RSS Feed – Like Getting A Letter From A Friend

I have been using Google Reader for longer than I can remember and at present there are 242 subscriptions that I currently read or have read in the past on a regular basis. I was shocked to see how many there are actually, but as I have them all neatly organized by subject matter or in cases by location such as UK, NZ, and US friends, I never noticed how many I had tucked away for safekeeping.

I’ve got headings for Art, Travel, Money and Investing, Photography, and Writing, UK expats in the US, and vice versa, along with some folks in a group so small that I put them together under India & Turkey. There’s a food section and heading for health topics and something I call Decorating Stuff that I no longer spend much time looking over since we finished the extension to the house. There are loads more groupings that I won’t bother to go into because what I really want to say has to do with something I have recently discovered.

It’s more of a realization really … as long as I’ve been reading blogs I have always resisted the subtle or not so subtle messages to click on the RSS button as noted in my top right corner or the email subscription found slightly lower down the page because in my mind I did not want it ‘cluttering’ up my inbox. I thought, No thanks, I’d rather visit you rather than have you just dropping in unannounced, and I must admit it has worked really well for me and I’ve not felt a need to change it.

Until recently that is … when I clicked on the very subtle, almost hidden, subscribe button of someone I never like to miss. She had been away from blogging for a few months as she was off doing more important things like building houses and reuniting families. When she popped back up in my google reader after being gone so long, I was ‘over the moon’ happy to see her again. During her absence, I’d followed her on Facebook and Twitter, but it just wasn’t the same as the longer bits on her blog that always felt like letters from a friend.

It wasn’t until her next posting and those that followed that I began to see the real merit for me in subscribing. Rather than my going to her place to catch up or share a thought, she pops into my inbox now just like any of my friends would. It always makes me smile to see what Jen Lemen has to say and given how much I enjoy seeing her mail arrive, I may just have to subscribe to a few more folks who have a similar effect on my moods and attitude.

I’m curious as to how you find the blogs you enjoying reading more than once or twice, do you bookmark, subscribe, use Google reader or something else perhaps? I’d be especially interested in how you find your way to my place and as always, thanks so much for stopping by and taking time to comment.

Bringing It To The Masses – No More Twitter Bashing

Photo by Stephanie Roberts

If you have been reading me for very long you may know that I have been following the progress of reuniting a mother with her daughters. Jen Lemen has been at the center of it all working tirelessly to reunite Odette and her girls. News was tight as Jen Lemen struggled through all manner of delays with visas and immigration issues only to be held up by the ash cloud that affected so much of the air travel around the world last week.

There are many who supported Jen along the way in her efforts to bring Odette’s daughters out of Rwanda and back into the arms of their mother. I have rarely been good with delayed gratification and when information about their progress had all but dried up through blog updates and Facebook, I went to Twitter to find some answers. I’ve never been a fan of Twitter believing that there was no information I needed that I could not wait for if necessary. Minute by minute updates seemed on the face of it a waste of time, both for the reader and the tweeter so I while I had an account, I really did not use it … until last night when I became anxious and impatient for information on the final stage of their journey.

Yesterday, I watched as Stephanie Roberts, Dave Lemen, and Jen Lee tweeted the arrival and reunion of Jen and Odette’s daughters. I can’t remember how I first “met” Jen Lemen, it could have been through Shutter Sisters or perhaps Meg Casey who shared a house for a while with Odette and was there to share the joy yesterday with Odette and her girls at the airport.

Twitter made it possible for me to be a part of it all too as it was happening and I found myself holding my breath in anticipation as the updates came in. Seeing the tweets as the van left for the airport and Stephanie’s pictures along the way, I felt as if I had an inside seat as the joyful group made its way from one state and into another for the long anticipated arrival of Odette’s girls.

Once at the airport, Stephanie kept shooting out images and word updates and when the girls I arrived, I cried a few happy tears of my own after reading Stephanie’s tweet, ” They are together ” along with the image of hers that you see above. Jen Lee has a beautiful post this morning that can give more details about Odette’s story and how she and Jen Lemen first met.

I so love happy endings especially when it marks the beginning of something even more wonderful and new. I encourage you to click on the links and read more about their amazing journey … it’s guaranteed to make you smile.

A Hopeful Heart

Hope pulls the heart of tomorrow into the body of today

-Sri Chinmoy

Keeping Hope Close To Your Heart

Keeping Hope Close To Your Heart

Life isn’t always pretty. For most us, the delicate balance between wishing and believing is stitched together with the common thread of hope. It binds us as a community and a civilization. For some, hope may be all they have. My ivy heart above has fallen away from it’s vine. It lies on the earth, muddied and stepped on, but still with a message for those who would look. The heart can take a serious battering and come back again like the green growth of spring after a winter of bitter cold or a hot summer with no rain. Hope lives in the heart, sometimes a flicker, sometimes a flame, but it’s there, tucked in tight…waiting.

A few weeks ago, I read a little message on Shutter Sisters, one of my favorite places to visit. It was a story about two women trying to win a chance to show those who may have forgotten just what hope looks like. They need a little help from the rest of us…it doesn’t cost anything, but a moment of your time. Please go now and vote here for hope. Today is the very last day you can vote for these two and this project. I know what hope looks like for me, but I’d like to see hope through their eyes and in the eyes of those they’ll reach if Picture Hope is chosen.



Go now please…if you wait, it may be too late.