2 Jan 2016

Who are you, my friend?


Y'all know I've been in a blogging slump for a while. For a couple of years now, really. I look back at my old posts sometimes, and I'm sorta in awe that I wrote them. I mean they're good - really good. I can't write like that anymore, and that makes me sad.

Nowadays, all I write is boring AO posts, and mostly even those are written so I don't forget something that I think some of you need to know, and because I feel that I should. There is no spark, no joy, no something special. Sometimes I think I should call it a day, but I find it really hard to just stop. I mean, I've made some really wonderful friends blogging, and I'd hate to lose touch with you all. So I keep trying, and I keep failing, and keep trying and keep failing and...well, repeat.

This Christmas I treated myself to Pip Lincolne's ebook, Shake it Up - 30 Days to a Rad, More True-to-You Blog. Pip is one of my blogging heroes. She is always up-beat, always fun, always interesting. When I grow up, I'm going to be Pip. Once I went into her old shop, Meet Me At Mikes, and she was there, and I wanted to tell her how amazing she was, but I was afraid she wouldn't find that cool, and so I didn't, and I've kinda always regretted that. After all, nobody hates being told they're awesome, right? Even an überblogger like Pip.

Over the Christmas holidays, I've been slowly inching my way through the inspiring ideas contained in Pip's book, working on the exercises, and trying to decide exactly what I want the pages of my blog to look like. One of the more interesting tasks was to define my Favourite Reader Profile. She wants to know who you are, or rather, she wants me to know. So for the last few days, I've been thinking about you, and just who you are.

Let me see how close I am.

One thing I know for sure, and that is that you're my dear friend. You're probably a homeschooler, or at the very least, you're homeschool friendly, and you're most likely a Charlotte Mason fan. You may use AO, and you like ideas that make your homeschool day run more smoothly.

You love books and reading, and you want your kids to love them too. You may have a bit of a book problem, and you delight in encouraging me with mine. You love photos of my library shelves, and ideas of books for you and your kids to read. My Japanese literature fetish leaves you scratching your head, but you're willing to give one a try. Your favourite books include 84, Charing Cross Road and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, both of which really fuel your desire for more book titles.

You're either an Aussie, or you like learning what makes my life different from yours. You love living vicariously through my travels, and my insatiable desire to see new lands amuses you. You wish we could travel together.

You don't watch much telly, but you love a good movie. You're a secret Dr Who fan, and you may just have looked forward to December more for the release of the new Star Wars movie than for Christmas. You've seen the movie, and are privately rather disappointed with what you saw. Christmas, on the other hand, was perfect because, you know, Christmas.

You love 70% dark chocolate, peanut butter and a combination of the two. You don't drink much, but are amused by my love of champagne. You join me in a love of good tea and coffee.

You are a Christian, and are interested in what makes my flavour of Reformed faith different from yours. The fact that my church practices exclusive psalmody and doesn't celebrate Christmas intrigues you.

You don't vaccinate your children. That's all I have to say about that.

Actually, I think I have nothing more to say about you, except to reiterate how much I love and care for you. When I write here, I write for you, and I want to write what you want to read.

How did I go? Did I picture you correctly at all? Tell me where I went wrong. I'd love to know you better, and hopefully, if I get I better idea of who you are, I might be able to get a better idea or how to make this blog one that you want to read and I want to write. I'd like that very much.

Oh, and Happy New Year. May God bless and keep you throughout 2016. You are very special to me, dear one. Thank you for being my friend.



  1. Brilliant post! I enjoyed reading it whilst nibbling on a piece of 70% dark chocolate ;) Don't worry too much on the quality of writing. I (and I'm sure all others reading this post) love having a peek into your life, which is pretty different from mine, but meets in so many ways; books, chocolate, AO, Christianity etc. Do keep posting, pretty please! :)

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  3. I always enjoy reading your posts, especially the ones on books .

  4. Definitely no Star Wars or Dr Who but yes I'm an Aussie, yes to Dark chocolate, Christianity, peanut butter, Charing Cross & I'm just relieved Christmas is over; You knew that already, right?

  5. Not bad...not bad at all. Except for that I tried to like Dr Who and JUST COULDN'T get into it, and I do vaccinate my children :D, and I go beyond curiosity about Australia to wishing I kinda was Australian and think that my children's Aussie birth certificates ought to count for something, and I while I loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, I haven't read 84 Charing Cross Road. Should I?

