Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Have You Seen Me?

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This woman was last seen entering the hallowed halls of academia last October and she has not been heard from in months by her WordPress followers. Has she been abducted by aliens? Has she fallen into one of those infamous Florida sinkholes? Or, has she been sucked into the vortex of higher learning and is unable to find her way out?

Wait, is that the door to her Blog room opening! Yes, there she is. A little older, much wiser and now able to break free of those academic commitments long enough to say “Hey, y’all!”

Wow, it’s been a while, my friends! But, I am finally here and hope I will be able to blog more often now that I’ve gotten two semesters under my belt. It’s starting to get a little easier in school once I’ve gotten used to how things work and what instructors are looking for. So, I now have a little more time to blog and oh, how I have missed you all!

I guess a quick update is in order. I am doing well in my studies as I have received 7 A’s and one B (Biology kicked my proverbial butt!). I’ve made Dean’s list twice so far and have just been accepted into the Beta Xi Upsilon Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society! How about them apples? I am now an official College Nerd! Who would have thunk that at the age of 63 I can still keep up with the young’uns? Currently, my GPA is 3.83 but Math courses have yet to be conquered!

So far I have survived courses such as Biology, Environmental Science, Economics, Public Speaking and been introduced to Psychology 101 and American Literature. I am currently in English Comp 1 with English Comp 2 following next month. Every course has taught me something new and exciting (okay, Biology, not so much!) and that thirst for knowledge continues on. I’m getting closer to deciding what I’ll major in for my Bachelor’s degree and am determined to go all the way with a Doctorate Degree (if my ticker and teeth hold out long enough.)

On the personal side, Danny is doing well and the doctor’s  suspect that his Hepatitis C might be in remission! HALLELUJAH! He’s being retested in September so I’ve got my fingers crossed. Buddy is now over 100 pounds and rules the nest. He has turned into a wonderful companion and spends his day making the funniest faces! My kids are doing great! My granddaughter is now in the National Junior Honor Society and won Second Prize in the Florida State Science Fair. How about them apples!

I hate to say that my all of my writing time has been spent doing essays and papers for school. But, that’s okay since I’m sharpening my writing skills with every piece I write. It’s all about priorities right now and as long as I’m doing some type of writing, I’ll be okay! Although, I still sneak a peek at the stories I was working on before being shanghaied aboard the college train. And, more ideas are popping up daily, but for now, I just jot them down to work on at a later date.

So, how the hell have you all been? If you remember me, send me a comment! Let me know what’s new and exciting in your world. If you’re a new visitor, Welcome from a little old lady who is known to be “Cranky” at times but who loves her WordPress followers with a passion. I’m hoping I still have one or two left!

For now, I’ll sign off and hope to hear from all of y’all soon!

Love,

Cranky

 

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48 Comments »

Bring It On

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It’s that time of year when we look back and wonder where the hell 2013 went to.  It seems as if, in the blink of an eye, the months sped by and we are now on the brink of another new year.

2013 was a banner year for this old lady.  I discovered blogging.  I met new friends…new mentors…and learned so much from all of them.  I was shocked to discover that I seemed to have a knack for writing…trust me, I still shake my head in disbelief when one of my works gets published.  I was inspired by all of you to start thinking about the last quarter of my life and what I wanted to do with it.  I’m now chasing down a degree in journalism and look forward to being the old fart walking across that stage at graduation.

2013 was an interesting year and I’m hoping that 2014 will bring more surprises, more discovery and more success in my writing endeavors.

Before the year ends, I do want to share my gratitude and my appreciation to all of you who have lent me a shoulder to sob on; you have given me the inspiration to break out of my shell and let the words flow; you have smiled with me, frowned at me, and laughed together as we looked at the silly things in life. Two fists thump on my chest to all of you for your friendship!

So, 2014, bring in on!  I’m ready, willing and able to see what you have in store for me and for my friends here in WordPress!

Everyone have a safe and Happy New Year!

Love,

Cranky

7 Comments »

Breaking News…Cranky’s Back!

