December 31, 2015

Out of the Old Blog, a New Magazine is Born

Filed under: blogging,FEATURE STORIES — carolyncholland @ 1:00 am




6 years, 1,330 Posts, 327,848 views from 171 countries

Out of the Old Blog, a New Magazine is Born


Deep within every beginning is the seed for its ending.

Within each ending is a seed for a new beginning.

Welcome to Carolyn’s Online Magazine (COMe).

When  its predecessor, CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS, started on February 29, 2008 its seed of ending was built in: the WordPress space limitation. Never in my wildest thoughts did I imagine my endeavor would come to an end. But the warning light came on. There is little space left to post articles. The seed for ending sprouted.

The timing is right. The old—two-oh-fourteen—is at an end. January two-oh-fifteen, rings in the new. A ripe time for new beginnings.

As I move on I must ask some hard questions.

I’ll begin by answering the WHY.

As the editor, developing and maintaining CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS was a challenging, ever constant, learning process. It served as an entrance into a communications age that has already moved far beyond blogs.

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS has been an affirming project to both writer and reader.

It’s aided the writer in evaluating trends and issues. Its served as a place to work through issues—to write something requires processing it and putting it in words the average person can understand. It’s offered a forum for a variety of writing genres and provided a writing platform. It’s kept me, the writer of most articles, writing almost every day.

For the reader it’s provided education, fun reading, a different view of issues, and connections to other persons.

Below are a few comments that encouraged me to move on into a new blog.

  • ANCIENT BATHING TECHNIQUES  I must say, your topics are many and most informative.  I enjoy most of the posts that you send out.  Thanks for enlightening my days.   David
  • Playing Santa’s Elf on My Birthday …Carolyn, love your articles.   I read them every morning while drinking my coffee… Carol
  • I like your humor 🙂 and enjoy your articles… 🙂    Merri
  • Awesome pictures…Always looking forward to seeing your pictures and adventures :)…    Lena

And in response to particular articles:

  • Traveling on a Greyhound Bus with Children  Carolyn, thanks for the memories of riding the Greyhound! My mother loved riding the Greyhound, sitting in back of the driver. 🙂  Merri
  • THE HOLLAND 2014 CHRISTMAS LETTER  I love this post, it made me think of some of the articles I read during the year and how interesting your lives are.   I hope I am just like you when I grow up, lol.   I look forward to reading your online magazine…  Carol
  • REPORTS FROM STORM “KNIFE” IN BUFFALO, NEW YORK  November 17 to November 21, 2014   I can’t remember what year it was, but during one storm, I barely made it home from a night shift at our local hospital. I was pushing snow with the front bumper of my car off and on for about three miles. I parked in the drive and had to help a guy in a truck shovel out his truck from a snow drift later in the day. We were snowed in from about 10 a.m. Saturday until 10 p.m. Sunday when the State came through with a scoop bucket to move the snow drifts from the road, The plows couldn’t handle it.  Tom
  • TWO HOLIDAY RECIPES: HORS D’OEUVRES AND UMBLE PIE  Carolyn you have inspired me to check out the internet and see what umble pie recipes are there. Would be fun to have an umble pie contest!   Grace and Fred
  • NATIONAL POETRY MONTH, POEM A DAY, WEEK 4: April 22-30 I’m not much of a poetry person, my least favorite part of school – but your creative twist on it is worth reading!  Grace
  •  MARILYN VAN DERBUR (ATLER): MISS AMERICA 1958: HER INCEST STORY   abuse no matter how long ago it happens. it affects every day of  your whole life  Becky
  • WAS IT IODINE DEFICIENCY? MY STORY   Sometimes old wives tales aren’t so false – many of us have relatives who lived to very ripe old ages while doing and eating things that we now consider “dangerous” for our health – we’ve cut so much out yet we replace it with a prescription drug –  finding what works for us doesn’t always require a medical degree -feeling good is what matters and often invovles a combination of what the doctor can offer and what we can do for ourselves  Fran
  • THREE GARLIC RECIPES   Roasted garlic smeared on fresh bread is one of my very favorite things… and that soup sounds amazing! But make enough for everyone you come in contact with for the rest of the day to also have a bite or you’ll spend a very lonely evening. 🙂  Great recipes!  Jan
  •  These photos are so beautiful, just breathtaking! It’s like seeing the loving grace of God shining down upon you! Thanks for sharing these gorgeous photos!!  Lori

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS enabled genealogical connections through its most commented on post, KILLED STRANGELY: A NEW ENGLAND MURDER STORY. It’s enabled two sisters to connect with their birth family after 60 years (read My Mother’s Special 90th Birthday Gift ). CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS has reaped many benefits.

Perhaps blogs are becoming dated, being phased out by other electronic communication media. But perhaps, also, there is room for blogs to hold their own, to still be worthwhile in today’s evolving communication world.

