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Category Archives: Wordpress Blogging

309 Chronicles

 

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Life is an adventure. This our latest. 

We purchased this home on March 20, 2012. Our intention is to fix it up and rent it or sell it. 

As you can see it needs some help. We hope that what we do with it will improve its curb appeal, square footage and the overall flow of the interior.

The great part about this home is the fact that even though it was built in 1947 it was well kept and CLEAN!

 

This past week we have met with the carpenters about replacing the roof, adding a dormer, and changing the roof line on the garage. Everywhere we go we look at homes as we drive by trying to get an idea for a color scheme for the exterior. We are narrowing it down.

This week on Wednesday evening while Dean was at a school board meeting I began demo on the upstairs. We are taking it down to the rafters and studs upstairs. I removed 1960 style paneling from the walls and the insulation. Itchy, itchy, itchy.  The shower felt great when I got home.

Last evening we continued work upstairs. One of the major improvements we are making is moving the interior stairway to the upstairs. It is presently a widow maker. Very steep, narrow stairs. Dean began pulling up floorboards for the location of the new stairway. 

We’re excited about the project and hope that we don’t end up on one of the home improvement shows like “Over Your Head”.  I will be posting more pictures of our project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fishing: It’s a Grandpa Thing

Last evening while we were watching grandson Jack we decided to dig a few worms from my garden, grab a fishing pole, headed down to the lake and dropped a line.

This was my grandson Jack’s first fishing attempt. Grandpa and Jack got the worm on the hook and threw the line off the dock, watched and waited until the bobber did this …

The above picture is my entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Water. I’m multi-tasking instead of posting a separate post for the challenge.

Next Jack had to come and show Grandma his fish.

Jack was a little concerned about his fish. Grandpa asked him if he wanted it back in the water and Jack said “Yes!”

So Jack helped Grandpa put the fish the back in the water.

Then Jack watched as it swam away.

Hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge:Spring

 

It may not look like spring to most but here in Minnesota when the snow starts melting during the days and refreezes at night you see a lot of ice that looks like this.

My favorite ice in the springtime was the ice that was along the sidewalks that we would walk on as we walked to school just to hear it crunch.

This morning we woke again to thick fog which also reminds me that it is spring. As hard as you may look across the lake you cannot see the other shore.

Soon the snow will be gone and all that will be remembered is the Sunday afternoon that I went for a walk across the lake in thick fog in search of some signs of spring.

Just couldn’t end without a little bit of green spied just below my livingroom window this afternoon.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadow

While out on an afternoon walk near our hotel I took a picture of this palm tree and its shadow. I loved the color of the stripe on the wall and the beautiful blue skies. If only I could figure out a way to have a palm tree in my yard in Minnesota. It would certainly feel much warmer if I could look out my window and see a palm tree with its branches blowing in the wind.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Curiosity

This evening when we came home I looked up and saw this beautiful moon surrounded by clouds and I am reminded of all the beauty that has been placed on this earth and in the heavens for our enjoyment and wondered why? 

It certainly wouldn’t have to be filled with the extensive number of colors, textures, flora and fauna that cover the earth.  If the world contained any less of anything, would we have noticed or imagined it to be any less spectacular than we know it to be?

 

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Blogging: Where Seduction Meets Obsession

It started innocently enough a little more than a year ago.  While I was learning to fly I began reading flying blogs, anything that someone wrote about their learning to fly experiences.  I started off with reading author, pilot and flight instructor Greg Brown’s blog, The Flying Carpet.  He guided me through learning to fly with his posts on flying.  He connected me with other older pilots who I could relate to in my learning to fly experiences.  Up to that time I had heard about blogging but didn’t really know what it was.

For months I continued to read Greg’s blog and student pilot blogs.  I found myself searching for more life experiences from other student pilots and spending more and more time on-line.  I can’t seem to pin point the exact moment I decided to start a blog but sometime not long before my first post on January 8, 2010 I happened on to the WordPress.com site and it talked about how easy it was to start a blog. 

I’m not that tech savvy so I took it slow and played with the blog idea and themes.  I choose the name FlyingGma for two reasons: both are because of defining moments in my life.  The first part was my pursuit of learning to fly at age 48 and the second part was for my new role as grandma in August of 2009.  I really didn’t know where I was going with the blog when I started other than to learn something new.

I started to read other blogs on WordPress.com by way of  “Freshly Pressed”.  The seduction began when I started seeing the featured blogs on the front page of WordPress.com.  Seeing my blog featured on Freshly Pressed became my goal.

