Blogging: My First Love Is Also My Current Love

thinkthereforeMamacita says:  Some people are saying that blogging is dead – that Facebook, Twitter, and PInterest, which are faster and shorter and easier, are taking over the social media movable feast. Not for me.   It is quite true that these platforms are taking up much of my former blogging time, but you know something. . . . popular and fun and useful as other aspects of social media might be, my first love is also my current love:  blogging.

I am one of the old-school bloggers.  My archives go back to April 2004, and by blogging/social media standards, that’s practically ancient.

WordCamp ChicagoI go to conferences mainly to meet up with other old-school bloggers.  Oh, I love meeting the newbies, too – we all begin everything as bloghernewbies – but my heart beats with love at the very thought of the other old-timers, the bloggers I’ve known and followed for years.  I’d list them here but they know who they are.  I only hope they know how precious they are to me.

Whether I’m speaking or just attending, blogging conferences are necessary for my soul.

blogworld, new media expoMy clients are precious, also.  I give them my full attention, and I hope I give them exactly what they need and want.  I also hope they let me know pronto if I don’t.

This blog is not a client blog, although several clients have “discovered” me here.  This blog is where I talk about my own “stuff,” and if that is of interest to others, more the better.  (SQUEEEEEEE….)

Blogging saved my soul alive, but that is probably another story.  Someday, perhaps I will have the courage to tell it.  Some of you already know it, and your support has meant the world to me.

Those of you who have encouraged me along the way will be precious until the day I die.  Possibly even after that.

MixWest, BlogIndianaBlogging has enhanced my life.  It has enhanced my teaching.  It has enhanced my social media work.  It has enhanced me.  Our blogs are an extension of. . . well, us.  This blog is me I.  (First person nominative pronouns follow linking verbs. . . .)  <–Proof that this blog is about me. (First person objective pronouns follow prepositions.)  <–More proof.  Real blogs are about real people.  Don’t confuse a real blog with an ad campaign, or anything the writer is being paid to write.  Personal blogs and business blogs are not the same thing.

Yes, a blog, done up right, will be a conversation.  It will be therapy.  It will be an open window and, if you’re  lucky, an open door.  A blog will help you learn about others, but mostly, it will help you learn more about yourself.  Your blog will be a living thing, with a heart and a soul.  It will make you better.  Mine is improving me, ongoing.

I think it would do the same for you.  Give it a chance.

Blogging is far more than keeping a diary of what you had for dinner.  That might have worked for Samuel Pepys, but these days people save that stuff for Twitter.  :)

We had chicken/cheese enchiladas for dinner tonight.  Interested?  I thought not.

Blogging gives us a look into other people’s lives, and allows us to become acquainted, really acquainted.  Blogging lets us share, and help, and like each other and, sometimes, even love each other, and I don’t necessarily mean the romantic or creepy kind.  Blogging is the village that everyone needs.

I met some of my best and dearest friends via blogging.  So can you.I Love My Blog, Scheiss Weekly

What are you waiting for?

Things I Still Haven’t Done. Yet.

a round tuit, scheiss weekly Mamacita says: I’m not the only procrastinator you know, but I’m probably the only one who still hasn’t used an ATM machine.

Ten things I still haven’t done:

1. Used an ATM machine. (Oh hush. I understand they require money.)

2. Peed in the shower.  No.

3.  Awakened in the early morning refreshed and ready to meet the day.  Never, as far back as my memory goes.  I do not “do” early morning gracefully or graciously, period.  I have enjoyed a beautiful sunrise on occasion; you know, right before going to bed.

4.  Enjoyed wearing a heavy coat even when it’s freezing cold outside.

5.  Fallen in love with a dog. (We never had dogs; we had cats, and it was risky falling in love with them because I grew up on a really busy corner in the middle of town.  Every cat we ever had – and we had a lot of cats – ended up pancake-style in the middle of the street.  I live in fear of finding my current cats that way.)  I haven’t ruled out having a dog; I love their faces.  It’s just not in my experience.

6.  Outgrown the Monkees.The Monkees, Scheiss Weekly

7.  Worn a lot of makeup.  I could use some, according to Mom, but I just never developed any interest in it.  Obviously.