So I welcome you to subscribe to COMe. Your e-mail will not be publicized. However, you will receive an email from asking you to confirm your subscription. Please do. You will then receive an email informing you of each post on COMe.

I want to again thank my subscribers, my readers, and my commenters for their making CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS a success. Thank you for visiting COMe, Carolyn’s Online Magazine.

Carolyn C. Holland

January 14, 2015

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS Now Carolyn’s Online Magazine (COMe)


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS is now located at Carolyn’s Online Magazine.


I invite you to visit the new site and to subscribe to the site to receive notification of future posts.

I apologize for the inconvenience caused by my ineptitude in creating a working online magazine. The issues are finally resolved.

Articles for Carolyn’s Compositions are now being posted at Carolyn’s Online Magazine to which I invite you to visit and sign up for a subscription. Please continue to enjoy reading the articles posted on this site, Carolyn’s Compositions, which is fast running out of space, as you enjoy the new articles being posted at Carolyn’s Online Magazine.

Thank you for your patience.

Carolyn Cornell Holland

January 2, 2015

Problems Creating a New WordPress Blog

Filed under: blogging — carolyncholland @ 11:15 pm

JANUARY 14, 2015

Issue finally resolved: Articles for Carolyn’s Compositions are now being posted at Carolyn’s Online Magazine to which I invite you to visit and sign up for a subscription. Please continue to enjoy reading the articles posted on this site, Carolyn’s Compositions, which is fast running out of space, as you enjoy the new articles being posted at Carolyn’s Online Magazine.

Dear Carolyn’s Compositions Readers

Please bear with me. I’ve had a great deal of problems setting up a new WordPress blog. I’ve been attempting to set up a blog separate from CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS but each effort seems to connect with it. At times I’ve been unable to even access CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS.

WordPress staff, if you are reading this take note.

UPDATE Jan. 2, 2015: I finally managed to create a blog separate from CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS but I cannot access it from the web.

  • There is a problem with this website’s security certificate.
  • The security certificate presented by this website was issued for a different website’s address.
  • Security certificate problems may indicate an attempt to fool you or intercept any data you send to the server.
  • We recommend that you close this webpage and do not continue to this website.
  • For more information, see “Certificate Errors” in Internet Explorer Help.

I’ll go there but heavens, this is not anyway easy. I’ve already spent three days attempting to create a new blog site separate from CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS and all I’ve done is create a bunch of useless junk.

It might be that there was already a WordPress blog at the listed email address. to correct this I attempted to create a new YAHOO email but now it’s not possible unless you have a phone to text on.

I do not have texting.

Is the I-net becoming less user friendly as time goes by?

I’m considering setting up the new blog at Blogspot in order to keep it completely separate from CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS.

You will receive notification re the new site when I get the situation resolved, either on WordPress or on Blogger (Google site).

I’m thankful for your support during this process.

Carolyn Cornell Holland



December 29, 2014

2014 in review

Filed under: blogging — carolyncholland @ 7:57 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 70,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

December 4, 2014





Because CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS is coming to an end (later December posts will update you on the magazine’s evolution to CAROLYN’S ONLINE MAGAZINE : COMe) I decided to review and list some of the comments received over its 6 year life.

Comments indicate connection with readers. They add meaning to my writing—I’m reaching someone, entertaining them, introducing them to new topics and ideas, perhaps providing insight. Often they add corrective comments. More often they are uplifting.

The many wonderful comments received by CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS  during its lifespan encourage me to move on to creating a follow up blog—information on CAROLYN’S ONLINE MAGAZINE will be provided, hopefully, on January 1, 2015, and posted on this blog so you won’t lose any of my delightful writing. (OK, so there has to be some humor!)

Below is a list of only a few of the comments made on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS.

An (Internationally) Adopted Adult Tells His Story Carolyn, thank you for sharing Mark’s story. I admire Sam and Annette for giving loving homes to these special children.  Merri

My Sister and I: Cluttered Versus Neat Home I’ve read that clutter is conducive to creativity. So look at it this way: You’re not neglecting your housecleaning, you’re fostering your creativity!  Danny

CAROLYN’S BIO My husband sent me the link to this bio on you, from the Upper Room’s devotional, first thing this morning. His words, “She looks like someone you would like.” I have always had writing aspirations, but even though I write a commentary daily on the day’s devotion, I have little time (more…)

February 20, 2014

Carolyn’s Compositions 8th Birthday


Hugs for all CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS subscribers



For some reason, for some years after my 1966 marriage to my current husband Monte I “forgot” his birthday.

That statement isn’t totally true. What was true was that I “missed” his birthday, because I mistakenly had it in my head that it was June 18 when it was, in fact, June 12. While I was preparing to honor Monte’s birth the actual date passed me by. It took a number of years for me to do things in a timely fashion.

