Tag Archives: Blogging

Bogged Down in Blog

This is a reblog from a few years ago==but meets this prompt so well that I’m sending it through again.

For Fandango’s DDOA Prompt: Thank your followers.

lifelessons - a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown


Internet Infraction: Bogged Down in Blog

The only way I’d ever stop
is flagged down by a cyber cop
who says my blogging cannot last
if I continue to go so fast.
He’d give a lecture and a ticket
and then he’d actually stick it
across my screen with strict instruction
to cease this method of destruction.

If life had meant us to go on line
hour after hour––eight or nine
hours or more day after day,
with always one more thing to say,
why would it give us legs to go
and feet to walk on, heel to toe?

Day after day, it’s grown obscene––
my eyes plastered upon my screen,
my fingers stiff with my attention
over what I might next mention––
fingers drumming, tapping, bending
all the while sending sending––
typing out, first fast then slow
my life as a reality show.

Until I wonder if I log

View original post 363 more words




The world is awakening. See? One-by-one
they enter the blog world to share in the fun—
all the day long, until they are done.
Then with the day’s passing and the death of the sun,
in the hours after midnight, it seems there are none.

From Grieflessons to Lifelessons.

Bob and I, early 1990’s

Matt asked us to tell him about the origins of our blog name, so here goes:

The original name of my blog was “Grieflessons.”  Why Grieflessons?

When my husband Bob and I bought a house in Mexico in 2001, little did we know I would be moving into it without him. We had our moving sale in the states and packed up our van, but three days before we were due to begin our journey down to our new home, we discovered he had pancreatic cancer. He lived for three weeks. That is how, 2 months later, I came to be lying alone on an air mattress in an empty house in a country where I knew neither a soul nor the language.

I wrote a book based on my first 8 years after his death and originally, I thought this blog would be about grief–how it expresses itself, how I responded to it and how I came to realize that it is a powerful agent for growth and change.  Very quickly, however,  the scope of what the blog encompasses grew beyond my initial purposes. Rather than a blog to help people deal with death, it seems to have become a blog to enable myself and others to deal with life.

A big part of this change was initially due to my participation in National Poetry Writing Month, wherein I published a poem a day for a month.  That led to postings about my life in general, which is why I  changed the name of my blog to “Lifelessons.” I have stated before, but I’ll say again that it is mainly myself that I am teaching through my posts. There is a part of me I never communicate with unless I’m writing, and that is a big motivation keeping me going.

After NaPoWriMo in 2013, I decided I wanted to continue to write and post every day and I have done so with  only one exception (when I spilled a Coke on my computer and was without internet access for a day or two) since April 1 of 2014. Since then I have also begun daily postings to several photo prompts as well and I’m now in search of a support group for addictive bloggers!  (That is mainly a joke.)

Soon I also hope to add a section that shows my sculpture, retablos and other art work.  Life changes and changes.  So will this blog.


Here’s Matt’s link in case you want to play along:

Broken-hearted that after tomorrow, there will be no daily WordPress prompt!

Please Join Me in Asking WordPress Not to Abolish the Daily Prompt!!

I am starting a forum campaign to prevail upon WordPress not to drop the Daily Prompt.  Please comment HERE to agree with me and perhaps help effect a reversal of their decision.

Not only has it been an invaluable aid to me in jump-starting me in my writing each day, but it was also a way to find new bloggers to add to my favorites list. Without it, I will once again just fall back on my favorites list without much of a way of meeting new bloggers.

Please comment both on the forum and in comments below.



July 3, 1947


July 3, 1947

The date above is notable
for reasons that are quotable.
It marks the birth of someone who
has  brought these few words into view
to put them in her blogging queue.
(True, that is what all bloggers do.)

But if there is a blogging heaven,
four thousand one hundred fifty-seven
might certainly be in the running
for snapshotting, rhyming and punning—
all those things we bloggers do
to try to get a rise from you.

In fact, in numbers I’ve been sparing
in how my blog count has been faring.
Blogs four thousand one-fifty-nine
are the numbers I claim as mine
for former blog posts that are done.
The next will end in sixty-one!

With sixty, alas, nothing rhymes
and so it is the least of crimes
that I don’t quote it as a score.
A small malfeasance, nothing more.
As poems go, this is not the best,
so please just rate me by the rest!


