For the love of escape

Are these David Austin roses not the most gorgeous roses you’ve ever seen? I ordered two bare root roses from David Austin UK that will be shipped to me in the next two weeks.

Looking at these makes me want to escape to an English garden.

Speaking of English gardens, has anyone ever taken an Enneagram test? You can find them on the internet. Sometimes they are free (you have to look around). I can’t find the link to the last one I took, but I remember my number–it’s one, the idealist and reformer. I think I consistently get this one because I am a rule follower. I just am. I haven’t always followed the rules, but when I do, I feel secure, stable, and safe. I don’t pretend to know why these things are so vitally important to me, but I know that everyone probably wants to feel secure and safe; some just don’t prioritize those things the way I do. I don’t think that I realized how strong my feelings were about ethics, leading an ethical life, ethical choices, thoughts, decisions, and lifestyle until I took an ethics class that really challenged me in 2006.

Speaking of enneagram’s, have you taken this cute test that features all of the houses in Nancy Meyer’s movies?

If I go by my enneagram test results (1), I would be matched up with the perfectionist, Amanda Woods, in The Holiday. That’s so not true in this case. Since I’ve watched all of them many times (I own them too), I know where my heart lies and it’s in this one:

Iris Simpkin’s House

Because when it comes to my home, clothing, and style, it’s always been about being an individualist for me.

Doesn’t Iris’s living room make you want to book a week in a cozy English cottage in Shere?

I am so there after the last two months that I’ve had, but yet, here I am on my blog. Because when life is difficult, busy, frustrating, happy, overwhelming, exceptional, where else would I be? I’m a writer. I write.

I’ve been busy with a lot of things since January, but things have been really crazy these past two weeks. I’ve transitioned from remote 3rd shift work to remote 1/2 time/office 1/2 time 1st shift work. I have transitioned from corporate taxes while working during a very busy tax season to non-profit setup and business taxes. We have celebrated our cat’s 14th birthday and are delighted to still have him with us. I would be lost without him. He has had a life of poor health, but despite that, he remains quite healthy, if that makes sense, because he’s always been well taken care of by me. I continue to feed him 6-7 hand-fed meals a day. He’s energetic, not too forgetful, can still see and hear pretty well, and is still using the litter box. Our busy schedule has included helping friends with painting and deck-building, I’ve started working on our container garden (because even though we rent, we still have a garden), cleaning, organizing (professionally again), caring for a sick friend, now caring for hubby who is sick (not c–we’ve tested him 3x), car issues (finally resolved, it’s time for a new one), budget re-do, FB hack (finally gotten around to starting a new account), hours of working with an IT security friend to make sure I’m secure (all is well), a blog re-do, selling, selling (my eBay store is doing well), training for work, and did I say spring cleaning? This past weekend was Easter for eight people, two of whom were our house guests for three days.

Did I say escape? We will be escaping our busy schedules for two weeks later this spring in SE France in the Provence region. Thankfully we have a house sitter who has sat before for us and will again in the fall when we travel to Western Canada.

The three most frequently asked questions I’ve received in email lately are:

How do you find time for social media? The short answer to that is, I don’t. Social media is almost last on my list of priorities. Even though I’ve always enjoyed the pretty pictures on IG and the networking and connecting on Facebook, I am not a proponent of social media. I am more than grateful that I don’t have to try and make a living from my presence on it, and I am also grateful that social media in and of itself doesn’t really interest me at all. I’ve compared it often to high school, cliques, popularity, bullying, and all the things many of us felt in school and were thrilled to leave behind. Every post, story, and reel I make for IG is for me and my husband period. I routinely download my transcript to save for our old age. If it works out and it’s available to look at when I’m in my 70’s, I’ll be thrilled. I love taking photos, making stories, and making reels. My account is often private, I don’t allow like counts on my posts and most of the time I don’t allow comments. It’s not me being antisocial—I’ve actually found a few really, really good friends through IG. I just don’t like all the requests I get, or the spam, or the bots I have to deal with when my account isn’t private.

The second most frequently asked question is, “Where did all your blog posts go?”After WordPress alerted me of suspicious activity on a few posts, I made all my blog posts private. I have left those posts with the WordPress Admin and I will soon, after careful scrutiny, make my posts public again.

Last question–was it weird or hard to start a YT channel? Yes. It was nerve-wracking. The pandemic caused me to become more focused on capturing our life for us to view in later years. I have two YT channels. I also have five blogs. Three active blogs and two inactive at this time. My oldest blog is 15 years old and is a private blog with everything I’ve written over the past 25+ years in one place. One YT channel is for hubby and me to look back on things we did during the pandemic, our lives in 2020, and so on. The other YT is public and has videos about a lot of stuff–travel, shopping hauls, fun, organizing projects, and home life. I’ve got 50 followers so far, and that’s about right for me. I’ve enjoyed getting to know new people and have loved hearing their take on some of the things my videos are about. I have enjoyed learning how to film and the editing process immensely.

My favorite recipe I tried this month: Marble and Vanilla Crepes here

with fillings here

Favorite book this month: Living the Lord’s Prayer

Best self -care item I’ve bought recently–if you love lemons, I’m just saying. Young Living’s Lemon Starter Kit. I’ve been using YL oils for six years now, but unfortunately let my account expire during Covid. I started it back up with this lovely starter kit. *You can find YL products here   including the Lemon Starter Kit under shop bundles.

One last thing: I’ve noticed a lot of people I’ve been following on IG have stopped posting. I’ve also received three notices from bloggers that I follow, letting me know they’re taking a break from blogging and all social media. There seems to be a lot of this going on. Much of this has to do with what most of us have been dealing with these past two trying years. In addition, the war in Ukraine, financial issues ticking up (inflation), greater competition, and the moods and attitudes of many, hanging out on social media and finding the will to blog is getting harder for some people. I’ve avoided this kind of fatigue by not really prioritizing social media in my life and also by always keeping my blog a safe place for me to come and write. I think if you are someone who loves social media but hates the stress of competition, always feeling like you have to post, and the DM’s, I would set up a personal account and use that to scroll through feeds and keep in touch with friends. When I think of successful bloggers and a reason to have and keep hold of a blog for business, I think of people like Liz Marie Galvan, who uses her blog to post links, make posts of social interactions, answer questions, and offer her own professional opinions and advice. She also sells things—lots of things from her blog. There are many, many successful bloggers out there, but those people also tend to have help. If you’re trying to make online blogging a full-time business, then I would suggest taking classes in business/social media/internet etc. or turning to bloggers like Lisa Bass from Farmhouse Boone, who offer blogging masterclasses on making money from blogging. Blogging as a business takes a lot of work, dedication, and perseverance and is usually supported by a product you are selling. Anything less than this and you have a hobby. Just my 2 cents and opinion.

*my referral link for YL. I am a customer of YL, not a distributor. Using my link to the shop will not cost you anything, nor will I earn anything. 

Until next time, be well and stay safe!