A new look to my blog

Hi, everyone!

As you can see, my blog looks a bit different. I worked on it quite a bit over the weekend.

I hope you like the new header. I have been wanting to change it ever since I first started blogging. You see, the theme I use, called Tarski, is free. It comes with several choices to use as a standard header and the one I liked best was the one you used to see every time you visited my site. It was a pretty nice header. My problem with it, is that quite a few other bloggers use that same header, which made my blog look like so many others.  

But, now my blog header is different than everyone else’s in the world, because the pictures used to create this new header are mine! I took the one on the left from our boat while traveling on Folly River on our way to the beach. The middle picture was taken at Beidler Forest, part of Four Holes Swamp. The picture on the right is of Lake Marion.

I had tried several times before to change the default header to one of my own design, but had no luck. I finally forced the time over the weekend to figure out the errors and get it done!

I’ve also changed a few things on my sidebar. Please take the time to navigate down the side there to see those changes. I hope you like the Quote of the day, Word of the day and Pun of the day! Do you see the “Recent Comments” section highlighting the most recent comments to my blog?

I hope you also click on a few of the “Sites I Like.” Let me provide an overview of these. The first site listed is “All Recipes,” http://allrecipes.com/. If you have never checked out this site, please do when you get a chance. There are thousands of recipes available to use, with reviews and ratings! I have found many great recipes on this site that I use all the time. One thing I really like about this site is that I can search for recipes using a specific ingredient. For instance, (not that this has happened to me recently) let’s say I have been inundated with zucchini in the garden and I am sick of the 20 different ways I’ve prepared it in the past three weeks and I have more in my vegetable crisper getting ready to go bad.  I can type zucchini as my key ingredient and find lots of other scrumptious ways to make it!

 Another Site I like is “An Englishman in New Jersey,” http://englishmannj.blogspot.com/, a blog written by my friend, Graham Gudgin. He is an ex-pat Brit living in New Jersey. Sometimes his take on being such a fellow is quite funny!

The Beidler Forest Blog, http://beidlerforest.blogspot.com/ has stories and pictures about life in the swamp! Mark Musselman is an excellent photographer and I never tire of looking at his pictures.

The barbecue website, Blog-B-Que, http://blogbque.com/, is a relatively new site. It was created by a few of my friends, Shelly, Russ and Rick. It has great barbecue/outdoor cooking recipes and tips from regular folks like you and me. As a matter of fact, I have a guest post on their site (click here to see it http://tinyurl.com/mg4ox7) and plan to add a few more.

Frame by Frame, http://framebyframe.godlaughs.net/ is a blog written by my friend Dr. Rus Jeffrey. He and his wife Sandra preview a lot of movies every week and Dr. Rus writes a very thoughtful review. If you like movies, you may want to check out his site before you spend your dollars going to the movie theater!

Well, LolCats, http://icanhascheezburger.com/, is one of those sites that once you get there, it’s hard to leave! You can even create an account yourself and create your own Lolcats!

And finally, A Daily Wag, http://dailywag.marthastewart.com/, is one of Martha Stewart blogs, about the adventures of her two dogs, Francesca and Sharkey. It’s cute! I think my friend, Daneen, would like it, for sure!

I have made other changes to my blog, too. One, is a way for you to get notification when comments are made on a post. When you first make a comment, you will now notice a box at the bottom of your comment  allowing you to check it if you want to get notified when someone else makes a comment. So, when you say something funny or profound and want to know what others think about your comment, you can now get a notification via email. Try it out and let me know how it works for you.

Additionally, I have added a “Share This” button at the bottom of every post. This allows you to send a link to the story you just read to all of your friends! If you are on Facebook, MySpace, Digg, or a ton of other social sites, you can just click on the appropriate button. To send an email, click on the email tab! Send my story to everyone you know!

Also, dear faithful readers (you know who you are),I am always looking for something to write about. Please email me with your story ideas!




