Ever feel like you need an extra hour? Well, get ready. Next week is time for Daylight Saving Time. You will probably be asleep (unless you work third shift somewhere like my brother-in-law.) Except for the act of changing the time on clocks all over the house, you probably won’t even think much about it.
Who came up with this idea? Many people credit Benjamin Franklin with the invention, but that is not true. He spoke of changing sleep patterns and NOT changing time clocks. The idea of Daylight Saving Time was first originated by an Englishman in 1905 and enacted by Germany in WWI. The US adopted this practice for a short time in WWI and then again in WWII for the war – not to benefit farmers, as many people believe.
Is it worth it? Congress sited benefits of the time change to allow people more time to enjoy the outdoors during the daylight hours. They also cited reasons to promote less crime, energy savings, and provide more peak shopping daylight hours which could increase revenue at local stores.
But, other sources indicate that during periods just after the time change the incidence of workplace accidents, traffic accidents, and heart attacks actually increase. And, some people actually incur more sleep loss trying to adjust to the new schedule for their bodies. It is also suggested that households should change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
In some ways, the time change just seems like another hassle. In our already busy society where every hour is crammed with activity and “to do” lists, does one hour really make much of a difference? Probably not...but, perhaps it could.
Researchers are expecting many of us to do our shopping online this year for Christmas. Cyber Monday has continued to increase online revenue in the past few years and is expected to do so again this year. In fact, local stores are so worried their numbers will be down on Black Friday that they are already “leaking” their ads to entice us.
Should I wait in line and hope to get a great price or stay at home and shop conveniently in my living room? I realized that for me the problem with local versus internet shopping lies with choices. For example, I decided that I needed a new stapler for my office. Since I had a coupon and wanted to see several “choices” in person, I ran into my local office store before school let out. Thinking this would be an easy and quick decision, I only allowed myself a few minutes. Wrong.
I did not realize how many differences there could be in a stapler. Yes, I did say a stapler -- that tool that holds your papers together with a little silver piece of twisted wire.
Did I want one that could staple fifteen pages, 20 pages, or more? Should I choose the classic stapler or the ergonomically designed stapler that felt good in my hand? Was it important to get a “quiet” stapler that did not make much noise or less effort stapler that did not need as much pressure. Then, it came to color. Not only was there classic black, there was polished silver, shiny chrome, red, lime green, and even purple. Why does choosing a stapler have to be so difficult?
Isn’t that the same way with the Christmas rush Black Friday / Cyber Monday shopping? First, we really don’t know what to buy. Should we choose something practical that has a useful purpose? Should it be something fun that will make the person happy? Or, should it be something totally off the wall that he would not expect. How well do we know our recipient? What would he really want?
Then, we just don’t know where to buy. When it comes to items like electronics and media, there are so many choices. If you are like me, I tend to look at the ads to see what is on sale and then check to see if that item would fit anyone’s gift list. And, when I finally see something I like, I still tend to check if another store offers a better sale price. What if it goes on sale even cheaper?
Sure. Some of those in store deals really are great. But, then there are other issues. The crowds (Do you really want to spend Thanksgiving night in a tent next to Target?) The availability (Is it already sold out?) The time restraints (“Only available 7 am-10 am.”) The passes (Some stores issue numbered passes to all of the people and then draw ten numbers to enter the store first.) The selection (Which store would I have the best success at finding the sale item still in stock?)
I have some friends who ALWAYS go for the Black Friday deals. I even tried it once. Yes, once. It wasn’t worth it for me. I would rather pay full price than go through that ordeal again.
I guess I am one of those statistics. I won’t be at the local stores this year. I will be at home -- coffee in hand and taking my time to surf the internet for the best choices. Perhaps it will be simpler than selecting a stapler since I can “compare” online. I doubt it.
I'd love to hear which choice you prefer -- local shopping or online. By the way, I got my stapler. Not the color I wanted, but the style is just fine. If I had shopped online, I may have been able to get both...
I like to multi-task. At any given time you will find me with at least five projects that I’ve started. Whether it involves my little business, my family, or improving on my house, I have always got something “in the works.” That’s all right. I work best that way.
Some people would say I was unorganized. Others might say my world is just a mess. You know those people who have papers all over their desk at work and you wonder how they could ever find anything? The funny thing is they know exactly where to find that one elusive file. The things in my life are much like that these days. But, it was not always that way.
I was a list maker. I made a list for this and a list for that. I had a list for groceries, a list for housework, a list for bills, a list for cleaning, etc. I even titled my lists like, “Patty’s List of Things To Do.” I had a strong personality. Everything had to be in its place or I could not relax. And, everyone around me had to follow a certain unwritten code of order. I was filled with the need for super-organization for everything.
