5 Years a Blogger! Happy Anniversary, Blog!

My blogging story: It all started with a cookbook I made for my daughter. After she left home and about the same time she started her family, I decided to put our family recipes into a book and bind it. It turns out my daughter didn’t use it much; she was more interested in getting recipes off the internet. She said my recipes were “too expensive.”

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A light bulb went off! My daughter had left with the basics of cooking skills (although she wasn’t very interested and picked up most of it on her own later) but didn’t know how to break down a recipe, sub out expensive ingredients, how to shop for groceries or “manage” food. I had many friends in the same boat who were starting to hurt with the recession, jobs losses and financial stresses.

On a later visit, my daughter shared her couponing skills with me (I use mostly fresh ingredients and had discounted how much of a difference it could make) and showed me a few sites that she used – just a minute or two on these “budget” blogs and I could see they had it all wrong! Kids helping kids! They didn’t have a clue, poor things – and many of them still don’t! (Although several have books, now. Go figure…they are obviously smarter than I gave them credit for!)

What if a Grandma who’d been budget shopping a good part of her life and had some experience at running a household could step in with a blog and use recipes to teach the art of shopping, managing and budgeting for food? Not to make “cheap” food, but to make really good food reasonably priced by shopping well, choosing ingredients wisely and shortcutting where it didn’t really matter?

It was bound to be a “hit” right? Well, maybe not, but I’m still slogging away! Funny, it turns out my daughter doesn’t read my blog, but others do, and that’s kept me going. Thank you, all of you, those who read my blog and commented and continue to do so despite my photography! It’s really become a important part of my life. When I got the WordPress notification that five years had passed, I was a bit shocked. Wow!

I started out slow, with a lot of struggles, a crappy camera and no photography, editing, or computer skills! But I knew how to cook and I knew how to shop. And I was just naive enough to toss it all together on a blog; I know I’m not alone in this, but I really had a long learning curve!

  • In 2010, I posted five times in three months and had 1, 564 visitors.
  • In 2011, I posted 43 times in four months and had 4,623 visitors.
  • In 2012, I posted 126 times, mostly February through June and had 14,103 visitors. Excited, I “came out” as a blogger. A trusted person was very negative. I was crushed and pretty much stopped.
  • In 2013, I posted 18 times in 5 months, and had 18,645 visitors. I kept trying to improve – I was running posts by this person who continued to bash me – but people were stopping by and that kept me going! Thanks guys!
  • In 2014, bolstered by those who read my blog and commented (and I thank you!) I decided this was about what I had to share, I wasn’t going to be discouraged because I don’t have “the best” blog or because I’m not a professional grade photographer, and I posted more. 140 times more. I and had a total of 127,919 views and a handful of very smart 🙂 followers.

That was thrilling for this Grandma that came from a town of about 3,000 people and choked when she had to give a speech in front of 50 people in 9th grade communications!

It’s thrilling because each view is a person taking a peek at my blog. It makes me aware that in some small way, I might make a difference in someone’s life. It might be a hint they’ve picked up, a recipe they’ve served their family, or new insights into shopping well. It might be just a chance to share back, communicate, agree or not! In the great grand scheme of the universe, it might be small, but in a small scope, it could be huge.

The favor, though, has been returned many times over, as it’s touched me back as well. I’ve learned to “own” this blog, just as it is, and to trust myself and those who have my back. I learned to disregard naysayers, or at the very least question their motives and use them as impetus to continue to grow. I also like to think I’ve made a few friends along the way!

I hope to be around for another five years! Maybe even with a better camera! And maybe I’ll redo these three favorite recipes yet again, just to compare!

🙂 Thank you, all, for keeping me going all this time! 🙂

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Oven Braised Pork – the first recipe I ever posted. I remade the recipe in honor of my blogging anniversary!

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Turkey or Chicken Noodle Soup – 2011. While the second photo is better, I think I could do much better, now.

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Scottish Oatcakes – what a makeover! In nearly a year, it had 88 views, with new photo, 1404 views in two months.