Saturday Musing

How many of us look forward to Saturday? I wonder… I never stop working, really, even when I’m not working at a “job” outside my home. Homemaking is a full time job in itself. If I could be a full time homemaker, I would happily do so. I enjoy taking care of my family and making sure their needs at home are being met. I enjoy having a home that is ready for visitors (or nearly so) whenever they drop in unexpectedly. When I’m working at my part time job, that isn’t always the case. Even though I do set up plans and schedules, there are only so many hours in a day and each home chore takes time. Thankfully, our kids are old enough to take care of some of the chores and I thank God our kids are good helpers 90% of the time. I have to wonder if this is a result of the years that I /was/ able to stay home full time but whatever the case, I’m thankful for the happy result. Do any of you have kids that are good helpers? Be sure to let them know you appreciate what they do.

Even in the midst of the myriad things I have to do, I must remind myself that time spent with my children is super-important. Yesterday, I even went so far as to write on my laptop the words, “When they want to talk, listen. The written word will stay, but the child will continue to grow.” I often get caught up in my work and reading to the exclusion of other things so those words, written where they are, will remind me that it’s more than OK to stop for a few moments to listen to what my kids want me to hear. Making memories with them, having meaningful conversations with them, even having silly conversations with them, I want to partake in all of those things! And I want my kids to have a happy childhood, learning to be content with what we have along the way.

I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend!

Image used with permission of JD Kittles Photography

Playing in the water is always fun for the girls so they had a blast doing this shoot.

If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.”  ~Tom Stoppard

To trade a childhood wonder for a plausible explanation – is there a worst trade one makes in life?  ~Robert Brault

 

 

Fabulous Friday 3

Welcome (or welcome back!) to our third Fabulous Friday! We have three Fabulous Places to link to, a Fabulous Quote, and a Fabulous song.

Today’s first Fabulous Place is from John: Serge Ramelli on youtube for digital photography tutorials for Photoshop and Lightroom. He highly recommends it to any digital photographer looking for tutorials that are comprehensive and easy to understand.

The next Fabulous Friday place to go is recommended by Nojo. BILLSTMAXX on youtube presents a different point of view for fabrication. This site is recommended to anyone interested in building machinery at home, i.e. mechanics, welders, metal crafters, etc. Nojo loves the way he presents his tutorials and the ideas he comes up with.

The last Fabulous Friday place to go is presented to you by me: Steampunk Threads. If you’re looking for fabulous steampunk clothing and accessories, you should definitely stop in at Steampunk Threads. They have a little bit of everything and the prices are fair. A beautiful pendant watch and chain from their store was given to me as a Christmas gift one year. It was gorgeous and very reasonably priced. I was very satisfied with it. I highly recommend this store to anyone seeking quality steampunk items who cannot, or doesn’t have the time to, make your own.

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” ~ Ray Bradbury

Today’s Fabulous Song was chosen by Starshine ~ “Fantastic Baby” by Big Bang. We’ve played this one so much that John is pretty tired of it. 🙂 The girls like it for the music and I like it for several reasons. It’s a different language and they’re not afraid to go crazy with costuming and concepts. Reading the lyric video is difficult for me because my eyes want to follow the Korean lyrics to see how they differ in pronunciation from what English-speakers are used to. OK…on to the music!

Staying Positive

Keeping a positive attitude is necessary for me to keep going each day. Sometimes that means I have to ignore some of the negative influences around me. It also means that I might, on occasion, have to give myself a mental smack on the back of my head. It’s hard for me to stay positive, too, because I can be quite contrary and I’m a die-hard realist (not pessimist). (That’s a terrible thing. If you aren’t one of the contrary folks or you’re happy being contrary, then you won’t understand why this is such a terrible thing.) And I usually grimace when John talks about positivity blogs/books and self-improvement blogs/books, so for me to stay positive is quite the interesting uphill battle. Therefore, in order to defeat the Negative Forces in my life and stay at a positivity level I can handle (chuckle), I try to do several things regularly.

First, I try to take some time each day to do the things /I/ like to do, which usually means ‘reading quietly by myself’. Next, I count a few of my blessings. This not only reminds me that I /am/ blessed, it also reminds me that things could definitely be worse. Then, I try to get in at least one good laugh a day but more is always better where laughter is concerned. (Good laughs are only good when they are the result of something genuinely funny, not in making fun of others or for other equally empty reasons.) I usually listen to music of some kind during the day and I usually try to find music that fits my mood. Even if my mood is negative and the music I choose reflects that, I usually find the negativity lighten up when listening to the music. The last thing I can think of right now that really helps contribute to keeping my attitude positive is being thankful.

