Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Thrifting in Ocala along HWY 200

The Hwy 200 corridor has been opening a lot of new stores with a new Ace hardware opening soon in Steeplechase plaza.  There are new stores opening along with thrift store, antique, consignment stores along the South West Hwy 200 corridor which speaks to local residents love of thrift and antiques.  

Jasmine Plaza has Hospice of Marion thrift store,  and a wholesale discount store of surplus merchandise next door to the store.  On airport road behind Jasmine Plaza is the Renaissance room which has been there for years, as a consignment store.  There is an antique store which opened along Hwy 200 next to Uhaul.  There is an antiques and furniture consignment shop in Steeplechase plaza called carousel consignment and in Kingsland Plaza; directly across Pine Run Estates on Hwy 200 is  a unique pawn shop that has some vintage items, instruments and jewelry and a gorilla at the front door which is definitely different.   On the same side of the road travel past the veterinarian office; and  the Helping hand thrift and consignment store is next door.  This store has different rooms setup with plenty of beautifully displayed  consignments of kitchen, jewelry, collectibles, books and furniture items.   Divine Providence is directly across from Helping Hand.  Divine Providence has many thrift items that include; 5 cent clothing to crafts items, kitchen ovenware, and furniture.  There was another thrift store that closed in April, but has recently reopened its doors.  This shop has many great thrift and estate sale finds, and it is called Pickers Paradise located behind the Sims Furniture Building across from Oak Run.  It was really impressive; the amount of furniture and antiques and collectibles nicely displayed in a long gallery hall setting. This store didn't have clothing, but it has many interesting unique items that included  a lawn mower; and a flow blue Pitcher in a beautiful curio cabinet. These items were two examples of a store full of estate sale finds and good deals.  

Thrift, Antiques, Estate Sales and Consignments are alternatives for shopping retail at department stores.  Thrift stores are great avenues for finding vintage fashion that is different and unique.  Thrift shopping is trending nationally, read this interesting article

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Free Museum Days or Pay What You Wish - NYC-ARTS

Free Museum Days or Pay What You Wish - NYC-ARTS        Today I am on a museum kick, I have lived in NYC, Puerto Rico and now Ocala and I love museums.  Here is a list of museums in NYC which are free or of very low cost for visitors and tourists.  It is good to know that in an expensive city like NYC, you can find many things to do for free or of very little cost. NYC never sleeps nor does the dynamic energy an pulse of the city that is a mecca for things to do all the time.   Take a chance if in  the NYC area and explore museums in NYC and outer boroughs.  DONT FORGET TO HAVE FUN!

Silver River State Park and Museum

Just one of the great treasures of Ocala Florida, a must see!

The Car Hobby: Volkyland - A Volkswagen Museum in Puerto Rico

The Car Hobby: Volkyland - A Volkswagen Museum in Puerto Rico: If your passions include air-cooled Volkswagens, Volkyland should definitively be in your bucket list! Tucked away in the Southwestern coas...     Another different and unique car enthusiast museum found in Puerto Rico.

Coffee Museum in Ciales Puerto Rico

An interesting new museum in Ciales Puerto Rico about history of coffee industry in Puerto Rico

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The importance of voting in November 2014

This November 2014 is an important mid term election because it will determine who will hold the Senate and Congress. There is a strong possibility of Conservatives winning both houses, it is more than likely that President Obama will be impeached on a trumped up charge.  The media has been dictating to its viewers that the polls are against the Democrats because most of the seats up for election are in red states.  The constant messaging of the media telling viewers that Democrats are going to lose is driving down the Democratic candidates in recent polls, who were once ahead in the polls.

Many voters think that voting in the presidential elections are enough; American voters don't realize that the President does not have sole power in legislating.  Congress and the Senate share power with the President creating a checks and balance system to make sure no one branch of government becomes too powerful. 
Voters that are engaged in politics vote during the mid terms, because they know that they can nullify the presidential election results. 
The Tea Party has been very successful in achieving power in Congress because of their few loud vocal extremist voices in Conservative GOP party.  This small extreme group of the Republican Party has taken over the GOP; by controlling once moderate conservatives creating extreme policies on social issues.  
Americans must vote in ALL elections it is important, because if the voters don't support their candidates by voting in each election; the opposing side will win.  The voters allow the few most vocal to decide the national agenda for the nation.  Americans want common sense reforms that create jobs, fixes immigration, reforms the tax code, and fixes US infrastructure.  All elections have consequences; to vote in the Presidential elections and to not vote in the mid terms makes no sense. 
The mid terms nullify the Presidential election results if the opposition comes out to vote in higher numbers.  The South has to examine and decide what is more important hating Obama or holding your local politicians accountable. The lack of legislation during the past four years that the GOP led house has control of Congress; absolutely nothing has been passed.   Do we need more government shutdowns. Do we need  more  of Ted Cruz reading green eggs and ham making a mockery and laughing stock of a dysfunctional Congress for the whole world .  

Americans must vote in 2014 and make their voices heard regardless of what party you belong too.  It is very important for America to hold their politicians accountable for their actions or inactions.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Don't give up on a dream ever

   It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.

