Thursday, October 21, 2010

Not Whining... Much


This is my one thousand six hundred and fifty-fifth post on Chickenblog.

I have been posting since May, 2002.

In 2007 I posted two hundred and ninety-nine times. 299.

So, far this year I have posted one hundred and ninety-two times, and even if I post every day from now until the end of the year, I will not beat the number of posts in 2007.

This endlessly fascinating to me. I appreciate that it is also possibly dull, but that's okay.

I meet people that say "I read your blog all the time." All evidence is to the contrary, and some days I wonder if I can't choose to be as dull as I please in the blog, because I can. be. as dull. as I please. if I want to. <---------------said in a not whining much tone.

I used to think: I blog because it is an efficient and fun way to converse and stay engaged with family and friends, especially those living far away.

Then I thought: I blog because it will amount to, or lead to something akin to a career, or a career kind of opportunity.

In my best moments: This is a personal journey of discovery and memory, a keepsake of my family life, our days on our big, blue planet. And I smile contentedly, and sip something organic and pure.

Not best moment: I frikin' quit. (Insert assorted variations of self-loathing and bitter whining.)

I have thought: Maybe if I get a puppy, wax my eyebrows, shop at Anthropologie, hire a life coach... maybe something affirming, lucrative, or interactive will happen in the blog, and my time spent writing will be justified, and respected.

Sometimes: I say too much. Which ironically is not too different from not saying enough.

More often than not: I don't say enough, or much. I leave out a lot.


I make hen shaped pancakes. They are free form kitchen art, poured from a ladle. I call them Hencakes. Hencakes are even older than this blog. They are more popular too. I harbor a small fear that someday I will see "Hencakes" in a glossy magazine, and people will rave and say they are adorable, and no one will care, or hear me whining: I made those! Me! I did it first! I don't necessarily need Hencakes to be my legacy, but something would be nice. Okay, so maybe it is more than a "small" fear.

Funny thing (for me anyway): I included a Hencake photo in another "blog reflection" type post. Fascinating.


Every year I buy more pumpkins than we carve or cook. Every Easter a pumpkin collapses under its own weight, and spreads across whatever nook it was abandoned in, and has to be scooped and hauled away. All too often this stinky-slimey, onerous job has gone to Geoff, which is a huge injustice, because he does not like pumpkins, especially in pie.

Mmmmmmm. Pie.

I fell asleep after two AM. I was out of bed at a quarter after seven. I probably not should machinery heavy operate today. Just saying.

Ferris is recovering from his cryptodich snip-snip surgery. He has a very large incision. The word "probing" was emphasized in the post operative consultation. Poor-poor kitty. Seriously.

We had weather this week. It rained considerably, confirming my concern that the chicas' new home is more like a "shark cage" than a refuge in a storm. It flooded. Really, really, badly. No one took pictures, but maybe you can imagine me up to my ankles in muddy water, first trying to clear the drain, then simply trying to rescue the reluctant foul fowl. I had to clear out Betty's old table coop, find a dry cover for it, then herd the chicas in to the slightly improved accommodations. I wish someone had taken pictures. I like to imagine I looked like a real farmer, soaked, muddy, and glowing in my adrenaline rush.

I don't have any more pictures to add to this post. I maturely decided not to include the adorable ones of my daughter and her cousins playing together, because it felt like a form of abuse... taking advantage of their adorableness to grab the attention of readers.

If you read today's post and leave a comment a child born before the new year will share your name. If you read today's post, leave a comment, and share a link in your blog, I will make a Hencake in your honor. If you read today's post, leave a comment, share a link in your blog, and include Chcikenblog Chickenblog in your blogroll, I will carve, or eat, every single pumpkin we buy, and spare Geoff a rotten pumpkin Easter.

Lately I blog because it is so much more affordable than therapy.

Thank you.

19 comments:

  1. No need to do anything just because I'm leaving a comment ;-) Just glad to read about another person who suffers doubt, experiences triumph, scoops up old pumpkins (well, Geoff anyway), and (maybe) takes too many (and not enough) photos.

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  2. Mmmmm, hencakes...

    It is widely known that you are the inventor of hencakes.

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  3. love the pancakes! It's all I can do not to burn mine so I like seeing someone else's success :-)

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  4. Nikkipolani... simply put: You make me glad I ever began a blog.

    Anonymous... please, never say "widely" and "Hencakes" in the same sentence. It makes me self-conscious. Just kidding... hahaha.
    Butt seriously.

