New Year’s Resolutions

As long time readers of BallyBin know, resolutions are always done on 12/31 and back-dated to 01/01 РHey!  If corporate, government and other entities can determine their fiscal year and when they actually file such things for public disclosure, why should I do less?

ūüôā

But, I admit, I’m a cynic – the new year in my country is gripped by good intentions, a slew of fitness, health, business and other purchases – is gripped by fear of what the tax man will say and extensions to be filed, paying off Christmas credit card purchases, etc., and so, in my own defiance of an insane system, I dutifully fill out my taxes on New Year’s Eve, close out my books, set my quests (some of which I may have latched onto earlier in the year, or have worked my way down my ‘bucket list of things to be done before I die’ – and, compile what has been accomplished this past year that I’m feeling good about –

For, in my mind, since my blog is my diary – for the most part – this is the only record of my journey. (Yes, I have in place my plan for life, it will change hither-wither, but, seriously, only at the end of the year, do I actually know what I accomplished – or donated – or acquiesed to – take it for what you will)

Given my tagline, we shall separate such reposes into the Good, Bad and Ludicrous, just to maintain form.

Shall we get the ‘bad’ out of the way early?

Bad

  • I failed to gain a business partner – those I approached in 2014/2015 were either willing to work for the income, but didn’t want to mess with being a full, knowledgeable of all aspects partner – OR – those approached said, “sounds like a lot of work for little money” OR “Really? ¬†Why are you so wrapped around the axel about this?”
  • I didn’t get my own new website published – I’m still pondering just exactly what I have to give that is best suited to me – and, given a new leaf, am loath to sprinkle it full of promises of services, that seriously, I really sort of chafe at providing….and so, there is further in Good, for this year’s pondering has led me to understand – there are things I love – things I don’t love but do in order to do what I love and things that I can let go of – ūüôā
  • I failed to make huge¬†inroads into my little hermitude status – though I made forays into the world that those around me thought were good, I know the truth – I only ventured forth because what needed done, needed done, and didn’t do any of it for edification of my own soul.
  • I sorely, despite my best intentions, failed to truly hear or understand the information being displayed before me by a customer – I, in my folly, descended into self and thought another just like me, and am waving goodbye to a short time customer – I vow to do better in 2016.

Good

  • I have enough customers that we may all move to better tools, now, and split the costs where-ever we may – to take advantage of collaborative model, rather than lone wolf model – one for all, all for one – which suits my take on things – I have now spent 3 years building, cost-sharing, investing in my business those tools that provide a community with cost-effective solutions until they are ready to take the next step – and easy to wave a tearful goodbye when they outgrow what I provide and wish them well as they move on to more attractive options, with a website that doesn’t have to be recreated in it’s entirety.
  • I’ve learned more on my new tools and how to make various softwares jump through the hoops to do what’s needed until such time it’s just ‘included’.
  • I’m getting better at turning away customers who aren’t willing to learn in the ever-changing software world and will use 2016 to better vet new customers given what lessons learned in 2015.
  • I’ve said “No, I’m not your gal” and “Okay, sorry it didn’t work out for you, Bye…” 17 times this year –
  • I’ve freed myself from maintaining servers and stuff I struggled to understand – in order to save $ and have enough customers now, that we can all have the ease and convenience of snazzier tools without the heart stopping “Security Alert Emails” that have awoken me in the middle of the night for the past 3 years – I’m not a hardware gal and after 3 years of trying, in order to provide lower costs for my local community, I’m so happy to have enough customers to not have to walk that path anymore – I’m sleeping better and not waking up at 2 a.m. with my heart in my throat – due to my own ignorance and or stuff that it’s my responsibility to fix, like, NOW!
  • I decided in November of this year to start reading some of the All-Time Classics that I somehow missed having to read during my schooling years – so far, I’ve done 2 Dicken’s, Harper Lee and currently reading Thornton Wilder – I will be posting observations in the future – “) ¬†Have 23 books left to read, to check this quest off as ‘done’ – but alas, I only went through the top 100 – more will follow the older I get, I’m sure –
  • I re-connected, via Facebook (gasp!) with some family and friends of yore that I had lost touch with – and, so far, none of them have “De-Friended” me, I count this as a success, cuz you know how blunt I can be at times.
  • I have learned over this last year that being silent in consideration for another’s pain or challenge doesn’t necessarily make me a hypocrite who stands by silent when important things are at stake – who knew?