― Gabriel Garcia Marquez                   

  A true story of an incredible woman who never gave up dreaming about the American dream.  My mom was born and grew up in Puerto Rico during the Great Depression when education on the island was scarce as jobs were back then.  My mom came to the US in the early fifties at the age of twelve.  She settled in Harlem in New York City and lived with her older sister; she tried to register for school in NYC but  she wasn't accepted at the school.  My mom was Puerto Rican of black descent and she did not speak English at all.  Since she wasn't accepted at the local school, she went to work at a clothing factory, Casa de Gorgina.   Every day, after work my mom would go to the movie houses  and pay only 10 cents to the movies to see all of  her favorite actors like Judy Garland, Bob Hope, Fred Astaire, Roy Rogers, John Wayne, Gene Kelly and Audrey Hepburn.  My mom loved the movies and she learned her English by repeating the words she heard on screen,  and she never learned to write in English.  She did well considering, she learned on her own.  My mom's favorite movie was King Kong with Faye Ray; and she swore to me and my little sister; years later that King Kong  really climbed the Empire State Building.  She always believed that the movie was based on a real event; even when we told her it did not happen for real.  My mom would insist that King Kong did climb the Empire State Building; it  made my sister and I think "wow, that movie really left an impression on my mom so much that she believed that the movie was true.  My mom was a great innocent sweet person, who would help anyone who needed it.  She got a part time job with the NYC school system as a lunch aide in the late 1980s.  She applied and interviewed even with the little English she knew ;and she got the job. We were so proud of her because with third grade education and no formal English classes, she managed. to interact with everyone.  My mom worked for a few years in NYC until my family moved to Puerto Rico in the early 90's.  We moved to be closer to family but as English speakers, my sister and I didn't fit in; and we got NYC home sick.  The whole family moved back to NYC in 1992, and my mom went to work at a candy factory on Bath gate avenue in the Bronx.  I worked at an Apple Bank and my sister worked at the Gap over at the World Trade Center when it was there.  To make a long story short, my mom continued to work on and off at local factories until 1995, when she was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis.  The disease hit our family hard because the disease hit her hard.  My mom's left lung was shrinking and the doctors did not know why, she had tested positive for TB and persistent cough.  Her left lung had a huge spot on it; and she had to be given lung transplant medications.   My mom had a lot of complications because of this illness and the prednisone and azathioprine that she was given to her for years took a toll on her body; she got diabetes, COPD, lost her sight and was on oxygen.  She became too ill to be a candidate for a lung transplant.  In 2001, my mom and dad achieved their American dream of home ownership, they couldn't afford a home in NYC, ever, so they moved to Ocala, Florida where they found an affordable home.   Although, my mom was in hospitals on and off during her time in Ocala.  My mom lived until November 24, 2010 and she died in her home surrounded by my dad, my sister and me; with her whole family.  She went quietly; and in a house full of love. She went knowing that she lived her dream of owning her own home; and that she had those around her that loved her most in life.  I know my mom; and she would say she had a good life.  I know that my mom's spirit will be there at my younger sister's upcoming wedding in NYC in November 15th, 2014 celebrating with us a new union.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Some where over the rainbow

On a rainy predawn, an orange light comes through my window.  the glow of the colors warming my face as the rain drops sound fainter and fainter.  I look out my window and find a hint of an outline of an arc in the sky right over my neighbors home.  
I had to get that unbelievable image, I hadn't seen a rainbow since I was a kid in the Bronx at Orchard Beach.  I thought it was cool back then when I tried to run to it to reach it, of course I was six.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Old vintage car in lot

In and around Ocala, Florida there are  

 many old vintage cars driving around. Once a year these cars are showcased to vintage car enthusiasts.  

here is one great car 

Anonymous Works: 19th Century Folk Art Doll

Anonymous Works: 19th Century Folk Art Doll: Sold for $1,000.00 at Carlsen Gallery.

This blog is all about Antiques, which you have to love.  Whether some items are regarded as antiques, collectibles or thrift treasures.  Amazing photos

21 Rosemary Lane: Elegant 4 Layer Carrot Cake

21 Rosemary Lane: Elegant 4 Layer Carrot Cake: I've been making this cake for about a year now and I have to say that it may look like a complex dessert but in all actualit...

Have to check out this amazing carrot cake recipe, I love carrot cake

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Why does the religion of Islam attract evil people who commit Terrorism

This title is long and I was wording the title as to not to offend or provoke anti Islam rhetoric, but as an observer and a person who doesn't desire any evil intent towards any one. I wonder and ask myself, why is it that people that like to kill, rape, and torture use the religion of Islam to commit Terrorism. With the recent, growth of ISIS and the horrible beheadings of the two innocent American journalists, Foley and Solklof; Americans woke up to another evil Terrorist group using Islam as the inspiration to create an Islamic state. A Qaida has broken up into different groups like Al Nusrah Front, the Taliban and Al Shabaab, Ansar al Shari'a, ISIS, Hamas and Hezbollah just to name a few. These groups get destroyed and then pop up again; after they break up into independent groups with more funding from their wealthy sponsors.

Why is Islam attracting so much distortion of their religion by extremists? This question is important for Americans and the West to understand because if we don't, we will find our selves fighting Islamic extremists forever. As one group is dismantled another rises with disgruntled violent youth attracted to their brand of distorted Islam. Many American prisoners in jail join the religion of Islam; there is a strong conversion rate of inmates joining this religion.

There is a reason that no one wants to discuss the Islamic radicalism issue because of being afraid of being labeled as racist or Islamaphobic. There has been no terror groups that have used Christianity, Judaism, Confucianism, or other religion as an Inspiration to violence and Terrorism. Extremists are being taught intolerance of all western culture and religions, not only by online radicalism, but by many of our Muslim Arab allies in the Middle east.

Our supposed allies in the Middle east, countries such as Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan; these countries have strict Islamic conservative moral laws. There are countries such as Iraq which has had centuries of religious in fighting between Shiite and Sunni Muslims that were controlled under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. The US went to war in Iraq and toppled Hussein, it left a Shi'ite leader that appeared to be an ally of the US, with Maliki; but this leader quickly turned to Iran as an ally. Maliki decided to start the old hostilities of the two religious sects fighting for power and persecuting Sunni Muslims. Many of these Sunni's joined ISIS and now we see the current mess in Iraq and Syria. Saudi Arabia has many of the wealthiest Muslim Arabs in the region, many of these wealthy citizens contribute to terror networks like ISIS, and A Qaida. In addition, many of these nations in the middle east are intolerant of western religions. Westerners can not enter Mecca; and many school aged boys are taught in madrasas that teach them to memorize the Koran in addition to hate any non believers of Islam; in addition to anti-western idea logy. The Saudis practice Wahhabism, very strict conservative form of Islam with strict morality police to enforce strict Shari'a law. Men and woman are lashed for breaking moral laws and are beheaded for crimes. There is the lack of human rights and physical torture and punishment in these societies. As in many of these Middle eastern nations that chose to live in the 13th century when it comes to their laws, disregarding human rights. Qatar is an ally of the US, but they allow the Taliban to hold an office in their country as if this terror network is a business entity; the Qataris have provided funding to terror networks in the region and have a lot of influence among terrorists groups; as proven in recent Gaza and Israeli peace negotiations. Pakistan's military was hiding and protecting Osama Bin Laden; when the Americans secretly went into Pakistan and killed him. Egypt, ironically our closet ally in the region had most of the 911 hijackers come from their country; and recently sentenced many journalists to years in jail for aiding Terrorism for reporting the news. Turkey is becoming a pro-Islamist regime with recent Prime Minister stating that woman should not laugh in public; passing restrictive Islamist conservative laws despite recent corruption uncovered by local media. Bahrain is a country that enjoys many western investors and tourist dollars and has decided to declare Shari'a law for his country men and for any western tourist that violates those moral laws. Despite these countries expanding terror networks by spreading anti western hatred and extreme ideology; and providing funding for these terror organizations to flourish. By the same breath, these nations claim to be our allies by allowing us to have our military bases near to fight extremists that they themselves aid and create.

