Piddle with Purpose (Piddle with Friends)


Piddle is a skill my partner Sara has been honing for years—-if not decades.  In fact, for some, piddling can take a lifetime to perfect.  Sara could claim that longevity itself is directly related to the pursuit of piddle perfection.

In the event that you are not piddle-literate, the activity of piddling is closest to, perhaps, dabbling.  However, piddle is neither goal-oriented nor task-driven.  It involves doing nothing in particular—neither this nor that—neither here nor there—at no set speed and with no particular timeline in mind.

Sara, however, is not your average piddler. She’s not a piddle purist, if you will.   You could call her a master dabbler—a piddle champion.  She doesn’t merely play at piddle; she takes it seriously.  And in this regard, what she does may not qualify as pure piddle at all, since she attaches actual goals to simple piddle pastimes.  It’s this purpose-driven piddle that distinguishes my partner.

In other words, Sara likes to do what she wants, when she wants.  She likes to do it at a pace she herself sets.  But, above all else, she wants to do it well.

Sara starts out a dabbler—a taster—dipping her well-manicured (but never polished) toe in some seemingly meaningless task—an indifferent doing, of sorts.

But far be it from her to fiddle with piddle—or any task, for that matter.

Take ironing, for instance.  Sara is one of those people who likes to get the wrinkles out—to apply heat—to even the field of fabric—pressing it properly—creases in all the appropriate places.  In other words, she applies heat; she applies pressure.

Most recently, Sara has piddled with pictures, taking a photo-a-day since January 1st, beginning a micro-photo blog (Que Sera Sara) once March rolled around.  BlipFoto may have begun as a piddle project for Sara, but eventually her daily dabble, done with diligence, has morphed pastime into passion, even an obsession of sorts.

Today marks Sara’s 100th Blip—100 photos in 100 days—an anniversary of piddle turned pastime and project turned passion.  It also marks the transformation of passion for pictures into a renewed passion for people—the morphing of photo-taking into friendship-making.

I’ll explain the friendship connection in a moment, but first—a few of my favorites photos Sara has taken recently.

Pancakes (Kathy’s hand)– 1 June 2012

Uncle and Nephew (Sara’s Dad and Cousin Jeff)– 2 June 2012

Tuesday Morning (Sara and Kathy’s bedroom)– 5 June 2012

Open Doors– 7 June 2012

Dropping In– 11 June 2012

Paths, Past and Present (Kathy’s hand, again)– 14 June 2012

Friendship (Mindy and Kathy’s hand, yet once more)– 16 June 2012

Burst of Summer– 20 June 2012

Labor Pains– 23 June 2012

Petal Power– 26 June 2012

But for Sara, as for both of us really, any activity, piddle-related or otherwise, any foray into blipping or blogging, is about people, in the end.  And Sara and I have buddied in both the Blip and blog communities.  In fact, many readers of “Reinventing the Event Horizon” now follow Sara’s site, also, sometimes becoming Facebook friends and in-the-flesh friends, as well, as with Tori (The Ramblings)  this past spring and Lisa (Woman Wielding Words) and Emily (Hey from Japan) last summer.

We may have gone to Nashville two months ago for Tori’s “Very Bloggy Wedding,” but this coming weekend blogging buddy Miranda (of scatteringmoments) and her husband Jim are coming to Kentucky to meet Sara and me and are actually straying in our 100-year-old, falling-apart house (another piddle project).  We’ll travel the Bourbon Trail together, touring the distilleries Central Kentucky is famous for, as well as explore equestrian sites around the city—all at a piddle pace, of course.  We’ll eat the perch Miranda and Jim bring from Lake Erie.  We’ll sip Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark.  We’ll piddle with people.  We’ll piddle with friends.

Some say practice makes perfect, when, in fact, piddle (with blipping or blogging) transforms faceless comments and nameless subscribers into piddle-perfect friends.

What’s your favorite piddle pastime?  Has your piddle with blipping or blogging helped you make real-life, in-the-flesh, beyond-the-blogosphere friends?

(Note:  Due to Miranda’s visit and the 4th of July holiday, I will be away from the blogosphere June 29th until July 5th.  I’ll be back reading your work and back with more memoir posts, as well as ones about Miranda’s encounter with Kentucky, after that.  If you are new to my blog–I’m writing a memoir about growing up in an organized crime family.  To read chapter 1, click here.)

