The New Me

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Custom Blog Templates by Madeline
It's the old me, actually. Same bad writing. Same bad advice. Some things never do change.

By now, you may have noticed some changes to the blog that is Sacramento Vegetable Gardening. Yep, Bill and Venus Bird have gone mainstream. They plumb went out and hired a graphic designer to clean up the clutter and make things look neat n' tidy. What's next? Ads promoting Viagra?

I suppose a little explanation is in order. Or, in my case, I blame it all on "Maddy."

"Maddy" is actually a fine and inventive young lady by the name of Madeline Miller. I can't remember exactly how I ran across her -- she may have left a comment on the blog at one point -- I'm not sure. But I was instantly impressed with her blog and her blog designs. Each one was fresh and unique. For me? They jumped right off the page and screamed TALENT!!!

I know about this because I have so precious little of it.

At any rate -- I had been thinking about some design changes to the blog but was also a little hesitant. Let me explain. I'm old. I didn't grow up with computers. The words "Bill Bird" and "computer savvy" would represent a classic oxymoron if used in the same sentence. One minor and wrong keystroke had me pulling out what precious little hair I had left.

I also have very little clue when it comes to basic colors. The wife that is Venus will attest to this. The woman won't let me near a washing machine because that's usually when disaster strikes. No matter how hard I try to do well, left on my own, I usually wind up wearing something that's a rather Christmassy shade of green and red.

Hey, it works for December. But July?

Madeline Miller
At any rate, I picked the wrong time to bother Madeline Miller. Big surprise there. I've been doing that for most of my 48 years on God's Green Earth. As it turns out -- Madeline was dealing with some other issues more important than my blog when I reached out to her. Her family was about to expand with a new addition.

"See you in six months and that's a promise," she wrote.

Fast forward nearly eleven months -- and voilĂ !!! The new template is now in place. There are some other changes that I've been dragging my feet on, and at the same time, testing Madeline's patience to absolutely no end.

"How about a listing for recipes," she asked. "Uh, sure" was my reply -- usually followed by a "how do I do that?"

"You would need to add labels," she would patiently reply. Which was usually followed by an, "oh, OK. What?"

In the end, I annoyed a resident of Roseville to absolutely no end -- and got a nice blog design out of the deal. Not a bad exchange in my opinion.

The pictures used in the new template are all from the Bird Back 40 -- promise. We didn't buy those melons -- nor the tomatoes -- nor did I steal anything.

This time...

My hope is -- that as time goes by and people visit -- they will see the outdoor adventure that is Northern California. Short and sweet -- it doesn't matter what you put in the ground out this way. We're blessed. We're blessed with some of the greatest soil -- some of the greatest weather -- the most wonderful of growing conditions.

California living at its finest.

If you're impressed by Madeline's work -- you can reach out to her here.

Just don't make the mistake of telling her that you know me.