The countdown to 2009 has shifted into high gear as we begin to say our goodbyes and farewells to 2008.
It would be very easy to create a recap post of the years top stories; but nearly every news station has had a recap sprinkled in their newscasts since mid December. I don't think we need to look back once again at the scandals, the losses, the election and the tragic news stories.
2008 truly brought this blog to life. While I started this small space in 2007, the blog has experienced tremendous growth during 2008. When I first started this space my friends and family would check in and see what was going on. As we wrap up the year, over 1,000 people visit each week and many are now regular visitors who stop in for their 'cup' of House Blend. I'm forever grateful for the opportunity to share this space with so many great people from all over the world.
The turning point for House Blend was the interview with Dr. Brent Ridge. The interview that appeared here in June of this year, generated the highest number of page views and single day visits. (You can still read the interview.. look for Dr. Brent in the topic section on the sidebar) It is still one of the most 'searched' pages. Thank you again, Dr. Brent for your generosity and your time to make the interview such a success!
We often hear about the 'power of the media' and 2008 brought that power to life for me. During the course of a call in segment on "Morning Living" (Martha Stewart Living Radio), Tracie Hotchner, host of Cat Chat received a call from a woman who was in need of help with two cats that belonged to her sister. Her sister had been hospitalized and she needed to find a foster home for the cats until her sister was well enough to take care of them. Tracie made the connection that maybe I could help her through the animal rescue I'm affiliated with. She made this connection not even knowing if the caller was close to me. All within 24 hours, the caller made her plea for help, Tracie made the connection to me with the caller, I made contact with the caller as well as the animal rescue, and help was on the way. Within two weeks, the cats were safely housed at the shelter as foster cats. They will return to their owner soon. I'm thankful for Tracie, who has been a wonderful friend and supporter of our rescue.
In October, my friend John and I spent the day together to see Martha at a book signing in Birmingham. It was a complete "Martha day" that began in the early hours of the morning as we stood outside in the cold to get our wristbands to secure our place in line. We met many wonderful people that day, who shared in our enjoyment of all things Martha. The highlight of course was getting a couple minutes with Martha as she chatted with us as she signed our copies of "Martha Stewart's Cooking School." Above all, it was great to spend time with John.. we just don't do that enough.
What will 2009 bring? Who knows... but one of my New Year's Intentions is to make sure I take sufficient time to experience the good things. Work/life balance is much more important to me than it used to be. It's time to find that balance.
To each of you I wish you the very best for the new year ahead. Don't forget to stop in and visit. The coffee is always fresh, and you're always welcome to sit at the kitchen table and talk about living. Happy New Year!