Happy Fifth Anniversary, Friend for the Ride (and a Gift Card Giveaway)

Friend for the Ride started when my daughter Laura, low on cash in grad school, asked, “Is there something I can do for you to earn some money?”

I replied, “I’ll pay you to set up a blog site for me.” And she did! She’s a techno whiz, and she blogs herself at Taking Back my Twenties.

Is Laura still broke?

No Sign

Happily, no. And it’s a good thing because she has a baby on the way VERY SOON!

It’s been five years, do I still love blogging (after 650 posts)?

Another Yes

I love sharing my thoughts with you, posting sometimes useful information, and writing about life from a creative angle. I’m so appreciative to all of you for reading.

I’m always in need of guest posts. What should you write about? Sky’s the limit. Shoot me an email, and we’ll figure it out. Thanks! See the blog’s very first guest post here, written by my friend Susan Bellinger.

Do I plan to stop blogging any time soon?

No Two


Do I wish I had more readers?

I’d love more readers! The blog has not grown as I hoped it would, but my readership does increase slowly.

Does my family read my blog?

My mom did.That’s how she found out I was downsizing my Santa Claus collection. Mom was NOT happy. But she liked most of my other posts and even did a painting for this one. Cliff reads many of the posts. Not so sure about my girls…

Do I have a hard time coming up with topics for new posts?
No Three

This answer should really be “Sometimes.” But then a new idea will pop into my head, often inspired by a photograph. I took these signs on Bald Head Island. I thought they were vacancy/no vacancy signs until Cliff explained they are to signal if you have garbage to be picked up or not. Of course I could argue, most of us have some garbage…

Do I have a favorite post?

That would be like picking a favorite child, but the ones closest to my heart are those I wrote to celebrate or to face important moments:

The birth of my first grandchild.

The wedding of my daughter.

My cancer.

My mom’s death.

I appreciate the grittier and quirkier posts too, like this one about periods and cramps and romance and Smokey the Bear. I never would have guessed at age thirty that I’d one day write about personal body stuff. But once I start, it just sort of flows. (Yucky period reference somewhat intended).

Do I have a  favorite part of blogging?

Yes Six

I love uploading the photos and seeing how they look on the page. I love tweaking and editing. I love the moment a new post goes live. And I love getting comments and ladies room doors sent from all over the world!

Is there anything I hate about blogging?

No, but I’ve accidentally had posts go live when they weren’t finished. Talk about a panic!

 Am I going to do something special for this Fifth Blogging Anniversary?

Yes Five

Gift Card Giveaway: In honor of Friend for the Ride’s fifth anniversary, and because I’ve had fun shopping here for my new house, I’m giving away a fifty dollar gift card to Bed Bath & Beyond. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by October 10.


Thank you again, one and all, for your support. Thanks to Healthline for putting me on your Best Blogs List; to those of you who wrote guest posts; to agent Erzsi Deak for encouraging me to write about menopause; to Cliff for photography help and pointing out typos; to my daughter Kath of Katheats, who models blogging with class and creativity; and thanks to Laura for expert help and for needing a few bucks. Now it’s time for me to spend some money on that baby of yours!


86 thoughts on “Happy Fifth Anniversary, Friend for the Ride (and a Gift Card Giveaway)”

  1. Congrats and well-done! And here’s to many more scintillating years. I have experienced the horror too of the accidental post. Always learning! I’ve enjoyed your recent life coaching posts. Thanks Barbara!


  2. I found your blog through Katheats, which I also love. Even though I’m years away from menopause, I still enjoy reading Friend for the Ride because the topics are often universally applicable to women across the age spectrum and are beautifully, personally written (which the English teacher in me appreciates!). I’m glad that your blog-iversary has provided me the opportunity to thank you for sharing your beautiful and thoughtful life perspective with the world!


  3. Congratulations on reaching five years! I have enjoyed reading your blog since I found it about 3 years ago. Back then I was still peri-menopausal, but am a fully paid up member of the club now!


      1. Funnily enough that didn’t bother me too much if it was part of my big weekly shop. The times I did used to hate were if I ever had go into a shop just to buy tampons as that gave away the fact that I was on my period right then.


