Unexpected Transformation

I barely recognized that awkward little girl, now all grown, up when she walked along the garden path, her velvety red gown billowing behind her, creating an almost surreal atmosphere all her own. I had to admire how graceful she had become since I last her years ago, when she was just eight years old. She had blossomed so much since then, when she had been a gawky tomboy who was all arms and legs, uncoordinated, and, well, inept.

Little did I know that six months after I headed out to visit my old neighborhood on a mini-vacation, that the awkward little girl and I would be hearing wedding bells.


Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompts (billow), Your Daily Word Prompt (admire), The Daily Spur (graceful), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (inept), MMA Storytime (vacation), and Word of the Day Challenge (bells).

TMP — Nickel and Diming

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. Today my beef is about nickel and diming. In this case, the culprit is WordPress.

Around two years ago I upgraded from the free WordPress plan to the Personal plan. I did it primarily to rid my post of the annoying ads. I also got more storage for photos, and I could also get my own domain name, so I shortened my blog’s address from “fivedotoh.wordpress.com” to just “fivedotoh.com.”

And all this was available for the low, low price of just $48 a year. No ads, additional photo storage, domain name, and domain mapping.

Then I got a notice from WordPress notifying me that it’s time to renew. But now, it’s no longer $48 for all that. It’s $66. Here’s the invoice.Wait, what? $5 for domain registration and $13 for domain mapping? Seriously? Those were included in the $48/year I had previously paid. So then I read the proverbial fine print. First it pointed out that domain renewals are no longer included in the price of the plan. Okay. That’s only $5. Whatever.

But then the fine print specifically stated that “domain mappings are included in your plan price.”I reached out to WordPress to ask why they were charging an extra $13 for something that they said was included in my plan. Here’s their response.

If you had the domain registered elsewhere and pointed to your WordPress.com site, then the domain mapping subscription would be free. In your case, where the domain is registered though us, the domain mapping is part of the domain subscription and it is not free.

But that’s not what it says, is it? So I pointed that out to them and they responded…

Yes, the renewal email is quite confusing, so I will report it to the responsible team. My apologies for this confusion.

So, yeah, I’m peeved at what amounts to a 33% price increase to renew the Personal plan.

Nickel and diming.

Share Your World — A Mixed Bag

Share Your WorldFor this week’s Share Your World, Melanie asks a mixed bag of questions about favorites. And here are her questions and my answers:

What is your favorite type of cookie (they’re called biscuits in Europe I believe)?

I’m partial to oatmeal raisin cookies, particularly when they are soft and are warm from the oven.

If you could choose one age and remain that forever, what would it be and why?

Oh, I’d say 29. Why? Well, I was still single, had a relatively decent job, drove a cool car (a silver/blue Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III), and was quite the stud at the time.

Do you have a traditional drink during the holiday season?

I’m not a big drinker of alcoholic beverages (except for beer), and I don’t have a particular holiday drink that I favor.

Are you able to still believe in holiday magic as you did when you were a child?

No, because I’m no longer a child. I grew out of “holiday magic” once I became a practical, pragmatic adult.

That said, I want to wish each and every one of you, my fellow bloggers, happy holidays. And if you still believe in holiday magic, I hope your holidays are, indeed, magical.

Blogging Insights — Organization

Blogging insightsFor this week’s edition of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya wants to know about our organization skills. She asks:

How organized are you when it comes to blogging Do you have a blog schedule or do you play it by the ear?

I have two answers. For my prompts, I do use WordPress’ scheduling functionality to schedule my FOWC With Fandango daily one-word challenge prompts up to two weeks in advance. And for some of my other prompts, I may do them a few days in advance. But for my other posts, whether they are responses to other bloggers’ daily word or photo prompts, or to topical subjects like politics, I pretty much play it by ear.

How often do you ‘tidy up’ your blog (e.g., go through your drafts folder or go through old posts checking for broken links etc.)?

Rarely. About the only time I go back to visit old posts is when I’m looking for what to post for one of my Flashback Friday posts.However, I do check my spam and trash folders daily to delete spam comments (or to approve legitimate comments that found their way to my spam folder) and to permanently delete everything that went directly to trash. So I suppose one might call that tidying up.

Outstanding in My Field

Sadje, over at Keep It Alive, was kind enough to nominate me for the Outstanding Blogger Award. Just like that man in the picture above, I am apparently outstanding in my field. My field of blogging, that is.

First, let me thank Sadje for her generous nomination. Next, let me answer the questions she passed on those those of us she nominated. Here we go.

1. How did the Covid-19 affect your life?

Primarily not being able to spend face-to-face time with family and friends, eating out at restaurants, going to movies, live concerts, and shows.

2. What one special thing would you like to do for the world?

What would I like to do for the world? I’m not sure that I, as an individual, can do much for the world other than to live my life as best I can and to encourage everyone else to do the same.

3. It’s almost the end of the year, what one thing do you want to accomplish before saying goodbye to 2020?

I don’t know that there’s anything that I want to specifically accomplished, but I sure would like to see WordPress fix the bug in its iOS app that prevents me from liking and commenting on some other bloggers’ posts.

4. What do you look most forward to in 2021?

Joe Biden’s inauguration and the arrests, convictions, and imprisonments of Donald Trump and his three adult children.

5. What is your favorite song of all time?

This is a tough one because I have so many favorite songs, but if forced to choose just one, it might be “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel. That or “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” by Brian Hyland. So moving.

6. What one book would you recommend to everyone?

“Shogun” by James Clavell.

7. What one question would you like to ask me?

Who is “you” in this case? Sadje? If yes, then I’d like to ask her if she misses living in the United States.


I’m not any specific bloggers for this award, but if anyone would also like to respond to Sadje’s questions, go for it!