Finish line for the Blogathon — but not the blog!

Today marks the end of the Freelance Success/WordCount Blogathon. If not for the Blogathon, I might not have started this blog.WordItOut-word-cloud-441119-1 Because of the Blogathon, I won’t end it.

The Blogathon has become an annual event in which the participating bloggers set their own challenges and set out to reach them. An overall goal for all the bloggers — if they choose it — is to blog every day.

Blogging daily requires the discipline to Velcro your shorts to your desk chair to get it done, creativity to try new ways of blogging and stick-to-it-iveness to come up with enough blog ideas to cover each day of the month. Like marathoners, blogathoners hit a wall around the halfway point; some get a second wind and keep going, others slow down or drop out.

As you can see by this site, I made it all 30 days. In fact, all you’ll see on the California WildWoman blog site right now is the Blogathon. That’s because this event kicked off my blog. It was fun! Now I don’t want to sit on the sidelines anymore: I want to keep blogging.

I may take a few days off to sharpen the blog’s focus and to decide how often to write. My new goal will be to entertain you while also informing you, but not necessarily to race.

Thank you for this journey through June. I very much appreciate your views, visits, likes, comments and support — and I’ll see you again on Fourth of July weekend!

(Note: I planned to do something special for this post, but I was sick and couldn’t get it done. I’ll try again this weekend. This thing will make you smile.)

— Holly

Iggy says ‘bye for now!

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The heartbreak that time doesn’t heal

My sister’s birthday passed last week without my thinking about it. She got her wish. I was the last one in the family still trying to keep the door open after sheMission Impossible walked out of it.

I bring up the subject because summertime is family reunion time – time to haul out the usual petty BS about relatives. It’s pretty easy to sort out the gossipy aunt, the rude brother-in-law, the cousin who spills too much personal information. Then there is adult sibling jealousy, a one-sided condition that leaves its victims baffled. It’s basically the jealous sibling’s self-imposed retribution for her own feeling that she was short-changed by parental comparisons and expectations while growing up.

My sister has adult sibling jealousy. The name sounds like a condition for grade-schoolers, but it’s not. It’s also not as simple as a family feud. In a family feud, both sides can kiss and make up. With adult sibling jealousy, that will never happen unless the jealous one overcomes her feelings. It’s estimated that 45 percent of adults have a jealous relationship with a sibling, and that it’s often one-sided. In fact, the brothers and sisters who are victims of this abuse may be stunned by it, never realizing it exists. I was.

I’m not going to haul all the skeletons out of a walk-in closet, but I do want to give you a couple of early examples. It took a long time to figure out More

Outdoor solutions right under your nose!

Cheap, effective and already on hand: Problem-solvers don’t get any better than these. Add some creativity, and you’ve got winners for outdoor life.

Watering can even has a lovely string for hanging when not in use.

Watering can even has a lovely string for hanging when not in use.

Cat litter jug watering can

I looked around one day and realized that I had amassed a ridiculous number of plastic cat litter jugs. Surely they have more than one life.

Aha! A watering can! To transform the jug, I screwed on the cap, then drilled 3/8-inch holes through it with my trusty old Black & Decker electric hand drill. All the holes were placed on the outside half of the cap, the portion where water would hit first when the jug was tipped.

The new watering can didn’t need decoration, but I jazzed it up with patterned duct tape. On trial runs using gray water from the shower, it worked so much better than hitting a plant with a big ol’ glug out of an uncapped jug. (Confession: I made a bunch of these, decorated them with duct tape and tried selling them for $1 each at a flea market. A lot of people looked, but nobody bought. The darned thing is so simple, anybody could make one and use that $1 to buy herself something pretty!)

Is that a skirt or a sun shade?

Imagine you are crossing the searing sand, no trees in sight, your skin stinging under the sun. It’s easy to picture when you’re at the beach – and the beach is the perfect spot for assembling one of the simplest yet most romantic ways More

The quiet before the fireworks

We’re girding for the Fourth of July. On Independence Day, the town gets hemmed in by so many tourists that it’s hard to see the forest for the people.Fireworkds

This weekend gives us our last chance to be small for a while. I took the camera out today to give you a glimpse at my everyday California. The scene of many movies and TV shows, it never plays itself, so you may have seen it without realizing it. Its credits include “The Parent Trap” with Lindsay Lohan, in which a camp played a camp, and “Next” with Nicholas Cage and Julianne Moore, in which a restaurant played a motel.

Today, sad to say, two teens selling lemonade for 50 cents were disassembling their stand as I passed, taking apart their photo opp. Something has become of the thermometer that for several months has tallied donations to the Fourth of July fireworks fund – the more money donated, the longer the fireworks show over the lake. Last year, the fireworks committee collected enough More

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