Something exciting I am planning…

 

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This is the color of the mandolin I am looking at.

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

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See how small it is and how comfortable she looks playing the mandolin?

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This is how big and bulky guitars can be.

Hi, everybody! I am excited and looking forward to buying this sometime soon. I have been looking into learning to play the mandolin and doing a heck of a lot of research. Today I went to our local music store to actually look at one and try it out for myself.

Prior to today, I have done a large amount of research on the internet which includes, but is not limited to; shopping around different websites to see what the average price is for these instruments, watching YouTube videos of both people playing music on mandolins and teaching people how to play also discovering the differences between an A Type mandolin and an F-Type mandolin.

At the music store, I found the package pictured above for $249.99 plus tax (Canadian dollars). I actually held one of these in my hands and plucked at the strings trying to judge how comfortable I would be holding and learning to play one.

Verdict isI am stoked. I want to buy one of these for certain now. From my research, I know that I prefer an A Type mandolin. That is the one in the picture (pear shaped). The F-Type mandolin is like the one on the cover of the book you see in the picture with the weird curl up near the neck and the point on the other side of the neck.

The price point at Music City (the store I went to today) is absolutely great for what you get in the package. There is virtually everything I will need to begin playing and taking care of the mandolin. I need to buy nothing more.

Included in the package is the mandolin itself (which is just gorgeous in person by the way), the padded gig bag to store and carry it in, a tuner (to keep the strings in tune), a strap (to keep it secure while I play standing or sitting), a set of strings (spare set should one break), picks (the proper word is plectrum) and an instruction book with the basics to start playing and some beginner songs to try.

I know that Fender is an excellent company with quality products since my husband has had his Fender guitar for years now and not one problem with it in all that time.

The average price on the net for just a mandolin alone (no extras) is between $100 Canadian  for a cheap knock off to $1,000. or more for well-known brands.

There is some consensus that one should not go too cheap on a musical instrument in order to be sure there is enough quality there to ensure you won’t get frustrated and give up on learning due to breakage.

Over the years I have taken a stab or two at trying to learn how to play guitar. I have the advantage of my husband teaching me as well and I just couldn’t commit to it. I found even the smallest guitar too thick and bulky to get my arm over to strum the strings.

Another issue with learning guitar was the pain in the fingertips when it came to pressing down on the strings in order to form calluses. Yes, I am aware there will be some pain with the mandolin too since it has the same sort of strings but the difference is the mandolin is physically smaller.

The neck is narrower and flatter so it will not be so hard for my hand to stretch around it to reach the strings. The size and thickness of the body of the mandolin are smaller as well, shorter and thinner front to back. My arm easily reaches across to the front for strumming.

The strings are paired on the mandolin as well…not eight separate strings but four pairs of two strings. Each pair is treated like one so it will be much simpler to memorize where the note and fingerings are on the neck than the guitar was.

So what makes me think I can commit to the mandolin you say? Well, I have done a lot of thinking about that and have come to realize the profile of this instrument is thinner, shorter and easier to hold and use as I have just outlined.

There is also the fact that I will be on my own learning to play the mandolin as it is different from anything my husband has or has played.

I think these factors will help keep me inspired to train myself between the book included with the mandolin and the online lessons I can get for free. I am looking for an instrument that I can master that is different.

Kevin, my husband, plays both acoustic and electric guitar. He has played some piano keyboard over the years as well. Our landlord, upstairs, plays the acoustic guitar and the banjo.

I am excited to start learning something new. Plus, I will be sinking my own money into the purchase of this mandolin package. I think putting your money down helps with the commitment end of things – you are saying to yourself that you are serious because you are willing to part with cold hard cash.

Hopefully, I will be able to afford one soon or at least put one on layaway to chip away at the total until one day I can take it home. Cross your fingers for me, guys, please? Until then I will just stare at them on the internet and dream. =)

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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.  =)

Self Imposed Deadlines & Expectations

 

Why do I do this to myself? No, really, why do I put this pressure on myself? Well, I suppose the answer to that is, I guess, I work better under pressure. Left to my own devices I will delay and procrastinate but if I set something in motion I am more apt to keep going and make it happen.

