My Decorating Style is “Dated.” So What?

I got myself in a bit of a tizzy last night while I was randomly clicking on “news” items in my Facebook feed. I landed on a clickbait article about how to achieve the very important goal of not having your home look like your grandmother’s home. According to the author, this is a horrible thing that must be avoided at all costs by following their wise decorating advice.

I have a wall clock. Those are ridiculous, says the clickbait writer. I think they meant those ones Joanna Gaines used to put on every house she did. My wooden owl clock from Germany makes me happy.

I scrolled down the numbered list (because numbered lists get more clicks) while ignoring the same ad for a watch that repeated every paragraph or so. As I did, I saw most of my decorating choices on the list. I am woefully dated. My house looks like someone’s grandmother’s house.

Fake flowers. Ick. We are told to buy real ones and throw them out. Who has that much money? I enjoy my obviously fake flowers. You can look away.

Wait. My grandmother, at least one of them, had really cool decorating taste. She had all this excellent Stickley furniture, a really cool art deco kitchen, and all kinds of fascinating collections of objects. I’d be happy to have a house that looks like hers.

Decorative plates that aren’t for eating off of? Ridiculous. How about empty wine bottles? That wasn’t on the list, but I bet it’s bad, just like pictures of chickens painted by the guy who tiled your floor or bronze baseball gloves that were once your father’s real one.

Wait. My house does look like hers. I have some of her furniture and much of her art. The rest was Mom’s. Mom was an artist. She had taste, even if she DID choose “Early American” as her style.

The clickbait person hated wallpaper. They haven’t read all the lates magazines who declared wallpaper to be back in just in time for everyone who’d wallpapered their homes in the 80s and 90s had removed it all. This is tasteful 2000-era wallpaper.

All these exhortations to get rid of anything that was popular in a decade prior to the current one strike me as mass consumerism at its worst. Throw away those perfectly functional kitchen cabinets! They are oak or cherry! Those are bad, outdated woods! Ick! Right. So all those poor trees live their lives in vain and how other trees have to give up their lives so barely used kitchen items can be replaced.

They railed about putting fake plants up on the shelf above the cabinets. I can’t argue with that. They are dusty. And ugh, look at those cherry cabinets! (They are REAL cherry wood and custom made – not getting rid of them)

And ooh, you can’t have the wrong color granite! Go dig up another mountain and get today’s color. Those beautiful rocks from the 1990s must go!

The article talked about Precious Moments figurines as being unfashionable. I am not fond of them either, but if you like them, keep them. Not everyone will like all my horse figurines.

I’m really glad that a movement toward sustainable decorating is starting to emerge. People are realizing that if the things in their home still do their job, they don’t have to go away.

Crochet. It is true, doilies collect dust. I happen to like pansies.

And at the same time, not everyone has to be “modern” and non-grandmotherly. I’m old enough to be a grandmother, so if I want a doily, dammit, I can have one. (Here’s a secret: modern furnishings were popular with many of your grandmothers – your grandmother or great grandmother might have had mid-century modern during the middle of the previous century.)

More doilies? At least I made this in the 70s and it’s bright orange.

So, I’m sticking with my cherry wood finishes. I like reddish wood. And I like natural stone, which is often brown or tan. So what? And I proudly display my mother’s collection of hand-painted floral plates right alongside the ones I bought for myself. I like them. And I decorated my house for ME, not whoever determines what’s “in” this month.

Rocks, wood, brown things, clutter. So what? I’m happy.

Please keep what pleases you in your own house and don’t throw away your stuff just because someone tells you it’s not cool (or whatever the current word for cool is; I’ve used that word since 1964). And don’t hide your needlepoint. I just want to stab whoever said to hide it and not display it with a blunt tapestry needle, even though I’m a nonviolent pacifist. Flower lover. Hippie. Maximalist.

I love my needlepoints, even with cherry wood frames.

I’m glad I got that off my chest. I’m now going to go hide in my distinctly non-modern tack room and not read any articles full of ads that are written just to get people to buy stuff. Trends. Ugh.

No, Not Me, a Clone

Oh friends. I have a wee vent. I’d like to have a lot of words with whoever came up with those “clever” clones of Instagram accounts that show up in the Messenger app with people’s names and photos and say brilliant stuff like, “Hello hope you are doing?” (today’s) or “Hello, how are you doing today?” All these things do are waste the time of the cloned person, because they have to repeatedly let people know that no, it’s not them, it’s some bot.

No, that is not me at right (or below, if you’re reading on the phone). Do you need to check with me to be sure? Nope, not at all. Just look at it.

  • Is that how my name normally looks? Nope.
  • Is it from a Facebook account? Nope. (I only message from there.)
  • Does it have any posts or followers? Nope. (My actual Instagram has my name spelled normally and has a bunch of posts and followers.)
  • Does it say “New Instagram account?” Yep.

