While hanging around my computer last weekend looking for something to do where it wouldn’t matter if I had a coughing fit, I met a new reader who introduced me to the One Little Word family — thanks, Merrick — and I have chosen RENEW for my 2012 word. There’s a lot about my life to renew, and this is the year to do it.
One of my goals for the year is to learn how to photograph intentionally rather than haphazardly, and I’m looking forward to help from my friends Ken and Kelly as well as darling husband on this path to renew my love of photography. I’m open to suggestions, if you want to chime in.
Since one of the rules of engagement if you really want to change something is to make a stand in public, I’m going to share with you the reason why I need help with photography. I have an eye, but no craft. These photos are proof of that.
I tried tomatoes.
I love my amaryllis blooming in the window by the Christmas tree. Could I get an artful photo? Not so much.
When I went to make the coffee later in the day, I saw the amaryllis with the light from the window shining through the petals and the green stem of the next one to bloom sticking its sturdy stalk up in the air. It was so beautiful that I thought I would try again. This one’s not bad, but I have no idea how I made this happen other than just catching the light at the right time of day.
These aren’t bad either, but they don’t tell the stories that go with them. They seem static to me, and the magnolia blossom’s not actually in focus.
Ali and Merrick both scrapbook their way through the One Little Word challenge. I’m probably not going to do that, although I do have masses of scrapbooking stuff in my closet. I am going to choose some renewable resources that lie dormant in me and blog about them throughout the year. Just writing this down has made me feel better today and I hope it’s stirred up some achievable goals for 2012 for you. I’d love to hear about them and please, don’t be afraid to comment on my photography. I can take constructive criticism… if it’s delivered with love. Just remember I’m still sick.
I have enjoyed being a part of the Mama Kat community in 2011, and for her final link-up this year, I’m writing about number 1. No, not that number 1. THIS Number 1.
1.) This year in blog posts…choose a favorite post from each month of 2011 and share.
My favorite post from January is one that I didn’t write; my sister-in-law wrote about wearing a tiara all day in public on her December 26 birthday. She’s a very good writer and I encourage you to take a look at her post once again. Thank you, Suzanne!
I love to read, and when I find a book that transports me or energizes me, I am quick to encourage others to read it too. Jan Karon’s romantic picture of a lengthy stay at a country inn encouraged me to book what turned out to be a dream vacation at Sissinghurst Castle Farmhouse.
In March, I wrote a post about the opera Carmen that I never published. I don’t know why; maybe I thought it was too personal and no one really cared about opera. Or maybe I saw Carmen in 3D so late that very few people would get a chance to see it. Whatever. I decided to post it anyway because I thought the whole process was interesting and the Blue Ray disc is now available on Amazon. If you are an opera buff or would like to try to be, I recommend that you keep your eyes peeled for Madama Butterfly in 3D at the local theater near you that streams the Met broadcasts live. Madama Butterfly 3D will be released in movie theaters in 2012.
Why I Still Watch American Idol was a fun exercise in seeing who would comment. After watching the whole season, I think the Randy/Steven/Jennifer panel was very successful and I plan to watch it again in 2012. But I’m confused. I was watching all the X-Factor commercials (but not the actual show) and and couldn’t help notice the hugging at the end of the shows. Did Simon get nice on the new show?
In celebration of the upcoming Father’s Day, I blogged about my up-and-down relationship with my dad. He wasn’t always easy to live with, but I miss him every day. This post was also linked up at Mama Kat and I thank you for reading it!
Finally, the teachers let the monkeys out and the administrators let the beleaguered teachers out. I was ready for some “teachers’ summer vacation” and some real vacation when I wrote The Tyranny of the Jean.
When we got back from vacation, I wrote about some backlogged experiences, including reading almost the entire Armistead Maupin body of work. I truly felt as though I had been living under a rock when many — and I mean a lot! — of my friends were astounded that I had never read his books.
In the midst of all the hubbub of the last days of school and beginning an exciting vacation in England, my mother passed away in June. We held her memorial service in August when all of the family could gather together and I blogged about her here.
I read at least two fabulous books in September and blogged about them here. Each has its own reason for reading it; are you intrigued?
In October I signed on to a 31 Days Challenge with The Nesting Place and wrote almost every day. I decided to do a travelogue of trips I have taken, but rarely got past our 2011 summer trip to Southeast England. My post about Vita Sackville-West’s ancestral home, Knole, got the most hits, but I would also like to share with you the glorious post written by my friend Michele about her trip to Ireland. Thank you, Michele. We were also blessed by a post from another dear friend, who took the time to write about her trip to Italy. Thank you, Kathy.
In November, I hit the jackpot again with friends from Mama Kat’s coming by to visit. My eight line post with photos was popular, as was my story about going to Burger Chef for our family night out. Given the bundle that I just spent for a fantastic family dinner in downtown Chicago, it makes me wonder which occasion meant more — or is it fair to make such comparisons?
I got all inspired by a catalog I received, and as I looked at the pages, I started writing blog posts in my head. Sick, right? It was actually fun and instead of being a bunch of posts about my boring life, it turned into 31 Days of essays about “things” and how they impact us. My huge hitter was the first day on December 1, but over the month of December I have continued to have many hits per day on most of the posts. Most popular, however, were the posts about the Radio City Rockettes and about the White House Christmas decorations. People seemed really interested in the fact that the Rockettes wear microphones in their tap shoes — I still get search engine hits on that every day!
My most frequently read post continues to be my book review of Frances Mayes’s Under the Tuscan Sun, which I wrote in June 2010, but got the most hits again in 2011. People also often read my 2011 Book List, which I am currently updating for 2011, but will link up anyway.
I want to give a big THANK YOU to Mama Kat. Without her Writer’s Workshop platform, a lot of my readers would never have found me. That being said, I really wish more of you would sign up for notifications or “like” me on Facebook. Just sayin’ — it’s all about the love in blogland. I look forward to seeing you again in a new year — who woulda thunk it would ever get to be 2012?