    Christine... I think the secret is in not photographing mishaps. No evidence, then it didn't happen, right? Thank you for visiting Chickenblog! I hope you'll return soon, and often.

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  5. I've been wondering myself, lately, why people (myself included) blog. I haven't been doing it as long as you, but already I am aware of the pull towards meeting the expectations of readers rather than pleasing myself, and I wonder if other people experience that, if it's a bad thing, and what they do about it.

    To me your blog is the perfect place to find something that makes me laugh out loud, something that makes me think, and something that makes me shake my head in amazement (in a good way). Thanks for writing it!

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  6. Miriam... "the pull towards meeting the expectations of readers rather than pleasing myself:" I think this is a very interesting topic/aspect about blogging. I went for years without getting comments (except from my mom and a friend) and it colored my voice one shade, then when more people found me, I worried about changing for the new audience. Comments, readers, are a strange blessing, providing both encouragement and an affirmation, but also creating that pull to "do right" or "make everyone comfortable." I try to figure out the answer(s) everyday.

    I worry about what people "don't say." Silence can be deafening. I worry about the in between... the space where my beliefs and thoughts get misconstrued, or when I am labeled a certain way. Obviously, I am looking for some kind of attention, but I find my greatest enjoyment, what I seek most, is "the conversation" that takes place, and goes beyond "me." I want to start talks, share ideas, and then hear from You. I get new ideas, and renewed faith, encouragement, and a fresh perspective when I am able to spark enough interest for readers to respond with their deep thoughts and other musings... then blogging is special.

    You make me feel capable of doing something good, and I thank you for your kind feedback.

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  7. Ahh Natalie,
    I read your blog every day. (insert red face here) but I don't add a comment every day. I know your pets names, and your daughter is the perfect manifestation of a girl child. Your boys are witty and charming. All of you are smart as can be. Your husband seems like he should be cloned for his good nature. And you should win the mom of the year for creative abilities, kindness and understanding. I learned what Steam Punk is, and KNOW it's something I would love. I even adopeted a pair of Kitty shoes. Like Miriam I laugh out loud, want to come to your parties. Get homesick for So. California in the worst way because of your posts. You blog ( and others) have made me want to blog. Makes me curse my lousy internet acess in my rural area. I saved your birthday post I think from last year. It was an eloquant echo of exactly what I was feeling. For what it's worth you are an amazing writer. Not just idle flattery either. Not that I have illlusions that my humble expressions will make or break your day. But truth is truth after all. It will be told eventually. So for what it's worth you have my two cents :)

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  8. I would leave a link in my blog if I only knew how. As you might suspect, I read your blog every day too. I find it a bright spot in my day. Your family is always doing something fun and fascinating.

    As for me, I have no idea why I blog, I guess just to reach out into the void and see if anyone responds. You have responded to me, and that has made me feel as if I have made a friend.

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  9. Natalie, thank you for post! You are very kind, sunshine and inetersing person. wish you to be happy!

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  10. I love your blog! Seriously, I read it all the time (sorry I lurk, but don't comment) Your posts always make me think and smile. My children even like to hear what's going on with you and your family (animals included). We have chickens and a cat, we also aquired a bunny thanks to you and your sweet posts and photos :) He is so much fun. I never knew rabbits could be so full of personality! You reminded me that I could have 1 (I'm 27 and it took me this long to realize mom & dad don't have a say)... You posted a while back about an aqua colored blanket from target that your washing machine ate, I have the same one and it too is ripped. We used it for a couch cover and pinned the shams to the ends. My children destroyed it and I might just use your idea of patching it! Anyway, thanks for bravely sharing your life and thoughts. You made me realize that there are some wonderful people out there! - Lisa

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  11. I love the honesty. Always and forever. Someone people hide their feelings, brave are those that put them out there for everyone to read. Hugs!

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  12. First, on the pumpkin situation -- our strategy is just to take the candles out and move the pumpkins to an area in the garden where we can happily let them decompose and feed the soil. Come springtime, when it's just a stalk and maybe some thin layer of skin left, we pick that up and toss it into the big compost pile. So it is possible to let 'em rot and not feel guilty (in fact, it is virtuous!) if you just move them to the garden....

    And you know how it is for me, I hope -- that our friendship is a blogging reward beyond any I could wish for or imagine. I found you, you inspired me, and we live our wonderfully parallel yet different lives on opposite coasts and can always connect and share. Priceless.