If you don’t already subscribe to Miranda’s blog “scatteringmoments,” I can’t suggest highly enough that you do.  It’s one of my favorites.  Also check out her recent article about bullying in the Christian Science Monitor.

78 thoughts on “Piddle with Purpose (Piddle with Friends)

  1. What a fabulous post. I piddled in Blipfoto but it lasted about a minute. I just could not keep up with it and recognized it for being another thing that I could not do. My hubby just now commented to me that I have had my blog for over 4 years—the longest I have done much of anything other than love him so I guess I do more than piddle in it. Love love love Sara’s pictures even if I don’t check them out as often as I used to on her journal/blog/blippy thing! Hope you have a fabulous time (I know you will) with Miranda and Jim–will be waiting here to hear all about it!

    • I think I know the meaning you refer to. The potty piddle–if that’s what you’re refering to–is also used here in some places. I’m so, so delighted you like my writing, Jackie. Thanks so much!

  2. To my KY grandmother, piddling was something else entirely. :) But, I digress.

    Do you make your jewelry? Your bracelets are really pretty and have a sense of artistic originality.

    Whenever I travel to a place with known readers, I always try to meet them. Those beyond the screen connections are really important to me, and I’ve met readers on more than one continent. I know you’ll have fun with Miranda. Please enjoy a tipple for me.

    • I DO make jewelry–though the silver you see in the photos is from Vietnam. Usually, it’s the beaded stuff I do. I even make my own beads.

      Yes, “piddle” as in “tinkle”–right?

      Miranda and I will definitely do a bit of Kentucky piddling–with you in mind–(though not your grandmother)!

  3. Kathy –

    I have to say that your title had me beyond curious and then cracking up! You see, we grew up using the word “Piddle” for going potty (“tinkle” was the other word mom called it). So when I read “Piddle with Purpose” I thought for sure you’d gone round the bend!

    I’m delighted to learn that “piddle” has another meaning, and that Sara does it with Olympian zest — she sounds like gold medal material to me.

    The photo “Uncle and Nephew” could well be the illustration used when one looks up the meaning for the phrase: “The nut doesn’t fall very far from the tree.”

    And I love “Labor Pains.”

    Have a complete and total blast with Miranda and Jim!

    • She IS gold metal material–but then I may be a bit biased–so I’m happy to hear you agree–and that you got a good laugh. That’s what I had hoped for most readers.

      I know that other meaning for “piddle”–perhaps I should have acknowledged that.

      Great to hear from you today, Laurie! Happy Thursday, my friend.

  4. I love the verb and noun and I spend entire weekends doing just that. Piddling is something one gets to do at one’s own pace with no to do list and a full day ahead. I almost always have chores to do, but piddling is a refuge from the must do’s!

    • Piddling is, indeed, the perfect weekend activity, and at least a full day of freedom to piddle is essential. Hadn’t thought of that! Great to hear from you today! Thanks for reading———

  5. I piddle in lots of things, yet nothing significant enough to mention! Sara’s pictures are amazing. She really should look into doing this for a living or entering a photo contest or something. That picture of the petal power is absolutely stunning!

  6. When I first read the title I thought about good old Tinkle Bell, because I am still chuckling over her. I am so glad that Sara is a piddler. I piddle at (but not on) just about everything. I wonder sometimes about the word “piddle.” Jim and I come from vastly different cultures and I am curious if he has ever heard it used to mean, well, piddling around. I grew up with that phrase and every time I say something he’s never heard he swears it’s because of my Southern heritage. I’m going to use it on him today and will let you know. Thanks so much for the shout out for my blog and my article! We’re almost down to hours from meeting in person!

    • I’ll be curious to hear his response.
      Can you believe you’ll be here so soon? I can’t. I’m nearly paralyzed with excitement.
      By the way, Sara said I should tell you that Jim isn’t the only “big eater”–that she is, as well. I’m a big eater when it comes to carbs–especially cakes and cookies. I have a terrible sweet tooth.
      See ya soon, Sweetie!

      • Now, I can put a hurtin’ on some cake, Sista. We have that in common, too. I keep reminding myself that the smile plastered on my face constantly probably makes me look nuts and I should stop. I feel like a happy, wiggly puppy!

