Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Let's play....Name That Blog!

Ruth, at synch-ro-ni-zing, was feeling a wee bit silly (and entertainingly clever) a couple of weeks ago while she was experiencing a sleepless night. Normally (not that she was being abnormal ), Ruth is a serious writer who challenges and inspires us with deep ponderings from her intricate thought processes. In fact, she has told me that somewhere in her past childhood she skipped Silly Ruth and went straight to Serious Ruth. She, in her moment of whimsy, challenged her followers to tell the true story behind the clever names of their blogs.

Therein lies the challenge for me. My blog name is neither clever, nor probably  interesting to anyone other than myself, but I shall forge ahead!

I was initially inspired to write my blog by a fellow chicken lover from the message board at Backyard Chickens. I found this website when I googled "raising chickens". It's a very informative resource for novice chicken owners who can ask questions of veteran chicken owners. My screen name there was BearSwampChick.

When I decided to start my blog, the only name that came to mind was "Bear Swamp Reflections". I live on Bear Swamp Road and I saw my blog as a way to reflect on the happenings of my life and my children's and grandchildren's lives. In fact, at the beginning my title had a subtitle which read "....on herding chickens and grandkids". Later on I dropped the subtitle when my writing and photos started branching out. My purpose still is to create something that my family will be able to read someday when I am gone from this world. They will still be able to hear my voice; sometimes sentimental, sometimes funny, sometimes snarky. As my daughter Aimee says, "Better a smartass than a dumbass." The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, friends.

So, since my blog name story is rather boring, I thought I would give you a little tour of my past blog headers, starting with numero uno.

This photo was taken on one of our Hocking Hills hikes.
A pool of water formed in a bowl-shaped depression in a large rock, reflecting the trees overhead,
thus the "reflections" part of the blog name.

Ruth, I have to confess that I copied you on this one.
Right after I started following synch-ro-ni-zing, I admired Ruth's collage header so much that I wanted one for myself.
And I was tired of the dark reflections photo.
I also copied Ruth's format by changing from Rounders 3 to Minima Stretch.
I like the wide open page layout on Minima.
This is also when I learned how to "write" on my photos!

So, I got tired of the super-bright collage after a while and
chose this picture of a bent trillium that I took at
It provided me a sense of peace and quiet.

Then in June this year I changed to this photo of my flower garden
in all its early summer glory
with the view of the barn in the distance.
I also added back a subtitle.

The subtitle theme stuck around for the midsummer photo exchange.
I took this one after David got my clothesline put up (finally!).

My current header, which may be my favorite so far, came about after I did a post on the covered bridges in our county. I think I'll keep it for a couple more weeks, until the Christmas season finally catches up with me. I have the decorations out and ready to go. I'm just waiting for the right moment.

The header, as of December 1, 2009.


Ruth said...

How did you remember all the headers and their order?? I would never be able to remember that. And by the way, thank you for your header confession, and I will tell you in turn that I copied the idea from a Blog of Noter sometime last year.

I do love your current header photo, and I'll miss it, but I'm like you and have to change it up every so often as the season changes. I know you'll find another lovely one.

That was a great idea to show those headers, Susie! You are such a sweetheart, don't know what I'd do without you. It's been my great joy to be your friend.

Thank you for your participation in this event after my fright-inducing invitation!

Sandy Nawrot said...

I always wondered what mysterious reason you had for your blog actually was very simple. I love it by the way (and love the line "herding chickens and grandchildren"! I got a good chuckle! I herd cats and kids down here at my place! I love that you change your headers. I should do that, although at this point, I'd probably want to stick with my pinup model Casper.

Alaine said...

Hello Susan, I've often wondered about your title; did bears get stuck in a swamp where you live? The name sounded American Indian somehow.

I change my header so frequently but I couldn't tell you the month I changed it! I have no idea where I got the pic for my last header, changed today; I was deleting some from my HD and came across it this morning - an old photo of a little girl getting her first lesson in embroidery.

All of your headers are meaningful; I've only known the last three. xa

Susan said...

Ruthie, luckily I've only been doing this a year-and-a-half, so it wasn't terribly difficult to come up with the order. I had to think about it for a bit though. Also, when I started using Picasa as my editing software, I learned to export the pictures into a designated folder before uploading them to Blogger. And I had that first one for quite a while, so that helped with the order memory.

You have been such a wonderful friend to me, right off the bat. I love that we "synched" immediately. I have learned so much from you about blogging, photography, but most importantly about life. You're my forever friend.

Susan said...

Sandy, maybe I should put a link in the sidebar with this explanation of my blog name! Then future followers won't have to wonder.

