Daisies celebrate Ontheland’s First Anniversary—June 11, 2016

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On June 11 last year I posted ‘How does my garden grow?’, my first Ontheland post since May 2011. This last year of blogging has been an amazing journey. Without too much fanfare I would like to mark Ontheland’s first blog birthday with appreciation and thanks.  Thank you to everyone who has read, liked, followed and commented here over the past year.  I have also enjoyed reading and being inspired by other blogs.   Witnessing the thoughts, creativity, and talents of others has been invaluable.

Some history:  technically, Ontheland was born in September 2010–for 8 months I wrote and posted articles, but had no understanding of the interactive aspect of blogging. No wonder my energy petered out!   Last summer, four years later, with my mind protesting ‘I don’t have time’, I registered for Blogging 101.  That’s when the penny dropped…after interacting in a course community I emerged ready to read and be read.  That’s why June 11, 2015 will be Ontheland’s official ‘date of birth’.

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The flowers I have chosen to mark this day are wild daisies. Why? Wildflowers come and go over the course of spring and summer.  Daisies are currently in bloom around my house–I took these photos yesterday.  Getting to know and appreciate the natural cycles of growth around me is one of my many interests.

Daisies are thought of as a simple, unsophisticated flower. According to a few internet sources they symbolize  values such as innocence, gentleness, purity and beauty.  Purity and simplicity are themes of this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge.  I have met many compatible bloggers through this weekly challenge and other blogging community events–particularly Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge and Jane Dougherty’s Poetry Challenge.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ONTHELAND!

Eleven blogs I enjoy and recommend

liebster2ndToday I offer a selection of favourite writing and photography blogs—why now you ask? a belated Valentine? A valentine of sorts.  I was kindly extended a Liebster Award by Mamie en Cavale and so, in accordance with tradition, I am passing the Liebster torch on to eleven more nominees.

Mamie en Cavale is an excellent photo blog that more people should know about—the photography and presentation are superb.   I am grateful for this award, which has given me an opportunity to feature blogs that I follow.  I also answer eleven Liebster questions and provide eleven random facts about myself (see below).

The Liebster award celebrates new and less known blogs with a specified number of followers.   The number of followers can range from less than 200 to less than 3000.  I used ‘less than 400 followers’ as my guideline.  (As a side note, who knows how many followers we have…lately I’ve seen two numbers for my blog with a difference of 60–for another blog I noticed a difference of 190 between two sources…)

Without further ado, I recommend the following blogs to my readers and nominate them for the Liebster award. Nominees interested in passing on the award to others:  please visit the guidelines at the end of this post.

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Rivrvlogr, Poet, writer, photographer: ‘Looking head, without looking back (too often)’.

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Annika Perry’s Writing Blog: ‘Join me in my journey as I write my first novel’.

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My Journey with Hijab, ‘A day dreamer’s diary’: Prose, poetry, and humour.

vlacroix.jpeg   Simply Snapshots: ‘Poems, pictures and poems from a life in L’Entre Deux, Mers, France’.

haikuhound.jpegHaikuHound: Poet, writer, and photographer based in Australia.

olga.jpegStuff and what if: ‘Exploring writing and the creative randomness of life. Snapshots of moments’.

mamieencavale.jpegMamie en cavale: ‘La pratique de la photographie m’aide `a mieux vivre.’

Fifephotos.jpegFife Photos and Art: ‘A photographic, historical and wildlife tour of Fife and beyond’.

spoongood.jpegSpoonGoodRecipes and tips from an experienced and practical home cook, including vegan and gluten-free adaptations;  Photography.

LardeauValley.jpegLardeau Valley Time: ‘Join me as I explore the wild side of the Lardeau Valley, British Columbia’–Nature photography.

Doodles&Scribbles.pngDoodles and Scribbles: ‘Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic poet’– Poetry and prose.

THE QUESTIONS GIVEN TO MAMIE EN CAVALE NOMINEES 

  1. Why blog? A good question—the answer for my first few months, in 2011, is not the same as for my second start last summer (2015).  The bare bones answer for right now is that I like to communicate in writing, to be creative, and to interact with others doing the same.
  2. What are your sports interests?  I don’t consider myself to be a sporty person, but there was a day that I would cycle all summer and loved water skiing. I like ping pong and badminton—that’s as sporty as I get.
  3. You would never leave without…?  I always take my phone with me, not only for it’s obvious use, but also because it’s my camera.
  4. Your favourite colour?  As a child I believed in red and green.  Now, if pushed, I will say red or purple.  Honestly, I love many colours,shades, and blends. It all depends on the situation…
  5. Favourite hobby:  These days, my favourite hobbies are vegetable gardening, reading, writing, and taking photos.
  6. Tea or coffee?  I love coffee—I seem to need it to get going.  I also enjoy black tea, green tea, and herb teas.
  7. The destination that makes you dream?  I can’t say I dream about destinations, but I would like to see the east coast of Canada and the Northern Lights.
  8. Something that makes you smile?  funny blog posts, my morning coffee, a cute puppy, sprouting seeds, music….
  9. A recommended book?  If I were to recommend a book it would depend on the person’s interest. If you are interested in vegetable gardening, I would recommend “The Vegetable Gardener’s BIBLE” by Edward C. Smith.  I refer to it regularly from spring to fall.  One key aspect of the book is Ed’s High Yield W-O-R-D system for all North American gardening regions: Wide rows, Organic methods, Raised beds, and Deep soil.
  10.  Your music at the moment:  That’s a difficult question. I love a wide range of music, from classical to current R&B.  If I put on a CD while I am writing, it has to be instrumental–words are distracting. Often I squeeze music into my life by turning on the radio–if we had a jazz station out here (rural Ontario) I would play that.  I frequently listen to CBC radio (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) which offers an eclectic selection of music.  For driving, my first choice is often Country.
  11. Your worst mess? Some of the rooms at home can get pretty messy. One disaster zone is my ‘office’ which has traditional office stuff plus my light shelf unit for seed starting (will be doing that in March) and growing supplies. I’m on the way to tidying it up so I can mess it up again over the growing season.

