Tag Archives: WordPress

My Apologies

So last night I wrote a post about my battle with migraines during the month of March.  I don’t know what is going on, but my photos are either MIA or they simply look terrible — and not just because they are dorky selfies and awkward candid photos of my dog!

I noticed that WordPress changed the image editing application in my Media Widget.  Well, change it back!  It is now completely user un-friendly and un-functional.  For example, instead of being able to manipulate photos the way I used to in the Advanced Settings while blogging, I now have these options:



Seriously? What is this size good for?



Not much better, but somewhat practical.


Full Size

Full Size

This is okay, but couldn’t there be something in between Medium and Full Size? I realize that we are Americans here, and we don’t really recognize the concept, but still…

Now this is based on the original size of your images, which you CAN manipulate in the Media Library, but you CANNOT once you are attempting to insert into the post.  So I will admit that WordPress is clear on how and when to properly edit photos.  My problem is that my image editor is at this time mostly non-functioning unless I am simply inserting already prepared, unaltered photos, such as the apple above, into a blog.  Not very user friendly!



A Medium based off my original photo dimensions. Still a bit large, but it will work for now.

I liked the older version because I could determine how a photo would best fit into the post while writing — a better system for me.  It was even worse yesterday when I was trying to make my silly selfies fit, because there were two other sizes available: Small and Large.  All the sizes were so unreasonable yesterday, and judging by the slightly more realistic sizes offered today, I am guessing WordPress received a multitude of complaints from irate bloggers like myself.


This does NOT solve my problem!  I need to manipulate my photos while writing, so all I can do at this time is apologize for how terrible my last post looks.  I may take it down and attempt to repair it because at least two photos are already “gone” due to errors caused by the image editor.  Sorry folks, but I hold my posts to a high standard (at least when it comes to appearance) and if my posts look shitty, it isn’t for lack of my effort.

Please visit again soon; hopefully my technical hiccups will have been cured!  Thanks,

— G

P.S.  On my food blog I discovered that (depending on the original size of my photos) I may have the Large option available in my image editor.  Then again, I may only have the choice between Thumbnail and Full Size, again depending on the original size.  Obviously this feature will now require intensive amounts of time in order to produce images that are satisfactory for blog posts.


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Irons In The Fire

January was a busy month.  I have several irons in the fire and never seem to stay still long enough to gather dust.  Besides adding two new job titles — paraprofessional and literacy tutor — to my responsibilities at the school, I’ve been busy with projects at home.  Watermarking my digital photos as an attempt to protect them has become one priority.  I don’t know that my photos are actually worth stealing, but they are mine, I put work into them, they are special to me.  Anyone thinking of snagging them consider this: they are kinda shitty compared to professional photographs.  Bitch please, I’m an amateur photographer.  If you’re going to commit intellectual property theft, you are on the wrong site.

My beautiful picture

I did a round of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer’s Month).  The first time I encountered this on WordPress I thought another blogger was writing about Japanese anime characters so I disregarded.  In late December I received an e-mail from a blog I subscribe to, challenging me to participate in NaNoWriMo for January and write 500 words every day.  There were no strings attached except that participants make a valiant effort to write.  My progress was nothing to brag about, but I did make an effort.  Part of my problem was that I ended up ill for ten days, and during this time I didn’t have the energy to approach my computer, let alone type 500 words a day.  I managed to put extra effort into what I did type, and January writing projects were quite enjoyable.  So, I am happy to report that while I didn’t write a novel (and don’t intend to at this point) I have developed the habit of wanting to type about 500 words each day.  That is a good habit to develop!

I began a new project and a bit of a crash course.  I have had this fantastic book, Will Write for Food, by Dianne Jacob, for two years now, and just cracked the cover this month.  I am nearly halfway through and am learning invaluable information about…drum roll please…food writing!  Before I even considered starting a blog, my husband was encouraging me to write a cookbook featuring old family recipes and “secret” ingredients.  Unsure how prepared I was for such an endeavor, I ordered Jacob’s guide and it sat in a corner for two years.  Now that I (finally) opened it I can say that Will Write for Food is THE quintessential resource for food writers.  I am gaining nothing by making positive statements about this book, I just really think it is wonderfully comprehensive!