Ludicrous

  • I still dream of a mate who walks beside me the path of Life – and yet – still hurt, cynical, betrayed and ice-princess enough to believe, it will never happen any time soon – though I have healed many old hurts and have done my best to lay new ones delivered in 2015 in a less harsh light than I did previously – I’m still a Hard-Arse, though – for that is my favorite coping mechanism, I’m sorry to admit – but, work in progress and doncha know, figure you are too, even if you don’t see it yet.
  • It’s a major election year and I’m struggling with all of it – but hold out hope I can fill out my mail in ballot (in case I haven’t gotten over my preferred hermitude status by next November!) to be an informed voter…
  • Yes, I do my taxes, close out my books, take stock of my life and backdate my resolutions on 12/31/15 – for it works for me – and cheers me to face the new year coming forth

Happy New Year!

Unless you live or subscribe to a faith, nationality, cultural ideal that means I’m either early or late in wishing you a Happy New Year – know I wish it, just the same.

 

Socks, Part Deux…

As always, my Dad and his spirit is still gifting this world –

Turns out, both in my personal, face-to-face world and social media world,

THERE ARE A LOT OF FOLKS!

Who agree – socks are never as soft or comfy once they’ve been washed as they are fresh out of the pack –

May I entreat all the young generation of engineers, innovators and inventors to come up with a solution for this problem? ¬†It may be a new weave – or new sock-washing machine – or a special detergent, just for socks –

But I tell you – much as it is laudable to put a man on Mars, or explore the universe, or cure cancer or the common cold, seriously –

I think, given my experiential feedback since the ‘All I want for Christmas is New Socks‘ posts here and at FB and sharing down at the Post Office, Library, Grocery Store and with customers – I’ve learned – this is a problem faced by many and I’m pretty certain you won’t have to wade through a million other souls attempting to win the Nobel prize for fixing this issue –

Just saying – If you come up with a way for us to have the comfort of new socks – even after they’ve been used and washed – well, you did provide a needed service to your fellow man –

P.S. – If you happen to be in Junior High, and learn of this challenge – and do a science fair project about your solution for it – well – I will contribute what I can to fund your efforts – – You heard me, Junior High – for if you are at Graduate Level, I probably can’t afford to fund the tools, equipment and research wages you need…. ¬† LOL

All I want for Christmas is some New Socks –

Nope, this isn’t some heart-rendering tale of some orphan of the streets that was blessed by new socks from¬†a stranger,¬†struck by the joy of the Season –

It’s about New Socks – Pure and Simple –

No matter how broke I was, I could always get my Dad, every year, a pair or pack of new socks AND he appreciated the gift – and was tickled with the gifting and beamed, as he opened the pack and felt the softness of the socks –

He would carefully stow them away for ‘use’ when those socks he wore, well, ¬†wore out – I’m not certain, but pretty sure there were unused packs of soft socks in his dresser when he left us – saved for the day, he really, really needed the bolstering of a soft, new pair of socks, to walk his journey.

He thought new, soft, comfy socks the epitome of gift-giving –

(I could also either sew or purchase soft handkerchiefs too, that cushioned the wear and tear on chapped nose¬†–¬†such gifts were as readily appreciated….)

During one weekend visit¬†home, in my early adulthood, I sat and listened to my dad and brother expound on the virtues of new socks –

“For some reason, no matter what you do, or how careful you are, once they are ‘washed’, they are never as soft again – ”

“If I were rich, I’d never wash socks again..I’d buy a new pack, wear ’em once and throw ’em away”

Yup – I’ll admit to my family having wasteful consumerism dreams of Nirvana – in some areas of life ūüôā

But I can’t deny that often, over the years of my adult life, I have yearned for the ‘new socks’ mode of thinking –

And so, my wish for You

 

May you be blessed by soft cushioning support as you walk a hard and rocky path –

May you feel so abundant you can entertain the idea of never wearing a pair of socks more than once.

What can I say?

You may think it silly, but I really hope this Christmas, you get the gift of socks Рno matter what form the socks you need, just now, arrive in.

I Love My Brother…especially right now…

We are separated by years and experiences – we are miles apart in our take/perspectives – but, at our heart of hearts, we both ‘get’ what the other is saying – even when we have to work through it a bit –

I’m the proud owner of a new vacuum sweeper –¬†which I didn’t include on my Christmas list, cuz I knew the one I had was on it’s way to dying, and (gasp!) when the day dawned that I wished to actually “Get ‘Er Done”, I didn’t want to have to wait, for Christmas day and a loved ones gift to appear –

So here’s what, given some stress from the matriarch of the family, who knew of Brother’s plan and in face of my oblivious announcement during yesterday’s communal shopping experience,

“I’m going to purchase a vacuum sweeper today, while we’re out and about….”

