Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sizzling Summer Sunday and Questions

St. Augustine Lighthouse - St. Augustine, FL
January, 2010
Today's picture is in honor of my dear friend, Jack, who died this past Friday afternoon of a massive heart attack.  Thank you so much for your kind comments in response to Friday's post.  They meant a lot to me and came in quickly at a time I was reeling from the news.  Jack and I shared a common passion for lighthouses.  Following his retirement, he began painting pictures of lighthouses and had given me two of his paintings.  I took this picture of the St. Augustine lighthouse last January. He recently mentioned to me that he had begun painting it for me.  

I loved reading your comments following Thursday's post.   If you haven't weighed in on the subject of losing weight while still young, I'd love for you to go back and add your two cent's worth.  It was extremely encouraging to me that there were some who have not found weight loss to become more difficult as they enjoy birthdays (wasn't that subtle???).  I'm more determined than ever and am tweaking my plan which I hope might jumpstart my body back into loss mode.  

I haven't done such a stellar job with my goals during the Freedom Challenge, but have learned two things:  1) I enjoy being part of a challenge, so will try to always be participating in one, and 2) I'm going to do a better job of setting goals that are practical for me rather than goals that sound good at the time.  If Mr. B laughs raucously when I tell him a goal I've set, it might be wise for me to rethink that goal!!!  I'm sad that the Freedom Challenge has only one week remaining, but I plan to join the Summer Diet Focus which runs through early September.  

We had a great time last evening at the 60-acre farm of some new friends.  It was just exactly what we both needed after such a stressful couple of days.  Yesterday morning, we made our farmer's market run and drove straight to Mr. B's parent's house to help out with some things there.  Then we went to spend a couple of hours with Jack's widow, Ruth.  Yes, a quiet evening watching the moon rise over the mountains from the porch swing of a log cabin with no sound other than the frogs and the birds was EXACTLY what we needed.  A reminder to be thankful for the gift of friendship and the gift of life.  This couple are healthy eaters through and through - I knew eating at their home would present NO problems sticking to my eating plan.  We had a delicious dinner, but the quiet fellowship in the tranquil setting was perfect.  

I have three questions I'd like to throw out for feedback   I am now over two months into this blogging thing, so am probably about to pass the point of being able to call myself a "newbie."  Decided I better get these questions asked and answered.  Hope you all don't mind telling me how you do things.  I'd really appreciate it.

1)  This is a very specific blogger question.  I've asked it on the blogger help page, the forum and via "googling" but can't get any response.   There is a discrepancy in the number of followers on my dashboard versus the number showing on the main page of my blog.  It isn't many, but I was just curious if anyone else shows different numbers and if they have any idea why? 

2)  I have asked this question before, but it was very early on, so I'd appreciate opinions from those who've started reading since the first time I asked.   What are your personal philosophies regarding opening up your blog to people (friends, relatives, co-workers, etc.) that you know?  When I posed this question the first time,  I got responses ranging from "absolutely no one knows about it" to "everyone knows."   I still have told no one other than Mr. B, about this blog.  The problem is, there are some people, with whom I share this never-ending weight loss drama, that might find it encouraging or simply enjoy reading along.  But in doing so, do I jeopardize my freedom to write with complete openness and honesty?  Please share with me the way in which you've handled this particular issue with your own blog.  (Those of you that answered this question earlier, don't worry about answering again unless something has changed.  I remember who you are and really appreciated your responses at that time.)

3)  Lastly, a question about how you read blog updates.  I already have a lot of blogs to read and am getting ready to set a personal goal for myself that will involve even more (how's that for a teaser???).  Not only do I thoroughly enjoy reading every last one of them, but they are a huge encouragement, I enjoy adding comments and I get lots of great ideas about food, recipes, products, etc.  Sounds familiar to all of you, doesn't it?  Do most of you subscribe to a feed, so the blogs you want to keep up with come directly to you?  Do you read them in Google reader?   Do you depend on your sidebar to show you what's been updated?   Are there other creative ways you've discovered that I haven't??  Sometimes, I end up feeling very disorganized and like everyone but me probably has a great "system" for keeping up to date with their blog reading. 

I'm wondering if I should have asked these questions one at a time on separate days, but no, I've got things I'd rather write about than housekeeping type stuff!!  So, if you don't mind, give me some feedback about how you do things.

