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

1920s scarab earrings

1933 worlds fair ring

1940s era delft jewelry lot

tiny delft ring really cute,

1940's era travel gift Cuban wood pin

Reproduction cameo pieces and 1970s era pin/pendent tiger pin.  Http://

Jelly Belly Spider Pin, starfish pin, vintage clip earrings

1960s Parrot pin

Silver claddaugh friendship ring


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.

Thrift Store Treasure Finds Part IV

Found amazing thrift store finds at my favorite place to shop at Divine Providence.  

I found two great lamps at really low prices, one was purchased at 3.00 and the other at 2.00.   I found bag of crochet yarn for 2.00, a wood crochet needle, great sweaters for my dad.  One sweater was in excellent condition label route 66,  I found some trim for adding to curtains for 1.00.  The three sweaters were only 15 cents, all clothing is only 5 cents each.  To find some clothing that is hardly used, you have to take time to search carefully through racks.  I found an amazing parka jacket and it was only a 1.00 in excellent condition, just not the right size.  There are really good deals to be found at Divine.  There was a half off furniture sale where tables and sofas could be found.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Addicted to decorating antique magazines

My addiction to collecting home decorating magazines began in the 1979 when I was 9 years.  My aunt had subscriptions to Elle décor, and Metropolitan home because she entered those publishers clearing house contests and always ordered these magazines.  Every time I visited her on the weekends, I would look through them; finally one day she gave them to me because she was getting rid of many issues.   I kept those magazines for years and when I got older, I began ordering magazines from Seventeen, metropolitan home, Elle décor, mademoiselle, Latina magazine, art & antiques, house beautiful, and many others.  I had to limit my subscriptions because I really keep these volumes especially as ideas for decorating or using vintage items in a home. 

The art & antiques magazines are expensive but they are really great reference material on trends on art and antiques.  Beautiful photography and great articles; see some photos from my magazine collection.

DIY Disaster Painting furniture

In today's current economy, many Americans are finding ways to save money and help the environment by recycling and up cycling vintage furniture and other items.  

There are many websites, magazines and cable TV shows that teach people to decorate using vintage furniture pieces.  Many of these resources teach how to paint furniture, change hardware and even create a totally different furniture piece from the original intended use of furniture.  An example would be TV armoires; these TV cabinets are no longer used because of Plasma TV's that could be hung on walls.  

These TV cabinets are being up cycled for other uses; some have been converted into craft centers, home office center, linen cabinets, even into wardrobe/ guest room closet.  This is a creative way to reuse good quality furniture that no longer is used as a TV armoire. 

Although, these articles and shows make furniture painting look easy; there are disasters that occur when furniture piece is not prepped properly for painting.

Many furniture pieces have a sealer or shiny finish on the furniture piece.  Most furniture pieces need to be sanded until the shiny finish is off; some furniture pieces need to be primed before being painted.   An example; furniture with a lacquer finish need to be primed and should be painted with a similar lacquer finish paint. Chalk paint is used as a preferred medium for furniture because there is no priming needed and can be sealed with soft wax.  I found amazing video painting on furniture with chalk paint.

After the furniture piece is painted; allow for two days to dry; then use a sealer to protect paint finish.   If painting furniture pieces for outdoor use; make sure the proper outdoor paint is used for the elements outside.  

Sometimes the best way to learn is trial by error; learning what works and what doesn't is the best method to learn and fix vintage furniture. 

Amazing video on using chalk paint for furniture

Start a Travel USA small town campaign

Congress is failing the American public; the tea party conservatives have control over John Boehner who is one of the worst House leaders in the history of Congress.  When the leader allows a loud minority control his actions, by allowing what would be brought to the floor to vote.; it demonstrates how ineffective a leader he is.   The job as a leader of the House is to allow legislation on the floor to allow members of both parties to vote, Boehner will not place Immigration reform on the floor because he knows that east and west coast republicans will vote for the bill.  By not allowing the vote, he is keeping these Republicans from voting on this bill, and the Democrats from ultimately passing the House. 

President Obama has taken actions on his own because republicans are determined not to pass any legislation to sabotage President Obama's agenda and weaken the US economy.  By Congress obstructing the President, the GOP has slowed down the economy; but hasn't succeeded in destroying it.  President Obama managed to pass tax increases and now after a decade of tax cuts; the US economy is slowly creating jobs about 9 million in the past six years; and the US deficit is dropping for the first time in over a decade.  President Obama has not been given credit for this by the media or the public; instead the media tends to allow the GOP criticism, false scandals to cloud Obama during his Presidency.  

