Thursday, December 31, 2015

Day 29, 30, & 31: Reflection

Please note:  I had something very different that I wanted to write on this last day of 2015.  
This is a tip for you would be writers and current writers: Do not settle on your first manuscript, blog post, or even love letter.  If something is not write (right), set it aside and pick it up later.  If you still feel the same way about the subject and content of that piece, go for it.  If not, go with your gut and write about something else.  Do not scrap the original.  With this technology, it is so easy to save it on a flash drive or in the cloud.  When the time is right, and you will know, pick up where you left off, and publish it at that time.  Sometimes, like now, you just have to scrap the piece.  Why?  Well in my case, I started writing it a couple days ago, I was angry at the way my Christmas evening ended, and it did not feel right for me to dump my problem on you, my readers.  Another tip:  never write in anger, if you never come across like that in your writings.  Calm down.  Never tell a stranger your problems, especially in writings.  People with problems look for negativity.  They want others to wallow in their misery with them. That’s human nature.  We want people to feel happy when we are happy, sad when we are sad, and so on…. Why do you see so many comments from people when a blog post or a video is posted?  Humans love to be entertained, especially with anything that makes them negative.
Anyway, back to the topic…
I want to say that this has been a year of many roller coaster rides.  Some I expected, such as trying to get my businesses stronger, and growing more and more with Christ.  I had some issues I had to continue to work out from 2014, such as the death of one of my friend’s child, but I am at peace with it.  Some things I did not expect, such as my accident at the end of July.  I am still scared of making left-hand turns, and it is going to take me a while to turning with confidence.  Overall, it was events, like my accident that helps me reflect on how good God is, and how he works.
I am not happy about the events of this country in terms against Blacks, especially the children.  I am particularly upset in terms of the two police officers of shot and killed a 12-year old child in Cleveland, Ohio.  These two officers, who are supposed to be upholding the law, shot this kid, A KID, WHO HAD A TOY GUN!! Sorry, I am screaming about this, but they never questioned him, never questioned his age.  Then, when his sister, who was also under 18 tried to go to his rescue, they arrested her for seeing about her own little brother.  Where is the justice in that?  Whatever happened to asking questions?  Two days ago, these two officers were told by the city of Cleveland, they acted according to the law and will not be charged for the crime.  It is a crime, people, against a child.  Well enough with this subject, because I can write a whole post on the subject.  BTW, yes, all lives matter, but when it comes to brown skin, I guess not.  Something needs to change, ASAP.
OK, I am done….
There will be some changes in my life, and I want to share.  No, it is nothing bad, just my words of affirmation for 2016.  I have thought about them throughout the year, and I must say that I am pretty pleased with them.  I started saying them back in 2012, but I was just saying the words.  Nothing held water in them.   The more I chose a word each year, the more committed I wanted to be with a word.  For 2016, I have several, and it is not because I was indecisive, it is because I have many aspects of my life.  You may see it in these next few sentences.

1.        Truth.  Would you believe I found this word a few days ago while playing one of those stupid games on Facebook?  It was called “Find your word for 2016”, and I know you are laughing, but here me out. I had to think about this word for a moment, and I had to ask myself, what is my truth? Am I being true to myself?   To others?
2.       Authenticity.  It goes along with truth.  How authentic am I? I am basically a quiet, shy person when I first meet you, but I have a business that has clients.  This comes to this next word…
3.       Authority.  When you are naturally quiet like I am, it looks like to the surface that I am a pushover.  Not so fast, my friend.  I can be a leader when I need to, but I do not like to push it around.  It is one thing to say what you can do and will do for a client, friend, or family member, but it is another to just let them just walk all over you.  Trust is a co-word of authority.
4.       Creative.  I put this in my business, mainly because I make art, music, dance, and make dreams happen.  I want this business to be a blessing to all who request a product, be it cards, scrapbook, or a written document.   With that being said, I may have to make my other business (an Independent Home Consultant) to part-time.  It all depends on where I am at with this business.
Well, that is it for this series.  I hope you enjoy it.  I am taking off for a couple of days to get situated and to prepare to organize the month of January.  So I hope you have a safe New Year’s eve and day.  Goodbye, 2015, I cannot say it has been all fun, but I thank God I am alive.  Hello 2016, and welcome to a new day, a new year, and a new adventure.  I cannot say that it going to be a great year, but it will be a great year if you let it be. THINK POSITIVE AND BE PRAYERFUL NO MATTER YOUR BELIEF SYSTEM IS.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Day 23: Going to find out….

(c) 2015 Lettering by
P.Lynne Designs
That is a powerful sentence, but it is not complete.  What are you going to find out?
Are you going to find out if it is a boy or a girl?  I have a couple of You Tube friends whose vlogs I watch and are expecting a baby within the first 6 months of the year.  So this something they can relate to.  Some parents are quiet about their child.  They want to know at the last minute, and for that reason, they pick both a boy’s and a girl’s name.  The trend is to choose a neutral name, that way little Jordan can be a boy or a girl.  All they have to do is change the spelling of the name.
When are you going to find out if you have the job or not?  This is for those who are looking for a job.  You know the feeling…. you find a job that is meaningful (I hope it is), and you really, really want it.  It has the right hours, location, and it uses your skill set.  It also has the pay rate that you want, and you feel that you are the right fit, but does the company?  It does not matter if you have been with the company for a while and it is a promotion or you are being hired for the first time, people are going to ask you when you will know if you have the job or not.
When are you going to find out the test results?   This can be a little nerve wrecking, because you are finding out your future.  This is both in academia, where a test determines your grade and/or if you graduating from high school, university (that’s college in the United States), the military, or even on the job.  It lets you and the instructor know that you have the right to move on to the next level.  Then there is medical. “Do I have a disease, a disorder, or am I dying?” That is what the person taking the test is asking when the doctor needs to look further into the problem.  “Why do I feel this way?” “If I have this disease, is there a cure for it?”  “What are the long-term effects?” Or “if that is not the problem, what’s next?”
When are you going to find out what you are going to get?  I threw this on in there, because it is Christmastime, and you ask a child this question?  A child knows that they want, but are they going to get it?     As adults, we are often asked this question, and we become like wide-eyed children, wanting to know what we got for Christmas (Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa), but we should not always be in anticipation of always getting something, for “it is better to give than receive” (Acts 20:35) I know it is hard for a little child to understand the concept, but that is where teaching your child this act of kindness.  It is a form a sharing.  “I share what I have so you can be blessed with my gift to you.” You can do that by showing.  Children learn best if they first learn how to share with their siblings, if they have any, cousins, if not.

