This L’il Blog o’ Mine

By Rose Simpson

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I started this blog.

People are right when they say the older you get, the faster time goes.

It’s been a whirlwind year alright.

When I began filling this part of the air in the blogosphere, I did so as a kind of therapy for me. I was 53 and had been underemployed for nearly five years, save for a little freelance work I had on the side. I’ve found winters to be absolutely dreadful and lonely, as I watched my life tick by, creeping as it does in its petty pace from day-to-day.

I hated overseeing an empty nest. I once joked to my husband that once the kids were gone, I would just sit here and wait to die.

I wasn’t kidding.

Scott was gone everyday eeking out a living selling wonderfully fabulous cars we ourselves could not afford (at the time we didn’t even own a car). My kids had grown and flown the coop, taking on all life’s little adventures, good and bad.

 Day after day, I looked out at the traffic on Smyth Road, watching people go by, scurrying from home to work to play. I had none of that.

It was just me and my three lovely dogs.

And Oprah and Dr. Oz.

Thank God for Oprah and Dr. Oz.

I began to read the essays of Augusten Burroughs and Jon Katz, both writers whose material were worlds apart. But they wrote with such honesty and clarity, from a place in their hearts that they literally woke up my soul. I longed to write like that, to look at the world with honesty, integrity and confront my past, those who had wronged me, my own demons.

But who would read it? And where would I write about the things I felt passionate about?

Then I watched the movie Julie and Julia and that changed everything. Julia Child became my muse; Julie Powell was my inspiration.

And so I took up blogging.

I put my lips to the world, as the fabulous Jon Katz would say.

For myself.

 It turns out, I’ve had a lot to say. I’ve written a total of 493 blogs, received 153 comments, good and bad. And 24,371 people have looked at my blog. The $10 Life has been selected as one of the essential Ottawa blogs by Ottawa Start, an influential blogger who reads them all, every day.

Not bad considering my blog isn’t on any major site. Not a newspaper or a blog community. Just my own little Facebook.

This blog has connect me with many old friends from the past who found me through some weird kind of Internet search. Sometimes, they were looking for obituaries of other friends; I’ve written more than my share this year, as I’ve watched many of my contemporary colleagues and friends pass through the Gate. There were so many good and valuable people who died this year, many of  them not much older than me.

I got to tell the world a little about them.

All gone too soon, as far as most of us are concerned.

It’s been a busy year on the blog. There was the much ballyhooed — by me — toxic oil spill on Smyth Road, children moving in and out, adventures in plastic surgery, the loss of important work I loved, the gain of new work and new directions. Thankfully, my dogs are here in full spring bloom, ready for another season of digging and barking.

What I love about blogging is I get to see what kind of stories interest people. For those who are new to blogging, here at, there is a little statistics metre which tells me how many people read, and what they read about.

 I never knew their likes and dislikes when I was writing for newspapers unless someone got really pissed off and wrote a letter.

You might be interested, so here’s the scoop. My biggest day so far was January 6, when I wrote about whiny drivers in Ottawa. People were also very interested, just this week, in the shuffling of deck chairs at Ottawa’s local radio stations. I got my highest numbers — more than 500 readers — on that topic.

But honestly? The two most popular blogs were about the lack of decent dick in movies, and Lisa Laflamme’s fabulous white jacket with the buttons placed right over her nipples.

No kidding.

So thanks for a great year, guys. Hoping to keep this up for another one.

It’s my lifeline at times, this blog o’ mine. It makes me feel relevant, and that’s something.

I am no longer just sitting here waiting to die. 

I getting in my licks before I do.

Thanks for listening.


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