10 November 2011

"with a little help from my friends"

  • Blogging.  I started this blog because I felt like a stalker reading the blogs of some of the younger women at church.  I wanted to share my life with them as they shared theirs with me.  If I had known what I was doing when I first started,  I might have chosen WordPress rather than Blogger.  I knew I would be posting about my reading but I didn't know that my blog would prove interesting to a different audience than I originally thought.  WordPress is a more "academic" choice, I think, but I've found Blogger to be easy to use and I like its Google tie-in.   I don't post often enough; once a week would be about right for my blog. I think of things to post; I just don't sit down and do it; I'd rather read.  Even my husband of 40 years has discovered things he didn't know about me in my blog.  Because it's in some sense a shared journal, I say things that I never mention otherwise.  I follow several blogs of people I don't know. 
One of my favorite blogs is written by the man who fills Hugh Latimer's pulpit.  Malcolm Guite offers a mix of theology, literature, poetry, and music, especially classic rock.  I've become a great fan of his poetry and of his lovely voice reading it.  His November 4th blog is about The Inklings "exploring the thesis that far from being backward-looking, reactionary or escapist, the Inklings were fully and prophetically engaged with the main streams of modernity, that they foresaw the coming crisis of meaning in the materialist West, and in particular the attendant crises of violence and environmental degradation. I have tried to explain the way they forged a coherent alternative vision, which called for us to reintegrate Imagination and Reason as ways of knowing truth and relating to one another and the world." http://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/blog/ 

  • Facebook.  What a great way to stay in touch with friends and family and because of fb I didn't lose contacts that might have been lost after the huge computer disaster last January.  I  enjoy short visits with many of my cousins and now know who their kids and grandkids are and what they look like.  I enjoy updates on nieces and nephews.  Being back in touch with so many of my friends from South Plains and Floydada High School is so much fun--what wonderful, interesting people they are!  I treasure all "my kids" from Sunday School that have friended (what a word!) me--I usually wait for them to invite me because I really don't want to be too nosy.  As some age-related health limitations limit some of my abilities to minister, it's wonderful that I can be aware of their needs for prayer and encouragement.  Facebook kept me in touch with Peter Whitaker who has been a superb resource for biographical information about Evelyn Whitaker.  Publishing facebook links to my blog and to my website increased my traffic.  http://www.evelynwhitakerlibrary.org/id59.html

  •  I was disappointed that one of the facebook revisions removed what I thought was my link catalog.  I have just started using Pinterest's pin board and I think it might work for some purposes.  I like the boards that I can collect; I like the visual links which make scanning my boards easy.  I'll have to play around with it a bit to see if it really does answer my needs.   Is there some other alternative?   I find that I collect links the way I collect books.  Of course that's what the Favorites bar is designed to do, I think, but for some reason things just get buried and forgotten there.  Often I save groups of related links  by opening a Word file then I copy & paste the links and add comment into the .docx.  For me that functions somewhat the old index card files that used to write college papers but I keep thinking there has to be something better.  Even if that "something" isn't Pinterest, I'm enjoying yet another time sink. http://pinterest.com/KCummingsPipes/

  • I think I want my own personal version of  Arts & Letters Daily.  I first found this website by clicking a link on a friend's blog.  It's a good way to stay informed and to discover things I might miss.  http://www.aldaily.com/

  • Library Thing is an on-line catalog for my library and provides the side bars for my blog.  It is also now the sole beneficiary of any associates income from clicks of the Amazon links in my blog.  I also enjoy the ratings and reviews of my fellow readers. I've written a few of these myself.  I'm always behind here because I just cannot teach the books to catalog themselves.   The first 50 books are free so you can give this tool a thorough test drive and I considered their life-time membership a great bargain.  http://www.librarything.com/profile/KCummingsPipes

  • Pandora.  When KUHF bought KTRU I was most upset.  The Rice radio station had only offered  "alternative" programming while refusing to air anything that I might care about (like Rice athletics or programming from the Shepherd School of Music or faculty interviews) so I was not a listener, especially since the weak signal is not well received at my house.  KUHF, on the other hand, was my radio station for classical music and their plans to move the classical  programming to 91.7 FM  was not a happy one for me.  So once again my young friends led me by example to Pandora and suggested stations to me.  I really appreciate MGB's suggestion of Harold Budd radio and with the add variety button I've got a great shuffle.    I think getting some music back into my day has helped with my depression which has been a real trial this year.
  • http://www.pandora.com/#!/stations/play/601253876655993859
  • Several interesting books and a couple or three good movies have first been called to my attention by younger friends.  Among these are: 
Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans previously blogged here
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
The Help by Kathryn Stockett previously blogged here
The Conversion of the Imagination: Paul as interpreter of Israel's scripture. Richard B. Hays
Many, many children's literature titles and some wonderful lit crit. and reading lists for the courses I didn't take.  For these gifts I am most grateful,  to my goddaughter, Sonya Sawyer Fritz, and to my fellow blogger Victoria Ford Smith running with carrots.
    Some of my friends:  Luci, Debra, Whitney, Martha, Me, Chelsie, Bobbie, Belinda, Brandy, Beverly
  • The most important thing I've learned from my younger friends is the sheer joy of friendship and ministry.  Wedding and baby showers had become for me social obligation and Christian duty.  I have relearned what I once knew:   life is joyful and celebrations bring us together and let us share joy.  The time spent in planning/preparing (which I once thought  wasted or "over dosing on Martha Stewart" as I have often thought and sometimes said) is part of the celebration and joy and that time has helped me connect and deepen relationships with some of my younger friends.