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Category — Friday Blog Roundup

509th Friday Blog Roundup

I just watched online the pilot for a very cute new show on NBC this fall called A to Z.  It’s essentially 500 Days of Summer, with an online dating site swapped in for Joseph Gordon Levitt’s greeting card career.

And you can watch the pilot too!  It’s 26 minutes long.  So… maybe a lunch break viewing?  Or save it for this weekend?

A nice break from having my mind chewed apart by Doctor Who, or feeling increasingly depressed over the state of the world by watching the Daily Show.  This is a show I can actually relax into while I watch.

And I cracked up over Lea Thompson at the end.

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Yes, this is your weekly reminder to back up your blog, social media accounts, and email.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

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.

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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.

No Kidding in NZ has been writing a series on the gifts she received from infertility (and no, that’s not sarcastic).  The one that resonated with me the most so far is the one on friendship because I too have made quite a few friends that I would have never met otherwise if not for infertility.  She writes, “We got to know each other from the inside out; raw, hurting, with open wounds.  Friendships that first developed on a message board, moved to more informal online chatting, and then blossomed in real life.”  Yes, you could say blogging brought me friendships, but I may not have started a blog if I didn’t have something I needed to talk about — infertility.

If You Don’t Stand for Something has a raw post about both wanting to give up and knowing that she also doesn’t have it in her to walk away from trying to build her family.  It’s the sort of post that I want to point people toward and say, “that’s what infertility feels like.”

A Woman My Age has a post about growing into her blog title.  I especially love her comparison between a mid-life crisis and peri-menopause.  It’s a post about being true to your own needs and meeting them.  While I’ll miss her if she doesn’t post as often (or at all), I really respect her for taking care of herself.

And I have to highlight this brilliant trick by Journeys of the Fabulist, which is about saving money for travel, but the same trick can be applied to saving money for anything you want.  I have to admit that I often do things on my to-do list just so I don’t have to recopy them again, and I could see myself not making purchases if I had to take out a book and write down the purchase in black and white.  Suddenly, I would lose the urge to purchase coffee drinks out of the house.  And then put that money in the travel/IVF/whatever-you-want-to-save-for fund.

The roundup to the Roundup: I’m watching A to Z this fall on NBC.  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 August 22nd and August 29th) 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.

August 29, 2014   6 Comments

508 Friday Blog Roundup

Perhaps I only posted about this on Facebook (because I can’t find a post on my blog mentioning it even though I know some type of social media discussion took place when I first stated it) but many months ago, I was diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency.  As in, my body makes pretty much no vitamin D.  At all.  There was the amount your body needs to produce to be considered abnormal, and I was well, well, well under that number.  So I went on prescription vitamin D and brought up my levels, and then months later, was weaned to a normal, daily vitamin D tablet.

All was well.

Then my brand of vitamin D started adding gelatin to the tablet.

And I do not ingest gelatin.

So I went out trying to find a vegan supplement.  This proved to be (1) harder than I thought and (2) grosser than I thought.  Because along the way, I learned where vitamin D comes from.

I let myself shudder vitamin-D-free for several months until my doctor noticed during a blood test that my vitamin D levels were back down to nil.  So I had to suck it up and find a vegan supplement.

I found one at the local organic market.  It cost more than vitamin D should cost. (Like… $20.  Doesn’t that sound high for a few months of vitamin D?)  But I am back to rickets-free living.  I hope.

*******

Yes, this is your weekly reminder to back up your blog, social media accounts, and email.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

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.

Inconceivable has a post about the true meaning of finding balance.  I love this post because she points out that balance isn’t necessarily a happy space.  It is more existing in the center of You-ness, not so focused on the Joneses or whatever else is out there.  Balance is about bringing it back inward, not having the external forces rocking you like a Weeble Wobble.  It’s a fantastic reminder in a world that is constantly pushing everyone off-center.

Family Building with a Twist has a post saying goodbye to summer.  I am having a hard time with the end of summer, so this was the perfect read for me this week.  This resonated with me so much: “Most of it is due to my worry that we didn’t maximize our time here; you know, sucking the marrow out of our beach week and all that. We didn’t play in the water as much as we would have liked. We didn’t collect as many shells. We didn’t spend as many evenings chatting into the wee hours while the ocean breezes blew.”  Especially knowing there is never a point where you reach “enough” of a good thing.

Lastly, the Road Less Travelled has a two-part, must-read post set on finding peace with the disappointments (or… larger than disappointments… tragedies.  The advice covers a wide range of situations) in life.  One of my goals for the year is to develop some resilience since I would say that is a life skill missing from my tool bag.  The two posts are chock-full of helpful information.  Bookmark them.  Come back to them a hundred times.  (Or however many times you need to commit the advice to heart.)

