Beach Bits,  Buddies

Taking BeachMama to OUR beach.

Beach Mama and J

Do you guys know BeachMama? Some of you do. She’s been a commenter here since forever. I think since day one maybe. She and Pinky, AKA One Small Sock. I’m terrible at responding to comments (as you know) and waves of readers come and go because of it. It makes me sad that some people don’t stay but I have learned that I can only do what I do, which is blog, not answer emails and comments in a timely manner.

Please do not follow my lead though. It’s terrible manners not to respond to comments. If you want to grow your blog and create a healthy community of good friends, my way is NOT the way to do it. Some people might think you can create an air of mystery by being unavailable to your readers. That’s a bunch of baloney. I know plenty of big-name bloggers who take great pains to respond to their readers and they are big because of their hard work and attention to their fans.

Of course when your audience gets too big it’s not possible to respond to every email, but everyone should at least try. And if you still can’t pull that off, then be like me: hang your head in shame, and then write a post about what a crappy blogger you are. Or just be happy being a small-time blogger. The big time is not all it’s cracked up to be (not that I know anything about that but I have been blogging since way before it was considered a normal thing to do). Anyway! Who asked for a lesson on blogging? Not you, I’m sure.

What I wanted to say was that some commenters’ names stick in my head after years and years of sweet faithful comments, and one of those commenters is BeachMama. I wish everyone had as loyal a reader as BeachMama. She stopped commenting a year ago for maybe four days. You know why? Because she HAD A BABY!!! In her house, without drugs!

She has two kids now and I can still count on getting a slew of comments from her when she has a moment to sit down. I can always tell when she’s had a free moment because three or four comments will ping into my email. It’s the sweetest thing. Please don’t think I expect this from anybody. I do not. I don’t deserve it!! But I just want you to know that your un-responded-to comments do mean something to me. Especially year after year after year.

And you know what is even cooler? Meeting your long-time commenters in real life. And let me tell you, BeachMama is just as sweet in real life. I’m really quite bowled over by her sweetness.

hey it's Beach Mama at the beach!

We took her to the beach. She is BeachMama after all. It’d be a crime to go somewhere nice and air-conditioned. We went straight to the beach and sweated it out under the great big California sun. It was actually really nice. The sand has mounded up in these berms lately on our beach and when the waves crash over the berms during high tide, they create small one-to-two foot lagoon-puddles that are perfect for little kids to play in.

It’s a mother’s dream. You get all the pleasantness of the ocean breeze and sounds of crashing surf but your kids can safely paddle around in little pools that aren’t going to suddenly going to rip them out to sea or smash them into smithereens under a giant frothy wave. It was quite relaxing for me.

to each their own

It wasn’t quite as relaxing for BeachMama as she has a little girl who likes to run off into the horizon any chance she gets. While I sat and helped Bug make drippy sand castles, BeachMama ran hither and yon fetching little Apple (that’s her nickname).

fetching Apple

Just in case that wasn’t tiring enough I decided to take them to Balboa Island so we could ride the ferry over to Newport Peninsula. That’s my favorite tour for out-of-towners. It gives a good feel for the good parts of living here.


So we trekked and we trekked around and around Balboa Island.

follow the leader

And then we trekked some more.

hanging out at the pier

We walked all the way to the end of the Balboa Pier and watched some fish. We saw tons and tons of fish. I’m thinking now is the time to go fishing, so it’s too bad Uncle George lives far away now and has a full-time job (though really we are so so so thankful he has full-time work and a safe place to live). There were little itty-bitty fish everywhere. It was really cool. We also saw some seals and that was neat. It was like living in our own version of Sea World for free. I was wishing I had a smelly herring in my pocket that I could toss to one of them and see if they’d bark or do tricks.

Seal Watching

I’d say we showed them a pretty good day in the life of a Californian. I just hope we didn’t wear them out! I know I wore myself out pretty good, but then I’m an old tired housewife these days so it probably doesn’t take much to wear me out. I need to get in better shape because Beach Mama promised to take me ice-skating along the Rideau Canal if I ever make it up to visit her. I think I’d love that.


  • Allison

    You never respond to comments and I never comment, but somehow have become an avid follower. Not sure even how I came across your blog. But today was inspired to comment. We live in Canada, exhausted with two small children and a third on the way, but spent our honeymoon driving up the Oregon and Californa Coast and spent a week in Newport Beach borrowing a hose from a friend and MY FAVE spot was Balboa Island. The perfect place for you to take visitors. I even bought a painting from an art student taking lessons on the island and have this lovely picture across the water to the ferris wheel and surroundings hanging above my kitchen sink. She even named it ‘Balboa Honeymoon’ for us. Way too much info from someone you don’t know but have always wanted to tell someone who would apprecite and know where I was speaking of. Thanks for the posting today, perked me up from my late afternoon sleep deprivation hangover.

  • Katie

    I love your posts! I am not good at responding to comments either but I like to read them and give them when the fancy strikes! The beach looks beautiful and it looks like you guys had a fabulous excursion (or 2)…Cheers!