This is something I have found out about myself through trial and error in my life. If I am reluctant to start or follow through with something I will do or say something that will ensure I HAVE to start it or follow through with it.

Okay, I see you scratching your head in confusion so I will give you some examples in an effort to be clearer. Say I am reluctant to see the dentist because I know there is a filling that needs attention and there is some pain in my future. I will call and make an appointment for a date some week or two later. The way this works is I will be more reluctant to call and cancel or reschedule because I would feel ashamed knowing that I was wussing out instead of doing the adult thing and getting my teeth taken care of. So, I would follow through and show up for that appointment and face it rather than face the failure that cancelling the appointment would represent.

I have called the doctor’s office to make an appointment to  discuss something embarrassing (to me) with the doctor. When I am taking to the nurse/receptionist and I am asked what the appointment is for (they always ask because that way they know how long and how urgent the reason for the booking is) I will blurt out the reason. It is on the phone and the nurse/receptionist is ALWAYS too busy with the other lines ringing to ask too many questions. I hang up the phone knowing that I have set something in motion that I will have to deal with at a later date. Full stop. Upon seeing the doctor he will look at his computer screen and bring the topic up, asking for further information about the subject.

Well, I have done it once (twice?) again. Finally, we arrive at the true subject matter of this blog post. I have a YouTube channel as well as this blog. I want to keep both running smoothly providing consistent content to keep my subscribers and followers entertained. I have discovered scheduling and it is glorious! =D

So I now have videos uploaded and scheduled to go live every day on my YouTube channel. I have two videos waiting for tomorrow and the next day. As for this blog, I have two to three posts waiting to be published every third day. You will notice I have added the announcement on the top of the page to remind me and keep the pressure up on myself to follow through and make it happen. I have even placed a calendar widget along the right-hand side for posting dates. The days that a post is published the date will be highlighted and is clickable to take you straight to that day’s post.

Oh, one last thing. Those little guys up there in the pictures? The first picture is how I see myself with YouTube pulling me one way and this blog pulling me the other way. I have to divide my time between them because I love doing both! The second picture represents how I see myself…I am the one turning the handle on the vice but it is for the best possible reasons. When I look back on things I am very happy now that both of my endeavours are now being produced consistently. It sure feels better than beating myself up and kicking myself because I haven’t posted in a while or added to my YouTube channel enough to keep people interested and happy they subscribed. 

Thanks for dropping by my blog again, friends. I do appreciate it when you like and comment on my writing. I have a question for you, do you do this sort of thing to yourself? Are you pretty consistent with getting things done normally or do you feel the need to sabotage yourself like I do? =) Have a good one!

 

 

 

 

 

Work Never Ends…

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There are old adages that state things like “No rest for the wicked or the wise” and “A woman’s work is never done” or something like that and today I have to admit it is so true! I have another huge To Do list today and some of it will end up being cycled onto tomorrow’s To Do list because that is usually the way it goes. *sigh* To give you an idea of what I have on my list to tackle these are today’s entries:

  • Do the dishes
  • Write a blog post (doing that now, thanks list for reminding me) LOL
  • Wash walls and counters in kitchen in prep for painting the walls
  • Make breakfast
  • Make lunch
  • Make dinner
  • Vacuum all rugs
  • Make bed
  • Catch up on emails
  • Make a shout out video for my YouTube channel
  • Edit video
  • Upload video
  • Share video all over social media
  • Go back check on email again
  • Play Minecraft and work out how to mount a horse (or pig apparently LOL)
  • Make a video showing how to mount a horse when you figure it out, yes, for YouTube
  • Check out some blogs – follow and/ or comment on them
  • Go back and check email again….there should be more emails to answer by now
  • Watch some TV to relax
  • Play some games online to just have fun
  • Do laundry
  • Go to bed
  • Get up tomorrow and do it all again!

