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Posts tagged Finding Time to Blog

Work with a 2018 List — no Resolutions

List Yourself as Done with Resolutions

Resolutions can be as useless as a screen door on a submarine. No resolutions free your guilt-laden soul to do other things that make you happier. Work with a list this 2018 year to help keep you on track.

High Desert Blogging


Promises are easily broken. So for me — even though I have kept some of my personal and work-related resolutions over the years — it’s just not healthy to sweat over the inability to perform under all that angst.

Use sticky notes like they’re going out of style.

I use whatever I find on sale: any color will do. Find a color you will pay attention to, or better yet, select a pad that is graphically pleasing. so many to choose from. I enjoy using shapes: an arrow pad for important items, a flower for some whimsical idea, long lined styles for a list of things to do. Green ones for something new.

Sticky notes are not new my any means but maybe it’s good to bring them back and avoid relying on your cell phone apps to prod you to a goal. Is it becoming easier to dismiss alarms and reminders the longer you have the cell with you? A paper note can live in your work area without harping at you like a 2-year-old. Studies are now showing it may be better to give yourself a disconnection break  — daily.

What? Give Up My Cell?     

cell phone

Cell phone needs a time out

notes are a great tool

Use your notes

Well, no. Not really. Just separate yourself from the total connectivity that you share with your device and give it a rest. Your brain is wired for stimuli, so when you constantly feed it with constant use through your phone’s apps, well, then it becomes an additive habit.

Just think of the days before cell phones … we never talked and walked our way through the market unless we had a friend with us. We never attempted to drive with our phones crammed into our neck while having three conversations. Driving takes a lot more concentration than most 20-year-olds think. Texting and driving? Don’t even go there. Too many have died supporting their need to communicate and feed their habit.

Does It Feel Like You’ve Lost Time?

I use my cell phone. I use several devices. I also know how to ignore them. My neighbors will attest to the fact that I don’t always return calls immediately. I don’t because I chose to control a large amount of my time. If I can accomplish tasks without the bother of calls and texts, then I feel more efficient. I feel that I have completed my tasks in a timely manner.

That satisfaction is worth hours away from the devices that are designed to help us. You see, the more you succumb to the control of the company’s that sell you their products, the more you will retain your personal energy and spirit to do what makes you feel accomplished.

New Year

Enjoy No Resolutions this New Year

Electronic notes available on your desktop or laptop can work just as well. Notes on the bulletin board still work for the family reminders. Using up scrap paper for an unlimited supply of little notes … I can go on and on. The point is keeping reminders around you help you to focus on your goals. You don’t need resolutions written in blood. Your life is in capable hands if you remind yourself who is in charge.

Rusty LaGrange

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Share Your Event with our Blogging Network

Like a Pebble Dropped in a Pond

Like a Pebble Dropped in a Pond

Does your business have a new event to share or mile marker in its history? A celebration? An anniversary? Get the word out to hundreds of blog readers who follow on High Desert then tell them about your shop.

How long have you been in business? What is your specialty? Are you only online or do you have a storefront as well? What’s your address? Do you sell to a certain age group or specific interest? Do you have an active web site? Please share with us.

What days are you open?

What hours are you open?

Do you have sales days or use coupons?

Can shoppers use credit cards, debit cards, or gift cards?

What’s your shop’s telephone number, fax number, and do you have a toll-free number?

These are the basic questions that readers ask us.

Don’t forget to list all of your supported social media connections. Facebook. LinkedIn. Twitter. The list goes on …

In every case, you’ll find a new shopper, a new friend, and a new connection. That’s what blogging and networking is all about? Like dropping a pebble in a pond.

If you feel that networking and blogging are taking too much of your time, you can hire someone to do that task for you. Virtual Assistants and  business bloggers are all around. Let us know if you need some help.

