Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Anniversaries

We just came back from Tennessee where we spent eight days with our daughter Jessica’s family. Last Monday, March 26, we celebrated my “anniversaire” (birthday in English.)

This week is also my blog anniversary since I started blogging right after my birthday in 2009. We were visiting our daughter Céline that year and she encouraged me to start this blog – actually she set it up. It took several days to publish my small first post (on 30 March 2009) as we could not come up with a blog name and we also were busy visiting all the lovely places near her home in Long Beach, California, such as Mission San Juan Capistrano down the coast.

Mission Arcade by James Merriam, Canadian, 1880-1951

Last week the time spent with the grandchildren near Nashville, Tennessee, went very fast. I did not look at my computer much unfortunately to read all your posts. It felt and looked like spring with lovely blossoms everywhere. It was warm and the sun was shining almost every day. It was exhilarating to look up to the sky through the pale blossoms.

click on collage to enlarge then click on each picture

While I went around taking pictures of the dogwood blossoms in the backyard

my husband was also enjoying the backyard with the grandsons, then resting on the back porch.

Spring was in the air – outdoor

and indoor.

We also liked to watch the grandsons playing in the house or in a play at school (grandson is the lion on the stage of the Wizard of Oz.)

We had not seen the smallest grandson since last January and we watched his first crawling attempts.

He certainly is a sweet 8 month old baby – smiling a lot. He is quite content playing alone, too.

If it was a spring break from kindergarten for the eldest grandson, it certainly was an enjoyable spring break for us as well.

Blooming Meadows by John Joseph Enneking, American born in Germany, 1841-1916

In the Introduction to my blog in 2009 I wrote “The purpose of this blog is to write about past events in my life, from my early childhood to present, not in order, but at random, as the spirit strikes me. Over time, and before I forget many details, I plan to talk about my parents, my childhood and all the countries I visited. It will be good for my little grandchildren…” At the time I thought my blog would just be read by close family and friends. I never thought that people from all over the world might take the time to read my posts or look at my photos. But at this Spring anniversary of my blog I see in the “Stats” that there have been 267,757 page views of my blog since March 2009. The Counter on the front of my blog which we installed in July 2009 shows 224,242 page views up till today. Truly amazing!

The power of the Internet is impressive. With a click of my fingers I can connect to other bloggers who have become friends – some living very far away e.g. India. I’ll illustrate with old postcards. Below are postcards of Madras (Chennai) and Calcutta (Kolkata.)

Many people come to look at my pictures and just stay for a few seconds. Some read my posts but do not leave comments. There is a little map on the side of my blog which shows, with little red dots, where the people reading my blog are located. It think it changes every 12 hours or so. It is always a surprise to see so many dots all over the map. If I click on a dot it will say where the person is located and which post they looked at and that is all. For example just now I clicked on a dot close to Madagascar. This person is located in Plaines Wilhems which is a large district on the island of Mauritius (Ile Maurice) and is looking at my post “A Cancelled trip” where I explained how we did not travel to England in 2001 because of 9/11. I have also noticed a red spot in the center of Russia. I found out it is someone in Irkutsk, a major city in Siberia. It is hard to imagine someone there reading about spring in the Deep South. I have very few vintage postcards of Siberia – below is one of them.

I also like to click on the Flag Counter under all the flags. It shows how many unique visitors came from each country. So far 188 different countries are included with 138,031 unique visitors with Mozambique being the last new country added. I can click on “Details” and it will show how many unique visitors came from a given country, for example 56 came from Kuwait and 1 from Cuba, although I have seen the dot of Cuba several times, so this person came back. This Flag Counter is interesting too - it can be installed on any blog, free of charge – because it you click on a country a page will appear giving all the information on that country. For example I clicked on Djibouti in East Africa. It tells me that 4 people from there came to my blog, the last one on March 29, 2012. It also gives Djibouti information on geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation and military. Below is a 1905 postcard of Djibouti.

You can also click on “Flag Map” and click on any flag – it will show how many people from that country came to this blog. For example I clicked on Rwanda – 4 unique visitors came from there, from Iran – 27 came, from Mongolia 21, from Morocco 59 came. How I would love to see and talk to all these people! Below is a vintage postcard of the port of Tangier, Morocco.

There are more people coming to my blog who are from somewhere in Europe. Unique visitors from the UK so far 7,085; from France 3,786; from Germany 2,019; from Italy 1,941 and from Holland 1,378. The vintage postcards below show from top left to right: Amsterdam, Holland – Blvd des Italiens, Paris – London Bridge, London – Kevelaer, Germany - the port of Napoli, Italy - Wembley Park, Middlesex, England – Sondmor, Norway – Scheveningen, Holland and Nice, France.

