Bailing on the blog-a-day

Two weeks ago I took up the challenge to post a blog every day. I’ve lasted exactly two weeks. But I’ve learned a few things:

  1. I still enjoy blogging. I had forgotten.
  2. I really enjoy the online community of bloggers who read and comment on each other’s posts. This group, however, can quickly grow and get out of hand. At which point it becomes either a time-consuming burden, or a guilt-ridden neglect.
  3. Having a goal in mind, to post every day for example, does motivate me to think more, write more, shoot more photos, and enriches my life.
  4. On the other hand, posting every day causes me to write more drivel and less meaningful posts which is counter to my life’s beliefs and goals. See yesterday’s post.
  5. I had hoped that the pressure of writing something everyday might lead me to a theme that I could center on instead of the randomness I continue to pursue.
  6. I need to spend more time on my longer term goals (next book for example) and less on coming up with something, anything, to fill this page.

I could probably come up with a few more points, but won’t burden you with them.

So, my post-a-day challenge has come to an end. I’m going back to my willy-nilly, post on a whim approach. Best of wishes to the other women who continue to blog on and in particular to Joss Burnell, who sent out the challenge that I temporarily accepted. She wrote a thought-provoking and inspiring post today that is well worth the read: The Third Third.

As for my blogging future, I hope to settle into some kind of regularity that you and I can count on. Time will tell if I succeed.

Now, I have an interview to transcribe and notes to organize for my birth-mother project. More on this as it progresses.




It’s a new year

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sun is still low in the sky, but if I’m going to try to catch an early morning sunrise, I’m going to have to rouse myself before 8:30.

Happy New Year.

It’s a new year with a new look. I finally managed to change WordPress themes. I had been dragging my feet on it because I was afraid it would create a lot of problems with menus, widgets, pictures, and such that I would have to spend time I didn’t have on correcting. But WordPress discontinued support on my old Clean House theme and I was having problems doing things I wanted, so I took the leap to Twenty-Sixteen. Now I’m really current.

So far so good. It took me about five minutes, not counting the time I spent copying menus and widgets into a Word file, which I didn’t need.

I’m going to start this year with a blog-a-day challenge.  Joss Burnel over at Crowing Crone Joss sent out an invitation and I accepted. I’m ready for some structure in my life. Don’t feel compelled to read all. I know a daily post from me about the weather or other minutiae can be tedious at best. I’ll try to make brilliant titles and add informative categories and tags so you can easily pick those posts you are interested in.

I’m also going to make every effort to keep my posts brief.





The book is published, now the hard work begins

I’ve entered the marketing stage of self-publishing project, although I really don’t like to use the word marketing. The whole point is that I have to somehow, in this noisy, crazy, over-stimulating, cyberworld, let readers, who might be interested in my book about Alzheimer’s, know that it exists. It’s not all that easy to get a book on someone’s radar screen.

That said, I want to thank Beth Ann Chiles at It’s Just Life, for posting about Where Memories Meet today. I met Beth Ann early in my blogging experience in 2011 and she has been a friend ever since. She writes an assortment of interesting posts on a frequent basis. I always enjoy her Teapot Tuesday where she shares a teapot from her extensive collection. She has been doing this for a while. I have no idea how or where she keeps all these beautiful items. But what I think makes Beth most special, is that every month she picks a worthy cause to feature in her Comments for a Cause. At the end of the month, she donates money to the cause based on how many comments she received throughout the month. It’s a double-win for the cause: money and exposure. Well done, Beth Ann.

Now, it would be great if you could go visit It’s Just Life and read all the wonderful things Beth Ann said about Where Memories Meet. The results of a short interview with me are posted there as well. Here’s a sample question:

1. What is your favorite thing about sharing such personal stories about your family? Or maybe a better question is what was your motivation?
For the answer to this and other questions visit It’s Just Life.

I made it to the UD Alumni Bookshelf again

I was looking at the online UD Quickly Magazine. They have an alumni bookshelf. I submitted Dancing in Heaven there and it was put on the shelf in June of 2012. So, I was trying to find out how to submit Where Memories Meet – Reclaiming my father after Alzheimer’s. I was scanning down the current edition of the UD Quickly Bookshelf that was published in September and was surprised to see this blog mentioned. Although I shouldn’t have been. This summer I was contacted by the editor who told me the magazine wanted to feature blogs as well as books. I met her at the local Panera where we had a nice conversation and she interviewed me.

Check it out here. You’re all part of this. I wouldn’t have continued this blog without you.

Box turtle
Slow and steady wins the race, or at least gets you home. September 2015


Changing blog themes – advice welcome

I’m still struggling to get back into this writing gig. I’ve been on a detour through photography, where I am working hard at learning how to use Adobe Lightroom and Elements. I like both programs, but there is a lot to learn.

I’ve been thinking about changing my WordPress theme and shaking things up a little. Have you changed your theme? Any tips? I don’t want to mess myself up. I’ve posted a lot of photos over the years. This is a project that will take some focused attention, I think. I’m not quite ready for it yet.

