Welcome to Small Reflections

"Nothing is ever achieved without enthusiasm."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Duck photo source: Lisa's Chaos
I hope you enjoy your visit. If you're looking for something specific, check out the links to posts by category in my sidebar and down a ways. They'll assist with tracking down different types of posts found on each of my three blogs. You might also enjoy checking out the other sites: Sacred Ruminations, Blog Rolls, Bling & Blurbs, and Happily Retired Gal.

I hope you'll look around & leave comments
then visit me at my new blog ...

Giraffe Journal

and/or website ... Labyrinth Journal
both self-hosted at WordPress
where I publish as myself
rather than under a

I've not had much time for posting or blog visits, but if you're interested I hope you'll find time to check out my new blog, Giraffe Journal or my Labyrinth Journal website ... both self hosted at WordPress.

Thanks for your visit and have a delightful day ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Thursday, July 31, 2008

T-13 #35 - Random Thoughts on Blogging ...

Make Room for Small Reflections
13 Random Thoughts on blogging
... as I sit on my patio with my laptop this morning

1. I'm a lucky woman to have the leisure time to do this 'blogging' thing as I choose ... on my own terms. I realize that if I didn't leave such lengthy comments, I could visit more blogs and stay more current ... but methinks it wouldn't be as satisfying for me.

2. I'm relieved that my Google Reader no longer has 1000+ unread messages when I log in. Currently it averages 200-250 most days, only occasionally reaching more than 300. I've learned to conserve time & energy and keep 'in touch' by reading multiple posts and commenting on several all at once ... and I'm most appreciative of those who make their entire posts available in 'readers' rather than simply a title and/or teaser. I recognize that most believe this wouldn't help their 'stats,' but (for my part), I'm much more likely to click onto a blog when I have something to contribute than simply to see what might be there ... especially when time is crunched.

3. Writing responses to everyone here on my blog takes time, thought, and energy ... and perhaps go unseen for the most part since I never really know who sees (and actually checks) Blogger's box to receive follow up comments in email.

4. I apologize to my readers (who actually read my responses here) for falling behind on them (especially those who commented on Fun Monday of July 21st addressing Irish Coffeehouse's questions on 'the pursuit of dreams' ... I've resisted taking the 'easier route' of leaving a single response to all ... am working on those a bit at a time & will publish them soon), however I'm doing my best to stay current and fully intend to respond eventually for my own reasons, whether or not anyone else sees them.

5. If I didn't opt to check the little box myself when I leave comments on the blogs of others (and/or use co.mments.com to follow conversations) my email box wouldn't have 500+ unread messages in it each day to go through, however I'm not yet ready to give up the practice.

6. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my new laptop that allows me to sit on my patio like this ... musing while enjoying the cool morning temperatures and the lovely view. I'm grateful for the handy outside electrical outlet nearby that permits me to plug in when the screen dims to conserve battery life. Actually, that's the only annoying thing about my new Dell 1720 Inspiron and I'm hoping they'll come up with a 'fix' sometime soon. I did learn recently that pressing the up arrow while holding the Fn key down brightens the screen when it dims ... but as the battery runs down, that becomes less effective.

7. As I indicated in yesterday's posts here at Small Reflections and the one I left at Sacred Ruminations ... I'm surprised by all I've accomplished since becoming a blogger about 9 months ago. Today's post is #296 on this blog (502 overall) ... more than one a day (since I started 283 days ago) ... although these posts are spread over 3 blogs. I'm looking forward to celebrating my Blogoversary in 83 days (366 days after I started due to Leap Year).

8. I've enjoyed the Weekly Activities like T-13, Wordless Wednesday (though mine are sometimes not so wordless), HoTs, Fun Monday, Unconscious Mutterings, Camera Critters, Smiley Saturday, Haiku Fridays, One Single Impression, Slice of Life, Pensieve's poetic challenges, and others (see links in sidebar) for the people I've met and the way they've STRETCHED me to try new things & tackle topics I might not have thought of.

9. The various 'memes' ... Blogthings & Quizzes ... photo related activities ... spontaneous poetic posts ... gratitude & 'really good things' pieces ... and challenges from Mimi Lennox provided opportunity for personal exploration and sharing, and I'm grateful for them all.

