Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

One decade ago this week, this blog was launched.

(See below for the very first post!)

I am humbly grateful for having the privilege of being a part of the WordPress community and for the incredibly kind, talented and amazing human beings who together make up this wonderful blogosphere.

Thank you so very much for ten phenomenal years of discovery, growth, friendships and untold joys. A lot can happen in a decade on a beach…tides shift, precious shells wash up and get swept back out to sea, storms destroy and God heals, and the sun always comes out again.

Thank you for sharing this beach with me. xo

It all started with this:


Pull up a beach chair…

July 7, 2011 by Southern Sea Muse

Welcome, my friend…to my blog and to my world. Let’s sit and ponder things together…growing stronger and wiser from having the courage to take the risk of entertaining thoughts both inside and outside of our comfort zones, to find peace in change, strength in weakness, joy in despair.

As we contemplate, our chairs may shift and settle and get stuck in the sand, but we know that the momentary sense of stability in being grounded in what feels firm and solid, will ultimately give way to that disturbing realization of relinquished control as the water rises seemingly without notice. Then we suddenly find  the impetus to pick up our beach chair and move it to a new place to enjoy yet another perspective, building on our previous vantage point. Perhaps a little higher, perhaps a little farther, but either way, we have been moved, forced to change, and to experience a renewed sense of security, even though in the back of our mind we know it will change again with the rhythm of the seashore.

Let this rhythm be our lullaby to cradle us through the sometimes startling, sometimes soothing tides of change.

Come sit a spell, lie back and relax, dig your toes in the warm sand, deeply inhale the sweet sea mist….

….and Listen………..

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Year-End Thanks

A sampling of our New Year’s Eve celebratory devices:


Happy 2014 to all my readers, and thank y’all for a wonderful year of beachy blogging. Each and every one of you make it SO worth it.

Hey, God, thanks for this great community of bloggers, for giving us a welcoming place to share our lives and worlds. May You bless each and every reader with happy health, limitless life,  cornucopious creativity, confirming clarity and blissful blogging in the year to come.


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1.) (at 7:38 pm) “Hey, Mom, the band director said we needed a tuxedo for tomorrow’s competition in the city…”

2.) (from dear mother with advancing Alzheimer’s) “Well, I’ll just hitchhike if you can’t take off work to take me where I want to go tomorrow.”

3.)  (sequestered in the corner office with all windows and lots of top brass) “Nobody else can do what you do here…please don’t accept that promotion! We’ll adjust your schedule, whatever it takes!”

4.) (from a post-rehab mom in treatment) “How dare you tell me I’m showing too much cleavage with my breast tattoo!!! Now, what were you saying about my son’s sexually inappropriate behavior?”

5.) “Your four-year-old scored a zero on the assessment – he refused to initiate any effort.” (this, after warning the Pre-K assessor he has stranger anxiety and would not perform in a room alone with her – duh).

6.) “Please accept and wear this honorary pin commemorating your 25 years’ dedication to the profession…” (‘and in doing so, ‘fess up to everyone just how antique you are) (Therapisauras Rex, here!).

7.) (from 4-year-old recollecting in utero) “I don’t wanna go back in your tummy…I was ‘fraid of the big splinters.” (what big splinters?) “The big, black splinters – they were owchie. They were your poopy. They hurt me. I gonna stay out here now and make san’ castles.”

8.) (CPA conversation) “For some reason, the IRS hasn’t put out a refund calendar.” (“So, what, they’re trying not to be accountable now?”) “No, the IRS has never been accountable…”

9.) “Your (disabled) child won’t stop bolting toward the elevators and pressing the alarm button…”

10.) “The court date has been postponed until July. But we’ll need a deposition later this month. We want you to be there in case anybody lies.”

11.) “We’re out of wine.” (or was it ‘whine?’)

I swear, this all bubbled forth THIS WEEK.

Welcome to the merry-go-round of my life.

Even so and despite it all, here’s a pretty bunch of blooming azaleas against a field of soon-to-be-harvested winter wheat that I saw this Sunday whizzing past a neighbor’s farm:


Spring rocks!!!


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Just minding my own business this past Sunday, doing what I do best, and looky what treasure washed up!


Shell, deposited right at my feet.

Doesn’t get any better than this.

Keep in mind, I foolishly thought if I sat on my arse a while longer and waited for the tide,

I’d be rewarded with more pretty shells.

Alas, the bottom of my low-slung chair got nailed with the next overzealous wave

and instead of treasure, all I got out of the deal was wet-butt for the rest of the afternoon.

So I got up and went for a walk, hoping the sea breeze would dry me off.

And this is what I found:


An all-natural shell island, carved out by the tide with little treasures exposed at the top.

Lots of them.

I was delighted and humbled all at once to have discovered the beauty made entirely outside my awareness until its discovery.

When you do what you do simply to do what you do,

just because,

without meaning to do or find anything extraordinary,

extraordinary sometimes finds you.

And then there’s Mrs. Em… Thank you

for your sweet words and for sharing with the world so many talented bloggers.

