Saying sayonara to Days of Daphne

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I have news and I don’t know how you’ll take it, but it must be said. You see, I have decided that after almost a year of running this blog (on 2 different site hosts, no less) that I am ready to put Days of Daphne to rest. It was a fun project while it lasted but real life has intruded and interest on my part has waned a tad. C’est la vie, right?

This isn’t goodbye though. Not technically. You see, my mother who has written all of those awesome “Mama Says” articles now has a blog of her own now! Yes, my friends, she has finally entered the high-tech world of the internet. It would mean so much to both of us if you checked out her site. Here is the link. (Note: I will occasionally be writing guest articles there!)

To entice you over to Mamavicky.net, let me assure you that Mama has some really cool stuff planned for her blog. In addition, we are currently hosting a great giveaway. You have the chance to win a brand spanking new Christmas CD by artist Michael W. Smith. The album literally just came out a few weeks ago. You’ve got to hear it!

Thank you to all of you who made my internet life so much fun. The comments, likes, etc. you all gave me, made my whole year! I truly do hope to see you around the world wide web again very soon :)

Mama Says … What are you going to do with all of those photographs?

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I have a few things to blog about today; from photographs to donations to gratitude to freebies. Follow along with me, if you would please.

I came across a great way to tame the photograph monster that lurks in cabinets, drawers, closets, etc. I have always kept up with my photos putting them into photo albums or scrapbooks until the last 3 or 4 years. I am not sure what happened to my organization in this department, but I will say that the photograph monster has taken up 3 shelves in my hall cupboard. They are haphazardly placed. I hope they aren’t getting bent. And believe it or not disorganization and clutter drive me nuts.

     I confess there are dust bunnies lurking around my home and the bookshelves need polishing. Oh, by the way, the kitchen could stand a good mopping, too. But as far as my careful belief that every item has its place does not seem to extend to the pictures; until now. When I look at the mess, it seems so overwhelming. Where do I have unlimited time to go through envelopes and packets of photographs? Organizing the family photos has been a goal I have had for some time. But where to start?

     Thanks to my Organized Homemaker, Deniece Schofield, there is now a plan that sounds very manageable and simple. You are going to be amazed. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will all of the photos be organized all at once. The idea is to start and that is where this simple sorting plan comes in to play. Enough jibber jabber, here’s how.

     The Organized Homemaker says that sorting the photos is the key and she makes it a relative breeze. First collect all the loose photos you can find, wherever they may be stashed; hall closet, sock drawer, under the bed, etc. Once you have all the photographs in one place you are ready to start sorting.

     Figure out how you want the photos organized. Do you intend to give some of the pictures to specific people? Are you going to keep them all and put them in chronological order? What-ever categories you decide on get several file folders and label them accordingly. I have already started scrapbooks for my grandchildren. Daphne has done her own as have I. I need to make one for my son since he’s a manly man and not into girly stuff like scrapbooking. Something that might help is to use a dishpan and put the labeled file folders in the dishpan standing them up. I’ll keep mine sideways.

     Now go through your photos one packet/bunch at a time. By doing this you can decide how much time you have available and when you are available. It shouldn’t take too much time to go through one envelope of photos. You can work at this for 15 minutes or 2 hours. It is up to you. And because it is portable you can sort photos while watching TV, waiting for the baked potatoes to be done, waiting for the laundry timer, etc. When you need to quit just put your dishpan of photos away in a safe place. It’ll be ready for you the next time you have a few minutes.

     As an aside, think how fun it would be to sort photos with your family. You can share stories and reminisce together while deciding what goes where. Granted, it will take more time this way, but won’t it be time well spent? There doesn’t seem to be enough family together time, at least not for me. Wouldn’t the time be well spent bonding with your loved ones and strengthening the circle of love that binds you?

      Once the pictures are sorted by category you may wish to sort each folder by chronological order. But by the time you get to this step, it will be quick. Then you can either make scrapbooks to put them in or if not the crafty kind or don’t have the time, mount them in photo albums. A word of caution: use acid free paper, photo albums, ink, mounting supplies. Acid will eat up your treasured photos. Acid free items are available everywhere. They aren’t just for archivists any more.

     Ready, set, go… and have fun!