  • Katie

    I ditto what Allison says all up to the Canada part. I live in South Carolina with my husband and son, I am really not sure how I stumbled upon your blog either, but I love it! Keep up the good work! And ps, it seems like you have a lot of Katie readers… ? Weird huh?

  • ThePhantomMoon

    Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun! We never made it to the beach this year but the idea of lagoon-puddles sounds like a dream for this mama. Although my lttle monkey would probably be the one running for the horizon like BeachMama’s little Apple, lol.

  • Melissa

    Well, I don’t comment on a regular basis but I still faithfully read every one of your posts! Hopefully, you won’t hold that against me :) How awesome that you got to meet one of your faithful readers! I think that’s quite swell.

  • HoboBaby

    I read your blog and probably comment 40% of the time. But my feelings aren’t hurt that you don’t read mine. I think we’ve each got bigger things to worry about. And just so you know, to me you ARE a big name blogger, and I just enjoy reading your posts. :)

  • Tracy

    i only just recently discovered your blog, but i read you daily b/c you are real and sweet and fun. i don’t usually comment b/c i am a working mom who just doesn’t have time….like you. i don’t expect a response. don’t beat yourself up. i will continue to live my drab ohio life as i faithfully read your gems and watch you bask in the warm ca sun.;)

  • Maggie

    Who knew you had such a Canadian following? I don’t always comment either, but I always read you. I like how you’re not all perfectly together everyday and your craft projects don’t make me feel untalented. As in, I can actually do them! I don’t get Mommy guilt from reading your blog, for which I am very grateful. I have to be careful how many inspiring creative and beautiful blogs I read or I start feeling bad about my own little life, and that’s not good for me or my kiddos. So, thanks for keeping it real!

  • BeachMama

    OH we had the most wonderful day!! And even made it back to the hotel for a Character dinner with Hubby that night. He is pretty bummed that he is missing all the real fun. We thank you so much for taking us on a tour on Sunday, it truly was a perfect day.

  • Griswold Fun

    I have commented a handful of times and never thought anything about not receiving a reply… In my weird mind it makes it “safe” for me to comment. I don’t have to worry that you think I am a weird stalker or something!

  • jastereo

    I need to work on commenting more often and not worrying about whether what I have to say is cute/quirky/etc enough to actually do it. I assume it’s just nice to know that people out there are reading (and enjoying!). BTW, after our little trip out there it’s pretty damned easy to see why you all love so cal.

  • Ninabi

    I never even considered that you were “supposed” to email your readers- shucks, you put up all the free downloads and pictures of all things happy, creative and dear (Bug) and I feel like you’ve given me a lot to look forward to many, many mornings when I’m trying to wake up with a cup of coffee.

    I just enjoy your blog and I’m always delighted when another episode in your day is posted. Thank you!

  • Shannon

    Another utterly loyal reader, rare commenter. Thanks for always brightening my day with your gorgeous pictures and fun stories! It snowed on the last day of summer (yesterday) here (Colorado), so I love seeing pictures of the beach!

  • Jeanie

    I’m more of a reader than a commenter here but I have you high on my list of places to check out these days. Something about your extended family spoke to me (and then the whole Lutheran thing — you had me at Lutheran…)

    From Minnesota.
    Enjoy reading all your insights because you are bright and make me think (as well as being very creative!)

    Probably should comment more often.
    I don’t even have a blog.

    There. How about some random sentences for you?

    Oh, and I have an 18-month-old beauty of a son whom I adore, a husband I adore and I am on the run a lot given the 18-month-old son situation (he runs, I run).


  • gingermog

    Hello, Y’ know I always thought us commenting was a way of saying thank you, that we appreciating your writing and you didn’t really need to comment back. Although it is super nice when you do. I always get a zing when I see your name in my Inbox :) When you kindly sent me a box of treats earlier this year my husband and I opened it together and marveled how wonderful the internet is, bringing people together, even if they never meet.

    Your post about playing on the beach with Beach Mama and family reminded me of how hard the surf used to pound the beach the time I stayed at Ocean Beach in San Diego. I had never seen the power of the Pacific before! Although the North sea can come raging into the coves at home 50 feet high during the winter storms. I love to sit in our car parked above the beach to watch and see the spray beat on the windows. Brrr.

    You make my day. I hope you have a good one xxx

  • Loukia

    I love Beach Mama! And as a blogger, I must say, I rarely ever email back my commenters – I love their comments so much and appreciate every single comment I get, but will likely respond to their comments on my actual blog post, not in separate emails… maybe I should change this? Hmm… ;)

  • Clownfish

    Look, to me you are a “Creative Rock Star”. There is no way for a rock star to answer all of her fans be it: FB, Blog posts, Tweets or Emails. Fair weather fans come and go…then there’s the rest of us. Post-on my creative friend, we are still here. (ok, truth be told, I pop in and out…but I always come back)

  • Lady in a Smalltown

    I love reading your blog and don’t mind that you don’t have time to comment. Besides the personal email and card you sent when I ordered the flash cards and apron from your Etsy stores was cool enough!

    I am glad my two small purchases (through BeachMama at Stuck on You) helped her come to visit. So happy you had such a fun visit.

  • Leesa

    good for you guys- don’t you just love days out with good friends, kiddies and makin memories. I know I need more of that!