Category Archives: Blogging

Like Lazarus, Only More Fragrant

File:Giotto di Bondone - No. 25 Scenes from the Life of Christ - 9. Raising of Lazarus - WGA09204.jpg

Raising of Lazarus, Giotto (c.1306)

Lazarus was only in the tomb for 4 days.  My blog has been “at rest” slightly longer, if the Christmas header image that I just replaced is any indication.  Don’t suspect for a moment that I have had nothing to say.  Rather, I was more overwhelmed by the unrelenting waves of events that left me scratching my head and wondering, “WTF?”  I found I didn’t have the energy to blog about what I now see as the inevitability of American decline.

Oh, and there was also a series of life changes.  Since I last checked in, Darling Husband retired from the US Navy after a career of 21 years, 9 months, and 4 days.  His new career in the civilian world began right away, thank Heaven, but lasted 3 weeks.  And then he changed jobs.  This new position is what he was looking for in the first place except…wait for it…it required us to move.  Thus, since late January, this Housewife has been neck-deep in real estate listings.  Our move is half complete.  We are settling into our temporary dwelling while we wait for our new home to be built.

So where does this blog go from here?  My take on military life will now be from the distance of a retired family member.  With budget cuts targeting retirees’ military benefits, I’m sure I will have thought to contribute.  I’m halfway between mom-of-teens and empty-nester right now.  Junior is finishing up (Please, God!) his junior year of high school, leaving one more year at home for him.  That means his college search will be in full swing soon.  SuzyQ will be returning home in a few short weeks after her first year away at college.  I’m sure that will mean some readjustment for all parties.

Is there a niche for over-forty, retired military, conservative, Catholic, almost-empty-nester bloggers??

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, family, military life

Anatomy of a Mid-Life Crisis

Sound the trumpets!  Cue the ticker-tape parade!  It’s the 100th post here at the Uncommonhousewife Blog!  It took a little over a year to get here, which I’m feeling pretty good about.  Readership, on the other hand, could use some work.  I’m thinking I should have a celebratory giveaway or something to boost my numbers.  Hmmm.  I wonder if I have any crap valuable trinket to offer.  Guess not.

Instead, those diehard readers still with me get to follow along as I muse about who, where, or what I want to be when I grow up.  Just recently, I passed into what must now be called my early 40s.  I’m not traumatized by it.  I am, however, prompted to evaluate what I’ve spent all those years doing.  As a full-time mother, I know I have done highly valuable work without earning a dime for it.  As a military spouse, I know I have provided the supporting pillar that has allowed our family to remain stable and happy as we were tossed around during deployments, moves, and other high-stress events that come with the military lifestyle.  Now, I’m seeing the not-so-distant end of each of those roles and wondering what’s next.

  • Going “back to work” isn’t very easy when you haven’t worked for pay in 17 years.  I’ve been following various bloggers who specialize in re-entry into the workforce for moms.  The problem is, most assume that the mom has a career path waiting for her to return to.  My story reads a bit differently.  I graduated college in the middle of a recession.  I took the best job offer I got, which was not in a career field I particularly liked.  A year later I got married and proceeded to hopscotch around the country every 6 months to 2 years for the next 19.  At first, I worked where I could.  Back in those days, employers were not so friendly to military wives, who were sure to leave right after they got perfectly trained at the job.  So it was temp work for me.  Then came children.
  • Is going back to school worth it?  I always said I would go back and get a master’s degree.  I was never too clear on which field I would pursue the degree, but I was definitely gonna get one.  After all, I was good at school.  My professors all made sure to tell me what a waste it was that I had no immediate plans to go to graduate school.  But 20 years later, I’m thinking that going back to school only makes sense if I have a specific goal in mind which requires that advanced degree.  Otherwise, it costs too darned much.
  • Where do I find roots and contacts when I’ve come and gone so many times?  This is the part where I wish I had diligently kept in touch with everyone I’ve ever known from college, wives’ organizations, school groups, churches, neighbors…Yeah, right.  I guess this is exactly what Facebook is for.  Now I can nudge those people who gave up trying to keep our address current on their Christmas card list.
  • Is all of this premature?  After all, I still have 2 kids to get into college and on their way.  And being their guidance counselor is basically a full-time job.  Darling husband could end up staying in the Navy for a few more years if the economy continues to self-destruct.  Or he could retire and bounce from one job to the next and one state to the next for a few years.  That would leave me pretty much where I am now: tumbleweeding around hoping to land on the right opportunity.

I know there have to be other women in similar situations out there.  So come on and chime in with suggestions.  Life coach?  Community college?  LinkedIn?  Politics?

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, mid-life crisis

Never Blog about Girdles

Lesson learned.  When you mention pieces of lingerie or undergarments in a blog post, the weirdos come a-callin’.  You end up with some search terms that really make you scratch your head.  I have blogged in the past about interesting search terms that led folks to the Uncommonhousewife here, and it’s still funny to read the terms like free-form poetry:

How long to stay mad at your dog

Talbots mom;

Daffodils come up now its freezing.

Martha Stewart brown alpaca paint

British Airways first class pajamas.

Making girdles,

70s girdle,

Girdle “patricia”,

Retro girdles.

The milk cow urban dictionary

Rainboots puddles

Poems about cheese.