The roundup to the Roundup: My D3 is gelatin-free.  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 August 15th and August 22nd) 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.

August 22, 2014   13 Comments

507th Friday Blog Roundup

I want a secret treasure room.

It doesn’t even need to be a secret.

It could be a completely-out-in-the-open treasure room.

I loved the story this week about the couple who kept the door to a crawlspace hidden from their child for four years, and then turned it into his own secret hideout.  The finished product may be a little claustrophobic for my taste, but this is my fantasy:

Somehow we find a hidden, unused room in our house.  (Not in the basement.  There could be a cricket in the basement.  So any floor but the basement.).  It’s fairly large.  We fashion a speakeasy-like hidden entrance by placing a bookshelf door in front of it.  You pull a certain book off the bookshelf, and the door swings open to reveal my hideout.

The hideout has blue walls.  A muted, grey-ish blue.  And cinnamon-y orange, cozy chairs.  Maybe two of them?  And a little wooden table to rest your drink.  There is a computer on a desk in the corner.  This fantasy space could double as my workspace, I don’t mind.  There are bookshelves where I’ve culled out my favourite books such as Harry Potter or Hitchhiker’s Guide or anything Jasper Fforde.  (I still haven’t had his love-child… crap.)  And there would be one extra hour built into the day — an extra 25th hour — to spend in the room, reading and playing games on the iPad or watching a movie.  It would be completely silent in the room except when I turned on the sound on the iPad.

I want my treasure room.

What would be in your treasure room?

*******

Yes, this is your weekly reminder to back up your blog, social media accounts, and email.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

I started using BackWPup, a plugin on WordPress, this week.  So far it’s a bit confusing.  I’ll let you know if I figure it out.

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.

Serenity Now has a post about opening yourself up to love.  It makes you vulnerable, letting someone into your heart.  They could always leave or treat your heart poorly.  Or they could stay and cherish you right back.  My favourite part of the post came at the end: “When I find myself getting stressed or anxious, I’m going to stop what I’m doing and hug someone.”  What a perfect solution to a temporary moment of panic.

Kmina’s Blog has a post about her son turning four.  It’s a tiny slice of a life, and I love this line: “They know not to touch things that we do not buy, for example, like fruit or bakery products, or bottles, that can break, yet sometimes it is such a fun thing to run in the booze aisle, open arms.” She thinks she has nothing to blog about, but obviously, she does.  Sometimes life in general makes the most interesting post.

It’s not an IF post, but… it feels like she’s part of the community?  I loved Jodifur’s final post on her blog, enough that I’m quoting from it twice in one week.  She writes, “People stopped commenting, and maybe stopping reading, so she stopping writing.  Sometimes fairy tales don’t end the way you want them to, but they end anyway.”  Replace blogging with any other endeavour you attempt in life and it is the perfect way to sum up life: how other people’s actions matter as well as finding your own ending.

The death of Robin Williams brought out a lot of people in the community writing about mental illness.  I want to highlight three posts: “Why Suicide Isn’t Selfish” (No Way to Say It), “Robin Williams, Death, Life, and Freeing the Genie” (BioGirl), and “The Thing You Never Knew” (The Kir Corner).  All three posts were beyond moving.

The roundup to the Roundup: What would your secret treasure room look like?  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 August 8th and August 15th) 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.

August 15, 2014   8 Comments

506th Friday Blog Roundup

I was reading Susan Sontag’s best productivity tips on Lifehacker, and they were… as you would suspect from Sontag… simple and brilliant:

I will have lunch only with Roger. (‘No, I don’t go out for lunch.’ Can break this rule once every two weeks.)

I will write in the Notebook every day. (Model: Lichtenberg’s Waste Books.)

I will tell people not to call in the morning, or not answer the phone.

I will try to confine my reading to the evening. (I read too much — as an escape from writing.)

Lifehacker’s point was that she made rules for breaking her rules, but I was sort of more amazed that she set up clear, unapologetic boundaries for herself.  I do not have said boundaries.  I mean, yes, I have them in theory, tucked somewhere in my brain, but I rarely follow them.  I also do not want to “do lunch” in the sense that I lose an hour or more of work time when I do (from an already truncated work day).  And yet I say yes to lunch.  Because I like the person and want to spend time with them.

Because I work from home, people think nothing of calling to chat during my work day.  When I’m not on deadline, it isn’t technically a problem, except every minute I spend on the phone talking is a minute I’m not moving forward with a project.  The answer is that I should pull a Sontag and not answer the phone.  But then I feel rude.  I guess the point is that Sontag didn’t care if she was rude, and she reaped the consequences of having people think of her as rude.  But she got stuff done.

