Thursday, July 31, 2008

Come Talk To Me

Hey! It's the weekend for me, thank God! This has been a rough week and I'm glad it's over. The heat is still going strong here and the 10 hour days are a little hard to handle. Last week 2 of our younger boys were throwing up and another missed some time. The heat does funny things to your body but you can acclimate somewhat. We have lots of safety talks etc. and get to take breaks and so on but also, having to wear so much safety equipment (hardhats etc) really adds to the burden. Well, enough of that. I really an determined to get some more siding up this weekend and do actual work on the house! I'm still in a crisis over how to paint the eaves but have lots of other stuff to do. It's raining here tonight which is very good as I believe it is supposed to be dry the rest of the weekend. Hopefully I'll have some good photos of the house to post. I know I have not posted about the house in some time and I apologize, but I have just not done anything lately due to several things. I must get back to work though.

Since I have not been posting on the house I have written about some other, completely unrelated things and have really wondered about how appropriate that is and such. I have also noticed recently on several other blogs that others have had a lot to say on the subject of posts and comments or lack of comments etc. Yeah, Ron, you're one of them! Sorry I missed all of that! I have often wondered how OK it is to write about "other" stuff. Obviously, I started the blog to show the construction of my house and that is still the main thing but as in any chronicle of events, it's not always consistent and there are lulls in the action. To fill in or not? I think if it is an accurate depiction of what it is like to build your own house then you should show the down times, I mean the times when weather or lack of funds, work or whatever keeps you from doing much work. That's part of life. So, do you write about personal things? Well, some do and some don't. Some get tons of comments when they do and some get few or none, like me. Why is that? I have noticed that male bloggers tend to get many more comments than females unless the females are writing about how sorry their ex-husband is or their boobs or they curse worse than a drunken sailor. Maybe I'm just boring. I have some colorful tales but would be quite reticent to share many as most of the people involved are still alive and some people I work with read this blog! When I write about personal things it really is with the intention that I am willing to say, "hey, I've had some tough times but I got through them and you can too if you are having trouble." Whether anybody gets anything out of it or not I don't know but we often don't realize the effect, good or bad, we have on other people. Oh, and I've got several stories on that subject! When I read personal things written by other people I often don't comment because I'm not sure what to say (don't want to sound like an idiot, you know) but it always makes me think abut things and maybe consider something I had not thought of before, so I try to keep that in mind when I don't get many comments. I personally like to read about other people's experiences in life, even the sad ones, not because I'm glad that something bad happens to some one else, but because it lets me know I'm not alone. And I can experience some things, in a way, through other people that I will never know myself. The birth of a baby, a life long love, children growing up and going to college or far away places and so on.

As far as number of visitors and how many comment, I have gone through fits over that myself. I removed the statistics of Sitemeter from my blog because the numbers were and still are so paltry I was embarrassed. I finally concluded that I must be entertaining in some way to somebody, a source or information or good laugh, because I have a list of regulars even though most do not comment at all. But they keep coming back. Yes, I wish I got more comments. I do like to write just for the mental exercise but I like to hear other people's ideas. My life is so removed from what is "normal" that I just like to kinda check in and see if I've drifted completely off the screen yet, if you know what I mean. I realized the other day that I can literally go weeks without talking to another female, other than my Mom who I try to call regularly. I am around nothing but men, which brings up a WHOLE 'nother subject, which I will not go into now. So, to hear a woman's opinion on something, even if it is read off a computer screen, is unique to me. And I find it so funny that of the few comments I get, they are for the most part, by men.

