Monday, May 5, 2014

Wrapping Up with A To Z Challenge

I made it all the way through April with the A to Z Challenge. I told you my story, in a poetry/prose style all my own, about my life caring for my husband who has end-stage Parkinson's disease. It was fun! It was sorrowful! It was therapeutic! I did not have as big of expectations this year. I knew that I would have a lot of hits on my blog during the month (3,056, isn't that crazy?) but I also knew that there would only be a few who stopped long enough to leave a comment( a total of 325 comments were made) which averages about 12.5 people per day who left a comment. I gained 12 new followers, which now puts me at 50. So I am pretty happy with the traffic part of the challenge. However, with that being said, that has never been my reason for doing the challenge. I do it for the fun of it and the challenge to keep me writing.



Now a few of the things that I find irritating about the challenge: some blogs still make it so hard to leave a comment. I either couldn't figure out how to leave a comment, I had to look too hard to find where the leave a comment spot was, or they are still using captcha which just makes it too much trouble when you are trying to leave a lot of comments in one day. Word Press and Blogger seems to fight each other. And I haven't yet really figured out how Google+ works.

Now I am going to share with you a few places I discovered as I made my way through some of the 2,015 bloggers who signed up for the challenge. I was number 186 on this sign up list. That blows my mind. I am going to put my list of places I discovered, and liked, into the A to Z Format. Please go visit them if you get a chance. Sometimes there will be more than one for that letter. 

A=I had an amazing time with Betty from A Bench With a View. She took us on a journey of wonderful pictures of where she walks her dog, Koda. And I found a new friend.

B=It was such a blast reading Bemuzin.Com where her A To Z theme was about objects; pennies, omelets, doors and notes. I have to go back and read some more. And leave more comments. I encourage you to visit her as well.

C=This young adult author took us on such a caring journey on her blog Crystal Collier where she wrote about true-life heroes. Such an inspiration. 

D=One delightful lady at Desert Canyon Living is Inger. Her theme was "Good things" and there were plenty to read about. Inger is from Sweden, now living in the mountains of California.

E=One of my energetic 'old' blogging friends is Elena at Elena's Lockets. Elena wrote about random things and I enjoyed each one of her posts. ( I don't mean old in years, I mean old as in was a blogging friend before the challenge).

F=I don't have a blog that starts with an F, but to me it always stands for funny and once again this year I found A Daft Scot's Lass to be a hoot. If you haven't read her A To Z Challenges, you must go there now.

G=I found a grand lady when I discovered Grammy's News. She wrote on a variety of topics. She is a brave lady who has suffered some pretty serious health problems and shared her wonderful family throughout the challenge.

H= 20/20 Hindsight wrote about Randomness and Tomfoolery. It was never a hassel for me to go see what her daily post would be.

I=I found many interesting blogs and I have to say that many I want to return and read more. There was just so little time. But I Just Have to Say is one of those blogs. 

J=This lady wrote in two blogs (one for the A To Z Challenge and one is a care-giving blog). Jamie Dement is her name. Reading her A To Z challenge was joyful for me. Write Backwards was her A to Z blog where she wrote about Reflecting the Positives in herself...and she wrote them on a mirror. It was so clever. He other blog is Caring for My Veteran which details the challenges of caring for her husband who left the military not the same man who entered. You must read their story.

K=A nice young person whose name is Kaushik writes at Words and Lines. His topic was about comments he has received. I hope most of them were kind.

L=I have two loving people who I want to mention here. One is Lisa Moles who writes at My Sweet Peanut. She is a caregiver to her mom who has Alzheimer's and she shared with us what she lives with each day. A very touching story indeed. The other is KT DID who blogs at Life's Ride in Between. She wrote some fascinating random things.

M=This fine blog, Musings from A Bookmammal, blogged about what else....bookish things. I enjoyed her challenge posts. Who doesn't love books. Most of us do.