10. Striving for balance (in real life & this virtual world) remains an on-going challenge ... as does maintaining some focus as I clarify & redefine why I blog. I value my relationships in both worlds ... and remain open to whatever comes next for me as I consider various options. I'm grateful for the 'hiatus' from my Photoshop Elements classes ... surprised at how busy this week has been even without them ... am tackling tasks one at a time ... re-prioritizing as needed each day ... doing the best I can ... telling myself it's enough.

11. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy knowing others enjoy what I share? Readership wasn't really on my mind when I started and doesn't take up much of my thinking even today. I'd never looked at a blog before Kara showed me hers and explained how to set one up on Blogger. My purpose was (and remains) getting comfortable with sharing what I write with others rather than simply writing for myself. Although I have Sitemeter installed on the first two blogs, I almost never look at it and I have no clue how to check Feedburner stats. I am, however, always surprised & delighted to discover people have dropped by and left me comments. I enjoy reading & responding to them ... and endeavor to see what 'they see' when I look at my blogs.

12. Visiting the blogs of others enriches my 'virtual life' ... expands my view of what's possible in this 'online world' ... introduces me to new ways of seeing & being and a host of resources available on the Internet. I enjoy the wide variety of blogs and the many perspectives represented among bloggers I've encountered. Narrowing down the number of blogs I look at in Google Reader remains an on-going challenge, though as I mentioned above ... I'm learning how to manage my time a bit better as I strive to remain current.

13. Hmmm ... I started writing this about 2 hours ago (about 7:15 this morning) after sleeping in later than usual (most likely catching up from being overly tired) ... because I could. I apologize for publishing much later than usual, but it's been pleasant interacting with Molly and passersby and it's good to feel 'relaxed' rather than rushed today. I look forward to seeing what others have shared as I make my rounds ... and I wish you all a delightful day.

For easy access, I’ve listed more T-13 links along with the Thursday Thirteen Blogroll at My Blog Rolls.

Small Reflections ... Smile Back
Thought for Today
"Smile, breathe, and go slowly." Thich Nhat Hanh


Jo, a retired teacher said...

You have learned much more quickly than I how to manipulate the different parts and pieces of Blogger. I just started blogging in January, but my learning has been much slower and more tentative, Maybe it's my age.

Ivanhoe said...

That's still a lot of posts to read every day. Looks like you are conquering it though :o)
Hugs to you and Molly!

Anonymous said...

Your patio does look lovely!!!! Good luck with all the reading

Sandee said...

I too am lucky to have the freedom to blog as I please. You certainly do have a lot of folks in your reader. That happens to me with I spend a weekend at the boat. It's overwhelming for me to have that many in my reader. Have a great day. :)

Anonymous said...

You get 250 emails a day? *blinks* Wow...

storyteller said...

Jo – Methinks you’re not as old as me (I’m 63) … but even if you are, all things are possible when we persevere obsessively … and that’s precisely what I’ve done. When I see something interesting and want to know how to do it myself, I experiment as much as I can on my own then ask questions of anyone who might be able to help. So far it’s worked for me, and I suspect it would for you as well.

Ivanhoe – Yep … and some days it’s easier to stay current than others. Yesterday & today I’ve had lots of interruptions of real life …(not that I’m complaining) … and I have things SCREAMING for my attention as well, but I’m doing what I can and letting the rest take care of itself.

Laura – Thanks. I enjoy my patio so much until the sun takes over and it gets too warm (and too bright for me to see the monitor) … then I move inside to my living room (where I am right now) leaving the French doors open and continue to enjoy the view and passersby from within where it’s cooler … until the shade returns later in the afternoon. It’s a lovely life when I’m home to savor it all.

Sandee (Comedy +) – This is true, but I have many fewer than I did once upon a time … and I’m continuing to cull occasionally (out of utter necessity), but I’ve learned not to worry about what I don’t get to one day and return to them as I’m able … even if I’m responding a week or two late catching up. Fortunately folks accept this from me graciously, and I’m grateful.

Tempest Knight – Often I receive more than that (in my various email accounts) and I do find it challenging to keep up. My next goal is to take charge of this and make some changes, though I don’t know when I’ll get around to it or what those changes will be at this point. Many of the ‘blogging-related’ follow-up emails require minimal time and can be gone through very quickly. It definitely helps to be happily retired ;--)

To all – I’ve enjoyed reading and responding to your comments and (if I’ve not already visited) will do my best to drop by this afternoon. I hope you’re each having a delightful day.
Hugs and blessings,

Kara said...

