My (newest) Addiction…

I’m about to embarrass myself. Again.

Several months back, I stumbled upon Pinterest. Though I try (hard) to limit myself, I cannot resist wandering to this site several times a day.

What is Pinterest?

I’ve also heard Pinterest called “Fantasy Football for Women.”

Daughter makes fun of me for my addiction. But then Son, Daughter, Family and Friends make fun of me for nearly everything I do and say, anyway. Without me, they would have no entertainment.

Some tidbits from my ‘FUNNY’ category…

Dedicated to Darling Daughter…

Anybody who knows Daughter understands that it isn’t ONLY a problem for Daughter. It is a PROBLEM for everybody in the house when there is a spider ‘sighting’ and said spider disappears. (The lucky ones live elsewhere…) Son and I CANNOT LEAVE.

I have thought (hard) about buying letter stencils and fabric paint to create this. Not for anybody specific (everybody is welcome at my house). It just makes me laugh…

 

 

 

 

    HARD TRUTHS? Probably…

I scan Facebook most days. This blog posts to it automatically–and so I connect with many readers with the ‘good book.’

However, I cannot understand why people post some of the things they post…especially the negative thoughts. To me, it is cowardly. Why not speak face to face with those who anger you? Hurt your feelings? That way, both parties can share their feelings, maybe understand each other better and find a SOLUTION. Also, why put personal ‘business’ out there for public consumption?

Really, this is a good rule.

Though being impulsive is being human. And we are all guilty of saying and doing stupid things now and again. Just no way around it. And social media tools make it easier to do and say things we later regret!!

And this weeks favorite. Has me re-thinking the daily walks on the beach. Maybe I should go back to hiking in the woods???

Hmmmm….must think about this!!

Why do I enjoy Pinterest so much?

Because it makes me laugh. The more serious quotes make me think. I’ve found some fantastic recipes, creative ideas. Hairstyles. Clothing. Home Decor. Shiny Objects, or jewelry. I have a page where I pin my eBay listings, items for sale. I pin blogs and websites I want to go back and read. (‘Double Takes’ category)

The best part is that it gives me a place to organize photos, insights, quotes, inspiring words, pictures, furniture, crafts and more–Anything that I want to reference at a later date.

It’s where I go for a bit of inspiration, and often for a laugh.

If you haven’t checked it out, consider doing so. You’ll thank me. (Maybe)

The more people who are ‘addicted,’ the better I can feel about my latest habit…

Amy Lauria on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/amylauria/

Special Note: I tried to properly link photos to credit the source websites. Hopefully I was successful. Do let me know if I need to correct a link/photo.

Changes in the works…

Something BIG has happened…

A milestone.

Before anybody gets excited, it isn’t a another ‘new’ job. And no, I’m not getting married again. Nothing quite that monumental.

But over the weekend, I reached 10,000 hits–or visits to this site. (Over 10,000 now…)

When I began, I didn’t know if THREE people would visit the site. Or at least THREE people who weren’t family…

Obviously, there are writers, bloggers, websites that have 10,000 hits per day–and get millions on a yearly, or monthly basis. I know that.

And yet, I feel a sense of accomplishment.

When I look at my stats, there visitors from all over the world. Not only do I have a ‘nice’ group of followers (27, last time I looked), there are also many who use RSS feeds, bookmarks, Facebook and other tools to keep up with my posts. And they do so regularly.

To everybody who has stopped by…my most sincere thank you. I appreciate the comments, personal emails, texts and other communications. I truly do….

Nothing is more touching than connecting with others, sharing our commonalities. I’ve made new ‘friends’ in England, Australia, Florida and both the eastern and western seaboards. Which humbles me…

Honestly, I’m not a Perfect writer. I abuse grammar rules. Write in fragments. (No shock, because I THINK in a fragmented way…) And am constantly flagged for using the ‘passive’ voice. (Grrrrr……I can’t help it sometimes!!)

But I do love to write. Love that I can make a difference. Can share some of my thoughts and experiences (AND disasters and struggles) in an honest, positive way. And hopefully others feel a little more human, less alone.

