I'm feeling pretty exposed.  I've been experimenting with this blog thing for three weeks. I’ve talked to a few friends about how uncomfortable I am with this whole process and they unanimously suggested that I address this issue with you, whoever “YOU” are. In truth, I don’t even know if I have an audience or how to go about getting one.

I thrive on relationships – family, friends, the lady at the Exxon that tells me Milkduds stick to her teeth, horse, dog – all kinds. I have definite opinions. I love to learn. I get great pleasure from taking a photograph and even more when someone viewing it is touched.  But writing my thoughts and thinking someone else might be interested in reading them?…..well, that’s a presumptuous and vulnerable place for me.
So why am I doing this? Simple and cheesy answer  –  I am trying to grow. Maybe this is my version of a mid-life crisis, although I’m pretty certain I’m past my personal mid-life. I prefer to think of it as me finally doing something that requires me to take a chance, risk embarrassment, hold my breath!  

The true goal here is to create children’s books. My passion for fueling a child’s literary appreciation comes directly from my mother. She didn’t encourage my brother and me to read – she required it. For her, it was as necessary as breathing. 
Learning fueled her and she could find a lesson in anything. (There were  days as a teenager that this was incredibly annoying!) She read to me from as far back as I can remember. Books were gifts to be treasured around our house. 

My brother was much better at showing her appreciation for this important lesson.  He always had a book in hand and amazing drawings came from his reading.  For me, I’m not sure she understood her influence on me until I had children of my own. My girls can tell you that I followed my mom’s example when they were little – I was on autopilot. It was ingrained in me and I was determined to ingrain it in them! I still tear up when I recall the first day that my oldest read confidently out loud to her dad, her voice getting stronger and more excited with every word….or the memory of my youngest sitting up in her crib before she could talk, jabbering away while she turned the pages and made voice inflections just like I did when I read to her. As they grew up, I remember the complete joy I would experience when walking into a room to find one or both of them engrossed in a book. 

I have a terrific family. It’s made up of a colorful, loving husband who is the happiest redneck I know, a daughter that is the most focused and determined individual in my world, another daughter that makes no concessions that would
cause her to lose her stunning individuality and who is  unknowingly influencing me to do this, two Welsh Corgi pups that make me laugh every day, eight horses that are still trying to figure out why they aren’t invited in to watch TV with us and a barn cat named Gibbs that is crafting his way into my heart. My life is full. And I am happy. 
So we’re back to why – why am I putting myself out there when life is good and I am so uncomfortable saying “Look at ME” (the true social media curse)?  My motives are selfish. I want to make a child say, “Look, Mommy! That horse is blowing bubbles!” while pointing to a moment I captured with my camera.  I want to share my love of animals and the happiness mine bring me. I want to encourage observation and the use of it to increase appreciation of the every day journey. I want to take Mary Oliver's  advice from her poem Instructions for living a life that I referred to in my first blog attempt:  "Pay attention. Be amazed. Tell about it."

This blog was suggested by my friend Leslie who believes in me probably more than I do myself. She is the energy, the organizer, the motivator I have needed to make this step. She has suggested that networking through the social media is the best place to start. And although this self-promotion makes me feel completely vulnerable, she has convinced me that I need an audience to get to know me and trust that I have something to offer. The old saying, “nothing ventured, nothing gained” is indeed true. Failure is not a possibility if I don’t even try. 

SOOOOOOOO, do you “like” me? (Okay, that made me LOL at


06/10/2012 9:19pm

I LOVE your blog, Jamie! I've read it quite often but this is the first time I have left my comments. I have to say that I have real trouble of the kind you have described doing any blogging myself. It is vulnerable and you are gutsy to do it. I applaud you!

06/11/2012 10:40am

Hmm, as your old friend who is amazed at all that you have done and continue to do, and who loves the Blog so far, and is appreciating your authenticity about the anxiety you seem to be having, a couple thoughts/ questions come to mind:

From the approximate 8 paragraphs you have written above, 3 words jump out at me that could possibly be strong source of your anxiety:
"exposed", "self promotion" "vulnerable"

When you see or say those words individually, what feelings come up for you? What judgments are you holding about people who demonstrate those qualities? Were your first thoughts/reactions to those words/behaviors negative or positive? If so, think/journal about why that is so. Why might you be having negative thoughts about them, and transversely, what are positives of those qualities?

In your specific goals for your Blog, were these qualities considered? How might these words/qualities being "tied in"' to the Like Me (Like my Blog) question? When you and Leslie begin talking about your launching a Blog, did you talk about what success would look like? (If not, it certainly isn't too late!)

Not sure, but perhaps thinking about some of these things might help as you try and work through why you seem to already be questioning "success" of your Blog, dear friend.

Sorry, don't like you or the BLOG....I LOVE you both!

Randy Stein
06/13/2012 5:33pm

Great job Jamie keep it up, and share some more movies of those Zany pups, they crack me up

06/17/2012 1:46pm

Absolutely Brilliant!!!!...... We love you and the family ( and the extended family). I am so very happy you are getting out there!!!


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    My name is Jamie.

    I left the culdesac for the country. My life is run by two Welsh Corgis. I discuss the biggest obstacles life throws at me with a horse named Belle. My family has suggested that I consider having my camera surgically attached. I pride myself on the fact that my armchair psychology has only caused a few disasters. And I love to write. I am not certain if I'm finding my sanity or losing it. That's where you come in - YOU decide! 

    Welcome to the C-4 Ranch!

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