When one door closes…

Do you remember the blog I wrote a short while ago about the year of 2010 as being the one in which I would live fearlessly? I had several ideas I was mulling over, one was starting an on-line magazine about Lake Marion. It was going to be the site that every local and every tourist was going to want to check out! I had wanted to start this endeavor ever since I quit the newspaper business over three and a half years ago. I had never gotten around to getting started, always one excuse or another, but mostly it was fear of failure that kept me from taking that plunge. Well, since this was my year of living fearlessly, I decided to quit thinking about it and take a step forward. So, about a month ago, I finally bought my domain name –lakemariononline.com. (Actually, I bought three domain names – lakemariononline.com, lakemariononline.net, lakemariononline.org because my site was so gonna rock that someone would surely try to piggy back on my success by using a similar name.)  

I had chosen a magazine web theme that looked great and wouldn’t be too hard for non-geek, non-techno-savvy me to use. I had quite a few notes on what I would be including in my first issues and pictures already worked up and ready to go. On my next long weekend, I was going to begin putting it all together.  Then, just several days before that weekend, I found a glossy magazine on the shelf in the restroom at work. I began to peruse the pages and realized that the publisher, who already had a daily newspaper with a staff of reporters and photographers on the payroll, was now producing a magazine, too, full of the same content that I had planned to have in my on-line magazine. Why, after all these years of publishing a daily newspaper, did this company now want to start a magazine? Well, same reason that I was, I reckon, it was a damn good idea!

So, I began to re-think my idea. Maybe I shouldn’t compete with the big dog. But, then again, why couldn’t I compete? After all, I used to know people in the industry and it wouldn’t be that hard to reconnect with the shakers and the doers of the community. And, I really had wanted to do this for a long time. What to do?

And so, for the next week, I pondered what the impact this magazine would have on my publication. I was still thinking that maybe I could do my thing. Until, I saw a billboard on my way to lunch one day. It advertised a new, online only magazine – Lake Marion Living. A SECOND COMPETITOR! I rushed back to the office and got on the internet to check out this new thorn in my side. Yep, there it was. But, this was worse. Much worse. This magazine wasn’t just similar to what I had been planning, it was exactly what I was planning. 

I felt like I had the rug pulled out from under me. Just like that. Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!

A second billboard touting lakemarionliving.com has gone up just up the street from my house. I drive by it everyday. And, everyday, I am reminded of this painful lesson: if you have a great idea, don’t sit on it for too long, as someone else will surely think of it too, someone that won’t be a scaredy cat like you, and jump on it first!

It is time for me to let go of this dream. I know that. I’m working on it. The hard part is ignoring that one tiny whispering voice in my soul that says, “You never know, maybe someday…”

In the meantime, I have been contracted to create a website for a friend who is in business for himself.

When one door closes another one opens, yada, yada.


Of bonfires and butterflies

I’ve been working at getting myself out of my summertime funk and with the weather change things are looking up.  My fall garden planting is well underway – turnips, radishes, spinach, lettuce, and onions, so far. I heard that one of the nearby hardware stores has gotten in some broccoli plants and I’m going today to see if I can get a few. I was disappointed to discover that it is difficult to find fall vegetable plants, and it is too late for me to start broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts from seed, which I so wanted to try my hand at this year. Lesson learned. Next year, I’ll start my own from seed in early August for transplant in mid-September.

Bonfire woodWe’re getting ready for bonfire season. Oyster roasts and bonfires. Woohoo! Brian worked the chainsaw and I worked on the woodpile on Sunday. We worked until it got too hot to do more and I am achy from our efforts. Since we usually start our bonfires in the late afternoon and keep them going late into the night, we probably have enough wood right now for about five or six good fires.

I’ve also begun to prepare the house for the day I have to bring all of my houseplants indoors for the winter. This takes massive preparation on my part, as I have so many plants that must come into a very small house that is not only home to Brian and me, but also home to three cats and Sam Dog. Basically, I pack up stuff to store for the winter to make room for the plants and Brian builds all the makeshift shelving. He hates loves this project!

Butterfly2I’ve been taking pictures of butterflies. I’m not doing a great job at this as these beautiful insects don’t want to pose for pictures! But, they do seem to be much more abundant this year. This is good sign as butterflies are very sensitive to the environment and thus, good indicators in assessing how healthy or unhealthy our living conditions are. And, of course, they are just absolutely delightful to watch.

ButterflyIf you live in the south, please don’t forget to keep you hummingbird feeders filled! Most of these tiny beauties have left their northern homes and are on their way to Mexico for the winter. They need lots of fuel for their grueling trip across the Gulf. Depending on our weather, we may need to continue feeding into early October.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to recently. What have you been doing?


Sam goes fishing

I guess I’m not surprised at the number of people that ask for an update on Sam, our rescue dog. He makes a good story. And, of course, the people that have actually met him think he’s wonderful.

I’ve read a lot about pit bulls since Sam came into our lives. And, I’ve asked questions to experts about their behavior and how to train them. A few of those sites have looked at Sam’s picture and the general consensus is that he has some Lab in him, which may explain his penchant for chewing all things large and small.

I could tell you that he is the perfect dog. But, hmmm, let’s see. Just today I came home from work to discover that he had discovered how to open the door to the sun room where he ate my favorite garden gloves. And, he pulled more stuffing out of HIS chair and scattered it across the floor for me to clean up! But, today was a good day!

Here are a few recent pictures:

This is Sam's chair. He is not allowed on any other furniture in the house, except for this chair that he has already ruined!

This is Sam's chair. He is not allowed on any other furniture in the house, except for this chair that he has already ruined!

We took Sam fishing at Lake Marion on Sunday. Here, he is navigating for us, keeping us away from dangerous stumps.

We took Sam fishing at Lake Marion on Sunday. Here, he is navigating for us, keeping us away from dangerous stumps.


Sam wants to be friends with Grace and the other two cats, but can you see how Grace just doesn't want to have anything to do with him?

Sam wants to be friends with Grace and the other two cats, but can you see how Grace just doesn't want to have anything to do with him?