Bloggers Addictions

I’m going through what can only be called a life crisis. Looking at my stats this morning I saw in that funny place called search engines, two separate entries, one saying ‘Valerie Davies died abroad’, and the other ‘Valerie Davies dies abroad’.

I tried to click on it to find out more about my death, feeling somewhat as Mark Twain must have done when he said that reports of his death had been greatly exaggerated.

But it won’t let me click, so perhaps – since I feel very much alive – I’m in that place called limbo, where I gather, we spend some time reviewing our lives and our mistakes and our decisions.

This feels quite a familiar place to me, having spent or wasted quite a chunk of my life reviewing my decisions, and regretting my mistakes, and now I’m doing it in Bloggerland.

It’s four months since in blissful ignorance, I posted the first blog. If I’d read any blogs first, I might have started differently, but since I knew no better, when my friendly printer said he’d got my blog ready, and now all I had to do was to write, I believed him. Four months later, having worked my way through the most obvious Blogger Complexes, I’m now swimming in deeper waters.

Yes, there is that Bloggers Delight, when a reader writes a comment that blows your socks off with its intelligence, perception, kindness or goodness. There is also the Bloggers Delight of discovering a blog that sings to you, so you click the follow button without more ado. This can happen with both photos and the written word.

Then there are the Bloggers Friendships, when a select group of like minds read your blogs regularly, and leave comments that range from encouraging to loving – a unique form of friendship, in which goodness and mercy float across the aether, blessing him that gives and him that takes.

Bloggers Dilemma is the apparent randomness of whether a post is successful or not. The blogger writes a post, anticipating a nice spike in the stats, wall to wall ‘likes’ or a rash of interested comments, only to find a flat plateau, and few ‘likes’, and nothing much in comments. This leads to Bloggers Heart-searching: was it too long? Was it too short? Why didn’t they like it? Am I writing too often? Am I writing enough? Longer or shorter gaps? Should I take it off now, or leave it a little longer?

In its most extreme form, this Bloggers Angst is likely to deteriorate into Bloggers Breast-beating:  am I a bore? Do I kid myself in thinking that what I have to say is interesting? Am I old hat? Am I irrelevant? Was it a mistake? Should I stop blogging and get myself a life again?

Looking on the bright side of things is Bloggers Fancy, the logical conclusion of that wonderful hobby of Blog Hopping. Browsing through a blog and its comments, the wit, intelligence or humanity of a comment invites you to trace that blogger, and having found her and read her stuff, finding another like minded comment, jumping to that blog, scattering ‘likes’ and ‘follow’ with gay abandon. Which means that when one of these bloggees asks how you found him or her, you have no idea by what zig-zag path you got to them.

Bloggers Fancy can thus trigger a certain amount of over-indulgence, which begins to add up to Bloggers Burden. This is when the blogger opens her e-mails and finds dozens and dozens of tantalising titles, subjects and topics, all must- reads, all demanding her attention, and too little time on her hands.

Suddenly meals arrive late, ironing piles up, business gets pushed aside, weeding is forgotten, books are unread, nights get later. This is the stage when blogging slides from a Bloggers Hobby to a Bloggers Complex, before flowering into a full blown Bloggers Addiction.

And this is when we become defensive about the amount of time we spend on the computer. We hastily switch off when partners come into the room, pretending we’ve just been reading a book, or checking something. We find ourselves making meals a little more ordinary, no time to spend slaving over a hot stove any more, whipping up some fresh mayonnaise or concocting a tasty rice dish.

Pasta becomes popular, as it’s quicker to cook than potatoes when we’ve forgotten the time. Saucepans get burned as we slip away to the computer to catch up on just a few more blogs, while the eggs boil, or the soup heats up, or the potatoes cook. Sometime later the soup is stuck to the bottom of the pan, the boiled eggs are hard as cannonballs and about to explode in an empty smoking saucepan, and the potatoes are an un-mashable soggy disintegrating pulp.

This is the dark side of blogging! There are also Bloggers Challenges. I inadvertently stumbled into an impassioned defence of guns between a macho group of far right extremists, who all agreed that Jefferson had said they could all carry guns and defend themselves, rather than that he meant they could carry guns to defend their homeland. The Challenge was to move on before becoming either depressed or dismayed by an alien culture. There are, I discover, plenty of alien cultures in Bloggerland.

But the Challenge is a necessary stage of the Bloggers Rite of Passage, when we discover that though we all share the same planet, we actually live in different worlds. Bloggers Challenge then, is to find our own world. And the funny thing is, since birds of a feather actually do flock together, we do all find our own community of kindred souls. Not quite heaven on earth, but better than limbo. And it’s called Bloggers Blessing.

