Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Guess Who Came to Dinner?

In a recent post titled 'Baby Love' I wrote about how much my grandsons enjoy the book 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle. In that book there is a cute little caterpillar that eats his way through a variety of foods as he prepares to turn into a beautiful butterfly. Cute little book which I have always enjoyed reading. Until now. Until a very hungry caterpillar, or two or three or more, ate their way through my tomato plants. Here are how my tomato plants looked at the beginning of August. I could taste the salsa. I could smell the spaghetti sauce.

And then....the caterpillars arrived. They are officially called Tomato Horn Worms. I have my own special nickname for them which I will just keep to myself.

If I wasn't so mad at them I could write about their great color and markings and how this one almost looks rather cute hanging upside down as he enjoys MY tomato.

Guess I will be buying Ragu spaghetti sauce this winter but for now I will enjoy the colors and shapes of the tomatoes I saved from the jaws of the very hungry caterpillars.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

In the beginning...

In the beginning...I started my blog as a way to journal about the trip to India my husband and I were taking to attend our oldest daughter's wedding. I have lived in NH my whole life and had not had many traveling adventures so this was the trip of a lifetime and I wanted to document all that I was seeing, feeling, hearing, tasting and smelling. My blog also allowed me to communicate with our friends and family who were not able to make the trip with us but who wanted to stay connected to the activities. I recently reread my oldest posts and it was a trip down memory lane. I was taken back to the weeks leading up to the trip including the series of inoculations I had to get beforehand. My post 'Typhoid in My Belly' just might be my favorite post. And funniest.

In the beginning... I had no idea what it meant to be a blogger. I just wanted to journal about my travel adventure. I wasn't even sure if I was going to continue blogging when we returned home. What would I write about after India? I live in a very small town in a small state. There are no Dunkin' Donuts in my town. No traffic lights. No pizza delivery. Lots of cows and horses. Lots of trees. Lots of deer and coyotes. What could I possibly write about in a blog once my India adventure was over? Who would want to read anything written by me?

In the beginning... the only people reading my blog were close friends and family. If I got two comments on a post it was cause for celebration. This blog has allowed me to not only have written memories of my adventures but I also have written memories from the people who left comments. As I reread my oldest posts recently I found the comments left for me from my brother-in-law, Dan. I had forgotten that he had even taken the time to read my blog. I had forgotten that he took the time to leave comments on my blog. It was rather unnerving for me to read his words since he passed away in April at the age of 49 years old from lung cancer. I don't think I have any other written memories from him ~ I am glad that I have his comments written forever on my blog.

In the beginning... I had no idea about blogging protocol and it took me awhile to learn my way around the blogosphere. For awhile I lurked around, reading the blogs of others, trying to find blogs of interest. I started going back again and again to certain blogs and tentatively left a comment here and there, nervous about whether I would be welcomed into the blogging community. And then...slowly but surely...people started leaving comments on my posts. I was pretty sure that I knew how Jodie Picoult, the best selling author, must feel and I started preparing for the movie version of 'Nourish the Soul' and wondered who might play me. I have been told that I look like Sandy Duncan so I guess that is a possibility.