So, what are you going to find out for New Year’s 2016?  I hope it something that you always wanted.  I hope it will enlighten you if it is not, but most of all, I hope it will bring you understanding, no matter the outcome.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Day 21: Making a list, checking it twice. Maybe more.

(c) 2015 P. Lynne Designs
The original title was Making a List.  I added the last part, because of a boo-boo I made with this computer.   My computer is having a search engine crisis.   It all started with me clicking on a link to check the authenticity of the link to a document on a series I will disclose later.  Now for internet security people, this link did not originate from an email.  It originated from a document I found on Google, so it was legit, and whatever else they called it.
Anyway, I received a note that said that my organization did not authorize me to click on the link, and I must contact the help desk.  “Huh”, I thought as I read the note on One-Note, a note-taking product from Microsoft Office (I have the full suite).  I never encountered this before.  Later, I encountered the same thing in Outlook, where I get and read my email.  First off, the desktop is mine, not a work computer.  Second, I use it to work in my own business.  Third, it is in my home, I am my own help desk.  As I started searching my way around the situation, I realized that I have been here before.  Let me explain.
Microsoft does this real clever but annoying little thing:  it makes sure you are running only their products.  Crazy, huh? Windows will set it so that if you are running, say, Google Chrome, and you set it as a default search engine, Microsoft programs are not allowed to open links.  At least that is my belief.  So I have to default to Internet Explorer, uninstall Google, reinstall, then set it back to default. (I cannot stand IE).  Now here is where it got worst….
I went into my usual routine; Read Facebook, have on another page, Pinterest on another, My Longaberger website on another (in case you have not been following my blogs, I am an Independent direct selling consultant for them), Etsy on another (I have a P. Lynne Designs shop on Etsy and Amazon), Youtube on another, and Cricut Design Studio on the last page. Except it did not go to these pages at all, it defaulted to   What’s worse than that, Google Chrome defaults to Yahoo as a search engine default. 
I have done the following:  ran a PC cleaner I got from HSN (Home Shopping Network), ran my antivirus.  Nothing….

(12 hours later….)

Day 22: checking it twice

It has been 12 hours later, and I could have submitted my post, but I did not want to risk affecting anyone, so this is why it is a double post.  I originally had something else in mind for Checking It Twice, but this happened.  It was going to be more on the side of holiday/Christmas, but my motto has always been, “God has a sense of Humor”. It means to be flexible, because your plan is not God’s plan, and God’s plan may not be what you want, but it is what you need, and as Mama Ode from Disney’s Princess and the Frog says, “Dig a Little Deeper”.
The computer is now clean, thanks to two agents at Geek Squad.  I had something called an MBAM virus that affected the Google Chrome program.  It is so funny to see these people work as they have remote access to your computer.  Just to be clear, this process cost about $199.99 for a whole year of help.   In case you are outside of the United States (and maybe Canada), Geek Squad is Best Buy’s answer to a computer tech, and instead of coming to your home, you give them permission to gain access to your computer via the internet.  Don’t worry, the purpose of me watching them while they work is if I see anything suspicious on their part, I had a little red “x” to click on to terminate the process.  I was so glad that my choir rehearsal was canceled because I would have lost more control over my computer, if I had left my computer on while they worked on it.
Anyway, I gained two new programs because if it, and a full year’s protection.  Basically, this virus would not let me have access to my internet without an ad coming on the page, and a fake Microsoft page warning me that if I turn off my computer, my ID was compromised.  I knew right away that I had to call someone or risk yanking my 1 year, 6-month old computer out of the socket and drop-kicking it into the nearest dumpster.   Now it is time to upgrade it to Win 10 January 1.  I know some of you Mac users are laughing at me right now, saying, “just get a Mac”, well, I have an Ipad Mini 3, and that is good enough for me.  Plus, I like to keep my options open.  Maybe when I am ready to change computers.
Tips for your new Christmas computer present:
·         Run a virus program the moment you turn it on.  Make sure that the computer sold to you do not have any malware or viruses on it.  You do this by installing yourself a fresh copy of your favorite antivirus software.  Do not go by the experts, unless this is your first computer.  I like Norton (old school), but do not take my word for it, because I have not had Norton Antivirus in a while.
·         If you are not sure of the person sending a link, DO NOT OPEN!!!
·         If you did not request any information in email or text form, DO NOT OPEN!!!
·         DOWNLOAD A PROGRAM FROM THE SOFTWARE’S WEBSITE, NOT CNET OR ANY COMPANY WEBSITE CLAIMING TO HAVE THE PROGRAM.  That is what happened to me.  When I downloaded the new copy of Google Chrome, I was not paying attention to where it was coming from.  I needed to download it from I thought I was doing that.   The difference is when a person claims to have a program other than the program’s originator website, they can place malware in the coding.  Well, when I finished installing it, it looked normal. And the only thing I did in the installation part has declined some programs, but it still overwrote the original program, and started overwriting my search engines’ (Google Chrome and Internet Explorer) programs to accept the malware as part of the norm.  When I would click on a link or did anything that I normally do on the interwebs, a new program’s advertiser’s page would pop up instead of the article I wanted to read.  I was so frustrated until, at one point, I wanted to cry, and toss the computer in the dumpster. That was when I had to call Geek Squad.
So the checking it twice part comes today, 2 days before Christmas, is to make sure you have dotted all “I’s” and crossed all “T’s” in the technology world. 

One other thing...

There is one more virus you need to check for, but it is not run on computer, tablet, or smartphone.  That virus is called the Hate virus. I will speak more on this virus through 2016.  It has an even more mean virus called Racism, whose sister is called intolerance.  There are ways to use and not use them, but the current way is not the answer.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Day 18: The Force Awakens….NOT!!!