Don't forget to click on the collage then click on each postcard to see it better

Of course most of my readers are in North America from the various states in the United States. Below are vintage postcards, from top left to right: Old Windmill, Long Island, NY – Fairbanks, Alaska – Sea Lagoon, Long Beach, Ca. – Hula Girls, Hawaii – Jacksonville Beach, Florida – the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC – Holly Street, Bellingham, Washington – East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio – Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina – Michigan Avenue, Lansing, Michigan – Harbor, Astoria, Oregon - San Francisco, California.

In North America I am also pleased to see visitors from Canada. Below are vintage postcards, from top left to right: Church Street, Toronto, Ontario – Yates Street, Victoria, British Columbia – Harvesting near Calgary, Alberta – Champlain Market, Quebec.

So here we are in another spring. I have met online many new bloggy friends and have enjoyed reading their posts – on a great variety of subjects. There is so much talent, so many kind people – I very much appreciate that some of them come to my blog and use their precious time to comment.

Spring Blossoms by Iosif Evstafevich Krachkovsky, Russian 1854-1914

A heartfelt thank you and “merci” to you all out there who have come and read my posts or have taken a look at my pictures. It has meant a lot to me to read your kind and encouraging comments these last three years.

Last Sunday at the Nashville Flea Market I bought this vintage postcard. I am posting it here to send, truly, my kindest regards to each of you.


Dee said...

Dear Vagabonde, . . . congratulations on your birthday and also on your blogging success. Clearly you stories since 2009 have touched the lives of many, many people throughout our world. And I can so understand why.

I've just been reading your postings for about two months and they have taken me to places I'll probably never see in reality. And yet I'm there with you. Thank you. Peace.

DJan said...

This post did not end up showing in my Reader, and it didn't update on my blogroll, either. I really don't know what is going on with Blogger. All day yesterday I could not leave one comment. Now I can, but it still seems "glitchy."

Oh, Happy birthday and Blogaversary!! :-)

Anonymous said...

I will try again to leave a comment. I love to read of the places you visit, and especially the stories of your growing up years in France. Congratulations on your anniversaire and that of the blog. Reading interesting and informative posts from a wonderful person is universal to many from all over the world!

Pauline said...

Happy Birthday and happy blog anniversaire. I enjoyed your trip to Nashville and your grandchildren. Will have to investigate a traffic map - I'm alway fascinated by where visitors come from and try to imagine why they would visit a blog from NZ.
Your spring blossom shots are delightful!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Happy Happy Birthday, my dear Vagabonde AND, A Very Happy Blohaversary, too...!
I feel as if I take a trip with you, when you share all the wonderful pictures of your travels...Most Enjoyable, in every way, my dear. May you continue Blogging for many many more years and keep sharing your unique view of things with us, please...! This is my only means of travel these days and I SOOO Enjoy every detail in these lovely posts...! Long may you wave, my dear...!

Diane said...

Belated birthday wishes and congratulations on your Blog-anniversary. Love all your spring photos, and yes it is so interesting to see where visitors come from. Wishing you all the very best Diane

The Broad said...

I love your blog and really appreciate all the effort and detailo you put into each post. I would love to know how you do your collages with the ability to click on the separate images and see them blown up??

Today's post has made me enveloped by Spring -- I can almost smell the blossom in the air! And thanks so much for the low down on the various gadgets that are available and how to 'read' them -- all very helpful.

Happy Belated Birthday and Bloggy Anniversary.

Jojo said...

Happy, happy birthday, spring and blogaversary. Like you I started my blog for my family but they rarely read it. Now I blog because I enjoy it and the wonderful people that I've met through blogging. I generally wake up at 5 so that I can have an hour to read blogs before I go to work each day and it has been a great way to start the day.

DJan said...

It showed up this morning, VB! I read it again, just for pleasure, and to again wish you all the happiness in the world. Thanks for the sweet comment as well.

Sheila said...

Belated best wishes for your Birthday dear Vagabonde! Also congratulations on your 3 year blogaversary!
Your have a wonderful collection of vintage cards.

Jeanie said...

I am catching up! First, belated happy birthday and happy blog anniversary! I really love how you structured your post -- with your various photos, it's like you recognized every part of the world where your readers live! I'm so very glad you showed your grandchild who is adorable and those beautiful dogwood. Your blog is a treasure to savor. I hope you enjoy many more years of blogging!

Fennie said...

