The road ends, but the journey continues...

Tag: blogging (Page 1 of 8)

Betwixt & Between my Purple Patch Flights of Fancy

It’s been awhile since I last posted. I have noticed many of the bloggers/musicians/writers/quilters/artists/poets/photographers/aka-everyday people I follow are also more silent than active on their website/blogs these days.

So, I’m in good company. 😊

I like how those same blog-buds just post something – whenever – without apologizing for not having posted for a good long time…so in that light, I do likewise in today’s post.

I’d like to add that I appreciate when those same blog-buds give heads up on taking longer breaks from their blog…so in that light I will do likewise, whenever that time comes.

Fact is, I’m in a Purple Patch. That’s a cool term I learned from Andy, my Manc Poet Bud. It essentially means – I’m on a creative roll!

This is a good thing.

My Purple Patch feels like I can fly like a butterfly!

I’m also juggling & planning some ‘normal’ life stuff betwixt and between (aha – notice another Brit phrase?) my Purple Patch Flights of Fancy.

This is also a good thing.

Because…

It includes an In Person, Face-to-Face, Thanksgiving Family Feast this year!

Yippee! Dance of Joy!

For the record, the youngsters and their respective significant others are all double vaxxed, me and hubby are triple vaxxed and we’re all ready to mix and mingle, give thanks and celebrate.

In addition, we’ll all be meeting our ‘almost-daughter-in-law’ for the very first time in person.

And, don’t you know, she’ll be in good company. 😊

Gems from Jackson

a brief catch-up note: As I’m tying up loose ends on some musician stuff, dabbling in finishing some scrappy quilt UFOs and working on business tasks as hubby directs – my modus operandi is strictly in Summer Mode. To be more specific – Languid, Southern, Slow&Low Summer Mode.

I’ve kept up with most of the blogs I follow, correspond with a few buds via email but as for posting anything myself – meh.

Until now! HA!

A blogger I follow has been posting photos of her surroundings using a new camera. In her post a few days ago, I thought I recognized the place in which they were taken.  Besides the literal mural of a touristy postcard, my suspicions were confirmed when another photo of an art mural created on the sides of a downtown building appeared within this single post.

I remembered this place, this tiny rust-belt town in rural Michigan from just a single visit and a single positive impression made from that visit last year.

Michelle Lilly Solorio, PhD 2020

Late in September of 2020, hubby and I took a jaunt up to Michigan to visit our middle daughter and son-in-law. At the time, there was a narrow window of reduced regional COVID-19 surges so we decided it was a reasonable risk worth pursuing. (Please click here to read the fun, exciting details of our delayed Family celebration and in-house acting out of Michelle’s PhD Hooding ceremony that was cancelled earlier that month due to COVID).

One of our Family outings included ‘a Sunday Drive’ as it was noted in my Family travels MMXX post. We meandered the back roads from their home in Lansing to destination: Jackson. Streets empty of humans due to COVID closures made for an eerie but delightful walking tour of this place – filled with artistic surprises around every corner. Literally.  

Thank you, Pat, for continuing to explore your new camera and photography skills roaming the streets and snapping photos of the murals on the buildings in Jackson, Michigan. It’s heartening to see that Jackson is keeping true to its rusty rooted artistic flow.

wp5.8 upgrade issues

The Fix was Simple. Finding It Was Not.

Consider this a blogger-buddy public service post…A little over a week ago I set up a staging site to make a few changes to my site, perform updates on various plug-ins and to install the new wp5.8 upgrade. I really like that my hosting company offers a fairly easy way for this non-techie to do this task. I’d even go so far as to say, it’s kind of fun to poke around in my cPanel!

That said, after doing a manual backup, then setting up the staging site, I began my task in earnest.

Plug-in updates – piece of cake. A few other minor fixes – done and done.

Now for the biggie – the wp5.8 upgrade.

At first glance, all looked just like it always looked. Upon further perusal, my site appeared to function as usual.

In my giddiness of having triumphed over the ever looming threat of a broken site due to update/upgrade glitches, I was all set to depress the ‘push to live’ button.

But – and I think this is where my maturity and ever nagging sense of doing things ‘right’ kicked in – I decided to check just one more thing. That being, actually writing up a new sample blog post using the extra Gutenberg Blocks that came with the upgrade.

