A blog about "nothing"!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

On Hiatus...

Just wanted to take a second to let everyone know that I haven't stopped writing here.  I'm just taking a break.  The reasons are varied.  I'm out of ideas at the moment.  I have a lot going on.  And late last year the doll blog really took off for some unknown reason, but that's a good thing.  However, that means it takes up more of my time. 
I debated on just ending this blog, but I knew about the time I did that, I'd have some magnificent idea pop into my head and I'd be thinking "why did I do that?"  So, I decided the best thing to do would be to take some time off and get back to it at a later date.  And rather than leave everyone hanging, I thought it would just be nice to let anyone who reads it know that I'm not abandoning the blog, just taking a break.  There is nothing I hate more than blog abandonment.  It happens A LOT in blog land, and the readers are left hanging, wondering if there will ever be more, or did something tragic happen to the writer.  So rather than leave everyone scratching their heads, here it is.  I'm on a break and the blog is on hiatus.  In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger..."I'll be back!"

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Feeling of Accomplishment!

Several times over the years I've mentioned that we've been doing a lot of "purging" around our house, getting rid of excess items that we don't need or have use for anymore.  An interesting side to this project has been that the more I get rid of, the more I find to get rid of!  My recent clean out was my closet, and it was a no holds barred situation.  With the encouragement of several friends, I just decided that things had to go, and there was no waffling.  I did really well, and I am so pleased with the results.
One of the reasons I had for wanting to do this was due to the 4 storage bins that sit in our spare bedroom.  These hold my off season clothing.  It worked, but it had a lot of disadvantages.  First off, every time the season changed, I had to get everything out and let it hang for a while so that the wrinkles would come out.  Sometimes they did, sometimes they didn't.  Then there was the issue of forgetting about things I already had, and perhaps buying the same thing or something very similar by accident.  You know, "out of sight, out of mind" kind of thing.  These bins also took up a bit of space that I could be using for something else.  Plus they were plastic, and I remember Martha Stewart talking about how storing your clothing in plastic isn't really good for the fibers.  And last, but certainly not least, just the whole process of switching everything around was a hassle.  It had to change.
Today I am proud to say that I am now the proud owner of 4 empty bins!  After the big closet clean out, I realized that I had enough space to hang all of my clothing for all 4 seasons in one closet. I started slowly, making sure as I emptied each one that everything would fit.  I tossed a couple of things and I have a small bag to donate, but everything else fit!  YIPEE!!!
The empty storage bins aren't going to go to waste either, I need them to organize my doll stuff a bit.  My collection is all over the place, but with just a couple of these bins, I should be able to sort things out and make it look less cluttered.  There are even going to be a few things that are going to leave out of that stuff as well. 
I've cut way back on my thrift store shopping and I think that has helped.  When I do go, I'm much more particular about what comes home with me.  And if something hasn't worked out, I don't feel bad about it or hang on to it in hopes it will.  I just look at what I spent on it as a monetary donation to the cause, and I re-donate it somewhere.  Just because it didn't work for me doesn't mean that someone else won't love it. 
2017 is the year of reorganize for me.  We've lived here 6 1/2 years, and it's time to really assess what we have, what we are using and what we aren't using.  Plus try and organize things better than they have been.  So far so good, and it's only February!  Fingers crossed I can keep going for the rest of the year, and then I can relax in 2018.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Closet Cleanout

At the beginning of the year I posted my plan to accomplish 5 things each week.  So far I've done very well with it, and a couple of the things I'm even slightly ahead on.  The only item that has fallen behind is to sew one doll item each week, and that is primarily because it has been so grey and gloomy, I can't see well enough to do a good job of it.  I did manage to get 3 things finished though, so I figure the next day or two where it's nice I can have a good day of catch up on it.  No biggie.  I've managed to make a list of several things I want to make, and none of them are all that complicated, so once I get started, it will be an easy process.

Our bedroom has been cleaned from top to bottom including all of the dressers and my husband's closet.  It is a good feeling to have it done.  This week I plan on doing the same thing with our living room.  This past week though, I decided to tackle something a bit daunting--my own closet. 

I have managed to do a pretty good job when it comes to getting rid of clothing, I assess things fairly often as I do laundry.  But everything else needed gone through seriously and decisions needed to be made.  I hadn't planned on doing it just yet, but I was missing something and I had a feeling it was in that closet!  I was right, but in the process it became very obvious that I needed to spend some time in there and soon.  No time like the present.  Especially since it hadn't been thoroughly cleaned since we moved in just over 6 years ago!

