Monday, July 25, 2016

Dancing With Rose- A Book About Alzheimer's

I've been sticking to my "One Book at a Time (Sweet Jesus)" rule for checking books out at the library.  I find that when I check out only one, rather than a big stackful like I've always done up until just recently, I don't feel rushed to get to the next book in the pile.

This past week, I read Dancing With Rose by Lauren Kessler.  For me, it was such a good one.  I read it fast, but not because I was trying to rush through it, but because it was so good, I could barely put it down.

That is not to say that it's for everyone though.

Ricky gives this book his stamp of approval.
It's a memoir, written by journalist Lauren Kessler, about working in a Alzheimer's facility.  Her mother had Alzheimer's, and she felt sort of guilty about her lack of involvement in her mom's disease.  So, years after losing her, she decided to write about the disease, and to delve into her research by getting a job in an Alzheimer's care place, known in her book as Maplewood.  She was an hourly waged worker that did all the heavy lifting and non-glamorous jobs that people who work with the very elderly do... helping them bathe, get dressed, go to the bathroom, etc, etc, etc.

So yes, it's a hard read in part, but it's worth it. She absolutely helps us see the residents where she worked as people, rather than just patients with advanced Alzheimer's.  She tells sweet stories, funny stories, and yes... sad ones too.  But it's somehow a positive spin on Alzheimer's, if there ever was one.

In reading all about her job responsibilities, it's hard not to feel enraged that these workers get less then $10 an hour.  The senior living places make loads of money, but that money isn't going to the workers that actually take care of the elderly.  So, it's hard to get and keep good employees.

Although not everyone is going to get dementia, many will. And if we live long enough, we will grow old, and eventually need help.  This is a huge issue, and it clearly needs some help.  Shining a light on it is important.

Anyone who has a loved one with dementia, in my opinion anyway, will find this book interesting, educational, and believe it or not, uplifting.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Music Monday... Joanie Loves Chachi Theme Song

Not that I'm watching... although I will catch the highlights later tonight- but of course, the GOP Convention is this week and I heard Scott Baio is the big celeb that Trump has invited to make a speech.  I'm hoping Erin Moran can show up as well, so they can reunite to sing a reprise of the theme song for "Joanie Loves Chachi".  Sorry to do this to you, but it is Music Monday and I thought you might need a good laugh.  Here it is. 






Thursday, July 14, 2016

Learning More About Vintage Jewelry

The other day, I ran across a bag full of vintage jewelry I had bought a few months ago at an estate sale. 
estate sale costume jewelry- aka crack
I must have been in a hurry that day, and shoved it in a drawer and sorta forgot about it.  Upon re-discovery, I once again love these little trinkets!  A few of the items were stamped with company names, as they sometimes are. And as usual, I looked the unfamiliar names up online to see if I could find some information about their history and value.
a few of the trinkets in that little baggy- ooh la la!
The problem is,the information I find online is usually pretty limited, and I'm never really sure if the person writing the article is legit and knows what they're talking about. 
 
Although I have looked at some library books about vintage jewelry before, it's been awhile, so I felt like it was time to revisit.  Luckily, I found a few books. One about identifying and pricing, and the other about how to best care for and restore older pieces of jewelry.  I also checked Amazon and found a book that looked like it would educate me a little further about all this vintage jewelry I am so enchanted with.

One of the books from the library ended up being a huge disappointment and the biggest waste of time. Let's just get this one out of the way first, and never mention it again.
waste-of-time book.  yuck.  i hate this book.
First of all, this tells you NOTHING about any of the jewelry in the book, other than it's cost, according to the author, as of 2003.  The company that made any piece isn't mentioned, the reason for it's value or lack there of, anything about the history of the piece... NOTHING. No helpful information whatsoever. 

Secondly, the photographs were taken in bad lighting with a dark background, so it's impossible to see detail in any of the jewelry that made it in the book.

See what I mean?  What kind of camera and lighting were these people using back in 2003? And how did they even decide these prices were accurate?  Based on what?!? Seriously, this stupid book made me furious.  Let's never speak of it again.  Let's just move on!

The other book I checked out from the library I've checked out before, and found it very useful.  I'm glad I'm looking over it again, because there seems to always be more to learn.
Jewelry Fix-Ups- that's what I'm all about!  :)
The book I ordered off of Amazon for around $6- including shipping- was exactly what I was hoping for.  Yay!
Costume Jewerly- A Practical Handbook and Value Guide
Although this book is several years old and the estimated pricing may or may not be accurate currently, there is great description on the companies that made the jewelry.  It also gives some insight as to why certain things are so much more valuable than others. 

