Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Very Late Thank-you Note

Is it just me, or has blogging slowed down the past few months?  While some garden bloggers are still posting on a regular basis,  some are posting less frequently, and some long-time blogging friends have disappeared for long stretches of time.  I've noticed fewer comments, not only on my posts, but on others.'  I'm not complaining, just observing.  Heaven knows, I haven't been keeping up with blogging as much as I would like.  After all, it is summertime and vacation time for many; it's the height of gardening season, and weeding and watering seem to be everyday activities.   I find myself pushing myself away from the computer earlier in the morning (my usual time for blogging as the body unstiffens and the brain cells become more coherent with a fresh infusion of caffeine), so that I can get some work done outside before the temperature rises to intolerable levels.  Evenings are often wasted  spent watching Cubs' games with Mr. P.

Who wants to be inside when it's coneflower season??

Another reason for fewer blog posts might have to do with Facebook, a phenomenon Frances wrote about some time ago. I do hope Facebook doesn't replace blogging because I do enjoy reading more detailed blog posts and seeing more photos of everyone's gardens.  But I do understand--it is much easier to post a quick comment on Facebook than to take the time to write a full-length blog post.  I have posts I started in February that I haven't finished yet and ideas for summer posts I can't seem to get around to writing. 

But I digress . . . the real purpose of this post is to thank some generous garden bloggers and garden friends.  All this ruminating about blogging, I guess, is just my excuse for why it's taken me so long to get around to writing this.

Sometime in late winter I was the lucky winner of a giveaway hosted by Carol and sponsored by Jolly's garden shoes.  As the winner, I got to pick out any pair of garden clogs from their website, and I decided to be a little more daring and picked these pink-soled shoes decorated with leaves and pink posies.  They are by far the most well-made garden clogs I've ever worn, very comfortable with more support than most garden shoes.  They come in a variety of patterns as well as solid colors, too--thanks, Carol and Jolly's!  The only problem with them is that they're almost too pretty to wear out in the garden:)

I was lucky again a few weeks later when I won another giveaway hosted by Kylee at Our Little Acre for some free seeds from Botanical Interests.  I chose several different types of seeds including a mix called "Fairy Meadow."   Not having a meadow handy, I scattered some of the seeds in a barrel planter and now have my own mini-meadow, thanks to Kylee!

Another thank-you goes out to Renee's Garden, who has always been very generous to garden bloggers.  I've been on the company's media list since the Chicago Fling in '09, and each year have been given quite a few free seeds.  One of the packets I chose this year was a basil collection called 'Scented Trio,' which has done extremely well in a large pot on the patio.  I've used only a little bit of it in cooking so far, but even if I never make pesto, it's pretty enough just to look at.

Other garden bloggers have shared seeds from their own gardens with me, but I know if I start naming names, I'll surely forget someone.  So, I'll just say thank you--Garden Bloggers, you are the best!

Gratuitous shot of one of many daylilies also in bloom right now.

Totally unrelated to gardening, I have another BIG thank you, this time to a higher power.  Some of my Facebook friends already know that I thought I had lost Sophie this past Saturday night.  I went outside late that evening to see the fireworks that neighbors were setting off, and Sophie followed me.  Sophie doesn't like loud noises, so when I turned around and she wasn't there, I didn't think too much of it--I assumed she had gone into the garage to get away from the noise.  But she wasn't there, and when I called her, she didn't come.  I became more and more frantic as more time passed and lightning thundered in the distance. I drove up and down the road, and walked up and down the cornfield with a flashlight, calling for her.  By midnight, my husband convinced me we had to give up, but sleep didn't come easily.  I awoke the next morning at dawn and travelled the roads again, going even farther this time, in case she had gotten really lost.  I made up flyers to post and called some of the neighbors to see if they might have spotted her, but no sign of Sophie.

Sophie enjoyed a Fourth of July cookout with the grandkids.
 Many tears were shed, for I was sure something terrible had happened to her or she surely would have come home right away.  But around 8:30 Sunday morning, my husband spied her in a distant soybean field, and when he called her, she immediately ran home, dirty and wet, but safe and sound.  I can only think that she hid in the cornfield from the noise of the fireworks and thunder and then got disoriented. Sunday was a day of tears of joy, many hugs and kisses, and catching up on missed sleep--for all of us.  There must be a doggie guardian angel who watched over her that night . . . but just in case, the angel gets busy, I haven't let Sophie out of my sight since!

The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog. 
 ~Ambrose Bierce


  1. I'm so glad to hear that Sophie is safe! How scary! And you're right about the slow-down in blogging...I'm one of the guilty ones! I've tried to rectify that by making time for some postings. But it's hard when the choice with precious free time is either be gardening or be writing about gardening!

  2. So glad you got Sophie back! I've noticed less comments and posts too. I'm not surprised since blogging takes quite a bit of effort, but I hope Facebook doesn't take over. Not enough substance there in comparison to blogging.