Why is it that America has to fight these Muslim countries conflicts when they won't fight for themselves, they just lie back and watch us provide all of the funding and blood of American soldiers to fight the extremists they create. As in the recent case of Iraq, these soldiers were trained, they had the huge numbers of soldiers, along with the best American weapons. The first sign of actual fighting these men decided to give themselves up or run away allowing ISIS to get their hands on American weapons. If Iraqis won't fight for themselves, Americans should not be placed in harm's way for a country with a short memory span and no appetite to protect their own country.

American policy has to seriously address the hypocrisy of our allies in this region; if not addressed Islamic extremist Terrorism will continue to grow as there is a constant war of religious distorted ideology. ISIS wants to create a caliphate with their vision of extremist Islam; many of their victims are fellow Muslims so why would they kill their own people? I could never understand how any religion can be used for the purposes of killing innocence in the name of it. It is a contradiction of how evil people will use false arguments to attract gullible, monstrous evil youth from around the world to join their cause, as in ISIS.

America has to change its policy in the Middle east; US diplomats instead of ignoring our allies role in funding and fostering Terrorism. The US needs to address the issue with these nations and convince them that they should stop allowing their wealthy citizens from funding these terror groups such as ISIS because this group is only one of many with global ambition of taking land and countries as part of their caliphate. These nations are in danger of being annexed next even if they do aid these terror networks; there are no loyalties in alliances just greed and ambition as any dictator aspires too. To the citizens of countries that aid ISIS be careful what you wish for, you just might get it in spades. 

Middle eastern countries that do not comply with cutting funding to terror groups in the region should have their US aid cut; in addition have state department alerts to traveler's and American businesses about the relationships of Terrorism by these nations contributing to these Terrorist groups.   The lack of tourist and investment dollars from America and western European countries should affect their economies significantly, to change their support to these terror groups.   The old adage Money talks; most of the western countries provide tourist dollars to places like Egypt and Bahrain.

Americans are afraid of what has been seen by this evil ISIS group but what is surprising is the amount of westerners joining this group. Many young woman and men being duped into joining ISIS, when they get there a whole different reality sets in for them. There are many young men that embrace the violence and have even died for this cause; as the young Florida man, who became a suicide bomber.

Congress has to step up and create laws addressing Americans leaving American soil to commit acts of terror here and abroad. Extreme penalties should be in place for these people committing these acts of terror or planning to join an Islamic terror group that includes decades in prison. The death penalty for the death of innocent victims being killed during their affiliation with terror group; and other measures to stop Americans from travelling abroad to join terror organizations.

Western countries have to work with western Muslim Imams to create effective messaging against Islamic extremist ideology on social media globally.  Countries need to block and flag extremist jihadist social media pages, sites and blogs to stop online radicalism which is a threat to the world. This will be a war of messages and a fight of good against evil in the world.

The world has to know that Islamic terror groups are killing more Muslims than westerners, so what is the point of accusing the west of killing Muslims around the globe. As these very same terror groups are the ones truly killing their own people in the name of Islam. When President Obama spoke to the nation about ISIS and about this organization not being an Islamic organization; many pundits criticized the comment since it is seen as denying how Islam is being used by terrorists. The message by the President was not only for the US audience but for the international community watching; President Obama is forming a coalition to include Muslim Middle eastern nations and the West to fight against ISIS. By addressing the nation, President Obama did not want to blame the religion of Islam or Muslims to begin forming the coalition needed to fight this global threat. These Muslim nations will have to make a choice of truly joining the coalition that will protect their own interests in the long term; or continue to aid ISIS watch the caliphate grow and annex their territory.




Travel USA campaign part III

This is part three of my stimulus idea for small town rural America to start a Travel USA campaign in the spirit of the "made in America series".   Manufacturing jobs are slowly coming back to America but not fast enough and unfortunately not in all of the original products created here.  
America is becoming more of a service oriented business society, meaning that many jobs are being created in industries that can't be sent abroad such as restaurants, shops, car repair and health care.  Many of these jobs are low paying because of the supply of out of work Americans. 
Americans need to create their own small businesses, the creation of independent business owners opening in their towns is what is needed to create economic growth.  There has to be less bureaucracy for small business owners and inventors to create, apply for patents and manufacture their own new products for job creation in America.  
Immigration reform is one way this economy can be repaired, many of the immigrants already in the US are working in an under ground economy, and are  not paying taxes.  These 11 million illegal immigrants are contributing to the US economy in their purchase of goods, housing and payment of utilities; many have children born in the US that have become dreamers, college educated citizens and current college students that have never known any other home than the US.  These dreamers can not come out of the shadow for fear of deportation.   The anti immigrant crowd in America does not realize that by doing nothing, these 11 million are being granted amnesty now; they can't come out of the shadows like all Americans but they can still continue to work,  and live in America in these underground local economies.  The more delay if fixing broken immigration system; the more opportunity for illegal immigration to continue to grow and the less opportunity to protect the border. 

These are some issues that could repair our US economy if these issues were resolved.  Mean while, Americans have to create their own opportunities since a broken Congress will not do anything to fix our problems domestically and internationally.  Boehner was seen on you tube playing with a mechanical monkey and this is what the House speaker of Congress does with his vacation time.  Congress took a five week vacation and came back on September 6th, they are slated to remain in Washington DC for another two weeks and than they go again on vacation until the after the election 0f 2014.  These folks get paid over 174,000 and take more vacation than the President, you wouldn't know according Fox news.  

