2015: Out with the Old!

A new year with so many things to do, see, visit, create, smell, taste and experience!

One thing I will not be doing is joining in with some of my blogging friends and posting each day during 2016. I did that once and it was a great experience but I found that often I would write just to write – not because I had amazing words to share. Instead, I will be the cheerleader for these bloggers and read and comment and cheer them to the finish line.


In reading a blog post today written by Rebeka, I learned how to delete Followers. I have so many Followers who I do not know, who do not know me nor do they read my posts. Many are from Russia, Poland, Turkey and other places where I have no connection. So, if you are a WordPress blogger and want to get rid of the spambots and blogbots and other followers who are really not followers (I have 467 Followers!!!) go to this link wordpress.com/people and click on the tab that says Followers.

Good News** I am down to 150 followers now. Some are real people, some are not — for now I am happy with the result. Of those 150, perhaps there are 50 that actually read my blog? If so, stop by and say hello!

Now – if you really are real and I delete you by accident – leave a comment and Follow me again. It it was meant to be…

Let’s talk soon!

Happy Anniversary – who knew?

I received a Happy Anniversary greeting from WordPress acknowledging my 5 years of blogging with them. Time has a way of flying by, doesn’t it?

Now, since it took me off guard, I didn’t have time to write an acceptance speech. But I want to begin by thanking WordPress who made it all possible. Without them, where would I be?

Next, I want to thank my readers especially those who have become my blogging friends over the years. Kisses to you all!

Next  I can’t forget the long line of cameras that have come into my world and have either been lost or used to death. The images I took on them helped bring the words to life.

I’m running out of time, I know… there are so many of you to mention.

I remember 5 years ago wanting to blog but not having a niche. Many of my blogging friends wrote about their books, kids, quilts, photography, lessons, travels and other magical topics. I just wanted to write.

It took a while to get in the groove and then it took more time to stay in the groove then sometimes I lost my groove and when I found it, it was a new groove.

I took several paths – offering information about online help, writing about Internet Goodies, blogging daily, blogging outside my comfort zone and on and on. What worked was writing about something that I read, or a person I met or a song or lecture that inspired me. Inspiration came in the form of watching the clouds or the seasons or a train pass by. I wrote when something made a difference in my world and I wanted to share it.

So, here I am five years later. Will I still be writing five years from now? And if so, will there be something brilliant that makes you want to tap the stranger next to you and read them my dazzling words? No?

What I love most about blogging is looking back over the years to see what I wrote. Like a journal, it gives me a glimpse of where I was at that point in time.

Warm regards and thanks for a great 5 years. (More hugs, kisses and a bow…)

Photos below from the Denver Botanical Gardens – Dale Chihuly exhibit

IMG_3598 IMG_3639 IMG_3620 IMG_3674 IMG_3693


A Blogger’s Best Friend: Askimet

Spam is everywhere:

If you blog then you know about spam. If you don’t blog but just LOVE reading my blog posts then you may not know what bloggers know.

Here it is – spam is everywhere. Some days I get 10-40 spam comments on my blog.

Automated Spam Catcher:

Here is the good news – there is a free ‘spam catcher’ available. It’s called Askimet and it catches the majority of the spam comments and sets them aside for me to delete. Every now and then a good comment gets put in this folder or a spam comment gets posted but it akismet stats99% accurate. If you have a business this tool is a bargain at any price. If you are a personal blog this tool is free.

Once you have it installed it will collect posts that are filled with links. It’s what we need in the email world when our accounts are  taken over.

The 6 month spam total (below) shows the value of this tool. If I had to scour through my posts to make sure all the comments were valid –  I would give up blogging.

6 month spam total


If you blog – this is part of your world,isn’t it?

all time spam

Akismet  - filters out  spam comments

When I went to the Askimet home page this past week the totals changed by the second of the amount of spam that was zapped. If you go to that page today, check the amount of spam that was stopped. 

Where do all these spammers come from???

I think my WP account was spammed and loaded with gobs of code that showed up as a red flag which caused it get to get shut down last week. I don’t know but I am more tuned in, alert and on guard. I update my passwords and avoid any kind of important transaction using my mobile device (iPod Touch).

Is spam something in your world too? Any tips you can to share?

How to Backup Your WordPress Blog Contents

WP Back-Up Lessons Learned

My first post of the year described my passion for writing and blogging – and yet, I’ve hardly written at all this year.

My second post was about being grateful for all the things I have in my world – the open sky and mountain views.

WP Suspended Account

And then WP suspended my account and I had to sit back and look at the fragility of this process. Pouring out words, sharing photos, linking to videos, telling my story, reading and writing comments are all steps along the way.  And then someone steps up and adds a code filled with links  — or spams my blog or email account and I am dead in the water with no recourse.

