Officially Summer And It Is Hot

    Yes! I’m already complaining about the summer temperature.

    It reached the triple digits!

    Wonderful beach weather or spending time in the pool. I spent time working on my personal projects indoors.summerwallpaper

    Yes, I am a bit boring, but I enjoy quiet activities in hot weather. I must admit, in spite of the heat, it was a lovely day. And today will be, too. I did get out early to take my house trash barrel to the curb. My neighbors have already done the deed the previous day.

    I went out around 5 AM to get it done. No one was out and about, so it was quiet except for the noise I made. It is quiet pleasant to get out at the crack of dawn and soak in the silence . . . and the cool temperature. I do love the stillness and the calm feeling of the neighborhood. It is all quiet peaceful.

    There will be plenty of activity going on as the day progresses on this first day of summer.

    Most children are out of school . . . some families have started their vacationing to see glorious sights or visit family and friends. It is a beautiful time of year to soak in all that nature has to offer.

    Each season is unique . . . and we have to get out in it to fully appreciate it.

    I do have fond memories of summer vacation — vacation from school . . . and those outings with my family . . . they were all special and exciting. I loved visiting my grandmother and sitting on her front porch. I love a large front porch . . . but my home doesn’t have one . . . strange how we choose homes for different reasons . . . Or does the home choose us?

    This would probably be better explored in my other website.

    As we grow older, perhaps we think of things differently. People don’t usually sit on their porches as they once did. I enjoy my patio. I enjoy entertaining out there. Yet, it is also my quiet place to write my blogs and to work on my projects. It’s good for Diva to be outside to explore the backyard and to sit with me on the patio.

    I do sit on my porch waiting for the Halloween crowd. It avoids upsetting Diva by the ringing of the doorbell. This way we can hear and see them coming. And we’re ready with our bowl of treats.

    As I said earlier, I don’t have a large front porch like the one at my grandmother’s house, but I did set out a bench for two and that about fills up the space I have. I do enjoy it when the mail carrier sets a package on the bench . . . some other packages are set at the door or secured under the bench. I don’t know why, there are plants hiding the bench and the front door from the street and sidewalk . . . but each has their way of delivering packages.

    And, while we’re on the subject of packages . . . Have you looked into Amazon Prime? There are so many extras included besides just free shipping. I do enjoy that luxury and I’m fortunate enough to get same day delivery on selected items. But, generally second day is fine with me. And, there are times some items will be shipped later . . . I do love the luxury of shopping on-line and having items delivered to my door.

    We do have so very many advantages . . . and some in my grandmother’s day have been taken away . . . milk delivery and dry cleaning delivery . . . Some things included this service . . . but we have food delivery which I don’t believe my grandmother had, but her local market did deliver her groceries on occasion.

    Amazon has such a delivery that is new and if it is something you’d find worthwhile, it is worth checking out.

    And, as I understand it, there are still other services available that people use from time to time.

    I do turn to Amazon because it is usually the first name that comes to mind . . . and I’ve never found them to let me down when it comes to finding what I need.

    I do hope this first day of summer finds you in good health and spirits.

    Until next time,

    Sharon

    I Love Unusual Boxes

    Unusual Boxes Are Especially Great When You Can Make Them Yourself.

    These work for all occasions . . . and it works well for you to keep some hidden treasures of your own safe.

    I do love the design of this box and the ability to set it among other books for safe keeping. It’s also great to decorate for holidays and fill with goodies for family and friends.

    No matter the design you choose and how you decide to use them, this free printable from Ray O’Bannon of Ravens Blight will be something you’ll enjoy for years to come.

    Click the image at the right for the Gold Filigree Book Safe PDF. Or, if you prefer the Plain Black Book Safe. Oh, and you’ll need the Assembly Instructions.

    I truly love Ray O’Bannon’s paper crafts. He does go for the dark side which is great for Halloween and making a Spell Book or to keep your lotions and potions. Or you can surprise everyone and do something completely unexpected . . .

    It could be a good place to keep those secret family recipes . . . or other things of value. I think this may work quite nicely to give holiday goodies . . . I know one neighbor that may freak out when she sees it on her door step. But once she gets a good look at it and sees what’s inside . . . Well . . . maybe not . . .

    Some people you just can’t please . . . and some just don’t have a sense of adventure . . .

    I believe you can have a lot of fun with this Book Safe. You can decorate it however you wish for whatever occasion you choose. You could tuck some interesting goodies in the box — jewelry, pictures, special candies . . . gift cards . . . money . . . tickets to a play or concert . . . Maybe even a special card or small book . . .

    Be sure to click the image and the links above and make a few of these for your own amusement and enjoyment.

    Sharon

    Summer’s On The Way

    Our June Gloom turned to sunshine with rising temperatures.

