MIXER – My new online family

Although I still think I’m an introvert, the anonymity of the online world has helped me be a little more open. I’ve told other people in my life that writing a blog allows me to be much more vulnerable and honest about myself because I can’t see the faces of my readers and try to guess what they’re thinking of me.

I also have an addictive personality – a controlled one but addictive nonetheless. I’m not addicted to things illegal and/or immoral, somewhat because of my values and somewhat because of my fears. I don’t gamble because I can’t stop once I start. I don’t do drugs out of fear of becoming hooked as well as the need to have control over my surroundings and be conscious of them. Coffee and nicotine are my ‘legal’ addictions.

Having said those things, it’s not really such a wonder that I enjoy encounters and conversations on social media. Sharing giggles/laughter, sharing common values, sharing warm, fuzzy feelings with others creates a bond, even though it has to cross through cyber space.

A few months ago, my ‘nephew’ (the son of my ‘sista from another mista’) started streaming games on Twitch. In order to support him, I became a viewer when he was streaming. Later, he tried out another platform, Mixer. Of course, I followed him there as well.

I started browsing other streamers and discovered that I enjoyed the Mixer platform much better – the viewers in the room watching seemed more friendly, the streamers paid more attention to the viewers’ chat, and Mixer allowed you to earn “sparks” for watching and chatting. Both platforms are free to watch, but why not follow the one that ‘pays you back’?

Other bloggers who read this will understand the sense of community that can form from online associations. We, the bloggers, feel a sense of that community in the way we support and encourage each other. Well, Mixer also gives that same kind of opportunity to build a community as you meet to support and encourage the streamers.

I am, with 99% certainty, the oldest member of the community I’m part of. We don’t discuss ages other than some streamers sharing their ages in their bios. Oddly enough, and enchanting as can be, is the fact that I don’t feel my age when I’m hanging out with these people. I’ve been aware that I sometimes keep my fingers still when I think of something that would certainly “date me” among this crowd. I’ve become like an adopted mom to some of these folks (little do they know that I could, quite possibly, be a grandma to some of them!)

Recently, I mentioned my blog in the chat and a couple of people came here to see what it was all about. I was flattered when some positive comments came back to me in the chat about what they’d read. More recently, my blog has been mentioned and, as a result of that, I’ve picked up a handful of new followers to this blog. To say that I was stunned would be an understatement! All of that love and support tossed upon me – in rapid haste, I might add – was overwhelming!

To my Mixer family – and you know who you are – I love each and every one of you! Unless you take upon the undaunting task of reading all of my past blogs, you will never know the ways that being a part of your world gives me so much joy and constantly lifts my spirits. You are all GOATS to me! And to my blogging family – your support and encouragement help me stay focused on sharing my thoughts in written form.

I couldn’t ask my life to be in a better place – thanks to all of you! I feel truly blessed!

But a Wish

This is exactly how I feel! I know I’m not alone in this feeling, so when will those who feel the same band together and do something to change what is into what could be?

commonsensiblyspeaking

If humanity would seek to change

How we treat a fellow person

Our perceptions we must rearrange

Or the divide may well worsen

We, in life, can ill afford

Our narrowed and biased views

Where hate can cut like any sword

From the venomous words we choose

It is not the ‘them’ or ‘you’ that counts

But the ‘us’ that sees a life through

Respect a check that does not bounce

Yet only cashed by the woken few

Put feigned differences aside for now

And accept we are all the same

If we can’t live side by side somehow

Then hate and bigotry are to blame

For we are each just another being

Struggling through all that is a life

With open eyes it’s worth seeing

That our differences are rather slight

We all seek to be happy and safe

To live without fear or prejudice

But if we cannot…

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Universal Children’s Day

My calendar shows this holiday and I wasn’t aware it existed, so I had to do some research.

