r u kidding me?

r u kidding me?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Yellow Pot of Zinnias



Cheery for a rainy Saturday...

Simple for the end of a busy week...

Love Vee

Friday, August 10, 2012

Enchanted Place

There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where 
colors are brighter, the air softer, and the afternoon more 
fragrant than ever again. 
~Elizabeth Lawrence



Why, yes, we did return to "The Garden" with the grands in tow. They seemed to enjoy their walk selecting the very path toward the sprinkler that John could not resist. Yes, we did load up a twisty willow tripod thingy as mentioned earlier in the week.


As I said to my neighbor when he jogged by, "I keep bringing
home the darnedest things."

Have a marvelous weekend!

Love Vee

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What's in the Numbers?

Today I promised to share what I've learned about the stats for this place. I did not promise to share the actual stats. They're nothing to write home about, folks. They have ticked up slowly and steadily over the past five years, which is nice and really all that I expected. 

I'm not building an empire here. I just want a "home away from home" where I can share some thoughts (though I've learned which ones not to share), share some recipes (though there are many who do that so well), share some crafts (ditto), share some photos (ditto), practice writing skills (oh do I need practice), and enjoy getting to know people from many different corners.

Remember, these points are what I have learned here. I have no idea if they would be what you learn there. So we're off —

1. Titles must not only be informative, but catchy. We hear it all the time and it can be proven. When I don't have a good title, my stats drop. I can tell that it's going to happen and sometimes still can't do any better for myself than some of the lame titles I've used. I think about titles a lot. There are some of you out there who remember that $ex in the Garden post. Ahem... Well, let's just say, I had a lot of visitors that day and learned a good lesson.

~A custard dish filled with juicy, cold watermelon and eaten using a pickle fork because pickle forks are sharp~

2. A pretty picture is far better than a "keeping it real" one, especially if it's first up. I try to plan accordingly. Not pretty? Not as many people. Period. Just think what would have happened if I reversed the order of the photos today.

3. There is no correlation between number of visitors and comments. I have had very high numbers with low comments and, alternately, high comments with low visitor numbers. We can let it go at last. I'll say it again—just because there are a lot of comments does NOT mean that there were any more visitors than usual and vice versa.

4. Some days of the week are best for visitors. My best days? Tuesdays and Thursdays. I don't know about your best days. Saturdays used to be horribly bad and are now in third place.

5. Variety really is the spice of life. This is true for me across the board and for all areas including word count. When I use a lot of words and no pictures (or few pictures), I'll have more visitors than if I use a lot of words AND a lot of pictures. I try not to do two posts in a row that are about the same length or that have about the same number of photos or that are about the same topic. (If you read here, you know that I've failed on this a few times even lately. I'm still learning.) My goal is to alternate between word dense and photo dense. Of course, I always aim for pithy.

6. Many people who land here do not read my posts. Time is precious. There's a lot of great material out there. I'm considering selling Cliff Notes for A Haven for Vee in my Etsy store because there will be a test. Well, if I had an Etsy store or a test. =D

7. You can know

a. where your readers are from (what state-what country)
b. how they reached you
c. how long they stayed with you (don't be tricked by those one hour visits if the reader stayed on one page...that one was just plain stuck...probably off doing dishes... definitely not reading the blog)
d. where they went when they left
e. how interested they were in your photos
f. if they followed your links.
g. if the same readers are returning even if they never comment
h. which posts are the most popular
i. which ones have been pinned
j. which blog sends you the most traffic — Thanks, Judy!

8. If you have an upsetting visitor, you can learn that person's IP number (his or her address on the internet). In fact, I highly recommend it. Take a photo, keep a record.

9. I have learned not to fret over the inevitable ups and downs. If I have an opportunity to go and do, I will. In doing so, I will have chosen the better part. I do not become grief-stricken if the numbers tank. It's really only when they reach zero that I become distraught.

~Sob~

In all fairness, Site Meter, a free online service and my favorite stats program, has been having troubles changing servers. Many bloggers are unaffected; I happen to be one of the affected ones. Perhaps afflicted is a better term term. < insert a twitch >

10. Time of posting matters. Apparently, I have trained my readers to expect a post between 7 and 8 am. If I'm tardy, the numbers will be down enough for me to know the reason. It probably has to do with work schedules or something.

11. Finally, the most important thing I learned about stats came in the form of a comment from Abby just two days ago: "I'm here ~ not just a stat but your friend."

If you read all the way through this post, you deserve a medal. Thanks so much. Questions? 

Love Vee

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

McGarden

I am not trying to be flip with this title. It's just that the garden is so close to McDonald's and when we are out and about and want to have an easy picnic, we buy lunch from McDonald's and eat outside the gate looking into the garden. This particular garden is one of Maine's little gems and I have featured it many times: here, here, and here. So here we go again. I hope that you will enjoy it.

