Tag Archives: Garlic

JoyReturns 2012 Annual Report & Goals For 2013

Well it’s time for JoyReturns annual report published by WordPress.   I promise this one will not be dry and boring like all the other annual reports.

2012 vs. 2011

2012 saw 6,500 page views compared to 2011’s 4,500 page views.  Overall I reached my goal of 11,000 page views by the end of the year.

The Top Five

The top post was the “About/Contact” page.

#2  “10 Funeral Songs For Movie Fanatics.” (Personally I think the one for musicians is better – or at least stranger.)

#3  “My Philosophy” page

#4  “Why JoyReturns?” – again another page

#5   good old “Garlic, Grief & Hemmorhoids.”  This was a popular post last year as well. No eating or drinking while reading this post.

What this means:

With 3 of the top five being static pages and not posts, it means in 2013 I need to work on my writing’s quality.

The Bright Spot

The bright spot is how people found me.  The top site people came from was LinkedIn, however the second most popular site was widowschristianplace.com.  Whoohoo!  While I appreciate the people who come from traditional sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook it means a lot when people come from other blogs, especially those in my niche.


My visitors came from 75 countries the most came from the U.S. with Canada and The United Kingdom not far behind.  Although people have visited from my ancestral home of Germany, in 2 years no one has visited from my other ancestral home  – Scotland.  I would chalk it up to them being too busy with sword fights and chopping off heads (a.k.a. Highlander) but the Maxwell clan is from the lowlands. Not sure what we do in the lowlands but apparently we do not chop off heads.

There have been visitors coming from Ireland, Joe’s ancestral home.

2013 Goals

WordPress just started tracking “unique visitors” a.k.a. individuals.  The lowest number since tracking inception was 6 per day and the highest was 22 per day.

Twenty-two – six = 16 x 365 = a goal of 5,840 unique visitors next year.

My goal for the number of page views is 2 per person so 5,840 x 2 = 11,680 views in 2013.

Hopefully with a focus on quality writing, I will achieve these goals.

Even if I don’t reach the moon, I will still land among the stars. 

Welcome To Orientation Day

Hello and welcome to JoyReturns. Hopefully you had a fun and safe Labor Day Weekend.

CBC Magazine

About a month ago I made the announcement that Cleveland Business Connections Magazine was doing an article on me and this blog.  The article was published on September 1st and when you click here you will be redirected to their site.  A special thank you to Pamela Willits for writing a wonderful article.

1st Day Here

For those of you coming from the article,

thank you for visiting my blog.

Here is what you can expect.

There are posts Monday through Friday pertaining to widowhood, extended unemployment and various recent adventures. Weekend Wisdom posts are back from their summer vacation and will now consist of 2 inspirational quotes, poems or scriptures.

Where To Begin

Click on the “Start Here” page in the upper menu.  You will find a list some of my best and/or most unique posts.  If you need a laugh to begin this week, just click on Garlic, Grief and Hemorrhoids link.  It is quickie story about how God got me out of my “funk” the day my step-sister and I cleaned out Dad’s apartment after his passing.

Where To End

End your time here by signing up for email updates from this blog and for Joyful Jems newsletter published every Wednesday afternoon.  It is a little dose of humor and/or inspiration to get you through the week.


Enjoy your time here today and come back tomorrow when you will learn about the one skill I do best.

Top Two Posts For 2011

Hi, just a quickie post today as I am too tired from partying with my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and their family.  Joy reigned supreme yesterday. 

The Year’s Top Two Posts

Lately this post has been soaring in popularity – over 20 views in one day.  


This one was written when I was in a “funk” one day after Dad’s passing.  It is read several times a month.

WARNING – Put down your coffee and donut.  I am not responsible for coffee coming out your nose.  Oh and it might help if you are wearing your Depends  😉


See you tomorrow. Oh and I am working on one of my famous Slideshows.

How To Make Cheese (It’s easy!)

