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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Ten Years of Living Out Loud

Ten years ago today I hit "publish" on my first blog post. And that deserves a celebration -- and a giveaway!


Who knew that ten years later and more than 1,400 publish posts, I would still be typing away on my keyboard, uploading photos and sharing with friends I've never met. (Well, most of you, anyway!)

As you know, when we change our templates, the whole blog changes. Way back when I truly can't remember what it looked like. I know it had a very plain banner (like, probably NO banner!) and no photos. Everything was single spaced and the template was narrow, the photos, when added, were small. As I look back on these older posts I realize how far I have come in the past ten years!

This was the photo on my original blog banner, or original once I figured out how to make one! If you look at the current one you can see it in the background, behind Lizzie, on my computer screen. It's my own, still loved, Marmelade Gypsy.

Some of those who commented in those early days still have blogs and I still follow them. Others have stopped blogging but we connect on Facebook. (Below, Becca and Anne; Joanne. I wish Anne and Joanne would start to blog again but check out Becca's link!)

                    

Still others have become "in person" friends. And over the years, many new friends have come to this space and I to theirs. I have stayed at your homes and welcomed you to mine, eaten at your tables and dined at restaurants together in a cheerful cacophony of non-stop catch-up. And it has all been good. (Below: Mae and I periodically connect in Ann Arbor; Rosemary commented on my very first post!; and Diana, Kerry and I enjoyed a meet-up in Chicago. I miss them!)

              

When I was growing up my dad was immersed in ham radio. It was a hobby he began as a teen (his high school yearbook has a photo of him with the "radio club"). It served him well during World War II when he was a communications specialist for the army in India. I remember sitting on his lap down in the ham room (our basement), typing "hi" to strangers across the world before I could even spell my name and would revel in the postcards he received from those with whom he made "contact." I still have many of them; I can't bear to let them go.


In later years when this very sociable, outgoing fellow could no longer easily get out and be among people as often as he liked, the ham radio became a lifeline for him. His buddies would help him rig up antennas out apartment room windows. (The antenna was always a big thing in our life. In these pre-cable days I continually lived with wires going in and out of windows and up the sides of houses to hook up an antenna!)


My dad died before the era of the blog came into being. Personal computers were just beginning to enter the marketplace and I'm the internet as we know it wasn't even up and going in the late 80s. There isn't a moment that I write a blog post or look up some odd fact on google that I don't think of my dad and imagine how he would have loved to check in on so many things that would interest him. And yes, he would make friends, real and virtual, as well.

To you, I say thank you. To the old timers, thanks for sticking with me through bad layouts, poorer photos, and so many stories. To the new friends, thank you for finding me in this overcrowded superhighway of blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and all the other distractions.


Thank you for laughing at my foibles, giving me love and support during times of sadness, grief and concern; for inspiring me each and every day with your own blogs that run the gamut from humor to deeply thought out pieces worthy of a far larger audience, from recipes and home decorating ideas to art tips and art work that motivates me to work harder; for showing me parts of the world I'll probably never experience first hand and for reminding me again that our world is filled with wonderful and talented, kind people.

I didn't think I knew what my blog would be about when I first started, apart from a spot to share art with my ATC group. But in a feeble attempt to make a mission or intent statement, I came up with these words, which I haven't looked at since I did that first post:

So, what's this blog going to be about? In no particular order, a place to post my art and share with my online art buddies, a spot to talk cooking and entertaining -- which of course means sharing recipes and other yummy things -- and of course, a spot to share bits and piece of my life -- family, friends, work, and all that other cool stuff!
I may think The Marmelade Gypsy has evolved over time. But that might be giving myself too much credit. As I see it, I'm right where I said I would be ten years ago. And I am so grateful you have come along for the ride.


Now, to celebrate, I am doing a giveaway. And yes, it's December and we're all going a little daffy so the cut off date to enter (once) is December 25, Christmas Day and hopefully (if I can get dinner to come out at the same time, presents under control and have half a clue how many people are coming for dinner) I'll draw a name that day (or the next!) NOTE: Drawing extended to December 26 because I KNOW I won't be able to pull this off on Christmas, and besides, we're up to our eyeballs in Christmas and holiday stuff and probably not checking blogs much till after!)

