I’ll take mine Freshly Pressed if you please: Thanks WordPress


Freshly Pressed 2-2-11

Fame is fun, but fleeting. For a little less than a day, I got to experience the exhilaration of being Freshly Pressed, that is, my blog was picked as one of many for the week to be featured on the WordPress home page. But hey, out of 390,600+ bloggers, quite an honor and not a bad gig.  My featured blog was HuffyHow: Birdy Buffet, a blog I wrote about bird feeding, with photos I took of my backyard birds. https://huffygirl.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/huffyhow-birdy-buffet/ 

I got to read comments from a bunch of great readers and fellow bloggers. Many have their own blogs about birds, nature, wildlife and the like, with

My lead birdy in "Birdy Buffet." (Photo: Huffygirl)

interesting photos and advice on all things nature. I heard from folks in the UK, Australia, Germany, United States, Canada, and even someone with the very cool name of Beau ( if that is your REAL name.)  🙂  It was great to expand my world view and  to hear about experiences in other countries. And that is really what blogging is all about. Although we bloggers tend to be somewhat egocentric, encouraging everyone to read our blogs (which of course we think are the best), promoting our blogs and hoping that our blogs too will be Freshly Pressed, blogging is really not just about us. It’s about opening our minds to hear what others have to say, to learn of other’s experiences, and to share our experiences too,  thus in some small way making the world a better and maybe a smaller and friendlier place, one blog at a time. So thanks WordPress. Thanks for letting me and other bloggers do what we do best. For me it’s to make someone laugh, cry, think, learn, among the community of fellow bloggers.

  © The author and Huffygirl’s Blog, 2010 to 3010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and Huffygirl’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

HuffyHow: Birdy buffet


Unfortunately this poor bird is named "Tufted Titmouse." (Photo: Huffygirl)

This time of year the winter doldrums begin to set in. The fun of Christmas and New Year’s has passed and the Superbowl without The Bears is just not anything to get excited about. It’s too early to psyche oneself up for spring and Valentine’s Day is just a blip of a holiday.   That makes it a great time of year to enjoy watching the colorful and interesting birds that come to backyard feeders many times a day. Backyard bird feeding is not hard, and for

Goldfinches are harder to spot in winter when their yellow plumage has faded. Look for the white and black bars on the wings. (Photo: Huffygirl)

 a minimal investment you can enjoy watching the birds from the cozy inside comfort. If you haven’t been feeding the birds since fall, it may take a while to attract them to a new feeder. Be patient – this is the time of year when birds are burning lots of calories to stay warm, and they’ll eventually figure out there is a new feeder in town and come around. The best place to get advice on how to start bird feeding is your local birdseed store. There ‘s also a ton of information available online. In the meantime, here’s a few HuffyHow tips.

My bird feeders: note squirrel baffle and ground cover. (Photo: Huffygirl)

Start with a basic pole and offer at least  two different foods. This time of  year the birds are looking for high-fat foods to help them stay warm, so a good place to start is a suet or Bark Butter feeder (a commercial suet and peanut butter mix) and a mixed seed feeder with peanuts, sunflower seeds and millet. My feeders are: mixed seed and peanuts in the green feeder; mixed finch food in the tube feeder, suet in the green cylinder and Bark Butter on the wooden board.

Tell the squirrels to keep out. Use a squirrel baffle on your pole and place it

Keep these guys out! (Photo: Huffygirl)

far enough away from ledges, roofs, and decks from which the squirrels can jump onto your pole. Or use only squirrel-proof feeders, like the green one here. If you feel too sorry for the squirrels to exclude them, set out corn in a squirrel feeding area separate from your bird feeder. Don’t feel too sorry for them – if you let squirrels take over your feeder, the birds will be driven away.

A basic heated bird bath (Photo: Huffygirl)

Provide a water source – a heated bird bath works great. Birds need water for drinking and bathing, even in the winter.

Keep things clean – periodically clean feeders according to the recommendations that came with your feeder, and discard seed that becomes wet or moldy. Spoiled seed can make birds sick.

Don’t forget the ground feeders. Birds like  Juncos and Mourning Doves only eat from the ground.  Most of the time enough seed will fall from your feeder onto the ground for these critters, or you can sprinkle some out periodically or add a ground feeder station. (but be careful, these can attract squirrels.) I put a handful of seed on my patio ledge so I can

This guy eats mainly close to the ground (Photo: Huffygirl)

 watch the skittish Dark-eyed Juncos.

