MY first ever post F.H.B. HAS ARRIVED announcing Fiona’s birth was published February 2, 2009, and FIVE years later, finally I have made it to my 100th post! Unfortunately, this has occurred long AFTER it has been widely announced all over the web that blogging is dead. I would include a link to verify this, but there are too many, just google it. If that IS the case, then here I am continuing in the sweet afterlife, a place where time doesn’t exist and if I want to blog about something that I never got to in 2010, then I will!! Who cares. I’m still going to continue to do blog (albeit sporadically) until something else catches my eye.
And yes, I have already discovered–and am in a tight relationship with Instagram, but that doesn’t mean that this blog means nothing to me anymore! But, if you follow me on INSTAGRAM I can bring you such wonderful comparisons as THIS:
And be sometimes entertained by one sweet random follower of mine (tytmn321) who lives somewhere in Asia and doesn’t always get all the references.
However, if Instagram is like instant gratification, blogging is what I can do when I finally find some time (aaand this usually happens between 11PM to 2AM) to organize my thoughts, photos and hopefully present them in an interesting way. I have found it is the best, well the only way I keep a journal– or any sort of record of what is going on with my life. I’ve enjoyed having it for the last 5 years and I like feeling a little more connected with family and friends who check in over here from time to time. Thank YOU faithful readers! Those of you who have stumbled upon this because you are searching for a free mother’s day essay, wondering what happened to Kriss Kross or trying to make money well…..I have no words. (Except for everything I say in #10).
Upon reviewing my posts, I had forgotten about this, but it was Aleida who encouraged me to start a blog, as explained in one of my earlier posts “Jump on the Bandwagon with me!” Bandwagons were, as it sounds, wagons carrying the band for a parade, circus or other entertainment, and were also associated with success. Therefore, I’m going to use the bandwagon again because this is a celebratory post!!
To celebrate making it this far I am going to take a look back at the last five years and highlight some of my favorite things about my blog. This is not a classic top 10 where 10 is the worst and 1st is the best, I have just divided this “recap into 10 sections for organization. Please enjoy!
10: LET’S START WITH THE STATS–
There really is no point for me to be checking my stat page very often because my blog is so meager, but whenever I do it is always very interesting. I also think Word Press has a nice way of laying things out for me. I can sort by days, weeks and months- I can see views by country, I can see which tags and categories I’ve written on are most popular, I can see search terms that lead people to my blog, and of course Top Commenters!! So it’s very simple for me to put these together. This may be TOO WORDY of a section and you may just scroll down through it, but if you think stats are kind of interesting, here are the highlights:
- THIS BLOG has gotten 26,956 views.
- I’ve received 322 comments. This does not include spam. WordPress does an amazing job of filtering out spam. I hardly ever deal with it.
- I have 48 blog followers. OF those 48, ONLY TWO are people I know!! Come on the lot of you that actually know me!! Click on the red FOLLOW button all the way at the bottom of the page. Although maybe you don’t want your email clogged up every time I post something. Which, as you now know, is only likely to happen 20 times a year.The other 46 I am very dubious about, and I am sure only clicked to follow me to promote their own stuff. If I ever bother to follow up and see who this random person is, most of the time it is someone trying to make money off of people who think they can make money blogging! Although I do remember a Russian supermodel (and fellow WordPress blogger) liked one of my posts once…..
- I have a whopping 2 shares. One was for the post featuring my niece’s purchase of Cowgirl boots in Austin (hope whoever shared that bought some nice boots themselves) and the other for the post I did when Grandma Trogdon died.
- The most popular SEARCH ENGINE TERM OF ALL TIME SO FAR that brings people to my blog is UNFORTUNATELY “kriss kross,” with 1,215 views. Other variants on that are “kriss kross now” “where is kriss kross” and “daddy mac kriss kross.” This is because of a post I did entitled “The Mac Daddy and the iMac,” where I poked fun at the crazy outfits Steffan would put Fiona in when he came to watch her for me when I went back to work. He would often put clothes on her backwards by accident. So I posted pictures of Kriss Kross (and a composite pic of them in youth AND as adults) alongside pictures of baby Fiona in her backwards clothes. I also did an interview with Steffan about how he chose her outfits. I rather liked this post, but when I saw all the traffic coming to it JUST because of that, it annoyed me, so I made that post private. Since then, I don’t get as many hits due to kriss kross, but their legacy lives on. Unfortunately though, Criss Kelly, the Mac Daddy himself does not. He died May 2, 2013.
