January 28, 2014

Tweaking. Confucius. Connection.

Bear with me as I do some tweaking here on my blog.
I'd had the same header for years now. It was dear to me, but dated.  Small changes have been on the back of my mind for many months.
Being we're currently at fifty below zero wind chills again, it was a good time to go for it!

The rocks pictured in the header above are from Lake Superior.  I've been gathering pockets filled with rocks from it's great shores all my life.
I left this stack of rocks somewhere in Oregon a few years ago, I think it was along the Wilson River.
The quote above (not sure if it is large enough) is one from Confucius that, like rocks, I've loved for many years:

“To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.”

My blog doesn't fit into a category very well.  (Which is ok.  Neither do I.)   I don't write with the intent of creating a cooking blog or sewing blog, nor strictly a wildlife, travel, or a home decor blog.  I began writing basically as a family blog, but over the past eight years, things evolved.  As our kids grew & changed, so did my interests & ability to explore them.
So I had added to my header for these past few years, "Life.  Family.  Passions."  

The Confucius quote has helped me to decipher my focus further yet. 
And spread it out like a kaleidoscope at the same time.  (Can you believe I spelled kaleidoscope right on the first try?  I was expecting a squiggly red line under that one.)
I'm passionate about the world around us.  My family is my life's greatest work, I love making our house a home.  I'm more aware than ever of the power & importance of a strong & centered well-being, too.  (Blogging has always been therapeutic to me.)      

Not that I was seeking validation, but now as I go about, sharing randomly about family life & growing kids... or places we experience.. or veggies we grow.. sharing facts about native wildflowers, or things I find or make or do along the way that make our house a home... with random thoughts & feelings from my core mixed in too... Now instead of feeling like I could be misunderstood as a scatter-brained lady that can't keep a connected thought, I have in mind that the world around us, the family & home, and the happiness & well-being of one's self- and what we do to maintain it - are connected.
I've realized that my "category" is all that is dispersed in the connection for me.

Hence the minor updates.
I haven't accomplished quite what I had in mind yet, so I'll continue to tweak a little as I find time.
Constructive feedback welcome!

PS:  (An update.)  I've been able to respond to some by email, but it should be noted here that one of the best things about my blogging experience all these years, has been the connection I've found with other bloggers whom I identify with & have come to consider friends.  I've found a great group of people who love to share similar (but different) things - basically each of us and our worlds, whatever they may bring week by week, around the country and around the world.   It's a joy!


  1. I've tried unsuccessfully to establish a theme or niche for my blog -- because like you, I'm all over the place... I've found that approaching my blog as a journal to document my life here on the farm makes me happy. If others like it and follow along, that's just bonus. :)

    I like your new look Amanda -- and always enjoy coming here to catch up with you. :)

  2. I have always loved the look of your blog, peaceful and serene. Your blog (and mine for that matter) are simply tools to find each other and enrich the lives of those around us, not fitting into a particular niche. You do that for me, and I am so glad to have your world entwined with my own very different one. I love the quote. I'll watch your journey with interest. :-)

  3. Hi there, I found you through Blogher, and I'm glad I did. I have been blogging for years too, and have scattered interests as well. Mostly, I write about farming, and our family. There is a lot of art, poetry, homeschool and Math thrown in as well - things that I am fascinated by and share with my kids.

    A long time ago, I had to take a Personality Test as part of a job interview for a sales job. After the test, I called one of my dearest friends, and she simply said, "Do you think they make a box for you to fit in?" Of course, No.

    I love to read along the sidelines of other multi-interested people, who don't fit into categories well, but define their lives by the many categories that keep trying to hold onto their coattails and ride into the sunset with them.

    Looking forward to reading more from you!

  4. I like that your blog doesn't follow a prescribed format. Mine doesn't either. It frees you up to post whatever photos you like or write about whatever subject you desire. Keep doing what you're doing 'cause I enjoy visiting! :)

  5. Love your blog and the new look Amanda! I've been meaning to update mine too but never seem to find time. Or it's not one of my top priorities, I guess.
    I also love the Confucius quote.
    Stay warm up there!

  6. I love it, Amanda!!! The colors are very pleasing and calming to the eye and I really like the nature heart home graphic and the quote as well. I just like it all :) Great job!

  7. love it. connected to all is a good thing.

  8. Amanda,
    I like you new header. It's fun to update once in a while.

    There is a lot of truth to the quote you chose. Very tasteful!

    I enjoy your blog because it is you! I would love to meet you one day. They say you need to have a blog niche, but I am not fully convinced. Maybe "this is my life" is a good place to start. Your blog should grow and change as you do. It's only natural. I enjoy "hearing" about what you are up to and your random thoughts! I like your photography.

    When I have my camera along I feel more "connected" too. I look for neat things to share, birds, flowers, prairie blooms, berries etc. Even if I don't take one picture I am more aware of the world around me. Sometimes that is enough.

    I tried the foodie element. I am not a food photographer and some of the recipe ideas get really extreme. Out in the middle of no where we don't have access to special ingredients. I am sure you run into that too. I tried several viral recipes from Pinterest that flopped. Either they didn't turn out, they didn't taste good or the Hubby was not impressed. That kind of got me thinking.

    I hope warmer weather is just around the corner. We are cold and windy here too.

  9. I don't fit into a category either, but I have found that reading/looking at/writing my own blog has given me a peek into what I deem important. It has helped me focus on my blog and in my life. Keep writing, as I enjoy your blog very much.

  10. I really love your new look! Very serene, reminds me of you:) Also, that quote speaks so true...

  11. I really like the new look! I think trying to categorize is difficult. I, like Nancy, have been trying to approach it as a journal a place to reflect on life on our little farm. I do not think you need a category, just a place to reflect and find peace.

  12. I like the tweaks. I also like the fact that your blog is about family, which runs the gamut from an individual to all of humanity. Just keep being 'wildly simple' -- that's what caused us to visit in the first place.

  13. Nice new header…I like to read about your daily life and achievements. It is wonderful to feel the deep love and compassion you have for your family.As for you my family is the most important and my life`s work.But I know that they would not like to be on my blog….Hope that spring will not be too far away for you now !

  14. Enjoy your tweaking - looking good so far although the quote is a little small/lost as you thought. Also it seems like there's something missing on the right hand side, as if something is needed to balance the photos out. As for your content - well it's a lovely mix just as life itself is.

    1. I agree, Karen - I had worked on this on an online program late in the wee hours of night.. I feel like it's missing to the right and want to fix that. I also haven't figured out to convey or create some specifics that I have pictured in my head.. so I hope to work on it. To adjust it, I pretty much have to start over, so I have to wait for a day when I have the time again. This is probably why I only re-do my header every few years. :)

  15. What a lovely blog you have! I like that you don't follow a "theme," neither do I. I blog about what is happening around the farm, what I'm cooking and what the animals are up to. Works for me! :)

  16. First time visitor, like your look, feel, musings. . .