Long post ahead. I couldn't stop myself.
Before I begin this, I'd like you to know that I have no idea where this post is going. I'm channeling my high-school creative writing class by just starting to write.
With blogging, I find that, over time, I tend to repeat myself. One subject that I constantly review is how lonely I get when the children aren't here. And if you've been reading for awhile, you've seen that topic appear several times. Another subject that I cover periodically, is/are my views on blogging. Specifically, my blog.
I want to thank Tara of Taradacactyl for guest blogging for me on Monday. Don't you just love her! And thank you all for commenting on her post. The comments were hilarious! I especially love those who actually thought that she was speaking about actual Monopoly. Just to make it clear, Tara was speaking about sex. The comments where people were talking about playing monopoly with their siblings or children had me rolling on the floor dying. But still, I liked seeing those. What it did point out to me was who really reads the context of my posts and who just looks at the photos and assume they know what I'm talking about.
Tara was overwhelmed with the amount of comments and I sort of pressured her into her being the one to reply to you. Because I trust her, I shared with her access to my comment system program. When I made the changes, I messed up and then neither one of us could access it. Yes, I screwed myself and not in the good way. I've made several attempts to contact the Comment folks but they never got back to me. I've had a lot of trouble with Intense Debate deleting comments or blocking them from appearing. Still, I found it better than even the new Blogger Thread. I loved that I could reply to your comments and that you were emailed my reply. And I would have missed that. But thanks to Stasha at The Good Life, I'm now going the way of Disqus like so many others before me. I'm hoping that it works the same way as Intense Debate but without all the drama. It took Fred several hours to purge I.D. from this site. The result, I lost every comment that was ever made on this blog. Had this happened last year, I would have been suicidal. But because I now have experienced "real" loss, I'm okay with it. The most important thing is that my journal and it's history is intact.
Speaking of, I frequently write about replying to your comments. And although it's a lot of work, it's actually something that I love to do. I love the open communication. I don't like putting something out there, you spending the time to read it and write to me, and that's it. What's that all about?
Back in January, when Fred and I were going through our major Immigration stuff and being in the media and such, this blog acquired about 70 new Followers. That was something to see people joining by the hour, literally! And as much as that felt nice and totally boosted my ego, I found that I hit my breaking point. Let me be more clear. Big time bloggers gather Followers by the minute, daily, and forever. I think that that would be an incredible ride. For whatever it's worth, I discovered that I will never be one of them. And here's why. When someone follows me and comments, I tend to follow them back, get to know them and then we are life long-time friends. But when several started appearing a day, I found that I could no longer keep up. Here's the part that really gets to me. Several of them leave comments constantly and they are the best comments too. Although I respond to them, I've not followed them back. And I feel awful about that too because they are so dedicated to reading my ramblings. But you see, I'm at my limit of blogs that I'm able to follow. I know many details about my current bloggers and I like the connection. Still, I find it hard to keep up. I can't bring myself to follow any more.
Let's talk about my sidebar. You may have noticed that I have have added a few things over there. And you probably think that they are ads. Well, in a way, they are ads. However, I am not being paid for them. You see, from out of the blue, people contacted me about placing their info on my blog. And because I felt like it, I put their info there, for free! How long will I keep it there? Who knows! But both parties were sincere and I believed in their message. It doesn't hurt me one bit and I hope they profit/succeed in their individual missions because of me. My only problem is, how many more folks, reading this, will now want me to advertise for their cause? We'll see!
