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Renting Space in Your Brain

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I’ve been a user of the internet in all of its many forms since the mid 90s, and since then I have had my fair share of trolls and mean comments – usually simple one offs like “I don’t like your voice” left on a video (which is ironic when I have acted and sang semi professionally!). But in my history of using the internet and becoming a content creator, I can count on one hand the number of people who just don’t know when to stop and start to become a nuisance . The first incident happened around 15 years ago and was a guy my husband and sister dubbed “Batteries” and things got so bad with him and his threats that I did have to go to the police. The second was about 10 years ago, and it might have been more than one person but at any rate, the result was *me* getting banned from a useful website I posted on and I had to speak with the police about the harassment. Then we delve into the land of psycho expats with more than one just losing their shit and stalking several fellow expats…and now we get to the most recent, ridiculous harassment/trolling efforts of someone who…well, they’re anon as far as I know. They do have internet handles, but I’m not going to mention them out of politeness.

Here’s where we get to the title of my post – Renting space in your brain. It’s incredible how ONE SINGLE COMMENT can kill you. For example, ONE music director in 2002 didn’t like my voice and I didn’t sing for 10 years. These comments weren’t about my singing, but another way I contribute to the arts – these comments were on the words I wrote.

The first comment came in September on my account over on Fanfiction.net. It was from a fellow “author”, and it was nasty and harrassive. FFN doesn’t let you remove nasty comments from registered users, so I simply deleted (And later re-posted) the story the comment had been left on and blocked the user id. Speaking to a fellow reader, I found out that the author in question “does this to any author who writes better than them and has a following”. Ok, so it was down to sheer jealousy then. Fine, whatever. I kept publishing.

I made the move to Archive of Our Own a few months ago after I finally got my invite to the site. I moved over much of my fic from FFN, but I also made an announcement on FFN that I was going to be posting on AO3 and if I wasn’t updating on FFN, to check me on AO3 and I listed my AO3 pseudo – AnnaOnTheMoon.

AO3 allows you to screen comments before they are posted, and a few came in from a person. Again, they were filled with harassment and well, they tried to tell me what I should write. Like, telling me “You need to write blahblahblah and blahblahblah needs to happen.” My response wanted to be “Go write it yourself”, but instead I just deleted the messages, figuring they would get the hint that I wasn’t interested in their “orders”. Other readers left comments requesting different storylines and if I felt I could write them, I did.  But when someone demanded I do something or another…no. AO3 doesn’t have a block feature, so I just had to delete the comments as they came in.

Finally, they stopped using their registered profile, and swapped to posting anon. And funny enough, the only reason I found out they were the same person was due to what they wrote in their comments when they referenced “a lack of negative feedback”.  Now, why would you assume someone even had negative feedback unless you had been the one who tried to leave it in the first place under your other nom de plume?

It was at this point I turned to getting advice from Author Dayton Ward on Twitter:

Dayton Ward was right. Just ignore, ignore, ignore. Don’t let them have space in my brain. But…it was hard. Especially with the comments that were coming through. At one point, they seemed to blame me for the entire Picard/Crusher fandom.

They decided that a fic I wrote called “The Comment Box” was about them. The fic itself was a tongue in cheek story about the ridiculous comments that are posted on Trek pages. Their response? Dedicating a story to me (and a friend of mine who is a big supporter of my writing.)

They thought they were writing an opt-ed. Uhm…no.  They also decided to steal my own tag of tongue in cheek, because…well, why not.

They admitted they had been reading me on FFN and had been the FFN user I blocked. They claimed to have “Been stalked in high school” (I also should note, that basing their age on what they mention in their own author’s notes, they aren’t much out of HS) and yet they decided to stalk me. (oh, and told me my depiction of stalking was wrong, because the way they were stalked is the absolute only way things ever happen)

The story got weird. I was Queen of the kingdom who churned out shit, but then I also inspire people? But the gem had to have been where I basically get blamed for the entire fandom.

I mean…what now?  But this “fic” was the final straw, and I contacted the AO3 admins and reported the story and the user for harassment.

…but I still can’t get their comments out of my head.  It’s poisoned my story, just like it poisoned one of my previous stories.  At this point, I want to either abandon the story (and the series as it’s second in a series), or delete it.  But if I delete it, I doubt I’ll ever re-write it, so then that also means that months of work will just be down the toilet because I can’t evict this asshole from my brain.