That all changed with one particular move. I went from feeling very in control of my life to feeling very desperate. A bad move, outrageous cost of living, a new baby, and several feet of snow did not help. I look back and think that my over organizing was my way of feeling in control. But, there are some things we will just never have control over. We just have to come to terms with the things in our life that need organization and others that will still be okay without it.
If you know me today, you will know that I am pretty relaxed. I don’t really fret over the small details. I am just busy all the time...I think the reason I have so many projects going is to keep life interesting. Right now, I’ve got two projects partly done in my studio and another right in front of me. I am organizing a function that will happen later in the year at my son’s school. I need to work on that flower bed I started in my back yard. Oh, and I just picked up some tile for a bathroom project.
I did make a list today. It was simply to help me get some errands done that I keep forgetting to do. I am certain that I didn’t get everything done. Somewhere along the way my list disappeared. I'm not worried about it, though... Whatever I didn't get to, I will probably think of it tomorrow.
Do you remember when you dreamed of getting married one day? For me, the idea of actually being a Mrs. was so exciting! I imagined romantic dinners, having a storybook life in a storybook house, and meeting the one person who would take my breath away. And that one person -- he would look like a prince. I had him all picked out in my mind. Tall, blond with lots of wavy curls, sophisticated, dreamy. He would make a lot of money and treat me like a queen. Somehow, I imagined I would magically transform into a princess type where life is perfectly perfect every single moment. Do you hear soft music playing in the background? Yeah. Me, too.
It didn't work out quite that way. I met my future husband in college. He didn't look like I envisioned (shorter than me and going bald.) He didn't make a ton of money (he was loaded up with student loans.) But, he did make me feel pretty special, and I knew he was "the one." We got through our last two years of school and then decided to live apart for a year to get our careers started. It all came to a point where something had to give. So I gave up my first real job to move three hours East and get married. Dream fulfilled, right?
The first two weeks of our marriage were perfect -- for my husband. I made him a hot breakfast every morning, did all of the housework, had dinner on the table when he got home, and waited on his every wish. He expected me to do everything since I was his "wife." And, then I stopped. Where he pushed, I pulled. We had some arguments. It was not a fairy tale. We had a long talk about our future.
A few months into the marriage, my husband called me one morning from work and announced we were moving. So we packed everything up in our cars and a tiny U-haul. We paid our deposits and got settled into our new home. Then, he came home and announced another move. And another. And another. In fact, we moved 13 times in the first five years of our marriage. Just as soon as we would get settled and I would find a job, we were off to the next location. Once again, we sat down and had a long talk.
I truly believe marriage is an art. It is not something that just happens. It is something that has to develop. It never looks the same from one day to the next. Needs change, wants change. Not everything is good; but, not everything is bad, either. Much like a craft that an artisan has to develop over time to become truly skilled, marriage is the same way. It must be forged. It must be fed with positive actions and led in a positive direction. When it gets off course, it must be steered back. It does not always work out the way we expect it to. And, sometimes we must sit down and have those talks to get us back on track. Believe me! We have had a lot of talks in our marriage.
This month, I will celebrate my 21st wedding anniversary. My husband and I are not the same people that said our vows in a park one Saturday afternoon. We have become two very different people from the ones who said those vows. In many ways, we have grown more alike. In other ways, we have not. But, that is okay. We have grown to understand each other.
I sometimes thing back about my childhood and how I romanticized that my life would not be complete until I got married. The "act" of marriage did not make my life complete. The result of what I have done with my marriage -- the relationship I developed with my husband, my wonderful children, the adventures that have led us to this moment -- that has made me complete. And, I am always looking forward to the next adventure. Whatever that may be. Bring it!
Color is everywhere! We are constantly inundated with color in our lives. From fashion to home, garden to industrial, color makes a statement.
Did you know how products get their color? I was fortunate enough to work as a "Color Specialist" in the glass industry. And, color pretty much comes from the same place -- metals. Powdered metals in varying combinations (pigment) are added to get just the right colors. Actually, what you see is the color that is absorbed by the product -- the other colors are reflected back off the surface.
For glass products, they are melted and stirred into hot glass and then annealed to keep the glass from shattering. That is what I used to do in a small plant in Northeast Ohio. For paint, the pigments are stirred into a base product -- just like you see at local hardware stores when you get your paint tinted. Plastic is much the same way -- the color is added before the product is formed (extruded or molded).
The worst colorant I ever worked with was at a processing and environmental facility when I lived in Louisiana. The plant had a division that produced blue dye -- you know, the one used to dye blue jeans and other fabrics. If that dye got on your hands, you just had to wear it off. The term "feeling blue" took on a new meaning to me there.
Nature works the same way, too. Green grass absorbs the green color wavelength and reflects the other colors back. Could you imagine if that brilliant blue sky were orange? Me, either.
Color is an amazing property. Perhaps after reading this short little blurb, you may "see" things a little differently.