This is what I have been up to lately. =)

Hello, one and all! I thought it was about time I wrote another post to let you all know what I have been up to since my last post which was oh so long ago.

First, though, I would like to thank all my followers for hanging in there with me and all the new followers that have decided to read what I write here. I appreciate you all more than you know.

Okay, where to start with my news. I have no particular order in mind so I will write as things occur to me since this is not meant to be a timeline but more of a list of things I am or have been doing.

I am still doing soundboard duties at my church but now I have been learning how to run the presentation software that puts images and words up on the screen at the front of the church via the laptop and projector.

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So, this means that pretty much every weekend I switch between either of these jobs. Last weekend I was on sound and it looks like this weekend I will be too unless something happens and they need me on the laptop.

I had a woman from the congregation come up to the Soundbooth last Sunday and express her pleasure in the music and quality of sound she was hearing.

Some exciting news on the soundboard front! Our church will be getting a brand new mixer (soundboard) with 24 (edited)32 channels. Our current board has 14 so this one will be much bigger and newer.

I am excited because it means I get to learn how to control this new one and we won’t have to push the system as hard since there will be more than enough space and power which will make my job easier in the end.

Along with the new board, we are getting professional powered speakers and a new flatscreen monitor for the booth. When all this new equipment arrives I am going to feel like a kid at Christmas. LOL 😀

Our New 32 channel Board enhanced pic

This is the mixer we are getting it is a Yamaha MGP32X 32 channel board.

Now, on to other news, I finally got our taxes completed and filed with the government. It is April and tax time in Canada. We have until April 31st technically but since it falls on a Sunday this year the government will still consider taxes filed on time if they receive it by May 1st.

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I don’t like to leave it that late but it is a pain getting all the paperwork and receipts etc. together and filling out the forms and I dread it every year. I am so happy it is over for another year.  🙂

I have also taken on the job of getting all the music sheets together and organized for our church. Oh, what did I get myself into there!?

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I had to put them in order and fill binder after binder worth so that the songs would be easy to locate for each musician or singer that went looking for a particular song.

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That has been a huge undertaking that I have invested hours upon hours doing and I am thankful to report that the job is just about completed. I have to retype the indexes for each binder and take the whole huge box of binders back to the church.

Not to worry, I am taking time out from all these jobs to not only work on my YouTube channel and relax a bit too.

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My channel now sits at 830 subscribers at last count and I am gaining roughly three to four more each day. It seems ever since I hit that magic number, of 500 subscribers, my channel growth has been snowballing.

If you would like to come over and check it out for yourself I will put a link here (it will open in a new window to leave your reading of this post uninterrupted.)

Susan Millard’s YouTube Channel

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Of course, I am relaxing sometimes as well as I mentioned. I have been doing a lot of reading and doing some adult coloring. This is keeping me relatively stress-free for the most part while I tackle all these large jobs with paperwork.

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I have also been continuing to practice playing my mandolin. I am happy to say that my left-hand fingers are all nicely calloused which makes it easier to play for longer.

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I am currently working on different strumming and picking patterns to use with the mandolin. These instruments are not usually played like a guitar as they are meant for a different type of music; namely bluegrass and fiddle tunes and the like.

I have learned a total of 10 or 11 chords so far and am getting pretty proficient at switching between them. This has proven to be a difficult task, to teach me how to play using books and the internet.

A metronome has been a recent purchase to aid in my strumming and picking so that I can keep time properly, so that is helping I think. It was on sale for $10 at our favorite music store marked down from $28.95! That kind of deal I could not pass up.

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As for the book, I am writing for my grandson, Ethan, I am still plodding along working at getting that done as time permits. I have the basic storyline down and have some names picked out for the dragon although I have not decided on THE name yet, not for certain.

Getting the wording just right is proving to be tougher to do than I thought. The words need to be simple and I need to capture the story in maybe 15 pages maximum. A majority of those pages are going to be big beautiful pictures with great detail.