After I finish reading the book, work on the suggested exercises and research areas of interest, I will (hopefully) be a more experienced writer.  In the meantime I am launching an ambitious little blog called Okra Blossom, focused on anything food related.  I took a nap a few days ago, and when I woke up I HAD to start another blog immediately, and I HAD to call it Okra Blossom, because that is my favorite flower.  As impulsive as I can be, this is not without some deep and careful (apparently subconscious) thought (while I was napping?) but I am enthusiastic about the positive repercussions of having a semi-professional food blog.  I will still have my any topic/any time eclectic chaos occurring at Blogging Pioneer.  But Okra Blossom will be more laser focused and (again hopefully) will help me develop a specific skill set as a writer.  If you are interested in reading my food writing, come visit me soon at:


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A Newbie Blogger’s Best of 2013

My G-Raffe profile pic from the infamous Facebook giraffe riddle.

My G-Raffe profile pic from the infamous Facebook giraffe riddle.

I decided this morning that I had better get my Best of 2013 published before much more of 2014 slips away.  I also have had blogger’s block thanks to copious amounts of cold medicine and a horrible attitude (sorry immediate family for anything mean that I did to you over the weekend), but my notes for this post are pretty well rounded so I can probably type on autopilot…It just took a really long time to figure out how to spell ‘pilot’.  Hmmm…this head cold is worse than I originally suspected.  Regrouping…

As I have only been blogging for about three months, I still don’t know much (of anything) but I am trying to catch up with the learning curve as quickly as possible.  What I have learned by reading the works of veteran bloggers is that I am one tiny goldfish in an immense ocean of talent, and I am deeply humbled.  After reading a few Best of 2013 posts from highly creative and accomplished bloggers, my meager victories  seem like the stunted and hesitant steps of a toddler.  These bloggers have been researching, photographing, writing, and editing until their eyes nearly pop out for years; what have I done?  But my husband has a saying: “You’re steering a boat, not a race car!”  My boat has just left the dock and is still getting pointed in the right direction, so I have to take things slow and remember to celebrate the small victories.  They keep me going for now.

This is my Newbie’s Best of 2013:

7.  Just starting a blog!  I want to send out thanks to my sister and husband for encouraging me to start writing my stories.  If not for their support, I may not have even bothered trying in the first place.


6. Reuniting with people on Facebook.  An important part of succeeding as a blogger is networking, so I had an ulterior motive when I joined Facebook.  I needed a steady population of readers to circulate my blog around, and this social network seemed like a perfect place to start.  But finding old friends and sharing special moments and funny conversations has become the primary benefit.  It is not nearly as important that my friends like or even read my blog, but I do appreciate the support of those who have been visiting me at WordPress!  Their encouraging comments have inspired me to continue writing and thinking about new topics.  Thank you, friends!

5.  2,000 views by Christmas!  When my blog reached 1,000 views by Thanksgiving, I set a goal to reach 2,000 views by Christmas.  For veteran bloggers, this number probably doesn’t seem like a big deal, but for me it was a goal to work toward through diligent writing and consistent enthusiasm.  The credit really goes to my readers for visiting my blog, and I was thrilled to reach the goal just before Christmas.  Who knows, maybe we will reach 5,000 views by Easter!

4. Viewers logging on from over 30 different countries.  It has been fascinating to see that people from all over the world have been reading my blog!  In 2013, viewers from over 30 different countries read my posts.  The funniest/weirdest search term leading to my blog in 2013 was “cooked camel”, allowing a viewer in Kuwait to find my satirical post about cooking a camel for Thanksgiving.

Camel 001

A card I bought in Kuwait, with the recipe for stuffed camel inside. Yum!


