The 500 subscriber milestone … exciting? A little.

I hit 500 subscribers to this blog at the end of last week.

On one hand that is pretty cool. On another hand I have a feeling some of those bloggers subscribe because they are looking for me to reciprocate. The issue is that many of those who subscribe never comment here so I have no idea who they are which means I’d probably never subscribe to their blog. I’m old school and think of blogging as a social activity of sorts. We exchange ideas or share a little bit of ourselves and others do the same in the comments.

I’d like to know who you all are, in other words so, please, feel free to introduce yourself in the comments. I love to get to know the bloggers who follow me. It was really nice to have some of you tell me about yourselves last week on the post where I shared about myself and the blog.

For those who are new to the blog, you may have noticed I blog a little bit a lot of things here. I share some posts about my faith (usually entitled Faithfully Thinking), I share fiction (usually on Fridays and sometimes on Thursdays), I share photographs, and I share what I’m reading/watching/doing on Sundays. In other words, I sort of share whatever comes to my mind at any given moment (scary, I know.).

If you are interested in reading some of my fiction you can find link to excerpts from my book A Story to Tell HERE and A New Beginning HERE. You can also follow my novels in progress, The Farmer’s Daughter (I’ve been publishing new chapters on Fridays) at the link of the top of the page (or HERE) and Fully Alive HERE.

Welcome to the new subscribers and hello to the old. Glad to have you visiting my corner of the world.

Looking back at February, ahead to March, and favorite posts from the blogosphere

February was a little bit of a crazy month. Normally it drags on because we are dealing with the winter blahs, but this year it flew by pretty fast because of house showings and then eventually the sale of our house. Now we are knee-deep, somewhat literally, in packing up the house and clearing out, some of which we had already started.

Weather-wise, the temps rose and fell throughout the month, which was wonderful for our sinuses and mood (she said sarcastically). It was like “We’re happy!” “Now we’re sad!” “We’re happy!” “Now we’re sad!” all month long.

DSC_7487DSC_7592DSC_8099DSC_8142DSC_8183

Looking ahead to March, there will be more packing and then the actual moving, with the plan to be in the new house by April 3. There will also be more homeschooling, somehow, in between all the packing and moving. So far, homeschooling is both a blast and completely aggravating. I’ve considered writing a post about homeschooling again, but, sad to say, I had some who looked down their noses at me for doing it so I hate to think they’ll read any posts about the struggles and gloat. I know, very immature of me to worry about what others think, but I’m still working on that.

I wrote a variety of blog posts on a variety of topics (which is why the word “ramblings” is in my blog name.)

I shared a few weekly round-ups:

 

I also shared several chapters of A New Beginning, and you can find the links to all of those HEREor at the top of the page.

I share a couple posts about faith:

I also wrote about:

 

I also enjoyed many posts by a variety of bloggers in February and I thought I would share them with you today in addition to my February review.

I loved all the photos and daily events with Derrick, but I especially loved this one he called The Horse Whisperer. The photos and story behind it were beautiful.

As always, I have to share one of Pete’s stories from Lunch Break Fiction, but this time I also get to share he has a book out. I just purchased it and I am so excited to read it! I loved this post from February entitled Metrics. If you haven’t read Pete’s short stories, you’re really missing out.

I like pretty much every post shared at My Life with Gracie so it’s hard to highlight just one, but I did like when John shared his copy of Doctor Doolittle with Gracie and the other chickens.

Mama’s Empty Nest shared this throwback post written from the perspective of her cat and it was hilarious and sweet.

Melinda Johnson wrote about Facebook Being a Stalker Boyfriend and she’s completely right. You all know my disdain for Facebook.

Bettie, one of my favorite bloggers, shares so many touching posts butthis one was interesting because it gave me the chance to hear her voice and more of her story. What a blessing!

I enjoyed this post by Heather Dawn about waking up on the wrong side of the bed (even with coffee!) because I could relate to it.

