Friday, January 12, 2018

My Carnival Vacation part 2

Thursday, January 11, 2018

My Carnival Vacation

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Blog Post for the New Year: Breaking Down Janet Jackson’s Unbreakable

Does not belong to P. Lynne Designs but a copyright
of Rhythem Nation/BMG Rights Managment
Via AP 

“Hello, it’s been a while”. It is one of the lines from Janet Jackson’s latest album, Unbreakable which is part of a song by the same name, Unbreakable.  It has been a while. A failed blogmas’ as well as a failed vlogmas’ for this year, and yet, my world is “unbreakable”.
This is how this song speaks to me (grabbing the lyrics from the site,
“I lived through my mistakes
It’s just a part of growing
And never for a single moment
Did I ever go without your love
You made me feel wanted
I wanna tell you how important
You are to me, love.”
We have all made some mistakes, and it is what it is.  You are learning, and you cannot learn if you do not make any mistakes.  My pet peeve about a perfectionist is they will call out your mistakes, and some will even remind you that mistake every now and then. “Remember that time when you…”   It is really annoying.  My question to the perfectionist is “how am I supposed to learn if I do not make a mistake”? For those of you who are, please ponder that for a moment. 
Next part of the phrase…
I started this journey of blogging because I wanted a voice.  I was not mad at anyone, I simply wanted a voice.  That is all a person who blogs, or vlogs wants is a voice. What is that voice?  It depends on that person.  Some want to change the world around them, some want to voice their opinion about a subject they are passionate about, and some want to be silly, but they still have a voice.  It is the same thing when a person writes a piece of music or choreographs a dance, they are speaking their mind.  I never thought of this thing called writing and I certainly never thought of putting it out in public, the internet of all places.
For the people who have read my posts, I want to thank you.  I wish I had a small gift to give to each one of you, but I do not.  It does not matter if you spent one minute or an hour or two reading, that is good enough for me.  Google has a different idea, but I am not worried about that at all.  I have too much on my plate to do that. 
My readers are important to me.  They keep me going when I do not feel like it.  When I post a link to a blog post that I have written, it is for you to read.  I have my own journal for me to write and read from. It is written in the same program that I start my blog posts from, MS. Word.  I have several posts mentioning my process when I write a blog post.  You may do something different or the same.  I give advice mostly to people who want to get started in writing, crafting, or whatever I decide to write about.
Verse 1:
“Truth is, truth is that I wouldn’t be here
Without the love I stand on
Anytime I get lost in the world
You’ll always be there
To care and share
In the joy and the pain, oh
Our love won’t change.”
Love of God, family, and friends is what I am all about.  I do not think that I could have survived without that love.  God brought me into this world through the help of my parents.  I am their only birth child.  I have a brother who was adopted at age 4 months, and through him, I have 2 nephews (21 years and 7 years old).  I have a foster sister, who I still call my sister, although she has plenty through her birth parents.  Through her, I have a nephew who is 10 years-old, and a niece, who is 9 years-old.  I also have various friends who I call my sisters and brothers, mostly through my church.  Do I wish that I had birth brothers and sisters?  I have two birth sisters who are in heaven, and at first, I did miss that bond to have someone to share my DNA with.  I went through that period when I was ages 10-16 years, but then I began the process of being thankful for who I have in my life.  I could have been a foster child myself, never have known these people who I call mom and dad.  I also could have been born in an abusive home like my foster sister. 
When you think back on your life, what do you think of?  I think of the joy and pain that Janet speaks about in this verse.  Do not think about the joy or the pain in your life, but think about all of it.  What molded you into the person you have become, even if you are a teen reading this right now?  I am so glad that my grandparents were praying grandparents, and in turn, made my parents praying parents.  Not only for the bad things but thanking God for the blessings that this family was and still able to enjoy, as well as getting us through the rough patches in our lives.
And what I share with you
Ever sacred, everlasting
The greatest love for me
I love you
And it’s pure
And it will endure
The world can’t break down
The connection
Cause our love is divine
And it’s unbreakable
Even though this is a secular song, I feel this chorus is God speaking to me and that His love is everlasting, very pure, and very sincere. (I was going to put another word there, but I do not want it to be misinterpreted to something more).  Even though God is a jealous God, meaning do not put anyone else before Him, he loves you like nothing else.  After all, He made us.  (Sorry, for those who believe otherwise, these are MY beliefs, and nothing you can say to change my belief).  When you make something, you cherish it, and you will do anything to protect it.  This is how God feels about us.  He sent His son, Jesus for that reason, among many reasons.  When Jesus died, He sent a comforter to look after us until He comes again.  It is a divine love that stands the test of time and space.
Verse 2:
Faithful love that I will always keep first
My heart will never be hurt
Family that walks through fire for me
So I don’t get burnt
Fans and friends chime in
To a love that’s true blue
I dedicate myself to you
I have nothing to say about this verse.  This is all Janet, and I said my peace in the first verse.  Family comes first after God.  I do have this to say, it is the reason why I have been absent from blogging.  With my parents’ health, it was important to me to tend to their needs.  (See Lesson 1:  Being a Dutiful Daughter) Next, it was important for me to take care of myself.  If I am not at my best, how can I take care of them?  I am not going to lie to say I have had a couple of financial issues through the year, and my parents have helped me with that. 2018 will be better, but I cannot say for my parents and their health.  Mom almost had a scare before Thanksgiving, but it is under control.  I pray nothing comes up while I am gone for a week with neither parent.
Cause our love is defined
And it’s unbreakable
Cause our love is defined
And it’s unbreakable
This is a repeat to let you know that God’s love is defined, and it is unbreakable

