Acknowledging Milestones

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I’ve enjoyed sharing my accomplishments and victories with all of you.  It’s been important to me to make a record of them for rereading later and the comments you’ve left have been icing on the cake.

Along with enjoying my accomplishments, I also want to acknowledge some milestones that happened recently.

Five Years With My Employer

Late last year, I received a five year recognition certificate and a beautiful lapel pin from my employer.  It’s been a while since I’ve stayed somewhere for that length of time, having had several opportunities for a better career, coupled with a bankruptcy and financial insolvency of a few employers.  I was pleased to receive a recoginition, although I’m still trying to figure out how five years went by so quickly.

When my VP gave me the certificate, he asked what were some of the more memorable things of the last five years.  The team was my first response – we have a good team and the department does well together.  We take care of each other and enjoy working together.

The second was settling the U.S Supreme Court case that we were involved in.  Unfortunately, while my employer won the issue, they still paid the state a large sum of money to actually go away.  I was part of all the negotiations, calculations and settlement.

Richmond skyline, where I work

Richmond skyline, where I work

500 Posts On WordPress

Also towards the end of last year, I posted my 500th entry on my blog!  Woohoo!  This particular blog was created in 2008, the I couldn’t figure out what to do with it nor was WordPress as advanced as it is today.  In early 2011, I started blogging consistently and here I am now, 500+ posts later.  My favorite posts for 2012 are listed here and for 2011, listed here.

What have I learned with blogging?  It’s hard work building a following.  People come by one at a time and there is no magic way to suddenly build a large following unless I become famous somehow.

I’ve also made a lot of very good friends through blogging.  Their friendships was totally unexpected and very much enjoyed.  I love the comments, getting to know people, and the E-mails on the side where we encourage each other and offer advice / feedback.

I also have old friends and family members who are enjoying my blog.  It’s been a wonderful way to stay in touch with them, show them what I’ve been up to and hear about their lives in return when they call or write.

Blog Achievements

I have 170 subscribers!  That is so cool!  I’m working at having a relationship with everyone who reads my blog, but it’s a struggle some days.  I always cringe when I leave a comment at the blog of someone who follows me, as I wonder if I’ve left a comment there before or not.  And yeah, sometimes I embarrass myself when I find out that I was not as attentive to my subscribers as I should be.  Thankfully you all are pretty understanding about it.

I’ve had over 14,000 views since starting my blog.  I find that incredible and am not sure how to relate to it.  That’s a lot of people looking at my stuff!

The most viewed blog post is from January 1, 2012 and was about the robins I observed on New Year’s Day.  I have no idea why that’s the most viewed post.  It was a good post, but not as good as others that I’ve done.

My most commented page is my About Me page.  That’s not a big surprise since it’s the easiest page to consistently find in my blog.

My companion when I blog.  Does he look content?

My companion when I blog. Does he look content?

Commenters

Ya’ll are wonderful leaving comments.  I enjoy them so much and they’ve helped me clarify what I’m writing and / or thinking.  It’s been a great help especially when I’m struggling with something or I’m meandering around and not sure what I’m trying to say.

I try to respond to each comment, so it’s not a big surprise that I was the biggest commenter.  But who were my blogging friends that commented the most?  If you get a chance, please visit their blogs and leave them a note or a “like”.  That is, of course, provided that you don’t already follow them!

The top commenter on my blog?  Patti from A New Day Dawns.  Patti posts about a mix of things, including the squirrel mafia that lives in her yard.  Patti and I met when I commented on a comment she left on a different blog.  We have a number of blogging friends in common and often see each other in the comments of other blogs.

The #2 spot was a tie between Judith from Diabetic Redemption and Darlene at Darlene Foster’s Blog.  Judith is working at improving her health and happiness and in the last few months, her blog has really changed and evolved.  I particularly like her Gratitude Saturdays and seeing what went right in her week.

Darlene is the author of a pre-teen book series featuring a 12-year-old girl named Amanda.  I’ve bought and read them all and really enjoyed them.  Darlene explores local cultures with twists and turns to keep her readers interested, yet without being racy or profane as so many books are these days.  I was impressed with Darlene at how she spends two hours a night writing and marketing herself.  I thought I can do that, but have not yet followed up on it!  She has a recent interview on how she got herself started writing.

Other top commenters were Phil, Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge; Kathleen at The Course of Our Seasons; and Derek at No Throwaways.

The Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge writes about a write variety of things, from the German Shepherd who stayed at their house temporarily to how a stalker’s object of attention becomes the loser.  Phil may couch the post with humor and sarcasm, but often has a point that is thought provoking and a commentary on our society.

Kathleen write the most gorgeous poetry.  I often feel that I’m right there with her, whether she’s writing about waking up slowly in the morning or her observations about nature.  Last year, Kathleen gave me permission to reprint one of her poems in my blog, when I wrote a Valentine’s letter to my husband.

Derek is a youth pastor with four small children.  Shortly before the shootings in Newton, his church was burned to the ground by an arsonist who was just mad at the world.  He had no real connection to the church or beef with it, he just felt like burning it.  One of Derek’s most memorable posts was looking through the pictures with his children of good memories from the church.  Derek’s Saturday posts are about funny things the kids did during the week.  Guess who’s three-year-old cut his own hair with the scissors that Dad handed him to hold onto?

Or maybe the word is comfortable.  He looks comfortable.

Or maybe the word is comfortable.
He looks comfortable.

Hugs & Kisses To All

THANK YOU ALL OF YOU.  I appreciate the generosity of your comments, thoughts, and friendship.  My blog has been a wonderful outlet for my writing and photography, a great place to meet with friends, and it’s given me valuable feedback not only on what I’m doing here, but on life in general.

And unlike my beagle, I love hugs and kisses and am sending them out to you as well.

Have a good week!