(c)  2015 LucasFilms
 Ok, I am making a PSA:  I am not a Star Wars fan.  Never have, never will.  Although I enjoy a good science fiction movie, Star Wars does not fit the bill for me.  I was 12 when I saw the original movie (Help me, Ob-wan Kenobi, you are my only hope), which I now understand has been renamed:  Star Wars Episode IV: The New Hope.  I thought I was ok with it all, but I had a nightmare that night.  I dreamed that Darth Vader was after me.  My father, who in real life was an airman, became a Jedi knight overnight, and Darth Vader wanted him to come to the dark side.  In order to force my father to do so, my life was on the line.  How special.  
I did see Return of the Jedi, and Empire Strikes back, but they did not faze me at all.  I did not get excited about them.   I thought that Episodes 1-3 were snooze-ville and very, very violent.   I did not care to see how Darth Vader became the menace that he was, but I care enough to see it on TV when I was bored out of my brains as my brother, a huge Star Wars fan watched each and every episode, and do not talk to him while he is watching.  You will never get an answer from him. 
When Disney announced they had bought the Star Wars franchise a few years ago, I was not impressed, I was mad.  I asked a question of “why does Disney want to get rid of Mickey, Minnie, and the gang, as well as all the princesses, Mary Poppins, and all the rest that made Disney, Disney.  Why do they want to ruin what Walt built, and would Walt Disney himself have bought the Star Wars franchise from George Lucas?  These were the question as a die-hard Disney fan wanted to know?  The answer is I do not know.  My question is still, are they trying to compete against Universal, who bought Harry Potter for a song.  
In case you have been crawling under a rock within the past 10 years, Universal has this huge HP land at Universal Orlando, and maybe, just maybe, it had Disney quaking in their boots.  They needed to act fast, so they bought Star Wars.
My next question is, who is going to buy Star Trek?  Now that is where my future with the “Stars” lies.  I am not a huge fan of Captain Kirk (although J.J. Abrams did a balling ass job on last two movies)-oops sorry for the language.  I like Captains Picard, Sisko, Janeway, and Archer (even though Captain Archer was before Kirk in the ST timeline).  This is the future I envisioned, a more Utopian-like atmosphere, where people (human and humanoid) try to live in harmony. I know, in the timeline, I would never see this, and there are some quadrillion different ways to look at the future beyond 2064 (the year that I turn 100).  God has not promised how long before the end of time and space will everyone and everything last.

In the meantime, if I decide to see this new movie, The Force Awakens, it will be on own my terms, not anyone else’s terms.  I am just tired of hype and everything conforming to its theming. It is not that serious people.  Let those of us who hate Star Wars or have not seen a single movie in its franchise have our peace and our space.  

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Day 17: Making money

(c) 2015 P. Lynne Designs
Hello, and merry Blogmas 2015.
Today’s subject is a little on the “what can I do to make money on the side or a new career” type of blog post.  I used to do these all the time, and I felt like I was one of those scam artists.  Do not get me wrong, some of these methods do work, if you have the time and money to invest into it, but it was the way I presented it, and if I was uncomfortable with the posts, I knew in my heart my readers were uncomfortable reading them.
Showing people affiliate links to get started was one of the main basis of this blog when it was named My Blessed Life, and I had that type of blog post for a whole month, before I asked myself, “What the heck am I doing?” This was not me in a nutshell, and I did not want to come off that way.  I still think that you can make extra money by having affiliate links, but you have to do the research and be dedicated to finding that perfect product for the subject you are talking about in your blogs.  You cannot let yourself be suckered into every Tom, Dick, or Henrietta that comes your way.   You have to learn to say no if it does not fit you and your readers.
With that being said, I want to talk to you about You Tube for a moment.  There is an article on that I read last night, and in the article, the author talks about why you should not use You Tube to make videos and make money.   The article is called “Famous and broke on You Tube.”  I got angry and basically blow it off, because that was her opinion, and I do not value it.   Then, today, I tuned into one of my favorite YT Channels, The Nive Nulls, and Austin Null was talking about the same article, but because he has a working successful YT channel, his approach was very different from the author’s.  Now that the rat got loss in the cheese factory, here is my take on YT and making money there or anywhere on the Interwebs.
When I first got started on doing anything on the Internet, I was not thinking about the money aspect of it all.  I wanted people to know that I am here, in my own little corner of the world, and I have something to say.   This is how I got started with my first blog, MDN Creates (now P. Lynne Designs), and I moved on from there.   I knew about You Tube, I had been a subscriber since 2007, but I never thought about doing video at all.   I made my first video 5 years ago, showing the first mini book I made.  I never thought about hitting the monetarize button a vlogger can push to make money of their videos.  I was not even thinking about the views either.  (I still have only 85 followers).  The point was I am not on YT to make money, even though I did push the button.  I am not looking for sponsorship for the moment, at least not the way this author was putting it. 
If your goal is always money, you may not achieve that at first.  Your channel first of all has to be likable.  How do you do that?  First have something that draws a person to that channel.  A catchy title (such as The Nive Nulls, Gabe and Babe TV, and so on).  My channel just has my name for the moment, because I want people to know who is making the vlogs. Next, have a subject.  Some of the people I watch have daily vlogs where they vlog about 15 mins of their life, which is usually spread through the day.  Others have hobby vlogs, such as scrapbooking or skateboarding.  For those vlogs, the video usually contains a tutorial, anywhere from 15 mins to an hour, depending on the type of project being made, or technic.  Brands like Disney, for example, has vlogs on YT talking about parks, the movies, and almost all things Disney.  There are also the food vlogs and the stupid vlogs.  Do what make you happy on your channel.
If you want sponsorship, make the sponsors come to you, not the other way around.  Give them something that makes them say, “I want my product to be on that video, their viewers will come to us, and that will give them more brand awareness to that product.  Coming to the sponsor sounds like you are needy and desperate.  It takes time and patience before a sponsor will notice your channel in order for them to even contact you.  Same with subscribers.  Now it is ok to say, “if you want to see more, like, comment, and subscribe”.  This is how you get more readership (viewers).  It shows appreciation for the viewers who do watch you and brings in more.
Lastly, do not concentrate on numbers.  A channel has to be view so many times before you can get a million subscribers or views, and yes, YT does rewards you with plaques and invitations to workshops that help you to get even more views. One way is a Vlogger’s Fair held annually the last part of July.  If you are famous enough, you get to have meet-ups, and invited to be on a panel or two.  Gabe Flowers-Raider of Gabe and Babe TV told me once in a Google Hangout to stay consistent with your videos.  If you are going to make and upload twice a week, for example, try to make and upload videos twice a week.  Stick with the schedule for a while, then when you are ready to increase your videos, make an announcement that you are changing your schedule so your viewers can be in the loop.
Again, don’t worry about this, for the numbers will come.  Do not concentrate on the money either.  The more views, the more money, but it depends on how many clicks you get and who you attract to your channel or blog.  My top video has only 436 views.  My blogs have way more pageviews, but I will cover that at another time.  I will get more, when I make and upload more.   That is one of the goals of 2016.  The summary of all of this is, you will only get what you put forth in both your videos and your blogs.  Do not let the article steer you into thinking that you will never make on You Tube. 

