Going into blogging semi-retirement

I live in my own little world

I’m unretiring from work retirement. What that means to you is that I’m semi-retiring from blogging.

When I started blogging in 2007, I was doing it for the main purpose of getting “Google Juice” for my home inspection business. I blogged at a real estate site called “ActiveRain” until January 2012 when I switched to WordPress. ActiveRain originally was founded as a blogging platform for Realtors. Then it opened up to people in the real estate industry or serving the real estate industry.

Realtors generally, as a whole, don’t like home inspectors, so when I became the #1 ranked person on ActiveRain, lots of Realtors complained, and pretty much I was asked to leave. No big deal. I got my Google Juice, and my company thrived.

I had so much fun blogging, though, that I kept it up.

I had always wanted to be a writer, and I have so many interests, that blogging just came naturally for me. Because of those so many interests, I started blogging three times a day here at WordPress. I touched on real estate, gardening, music (The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray, Music on The Music Chronicles of Russel RayMondays), events of the day (Opinion), photography (How I Did It, Picture of the Moment, Then & Now), fauna, flora (Friday Flower Fiesta), the San Diego Zoo & Safari Park, SeaWorld, cats (yes, cats are in their own category separate from fauna), railroads, my own life (Did You Know?), and probably a few other subjects in the beginning that I’m forgetting about now.

It’s not that I don’t still enjoy blogging, but as with lots of things about the Internet, even the jerks are blogging now, and when they come to my blog and exhibit just how much of a jerk they are, it takes away from the fun that was blogging. Such was the case with a commenter on my recent post “Retirement ends, again.” He brought up some objections to my new business. I have no problem with objections and discussion. It’s the objections and comments that I was looking for. A+R Pottery will be the 39th company that I have created in my career, all of them successful, and most, if not all, still in business. I have lost contact with some of the people and companies who hired me to start their businesses, so I’m not sure if all of them are still going as strong as when I left them.

One of the comments this jerk left on my blog post actually caused me to modify my Styled Pottery design a wee bit. That modification will cost me about 3¢ per pot. It’s a cost that I can live with, and I really do think the modification will help. It’s always nice to address objections before a company ever gets going. However, the guy was such a jerk as I answered his objections that I finally unfollowed him and and deleted his comments and my responses to them. Kind of like when Billy Graham died: “Good riddance to bad rubbish.”

I have given one pot away, #7 to my partner’s dad, and I have already sold two pots, both yesterday, and both for $39.

The first was to the lady from the roofing company who came out to measure my roof for rain gutters. When she drove up, I was walking to the garage with a newly created pot.

The other was to a lady who lives in the neighborhood and moved in just a couple of months after Jim, Zoey the Cool Cat, and I moved in. She and her husband had driven around the neighborhood to look at other properties when they came across me working in the yard. They didn’t stop that day, but yesterday the garage door was open and I was working in the garage creating Styled Pottery. She stopped and honked. I went out to see what she wanted. She just wanted to tell me that she had been driving by my property every day since they moved in to keep track of what I had done that day in my landscaping. She loved it—the cactus and succulents, the container gardening, the not-standard, not-concrete walkway from the garage to the front door, and all the textures, colors, and unusual plants. She asked me what I was doing now, to which I replied that I was making “Styled Pottery.” That intrigued her so I went back to the garage and brought out two samples. She was amazed. She parked her vehicle and came to the garage, saw all the Styled Pottery currently in production, and those which were finished, and bought one of them. The PRP (Public Relations Pot) and the two I sold all were like this:

A+R Pottery, custom cactus and succulent pots for indoors or outdoor protected locations

Yes, I already knew that would be one of my most popular Styled Pots.

Both of those purchases were impulse buys, and that’s exactly the type of purchase that occurs at cactus & succulent show and sales which target the general public. That’s my market.

Starting companies, however, is a time-intensive endeavor, which is why my blogging has been very inconsistent recently. Heck, it’s been inconsistent since December 31, 2016, when I retired. One would think that having so much more time would lead to more blogging, not less. I just wasn’t motivated, though, because I was too sad and depressed about not having anything to do anymore. I like people. Most people. Not jerks. Not people in the mold of President Twitler and his ilk.

In looking for something to do, in January I volunteered to be the new Newsletter Editor for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society. My first newsletter was the March 2018 issue. You can read it here. The generic fill-in pictures are mine, so this gives me a great opportunity to continue with my photography, especially my new interest in macro photograph, and get Photographic Art—Pink Hibiscusnew pictures from which to develop my Photographic Art. The newsletter gives me an opportunity to write, something I’ve always loved to do.

With the new position and the new business, time is limited. Something has to suffer. If President Twitler and his ilk were not trying to destroy everything that has made America great during my lifetime, I would not be starting another company to bring in more money. But if Twitler and his ilk take away my health insurance, and I get sick, I’m sunk.