    Your blog is among my favorites, even the 'boring' AO posts because those ones give me such a vision for what AO in the upper years can be. I hope you find the inspiration to keep writing, and I'm so very grateful to now be able to number you among my real-life friends. :heart:

  6. Oh my sweet friend! That was awesome! You described me. I love you more than you know ! I big puffy heart your posts even when they are boring & I cover your bookshelves.

  7. See, you blog for good reasons, Jeanne. To encourage, challenge, help, and enlighten others. I blog just for myself. LOL. I mean, I hope it encourages etc, but when I just do it as a record or online journal, of sorts, it takes the pressure off of me to always have something new, exciting, or profound. I can't take the time to care too much about how my blog posts look, because it's really just me blathering in a sense. Does that make ANY sense? ;) So, maybe remember that you don't have to be anymore of a person then just you. And we LIKE you and want to hear from you...but beyond that, there really isn't any PRESSURE to it.

    Oh and SOME of these things are DEFINITELY me! :) Books, home educating, Charlotte Mason, chocolate! :)

    Blessings for the New Year from Wisconsin! :) Amy

  8. Well, you got most of it about right.

  9. Where's my old Jeanne?

    Whatever makes you keep this blog, dear Jeanne.

    I do love books and I am a Christian and homeschooling mom who happens to love you and your family.

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  11. Homeschool yes, CM no, though I do always check AO for book lists.
    I do love books, we partly picked this appartment because it's 2 blocks from the public library. I live in Massachusetts, in New England. It's fun to read someone's blog who's seasons are reversed from my own.
    Yes on TV, movies (especially Studio Ghibli ones) and Dr Who, though I haven't seen Star Wars yet, I'm looking forward to the Finest Hours, though it is Disney, so eveyone will probably be more sentamental then usual, it's fun to see retro clothes and hear Hollywood actors attempt the local accent. Christmas was lovely, it's also my birthday. This year we set a budget, drew names out of a hat (I knit the hat) and turned over the budgeted money to the children for their name. They loved it, the sneaking and shopping for someone else has always been their favorite part. As well as the Christmas Eve service with candles and carols, which my husband had to scramble to organized because the elder in charge caught flu and our pastor just retired.
    Coffee and chocolate and cheese - yes! All those interesting roasted/fermented/cultured foods, though alcohol is wasted on me, I didn't grow up drinking it, and it reminds me of lab solvents.
    I'm an Evangelical, worshipping at a conservative Baptist church though I grew up C&MA, they are way more reformed than I'm used to, and it's interesting. When they accepted us for members, we made sure they understood we weren't all there on the theology.
    We do vaccinate, though not Gardicil, and we sure wish they still used chicken eggs not fetal stem cells to grow the viruses, but haven't joined or organized a protest.

  12. Brilliant post, m'dear. Except I do vaccinate, and I know an argument to avoid when I read one, and we were SO disappointed in the newest Doctor that we've given up on him entirely (after watching since looooong before it became cool). We've also recently discovered the world of non-alcoholic carbonated drinks has vastly improved since I was a teen.

  13. It's a little eerie how spot-on that was, except:
    1) No Star Wars. Just, no. I tried to love Dr. Who, but the new ones creeped me out. Maybe I'll give the originial series a shot. I am an embarrassingly ardent Star Trek fan, if that earns me a point in the nerd column.
    2) I own Charing Cross Rd and Guernsey Potato Peel Society, but I haven't read either. However, after GLPPS coming up three times in the last week, I now feel the need to move it forward on my To Read list.
    3) I find your yen for travel envious, not amusing, and I totally wish we could travel together!
    4) Don't drink much? Hmmm, I guess that would depend on your definition of "much." Did I tell you that your Bailey's Chocolat picture sent me hunting for a bottle? No luck so far. I bought their Chocolate Cherry version, and I'm still on the fence. It reminds me a little bit of cherry-flavored cough syrup. 😝

    I hope you find what you need to inspire your own writing. You are an excellent writer and I would be glad to see more from you.


  14. Yep, pretty much :-)

    And while your Japanese lit is interesting, I won't knock it if since most people don't get my Korean TV thing either. And yes to Dr Who. I'm not a big star wars gal but I appreciate it enough to give up a holiday morning with my dh yesterday so he could see it while I stayed home with the baby and little kids.

  15. Happy New Year! Hey that profile is pretty spot on.
    Blogging slumps are so frustrating, but if anyone will pull you out Pip may well. In a mini one myself, I'm thinking about challenging myself to write everyday in January, don't think it's cheating if I 'backdate' the first couple;-)
    Great to see you writing again:) xx

  16. I get the blogging pain - maybe I should treat myself to that book too!

    I'm homeschool friendly these days, but I will always champion it as a valid educational pathway! Not so much CM/AO, but there are bits of it I appreciate.

