Monday Musings: Reflections on the A to Z Challenge

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So, I must reflect on the A to Z Challenge and share my thoughts.

First I’ll share some stats:

  • The post with the most views? Z is for Zilch. I’m thinking that people were so relieved that I was done.
  • The post with the most comments? C is for Chickens. It isn’t even my writing, but was a cute children’s poem that I shared.
  • I gained maybe six new followers.
  • Some days I didn’t even get any visitors from the A to Z link.
  • I did get a few comments from visitors making the A to Z rounds. Not a lot though compared to other years when less people were participating.
  • Most of the comments I got were from friends who are my regular followers and most of my views were from facebook. I share my blog posts on my facebook page so those would have been facebook friends. Some were referred through blogs that I follow and comment on.

Now I’ll share some thoughts:

  • Some days it was hard to come up with a blog post, but I did. I was determined to finish. Last year I wrote exclusively about Laura Ingalls Wilder and the year before I think I shared some favorite things. It was more fun for me those years. Maybe my posts just didn’t catch anyone’s interest. Although if no one was visiting, how could they know that they weren’t interested?
  • I will confess that after I saw that I was not getting many A to Z visitors, I (for the most part) stopped visiting other A to Z participants except some that caught my attention. My interest sort of fizzled. Was that wrong? Maybe.
  • Whenever I did visit other A to Z-ers and came across extraordinarily long posts, I would leave without even reading it. So I tried to keep mine on the short side as much as I possibly could.
  • Same with visiting other blogs that are sci-fi or something that I’m just not into. Totally understandable. I wouldn’t expect someone who has no interest in what I’m writing about to stick around.
  • However, we are supposed to visit and comment and I did do that at first. Sometimes if what someone wrote about wasn’t my cup of tea, I would still leave a comment to let them know that I stopped by. I didn’t get a lot of that.
  • I’ve discovered that people are most interested when: my dog, Duke, “writes” a post, I share something personal and from my heart, I share a poem (which gets more likes than comments), or I share one of my antique photos (which weren’t part of the A to Z Challenge, but just something that I do on Sundays).
  • I have some awesome friends and family. I know they are the ones reading my posts. That kind of keeps me going!

To wrap up:

  • Lest  you think I’m stalking who is visiting my blog, I can’t see who you are, just where (in general) you come from.
  • I’ve often said that I blog as an outlet, a journal of sorts and it doesn’t matter if anyone reads it. But I guess that’s not really true. I do like to share and entertain so it’s neat when a post gets a bunch of views. And I do miss the following I had at my last blog. And the comments. So, there you have it.
  • I have decided to cut back on the blogs that I follow and comment on. I’ve done this before and I’ve cut back even more now. There’s only so many hours in a day. And I suppose that’s true with others. That could be one reason I don’t have a big following anymore. Or it’s just because I have a crappy blog.
  • I still wrestle with the love-hate blog relationship. It does sometimes take up a bit of time that I could spend doing other things. I hesitate to write about certain things because they are too personal to share, which tells you that they really are personal since I do share a lot!
  • Sometimes I think that I should keep a private journal and just share my general thoughts (which I already do) and antique photos on facebook.
  • People who know me know that I overthink. So my thoughts here are nothing more than a reflection of my overthoughts. 🙂
  • Really, I’m not fishing here. Don’t feel obligated to leave me any kind of comment. I really enjoy feedback, but not if you feel obligated. I’m just that way.
  • There were two blogs that I saw that were writing about woman authors and one was a blogger that I met back during the first year I did the challenge. I have followed and enjoyed her blog ever since. I really enjoyed those probably the most. I learned about literary women that I had never heard of before.

To close, I think this year’s A to Z was a bust, for me anyhow. I’m sure there are others who put more time into both writing and commenting. I guess you could say that I got out of it what I put into it, right? I didn’t give up the writing part of the challenge, but I more or less gave up on the rest of it. So be it. I enjoyed challenging myself to come up with something every day and that’s why I got into it in the first place. In the end that’s all that matters.

 

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Z is for Zilch

I can’t believe it’s over. Finally! I came close to giving up more than a couple of times, but I didn’t. I kept plugging away.

Since my theme all through this has pretty much been getting to know me, I’ve shared quite a bit about myself. Since I haven’t got anything left in me … zilch … I’ll ask: Is there anything else you want to know about me?

LauraPalooza

Y is for Yes

I used to be a yes-person.

I’ve said before that I did a lot of volunteering for much of what my kids were ever involved in while they were growing up. I’ve even volunteered for a few things that had nothing to do with my kids. People got to know pretty quickly that I was a yes-person. I usually didn’t mind though (even though I would complain).

