“mahalo”…to my followers…

Hawaiian for…Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

It always amazes me when another “follower” hops aboard hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul. 

No kidding! 

There are millions of awesome writers and photographers on WordPress. Capturing even a fraction of them with a post or two is mind-boggling. To have them sign up for more than that is beyond comprehension. Truly…beyond hugmamma’s comprehension.

I’m not sure how others with as many as a thousands followers…or more…even begin to repay all the visitors to their blogs. That alone could be a full-time job. When do they have time to live? 

I tip my hat in homage to those who can keep one hand permanently affixed to their keyboard, while fulfilling all their other obligations with the other hand. I’m not one of them. Never will be.

Taking time out every now and then to thank those who consider my writing worth reading is what I can manage without totally upsetting mine and my family’s pineapple cart. That and including as many as WordPress will allow in my community of photos in the left-hand margin of hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul. BTW…if you click on a photo, you’ll be magically transported to that blog site…for more personal stories.

One other thing I try to do faithfully is repay visits to those who click “like” on my posts and/or leave comments. I figure if they take the time…so should I. It may take me a while, but I try very hard to keep this promise to myself. Even as family and pets call my name…”Mama! Mama!”

In further appreciation, I’ll remember all of you in a collective prayer. 

…for you…hope, joy, and peace…always!croppedphoto

………hugmamma.

 

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mahalo…from my heart

With 2014 well under way, I’ve been remiss in failing to thank all who have made this journey with me. As mentioned in my recent post nurturing thursdays: choices…changes…part 2, I hope to continue writing and blogging for a long, long time. 

As one of hundreds of thousands…more probably millions…of baby boomers “coming of age,” I don’t take my life on earth for granted. Not for one minute.

So before I breathe my next grateful breath for being alive, I’d like to hug each and every one of you for following me…for “liking” me…for leaving thoughtful comments.

Writers care that they are read…and I am no exception.

…from my heart…to yours…with love and gratitude…

………hugmamma.March 2011 00135

for always being there…

…A GREAT BIG THANK YOU!!! Yes, yes…I mean you!

Whether or not I’m all present and accounted for, you seem always to be there…hovering…waiting…poised to pounce…when finally my fingers hit the keyboard once again, and my postings fly fast and furious.

I’m only one of millions of bloggers who thrive on having our voices echo throughout cyberspace. Without visitors like you, storytellers like me would cease to exist.

So please…take a bow…pat yourselves on the back…lift a glass of vintage bubbly, or chug-a-lug that amber draft…admire your magnificent reflection in the bathroom mirror…nibble on that sinful, chocolate-covered strawberry, or savor the delicate flavor of Russian caviar. Whatever makes you happiest…please…indulge.

It’s my turn to…honor you…for your…

…staying power…god bless!!!…

………hugmamma

English: Convenience food Why bend the neck to...

appreciate your loyalty…big time!!!

Almost a month has elapsed since I spent my days blogging away contentedly. I must admit my neck, back and shoulders got a much needed break from the long hours I’d spend hunched over my laptop keyboard. If your eyes have been glued to your computer screen in recent days trying to digest my thriller about bedbugs, then you’ll understand my long absence from hugmamma’s mind, body and soul. Let’s just say I was out making memories, however forgettable I wish they were. At my age you’d think I’d have enough life experiences not to need more to feel like an adult. I thought 61 years was a pretty solid foundation upon which to rest my laurels. But apparently not.

Since my daughter’s apartment, both of them actually, were in total disarray, and because  we were faced with the overwhelming task of moving her furnishings out of storage, and sanitizing everything before moving them into her new place, blogging was the furthest thing from my mind. Besides which we tried not to spend more time than was necessary where the bedbugs resided, the old apartment. Unfortunately, that’s also where the internet was still hooked up. Not until a new desk we’d purchased was assembled and in place, did my daughter want to relocate her computer and cable connection. All this to say I couldn’t blog even if I’d wanted to do so. I’m sure you’ll understand when I say…that was the last thing on my mind.

