Down the rabbit hole

auld

The last NZ post will be simmering until later this week.

But I HAVE to post something today (New Year’s Eve) because it’s the 6th anniversary of (drum roll please…) my very first blog post.

Tada!!

Quite honestly, I didn’t think I had one years worth of words in me let alone six!

Also, AGMA just went over 5000 followers this month.  That’s kinda of a big milestone too (for me.)  Although, I’m not really sure where most of them are since there are only about 40 or 50 AWESOME folks who actually read and comment on AGMA posts.

And because you are reading this, YOU, my friends, ARE freakin’ AWESOME!

Because it’s New Years Eve (in the US that is), there will be many (probably very poorly sung) renditions of Auld Lang Syne in the closing hours of 2019.  People who’ve had too many adult beverages will be hanging all over partners, dates, family and/or friends, crying, with snotty noses, and really screwing up the words to this traditional Scottish ballad.

So what exactly does “auld lang syne” mean?  Inquiring minds…

According to the source of all wisdom and knowledge, Wikipedia, “the poem’s Scots title may be translated into standard English as ‘old long since’ or, more idiomatically, ‘long long ago’,’days gone by’, or ‘old times’. Consequently, ‘For auld lang syne’, as it appears in the first line of the chorus, might be loosely translated as ‘for the sake of old times’.”

A couple of nights ago, AGMA fell down the “days gone by” “for the sake of old times” rabbit hole.

I decided to clean out my plastic bin full of old Christmas cards.

Yes, I had a bin full of old Christmas cards.  Doesn’t everybody?

Being certain I had just cleaned the bin out a few years ago, I dove in, pulling out any Christmas letters and photographs or photo cards.  I’m saving those.

It would take time to explain…

What became very clear to me was that AGMA had NOT cleaned out the bin a few years ago.  Unless you consider finding cards from back to 2006 “a few years ago”.

I’m fairly certain that some of the years in between got thrown out in a previous purge.  There wasn’t 13 years worth of cards in the bin.  Maybe only 9 or 10.

Yeah – there were a sh*tload of cards.

But when I started sorting through the cards, I felt the stings of my crusty AGMA heart being pulled.

There were cards/letters/pictures from:

  • people I had totally forgotten about (that made AGMA sad.)
  • people no longer with us like Al, hubs very first manager way back in the 70’s, my Uncle Harry,  and my old high school bestie, Ann (that made me really sad)
  • people who were once happily married, but are no longer (married and/or happy)
  • people who don’t speak to me now because we have opposing political views like my cousin Bob, my brother, and many of my former suburban “mom” friends from Ohio (only makes me semi-sad)
  • people who were incredibly important to me (and I to them) for a season, but that season has long passed, and we no longer exchange holiday greetings
  • people who were the picture of health, but have since been ravaged by illness and, in some cases, dementia
  • people who sent pictures of their children’s graduation from high school who are now sending pictures of their grandchildren
  • people who were one Christmas card people for various reasons

Total rabbit hole.  I was up in the attic for several hours.

I even found a copy of the letter we sent out in Christmas cards in 1990!  I read over it and thought, “Damn…that was a fast 29 years!”

“Time flies, and then you die” is a quote I heard years ago and have never really gotten out of my head.

Short and not so sweet, it gets to the heart of the matter…  We only go around once; there are no redos.

So, AGMA wants all you freakin’ awesome folks to make everyday of 2020 count – especially if you are NOT aging gracefully like me!

Jump off a building (attached to some sort of a safety device of course); do a zip line; travel someplace that makes you uncomfortable (but maybe not to an active volcano); eat strange food (like a whitebait fritter for Thanksgiving); love on your loved ones so they KNOW, without a doubt that you love them; get your second tattoo (or your first); listen to music that is not genre you normally listen to; get rid of stuff that has been in boxes for years; make friends with somebody who looks different than you; do goat yoga once; make time to meditate (on whatever you want) each day; make phone calls or write letters/emails/tweets to your elected officials to tell them what they are doing right OR wrong; give money (if you can afford it) to organizations who support causes you believe in (NOT a tRump charity please!!); get a new hairstyle/cut/color(s); go to a museum in the town you live in that you’ve never been to before…

Well – you get the idea!

AGMA’s just happy I’ve stuck with this little blog for six years! It’s brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined.  And ya’ll have given me, thought your comments and posts, the gift of YOU, which is most precious indeed!