  3. I started blogging a year ago because facebook was so limiting, and so unsatisfactory. I love the pictures and narrative and personal observations that I read on blogs. The shorter anecdotal stuff on facebook is just not the same at all. I can't imagine going back to it for my online garden fix!

    I'm glad the big happy wet dog got back ok!

  4. I like blogs better than FB too as Laurrie said the more descriptive writing and pictures are so much fun. FB has its use but for gardens, well, I like a more hands on approach. I haven't blogged as much though due to being outside more. Busy time of year.

    Poor Sophie. I have always thought that Luna would flee like that too. She hates loud noise. I am glad Sophie found her way back.

  5. So glad there was a happy ending with Sophie! We had a similar episode with a dog who went missing in the CT winter for 2 nights after a teenager filled the house with smoke by making a fire without opening the damper. It seemed like a miracle when the animal control officer brought her home late on the third night. Coneflower season is the best, as is your photo!

  6. That last one really got me. We lost our Lab, Tap, for two and a half weeks, but finally found him at a neighbor's house. I was so grateful. I'm glad you found your Sophie.

    Blogging has slowed down. It's okay. With the writing jobs, I can't get by as often, but I love reading blogs and try very hard to keep up with everyone.~~Dee

  7. Fab shoes!

    I have not blogged much since we moved house, not for a wish of wanting to but lack of time alone. I should be grateful not to be alone I guess but sometimes I need the peace to write! I miss not writing, and always love catching up with my bloggy friends. I too hope Facebook does not replace this place.


  8. It seems that blogging always slows down in the summer, and picks up again in the late summer. For gardeners this growing time is short, and very precious. Most of us spend it wisely, and meagerly, a dip into a blog post here, and a dive into the garden there.

    Bloggers will migrate back as soon as the weather cools again. Love your blog, and I am so glad that you got Sophie back safe and sound. They take up so much of our hearts for such small creatures.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  9. You are right.
    It does seem as though Blogland has gone very quiet. Many of my friends seem to have dropped out of Blogland altogether, which is a great pity.

    Your garden is looking as lovely as ever and those shoes are great!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  10. Oh you poor kids! Sophie and you, Rose! those days without her and she was running frantic to get away from the noise and scary fireworks! I am glad you have your Sophie again! I will betcha she slept long and hard, after a good meal.
    I just love your blog!

  11. Wonderful news about Sophie~Ironic that I read it on Facebook first! I do think that Facebook/Twitter are keeping bloggers busy these days. But, blogger is like going home to many of us. Once the summer slows down we'll all be back visiting and posting. xogail ps I keep looking at the Seattle list hoping your name will show up!

  12. Hi Rose, I'm so glad you got Sophie back. It's scary when your pet goes missing. I lost my cat this winter, but fortunately found him again too.

    Love those clogs! I'll have to check out that link. They really are pretty.

    I use purple basil in salads and tomato sauce. Just love it.

    I don't think FB will ever replace blogging. They are both so different. I too love blogging. It's more artful, creative, and you do whatever you want with it. It's your own space. No annoying ads to clutter up your sidebar.

    Summer's here and that's my reason for not blogging. I usually blog in the evenings and now that our days are so long, I love to be outside in the evenings, walking, watering the garden, or out with family. I'm still not quite ready to welcome friends back into my life yet. That will take some more time, but I do enjoy my family.
    Sending hugs your way and happy gardening!

  13. Rose, I agree--it's hard to justify sitting at a computer when the garden beckons this time of year.

    Sweetbay, Facebook can be fun, especially for connecting with faraway family and friends, but it just isn't the same as blogging.

    Laurrie, I got on Facebook only to stay in touch with my daughter when she moved away. I agree it's not nearly as satisfactory as blogging. I wouldn't get to enjoy all your humor there!

    Lisa, I was beside myself when Sophie was lost, as you can imagine. Since that night, she won't even go outside after dark!

    Cyndy, I'm glad your doggie story had a happy ending, too! I kept praying that Sophie had found a kind human who would return her the next day. I hope the teenager has learned how to start fires correctly:)

    Dee, Two and a half weeks! What a miracle he returned to you. I'm sure you were overjoyed to see him again. I understand the blogging slowdown--I try to keep up, but it's not always easy.

    Suburbia, I know you must be very busy. Do you have a new job as well? I'm glad to know so many feel as I do about blogging versus Facebook.

    Jen, You are very wise. This is the time to enjoy the garden; we can always write about it later. Oh yes, Sophie has captured a big chunk of my heart:)

    Maggie, Yes, I miss some of the people who never post anymore. I hope they're just too busy and not that something is wrong. These shoes are great--I ought to wear them out of the garden!:)

    Sissy, Thanks for those sweet words--yes, we all had to catch up on our rest after this episode. My neighbor called me about Sophie before she went to church Sunday morning and said she would pray for her. She must have a direct line to Heaven, because Sophie came home shortly afterwards:)

    Gail, That is ironic, isn't it:) I like your idea of blogging as going home--I've gotten to know so many friends here. Logistically, going to Seattle doesn't make sense as I'm headed back to Portland two weeks later. But I'm still debating...if there's an airfare sale soon, I may change my mind. Oh, how I want to go, though!

