Gardening, What I’m Reading & Social Media

I’m sitting here in my recliner with Charlie, listening to the sound of distant thunder rumbling. I can’t believe all the storms we’ve gotten so far this year.

But I do so love hearing the thunder and rain, except for when it causes damage to some folks’ homes.

I haven’t had to go out the past few days, except for PT on Monday. Yesterday I had a bunch of over the counter items like Vitamin D, Women’s Vitamins, etc. that I needed.

Another Shipt Order:

So I ordered through Shipt at Target, as their prices are less for these type items than is the grocery store.

I have to keep children’s cough syrup on hand for Charlie, who often gets to coughing so at night. He seems to be hampered more by allergies right now than the problem with the collapsed trachea.

Luckily that health problem has calmed down with his three heart medications. My Charlie boy will be 13 in September. I’m am doing my best to keep him healthy and happy.

Ivy The Night Owl:

I think Ivy must stay up at night and sleep during the day. In the evening while I read, Charlie is always at the end of my bed. Ivy comes up on the right side of me and curls up beside me. But I can’t get her to sleep with us at night.

I think she’s into her mischief in the dark of night. Sometimes I hear her scrabbling about playing.

Here she is all sprawled out on the coffee table. Keep in mind that this table is 36 inches round. Ivy is a big girl.

She is sweet and curious and intelligent and my (big) little furry love.

Here she is watching me through the bedroom window screen as I do chores on the patio.

In The Garden:

My blue raised bed is almost out of hand. You can only see the tips of the hosta and lamb’s ear because the lemon balm and mint I cut way back a week ago has bounced back with a vengeance.

The pansies have made a comeback with their perky little pixie faces.

The white Shasta daisies are blooming nicely, as are the white cone flowers. The scabiosa is full of flowers over in the galvanized container bed.

And of course the petunias are blooming like crazy. I tend to the petunias a lot to make sure they bloom well. I deadhead and trim them back and they thank me profusely with gorgeous flowers.

I find that I like to “mother” them. I do a lot of pondering about life while I tend to things on the patio.

I truly enjoy all the little maintenance chores that make up a well-tended garden.

What I’m Reading:

I am reading a book about a woman who suddenly finds out she is supposed to be dead. Someone has put out a death notice on her. They have gone on Facebook and announced her demise.

But why would anyone wish Laura harm? She is a 50 year old divorced mom of a daughter just starting college. She has no enemies. That she knows of. But obviously someone feels great enmity toward her.

Book Description Via Netgalley:

Laura Swallow is dead. 
A life cut tragically short, says the newspaper obituary.

But that’s a lie. 
Estate agent Laura did not die in a car accident. She is alive and well.
At first, Laura thinks it’s a sick joke. 
But multiple announcements of her death are followed by increasingly sinister real-life events. Already fragile, struggling to recover from a recent divorce, Laura is plunged into a living nightmare. 
Who can she trust? Her new lover? Her clients and work colleagues? What about her ex-husband and his smug fiancée? Can Laura even rely on her best friends? And why is it that Laura’s present troubles are so tied up with her sister’s sudden death all those years ago?
But one thing Laura is sure of – someone out there wants her to suffer. Wants her gone. 

Negatives Of Social Media:

With the advent of social media, you can be trolled by someone behind the scenes. Someone can, if they know how, manipulate your feed and alter what is real.

It is one of the truly negative things about putting our lives out into the ether, where it floats like a balloon far and wide beyond anything we can contain.

Personally I don’t put much out there. On Facebook I put my posts out most every day, but I don’t post separately on Facebook. I do nothing to try to get followers there or have even created a page for myself or this blog.

I have about four groups I am part of on FB, three of which are related to blogging. And that’s really my main interest in Facebook. I like to go to the groups to read because I always learn something. And I always enjoy learning.

I never got into Instagram, but I love Pinterest. That is the place to put all things pretty or interesting. For me it’s like a bookmark I can come back to when I have more time to dig into the depths.

Success For Today’s Blogger:

To be a truly successful blogger who wants to work with sponsors, it is mandatory to be a large social media presence. But I was never really interested in any of that.

Many bloggers say the opt-in forms are a very successful way to build up your email list. But I’ve never been able to bring myself to have pop-ups on my blog, which I think are a big nuisance.

I figure if someone wants to join my email list to have my posts sent to them, they will find an unobtrusive form at the end of my posts. So I don’t have a huge email list, and that’s just fine.

I’m not crazy about being pushy about such things. And I don’t want to try and sell you something. I write a blog, I post photos, and try to inform. I never evolved into the blogger-turned-entrepreneur tapping into the big money.

The Big Money In Blogging:

And believe me, there is big money out there. There are bloggers who make enough money to build new homes and go on exotic trips. They are real go-getters.

There are bloggers who make more in a month than I make in a year.

Oftentimes their husbands (if the blogger is a female) quit their jobs outside the home to work on the blog as well. Some bloggers have staff to help.

Every day in the blogging groups I see several looking for individuals who will post to social media for them, write posts, and take care of other blog business for them.