Cat Rambo

Image by Cat Sparx via Flickr

When I finally did sit down to log onto hugmamma’s mind, body and soul, I was very surprised, and very delighted, to find that my subscribers had remained loyal. I was certain the list would have dwindled alongside my dwindling posts. As other bloggers will confirm, “site stats” are an important indicator of a blog’s viability. While views declined as I expected, it was indeed humbling to see that I’d picked up another few subscribers, while hanging on to past subscribers. It reiterated, for me, the words of my Blogging 101 instructor, Cat Rambo. “Write something of value, and readers will come.”

So I thank each and every one of you who continue to make me feel my words are of value. I’m unable to publicly recognize all, for there are those who subscribe via particular posts, and friends and family who subscribe via email, neither of which I’m capable of reproducing below. But know that I include you, about 90, among the following WordPress subscribers whose gravatars I am able to show.

estherlou
http://estherlou.wordpress.com/
2 days, 20 hours ago
Blogging Blueprints
http://generatemasstraffic.blogspot.com/
1 month, 2 weeks ago
carvingoutavoice
http://carvingoutavoice.wordpress.com
1 month, 3 weeks ago
Blogging Blueprint
http://qtwt.us/2ift
1 month, 3 weeks ago
nuvofelt
http://chittlechattle.wordpress.com
1 month, 4 weeks ago
frizztext
http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com
2 months ago
OneAngryBytch
http://oneangrybytch.wordpress.com
2 months, 1 week ago
easylifestyles
http://easy-lifestyles.blogspot.com
2 months, 2 weeks ago
littlenavyfish
http://givemestories.wordpress.com
3 months ago
dogear6 3 months ago
carloscollazo06
http://carloscollazo06.wordpress.com
3 months ago
Redneckprincess
http://redneckprincess.wordpress.com
3 months, 1 week ago
Marion Driessen
http://mariondriessen.wordpress.com
3 months, 1 week ago
Beneath The Tin Foil Hat
http://tinfoilhatman45.wordpress.com
3 months, 1 week ago
HaleyWhitehall
http://haleywhitehall.wordpress.com
3 months, 2 weeks ago
sagechronicles
http://sagechronicles.wordpress.com/
3 months, 3 weeks ago
jeanne
http://nolagirlatheart.wordpress.com
3 months, 3 weeks ago
Jackie Paulson Author
http://postadaychallenge2011.wordpress.com/
3 months, 3 weeks ago
CMSmith
http://randomthoughtsfrommidlife.wordpress.com
3 months, 4 weeks ago
literaryescape
http://literaryescape.wordpress.com
4 months ago
Isabelle
http://myenglishthought.wordpress.com
4 months, 1 week ago
hakea
http://hakea.wordpress.com
4 months, 3 weeks ago
Steph
http://coolbluedudette.wordpress.com
4 months, 4 weeks ago
Northwestgimp
http://northwestgimp.wordpress.com
5 months, 1 week ago
Keith Kamisugi
http://keithpr.wordpress.com/
5 months, 2 weeks ago
mecwrites25
http://mecwrites25.wordpress.com
6 months, 2 weeks ago
fussymissy 7 months, 3 weeks ago

..how can i go wrong…with so many friends who…”have my back”…hugmamma. 🙂 …mahalo nui loa…aloha from the bottom of my heart!!!

for letting me “overflow,” huge thanks

It’s been awhile since I’ve reached out to thank faithful readers of hugmamma’s mind, body and soul. Views have surpassed any number I would have imagined possible for me, a 61-year old wannabee writer wanting to give voice to my thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Any blogger will tell you, as any author of books would, that readers are an important part of the equation. I take that back, they’re actually an essential element for any blogger or writer’s success. At least that’s my opinion. Others may feel they do just fine in isolation.

In July I’ll have been blogging a year. If I felt my readers were done with listening to what I say, I might decide to take it down a notch and pursue other avenues for my passion. My WordPress experience has been the best by far, having started on Blogger.com with  no comments to the 35 posts I wrote, after which I was on Oprah.com where I felt well received, and where joining community discussions was easily accomplished. But with her transition to OWN TV, Oprah‘s blog became more like a stepchild. Hence my transition to WordPress.com.

