I became a blogger one year ago today! I celebrated the occasion with cake…vanilla with strawberries and whipped cream! There was champagne, too!
When I was young, I had a pen pal and I loved it. As an introvert and a writer, it was the perfect way to connect. Now, I feel like I have many pen pals from all over the world. There are so many wonderful people to meet in the blogosphere.
Blogs and Bloggers I Love:
Sal’s Blog – Irregular Thoughts From A Regular Guy
Gardening Nirvana – Sharing my journey in and out of the garden
Marie McLean – Reading/Writing/Banter
silkannthreades – about the little things in life .
Killing Time – movies, tv, etc.
Busy K – You must do the things you think you cannot do.
OTV Magazine – Shout out to Shareen Mansfield!
And, Tamara Jare at My Botanical Garden – You were one of the first to follow my blog. I have your art in my shed. And I feel so close to you that it’s hard to believe you are 6,000 miles away! We will meet someday; I’m sure of it.
I took the time today to look back at the “letters” I’ve written to you, dear readers. It was fun to see which posts were your favorites and reflect on mine.
Most Popular Posts:
Posts I Like Best:
AND…all of the above!
Thank you Kristin, Beth, Laurie and NATALIE!
Cheers to blogging,
“The calla lilies are in bloom again. Such a strange flower — suitable to any occasion. I carried them on my wedding day, and now I place them here in the memory of something that has died.”
Katherine Hepburn spoke that line in The Lake, a long-forgotten play. I adore listening to her let the words roll off her tongue in her stylistic Mid-Atlantic accent, and, indeed, the line’s iambic pentameter sounds wonderful spoken in my California accent, too.
If you are a close reader, you are wondering how I’m able to hear her words. Let me tell you the story; it’s a great one! You see Katherine, it seems, was as tough as the characters she became famous for playing in her films.
The Lake was both a critical and popular flop. The same critics who had lauded Hepburn’s work in films wrote that the stage had exposed her to be lacking in great talent. Dorothy Parker famously said that her performance “ran the gamut of human emotion from A to B.” On top of that, the play was directed by Jed Harris, who was an infamous “big bad wolf” of American theatre. He was known for his abusive behavior to actresses (sound familiar?!). Harris intended to take the show on the road as he had sunk all his money into it. Hepburn, who was desperate to leave the play, wrote him a check for her life savings (around 14,000 dollars) and was released from her contract. She later said the experience was an important lesson in accepting responsibility for her own career.
Four years later, Hepburn was cast in Stage Door, a film about several aspiring actresses living together in a boardinghouse and competing for the same role in a play. The fictional play within the film prominently features the calla-lily- line. The director, Gregory La Cava, lifted it from The Lake. Hepburn’s character practices it in rehearsal over and over, always without much feeling. But in the movie’s tragic climax, she memorably delivers the line with great emotion. Following the success of Stage Door, that line became one of Hepburn’s signature catchphrases. She had turned her famous flop into a testament to tenacity. Now, that’s a strong woman.
They say that every person has a story to tell. It seems to me that every flower has something to say, as well!
P.S. Unfortunately, the elegant calla lily is poisonous; I do not let the puppy roam the hill as she is still in the “everything and anything goes in my mouth stage”.
This cute little garage is attached to a cute little house in a cute little neighborhood in a cute little town. Sorry… couldn’t resist being so cute! But, seriously, I think “Paws Awhile” is good advice. No matter how much one enjoys an activity (or a person, for that matter), a little break can be a good thing.
I didn’t blog/write much during the holidays, but I did express my creativity in other ways. Our home was decorated top to bottom, the presents were wrapped in grand style, the gingerbread houses were sweet pieces of art, the table was set with my beloved collection of china and our doors were open to family and friends.
Today, I’ve returned to the page after having a restless night immersed in ridiculous, but unsettling nightmares. In one vivid scene, I can see myself frantically searching for my site. From the pink shed has disappeared. It is gone, because I have neglected it!
I’d say that is a very good sign that I should return to the shed to enjoy the creative adventure that is my blog.
I’ll talk to you again soon!
The first thing I see when I enter the pink shed is the image of a young girl, dressed in pink, flying over her suburban neighborhood. I purchased it fifteen years ago to hang in my six-year-old daughter’s bedroom. Natalie, who turned 21 a few weeks ago, re-gifted it to me as she felt it would be perfect in my writer’s shed.
I know that flying is common in dreams, however I never fly. Actually, I fall in my nightmares. (I believe this is related to my severe acrophobia!) But, the painting was a simply lovely artistic representation of the hopes I had, and still have, for my daughter.
I imagine the young girl in the painting feels strong, free, capable, gifted, independent and joyful. When I was young, my Italian grandmother, Nonnie, was my cheer-leader. “Tutto e possibile,” she’d enthuse. I’ve tried to carry on that tradition with Natalie.
We all need someone to remind us that “anything is possible,”especially as we begin a new year!
May 2018 bring you success and contentment.
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”
Thank you family and friends for your love, support and company.
And thank you, dear readers! I know that there are so many other things you could be doing while you spend time with me in my pink shed. I am grateful that you choose to visit.
I’ve been tagged! I want to thank Angelica @TheBookCoverGirls for nominating me to answer the following questions as part of the Sunshine Blogger Award 2.0!
Angelica is very curious about me! Here are her questions and my answers:
What is your favorite book cover of all time?