(I found a friend)
(I found a friend)
It’s been a while
(I found a friend)
Lots to talk about
(I found a friend)
I’m glad you’re still here
(I dedicate myself to you)
I hope you enjoy
I was going to take out the words in the parentheses, but it takes away from the song itself, so I left it in because I have found a friend.  I may not know you, but I do consider you a friend, a reader, a fan, a viewer, whatever you want to be to me. 
So, I have come full-circle, back to the beginning of this post, “Hello, it’s been a while.  Lots to talk about.  Glad you are still here.  I hope you enjoy.”  2018 is going to be one of my best years, and I want to take you along with me.  I am leaving 2017 behind, having learned from it, and having dealt with all the stuff that came with it, both the good and the bad.   My life is far from perfect.  This is your takeaway for the evening and the year that was 2017.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Blogmas day 5: Behind already, Yikes!

Welcome to Blogmas day 5, and no formal intros, except the one with me making the announcement that I am doing one.   How silly of me?
Let’s see….
First off, there is the preparation of getting ready for Blogmas and Vlogmas (Heh, did I mentioned I was doing that too?)  I did not realize that there is so much prep work going into these things.  There is the mental prep and the emotional prep.  You must be ready to think on your feet at all times.  Heh, no problem.  OK, did I also mention that I have my normal Christmas, plus a cruise to prepare for?  Yep, that’s me in a nutshell, always ready to think at the last minute on how I am doing something.  You would think that in the nine years of blogging I would be prepared mentally, and really I am, but it is the organizational part that worries me.  Don’t worry, I will do fine.  I am getting used to this all over again.  I would not be doing this if I thought I could not handle it. So that is the end of that subject.  On to the next thing smoking.
Shopping for decorations
This is a tip for those of you who, say, misplace your decorations from one year to the next, or have very little to would with:  Dollar Tree and 50% off sales.  
50% off sales have been going on (at least in the United States) for a couple of weeks, and you have to act fast.   I was late this year because I was a late bloomer (meaning I am now discovering this myself).  I went to Hobby Lobby Saturday looking for the sales.  It also helps that I was out of money as well. The shelves were almost empty when I got there.  I am looking for a color scheme of red and silver, with maybe a touch of blue here and there.  I am abandoning my traditional colors of burgundy and gold, with a touch of mauve or rose pink, whichever color name you choose.  It is only for this year (maybe). My plan is to look at Michaels this week. 
Unless you plan on keeping your decorations year after year, including the same color scheme. Dollar Tree is your friend.  In fact, this store is your BFF.  I have found more items that are as good, if not, a little better than name brands.   Now, a word of caution:  There are some items, like electronics, I do leave to the bigger brands like Target and Walmart, but since I am a crafter, I will upcycle the item.  That is another tip:  Upcycle when you can. I plan on posting this as one of my Vlogmas Videos, hopefully, this week. 
When you upcycle a less than perfect product, there are some tools and supplies you will need:
·         Adhesive
o   Wet Glue
o   Tape runner
o   Painter’s tape (blue- I use 3M)
o   Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
o   Double-sided tape (I use Scor-Tape, although there is a cheaper tape at Tuesday Mornings
o   Scotch Tape
·         Stapling gun (one for light projects and one for heavier projects like wood)
o   Staples
·         Paint
o   Gesso
o   White paint
o   Black paint
o   Mediums
§  Gel-to dilute the paint, available in Gloss, Semi-Gloss, and Matte.  You can also use Gel mediums to adhere things to the paper or other materials
§  Texture-to modify the texture of the paint.  Use as Modeling paste, which can be sanded or painted on. Use also with pastels,
§  Flow increase- it allows the paints to flow better on the canvas or wood
§  Slow drying- it allows you to blend colors.  The reason is acrylic paint dries fast, allowing you more time to blend your colors.
·         Paper-I will not go into the different types, but this is something you will need on hand.
·         Fabric-same advice.
·         Sewing machine.  Some people like to upcycle clothing
·         Scissors
·         Markers and pens
These are the basics.  I will have more in a future post or Vlog.
More Decorations…..
I mentioned that I am on a last-minute hunt for decorations.  I went with my folks to look at the different neighborhoods in the city at lights.  We have done it each year when I was a child, and for some reason, I want to start that tradition with my niece and nephews.  Tonight, was not a good night to look, everyone does not have their lights up.  We will try again later.
My plan is to keep the Blogmas blog post short and sweet.  I also will not put a takeaway element at the end of Blogmas posts unless, I decide to combine the two.
Have a good evening.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sitting at a Sushi Restaurant…. Where to work

