January 1, 2015




NOTE: Carolyn’s Online Magazine was launched today. with two articles:

Please take a moment to visit, and subscribe to, the magazine that evolved out of and follows up on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS.


It’s a new day, a new month, a new year. The day has passed for endings, dawning into a ripe time for beginnings.

  • Deep within every beginning is the seed for its ending.
  • Within each ending is a seed for a new beginning.

Thus, after 6 years, 1,325 posts, and 327,453 views from 166 countries my first online magazine, CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS, has come to an end—its seed for ending being the WordPress host site’s size limit. The seed within the ending is a new beginning.

When Carolyn’s compositions started on February 29, 2008 its seed of ending was built in: the WordPress space limit. Never in my thoughts did I imagine my endeavor would come to an end. But now the warning light is on. There is little space left to post articles. The seed for ending is sprouted.

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

As I move on I must ask some hard questions.

  • Are blogs are becoming outdated?
  • Should I consider not birthing a follow-up to CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS?
  • If so, why?

The response from you, my readers, encouraged me to move on. A summary of the comments can be read: A Review of Comments On CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS and Cornell Family Dialogue Via Blog Post Comments.

As the editor, developing and maintaining CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS has been a challenging, ever constant, learning process. It served as an entrance into a communications age that has already moved far beyond blogs. However, I decided to continue CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS with Carolyn’s Online Magazine .

I want to take this opportunity to thank my loyal readers and commenters. , which I invite you to visit Carolyn’s Online Magazine, which remains under construction, and to visit this blog site to explore the rich information it contains.

November 30, 2014

December 2014 Welcome Message

Carolyn’s Compositions


Welcome to another triple holiday season, with all its joys and stressors. Thanksgiving has come and gone, along with a visit by my son Nolan, his wife Tammy, and grandsons Vince and Marcus. I’m looking forward to their next visit, when they plan to go skiing and snowboarding.

November was a catch-up month following our constant absences through the summer and early autumn. Within the catch up I broke a couple records. My Christmas boxes were addressed and taped by November 23rd and mailed two days later. My dining room table was cleared and appropriately dressed for Thanksgiving—and remained clear for 5 weeks. And, for the first time, I didn’t have to throw things behind my couch just as Nolan was pulling into the driveway.

Our apartment is rented so time has freed up. My husband Monte and I were able to enjoy several speakers in November: Ralph Bennett, a local writer and former Reader’s Digest employee, spoke on a local World War I hero, Alvin Carey; well-known artist Charles Fagan spoke on his art projects, and Cyril Wecht presented evidence on John F. Kennedy’s assassination. We also attended the county’s woman shelter (Blackburn Center) open house. It’s nice to be part of the community again.

Although I completed the first draft of a short story my novel writing stalled due to lack of quiet time to concentrate on its detailed plot. However, while completing the Ligonier Valley Library challenge to both read and walk a thousand minutes over a period of 10 weeks, I kept my finger on the novel by reading background material for my novel.

I also filled our freezer with soup mixes—I won’t have to cook much for the next couple of months, which will free me to return to my writing.

One thing I didn’t do this summer was maintain contact with my family and friends. Hopefully I will be able to reconnect this month. After all, one of the great blessings of the holiday season is sharing with family and friends.

I want to welcome my new subscribers and thank those who have been with me for a while.

May the blessings and joys of the holiday season surpass the stressors. Remember, the reason for the season is the birth of Jesus. Set a place at your table for him, the guest of honor.

Merry Christmas. and Happy New Year.

Carolyn Cornell Holland

November 2, 2014

November 2014 Welcome Message



We knew it was October 1st when we watched my son-in-law Michael  decorate his yard for his favorite holiday, Halloween. His décor was photographed by many viewers (mine: Ghoulish Halloween Photographs) of his creative work.  The beginning of October is also marked by the last Ligonier, Pennsylvania, farmer’s market, noted for selling only locally grown or made items. It was only the second farmer’s market I’d been able to attend this year.  Mid-October is the time for Ligonier Days, reputed to be among the country’s largest autumn festivals. The entire town is given over to the festivities, and the parade is its highlight.

I was delighted when the Westmoreland County Historical Society magazine came in our mail days later. It included my article on Flight of Valor, a music composition on Flight 93 commissioned by the Somerset County Community Band. It took me at least 3 ½ years to complete the article. I wrote a simpler article, Flight of Valor: Honoring United Airlines Flight 93 Victims , a while back but the print copy focuses on Westmoreland County (Pennsylvania) and includes much more information.