With the inaction of Congress and the economy still not as robust as it could be if it weren't for all of the obstruction by the GOP; American towns should consider creating their own stimulus.

ABC started the made in America campaign about three years ago, since then Americans have shopped specifically for American made products creating new jobs in America.

What if small towns in America started a "travel our small town campaign" to attract Americans to spend their vacation dollars in America instead of foreign countries.  There are methods for small towns that may not have tourist attractions to attract Americans to visit their towns by creating tourist events such as art fairs, unique annual events created specific to that town.  An example is Roswell, Arizona where UFO enthusiasts have come to visit because of the story of UFO parts being found in a farm. Americans were told that the parts were from a weather balloon; many conspiracy theorists believe that it was a real UFO that crashed because of individual stories from citizens in Roswell area .

Another idea would be for neighboring small towns to pull resources together to form travel packages where tourists can visit each town where visitors can stay at these towns for a set number of days.   Local businesses could offer discounts as incentives for visitors to shop, and spend in local economy. 

There are many free methods for local towns to advertise their events or local travel deals; such as twitter, face book, You tube, other social media.   Press releases are free and is a great way to get media attention if press release is very news worthy.  Many media outlets and journalists use Press releases to find news to write about and report . 

American towns should give themselves a stimulus, because as long as Congress has obstructionists interested in power and politics and not the good of the country; Americans are on their own. 

Side note:  House republicans refuse to pass VA bill unless there are offsets to pay for VA Hospital reform.  Funny, when Congress sent Americans to fight in two unpaid wars, they didn't ask for offsets back then. 

GOP House demands offsets for VA reform bill

Saturday, July 19, 2014

How to organize home with reused items

There are creative ways to save money by using items around the home intended for other uses and recycling them for a new purpose.
Shower hooks could be hung on the closet clothing hanging rod to hang purses, scarves or belts. 

 The empty cardboard toilet paper holders can be reused to hold and store unused electrical cords and label the outside of the cardboard. 

  The cardboard cylinder tubes used in wrapping paper rolls could be reused by cutting them into 4- 5 inch sizes to reuse as wrapping paper holders. By slipping the cardboard over the wrapping paper on both ends to keep paper from opening from storage.
   Reuse old ice cube trays to organize jewelry in drawers.
 Reuse old checks boxes to organize a desk drawer to store clips, rubber bands, odds and ends. I use it to organize my junk drawer and it works well. 
 Use a small magazine rack as a pot lid holder on the inside of a cabinet door. 
  Some of these ideas were from the Simple Dollar Blog. 
 I love that blog.

How to Spring Clean your porch

The best way to clean your porch is to use a solution of warm water and a safe cleaner named Simple green on the concrete patio, leave the mixture on for 15 minutes scrub with brush then rinse.
 To get rid of stains on concrete add 1 cup of bleach to a 10 x 10 foot patio.  Use a pressure washer to clean steps to remove dirt, mildew. 

If you have a teak wood patio deck it should be washed, then dried, then a teak sealer should be used for protection.  To clean wicker furniture use a soft brush and a mild dish detergent soap to wash the surface without damaging it.

Wipe down outdoor lighting fixtures with damp cloth; and clean out door cushions with a sponge water and mild soap and let dry in the sun.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Does a blogger need to be an expert to write a blog?

Do you really need to be a renowned expert to write a blog?

Blogging is a free expression of the writer to share knowledge, ideas, photos and personal experiences that readers could relate to or are currently experiencing. When I read about these articles about bloggers being experts or more credible becuase they have degrees in a field or because they don't express personal experiences to be more professional; my opinion is that readers should be exposed to personal experiences of the writer without it being discounted as editorial.

There is a clear difference between the two; especially when writing about personal experiences vs editorializing about any subject. When the blog writer shares an event that has happened to them personally and how they found a solution, or didn't find an answer. The knowledge shared can help the readers in similar situations to really understand, find information on dealing with issue and relate to that writer as someone coming from their own prospectives on issue.

Experts will give the standard safe industry advice because it is a method of not being held liable for their advice that is not given from personal experience but rather from text book examples. Readers are searching for originality, true content that speaks to them personally and that they can attempt to do on their own with little cost or personal hardship to themselves and family. An example would be a parent seeking advice on dealing with child temper tantrums; as a babysitter I learned early children will always have cry in public if uncomfortable or unhappy. Always be prepared when going out with small children, have snacks, juice and safe small toys to distract them. As I shopped, I would create a sort of helper game with the child; I would go in the aisle and say where is the cereal, depending upon the age of child they would say there and point. The child was helping me find the groceries in the aisle sort of making it a game of finding stuff in the aisle. The babysitter should make sure they are not picking out specific food items they want; but it keep on the idea of finding treasure in the aisle. Kids love attention and they love fun as long as you keep these two in mind when going out on an errand, you will avoid them becoming bored and having a temper tantrum.

