Burning the Enchiladas 

Welcome to hollyhowley.com. I stare at my two week old blog. But it isn’t my blog. 
There is a friendly twenty-something Vannaesque woman motioning to a menu of plant options. I must have made a mistake, like when you type in Red Box instead of Red Sox. I try again.
And there she is, again. My blog is now a web site selling plants in Ireland. This time offering information on azaleas and peonies.
I go straight to Blogger to see what is happening. There she is again. Panic sets in. 
I search for a place on the Blogger web site to contact a person. To ask a question. To make a complaint. But when I click on “Need help?” what comes up is a series of commonly asked questions.
And not one of them says: What to do if Irish horticulturists take over your blog.
I am sure in this moment there are plenty of logical solutions, steps to remedy the situation. I opt for full throttle sobbing. It is working out fine until my husband walks in the room.
Surely he is expecting someone to have died or a dire diagnosis because he seems less than bowled over when I say, “My blog isn’t my blog anymore.” 
He stands before me in stunned silence. Clearly trying to wrap his head around me blubbering over a blog.
“I know it’s stupid but I worked all day and then answered a bunch of e-mails, made dinner and I had my new post ready, you’re supposed to change it every few days you know and tomorrow I am writing, nothing else but writing and even though a blog technically is writing, it’s not really. I want to finally finish my manuscript and I don’t have time for this tomorrow. So I was trying to get this done but now there’s an Irish woman on my blog.”
He takes out his little device and types the link in. He sees her too. “How do you know she’s Irish?” he asks.
Really that’s the takeaway question?
Thankfully he leaves the room leaving me to my pitiful rant. I pick up the phone and call my friend Nancy. The same friend who generously took time from her writing to help me start my blog. To get me to stop making excuses and just do it.
No answer. I leave a message, trying to sound casual. But through my faux casual tone, she detects my panic. The phone rings three minutes later.
“Oh, that is just awful,” she says. Thank you. An appropriate response. 
“But, Holly” she says, in a comforting parental tone, “I can see your blog just fine.” She reads the first line of my last post. 
“What, you can see it?” I say in disbelief.
“Try turning the computer off and starting it again.”
I turn the computer off, re-boot and hold my breath.
And there it is: WanderTime. My blog.
And there it is: the irony of this brave new world where a writer is expected to have a fully formed platform of “followers” and “friends” who “like” and “tweet” about them. Still, some solutions are infinitely low tech.
“Thanks Nancy,” I say.
“No problem, I was so upset when I got your call.”
“I kind of lost it.” I tell her about my sobbing. We have a good laugh.
“I get it,” she says, “you burned the enchiladas.”
“The what?”
“We have a saying in my family,” she explains.
Then Nancy tells me about her cousin, who, while going through a rough patch was keeping it all together...until...she burned the enchiladas. Something about seeing her charred dinner caused her to lose it. “My enchiladas!” was all she could say through her tears.
“We all burn the enchiladas sometimes,” Nancy says.
“Yes we do,” I say. 
And it helps to talk to an actual friend who really likes you. Someone who can suggest turning the computer off, before you turn it back on again.


  1. Always happy to talk a friend down from the ledge. And you know how I feel about the balance of our "who's helping who?" pendulum! It will always be lilting in your favor, I do believe.
    This was so hilarious. How good to be able to look back and laugh at something that was SO not funny at the time. Thanks for the giggle.
    But really, how did you know she was Irish? ; )

  2. Holly - you are just what I needed today - wit, honesty, and humor through vulnerability. I LOVE your post!

  3. Holly, this was great! Maybe we could get that Irish woman to be a guest speaker at our next meeting. Let's get Nancy on that....see you soon. Paula

  4. Been there done that! Only I also had to go through a different server - don't I sound tech savvy?! HAHA! Thanks for the laugh - now that YOU can laugh about it. Good luck with finsihing the manuscript!