What a Difference a Year Makes!

One year ago today, I sat down at my computer and began an odyssey into a strange and wondrous place that I knew virtually nothing about: the blogosphere.  Armed with a desire to get back to writing regularly after a three-year hiatus, I sent my thoughts hurtling into cyberspace.  What a positive and enlightening journey it’s been!

The Readers

If people didn’t read my blog, it wouldn’t have a reason to exist…I am so thankful that each of you takes the time from your busy day to come for tea in Hammond River!  I would like to make special mention of my first blogging buddy, Jane at PlaneJaner’s Journey.  Jane’s been with me since the very first day, encouraging me and telling others about me!  I will always be grateful that we found each other, Jane, and am proud to call you my friend!  When I first started, hits on my blog averaged about 35 or 40 hits a day…now I’m getting 125 to 150 a day!  I’m closing in on 25,600 hits, and 4100 comments for the year!  If you’re a “lurker”, don’t be shy…please leave me a comment…I promise to answer it!

The Community

I really had no idea that there were so many crazy talented writers out there when I started this project…smart, thoughtful, funny people who have taught me so much about good writing!  I have blogging buddies on five continents!  I’m sending all you guys a virtual brownie (I hope nobody’s allergic to cyber-sweetness!)…thanks for “getting me”!  In honour of my “blogiversary”, I have added several new people to my blogroll today (see “He Said”, “She Said”, and “They Said”).  Please take the time to check out their blogs: there’s nothing that makes me happier than hooking people up with great writers!  Many of these folks have been Freshly Pressed, and most are the recipients of multiple awards…Mama don’t allow no junk on her blogroll!

Take two...they're small...I made them just for you!

The Posts

If someone were being really nice, they would probably classify my blog as a “cornucopia” of topics.  Truthfully, I write what I feel like writing…several of my readers have commented that they never know what I’m going to write about next!  I like not being “predictable”…that equals “boring” for me!  Some days, I’m a “mommy blogger”, others I’m a “foodie”.  I write about gardening sometimes, and tell stories about the wild animals that share our land.  Other times, I’m an amateur historian, or relate stories of my own childhood.  I rant…a lot!  I talk about music, and books, and our bookstore.  I’ve dabbled in fiction.  I even took an action figure on a tour of our city!  Changing things up is how I like to roll!


Herding Cats in Hammond River has been Freshly Pressed twice by the powers that be at WordPress.  Thanks to the folks there for maintaining a quality blog site…there were a few technical issues last night, but they seem to have been resolved!  My fellow bloggers have been very generous about awards: They think my blog is “Bloody Brilliant”, “Versatile”, “Stylish” and “Memetastic”!  Thanks for the love, you guys!

The Family

I couldn’t do my blog without the love and support of my family…thanks for waiting patiently for dinner while I finish a post (or photograph what I cooked), and letting me make fun of you in public!  With you guys around, I’m sure I’ll never run out of things to write about!

Here’s to another year of Herding Cats in Hammond River!  Thank you, everybody!




Filed under blogging, friends, self-discovery

71 responses to “What a Difference a Year Makes!

  1. Congratulations, Wendy! It’s a wonderful blog, and I’m glad I found it. (I think you found mine first, but whatever.) Congratulations on your Freshly Presseds, too! It’s a good feeling when you realize complete strangers are reading your stuff — and like it!

  2. Congrats on your anniversary, Wendy! You’re a blogger with a lot of surprises up your content sleeves. I love that.

    So glad we happened upon each other in the blogosphere!

  3. Happy Anniversary! I’m so glad to be a part of your blogging world. I’ve been a bit of a lurker lately but I’ll be back soon (I love when your new posts pop into my email – I always read even if my comments have been sparse lately)! I love the “never know what to expect” element of your blog.


  4. Jim VanWart

    Congrats Sweetie on marking this milestone. I’m proud of you for sticking to it even if you got discouraged a time or two. It’s wonderful that you can practice your craft while meeting so many interesting and friendly people. I’m looking forward reading for years to come. It’s always nice to know what’s going on in our lives, incase I wasn’t paying attention 😉
    Love – Jim

  5. Big Hugs and Congratulations to you, dear Wendy! You are a great role model for folks like me who have only been doing this for 4 months. I value your advice, your insight, your humor that makes me die laughing!

    I’m proud to call you my friend and consider my spot on your blogroll a huge honor!

    We all love you, Wendy!

  6. Happy 365! I had no idea you’d “only” been blogging for a year (which I mean as the best of compliments).

    I too love how you cover a range of topics. As my kids grow up, I suspect my blog will evolve too. It’s nice to see lots of options.

    Glad I found you, and thanks for the Brownie. I can already feel the cyber-calories.


