"Cows are my passion. What I have ever sighed for has been to retreat to a farm and live entirely surrounded by cows–and china." Charles Dickens

March 4, 2017

Rebooting My Blog–& Middleaged Booty

I used to enjoy blogging, sometimes several times a week. Then, in 2012, we lost our satellite Internet from a lightning strike on our farm and the only time I could blog was on my (very slow-eg. ancient) laptop about once a week or so at our wonderful local city library in Somerset, Kentucky (both of my Mac computers are from 2004 with only one upgrade!). It took two full years for our local phone carrier to install our rural Wifi capabilities and I'd just let our satellite account go because when they came to repair it they said the equipment was outdated and I said, "Well, why didn't someone tell me that years ago?" I'm not a luddite on principal, and not as bad as my husband is, but upgrades are not something I am good at. Or reboots for that matter.

So, that, in short is how I got out of the habit of blogging.

I had also been working on another book, on the 1950s American kitchen, commissioned by a British publisher who decided to not proceed with their American list after I'd finished it in April 2014. [I am happy to say that the manuscript has now been shopped to another publisher, after languishing in a desk drawer for over two years. My bad.]

I was also preoccupied by too much social media (eg. Facebook, especially) which I've recently given up for Lent. I not only had extreme political fatigue from the past two years but I find social media can all too easily become a black hole of time-killing. When I wasn't blogging while we didn't have Internet for a few years, I also became more of a Facebook grazer. At the library, or wherever I could find free Wifi in someone's parking lot (eg. Lowe's or McDonald's), or even our local coffee house, I would check my wall for about ten minutes, maybe post, visit a few other walls and be done with it. Now I am on a complete FAST except for if I want to promote anything in my writing world (which I did yesterday).

A dear friend reminded me that I needed to blog again––and more often. I find this a wonderful way to connect and less psychologically immersive than on Facebook (as I don't have a SmartPhone I'm not on Instagram, as much as I might enjoy that with my interests in photography). Already, in writing this, do I remember how much I did enjoy blogging and the relative ease of writing here. It's often a warm-up to my other writing, too.

And finally, not only have I been busy with my two boys, and the farm world that I live in (more on the domestic end of things), but I was seized with an unprecedented depression. Part peri-menopausal, part situational, part locational (farms can be isolating), part biological––for whatever reason, there it was. Chasing me for many years and then backing me into a corner that I could not effectively get out of. Not without help, at least. This is something I am open about and want to write more about.

Depression in women and menopause have always been somewhat taboo in our mother's generation and even in our own. There are many things other women won't tell you about midlife and this is one of them: sometimes your mood swings and reactions are worse than when you were a teenager. I found out through experience. Then there is the other side of it all, the side that several writers have said that is like "getting your true self back again," after the hormonal broth of the past several decades of a woman's fertile years.

My friends, I'm here to tell you that I'm back. I'm writing more (for publication and for blogs--including Rethink:Rural), I've got a few book proposals in development, and I feel like my 25-year old self again in terms of attitude, outlook, and personality. Everything seems possible again, even if I am 54 and my mirror might say otherwise.

It's been almost a decade since The Pantry-Its History and Modern Uses was published. It's more than time to pick up the pen and start again. [You can browse and read some of my previous published articles here.] After all, I'm about to become an empty-nester for the second time with our oldest son who is graduating from high school, and his brother half out the door himself with his many activities, driver's license, and plans for the future. Both of them want to farm in some capacity––maybe here, maybe near here––and I doubt they'll ever be too far from our orbit. But either way, Mama has her own groove back and needs something to do in the years ahead.

You come back when you're ready!



  1. Catherine, I can't tell you how excited I was when I saw this new post! Your blog was always one of my very favorites... Looking forward to more!


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