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A Belated Blogaversary

Star, Simplified is two years old!  Well, technically she turned two on September 12th, but who’s counting?  It’s funny, when I started this blog in 2008, it was on the advice of my friend, Iris, who thought I needed a place to vent about some pretty upsetting and maddening things that were going on in my family.  And it did help to write them down, since my whole career had involved writing down emotions. It helped me clear my mind and heart.

But, oh how this little blog has grown!  When I look over all the posts of the past year, it’s hard to pinpoint one subject matter.  Sure, I still have my serious times, grappling with getting older (Seeking My Self Esteem) and trying to cope with being hurt (In Search of a Grown-up Playmate and My Fade-Away Friend.)

But then, hey!  There was my entrance into the world of tattoos (The Tattooed People) and my very own birthday tattoo that I got to chronicle.

And there has been plenty of goofy stuff, too, like my everlasting war with moles, my regular rants to those who are annoying me, and my endless Bits and Pieces to pick up the slack.

And then there are always Nature pieces, as well.  I have done 17 “On Cloud Patrol’s” and various pieces about birds and cats and bunnies and insects.  And I try to cover the changing seasons, too, as in Tracking Winter.

This past year I also started reviewing movies and TV shows, such as my “Farewell to the Fishers” after I finished “Six Feet Under.”

Also, I started my column “Ten Good Things,” which morphed into “Five Good Things,” which has been a good wake-up call for me to remember that no matter what is going on, we always have good things in our lives if we just keep our eyes open.

This was the year when I interviewed my dear friend, Iris, on her 71st birthday and introduced you to Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, which I absolutely love.

So, all in all, it has been a pretty interesting and fulfilling year, at least for me.  You notice I didn’t bring up my medical double-vision junk, but maybe I should, because not only has this blog given me a place to vent my fears, but it has shown me how many wonderful readers and blogging friends I have.  Your comments and support have touched my heart and meant the world to me.  It only takes a moment to leave a comment, but boy, some of your comments have stayed with me a whole lot longer.

Thanks for sticking with me.  I’ll try to make the next year even better.

Love you guys,

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In Search Of?

It’s interesting to me to learn what brings people to this blog and what posts are the most popular.  Fortunately, WordPress provides me with a “dashboard” which shows me how many “hits” I have each day, which posts were read by how many people and what search terms certain people entered which brought them to this blog.

What I expected to be most popular were the more humorous pieces, like “Star in Bra Land” or “The Mole and Me.” Or else, there were the very emotional and passionate ones like “Letter to My Deceased Stepmother” and “Letter to My Real Mother.” And while those do get read, they aren’t the ones which are searched day in and day out.

No, what I’ve learned from studying the search terms is that my title of “Star Simplified, Pseudo M.D.” is secure.  Any time I write a post that is in any way medical, it gets hit over and over.  The one post that seems to be read more than any other is “My Pink Eye Week.” It is read every single day by someone and usually more than one person.  This is understandable to me because when you realize you have pink eye, it’s scary and you want to know all you can about it.   And I actually did write it as sort of a public service.

Then I have the search terms “stitches lip surgery” and “big lip surgery” which I assume refer to my lip surgery Before and After.  And there are always a lot of terms like “do nail beds grow back?” “damaged nail beds” and “nail bed baby toe,” all which lead people to my post in which I show a picture of how I had to remove most of my thumbnail (gross, but interesting.) I also get “toothache” and “humidity toothache (?)” which I can only assume take people to the post in which I wrote a letter “To My Depressed Tooth.” Anyway, you get the picture.  If you want pseudo medical advice, this blog is the place to get it.  If I don’t know the answer, I’ll make one up!  And all my advice is free!

Of course, there are a few terms which I just can’t explain, such as “Is hell an endless loop?”  Another is “bed couple xxx.”  And one that particularly amuses me which showed up recently is “dead by banana.”  Huh?

One day I was particularly excited because I had 117 hits, all referred from another blog.  I went to see what it was and this is what I found:

It doesn’t come through very clear here, but the whole thing is in Chinese!  I’m hoping there is something in there that says, “Go look at this extremely funny, touching, intelligent blog written by a very wonderful American woman! ” On the other hand, it could be saying something negative, instead, which would make me very sad, so maybe it’s for the best that I can’t read the language.

But then, I guess even that would be better than being  dead by banana!…

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One Year Blogaversary!

Star, oneOne year ago I decided to try my hand at writing a blog and 197 postings later, I’m still here!  It’s amazing.  If only you knew all the diaries and journals I began throughout my life, starting out strong and faithful for a month or two, then tapering off to nothingness.  That’s why this day is special to me.  This time I’ve hung in there!  Wow.

I started this blog initially to work through some hurtful things that were happening in my life and was gratified to discover that it actually helped!  Blogging, for me, is a great form of therapy.  Any of you who read this regularly, know that I never hesitate to use this as a place to vent my frustrations, irritations and disappointments.  (Think bad neighbors, male enhancement advertisements, and other annoyances.) The funny thing is, once I’ve written about something, it tends to sting less.  So I highly recommend “Blog As Psychiatrist!”