October 2014 will be remembered as the year my husband Monte and our neighbor Dan used a special deck paint on our large deck. Touted for its thickness, ability to fill cracks and crevices, and textured finish, it can also be very toxic to anyone sensitive to it. I know this because when Dan came into our computer room after they were done painting for the day his clothes emitted strong fumes, which caused my throat to immediately become sore and swell. The next morning my blood pressure reading was frighteningly high. Then, for 2 ½ weeks I experienced phantom smell and taste hallucinations. Watch for my post on the subject.

We ended October with a delightful two-night visit my brother Dave and his wife Kim in Fayetteville, Pennsylvania. Kim is a great cook who served scrumptious meals. Dave drove us on a tour of the area during which I took pictures of an old springhouse and a water wheel. After saying our goodbyes we drove to Schuylkill County where, in Minersville, we remet my cousin Bob Borinsky and met his son Michael, a delightful young man. We also visited the Pottsville Library, where we learned the death date of my great-grandfather’s brother Lawrence, a miner killed in the Lytle Mines in 1914.

En route home we stopped at Centralia, where a mine fire burns continually and collapsed a road so badly it cannot be used. It’s covered with graffiti now. At a nearby location we spotted steam spouting from the mine, showing the fire is still burning.

After that we stopped at Gravity Hill in New Paris, where even my (former) physicist husband became mystified as our car, while in neutral, rolled uphill.

We ended our short vacation by Descending Laurel Mountain in Ligonier, PA (we live at the foot of this sometime scary hill).

The bonus of our four days of travel was the beautifully warm weather and the spectacularly dressed autumn trees. Who needs to travel far and wide to experience the best leaf-peeping in the country?

November has arrived. Time to prepare for a triple-holiday season. Enjoy the first, Thanksgiving . and the inevitable first snow and cold.

I want to thank you, my many visitors to CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS, and I especially want to welcome my new subscribers. You are what makes this online magazine successful.

September 30, 2014

October 2014 Welcome Message



Follow me on Twitter #CarolynCHolland


 NOTE: Have you subscribed to CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS?

If not, fill in the subscription box à. Your e-mail will not be made public, you will have to confirm the subscription in an email you will get from This done, you will be notified of posts as they are made.

Many thanks to our new subscribers. I hope you are enjoying CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS.


Each time I drive down our local section of the Lincoln Highway (Rt. 30) in Pennsylvania more trees strut their vibrant colors. Mother Nature’s wardrobe change is well into transitioning from monochromatic greens to brilliant red, gold, and bronze.  It’s striking—and a good reason for living in this part of God’s world.

In September we spent a lot of time in Slippery Rock, 82 miles away, but the problems are almost resolved and we won’t have to travel back and forth so often.

Last November my husband Monte finally trimmed our knarled, bent over, apple tree. He was concerned that this action would stop producing its 3-6 poor apples. He was mighty surprised at the number of apples old faithful produced. I slaved over a large kettle making applesauce, some of which I froze to enjoy when the snow lays a two-foot blanket over our yard.

Our snow pea, green bean, and floral crops were enjoyed by a deer with a disfigured leg. We must improve our deer fence next summer. However, we did have a good crop of potatoes. Well, good being relative…in days of yore I would have considered my yield to be meager.

Coming in October: Ligonier Days with its wonderful parade, food booths, craft booths, and people. For several years I’ve photographed it from a second floor window, with gratitude to the tenant for allowing me to do so. The Beanery Writers will have a table in front of Second Chapter Books from 2:00-5:00 p. m. on Sunday. If you are in the area, stop by and say hello.

The weather so far this month has been fantastic. Monte has been painting the house and the patio, both of which will be completed next spring.

Enjoy this wonderful month. It could be a bitter winter.

Carolyn Cornell Holland

August 31, 2014

September 2014 Welcome Message

Carolyn’s Compositions


September…the month when Mother Nature begins to change her monochromatic green covering to a green print accented by brilliant red, gold and bronzes.

Speaking of green, Monte is busily painting our house with a dark green accented light green. He hopes for a week of warm dry weather so he can also paint the patio. He didn’t accomplish these tasks this summer because he had to repair and paint at our apartment building 82 miles away from where we live. We survived some major insurance problems there that required us to “burn the rubber” between our home and Slippery Rock numerous times, but now things are on the upswing.

Intermixed with the above came late summer computer and car problems. Monte hit some mysterious computer key that turned our word documents into Office 10 format, which we couldn’t access. The situation is now solved (how, don’t ask me). The next morning I woke up and my laptop wouldn’t turn on. “WHAT did you do to your laptop?” my computer guru asked. “NOTHING, not a thing,” I stated. It seems the insides were burned up as if a major power surge hit the 15-month-old now-out-of-warranty electronics device. It didn’t happen. The only saving grace is that I retrieved the data, including the only copies of 6 months of photos.  I miss my photo workshop—can’t locate an easy to use one on the Internet.