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Since we are in the de-clutter mode how about an idea that helps you clear out “stuff” and help another at the same time? There is no expense involved. Go through your closet and shoes assortment. Is there anything in there that you hope to fit someday but someday was 2 years ago? How about that jacket you bought on sale because it was so cute, on sale, and you just had to have it? Now when you see it in your closet you realize you have nothing to go with and it isn’t as cute as it looked on the store dummy? Have you just gotten the latest Air Nikes, but your old shoes are still in pretty good shape? Here’s a suggestion. Find a battered women’s shelter and donate your clothes to them. Sometimes they flee in the middle of the night in just their robes and nightgowns. Do you have a county hospital nearby that treats indigent patients? The staff would love to have clothes and shoes to put on their patients. I work for our country psych hospital and I can tell you we see a lot of homeless people and people of lower income. They come in with one set of clothes or in torn items that wouldn’t even make a good cleaning cloth. We have a closet for men’s and women’s clothes that is there because of generous donations. Think about it, will you? You be rid of excess “stuff” and you’ll feel good helping someone else. Sounds like a win-win to me.

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You know, it has been a long time since I have shared with you all some of the things I am grateful for. I think about my blessings every day, but I haven’t put them down in words of late.

3 things I am grateful for today: 1) The gift of hope. Even when things seem to be topsy-turvy, I believe hope helps us handle whatever we are called on to do or endure; 2) I am grateful that I will be switching to day shift in a couple of weeks from night shift. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the night shift and I think the folks I work with are good people, but this past year finding enough sleep to function has been really hard. I find myself planning when I next get to crawl into bed as I am getting out of bed for work; 3) The invention of the knitting loom which allows me to make beanies for people. I can even do it while watching the little TV that I do watch. I don’t feel so guilty sitting in front of the boob tube when I am doing something creative and constructive with my hands. (Daphne, it is your fault you got me invested in Ravenswood! Bad daughter, bad. :) And of course since I like the show it gets canceled. Who’s bad idea was that? Bad network, bad. :) )

     By the way, we still have a couple of hardcover journals available for jotting down what you are grateful for, as well as whatever crosses your mind. Please let us know if you would be interested in obtaining one. It’s free and we’ll pay the postage. We just want to spread some joy around.
Blog you later!

Soap Operas and Romance Novels: The Feminist Debate

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daphnel23:

I found this article to be very insightful and honest. Tell her what you think!

Originally posted on I Believe in the Mystery:

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Recently on Twitter I saw two things that really made me stop and take a second look.  The first was a comment that said that “Soap opera is the most feminist of genres, by nature of ongoing narrative” and the second being “Feminism and the writing of romantic novels are a contradiction in terms. ” Why did these statements make me take pause?  Simply said, I am a fan of both.

I have watched soap operas since I was a little girl who was too young to recognize the true complexities that were taking place on my television screen.  One of my first ever “ships” was between Alan-Michael Spaulding and Lucy Cooper.  I simply loved everything about them.  The contrast between their social classes, how Alan-Michael fought his feelings for Lucy, and how hard they had to strive to get their happily ever after.  I simply loved them. …

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Living in Limbo

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I so long to be a published writer. That’s part of the reason I started this blog – just to put my thoughts down and share them with the collective internet. I am always writing something, usually fictional. Nothing excites me more than coming up with a character and throwing them into the most awkward, uncomfortable situation imaginable, just to see what they’ll do. They will either sink or swim depending on the flick of my fingers on the computer keys. It’s a fascinating process…

As I try to get this blog active again, I will often be sharing small poems and stories I have written. Please, please tell me what you think. Rip ‘em apart if necessary. I can take it… I think! This first little story was written in 10 minutes, making it a “Flash Fiction”. Tell me what you think of it.

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Limbo

A red candle – the color of spilt blood – sits in the window. There’s a new one there every evening – rain or shine. Mama lights them for my father – believing it will lead him home to us again. She says one night he will see that candle in the distance and because of its light, he will find his way back. She’s also a devout Catholic if that explains anything. And she’s still madly in love with my father, even after all these years.