Blithely clicking the ‘add new post’ button on my dashboard, I expected to begin a fun jaunt into exploring the nuances of the newly added Gutenberg Blocks.

What unfolded before my very eyes, however, was far from being anything fun…What unfolded before my very eyes was…

The White Screen of Death

I could easily navigate back and forth from the emptiness of that edit page to my dashboard, but what good is a website/blog if one has no way to write or publish new content?

Oh and, let’s not forget, I discovered this ‘glitch’ as an after thought! I almost nixxed all my hard work in the protected environment of a staging site with the single ‘push to live’ command.

While hugely grateful to my inner OCD self to have diverted such a disaster, I was more than a bit resentful that I had yet another hurdle to jump over just to get my site up and running on a basic wp5.8 upgrade.

WordPress is not for the faint of heart…but I digress…

Thus began my long and arduous deep dive into troubleshooting. I’ll spare you the details of that deep dive, but I do want to point out that for all the ‘help’ offered, there isn’t much related to what I experienced. So I began expanding my search in more obscure reaches of that ‘help’.

Which lead me to the WP.org support forum for the Hemingway Theme, thinking perhaps it all had to do with theme incompatibility (go here to read the rapid unfolding of what became The Simple Fix).

Turns out, Gutenberg Block Editor does not ‘play well’ with my browser of choice, Mozilla Firefox.

The Fix?

Update that darn Browser and make it ‘play nicely’ with my newly upgraded WordPress site.

Outstanding Blogger Award

Thank you Mariss for nominating me for this award. Along with the honor it bestows, it also gives me a chance to break out of blogger’s rut!

In keeping with Mariss’ attention to word definitions (she ferreted out what exactly a blog award nomination really means) I thought I’d first focus on what the name of the blogging award she nominated me for really means.

outstanding: adj (1611) 1. standing out – projecting 2a. unpaid 2b. continuing; unresolved 2c. publicly issued and sold securities 3a. standing out from a group – conspicuous 3b. marked by eminence and distinction syn: noticeable  

Webster’s 9th new Collegiate Dictionary, 1988

Personally, the part of that definition I can relate with is 2b. continuing; unresolved.

Which segues easily into question number one of five to be answered with regards to accepting this blogger award!

  1. For how long have you been writing a blog?
    This website/blog went live on August 30, 2013 (and the journey continues…)
  2. What made you start?
    from my first post: The obvious answer to this is of course, ‘Why not?’  I, however, could think of many reasons ‘why not’ whenever it was suggested to me to begin blogging. The biggest one being: anybody and their uncle can write anything and put it up into the nether-land of cyberspace for all to see regardless of quality. And then I remembered that was one of the main reasons I’d balked at recording my first cd. As a working musician, I’d done demos and was busy with gigging, teaching and performing. After all, anybody and their uncle can record anything for all to hear regardless of quality; it is all so easy to do these days…I needed someplace to showcase my (he)art, give voice to our between-homes journey and perhaps even enlighten others of the parallel communities filled with invisible ones living among us in 21st Century America. And blogging is yet one more tool to get what needs to be said out there.
  3. Why do you continue to blog?
    Unresolved stuff mixed with Pandemic stuff.
    Pandemic stuff is probably understood by most.
    Unresolved stuff – beyond the scope of this blog post!
  4. Have you ever met any of your fellow bloggers face to face? If so, how did it feel?
    Nope. Never. But plenty of Almosts.
    I imagine it will feel like a crazy-fun disconnect-reveal simultaneously turning into an old friend/new friend reunion type thing – Let’s do it!
  5. Do you write regularly? If so, why?
    Yep. Different reasons – daily entries in my Morning Pages since 1997 help in sorting through issues/plans/ideas/clearing out/etc. Other writing is for pure pleasure of creative expression.

Now it’s my turn to nominate and ask a few questions. To those nominated, there is no obligation to take up the challenge of answering and asking the questions. If you do accept, then please answer the questions, nominate 5 other bloggers and then compile a set of 5 of your own questions.

Have Fun!