The prompt today is notable.

Announcing: The First Annual Spamster Awards


Announcing, the First Annual Spamster Awards

After reviewing the spam messages on my blog over the past five years, I have appointed myself to be the founder, administrator, adjudicator and guardian of the first annual Spamster Awards. I’m now taking nominations for blog Spam above and beyond normalcy, literacy, legitimacy or usefulness. To submit your nomination for worst spam of the year, check your spam folder on your blog and then copy and paste the message you wish to nominate into a comment on this blog. If it does not fall into one of the below categories, do not worry. We’ll make up a new category. Spread the word, but please be sure to send nominations only to this particular blog posting. Also, feel free to submit new category suggestions.

“Spamster” Nominations


For the category of most incomprehensible:

* “Help make your subject matter more at ease by presenting some form of a prop. Give you a lady a blossom to try out with or a gentleman a basketball. Give you a happy couple some bubble periodontal and get them blow bubbles jointly. You may not need to include the prop inside the frame in some instances but there may be photographs that actually work out properly together.”

* “Usually do not anticipate to you should every person using the selections you will certainly be producing. This day is designed for you, which is depending on what you like. Usually do not let anyone who may criticize get you straight down or make you improve your brain. Do what definitely makes you pleased since you will keep this in mind day time for an extended time then anyone else will.” Followed by a URL for an “images” site. ?? (nominated by Christine Goodnough)

For the category of most likely to have used a translation app for the message:

* “There is noticeably a bundle to realize about this. I assume you made specific good points in functions also.”

* “Should you suffer from a type of ringing in ears that is certainly causing a frequent “visiting” sound with your the ears, you might have a condition brought on by jaw joint misalignment, or TMJ. Watch your dentist to discover if this is your trouble.”

+ “Hi there, simply turned іnto aware of your weblog via Google, and located that it is truⅼy informative. I am going to be careful for brussels. I’ll be grateful when youcontinue this in future. A lot of рeople might be benefited from your writing. Cheers! (Marilyn Armstrong)

For the category of comments most unrelated to the blog posting to which they were a comment:

* (In answer to my posting of a photo of a flower) “It has never been easier to judge between the transportation services, as all bloke opinions and testimonials are gathered in identical see fitted
you to pick the best. Bolt injurious supremacy and as a culminate miserable face by consulting any paraphrase website reviews.Thoroughly written testimonials purpose influence you including the approach of selecting the one and but change checking that will-power fit your needs.”

*  (spam comment to the following haiku “Fly by Night,” posted by Christine Goodnough:
Wings over hayfield/ moonlight in the hunter’s eyes;/the grasses tremble) ” 
I wish to express my appreciation to this writer just for rescuing me from such a situation. Because of looking through the world-wide-web and seeing advice that were not productive, I assumed my entire life was done. Existing without the presence of solutions to the difficulties you have sorted out by means of your entire guideline is a critical case, and the kind which might have negatively affected my entire career if I had not noticed your blog. The competence and kindness in handling all the things was very helpful. I don’t know what I would have done if I had not discovered such a subject like this. I am able to at this point look forward to my future. Thank you very much for this professional and sensible guide. I won’t think twice to recommend your web page to anybody who requires guide about this topic.” 

* (In answer to a posting entitled IS IT HOT OR IS IT ME? WHAT?  which is about the temperature in her house, Marilyn Armstrong got this spam message:)  “welcome you XXXX me and fill me mouth with his sweet XXX my nickname (XXXXXXX)I Want a lot of sex like role-playing games Copy the link and go to me … XXXXXXXXXyou porn gay XXXXXXX compilation gay porn of indian men tegami bachi porn porns filthiest mature ffm porn resi

For the category of editing services I’d be least likely to accept:

 * “I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.”

* I cherished as much as you’ll receive performed proper here. The comic strip is tasteful, your authored material stylish. however, you command get got an nervousness over that you want be handing over the following. unwell certainly come more before once more as exactly the same just about very steadily inside of case you shield this increase.

 * “ . I don’t call up I’d edited that line of reasoning, but i’m always editing when I reckon mistakes after posting so no one’s flaw that we can check and why would we want to anyway?”