..who, being more knowledgeable of plans than I, frantically asked,

“Can you wait?”

and was very gracious during my Scarlett O’Hara storm of:

“God’s Nightgown! ¬†It wasn’t on my list! ¬†Why do I have to wait for Christmas, when I purposely mapped out this 5 day span to deep clean my house? ¬† I worked so hard to avoid this exact scenario – Who In The Heck Is Messin’ with My Carefully Laid Plans?”

(This is why, while I’m glad I help others and appreciate when they think I’m wise or evolved or what-not, I frequently say, “Thanks, but I’m a work in progress – too, just so you know….”)

With some time/space/texts/phone calls between those who continue to love me when I go ape-shit over my own little “I thought hard about how to avoid this exact problem” world and still manage to miss the bigger picture, I arrived home yesterday and assembled this a.m. my brand new, awesome tool for daily…

(oh, who am I kidding? ¬†weekly or monthly life, dependent upon how many other things I deem ‘more important, just now….”)

…that my brother paid for.

(he and the Matriarch are familiar with my penny-pinching ways, especially for gifts Рand so, dear, crusty ole-fart, one-eyed farmer, I tell you, YES!  I purchased what I wanted!  But, I had already researched it and got what I wanted,  on sale AND managed to snag a 5% discount, as well Рwhich is my gift back to you! Thanks for understanding!)

I introduce, my Brand New Household Tool:

It's an Upright with bagless tech - and quick to assemble
It’s an Upright with bagless tech – and quick to assemble
Yes, scheduled in last spring/this fall cleaning for the next few days....
Yes, scheduled in last spring/this fall cleaning for the next few days….
I've been noticing the poor housekeeping I've done these past 6 months, can't wait to "Get 'Er Done!"
I’ve been noticing the poor housekeeping I’ve done these past 6 months, can’t wait to “Get ‘Er Done!”
I may even go hog wild and use something other than the power washer to tidy up my vehicles!
I may even go hog wild and use something other than the power washer to tidy up my vehicles!

Alas, you shall wait for the full review – cuz –

EarlyChristmas

P.S. – To my one and only Farmer Brother who I love – even when we walk in different realities –

Thank you for the gift of adding to my tool box – and…can’t help myself from engaging in family traditions:

“I know what you’re getting for Christmas!”

And thanks for letting me shop for you at the hardware store, to stock your tool box ūüôā ¬†I may get them wrapped, or not – but I am so happy to buy custom or special or one-job-a-year cool tools for you,¬†¬†just like like I did for Dad so many years – it makes Christmas a fuller experience for me¬†–

I like to think Dad is gazing down and saying, “Yup, I raised them kids up right!”

LUB (luv ya Bunches)

Sis –

SOS Call to Mac Lovers –

In a completely unexpected turn of events, that if I had been left to ‘plot’ out how it would happen, would never have happened as unexpectedly, flawlessly and perfectly as it did, I am….finally…after 6 or more years of dreaming of being a Mac User, the proud owner of a Mac Desktop all-in-one with a bigger screen than I ever dreamed I could start out with! ¬† ūüôā

Alas – I’ve struggled some in determining what to replace my vector/svg software with – as I moved to Serif DrawPlus aeons ago (I love Serif) – and wish for input from any Mac lovers who do vector/svg graphics to recommend a replacement –

Remember, I know the basics, enough to get by for myself and others who are starting out and not financially equipped to hire a true graphic artiste to do it for them –

I have used Adobe Illustrator and Serif DrawPlus off and on over the past years and feel comfortable with winding my way through basic functions –

If you have a favorite – paid or open-source, would you mind sharing your fave in the comments below?

Thank you, dear community – and as soon as I can get the Free Trial of Serif’s Affinity for Mac photo editor – I got a post coming for you! ¬† LOL

Quit Worrying – I’m Sure You Won’t Ruin Christmas

This post inspired by recent personal events and Erik Hare’s post, “Charlie Brown Christmas“, via¬†the ensuing comments/replies, conversation over in his area of cyberland…

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For many years now,¬†due to either need or conscious choice, I’ve been rather up close and personal with the Spirit of the Season, more than the culturally adopted/accepted norms regarding the Celebration of the Season –

Each year that passes,¬†I find myself spending less time shopping for the perfect gift and more time listening, supporting and or giving pep talks –

Why?

