Back in 2011, I was asked to do a week of guest posts for Preservation in Mississippi, which was a WordPress blog. I had been blogging on Blogger, and the two platforms are quite different so I started this blog as a way to practice using WordPress before I was up for publication. A year later, I was asked to start doing regular contributions, so I needed a gravatar. On Blogger, I had used my actual photograph, as did most of the blogs I followed, but on Preservation in Mississippi, I noted the norm was non-human images, so not wanting to seem all egotistical and out of step, I tried to find something to represent me without being me. I had taken the above photo in Natchez, and liked it, and from that, pulled the name Suzassippi: red shutters to distinguish from Suzassippi’s Lottabusha County Chronicles. I rather liked my red shutters, but it seemed as if every time I turned around, I got a message suggesting I needed a better image on my gravatar.
Can ya’ll tell I like red? I have always loved this photograph of wine barrels, taken on my first visit to South Africa in 2001, so I played around with using them. Cropped to fit the gravatar space, it just did not work. I left the shutters alone for a while, and then decided to try something a little more colorful and defined. Enter the crossroads.
That’s all about Mississippi, right? On Blogger, I updated my profile photo fairly regularly, because, well, people change. I am a cat person, so I tried a cat.Now, Cinco, adorable as she is, is not that well “defined” or colorful. In a gravatar size, she looked kind of like she does in real life: a mottled mess. A couple of days of that, and I knew it wasn’t going to work for me either.
I definitely prefer the WordPress format, and it will do so many things Blogger cannot. I have contemplated changing over, but the reality is that the two blogs are different in focus and I kind of like to keep it that way. It does not, however, solve the problem of finding a gravatar that I like and that resonates with me. I hit on Rio a few days ago.
Rio is my 89 year old father’s horse, and I have gotten extremely attached to him in the past two years of regular trips to Texas to help with caregiving. When I am home, I feed, fork hay, clean out Rio’s barn, clean his water trough, and spend a lot of time out in the pasture with him since Dad can no longer do it. At Thanksgiving, Dad’s little jenny died, and Rio has missed her, so I am excited to head to Texas tomorrow for a week and see my boy again.
And that is how Suzassippi became a horse.