a reluctant update

You know what really grinds my gears?  When I come across a blog, especially one that I have never been to before and the lead post, or at least one of the first five posts, is about how the author has just been so busy and hasn’t posted anything, but promises to do better.  And then I look at the date and that apologetic post was written five months prior with maybe a few posts since then.  For this reason I really try to not do that on here.  I would rather try to keep posting as much as possible instead of apologizing and not actually acting on that apology.  However, if you are a regular visitor of The Shanty I am sure you have noticed that the posts have been pretty few and far between.   I would like to say that this is because I am really busy, but the truth is I just don’t know what to write about.

Two weeks ago I thought that maybe trying to do daily posts is just unrealistic and thought about going to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday post schedule with Sundays being the “Extra Ingredients” which is sort of like a half post (requires some effort but not really my own ideas).  But here we are, Wednesday, and I definitely did not post anything on Monday and am writing a post about not writing posts today.

I really like doing this blog and as much I love hearing from people that they like reading it, I really enjoy doing this for myself.  I am actually quite amazed that what started off as a little experiment has turned into almost 900 posts years later.  When I scroll through the pages of this baby I am truly proud of how much work I have put into it.  However, I am a bit lost now.

When I first started, and for about two years after, I would constantly be thinking about post ideas.  I had notes on my phone of topics I spontaneously would think of as I went about my day-to-day life.  I had ideas!  Every day! And now…

source: theexaminer.com

I just can’t think of good things to write about.  Not even good things, any things.

It makes me a bit worried and it makes my brain feel a little more mushy than normal.

Maybe a shake-up is in order.  I have been thinking that for a while now, of still keeping this blog but changing it somehow.  Maybe I should just accept the inevitable and turn this into a Cat blog.  Cat photos!  Cat gifs!  Cat jokes!  Cat videos!  ALL DAY EVERY DAY!  I wonder how that would affect my readership numbers…

Hmmmm….yes, it says here that there is a direct relationship between cat videos and reported happiness levels.


nature + gifs

I like nature.

I like gifs.

Therefore, I am a big fan of Head Like an Orange.  Some pretty amazing gifs on here.  Here are some of my faves, but make sure to check out the tumblr for many many more!  All of these make me want to lie around all weekend watching nature shows and marveling at nature and its inhabitants.

chimp fruitim sorry whatmountain gorillaowl in the windpenguintigerwink

thanks thanks thanks!

Hello all you fabulous people out there!

I recently had a moment to look over my blog summary stats of 2012 and I must say I am pretty darn proud of myself.  Sure, I am not getting hundreds or thousands of hits everyday, but the fact that ANYONE is interested in reading what I have to say always feels pretty special and for that I am truly thankful.  I started this off a few years ago and didn’t even tell anyone about it for a few months.  Although I very rarely write about anything that is very personal, I still feel like this is a window into my life to which a lot of people have access.  I sometimes have debates with myself about how much I want to write about on here especially when I am reminded how many people I do not know very well, or at all, are able to access this site and see what is going on in my life.

I have definitely had it happen more than once where I run into someone who I may be friends with on Facebook or who follows me on Twitter (the blog link is posted on those sites as well) but is not part of my close circle of friends, and as soon as I bring up something that happened to me they say “oh yeah!  I knew all about that!”  That’s when it just feels weird.  I may not know ANYTHING about this person’s life over the past few months and they know so much about mine.  It’s an odd feeling, but one that comes with the territory, and as one of my friends recently pointed out, I do this by choice.  So here is to another fabulous year here at the Shanty and I hope you all keep reading and peeking into my life from time to time.

Now down to just some of the stats for 2012:

– 9700 views! (that averages to about 25 views per day, but on my busiest day of 2012 over 100 of you lovely people decided to have a look)

– 220 new posts! (not quite one everyday as I try to achieve, but I am still patting myself on the back)

– people have accessed my blog from 100 countries!

So yeah, these aren’t the numbers of a super popular blog, but I am not going to sell myself short, this is still impressive and certainly makes me motivated to do just as well (or better) in 2013.  Hope you will all join me!

All the best to you all for the year ahead!


how pinteresting

I will admit to having a slight addiction to Pinterest (wanna see my boards?  Huh?  do ya? – I hope that link will work…), but I will also proudly admit that I have tried a number of recipes that I have pinned, done some DYI projects (like a coconut-oil sugar scrub that worked in terms of making my skin smoother but almost killed me as a slided around my oily bathtub like a drunk person on roller skates), and have gathered all sorts of nifty ideas I hope to use in my home decor.

Buuuut, I will also admit that there is all sorts of weirdo stuff on there, which is why I think WTF, Pinterest? is such a great blog.  It made me laugh quite a few times the first time I checked it out.  I am especially fond of the How To Be A Fashion Blogger series.  “It’s All About Balance” is my favourite one by far – when you see all of the pictures in a row it makes you realize how silly a lot of these fashion blog photos are.  But at least it looks like they are all enjoying themselves!

Check it out!

Hubba hubba

Let’s face facts here people.  The older you get, the smaller the dating pool gets, so maybe instead of scraping barnacles off the bottom you could build a time machine instead and go back in time and snag a historic hotty…

Don’t know any?  Check out Bangable Dudes in History for some prep.

Some notables below…

Lewis Powell - sure he was part of the Lincoln assassination conspiracy but check out that brooding artist look!

Young Stalin - having come from the USSR I am probably the last person to be posting something positive about this dude, but based on pure aesthetics he's working it right?


Other people’s lives

After reading this article on Salon.com about the current proliferation of Mormon blogs I decided to check some of them out.  These are a product of a seemingly close-knit community of young mothers and housewives scattered throughout the US who publish snap-shot posts of their lives; raising babies, meeting up with friends, being crafty with DIY projects, going to church…

These online diaries are brimming with wholesome, good-natured fun and simple enjoyment of life with those you love.  Yes, there is the whole God angle, but it is really not in your face, and in some cases actually hard to find as it is casually nestled as a link in a couple of posts spanning the past few months.

The Salon.com article is written by a self-proclaimed feminist as a confession of sorts about her frequent visits to these blogs.  Although I do not subscribe to the same religious beliefs as these women, and may find some of their religious doctrines regarding the “woman’s role” somewhat objectionable for my life, I think there is enough good stuff in these personal recordings of daily life to look beyond the underlying current of religion and appreciate the positivity of these individuals.  Sure, it may be difficult to believe that people can be this fun-loving and happy on a daily basis, but it makes me wish that I was.  And most importantly, it makes me want to try to be.

Time to put on a happy face god dammit gosh darn it!

Why do I always equate people jumping as the symbol of happiness?! I don't think I have ever "jumped for joy". What?! My meal is on the house?! Time to jump up and down in a celebratory manner! ...I don't think so