In the parking lot of the computer store the cable raising and lowering the window in our car. No car available until mid-afternoon the next day, so I missed the August meeting of the Beanery Writers Group.

We did end August on a positive note. On the 29th we enjoyed an original play, The Stone House, presented by the Butler Little Theatre at the Old Stone House in Slippery Rock in Slippery Rock and on the 30th I attended a blacksmith event at the Compass Inn in Laughlintown.

Today, the 31st,  we bid farewell to the summer and welcome autumn’s arrival by eating good food with good company at my son-in-law Michael’s annual Labor Day picnic, co-hosted by my daughter Sandy. The nice thing about this event is that my husband Monte and I can invite our friends without having to do the work.

Three days hence Monte and I celebrate our 48th anniversary.

I hope your transition from summer to autumn is as delightful. Please continue to read CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS,  my multi-genre online magazine, which welcomes a number of new July and August subscribers (if you haven’t subscribed, please do s0—go to the upper right and type your email address in—it will not be made public)

Carolyn Cornell Holland


July 31, 2014

August 2014 Welcome Message (CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS)

Carolyn’s Compositions

NOTE: 300,000 site views
August 1, 2014 1:05 p. m.

August 2014…Entering a new month…which continues the whirlwind of July activity. The first weekend in August I’m attending the Mechling family reunion in New Stanton, PA., where I’ll acquaint myself with this family which became my ancestors back in the late 1770s.

July was a whirlwind of activity as my husband Monte and I attended a 50th wedding anniversary of Alice and Dwight King, friends I haven’t seen in 50 years, before attending Monte’s family reunion—traveling from Lakeside (Ohio) to DeKalb junction (NY). Between these two points we stayed a night in Cleveland Heights (Ohio), Slippery Rock (PA), and Buffalo (NY). Toss in two more visits to Buffalo (NY) after the Holland family reunion, and more time in Slippery Rock (PA). It’s obvious we spent much of the month rolling over highways and byways in our tin home on wheels—which broke down on our second stay in Buffalo, necessitating the third shuffling off to the city later in the month.

We enjoyed very much hosting friends from Singapore in mid-month—challenging their patience while they were stranded in a suburban Buffalo hotel room because our car broke down. Thank heaven for special friends and relatives! We made it past that crisis and continued home—en route visiting the Grove City Outlet Mall and touring the Amish country (Revisiting an Amish Wheelmaker). More of their visit in future articles.

It’s strange how Australia entered our lives in July: Alice and Dwight live in Melbourne; one of our Singapore guests is a student at a Melbourne university, and the 2014 AIDS  conference, which made the news when six participants died in a plane crash, was held in Melbourne the week of July 20th. .

The month ended with a community Christmas in July party at the pool. The water I waded in felt so good!

Perhaps August will be more restful—perhaps not. I’ll let you know.

Meanwhile, enjoy August’s “dog days,” which we had few of in July. Grab a good book and sit by the pool, pond, lake, or ocean and enjoy a good read. Cool down in the water. Take some time off to enjoy nature’s blessings. Enjoy reading CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS (and if you haven’t subscribed, please do—go to the upper right and type your email address in—it will not be made public) as the evening bugs send you indoors. But most of all, enjoy life.

Carolyn Cornell Holland, founder of CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

July 3, 2014

July 2014 Welcome Message

Carolyn’s Compositions


July 2014…A hearty welcome to new subscribers and new readers of CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS, an online magazine publishing articles on a wide variety of topics. Views of its 1,225 posts (articles) reached 294,000 early on July 1. I thank my regular readers for helping and encouraging me to reach these landmarks.

Congratulations, Merry. You have won the comment competition all but one month since last August.

I challenge to my other readers to post the number of comments needed to knock Merry off the winning pedestal—to do this you will need to post at least a dozen comments in one month. Merry has set the bar high, but I know you can comment often enough to take her on.

During June I continued photographically documenting the restoration of a historic building, the Ziders Store in Laughlintown, Pennsylvania. The work of the Progress Fund is almost completed, and a tenant, The Country Cupboard and Nature Run Wood Work will open July 4 (ribbon cutting—July 17). My assignment is to write an article on the restoration for a local magazine.

In mid-June my husband Monte and I visited Slippery Rock (PA) for a week, which ended with a visit to the historic Old Stone House, an early 1800s inn. We each placed a brick on an outdoor oven they are constructing.

