Sunday, February 5, 2017

4089 and counting

It's Superbowl Sunday!  Just another reason for Americans to consume, consume and consume some more.  I'm not saying that I don't enjoy the game and the food, but do I need to buy balloons, party goods and special plates?  I think not.  The past several years have seen us host a party - lots of money spent on food, enjoying good times with our friends and then the biggie clean up the next day.  Most of the time I would take post-Superbowl Monday off because I had a messy house to straighten up.  Kind of crazy to sacrifice a PTO day to clean up after a party, right?

This year is different.  The hubs and I are going to stay in - just the two of us - make some special hamburgers (consisting of cooked bacon, shredded cheese and then topped with a cooked egg and avocado slices).  I might have a cocktail - I might not.  The hubs rode his bike 94 miles today so I don't expect him to last to half time, but he might surprise me as he is taking a little siesta while I write this.  I completed my first workout on my P90X3 DVDs today - a kick butt workout!  A simple Superbowl - I like it.

As I journey through this early retirement planning, the one chord that keeps striking with me is the word 'simple'.  I want a simple life.  As I look around our house, I can start to feel stress and angst.  It's a mess.  Not dirty - messy.  Both of us don't like to put things away and the hubs works from home, so it spills into other rooms instead of just the office.  There's a blog called 365 Less Things where this woman began decluttering one item a day for a whole year.  I think I will start today.  I looked at my desk and saw all these Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons sitting in one of the slots (it's a secretary desk).  I haven't shopped in that store since I don't know when.  If I shop nowadays, it's online.  If I need a BBB coupon, I can find it online.  Bye bye, BBB coupons!

I wonder what I will get rid of tomorrow..........

Saturday, February 4, 2017

4090 Days and counting

I have a dream and goal for myself.........to retire when I hit 56 years old.  The idea came to me one day within the past 3 or 4 months.  My Dad retired at age 56 - he closed his business, sold the inventory, the land, our family house and moved us all to Florida.  I was 12 at the time and I really didn't know my Dad.  When I got up in the morning, he was gone to work and he could come home around 5:15 - 5:30 p.m., take a shower and the first time I would really see him would be at the dinner table.  By 7:00 p.m. he was asleep on the couch in our family room.  My Dad made interior and exterior iron railings.  Raw steel would come into his shop, and he would weld, grind, shape, form, paint (several coats) and install them.  By himself.  Five days a week.  To say he was tired at the end of the day was an understatement, which is why I never knew my Dad until he retired & moved us to Florida.

Now at the ripe age of 44 (and my Dad will turn 90 this year), I'm reflecting on my life and reading alot of blogs and re-evaluating my life.  Maybe it's a mid-life crisis.  Maybe I'm just waking up from the consumerist train.  Whatever it is, I want more out of my life than this train ride I'm on.

There are a ton of blogs out there about minimalism, frugality, simple living, early retirement, financial independence, etc.  I'm not trying to compete with them or do something different than they are.  I'm using this blog as documentation of my journey to get to age 56 and semi-retire, or totally retire, or became an entrepreneur or whatever I decide to do.  I do have 11 years, and that's a long time, but I'm curious to see what happens and how I will do it.  This blog is keeping me accountable.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

4 Easy Steps to Go Back & Scrap Previous Years

"I'll never catch up!"  This is a common saying in the scrapbooking community.  We are all there and we all feel it.  We have boxes and containers of photos and momentos.  It's OK - you'll never be 'caught up'. And that is one of the beauties of our hobby:  it's ongoing.   So, how can you start to feel 'caught up'?  Try the Project Life (by Becky Higgins) way of catching up to make a dent in your photos and feel accomplished.  Here's how:

1.  Decide on your photos
Look through your computer or actual printed photos and decide which ones you want to scrap into a Project Life Album.  If they are digital, look for a deal from Walgreens, CVS, Shutterfly or your favorite photo printing manufacturer.  Get them printed.

2.  Decide on your pocket layout
Don't overthink this step and make it simple on yourself.  I use the same style for my Project Life albums because I don't have the time to resize photos and I tend to hold the camera the same way so 99% of my photos are 6"x4".  For me, I use Design A, which allows for 4 photos and 4 journaling cards.  Boom - done!

3.  Decide on your photo placement
Do you want to group them by day, by week or by year?  Make it easy and stick to it.  

4.  Journal and Embellish
Let's face it - you aren't going to remember everything that happened from 4 or 5 years ago!  It's ok - journal what you do remember about that photo - even if it is just who is in the photo or where you were.  The great thing about pictures is they do prompt you to remember details about an event but don't beat yourself up if you don't remember.