3. My most liked post, about Ross the Dog opening his Christmas present.  I tried to write a few posts with a serious tone, and I worked very diligently on them, but they were not nearly as popular as ‘Christmas for Ross the Dog’, a fluff piece about my dog, who can unwrap presents without any help.  It was easily my most well received post to date.  Go figure.

"Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!!!"

“Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!!!”


2. Building rapport with other bloggers and learning from them.  I cannot stress this enough to other newbie bloggers: veteran bloggers are role models that can teach us how to be professional, ethical, and eloquent.  I have learned so much and made friends with a handful of amazing writers who I can look up to as mentors in the blogging world.  I want to express gratitude to those who have been friendly, professional, and fun to correspond with over the last few months.  Thanks veteran bloggers!

1.  Most popular picture of me in 2013.  Does it need explaining?

Love Henya3

Having a moment with my sister’s best hen at the Missouri homestead.

Thanks to all my readers for making my blogging debut a very satisfying experience.  I look forward to writing more stories for your enjoyment!  Have a blessed 2014!

— G

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World Traveler

Me Playing Mandolin

Happy trails to you, wherever you may go!

An unexpected perk of having a blog on WordPress is the feeling of excitement from seeing different countries highlighted on the status page when a viewer outside the U.S. has been reading my posts.  As a soldier I  claimed bragging rights as a world traveler because my flights to and from the Middle East landed for layovers in places such as Scotland (go Ross Clan!), Ireland (yum, Guinness), and Germany (Guten tag, chocolate!).  That counts as “visiting” right?  Anyway, now my blog is doing the traveling for me and I can happily add Canada (although I was there for Spring Break once — long story), Italy (thanks to a high school friend who is having a blast there now), and Japan (my current dream PCS destination)!  Who knows where this writing will take me tomorrow…

Thanks for reading,

— G

Later that day: add Poland to the list!  Dziekuje!

Hello World!

How fitting that I officially begin this journey on my 32nd birthday!  I woke up feeling especially adventurous today, which is good because I still have no idea what I am doing or even if this blog is actually on the Internet.  I keep feeling like I am Creed in that episode of ‘The Office‘ when Ryan just gives him a Word folder to save all his random thoughts into so no one ever sees anything!  I am just so happy I can revise things over and over!  Yesterday when I was working on my About Page I accidentally added a link to an End Times site, and while that is hilarious, it isn’t quite the right kind of attention I want to draw.

If someone had told me two years ago that I would be starting a blog, I would never have believed it.  Why?  Well, first of all, I am horrible when it comes to computer technology.  I can type just fine, I can turn on my computer, and I can usually shop online successfully as long as no complicated processes are involved.  Sad, isn’t it?  This blog will be a learning experience (or a lesson in pain).  Second, I can be very shy and I am not in the loop when it comes to social networking.  While a lot of people really embrace technology, I tend to run screaming from technology into whatever wilderness is nearest to me.  Again, I will have to learn to use these social networking tools, or die trying, right?

Third and finally, as I began to research blogging and form a plan for how I wanted my blog to look and operate, I began to also doubt my natural abilities.  I started to wonder if I would be taking too great a risk.  I mean, blogging sounds too good to be true, way too easy, and there has to be a catch!  What if I fail at my goal to create this space for sharing my stories and adventures?  Would it just be easier to not start a blog and pretend I never considered it and became really excited about the idea?

Then I remembered something that my sister told me: “You are freaking awesome!  You need to do it”  And besides being awesome, I am also kind of adorable, so maybe this will turn out to be okay.  Also, I have realized that I don’t have to be perfect.   I know that I will never be the best out there, I will probably never present the most up to date information (although I will try), I will not know how to do everything immediately, and it will take time for me to learn how to be a great blogger.  But I will get there because I always reach my destination.  So if anyone really is reading this, I hope that you come back and visit again and see what I’ve been up to — I promise that you will not be disappointed.  I am a mischievous little shit.