Friday, May 22, 2020

I want to do something fun…My favorites so far 2020

Please note:  I am doing this topic for several reasons, including that I would love to collaborate with someone both in video and or blogging.  I am also available for freelance work.  You can contact me through my email address  I take serious people as I had a scammer back in November for my graphic work.  This caused a major shift in how I accept writing and graphic gigs.  I am not bitter about the experience and I caught it in time, or my identity could have been compromised.  Sorry, I am mentioning this on such a fun topic as the one you are about to read.  With that being said, on with today’s topic.

Disclaimer(s): P. Lynne Designs is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

P. Lynne Designs is also a participant partner in the Erin Condren affiliate program which is designed to provide a 
means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Erin Condren. 

Ok, that last topic took something out of me.  I am not going to lie when I say that that the blog post was the fourth one I had written and the first one I am proud of since Corona broke out, landed in the United States, and showed herself out.
Now I am done.  I have said my piece for now about her. I am ready to have some fun writing topics.  I am ready for the doom and gloom to go away for a while.  I was reminded of that last week by my pastor.
I attend an online bible study via Facebook Live.  This is how I have been attended church worship services too, and except for a few times when my computer has not quite cooperated in either task or the two weeks I had to deal with my cat, Gizmo going through heat issues. Yes, Gizmo is a girl, my girly girl, and she was named after the Mogwai Gizmo from the movie, Gremlins, who is a boy.  Yes, you can feed her after midnight, although I do not suggest dealing with her during heat because she turns into a little Gremlin, LOL.  Anyway, she is my little gremlin,
Anyway, My pastor said of African Americans who have been killed in the last few months because of the continued hatred from certain types of white folks, that you can post all you want to about how much you hate what is happening from Trevon to Breanna, the RN who was killed because someone reported to police about some drug activity going on in her apartment, and she was sleeping after a grueling shift, and it was the wrong apartment.  If you do not act on how much you hate it, and make people aware of the problem in this country, then you are part of the problem.
What does that have to do with the coronavirus?  Same thing and the best thing to do at this point is to stay at home, wash your hands, and stay 6 feet apart.
Okay, enough of that.
Just making a list of my favorites.
 (photo by
What is today’s topic? 
I want to give all my writers and journal writers a task this week.  Yes, this week.  This will break you out of your mode of “normal” writing, and if this is not your thing, then try it once.  You may like it.
I normally write about lifestyle things on my other blog, Home Prep and those topics are on organization, decorating on a budget, and anything that is home-related.  Every once in awhile, you would see something about travel, and the reason was I had a travel portion on the blog.  I found after writing about my plans for a family Disney trip in December 2019 (see the previous post on THIS BLOG) about the problems leading to me canceling the trip.  I decided it would be best if I had a separate trip blog.
Anyway (count how many times I write, “anyway”), I want to write on this blog my favorite writing things or products of 2020 SO FAR. So in no particular order, I will have my list, and I will reference them with a link if I find the product on Amazon, Erin Condren, Walmart (which I do not get a commission on, but I love) or information I think you can use.  Again, you are not obligated to make a purchase.

Favorite item to use while writing:
These are routines, products, or tips that help me get into the mood of write.  Note:  Lately, I have not felt like writing much.  My mind had been scattered all over the place in terms of what topics to write.  Remember, I have chosen to write 3 blogs (soon to be 4), and it was not the number of blogs I write in, but how I write them.  So, the first thing I did was a little soul searching.  I turned to the very thing that got me started writing in the first place, which I mentioned that is was my friend, Lois, and writing in a personal journal.  In that journal, which is now an OneNote Notebook on my computer, it has allowed me to really think about what I am supposed to do.  It is the one thing that connects me to her, even though Lois died in 2002 to advanced breast cancer.  
Another thing is surprising, my pastor also journals.  He came to my congregation last year, and he has been a blessing.  He is younger than me, but I find him very relatable.  He is also an accomplished author, and has written a couple books and has a blog himself.  Personally, I felt that in the year since he has presided over the congregation (along with our “sister”, Westley United Methodist Church), my pastor has given me some insight on how a “woman of God”, “God’s child”, a Christian should govern over herself.