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  13. This post is doubly funny to me because 1.) I came over here just now to let you know I added my name to your "Followers" list a couple days ag0--#174, thank you :)--and 2.) I saw something yesterday that made me think of you and I'd love to mail it to you but don't have your address (probably because "Hello, we just met!" :) But if ever you feel safe enough to share it, please let me know.). :)

    Also, my grandmother's name was Henriette, but she went by "Hen," so anytime I see "Hen"-anything, I think of her. :)

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  14. Natalie, I am sorry I haven't left a comment in a long while. I really haven't been blogging since we went on vacation in August. I posted one about that and did a couple of my weekly thingies, and that's about it. I can't believe I have blogger burnout after only two years, but it's there alright.

    I agree with you and Miriam about one's voice changing after acquiring followers. At first it helped me be a better writer and photographer, but after a while it started to feel like an obligation, and lord knows I don't need any more obligations in my life right now. So, I will be around reading and commenting a little, but I won't be posting for a while longer.

    Having said all that, I think your blog is one of the least obligatory ones I follow. I don't feel compelled to come up with some profound, quasi-intelligent, super-creative comment when I read you. And I hope you don't take that the wrong way. I mean to say that it just feels like home when I come by for a visit.

    I love the "hencakes", and if I ever see anyone else taking credit for your creative genius, I will bop them on the head with a chicken feather!

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  15. Andylynne... *blush*
    Such a sweet and affirming comment. Thank you. You got kitty shoes?! I think that is hilarious. My sister-in-law got some too... It was even more fun seeing hers than wearing mine. So, do you get a lot of remarks about them? I am sorry you do not have better Internet service, because I know you would enjoy blogging, and then I would be able to see your kittys too!

    Katie... thank you. You do honesty well, and I am proud to have your endorsement. Hugs to you, brave woman!

    Weeds... um. Do real people hide behind SPAM, or are you pure ham-in-a-can SPAM? hmmmmm.... well, thank you for the Hencake love. Peace out.

    Jennifer... brilliant! Every year I solemnly vow to use up the pumpkins, and this year is no exception, but if (Great Pumpkin forbid) I forget one, I am going to find a spot in the garden for it to come undone. Having a garden where our pumpkins can decompose is a huge blessing! An even bigger blessing? YOU. Over time I have come to feel as though *my sister Jennifer lives faraway, and in spite of geography, we could not be closer.*

    Val... I actually noticed that a new reader was here, and it's so sweet of you to introduce yourself. Welcome! I hope you'll hang out! "Hen" makes a dear nickname... one you will probably see often here at Chickenblog.

    Susan... no apologies. I do appreciate hearing from you. Sadly I have made blog friends that disappear, and it's strangely heartbreaking, worrisome. It helps to know when a friend is taking a break from posting.
    "... it just feels like home"... that is high praise, a wonderful observation to share. I love it when I can create the sense of friends gathering comfortably around a kitchen table and sharing all of life's richness. Even the struggles can be easier because of the thoughtful remarks and insights of friends like you. Thank you. And I feel better knowing you will defend the Hencakes with gentle force.

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  16. Jennifer... brilliant! Every year I solemnly vow to use up the pumpkins, and this year is no exception, but if (Great Pumpkin forbid) I forget one, I am going to find a spot in the garden for it to come undone. Having a garden where our pumpkins can decompose is a huge blessing! An even bigger blessing? YOU. Over time I have come to feel as though *my sister Jennifer lives faraway, and in spite of geography, we could not be closer.*

    Val... I actually noticed that a new reader was here, and it's so sweet of you to introduce yourself. Welcome! I hope you'll hang out! "Hen" makes a dear nickname... one you will probably see often here at Chickenblog.

    Susan... no apologies. I do appreciate hearing from you. Sadly I have made blog friends that disappear, and it's strangely heartbreaking, worrisome. It helps to know when a friend is taking a break from posting.
    "... it just feels like home"... that is high praise, a wonderful observation to share. I love it when I can create the sense of friends gathering comfortably around a kitchen table and sharing all of life's richness. Even the struggles can be easier because of the thoughtful remarks and insights of friends like you. Thank you. And I feel better knowing you will defend the Hencakes with gentle force.

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  17. I wrote all of these responses to your lovely comments, and then Google sent me an error message! All was lost! Oh, woe! I nearly launched in to very colorful whining.

    Thank goodness my message was automatically emailed to my account.

    Note to self: SAVE SAVE SAVE

    And thank you again. Your comments are a daily gift.

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  18. I think I may need to make some hencakes this weekend. Like your blog!

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