Rusty LaGrange

All Procrastinators Unite! … Tomorrow

It’s that nagging “procrastination” word. credits
Everyone says do what makes you happy. And if procrastination had a useful and monetary outcome, I would be queen of the hill. My husband does not own any procrastination genes; he keeps busy after work until the sun goes down. He’s also my first person who asks me what I did that day. I feel unfulfilled. In my mind I’ve accomplished a lot.

Me, I could get up late, think about the stuff I should be doing, “putz” around the house doing a load of laundry, moving this or that, stopping to watch TV, eat some lunch, even pay some bills, without getting a lick of writing work done. I do believe it’s my “mulling over it” phase. Other writers have said that, more than half the time, a writer is simmering on what to write. Yeah, that’s me. I simmer, and mull, and procrastinate.

When I am productive I need to set a timer to remind myself to take breaks. Someone said that the best work environment will be your most productive zone. So I do what makes me happy and listen to my wind chimes while I type, or play native flute music (I have an extensive collection) or play a few computer games to allow simmering before writing.

The bottom line is that procrastinators are always working… you just can’t see the outcomes physically until the mental work is done. Knowing that makes me feel better about myself …  and happier.

So how do you do the mulling in your mind before you write? Are you an early riser with a load of writing to get on paper? Are you typically a reader-researcher and then a writer? Are you feeling guilty for not committing to a 1,000  words a day? Who said that was a reasonable amount to set? Are you guilty for thinking you’re guilty?

Rusty LaGrange

Rusty is a guest blogger and life-long procrastinator, who knows just why she does what she does, and enjoys being happy in mulling. Read her other blogs at and




Set a Strong Ritual Instead of a Weak 2014 Resolution

I’ve been reading a lot about how rituals are more deeply conforming to a creative person’s needs. Music raises the mood of the mind and fits in nicely with ritual. So, if a ritual to write, let’s say, 500 words per day, is a way to establish your focus to accomplish that task, then let that task be a writing assignment, an exercise, or another blog post. By also finding a comforting way to start your ritual, you will be more attuned and expectant in seeing the results.

Let’s use one of mine as an example. When I write Western-themed short stories or poems, I like to set the mood with music. It becomes a ritual. I pull a CD with Native American flute music or a CD with flamenco-style guitar riffs. My awareness to the sounds introduce my brain to the task at hand.

Flamenco riffs

Flamenco riffs

The music sets the tone, the tone sets the memory of how it affects me, and the outcome primes me into writing. Many successful writers and poets have used this method. By making this a ritual method rather than just another resolution that I’m apt to stop or ignore, I accept it in my routine so it becomes comfortable.

Resolutions are so … pedestrian.

With a recognized ritual, a process that I determine and control, I feel I can better relate to the task I wish to do. Try it for two months and see if it works for you, too.


What type of ritual do you use in your daily life? Let us know if you establish a new ritual for 2014.

Rusty LaGrange

A Blogger’s Interferences

Angie's Facebook PhotoWhat can a blogger do when faced with impossibilities that hinder blogging? Frustrations like major computer problems can be a major setback. Sometimes you just have to wait. Put blogging on hold when circumstances do not allow for posting.

Recently my computer started freezing up. A friend was so kind to work on it for me though he recommended that I purchase a new computer. Blogging became impossible. The computer continued to freeze up after 20 or 30 minutes. There was the possibility of going to the library but no time in my schedule to do so. Friends would offer to let me use their home computers. Half an hour occasionally might be fine, but blogging takes more than thirty minutes per week. There was nothing to do but wait until I could get another laptop, an investment I consider necessary for a person who is serious about blogging. Off to Black Friday computer sales I went with my daughter and son-in-law and my tiny-tot granddaughter.

I was reminded of an important lesson during my few weeks of slacking in blog posting. When events happen that you can’t control and that you can’t back up to do differently, you have to face the inevitable. You must deal with the reality of your situation and go forward. Do something inspiring. For instance, I chose to participate in the annual November fiction and nonfiction writing. Although a goal of 50,000 words I didn’t reach, I did accomplish a decent word count for my next book about blogging.

