An Alien in the Blogosphere

I feel like an alien in this blogosphere.  It takes me back to my first year of college and English 101.  I would spend hours in the library agonizing over a 250 word creative writing assignment, sure that I was going to fail college.

I’m a scientist!  Quantitative, analytical, exacting, these words make me feel at ease. Step by step, no fluff, direct and to the point are my approach.  I wrote Army SOP’s in my sleep.  Organic Chemistry, the medical school make it or break it course, no problem.

Crossword puzzles – no.  Sudoku’s – YES!!!

Trivial Pursuit – only if I’m forced, can be on Jeff’s team, and given the science questions.

Clue – my favorite! Take my advice, though, never play this game with Jeff.  He will make an accusation on the second round just so he can get out of the game.


During my childhood, my dad would often take us fishing.  I didn’t mind putting worms on the hook, but balked at minnows.  Yet when dad was cleaning the fish, I found myself dissecting them to see how they were made.

In junior high we had a project to boil a frog and then dissect it.  I went the extra mile and repeated the project at home, reassembling the skeleton with glue.  I’m now wondering what my mother must have thought about her daughter, and what she did with the pan when I was finished.  I think I still have the frog bones somewhere. I’ll be sure to post a picture when I find them.

My parents always had nature magazines available for us to read.  I would cut out pictures of the animals and hang them on my wall.  There’s a notebook on our bookshelf with many of these clippings in document protectors.  Young children love to look at them.

You’ll understand why my first aspirations were to be an Environmental Conservationist, then a veterinarian.  My ambitions expanded to discovering the cure for cancer, until I watched a film of an open heart surgery.  When I saw the surgeon holding a beating heart, that sealed the deal.  I would go to medical school.

My youngest daughter just read this blog post over my shoulder and exclaimed, “Mom, you are disgusting!”  I don’t think any of my family shares my love for biological science.  During a middle school class in which my oldest son was expected to dissect a pig, he commented to the group, “I wish my mom was here, she would do this for me.”

Although I left my science career years ago, my love for science remains.  I recently shared my box of nature treasures with my cub scout wolves.  It included a couple of snake skins that I found in the back yard, a large, intact turtle shell claimed during a white elephant gift exchange, and some cool rocks. They were impressed!  I’m keeping these treasures for when I have grand kids!

snake skin

Sometimes my science knowledge can get in the way. Remember, my degree is in microbiology, so you will understand my comment to Jeff as we stepped into the gondola on the canals of Venice, “Do you know what’s growing in that water?!!”

JeffBarbara Venice

Over the last few years, several of my children have asked me what I was going to do with my time when they all left home.  I never expected my answer to include writing a blog. I could count on one hand the number of blogs that I’ve ever seen. Since I have signed up for this endeavor, I’m striving to live up to the Cub Scout Motto, Do Your Best!

A month before the idea of a blog had even developed, I attended a few creative writing classes. As a family history consultant, I knew that recording the stories of our life is important, and wanted to improve in this area. Perhaps writing the essays for the course is what started the blog ball rolling for me.  I sent one of these compositions to a high school English teacher who had taught a few of our children.  I told her to not hold back when using the red pen, I wouldn’t be offended.  She really believed what I said!  The comma seemed to be my biggest problem.  I think the usage rules for the little squiggle have changed in the last 35 years. has become one of my most frequented websites.  I’ve reviewed a few style guides but haven’t yet settled on one, and still on my list is to find a grammar and punctuation reference.  Writing is work for me!  Jeff originally thought we should make three posts per week with me writing two.  Now that we’ve started, he thinks we’ll be lucky to get one out of me each week.  My brother is still waiting for me to review my chapter in the family history he wrote three years ago.

Since Jeff and I haven’t done a very good job of journaling our lives, perhaps this is God’s way of moving us to record our experiences here on earth.  Ideas keep popping into my head, sometimes at 2 am, and I can’t rest until I have put an outline of my thoughts on paper.  I guess my mind knows the responsibility I’ve taken, so it has started churning out stories.  In fact, “My Mind” is a topic I plan to address in a future essay.  Jeff says he is interested in reading that one, and I hope you will be, too.


  1. Haha!!! That fishing photo. Do you know how many times I’ve heard about that great, awesome, vacation!!!! Love to see the stories. Thanks for sharing hem!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always knew you had a military mind, but a scientist wow. I don’t eat fish to this day because I’ve seen too many fish skinned. My uncle would skin them on the hood of his car at camp. My first husband brought one home one day he’d caught thinking I’d clean it. No way. You are impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barbara this is great and I am cut from the same mold. Science, short clear directions, animals and the outdoors so much easier for me rather than shopping, a social dinner or writing a philosophy paper . Please keep sharing I love it.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Here are some tips to help sharpen your writing skills…

    “How to Write Good”

    1. Avoid Alliteration. Always.
    2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
    3. Avoid cliches like the plague. They’re old hat.
    4. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
    5. Be more of less specific.
    6. Writes should never generalize.
    Seven: Be consistent!
    8. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
    9. Who needs rhetorical questions?
    10. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

    That’s all for now! Hope this helps to make your writing gooder. You’re awesome!

    P.S. Is Jeff ever going to post again?

    Liked by 1 person

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