Do you believe in ghosts?

Do you believe in ghosts? A ghost was in my house all week, but I only realized last night that it had taken control of my computer while I was writing the post  “Unveiling by Linda Pastan
https://rosannefreed.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/a-pebble-for-her-tombstone/

When I originally wrote the post earlier this week I included Ms Pastan’s poem, some background stuff of what “unveiling” means, explained why people place pebbles on a tombstone,  added the little detail that it was my Mother’s unveiling on Friday, plus I included a photo of my Mom visiting my Dad’s grave, but just before publishing it, I – luckily – pressed the preview button and was shown an empty page. Very weird.  I immediately clicked on the back arrow. All the words I’d written for the past several hours were gone, but the poem was still there.

I re-wrote some of the post the next night, and before going to bed I wisely pressed the “Save Draft” button, but this time I got the message “WordPress is unable to do that“, and when I pressed the back arrow all my lovely words disappeared. I was clever though.  I’d had the foresight to do a “select all” and “copy” so all I had to do was “paste“, and voila, I was back in business.

I wisely went to bed at that point.

The next night while I was working on the final editing of the post, I constantly checked that it was automatically being saved – it was – so I didn’t make a “copy” before pressing preview.  Silly-silly me. Once again I was given an empty page with the “tags” and categories I’d listed, but this time even though I tried everything I could think of, I was unable to even retrieve the poem.

Okay I’ll own up that I shouted some nasty words at WordPress…

“After all this time you should know how to use WordPress,” said dear Mr F from the comfortable living room sofa.

Of course that made me really mad.

“I do so know how to use WordPress. I’ve written hundreds of posts, but I’ve never seen this before!  It’s given me an empty page, when I’ve been working for hours. Where are all my carefully selected words?”  I said.

He repeated, “You should know what to do…”

“It’s not rocket science. You write a post and then you press publish, and that’s all you need to do.” I said.

 

The Jewish tradition of leaving a pebble or stone on top of a tombstone signifies that someone has honored the deceased person’s memory with a visit to the grave.

It took me a while to find the poem again, re-write the biographical blurb, but at 11:30 pm when I tried to add something to explain the meaning of an “unveiling”, my little laptop computer began to vibrate.

It was so strange and unexpected that at first I thought there’d been an earthquake.

I was tired, it was 11:30 pm,  after a busy week at the Museum (American kids are all on spring break, and its Easter vacations for Europeans Ozzies and Kiwis) plus I’d worked all day at the busiest register in the main store, so maybe I was imagining “things“….

I wasn’t.

I sat still and looked at my computer and realized it had been growling at me.   It took me three days to finally got the message that I was to post the poem without including any of my thoughts about “unveilings” or that it was my Mother’s unveiling.   I added Linda Pastan’s YouTube reading to her poem, clicked publish and voila, I was permitted to post it.

I’m not sure whether I’ll be permitted to post this. I wonder if the ghost doesn’t like the photo of my Mom at my Dad’s grave?   My mother does looks old, and fat…. Sorry Mom,  I’ll take it off.

I’ve watched the “draft saved” function working every few minutes while I was writing this, but I don’t know if I’ll be permitted to post it. If I get a blank page, I’m not going to re-write it, I’m going to bed.

Here goes…

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About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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32 Responses to Do you believe in ghosts?

  1. magsx2 says:

    Hi,
    You will be happy to know you are not alone, there have been a number of people complaining about the same thing for awhile now, the problem seems to be going through different blogs randomly. There are a lot of people in the WP forums complaining I just chose one:
    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/lost-text-1?replies=2#post-853863

    What I have been doing especially with posts that take a bit of research, I do the post in either word or just in a notepad, if doing it in word, copy and paste into a notepad to remove any bad coding, then copy and paste into your post, if it disappears at least you still have a copy of it.

    • dearrosie says:

      Good morning Mags,
      I actually got the idea of writing this from your post on the supermarket ghost. After I’d written my comment I realized I should make it into a post.

      Thank you very much for the link to the WP forum. I’ll follow that advice to
      (1) “Check the Revisions module for a previously saved version”.
      and (2) write a couple of lines, turn the visibility to private

      But how do you explain the odd vibrating of my 3 month old computer?

  2. wightrabbit says:

    It could simply be a WordPress malfunction but I prefer to think that you are right – you weren’t meant to publish the post in that format. When I lost 17,000 words of a novel, I reasoned that it disappeared for a reason. Now I know that’s because I was trying to write it way too soon. 🙂

    • dearrosie says:

      You lost 17,000 words of a novel? Ouch that must’ve be worse than painful… How do you know when you should start writing the novel again?