Technical computer difficulties, busy schedules, holidays or vacations may cause your blogging to come to a halt. You can ask others to submit guest posts for you during this time. If you have a network of consistent bloggers, ask for their assistance. Accept the change that has set you back, and look for ways to become creative. Read books. Listen to music. Meet people. Visit with friends. All of these can inspire you. Once you’re back to blogging, you’ll be ready to inspire others.


8 Good Habits for Stuck-in-a-Rut Bloggers – Blogging Plus Working a Full-Time Job

Ever feel stuck in a rut with your blog? Bloggers who work a full-time job and maintain a blog can easily feel frustrated keeping their blogs’ stats up. If a blog isn’t kept up consistently, its statistics will show it.  A blog that has low traffic statistics, content which is haphazardly written, and posts that lack personality and passion will lose connection with the readers. What is the solution to this dilemma?

First, the blogger must consider what is causing the stuck-in-a-rut dilemma. Perhaps it is due to a lack of time and energy. People who drive a long distance to work get up by 4:00-5:00 am and arrive home in the evenings 5:00-7:00 pm on the average. That leaves little time for dinner preparation, mealtime, kitchen cleanup and time for a 30-minute walk plus family time. By the time all of these daily routines are completed, a blogger has no more time or the energy to spend on blogging.

Lack of time and energy is a common cause to the blog rut problem. Another is the feeling of inadequacy that plagues a blogger when comparing to others’ blogs that shine with personality and passion, authority on blog topics, and content that is king. Habits can be acquired, and habits can be broken.

Life’s interruptions can suddenly change a blogger’s good habit of consistent blogging. Overtime at work. Sickness. Surgery. Aches and pains. A blood clot. Vacation. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Fun events and not-so-good situations. That’s how habits are broken, and that’s how people get stuck in a rut. The good habits changed due to life’s circumstances. Thus, the blogger needs to acquire good habits again.

Going back to the how to solve the dilemma, a blogger must focus on what caused the good blogging habits to be broken. Once that is realized, steps can be taken to acquire new habits that will result in consistently written blog posts with personality, passion, and king content. Any of the following steps can help a blogger acquire good habits for writing a blog with personality and passion:

  1. Invite guest bloggers (saves time blogging every day). 
  2. Blog on the weekends, and schedule blogs to be posted throughout the week (saves time that a blogger doesn’t have during the week).
  3. Focus on what causes the passion to blog, the niche (creates energy).
  4. Forget about comparing with other bloggers’ styles. Be original. (Creating original content results in king content.)
  5. Grill enough meat for a week. Prepare easy vegetable salads, tuna and salmon salads. Snack on raw fruit and vegetables. (Saves time in the kitchen. Helps to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. Creates new ideas for food bloggers.)
  6. Take breaks from blogging. Set an alarm for every 30 minutes. Get up and move. Stretch. Do exercises. Water the garden. Feed the pets. (Helps not get blood clots from sitting too long. Makes a blogger feel energized.)
  7. Get fit. Walk for 30 minutes. Get the blood pumping. (Helps physically, mentally, emotionally-a good balance for a blogger that people will trust.)
  8. Learn nutrition. See a nutritionist. Find natural ways to keep fit and well. (Gives a blogger something to blog about that people need and want – staying healthy.)

Exercise…grill…set alarm to take a break from blogging:

July 4, 2013 - 5K at Brewster Park, Apple Valley

July 4, 2013 – 5K at Brewster Park, Apple Valley

Blog Pictures - Grilling, Grills

Blog Pictures - Clocks-Disney





















Those eight habits can help a stuck-in-a-rut blogger get out of the rut. They will create new energy, allow extra time for blogging,

Uh Oh, Three Shrikes and You’re Out!

We often have nests in our Mulberry tree in early summer. Just this weekend,  a pair of Shrikes took up housekeeping and were raising a noisy brood of three. A baby bird’s life is spent sleeping and opening its mouth for food. Parents diligently relay back and forth to feed these little bottomless chirping fuzz balls. Fortunately, they grow fast and within 17-20 days, they have enough flight feathers to leave home.

