America Is Still The Beautiful

A cross-(half) country trip convinced me.

Photo by John Silliman on Unsplash

A recent whirl-wind road trip. Nine states over the course of three weeks.

I have a favor to ask. But a quick story first:

I spent the first 30 years of my life in Kansas. Then I spent the following 15 years in Washington, near Seattle. Now, my family and I are in Texas. 

I never really appreciated how beautiful all the states are. And how beautiful the people are. I’ve made the road-trek between Washington and Kansas several times, and noticed that not much has changed between now and a few years ago, before we were instructed to hate and fear each other. 

Sure, there were a few out of place items here and there; anachronistic signage warning folks to keep their distance from each other. A few face-less faces. Strange symbols of a time past, kind of like the rotary phone sitting innocently on the bedside table at one of our Airbnb’s. 

But folks are cool. And each state has it’s own unique personality.

Colorado folks: How do you drive every day in the Denver metro area without losing your mind? Just curious.

I could almost be convinced to move to Wyoming. Fun fact: My current residence (Dallas-Fort Worth metro area), has about 12 or 13 times the population of the entire state of Wyoming. That kind of blew my mind. But I digress. Wyoming: Friendly folks, views for eternity, and fast speed-limits. Darn near perfect, except for the constant reminders from the snow fences foretelling the extreme winters. Not a huge fan of the white stuff.

Utah is beautiful. We weren’t in much of it this trip, but I’m always awed by the landscape.

Photo by Gerson Repreza on Unsplash

The Oregon coast will always be my favorite place in the world. The ocean has always had a pull on me, despite having lived most of my life smack center in the United States. Folks are decent too for the most part. The area where we vacation consists mostly of tourists, I think, and the locals are kinda kooky, but man, they’re really all right. And the salty air makes my hair curly.

Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash

Travelling back to our former small town an hour from Seattle was like coming back home. Most of my adult life was lived there. It’s where my oldest child is laid to rest. And the best coffee shop in the world, where I and the kiddos would have breakfast every Friday, beckons you from inside an old building on a corner of the cutest Main Street you ever laid eyes on. (Why we left is a story for another time, but suffice to stay, life sometimes leads you in unexpected directions, right?)

Now for my ask. It may be time to move on (or not) from Texas. If you’re so inclined, tell me about your state, why you love it or hate it. 

Here’s the thing: I like Texas. The friendly people. (It’s almost kind of a shock after the Seattle Freeze.) Acceptable homeschooling laws (my youngest has one year left.) No state income tax. Sunshine. Oh my, how I love the sun now. I adored the rainy weather in Seattle (still do), but now I actually want to go outside and do stuff, instead of curling up on the couch with hot coffee and a good book.

Of course, there are drawbacks. The lack of forests and mountains are kind of a bummer. And the allergies. Oh my. I swear the Texas climate hates me and and my sinuses. 

Because we’re currently renting and the youngest kiddo is done with school next year, packing up and heading out would be easy. The hard part is deciding where to plant our next roots. Wherever we land, it will surely be America The Beautiful.

Why You Need To Build Your Own Website

If you examine the World Wide Web, you’ll discover plenty of articles detailing the reasons why having your own website is a good idea. Curating creativity. Building business. Bringing bloggers together. Conserving credibility.

But why? Can’t you build your business or connect with others through Facebook? Sure, but really the most important reason for owning a website is because of the state of the internet itself.

The internet has turned into a large heaping garbage pile. Have you noticed? But you can do your part to make it a little bit more hospitable. And building your own website is much easier and affordable than you think.

But before we get to that, let’s look at the inimical path the internet has gone down.

What Is The Difference Between and

I once read that WordPress runs at least a third of the internet. That’s a lot of blogs and websites. I use the WordPress software to run 3 sites, including this one.

If you’ve done any research on it, you may have noticed that there are .com AND .org “versions” of WordPress. This can be confusing, especially for the less technically-inclined. Here, I’m going to briefly explain the basic differences.

How To Select The Ultimate WordPress Theme

When you begin building your website site, one of the first actions you’ll take is to choose a WordPress Theme. The Theme provides the basic layout, appearance, and functionality of your site. This may include fonts, color schemes, menu placements, header/footer appearances, and many other options.

When you add your content to your site, your Theme will make your site cohesive. No need to worry about making sure your colors and fonts are the same throughout.

WordPress Theme

Getting Started With SiteGround Email and Security

So you’ve set up your SiteGround account, and you’re ready to take off and add All. The. Content. to your blog or ecommerce site.

Not so fast compatriot.

After you’ve finished registering your SiteGround account, take a few minutes to set up a couple of things before the website-building fun begins. Namely, an email account and some simple security.

How To Get Started With SiteGround Web Hosting

So you want to build a website? In my opinion, everyone should have their own blog, or ecommerce site, or place to share all the videos of The Wittiest Feline.™ (No judgement here.)

Before building your site, you need a place for it to live. That’s where web hosting businesses come in. They provide the space for your site to call home.

Initial Steps In Launching Your First WordPress Website

Starting and maintaining a blog, an ecommerce site, or an online business is a marathon, not a sprint. After the initial steps, you’ll likely continue to edit and modify your site. Forever. At least it feels like it.

The good news, however, is that it’s a breeze to start your site. It can literally be done in under 15 minutes (not including the time it takes to search and choose a domain name.) You only need two things to start a website: a domain name and hosting.

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