Weekend WrapUp, Simple Pleasures Edition

It's Monday already! I'm back to work as usual; since I work in a hospital, we obviously don't get the same days off that most people do. But that's ok - holiday pay!
I had another simple but wonderful weekend.
On Friday afternoon, I dropped my teenage daughter off at my best friend's house so that she could spend the weekend with HER best friend, who is MY best friend's daughter! Andrew went to his Grandma's, Tim was hanging out with a friend, so it was just me and Elayna at home for a while. A very sweet simple pleasure.
On Saturday, we went to the Garage Sale fundraiser for Elayna's softball team. We were supposed to do a car wash as well, but the person who owned the business does car washing/detailing and said that the girls would take business from him.
Although we noticed that he did not wash ONE car the entire time we were there!
Anyway, we still had our garage sale and made a NICE amount of money! John, Elayna and I had a nice time there talking with the softball parents and customers.
Then we went home and jumped in the pool! I also washed & hung out clothes and did other little chores and John mowed the lawn. While he was mowing, he discovered that the entire fence line on one side of our yard is COVERED with blackberry bushes! Only a few were ripe, but there are tons of them that will be ripe very soon. Blackberry recipes, anyone?? I brought a bowl to pick some berries but ended up eating them before they ever made it to the bowl. =) Simple pleasure!
On Sunday, we slept in...{way in....} then got up and went shopping for our cookout. We spent another day in the yard and the pool, and I picked some peppers off of my pepper plant, which we later had with our dinner! YUM! Our dinner was tilapia, hot dogs, corn, and asparagus on the grill, and pasta salad. It was delish! And thankfully we have a screened in back porch, because it STORMED which would've ruined our cookout otherwise! It was a day full of simple pleasures.

So tomorrow, our Memorial Day will be spent like most other Mondays, but we have two young men whom we love dearly that are in the military and we will be praying for them, and remembering our loved ones who have served in the past.
I hope yours is memorable & enjoyable!

If you blogged about your weekend - LINK UP HERE!



Mommy's Idea

Another Friday has rolled around, and I am so happy to see it! I'm not working overtime tonight, so I actually get a 'real' weekend. WOOT WOOT!
I didn't Frag last Friday and I have a lot to frag about today, so put on your fragging glasses and get ready!

I got a huge response to my last post, Blogging DON'Ts: What NOT to do if you want people to actually read your blog! 46 comments at last count....not that I count comments or anything...heh heh. I want to thank all of my friends who commented on the original question, whom I linked to in the post....I literally could not have done that post without you all, because I wanted it to be based on the opinion of several bloggers, not just little old me! And most of the commenters were very appreciative of the advice. So, thank you all!
That post was a little labor-intensive, so I am behind on commenting on your blogs, as well as replying to my comments & emails, so please bear with me while I attempt to catch up! xoxo

I recently discovered this amazing blog, Gerber Days. I can't believe I'd never visited her before! Among lots of awesomeness, on her sidebar she has a link to the instructions for making all-natural, all-purpose cleaner. I was really excited to make some of my own, so last weekend, I did just that, and I LOVE this stuff! I love lavender so I used that essential oil for scent. It smells so amazing that I literally walk around LOOKING for things to clean with this cleaner! It's super-cheap and works great, and is very easy to make. And totally awesome!

A nurse just came up and asked me: "What's the number to the ED (Emergency Department)?" and I said.............


Ha ha ha ha! I crack me up!

Tomorrow we're having a garage sale & car wash for the All*Star softball team! I think we'll have a good time with that. So come get your car washed!! Other than that, we plan on hanging by the pool during this long weekend, working on the yard & garden, and cooking out!

And now it's time for - - - -

I love Facebook. Yesterday I posted this:
Cyndy N*** E***: Im considering switching my kids' pediatrician. do you have a great one that you love? please tell me who you recommend.

Shortly thereafter, I had 10 comments, several highly recommending the same pediatrician/practice, and one of my high school friends works there! So, tomorrow I get to call and start the process of switching over! I seriously love Facebook!

I posted this the other day which got a lot of "Likes" and Comments:
Cyndy N*** E***: So we saw a dead deer on the side of the road and i told john "i hope you drive carefully when youre going home at night." his reply: "nope! i turn my headlights off, put on a blindfold, close my eyes, and steer with my feet."

Which will help you understand why I had posted THIS just the day before:
Cyndy N*** E***: Reason #523128 why I love John: he makes me laugh so hard my stomach hurts almost every day. =D

We have so much fun doing even the most mundane tasks like running errands & paying bills. We're like peas & carrots!