Homemade Boursin Cheese

Boursin Cheese


1 pound Cream Cheese, softened

½ pound Butter, softened

1-2 cloves Garlic, crushed

1 ½ Tbsp Marjoram, chopped

1 Tbsp Chives, chopped

1 Tbsp Basil, chopped

1 tsp Thyme, chopped

1 Tbsp Flat-Leaf Parsley, chopped

½ tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Pepper

Difficulty: Easy – Yield: 2 logs – Cuisine: American – Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: N/A

Attribution: Bev Shaffer, Plain Dealer


Beat cream cheese and butter together until well combined. Add garlic, herbs and salt and pepper until well combined. Cover and chill slightly, the form into 2 logs. Wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate or freeze.

Okay, this is wonderful. I usually add oregano, too. Makes a great appetizer, but I also cook with the leftover cheese, using it in stroganoff or other cream dishes.

Michele’s Notes

I nibbled a little on this using pita chips since forgetting crackers at the store.  Pita chips complemented the cheese.   

I had to use some ground herbs but anxious to try this using all fresh herbs to see if there is a difference.

This will make an excellent sauce for beef stroganoff or any other creamy dish because it is tasty.  It is not just another cream sauce that may or may not be flavorful. 

I made smaller loaves so there is one in the fridge and 2 in the freezer.  

The electric hand-mixer got a workout beating the butter and cream cheese.  It worked so hard it started to smell.  Think it might be time to use the other one Joe and I got as a shower gift 18 years ago. 


Garlic, Grief, & Hemorrhoids

Author’s Note: This post was published “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” I am working on updating posts that are on the Start Here page and ran into an issue redoing this post. So it gets published again.

Before continuing to read this post – put down your coffee and quit eating your bagel, cereal or donuts.

If you are still eating or drinking, remember you have been forewarned!

Life with me is never boring! It’s just one adventure after another.

Dad’s Kitchen

Upon cleaning out Dad’s kitchen, we found a couple of home remedy books.  No big deal, lots of people have them nowadays.  If a home remedy can work and save a trip to the doctor’s office – great! 

Upon cleaning out Dad’s kitchen after his passing, my step-sister and I found a couple of home remedy books. No big deal, lots of people have them nowadays. If a home remedy can work and save a trip to the doctor’s office – great!

I was in a funk after getting home from Dad’s apartment. Rommie was running around sniffing all the boxes and jumping in and out of Dad’s truck looking for him and step-mom.

As I was lying on the couch this evening, I picked up the book titled “Mother Nature’s Healing Cocktails: Apple Cider Vinegar, Nuts & Honey” by Louise Stanley.

I opened the book to the middle of Chapter 9 Just A Few Words About Garlic because

“No magazine on healthful benefits of food would be complete without at least a brief mention of garlic.”

Louise Stanley
Mother Nature’s Healing Cocktails: Apple Cider Vinegar, Nuts & Honey
MicroMags (2000)

The following is the first remedy I read.

Hemorrhoids: It may sound odd, but you can quickly eliminate this painful problem by inserting a peeled garlic clove in your rectum at bedtime. Make sure it’s in as far as it will go.

Louise Stanley
Mother Nature’s Healing Cocktails: Apple Cider Vinegar, Nuts & Honey
MicroMags (2000)


The Point

My point in blogging about this is I laughed for a good solid 5 minutes, after which I felt much better. In fact, I continued laughing off and on all night.

Oh and I called Mom who also had a good laugh.

Laughter As Medicine

Laughter is the best medicine for physical and mental ailments, especially grief. God can and does use laughter to get us out of funks.

I also heard a long time ago that adults do not laugh as much or as long as children. So hopefully you laughed today. A long and hearty laugh that made everyone wonder “What is going on?” or What is he/she up to?”

Thank you God for inventing laughter.

Oh, and I pray I NEVER have to find out if this works.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. Michele is a graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications. She’s managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com