I could also relate to Autumn at Autumn Rain about her worry that she’s too late to blog, to write, to . . . well, whatever. And, no, Autumn, we are not too late. It’s never too late.

There is a lot interesting posts to digest at Our Little Red House, so I picked just one about her garden in the month of February. She gets to have a garden in February since she lives in Arizona.

This post from Becoming HIS Tapestry entitled Love Me; You Don’t have to Trust Me, hit home as there have been people in my life I haven’t fully trusted, but who I have loved.  Honestly, it might tip some of your preconceived notions about love right up on their head.

Some difficult, but important posts from the last month included:

This one on Storied Pathwayswhen she wrote about her grandmother, who is in the hospital, and who has meant to much to her. Get some tissues.

The Whole Truth Laid to Rest on A New Life was such a hard read, but just so necessary in a day and age where so many don’t respect life on the simplest, smallest levels. *trigger warning* This is the personal story of a woman who had an abortion years ago and is now facing the pain from that decision. No matter what you believe about the issue, this is her story and she has the right to that story as much as anyone else.

So, how about all of you? Read any good posts in February? Do some exciting things? Share links or stories in the comments and see you at the end of March for my March update (if I remember to do it or even have time with the move and yes, this post was supposed to be done for the end of February. Oops.).

 

Thank you to the 350 people who follow me and the people from 92 different countries that have visited me

I don’t look at my stats too often (she lies, trying not to look as vain as she sometimes, unfortunately, feels), but last week I noticed I had gained a few more followers (I think I’m up to 360, not tons, but a lot for little ole’ me). I’ve also been checking out where my visitors are from and was surprised to find that I have had visits to my blog from 92 different countries in the last year. I find it so interesting that my readers are from so many different countries. I also find it interesting there are this many countries in the world and that there are a few on my list I have never heard of (Maldives and Suriname, I’m looking at you).

The majority of my visitors, of course, come from the United States. In 2019, 8,262 visits were from Americans. I thought the second highest visitor count would be from Canada (I don’t know why since I don’t really post anything that would be exclusively interesting to Canadians) but instead India is in second place with 835 visits. Not that anyone really cares (about the same as about this entire post) but rounding out the top five countries where my visitors came from were Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. Off-topic, but I only know one Australian and I think she’s too busy homeschooling her brood to even check out my blog so I don’t think those Australian hits are from her. I actually met her while blogging 13 years ago on a different blog (a mommy blog). There is some unimportant and unnecessary trivia for you.

I think some of my followers are simply looking for reciprocal follows on their blogs, which is the nature of the social media culture we find ourselves in these days. Many of my followers author blogs about psychology or mental health, which really isn’t a surprise considering my mental health is pretty unstable most days. I’m sure people who know me in real life aren’t surprised I’m being stalked by mental health experts (or self-proclaimed experts).  They are probably expecting to find some business through me. Ha! But maybe some are following because they are actually interested in the ramblings of the girl from the boondocks (no, really, they want business.)

Some people probably follow me based on my posts about faith, some because of the fiction, maybe some for the photography (though those posts have been sporadic at best lately), and maybe some for the ramblings about creativity. Most bloggers say you need a niche for your blog (I heard the same from the photography world) but being random can pay off too.

Sure, I don’t have the following of other, high-profile bloggers, but I really don’t mind that. I like my small little corner of the blog world. If I did start to accumulate a high amount of followers, I’d probably delete this blog/site and start another one. I share for fun, not for attention. I mean, a little attention is okay and nice, but a lot of attention? No thank you!

I have never looked at a social media “influencer” (whatever that is), or someone famous and felt envy, wishing I could have people pay attention to me like they do them. I mean, can you imagine having all that attention on you in this highly political, always offended, always ready for a fight environment? Blogging or sharing wouldn’t be fun anymore. Instead, it would be like walking into a minefield and hoping you don’t set off a row of landmines that destroy your life and your love of writing.