Most of you have probably heard of twitter. It’s been plastered all over the news – celebrities using it, politicians using it, jurors tweeting during trials, basketplayers tweeting during halftime, people losing their jobs over it, yada, yada.

Some of you may even be twitterers. I am a twitterer – my username is cindyoyo.  I’m not sure now how I came up with that name. I had decided to sign up for twitter to see what it was all about, but didn’t think I’d really use it, so I didn’t put much thought into a username. I did try using cindyo (since my name is Cindy O’Something), but it was already in use.

Most people liken twitter to a huge cocktail party. Everyone there is milling about hearing snippets of conversations. Since it is a cocktail party and you are suppose to mingle, you may hear someone talk about something that interests you and you stop there and chime in with your thoughts about the subject.  And, then, if they drift into another conversation that doesn’t interest you, you might continue strolling around the room to join in another conversation that does.

 The basic premise of twitter is to answer the question, “What are you doing?” in 140 characters or less.

So, at this most basic level, you might see comments like, “Stuck in a traffic jam,” “Eating sushi for lunch,” “housecleaning sucks,” “kids at soccer practice,” “why did the chicken cross the road?,” yada, yada.  These kinds of comments are aimed at no one in particular. They just answer the question, “What are you doing?” Some of these comments can be boring or incredibly funny or disarming.

I have become friends with “tweeple” from all over the world. Well, some are mere acquaintances, but some, those that you engage in conversations with often, become actual friends. These are people you would take the time to see if you were in their hometown, maybe meet for a beer or a cup of coffee.  I talk to people in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Lithuania, England, Ireland, Wales, Canada, and all over the U.S!  It’s fun to see how we are different and also how much we are alike. Some of the people I follow are writers, gardeners, cooks.   I enjoy our conversations, and also learn something new everyday!

So, if you want to twitter, go for it. But, after all the positive things I have just said about it, let me also warn you about its negatives.  First, twitter can be addicting. Once you start meeting people and having conversations, you discover how much fun it is and you spend more and more time twitting with them. And, while you are twitting, you are not doing other things. This addiction makes me think of a quote from John Lennon, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” Modify it for twitter and it would be, “Life is what happens while you are busy twittering.”  

Second, all twitterers have to keep a vigilant lookout for spammers and phishers. These are people that follow you and then encourage you to follow them back solely to either sell you something or to direct you to a link that might ask for personal information or might download a virus.  Since twitter is a casual social experience, some tweeple may have a tendency to let their guards down and can sometimes get suckered into one of these scams. 

There are obvious things to look for when deciding to follow someone you don’t know yet. One is the twitterer’s profile. Does the profile include a picture and biography of that person? Does that twitterer have followers and how many? Does that twitterer engage in conversations with other twitterers (real people) or just send “sale messages,” i.e.,  “I got a free PC and it really works! Click here for details.”  There are some “bots’ (not real people, but rather computer generated robots) that aren’t so blatantly obvious. But typically, if after looking at a profile, you think it’s safe to follow someone you don’t know, then follow. Try to engage the person in conversation (‘bots’ cannot reply). And, don’t click on any links sent to you by this person until you are sure, it is indeed, a real person that is trusted by numerous other twitterers. Spammers and pshishers are not out to find quality relationships. They simply reach out to the masses, hoping to rope someone in. It will not take long for you to determine if another twitterer is worth following.

You don’t have to let what I just said scare you off, though. From a security standpoint using twitter is no different than using email. You handle your twitter account like you handle your email account. You don’t open emails from people you don’t know, right? And hopefully, you are extremely selective about what links to click on. It is the same with twitter.  

If you decide you want to try twitter, you must sign up for an account at http://www.twitter.com. You also have to start following people and engaging in conversations. Follow me at @cindyoyo! I’d love to twitter with you!


What it’s about

Now that I have been doing this blogging thing for a few months,  I thought it might be a good idea to give everyone an update on what my blog is about and how to better use it.