Thank you from the bottom of my sometimes crusty, but always loving (shhhh – don’t tell anybody, it could ruin my reputation) heart!

Here’s to days gone by and all the days yet ahead in 2020!

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soul searching

So AGMA’s been at Dancing Goats for 2 hours and has yet to start a new blog post,

I’ve been catching up with old friends and replying to comments.  And reading posts I should have read last week, month, year.

So many words, so little time!

Since I recently celebrated my 5th anniversary of blogging, I thought it would be tons of fun to repost AGMAs very first post.

I just read it over.  And I have to say I was much less “wordy” back then. I know many of you would wish AGMA return to that original succinct format.

Nah baby nah.

And, sad to say, I didn’t do most of those things in 2014 and still haven’t.  Still, 4 out of 10 isn’t too bad.

No, really, it sucks.  I have to say I am a bit shocked I still have 6 open times on my list from 5 years ago.

I need to do some serious soul searching.

But putting my present emotional life crisis aside, I present, for your enjoyment and amusement, AGMA’s very first blog post on WordPress:

George Eliot’s 2014 throw down

george

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

Chewy, hopeful words penned by Mary Anne Evans (1819-1880), aka George Eliot, British novelist and one of the leading writers of the Victorian Era.  I am all over that Mary Anne, you wild child you!  2014 – no resolutions – just being resolute.

The year to learn how to ride a bicycle.

The year to zip line for the first time.

The year to maybe entertain the notion of training for a marathon.  Did I say that out loud?

The year to keep the promise made when I started massage school in 2008.

The year to add a little bit of sugar to some not-so-sweet relationships – ouch!

The year to visit The Clermont Lounge and Johnnies Hideaway. Yeah – I said it!

The year of long hugs, thank you very much Linda!

The year to climb a bridge and visit Middle Earth.

The year to start blogging.

The year to enter a new decade of life.

Really nothing that would register above a 3 on the “Isn’t my life fabulous?” Richter scale, but the beginnings of throwing off and putting on and continuing to discover what is yet to be.  And you?

A lot of sh*t can happen in 5 years!

92_year_old_marathon_runner_san_diego

In 2015, at 92, Harriette Thompson became the oldest woman to complete a marathon!  She passed in 2017, but what an inspiration!

So somewhere in the bustle of the holidays, my never ending sniffles, and out of town guests, I missed my 5th anniversary on WP!  It happened like on December 30th (give or take a day.)

Happy Anniversary to my little ass, Aging Gracefully!

Holy cow, that was a fast 5 years!

When I started AGMA, I had a lot of time on my hands.  Blogging seemed like a good way to fill some of it.  I’m a bit ADHD, so I needed something to keep me busy.

Little did I know that the next 5 years would turn out to be crazy eventful.  And my days would soon be overflowing with “opportunities” to be busy…

  • The most adorable grandchildren in the world (MAGITW) made their appearances in 2014 and 2016.  And there is soon to be a 3rd MAGITW!  Stay tuned this summer…
  • I decided to start “running” marathons, and have 6 notches in my belt so far.  I ran my 1st one 2 months after starting AGMA.
  • My love of thrifting turned into a little Ebay business.  The problem is that AGMA loves thrifting more than listing the items on Ebay.  And I’m running out of places to store the crap…eh…treasures.
  • I gave up the space I was renting and made the decision to switch my massage practice almost exclusively to corporate chair massage.  And business has been good. Very good.
  • Because of the series of most unfortunate events on November 8, 2016 and after, arranged by Comrade Putin, I’ve become a Resistor (NOT the electrical kind.). This has taken up quite a bit of AGMA’s time.  But it’s time well spent (refer to the 1st bullet point!)
  • I’ve been able to indulge my passion for travel both domestically and internationally like never before.  With a very flexible work schedule, family & friends flung all over the US, a bit more in the bank account, and the desire to sample local wines in every country in the world (still working on this…), AGMA has racked up beaucoup miles in the air and in the car.  Now THAT’s what I’m talkin’ about!
  • Some “not aging gracefully” health junk has taken up way too much time.  I’m not a fan and ignore whenever possible…   But I’m pretty pumped because I had my BIG birthday a few weeks ago.  It’s Medicare time now baby!

Whew.

It’s been a rockin’ and rollin’ 5 years.

But I love this little AGMA blog and ADORE my blogging friends.  Yinz guys (to say it in my native Pittsburghese!)

