Can a Digitally Impaired Blogger Make It in an Internet Age?


When I thought about starting a blog, I had that childlike feeling of elation …  like when you find a light-up Saber spoon in your Froot Loops or first learn how to roller blade without crashing headfirst into the garage door.  But how would a  middle age mother raised on an Olivetti typewriter and a push button phone figure out how to set up a blog? Uggh! I am digitally impaired and dyslexic. I probably would have a better shot trying to learn morse code than computer code.

Since I started blogging in 2014,  I still can’t wrap my head around  some of the basics like how to link my posts to my Facebook fan page. Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 8.35.18 PM There is no number to call at Facebook.  I can’t find one for WordPress either.  Instead, these companies direct you to help forums where other pathetic, digitally impaired bloggers ask the same questions hoping you know something they don’t know about plugins or backlinks to build a blog and an audience.  Good luck if you’re counting on me.  Until a month ago, I couldn’t even figure out how to comment on another blog until I read a beginners guide  from  blogger Darragh Doyle. I highly recommend it for other bloggers who need a little dumbing down.


I think children today are born knowing how to surf the web. They live in an age where life is driven by the internet.   But it’s all still Greek to me.  I resist change and still won’t give up my flip phone.

“You are an embarrassment with that phone,” my oldest daughter said trying to grab it out of my hand over lunch at a restaurant  in the Upper East Side of New York City recently.  “We can’t even communicate,” she huffed.  “You are from the ice age,” she blurted out, before stating that she could only spend short amounts of time with me because I get on her nerves.  I guess my unfavorable rating with my daughter is as high as the one for Donald Trump in the latest Washington Post/ABC News survey.  Seven out of ten things I say annoy my daughter.

When she insisted that I get an iPhone and wanted to head to the Apple Store, I still wouldn’t budge.  Old habits die hard.

 “You’d be a better blogger with an iPhone,” she told me saying I could be keeping up on all the latest apps, tweets and trends and shoot video to drive traffic to my blog.

 sapm-909485_960_720It took me over a year to figure out how to add share buttons to my posts.  I think I added too many buttons, but I’m afraid to edit anything that actually works.  My best advice to the digitally impaired is to try to master at least one concept a day.  YouTube tutorials are easy to follow.  You’d be surprised at how fast you can catch up this way. Simply put a question in the YouTube search bar and someone usually has made a video with the answer.  These YouTubers have mastered the key to being successful in the digital age.  People who can solve a problem and provide valuable content get views.

People send private messages all the time asking me why I don’t syndicate my blog by having an RSS feed.  I’m lucky if I feed the kids.  I never find time to cook.  So the next time you hear me talking about spam, I’ll probably be eating a cold sandwich out of the can.


The Dryer Ate My Gym Socks and Other Lame Excuses for Not Working Out

As I stare down at the scale, I have that feeling of dread…like when you find a hair in your soup or the man on the bank line in front of you is wearing a ski mask.  Uggh!!  I’ve gained another pound.  How did I do it? Too little rhubarb, too much spiked seltzer!  I step on and off the scale a few times.  First I remove my socks, then my earrings, and finally in desperation I fling off the wedding ring.  But the number doesn’t change.  I am packing on  pounds faster than a sumo wrestler on steroids.


You know you’re overweight when you step into the elevator and a stampede of people run out fearing the weight capacity has been exceeded. You notice that it’s not just shoes, but clothes that come in wide sizes.  You pull a disappearing act with the bowl of Halloween candy.  When you go to the car wash, they find Tootsie Roll wrappers under the front seat of your Volvo, a melted Hershey’s chocolate bar sticking to the registration in your glove compartment, and half-eaten candy eyeballs you got on sale at Walmart hidden in the trunk.

belly-2354_960_720Everyone knows your metabolism slows as you get older.  So why aren’t I working out?  I have been coming up with a variety of lame excuses like: the dryer ate my gym socks, my husband likes a woman with meat on her bones, and I have an embarrassing hole in my sneaker.

Okay, so by now you realize that I make a lot of excuses for myself.  All summer long I work hard to control my weight and stay fit, but as we head into the holidays my good intentions fly south for the winter.  Like a lot of women, I have gained and lost the same ten pounds for my entire adult life.  I was talking to a woman recently  at a luncheon.  She told me, “I hate looking in the mirror every day and seeing another mole, or fold under my chin, or gray hair.”

“Let me guess?” I added.  “You can’t stand feeling over the hill.”

“Yeah,” she said patting the bottom of her chin. “It STINKS!!”

I feel that same way about my middle age bulge.  Why can’t I ever get a handle on this?  I’ve done some soul-searching which leads to questions like, “If Marie Osmond can do it why can’t I?”

Or this: “Where is Richard Simmons when you need him to tell you how to get a terrific workout from a chair?” And: “Does Dr. Oz know the Wizard of Oz?” Perhaps I just don’t have the motivation or discipline that all the fitness gurus claim you can muster with the latest fad diet, pill or exercise plan.

My idea of a workout is going to the Y and sitting on a mat and doing a few Diary of a Wimpy Kid type stretches.  Then I’ll give it a go for a few minutes on the elliptical machine. I barely break a sweat before my bad knee starts aching or my trick elbow starts to twitch. I don’t think Fitness Magazine is going to put me on the cover anytime soon.   So next time you go to the beach and think there is a huge, hairy porpoise or a whale struggling in the water, don’t call the Coast Guard. It’s only me.


Editor's Note:This post was originally published in October 2014 and has been revamped. Unfortunately, my figure has remained the same.


True Confessions:Dreading the Dog Days of Summer


I am dreading the “dog days” of summer when my kids will be out of school.  The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting a “stormy, sizzler ahead.”  I can already see me standing there dripping with so much sweat that you’d think a glacier is melting, with the kids looking miserable complaining that there is nothing to do.  How about making your bed, cleaning your room, or vaccuming? Uh-uh…don’t even think about it.  “C’mon, get over yourself,” my son will say when I suggest that he clean up mud tracked from a water fight. Before my kids drive me stark raving mad, I have a few things I’d like to confess and get off my chest.

#1. I am writing an autobiography entitled, “Why I Hate My Kids.”

2.The bubble cap I wear in the pool is vintage.

I bought it on eBay.  It was owned by swimmer Esther Williams, affectionately known as “America’s Mermaid” back in the 1950s.

3.)I believe that I was a mermaid in a former life. 

4.)I’m worried that my bathing suit won’t fit.  I tell people that I have a thyroid problem but I’ve gained 14 pounds in six months by eating donuts.

It’s hard to say exactly what drives me the most crazy when the kids are out of school.  The sound of the jingle blaring from the ice cream truck is definitely a pet peeve. child-419419_960_720 So is washing beach towels,  making camp lunches, and listening to kids whine.  For those lucky enough to have nannies, beach clubs, or expensive sleepaway camps, the thought of summer may be a pleasing one.  But for the majority of women on a budget, it’s only going to get as good as a beach ball from Walmart and a trip down to the local beach. animal-1207073_960_720 Like most mothers, my summer survival kit  includes bug spray for all those horseflies, wasps and mosquitos.  But the thing that really bugs me is how many weeks these pesty kids are out of school.  What bugs you the most about the summer?