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Learning to be organized…

11 Sep

Besides experimenting with themes on my latest blog and learning about templates and other blog terminology, I been checking out different apps for my iPad. For some time now, and especially after my last move, I’ve been overwhelmed by all the paper I’ve accumulated. I’ve sorted through it (several times), but still have piles. So I’ve been looking at online sources for ideas. I thought of Access and started reading about how to set it up. But it seemed very involved, and I wasn’t sure it would do everything I want. Then Evernotes was recommended to me. I’ve downloaded it and checked out a digital book “Evernote Essentials Guide (boxed set)” from the library to learn how it works.

In addition to the accumulation of paper, and in spite of paring down for every move, I still have a lot of stuff. I keep going through it every so often and try to find different ‘homes’ for things. But I’ve decided, part of my problem is that I’m just not a great housekeeper! In my smallish apartment things can go from looking great to complete shambles in a day or so. I need to do better.

I’ve decided I need to follow Flylady again. I did it several years ago, and it helped. I’ve retained a few of the habits–dressing every morning and making my bed–but unfortunately I’ve let others slip away. I never did make the complete Control Journal that Flylady touts. It just seemed like a waste of time as I was already scheduling things on my calendar and to do list. But I do see the value of having everything in one place. Hoping for a remedy, I’ve downloaded the Cozi app. As an added incentive for me to keep following the routines, I’ve invited my granddaughters to do the daily Kids Challenge and we can encourage each other.

Another thing that has gotten out of control is my account passwords. We are cautioned to not create the same password for each site. But I have so many sites that require passwords. Which means many passwords. One of the sister-in-laws has a little book that she checks every time, but I need them readily accessible as I often need them when I’m on the go. For several years now, I’ve stored them (in code in case someone accesses it) on my Notes app. The thing is, this list is now huge and it takes some time and careful attention to find the one I need. To make matters worse, after mistakenly deleting a note page a couple of times, I now have two separate notes (copies) of these passwords. And sometimes I add a new password to one of the lists, not remembering to copy it to the other one. Which results in sometimes having to search two list to find the password I need. Getting older doesn’t help either–sometimes I have to puzzle a bit to understand my own code! The app ‘1password’ has been recommended to me. The idea sounds good, except it seems to me that if anyone hacked my 1password account, they would have all of my passwords instead of just one. Do any of you, my readers, have any experience or thoughts on this?

tumbleweeds2seashells–Working out bugs–again

21 May

If any visitors read my post introducing my new sister site–tumbleweeds2seashells–I doubt you were able to access it from the link.  I have no idea why it didn’t link, or why my attempts to correct it were a failure.  Especially since this link seems to work:

I have been customizing the new site in order to obtain the apearance I like.  I am presently using the Twenty Sixteen theme, which allowed me to create page titles (widgets) across the top of the page.

I will continue to customize, changing the appearance and layout in the months ahead until at some point I will be satisfied.


5 Mar

Today I was wondering what the definition of spam is.  I checked Wikipedia and it gave me the definition of the canned meat.  I had to smile.  That isn’t the definition that comes to most people’s mind in this day and age.  But fortunately Wikipedia has a link to click for electronic spam.  The main–short–definition seems to be unsolicited advertising.  Spamming is a free avenue of advertising that apparently anyone can use.  I was interested to learn that blogging spam is called ‘blam’.

Blam is the kind of spam I was thinking about as I started this post.  If you have read some of my past blogs, you will see that I encourage comments.  I’ve had some, and value them.  WordPress, whose site I use, has an engine that detects spam.  (Site is probably not the correct term but at the moment I can’t think what the correct term is, so I’m just using the word ‘site’.)   The spam is put into a folder on my dashboard.

Comments on my blog that WordPress doesn’t consider spam are put in another folder.  I receive email notice of these comments, so I can moderate them–approve or not.  Not receiving many comments, I rarely check my spam folder.  The messages are kept in the spam folder until (probably after a certain length of time) they are deleted from the site.  At least they disappear from the folder.

However when I receive email notice of a comment, I sometimes also  look in the spam folder.  That’s when I’m faced with a dilemma.  As I said before, I love comments.  And some of the comments in the spam folder seem like they could be real comments, even though sometimes when I click on the link it takes me to a website which obviously is advertising.  When I mentioned this to my son, he said “it is your site, you can display what you want on it”.  So perhaps I have approved some blam at times.  However, at least it seems to me, the only bad thing about this would be if my readers click on the comment and find only advertising and it irritates them.

