Saturday, November 21, 2015

Babies watching babies

(c) 2011 P. Lynne Designs
Status report from my Facebook page….” Sad news and a question. I was reading trends a few moments ago, and this is one of the reasons why I don't need to read nor see the news, but a 19-month old died in Houston, TX, because her siblings (two 3-year-olds) put her in the oven and she was severely burned. The oven was on. Now my childless self-wanted to know what was so damn important (sorry for the language), that the mother and the boyfriend had to leave these 4 children alone in the house? Nothing was that important. Ladies, unless you are passed out on the floor, there is NO REASON to leave a child under the age of 12 along in the home. NO REASON. if it is that important, CALL A BABYSITTER OR RELATIVE to watch your kids. Heck, take them to a police or fire station. Anything just does not leave them at home alone. Kids are too smart for their own good these days. Having them sit in front of a television set or computer while you are out for 5 minutes or longer does not cut it for these kids. There is so much stuff for a child to get into. You cannot have a baby watch a baby. There is a blog post coming, so I will continue my rant there. Be blessed.”
This is probably one of the hardest blog posts I have written on My Ambiance Life.  It comes with sadness, because I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I am a compassionate person, among my many flaws.  It is a flaw that I proud to have, and I feel that this is one of my character strengths, but it also comes with a price, I cry too easy.  Even though I have not cried about this particular case, I have cried about others in the past with the same ending…. Child dies while another sibling is caring for them, because parent is so in love with SO (Significate Other), too lazy to call or text an adult, or too crazy to call or text another adult to watch their children.  The child who is doing the watching usually is a sibling, who is next to the child who dies.  In this case, it is two 3-year old twins (I assume), and I guess, as the most cases are) the 19-month was crying, and they were trying to find a way to quiet the child.
Now there was supposed to be a fourth child in the home, and I wonder where was that child and how old that child was.  If that child was slightly older than the two 3-year olds (age 4-8), that would explain why the mother put that child in charge, but it still does not excuse for the absenteeism of the mother and the boyfriend.  It happens all too often.  A few weeks ago, an 8-year old was put in charge of a 1-year old, I believe, and the 8-year old beat the baby to death, again trying to quiet the child.
As I explained in my post on Facebook, I am childless, and even I know not to leave someone that young in charge of a baby (yes, at 19-months, they are still babies in my eyes).  I am not saying that a child cannot watch another child, but as an adult, you need to be within earshot range to grab the child and go into protective mode, should they get into harm’s way.  Some of the helpful ways that an older sibling under 12 can be helpful are:
·         Listen out for the baby when they should be waking up from a nap.
·         Alert parent when the baby is hungry or needs a diaper change.
·         Entertain the baby with you nearby, not out at the corner store.
·         Feed the baby with you nearby.
·         They can also briefly hold the baby while sitting down.
Again, I do not know nothing of this case, and my prayers go out to all involved.  I am not sure if the mom briefly left the children before, or if this was a first.  Either way now is not the time to criticize her (despite my rant on Facebook).  She has a long road ahead of her, by first laying her child to rest, then dealing with children services, who have no sympathy for the neglect of a child.  After all, even if she and the boyfriend were in the house, which could happen too, it was neglect in children services eyes.  People have left children before, and it will happen again in some other part of the country.
My prayer for parents has always think before you act, and this includes leaving children with others, especially with another child.  Make sure that child is responsible for taking care of that child, and it should be a child over the age of 13.  I did not mention 12 because that age is so awkward.  You are not a little child, but you are not a teen either.

I feel better, and I hope that everyone starts doing a little more thinking.  