      • Hey–remember I AM nuts! So you should feel right at home.

        Notice the comment about jesterqueen wanting us to post over the weekend. I mentioned that to Sara, and she said, “Go ahead, but you guys are on your own. Jim and I are going to be busy sipping bourbon.” (I had mentioned trying to upload video, but not knowing how.) I can see the two of us tech-savvy chicks trying to figure THAT out. Talk about a comedy of errors! LOL

  7. Have a ball — it was funny to read Miranda’s ‘heading for KY’ post. You’ll have to tag team blog the day trips! Those are wonderful pictures. The black and white one of your bedroom is stunning, and that flower petal looks painted.

    • That’s a great idea–the tag-teaming of day trip posts. I don’t know when we’ll have time to write anything, but there may be a way to post video each day. However, I’ve never done that. I suppose I could use the video camera on my phone–right?

      And–I’m SOOOOO happy you like Sara’s photos. I do too, but my objectivity is suspect! Ha, ha! It’s great to hear from you and agree that it’s fun hearing about the visit from both perspectives.

  8. I love the way you crafted this post and I loved Sara’s pictures too. Th last image and the balck and white one of your bedroom are my favorites. I hope you have a great time and will be waiting for your updates.

    • How great to hear from you! I think of you as a super-accomplished blogger, so positive feedback from you means a lot. I have to admit–those two photos are my favorites, as well. Thanks for your kind comment!

  9. Sara’s photos are great, Kathy! My favourite one is Petal Power– it looks so vintage!
    I hope you have a great visit with Miranda and Jim. Enjoy your “time off” from the blog. :)

    • Yes, love the way you put “time off” in quotation marks. It will likely be a weekend full of blog talk and the cultivation of bloggable material. I have to agree with you about the “petal power” photo. Sara’s been playing with/exploring photoshop.

    • Thank you so, so much! That is high praise–higher than I deserve, I’m sure, but it tickled me anyway. Thank you, thank you! I appreciate your comment more than you’ll ever know. Hope to see you again soon!

  10. I’m so happy to hear another use the word “piddle” and with abandon! Your Sara is crazy talented with that camera … loved “dropping in” wow!

    I piddle in the kitchen and at the piano — creating in bot places. Fun and relaxing all in one :)

    Great post!
    MJ

    • I’m tickled to death you appreciate Sara’s photos. I love them, as well. Someone suggested she give up humanitarian aid for photography. I say she should combine the two. And how wonderful to hear you piddle! Sara is teaching my to appreciate the pursuit of piddle.

  11. Oh dearest Kathy, this post is brilliant! I haven’t commented on Sara’s 100th blip yet, I dashed straight over here when I knew you had written a post about it, knowing that you would have added your unique “Kathy” touch to the day. You did not disappoint!! You have the most amazing way with words, and when you write about Sara, the feelings of love always come through.

    I knew that “petal power” would be one of your favourites! It’s one of mine as well. Isn’t she a fantastic photographer? I know that you have said she isn’t big on writing, but have you read all of Sara’s blip journal entries? She is a very good writer indeed, and chooses some of the most wonderful quotes. And her photos of her father (I think she’s added two) are so filled with her love for him.

    I know you will both have a wonderful time visiting with Miranda, and Happy 4th of July to you both! xxx :)

    • Oh, Joanne, you are so, so sweet. Sara adores you, and she is right to. You are dear.

      I have read Sara’s blips. I think she’s a better writer than she thinks she is–especially when she works at it.

      About her photographs–I think she’s getting better. Interesting that petal power is one of your favorites, as well. I do love her–“adore” may be the better word.

      It’s great to hear from you today. You know that you are the blipper/blogger Sara most wants to meet?

  12. I laughed all the way to the end, Kathy! Very funny! I had a similar experience to Laurie as I thought “piddle” meant the bathroom routine as well, although I have heard it used in a phrase such as “piddle around” which I do as well. I agree with Sara. I like to do what I want and when I want in my own time too, at least, that is what I’ve seemed to grow into over the years. Thanks for the chuckle, Kathy.

    • So happy to hear you laughed! Looks like most folks had the same association with “piddle” that you and Laurie did. I had heard that use of the word, but didn’t realize how many people use it that way. More than I would have anticipated.

