7th blogiversary!

WordPress has helpfully reminded me that today is my seventh blogiversary!

Sending out a big THANK YOU to all my readers, including my 1,400 followers!

Okay, it’s time to calm down and not end every sentence with an exclamation point.

Over these past seven years, I have published 1,383 posts and had over 24,000 visitors from 119 countries. It boggles my mind. I hadn’t really thought about stats seven years ago when I started. Truth to tell, I don’t think about stats that often now, either, but I do appreciate sharing my thoughts with so many people around the world.

I also appreciate that I have been able to keep my blog eclectic. I knew starting out that the recommendation was to target a blog to a specific topic with a regular posting schedule and a plan to build followers, but I chose to take a path that fit my personality better. I have wide-ranging interests and like to be able to bring them up as they become “top of mind.” Circumstances have arisen that have had me writing more about my personal life than I had originally expected, but having an intentionally eclectic blog accommodated that.

For millions around the world, 2020 has been hard to navigate in terms of time. People’s schedules have been disrupted to such an extent that a week can simultaneously feel like forever and a flash. For me, most of the past seven years have been like that, as I’ve lived in a web of intergenerational health problems, moves, on-site and long-distance caretaking, and lots of unpredictability. I didn’t know seven years ago how important writing poetry would become in my life. I didn’t know that we would lose both my mother and mother-in-law. I didn’t know I’d now have two precious and faraway granddaughters.

Sometimes, in writing a post, I need to look back into my post archive to refresh my memory on when something occurred. In reading older posts, I am gratified to find that, in most cases, the writing has held up pretty well. You all have an open invitation to stroll through the posts from prior months and years. You might stumble across something that interests you.

I have never kept a diary or journal going for any length of time, so I am glad to have Top of JC’s Mind as a keepsake of these past seven years.

Which reminds me, I really need to figure out how to do a proper back-up…

Sixth Blogiversary!

(I enjoy the way spellcheck corrects my spelling of blogiversary, as though it were a real word.)

WordPress helpfully reminded me that I started Top of JC’s Mind six years ago today.

Six years ago feels like a different world, in ways both small- and large-scale.

Six years ago, B and I both still had our moms.

L and daughter E were in Hawai’i, still in their first year of marriage, never dreaming that the first two years of their daughter’s life would be spent at our home in upstate New York while L worked in London toward getting a spousal visa for E. The visa should be arriving soon. B and I will have an eerily quiet home when E and ABC leave at whatever point in the coming weeks…

During the last six years, daughter T has completed a master’s in conservation biology of plants – and has faced an administration that has ignored her field of study at a time when it is most needed.

Six years ago, Barack Obama was president of the United States. Even though the Republicans in Congress blocked a lot of things that would have been helpful for the country, we, at least, had a sense of pride in our nation on the world stage and an absence of scandal. With Donald Trump as president, there is a general sense of fear and apprehension and the United States has lost its leadership position; there seem to be multiple scandals every week.

Six years ago, we were fighting in New York for a ban on shale fracking. Amazingly enough, New York instituted a regulatory ban, which is still holding. Given that New York has just recently enacted the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, it would fly in the face of our climate goals to begin fracking, even under a future governor.

Meanwhile, the global climate situation is becoming more and more dire. While I was encouraged by the Paris climate accord, the time since has been difficult, with DT ready to pull the US out of the accord in November, 2020. Many states, cities, companies, and individuals have stepped up to continue working toward net zero carbon goals. Our family is doing its part by changing to LED lighting, increasing our insulation, buying panels in a community solar installation, and driving a fully electric Chevy Bolt and a plug-in hybrid Chrysler Pacifica.

Some things have stayed constant over these six years, though. I am grateful for my loving family and safe home, for a faith that remains despite challenges, for music and poetry, and for the opportunity to share my thoughts here.

My hope is that I will be able to continue writing – and that, at least, a few of you will continue to visit me here at Top of JC’s Mind.

Third anniverary

WordPress helpfully reminded me that today is the third anniversary of Top of JC’s Mind.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my 783 followers and all those who have visited, read, and/or commented over these past three years.

I have learned so much from blogging and plan to continue.

As my regular visitors know, 2016 has been a challenging year for me personally. I have had to cut back almost totally on my own reading and commenting and have posted less frequently than I would have liked.

Even with that, people have taken the time to read and comment and express their support, prayers, and well wishes as my family continues to navigate multiple family health issues and the mourning process after the death of my mother-in-law, known here on the blog as Grandma.

I have no timeline to get back to a more regular blogging practice. With so many variables out of my control, I have learned not to make promises.

But, please, stay tuned.

First Blogaversary!

Today is my first blogaversary.

This is my 164th post, which includes some re-blogs from other bloggers and the occasional re-blog of one of my own posts.  I’ve at least proved to myself that I can keep a blog going, resolving what was the biggest doubt in my mind at the start.

I have been happy to read and follow other blogs, especially those that, like Top of JC’s Mind, are eclectic in their choice of topics for posts.  I am very grateful for Jason Cushman of HarsH ReaLiTy for his generosity via re-posts, meet and greet threads, guest author posts, and blogging advice posts.  I also grateful for Linda Hill for her features, One-Liner Wednesdays and Stream of Consciousness Saturdays.  I have connected to many blogs that I follow and have gained a good share of the followers that I have through following, reading, commenting, and meeting other bloggers on their blogs.

I am also grateful for my readers and my stalwart band of followers.  I realize that some are more interested in certain kinds of posts, such as poetry.  I’ve tried not to drown you all in anti-fracking commentary, which is a frequent topic in my daily writing.  Believe me, if I cross-posted all my fracktivist activity, there would probably be at last 500 posts this year.  Such is life on the NY/PA border! 😉

In the coming year, I’m hoping to learn to do more with images with my blog.  I want to get some of our Hawai’i pictures uploaded and re-post my travel posts from May with photos.  I also hope to continue to refine the look of my blog, either with a new theme or by tweaking the one I am using.  I am very slow on the uptake with techie things, although I did finally get an image uploaded so that ,when I comment, there is my picture rather than a graphic.  Score one for me!  I know it will be good if I can use images on most posts so that the Facebook and WordPress shares are more striking. I just need to learn how to do it without it taking too much time and fiddling and without violating anyone’s copyright.  The upshot is I’m much better with words than images!

Anyone have any advice/requests/well-wishes they would like to bestow?  Just pop down to the comments and let me know!

JC