The lovely Mrs. Emily Cranwell had her baby Linden a year ago. When I got pregnant, someone suggested  that I do what she’d done and enlist the support of fellow church members, family, and friends to bring my family some meals throughout the delivery weeks until I was back on my feet. The site is called Mealbaby. Here’s the Facebook page.

What the heck is that all about? Well I’ll tell you. It’s a website where you register and create a calender for your needed meals to help you through a time when help is necessary. Times like having a baby, recovering from surgery, or the loss of a loved one.

You then send the link out to your people asking for their support and for them to sign up on an online calendar. Sending out the request was the hardest part. I agonized over that cover letter. And I agonized over whether anyone cared enough to sign up. Turns out, they do. And we were treated three times a week, starting with my guesstimated due date, with lovely meals from lovely people.

I was so thrilled that I’d allowed this to happen. And I looked forward to seeing all of my people show up on my doorstep. Many of them hoped and gambled that they would see a baby when they got here. Some were lucky enough to even hold her. Some just saw still pregnant me.

There’s a few of these meal recipes I’m still in need of having. Emily’s scrumptious minestrone soup for one as that was the last meal I enjoyed before I went in to the hospital to have them coax a baby out of me. I am reminded again, remember, it’s a gift to others to allow them to help you. Thanks to each and every one of my food fairies. You were all so sweet and fabulous.

Here’s the link for Mealbaby.


Jimmy Crack Corn and I Don’t Care

My problem is that I never liked a popularity contest. I wasn’t popular nor did I care to be. I find it hard to care whether anyone “likes” me. Jimmy Crack Corn. I’m stubborn and figure, either you like me and you get me or you don’t. And this little attitude would be fine if the social media was about just being in touch friends and acquaintances.

But this attitude is not amassing me likes on my Shalavee Facebook page or upping my analytics or getting me more readership. Yet the social media statistics legitimize your on line existence. Surely the social media mavens would cluck their tongues at my flippant attitude. I want to believe that my authentic voice and my honest content should matter more than my SEO.

My fellow blogger / bloggess Sandra at Rainforest Cottage, wrote a post here on The Pursuit of Like. Her priority is the creativity. I suddenly felt humbled. Getting caught up in numbers takes you away from the reason to blog in the first place.

She commented ,“It’s not the pursuit of “likes” that’s a problem but rather the blurring of objectives as a creative who also blogs. The strategies needed to improve your art-making can be at cross purposes with growing your blog audience. If you do end up blurring the two, suddenly your art-making becomes more about recognition by others rather than about your own creative objectives.”

She’s translated this equation in terms of creativity. Because this blogging endeavor really is about inspiring a platform for creativity. The opposite of the divine spirit of creativity is the screaming internal three-year old wanting to be paid attention to. And I get the feeling that is what the society has morphed into online. Like me, friend me, and pay attention to me NOW.

My journey then is to find and feel some sort of entitlement around asking for your support without feeling like a beggar or a bossy three year old. There’s a way. And it stems from what my readers value and get the most from. The puzzle is :
What am I to my readership? vs.
What I think you want me to be? vs.
What I think I should be?
Opinions, if kind, are most welcome.
And I may have to do a survey, Ackk.

The Pub

We found ourselves headed up to the Pub last Tuesday for half price burger night. We’d also gone the week before with the baby, even though my ankle was still really swollen.

Fiona must like the din of the pub noise because she slept through dinner again. So nice. And Eamon got time to play foozeball with the pub owner’s daughters.

All bellying up to the bar to get quarters for a couple more games.

My friend Jane in Ireland posted a St. Patrick’s Day post on her blog, That Curious Love of Green, where they were hanging out at the pub with the kids eating crisps and drinking minerals. Chips and soda water.

And I was reminded of the time Mark and I went to Ireland. We spent our first two nights in Dublin and were wandering the town in search of a sandwich and a beer. We found ourselves on the other side of the river in a pub.

The barkeep was the kindest man. After he brought us the most divine potato soup and ham sandwiches on slightly and wonderfully stale bread, we watched him as he escorted an elderly gentleman from the door to the bar. And waited on a couple as their children played with straws and napkins.

We weren’t parents yet and thought taking the children to the pub was kinda sad. But as parents, and having a local pub where everyone knows one another, it is a given. And I am amused by the way life shows you your priorities. Get out. Enjoy your community, your children, a change of venue, and a half price burger. And a pint of black and tan.

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