Good housekeeping today is based on order and time-budgeting. But order, in this sense, means more than tidy drawers, shelves and closets. It means having the right things in the handiest spots. it also means planning each day at the very beginning.
We are hitting that time of year, dear readers. Halloween is just a few days away and from there comes the holiday marathon of planning and hosting. I am not a social person, by nature, but something about the holiday season beckons me to open up my home to others. That, of course, leaves me with a panicked feeling of “Ahhh, my house is a disaster!”
All motorists should be made to learn by heart the first principles of courtesy before they are allowed to drive a car, for on the road the consequences of bad manners can be far more serious than in the drawing room.
I was raised by a trucker, a volunteer firefighter (or two), an EMT, the fire chief, the township supervisor, and a police officer. It was not a commune. Those are all roles my parents held at one point or another in my childhood. I grew up listening to scanners spew info on accidents in my community, heard the horror stories at the dinner table about families losing loved ones in a blink. I have always had a strong respect for civil servants, and the rules created within their organizations. Fire, Police, Ambulance, even trucking regulations all have stipulations that are in place for the safety of the community. That is why when people show such disregard or indifference to those rules, regulations, stipulations, and condemnations, I begin to see red. Continue reading
I’m going off-book again, readers. A friend suggested that write about the rules that are not found in the rule books. So, this one’s all me.
It is kind of perfect to write this on July 5: Independence Hangover Day. Last night, I actually ventured out for a change. Usually, I hide in my house. I don’t care much for fireworks or alcohol (in large quantities), and my town can be a little intense as it hosts the National Tom Sawyer Days. So, I stay at home. However, we were invited to a friend’s house to watch the display, and I felt we should honor that kind gesture and attend.
First of all, I blame no one specifically for the errors made. They are a result of the collective masses slowly losing their educational integrity and forgetting themselves in the throng. I feel this is best rectified by a return to the values that once fueled our society. As this seems to be the only dais on which I can stand, I stand here to help bolster that lacking education.
Fourth of July seems to be a day where people forget themselves. I’m all for having a good time and enjoying the spirit of the holiday. But adding summer heat, mass quantities of liquor (as is the custom), and explosives always seems like disaster. I’m sure ER records would prove me right. So, readers, let me weave a tale for you filled with excitement, annoyance, and stupidity as I ponder the unwritten rules of etiquette.
My experiences with last night’s capricious behavior began at nightfall. Just before we left our home to go to our friend’s and watch the fireworks display, we saw our neighbors lighting flash fireworks. The problem? We live in a dense residential area near the heart of town. My street is narrow, and I park right outside their house. While they have the right to do as they wish on their property, courtesy dictates not setting off explosive materials mere feet from my vehicle. Nor should such activities take place so close to homes that recently rebuilt a lot of damage to their facades after a big storm.
The careless regard continued in a larger format as we arrived at our friends’ and the fireworks began. There was no real indication how long the fireworks display would last. We expected, at most, a thirty minute display. The display began late in the evening because of the longer summer days. Children enjoy the fireworks, and staying to watch them is an important moment of the year for them. However, I feel these tired little babies should be considered when deciding on the length of the show. Now, I understand, my town does hold an international audience at this time of year. Therefore, the pressure to impress is higher than normal. Still, length is not the only way to impress.
So, exactly what happened with the fireworks display? It lasted over an hour. Worse than that, there was no clear display. Even worse, there was no clear ending. At least 98% of the display (so roughly 60 of the 62 minutes) consisted of one firework at a time, it then fading away slowly, then the next rocket would shoot. It was random, with no real build-up or design. There was an abundance of green and pink, and a sad lack of the patriotic colors expected. The “finale” was lovely, lasting almost 2 whole minutes; several fireworks exploding the night sky in unison. But wait, that’s not all… afterwards, there were another half-dozen slow-releasing bursts. It had the distinct feeling of, “Oh look! We missed a bag!” I doubt that was the most impressive display my town is capable of for its international stage. Please, when planning an event, consider the audience and their enjoyment and comfort. It matters.
Then began the trip home… it was gridlock on the way into town, with everyone trying to get to the right street to get home. I’ve found that issues driving tend to remove intelligence from the equation. The driver of the car in front of us was apparently exasperated at trying to go one block and it taking several minutes. My opinion? It’s a busy night, get over it or don’t go out. Being inconvenienced by traffic is no excuse to make the road unsafe for everyone. Be patient, and calm down. The roads won’t move. If there’s an emergency, there’s a framework to help others in a timely manner. Allow the framework to do its job, and make sure you don’t cause another emergency. This driver tried crossing, and driving down the wrong lane half a block before the turn. Then got frustrated with oncoming traffic and just turned and went down the shoulder of the street instead. Cars were everywhere. I’m surprised I didn’t see an accident.
This post may have felt like a rant at people post-Fourth. But I truly just wanted to remind people of the rules that courtesy dictates. Be safe. Be considerate. Have sense. Do it everyday.
- 15 Best Fireworks Displays Around the World (thevivant.com)
A person of good taste chooses a certain type of friend—one who shares his joy in books, art and music. He will have little place in his life for the people who boast, who dress loudly and who are insensitive to the feelings of others.
I had to say goodbye to a friend this weekend. I knew it was coming. She had been talking about it for over a year. The plans finalized for weeks. It was still difficult when she moved away.
