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. 🙂

Sneeze, cough, sleep…being sick sucks!

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Hello again everyone, I am sorry for the lack of posts for the past while. I am finally feeling up to sitting here and composing a post to let you all know what’s been going on.

This cold or flu or whatever it is hit me on January 16th. When it did it hit me like a Mac truck. In fact, I hopped on my Facebook account and asked if anyone had gotten the license plate. LOL

It was weird the way it took turns with my body parts. It started with a sore throat then went to headaches. From there it hit me with such a lethargy I spent a lot of time sleeping and reading.

Fever was the next stage and at this point I was miserable. Then came the sneezing and runny nose which reactivated a sore throat and headaches.

I don’t mean to go on and on whining is really not me. I just wanted to let you all know if there was any way to keep content going here on my blog and on my YouTube channel I would have made it happen.

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I think now that I must have picked up this bug at church although it could have been anywhere really.

Somehow I fought nausea and coughing etc. to keep up my commitments to my church. We have only a couple of people, myself included, that can run the sound board.

I didn’t want to leave them stranded with no one and figured I would not infect anyone if I didn’t hug anyone or get too close. The entire service I stayed up in the sound booth and tended the board.

Everyone who saw me, including the Pastor, commented that I should be home in bed but if I was determined to come in that they would pray for me. We even joked that we should pray the rest of them not get this. So we did just that!

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Slowly I am feeling better each day and this blog post is step one to getting back to my routine. I still take naps when I need to and am restricting activities to what I need to do.

So what else have you been up to Susan?

Okay, I did work on my story outline for my grandson’s book a little bit.

I have a cast of characters listed which includes; King James, Queen Crystal and Prince Ethan, the townsfolk in the kingdom and our friendly dragon of course. I still haven’t thought of a name for him.

Basically, I am going for a story in the style of Robert Munsch. I want to introduce the Kingdom of? (no idea what to call that either yet) the castle and those who live in it. I will then expand out to touch on a few of the townsfolk.

Word will come from an attack on the kingdom from the next kingdom over. Prince Ethan will be playing in the backyard of the castle and befriend a dragon perched on the castle wall.

Through this friendship, Prince Ethan will save the kingdom when the attack happens by calling on his new friend the dragon to chase away the attackers.

Once the kingdom is safe again there will be a huge banquet held in honor of Prince Ethan the hero. His dragon will make an appearance at the banquet to share in the glory.

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Again…thinking of drawing a dragon like this guy. ^ (I did not draw this it is just meant as an example).

I know this storyline has been written many, many times before but by personalizing it to Ethan and his parents and coming up with my own dragon I will make it my own.

What do you think so far? I would love to know your thoughts on the direction I am going with this.

I am considering making the book using plastic page protectors which I can slide pages into back to back and then seal the tops with tape.

I think this would give the pages some durability from the many, many times it is read to him (hopefully). I will probably then stitch the pages together using the holes where they are meant to be put in a binder.

If I just slap them in a binder some would get lost once he learns how to spring the clips open. Trust me with my grandson this will not take long to figure out….he is pretty determined when he wants something. 😀

On a final note, I just learned, today, how to run the laptop using Easy Worship 2009 to put the pictures and words to songs, scripture etc up on the screen at the front of the church.

Our usual person who runs the laptop during service is away right now so the one other person who can do soundboard will sub for me there and I will be on the laptop this Sunday.

Life is interesting if nothing else and it continues to be a busy one for me so I am glad that I am finally on the mend.

Thanks for stopping by to read my blog post once again my friends. I really appreciate you sticking with me even though the postings are erratic. That means the world to me that you do that and I don’t take your attention for granted, ever.  🙂

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Thank You, Everyone!

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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.

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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.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I NEED To Write

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Surprise! I am actually writing  a post not based on a prompt. LOL This is something I have been thinking a great deal about lately and a great topic for writing in a blog post.

Hello everyone, today I thought I would talk to you about writing. More specifically I thought I would talk to you about what writing means to me.

I have wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember. Perhaps the reason I have not achieved that goal yet is because I lack the discipline to keep working on a manuscript.

Perhaps it is the fear of failure that keeps me from sticking my neck out and actually creating a manuscript to submit to publishers.

However, there is something deep inside of me will not let the dream of becoming a writer die.

Chances are one day I will conquer my fears, establish a routine and the discipline required to produce said manuscript.

The thing is I do not want to go to my grave with any regrets or wonder what could have been if only I had pushed through my reticence and freed the book that I know is within me begging to be written.

What would I write about? I can hear you asking so I will tell you; my life story. I have been through a lot of things I think people will be able to relate to.

Maybe someone out there (hopefully lots and lots of someones) will want to read my story. No, I am not someone famous, nor do I have a glamorous life that will make people want to flock to bookstores to buy my book but one can hope.

Still, I feel like I have something to say; something of value to contribute to the universe.

I have joked around with my friends before when discussing the thought of writing my life story. What has gotten the most laughs and nods of agreement, is the idea that librarians would not know whether to shelve it under fiction or non-fiction.

Apart from the whole book idea, there are a lot of other examples of writing that I do on a sort of regular basis.

There are things like this blog, shopping lists, journaling (not as regularly as I should; see comment about my lack of discipline above), sentiments written in cards, cheques (does anybody do that anymore?)  and so on.

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Along with the various forms writing takes there are just as many media with which to write.

Personally, I prefer using a computer as editing is quick and easy; with practice, even these corrections on the fly will not slow down or interrupt your writing.

You must, however, remember to save your work often. A piece of advice I have had over the years and have never forgotten is this; save your work as often as you are willing to redo it.