Here are some things we are thankful for today: John-getting paid a day early; Nojo-the tractor (When asked to clarify this, he said he’s thankful that it exists and is in his possession at this time. LOL); Starshine-stopping in at the local coffee shop; Magiba-the love and welcome home cards that I made for Grannie and Granddaddy (respectively); Melody-I had a pleasant and productive day at work. 

What are you thankful for today? Give your day a mental rerun and check out the good things that happened. Had any laughs yet? If not, then visit youtube to check out one of your favorite comedians. Still no improvement? Listen to your favorite tune! I’m going to keep going in this positive vibe and try to continue being productive. I’ll see you all tomorrow on another Fabulous Friday!

Here’s one of our favorite songs. Yes! We all agree concerning this song.

Project Progress, Happy Mistakes, and Quirky Shopping Habits

The truly wonderful thing about having to ‘make-do’ with the things you have is that you learn to get creative and inventive. There is also some value in not throwing out ‘mistakes’. I almost always find my ‘mistakes’ to be useful in another project. I’ve included a picture of one such ‘mistake’. It’s quite interesting when you are learning to make your own rings for chainmail. John wound this wire and we ended up with art instead of rings. Who knew? 🙂 I loved how it looked and I’ve kept all those little mistakes for 4 or more years. I’ve found a way to incorporate them into our steampunk pub kitchen remodel.

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Another quirky thing about my shopping habits is purchasing odd (strange) items. I don’t fix cars. I can’t name all the parts of a car nor can I tell you what all the parts do. But John and Nojo are classic car lovers so we usually stop by the Summit store in McDonough, GA when we are passing through. On one such trip, I found a gray coil for less than $5. It was swirly…and substantial. It had holes that might be useful for wire or some kind of sparkly dangle. So I purchased it. When I looked at my receipt, I discovered that my Super Awesome purchase was a suspension coil. Nifty! It’s going into the steampunk pub kitchen remodel somehow, though I haven’t completely figured out the details yet. 

Since we have an opportunity to be involved in a local art fair, I’ve been working on adding to the Unchained Emporium inventory. I’ve been working on mini-orbs today and will continue until my supply of rings runs out. Orbs are so nifty and versatile. They can be used as ornaments for either the Christmas tree or the rear view mirror in a vehicle. The minis can be used as pendants or cell charms (though I’m thinking cell charms are so yesterday!). And they can be hung on key rings. The larger orbs can be used as juggling balls, too. Fun stuff! Orbs are one of my favorite items to make. I’ve included a photo of two of the mini orbs I made today.

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These are two mini orbs I made for my shabby chic window treatment. The one with the blue tag is actually black and silver and the one just under my fingertips is brown and antique gold. Sorry for such terrible lighting!

It looks like one of our future projects needs to be a light box for better quality photos. Hope you enjoyed this post!

 

Just A Quick Post Today…

It appears that my ‘Monday’ is taking place today since yesterday went so well! Oh, well…moving on. I’m just going to post a few good quotes today about perseverance, since I need to remember to hold my head up high and keep going, no matter what happens. All of the quotes not directly linked to somewhere else are coming from this page on Quote Garden.

“Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs.  Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger.  If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.”  ~Dale Carnegie

Fall seven times, stand up eight.  ~Japanese Proverb

Stubbornly persist, and you will find that the limits of your stubbornness go well beyond the stubbornness of your limits.”  ~Robert Brault

There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream.  ~Author Unknown

As I read through these quotes, my drive is somewhat renewed and I feel I am in good company. It seems, many times, that we are in an uphill battle while trying to do what we love and enjoy, still making the time needed for family, household chores, school, and rest. Keeping things simple really is best and keeping our time uncluttered, free from time killers/wasters, is a must. I’m going to end this here for today but it seems I have much to mull over.

Organization and Decoration

I love organizing things. Really! They never /stay/ organized very long but I guess that might be a good thing. At least it gives me another chance to re-organize those things. I’m in the process of creating a workspace for myself where I can work on business and school paperwork in relative quiet and with few distractions. I get distracted very easily. Just ask anyone in my family and they would verify that quickly. So I’ve been looking around to see about prices on simple tables that fit my style. I don’t want a traditional desk because I clutter it up too quickly. I also want to minimize surface area because we live next to a dirt road and several acres of farmland. Let’s just say that if the dust that collects in my house was actually gold dust, we probably would have remodeled the entire structure by now! I’ve been keeping my eyes open for chairs that would work well for my office, too. Then comes the really fun part…decorating! I like using items that have great versatility. I also like quirky things. I’m really looking forward to putting it all together so that John’s workspace is more functional for him, too. Slowly but surely, it will all come together. I would love to combine the feelings I get from vintage and retro styles; the Steampunk genre; the Japanese traditional-styled homes represented in ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ and ‘Fruits Basket‘; and the PC game ‘Myst’,  and still maintain the character of the original house. It will definitely be a challenge…and I may not actually get all these design elements in…but if the feel of the room is warm and peaceful, inviting and comfortable, then I will have achieved my goal.