In the beginning...I had no idea how blogging would change my life and the friends I would meet. One day I tumbled into Patti Digh's blog, 37 Days, and the rest is history. Her book has changed my life AND Patti came to my community and spoke to a group of sixty people at our local cafe AND stayed at my home.I don't think that would have happened without blogging. It was an incredible adventure from beginning to end. I have 'met' so many other wonderful people through blogging ~ true blogging friends. I am in awe of Daryl over at 'On the M104'. Her photography is creative and if she doesn't exhibit it in a gallery soon I am going to have to become her agent. Daryl allows this country mouse to see the Big Apple through her lens. And did I mention that I love her sense of humor! Then there is Akelamalu who is one very busy lady but always takes time to welcome me with open arms. If I ever make it over the big puddle I hope to connect with her someday. For now she is my virtual blogging tour guide since she travels frequently. Marg and I have so much in common - love of family and basketball are at the top of our list. If we ever meet we will be hiking, cooking, laughing and talking lots. Willow is my very patient and talented friend from the West Coast who is willing to teach me to knit. Many people have tried but Willow seems to be up for the challenge. Now that cool weather is on its way I plan on sitting down and paying attention to my knitting mentor. Willow's blog also often reminds me to slow down and enjoy the small everyday wonders. Beverly is my blogging friend from down South who checks in on me and makes sure that I am okay. I appreciate her kindness. I have enjoyed watching Pink Dogflower evolve as a writer. She writes in a concise manner and paints a picture with her words. She is a thoughtful blogging friend, dedicated mom and I always enjoy my visits to her blogging home. She is always a welcome guest over at my place. And then there is my friend, Louise, who writes with refreshing honesty and candor. She is one very busy lady but does a nice job juggling it all. And her photography...if National Geographic doesn't hire her soon, it is their loss. I am convinced that someday I will be saying, ' I knew her when...' and I hopefully will get an autographed print before they all sell out. David McMahon is a blogging guru. He is a talented photographer but more importantly he has created a blog where many people want to hang out. Five days a week he lists "Posts of the Day" and to be mentioned there almost guarantees a new reader or two or at least at heady feeling of accomplishment and pride. David's blog is like a clearinghouse of blogs...and I have meant many of my blogging friends from hanging out at David's place.
In the beginning...I didn't know any of these wonderful people but blogging has opened so many doors for me.
In the beginning...I never knew Shaye or Jeni or Maggie May or Chapati or Cheffie Mom or Shrinky. All of these blogging friends write from their heart. I find myself wondering how Tsannie's garden is growing. And whenever I go to visit my new friend, Brian Miller, I bring a box of tissues with me. Not just one tucked in the waist of my pants. Oh, no...a whole box because Brian is one talented writer who grabs my heart and my soul with his words and I so wish I could write with his creativity and passion. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Sandy Carlson who is a powerful blogger who reaches out to her blogging friends with her pictures and words. And one of my newest blogging friends is Kim who actually lives only twenty miles away from me. We met at the Patti Digh book event and the rest is history. Kim is an artist and I am always inspired when I stop in to visit her blog. And the comments she leaves for me leave a smile on my face which last for hours. Natalie ,who live 'Down Under', writes with total truthfulness and humanness and I often wished she lived closer. Sandi is an inspiration to many in the blogging world since she recently published her first book. And then there is Diane who is not afraid to tackle any subject with respect for the opinions of all. She recently became a grammie, as did I, so we also have that in common. Diane recently wrote a post where she 'recognized' many of her blogging friends in a post so I must give her some credit to her for the direction of this post.

In the beginning...I had no idea that blogging was so addictive, so time consuming. A writer at heart, I could spend hours in the blogosphere. I have had to take blogging breaks because I need to focus on other hobbies or annoying things such as housecleaning or bill paying. But I always come back for more. I find myself wondering what my blogging friends are doing and if they are okay. It is not that I am nosy, well I might be a little bit, but I truly have come to care for my blogging friends in a blogging sort of way. People who do not blog do not understand. But a wise woman named Daryl basically told me to do what I want and ignore the naysayers. She might have actually used more colorful language but you catch my drift.

In the beginning...I never thought I would have a site meter. I now have a site meter which tells me over 10,000 people have visited my blog.

In the beginning...I never thought I would write 100 posts. I have now written 115 posts.

In the beginning... I didn't know where this blogging adventure would take me, I still don't, but I do know that I am truly enjoying the ride.

In the beginning...I wasn't sure where this post was headed but now I do...I just wanted to say thank you to all of my blogging friends for enriching my world, for opening my eyes and for a unique friendship that is only a blog away. Thank you.

And if I forgot to mention you, I apologize. It doesn't mean that I don't appreciate you or your comments. It means I am menopausal and I am prone to spells of forgetfulness. Honest. If I forgot you, let me know and I will dedicate a post to you. Promise.
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