The Top Nine Reasons Why Bloggers Abandon Their Blogs

I watched an old movie on TV last night. There was a scene where the main character was walking through a house that had obviously been closed up for some time. She walked carefully through the dusty rooms with their shrouded furniture, gently lifting up the white cloths that covered the pieces and peering underneath. Liking what she saw, she purchased the place and a few scenes later she was uncovering the furniture, opening the windows and breathing life back into her new home.

And so it is that I return to the scene of my blog, dusty and covered up these many months. I never expected that almost two years would elapse before I posted something, anything here, but as you can see that is exactly what happened. In my defense, I started jotting down a list of reasons why I hadn’t written and they were, well, rather lame reasons. But that could probably be said for a lot of excuses people come up with for why they quit their exercise routine, diet, class, marriage or whatever. Excuses are usually pretty flimsy.

For me, returning to full time work took away so much of my free time that I found it very difficult to sit down to write anything coherent after a long day on my feet. My days off seemed to fly by, and well… I should stop now. Like I just said, excuses ARE pretty flimsy.

So here are what I believe to be the top nine reasons why people abandon their blogs. Got any more?

1 Less free time for blogging – A new job, a new baby, going back to school – there are dozens of obligations and tasks that can be added to your list of time demands. If something is truly important, you make time for it. If you’re trying to finish your degree so you can get a better-paying job, then you’re going to want to devote as much time as possible to your studies. Writing about the latest hot video game, or finding innovative ways to decorate your home on a budget, while fun to do, end up slipping down a few spaces on the “must-do” list.

2. Accessibility issues – Connecting to the internet from home means you need an internet service provider.  Not all areas of the country enjoy perfect service; interruptions and speed can vary greatly. Maybe you moved and your service options aren’t as reliable as before. Sometimes your internet access becomes more restricted because the boss is watching how much time you’re on its. Or maybe you’re not able to give everyone in your family their own laptop, and so you have to share your computer with your spouse or kids.

3. Nothing more to say – It could be the hottest topic being discussed today, but if you believe you’ve said all you need to or want to, then it makes sense to just step away for the time being. You can always decide later to resurrect your blog with a different focus, or even start a new one.

4. Illness – Sometimes, you’re just too sick or upset to write.

5. Afraid of commentary – Sharing your thoughts and opinions with the world via a blog can be a lot of fun; as your blog grows in popularity, you can expect comments to come in from a wide variety of readers. However, there are jerks out there who just love to post derogatory or annoying comments. Maybe you took a strong view about a currently hot political topic. If going to your blog has become an unpleasant chore, then it’s understandable why you wouldn’t want to post any more.

6. Blog no longer relevant – Perhaps you were writing a diary about your travels in another state or country. Maybe you were blogging about your journey through a particular period in your life, such as the arrival of your first or latest child, or how you’re coping with caring for aged parents, or your own battle with cancer. Perhaps you have been a successful “mommy blogger” whose children are now grown. Once the main purpose for the blog is no longer relevant, sometimes the best thing to do is just retire it.

7. Company went out of business – This is another fairly obvious and common reason for blog death. When the company is gone, there’s nothing left to promote or blog about.

8. Expense issues – There are some costs to maintaining your own blog: you have to host the blog on a server someplace; there are charges for software, virus protection and various other optional services; you may even have to purchase new hardware to replace outdated or stolen hardware. Plus, there’s the ongoing cost for internet service. When times get tough, the expenses for a fun time blog that doesn’t contribute much (or anything) to the family income often wind up on the chopping block.

9. Boredom – There’s no question that blogging has become very hot; just about anyone can have a blog and start a conversation with the world. Maybe you jumped into the fray and have discovered that it’s just not you – you’re no longer motivated to keep posting.

My own reasons are a combination of several of these. But in the end, it doesn’t really matter why you stopped blogging. What only matter is, if you want to do it again, DO IT!

So here I am again. I’ve got things I want to say, so stay tuned!

My Husband’s Cancer Diary

My husband, Jim, is currently undergoing treatment for squamous cell cancer of the mouth as a result of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). We have decided to document our journey with a blog. Here is the address:

Please pass on this address to anyone you know who might be suffering from squamous cell cancer of the mouth caused by HPV. We are going to do our best to document every day of radiation treatments, which started today, March 15, 2012.

They say shared experiences can be a powerful thing. We hope that by documenting our journey, we might help others who are having to deal with it. Just to know there’s someone else out there dealing with the same thing can be helpful.

We will try to respond to any questions and/or comment on the blog as quickly as possible. To all those other there is cyberspace suffering from cancer of any kind, we send you our most sincere wishes for a speedy recovery.

The War of the ‘Hoses

I really love Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. So far, everything she has worn out in public has been beautiful, flattering to her slim figure, and – on several occasions – items that the average person can quickly go buy for themselves off the rack. (Provided they move quickly, as these items often sell out within HOURS of being worn). Ya just gotta love her mix of designer duds with more common clothes. And I’m not the only one – there has been a lot written about how elegant and comfortable she has looked no matter what she was wearing. As far as I recall, she hasn’t had a really bad fashion faux pas yet, and that includes her footwear. It’s like everyone just loves everything she wears.

But I wonder if she’s aware that she’s about to start and international war among women.

I’m talking about …. pantyhose. In case you didn’t notice, Duchess Kate wears nude-colored pantyhose with her dresses. Most likely this is because of her position within English society: as a royal, one must look the part and keep a degree of modesty about oneself. It could also be because she likes them, no one has really asked her as far as I know. But I bring it up because here she is, getting universal wows on her outfits, all the while wearing barely-visible hose.