And I’m looking forward to another 5, 10, 15, dare I say 20 (?) years of blogging.

By 2038, I predict I will have at least 4 more tattoos, will have run at least 30 marathons, have an Ebay business that Jeff Bezos will envy, will have finished my wine quest (hic), will have a great grandchild, and will have visited the Big Orange Cheeto and his posse in prison at least once since being sentenced in 2019.

Nah – maybe not that last one…

But you can read all about it here on AGMA so stick around!

P.S.  I am forever grateful to the now “retired” blogger, Dobster, who gave me wonderful encouragement in those early months of AGMA.  I still miss him – he quit blogging cold turkey one day in 2015.  It was jarring and I felt like I’d lost a friend.  If he hasn’t already, I hope he returns to the blog-o-sphere one day.  His posts made me laugh.

Love is love part deux

heartscherubs

So AGMA’s in France now. Oh la la…

I’m sure the wine and food and scenery are wonderful, but since I’m writing this before I go, I can’t swear to it. Pretty sure it is though.

As I wrote last week, I’m really going to try to write at least one post, maybe two, while I’m gone. One actually seems doable. I’ll never be a travel blogger…

AGMA isn’t one for beating a dead horse, but since I need some stuff to post this week, we’re returning to a familiar theme.

My WordPress SPAM folder.

Hmmm…Spam…I’m hungry…wonder if I can find any Spam in France?

Pig innards maybe.  Probably not Spam though. Which I think is made from pig innards…

My first post on blog spam, Love is Love, was actually the 7th top liked post of AGMA ever. I’m not too proud to play off of that modest success.

Especially when I get such AWESOME spam!

So without further ado, love – extreme love – from Emmett sent on 8/22/17 on my post No Close-Ups… (take a deep breath)

“I was very pleased to discover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it and i also have you book-marked to check out new information in your website. Can I simply say what a relief to uncover somebody that truly understands what they are talking about on the net. You actually realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people should look at this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you’re not more popular because you surely have the gift. Good write-up. I absolutely appreciate this site. Keep it up! It’s hard to find well-informed people on this subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks You should be a part of a contest for one of the most useful sites on the web. I’m going to recommend this site! A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I believe that you ought to write more about this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but typically people don’t speak about these issues. To the next! All the best!! Hello! I simply would like to offer you a huge thumbs up for your excellent information you have right here on this post. I am returning to your web site for more soon. When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment. Is there a means you can remove me from that service? Kudos! The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not fail me just as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, nonetheless I genuinely believed you would probably have something helpful to talk about. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However I am having issues with your RSS. I don’t understand why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anyone else having similar RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!! An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been doing a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this issue here on your site. After exploring a number of the blog posts on your website, I seriously like your way of writing a blog. I added it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my website as well and let me know your opinion. This website truly has all of the info I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask. There’s certainly a lot to know about this subject. I really like all of the points you’ve made. You made some good points there. I checked on the net for more info about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day. It will always be exciting to read through content from other writers and use something from their web sites. I blog often and I seriously thank you for your content. This great article has really peaked my interest. I’m going to book mark your website and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well. Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful post. Many thanks for providing these details.”

Exhale.

AGMA had 3 other posts in my SPAM folder that were every bit as long as this one. Two were almost identical to the one above.

Great minds right?

The third was indecipherable but I think it had a political spin to it.

Here’s a small excerpt – it was really long – of Gene’s comment from 8/29/2017 on Ciao Bella Italia Part Due

“many pastime “Grandmas intended for Bernie” switches, Laud the guy because of the length of his eye-sight, and moreover seem message to refuse the chance to put Clinton to a traditional way to the blue accommodate, playing that particular you will have another shot down the line.”

???

John Lennon was right, “All you need is love!” (dat da da da da…)

I run my marathon in 2 days.

Pray for me.

Hic…

Love is love

Paddy

AGMA is postponing writing my extremely clever post for yet another week. To be honest, I’ve forgotten what I was going to write about.

I do remember a Shakespearean quote was involved. And that always elevates whatever you’re going to write about doesn’t it?

More on this topic – whatever it was – later…

Have you browsed your SPAM folder in your WP Comments sections lately?

It’s something I rarely do. But I did this morning.  And honestly, I read through mine and am mystified as to why WP considers them SPAM.

The bulk of the ‘alleged’ SPAM comments were on my No Close Ups! post from waaaaayyyy back in early 2014, three months after I started AGMA.

