Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bloggers and Butters

Since I started this blog, I've been interested in reading other blogs.

(Which makes sense, as my narcissism is likely to be matched only by my voyeurism.)

Anyway, I have made the following discoveries in my blog-trolling:

(1) I only like to read political opinions if they are in keeping with my own.
(2) There are a lot of ridiculously cute kids in the world.
(3) There are a lot of terrible writers writing on the Internets.
(4) The best blogs have good writing, a sense of humor, don't take themselves too seriously, and can make you feel like you are hearing the writer's voice when you read their posts.

My three favorite blogs (besides my own and my brother's, of course) are:

The Pioneer Woman

This is a woman in Oklahoma who lives on a ranch, is in love with her cowboy husband, has four children whom she homeschools, is a talented photographer, and just published a cookbook of buttery, belly-fillin', ol' fashioned homecookin'.

Amalah (that's pronounced AIM-uh-luh)

This is a woman who lives in the suburbs of Washington, DC, has two adorable small children and a chihuahua, a potty-mouth, and penchant for self-mockery and run-on sentences.

The Pink of Perfection

This is a woman who lives in New York City, has a knack for French cooking, a love for all things vintage, a knack for being thrifty and chic at the same time, and a whimsical prose style that is both thoughtful and witty.

I have little in common with any of these people except that we are of the same gender and we feel compelled for whatever reason to write things and put them on the Internets. I have never met any of them. They have remarkable followings (meaning lots of people read and comment on their blogs) whereas I still have my blog "unlisted" by google because, I don't know, people I know might read it and make fun of me. More than usual, I mean.

But despite the fact that we seem to have little in common, (aside from my love for run-on setences, obvy), I found myself returning to their blogs and now I follow them pretty regularly. When I'm feeling misanthropic, it's nice to know there are people out there I've never met whom I am quite sure I would like. They are smart, funny, and good writers. (And, yes, I bought the Pioneer Woman's cookbook even though it has a lot of meat recipes in it because the pictures are so pretty).

Recently, Pink of Perfection offered a give away for Shea Butter (give aways are a lovely thing in the blog world and something I shall do when I am so successful that people are begging me to give away their things or I am successful enough as to purchase my own give away prizes--like the Pioneer Woman does with Kitchen Aid Mixers [I know, right?]). I signed up for this shea butter thing because I want to be stylish like the Pink of Perfection writer, Sarah McColl, and because I was quite taken by the story of this butter.

You can find the full story on the website here, but in a nutshell, women in Ghana, West Africa make money by harvesting shea and it's basically an additional job to the many responsibilities they already have, so most of the harvesting occurs at dawn or dusk. This is dangerous because that is the time that poisonous snakes are most active and women are often fatally bitten by these snakes. The One Village Planet—Women’s Development Initiative is selling Just Shea and proceeds from the Shea butter go to buy boots, gloves, and coats for these women to protect them from getting bitten by vipers.

Note to Self: Reflect upon this when you are tempted to bitch about dissertation revisions.

Anyway, Sarah at Pink of Perfection had a give away for a thing of the Shea Butter in which she asked readers to comment about a random act of kindness they had performed or received and then selected winners at random. I told my pathetic Christmas party story which seems particularly absurd given the daily struggles of women harvesting shea, but, in my defense, it was a wake up call I needed to quit slouching about and pouting and to start feeling the Christmas spirit.

And I won!

I have high hopes that this shea butter will do good things for the scar on my arm.

At the very least, I think that this demonstrates the strange and beautiful way that technology and blogs can link women working in African to a sophisticated New York blogger and then a nerdy Midwestern girl.

The Internets. It can be a magical place.


  1. Will you feel guilty about having the shea butter? It's comparable to teak furniture and the destruction of the rain forest, albeit without the fatal consequences.

  2. Dear Anonymous,
    I will not feel guilty about the shea butter. I am far more destructive to the environment in other ways and will continue to feel guilty about those instead.
    Thank you for your query.