“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.

 

wordpress family award

wordpress family awardIt’s been sometime since I’ve actually accepted an award. Not because I don’t want to, but because I’m not as adept at the intricacies of accepting as I’d like to be. However the time has come for me to jump back in the saddle, so to speak, and take this horse by the reigns, and gallop full speed ahead.

Stigma Hurts Everyone at http://stigmahurtseveryone.wordpress.com/ initiated the Word Press Family Award to help acknowledge those who have influenced our blogging in some way. So in no particular order are a few of the sites whose words have touched me. There are numerous others, of course, and I hope they know they are just as worthy as those who are mentioned.

cyclingrandma… http://cyclingrandma.wordpress.com/

believe anyway… http://believeanyway.wordpress.com/

figments of a dutchess… http://figmentsofadutchess.com/

pocket perspectives… http://pocketperspectives.wordpress.com/

nuvofelt… http://chittlechattle.wordpress.com/

the laughing mom… http://thelaughingmom.wordpress.com/

tiny lessons blog… http://tinylessonsblog.wordpress.com/

random thoughts from midlife… http://randomthoughtsfrommidlife.wordpress.com/

50 year project… http://50yearproject.wordpress.com/

wingrish… http://wingrish.wordpress.com/

jeanne’s blog… http://nolagirlatheart.wordpress.com/

booksphotographsandartwork… http://booksphotographsandanrtwork.wordpress.com/

chronicles of illusion… http://jobryantz.wordpress.com/

marcia clarke-la chica writes… http://lachicawrites.com/

living the seasons… http://livingtheseasons.wordpress.com/

tiny lessons blog… http://tinylessonsblog.com/

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...

Not your run-of-the-mill topic.

I’ve had buffalo burgers and find them tastier than the usual beef burgers.

Almost certain I wouldn’t eat tongue…regardless whose it is. But perhaps you might…

…you think?………hugmamma.

Travel. Garden. Eat.

Given my passion for animals and nature, I would like to be able to say that I cannot bring myself to eat my fellow earth creatures.  I have to be honest, though  . . . I love a good steak.  If it leaves a pool of red on the plate, even better.  (Have I already lost some of you readers?)  I do struggle with the concept of large factory farms and feedlots, however.  I try when I can to search out foods that are not loaded with unhealthy antibiotics and other additives, where I can actually identify the source of the meat I am eating and the process they use to grow and butcher it.  If the source of that meat comes with a good story, even better.  Such is the case with Wild Idea Buffalo Company.

I was introduced to Wild Idea Buffalo when I read the book, Buffalo for the…

View original post 1,161 more words

in the spotlight…stories

Regular readers to my blog will have noticed that I’ve recently been reblogging posts from around the Word Press community. These are from folks…friends, really…who have generously spent time visiting  hugmamma’s, mind, body, and soul. I’ve returned the favor, as often as possible, to read their stories.

Spotlight on The Shadows

Spotlight on The Shadows (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been moved to spotlight some of them here. I’m sure you’ll agree…they’re worth reading…or watching. Hopefully they touch you in some way. Whether they inspire, tweak your funny bone, are thought-provoking, or just plain…entertain.

…my gift…to you…wonderful stories…worth retelling…

………hugmamma.   🙂

evolution…mine

English:

English: “The Barnum & Bailey greatest show on earth Wonderful performing geese, roosters and musical donkey”. Chromolithograph. Français : Affiche originale pour le cirque Barnum obtenue par chromolithographie vers 1900. Traduction du texte “Barnum & Bailey, le plus grand spectacle sur terre. Ses merveilleuses oies et coqs dressées, son âne musicien. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been 2 years since I gave birth to hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul. I did it in response to events that unfolded in the media like Barnum and Bailey‘s Three Ring Circus. The first was the 2008 Presidential Election; the second,  Michael Jackson’s death. Like many, I remained glued to my TV set for days on end.

