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February 18, 2012

6 Years!


Good friends
and
good books --
things
we want to
hang on to
forever.


Last Wednesday marked the 6th anniversary of Lesley’s Book Nook (now known as Prairie Horizons).

Really? Six years?!

When I first started blogging about books, I never imagined I'd stick with it for all these years. I have two other blogs that I no longer post to and my poor, pathetic cooking blog that is rarely ever added to. (And which is in desperate need of a makeover with all new photos!) Over the years I grew weary of the pressure to write reviews and got bored with my template, often considering ditching the whole thing for more time to read, but I could never bring myself to say goodbye to all the great friends I’ve made over the years. Andi, Heather, Nat and Nancy, you guys are probably the bloggers I’ve known the longest. We met on a couple of Yahoo sites prior to blogging and I think it was Andi who convinced me to give it a try. Since then, I’ve seen other online friends join in on the book chatter (Nan & Kay) and while some have left for good (if you’re reading this, please know that I miss your posts*), others have quit and returned (much to the joy of this reader). Many of you are like sisters to me (Bellezza, Wendy, Joy and SuziQ) and I hope we get a chance to meet some day. Some of you share my enthusiasm for travel (Stephanie & Iliana), cooking & photography (Pam), and many others are simply faithful readers, virtual friends with whom it's a pleasure to stay in touch, discussing whatever arises (Staci, JoAnn, Kelly and Kathy). And then there are bloggers whom I’ve recently met (Linda & Trish) who feel like kindred spirits. You all enrich my life every single day. What a great community of which to be a part! Why in the world would I want to leave? Especially now that I’ve found my blogging mojo with this new template and discovered how easy it is to change up my header and sidebar. Life in the blogosphere is very good.


Getting nostalgic as I started to compose this post, I glanced back on my previous blogiversary posts (somehow, I missed the 5th!) and thought it might be fun to repost a little bit from each.


Year One:

Today marks the one-year anniversary of this blog. I can't believe how quickly the time has flown since I first posted my review for Barbara Kingsolver's Small Wonder.

It's been quite a year of emotional healing. I owe a lot to all my new friends who share my joy of reading (and kitties, inclement weather, cooking, gardening and random musings). I love reading all your comments and visiting your blogs.

I'm thankful for the warmth of friendship I've discovered within the blogging community and treasure each and every one of you. I look forward to many more years of writing and fellowship.


Year Two:

It’s important to have a sense of place. To feel that you belong somewhere, to feel committed. For some people, place begins with another person and everything – from friends to the Japanese maple in the yard – grows from that. But sometimes, it works the other way. You find a place where you belong. And the people find you. Gathering mussels, picking beans, eating blackberry pie. (author unknown)

During the past two years, I have found a place where I belong. I love sharing my thoughts about the books I've read, the places I've visited, the beauty in nature, and the new music I've discovered. And, I've discovered so many new authors and books thanks to all of you fabulous bloggers. My life is richer since I began blogging and I've met so many intelligent, funny, and kind new friends. I simply can't imagine ever giving this up! So here's to many, many more years of friendship and books.


Year Three:

Blogging has been such a rewarding experience and, although there have been times when I've felt too busy to post, I can't imagine my life without my blog and blogmates. Thank you all for helping to enrich my life. I've enjoyed each and every enthusiastic comment, felt each tender virtual hug in times of need, and am grateful for every one of you.


Year Four:

I've been busy catching up on my book reviews and just realized that my blogiversary came and went (yesterday). Have I really been blogging for four years?? I had to double-check to be sure. The time has certainly flown by! I want to thank each and every one of you who take the time to stop by and read my reviews, leave comments, and hang in there when I get quiet.


Keeping with the tradition of blogiversary give-aways and as a thank you for your loyal readership and comments, I would like to offer a gift of appreciation. Leave a comment between now and February 29th, indicating you’d like to be included (you must include your email address), and I’ll draw a winning name to receive a box of a dozen gently used books (including one audiobook) from my shelves. Due to the size and weight of the box, I will have to restrict this give-away to the U.S.

Human beings are meant to connect.
Laughter and good wishes
are an appropriate response to new adventures,
and gratitude for what has been
often walks hand in hand
with joy in new possibilities.
Whether it’s a traditional house-warming
or a modern blog-warming,
the point is the same:
life is better in community.

~ Linda, at The Task at Hand


* the other Lesley, Marcia, Robin

28 comments:

  1. Congrats on six years and I'm so glad your blogging mojo is back. I love the new template and changes you've made.

    My 6th is coming up in July - there are quite a few of us who started back in 2006 who are still around. You are among the first handful of bloggers I 'met' when I first started.

