I’ve been trolled! After 16 months of blogging, I received my first hateful comment. The writer thought my guest post A Gloomy Fourth was “treasonous” and as such I should be “put down by an American patriot.”
Whoa…it felt a bit like a kick to the gut.
I immediately sent a text to my friend and technical consultant, Kristin. I needed her to talk me through this.
Me: First troll; see my site!
K: So funny. I’m watching Trolls 2 with the girls right now…how random!
Me: Should I be afraid?
K: No, trolls are everywhere. I’ve deleted it.
Now I know how it feels to be trolled…just another first for me at the tender age of 58. You won’t see any changes to my site as a result of this experience. I’ll continue to devote most of my posts to the things that I love: family, friends, doxies, flowers and fitness. But I won’t shy away from expressing my opinions about politics when I feel compelled to do so. That’s what true American patriots do.
Fellow bloggers, have you had a visit from a troll?
My husband left this morning for Fresno, California to rescue his mother, Mary, from the 102° heat and bring her home tomorrow to spend the week with us. Our weather is an absolutely perfect 73°. So, despite the fact that my mother in law’s knee is acting its age (88 years old), she is sure to enjoy simply sitting in our garden.
Just in case you didn’t get it: I’m saying I’VE HAD THE WHOLE DAY TO MYSELF! I’ve had the entire house to myself. (Kinda, you’re never really alone when you have three dachshunds!) There was nothing on the calendar…nothing at all! Today was a rest day for me as I torched 800 calories in an hour yesterday at the gym. Then I ran errands and made my list for today. I was looking forward to getting a lot done before Mary’s arrival. This is what I planned to do:
Catch up on the laundry
Clean out the hall closet
Begin writing, if not the great American novel, a really lengthy, profound blog post
Clean out my email inbox and my overflowing magazine basket
And, finally, well, lots more cleaning and tidying…my mother in law is a very neat person; I am not.
But, you know, sometimes life just does not go as planned. After, strongly encouraging my husband to get an early start this morning, I fell into a leisurely, impromptu rhythm. Here’s what I did:
Made another pot of coffee
Poured a cup and sipped it in the sun
Caught up with a dear friend via email… we’re both writers who don’t love telephone conversation
Made a quick lunch and settled in to watch the Giants game
Heated up leftovers for my dinner and fed the dogs
Read the N.Y. Times
Called my husband to say “good-night” and tell him that I missed him
Sometimes the best days are the ones you don’t plan. However, tomorrow I do have plans! I’ll be up very early to begin working on that list!
When was the last time you had a day to yourself? What did you do?
I became a blogger one year ago today! I celebrated the occasion with cake…vanilla with strawberries and whipped cream! There was champagne, too!
When I was young, I had a pen pal and I loved it. As an introvert and a writer, it was the perfect way to connect. Now, I feel like I have many pen pals from all over the world. There are so many wonderful people to meet in the blogosphere.
Blogs and Bloggers I Love:
Sal’s Blog – Irregular Thoughts From A Regular Guy
And, Tamara Jare at My Botanical Garden – You were one of the first to follow my blog. I have your art in my shed. And I feel so close to you that it’s hard to believe you are 6,000 miles away! We will meet someday; I’m sure of it.
I took the time today to look back at the “letters” I’ve written to you, dear readers. It was fun to see which posts were your favorites and reflect on mine.
This cute little garage is attached to a cute little house in a cute little neighborhood in a cute little town. Sorry… couldn’t resist being so cute! But, seriously, I think “Paws Awhile” is good advice. No matter how much one enjoys an activity (or a person, for that matter), a little break can be a good thing.
I didn’t blog/write much during the holidays, but I did express my creativity in other ways. Our home was decorated top to bottom, the presents were wrapped in grand style, the gingerbread houses were sweet pieces of art, the table was set with my beloved collection of china and our doors were open to family and friends.
Today, I’ve returned to the page after having a restless night immersed in ridiculous, but unsettling nightmares. In one vivid scene, I can see myself frantically searching for my site. From the pink shed has disappeared. It is gone, because I have neglected it!