- The most popular RECENT search engine term is mother’s day essay, due to my post “Mothers Day Essay in 110 Words,” where I highlighted a school paper Steffan had written which described how Charlotte, the family dog had eaten a pie my mom made which gave her (my mom, not the dog) a nervous “brake down.” I wonder if all those kids trying to plagiarize a mother’s day essay enjoyed that story. It got Steffan a pretty good grade.
- OTHER popular search engine terms are: modern day doctor’s office (thanks to the post Schwangerschaft where I show off the super-swanky OBGYN office in Stuttgart); ona ink (the old name of my blog, and the current name of my new “sewing-focused” blog where I blog even more infrequently than here); jacob marley – strangely this brings people to the post where I poked fun at my dad thinking Bob Marley was someone in Scrooge; round toe cowgirl boots.
- FUNNY, STRANGE, AND/OR RANDOM search terms: “mime costume,” “bullet apple,” “kalpak,” “cute Fiona,” “baby bald spot,” “baby with lots of hair,” “oatmeal smoothie,” “giant calendar,” “swollen balls,” “Finnish gypsy,” “in anderen umständen,” “indian women getting engrossed in coversation,” and “how not to have a boring dad.” Except for a few, I understand why most of those somehow relate to my blog.
- A DISTURBING search term that I had to address was when I realized “pregnant brunette” was driving people to my site. I had a post that I entitled Brunette and Pregnant, mainly because I wanted to announce both major life changes in one fell swoop…but I quickly realized that was a bad idea. I fixed that snafu by changing that the post title to “9 Countries in Utero,” successfully thwarting all those internet stalkers with fetishes for pregnant brunettes and rewarding those who have a fetish for pregnant globe trotters.
- The PHOTO that is MOST clicked on unfortunately is one of Kriss Kross. The next one is the one of Rijen and I in Click. Then it’s the scanned image of Steffan’s aforementioned essay. Our family picture gets clicked on a lot, and next are several pictures of Rijen’s brother Layne which makes me happy.
That’s about it for stats! I ‘ll cover a few other things (like most popular posts) later on….
9. BEST GUEST POST
AS probably most of you know, a “thing” for bloggers to do is to have guest bloggers featured on your site. My favorite (and only) guest blogger is my husband, Rijen. The best thing about it is that the SIX times he has guest posted, I didn’t ask him to do it, or even know about it. It was a fun surprise and I have a sneaking suspicion that my readership would prefer WAY more guest posts from him! If Rijen does a guest post, you are likely to see a picture of the kids and whatever they have been doing, some talk about soccer and hopefully, if you are lucky, a good music recommend. Rijen….you are way overdue for another one!
IT was SO hard for me to decide between my two favorites of his 6, but I think I have to say….with a last-minute decision switch right after I typed that ellipses, the BEST GUEST POST is:
When Mom is away, I blog– October 13, 2013
Biking is Good For You– May 22, 2010
The other 4 Guest Posts by Rijen:
Time for a Poll – October 14, 2010
Sleepyhead (originally published privately but I just changed it)- August 4, 2010
Today I saw Baby Elephants – July 11, 2010
I Think We’re Alone Now– May 21, 2010
8. BEST VIDEO(S)
Too hard to decide, so I had to put it into categories.
BEST MUSIC VIDEO AND MY PERSONAL FAVORITE:
This is the one where I took all the leaping photos I have (ok, mostly me, but I love all those others who participated) and put them in chronological order featuring probably the most awesome year of my life: 2010. SO there are a LOT of good memories for me in this one. On the actual blog post “Leap Year” I list all the locations featured in the video.
MOST VIEWED ACCORDING TO THE STATS:
From the post “Il Mare”- when Fiona and I stayed with Sara’s italian relatives at their beach house in Calabria. Fiona’s phrase “All Di” is her trying to command the ocean to stop.
I’m sure it’s just because it’s my child, but I sure thought that Fiona performing an orchestra of musical instruments with a chopstick after going to town on Halloween candy was pretty hilarious (starts around 0:38). From Halloween and Pearl Harbor Day.