And I guess I was struck by her admittance that she used reading as an escape from writing.  I have two ways I use reading — to enjoy a story and as an on-ramp to my own writing projects.  I don’t really need the on-ramp for blog post writing, but I often need to read a chapter before I can work on a fiction manuscript.  Reading that she confined her reading to the evening made me wonder what she used as an on-ramp.  Or did she not need an on-ramp?  Could she sit down and just… write.

Interesting thoughts.

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This is a really cool video on how passwords work on a lot of sites:

*******

Yes, this is your weekly reminder to back up your blog, social media accounts, and email.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

And if you don’t know how to back up your blog, read this post on BlogHer that talks about manual backups and plugins.

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.

No Kidding in NZ has a post about the wall of baby photographs seen in the doctor’s office or clinic.  She wonders if the hope that some take from the wall balances with the pain seeing those pictures brings for others.  If they get under the skin of some people, whereas others don’t consider them at all.  It’s an interesting post and an interesting discussion in the comment section.

Climbing the Pomegranate Tree has a post about a divorced friend who lamented three years ago that she would never meet someone to build her family with who recently announced her pregnancy.  It’s a brief post that packs a punch.  And the title made me think of the difference between the sail boats and motor boats zipping around the harbour.

Lastly, An Engineer Becomes a Mom has a post that I want to hand people every time they say the words “just adopt.”  There is no “just” in adoption, for any member of the triad, and this post sums up the complicated nature of adoption, considering a situation from a multitude of angles.  Your heart will go out to everyone in the post.

The roundup to the Roundup: Susan Sontag’s productivity notes.  How passwords are stored (or not stored).  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 August 1st and August 8th) 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.

August 8, 2014   10 Comments

505th Friday Blog Roundup

i09 had a post about the personality test that came in The Pigman — which, yes, I read in middle school.  You are given a brief situation and then need to mentally debate the actions of the characters.  Ready?

A husband and wife live on one side of the river.  They have a good marriage and genuinely love each other BUT the wife has a lover on the side.  She hates this fact about herself and tries to resist the relationship, but she goes to this lover every time her husband goes away.  The lover lives on the other side of the river.

One day, the husband needs to leave on a business trip.  The wife begs him to take her along, but he tells her that she’ll only be in the way.  He leaves without her and she goes to her lover’s house.

One morning, she is leaving her lover’s house, trying to beat her husband home so he won’t know about her infidelity, when she encounters an assassin on the bridge that spans the river.  She knows that if she tries to cross, he will kill her.  She doubles back and goes down to the water where she asks a boatman to take her across.  He agrees, but asks for a great deal of money.  She doesn’t have the cash, so she goes and asks her lover to give her the money so she can get home safely.  He tells her that getting across the bridge is her own problem.

So she tries to cross the bridge, and she’s killed over the river.

As i09 writes, “The cast of characters in this little drama is – husband, wife, assassin, lover, boatman. List the characters in order you consider them responsible for the wife’s death.”

Scroll down and put your answer in the comment section.  Then come back here to read the rest of this post and click here to see what each character represents.

*******

Yes, this is your weekly reminder to back up your blog, social media accounts, and email.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

And if you don’t know how to back up your blog, read this post on BlogHer that talks about manual backups and plugins.

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.

Searching for Our Silver Lining has a post about feeling silenced.  She so eloquently points out: “There’s a problem that emerges when one is silenced. For most humans, voicing worries and frustrations is a way to process what is happening. A form of problem-solving … Silencing takes all of that away, leaving the person instead involved with a growing shapeless form that tortures and torments. It also instills a sense of shame and guilt, all the while destroying.”  Go read her post in full.

Tales of a Batty Nurse has an emotional post about searching for and finding her birthmother’s name.  It’s a brief post, but it summarizes so well why children should always have access to their birth records.

It’s not an IF post, but I feel that it speaks to a general feeling that pops up often in our community.  I love the honesty and openness in Sassymonkey’s post about depression.

Inconceivable! has a post about her tattoo, and I love this sentiment: “When I first started considering getting a tattoo, I wasn’t particularly serious. I was worried about the permanence. I worried about making marks, about forever altering myself in any way.  Then infertility hit and I realized something: life was going to put marks on me, whether I willed it or not.”  The ink she chose is pretty too; prettier than infertility and loss and stomach bruises and surgery scars.

Lastly, Amateur Nester has a post about weight gain and infertility.  She writes of the extra pounds: “It’s all due to a combination of fertility drugs, not being able to exercise during treatment cycles, poor eating habits, and not feeling motivated to exercise during non-treatment cycles.”  Infertility, the gift that keeps on giving!  As someone who had to buy new jeans (and cried hard doing so), I stand by her in solidarity.

The roundup to the Roundup: How did you rank the characters?  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 25th and August 1st) 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.

August 1, 2014   35 Comments

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