 Next, My favorite tea, which has to be decaf.  I do drink caffeinated coffee and tea, but I need something to calm me down, especially if I write at night.  I started writing at night because it was the only time that I did not have the noise of the day.  Up until February 25, 2020, my nephew and his girlfriend stayed here with me until they found an apartment.  Well, my great-niece came, and they are staying with my parents until they were able to save a little money for an apartment, which they had found, but corona reared up her head, and since he had been working double shifts at a shipping company (due to everyone online ordering and PPE stuff shipping in), they have not been able to move in.  since they have been gone, I still write at night, along with my tea, which is nothing more than Celeste Seasons fruit tea bags-assorted.  I used to drink Chamomile tea or CS Sleepytime tea, but I love these teas better.  I think it helps Gizmo calm down that I am not moving around so much.
What I use to write with?  That is simple, MS Word.  I will write down as much as I could, edit later.  Tip:  it helps to write it all down, then come back later to edit for clarity.  You may not have the same thoughts as you did when you first write it down.  This is why it takes me a long time for one blog post.  My blog post writing routine is:
·         Write for the thought process
·         Edit for clarity (this is where I add and take away)
·         Add bullet points, bold and italic and other ideas I want to emphasize.
·         Decide my font (which will go away once I start writing this blog in WordPress format)
·         Paste to Blogger (or WordPress when I start writing in that format)
·         Edit for Grammarly
·         Finally, add my title (which is already written in MS. Word), scheduled to publish, add Keywords/SEO, summarize, hook up my links, and add photos and capture points.
It sounds like a lot, but it really is not.  I did not mention the hard part (yes, there is), which is promotion.  I post a link to Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Favorite ways to write.
What is that?  I have several ways to write, and some I like because most of the time, it is for continuity, a flow, while others have to be for the style.
·         Narrative.  Most of the time, I will write in a narrative-style or first person.  I am given you an account of my day, a routine, or even a place that I have visited. 
·         Ghost-writing.  I am writing in the style of the author or blog writer.  Yes, it is my work, but I cannot put my name in the by-line.  The byline has to be the person who publishes it on their blog. I cannot offer my bio either.  It has to look like the blog poster wrote it themselves.
·         Guest-writing.  I offer to write a blog post or article for a magazine or blog to name a few, and my name goes in the by-line, as well as my bio at the end of the article.
·         Lists.  This is still fairly new to me, but I like it just the same as the other styles of writing.  For example, I can write, “20 reasons to visit Walt Disney World”, or “20 reasons not to visit Walt Disney World”.  The trick is to do your homework or research before attempting to create lists.  I usually research to see if what I have to say is the truth.
·         SEO/Keyword.  Okay, I will admit it, I like it and I hate it.  It all depends on the post.  I have done some ghost-writing that required me to mention “body-building” 5 times in six 1000-word articles back in 2011.  I found that the subject was very boring, and I had to stomach through all 6 articles that I needed to write by the end of the week.  Three weeks later, I had to write 8 articles mentioning the words, “organize” and “cabinets” 8 times in 500-word articles and I wanted to write more. So, it all depends.
·         Journaling.  Yeah, you knew this was going to come up soon or later.  I have mentioned how many times I have enjoyed the art of journaling, decorating journals, and now I can add planners to the mix.  You can now journal in your planners, and visa versa.  You know I am here for that.  This is the reason I have the horizontal version of the Erin Condren Life Planner. I am a detailed person, and the more detail I can get, the better.  In addition, I get to put what date I want in this planner.  In addition to the Life Planner, I love using the Duo-tip markers, stickers (even though I make my own as well- coming soon to my shop and website), and petite books, which are perfect for sermon notes, goal setting, and project planning.
Well, that is it for this round.  I will update later in the year with new things.  Oh, I love to write in loungewear, and the pants I love are from Target, which is the Women’s perfectly cozy wide-leg lounge pants by Stars Above™.  I use any top that is comfy to me.  Right now as I write, I have on a tank top.  In the wintertime, I have on my Laura Ashley fluffy robe that I bought for Christmas.  I now have to find one that is perfect for summer.
Finally, I love writing in the dark.  Let me explain….