I am aiming for three prizes but I haven't figured out what they are yet! Just leave a comment on THIS POST to enter. And yes, international friends too! Just make sure that if you are a no-reply blogger you include your email address on your comment so I can reach you directly if you win. If you are uncomfortable about putting it in the comment, email me to share it. And if you are an "anonymous" blogger, please leave your name and contact info.


Thank you and good luck! Onward to another year! (And on another note, my post about Surviving the Holidays during grief and loss is now at Modern Creative Life. Feel free to share it with others who might be having a challenging season this year.)

50 comments:

Mary Rose's said...

OOoh, 1st!
Happy 10th anniversary, Jeanie, the Gypsy (rest his soul), Lizzie and all!

I am sending you a screen grab from the WaybackMachine.org, which is an Internet archive. It's not your 1st post, but it is from 2011. A curiosity.

Viva, Marmelade Gypsy, one of my fave blogs and certainly one of the longest running.

XOXOX - Maryanne

Lesley UK said...

I love your blog because I share your love of cats. Thank you for having a giveaway. I hope you and your family have a really wonderful Christmas and that the New Year will bring you renewed good health. Blessings.
technoturt@yahoo.com

Marilyn Miller said...

Happy Anniversary, dear friend. So happy we met up through Relyn. You are at the top of my list. I have loved sharing our cat stories, seeing your art and adventures with it, even Cork Poppers has been fun, then of course seeing your family grow. How very special. Wishing I could nibble on some of Rick's bread and listen to him strum on his guitar. Then walking with you at the ditch or sit by your lake, oh I would love that too. Enjoy your Christmas serving for your dear ones. So glad you are living out loud and sharing with us.

Valerie-Jael said...

Congrats on ten years. I'm happy to have met you via our blogs. We change and grow as time passes, we learn and make progress. Here's to the next 10 years and lots of happy contact in between! Hugs, Valerie

Joanne Huffman said...

Happy Anniversary! I always enjoy your posts. I, also, sporadically think of taking up blogging again because you do such a good job.

Mae Travels said...

Hi Jeanie,
I'm thrilled to make the list of your blogger friends, and hope we will get together again in person during 2018. Your 10 years of blogging are really a big success, though I can't remember when we first made contact through our blogs (I started blogging in 2006, so it could be any time you were already "here"). I love your views of family, friends, enjoying food and wine, and decorating your house for every celebration! I wish you many more years of happy sharing.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Maggie said...

Congratulations on your 10th blogaversary! Despite our best efforts you and I are virtual friends still, but I haven't given up I know I'll see you here in Normandy one day!
Merry Christmas, dear friend.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Congratulations on 10 years of blogging! My only regret is it took me a long time to find your blog. I'm just so thankful for your sweet spirit, your willingness to share and uplifting comments on my blog. We have all come a long way with our blogs I think and like you I never imagined the friends I'd make, the places I go and things I would learn. Here's to 10 more!! Hugs!

Beth M. said...

10 years?!?!? That’s so incredible!!!! Sweet Gypsy was such a perfect namesake for this creative, friend-making space. I always enjoy coming here—to read & learn & laugh & reflect. Here’s to many more years of “Gypsy” fun!!

Katie Clooney said...

Congrats Jeanie on your big anniversary!! I am so happy for having the opportunity to get to know you through blogging. I hope to meet you in person some day! Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy, healthy new year.

My name is Erika. said...

Congrats on 10 years of blogging Jeanie. And congrats and meeting so many blog friends. I am impressed. Blogging does let you make so many fantastic connections, and reach out when you can't always get out. I never thought of comparing it to the ham radio, but how true. Thanks for sharing such another uplifting post. I am always happy after reading them. Hugs-Erika

Carola Bartz said...

I am still a rather new reader to your blog (I think I found you this year?) and I enjoy your posts so much. This look back to the beginnings of your blog was wonderful to read, and I love the snippets of your dad. It seems you share a passion here.
I haven't written my blog as you have written yours, but I have experienced the same joys. I was also lucky to meet some blogging friends in person, and feel very close to some I never met. It's a wonderful way to connect with people from different places.
Thank you for being there! On to the next 10 years in the Blogosphere.

bassgirl said...