In other non-important stat information from my blog for 2019 and 2020:

I had a total of 11,351 views in 2019 and 6,904 visitors (this doesn’t add up with how many views I received from different countries, but I think that total was 2019 and 2020);

161 blog posts (not many by most standards);

2,067 views from WordPress;

1,870 views from Facebook;

and a handful from other sites.

In 2020 I’ve had:

3, 544 views;

1,986 visitors;

and 49 blog posts (which actually seems like a lot for it only being the end of February).

So, if you are a blogger, do you keep track of your stats? I don’t normally, so if you don’t, that’s good with me. If you do, that’s cool too! Let me know in the comments (if you want to, of course).

Round ‘Em Up. Biweekly blog round-up.

There have been so many good blog posts this week around the blogosphere. I’m excited to share some of them with you, and some of my own, for this week’s Round ‘Em Up.

On the blog here for the last couple of weeks, I focused on a lot of different subjects, including:

As for some other awesome blog posts from other bloggers this week:

How about you? Have you found any interesting blog posts that you would like to share this week? Either from you or someone else? Let me know in the comments and leave me a link!

Round ‘em up! Weekly blog roundup

There were so many good blog posts this week around the blogging community and I’m excited to share them with you on my weekly round up. As usual, I’ll provide a link to my blog posts from the past week or so as well, but this week I want to focus on some cool bloggers I follow or have discovered.

Pete at Lunch Break Fiction does it again with The Gift. Do yourself a big favor. If you aren’t following Pete’s blog yet go over right now and “click” follow. You won’t regret it. It’s full of touching, awesome, engaging short stories.

Manitoba Mom, hanging out up there the frozen Canadian tundra (just kidding about it being frozen. I think.) always gives me a lot to chew on and think about, in a fun and entertaining way, mixed in with some deep thoughts as well. This one about five tips on how she plans to manage the cold winter months coming up in January and February is one I can relate to because I struggle terribly with keeping my sanity in the winter months. We’ve been lucky to have a stretch of warmer days but the darkness is still here and I know the cold will soon make its return.

For His Purpose wrote about developing patience with people who are sometimes difficult to deal with and I could absolutely relate to this, especially since I used to work with people daily when I worked for smalltown newspapers. For this post, she’s been dealing with a particularly challenging person in her personal life, and again, I can completely relate to struggling to show a person like this the love of Christ, when all we really want to do is run screaming away. (I have a feeling I might be that person for other people  . . . hmmmm).

Bettydraper offered this lovely post about the day she became a Christian and how it ties into the real meaning of Christmas so perfectly.

I’m pretty sure I already shared links to some of Our Little Red House’s 12 days of Christmas craft posts, but just in case, here is another one. What ingenious ideas she’s had or gleaned from others over the years to recycle objects and turn them into beautiful Christmas ornaments or decorations. She offers other unique craft ideas throughout the year as well.

The Feet of A Messenger offered this look back at 2019 and how much she’s changed and grown in 2019 and also how far she still has to go. Trust me, I could relate to this (as you know by reading some of my more whiney blog posts earlier this year.)

I’ve also been discovering some new fiction writers who blog serial stories, or short fiction pieces, this week which is exciting for me since I’ve been blogging my own fiction since May.

I bumped into BeetleyPete who is in the midst of a serial story about a murder mystery. I’m heading back to the beginning to catch up on this one since the parts I started to read intrigued me already.

I’m also intrigued by Rachel Smith’s fiction and can’t wait to delve into her stories this week.

As for my blog posts in the last week or so:

So what have you been up to on your blog and otherwise? Read or write any good posts you would like to share? Leave a link in the comment section and I’ll share them in my next Blog Roundup (which I hope to make a bi-weekly post, or weekly if I have enough posts to share each week).


Lisa R. Howeler is a writer and photographer from the “boondocks” who writes a little bit about a lot of things on her blog Boondock Ramblings. She’s published a fiction novel ‘A Story to Tell’ on Kindle and also provides stock images for bloggers and others at Alamy.com and Lightstock.com.

 

 

 

Blog roundup: Favorite blog posts from the blogosphere.