Yes, it's a sizzling summer Sunday in East Tennessee and in a moment of senility, I agreed to go pick okra at 6:30 this evening.   Perhaps that adventure should be tomorrow's picture!   NOT!!


  1. 2 - I let some people know; not all people care, I figure and I only tell the ones I think will be interested

    3- I read in Google reader.

  2. I read most blogs on my dashboard....others via email.

    I had a blog before the one I have now and shut it down because I told too many people in my "real" life about it. It just became a problem and I felt judged for what I was writing. I set up the new blog, have told no one but the hubby and feel like it gives me more freedom.

  3. 2 - I have told 4 people (for different reasons) and honestly wish none of them knew. I definitely feel it restricts me sometimes in what I say. If I had it to do over, I would rather they did not know, or at least that they did not read.

    3 - I subscribe, that way I never have to check back to see if there is a new post. I prefer to us an rss feed and I use google reader since I had an igoogle page already with a calendar that I looked at daily. A few have no rss so I subscribe via email.

    P.S. I don't really understand google friends and how that works. I have signed up on many blogs and have it on mine but don't do anything with it. Maybe I am also missing something.

  4. This is my first time visiting your blog and I will become a follower because I think we have a lot in common. The first thing is that we are in the same "age group."

    Answer to #2- I have been blogging since April and I decided at first I would tell no one. This is very personal for me and I have an insane fear of failure. I live in a small town and do not want to be discussed at dinner or church. After almost 4 months in Blogville, I still do not plan to tell anyone.

    #3-I get them through the Dashboard and it works just fine for me.

    Now I'm off to comment on your other post about losing weight while young.

  5. I have not advertised my blog to people that I know because they can be part of the stress in my life! I want to reserve the right to rant about them, if necessary. LOL, but not always....

    I use the Dashboard to keep up with reading. I'm probably at my "following" limit right now. I would enjoy going out and finding more followers (which means following their blogs, too), but I simply don't have the time. Wish I did!

  6. Hi: I also have a discrepancy in number of Followers shown on dashboard vs faces on my blog...on my RV blog not on my weight management blog. I don't know how to reconcile that either.

    I've told people about starting my RV blog and have had no issues with that. There is a link to my weight blog, so whoever reads one will find out about the other and can then read both. So far, I have no regrets on that.

    I read blog posts by checking my dashboard or looking at my blog list on the sidebar. I don't subscribe to any and I don't have a clue about Google reader. (techie...I'm NOT)

    Margie M. writes at:

  7. 1. I don't know.
    2. I initially told a few people when I started my blog. I was very selective about who I told. Quite a few are followers although I'm not really sure how much they read. I edit myself some as to what I say because of them now. I feel a kindred spirit much more so with the blog community. I'd much rather have that. If I had to do it over again, I would not have told my friends.
    3. When I follow a blog, it shows up on my dashboard. I read it from there.


  8. Hey there.

    1. Yes, I have more followers on my dashboard than show in my blog followers list. They are anonymous, maybe that makes a difference.

    2. I've told a few friends and family about my blog. In blogging and on FaceBook, I try to keep in mind that they are public fora. My mom always advised us never to write something for public consumption that you wouldn't mind reading on the front page of the Washington Post. I don't especially want my weight shouted from the front page of the Post, but I write my blog to help myself and I think making this "public" goal is helping me stick to it and live it.

    I don't really understand about other ways to read blogs. I do know that I don't want to get your blogs via email--I like the homepage setting with pix and side bars. I have a blog roll and I check it every day to see what you all have written that I haven't read yet. That works for me.

  9. Re: reading blogs. I follow the blogs that I'd like to read. They show up on my Dashboard via the "Reader".

    If a blogger I'm following is in the habit of responding to comments by adding a comment of her own to her own post, I click the "subscribe by email" thing at the bottom of the comment. That means that subsequent COMMENTS show up in my email--but not subsequent posts.

    I do have my blog set up so that all comments made by others on my posts get forwarded to my email. I often respond to comments by replying to that comment as tho it were an email. I often wonder if that puts people off who don't understand how that happens.

    RE: Telling. I'm mixed on this. I've told very few people. And every time I do tell someone, I regret that I did it for several days--then I forget about it. :}

    I don't ever want to be in the position of censoring what I write because of who may be reading it. Journal type blogs are really only beneficial, I think, if you don't write for your audience but, rather, to express yourself. People benefit from peaks into your struggles and victories, not from your press.

