Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thankful Thursday: The Blogger Recognition Award

Through the years Cody and I have been blessed to receive a number of blogging awards from our peers, we are also blessed that some of them we have received numerous times. As a result, (and due to my laziness), I had pretty much stopped blogging about many of them, but have ALWAYS thanked whomever was kind enough to think of us.

That being said, back on August 9th, we received an award from our friends at Eastside Cats that we hadn't received. It is the:

Cody and I are DEEPLY HONORED and are touched to have received this and we thank our friends at Eastside Cats, from the bottom of our furry and non-furry hearts.

As is the case with all of the blogger awards there are certain "rules" that are listed:



-Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.---Check!
-Write a post to show your award.---Check!!
-Give a brief story of how your blog started---see below and sorry, since we have new readers over the years it isn't "brief!!"
-Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers----see below -Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to--I decided long ago that I would NOT do that. Why? Inevitably someone's feelings will be hurt. Let me put it this way, if we are commenting on your blogs (even just once a month), we LOVE YOU. If we didn't we wouldn't follow, that's how we roll. Sometimes due to life "happening", we can't comment as often as we would like to, but if you hear from us AT ALL, we LOVE YOU. ALL OF YOU are worthy of this award and by all means GRAB IT!!
-Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post that you created.--since we aren't nominating 15 specific blogs we are passing on this.

HOW OUR BLOG STARTED
(I used excerpts from a post I did on January 9th, 2014 where I was celebrating our 1000th post.)

Flashback to 2001: I resigned from an advertising position I had with The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio for 21 and a half years to take a leap of faith. I moved to Michigan to be with my now husband.

NINE JOBS LATER I lost my last job in 2007 due to downsizing. Four months after that, I lost my 18 yr old "Soul Kitty" Bobo, (who this blog is dedicated to, along with my precious Cody).

"Bobo" Portrait done by Becky Sorrentino Studio

I am not a person who is normally prone to depression, but believe me when I say that from 2007 until Fall of 2009, the entire world seemed dark. I felt as if I had no purpose, it would be an understatement to say that I felt that life was bleak.

Enter Glenn Gilbert. Long story short, after I attended a meeting where one of our local newspapers,  The Oakland Press was seeking Citizen Journalists,(thanks to my husband for seeing the original ad), Glenn contacted me to come in and meet with him.
Glenn Gilbert, executive editor of The Oakland Press in Pontiac, Mich., and group editor for 21st Century Media’s Michigan Cluster, is retired Jan. 3, 2014, after 45 years in journalism. (Photo by Tim Thompson/Oakland Press)

What I didn't know until my meeting with Glenn, was that he had   lived in Ohio for 14 years and knew of the stellar reputation that my former newspaper had, (at that time they were the 14th largest in the country), he also was familiar with my father's editorial cartoons.

We discussed the Citizen Journalist position and I told him that while I would be happy to do it, I just didn't feel that I was a good fit. I'm loud, quirky, creative, nuts, and sitting in boring City Council meetings just wasn't my cup of catnip tea.
I mean seriously,
THIS WOMAN
as a CITIZEN JOURNALIST????
NOOOOO WAY!!!!!

 I had recently seen the movie "Julie and Julia" and after having heard that The Oakland Press had recently begun featuring blogs on their website, I asked "How about a blog?" Glenn told me to go home and email him some ideas. I sent three, Cat Chat With Caren and Cody was the first on the list. (At that time the name of the blog was "Cat Chat", until Martha Stewart grabbed the name and copyrighted it!) He agreed, I started the blog in October of 2009 knowing NOTHING (and I mean NOTHING) about uploading anything, let alone writing a blog. The Oakland Press paid for my link at the time (long time readers know my old link was http://opcatchat.blogspot.com or something like that, can't remember the rest! I didn't purchase my own link until a few years ago.)