Frequent reader, but rarely comment. Congrats on your anniversary. A lot has happened over these 10 years. Here's to many more!

NancyK

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

Happy 10th blog anniversary! I am happy to have found your blog, I always enjoy your post and photos. I am a newer follower I will go back and check out some of your older post. I love blogging, it is a fun way to meet new people from around the world. I hope to see many more post from you. Thanks for sharing, enjoy your day and the rest of the week.

Lisbeth Ekelof said...

Dear Marmelade Gypsy, Happy Anniversary! Wow, ten years, a long time and as we say in Swedish; "a lot of water has flown under the bridges" in this time. I always enjoy reading your posts and I find you a very positive person, which adds to the pleasure.
Good luck for another blogging year and hopefully, another ten years to go!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Wow, 10 years! Happy anniversary! That is such an accomplishment! I started my Paris blog during the summer of 2008 and then started Lisa's Yarns when I got back from that trip, so I will hit 10 years next year! I know some people in my life think blogging and 'living outloud' is a little weird but it sure has enriched my life in many ways. I'm so thankful for my friendship with you and hope that I can hug you in person in January when you are in Minneapolis! Fingers crossed that works out!! And I've made so many other great friends through blogging. I actually had more friends that I made through blogging at my wedding than friends that I made at college - and that really says a lot!

I'm glad you keep coming back to this space. Your posts are so well-written and thoughtful and full of beautiful photos! My style of blogging has changed over the years, especially since I started to seriously date Phil as it's no longer 'my story' but 'our story' and I try to respect his need for privacy. But there were lots of raw posts in the earlier years when I was dating and especially during my move to Charlotte. Sometimes I miss being more 'raw and exposed' but I try to be as honest about what I am going through as I can be. But in general, my life doesn't warrant as many of those 'raw' posts anymore - which is a great thing, of course!! :)

Here's to another 10 years! And PS - I loved your Christmas card!!!

Joyful said...

Congratulations on 10 years my friend! That is a great achievement. I don't know anyone else who has blogged for that long (or at least they haven't told me). I think I've been on line slightly less time than that. I'm so glad I've found your blog along the way though relatively recently in your blogging life.

I love this post and the memories you've shared of your father's hobby. I think you've taken after him in a big way, just a different medium for connecting with people far away :-)

Enjoy your next week and the frenzy that comes, lol. Merry Christmas.

Regine Karpel said...

Much love.
reginekarpel@gmail.com

Quiltmoose - Dagmar said...

Happy 10th anniversary, dear Jeanie! Your blog always has been a source of inspiration too me.
But often I am also a bit overwhelmed by your always excellent formulated posts, many things that hit the nail on the head or make me think. Then I have the feeling that I cannot reply adequately and therefore write nothing. However your postings have always touched me. You are a great writer and photographer!
On the other hand you have always been one of the most loyal commentators on my blog, and I am very grateful for that.
Thank you for being my blogging friend! Perhaps one day we can meet in person! That would be wonderful!
Looking forward to many more years reading your blog posts!
Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Dagmar

The Artful Diva said...

10years of blogging - that’s amazing. I've enjoyed following along with you, Jeanie. Happy New Year!!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It's been a joy to get to know you this year! Someone sent me over here because they noticed we read a lot of the same books. It's great to find someone you have so much in common with. So here's to another year of 'happy blogging'! Merry Christmas dear friend! Holiday hugs, Diane

Regina said...

I just want to wish you a happy blogaversary! I saw it was your 10th year blogging. That's an awesome milestone. I'm not entering the drawing because it wouldn't be fair to your regular readers. Have a blessed Christmas!

Pam Jackson said...

Congrats to your 10 yrs! I think I started in 2009 so I am coming up on that 10 yrs! A lot of things can change over that period of 10 yrs. Sitting here thinking back on my last 10 yrs...wow, what changes came my way. So glad I found you in BLOGLAND!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Happy 10th anniversary, Jeanie. Although I started in 2005, I didn't get serious about blogging for the next two years. I also remember when photos were small, when there were fewer options for icons, and when Blogspot was owned by Blogger, NOT Google. Lots of fun memories in this post. So glad we met in Blogland, and had to let you know you have been such a great inspiration to me.