Thursday, November 19, 2015

No Black Actresses Allowed

Cover of the Hollywood
Reporter (c) 2015 Hollywood
Help wanted…. Must be able to go from one emotion to another in 2.2 seconds flat, deliver lines like a pro, and except any roles given.  Apply within.  Oh and P.S. You MUST BE an African American female.  I cannot stress that enough.
This should be the sign that hangs outside of the Hollywood sign (you know, the one in the mountain ranges overlooking the city).
I was reading an Awesome Luvvie article a few moments ago, and she pointed out the Hollywood Reporter’s “Roundtable of great actresses for the year who had won Emmys and Oscars awards.  On the cover, it was all white actresses, and I wondered if they noticed that too, so I read the article.  What was in the article basically was how they made their picks, and yes, they too were surprised that no actresses of color had any awards this year (season or whatever they call it).  I am so glad that you noticed HR because I was going to call you out for being one-sided. 
What I am going to do is call out Hollywood for a second or two.  Not much, but I have this question:  Have all the actresses of color retired this year?  You know who I am talking about:  Angela Bassett, Cicely Tyson, Rosario Dawson, Lupita Nyong, or Kyla Pratt.  What about Whoopi Goldberg or Monique?  Shari Shepard?  I will even throw in Raven Symone (even though I am so over her and her mouth).  They may not win Emmy, Oscar, or even Tony awards, but they can act.  Please hire them for something meaningful, nothing stupid.  I hate comedies or dramas where the African American in the room is so stupid until they are the first ones to get killed in a horror movie, play a drug addict or dealer, a prostitute, a single mom with 44 kids, abuser, or a person that is just plain down and out.  Why can actor or actresses of color be cast in a movie like white people?  If we do, it has to be in an all-black cast according to Hollywood.  No mixed neighborhoods, churches, nothing. 

So, where do we go from here?  I hope that everyone is working in some sort of film, and as for the women who graced the cover of the Hollywood Report magazine, I am not demising their talent at all.  They are all talented actresses, I just would have like a more diverse cover, because I am sure there are some talented Hispanic, Indian, and Asian American Actresses out there who could have been on the cover as well.  My suggestion for Hollywood Reporter is do not write this article anymore, until you can come up with a more diverse cover, because you and Hollywood just offended a few people.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Prayers For Paris

This is a short, improved post.  I am not even in my usual "write in MS Word, then paste" mode.  This is real and raw. So, excuse me if I have spelling and grammar mistakes.  This is not the time to call the grammar police on me, this is way too important than that.

I am upset right now.  I have no words for this kind of senseless act that has happened in Paris, France.  This place is on my bucket list of places I want to see before I die (I am not just about traveling to Disney World folks).

My prayers are that whoever has done this, and I understand that it was a group of people, not just one or two, I pray they are caught and tried for the acts they have done.  This is selfish and cruel.  What I want to know is how can you impede on someone's way of life?  These people have done nothing to you at all.  They had families, jobs, lives, and just because you do not like they way they live, you had to end it?  

Property of Google
Images (c) 2015
Let me point back to America's 9/11.  The day two buildings in New York City had the same fate.  People were just living their lives, getting up, going to work, just living their lives.  all of sudden, buildings came crashing down, and planes crashed (4 of them).  These people, cowards,  disrupted a way of life for these people and their loved ones.

I want to address one more, well two...

Gun violence in this country has escalated a lot.  People are pissed off or mentally disturbed, then kill others on school grounds (elementary, middle, high, and college campuses). There was also the federal building in Oklahoma, where one lone man, Timothy McVay, blow up a building, again disrupting a way of life that men, women, and in this case, children, some who were just born, snatched away from their families, their loved ones.

The important thing is this:  there are too many acts of violence that have happened within the last 30 years or more.  Sure, there have been other killings before Timothy McVay.  The difference is I became an adult during this time.  I have not noticed it when I was a child.  my parents shielded me from this type of media coverage, the breaking news.  My childhood was very cushy compared to today's child.  This is something I have to deal with as an adult, an aunt, and soon to be a mother. (Yes, I am going to start paperwork for adoption in January 2016). How am I suppose to shield my niece, nephews, and potential child from this, and if I had my way, all of it, but I cannot.  No one can take this away, but you can discuss it if they are old enough to have a discussion.  Do not force the issue, only if they ask.
Meanwhile, violence is not the way.  two wrongs do not make a right.  You cannot march with this one.  Besides that, marching leads to violence by either the people doing the marching or by the people the others are marching against.   Not only that, by now, these people who terrorised Paris have gone home, high fiving themselves for a victorious win on their part.  
It is sad that we live in a world, where in order to get a point across, violence has to disrupt the very fiber of a people.  It reminds me so much of the acts against African American males who were killed, as well as the authorities who felt it was necessary to kill now, ask questions later.  The whole thing is just sickening.
Well, it is late, and I must go to bed.  Before I do, I will pray for Paris. I hope you will too.  You do not have to be of a particular religion, just pray in a manner that you were taught to pray.  God hears all who yield to Him.  Good night, Good morning, or wherever you are in this world.  Paris, the world is praying for you.  PEACE!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Let the Adventure begin…. Going outside of your comfort zone to get your story