  7. I’m coming up on a year too and I’m so glad you found me. I have discovered many good bloggers through you and your links. You also set a standard for me, frequent posts, interesting posts and lots of replies to your comments. Standards, I have never met, I might add. Keep up the great blogging. PS: I’ll probably be blogging today because I don’t want to shovel anymore, we got 11 inches of snow overnight.

    • Yikes, Jeanne…I’m hoping we’ve seen the last of our snow! I’m really glad I found you too, and happy to have introduced you to my friends! I posted almost every day when I started, but that’s because I wasn’t following the 50+ blogs I do now! I always reply to my comments…I think it’s rude not to acknowledge someone who’s taken the time to read what I write! Thank you for your kind words, and be careful of your back! Wendy

  8. You were one of the nice surprises that I discovered along the way Wendy. I’m glad you’re here. The community is a neat thing. Strange how even in cyberspace we can connect with some and miss with others. Congrats on the FP recognition as well.
    And good brownies. Do you have any milk?

    • I’m glad you’re here too, Clay…it’s neat to find somebody who gets as excited about the “people” part of history as I do! You’ve also hooked me up with other folks I might not have run across otherwise! How do you feel about Lacteeze with your brownie? Sorry, but I can’t hold my milk…LOL! Wendy

  9. Margie

    Congratulations! Your success is motivational to invisible bloggers like myself. Freshly Pressed is something we do to turn oranges into juice or make coffee in the Bodum. 35 or 40 views in one day means Aunt Sadie has finally got someone to fix her computer! There is a whole ‘nother world out there, and your blog helps the rest of us map out our journey!

    • Thanks, Margie! Networking with other bloggers (by commenting on their blogs) has been a big part of my success on my own blog…if you don’t put yourself out there, nobody’s going to notice you! Being Freshly Pressed is a big deal when it happens, but it’s a lot like winning the lottery, and fame is fleeting! I’m coming over to check out your blog right now, because I always visit the people who visit me…I take my tea with one milk, two sugars… Wendy

  10. Jess Witkins

    Happy blogiversary! I can’t believe you’ve only been posting a year, you are such a pro! Thanks for coming along on my writing journey, I agree, it’s all about the readers, and you’ve got one in me! You hooked me with your bada** post about women inventors. Expect an appearance in my next edition of the Writer’s Bandwagon! lol. Happy writing!

    • Thank you, Jess for your very kind words…you’re no slouch yourself! You give me hope for the next generation of writers (speaking as someone of your parents’ generation!). I’m glad you found me! Wendy

  11. Wendy–
    congrats on your one-year anniversary!
    I am so happy we connected–I remember that day! 🙂
    And, I look forward to one day being able to meet–in person! Wouldn’t that be a HOOT?!
    Keep up the good work, lady!

  12. jacquelincangro

    Right back at ya, Wendy!
    So glad to have come across you on the blogosphere. Had no idea you’ve been Freshly Pressed. Twice! That makes you a bit of a celebrity in my book.

  13. The Hipster

    Happy anniversary (and many mo-o-o-o-re)! I feel like I should’ve sent flowers or a card or something.

    Your acknowledgment of Jane reminds me of my blogfriend Betty. She and I found Omawarisan from his first FP and started our blogs at about the same time. She’s just back from hiatus. Including her link in case you’d be interested in dropping by to encourage her. . . . http://bettysneighborhoodwatch.wordpress.com .

    Thanks for the brownie. Yum!

    • Thanks, my Musical Almost Twin – really glad I found you! I found Oma when he was FP’d for his IKEA post. I’ll check out Betty…I’ve certainly seen her around your place. Glad you enjoyed the brownie…no calories in cyber brownies! Wendy

  14. Congrats Wendy! Your work had at blogging and it certainy shows. Your posts are always entertaining. Never a dull moment!

  15. A year, wow. It seems like just yesterday that my daughter linked from my blog (because I was clueless about how to do anything) to “Hurting Cats in Hammond River when I spoke the name of your blog on the phone to her.” I am grateful that you don’t hurt cats, and I am grateful to have found you!

  16. Judy Smith

    Wendy, your Aunt Judy is proud of you too. I have enjoyed reading your blogs and especially ones about your growing up. I’m so thankful to be in touch and especially thrilled with the happiness that man named Jim has brought into your life. You deserve this peaceful happy time. Love ya, Aunt Judy

  17. Congratulations on the one year anniversary!!! I too am surprised that you’ve “only” been blogging for a year. My surprise is a credit to your talent and wit! Keep it up…I love reading all of your randomness and love learning when you go on your history tangents!

