Weekly Photo Challenge: Circle 

And so we reach January 1 again … Another year come full circle.                             

 Saying goodbye to 2015. 

With one last look back at the holiday lights, wishing you a year ahead of good health, interesting experiences, and relationships that bring you joy.  Cheers to another year of blogging — and the virtual friendships that the blogosphere creates and fascinating doors it opens to wonders throughout the world.

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge. “Circle” is this week’s theme. Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here: Circle.

Ciao! ~ Kat

Happy Third Anniversary (to me)!

Three years ago this week, I took the leap and hit the “publish” button for the first time.  The blog “Travel. Garden. Eat.” entered the blogosphere.  Three years of blogging = 314 posts, 21,118 visitors, and 48,048 views.

As I begin year four of my blogging journey, it is interesting to look back on posts of interest — whether yours or mine.  Some have been shared far and wide, others that I hold dear because of the memories they evoke may have stayed closer to home – it’s all good.  When one first tentatively puts that post out for public consumption, whether the effort is viewed or “liked” holds more importance, but I think over time that becomes less and less a point of attention.  Instead, this blog continues to be my creative outlet, for words and images.

Versailles on a Rainy Day
Versailles on a Rainy Day

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

~ Anaïs Nin

The topics of traveling, gardening and eating merely serve as a base — life is rich and varied, and I think blogging often provides the opportunity to remind oneself that the little things in life are often the most rewarding.  A walk in the woods can be just as rejuvenating and eye-opening as a journey across the sea.  Our own backyards often yield just as much interest as the backyards of our neighbors far and near.

Beargrass in Glacier National Park
Beargrass in Glacier National Park

The most viewed posts over the past few years reflect that philosophy of interest near and far.  For the five months I blogged in 2012, the posts with the highest views were all in response to Weekly Photo Challenges — a great way to engage bloggers on a wide variety of topics, and  help inspire a little creative stretch from time to time!  The challenges of Big, Renewal, and Everyday Life generated the most traffic that first year.

Buona sera, Trastevere!
Buona sera, Trastevere!

In 2013, traveling and eating both were reflected in the most viewed posts:

Pre-wash rinse, courtesy of the cat

Moving on to 2014, one of the most popular posts for visitors was my visit to the Apostle Islands’ Ice Caves, “It’s Not Too Late for the Party: Day-Tripping to the Apostle Islands Ice Caves.”

Kat in the cold seat
Kat in the cold seat

And, finally, 2015 — a year not over yet, but one in which I finally returned to gardening in “Gardener’s Mecca in Minnesota: An Illustration of the ‘Why’” for the most viewed post this year-to-date.  Interestingly, one of my older posts, “Iceberg Lake Trail ~ Glacier National Park” also has been a popular post this year — it is a favorite travel memory, so always happy to revisit that one!

“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.”

~ Ansel Adams

Iceberg Lake Trail ~ Glacier National Park
Iceberg Lake Trail ~ Glacier National Park

Thank you to all who have followed along since the first year, as well as those who have joined more recently — all 989 of you (spammers and all — I don’t flatter myself to think that I have almost 1000 engaged followers, but I am grateful and amazed by how many truly interesting and engaging bloggers and readers I have met along the way!).  For a little celebratory fun, I updated the look of the blog, and welcome any feedback you have — Font hard to read? Like the layout? Miss the old look?  All comments welcome.

lakewalk kathy corbin 2 4_22_13

Thanks for reading – blog on!

Ciao! ~ Kat

Looking Back at the Year of Blogging in 2014

“The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.”  As WordPress bloggers we get this notification and a summary of our stats for the year, which I always find fun and interesting to review.  It is an opportune time to say “thank you” — thank you for joining me, as I continue on my journey through the blogosphere, sharing thoughts and images, and letting me enjoy yours.  Through your blogs, I have:

  • Traveled far and near
    • Madhu, your latest post on your African travels was truly amazing — I have vicariously traveled to the most exotic locales through The Urge to Wander!
    • Whether down the highway from me in Minnesota, or across the world, Nicole at thirdeyemom always inspires!
  • Enjoyed mouthwatering and savory fare
    • John, your recipes at From the Bartolini Kitchens are so much more, with priceless family history and stories preserved!
    • Great fun watching blogging friends grow in new directions with the publication of an e-cookbook (which I promptly purchased!), as it is filled with Indian-inspired dishes from one of the first blogs I discovered, Peri’s Spice Ladle.
  • Reflected on the beauty of talented photographers like Sriram Janak, blogging at Living with a Damaged Skull.
  • Enjoyed a cup of coffee with a kindred spirit (or so it seemed) as I read the latest from Kathy at Lake Superior Spirit.
  • Been reminded to open our hearts and homes to creatures in need, because our lives are richer for it ~ thank you, Ogee at Gardens for Goldens.

I could go on, as there are so many who I have failed to mention who have brightened my day, gave me something to ponder, or prompted me to hit the “share” button.  Thank you all.

Cheers to your health and happiness in the year to come, and raise your glass to another year of blogging!

Ciao! ~ Kat

Travel. Garden. Eat.’s Year in Review:

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Taking Time to Enjoy the Sunsets

 

The blog has been neglected, but summers are not meant for sitting in front of the computer screen.  Hope your summer has been full of the things summer is meant for:  soaking up the sunshine (although in Duluth, the first 1/3 of summer left us sorely sun-starved), digging in the dirt, playing in the sand, wandering along the trails, reading a good book, learning something new ….

Minnesota sunset

Posts may be a little less frequent over the next month or two, but patiently hang with me, and I will try to make time to stop by your blog, as well …. I always look forward to our conversations and visits.

Ciao! ~ Kat

30 Days, 30 Posts: Wrapping Up NaBloPoMo

Hmmm, this left me musing about my NaBloPoMo experience. I successfully created 30 posts in 30 days. Would I do it again? Not sure. Perhaps not at this stage of life, with a full-time job and two teen birds still in the nest! However, it was a great reminder to make time for blogging, which is such an enjoyable, creative outlet. And, it was also a good reminder that sometimes a “good enough” post is truly good enough.
How did your NaBloPoMo experience go?
Ciao! ~ Kat

The WordPress.com Blog

For many of you, November was a blur: a crazy, beautiful, writing-filled blur. We encouraged WordPress.com users to participate in BlogHer’s National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) and post something every day in November.

Participants had a lot of fun this month: we discovered great posts in the NaBloPoMo tag page and enjoyed pieces like A Sign of Life‘s “A Rose By Any Other Label,” in which E. talks about labels and being an INFJ, as well as posts on Stuphblog, like “The Trauma Doesn’t End When the Abuse Does,” which was honest and emotional.

We also loved the variety of content — any type of post qualified as a post, from single photos to inspirational quotes to longform essays. The blogger at How Anxious penned a month’s worth of poetry, while Gwen at Little Growing Pains published a mix of poignant writing with nicely crafted…

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