Soon after I began blogging I found BlogPaws where I feasted on a banquet of information designed to help me learn how to become, and BE a better blogger. Had I never found BlogPaws in 2009, (ironically I found them virtually at the same time THEY STARTED),  I would never have learned how to blog and all that goes with it. Also, I have been blessed to have been afforded various opportunities, from sponsorships, to various events requiring travel, (many of you probably do not know that I am the original founder/creator, along with Barbara Strunin, of the BlogPaws Conference Newbies Group, which I ran for approx. 4 years, that still exists today), and other opportunities. Had it not been for BlogPaws none of the experiences I had and some of the opportunities that I have been blessed with, would ever have taken place. I will forever be grateful to BlogPaws for that.

Ultimately, without Glenn Gilbert, I wouldn't have met all of you.  . I wouldn't be writing about a subject and animal that I CHERISH: CATS, and doing something, that is incredibly time consuming, (much more so than my normal 8 to 5 job EVER was, AND INFINITELY MORE REWARDING IN MY SOUL, than  any of those jobs EVER were),  that I love, and have a fierce dedication to.

Glenn Gilbert gave me purpose, he brought back my belief in myself, he gave me a reason to wake up every day, he introduced me to the world of electronic media, he made it possible for me to grow, to teach myself things that I never would have dreamed I ever would have been learning, let alone doing.  He opened my World, he BELIEVED in me.

 We thank YOU our faithful readers, for joining us, we thank Glenn Gilbert for opening a cat door, the likes of which we never even knew existed.

I TOLD YOU IT WASN'T BRIEF!!!!

Visit Stunning Keisha

GIVE TWO PIECES OF ADVICE TO NEW BLOGGERS:
The advice I am going to share came from a fellow recipient of this award, our good friend CK over at Stunning Keisha .  CK and CK's human, "TW" are one of the first people (and cats) that I met when I began blogging in 2009. What I have always loved about CK and "TW" are that they "tell it like it is" and they "keep it real." Anyone who knows ME well, and knows "TW", will agree that in that regard, we are quite similar. I believe in "telling it like it is" and "keeping it real." That can be polarizing. So be it. I would rather be honest and LIKE the person looking back at me when I look in the mirror. My theory has always been, if someone can't handle honesty, they can move on. Period.  So, I am going to share excerpts of "advice" given by "TW" that I completely agree with:

"Humans and pets these days get me hissing mad cos they want instant gratification. They cry when their first posts gets only a couple of hunnert views. They want to monetize right away. I guess this will be one of my tips to new bloggers. Take the time to find your voice and your audience before you panic about not becoming a millionaire with a million followers. No one believes in paying their dues."  Like CK and "TW" we haven't stopped paying our dues. There is nothing that we have obtained by blogging that has come easily. NOTHING.


"Comment on tons of blogs every day. If you don't visit them, they won't visit you. That stinks cos it takes time away when you should be creating but it's a necessary evil." I could NOT agree with this more. We all get busy but I feel if someone is kind enough to comment here, even if I can only read/comment sporadically, I should read/visit someone's blog that took the time to visit mine. You would be AMAZED by the number of people who do NOT do this. I WILL tell you, that after a number of months, if someone doesn't reciprocate, I "unfollow." Plain and simple. "You get as good as you give." For more tips from CK you can click here


If you read this far down the page, I THANK YOU. There are tons of other tips that I could offer but those you can learn from reading some of the other blogs where they shared their own tips. Cody and I THANK YOU for being a part of our journey. I have said it many, many times,  "without YOU, there would be no US."



Much love and gratitude
from Caren and Cody



56 comments:

  1. I made it all the way to the bottom! Heh heh! I love your story of how you got started in blogging. Thanks for the tips and yes it's hard work but it's a joy when you're writing about your passion. Now if only I could blog full time! 😸

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    1. THANK YOU!! Making it to the end is a HUGE accomplishment! lol. Your blog is fabulous, just fabulous! xoxo

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  2. Congratulations on your award! That's a pretty amazing story about how the blog got started!

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  3. We sent you a long letter because we could not comment without being asked to log into Google...weird.
    Hope this works...this is a test. Your long email is in your email section.

