Mo Bloggin'

A little o' this, a little o' that

Another one bites the dust…jacket

Why is it that when I sit down to write my mind goes blank?  I have all these good ideas tumbling around in my head and all I get is dead air when I open up a fresh page to write.

I recently read of another blog that’s going to be published as a book.  I’m not sure if the fellow was soliciting to publishers or if the publisher made him an offer (I’m pretty sure it’s the latter), but it does give one pause.

I will state right now that I never started this blog (four years ago last month!) with anything other than a way to keep up with the little things in life, and didn’t then nor do I now believe it’s anything more than that.  There may be a post or two that could, with minor

My adorable Farley-foo, most handsomest Setter ever!

My adorable Farley-foo, most handsomest Setter ever!

modifications, be reprinted in a magazine, or as part of a book (how-to or memoir), but most of it is just a bit of self-centered nattering about my favorite subjects – the critters, the farm, the garden, and the work to keep all of it going.

But, that said, it does make me think a bit about it all.  Like many bloggers (and non-bloggers) I follow a dozen or so blogs from fellow bloggers.  Usually with similar interests (small farms and/or livestock) or things I’m interested in (cooking), but it’s a fun way to see what others of like minds are up to.  There’s Bliss, a fellow dog (Rottweiler) person, whose Blabs are always entertaining and often thought provoking.  Or Emily in the UK, an apprentice beekeeper who puts my beekeeping practices to shame.  Another is Donna, a fellow Shetland shepherd and mentor, whose ram, Jocko, sired my two ewes’ twin lambs (four lambs total) last year.  And there’s Michelle, another shepherd nearby whose posts are always informative and there’s generally lively discussion on the comments, too.  There are another half dozen or more I read regularly, plus the random blogs I catch here and there.  I’ve learned from other blogs, made recipes posted on them, and admire these other bloggers.

I learned of this latest blog to book deal via the host for my blog, WordPress, touting the blog and the deal.  I went to read it, with it’s romantic sounding name, and left feeling a little deflated (but not defeated!).  It’s another of those stories that make me feel envious, that my life is dull and I have no sense of adventure.  It’s written by an ex-pat living in New Zealand with his partner/husband, and the stories revolving around the 20 acres they purchased where they raise chickens, pigs, sheep and olive trees, and even bottle the olive oil for sale.  The blog posts are sometimes quite long, but usually always entertaining.   Certainly the twist of doing this as a couple of city boys from the U.S.A. in a land as beautiful as New Zealand makes it much more adventurous and appealing than someone who’s just lived her life yearning to be on a farm, surrounded by animals

The sheep hanging out  last weekend.

The sheep hanging out last weekend.

and becoming as self-sufficient as possible while still bathing regularly and paying the power company for lights and heat.  Sure I’ve kept a small flock of chickens for most of my life now (the tipping point came a few years back, much to my wonder – it sure doesn’t seem that long…), and had a few years of dairy goat keeping back in the mid-80s, but mostly it’s just been coveting.  I still think of the property in the Okanogan that I almost went to look at; when I drove by it six months later the people who’d purchased it were doing exactly what I would have – some goats in the front yard (it was 20 or 40 acres with oodles of outbuildings and rolling hills…sigh.  (I’m ready to dash off to view some RE websites now.)

Still, it makes me think, this blog to book thing.  How can I make my blog more interesting, more readable?  And do I really want to?  I’ve been struggling to make it more succinct (not succeeding), but now I wonder.  Maybe if the story is compelling enough it doesn’t need to be shorter, and making the mundane seem, if not profound, then at least appealing and  interesting, with observations and thoughts along the way, is pretty much all we do as bloggers.  I do plenty of that, I think, but it always seems so self-absorbed and kind of icky, so I reel myself in much of the time too.  I’d like to make it more readable–more followers would be great, a real following, so to speak.  Must work on this.


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13 thoughts on “Another one bites the dust…jacket

  1. It’s always interesting to get feedback from other bloggers, isn’t it? Thanks for mentioning mine!

    I’m just fine with living a ‘mundane’ life; I guess I’ve never hankered for ‘adventure.’ Not that I wouldn’t LOVE the time and money to wander all over the UK, or visit the countries my grandparents came from (Germany, Sweden, Denmark), but I really do like my life and feel so blessed to be living it.

    And I agree, Farley is the handsomest setter ever!

    • mcfwriter on said:

      Thanks, Michelle. And I think we’re on the same page with the adventure aspect. I’d love to travel to the ancestral lands as well (Ireland, Hungary, Poland) but find that when I leave for more than a few days, I become homesick very quickly, so being ‘stuck’ here is as much emotional as physical. Of course, it’s been several years since I’ve been able to leave for more than 48 hours, but still. I’m a homebody through and through and have been since my teens. For me the restlessness has been increasing as the opportunity decreases (planning a two day trip last year was like planning and expedition, with all the home/farm care) and the inverse relationship is probably due to the lack of opportunity (finding someone to farm sit) as much as any real desire to leave. But I also know that my perspective on the world is healthier for getting off my little piece of it for a time. Even if I’d miss the Farster terribly (though it would take a few days…I really could use a break). And the sheep – little Fergus is the cutest little sheep you could meet.