      2. Once I got my period on a business trip and had to hurry back before someone picked me up for dinner. I had flooding back then so bought pads and tampons. At rush hour in a convenience store, I was holding them in the back of a big line. A cute looking man, close to the front of the line said, “Ma’am, step right up so we can get you through.” I was mortified but it was so lovely of him. Wish I could thank him again.


  4. Congratulations on five years! So happy to have you leading the way into menopause. It takes a lot of courage and grace, something you have plenty of. You have helped me and so many of my friends. Love the bathroom door photos, too! Such fun!


  5. Congrats on 5 years, no easy feat! Lots of folks start blogging, and just run out of steam, interest, energy, whatever (that would be me!). I love that your blogs are a nice length and always interesting. Thank you and here is to many more years of blogging!


  6. Congratulations Barbara! You are my go to blog and you and your followers have been great friends for my passage!
    Cheers to you and a heartfelt thank you!


  7. I think you’ve opened doors, put hearts at rest and ease, and challenged us. I’m a newcomer to this whole web of ideas, and let me tell you that you’re a welcome respite after a rough week! Let ‘er roll, Barbara!


  8. I’ve been reading since the beginning and love your blog. I read a lot of blogs by young women and it’s great that you write on topics more unique to my age (60). I like the variety, but especially like the posts on life stages, such as your own health, creative pursuits, and current downsizing and move. As I support my own parents’ declining health and prepare to retire and move myself, they are really inspiring and helpful! One other thing – it’s fun that there is usually a post waiting early Sunday morning, when most other bliggers are quiet.


  9. Happy Blog Birthday! You’re such a pro at blogging, I thought it’s been more than 5 years. Thanks for all the great posts, from which I’ve learned so much. And thanks for your candor in good times and bad.


  10. Congratulations, Barbara! I love your blog! I feel like I have found many new friends, and that I am never alone when facing any of the issues in menopause and beyond. I also love your upbeat approach to life, and your kind considerations to your readers! I will look forward to all of your new blog posts as you continue with such great spirit and creativity!


  11. Congrats on 5 years…I’m a fan! Love to be introduced to new products, giveaways, new family members, life changing events and you handled them, new authors, new concepts on how to navigate this thing called menopause. Thanks for some good reads Barbara. Luckily I found you thru the KERF blog, which I follow still. Keep up the blogging!


  12. Happy Blog-iversary! You are the only blog I still keep up with, and I always enjoy hearing your thoughts. I feel like I know you better than I otherwise would, and this keeps you active in my mind and heart, when seeing you rarely in person may have led to less activity.

    You might have inspired me to resume blogging…


  13. Congrats and Happy Anniversary!! I love reading your blog and I also read your daughter’s, Kath…
    I have won a couple giveaways on here too!! LOVED the fan! Keep going…maybe give us some insight to how you feel about being a Grandma??


  14. Thanks for the giveaway. We downsized earlier this year also; went from 3500 sq ft (not including basement & garage) to an apartment that’s 950 sq ft… yikes!!


  15. Congrats on 5 years!! I enjoy reading your blog along with both your daughter’s. I also really enjoyed the posts including your mother. She was such a talented artitst.


  16. I appreciated your cancer posts and info on UNC care. A family friend received poor cancer care at Duke and I kept thinking of your blog and wish I had contacted you for UNC referral. It’s too late now.

    It helped me see that poor cancer care does exist and folks should advocate for better care and treatment like you had.

    Admittedly, I’m a UNC grad and glad UNC treated you well.


      1. It was ovarian cancer. Late diagnosis- you got the idea doctors were dismissing symptoms because of her age 73/74 years.

        I’m 45, but have recently become interested in the topic of women speaking up for themselves more- especially with doctors. Some women of my generation and older were taught to listen and be cooperative and sometimes women really need to advocate for their own health and seek other doctors or opinions when things are not going well or when they simply have a bad feeling about something.

        Hope that makes sense.


  17. Congrats on 5 years!! I started blogging in February and am not sure I’ll make it to one year, let alone five! It’s much more difficult than I thought it’d be.


  18. I think I’ve been reading your blog almost from the beginning. Enjoy each one. My favorites have been your comments on your cancer experience, the loss of your mother, and now your moving experiences. Best of luck on your new adventure.


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