A Sad Post/Raising Awareness

This morning I learned that Bella of the Instagram account @THENOOKDOLLS passed away.  I was truly saddened to learn this as I’ve been following her journey over the past few months and thought perhaps she might actually beat cancer.  RIP Bella.

To those of you who don’t know about Bella–she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer that is most prevalent in teens and young adults.  She had undergone many different treatments for it, and hearing of the side effects of some of these treatments was heart wrenching.  Despite all of her days of feeling awful from her treatments, she and her mother started their own charity through Angels of Hope.  Bella and her mom donated dolls to hospitals in various locations.  Here is a link to an article about the work Bella and her mom were doing that was written in October of 2017.  http://www.greercitizen.com/news/teen-mission-hope

One post that Bella made on her Instagram account really hit home for me.  I knew something about this from when the granddaughter of a friend was diagnosed with cancer, but I never knew the actual statistics until Bella talked about it.  DID YOU KNOW:  Only 4% of the money raised for cancer research goes towards childhood cancer???  That is only 4 cents out of every dollar donated!  Yet every day in the United States, approximately 700 children are diagnosed with cancer.  That’s outrageous!!  Many of these kids are treated with experimental procedures because there are no protocols in place.  Long story short, they are turned into science experiments.  This needs to change.

Bella was such an inspiration to many, and I hope that as a community, all of her fellow American Girl friends will keep her memory alive.  She was an outstanding photographer, survivor and just an all around generous person.  We need more Bella’s in this world.  She will be missed by many.



Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Instagram?

Hello everybody!!  I thought I’d take a quick minute to update everyone on what is new and exciting here.  To be honest, not a whole lot.  But things are moving along.  Or at least most things are.

The book is on a temporary hold, but I’m planning on getting back to it soon.  First off, I got that horrible flu that was making the go-rounds.  Talk about a downer!  I’m all better from that.  It’s hard to write though when all you can do is cough.  And of course everything else was behind, so there is the inevitable catch up.  I did get back to writing and finally past a part where I was a bit stuck, always a good thing.  Then the near unthinkable happened–my laptop had a nervous breakdown.  And dummy me hadn’t saved what I’d written to an external drive.  (Insert scream here).  The good news is I was able to get the laptop back up and running and able to get my written chapters recovered.  However, I’ve also had to purchase a new laptop, and I haven’t had the time to get everything transferred and up and running there.  That’s on my “to do list” in the very near future and hopefully I can get back to it.  I’ve been rethinking some of what I want to do as well, so maybe the delays have been a good thing.

My guitar lessons have had an unexpected twist and at the moment, I am currently lesson-less.  I had a bit of a falling out with my guitar teacher for a number of reasons.  It’s all good though as I didn’t feel I was getting the kind of training I was expecting and I have since signed up with a new teacher starting at the beginning of April.  In the meantime I am continuing to practice and learn new songs on my own.  I’m still enjoying it though and I’m really looking forward to seeing what my new teacher has to offer.

Otherwise, it’s still pretty much the same old stuff here.  I’ve been working on doll posts as I have the time and posting them in advance so I have a bit of a backlog, which is nice!  I’m actually thinking about just keeping things this way for the foreseeable future as it’s been very convenient to devote a block of time to the blog all at once, then not have to think about it again for an extended period.  I’m still playing around with it, always a learning adventure!

Something I have noticed over the past few months, and not just with my blog, is a lot of people are posting less, several have quit and a few are “on a break” (I always think of Friends when I say or type that!).  I’ve also noticed a significant reduction in the number of hits I have on my own blog.  I think there are a number of factors that are causing this, but I am fairly certain that the number one reason is Instagram.  It’s a fun platform to use and if you aren’t into writing stories but do enjoy the doll photography, I think it’s a good option.  I don’t foresee myself ever switching to just that because I enjoy the writing aspect too much, but I do think it’s been a contributor in the reduced number of blog posts and doll blogs out there.  How many of you use Instagram, either as a “follower” or as a way of getting your doll photos out there for others to see?

Last, but certainly not least is the news of toy retailer Toys R Us and their plans to close their stores.  I thought they might be able to pull through, but apparently not.  When news hit of this, the stocks of several major toy companies, Mattel included, dropped significantly.  I can’t help but wonder how this is going to affect the American Girl line at some point.

I hope everyone is doing well!  I come in here and regularly read the comments and try to reply in a timely manner.  I’ve been contemplating trying a couple of new things here, but they are still in the “think” stage at the moment, so I’m not sure which ones will actually be used.  Stay tuned–and keep in touch!!

Book Group Reminder!

Just a quick post to remind everyone that we will be discussing “Aloha Kanani” on the 15th!  I’m really looking forward to this one and hearing what everyone thinks.  There will be no book group in December, so this will be the last one for 2017.  I’ll be posting the next few for 2018 on the 15th as well.  See you then!