I really like your patio as well, especially the pretty blue chairs. It must be nice to blog out there. :)

Debbie@Like a Rose said...

I'd love to have a laptop so I could post out on my deck. Your patio looks lovely and relaxing.

maryt/theteach said...

hey, storyteller, you have listed a lot of things that please me too! And I sure would love to be able to sit in the backyard and blog on my laptop...no laptop, just a desktop. Ha! Thanks for all your visits to me. You know I enjoy them! :)

Karen said...

For being a retired woman, you sure do a heck of a lot! LOL!!

I really love the blue chair (such a BLUE blue)--and it's nice to think of you out there, blogging!

Hootin' Anni said...

You took a lot of thought into writing this T-13. And I really enjoyed it...a lot. I just wish I could have a beautiful patio to sit around --well, I do, but it's too hot all day long! Come Autumn, then that's where I'll be.

Fabulous Thursday entry. And thanks for the stop-over and the comment.

Momisodes said...

Goodness! That is a ton of blogs to read from your reader. Sometimes my reader unread is so daunting I avoid it like the plague. Like today.

Mike Golch said...

So many blogs so little time. I'm glad that I'm retired and do not have any better thing to do except visit with my friend and write silly stuff on my 2 blogs.
Hugs and God's Blessing and Love.-Mike G. said that!-(its an A.A. thing)

Virginia said...

you are so sweet to leave comments on my Birmingham blog. How do you keep up with 3??? I do well with just one. The posting a photo a day is keeping this newly retired teacher very busy. Please keep stopping by.

Irish Coffeehouse said...

Okay let's see if I can do this because it's inevitable I forget something I wanted to comment on as I'm typing. lol

I must be ot of the loop. What is google reader?

I try to remember to hit the box for emails.

We forgive you for #4. We're a forgiving bunch. Honestly. :)

Would you like to trade that laptop for my four-leaf clovers? :) :)

For #11, you should do a post asking that. I'm sure many woud oblige. (did i spell that right?) What do I see? I see someone willing not get caught up in the hype and trendiness of these blogs to remain true to her character- genuinely interested and intrigued by those she meets. That's what I see. :)

storyteller said...

Kara (of The Lucky Wife) – Thanks. I got those bright blue chairs on sale a Linen’s and Things a couple of years ago and have enjoyed them ever since. Now that I have my new laptop, I sit out there and blog often.

Debbie (of Like a Rose) – My last 3 computers have been laptops and methinks all future computers will be as well.

Mary, the teach – I’ve not had a ‘base station’ since a Gateway Tower system I bought more than 15 years ago and I’ve never been sorry. Laptops are just more versatile even when I’m not traveling as I once did. This time I bought one with a 17’ screen ;--)

Karen – I don’t do as much as when I worked, but I do choose to do the things I enjoy most. As for the very blue chairs … I assumed they’d fade a bit but they haven’t … and that’s okay with me because blue’s a favorite color and they match the house.

Hootin’ Anni – Because I’ve been crunched for time the past 10 weeks and shared more photos than words in recent T-13s, I decided I could be more leisurely and wordy today. Creating this piece (and the one yesterday at Sacred Ruminations) reminded me of what my early blogging days were like … and I enjoyed it more than I realized I might. I’m delighted it’s been well-received ;--)

Sandy – I know exactly what you mean for I used to avoid my reader for the same reason. Each day I unsubscribe to a few more blogs to ‘cull’ the list … but I also add new ones from time to time just because ;--)

Mike – When I started blogging, my best friends were traveling with their husbands in their RVs. Back then I had more ‘discretionary’ time than I’ve had of late. I’m sure once they hit the road again I’ll have more time for blogging … though I plan to continue taking Adult School classes and that takes up a chunk of time each week.

Virginia – Your photos are always lovely and inviting. I don’t write on all 3 each day. As a general rule, I post on this blog daily, Sacred Ruminations 3-4 times a week, and the 3rd one only every few weeks. That’s how I manage.