Dirt wise it wasn't terrible.  It's a room that doesn't get a ton of traffic and sweeping all of that up was fairly easy.  My two biggest issues:  shoes and handbags/totes.  A few times over the past weeks I kept telling myself that I had way too many of both.  That was only partially true.

The biggest issue with my shoes is that my collection appeared to have outgrown the shelves and quite a few pair were laying on the floor of the closet.  This drives me bananas.  I took every single box and loose shoe out of the closet and then systematically went through all of them, sorted them into categories (sandals, sneakers, etc)  and then proceeded to put them away.  Three pair ended up in the donation box, the rest I kept.  And surprisingly, just that bit of organization made it possible for me to get every pair on the shelves!  I was really shocked at that part.  Truthfully though, I need to stay away from the shoes for a while and wear some of these out.  It's not ridiculous, I know people who have way more than I do, but I don't want it to get that way.

Bags are my real downfall.  I haven't bought all that many since I quit working, but a couple here and there have come home with me.  The problem is that my tastes have changed and I've finally found that I prefer certain styles much more than others.  I just have a hard time parting with the ones that don't work out!  I decided that I had to do it and with the encouragement of a friend, I was able to really trim my bag collection down to a nice, usable number, and ones that I really did like.  I only had one that I kept that I was on the fence about, and if I don't manage to use it by this time next year, it will be gone as well. 

So now what to do with all of this excess?  I have two small boxes and a bag of stuff to go to charity and another large box of stuff to list on Ebay.  All of that helps me check off more things on my "to do each week" lists.  Yay!  And let me just say that it sure is nice to look in my closet and see the results of my efforts.  I'll let you know how the rest of it goes as the year progresses.  

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder!

I recently decided to buy myself a new cell phone.  I'd been debating for a few months and finally decided to take the plunge.  There was really nothing wrong with the phone I had and it wasn't all that old, I just bought it in April.  But it was very limited in what it could do, and I wanted something with a few more bells and whistles.  Even the new one isn't the fanciest one on the planet, but it does what I need it to do and it is updated enough that as long as I don't drop it in a puddle or break it, I should have it for about 2 years.  I'm far from a heavy user, I use it to make calls, text and periodically get on the internet when I'm out on the road.  I don't need a million apps or the ability to play games.  I'm able to get by with a pretty bare bones phone compared to most people.
My husband also was in need of a new phone, and I convinced him to switch from Apple to Samsung.  My old phone was a Samsung, and even though it wasn't anything amazing, I was impressed with what it was able to do.  He too doesn't need anything fancy, he uses his primarily for work so customers can get in touch with him, so he went with a fairly simple model.  It works well for what he needs.  Because he has to have the ability to use his phone as a "hot spot", he has to go with a subscription type service.  I don't have to do that, so I've been using a "pay as you go" type service, I've been doing that for over 10 years.  I was very impressed with his phone, so you can imagine how excited I was to find the same phone as what he had available through the provider I used!  I ordered it and then anxiously awaited it's arrival.

Can I just say WOW?!?!  Even though it wasn't an expensive upgrade, I'm impressed with what I'm able to do that I couldn't do before.  I have to admit that it makes me wonder what some of the more advanced/more expensive ones do, but not enough to make me spend a ridiculous amount of money on a phone.  I've never been happier with a phone purchase, I just hope it holds up.
Before I purchased it, I did read a decent number of reviews, and the general consensus was it was a nice phone, and not a lot of people had problems with it.  Of the negative reviews, I threw about half of those out due to the fact that they were so poorly written, I assumed that the review probably didn't have much credibility to begin with.  And in all seriousness, I am regularly amazed at the level of stupidity that turns up in online reviews. 
My favorite complaint was about battery life.  This person said that the battery died during the day.  I shook my head, my husband is on his phone continually throughout the day, using it for a variety of different things and by the time he gets home, it still has a decent charge.  What in the world is this person doing that they are killing the battery so quickly?!?!  A lot of the other complaints surprised me because they seemed like minor issues or simply a case of the person not doing any research before making the purchase. 
This brings me to the main point of this post.  Online reviews and not only how they are written, but how much of what is said is legitimate and how much of it is just whining.  I've read a fairly large number of reviews that tell me nothing more than the fact the person who wrote them is an idiot that couldn't work their way out of a paper bag.  Some of them are downright laughable, and others come across as written by a spoiled rotten brat.  I've even come across a few that were unreadable, don't these people proofread them before they hit the send button?  Or are they really just that dumb?
Do online reviews frustrate you at times?  How do you sort through all of the crap to get a true assessment of the product or service?
We had to buy a new washing machine, our current one broke down and to fix it would have cost almost as much as a new one.  I read reviews and had a hard time deciding which ones to believe and which ones to ignore completely.  But my favorite part of it was reading a section devoted to questions about the washer and how it worked.  I love a good typo, and apparently the person who came across it and responded was a kindred spirit.  I laughed so hard at the response, I could barely tell my husband what it said.  Enjoy.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