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*sigh* Hopefully, by getting this all out, I will be able to evict them once and for all and return to my writing…because how does that phrase go? The best revenge is a life well lived?

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+Meme made by me, screenshot from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
++Meme by Swear Trek
All other screenshots are from Archive Of Our Own or my own Email and Twitter accounts. 

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission.

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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The Beast From The East Strikes Lincolnshire

It’s a November kind of February…well, now March.

When I woke up on Wednesday before my huband, I left the curtains pulled on the bedroom and glanced at the cats in the spare room on my way to the stairs. They were sharing their perch and both quite avidly watching something out the window. Merddin (the ginger boy) even tried to catch something through the glass. So I looked out and was greeted with:

Snow. Our first major snowfall of the 2017/2018 winter. They’re calling it the Beast from the East with good reason as it stretches all the way from Eastern Russia to nearly cover the entire European continent. It even snowed in Rome!

But let me back up to Tuesday, when we saw minimal snow showers and a squall or two. I happened to be in town to buy a birthday present for my aunt at M&S and when I left the shop, it had started to snow.

The snow continued in little squalls the rest of the day, and we even had one so bad the bus driver could barely see on the drive home, but it wasn’t bad overall. But at 8PM, I received a text from Tesco that my deliver was cancelled due to the snow! I wound up at the local co op where I was lucky to grab a small bottle of milk, and a 6 pack of eggs. No bread.

I went to bed thinking I would catch a bus in the morning to a grocery store since all we got was that piddly amount of snow.

Boy was I wrong!

I was cold. I layered up with thermal tights, thermal leggings, 2 thermal tops, wool and fleece socks…and my brand new Beverly Crusher onesie from Think Geek.

By the time Tim left for work, it was snowing on and off. Then, around 2PM, we seemed to have a blizzard out there.

Wednesday is Slimming World Day for me, and I usually walk to group as it’s not far away. But a recent knee injury has left me getting lifts from my friends, and for group on Wednesday, I asked my consultant if she could pick me up. I’m part of her social team, so I was able to stay to group and help her the entire evening, but not before bundling up for the cold!

My Slimming World consultant picked me up at 4 and we headed to run group as she wasn’t allowed to cancel. But I took a 6 inch ruler outside before I left to measure the snow in the garden, and it was a tiny bit over the top of the ruler.

I also had to have a little bit of fun with MiniBev and MiniPicard.

After Slimming World, we slided our way back home and I walked to the co op once more in the hopes I could pick up the missing essential grocery items. That was a big fat nope. No milk, bread, or eggs. Someone is making a lot of French toast! I did spot this single little icicle though:

When my husband left for work around 11AM for his 2-10 shift, all the hills into Lincoln were closed. He had to park the car up at the Lawn and walk on foot the rest of the way into Lincoln. Once at work, his job took him out to Ancaster, some 20 miles away. His trip home took an hour to get back to Lincoln, and then another hour to get from Lincoln to Dunholme…a distance of only five miles.

Naturally, he was unable to stop for supplies on his way home, so I could only hope the co-op would get a delivery in the morning.

As you can see, the cats are more interested in the electric blanket now than looking out at the snow.

This morning, I was relieved to see we hadn’t had any more snow overnight, however it has now become windy, which means lots of drifting snow. Still, I had hoped the co-op would have been resupplied, but according to a friend, a delivery came in early, but people were buying multiple jugs of milk, loaves of bread, and packs of eggs, leaving the shelves empty by the time I got there.

I did manage to pick up a pack of wraps, some soy milk, some chocolate milk, and a 4-pack of duck eggs. I’ve never eaten duck eggs before, but I’m assuming they will taste relatively the same. I hope. We can use the chocolate milk in our coffee and the soy milk with cereal to save the minimal regular milk for tea.

The village roads are still hit and miss. Two of the main roads (Lincoln Rd and Ryland Rd) seem relatively clear, but Honeyholes lane is a struggle and I heard several streets are still completely impassable, as we simply won’t see a plough on the smaller streets. The footpaths are walkable, if you can keep your balance on the packed down snow, and are most definitely not passable if you use any type of walking aid. The buses are even trying to run limited services again.