I’d say that is a very good sign that I should return to the shed to enjoy the creative adventure that is my blog.
I wore my first sweater of the season last week; it was a chilly 68 degrees. It’s fall in California, but I have a summer bouquet to enjoy every day.! It was created by my blogging friend, Tamara Jare at My Botanical Garden. It was spring when I selected the lovely watercolor and I was anticipating summertime as I always do. I framed the small piece and it sits on my desk in the pink shed. I can almost smell the peonies, roses, grasses and spirea in full bloom.
As Tamara said, “It’s a special arrangement in the same way that each summer is special.” It’s particularly meaningful to me because it’s a reminder of one of the first friends that I made after creating my blog. I have a friend in Slovenia! I never thought I’d be able to say that!
Tamara found my site just two days after I established it and became one of my first followers. I was glad, not only to have her as a reader, but also to discover the beauty on her site. We developed a connection over the past months and have continued to communicate through e-mail.It was fun to discover how much Tamara and I have in common. We are about the same age and happily married with grown children. After she read my post about aging, she shared that Oil of Olay (tanti anni fa) was the secret to her youthful good looks, too! We agreed that they must have a good advertising company!
We are both creative women who feel happy and complete in our lives. Tamara began her blog when her mother was terminally ill and the artistic expression helped her through that very difficult time. I started my blog when my one -and -only left me to go to college. If one could bottle creative expression, it would be truthful to state that it is a potent remedy in times of loss or change.
I’m sure that I will sound my age when I say that I am amazed to find women who are so seemingly like me in all parts of the world. I’m an “old dog” who learned a “new trick” and I’m grateful to be part of a blogging community with no boundaries.
I am hopeful that someday I’ll meet my friend in Slovenia, but, until then, her art keeps me company while I pursue my creative side.
Six months ago I launched my blog. I felt confident that I’d never run out of things to say, but I was less sure about entering the world of the internet. If I’m going to write, it must be honest. So, would I feel that I was compromising my quiet, simple, private way of life? Would I regret taking this creative leap?
Short answer: NO! Long answer: so many lovely people have visited my pink shed and they’ve made my venture fun and rewarding!
Laurie-You are the kindest, wisest reader any writer could hope for and you submitted an incredibly entertaining guest post.
Catherine, Marietta and Kimberlee-Your support means so much to me.
Mrs. Delwiche (Jean)-You were the “best principal ever” at Almaden Country Day School. My daughter raved about how much you cared about each and every student, as well as what a great witch you made every year at Halloween! You found my blog through Facebook and I feel like a star student when you compliment my writing style!
AND NOW…here’s to the people I “met” in the blogosphere:
Tamara at My Botanical Garden-You were one of my earliest readers and I was flattered. Now we are “pen pals.” Thank you.
Sal at Sal’s Blog and David at Fiction all Day-I’d tell my friends: “I’ve even got men visiting my shed…a handsome guy in sunglasses and a young one with dizzying energy!”
Kathryn at Busy K-You are a young, cool, New York career woman. What are you doing on my site?
Marie at Marie McLean-We share a love of reading and writing. Thanks for your comments.
Franziska at My Tree and Me-Thanks for your support…and, of course, the always useful health, travel and beauty tips.
Thank you also to the young woman expecting her first child who wrote to tell me that my post No Regrets may have “changed her choice and thus (her) life.” And to the many readers who have shared their experiences of loss after reading posts about the death of my brother, Matt. Finally, thanks to my girl for being my #1 fan.
Back in December, I was on Maui Time reading Blog Inc. by Joy Cho and deciding if I should go public. Googling me yielded no results. I had no Facebook page. I had only just begun to read blogs.
The surf and the sand mixed with the Christmas carols, and Joy’s assurance that blogging could give me “friends I never knew I could have,” gave me the motivation I needed to launch fromthepinkshed.com.