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Yes, my friends, after a long period of silence, I’m finally able to jump back into my “other” life here on WordPress.  And, oh, how I have missed being here.  But, the days of my turning a wistful eye towards my laptop are over for now and I hope that it will be a long time before I am dragged out of my WP world again!

An update on Danny…the surgery proved successful but Danny’s recovery has been slow…very slow.  His spirits have been a little on the down side since this was the second life-threatening illness in the past 16 months.  I can’t blame the guy for being scared.  But, I spend each day pointing out even the smallest improvement in his health and assuring him that he will improve even more as time goes by.

Of course, we now have a slew of doctor’s appointments for follow-up care and medication changes that have occurred.  Danny still has a lot of health issues (Hepatitis C, a damaged liver and now this damn ulcer) but I assure him that I’m in this for the long haul and he won’t be facing these challenges alone.  I love the guy and want to not only keep him around but want to make sure that whatever time we have left together is spent looking at the beauty and the humor in the world around us.  After all, that’s the best medicine you can give to someone like Danny!  When I can put a smile on his face or comfort him when he’s down…then I know I’m doing what’s right for him.

I can not begin to thank all of you for the thoughts, prayers and good energy you sent our way during this difficult time.  There are no words to express how much that meant to me but the tears in my eyes might give you some insight into how touched I was to read all your comments!

So, although a large part of my day is still spent on Danny’s care; I hope to be able to spend time daily keeping up with all your adventures and sharing some of mine.

I want to end this with a kernel of wisdom that I have gleaned from going through these health events with Danny.  There is no promise of tomorrow, so please, make sure that your time spent with your friends and loved ones is filled with laughs, love and hugs.

Again, thanks for all your love, support and well wishes.  But, be warned, Cranky is back!  And she’s got a lot to say!

Love,

Cranky

31 Comments »

Just A Hop, Skip And A Click

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Ahhh…the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the old man left for the afternoon. Oh yes, life is good!  I’ve been busy, busy, busy today working on my new blog site and although it still has a ways to go, I’m really excited about the initial response I’ve been getting from the readers that have dropped in and followed.

I’ve had the time today to add some new features to “A Dream Come True” and I thought I’d get some feedback from my readers as to whether the new features help them navigate the new site more effectively.

The first concern I had was making my faithful readers navigate between the two sites.  I didn’t want to use Reblog since it seemed kind of cheesy to be reblogging my own posts from one site to another.  And, I’m anything but cheesy…right…right?  Of course, WordPress widgets came to my rescue.  I was able to put an image on both sites that enable the reader to just click on the picture and it brings them to the other site.

How neat is that?  Easy breezy!  Of course, Mrs. Gulch (The Witch Who Wouldn’t Leave) is in both sidebars now…had to do it…the old witch scares me!  Hope you like the new feature.

Another feature that I’ve begun to use on the new site is the Blogroll, which enables readers to link to sites I find awesome with just a click.  Now, I think all of my readers are awesome so I have a very partial list so far.  I’ll be adding links as I get time…I am trying to provide links that readers can use as a tool to find inspiration, motivation and writers resources.  So, if you don’t find your site on it yet, please don’t unfollow me.  As I said, I’m still working on it and I want to make it shine, so give me some time!

All in all, I’m having a great time posting on both sites. I look forward to hearing from you (if you feel motivated to do so) on how you like the site and how it can be improved.  So, if want, hop, skip or click on over to “A Dream Come True” and take a gander!

Love you all!

Cranky

16 Comments »

Hitting One Out Of The Park

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I was asked the other day how I have managed to get over 10,000 views in such a short time on WordPress.  I had to sit down and really think about why my stories seem to please the readers.

We all want to do it..you know we do.  We want to write that one story, that one poem or take that one picture that really hits it out of the park.  The question is, how?

I’m no expert, but I do know that some of my articles get a unsurprising warm welcome.  Why, unsurprising?  Well, because when I was finished, when I leaned back and read and reread the piece..I got a little tickle that says, “I like it!”