I had to laugh when you mentioned Google searches. You KNOW they track your searches, right? I would NEVER use Google to do an internet search. But that's me being paranoid, I guess, since I do a LOT of internet searches to find the kind of info I need.

Again, happy 10th, dear.

Barbara Fisher said...

Oh my goodness Jeannie you had me in tears talking about your dad. My dear dad also died before the Internet became a reality, and I often wonder what he would have made of it. I can feel the love for your dad in your words and really wish I could express myself half as well as you do. I’m a new visitor to your blog, but I already think of you as a friend. Congratulations on your ten years and may you continue to blog for many years to come. Have a wonderful Christmas xx

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

That's a lovely post, Jeanie; your dad sounds like a fabulous guy. And TEN YEARS! Gosh! Well, huge congratulations - as my daughter would say, that's awesome; truly!

Tracy said...

HAPPY 10TH BLOGIVERSARY, Jeanie! BIG congrats. I would say you hold very true to your values of blogging, and what you share here--which is about all that life, and living... and living it well every day and in all stages. It has been such a great blessing to know you for some many years now, my friend. And I so hope we'll get to meet for real one of these days! You share so much here that inspires me in so many ways, and I'm so thankful for all that is you--every special bit about you! It is always like being at a grand feast here--a moveable feast as you share about so many thing. And it is a special blessing how richly you share of your experiences, your family, your friends, your art. I feel I strive to become better in those areas--experience, family, friends, art, etc--because of you. THANK YOU!! And thank you for the fun of the giveaway--so generous... but that's YOU! :) ((LOVE & BIG HUGS)) P.S. VERY fun to have a backward glance at your very first posts... and how it all began...

Eilis@MyHeartLivesHere said...

What a wonderful anniversary to celebrate and how interesting that your dad had a similar interest. Please keep the great posts coming. Merry Christmas!

La Table De Nana said...

LOL this is so you..there will be 3 things and I don't know what they are.. the giveaway ends Dec 24th..

etc..

all part of of your charm.
Happy I found you..
HappyAnni.
Happy Christmas.

We started about the same time..Love the pics of your dad so much.

Pam Richardson said...

Congrats on 10 years of blogging, Jeanie! I am so glad I discovered your beautiful blog in this big old blogland! You are so gifted in writing and you are artistic and creative...a breath of fresh air! I am honored to call you my blogging friend! Wishing you many more years of creating and writing!

Sharon in Las Cruces NM said...

congrats on your achievement. love the posting about your Dad. What a talented writer YOU are. never know if you will get this or not
Sharon sgaskill55@gmail.com

Sandra Cox said...

Happy Anniversary, Jeanie.
It's been a joy reading your posts and getting to know you.
Let me know when you're coming in for your next NC visit:)

Barbara Windle said...

Ten years is quite an accomplishment, Jeanie. I am happy to be one of your new friends and I am so glad you found me in blog land. Happy anniversary!!

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

Congrats on your ten years! We must have started just around the same time!

I did, indeed, miss this post - but found it thanks to your beautiful Solstice post and reminder. Loved reading about your father - and the shot of him leaning back and 'hamming' it up is marvelous!

A giveaway?! Oh, my! And from a true kindred gypsy hippy spirit! What a terrific opportunity to win something special! Thanks for the chance!

Joyce F said...

Happy blogging anniversary. I have subscribed and been enjoying your posts for some time. Is your give away open to those of us who do not have a blog but like to read them and sometimes comment? joycenlarry1963atYahoo.com

Sami said...

Congratulations on your 10th blogging anniversary. I've just found it via Elizabeth's Altered Book Lover.
I loved the story about your Dad and your cats and I'm sure you miss them all lots and lots.
I have three 10 year old cats, and my Fluffy looks a lot like Marmelade Gypsy.
May you be around in another 10 years!

Jeanne Washburn said...