I do have the materials collected to put this book together but figuring out just what it is going to say and look like is frustratingly difficult. But, I will persist and work that out and get it done. It is for Ethan after all! 😉

Oh, my husband and I have just started seeing a new dentist right here in town so we no longer have to travel half an hour each way to and from North Bay for appointments.

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Yay! Our new dentist is kind and easy to talk to about our teeth and takes our point of view into account when it comes to planning treatment.

We have also had several good references from the people we know here in town who go to him. We both had a cleaning done today as well as a new patient exam by Dr. Wong.

Well, I think that does it, for now, you are pretty much up to speed with what I have been doing with my time while away from my blog. Again, thank you for being there and for stopping by to read my posts. I do appreciate all of you, so much.

Have a wonderful day/night wherever you are – until next time. 🙂

Reasons To Say No Thank You To Negativity

Today’s post is inspired by another prompt from 365 Days Of Writing Prompts

Third from the top – Head to your favorite blog. Scroll down to the third post in the list.Take the third sentence in the post, and work it into a new post of your own.

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I have chosen one of my favorite bloggers BeautyBeyondBones for this assignment. The third post in her list, at the time of this writing, is titled

 7 Things I Learned This Election Season   <—and you can find it here. Please go check her blog out I enjoy her posts which are written with heart and spirit.

When I work the third sentence into this post I will put it in bold type so you’ll know.

Have you noticed a lot more people are negative now more than in the past? Sure, there are people that are upbeat and cheery but I find I am running into more grumpy naysayers in my day to day life.

It starts way back in childhood when our parents veto what we want to do. It is their job to impose limits and boundaries for us. Children need to know where these limits are in order to feel secure.

I mention it only because this is the first place we meet up with a firm “No” and are crestfallen to discover that we are not free to do whatever we want.

After this first harsh lesson at home with our parents, we are subjected to negativity from classmates in the schoolyard.

No, you can’t play hopscotch with us, no we don’t want you on the team; heartbreaking messages when you are young.

Rejection is hard to take at any age but seems to cut deeper when we are young and haven’t been toughened up by life yet.

There are a lot of negative emotions as you can see in the graphic below.

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I personally do not see the need for nor the validity of such emotions…I mean really; what purpose does negativity serve?

We feel bad and if we are already spiraling downward into depression this certainly doesn’t help.

In fact, negativity at that stage could push us into doing something rather permanent due to a temporary feeling.

After dealing with negative people and negative feelings for a lot of years (almost 55 years as a matter of fact) I am more than ready to declare something.

I can’t take the negativity any longer!

When people get in a bad mood because of life stresses or something is not going the way they had hoped it can be quite easy to lash out at those around them.

Often the targets of these temper tantrums are the very people who care for and are trying to help them.

In their negative mindset quick tempers and biting words are the chosen response to helpful suggestions.

I am not saying that I never get in a bad mood or a negative frame of mind but I am cognizant of those around me and would rather keep to myself than lash out.

To put it bluntly, I can not stand the negativity in myself any longer either.

Stressors abound in our world today; unemployment, rising prices on everything, relationships get stressed and the news on T.V. is rarely the good kind anymore.

Traffic is jammed on the commute to and from your job if you are lucky enough to have one, or to and from stores or appointments.

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All of this adds up to the world full of people who find themselves in a negative spin. Everyone seems to be angry, frustrated and snappy these days.

Our court system bears witness to our society that would rather sue than talk rationally when there is a problem.

Everywhere we look there are negative attitudes, negative consequences and the government enacting laws that tell us we can’t do this or that.

Sometimes all this negativity makes me want to hole up in my house and live in isolation as much as possible unless I need to go out for food.

Since moving out to the country I can tell you our trips into the city where we used to live stresses me out. The distance doesn’t bother me so much as the crowds in the stores.

People can be rude, inconsiderate and downright angry over the smallest things and I find I am more aware of it now that I live out in the country than when I lived right there in the city.

