Monday, May 7, 2012

Reflections On Another A to Z

                                                                                    

                                                           
I was hoping to enter the challenge more prepared, but had only written through the letter "G."  I received a lot of encouraging feedback, and before I knew it, the first week had flown by. It was so easy to fall behind, which forced me to work overtime to catch up. Arlee Bird along with all of the co-hosts continually advised the participants to write all of their posts months ahead of time, so I had no one to blame but myself. However, this self-inflicted chaos combined with all of the friendly new followers, only added to the excitement of my second A to Z.

What made this year even more meaningful was that I had a larger support system going into the challenge. Special thanks to  AlAlex,  C. Lee,  DeloresJulie L.G.,  Nancy,  RosalindSusanTonja, and Yvonne.  These dedicated, and affable alphabet savants made a constant effort to make sense of my daily ramblings. We laughed, groaned, and soldiered on together.

In addition to my loyal supporters, I was also fortunate enough to meet a new group of faithful followers: Gossip Girl,  JenJessica,   Libby,   Lynn,  Michelle,   SusanneTracy,  Youmna, and Yvonne S.  I don't know how they found the time to drop in so often, but the camaraderie made the experience all the more worthwhile.

Even bloggers who weren't participating in A to Z caught the fever, and were kind enough to show their support. Carol,  Mary,  Robyn, and  Talli  were wonderful about cheering me on.

I would also like to thank Arlee Bird for organizing another eventful challenge, along with all of the co-hosts. As previously mentioned, co-host  Alex went out of his way to drop in, and miraculously grew more charming with sleep deprivation.  Stephen also made several visits, though I'm not sure if he thought that I was from another galaxy. Overall, I was thrilled to increase my followers, and I appreciate everyone who took the time to comment. I'm sorry if I missed anyone, as I just included the most frequent visitors.

 I'm so grateful that I was a part of another wildly successful A to Z that helped me stretch my boundaries. Though I often write about events in my family, I've never really written about my dad. He died almost 34 years ago, and I finally decided to share some of our experiences in "Yearning For Yesteryear" last Saturday. One week later, a dear family friend phoned my mom to tell her how much she enjoyed the story. Memories of my dad came flooding back to her, and she felt like we were all together again. This was my greatest A to Z achievement.



42 comments:

  1. It's always a pleasure to visit your blog challenge or no challenge. Thanks for the mention it was lovely of you.
    Yvonne.

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  2. As usual, Julie, you've made me laugh - this time it was the bit about Alex and the effects of sleep deprivation!! Thank you so much for the mention. It's always a pleasure to come and visit.

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  3. Congrats. I hope you'll take the challenge again next year.

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  4. Congrats on finishing the challenege, didn't find the cat untilt he end but it was still a fun trend.

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  5. I think we met during A-Z last year. I always look forward to your posts, year round. :)

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  6. Aw! Thanks so much for the shout-out, but I should be the one thanking you. Your posts are always a joy to read. :)

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  7. Thanks you for the good humor and kindness that you bring to Empty Nest Insider. It brings me a smile.

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  8. How wonderful, Julie! Glad this Challenge meant so much to you. And I guess I need to go without sleep more often, huh?

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  9. I thoroughly enjoyed the posts, how could i not visit all the time? Looking forward to continuing visiting now that the challenge is over :)

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  10. oh thanks so much for the shout out!!! i hope you do the challenge next year--i am already looking forward to it---i am so glad i met you!

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  11. Julie, I'm so glad that we connected... actually you were the FIRST commenter on my A-post... and thereafter, you popped in and left some great comments... and how on earth could I miss out on your whacky and wonderful posts?
    Thanks for the shout out!

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  12. Yvonne - It's always a pleasure to visit your blog too! Thanks so much Yvonne!

    Rosalind - You always crack me up too, and I really enjoyed your theme this year! Thanks Rosalind!

    Armchair Squid - It really flew by this year! Congrats to you too!

    Pat - I'm so glad that we met at the end! If we would have met sooner, you would definitely have been on my list! Congrats to you too, and thanks!

    Tonja - I feel the same way! Thanks Tonja!

    Talli - I always look forward to your posts too! Talli, we first met at last year's A to Z when you were a co-host, and you always went out of your way to visit me! Thanks Talli!

    Yvonne S. - I'm so glad that we met this year, and thanks for all of your support!

    Alex - We all know that you can still multi-task in your sleep! Thanks again Alex!

    Jen - I will continue to visit you too, and I also enjoyed reading your posts! You have so much inner strength that we can all learn a lot from. Thanks Jen!

    Lynn - I'm so glad that I met you too! It's too early for me to decide about next year, but I look forward to staying in touch! Thanks Lynn!

    Michelle - I'm so glad that we connected too! I also enjoyed visiting your theme of music, mystery and mayhem! Thanks so much Michelle! Julie

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  13. Aw, that's a sweet story about your dad. And thanks for the generous shout out, too. I always tuning into your posts.

    I, too, loved the challenge though I found quite a lot to complain about. But if there's some way to better organize the blogs, I might do it again next year.

    And thank you for coming by so often during the challenge! Your comments are always so appreciated!

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    1. Nancy, I always enjoy tuning into your blog too! Sorry the challenge didn't work out as well for you. I had a few mishaps along the way, but overall it was a great experience. Thanks for making me laugh with your "how do you do that?" comments! Julie

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  14. I've been a regular before, but have fallen behind lately...glad that you had a great time during the challenge!

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  15. Glad you had fun during the challenge, sorry I couldn't visit as often as possible but enjoyed the ones I was able to visit.

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  16. What a lovely gift to get at the end of A to Z...isn't it amazing who we find out is reading our blogs?