For the category of most hilarious:

  •  “For those who have an extensive ab, your entire armoire will need to have folks gentle clothes in addition to darker coloration. Soft shades usually strengthen all of your big mid-section. Be certain to make sure make use of an actual jacket when it forbids freely flesh approach using transpiring. Rather long sleeve T-shirt can be the right kind just for you. Sidestep minimal midsection jean.” (nominated by Christine Goodnough)

Very important!!! Please be sure to substitute XXXXXXXXX for any product names, sites or other information that would identify the spammer as well as extreme obscenties.

And yes, I did receive a spam letter in response to this posting.  Of course, it was totally unrelated to the subject.




Spam I Love to Hate


Ever go through your spam comments folder on your blog? If so, you must have a “Best of Spam” list—those messages so audacious or poorly written or inane that they invite a response, and yet how dare you? Any reaction at all is sure to invite more spam.

Today, I wrote this Skype message to okcforgottenman: (Remi is my alter-ego name.  If you really want to be my friend, call me Remi!!!)

[9/24/17, 2:30:41 PM] Judy/Remi: I love it when I get spam that says my blog could use some fresh content— like I haven’t posted in the last five minutes. Who posts more posts a day than I DO? I am sometimes embarrassed at the number of posts I make.  People must think I just sit around blogging all day and I have no life at all. Only way they know I do is that somehow I manage to have events to post about.

[9/24/17, 2:31:27 PM] Judy/Remi: People post a one-liner and get a million views. No one works harder for fewer views than I do!!!

[9/24/17, 2:32:29 PM] Judy/Remi: I quote : “I see your website needs some fresh articles. Writing manually takes a lot of time, but there is tool for this boring task, search for: XXXXXXX* tools for content.” 

[9/24/17, 2:32:34 PM] Judy/Remi: (Expletive deleted) !!!

*(Site deleted—why give them free advertising?)

Do you have Spam you love to hate?  If so, please share it.

Happy Anniversary to Me

I just received notification from Word Press that I registered my blog five years ago today. It’s very strange, because although I set it up on September 18, I didn’t post a blog until March 27. Either I was trying to figure out how to do so or I was waiting for our book to come out, as I thought I was setting it up to promote the book. Little did I know!

I posted daily throughout April,  when I joined NaPoWriMo and wrote a poem a day. I backslid after that and only started posting daily again the next April.  I’ve posted every day since then. This is my 3,455th blog. Yes, if you are thinking it is an addiction, you are probably right, but a quite benign one.  If you are curious, HERE is the first blog I ever wrote. What I’ve been doing since then is quite a departure from what I thought I’d be doing. Thanks to all of you who have kept me here, reading your blogs and reciprocating with mine.

My readership has increased by leaps and bounds (literally) since someone “gifted” me with four kittens.  They take a very active part in my blogging life.

Including a bit of blind unauthorized editing.

OKCforgottenman even sent me a celebratory cake!!!

Guest Blog: How Judy Gets Blog Views?

Hola to Judy’s readers. Some of you know me here as okcforgottenman, Judy’s (mostly) behind-the-scenes/curtain techie, keeper of secrets, and spotter of misspellings. I also like watching her blog stats daily as I try to figure out what specifically draws viewers/readers in. A few minutes ago I saw that someone out there in cyberspace today found Judy’s blog by typing in an interesting keyword search into some search engine:


In case your screen is too small (or, like me, your eyes are too mature), here’s a closer view:


Might this yield further insight as to how Judy acquires more readers?

Judy? –

(Judy speaking now.) Well, over-60 female viewers might agree that we need to find our thrills where we can find them and a little fermented sugar cane mixed with a cola beverage seems a pretty socially acceptable way to find our bliss.  Do you agree, ladies?

As for forgottenman, you have no idea how many things in stats I would miss if it were not for him. He pointed out a milestone in views reached yesterday, has found reviews of my poems in a New Delhi newspaper and he was the one who spotted the article in a British online news magazine that did a comparison between my stats and Donald Trump’s.  Now how unlikely is that and how would I have ever known? Nice to have someone backing me up on my blog. He writes a pretty mean blog, as well–quality-wise if not quantity-wise.  You should check it out HERE.