I usually get this tickle when I write about everyday things.  I was washing my car one day and wrote a piece about the bird poo I had to spend hours removing.  I was sitting on the commode and watched a spider head towards me and wrote about my fear of spiders.  I wrote about my experiences in my first writing camp; Danny’s colonoscopy preparation and even a little diddy about shopping at Wally World and encountering a real life Cranky!  All of these got great responses…all of these were articles I enjoyed writing.

Other pieces I have written were the results of childhood memories, some good memories, some horrific memories.  But, when I wrote them, I wrote with honesty, and the powerful emotions that went into writing them showed and told me they were good.  The readers agreed.

I think every writer has to put a piece of themselves into what they write.  Whether it be a personal experience, their view on a particular subject or the feelings they have about the world around them, they have to let go and show who they are in their writing.

There are some things I am totally unable to write about.  Politics…not savvy enough for that subject.  Religion…no way I’m getting into that one.  So, I stick with writing that fits me, tells people who I am or shows them what I have experienced in my life.

I guess that what I’m trying to tell bloggers , who ask me how I have so many views in such a short while in WordPress, is to write from the heart.  Don’t try to follow the pack…write what you know, what you feel and about what you’ve seen.

It’s working for me and I’m sure it will work for you!  Before you know, you’ll be hitting them all out of the park!

Authors note:  Of course, my small success in WordPress is all due to the absolute best readers in the world.  They Rock!  Without them, I’d of packed up my stories and my laptop and stored them away for some poor unsuspecting soul to find when I’ve been put six feet under.  Love you all!  Thanks for hopping on my bike and showing me the way during this wild ride!!

Love,

Cranky

 

14 Comments »

Are You Kidding Me?

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Six short months ago, I was bored.  I was frustrated.  I was lonely.  I was a mess. I went from day-to-day, performing the same chores, talking to the same people and basically just taking up space in this world.

One day, as I sat in the doctor’s office waiting for Danny’s name to be called, I overheard a woman talking about a blog site she enjoyed.  What the hell is a blog? I wondered.  Being the inquisitive sort, I sat down at my laptop and Googled this strange new word.

Hmmm…I saw definite possibilities in the blogging process.  I could try a new adventure.  I could use this blogging thing to vent, to rant and to pick myself up when I was down in the dumps.  More importantly, I could try again at my dream of being a writer.  A dream that seemed elusive and out of my reach.

So, I dipped my toes in the blogging waters.  I first found a site that I thought would connect me to other writers…sadly this site was a “Me..Me..Me” type of blogging world that just didn’t fit my needs.  It didn’t work…it didn’t fit…it just didn’t feel like home.

And then I found WordPress.  I entered your world and gazed in wonder at the vast number of talented writers, poets and photographers…I felt like I had walked through the looking-glass.  People from all around the world were sharing their thoughts, their views and their lives.  Many were like me, writers who had yet to fulfill their potential, struggling to find their way and looking for guidance.

In just a few days I realized that I had found a home.  Yesterday, I looked at my calendar and realized that it marked four months to the day since I dived nose first into WordPress.  When I looked up my stats, my eyes opened wide and I shouted “Are you kidding me?”

I have more than 500 followers, over 2,500 comments (okay, I think half are mine :))and by today or tomorrow, I will have reached 10,000 views.  All in a short four months.  Shut the front door!  I have also received many awards of recognition; I have made friends; and I have enjoyed every damn minute of it.  I have written 180 posts and a novel.  Unbelievable!

My life now has purpose; it has meaning and it is no longer filled with silence.  For that, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

Love,

Cranky

41 Comments »

Are You A “Silent” Reader?

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I’m guilty.  I tiptoe onto a blog site and quietly look around.  I don’t leave tracks by hitting the “Like” button or writing a comment and I exit the site without leaving any footprints behind me.  The writer will only find out about my clandestine visit when they see their views go up by a point.  Otherwise, they aren’t aware that I’ve dropped in and read what they have to say.

Some bloggers resent these visits.  They feel I am rude; uncaring and disrespectful of their efforts.  They are so wrong; I believe that each and every site I visit is worthy of being read.  Something in your title drew me in; or the first words on the “Reader” captured my attention.  So I drop in and listen to you and I do so with respect for the courage it takes to publish your thoughts, your views and your works of art.