Less than four months later, I can already say that it has been fun and fulfilling and I do have friends that I never imagined I’d have! One of the first connections I made was with Tamara Jare at My Botanical Garden. Her photography and original art inspired me. She resides in Slovenia and if it weren’t for WordPress we’d never have met.Today, I received a beautiful piece of her work that I’ll be framing and hanging in my pink shed.
Social media is as imperfect as the world it resides in, but I’m glad I decided to join the conversation. As I always told my daughter, most people are wonderful! I’m so glad to have discovered a whole new set of friends.
Me, my tech consultant, Kristin and her daughters Gio and Julia.
From the Pink Shed was launched six weeks ago and yesterday we celebrated in perfect 75 degree California sunshine. My blog has reminded me how exciting it is to learn something new and how rewarding it is to live a creative life. More than that, though, and quite unexpectedly , it has been simply another reminder of the beauty of friendship. Thank you for reading, my friends, and thank you for the support and encouragement.
Courtney and family-I love all six of you! Thanks for introducing me to:
Kristin-Couldn’t have done it without you! Your family is as lovely as you are.
Beth-Thank you for your generous comments and photographic contributions.
Ann-YOU can cook…thanks for the delicious Thai treats.
Tom-You can rock a bright pink polo!
And, to the other partygoers who made my day: Marietta and Frank, Rosemary and Mary, Fred and Carol, Peter, Fred, Catherine and Keith, Franzi, Kimberlee, Christina and Odysseus and Malcolm.
Thanks also to Laurie, who could not attend, as she is still on Mars, and my daughter, Natalie, because she’s “proud of me.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, I think, spoke truly when he said, “The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.” Yesterday, my home was decorated beautifully with all of my treasured friends.
I’m in my final phase of blog instruction…yippeee!
My technology specialist, Kristin, says I’ve “mastered” the basics (I’m proud!), and it’s time to implement Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is just a fancy way of saying that I’m looking for readers who might enjoy my content. Basically, I’m learning how to leave a trail of breadcrumbs, in the form of keywords, that will lead new visitors to my site.
I had my first lesson yesterday. It began when I innocently searched the phrase “women over 50.” I would love to have readers of all ages and both sexes, but primarily I’m speaking to women in the baby boomer generation, so I wanted to see what results this search would yield.
There was good news and bad news.
The top ten articles involved advice on the perfect hairstyles for the mature woman and lists of the sexiest women over 50. A couple of articles combined both topics to give advice on how to look “hot” after 50. This was very good news for me, as this is not my niche. If I wanted to dispense beauty advice from my pink shed, I’d have a lot of competition.
But, really?! I love a good tutorial on how to make the dark circles under my eyes disappear or a pictorial of beautiful pink dresses. (See my post entitled The Pink Dress). I love perusing Vogue magazine, “playing” in my closet and trying the latest shade of lip color. This is one small piece of the whole that makes me who I am. This is the antidote to real life worries: fun. But if age brings wisdom, then we understand that holding onto our lost youth will not bring happiness or fulfillment. Sometimes, I feel pleased when I look in the mirror and sometimes I don’t. But I’m always happy when I’m reading or writing, dining with friends, hosting a party, volunteering my time or talent and thinking about my lovely daughter.
So, if you’d like advice on how to be hot, there’s plenty of it out there! You will not find it here! However, I do believe that I have the key to achieving the perfect hairstyle at any age: find a great hairdresser! Now you don’t have to read those articles!
I googled you with no results reads the poster in my pink shed. Below the words, there is a beautiful silhouette of a woman who looks as though she lived in the Jane Austen age. I hung this poster up a few months ago …that resembles me, I thought! I pictured myself in my pink shed reading books, writing cards and letters to my friends and family and simply relaxing with my dog in my lap. I did not see myself practicing my computer skills, launching a blog or setting up a Facebook page. But, March has ended and I’ve done all those things!
I’m reminded of the old saying that: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” It seems I am capable of learning new tricks, and, as for my dogs, well…we couldn’t teach them any tricks when they were young! I hope you’ll enjoy reading my posts from the pink shed and I hope you’ll share what’s on your mind, too!
All the Best,
P.S. Dachshunds are notoriously difficult dogs to train…really!