In all, I had 11 separate search terms involving girdles.  Since we are family friendly around here, I can’t mention all of them.  Creepy reprobates.  I’m also still plagued by referrer spam, making the whole “page view” thing rather pointless.  The spam bots aren’t out looking for the girdles, though.  They seem most drawn to the posts for Memorial Day and the Rapture.  Interesting.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging

I Get Discovered!…Not Really

I’m still a rookie when it comes to blogging.  It has been a little over 6 months, and I’m still figuring out new things every day.  I get excited when I try to add video to a post, and it actually works!  I bought a couple of books about getting started as a blogger, and I still have plenty to learn.  RSS Feeds?  Search engine optimization?  Still doing my homework.

It doesn’t take an expert blogger to know that traffic is a good thing.  WordPress is thoughtful enough to keep track of all kinds of statistics about my blog.  Views per day, busiest day ever, top posts.  It’s all there in nice graphs.  Some days this can be depressing.  I think I’ve just written my best, most inspired post ever, and I learn that it has been viewed twice.  That would be Darling Husband and SuzyQ or maybe my sister.  No worries.  I’m just starting out.  Back to the drawing board. 

Then one day I check my stats and see that I’ve had 12 views!  The next day, I’m up to 30!  Then 40!  What did I write about?  Was is because I got a little political?  Should I do that again?  Then I start to wonder–Where is all this new traffic coming from?  I do some homework about what all the stats mean and decide to look deeper into the referrers.  These are other web sites or blogs that link to my blog.  Sounds promising…until I realize that the web addresses listed under my referrers for those busy days are a bunch of gibberish.  Some of them look like they originate in Ukraine or maybe India.  Others are definitely porn sites.  Then there is the generic “other sources.”  I still don’t know what this is exactly.  It turns out that I am a victim of Referrer Spam.  All of those views are just attempts to get me to view the spammer’s site.  Why?  Their increased traffic gets them better search engine placement and more revenue from advertisers.  If I were to list my top referrers as some bloggers do, the spammer would get free advertising.

So, essentially, I have no way of knowing how many legitimate views I get until WordPress figures out a way to control referrer spam.  I can take a wild guess based on my number of subscribers.  Yes, I was a little disappointed.  But you know what they say about “If it looks too good to be true…”  Boy, is it easy to get caught up in the numbers, though.

I did get  some good laughs out of the whole experience, though.   As I was delving deeper into my stats, I checked out the list of search engine terms that people–or spammers–used to find posts on my blog.  Some of them are obvious, like “uncommonhousewife” or “homeschooling.”  But others make you wonder:

reading glasses admin

greyhounds and prednisone rage

palmetto bug

german word for enjoying someon’es hardship

orthodontic hell

wearing a girdle

the king’s speech movie correctness

grinch lotion

season’s greedy

hail and farewell dress code

childfree

hate lame parent commercial

bullet point for tonight’s state of the union

invasion literature blog

Yeah.  Hey, taken all together like that it sort of sounds like poetry.

3 Comments

Filed under Blogging

Writing about Not Writing

It has been a while since my last post, and I have been feeling lots of internal pressure to write about SOMETHING.  But what??   Darling Husband suggested I comment on the teen pregnancy epidemic at one Memphis high school.  My sister thought I should write about the threats to free speech that are emerging after the Tucson shooting.  Then there is the question of the shooter’s mental illness and how difficult it is to protect the public from the potentially violent mentally ill.  All very important topics.  But there’s plenty of talk  out there about those issues.  And really, all I would say about any of them is that our country is in dire need of a change in morality and priorities before any of those issues can be fully addressed.

Maybe it’s the time of year–the after-Christmas doldrums, that are weighing me down and making me stay away from these burdensome topics.  Mostly, I’m reading blogs about simplifying my life, clearing away clutter, more efficient organizing, and decorating tips for winter months for a clean and calm home.  I’m keeping  most of the heavy news in the background these days.  At times, I want to be a news-of-the-day sort of blogger.  I certainly keep myself well-informed and, I think I form pretty solid opinions about what is going on in the world.  But sometimes I envy those bloggers who regularly write entertaining posts about decorating inspiration, household disasters, or poignant family moments.  They seem a lot less despairing of the state of the world, a little more serene (at least for the moments it takes to write their posts).

So, while I’m conflicted about the sort of blog this is (political and serious or light-hearted entertainment from a Conservative perspective), I still need to get words out there.  After all, you can’t become a better writer unless you write more.  In that spirit, here are some totally random thoughts to consider:

  • As predicted, “The King’s Speech” did not take in all of the Golden Globe awards last night.  It was snubbed in favor of  “Social Network.”  Sigh.
  • Still in the Anglo vein…Did you know that more than 20 years after the fact, you still cannot donate blood if you spent a significant amount of time in England between 1980 and 1996?  This is due to a serious outbreak of mad cow disease in Britain in 1986 followed by an up-tick in human variant cases.  I fall into this category of indefinitely banned donors after studying abroad smack in the middle of the outbreak.
  • Why are all of the network shows on hiatus until “after the Superbowl”?  I know the weekends in January are pretty much exclusively football, but come on!  What about the rest of the week? 
  • In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, schools across the country are closed.  So are the local libraries and recreation centers.  So what we have in my community are a bunch of bored kids stuck at home (since their parents must work–unless they work for a government entity).  They can’t go to the library to get caught up on schoolwork or just find something to, gasp, read.  They also can’t go swim or play or exercise at the rec center.  So much for the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign.

That is pretty much what is on my mind today.  That and how to manage feeding the family all week when SuzyQ has chorus commitments every night but one.  If only I wasn’t Uncommon, I could hit the drive-thru on the way to the event.  Sigh.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, Uncategorized