Hey, I Want To Share An Idea With You!

For a while now I have been doing some serious thinking. Mostly it has been on the subject of New Years Goals and Intentions; read my last post to see what goals I settled on there.

The other thing I have been thinking about lately has been whether or not to attempt writing a book. Yes, I do want to write a novel one day or a memoir.

Those two choices would take a substantial amount of time and are more complex than I am thinking about committing to right now.

I need something to, in a sense, dip my toes in as an introduction to the world of writing. In the interim, I would like to try my hand at writing a children’s book.

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I am wondering how hard a market that would be to break into but it has all the hallmarks of a wonderful project.

Writing a children’s book would combine two of my passions in one project; writing and drawing. I would have to come up with an outline of something that would be of interest to children.

I would want to make it different enough to stand out against all the children’s books out there.

The beauty of a large picture book like this is that it would be fairly short but that being said I would want it to spark a child’s imagination even though it would be short.

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The thing that really started to turn up the desire to do this was when my grandson came to visit us on Christmas Day.

This idea occurred to me a long while ago but Christmas Day intensified it and really brought home the immediacy of such a project.

This has to happen soon since my grandson will remain a little guy only for so long. Already at two and a half he is growing so fast and saying a few words now.

The window of opportunity to write for him is only so long. Even if my first book is written and illustrated just for him. I could write another to get published for the general public afterward.

How special would that be to have Grandma write a storybook just for you?

I wished with all my heart that I had a big beautiful book to share with him. I want him to enjoy reading as much as I do and the idea of writing a book for that purpose just inspires me.

I think of some of the great authors of children’s books like Dr. Seuss and Robert Munsch. That kind of great authorship is what I am shooting for!

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Perhaps tomorrow will find me sitting down to sketch out a few ideas as to subject matter and a vague outline to flesh out.

One of my New Year Goals is to spend one day a week doing artwork or creative projects for either my YouTube channel or here on my blog or both!

Could this be the subject of my first weekly creative artwork I set for one of my goals this year?

What do you think about me doing this? Would you be interested in seeing some sketches and ideas as I work this out on paper and not just spinning around and around in my mind?

Your input and opinions would be most welcome as I try to figure out just what this book for Ethan would look like.

In order to fit this into the short window of opportunity I have to get it into my grandson’s hands I would have to actually produce a single true original book that I could then ship to him via the mail.

After this is accomplished I could then take the time and follow the proper steps to find a way to get a children’s book published for the public.

It might even help sell my idea to a publisher if I could point to the one I made for Ethan and how he responds to it.

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The more I am sharing this idea with you all the more real it is becoming. It is no longer just a private thought in my mind. This desire, goal, intention is now out there and I find my pulse quickening a bit.

Yes, I am a little afraid as well as excited at the possibilities.

Will my drawings be good enough? What about the story or theme of the book, will it be something Ethan would want to have read to him? Or will he want to get down and play with his toys on the floor?

Would you let me know in the comments what your thoughts are? I know the decision is ultimately up to me but I guess what I am asking is would you be interested in seeing some ideas and sample drawings?

Do any of you out there have young children or grandchildren? If so what kinds of books are they interested in? Do they like stories or simple learning books on colors or the alphabet?

Thank you in advance for your responses. I appreciate everyone who stops by to read my blog and those that take the time to leave a comment to let me know they were here and what they think.

Have a wonderful day/night wherever you are! 🙂

 

 

 

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Thank You, Everyone!

Clipart Illustration of a Diverse Group Of Colorful People Wearing Party Hats And Blowing Noise Makers While Dancing At A Birthday Or New Years Eve Party

Today’s post is dedicated to every single one of you out there in cyberspace that stops by and reads my blog from time to time. I want to say  Thank You as I approach this milestone.

Coming up very quickly now, on Wednesday, December 21st, I will be celebrating ONE FULL YEAR since my very first post on this blog.

The 21st is also my husband’s birthday. He turns 48 this year and I can’t tell you how different things are since he turned 47. Wait, maybe I can…let’s see. 😉

We live in a different apartment and a different locale. We moved from the city with a population of somewhere around 54,500 people to a town with a population of 3,500.

That alone was a huge difference and then adding to that our apartment itself has gone from something stuck in the 50’s/60’s to an apartment that is brand new & modern, where we are the very first tenants.

We went from not going to church at all in the city to being fully involved in our local church here.

