Monthly Archives: August 2013

Celebrating One Year Of Blogging

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Photo Credit:      Katie. Thank you

Photo Credit:   Thank you Katie.

My blog and I are celebrating one year of Worpress-ed bliss. It is our “paper” anniversary, even though this has been a paperless  year for the two of us.

You might say our union was arranged… by a handful of people. A few friends encouraged me to get out there and…write. (Yah, right. No way.) 

My birthday sister and good friend Terri, over at The Laughing Mom had the perfect set-up for me. We’d double date and cruise the blogosphere together.

My Mother unknowingly did the final match-making. Last summer during a trip to my hometown, I enjoyed several visits with her. For the first time, I saw beauty amid the ugliness of her dementia.

It was the inspiration for Sweetie Pie, my first post, which wrote itself in my head. I hooked up with WordPress and hit the publish button.

Terri, The Laughing Mom, is a brilliant and funny writer with a large  following. She generously wrote a beautiful and heartfelt post to introduce me to the blogging community.  I was officially out there.

I had two concerns:  My debut funnysister post wasn’t funny, and I had nothin’ else in the pipeline.

Now what?

What would be the focus or theme of my blog?

What would I write next?

Do I have to write every week?

Will anyone read what I write?

Terri wisely counseled me through the angst.  She reminded me that it was my blog, to think of it as my playground and just have fun. OK, she may have initially  said something more along the lines of:  “Who gives a sh*t?  Just write what and when you want “

She’s smart that way, so I listened to her and kept writing.

In the last 12 months, I’ve published  21 posts. Clearly,  I am not the most prolific writer. This is in sharp contrast to my verbal skills:  20 years ago, a sales trainer diagnosed me with chronic “diarrhea of the mouth.”  I believe I am now in remission, however,  I did write about diarrhea in my December 2012 post, The Tale Of The Family Pa-Flu-Za.

I’d been preparing for blogging without realizing it. Years ago, at a gathering in our home, an acquaintance rolled her eyes and said with annoyance, “Oh God, Anne, you have a story for everything!”  I’m pretty sure I know why we have never become more than acquaintances. I’m also pretty sure she is not following my blog.

I love a good story.  It always makes me smile to get a phone call from a family member or friend and hear them say,  “I have a funny story to tell you.”

So, while I am still finding my focus, and my posts have been a mixed bag of topics and tone; I realize I am more of a story teller than an editorialist.

I only wrote about the murder of Dr. Ron Gilbert  because it was so personal. The post was  full of questions, not answers or opinions. Frankly, my dearly departed Dad keeps me from writing opinion oriented posts. As he so eloquently used to say:  opinions are like a**holes – everybody has one. Crass but correct.

I wish I was as brave and creative as some of the bloggers I follow. Initially, I was too nervous to read posts from other bloggers. I was afraid their topics or words would seep into my subconscious, rattle around in there for awhile,  and then I would inadvertently use them in a future post.

Obviously, the embarrassment I suffered in Mrs. Cornell’s 11th grade “World Religions” class stuck with me.  She scrutinized my research paper on the Church of God, for possible plagiarism when the word “schism” jumped out at her. Like a mob informant, I was acquitted of all charges, but sentenced to a lifetime of looking over my shoulder.

I no longer worry about unintentionally “stealing” material.  Inspiration is never in short supply, thanks in part to my family and friends who text, email, and call with:  “I have an idea for your blog” or  “You should write a post about…..”

The writing process is mysterious. Sometimes it is effortless and words spill out through through my fingertips, bounce off the keyboard and land on my laptop screen. For me, hitting the publish button is a difficult step. Perfectionism prohibits progress.

This past year has been a learning experience.

In addition to self-discovery, I’ve learned that my fellow human beings have varied interests. I can confirm this, based on the search terms that led readers to my blog. No judgement here.  However you choose to get your Google on is fine with me. For instance:

