This world. This place. This life.

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We’re in a stretch with Zero to Hero where the tasks don’t generate posts. If you look closely, you’ll see a few changes here—a shorter “About” page (with more coming), links moved to their own page, new widgets, the new Yoko theme, etc. Lots of growing and learning growing happening behind the scenes!

Again, many thanks to Christine Slocum for her leadership.

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Zero to Hero, Days 6 &7: New and Improved

Compiling The Interdependent Web makes my Thursdays busy, so yesterday’s Zero to Hero post didn’t get written. Here are the assignments for yesterday and today.

Day 6 assignment: publish a post that includes a new-to-you element.

As I wrote earlier, I need a haircut. A poll is a new-to-me element, so I think I’ll have you help me decide what to tell my hair stylist!

I’ve also been thinking about coloring my hair. Sometimes it’s a craving for a wild color—a streak of red, green, purple, etc. Other times I just want to cover the gray, so I don’t look like Willa’s grandmother. I’m not great at maintenance, so maybe subtle highlights are the way to go.

Thanks for your advice!

Day 7 assignment: create and upload a simple header, or test out a few different backgrounds.

When I changed the theme to Yoko, I chose a placeholder photo, but it didn’t feel just right. Yes, I love McCarthy, where the photo was taken—and where I participated in a very helpful writing workshop. But the photo of airplanes is more about Liesl than it is about me, and this is my blog.

Here’s the placeholder image:


After a tour through iPhoto, I chose the image you see now in the header. It’s what Girdwood often looks like.

This world. This place. This life.

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Zero to Hero, Day Five: Love Your Theme

Today’s assignment: try out at least three other themes — even if you’re happy with the one you have. Include at least one you would never think of using.

This task is both fun and difficult.

I love clicking “preview” on a theme, and watching my blog transform. It’s a chance to play with possibility, to stretch, to imagine—without any real investment.

I didn’t really plan to change anything.

I like my theme. I worked hard at it—a while ago. The header is a photo Liesl took on a whale-watching boat tour. I like the green accent color.

It’s comfortable. I don’t feel like changing it. Particularly since Liesl and I are looking at big changes—changes that might mean a new blog. New context, new blog.

But maybe I need to do just what I don’t want to do. Just what I don’t feel like doing.

For the past few months I’ve needed a haircut. I feel so much better when my hair’s freshly trimmed, but I haven’t made time. Inertia. Well, and mamahood.

But what a boost it will give me once I find the energy and get it done. And I’ll need that energy for the changes coming our way.

So maybe my blog needs a makeover. Maybe the snipping and trimming and reorganizing that comes with a theme change will give my writing—and my life—a bit of zing.

yokoAs I looked through the theme library, the only one I liked was “Yoko.”

Yoko. Someone who disrupted the comfortable, dared to change what everyone liked, made something new.

Sounds about right.


Photo by Earl McGehee, used under a Creative Commons license

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Zero to Hero, Day Four: Explore the Neighborhood

Today’s assignment: follow five new topics in the Reader, and begin finding blogs (and bloggers) you love.

 Well, this is a task that I can skip—unless I alter it.

My blog reader is too full already; maybe a better task it to thin it out, getting rid of what I always dismiss without reading.

But it’s worth thinking about what topics I haven’t included in my reader. Reading a wide variety of blogs about a topic is one of my favorite ways to learn. So what do I want to learn?

Short post today. Willa’s in a mood. Brady’s a wild child.

And we just bought ferry tickets.


Zero to Hero, Day Two: What’s in a name?

Today’s assignment was to name my blog, edit my tagline, and create a text widget to briefly explain the purpose of my blog.

I named my blog “Nagoonberry” for two reasons. First, I liked the sound of the word. It was quirky, distinctive. I first heard the word “Nagoonberry” at the Anchorage Wildflower Garden Club annual plant sale. The second reason for choosing “Nagoonberry” was that naming my blog after the “Arctic raspberry” made a certain amount of sense for a blog that’s about paying attention to life in a particular location.

My current tagline is relatively recent, reflecting the greater clarity I have about the blog’s purpose: this world, this place, this life. Hidden there is a hint about the religious ghosts of my fundamentalist childhood. I was raised to believe we were in the world but not of it, citizens of heaven who didn’t participate in this-worldly politics, living this life with our eyes on heaven, not earth. By temperament and training, I look toward the future; “this world, this place, this life,” is a conscious attempt to counter that tendency.

The new-today widget says who I am: “A free-range Unitarian Universalist minister making meaning of daily life in Girdwood, Alaska.”

Thanks for following along! Two days in, and each day I’ve learned something. See you tomorrow!