Summer Photo Walk, July 7

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Today’s locations were the Lima Public Library and the Allen County Children’s Garden, which are situated right next to each other just west of downtown Lima, Ohio.

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First (Soggy) Day of Summer

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Our morning glories made their inaugural climb despite the rain.

My parent’s street today:

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Lima is full of residential scenes that make sense in widescreen.

Btw, there are ongoing dramas for friends and family of mine. I avoid mentioning such matters because doing so with much coherence could invade the privacy of the people involved. With that aside, I can no longer resist mentioning that my mother had washer number six delivered today. There’s no typo in the preceding sentence. My mother has found no less than five washers lacking since the beginning of May. Today Dad returned number five for the sixth pretender to the throne.

I don’t know the finer details of this appliance series, or how my dad overcame the obstacles of returning so many washers. Is he starting to feel like someone who’s been struck by lightning multiple times in dubious circumstances? Did he just give up around washer three or four and start donating the rejects to secondhand stores? I remember watching a Weather Channel special years ago in which a woman had survived three lightning strikes and was reluctant to describe how ordinary the scenes were when it happened. She was struck the third time while washing dishes. Her predicament reminds me just a little of my parents’ marriage.

My washer and dryer were made in 1987 and still launder clothes well with fantastic inefficiency in water and electricity use. I’m so fortunate they show no signs of collapse. I just didn’t inherit enough of my mother’s force of personality to find worthy replacements for them.

I will close with a rainy scene from today’s garden. Incidentally, my washer was spinning with ease as I walked outside to take this picture:

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Creative Inspiration: Part 2 from Intensity Without Mastery’s Michelle Cole

Here is part two of my interview/collaboration with Rebecca Moon Ruark of Rust Belt Girl, a must-read blog for those of you who are interested in the culture and arts of this area of the U.S.

Rust Belt Girl

How did we get here? Not here at Rust Belt Girl so much as here—writing, blogging, connecting? (Anyone else have that Talking Heads song running on repeat in their minds? You’re welcome.)

For me, it was my mom who was the reader in my young life, who made it okay to “waste” an hour or a day on a good book. She was my biggest fan, even when my writing hadn’t a prayer of reaching a larger audience than my immediate family. She made me feel like a writer—and sometimes a vote of confidence from someone you love is enough to begin to believe it, yourself.

As I emerge from my Thanksgiving Day food coma, I say thanks to memories of my mom and to everyone else who makes me feel like something of a writer.

Many thanks, in particular, to Intensity Without Mastery blogger and photographer Michelle Cole…

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Life in Lima and more–from Intensity Without Mastery’s Michelle Cole

It is my great honor to share this post, a collaboration between myself and Rebecca Moon Ruark at Rust Belt Girl. She asked me some questions that really helped me break through the lack of inspiration that’s plagued me lately. This is part one of a two-part series.

Rust Belt Girl

For my next two posts here at Rust Belt Girl, I am honored to present Michelle Cole, a fellow Ohio native, who blogs at Intensity Without Mastery. I first stumbled upon Michelle’s photographs of the city where she lives: Lima, Ohio. I have posted before about abandonment photography, or “ruin porn,” as leaving me cold. Michelle’s photography, on the other hand, struck me with its depth of feeling, and I knew I had to learn more about the woman behind the lens. She has agreed to guest post here at my blog, and I’m so grateful.

As Michelle will tell, life in Lima—like in many Rust Belt places—has seen its share of hard times: leaving and loss. There are also sweet spots.

Between her photographs and candid backstory, Intensity Without Mastery moves me with its intense truthfulness:

My life was a mess of attrition and despair…

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Glitch in the Blogs I Follow Widget

I am curious to see if any of my fellow WordPress.com bloggers have noticed a problem with the Blogs I Follow widget. When I visit a blog that uses this widget, I literally see a list of the Blogs I Follow, in order of the blogs I’ve most recently started following. I don’t see the author’s blogroll. I see my own.

Has anyone else noticed this glitch?

Intensity Without Mastery

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After a bit of reflection, I have decided to switch my blog’s name and tagline. I feel like Intensity Without Mastery (a phrase I first heard in the great film Slacker) captures my scattered interests well. I hover like a bumble bee over lots of stuff. This has been my habit since my early days, when I’d keep myself awake entirely too late halfway building towns with my Fisher Price Little People and their accesories like the pink dragon with rubbery arms that the powers-that-be didn’t let get past the 70’s for safety reasons.

It’s been almost a year since I started my blog. Thank you, dear reader, for your continued support. I don’t know if I’d have continued past the first few posts without you.

Facebook Notes

Over the weekend, I thought I’d figured out how to cross-embed between Facebook and WordPress.com, but, alas, the codes I’d used to embed some Facebook material in a post I attempted here did not work as planned. Since the post was all about how I thought I’d figured out this process, the post was a bit foolish.

Once I figure out how to properly embed a Facebook post on WordPress.com, I will let you know. In the meantime, I’d excited about the Notes feature. It’s been available in obscure menu positions on Facebook for years, but it was vastly improved at some point recently. Now it’s a WYSIWYG editor with the option of embedding photos and videos from multiple sources.

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A screen shot from my blog’s Facebook page

The Note itself pops up when clicked, offering a much cleaner design than what is usual for Facebook:

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You can embed more photos to illustrate your post, just as you can on WordPress. There’s also the option of embedding images and video from several other sites, such as Instagram and YouTube.

By the way, I’d be delighted if you followed me on Facebook.

It is possible to publish Notes on your personal Facebook page, too. Here’s where I find that option on my profile:

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Notes show on your Timeline and your friends’ newsfeeds just like regular status updates do. When they are clicked on, they offer a cool, well-designed departure from regular posts on that site.