  • People are nostalgic, fascinated and possibly OBSESSED by anything to do with The Jetsons, and Pan Am stewardesses.
  • Folks are really curious about Tupperware and  antique dolls
  • While it is not polite dinner conversation, funny stories about stomach flu and diarrhea stories are apparently real crowd pleasers.
  • People are really angry about CFL bulbs changing color of the paint on walls.
  • Apparently Bingo Sex is a thing. Oh, I have no idea what it is….I’m just saying people search for it. Seriously. ALOT of people. Frequently. Like, daily.
  • Eddie Haskell nails June Cleaver. Pervert. Shame on you.  June was a lady. June was not a cougar or a MILF. (While I’m on the subject, can we all agree to never use either of those terms again? Thank you, now I won’t have to write an entire post about how much I dislike them.)
  • The smell of her girdle. Ewwwww.  I hope this guy is already in a committed relationship. I hate to think of him on the streets or lurking on dating sites. Girls, beware of a man who asks too many questions about your shape wear.
  • Wait, maybe that guy does have a wife and she’s the one who searched for married couples wearing girdles or maybe the poor dear searched for forced into girdle. 
  • Was it a teenager who searched for Can you kiss someone with G.I.  flu on isolation? How romantic. Or desperate. Or soon to be literally “lovesick.”

Thanks to all my readers for sticking with me this year.

I have renewed my vow to keep writing. I hope you’ll commit to keep reading.

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FATFACEBOOK

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fatfacebookFor me, 2013 started with a renewed commitment to health, which is a common reaction to celebrating a 50th birthday.

The overall goal being to get healthy, not necessarily skinny. Weight loss is an added benefit.  My real focus has been avoiding processed foods, and concentrating on eating whole foods. I enjoy the discovery of a great recipe that uses only whole foods, and love when someone shares a great find with me.

It seems many folks I know are dealing with the onset of the  ‘ole middle-aged spread.  It is a topic of conversation, and feelings about a burgeoning belly and broadening behind range anywhere between mild annoyance,  puzzlement, shock and absolute disgust.

It is especially evident at gatherings when pictures are being taken:

“Only take it from the boobs up.”

“Oh, God! I look awful.”

“I don’t want to be in the front row.”

“This better NOT show up on Facebook.”

Why not? What are we worried about? Why crop ourselves to the size of a bronze bust of Beethoven before uploading that photo. It might not matter pretty soon.

Facebook is apparently evolving into Fatfacebook.

My newsfeed is clogged with fat. Not on people, but in recipes supercharged with fat. Have you noticed this? Ok, occasionally, I see healthy recipes that even contain vegetables! Some do use only whole foods.

I’m referring to the recipes we’ve  all seen in our newsfeed- the ones that get shared repeatedly.

These recipes are a mash-up:  As if the Queen of processed food cuisine, Sandra Lee, tripped, fell, and spilled her recipe cards into the Irresponsibly Indulgent  section in Paula Deen’s pre-diabetes recipe card file.

They seem to be  various combinations of a handful of ingredients:  frozen hashed browns or tater tots, sausage, Italian or Ranch dressing packets, refrigerated crescent rolls or biscuits, sour cream, colby cheese, bacon, butter and of course, the all-important cream cheese. Cream cheese is the gateway drug. It is not too far a leap from there to Velveeta coursing through your veins.

The recipes represent what is wrong with the American diet. We’ve taken food that should be enjoyed sparingly, or  lightly sprinkled onto our plates, and made a main dish out of it.

Perhaps instead of the enthusiastic descriptions: “So Easy!”, “Super Yummy!” “Sooooooo Good!”;  they should include a responsible, yet cheery “Mmmm….Goes great with Lipitor!” recommendation.

And that is just the main dishes and side dishes.

Remember when Cool Whip was a TOPPING, and you used just a spoonful on your pumpkin pie? Well, not anymore. It is the main attraction in many of the dessert recipes appearing nightly in my newsfeed.

Hey, I grew up in a family passionate about their Oreos (cuz….frankly, Hydrox….sux). But don’t Oreos stand alone as cookies? Should they really be an ingredient in a dessert?

How did this start? Who are these “friends” who are sharing these recipes? Are these Becky-home-ecky gals, real women? Are they food bloggers who have been ripped off?

Or….Is it some diabolical strategy by Kraft, Nabisco and Pillsbury? Is this the culinary equivalent of the tobacco companies’ past marketing practice of passing out free cigarettes at sporting events and concerts? Are they trying to reel us in and make sure we are hooked on processed food?

Not only are these recipes full of fat, they are apparently so effortless to make, that no calories are burned in the preparation!

No wonder we are fighting the fat. 

Let’s get ahold of ourselves, people. Stop the madness. Stop being so generous and re-sharing these recipes. Keep them on your Pinterest board where they belong.

Seriously. I beg of you.

I have one foot firmly planted in the Produce Department, and a lovely quinoa salad in the fridge, but I’m starting to wonder how it would taste with some bacon, and I can see the Velveeta from here.

I’ll see you back over on Facebook, but only from the boobs up.