as resolutions go …

I really didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions this year … other than I wanted to write more, write better, and underlying that, to be more perceptive and to be more conscious of events and topics that excite my interest.

patscat0001The proposition occurred to me that I should write daily, and perhaps I should, but that seems a bit more contrived that I wanted.  I know that advice to would-be writers by writers is to write, write, write.  And I get that.  Practice may not make perfect but it does give one more experience expressing precisely what is intended.

I do write almost daily … mostly newsletters and blogs from some of my volunteer organizations … not creative, though I try to be creative enough to invite interest.  I know … no one reads newsletters.  But by Jove … there must be newsletters.

So, I am resolved to write more, more frequently, more intensely, more personally.

And yes, I do plan to exercise more.

notes from an urban effete … not

Many of my facebook and twitter ‘friends’ are reposting articles written from the purported perspective of the stereotypical Trump supporter.  You know most of their adjectives …

rural, religious, unemployed, employed but insecure, limited education, limited transferable skills, religious, middle American, white,  male, real-men loving women with similar adjectives, outsiders, now former outsiders, residents of fly-over country, racist

Many of these articles or opinions are lambasting ‘us’ for ‘them’ having to vote for “a Donald Trump”.  Their adjectives for ‘us’  … those who supported Hillary Clinton you probably also know …

urban, irreligious, or contemptuous of religion, wealthy, over-educated, well-employed, stably employed, elite, coastal, insiders, now out-siders, multicultural

So in blaming us for them voting for and electing Trump we are apprised of their revenge vote to show us their contempt … for us.

So yes, the religious right has elected the penultimate east coast, irreligious, serial adulteror, all money is green, insider to be the President of the United States.  Well done, my vindictive countrymen and women.

And thank you for helping me understand less than ever about the American psyche because …

I supported Hillary Clinton.  I am from a rural, working class family in middle America.  I determined early in life that if I wanted options in my life, I needed an education.  I needed an education and skills so that I could always support myself and to help me grasp the world at large.  I worked my way through college and a few scholarships and stipends helped with that.

My husband and I met and married while still in college.  He also is from a working class family in middle America.

We finished college, had our daughter, and he, an Army ROTC scholarship recipient, went into the Army during the Viet Nam era.  During his military career, I worked in various professional level jobs as we traveled from one Army posting to another.  During those years I continued to work on graduate level degrees until finally receiving a law degree.

After my husband’s retirement from the Army he also updated his graduate level education and,  while building a career  in the IT field,  he continually upgraded his certifications and education, often at our own expense so he could stay flexible and current in his professional role.  This helped him survive many corporate reorganizations and downsizings.

I have been self-employed for almost all of my legal career and had to face the ups and downs of a small business in changing economic times.

While we do live in Virginia, I would not consider us coastal.  We live in a bucolic, mostly rural and somewhat agricultural county.  We are certainly not urban, nor elite.

The only adjective described by the ‘them’ that I proudly wear is that of irreligious.  I am a proud atheist, but I don’t think anyone who knows me would label me as immoral or unworthy of respect.

So, ‘them’, throw any mud you wish.  I accept responsibility for my place in life, in the world. I choose not to blame others for my choices. I certainly don’t blame you for the fact that I am not wealthy, worldly, or elite.






Brave new world … a new theme … a new layout

Libre is the new WordPress Theme I am adopting for my Xena blog, jettisoning Chateau.

The change is the result of one of my assignments as a participant in WordPress’ Blogging 101 program. Each day during the week participants receive a daily assignment to guide them through the various content and programmatic options available as wordpressers.

I ‘dropped out’ of Blogging 101 once before and I think it was a result of this very assignment. I had stumbled through setting up my blog a few years before and was fearful of making any changes to the look and feel of the page.  So this time, upon the advice of our blog tutors, I set up a dummy blog and used it to try on various Themes.  They suggested trying on no more than 10 (there are probably hundreds available) so that I wouldn’t get lost.  I made it to 6 and fritzed out.

I did learn a few things about myself and my interests … I am partial to a more text oriented display with only occasional images … I am also partial to a serif type face, but not too much serif … and I like simplicity in the layout without too many independent places for the eye to drop.

