Wednesday, November 4, 2009

To Blog or Not to Blog

I have a confession to make. I have let it slip a few times but always safely away from my bloggie home. I take comfort in imagining that my secret sins will remain hidden at bottom of someone’s comment barrel and never discovered. I hope to disguise the truth with pretty pictures and catchy Google tags. Some of you probably already suspect something is a little different, perhaps a little off around here. I don’t suppose I can go on pretending that you won’t find out about me. Eventually it’s all going to come out and it won’t be pretty. No sir, it won’t be pretty at all. Well, I don’t know how pretty or not it will be but lives will be ruined I tell you. Ruined! OK, so maybe not ruined exactly but there will be hell to pay I tell you! Maybe not so much hell or anything but certainly a good time out with no cookies, at least not the good ones with the miniature M&Ms in them.
I’m sorry what were we talking about again?

Oh, that’s right the horrible mortal sin thing, hell fire and public flogging, right. Well see, the thing is, it’s the blogging, the public blogging to be exact. It was Rosey Pollen at Dung Hoe. It was her fault. She pushed me over the edge with her clever probing blog questions. “Why do you blog?” she asked as though it were a perfectly reasonable question to ask, as though I had a perfectly good answer, as though I had any idea at all.

Oh sure it seemed so easy for all her people to cheerfully give their smart and thoughtful answers. They all had such good reasons, noble reasons but mostly just actual reasons. I envied them all in their surety and self-awareness. They had missions, goals even. They had family to share stories and pictures with; they had information to share with other gardeners. Some were spreading serenity and joy while others were keeping a garden journal for posterity’s sake. There are writers with blogs who write about writing for writers who write. There are bloggers that blog for the sake of scoring hits to make latte’ money and still others who blog just because they seem to have an awful lot to say, about what I am not too sure but they do it anyway.

Stalling? No, I’m not stalling. I’m perfectly comfortable with this. Um, by the way did you pull the curtains? Is there anyone else in here besides us? Just asking, that’s all. Perfectly comfortable; could I have a glass of water? Kind of warm in here, don’t you think?
So here it is, the horrible shocking truth.

I blog by accident.
I don’t have a deliberate reason that I can figure out to save my virtual life. Wait. Don’t judge me. Let me explain myself. I’m sure I can explain this. Just give me a minute to think something up. I mean…

It all started because this year was the first year we/I had the garden in any kind of garden shape. I finally had the plants in and the pond was open for its first summer. I found a fantastic online garden community at GardenWeb and met many wonderful people there. Nell Jean at Foxes Earth was one of those people and she started a thread asking how many members blogged about their garden. Well apparently many people did blog about their gardens. FlowerLady was the first blogger that I got to know personally and she has become a wonderful friend.

Because I actually had been living under a rock for some time I had never seen a blog before. I know. The shocks just keep a comin’ don’t they? Well anyway, my curiosity was piqued. Being the closet nerd that I am I was less interested in reading the blogs and more interested in what the blog programs looked like. I went to the one I saw most frequently used which Blogspot was, for a little look around. In the past I have done my own art website and another website for a large arts organization using and found it easy to work with. I wondered if this was the same so I decided to do a trial.

I set up an account because they wouldn’t let me touch anything until I did. They made me feel cheap just because I wanted to browse. Sheesh. That indignity now dealt with I was free to roam the store and try on outfits and accessories. This was the fun part. Everything fit and nothing made me regret that extra brownie at lunch. I could customize, mixing and matching to my heart’s delight. Then came the time to try out some shoes with the new outfit. This is the part where you put some talk to the walk and see how it all looks on the carpet.
Now what words would I use to fill up my imaginary first post? It hardly mattered since I was just filling in some space so I could see what the template looked like all together. It was my intention to close out of the test sample as soon as I saw what the completed thing looked like. There was no way I could imagine coming up with anything clever, witty or interesting enough to merit even considering starting a blog. So this is what I typed in: “Let’s just see how boring this could possibly be."

I don’t recall what led me to this next item but I ended up on a Google search page where I saw BluegateGardens and directly below in gigantic glaring letters “Let’s just see how boring this could possibly be.” Ahhhh! It went live? It went live with that? It went live with that attached to my name?

I was shocked and horrified. I couldn’t let that stand-alone out there with my name all over it. I spent the next millennium trying to delete it only to find that when Google grants life it can never be taken away. It was as if some evil digital vampire had bitten my little test blog and set it loose on the unsuspecting world. I had to do something to drive a stake through its heart and
So I blogged. I blogged over those flippant first words which were never intended for public consumption and I kept on blogging, burying it deeper and deeper into the Google graveyard of the undead. Then suddenly something magical happened, something I never expected or imagined possible. I had a follower. I was shocked. I was stunned. I was sure this person had clicked something by mistake or was at least mentally unstable. Either way, mentally unstable or computer klutz I had a follower now and I was hooked. It was not ego but rather a sense of responsibility that hooked me.