Meanwhile, winter is turning to spring here. The sky is blue and the sun is shining outside my window as I type. We are due to have a beautiful day today. I may wander around my gardens and make plans. Or perhaps yank out a misplaced perennial or two. I love this time of year in the garden.

I’m serious about wanting help and advice regarding themes. Please do share your knowledge. I’ll appreciate it.

Here is a picture I took this week at the Cincinnati zoo. I may post more in a blog devoted to that later. No promises. I’m having more fun with my camera right now than I am with this computer. I hope you are all well and that warmer, sunnier days have come your way, or will soon.

This little gibbon reminds me of the game we played when we were young – Barrel of Monkeys.






Sights and sounds at the VOA

I’ve had a goal to do more short video on my blog. I don’t know if you’ve tried to use video, and maybe I’m missing the shortcuts, but it seems there are a lot of steps involved:
1. Take the video
2. Upload or download (I can never figure out which is what) the video to my computer.
3. Open iMovie and start a new “event.”
4. Import the movie.
5. Start a new “project.”
6. Edit the movie by selecting segments, or clipping off bad ends, or whatever I can do with iMovie (which at this point isn’t all that much.)
7. Finalize the movie.
8. Share the movie (there is an option to share it directly to YouTube, but that didn’t seem to work for me so I exported it to my computer.)
9. Go to YouTube and download or upload (still haven’t got it) the movie.
10.Copy the movie’s URL and paste it into the “text” page of the WordPress new post editor.

Am I missing something? I suspect if I didn’t want to edit the movie first this process could be significantly shortcut. But I’m going to have to get a whole lot better at planning and shooting videos for that to happen.

I know I talked about this before, but I’m trying again. It’s one of those things that I think if I just do it enough times it will become second nature to me. What do you think?

Also, I vaguely remember seeing a post from WordPress about a new way of adding video that works better. I can’t find it now. I know I saved the email for a while, but I suspect it went the way of the recycle bin on a recent purge in an attempt to get my inbox once again below 50 messages.

That was just the lengthy introduction. Here’s the post.

It was a beautiful breezy day at the VOA this morning. I walk by these little chiming spoons every time I go there. I think it would be lovely to have lots of silverware chimes such as these hanging from the limbs of my trees. Not sure Mark will go for it.

This group of ducks caught my eye. I think they are mallards, but they don’t look quite right, so I’m wondering if they are a group of juvenile mallards. I also don’t know what they’re doing.

Are they practicing their swimming? Having a party? Diving for coins? You tell me.

I was going to show you photos of wildflowers from Leo’s Garden, but in the interest of time, and a desire to have an easy post for another day, (you didn’t hear that from me), I’ll end it here.

It’s still a beautiful day here. I hope you have nice weather to enjoy where you are.

In case you’re wondering

Thank you all for sharing your blog-following methods with me. I got a lot of good ideas from your comments.

My over-achiever tendencies kicked in and I decided to try it all.

1. I moved all the blogs I follow into my WordPress Reader. Thank you Nancy from Living the Seasons, and Beth Ann at It’s Just Life for the tip.

2. I subscribed to the blogs I’m most concerned about through an instant or daily email, and others I like to keep up with through a weekly digest from WordPress. Thanks Nancy from Spirit Lights the Way for the reminder about the weekly digest.

3. I visited each blog this morning, copied the URL and linked it onto a page on my blog I created. I made a simple graphic in Photoshop, put it in a widget in my sidebar and linked it to the Blogs I Follow page. I’m going to use the page on my blog to quickly get back to posts I want to reference.

4. While I still had the URL for a particular blog copied on my computer’s clipboard, I also pasted it into a Feedly reader account.  I’m going to use Feedly to read and keep up with the blogs I read. Thank you Hilary at Positive Letters-Inspirational Stories, Mara at Africa to Algarve, Linda at A Slice of Life Writing, and Norma at Beishir Books who all spoke highly of Feedly and convinced me to try it.

Here’s what I like so far about Feedly:

1. I can organize the blogs I follow into folders that I create. So I made folders for “friends,” “photography,” “writing,” etc. Some blogs I am more concerned about keeping up with than others, so I think this will help. (I’m pretty sure Feedly has other ways of helping organize and prioritize feeds, but I’m still learning.)

2. I can choose different options for displaying the blog feeds: a list, a list with a thumbnail (my preference), a cards view (like little index cards across and down the page), or a running stream of full posts.

3. I can visit each blog, read a list of the posts I’ve missed, and choose those I want to read. Then I can mark them all as “read.” (That’s one of the things I liked the best about Google Reader.)

I put a bookmark to Feedly in my toolbar so that will make it easy to find. (I deleted my Google Reader bookmark.)

I eventually hope to stop most, if not all, email subscriptions and get in the habit of checking Feedly daily.

And today I feel like I just did spring cleaning. Wonderful.

I may have missed a blog here or there and will keep revising both my “Blogs I Follow” page and Feedly account as I go. Please forgive me if I’ve missed yours. I’ll eventually figure it out.