And thanks to you, too, Vagabonde, for your lovely and informative blogs.

Kenza said...

Chère Vagabonde, je te souhaite un joyeux et heureux anniversaire!
Et souhaite longue vie à ton magnifique blog!
Bisous, bisous et merci encore pour ces très beaux moments de partage.

Ann said...

a very Happy Natal Anniversary to you!!!
and..a happy Blogaversary also!!!
I love to visit your blog and travel with you! So many places you have shared and taken me through your blog..I have seen and learned so much!! I am so very glad you started and continue with your blog!!!!!
i loved all your photos! a beautiful family..loved the dogwood..oh,the vintage postcards are fabulous!!
thank you for sharing!!

Kay G. said...

Kindest regards to you too! And happy 3rd birthday to your blog!
If you like postcards, have you heard of postcrossing? I think that is what it is called...Scriptor Senex has written of it from rambles from my chair...Let me know if you decide to do it.

Pat said...

What a wonderful trip you had and an equally wonderful trip you took us on! Thank you. The children are darling. The Tennessee blossoms are beautiful. We were in Nashville a year ago and oh, how I long for a visit to that Flea Market! What fun!

Anonymous said...

*** Que le printemps est beau à travers ton blog Vagabonde !!!! :o)
Les photos des enfants sont superbes !
BISES et bon début de semaine ! :o) ***

Arti said...

First off, a big Happy Birthday and Blogaversary to you!! It's amazing that through blogging we can reach the world and close the distance between us. And quite an achievement for you to have so many views in just a few years. I love your vintage post cards. And, I'm excited to see the 'Harvesting near Calgary, Alberta" picture there, since Calgary is my home. Also, that picture of the harvest reminds me of Terrence Malick's film "Days of Heaven", which was shot near Calgary, Alberta... lots of beautiful harvesting scenes too.

Ginnie said...

IT'S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL! I love the way you put all of this together, Vagabonde, to show how big and small this WWW is...2 sides of one coin. WOW.

✿France✿ said...

BOnsoir je viens de lire que tu étais d'Ales et bien comme le monde est petit je trouve*
Tu y retournes où pas!!!!!!!!
OUI le printemps est là tu as raison et les mais aussi
Il y a de si belles personnes sur les blogs et c'est tj un grand plaisir de pouvoir les rencontrer
Je t'embrasse et merci de ton passage

Madelief said...

Dear Vagabonde,

Congratulations on your birthday and your 3rd blog anniversary. You started a month earlier than I did :-)

The week you spent with your grandsons sounds delightful. They both look very sweet!

Happy new week,

Madelief x

Sally Wessely said...

Congratulations are in order. Happy birthday to you and congratulations on your blog anniversary also! I loved reading this post and am amazed at the following that you have amassed. I'm surprised though. You always have so much interesting content and such fabulous photos. I loved the interesting postcards.

Here's to another fabulous year of life and of creating such wonderful posts on a truly unique blog.

Vicki Lane said...

Many happy returns, Vagabonde, for the birthday and for the blog anniversary! Like you I marvel aat the power of the Internet to bring so many of us together.

Elaine said...

Two March anniversaries--I hope both were happy! I always love seeing your vintage postcards. What a delightful selection this time, and I love your spring flowers, especially the very first photo and the photos of the dogwood flowers. It sounds like you had a lovely visit with your daughter and her family. The grandchildren are adorable! I look forward to reading your blog for many more years!

Jenny Woolf said...

What a lovely visit to Tennessee it sounds, and you must be so thrilled with and proud of the kids! I adore it when Spring blossoms come out.

I will have to look into getting one of those maps with dots on to show the location of people viewing. It's intriguing. It is kind of hard to believe that there are real people out there reading what I write.

Ruth said...

Thank you for the beautiful postcard!

Congratulations on so many things. On your 3rd blog anniversary. On your birthday. Your parents wedding anniversary. Your beautiful grandchildren and happy family. Your gorgeous photographs of spring. Your "conquering" the world with your blog! You have traveled for us, and many have traveled to you. It is a beautiful journey we take together. I'm so happy I met you in our blogs.

Dianne said...

Happy Belated Birthday

beautiful family!! what cute wee ones

Friko said...

Thata very interesting gadget you have installed. I have nothing like it, I hardly ever bother to find out who came and from where. Perhaps I shouldn't be so cavalier about my readers.

I don't like it when people come, leave only a name and a comment but no way to get back to them. When someone is kind enough to comment several times, I'd like to find out who they are.

I love your vintage postcards, that is something else I'd love to do. I have a lot of modern ones, but not many old ones.

