We are a relatively new blog, launching July 28, 2012 and still learning the ropes. Do you ever feel, as a blogger, that you finally “know it all”? Somehow I suspect not! We certainly don’t! Anyway, since there are two of us, we have answered some of your questions individually.
We are aunt (Carole) and niece (Tiffany), chronicling the chaotic lives of two “girls” of different generations. Our journeys are different, but as women, our needs are the same: the need for quiet peace from the “noise” that surrounds us, the need for more time when we have none, the need for comfort when we are the caregivers to others.
Carole lives in a rural environment with her husband, Charlie, and cat, Coco. Carole posts recipes and stories about emergency planning and preparedness (she and her husband lost their home in the 2007 San Diego County wildfire known as the Witch Fire). Plus, she writes about her elder care journey, as the caregiver to her mother, her mother’s twin and until last year, her father.
Tiffany lives in the suburbs with her husband, Chris and their two young daughters, collectively known as “the Princesses P” on the blog (Princess P and Princess Sweetie Pie, individually). Their family is completed with two black pug brothers, Sid and Samson, and their cat, Fred. Tiffany’s posts focus on motherhood and recipes.
How you first got involved with blogging?
We never started out to create a blog. We wanted to start a company catering to the needs of the elder care community. We even came up with a great name – On Angels’ Wings – and Tiffany’s husband, Chris, built us a small website.
During the research phase of trying to figure out how we were going to launch an elder care services company, we kept stumbling upon blogs. Fascinating blogs, fun blogs, creative blogs, food blogs, heart-wrenching blogs, heart-lifting blogs – Mom blogs.
Tiffany had read blogs for a while. But, this was a whole new world for Carole. A fascinating world of sisterhood – supporting each other and slowly, dramatically shifting the world. And, we wanted to be a part and play a part in this dynamic ever-changing world, if for no other reason than we didn’t want to be left behind!
So, in the blink of an eye, our focus shifted. We wanted to create a place in the blogosphere to document our journey as women in this sisterhood called life. While we wanted our focus to be positive, we also wanted it to be real – a real reflection of us and our respective life paths from two generational perspectives. Carole wrote this story on our blog.
What do you find most challenging about blogging and do you have any tips for others who might be interested in doing the same?
Blogging is a commitment. It is time-consuming from all aspects: planning, organizing, designing, creating, writing, photography, editing – the list is long. My tip: you need to analyze your motives for wanting to have a blog. If it is for personal enjoyment, then I encourage all to jump in. If it is to create a business, think long and hard about what you hope to achieve, because financial “success” as a blogger is a nebulous thing and requires much hard work and long hours.
The editing process. And time. Before I started this blogging adventure I had no idea how much time and effort went into a post from start to finish. Even the simplest of posts can take a minimum of 2 hours. The writing is easy, it’s the photo editing and making everything just right that takes so much time.
What contributions do you want to be known for in the blogging community?
That I made a difference in promoting Emergency Planning and Preparedness and that I helped people to move forward in the process.
I want to give back to bloggers just starting out. We had to find our own way (as most bloggers do), until we found other bloggers willing to share and help us.
Have you found anything interesting or unexpected about blogging?
Everything has been amazing and unexpected! Blogging is more of a supportive community than a competitive one and we’ve met some wonderful people and made many new friends!
What do you hope to achieve from blogging?
A successful business with information that is useful to others, where readers return again and again.
What is your favorite location in San Diego that you consider a real bargain?
Lake Poway Recreation Area – it’s the most beautiful park of rolling hills beside a lake, full of family-friendly possibilities. Lots of picnic areas, a dock for fishing, boat rentals, ballpark, hiking trails. And, it’s free most of the time. Sometimes on holiday weekends, they will charge a small admittance fee per car.
The City of Poway. The Poway Community Center and Library are amazing and offer so many different activities for residents and non-residents for very affordable prices. In addition they also have several free events throughout the year, such as Art in the Park for kids, Storytime and Yoga at the library, etc…
What is an interesting thing about you that people might not know?
I haven’t worn high-heels in more than two years! I work from home, so I’m always in house slippers. In fact, Tiffany is convinced that I’ve worn house slippers since I was 10-years-old!
I really like spicy food. This may sound normal, but up until I was pregnant with Princess Sweetie Pie I couldn’t even dip a chip in the mildest salsa! Now I love spicy foods…salsa, jalapenos, chipotle, etc…
What is your favorite time and/or money saving tip?
Time-saving: keep a calendar. Whether it’s on your phone or a manual one, keep it handy and refer to it daily. Plus, another blogger (Rita, the Blog Genie) did a post and talked about her “2 minute rule”. If you can do something that takes 2 minutes, do it now. Here’s her post. I’ve adopted this attitude and wow, is it ever effective!
Money-saving: use it up! We, as a society of consumers, waste a lot. We throw out food that we’ve purchased and not used in a timely fashion. And, we throw so much other stuff away. Before tossing the item, think about what you can do to use it or use it up or donate it (if it’s not food!).
Time-saving: use a timer! Carole suggested this tip to get my daughters to eat their breakfast faster (they dawdle in the morning!). And, it works great!
Money-saving: pack lunches and snacks, even when you are out-and-about, so that you aren’t tempted to use the drive-thru or grab snack foods just to get the kids through a trip to the store. Also, when cooking dinner, make two meals at once.
Everyone has a favorite post. Name yours and why?
This is a hard one – I have so many! I’m a post-loving piggy! I have a series on our blog, Any Way the Wind blows, about the loss of our house in the fire. Why? Because it was cathartic for me as a writer, plus I believe it is useful to readers because it tells the story of our loss and rebuild and about the many wonderful people who helped along the way. Plus, I think it gives the reader a clear understanding that they are “on their own” in the event of a major disaster such as a wildfire or Hurricane Sandy. In fact, Hurricane Sandy happened during the run of this series.
I also have a sub-category on our blog, called “Your Story Matters” that are inspirational stories about others. There are only 5 there, so far, and I love writing them because the people I write about inspire me.
But, if I have to choose one, it would be Pictures at an Exhibition, a post I wrote recently about the anniversary of the loss of my father. Why is it my favorite post? Because it honors my father, who I miss greatly.
How can I choose just one post as a favorite? They all have great meaning to me and I am proud of our posts on this blog. If I had to choose one I would choose a post by Carole, The Sunshine Gang. Although it’s a short post, it is one that brings a smile to my face and reminds me how special and unique our family is. Carole is making me choose one of mine, too! So, it would have to be A New Beginning, a post about my sweet P’s first day of school.
Toot Sweet 4 Two, LLC
Carole Burkhard and Tiffany Rohrer
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell Phone for Carole: 1-760-803-9162
Cell Phone for Tiffany: 1-858-705-3404