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I Was Wondering


Sunday, October 3, 2010

America stands for free speech. Even when it shouldn't.

I believe in free speech...except when it is inflammatory to US...
What is wrong with this country when it allows people to burn our flag...or say things like "Thank God for dead soldiers"? We are TOO laid back regarding those who wish to defame the men and women who are serving our country. If you don't want to be here, then get the hell out! And stop criticizing our soldiers for doing what they have signed on to do, just because you don't agree with our country "tolerating homosexuality". Some members of the Baptist Church are bigots. Because they don't agree with ANYONE being homosexual, they are ready to show up at a soldiers funeral and hold signs saying "Thank God for Dead soldiers". What kind of religion is THAT? Shame on every one of you who held those signs. Check out this story (copy and paste the link below in your browser) and tell me if you could deal with this if it was YOUR child. I find this very hard to believe. What has happened to humanity?
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36449471/

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Taking part in a real team effort. Promoting Bonanzle!

I am happy and proud to be a member of a terrific community of online sellers. I've been a part of the Bonanzle community for a year and a half now, and have seen it grow by leaps and bounds! For the next week and a half, the sellers of Bonanzle are conducting an Ad Blitz, and I am doing my part to contribute to that push.

If you haven't already visited this wonderful site, there's no time like the present!!




Saturday, August 14, 2010

Musings

I haven't been here for awhile. I wonder why. Do I just consider this something ELSE I have to do? Life gets so busy sometimes, even when I'm not doing anything! There is "physical" busy and then there's "mental" busy. I guess I've been "mentally" busy. Yup, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Sometimes I think my brain will explode out of the top of my head. Sometimes I think it will just leak out of my ears. And sometimes I wonder if it is even still THERE! Ever had days like that?

I'm worried about my (and hubby's) business. I'm worried about my country. I'm worried about my father (who hasn't been the same since contracting Encephalitis 8 yrs. ago) who is in a rehab facility at the moment. I'm worried about my mother, who is home alone and should be happy to be so, but seems to be falling into a depression. I'm worried about  my husband, who has recently had (again) heart-related issues. Should I be worried about MYSELF? Maybe...maybe not. 

After coming back from a two week vacation, I'm really not feeling the "relaxation" of mind and body that I think I should be feeling. Everything is just as I left it. No money coming in at work to pay the mounting bills. A house with cat hair fluffs blowing around the floor and into the corners of the rooms. A suitcase still sitting on the floor, waiting to be unpacked. Weeds have sprouted up to 3 feet high in places. Why can't flowers...those pretty things...grow like weeds?  Why am I sitting here blogging instead of tending to domestic chores??

BECAUSE I'M TIRED OF IT!!

Ok I feel better. Hey, maybe there IS something to this blogging thing.

Friday, July 9, 2010

BONANZLE...SO much more than an on-line place to buy or sell!

Bonanzle, yes, Bonanzle...NOT Bonanza. Never heard of it? Well you are in for a treat! It's NOT ebay...thank goodness! I wonder how many people are missing out on this terrific place?

I have been a seller on Bonanzle for almost a year and a half. I sell for the fun of it (although these days the money certainly helps!). I love to create things and then sell them. What a rush to have someone buy something that you have created! But I digress...



The discussion boards (or Forums) are the most amazing places to learn so much, ask for positive thoughts when life is throwing lemons at you, get well-informed opinions, promote your "booth" (that's what it's called on Bonanzle...not a shop or a store...), and laugh yourself silly. I do believe that some of the funniest people in the world have taken up residence there. 

So it's not just a place to sell your wares, or buy (amazing bargains abound!)...it's very much a social site if you choose to join in. If not, well, that's ok. It's not necessary to join discussions...but it can be helpful in getting some exposure for your booth, and meeting amazing people. 

In the past year I have had to deal with a brother who had cancer(HE'S A SURVIVOR! WAHOO), and a hubby who had heart issues. I took my concerns to the "boards" and got incredible comfort from Bonz'ers! (That's what I like to call us). People followed up well after each crisis was averted. Is it possible they really cared about a person they never really "met"? Damn straight!

There is a nightly forum called WOE (Words of Encouragement) that is visited by many Bonz'ers. It's a great place to go when you need...well...ENCOURAGEMENT! Believe me, I've been there many times. In fact...just about every night since I discovered it. A wonderful woman named Joyce started this forum a good long while ago and she spends mucho time keeping it going. Love ya, Joyce!