After researching this WP suspension, I realized it happens quite often. Sometimes it is

tools export

legitimate and bloggers violate the rules. Many times the blog was invaded and hacked and then everything I had written disappeared. Like my Yahoo account, I immediately went into WP and changed my password. Then I began my research. Here’s what I learned:

There is a way to back up your blog and you should probably do it sooner than later so
you don’t lose your ‘stuff.’

Here’s how to backup your account:

  • Log into WordPress.
  • Open the Dashboard.
  • Select Tools > ExportHow to export a your blog files in WordPress
  • Export > Create an XML file containing your posts and comments for you to
    save or import into another WP blog.
  • Export > All Content (this will contain posts, pages and feedback)
  • Click  > Download Export File button


My download file was named: insideoutcafe.wordpress.2013-02-18. It is filled with code and can be opened in another WP blog.

Store this away in a folder (I named mine  – Restore Blog) so you can reinstall if your blog gets shutdown, hacked or suspended. If you have it in a folder, you can import it to another system (Blogger, LiveJournal,, Tumblr, TypePad, etc.) and reinstall and move forward.

Hint: You might want to Export your file on a weekly basis!

 So, I learned some valuable lessons  – the most important one was how to EXPORT my WP blog files and protect my ideas, visions, photos, words, videos and insights that I’ve created over the past few years.

Export and Update Passwords on a regularly basis!

  1. Export your blog files on a regular basis.
  2. Change your password and make it hard to crack.  The best passwords are not words at all but a sequence that only you can know. One idea is the first letter of each word in a phrase = April showers bring may flowers = asbmf1! (Always add a number and symbol to your password.).

I hope this information helps you. I am not so frustrated anymore so will turn my attention back to writing, sharing and reading.

If you have some insights and suggestions – PLEASE share them with me!

Coming Out of the Blogging Closet

It’s easy to hide behind words and then walk away. Over the past year I’ve blogged about a wide range of things. I wrote about my grandson, writers block, getting my car searched in Salt Lake City, my favorite foods, internet tips and tricks, hikes and so much more. I have a lovely record of 2011 because of my daily posts!

What I didn’t do, was tell those closest to me about my blogging life. Most people are aware of the upbeat and sociable me but few realized I am also a world famous blogging personality who is highly sought for my genius and insight.

So my first action in the No Comfort Zone-2012 Challenge (NoCZ-2012) is to invite them to my blog, let them read my posts, view my photos and allow them to meet the online me.

Will they come and visit, read and comment? I hope so. Will they bookmark my blog or Follow me and stay tuned? I hope so. Will they take the NoCZ-2012 Challenge? Whooo Hoooo! That would be cool if they did!

I included this in my email to them…

“My first assignment is to write this and ask you to visit my blog and share it with a 3-4 others. The fact is, I am a writer and I love to write, interact, create and lead. Mostly I do it quietly and in secret, however, I’m inviting you to take a look around, click the Like or Follow button and leave a comment to say Hello!…”

And now you have it. I’ve come out of the closet as a blogger and my world isn’t going to end because of it. Whew!

On to the next challenge …


Take the NO COMFORT ZONE-2012 CHALLENGE!  (NoCZ–2012)

  • DO something out of the ordinary and blog about it each week. If you are not a blogger, leave a comment on my page so we can follow your adventures!

Internet Goodie #2 – Write it, Be it!

Goodie #2

Flowers found in Santa Fe
What inspires you to write?

No time like now … to begin a blog.

I know you LOVE to read my writing on a daily basis but secretly you’ve wanted to write your own words of wisdom – correct?


There are really 2 steps to beginning a blog.

1.      Decide what blogging software you want to use (find a free one!)

2.      Decide what you want to write about.

That’s all.

A blog is the combination of two words – web + log = blog.

You are writing a log (on the web) about something that matters to you.  Whether it’s your family, job, loss of job, hobby, travel experiences, business ideas, science inventions, grief and longing, hope and happiness … you decide what matters most and put your fingers on the keyboard and begin.

TIP #1 – Type your words into a document format first. Write, muse, wander, chew … then write some more. Save the document as you go along. Once you finish writing – USE SPELL CHECK on your blog post before you publish it.

TIP #2 – Copy your article (post, musing, etc) and paste it into your blog. (Check this link for Keyboard Shortcuts)

TIP #3 – Find a photo, video or quote to enhance your words. If you can’t don’t worry, there are websites that have images you can use.

TIP #4 – Always give credit to sites where you find information, photos and inspiration. Include a link to their site as a way to say Thank You!

There are tons of free blogging platforms you can use to create your blog. Most of them can have you up and running within 10 minutes.

Below are some well-known blog platforms or hosts.

Blogger – blogger.com – Quick easy set up and large community of blogging buddies

WordPresswordpress.com – Vast amount of design themes. No ads are allowed on the free blogging site (upgrade to get that feature).