I want to thank all those who have subscribed to my blog, whether by email or rss feed or any other avenue with which I’m technologically unfamiliar. Following are those who I know for sure who subscribe.

The WordPress bloggers include:

frizztext  
OneAngryBytch  
easylifestyles  
littlenavyfish  
dogear6  
carloscollazo06  
Redneckprincess  
Marion Driessen  
Beneath The Tin Foil Hat  
HaleyWhitehall  
sagechronicles  
jeanne  
Jackie Paulson Author  
CMSmith  
literaryescape  
My English Thoughts  
hakea  
Steph  
Northwestgimp  
Keith Kamisugi  
mecwrites25  
fussymissy  
 

I congratulate all of these bloggers who are also following their own voices. Family and friends have also subscribed, but where I once knew who you all were, I no longer seem able to identify you as that capacity seems to have been removed from my blog. But you know who you are, and I thank you all for supporting me all this time…from the bottom of my hearts. The same applies to all, and there are many, who have subscribed by rss feed who are not within the WordPress community. I thank you as well, for wanting to stay connected.

I hope I’ve kept you entertained while I’ve satisfied my need to unload all these words which would otherwise have exploded like magma from a volcano.

mahalo for letting me overflow into your lives…and let’s see where life takes us…hugmamma.

counting my blessings

On my recent flight home, I overheard a fellow passenger remark “It’s good to get away, but it’s always good to come home…sleep in my own bed.” Amen! Again I say, Amen! So this seems as good a time as any to reflect upon that for which I’m very thankful, beginning with…

  • The memory foam mattress that snuggles up against all the contours of my body, as though I was sleeping on a cloud. Now if only I could lay my brain beside me, so it too could get a good night’s rest. Maybe then I’d slumber peacefully, rather than thinking what next to write.
  • My husband’s affection pulling me into a huge bear hug. Just where I belong, until death do us part…not even then.
  • Crouching down beside Mocha, the doggie “love of my life,” to whisper “sweet nothings” in her ear. 
  • Lovingly stroking the length of Sitka, Juneau and Sunkist, as they stretch up to share their hearts with me.
  • Laying my weary head on my daughter’s shoulder, as she embraces me into the bosom of her “old soul.”
  • Letting my home, still decorated for Christmas, nourish my soul with childhood delights.
  • Reading emails from friends and family, sharing memories, newfound discoveries, and always love and concern.
  • Writing and blogging, journaling my thoughts and feelings, wary of the day when I might not, but thankful for the precious moments of the present.
  • Knowing that I’ve a network of online readers with whom to share my journey is mind-boggling, but a blessing I wholeheartedly welcome.
  • My health, such as it is, keeps me ever mindful that quality of life is fragile, and shouldn’t be compromised by poor choices.
  • The Maui of my childhood, where innocence and naivete abounded, ingrained forever in my moral fiber.
  • My Aloha spirit, my compassion for others, a legacy from my mom and those who came before.
  • The 2 angels who have gently guarded my well-being these last decades of my life, continuing to do so, my husband of 40 years and my daughter of 24.
  • And God above all, who gifted me with life, ensuring my best, knowing He is always with me…ALWAYS.

 

counted your blessings lately?…hugmamma.

i’ve got a deadline to meet

Regular readers to my blog know that I set myself a task about a month or so ago. By day’s end, today, I will have published 365 posts. That would mean I would’ve written a year’s worth of posts in 7 months. The other part of the challenge was that you, dear reader, help me reach 10,000 viewings at the same time. Needless to say you’ve far surpassed that goal with hits to date at 11, 879! Who knows you might even make it to 12,000, since you’re just shy of the mark by 121 views. 

Whatever the number at midnight tonight, I’m already eternally grateful for your faith in me as a writer. If you were my boss in corporate America, you would have already given me a promotion beyond my wildest imaginings. And so I thank you, with great humility, for letting me into your lives through the written word.

