August 24, 2007

Bits and Bobs

It's Friday and I'm trying to get a head start on my weekend chores so I can curl up with a book or two this weekend. I have a stack of library books that have already been renewed once and I really want to get to them! I also have 4 tall stacks of books to pick and choose from for the various challenges I'm participating in. Then there's that stack of recently acquired books...

I have an overdue thank you to both Nan and Bellezza for picking me for their Nice Matters Award. I'm truly touched and honored.

I'm supposed to pass this along to seven (or is it four?) bloggers. I really have a terrible time choosing the recipients for this sort of thing. I hate to exclude anyone and cause hurt feelings. Every blog I visit is created by very nice people, so if you're reading this, consider yourself nominated!

Labor Day is just around the corner (How can that be?! Summer just started!) and I've posted a few new summertime recipes over on my food blog. Check 'em out! Or better yet, let me tempt you with a few pics!

Potato Salad

Marinated Chicken Wings with White BBQ (Dipping) Sauce

Salmon Pasta

Black Bean Salsa

Rachel's Caribbean Shrimp & Mango Salad

Grilled Chicken Tacos

Shrimp with Feta Cheese

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm constantly amazed when a stranger posts a comment on one of my blogs. How did they find me? Was it a random hit as a result of a Google search? I have been known to spend far too much time perusing my data results on StatCounter. (Are you all just as curious as I am, wanting to know who all those people are who are reading your blogs?) Well, it turns out Ian from the San Juan Island Update has a Google alert set up and discovered my blog after I mentioned Friday Harbor in my bookstore post. He turned around and mentioned my blog here (scroll down to the August 21st news) which generated quite a spike in my stats for that day! I received a nice comment from another Friday Harbor local (a columnist for a different San Juan Island website) who first heard about me via Ian's column. You still with me?

I use Google alerts for a variety of subjects, but this is the first time (that I know of!) I've had someone find me via their alert -- well, with the exception of an author who read my negative review of his book last year! I was initially both surprised & horrified when I received his very nice email, claiming he was "proud to get my first 'F'!" In any case, it's flattering to have my blog mentioned elsewhere. Now if only someone would pay me to do this so we can move to Friday Harbor!


  1. Congrats on the Nice Matters Award. Definitely deserved.

    I am loving your recipe blog. I've printed off several and plan to make them as soon as I get some ambition. It's been grilled cheese sandwiches and other fast, easy fixes around here. The house being torn apart and school starting are setting me under a bit.

    Don't you wish people would make a quick comment when they visit your blog? Thanks for the tip about Google alerts. Didn't know about that.

  2. Anonymous1:27 AM

    The food looks so delicious, it's making me hungry! I might just have to head over to your foodblog now for some inspiration!

  3. I always wonder how people find my blog. Sorry I can't remember how I found yours - it could have via Nan's blog, but how did I find hers?

    Anyway, congrats on your award and I've had a quick look at your recipes, which look really appetising - will try them out. Thanks

  4. Les, congrats on the Nice Matters Award, you are so deserving of it!

    Your summertime recipes look oh so good, I especially love Rachel's Caribbean Shrimp and Mango Salad *drool*

    Even the grilled chicken tacos look so tasty. Look at me drooling away over here and I haven't even had b'fast yet! :)

    Yes, isn't wonderful to suddenly discover that your blog or a post has been mentioned somewhere nice? It gives me a huge boost! Glad to hear you are mentioned at the San Juan Island website, way to go Les!

  5. Those chicken tacos look divine!

    I should really start doing a stat counter thingy, because it is interesting. I always just assume strangers find my blog via other book blogs or my comments. :) That'd be awesome if it was coming up on Google searches, though.

    Off to go set up a stat counter!

  6. Booklogged - I'm glad to hear you're enjoy my cooking blog. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Now that I have a nicer camera, I'm tempted to take new pictures of some of the older recipes! I'm sure my husband won't mind. He loves it when I cook for the blog. ;)

    Yeah, I'd love to know who's been bopping around on my blog. Sometimes looking at the StatCounter information is more baffling than worthwhile. Who do I know in Poland? Or Germany? How did they find my blog? :)

    Myrthe - Hope you find some yummy recipes. I have a couple more to add tonight, so stick around!

    Bookplease - You probably found me via Nan's blog. I've know her for about ten years now. She's the best of the best. I'll have to hop over and peruse your blog. I'll be sure to let you know I was there. :)

    Lotus - Thanks! Yep, Rach's recipe is quite yummy. I'm so happy to have a part of her in my food blog. She loved that recipe! And, yes, those chicken tacos are fabulous. I'm going to make the chicken again and use it in a taco salad with some black beans. Should be just as yummy!

    Eva - It'll surprise you how people stumble upon your blog via the key word search on Google. Makes one a little cautious as to the phrasing of certain words... ;)

  7. I wasn't really aware of Google alerts, either, but I did Google my way here tonight, since I'm using IE and only have you bookmarked on Firefox. But you're famous! :)

    I have found some great blogs sometimes when I've been reading yours and decided to click on "next blog" at the top of the page. Sometimes it takes a few clicks to get past some really strange ones (one night I kept hitting blogs in other languages), but I really need to get around to subscribing to the really good ones when I find them,instead of just bookmarking them.

  8. Janet - Isn't it interesting how much we've come to rely on Google (and that it's become a verb!).

    I haven't clicked on "next blog" in a very long time. I have far too many favorites that keep me busy enough! Let me know if you discover anything worthwhile!

  9. I'm so glad the author was nice. I've had authors be horribly defensive sometimes when I've given their work glowing reviews but mentioned some small thing that niggled at me. Authors who can handle criticism with aplomb are few and far between, and very wonderful!

  10. Heather - So far, I've had nothing but very nice remarks from the authors I've been in touch with. Probably a good thing since I'm terribly thick-skinned!

    Thanks for stopping by. (I'll have to get over to your blog later this evening!).


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