Food for Threadbare Gourmets

While still plying my husband with steak and the like, I’ve given up eating meat myself in the hope of easing my arthritic hands, having tried everything else, like giving up sugar and giving up carbohydrates. Still eschewing the sugar, and hoping that the meatless regime will help. So this is one of the delicious non-meat dishes I’m enjoying.

It’s an Indonesian dish called Sambel Goreng Telor, which means eggs in coconut milk, and though it may not sound very promising, it’s actually delicious (and cheap).

This recipe is for four eggs. I use two, but still make the same amount of sauce. While the eggs are hard boiling,( and no clandestine checking of blogs) finely slice an onion, a large clove of garlic, a tomato and a red pepper. Fry the onion and when it’s beginning to soften, add the garlic, tomato, pepper, some salt and some sugar to taste, and continue to cook. Lastly add half a cup (I use a bit more) of coconut milk, and finish cooking. Slice the eggs in half and pour the sauce over. Serve with rice.

This recipe was adapted for westerners. I think that the original recipe would have used palm sugar rather than sugar – it also specified a tablespoon of sugar – this seemed a lot to me, and I used less.

Food for Thought

I love the juxtaposition of serious and ridiculous, so this parody of Kipling by Catholic priest and English writer Ronald Knox 1888 – 1957 just fits the bill:

The tumult and the shouting dies,

The captains and the kings depart,

And we are left with large supplies

Of cold blancmange and rhubarb tart

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74 Comments

Filed under addictions, bloggers, complexes, cookery/recipes, food, great days, humour, life and death, life/style, The Sound of Water, Uncategorized

74 responses to “Bloggers Addictions

  1. you have summed up the blogging world or at least how I have experienced it so well — it does become a habit and one that leaves many things undone — I have now hit a balance, but for awhile I lost my balance in this wonderful world — and your are right–sometimes we wander into other worlds that we find out are not compatible with our world, and we have to gently back away — your lovely blog is not one of those– I really enjoy you

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  2. Ah, Valerie. Why isn’t there a LOVE button I can press? This should be Freshly Pressed on WordPress immediately! Such a delight is your angst-ridden humour, I can’t even tell you how much.

    The best is your description of bloggers defensiveness and cooking habits – have you been spying on me lately? I’ve absolutely hit a block this week, finding myself too scatterbrained to function…

    Love your writing. It’s been a true Bloggers Blessing having met you here 🙂 xx

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    • Alarna Rose, how lovely to hear from you, and I do love your perceptive comments – that’s why we write ain’t it, to connect with others who understand?
      Sorry about the writers block… I find it helps to sit down and write about anything – not the work of genius we’re actually working on, but even just how breakfast tasted this morning sort of thing -and it gets the juices flowing again…You’re good at that sort of thing….

      Yes, I find it a bloggers blessing to be in touch with you too XXX

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  3. Valerie, you thrust open the window to the world you inhabit, even as you (or at least your S. O., Blogger’s Dilemma) scramble for a set of Venetian blinds to throw up as needed. I might add that we authors, especially ones who are not represented professionally, live in this same world, except it can get as bad as, “I just posted my best chapter yet, and it’s flatlining! Oh, no, does my book SUCK, or are the Blods and Bloddesses hurling lightning bolts my way? IT’S NOT FAIR!!! I WANNA GO HOME, MOMMY!!!!” Then I sign off, look at the photo of my kids on the wallpaper, and do their laundry 😎

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    • Ron, thank you so much for commenting – I enjoyed your description of the joys of being a writer! That’s why I self published my last book!
      Reading your gravatar, I realise that you are one of the people I longed to connect with on one of my Blogger Hopping forays. I’d love to hear your music for a start. But I don’t know how to connect with your blog… can you divulge this precious information, or is it classified? warm wishes

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  4. You are very funny. And insightful.

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  5. So glad you’re still alive and writing such wonderful posts for us to enjoy! 😉

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  6. What you find under search engine isn’t links but the terms people typed into a search engine which led them to you. If you want to find out about your namesake dying abroad you’ll have to type that into Google (or Bing or whatever you use) and see what turns up. I just tried it and your blog gets the top two suggestions.

    Loved the bloggers’ categories – am very aware of the need to resist the temptation to addiction.

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    • Oh, thank you so much for the useful information. When I’ve finished replying to comments, and read my blogs, I’ll go to Google, and see what;’s going on!!!!

      Good to know you enjoyed reading about our foibles and failings!