Kevin plays guitar sometimes with the worship team. I operate the soundboard and record the sermon to be put on the church’s website.

Both of us help clean the church every other week as well. Life here has turned a full 180 degrees from the life we lived back in the city.

Celebration Time Cmon

 

This will be my 92nd post and I now have 88 followers on WordPress plus 3 followers via email. I am ecstatically happy with my blog’s growth.

It means the world to me that all those people, and more, want to read what I write. Thank you, doesn’t begin to express my gratitude but it is the best I can do right now.

In that same year, my YouTube channel has finally begun to take off as well. Back in the city, I was lucky to have just over 200 subscribers and just yesterday I attained 600 subs!

On the 21st I will be enjoying a steak dinner with all the fixings with my husband to celebrate not only his birthday but a tremendous first anniversary of my blog.

The fact that I have stuck to writing this blog that long is amazing to me. I have attempted to blog before but soon lost interest and let the blogs fade into obscurity.

I actually feel like I am in a really good place in my life now. Gone are the depressing surroundings, gone too are the wishy-washy commitments to blogging and to my YouTube channel.

Now that I am seeing significant changes and improvements in all areas in my life and what I am doing I feel like I have the momentum to keep rolling full steam ahead in this direction.

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Well, my friends, I will cut this post short and get it uploaded. There is still much to do and so very little day left in which to do it.

Please know that I appreciate each and every one of you reading this. You are all contributing to my happiness in this present moment and I am so very grateful.

Have yourselves a wonderful day/night and I will see you again for post #93.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sauntering Down Memory Lane

Lately, I have been fascinated with looking back on things that were around when I was a child. How many things do you remember? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

I thought I would share a bit of what I remember and write just a few sentences from my memory about each one.

It seems strange looking at this stuff now because a lot of it is no longer available or it has been improved upon so much that it is unrecognizable from what it looked like then.

 

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This was a big thing when I was five years old.

The big box of crayons with the sharpener built in on the back was something I spent many hours using. It was something I absolutely had to have. I still remember the smell.

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“Don’t shoot your eye out”

When this movie, A Christmas Story, came out in 1983 we watched it over and over. I can still quote word for word while watching it. If the speakers on the tv give out I’m the one you want sitting there watching it with you. LOL

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I remember way too many of these.

I remember numbers 1,2,3,6,7,8,14,15,and 16! I don’t remember number 11 but I do remember a mobile library that used to visit the neighborhood in Willowdale, Ontario.

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A&W Drive In Restaurants were the best with waitresses on roller skates.

The last A&W Drive-In Restaurant I went to was in Windsor, Ontario Canada. My ex-husband and I drove there in our 1964 Chevy Impala SS. With such an old car we felt perfectly in tune with the place.

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We used to listen to Johnny Mathis on 8 track in our RV trailer.

I remember this was mounted in the Scamper trailer we used to have when I was growing up. The tapes were big and chunky but there were a few favorites that I liked; one of which was Johnny Mathis.

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I think they still make something like this but not like they used to!

These were great! Both a necklace to wear and handy to just shove in your mouth and nibble away at the candy. Let me tell you it didn’t take me very long to strip it down to just the stretchy cord that held all those candies together.

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IBM Selectric is what you got once you mastered the Royal Manual typewriters

The Royal manual typewriters were the bane of my existence in high school. It took so much effort to get those huge keys to go down then hit the carriage return at the end of a row.

The IBM Selectrics, by comparison, were a dream to type on and took a lot less effort. Don’t get me started on the correction tape we had to use.

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This is my first memory of popsicles before you could buy them in stores, you had to make them.

Homemade popsicles were the best. Not only did the handle have that little loop to hold it by but the lid kept the dripping popsicle from running down your hand and then your arm.

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My mother had one like this. It made a lot of noise and it was hot! It did work well.

These were the first hair dryers. Now they have small, powerful handheld pistol grip ones but back in the day. this is what we used.

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Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon those two were quite the pair.

The way Johnny and Ed bantered back and forth was memorable. They really seemed like two friends that were having a great time together and we got to watch and listen in.

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That’s not a knife THIS is a knife. LOL

Ah, Crocodile Dundee, now he was a character and I used to have a slight crush on him. I think it was the fact that he was Austrailian and had a different way of looking at things.

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I remember being measured for shoes with a setup like this.

The store clerk would sit on this bench in front of you and you put your foot in that contraption on the floor. It slid in at the sides as well as front to back to measure your shoe size.