What am I not sure about … everything.

Notice this entire blog is not about content, but about style?

Any comments?

Why am I blogging?

The ‘who am I?’

If one can believe it, I am an outgoing introvert.  Much of my life I have been a lawyer, so my role has been as a somewhat public figure,  experience successes, as well as make my mistakes in public, and be an advocate for my clients.  The public role has always been counterbalanced by the need for reflection, quiet, and mindful purposelessness.

A few years ago I stumbled into blogging because I wanted to know more about it and I wanted to see if I could demystify the technology surrounding it.

Initially, I used my primitive blogging mostly to learn more about the process of writing (blogging).  I learned how poor a writer I am, but I am working on that.

Later, blogging became more of a communication tool for me.  I am an active Rotarian and a very active Democrat so I used special purpose blogs to communicate with my respective organizations about issues and events.  Wordpress became an almost daily platform for me to meet those goals.  I still blog at  and at

My ‘personal’ blog is which I have titled as ‘Xena of Prince George — a laconic rural warrior princess writes’.  Clumsy, isn’t it?  There, I write on a variety of topics on an irregular basis, but without any real focus.  It is really aimless at this point.

Now, my professional life is almost at an end … taking down the shingle this month.  I will still be engaged publicly, but I want to write for the pleasure of writing.  I want to kick it up a notch so that I elevate the reward of a ‘well written sentence’ and an idea communicated.  Did I mention I want to have fun learning and doing it?

Public rather than Private?

Feedback is a great motivator for me and will help me continue on the learning journey. Sounds like fluffy nonsense, but I prefer a walk with a friend than a solitary stroll.  Each has its place, but human connection matters to me.

I am hoping that feedback will help me both technically and substantively.  I noticed that I use Chateau for all three of my blogs.  I do like how it is organized, but really, couldn’t I show a bit of adventure?  I am afraid of trying any markup language for embedding purposes?  Commas scare me.  Are sentence fragments ever OK? Is it OK to make up words?

So, public is the venue for me.

AOL … not so fuddy-duddy afterall

The news is abuzz with the probable purchase of AOL by Verizon.

Dear Reader:

The news of the pending purchase of AOL by Verizon for $4.something billion has amused me this last day or so.

A few years ago a headhunter told my husband to not use an AOL email address in his resume or business cards because it would make him appear technologically stodgy. Hubby is a technologist in the computer services industry and didn’t quite buy into that opinion, but he did create a gmail address.

He told me about the advice and I snorted.  I jumped from CompuServe in 1994 to AOL when it became an ISP and, also, I may have had a crush on Steve Case.  Initially, a person’s screen name was limited to 7 characters. When it was possible I changed to a longer screen name  so that I could be more easily identifiable.  Yes, I have had an email address on my business cards since 1994 and before that I had my CompuServe ID number on my cards.  Do you remember those long stringy number IDs?

I needed to maintain a certain continuity in my email address for professional reasons, thus I stuck with my AOL address as my primary address through all these years.  I have two email address pet peeves.  People who change email address often and then use complain that they are not being included on communications.  The other pet peeve has to do with those cutsy (or so they think), inane, email addresses that give no clue as to the identity of the owner …  “squawwoman” and “mustangannie” come to mind. Maybe as I wind up my practice, I may become”xenachick”.

So I stayed with AOL as it morphed from ISP to content provider, to publisher, to entertainment portal, to news portal and now as internet video innovator.

AOL and I  may not be so stodgy, after all.


Blogging 101–Changing Tag Line

Having already confessed that I am behind on my #blogging101 assignments, I am proud to announce that I have just changed the tag line on my main blog …last Monday’s assignment.

Working on the WordPress platform for the last couple of years has been a learn as I go process. The options available have been intimidating so I have made few changes in the look and feel of my blog until today.  I know one of the upcoming lessons encourages bloggers to try new things, try new themes.

Changing my tag line today impressed on me that I have committed to a reason for blogging other than to have a voice (can writing be a voice?) or an outlet about life.

Maybe through this process I will discover my purpose.