So you don't think we're all mushy-gushy....Bonanzle is one of (if not THE) fastest growing on-line buying/selling sites. We're all into the business of selling, but also have a wonderful time socializing with one another. What a refreshing change from the big, bad evilbay! I spent two years there and would never, ever consider going back!

Interested in checking us out? It's easy...just go to:
www.bonanzle.com
If you'd like to visit my booth, well come right on in to...   www.bonanzle.com/whynotnow

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I am an American. Natural Born. Do I get anything for that?

I was once proud to say "I Am An American". I'm  wondering...am I STILL proud? I wouldn't be a patriot if I said no. I'm just torn these days about WHO is most important to our American government, and to Americans who are in some seat of power in our many industries. I so badly need to vent...before my head explodes right off of my shoulders. Bear with me, please, I believe some of my vents may be buzzing around in your heads, too. Maybe you, also, are losing sleep...

Small Businesses...backbone of our WHAT?

Health Insurance:
My husband and I have owned a small mailing business for 28 years. We've never suffered so much as we have in the last few years. Our state - "Tax"achusetts hasn't helped. Keep increasing our employer paid taxes and say sayonara to most of us. Our state mandated Health Insurance for all, a few years ago. The backlash of that is being borne primarily by small businesses. God forbid the Health Insurance companies should reduce their profits. Two years ago we were going to get a 20%+ increase in our premiums, so we went with a $500  deductible. Last year, on our anniversary date, we were going to get hit with a 33% increase to keep the plan we had. We could not afford such an incredibly high increase, so we went to a $2,000  deductible.  We quadrupled our deductible, yet still pay about $25 more each month. Tell me how that makes sense?  We're helping to cover all of those who HAD to get insurance even tho they couldn't afford it. The Health Insurance companies sure weren't going to take a hit...so pass it along to the little guys.

AND DO YOU WONDER WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN OBAMA-CARE kicks in? Our state is a model. Be afraid, be very afraid.


OH YEAH...SMALL BUSINESSES ARE THE BACKBONE OF OUR COUNTRY.

Banks:

Oh, right, many took bailouts with condition that (Oh, wait...WERE there any conditions?) they would make low interest loans available to those who needed them...including small businesses. WE had a business loan (line of credit) that our esteemed Bank of America decided to "call in". We weren't using it to borrow from...then pay back...than borrow from again and again. No...we were just paying interest each month, because we didn't have the money to pay it down over and over again. So now...it is no longer available to us, except to pay (through electronic debit) each month for the next five years...until it is paid off. We certainly needed THAT help while pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps to keep our company afloat.
So now, as a gift to ALL of us, they've found ways around the Feds new rules to add more and more fees to the fine Natural Born Americans who are struggling. Many are now charging you $6.00 (or maybe more in some places) to cash a check at their bank if you do not have an account there. (Blackmail? Are they having that hard a time getting new account holders?) Oh, and they also fingerprint the individual who's paying $6.00 for the privelege of cashing their check there. And don't even get me started on the way they account for your debit card uses. I think it borders on "illegal". They don't debit your account in the order you USED that debit card over the course of a day. They are entitled to start with the HIGHEST charge and go down to the lowest. Overdraft fees anyone? They are making money "hand over fist"...at the expense of those who are finding it hardest to get by.

City and Town Governments:
Yes, they are having a hard time, despite our taxes increasing each year. So, they employ "vendors" to do some of their work.  Be very afraid if their June 30th end of fiscal year is approaching. Don't expect to get paid...even for bills over 30 days old...until AFTER June 30th. And a huge corporation who has many state contracts...well...screw  the little guys...they  need to make their bottom line look good. The little guys who service them well can wait. Like WE (little guys) don't have bills to pay!

Keep increasing the costs of the little guys to live something closely resembling the way they used to live...and what will America be then?
I don't even want to start on benefits afforded to  illegal aliens that WE NATURAL BORN CITIZENS would NEVER qualify for. 

We've always been considered a  "Melting Pot"....well we're all MELTING...and where is our government to stop the flow?
Gee, I wish I could be assured of a raise every year...great health insurance...and a nice pension!
Dream on Americans. 
Maybe the next revolution will be American citizens vs. American politicians.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Recycled or upcycled?