      My computer has never growled at me before. That’s when I realized I was being told to “shuttup”.

  3. You know sometimes ghosts save me from posting some comments. When that happens I reread the comment and cut and paste to post later, or give it a second thought and decide not to send.
    Re: wp…I’m having a different sort of problem. Mozilla makes my blog look pretty ghostly, washed out, no background color, lines are wonky, but Windows Internet Explorer makes it look just fine. I do want my Mozilla version back. It happened Wednesday, was back to normal Thursday, and now it’s looking washed out again. I may call the Geek squad as we have a contract with them; my husband says it’s a Mozilla problem but I don’t see how if it’s been going on this long.

    • dearrosie says:

      HI Georgette,
      So I’m not the only one with ghosts in the computer. 🙂 I’m impressed that you take your comments out and save it for later. Most of us don’t “hear” the advice. It took me three re-writes and my computer growling at me before I clued in that I wasn’t to write anything. I still don’t know why.
      I was just going to explain what an “unveiling” is. Do you know what it is?

      I wonder why your blog looks so awful on Mozilla but not on Windows? I’d be interested to hear what the geek squad says.

  4. Arghhh!!!!!!! I feel your frustration, Rosie! Sometimes those computer sprites take a mischievous delight in making our lives miserable. Sometimes it helps to make a little sacrifice of acknowledgement to them, a little nod in their direction to make them feel noticed. Other times nothing works and you have to wait until they tire of their maddening pranks. Sending you a big cyber *hug*

    I’m curious – what is an “unveiling”?

    • dearrosie says:

      Barbara I re-wrote the post three times before I clued in that I wasn’t to write anymore. Actually it was only when my computer growled at me that I realized I wasn’t paying attention and was being told not to write anything.

      I’m glad you asked what an unveiling is. I thought no one would know and that’s why I spent the longest time researching and writing the description. Basically:

      “The custom of placing a monument over the grave of a departed person is a very ancient Jewish tradition. The Book of Genesis, for example, records that Jacob erected a tombstone over the grave of his wife Rachel.

      The tombstone is erected to indicate clearly where a person is buried, so that family and friends may visit the gravesite.

      Today, we refer to the ceremony of formally consecrating a tombstone as an “unveiling”. It takes place during the first year after death, is a mourning ritual which serves a very specific function in the healing process of the bereaved.”

      http://www.benjamins.ca/Static/landmark/unveiling.htm

  5. Eve Redwater says:

    Oh no! Now I’m scared that this will happen to me! I’m glad I read this, I had no idea. 😦

  6. shoreacres says:

    The unveiling is very much like erecting a cairn over a burial spot. As a hiker, you’re probably familiar with the cairns people use to mark trails. They’re also used in some cultures to mark graves. And, as time goes on, more and more stones are added. It’s just like leaving pebbles on top of a gravestone, except the beginning stone isn’t so fancy.

    I have a friend in Kansas who uses cairns to mark the graves of animals. It’s very nice. And I have a draft in my files about cairns – one of these days, it will get written.

    I have been very, very, VERY nervous recently about all the drafts I do have in my wordpress files. I need to get those babies copied onto my harddrive and backed up. I just don’t trust the cloud any more. There have been too many problems. The same goes for my published blogs. I need – NOW!!! – to turn all of them into word documents and save them.

    I haven’t a clue whether you have a ghost, but I think we have a messenger telling us to do what we’re supposed to, and back up everything we do.

    • dearrosie says:

      oh god Linda I haven’t saved a single one of my posts, and I too have a lot of drafts sitting here. I didn’t think of saving anything. I just assumed WordPress would keep them safe for me. Silly-silly me…

      Is saving each post as a word document the best thing we can do?

      I love the idea of erecting a cairn over an animal’s grave. Funnily enough we saw quite a lot of cairns on today’s hike.

      Can you tell me when one erects the tombstone over a Christian grave? Is it placed there for the funeral? The unveiling is basically just the time one puts up the tombstone. Every person who visits the grave after that leaves a stone or pebble which says someone has visited the grave.

  7. souldipper says:

    The frustration! I know that Word Press has had some problems with all the make-over stage… They threw the switch and we’re the research team suddenly!

    I wrote a problem about a number of problems with the supposed quick write feature and received an answer two weeks later. Ahem!!! Obviously I went back to the old way of doing things.

    I love the idea of putting stones on the grave marker! I’m sure the lawn mowers love them, but I’d only use small stones!

    At the moment you are likely hiking. I’ll be taking off for mine shortly. If the weather holds it’ll be a 5 mile trek.