I moved here almost a decade ago. This friend, April, has been the only true friend I’ve had since moving here. Yes, I’ve met some amazing people. Yes, I have long distance friendships. But those amazing people, I met through my husband. Those long distance friendships are best nurtured via social media. So, I am left.
Those that know me know I don’t make friends easily. I believe this stems from the ultimate loyalty I give to my close friends. Giving my all to those I care about is a big part of my personality. I think I reserve my friendly nature to save myself from undue stress or hardship. I fully believe in quality over quantity. I am naturally awkward, and often passed over or written off. Let’s be real: I’m awesome, but most people don’t take the time to notice. I don’t have time for those people in my life. April was a refreshing change.
Why did April move? That’s her business, but let’s be clear: she had compelling, important reasons for the move. I cannot fault her for following her life path. I do mourn for the friendship that will now be more difficult to sustain.
This may seem morose, but I felt the need to share. A recent post mentions several things weighing heavily on me. This impending change was one of those things.
Do not feel sorry for me, readers. I will always rise above the challenges of life. I will make new friends, friends I can call my own. As for April, well…that’s what Facebook is for, right?
I recently went to an open house graduation party hosted by a friend for her son. (Can we pause for a minute while I reel over the fact that I am old enough to have friends with children who are High School graduates? … OK better now, I think.) It was really informal and laid-back. Yet, it still had an air of dignity that I appreciated.
As always, I struggle with the whole gift giving process. It’s not that I don’t want to give a gift, it is just that I am generally awkward and feel my gifts will be an extension of that. The husband says I am the world’s best gift-giver… that just increases the pressure. AHH! Sigh. In this situation, the graduate was moving across country for school, and I hoped to offer something to ease the burden. I really had no clue what.
It seems the custom lately is to give monetary (either liquid funds or a gift card) gifts. Since I was somewhat unsure of the graduate’s overall taste, we simply offered a cash gift. I, being me, however had to add a bit of personal touch to it. I hastily wrote “Congrats!” on the card and signed it from our family. I felt a little guilty for not using the formal word, but when I arrived I chuckled at the decorations with the same abbreviated celebratory message. At the bottom of the card, I added “DFTBA” as a nod to something I felt he would appreciate. The phrase also seemed to be an appropriate reminder to him as he moved on to his next achievement.
Graduation gifts need never be lavish. Overgenerosity may prove embarrassing to a receiver who cannot repay in kind.
That’s my experience, at least. Tell me yours.
Tonight, I find myself struggling to cope with several personal issues. None are of much consequence to anyone other than me. Therefore, I will not bother you with details. However, I find myself in need of calming distraction. I come here: to reflect, reset, and recharge.
I haven’t posted in a couple months, and I offer no other reason than life itself. I could not find motivation or inspiration to post. So, I didn’t. I did not feel that posting a nonsensical stream of consciousness would serve my few readers very well.
What have I been up to the past couple months… normal stuff. My gaming took a backseat to life. My love for BlackBerry has grown as I began following more of the information surrounding the launch of the Z10 and Q10. Work has kept my brain sufficiently exhausted, but friends have proven to re-energize me via Twitter. For that, I thank them. It’s a haven for my addled brain.
Some developments in my life as of late: I began going to church again. I feel it is something my soul needs. I love the fellowship and the music. And while I don’t feel my faith or conviction wavering with my lack of attendance, my heart is bolstered by the community and culture it provides. So, I returned. It’s therapeutic.
Also, I began a side project with my Twitter friends I met through Geek and Sundry. In an effort to help out someone on their class assignment, we made a video about online communication. It was well enough received that we are working towards a series of videos. I will keep you updated as that develops.
I think that brings you up to speed. As for an etiquette snippet to throw in, just to keep in theme, how’s this:
Always write simply and sincerely.
I love being comfortable. I love being able to relax and feel completely at ease. I also enjoy being able to go about my day rocking at life in clothes that do not feel constricting. I really dislike being restrained by clothing. It makes it difficult to even think clearly at times.
However, I do not… nor will i…. wear pajamas outside of my house. I do not even check the mail (and my mailbox is right beside my front door) without having appropriate clothing on. I do not let my dog out, or stand on my porch in my robe. Why? Too me, pajamas are for private. My sleepwear should not be visible by anyone that does not see me sleep on a regular basis.
I will go outside in a tshirt and my workout pants. I even find a dress to sometimes be the most comfortable thing to wear. I am not adverse to comfort. To me, wearing pajamas outside is akin to wearing stained, worn-out clothes. It shows a lack of concern for one’s appearance. It makes me sad.
Feel free to call me uptight. Call me unforgiving or stoic, but I do not like seeing others in their pajamas. I understand that pajamas are comfortable. I understand that we have hectic, crazy schedules. I do NOT understand anyone that can justify walking around in pants covered in dinosaurs and butterflies, but cannot reasonably explain why they cannot spend equal amounts of their income on comparatively comfortable clothing suitable for public viewing. There are so many options out there for comfortable, appropriate clothing. There is really no discernable, excusable reason to wear anything else:
The ease with which a woman of any age and size can find half a dozen fast-color attractive print dresses in any department store, renders inexcusable any untidy appearance as she goes about her household tasks.
Mrs. Harriman and friends expected more from themselves. Women were expected, and most preferred, to always look their best. It helped their mood as they went about their business. Now we are a nation of people that looked like we rolled out of bed and plan to roll right back in. What kind of productivity does that encourage?
Please, keep the PJs in the boudoir.