    One of these years we'll manage to meet up in person!!

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  2. Congratulations on 6 years! That's a tremendous accomplishment ... and I love the new look of the blog!

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  3. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- yours is my favorite book blog on the Internet. I am in awe of your dedication! Many thanks.

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  4. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- this is the best book blog on the Internet. I admire your dedication. I'd post more but am horrible at capshaw deciphering!

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  5. Wow, 6 years of blogging is like 100 years of anything else. Congratulations on such a wonderful achievement!

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  6. Wow 6 years is significant; congrats! (I'll be 4 in June). I do love your new look.

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  7. Happy Blogiversary! Seems to me I remember reading your blog for quite some time, so I ventured upon it a while ago. I am glad you are still around! And, I hope you will be around for many more years to come.

    Funny you mention the vanishing bloggers. I emailed Robin at Christmastime and she did email me back to say that she misses blogging. I hope that she will return. I was also wondering what happened to the other Lesley.

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  8. Woo Hoo, Les! Congratulations on 6 beautiful blogging years! I'm so glad a tweak here and a tweak there has helped you find your mojo. The blogosphere would not be the same without you. Btw - I'll be 6 in July, too!

    I see you are listening to The Homecoming of Samuel Lake! What do you think so far?! I'm very eager to hear your thoughts.

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  9. Thank God for Andi!! I remember those ole Book Spot days. I'm so glad many of us made the jump to blogging; I would have hated loosing touch them. We've been through some ups and downs together and I am glad beyond measure to count you amongst my treasured friends. Happy Anniversary my dear friend!

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  10. Six years is fantastic! Congratulations!

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  11. I'm not sure of the technical way to do it, but what if you brought your other blogs here, and combined them. I may be the only one, but I have a hard time when people have more than one blog. I like reading it all in one place. Congrats, dearie.

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  12. Congratulations on 6 years of blogging! Your blog was one of my earliest discoveries and an inspiration when deciding to start my own. It's still a favorite!

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  13. Happy Birthday...Blogday? Whatever we call it, it's a joy to have you here!

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  14. Hard to believe it's been 6 years, isn't it? I'm glad your new template has given you back your blogging mojo. Mine has helped a bit but I still toy with leaving blogging behind. The idea of losing touch with people is what keeps me going. I don't think I could bear that; it would be like losing an entire family.

    Happy Bloggiversary, Les!

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  15. Lesley! I left a comment here, did it not come through on your email? Let me know, and I'll try to recreate it. Right now, I'm in Downton Abbey withdrawal, and not much good for anything. xo

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  16. Happy blogiversary! In some ways 6 years goes quickly and in others it feels like forever!

    No need to enter me into the giveaway.

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  17. Here's to many more years. I love blogs that focus on the writer's life not just on books. It's been wonderful connecting with you. Happy 6th year!

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  18. That is so weird! I left a loving and insightful comment, I hope ;), about all the things that blogging with you has meant to me. From my foot surgery in 2006 when we seemed to first connect, to sharing the losses of our loved ones, to presents and comments and letters sent through the years, you mean so much to me, Les. Sorry stupid blogger wouldn't let me say it on your post!!

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  19. I was out of the bloggy loop when you posted this, but I'm so happy you're still here and feel a renewed blogging mojo. It's essential to change things up from time to time to stay refreshed.

    You know I adore you and your blog, Les. Cheers to many more years!

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  20. Happy Anniversary, Les!! I'm so happy you're still here and have found a new energy for blogging. My 6th past last month even though I've been a terrible blogger these last couple of years. But I am looking forward to getting back to blogging once we're a little more settled in. Us old timers have got to stick together. ;)
    Congrats again, and here's hoping for many more years! (And the chance to finally meet up!) :)

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  21. I'm so glad to have found you through Bellezza, and just can't believe the whole group of you who have been at this for six years! That's truly remarkable. I'll "turn four" in April, and my goodness - how I've managed to keep chugging I'll never know.

    But I enjoy it so much, and enjoy reading all of the book reviews, even though I'm still struggling to find time to read. Maybe this will be the year I actually pick up some of the volumes you so beautifully present here!

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  22. Thanks you ALL for the lovely comments! As usual, the week flew by and I fell behind with replies, emails, blog-hopping, book reviews, etc. At least I have a three-day weekend to play catch-up!

    SuziQ - I hope we meet up one of these days, too.

    Melissa - Thanks. I'm really having fun with this new template.

    Maudeen - You are too kind! Thank you.

    Kathy - Thanks. 6 years does seem like a long time, doesn't it?!

    Diane - Thanks so much!

    Kelly - I'm glad I'm still around, too. With this new template (and a change of attitude about blogging more than once a week), I'm pretty sure I'll be around for many more years.