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  4. Well, it worked, but from my IPad it did not work. Will try to paste in the comment we made in our letter to you.
    Caren, I tried to comment on your wonderful blog today and say how touched we were to read it and we LOVE that man who brought you back from depression and gave you work to make your life better, but when I pushed 'submit' to comment, it took me to Google and asked for a password and I simply can't deal with that, so here is our love and appreciation for your beautiful writing, and happiness for your future and your new husband--was it that man you married? I must have missed something! Yes, to comment on blogs is very important but some blogs, I notice, like yours, for example, often have up to 50 comments and one cannot spend the day commenting when on works, gardens, cooks, writes, draws, whatever...I really try to vist blogs often and love to visit them, but oh, boy, it must be difficult to comment on more than, say, 10 blogs a day. If blogging is one's only vocation, I understand completely, but often bloggers have jobs, too, and simply don't have the time necessary to devote to responses. We try, though, right?
    Love today's blog and thank you! Wish I could have left this as a comment for others to see. Perhaps you could put it in the comments box for me.

    Merci.

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    1. It worked!!!! Thannk you and yes, my current husband is the one I moved to Michigan for. And...about the commenting, I mentioned above that I don't comment on everyone's posts once a day (some I do, but many I do not).......I said that even ONCE A MONTH is fine to comment on someone's blog just to let them know you are reading. Many times I read and don't comment as well. And...nope, I rarely if ever get 50 comments on a post (back in the old days I did, now? NO............).....now everyone hates me LMAO!!!!!!!!! Oh and your comment IS THERE..........and...once again, I agree with you....other responsibilities prevent us from commenting (we don't even comment on your blog every single day!!) Maybe it is a language barrier or something but I said that above.........I never said I expected anyone to comment on every single post.......Love you!

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  5. Congratulations! And I love all the information about why you do what you do! We love you, just so you know!

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    1. Awww THANK YOU!! You made my day! We love YOU too! xoxo

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  6. Concats on the blog award - well deserved too! The advice you give is perfect too for those starting out and even for those who have been blogging a long time. It's a wonderful world we're part of with pet blogs and kind caring people....those relationships are true treasures. We love you!

    Hugs, Teddy and Mom too

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    1. thanks sooo much Sammy!!! We love you too!

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  7. Congratulations on another well deserved award! Interesting story of how you got the blog started. Keep on keeping on. Btw I guess I follow your first tip: patience…since Terra Toby started over 5 years ago and still hasn't hit 40 followers… ;D

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    1. thank you!! Your blog is fabulous, don't feel bad. I think you blog sporadically there (as I do on Dakota's), Dakota doesn't have a whole hell of a lot more than you do! lol. I seriously think you have way more than 40!! Not all of your readers come from subscriptions! Keep on doing what you are doing, your blog is wonderful!!

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  8. Cody, you and Mom are always rockin' it and congrats on the cool award! Thanks for joining the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop, we love having you here!

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    1. Hell no we are not!!! LOL!! But THANK YOU!! We are blogging WAY LESS this year (than we EVER have), on BOTH blogs! WAYYYYY LESS!!!! Poor Dakota, he is lucky if he gets a post once a week! We love you and THANK YOU!!!!!! xoxo

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  9. Catzowey! Your popping into my IN box makes me purr and my Staff smiles! We luvs luvs luvs you so so so much!

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    1. How sweet are YOU???!! You make US smile and WE LOVE YOU!!!!! xoxo

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  10. concats! you and Cody are truly worthy of recognition!

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    1. that is super sweet of you! THANK YOU! xoxo

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  11. Successful bloggers put a lot of work in their blogs. All great advice.

    Have a fabulous day. Big hug to you and tons of scritches to the boys. ♥♥♥

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  12. Dat's pawsum awnty Caren. We had no idea 'bout da paper angle. Cool. And, ConCats. We so agree with your tips. Uh, what 'bout dat millionaire thing? We keep tryin'. MOL Big hugs

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Raena

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    1. "the millionaire thing" I am dying laughing xoxo

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  13. Congrats, You do rock and roll with 2 blogs.

    xo Astro and Linda

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    1. Hi Astro and Linda, THANK YOU but Noooooooooooo!! Poor Dakota!! Lately I have been barely updating his blog (I went two weeks with NOTHING! lol). His blog came second and I honestly regret having two blogs. I keep saying I should merge the two but I am too lazy (at this point) to even attempt doing that. I THANK YOU though! xoxo

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  14. I never knew how you started and loved reading about it. Funny how life works sometimes. And I'll tell you, you have been honest with me, and I very much appreciate it. Hugs!