Which brings me to question myself.  Am I so starved for feedback that I am approving blam?  If so, is that a bad thing?  I still haven’t come to a conclusion on this.  So, I’m requesting your feedback.  What do you consider spam/blam?    I’m hoping that I will get responses other than spamming and blamming.

Incidentally, my grandchildren love Spam.  They like it plain, on sandwiches or even fried.  And if I ask one of my granddaughters about spam /blam and blamming/spamming, I know her response would be “they rhyme”.

So please readers, do any of you like blam?   Besides you blammers and spammers?  Although I also have a question for the spammers and blammers.  Do you, somehow, get notification that I have approved your blam and because of this, you send me more–maybe sometimes even blamming/spamming under a different name?

Customizing blog apprearance

4 Nov

As you can see, I’m still working on the look of my blog. I just didn’t care for some of the Sight theme format, so I changed back to the Bueno theme.

In all my playing around with themes I found out how to add widgets, customize themes, font, color, and many other useful stuff.  I’ve learned that the different themes have different built in atributes, many which can be customized.  I changed back to Bueno promarily because I like way it displays my posts–the entire new post, followed by the other recent posts.  I prefer it to the Sight method of displaying only a portion of each post.  When I changed back to Bueno I was also able to spell out my full title with the tagline appearing above instead of behind the title.

I’ve found out the there are different places on my dashboard where I can change different things.  For instance, there is a Header tab under Appearance, which seemed to me the logical place to resize the title.  But it isn’t.  I had to choose Custom Design under Appearance.  From there I could change the font–which is how I changed the size–and the color of the title.  However, I had to go to Settings, General to change the spelling of the title.  The Header tab is where I can change the title color.   The Background (under Apprearance) is where, experimenting to find out what it did, I produced the green color.  I also choose gray for something, but can’t remember what or the tab from where I changed it.  I haven’t noticed any gray on the post, so maybe it was something I changed back again.  Images can also be added both in background and in headers, but I haven’t experimented enough with images yet.

I really haven’t decided whether to keep the current color scheme or not.  Once I got the title size and color changed, Bueno was still displaying the dates and the search box in red, which didn’t go at all with the purple title.  So I again experimented changing colors.  This is what I currently came up with.  The green is a little bright, but it is eye catchig and goes well with purple.    I’m still expermenting with different fonts for the title.

I’ve tried learning some from Support and the Forums, but mostly I have just experiemtned.  It anoys me that I still haven’t learned how to preview the public view of my blog from the dashboard.  When I make some changes it lets me preview, but not others.  It is very frustrating to have to log back in to the site just to see a change.  I know it surely must be possible to view from the dashboard, but I haven’t found it yet.  I’m glad that I have found out how to preview posts before publishing them, So much of this blog is a learning work in pogress!

More tweeks

24 Oct

Well, as you can see,, I’m still fine tuning my blog  After I changed the title to my domain name <learning2leftovers> I had a problem with the title overlapping the description tagline and the search box.  I tried various things but nothing seemed to work.

That caused me to search out other themes.  WordPress has LOTS of themes.  I did the demos on ones that caught my eye.  But after checking out all the features I found I like my present theme “Sight” best.

So after trying variations of my title, I came up with one that makes m blog title, description tagline and search box all fit without overlapping.   I would prefer to not use the shortened title, but I certainly like it better than the overlapping I had.

All in all I’m pleased with my new look.  Let me know what you think.

Working out the bugs

23 Oct

As you can see, I’ve changed my blog theme.  But it isn’t quite like I want yet.  I don’t like the description of my blog placed behind the blog title.  I would much rather have it located under the title.  It’s really distracting as it is.  So I’m trying to fix that, but no luck yet.  One help topic I opened suggested a Custom Design.  Unfortunately that requires I know html or CSS.  I don’t know either.  But since that is the only topic I’ve found so far that addresses the issue, I’ve started a htm tutorial.  Wonder how long that will take me?

I just discovered one really strange thing.  When I preview this post using my laptop my description tagline is displayed as the above paragraph describes.  But when I logged on with my iPad it is displayed under my blog title.  I’ll have to check it out once I log out then just go to site as a reader, not signed in.  If the description  is under the title, then I will have to decide if I still want to learn html.

Another thing I haven’t yet figured out is how to add the selection tabs across the top of the page under my title.  The theme demo showed seven tabs, but only two are presently displayed on my blog–Home and About.  However, the reader can click on a topic in the Category section in the box to the right to access posts in that particular category.  I just wish I could put them at the top of the page.  One difficulty I’m finding  is that I’ve yet to learn what these tabs are called.  It seems the success of any search is to enter the correct word.  I seem to find things by much trial and error.  As I preview this post before publishing it, I’m wondering if the tabs across the top are Pages.  I will have to check that out.

