Slice of Life Story Challenge 2021: Four Years Later & Blog Post 1,320

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 for organizing and hosting the Slice of Life Story Challenge!

16 thoughts

  1. Love this intro into who you are as a blogger/writer, teacher and human. I now know who to go to for my garden questions and also wonder if your early blog talk about nature adventures with little ones. I have lots of ideas for elementary age students but am not with my grandson (20 month of age) and we are beginning the nature walks, planting in the garden and learning about the world outside. Do you have thoughts for me on activities you did when your boys were young? Always looking for new ideas and ways to help this little one step into the outdoors. Enjoy this month of writing – I also love your Sunday silent day of images. Nice idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thanks, Joanne! I wanted to provide a little background for myself so people knew what to expect from my posts. It’s been a while since I made an “introductory” post…figured it was time again. I’ll give your questions some thought…. I did start raising monarchs when my youngest was about 18 months…..and have done so ever since. But, when they are that young…the nature walks are a great place to start…we used to go to the zoo and to a duck pond down the road with our oldest. My garden club was for 2-5th grade and ran for 13 years, so like you, most of my ideas are for that age group. Also, I’d let him dig in the dirt – look for worms, etc… Bugs are fascinating to young kids. Thanks for reading and the inspiration to share what I know!


  2. It’s my first year slicing during the month of March; I’m so excited! Congratulations on your 1,320th post!!! What an accomplishment. I would love to reach that number as I seek to make blog writing a more consistent habit. In the past, I tried several throughout various phases of my life, but I would give up. I think it had to do with not feeling like I was in community, like I was just talking to myself.

    I have an 18 month old son, and we have another set to arrive at the end of May. Time is moving so quickly, as you said! Thank you for sharing some background about yourself; I look forward to reading your posts this month! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Britt, I am looking foward to reading more of your posts. You are at such a wonderful stage of life. Enjoy every moment, even the days that are hard. (I remember toddlerhood as a mom and I needed some “breaks”!) I hope you can build your blogging habit and take us all along on your life’s journey! Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are so kind, thank you for your encouragement!

        I receive that “enjoy every moment” – how odd it feels that even a mere 18 months has gone by so quickly. When did my baby start running and liking to dance?! Ha ❤

        Happy slicing!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Carol, thanks for the overview post! I started SOLSC the same year you did, and am better for the experience. I checked, and I’m up to almost 200 posts on this blog (which I started in 2017 for the SOLSC). I always enjoy your posts and our commenting. Here’s to a good March!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tim! I am really looking forward to March and glad you are too. I, also, very much enjoy your reflective and, sometimes, introspective posts. SOLSC is a such a supportive community where people can connect through their stories! Plus, the sun is out here! I hope the same for you!


  4. Wow! Congratulations on all off your accomplishments. I am learning what it means to be an empty nester and find that the Slice of Life Challenge is part of my journey right now. I am grateful for your inspirational post. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! You are an inspiration and I loved getting to know you through this blog post. I’ll definitely be returning to read more throughout the month.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rita, Thanks so much for stopping by today and for your kind comments! Are you part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge, blogging each day in March? I went to your blog to check it out and found a great post on Book Clubs but it was from July. I hope you are well and currently writing, whether in the challenge or not! Thanks, again!


  6. I may have been a part of your welcome wagon your first year, but not sure. In any case, wow, what a lot of blogging you have done! I should check my number, but I am sure it is nowhere near yours! It is great to learn a little more about you through this introduction- makes me wish I had done that on my first slice…

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s