Random header image... Refresh for more!

502nd Friday Blog Roundup

By now, you have likely heard about the discovery of the vampire squirrels of Borneo. Granted, it’s local legend, but I totally believe it. I believe it enough to write a series of songs about vampire squirrels and sing them for Truman.  He is in full agreement that we want to live in a world with vampire squirrels.


Next Roundup marks the 8th anniversary of the Friday Blog Roundup.  As always, I’d like to do something to mark the occasion.  Because it would be difficult for all of us to write an ode to vampire squirrels in time (I get that you need to organize your thoughts), I instead propose that every single person who reads the Roundup weekly takes two seconds of their time this week to find one blog post out there to highlight.  That’s it.  Just find one post.  You do not have to stress if you find two posts that you like or decide between them: just submit two.  Or three.  Or eighteen.  Really, this is about gathering up good or interesting or moving or funny writing.

So bookmark this Roundup, and when you find a post you like this week (meaning, written today or later… up until Thursday morning), leave it in the comment section below.  I will gather them all up, and we’ll have a fat Second Helpings for next week.


In case you missed this post earlier in the week, Lori is hosting an online book tour for Apart at the Seams, and I would love it if you joined along.  Pretty please?

Lavender Luz is hosting a book tour for my newest book, Apart at the Seams (thank you!).  Sign up goes until August 1st, and the posts will go up September 4th.  See, lots of time to read the book and join along.  All you need to do right now is click over and fill out Lori’s online form to let her know you’re participating.

If you can’t participate, but still want to do something, consider spreading word with a blog post, Goodreads review, Amazon review, or getting an enormous Arianna tattoo across your lower back.



Time for your weekly nag:

This is just your friendly nudge to do your weekly backup.  I know, I know, who has the time to create backups on a weekly basis?  No one.  But you still need to do it and forgo ten minutes of something else, once a week.  Right now, before you do anything else, use this post to roll through a quick backup of your email, documents, images, blog, social media accounts, and mobile devices.  Reading the Roundup on the go and don’t have the ability to do your backup right now?  Email yourself a copy of the Roundup so that the email will serve as a visual reminder to get this task done.  Ten minutes of your time once a week may save you a major loss of time and data down the road.  Don’t have regrets.  So, on your marks, get set, back up!

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

I love this post about shedding things by The Empress and the Fool.  It’s a bit like a snake sloughing off its outer layer to make way for the newer, shinier skin.  I love this line: “I’m also in a really strange place with friends, shedding relationships like a molting bird, some of it circumstantial, some of it by choice.”  It’s about making space in your life for new things, even as you mournfully bob in the memory of all that has sailed away.

A Woman My Age has a post on house envy, but it’s really coveting whatever you don’t have.  It throws into sharp relief the reality that every single decision brings with it benefits and drawbacks.  Having kids, taking a job, buying a house: every life decision can be examined through a positive or negative lens.  And knowing that, well… you can see the positivity in every choice.

Will Carry On is pregnant after adoption and loss, and she writes about feeling like a fraud.  I love this point: “‘I’m one of you!’ I want to shout. ‘Do you know what I’ve been through?!? I deserve this.’ It’s like I want, and need, to defend myself…to total strangers.”  But mostly, I really love the end of the post: the questions she has about being pregnant after so much loss, and having a new association with pregnancy instead of equating it with pain.  It’s a really moving post.

Lastly, Stumbling Gracefully has a post about comparative parenting, wondering if she is a good mother when she observes other mothers.  She explains, “I know comparison is the thief of joy, and I honestly believe that to be true, but I don’t feel like this is that kind of comparison. I’m not looking at what my cousins have and wishing I had it. This isn’t about envy or jealousy of a feeling that something is unfair. This is about watching other women who are damn good mothers and not ever seeing them falter and wondering if the fact that I do falther makes me a bad mom, or less-than in some way.”  Go over and read the whole post and comment section.  It’s a very interesting thought on whether we’re as good as we think we are when we don’t have a measuring stick to tell us otherwise.