As for me, I don’t remember much about my Dad. He was a photographer by trade which meant there are few pictures of him. You see, he was always on the wrong side of the camera. But Mama has shown me many of the photos he took and says his most favorite quote in the world was “Say Cheese”. Mama says you never knew when he would suddenly snap a picture of you because he liked catching people in unguarded moments. There’s even one picture of Mama nursing an infant me. Strange, but true. Her expression conveys so much in that moment and I guess that’s what he was going for. He didn’t like phony, practiced smiles that you see in other people’s birthday photos. He said he wanted to capture a moment in time, not a practiced, contrived situation.

I do remember though that he used to sing me the most haunting lullaby before bed every night. I don’t remember the words and neither does Mama, but I can still hear the melodic music haunting me even now.

Mama keeps telling me not to lose the faith that he will return, but I wonder if she ever does herself. She will deny it if you ask but one does have to wonder how she keeps it together. I was four when my dad disappeared and I’m fifteen now. You do the math. That’s a heck of a long time to wait around for a miracle. But don’t ever tell Mama to move on already because she’ll just shake her little index finger and scold you.

She lives and dies every night by the strike of the match as it meets the wick of that candle. The minute she lights it, she breathes a bit easier but sadly, I don’t think she realizes that because of all of this, we will both forever remain in limbo.

Ode to the pretty girls

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A cool blog I found suggested that we share poetry we had written on our page. Here is a little ditty I wrote ages ago when I could actually fit into size 14 jeans! Tell me what you think, my friends. Thank you.

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Ode to the Pretty Girls
With their eyes so blue
and their hair so blonde

Ode to the Pretty Girls
With their little heart-shaped faces
and smooth, unblemished skin

Ode to the Pretty Girls
Who wear a size 2
and who never sweat or bleed

Ode to the Pretty Girls
With their perfect boyfriends
so handsome and true

Ode to the Pretty Girls
Who make me feel so blue
they have everything I ever wanted

Ode to the Pretty Girls
Who make me feel fat
especially in my size 14 jeans

Sugar and Spice Advice #2

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Ever had the (dis)pleasure of having a bug bite
or bee sting? How did you treat it? I remember
my sister getting stung by a bee years ago while
at Lake Pymatuning. I guess my sister was sweeter
than I am because we were sitting at the same table
and she was the target for the unhappy bee. I also
remember my father making a moist mud pack and
putting it directly on the bite. Wise move or old wives tale?
Let’s find out.

Remedies recommended by the “experts” include
1) Applying a cold compress to soothe inflamma-
tion and relieve irritation; (I guess cold wet mud
would fit into this category.)
2) Try calamine lotion, you know the lovely pink
stuff your mom used to smear on you. It helps
reduce the itch and pain;
3) Use a paste of baking soda, meat tenderizer, &
vinegar. (We didn’t have this with us while
spending the day at the lake. Who knew?) This
combo breaks down the venom and draws out
the burn.
4) Toothpaste. Yep, you read me right. Toothpaste
neutralizes the poison at its entry point and
acts like a mild anesthetic. (Can’t say we were
carrying that with us on our picnic  either.)
My dad’s mud compress? Seemed to work. My
sister said the pain wasn’t as bad. I guess it’s not
the best choice, but if you don’t have meat tender-
izer, vinegar, toothpaste, or calamine lotion packed
in your picnic basket, mud will work in a pinch.

Brought to you by Sugar and Spice Designs,
purveyors of fine handmade products.

First Look at….

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daphnel23:

One of my friend Lynn’s brilliant TV reviews. Check, check it out. There’s a reason I’ve been MIA from this blog lately. I’ve been Tarting it up – as in TV Tarting (TV Addicts Really Talk Television)! Check it out and tell us what you’re watching these days.

Originally posted on TV Tarts:

Red Band Society

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You might think a show about a bunch of kids that lived in a hospital would be depressing.  You might expect to be in tears multiple times throughout the episode.  You might be prepared to hear dialogue that, although poignant, is a bit heavy handed.  You would be right.

The show begins with a voice which we soon learn to be the voice of, Charlie, otherwise known as “Coma Boy”.  He will be a narrarator for this fun-filled journey.

The show revolves around an interesting cast of characters….all of whom have depressing life stories.

Nurse Jackson runs the hospital.  There’s a heart of gold under that tough exterior, but it takes us a while to see it.  She tortures poor Brittany, who just wants to be someone’s “muffin buddy” and is almost cruel to other members of the staff.

Kara, the main recepient of Nurse Jackson’s wrath…

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