I love sharing blog posts I’ve discovered in my “bloggy rounds” throughout the week, but I haven’t done that in a while so this post might share some gems I have found throughout the last couple of weeks.

Mama’s Empty Nest talked about seeing “both sides” of an issue while also talking about a really cool bridge in Michigan. The photos and the words are gorgeous in this one.

I could relate to this one by Jenni at Housewife Hustle, talking about getting back to blogging after an injury but especially the part about giving up on chasing family down and trying to make them be part of their lives. Boy, does that get old after awhile!

Running Half Empty wrote about A Day in the Life of a Mom, showing things can be very crazy for us moms, even though we love our roles and our kids!

I enjoyed looking at these 3 DIY frugal home decorations for Thanksgiving from Our Little Red House and had even planned to do a couple, but since we just put our house up for sale, I haven’t had the time to even try.

Many of us know how negatively a “not-so-perfect” mother can affect a child, but we don’t always think abouthow the mother who tries to be perfect can also affect her children, something Kat from The Lily Cafe explored recently.

I enjoyed this post about a slow and cozy fall day from Erin at Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs. It was my kind of day, complete with photos, also “my thing”.

I’ve used a recipe similar to this before so I really liked that Michele from Blessings By Me shared thisPhilly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers recipe.  She has some mother great recipes on her blog as well.

Alethea’s Mind shared a great post about recognizing that we can do all things through Christ, no matter the limitations we see within ourselves. 

I love Lunch Break Fiction and this one, called The Book Club, was among my favorites of his.  He has so many great fiction stories on that site. If you haven’t checked him out already, you need to.

I have a link to the blogs I follow in the right sidebar, if you haven’t noticed before. I encourage you to check out some of those blogs if you are looking for new bloggers to follow in the upcoming new year.

So, how about you? Any favorite blog posts from the last couple of weeks? Maybe even one of your own? Let me know in the comments and feel free to share a link!

 

 

 

 

Some favorite blog posts from the blogosphere

I’ve been making a list of blog posts I’ve really enjoyed for probably a month now, but haven’t taken the time to sit and write a post to share them, so I’m finally doing it today! Hopefully, you will find some new favorite bloggers from the list.

I really enjoyed this thoughtful post that Running Half Empty wrote about a homeless man she met and helped recently.

He was so grateful that someone cared enough to stop. I gave him some money. How much or little is irrelevant. I just wanted to check on him. We swapped names. His is Bill. He had beautiful, piercing blue eyes. Mesmerizing. He asked me to take off my sunglasses so we could see each other. I did. That eye-contact and smile at each other were lovely. Not some fairytale bond until the end of time. Just two people seeing each other. Metaphorically. We spoke for a minute, and I went on my way.

 

This post from motherrealist at I Didn’t Want to Be A Mother about the myth of “making time for yourselves as mothers” was a winner for me.

“Make time for yourself” is my second-favorite parenting advice. It comes right after “Enjoy the moment and don’t stress about the little things like housework, etc.”

Hah.

The problem with making time is that I haven’t achieved that superpower yet. The problem is that, last time I checked, there are still 24 hours in each day. The problem is that I have to care for the physical and emotional needs of human beings and the house they live in during 56 of those 24 hours. I’m already over-booked.

 

I always enjoy Michelle’s DIY craft posts at Blessings By Me and I was excited when she put up a Fall DIY roundup post on her blog last week. I have marked a couple of the projects down to try with my kids in the next couple of weeks.

Brittany from Ordinary Extraordinary Mom always makes me think and she definitely did with this post about Walking in Faith, even when we think we heard God wrong!

You clearly heard the call.  You did everything you felt God led you to do.  You prayed. You believed, and you walked in faith.  Then it all fell apart.  Life went from bad to worse.  It did not work.  You failed.  God failed you, after you did what you know is precisely what He asked you to do.