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    1. Thank you so much! Yep, to think YEARS ago I was making good money and now I am broke MOL MOL MOL!!! Thank you for appreciating my honesty, most don't! lol! (((hugs))) back

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  15. How cool that your dad has a Wikipedia page! I'm sure he was and is very proud of you, Caren. I really appreciate the help and encouragement you've give me over the years!
    Love,
    Maggie

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    1. Thanks! Yes, he was quite well known for what he did. He was in Time, Newsweek, etc. He was brilliant. I miss him terribly. That being said, he would NOT be thrilled with what I am now doing "full time" (blogging), trust me lol. Love you and thank you soooooooo much for your kind words!!! YOU inspire ME!! xoxo

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  16. Concatculations! Well deserved and this was really interesting to read! And a great way for us to get to know you.

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    1. Awww thanks! Many of the people know me because I have been blogging for almost 8 years, but there are always new readers (like yourself), so every now and then it is good to share again! Thank you!

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  17. Caren, I love your blog, and I am so glad that we've met in person...which I hope we do again before too long. You deserve every award that's out there, and we ALL wish you the very best.

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    1. Thank you sooo much! I am glad we met in person too and yep we WILL meet again before too long. Maybe we can go to the cider mill in the Fall!!!

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  18. Congratulations on another award. I'm not surprised that you didn't know what you were doing when you started. We all have to get our feet wet at first. I'm still learning.

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  19. You and your kids are favorites of ours. We like honesty. XXX CK and TW, love those two truly.

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    1. And YOU and your baby (and of course Admiral) were and ARE favorites of OURS! Thank you, that means A LOT!!! xoxo

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  20. I love the story of how this blog got started! Thank you Glenn, for getting the ball rolling!

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  21. Congratulations on your well deserved award! I am glad you started blogging, I wish I had known about cat blogs back then so I could have followed you all along.XO

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    1. Ellen that was so sweet of you! I deeply appreciate that! Thank you and we love following you! xoxo

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  22. I love those tips, and totally agree with them! Time can be such a constraint..but many other bloggers have become my friends, and have supported me so much, that I could not even imagine not reciprocating and visiting their blogs as well. Commenting on other blogs is just part of my routine, and even if I get behind on it sometimes, it will always be part of my life as a blogger.

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  23. Caren, another reason I love you! You deserve all the awards and a million bucks. I confess to not commenting as often or blogging about awards but know I can always count on your friendship xoxo

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    1. I love you too and I THANK YOU!! YOU deserve them AND a million bucks too! Are you kidding? You visit me enough that I know you are still reading! I don't comment on each and every one of your posts either! We don't have the time and I "get" that! Yes you can ALWAYS count on my friendship and I know I can count on YOURS too! xoxo

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  24. Wow, Caren! I kind of knew some of those details, but now I really do.
    Congrats on your award and honor...and thanks for sharing and baring yourself or at least your feelings:)

    I think sometime we really need to arrange a meeting, how cool would that be!?!
    I, a blogger for the fun of it and to just document the daily doings here, and you trying to reach out and make influence in the blogging world. Yup, you have you know:)

    I spend a ton of time trying to comment in blogs, but of course then I neglect my own...sigh...I have never even given a thought to trying to gather any profit from doing this, I didn't even know you could, though I did find that out eventually.

    I always enjoy your posts and though I may arrive late, I love to read them and find out what is going on in your corner of Michigan!

    Here is a a funny: I told hubby to expect a box of kitty cosmetic items...and he asked if Pipo needed mascara or the like, MOL, MOL!!!