8.  Cared much about fashion, period.  Again, obviously.

9.  Had a pedicure.  This is on my bucket list, though, as I understand they give you a leg massage.  I’m in your power if you give me a leg massage.

10.  Outgrown Spencer Gifts or the gift shop in pretty much any museum, gallery, or theatre.Broadway mugs, gift shop Everything is overpriced, but most of our coffee mugs bear the name of a Broadway show. You can’t buy those at Target.

*11.  Possibly, growing up.  Growing up is for suckers.

*Bonus.  Everybody loves a bonus.

Half A Pot Roast, and a Mashed Grilled Cheese, Please

grilled cheese, mashed grilled cheese(From 2004)

Mamacita says:  Remember that anecdote about the young bride whose husband asked her why she cut the beef roast in half before she put it in the pan?

She told him she did it that way, because her mother always did it that way.

So the young husband asked his mother-in-law why she had always cut the beef roast in half before she put it in the pan. Her reply? She did it that way because HER mother had always done it that way.

At the next family dinner, the husband asked his wife’s grandmother why she had always cut the beef roast in half before putting it in the pan. Her reply? Because her mother had always done it that way.

His wife’s great-grandmother was still alive, so he went to the nursing home and asked her why she always cut the beef roast in half before putting it in the pan. Her reply?

Messermeister knife, Texas Pepper Jelly“I only had the one small pan, and the only way a roast would fit in it was if it was first cut into two pieces.”

When my children visit, I often think of this story. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it might as well be, because so many of the things we do make no sense except in the context of the past.

First of all, both of my children love grilled cheese sandwiches. I mean, who doesn’t? Secondly, neither of my children will touch a grilled cheese sandwich unless it was made with Velveeta.

Thirdly, and most importantly, I can grant these wishes because A. I won’t eat a grilled cheese sandwich unless it was made with Velveeta, either, and B. Velveeta is a name brand food I can actually AFFORD!

When my son comes down to visit, usually on a weekend, the minute he enters the house, he requests grilled cheese sandwiches. When he was a little boy, the only way he could eat a grilled cheese sandwich was if I mashed it down flat with the spatula after the Velveeta had melted. THEN his little mouth could close around it, and he could eat the sandwich “like a man.”

He is a grown man now, but he still wants his grilled cheese flattened with the spatula. spatula, grilled cheese, Scheiss WeeklyBecause that’s how his mother always made them, the mother being me, and the flattening of the grilled cheese because it was the only way he could fit it into his tiny little mouth.

If he gets married, I can’t wait to hear about his wife’s reaction when he asks her to mash a perfectly good sandwich flat. Will she question it, or just do it?

Sometimes, family traditions have serious beginnings and funny middles. As for the endings, there aren’t any, not really.

Pogue Ma’Hone – Both Versions

Mamacita says:
May you be buried in a
casket made from the wood
of a 100 year old oak
That I shall plant tomorrow.

Oh, tis a wondrous thing to be Irish, although the same could not be said earlier in our country’s history. Many people do not know how unwelcome the Irish were here, in those days. We’ve since learned wisdom.  About the Irish, anyway; some people are still working on wisdom in general.

I loved to read about Beany Malone for so many reasons, some of which were the casual ways their Irish ancestry was a part of their everyday lives.  Beany’s cousin Sheila McBride was the also the source of one of my favorite expressions, “pogue ma’ hone.”  It means, “the back of my hand to you,” if you’re a classy lady/gentleman, and “kiss my arse” if you’re me you.

Click here for some cool St. Patrick’s Day experiments for you and your kids to do, stolen borrowed from the Master Magician Scientist, Steve Spangler.

What’s a little green water between friends?

This picture is by Tim Nyberg, a fantastic artist who draws awesome things which look even more awesome than they originally looked before he drew them so awesomely.  He drew this one  for the Wittenburg Door, which is a wonderful thing in and of itself; the site is down right now but you can still see it in its archived glory.   (Don’t click the link if the corncob makes you walk funny.)

What is it supposed to be?

Why, it’s St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland, of course.

It was no mean feat, and I should know.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all. If you’re not wearing green, strangers are allowed to pinch you.

What’s that? I can’t hear you. Come a little closer. . . thaaaaat’s right.  Gotcha.