If the answers you get match these answers, then you don’t need to let me (or whoever has “messaged” you) know about it. There’s nothing they can do.

What you can do is block and report the account.

See this message I got back in July from “Anne Hutten?” I knew it wasn’t from her. Name spelled wrong, 0 posts and 0 followers, new Instagram account, and the typical message. I looked at the bottom of the screen. I clicked Block. If I had clicked Report, I would have told them that she was pretending to be Anne and answered a few questions. The message would have disappeared. I was just lazy and didn’t do it, which is good, so I can show you the example.

How can you prevent this?

You can’t, sad to say. These bots just go grab people’s pictures and mess with their names to make a fake account. I’m not even sure what they do if you respond. I could only find endless sets of instructions to report and block the accounts.

I’m to the point where it takes me a few seconds to block and report, then go on my merry way. When I get cloned, I end up spending a lot of time saying that’s not me and giving instructions to people who are trying to help me out by letting me know something I can’t do anything about.

I guess enough people fall for these things and let the cloned account ask for money that it makes it worthwhile for them. That means they’ll keep cloning. So, let’s not panic, just go on with our lives.

Now, if someone hacks your account, it’s a different story. That’s when someone takes your legit account over. That is something you need to report to Facebook, Instagram, or whoever, and work with them to take care of the problem.

I searched Facebook for me. Looks like I’m safe. Haylee Sue Ann seems to be a real person.

To find out if there are extra people pretending to be you, by the way, you can simply search Facebook or Instagram and see if there are “fake you” people out there. (Don’t report actual people with the same name as you – it’s a big world out there!)

Oops, in addition to the Haylee person, there’s a fake Instagram me. They have been reported!

OK, hope that helped. Here’s a quiz. Review the images below and see if you think they are fake or real.

Oh yes, I wanted to assure you that I do have an Instagram account that’s legit. Some people even look at it! I have no urge to be an Influencer of Insta-famous, so I am perfectly happy with my numbers.

Hasta luego.

Bletch

That’s a thing I used to say as a young teen. Trying to ignore world events isn’t working for the last couple of days. I get concerned. Then I can’t sleep. Then I get moody. Must be the hormones.

Wish I were as chill as these two.

Also. Tired of insects. Flies and moths in the house. Do they make you feel icky? They do me. It’s extra annoying.

At least outside there are three sets of twin calves. Here are four.

Worked hard. Helped a friend. Enjoyed less hot weather. Continue to wonder why I keep getting confused and hope it’s just because things are confusing, not something worse. envy this guy.

Byeee

Things I Would Say to a Mouse

Not the mouse I’m addressing.
  • I love you and think you’re cute as heck. Outdoors.
  • Your chances of a long life are much better of living a long life if you avoid our house, which is full of large dogs.
  • Plastic is not good for you.
  • You are very clever how you simply move the baited sticky trap so you can get to the delicious horse food and eat more of its spout.
  • There’s lots to eat in the pasture. You could go there.
  • HA! I have put the delicious horse food in a sealed container where you can’t get to it.
  • Yes, I can see that your larger cousin is also visiting the tack room. Evidence.
  • I have lots more traps. Go outside! run!
  • I truly regret the large gaps in the doors to the tack room that welcome you so well.
  • Your brazen takeover of my henhouse has not gone unnoticed. You sure poop a lot.
  • Note that the food in the henhouse is also in a sealed container. HA!
Horses’ expensive oil is now hiding with the alfalfa. Take that, rodents.

Old Patterns

I’m thinking a lot the past couple of days about old patterns. One I’m happy to keep around.

Granny square burritos

I’m still enjoying the granny squares. My 63 camo squares are now nine green burritos that are actually strips of seven squares. I just can’t stop until they are all joined!

The other old pattern is here.

Do you see it? Of course you don’t. You see a horse standing at a funny angle and an older woman in cowboy attire laughing at him. Here’s what I see.

I may have a body image problem

How many years of Brené Brown telling me I’m fine just as I am must I endure? How many affirming and empowering images of women of all sizes must I see? How many articles about why women tend to add belly fat after menopause must I read? Why do I still judge myself negatively when I see candid shots of myself?

Sigh.

It just goes to show that the patterns I got into as a child, where I was made fun of daily for being fatso, tub-o-lard, elephant, hippo, water buffalo, wart hog, fatty fatty two by four can’t get through the bathroom door…um, telling myself I’m fine just won’t erase. (Was that grammatical? Cut me some slack.)

Testing a lipstick on my lip wrinkles.

The gray hair? It’s fun. The wrinkles? They seem a small price to pay for wisdom. And my health is so good! But my first thought when I see my body is judgmental.

The good news is that just like how you can vary granny squares and do cool things with them, I’m able to take a second look at my body and give it permission to change. I have lots of fun with it, and not wasting time planning how to achieve some ideal pant size gives me time to enjoy my life.