Photo by P, Lynne Designs

It is Blogmas, Day 3, and I am currently sitting in a sushi restaurant working, enjoying a bowl of Miso soup, and the waiter brought in my “any 3 rolls” combo.  Looks delicious. I ordered the spicy scallop crunch roll, a squid tempura roll, and an eel avocado roll.  For sushi haters, it is quite adventurous, and very delicious.  Ok, I have said delicious too many times already. Let me move on.
While I was waiting, I decided that I wanted to write a blog piece (this one), and before I could finish one sentence, the waiter came out with the meal.  I could have finished this post, but the food was so delicious (there’s that word again) until I wanted to finish every bit of that sushi and soup.
The point to this post is not to boast about my meal (as good as it was), but to mention about an important step in the life of a writer, you do not have to work at home.  This is what separates my handmade business from my writing business, and better still separates my writing business from my direct selling business.  Let me explain
In my handmade business, P. Lynne Designs-Handmade, I need my tools with me.  These tools are big, bulky, and require many trips from the car and back.  It is perfect for craft shows when I go. I can sit there, do my work, and attend to customers at the same time.  I cannot take the tools to a coffee shop or a library.  Too noisy and I would get kicked out.  Same thing with my direct selling company, Longaberger, where I am an independent home consultant, except the noise level is a little quieter, but again, it does not make a good idea situation.
With P. Lynne Designs-writing, all I need is a pen, a notebook, and/or my tablet (I have not owned a laptop in years), go upstairs, away from the cat, who likes my desktop keyboard, cuddle up in my bed, and compose. I can go to a restaurant like Fugu Sushi, get a table in the corner during lunch, and pen my thoughts.  I have even gone to the bathroom to write.  Try putting a 12-pound electronic die cutter next to you in the bathtub, I would not be sitting here typing.  But then again, I have not attempted that feat with the Ipad either.
I have a Microsoft subscription that accommodates all 3 of my devices (Phone, Ipad, and desktop), so When I am saving my posts, I am saving it to my OneDrive cloud, and then I can retrieve the post from my desktop.  Once that is done and edited, then I can upload it to my blog.

So, how do you write?

I am not talking about your writing style.  I want to know where do you like to write?  Is it on the shores of Lake George on a moon-lit night (stole that line from an episode from Star Trek Voyager, when Captain Katherine Janeway tells her commanding officer, Chakotay where she would like to take her leisure vacation after she cheated death)? How about in the tub?  In bed?  Sitting down while sipping coffee on a rainy day (where I am right now in front of the desktop screen with a kitten behind me-I left the restaurant) or a sushi restaurant?  No one will call the writing police on you and no one will know unless you tell them.  The important thing is:

