iPadWriMo, Day 2: Am blue on account of old manure again

It’s Day 2 of posting using an iPad 2, and today I am trying out the Blogsy iPad app. I’ll get to what I think of it (so far, anyway) below, but, first, here’s what my great aunt Hattie was up to 79 years ago today:

Harriet E. Whitcher

November 10, 1932, Thursday: Cloudy, cold N.W. wind quite strong and a few flakes of snow. It was too cold in the kitchen to wash dishes, but I managed to anyway and got three meals. Will hauled cane to cattle and then hauled manure around the house. Wm picked up wood, boards and posts and hauled some in. I mended Will’s overalls, also am blue on account of old manure again.

According to “The Ultimate Horse Site,” using dried manure to insulate homes was not an uncommon practice:

Stinky though it may be (unless you’re one of those strange people who finds it oddly fragrant), horse manure is one of the building blocks of history. No, I mean literally. People used to make building blocks out of it, and then they would use those building blocks to build their houses. It was also used as a kind of cheap insulation (horse manure generates heat as it decomposes, so piling it against the side of your house was a disgusting but inexpensive way to keep warm in the winter).

I’ve been thinking about Hattie quite a bit, for a couple of reasons. First, I’m gearing up to resume writing flash narratives based on her diary entries. Second, I’ve been reading works about and by Willa Cather, and I can’t help drawing both parallels and comparisons of their lives.

In the first full-length interview Willa Cather ever gave (in 1913 to the Philadelphia Record), she spoke of her pre-adolescent years in Nebraska, where she would ride her horse to visit the “old women on the farms,” immigrants from Sweden and Denmark and Norway and Bohemia:

I have never found any intellectual excitement any more intense than I used to feel when I spent a morning with one of those old women at her baking or butter making. I used to ride home in the most unreasonable state of excitement; I always felt as if they told me so much more than they said–as if I had actually got inside another person’s skin.

That’s the way I feel about Hattie’s dairies. She tells us so much more than she says–her taking the time to notice and record the few flakes of snow, the effort required for simple tasks of washing dishes and fixing meals, how the unrelenting smell of old manure colored her mood for the entire day.

More about Hattie and Willa in days to come.

So, what do I think of Blogsy? So far, so good! One thing I like is that I can sign into accounts from both WordPress and Blogger, and, since I use both, I can potentially use it for all of my blog posts. I also appreciate the ease with which I can drag and drop links and videos and photos. You can see a demo video here.

It seems as though a familiarity with basic html is good if one is to use this app.

The proof, however, is in the publishing. Here goes!

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