Birthdays are important in that they mark milestones, not only in the lives of individuals, but in the lives of other events.

So I must confess. I misread the birthday for CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS, thus believing it was February 19 when it was, in fact, February 5.

Lest I let the month of February 2014 pass by without noting that in this month, in year 2008, on the 5th day, I posted my first article on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS.


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS originally began on another host site, which I can only confirm back to October 4, 2006.. However, in 2007 that site changed ownership. It held the top position in blog site visits for that host site.

When the new ownership took over, it asked those of us with blogs what we wanted in our blogs. I said it was important to have the folders, and the list of the folders.

When the format was changed it became unworkable for my purposes:

  • It no longer used folders—to find a post, a reader had to (more…)

January 2, 2014

Carolyn’s Compositions 2013 Review



The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. I thought some of you would enjoy reviewing  information on CAROLYN’S CREATIONS.

CAROLYN’S CREATIONS has a magazine-type format. Therefore it is not focused on one subject. , it covers many topics, as a magazine does.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 61,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

October 10, 2013

From Postcards to Tweets: The Byte Connection



Hug to Peg

We think that today’s “modern” communication is new. Perhaps it is, but it has the basic elements of historical communication.


In 1869 a revolutionary technology appeared in the form of postcards, a form of communication that was open to all eyes (no privacy here). It happened in an Austrian post office, where three million postcards were sent in the first three months, according to columnist Monica Cure, writer of Tweeting by mail: The postcard’s stormy birth.

Four years earlier Heinrich von Stephan, a German postal official, had proposed the adoption of what he described as an “open post-sheet” made of stiff paper. One side would be reserved for the recipient’s address, and the other side would have just enough space for a brief message. It would circulate at the cheapest rate possible.

His idea was rejected as too radical.

The postcard’s popularity baffled and even appalled the (more…)

August 6, 2013

PALS, CALS, & Janet of Johnstown



Hugs for Janet and all her PALS and CALS



Acronyms: PALS & CALS

Acronyms serve a purpose. For example, PALS signifies Person’s Living with ALS. CALS are caregivers of PALS.

ALS. Another acronym.

It stands for amyotrophic lateral schlerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

When my husband Monte heard there was a Walk to Defeat ALS® in a nearby Pennsylvania community of Johnstown he recognized an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone (oops, cliché…a no-no for writers—how else can I word it? Hmmmm…help me out, anyone…).

Anyway, cliché aside, Monte is taking an active role in the Upper Room Daily Devotional Guide chat room where he became an Online acquaintance of Janet, who is actively involved in the ALS Society in Johnstown, the organization sponsoring a one-mile walk in her community on August 4, 2013. Janet actually headed Conemaugh Cares, a 17-member team  participating in the walk.

More than just a few-mile trek, the Walk to Defeat ALS® is an opportunity to bring hope to people living with ALS, to raise money for a cure, and to come together for something you care about. The Walk to Defeat ALS® is The ALS Association’s biggest annual event, which raises funds to sustain care services and support research for much of the next year.

ALS, a progressive neurological disease, can be difficult to diagnose and has no known cure.

My friend Joanne, a retired nurse, considers it one of the worst diseases a person can have because it affects the (voluntary) muscles. Patients can lose their ability to swallow, talk, walk or even breathe on their own but yet they maintain their full mental capacity.

“I’d rather be diagnosed with anything else—even cancer. Cancer comes to an end but ALS goes on and on. Imagine being trapped in your body…”

Johnstown Flood May 31, 1889

Johnstown Flood May 31, 1889

The Johnstown ALS Support Group is part of the ALS Association Western Pennsylvania Chapter which provides services and resources to persons living with ALS (PALS), their families, and caregivers in 31 counties in Central and Western Pennsylvania. If you’re a person living with ALS, family member, or caregiver, visit our local care services page to learn more about the services and resources available in your area. If you’re a supporter, friend, or person interested in volunteering, please visit our Help Fight ALS page to learn how you can support the fight against Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Pennsylvania ALS clinics are located in Pittsburgh (Allegheny General Hospital and University of Pittsburgh), Johnstown, Allentown, and Danville.

Janet is a nurse at the (more…)

August 4, 2013

A Meeting of Chat Room Friends




Hug for Cindy.

 WARNING: Be careful of people you meet in an online chatroom.

They often aren’t who or what they claim to be.

As we pulled into the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, we saw an attractive blonde woman standing by a gold car.

“That must be Cindy,” Monte said as he maneuvered our car into its parking slot. “It looks like her picture.”

Cindy recognized Monte too, from seeing pictures of him on my online magazine, CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS    As he exited the car she walked over to us.


Monte and Cindy were acquaintances in the Upper Room Daily Devotional Guide chat room, where each are active contributors.

Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor

This wasn’t the first time we’d personally greeted a chat room acquaintance. Several years ago we met a woman in Bar Harbor whom I’d communicated with in another chat room. She had provided me with information on my Lamoine, Maine, ancestors that had increased my understanding of Downeast Maine. We thanked her by taking her to dinner when we next visited Lamoine. After the chat room closed we lost contact.


Scheduling difficulties had prevented Monte and Cindy from meeting at an earlier date when Cindy attended a conference near our community.

On July 11, 2013, Monte and I were traveling to his family reunion in northern New York State, almost to the St. Lawrence River. A little detour enabled us to meet with Cindy.

Monte and Cindy

Monte and Cindy

Both Monte and Cindy refused doughnuts, but Monte agreed to let me bring him an ice cream slurpee of some kind. For myself I ordered coffee and a honey-dipped doughnut.

Monte and Cindy began chatting like old friends, doing so in person rather than in print on a computer screen. Their conversation was much like what you see when you visit the Upper Room site: warm, caring, compassionate, expressing concern for each other and the other “family members.” The Online community had laid a firm foundation of friendship because each was authentic in their postings.


Cindy is a pretty woman with longer-than-shoulder-length blonde hair, bangs and striking blue eyes. She wore a white blouse with a blue paisley print, accented by dusty rose pink nail polish, a jeweled watch, and multiple rings on both hands.

But her most attractive feature was her warmheartedness and congenial personality.

Their conversation centered around the Upper Room site. Cindy said she could see relationships that were forming between the site followers.

“I’m making a spread sheet—from January to May this year, 150 days…a grand total almost 1000 people posted, 100 of them regularly. Clearly, to have such an impact, people need to feel cared for,” said Monte.

“I felt so much support (when she had a problem). All the people really cared (about me). And my problem is minor in the face of the sickness and unemployment, which are more powerful.”

Both she and Monte make many comments each day, responding to and summarizing chat room comments.

“I print a hard copy and make comments from that on a word doc,” Cindy said.

“I cut and paste comments onto a word doc,” Monte said. “It does sap my energy a little, but I don’t mind, if it helps…”

“It does.” Cindy replied. “Some days I think—days when I’m up longer correcting papers, for example (she teaches)—(she might not post, but she does).”

“There’s a nice cross section of readers.”

“It’s the anonymity. People feel they can open up because nothing is known about them but their name.”


On July 12 the following comments showed up on the Upper Room:

  • Comment by monte: Thanks for the wonderful meeting that Carolyn and I had with Cindy in Lock Haven. I am sure Carolyn will have a report on her blog sometime soon. (it took a while)
  • Comment by Cindy: Monte, his wife Carolyn, and I met yesterday. What a wonderful couple. We had the nicest visit and it truly went too quickly. I learned so much about them, their interests, and some of their family history. Such a great opportunity to meet them! I ask for prayers for them as they continue today on their trip to a family reunion may God keep them safe in their travels. Not sure if Monte will be able to read this, but I want you to know that I said a prayer for traveling mercies for you as I pulled out of the parking lot. I regretted not praying with you and Carolyn before you left. Thanks for taking the time to go a little out of your way so we could meet. God bless you!
  • Comment by Pam: (aren’t you a bit jealous of Cindy & Monte…)
  • Comment by Jim: Cindy of Jersey Shore, what a blessing that you visited in person with Monte and Carolyn of Laughlintown! That’s just cool!

Yes, it was “cool.”

And most cool was that In the end, Monte and Cindy discovered the truth: they are in person who they really present themselves to be in the Upper Room chat room. They are authentic.

But I must caution people—it still pays to follow general rules when meeting someone you think you know from a chat room experience.

  • They aren’t always what they present.
  • Meetings should always be in a public place, with
  • Someone should know who, where and when your meeting takes place.

It’s just good common sense.

NOTE: Shortly after we met her Cindy posted the following:

  • July 16: Thursday after my class I am traveling to Reston, VA for a meeting, just curious any brothers or sisters close to Reston? Would love to meet up, if possible. I think the visit with Monte and Carolyn stirred me to seek out others. We had such a nice visit and it is so nice to place a face with a name. Just curious! Honestly, I’m not sure I would have time but if it would be close enough, may be.
  • July 19: As an update, what a wonderful evening we had last night. Julia, Henry, and myself had such a nice visit, good food, and a wonderful time getting to know each other better. It was a lovely time and I praise God for giving us the opportunity to meet and have such a special time of fellowship. Julia and Henry, thank you so much for going out of your way to meet with me. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me. This month has been so amazing, God has given wonderful opportunities for Edd and George, Monte, Carolyn and me, and Julia, Henry, and myself to meet up. I thank God for the blessings He has placed in my life and I’m sure the others feel the same way.

Way to go!

ADDENDUM: Monte had an opportunity to meet Janet from Johnstown on Saturday. Return to Carolyn’s Compositions on Tuesday for a short report.




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