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” ~ Carl Jung

“I like the idea of being warm and secure. That’s what home should be. That you have a sense of warmth, security, love, and you love the things around you and surround yourself with beauty.” ~ Andre Leon Talley

“We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile.” ~ Earl Nightingale

 

Post Frequency and Sunshine

As I sit in my kitchen, enjoying the sunshine beaming down outside, I am also enjoying a pleasant summer breeze through our open windows. I woke up this morning and the first thought that popped into my sleep-fogged brain was ‘post frequency’. I just had to chuckle at myself. I take only a handful of things very seriously but when I do, they take top priority and often times they override the other things in my life. I find this to be especially true when I am hyper-focused on achieving a certain goal or forming a habit that I feel is necessary. I’m so determined to post something here every day. Having said that, I know there will be times when I cannot do that. I do want our readers to know that I will do my utmost to make sure something is posted here each day, if not each day, then there will be no more than a day’s lapse. If there will be a large time lapse, I will be certain to let you know.

I hope the sun, or the stars, are shining brightly where you are today and that you soak it all in and breathe in the peace of it.

Ideas which have been developed simultaneously or in immediate succession in the same mind mutually reproduce each other, and do this with greater ease in the direction of the original succession and with a certainty proportional to the frequency with which they were together.”Hermann Ebbinghaus

“Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” – James M. Barrie

It’s Time For Another Fabulous Friday!

Fabulous Fridays…when we share with you three places to visit, one or two quotes and a song, all of which we think are pretty nifty.

The first place on today’s Fabulous Friday list is another local business: Ruby’s Restaurant and Courtyard. Ruby’s has existed in our town for several decades now, which should be a great indicator of how great the food is. Their good, home-cooked plate lunches are truly fabulous. I highly recommend the meatball stew and the BLT! They pack those plate lunches full of food and if you don’t get full, there’s something really wrong. For supper, Ruby’s serves restaurant style local cuisine, like fried or grilled seafood dinners  and boiled crawfish (in season). They just started hosting live music in the courtyard this summer, when weather permits. This weekend, they’ll have Todd Ortego on August 23rd and Geno Delafose on August 24th. Local cuisine, local musicians…Ruby’s truly has something for every taste and budget and that’s why they are Fabulous.

The next Fabulous Place on today’s list is National Geographic’s ‘Animal Jam’. Our girls have really enjoyed hanging out here over the summer. They regale us with stories of their animals and the new friends they make. The safety controls are pretty awesome. I really love the ‘safe chat’ feature that now comes standard with most of the good online kids’ games. It’s kept them occupied happily and they are learning good things, too. Starshine highly recommends ‘Overflow’, which is one of the games you can play on Animal Jam. When you create a character, your character can play these games to earn gems. The girls tell me that you need to look out for mean people “because they’re there!” I had to ask what they meant by ‘mean people’ and this was the answer I got: scammers (who try to trade items with you but renege), bullies and selfish people (for example, one other player asked Starshine to leave before a quest was finished so they could finish the quest by themselves).

For the third Fabulous place, John recommends Phlearn, LLC for photography and photoshop tutorials. “Every tutorial that I’ve watched has been easy to follow and the host always makes it interesting,” says John. His three favorite tutorials from them so far are: 1) Create Beams of Light From Nothing; 2) Bring Back Lost Details in Shadows; and 3) How To Cut A Person Out of A Photo.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
– Marianne Williamson

Today’s Fabulous song comes from Nojo: Jessica by The Allman Brothers

Workspaces

I have to ask if any my readers have designated work spaces at home. There are no extra spaces in my house that could truly qualify as dedicated business work areas, as of yet. Recently, I’ve confiscated the kitchen table as my work area since I need a good bit of room to spread out. As this is not ideal, I’m contemplating a change-up in our music room/library. Sounds pretty grand, eh? No worries! We live in an old house and that room used to be a living room. We call it the music room because we keep our instruments in there. We also keep a good many of our books in there. (Do any of you also find that there is never enough book shelf space in your home? We’re not alone, are we?) I’m hoping we can get the furniture rearranged soon so that I can make room for a work desk. That room is pretty quiet and would make a nice, comfy work area. What about guys? What kinds of things make your work area work for you?

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt