Holidays & thoughts on blogging

I thought I would give you a peek inside my Holiday weekend.

We had 21 folks for Thanksgiving dinner, and 15 over later in the evening for seconds. Mark cooks a really good turkey and I think this year was the best. We order the turkey from a local farm each year in the summer, they grow and prepare it and we pick it up on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. This year's turkey was 28 pounds. Nothing but the carcass remains, which I laid out in the forest to become part of the natural circle of life.

We always do Tex-Mex stuffing, mashed potatoes (this year we did cauliflower mashed potatoes as it seems many of our friends are South Beaching it), my favorite vegetable ~ peas, a huge cheese platter and other decadent appetizers. Everyone else brings multiple dishes and together we make a feast. Thanksgiving ~ good food, company, music and conversation.

For most Thanksgivings we have friends over, but this year Mark's dad and step mom were here from Tulsa. It was the first time that we had actual family here for Thanksgiving dinner! That was nice for the kids to have family here and good for us to catch up on family news. 

As soon as Thanksgiving was over we  turned our attention to Christmas. The women's group at our church is having their Christmas tea in my house, so I needed to go ahead and get the place decorated. So, while I missed out on the whole Black Friday shopping thing (seriously, what kind of name is that?) on Saturday we went ornament shopping at World Market. The kids went to town picking the most lovely (expensive/breakable!) ornaments until I calmly directed them to the cheaper/non-breakable ones. 

It is funny watching myself do this ~ prepare for holidays just like everyone else ~ because I am so not a holiday person. I have never really like tradition or the silliness of shopping and all that. I don't like being artificially told to think about Christ's birth, I prefer to mediate on that in my own time, when it seems organic. But I have children so I do it for them. I do it for the memories we are creating in their minds. I grew up with Christmas carols and hymns and dinner and presents and all that, so I don't want to deny that for my kids (and my husband who LOVES holidays and abundant gift giving!).

Anyhow, after shopping we then came home and decorated the tree in the living room. And Laura decided to decorate herself:


I have been thinking about blogging a lot lately ~ thinking about it's purpose, my place in it all, my voice, the hugeness of marketing via blogging. I have visited so many successful blogs and love to see how committed folks are to their vision and the process of art and blogging. I know, unfortunately, that I can't compete. I am just not that fired up as I feel I need to be to be truly successful. I have made some changes around here and some folks kindly told me that my blog looks more professional now. But 1) my traffic has not increased for the effort and 2) my very closest friend told me that my blog no longer sounds like 'Shona'. So what is the point of it? For the discipline of coming up with ideas? To market my book? To please others & get kudos? To record my life? To cast a vision of the Artistic Mother? To be really me?

If I want to do posts that are interesting to others then I feel that I need to come up with something new. I don't like to do things that everyone else is doing. I am a starter and when I find that what I am doing is being done over and over I loose my motivation and want to go on to something new, this has always been an issue for me. Also to create good posts I think that they need to be interesting! And you know, a lot of my life is just not that interesting/exciting/artful.

So to come up with new/interesting ideas for blog posts it takes time and effort. And with a young toddler, who has taken to opening and emptying every kitchen cupboard, that is just plain hard to do. I am pretty good at ordering my day so I can see exactly what I am spending my time on. And I have been wondering ~ is this really how I want to spend my limited free time? What about my art and writing? I know that every minute I am blogging I am not spending time creating. And when I am not creating then, as my husband pointed out, I get in a funk. I need to have a project. I need to have something new going on, something to create.

So this December I am going to challenge myself to make a piece of art everyday. It is going to be some combo of photography, poetry and mixed media collage (my big three). I will post my findings here, everyday for the month of December and then see how I am doing. But I won't be doing a whole lot of talking here. I will be posting without words. Focusing on the art and not the blogging.

I hope to have more blogging focused discussions with fellow bloggers on Dec 8 at La Madeleine's in The Woodlands, Texas at 7pm. There is a good group coming. It is going to be fun to be around people who like to talk about a topic that is interesting to all of us. If you live anywhere near Houston, you are invited to come. Let me know if I can expect you.


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