The other blogs arose because I have many other interests; I think of them as different but related aspects of my life and personality. The separate blogs have different purposes and points for me, and I also thought it would be easier for readers to pick and choose what they were interested in reading. In Our Own Backyard is close to my heart, but its style and function are still "settling down", and I've found it harder to write for. When I started it, I thought of it as an old-fashioned natural history - descriptions and observations of nature. But it's turned out to have lots of photography as I've learned more about that - photos giving a feel for the natural wonders I see in my own corner of the world every day. And I'm very interested in natural science, and ecology, and environmental policy and the impact our human activities have on the world around us, so it's about that, too. It's very much a work in progress.
CrazyVeggieLady is about cooking and food. I love eating, and cooking, and care a lot about those things, and try to be thoughtful about what I eat and why, which leads naturally to thinking and writing about food, nutrition and food policy. I'm also interested in the personal moral and economic choices involved in eating, and how people learn to eat and cook as children and adults. And yes, someday I'll learn how to take a decent photo of what I'm eating! And it'll also be about growing food, although that's a seasonal thing in this part of the world. This blog needs to become less about lists of what I eat and more about thinking about food and eating, but it's not there yet.
Baroquely Yours is about my exciting and sometimes difficult journey into music. Until very recently, I had almost no musical knowledge or training, but a few years ago I was somehow inspired to take up playing the recorder. I've learned an enormous amount since then and still have an enormous amount more to learn - it's a journey that will never end until I do, I expect. This blog is mostly very dry - just a record of what I'm practicing day to day, as well as thoughts on my progress as an amateur musician, how to practice and suchlike. Interestingly enough, having to write this down has made me more organized and accountable in my practicing. There will also be occasional thoughts on music I listen to or concerts I attend. My musical tastes are pretty eclectic - running from early music right up to today, both classical and popular, but the blog will mostly be about recorder and baroque music. I'm pretty happy with where this blog is right now.
The Reader's Closet is evolving - it started as a set of lists of what I was reading and wanted to read. I'm in the process of changing how I go about reading - I used to be an indiscriminate and omnivorous reader but I want to change that in order to enjoy my reading more and get more out of it at the same time, and it's very much a work in progress. The lists are now gone - I'm actually consciously not keeping lists, which is a challenge for me! It also has movie reviews, although I don't know that those really belong there, and that may change. I hope that this blog will change quite a bit as I change how I read, and think more about my reading, but I'm not completely sure where it's going yet - I'm hoping it will become less "squibby" and more thoughtful.
One Photo, One Quote and One Word are just for fun, and are occasional. I'm slowly developing my photography, and One Photo is for photos I find particularly pleasing or interesting. One Word is for odd and interesting words, and One Quote is things I stumble across that mean something to me.
Fear No Finance is a recent endeavor. I've had a number of prior careers, including in law and finance. Although I never went to business school, I'm a CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) (this involves at least three years of self study, and three 6-hour exams covering such topics as accounting, economics, investments, investment policy and such exotic stuff as derivatives, futures and options) and have learned some things about economics and how people in the financial industry think. I think a lot of what passes for financial and economic policy is wrong-headed, and sometimes just plain wrong, and academic economists sometimes mistake theory for real life. I also think the American public, and our children, are woefully under- and mis-educated about everything from basic financial concepts to how the economy works. I had the occasion a while ago to design and teach a very basic financial literacy course to 8th graders - based on brainstorming about what they wanted to learn - at a school my younger daughter was attending, and I have a strong interest in this aspect of education (and Breathe, if you're reading this, please e-mail me information about the financial literacy course you mentioned). This blog is an experiment in trying to communicate on this topic, and may very well evolve into something else.
And there's a new member of the blog family on the way - The Journey. This one isn't live yet, but I hope it will be soon. As some of you know from reading along, I'm at a very interesting inflection point in my life. My children are grown and are now both adults (although they're still circling the nest!), and I've been reexamining my life, interests and allocation of time and resources to figure out what is next. The Journey will be a very personal reflection on these topics, and will undoubtedly be a work that evolves. I've been mulling over the themes I think will shape the next stage of my life - Adventure and Creativity/Self-Expression - and what I need to do to allow them to flourish. The Journey will, I hope, be about my exploration of these topics, from the mundane to the philosophical.
Now, why do I do all this, and how do I have time? I'm retired (for now, although there may be other career-type activities in my future), which means that, after taking care of business - bills, errands, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the horses and animals, etc. - my time is my own. I'm really enjoying the writing of these blogs and it's causing me to think and leading me to some interesting places right now, and surprisingly, it actually doesn't take all that much time, and if at times it does that's because I find it a valuable way to develop my thinking. I'm one of those people whose thoughts aren't clarified in my own mind until I have to express them somehow to someone else, and these blogs allow me to do that. I appreciate having the opportunity to write, to have readers who quietly follow and also to hear from those of you who comment. We'll just have to see where this all leads!