    I hope Robin returns to blogging. I've kept her url in my "favorites" and check it once a week, just in case. I think the other Lesley got involved in running, biking and hiking, so the reading/blogging probably fell by the wayside.

    Joy - Thanks, dear friend.

    I finished The Homecoming of Samuel Lake last week. I'll have my review up later this weekend, but I'll go ahead and tell you that I LOVED it!! I need to re-read your review after I write mine, but I know it was yours and Staci's reviews that prompted me to read it. Thank you!!!

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  23. Heather - We had fun over at Book Spot, didn't we? I often wonder what the "leader" of that group is up to. Was her name Kathy? She lived in the states, but then moved to Canada. We kept in touch for a while, but eventually lost touch. Anyhow, I'm glad you and I haven't lost touch. You are very dear to me, too!

    Rhapsody - Thanks so much.

    Nan - Hmmm. Now you've got me thinking. I could re-post some of those old posts from my garden/nature blog, maybe once a week. The other inactive blog is the one with the letters to Rach, so I won't do anything with it. I don't post to it anymore, but I'll never delete it. I still get comments on it every once in a while.

    JoAnn - Aww. I'm glad I helped inspire you to start blogging. Yours is one of my favorites, too!

    Inside A Book - Thank you!

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  24. Nancy - I know! The time has really flown. I hate the thought of you leaving the blogging world, but I know we'd remain friends and stay in touch via emails & FB. You know, you could always just post little blurbs about what you're reading on FB. Most of us follow you over there anyway. Whatever you decide, know that I'll stay in touch. We still need to take a trip together, you know! :)

    Bellezza - I'm so sorry Blogger lost your lovely comment. You and I have shared so much over the years and I do so hope that we get a chance to meet someday soon. You are my kindred spirit, dearest friend. xo

    Marg - Isn't that the truth. Time is such a funny thing!

    Staci - I'm glad you've enjoyed my blog over the years. It's been fun connecting with you, too!

    Andi - No apologies necessary. I am forever out of the bloggy loop! I adore you, too. If I ever get my butt down to Dallas, we definitely need to meet! Seems like I'm always just hanging out in DFW and never getting into the city.

    Nat - Another pal I want to meet, especially now that you're in DEL MAR!!! :) I'm anxious to have you return to the blogging world, but I know you're very busy getting settled in. I check in every week, as do most of your readers, I'm sure. You can always just post pictures of that beautiful beach for me. :)

    Linda - And I'm so happy to have met you! Yep, this gang has been together for many years. I wonder what we'll all be doing six years from now...

    Thanks for your lovely comment.

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  25. Les: I am SO remiss. I am just now catching up on over 300 blog posts in Reader. HAPPY 6 years!! I am so honored that you included me in this post - and I also feel like you are a sister to me. Sometimes I almost forget we have not met "in person" because I feel like I know you so well. One of these days we will need to see each other face to face - if only so I can give you a hug! Until then - here is a virtual *hug*, dear friend!

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  26. Wendy - No worries! I know how difficult it is to stay on top of all the blog posts. I sometimes wish everyone would take a month-long hiatus so we could all catch-up!

    It is hard to believe we have never met, but I'm sure we will one of these days. Thanks for the hug and love. :)

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  27. Oh Les. As I told Andi earlier today on her 7 year anni post, I'm embarrassed that I'm so late in commenting. My email inbox is cleaned out--I've responded to all of the comments that I'm going to--and next up is the Google Reader getting marked completely as read. Here's to hoping that a clean slate will help me stay on top of things. ;)

    I am SO grateful to have met you this year and to have connected with you in so many different ways. I can't believe that we've been blogging "together" for so many years and yet our paths have just now crossed. I love your writings and your energy and your kindness. I look forward to getting to know you even more.

    And I might just borrow this bloggiversary format come five years for me in June. :)

    (ps--have you noticed how the "subscribe to comments" option has disappeared for pop-up comments? Seems to only work for the embedded comment forms now. *shakes fist at Blogger*)

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  28. Trish - I don't mind late comments one bit! I'm touched that you've taken the time out of your crazy busy schedule to pop over here.

    I'm so thankful to have met you, too. And who knows. I may get to Dallas one of these days (and further than the D Concourse at DFW!) and we can actually meet!

    Feel free to borrow this format. It was kind of fun to look back on all my previous blogiversary posts. :)

    Thanks for the heads-up about the pop-up vs embedded comment forms. I was wondering why I wasn't able to subscribe on some blogs. I've changed my own settings and hope more bloggers will do the same.

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I may not answer your comments in a timely fashion, but I always answer. Check back soon!