ELEVEN RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME

  1. I tend to be a private person.
  2. I find it difficult to type while holding a restless orange cat.
  3. I am a recycling fanatic–though far from perfect–who knows for sure what they will recycle?
  4. I inherited my mother’s interest in healthy eating but I am corruptible.
  5. I used to  play wind instruments–first oboe and then saxophone.
  6. I have three siblings: two sisters and a brother.
  7. Reading fiction is like chocolate for me. For years I avoided novels– getting into a book meant that I couldn’t put it down.
  8. One of my pet peeves: leaf blowers–why pollute the air with a gas-burning  machine that blows leaves from one place to another?
  9. Over the years I have practised yoga and meditation. I need to bring these peaceful practices back into my life.
  10. I love camping.
  11. My favourite herb is fresh  basil.

FOR MY LIEBSTER AWARD NOMINEES: 

If you wish to participate further in the Liebster awards, here are the ‘Rules’.  Please do not feel obligated to proceed but it could be fun 🙂

1-Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog.
2. Nominate 11 other bloggers to Liebster Awards 2016.
3-Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you (see below)
4. Tell your readers 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Give your candidates 11 questions to answer on their blog when they publish their appointment.

Eleven questions for my nominees:

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. What are your favourite hobbies?
  3. What  is one of your pet peeves?
  4. What is a favourite food or meal?
  5. Do you prefer coffee or tea or neither?
  6. Name a favourite something  (eg. book, singer, band, author, poem).
  7. Are you a morning person?
  8. What sports do you enjoy, if any?
  9. What is a reference source that you use frequently?
  10. What quality do you value most in a friend?
  11.  What is a favourite journey, either travelled or planned for the future?

 

Why do I blog and tweet as Ontheland?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “All About Me.”

The most literal meaning of ‘Ontheland’ is where I am–out in the country–but taking it a bit further, it’s about enjoying and preserving our home, the natural world.

I named this blog in the Fall of 2010, after I had moved to a house in the country, off a dirt road, “in the middle of nowhere”.  Actually, we are only 20 minutes away from a small city, but having grown up in Canada’s capital, and  having lived for decades in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, this was a major change.  

Think about it, for me, a dirt or gravel road was a summer experience… the final stretch on a trip to a cottage or campground.  Now I was going to be living all year round on an acre of land with a well in front,  cows grazing in a pasture across the road, frogs chirping in a nearby marsh, and rabbits galore nibbling in an abundance of wild greenery.  I had arrived…I was finally living on the land.

Looking a little deeper, Ontheland tied into my interests and personality back then, and probably even more so, now, five years later.  As a Virgo, I consider myself to be an earthy, homebody type.  I like eating and cooking and have been a vegetarian since I was twenty.  Having a patch of land for growing my own vegetables and herbs, free of pesticides, is a thrilling opportunity.  Over the years I never was much of a gardener, not even in pots, but a major source of inspiration came up roughly 10 years ago when a friend moved into a city house and turned her back yard into a vegetable and herb garden.  It was from her efforts that I first tasted fresh arugula and basil..those experiences planted a yearning at the back of my mind.

Ultimately, blogging and tweeting as Ontheland  expresses my awareness of where we all stand, even if we have layers of concrete under our feet–we are all living on the land, on the earth, and need to be aware of that connection.   So I write about protecting the environment, being aware of our impact on nature, and finding ways of living that reflect our caring for each other and all living things.  

For more info about Ontheland, please take a look at the sidebar blurb under my picture and at the Page called “About” .

Moving to the Country

I am launching Ontheland from a parking lot near a public wireless network in Kingston, Ontario, Canada–on the land, but not in the sense intended for this blog.  I am inspired to write about my life and in particular my experiences moving from  city to  country.  It’s quite a change moving from an apartment in Toronto to a house on over one acre of land in Loyalist Township.  I’ll be writing as I begin to live my new life in the country.

Ontheland will be about house, garden, country living, food, recycling, composting, wildlife, energy conservation..all heightened concerns and interests in my natural environment.  Other interests such as music, radio,  cats, movies, technology and the like may crop up as well.

Though I am writing from a parking lot today, on an average day I’ll be at home looking out on a lawn, well,  gravel road, and a cow pasture dotted with cedar and limestone.  I’ll be sharing personal discoveries and research and look forward to hearing from you.