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  7. marvelous post! I see my myself all over! oh, so sweet and candid! Love the beautiful poem at the end, so wise…Love to you especially, Linda

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  8. I think you have been living inside my head of late and transcribed word for word my questions on this land I now affectionately call Blogisphere. We appear to have started blogging around the same time and sink or swim we are both keeping afloat. Although some days I must confess, I’m struggling to manage the doggie paddle. Love your posts, by the way. 🙂

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    • Sandie, thank you so much for commenting. It’s hilarous the way we all go through the same stuff, isn’t it. Your dog paddle seems a very good one to me. Good to know you enjoy reading my end, thank you…warm wishes

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  9. What a delightful post…full of wit and wisdom.

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  10. Valerie,

    What a delightful post this is! I think you worded it very well. Unfortunately, I think I’ve slipped into all these modes.

    Sunni

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  11. Hi Valerie, thanks for this fine post!

    At my blog so far, it is really unpredictable which posts will get few visits, and which ones will get many visits.

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  12. Pat

    Oh, you so made me laugh – and I can identify with all of this.
    Addicted totally.
    However, I have found an answer to the can’t do potatoes, must do pasta thing – the steamer.
    I pile everything in there in the little racks, turn on the timer and – teehee- I now have about twenty minutes when I am supposed to be in the kitchen, but can actually be on the computer. Cooked the salmon fillets in there with asparagus and so on the other day.
    Worked a treat.
    My husband came in while I was checking my stats and asked about dinner. ‘I’m waiting for the steamer to finish,’ I said as the timer pinged. I smiled and closed WordPress.
    ‘Dinner’s ready.’

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  13. I love your thoughts! I know I have entered the “dark side”. Thank goodness my husband loves pasta. 🙂

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    • It seems as though my reply to you has gone astray, looking on my blog, so if you get two replies, you’ll know this is the second!

      Lovely to read your comments… Not surprised to hear you’ve entered the addictive phase, can’t imagine how you keep up with all those gadgets and ipods and dinky new inventions. I’m awed by your expertise.
      You too with the pasta????.

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  14. Hi Valerie,
    loved today’s post. It is just so true! You summed up exactly my experience of blogging – the Angst and the self-questioning and the feeling of time-wasting and… oh yes, must go. Time to start lunch!
    Seriously though, thank you!

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    • Hell Dorothy, good to hear from you, and so glad you enjoyed the post. It’s amazing that we all go through the same experiences, and self-doubt. I should remember this, and comfort myself that I’m just one of the crowd!
      Enjoy your lunch!

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    • Hello Dorothy, good to hear from you, and so glad you enjoyed the post. It’s amazing that we all go through the same experiences, and self-doubt. I should remember this, and comfort myself that I’m just one of the crowd!
      Enjoy your lunch!

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  15. I giggled all the way through this post. Everyone who writes can surely relate. The time spent creating a post is only the beginning isn’t it? Going through all the posts I follow is sometimes beyond me, especially Mondays when I receive the digests. I just don’t want to miss anything! So much to learn here 🙂 –
    As for the pesky arthritis I believe you are on the right track at least with the coconut milk. On LinkedIn there was a 85 year doctor and a similarly aged pharmacist that were drinking half a can of coconut milk daily, with notable improvements in 3 weeks. I bought the milk but have yet to try it.

    See you ’round the dark side lol

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    • Lovely to hear from you, and so glad you had a good giggle. I love to know that other people find life funny too!
      Yes, I know exactly what you mean, I simply can’t resist reading everything, I too don’t want to miss anything!
      Interesting about the coconut milk, thank you.. don’t think I can drink it, but love using it in cooking.
      Yes, keep blogging on!

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  16. Hilarious and insightful – do continue! 🙂 A holiday and time away is great for perspective I have found, too much routine and a blog can become just that. Thoughts are merely that, watch them come, watch them go, replace them with something else and keep sharing them – we are all enjoying yours!

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    • Claire, thank you so much for your perceptive comments, glad you enjoyed the fun!
      You sounded as though you were describing meditation,, and you’re so right, it’s the antidote to all addictions.And thank you for your encouragement.
      Was your holiday your trip to London? that would certainly have taken your mind off blogging!

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      • Well there was the family holiday (a week luxury camping – i.e. with beds, electricity, tiled floor etc) in Ramatuelle and then the work trip, come restorative visit to London, both valued and appreciated in their different ways, the latter always inspirational.

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  17. ‘We hastily switch off when partners come into the room, pretending we’ve just been reading a book, or checking something.’
    Love this snapshot!!