I understand that blogs are whatever you want them to be and that you do them for yourself but that’s not how things roll in my head. I figure that if someone is going to give me their time and attention then I want to bring something to the table as well. I hope to add something of value to the conversation in whatever way possible. I am always so grateful and quite often overwhelmed when I read your kind and generous comments. I am humbled that you visit my blog and that you take the time to write. Sure, it’s just a blog and I can’t even say what this blog is about but what I can say is that the reason I blog is because of you. You are my reason and I thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your time with me.
PS. I would like to ask you one little favor if you don’t mind. Can anyone think of how to describe this blog? It has come up a few times and I just have no idea of what to say. I’m totally stumped.


  1. Great post, LeSan.

    I cannot answer your question. It is too early in the morning, and I have not had any caffeine yet. Let me think about it for a little while. Wait here....

  2. Dear, dear LeSan ~ I was so afraid to read this post, because I was afraid you were going to say you would no longer be blogging and that would be a definite loss to blog land.

    I love your blog, it's homey, friendly, caring, informative, filled with charm, whit, lovely pictures and stories.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  3. It's interesting to find out how different blogs came to be. I saw Rosey's post and all the reasons people gave for starting theirs. I would never have guessed you started yours by accident. You have such a nice writing style. I thought you were a writer maybe by profession or hobby.
    I was trying to think of how I would describe your blog, but it's hard to describe. It's a combination of well written posts, beautiful pictures, topics that make me think deeper than just "that's a pretty garden", but then I also think "that's a pretty garden" when I look at your pictures of your pond. I really do enjoy your blog though, however it would be described.

  4. As a description of your blog, what's wrong with what you have already written?

    "Turning a gravel pit into a lush garden oasis and other acts of insanity -- Our landscapes are outward expressions of our lives. I am trying to see what I can do with the pile of rocks I have in mine."

    I love reading your blog. It is the only one I come to because of the writing (which is not to slight your pictures -- the pictures you post are wonderful too). Everyone with a garden blog posts pictures because gardeners love to see other gardens. But you -- you are one smart, clever, witty, charming writer. I was an editor in a previous existence, and I like to think I can still recognize outstanding talent.

  5. Hello,

    Your blog is unique and that is a good thing. It is not just full of pretty garden photos and gardening advice. You give us a picture of yourself with your great writing.

    I for one, am glad that you fell into blogging by accident.

  6. I too, was afraid you were going to say you won't be blogging anymore. I often want to comment, but you write so well that there is usually nothing I can say that won't sound like Charlie Brown's teacher in comparison.

  7. Hi LeSan,
    I am speechless. I am stupefied. What the hell were you thinking would happen when you splattered your amazing wittiness all across the blogosphere? Which I am glad you are here, by the way. I feel like you are a kindred spirit, only you are the better part. Please know that I devour each and every post you write. A description of your blog....hmmm let's see, " a rock stealing hussy with big dreams creates an oasys. " Not what you had in mind? The title of your blog is perfect, don't change it! I love it. Enough rambling, I hope I made my point. I am not sorry at all that I made you confess.

  8. see. We would miss you! Maybe the word you are looking for is eclectic. The very opposite of boring.

  9. This is my first visit but I'll definitely be back. So glad that your first blog post accidentally escaped :)

  10. As always, a totally awesome post full of wit, truth and colour. I actually could see all of your blog posts wrapped up into a book. You are a natural writer, a great photographer and a succulent wild woman. (but that title has already been taken by Sark)
    So glad you accidentally started to blog.

  11. It's a blog for (garden?) bloggers, okay?

  12. You make me laugh, you make me cry, I love your wittiness, the dry humour in your writing - I love your writing and the way you keep me on tenterhooks .......oh, and I love that I have found someone who is SO like me that we could be sisters and I feel like I've known for ever - and who is doing something as daft as I am in her own garden!!!

    You have no idea the pleasure your blog brings to people. Just don't stop!

  13. There is a saying that in life there are no accidents. That is true with your blog. You are a mult-talented artist and your blog is an extension of that talent. You draw your readers in by painting vivid pictures with the written word, while entertaining us with your witty humor.
    You know you're fabulous, so just roll with it and stop trying too hard to define what the blog is.

  14. How about "Wit and witicisms from the heart of a nature-loving writer." I'm glad for the accident. Have a wonderful weekend.

  15. To Everyone, I want to thank you so very much, for what was an incredible and delightful surprise. When I wrote this post, I unwittingly managed to give the impression that I might be re-considering the whole idea of blogging when in fact I was sheepishly admitting that I had not even considered it at all in the first place. I just wanted to come clean with you all since you have been so supportive and generous with your time.
    What I found when I read all of your comments simply blew me away. I could never have imagined such incredible support for a new and seemingly unfocused blogger. I don’t think I will ever be able to express just how much every single comment has meant to me. Every word you take the time to write and send in is such a treasure to me. I want you all to know that they decorate the rooms in my heart like priceless glittering gems.
    Thank you all, from the depths of my heart.

  16. Janie~ Hi, how’s the coffee. I’ll just be over here by the creamer waiting. Whenever you’re ready…

    FlowerLady~ I guess I goofed that a little bit. I never intended to give the impression that I was reconsidering blogging. I just that I realized my motives seemed to be a little well, different than most.
    I was so pleased by your sweet generous compliment. Thank you so much my dear friend. As always, your comments are such a pleasure to read and they give me such a lift.