CHANGES IN THE WORKS…

LENGTH ~ I am going to try (HARD) to shorten my posts. Writing the longer ones is time-consuming. (And I fear boring?) Plus I need to focus on getting a ‘real’ job–at least a part-time ‘real’ job. (And soon!) Unless I want to make like Fred Flintstone and drive a log car, using my FEET to get it going.

THEME ~ I have playing around with it. It will probably change soon. Don’t be alarmed, or think you are in the wrong place if the site has a ‘new’ look.

WEB HOSTING ~ Fingers crossed, this isn’t noticed by readers. And that any technical difficulties in the transition are minimal. I need to acquire hosting service, start using proper tags and other technical stuff. Believe it or not, I have slowly grown doing NONE of what writers/bloggers are SUPPOSED to do to attract readers. Not shocking. I don’t often follow the rules, or go in the proper order…

A BIG THANK YOU–And all of my gratitude to those who have hung in there and supported me these past couple of years.

And please let me know if you like the changes. Or hate the changes. Comments and Feedback often helps point me in the right direction…

Let’s do (a little) something for Kenan

I’m not one of those people who ‘love’ Facebook.

I don’t often post status updates or photos–but I do login most days to take a look around…to see what’s going on…

And every once in a while, there is something that really, profoundly, touches me.

Today was such a day.

In Chicago, there is a little boy named Kenan. He is the son of a girl I went to school with. And he has Krabbe disease.

It is unfathomable when looking at photos taken when he was an infant…

 And yet, it is so.

What is Krabbe disease?

Several months ago, I had no idea. Had never heard of it. It wandered onto my radar with a series of achingly beautiful family photos featuring Kenan…

 

Medical Definition: Krabbe disease is a rare genetic disorder of the nervous system.

A little more information: This disease affects muscle tone and movement, and may cause vision and hearing loss, among other devastating effects. It is brutal, and usually fatal. With few treatment options, the goal is to ease symptoms. There is no cure.

No hope.

Ahhh, but there is ALWAYS hope. Always…

There are always advances in medicine. And in the case of Krabbe disease, there has been some success in using stem cells to treat young infants. As with many diseases that once had no cure, research will bring little bits of information. These little bits will be strung together to create bigger chunks of information. There will be forward momentum, more information…and eventually treatment options and a cure will come.

But for now, there is a little boy who is ill.

And a family who could use some help. Because both parents are self employed—they are also self-insured.

Not only are they raising a baby in need of extensive medical treatment, they bear the financial burden of paying for this treatment.

No parent should have this worry.

Caring for an ill child is enough.

This family is remarkable. They document their son’s milestones with beautiful photos. And Natasha is the true definition of what a mother is; loving, gracious, hopeful, caring, unselfish…

Often, we hear of this type of challenge being called a parents’ worst nightmare.

I can only call it a challenge. Although family and friends who love this little boy must be heartbroken, they surely consider him a blessing like no other.

As anybody who has read this blog knows, I am not a woman of great means. (At least not yet!!) And I am still trying to figure out what (if any?) talent I have.

The one thing I seem able to do is write.

Not with Perfect grammar or punctuation. Nor can I claim any formal training in journalism. But I can often reach others with the written word.

It only makes sense that I write a bit about Kenan today. Because he inspires me.

His family and friends inspire me. And they have come up with a way to help. For those who would like to join me, here is a link to the “Kisses for Kenan” website:

http://kissesforkenan.org

Today, I love Facebook.

Because it gave me the opportunity to do a little something…

If a lot of people can do just a little, then maybe the sum total will be something really BIG.

And a family might have fewer worries.

Hello News Herald

Playing With Perfect is now a part of The News Herald ‘s website.

Channeling sunshine, happiness and a bright future...

I was terribly excited to be a part of this blogging community. Until I learned that our local paper is owned by Journal Register Company, a large multi-media news company specializing in local journalism—in 992 communities, 10 states, and reaching almost 14 million people each month!  A tiny bit of trepidation (terror?) crept in to edge out my initial enthusiasm.