Because of Congress inaction, local towns need to create their own jobs by opening small unique business that will attract from all over the US or other countries.   On MSNBC on  a Sunday show called your small business there was a woman who opened her small business quilting and teaching classes, she began holding you tube classes and she attracted so many visitors to her town seeking her instruction in quilting that the main street of the town started to open a hotel, restaurants, shops in order  to accommodate the influx of tourists from the US and around the world.  The town before her business was deserted in Michigan, and she single handedly brought back the town economy just by one unique business playing on You tube and creating huge fan base for her product and her individual teaching style of quilting.  The show is always on Sunday mornings at 7:30 in the mornings, the show has a site with episodes of the show and great tips for small business growth geared towards small rural towns at https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/yourbusinesstv/ . 

Some ideas for a small business niche are

a mobile hair stylist that brings the salon to home bound clients,
mobile upholstery service that recovers small furniture
lawn service that includes vegetable/flower bed weeding
scrap metal collector that brings unwanted appliances and all metals to recyclers
an estate sales coordinator that performs the estate sales for the client
a cleaning service that performs house foreclosure cleanings where residents leave lots of garbage.
an errand personal shopper for the homebound or elderly
a companion that drives elderly or disabled  to medical appointments
up cycling old furniture to create new pieces an example an old dresser chest could become a new bathroom vanity.
Create personalized customized crafts such as wood doll houses, miniatures, embroidery and hand crafts
Make a family recipe into a food product and sell at local bakeries or flea markets
Wash windows and screens for homes
power wash homes and sheds
become a blogger for a local business in area
Become a social media advertising guru, if you know how to drive traffic to local business sites.
Local food grocery  delivery service

These are a few ideas on unique  opportunities that are considered niche jobs.   There are options for small towns to find a method of creating jobs without the aid of government or state.   Only an idea, and an amazing You tube video to get your startup going.

The michael brown case is one; and why it will keep happening?

Michael Brown, one of many black men shot down in the streets unarmed. There is an epidemic in the US, and there is a backlash to a changing America. This scenario will continue because of the inherent racism in this nation; the stereotypes that are perpuated from both sides of the aisle. The self segregation of our neighborhoods and the lack of understanding and empathy of realizing that all people regardless of race and social class have value in this society.

Until these issues are addressed we will continue to see unarmed black men shot in the street. Racism is a cancer destroying our nation rooted deep in the recess of slavery. One race of people owned another race of people for over 300 years in the Americas.

The years of reconstruction and Jim Crowe laws allowed African Americans to be discriminated and be treated less than human in the South and mid west. The civil rights era of the 1960s granted protections from the federal government to regions of the country to end segregation, to vote and end discrimination. Although, the federal government has created protections and programs to aid minority communities; it hasn't eliminated the problems that still exist in America. Racism can't be eradicated with a government program; only through people realizing that racism is wrong, unfair, unjust and unwarranted, that society will change; as the laws will reflect in its changes. The first step towards ending racism is to stop self segregating our selves into distinct neighborhoods; this creates an educational system where your zipcode determines the quality of your education and keeps us from really knowing each other. The only cure for the ignorance of racism is knowledge of a neighbor's culture and that applies equally to both parties.

Stop stereotyping different ethnic groups; everyone stereo types each other whether we realize it or not. People don't think they are racist until something happens. American society is afraid of blacks and hispanics that are deemed as gang members or thugs; simply due to their clothes. There is a lack of understanding of each other because we fail to put each other in each other's shoes; no real connection unless at work or at school. For the most part do not live in the same communities, and don't really care to reach out to different communities; only choose to judge each other. When someone thinks they are better than another, there is no humanizing or empathizing with them; that is what has to change.

As Americans we have deep wounds in this country that are still open and haven't been cured. There are deep societal inequalities that have negatively affected minorities, who play by the rules and can't seem to go further in their career. There is a sense of hopelessness and despair since the deep divisions of this nation have been exposed openly. For years these issues would rise due to the media coverage after the death of an unarmed black teen; then later media leaves; and nothing ever changes. The justice system does not work for everyone in America and that is known;because the law is technical, prosecutors are ambitious, and the out come is reliant upon the best representation. With so many factors, Justice is not always just. The Trayvon Martin case is an example of miscarriage of justice because of an unarmed teen that had skittles and ice tea was followed by his murderer. The only witness to the event was the murderer himself and that was good enough for a jury of mainly white woman to decide that he was justified in killing this teen. During the trial, Martin was placed on trial even though he was the victim; since the acquittal of Zimmerman, this man has shown his instability being stopped by the police numerous times and being let go. This shows that Zimmerman had an understanding of the justice system and knew how to get out of situations using the law.

When there is a clear misjustice in the system, people lose trust, and convince themselves that it is not designed for everybody, only for whites, the rich and the corrupt. In the 1990's the OJ trial showed deep divisions, in my personal opinion; OJ got away with murder by having the best attorneys to represent him. The timelessness of the same racial and social class issues in our Justice system continue despite all of the past killings. Nothing changes after all of the talks, the protests and the ideas.

We never see a white boy being shot in the streets because we don't see them as a threat. Society sees hoodies, pants hanging down, caps turned on a side or face bandanas as threatening and criminal. Especially, if black or hispanic in an urban area; and these communities know it. They have to live with it, and in hopes that they won't encounter that next scared police officer or a Zimmerman second amendment gun totting wannabe police type.

About two months ago, an elderly white rancher in Nevada named Bundy and many extreme right wing militia supporters pointed assault weapons at federal agents attempting to confiscate cattle because of millions of dollars of unpaid cattle grazing fees. This man and his supporters pointed assault weapons at these federal officers even sniper weapons, and not one of them were arrested. In fact til this day, no one has faced charges, nor have they have been arrested for pointing those weapons at those agents. These people at the ranch were white men expressing their second amendment right; but if some black or hispanic did the very same thing as Bundy and his supporters, you can guarantee there would have been a massacre by the federal agents. There is no way that a minority would have been able to point an assault weapon and a sniper rifle at these agents and not be dead today; and the troubling fact is that as minorities WE KNOW THAT. Those societal injustices, the norms that Americans accept; is how black man are seen through a prism of not being regarded as valued people. That is why Michael Brown is one case and why this will continue to happen in America?