    I do love books, but I don't read as much as you or as much as I feel I ought to. I'm getting a bit e-book friendly, as I'm trying to declutter and I need to get back to the library. I haven't read 84, Charing Cross Rd - that's also on my list now!

    I'm an Aussie, and definitely love living vicariously through your travels!

    I don't watch much TV nowadays, but can be found Chromecasting Downtown Abbey from my bed. With any luck, I'll be watching Star Wars today! I don't mind Dr Who, but I'm not a massive fan (unlike my husband and brother).

    My Christmas this (last?) year was as far from perfect as you can imagine. That makes me sadder than I thought it would.

    I love 70% dark chocolate (any more % is too bitter) and if it includes peanut butter, all the better! I drink more than is good for me and I not-so-secretly adore your love of champagne, although a cup of tea also does wonders as does my daily caffeine/coffee hit!

    I'm not Christian (I'm the opposite) but I like that it doesn't come between us. I DO vaccinate and always will. Science rules - that's all I have to say about that :D

    And I love puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, bushwalks, and seeing your daughter grow up (even though I've never her or you!).

    You may have even inspired me to keep on blogging! I'll keep reading yours, regardless xxxx

  17. And I unashamedly adore Tah Tah's Shake It Up!!!

  18. Let's see... probably nor Reform (I'm pretty sure they'd abhor my Torah Observant bent) but attend a Reform (presbyterian) church and they love me. Homeschooler. AO, pretty purist so far, but planning to take a year off and unschool halfway through. Vaccinate. Love books, read Charing Cross Road when I was a teenager and watched the movie, and loved it but I've never read it since. Haven't read the Guerney one, and my To-Read list is getting depressing. Can't seem to get through as many books these days, what with kids and blogs and school... I'm a Dr Who snob. I grew up with Tom Baker and no one else cuts it for me. Don't think I've ever watched a whole episode of the modern ones. Don't actually have the TV tuned in, but do enjoy occasional movies. Don't drink at all, and have no opinion on your Champagne. Aussie, love watching your travels but, yes, more envious than amused. Love dark choc but not so much peanut butter, plus I'm supposed to avoid it. I think that's all, except that you are a dear friend and I do hope you can get your blogging groove back.

  19. I love your blog and have been reading it for quite a few years. When I check my emails and see a new post from you come through I get a wee flutter and wonder what wonderful message you have for me today.
    You pretty much nailed who I am, except I am from New Zealand and I am sorry to say I am not a Dr Who fan.

  20. Spot on, except for the Dr. Who bit. Love you!

  21. Christian, homeschooler, living in NZ but still following your blog after RP friends introduced it when we lived in Geelong. Happy vaccinating. Not a fan or Dr Who or Star Wars. Not CM, but intrigued and challenged by it. I was at a loss what to do for math, and decided to copy you (initially because MEP was free, but we're happy with it now). We do MEP, and after recalling that you'd blogged about the Pet Shop thing you did with Jemima, last month I went through your archives to get the details. We'll order that for this year, and also have a go at the Big Brainz multiplication game, which I hadn't heard about till looking through your archives. I also sent a friend to your blog when she was trying to figure out Math, she appreciated what you had to say. I want to pay more attention to historical events on the calendar this year, particularly with the food associated with it - something I notice you do and know my children will enjoy. Our church was able to assist your community with donations after the floods... I wonder sometimes how you are going with all that, but know that you haven't made this blog a personal one. But, hope you're on your way to recovery in that regard. You don't have to blog anymore if you don't want to, but would appreciate it if you kept the blog available for reference. Blessings.

  22. Em, there's a post flood update coming. Things are happening!

  23. Considering I've only been reading your blog for the past couple of years, Jeanne, I must say that I don't know what you are talking about. I mean, I know you've said that you're in a blogging slump, but I don't see it on my end:). I, too, love reading anything from A Peaceful Day that shows up in my inbox.

    It sounds like you've summarized your audience very concisely! I do differ on some points, though. I have never seen a single episode of Dr Who. I love all things Star Wars and was not in the least disappointed by the latest addition to the canon; in fact, I went to the theater twice in the span of a few days to see it - and just may do so again. Coincidentally, I recently learned that the very best place to view the movie in the States is a hop, skimp and jump away from me at the Smithsonian in DC. The only better place in the world to view The Force Awakens on screen? In Australia at some amazing IMAX theater whose name now slips my mind. I've not read either book, but they are now calling my name. One more thing - I love you, too. Very much.