What finally got me to put my thoughts into a blog was hearing the same refrain over and over again…”The American people feel…”

I often babbled to myself  “How the heck do they know what I think?” and “Who said they could speak for me?” Tell me you don’t have the same thoughts when you hear the pundits spinning their half-truths, or downright lies?

Well some things never change.

Here we are again…smack dab in the middle of another Presidential Election. Complete with the same spinning…day in…day out.

I won’t lie though. I love the high octane excitement, the back and forth, the “he saids” and the “he meants.” However I still cringe when I hear…”The American people feel…”

While little has changed on the outside…there’s been movement within.

I’ve evolved.

The change hasn’t been seismic. On the Richter scale…maybe a 2. Just enough for me to notice.

Two years ago, blogging was a new adventure for me.

At first I dabbled, writing more introspectively. I regurgitated the beauty I saw in the world around me. I reveled in happy thoughts and memories. My words were measured. I had no desire to tackle controversy, not wanting to offend. Never mind that I might be offended.

As I broadened my horizons to include other members of the Word Press community of bloggers, their realities seeped into mine…and mine into theirs.

Not all the stories I read had fairy tale endings. Not all writers came from happy places. Some came from dysfunction, as had I. Many sought encouragement and confirmation, as did I. There were safe havens. Places to go…for kind words, compassion, hope.

I was emboldened to take a stand. Speak my mind…my truth. And I supported the efforts of others to do the same.

Strangers…some who became friends…affirmed my thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Feeling encouraged, I moved forward taking control of my own life.

There was no looking back as I made my way, a day at a time.

I realized however, that my newfound confidence must be tempered with a large dose of humility. Having a following of readers is heady stuff. It can become an ego trip. Focusing too much upon becoming popular, as in how many hits are garnered, can lead one astray from one’s goal.

My goal has always been to write, and write well. If I publish a book someday, as some have suggested I do, that will be a bonus beyond what I’ve already accomplished.

With a lot of help from all of you, I’ve learned to accept who I am. I’ve gained the strength to stand firm in my convictions. I’m comfortable in my own skin. Others’ opinions matter, but no longer to my own detriment.

I matter…finally. 

Like the caterpillar that metamorphoses into the butterfly and the chameleon that adapts to its surroundings, I’ve gone from being a wise, old coot at 61…to being a wiser, older coot at 63.

Perfect I ain’t. I’ve still got the same body in need of repairs now and then. I don’t always eat right…and exercise regularly. I’m always behind the eight-ball when it comes to paying my respects to fellow bloggers…and accepting awards from some. I still lack some technological know-how.

I still make mistakes.

Think Tank

Think Tank (Photo credit: Robiwan_Kenobi)

In spite of my shortcomings, and who doesn’t have a few, I’ve planted my feet firmly and proclaimed to the world…

…i have arrived…and i ain’t going back…

………hugmamma.   😆

 

 

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.

postaday2011 challenge: interview

WordPress.com recently suggested a topic challenge, to interview someone, possibly another blogger. The suggestion to “bust out our journalism skills” was intimidating at first, but after further thought I decided to go for it. I reached out to “My English Thoughts,” another wordpress.com blogger. The site’s author intrigued me because while she’s French, she blogs in English. I congratulate her for not letting a foreign language get in the way of free expression. She writes fluidly, without regard for “political correctness.” Good for her! I hope you enjoy meeting my new internet friend, and that you’ll welcome her into your homes, as you have welcomed me.

Why did you decide to blog?

Well that’s a very good question ! I’ve started to blog in October 2009 in French. At time I wanted to interact with other bloggers and share a little piece of my life, my feelings, but it happened that the French blog community is not exactly the same than the English one, so quickly I’ve understand that if I wanted to be read, I had to publish short and kinda unpersonel and superficial. After almost an year, I couldn’t recognize myself in my blog so I didn’t write anymore.

Then one day, I’ve discovered WordPress and the Post a day / Post a week challenge ! I’ve decide to go for it but this time, I will write my blog in English ! First because there is no much French using WordPress, but mainly because I love English and I want to improve it in writing as much as I can.
 