The clerk would then carry a stack of boxes to your chair and one by one put them on your feet when you put it up on that slanted platform. I felt so special getting treated like that when I was little.

Okay, so I got a little carried away with the memory thing with a few of these, so sue me. LOL Cut the old person a little slack, would you? 😉

I could spend hours on the internet looking at pictures like these; just remembering and being fascinated at how times have changed.

It also occurs to me how much I have been through. It seems like several lifetimes already although I have just the one like all of us do.

Maybe all this nostalgia is being triggered by the thought of my 55th birthday coming up next month. Where has the time gone? How did I get this old this fast?

Boy, do I feel old! Thanks for visiting my blog and sauntering down memory lane with me. What do you remember? Please let me know in the comments. I would love to hear all about it. 🙂

A Progress Update: How I Am Doing With My Mandolin Now

 

LOL, I love that Keep Calm And Play Mandolin Meme…that is what is on my desktop on my computer right now; not that I need it to remind me to play. I love this mandolin!

I have picked it up every day; two or three times a day since bringing it home. Oh, and the picture to the right of it is my left hand fingertips after six days of playing. I am not sure you can see it in the photo but the calluses are building nicely.

Below is a picture of me holding my mandolin. I am thinking of making this my profile picture on Facebook and a few other places on the net. 🙂

 

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All of the research I have been doing on the net has been paying off. Not only have I gotten a fine musical instrument and a heck of a deal on everything that it comes with but I have various chord charts for beginners.

There are a few in the instruction booklet that came with the package but the ones from the internet allow me to print them out full size on printer paper.

This way too I won’t have to flip through the book to find a certain chord.

I have a binder that I have plastic sheet protectors in and I put all my photocopies in there. There is even a pocket on the inside cover of the binder where I have tucked my instruction booklet.

As I collect songs that I can practice and play I will be building myself a journal of sorts that will show my progress from beginning to my current level.

This will help keep things organized and let me find whatever I want to practice on, easily.

The booklet that came with my mandolin takes you through the very beginning of everything and you do not need to have any musical experience to play the mandolin.

So, it begins by showing you the various parts of the mandolin, how to hold it, how to hold the pick, and so on. It then talks about keeping time by tapping your foot and how to read sheet music.

I took music theory in high school and a lot of it is coming back to me althought I do prefer to use songs with the appropriate chords above the words.

I find it easier to follow and if I wonder about the beat or tempo I need only listen to a recording of the song to get the idea.

There are a multitude of videos on YouTube showing how to play certain chords or songs and also some on care and maintenance of your mandolin.

It is from one such video that I recently saw that I learned how to lower the strings closer to my fretboard. I lowered the action, as it is referred to, in order to be able to play easier and not hurt my fingers as much.

Don’t misunderstand…they still hurt, just not as badly. 😉  My fingernails are now kept closely trimmed so as to not interfere with the strings as I form the chords with my left hand. I keep my right hand trimmed the same way too.

This is not a huge deal for me anyway as my nails never seem to grow to any appreciable length without splitting or peeling. They never have been long and beautiful until I got artificial nails put on a long time ago.

Then there were the endless appointments to go and have them filled as my real nails grew out underneath them. I must admit that when I had artificial nails I felt more feminine.

I am glad I got rid of them years ago as they would just complicate playing the mandolin now.

As I explain in my update video I just posted on my YouTube channel (Embedded Below) I am now practicing quick licks that Scotty Grove showed me on his YouTube channel. What is great about that is it involves all the chords I have just learned.

This gives me something fun to try and get better at and while I am doing that I am practicing the chords at the same time. It makes practice a lot more fun and interesting.

Please take a moment and have a look at it. It is just five minutes long and you can see and hear what I have learned thus far.

I will be doing further update videos as I am able and when there is a sufficient amount of new stuff to show you.

 

 

I think the next thing I will have to work on, besides the quick licks, is my strumming patterns. Until you play a stringed instrument you really can’t appreciate how much coordination one must have to keep the beat with one hand and the notes with the other hand, at least I didn’t.

It is quite the workout for the brain and I have a new respect for musicians everywhere. When I think of the many instruments this is true of it leaves me in awe of the people that can not only play but with such skill too.

I want to be that good one day with my mandolin. Thank you for once again stopping by my blog to see what I wanted to talk about today. I do appreciate the support.

If you have any comments or questions please feel free to leave them in the comment section; either here on my blog or on my videos on my YouTube channel. I try to get to every one I receive.