What Blogging Is To Me:

To me my blog is a personal journey. I get at least 3 emails a day with someone wanting to guest post here. But I just don’t want that. I am the writer here and these are my words.

I’ve never even put watermarks on my photos. It’s not like they’re Rembrants or anything. If you ever want to print out my photos, feel free to do so. I have no problem with that.

You can print my posts for all I care. If any information is useful to you, then I have done what I aimed to do.

As for the dreaded opt-in boxes, I know I hate it when these pesky boxes pop up when I’m trying to read a blog. In my opinion they are just a big unnecessary nuisance.

What do you think of blog pop-ups? If you aren’t certain what I’m talking about, it’s the boxes that pop up on blogs and ask you to subscribe, buy something, join their social media, etc.

Personally I find them obnoxious. But I find that most bloggers now have them, so I am obviously an island unto myself regarding this matter.



  1. Hi Brenda. I don’t have a blog and the only other social media I do is to go to pinterest once in a blue moon if I am looking for a specific idea on how to do some home repair. I used to look at more home decor blogs, but I have gotten tired of how slick and professional many of the blogs have become, and the popups and constant urging to do this or that — sign up for email notifications, enter a contest or whatever. When I discovered home decor blogs years ago, I thought they were a nice place to escape to for a short while, a quiet time away from dealing with people and activities in my own life. I didn’t really want to have to get that involved with the bloggers! So, the popups and contests and stuff just felt like someone else prodding at me to do something! Visiting your blog is a pleasant experience, either to look at decor changes that seem more within my budget than what many other bloggers are offering, or, to read something about your life that allows me to reflect on my own experiences and look for a connection. In the end, your blog is yours to do with as you want, and what works for you probably will work for your regular readers who want what is best for you.

  2. I despise pop-ups and the “fancy” blogs that constantly change their decor just for the sake of doing so or push a lifestyle that I will never attain nor want to. I much prefer reading about someone’s real interests and real life that the “air brushed” lives depicted in so many blogs. Life is messy … and we have to deal with it all the time. Reading some of those blogs and comparing your home or your life to them causes the same frustration that reading beauty and fashion magazines often does. It’s not real … the pictures are real … the people aren’t real. I enjoy your blog very much have been reading it for years now so keep up what you’re doing … it’s enjoyable. That’s what counts in my book.

  3. I don’t mind ONE pop up.
    But the other day a pop up came from the top and one from the bottom and I’m trying to read with like the 1/8 inch in the middle that is still visible ?

  4. Your flowers are beautiful. I have stopped reading a lot of the design blogs I used to follow. Many are too trendy and pretty much just following a standard, everybody-is-doing-it style. Others, how much obsessing can you do about the right throw pillow or whatever. I really don’t care any more. For me, you have the right balance about design matters and actually living your life.

    1. Some trends are okay. But all going to one side of a ship on a trend tends to be a bit much. I also hate when they take dozens of photos of one thing.

  5. I hate blog pop-ups! I really, really like the way your do your blog, Brenda. And I wouldn’t want to read some “guest blogger” when I am expecting you. I know there are expenses involved in writing a blog and one thing I don’t mind is the Amazon affiliations some bloggers have to make a little money. And I wouldn’t mind if you did that, too. But I am completely happy with everything about the way you do your blog. I enjoy it a lot and find the mixture of topics interesting and very readable, as well as loving the beautiful photos you post and the information about your gardening adventures.

    And, of course, there are the anecdotes about the fur babies. They are precious and give the blog another element of interest and enjoyment. When I looked at the photo of Ivy you posted today I couldn’t believe what a BIG girl she is! And such beautiful and intelligent eyes! Truly a gorgeous animal. I’m glad Charlie is doing okay with the coughing. He’s a handsome little man, too.

    Don’t change a thing about your blog to keep up with the others, Brenda. Take care!

    1. The ads the ad company puts on here for me is all I want to have on my blog. That clutters things up enough already. But I do have expenses I have to meet every month just to have the blog. So I need to make income to pay them.

  6. Brenda, whatever you are doing..keep it up, your blog is one of my favorites. Actually your blog is my favorite of them all. Hugs, Bonnie in WI

  7. Not crazy about pop-ups either but I don’t unfollow if I really like the blog. I’ve unfollowed several from email and Instagram. I’m just not into the all white décor and I mean walls and counter space also, it’s just too much. I like color.
    Tell us something about your friend (I forgot her name) who left her abusive husband and moved to another city. I hope things are going well for her.
    Ivy is such a pretty big fluffy kitty…I love seeing pictures of her. I’m not a dog person but Charlie is cute.

    1. I have asked her to write up a post I can post for her. Because she hasn’t had time lately to fill me in on what’s going on.

  8. Brenda, please check your sign up for emails bc it’s not working. I have tried it quite a few times…nothing. I like reading your blog everyday too!