First, on what Cindy’s Country Corner is about. Well, honestly, I’m still defining what it is about. You see, there are many blogs out here on the web that have specific focuses. There are scrapbooking blogs, photography blogs,  marketing blogs, news blogs, latest technology blogs, mommy blogs, hunting blogs, nature blogs, even how to write blogs blogs, etc. Bloggers use their blogs to share their love or  knowledge about something specific or to sell something.

Well, I like cooking, gardening, reading, golfing and boating. I love living a simple, rural life. I’m in my 50s, and a member of AARP. I love my fixer-upper house.  I love my family and my friends and my cats.

I am finding that I can’t focus on just one of those subjects. My life is all of those things and so, therefore, is this blog. I am sure there will be times when I write something that doesn’t appeal to you in the slightest. But, occasionally, you may find something written here that piques your interest, or triggers a particular memory for you, or makes you laugh. I hope that is the case.

I thought writting a blog would be super easy. It is harder than I thought. Gosh, even teeny boppers have blogs on MySpace and Facebook. How hard could it be? Well, what I didn’t consider is my age. I got my first personal computer when I was about 30 years old, which means that most everyone under the age of 30 has had access to a PC since birth. They are incredibly technologically savvy. For me, it’s like trying to teach myself a foreign language with a book for dummies.  Oh, I’ll study and I will learn lots of words and phrases, but I will never be able to speak this language fluently. Know what I mean?

So, with that said, let me tell you a few things I’ve learned that might help you navigate my blog.

First, is my home page. The content on it changes as often as I add a new post.   I usually add two new posts a week.  It would be great if I could add a new post everyday, but if I forced myself to devote that much time to this project each day, it would become a chore and not fun for me anymore.

Now, I know you don’t like to check my site each day only to discover there is nothing new. The fix for that is to subscribe to my RSS feed. With it, you  receive notification when an update to my site has been made. Pretty cool, huh? Now, I didn’t know anything about RSS feeds before I started this blog, so I’ll explain.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. You can use a feed reader to automatically discover when I’ve posted new content to my blog. If you already have a feed reader, just click on the RSS icon (the little orange button with a couple of curved lines in it on the upper left side of my blog home page). If you don’t have a feed reader, you can get one for free from Google. Just go to http://google.com/reader to sign up, and then come back to my site and click on that little orange button.  That’s all there is to it! And what makes this feature even cooler is that since most web sites offer an RSS Subscription button, you can receive notification of updates for other sites you like to visit, too.

Okay. Now on to Comments. You have the opportunity to make a comment on each new article I post. The way to do this is to click on the Comments Link (It is located on the same line as the date of the post, right under the title.) If you are the first to comment on that article, you click where it says “No comments.” If you are not the first, click where it says 2 comments, 5 comments, 50 comments, etc.

Comments are very important to me. They are the only indication I get that you have read an aticle. Tell me that you like what I’ve written or not. Tell me if you agree or disagree. Do you like the pictures? Does my story make you think of  something similar that happened to you once? Does it make you glad or sad or angry or melancholy or WHATEVER?  The more you are willing to comment, the more others will be, too. Comments are really what can make a webblog fun.  Often, it is fun just to follow the comments on a particular post! So, please, don’t be bashful! Throw your two cents in!

As a matter of fact, if you are really inspired by a particular post, maybe you can write your story for publication on this site!  A few examples: Julie could permit me to publish her journal entry about being stuck behind a traffic accident for three hours.  My friend Pam could write about growing up on a farm. One of my sisters could write about “the yell” or about our horses, or Pickin’Chicken. (There is only one story off limits to my sisters – the one about the condoms! I made a promise.) Maddie could write about her gardening adventures. The sky is the limit! Yes, you could write your stories and the rest of us could comment on them! How much fun is that! You would get your own byline (I’ll print your first name only) and I would supply your relationship to me, i.e., sister, aunt, friend, complete stranger, so that everyone could see the connection.

Well, I’ve bored myself silly now, so off to make dinner and watch the snow. Yes, you heard right – snow in South Carolina on March 1. In like a lion, out like a lamb, so they say.