At night, when it is nice and quiet, and it is past midnight, I may get into the mood of a nice fluffy robe, my sock, loungewear on, and I turn off the overhead light in my office and have on only the lamps illuminating my screen.  It gives me the sense of a warm blanket, and this is one way that I cocoon.  The other way of cocooning is having 3-4 blankets on my bed and turning off the heat in the wintertime or turning on the air conditioner in the summertime, and snuggle.  Another conversation for a different day.
Anyway, I also have a sense that I am in some sort of secret cave and it is just me and the computer, then Gizmo wants something and ruins the moment, LOL.  But between the time I settle in and Gizmo’s wanting, I can get a lot done with my writing.
Fact: Dealing with an almost 3-year-old cat (who is still a kitten) is like dealing with a human toddler, but I like human toddlers better, LOL.   I do not have to dress this one or listen to it say, “Mommy, mommy, mommy”.  Oh, wait, constant meowing is the same as “mommy, mommy, mommy”.  Never mind, LOL.
Have a good day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

I find this a little funny, but do you like me?

Today, I was listening to my lovely governor, Mike DeWine, as he gave the state’s update.  This was on YouTube and I was in the middle of organizing my pantry.  After he gave the number of new Coronavirus cases, death totals, and other numbers that would make a statistician leap for joy, he entertained a Q and A session.
One of the questions that came up by a reporter address the concern of when can churches get back to regular worship (with precautions of course), and this lovely governor looked him straight in the eye and said (I kid you not), “we never told the churches to have social distancing”.  I stopped dead in my tracks as I listened to the governor, and thought to myself, “You never asked for churches to practice social distancing among the congregations?”  Do you like us?  He thought that since the areas of retail, barbers, hair salons, doctor’s offices, and eating places had this rule, churches would automatically fall in line, which we did. 
It is funny how the church was left out of the
Social distancing plan in the State of Ohio.
I want to throw something else into the mix, what if we did not comply? What if we did not social distance ourselves like the rest of the establishments in the city?  We could have started screaming about our rights to take communion, to hold choir rehearsals, and to have church meetings, without any regard to our health and the health of others. After all, there are some people who scream that they do have the right to not dress in a face mask or gloves, and that right was loud and proud last week after the retail businesses reopened their doors for the first time in 2 months of closing.  Would that be in the best interest of God’s people? Probably not.
It is as if Disney had said that they know what they are doing if they had kept the parks open during this time.  There are certain entities or industries who think they are the exception to things such as social distancing.  I think about the number of groups over the past few weeks who were armed with guns and wearing no masks as they demanded that their state reopens for the economy.  They were mostly white men who are sick and tired of the government telling them what to do in times of crisis. 
I am tired of it too, but let us be reasonable here.  If I am a person with a compromised immune system, and you sit next to me in a worship service, on the It’s a Small World ride at Walt Disney World, on an airplane, or at a dining place, and neither one of us has on a face mask, no gloves, and I get gravely sick, who is at fault?  Yes, I am, but you could be equally at fault because you are a carrier.  Places were closed so the governments could figure out a safe way to not spread the virus, and to curve it.

Today, Wednesday, May 20, 2020, was a very happy day.  The sun was out, the birds were singing.  Okay, maybe not, but at least it was not snowing.  I had a date with the Lord.   3pm the choir that I sing with on our morning worship services did several recordings for the online service we are now doing.  Now, why do you supposed I am happy?  Let us be honest for a moment, I love my family, I really do, but this is the first time in 2 months that I have seen my church family.  Okay, all but one.  I have seen the guy who I call, “my little brother” the Sunday before last when I picked up our dinners at the church.  At that time, I did not go in, but I talk to him for a minute, only a minute. 
Anyway, it felt like we never socially distanced during this time. It felt good and it felt right.  I got up dressed in a skirt and a top.  Why?  Because I am sick of sweats and my no bra shirts and tops.  I needed to dress decently anyway, so why not.  Two new pieces to add to my outfit, a mask, and gloves.  I will not mention the details of the recording sessions, if you follow me on social media, you will see the result Sunday morning.  Anyways I had fun for the Lord.
After that, I went to the grocery store to get some dinner.   I did not feel ordering takeout, going through the drive-thru, or going home to wait on GrubHub or Uber Eats, so I picked up some sushi, tofu (which I am starting to get back into), pizza dough for Friday night, pizzelles, and some provolone, and topped it with Starbuck’s. (there is a Kiosk in the grocery store that I go to). 