Patterns that change subtly are more interesting, I think. Cheers to my charmingly imperfect mug and self!

Patterns are what they are because they are ingrained. They’re deeply grooved in your psyche and not easy to smooth out. But, progress is possible. I’m proof. I now wear shorts, sleeveless tops, and bathing suits in public. Five years ago that was not true. I’ve modified my pattern!


Later: I’m not begging to be told I’m cute or not fat or whatever. I know I’m slightly bigger than I’ve been most of my life and I’m fine with that. I know I’m fine the way I am! I’ve gotten so much better about not caring what others think, too. My point here was that the old patterns that must be in my limbic system kick in before my higher processing can react sensibly.

Healing and Grace

It’s been almost a year since I grabbed the opportunity to leave a job where it had become increasingly obvious I wasn’t wanted. The new offer was so perfect I had to accept. It’s been a great year

I mooooved on

Today I attended the yearly conference put on by my old employer. It was my first time as a customer. Customers are way more welcome than technical writer managers, so that was good. Other than accidentally starting to attend a session by one of the people who uh, um, wasn’t a fan of me, it was interesting and I learned a lot, especially from other customers.

I just breathed and thought of the beautiful sunrise. Tuesday is sunrise day, because of the 7 am meeting.

The healing came as the day went on. I’ve heard from very few people who still work at that company, which are fewer by the day. And I have not asked the ones I hear from what’s going on there; I just keep up with the products. So, I was touched that some people reached out to me today. That felt so nice, especially since people I’d asked for help before I left had not even said goodbye. Well, only one person did.

It’s okay.

But to hear kind things and learn how some folks were doing felt healing. There’d been no closure after ten years there. The good wishes helped. Right now, with my focus on keeping just what’s good in life, I’m feeling a sense of grace.

Transformation time.

Well it’s either grace or a fever from getting both the new COVID booster and a flu shot today. No horse riding today. Sore arms.

I wish you healing and the ability to move on.

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

I’m just gonna pretend that’s true. Why not? I’m tired of living in fear of “the other,” which I think comes from all the stories you hear about crazed people on the other side who want to shoot you or take your guns, or whatever. Just two examples.

Actual roses.

After reading about the boy, the mole, the fox, and the horse, I was thinking that little horrible can happen if I just live like people are basically kind and loving.

Thanks, Lee I’ll stop and smell them…

Honestly, if you’re reasonably observant it will be apparent if someone feels malice or is duplicitous. Then you can just move on to the next adventure. What do you get from fighting or trying to prove something? Not much.

Stop and gaze at them…

It sounds like the kind of thing many religions promote but few actually try to do. Probably it’s hard, that’s why. I’ve been trying. I’m motivated to try harder.

Stop and touch them!

A soft life sounds blissful.

Two Dreams, One Came True, One Didn’t (Thankfully)

Let me start with the dream that didn’t come true. I was obviously a bit stressed out from going to work and not knowing where the office actually was. That night, I had a dream that I was visiting my previous job, the previous location for it. Everyone was there, and it had been remodeled with very cheerful colors and furnishings.

They had alcoholic beverages, too.

I chatted with the happy workers, but then, as it often happens in my dreams, I had to pee. I headed to where the bathrooms were, only to find people at workstations in there, cheerfully typing. I asked where the bathrooms were. “Down the road,” was the response.

WTF??

In the dream, I blurted out, “What if you have diarrhea?” The answer was, “We have an Uber right outside!” I went out and yep, there was an old black car. I got in, and the driver sped off. I asked him if he thought driving people to the bathroom struck him as weird. He turned around and smiled at me, saying, “The tips are great!”

I woke up.


The other dream, the one that did come true isn’t that exciting, except to me. The past two rides I’ve had on Apache the Paint horse have made me so dang happy that it’s like I’ve nailed my bucket list. We’ve been improving slowly over the past year, as you probably know.

Honest, he’s happy, too.

Yesterday we did the thing I’d been wanting to do so badly. We went out in the back pasture and wandered around, going up and down the arroyo, and checking out all the fences and trees. We just did it. No stress, no spinning around, no freezing and snorting. We just had a good time.

Hey Drew, we had fun.

Today was just as fun. First I worked with Drew, who’s getting better at his stuff on the ground. His reward was a nice walk together, which we both love. Halfway through was his big reward: he got to eat long grass in the unmown front field. What a dream, hanging out in the shade and relaxing.

So. Much. Grass.

The dream continued with Apache’s ride. He’s just doing so well. We trotted around like we k ew what we were doing, walked all the way across the road (I checked for cars), then headed out to the front field. Rather than getting worried as we got farther from the other horses, he looked around and checked things out. We looked at pretty pink flowers, sunflowers, and long, waving grass.