It appears to me that writing in English is so much easier for me than writing in French, no taboo, no censure because members of my family are reading it… Plus the English / Worldwide community is much more fun, welcoming and interesting than the French for what I know. They do really care about what you want to say and not about to be fun / short / superficial….

Have you traveled outside of France? If so, where have you been, and is there a favorite place you’d recommend my readers and I visit, both in France and elsewhere.

I love travelling !! Unfortunately, I can’t travelling a lot because of the money but I’m trying to at least. 🙂

I’ve been in Italy, Firence in Toscana (Florence), Venezia (Venise), and of course to the border line with France ( My Hometown is Nice, French Riviera, so I guess it is normal… ). I’ve been to Geneva in Swiss, Czech Republic twice ( Prague, in Bohemia, Brno, Czech Prachatice, Lednice, Hluboka… actually I’ve travelling all around this country ), London of course too, Namur in Belgium and that’s about it for foreign country.

I would love to visit the Highlands in Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Viet Nam, Japan, Canada, USA and South America… In fact, there is so many country that I would love to visit !

In France, I’ve been to the south west, south east of course, Normandie, in the French Alps and “Pays de la Loire“. I have to admit I do not know much my own country !

I strongly recommend Prague, Toscana ( both wonderful country ), I fall in Love too with London for the architecture and the mood in the city.

In France, I would recommand you to visit Montmartre in Paris, it’s so lovely and charming ! South East too, there is so many beautiful landscape, the sea is just lovely in the summer time, Pays de la Loire because of the wonderful Castles and the Bretagne ( Britain ), because of the landscape and some wonderful city as Mont St Michel ! French Alps are delightful too !!

 When Americans visit Paris, are there tips you can offer which would make us more acceptable to the French who deal with tourists? I”d heard that Parisians might not be so friendly towards non-French speaking persons.

Don’t worry about Parisians!  Some of them are not welcoming or easy to speak with even with French people !! They are stressed, always on the rush or anything. That’s not an excuse I know, and sometimes it’s even difficult for me too !

But seriously, if you’re visiting France, you will meet too wonderful people. Try to learn few words in French, just like “Bonjour”, “Merci”, “Comment ça va?”… you know the small little basics. There is a community very welcoming with foreigners called ” Couch surfing community “. We use to meet every monday night in a pub !! There is lot of French people but some of my friends are also Mexicans, Argentinians, Lebanese, Australians, English… There is a website where you can contact them and sometimes, they can meet you to have a drink or walk around the city with you to make you discovering some places !

I’m sorry I can’t answer to the following question right now, I have to rush to my job now. 🙂  I will very soon, I don’t know if I could tonight or tomorrow but I will have some time off Saturday for sure !

It’s really a great pleasure to do that, and kinda of unexpected too ! 🙂 I will wrote an post about it as soon as I can and if you could answered too to the same questions, It would be so lovely !! 🙂 a Kind of Double Interview ! So my readers could get to know you too as well.

Hugs
Isabelle

charming…simply charming…hugmamma.


give up the internet?

A tricky question posed by the wordpress.com staff to bloggers participating in Post a Day  2011. Most of the comments left by bloggers attested to mostly mixed feelings about the internet, mine included.

I’d very much like us to return to the old days when we communicated face to face, and mailed hand written letters, and visiting the local library was a trip to which we looked foward. But then would we want to return to the days before electricity, telephones, not to mention cell phones, automobiles, paved roads, supermarkets, refrigerators, stoves? The list is endless.

Recently, I’ve heard mentioned, “the only consistent thing in life is change.” So it seems there’s no turning back the hand of time. But in the case of the internet, perhaps a disconnect now and then teaches us to appreciate when we have it, and to appreciate other things in life, when we don’t. We can enjoy having both, as long as we live in the moment, and not stress out.

been there, done that…see my posts about Comcast”…hugmamma.