I have addressed these issues in the WordPress forum.  Hopefully I will get some help there.  If any of you reading this has the answers, please let me know.

I still need to place a blog photo under under my title.  Since I’m interested in so many different things which this blog covers, I’m having some difficulty in selecting one.  .Maybe I need to make a collage and take a picture of that! (If I knew how to add a smile symbol, it would be here.)

Otherwise, I’m pleased with the new theme.   I have been successful changing several things to customize the page.  One is the color scheme–I love the title in purple (my favorite color).  I’m glad, too,  I was able to change my title to match my domain name.  I’m also pleased that I found out how to add the Widget where readers can follow my blog via email.   And I like the Category header above each post title.  I think the search box in also a good addition.  I’m not sure yet if the comment tab is best at the top or the bottom of the post.  I guess I will try it at the top and see how it goes.  What do you readers think?

Well, at least changing my blog theme is keeping me busy.  It’s really a good thing I enjoy learning new things or I would really be frustrated.  I realize more and more as time goes on that blogging is as much a learning experience as the things I’m writing about.  But for the most part I do enjoy it.  I just have to keep working out the bugs.  I just hope this work in process blog won’t be too frustrating for my readers.

Wish me luck!

23 Oct

Well, I’ve now got all the posts renamed and re-categorized.  Also, have the categories more condensed.  So now I’m ready to change the theme.  My heart is racing, but I’m going to do it.

I know it will still take me a while to reformat the new theme, so please bear with me.  As always, please comment.  Although I really do love writing this blog, your comments along with the stats really encourage me to keep  going.

Changing blog theme

20 Oct

There is so much to learn about so many things!  Nearly always when  I want to do something new or change things, I find I have to learn how.  Take this blog.  I do want to get my artwork published, but need to learn more about posting pics.  And I’m not really satisfied with the appearance of my blog.  So I must choose which to learn first.  After thinking about it awhile, I decided to change the appearance first.  Then after I have it set up the way I want  I can post the pics.

In searching WordPress support, I’ve learned that to change the blog appearance I need to select a different theme.  I’ve found one that seems to be more what I want.  And supposedly I won’t lose any content in the change.   I’ve read about how to do the change.  But, the idea of changing it is still a bit scary .  Just starting a blog was a big step, and now I’m wanting to change it!   Yet, nothing ventured is nothing learned.

I believe the first thing I need to do is  to make parent categories, more like the titles that I presently have on my posts.  I hope to have these categories displayed across the top of the blog.  This will make it easier for my readers to find specific content.  (I still need to learn more about the difference between Categories and Tags.  I think I have been using them interchangeable and they really aren’t  the same thing.)   I will need to delete or make subs of some of my Categories.

Next I will need to change the titles on all my posts, making them all different.  I will also need to put the post in the correct new category.  This should make it possible to select a specific post from a specific category. Then I will need to double check to see if the posts are in the correct categories

When I have all the current content with new titles and correctly categorized,  I will need to select the new theme.  Then it will be a matter of moving things around and getting the page to work as I want it to.

You can see this is a big undertaking for me.  And it will take me some time.   So if you happen to visit during this time of change, don”t be surprised if things seem a bit jumbled.  I will get it fixed.   And hopefully it will be a much improved blog.  Wish me luck!

Technology frustrations

29 Aug

Often, I find that things that stump and frustrate me can be really simple to fix.  I just have to research and learn or ask the right person-one who already knows.

Take this posting for example.  I am STILL learning the mechanics of this blog.  I had thought that what I type was saved automatically every several seconds as I type.  I know that I have seen that message run across the bottom of the screen.  So, when I was interrupted after starting this post, I didn’t even think about saving it.  I’ve only saved the draft a few times.  (Usually I finish a post in one setting.). Well, when I returned, after logging in again, I found the post was gone!  I certainly hadn’t expected that.  After reading and experimenting, I’ve found that the automatic saving only occurs after the draft has been saved.  So now I save whenever I leave the computer.  It an easy fix that only takes a second.

