October 21 2017

Discover (Five Minute Friday)

The word this week is discover. We don’t know what we can do until we try something new. Then we discover hidden talents within ourselves we might never have known existed. I didn’t really know I could be a writer until I attempted and won my first NaNoWriMo in 2013.

I didn’t know I could crochet until I took a class about 25 years ago, and then forgot how to finish the rug project I began in that class. It wasn’t until I got up the nerve to ask my aunt Mary to help me relearn one Thanksgiving that I discovered I could finish the rug. I promptly gave up crocheting again until one day I discovered something called Tarn (T-shirt yarn) and that it could be made of old t-shirts and crocheted into rugs. I knew I could make a rug because I had before so I discovered I had the confidence to find out more and let YouTube help me figure it out. After that second rug, I knew I was in over my head and needed live and in-person help.

So I searched the library website and discovered a group that would help me and met practically right around the corner from my house. I went to the first meeting even though I was scared and nervous. The ladies there were very welcoming and helped me figure out where I had gone wrong and how much I had to take out and redo (most of it). A couple of meetings later they announced they were going to make hats for charity. Not wanting to be left out I agreed to try and they agreed to help me by teaching me to read patterns. The rest as they say, is history because I discovered a new pattern or two online and began making hats. I’ve made a few scarves and even a triangle shawl, but I discovered I really like making the hats the best and from now on that is most likely all I will make.

What have you discovered you can do by trying something new?

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Discover
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

October 14 2017

13 Lessons Learned on Friday the 13th at the Airport

1) Do NOT under any circumstances, show up less than 30 minutes before boarding time begins at the designated gate.
2) ‎Try to avoid making stops to your spouse’s work to pick up the jacket and headphones he forgot to bring home. This delay will cost you more than a new jacket and headphones in airport food prices alone, not to mention the time you can never have back. Plan ahead, make a list or do without.
3) ‎Bring some snacks in your carry on luggage. Preferably healthy ones.
4) ‎Wear comfortable and sensible clothes and shoes.
5) ‎Pack all chargers for cell phones, laptops, tablets etc. In your carry on luggage. Preferably in small zippered bags so they don’t get tangled and you can find them easily.
6) ‎Also, make sure you have all medications with you and not in your checked luggage. Luggage gets lost or sometimes it gets to the final destination 12 hours before you do.
7) ‎If you are traveling with children, especially those under five or six, bring an adult to be assigned to reach infant or toddler because babies require a lot of care, and once they have learned to walk, they tend to run off unexpectedly. Trust me this is a parent’s worst nightmare, so admit you need help and bring it with you.
8) ‎Know where the restrooms are, and wash your hands each time you visit them because anything less is just gross! Hand sanitizer is great AFTER you wash your hands, not instead of!
9) ‎Wear long pants because it may be chilly and you just don’t know what has been touching the seats in the waiting areas or plane. Better to ruin a pair of pants than developing a rash on your lower body.
10) ‎Wear or bring a jacket, preferably with zipping pockets because it may be cold or you may want to wad it up for a pillow and you wouldn’t want anything falling out of your pockets as you rush around the airport.
11) ‎Be patient, polite and thoughtful of your fellow passengers. Nobody enjoys a sourpuss who complains about everything.
12) ‎Get plenty of sleep and do whatever is needed to keep your children from getting fussy. No one wants to hear kids whining, crying or screaming. You, as a parent, don’t need the added stress either. Upset or badly behaved children just add tension to an already stressful situation.
13) ‎When you go through security or leave any seat or area, check carefully to be sure you didn’t leave ANYTHING behind. I can’t tell you how many announcements we heard about keys, Apple watches, or other belongings that were left behind.
We even heard one where a person was asked to call the rental car company because they needed their car key back!That’s it. Thirteen tips to help you as you travel in honor of the Friday the 13th I spent in the local airport waiting over 13 hours for a fight out to start our vacation. It all turned out well enough and it gave me the info to write this post to help others.

Best seatmates: 8-year-old Jake and his mother, Tammy. It was truly a pleasure sharing a flight with both of them.

Best line given by a flight attendant: Bottoms up or give it up!
October 5 2017

My New Helper is a Keeper

The image and title above may have already clued you in to what I am going to tell you about today. A few weeks ago, I was listening to one of Ann Kroeker’s Podcasts. She mentioned something I hadn’t yet heard of, Google Keep. Since I had no idea what it was, I asked Google, “Ok Google, What is Google Keep?” I got the following answer from Google:

Google Keep is a note-taking service developed by Google. Launched on March 20, 2013, Google Keep is available on the web, and has mobile apps for the Android and iOS mobile operating systems.”

Thank you, Google. I went to YouTube and typed in Google Keep and watched a couple of tutorials and was immediately blown away by how powerful a tool this could be. I had to have it! Now! How had I not known about this? Thank you, Ann Kroeker, writing coach for sharing this tidbit! My life is forever changed because I listened to your podcast!