I’m hoping to get out tomorrow to get groceries. Tesco graciously gave me some vouchers, but I don’t want to schedule delivery until this mess has passed us over as I wouldn’t want it to get cancelled again!

Short video I took from my bedroom window:

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission.

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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Back?

I logged into wordpress this morning and noticed the top line there and smiled. Back when I started this blog I installed a little widget called “Hello, Dolly” which did nothing other than display a random line from the song “Hello, Dolly” across the top. I loved it because the first musical I had ever been in was in fact, “Hello, Dolly!” and when I first landed on the internet in 1993, I picked Minnie Fay (one of the secondary lead characters) as my handle, and I kept Minnie Fay until I was 23. I think I even still have access to my old email account.

Seeing that made me smile and think, yeah. This is what I should be doing. I should be writing daily. Blogging as often as I can. I was going to do NaNoWriMo or NaBloPoMo, but I fractured my wrist towards the end of October which put a halt to writing.

I’ve not posted since September….and it’s not because I haven’t done things. On the contrary, I’ve been quite busy! I just never bothered to blog for some reason and I am going to try to rectify that. Maybe I needed that time away. I’ve also not been updating LiveJournal or keeping up with email.

Even though the paralympics were in September, I will be blogging about it. And our trip to Welshpool, and other assorted things I’ve no blogged about yet. I’ll have to make a list!

I’m back where I belong now.

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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I’m a Guest Blogger!

Hey everyone, today I was a guest blogger over on Bugs and Fishes with a post about making Christmas crackers. You might remember I made some last year, and I’ll be making the ones for this year soon, too. Go check it out! And check out Bugs and Fishes, it’s a great blog!

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog.]

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Subscribe by E-mail

Facebook has taken away the option to read blog posts directly as notes as of 22 November. My blog posts will still post over to facebook, but you will have to click on a link to go to my website to read them. I also have heard complaints recently about the new Google Reader, and I have to say, I’m not a fan of their new layout either. To make it easier for those of you who want to read my blog posts but don’t want to have to go to my website or use an RSS reader, I have added an e-mail subscription option. Just scoll down on the right side until you see “Subscribe by email” and put your email address in the box and click “subscribe”. For those of you reading this on Facebook, LiveJournal, or an RSS feed, go to http://blog.beccajanestclair.com and then scroll down to the subscribe by email option.

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It’s NaBloPoMo Time

It’s that time of the year again, time for NaBloPoMo! This year, NaBoPoMo has moved over to the Blog Her network. I have no idea what that means. I don’t know if I should be posting my blogs over there or what’s going on, but it doesn’t matter since I’m not in this for any kind of competition, I’m just in it for myself! 30 days straight of blogging — can I do it?

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]

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testing

Testing blogging from blackberry!

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More Self Promotion

In addition to listing myself with Network Blogs, I’ve now got a page on Facebook for my blog. If you’re a facebook user, could you please go “like” my page here? You don’t have to add me as a friend (though if you want to, feel free), but I’d appreciate the “likes” on Facebook 🙂

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Need a New Solution

Okay, so editing the .htaccess file to block hotlinking didn’t work.

I managed to even cause my server a 500 internal server error in the process.

Crap.

Anyone know of a way to batch watermark images? With the number I tend to post (especially with Austria pics) it will take AGES to watermark everything, but at this point, I feel I really need to in case places are hotlinking to my pics.

Argh. This is really frustrating.

Basically, the .htaccess file was blocking images on the RSS feed and on the LJ Feed even though it wasn’t supposed to and no matter what I added to the file, it still blocked things. And I really don’t think that most of my readers ever even click through to my site, unless it’s to leave a comment, as most people read things on one of the RSS feeds, so it’s a little counter-productive to say “click through to my site to see pics”.

Blegh.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]


The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Pissed Off!

Yesterday, I was looking at my blog statistics, and this website popped up as being a referring website. I always like to check my referrers just to see what they are, and if it’s another blog that’s linked to me, I like to read a few posts and consider adding a link back.