And that's it.  Buy your products, print your photos and make some time to get 'caught up'!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Why Memory Preservation? Caring for your History Part IV

In today's post, we are going to see how you can preserve those old VCR tapes that you have laying around:


VCR Tapes

Over the last decade VCR tape has become a favorite way of preserving memories. VCR tape, however, is even more fragile than color photographs and thus individuals who use it to store family remembrances must take great care to use it with caution.

Understanding the Problem

VCR tape is created when metal oxides, lubricants, and plasticizers are "bound" to a "base" of clear polyester tape. This mix of chemicals serves a variety of purposes. Metal oxide records the magnetic impulses that are "read" by the VCR to recreate images on a television screen. Plasticizers help keep the film supple so it is less likely to break or stretch. Lubricants serve a similar purpose by helping to keep the tape moving smoothly through the mechanical transport system that moves the film from one spool, past the VCR "head," the device that "reads" the magnetic pulses recorded on the metal oxide, and on to the other spool.

Each of the component parts of the finished tape is subject to unique problems and a failure of any one of them can make the tape unplayable. Because the mix of component parts is complex even the best quality tape can begin to degrade quite quickly, often within a year or two after its manufacturing. Even under ideal conditions the binder that holds together this mix of chemicals is very delicate and it is usually quite easy to scrape off parts of the chemicals from the base. For whatever reason as degradation occurs the image that is played back on a television screen becomes poorer and poorer, until it can no longer be viewed.

The Enemies of VCR Tape

VCR tape is subject to harm from a variety of sources. Just as with paper and photographs heat can speed the chemical reactions that cause the tape to fail and humidity can encourage the growth of various biological agents that can destroy the tape.

"Binder breakdown" is a frequent cause for tape failure. Like all adhesive agents, as the binder ages it begins to lose its "stick." As this happens microscopic pieces of oxide as well as the other chemicals imbedded in the binder slowly fall away. As each bit of oxide is lost, a small piece of information is lost creating various problems when the tape is played.

Because VCR tape can only be viewed by playing it through a complicated mechanical device, a VCR, it is also frequently damaged by mechanical problems within a VCR. Dirt is the most frequent problem. Dirt, even microscopic particles, if located in strategic spots on the transport mechanism or VCR head can cause continual scratching of the VCR tapes. Each scratch scrapes off a bit more material from the polyester tape base and each loss of material further degrades the image.

Preserving VCR Tape

There is no long-term strategy for preserving VCR tape. It is reasonable to expect that most VCR tape, for one reason or another, will be unplayable after approximately a decade. Within this short life-span, however, it is possible to take steps that will keep the tape and the images preserved on the tape, in better condition, thus allowing for a higher quality copy of the tape to eventually be made.
Practical suggestions for maintaining VCR tape in good condition include:

Buy name brand VCR tape. The chemicals used by various manufacturers, quality control practices, and other procedures vary dramatically between manufacturers, with "no-name" tape usually being made as cheaply as possible. Lacking good studies on the reliability of various brands of VCR tape, a consumer can at least fall back on the advice that you often get what you pay for, and buying the cheapest tape available is asking for preservation trouble.

Make a "preservation" copy of the VCR tape as soon as it is shot. This can be done at home by mating two VCRs or it can be done at many shops which do VCR repairs. Check the preservation copy once a year, but otherwise never play it. This "pristine" copy will serve you well when the time comes to copy the tape onto a new tape. Pull out a second, "user" copy of the tape to show friends, neighbors, and relatives. Although with each viewing the user copy will slowly degrade, the images will be preserved in the best possible state on the "preservation" copy.

VCR tape should be viewed and rewound annually. Annual viewing makes it possible to detect problems before they lead to the catastrophic failure of the tape. Annual rewinding helps avoid a number of problems that can occur as the tightly wound VCR tape rests up against itself.

Always use a clean, well-functioning VCR machine to play the tape. Microscopic particles of dirt can cause irreparable damage to the tape as it races past the VCR head. Professional cleaning of a VCR machine, including demagnetization of the head, is always a good idea before the family tapes are pulled out for their annual screening. It is particularly important to make sure the VCR has recently been serviced before playing the preservation copy of your tapes.

Assume VCR tape will have to be copied. The medium of tape is very fragile and subject to a variety of fatal harms. Plan on copying tape at least once every ten years.



VCR Tape: A Checklist


  • Buy name brand tape.
  • Make a "preservation" copy of family tapes that will be used for subsequent copying.