So brace yourselves, especially those who’ve subscribed by email, for  an onslaught…of more words. Tomorrow you’ll get a well-deserved break, I promise…I think.

blest to be writing…for you…hugmamma.

an impossible challenge? not for a “superior chinese mom”

I usually acknowledge my appreciation to faithful readers, and readers new to my blog, when I pass the next thousand mark in viewings. The most recent happened so quickly, I was caught off guard. Between attempts to fix my body from the onslaught of old age, and wanting to quickly unload my mind of a landfill of words, I didn’t pause to say “thank you.” So here’s a shout out for the 8,307 views of my blog to date. You’re keeping this henna-rinsed, 39-year-old wannabee, self-employed, though not gainfully, since no money’s involved. But in this economy, I’m not paid like a lot of other people. So I’m keeping good company, and I’m not complaining. I love what I’m doing, writing!

Meanwhile, I’m challenging myself. I’m working feverishly to accomplish a goal which I’ve set, to publish 365 posts long before my one-year anniversary! The thought of achieving this within the next month gives me an adrenalin rush, not to mention an anxiety attack. I would have liked to have achieved my goal within 6 months, but the holidays, my daughter’s recovery, and my debilitating bout of senior moments sidetracked my writing efforts. You’re probably saying all my excuses are blah, blah, blah. You may be right. Nonetheless, here I am.

With 268 posts, this being the 269th, under my belt, I’ve got a little less than 100 to write. I’m heading to see my daughter’s performance in a couple of weeks, so my fingers are going to be glued to this keyboard until then. I’m hoping my laptop goes with me on my trip, but going through security at the airport is such a hassle, I’ll decide what to do about it later. If I don’t take it, I can’t access my library of photos. And you know how I love to decorate! Even my posts are not exempt. I never waste an opportunity to hone my skills at interior design.

So “gracias,” “mahalo,” “merci beaucoup” and huge “thanks” for making my blog world so much fun! Having you along doubles, no triples, the pleasure of writing. So I’m counting on you to stay tuned as I try to outdo myself in writing a year’s worth of posts, 365, in approximately 210 days…or less!?! My husband calculates that I’ll have to have published 13 posts a week to meet my goal. Think I can do it? Any bets?

watch and see…keep your eye on me…hugmamma.

meanwhile, our house is going to the cats and dogs, in other words, it’s looking like s–t! thank god i have a great hubby!

“thanks,” readers

I hadn’t intentionally set out to write numerous posts on giving thanks. But they seem appropriate, since Thanksgiving is almost upon us. While my previous post of thanks for your faithful readership was celebratory, this one is more low-key.

Many in our society are suffering, unable to look forward to the holiday season with joy, and traditional good will toward all. I’d like to think I contribute some small measure of hope, in an overwhelmingly negative environment. The 5,003 viewings my blog has received to date, leads me to think that I’m able to touch some with my words.

Sincere thanks for continuing to read what I write. With the immense inventory of material from which to make your selections, I’m grateful you’ve chosen to make mine one of them. While other blogs may number their readers in the hundreds of thousands, even millions, I consider myself lucky to have the faithful following I do.

wishing you a thanksgiving spent with those you hold dearest…hugmamma.

role models, aging gracefully

I’ve become acquainted with a 91-year-young woman through a very dear friend who’s in her mid-70’s. They belong to the same senior center’s group. I’ve only chatted with the elder woman 2 or 3 times, but I’m always amazed at her vitality. She still drives herself to their weekly gatherings where they do needlework, chat, and snack on goodies they, or others, bring to share. This acquaintance dresses stylishly, right down to matching earrings, handbag and shoes. I admire her youthful glow which obviously emanates from within. Her image is always in my mind’s eye when I think of someone aging gracefully.