Well. Not this website. Apparently, they not only were hot linking my image of banoffee pie I made several weeks back, they also copied word-for-word my entire post* about making banoffee pie…and the website appears to have no contact information listed, and they’ve conveniently disabled the ability to leave comments on posts. Right clicking on other images and clicking “view image” showed me all sorts of images that had been pulled from other websites, blogs, even livejournal. This leads me to believe that the entire food.tasteonline.info website just copy/pastes in other people’s blog posts….especially after they copied a post from the Guardian and the bottom of the post says:

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

I managed to disable the hotlinking of the image. That was pretty simple and involved editing the .htaccess file (you can google for instructions if you’ve had this problem, too, or even add a WordPress plug-in. Just search the plug-ins for “disable hotlink”). The images (So far) still copy over to the RSS feed and the Facebook feed, but will not show up on any other website.

But what can I do about the copied words? Nothing, really. It would be possible to track down the website owners, but often that doesn’t even give you the proper information. For example, if you check who “owns” my domain, it will list Dreamhost, my hosting company because they protect their client’s identities.

I had another problem recently where a camping website had pulled my post about what you need to drive on the continent. On their site, they claimed it was “edited from” and at least included the link back to my article. The edit was pretty bad though. They changed random words and it wound up not making sense, but again, not much I could really do about it, other than leaving a comment on the article and asking them to remove it.

But since the people that run the sites seem to copy in every last word of a post, so from now on the bottom of every post of mine is going to include a copyright notice similar to the one I use under the photos.

I also looked into disabling right clicking, but then that would also disable the “open in new tab” option if someone wanted to click on a link. I suppose I could also start watermarking all the photos I put on the blog, but that would take ages to do, as all of the “batch watermark” programs I tried in the past were horrible.

*I looked at the banoffee pie recipe again. It appears to be lifted straight off the LJ cooking community, and not my actual blog.

Hmm. I’m going to test posting an image here just to make sure it posts over to the RSS and Facebook feed.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]


The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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2010 in Review

Sitting down to do a 2010 review seems so weird….didn’t the year only just start? But then, when I look back on things…wow, January 2010 was so long ago!

We’ll start the year out on December 31, 2009. Tim and I were waiting on my spousal visa to be approved, and I received one of the most important phone calls of my life shortly before midnight GMT. We had been approved and my visa was on it’s way to me! My boxes had already been shipped, so the next three weeks were filled with me trying to pack my remaining suitcases, visit places “one last time”, and see as much of my family as I could. I left the US on January 21, 2010 and entered the UK on January 22. The immigration officer asked me nothing beyond “Where is your husband?” when I went through immigration. He stamped my passport and said “Welcome home, Mrs. Lockley”.

Tim picked me up, and we headed to the hotel he had booked for the previous night. Since my plane was getting in at 6 in the morning, Tim went down the night before, and we had decided he would pick me up and we would go back to the hotel to get more sleep, stay the night again, and begin our trip back home on the 23rd. I remember bits and pieces of the hotel stay. I remember watching an episode of Doctor Who on BBC3 while we sipped champagne and celebrated finally being together.

Tim went back to work and I busied myself unpacking my suitcases and getting things ready for our late Christmas celebration. On the 28th, we had Tim’s parents and sister over to celebrate Christmas…complete with putting up the tree!

My boxes finally arrived in February and it took me a while to get them all emptied….I finally emptied the last book box on our anniversary in November! Tim’s aunt found a local chorus for me to get involved in, and I started volunteering once a week at the Cancer Research UK shop on the high street. I was starting to get myself established!

March was fairly uneventful. Tim had a week of leave and we decided to stay at home and began working on our garden – we were going to try our hand at growing our own vegetables this year. We also began work on extending the garden railway…a project that had a deadline of August 31! I adopted the area under the lilac tree as “mine” and began clearing it of weeds. I soon discovered that there is something wrong with the soil under the tree, as nothing appears to want to grow on the sunny side. 🙁 Oh well, Rock garden for next year!

In April, we held our reception for Tim’s family and our friends in the UK. My mom flew over for it, and he trip was only supposed to be a short one….but due to volcanic ash, we wound up with an extra week!

May brought my first choral competition with Lincoln Sounds…and we came home with a Bronze medal and the highest score the chorus had ever gotten! What a fantastic introduction to the competition.

June and July were both quiet months. Mostly filled with more gardening and garden railway building.

in August, I went with my friend Helen and her son, Mark, to Wales for a week. We spent the week visiting castles and railways, and I had a great time. I loved Wales, and loved being near mountains. The end of August brought my birthday and Tim’s birthday. Tim was hitting a milestone this year, so we decided to have a party and officially open the upper circuit of the garden railway.