I peaked early in my blogging career; this was the post that earned me my 15 minutes of fame on WP.

This was my post that was selected to be (and I am getting goosebumps as I write this…) Freshly Pressed.

Why shouldn’t people adore it?

Online Fortune Reading gushes:

“Thanks for sharing your extraordinary and amazing ideas. I will not be hesitant to share your website to any individual who should be given ideas such as these.”

Nor should you be hesitate OFR! The world desperately needs this information about light bulbs.

From Daily Tarot Card Reading Online:

“Amazing article, I’m going to invest more time researching this topic.”

One word. Google. 5 minutes max and you’ll learn all you ever wanted to know about sources of flattering and unflattering artificial lighting.

Daily Tarot Card Reading Online NEW AGE (not to be confused with Daily Tarot Card Reading Online. Please) said:

“Loving the info on this web site, you have done an awesome job on the blogs.”

Okay, well, it’s not really a web site and there is only one blog, but AGMA so appreciates the thoughts DTCRONA!

Here’s one from Sign On Aol (which AGMA finds this a bit ironic since they have a gmail email address…):

“To be in a position to acknowledge your own image as an icon, you will certainly probably need to click the option All of the Companion Symbols simply because the choice that icons to simply accept.”

???????

Nellie doesn’t go the flattery route. She’s got something to say and she just lays it all out there:

“Buy now $49 easy spy cellular phone spy $49.”

AGMA’s intrigued. I always wanted to be a spy. I loved watching James Bond movies as a child. The REAL James Bond movies with Sean Connery that is.

Don’t judge me.

Changing gears, this was on my About page. It comes from Cheap NFL Jerseys (oxymoron perhaps?):

“We strategy income unique today.”Former Yankee War Pilot Jerry Coleman Dies At 89 – RealGM WiretapCommissioner Bud Selig issued the following statement regarding the passing of 2005 Ford C. LaVar Arrington broke his arm and leg in a motorcycle accident. There were more than 50 Californians in the field, and Thomas went to elaborate lengths to update each player’s card, hole by hole, on the Web. It’s a truism in the golf industry.”

CNFLJ probably had a set of those helicopter parents who forced him to do tennis, football, soccer, baseball and golf. All at the same time. And yelled at the coaches when they didn’t play him. The confusion is understandable.

But I think my favorite is from Latia on No Close Ups:

“insert your data”

For some reason, AGMA finds that very profound and thought provoking. I’ll be using that as a mantra during my morning mediations for the next week.

I plan on visiting the SPAM area more often for more uplifting comments.

AGMA loves feelin’ the love.

Even if it’s from folks mixing their pharmaceuticals together and downing them with a fifth of whiskey.

Hey, love is love.

Every day’s a school day

LessonsLearned

Random AGMA lesson’s learned in 2+ years of blogging in no particular order:

  1. Don’t blog while drunk. I won’t tell you which ones…
  2. The word spam is as popular as penis (tallywhacker) and vagina (she-she) when it come to searches. Almost. An AGMA post with spam in the title got like 200 views in one day.
  3. Almost nobody out there cares that I like to watch Men’s Elite Professional Cycling. I totally don’t get that.
  4. No matter how hard AGMA tries to answer the questions that are part of those blogging awards, it never works out. But THANK YOU for nominating me!! I meant it when I said it was a huge honor!
  5. Writing is way more fun when you don’t have somebody grading your work.  Way. More. Fun.
  6. AGMA followers aren’t quite as anal about how I write as my high school English teachers.
  7. Blogging friends are sorely missed when they stop blogging. So don’t stop!
  8. WordPress Blogging 101 is a lot of work.  Someday I’ll finish it.  Yeah, right…
  9. I will never make it beyond WordPress Blogging 101.
  10. When you get Freshly Pressed and are on the WordPress Recommended Blogs List, you get lots and lots and lots of followers. THANK YOU WordPress!!!
  11. Most Freshly Pressed and Recommended Blogs List followers never actually read your blog.
  12. When you get removed from the WordPress Recommended Blog List, the follows slow down to a trickle. But those folks actually read your blog.
  13. Sometimes it’s best not to overthink starting a blog. Just pick a cool name, sit down and start writing.
  14. AGMA can be funny, but not nearly as funny as some of you out there. Please keep me laughing!
  15. There is never enough time to read the blogs I love. I hate that…
  16. Bloggers (at least the one’s who follow AGMA) are some of the nicest, most caring people in the world. Crikey, it’s getting deep in here.
  17. When you only post once a week, it keeps ‘em wanting more. Right?  Hello? (crickets)
  18. When your friends and family don’t know you author a blog, the possibilities are endless. Take from that what you will…
  19. Never, ever say, “Blogging seems so stupid. I mean, who cares?” Gulp.
  20. Blogging just might connect you with some part of yourself you’d lost touch with or didn’t even know existed.