They have containers!!!
From Tuesday Morning
(c) 2015 P. Lynne Designs
Yesterday was a very eventful day.  Other than the usual waking up in my comfy bed, I had a business women’s meeting (Shout out to Awesome Women in Business).  I got there late, because unless I have my GPS on and secure, I am the most directional challenged person you could ever meet.  I drive a lot, but when I ride with someone who knows where they are going (i.e. my dad), I sit back and run my mouth.  That is what introverts do.  Another subject for a different day.
Anyway, it was on marketing your business, and I can spend a whole hour talking about how to do that with your own business, because I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, but that is not the subject for today.  Shall we move on?
After the meeting and networking with some of the ladies, who I have not seen since my accident in July, which was due to recovery, and getting my business ready for the holidays, I headed home…or did I?
I think I might add these.
From Tuesday Morning (c) 2015
P. Lynne Designs
I was hungry, but I did not want fast food.  I wanted something new or something that I have eaten in a long time.  This food had to be portable, but soft on my throat, because I am recovering from Strep Throat.  I had not been around the Bethel Road area in a while, so I went on a little adventure.  First I looked at a couple of strip malls, and if you are in the U.S, you know what I mean.  I did not want Chinese food, and one Indian diner looked questionable, so I passed those up.  I found my familiar, Micro Center, which if you do not have one, it is basically a computer store, and I needed to go in there to get some ink, but, as a rule, I do not get my printer ink from a computer store.  The prices are too high unless you find a deal, and I was not up for that.   What I was up for was Tuesday Morning, a store that is similar to Pier 1, World Market, and Big Lots in one store.  They have closeouts and clearances on items.  I looked in (Warning:  Very dangerous stuff ahead…) but walked out with nothing.  Why?  Because I took my credit cards out of my wallet, and at the moment, my bank will not like me if I had bought a candy bar with my debit cards…come on payday.
Cam Asian Market in Columbus, Ohio
(c) 2014 Google Images
Next, and this is where the true adventure began, I stepped next door to Cam, an Asian Market.  Folks, this chick has never been in an Asian market before because I am not Asian.  But this is a post about stepping outside of your comfort zone, and other than a trip to New York or San Francisco to visit Chinatown or even a trip to an Asian country, I get my Chinese food from a bistro around the corner and my Sushi from a diner across town.  Let’s just say that I was the only black chick in the market. 
I can honestly say without a doubt, if you want to fully immerse yourself in someone’s culture, go where the locals go.  Have your doubts, and things that your family and friends have told you about a culture in mind, but let it go when you walk into that culture.  I noticed that the people in the market, basically kept to themselves.  They were not on smartphones, except one, and he and his friend were millennials.  My cart almost ran into a lady, who did not say excuse me.  I said it, I guess she was surprised that I said anything.  The music was quietly playing in the background, and it was not the latest pop music in America, it was THEIR music.  The only English I heard was when I went up to the counter.   Last week, I had forgetting to get eggs in Whole Foods, but the only eggs I found were the type they ate, which were eggs like Thousand-year-old eggs, and boiled eggs in soy sauce.  I bought a piece of yeast Brown sugar bread for $1.99.  It was quite tasty, and if I put the effort in, I can make yeast bread.   They had a very small section of European goodies, but there wasn’t anything American in the store.  I now know where to get my Dim Sum, should I want to cook it, because Columbus’ Chinese restaurants do not like to serve Dim Sum at all.  Finding ingredients for Sushi has never been a problem.   I just do not have the manual dexterity it takes (nor the 10 years of schooling) to make the perfect roll, so I leave it up to the experts.

