Block Party – 4th edition

Can you believe it is this time of year again? Today is Labor Day here in the US, which marks the end of summer. The weather starts to cool off (well, in some states, anyway), and kids go back to school. Party is over and people begin preparations for the winter.

That is what normally happens. This year, though, all bets are off. Your kids might be back to school or they might not be if you decide to let them e-learn from the comfort of your own home. Also, if it was not for the hot weather these past few months, I would not even know it was summer.

Yes, I blame the pandemic for stealing my summer. How about you? Whenever the end of the year approaches, people write posts about their New Year’s resolutions from the previous year, their accomplishments and their excuses. It makes me chuckle to think how these posts will look like this time around. There will probably be two camps of people. One will share a million things they were supposed to do but where unable due to the pandemic (directly and indirectly), while the other will still share their unaccomplished resolutions as well as skills they never thought they would accomplish like baking bread and knitting.

Those of you who have been following me for a while know that I host an annual Block Party around Labor Day weekend. Those of you who are fairly new to my site – well, now you know, TOO!

If you would like to see how it all began, check out A block party and Block Party – Conclusion. That is a two-parter from 2017.

As much as I like Blog Parties, I get upset when they become a soulless event. Therefore, every year, I work hard to minimize that potential on my site.

Block party – 2nd edition – 2018

2019 – Blog “Block” Party – 3rd edition

In 2020, we are going back to the roots (2017) and mixing it up with a pinch of essence from 2018 and 2019. So read (or at least scan) through the entire post. There is something here for everyone.

Two weeks ago, I posted a pre-Block Party Party post, Pre – Block Party – Party!, and asked for people to RSVP is they wanted to be featured in the BLOCK PARTY OF 2020! I received a few brave replies! Woohoo!

What did that entail? Well, if you wanted to know, you should have RSVP’ed before now 😉 Those that volunteered were tortured mercilessly. No, I am kidding; they were given a set of questions they could answer. What for? So that I, as well as everyone else can get to know them a little bit better. Sometimes we read blogs without knowing the person behind it. I wanted to take a look behind that curtain and let you know what I found.

Without further ado, please check out these awesome bloggers. I hope you find something fascinating among those pages. I know I do!

Make some noise for:
Andrea from The Hummingbird’s Journal!

My question #1: What are the main 3 (or 2 or 1) things you are focusing on in your life right now and why?

Andrea’s answer: “One of the things I’m focusing on right now in my life is my wellbeing. I’ve shared with you before how sometimes I struggle with taking work home. With the pandemic going on, I want to be in a good place, so that I don’t get to the point where I start feeling so stressed. I think focusing on my wellbeing will help me have more patience and positivity in regards to how I relate to people and approach problems, especially at work! So far, I think I’m doing good with this life goal/focus. 

I think you are spot on, Andrea! I, too, find that if I control my stress, and focus on my wellbeing, I am a lot more patient towards others.

My question #2: What are some of your favorite topics to talk about?

Andrea’s answer: “Some of my favorite topics to talk about are writing and language. That’s probably not much of a surprise, but I seriously take note and pay attention to writing and language related topics. I think it’s because I find it fascinating! For example, I’m interested in how writers use a limited amount of space and are still effective with their messages like on billboards. Or in the revision process, why one version works better than the previous ones. My sibling has recently been giving me feedback on my writing, and so I’ll talk with them about why one version works better than the other. It’s interesting to listen to their perspective on how the writing sounds different with each change.”

That is awesome to hear that you get feedback on your writing. It is so important to get different views to learn and get better.

“Positive vibes & rays of hope.” Who would not want THAT? That is how Andrea described her blog. If you are in need of some inspiration and maybe a bit of a lift, head over to The Hummingbird’s Journal.

Now, please give a warm welcome to Saumya from Randomness Inked!

My question #1: If you could learn one new skill, what would it be?

Saumya’s answer: “Right now, there are two. Not completely new though. Coding. I learned the basics of it back in school. Want to learn it properly. Speaking French. I learned the basics but don’t get the time to attend proper face to face classes.”

I learned how to build my own website from scratch back at uni. I would not even know where to start. So, good luck with the coding. And I can definitely relate to the language part of your answer – I wish I could dust off those cobwebs.

My bonus question: You know how sometimes you meet people and it takes forever for them to get to know you better? What would you like to tell them straight out of the gate?

Saumya’s answer: “I am a low maintenance friend. It’s okay for me if we don’t msg for months or even meet for years. You need not hesitate to drop me a message after ages. But make the conversation worthwhile, please.”

Since I know some people on different continents and do not get to see them all too often, I appreciate it when we go out when I do visit. We all have lives and live in different time zones but it is always nice to receive a message from an old friend.