I repost this, adding a little here and there and subtracting a little likewise, each March 17, so if it looks familiar to you, you’re not crazy. Well, not about this post, anyway.

Pogue Ma’Hone to you all, for you know why you deserve it even if I don’t.  Pick your version.

Poetry Friday: Sara Teasdale and the Muses

Poetry Friday, Scheiss Weekly, Jane Goodwin Mamacita says: There are many poets whose works I love, although of course NOBODY loves everything that anyone does. You may apply that philosophy to every aspect of life. You’re welcome.

Sara Teasdale is a favorite of mine. Her poems strike hard, yet she strikes below the belt with beauty and metaphor and pictures for the mind’s eye, and lessons are learned in spite of ourselves. “I Shall Not Care” is quite possibly my favorite of my favorite Teasdale poems.

I Shall Not Care

WHEN I am dead and over me bright April
Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
Though you should lean above me broken-hearted,
I shall not care.

I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peaceful 
When rain bends down the bough;
And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted
Than you are now.


I could turn into a traditional teacher now and tell you that this is a traditional poem with a rhyme scheme of ABCB, DEFE, but I won’t, even though rhyme schemes are a great way to help people learn about patterns in rhythmic pieces, be they song lyrics or just lyrics.  Calliope, Erato, and Polyhymnia are smiling at you, and so are their sisters.

Do you like poetry?  I hope your answer was “Yes” because if you said “No” I would have to give you my lecture about how it’s too bad that you hate music.

Because, my dear, if you remove the melody, what you’ve got there is a poem.  Probably with a rhyme scheme, and a muse that pimps it.

I’ll ask again.  Do you like poetry?  You do?  Good answer.

Greek MusesAnother time we’ll take the Muses’ names apart and connect them to a lot of modern things.  Or, you could do that yourself; it’s easy enough.

You Can Do It, Duffy Moon!

midterm exams, worry Mamacita says: This coming week is Midterm Week, and while I know for a fact that every single solitary thing mentioned even in passing on this test has been thoroughly covered, I also know that this is the first college midterm for most of my students and they are frightened.

In literary terms, this kind of conflict is called “person vs. the unknown.”  That’s scary because it’s, like, UNKNOWN.  Once they get a few college tests under their belts, they won’t be as frightened because the concept will no longer be unknown.

But for most of them, for this coming week, this is their first college exam and it’s unknown and they’re scared.

I’ve told them many times that a test is nothing but a piece of paper, and that no piece of paper is as important as each individual student, but my students, while understanding and agreeing with this philosophy, also know that their collegiate futures and bank accounts and financial aid depend on the results they get on these midterm exams.

Many years ago, I used to show a little video to my middle school students called The Amazing Cosmic Awareness of Duffy Moon.  It was a charming little Afterschool Special story about a small-for-his-age boy who was bullied, taken advantage of, and DuffyMoon, you can do it duffy moon, afterschool special, ike eisenmanngenerally picked on to the degree that he decided enough was enough and took the advice of a self-help book.  The boy began to take on jobs too big for his strength, and to confront bullies too big for him to fight, and found success in both.  ”You can do it, Duffy Moon!” became his mantra and it worked.

Therefore, to my nervous and worried students, I wish to share this same advice and to give them the same mantra:  You can do it, Duffy Moon!

Because he did, and so can they.

You can do it Duffy Moon, confidence, midtermsStudents, don’t worry about pieces of paper.  No piece of paper will ever be as important, let alone more important, than YOU are.  You can do this.  You can do this well.

Giggle and guffaw and repeat:  You can do it, Duffy Moon.

It’s just goofy enough to give a student some confidence.  Remember: what you learn while laughing, you remember.

So to my classroom full of Duffy Moons:  YOU CAN DO IT.

I know you can.  You know it, too – let the panic go and meet the challenge head on.  It worked for tiny insecure little Duffy Moon, and it will work for you.

Bring a Coke and a candy bar to class.  It’ll help with your energy level while you’re answering questions.

Your professor has a little good-luck gift for each of you, too.  Don’t get your hopes up; it’s not edible.  But it’s shiny.

I’ll see you all on Tuesday and Friday.  Leave your panic at home.  You won’t need it.

You can do it, Duffy Moon.