The pictures are so much better than the lame library book (the one we shall never speak of again) you can actually see the beautiful details. 
great pictures of vintage costume jewelry...

AND helpful information

This surely will inspire me to pass along interesting and valuable information to buyers in my Resparkable Vintage shop.  I think it will make for a better buying experience if people know a little more about what they're getting and why it's so special! And of course, it's all fun for me.  Win/Win.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

"What Should I Read Next?" Podcast

Are you a podcast listener?
The Podcast app on the iPhone

For me, it all started with Serial.  I'm pretty sure the hype of that brilliant series did a lot for the world of podcasting. After Serial ended, of course I wanted more.  At first, I was in search of more podcasts just like it.  But, honestly, there weren't (and aren't) any.  But there are loads of great ones out there for sure!

Although I don't subscribe to any, I do regularly download episodes from about 25 different podcasts.  Some podcasts release a new episode weekly. Others, not quite as often.  I don't listen to each episode of all of those podcasts, but I do read the title and brief description of the current episode, and if it's something I'm interested in, I download it so it' on my phone when I'm ready to listen.

I walk my dogs daily.  Each dog, twice a day.  That's 4 walks a day (at least). And it's during those long walks that I listen to podcasts.  So, yes... I listen to a lot them.  About a wide range of topics.
When I stumble upon a podcast I really like, it's hard not to talk about it to other people. It's like when you read a great book, and you want your friends to read it too, so you can discuss it.

So with that in mind, I wanted to write about a podcast I just discovered this week, and have already binged the first 9 episodes. 
"What Should I Read Next" with Anne Bogel

The host of the show, Anne Bogel seems to have read every book out there. What a brilliant idea for a podcast!  Here's the basic format for each episode.

She has a guest on each week, and she asks them these 3 questions:
1. What are 3 books you love? (and why)
2. What is one book you hate? (and why)
3. What are you currently reading?

And with that information, she gets a good feel for the types of books that person likes.  Then, she recommends the next 3 books they should read next.

I keep adding more and more book titles to the "Notes" app on my phone while I listen to Anne's podcast.  I not only get great book recommendations from her guest's "3 books I love" list, but also, from Anne's recommendation list.

What Should I Read Next? premiered this past January, so there are lots of episodes to go through.  And believe me, I will go through them all.
 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

You Can't Always Get What You Want...

Yesterday, as I was leaving a training class I took at the Apple store, a homeless man approached me with a handful of coins and asked if I could give him change.  With just a little more money, he claimed, he could go buy his lunch.  Because I had my hands full with my computer and a fresh bottle of water, and my purse is actually a backpack strapped on my back,I didn't want to rummage around for money.  So instead, I offered him my unopened bottle of water.  Because really, what's a hotter commodity during an afternoon, outside, in the summer heat, in Dallas than a nice cold bottle of water?

But this guy was not interested in my water-- "No, I don't want your water.  I want some money so I can buy my lunch."

And I said, "Are you sure?  You don't want this fresh bottle of water?"

He sort of rolled his eyes at me and turned around to find a different person to ask.  But then he turned his head back around at me and yelled something... I'm not sure what, but I know he sounded really annoyed with me.  Me and my stupid water.

I was honestly a little put off.  I tried to be helpful.  And he was just rude and unappreciative.  Oh well- Whatever, Man.  Hopefully you were able to round up enough cash for a happy meal.

A little later that day, I was downtown in an area I'm familiar with.  I was having trouble finding a place to park, and I was running late to where I was going.  After circling the block twice, I found a parking meter, so I pulled into the spot.

I put all the coins I had in the meter.  But it only gave me something like 36 minutes on the meter, which I knew wasn't enough time.  So I asked a woman nearby if she had change for a dollar.  "No.  I don't have any- sorry."

I asked another man I saw.  He gave me the same quick answer.

I asked two more men, and they both said they didn't have any change.  One recommended I ask someone at the hotel down the street.

And it occurred to me that these people might think I'm homeless and panhandling for money.  And I wondered, "Is this my karmic punishment for not giving that man earlier today the money he asked for?"

No one offered me a water, and if they had, I would have so gladly accepted it.  It's hot out there, people! But fortunately, the hotel was able to give me my change.  But it was a hassle, and it was frustrating. I'm pretty sure, that on this point, me and the homeless man could agree.