Have yourselves a wonderful day/night wherever you are. Now I must go practice some more and master that F Major chord. 🙂

 

 

Do I dare pick up this book?

 

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Today’s post is another one from the 365 Writing Prompts but not about music. LOL, I thought I would give you a break on that subject. 🙂

This is your life

If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.

Hmm, this is something I would really need to think about before picking up that book. How thick do you think your book would be? That alone would give you a clue as to the contents.

The question says the book contains all that has happened in your life but there’s no big deal there since we have lived through that stuff already. Most of us can remember what has happened.

The next bit of the sentence says the book also contains all that will ever happen in your life and that is a bit scarier. Think about that for a few minutes…would you really want to know?

Reading the book would take all the unexpected problems and dangers and expose them while there is still time to change things so as to prevent or lessen the impact on your life, perhaps even save your life.

But, all that will ever happen in your life also includes the pleasant surprises and special moments with loved ones. That would take some of the fun and enjoyment out of life if you knew what would be happening, don’t you think?

To me, this suggests you might as well read the last page of books or listen to someone describe a movie before you get a chance to see it for yourself. This would be a spoiler for your life!

The prompt goes on to say that if you do choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover. That means you can’t flip through and sample different chapters at key times in your life to get a sneak peak at what is coming up.

You also would not be able to skip to the end and find out when and how you are going to die without knowing all that came before it. That would be good, though, because what we go through changes how we deal with everything afterward.

In other words, you would not react to  how you die the same way knowing nothing about what lead up to it compared to being able to understand the sequence of events that brings you to when and how you die.

To make that a little clearer let’s consider an example. Okay, you are going to die of cancer. Being informed of that news, BAM smacks you right between the eyes. No warning. No preparation.

However, reading about getting sick, then being diagnosed and having the chance to choose whether to try and fight it gives you a chance to adjust and work through the emotions that come with a diagnosis like that.

I don’t like spoilers, well, except for soap operas. LOL, I don’t want anyone telling me all about a movie or a book before I have seen or read it for myself.

As tempting as it would be to learn what is ahead for me, I think reading this book cover to cover would make living it all afterward exceptionally boring.

No more surprises, no more wondering if you were going to get that promotion at work or if she would say “Yes” when you asked her to marry you. It would also tell you how many children you have and what their names will be.

The book would also tell you when your parents or friends will die and the funerals you go to. Imagine carrying around that knowledge; do you tell them? Would they want to know?

It would call into question the whole “free will” subject too. We, as human beings, are supposed to possess free will to make choices and do as we please but if that is true then how is the book able to tell us what will happen in the future?

After reading the book you would probably make different choices to avoid the bad stuff from happening or to improve the chance of good stuff happening…but then, wouldn’t that change the book?

LOL, I am so confused but after thinking about this whole idea of such a book existing for each and every one of us. I think I have made up my mind on the matter.

So, I think in the end I would NOT want to read this book. I am curious, though…what are your thoughts? Would you want to read the book about you, for your life?

 

 

 

 

Old Before My Time =(

 

I don’t know about you but I never thought I would get this old this quickly. When I was young, in grade school and even high school, time seemed to drag on and on.

Summer vacations from school were the best and seemed to last long past the point of boredom. Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking boredom the way the kids today mean when they say they are bored.

We actually went outside to play. There were no video games or cell phones or the portable tech we have now. I was a bit of a tomboy actually…I climbed trees and made mud pies as well as went hiking out in the back forty to explore the massive fields that surrounded our house.

I didn’t get into the whole makeup or fashion craze that girls my age naturally gravitated to. I did have a doll or two but they were by no means the only things I played with.

I remember cardboard dolls and paper clothes with tabs you folded over to dress them with.  I remember big console tv sets. I believe our tv in the living room was a Hitachi with an elaborate wooden cabinet and speakers built in on each side of the picture tube.

Now I am sounding just like my grandparents did when they described their childhood to me. Oh boy, that is the true marker of age, isn’t it? Telling the current generation how good they’ve got it and how much harder it was in our day.

What is the hallmark for telling off these young whipper snappers? The whole walking to school uphill both way in the deep snow and all that speech? Now I know I am getting old.

Please don’t misunderstand me here, I am not saying I am ready for a retirement home in any way, shape or form. Just that I am noticing some distinct changes in the way things are now as opposed to when I was growing up.

