TToT 37:2 The mundane and utterly frivolous

I got into another deliciously sumptuously long conversation over on Facebook, about blogging and the ways and means of carrying it out, and the reasons we (bloggers) do it, and although there were only five or so people in the conversation (and it was interrupted continually by mentions of baby goats, hot showers and whether or not it was acceptable to make animal noises outside the bedroom (for the record; it is, but only if it’s a baby bird noise and you’re hungry, and this is an inherent signal to whoever’s around to fetch you some food)) some good observations were made.

Primarily, that blogging for numbers or statistics sucks and is difficult. And often offers little feedback. Or disingenuous comments (to which you (the blogger) feel beholden to reply) or spam. And that it’s entirely possible to get close to 100,000 views per month and still feel lacking in connectivity.

Which brings me to my first – a really glowysparkly moment given quite suddenly and unexpectedly by one of the writers for said HUGE-stat blog – The Educator’s Spin On It – Amanda, who suddenly remarked that she really liked my comments, and thought that you guys (my readers) were all holders of the Ace of Spades because of it.

So of course, being cynical and jaded and naturally suspicious of unsolicited compliments cautious, I called her on it and asked her why she thought that. And this was her response:

Hmmm… you are real, but not over the top real. You take the time to make personal reflections to almost all or all of the comments posted and I don’t know you, but I felt like you would be someone I would like to have lunch with! If you ever decided to write a book or sell a product, you would have great success. IMO

At this point, the glowysparkliness went up several notches into verytwinkly, because this is something I’ve worked hard at. I don’t see the point in skimming and leaving a generic, ‘blah’ kind of comment where I want to build a relationship. For me, blogging’s all about the connections and the people and in fact, it made me rather pleased to submit to the conversation that yes, I definitely had fewer pageviews than most, but that I have a core community of READERS – people who stop, take time to read (and enjoy) what I write, and offer feedback in the comments, which gives me the chance to make friends with them – to honour and acknowledge the time they’ve spent in bothering to come over and pay heed – by writing back with something genuine.

I love that. And I love that it works, and I love that you guys keep coming back; keep engaging; keep reading; keep encouraging and conversing and joining in and having fun, and really that’s what it’s all about. Because once we’ve got past the Sharing, the Writing and the Purpose (if you have one) it truly is about fun. And if the fun stops, the engagement and everything else rapidly go with it.

If it weren’t for the fact that I have other Thankfuls (it’s been a full day), you all would be two through ten on my list.

But I do, so here they are:

2. My dear mother not minding being cancelled on for gardening, at the very last moment. As I understand it, this freed her up to go and do thing she wanted to do, so yay! It was Sandy (thanks Sandy) who reminded me, because I was responding to her post and wrote something about gardening and then realised I’d totally double-booked myself.

3. Because I was going into town to meet my darling Firecracker Goddaughter for ice-cream (with her mum) because she’s newly turned 6, and what better thing to do?

4. We ate our ice-creams outside in the sunshine (it was Baskin Robbins, so YES I’m allowed to have one of my get-out-of-jail-free passes on the ice-cream front) and chatted and watched the spring flowers nodding in the breeze under the blue, cloud-flecked sky. She loved her card from me and immediately burst into delightful giggles and called it “Ridickleous”, which I love.

5. After bidding them farewell, I went to buy new trousers for work, because since all the running, mine have become increasingly ‘ridickleous’ and have required new holes in the belt to hold them up. I’ve dropped TWO sizes, and fit comfortably into a UK10 (US6) and my little vainglorious heart (told you this was frivolous) soared up into the air where the birds sang and butterflies danced rainbows around my head. I’ve worked damn hard for this, so I feel my vanity and celebration is justifiable. This time.

6. So naturally, I went promptly (via the ‘merican sweet shop, where I found Mellowcreme Pumpkins and Grape Crush twizzly things and cherry Fun Dip)…

7. …to see WonderAunty and complain about the bits of my figure I still wasn’t happy with. Whereupon she gave me several (slightly giggly) stern looks and told me about how when I die, I won’t want to regret the sheer amount of energy and thought wasted on something so relatively inconsequential as how I look. And she’s right, but I still don’t accept it, so she told me that “Everything you say is worth a guinea an ounce”, and that this means “You’re not going to stop talking, so whatEVER!”, and that my Grandad used to say it. So that was pretty cool.

8. Lovely Yvonne linked me up with a free, Open University, e-course (beginning at the end of April) to learn how to write fiction, which is handy and awesome and, well, FREE.

9. Another cool thing was that Guest Bard, Beth (did you read it yet?) put me onto this cool poetry challenge thing, hosted over at Playing With Words, and I was a bit leery at first, having come across the poet in a group which wasn’t all that responsive. But I read a couple of posts, got hooked, and suddenly got railroaded by inspiration and wrote an entry for it.

10. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I’m happy and thrilled to announce that this week I shall have some very, very exciting guest posts coming out in two of my favourite places in the Blogosphere.

Watch. This. Space.

Because these – these – are where my mojo came back last week, and even *I* am excited.