Again, this advice is from personal experience and not an answer for all children that may have medical or psychological issues that affect behavior.

The example is one of the many I learned from babysitting in NYC for two years; and just one creative idea that I developed and saw work. Over the many years of work history, I have learned many different new tasks as my jobs have changed; such as magazine promoter, clerical aid at publishing house, office worker, health benefits coordinator, retailer, library aide, independent mortgage broker, teller and current caregiver. With a resume like that I believe that I can share my experience of what I learned and how it all works from my vantage point. The reader can determine if the information is valuable, credible, and useful to their situation.

Readers should caution against sources that criticize alternative resources of blogging articles as not being credible or dismissed due to the credentials of the writer. The credentials of the writer should be considered only upon the type of information the reader is seeking in terms of research on subject; not from the personal viewpoint of the writer, which can be useful source too.


Politics that divide America help our enemies

When terrorists attack Americans, they don't ask whether we are Republicans, or Democrats.  They only ask if we are Americans.  We have to come together, compromise and remember that the politics that divide us; only make our enemies stronger and us weaker as a country. 

Why is it that one political group always wants to force their will on another even when voters have spoken twice that they want the country to follow another direction? Is it because they are afraid that their political agenda will succeed and that the country will note that popular political groups agenda will keep them in power for decades like FDR. 
The other political group could take advantage by keeping true to their ideals but creating new policies and new ideas that include all populations and all social classes to their political party.  The GOP has to create policies that address job creation, paying down the deficit  and IMMIGRATION REFORM. Along with the current immigration crisis that has to be addressed urgently for Americans and for these children coming over the border. 

Every GOP President has always had a high deficit, it is only under Clinton that the deficit has been reduced significantly and now under President Obama. The reasoning is common sense, if you advocate for tax cuts, there is not enough revenue collected to pay bills therefore you borrow more on credit.  It's true of all households and its true when it comes to government spending. The tax increase went towards paying down deficit; which is going down and the lowest in years. If Obama would have gotten his Jobs act passed; the economy would have been working better and more infrastructure jobs created.  The GOP obstruction since 2010 has kept President Obama's agenda from fully being implemented.
During the state of the union, the Republicans with their four addresses all said Mr. President where are the jobs?  After, they have purposedly obstructed every piece of legislation this President has placed on the floor of Congress, the Job Acts Bill, the Budget bill, the infrastructure bill, the immigration bill all turned down.  These people have the nerve to say, Mr. President. Where are the Jobs?  Despite all of the obstruction, the President managed during the two years that he had with a functional Congress when Pelosi was leader, the stimulus went to save car companies.  The loans were paid back, and the jobs were saved now this past June 2014, 288,000 new jobs were added. 

Meanwhile Congress, has done nothing but name post offices, and hold hearing on Benghazi and the IRS which have cost US taxpayers 14 million dollars to investigate supposed scandals.  Both hearings have uncovered nothing but mistakes and incompetence but no coverups or illegal activity; Darryl Issa the Republican Committee chair has become a celebrity on Fox getting his cues from Megan Kelly on what to ask next. Government has to become more efficient, less partisan because the world is looking at the U.S. and our politicians as immature and unable to get our act together. 
The world's despots and dictators laugh at our Democracy saying if this is what it means to be free that you can't even agree on running your own country, then whats the point.  It makes the U.S. look weak in front of the world, especially when politicians that hate the President go on the media to praise Putin and to say how weak Obama is.  As an American I was looking at those morons and thinking to myself, we don't need the Russians or the Chinese to throw bombs here, all we need are some Rudy Guiliani's or John McCain's and Lindsey Graham's. 

These guys don't know when the politics should end; other countries read and see our media, read our blogs, when they hear our own politicians disparage their own President, then what can you expect other dictators or rogue leaders to think.  These morans open their mouths; its really upsetting because President Obama is black he gets so little respect form these southern and Republican party politicians; which is created to encourage their base to engage more in politics. 

The politics of the day are ruling the common sense of these politicians who no longer do what is right for the country but what is right for their interest groups.  The Supreme Court decision allows private citizens to contribute unlimited amounts to political campaigns, it is a continuation of the citizens united case.  These cases allowing big money into political campaigns only allows for corruption of the system and the drowning out of the voices of the average voter; the average person gives a donation of 200 or less.