  2. Do you follow this blog?

    Her blog’s tag line is “Life in Ordinary Splendor.” Book coming out in October. ‘Mundane’ can sell just fine. 🙂

    • mcfwriter on said:

      Not one that I follow(ed) – but now I will – thanks (I think 😉 I lament this, yet so often read these books (blog to book or not). Bucolic Plague was great (stole my title – but not the subtitle) as was The Dirty Life, or Catherine Friend’s books. I’m living it, and enjoy reading it as well. Thanks for the link!

  3. I love reading your adventures. I know my favorite blogs are those that have lots of pictures or the stories that create pictures I can visualize. Your writing gives me those visuals and if they were a book I would read it as my favorite authors are those that create pictures with there writing that I can clearly see as if I was right there with them…
    I seem to be writing all my blogs in my head lately and not putting anything to “paper” (as you can tell by my month long absence).
    I do have several blogs which I follow and with the exception of several very commercialized ones it seems most bloggers go through cycles of prolific blogging and not so prolific.
    I have always dreamed of being able to farm full time but have learned to shift my dreams and be happy with the small increments of them that I get to achieve — having a fenced back yard for the dogs to play in for example. Not the 20 acres I painfully want with all my heart but at least my 1/4 acre gives me some breathing room and the hope of chickens.
    So here is me, raising my glass to you and the small hobby farms that might not be quite the dream but at least a piece of the dream 🙂

    • mcfwriter on said:

      Thanks, Bliss! I definitely go through patches where the muse is definitely on haitus, even though as I’m doing chores and spending time with the critters I’m waxing lyrical in my head. I’ve thought that maybe I should use my cell phone to record my brilliance as I’m out raking leaves or mucking out the sheep pen or chicken coop (overdue!), watching the dogs play (my perfect puppy, Pal, always providing great observation/input – I never write about him, but he’s the most wonderful little guy).

      And get those chickens now! It’s chick season – all you need is a box (or dog crate – most of mine have been raised in dog crates) and a clamp-on light and some shavings (and food and water) and you’ll have laying hens in no time. If you get them now it will “force” you to build a little pen and coop for them – by the time they’re ready to be outside full time, you’ll have it built. You’ll fall in love with those adorable peepers and before you know it you’ll have fresh eggs from happy hens! And the dogs will help you keep the yard clean when they’re out foraging – fresh ‘bonbons’ from the hens are always a treat. (no kisses for a while though!)

      I swear, I’m going to make a day trip up your way so we can raise that glass together (course then I’d need a ride home…maybe I’ll bring the dogs and spend the night in my car in your driveway – heehee).

      • Yes you will definitely have to visit one day. Bring the pups and you can all stay in our guest room. Of course right now the guest room has doors in it and paint but someday that will actually have a futon for actual guests 🙂

      • Or maybe I need to get a farm fix and visit you !!!! I will bring the wine and cookies 🙂

      • mcfwriter on said:

        The futon will work when it’s ready, Bliss 🙂 I got rid of mine when I moved here – no room! But I do have a comfy sofa, so if it ends up that you come here, we’ll set you up! Or maybe an airbed in the loft. Dogs welcome here, too, though I’d probably have to come visit you to get my Vinnie fix. Shy is wonderful, but you know I miss my boy(s).

  4. Thanks for linking to my blog, glad you like it! I know of a beekeeper who after just three years of beekeeping had a book and a video out about his experiences. Some people have a real knack for making their hobbies and talents commercial, which I don’t have – though really I just want my blog to be a fun thing.

    • mcfwriter on said:

      Hi, Emily,
      I’ve been following you since your Lavender days, and you and Emma (and your beekeeping club) have been very informative. Your recent photo of Karen Alton with the human scale varroa mite was enough to give me nightmares, and reconsider my no treatment approach. I read your post about the beekeeper with the book/video out – loved it! Thanks for all you and Emma do for the bees!

  5. I love your blog Maureen! I know I am not a good writer and create my blog posts more for myself than anyone else. But I certainly do enjoy it when others like it too. I too find myself thinking of blog posts or photos while I am doing the chores here. Kind of self-indulgent but it helps me focus on what is going on around me.

  6. mcfwriter on said:

    Thanks, Donna! And your writing is just fine. I always enjoy reading of your farm, and hearing about your critters, garden, etc. It’s fun to share ideas and passions, and helps to know there are others out there like me (when working in the corporate world I feel like an oddity sometimes). I have this hankering now to get a yak…stop the madness!

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