Universal Children’s Day is celebrated annually on November 20th. The goal of Universal Children’s Day is to improve child welfare worldwide, promote and celebrate children’s rights and promote togetherness and awareness amongst all children. Universal Children’s Day was first established in 1954 and is promoted by UNICEF.

I remember having a Children’s Day in the church where I grew up, although I believe it was celebrated in June. What I remember most is that each Sunday School class had to get up in front of the church and perform in some way. As a kid, that was pretty cool. As an adult, I look back and wonder why, then, the moms didn’t have to perform on Mother’s Day and the dads didn’t have to perform on Father’s Day. I mean, is that fair?

I wouldn’t want to be a child in today’s world. When I think of childhood, I think of exuberant energy and true naïve innocence. That’s what a childhood should be. But with school shootings and political dissonance, we are forcing the children of today to grow up much too quickly. That’s bad enough, but on top of that, so many parents treat their children like little adults, giving in to their every whim to become their ‘best friend’.

As I think about it, I realize that I now (if not orally, at least inwardly) compliment the parents/caregivers of a respectful child. I’m now asking myself, “When did that become so rare that it stands out?” In my generation, respect of adults and others was the norm – we were all taught that at home and the authorities were quick to call us out if our behavior wasn’t respectful.

I get it. Times change. The ways that parents raise their children changes. We’re no longer fans or believers of physical discipline and as someone who earned her share of spankings with a wooden paddle, I’m glad of that. Physical violence to a child doesn’t change behavior, it simply creates fear in the child. CONSEQUENCES encourage change. We need to go back to that, when children are held accountable for their actions.

Anyhow, how I feel about parenting and punishment might be fodder for a different post, so sorry I got off on that tangent…

Back to Universal Children’s Day – the idea to improve child welfare worldwide, promote and celebrate children’s rights and promote togetherness and awareness amongst all children is an excellent one and I wish this annual holiday got more attention. The children of our world today are the future leaders of tomorrow. We need to focus on instilling the values and morals that will make them successful leaders for the future.

So, if you’ve got a child/children or a grandchild/grandchildren in your life, share with them what this holiday is and make sure they grasp and understand its purpose. Kids know what to except on Easter, Halloween, Christmas, etc. Maybe it’s time to know what we expect from them this one day of the year.

Whatever falls on them leaves an impression…

My First Blogging Milestone

This post will be #100 of the posts I’ve put in this blog since I began in April, 2019. While I set no goals for blogging, focused primarily on just putting myself out there and hoping to advise/inspire readers who stumbled upon me, that remains a milestone.

I’ll be honest… lately, I haven’t felt like I have anything of interest to say to my readers. I have thoughts, but adhering to the idea that we shouldn’t talk about politics or religion, many of those thoughts are ill-advised to be shared. Maybe I just don’t want to admit my fear about how my country seems so divided – so the opposite of the “United” States of America that I’ve always believed in. Seeing the death of that ideal daily brings me a sadness that lingers, kept alive by the constant news feeds and the fact that the country appears to be headed towards another impeachment, the fifth in our history.

And it’s not that I haven’t felt like hanging out in my happy place (aka my kitchen) but my freezer is fairly full of previously made meals. It’s not even that my S.A.D. symptoms have kicked in, because the CBD oil I’ve been taking not only helps relieve my pain but also helps boost my mood. (If you want to know more about my CBD experience, leave me a message at the end and I’ll share it – maybe through a blog post.)

Do I have little to say because my life is so boring? And, if that’s true, is the fact that my life is boring coincidence/fate or choice? I know the sudden onset of cold weather has made me want to stay tucked in, but then, in the high heat of summer, I also don’t want to go out unnecessarily.

Clearly, I have some internal processing to do…

Meanwhile, to my followers and readers – thank you for allowing me to hit this ‘milestone’ and thank you for your support. I’ll try to find something worth sharing to engage you with soon. I appreciate all of you for your kindnesses along the way!

Better early than late, every time !