Happy Anniversary Jeanie...I love your blog and I try to not miss a posting. Love your upbeat, positive, warm style. Merry Christmas to you and your family! Here's to a wonderful New Year filled with good health and happiness. Jeanne at Doodle T. doodletllc@yahoo.com :)

Carolyn Marnon said...

Jeanie-you have one of my favorite blogs. I feel like if we were ever to meet, I could connect with you on so many things. Thank you for sharing your life!
carolynmarnon1@gmail.com

Polly said...

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary. This is a very interesting post. I like the story about your father and the photos.

Bella said...

Jeanie, I am so glad I found you. Your blog is one of my favorites. It always cheers me up, and I often read it in the middle of the night when the rest of the world is asleep. It has helped me through the night more than once. No matter what goes on in this crazy world, I know that Jeanie will show me something beautiful, and make me smile. Your heart comes right through my monitor. Congratulations on ten fantastic years. May there be many more.

The Sketchy Reader said...

Congratulations on ten years. That's quite an accomplishment! Also, thanks for hosting a giveaway, too. I think it's fun that you haven't announced the prizes yet, but knowing you I bet they'll be fun!

We're leaving for the islands in a few hours, so Merry Christmas!

xo,
Ricki Jill

Kitty said...

It's hard to believe that it has been 10 years! Congratulations. I love each of your blogs, the memories, the hopes, the joys, the thoughts, the everything. And your music - my favorite The King's College Choir. A boy choir has a quality that can't be found anywhere else. You know, of course, that Rick sang in one at Trinity in Toledo. More memories! Love.

Lynne said...

Happy Tenth Jeanie . . .
Loved seeing your dad in his young ham radio days . . .
He had a happy, warm, attractive face . . .
I can tell I would have liked him . . .
Wonder how I know that . . .

I think you must be bit like him . . .
Warm, engaging, full of love and zest . . .
I can tell I like you . . .
Happy Christmas Jeanie . . .

Olka said...

Nice statistics! Happy anniversary!
I hope you'll stay here for long, I really like your blog.

I have been a blogger also for long time, I think 11 years from now (I would have to count it). But I had different address before (I was in primary school haha) and I don't share the whole archive. I had to make a private blog for some time, because I had a stalker... :(

Sylvia said...

Jeanie, I have been spending time with family. Thanks for visiting and the note about the give away. I love your sharing and wonderfully positive blog. I see how your relationship with your husband and family is your focus. 10 years is amazing but time marches on and consistency makes it into over 1000 posts! Congratulations. Sylvia D.

Regina said...

Thank you Jeanie for visiting my blog and sure i will enter the drawing. Have a Merry Christmas.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Happy 10th blogiversary, Jeanie! I'll reach my 8th in February, and I can't believe it's been that long; but since I post just once a week, at the 10-year mark, I'll only have 520 posts. I had no idea when I started that I'd be doing it for so long; did you? Love the photo of your father in his ham "shack." Those postcards were called QSL cards. (I learned the ham vocabulary from my husband who was into that.)

Katie Mansfield said...

Congratulations. I'm six years in. I sometimes think about quitting and then I just have something to "say". Congrats. I love the story about your dad.

Jenny Woolf said...

Congratulations, Jeanie! I haven't been following you since the beginning - in fact, I'm not sure when I began my own blog but I'd lay a bet I haven't been going that long. It's always a pleasure to read what you have been up to and your warm and compassionate personality comes over really well. Your dad has such a likeable face. I'm not surprised he made many friends. I think my mother would have liked the internet, but she was just a little too old to learn about it when I first tried to introduce her to it. Oh, and I happened to link to your post about those who are not finding Christmas so much fun. I thought it was a very thoughtful and helpful piece. Enjoy your Christmas!

carol@The Red Painted Cottage said...

Jeanie, Congratulations on 10 years of blogging! I didn't even know what a blog was 10 years ago. I think I've been blogging almost 7 years this coming June. We HAVE GOT TO MEET UP, sometime after the snow quits flying. I've met a number of bloggers in person and even one gal from Australia when she came to the States. I ended up taking her to Grand Haven where we walked the pier, went to dinner and then watched the sunset. Anyways, congrats again! Oh, and have a very joyous Christmas with your family!

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