Have I mentioned that I really enjoy looking at my Gmail Reader recommendations? If you don't have Gmail, Reader is the service that sends new blog entries of your favorite blogs to your email so that you don't have to keep track and click all over the place checking for new posts. They also give you recommendations based on what you are already subscribed to. I subscribed to my friends' blogs first, and for weeks Reader kept telling me to subscribe to one of my friend's husband's blog. Well, his blog link is right next to my husband's blog link in our toolbar so I ignored the recommendation for a while, but I finally subscribed to it so they would quit suggesting it. Once I subscribed to his, my recommendations were all these hilarious Catholic news blogs, bird blogs, and sports blogs for a while. It was pretty funny because I am not the least bit interested in any of those. And it had me guessing that the new recommendations must be based on subscriptions of the other people who have the same subscriptions as me. He teaches at a Catholic university, so that's probably the deal with the Catholic blogs. Anyway, I am not sure which blog subscription it was that blew this whole thing wide open for me. But I have been getting tons of feeds for homeschool blogs and particularly Charlotte Mason homeschool blogs. It is a good time. I can really get behind the Charlotte Mason thing in theory, but I am so not an outdoorsy person or science person- not because I can't appreciate those things, just because I have such limited exposure to those things. I mean, yes, I have been outside every day of my life, but no one ever took me hiking or taught me to play ball or pitched a tent in the yard, or whatever it is people do. I just don't know what to do with myself outside. And therefore I don't often know what to do with my children outside. But I am getting some ideas.
I am also getting recommendations for some of the "spiritual blogs" that have anywhere from 140 to 850 subscriptions. Those can be interesting too. I like some of them. But I have subscribed to one that particularly irks me so that, of course, I can write about it on here Andy Rooney style. Man, I would be so good at Andy Rooney's job! I wonder if they have anyone in line to take his place when he retires? He's 90, y'all! Anyway, about this one blog, the one that irks me, I'm trying to give it a few more days to turn it around. So far, I'm just getting more annoyed. Can 154 subscribers be wrong? Why yes, they can. Y'all know you're so intrigued now! Email me if you want the link. Join me in the glorious annoyance of a horn tooter who loves the pretty life (yick! what a combo!) and teaches it like it's the way every Christian should live. It's so tragically Oprah. Are people still watching Oprah? They are. I know they are. Ugh, I can't keep thinking about it.
So what is wrong with me that I like the grumpiest person on TV and can't stand the "most likable" person on TV? I don't know. This is a theme in my life, I just march to the beat of a different drum. I'd like to think it's because I'm just so intuitive and intelligent. But don't let's be silly! Although, I am right about Oprah. Lest I sound like a horrible jerk, a list of people/blogs I like:
George's group blog- remember Mumblety-Peg? It's still around, but it is a little different than it was. George and Matt moved on and started up this new blog, Musing the Profundities, with a few new friends.
Jon's blog- Barlow Farms. But if you subscribe, they will recommend all manner of Catholic and bird blogs- just so you know :)
Annie's blog- simply, Annie Blog. Annie is Jon's wife (and my friend). She has the gift of using words with great economy- you can imagine how I envy such a gift :) Also, she is an amazing cook! Use the search option to find great recipes.
Jennifer's blog- Chez Jennifer. Jennifer is one of those people that has been blogging since the dawn of blogging. She is not so much a frequent blogger, but from time to time she will let you know when she has read a particularly good book or has been thinking of something worth sharing.
Rebekah's blog- if you know me, you know it is confusing that I have two really close friends named Rebekah. One is a friend from high school and lives just outside Nashville. The other is a friend from Auburn and lives in Birmingham. I love them both, but only one of them has a blog. Rebekah Wright, formerly Anderson of CPA cross country and track fame (she placed in the state meet every year during high school. 21st her freshman year- because that was the year she trained with me and we mostly just talked- 5th her sophomore year, 3rd her junior year, and 3rd her senior year- Pretty cool eh? I looked it up, Rebekah!), has a blog that has the occasional humorous story, a preschool craft or teaching idea (Rebekah was a preschool teacher before she had her two sweet daughters), and entries about the process of adoption as she and her husband walk through it for the first time. Rebekah also has the cutest etsy shop which she opened to help raise money for the adoption.
My once neighbor Becky is one of those people that is amazingly good natured and lovable. I don't know her as well as I'd like, we almost missed each other at seminary housing completely. But I am getting to know her on her blog better. Too bad I'm a lurker! Why don't I just say hello? Maybe I will. You can too at The Blue Hutch.
My good friend Jessie also has a blog, but it is only open to invited guests. And I guess you're just not invited! Just kidding! But seriously, you do have to be invited. So a link would be useless to y'all, or else you already have it. Most of my other friends who blog have stopped almost completely. Or I lost some people- Brit, Laura, etc. (If I lost you, but you're still around, post your link in the comments.) I think that is why I found the need to search for new material. As I glean from my new found homeschool blogs, I will try to pass along anything I find particularly helpful of useful.
Okay, fast forward a week and here I am. I have still been keeping up with that one annoying blog, trying to know what to do with it. I mean, I'm torn. Because life is nothing like Real Simple magazine. It just isn't tidy and cute and flowery every second of every day. I feel like there are people out there pretending that either it is, or it should be. And sometimes it's Christians pretending that that is what the Christian life is all about. And well, I've said this before, Jesus said that in this world we will have many troubles. So this idea of a charmed life doesn't seem to be from the Son of Man who had no place to lay his head, certainly not on a matching set of $50 Rachel Ashwell pillow shams. On the other hand, I can totally get behind the loveliness of Rachel Ashwell pillow shams. As a wife and mother, I think it is important to make my home lovely for my family, with a cheerful and loving heart (try not to laugh), with good food (but lots of times with just cheesy scrambled eggs), and with nice things that make our home feel "homey." I have recognized the importance of the latter even more after having been without it for seven months (nine months since graduation, but only seven months since moving- sorry for the unintentional swapping, if I have done that). Anyway, I don't know. I don't have a problem with Rachel Ashwell or Real Simple or whatever, I just know that it doesn't seem to be something we should think of as necessary or imperative, and we should be careful where our time and money are spent. I think that if our focus is on those things, we have missed something really really big. But there is room for those things, of course. So, with this blog that has bugged me, does this person seem to be claiming that taking her vigorous walks and drinking her green tea and collecting driftwood on the beach is somehow related to piety? And could it be? I mean, I don't know what her life is like. If her life is really crappy and she is pouring herself out for others, and that is the way she chooses to make it more lovely, by taking the time for these things and really enjoying the good things God has given her (and all of us), then I think that's great. But if she is preaching it and thinking that those things alone make her some sort of role model, I am annoyed. By all means, take a walk with your dog and enjoy the beach, but tell me there is something going on outside of that where you are serving others and taking part in the Kingdom. And would I call that horn tooting? Maybe I would. I don't know. I need to figure out why some people don't come across as horn tooters and some do. I think it is the measure of vulnerability and humility and sincerity that comes across in their writing. But then again, aren't some people just bad writers? Well, do with this what you will. Remember, I am not talking about your blog (unless beach-y green tea lady reads, which I don't think she does)! And I am clearly not sure what I think, and am trying to reconcile it so that I understand these fellow saints that initially really rub me the wrong way. Any helpful thoughts? Am I rubbing y'all the wrong way. Well, I told you, I would be a great replacement for Andy Rooney.