Perhaps it is the community I have moved into out here in the country that has been the catalyst for where my thoughts are heading lately. Perhaps it is my mother’s and then my sister’s birthday that have reminded me that my  birthday is in just a few more months.

In any case, I have been noticing things that give me pause. Like the skin on the backs of my hands. They now resemble what my grandmother’s hands used to look like. Old lady hands I call them, with loose skin and the veins showing more.

Looking in the mirror now I see my Great Aunt Bea with her clip-on earrings (although mine are pierced) and saggy jowls, it forces me to think, where did the time go?  Where on earth did this old lady come from?

Recalling some of my older memories it feels like I have lived several lifetimes; like that couldn’t have all happened to me, that much time hasn’t passed, surely I am not that old!

My body reminds me some days that, yes, I am indeed getting older. My joints snap and pop (that started when I turned 40), my hair needs a dye kit every 6- 8 weeks or the gray hair can be noticed starting at the roots (that started when I was 19) but it all bothers me more now.

I get tired faster too. I used to be able to stay up pretty much around the clock and now midnight finds me nodding off on the couch while watching a movie. Gone are the party days when I was hanging out with friends, going out to bars, or talking into the wee hours of the morning.

Weight is not as easy to lose now either. Don’t even get me started on the joys of menopause! LOL That is a nice little welcome to old age present for us women. Pfft, please read this last bit as the sarcasm it is intended to be.

There is some freedom that comes with old age, though. Yes, there are upsides to all this. These days I don’t care how much other people like me, I wear a bikini when I go swimming now and have done so for that past two or three years.

Then can we talk about the senior discounts at stores that are in my not too distant future? Who doesn’t like saving money? 10 -15% off for seniors every Tuesday the signs in the window  proclaim. Some even start at age 55 although most stores say eligible seniors are qualified at age 60 +.

I don’t mean to sound depressing here folks, but I figured I would share my recent thoughts on age and how I feel about all this to see if any of you can relate to what I find myself going through.

Time is passing so much more quickly now and that puts me squarely in the category of those not thrilled with this turn of events. Yes, tick my name off in that column on the questionnaire, please.

I am still the younger version of myself on the inside, though…so I guess it is not all that bad. As long as I keep her safe in there this outside part can change all it needs to.

Where Does The Time Go?  (link will open in a new window) is a post I wrote about 7 months ago. That post was more about the speed of time passing and, although I touch on that a bit in this post, the main focus of this post is the changes I am noticing as I get older.

Thank you for dropping by my blog to read my thoughts and feelings once again, my friends. I really appreciate your support. =) Have a wonderful day/night wherever you are when you are reading this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Would Like To Issue A Retraction

A Retraction...Sort Of!

Okay, so I spoke too soon. In my last post, I claimed summer was over and fall was pretty much here. It seems I spoke in haste and there is more hot weather in store for us. The swimming pool is not closed yet. I have taken the heavier blanket back off of our bed.

Long live SUMMER! 🙂

In my own defense, we did have some rather cool days after sweating to death and the stark difference between the two states threw me into a panic. I mistakenly claimed the sky was falling…it is not, however, and I needed to correct that here on my blog.

I was talking to my sister on the phone and her feeling was one of incredulous disbelief when she read my last post. According to her, they are the farthest thing from the end of summer down where they live.

Are you happy now Karen? LOL, I am writing a retraction of my doom and gloom fall is coming post. I must admit that the weather has once again turned hot and humid. We are once again finding ourselves with  daytime temperatures in the mid to high 20s.

I do stand by all that I said in my previous post but my error was that I said it too soon. It is not often that I reverse my position on a matter, as I am doing now, so enjoy it while you can. 😉

We have had quite a few rainy days and thunderstorms lately and the nights are now cooler so the leaves on the trees will begin changing soon if they haven’t started already. The days have been sun and cloud as well as straight sunny for the most part.

Fall is coming, as I stated in my previous post, officially September 22nd this year. So, that being said summer is still alive and kicking… for now. Hooray, as you can tell, I am once again a happy camper. 🙂

While I was talking to my sister she mentioned that the bold on my font came across rather strongly in the emails she receives so I have reduced that now to regular font. I hope that has made it easier to read Karen.

I do appreciate the feedback and that goes for anyone who reads my blog. If something is not quite working for you please let me know and I will endevour to fix the problem. I do not see my posts via email so I would not have known. So, thank you Karen for your valuable input.