    The fact is, tho, that I'd say to real life people most everything I write if the timing and situation were appropriate. I think something about putting things in print and not having control over that timing or the ability to respond to the reader when it's someone I know, feels vulnerable. I think my issue is control rather than privacy--you may be less nuts than I am. :}

    Re: numbers. Blogger is completely unrerliable as far as numbers go. Sometimes it also messes up the number of comments. don't know why.

    I love your blog, by the way. :D Thanks for your kind comments on my own.


  10. Hey Sharon!

    I have the same number in both places.
    I haven't really told anyone about my blog, other than my husband and my mom who neither one know how to get to it..LOL
    I read blog updates through the dashboard mostly, sometimes I do go and check certain ones. But then again I have days where I just read blogs and bounce from one blog to the next..

    OK so I am no help at all!!!
    Have a great night!

  11. I just found your blog. I am so sory to read about the passing of your friend, Jack. (I am fond of lighthouses too.) As to one of your questions, I have been pretty open about sharing my diet struggles, but have elected not to share my blog, primarily for the reason you mention. I think I'd start editing myself, and for purely selfish reasons, I need to do this for me and my health - so I am not sharing my blog with family and friends. I need to put myself first for a change. (Part of my problem is I've put everyone else first, and neglected myself in the process.) I don't want to undermine my efforts.

  12. Sharon, first want to say how sorry I am for the sudden loss of your good friend.

    I read blogs a very old fashioned way, I'm afraid. JUst have them all in my bookmarks and check a couple times a day to see if there's anything new.

    As far as letting people know about my blog. There's only one person who I really don't want to know about my blog--my mother... and, I actually said to my sister at one point, I think you should stop reading my blog. That was because she does not want to eat healthily right now, and complained that I always talked about it. When we are together I avoid it like the plague, and I think she was absorbing everything I read in my blog and resenting it.

    But I feel pretty strongly about this. I feel like I can be as open and honest as I want to be while at the same time realizing that ANYONE IN THE WORLD could read my blog at any time. And being careful to be respectful of others when writing.

  13. Fist I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your good friend.

    I sometimes wish that my blog was a secret from family and friends. Having said that it is also a good way to stay connected to the ones who live far away. I would perhaps talk more about eating disorders and the affect my childhood played in creating mine if my parents didn't read my blog. I sometimes wish my husband and kids didn't share with certain people about the blog but I soon forget about it.

    Anyone who has known me for a few years or more has seen me lose weight, gain weight and lose it again so it is no secret that I have issues with food and my weight.

    What is interesting is that I get more comments and support from complete strangers on my blog than from family and friends. Rarely do family or friends leave me a comment, maybe they are reading and maybe not!

    I use to have a plug in for Word press that told me when a blogger had a new post but it made my home page load slow so I got rid of it. Now I just check blogs randomly and I try to post on other blogs when that person has left me a comment. I would like a better system too!

  14. Interesting question... public or private, to tell or not to tell.

    Occasionally, I wish I was "anonymous". But then, it doesn't seem to matter in my case. My whole family knows about it, I even sent the link... and NO ONE, except my niece, reads it! At least not that they will admit. I even have to beg my husband to read a particular post if I want him to see it.

    How do I feel about that?? Insignificant. Boring. Uninteresting. Less than. Unimportant. Un-cared about...

    Maybe that is why I am always amazed that people read my blog, and leave comments.

    I pour out my heart, and the people who are family could care less (except for my niece)... while new friends I've made online respond with care and support and encouragement. Mind-blowing!!

    Gee... that didn't help you one bit. Sorry!

    One thing I decided from the start: I would not make myself feel better at someone else's expense... I would not rant and "vent" if it meant trashing someone. If I want to talk about something, I will at least leave off names or identifying info. That is not freedom to me, to vent and hurt others. That is cruel. You can't un-ring a bell. And once it's out there, it's out there for good.

    So, it depends on your needs and goals for your blog... if you need to vent, and it helps your journey, then definitely go anonymous.

    I try for emotional resolution BEFORE I post... I bend God's ear a LOT before posting. So I don't use it for that purpose.

    There is no right or wrong way...other than the basics of kindness and respect... treating others the way you would want to be treated.

    Sorry to be long-winded... you really got me thinking!