A.   You are comfortable.  My most comfortable spot is in my bed, feet stretched out day or night.  I know sometimes that is not feasible nor does it make the most ideal situation, but it is my space, and I have my pillow and blanket around me (no food or drink, I am not starting that habit). When I am downstairs on the main floor (hence, the reason for the no food or drink rule for me), I am at my desktop, coffee in hand, lunch or dinner, and these days, a kitten to keep me warm (not my cat, Gizmo is my nephew’s girlfriend’s cat, but she has claimed me).  I like to sit forward, and she plops herself between my back and the back of the chair.  I also sit on a pillow for comfort, and she thinks the same way.  Why can’t Gizmo sleep on the floor like my nephew’s dog, Strype, A mini Huskey mix?
Again, it does not matter where you are as long as you are comfortable
B.    Have plenty to work with.    Sometimes, if you are like me, you have this great topic that you think will blow to roof off the Interwebs, and you think that there is plenty of material to support it.  You start researching it, and nothing comes up.  It is the same old stuff that a friend of yours wrote about months ago, and nothing new has been written about your “mind-blowing” topic.  Although I have covered research in a prior post, as well as, adding little sprinkles about it here and there, it is important that you do have plenty of support to cover it, or you are maybe writing something that no one has not written about in the last 6 months. 
C.    Connection.  I am not only talking about connecting with your readers. I am talking about what is your Wifi connection in the establishment or environment you are in.  Not all eating places, hotels, cruise ships, or even places of worship have the wifi capabilities of a mega wifi, and some even charge for that connection.  For instance. Next month is my cruise.  I already know that I will not be able to call family when not docked at a port of call, but that also means that my data rates will become very high too.  My phone and my tablet need to be in “Airplane” mode at all times, except when we embark and disembark at the U.S. port.  While at sea, I could get International charges, which is a US citizen and living in the states, is something that my family plan may not cover.  So, that means, no writing or vlogging, then uploading.  I can, but it must be saved to the tablet or phone.  Once I get back, I have one night at a hotel before flying home, then I can remotely upload to my computer at home, safely under US authority.  So, your connection may not be that extreme, and mine usually isn’t, but you may not want to pay $5 an hour to read an ebook on your tablet or phone, or even write a post, at a hotel, but what you can do is download it at home, and read it offline when you get there.  You can also check to see if there is a free connection where you are at.  Most places have that in place as well, but, you may be limited to what you use it for.
D.   Finally, make sure you are not in violation of the free stuff.  Yes, it is wonderful that technology is this vast thing, where you can hook up with a phone, tablet, or laptop, and cruise the internet (the legal name to what I call, the “interwebs”).  While in places like The United States and other countries in the western world have that capability, not everyone has it, and even here in the states, there are limitations to free access.  There is no free access to cruise ships to certain websites and social media unless you pay for a package. Even when free, there are certain restrictions, like no porn sites and no YouTube videos.  If you are caught, you may be banned for life.  Read all rules to your temporary package of internet access (even if you plan to pay for it).  Once you sign on the dotted line (or click “accept”, you are bonded until you leave the area.
I will have a trip report on what I could do with my family plan and Carnival Cruise line, as well as Delta Airlines.  Anything I do would be under my normal conditions and nothing out of the ordinary.   In the meantime, your takeaway is to be flexible with your writing conditions, even when away.  The best thing about having portable devices is they are portable.  Be careful with everything, including where you lay your device.   That is the last tip.  People are watching, and all they need is for you to misstep and you have a missing device, especially in a foreign country.  Be mindful of your surroundings.  I look up every 10 to 20 minutes, sometimes sooner than that, and sometimes I do not engage in my device at all.  Whatever you do, be safe, and know that you write anywhere.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Attention All Trolls (Yes, that means Me too)