Like discovering a shell island,

We are blessed to get to know them all, and enriched beyond measure.

I am going to run out and get some Orbitz gum just to see what my blog is like, as you described.

In the trenches, it’s difficult to know what others see from the outside.

And the offer for iced tea on the front porch still stands.

We’ll chew some Orbitz, too (but not at the same time as the tea!).

Oh, and the general upshot of this post is that you can’t sit on your buh-hind and expect great things to show up at your feet.

Get up once in a while to let the wind dry off your uncomfortable butt and you might just stumble on

Something even better.

Okay, and since I work with kids, I have to simplify:

Do your best, don’t get lazy and step out of your comfort zone once in a while.

Only then can you connect with and acquire greater things,

Things you may never have known existed.

And for Pete’s sake, don’t stay in your chair with wet-butt.

I’d much rather you explore the beach with me.

Let’s go!

Thanks, God, for blogs and shells and friends and all unforeseen treasures You put in our path.

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Known for making a conscious effort to shun sunglasses in most cases (to savor full effects of hot/bright), I found myself squinting with joy when the word-wise Literary Tiger sprang forth and pounced, nominating me for the Sunshine Award. And earlier this week, my blogging pal over at The Waiting (who may no longer be waiting, as of this post) tagged me in a game of “Guten Tag.”

I have typically dodged the full responsibility of such awards in the past, as I am not one to engage in electronic tag or chain mail, introvert that I am. However, these questions appear to be almost as much fun as enjoying the evening on the front porch swing in my l’il black nightie, listening to the chorus of bullfrogs nearby and hearing the parade of day-boaters whiz past under the bridge on their way to dock up for the night. (I assume I blend in with the darkness and our neighbors don’t see me. And if they do, bless their hearts for acting none the wiser the next day.)

Thus, I will halfway follow the rules by answering questions, but as for nominating others, YOU – yeah, you, dear friend reading this – consider yourself nominated and/or tagged, but only if you feel like it. Entirely up to you. Dontcha love freedom of choice?! So, here are the Sunshine Award questions:

1. Favorite color– Orange

2. Favorite animal–  Anole

3. Favorite number– 17

4. Favorite non-alcoholic drink– Cream Soda – the good stuff.

5. Prefer Facebook or Twitter– Neither. I fully intend to remain as unsocial as possible toward these two evil twin sisters, unless they get around to changing some of their privacy policies and formats. WordPress is about as far down the plank as I’ll venture.

6. My passion– Father, Son & Holy Spirit…and also Publix’s Chocolate Trinity

7. Prefer Giving or Getting presents– Giving. Yesterday on the beach was a tourist family of 4, with the two little angelic girls looking for shells. They weren’t finding many where they were looking, so I began collecting some unique ones in a good spot I knew of down the beach a-ways. They didn’t notice me. When they turned to walk the other direction, I snook up to the girls’ pail and quietly deposited the treasures, sprinted back to my beach chair and buried my nose in the 400+ pages of foreplay in the Victorian novel I was reading. I had as much delight sneaking glances down-shore, spying their discovery, as did the girls, inspecting their mysterious treasures (and their puzzled-but-pleased parents).

8. Favorite pattern– Hurricane season, as the storms build and march across the Atlantic – predictable patterns early on, not so predictable patterns as they approach. Fun to track, anyway, that is until you’re in the cone of uncertainty.

9. Favorite day of the week–  Which ever day it happens to be when I’m at the beach. All days are faves!

10. Favorite flower – Calla lily

And now for the “Guten Tag” questions:


1. Coke or Pepsi? Or Fanta (we don’t judge)- See #4 above.

2. What is your guilty pleasure? See #6, part B, above.

3.) The Beatles or the Rolling Stones? Stones. Stones. Stones.

4.) Describe your first crush: Tommy, second grade. I tricked him into meeting me at the nether edges of the playground during recess one day and kissed and ran. Sorry, Tom. Sort of. 

5.) How often do you respond to/pass along blogging honors, such as the Versatile Blogging Award? See intro above.

6.) Where would you travel if you could go anywhere? Outer space would be cool. Or maybe deep down beneath Mt. Shasta to put to rest for once and for all that there is no booming civilization happenin’ down there, if I thought I could return up to the base of the mountain unscathed.

7.) Did you have cable TV growing up? Um, no. There was no such thing. There was a box with little knobs and rabbit ears, and about 5 channels. What you saw was what you got. But I was one of the first on my block to get Pong. Hours of entertainment!

8.) What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever eaten?  My toes, when I was real little. They were pretty interesting, at least to me, back then. I also used to suck two fingers and hang onto my ear lobe with the other hand, until I was about 3 or 4…always against the current from the thumb-sucking crowd.

9.) Why do you blog? Because it is there. See #5 above. It is the only way I can/will communicate with you.

10.) What’s the worst gift you’ve ever been given? Gab.

11.) Any baby advice? Be careful where you breastfeed. In some cultures they could care less how skillfully you drape the blankie over the deed. Just don’t ask them to justify an unspoken rule like this given the smut they suck off their boob tube.