This list may seem simplistic and simplified but all of this takes time. For example, when I check my email I usually get around 60- 100 emails per shot. Some require me to watch some other You Tubers video and comment on it or like it (or both). Some are comments or questions on my YouTube videos that people have sent me that I must answer back. It is important to stay connected and involved with your subscribers to continue to grow your channel. These emails can chew up a good one and a half to two hours easily. Housework, as we are all well aware, never ends. You can do all of the laundry in the house…get ready for bed and BAM!! more laundry. =( Prepare and eat a meal…and BAM!! more dishes. While I am busy building my You Tube Channel and starting this whole blogging adventure this is my life. Don’t get me  wrong I love it…I like all of it, every facet. I am just trying to let you see the other side of the computer screen – a little look into my life and what it involves just focusing on these two things – You Tube and Blogging. This is my choice though and I am not complaining at all. I am my own boss, I set my hours and am free to come and go as I please without punching a time clock or requesting time off. This, my friends, is the life! I love it all…creating videos for You Tube and writing on this blog. I meet new people through the internet and in person when hubby and I go RCing at our local parks, hiking trails, beaches and so on. Not sure what RCing is….please check out my You Tube channel for examples straight from my videos. I have a page on this blog with all my social links – you will find my link to my You Tube there.

Thanks for checking in with me again. It is always nice to see you here. I must close for now though and get back to striking things off my list. LOL Until next time…be good to each other. Life is hard enough! =)

Christmas is coming!

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Well, the holidays are upon us. Just five more sleeps until the big day when everyone gets to tear open the presents that they have been asking for and dreaming of.  I, on the other hand, am not that thrilled about it all. I absolutely hate the traffic and crowded stores, the extra expenses when trying to make it through month to month is hard enough on a regular basis – just trying to afford food, heat, hydro and other necessities. Being on a fixed income is stressful enough every month…this month however (and all Decembers before and after this one) means more stress trying to buy gifts for everyone and cutting even further back on things in order to afford it. 

       Before you paint me with the Bah Humbug brush try to understand where I am coming from first. Our rent is a whopping 45% of our pension cheque. Gail Vaz-Oxlade, the financial guru, and the host of the Til Debt Do Us Part TV show advises that rent/mortgage should be no more than 35%. She says this is just a guideline so you can achieve some sort of balance with your budget but if you go over in one area then you must go under in other areas to make up for it.  Problem is… where we are living is the cheapest and best (for what we are spending on rent) housing around here. Life expenses only make more and more money going out. Food is an ever increasing commodity that one needs to survive. Hydro rates keep going up and even timing high energy usage so that they are done during off-peak hours the bill still seems to go up every year. The only thing not going up in a realistic way is the pension cheque. We get an absolutely HUGE increase of 1% per flippin’ year. Woo Hoo….I think it is usually in the order of $11 or $12 per month – the food budget alone sucks that up and asks for more.

 I am a Grandma now too and feel absolutely terrible about not being able to see my grandson as often as I want – nor am I able to buy him presents like I want to. It sucks being broke. Christmas is yet another time that emphasizes the problems lack of money beats you over the head with. Okay, enough with the pity party I seem to have going on here…it is that kind of a night, unfortunately, as I write this and this blog is about things from my perspective. This is my perspective right now. Sorry. =(

Holidays bring on other stresses besides monetary ones. There are holes in the holiday when loved ones have passed on. This is the second year I have to face without my Dad. He passed on November 24 2013 just three days after my birthday. This time of year is still hard for me. Then there are people who live far away – like my son, his wife and my grandson who is one and a half years old. Being that far away makes it hard to celebrate the holidays together. One end or the other must travel three hours one way to visit.  Perhaps I should end this blog tonight and revisit this topic another day before Christmas. Have a good night and thanks for visiting. =)