    XO

    • dearrosie says:

      Oh boy Amy I sure don’t feel excited to know we’re WordPress’s research team. It took about two weeks for me to get a reply last time I wrote a post which disappeared – I think it was the visit to the Long Beach aquarium on our wedding anniversary last December.

      I’m not placing my parents tombstone here – it’s too personal – but I just looked at the picture and the pebbles are placed on top of the vertical gravestone so I don’t think the lawn mowers meet up with them.

      You’re correct that we were out hiking today – about 7 miles hike – in a light rain. It was really beautiful. How was your hike?

      • souldipper says:

        Four and a half miles in light rain as well. It was wonderful coming into my home with the fire crackling, the house toasty and a good hot cup of tea.

        We had such a grand visit! We never grow tired of the naturalness of our surroundings.

        We live in such a great part of the world, Rosie – on the West Coast.

      • dearrosie says:

        I’m glad you were also able to get out Amy. I love your description of the crackling fire and the hot cuppa tea. We don’t have a fireplace and even though we don’t often need one, it would be nice…

        I agree that we live in a beautiful part of the world.

  8. Oh, honey — I feel your pain! This has happened to me several times in the past few months and it’s insanely frustrating. I always write my posts in word before I start putting the whole thing together with photos, but when you finally finish editing and then push Publish and it disappears, you feel like crying!! So … maybe ghosts are all around us! I am so glad you got to post this without having to stay up a minute longer than necessary — I hate thinking that you’re so tired & still posting!!!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Betty,
      I’ve always written my posts at my site. I guess I’d better start writing them in a word document so I can know I’ve saved the post somewhere else.

      When you write in word what do you do with the odd coding that gets pasted along with your writing?

      If only crying would bring back the post…

      More times than I care to remember I’ve been exhausted when I tried to write a quick post. “I’ll just do this one thing and be in my bath by 9pm” I tell Mr F, but before I realize it, it’s after 11:30pm and I’m still not finished or in my bath… I cry then too.

  9. Sybil says:

    You made it !

    Clearly it was a post that needed to be posted. Glad you stuck with it.

    Never had a computer growl at me … I think if it did, I’d just back away slowly …

    Love the stones on the headstones … lovely idea.

    • dearrosie says:

      Oh boy Sybil, I can tell you that when I pressed publish on this post I expected a blank page, or a “WordPress can’t do that” and was truly surprised when it actually published the whole post.

      I hope the computer won’t need to growl at me again…

  10. My goodness! I think you may indeed have a ghost! I have had some trouble with my post going “blank” when I add and then save a photo. But I’ve never completely lost it…usually the back button will work! I have indeed have some very late nights at the computer, though, and all because I was having difficulty with formatting. It’s helpful that you’ve shared. We all need to have a safeguard in place, I think. I’m impressed that you stayed with it…after Mr. F’s comments I think I would have gone to bed 🙂 Debra

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Debra,
      I haven’t had much luck with the back button so it’s good to know that it sometimes may give us back our lost work. I think I stayed with it because Mr F made me so mad so I was growling to myself “what do men know!”

  11. Josee says:

    Why this time, this subject matter?
    This isn’t a problem with WordPress.
    Your mother (aka the “Ghost”) doesn’t believe in the finality of unveilings.
    She doesn’t need a block of granite to acknowledge her when her spirit is so present!

    • dearrosie says:

      I agree with you Josee. I also think mother was trying to tell me something. I only really got the message when the computer started “growling” at me. Up til then I just kept re-writing, thinking it was a software problem.

      I hope my mother likes the wording on her tombstone 🙂

  12. aFrankAngle says:

    I couldn’t resist this.

  13. bronxboy55 says:

    Have you tried using a different browser? I had to do that after many dozens of posts. Things suddenly weren’t working the way they used to. I’m pretty sure the ghost is in the software.

  14. Priya says:

    No! I don’t agree with Charles! It must be a ghost, Rosie. I am glad you listened to what it was telling you to do. Why? I don’t know. But you will.

    I hope your Mother’s unveiling was lovesome for the family. Like a short visit to her with the knowledge that she is all right, and so are you.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Priya,
      I had no choice but had to listen to the ghost because it wouldn’t let me post the story I was trying to write, and it’s happened several times since then. I tried to post something on TOMS “One Day without Shoes” (April 10) but once again I wasn’t permitted. I tried many times.

      There were tears at the graveside because it’s hard to see your loved one’s name on the tombstone, but at the lunch after the unveiling everyone shared many happy memories so laughter mixed with the tears.

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