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Hitting a Rhythm

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I like blogging. I've missed it, being away, even as I've reveled in the guilt-free ease of being out from under the daily deadline. Giving myself permission to relax and not have to do it on my usual frenetic schedule gives me clarity on a number of fronts. I'm figuring out what it means to me, what it does for me and, through your wonderfully expressed and deeply felt feedback, what it means to you and does for you. I'm trying to balance the time and work that goes into it and the entertainment value it offers to you with the hard reality that it gets in the way of my income-producing work--writing for my books and for National Public Radio, and painting a huge passel of illustrations for my bird memoir.

What's shaken out of all this reflection is that I need and want to keep posting here. I want to keep my connection to you all; I want to keep my readers happy and, I hope, growing steadily in numbers. I want to keep it up for all concerned, but posting five days a week....ehhh... ees too moishe.

As someone who reads blogs, I find that consistency is paramount in keeping me coming back. A blog needs to be reliable and consistently readable. It's a waste of your time to click every day hoping there will be an update, so I'd recommend scrolling down to the bottom of the page and clicking on the link that says "Subscribe." You can choose to get an email whenever there's a fresh post. It takes the pressure off us both while I figure out a more sustainable schedule and hit a livable rhythm that keeps us all happy.

Speaking of keeping us all happy...yesterday, we walked the length of Dean's Fork, but this time we took Bill of the Birds! We had the most wonderful time. I looked in my blogfolder and whoops! there were a whole bunch of photos from an earlier walk that were just begging to be posted. So here is a bucolic critterkidfest for you.

Walk on down, walk on down, walk on down, walk on down a country road...

Photographing kids as one would wild animals pays off in unobtrusive telephoto shots that tell a story of ease and contentment. No grinny front and center camera smiles here, thanks.

Snacktime. Baker decides he'd better anoint a fencepost so everyone knows he was here with his homies.

I get so hooked on scenes like these that I can barely hang on until the next sunny day when we can recreate them. And I don't have to talk the kids into coming along--they're all over it like the sticky on sweet. Being outside is its own reward, once you get kids over the hump of relaxing into it...

hitting a rhythm.

Chet Baker and his friend Cooper look for voles and shrews.
I know it was in here somewhere...

Baker promises to be a gemmun, but we know his promises can be hollow where other dogs are concerned.

Still, the two get along better each time they play, and each pays attention to what the other notices, like good friends do.
When we reach the bend in the road with the old log cabin, the kids always ask to linger. So I lose myself in the landscape and the barbed wire and old wood while they explore. I would love to have a little cabin down here on this forgotten road. But I'd have to have a MONSTER TRUCK to get to it. And I suspect that that's why Dean's Fork is so unspoiled, so beautiful, so all our own little secret. You can't get your Ford Fiesta through. You have to walk. It definitely cuts down on the traffic.
The kids re-enact some kind of scene of pioneer tragedy and triumph before the old log cabin. Really, all they need is water, rocks and sun to have fun. No outlets required.

I'll see you in a few days.


Something just told me to check. I'm so glad to see you, glad that you missed blogging, and hopeful that you it never pressures you too much.
I never tire of seeing those candid shots of the kids, of Chet, and the haven you guys call home.

Thanks again, Julie, for sharing a relaxing walk. Happy to discover that you may continue to blog at your leisure.
Good for you. You are so fortunate to "have this place" in your life.

Birdie90 me too! I was surfing the net and though "hmm I wonder if Julie got the blog itch yet!" haha I'm so glad you did Julie!

A few updates are better than no updates! It gives us readers a little more to yearn for I suppose! The subsribe button is genius thanks for letting us know!

I adore the photo of Cooper and Chet with their funny tails pointed behind them!

All Smiles for the update, Dana

Posted by Anonymous December 27, 2009 at 4:45 PM

Glad to read WHENEVER you write. I will subscribe, but honestly don't mind checking either ... feels like waiting for the post and hoping a letter is there. Sometimes there is and sometimes there isn't. The delight and surprise of finding one is as much fun as the actual letter:)

I like the RSS feeds - even if it's 2 or 3 posts a week, you'll always be seen pretty shortly after posting =)

One of the things I love about reading (and seeing) the adventures of Liam and of Chet Baker--is that this is such a perfect way to be. This is what childhood SHOULD be like for every child.
And, I grieve that there are so many children who simply do not have this leisurely way of growing up, exploring, learning--just being.

I strongly recommend that readers use an aggregator like bloglines and subscribe to all their favorite blogs. You know when something new is up AND you have the list right there providing the links. Saves so much time.