Check out Randomness Inked for blogging related posts, but mostly for poetry and musings illustrating Saumya’s journey through life. Maybe you can exchange experiences?

Our third VIP is
Heather from Hopelessly Heather!

My question #1: Would you like to know the exact time and date of your death and why?

Heather’s answer: “I would like to know the exact date and time of my death.  I’m a chronic planner.  Knowing that info would make me shift the focus in my to the most important things (friends, family, pets, doing things that bring me the most joy), rather than on completing the endless to-do lists I create that are filled with tasks I deem necessary or obligatory.

I can definitely understand that. However, I think knowing the time and date might make things scary. It is cliché, but I have to say it: Maybe you should rethink your priorities every now and again and focus on the things worth doing. (Yes, I know it’s not really practical, but I had to.)

My bonus question: You know how sometimes you meet people and it takes forever for them to get to know you better? What would you like to tell them straight out of the gate?

Heather’s answer: “I’m an intense, polarizing personality–people either love me or despise me…I’ve not yet heard of anyone who has said, “She’s okay.”  I recognize this and refuse to apologize for it, or try to change anyone’s opinion of me, which only reinforces their opinion.  While I understand how I’m viewed by others, those closest to me know I’m fiercely loyal, deeply caring, a huge cheerleader of others’ wins (big and small), and take myself a whole lot less seriously than I come across.  I love when people decide to invest their time and energy in getting to know me–and I will almost always hear them utter, “Wow, what a surprise!” at some point.  I love surprising people simply by being who I am!

Ditto. It is not that I am not myself when I first meet you, but I am a lot layered than one might think. (Yes, just like an onion, I can make you cry!)

Have you started Christmas shopping? Visit Hopelessly Heather for gifts from Avon. She will not lie and she will give it to you straight – what is good and what is not. On Mondays stop by for some motivation.

A round of applause for
Darnell from Fictionista!

My question #1: If you could learn one new skill, what would it be and why?

Darnell’s answer: “The skill would be everything needed to become a school teacher. Its a job that seldom gets acknowledgement and is so important to the lives of young people. This year of Covid-19, we depend on these tireless educators to come up with a curriculum for online students and those in physical schools. That takes Communication, Patience, Creativity, Enthusiasm, and be ability to resolve conflicts. Some of these skills I’ve learned through creative writing. The others I’d love to develop training young minds for the future. My blog is about writing and writing encouragement, with an original story every so often.”

So selfless. I have considered becoming a teacher in the past, too. It is a job that is definitely undergoing many changes right now. It is a challenge and an opportunity. It will be interesting to see where it leads.

Do you enjoy reading? Check out the short stories Darnell writes on Fictionista. If you are into writing, you might also want to check out his site to see how he tackles all sorts of writing issues.

And last but not least, we have
Dr. Bob from TheHoloDock’s Blog!

My question #1: If social media did not exist, how would your life be different?

Dr. Bob’s answer: “If social media did not exist, I probably would not even known it. None of my contemporaries use it. I am on Facebook and I have used it to good effect one exactly one project. Otherwise I don’t like it. I have a smart phone, I use as a cell phone. I use the flashlight app. Otherwise not much. So probably much to yours, and your contemporaries, consternation, I could do without it…

I use my phone as a phone, too! It drives me crazy that I need an app for everything now (cannot check into a gym without one…). While I have a Twitter account, it is mainly for sharing my blog. Other than that, I couldn’t care less.

My question #2: If you could take a year-long sabbatical, how would you spend it?

Dr. Bob’s answer: “I took a year-long sabbatical in 1974. I spent it in an professional acting school, in which I wrote and produced a children’s play. As I am now retired from psychiatry, and living on my banked resources, a sabbatical now might mean a year-long silent meditation. (this is impossible as my commitment to my wife and family could not allow it.) But that has always been a fantasy. I am and was a people person with a very high S.Q.” [Author’s note: S.Q. stands for Spiritual Quotient and you can learn more about it –> HERE <–]

Yes, finances can really simplify our wildest ideas. A year-long silent meditation sounds like something I could definitely enjoy right about now.

If you are interested in psychology and would like to learn more about tulpamancy (or even to see what it is), head over to TheHoloDoc’s Blog.

Now that I introduced out featured guests and you have visited their sites (riiiight?), we can all mingle.

Feel free to answer one of the above questions in the comment section, maybe share what your blog is about, and insert a link to either one of your posts or your Home page.

Please do not just leave a comment without checking other blogs. I understand that you might not have enough time to visit all of the ones posted in the comments, but make sure to check out at least the comment before yours. If you see fit, leave a comment and/or like on the blog you visited and let me know on here that you did visit by writing “Commented” or something like that under their comment.