N=One of those little blogs that I found later on and I will return to read every one of her nice, short and sweet posts is Net on the Net written by Jeanette.

O=Another blog that I discovered on the 'Blog with <100 followers list' is Obsessive Mom who wrote her A To Z posts about amazing authors. I haven't made it all the way through the list but since I, too, am obsessive, I know that I will.

P=Positive Letters...Inspirational Stories written by Hilary was one of my favorites this year. She wrote about (and posted pretty pictures) of the British Coast.

Q=I will admit that I just today found this blog from the <100 followers list. But I am going to go back and read her quiet, quaint posts about social justice. Because that is something that interests me...check out QueasyPeasy.

R=Once again I have two blogs here that I want to mention. One I followed last year, Random Thoughts From a Random Guy. He led us through his rousing playlist of his kind of music. I enjoyed it so much. My other R blog is Raising The Curtain where she wrote about The A to Z of Living Imperfectly. It was really good each and every day.

S=If you are interested in reading about Yummy Fruits from A to Z then head over to Sharon Himsl's Shells Tails and Sails blog to savor her posts. 

T=Now this was a fun and tantalizing blog! Thrift Shop Commando's theme was Frolic through Fashion and Flowers.She featured fashion pictures from a 1955 Speigel catalog which was so much fun.

U=Untethered Realms is a blog by numerous authors and their theme was about fantastical creatures. I have to admit while this isn't really my thing I am going back for a look around. I found this blog also on the <100 followers list. Unsettling!

V=VoiceURmind is a blog that likes to rhyme. I just found it today (again off the <100 followers list) so I have to go back and read it since rhyming was so Valuable to me.

W=I don't know what happened to my friend, Jen at We're Living a Full Life, but I am still going to mention her blog. She did some wonderful posts up until she stopped....oh Jen, I missed you!

X=Much like my own challenge finding a blog that started with an X proved to be a challenge. So here is where I will mention those of my blogging friends who came to visit me regularly even though they didn't do the challenge. Wendy at A Day in the Life, she is also a caregiver of a mother with Alzheimer's!
My friend, Elaine, My Next 20 Years, who was a caregiver for her aging mother for years. Another friend who visited me often was Myra at Respice, Prospice. I didn't see much of Cristy at My Own Personal Stage who was dealing with some real-life issues, but I will mention her anyway. And I always knew that my friend Allison from What if this is as Good as it Gets was lurking around too. 

Y=Another blog I just found today. I want to go back to visit. Her theme was to share her pictures from her last trip to Europe. Then at the end of each post she shared a list of places she has not visited listing them from A To Z. YIELDED a few. I want to make a map like she did and see how many states and places I have visited. Her blog is call Yes, Virginia, There is Life After Retirement.


Z=I have to admit that I can't come up with anything for Z. Except to thank all of you who stopped by for a visit. And especially, all of you who left me a comment. It made this whole zany adventure worthwhile, didn't it. I am sure that I will do it again next year. Won't you join us. Thank you so much to the whole A To Z Crew, especially Arlee Bird the founder of this whole crazy idea. See you next year!!

30 comments:

  1. Someday I should try the A-Z Challenge. I might need a break from a poem a day.

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    1. You should try it Kwiz.....I think you would be very good at it!

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  2. Thanks for the shout out, Paula, I'm glad you enjoyed our walks :) I too found it very frustrating with comments, like I mentioned, and after a few minutes of trying to figure it out, I would move on to another blog. I got to the point even before reading a blog's entry, I would check out how it was to leave a comment and if it looked complicated, I wouldn't even read the blog, but time was precious, so I tried to do the best with it as I could.

    I did enjoy the way you wrote about your care giving with your husband; like I said on at least one occasion, I think you should put it together as a pamphlet or some other form to help others know that their emotions in care giving are "normal" and that it is a hard job to be a care giver.

    betty

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    1. Thank you Betty for your comments. I feel like I have found a new friend.....

