Blogiversary1: Black and white image of me with my first birthday cake.

Happy Blogiversary!! My Top 10 Posts (according to you)

Happy Blogiversary to you! Happy Blogiversary to you! 

Because really, without you, this blog would only be a journal. 

April 7, 2017 was the birthday of my blog, On that day I rolled out the first post. Determined to be all official and everything, I even conducted a reader survey in which you assured me:

I could write anything I wanted. 

What a gift! That simple phrase allowed me to write posts about all kinds of things, including two crowd-sourced and research-rich “series” on the topics of:

Over the past year, I hope you had as much fun as me. And, I have to tell you:

I am so grateful for all the support you provided: the views, the thumbs-up, the hearts, the comments, the shares. Especially the shares.

When you share a link to my blog you get me in front of a whole new batch of people—your friends and family! That is so important when it comes to building a “platform.”

As a gesture of appreciation to you, I want to give you a present. And so, here is a list of my 10 best blog posts, according to you, from the last 12 months. To make it super exciting, I arranged them in countdown order.

The 10 Best Blog Posts of the Last Year

#10: I think this one made the list due to the “Calgon, Take Me Away” effect. People LOVE to hear about locales foreign and far. Or maybe it was the lovely audio clip at the end.

Scotland: A Whole New (Make that, Old) World

#9: The Ew! factor is probably what boosted this post into the top 10. That and maybe people wanting to hear a “dark secret.” Or maybe, like the inhabitants of Chez Tarantini, you had/have the unwanted houseguest problem too:/

Bedbugs 101 (aka: My Deepest, Darkest Secret—Well, One of Them)

#8: My guess is that a whole lot of you read this next post because at one point, maybe even now, you lived here in Best Virginia. And if that’s not the case, maybe what compelled you to read this post was the story of this history-making flood, told through the lens of real people.

Lessons from the Thousand-Year Flood

#7: Sooner or later, everyone will have aging parents. Even now a ton of you are dealing with this topic which is probably why the post resonated with so many folks.

The Mother Who Cried Wolf (Or, How We Convinced Mom It Was Time for Assisted Living)

#6: Current events often make timely blog posts. That’s why when the whole #MeToo situation exploded, I decided to add my voice to the chorus. Sensitive to this topic, I’ve recently seen a shift in folks’ perspective. Regarding this issue, many used to scold, “Too much information!” But now the many are being drowned out by the more who are whispering: “Tell me your story. So I know I’m not alone.”

#Me Too: In Response to the Harvey Weinstein Situation

#5: Maybe, just maybe, this post got a whole lot of views due to good writing. I always strive to write well, but I took extra care with this piece, my first real effort at a “braided essay.” Quiz: Can you tell me what the three “strands” were?

Christmas, My Way (Aka: Mothers and Daughters-in-law: The Most Conflicted Relationship of All)

#4. The whole Harvey Weinstein thing didn’t break until October of 2017 so I’m guessing the word “sex” in the headline of this next post may have been what  “grabbed” your attention.

Understanding Sexual Abuse: “Why Didn’t You Tell Someone?” and Other Questions NOT to Ask

#3: I’m chalking the popularity of post #3 up to “current event syndrome.” The first in a two-part series, this post got a ton of attention due to the dreadful school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day 2018.

16 Out-of-the-Box Ideas to Decrease School Shootings (Because doing something, anything, is better than nothing.)

Note: I was surprised that the follow-up post on school shootings did not garner as many views. I actually thought it better than the first post, plus it included my very favorite solution to the problem of school shootings. Just this week, I added a super component at the  end of the post. You can check it out here.

#2: This topic rated high in my reader survey. And man, did my thoughts on this issue get the shares. Before my share counter went down (I’m still trying to figure out why.), this post boasted over 200 shares. The piece details how and why I gave up grain and the multiple benefits that ensued. For the record, I’m still living this lifestyle. Because it’s awesome!

Breaking (Up with) Bread: Why I Go Against the Grain

#1 In my opinion, the formula for the success of my #1 post was: Hot Topic + Good Writing. This piece was shared even more than the Breaking Up with Bread post.

How to Have the Birds-and-Bees Talk with Your Kid(s)

I hope you enjoyed this re-cap of a year in the life of my blog. Be looking for a brand new reader survey. I’ll be sending it out to my email list and attaching it to the bottom of a few upcoming blog posts. I hope you’ll be a dear and take the survey!

Thanks again for showing up here each week to read and share my posts. I appreciate it so much.

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