Brown Sugar Yeast bread from Cam
(c) 2015 P. Lynne Designs
So if you want an adventure, you do not have to spend $1,000 on plane tickets and $300 a night on a hotel room, just to get a blog post going.  Just do what I did yesterday.   Get out of your comfy bed, and go to a part of your city or town that you think you would never venture to, and visit some of the shops.  Become the observant, people watch.  Notice how they act, and write about it.  Be careful about taking pictures, it might not be their way. (I took pictures inside of Tuesday Morning for personal reasons and a project I am working on, but none in the market).  Be respectful of that culture, but do not trash-talk.  This is how we as a nation can begin to heal from all the hurt and pain.  You do not have to agree with everyone, even in your own little corner of the world, but who knows, that little corner may become bigger when someone not like you shares in the moment.  I enjoyed coming out of my comfort zone.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Confession is good for the Soul: not when it comes to habits…

(Warning:  Affiliate links ahead

(c) unknown source
Confession time:  Hi my name is Patricia (Hi Patricia), and I am a tool, junkie.   It all started when I was taking dance lessons:  ballet, jazz, and tap.   I was 10 when I felt the urge to have every kind of dance shoe known to mankind.  If it allowed me to go on full pointe, demi-pointe, flick my feet, flap, shuffle, paradiddle, whatever, I wanted to look good when I did it.  The only people to stop me in getting every type of dance shoe were my parents.   That same love went for leotards and leg warmers.  If it came in pink, that was great. 
My next big love came with journaling and paper.  It still is, and I had to learn how to restrain myself from little notepads, notecards, colorful index cards, journaling books, and the like.  OK, there is a bit of love for office supplies too, but if it was cute, it was in my cart and in my home.  I lived with my parents until I was 34, so I sometimes snuck it in.  This is where my love for scrapbooking came in.  I will get back to it in a moment.
I am also a musician, a keyboardist, and I am working on getting keyboard #10. I currently have keyboard #9, which is about 13 years old, and seeing its last days.  The keyboards I had in the past were either sold or have seen their last days too, and you should have seen what my father did to my organ when it seen its last days.  Not pretty at all, LOL.  Let’s just say that it fit into one neat little garbage can.  But the keyboard I want is no small price.  Most good quality keyboards today come between the average price tag of $2,000-$4,000, and this one I want is $1,699.00 (Street Price).  This is compared to the current one of $200.00, but the current keyboard was bought in 1999, and the new one was made in 2014.  Huge difference in quality and the current one is a Casio CTS 630 and the new one is a Yamaha Motif MOXF8 (the 8 stands for 88-keys).  It is cheaper than its big brother, the Yamaha Motif XF8, which runs a street price of $3,600.  One thing you can say about my tools of the trade is I have a budget on how much I want to spend on that item.
Back to scrapbooking tools….
I have in my possession three Cricut Electronic die cutting machines.  One is called an Expression 2, 5th anniversary edition, which I used until I bought the second one, an Explore, which is the main one I use for all my die cutting needs (well almost all).  The E25E is now a backup machine in case the Explore needs repairs or I have a huge project.   I also have a Cricut Imagine, which I only used a handful of times, because that thing is too big to be lugging up and down the stairs, so it just sits in my second bedroom.  I almost considered buying a Silhouette Cameo, and may still do so, now that I am on their small business affiliate program.  I also have two manual die cutting machines, a Cuttlebug, by the same people who make the Cricut and a We R Memory Keepers Evolution.  I started using it yesterday, even though I had it for just 8 months.
Another We R Memory Keepers product that I have not used yet is a new tool called a Fuse.  It fuses page protectors and creates pockets to hold little trinkets and keepsakes in an album.  I bought it 4 months ago.  Please let’s not talk about my papers.  
A Tisket, a Tasket, look its
a basket.
Finally, we get to my baskets.  I am an Independent Home Consultant for The Longaberger Company, and I have talked about it many times.  When you have been selling for 14 years, you tend to keep and use your samples.  That is another subject for a different day.
So yes, I have made my confession and I am not here to brag about the stuff I have.  I use most of my stuff, even though I heard Peter Walsh (the organizing and declutter guy) say on the Rachael Ray Show that the average person only uses 60% of their stuff.  I would say I use 85% of my stuff.   I am also saying that I am in the process of decluttering and have put myself on a buying diet.  I cannot buy until I all of my consumable items.  Much of my stuff I use for my business, P.Lynne Designs.