You can listen to it here in about ten minutes start to finish. If you’d rather read than listen, you can find the blog post here: Ep 112: My Best Writing Tools to Get More Done (at Home and on the Go)

I was very excited about all the possibilities, so I went to the Google Play Store and downloaded the Android version right away. I played with it some on my phone and couldn’t wait to get home and see the desktop version of it. It is very easy to use. The only problem I had was accidentally archiving a post when I didn’t mean to, but even that is easily undone.

In the few weeks since I began using the app on my Android phone and the online version on both my desktop and my Surface Pro 2, I have found it to be the one app I would not give up on my phone. Yes, it is that awesome! Did I mention it is FREE?

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September 15 2017

Day of Birth

Have you ever thought about what day of the week you were born on? Most of us don’t even know what day of the week that monumental occasion occurred on. I came across something lately that led me to find the following info. It turns out, in case you are wondering, I was born on Thursday. Here is what the site had to say about me:

Day Of Birth
Your Day of Birth is Thursday
  • You are wise, optimistic and highly understanding; you are respected a lot and attract plenty of attention wherever you go. You have leadership qualities and are likely to end up in high positions wherever you work and in society as well.
  • You work hard and carve your own path towards success. You like to lead an independent life.
  • You are very stubborn and will have difficulty in having many true friends in life because of your inability to accept healthy criticism. Also, you are very straightforward and do not think much before speaking which may offend people.
  • You are easily bored and always require something or the other to keep you occupied. You also love to travel a lot and cannot sit at one place for long.
  • You are well behaved and treat people with respect, however, if someone annoys you or mistreats you, you hold grudges and also think of taking revenge.
  • Though you are intelligent and conscientious, you have a somewhat unusual character and an irritable temperament that makes you difficult for others to cope with.

Source: http://www.dayofbirth.net/

As I read through this, I was stunned just how accurate it was. Obviously, not every little detail applies to me, but for the most part, this was fairly accurate. Maybe, like me, you don’t really know what day you were born on. So, just for fun, go to the website above where you can enter your birthdate and see how accurately they describe you.

This reminds me of the poem we all learned as children. There were several versions, but this one is the most familiar from my childhood. The poem dates back to the 1700s if not earlier.

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

Now not to take any of this too seriously, but having checked what the poem and website have to say about several people we know pretty well, these seem to be about seventy-five percent accurate, give or take.

So, take a minute and have some fun with the day of the week you were born. Let us know in the comments how accurate these predictions were for you.

Let us know in the comments how accurate these predictions were for you.

August 3 2017

Back To School $ Savers

When the month of July comes to an end, it can only mean one thing. It is time to take advantage of all those great back to school sales. Now, some of you may be saying to yourself that you don’t have school age children. That’s fine. There are some really great deals to be had if you watch the ads. We used to buy the limit when we found ten cent spiral notebooks or fifty cent filler paper and composition notebooks.

Glue is another one of those things they like to put on ridiculously low sales. I thought we would never use those four bottles of Elmer’s Glue All that I had gotten super cheap, but then a project would come up where paper mache was called for and then it was the glue to the rescue. You’ll be happy to shop from your personal stash of supplies that you got for pennies on the dollar instead of full price at the grocery or drug store in the middle of the night when your child comes to you in a panic because the project is due tomorrow and they forgot all about it until they were almost asleep.

So my friend, even if you really don’t see yourself using these supplies, consider getting the super cheap ones and donate them to the local elementary school. There will always be students who don’t have the proper supplies and these often end up being purchased by the underpaid teacher. Often times an organization will put together themed baskets for a fundraiser silent auction. There is almost always a basket of school supplies. You can also make a coloring basket with twenty-five cent sale boxes of crayons and dollar store coloring books. The same idea can work with colored pencils and adult coloring books. Perhaps some erasable ink pens and crossword puzzle books would make another nice basket. A nursing home might have some residents who would love to have coloring books and crayons in the activities room for the residents to use. A homeless shelter would most likely be happy to take those unused school supplies off your hands. You may have to think outside the crayon box, but I’m quite sure you will be able to either put the supplies to use in your home or office and if not, then there are countless numbers of places that would be happy to have your few dollars worth of supplies.

Once school is in full swing, maybe September or October, keep your eyes open for clearance sales. We have gotten some wire shelves meant for inside school lockers, notebooks, binders, label makers and all sorts of great stuff that rarely goes on those super low sales at unheard of prices. Many of the things you might use to decorate a dorm room or send your college student off with will be on sale then too. Think about things like twin sized sheet sets, blankets, organizing bins, cork and dry erase boards and that sort of thing. Not typical school supplies, but very useful in many places that are not college dorm rooms or student apartments.

So, have I gotten you motivated to at least look at the sales flyers with a more careful eye to savings even if you don’t have students at your house?

Feel free to tell us about the best deals you have found on “school supplies” in the comments below.