    1. I am having the same problem. Glad to know it’s not just me. I was beginning to take it personally, lol!

  9. I too HATE those pop-ups! I never subscribe to a blog with those, or will ever go back and read them, even if I do like their content. Just too annoying.. and I also don’t usually subscribe to blogs that have too many ads as they are always in the way of the content and you have to keep clicking on the X to close those ads. I know some people need them, as that is how they earn income from their blog, but too many and I won’t go back. But the popups are the worst, and those ones that have videos that pop up and play and you can’t find out how to stop them! Too many ads, and I’m gone, never to come back. I know you have ads, but they aren’t too intrusive. Ivy sure is a pretty girl now. Marilyn

    1. Let me know if my ads become intrusive. Because I’m not the one putting them on there. The ad network does all that.

  10. Brenda, one of the things I love about your blog ( besides the content) is that it is clean and straightforward. No pesky pop ups. None of that nonsense. Your blog is the only one I follow consistently. Hope it never changes!

  11. I don’t do a ton with social media, either….I should do more, of course, but life gets in the way. When I publish a post, I put a link up on my FB page, and that’s it. And I’m active on Instagram, but only post something about once a day. I see people that post picture after picture on Instagram, and I just don’t understand where they get the time!! Oh well, to each his own, right? I see your Cosmos – they’re looking good! I have buds on a few, can’t wait to see those happy little flowers open up!

  12. I hate pop-ups and if they show up on a new blog I’m visiting for the first time, it’s the last time, too! To me, the big money making blogs are a con. To me, the whole idea about blogging is to share thoughts, ideas, and “meet” other people online who share my aesthetic or have the same interests that I do: gardening, decorating, landscaping, a little D-I-Y what I can with not being very handy and not having tools or know-how. I’m no plumber or electrician or carpenter! I also like to see what other regular people like me do with their homes and their gardens. To me, the fancy-pants stuff where people live in million dollar homes and spend $60,000 to remodel their kitchen – that may as well be the Moon. LOL! It bugs me for people to pretend they’re regular people who are maybe struggling to get by on slim budgets, and they buy a “fixer upper” and do all the work themselves – hundreds of thousands of dollars of work it turns out, all paid for by “sponsors. To me, that’s just fake. I’ve got nothing against people with money – that brings it’s own set of issues and problems I’d rather not deal with. But pretending to be a financially struggling family when you’re raking in a couple hundred thou a year from a blog – I ain’t buying what they’re selling! Okay, enough rant. Tulsa has suffered quite a bit because of the flooding of the Arkansas River – didn’t it have a record crest?And the bad storms. We had either a record or near the record of tornadoes this year over a 30 day period and they’re not over yet – we’re not even into the summer season yet! Where I live, near Lake Michigan in SE Wisconsin, tornadoes rarely touch down although they may blow over and land in the lake as waterspouts. We do get tornadoes, but in areas further away from the lake. Nothing like the numbers that touch down in the Great Plains states, though. We’re more likely to suffer wind damage from straight line downbursts than tornadoes. I hate the winters here, and this spring was a bust, with record-breaking rainfall and a low average temperature far below normal. But today I’m outside in my Shezebo looking at a record crop of ground ivy in the east garden bed that needs to be pulled yet again (I never am able to get all of it out) and thanking my lucky stars I live here! The grass is green, the mini-lilac bush is about to burst into bloom, the chives in the north garden bed that somehow have managed to survive by migrating over the past five years from the back of the fence area to the front of the planting bed (how did they do that???) are blooming now in lavender colors, All is right within my little safety zone retirement home, yard and gardens.

  13. I like that your blog is not commercial, just as you were saying. Your photos are beautiful and I enjoy reading what you write. Your blog feels friendly and one on one. I hate the pop ups and the commercial, advertising in some blogs. I like your blog “just as it is”.

  14. I appreciate the the words are yours and the blog is like a friend and I just chatting about life in general. Keep doing what you are doing. I am happy to have found you.
    Best regards, Patty

  15. Very annoying those pop-ups. They always frighten me bc they’re so sudden to pop. Ugh a nuisance. In the past, I have clicked on several on your blog Brenda. Discounts were excellent! Want to say how gorgeous Ivy is. Charlie is such a trooper! Very adorable boy. Didn’t realize he is 13. You do the best job for them both Brenda! I ❤ love reading your posts!

  16. I love reading your stories & pictures. They make my day. What fun fur babies and growing things are. I would like you to see my latest. Just fun.

    1. Yours is the only blog I read. I have started at least a dozen others, but dropped out for various reasons. So I say please don’t do anything differently! I love the photographs, the lessons to be learned, and the antics of the fur babies.

  17. I absolutely detest the pop ups on blogs and I have unsubscribed to numerous blogs because of them. Some are so intrusive that I find it difficult to even read the content of the writer. I love your blog and look forward to it every day. I feels like a visit from a friend when i read your blog and I always enjoy it so much. I hope you have a wonderful day, Brenda.

    1. I will usually close out a blog that has a lot of pop-ups. I’m there to read or look at photos, not be bombarded with sales ads.

  18. Yes, I find those popups so annoying and I can’t remember ever clicking on them, except by mistake.

    Rain, reading and pets sounds very cozy.

    1. I don’t click on them either. With my ad network, if an ad loads, then you get paid. Doesn’t have to be clicked on. At one time that wasn’t the case.

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