I love your header of Casper, the friendly kitty! He looks so relaxed! Of course, all cats look relaxed when they're! I herd cats, too, three of them. It seems they're always wanting in or out. It keeps the hinges on the doors operating smoothly! :)

Susan said...

Alaine, mentioning the name of our road never fails to get a laugh or questions from inquiring minds like yours. :) I've never been able to find any information on the origins of the name. It is a little swampy in the woods behind the barn and I'm assuming a hundred years ago, there probably were black bears who roamed the forests around here. There were still a lot of them in Ohio then. And of course, this was all undeveloped land 50 or 60 years ago, just 20 years right around us.

Talk about inspiring! Your headers are always so gorgeous! The Australian travel board should hire you as a photographer, because they certainly make me want to visit there, and I never really wanted to before visiting your blog!

Judy said...

I'm happy to learn where "Bear Swamp" comes from... AND happy to learn of Hocking Hills from your blogs. I want to visit there!
Judy in Iowa

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I really like both the name and the picture! And I like the picture better than the other pictures!

Char said...

love your headers - you always do such a great job with them.

i'm not crazy about my current header but it will have to do until i figure something out.

my blog name came from me always ramblin' on (love that song)

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Love the headers retrospective!
And good to know where Bear Swamp originates.
I am thinking my title is self-explanatory!

Susan said...

Hi Judy! You would love it in Hocking Hills, there are so many hiking trails and they all have wonderful rock formations and caves. If you ever decide to visit, let me know and I will be your guide!

Susan said...

Thanks, Jill! I guess I'll have to keep out-doing myself! :) I may recycle some of them, too.

Kathleen said...

Susan, thanks so much for sharing the story behind the name of your blog. And I love the "better to be a smartass than a dumbass"...I couldn't agree more!! Oh and the photo headers from the past are lovely too!

Bella Rum said...

I love that photo in your header. That's the first thing I though when I landed here. Enjoyed your tale about the naming of your blog.

Bella Rum said...

I tried to leave a comment but I'm not sure it posted, so here I go again.

I like the photo in your header very much. Beautiful, and I enjoyed the history of how you came to name your blog.

I hope this one publishes. Here goes.

Anonymous said...

i am amazed that you remember all the blog headers you had ... now i wish i had kept a record of mine.

Susan said...

Char, your "ramblins" are hardly that! You may start out with a rambling thought, but it quickly turns into something of truth and beauty and inspiration. I hope you keep "ramblin' on" for a long time.

Surely out of all the hundreds of gorgeous photos you've taken, there must be at least a couple dozen that scream CHAR! Or maybe whisper "char".

Susan said...

Natashya, lol...your title does explain but doesn't do justice to all the gorgeous food which comes out of that tiny kitchen...and the beautiful presentation when you photograph it! BTW, how DO you keep from tripping over your sweet doggies when you're in there?! :)

Susan said...

Kathleen thank you for visiting and the nice compliment! Yes, my daughter and I try to out-smartass each other! lol When she says something particularly SA and I call her that, she zings back "Learned from the best!" She's my girl, alright! :)

Susan said...

Bella, thank you and welcome to my blog! I enjoyed your story as well!

Susan said...

Kamana, welcome to my blog! Well, as you can see there haven't been that many different ones, so it really wasn't that difficult. Maybe you should start a folder now for your header photos....

VioletSky said...

This makes me wish I could remember my header pictures - though for awhile I was changing them frequently. Mostly mine were chosen because they were pretty, not much deep thought or emotional attachment to them.

The Bumbles said...

I always assumed Bear Swamp was the name of the area you lived or a place special to you. I too like the covered bridge header. A lot of people change them up and I enjoy seeing all the different expressions.

And I for one think that you should use your daughter's SA vs DA quote as your subtitle. In fact, check that. I may ask permission to use it as OUR subtitle! It suits us to a T ;0)

We are The Bumbles because Andy is a big tall guy. He never seems to remember how much space he takes up in the world and is constantly whacking his head on a door frame or bumping into things. He is, a bumble. Which sounds a lot nicer than a klutz.

And, of course, a bumble is also a very lovable character from Rudolph - a special we both enjoy. It didn't take long after I began referring to Andy as Bumble for friends and family to send us any and all form of The Bumble ornaments, figurines, stockings, etc.

When we got married I became a Bumble too - thus The Bumbles. It has been our moniker for a very long time - it was a no brainer what our blog's name should be when we began a year ago.

Barry said...

Very interesting and natural way for your blog title to unfold.

I also enjoyed watching its evolution over time.