EXTRA! EXTRA! THE LATE ADDITION TO THE LATE EDITION:

So this morning I got up (after not really enough sleep) and I absolutely freakin’ WON AT AUNTY-ING!

I managed to get Neff convinced that having his hair cut was a good idea. That he could have ‘before and after’ pics, that it was alright that the shaver broke halfway through – that we’d trek to THREE DIFFERENT PLACES, via EPIC TRAFFIC JAMS to find a new shaver, with a half shaved and totally dorky haircut (because STUPID WORLD), that it was alright to run screaming and growling and nearly-but-mostly-not-quite-swearing together down the high street to the final last-chance shop, where they *DID* have a shaver (at which point, much to the shop-girl’s amusment, I nearly cried with relief), then take it back, field the influx of family to the flat, complete the job, shower the kid (twice, because I failed and dried his head with the towel, then the body and managed to drag more tiny hairs down (I’m allowed some rookie mistakes, right?)), give him some breakfast (okay, another rookie mistake – but in my defence I didn’t know he hadn’t had any) and then get the photos uploaded for him to draw on and send to his pen-friend, without whose inspiration and the knowledge of American haircuts-for-boys places, the discussions around this would have been SO MUCH MORE COMPLICATED….and I WIN!

I freakin’ WIN!

And this one I drew on, because it was fun. And he’s gorgeous. And I want to show off how WELL I did (this is not a boy who likes a haircut, yaknow?)

Yeah. I turned him into Wolverine. Or Neffverine. Because he rocks.

But before you go. Please remember Zoe’s friend’s stepson, Steven. Please consider sharing this link, and his story, and helping him to find that bone marrow match he needs so urgently. My thanks to you for caring.

Last week, my stepson Steven was diagnosed with AML (acute myeloid leukemia).  His chance for survival is finding a bone marrow match.  My family has joined Be The Match (a transplant organization) to help Steven and other patients in need of marrow or cord blood transplants.  We are looking for help to get the word out so his chance of finding a match are increased.  Thank you for the strength of your prayers through this. 
Love, Melissa
If you are open to supporting him, there are two different ways:

1.  In Ithaca: by registering at a donor drive-
  • March 11 at Cornell, Willard Straight Hall Rm 4, 11-2pm.
  • April 2 at Ithaca College, Phillips Hall 10-3pm.  
2. Contributing to add potential marrow donors-
  • Mail to ‘Be The Match Foundation’  510 Willowgate Drive Webster, NY 14580
Please forward this URL to friends & family: http://www.bethematchfoundation.org/goto/kolberg
TRANSPLANT DESCRIPTION (technology has come a long way!)  Donors sought are 18-44yrs, since Steven in Korean we are hoping for help to reach Asian populations.
Peripheral blood cell (PBSC) donation for a transplant merely involves removing a donor’s blood through a needle in one arm. The blood is passed through a machine that separates out the cells used in transplants. The remaining blood is returned through the other arm. More than 80% of donors give through this method. 
Bone marrow donation is a surgical procedure in which liquid marrow is withdrawn from the back of the donor’s pelvic bone using a needle.  Anesthesia is always used for this procedure, so donors feel no pain during marrow donation. Most donors feel some pain in their lower back for a few days afterwards.  Today, less than 20% is taken this way.

Ten Things of Thankful
Ten Things of Thankful

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75 thoughts on “TToT 37:2 The mundane and utterly frivolous

  1. Owp! You sure got up early as early! I have less than an hour and the same kind of quandry, but I do rather need to finish reading the TToT entries! Just did NOT make it round them all this weekend! Owwww!

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  2. I can't remember, but I've spent all my morning here with you instead of sleeping, so I could get through all of your wonderful words. Now I have one more hour before the morning routine begins, so I could either do some blogging for me – or go read other people. …

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  3. It takes time and effort, forsure. I'm just lucky I have the time to spare. But involved is great, and thanks for the ten minutes/three minutes/ten seconds of care (I forgot again how long my allocation was…)

    My Grandad was full of such wonderful sayings. I'm gonna have to figure out a way of using this one.

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  4. “Everything you say is worth a guinea an ounce”

    Love this! Love it.

    I don't blog for the numbers, which is a good thing or I'd be pretty darn low right now. I don't think I deserve many readers, cos I don't have the time to reciprocate by visiting all the other bloggers back, which is selfish and one sided of me.

    But if I did have loads of readers, I'd like them all to be INVOLVED readers, like yours. xx

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  5. As long as we FEEL it, he knows. Or, he will. I will. We all will. Stop being nearly there and realize you've done loads and ARE there. Please.

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  6. My dear clarkette, I don't know (and yet at the same time I incredibly do) why you get so hung up about commenting/replying. I always think the 'best' way to phrase a response is however it first occurs to you, in your voice. I try to write in my voice (or, rather the voice I'd like to have when speaking – so maybe 'inner voice', which is much less stilted by physicality and the sound of it (my own voice, that is))

    I tip my hat to the uber bloggers because they're clearly getting out of it what they want. It's not what I want, though. Horses for courses, innit? I'm glad you don't blog for numbers.