Another technological thing that has been frustrating me was the Maps on my iPad.  For several months, whenever I tried to get directions it would give me a message of ‘no transit directions’, even when I entered exact addresses.  I tried rebooting but it didn’t help.  I wondered about re installing app but was reluctant to do it since Maps was factory installed.  So I waited, using the internet and mapquest instead, still frustrated.  This went on for several months.  Then when I was at my son’s I mentioned it to my daughter-in-law.  She looked at it a few seconds, then told me I had it set for bus route.  She showed my the little icon (or are they called widgets now?) at the bottom.  I had never really noticed them before.  There is one for car, bus, and walking.  How simple!  I was so glad it was a quick fix and very happy to have Maps working again, though I did feel a bit silly.  Sure glad I waited on the re-install idea.  I wonder when/if I will ever learn to think about how might be the one causing the problem, instead of something or someone else?

Just now, in previewing this post I realized I need to learn what a widget really is.  My grandson was the one that told me about them, but he really didn’t know the ‘icon’ terminology so didn’t know if they were the same or not,  So back to researhing.  Not wanting to spend a lot of time, I just read a few sites explanations.  As I understand it, a widget is an app icon that can indicate whether the app is active or not.  They are on the widget dock of smart phones.  And that is all I really care to know about them.  Just enough so that I know what my grandson is talking about.

Back to the iPad, I just learned to type the word correctly.  I had been typing IPad and kept getting the red wavy line for a misspelled word.  If I had been using an old operating system I could understand it since the iPad is fairly new.  But I have Windows 7.  So I tried different ways and found that the capitalization is a bit weird.  Apple named it the iPad.

While traveling with one of my sons, I learned that Maps on my iPad is run off GPS.  Now I understand why, even though I don’t currently have a data plan, the map app still shows me where I am.  But maybe that is only the case when I have previously run a direction route while connected to WiFi.  I’ll have to check that out.

I also learned something very helpful to me about the iPad.  I really just stumbled on it.  One day I was typing and noticed a little round globe like symbol.  This was after the Maps episode.  I guess that caused me to be a little more observant of detail.  Anyway, imagine my surprise when I realized it can change the keyboard so I can type in letter accents!  That will be so helpful on my Spanish posts.

After reading my last technology post, my daughter commented that there is a built in tape recorder on smart phones.  I was going to have her show me when we got together, but nether one of us remembered.  I asked by daughter-in-law, but she didn’t know since she doesn’t use it.  So I researched.   I found my IPhone has a built in app for audio record.  I looked at my phone but didn’t see the icon.  I finally found it in the productivity folder.  (I like to create folders for my apps, so it doesn’t clutter my screen.)  I must have put it there when I first got the phone.  I plan to use it next time thoughts come to me when I’m driving.   My phone is a 3G and only has about a half hour of time, but it will still be handy.  The 4G have much more run time.

When publishing my blog,, one thing that I tend to overlook is the tags.  I am usually so interested in getting the post completed and published, that I forget about the tags.  But I have learned how to add them, using my laptop, after I’ve published the post.

Another thing I just learned which made me feel really silly since the fix was so simple.  I switch from my iPad to laptop a lot.  Sometimes I have my posts open on both.  I usually have other tabs open with other sites I’m looking at too.  One day when I was switched back to working on this post on the laptop,  I noticed that the left side of my screen, where the mechanics of the post are located, was larger and was overlapping the post.  I couldn’t understand what had happened.  I tried shrinking them, but couldn’t.  I tried closing down other posts on both iPad and laptop and logging in again.  It was still like that.  It wouldn’t have been so bad-even though it overlapped where I type-except I really don’t have much luck adding the tags with the iPad and typing is easier with the laptop.  So I have been switching back and forth.  Frustrating.  When typing today, I suddenly thought about the maximize/minimize on the laptop.  Often on sites with smaller print I maximize the screen.  So I tried maximizing the screen.  Sure enough, my screen was back to normal, except that the layout was crazy from where I had moved things around trying to correct the overlap,.  But after some time spent moving them around, I now have the mechanic tabs again on the left where they are more handy.  So even though I felt silly, I really learned two things–the minimize/maximize and how to move tabs around on my post screen.

Well this  is one post I certainly didn’t finish in one sitting, not even in a day.  It’s a good thing I’ve learned how to save.  Ive been working on it a couple of weeks!  When I  started this blog I really wanted to do a post a week. But as is often the case, life has a way of changing my plans sometimes.  So I’ve had to do this blog in bits.  Glad to have it completed now, and I’ve even added the tags!  Now I just have to publish this.  Oh, and post my new blog address to facebook.

Computers and blog technology

25 Jul

I have finally learned how to add tags to a published post.  I had tried several times with no results.  Even read the wordpress how-to but still couldn’t seem to grasp it.  So thought maybe I needed to do it on the laptop instead of IPad.  Well, after playing around with it awhile, I succeeded!  I think (hope) I will remember how and will be able to do it from my IPad too. (Note-No luck with the IPad).