I say I started this blog for friends and family that were interested in my house, and that was true, but I have discovered that my family couldn't be less interested so I mainly rely on the kindness of strangers and their encouragement with what I am trying to do. The friends I had in mind when I started the blog are also not interested so I was surprised to discover that several of the guys from work or associated with work are regular readers. But you never know, right? I have given up trying to guess what people will be interested in, comment on etc. Even with my pottery, pieces that I think just suck, someone will go nuts over and buy right off! When I am sure I've come up with a post that will get lots of comments, Bam! Nothing! Ha! Oh well, I guess it just boils down to the fact that you just have to do what you feel makes you happy and take any feedback, or lack of, in stride. I remember years ago, I worked at a local ice cream plant in the maintenance dept. as a welder. I was the only woman in that department. there were lots of women in the other, less paying departments but they never spoke to me much or anything and I felt weird about it. Anyway, I left that job because I got set up at my current position and was making more money. A couple of years later my construction company actually went to that plant and did an addition and I worked there for a short while. I was talking to my former boss one day and he told me that after I starting working in the maintenance department that the other women started applying for positions previously only held by men and getting the jobs! And doing well and making more money! I felt happy about that and it didn't matter to me then that I felt out of place. I didn't do anything great, I was just willing to go first. A lot of people don't consider an alternative unless they see someone else try something new. So, I don't mind going first, I've always been a little headstrong anyway!

*Peter Gabriel


Adrianna said...

Everyone is always worried about comments. My blog rarely gets any. I think of it as a diary of sorts. I can look back thru my years and laugh and laugh. My few readers can get a glimpse at the crazyness of what I'm up to and if they just want to be peeping toms thats ok, the trench coat is open. I say go ahead look and laugh at me, I love to peek to!!

pablo said...

I figure it's yer own blog, you can write whatever you want in it.

I'm pretty sure people get bored of reading about this or that in my Roundrock forest, but when I write about something personal, I get comments like crazy.

I happen to like the balance you've struck in Edifice Rex. I was surprised when I first started blogging that a virtual community develops, and I have dozens of friends now that I've never met. (Some even throw pots.) Just like physical friends, there are parts of their lives that interest you and parts that you find boring. But they're still your friends.

I'd say stop worrying about content and just write away.

Richard said...

I like to read your blog because I have a background in construction and like to see how you tackle things different then I do or did. You have given me lots of ideas on Thank you.

I also like your blog because you seem positive on most things even when things are down for you. Nice to read about others experiences.

Do your blog for yourself not for others. Whatever the reason, you doing a great job.

AD said...

I check in on your blog almost daily. I'm am not even sure how I came across it but i do enjoy it. I think personal commentaries are fine as long as you are comfortable with it. My blog was intended to be a way for me to keep my family filled in with what is going on in my life, but over time strangers have come across it as well. I post mainly about my personal life and will continue to do so until something creeps me out or bugs me enough to shut myself up.

Anonymous said...

I have followed your blog from the beginning and to me the way you combine your personal life with the struggle to build your own home is dead on. By the way, I am remaining anonymous for now because I work for the same company as you. I don't want you to hold back or censor your comments because we work for the same master. I will admit that I am a little jealous of what you have accomplished. I think most people in our business feel a need to build their own home. I never took that step because my wife and I were determined our two kids would go to college. That along with some unexpected hurdles life throws at you made building our own home seem like a waste of money. The home we live in is fine for us, I just can't say I built it. I can really sympathize with you on your frustration in not being able to get anything accomplished. I have been working on my house for 18 years to get it the way that I want it and I am still not done. Between work, money issues, family obligations, and working out of town when called upon, I figure I will have the house done the day before I kick the bucket. Keep writing the way you always have and I will keep reading the way I always have. Tell Allen "Anonymous" said hello.

Floridacracker said...

Hell, I think you are fascinating whether you are writing about your art, your construction skills, plants, your house, yourself, or whatever.
I learn bunches here at ER.
Take your header pic for example, I never would have thought of using rebar in a creative attractive way, but there it is! I plan to copy that by the way.

