo)

Getting chilly out. Si enjoys hot chocolate with his morning classes.

Auntie Terri loves you! Happy 16th Deidra!

Iz checking out some Halloween decorations...

here in Glouster. She isn't even scared!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hey crazy asshole in Hawaii!

Be pathetic and creepy. I could care less.

A walk in the rain

 Took a refreshing walk in the rain today. Just me, my camera, rubber boots and a rain coat... strolling through puddles, checking out flowers that have recently been killed off by the frost, and shot a few photos from my own garden. It was peaceful out. Quiet here in this small town.

It was nice...

Storm's coming in!!

I think all weather reports should look like this weather report. Makes much more sense.

Went for a hike today with the kids

We were out looking for seeds and how they released themselves in the wild. It was a great, warm day.

A funny reflection of me inside a raindrop.. lol!

Did you know???

Ears of corn always have an even number of rows of kernels.

Cold and rainy day here in Southeastern Ohio

 Just two days ago it felt like summer. Silas had a science lesson regarding ecosystems and reproductive efforts of plants... so we hiked at Burroak looking for evidence of seed distribution. (I'll post photos to the Turtle Hill blog when I update it... which will be soon, since I have a LOT of photos to post. We've been VERY busy!)

It's supposed to get warm again next week. I can't wait until this cold, rainy spell is over so we can enjoy the warm weather, before the cold snowy AND freezing rain season comes around... and stays for a long while.