Wandering around looking at flowers while feeling safe on a happy, calm horse…that has been my dream since things went sour with Apache a couple of years ago. And I’d never been able to ride through fields alone before. I’d been afraid to ride without another person with me.

The view from the pool. Ahh.

Things are better.

What Foods Would You Choose?

I had a couple of odd dreams last night. One was a plain ole nasty nightmare in which I had to free Apache from something keeping him from escaping a fire. I remember dragging him out while throwing chicken and dog food out telling all the other animals to run, run, run. Well, yuck. I guess that fire down the road yesterday was on my mind.

Thanks, doofus who started a fire with a burn pile.

In the other dream, I was in a game show (that’s because the television magically changed to Celebrity Family Feud in the middle of the football game we were watching). In the game, I was having to guess what foods people would choose if they were only allowed to eat ten foods and three “seasonings.” I have no idea how seasonings was defined.

Everyone needs onion. Or every Suna needs them, though I’d probably select yellow onions, not these beautiful Vidalia ones.

That got me to wondering what my ten foods for the rest of my life would be. I got a real chuckle out of the fact that the first thing that popped up in my mind was yogurt. I guess I like yogurt? I don’t know if I’d get just one flavor or perhaps a nice box like this. If I only had one, it would be full-fat key lime flavor.

Thanks, family, for buying me this.

And now, I would like to brag my butt off about the fact that I did not select chocolate, ice cream, and caramels as any of my top ten. I think I’d get sick of it, to be honest. So, here is what I came up with.

Better for me than pasta, especially if I got brown rice.

Food

  1. yogurt
  2. rice
  3. chicken breast
  4. cod filets
  5. eggs
  6. shredded cheese
  7. mixed vegetables
  8. spring salad mix
  9. plums
  10. onions

If I had two more it would be Special K Red Berries and milk. I could eat that most every day. I realize, too, that choosing mixed vegetables is cheating. But I love vegetables so much I’d need a variety. And it’s my list, anyway. Why did I pick cod? I just love cod. It’s inexpensive and you can mix it up with all that other stuff to make any meals, just like the chicken.

This makes anything good.

I need to go buy some cod. It’s more versatile than oysters. Mmm.

“Seasonings”

  1. black pepper
  2. garlic
  3. butter

I figure those three things can make any of the top ten items, other than the yogurt, into something delicious. The yogurt is my dessert item. Eggs are breakfast (I eat two hard boiled eggs every day).

I keep two of the favorites in the fridge already.

You know, having only so many things to choose from and not having to worry about what to buy at the store or what to make for dinner would save me SO much time and mental effort. I’d just put something on some rice and eat it, then go ride horses or knit or read. Something fun.

Fruit is good for you. This plum hybrid thing is too delicious.

Admission

If I were allowed to have one sweet item, I know what it would be. These incredibly delicious milk-chocolate covered caramels with sea salt. If these come home from the grocery store, I eat two each evening. They are everything I love in a dessert.

It’s cooked in a kettle, just like kettle corn, which would be my choice if there were a “snack” category, battling it out with Doritos.

So, could you do it? Ten foods and three seasonings? Would yours be more interesting than mine? I hope so. I picked boring foods, but ones that are fairly healthy and versatile. And I omitted tomatoes, because they do give me the reflux, much as I love them.

I’m Rich! I’m Rich!

Hot damn! I knew one day this blogging thing would pay off. All those chicken, horse, and dog photos have finally made me a wealthy woman!

Who, us?

No, no, no. I’m not rich. But a couple of years ago I thought I’d give it a try and put ads on my blog. I find ads incredibly annoying, but I was curious to see if a small-time blogger like me could ever get any payoff whatsoever. It turns out you get paid by how many times an ad is served up, so months when I get lots of hits from people looking at photos don’t garner as much as months when I post long things with more opportunities to stick ads in. This is not going to change a thing; I just find it interesting. In any case, after at least two years, I will get PAID for blogging!

That’s right. A hundred US dollars.

They don’t pay you until you hit $100, which is hard to do unless you have a lot of followers and hits. I just hit 900 followers, so I should be earning more per ad after I make it to 1,000. Follow me, follow me! (One reason all this takes so long is that I’m not very big into marketing and self promotion. Another reason is that people my age just aren’t usually the kind of people who get declared “influencers” today.)

But, I blog to connect with friends and meet new people, not for fame. Fame is no fun if you’ve got my mental health issues, where criticism makes me a big ole mess, even when I know it’s fine. I enjoy reading about the lives of people around the world in their blogs, so I’m returning the favor.

Even if I am not always fond of the institutions where I live, I sure love my home. That’s what counts. Home, sweet home.

Now I’m off to make my surroundings sweeter. I bought a hammer, a screwdriver, and some nails for the tack room! And I still have money left from my $100 (which has not arrived yet).

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