Bloggers are Here to Stay. Like it or Lump it, Martha.

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Image courtesy of FreeDigitalImages.net by Stuart Miles

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalImages.net by Stuart Miles

When I saw a post shared on a private bloggers’ group page regarding how Martha Stewart dissed bloggers with her recent comments on Bloomberg TV, I immediately responded to my fellow blogging friends with an instant reply.

This is what I wrote:

This is their way of “protecting their turf” and not letting others rise to the top. I’m referring to MS and I didn’t have to listen to the video. People who rank themselves as the experts and have all the attention don’t want to let others get to their position, bloggers are people in training in some cases. OK, now I should just write a topic about this – getting wordy! LOL.

After I posted my comment above, many bloggers on this private bloggers’ page began to chime in with their thoughts and replies to my reply and everyone else’s comments.

Basically, we all took some level of offense to Martha’s comment about bloggers because everyone in this group is passionate about their blogs and what they offer to the world, which by the way, in many cases, is voluntary and without much compensation.

After re-tweeting a couple tweets related to this Martha blogger-dissing story, one of which was me tweeting this:

Bloggers are here to stay. Like it or Lump It.

I stepped away from my desk and went to the kitchen to make a quick sandwich for lunch.  Then I thought, I better get these dishes done before I go back to researching information for my next post on my blog.

As I moved my hands through the soapy dish water, I kept thinking about those words Martha spoke:

“Who are these bloggers?”

Like a rap song, it started to repeat in my head…, “Who-who-who are these (zip-zip noise of a rapper’s album spinning) bloggers? Who are these Bloggers anyways? Who-who are these Bloggers?”

It made me shake my head a bit in disgust thinking about her using the word “gripe” and saying “they are not the experts,” along with her question: “Who are these bloggers?” – which of course, she presented in a pretentious tone.  But it also made me think more about the people “like Martha Stewart” than Martha Stewart herself.

What I mean by “people like Martha” is there are people who believe they are the experts and don’t want to allow anyone else to be better than them or reach higher status, because obviously, they would lose their rank as being the best.  They hold onto their high status position strongly for either monetary reasons or some kind of elite recognition.  But in addition to this, they have a high and mighty attitude about their position.

It doesn’t matter what field you are in or which you are representing.  It could be cooking, décor, plants, or aprons – but somehow, someway, this person reached “glory” status and was given a perceived title of expert.  And sure, they worked their butts off and knew how to run a business to get there, but that very status got to their heads a little too much at some point.  They somewhere along the journey crossed from being a person who inspires to a person whom must be worshiped.

These “people like Martha” believe they are the experts in their field and maybe they are, but they also are the very ones who are or were admired from afar by people who aspire to be like them.  Or maybe their fans don’t technically aspire to be like them, but have a passion very similar to theirs.  The fans may be beginners at the expert’s similar field, been practicing it for a while, have studied too, learned, and gained experience.  Maybe they are close to being an expert themselves.  But those “people like Martha” don’t want to let them get there.

Why?  Because they fear losing their number one spot.

One of the things I love about blogging, bloggers, and the ability to share across the world with anyone willing to hear about your passion, craft, and expertise – is that you do not need an expert to give you permission to do so.  You don’t have to kiss their ring first or sing their praises.

On the flip side of that, it is also very disappointing when you have admired someone considered to be an expert and they don’t see that you would have appreciated their mentor-ship, encouragement, or even praise to acknowledge that you have achieved some level of greatness as well.  It may be big or small, comparable to theirs, or not even close – but you have been working hard at it too.

When they, the people like Martha, get to that place where they don’t want to allow anyone else to be as grand as them, this is when they have lost their true gift – The gift which got them to their expert status in the first place.

If you were or are a super football player for example, and you coach students to learn how to be the best player as well, this is admirable and a worthwhile way to live.

If you are a super-star player, and won’t let anyone else on the playing field, what’s the point?

As I continued to click through tweets to find other bloggers’ commentaries on the Martha blogger-dissing story, I felt an even stronger admiration for bloggers and their willingness to share the playing field and not keep it all to themselves.  This, again, is what is powerful about blogging.  We ‘can’ share, can be seen and heard, and don’t have to meet anyone’s standards to do so.  The only people who need to approve are those admiring our offerings.

Does the fact we are not experts diminish the quality of our posts and shared information at times? Perhaps.  But you know what, I say it’s worth the risk.  I’d rather discover an unknown talent willing to share what they know in a passionate true way than not know they are out there because some expert would rather keep all the glory to themselves.

Written by Cathy Testa

P.S.  Yes, I know I have some grammatical errors.  I haven’t had ‘my recipe’ tested yet.  Now let me get back to my post – about how to build birdhouses.  Thank you.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalImages.net by Kibsri. SHOWING EXPRESSIONS OF BLOGGERS WHEN THEY READ THE NEWS.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalImages.net by Kibsri. SHOWING EXPRESSIONS OF PUMPKIN BLOGGERS WHEN THEY READ THE NEWS ABOUT MARTHA.