    Wendy, You're so right--evenings should be enjoyed outside, not sitting at a computer. I'm glad you are enjoying that time, whether alone with your thoughts or with family. Without blogging, though, I wouldn't get to enjoy all your wonderful, creative posts!

    To all---a nice gentle rain is falling as I type. No watering needed tonight--hooray!

  14. Guilty as charge. I blog far less frequently that I used to. And I comment less too. There are just so many great blogs to learn from, not just gardening, but crafting, cooking and friends blogs are well.
    Thanks for commenting on my blog.
    Glad your Fourth turned out okay and you didn't have a mishap turn into a tragedy.

  15. What a relief it must be having Sophie back Rose!

    It seems like blogging always slows down some in the summer. We're all too busy gardening to write about it I guess!

  16. I am so happy that there was a happy ending to Sophie's disappearance. My dogs absolutely hate fireworks too.
    As to the issue of less frequent posts, I find that I just can't keep up with posting and visiting other blogs. I am only posting a few times a week now.

  17. So sorry to hear about poor Sophie going missing, I didn't know. I'm glad you found her safe & sound although a bit spooked. Poor thing, my little dog Spaz is the same way and we were glad when the holiday weekend was over. I'm hoping that the summer time of vacations has been the cause of lack of blogging. Like you I enjoy reading other blogs and laughing or crying with my blogging friends. We've been very blessed to be part of a wonderful community of generous people. :)

  18. Oh, dear, poor Sophie! I'm glad she's back.

    You won some nice things from bloggers. I have been posting 1 to 3 times a week, but am a bit behind in reading. I always am, though, because there are so many I try to check in on.

    I joined Facebook about a year ago, when a former student asked me to so I could see her photos. I had been checking my home page daily up until spring. Now, I check it once a week or so. I haven't updated my status for awhile, either.

  19. Hi Rose, This is my third try to leave a comment. I think perhaps things might be slowing down - due to the season? I know MY life has been topsy turvy since April! I actually was outdoors for about 5 hours this morning - the longest I've had all season!!

    Have a wonderful summer. :-)

  20. Dear Rose,
    I have changed my schedule a bit because of the heat too. I garden in the morning and retreat to the ac in the afternoons.
    So good to see your cone flowers....the butterflies and bees do love them.
    Glad to know Sophie is ok.....scary to think what could have happened.
    Extra hot here.....
    Summertime...and the living is hot and humid.

  21. I have been thinking about this post and forgot to add that I, too, have wasted waaaayyy too many evenings with these Cubs. We DVR the day games and sit together and watch them at night. What a waste of time, this year, you are so right about that!

  22. Rosey, I agree--I keep finding new blogs that I like or new visitors here that I like to visit back, so that makes it even harder to keep up.

    Linda, You're right; I'm having trouble keeping up with weeding and watering right now.

    Jennifer, In the fall I'm glad that Sophie is scared of loud noises because there are often hunters nearby, but this was a scary time for me. I'm finding it hard to post more than once a week.

    Racquel, I think maybe Sophie has learned a lesson--she doesn't go far from my side since that time. I feel as if I've made so many friends here that if someone doesn't post for awhile, I begin to worry about them.

    Sue, It's hard to keep up this time of year; it's much more important and fun to actually be out in the garden! Facebook is fine for connecting with some people, but it's very limited. And some of my Facebook friends and family could care less about my garden:)

    Shady, It certainly is a busy time of year. Blogging has been even harder for me lately because my computer is acting up, and sometimes I can't leave comments either.

    Sherry, If I don't get started outside very early in the morning, I don't get anything done either. It's going to be a scorcher today!

    Sissy, That is too funny--we haven't resorted to recording games yet:) I should just watch the last two innings, because I know the Cubs will find a way to lose then:)

  23. I let my two cats out in the fenced backyard with me every morning. They are pretty good about staying inside the fence, but once in a while a gate is left open or something is just too interesting on the other side of the fence...and one gets out. Many times I have combed the woods beyond our property calling a cat's name and shaking the Pounce container...fighting back the tears that come from the thought of never seeing them again. Luckily, they have always found me...I am so glad you found your beloved Sophie!

  24. Hi Rose, love the clogs, and am so happy for you that Sophie came home safely.

    I can't see facebook taking over from blogging, though I am certainly one of those struggling to post more than once a week currently, and certainly struggling to stay up-to-date with reading and commenting on other people's blogs. For me, a mix of how busy the gardening is at this time of year, particularly with being new to the veggie growing, and being ill so still very low on energy. I still love it though, and am determined to keep going. I learn so much, and enjoy the interactions too much. Stunning coneflower pic by the way!

  25. Such a relief! I bet she'll not be keen to wander anywhere for a while.

    And what fab clogs!


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