Archive for June 4th, 2006

Sunday Poem: My Kind of Woman

June 4, 2006 @ 6:57 am | Filed under:

Portrait by a Neighbor
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Before she has her floor swept
Or her dishes done,
Any day you’ll find her
A-sunning in the sun!

It’s long after midnight
Her key’s in the lock,
And you never see her chimney smoke
Till past ten o’clock!

She digs in her garden
With a shovel and a spoon,
She weeds her lazy lettuce
By the light of the moon.

She walks up the walk
Like a woman in a dream,
She forgets she borrowed butter
And pays you back cream!

Her lawn looks like a meadow,
And if she mows the place
She leaves the clover standing
And the Queen Anne’s lace!

—from A Few Figs from Thistles, published in 1920.

I notice it isn’t called “Portrait of a Neighbor”—it’s by. I think Edna must have been talking about herself. My neighbors would sympathize with hers…our lawn looks all too meadow-like at times, and the only reason I don’t weed my lettuce by the light of the moon is that I never got around to planting it in the first place. My peas are decidedly lazy this year, though. As for the clover and the Queen Anne’s lace, I’m with Edna! Much prettier than grass. Even when we do stay on top of the mowing (like this year, because my wonderful parents gave us a mowing service as a baby gift when Rilla was born), we leave a big patch of the side yard uncut to let the chicory and thistle bloom. I don’t know what the neighbors think, but the goldfinches love it.

Secrets of the Bloggers

June 4, 2006 @ 3:50 am | Filed under:

Maureen of Trinity Prep has invited readers to share their Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers. Maureen’s list is here. (My favorite: “Be yourself: let people get to know you. We love to hear your success stories but sharing in your failures is when we see ourselves in you.”) Mary G posted her list and Henry Cate of Why Homeschool shared his thoughts on the subject. Over at Principled Discovery, Dana passes along some advice from Greg of Rhymes with Right, such as, “Become an expert. Make yourself a “go-to-guy” on certain issues. I did on the Abdul Rahman case earlier this year, and have written a lot on William Jefferson. School censorship cases are also a topic that I often write on.”

ProBlogger is putting together a bound-to-be-way-more-than-seven list of blogging tips. The running list of contributors is here. Also of interest: this article on essential sidebar content. #1 on the list is a site search engine, which surprised me. I used to have one here but took it down a long time ago. I think I’ll put it back and see if I notice a difference in page views.

Seth Godin has some tips on how to increase your blog’s traffic. Among other things, he recommends encouraging comments “so your blog becomes a virtual water cooler that feeds itself.” He also advises the use of Technorati tags and (The latter is a “social bookmarking” site: you can store your bookmarks there just as you do on your own browser. The advantage of this is that you can access your bookmarks from any computer, anywhere, and also because you can share your bookmarks with others. I like it for marking posts I want to come back and read or blog about later. However, I seem to have really flubbed by importing all my Safari bookmarks to—I forgot about the big long list of bookmarks I never use that came automatically with the browser. Now my list is too unwieldy to use. Anyone know how to delete a whole category on As in, all posts tagged “Apple”?

Finally, here’s a post from the Deputy Headmistress not about effective blogging, but rather effective blog-READING. Like me, the DHM is a big fan of Bloglines. There’s no way I could keep up with the blogs I enjoy without the help of my Bloglines subscriptions.

Tags: ,