The roundup to the Roundup: Vampire squirrels!  Help fatten up the Second Helpings section to celebrate the 8th anniversary of the Roundup.  Sign up for the Apart at the Seams book tour. Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between July 4th and July 11th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 a { 07.11.14 at 9:50 am }
2 Geochick { 07.11.14 at 10:49 am }

I had not heard about vampire squirrels! The things I learn while reading blogs…

3 Valery Valentina { 07.11.14 at 11:47 am }

Slacker here!
I’m so proud of you: after 5 years of blogging and I don’t know how many posts by you I have finally made my first backup/export of my blog.
I still have to find it on my hard drive, but hey, you made me find and push that button. (The trick? I’m sick, and my resistance is low 😉 )
Thank you,

4 A. { 07.11.14 at 11:54 am }

Oh, hey, thanks again!! And I loved “Syncopation” too–sometimes we really are our own worst enemy.

5 Buttermilk { 07.11.14 at 12:31 pm }
6 Buttermilk { 07.11.14 at 12:32 pm }
7 Esperanza { 07.11.14 at 12:48 pm }

Wow. Eight years of the Round Up. That is quite an accomplishment. Thank you for doing this. I look forward to it every week and I’ve been trying to share at least one post a week (though I’ve failed miserably at that these past months). I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve started following because I read a post here. You connect us all by doing this and we all owe you a debt of gratitude.

8 Sara { 07.11.14 at 2:31 pm }
9 nicoleandmaggie { 07.12.14 at 6:40 am }

I’m one of those mothers that Stumbling Gracefully is talking about. Insecure mothers tell me how amazing and well-behaved my children are compared to theirs. It makes me damned uncomfortable. Not because I have any doubts about my own parenting (I believe there’s a wide range of not screwing up), but because they have so little faith in themselves and in their children. For the most part, their kids are JUST FINE. Yes, I think my kids are the best, but I would hope that every parent would feel the same way about hir own kids.

It’s one thing to pick up tips from other mothers (we got most of our strategies from an excellent daycare, because why wouldn’t you want to try out things that seem to work), but it’s another to internalize different parenting strategies as somehow meaning that they are a better family somehow.

Personally I blame the patriarchy and the maternal-guilt industry that profits off of creating insecurity in mothers. My contrary streak and willingness to take breaks from reading about parenting probably protect me from it.

10 Jen { 07.12.14 at 10:33 am }

I was struck by Stumbling Gracefully’s post about visiting her sister’s grave. Visiting my sister

In recent years, I’ve been so focused on what myself and my friends are going through when it comes to building our families that I don’t often think about the generation before us and the losses that our parents may have experienced.

11 Northern Star { 07.12.14 at 10:55 am }
12 Lauren { 07.12.14 at 3:27 pm }

This post about losing her rainbow haunts me. http://dianawrote.com/2014/07/when-your-rainbow-baby-dies/

13 Lauren { 07.14.14 at 9:39 pm }

From today. A reflection on the stillbirth summit. “Where are the health professionals?”


14 Erin { 07.16.14 at 10:59 am }

Congratulations on 8 years of Roundup! That is quite impressive, and like Esperanza said, you have done an amazing job at connecting so many of us. Thank you for that.

Thanks also for the call out in this week’s Roundup. I’m so honored.

My pick (so far) this week is from Jenna at Stop, Drop & Blog: Broken http://stopdropandblog.com/2014/07/15/broken/ I love the idea of letting go of perfectionism to see how broken messiness can actually help to move you forward.

15 loribeth { 07.17.14 at 6:50 pm }

Angie is back at Still Life With Circles and another edition of her “Right Where I Am” series… go to read about where she is in her life & grief right now, and consider writing a post of your own to add to her list:


16 Tiara { 07.18.14 at 8:34 am }

Oh no! I am a week behind on my Roundups & just reading this now. So sorry I didn’t help add to the 8th anniversary! Can’t wait to read all the posts though!

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
The contents of this website are protected by applicable copyright laws. All rights are reserved by the author