  24. Well, you were CLOSE. ;) I am too childish, I guess, because I still prefer milk chocolate!

    Nice to see you publishing again, Jeanne. :)

  25. Wow, you did very well with knowing your readers. :o)
    I had noticed the slow down. What I did with my blog is that I just minimised the amount of entries I did each month. That way I could still continue, just at a smaller rate. That way I can still share, without the pressure of needing to find more time to do it in. I'd love to continue to see what you are all reading. I'd love to see what is being done for school. I love what you have shared with us. I love your book recommendations, and I have actually bought a few of them based on your thoughts and reviews.

  26. Hi Jeanne. I have been in a blogging slump since Joseph was born and keep wanting to write more but never know what to write.

    Your profile of me is pretty spot on except for the not vaccinating. When I read blogs, your blog is on my must read list and I will always come back to see no matter what you write.

  27. Hi Jeanne. I have been in a blogging slump since Joseph was born and keep wanting to write more but never know what to write.

    Your profile of me is pretty spot on except for the not vaccinating. When I read blogs, your blog is on my must read list and I will always come back to see no matter what you write.

  28. You were pretty close. There is nothing secret about my being a Dr. Who fan, although I have struggled to love the latest doctor. I loved the new Star Wars movie as well as any kind of chocolate something. Don't love to mix peanut butter with anything though. I've never heard of those books you mentioned since I was raised on a pretty meager literary diet, but it's because of blogs like yours and the CM community that I am learning what good books are. I love you, and your blog has been an inspiration to me. You were the one who set me on my CM and AO path, and I couldn't be more grateful. I love your posts on AO and books and nature walks and books cooking and books and ... All of it! Thank you for sharing your journey with me and allowing me to see what a CM lifestyle can look like.

  29. I'm still here ... have just been quiet in home-ed-blog-land as other aspects of life demanded more of my attention and home ed just hummed along in the background. Kind of a two-year breakdown and recovery process. Oops.

    I fit about 90% of your reader profile ... you know your readers very well! I seldom write on my home ed blog because everything I feel motivated to write about is too personal. Instead I share impersonal, fun home ed ideas on a Facebook page. Some of the personal stuff, packaged safely, I present on a Facebook page and blog I created (if you'd like a look it's here ... http://glowheartmindandsoul.weebly.com).

  30. I'm a Canadian Christian Charlotte Mason homeschooler who has been reading your blog for a while. In someways very different (I'm a mom of 8 who doesn't really get the opportunity to travel) but in someways very similar (I love a good book or twelve :) and I share your chocolate tastes).

  31. Learn something new every day. I didn't know you celebrate "secular" Christmas and that your Church does not celebrate it. Interesting! I like your posts even if my kids are grown and haven't done homeschool in years. Its fascinating to read about. I love the books you talk about regardless the age of the intended reader.

  32. Loved your Favorite Reader Profile. You know us all well! I fit with most of it and judging by the rest of the comments, your other readers do too. And we all enjoy reading here, so no pressure. Just write when you can and want to. We're still here. :)

  33. Jeanne,

    We are starting our first year homeschooling our eldest (age 5) I have been getting lots of inspiration from your Australianised AO for our booklists as I prepare our learning time for this year. The Way of the Whirlwind just arrived in my mailbox yesterday!

    Christian. Australian. Reader. Dr Who watcher (though I think the most recent have been reasonably weak plot wise). Tea drinker and chocolate is my "one true weakness" (Larkside to Candleford). I enjoyed reading you reader profile, but I do vaccinate my children.

  34. Well, I guess I'm only about a half-favorite! :) But I do love reading what you write, especially the boring AO posts. ;)

  35. Pretty good!! I certainly love your homeschool, book, Charlotte Mason and AO posts. I am quite partial to dark chocolate and if I am ever again not pregnant or breastfeeding I'm sure I will reacquaint myself with champagne! And you're right I am intrigued by your church - so much that you caused me to google it a while back! Please know that your blog is very inspiring to many of us and I really hope you find joy in continuing it.

  36. I've hit the blog post slumps as well.

    I just love reading your blog. I don't visit or comment often as life is flying by, but you are my go-to place to unslump my homeschooling life. I especially love how you get to the heart of CM.

    Hope you can find your groove again. :)

    1. Having Google grumps today. I'm also known as ...... Amy George ;)


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