So here’s to confession that is good for the soul, and much lighter on the wallet.  

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Understanding yourself as a writer

(c) 2015 public domain image
Topics. Research. Content.  Deadlines. Payment.  These are all things that make up a post, an article, a story, or a document.  They may even summon a poem or two.  One thing for sure, it should be interesting, educate, and bring a call to action (even if it was stupid to begin with).  
These are all the things I have been contemplating with since I started MDN Creates (now called P.Lynne Designs) in January 2009. Is it interesting? Do I educate enough in my posts? Finally, do I bring a call to action?  I always feel that there is something missing in my posts.  In fact, I can be my own worst critic.  Now that I have 5 (soon to be 4) blogs, I have to be extra careful with things, such as:  Have I covered (this topic) before, and if so, when?  How much do I actually know about a topic before diving in?  Is it interesting enough to invite comments from readers, who may have the same interest in the topic?  
I call these type of questions, teaching moment questions.  I have been writing a lot lately about teachable moments:  Recouping after an accident, learning how to follow up, and how to deal with mothers when you are not a mother yourself.  There is one more teachable moment that I feel I need to teach you, and that is not known and understand yourself as a writer.  This lesson goes beyond topics, goes deeper than researching your subject, providing great content, and dealing with deadlines and how you are being paid.   I can’t tell you how many times I have failed on a post, by trying to get my point across to my readers, only to not know who I am as a writer, and if the topic I wanted to cover was interesting enough for me. There is also knowing your audience, but I will cover that in a later post. I can tell the difference.  My failed thought process goes like this:
I come up with a subject.  I love it in the very beginning, and I type feverishly to get my point across at first, then about midway through the process, I stop.   I start pacing, I find other things to do, and then I close the document, thinking that I could just pick it up in the next few hours or the next day.  If I happen to think about it a little the next time I open the word document, I may go to Google first to research it, but that rarely happens.  Then I finally forget about it, and the post is in my “potential post” folder.   The only way I get back to it is when I finally succumb to the idea of just deleting the file. That is one example on how to understand yourself as a writer and that is your work ethic and how you move on from a failed writing gig for yourself.  
Another way is when you start accepting writing assignments to write for others.  Know what niches or topics you will accept as a writer.  As a blogger, you pretty much know what your blog is all about, but this for when someone as you to submit a post or article for their blog or website.  For me, I will not write for or about the occult (Wicca, Pagan religion), anything that does harm to a person unless it is a teachable moment, adult subjects (again it has to be a teachable moment), speak badly about another race, gender, or religion, and anything that speak bad and horrible things about God.   All other subjects are at my discretion.  Sometimes I may not accept a gig because I do not know enough about the subject to give a good, solid document for the client.  I am also constantly learning that the subject matter is not about what I want as a writer, but what my client wants for a document.  For that reason, I often do Ghost Writing.  
So get to know yourself as a writer, all of it.  Take the time to spell your terms and rates out to your new client.  If they want to work with you, that is great, congrats, if not, move on.  There are plenty of people who need writers, and what I love about this industry is the reward after you are finished with the project, which is priceless, but the monetary rewards help pay the bills.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Mom. Mommy. Mama. Mother