But I’ve also found myself writing about a whole variety of other things – memories, smells, bras, clouds, TV, to name a few.  I’ve also gotten to act as a  pseudo-doctor and a  bird sociologist.  I mean, what I LOVE about having this blog is that I can just write about whatever catches my fancy!  It’s a challenge and a joy.

What truly surprises me is the pleasure I receive from the readers who comment!  I look on many of my regulars as friends and am always delighted when someone new chimes in.  But, judging from my blog’s statistics, there are a great many more people who read regularly but, for whatever reason, never comment.  (Yes, Dee, I’m looking at YOU!) But that’s okay.  I welcome and appreciate you all.

So, if you’re reading this today, let me thank you personally.  It’s nice to know I’m not all alone out here.  I hope I’ve made you think or at least, laugh or smile a time or two, even if it was at my expense.  Your support is appreciated.  I hope you’ll keep checking in every other day, and I’ll try my best to keep on keeping on!

It’s nice to be ONE!

Star Signature

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signWhen I started this blog in September, I wondered if I would have the staying power to keep it up.  Blogging every day seemed to put undue pressure on me, and I wanted this to be something I enjoyed.  On the other hand, waiting too long between posts breaks the continuity.  I know how disappointed I am when I check my favorite blogs and they haven’t posted for a long time.  I finally found my groove by posting every other day.

What an adventure it has been – conquering the learning curve, making new friends in the blogosphere, and having a place to vent my frustrations and joys.  It was first suggested that I try this by my dear friend Iris, who knew I was going through a difficult time in my life.  She thought it would be good therapy, and it has been.  Thank you, Iris!

So anyway, when I saw that my 100th post was coming up, I checked around to see what other bloggers had done to celebrate this milepost.  Often they post a “100 Things About Me” list to give readers an insight to the “person behind the blog.”  So that’s what I decided to do.  I personally love reading other people’s lists and find them fascinating, but 100 things are a lot.  So rather than include them in this post, you can read them HERE, if you so desire.

Meanwhile, I want to thank everyone who is reading this, some who have just found this blog and my beloved regulars.  And I’m sending a particularly warm fuzzy thank-you to everyone who takes the time to comment.  Those comments mean so much!  You guys rock!

Startail

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Today I received an award from Smocha at “Cats on the British Counter.”  If you haven’t seen it, you might want to visit her blog as she describes the day-to-day adjustments she has been trying to make as an American who has just moved to England.  It’s amusing and frustrating at the same time!  She passed this on to me and four other bloggers saying, “I truly do enjoy reading what they have to say mainly because of their own little unique way they have of saying it”

bvangogh1Inspiration of the Van Gogh’s Ear Award
You may know the story of Vincent Van Gogh a well known artist in history. Although a brilliant painter, in his later years he went quite insane and received the nickname of fou roux (“the redheaded madman”). The most bizarre of Vincent’s behavior is when he cut off the lower part of his own left ear lobe, which he wrapped in newspaper and gave to a prostitute named Rachel in the local brothel, asking her to “keep this object carefully. After this he suffered recurrent bouts of mental illness, which led to his suicide July 29, 1890 he was 37 years old. His works of art are priceless.

The point of this award
We are all artists in our own way be it art, photography, writing, philosophy, comedy, blogging and we all go a little crazy sometimes. But if you ever feel so crazy to cut off your ear and give it to a prostitute “Seek Help”!

Always remember you’re unique.
Just like everyone else.

I appreciate her thinking enough of my blog to include me.   I can think of many bloggers to whom I could award this , but, at the same time, I’m also aware that many of those bloggers prefer not to be “tagged.”  So, I think that I will take the coward’s way out and, from time to time, feature individual blogs which have caught my eye.  Meanwhile, I am honored and flattered that she chose me for recognition.

Thank you, Smocha.

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An Award for Moi?

Well, what a nice surprise!  When I checked my email yesterday, I discovered that Sheri of A Novel Menagerie had given me an award!.  Before I go into that, let me tell you why this is such a nice thing.  Sheri has a beautiful blog in which she not only reviews books, but also gives entertainment reviews, stories about her everyday life with her beautiful twin daughters and, in addition, runs a small business selling creative bookmarks called “BookCharmers.”  I don’t see how she does it all!  Add to that, the fact that her site is exquisitely designed, and you’ll understand how flattered I am that she has become a fan of my simple, (yet durable!) little blog.

Anyway, she has given me the Butterfly Award:

butterfly_awardAnd here is how she described my blog:

My next Butterfly Award (gee… this is fun) is presented to a blogger that has absolutely NOTHING to do with book reviews.  but, she thinks like me (although she may deny that, at first).  Her family has not been very good to her, she’s lost the love of her life, and the worst neighbors imaginable have moved in next door to her.  Yet, despite the atrocities of bad paper boys, pajama wearing moms in the supermarket, and every day’s life perils, she tries to keep the chin up and persevere.  You got to love: Star at starsimplifed.

Very cool, I must say.  The rule is that I’m supposed to nominate five to ten other blogs for the award, but where to start?  I have bookmarked so many wonderful blogs, that to choose just five or ten would mean bypassing others.  So, I’m going to give this some thought.  But meanwhile, I want to once again thank Sheri for the recognition and for her thoughtfulness.

Gee, it’s nice to have blog friends!

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