I posted a fun & yummy recipe over at Southern Loving this week! Check out Toad in the Hole.

If you have my button on your blog and I don't have yours, please let me know and I will be glad to add yours to my collection! Don't be shy; I love buttons!

Alright my friends, although I could probably frag some more, I think this post is quite long enough! I'll leave you to enjoy your Friday, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Don't foret to visit Half Past Kissin Time for more Friday Fragments!


Blogging Don'ts: What NOT to do if you want people to actually read your blog!

Recently, I was purging my reader, removing some of the blogs that are never updated any more, and also some of the ones that, for whatever reason, I don't want to read any more. I started thinking of the main things that make me decide to stop reading other blogs, and wondered if my readers felt the same way I did about these things. So I posed a question on this post:

I've ready many posts of "what to do" advice on blogging. But recently I thought of a few things that are good examples of what NOT to do in the blog world. So my question for you is,
What is something (or a few things) that another blogger can do to make it unlikely that you will continue to follow or read their blog?

And my readers definitely weighed in!
So I'm going to share these with you, so that maybe if you're inadvertently committing some of these bloggy faux pas, you will see the error of your ways. {Or, totally continue on as you were because you don't care what anyone thinks, so neener neener! Whatever floats your boat.}

Several of my bloggy friends are not fans of frequent reviews and giveaways. To quote Rebecca Jo from Knit By God's Hand: " when a blog is just about promoting stuff & not about someone & their life - & what they REALLY use in life - not to JUST get free stuff... I mean, I dig people who have a giveaway every now & then - or talk about things they use.. .but for EVERY entry to turn into a marketing tool - no thank you.. that's why I have DVR, to fast forward through commercials! :)" I could NOT agree more! The occasional giveaway or review is fine, but when a blog becomes nothing but giveaways, (or maybe there's just a 'real' post thrown in every now and then to throw you off)...that's when I remove them from my reader. My friend Kat at Seeking Sanity feels the same way, saying "I like to read about peoples' lives." Me too, that's one of my favorite things about blogging.
Shawna at My Girls is not a fan of multiple sidebar ads.
Melani from Serena & Brandon's Playhouse does not like it when bloggers slam other bloggers. Whether it's a blog friend or a real-life friend, and even if they don't mention someone by name, often the person knows they are the one being slammed and in my opinion, that's just cowardly and dirty, so I totally agree with Melani - that's an automatic UNfollow!
And on a similar topic, Elizabeth Sheryl said: "I really dislike it when bloggers will attack another blogger, especially when its petty. A lot of people diss on popular bloggers, especially if they make good money at it, and nit pick at any little thing. It just reeks of jealousy and turns me off." Totally agree - that's all about jealousy!
Shell at Things I Can't Say is not a fan of auto-reply, and neither am I; if you can't reply personally, don't bother!
Mama Wheaton said that some blogs are so personal and seem directed to the blogger's family, just to update them on their lives. In that case, she feels like she is invading the blogger's privacy and tends to stop reading. I have read blogs like that as well, and felt the same.
My friend Tammie of Irregular Tammie has a few peeves: when bloggers focus almost exclusively on one topic (like pregnancy); bad writing; and then....the big one.
The one that came up in so many comments, and the one that was on my mind when I asked this question.
BUT....Tammie's take on it is different than most; she doesn't mind if a blogger she likes doesn't comment on her blog. She definitely loves comments, but she doesn't want anyone to feel obligated to comment on her blog, and loves the process of blogging itself most of all.
Kristin from The Goat also doesn't mind not getting reciprocal comments. She understands that the bloggers she enjoys may not enjoy her blog, and that's ok with her. (she does, however, hate white writing on black backgrounds, foul language, and poop talk! So take note!)
I agree with Tammie and Kristin, but with an exception - if I am a regular commenter, and you don't want to read/comment on my blog, that's fine, but at least take a moment to reply to the comments I leave on your blog. I am not one to leave "just saying hi" type comments; I put thought and concern into my words. I am interested in your life. Especially if I ask a direct question, or offer you congratulations, prayers, support.....it is just common courtesy to at least answer my question or say "Thank You". I know how hard it is to keep up; while I am not wildly popular, I am a wildly busy mom, working full time and taking care of a large zoo family. But I try really hard to either comment back or reply to comments as much as I can. I think it's important; for me, blogging is about writing AND relationships; that's what makes it uniquely wonderful!
My friend Cat from Juggling Act of Life cut straight to the point: "I stop reading if someone never comments on mine. I mean, what's the point then?" The Grasshoppa will do the same. She also does not like blogs that automatically play music. I don't like that either, but it's not an automatic deal-breaker for me, just reeeeally annoying!
Tree from Mother of Pearl It Is (and several other great blogs!) said: "Oh, and I will always stay following someone that leaves me comment luv frequently, or at least acts like they read my blog!" I love it!
Debby at Just Breathe has a slightly different take on that. "As I work on getting my reading of blogs down I would have to say that at some point I need to let go of those who seldom/never really visit me because they like what they read. They only come over because I came over. I do find that several people that I follow I may not always comment on their post. I just don't follow some of the meme's for the day. I don't like to watch music videos that are 5 min. long. That doesn't mean I stop following them, I just don't read that day. I don't want to comment if I can't give the post 100% of myself."
I thought about this, and I agree. I don't mind an occasional quicky comment just to let me know you're still around, but if you're just visiting me because you feel obligated to do so, then I think I'd rather you not do that. If nothing about my post speaks to you enough to leave a real thought, it's ok not to comment that day. Maybe my next post will spark your interest more!
Oh, and I rarely watch videos at all. That's just not my thing, sorry!