The Questions:
  1. What’s the first thing (or two) you’ll do once you ‘get your shot’ and/or the world otherwise opens back up after the Pandemic?
  2. What makes you break into your ‘happy dance’?
  3. What was your favorite subject when you were in school?
  4. Which of your blog posts is your favorite and why? Please provide a link.
  5. Coffee, tea or ????
Two of my favorite things: goats and dark roast coffee

Neighborly Meals

A little over two weeks ago, our neighbor across the street tested positive for you-know-what.

Most are renters on this block* – us in tiny houses, others in an apartment complex, one door down from both of our houses. There is much coming and going noted as there are no garages to hide the ins and outs of any vehicle activity.

Or lack thereof.

Hubby’s the one who realized these neighbors, who both work and have a family of two young children, had become strangely silent. Their two vehicles hadn’t twitched a tire for quite awhile.

We quickly conferred and decided a neighborly check-in was more than appropriate.

Kireem is a special education teacher – close contact with students is just part of the very nature of his job – hence the inevitable occurred. He was thus in quarantine with the rest of the household placed in self-isolation.

Speaking through our masks, a decent distance from their doorway, we offered our services as neighbors – asking Michele if we could do errands for them but especially offering our specialty of making meals. When asked if she wanted a meal that evening or the next, Michele piped up and said, “Yes, please, tonight!”

Aside from the seriousness of the reasons why I got to make a meal for them, it felt good to be ‘hands on’ helping out others in these isolating times. This is what I do best in such circumstances.

That night’s quickly thrown together dinner menu?

My basic Rigatoni with Spicy-Sweet Meat Sauce**, my normal ‘house salad’ and a batch of my Loaded Brownies (minus one ingredient).

Next week when we delivered another meal, 4 year old Aminah was by her mom’s side. What a delight to see Aminah’s excitement over what was for dinner that evening!

That night’s menu?

Our family’s version of Cassoulet** (Cassoulet Italiene) with a loaf of Ma’s Hardcrust Bread, a Mandarin Orange salad, and plenty of freshly grated cheeses, Italian peppers, a stick of butter and other condiments to make it extra special. Oh and a huge loaf of my middle daughter’s Choco-nut Banana Bread for either dessert, breakfast the next morning or both.

And this story has a happy ending: as of a few days ago, I’m relieved to report that Kireem and family are out and about – completely COVID- free.


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Psalm 118:1

*Our block is the dividing line between renters and homeowners – on the fringe of the ‘true’ neighborhood.

** Every family has their own versions of these basic, hearty dishes – cooked with (he)art and by (he)art!

7 year itch on WP begins

Well folks, this month, 7 years ago I pubbed my first blog post.

This year, I completed a long overdue update & overhaul of my site, announcing its 2020 Grand Re-Opening just last month. Perfect (yet unintended) timing for my 7 year bloggoversary.

Bloggoversaries come and go. Case in point: #5 was all but forgotten. And with #6 I made up for that by posting a little something for 6 days in a row. I thought that was challenging.

Who knew this year I’d tackle the whole enchilada? 🙂

Oh, and, if not for the encouragement from an early blogger buddy* 2 years into this, I’d not be here at all…

The true gift of this project was its ending becoming a beginning

me, upon completion of my 2020 website revisioning & Grand overhaul

*Thank-you, L.Marie!

Pandemic Potpourri #4

As mentioned before: herein I will blog, and commenters can comment, without feeling guilty about seeming to disregard the seriousness of our present COVID-19 Reality. In other words, this space is reserved for escaping/managing Reality – however that translates. Anything goes, so here goes!


From bloggers I follow:

laura c's purple orange lily

Laura C’s Purple-Orange Lily.

Nature’s melding of my all-time favorite purple color with an injection of an emerging orange-craziness!

Roseanne's tote bag using my African Fabric scrap block

Roseanne’s finished tote bag.

She did a great job incorporating the scrap block I sent her just for fun & friendship into something functional!


From the kitchen:


And then there’s always ice cream – what’s your favorite?

tillamook ice cream

Tillamook Coffee Almond Fudge ice cream.

A huge splurge but really needing a treat in this heat!


He will be the sure foundation for your times.

Isaiah 33:6a


Grand Re-Opening

Hey guys, I’m back!

Thank you for your patience while I revised, updated and transferred to another hosting site this space on the internet known as Laura Bruno Lilly – The Journey Continues.

That said, please ‘click around’ the site to view the many changes – not the least of which is a re-design from my former 2012 Child Theme to the more modern Hemingway Theme.