 I read many of the Freshly Pressed blogs to see what they were doing that made them unique and ultimately chosen for the Freshly Pressed feature.  I started subscribing to various blogs that I found interesting on Freshly Pressed.  Up until this point no one had ever commented on anything I had written except for two dear friends that I shared the fact that I have a blog.

Just as Satan seduced Eve with an apple the statistics seduced me.  WordPress definitely knows what they are doing when they say they have stats to obsess over.  It’s true.  When my blog started to be read regularly by others and they left a comment those numbers became more important.  I began to check the stats more than once each day.  I definitely liked to see the numbers improve or special comments left about what I had written.

Next I read a blog about someone who worried about the subscriber that they had lost and wondered why.  I didn’t realize up to this point that I could subscribe to a blog or have subscribers.  I was still learning about WordPress and blogging.  I began subscribing to other blogs that I enjoyed reading and adding links from my blog to their blogs.  The statistics just kept getting better.  Somehow in my mind I equated better statistics with better writing, which was far from the truth.  My writing has improved by practicing daily but it still has a long way to go.

I have observed bloggers remove posts from their sites because no one commented on their post or perhaps didn’t even visit a blog on a day.  At first it bothered me that what I wrote wasn’t read or people didn’t visit my blog because of the topic I chose to write about that day.  Then I thought just maybe the reason they didn’t read could have been they have a life outside of blogging and were spending time doing something else that day.  Maybe they were doing something special with their family, which would be a better thing than reading my blog.  Good for them! 

I haven’t blogged for almost a week thinking about the seduction/obsession that blogging has become in my life.  What was I giving up in the amount of time I spent preparing my blog and photos?  Time with my husband, family and other things that I enjoy like reading, quilting, baking and of course sleep. 

There will be more balance in my life from here on out.  I will continue to blog but probably not as often.  Time is a commodity, which means there is not an endless supply of it. Using time wisely is my new obsession not wanting to squander even a minute of the precious gift it is.

 

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An Anniversary of sorts..a New Habit

This past week marked one year of blogging for me.  I can’t believe that the time has gone that fast but then of course I’m getting older and that  is what old people do, they talk about the time going fast.  WordPress provides many statistics for their bloggers, the one I find hard to believe is that I have 161 posts in my archives. 

When I started the blog it was just to challenge myself to do something new and that meant learning the WordPress software for blogging.  As I started writing my posts it was a place I could write about my flying experiences.  I’ve wandered far and wide from my original post ideas for my blog. 

 I live in a small town and know only two pilots, one is only here seasonally.  I love to talk about learning to fly so the blog gave me a place to do that since the closest local airport is 20 miles away and I couldn’t hang out there regularly.  I have met many pilots through blogging that I can share my love of flight through their blogs.

One of the most interesting side benefits of the blog is that I am excited to get out of bed in the morning to write.  This is a new habit for me.  I am more of a late night person.  I love to stay up late reading for hours which makes it difficult to get up in the morning. 

My work schedule keeps pushing more into my evening hours, often not getting home until after 8pm which doesn’t leave much time for reading and definitely not much time for writing.  My habits have shifted from less reading to more writing.

My desire to write drives me to get out of bed earlier and earlier so I can have time I crave to write before I had to leave for work.  While I am at work I’m thinking about what I want to write about and thinking about what photo I could include and what research I might need to do before I post.  It makes my workday go faster with my thoughts racing in different directions about writing.

Some days I wonder where the words will come from but approaching  life as an observer provides plenty of writing material.  Learning new things also provides writing material if you are willing to share the good and the not so great experiences, allowing others to learn from your mistakes. 

I don’t know where this next year of blogging will lead me but the benefits of this past year and new habits will keep me coming back for more and pursuing new avenues in the new year, trying to do it better than the day before.

 

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Coffee

For my regular readers you know that I love my coffee:  morning, noon and night.  Wednesday evening I attended a school board conference with my husband.  While I was waiting for him to finish talking to the presenters I took some photos.  My favorite was this one:

One of the things I’ve played around with the past couple of months is photography.  Last month I started another blog, MineEyesHaveSeen.  You will find the link in my blogroll to the right or at  http://mineeyeshaveseen.wordpress.com/.  My photos are not professional,  just beginning photos that I have taken.  I have posted one photo a day with a brief description about the photo or the place it was taken.  If you want a quick view of the photos I’ve taken click on the word Archive at the top of the photography blog.

I started MineEyesHaveSeen blog because I was finding it hard to include my photos my regular blog.  I recently purchased Adobe Photo Shop for my new laptop.  I hope to post different effects to my photos that I learn in the software.  