    I think the energy involved is only required if you want to be tireless. I could expend a lot less energy and focus on the few people who've come to Properly Matter. That would be easy, and also totally acceptable. But I'm all about connections. And I have cushy hours at my job, so there's an aspect of circumstance to consider.

    Thanks for the congrats 🙂 So far so good on the returns (except today cos I went for a short, truncated run because I've busted my knee up again. Ran too soon on it after straining it last Weds. Blech!)

    GOOD! You have good taste in candy. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand you gonna join the course? We could be friends there (I think – there's a 'follow' option or somesuch…)

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  7. I do not blog for numbers. Nor do I or ever have painted by number(s):)
    There are some who do and to the bloggers with “staggering statistics”, I tip my hat.
    Many of us have seen you work tirelessly Lizzi and for you to achieve/recieve the twinklysparkly, well that my friend is wonderful. Now see?! Sounds kinda generic and yet, I am most sincere. I often get so caught up in how “best” to phrase a comment that sometimes I don't!
    Sometimes I think (no clark, where's the rogerian aspect) I feel as if this is a young person's endeavour. The energy involved/required (the slashed double word is my new thing)
    The running. That achievement is huge! The investment in physical activity like that has big returns.
    Mellowcreme pumpkins….good. Candy corn….my favorite!
    Thanks for Yvonne's link.

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  8. It's probably/maybe worth looking into. The OU have a reputation to protect, so I doubt they'd just put any old crap out there. I think it's gonna be good, though I don't think you get a qualification or anything.

    And it's fine 🙂 I got the gist with the double.

    THANK YOU! Ohmigosh – I looked like I'd fought a bear by the end of it. So. Much. Hair, Everywhere. But he did well, and I did superbrilliant well, and he looks GOOD 🙂

    YAY! To my mojo and the places it's going 😀

    And I went all *warmglowy* inside when you said that about my twinkly comments. THANK YOU again 😀 This time with a big huge massive smile.

    And whatevs, I replied to the stand-alone suck with…more suck! :p 😉

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  9. He never needs to know! I'm *nearly* there. And I know it's vanity and doesn't matter really. Not in a big sense. In a 'grand scheme of things' way. He can learn that. And that women are sometimes silly things.

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  10. You need to stop focusing on the body stuff and look at how far you've come. How am I supposed to teach my son that his lessons and his progress is enough if all of us women continue to say it's never good enough and that while you ran and ran and lost 50 pounds that you're still not enough?? PLEASE STOP THAT. For me. For you. For my kid. Please.

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  11. Ha! I saw pics of you on FB earlier and nuh-uh, you aint! But I was. And I was over 50lb heavier less than a year ago and it was gross. Disgustingly so. And it needed to change.

    But THANK YOU for calling me skinny! 🙂 And a peach. I like being a peach 😀

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  12. You are a peach. as they used to call an awesome girl circa WWI. I love your neff–he is great, Now I understand the weight thing–I was confused because I saw you all skinny at Ikea and I couldn't figure out why the heck. you were concerned with your weight, as my other middle middle name is “adipose”. xox jean

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  13. Welcome Michelle. I recognise you from Bloppies. Welcome to the hub of the TToT 🙂 I'm glad you fell down a vortex, and please leave a note next time to let your family know that a) you're alright, and b) to bring you food and a cup of tea every hour to keep you going, because honestly, these are addictively good.

    I LOVE comments. And I LOVE feedback on *my* comments, and it had never really happened before, apart from the odd time, and then this weekend there seemed to be a glut of lovely positivity all flung back in my direction, which took me by surprise and made me very happy indeed. Commenting meaningfully is something I take care to do, and sincerity is important, so when I say something considered, I really mean it.

    I remember the days of not having a ton of comments, and it was awful. My suggestion to you (if you want any free advice (worth every penny, so it is)) is to keep going, make conversation, and keep the comments happening chez toi. That way you'll build your community of regulars (and irregulars 😉 ).

    Thank you for stumbling in. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Maybe better than candy? I'd tend to choose words over candy most days 🙂 Hope to see you again, and thank you for writing to let me know you enjoyed what you read; that's lovely feedback right there.

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  14. I love these Thankful posts. I have fallen down a vortex of them and can't seem to find my way out. I am completely ok with this, just worried that my family may be looking for me….

    Anyway, I love that you got verytwinkly feeling feedback! Commenting is an art form and such a great way to build relationships. Personally, I try to comment on everything I read. I keep my comments sincere. I do not get a ton on my blog but I treasure the ones I do get. Especially the really good ones. Those are like finding a secret stash of candy (honey pumpkins?) that you had forgotten about. So good.

    Anyway, great piece! Glad I stumbled in here. I like it.

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  15. Now that's a really weird comment! What a pain! Still, not the reader's restaurant and not her review. If she wanted to review that dish, she should write her own blog!

    Thanks for the congrats. And you can work on it when you get back. No point even trying when you're off on holiday.

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  16. They close in winter? That sucks. Ours are open all year round, I think cos we never have a clue what to do with weather – we're never appropriate for it!

    He's so CUTE, isn't he?

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