Category Archives: The Blogging World

And the Arte y Pico awards go to–

Long, long ago, in an earlier and simpler time (last July, actually), the esteemed Victoria of Victoria's Backyard did me the extraordinary and unexpected honor of bestowing upon me the coveted Arte y Pico award. You wouldn’t know it from the way I responded (which can best be described as not responding at all), but I really was quite blown away. Still am.

Premio2barte2by2bpico_4 This is one of those awards that one shares, and I am such a wordoholic that the injunction to select blogs “regardless of the language” stopped me cold. How could I ignore language? Then there was that bit about choosing bloggers who had made a “contribution to the blogging community."  At that point I’d only been blogging seriously for a few months. I’d posted a few times a month since November, 2007, but didn’t start posting seriously until May of this year, much less reading other blogs, so I had no idea what the "blogging community" was, much less who'd made a contribution to it.

Since then I’ve spent countless hours reading and enjoying others’ blogs, and having survived the Great Transatlantic Sock Wars (which left fields both here and abroad littered with virtual dead), I feel that I know something of the “blogging community” and all the happiness it can bestow on its members. (Not to mention the sadness–No, let us not speak of that. Clearly you wish to speak of it–to revisit the sorrow that afflicted so many who witnessed the cruelty visited upon me in that terrible time, but no–no, we shall not speak of it. We are above such pettiness.)

Where was I? Oh, yes.

I should make it clear that I have not (nor shall I ever) relinquish my loyalty to the Word. However, I am willing to concede, albeit reluctantly, that perhaps there are other qualities which may add to a blog’s value and, well, beauty.

THEREFORE, after extended contemplation, long nights of gnawing fingernails and pacing floors, much breast-beating, and a modicum of self-flagellation, I am ready to announce my decisions to the breathe-baited world. But first, a word from our sponsor, the master of award ceremonies, who will present the award rules:

1. Choose 5 blogs you consider deserving of this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and contribution to the blogging community, regardless of the language.

2. Each award should have the name of the author and a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.

3. Each award winner should show the award and put the name and link to the blog that presented him/her with the award.

4. The award winner and the one who has given the award should show the Arte y Pico blog so everyone will know the origin of this award. Translated, it means "the peak of art."

5. Show these rules.

And now, drumroll, please—WAIT!

It’s only fair to warn you that some of what follows is, if not X-rated, at least W-rated. So no complaints, please. You’ve been warned.

Now, one more time? Drumroll, please–

Robert’s Roost
Far be it from me to suggest that other back-yard gardeners like me are just hobby-gardeners, but it’s nice to see what goes on on a “real” farm, especially one as interesting and friendly as this. I’m not sure Alan’s got the time or inclination to futz about bestowing awards when he’s trying to figure out how to feed his animals through the winter, but he deserves this even if he doesn't want it.

Mr. Subjunctive
Who knows more about what he knows about than most of the rest of us put together. Also, he not only has the gall to like Creeping Charlie, (I thought I was the only one!) but the courage to say so (Yes! Yes!). Because he writes about flood damage, health crises, and Codiaeum variegatum with equal passion and finesse.

Grow it, Eat it
I know we’re not supposed to take into account writing style for this award, but you’ve got to love anyone who tosses off remarks like this one, about an over-busy life: “I am putting in long hours and it’s a feat to just get dinner made before we both eat the table.” (Sept. 23) I mean, don’t you?

Besides that, Heather has more great recipes per square inch of computer screen than anyone else I’ve encountered.

It’s a stretch for me even to acknowledge anyone whose peppers were still going strong in late September (the hail got all of mine back in July), but honesty compels me to admit that this is a great blog. Recipes for salsa, pictures of a mouse with fangs, ideas for crazy reality-TV shows (as if the producers needed help!), a marvelous spoof of various “challenges” titled  “100 Millimeter Challenge: Eat Local or Die Trying”—and that’s all just in a couple of weeks.

Blogging at Blackpitts Garden
James had the most creative (weird?) post titles, one of the easiest to navigate, easy-on-the-eyes blog lay-outs, more than his fair share of experience and expertise, and hey, he’s no slouch as a writer, either. He’s also a very nice guy. He pops up all over the web, dropping a wry comment here, a quip there, and whenever someone’s having a hard time, there’s a line from James. Besids, he's got great hats.

THANK YOU again, Victoria, for bestowing this award on me. I'll get the picture up as soon as I can figure out how.

Blame Blotanical–it’s not my fault!

And so, I have just wasted used employed whiled away another whole delightful morning (and then some) on Blotanical, the only gardening forum I’ve joined so far where I actually spend any time. Way too much time, at that–so much I may find myself without a job, a husband, or even a garden, as I’m spending time online I should probably spend digging and planting.

Stuart, who runs the site, recently asked for patience as he struggled to fix a malfunctioning page; he pointed out that he was managing the site on top of a full-time job and a family that needs him. My family needs me too! (Of course, it’s a bunch of guys who’d rather slit their throats than admit it, but Stuart doesn’t know that.)

You’d think, then, that he’d have more sympathy for the rest of us, but no, he just goes merrily along adding new members  whose sites one must check out and interesting features and so on. I thought I’d at least get a breather while the Picks page was down, but that was only a day or so ago, and it’s already up again! Is there no mercy?

I swear, every day when I log on, I promise myself I’ll be off again in an hour at most. But first I check my own "plot" to see if I have any new messages (one of the neat features at Blotanical is that you can message other members directly and EASILY), and of course I have to respond to anything new, and check out the plots and blogs of all the folks I’ve heard from or gotten to know, and then there’s the infamous Picks site, (the one that went blitzo the other day), where one can view a list of the 200 most recent posts by members (on their own, independent blogs) and "pick" ones you like. Of course, it’s absolutely necessary to check the standing of one’s own most recent posts and e-mail thanks to anyone fool kind enough to pick them–one of the best ways to waste time get to meet other bloggers.

Today the site has a new, format–each post-title is followed by a line or two of text–which is neat in itself, but which makes getting through them all very time-consuming and searching for a particular post downright maddening. So really, it’s Stuart’s fault, entirely, that I’ve gotten no "real" work done yet today. (We will, please, ignore the many other mornings when I spent as long on the site, even when the Picks page was, indeed, a single page.)

So what with picking a few posts and commenting on a few others, and finding a hilarious post on The Garden Monkey and searching for it through all those pages of new picks so as to give it my personal thumbs up, and discovering two new forums and registering with them and writing a comment to Stuart about not liking the new Picks page, and so on (not to mention doing THIS), I haven’t gotten a whole lot done today.

If I do lose my job (I work at home, so no one’s watching over my shoulder) do you think I could sue Stuart for lost wages? (Don’t worry, Stuart, you wouldn’t be out much.)