The purpose of this post was not to discourage you if you are thinking about making money this way, but to encourage you to start if that is what you want to do, but be realistic if the money is not coming within the first year.  Not everyone is cut out for YT.  Remember, it does takes time and practice, but at the same time, make it only part time to start, and when the money is right, go full throttle.  Good luck. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Day 16: The season of giving

(c) 2015 P. Lynne Designs
I do not know what is it about the holidays that put people into two major categories:  give me, give me, GIVE ME and “what do you need I will give”, and it has been baffling my mind since I became an adult. I know you are saying, “Tricia, people do that all the time”.  I know, but it is really noticeable around the holidays.
For instance, the “Give me, give me, give me” person is the person who does not consider
what it takes for another person to get a (material item) for them.  They think that the person is a bank.  This is what children, and often times teens, do when they see a shiny new toy or electronic gadget.  What the person (usually a parent) often does, is appease that person, so they will not constantly ask for that item.  The receiving person has not learned how to accept the word “no”, “Wait”, or “do you REALLY need it”.  When the receiving person does not get it when they want it, they cried and throw tantrums.   This is one of the personalities of a child, and children (as well as some adults) need to learn the concept of “you can’t always get what you want”.
On the other hand, the “Giving” person is just that.  This is the person who will give the shirt off their backs to help out, make sure a homeless person is safe and make sure that the universe is aligned with everything that is good and right with the world.  Their motto is “I give so you can have”, and it does not stop and start with the holidays.  That motto carries some weight.  It means “I give, so you can have food on the table”.  Not the gourmet stuff, but basic essentials, such as bread, meat, vegetables, milk for the kids, but a decent meal.  “I give, so you can have shelter”.  Not a fancy downtown hotel, but a place with a roof over your head with running water, and if it cold, a place to warm your body.  “I give, so you can have clothes on your backs”.  Not some $300 Gucci sweater, but a pair of pants, a coat, a top, and diapers for the baby, and shoe on your feet, and a warm blanket to wrap a child in.  These are the things that a giving person does, and they are not looking for anything back from that person.  A giving person gives from the heart.
Now there are some people who are Hybrids.  They are people, who masquerade as a giving person, but they want something in return.  They want a payback.  There are ways to be a hybrid without expecting anything in return for you.   For instance, when you give an opportunity for a person to get a job, say to that person, “What I want from you in return, is for you to do well, and make a better life for yourself.”  You are asking for something in return, but it benefits that person who received the job offer.  There is a string attached, but that string is to wish that person would do better than the life they are leading right that moment.  Saying anything less would look like that you want some type of money, and that is not right.
So in the season of giving, keep these things in mind:
·         This season is very hard on the jobless and the homeless.  They are often parents who want to give the world to their children, but cannot.  Be patient.
·         Volunteer in the food pantries, shelters, and other places of need.  Do not volunteer just to make yourself look good, but you never know who life you may touch along the way.
·         Giving of your time is better than money, especially if you have none to give.

·         Do not stop after the holiday season.  There are 365 days of the year, and there is a need during all 365 of 2016 and beyond.  You may even find your life’s calling.

Day 15: The wish List

(c) 2015 P.Lynne Designs
Every year without fail, I have given my parents (who are now both in their late 70’s) a list of what I wanted for Christmas.  Some years I would write it out, and some years I would verbally tell them.  This was their idea from when I was young, so they will not be confused on which child wanted which toy or gift from them.  I appreciated the gesture, so I would not get a boy toy (my brother), a little girl toy (my sister, who came along in my 20’s), or a baby toy (my nephew).  Sure, I could tell as I opened up each gift.
One year, when we got our first computer/game console, I was confused on why I got a tape recorder that went to the game console (an Atari 2600) while my brother got the game console itself.  While my brother was very happy in telling me not to touch the console (How else are you supposed to play Donkey Kong?), my parents were too eager to tell me that the game console was for both of us. I felt better, whereas, my brother did not.  My sister and nephew got into a similar argument years later with their gifts.
As I got older, I decided that it did not matter if I got the gift or not, but when I asked, my parents got it.  I have asked of the same thing from my niece and nephew (my sister’s children) who are 7 and 8.  The youngest nephew can tell me what he want, because he just turned 5, rather than write it.
I want to turn back to my wish list for a moment
because I do ask of something.  This is not just my parents, but from everyone in America (including myself).  I ask that we stop being so hatred towards one another.  I know it is hard, especially when this is the hardest time of the year, and of the recent shootings across the country.  Do not be like Donald Trump, spewing hatred, because you have some money and you are afraid.  In fact, you do not need money to hate, I am just pointing him out because he is running for president.  I am afraid too, but at the moment, I am more afraid of losing my life because a car hit my car, not a gun.
Last week, one of the departments at my church had a meeting, and the meeting had to do with security.  I never thought that there would be any talk about securing a church during service, when we are feeding the hungry in our food pantry, or during choir rehearsal.  The whole thing just scares me to death, but I am keeping my cool, and I am refraining from speaking hatred towards the Muslims.  Why?  Because I am an African American, and my race always deals with being hated, even sometimes within our own race.

So, during this Christmas season (and I refuse to say holiday), please be mindful that not all Muslims have ISIS on their minds, just like all African Americans do not hate white people or fear the police.  We are all Americans, just trying to live day by day, and mom and dad, this is part of my wish list for Christmas 2015. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Day 14: Anything goes

(c) 2015 P. Lynne Designs
Taken at a HomeGoods Store
Happy Blogmas day 14, and yes I did skip some days.   Let me explain.  Blogging until the first of the year is a side thing.  Some it maybe skip by a couple of days due to:
  • ·         Being tired: running a business is not easy when it is done by yourself, and you do not have any help.  Even if I had the help, you still have to instruct that help on what needs to be done, in order for your business to run smoothly.
  • ·         Other projects:  Over the Thanksgiving holiday, two of my aunts and my mother asked for me to make them cards.  So I have been working on two sets of sympathy cards and one set of Christmas cards.  This is great because I am building my card catalog that way.  The cards that I make for them will be introduced into the line for 2016.  I currently do not have a sympathy line, and I will be working on a birthday line as well.
  • ·         Family:  I have to take time with family.  I basically have two types of families, my immediate family, which consists of parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, and my church family, which consists of anyone who belongs to my church, Clair United Methodist.  I support all family members as time and travel allow, because I am that type of person.  I also have a third family, which is my business family.  These are women who have businesses in the area, and they are awesome to the point where we are called Awesome Women in Business. 