Grandma Trogdon passed away just a few months after telling me this story from her childhood. I’m so glad I captured her telling it to me on video on my last visit with her. I spent many hours listening to her tell stories sitting in that little room, but I didn’t always want the interference of a video camera. I’m glad I did record her from time to time though. Catch Part II and other memories on the post Nov 26-1921-Jan 1 2012.
BEST VIDEO NEVER WATCHED….UNTIL NOW!!
Rijen made this video forhis Guest Post Sleepyhead– I didn’t realize until today that this post had been published privately. I think he wanted me to look at it and make sure I was ok with it being on the blog. I was, but either forgot or didn’t realize it was private. So NOW is your chance to see Rijen’s awesome creation- a musical exploration of either the best or the worst part of the day. Oh, and Fiona’s first kiss!
7. IN MEMORIUM
It’s hard to know what to say here. I suppose I have often used this blog as a vehicle to express my thoughts about death, loss, and most importantly, to memorialize in a very small way those close to me who have passed away. I truly hope that it comes across that my intent is not to engender sympathy, to cause others pain or embarrassment, or to draw unnecessary attention to a death in the family. Often I feel uncomfortable about sharing these personal thoughts in this type of forum because I feel somehow that the proper way to deal with death is to keep it private, because it should be a private affair. I hope the reasons why I write about it outweighs the risk of offending or annoying readers. I hope that I’ve been able to write on this topic with humor, with love, with sadness, but most importantly with respect.
It’s probably obvious from this blog that actually writing my thoughts out instead of just dwelling on them helps me organize them, ponder them further, find connections between things and sometimes can even be somewhat cathartic. It doesn’t necessarily provide “closure” and I’m not trying to find answers.
It is simply helpful for me to find a way to formulate in some way various questions, impressions and feelings that I have – not just about when someone dies- but the importance of being able to live a happy and fulfilling life without having that person in your life anymore. Being able to hold inside that sometimes frightening feeling of pain, anger and regret and finding a way to make it a well and not a void.
Not forgetting them and finding ways to remember them. That’s probably the crux of it, and see, it took me four paragraphs to figure out myself why I continue to write about death, when I for SURE do not want to seem like I dwell on it a lot. And THAT’S what it is, I’ve figured it out. It’s primarily because I enjoy writing as a way of telling them and myself that I have not forgotten them, and that their lives are meaningful to me.
Of course I’ve written primarily about my mother. I love writing about her and remembering her, and I think she would appreciate me remembering her in this way.
I’ve written for Mother’s Day I think just once. Or, in a way, it was Steffan who wrote about it, even though it was an essay about our dog: Mother’s Day Essay in 110 Words.
I’ve written to memorialize the day she died once in A Conversation. This is probably the most personal of them all, since I was writing it TO her– and I remember it all just flowed out and I hardly had to think much about how to write it, it just pieced together, all the thoughts I wanted to say to her.
But my favorite is the simplest: Just a short compilation of some of MANY postcards that we sent to each other while I was at college. I used to write her postcards on occasion after she died. And now I do this. Maybe I should go back to the postcards.
Other posts in memoriam:
Grandma Trogdon: Nov 26, 1921- Jan. 1, 2012 , Last Sunset in North Carolina : I am so so grateful to have had so many wonderful visits with her in the last few years of her life. I owe so much of me to her.
Layne: Click : On dealing with a sudden, unexpected death. I don’t think I will ever be able to read this post without crying. I also really appreciated those of you who commented on that one. Also: Happy Birthday Layne
Andrew and Logan Trogdon: The Birth and Death of Summer : It is hard for me to even comprehend the scope of this sort of tragedy. I feel like I will be dedicating not just that summer, but all summers with my children to those little boys.
6. MOST VIEWED POSTS
So, I hadn’t checked the most viewed summary for LONG time until just now. And it is kind of annoying seeing what is most viewed after analyzing the search terms and the other stats. Because now I know why these posts are most viewed, and it has nothing to do with the merit of the post based on my personal criteria, or the criteria of the readers I really care about. (Meaning readers who know me personally and aren’t coming to the blog based on a random search term). However, that is the negative aspect about having my blog public, and since (at least for now) I am fine with it being public, I can’t complain about it too much.
#1: With 2, 777 views: The Mac Daddy and the iMac– but you can’t even view it anymore, so that’s a little bit melodramatic of a #1 reveal.