5 Things

It's New Years Eve day, and I'm sure many people are thinking about what they want to change, put in place or hope for in the coming year.  2016 has been a tough one in so many ways, ranging from changes in global leadership to the loss of so many big celebrity icons.  I'd be remiss in saying that I will never get over the loss of Prince, such an icon and gone too soon.
The New Year always brings with it a lot of optimism.  A fresh start, new opportunities.  I'm not big on resolutions because I think sometimes those just set us up for failure.  So I think about things on a broad scale.  Last year was horrible for me as far as how I felt physically, I had health issue upon health issue and as a result, my house is not clean to my liking.  So my long range goal for the year is to go (again) from room to room, cleaning from top to bottom, getting rid of things we aren't using.  The last part is probably going to be the easiest as I've been working on purging our home of unnecessary items for the past 4 years.  But there is always something!
I also have a couple of things that I want to do, but keep putting off.  After thinking about it a bit, I decided to make these my weekly challenge.  One item per day for 5 days and hopefully by the end of 2017, I will feel like I have not only accomplished something, but some of these things will help me reach my "clean house" goal.
So, here they are.  I always feel by putting this out on a worldwide scale, I'm much more likely to stick to it.  They may seem kind of silly, but they are things that I have neglected, and that upsets me because each of them has a place in my life or will make it easier.
1)  Add 5 questions to my Coronation Street Quizup Set.  Last year I started my own quiz on the Quizup platform for the popular British soap Coronation Street, and I did really well with it to start.  Then I got sidetracked, and it's been sitting at 300 questions since October.  That's not acceptable to me, especially for a show that has been on for over 50 years!!  So by adding 5 questions per week, that will add 250 questions to it by the end of the year.  I don't think that's too much to ask.  I have 150 followers so far, and I think I owe it to them as well.
2) Sew a doll item.  I have a rather big stash of fabric and patterns I've accumulated over the past two years with good intentions of making them into different things for 18 inch dolls.  This is sort of a carryover from last year, but I'm going to make a much bigger effort to stick to it.  Some items will be an all day type project, and some as little as 30 minutes.  I just need to get to it!  Doing this will also help me with my clean out project!  And no, I don't intend on keeping all 52 items I make, some will be gifts.
3)Clean out a cupboard/drawer/closet.  Again, part of the floor to ceiling clean out.  And one of those things that EVERYONE needs to do periodically. 
4) List 2 Ebay items to sell.  I don't have a ton of stuff to list now as I've purged quite a bit, but there are still a few things here and there that need to go.  More of the clean out.  Plus we all love a bit of fun money, don't we?
5)Take a box/bag to donate to charity.  All this cleaning means there is going to be stuff to go!  Sure, I could have a yard sale, but that just means it sits around here until I do.  Be gone!
The nice thing about all of these is if I have a week where I am going to be busier on some days than other, it's not unreasonable or impossible to do several, if not all 5 items in one day if necessary.  But I'm going to do my best to try and do these things every week.  Oh, and taking that stuff to donate does not mean I'm going to set foot in the store.  I don't need to bring anything back!!!
I hope this post has given some of you some food for thought.  I'll let you know at some point how it's going.  Fingers crossed!  And Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Gloom, Despair and Agony On Me...