      Thanks so much for reading, Marianne. Great to hear from you today!

  13. Great post, Kathy, and great photographs, Sara — but where was Ralph? Upon reflection, I think I have pretty much piddled away my entire life thus far, but I’m more inclined to use a less polite pee-word. As for making real life friends in the flesh from the blogosphere I’ve become good buds with NYC-based Natasia over at Hot Femme and I like seeing Jessica from Alone with Cats when she visits Gotham City. Have fun visiting the stills of Kentucky with Miranda and Jim. I’m looking forward to reading that post!

    • If Sara and I ever make it back to NYC, we would love to meet you. Sara lived in Gotham City for a number of years.

      So happy you enjoyed this post. It was fun to write, actually. And Ralph–who knows where he was–probably napping–hiding from the heat. It was 102 here yesterday. I may melt.

      Hope you have a great weekend–stay cool!

      • I’d be slighted if you guys visited the Apple and we didn’t hang out! Once, back in 1990, I was in the Bluegrass state — a Lame Adventure with an Oscar-winning star best told in person over beverages. Well, I have gotten around … Back to the male of the house, I first thought that possibly Ralph had nestled in the bedclothes. Sigh. We’ve entered a heat wave up here, too, but I’m pretty sure we’re going to stay in the humidity heavy 90s. Bad hair days to come. Joy.

  14. The photos are gorgeous- I love the petals and the sun burst, especially. I’d never heard of piddling or blipping. At least, I had not heard of piddling in the sense that you use it- I’ve heard of it in the sense of “tinkle” (as in Andra Watkins’ blog series”. haha!

    • Yes, lots of folks have heard “piddle” used as Andra could have in recent, “tinkle” posts. I’ve heard it used that way, as well. At the same time, I’m so happy to hear you like Sara’s photos. “Petal Power” is my favorite, as well.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate your comment and hope you come back soon. Have a great weekend!

  15. I love these photos and you don’t need to identify the owner of the hand (the one that seems to get into every photo, like “Where’s Waldo?” ;) ). I’d recognize that jewelry anywhere. It’s very distinctive, you know.

    • I don’t know why Sara keeps photographing my hand. Maybe I just have my hands in too much of her life, in general. LOL She has said I’m a bit controlling–though I think otherwise. Hope you have a lovely weekend, Monica!

    • Thanks so much. Gotta love language–how it evolves–and meanings differ from place to place–especially with English. Great to hear from you today, Deb. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  16. What an enjoyable post! You have taken ‘piddling’ to a new height. I recall Mom’s statement to me whenever she was frustrated that I wasn’t quite as quick with the ‘job’ (whatever the job was) as she would have liked: “Stop your piddling and get to work!” Love this post. :-)

  17. Wonderful post, and I love the photos you selected for it. I’ve been following Sara’s Blips (although not always commenting as I’m so far behind in life, the universe, and everything that I’m mostly just looking these days). Her piddling is producing some primo photos. :)

    Have a great weekend and 4th of July! I hope to get down your way sometime soon to check out the Bourbon Trail.

    • I don’t comment on her stuff either, but I’m sure she gets plenty of comments without ours! We would love to show you around our neck of the woods, if you ever make it down this way. Hope you have a happy 4th, as well! Thanks for reading.

  18. Very cute, Kathy. And nice photos from Sara too. I mean to get over there regularly, but I’m not getting anywhere regularly these days. Not sure what happened. Probably too much piddling. Actually, I am NOT a good piddler. Too goal oriented. Although I suspect frequently my husband thinks I am piddling. But I can assure you that it’s all very important things I spend my time on.

    When we were in Lexington a month or two ago, we went to one stop on the Bourbon trail—Woodford Reserve. It was interesting. We hope to go back and sample, I mean learn, more. Although I’m still not entirely sure I want to drink anything that was bubbling in those open-air vats. Just saying.

    • We’re going to Woodford Reserve tomorrow, and, actually Woodford Reserve is Sara’s favorite bourbon. I don’t like any of it.

      And I’m not a good piddler either. I am goal-oriented–to a fault, perhaps.

      By the way, I saw those vats today when we went to Makers Mark. I wouldn’t want to drink the stuff either–YUCK.