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Recycle linen blind slats into a fullsize head board cover

how to create a linen blind headboard cover

I made a headboard cover from clean linen vertical blind slats. These blind slats were from windows that were sill length. These blind slats are being used directly over the old wooden head board to create a beautiful contemporary cover.

The items needed are the following;

A stapler, and used old vertical linen fabric blind slats. The size of the blind slats used in this project was from a 57 inches x 63 inch length window. These linen vertical blind slats were folded; about twenty were used for a full size head board. The first step is to prepare the vertical blinds, the ends of both blind slats have metal pieces that have to be removed. The only object remaining should be the linen blinds; take one end of one blind and staple the two ends together to make a long length blind. Create eight long blinds for the horizontal length of rectangular head board

The first long blind piece should be placed around the head board with the two ends meeting , staple the two ends of the blind together behind the headboard. The second long blind should be placed around the head board directly under the first blind and the two ends should be stapled together horizontally.

The next step is to take another blind and place it vertically over the head board creating a basket weave by placing one end of the blind in between the two horizontal blind slats, continue to weave the remaining length and secure with safety pins. Continue to add a blind slat next to the first vertical slat and weave the blind in between the two and continue the fill the top of head board. There should be 16 linen blind slats vertically and two long blind slats horizontally. once all blind slats are secured and tight; staple them securely

The next step is to take a long blind slat and create a horizontal third row and to weave it into the vertical slats than secure it with a safety pin. Continue to do the same with the last row; there should be four rows.

This headboard cover is designed to be temporary; it is a contemporary way to reuse linen vertical blinds in a creative inventive way awhile covering an old wood head board that has seen better days.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How to keep your password safe

Russian Hacker gangs have stolen more than 420 billion passwords from well known sites.  The internet has a growing threat of hackers from China and Russia that have government supporting these gangs into finding vulnerabilities in the US infrastructure and banking system.

Americans have to find a method to protect their passwords because of these hackers that find a way into your computer. Sometimes, the information is stolen by simply logging on to well known retail online; a recent example was the hacking into eBay a few months ago.  

There are methods of protecting your password and here are some tips:

The first tip is very difficult but it is the best option to protect your password;  change your password often; every month.
By constantly changing your password, hackers will have a difficult time getting into your system even if you purchase online using well known retail sites. 

Tip number two is in using internet browsers like Google that have a two step verification system in which when you log on, Google will send you a verification code by text which you will have to enter each time; you enter your account.  This is called two step verification, although it involves more steps to log on to your account, it is a good method to protect your account information on Google.

Third tip is in choosing passwords don't use personal information such as mother's maiden name, birthdates, consecutive numbers; these are obvious passwords and can be found on social media sites that we volunteer our information on online profiles, such as face book, Google profile, and twitter.   There are methods of keeping social media private by changing it from public to private.  Do not post birthdates, social security numbers, and family surnames on posts or profile; so that hackers can't mine your personal information.

Fourth tip use randomizer password sites that help create difficult passwords.  These computer generated passwords are created randomly with combinations of letters and numbers, usually are very long in length.  The only problem is that the passwords can not be forgotten, it would have to be saved or copy and pasted onto a saved word document or spreadsheet form.   These passwords cannot be forgotten because you will have difficult time entering site again.

Fifth tip, is that most passwords are stolen by opening phish scam emails; these emails are made to look like informative, marketing or financial banking customer service emails.  Many of these emails trick the reader into clicking onto a link informing them of an issue with their account, or purchase and adding a link where people can log on to their sites.  These emails trick people into giving their passwords and log in information when they click on link and enter information.  There are some emails that have key logger software that tracks the users online typing and browsing on the internet. 
The general rule to follow is to NEVER open emails that claim to be from banks, auction sites, retailers that ask for your password, and miscellaneous sites that you may have never heard of.   Beware of strangers emailing you or opening any links to unknown sites.   The best formula to protect yourself is to have a spam filter to delete incoming emails form strangers; and only open emails from known family and friends.   Beware of face book emails, you should check your face book and social media pages directly , don't click on links.
Banks, credit card companies do not send out emails to their clients regarding their personal accounts.  The best method is to visit the website directly by typing into the search address bar.   Never open a link!

Washington post commentors on Siberian crater story unbelievable

Sceince and technology has been politicized by the GOP conservatives whose anti science stance is generated by fuel fossil lobbyists and companies that contribute to their political funds. 

Ignoring climate change and science is not the way to deal with the changes happening in our World.   I was reading the Washington Post story on scientists knowing what has caused the Siberian craters opening in Russia.   The story was alarming and points to climate change; according to the scientists, the permafrost in Siberia had melted which was holding the Siberian landscape together.  This huge crater has opened and released methane gas which in turn is heating up the atmosphere; therefore heating up the planet.  The scientists say they want to do more testing to be sure of theory, but the ground is still opening more; they claim that they hear the running water under the ground and more of the land falling into crater.   I was reading some of the comments from the Washington Post under the story and it is really unbelievable.  The comment page should be identified as a climate denier wing nut page, with a lot of Rush Limbaugh listeners spamming the page with anti climate change political rhetoric.  Some even questioned the truthfulness of the scientists on the theory; here is just one example: Bold Big flank says Hey relax people  Man can't effect the environment, the science isn't in, no big deal. This is all alarmist nonsense by tree huggers. Get a big truck and roll burning coal it's all a big laugh.  We're "conservatives" but don't ask us what we want to conserve

only happens in America says How is anyone surprised that this is blamed on man made global warming? They've been telling us for years that the sky is falling so why not claim that the ground is falling?

Talk about Mitt Romney being severely conservative; this crowd is severely brainwashed. 