Okay, it's not quite that bad, but whenever things go haywire, I frequently think of that song that they used to do on the TV show "Hee Haw".  I can't tell you how many times over the years that my mom and I would sing it whenever something went wrong.  So what has prompted this?
The Thursday before Thanksgiving, our hot water tank sprung a leak.  We knew it was old, so it wasn't completely unexpected, just bad timing.  $775 later we were good to go again, and we won't have to worry about that.  Not long after that, my husband got some bad news about one of his clients, another hit to the wallet.  And then the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I went to reheat some leftovers.  As I was preparing things to cook, I turned the oven on to preheat.  A few minutes later, I could smell the strong odor of natural gas.  It finally happened, our ancient stove decided it was all over.  Timing is everything.  The new one is ordered, but it won't be here until December 29th, so in the meantime I'm debating on what to make for Christmas dinner that doesn't require baking!
Last night we gave Laney a chew bone.  She loves them, and hasn't had one for a while, so she was really going to town on it.  Then we noticed some blood on it, so we thought perhaps we had better check.  She's missing a front tooth!!!!!  We're not sure if it was caused by the bone and just the rough surface rubbing on the gum caused the bleeding or the tooth actually came out then.  You don't notice it unless you pull back her lip, it's not one of her big canine teeth.  But I couldn't help but have flashbacks of the movie "The Hangover", I've been calling her "Nerdy Hillbilly Dog" ever since.  (If you've seen the movie, you'll know what I'm talking about.)
As Roseanne Rosannadanna would say..."It's always something!" 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Perils of Social Media...

I've been using the internet for a very long time, since about 1998.  I've been a part of chat rooms, bulletin boards, blogs, websites--you name it.  One thing I resisted against though were social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.  I had friends on both sites and after hearing some of their stories about what went on, I decided it wasn't for me.

A couple of years ago I decided I would give Twitter a try.  Seriously, how much trouble could you get into with a limit of 140 characters.  I started out slowly, following a couple of celebs I admired as well as a couple of friends.  All was well and good.  I even made a couple of friends through it and that was good enough for me.  I wasn't on there to see how many followers I could get.  For me it was just some good clean fun, keep up to date with what was going on in the world and to periodically tweet about my frustration with various things.

Earlier this year I discovered a radio station out of another country via Twitter.  I've become friends with one of the DJ's there and I'm a regular listener for a particular show.  I also discovered that being on Twitter while the show was on was almost as entertaining as the show was itself!  It was fun to see the different comments people made and interacting with them.  It became my weekly ritual.

As time progressed, I made some friends through the show. We had a lot of fun and it got even more interesting when another group that had listened to another show crossed over and started to listen as well.  It was like one big happy family.  Some of these people had even met in person.  All was fun and games, at least on the surface.

Then things turned ugly.  There were some actions and behavior from two of these people that were not only ridiculous, but incredibly hurtful.  I unfortunately found myself caught in some of the crossfire from all of this.  To say my feelings weren't hurt would be an outright lie.  And when I found out the whole scope of what they had been saying and doing, and the huge number of people affected by their actions, I was furious.  They had broken the trust of so many people.  Fortunately, their embarrassment caused them to leave Twitter and our group.  But there are still quite a few of the group who are very hurt and shocked by what they did, and I'm sure it will be a while before they get over it. 

I bring this subject up, not because I want anyone to feel bad for me.  I'm fine and over time, it will be just another blip on my timeline.  I am mentioning it because I want to warn everyone about this type of person and why they seem to think that this is acceptable.  It's because sometimes they are people who suffer from sociopathic tendencies.  They are narcissistic and they have no regard for the feelings of others because they just aren't wired that way.

How do I know about this personality?  Because I've encountered it several times in my life, both online and in real life.  I never knew a whole lot about the psychology related to it until several years ago and a bad experience that left me very emotionally scarred.  A friend who also was involved in that experience later recommended a book to me that had been recommended to her by a therapist.  I truly think that this particular book was a game changer for me in how I regarded these types of encounters with these people, and helped me look back on several different experiences in a completely new light.

The book is called "The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha Stout.  I liked it because it was easy to read, giving just the right amount of scientific information, mixed with several different case studies.  One of these case studies hit home for me too, just confirming that my experience was just as my friend evaluated.  In fact it was almost scary.  But it also gave me the ability to separate my emotions from what had happened and move on.  Plus I learned a lot of valuable information that has helped me deal with situations like I had on Twitter.  I know that it's not me, it's them, and there isn't a darned thing I can do to change it.  They are just wired that way. Move on.

If you'd like to check out this book, it is sold on Amazon.  I don't know how many different countries it's available in, but I highly recommend it for anyone who has either had a bad experience or simply wants to understand a bit more about how certain people operate and why.