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    1. I would love to meet one day as well! Actually, when I started it WAS simply for the "fun of it." Due to life changes I had no choice but to try and monetize it. I wouldn't call it "trying to make an influence in the blogging world" at all....I don't care about that. At one time I might have but definitely not any longer. It is all subjective. I have cut down how much I blog (BIG TIME).......and frankly don't envision myself blogging that much longer (unless it is a completely different format/niche, which is something I do think about). When my husband was one of thousands of teachers forced to retire from DPS, (and I had lost my job and being over 50 I couldn't find a THING, and because of my chronic kidney situation I am limited, and because the bottom had fallen out of the economy), I had no choice but to try and monetize it. Once again, when I started it was simply for fun and nothing more. Trust me, if I was working full time as you are, monetizing would NEVER have happened........sometimes you have to be creative in finding ways to survive and pay bills.

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    2. When I was first married and unemployed I made crafts that I sold at a consignment store, which gave me a teeny bit of $$ until they shut down their store. Shucks. Then I did some garage sales...those paid for new things for our sons...then I was asked to work in doctor's office...then I started working at my current job. But its only three evenings a week. Phew, Full time would kill me:)

      I sure hope you do not stop blogging, I would really miss your postings.
      I see lots of 'seniors' working in fast food places, or craft stores, they need to get $$ to pay for the health insurance I guess.
      I would love to work at Hobby Lobby:)

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  25. Absolutely love those photographs of you and Cody at the end :). Boy does that cat look happy to be with you :).

    The story of how your blog came to be - wow! Think that's probably the most unique way I've ever heard a blog came about. And so glad you ended up choosing Cat Chat instead of one of the other ideas ;).

    So weird how Martha Stewart snagged Cat Chat just before you did! What an incredibly interesting coincidence :)

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    1. Hi Elise! Thanks so much!! lmao about Martha Stewart.....yep!! It's true!

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  26. Fabulous post Caren! You and I have been visiting each others blogs since...well forever...
    I am constantly amazed at how you keep things so fresh, informative and exciting. I have to agree with the points about blogging that you and TW have emphasized.
    Many Kudos to you darling!
    Barbie (Marv's Mom)

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    1. Thank you Barbie!!!! Yep we HAVE been visiting each other forever and YOU are the one who deserves kudos, not me! YOU keep things "fresh, informative and exciting"..........I have been in a rut.........trying to make it to 10 years blogging (only will be entering year 8 at the end of October), seriously not sure if I will be able to (or WANT to) keep doing it that long. Only time will tell!!!! Kudos right back at you!! Love you forever!!!! xoxoxo

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  27. Great post!

    We love you Caren & Cody :)

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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    1. Awww THANK YOU!!!! We love BOTH OF YOU to pieces!! Always have, always will! xoxo

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  28. We enjoyed to re-read your story and the story of the blog. Great advice for new bloggers ! Purrs

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  29. We love you, dear friends, and really enjoyed reading this post, since it was all about you! You are an inspiration to so many, and we are truly grateful for you. :)

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    1. THANK YOU!!! We love YOU and are beyond grateful for your friendship! I don't know about us being an inspiration, but we just keep on keepin' on......(for now) lol xoxoxo

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  30. You know, Cody, I had clicked on this blog to read it and then Pop came home and TW had to start dinner. We completely forgot to come back. I know we both don't like doing these "chain" awards but I'm glad you did. I didn't know about Glenn Gilbert but thank him so much. We love both of you and, yes, Caren and TW are very much alike. Prolly the only other blogger we feel comfortable getting a bit "racy" with. Love ya!

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    1. Muah!!!! WE LOVE YOU TO PIECES!!!!!!! And...you are right, I am not a fan of doing these, when I read your post I loved it so much I knew I wanted to share parts of it!! You can ALWAYS be YOU and "racy" with me (us) and you know that!! Love you too!!!!!!! xoxo

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  31. Congratulations on your well deserved award! I enjoyed rereading the story of how you started blogging.
    The advice you gave is good too. I was lucky when I started. I was persuaded by Fat Eric's mum and she introduced me when I did eventually take the plunge over 11 years ago. That meant that I got a good amount of comments right from the beginning which gave me the confidence to keep going.
    Now that I only post about once a week and mostly only comment on those days, I am amazed that I still have followers.It makes me happy that people still care about my boys and come to see them on the blog.

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