I believe it is because I am no longer immersed in and desensitized to it, after living in peace and quiet, that it is more apparent to me now.

Do you find there is more negativity around you lately? How do you deal with it? Please let me know in the comment section.

Thanks for visiting my blog once again to read my thoughts today. I do appreciate you stopping by. Have a wonderful day/night and I will be talking to you again. =)

 

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Welcome to Lake Susan!

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Today’s post was inspired by a prompt from 365 Days Of Writing Prompts.

Feed your senses

Write down the first sight, sound, smell, and sensation you experienced on waking up today. Pick the one you’re most drawn to, and write. (For a bigger challenge, pick the one you’re least drawn to.)

The first sensation I experienced on waking up this morning  was sweating and it happens far too often. My husband jokingly refers to me as a lake, hence the title of this post, and I can’t say that he is wrong.

Unfortunately, I have reached that stage in life known as menopause. As women, we all go through it at some point either naturally or as a result of surgery or chemotherapy among other reasons.

I have been dealing with this for a long time now but lately, the menopausal symptoms are getting worse. I think it is time to go see my doctor.

I have been doing a lot of research on the internet. Not to worry, I know some trusted websites to check for medical related information.

Here’re a couple of the ones I use, as an example:

WebMD and MedBroadcast

You can’t believe everything you read or see on the internet and it is important to only consider trusted websites. I cannot stress that enough.

Too many people fall victim to bad advice and quack cures on the internet because they are too trusting. It is important to always check what you are reading with your physician.

Trusted websites are ones that are not only updated regularly but are overseen by medical personnel.

They also tell you something like this (this example is from the MedBroadcast site I have linked above.)

By far sweating is my biggest complaint about menopause. Sweating during the day is bad enough but at night the sheets, my pillow, and everything get drenched.

Combined with that is my Type 2 Diabetes which means I get up at least once in the night to pee. That is a pain in the neck enough with disrupted sleep but coming back to a cold, wet bed is beyond horrible.

I have used bath towels on top of the soaked sheets and pillows to avoid disturbing my husband in order to change the bedding.

I have been washing all my bedding including pillows so often that I fear it is wearing them out or wearing out my laundry machines or both.

Some of the articles I have read say that menopause is different for every woman. Symptoms could go from almost not evident to being so severe as to be debilitating.

Oh, how I wish mine were at the other end of the scale. Unfortunately, my symptoms are registering more toward the debilitating end of the scale.

I am also wondering if this is part of menopause, or maybe it is the Type 2 Diabetes, does anyone else sweat after eating?

I mean, seriously, my arms, legs, head, neck, everywhere is covered in sweat. It reminds me of something I learned about cars or vehicles in general I suppose.

It is called heat soak and that is what it feels like is happening to me. With heat soak, when the vehicle is parked after being driven for a while it will continue to heat up.

No longer being driven means the radiator fan is no longer running and the rad fluid is no longer circulating to cool the engine down; therefore the heat builds up.

When I am no longer eating I can feel the heat build up in me. It is a totally weird feeling and one I think I should mention to my doctor.

Maybe he can explain what this mystery is to me.Thankfully the after eating thing doesn’t last too long before it dissipates.

All I know for sure is that I have to get this figured out and get some help with the symptoms because they are driving me crazy.

Do any of the women reading this post have issues like this? Can you relate? What did you do to get through it?

I would really appreciate any help or suggestions if you would like to leave them in the comments section.I do understand if you don’t feel like sharing details like that in the comments section. Thanks 🙂

For the men who read my blog posts: Sorry for dragging you into female territory today but the prompt lead me to this topic when it asked for the first sensation I felt when I woke up today.

I do appreciate my male audience, very much so, you guys rock! I promise my next post won’t be so uncomfortable for men to read. 🙂 Thanks for bearing with me if you have read this far.

I want this so bad it hurts.

