Archive for the ‘Thanksgiving’ Category

Crossing the Finish Line: RAC Challenge Wrap-Up

October 31st: Reflecting on holiday seasons in the past, I wonder why Thanksgiving and Christmas have lost the magic they used to hold many years ago.

November 1st:  Seeking to re-establish that “spark,” I come up with a wacky idea to encourage a more festive holiday attitude within myself and others, as well.  I run it past two people, they give me a vote of confidence, and an idea is born.

November 2nd:  I decide to make the leap and chronicle my experiences on a blog somewhere in Cyberspace.  I research popular blogging sites, ultimately pick Word Press, and create Miracle on 32nd Street.  The idea for RACs (Random Acts of Christmas) is born out of my very first post.

November 2nd, 6:46 PM:  My very first comment arrives in my email inbox.  Heidi becomes my very first poster.

January 1st, 2011:  The first ever RAC Challenge officially wraps up its first season, and goes on hiatus until November 2011.


What a difference a day makes.  One minute, I’m on my way to rehearsal, daydreaming about Christmas and how the holiday spirit has been elusive in years past.  The next day, I’ve gained the title of “blogger”, along with a screen name, website, and one comment.

image

What a difference a month makes.  Compare November to December:  in the latter month, I had around 1150 views.  In the former month, I had 2500.  I gained more posters, but more importantly, I gained faithful posters:  people who, like clockwork, continually comment on my writing…people who I now consider as “friends,” although we’ve never actually met face to face.

You can read all about how blogging has changed my life in this article, but this post is dedicated to the RAC Challenge….the idea that started it all.  Now, two months and two days after I initially began my blog, I pause for a moment to reflect on my journey with the RACs and how they have had an amazing impact on who I am and my life in general.

How the RACs changed me…

Crunching the Numbers

Another year down, and another year of possibility has just begun.  It’s weird to think that this blog began “way back” in 2010, and even weirder to receive an email from Word Press giving me the low down on my site stats “for 2010.”  My blog only saw two months of 2010.  Don’t they know it was only yesterday when I endured a difficult birthing process, full of ice chips, epidurals, and breathing exercises, to produce Miracle on 32nd Street?!?

Still, it is pretty neat to see some analyzed site statistics, even though my blog’s just over 2 months old.  And, as you, my readers, are the responsible ones for these stats, I thought it only proper to share them with you.  You are the people responsible for turning this little “project” into a fully blown blog, so I bow down to you, ever so humbly.

It’s interesting to note which posts were the top attention grabbers (maybe they had sequins or glitter or aluminum foil on them to snatch your focus…who knows?).  Perhaps you saw some of those posts yourself, and perhaps they passed you by.  At any rate, have a look at “what you did,” and know that I’m appreciative of each and every one of you.

In the meantime, while you’re feasting on this little appetizer of sorts, I will be readying my final post centered around RACs and my holiday challenge, which ended on New Year’s Day.  Fear not, though!  Miracle on 32nd Street will still remain open for business!  The RAC Challenge, however, will take a hiatus until next November, when it shall return for it’s second run.

Enjoy the analysis work done by the folks at Word Press, and I’ll get moving on my own analysis of the past two months and my RAC Challenge.  Thank you all for a wonderful (albeit brief) 2010!  I am all a-twitter with what’s to come in the New Year!

Just the Facts…

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2010. That’s about 8 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 54 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 624 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 40mb. That’s about 2 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was December 14th with 190 views. The most popular post that day was The 12 Movies of Christmas.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were WordPress Dashboard, wordpress.com, My Comments, stumbleupon.com, and naziaiftikhar.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for miracle on 32nd street, miracleon32ndstreet.wordpress.com, uncle lewis christmas vacation, aunt bethany, and christmas vacation uncle lewis.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

The 12 Movies of Christmas December 2010
21 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

2

Two Hours November 2010
28 comments and 6 Likes on WordPress.com

3

About this blog… November 2010
7 comments

4

Random Acts of Christmas November 2010
13 comments

5

And there’s that line… December 2010
24 comments and 5 Likes on WordPress.com

Thanksgiving-Palooza: Part 5…Finishing the Leftovers

You know Thanksgiving-Palooza is coming to a close when your “Thanksgiving Hoagie” ingredients are dwindling away:

1 sandwich bunhoagie

3 slices turkey meat

2 scoops stuffing

1 dollop cranberry sauce

1 tbsp mayo

Lettuce and Tomatoes

Or, in Lehman’s terms: the leftovers are gone and Thanksgiving is over…yes, you may shed a collective Internet tear here.

