Reflections from three years of blogging

Flower arrangement

“I believe the term “blog” means more than an online journal. I believe a blog is a conversation. People go to blogs to read AND write, not just consume.” – Michael Arrington

It is hard to believe, but I am celebrating my third year of blogging. On April 22, 2011, I hit “publish” for the first time, not knowing where on earth this blog would go.

My initial thoughts in creating a blog were to chronicle my dad’s Alzheimer’s disease, and seek as well as offer support to others dealing with this dreadful disease. But his illness progressed much too quickly, and I shelved the blog for a while, as we dealt with doctor appointments, emergency room trips, hospitalizations, nursing home care, ICU, hospice, arranging a funeral and ultimately saying our farewells in July of 2011.

I was so busy and stunned from my dad’s death that when I did return to the blogging world, I used my blog primarily as therapy to deal with my profound loss.

In three short years, we have learned to move forward without Dad, which hasn’t been too easy. Every holiday and family event still feels empty to me. But we always toast Dad and know that he is in attendance, just in a different form. I still see him in dreams, and he has a way to send me a message from heaven every now and then.

Once I returned to writing on a more regular basis, I developed a blog following, which is very humbling to me. I truly appreciate all those who read my essays and posts, and I have been able to branch out and get a few sponsored posts and product reviews. It is always fun to test things out and share my findings with my audience. Some of my product review highlights include my time spent as a Verizon Brand Ambassador, and also tasting foods and addressing issues in order to help others along.

I have had the opportunity to share my faith and opinions, lots of opinions, and even share some of my crazy science experiments.

I also dabbled in a little travel, and would love to dabble a bit more! Part of my blogging life has included my military spouse trials. During part of this three-year blog journey, my Army reservist husband was stationed overseas on an unaccompanied tour, and I had the opportunity to travel to London to see him. Then he, along with our oldest son, deployed at the same time. I thought I would lose my mind, but I was able to write and had a good core of family and friends who kept me going strong until they both returned home, safe and sound.

Some days it just doesn’t seem possible that time could fly by so quickly. Since I started my blog, our youngest son has graduated, and our youngest daughter is finishing her junior year of high school. Our oldest daughter is now in our shoes, seeing how quickly time flies as her little ones grow by the minute. We survived severe summer storms and winter’s Polar Vortex – among other things.

Reflecting over the past three years I realize how immensely blessed I am. In addition to a wonderful family and great friends, I have a great support in the writing and blogging communities. I have taken a few refresher courses in writing and blogging; had blog posts featured on Midlife Boulevard, BlogHer and Vibrant Nation; I picked up part-time writing jobs and found friendships with fellow bloggers and local writers. So many positive things have happened just because I have put myself out in the blogging world.

I have read, and been advised by blogging experts that I should focus my blog and position myself as an “expert in the field,” which is kind of difficult as a “Random Rambler.” My interests are all over the map. I like the freedom that rambling gives me – to choose any topic and go with it! But as I contemplate their sound advice, I think I will eventually have to settle with a theme; maybe “Wise Random Ramblings,” incorporating all my sound advice from a half-a-century of life? 🙂

And, from the bottom of my heart – thank you so much for reading and following my blog. When you read, comment and share my post with your friends and family, it means the world to me, and motivates me to keep on writing. It feels more like conversing with friends, and I just love that.

© Lynne Cobb – 2014

 

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Spam – A whole new kind of crazy

“I’ve learned how to use my spam filter pretty effectively.” – Al Yankovic

spamSpam. Oh, spam. You are such a time suck for every blogger. Spam. Spam. And more spam. Like dust bunnies pro-creating and making more work in some secluded corner somewhere, spammers are out in full force, grabbing each key word and twisting my content into a new level of craziness to fit their message. They try so hard to “fit in” to the real comments waiting moderation. They try so hard to be relevant. Continue reading “Spam – A whole new kind of crazy”

This #Boomer is having too much fun

“Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Boomer Voices program, and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.”

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A few weeks ago, I posted a blog letting the world know that I was chosen to be part of a group of #Boomer bloggers. It was wonderful to meet so many talented, articulate women, whose blogs are great! (Note: I will get to adding them to my BlogRoll – soon.)

As members of the #VZWVoices, we were traveled to Chicago, put up at the Allerton Hotel, and attended classes where we learned about the device that would become an integral part of our lives: the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD. To get us to really use this device, we have been given unlimited data – and anyone who has data constraints knows that is an addicting feature.

So, the requirements we have for sharing our experiences with our phone is to be completely honest. And honestly, I am in love with the camera. 

Leaving the conference, my head was swimming with facts and features and I couldn’t wait to get home and play with my new tech toy. But I admit, I haven’t tried even a smidgen of the features, because I keep playing with the camera! It takes great pictures. And since I am not a professional photographer, and haven’t ever owned a “really good” camera, I am spending way too much time taking pictures and playing with the photo editor. And, for those who know me too well, I freely admit I don’t have a lot of patience. So, for me to take a picture, edit and play and tweak the features in an instant – well, yes, I am hooked.

Above is a very simple shot I took of some sunflowers I bought yesterday. Below, I have posted the images as I tweaked them:

Black and white:

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Documentary:

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Posterized:

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Auto Fix:

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Again, all done in seconds! Just remember to “save” any changes you want to keep (yep – learned that the hard way!).

Stay tuned for more updates, and photos!

© 2013 – Lynne Cobb

Versatile blogger award? Me?

“I love that this blogger writes about a variety of things from a variety of emotions.  One moment you will feel empathy with her, the next you will be laughing at her adventures and her look at life.”

I was kind of grouchy this afternoon. Okay, I was a lot grouchy. In the midst of a writing assignment with a tight deadline, one of our dogs got sick for the third time today. Woof. As I was rinsing my mop and bucket, I heard the email chime on my phone.

What a nice distraction!

As a new blogger, (and unhappy dog owner at that moment), forhisgloryandpraise.wordpress.com couldn’t possibly have known how much that nomination or her kind words would brighten my day! Thank you so very much!

So, in keeping with the award tradition, I will do the following, except for the 15 bloggers – I don’t know that many yet!

Thanks again 🙂

The Rules for this award are as follows:

  1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging (or whose blogs you enjoy most).
  2. Let them know that you have nominated them.
  3. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
  4. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you.
  5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your blog post.

Random facts:

  1. I don’t like cleaning up after sick dogs unless I’m getting an award
  2. My HGTV addiction does not show in my decor…
  3. or in my yard…
  4. My favorite ice cream is Haagen Dazs’ pineapple coconut
  5. I will always prefer to read my newspaper in print vs online
  6. My profile picture was taken when my granddaughter was three, using her toy digital camera!
  7. God has blessed me with an awesome family and wonderful friends

Here are my favorite blogs so far:

httpsss://liferevelation.wordpress.com/ – Inspirational and thought-provoking

httpsss://hastywords.wordpress.com/ – Emotional and open with her feelings

httpsss://modernchristianwoman.wordpress.com/ – Great recipes and beautiful pictures

httpsss://thethingaboutjoan.wordpress.com/ – Fun, family – like chatting with a friend

httpsss://onewomansperspective02.wordpress.com/ – A woman’s journey in grief

www.laferle.com – A wonderful collection of thoughts and essays

Blessings on your weekend!