Supreme Court has decided that private corporations have religious identity like individuals and can not be forced to follow laws that violate their religious viewpoints.  This protects the Business owner but what of the religious or nonreligious views of its employees.  This decision will open a can of worms that will change society back to the pre civil rights days. Any private for PROFIT corporation can use religion as a method to circumvent US protective laws of minority groups, woman, gays and lesbians, children, and everyone else based on employers religious views.  So to the baker that refuses to make a wedding cake for gays and lesbians, the Supreme court gave them a green light to do so under religion.  In addition to Supreme Court claiming the narrowness of decision; the justices know that many new cases will arise from decision because this court has basically defined a corporation as a living identity with the rights of an individual such as that of religion and freedom of speech through the Citizens United case. 

The GOP conservative Supreme Court should be careful in creating corporations and organizations as people because there are many laws that could be changed against corporations as well.  An example Congress has created a law protecting the NRA from lawsuits by private citizens and victims of violence; since corporations are people too with religious protections and free speech protections, why should the law protecting the NRA by Congress be constitutional since it prohibits private citizens from suing them; if the corporation and organizations are to be treated under the law with individual rights, then why should the average citizen have their rights abridged to suing an entity that now has the same rights under the law as an individual.  This can work both ways so be careful for you wish for;  I hope that Moms for Gun Sense read this post.

 Democracy for sale that's a future blog post.  Meanwhile, my point is that politics have always been divisive but in this age of social media, the tone has been more vile, disagreeable, ugly, hateful. I can think of a lot of other adjectives to describe how politics has become so bad.  It is to the point, that one group thinks they have all of the answers and they don't want to compromise. The GOP has engaged in the politics of personal destruction of its opponents, it started under the Clinton administration and since Obama has become President has reached epoch proportions. Ted Cruz when he was welcomed back in Texas as a hero, after the government shutdown in Washington DC, he said he was glad to be back in Texas, in the united States of America so I guess Washington DC and other cities aren't.  I guess that was a dig at the rest of urban America, you know the part he doesn't consider part of the U.S.  Politicians like Ted Cruz want to divide for their political ambition have no interest in serving America; only themselves, if only their voters opened their eyes and became aware of the facts and read the issues instead of biased media coverage. I think the voters would  have a change of heart on some of the issues and will chose better candidates to represent them in Congress.

Tools used for effective thrift store shopping

In my bag I bring the tools of the trade when thrift shopping because I already know what items I am looking for such as furniture, architectural items, or mid size appliances.

I bring with me a tape measure, a digital camera, a pen, a  small notebook.  Bringing these tools are important because it helps measuring the items before purchasing to know how furniture will fit in size or scale in the space. the small notebook is great for creating lists and writing down measurements as taken to come back to an item if it is still available in the thrift store; items often sell fast. 
The digital camera is a good idea to bring especially when purchasing for another person or sharing home to get input on furniture piece.  

 This is good for larger furniture items being purchased; during the first week of July, local thrift shop announced 50% off all furniture.  These sales are often posted on sign in front of the shop. 
 As for searching the local thrift store for smaller items, take your time going through clothing and miscellaneous finds.  
Make sure you are wearing comfortable walking shoes and are ready to look through the thrift store slowly and calmly to find your treasures.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Florida ranks 32nd in surviving a zombie apocalypse

Say it isn't so,according to Huffington Post, the states in the U.S. ranked in order as to being able to survive a zombie apocalypse by their geographical location  ranked from #1 to #50. Florida came in 32nd place. Alaska came in 1st place, and new Jersey came in 50 th place; at least, we didn't come in last.

Silhouette Pillow Project

Things needed for project;

one solid color toss pillow, silhoulette stencil, stencil tape, stencil brushes, and stencil fabric paint in different colors.

Place the stencil on the center of the pillow and attach with tape to hold in place. Place stencil brush into paint and gently dab it on to palette board.  Leave small amount of paint, add onto stencil area on pillow by carefully dabbing brush covering area until completing entire stencil.  Carefully, remove tape and stencil to make sure that paint hasn't bled through the covered parts of the stencil.  Let pillow dry for two days and place on sofa or bed.  It is a nice decorative piece, the fabric paint instructions should state how many washings the paint could withstand on the item before it states to fade or wash away.  It is a good idea to keep pillow from getting dirty or dusty.  It is a great way to make an ordinary thrift store pillow extraordinary!

Add stencil

secure stencil with stencil tape

Fabric paint, stencil brushes and small tray to add paint

Fabric paint can be found on eBay, craft stores

Dab paint on with stencil brush

small palette tray

Finished product

Beautiful silhouette pillow