My friend who’s 70ish is admirable not only because she’s such a fashion-plate, which she is, but also because she is laden with health issues that would bring a younger, stronger woman, like me, to my knees. I’m a wuss by comparison. Like an older sister, sometimes a mom, my girlfriend was a smoker for many years, but was finally able to kick the habit. Whether as a result of smoking or having had it beforehand, she continues to suffer with emphysema which is compounded by asthma. Weighing under 100 pounds she’s a lightweight, but she can be as “tough as nails” when debating her opinion. I’ve never tested her, and am not about to try. I’d rather have her in my corner. When a coughing fit overtakes her, she can easily bruise some ribs. As a last resort her doctor prescribes prednisone which eliminates the cough, but leaves my friend with side effects that linger. She has bouts of diverticulitis which has her curled up in great pain. Throughout our 13 years of friendship, she’s been poked, probed, xrayed, cat-scanned, MRI’d more than anyonelse I know. With the help of a physician who’s cared for her, REALLY CARED, my amazing friend always seems “as fit as a fiddle.” I forget her medical history until another episode occurs, and it always does.

I think I dress rather smartly, but when I’m out with my friend and her husband I know she’s outdone me. Not that I mind, for I am simply in awe of  her sense of style, wearing skirts and dresses that I never would, simply because they wouldn’t look as well on me. They’re not my “cup of tea,” but they suit my girlfriend to a tee. And the jewelry, she can wear several gold bangles, rings on several fingers, including on her toes, and of course, earrings. Stunning is the only word to describe her. Whether she’s lounging at home or stepping out, in my estimation, she’s always “dressed to the nines.”

Her hobby, more like a full-time job, keeps my girlfriend in constant stitches. (Pun intended.)  She is never without a knitting project spread out across her lap, fingers and needles furiously working “knits” and “purls.” Her handiwork is so exquisite that I’ve often said she would make good money selling her sweaters, vests, shawls, afghans, and baby things. But she takes such care that she prefers to give them as gifts, rather than sell them. A few Christmases ago, my husband and I received a deep, red afghan pieced together with several large, knitted squares in different designs. Needless to say, it’s rarely used as a coverlet. The afghan lays decoratively across the back of an oversized, upholstered chair. 

With little success I’ve tried to knit, my friend sitting patiently at my side, encouraging. But when I’m alone I’m in a quandry as to how to correct a mistake, so I undo everything and start anew. Exhausted and frustrated after several hours of undoing my knitting and redoing it, I put my yarns and needles aside. They still sit in a Nordstrom shopping bag against the far back wall of my closet. Now that I’m blogging, who knows when my attempt at knitting will resurface. I wouldn’t place any bets.

My girlfriend is one of the most charitable persons I know. In spite of the toll it might take upon her health, she is committed to helping family and friends in need. Regardless of her step-mother-in-law’s incessant complaining, my friend and her husband regularly visited the aging woman who lived a few hours away. While there they would help however they could. Until she died they spent Thanksgiving with her, foregoing a gayer holiday with their own children and grandchildren. Before putting her into an assisted-living facility, my girlfriend and her husband helped clean out decades of clutter from her mother-in-law’s home. While she lived, there was no indication of her appreciation for her daughter-in-law’s constant concern and care. But after passing away, my friend was bequeathed the old woman’s engagement ring. A just reward for a just person.

As I write this, my girlfriend is hosting friends who are visiting from out-of-state for a month. It may become an annual occurrence, for they welcomed their friends last year at this time. When other friends who live in the same retirement community vacationed at their condo in California earlier this year, my girlfriend took care of their sick dachshund. She went to live at the dog’s home so that it would feel comfortable in its own surroundings. Her husband visited, and she would return home to prepare and have dinner. When we planned our trip to Venice, my friend offered to care for our dog, even contemplating moving into our home so she could also care for our cats. It was a generous gesture, but her husband convinced her that it would be physically challenging for her to walk our dog up our steep driveway without his help, and he was not planning to live here with her. He had their home and dog to care for. We happily agreed to send our dog to their home, and have someonelse care for our cats.

Our family is grateful for the years we’ve known my girlfriend and her husband. I’ve especially cherished her as a role model for living robustly, despite personal hindrances. I hope I have her strong constitution, generosity toward others, and energetic vivacity as I live out the remaining years of my life. With my friend leading the way for a long time to come, I know I’m in good hands.

hugs for role models…hugmamma.