    And I 100% appreciate the fact that you take the time to read and reply to comments…it’s because of you that I now try to do the same on my site. (Plus it’s a lot easier since I have so few ;p )

    • Thanks, Melissa…your kind words mean a lot. I’m glad I could be an example to you when it comes to comments…it’s common courtesy as far as I’m concerned! It’s all part of the blogging process for me, and doesn’t take very long! Wendy

      Note: Edited because my earlier comments were directed to the “wrong” Melissa…sorry!

  18. Congratulations! And keep your interesting posts coming–always a pleasure!

  19. Congrats Wendy! I’ve loved reading your blog over the past year. I love that I never know what direction you will go with your posts. Looking forward to many more!

  20. Happy Blogoversary Wendy! Beautiful words, wonderful blog, well deserved! Enjoy the day! 🙂

  21. Happy blogoversary, Wendy! So happy to have found you and thanks a bunch for the brownies. They were delicious:) ♥ Diane

  22. Congratulations on completing your first year of blogging!

  23. Brownies!! Yum. Thank you. Would a glass of milk be to much trouble….mmmm. mmmm. Oh yes, of-course–I dropped by to say–Happy, Happy, Blog anniversary.Your blog is delightful…did you say have another brownie….believe I will…

    Great job!

    • Thank you for your kind words, Katybeth! You have taught me a lot about life and living it to the fullest! I also love your approach to parenting your son! I’m so glad we found each other!


  24. Wendy, I just discovered the comment you sent me hours ago regarding your She Said blogroll. What a wonderful honor! I’m pleased as punch. I’d love to reciprocate. Ok to add you to my blogroll? 🙂

  25. Oooh!! I’m late again….it’s the story of my Life right now…but it’s NEVER too late to wish a wonderful friend a Very Happy Blogiversary is it??!!!

    So Happy Happy Blogiversary to you Wendy 😀 I think this is the perfect time to say that as Jane Thank you for being one of my most consistent if not ‘the’ most consistent reader and for writing the way you do. This is the perfect time to tell you how much I enjoy your writing, no matter which hat you’re wearing 😀 They are all the perfect fit!!

    I am very very happy for you and for having found you!

    Happy Writing 😀

    Hugs, H.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Harsha! As I said in the post, “Mama don’t allow no junk”…if your blog wasn’t good, I wouldn’t take the time to read it! I’m so happy we found each other too…I’ve learned a lot about Indian culture from your posts, and I love your photos! Hugs, Wendy

  26. I would like to extend my heartiest wishes for your continued success…

    This is my first (but not last) visit to your blog……….Blog on!

    spread the humor: charlywlaker.wordpress.com

  27. Congratulations on this significant milestone, Wendy! You were the first person other than family to comment on my blog, and I can still remember how chuffed (thrilled!) I felt – you wrote such lovely comments, I felt like a million bucks!
    I really enjoy reading your blogs, and love your writing and travelling with you on your journey through whatever you write about. Great to connect with you, and I hope we can meet up one day in the “real” world!
    Hugs to you and thanks for the brownie (my favourite)
    Sunshine xx

    • Thank you for your kind words, Sunshine…I really think our meeting in the blogosphere was meant to be! I too hope to meet you in person some day! I have my ticket for the $43 million Lotto Max tomorrow night…”hold thumbs” for me! Hugs, Wendy

  28. I’m glad to have recently found you. Congratulations and keep the good stuff coming! I don’t know you very well but I like how your spread the love around our cyber world. You are most kind.

    • Thanks, Botut! I’m happy to have found you too! As I said in the post, the community is one of the most important parts of blogging for me…in the “real world”, it’s rare to run into other writers, and “regular people” aren’t that interested in what I do! Wendy

  29. Happy, happy Anniversary, Wendy! And may you have many more successful years of blogging up your sleeves. I’ve always loved your creativity and humor, but even more so, you’re a good person with a lot of heart and talent. All those ingredients add up to an excellent reading experience. Well done!

    • Thank you, lovely Maura…your kind words mean a lot coming from such a wonderful writer! Besides, isn’t it against the law to come from Ohio and not be “nice”? I’m so happy to have found you! Wendy

  30. Does the virtual brownie have nuts in it? I’m not supposed to have virtual nuts.

  31. Congratulations on reaching such a big milestone! I’m so glad we’ve connected through the blogging world, and look forward to reading even more of your witty and good-spirited posts!

  32. Happy anniversary! Oh, drat, I was going to try to be the first person to comment without an exclamation point, and it just shot out there willy-nilly. Well, I’ll soldier on, at the risk of seeming comparatively dour. It’s a great society out here, isn’t it? Thank you for the honor of a spot on your ‘roll.

    • My exclamation marks are pretty out of control, Murr! See? I think it’s one of my favourite punctuation marks! Ohh…can’t stop myself! I’m glad I found your hilarious blog! Wendy

  33. Congratulations, Wendy. Blogging really is a universe unto itself, isn’t it?

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