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  18. Imagine…perhaps the blogosphere is actually purgatory! So we are all there, contemplating life and our choices before moving on. I think I have a fair bit more contemplating to do as I don’t see myself moving on anytime soon. 🙂
    Cheers,
    Laura

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    • Laura, good to hear from you – no, well you still have a lot of advice to give us all on the cut of our trousers, and what colours to wear, so we couldn’t spare you from purgatory for a while -what are the best colours for a life in purgatory anyway?!?

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      • Interesting question…I think RED! Some may say black but that is too gloomy. Red would keep everyone alert and thinking. A lot of red would have everyone a little edgy, which seems kind of appropriate for purgatory. Yellow or orange are too sunny and joyous. blue and green too relaxing and purple far too regal for purgatory…has to be red! I suppose if I am useful here in purgatory I can stick around for awhile longer. 🙂

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      • That is one of my favorite tgnhis about working with my trainer. She always has me do tgnhis that do not require expensive/heavy gym equipment. Things I can do anywhere. Today, in fact, she had me doing football drills (running quickly in place and shuffling) and burpees (awful name, by the way) in addition to *many* other tgnhis. LOL-Erica

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  19. Wonderful post! Any serious blogger can related. I have been blogging for over a year and I still feel the same way with the same insecurities and addictions. Some wonderful bloggers that started the same time I did have stopped completely. The blogging world is not for weenies! So glad we found each other and (as you said) I have no idea how that happened!

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    • Kate, lovely to hear from you. I’m interested in what you say abut people who began blogging when you did.. I suppose it is challenging when you put it like that. But it’s also so full of interest and fun, and fascination… couldn’t imagine life now without all these conversations, beautiful photos, intriguing points of view and flowing information .
      Yes, so good to be in touch – I must have been blog-hopping.!!!..

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  20. Delighted to hear that you are still alive and blogging! And thank you for the wonderful recipe (I am also a vegetarian and always looking for new, interesting recipes).

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  21. Alice

    The connections tell the story.

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  22. Oh I love this one 🙂 We’ve all been there, so perceptive

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  23. Another of your delightful posts! I join others and rejoice that you are alive and still blogging! 🙂

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
    http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

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  24. Another terrific post from the very much alive Valerie Davies♥ Keep living, keep writing, keep inspiring!

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    • Oh Sharla, you’re one of the most encouraging, inspiring bloggers on the block! And you even have a clever computer with a little heart key. Thank you as ever, for your wonderful enthusiasm and encouragement – it makes me feel good to be alive still!!!

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  25. Oh wow Valerie– this post!!!!! I am so glad you exposed this unique and incredible addiction for what it truly is. I have been so confused and torn — especially with my health issues– I don;t want to miss a thing — don’t want to distance from the blogsphere – but it is also as you say — all consuming and for me physically tough at times… not to mention distracting (which often is a blessing). I will have to try the recipe Sambel Goreng Telor–sounds right up my alley! Thank you for this stupendous post!! xx Robyn

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    • Dear Robyn,
      just checking through my chaotic system, and discovered that i hadn’t replied to your lovely comments, I really appreciated what you said, and your encouragement. Do hope your health issues resolve themselves, and that you don’t find the blogging world too challenging for you.
      Hope you enjoyed the sambel goreng telor, if you tried it Thinking of you, with warm wishes, Valerie

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  26. Valerie, too freaky as you could have been me writing. Soo funny. By the Way, you have great responses to your posts and great numbers of comments…you are doing wonderfully….I wish I had that many comments…but I just go with it and try not to worry and analyze tho if there are not many comments but quite a lot of likes, I’m not sure how to interpret that. Keep going girl, you are doing great things. Regards Leanne

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    • Leanne, I know how you feel… it’s a very unpredictable experience blogging, isn’t it. As you say we just have to keep going doing our own thing. and accepting that others march to a different drum. Ah well, c’est la vie…
      Thank you for all your encouragement. I think your writing will reach the people who can hear what you’re saying. There are a lot of young people in the blogging world who relate to other young people, and accept their opinions as wisdom. They wouldn’t understand what you are saying, so just keep on, keeping on, and enjoy it. Forget the number -crunching!

      (What good advice – I think I’ll try it myself! )

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  27. Hallelujah Sister! I am an addict too! I stress when my stats are down and yet I try and convince myself that I don’t care who reads my blog! I love the cyber friendships that have been forged. It is such a relief sharing my burden and victories with the world.
    Problem:- I have started reading “How to Blog” blogs and articles and it has truly stressed me when I realized that I have no training or experience to write. I may be making grammatical errors etc etc etc. I am writing in my second language… That is when I decided that, all though I may not be able to control my stats compulsion, I am blogging for me! I love the world of blogging and I will continue to blog in my own inept way. It is for me…
    I agree that this post should be Word Pressed and if I could nominate you I would.
    I love your blog!