I’m researching a new camera to buy.  I presently use a Nikon Cool Pix camera that my kids bought for me a couple of years ago.  I plan on purchasing a SLR camera with a couple of different lens so I can do more close-up photography, especially birds and flowers.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2011 in Blogging, Photography, Wordpress Blogging

 

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My New Morning Coffee Klatsch

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Why Blog?…Time vs. Benefits

This morning as I was reading a blog by JoDee Luna http://jodeeluna.wordpress.com ; her words caught my attention and made an emotional connection as well. 

She said, “Have you ever felt like your life ambitions extend beyond your expiration date?   Full days leave little time for working towards those projects you want to finish.”

Blogging: Time vs. Benefit

What is motivating me to continue blogging?   Finding the words and pictures for the blog each day takes time.  When I started blogging in January it was just a challenge for me to see if I could actually set up a site and teach myself how to upload text and pictures to the site.  I’m not that computer savvy.  When I graduated from college we were still using electric typewriters for our papers.  We added carbon paper if we needed a second copy. 

I didn’t have any preconceived ideas of grandeur of a widely read blog. I just wanted to try something new to challenge myself.  I really didn’t understand how blogging worked or an idea of what I would write about, but I started.  This morning I left for work without posting on my blog because I was thinking about the amount of time vs. the benefits of blogging and were the scales tipped in a direction I could live with given my limited amount of discretionary time.

Benefits of Blogging

1.  Learning Something New

As I said earlier, learning something new was my original goal for blogging.  I have always said, “Any day that you learn something new is a good day!”  Sometimes you have to learn it the hard way but you still learn it.  I have been able to apply some of the things I have learned in WordPress in other areas at work. 

2.  Capturing a Moment of Time

When my husband and I were talking about blogging last week he said he would have loved to read what his parents, grandparents or other relatives had to say about living in their place in time.  I hadn’t thought about my descendants reading what I have written some day in the future.  I haven’t even shared with my four children or any other relatives besides my husband that I have a blog. 

3.  Seeing Glimpses of Other People in Their Worlds

Someday I hope to travel more extensively than I am able to now.  Until then, I can learn about other places in the world by reading other blogs.  Each person blogging brings a part of themselves and their worlds to share with those of us who take the time to read.  I especially love reading blogs like Sunshine in London http://sunshineinlondon.wordpress.com/ She is from South Africa and now lives in London.  She blogs about places that she finds interesting while living in London.  I can’t wait to travel to London someday and visit some of the places she has highlighted in her blog.  It’s like having my own personal travel agent telling me about what to see in London.

4.  Writing Styles

One of the most important benefits for me has been the ability to read so many writing styles.  I love reading Herding Cats in Hammond for her unique writing style.  My favorite post in the past year has been her post titled, ” I’ll Take Drooling for $750, Alex…November 9, 2010 by writerwoman61.”  It is a post about having dental surgery done on her daughter but written  in a very unique way in the format of the Jeopardy TV show.

Another blog I enjoy reading for his style and sense of humor is http://TEStazyk.com.  He writes from New Zealand so I get the opportunity to learn about another part of the world while reading his blog.  Thomas, through his blog has introduced me to a new and expanded vocabulary.  I love the creative banter of his regular readers while commenting on his latest post.  It’s a fun place to visit!

5.  Improving My Writing Skills

This would have been the last benefit that I would have written for blogging 11 months ago when I started.  I never thought of and still don’t think of myself as a writer.  The more posts I read and write I find myself wanting to do a better job in my writing.  After reading posts from another of my favorite blogs, Joe Clarks’ Blog, http://joeclarksblog.wordpress.com/, I find myself looking up things like passive voices.  A year ago I would never had looked up that topic.  Joe inspires me to learn new things both in aviation and writing through his passionate writing on many topics.

6.      Renewing Old Passions  

Photography and quilting are two passions that I have had in the past.  I never thought that starting a blog would re-ignite those passions.  The process of writing the blog and incorporating photos have me seeing everything through the lens of a camera.  Back in my early college days  I was interested in photography but I was discouraged because of its cost.  Now with the new digital cameras there are so many more things that you can try and only pay to have the pictures that you truly love.

Quilting is something that I have been passionate about for nearly 25 years and there are so many sites that give hints to make the process easier.  The ideas for quilts, tools, and hints are endless and have me exploring for the next best project.

Blogging has taken a place of priority in my discretionary time but I think the benefits are well worth the time spent.

 

 
11 Comments

Posted by on November 18, 2010 in Quilting, Wordpress Blogging, Writing skills

 

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