So, I apologize if I do not blog on the day that it is supposed to be posted.  Trust me, I am thinking about it, formulating the post in my head, and mulling around on how I will approach it.  I promise I will not stay away long. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Day 9: a little birdy told me….

After posting day 8, I realized that other than day 2, I really have not posted anything that contained the holidays or even Christmas for that matter.  Do not get me wrong, I LOVE the Christmas season, both for the reason, which God loved us so much that he sent His son in the form of a baby, God reincarnated, to save us from ourselves, and for the pretty lights, decorations, eating, and presents. 
(c) 2015 P. Lynne Designs
I want to focus a minute on the first half of my statement, God Reincarnated. Keep in mind, I respect all religions, but I am Christian, and these are some of my beliefs.  How many people who are parents, or in my case, soon to be a would-be parent, can send their child out into the world to save a whole world from themselves?  I know I could not, and I am sure many parents could say the same, even if, to quote Darth Vader, “Your Destiny”. See something good came out of that evil nut’s mouth, LOL.  Anyway, back to seriousness.  God knew how this world was going to be when he created it.  He knew before that time what Lucifer (who became the Devil) was trying to do.  So, this all was pre-planned from the very beginning, before all of this.  He had to do something and do something fast. (well, in his own time).  Could He have stopped it?  Yes, but there is something called, “Free Will”.  Free will is a totally different subject for a different day and something I will have to consult my pastors on because I do not understand it all.  I just know that it is something that always have been there from the very beginning (and one of the reasons why the devil has been allowed to roam freely throughout the universe). 
This is the reason to have Jesus come as a baby.  God probably knew that if Jesus came as a man from the beginning, he might not have been as well received.  He still wasn’t, because Herod, the current king wanted to kill all the baby boys, so he could remain on the thrown. God protected Jesus and his Earthy family from all of this.  So you might be asking yourself, why not the baby girls?  Well, back then, and even some cultures now, girls were not received as highly as baby boys, plus Herod knew Jesus was a boy.   All of this happened after he sent the Wise Men to go see the babe, but they were warned by God in a dream to go another direction, because He knew what Herod was up to.
Back to the commercial side of Christmas for my last part.  I love decorating and see the lights (see day two on what I think of your electric bill, LOL).  The best part, besides the cooking and the baking, is seeing the reaction of the children’s faces when they first see the decorations and opening their presents.  Here is a quote from a website called “Why Christmas”:
One of the main reasons we have the custom of giving and receiving presents at Christmas, is to remind us of the presents given to Jesus by the Wise Men: Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh. Frankincense was a perfume used in Jewish worship and, as a gift, it showed that people would worship Jesus.

I think that is a good enough reason to have them.  

Day 8: Opportunity

(c) 2015 Collage by P.Lynne Designs.  Photos by
Variety of authors
Talking is not one of my strengths.  I have inherited the “be quiet” aspect from my mother, but once I get to know you, I can talk up a storm.
I love talking about anything from the weather, current events, and what I do for a living.  Sometimes, I believe as humans we have a problem with communication.  Let me explain:
We have no problem talking about if the weather is going to be sunny, cloudy with a chance of rain, or something like a snowstorm, hurricane, or tornado.  I was taught by my first customer service supervisor that you talk about the weather while you are look up a customer’s information to avoid that “silent feeling”.  Now, unless a rep is discussing your bill or the problem that you called about in the first place, you will not hear any “how’s the weather where you live” questions from a rep.  
A current event is another topic that used to come up during CSR inquires.  The only difference is this is the conversation among family and friends.  Everyone has an opinion about an event that happened, a celeb, or a bad fashion decision from an unknown person.   Right now, The current topic of choice is anything that has to do with being a Muslim in this country. I get it because I am afraid of extremists of any religion or race. But that does not mean that everyone of that religion or race hates, in this case, Americans or America.  We are just that fearful because of a few, so we lump everyone in that category, and do away with the problem.      
 What I really want to talk about on this topic of opportunity, is not about most loans or the weather or even what you had last night for dinner.  What I am here to talk about is an opportunity to grow. As in the opportunity to get ahead. This is not as a sales pitch, but I do want to ask you this question. Are you happy with the situation of money right now? Are you happy with your job? Are you making the right kind of money to help you sustain your life?  Think about it. Are you using the skills that you learned how to do a particular job or any job that is allowing you to make At least enough to have for six months in the case of emergencies?  If you are congratulations carry-on. If not, you do not have to change your job if you are currently happy with the company that you are at.  If you are not happy with any of your job or company, ask yourself what can I do to enhance my way of living. You could do side jobs or gigs that allow you to use your skills.  You could ask for more money, or you could go back to school. You could do something new. Whatever it is that you want out of your job, your company, your skills, or your hobby, do something that makes you happy. Who knows, it may lead to a new job, company, skills, or entrepreneurship. Just do what makes you happy, satisfied, or making more money. If you are out of work, now is the opportunity for you to gain a skill, and present yourself as a skillful person. If you cannot find work at a permanent job, work a temporary job. How about creating your own job by doing odd jobs.  This is especially good if you are in IT, but any skill set will do. Just give yourself the opportunity to reinvent yourself.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Day 7: What dish transports you to a different place and time in your life?

