Locked Out of WordPress

Oct 25

Ann MacKay

First Chapter Meeting

What a Mess was the last post. I could add “another fine mess you’ve gotten  yourself into.” My intent is to post at least once a month. What happened to my fine intentions? Life is what happened.

My password no longer worked and I send password requests but never received an email from WordPress. Duh, I finally looked in the Spam folder tonight. I am in!

As my husband said to me last month, “Are you overcommitted?” I am. I was appointed to the National Continuing Care Residents Association (NaCCRA) Board in June and was elected the Secretary at my first meeting. The Secretary moved into the vacant Vice President slot.

The same month, I said I could help with the website since the webmaster resigned. I knew it was in WordPress but in the interim, it was rebuilt in Mobirise which I knew nothing about. I struggled to learn it so I could work on the site. I am still struggling to redo pages.

I started organizing a chapter for the Maryland Continuing Care Residents Association (MaCCRA) in July since I am the webmaster for the state association. As of today, there are 81 members since I started recruiting in mid-July.

Also in July, I had the bright idea to submit a presentation proposal to Baltimore WordCamp on the redesign of the CCICharlestown.org website. I am co-webmaster with two other women. It was accepted!

So the very talented Hope Tillman who did the design in the Divi theme and I did a session on The Story of A Redesign on October 14. We had a good audience in the Charles Village Room of the UMBC Columbus Center in the Charles Village Room. It was a fun weekend hanging out with WordPress enthusiasts. The sessions were good as well as the food.

Now I am headed off to the NaCCRA meeting in New Orleans the weekend before the start of the LeadingAge Annual Meeting and Expo. LeadingAge is the trade association for aging services providers.  They provide the meeting room and lunch both days. They also comp an expo booth. It is the same weekend as the Voodoo Fest 2017.


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Volunteer vs. Retired

Dec 01

Volunteer vs. Retired

“You have committed to so many projects, you don’t have time to be retired.” Dan Boyle

I found this quote in a post I never published from 6 years ago. It holds true today. I am not content with the word retired. We need a better word for those of us not working for pay. We are working as volunteers  for  clubs, organization, social service agencies , and a host of other entities.

The dictionary says retired means ” having left one’s job and ceased to work.” Well, we may have left our paying jobs but we have not ceased to work. Volunteers are the backbone of our country in many organizations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics published a report, Volunteering in America, 2015, that indicated over 11,000,000 people over age 65 volunteered. Research indicates that older volunteers “contribute more hours than any other age group, are more likely to be content with their voluntary work and to stick with it.”

Ann and Dan photo

Volunteer Appreciation Party

Charlestown recognizes our value as volunteers with recognition pins and an annual Volunteer Appreciation Party. This year’s theme was Superheros. We both attended.  As our volunteer coordinator says, “the rewards are priceless.”

Dan takes residents in wheelchairs to the Wednesday Mass at the Care Center. He also makes as he describes, “high-quality mac & cheese” for the Daily Bread, the hot food program run by Catholic Charities. He was elected to the Our Lady of the Angels Parish Council last month.

My interests include the Apple Charlestown User Group and being the webmaster of the Charlestown resident-sponsored website, ccicharlestown.org. I am still on  the Residents’ Council as Past President.

So retired doesn’t work for me. Facebook, for example, does not provide a title for being a volunteer. You are either working or retired. I ended up using self-employed as blogger and webmaster. It doesn’t work for many of us. In fact, as the baby boomers reach their “retirement” they don’t want to sit on the sidelines either. Ageism rears its head even with volunteers. The older population is an untapped resource for civic engagement in the years ahead.

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Senior Hall of Fame

Nov 28

Ann Senior hall of Fame

Ann MacKay and Dan Boyle

It was a surprise and delight for me to be nominated and then selected for the Maryland Senior Hall of Fame. Fifty others  were inducted into the Hall of Fame on October 27, 2016. Bert Clegern, another Charlestown resident, was also inducted. A bus load of friends attended. The Baltimore Sun did a nice story on the Senior Hall of Fame as well as Erickson Living.

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Ageism in Real Life

Oct 13

Ageism in Real Life

After my blog post in July,  Stop Ageism Now, I received several comments from my fellow residents as well as the author, Ashton Applewhite.  My fellow residents do not like being called “sweetie,” “honey,” or “dearie”  either. It is pervasive in our society from the hairdresser to hospital personnel.

I am vouch for that after a  22-hour EMS and hospital experience in which I was called “dear” rather than my name during my entire encounter the EMS responder which included an ambulance ride and the hour wait for a stretcher in the ER.

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Stop Ageism Now

Jul 31

Stop Ageism logo

I am so tired of being called sweetie or honey just because I have gray hair. Yes, I know “hon” is a name of endearment here in Baltimore. If you know me, most people will not describe me as sweet. Do you notice their voice takes on a different tone? I notice. What we are dealing with here is ageism. It is the last “ ism” that people can get away with now.

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Happiness is…

Jun 27

learning imageI am a lifelong learner. It doesn’t mean I am taking college courses although I have in retirement. It means I like to pursue knowledge on a variety of topics and in a variety of ways.

Fortunately, I don’t have to leave home to attend classes. The Elderhostel’s Lifelong Learning Institute at Charlestown  or ELLIC as we call it offers programs with outside speakers as well as residents who are experts in their field.

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