I have found Google Reader to be invaluable for keeping up to date on blogs. I am glad you are going to keep blogging. I do enjoy seeing your photos and hearing about all the things you get up to. For a city dweller like me it is nice to see all that countryside you have right on your doorstep. Wishing you a very happy New Year!!

You made my heart smile this morning. I get on my computer everyday about 4:00am. This morning, being Monday, I was dragin', looking though emails I missed, being away at Christmas.
So I said to myself..... Self I've just got to look, just a peek and maybe just maybe, YES there you were. BIG SMILE, and monday didn't seem too bad. Thank you! Thank you for the time you take to make us all feel better.

I have your blog set up as one of my home pages so it opens automatically when I fire up my computer in the morning. I must say that you set the bar very high for your fellow bloggers, and I have been trying to do as you and post 5 days a week--rarely happens, of course, but you have helped me be more dedicated to my own blog. Anyway, glad to see you can't stay away, and now it's a special surprise when I click your tab and there's a new post!

When I read your idea about 'Subscribe' I thought "COOL!" Then I realized I really don't want another 10-15 emails every day or so that I'm only going to delete. My habit is email last, anyway. It's much easier to go down my list of bookmarks and check each one rather than go back to my email and see which ones are updated. I don't mind checking every day!

My kids love when we go to Maine every summer, and our cabin there (that my grandparents built by themselves, a real LOG CABIN.) We succumbed to some video game systems over the years but my kids aren't consumed by them. But up there -no TV so no games. We have a hand pump in the sink for lake water washing up, and a Swedish composting toilet. My sons think it is the most awesome place in the world and so do their friends that have accompanied us over the years.

Sing it, James!

I don't mind checking in here every day, either. It's one of the best habits I have.

Yours will be the first blog I will subscribe to. I can't wait to get a notification in my mail. Enjoy your blog-free moments.

This post exemplifies life in all its ramifications, wildness, children, dogs, history, nature et al! Excellent.

Thank goodness this balance thing is working out both ways. Today was a tune-up to the cranky parts that had taken refuge from 5 days of hard weather assaults to IL. Thanks for reminding me that the joy of living free and close to the wildness doesn't have to hibernate. It just takes a few notes from the haunting melody-maker and I'm good to go! Leslieyosh

Just when I was getting ready to scroll through your archive.

Posted by Anonymous December 28, 2009 at 2:02 PM

Yeah, me too. Says to myself, I bet Julie can't keep her hands off her blog, I'll just check....Happy to see you any time, and also glad you're sorting out the balance thing.

I will subscribe - I did this only once on another blog (littleorgangeguy) and then forgot how to do it with others.

So happy to see a post, and such a delightful one of the human boys, the 4 legged boys and stories to tell! The photos are so joyful.

Since I found this blog, it is like an oasis in my day (suburb dweller, full time job all the way downton in the city, tiny garden, very satisfied but lightyears away from a magical place like Indigo Hill). I love the stories, Chet Baker, the entire gang of family and friends, the practical information I learn hear, other folks' comments, and the goodness that you attract.

You have such a gift - so many gifts - thank you for sharing with us.

Dear Julie,

Your blog is the one I read to end my day because I know that it will be uplifting with pictures that always make me smile. When you said you needed a blogging break, I knew that sometimes one has to have "a break" no matter how much joy it brings to others. Your archive pulled me through, but seeing new posts was such a blessing! I think that a big "Thank You" message was long overdue especially since I do tend to read without leaving a comment. Your posts mean a lot to more people than you can imagine and we are a privileged lot who check back and find the latest column. Best wishes for the New Year!


Best. Late. Christmas. Present. EVER! So glad to know that I can look forward to seeing more of the world through your eyes and pictures.

Julie, even if you have not posted when I check in, so what? Your blog is a treasure trove of exquisite writing and expressive photos. I'm just grateful that you are going to keep it going on whatever schedule works for you and your creativity. Besides, I want another book like "Letters from Eden" to enjoy, so I'm happy to wait for whatever you can do!

Julie: I enjoy your blog and really appreciate that you take the time to do it. I also can appreciate that daily blogging is a bit much to deal with. I really don't mind checking now and then to see if there are new posts, and don't read it everyday anyway.

So just want to say I really hope you will continue the blog and not feel pressured to post daily but more when you fee like it and have something to share.

Thanks and a wonderful new year to you and your family.

Julie, thank you again for doing your blog, I can understand doing it 5 days a week is hard, but what ever will fit into your daily or weekly time will be great for those of us who love to read your blog. Wishing you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year, Jeanne

You're back! It'll be a nice surprise whenever the new post arrives. I love the new plan. Good balance. Thanks.

The pictures of the boys, both the furry ones and the not so furry ones, are adorable. What a nice change of pace it is to look through your eyes at nature in all its glory.

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