I have also learned that the ‘Preview’ button takes me to a page where the post I am working on is displayed as you, the viewers, see it.  When I found that, I was like “DUH”.   Sometimes I feel really stupid.  But at least now I know.  And it is amazing because even though I proofread the pages I’m typing on, I usually find mistakes on the View page.  Sometimes I see a comma needs to be inserted.  Other times, I read it over and decide it doesn’t need one.  Often, while reading I think of another way to say what I want, or another word that would better convey what I want to say.  Kind of like getting feedback from someone else.  Sometimes, I come up with something to add.  I now switch back and forth from typing to viewing, correcting and rewriting as I go.  After some trial and error, I have found I do best correcting as I go, paragraph by paragraph.  If I try to read it all, I tend to forget what needs corrected and have to go back over.  Then, when I have finally finished editing, I reread the whole post, checking for total content flow.  I’m so glad I finally noticed the Preview button and was curious enough to see what it did.  For being such a simple concept, I find it an invaluable tool!

When I think of technology my first thought is usually computers.  We first got a computer in the 80’s, mostly because one of the teachers recommended it for my son.  Ir was a Comodore 128.  The latest model.  It had drives for both the larger old (floppy) floppy disks as well as the newer solid smaller disks.  It was amazing!    We weren’t on the web, of course.  The teacher told us something about broadband, but that was too advanced for me.  We were just thrilled at all it could do.  And of course we loved the games.  We subscribed to a computer magazine which listed programs that we could type in and run.  I never had much time for that by my oldest son did.  I worked with it when I had time and was able to created a spreadsheet to do my books, which saved so much time!

I became one of the few parents who had any computer skills.  Everyone thought I knew so much.  I just kept telling them they shouldn’t be afraid to try it.  If you make a mistake, you can learn something.  I’ve learned at lot from some of my stupid mistakes-and not just with computers!

My son learned to program computers and is doing that today.  He kept up and advanced with technology.  I did too a bit until around the turn of the century.  Then I had other things going and technology wasn’t that important.  But it resurfaced, briefly later.  I applied and was offered a job that needed someone with computer skills.  I was amazed (appalled really) that offices and the people working in them still wasn’t up to date on computers.  But I was able to use my computer experience plus my love of learning and teaching in that job.

Since then, however, I just haven’t had the inclination to keep up with technology.  When I purchased my laptop, I wasn’t up to date and had to research to find what I wanted.  But I do like it.  A pretty dark blue Toshiba.  We call it ‘my blue cpu’.  I still find the mouse pad very sensitive.  I am always touching it and the page goes crazy.  But I am learning.

Another technology I haven’t kept up with is the smart phones.  My grandson is always telling me about the latest and what it can do.  He also tells me about my phone (Iph 3) and all it could do that I’m not using it for.  I tell him I just want a phone.  Then he reminds me that I used to think texting was silly, didn’t ever think I would use it.  Now I use it 95 percent of the time!   So I have to smile and tell him ‘I know’.   I do enjoy the camera on it.  I am finding more and more uses for it.  In my last art lesson, my teacher showed me how to take a screen picture.  That’s cool!

Most of the time when my family tries to show me something technological I have to have them slow down.  I need to be showed, not just told.  And ideally it would be better if I could read about the subject too.  That is how I learn.  But don’t expect me to learn by looking at pictures without words!  I hate it when the instructions to put something together comes only with pictures.  I never can understand how to do it unless everything is shown.  I don’t know why they can’t tell me how to do it and show the picture.   My youngest son does best with just the pictures, but not me.

I have also learned how to post photos in FB.  I just don’t do it often enough to remember how in between times.  And I succeeded in finally figuring out how to change my profile pic.  My grandkids say that Grandma is on FB but really doesn’t do it.  And they are right.  I am on it mostly to see friend and family photos.  And of course now to advertise my blog!

According to my blog stats most visits are links from FB.  I don’t understand enough about FB to know if it is from people who see my FB posts or from a search.  I know a person can search FB, but don’t know exactly how that works.  I often see business websites with “visit us on facebook’.  I guess there is usually a link to click, but don’t think I’ve ever followed it.

Well my day beckons.  Going to be another hot one here.  So dry that the trees are dying.  The brown grass crackles under my feel.  I have bee watering in the early mornings some.  I’ve heard it is better to water at evening, but it has still been so hot then.  It seems to me the plants need the refreshing in the morning to make it through the day.

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