So what’s new with you???

Hey everybody, thought I’d pop in and say “Hello”! (insert wave here)  Most of the posts that you have seen recently were ones written a while ago, I love the ability to schedule posts ahead.  HOWEVER, I’m not only out of posts, but I have all sorts of fun stuff that I need to write about, so the next few weeks will have some interesting new stuff.  Stay tuned!

Part of the reason for the pre-scheduled posts is because we went on vacation, and I knew it was going to take up a lot of my time, both before and after.  Then to top it all off, Mr. Flo and I both ended up sick (him while we were away, me right after) and I’m currently dealing with a sinus infection as my bonus, ugh.  I was very thankful that I’d taken the time to write all of those posts beforehand because between being sick and immensely busy, it would have been crickets around here!  Fortunately life has slowed down, and I’m hopefully on the road to recovery from all of this crud.  I’ve lost track of how many times in my life I’ve had a sinus infection around this time of year, why should this year be any different?  The break from writing though was a good thing though, and I have some cool stuff to share.

What else is new?  Not really a whole lot.  I thought I’d update you on some of the other stuff in my life.  The book is on hold at the moment.  Partially because of having too much going on.  I also mentioned previously that I was having issues with my laptop.  I ended up buying a new laptop, only to discover that there really wasn’t anything wrong with my laptop, it was an issue with a Windows 10 update, and after spending an entire weekend messing around with it, I have it up and running again.  Thank heavens I have a bit of an IT background, but talk about frustrating.  And now I have two laptops.   At that point though, I was having misgivings about the direction the book was going, and decided to put it on the backburner.  I’m thinking that the story might be better used as a short story, or even one of those cautionary type tales you see in Readers Digest.  I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with it.  I will say that having to think about the events that led up to the initial idea started to get to me, and that, along with some new developments in the situation, I just didn’t feel like dealing with it.  I may get back to it, and then again, I may not.  The crazy part is it is a continually evolving situation, and just about the time I think it’s done, something else happens.

My guitar lessons are going very well.  At the beginning of April I started working with a new teacher and he has been a godsend.  My concerns about my previous teacher were right on the mark and changing teachers turned out to be a very good decision.  I’m so glad I talked to another friend who is not only a professional musician in California, but also teaches guitar.  His advice and input helped push me in the right direction and I’ve not regretted it a bit.  I’ve since bought an electric guitar and I’m having all kinds of fun with it.  I think I learned more in two lessons from my new teacher than I had learned in two months from my previous teacher.  Definitely an instance of change being a good thing.

We are getting ready to have some new windows installed in our house over the summer, last year we did the front doors.  I’m not looking forward to the mess, although this builder is very careful about that and does a good job of cleanup afterwards.  I’ve never quite recovered from our bathroom remodel!  Fortunately the doll room IS NOT one of the rooms on this years schedule, I definitely do not look forward to that!!!

What does everyone think of the new AG releases from this past week?  I was happy to see them do a Jess mold doll that didn’t have brown eyes and dark hair, about time!!!  Also glad to see some new outfits that aren’t weird for a change AND colors that I’d actually wear myself.  My favorite piece is the 3 in 1 Game Table, although I’m not sure I’m going to buy it.  I think it’s a cool idea, just not sure I would get enough use out of it to justify the price.  We’ll see.

I also think the Wheaten Terrier is cute, and was backordered, along with the remote control car, but I see both are available again.   And why, oh why did they have to put an American Girl vanity tag on Kit’s outfit?? So not cool.  Not sure I’ll get the terrier, we already have enough pets in the dollhouse, but it sure is tempting…

I hope everyone is doing well and having fun now that summer has officially started.  Keep checking back, I’m going to have a wide variety of posts in the next few weeks, ranging from stories to reviews and everything in between!  Thank you so much for continuing to read and comment over the past few months, I’m hoping to get things back on track now that the really busy stuff has passed.



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.

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!!