I really hope that this post will help you all in some way; either giving you new ideas for your own blogging & commenting, giving you some tips on what not to do....or maybe just helping you clear out your reader some without feeling guilty! We all have our "deal-breakers" and that's OK; that's what makes the blogosphere go around!


Versatile Blogger Award

While I had a busy and enjoyable weekend, there isn't much to report here. So instead, I'm going to accept my newest award, and pass it on. Then, I have a couple of questions for YOU.

I received the Versatile Blogger Award from my friend Trac @ Welcome to Our World.

Thanks, Trac!

The rules for " The Versatile Blogger" award are:

1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic!
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

(A note from Betty: Rules are flexible, in case you're not good with rules!)

Seven things about myself:

1. I love classic rock. I listen to it at work and it makes me mellow.
2. I started wanting to work in the medical field when my first child was born. I've been in this field now for over 3½ years, and I love it.
3. My job can be very interesting...there are so many times that I want to blog about things, but can't because of privacy laws. It would be fascinating, I assure you!
4. I love true crime books, and if I weren't in the medical field I think I'd want to be in the criminal law field. I would LOVE to be the next Ann Rule!
5. My hubby and I just celebrated our 6 year dating anniversary. Time has flown!
6. I have bizarre, vivid dreams on a regular basis. Yesterday I dreamed that I was dating Tim Tebow. Guess I forgot that I was married and almost old enough to be his mother?! John and I got a good laugh out of that. (yes, I can tell my hubby about stuff like that!)
7. My favorite color is purple. This weekend I got a new purple handbag and ordered "Purple Passion" checks & address labels. Totally took me to my happy place!

Whew! That was seriously hard and took me forever, I'm just not a very interesting person!
I have recently discovered a bunch of new blogs, and they're all wonderful so go check 'em out! Pretty please on sugar pops (as my son used to say)! And to those of you featured here, if you're not into awards/memes, just skip it, no biggie!

1. Crystal @ Wanna Be Balanced Mom
2. Tylaine @ Just Me
3. Shelley T @ The Trials of Big J & Little J
4. Mrs Mayhem @ Mothering Mayhem
5. Melani @ Serena & Brandon's Playhouse
6. Shawna @ My Girls
7. Alexis @ Running Away? I'll Help You Pack!
8. Frantic Mommy @ Frantic Mommy
9, Tree @ Mother of Pearl It Is
10. Rebecca Jo @ Knit by God's Hand
11. Myya @ Myya Says
12. Cheryl D @ Little Bit Quirky
13. Gina @ Mother of 1 Princess & 2 Princes
14. Daffy @ Batcrap Crazy
15. Shell @ Things I Can't Say

Wow, I thought I'd have trouble coming up with 15 but I could keep going!

So, here is my question for you. I've ready many posts of "what to do" advice on blogging. But recently I thought of a few things that are good examples of what NOT to do in the blog world. So my question for you is,
What is something (or a few things) that another blogger can do to make it unlikely that you will continue to follow or read their blog?
Thanks for your input!



Sometimes I go through rough spots. Everyone does. Some rougher than others. It's only natural to complain. To wonder why. Sometimes I gripe and moan and wonder why me?
And then.....sigh.
And then.

I read about this.

(please take a moment to click and read.)

Or this.

(please take a moment to click and read.)