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  17. I can't believe it, but I had somehow managed to miss your "Y" post and your beautiful story about your Dad. I read it now and found it so touching, what a wonderful gift you received from your family friend. I can only imagine how much that must have meant to you.

    It was such fun going through another A-Z with you, Julie! Your posts are always among my favorites for any given letter.

    And about the Howard Johnson's, I am a Mad Men fan too. As soon as I saw the picture at the top of your Y post I thought of that episode before I even started reading!

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  18. Damyanti - Thanks for co-hosting the challenge, and I appreciate your visits!

    Rek - I also enjoyed visiting you, but I know that I didn't stop by as often as I would've liked. We all were so busy and overwhelmed! Thanks Rek!

    Delores - Her daughter actually sent it to her which was a nice surprise! Thanks again Delores!

    Julie - Hasn't this year been one of the best for Mad Men? Don't you love Sunday night TV?

    Thanks so much for taking more time out to read my "Y" post. That was probably the only one you missed. I also loved going through another A to Z with you, and especially enjoyed your ghost stories! Of course I also loved all of your food related stories too! Thanks so much Julie!

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  19. It was great to meet you too! Looking forward to more posts.

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  20. Just finding you through the A-Z challenge. how beautiful that you were drawn to write about your dad...I think the best of writing comes from the heart, those vulnerable places. I like you blog and am following so I can check back now and then :-)

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  21. Libby - I really enjoyed your "Tough Girl" theme, and can't until your book comes out in August! Thanks Libby!

    Mare - Thanks for the kind words and for following me! I look forward to getting to know you! Julie

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  22. I'm not surprised your mother's friend called after reading that post about your dad. I just went to read it, and I STILL have tears in my eyes. You did an incredible job with this challenge, (just like last year!)and I'm in awe of your ability to write such quality pieces off the cuff and get them posted in time. (Your computer must compute faster than mine does!)

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  23. You were more prepared than me. Well, for my yummy stuff blog I did have to have my recipes figured out so I could take pictures. However, a few days I forgot either to buy what I needed or just forgot to make it until that day got here.
    But, welcome to me- I stuck to my plan of not having a plan. It worked.
    I think you did great!
    Now, that the crazy is over I'll visit more often.

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  24. Susan - You did am amazing job too! I only mentioned the story about my dad, because I was glad that I finally wrote a mini tribute on this platform, and it was an added bonus that our dear family friend read it. I wish that I could write "off the cuff," but most stories take me several hours to compose. Thanks so much Susan!

    Ruth - I'll have to look for that one.
    It would probably take me a week to cook something, have it look edible enough to take pictures, and then load them on to my blog! You did a great job too, and I'll also try to visit more often! Julie

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  25. No, I did not think you were from another galaxy. My only regret was not to visit more often. Congrats! on finishing the Challenge!

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  26. I'm honored to be mentioned, Julie. Your posts were most impressive (as I've said). I saw a different side to your writing. I'm not sure how to categorize it, except to say it's an even more clever and poetic side. Sometimes the time crunch can serve us well. At least, it has in your case.

    That's a very touching final note, too.

    I hope you're enjoying some well-earned breathing time.

    xoRobyn

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  27. Stephen - You were always a good sport when you tuned in, no matter how unconventional the subject! Thanks for being such a wonderful co-host, and there is nothing to regret!

    Robyn - You always go above and beyond with your thoughtful comments! Thanks again for the kind words, and for everything you do! Julie

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  28. Hi Julie, lovely reflections post :-) It is odd how we struggle with writing about people we love who are now gone. I have had the same with my father, gone for 25 years. :-) Sweet that it worked out for you on the A to Z :-)

    I just put up a Kreativ Blogger award post. I chose you as one of my seven. The blog is at:

    http://dreamersloversandstarvoyagers.blogspot.com/2012/05/kreativ-blogger-award.html

    I hope it gets a few new visitors stopping by.

    And...that Stephen (Tremp) is a good guy, huh? :-)

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  29. Thanks for the shout out. It has been fun getting to know you.

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  30. I have just become a follower, I didn't get to visit during the challenge but it is nice to meet you now!

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  31. It was fun, wasn't it? You did so good! Thanks for the mention in this post. I got goosebumps when I read my name. That was very sweet.

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  32. Teresa - I'm sorry you also lost your dad at such a young age
    Thanks so much for the award and for the kind words! I agree that Stephen is a good guy! Thanks again, and I'm sorry I didn't see this yesterday.

    Jessica - It's been fun getting to know you too! Thanks Jessica!

    C.M. - Thanks for following me and I'll pop in over the weekend!

    Lee - You did a great job too, and I appreciate all of your support! Cute about goosebumps! Thanks again! Julie

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  33. Congratulation on finishing the challenge. I didn't visit all blogs during the challenge but, cross my heart, I'm visiting every single one with reflections post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Evalina, This and that...

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    1. Thanks for following me, and I hope to see more of you! Julie

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  34. Gosh, I'd completely fold under that kind of pressure to produce! Congratulations upon not only seeing it through, but in also tapping into fresh memories you'd long forgotten, along the way.

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    1. Shrinky, I think you would start getting the hang of it after the first few letters, and it really was a lot of fun. It was interesting when old memories became new again. Thanks for following me, and I look forward to getting to know you! Julie

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  35. I was done, as followers this blog.

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  36. Congratulations on your A to Z achievement. You had a great support team behind you.

    Thanks for sharing your Reflections with us.


    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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  37. How great that your blog instigated a family get-together, if only in cyberspace. I often wonder if our departed loved-ones are watching from on high. I like to think so. I love this, my first, challenge. I'm in for the road trip now.

    http://francene-wordstitcher.blogspot.com/

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  38. I missed you during the challenge but I am stopping by for the Road Trip. Nice to meet you!

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