Note that the commenters don't offer a differing theory as to what is opening these craters and show no concern with what is being actually reported and photographed.  Fact craters are opening up in Siberia, fact scientists detected levels of methane;  rhetoric their comments that are all politicized.  Actually, the Senate had reported that their was a growing sentiment among Americans of climate denial and of rejection of science which alarmed the committee because Americans have always been innovators and inventors of science and technology.  This anti science movement can damage our economy in the long run; and this thinking is being driven by the brainwashing of Americans by Conservative talk radio.  America wake up and think for yourselves, don't follow what some conservative media hack says; follow and deny.  Think, research, question just basics to independent thinking;  our society has lost the ability to really question what they are listening to in conservative media especially ratings driven talk radio.  Here is link to that story; very great article in conservative Washington Post; click here

We are not in kansas anymore; Good GOP wins, really?

Something tells us we are not in Kansas anymore; Senator Pat Roberts wins over tea party or so they say; to tell you the truth can't tell the difference between traditional GOP over tea Party since both are the same. 

Governor Brown back has destroyed the state of Kansas with the extreme Tea Party leadership and building a tax free state.   Since he has been in office, schools have closed down, teachers and students uprooted from their district schools,  billions in debt, poor job creation and their bond rating has gone down.   The economy is so bad that even over 100 GOP local Kansas legislature representatives are voting for the Democrat Paul Davis  in  this Governors race, unreal.  You know its really bad when your party is voting against you in elections 2014.   This is a wake call for America, this is the Reaganomics national GOP model of no taxes, no regulations, extreme conservatism;  and it has been an economic and social experiment failure.   America under George Bush had a tax cut model for 8 years for wealthy and corporations, no infrastructure building, huge funds for defense; with no revenue we had huge deficits.   Now since Obama managed a small tax increase in 2012, the deficit is the lowest it has been in decades.   If you take money on a credit card and collect no TAX REVENUE for eight years you will never pay down debt.  Instead be forced to borrow more money, that is what GOP policies have done for eight years under Bush; in addition to extreme spending on two unpaid wars and an expensive unpaid  Medicare Drug prescription program.   
 Clinton knew how to run an economy that is why in the 1990s the economy was good;  but after 2000 when Bush came in there was a neglect of domestic policies and everything was concentrated in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The President has been in office for six years but has had only two years of implementing and passing legislation through Congress.  The President has not had a real partner ship with people willing to work with him; instead they have gone overboard in rhetoric calling him lawless for passing less executive orders than any other President; simply because he has to get some laws changed and done in Washington DC.  If you don't have a working partner that prefers to do what is good for the country but is more interested in partisan politics; both sides can not work together to pass laws.

President Obama if he is so lawless why hasn't immigration reform been done yet, why hasn't his job bill been passed?,  why hasn't his infrastructure bill been passed?   American people should ask these questions and when they do ; they will know that the GOP has engaged in rhetoric, lies and distortions of his executive orders.  No President can pass any new laws or executive orders that create new laws.  All Presidents have power of executive orders that involves changing existing laws only.   Congress is the only body of government that is supposed to pass laws; since the Tea Party and Ted Cruz got elected into the Senate; these two have controlled Boehner led GOP House.   If GOP gets the Senate there is no doubt; impeachment is on the table as told by Steve KING of Iowa.   I bet Iowa is proud of what they have in their Congress. 
 Don't get discouraged this election cycle make your voice heard and vote in 2014. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Solution to Israeli Gaza Bloodshed

What has to be done to stop the Israeli Gaza Conflict

The only solution to this conflict is to call for the destruction of Hamas; because this Terrorist organization is not a honest broker for peace. In a recent TV interview a reporter asked the leader of Hamas, the question "will you recognize the state of Israel and he said "No". The UN and the US brokered a three day cease fire for humanitarian aid for the Palestinians; and  Hamas used this cease fire to commit a suicide bomber attack on Israeli soldiers and kill four soldiers during the first hours of the cease fire. Hamas knew that the Israeli's were going to destroy the tunnels as negotiated and were laying in wait for the soldiers. Hamas used the cease fire to plan an attack on Israeli's; how can Israel trust any negotiated cease fire now?  Hamas in Spanish means "Never"  my guess is that in Arabic it means the same; since Arabs controlled Spain for over 700 years before the crusades.

The international community has to do more to stop this conflict before it spreads throughout the Middle east and has potential to generate terrorist attacks on Europeans and Americans at home and abroad. This conflict will spread and the threat of a Terrorism World War will occur. The UN is not an objective broker in this conflict because the spokesperson for the UN broke down and cried over the deaths of the Palestinian children on International TV; and Banki Moon made a statement against Israel shelling UN schools that caused the deaths of innocent children. These two very public TV appearances has promoted anti Israeli sentiment around the world especially in Europe in very heavily populated areas where Arabs live. The UN has demonstrated their bias towards the Hamas terror group and treated them as an honest broker in this matter. The UN has not condemned Hamas for the violation of this cease fire as of August 1, 2014, hours after it was supposed to start. Nor has the UN told Hamas to stop hiding their weapons inside UN or around the areas of these schools. The world media has not condemned the use of innocent children as Hamas human shields. If Hamas truly wants to protect their own innocent people; stop using them as props to hide their  missiles.

The world community should start to evacuate only woman, children and the elderly into temporary refugee camps outside of Gaza to remove them from allowing Hamas from using these innocent people as human shields. Allow the Israeli army to destroy the infrastructure and Hamas militants; once this group is eliminated, the world community can help to rebuild Gaza under the careful supervision of International monitors to make sure all supplies such as cement and construction supplies be used for the rebuilding of schools, hospitals, homes, bomb shelters and Gaza's infrastructure. Install the PLO as the only governing faction; and allow Gaza to have more autonomy and more independence within Gaza. Hold the PLO accountable with sanctions; if they reinstall Hamas or any other Terror group into governance. There will never be peace in this region if Hamas is left in power in Gaza. The Palestinians and Israeli's will never be true friends or good neighbors because there is decades of killing and destruction to get over. The Palestinians will always see Israel as an occupier of their lands; but the World community has acknowledged Israel as a state and has granted them this territory. It doesn't make sense for Palestinians to continue to teach their young children to hate Israel so much; that it destroys their own chances of developing their own independent State. As long as Hamas is in the Gaza strip creating terror acts against Israel; there will never be a two state solution.