Tumblr – Tumblr.com – A blog platform with a focus on allowing media-rich posts.

Edublogs – Edublogs.com – Often used in classrooms and as a writing tool in education.

Xanga – xanga.com – A social blogging site.

Be sure to check out 40+ Free Blog Hosts

Please – if this inspires you to start a blog, send me a note so I can link to you and follow your progress!




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Live from Twitter : Social Media replaces TV for good reason

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

When earthquakes and tsunami’s hit –back away from your tv and turn to social media. You’ll get real live people with stories about hope, success, challenges and yes, deaths and tragies. You’ll get a better understanding of the big picture and not just the blood and tears that TV is apt to toss our way.

Blogs and microblogging (like Twitter) are close  to the action and the true heart of the matter. In Hey From Japan, we learn about the earthquake and the preparations that surrounded it. Is my family ok? Do the phones work? Is my house safe to go into? The unfolding story is news. True news.

Sadly, TV dwells on the blood, guts and gore which tends to disconnect us from the living and breathing people and their stories on the other end.

TimeOutTokoyo has regular updates about blackout times, hospitals, radiation levels, evacuation radius, transportation and train schedules, and other concerns that remind us of the chaos they are living through.

This headline by  Dave Ewing was found in a Tweet but not in a newspaper “Millions saved in Japan by good engineering and government building codes. “ Mainstream media wants to talk about death tolls and injuires. Too bad for us!



Hey From Japan

Dave Ewing

Here Comes the Sun!

How about some song therapy to go along with your light box?

Sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray…To beat the blues, turn on some light and add some sunny tunes.

The Beatles wrote about a long cold lonely winter where it feels like years since the sun has been here. In places far from the equator (think Sweden, Norway, Ireland, United Kingdom, Canada, Maine, Montana…) the daylight hours are few and darkness has a way of taking over your psyche.

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say it’s all right

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it’s all right

Songs, additional light sources and conversation are things you can do now to alleviate your depression. Remember to involve others and let them know how you’re doing.

Sunny, yesterday my life was filled with rain.
Sunny, you smiled at me and really eased the pain.
Oh, the dark days are gone and the bright days are here,
my sunny one shines so sincere.
Oh, Sunny one so true, I love you.

When songs don’t do it for you – try to take a trip to sunny destination.
Sitting on the dockWhile you’re doing your travel research, turn on the light boxes as a way to remind you that the sun will return…eventually.

“All my bags are packed …I’m ready to go – Leaving on a jet plane…”

Save travels!

Feeling Sad and Blue?
Seasonal Affective Disorder

Why so SAD?

It’s that time of year again… not enough light because of the fewer hours in the day of sunlight, too many clouds, too much snow, too many hours inside.  If you’re feeling depressed and irritable you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder, aptly referred to as SAD.

You may notice this if you’re feeling tired, depressed, irritable, decreased activity levels and body aches. These symptoms feel more intense during the darkest months of the year. People who live farthest from the equator and have shorter days in the winter months will feel this depression longer.

Exposure to light will help lift  your blues and get your body back into an active state.  Bright lights, especially florescent lights used in the morning and evening will work best. Something a bit more fun may be a trip to a warm sunny climate for a period of time as a way to warm you up and lift your mood.

The important thing to remember is this state of flux is temporary and will leave when the earth shifts and seasons change. If it’s too heavy to live with and the depression is too severe, perhaps a move to a sunny climate is in store for you.  Sunny Florida, Arizona or California will offer some respite during the dreary winter months and may be someplace you move to during the winter months or year round.

Search for the Light:
Phototherapy has been used successfully to get more light into your life. A light box can be used to alleviate some of your depression.  A light box, is designed to offer enough brightness (25x brighter than a normal lamp light bulb) to lift your mood.

Turn to the light …and then turn to your friends and family and let them know what’s going on with you. A social network can be effective and healing in getting you over this low time.

Feeling Sad and Blue?
Seasonal Affective Disorder

“Women Comprise Majority of SAD Sufferers” (by HealthyPlace.com)

About 70-80% of those with SAD are women. The most common age of onset is in one’s thirties, but cases of childhood SAD have been reported and successfully treated. For every individual with full blown SAD, there are many more with milder “Winter Blues.” The incidence of SAD increases with increasing latitude up to a point, but does not continue increasing all the way to the poles. There seems to be interplay between an individual’s innate vulnerability and her degree of light exposure. For instance, one person might feel fine all year in Texas but develop SAD when she moves to Toronto. Another individual may be symptomatic in New York City, but have few symptoms in Miami. Some individuals who work long hours inside office buildings with few windows may experience symptoms all year round. Some very sensitive individuals may note changes in mood during long stretches of cloudy weather.
Read entire article at Seasonal Affective Disorder