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  3. I like your detailed reflection post. I am going to check out some of your suggested bloggers. I think I am a participant in Google+ but I have no idea how it works.

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    1. Good deal Lyndagrace...I know you will find some good ones

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  4. What a terrific reflection post, the A to Z of the A to Z Challenge blogs! Thank you for sharing your story during April and for sharing the A to Z journey with me. I often wish that there was only one blogging platform so that commenting over the great WordPress/Blogger divide was easier. The Challenge is a great way to test blogging stamina and to just build up a blogging momentum. Finally, thank you for the shout out in this post, your feedback means a lot.

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    1. Thank you so much. It is too bad we can't figure out a way to make commenting easier, isn't it?

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  5. *hugs you* thank you for the feature. I never thought to include this in my reflections post. Must remember for next year! I will definitely have to keep coming back, if not to just read up on your lofe but to remind you to smile at least once a day! ♥

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    My A to Z
    Caring for my Veteran

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    1. I am happy I found you Jamie. I will be visiting you often as well. And thanks for the reminder. I am smiling right now...

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  6. Thanks for the shout out and for a couple of other blogs to follow. I enjoyed comparing music with you throughout the month.

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    1. I enjoyed it as well Jeff. And I really liked last years where your kids gave you the topics. Will you A to Z again next year?

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  7. So glad you did this post. I look forward to checking out some of the blogs you've mentioned. You were very diligent in reading lots of bloggers in the A-Z challenge!

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    1. That is what I most love about the challenge. Is getting to know others.

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  8. Thanks Paula, for including me even though I didn't join the challenge. You are a dear friend.

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    1. You supported me everyday Wendy and that means so much to me. You are a dear friend to me as well. I look forward to the day that we meet

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  9. Hi Paula, thank you for visiting QP otherwise I would not have found you. I think we do have 'something in common' and I'm sure we'll find out what as we journey together. I'll be adding you to my blogroll so I can keep in touch. And thank you for your kind words about my blog in your A - Z reflection :)

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    1. You are welcome Linda. I cannot wait to get to know you better

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  10. Thank you for the shout out! I enjoyed all of your posts.

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    1. Thank you Tami. Hope we meet up again

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  11. Dearest Paula, I for one am so glad to have found you on the A to Z. You are an amazing woman of strength, love, fun and sadness. I loved your A to Z posts and now you are going to blog every day in May too??!! Wow, with all you have going on. I read your about your toilet adventures above and hope you get a good and decent plumber to come. Thank you so much for mentioning me here. I will come back to this post and check out some of your new friends. I trust you know a good person when you meet up with one.

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    1. Thank you Inger. You were one of my angels during my A to Z journey

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  12. Thank you for the call out! I enjoyed your posts as well, although I know I didn't comment on each one. Congratulations on completing the challenge--I look forward to continuing to read your posts!

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    1. I was the same way. Sometimes there just wasn't time to comment on everyone's!

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  13. What a resourceful share! Just the other day, I was hoping to find some new, interesting blogs ... and here you've laid out a delicious buffet of links ... thank you, Paula!

    BTW, I laughed sooooo hard at your comment about "Dr. D" this morning ... almost had to go back and change my undies before leaving for work!

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    1. Ha! Ha! We have laughed a lot about it over the years but it sure was embarrassing at the time.

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  14. Thank you so much for mentioning me here.:)
    Here is a motivational rhyming lines for you.
    Your worries put them at bay
    You will win everyday
    Your better half
    Will become better day by day
    Your will
    Gonna make your worries
    Nil

    cheers!
    Upen
    Voiceurmind.wordpress.com

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    1. How sweet. However he won't get better. I will just get strongers

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  15. Hello there.
    Congratulations on completing the challenge! Thanks for sharing. I'm just stopping by briefly before the next A-Z Challenge begins. Visiting from the 2014 A-Z Road Trip.

    Entrepreneurial Goddess

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