Irish Coffeehouse – You and me both (on the forgetting, not the laptop exchange). In my experience, most people are most forgiving overall. It’s ME who tends to be harder on myself than necessary, but I work on letting go of unrealistic personal expectations more regularly, and have made significant progress in that area. Google Reader is a wonderful way to keep track of new posts without visiting individual blogs to check repeatedly. There are other ‘readers’ out there but this is the one I learned about first and I understand how it works so I stay with it. If you type ‘reader’ into a Google search I’m sure you’ll find a link. Methinks the address might be http://google.com/reader but I can’t check it out because when I enter that it takes me to the reader containing the list of blogs I follow. Basically it shows you links to all posts on any blog URL you want to follow. When a new post is published, it shows up as ‘unread’ until you read it (or mark it as read). I hope that helps. Feel free to send email if you have additional questions, and thanks for sharing what you see here ;--)

To all – Thank you for your visit and comments today. Methinks I’ve been to each of your blogs, but if I missed someone I’ll do my best to catch up as time permits. I hope you’ve all had a most pleasant Thursday.
Hugs and blessings,

Magpie said...

i love being able to surf the web (and read blogs) from my bed. buying a laptop was a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I wondered where all your emails were coming from. I don't generally check the box because I'm far more interested in the response from the blogger than from all the people who visit the blogger. I do drift by again when I remember that I asked a question. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind comment on my blog today. I appreciate it. Have a wonderful weekend.

Anonymous said...

Nice 13, and I love that you can kick back like that on your new laptop, do your blog thing, visit other blogs and reflect on it like this. Very nice.

As for my header this week, it was a stock photo, but I did add the lettering. It just fit the whole morning thing. :)

Tink said...

I really thought you were blogging much longer! That's meant as a compliment of course.Your blog is in my Google Reader and I read every post.
I'm with you on the blogs that just give a title or teaser. I rarely click through to the full post. Most of the time I delete them from my reader eventually. I like to keep up-to-date and in touch with my blogging friends, but I have to find a balance between online and real life.
Thanks for visiting my TT!

Joyce said...

I very much enjoyed this post, Storyteller. :)

What a lovely patio you have. I can well imagine how pleasurable it is to relax there as you write, with Molly by your side.

I like the interesting T13 graphic you used on this post. May I use it, too, and should I credit someone when I use it?

I didn't do a Thursday 13 post today but chose to do my One Single Impression post instead.

Have a lovely weekend!

SandyCarlson said...

I love your blog and your blogging thoughts. Blogging has enriched my virtual life, too--in many, many ways. Thanks for being part of the joy.

storyteller said...

Magpie – I’ve tried dragging the laptop upstairs a few times to bed when I’ve wanted to respond to emails and/or comments, but I find myself TIRED in the evenings … so I’m more likely to ‘blog in bed’ in the mornings until Molly’s shenanigans and/or thoughts of coffee pull me downstairs.

AliceAudrey – Like you, the reason why I click the box is primarily for the response from the ‘blogger’ than other visitors, but until Blogger makes it simpler to respond in email … I’ll probably continue to check the box. Hopefully they’ll take this challenge on sometime in the near future.

EllenB – You’re quite welcome. I always enjoy your lovely photos at The Happy Wanderer.

Maggie – Thanks. I always enjoy reading other’s ‘random thoughts’ for T-13s but (until this post) I never seemed to think of doing it myself. Thanks for the feedback about your header. I know HOW to do such things in PSE6 now … so perhaps I’ll play around with such things myself.

Tink – You’re welcome and I appreciate the compliment. It’s nice to know I’m in your reader (as you’re in mine) and that I’m not the only one who appreciates the entire post showing up there. Actually, that’s one of the criteria I’ve been using to ‘cut down’ the glut in MY reader too. As for balance … I suspect it’s an ongoing issue in the lives of many.

Joyce – I’m glad to know you enjoyed my ‘ramblings’ and apologize for being slower than usual to respond. Seems the ‘hurrieder I go the behinder I get’ these days. I didn’t create the header myself but you’re welcome to use it. I’ll try to remember to send you a link to the source of it (and many others) that I’ve used. At the moment, I don’t recall whether or not I saw your OSI post last week, but will check in a little while … after I catch up on ‘responses’ here and at Sacred Ruminations. I’m WAY behind on that.

SandyCarlson – What a lovely compliment! I’m delighted to know that my posts have added to your joy in this virtual world.

To all – Thanks again for your visit to and comments on my T-13 this week. I enjoy getting better acquainted with ‘exchanges’ of this type in addition to visiting all of your blogs, and I’m grateful you’ve found something on mine to bring you here and share. I hope you’re having a lovely weekend.
Hugs and blessings,

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