I was watching The View yesterday
, when the ladies, who were Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Paula Faris, Michelle Collins, and Raven-Symone, was discussing the topic of motherhood and what to call women who are unable to have children, including those who choose not to have them for whatever reason.
It made me think about the post I wrote back in 2012 called “Monday Morning being single and childless” (May 7. 2012).  In that post, I talked about what my life would be like, if I had done all the things I wanted to do, if God had allowed me to get married and have a baby or two.  I also talked about reasons why going the 9-month mommy route was not available to me after age 29, as well as not getting married at a young age.  I still hope the find that husband, and I hope I will enjoy whatever family God presents to me, and that I do not feel like an outsider of that family.  It is very important to me that my future step-children accept me as part of their father’s life.  If not, that is the way it has to be.  I am marrying their father, if asked, not them.  I am also praying that my own father will still get to walk me down the aisle.
OK at this point I am getting off track, you can read the post by clicking on the link….
Back to the topic…
This is to the mothers reading this; “Never assume that just because a woman does not have children that she does not know what she is talking about.  I am an aunt with no kids.  There are also teachers, pediatricians, nurses, and other concerned women, and well-meaning women who have the mothering instinct.  Just because we did not carry YOUR CHILD in our belly for nine months or do not have adoption papers, that does not mean we cannot offer advice, or correct your child when the time comes.  We are trying to keep your child out of harm’s way, and at that time we have your child, they are our child.  Once we release your child back into your custody for the day or week, then we have no say so in the discipline part, but we still reserve the right to interact with your child.”
To the Women who feel bullied by mothers….
“Please live your life and do not pay attention to what they have to say.  You have advice and want to give it, give it.  If the mom (or dad) accepts the advice without question, great, you have won the battle.  If the child needs to be disciplined, do it, but please tell the parent the problem and how it was solved, especially if you are a teacher.  I know we all might want to smack the child, but please refrain from doing so.  Offer other corrective measures.  There is nothing worse than miscommunication between your version and the child in question’s version.  Children will exaggerate to avoid being on punishment with their parent. Stand your ground.  If they (the parent) says you do not know what you are talking about, just move on.  It not that serious.  I am sure that person does it to everyone.  I feel your pain.”
I am still looking into adoption, I was given some advice on the age of the child by everyone who I talked to.  When I first looked into it, I was told that I was better off not being a mother by more people, especially family.  The only reason I can give was they are mothers themselves, and some had wished that they did not embark on such a task.   If they had to do it all over again, they would not have done it.  That does not mean they do not love their children they have now, it is just that they wish they would have been given more time to think about it, before getting pregnant. I also feel like that the women who gave me this advice, wanted to know why I want to give up the freedom I have now, for someone who would not appreciate the time that I would be spending with them.
To them, I would say:  “One of the reasons why I went into business for myself is so I would have the time to spend with my potential child.  I am preparing for that time.  It is a time that any employer would and could not let me have once a child comes into the picture.  I would not or could not ask an employer to allow me that privilege because that would mean that everyone in that company would have to be given that same right.   It would not be fair to them or me. Believe me, I could not have it any other way, although I do miss getting a weekly paycheck.  I still get plenty of interaction from my church family, my biological family, my women groups, and customers.  One of the things that still hold true is when it comes time to adjusting my schedule, and I had to do that a lot lately by taking off a month to recoup, and revamping my business and my personal life.  It should not be any different when I apply for adoption.” Also, some family members have changed their tune since advising me on going the mommy route.
Look, everyone should be called a mother or a father.  What is the difference, besides seeing a child 24/7/365?  You should be prepared to care for a person younger than 18 (21 if special needs).  You are the provider of that person’s food, clothing, shelter, health, and they should depend on you for comfort, advice, and to teach them from right or wrong.   You should be able to go from zero to 60 in 2.2 seconds when that child cries out in the middle of the night or when they are in trouble.  You should be able to defend your child in any situation.  There is some emotional attachment to all that I mentioned above, and you shall not harm them.  Anyone can give birth, but it takes a lot to be a mother (or a father).
As mention in both my public and private writings (yes, I keep a personal journal) I am so ready for the challenge with or without a man.  I would love to have a father figure in my future child’s life.  I would have some requirements for that man to fulfill, such as being on the same page with me in the care and well-being of my child.  None of that funny stuff.  Both the child and I need to trust that person, and I will get more into detail when the time comes.  That is why ladies, you cannot have just any old man, who loves and calls you baby, but hates YOUR baby.  That is another subject for a different day.

So back to The View topic; when a woman with no children wants to say something about your child or has advice for you, please do not dismiss it, we are only exercising our maternal nature that God has given all of us.  Take or leave it.