Thank you again to my nominators, and y’all have a beachy day!

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Thank you!

…to The Waiting for nominating me this week for the Versatile Blogger award, and to Gracefully50 for the Liebster Blog award. What wonderful Christmas presents, from such wonderful ladies. I am honored and blessed.

That is the nice me.

The naughty me takes shameless pleasure in shunning some conventional rules. I have a long history of having broken many chains, as well. This began with the first chain letter I received in grade seven telling me calamitous events would befall me the rest of my life if I did not write five other people and warn them of the same calamitous events if they did not continue the chain. I was simultaneously annoyed and fearful. So I later lied and told the sender I’d done my part, burying myself in my Twinkies at the lunch table days later when the other girls were doing the math and trying to figure out how the chain broke. I dunnit. As ominously warned, my life has been filled with calamities, most of which have been curiously interesting and made for great blogging.

It continued with a Mrs. Field’s cookie recipe my sister-in-law sent me in the early 90’s, warning me of various kitchen disasters I would encounter if the secret recipe was not forwarded to a baker’s dozen of others. Sure enough, over time I’ve been cursed with ovens which don’t bake evenly; a parade of ruined baked goods off of malicious cookware posing as the “non-stick” variety; and fairly regular run-ins with overzealous electric kitchen appliances run amok.

The last chain I had the dishonor of breaking involved being sent five pairs of (new, not used!) panties along with the sender imploring me to purchase and send another five out to others, with one to the original sender. Or something like that. I can’t recall what nasty things were supposed to happen if the panties-chain broke…we’ll just have to use our collective creativity to think about that. Or not, thanks.

I do not consider the blogging awards bestowed upon me this week to be “chains,” although they share some of those characteristics: my understanding is the recipient is to reference/link the originator of the award, followed by linking five (for the Liebster) or fifteen (for the Versatile Blogger) other blogs whom you turn around and then nominate, alerting each recipient of your nomination of their blog.

The problem is, I’m fairly new to the blogosphere, and I do not spend as much time as I might like blogging and reading others’ blogs. Therefore, most of the blogs I’m familiar with have either already won these awards because they’ve been around here so much longer than I, or I haven’t yet had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with such blogs which might qualify.

Then there’s the ignorance factor: I can’t tell if some blogs qualify or not because some of them don’t have telltale widgets which might provide such information. Thus, I shall do my unconventional best to accept these awards. The numbers are all wrong, the links may not work, and frankly, I do a much better job hanging out with you here on the beach shooting the breeze about other stuff.

But for the purpose of the awards anyway, here are some blogs I enjoy for various reasons. Their views don’t necessarily represent mine, and I don’t always agree with them, but they are writers I respect for their style of externalizing their internal reality, for their ability to communicate their lives (asterisks indicate Liebster, the rest VBs if they haven’t already been so bestowed):

Trask Avenue – This guy can write. And he almost makes New Jersey look good in the process, to boot.

Irresistibly Fish – Here is a fine example of a Christian putting his service where his mouth is.

An Observant Mind – A Texan-gone-Aussie, she brings a smile to my face every time she invites us to have a piece of her fantastic mind.

Cecilia and Her Sisters – * – Be moved by the beautiful life and joy of Cecilia, a real-life angel.

societyred – * – Life in the Pacific Northwest as he sees it.

Rockin’ Walk to Faith – * – My favorite combo, God & music.

J.D. Clemente – *- Application of faith to everyday life, these thoughtful posts inspire.

AdaLamar’s Blog – Fun reading, sassy gal, a great way to unwind while reading about her adventures.

Stories from the Waves – * – A blogger cut from my same cloth, life as seen from another shore.

RVingGirl – Vicariously live a life you’d probably like to lead through this insightful lady.

Dadbloggit! – The name alone should amuse you; his tales of his children will amuse even more.

Beyond the Pear Tree – This one elicits cause to pause and consider, and to stretch yourself beyond.

Kana’s Chronicles – No blogger’s life should be complete without a subscription to Kana! Kana flamingoed me some time back, for which I am most grateful. I love flamingos!

mommysaidaswearword – BYOS (bring your own sippy cup…with an adult beverage in it – for you, not the kid) and enjoy her wry mommy humor. And make sure you leave the toilet seat DOWN.

The Idiot Speaketh – I confess I read this like I read National Geographic: I browse the pics first, then go back and read. I am going to get fired if I keep inserting some of the pics from this blog into my emails at work, except they keep my boss laughing. For now. I haven’t checked with the IT department yet.

The Problem with Young People Today is… – Don’t be drinking or eating anything while you read this one; you will laugh so hard you’ll spew forth onto your laptop and electrocute yourself if it happens to be charging. I speak from the experience of a ruined keyboard and frizzy hair.

Hey, God…thank You for introducing me to these wonderful people and their awesome blogs. May You bless each of them, and those I’ve yet to discover. Thank You for sending Your Son into the world. Merci beaucoup, mon dieu!

p.s. God, help these links to work!

As the sign on the business downtown here says, “Merry Christmas, y’all!

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