And finally…

21. Blogging really is cheaper than therapy.  Or a good adjunct.

 

Little Orphan AGMA

apples

While I was on my trip to Ireland, my blogging “mentor” closed down his blog.  Just like that.  Poof, goodbye.

NOOOOOOOO!!!

I was stunned when I read his last entry dated April 10th.  He was going out cold turkey and shutting his blog down that day. Unfortunately, that was the day I flew back to the U.S.  I didn’t have internet access for most of the day.  By the time I read his last entry several days later, he was gone.  No more Doobster.

Mindful Digressions is sleeping with the fishes.

I feel like an orphan.

Literally, he was like my 1st or 2nd follower.  It’s a mystery to me as to how he found my fledgling blog in the first place.  Lucky accident.

He encouraged me in those early months of blogging.  Heck, it was encouraging to me that he would just read and like my posts and comment sometimes!  You know how it is when you’re just a kid starting out…

He started blogging on another blog site several years ago.  Then he switched to WordPress in late 2013.  He got Freshly Pressed and never looked back.  When he shut down, I think he had something like 4500 followers.

4500 orphans.

He was a prolific blogger.  Prolific.  Like a pair of rabbits in solitary confinement.  He posted daily.  Some days, he posted several times.  And he replied to comments.  And he read other blogs.  And he made comments on them.  Oh yes, and still worked full time. And had a wife (they were separated) and adult children.

After 15 months of all that, I think he just plum burned out.

His last post said about his blogging “…it’s taken its toll on other facets of my life that require my undivided attention. So I am going to […]” and it stopped.  Just stopped.  If you tried to click for more, you get a message that it’s a private blog that requires a log in.

I’m totally blindsided by how hard this has hit me.  Surprised that I am still looking for his latest post.  I miss him liking my posts and making his (mostly) humorous comments. And I miss his weird ADHD obsession with his WordPress stats.  Once he wrote a post about losing a follower from the day before.  Who keeps track of that stuff?  He did…

I became a better blogger by reading his blog, seeing how it was structured and observing how he interacted with his followers.  And he’s probably the reason I didn’t quit after a few months.

So in case you decide to visit WordPress incognito and revisit some of your old followers…

I miss you Doobster.  WordPress just isn’t quite the same without you.  I hope you get things sorted out and can come back to us someday.

Until then, I’ll be down on the street corner selling apples for a nickel.

George Eliot’s 2014 throw down

Drumroll….  Today is the first anniversary of dipping my big toe into the blogging pool.  AGMA is a year old!

And this is the first time in a year I’ve reread my first post (see below…) Surprise – it’s not nearly as awful as I’d imagined it would be.  I certainly was a woman of fewer words…  Good thing or bad thing?

If you’re wondering how I did, I got six out of ten.  But some were cheats because I knew they were going to happen.  But I’m going to count them anyway.  It’s my blog.

I got two likes on my first post and no comments.  So I’ll ask again…

What about you?  What mountains are you going to climb in 2015?  What relationships will you work on mending? What promises to yourself are you going to keep?  What abundant, overflowing gifts you possess are you going to share with the world?

Happy New Year to all of you wonderfully brilliant blogging buddies!

I positively chomping at the bit to read all about your adventures in 2015!

Aging Gracefully My Ass

Image

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

Chewy, hopeful words penned by Mary Anne Evans (1819-1880), aka George Eliot, British novelist and one of the leading writers of the Victorian Era.  I am all over that Mary Anne, you wild child you!  2014 – no resolutions – just being resolute.

The year to learn how to ride a bicycle.

The year to zip line for the first time.

The year to maybe entertain the notion of training for a marathon.  Did I say that out loud?

The year to keep the promise made when I started massage school in 2008.

The year to add a little bit of sugar to some not-so-sweet relationships – ouch!

The year to visit The Clermont Lounge and Johnnies Hideaway. Yeah – I said it!

The year of long hugs, thank you very much Linda!

The year to climb a bridge…

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