#2: With 1,580 views: Mother’s Day Essay in 110 Words. Yep, everyone searching for a good mother’s day essay!!
#3. 731 people have wanted to see what a “modern doctor’s office” looks like and found Schwangerschaft. Also, the other search term that drew people to my blog was Mutterpass. I’m more ok with this one, because it is a post about having a baby in Germany, and just maybe it was helpfully informative to some random person who was searching Mutterpass.
#4: 646 hits on Is your dad boring?. Now this one is a little more interesting. In this post, in a question and answer form, I (lovingly) lampoon my dad a bit for some of his quirks in relation to our relationship and just…..well, him being Daryl. I really really enjoyed writing this post and luckily…my dad enjoyed it too. I think he let a lot of his friends know about it, so I did get extra traffic due to that. HOWEVER, I still get a lot of pingbacks- due to Question #12 on that post which had to do with a story my dad told us.
When he attended L.A. High, his gym class (boys only) were instructed to swim in the nude. I had lots of questions about this, naturally and it made for an interesting discussion. Turns out, there is a lively discussion on this topic in an Education Forum under the topic heading “Did You Swim Nude In Highschool?” I noticed pingbacks on my blog to this post, when it was quoted at least twice in this forum. One commenter with the handle SLC linked back to my post, quoting it, (calling it a “money excerpt!!) noting that here was another confirmation that this practice DID indeed exist– SLC also went to L.A. High. My uncle, also an alumnus additionally confirmed in his comment that he also swam in the nude and shared a funny story about when some boys jumped in the pool without realizing that the girls (in swimsuits) were also in the pool at the other end.
On my post, SLC made a helpful follow-up comment to my dad & uncle, which I found interesting:
I attended LA High School in the late 1950s and can confirm that, indeed, the boys swam naked. The reason given that the boys would keep their swim suits in their lockers is total bs. As I recall, the school handed out tank suits to the girls which they collected after each swim session. They could have handed out swim suits to the boys and collected them after each session. The real reason was selective service, the object being to get any boys who were bashful or uncomfortable about being naked in front of other boys used to the idea as there is little use for modesty in the armed forces.
And, to wrap up this story, in case you were wondering, as was I, how long swimming in the nude lasted at L.A. High, SLC further commented in the Education Topix forum:
The practice ended in the early 1970s due to the school district losing a law suit brought by a parents group and a feminist group. The parents argued that requiring the boys to swim naked while the girls wore swim suits was a violation of Title IX because they weren’t being treated equally. The feminist group argued that the policy discriminated against girls, thus violating Title IX, because it denied the use of the pool for 1/2 the available time. Instead of appealing the decision, the school district punted and instituted coed swim classes.
#5 585 views on Click.
#6 I’ll end with this one since I feel #1 doesn’t count anymore, and it’s one I like too. 380 hits on Painters Palette Dress- where Fiona helped me create fabric for a dress I made her based on a Jil Sander’s dress I had seen. Then she wore it at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin.
A great memory, this one, especially since in true tragic masterpiece fashion, this dress did become a true one-of-a-kind item. I forgot that I had previously treated the white fabric we painted with a chemical for marbling fabric– and then I decided to paint the fabric and not marble it. However, I forgot to wash the fabric immediately, (which you have to do with marbling) and it weakened the fibers. The second time Fiona wore the dress it started to rip and is unwearable. I had washed it in the meantime, and it won’t rip anymore and I actually think I can fix it, but since we moved very soon after making the dress, I didn’t get around to fixing it and now she has outgrown it!! So, I can just sigh and look at the photos, since it will never be the same. Evidently the Jil Sander dress was around $3,000. I guess my dress is also a little bit priceless. The moments were, at least.
I’ve decided this post is going to have to be a two-parter. I can’t finish it right now because I have to go set up for St. Patrick’s day tomorrow. I mean….see if the Leprechauns have visited Fiona yet. So, post #100 and #101 will continue to celebrate this milestone. Unfortunately, this has pushed back my 3rd Annual St. Patrick’s Day series, and I want to try for that still, so we’ll see what happens here. So expect the second installment very shortly….where you will find out my favorite captions, the best travel post, the top Fiona post, best photos & my personal favorite post of them all……
Until then…..thanks for reliving the past 99 posts with me!!