Today, I decided to take a clue from my Blogher writing prompts.   The reason is even though I had sign up to write the prompts for almost two years now, I have not written a BlogHer prompt in 2 months.
(c) 2015 P. Lynne Designs
Everyone has a dish they really love.  It does not matter if it is a hearty soup, sweets, or a savory dish, there is a dish for everyone.
I do not have a particular dish that transports me to a different time in my life, I have several dishes, so rather than giving you my one dish, I am going to give you several dishes.
·         Sweet potato pie:  Sorry Ms. Patti Labelle, but I have to go with my mom’s Sweet potato pie to sing the praise of.  I did not feed into the hype of that You Tube Video, because I was not going money for something I can get for free.  Yes, the pie is good for those who do not have a loved one to bake one for them, and actually my Aunt Liz bakes a good sweet potato pie as well.  The Sweet potato pie recipe was handed down from my grandmother.
·         Grits:  OK, so it is Hominy Grits, and there is nothing special about this corn item, except when I was a little girl, that was how my mom disguised my eggs in.  She mixed my scrambled eggs in the grits (of course after they were cooked).  I ate them that way, and I still do.  Another favorite way is Shrimp and Grits.
·         Seafood:  Speaking of shrimp, I am a big seafood lover (different from See Food).  I have eaten my fill of seafood, even gone as far as trying sushi, and loving it.  I get my love for seafood from my father (except he does not like sushi)
·         Pork products:  In addition to your traditional pork products (pork chops, honey baked ham, ribs), I also like Chitterlings and pig’s feet, another love that me and my father share.  However, this is every once in a while delicacy, since being told that I have High Blood Pressure in 2004.  As of 2016, it will be less than that because I am headed towards a cleaner eating lifestyle, and pork is not on the menu.  (neither is beef, but I am not cutting that out yet) I am not upset about it, and I have one cousin who has stopped already eating it.
·         Mac and Cheese:  OK, out of all of this, I love this dish, both the way mom makes it (custard style) and the way I make it (sauce style, no yellow powder).  My mom makes her by boiling the mac, and layering mac, then the cheese (she uses a cheddar/sharp blend) like you make lasagna.  She mixes the milk and egg into a custard base, and then she pours that mixture on top and bake it at 350° for about 30 -45 mins.   My version is made like the box mac and cheese, except no yellow powder.  I either make a b├ęchamel sauce (basic white sauce) and add 3-6 different kinds of cheese in it and pour it over the boiled mac before baking it, or I just take Con Queso sauce, heat it, and add the 3-6 cheeses and let them melt the sauce.  In either case, I top it with more cheese so it can brown on the top before baking it at 350° for 45 mins for a huge pan, less for a smaller pan.  This is so that the mac can mingle with the cheese sauce and the cheese on top can brown a little.
·         Chocolate:  This is my go-to
dessert.  Nothing says dessert like chocolate, even though I have ventured out with other flavors.

Well that is it for now.  I also like to try international foods, but that is another subject for a different day.  It is the end of day 7, so make it a good night, and I will see you tomorrow.

Days 5 &6: Planning and organizing Not only for the Holidays but all year long

(c) 2015 P. Lynne Designs
Day 5:  planning

Happy Blogmas to you.

Are you a planner?  If you are, shame on you.  No, I am just kidding, for I am also a planner, and I would be lost if I was not planning something.   In actually, it is good to be a planner.  My personal life is about planning, as well as my business life.  I used to be the one who needs things to go by the letter.  Now, I am the same way, except there is a catch, I am a flexible planner.  What is the difference?  Well, I will tell you.
When I was a “by the rules” planner, I cried every time there was a change of plans.  I would get angry every time I would write out my little schedule for the week, and I dared any family member, boss, or financial crisis to come up and change it.  I would go inside that thing called my head, and internalize that “no one wants me to do anything that is on my schedule”.

Well, God has a plan and it seems a sense of humor as well.

The reason is when I became a “flexible” planner, I was less rigid with my plans and with my schedule.  Instead of saying, “Why won’t anyone (or anything) let me do what I want and need to do”, I say “OK, Lord, I was not meant to do it at that moment.”  The difference is also God says, “You do not know the plans I have for you.” 
Now that does not mean throw caution to the wind, and do what you please either.  In this season of giving and receiving, be prepared to give in to the little things that may happen, and they will happen, like going to the store for that toy your child wanted, and find out that there was a $100 deducted out of your account for a bill you forgot you put on automatic payments.  You have a party on the 6th, and your hubby has one on the same day, a mandatory office party.  These are the minor ones.  Last one, you wanted to be an actress your whole life as a child, and you end up, several years later running your own company, a designer making scrapbooks, stationary items, and freelance writing.  Complicating the notion of several other careers in between.   That last one is not knowing what plans God has for you.
So plan your parties, your year, and your life, but be sure to stop and do several evaluations along the way.  Who knows, it could be God laughing and changing your course along the way.  Just accept it
, because it is a good thing.

Day 6:  Organizing
I never mean to write what I just wrote for day 4, but like I said God laughed, changed my thoughts, and that is how my planning post turned out.  I will keep it.
I am a mess, a big mess.  Part of my Simply Organized Crafts blog is supposed to be about organizing, and I am not organized for the season, but that is OK.  We all are allowed a little down time ever now and then. 
Ever since my accident at the end of July, I have been moving slowly towards myself, and I have made some choices that I believe will be beneficial for me, but before I can implement them, I had to do a little soul searching and prayer.  I actually was a little out of sorts before the accident.  This accident came at a time when I had just finished a sort of a depressed time during the latter half of 2014, starting anew in January, and just when I found my rhythm again, the accident happened.  This is the very reason why I am a flexible planner, other than what I explained to you in Day 4’s post.  I am done, it is time to take back my life, and part of it is to organize this space I live in.
I live in a condo, a townhome.  My plan is to finally graduate to a single family home, because I may have a new occupant coming with me, a daughter.  Even though this condo is big enough for the two of us, with me running my business out of this home, my personal stuff, and then adding her and the stuff I may be getting for her to be comfortable (I am sure one day she would want some kind of pet-more stuff).  It does not matter if she is 6 months, 2 years, or 12 years, I am adopting and even adopted children have stuff their parents want to get them.
So the first thing I need to do is declutter the stuff I have, place remaining stuff in the proper spots with their like stuff, and be able to move freely throughout the condo.  My plan is to tackle a room or two a week.  Sell off things that I am not using or I have not use in years, and create a home manual.

Well that is it.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Day 4: December 4, 2015- Joy at Christmas