Give America a stimulus

A few days ago I posted the first of a series of blog posts on how small towns should start a campaign to attract tourism to small town America to give our US economy a local boost.   If ABC could start the "Made in America" campaign which successfully has created jobs without the help of dysfunctional GOP led House in Congress; than Americans can do the same with generating ideas on how to create a vibrant economy in their small towns.  If the town doesn't have a tourist attraction, create an annual event that will drive visitors to your town.  If your town is in a suburb of a big city, attempt to create social media buzz about your town's unique history, local museums, shopping districts, offer discounts and organize travel packages that include hotel, travel to and from airport and any other incentives for tourists looking for great vacation at bargain prices. 

The rise of social media can create a great avenue for small towns to promote their events for free; like twitter, you tube, face book; just to name a few social media platforms.   Create a real unique video and get the attention of the media;  write a free press release that media outlets scour for news ideas.   These are just a few tips on how small town America can give themselves a stimulus.  It is not easy because it needs a leader, hard work, organization of town council and local Chamber of commerce to create a plan to attract tourists to their town.

Ocala is a prime example of  a quiet suburban town with great dining, great shopping, natural trails, huge national forest and great silver springs Park; just to name a few attractions.  

Ocala hosts many events on the town square area and an annual art festival.  There are many antique, vintage shops in the area, a great past time.  There are a lot of horse farms and is known as the horse capitol of the world. 

Ocala has potential to stimulate and create jobs by promoting many of these places, events and titles.   Ocala was voted best American town to live in 1996. 

Ducks in a pond inside Pine Run estates

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Collecting vintage jewelry as a hobby

I love finding old vintage antique jewelry at estate sales, yard sales and on eBay.  When shopping online for vintage jewelry it is best to shop from reputable well known websites such as Ruby Lane, Tias,  Tocadero, and shop goodwill.  Vintage jewelry from different era's are really old gems, many pieces are intricate with the art nouveau period, and art deco era from 1920s to 1940s.  Design is very streamlined, bold and geometric in design. 

There are many different periods of jewelry designs in history, a lot of times the jewelry will tell its age because of the design and the wear on it.   Beware of fakes on the market from China;  it is better to shop on well known online antique shops, not the auction sites.

On auction sites there is a small risk of jewelry being reproductions; if purchasing for only private collection it would be risky but okay.  If you are purchasing vintage jewelry as a reseller than the jewelry should be verified as original piece regardless of price.  

Here are some photos of some of my pieces, I really don't spend a lot of money on these pieces but it makes feel good saving a piece of unique vintage jewelry history.

Heart bracelet and Cancer ribbon awareness pin

Chinese blessing charm http://www.savingshouse.blogspot.com

1920s scarab earrings http://www.savingshouse.blogspot.com

1933 worlds fair ring   http://www.savingshouse.blogspot.com

1940s era delft jewelry lot   www.savingshouse.blogspot.com

tiny delft ring really cute,  http://www.savingshouse.blogspot.com

1940's era travel gift Cuban wood pin  http://www.savingshouse.blogspot.com

Reproduction cameo pieces and 1970s era pin/pendent tiger pin.  Http://www.savingshouse.blogspot.com

Jelly Belly Spider Pin, starfish pin, vintage clip earrings http://www.savingshouse.blogspot.com

1960s Parrot pin  http://www.savingshouse.blogspot.com

Silver claddaugh friendship ring  http://www.savingshouse.blogspot.com


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Darth Vader wins Presidential poll over politicians

There was a poll taken that Americans prefer Darth Vader as a Presidential candidate than the leading potential frontrunners of both political parties.

This speaks to the discontent and distrust that Americans feel towards politics in the US.  May be another poll will show that Sponge Bob would make a great vice presidential candidate.

How US media tries to destroy Hillary Clinton for 2016

During this blog post I am wearing my political hat and stating my personal opinion on how the media is destroying Hillary Clinton's potential run for President in 2016. 

The public has been told over and over again about the liberal elite bias media towards favorable coverage of Democrats in general; when it is not true.  The actual bias is on the Conservative media which has control of the Talk radio genre which has greatly influenced the American public in politics and in tone of how politicians should talk and act towards each other. The tone is nasty, non compromising, attacking Democratic politicians as being bad, evil against America; you know all of the wasteland of thoughts perpetuated by fear and ignorance since the election of a black President. 

Hillary Clinton will more likely run for the Presidency for 2016, but there is still a lot of time for her to announce her candidacy.

The media keeps asking, pushing her into answering this question even since she is not ready to formally announce her plans to run.

Since she wrote a book and went on the book tour, the media has taken it upon themselves to state that they will treat Hillary Clinton as if she were an unannounced candidate for the presidency in 2016.  So everything she does from this time on, is being scrutinized and analyzed even when she has not declared that she will run in 2016.  Hillary Clinton is already being singled out, treated differently by the media who is anxious to start to tear her apart. 

The audience can see the obvious attempts of the media to destroy her already by the thought of  taking it upon themselves to assume that she will run; why not wait until she formally declares her intention?  What's the rush?  Why hasn't the media been questioning Chris Christie or any other republican candidate about their intentions to run for the presidency in 2016 as consistently as they have done with Hillary Clinton?

The answer is that the media gives these GOP Conservative potential candidates a pass but continue to pressure and not accept a non answer from Hillary Clinton.  The media wants her to declare her candidacy so that they can start to tear down  by taking every little thing she says and taking the comments out of context.  An example was the Diane Sawyer interview where Hillary was asked about relating to the middle class and their struggles, and Hillary answered that she and Bill Clinton knew about the struggles of the middle class and that when "they left the White House they were dead broke".  The media immediately pounced stating that Hillary Clinton said she was dead broke when she had these high speech fees and that the Clintons were worth 100 million dollars. The media immediately started asking, Can she really relate to the poor and the middle class?  Hillary is out of touch with the public.  Notice that she hasn't declared her potential run for President, yet her first interview they started to attack.  Everyone with a brain knew what she said was true, in her interview she said when they left the White House they were dead broke, that's true.  The Republicans in Congress had many hearings and scandals suing  President Clinton accusing him of many crimes such as White water, travel gate, the supposed cover up of the murder of Vince Foster, a white House aide who committed suicide.  The Clintons were accused of a lot of awful things that caused them to hire expensive lawyers to defend themselves during these hearings.   The Clintons spent millions on lawyers and fighting bogus charges.  The GOP continued their strategy of personal destruction as they are doing currently with President Obama; this time they did manage to uncover the Monica Lewinsky affair which led to Clinton's impeachment in the House but not the Senate because it did not meet the standards of high crimes and misdemeanors for impeachment. President Clinton was disbarred from the legal profession at this time during the scandal.
Hillary Clinton was correct when she said that when they left the White House they were broke, it took time for Bill Clinton and Hillary to make money on the speech circuit and to get out of debt.  Average Americans understand that what she said was true, it was the media trying to make hay out of a comment and take it out of context into feeding their narrative about she is out of touch. 
Americans can tell by how relatable a candidate is by the way they express themselves, the clarity of their policies.  The reason why Romney lost the 2012 election was that he did not have the relatable personality to make Americans believe that he would represent all segments of US society.  The 47% video tape solidified that image of rich, elite, disdain of the poor,aloof separated from ordinary Americans.