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Today’s post comes from the inspiration provided by one of the 365 days of prompts from The Editors here at WordPress.com  You can find them here: 365 Days Of Writing Prompts

Practice makes perfect Tell us about a talent you’d love to have…but don’t.

Okay, from my post on August 28th I think you can guess what talent I would love to have…but don’t (yet). That’s right, I want to be able to play the mandolin.

First, great news to report since my last post about this Fender Mandolin Pack I looked at in Music City. I have since put 20% down on it and it is officially on layaway. I have 90 days to pay it off and bring it home. That could be putting so much a month on it or wait until the 90th day and just pay it off to bring it home, or any way I like as long as it is paid for by or on the 90th day. 🙂

Once I get that mandolin home out of the layaway at Music City I will begin. I know sore fingers are in my future. I will endure and persevere.

The title of this post is no exaggeration either folks. I can feel the need to learn this instrument deep inside. I dream about playing and even have a picture of it on my computer desktop.

I have played instruments in my past. When I was in high school I played the clarinet. I love music and need it in my life.

My music teacher, Mrs. Sullivan, was so impressed by my music theory marks that she gave me the option to pick another instrument after the clarinet and I chose the flute.

Those are both wind instruments though and after years of smoking my asthma is much worse now than it was then. I have tried to learn guitar since high school but failed miserably.

I don’t think I was motivated enough…I didn’t want it bad enough. So I started off fine but soon stopped practicing as often, then stopped altogether.

This frustrated my husband who was the one who bought the guitar for me and was teaching me chords and techniques. He plays both acoustic and electric guitar and just could not understand my lack of devotion.

I would have thought he, of all people, would understand because he had to push through long enough to make it a habit and master how to play. Then again maybe for him, the guitar was to him what the mandolin is for me.

It was his musical instrument of choice; something he felt compelled to play. Perhaps it is just his personality that makes it easy for him to set his sights on a goal and never let up until he achieves it.

I want that so badly…to be that kind of person.

I have already set out the reasons why I think I will stay focussed this time in my other post (the one from August 28th –> Something exciting I am planning… opens in a new window).

Most of all I want to achieve this goal so that I have something to play along with when my husband plays guitar. I also need to redeem myself in his eyes from the whole guitar fiasco so he can be proud of me.

Never have I had this level of determination, this drive, to learn an instrument. Even in high school, it was mandatory for the course to play something. Besides, I had a teacher on my case every school day in the fourth period.

Here at home, it is up to me to keep picking that mandolin up; even though my fingers are killing me, even though I am tired and can’t be bothered, even though I need to cook dinner.

You are all going to be witness to my determination this time. I will probably bore you to tears whining about my fingers or complaining that I can’t  quite get the rhythm down. LOL

Please be patient with me while I develop the discipline to persevere day after day to master the mandolin. I do appreciate all your support when it comes to my blog.

I am almost at the four-year mark since quitting smoking. As of December 17, 2016, it will be four years! If I can do that…I CAN LEARN MANDOLIN. lol 🙂

In this Fender FM100 Mandolin Pack, even a book is included to begin learning with, the chords and even a few songs to learn to play. Plus there are lots of lessons for free on the net.

There is absolutely NO excuse for me not to succeed this time. Once I post that the mandolin is out of layaway and here with me, I give you guys permission to ask me about playing in the comments of any of my posts thereafter.

I want you to keep me accountable. That will help, really! 🙂

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This is what comes in the box but this is not the same color.

I will be making a YouTube video for my channel when I bring it home so you will be able to see it in real life and not just in pictures like these.

Can you tell I am excited? LOL, I am one of those people (the ones when they start going on and on about a topic you just wish they would shut up). I am sorry but I can’t help it. 😦

It was a wise decision to put some money down on the one at Music City. I had my eye on a couple of used mandolins on our local Kijiji website and contacted the sellers. The first one failed to get back to me and then the ad disappeared.