After I came home, I immediately went to Facebook live for bible study.  This topped my day, when my pastor talked about how the church was going to recover and that we must shift our atmosphere for a new kind of worship service.  I am here for it.  We no longer can be about “business as usual” as worship has taken on a different kind of meaning. Yes, I do miss the gatherings, seeing how everyone’s week has been, but to be honest, again, I do not mind it that my pastor says that regular worship services will not resume until September. I only hope that this does not make me too lazy that when that alarm goes off at 7:30 am, I do not roll over until 9 am and be dressed by 9:30 am, to be in a pew by 9:45 am, which is when worship service starts.  Right now, I get out of bed by 8:15 AM, breakfast by 9:45, downstairs, by 10 AM when service starts. We are done in an hour and a half (11:30 AM), and I am getting dinner for me and my family from the church by 12 NN. 
The last thing I find funny is the travel restriction. I was discussing this with my “little brother” today.  I was telling him that my nephew and girlfriend took my niece to meet her other grandparents in Louisiana for the week.  As I was explaining this to him, my “little brother” said that he thinks it was to mainly restrict air travel, they cannot do anything to you when you travel from state to state in a car.  As I walked out of the church, I agreed with him.  I also found it amusing that the governor lifted travel restriction just as it is time for my nephew and girlfriend to return to Ohio.
The moral of this whole pandemic is this…. You have to find some humor in the whole quarantine situation.  I know, it is no fun being sick or being the relative who received word that a loved one or best friend has died from this.  It is also no fun being told what to do for the sake of others, or your health.  After all, it is your body and you will treat it as you want to treat it. There are only a handful of people who have lived through the previous pandemic (the Spanish Flu), and people did not know what to during that time as well.  They went to it by ear and took notes.  If there is the next pandemic, I hope they learn from this one.  I hope there are notes taken and stored for world leaders, scientists, and the general population, who will say that are we going to do better than the last time.
Life is slowly getting back to normalcy with a new norm attached to it.  How is everyone treating this?  Walt Disney World reopened Disney Springs with new guidelines on how to shop and eat.  This is the first phase towards going back to normal, but what is normal?  Is normal the ability to not washing your hands, tailgating both in cars and standing under other people violating their personal space, and using cash? Can we try on clothes to make sure they fit, only to get back home and finding yourself shipping it back to the place you bought it from?  There are still a lot of questions that must be answered before life before the pandemic began before we can return.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Let the flood gates begin

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links within the post, I may receive a commission for your click and purchase. You do not have to make a purchase to enjoy this post, I only highlight products to help with the cost of running the blog, and I only post links to products relevant to the topic in that post and to companies I use and trust.”
Please Note:  I started writing this blogpost in pen and paper.  You know, the old-fashioned way of writing.  I got the idea from an episode from Star Trek: Voyager where one of my favorite captains, Captain Janeway was sick of technology, after dealing with species 842 and the Borg.  This was the episode that introduced Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, a former Borg drone brought back by to her human self by The doctor, authorized by Captain Janeway.  Captain Janeway decided to take to writing her captain’s log by this method.  It is a practice that we should all do in the wake of this pandemic.  To me, even though you are seeing my post in digital form, it was a way of getting back to things in a natural way. 
Photo by Pixabay
This was the week when my city reopened for retail.  Today was the day I ventured out to a new norm of new rules (other than what was already in place).  As I drove, doing my errands of depositing money in my business checking account and going to a grocery store that carried a Starbucks kiosk, because the Starbucks down the street lied about being open, I was thinking, “was it all worth being quarantined for the past 2 ½ months?”  The only difference was Columbus, Ohio all of sudden looked like a Japanese prefecture, with mask-wearing people out and about in the 70° plus weather.  This is something that the Japanese and other Asians are used to doing, not Americans. 
Americans are used to having the freedom to do whatever we want to do, and how we want to do it.  If it puts us in jail, so be it.  When we get out, some of us will try it again until someone ignores us, then it becomes a norm.  If we have to protest, that is fine, it makes an interesting news story locally and/or nationally.