And now the elephant in the room; my donation button. Did you see it there? Of course you did! Don't pretend you didn't. Placing that button on my blog was a major decision for me. At first, I felt like a beggar. But I don't know if you noticed or not but I've never asked you for one penny. It's there and that's the way it is. And yes, I have had people send donations to us. And each time that someone does, I contact them personally and thank them sincerely for their gift. I also explained to them that we are not poor and if we were starving to death, my parents are here to step in. Money donated will go directly into paying for our Immigration fees and nothing else. I really do think and know that how we are being treated, by the Government, is so unfair and if you must know, with Fred not working for years and also then paying for his school, we have lost out on hundreds of thousands of dollars. Does it sicken me to think of that? You betcha! At the same time, what we have gained, between 2004 and 2011 when Fred wasn't working, is Jacob and Joshua and a complete understanding of the real value of things and money. Fred doesn't want me to blog about things that we purchase for fear that you'll think that a donation is going to "whatever"! Trust me, it isn't.
Visiting your blogs: Do you like the comments that I leave there? Do I get too personable? Do you think I'm out of place when I disagree with you? I swear, I don't do it to be mean. Believe me, I can be a total bitch if you wanted. A few followers who I follow back come to mind. One in particular deletes my comments every time I say anything that even resembles that I may not agree with him 100%. He'll read this, it's okay. I think it all started when he was going on and on about Downton Abbey. I wrote that Maggie Smith plays the same character in every show/movie that I have ever seen her in. That's true by the way. She's a one-note gal! Anyway, I then saw an hilarious clip on Sluggy's site later on in that day spoofing Downton Abbey(check it out!). I emailed the clip to him thinking that he would get a big kick out of it. No reply. I then went to his site to see if he replied there. Only to find that my comment was removed. After a few more comments being deleted on his blog, I finally gave up visiting him. Yes, it takes me a while to get the hint. And it's too bad. I thought he was cute and kinda funny. Oh well!
Okay, what else? Oh, I know! The look of my blog. It's rare that Fred visits my blog. But when he does, I always hear that my blog is boring. What he means by that and he has told me is, there's a photo, text, photo, text, photo, text.... Yes, he's absolutely right. I know exactly what bores him and I know exactly what to do to this site to make it visually stimulating. All day long, I visit BEAUTIFUL sites that are like works of art. I purposely want my text to be on equal standing with my photos. I don't want one to outshine the other. And further more, as I have explained to Fred, this is a journal and I'm a story teller first. I lay this all out to tell a simple story. I toss photos in to break up the text, add to the story where needed and to keep you interested as much as possible.
Facebook: I deactivated both my personal account and my Our Simple Lives Fan page account on Wednesday. Those bitches changed the TimeLine thing on me and I'm no fan of it. But the topper was this: I clicked on an article, on Facebook, and read it. Five minutes later, I got a message that people "liked" the article that I had just read. I actually didn't know that I was being tracked like that and I absolutely hate it. So, until I have to organize my next Class reunion, I am done. Yes, I share a lot here but just as Aldonza said, "What I give, I choose to give"
Twitter: I tried really hard to get into it. And a couple of times there, I was going nuts with it. But I found myself going for days without it and to tell you the truth, I liked it that way. Maybe I'll go back one day, I don't know. But until I'm fired and the kids are all taken away by CPS, I just don't have the time. Basically, what I'm saying is, the more I got into Social Media, the more I wanted people to stop 'grabbing' at me. I'm finding that all I want to do is talk about Our Simple Lives and that is it. It was strange and liberating giving up Facebook and Twitter. Once again, maybe I'll be back one day. All I can say is that this is what I want now.
I'm going to take a few weeks away from Blogging now too. And that will be difficult because I really do have a lot going that I want to share. And I received/will receive special packages in the mail from other Bloggers that I wanted to write about but that will have to wait too. My busy life needs some nurturing and I must attend to it. Just know that all is well.
What, I've run out of photos? That means that I'm done typing for today. Seriously, that's how I do it. I throw a whole bunch of photos up there and then fill in the blanks with some words. Yeah, it's very scientific of me.
I'm sorry that I've been M.I.A. this week. I actually scheduled a few days off of work just to get things done around here. I completely forgot that the children had off for Easter break at the same time. Needless to say, I've accomplished very little.
See you in a few weeks.
Your Friend, m.
p.s. I have no idea what to expect from this new commenting system. We'll see together!