    Catherine~ I agree that it is interesting to learn how and why other people blog. Rosey really started something with that post. Thank you so much for overestimating my writing abilities. LOL I have actually never written a thing before this blog. Well, OK. There was an occasional Birthday card or grocery list. Thank you Catherine for reading my blog and for all the sweet comments you leave. They mean so much to me.

    Alison~ that was such a wonderful comment to leave. When you said that you visit my blog specifically for the writing, I was flabbergasted. You were incredibly generous in your compliment. I re-read it several times because it was so encouraging and uplifting. I cannot thank you enough for giving me such a wonderful gift.

    Azplantlady~ your comments are always as warm and welcome as that beautiful Arizona sun. Thank you so much for all your support and wonderful compliments. You always warm my heart.

    Highlyirritable~ I almost fell off my chair when I saw your name here. I didn’t think you ever read my blog…ever. I love your writing, so naturally I thought you would never deign to visit so low on the blog chain. The Charlie Brown comment was classic and while I was amused then humbled, my husband is still laughing himself silly over it. I treasure your comment and thank you for it.

  17. Rosey Pollen~ I just burst out laughing when I got to “What the hell did you think would happen when you…” That’s as far as I got for a few minutes. Surely, you are a kindred spirit through and through!
    Then of course, you nearly made me cry with your sweet wonderful compliments. Then another fit of laughter with “Rock stealing hussy…” Man, I loved that one. LOL Thank you Rosey for your inspiring post. You really drew a lot of people out of the woodwork with that one. I’m glad I got this off my conscious. Thank you for all your wonderful comments I always appreciate them so much.

    Elephant’s Eye~ Thank you very much for saying that you would miss me here. I really can’t tell you how much that means to me. I don’t think I have ever been more pleasantly surprised. I do like the word “eclectic.” I never even considered it, thank you,

    Anna~ I am so happy that you came by! Thank you very much for taking the time to leave such a nice compliment on your first stop. I am looking forward to getting to know you.

    Terry Lynn~ Succulent Wild Woman? Wow! Doesn’t that conjure up some incredible images? Terry I really appreciated you saying that I was a natural writer. I know that coming from you that is a very generous compliment and I value it very highly. Thank you so much for your wonderful support all along the way. Again, congratulations on your recent writing successes.

    Nell Jean~ you are certainly a wordy one. LOL Thank you for your simplicity and directness, you make me laugh at myself.

    Nutty Gnome~ Well where do I start with this one? Seriously, I think you need to check with your mother and find out if she passed me on to some cousins in the U.S. I read your blog and I swear you sound just like me and then you do the same insane stuff I would. LOL Thank you incredibly much for your comments and for making me feel loved all the way across the pond.

    Mimi~ my dear sweet friend who came out of the woodwork to smack me upside my goofy little head. Thank you. A good friend should always know when to kick you in the behind and tell you to “just shut up and get on with it.” Love you Mimi.

    Tara~ I hope you know that I dearly appreciate that you read my blog and even more so that you take the time to write your thoughtful comments. Please try to resist your editing instincts here and ignore the fact that I just used the word “that” three times in one sentence and I …
    Thank you Tara.

  18. Le San, Your truth is so well-spun into a captivating story. Stay that way and your blog has its reason and description. Although I like the 'rock slinging hussy' as another possibility.

  19. Hi LeSan,

    So far your blog is the blog of an incredible writer, and guess what I started blogging in exactly the same way. We had some family illness, really scary, my son was going to Korea, and knew I was sad. He felt sorry for me. I was reading someone else's blog, didn't know how to comment without having a blog. Blog Police wouldn't allow it. My son opened my account, set it up, asked me what I'd like to say, and I have blogged every day since that first night. Guess what? It worked, it made me happy, I started to understand why I was doing it. The family illnesses cleared up, I broke my ankle, I kept blogging. My leg healed. I started painting so much it was crazy, it lead to more work than ever. I kept blogging, and now I cannot miss a day, and can't imagine living without a computer. Sad. But true. Without the blog. I wouldn't have met you and my other real friends from around the world. So there. I blog and I have a life. It's possible.

    Love your blog.

    Take care,


  20. Strange that you should ask that LeSan .... my maternal grandfather's brother emigrated to America after the war (I found his name on the monument on Ellis Island when I was in New York last year). Perhaps we are related after all. LOL!!!

    You have NO idea how close I came to falling in the pond today :)

  21. LeSan, I just finished reading your post and all the comments. Have decided to summerise it for you. "FANTASTIC" easiest summary I have ever done.

    Enjoy you evening,

  22. LeSan,

    I smiled through your blog post. So here I am attempting to answer your question while multi-tasking.

    The way I would describe your blog is what it makes me feel when I stop by. I feel like you are giving me a glimpse into something deeper and extraordinary in the details of life. You manage to say things that strip things down to their essence and yet cloaks them in a delicate protective covering. When I "get" what you are saying, I feel like one of the lucky ones...

    I for one am glad to have found you. :-)