Aside from reading, what is your favorite pastime?
I like to write and to eat, drink and be merry.
Who are your favorite authors of all time?
I admire Joan Didion and enjoy Nora Ephron. The children’s/YA author, Cynthia Rylant, holds a special place in my heart; I’d love to meet her.
What is the hardest thing about blogging?
Well, I had to overcome my fear of technology!
What is your favorite thing about blogging?
I love the feeling of personal satisfaction when I feel I’ve nailed a post and I love the friends I’ve made.
What is your favorite piece of bookish merchandise that you own?
My coffee mug with the T.S. Eliot quote: I have measured out my life in coffee spoons.
How many books do you own? (Physical, audio, ebook, etc.)
OMG! I refuse to answer this one! Let’s just say: I love books and I’ve been alive/collecting for a long time!
Where do you usually read? Is there a specific spot in your house?
I read pretty much everywhere: on the couch, in bed and, of course, in the pink shed.
What is your favorite book to movie adaptation?
Loved the books first and then the movies: Gone With the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird and Silver Linings Playbook (I read the book after seeing this movie, because I loved the movie so much).
What is your least favorite book to movie adaptation?
Eat Pray Love was so disappointing.
Write down the first animal that comes to mind. Ready, set, go! Tell me something cool about it!
Surprise (not) ….a dog. I have three on the couch with me now and they are keeping me warm on a cool autumn evening!
Thanks for reading, as always…
How does it work…
- Thank the person(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog
- Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you
- Nominate new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions
- List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or on your blog
- Why did you start blogging?
- Why do you continue blogging?
- Do your family members and close friends follow your blog and, if so, do you moderate yourself?
- What is your earliest memory of being read to or reading yourself?
- What is your favorite children’s book and why?
- Who are your heroines/heros?
- What publications do you regularly read?
- Do you still go to bookstores? If so, do you have a favorite?
- Pick one: coffee or tea?
- What is your favorite travel destination?
- Who are you in three words?
I wore my first sweater of the season last week; it was a chilly 68 degrees. It’s fall in California, but I have a summer bouquet to enjoy every day.! It was created by my blogging friend, Tamara Jare at My Botanical Garden. It was spring when I selected the lovely watercolor and I was anticipating summertime as I always do. I framed the small piece and it sits on my desk in the pink shed. I can almost smell the peonies, roses, grasses and spirea in full bloom.
As Tamara said, “It’s a special arrangement in the same way that each summer is special.” It’s particularly meaningful to me because it’s a reminder of one of the first friends that I made after creating my blog. I have a friend in Slovenia! I never thought I’d be able to say that!
Tamara found my site just two days after I established it and became one of my first followers. I was glad, not only to have her as a reader, but also to discover the beauty on her site. We developed a connection over the past months and have continued to communicate through e-mail.It was fun to discover how much Tamara and I have in common. We are about the same age and happily married with grown children. After she read my post about aging, she shared that Oil of Olay (tanti anni fa) was the secret to her youthful good looks, too! We agreed that they must have a good advertising company!
We are both creative women who feel happy and complete in our lives. Tamara began her blog when her mother was terminally ill and the artistic expression helped her through that very difficult time. I started my blog when my one -and -only left me to go to college. If one could bottle creative expression, it would be truthful to state that it is a potent remedy in times of loss or change.
I’m sure that I will sound my age when I say that I am amazed to find women who are so seemingly like me in all parts of the world. I’m an “old dog” who learned a “new trick” and I’m grateful to be part of a blogging community with no boundaries.
I am hopeful that someday I’ll meet my friend in Slovenia, but, until then, her art keeps me company while I pursue my creative side.
Six months ago I launched my blog. I felt confident that I’d never run out of things to say, but I was less sure about entering the world of the internet. If I’m going to write, it must be honest. So, would I feel that I was compromising my quiet, simple, private way of life? Would I regret taking this creative leap?
Short answer: NO! Long answer: so many lovely people have visited my pink shed and they’ve made my venture fun and rewarding!
I’m talking about YOU:
Kristin at 17 Mile Creative-I couldn’t have done it without you!
Courtney-Thanks for helping me get it together!
Laurie-You are the kindest, wisest reader any writer could hope for and you submitted an incredibly entertaining guest post.
Catherine, Marietta and Kimberlee-Your support means so much to me.
Mrs. Delwiche (Jean)-You were the “best principal ever” at Almaden Country Day School. My daughter raved about how much you cared about each and every student, as well as what a great witch you made every year at Halloween! You found my blog through Facebook and I feel like a star student when you compliment my writing style!
AND NOW…here’s to the people I “met” in the blogosphere:
Tamara at My Botanical Garden-You were one of my earliest readers and I was flattered. Now we are “pen pals.” Thank you.
Kathryn at Busy K-You are a young, cool, New York career woman. What are you doing on my site?
Alys at Gardening Nirvana-It’s been so nice to catch up with you.
Marie at Marie McLean-We share a love of reading and writing. Thanks for your comments.
Franziska at My Tree and Me-Thanks for your support…and, of course, the always useful health, travel and beauty tips.
Thank you also to the young woman expecting her first child who wrote to tell me that my post No Regrets may have “changed her choice and thus (her) life.” And to the many readers who have shared their experiences of loss after reading posts about the death of my brother, Matt. Finally, thanks to my girl for being my #1 fan.
Cheers…here’s to blogging!