I am not sure how I feel about it.  
OK, let me explain….
Since this whole Covid-19 started, I have been squeamish about a few things and those are:
  • What is my new norm?
  • How is the country supposed to work now that there is the new little bug that can wipe us out, especially in places like the city where I live and places that I love, like the Caribbean and Walt Disney World.
What is my new norm?
I have been a quiet person all my life.  I get it from my mom.  So, I do not mind being isolated during this time period.  My only problem at first was wearing the mask and gloves, and I get it.  I had no problem putting them on, the problem comes because my hands are the same size as a child. There are people who cannot be around others because of their immune system and they are the elderly and the young.  I have 6 people I have to respect that.  My parents and aunt all have pre-existing conditions and they are elderly.  I have a niece who will be 3 months old next week, I have a friend who also has a pre-existing condition and a pastor who has a pre-existing condition.  I also have to watch it because I have high blood pressure and I am pre-diabetic. Depending on the doctor, I either have diabetics, or it can come at any time.  Either way, I have to watch my diet and my weight.  Thank you, Corona for giving me the sense of ignoring those two things.  I am much better at doing that now.
Also my new norm:  My business.  I could tell you that I have the easiest job I could ever have, but like most businesses, there is the struggle of getting gigs.  There is a struggle of getting money for this business.  I also could say that I like the stimulus package for small or even home businesses.  I do not have a small business, I have a home business, and as a home business owner, we often get lumped in with small businesses.  What Is a home business?  It is a business that is operated out of the home and if you do have any employees, it is usually an assistant.  Your revenue is lower than a small business.  A good year is when a person is able to earn $1,000 plus per month. 
Why offer help to small businesses if big businesses get approved?
Well, to be honest, the EIDLE and the PPP portion of the first stimulus package has done nothing for me and my business because of companies like Potbelly and The Lakers basketball team, who should not have been allowed to apply in the first place, nor their applications should never been approved.  Potbelly has returned the money and I believe so has The Lakers.  That still does not help P. Lynne Designs. I applied twice.  The first application was on Go Alice, while the second application was on the site. I have not heard back, and I doubt I will at this point.  I do not have any employees.  This is just to maintain the business of one, and for growth.  The government did not handle this process very well.  I chucked as “I am getting no help as usual” and went about my day. Update:  Last night, I was able to file for unemployment, a right that was not given to people like freelance writers and freelance graphic designers, which I am.  I pray and hope they approve it.
So let us go back to what I was talking about
I do not mind the retail stores being open.  Personally, I will not be going in the very beginning.  Actually, I am having fun online ordering.  I do not have to worry about donning on a mask, fighting crowds, not finding what I want. In fact, I ordered a mystery Die cut bag from Tonic Studios at 3 am this morning.  That is how much fun I am having to order online.  Yes, I can always order online, then pick up at the store like Walmart. 
Amazon has been my store of the hour, and ever since I was told by my governor that even pickup was impossible in the craft stores in my state, I said “okay”, and started ordering online.   Ordering online is natural for me anyway, so it did not bother me that I could not go to any of my stores, except Ikea.  That is another story for another day.
I have been to two grocery stores since lockdown.  One was for last-minute stuff as I found out just today that the second store only allows me to do pickup ordering if the order was over $30.  The reason:  Cat food.  Well my nephew came through with the cat food, so now I do not have to buy that.
It is best if all stores keep in mind a level of safety.   My feeling is this since I do have pre-existing conditions, as well as my parents, I do not want to spread the super germs.  I am calling Corona that until we find a vaccination for it
My hardest hit yet, Walt Disney World
I am having the hardest time with a Disney Vacation.  Last May, I booked a stay for 12 at The Bay Lake Towers at The Contemporary Resort (its official name) for the time of December 15-20, 2019, with all the bells and whistles as this might be the last vacation with my parents, who are in their 80s. 
This was a well-meaning trip as two things went wrong from the start:  how to pay for a $30,627.00 trip that included a 3-bedroom villa, tickets to the parks, and a deluxe dining plan, and how to tell a Disney-hating father that we were going to the “land of the mouse” times 4 (The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and The Animal Kingdom theme parks).  It would not be a requirement for my parents to go into the parks unless they wanted to.  In years past (1998, 2004, and Disneyland in 2007 respectively), my father stayed at the resort or drove around the property, Orlando, and surrounding cities (Cape Canaveral, Kissimmee, and Tampa are close by).  This time, my mom, who loves the parks will join him if she wants to.  She is not too keen on using a riding scooter.