I mean, I wanted to help and isn’t that why people get involved in the first place? It just kind of snowballs. You help with one project and you’re asked to help with another. When your kids are going to school and are involved in Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, band, sports, etc. (you get the picture) and you want to help those things run successfully so that your child can have fun and learn something, well then you sometimes end up being a yes-person.

From 1985 when my daughter started kindergarten till 2007 when my son (my younger of my two kids) reached his last couple of years in high school and I had been actively involved in child-centered projects, I started getting tired. I loved and will absolutely never regret the time I spent as a volunteer. I do not regret being a yes-person.

It’s just that I needed to stop being a yes-person. Which by no means doesn’t mean I now say no! I now say yes only to projects that I really want and/or need to be involved in.

Pretty much my only regret in all those years is that I gave up every hobby I had enjoyed and I’ve found it incredibly difficult to pick them back up.

Another regret is that along the way I made some friends. (I can count on one hand the number of people that I did not get along with while volunteering.) Some that would only be my friends for the duration of what we were involved in together. And some that have remained friends to this day. I regret that I’ve lost contact with some of those friends that I truly loved, but I guess they weren’t meant to be lifelong friends. I cherish the friendships that have endured.

One of the things that I cherish most is the rekindled friendship that I am enjoying through facebook of someone that I spent a few short years spending a ton of volunteer time together before she moved away. I truly believe that if we lived closer together we would be very good friends…something I think that neither of us realized all those years ago when we were yes-people together and so so busy raising our kids.

X is for Xylem

According to my Oxford American Desk Dictionary & Thesaurus, X is for things like:

  • xenon
  • xenophobia
  • xerography
  • xylophone
  • xylem

I won a prize at our ground water convention by knowing the definition of xylem. I didn’t really know. I looked it up and memorized it. It didn’t matter. That’s the way anyone else who won did it. It was just a fun contest to get people to that particular vendor’s booth. What did I win? I don’t even know. Some kind of small pump that I’m sure Jim could find a use for it though.

Jim at the convention

Jim at the convention

For your information xylem means (according to my dictionary): woody tissue. It’s really more than that though it’s the woody supportive plant tissue that carries water and dissolved minerals from the roots through the stem and leaves. And that’s significant to the name of that particular company who was giving away the prizes.

Aren’t you glad I didn’t pick xanthophyll as my X-word again? 🙂

W is for …

W is for a few things in my little life!

My last name has been Welser ever since October 19, 1985. Over half my life.

My work place begins with W – Welser Well Drilling LLC. And it even has a website.
jimandlaura

What do we do? Why, we drill and service water wells and their systems.

Who is my favorite author? Of course you know that it’s Laura Ingalls Wilder!

Duke is reading These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Kudos to whoever can guess what his favorite part of the book was.

I like to take walks in our woods.

I  love to write and have often said that it’s my therapy.

Little Women is also a favorite book of mine.

I love it when the wrens return and their song is one of my favorites.

Water is pretty much my favorite drink.

W – it’s a pretty good letter.

 

V is for Violets

I’m going to go back to Laura Ingalls Wilder for V. I love the following passage from By The Shores of Silver Lake. It was Chapter 30, “Where Violets Grow” where the family is frantically searching for little sister Grace who has wandered off.

There was Grace. There, in a great pool of blue, sat Grace. The sun shone on her golden hair blowing in the wind. She looked up at Laura with big eyes as blue as violets. her hands were full of violets. She held them up to Laura and said, “Sweet! Sweet!”

Laura sank down and took Grace in her arms. She held Grace carefully and panted for breath. Grace leaned over her arm to reach more violets. They were surrounded by masses of violets blossoming above low-spreading leaves. Violets covered the flat bottom of a large, round hollow. All around this lake of violets, grassy banks rose almost straight up to the prairie-level. There in the round, low place the wind hardly disturbed the fragrance of the violets. The sun was warm there, the sky was overhead, the green walls of grass curved all around, and butterflies fluttered over the crowding violet-faces.

Laura stood up and lifted Grace to her feet. She took the violets that Grace gave her, and clasped her hand. “Come, Grace,” she said. “We must go home.”

I don’t need an illustration for I can see it so well by Laura’s description. This is one of the reasons that I love her books so much.

U is for …

Today is Wednesday and there should be a poem here, right? Wrong.

I’ve got nothing good for a U-poem. I’m sure there’s something very simple that I’m missing, but I’m missing it.

So….U. What about U?

I think my favorite u-word is Ubiqitous.

Official meaning (via bing.com):

Definition of ubiquitous (adj)
bing.com · Bing Dictionary

u·biq·ui·tous
[ yoo bíkwitəss ]
  1. existing everywhere: present everywhere at once, or seeming to be

What’s your favorite U word (nothing dirty!)?