The fledglings began testing their wings. All was well until a gopher snake got a late night craving for the nestlings. You may not be aware that some snakes can and do climb trees to find delicacies. This was not the first time I’d seen a gopher snake climb a tree … the same tree, in fact.


This gopher snake was determined to go after the fledglings. I moved him with my snake stick. A few hours later, the snake was prowling around the tree again.

These nestlings were living on borrowed time. The next morning a whirlwind hit the backyard and I happened to see two of the baby Shrikes on the ground. I rescued them, placing them on a towel in the bathtub. Cute little guys but I didn’t have any bird “food” to keep them quiet.


I was determined to keep them safe. I thought that if I could bring the nest to them, I may have a nice cozy environment for them. I went back to check the nest and Mama Shrike was bouncing from branch to branch scolding me about the loss of her babies. While staring up at her, I noticed another fledgling. This one was caught on a piece of stringy fiber in the nest. I had to cut him loose to rescue him.  He was weak and didn’t look strong enough to survive the day.


I got on the Internet to look for some help. Bird rescue groups flourish throughout the state of California. I chose a few numbers to call and reached a bird rescue group in Calimesa. I just needed advice. And she was helpful. She supported the idea to replace the fledglings back into their nest. When my husband returned home from work, we were able to place  the babies back into their nest. But, as birds often do, they kept flopping out and landing hard on the ground.

three shrikes and you're out_06072013

By next morning, after my drive to town for a few groceries, my dogs had caught the snake at the base of the Mulberry again. I scooted the dogs back into the house for round two with the gopher snake. I moved him away with my snake stick. In a few hours, the result of our rescue attempt was a failure for two of the birds. My husband found that the one remaining baby bird seemed to have left the yard.

We’re hopeful that he was the strongest of his siblings. Mama Shrike watched our coming and going for the rest of the day. She still thinks we are holding them for ransom.


another angry bird

In nature, without our interference, bird fledglings are subjected to hunters from the air and the ground, weather, falling from the nest, lack of food if the parents don’t return, and disease. I can only hope that our feeble attempts were enough for one Shrike to grow up and stay on the ranch.


Rusty LaGrange

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How to Write Posts That Will Drive Traffic to Your High Desert Blog

Find out how to write posts to increase your blog traffic. Posts that are too short and do not contain useful keywords can hinder SEO traffic. Leave out unnecessary details, however. Get your point across. No need to write extra detailed sentences just to get your word count up to 300 or 500.

One of my friends began a website a few years back on quilts. She loves them. She started out excited about the new website, but it didn’t take long until she gave up. Why? No readers. No page views. What a disappointment it was to her.

Got a talent or a hobby you blog about but no readers? Blog every day. Try this test. Blog once a day for one week. Then the next week blog twice a day. Notice any difference? Now imagine blogging fifteen to twenty articles every day like my friend did when he started blogging.

Don’t have time to blog several times a day? That’s why you need to team up with a blog network like High Desert Blogging is launching. If you blog twice a day and every other blog member blogs twice a day, imagine the traffic you’ll see directed to your blog then. Membership is now available for High Desert bloggers. Ask how you can join this blog network  today.




Challenges of Committed Blogging – Hunger and Circulation

Squash and Brussels Sprouts

Two challenges that face a committed blogger who is determined to blog several posts for an upcoming week are hunger and circulation. Take care of that circulation problem. That’s not a good thing. Make yourself stand up, move your feet, stretch your legs, do leg exercises while you’re sitting. Walk around the house, or the coffee shop if that’s your blogging office. Walk outside. Even five minutes at a time will help. You’ve gotta move.

A number of remedies can help your leg circulation problem if you’re sitting for hours while blogging. Try foot massagers and hot baths. Both will relax you. According to one article, you should take a bath as hot as you can stand.

Hunger is another challenge a committed blogger may face. A hunger challenge in America? READ MORE »

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