Don't fret over that visitor count too much. There's no sense to it. Sometimes I think, wow, this post is going to get a big response and then pfffffft! Almost nothing.
Funny that most of your commenters are guys, because most of mine are women.
I work mostly with women and now thanks to blogging, I'm surrounded by virtual women.
It's truly a wonderful world we live in :)

Just remember it's your site, you should write about whatever you want.
I do, even though I have a main theme.
I leave off the stories that might come back to haunt me ... once it's on the net, it's there forever of course.

Write what you want. I'll be reading it.

Elizabeth said...

Have tried to comment in the past and couldn't. Am trying again.

Elizabeth said...

I can finally comment. Yea! I have read your blog for a while. Went back and started at the beginning. You are great! Don't let anyone tell you differently. You are a strong woman and some people think that is wrong. I was raised by 2 women just like you. They were willing to try anything that needed doing. My mom and grandmother. My daughter and I are very strong, independent women and my husband and her fiance wouldn't have it any other way. I am so excited about you building your house. We are going to build ours as soon as my hubby retires in about 3 years. Hang in there...

tammy said...

You can not let others lead you in life. You must make your own path. If you do what everybody else does then you end up with what they do: debt, despair, frustration.... To many women are in the "cinderella" mindset. Even when a prince charming comes along, he prefers an woman that doesn't mind take challenges and will try anything. (ps if he isn't you wouldn't want him anyway).
I too have the problem with conversing with mainly men, not as many women. I'm sorry to say that a lot of times I find women boring. I can't talk about getting my hair done for 4 hours and then finish the conversation with 2 hours of "nail" and shopping talk. I've always been a person that tries to find common ground to talk with someone, but when i try different conversations with some women they look at me as if i have sprouted horns!
I have enjoyed your blog and have commented (anonymous) once before. I too was in construction(residential). (ps i'm the one that loved your cat)
It's nice to find someone different out there. You should celebrate your difference and comments outside of the house building are all part of the picture. To only comment on the house would be boring and one dimensional. (Gee, then you would be like some of the other women)!
Oh by the way, i have ran into a lot of men that are pretty boring too, just to make sure we have equal comment here.

Chieftain of Seir said...

Some of us read you on RSS readers. Not sure how that shows up on your stats.

Since you publish a full feed, I often read the whole post without ever coming over to your site.

As for what you write about, that is your business. But as long as the blog stays connected to the trades I will be reading. I actually like the posts about your work better then the post about your house (though I enjoy both.)

Its amazing how few good blogs come from tradespeople. A lot of them will start a blog with some good posts and then stop. I think it is hard to keep a consistent blog with variable hours most people in the trades work.

myamuhnative said...

OK , you've made me delurk!
I'm another woman who generally relates better to men and works in a male dominated field too, but would happily add you to my very small circle of female friends.

It is so refreshing to come to your blog and really learn something!
Well, lots of things actually.

Keep writing about whatever works for you-and we'll keep reading!!

pablo said...

FC said "Hell"!

nathan said...

Ed Rex,
I visit your site often. i enjoy the mix of topics. I most enjoy the do-it-self building of your home. I was very impressed with the rebar deck guardrail. I have some questions concerning that. How were the ends of the rebar attached to each other? If they are not attached then what keeps them from coming out of the post if that is where the ends are? I am interested in the construction industry and simple living. That is mostly why i visit your blog.

Linda said...

Hey! I enjoy reading your blog as a way of feeling like I'm keeping in touch-and up to date on things. I like blogs in general, because I am fascinated at getting tiny peeks of people and how they really live their lives. Your blog is entertaining, interesting, diverse, sometimes surprising and on occasion, hugely funny. I tend toward sadistic humor, so I love reading some of the stories you tell..(I remember back quite a while ago you posted about Allen getting the truck stuck in the mud when he insisted he would not. Too Funny!) Of my favorite peeks into your life, I enjoy the garden, the post with the picture of your meal and Grendal :)
But, I think the key to a good blog is to be genuine. Your blog shows the world who you are, what you believe and how you act out your life. If you remain true to yourself and those things, I think your regulars can enjoy reading whatever you post.