I read a great many posts, I wish I could read them all!  But, with the thousands of writers, poets and artists in WordPress, it is impossible to catch every worthwhile post.  It just can’t be done.  But, I do travel around, a lot!  I read posts from my followers, I read posts from writers that I follow, and I hit the Category section hard to find new bloggers who will make me laugh, shed a tear or touch my heart!

But, I do make “silent” visits and I want you to know that if I do make a quiet visit to your site, it doesn’t mean I won’t return.  Perhaps the post I’ve read is not in my area of interest; it doesn’t mean that your post wasn’t interesting to others or that another post of yours won’t catch my attention in the future.

I’m not going to leave a comment on your site that says “Good job” unless I mean it.  I take my comments very seriously and I don’t arbitrarily hand out mine without meaning them.   That would be insulting..that would be dishonest and that would be rude.  So, if you get a comment from me, you can take it to the bank that I believe your post was worth leaving you a note about.

If I hit the “Like” button, I actually did like it!  I myself resent when people go through their reader and just hit “Like” without ever entering the site.  How do I know they do this?  Well, when I have written a long post and have hit the “Publish” button; I don’t expect to see a notification that someone “Liked” the post 30 seconds later.  No one reads that fast!  I don’t need empty numbers on my stats; I want honest, down to earth readers who are willing to actually read what I have written and then decide if they liked it.

And, if I press the “Follow” button, it means that I want to read more of your posts and include them in my “Blogs I Follow” portion of my Reader.  I can’t follow everyone; it’s just not possible.  I would spend every hour of every day reading posts when I should be writing.  So, if I don’t hit the Follow button; it just means that your site didn’t seem to fit my reading needs; it doesn’t mean your posts aren’t interesting or entertaining.  And, again, I might return and find another post of yours that tickles my fancy and motivate me to follow your site.

So, to those of you who have complained about the number of silent readers that have visited your site, I will share this.  When I look at my stats, I look at how many readers went into my site and read the posts.  My number of views is so important to me, it shows me that something I wrote was worth reading.  The reader didn’t have to “Like” it, doesn’t have to comment and certainly shouldn’t be obligated to Follow me based on their visit.  I am just honored that someone took the time to drop in and look around.

For isn’t that what posting is all about?  Having someone read your thoughts, your views or your slant on life?  I post for that reason..and for all those who have visited my site, I can’t thank you enough for the honor of having you read my humble efforts.  It means the world to me!

So, in closing, I’d like to invite anyone to drop in anytime and feel free to do so silently or drop me a note you were there!  Either way, I’ll treasure your visit!

43 Comments »

Honey, I’m Home!

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Wow, what a ride it’s been!  But my adventures through WordPress has to end..it’s time to get back to some serious writing and posting!  I learned a lot on my trip, met new friends and read some awesome posts.  The biggest lesson I learned at the end of my travels is that I still have so much to learn about WordPress and Writing!

But, I feel rested (except for some very tired eyes from reading) and raring to go…so I’ll be returning tomorrow with my regular posts..some funny, some sad, and some just downright silly!  I want to thank everyone on WordPress for their comments and for sharing their great posts with me!  And to the new followers I collected along the way, a great big welcome to my site.

I had hoped to supply you with some links to some great sites during my trip;  hell, they were all great so I could only reblog some that I thought you should read right away.   If you need a nudge in the right direction, click on the blogs I follow to check out some really good  sites.  They are all wonderful people and are well worth checking out!

This was a trip well worth taking and I recommend it to everyone, especially newbies like myself.  Sometimes, in order to get the juices flowing and to find your way around WordPress, you should take a trip like mine.  Meet new writers, and try out some of the great features of WordPress!

Although I’m returning to working on my short story and posting whatever flies into my head, I’ll still be taking time out to check out my follower’s posts and peek in at some of the other WordPressers that I haven’t met yet!