Congratulations on your sweet grandsons, I am sure you will treasure them.

Down by the sea said...

That you so much for visiting my blog and introducing me to yours.
Your pictures of spring our wonderful and I love your collection of old postcards. My grandparents used to have huge pile of old postcards which I used to love looking through, how I wish I had kept them!
Sarah x

Lonicera said...

Happy belated birthday! Like you I look at my stats from time to time, curious as to which posts people are interested in and what search string they put in Google. I count how many people visit from each country, and wonder at the more unusual ones. I'd like to know for how long people stop and look, suspecting that a few seconds is the norm. I've concluded that we're never going to know properly what really interests people as they zap around...

Barb said...

Happy belated Birthday & 3rd Blogversary! It is fun to know where all the visitors are coming from - even those who don't comment. Your daughter's family lives in a lovely place!

Barb said...
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Barb said...
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livininlb said...

Who knew back then what a wonderful, rich blog this would become. I love reading it so much, though I do sometimes get behind. I like going back and revisiting old posts as well and rediscovering something I may have zipped through the first time.
Thanks so much for all the memories, shared and new!
Your daughter in Memphis...C

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Happy Birthday and Happy Blogversary.
The photos of blooms are beautiful and I love the vintage post cards.
Thanks for stopping by my blog and your nice comments. Thanks too for referring my blog to your friend.

Dan said...


Thank you so much for visiting and your kind comments.

You have a fascinating blog with varied interests of art, art history, family and nature.

Congratulation on your anniversary too! Souhaitez "Bonne fête" à vous aujourd'hui.

Daniel LaFrance

Pondside said...

Bonne Fete my friend! I enjoy your posts and your comments and feel, sometimes, as though we are, indeed, old friends - we just haven't seen one another for a very long time. Thank you for the view of Yates Street - my office is on one of those corners!

PeterParis said...

With all the nice distractions you have had lately, bravo for this long post "celebrating" the nice things blogging can bring! But, of course, we must know that sometimes there are other priorities, some of them well illustrated here! :-)

Al said...

Happy birthday and blogiversary! Interesting post with lots of nice photos.

Miss_Yves said...

Bon anniversaire X 2 !
C'est très étrange, en effet, de se savoir lu des 4 coins du monde...
Vos collages (arbres en fleurs et enfants) sont très vivants

Wild_Bill said...

Happy birthday and congrats on 3 years of blogging. I love your photos they really tell a lot about the way that you look at the world. And I love how easily you connect past event with what is going on in the present. Certainly you have this "blogging" thing down. Most interesting!

Denise Covey said...

Hi Vagabonde. This is a truly impressive posts. The pictures are truly delightful. Yes, isn't the internet amazing. People from all over the world reading your post, not that they all leave a comment. Of all your pictures today I loved Mission Arcade by James Merriam. Isn't that just gorgeous! Love all the trees and flowers, and that vintage postcard is adorable. Thank you for your Kindest Regards.

And thank you for visiting my childhood blogger posts. 'V' was a bit tricky, but I worked it out, lol. Vagabonde would have been awesome.


Denise Covey said...

All that and I forgot to say Happy Birthday!


Olga said...

You have wonderful grandsons. It must be great to watch and be part of their growth and development. Also, your post had a lot of interesting information about different places.

Walk in New York said...

un tres beau post et avec un leger decalage, je te souhaite un joyeux anniversaire

Vagabonde said...

Dee, DJan, alwaysinthebackrow, Pauline, Old Lady of the Hills, Food Fund Life in the Charente, The Broad, Jojo, Sheila, Jeanie, Fennie, Ann, Kay G., Pie Lady Pat, Arti, Ginnie, Madelief, Retired English Teacher, Vicki Lane, Elaine, Jenny Woolf, Ruth, Dianne, Friko, Lonicera, Barb, livininlb, Pondside, Peter Olson, Al, Wild Bill, Denise Covey L’Aussie, Olga – I just reread all your comments. Thank you all for coming to my blog – it really makes me happy to read what you have to say. Thanks again.

Kenza, Nancy, France, Miss Yves, Walk in New York - Merci de venir sur mon blog. Je viens de relire tous vos commentaires et ils me font bien plaisir.

Down by the Sea, Grandma Barb’s This and That, Daniel La France, Welcome to my blog. I am so pleased you stopped by and hope to see you here again whenever you can.

Pat said...

Congratulations on your blog birthday. I am not surprised you have visitors from all over the world. Each post has a wealth of information and excelent pictures - it is a joy to read.

What dear little boys your grandsons are.

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