Seems a lot of wonderful folks, who carry the ‘spirit’ of the season with them through their daily activities throughout the year, somehow get waylaid by ‘expectations’ this time of year – and start ‘shoulding’ on themselves.

Now, if they are really invested in being harsher with themselves than they are with anyone else, not my job to tell them to stop – but, I do figure it’s my job to point it out, in case they aren’t thinking clearly and haven’t seen it for themselves….

More and more, due to financial hardship, illness, recent loss of a loved one or job, or home, stories of how either they can’t do what they usually do, or they want to do what they usually do, and fear that by engaging in such activities, they may hurt others – yes – so many of these types of stories reach my ears.

As you know, I am a¬†tad familiar with each of the above challenges and I’ve passed many a holiday season struggling with one or more of them – Just to emotionally survive, I had to quit ‘shoulding’ on myself – and simply can’t bear to watch someone blindly engage it such self-torture¬†– ūüôā

So my usual response to such expressions of worry and how they are going to ruin Christmas (or the Winter Holiday Season, if they¬†aren’t of the Christian faith, but have their¬†own celebrations of faith in humankind’s inherent goodness, this time of year), is, well, rather harsh:

“Oh – Bull-puckey – Get over yourself and here’s what I see…”

Here’s my generalized pep-talk…

…for those who think they run the risk of¬†single-handedly killing the Spirit of Christmas this year:

News Flash – you would really have to go to the dark-side, on purpose, to wreak the havoc you envision and have talked yourself into believing your actions, or lack of actions, will cause.

You¬†aren’t at your¬†usual level of ‘best’ just now – and are simply getting lost in thoughts of,

“What will those who depend upon me each year to bake, clean, host, gift, volunteer, etc. do,¬†should I drop the ball, or quit carrying the world on my shoulders and let Atlas have his job back?”

First off, I hear Atlas is none too happy with the forced retirement you booted him into – he hates playing golf…

Secondly..

You’re not seeing what you do have to give, this year, easily and simply…

**********

Years ago, my grandmother wished to gift me something, I felt was ‘too much’ and tried to ‘refuse’ delivery of –

Grandma  asked me,

“Which is more blessed, to Give or to Receive?”

And I, sure I was on secure ground regarding my refusal, promptly replied,

“To Give”

She smiled,

“Then for Heaven’s sake, Quit doing me out of my blessing, already, will you?”

**********

No matter your challenges this season, trust me, unless you’ve lived your life in excellent or surpassing Scrooge-like fashion for many years, there are those who would love to receive their blessings by doing something for you –

If you’ve been a Scrooge, well, you don’t have to keep being one –

If you haven’t and you are simply busy nurturing/nursing others, grieving, ill, struggling and/or can’t afford all or any of the ‘trappings’ this year, well, take your place in the circle and realize,

This year, it’s your Gift of Receiving to give,¬†that¬†others may¬†be Blessed –

That’s a rather important job that you, in your worry,¬†silence and wish to not ‘bother others, bring them down, ruin Christmas for’ are rather refusing to step up and do –

Hmmm…maybe you aren’t of the character I thought you were, after all –

Your Gift that you are in perfect position to¬†Give IS STARING YOU RIGHT IN YOUR FACE! –

And yet, here you are telling me you have nothing to give this year.

Do you realize that I love you, but you’re sounding very silly, just now?

**********

One last piece of advice – you may have, through your circumstances of birth, or journey, collected a few folks that don’t get or live the Spirit of Christmas – or have rather interpreted it into some twisted version of what you ‘should’ be doing, just now –

Well, this is the perfect time of year to take stock and see if you’re up to hanging around and supporting other Scrooges till they wake up and smell the coffee – or if you might just be okay with quietly letting that relationship fade away –

As Erik observed, in his reply that was the final ‘piece’ of the puzzle needed for me to get off my duff and edit/publish this little¬†post I’ve been thinking about, for some weeks now¬†¬†– (thanks Erik!),

“Where I always go is ‚ÄúYou shall know the just by their deeds.‚ÄĚ To me, this season really brings out the best and worst in us and lets us know who really ‚Äúgets it‚ÄĚ.

Yuppers!