Follow my new Twitter handle
Random Thoughts

Five Things Friday

The five little things that made my week…

1. After two years of trying to convince Twitter to release the name, I finally got @gardenbetty as my official handle! If you’re already following me on Twitter, there’s no need to do anything on your end. The name transfer was seamless and all tweets and followers remained intact. But be sure to tag @gardenbetty in all your tweets from now on!

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Navigating the big wide world of blog monetization
The Business of Blogging, Work

Navigating the Big Wide World of Blog Monetization

So you’ve poured your heart and soul into your blog, it’s got a good motto or mission at its core, people are connecting with it and the next step in cementing its status as a full-fledged business — what will launch you from a passionate hobbyist to a full-time blogger — is monetization.

Monetization is the machine that keeps a blog running. It’s also a highly controversial subject, as often there are naysayers who believe monetizing your blog means selling yourself out. But let’s be realistic: one cannot pay the bills by working for free. If you are offering a useful service and running your blog like a business, you deserve to be compensated like a business.

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Tips for becoming a full-time blogger
The Business of Blogging, Work

Tips for Becoming a Full-Time Blogger

I’m not sure how it happened, but since my series of biz tips last November during National Career Development Week, I went from a serious blogger earning part-time income from my posts to a professional blogger making a living from writing about my life.

Saying that out loud is something I can’t even convince my own mother is true. Blogs, for her, are still a new world — and a strange one at that for a career. And honestly, even I am baffled by this transition. Blogging was (and still is) a hobby for me, and I’m so thankful that it’s reached a point where it can support my lifestyle too.

I don’t make millions from my blog, though there are certainly superstar bloggers out there who pull in an impressive income without celebrity status. I don’t have a staff or even an intern, and I still prefer to produce my own content without contributors or guest bloggers. In a way, I feel that makes the idea of blogging for a living more approachable for most people.

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Chicken first aid: how to wrap a sprained wing
Backyard Chickens, Health

Chicken First Aid: How to Wrap a Sprained Wing

Working from home all day means I’ve become accustomed to the various sounds coming from my chickens in the backyard. There’s the egg song, which they trumpet upon a successful lay. There’s the cooing chatter as they happily scratch and peck at the dirt. There’s the homing squawk when one of them suddenly realizes she’s alone, and the frantic flap of wings meant to shoo the neighborhood cats as they dart across our garden.

Then there’s an entirely different sound I’d never heard until recently, a cross of the homing squawk and a stuttering siren, a definite distress call that told me something was not right.

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A day in Pennsylvania Dutch Country
Excursions

A Day in Pennsylvania Dutch Country

What is it about the Amish life that’s always drawn me? Perhaps it’s the throwback to simpler times in the way they eschew modern technology in their homes, the romantic scenes along a country road of horse-drawn buggies and one-room schoolhouses, the traditional form of dress or the charming Pennsylvania Dutch accents.

Bucolic Amish countryside

It feels like the pages of a history book opened up before my eyes. Thousands of years of religious faith, persecution in Europe, and eventual settlement in Pennsylvania have created the oldest and largest Amish community in the country, in a sliver of the state called Lancaster County.

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Sweet Genovese basil
Canning, Freezing & More Preserving, Recipes

Simple Preserves: Making and Freezing Basil Puree

My basil have been going gangbusters in the vintage clawfoot bed. All summer long, the bees have been flitting about the fragrant flowers — dozens of them, to the point where you can hear a collective buzz as you walk by.

Bee feeding on basil flower

Moments like these make me wish I had a beehive, because a colony feeding on all my basil would produce the most amazing honey! (Sigh, one day.)

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Winter radishes versus spring radishes
Garden of Eatin', Vegetables

Winter Radishes Versus Spring Radishes

Of all the vegetables one can cultivate, radishes are one thing that’s always in abundance in my garden. I love their top-to-tail usefulness in the kitchen and grow them year-round for the greens as well as the roots (and even the flowers as well as the seed pods — yep, all edible).

Radish flowers

When the first sign of fall arrives, those tight little bunches of palm-sized orbs start to make way for larger, starchier roots like black radish, watermelon radish, and daikon — or what are known as winter radishes.

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