As someone who has only recently been able to speak out about suffering from bouts of depression, this article is necessary – and will be necessary, until we stop placing such a stigma on mental health issues.

Life and Random Thinking

I feel like I am looping back to a previous post of mine – The Lucky Ones have Crutches and Bandages– I hope you have read it, if not CLICK HERE.

In the Saturday Globe & Mail newspaper of November 9, 2019 there was an interesting read about veterans, and in particular a pilot.

aerobatics air air force air show Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I found my attention drawn to the short article about Mr. Guinan. Guinan served as a pilot and air traffic controller for 28 years. Long hours, and stress eventually took a toll resulting in health conditions that left him no alternative but to retire, and he was eventually released for depression. He had dealt with his health issues, including depression,  his whole life, masking it but eventually he could not avoid it’s effect on his life.

I can imagine the retirement decision was difficult, an invisible but very…

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Another successful day trip

As my regular readers know by now, I’m a qualified foodie. So when my bestie says, “I’m going to take such-and-such day off, what do you want to do?” my immediate reaction is, “Lancaster County food trip!” Lancaster County is known as a foodie destination. You can get homemade Amish cooking in one town and fine dining in the next. And with multiple farmers’ markets, you can bring home a plethora of foods to eat or cook.

We have done this trip often enough now that we have a plan for all of the places we plan to stop. We always drive straight to the southern-most destination of our plans – the Strasburg Country Store and Creamery. They have the very best turkey lunchmeat, and we’re lucky enough to know how to get it by the pound. My bestie is lactose intolerant, so she never gets to partake of their home-made (made by their employees right on their property) amazing ice cream. One of the current feature flavors was root beer sherbet. I’m not a huge root beer fan, but the sample I tasted was yummy. Under new leadership this year, they now have a featured ice cream flavor and featured fudge which are the same. November’s feature flavor is turtle.

Once we visit with the staff for a bit, it’s time to head off. Our next stop is Rutter’s, a convenience store nearby. They have a made-to-order section of hot foods (the funnel cake fries are amazing!) and they make a really good lo mien stir fry. You pick your meat, your veggies and the sauce. The serving size is enough for two meals, and the cost is just $6.99. We bring it home to divide up and put in our freezers – lunch for my bestie at work and my main meal of the day when I want it.

From there, it’s off to Strasburg Farm Market. I wandered through this place one day without my bestie, and discovered they make chicken croquettes, which is one of her favorite meals, and I bought some for her to try. On this most recent trip, expecting it will be the last one before winter sets in, she got an entire dozen of them! They have a really nice, though small, variety of meals and sides, a bunch of candies and snacks, and beautiful produce. I picked up a container of raisin bread pudding, and it was fantastic!

Okay, off and continuing to head back north towards home. This time, we decided lunch would be fast food, as we wanted as much time for our last stops, now that it gets dark so early. Burger King was closest. (Note: I’ve become a really slow eater over the past year, so I saved half of my sandwich or we’d have been there a while!)

Off we go to our favorite Lancaster County thrift store, the Re-Uz-It shop in New Holland. This shop is always very clean and we know it well enough to head right towards the areas we’ll be looking for treasures! I only got a top and a new planter, since we’re on a no-book-buying sabbatical (until we both get our to-be-read piles under control).

Our final stop is always Shady Maple Market. Shady Maple is known for its amazing smorgasbord, known enough that it gets tourist buses in the travel season. The food is always really good, but again, I eat slow and fill up too fast, so I seldom go there anymore. Plus, you eat FREE on your birthday (with proof, of course)! Anyhow, we go to the market for specific items. This is where I got the huge head of cabbage the last time, and they still had them at just 99 cents a head. Part of me wanted to get one, but part of me didn’t want to do all of the work involved in using it up. I declined the purchase this time. 😦

Finally, everything was packed away in the cooler and trunk, and it was time to head home so that we were in familiar territory by the time it got dark. It was another successful day for a foodie trip!

This is going to be my new mantra!