    This Father’s Day weekend is going to bring excellent BBQ weather.DTDM1

    My temperatures are tipping the 90’s and will easily slip into triple digits. It’s important to check on the elderly and keep your pets in cooler areas. And, for goodness sake, don’t leave your children unattended in packed cars. The temperatures get outrageously warm in parked vehicles.

    Diva and I are going to stay indoors and go out for her “comfort” breaks.” We’ll get out early to run around and maybe a bit in the cool of the evening. During the day we’ll have indoor activities under the air conditioning.

    While Diva naps I’ll be working on my crafts. I have some things I want to complete for Halloween and a few things for Christmas. Now is an excellent time to plan ahead for your holiday celebrations.

    I have some friends that are making Halloween costumes of their whole family. I may get a sneak peek when they the urge to share gets strong enough. Right now, everything is top secret. They haven’t even divulged the theme of their costumes. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait and see.

    Monitored outdoor activities are good, but having indoor activities are excellent during high summer temperatures. We must also keep hydrated with water.

    Sunny weather is always welcome, but too much isn’t all that good. Do the sunscreen thing . . . wear a hat . . . and sunglasses . . .

    Have a great weekend!

    Sharon

    Life Lessons

    How do we learn them?

    They have been usually learned from our elders — parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

    Then there are the books we read and the movies we watch . . . and the video vlogs, too. And what our teachers and peers tell and demonstrate.

    I didn’t mention spiritual advisers . . . but they have an influence, too, if that is where you spend time. And it is about where you spend your time and what you pick up from others — both the good and the bad.

    With the internet there are many more influences than when I was growing up.

    There are many movies, television programs, YouTube videos . . . vlogs . . . social media . . . There are various places that one can frequent regularly and be influenced by the behavior of others.

    Parents are sometimes disappointed by the choice of their kid’s friends. And they do step in to teach their children responsibility and making better choices. And there are parents who are very busy with work and don’t have the time to spend with their children and teaching them valuable life lessons. It is unfortunate that children have no one to go to in order to seek advice to problems they’re experiencing.

    I’m not pointing fingers or placing blame . . . I’m just making an observation . . . It’s difficult being a parent and difficult growing up with all the various influences around us.

    I’ve watched various family vlogs . . .

    Family is very important to me, personally. It’s the glue that holds us together during difficult times.

    Friends are important, too . . . They can give us support and encouragement . . . The friendships that last are the ones where there is mutual respect — not being a follower . . . one with like values and interests. The ones where the family is in agreement . . .

    This could be a study of two families . . . one is very popular on YouTube . . . but I noticed there is a lot of showboating going on with the parents and with the children . . . The parents allow the children to get away with disrespect of their elders . . . They don’t seem to know their cousins or even care about them . . . They have their friends and their activities . . . and the children act spoiled and immature for their age . . .

    familygamenightThen there’s another family that interacts with the popular family . . . but the parents are involved with their children . . . They correct their behavior and give them rules and responsibilities . . . When they visit cousins, they know them and interact with them in a positive way . . . There are competitions, but they are done in fun and winning or losing isn’t a big deal . . . There is sportsmanship involved with being a good loser . . . 

    And everyone is polite and kind to one another . . . The kids are the focus to a great extent, but in sharing according to age appropriate behaviors. They learn from each other and try new things . . . without humiliation and unkindness . . .

    When there is a celebration of a birthday . . . it isn’t a grand haul . . . it is one of reasonable and useful gifts . . . Not the fulfillment of every whim.

    One member has been influenced by the behavior of a friend . . . but I’ve noticed lately it has been curbed . . . There is a place for silliness . . . and there is a place for maturing as a birthday is approaching . . . There is a time when it is necessary to put away childish things . . .

    This tale of two YouTube families is a great contrast . . . you may prefer one over the other . . . or you may recognize what I’m addressing here and finding some of the behavior odd . . . given the selfishness and the entitlement attitude of the children . . . And the irresponsibility to a degree of the parents . . . Indulging every need . . .

    As I said earlier, it is difficult being a parent . . . it is a heavy responsibility . . . and I’ve noticed that some interactions have been curbed to include others who are more on-board with the proper influences of behavior.

    Family is important . . . and raising children is a full-time job . . . 

    It isn’t easy, but it’s necessary to enjoy your family and take the time to teach them appropriate life lessons through discussions, stories and example. There are times when there will be disappointments, but we learn to get through them. We can’t prevent them from happening, but we can be there to give love, support and encouragement.

    It’s good for kids to be kids and to learn responsibility gradually . . . getting their homework completed . . . cleaning their rooms . . . and showing respect to others.

    I was watching a movie about a bully . . . and how he learned it was more fun and rewarding to make friends than enemies. A lesson some adults haven’t learned . . . We see it daily . . .