Attention:  If you say mean comments about someone’s post, comment, video, etc…. you are a troll.  I am not talking about those cute little things from the latest movie by the same name, those cute little dolls people were seen carrying in the 1970’s, or those trolls from Frozen, I am talking about those people who feel uncomfortable enough that they say mean nasty things about something that another person post in pictures, video, and in print on the internet.
Before I address that, note I said in the title, me too.  Yes, guilty as charged.  Why did I confess?  Because in the Bible, there is a bible passage (a group of scriptures) that points out that you cannot point out the actions of your brother without pointing out your own faults. (started to use the Old English word, and MS. Word would not let me), so I am not exactly the “Snow White” of comments.  In the beginning, especially, I have been known to have a tart in my comments about another post or video. 
Now, I am not against our country’s 1st amendment rights of free speech.  In fact, sometimes I think we, as Americans take it too far.   Yes, while we do have the right to say what we want to say, we really do not.  I want to ask you (especially if you constantly the one doing the trolling):
·         When is it right to call another race of people names like Pocahontas (for Native Americans) -heard that was said by our lovely POTUS (President of The United States) about another senator in front of a group of Native American Veterans, or calling each other in the same race N****.  If you do that, not only are you hurting that race, but you also do not have any respect for yourself. 
·         Tell a Youtubber that they are fake because they advertise on their channel.  (Also known as having sponsorship).  Last night, I was reading comments on Cullen and Katie’s channel because I thought that the video, which was a sponsored video for Google Home, was cute.  They rarely do sponsor videos, but I had to be nosey, and peek at what others said about the video.  Most people thought that the video was cute, especially Gaines and Brookes (their children ages 3 and 1), but there were one or two who thought that Cullen and Katie were being sellouts, being fake, and other nasty little comments. Folks, I will address the real life as a Youtubber in another post, but this is their job.  Any job, from being an actor, an ordained minister, construction worker, a blogger, mortician, or a vlogger has it's not so glamorous moment.  If you want to make money in this business (blogging and vlogging), you need sponsorship.  Not only that, Youtube has forced advertising on our channels, mine included.  Next, these sponsors will require product placement in videos, which is what television shows do.  You need lots of viewership to see any type of profit, and right now, I have 125 regular subscribers on my Youtube channel, and 556 pageviews from the month of October without posting a single new post on this blog, My Ambience Life.  I would love to see the numbers that Cullen and Katie get on their channel.  They have consistency and cuteness on their side, and I vlog sporadically, and I took off for 3 months on this blog.  
·         When you basically point out how ugly, stupid, or a being an idiot that the person was for posting in the first place.  You do not like the content, but you decided to point out the person instead.  That is being plain childish in the first place.
Folks, I have one word and one phrase for you…. Delete, and don’t watch (read).  You do not like the content, move on. This should be that simple.  This goes for anything that shows up on Facebook and Twitter feed (I have yet to see that much control on Pinterest, Instagram, and SnapChat), but you are in control of your feeds.  I do it all the time.  If a friend posts something on Facebook or Twitter that I do not like.  I ignore it or delete it.  Facebook even has the option for you to receive fewer posts from that person or to delete that one post.  Sometimes, I delete it because I do not like the language or the content is not my taste.  You must remember that this is what that person is thinking at the time.
I wish that the blogger or vlogger would give some sort of announcement when their video is sponsored.  Some like Cullen and Katie or GabeBabeTV will do that, but a lot will not.  For the ones that do not, I do not watch as much.  I am like you, If I want to watch a commercial, I have my lovely television set to keep me warm, but I must bare through it.  This happened when Google bought both Blogger and YouTube. Unfortunately, the interwebs within itself have become one great, big commercial.  This world has become one, big commercial.   
Anyway, all I am saying is (and I am probably talking to the air at this point), that no one likes nastiness and when you spend a better part of your day trying to given information that may help someone, even if it to entertain a person for 10-15 minutes a day, like I do, the last thing a person needs is someone to comment on a person’s hair, weight, their children, or their decision on what they did or not do new on their channel.  For the most part, I personally ignore the comments that are nasty, but I hate it when it presents itself on other people’s channels, news feeds, and blogs.  It makes me wonder why a person would subscribe to a channel in the first place.  I understand that we as bloggers and vloggers ask for subscribers and “likes”, but it is our job.  Yes, I could be doing a 9-5 job, and I do have other jobs besides this, such as graphic designing for others, but I love the freedom that a supervisor at a company could never give me.  I have done it for over 15 years, and it is tough when you must request to get off and get frowned on when you miss work due to an illness. 
Don’t get me wrong, I loved every single one of my jobs, including the temporary ones.  There were the jobs that I hated, and there were jobs that I loved everything about the job, except a couple of tasks that were part of the job itself.  I will have to tell you about the worst job I ever had and why I hated the job.
Well, I am rambling now. 
So, your takeaway for today is real simple.
Please do not be a troll.  I and other bloggers and vloggers understand your opinions, and we welcome them all, but some comments spell out hatred.  There is a saying that I first heard on the movie, Bambi.  This is the part when Thumper was commenting on how small Bambi’s legs were and if he was going to be able to stand on them at all.  The saying goes; “If you cannot say something nice (Thumper pauses), don’t say it at all.”  It is a good lesson and one of many on how to treat someone, especially on the internet.  Most times and before I say something about an article, post, picture, or video, I try to put myself in that person’s shoes.  By that time, the mean thought is out of my head. I also check comments before I place mine because what I want to say may have already has been said.  No use telling that person the same thing twice.

Well, I have covered trolls twice this year.  I am done.  If no one gets it by now, then remember, it is a matter of respect for one’s art, even in writing.  What a person does on their videos, newsfeeds, pages, and blogs is their business.  If a person is wrong, I am sure there are plenty of people to get them banned from Facebook, Twitter, even Pinterest, and Youtube.  No use writing a nasty comment to stoke the ego.  Have a good evening.