And this.
(please take a moment to click and read.)

And I know that I am blessed, and need to shut my mouth and give thanks for what I have, and prayers for all of those in need. For there are so very many out there who are suffering, struggling, grieving, barely surviving.

And then I'm back again to wondering, why?


Wordful Wednesday ~ Meet Meep!

Well, hello, humans!

My name is Misty, but people around here call me Meep.

Just because I couldn't say the word "meow" when I first got here.
So I said "Meep", and now I guess I'll never live it down!

All they ever want to do is take my picture.
I know I'm cute, but give me a break! I need my cutie sleep!

Enough already! Call off the paparazzi!

It's rough being incredibly adorable. *wink-wink*


{Visit Angie for more Wordful Wednesday posts!}


Follow Me Back Tuesday!

BWS tips button

It's the second week of Follow Me Back Tuesday, but my first time joining in! A great way to find awesome blogs & gain more followers for your own!
Follow Me Back Tuesday is hosted by Survey Junkie, Little Yaya's, Review Retreat & Boobies,BabiesAndABlog..
So visit one of them to join in the fun!


Snail Mail Project & Weekend WrapUp

I've been working on matching up partners for the Snail Mail Project and I'm almost done. There's just one hitch - I have an uneven number of participants! So if there's anyone else who wants to join in please let me know! Remember that it's ongoing, so it doesn't matter when you sign up.
Also, there were a couple of you who didn't leave me any contact information.
So, Miel Abeille and The Preschool Teacher, please send me an email with your email address so that I can give it to your partner! Thank you! Also, Jenn from Seizing My Day, I can't locate an email address for you (your comments come up as "No Reply" in my inbox).
Other than that, if you signed up and have not received partner info from me, please let me know so I can fix that. And thank you all for participating!


This weekend, for the most part, was pretty uneventful, but in a good way.
Friday was Shelbie's 8th grade social, and I left my camera in the car......the car that John took to work! So I have no pictures. *sigh* However, I'm going to dress her up again and take some and post them later! She had a really good time; that's the most important part!

Saturday was spent working in the house and yards. The entire day!

Sunday, I slept most of the day because I could NOT sleep on Saturday night for some odd reason.

Anyway, it was a nice relaxing weekend, which I think we all really needed! I do have a few pics to share.

my boys gave me potted flowers for Mother's Day, and we planted them in the front of the house.

one of my favorite plants, purple heart, growing wild by a tree

Elayna the All Star, practicing for softball

Shelbie was helping Elayna practice....and goofing around a lot too!

I hope you all had a great weekend,
and don't forget to sign up for the Snail Mail Project if you'd like!

If you posted about your weekend, link up here!


Friday Fragments ~ All Over the Place!

Mommy's Idea

Good Friday morning! This week has been kind of 'meh' and I'm ready for the weekend.
As most of you know, Mrs 4444's hosts Friday Fragments every Friday. She says it will help clear your head and unclutter your mind, and I am ALL ABOUT THAT! So off I go.

~~> Speaking of Friday Fragments, I was one of Mrs 4444's Favorite Friday Fragmenters from last week! This is my second time receiving this honor. I'd like to thank the Academy....no seriously, my BFF Danielle for giving me that Fragment! She is a HOOT!

~~> Do you like my kitten divider I'm using this week? There's a reason I chose that one. We have a new family member!
Meet Elayna's new kitten, Misty.

I only planned on taking a couple of pics of her, but I swear, this cat posed, smiled, winked, and turned it into a total photo shoot! So there will be more pics to come!

~~> I'm sure that a lot of you already know about Monkey, but since the blogosphere is so vast, I wanted to make sure and talk about her here. Monkey is the daughter of a blogger, Momma's Pixie Dreams, and she was just diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. This family needs our prayers and support!

~~> Tonight is Shelbie's 8th Grade Social. Or as I've nicknamed it, Mini Prom. These girls go all out! I think it will be a really fun experience. {I also think my debit card shed a tear after all the shopping I've done. Or maybe that was sweat I saw? Not sure.} Anyway....pictures to come next week!

~~> Other than that, we have no plans this weekend. None. And I am very happy about that!

~~> If you missed my posts from earlier this week, please go back and check out the Snail Mail Project that I have started. I'm very excited about it! I'll be matching up partners next week, but there's no deadline to enter; it's an ongoing project and as long as people sign up, they will get matched up! It's going to be FUN!

~~> And I do believe that's a wrap. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! And don't forget to visit Mrs 4444's at Half Past Kissin' Time for more Friday Fragments.