September was our big holiday. Honeymoon part 2. Tim had wanted to take me to Germany and Austria for our honeymoon, but it wasn’t going to work out right after we got married, so we decided to take the trip when Tim had his two weeks off. We spent our time camping in Zell am Ziller and Nußdorf, making day trips to castles and railways and Tim took me to see “my castle” – Neuschwanstein. We had a great trip. Blog posts about it are coming, I promise!

in October, I took the train down to Southampton to visit a friend I hadn’t seen since college. We re-connected through Facebook and I found out she had also married a British man and was living in the UK, and she invited me to come for a visit. We had a great time. It was really nice to be around someone who I have known for so long and to catch up with her. We have plans to get together sometime soon.

November marked our one year wedding anniversary and we celebrated it by attending the fireworks at the showgrounds. We also celebrated Thanksgiving and I cooked a full Thanksgiving meal for Tim and my in-laws.

Which brings us to the most recent month past, December. I spent most of the beginning of the month preparing and cleaning because my mom arrived on the 16th! Our plans for Christmas involved going over to Tim’s parents house, so I cooked my Christmas dinner on the 23rd. Unfortunately, my MIL wasn’t feeling well and on the 24th decided to cancel dinner at hers and rescheduled it for the 26th. Tim and I had to brave Tesco on Christmas Eve to get all the fixings for our dinner. I didn’t cook a turkey, but we made do with a nice roast chicken. Mom left on the 30th, and Tim and I watched DVDs last night and flipped to BBC1 about one minute before 12….and went to bed shortly after the fireworks.

Bring on 2011!

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]

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When Filters are Bad…

I had to share this.

I set up some heavy filters for commenting on my blog because I had a rash of spam comments last year and I spent 5 hours deleting something insane like 1000 spam comments. most were for porn websites, so I added to the black list most of the ruder words for parts of the human body.

Yesterday, my friend M, tried to leave me a comment on my blog post. In her post, she used the word “glass”.

Can you guess why she couldn’t post her comment?

Yep. “Glass” contains “ass” and it got picked up by the bad word filter!!

So be careful what you block. I remember my friend’s maiden name used to give her grief because it had the word “cock” in it and some websites wouldn’t let her use it, and Tim was telling me about the town of Scunthorpe that sometimes gets picked up by filters (I won’t tell you why. Look at the word and figure it out!)

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]

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Halfway!

We’re halfway through the month for NaBloPoMo, and so far I’m actually reaching my goal of one post/day, and I still have plenty to blog about!

After the month is up, I will probably scale back my posting, but in the new year, I’m hoping for a few goals regarding my blog:

1. Blogging at least three times/week. It could mean M-W-F, it could mean F-Sa-Su, but I want to blog at least three times each week. Four, five, six, or seven times will be a bonus! I’ll also try not to post twice in one day like I sometimes have to spread out the posts. I can’t always guarantee brilliant posts, but I will try!

2. More vlogs, even if it’s of mundane things. You guys seem to really like the vlogs (especially if Tim talks!), so I want to give you what you want! I still don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera, so I’ll still be talking from behind the scenes most likely. Also, a house tour at some point in 2011.

3. Regular recipe posts. I want to try to post recipes once every fortnight (that’s 14 days/two weeks). I’d go for more often, but I don’t want my blog to turn into a recipe blog….even if my friend Lynne thinks I should write a cookbook. (I wouldn’t know where to start)

4. On time posts! No more “I was here back in March”. I am going to try to get blog posts up the same month the event happens. Preferably within a week of it happening, but I will give myself a goal of within the month. Maybe a better goal is “within four weeks”, so if I do something on the 29th of the month I’m not left scrambling to get an entry up before the end of the month!

I’m really enjoying writing daily, and even though some of the things I’m blogging about are past events, I’m still having a great time doing it. If I don’t get all caught up on previous events, I will get them all finished by the end of 2010. Save for anything I do while my mom is visiting, because I probably will want to spend time with her and not blog!

At the end of NabloPoMo, I will revisit my list of things I wanted to blog about, and I will make another list and make sure I get them all done.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]

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Comments Malfunctioning?

Could someone reading this on the blog (http://blog.beccajanestclair.com) please attempt to leave me a comment? I’ve been getting a few complaints that the comment feature isn’t working properly, and before I try to trouble shoot it, I need to know what the problem is!