Avoid bargain bin seed. There’s often a lot of filler in the cheaper discount seed. The bags may be cheaper but you spend more in the long run because there’s more waste. I like the “no mess” varieties of seed which only uses shelled seeds. These cost more, but there is no wasted seed, and no mess of seed shells on the ground to clean up later.

Clinging birds like this Downy Woodpecker and Flickers, like the suet and Bark Butter. This feeder is just a board with a clip on the back.

Provide cover. Birds need plants and bushes nearby to give them shelter while feeding. You can give them some extra shelter in the coldest months by recycling your Christmas tree as a temporary shelter underneath the feeder.

Name names. Get a bird guide-book or check online.

© The author and Huffygirl’s Blog, 2010 to 3010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and Huffygirl’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My 100th Post: Thanks WordPress


This week turned out to be a whirlwind for me and Huffygirl’s blog. It started out ordinary enough. I usually don’t get huge traffic on my blog, but I know the readers I do get seem to enjoy it, so I keep cranking out as much as I can for those who are kind enough to read it. Then, on Tuesday afternoon, something happened. I had a couple of comments, not from my usual readers, and one of them said “Congratulations on being FP.” FP?  FP? It took me a minute, but I, like most WordPress bloggers know that FP stands for Freshly Pressed. WordPress picks several blogs they like a week to feature on their home page, Freshly Pressed. Kind of the WordPress equivalent of being nominated for a Pulitzer. I couldn’t believe it – me on FP? Finally? I did not expect this to ever happen. I clicked on the home page, and there it was, a picture of my latest post at the top of the page, my post about a story I shared about once lying about my age. Then, the flurry of blog activity started in full force. I watched in amazement as comment after comment appeared on my blog, as my stats went from the usual 3-30 a day to over 4,000 over the next two days. I felt honored, exhilarated and terrified all at the same time. As I answered comments and wrote my next post, I thought “I’ve really got to make this GOOD because now real people (I mean people besides my friends) are actually reading it.” I worried about typos and apostrophes and whether my grammar was correct. Even though I always care about those things, now it felt even more important. PEOPLE are watching. And then, as all good things do, the flurry of fame came to an end. On Thursday afternoon I clicked on the WordPress home page to see a whole new set of blogs featured on FP. My fame was over.

That's me at the top - with the picture of the phone!

But it’s not. Not really. I’m sure I’ll never see 2,400 people read my blog in one day again. But I have some new faithful subscribers and got to read kind, thoughtful  and interesting words from a lot of  people. I read their blogs too.  These are folks, who like me, work hard on their writing to do exactly what we all should be doing: making someone laugh, cry, think, learn.

The folks at WordPress do a great job of putting out a blogging platform that offers lots of slick features and works great. And they seem like a nice bunch of folks too.  The greet me on my blog with “Howdy huffygirl!”, answer my help requests promptly, even the really stupid ones, and put out lots of tips and helpful videos to help bloggers make the most of their blogs.

So, I’ll do my best to keep writing something thoughtful, useful or entertaining, and promise to always spell check, watch my grammar and hold myself to high standards. And I hope you all keep reading. Thanks readers, and thanks WordPress.

http://en.wordpress.com/tag/freshly-pressed/

  © The author and Huffygirl’s Blog, 2010 to 3010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and Huffygirl’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Plinky Prompts: Funny, You Don’t Look a Day Over …


What would you do to land a summer job?

 

Now that I’m at an age where most women DO lie about their age, I don’t. I like to think that I look younger than my actual age (who doesn’t) so why would I lie about it? When people say to me “My goodness you don’t look like you could possibly be ______” it’s much more satisfying than if I had already shaved some years off my age.

The one time I did lie about my age was when I was seventeen and just graduated from high school. I wanted to get a summer job so I would have some money to take to college, but everywhere I looked for a real job that wasn’t babysitting or picking up trash in the park, the employer wanted someone 18 or older. I wasn’t going to turn eighteen until December and I needed money now. After being rejected repeatedly for my age, I finally figured out that I could lie and just SAY I was 18. Either it was way easier to lie about your age back then, or the employer was not very thorough, because I got away with it. I don’t remember having to show ID, or maybe I did but covered up my date of birth with my thumb.

So what was the job I wanted so badly that I lied to get? It was calling people to apply for a Montgomery Ward’s credit cards. It was one of the original telemarketing jobs which was pretty new back then. Was it worth it? I hated every minute of the job, but did earn enough money to take to school, convinced my boyfriend to apply for a Monkey Wards card, and I am to this day exceedingly polite to telemarketers when I tell them I’m not interested.

© The author and Huffygirl’s Blog, 2010 to 3010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and Huffygirl’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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