To put the stuffing sandwiches and cranberry-turkey-sweet potato milkshakes to bed (don’t ask), I will close out my first annual Thanksgiving-Palooza with an official top-ten list of things I am grateful for this holiday season.  And no…the Thanksgiving Hoagie is not one of those things, although it’s now an intrinsic staple to my diet.

Aunt Bethany’s Thanksgiving-Palooza Gratitude List 2010

OR

Reasons Why I’m Still Kicking

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10. I am grateful to have stumbled upon WordPress.com nearly a month ago and discovered the world of Blogging.  Since that time, I’ve uncovered a new world of creative expression that has changed me as a person, as a writer, and as a friend.  I am equally as grateful for the online contacts I’ve made through the process, especially The Edmonton Tourist, Ferabeth, SisterMerryHeliish, Chase MacFadden, and Uncle Lewis, to name a few.  Blogging is now a part of my life now, and I’m uber-excited to see where it leads.

Continue reading

Thanksgiving-Palooza: Part Four

Welcome back to our holiday kick-off party, Thanksgiving-Palooza!

*echo PALOOZA PALOOZA PAL–

Uncle Lewis, would you please stop making ominous echoes EVERYTIME I say that word?

lewis

Uncle Lewis*puts down megaphone* Sorry…

It’s okay, I can’t fault you for being excited.  Lord knows I’m totally pumped for the holidays, now, and I find I’m a bearer of great Christmas spirit today.

The trytophen’s gone, the pecan pie’s demolished, and the relatives have taken all of their Depends undergarments and scurried home…this can only mean one thing…

Christmas is coming!

*echo COMING COMING COMING CO–

UNCLE LEWIS!!!

REE

Uncle Lewis:  *puts down microphone* All right, I’m done.

Don’t worry, he’ll pass out eventually…

Thanksgiving-Palooza: Part Three

Our third Thanksgiving-Palooza post involves a recap of the past two RACs I’ve done yesterday and today.  Aunt Bethany here, and I will still be serving as your host for this post, and for the upcoming fourth and final entry to our Thanksgiving-Palooza series.

pledge

My Wednesday RAC was by no means anything spectacular.  It actually piggy-backed off of my Tuesday RAC, so, in many ways, it shouldn’t have counted.  Still, it’s an action I wouldn’t normally have done, so, it counts! RACs are kind of like horse shoes and hand grenades:  even if you’re close, it counts!

As I was picking up a Little Caesar’s Hot-N-Ready pizza on Wednesday, I was met by a rather pleasant and amiable cashier, who looked liked he had just faced a rather difficult rush of lunch orders.  Still, he approached the counter refreshed and with a smile on his face.  In fact, he even took the time mid-transaction to ask me how I was, a question which usually is placed at the front of conversation and without much thought.  “How are you today?” has become as normal as just saying “Hello” to someone…you do it without thinking, but just how much do you really wish to know how someone is?

So, hearing this question mid-conversation kind of threw me, in a good way.  I think I was so surprised to hear that come out of his mouth that I almost didn’t know how to respond.  I was able, however, to come up with something, because my hands eventually found their way to my wallet and handed $6.95 to the cashier.  “How are you?” goes” at the BEGINNING of the conversation, goddamnit!  Cannot compute, cannot compute, cannot compute…

I was just about to pick up my steaming box of goodness when I glanced down on the counter to spy a mostly empty tip jar staring back at me…

tips

How can you say “no” to eyes like that?

Really, how CAN you?