Now, here He is asking you to walk in faith again.  He is asking you to answer the call again.  He is asking for blind obedience again, and you are unsure you are willing to take the risk.  You doubt that he will come through.  You are scared, and you are discouraged because “last time…”

 

I am enjoying Kat’s series on motherhood on her blog The Lily Cafe. She’s been writing about how she and her husband decided when they wanted to be parents and then the process of getting there. In this post, she talked about the timing of motherhood for her had to be “perfect.”

I also enjoyed this post by Thom at The Immortal Jukebox entitled: Linda Ronstadt, Mike Nesmith, P P Arnold : Different Drum

A new discovery this week was Phil Cobb’s blog. He’s an author and wrote a post entitled “Me and Billy the Kid” about his job as a freelance journalist. Since I wrote for newspapers myself, once upon a time, this one interested me.

What about you? Have you stumbled onto some blog posts you liked over the last week or month? Let me know in the comments!

Looking back at July and links from the rest of the blogging world

I can’t say July was terribly exciting, thanks to sweltering humidity that engulfed us and wouldn’t let go, chasing us inside most of the time, but it was a month where my family spent time together at my parents in the country and learned how to cool down an entire upstairs with one, tiny window air conditioning unit and how to cool down a preschooler with one tiny pool.

DSC_0240

As for blogging:

 

I also read a lot of great blog posts in July and in the beginning of August. Some of those posts are listed below.

I don’t know how I stumbled on to this old blog post by Holly Nicole Photography but I’m glad I did because it reminded me of who I was becoming and almost became not so long ago. Trying so hard to be liked and to be honored as a photographer while completely losing sight of why I started learning more about photography in the first place. I wanted to capture moments to remember my family and life, and to capture moments for others, not to impress other people and, really, not even to get clients. The drive to be liked and to be hired for my work literally made me sick and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s why my physical health has suffered so much for the last ten years – well, that and a couple personal situations that were out of my control.

There are so many great blog posts written this week and last and two of them in a row on my WordPress Reader’s list were about the American flag and how it’s becoming a trend to disrespect the flag as a way to comment on what people don’t like about our country.

This one from Mama’s Empty Nest brought tears to my eyes because of how far down the path of negativity we have all come in this country.

Then Our Little Red House wrote about her impressions of how people seem to assign the idea of hate as the real symbol behind our flag, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Moving away from commentary on the state of our country, Brittany from Ordinarily Extraordinary Mom wrote a raw post about being angry with God. Very insightful and close to home for me.

Another one that was close to home for me was from Brenda at Becoming His Tapestry as she talked about needing to trust God with the safety of her daughters as they return to college in a week.

How about you? How was your July and what’s up for August? Let me know in the comments.

Did you have some favorite posts from July? Share them with me in the comments!

 

 

 

 

Favorite blog posts around the web this week

I thought I’d share some of my favorite blog posts from around the web this week because I’ve read a few really good ones. I’d also love to offer you an opportunity to share one of your favorite posts from the week from your own blog, or from another blogger.

1) I enjoyed this post about patriotism from Mama Duck. She asked what’s happened to patriotism in the United States today and shared how much the 75th anniversary of D-Day awakened her patriotism even more.

2) I have a discovered a new-to-me short fiction site called Lunch Break Fiction. I suppose this particular blog post about a man accidentally throwing out some important books that belonged to his wife is, of course, fictional, since it is tagged “flash fiction” but it’s so hilarious I am really hoping it might have some truth in it.

 

3) I agreed with this post from Kat at The Lily Cafe about books that feature unnecessary swearing.

“I find cursing to be crude and unsophisticated. I also appreciate the power of words and words like enraged, furious, and incensed carry more power than pissed off. Total honesty. I cringed just writing that. And that’s probably being mild.”

 

4) I could definitely relate to this post by Ordinary on Purpose since I also have a tween in my house. It’s a good reminder that yes, they are growing up, but yes, they will still need you and love you for awhile too.

 

5) As a photographer who considers myself more documentary than anything, I really enjoyed this post by Lauren Webster who followed a married couple while they planted a garden in their backyard.

Please leave me a link to a favorite post of yours or another favorite post by another blogger in the comments!