On a serious note, my Gravatar seems to have had a slight problem on her return home.  Seems like someone was a little miffed at her treatment of some feline named Wicca!  I’m sure she’ll be out and about with me soon..after all..she’s also the Wicked Witch of the East with these awesome red slippers, so she’s good at getting out of tight spots!

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2 Comments »

Kickin Back – Day One

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If you read my previous post, “Kickin Back“, then you know that I have decided to take a trip through WordPress.  I started this journey in order to take a break from posting (all about me) and catching up with your posts (all about you!)

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Yesterday, I started my trip by traveling down the “Blogs I Follow” interstate and visited some of the boys and gals N the Hood!  I discovered that I have great taste in choosing great Blog Sites!  I spent hours reading and commenting to those of you who posted yesterday and had a great time doing it!

The first thing I stumbled across was the best inspirational video I’ve ever seen posted by Simple Tom.  I reblogged it but if you missed it, you can see it now by clicking here.   It’s a beautiful thing!

I continued down the road and visited some of the sites that make me laugh..always!  I dropped in on sites that I follow and read when I want to feel all warm and fuzzy; or ones that make me aware of events that interest me!  Great words, great photos, great poems..all of these filled my first day of my trip..and I thank you all!

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I did stop in at one site and found that I had to “Unfollow” it.  Sorry, dude, too many F Bombs and too little content.  I wish you well, but you’re not for me!

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Today I plan on prowling through sites I have yet to visit by following the “Topics” Road on the Reader Interstate.  Since there are quite a few, it may take me some time to quench my thirst for more…more..more great posts!

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I’ll be looking for posts that make me laugh…

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Make me think…

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Or just downright inspire me!

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But, I will be taking paths that lead back to you, my followers, and I’ll be keeping up-do-date with your posts.  I’ll be writing about my adventures in WordPressland daily to let you in on my discoveries!

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Before I jump back on my bike and head on down the WordPress Road again, I think I’m gonna run out and get a quick haircut!  See you all soon!

12 Comments »

Kickin Back

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It’s time to take a breath!  What a ride I’ve been on since I first stepped foot in WordPress country.  It’s been a dream fulfilled to find the writing home I’ve been looking for since I first started blogging in November.  But, I woke up at 4 a.m. (my usual time) this morning and decided that I needed to sit back and start really exploring this new land I’ve discovered.

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I’ve decided to put on my walking shoes and start visiting more blog sites in order to expand my writing skills..after all, there are so many of you talented writers, poets and shutterbugs out there that I have yet to meet.  And, I need to catch up with those of you that I haven’t been able to visit while I’ve been so busy writing my own posts.

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In just over a month, I have written over 70 posts; I’ve gathered over 200 followers (a kiss and a hug to all!) and been nominated for more Awards than I feel I deserve (but I’m taking them and running!)  It’s been a real roller coaster ride and I feel like this is the start of something big in my life as a writer.

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I also want to take a couple of days to think about how I want to live in this new land and if I want to close my previous blog site I’ve been spending time trying to maintain.  Will WordPress be my primary home or will I continue to flip flop back and forth.  I’m afraid that my efforts in keeping both are affecting my writing;  I need to make a decision and my journey will help me do that.

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I also have to have a little chat with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Ignored about my dream of being a published writer and setting up a writing schedule that will not make him feel neglected (there’s nothing worse than an SO who wanders around the house pouting and muttering about the time I’m spending on my laptop!)  I want to stop the hit or miss method I’ve been using and get a time frame for my writing and stick to it!

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So, although you might not see a post from me for a few days (WHAT? O.k.  you might..I doubt I’ll be able to keep my mouth shut for too long) it just means that I’m busy knocking on the doors of my fellow WordPressers and inviting myself in for a look around.  I’ll still be replying to comments and, lord knows, I’ll be tapping out comments all through my journey.

SO OFF I GO ON MY TRIP THROUGH WORDPRESS!  WISH ME LUCK!

Just a quick P.S.  All the wonderful pictures I put in this post were found on the Wild for Wildlife and Nature Website I found on Facebook.  You can find more of these great photos by clicking on the above link!

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