I went without health insurance from January 1, 2004, to June 30, 2014. Not of my own choosing. Insurance companies would not insure me. The Affordable Care Act (aka “ObamaCare”) was just what I needed during my elderly years. Never did I think that Twitler and his ilk would do everything they could to make life hard, or not even worth living, for the poor, the sick, children, victims of natural disasters, the elderly, women, black, gays & lesbians, transgenders, veterans home from deployment, the hungry, and so many others. It’s all so disheartening, and I fit into several of their target groups since I’m an elderly gay person with pre-existing health conditions. A bad earthquake could put me into another group, too.

Zoey the Cool Cat chilling on the lanaiSo at the mere age of 62.362 (my birthday is this coming Sunday), I have to realize that people live longer in today’s world, even without health insurance. I need to ensure that Jim, Zoey the Cool Cat, and I can continue living the style to which Zoey the Cool Cat has become accustomed. Ergo, blogging has to be cut back in favor of the new income-producing enterprise. I’ll continue blogging at least once a week, and I’ll try to mix up the subject matters so no one gets bored. I might continue to post photographs, but when I do, I’ll turn off comments for that specific post. Only the written blog posts will have comments turned on.

Although blogging will be cut back, I shall continue to visit the blogs of people I follow, currently 2,348 bloggers, leaving comments and likes. I won’t be following anyone new, though, so if you left a comment anytime before 3/6/2018, you’ll be in my Excel spreadsheet of people to visit.

Happy blogging!

A+R Pottery

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post


30 thoughts on “Going into blogging semi-retirement

  1. Sharon E. Cathcart

    I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts, and think it’s grand that you’ve come up with another business. I lack the kind of artistic skill to make pottery or paintings (my art is made from words), so I always delight in seeing what others make. My wishes for every success are winging your way.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. guidelinesweb

    Your pots are lovely, Russell! It’s great you are starting a new adventure! That’s what keeps us “young” and perking along when other “old fogies” are sitting in their recliners watching TV. Tho. I enjoy your posts and will miss them, I’m happy for you and wish you every success in your new endeavors! 🤗💕

    Liked by 1 person

  3. theressomethingaboutnancy

    Well I am glad you are not quitting the blogging world totally. I love the cat posts mostly and I’m glad I got the cut off date for following, since I only have 26 followers because I am new here. You already know you will be successful in whatever you do, so you do what makes you happy. It is unfortunate that some bloggers are idiots and disrespectful, thank goodness for blocking capabilities. There always has to be bullies. Don’t let them win though. Don’t let them get to you. Have fun in everything you do. I’m looking forward to your next post as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Roxie

    Hey Rus, I’ve been absent for about a year, missed my wp friends! Congratulations on your new business venture, love that beautiful piece! Your work and business sense is inspiring, albeit necessary to survive now. ;(
    What can we say about this prez? Take a bottle of tums, function as best we can, and keep on going. If one thing is certain about life, change is coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sue W-Nan's Farm

    I read a couple of the comments from the Jerk you refer to and found his aggressive stance difficult to understand.
    I have long since admired your enthusiastic approach to your full and busy life, a life that has revolved and evolved and long may this continue.

    Thank you for the past comments on my site and for answering my queries, you have been appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Chocolate Hun🍫

    I don’t who you are and I just happened to stumbled across this post and I found it interesting from the first few words.

    I hope you find peace with your semi-retirement/retirement and I wish you all the best 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. unexpectedincommonhours

    Your pots are beautiful, and I wish you much success. I read the jerk’s comment (did he make more than one?. The one I read was bad enough.) I just don’t understand some people. Enjoy your new business but do keep blogging as you have the time. I always enjoy your posts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      He made six comments. The last one was just disgusting, so I deleted the whole thread. I don’t need those kind of people in my life, and I’m not going to give him the free publicity in my 6-year-old WordPress blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. TextileRanger

    I don’t read all of your posts, but when I have time and I do, I enjoy a little mental vacation in San Diego and the area, thanks to you! And I live in Texas and I am pretty much Wise Old Grandmother age, so I enjoy those posts about your early life and memories and the wisdom your grandmother taught you. I understand about having to cut back on posting, but I just want you to know how much I appreciate your photos and writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Thanks! I know you live in East Texas, but where? I graduated from Texas A&M University in 1977, saw my first live alligator in East Texas when I was over there for TAMU Forestry Summer Camp. Spent a lot of time up at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, too, since the Lumberjacks had the first forestry program in Texas.


      1. TextileRanger

        I went to school at SFA, lived in Houston and then Sugar Land for years and years — now we are close to Lake Conroe. Montgomery is the nearest town. Bryan/College Station is about an hour away so we go there a lot!

        Liked by 1 person


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