The second seller took a day to respond and long story short after a lot of back and forth texting they said they are out of town until next week. They were also really shifty about the price they were asking too.

Hubby and I agreed…there are reasons why I was not meant to get either of those. That is how we look at these things now; if it is meant to be it will happen. If there are problems then we are not meant to have that particular item.

It may be damaged or about to break, it may be overpriced or just a bad deal altogether. There is always a reason it doesn’t work out.

All right, I will sign off for now and go surf the net for websites to bookmark that has anything to do with the mandolin; lessons, pictures, videos of people playing…you get the idea. 😉

Thank you for reading this far and letting me go on and on about this subject – you guys are awesome. 🙂 Have a wonderful day/night and I will talk to you on my next post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stubborn People Frustrate Me!

Frustration with stubborn people

Today’s post is inspired by the one word Daily Prompt

Stubborn

I don’t know about you but stubborn people frustrate the heck out of me. I try not to be stubborn myself although I mostly likely am stubborn from others’ viewpoints at times. I guess that really is a subjective measurement. What classifies as stubborn to one may not to another. This blog is about things from my perspective, however, so please proceed with that in mind.

The other day I had a little mishap with my ceramic top stove. A pot of mushroom soup boiled over and left a huge mess on the hot cooktop. Now I am the one who usually cooks in this house and as such am the one with the most knowledge and experience with this stove.

I have wanted a ceramic top stove ever since they came out but finances dictated that we buy used coil burner stoves for the longest time. Ugh, those stupid pots under the burners that catch things like boil overs. They are notoriously hard to clean even if you use one of those foil inserts to help protect them. Then there is the matter of the coil burners that sometimes shift and do not hold your pot level. Talk about frustrating!

I can deal with that frustration though since it is an inanimate object and there is no will behind the things messing up on the stove. It is simply a stove messing up due to lousy design. Finally, though,  we were able to afford not only a ceramic top stove but a brand new one. So I hope you can understand my protectiveness over it.

People, on the other hand, are another matter entirely. Their stubbornness tells me that they are so sure they are right that they will continue doing whatever they want regardless of what I have to say. It is as if I don’t matter like I know nothing and couldn’t possibly be right about what I am saying.

Okay, back to the mushroom soup boil over on my ceramic top stove…someone happened to be in the kitchen with me at the time and leaped into action. I already had my hand on the pot handle and was moving it off the active burner. They grabbed a washcloth ran it under the cold water and proceeded to try to wipe up the mess on and around the burner!

Now, I do understand they were trying to help me and their intentions were good in that sense. But, that is the fastest way to crack the cooktop and I rapidly told them this. The owners manual advises to let the mess be until the stove has cooled completely at which time you use the special cleaner for the stove and the non-scratching pad for this purpose to apply the cleaner. Then you take a microfiber cloth and wipe it clean and buff to a shine.

Since I had wanted a stove like this for years and I was the one who had the most experience with it and had studied the care, cleaning and use of it I was offended when they didn’t immediately stop when I told them they could crack it.

They did stop, eventually…but oh, the stress and frustration I was dealing with by then. Now, I do feel horrible telling you all this about someone who was only trying to help when it happened but it is the most direct example of frustrating people I can think of at the moment. It illustrates my point precisely.

I guess what I am trying to say by saying all of that is that sometimes, just sometimes, I need people to listen to me.

What I know and what I say has value. I just want to be heard.

I will admit that this has been an ongoing issue, a sore spot, for me from years and years ago when I was growing up. I need to figure out how to heal that old wound so it doesn’t aggravate my life now, but how?

That is the question, isn’t it?

I would be interested to know how you deal with stubborn people. If there are any helpful techniques I could practice I would sure appreciate hearing about them.

Thanks for stopping by and reading another rant post from me. I just had to get that off my chest and make others aware of the dangers of hot versus cold when it comes to ceramic tops.

Have a wonderful day/night (whatever it is when you are reading this) my friends.  =)