I have been blessed with a great community and there were no issues in the past but I will call the cops if you misbehave so play nice. Do not spam. Do visit other blogs. Do have a great time!

Stay golden,

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167 thoughts on “Block Party – 4th edition

Add yours

    1. Hiya, Darnell! If I recall correctly, you were the super social and friendly one at Sam’s last block party—good to see you again! I followed your blog (and checked out a couple of posts) this time around so it won’t be as long before interacting with you again. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Nice to meet you, Darnell! Your answer to Sam’s question spoke to me because I’m a teacher, and I so agree with all of the skills you mentioned that are needed like patience and communication. I think teaching requires people skills, collaboration/community, and like you mentioned problem solving, especially right now during the pandemic and with changing everything to online. I can see you how you’ve practiced those skills through creative writing. You got it down already! What subject(s) would you like to teach?

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I did well in history, and in light of the worlds state, that might be a good start. I feel I missed my calling as tech stuff and home computers hit the market. It gives me pleasure when I can help someone use those things …and they get it. I just took a quick quiz about what kind of teacher I am. The results state that Im suited for grades 9-12.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. I agree! I was just reading about China’s cultural revolution this weekend. I think there’s so much to learn about history. For sure, I think in every job, there’s always something to teach and learn. With everything happening digitally, I’m sure lots of people are grateful to get support with tech stuff and home computers. That’s great to hear that you’re suited for grades 9-12. I’m currently in the middle-school level, but I’d like to someday teach high school. Mostly because of the novels students get to read in H.S.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. No matter what grade you teach, I’m grateful for your support and service to young minds. This is a difficult year for everyone. It’s the teachers as yourself that will get us back on an acceptable path. I can’t thank you enough.👐

            Liked by 4 people

            1. Yes, I think that’d be one of my worries. I think the age difference was something that worried me, too. Like students not taking me seriously because of my age. I think now that some years have gone by, I’d be willing to give it a try if I was given the opportunity to teach h.s.

              Liked by 1 person

  1. Thank you for the lovely write up, Sam! And, yes, in an ideal world, I’d dispense of life’s chores and errands to live my best life, but it’s impractical—mostly because I am not wealthy enough to hire others to handle those tasks for me! Gimme time…I’m hoping to get there some day! 😁

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Singing, spending time with loved ones, my cat, traveling, gambling, finishing a project, organizing/reorganizing a mess to make a space both more visually appealing and more efficient when in use, naps/sleeping in, cheese, sunflowers, and lots, lots more. 🤣 I find joy in many things, including several aspects of my day job and side gig. What about you?

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Thank you for sharing the things that bring you joy! I relate to your answers like that of spending time with loved ones and sunflowers. I think the reorganizing/organizing skill is so useful, especially while also having the goal of keeping everything visually appealing and efficient to use. Writing, music, and coffee are some of my joys 🙂

          Liked by 4 people

            1. I will definitely go before the end of the year (putting a strict timeline is not a good idea as of late). The question is: How much do I want to take with me? I’m trying to center myself headspace-wise. I can’t be too up or too down.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. We play it by ear a lot, but we’re lucky that there’s a casino locally. I take ONLY a predetermined amount of cash for the day that I fully expect to lose. It covers food and drinks too. We usually gamble 8-9 hours, then call it a day. If I go home with money, it’s better than I planned. I look at gambling as entertainment. Occasionally I win decently, so I put ALL winnings above my original amount (if I took $200, was down to $150, I’d replenish the $50 I’d lost for the day, but put the rest aside and won’t touch it). It works great for me. I’ve never pulled more out of an ATM, and I only take cash intended to be lost, so when it’s gone, it’s gone. More often than not, I go home with $20-$30 left. Suits me fine. 🙂

                Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you so much for the feature, Sam! I like how we all got different questions. I enjoyed reading everyone’s answers to the questions and learning about other bloggers. I also learned a bit of coding, back in high school. It was fun. I think it’s a skill that’s so useful. It’s nice to meet everyone!

    Liked by 4 people

          1. Hmm. Depends how long you’re open for this year. I’ve not read any posts the last few days (or written). Coming onto my comments as there are only a few and I know many have disappeared from my notifications as it is already. So, I guess we will find out…

            Liked by 2 people

  3. This a fantastic thread. I stopped by the party the first day, but as is the case with most social situation, I like to sit back, process, think about what I’ve read, what I’ve learned. And then pop back and enjoy the threads.

    I liked that Andrea is focusing on well-being. I think that’s an important thing for everyone to be doing in this day and age and at can encompass a wide variety of areas. I’m working on it myself. It’s interesting. I used to adopt this plan by someone or that plan by someone else. The older I get, the more I realize that there really is no one true way. For anything.

    I also enjoyed Saumya’s description of a low-maintenance friend. I relate.

    Liked by 3 people

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