    It’s more fun to be happy than to be angry. Another lesson adults need to learn . . .

    I don’t have answers . . . just observations . . . And I learn each day how I want to be in my golden years . . . Happiness is important to me. Appreciating the little things is a start . . . then it becomes a habit . . . and when I get down in the dumps, no matter the time of year, I can find something positive as I take a walk . . . Appreciating everything around me . . . familyhome

    I don’t need much . . . I’m very comfortable living within my means . . . Others love to travel and love to have lavish parties . . . They enjoy having stuff . . . and enjoy giving to their friends and family . . . That’s great and wonderful . . . for them . . . but maybe not for you or me . . . We’re individuals . . . we have our own priorities . . . and we need to honor them . . . by not keeping up with someone else.

    That’s a life lesson that takes a long time to become comfortable with and embrace whole-heartedly.

    Yes, life is full of lessons for everyone . . . It’s much easier to see the faults in others than in ourselves . . . It may be better to not think of them as faults, but as behaviors that you or I don’t want to have in our lives. We aren’t perfect, but it’s a valuable goal to be the best you you can be. Yes, it is hard work . . . but the reward is having a good life.

    Sharon

     

    What’s Up?

    Once again my thoughts are rambling.

    Just wanted to give you fair warning.

    I was at my local “neighborhood market” a few days ago. I had to feed my ice cream craving. I bought a couple of boxes of Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars.GoodHumorIceCreamBars

    I knew in the past the store was having trouble with their freezers . . . so I was boycotting any frozen stuff until that inventory was gone . . . but, they didn’t seem to fix the freezers . . . Yep. I had the most pitiful looking ice cream bars you could ever imagine. They melted . . . and were refrozen . . . but they couldn’t be eaten . . .

    I could have returned them and made a big stink about it. The box they were in looked perfect . . . I had no clue to the alien-like mutations I uncovered in the sealed wrappers. I was truly disappointed . . . and really sad . . . not for myself as much as for the store . . . the neighborhood market . . . They must really be in trouble if they have to sell food that isn’t for human or animal consumption.

    I’ve noticed business has been down . . . I stayed away from them for about 6 months, but I did drive by on my way to another market . . . and their parking lot had only a few cars.

    I’ve learned to look for due dates on canned goods . . . They don’t discount them . . . and when they do . . . you know they’re old.

    Over the years I’ve noticed employment has gone way down . . . some of the checkers and deli people aren’t working there . . . they have new people and once in awhile someone I remember is working. The “old guy” who I assume is the owner makes an appearance from time to time. He’s always ready to give you a smile and a welcoming hello . . .

    But . . . is my neighborhood market dying? Will it soon be boarded up . . . weeds growing through the cracked asphalt? An ugly eyesore in the center of an upscale neighborhood?

    I don’t want to see that. I like the store . . . some of the changes I could have done without, but . . . those changes may be keeping them afloat. And we may all be chipping in from time to time, stopping by and picking up items . . . to make sure that they will meet their payroll . . . and not returning and complaining about old and ruined food . . .

    This got me thinking about other stores and buildings in town and in nearby towns . . .

    We don’t shop “downtown” as in the days of old. We go to malls . . . but many of the malls have died . . . and there’s a huge strip-type mall or center with hundreds of stores and restaurants out near the freeway. It has everything!

    But, then, do we really want to drive out there? Or would we prefer to order on-line?

    I do a lot of shopping on-line. I try to support my local merchants . . . but it is easier to go to my laptop . . .

    I did buy a new printer recently . . . but I had to order it through the store . . . and it was delivered to my door . . . I do like that. I didn’t have to wrestle with a box getting it into my car . . . and wrestling it out and getting it up the steps and into the house . . . then into my office . . .

    I avoided a lot of hassle. And I think I may not be the only one who thinks like this . . .

    There is something to be said about going out and getting what you need . . . and there is something to be said about ordering it on-line and having it delivered to you . . .

    I don’t like the idea of stores closing . . . This means loss of employment . . . which could mean the dying out of towns and cities, too . . . 

    small-town-marketingI’m very old fashioned at heart. It’s uplifting to see families shopping together for holidays and back-to-school and also for vacations. There is a special thrill in the air that is only created by people who are giving off that positive excitement . . . it is an excitement that brings a smile to my face and the faces of those around me . . .

    You don’t get that on-line . . .

    And there’s the clerks who assist you . . . or another shopper who adds their two-cents while you’re shopping . . . We do need that human interaction. No matter how impersonal it may be . . .

    Yes, I’ve rambled on for quite awhile . . . time for me to stop and allow you to digest this . . . You’re welcome to add a comment. I just ask that you’re polite and thoughtful . . .

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Sharon