THERE'S A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF THINGS TO RECYCLE OR UPCYCLE!!

I spent an entire day, recently, surfing the web to see how much people are doing to recycle or upcycle mundane things into something entirely different and exciting. I started off wondering WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RECYCLED AND UPCYCLED??

Recycling involves processing used materials into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials

Upcycling involves processing new materials into new products, or the re-use of a product with crippled functionality for alternative purposes

A while back, I recycled a plastic bottle into beads for making a necklace, earrings, etc. I cut strips from the clear plastic bottle, colored onto them with permanent sharpie markers, rolled them and "shrunk" them with a heat gun. You can take a look at the end result below.....

 

  

I now have a few bags full of used/empty soda bottles to use to make more of these beads.
So...here I've taken a used material and made it into a new product...RECYCLING? I think so.

Currently, I've been looking around my house for items that are no  longer used, and trying to figure out what I could possibly make with them.
See one of my finished products below...and another I'm still working on to come up with a great idea...



The pic above shows design pieces from an old Spirograph. I absolutely loved creating designs with the Spirograph I had when I was a kid (back in the dark ages!). These pieces came from a travel version of Spirograph which I had purchased for my kids back in 1991. Had to have something to keep them from whacking & whining while we were on long car trips!
I glued on acrylic gemstones over some or all of the holes in each Spirograph piece, then added a jump ring and a chain. Voila! I believe I've just upcycled something! 
I reused a product with "crippled" functionality into an alternative purpose...or is it that I processed a new (well, slightly used) material into a new product??
I guess I can consider this Upcycling??

Below, I show a few items that I plan to...hmmm...REcycle or UPcycle???...


These are keyboard keys from an old childs keyboard. (Hence, the bright primary colors!) I popped them off  with a flathead screwdriver (not very difficult to do) and here they sit, waiting for inspiration! They all have a long-ish stem on the back(that's how they attached to the keyboard), so I guess I'll have to cut those off somehow, in order to use them for jewelry or SOMETHING!  Being the lazy type(sometimes), I'm trying to figure out a way to use them without having to cut off that stem. Hmmm....the wheels are turning....

Found under the keyboard cover....
A type of control "thingy" for the keyboard, complete with capacitors and resistors(I remember those terms from helping my son make a robot of sorts about 10 years ago); 3 sheets of lightweight plastic with white diagrams printed on them; a soft, rubbery piece of plastic which was the top layer under the hard plastic cover of the keyboard. Hmmm....how might these be re or upcycled?

I'M WORKING ON IT!

I found a wonderful site showing many, many ideas for things others have recycled or upcycled. It's definitely worth checking out...

http://www.recycledcrafts.com  
Go to the Crafts Gossip area of the site and there are pages and pages of ideas!

Most of the day I spent surfing was at that site. I think you'll be amazed at the creativity out there in cyberspace!!

I'm still a tiny bit unclear about the re vs up cycle meanings. But...I believe I'm a step closer...

HOW ABOUT YOU??

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

FACE IT. You're NOT your daughter's look alike.

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL...
WHAT THE??????

Aging is inevitable...and it sure beats the ALTERNATIVE! One of the most noticeable signs of aging is the condition of the skin on our faces. (Of course there's also "chicken skin" arms, "turkey" necks and "moon crater" cellulite - but that's a topic for another day). But I often wonder why some weather the ravages of time better than others, and why are women more susceptible to wrinkles, age spots, crows feet, flaking skin, puppet lines(you know...those fun deeply lined curves that come down from each corner of our mouth? Ya - those!) than men? Research...research!!!

I offer myself up as the "specimen du jour" to see the progression of the degradation of the skin on the face. (Call me crazy, but here goes...) 

 
Here I am at about age 3 - not a wrinkle in sight! Skin as smooth as a baby's...well, you know.
At age seven...smooth as silk! A little young to get married, don't you think? (My lame attempt at humor...I had just made my First Communion)




 



I'm seeing a pattern here. Wasn't big on smiling for pic's it seems. Here I am almost 29 years old. Skin still looking pretty good, but starting to see a bit of "bags" under the eyes.