Tattered and Lost said...

I love the name and I LOVE the header. I miss covered bridges so this always makes me smile and gives me a sense of place. You always give me a sense of place.

Cindy said...

That's funny, that's the same way I came up with my blog title. I'm still PortlandPeeps on the Backyard Chicken forum, although I so rarely visit anymore. Rob sent me an email a while back asking permission to use one of my chicken pictures on their calendar, and I had no idea he'd been trying to get in touch with me.

I'm familiar with all the images you've had, so I guess I've been around awhile. I often think about changing mine, but am too lazy. I did recently change templates, but am kinda frustrated with how its dealing with type. I had to go look, but I too am using Minima stretch.

CottageGirl said...

So that is why your blog's name is Bear Swamp Reflections! I love the different headers you've had over time! All of the unique and beautiful in their own way!
It has been a real treat getting to know you, Susan! I do enjoy reading your blog and your comments! I truly look forward to them, my friend!!

Susan said...

Sanna, really only two of them are meaningful and deep :P...the reflection ones...the rest are just because I thought they were pretty. I really like the one you are using definitely reflects the title. You should keep it for a while.

Susan said...

Hey, Molly, it's always nice to know that some of my blog friends are SAs, too! Must be why we get along! :D

I love the story of your blog name and believe it or not, as many times as I've seen Rudolph, I did not remember or maybe even know that there was a Bumble character! I mean, I recognize the face, but didn't know he had a name!

My hubby is a tall fact, we're all tall in this family. When my SIL comes for a visit as she did last week for Thanksgiving, she calls our house The Land of the Giants. She's short, excuse me, vertically challenged.

I can't believe you have only been blogging for a year! That's amazing! You're very good at it.

Susan said...

Barry, thanks for coming by for a visit! I'm glad you enjoyed learning a little about me. You're welcome here anytime!

Susan said...

Tattered, isn't it funny that you say I give you a sense of place? I guess that's what defines me the home, where I go to relax, my dream places. Thank you, that all just became clear to me. Place is what makes

Susan said...

Cindy, BYC is where we met, sort of. I hardly go there anymore either. I peeped in the other day to refer to one of my old posts and it has changed a LOT! I doubt that anyone would even remember who I am. In fact, I'm surprised that they haven't purged me from the member list. Nice that Rob wants to use one of your beautiful chicken pictures for the calendar!

Susan said...

CG, every time I read one of your comments I can almost see the smile on your beautiful face! And I always get a smile on MY face when I see your name on the list, my dear! It's like a little spot of sunshine on a rainy day. Thank you for the lovely compliment and for being a friend.

Deborah said...

Not boring at all!!! It's nice to know the story behind it, and a little more of your story too. Now, what's the story behind 'Bear Swamp Road'???

Susan said...

Deborah, how kind of you to say that! Especially considering the literary excellence of your blog! I suppose I had better start doing some research on our area so I can answer your question!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful walk down header lane. They are all lovely. I love visiting the Hocking Hills area.

Susan said...

Hello again, Stacy! It's always nice to have a visit from a fellow Buckeye! We love HH so much! I would love to have a cabin down there...maybe someday.

Thank you for your nice words. :)

dutchbaby said...

Bear Swamp Road! Who knew? That clever Ruth sure had a great idea when she spurred us all on to reveal the roots of our blog names. Thanks for the explanation.

I love the trillium because they are not very common here and I think they are a gorgeous plant.

Susan said...

Hi dutchbaby! Ruth is a blogging genius, IMHO! The bent trillium is actually a variety of the common trillium. I also got pics of a red bent trillium...really pretty!

ds said...

I love your blog's name! Figured you lived in a town or area known as "Bear Swamp" & "reflections" makes perfect sense for a blog. Like Sandy, I chuckled over "herding grandkids and chickens." Am currently herding cats...and books (do books "herd"?)Thanks for the header retrospective--very creative!
Mostly I like your blog (and its title) because it has you in it!

Susan said...

Awww, ds, that was very sweet of you!

Books most definitely are herd-able! And they're much easier to catch than cats or chickens! With all the ones I've been buying at Goodwill lately I need a new bookcase to herd them into!

Elle Bee said...

I love all your headers! Each one is so beautiful. My favorite is the one of your garden in the summer with the barn in the distance and what I think is a water pump? Just lovely.
PS I've got to add my email address to my blog--keep forgetting!

Susan said...

Thank you, Elle! We found that hand pump beside our neighbor's garbage a couple of years ago! I couldn't believe he was just throwing it away! It made a perfect focal point for that flower bed.