We were going to drive down instead of flying.  We were coming back home that Sunday so that my siblings and my nephew and niece can get back to work by that Monday before Christmas.  The kids (Nephews (age 12 and 9) and niece (11)) was being pulled out of school.  Ohio has a funny winter break schedule where they are out either the day before Christmas eve or a couple of days before Christmas.  Either way, it would have been fun.  I pulled the plug on that trip on October 15th, one month before our last cancelation date of November 15th.  I did not cry because I was going to call them the day after Christmas with a new date of December 12-19, 2020.
Well with Ms. ‘Rona on the prowl, and for the first time ever since Walt Disney opened Disneyland in 1955, all the parks were close, due her not wanting to play fair, I decided to see what Disney is going to do with the guidelines that they and the State of Florida government, as well as the federal government, was going to say about a reopening date.  For the moment, Disney reopened Shanghai Disneyland Monday, Disney Springs, Walt Disney World’s shopping area is reopening on May 20th, and Walt Disney World is excepting bookings starting July 1 (it has been delayed from June 1st). 
I do not want a vacation in 2020.  I feel like it is too soon to book a vacation and go in 2020.  So, I have decided to wait until December 15-19, 2021 to take the trip.  This all depends on two things:  the health of my parents and the health of our savings.  There is one more factor and I am not depending on whether I do or do not do for this vacation and that is to get another Disney Vacation Club membership.  This will affect how we pay for this trip.  Naturally, this membership is a timeshare, and I have spoken about timeshares before on this blog. That is a talk for my yet to be created a new blog, which will be Disney-related.  I took all the travel stuff off of my blog, Home Prep because it is not related.
Some good has come out of all this…
My stories are not all bad, in fact, some of them quite funny.
Last week, a friend had a birthday.  She announces it each year 6 days in advance.  This year was no different.  What I love about Facebook is the ability to have people donate to your favorite charity in loo of presents for your birthday.  I am going to do one, I am not sure where yet.  July 21 has not gotten here yet.
Anyway, her sister and mother thought that since Ms. ‘Rona decided to cancel my friend’s plans, a surprise drive-by birthday salute was in order.  Can I tell you that I do not know how to do one, LOL?
First, I told her mother that I was coming by via Facebook invite.  I have seen lineups, so I thought that I was going to meet at her mother’s house, and we would fall in line to go to my friend’s apartment.  After all, it was a surprise.  Since I am one of those people who would show up late to her own wedding if given a chance, I decided to arrive early so my friend’s mother cannot say that I was late.  So, I drove to the house at 4:46 and I did not see any cars.  “Good, I am the first one,” I thought, so I went the next street over to turn around.  Okay, next thing I knew, I saw my friend’s daughter, who is 3, then my friend.  I thought, “Oh, Crap”, and I drove off to my parent’s house who live around the corner.   This drive-by was at 5, so I killed some time at my parent’s house and went back over there.  It turned out to be an “individual” happy birthday, as my friend and her mother sat there while people drove by, wishing her a happy birthday.  It turned out great, and this goofy person now know the proper drive by, LOL.
Business Dealings….
I was able to get some things done for my business while on lockdown.  I was approved for an affiliate that I have been wanting since 2017.  You know how much I love Erin Condren products, so you will be seeing more affiliate links from that company.  As always, I only support companies that I love and believe in, and you are not obligated to make a purchase, but it would be nice for the support.  It is a way to put money back into my business.  Some of these companies with affiliates, like Erin Condren, Cricut, and Amazon may have links that will help you save money as well.  So in that case, if you need the product, it is good to help out a blog and save money at the same time. 
I am also working on some things that will help improve this blog, including the infamous blog move.
Even though I was down and out during this period of time, I am fine now and living a new norm.  For the moment, my state is wrapping being on lockdown.  This is the reason for this title.   Let the flood gates open!!! Well, I am over my limit.  Be well and safe.  Wear a mask, and I will talk to you later.