On the menu bar above – or just on the following titles here – be sure to click on the Home, About, and Purple Tulip Music tabs to view exciting new content.

Yep, had to use the word ‘exciting’ because this is after all a ‘Grand Re-Opening’!

And, hey, how about that header? Familiar, yet refreshed with the artwork by my Great Uncle Tran. Whose piece, Colorado, inspired the entire color palette of this site.  And whose piece, Colorado, has a whole ‘nother story behind it which I will fully disclose in future blog posts on this newly revised site.

Also, to be revealed in the coming weeks, is a new page waiting to be nestled between the PTM and DMW tabs on the menu bar. It will be published with an accompanying blog post telling its backstory, so stayed tuned folks.

In the meantime: It’s great to be back!

– Notice –

For the next 4-6 weeks, me, myself, hubby, himself and assorted others will be doing various maintenance work on this ole self-hosted Word Press site. Down time is expected to be limited and intermittent. There may be times when you cannot access my site. Please do not be discouraged – try again another day!

– Peace, all –

stuart minion with ukulele

Stuart with his uke

Pandemic Potpourri #2

“I don’t know about you guys, but I could do with getting lost in trivialities. Making small talk with strangers, while waiting for my coffee to be made, about inconsequential things. Nothing of importance that mean everything.”       Andy Murray

As mentioned in Pandemic Potpourri #1 herein I will blog, and commenters can comment, without feeling guilty about seeming to disregard the seriousness of our present COVID-19 Reality.
In other words, this space is reserved for escaping Reality – however that translates. Anything goes, so here goes!

Paul Hollywood’s authentic Hot Cross Buns

Paul Hollywood's Hot Cross Buns

Paul Hollywood’s Hot Cross Buns


I saw a Great British Baking Show ‘masterclass’ rerun on PBS last week where this was a featured bake. It inspired me to bake up a batch for this coming Easter Morning. Seemed reasonable as I always have Bread Flour in stock. I use it for my own special breads as opposed to regular All-Purpose flour and know there truly is a difference in baking results for specific items. When I checked on my personal supply, turned out our cupboard was bare, so I had to go out into the cold cruel COVID world of grocery stores in search of a 5 lb bag. Guess what? The grocery shelves are also bare of any type of flour whatsoever.  So I’m debating whether or not to try this new-to-me recipe with the regular flour I have on hand…still undecided – what do you think?
Oh and BTW: Paul’s from Liverpool, folks! yeah, yeah, yeah

~~~

In the previous Pandemic Potpourri Post I featured a photo of a colorful array of newly planted Gerbera Daisies on our front porch. That very Friday evening I jotted this down – sans margarita!

On the front porch – gorgeous afternoon – the cool/dry lull before the ‘storm’ of a normal SC Spring/Summer filled with heat and humidity.

What is adding to my delight are the heavenly scents of BBQ* chicken wafting in & out with irregular intervals that tease and entice. Looking over to my right – a few feet away from my – ahem – feet are the bring-a-smile-to-my-heart newly planted Gerbera Daisies. They’re settling nicely into a fav Italian Lemon Tree clay pot with the tree stumps collected from our Family mountain property in CO and Breck** behind and beside this bit of joyful color.

TWL’s (my hubby) BBQ is filling the neighborhood with smells of soulful food. Our appetites continue to need quenching regardless of this virus that is eating away life as we know it – scattering collaterally damaged humans as its tally & proof of power over us as vulnerable.

Because Green Gunk*** Allergy Season is in full swing, I am struggling with fatigue and other allergy related malaise in the afternoon especially. A price I willingly pay for enjoying these few otherwise perfect days outside before the SC Spring/Summer (seasonal weather) ‘Storm’ and expansion of the COVID-19 ‘Storm’ continues to ravage this Earth and its peoples.

In conclusion, please enjoy “The Sound of a Pandemic” parody by Shirley Serban – shared and brought to my attention by bloggers Jennie and By Hook Or By Hook:

 *Apologies to our Southern neighbors, but we call it BBQ, not ‘grilling’.
**Breck = local term for Breckenridge, CO
***Green Gunk Season = my term for the SC seasonal thick coating of pine pollen that engulfs and smothers anything outside from mid-March to around mid-April

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