      Also, if you ever make it back here and have time, I’d love to meet you.

      • I will definitely look you up if we are there for any length of time. I would love to meet you too. We just made a quick one-night trip down there earlier this year, went to the races, then went to Woodford Reserve on our way home. Maybe we’ll plan something a little longer. Or maybe I’ll just get the desire for a rode trip and drive myself down there some day.

      • Truly would love to meet you one of these days. We’re supposed to go to northern Ohio and PA later this summer. If we do, I’ll check to see if you can meet somewhere for a cup of coffee when we come through. We will go through your fine town on the way. Happy 4th to you and Mark!

      • Please do. We live very close to the I-75 Union Centre exit. There’s a Panera there (and a bunch of other things too).

  19. Love this, Kathryn! It seems almost Dr. Seuss inspired. My mouth was getting tangled just reading it! ha ha! I love love love Sara’s pics displayed in this piece. What an amazing talent the two of you are! Wow! Your hand in these pics is kind of funny too, although, I must say that I really love your taste in jewelry, Kathryn! You two wonderful ladies have a great weekend. And happy 4th to you! xoxo

    • I have NO idea why she keeps taking shots of my hands. Kind of funny–I agree. And I know what you mean about your tongue getting tangled. There were lots of P’s in this ppppppppost. Thanks for your kind words. I suppose we are a good creative pair–though there are lots of other things we don’t do well–at all! Ha, ha! Hope you have a great weekend, Julia!

  20. Now I want to be a piddler, too! Will Sara be a guru? Will she be a piddler-teacher? **grin** Loved this blog, and the photos, too. Very cool. I hope you both are having the most magnificent weekend complete with soft good feelings in your heart.

    • So far our weekend has gone well, so your wish has already been granted. And I suspect Sara could, indeed, teach piddle practice. How funny–piddle guru! That cracks me up. Hope you and Barry have a wonderful weekend, as well.

    • Lots of people apparently have that same association. I’d heard it used that way, as well, but for Sara, “piddle” involves not doing much of anything, on no particular timeline. Have a happy 4th!

  21. Why, I piddled just the other day – and I’ll probably piddle again today! I had no idea there was an official term for moseying about aimlessly, but am glad to learn this so I won’t think I’m just a lazy bastard.

    Enjoy your blogging buddy visit! With Maker’s Mark, how can you go wrong?

  22. I love seeing the evolution of her photography skills!!! I think the more we piddle the better at things we become.

    Hmmm. I ‘piddled’ with writing for such a long time, and now it’s my primary focus professionally, so I guess that’s saying something for the power of piddling.

    • I think it’s SO exciting and appropriate that you have decided to pursue writing in your professional life. You are already amazing, Chrissy. You can only get better. It’s fun to think about where your writing life will take you.

  23. I’m definitely a great piddler (what a wonderful word!). Sara is taking some wonderful photos. She has a good eye – not surprising I guess given her profession. Love “Petal Power” and “Open Doors”. Am going to put her on my blogroll.

    Kathy, I read somewhere on Sara’s photoblog that you fell and hurt yourself? How did I miss that?! I hope you are doing better. Take care of yourself!!!

    • So happy to hear that you enjoy Sara’s photos. Those two are my favorites, as well. Thanks so much for adding her to your blogroll. I just told her, and she is tickled–really, really tickled. You are the first reader I know of who has done that. You are a sweetie.

      Yes, I had an accident, and, in fact, this morning’s post describes that part of the weekend at length. Guess you could say blogging has gone to my head. Ha, ha!

      Thanks for stopping by, my friend! And thanks again–from Sara!

  24. “WHOA!” <—— That was my reaction to Sara's photo, "Dropping In." What an amazing capture! She's a talented photographer!

    My piddle pastimes? Blogging, of course. Photography. Gardening. Running. Some of these remain piddle pastimes only because life doesn't allow me to spend more time on them right now.

    • Okay, Terri, I don’t think running can qualify as piddle, as it requires one to expend too much energy. Piddle is, by definition, slow, as well. However, all the others qualify, so you’re in, my friend. Hope you’ve enjoyed your weekend.

  25. Pingback: Castles, connective tissue, fish sauce and tears: What I brought back from Kentucky « scatteringmoments

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