Today, is my one thousandth, three hundredth, and twentieth blog post! That’s right I’ve made 1,320 posts to The Apples In My Orchard! It all started just before the Slice of Life Story Challenge in 2017. I opened my blog during the last week in February to test the waters and be ready to write each day during March of 2017 and that’s exactly what I did! The rest, as they say, is history!
What does this tell you about me?
Primarily, if you only look at the number, it shows you that I like to write! It also tells you that that I am persistant in developing my craft and my following. That year, in 2017, I made 277 posts. There were 340 posts in 2018 – only missing twenty five days of writing the whole calendar year – and few of them were during SOL, unfortunately. But, in 2019 and 2020, I wrote all 31 days in March. More importantly, I wrote almost every single day during those years as well, logging 316 and 334 posts respectively. And, here I am again! Today, starts my fifth year of participation in the Slice of Life Story Challenge, affectionately known as SOLSC. If you are new to this blogging challenge, you are in for a treat. You have entered a group with some of the most supportive educators, authors, writers, and loyal readers ever! It is a special group and I am so proud to be a participant.
What do my blog numbers not tell you?
Plenty. At this point, you do not know what I write about, what my background is, or the roles I’ve had so far in my life. I draw inspiration to write from my everyday life. I have multiple interests, hobbies, and experiences. I am a mother of three young men, ages 26, 21, and 19. My youngest graduated from high school during the COVID pandemic, planned to go to college, got in his first choice university, and then decided on a different path! He recently moved out of the house (less than a month ago) and my husband and I are now true empty nesters.
I was a Certified Master Gardener for eighteen years, a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner for ten years, a neonatal intensive care nurse for five years, and an environmental educator for the last seventeen years. Within those years and roles are two Master’s degrees, one being completely finished online (digitally) in 2018.
I was a stay at home mom while my boys were growing up. But, I also was an avid volunteer for our school system, local children’s museum, and the regional master gardener group, logging hundreds of hours a year. Volunteering gave me a new identity and filled my heart in ways I did not know possible. It also got me out of the house and gave me a focus. Being a volunteer is also hard, too, because sometimes you find you are not appreciated like you should be or want to be. However, I would not trade the time I spent at home with my boys for anything. It was precious and goes by very fast!
Who or What do I consider myself to be?
This is, in fact, a good question. But, in my heart I am a teacher! Do I have a teaching license? No. Have I had courses in ed psych, pedagogy, as well as human growth and development? Yes. Have I developed lessons? Yes. Have I worked with children? Absolutely! I am an informal, environmental educator! I have years of experience with school aged children, teaching them through clubs and groups that I developed for our community and schools because I saw a need. Did everyone see the same needs as I did? No. But, I can tell you that everything I developed and taught was driven by gaps I saw and the desire to fill these gaps for the students, both my boys, and others. Most everything I did as a volunteer was student centered and also fulfilled a desire to be a student advocate. My love for writing developed alongside students who participated in my third grade writer’s circle for six years. This all took place prior to developing my WordPress blog, The Apples in My Orchard. It’s been a wonderful journey!
Types of Posts
When you visit my blog, you’ll read many stories about my writer’s circle students and my garden club students. You’ll read opinions and narratives on our educational systems and educational reform. You will read posts on leadership traits. These were a popular series of posts that I might elect to add to during March of 2021. You’ll also read some more personal and reflective posts about the pandemic, parenting, and a host of other topics.
On Sundays, I post only photographs for my Silent Sunday series. Although, I might write a tad with the photos during this month for the Slice of Life Story Challenge since we are supposed to be writing everyday. On Fridays, I post to a group called Poetry Friday. It’s another great group of generous and welcoming writers.
Nature, color, travel, and education are all topics that inspire my writing. I hope you stop by my blog this month and see what I have decided to share through writing. It’s varied. It’s contemplative. It’s reflective. It’s full of passion for life!
And, I’ll try to keep it relatively short, too!
Thank you to TwoWritingTeachers.org for organizing and hosting the Slice of Life Story Challenge!