Jenn said...

I'm glad you like my comments.

And now, I'm off to Roundrock to reassure Pablo that I love to hear all the mundane stuff about his property. Living vicariously, and all that!

edifice rex said...

Wow! I sure appreciate all the responses and such long, wonderful comments! Please know that if you prefer not to comment it is really OK. I like to hear feedback but as long as you keep coming to read I know everyone is still interested. All I want is those numbers, baby! HaHa! Just kidding! I am glad to hear from those who enjoy the work related posts though because I had just about decided to quit posting on work; no one seemed interested.
Now, I know you are just quite.

Hey Adrianna! Yeah, I don't mind too much 'cause it occurred to me that if people were not interested they would not come back.

Hey Pablo! Well, I do write pretty much what I want and people can just skip over the posts they find boring or weird. But everybody I know in person thinks I'm nuts so I guess it's fine if you people do too! I have been amazed also at how much of a community is there. You start to care about people you will more than likely never meet. Yeah, FC got kinda worked up didn't he!

Hey Richard! Well, thank you! I'm glad to hear that I have given you some ideas. Hearing that from several people has really made my day. It's funny because I usually think that I whine too much when things are going bad; I hope I do show a more positive attitude.

Hello ad! Thanks so much. Well, like I said, I started mine for similar reasons (my family) but have been surprised to see so many strangers more interested. Not surprised than my family was not, just than anybody else would be.

Hey Anon for now! Now, really, have you ever known me to hold back or censor any comment?! Ha!! I bet the guys at work would have something to say about that! LOL! It's a real compliment to me that you keep up with my blog and I appreciate it a lot. You and your wife need to come out and see the house! You guys at work really keep me going; ya'll have helped me more than you will know.

Hey FC! Thank you bunches, sweet cake! It's a real compliment to me also than you feel you learn stuff from me! You copy that rebar design all you want. I just wish I could get you the rebar to use; I saw what they are wanting for it at Lowe's the other day and just about croaked! Yeah, it's funny and wonderful but often, for me, I feel like I am adrift on the ocean and dying of thirst, if you know what I mean. Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink...

Hello Elizabeth! I'm so glad you were finally able to comment! Thank you so much; you're very kind. Well, I come by it naturally; my mother and grandmother were very stout women too, so I have a good example.

Hey Tammy! Yeah, I find I have trouble finding some things in common with a lot of women but there are more like us out there! I have always went my own way, at first mainly because I had no other choice, but now because I see that you do have to be true to yourself.
I like who I am and hopefully I can show that it's OK to try something different.

Hello Chieftain! It's nice to hear from you. I had no idea I published a full feed on whatever that was you said! LOL! As long as you enjoy reading though, it doesn't matter! I have looked for other tradespeople too and just haven't found much. The hours we work do make it hard for me during the week. No time for anything but work.

Hello mya! I'm glad you delurked!

Hey Nathan! Thanks so much! The ends of the rebar just butt against one another; the longest bars are only about 7 feet. They are kind of capped off in the posts as the two end posts are only drilled on one side. You have to start threading the rebar on one end and work your way around. when you come to the end and put the final post on, the hole for the rebar only goes halfway through thus sealing the rebar in. I'll try to show some better photos of what I did. I know I didn't explain in well in that original post. thanks for your interest.

Hey Linda! thanks! that's why I like blogs too I think. I need to come up with some more funny stories, lord knows I've got plenty. Allen is always good for something like that.

Hey Jenn! Yeah, I enjoy your comments and feel good that my little blog is interesting enough to merit some.

Jackie said...

I hope you never change the way you blog. I read many blogs every day and like the way each person has their own style. I love reading about your working along side the guys. I'm a woman who started working in a machine shop in the early 60s. I took a lot of flack the first few weeks I was there until the guys found out that I didn't need anyone standing over me to make sure I could do the job. I love reading about both your work on the house and the work you do for a living.