Thanks!

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The Wedding

[This is a re-post to my blog of a post appearing in my personal LJ, the wedding plans community, and on my facebook page. Apologies if you’ve already seen it!]

The fifth dawned bright and sunny. Tim and I got up around 8 and decided to go pick up bagels for breakfast before starting to get ready. Tim showered, and headed to the train station to pick up my MOH, Erin and I got in the shower and put on my something blue (Bra & panties set with suspenders/garters) and then put on pajama pants and a tank top while I did my hair and make-up. Our Best Woman and photographer, Laura, arrived, and I even managed to get down a 6-inch sub from Subway before getting zipped into my purple dress and heading out the door!

We got over to the judge’s office with plenty of time to find out it wasn’t really a courthouse at all. Almost felt like it was made up of temporary trailers, but whatever. We were mostly amused that the courtroom was set up for an actual trial and have some funny pics of us behind the tables (on Tim’s mum’s cam, so I haven’t seen them yet). The judge came in, Laura set up our video camera, and our entire ceremony took 2 and a half minutes. After the ceremony, the judge told us we could stay as long as we wanted taking pictures, so we took a few before heading over to Willow Valley – where we intended to take pictures outside before having dinner together.

It started to rain and got chilly. 🙁 Most of the outdoor pics have people still with their coats on, or look like they’re shivering, so after about a half hour, we high-tailed it inside and stayed in the lobby of the restaurant/hotel. My Mother-in-Law and Erin somehow managed to get someone to bring us a pot of coffee and some cups (we never saw it on the bill, either!) and we all just sat around and chatted and took more photos until it was time for dinner.

Dinner was lots of fun. Laura urged Tim to try crab cakes, so we ordered enough for the whole table. He liked them so much, he had them for Lunch on Saturday, too! We “snuck in” our champagne and had a small toast (the rule was we could bring it in as long as the other guests didn’t see it), and then had a small cake mom ordered from the hotel’s bakery. They sat us in a back corner near the big picture windows, so we had relative privacy until around 6PM, when the big dinner/smorgasboard crowd came in.

Tim and I said good-bye to everyone, checked into the hotel and enjoyed the whirlpool tub! 😀

Friday was such a busy day. We started it by heading into downtown Lancaster to see my friend Ramy and to drop off the marriage certificate at my bank (they changed my name on my account earlier in the week when I added Tim, provided we dropped off a copy of the certificate on Friday). Then, we headed over to my mom’s to load up the cars with our reception stuff…boy were we glad we had been upgraded to a mini suv from the rental company! We spent all day Friday at the reception site prepping the food and setting up the tables. Tim took his dad out to Lunch at the Lancaster Brewing Company since there wasn’t a whole lot of “man tasks” to do, but we later set Tim’s dad to work slicing bread! Our cake arrived around 4, and I swear it was all purple. For some reason, all photos make it look blue. We briefly returned to the hotel to change back into our wedding clothes, and that was the first time Tim and I had been alone since we woke up that morning!

Our reception went off without a hitch. Well, maybe a few minor hitches, but I didn’t notice any other than my cake looking blue in photos when it was purple in real life! Dana and Jilly made a beautiful cake, and the teenage waitstaff did a great job circulating the appetizers and doing all things waitress-ey. My small cousin was there and there was a brief problem with her and my “nieces” (my friend Ramy’s daughters call me Aunt). I had one of my nieces on one arm claiming “mine!” and my cousin on the other! Fortunately, by the end of the evening the two older girls were playing friendly and the youngest was tagging along with them! We also missed a few people…some people had either emailed or texted to explain they wouldn’t be there, but in the end, we only had about 30 out of the original 50. I wasn’t upset, but I was annoyed at all the food we had bought! Fortunately, my mom was able to take a lot of the food over to her office to feed the employees while we were away on our honeymoon.

I put three of my closest friends on the spot and asked them to do the toast. Ramy nicely reminded me she thought I was obnoxious when we met (I was 12!) and Sarah (my practically roommate from college) almost brought me to tears with her kind words. Then Tim decided to get in on the speech making and gave a thank you to everyone who helped us.

