Outdoor activities with a healthy dose of curiosity, brought to you by Laure Latham
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|Look ma, I’m 4! Frog Mom (the real one) at age 4.|
Frog Mom turns 4 today and counting in bloggy-years, I feel like a cyber-granny. Thus in true granny fashion, today I’ll reminisce about this blog’s history in 14 bullet points even if you don’t give a hoot. That’s what you get for dropping in on a birthday.
Four years ago to the day, I wrote a post titled Toddler Attack, a forgettable 200-words about – surprise – my toddler attacking another child. Fortunately it quickly fell into my internet oblivion and were it not because it was my first post, I’d be tempted to give it the ax. Without pomp or fanfare, Frog Mom was born but it didn’t really take shape until I realized that people other than my mom and dad were reading it.
Frankly, I was surprised and it gave me much food for thought. If other people were reading my blog, then maybe I could write about other stuff, stuff that I liked. Today I’d like to present a selection of Frog Mom “Mosts” in no particular order, highlighting this blog’s milestones.
Most Popular: Perfect Family Campgrounds in the Bay Area. After years of camping left and right with friends, it was about time I shared my favorite spots. Fifteen campgrounds within a couple hours from San Francisco. Even on the verge of winter when everyone gears up on skis and triple-fleece layers, it’s a hot topic. Go figure.
Most Obscure Topic: The Boring Dinner Concept. Nobody went crazy on that one and I think I know why – nobody read it. A pet peeve of mine though – throwing a genuinely boring dinner. Tough to execute and most likely will result in alienating tons of friends. Thus a practical challenge.
Most Fun to Write: Oh it’s hard to pick my favorite blog posting so I’ll give you three. Meet the 501st, Vader’s Fist was a hoot to write, as well as The Stars of Harry Potter. Both appealed to the inner child in me and my love of fantasy worlds. Exploring The Redwoods the Star Wars Way – that one was not only fun to write but to plot.
Most Non-Mom World: Across Tenaya Lake – Open Water Swimming at 8,150 Feet. Ahem, that was my indulgence for open water swimming and it has NOTHING to do with kids. Why it’s on my blog, a self-described mommy blog, is simple: I just don’t have any other blog where I can share my non-mom interests. So bear with me when occasionally I stray out of the mommy course and have fun telling you about my life.
Most Outdoorsy: there has to be one, right? Saddlebag Lake: Twenty Lakes Basin Hike and Hiking to Maple Falls in the Forest of Nisene Marks were two great hikes that I thoroughly enjoyed with my kids.
Most Controversial: It’s surprising given what I write but there was a controversial Frog Mom post. Just one. Open Studios: Hunter’s Point Shipyard Artists and Beyond was a review of a day at the open studios at Hunter’s Point and I received some heat on my “romantic” definition of art. I still stand by what I wrote. Still not a big fan of pretty flowers in pots.
Most Commented Upon: Best Hikes with Kids, San Francisco Bay Area – My Book is Out! 19 comments to day, all encouraging and heartwarming on my hiking adventure. You guys rock!
Most for Fans of The Outlander: have you read Diana Gabalton’s Scottish series? If yes, you’ll love the kilt and tartan feel of The Scottish Highland Games in Pleasanton.
Most Nostalgic: Hoffman Farm: The Last Walnut Orchard in the Napa Valley. In October 2009 I wrote about a 93-year old farmer named John Hoffman who had an incredible orchard in Napa. He passed away in 2010 and my photos of his ranch were published in the book Napa Valley Farming that came out a few months ago. I’ve been in touch with the Land Trust of Napa County to preserve his ranch as the last example of Napa fruit orchards but it hasn’t happened yet. Yet.
Most Thai: Bang Krachao – Biking Through Bangkok’s Green Lungs. I partially grew up in Thailand and my mom still lives there, hence the “Thailand” and “Cambodia” posts on Frog Mom. This post was a fun biking adventure on elevated and dangerously narrow pathways through swamps and forest – right in Bangkok. A great memory. I still can’t believe we didn’t topple over and end up in the swamp.
Most Literary: in the literal sense, actually. Fairy Tales: Fact or Fiction? was a foray into the origin of fairy tales and the true historical facts behind some of them. Grim, not Grimm.
Longest Life: Tarantula Treks at Mount Diablo was such a popular post that it was reprinted on Sono-Ma and it inspired me to write the piece Arach No Phobia for KQED.
Most For Me: New York – Morgan Pierpont Library and Museum. What can I say? I like old books.
Most Sweet Tooth: After School Sweets & Treats. After that post, I had to write a hiking guidebook – or change the entire wardrobe.
No less than 264 posts later, I’m here today wondering who and where you are. It always intrigues me, knowing who you are on the other side of that screen and what keeps you reading because let’s be fair, I’m a wordy writer. My google stats are too dry and they only tell me that the big bulk of my readers comes from the US and that doesn’t surprise me. But the second country in terms of audience, right after the US, is Ukraine. Now that baffles me. Ukraine, really? Proof, if any, that my family has been outnumbered by regular readers because I don’t think I have any relatives in Ukraine. Third and fourth place go to Germany and the UK. Thanks you guys!
On this 4th birthday, I’m working on remodeling Frog Mom and make it into a proper website that’s user-friendly. Finally. That’s my current project and I’ll work hard at it so you don’t have to sieve through the archives to know what’s out there.
Til then, happy 4th birthday Frog Mom! I’ll raise a glass to that tonight.