2013 In Review & Auld Lang Syne (Mairi Campbell)


I know I said I would see all of you in 2014 — and it may already be that in some parts of the world — but I wanted to share this post, compiled by the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys.  It’s the annual report for this blog and the data is fascinating — from a listing of the most popular posts to the most frequent commenters to the global location of commenters.

Not only do I thank the statisticians for keeping this info, but I also thank all of you — because without you, there would be no statistics to keep.

Following the stats are my plans for 2014 and one more tune to end the year.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 41,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 15 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Plans for 2014

I’m not one for resolutions — they don’t last very long — so I’ll stick with a to-do list.   Here are a few highlights:

  • I’m currently compiling the posts from this blog into a book.  My dilemma is which self-publishing platform to use.  It’s a bit overwhelming.  So far, I’m debating using Smashwords or publishing straight to Amazon, where a book could be distributed to Kindle or print-on-demand.  There’s also Blurb, which creates coffee table books.  If anyone out there as any experiences/opinions/ideas — I would love some guidance.
  • I was also nominated for a blogging award, and the acceptance post is on its way.  As with many of these awards, there’s a place for seven random facts about me — so if there’s anything you would like to know about me, please leave a question and I’ll choose some of those (or at least those that I can answer).

The Tune

Just when you thought I had exhausted the December with yule tunes, I had to share one more — one of the most beautiful renditions of “Auld Lang Syne” I’ve ever heard.  This is Mairi Campbell.

Happy New Year!

Spring Cleaning — Better Late Than Never


Tulip.

Tulip.

“My name is Allison MacKenzie.  Where I was born, time was told not by the clock or the calendar, but by the seasons.  Summer was carefree contentment.  Autumn was that bittersweet time of regret for moments that had ended and things that were yet undone.  And then winter fell, with a cold mantle of caution and chill, it nipped our noses and our arrogance and made us move closer to the warm stoves of memory and desire.  Spring was promise.  But there was a fifth season, of love.  And only the wise or the lucky ones new where to find it.”

This is the opening monologue from the film Peyton Place.  It’s here because a few weeks ago a reader, Camille, commented on an earlier post entitled Autumn In Peyton Place.  She had been searching for the verse and could I help her.  I popped in the DVD and took some dictation.

But after I read over the words, it occurred to me that if only seasons could be so easy and uncomplicated that their description could fit into a single — albeit melodramatic — paragraph.  If only . . .

Because lately, it seems, seasons are not so neat and tidy.  This spring, for example, has been one of the coolest — make that coldest — and dampest ones that I can remember.  Even this Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, had snow falling in upstate New York.

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Margaret & Me & A Cup Of Tea


Margaret Roach Garden

Margaret Roach.  For years it was just a name, one that I had seen in the masthead or the editorial pages of Martha Stewart Living.  Occasionally, it appeared at the bottom of the television as I watched Martha’s show, an identifier of the woman sitting next to the host.

Yes, Margaret Roach was just a name.

When I started this blog, I also learned of the top gardening blog in America, A Way to Garden — and once again, I was staring at that same name: Margaret Roach.  Maybe, I thought, there was a reason her name kept entering my world — and maybe, it was time to discover if there was more to Margaret than a name.

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“And the Liebster Blog Award Goes To . . .”


Liebster-Blog-AwardBlog awards come in all shapes and sizes — but few can bring a smile to my face like the Liebster Award.  It’s a funny — and a fun — word to say.  Go ahead, give it a try.  “Ah, my little Liebster, how are you today?”

See what I mean?  You have to smile when you say it.

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2012 In Review


This post, animation and all, comes courtesy of WordPress — and a good thing, too.  Joe and I arrived home last night after a 21-hour drive from Florida, stayed up even later to watch the ball drop in Times Square, and are now trying to organize our lives for the upcoming work week.  Words are definitely not at the top of the to-do list.  Nap, yes.  Words, no.

So my thanks and gratitude to all of you for making 2012 extra special.  Happy 2013!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 39,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 9 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

The Road To Reinvention


Terracotta Sahrds

Lately, this is how I envision my brain: shards of broken terracotta strewn across the potting bench.  Where I once had a clear vision and firm ideas, I now feel a bit scattered and disorganized.  My struggle is to figure out why — why I can’t seem to focus; can’t seem to be motivated; can’t seem to get back to my two posts a week schedule.

My first thought is that I have stumbled into a very bad case of bloggers’ block.  Perhaps I’ve overextended myself — time needed for work and time dedicated to writing seem to be at odds with each other.  Perhaps the freshest ideas have all been used in the first year of this blog — after all, once you write a piece on the joys of raking, how many more autumns can you possibly write the same thing?

Then, just as I try to make sense of all these thoughts and worries, stacking them just so — one piece falls from the pile and I soon find myself once again in the throes of worry.

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The Community That Sandy Built


A community of leaves — perfectly tie-dyed.

Community.

It’s a word and a concept that’s been on my mind lately — which is pretty amusing, actually.  I often say the older I get, the more I like to stay in my yard and not deal with people — which is difficult to do, since I’m a school social worker.  In fact, I often joke that I’m an anti-social worker.

The truth, however, is that community is important to me.  I think it’s important to all of us.  As humans, we need to belong, to feel connected — even if only to commiserate about the crazy weather.  (As an aside, I would just like to say that in the past two weeks, my part of the world has endured a hurricane, a nor’easter, snow, and — today — Spring-like temperatures. My heart says, “Go out and start planting.”  My brain says, “Are you crazy?  It’s November!”)

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