We enter here...

 to find the garden awash in light and deep shadows

 with coneflowers growing in abundance and what's that?

 a butterfly...don't let that face spook ya!

 nor this hornet...

daylilies are everywhere with many different varieties and how I wish I knew all their names






pink phlox
three red berries...

this was such a magical scene...the sprinklers were on and the water droplets were on everything... John walked into the middle of it...did the camera capture what I was seeing? nope

 vintage picket fence

lily pads on the recently installed water feature below...


I so love these twiggy garden tripods that I think I'll be going back today to snag one
looking down through the barn where women were potting plants while their dogs enjoyed the shade

 a wonderful stone planter filled with parsley

I enjoy the garden as much for the quintessential New England farmhouse as the plants...this is the shed door...note granite steps...we have lots of granite in New England

 an empty clothesline! I could have filled it very recently

 the back door to the kitchen...again, note the granite steps


leaving you with my three tomatoes ripening nicely in the butter dish

I'm working on a post about what I learn from watching my statistics. You may be surprised. Hope that you'll join me tomorrow!

Love Vee

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Talkative Tuesday

Each morning for the last four I've zipped into Site Meter hoping to check my stats. The numbers are plummeting like Wall Street, which does nothing for self-esteem. As you probably already know, SM is switching servers so there are going to be interruptions in service. They said that these interruptions would only last a few hours. Sure.

Edited to Add:

This is what I mean by numbers plummeting. My site meter has been down for four days. That means all numbers are nearing zero. Just let your head bend around that one for a bit. =D Of course, I know these numbers are incorrect. You've been here after all!  Still they are dispiriting.

So I did what any self-respecting blogger would do and checked the stats that Blogger provides. However, I don't understand them as the numbers are always so much higher and presented so much differently from Site Meter's.

Ditto with the third stat site I have brought on board. It's difficult to compare numbers when the numbers are not the same from site to site so I'm hoping that Site Meter will be back up and at'em soon.

***

Thank you for the nice comments on my last post. I heard from the curious about what is on the bookshelves. My photography, especially when zooming, made reading those itty-bitty titles a challenge. Plus I have them stacked every which way because there are books, old and new, arriving all the time.

One new one is 5•Minute APOLOGETICS for TODAY by Ron Rhodes, which I won at Debbie's Of His Pasture. Thanks so much, Debbie! We have added this one to our morning devotions and have had some great discussions like the one we had in response to this quote: Some critics claim the New Testament contains fairy tales, but these same critics make up their own fairy tales to explain away the evidence.


***

Last week my entire house looked as if I were running a laundry. My dryer had staggered through its final load. The thing is, John fixed it awhile back, though it was just too far gone this time. The dial wasn't advancing and I'd come to, hours later, realizing that the dryer had been going and going and going. (That can happen when the laundry room is in the basement.) I had clothes drying on racks and hanging on hangers everywhere. Thankfully, my niece let me borrow her dryer twice for towels. I'd never have been able to dry them in all the humidity.

Yesterday, the new dryer arrived. It'll be a bit of an experiment because we returned to an electric dryer after having had a propane one. I did not want to pay the extra money for a propane dryer. Especially not when we replaced the stove this year; the refrigerator is limping along; and the lawn mower kicked it on Sunday. I've never had such a year for appliances/equipment giving up the ghost.

Anyway, I did so much laundry yesterday that I must have been up and down those cellar stairs two dozen times. Today, my old bod is creaking.

***

We haven't watched too much of the Olympics, though it's on for about an hour each evening. I noted that the Synchronized Swimming was held on Sunday, though it was not televised. I've tried, but can't find when NBC is planning to show it, if at all. If you know...

***



Off to water the gardens... Things are looking up — a ripening tomato and a lone blueberry!


***

Reminder:  August's Note Card Party coming up next week. Still time to load new photos or check on old ones. 

Love Vee

Sunday, August 5, 2012

From My Perch~Mosaic Monday

Saturday afternoon found John napping on the sofa and me napping in the recliner. After waking and finding John still dozing, I decided to try a little experiment with photo taking and my mosaic for Mosaic Monday — anything would work as long as I could zoom with my camera without leaving my "perch." Talk about lazy! No, it wasn't laziness, it was consideration. ☺


Not entirely successful, though definitely interesting...

Did you already find the first mosaic I did? I hadn't included one of my favorite photos so it was redone. Having spent so much time on the first, I included it in the final. Now I have both!

I must show you the apothecary lid on its own because the soft colors the glass picked up in the afternoon light are lovely to me.

~apothecary lid~

Join Mosaic Monday already in progress at Mary's Dear Little Red House.

A sweet August week to you...

Love Vee

Telling It Like it Is

~If I Were the Devil~

Paul Harvey telling it like it is. I'll say!

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ~Ephesians 6:12

Love Vee

DB