Most Americans including Republicans and Democrats know that all Presidential candidates are millionaires or of high income status.  Politics are controlled by big money donors, super pacs,
and millionaires that have Senate and House positions to further their personal wealth by changing policies that benefit corporations or the wealthy.   Talk about helping themselves; that is the only reason why a wealthy person would enter politics and it is currently being demonstrated in the house.  The GOP has engaged in the politics of personal destruction of Democratic Presidents, they have engaged in bogging down the Presidency with fake scandals, and have engaged in obstruction to the point of reckless and sabotage of  the US economy.  The GOP did the same to President Clinton in the 1990s.  The Democrats have not engaged in the politics of personal destruction, in fact when Bush was handed the Presidency by GOP Supreme Court, the Democrats worked with Bush despite bitter disagreements.  The Democrats passed the first stimulus under Bush even when his own GOP Party refused to support him in 2008. 

The American public has short memories and short attention spans; this is what the GOP depends upon to win elections.  The aloofness of the American public and the disengagement has allowed the GOP House to bank on Americans not paying attention to local races that determine the placement of  representatives in Congress.

Another media attack on Hillary Clinton was another interview where she got defensive with an NPR reporter who tried to bait Hillary in to saying the she changed her position on gay marriage for political reasons, when Hillary fully explained that she changed her position just as others had because over time she admitted that her anti gay marriage position was wrong.  This reporter wanted Hillary to say that she changed her position for political reasons and Hillary was defensive and countered back stating that the reporter was trying to get her to say something that was incorrect.

Another media attack came on another radio interview show where Hillary stated that she works hard as many Americans do and knows their struggles.  The media immediately stated that Hillary could not possibly know what the average middle class goes through when she makes 200,000 fee for a speech.  Again, the argument she is out of touch, she is aloof.  Many colleges started to demand that places where Hillary would speak that she not charge a fee for speaking engagement. 

Why should Hillary Clinton work for free when she is a prominent person in politics and she is taking valuable time out of her busy schedule to engage in these speaking engagements.  No one demands that of Sarah Palin or of other Republicans that charge for their speaking engagements. 

The media is bent on destroying Hillary Clinton's opportunity to run for the presidency in 2016.   The media is not liberal leaning it is a talking point of conservative media to hide the true landscape of  media today.  

There have been many media talking heads predicting the win of the Senate for 2014 for the Republicans; despite their dismal approval rating and their current status of being the least productive and worst Congress in the history of all Congress. 

The media is influencing the election of 2014 by telling the American public that the Republicans will win the Senate in 2014 because that Democrats don't vote in Congressional elections.  During the second term of the Clinton presidency, the GOP engaged in obstruction, personal destruction tactics, obstruction and finally impeachment.  The GOP over reached and caused an incredible backlash of the American public by causing the Congressional elections to become nationalized.  People came out in droves to vote Republicans out of office; the GOP is in danger of this happening in 2014, especially if Congress goes on vacation and does not pass the VA reform bill or the Border aid package. 

MSNBC and NBC does tend to have some hosts that have liberal leanings such as Rachel Maddow; but the difference between Fox news and MSNBC is that both have political points of views, but Rachel Maddow covers factual news events not covered by traditional media.  She reports the events with her wit and sarcasm but with actual research and articles.  As for Fox news that deals with rhetoric, opinions, misinformation, distortions of Obama care law.  There is a big difference in the news coverage of Democratic policies at both of these news networks.  CNN claims to be impartial but with shows like Real politics with John King; talking heads that are very critical of the Obama administration; Gloria Borgia, and many other hosts that often question Obama's leadership skills.  

MSNBC and NBC has many hosts that have been extremely bias and critical of Obama's administration questioning his leadership, to accusing him of lying to the American public during Obama care problems with grandfathered policies.  

Chuck Todd is one example during an interview with President Obama asked an insulting question questioning president Obama's character and honesty.  He asked the President why should Americans believe you?  The President laughed it off but I am sure that questioning his character let Obama show a lot of restraint during that interview.   David Gregory from Meet the Press, also has bias coverage when he has a panel of mostly Republican media representatives such as the Washington post; usually the panel is like three Conservatives to one Liberal on these panels.  Some of the examples included last week's show where all of the hosts were stating that President Obama was a sleep at the switch, the exact words of one of the panelists.  Andrea Mitchell stated that Obama playing pool seemed to be terrible when he didn't visit the border.
Chuck Todd a regular on the panel always had negative analysis about President Obama and pointed out that the Democrats were exploiting the Hobby Lobby decision to get woman voters. 

Jonathon Carl of ABC News often delivers the unflattering depiction of the Obama administration  during the Obama care website issues and the HMO's cancelling bad insurance policies that did not qualify under the standards of Obama care. 

There are so many more examples of people in the media from the MSNBC and NBC network that have been critical of President Obama; in addition to the bias coverage of Fox News, and the constant brainwashing conservative controlled talk radio.

In summary, all media should be measured by the accuracy of their reporting and not the opinions of  conservative media.  Hillary Clinton is being targeted by media, the public should more skeptical of the news coverage and seek to find unbiased coverage by visiting government statistical data sites such as the CBO, the senate and congressional websites to find which representatives are voting or doing nothing in their office.  

Americans need to become more aware of how the media is engaged in promoting one political party over the other in their biased coverage.