He is also the one responsible for fishing your comments out of Spam, where they have unfairly been filed by WordPress.  So let’s give him a big round of applause. okcfm, I’d like to see you do another guest blog on the weirdest search engine terms you’ve seen on both of our blogs.. and challenge others to check theirs out for oddities to share as well.

Ball’s in your court, forgottenman.  –Judy

True Grit

                       Getty images photo

True Grit

I’d like my blog to be Grit magazine, Ann Landers and the funny papers—all rolled in to one. I’d like it to be the first love comic grabbed off the shelf, the thing everyone wants to read, hot off the presses. I want it to be true, uplifting and fun to read. Entertaining. A collection of words that make people feel better after reading. I want it to be the thing you go to after reading of the last cuts to social services for the poor, the latest fool elected to public office, the last school massacre or child who mistakenly shot an adult with a gun provided to him by an adult. The thing you read when you’ve had enough of police brutality, plane wrecks, financial crashes, reverse Robin Hoods, pit bulls attacking humans, humans abusing dogs, cartels, corporations, slanted news agencies, corrupt rulers, crimes against women, drought, Ebola, HIV and dengue.

Yes, all of these ills exist and we need to know about them, but do we need to know about them ad nauseam, day and night, hour after hour? Do we need them served with our morning coffee, our evening meal, our drive to work? Need we dream them, fill our thoughts with them every hour of the day? And need those thoughts be hopeless and without remedy?

It is not that I want to avoid reality, but rather that I’d like to give that reality my twist and I’d like one major strand in that twist to be optimistic, another to be humorous, another to gentle the cruel realities, another, if it is of any influence at all, to be a catalyst to understanding and a feeling that something may be done in this world.

If you don’t remember the Grit magazine mentioned earlier in this piece, Google it. You will learn that it was formerly a weekly newspaper popular in the rural US during much of the 20thcentury. It carried the subtitle “America’s Greatest Family Newspaper.” It was full of human interest stories, usually with an uplifting slant. I can’t remember whether it came in the mail or whether we purchased it in the grocery story or in Mowell’s Drug, but I do remember grabbing it out of Mom’s brown paper bag when she got home from a trip down town and making off with it to my room or a grassy place in the shade of an elm tree to be the first to read it.

Perhaps you will label me as superficial if I admit that the first things I read in The Mitchell Republic—that “real” newspaper actually delivered to our front door—were Ann Landers, the comics (We called them “the funny papers”) and the crossword puzzle. I guess I wanted to be entertained, but I also wanted that assurance that something could be done about the bad things in life. Dick Tracy could solve the crimes. Mary Worth could be of worth in helping out. Ann Landers could find a solution to the ache of love and every puzzle could be eventually solved with hard work and perhaps a peek at the dictionary.

Now Google makes puzzle-solving a snap, so long as one is not shy about cheating and using that larger universal brain to solve the Sunday Cryptic Crossword, but in revealing so much, Google causes bigger problems—mainly, what to do with all of this knowledge of the world. For me, what I do with it is to write about it and within the world of my creation, to try to alter it enough to put a bit of hope into the world—to tinge it with a sense of humor or a sense of creation or a stab at a solution—however fanciful or impossible or romantic or homespun or illogical it may be.

This blog is like the biggest purse in my collection of very big purses indeed. In it lie jumbled together all my memories, dreams, hopes, heartaches, genius, stupidities, foibles, schemes, assurances, doubts, mistakes, successes, affections and affectations. The clasp I leave open for all to dip inside to see what they might find. One day, draw out a ditty, the next a tirade, the next a soggy handkerchief, soaked with my tears or an unused Kleenex to dry your own tears that were soaking your pillow when you woke up.

I want to be that thing you sneak off with before the rest of the family cottons on to its presence and take up to your bedroom to read with your back pressed up against the bolster on your bed or roll up and stick up your sleeve as you make off to the hammock or that shade in the grass beneath the tree.

And when you finish reading, it would be neither the hugest compliment nor the hugest insult you could give if you just thought, “That girl’s got grit!” I think a knowledge that she had prompted that statement would make the little girl or teenage girl who snatched that weekly magazine from the grocery sack very happy.

The prompt today is grit. Since I’d already written to this prompt a few years ago, I’m reprinting it today.