“Love that dress!” ” What a great color!” “I would wear that!”

Then I point out the pantyhose and it’s like the woman suddenly was drowning kittens.

“ACK! No WAY!” “How subservient!” “Bet they make her wear ’em!” “TACKY!” “Old-fashioned!” “PRUDISH!”

Are we talking about the same woman?

Somewhere along the line, pantyhose became a permanent resident on the “OUT” list right next to girdles and chastity belts, and I fail to understand why. Let me first start by saying that yes, I wear pantyhose. And not just to my yearly visit to church. I wear them anytime I put on a skirt or dress unless I am on vacation, and the skirt or dress in question is light, billowy and gauzy. They give a slight blush of color to my pale legs (Don’t even suggest bronzers. I’ve tried. I’m allergic to ALL of them). They hold in whatever needs holding in. They keep my shoes from sticking to my feet. People – what’s not to like here?

I can give a pass to the younger crowd. I was one of you once, before the knee scars from cycling, the varicose veins and the 20 pounds that permanently live on my hips. And I know that there is a small portion of women aged 30+ who can still pull off the bare-leg look. Most of them either live in Hollywood or spend money on their bodies like they lived in Hollywood.

But the rest of us? Um, in a word… NO.  Look, it’s just two wispy scraps of nylon or polyester with a Spanx-like panty. You love Spanx, right? So what’s the big deal? I KNOW it’s important for women to be authoritative, bold, career-minded, determined, energetic, fashionable, a go-getter (I could go all the way to Z but you get the idea). I just don’t see how pantyhose makes you a doormat. Despite the witch hunts in the 70’s, bras survived the burnings at the stake and now make Victoria’s Secret executives very wealthy. Women love bras so much these days that they like to show them off, peeking out from low-cut tops and tanks. For the record, most of that looks good. So why the pantyhose protest? Not comfortable, you say? Uh-huh. Show me a ultra-padded, lace-trimmed, sequin-encrusted push-up that is comfortable. Bottom line – if you’re in a skirted suit for business, you need hose. Make ’em dark opaque tights if you want, but you need hose. Period. It looks totally unprofessional otherwise.

Catherine’s bold fashion choice has inspired classic hose manufacturers like L’eggs and No Nonsense to ramp up their advertising. I saw a TV add for L’eggs over the holidays – classy and nice. I didn’t see anything to remind me of June Cleaver or the Dark Ages.

I challenge you to experiment. Go get yourself a pair of nude colored hose. They won’t set you back more than $5 or $6. That’s just two Starbuck’s Frappie-Machio-somethings. Then wear them out to your next dressy occasion. Spring is coming … you’re going to a wedding, shower or graduation…wear them. See what happens.

If you truly hate them, you can always cut the legs off, put 3 tennis balls in a leg, tie off the cut end and give it to the dog for a toy.


Ghost Writers in the Sky

I’m a ghost-writer!

I’ve been writing articles for Stone Temple Consulting for the past month now.  Imagine – doing something I love (writing) and getting paid for it! Amazing. Of course I can’t link to those articles from this website, nor can I tell you what articles they are. Such are the rules of ghost-writing. It’s still interesting to be a part of it. Companies that don’t have content writers on staff can hire firms like Stone Temple to look around the web and see what blogs might want to feature an article about their company, and then have the article written for them. In one example, I wrote a travel-related article for a company that rents recreational vehicles nationwide, and the article was posted on a large city’s promotional website.

It’s a win for everyone – the RV company gets promotion, the destination gets talked about and I get to exercise my writing muscles AND get paid!

I’ve also been writing a host of interior decorating and design articles for other websites. Even though my name is no where to be found, it’s still a thrill when I find something I wrote right out there in cyberspace! 🙂

Thought-provoking comments from Ben Stein

I was going to post something else here first, but then I got around to reading some older emails. This was sent to me by a friend. Apparently, the White House referred to Christmas Trees as Holiday Trees for the first time this year, prompting CBS presenter Ben Stein to present this piece, which I am reposting in its entirety.


The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:
I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish.  And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees.  I don’t feel threatened.  I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.
It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me.  I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto.  In fact, I kind of like it.  It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year.  It doesn’t bother me at all that  there is a manger    scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu.  If people want a creche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians.  I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period.  I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country.  I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it  being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it  another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God?  I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too.  But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different:  This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.
Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could  God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Hurricane Katrina)..   Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response.  She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.  And being the gentleman He  is, I believe He has calmly backed out.  How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’
In light of recent events… Terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.  I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.  Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school.  The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself.  And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their  little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide).  We said an expert should know what he’s talking about.  And we said okay.
Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.  I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.  Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.  Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.  Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Are you laughing  yet?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you  for sending it.
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
Pass it on if you think it has merit.
If not, then just discard  it…. No one will know you did.  But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.
My Best Regards,  Honestly and respectfully,
Ben Stein

Welcome to my website!

Welcome to the Vintage Word!

Today is Tues-, no wait – it’s WEDNESDAY December 28th. I’ve been at this all day and now it’s 5 minutes past midnight. I am excited to finally go live with my own personal website. Writing a blog on blogspot was fun, but I always wanted to have my very own site and so now – here it is!

As I said in my About Me page, this website is my way of sharing all of the thoughts, ideas and stories that are rattling around in my head. You’ll find articles on cats, interior design, observations on what it’s like to live in one of the most desirable places in the country and much more. Plus you’ll meet a whole array of characters who have up to now existed only in my imagination.

It is my profound wish that reading something here stimulates your own thinking, or at least puts a smile on your face.