 WHOA! 32 yrs old here.
 Bigger puffs under my eyes, dark circles. Well, only 3 days since having twins, but a look that I would wear for years to come!



Here we go....age 57. You may not have to look too closely to see the many lines across my forehead, between my eyes, beside my eyes, and even between my eyes and my eyebrows (what is THAT about?) Bigger & darker circles under my eyes, and MUCH bigger bags. What doesn't seem to show...AGE SPOTS!! Well, maybe you CAN see one on my nose. A few other stragglers reside on the sides of both of my cheeks. WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED???



OK The cold, hard (wrinkly) facts.

According to a study in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, women had more wrinkles and deeper lines than their male counterparts. Their analysis attributes a woman's wrinkles woes to fewer sweat and sebaceous glands, fewer blood vessels, and a different muscle structure.(Well, I'll tell ya what...I sweat more during MENopause than any 3 men could in a LIFETIME!! How many sweat glands did THAT take?)

(THIS guy wasn't part of the study.........)


CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said on an episode of  "The Early Show" this is particularly the case around the mouth and nose for women. As women age, Ashton explained, the muscles pull in closer to the mouth, and cause wrinkles.

But what about shaving - does that make a difference? (Well, ya....if you're a woman!)

Ashton said the study didn't address hair, but added there are theories that hair follicles give more structure to the skin.(Well, I've got MANY more hair follicles now than I EVER did! Especially on my chinny-chin-chin!)

Well, I've got my own theories about why women wrinkle more than men. The countdown:

10. Do men stay up late waiting for the kids to get home?
 9.  Splashback from spray cleaning products.
 8.  Splashback from toilet water (while frantically cleaning it before company comes).
 7.  Constant grimacing and muttering when the person in front of you at the supermarket has more than 12 items.
 6.  Exhaust fumes while trying to stuff your kid's soccer equipment in the trunk.
 5.  Grease splatter from the huge breakfast you're cooking for everyone.
 4.  MENstruation.
 3.  MENopause
 2.  MENtal health issues.
 1.  MEN.


A few quotes to make this wrinkly mama feel better.
Age should not have its face lifted, but it should rather teach the world to admire wrinkles as the etchings of experience and the firm line of character.- Ralph B. Perry

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.- Mark Twain

Yup, OK, well here's something that doesn't make me feel all that great!

Brooke Shields: Now here's a woman with good genes! Great looking skin. Could scads of money have anything to do with it?





What's a woman to do? There are more anti-aging, anti-wrinkle products on the market than there are wrinkles on our collective faces! And we're spending tons of money on these products!

Driven by the aging world population, the desire to preserve youth, and the numerous advancements made in reversing the natural process of aging, the world market for anti-aging products is projected to reach U.S. $115.5 billion by the year 2010. 

 

Found a couple of homemade "recipe's" using stuff from your kitchen to making your own facial skin care (anti-aging?) product.

 Instant face exfoliator: Buy a bag of cornmeal. Take a tablespoon of that and a tablespoon of olive oil and one drop of lavender. Exfoliate your face. Then use a hot flannel to wipe it off. (P.S. DON'T use your pajama's!)

Anti-aging mask:Simply take some carrot juice, either store bought or home juiced, add a few drops of olive oil and an egg yolk. Mix well and apply to your face and neck and relax for about half an hour.(You might want to wait to do this until you're home alone!)Rinse with luke warm water.

 For a good soother for dry and wrinkled skin, take a tablespoon of grated carrot, a teaspoon of honey and a few drops of olive oil. Mix well - apply to face and neck and relax for 15 minutes.(Don't, I repeat DON'T go out into the garden-who knows WHAT kind of wildlife you may attract!) Rinse with luke warm water.

 Honey is a fantastic cleanser, it draws dirt from pores and removes dead skin cells from the surface leaving your skin deep cleaned and renewed. (Don't do any dusting while your face is coated with honey - not a pretty picture!)  

Tomato pulp tightens skin.  

You can use almost any fruit or vegetable to make some kind of facial skin care product, and it can be great fun (and messy) experimenting.

 Just don't expect THESE results:

 

 And now I wonder.....will doing any of these things make me look more like my 25 year old daughter? FAT CHANCE!

 

One last thing....maybe THIS is a good idea for PREVENTING those wrinkles?.....

He's called "Pinhead"!