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    • Great to hear from you, and yes, we all have the same insecurities and concerns, don’t we? I love the comradeship of blogging, and the friendship and encouragement. We are the only critics of ourselves!
      Thank heavens I’ve never read any of the helpful articles about how to blog- that little worry has passed me by!
      Sounds to me as though you’ve found your point of balance..enjoying it is what it’s all about…. this blog was the second half – I wrote a previous one called Bloggers Complexes, if you’re interested. Everyone feels the same from the comments!!!
      I think your blog is great – I couldn’t write in a second language – you’re amazingg
      And thank you so much for your encouragement to me

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  28. I am a new follower, and as you said in this blog, don’t know where I found you.

    Has anybody had this experience: you’re asked what you do. You say,”I’m a writer.” Immediately comes the question: “What did you write?” I would like to name a best seller and say I wrote it, but do any of you feel that we are second class citizens for merely writing blogs?

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    • HI there, great to connect with you..

      About your query, whenever anyone asks me what I’m writing, I just smile and say I never talk about my writing, not even to my husband, because it’s so hard to explain the creative process – or words like that…. they nod as thought they understand, and let it go…
      is that any help????
      I don’t mention blogging, I get sick of the sniggers and patronising smiles – like admitting that you read Georgette Heyer, which I discussed in a previous blog called ‘ Mental Knitting’. All the best ….

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  29. Bloggers addiction, so easy to slide there…Insecurities toward our posts? Haven’t we all gone through that? It is so easy to identify with your writing.
    I hope you don’t find me intrusive this time round if I ask you, did you ever think about macrobiotics for health issues? I have to admit it is not easy to follow on a regular basis.

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  30. HI there, apologies for my tardy reply, my life is running faster than I can catch up at the moment!
    Thank you for the macrobiotics suggestion, I do follow it to some extent, especially avoiding the nightshade family!!! But some aspects don’;t agree with me – I’m actually not too good on the grains… I’ve tried Vedic – no mushrooms onions and a host of other things, Pritikin, the Zone – you name it, I’ve done it!!!
    But I’m actually getting on top of my health issues with some deep spiritual work, which is a real thrill… arthritis being ancient self judgement and bitterness… forgiving myself and other aspects, is really helping miraculously.
    Lovely to be in touch….Hope you’re keeping well

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  31. Valerie,
    You nailed this one! Anf from the looks of it…. hit a chord with at least sixtyfive more of us + one! You said it perfectly. I for one, have not stopped to read the other responses yet because I am clamoring to get my reply in as well but I am here an hour early to “write” or my version of it… you see… when I hit 100 blogs I have made myself promise to finish the last four chapters of my novel I have been working on. It sits waiting for me patiently.. and as I begin my own “little” following of readers, checking my stats… saying this blogging business is just me stretching or exercising my own writing muscles I must say that I GET you. I keep saying to myself: NO MORE FOLLOWING but I was only half way through this one before I found myself looking for the FOLLOW button!!! I can’t wait to read more and from what you have already said in this one, I will probably fill my morning reading them!!! Love your writing style! Glad to have found you!

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    • What a lovely comment, I really appreciate all that you’ve said, and I’m really looking forward to getting to know you and following you… it feels like having a new friend., warm wishes, Valerie..

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  32. Pingback: Bloggers’ Addictions and expensive eating « Homepaddock

  33. Your well-written post certainly tells it like it is. Each blogger has to find their own pathway through the blogger jungle. I’m really glad our paths have crossed!

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  34. Valerie, your comment today on my blog was gorgeous – Thank you. This post of yours is so true! I especially subscribe to the shutting of the laptop as hubby walks in the door from work… I’d hate for him or anyone for that matter, to think I was neglecting the kids for it!!

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  35. HI there, well all the pictures on your blog were just wonderful, and took me back years to my grandchildren childhood –
    Glad you enjoyed bloggers addictions – we all seem to go through the same stages don’t we! nil desperandum!!!!

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  36. I find myself in every expression you made here about bloggers, even though I am just starting, for the second time. I love the blogger addiction expression, you switch off PC when your partner comes in…..had to laugh out loud, happens to me time and again, even my kids are telling me I am a PC addict. But after one of my sons died in may 2012 (21 years) I find so much comfort in writing my blog, reading blogs, finding new bloggers, who inspire me and keep me on going with all the wise words, inspiring and lovely quotes. I even spend more time in the blogger world than on Facebook……I just love it…

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    • Thank you so much for your friendly comments.. yes blogging is very absorbing is’nt it? It did me good to step back from it for a month or so, and come back slightly less addicted! Good luck with your Addiction!!!!

      Like

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