(c) 2015 P.Lynne Designs
I have been told on several occasions throughout my life to find joy and happiness, but what are these things that people talk about?  Sure, I know the meaning of the two, but these definitions to me vary between person to person.  Some find it in things.  Others find it in money.  But I want to talk about the last part, finding it within yourself.  I know it is hard to find it in yourself, especially with all of these shootings, such as the most recent happening in San Bernardino, CA.  I have often talked about that city
because I spent ages 3-9 living there.  I do not want to focus on that right now.
My focus is finding happiness and joy, especially during this time of the year.  Christmas can do two things to a person.  It can either get you in the mood of giving or in the mood of receiving.  One of the ways of finding happiness and joy is the first way, giving.  It does not mean busting the piggy bank wide open and buying out the store.  Time is another way of giving.  When you focus on a person that has less than you, it should make you feel better in knowing that made a difference in a person’s life.
A person could have less than you in things, care, and love.  I want to focus more on something that does not require me to opening up my wallet.  I want to take the time out to show a person that I care and that I want to show love to that person.  I will be doing that for the long haul hopefully soon by adopting a child. For now, for the month of December, I can do that by helping with food baskets at my church, show more patience with the people who work in retail or driving, or simply spending time with someone who needs it. 
Today, I actually put change in to help feed the hungry while paying for my drink at Whole Foods.  I am not saying it to brag, that is not the point to finding joy and happiness.  I feel blessed in knowing that my little $.80 will go towards the food banks, and it could have easily gone into my piggy bank for my Disney trip next year.  I also feel blessed that I can take trips, adopt, or simply warm my feet in a warm home when many do not have that luxury.  In case you are wondering on what gives me joy and happiness, let me give you a little sample of what I mean:
·         My family
·         My friends
·         Breathing
·         Moving around
·         Being independent
·         My business
·         My creativity
·         The ability of putting a smile on someone’s face
·         Knowing that I am God’s child and that He loves me.
See, not one of them mentions things, except my business.  This is the top of my long list of things I am happy about and I find joy in.  Others include my love for dance and music, Disney, paper crafting, reading, cooking, computing, Christmas, Easter, writing, animals, children, movies, clothes and shoes.

I challenge you to find what makes you happy and gives you joy this Christmas season, and then care it throughout 2016.  Who knows, that joy and happiness will get so embedded in you until you hardly notice why you are happy all the time.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Blogmas Days 1-3

It is 2 mins before 12-midnight in Ohio, USA.  That is Eastern Standard Time.  I have not been so behind in my life.  I take it back I am always behind.  So you are getting a 3 for, that is 3 for the price of 1.  I should not get behind in my posts again I am just getting warmed up.  I have the whole month of December to do.  As they say, here we go…

December 1, 2015:  My Thanksgiving holiday and family.

(c) 2015 P. Lynne Designs
This past weekend, I spent time with family, and it was wonderful.  I do not want to talk about what I did, other than riding with my mother and father to Pigeon Forge, TN to a bunch of cabins just a stone’s throw from Dollywood the Amusement Park, or going to see Creed with my cousins (I will give a review later).  One of my aunts is a travel agent, and she is the one who found these cabins.  This is my mother’s side of the family, which consists of 9 brothers and sisters (2 are deceased).  All but 3 siblings made it up to the cabins along with most of their children (I was the only one who went with my parents, the rest had to work- the idiot employers).   My father had his gathering in the summer with his sister and my cousins from that side of the family.  Both I and my mom made Mac and Cheese for the Thanksgiving table.  My first time and they all survived, LOL.
We left last Wednesday and came back Sunday.  I love all my family from both sides of my family, but I feel like I am a little bit closer with this side.  I think the main reason is we do not fight, we have friendly disagreements, and it has been that way all of my life.  I have not once seen my grandparents fight, my mother had her usual sibling disagreement with her brothers and sisters, but if you have siblings, you know what I mean.  My parents have been together for almost 55 years (come next July), and not once did I ever hear either one of them threaten the other for a divorce.  My father has never struck my mother unless it was playful hitting (I call them “Love Pats”.) Sure, I do have a couple of aunts, uncles, and cousins who have gotten divorces (there is always one in every family), but they have found someone who manages to be their soulmate.  I have one aunt and uncle who are widows.  One who wonder why I have not found anyone.  Still looking.  OK, stop it, Patricia, focus on the subject.
I find that we are a very loving family, full of talent, and very inspirational.  We inspire each other.  We support each other.  We have all instilled the love of God and Christ Jesus in us.  Even if there are some of us who do not go to church, we all know who holds our tomorrow, and who we can count on.  During this time was the first time I was able to talk about that I would be starting adoption procedures with any member of the extended family, and it felt good.  Tip:  when something like that happens, you know it is the right time to do whatever it is you are trying to do.  Speaking of support, it is time for topic #2….

Day 2: December 2, 2015-  Black Friday shopping
This is sort of a touchy subject for people, especially people who love to shop.  First of all, I am not a Black Friday shopper, AT ALL.  Period.  Noda.  Not going to happen.  I applauded all of you who weather the shopping storm this past Friday.  Kudos to you and yours.  I have several reasons for not going shopping on Black Friday:
·         I do not want to move out of my comfy bed.  Even though I was not in my actual bed, that cabin bed was nice, warm and toasty.  Now why would I want ruin that moment for 52” television set at Walmart for $142 (before taxes)?  By the way, you do know that price was jacked up so they can get it down to that price, and still be able to make you believe you have a bargain.  Just thought you should know.
·         Fights.  People act like they have never bought anything, ever in their life (by the way, that was a double negative…. A no-no).  If you want to see the fights to not get you in the mood for next Black Friday, Google “Black Friday Fights 2015” on You Tube.  I bet you will not go to Black Friday 2016.  The sales are not worth spending a night in jail, getting a concussion for a blender when you have 10, or auctioning off your first born for an item that only works for 2 minutes.
·         Did I mention my comfy bed?
·         The stores are so desperate now, they have extended the sales to include Thanksgiving night.  Thanksgiving night?  Has everyone lost it?  I read a quote that said, “you are a hypocrite if you give thanks for what you have, then fight over something you do not need a few hours later”. It is true.  We have become a bunch of greedy Americans, and this is just the beginning.  
·         Not only that, you are taking people away from their families who have to work retail on Thanksgiving day.  Yes, I know that has been the norm in the military and other service areas, but I look at it this way:  You cannot keep sickness, fires, crimes, or terrorists away for the holidays, BUT you can step away from a $5 sausage maker that normally costs $25 for a day.  Have some common sense people.  
These are just a few of the many reasons why I did not, nor will I ever go Black Friday Shopping, but that does not mean I cannot participate in Cyber Monday.

