Out of this World

This entry is in response to the WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge: Out of this World.

I’ve visited some truly beautiful places on this earth. But some of them have made me feel like I’ve left our planet.  Here are some photos of places I’ve been that have an alien type of beauty.

Craters of the Moon National Monument

Located off the beaten path in Idaho (if Idaho has a beaten path!) Craters of the Moon is the site of an ancient volcano. Windy and quiet, the lava flows and cinder cones give it a truly lunar feeling.

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Craters of the Moon National Monument

Great Salt Lake, Utah

We spent a night in Salt Lake City, Utah on our vacation route. Checking into our hotel just before sunset, we decided to take a short drive to see the Great Salt Lake. The “beach” of salty sand went on and on toward the horizon, with only a slim, shallow band of water visible in the distance. Although we were on the edge of the city, it felt like we were on another planet.

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The Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, Utah

Haleakala National Park, Hawaii

I have never seen anything more desolate and other-worldly than this volcano on the island of Maui. Instead of joining the crowds that travel to the top for sunrise, we explored on our own during the day. Truly one of the most beautiful and incredible places I’ve ever seen.

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The Silversword plant is a rare species that lives only on Haleakala.


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Mr. Maid checking out the vivid variations of color in the soil.



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The telescopes of “Science City” add to the “out of this world” feeling by looking like a base on the Moon or on Mars.


So Many Blogs. So Little Time.

In my last post, I talked about distractions that keep me from blogging.

I follow a bunch of other bloggers. It takes up a good chunk of time to catch every post which keeps me from posting on my own blog. Also, the sheer talent out there gives my Inner Critic plenty of ammunition.

But I’ll continue to read them. When you read, comment, and engage with your fellow bloggers, you become part of a wonderful community. I think of them as pen pals for the modern age.

Here list of some of my favorites. Those of you lucky enough to be listed will reap the benefits of being read by my entire list of followers. That’s right – you could reach tens of readers! Congratulations! Continue reading

My Underdog Blog – or How to be Bad at Blogging

Ah, a new year. There’s nothing like it for charting progress and tallying up successes. In the blogging world, it’s the time many bloggers examine their stats and reflect upon how well they stuck to their publishing schedules.

Unless, of course, you are me. It’s no wonder my favorite childhood cartoon was Underdog.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a blog! A BLOG??? (Only those of you of a certain age will get this reference!)


Oh, I looked at my stats all right. When it comes to posting on this blog, on a scale of “comatose” to “killing it,” I fall somewhere between “sloth” and “distracted toddler.” The most baffling thing to me is that I’ve actually gained some followers. And some of them aren’t bots, but actual real live humans! Crazy! Continue reading

It’s a Blog Eat Blog World Out There

I’ve been temporarily sidetracked from chronicling my action packed (?) vacation to Maine by several things. I will continue with The Maid Goes to Maine series, but there is something else that’s on my mind right now that I wanted to write about.

Yesterday was a milestone for me. I keep a little five-year “Q & A a Day” journal where I answer a daily question. It’s a fun little exercise and interesting to see what has changed (or not changed) from year to year.

I love my little Q & A book!

When I opened it before bed to answer the day’s question, I saw that beneath last year’s answer I had written “Started WordPress Blogging 101.” I actually created my WordPress blog on October 2, 2012 after taking an introductory class at the local community college. Then it languished untouched for nearly three years. In the meantime, I received emails from WordPress.com and something kept me from unsubscribing.

Last year an email announcing the Blogging 101 class arrived and for once it was offered at a time of year that was convenient for me. It sounds really corny, but I had no idea how it would change my life.

I can’t recommend this free WordPress class enough!

Taking the class finally pushed me to write down my stories and thoughts – something I had professed to want to do for so long. But the anniversary (or blogoversary) is bittersweet. Yes, I am writing, but I have a long way to go to reach the goals I have set for myself. I try to look at how far I’ve come, but it is simply in my nature to be my own worst critic. Continue reading