Blogging 101: Everything but the Kitchen Sink

It’s day four of Blogging University. Today’s assignment is two-fold. First we’re asked to identify our ideal audience as a way of honing our blogging skills. Second, we’re to include a new-to-you element on our blog.

Everything but the Kitchen Sink?

I like challenging myself, so I’ve learned how to embed photos, YouTube videos, a contact form and a poll.  Today I’m embedding a Tweet for the first time.

Nifty, eh?

You can learn how to embed all kinds of things on your blog via WordPress Support. I also love coaching people, so if there is something you are trying to do and can’t quite figure it out, I’m happy to help.

Gardening Nirvana

2015 spring garden collage

As spring approaches, nature does most of the heavy lifting. Birds nest, even without my help and perennials come back regardless of my pruning skills. A garden, untended will not necessarily die. Instead the garden crosses the boundaries of the walkways, climbs the fence, winds around a tree and meanders down the block like an untended toddler.

I’m having none of that. Just because Mother Nature is a well-worn cliché, doesn’t mean the parallels aren’t true.  As a mom of two boys, I set limits early and often. Within those limits, the boys enjoyed free rein. They could explore the garden, create in their sand box and run through the sprinklers (pre-drought). My youngest son loved climbing the orange tree and played for hours in the dirt. As a toddler, my oldest son licked the shiny bottom of a snail, always exploring and curious. To my chagrin, he continuously snapped green cherry tomatoes from the vine before he understood the difference between red and green. We traveled for a week and when we returned, he was able to see the difference and why they should remain on the vine awhile longer.

Now teenagers, they’ve grown into well-mannered and respectful young men who understand limits but continue to soar.

Those same limits fall to the garden. Well-tended branches make for happier neighbors. Overgrown weeds do not inspire trust. I might fall in love with a beautiful shrub, but if the plant’s DNA will send it skyward, then it stays on the nursery shelf. I’ve stopped planting Stock, not because I don’t like it, but because the snails eat it to the quick. Reluctantly, but with a sure hand, I’m learning to garden like the Californian I’ve become instead of longing for the English-bred garden of my roots. Some days that’s still hard, but I know it’s for the best. There are days I mother my children, days I mother the garden and days I mother myself. All three are a work in progress.

The End?

If you reached the end of this post and find it resonated with you, then you’ve come to the right place. Welcome! If you’re yawning or distracted or perhaps you simply clicked the ‘like’ button in the Reader, I completely understand. It just means this particular blog isn’t for you. When you do find that perfect fit, you’ll know. As my friend Pauline says, “Thanks for coming by today. I love that you did.”

29 thoughts on “Blogging 101: Everything but the Kitchen Sink

    • Mary Elizabeth, you are such a dear. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      I received your beautiful card and note in the mail today. I loved the beautiful card, your precious note and the clever way you addressed the envelope.

      I look forward to supporting you on our journey. xox


    • I agree with you Mary Elizabeth, visiting Alys’s blog is like visiting a beautiful vacation home that I wish I had. Her house and yard are always inviting and lovely. I can only dream of having a home like hers, but I do want to live next to Alys so I can work together with her in her garden! I would love that!


  1. Thank you reading your post has helped me to understand what embedding is all about, when I saw that one of the assignments was about identifying one’s audience and embedding I was a bit confused. I knew a bit about the audience but embedding was greek to me but now I have been enlightened. Thank you.


  2. I LOVE this!!

    Under the heading ‘Gardening Nirvana’ you have written so eloquently about who you are.
    it is a beautiful piece and I think that if we could all say the same things our world would be in a better place …….. I also think this wonderful introduction should form at least a part of your ‘About’ page – what do you think?

    Now I must rush off because I am STILL trying to learn how to make a poll work for my next post! I may well be back asking for help! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree with Pauline’s comment above; this would be great on your About page. It’s a lovely summary of you, your garden and your attitude to life! I love it!


  4. KaPow! Bright over here in Nirvana Alys ❤ Look at you being brave and updating your template now too. Love the title of your post today too, LOL, cute. Very trendy and cool, I like it.
    Your writing today about the boys is very dear. Even the part when C licks snail tummy's. Yum! You're a good mom letting them experience life in all it's splendour. I especially enjoyed your 2nd to last para. and find it apropos that you counted yourself last because knowing you, I've come to see you always put others first.
    I biggie-fy'd your collage and sighed at the sight of Lindy snoozing on the kitty scratch post, that's darn cute. Mouse is just a beautiful face, I guess that's what love looks like 😀 I always feel like Petals is in your garden when I see Slinky because they look so similar and Mr Squirrel seemed happy to be part of the mix. They don't seem to mind that you have kitties at all.
    I got to the very bottom and as always, felt like we'd had a fine visit. Thank's for posting today, I'm glad that you did…..hehehe. Pauline really does have the perfect goodbye, I know she'll be tickled we're emulating her today xoxox ta ta sweet one.


    • Yes, bright is one way of putting it. That theme was unanimously disliked by all. Great exercise though and lots of laughs at the comments sliding off the page.

      Thanks for your kind words on my writing today. As my boys approach adulthood, a lot of those early memories come back. We also recently transferred our old VHS camera tapes to DVD and the cloud so recently had the chance to actually see my little boys with their small voices and big eyes, searching the garden. It’s bittersweet.

      I like the idea of Petals the cat and Petals the blogger hanging out in my garden. If only it were so.

      As for the squirrels, I can tell the newer ones from the more established ones, as they are less nervous around us and the cats. Mouse shakes his booty and pretends to make a go for it, but for the most part all the cats are fairly indifferent. Lindy and Slinky are getting on in years (13 and 15) so they seem content indoors most of the time. The cat door is permanent closed since the rat fiasco, and the back door is opened judiciously. It’s also coming up on nesting season, so we are repairing the cat fencing and I will try to keep the lot of them out of the yard for now.

      Thanks for reading and commenting and for being your wonderful self.

      You’ll be on a plane in three weeks, and I won’t be far behind. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Alys, I always love reading your posts. It always takes me to a good place, like reading another chapter in a book of your colorful life where you affect others in such a positive way!


    • A good cuppa! I love that. It would be fun if we could know the very moment a fellow blogger sat down to read our posts. We could chat ‘in the moment’. It happens for me sometimes and those moments are golden.

      I was actually thinking about the Walker boys when I wrote this, and how wonderfully they’ve grown into the world and made you proud.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a nice read today. I have never tweeted., We can barely get a text message with photos out unless we leave sleepy hollow. Signal is bad, bad, bad. You’d have to have people to tweet with wouldn’t you?
    The paragraph where you mother your boys, your garden and yourself touched me in many ways. Mothering isn’t as easy as it looks and mothering yourself, I guess you learn from the garden. Wonderful photos and I’ll be knocking on your virtual door as I struggle through the technical part of blogging. You inspire me to keep trying. 🙂


    • I keep forgetting you live in Sleepy Hollow, Marlene. What fun…except for the crummy internet connection.

      I’m not much of a tweeter, just someone who dabbles from time to time. My 15 year old son is the master. He has 30,000 followers on Twitter, but he doesn’t even use his real name or photo. Crazy business. And yes, we’ve had all the security chats.

      The paragraph on mothering seems to resonate with a lot of moms. I’m glad it touched you. It’s not easy. No one prepares you for the heart on your sleeve life style that is yours till your last breath.

      I’m delighted to help with any technical blog questions. I love blogging here on WordPress, too.

      So glad you stopped by today, Marlene.

      Liked by 1 person

Please join the conversation by leaving a comment, below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.