Honestly, there must be many writers more talented than I am. Writers with bylines, professional experience and spectacular sentence structure. Though I have been published locally over the years, my sentence structure could use some help. It falls far short of spectacular.

I am not a Perfect writer. Yet there are people out there—most of them not related to me—who seem to connect with my posts. Facebook, blog and email comments have been incredibly gratifying.

Could this be my exit?

The positive reinforcement is the reason I keep moving forward in sharing my experiences–though they are often disastrous. Also, I am now ‘out there’ in a public forum. What choice do I have but to keep writing until I succeed at something? I (hopefully) have reached my limit with regard to failure—I mean learning experiences—Surely, there must be a failure threshold? And I am closing in on it…

 

Otherwise, its possible that I’ll reach millions of people through The News Herald and Journal Register Company—for being a loser!

Not to worry. This is win/win for readers. The stories will be entertaining either way.

My LOVE – HATE Relationship with Facebook

At what point are our personal lives personal?

A couple of weeks ago, I hopped out of bed and walked into my bedroom door. Hard. The impact of my forehead and nose smashing into the door woke both of my kids up.

“Mom…what was that?” my daughters panicked voice…

“My FACE” I said, gasping for breath through my laughter…then “Who closed my bedroom door?”

Oh that was me I was up late doing homework and jumped into the shower and I didn’t want to wake you up so I shut your doorI’M SO SORRY!” my daughter.

“Whaaa waassss thaaaa?”  Mumbled my son, followed by more unintelligible nonsense before he rolled over and was back asleep.

My day started with a bang.

Did I post this on Facebook? Absolutely not.

Of course, I caught my daughter snickering several times before she left for school—at least she didn’t laugh in my (rather sore) face.

Bad enough that she went to school and told her entire French class—and many others. There are those that say she walked into school still giggling—and that she was laughing so hard as to be crying while relaying the story to the French class. Small town. Everybody knows me.

Heck, maybe I should have posted?

This whole ‘privacy’ thing goes back to elementary school. My mom insisted that grades were personal. When report cards were handed out, I was to bring mine straight home. No sharing with other students. You might think me a poor student. But most of those grades were A’s. In my family, grades were considered personal information. And because I made good grades, my mother would have considered it bragging—which to her was bad form.

Follow me for a minute…

Does ANYBODY go on Facebook to say they got a Rockin’ good deal on a pair of shoes at their local thrift store? Or that they spent the morning balancing a checkbook—and that they can’t cover their bills? How about to say that they got an appalling review at work? Or that their teenager is grounded for turning up incapacitated?

Or do they post that they were just at the Apple store getting a new iphone? Or maybe they just came back from a fantastic vacation—bikini shots included. There are pictures of children posed in fabulous houses. Life is all “Barbie and Ken” head to the Bahamas…

I cannot leave out my personal favorite: “Thank you so much (fill in the blank) for being the most wonderful  (husband/wife/girlfriend/child…) I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!” When did we stop walking from the kitchen into the living room to share these sentiments directly??

Maybe I don’t get it.

It seems to me that many people are boasting. A lot. And sharing mainly “Good News” or tidbits they believe might elevate others perception of the seemingly Perfect life they are documenting on Facebook.

Probably, I don’t understand because I am rarely on Facebook. I’m the person who gets the Evite AFTER the event has passed. The one who reads the birthday wishes nearly two months after my birthday. This might be why I have so few (less than 100) friends—when others have hundreds, even thousands…

Yet every time I decide I am done with Facebook, I login to find that a childhood friend has just gotten married, or welcomed a new baby—complete with pictures. And I go back to the happy memories of good times spent with that person. And I melt a little. I’m sincerely thrilled for them.

Or I see a quote that inspires me when I need it most. And I think…”I should get on here more often and be part of this.” More warm feelings…

The warm feelings last until I am “Tagged.”

Not ‘tagged’ as in running around the yard—until one of the other kids yells, “You’re it!”

Tagged in a photo. At my deepest core, I am a private person. The idea that others can post photos of me violates some sort of personal code I’ve got.

Facebook is here to stay. And my relationship with it will likely always be somewhat shaky…