By this point, I was hungry. I had everyone urging me to make a plate – and I did, I swear I did! But I only managed a few bites in between running around and talking to people. The only bite of cake I had was the one Tim fed me! We did remedy this by putting together a plate of meat, cheese, and rolls for Tim and I to take back to the hotel that night while we were cleaning up.

I barely did any cleaning up. By 9PM, my feet were killing me. Not because my shoes weren’t comfortable, but because my shoes didn’t agree with the flooring of the venue and I kept sliding around which really hurt my ankles and spread down to my feet. A few of my guests stuck around to help with cleaning up too, which was really appreciated! We had to put all the tables and chairs away and clean the kitchen before we could leave, and of course had to load the cars back up.

We opted to put all the perishable stuff in my mom’s car and anything non-perishable in the rental so Tim and I wouldn’t have to drive back to Mom’s house that night. Fortunately, the rental had dark tinted windows so things like the stereo system were hidden.

Saturday morning we checked out of the hotel and headed back to my mom’s briefly to unload our car, pack ourselves some reception leftovers for the road, and packed up our suitcases for the honeymoon – a road trip down to Orlando to visit my relatives with several days at Walt Disney World and a visit to Miss M.

Unfortunately, the Monday after we returned from the honeymoon I had to put Tim on a plane back to the UK. Currently, I’m waiting for my new passport to arrive, and then we’ll be putting together the application for my spousal visa. We estimate we’ll be together permanently by mid-January. I’ve been spending my time trying to pack up my stuff we’re moving and donating or trashing everything else. Wow, 30 years of life = lots of stuff.

….And we get to do this all over again in the UK this Spring for our UK reception, too!

For those of you who are just in it for the pics….


My cat, Will, with my bouquet designed by Jilly


Tim and his Mum, Jen.


Happy at the Judge’s office, right after the ceremony


Me with my girls – Maid of Honour Erin and Best Woman Laura


What this picture really says: “OMG I’M FREEZING!”


The Mrs Ls – me with Tim’s Mum


After retreating inside. Our whole group from Thursday – Tim’s parents are on either side of us and on the top my mom is on the right and my aunt is between our attendants.


Cutting our (first) cake

— Reception —


Our cake & Topper


Tim and I at our own little table….see? I DO have food in front of me!


Sharing cake! Tim was put under orders NOT to smash it in my face or ruin my dress


Tim, mid-speech.


I’m too lazy to go back and rotate this. The little girl in the front is one of my “nieces” and the little one in the back is my cousin


A picture expertly tinted by Laura, who doubled as our photographer for the ceremony day.

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State of the Blog

I started this blog exactly a year ago today! How exciting! My blog was originally started so that my mom (and other family/friends) could keep up with what I was doing while I was spending two months in Manitoba and whatever other trips I took. This expanded into becoming a log about 6 months traveling/visiting the UK, then into including video logs, personal stories, etc.

In 2008, I visited 5 countries (if you count England and Wales separately), and in 2009 so far I’ve visited 2 (and plan on adding France (okay, it’s just for a layover), Wales, and Ireland by the end of 2009). In the year that this blog has spanned so far I’ve spent 2/3 of the year outside of the United States! That’s pretty impressive for me.

So what’s in store for the blog for the next year? I’m not really sure. There’s a week in DC coming up while Tim is visiting, followed by 2 weeks in Ireland and the UK this fall, and then after that….we’ll see where it goes. Current plans are to spend Spring/Summer 2010 in the UK, but I hate having such a long gap between visits!

If I’m not actively traveling, I intend on updating the blog at least once/week with articles about traveling, and maybe some local or personal entries so the updates don’t die.

To all of you who have been reading this: Thank you. I hope you continue to read and please leave me comments! I love hearing what you think.

Don’t forget, you don’t need to come directly to my blog in order to read it. You can subscribe to the RSS feed in your favourite RSS reader, add the LJ RSS feed if you are on LJ, or read the entries on my Facebook. Comments are always welcome, just remember if you are reading it via the LJ RSS to head over to the blog site to leave a comment. The LJ comment feature doesn’t actually send comments to me, it only shows them to other LJers.

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A Milestone!

I’ve made 100 posts to this blog!


(click to make bigger)

Wow! Now, if only more of you would comment so I know this is being read!

[note to LJ feed readers: please click on the link at the top of this entry on LJ to leave comments, as I do not see comments left on LJ!]

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