In other words, save every half hour if you are willing to redo that half hour’s worth of work should something go wrong.

This is one thing I appreciate with WordPress; it autosaves quite frequently leaving me to concentrate on the words I am putting on the screen instead of worrying how long it has been since the last save.

I tend to think of writing in terms of producing a manuscript and submitting it to a publisher in hopes of getting a book deal. I want a book actually printed on paper and bound  between covers with a graphic on the front and my picture on the back.

I want a book actually printed on paper and bound  between covers with a graphic on the front and my picture on the back.

It has to have a tempting synopsis that will make readers want to pick up and purchase my book.

I would love to have Stephen King, my favorite author, say something kind about my book along the lines of he couldn’t put it down. 😉

I like, no, I prefer reading real books as opposed to e-books on a device like Kobo or Kindle or whatever.

This blog is not about reading, though, it is about writing and the only reason I bring up reading is to underline what form I want my writing to be published in.

Writing endures for years and years. I want that to be part of my legacy; passing on things I have learned and experienced in this life to generations into the future.

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What I am curious about is how you feel about writing…is there a book inside of you wanting to get out into the world or is blogging as far as you want to take it?

Please let me know in the comment section what you think about writing; what it means to you and for you.

Thanks for once again stopping by my blog to read my thoughts on this subject. I really appreciate your support and your input. Have yourselves a wonderful day/night, as always. 🙂

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.

Where Do You Go To Get A Clone Made?

Today’s post is thanks to the inspiration taken from one of the 365 Days Of Writing Prompts

Clone wars: If you could clone yourself, how would you split up your responsibilities?

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My husband would love the topic of this post.  I am quite sure he thinks that would be just wonderful; though not for the same reasons as I would.

Before I get into the splitting up of responsibilities I think we should consider for a moment what it would be like living with another you.

I mean, how crazy would it be to see an exact copy of yourself sharing the house with you and your spouse? Come to think of it would your spouse know which one is the original you?

From the question, I am of the understanding that this clone would be a real live human being made from your DNA. We are not talking about robots here after all.

Imagine, an exact replica human being that looks like you acts like you and talks like you.  I am not sure I could deal with seeing myself from the outside like that and telling myself what to do.

This would certainly be a weird dynamic to wrap your head around and it would take a great deal of adjustment in order to get used to the realities of what that situation would entail.

Would the clone you have the same thoughts and feelings as you do? Would the clone me react the same way as I would when it comes to being the house drudge who does all the cooking and cleaning?

I guess it boils down to the specifics of just what a clone is versus what we are. We are born and grow up going through experiences  that change who we are and how we see the world.

We learn as we go and that changes how we interact with other people and helps us form opinions of what goes on in our surroundings.

Does a clone? Would you have to wait for a clone to grow from embryo to adulthood and if so would that not bring about a fundamental difference from the original?

They would be growing up in the present day instead of being born in 1961 like I was. Right there, things would be different experientially.

If I had to wait for my clone to grow up to the age I am now it would take 54 years and I would likely be dead before that happened or somehow miraculously be 108 years old!

On the other hand, if clones could be produced to be an exact replica much like making a photocopy of the original; BAM, Susan #2 fully grown and able to share my closet full of  clothes. That, my friends, would be a different story.

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I think I might even get a little jealous that the second me got to take the easy way, a shortcut if you will, to getting to where I am now.

No dealing with going to school and nor having her heart broken over and over would certainly be easier.

But, if our cumulative experiences help to shape who we are this would mean my clone would be nothing like me except maybe in looks.

Okay, let’s suppose that a clone is somehow exactly like you in every way; looks, personality, attitudes, etc. How would I split the responsibilities?

This could be fun; not having  been able to dictate to anyone before. I don’t have to care how she feels about what I assign to her either, right?

Obviously, I would task her with all the cooking and cleaning. I would also get her to mend our clothes when they needed it. She would shovel the walkway clear of snow in the winter too.

In fact, she would get all the boring, repetitive, tedious jobs that are usually part of my bailiwick. This would leave me free to enjoy life for a change.

I could spend time reading, indulging in my artwork and perhaps learn a new technique or two. I would now have time to not only write my blog but produce videos for my YouTube channel too.

I think a nap every afternoon would be in order as well. I mean, why not? My life would become one of leisure and I wouldn’t feel taken for granted when it comes to keeping this household running every day.

Hubby and I could curl up on the couch and watch movies to our heart’s content as we like to do currently without one or both of us falling asleep midway through the movie like we do currently.  😉

Wait a minute…something I haven’t considered yet. Put the brakes on this whole clone thing until we get this clearly understood.

The clone would not have anything to do with my husband. I mean nothing; I can be very jealous when it comes to that sort of thing. That would be a deal breaker for sure.

Where would Susan #2 sleep anyway? I suppose we could find a closet to put a rollaway cot in if it comes to that.

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It would be creepy to relegate my doppelganger to that extreme of sleeping quarters but let’s face it lines have to be drawn and boundaries firmly established.

You know what? Let’s just call this whole clone experiment off. It is stressing me out too much just thinking of all the ramifications.

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I can only imagine living with this situation. As nice as the idea of getting out of all this work is in theory, I think I would rather remain in control, thank you very much!

How about you, my friends? Would you get a clone? How would you deal with this or would you? Would you welcome a clone of yourself into your home?

Please let me know in the comments. I am curious as to what the consensus is out there in cyberspace. My thanks to you, as always, for stopping by to read my thoughts here today.

 

 

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. 🙂