By the way, the picture up top of your deck is beautiful. Keep up the good work. There are no doubt dozens of people who read your blog every day but like me, just didn't comment.

edifice rex said...

Hey Jackie! Wow! the early 60's! All hail Jackie!! It's women like you that I owe for my job now. Ya'll really stuck your neck out then to work in male dominated fields. I've never been given too much trouble; most of the guys are real nice. I'm glad you enjoy my blog so. Thanks so much.

Ron said...

Hey, Annie. We just got back from a family reunion, so I'm getting caught up on things.

It is really important to me, too, to feel that what I'm doing has some kind of purpose or meaning. Otherwise, why do it? It's not about numbers, or necessarily about lots of comments - just feeling that it has meaning and is worthwhile. I know exactly what you are saying. Sometimes, it's hard to post when there is nothing but silence...

I like reading your posts because you have a very unique perspective as a woman in heavy construction building your own house. One minute you are covered in grit and grime, and the next minute you are admiring your flowers. I love that. :)


Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm commenting on a two year old post, but I remember that earlier you said you see even old comments since you moderate them.

So... I found your blog a week or two ago from a mention in Secret's blog (Casting off). As a bit of a tomboy, I could relate right away. I read some of your new posts, and then pretty soon realized that I wanted to read the "backstory." So I started at the beginning and I have to say that your writing, and the things you do and write about are just fabulous.

I like the house stuff (I built a small place years ago), the personal stuff (single, female, no kids, late 40s myself), the heavy construction methods and description (never done it, but have worked "boy jobs" plus I just like to know how things work), and the nature/plant stuff (I'm from up north and your local flora is so much different).

If there's anything I failed to mention, well, I like that too (in other words, have not read anything I don't like, and would hate to see anything "go"!).

One thing I can really relate to is doing projects by yourself and then wondering why you are getting into them because it's hard. Sometimes when I'm in that same situation, and cursing whatever it is, I'm also wondering "why, Why, WHY couldn't I be one of those women with a tidy, finished condo and a new car and smooth white hands with no broken nails who has a neat little life and always looks fresh and smells like flowers. But noooOOOOoo, I have to take on projects and be "capable," dagnabbit. Sometimes it feels like a curse, but then.... I don't really want to be those women..... most of the time....

I would sometimes like to have a blog, but I'm cursed with a love of privacy and a bit of a fear about "going public." Really, it feels like a curse sometimes. Ocassionally I think about just making a blog and ripping off the privacy quickly, like a band-aid, but so far have not done so.

Which reminds me that sometimes feel like.... well I don't feel creepy, but I hope I don't SEEM creepy because when you read someone's blog it's like you get to know them, but they don't know you, and for some reason that feels a little weird because it's one-way. Well no, now that I think about it, it doesn't feel weird to me, but I hope it doesn't seem weird to the person whose blog I'm reading, if that makes sense.

Okay, anyway, here I am two years after the fact saying "I love your blog; don't change a thing!"

(Now I will read up to the present and find out if you did :)


edifice rex said...

Hey Anon! yes, I got the notice that you had commented! thank you for leaving the comment and for your very kind words. And no, you don't sound 'creepy'! lol! I love to hear form all my readers. But I know what you mean; sometimes it is a bit one-sided.
Thanks for your encouragement; it always helps me so much to read such comments. I hope that you continue to enjoy the blog and that I haven't changed it much! I don't think I have. lol!
thanks again.

Sal in Maine said...

As R. said- this post has been up a while but I just wanted to add that as I read back through your "history" so to speak, I am enjoying ALL of your posts. We are rehabbing a 200 year old cape in Maine and let me tell you- your posts about discouragement, frustration, "too much time- no money" vs "money and no time" and as we call it- "year 8 of the 5 year plan with the 10 year budget" issues sure do ring a bell. You just keep on keepin' on and I will be happily reading along- your information (house and work) are invaluable and your personal posts are very enjoyable as well. Thank you!