Day 3:  December 3, 2015- Decorations hung by the chimney with care….
…. In hopes to take a $85 electric bill to $400 this year. 
I love lights. Pretty Christmas lights.  I also love Christmas Trees, and I love how everything is so sparkly and new.  I also love to stay frugal with my utilities.  Answer this question….
How in the heck does one start decorating in July, and light up the neighborhood by December 1?  No, I am not the person to do it.  Where does a person even save up enough money to buy all the equipment (computer, lights, blowup things, etc.…) and then use all electricity their little meters and breakers switches can muster?  I am in a rental, and even though the electric is in my name, I cannot see myself going from a cushy double-digit bill to one that constitutes a car note payment. 
Instead, I leave it up to the experts:  Disney World, The Columbus Zoo, and any lights my condo complex decides to put up to name a few.  They have a set pattern that works.  For example, Disney knows exactly how many lights will light up Cindy’s castle (Who I understand was evicted by Elsa for a Frozen Castle wonderland-only in Florida).  They know how to light the resorts, the rides, even Main Street.   The bill is huge, but it is in the budget, and I am sure the cities of Kissimmee, Orlando, and Orange County will make sure they pay their fair share.  Let me have a late bill, and AEP will have my head on a platter and serve it breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  They have Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, where you walk around, eat cookies, and drink hot chocolate.  Of course, you get to ride as well.
The Columbus Zoo is in the same boat as Disney.  They currently have Wildlights at the Zoo, and I had a chance to go two years ago with the youth group from my church, and it was beautiful.  You really do not see the animals, except for the ones who can take the night life.  You walk around to see the displays, drink hot chocolate, kids make crafts, and see Santa and Mrs. Clause.  There is also a carousel there as well.  I really enjoyed it all, and I want to go back to take my niece and nephews.   Next year, I hope to see Disney’s Christmas lights.

So, for all you people who enjoy lighting up the neighborhood for 1-2 months out of the year enough for the space station to spot you from above, I applaud you.  Have fun.  I hope you did not fall off the ladder trying to string your one millionth light in place.  Have fun, don’t worry about the bill now.  Just pay it, because this is what you chosen to do each year like clockwork.  When people like me drive by, and admire your work, feel proud that accomplished what you wanted for your family, friends, and strangers alike.  I just chose to decorate on the inside, with my tree, knick-knacks, bake cookies, and cakes.  It not about how you decorate, just know who you are celebrating as you do everything.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Merry Blogmas 2015

No, you are not reading a typo (even though the great grammar police will want you to think that).  I have not gone off my rocker.  I am a perfectly sane person today and proud of the title, even though it is not mine that I created. 

I am ending my reign on Blogger.  Yes, I know, it is bittersweet, and I have my reasons, but I must move on.  Before I go (which will be January 2016), I thought that I would give you one more round and a taste of what is to come for My Ambiance Life 2.0.  (I actually like the sound of that).  All this month in December, I will be giving you a taste of what I hope is an annual event, Blogmas.  It is also called Vlogmas, which is the video version of Blogmas.  Anyway, it is quite simple…. I give you a series of blog posts which are a random thought.  The post does not have to be to the theme of the blog, which is all about writing, but they do have to tie into the holidays in some way.  So, they are writing prompts really.   I do not have a list this year because I just decided to do this, and a good way to end my reign on Blogger.  
I have also done a bad thing, I missed my first day, but no fear, because the beauty of this Blogmas, is if I miss a day, I will just double up, or triple up (which I hope I do not get to the point of doing).
I do ask that I have a little of audience help.  When you read this, please either “Like” and comment on my Facebook page, or if you do not feel like it, at least do the writing prompt.

So now that I have your attention, I hope you like my “Blogmas” writing prompts, and as I get closer to the time of announcing where you will find My Ambiance Life after December 31st, I will let you know.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Babies watching babies

(c) 2011 P. Lynne Designs
Status report from my Facebook page….” Sad news and a question. I was reading trends a few moments ago, and this is one of the reasons why I don't need to read nor see the news, but a 19-month old died in Houston, TX, because her siblings (two 3-year-olds) put her in the oven and she was severely burned. The oven was on. Now my childless self-wanted to know what was so damn important (sorry for the language), that the mother and the boyfriend had to leave these 4 children alone in the house? Nothing was that important. Ladies, unless you are passed out on the floor, there is NO REASON to leave a child under the age of 12 along in the home. NO REASON. if it is that important, CALL A BABYSITTER OR RELATIVE to watch your kids. Heck, take them to a police or fire station. Anything just does not leave them at home alone. Kids are too smart for their own good these days. Having them sit in front of a television set or computer while you are out for 5 minutes or longer does not cut it for these kids. There is so much stuff for a child to get into. You cannot have a baby watch a baby. There is a blog post coming, so I will continue my rant there. Be blessed.”
This is probably one of the hardest blog posts I have written on My Ambiance Life.  It comes with sadness, because I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I am a compassionate person, among my many flaws.  It is a flaw that I proud to have, and I feel that this is one of my character strengths, but it also comes with a price, I cry too easy.  Even though I have not cried about this particular case, I have cried about others in the past with the same ending…. Child dies while another sibling is caring for them, because parent is so in love with SO (Significate Other), too lazy to call or text an adult, or too crazy to call or text another adult to watch their children.  The child who is doing the watching usually is a sibling, who is next to the child who dies.  In this case, it is two 3-year old twins (I assume), and I guess, as the most cases are) the 19-month was crying, and they were trying to find a way to quiet the child.
Now there was supposed to be a fourth child in the home, and I wonder where was that child and how old that child was.  If that child was slightly older than the two 3-year olds (age 4-8), that would explain why the mother put that child in charge, but it still does not excuse for the absenteeism of the mother and the boyfriend.  It happens all too often.  A few weeks ago, an 8-year old was put in charge of a 1-year old, I believe, and the 8-year old beat the baby to death, again trying to quiet the child.
As I explained in my post on Facebook, I am childless, and even I know not to leave someone that young in charge of a baby (yes, at 19-months, they are still babies in my eyes).  I am not saying that a child cannot watch another child, but as an adult, you need to be within earshot range to grab the child and go into protective mode, should they get into harm’s way.  Some of the helpful ways that an older sibling under 12 can be helpful are:
·         Listen out for the baby when they should be waking up from a nap.
·         Alert parent when the baby is hungry or needs a diaper change.
·         Entertain the baby with you nearby, not out at the corner store.
·         Feed the baby with you nearby.
·         They can also briefly hold the baby while sitting down.
Again, I do not know nothing of this case, and my prayers go out to all involved.  I am not sure if the mom briefly left the children before, or if this was a first.  Either way now is not the time to criticize her (despite my rant on Facebook).  She has a long road ahead of her, by first laying her child to rest, then dealing with children services, who have no sympathy for the neglect of a child.  After all, even if she and the boyfriend were in the house, which could happen too, it was neglect in children services eyes.  People have left children before, and it will happen again in some other part of the country.
My prayer for parents has always think before you act, and this includes leaving children with others, especially with another child.  Make sure that child is responsible for taking care of that child, and it should be a child over the age of 13.  I did not mention 12 because that age is so awkward.  You are not a little child, but you are not a teen either.

I feel better, and I hope that everyone starts doing a little more thinking.