I like Jen Singer’s MommaSaid.net post about the Martha blogger dissing story as well – FYI: Click HERE.

My Monster Cement Planter

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Jimmy, my brother, installs stamped concrete walkways, so I finally asked him to do one outside my basement door. Then I told him how I’d like to have him build me a huge planter box below the deck. I gabbed about how cement is so popular these days, even running inside to show him photos from a Martha Stewart magazine issue showing cement outdoor tables and more.  Anyhow, he knows I get nutty about these dreams of mine, but he said we could do it.  He agreed on my dimensions, and the cement planter resulted in a 5 x 10 size.

After it was completed, which was last fall, I filled it with the soil from my disassembled container gardens from that season. It was perfect because the cement planter is below my deck, so it was easy to dump the soil into it from above. Plus, I was recycling my soil.  Then I put a big plywood board over it for the winter. It ended up serving as a useful table during my winter Kissing Ball and Evergreen Creations class.

My Monster Cement Planter

My Monster Cement Planter

Alas, it came time to plant it this year. First, of course, was my red banana plant, as the thriller. I imagined the leaves would pop up to the deck railing levels by summer.  As of today, the leaves are 52″ long.  Yup, I measured it.  In warmer zones, the Ensete red banana can reach 12′ tall.  In prior years, this tropical plant, Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ has grown tall in my patio pots and containers, reaching probably 5-6 feet tall, but never has it grown as wide and large as it has in my cement planter.

The thriller is Ensete red banana with fillers of elephant ears

The thriller is Ensete red banana with fillers of elephant ears

The red banana plants features are thrilling to me because its large reddish leaves grow fast from a thick trunk base. The leaves come up like rolled cigars which is appealing. Then they quickly unroll to show a big tropical look. This tropical plant is hardy to zones 9-10 so I had stored the base carefully last fall to reuse as an annual here in CT.

Watering the red banana and its companion plants was no problem either. I just showered them from above when I walked around with my light weight garden hose to do the pots on my deck.  The only trouble experienced was the bothersome Japanese beetles earlier in the summer munching on the leaves. Cutting off the unsightly leaves was the solution for more would arise.

Astilbe perennial blooms

Astilbe perennial blooms

In the beginning of the season, Astilbe perennials bloomed red and pinks. They put on a bloom show for a while. And they will return every year. I also added several types of elephant ears from my stored specimens, which included the Colocasia esculenta ‘Maui Magic’ and Colocasia esculenta ‘Tea Cup.’

Tucked around were elephant ears

Tucked around were elephant ears

‘Maui Magic’ elephant ears are a fav. Its purplish stems and large leaves in a clump are spectacular. ‘Tea Cup’ elephant ears have cupped leaves. Water droplets sit in the center and bobble around as a breeze comes by, or my cat. My cats like to lick the droplets sometimes, and once I found one cat sleeping under the plants in this planter. They were reaping the benefits of cool shade from the large red banana plant’s leaves and the elephant ears, plus the monster cement planter is in a quiet location where they can rest or sleep.

A biennial plant starts with pods

A biennial plant starts with pods

Another plant added was Angelica, selected because it has unusual looking flowers. It is a biennial, and also has large foliage resembling giant parsley. The blooms, shaped like pods, first arrived mid summer and are open now. Bees are really enjoying them. I was excited about this plant too because it grows very tall, up to 5-8 feet.  The deep plum flowers are a nice color combo next to the reddish banana leaves.

Planter filled lushly

Planter filled lushly

Next to bloom will be the pink Turtlehead perennial. Latin name is Chelone lyonii. This will bloom any day now, and more bees will follow. I had this perennial in a pot last year, and loved it. Its a late summer bloomer, and will continue until early fall, plus it also gets large.  Its on the left corner with dark green leaves, dense, and packed in nicely. It likes consistently moist soils, and so does the Angelica and tropicals in this monster cement planter.

There are other beauties in the planter, such as Rodgersia pinnata and Thalictrum aquilegifolium (Columbine Meadow Rue).  The Meadow Rue is the only perennial relocated from a former garden mowed down. It gets very tall, 2-3 feet, and has wispy pale tiny flowers in late spring to early summer. It has more of a woodland feel but the height factor made it a companion. And of course, no container garden would be complete without a spiller, sweet potatoe vine on the corner.

Red banana leaves arise rolled up

Red banana leaves arise rolled up

Planting this monster cement planter has been easy and a joy. No bending to the ground, or weeding. They can not get in practically, not just because the plantings are full, but the height of the planter helps to prevent them from creeping in. I’d rather plant hundreds of these types of large cement planters over gardens in the ground any day. Now if I could just convince my brother to build me more!

written by Cathy Testa

The thriller is Ensete red banana with fillers of elephant ears

The thriller is Ensete red banana with fillers of elephant ears