I finally completed an article on Flight of Valor, amusic piece commissioned by the Somerset County Community Band in honor of Flight 93. I won’t tell you how long it took to finish the article, but it, like my historic romance novel, moved at the speed of a century plant blooming (which takes 10 years). I’m working on the novel, researching and writing, well, slowly…

July is here…hot, humid…welcoming us with booms of brilliant colors. Have a happy Fourth of July and a safe, productive, month.

Carolyn Cornell Holland, producer of CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

May 1, 2014

May 2014 Welcome Message

Carolyn’s Compositions


Start your summer with a subscription to CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS. Go to the SUBSCRIBE box on the upper right of this page and type in your e-mail, which will not be published. You will receive notification of articles as they are posted. Also, join me on Twitter, at the bottom of the column on the right.

May 2014…a time to plant flowers and food seeds, to feel warm sun rays and soft raindrops, time to watch nature’s colors evolve from drab browns to rainbow hues, a time for rebirth not only in nature but in ourselves.

April is exiting with a vengeance—as I type the wind whips our seasonal flag into a frenzy and causes raindrops to smack our windows. The evidence of this inclement weather—tree branches of all sizes along roadways and yards—is minor in the face of the estimated 11 devastating tornadoes that crossed about multiple states.

April did provide several hints that spring/summer weather is coming. On those days I planted outside pots of snow peas and inside pots of Swiss chard. The flowers starts I’ve been planting are blooming, waiting for May’s end to be put outside. Yes, hope springs eternal…

The bug that took up residence in Monte, causing a two-week siege of bronchitis followed by an additional 6-week recovery period was complicated by strep throat. Although we took every precaution some of Monte’s invasive bug decided to attack a new residence. It is now visiting me.

I’m experimenting with Twitter (see the icon on the bottom to the left—I invite you to become a follower) and E-bay. I continue to write my novel-under-construction (and other items) and clean house, tasks which will continue through May.

To discover May days to celebrate click on May Celebrations: Part 1.

May the sunrays of May bring rainbow colors into your life.

April 5, 2014

WP Photo Challenge 4/4/2014: Threshhold—New England Bridges





The WordPress Photo Challenge for April 4, 2014, is threshold: a point of entering; that point just before a new beginning capture “threshold.” My first thought was the lions guarding the Rockingham Hotel entrance in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. However, I’ve written two posts about them, which include photographs.:

Lions Still Guard Majestic Buildings

Free Hugs & Gold Lions in Portsmouth, N. H.

My mind next went to bridges, which in fact and metaphorically are thresholds to adventures “on the other side.” Thus, I present some of the New England bridges we crossed while in New England in September, 2013, pictured in the order in which we crossed them.

The Jamestown-Verrazano Bridge

The Jamestown-Verrazano Bridge

The Jamestown-Verrazano Bridge connects mainland North

Kingston to Jamestown (Conanicut Island) in Rhode Island.

The Newport (Pell) Bridge

The Newport (Pell) Bridge

The Newport (Pell) Bridge connects

Jamestown (Conanicut Island)

to Newport (Acquidneck Island) in Rhode Island.

 The Bourne Bridge connects mainland Massachusetts to Cape Cod.

The Bourne Bridge

The Bourne Bridge


March 6, 2014

March 2014 Welcome Message

Carolyn’s Compositions


NOTICE: On Wednesdays during Lent my husband, Monte, will post a weekly study series, starting with Where I Learned Key Church & Scripture Readings and A 6-Part Study of The Lord’s Prayer: Part 1.

Other Lent studies:

Post List for the Lenten Study: The Seven Deadly Sins
Post List for A Daily Online Lenten Study

a 27-day study:

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: Introduction

And a quiz:

11 Facts About Lent

February ended with the Pittsburgh area winter labeled Category 5 (the highest in severity). I rejoiced. After all, I didn’t have to get out in it, and it allowed me to admire its beauty and to hibernate, resting after the year-end triple holidays.

I worked on my novel and other writing; cleaning up; contacting people. I sympathized with others who had no choice but to be out on the constant treacherous roads. Fortunately for me, the few times I had to be out the weather behaved.

Following several very nice days March threatened to enter like a lion, bringing a roaring snowstorm. And now I’m concerned. I must on the road to get to some needed medical treatment I don’t want to postpone. Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter, a six weeks that ends in mid-March. Hopefully it does end then, so the bed of hope can spring forth from the ground long-covered by a white comforter.

Everyone, be safe. Be careful. Beware—Old Man Winter doesn’t operate by our wishes and desires. He expresses his own whims. Remember, hope will spring from the ground when the snowstorms end and the sun warms the dirt.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

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