  • View and rewind VCR tape annually in order to find image degradation before significant tape failure occurs.

  • Play family tapes (particularly a preservation copy) through a recently cleaned and adjusted VCR machine.

  • Assume VCR tape is a temporary medium and plan on regularly copying the tape.



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Everyone Loves a Sale!

Did you know you can save up to 15% in the 2016 Stampin Up catalog?  That's right, if you bundle these awesome items, it can result in savings for you!

A Nice Cuppa Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
A Nice Cuppa Photopolymer Bundle
Price: $39.00
Acorny Thank You Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Acorny Thank You Photopolymer Bundle
Price: $28.00
All about Sugar Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
All About Sugar Photopolymer Bundle
Price: $42.50
Amazing Birthday Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Amazing Birthday Clear-Mount Bundle
Price: $40.75
Amazing Birthday Wood-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Amazing Birthday Wood-Mount Bundle
Price: $47.50
B.Y.O.P. Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
B.Y.O.P. Photopolymer Bundle
Price: $49.25
Balloon Celebration Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Balloon Celebration Photopolymer Bundle
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Banner Banter Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Banner Banter Clear-Mount Bundle
Price: $22.75
Banner Banter Wood-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Banner Banter Wood-Mount Bundle
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Be the Star Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Be The Star Clear-Mount Bundle
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Be the Star Wood-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Be The Star Wood-Mount Bundle
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Bear Hugs Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Bear Hugs Clear-Mount Bundle
Price: $41.50
Bear Hugs Wood-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Bear Hugs Wood-Mount Bundle
Price: $48.25
Beautiful Bunch Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Beautiful Bunch Clear-Mount Bundle
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Beautiful Bunch Wood-Mount Bundle
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Bloomin' Love Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Bloomin' Love Photopolymer Bundle
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Botanical Blooms Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Botanical Blooms Photopolymer Bundle
Price: $51.75
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Butterfly Basics Wood-Mount Bundle
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Celebrate Today Photopolymer Bundle
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Crazy about You Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
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Crazy About You Photopolymer Bundle
Price: $42.50
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Cupcake Party Clear-Mount Bundle
Price: $29.75
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Cupcake Party Wood-Mount Bundle
Price: $34.75
Embellished Ornaments Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Embellished Ornaments Clear-Mount Bundle
Price: $41.50
Embellished Ornaments Wood-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!


Price: $48.25
Festival of Trees Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Festival Of Trees Photopolymer Bundle
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Flower Patch Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Flower Patch Photopolymer Bundle
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Flower Shop Wood-Mount Bundle
Price: $34.00
Flurry of Wishes Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Flurry Of Wishes Photopolymer Bundle
Price: $33.00
Grateful Bunch Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Grateful Bunch Photopolymer Bundle
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Happy Home Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Happy Home Clear-Mount Bundle
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Happy Home Wood-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
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Happy Notes Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Happy Notes Clear-Mount Bundle
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Happy Notes Wood-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Happy Notes Wood-Mount Bundle
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Happy Times Project Life Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Happy Times Project Life Bundle
Price: $34.75
Hello Baby Boy Project Life Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Hello Baby Boy Project Life Bundle
Price: $34.75
Hello Baby Girl Project Life Bundle  by Stampin' Up!
Hello Baby Girl Project Life Bundle
Price: $34.75
Holly Jolly Greetings Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Holly Jolly Greetings Clear-Mount Bundle
Price: $31.25
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Holly Jolly Greetings Wood-Mount Bundle
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Homemade For You Wood-Mount Bundle
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Honeycomb Hello Clear-Mount Bundle
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Honeycomb Hello Wood-Mount Bundle
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Let's Get Away Project Life Bundle  by Stampin' Up!
Let's Get Away Project Life Bundle
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Love Story Project Life Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Love Story Project Life Bundle
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Merry Everything Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Merry Everything Clear-Mount Bundle
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Merry Everything Wood-Mount Bundle
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Moments Like These Project Life Bundle
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Number of Years Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Number Of Years Photopolymer Bundle
Price: $49.25
Oh My Goodies Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Oh My Goodies Clear-Mount Bundle
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Oh My Goodies Wood-Mount Bundle
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Party Wishes Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Party Wishes Clear-Mount Bundle
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Party Wishes Wood-Mount Bundle
Price: $37.25
Party with Cake Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Party With Cake Clear-Mount Bundle
Price: $42.50
Party with Cake Wood-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Party With Cake Wood-Mount Bundle
Price: $49.25
Peaceful Pines Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Peaceful Pines Photopolymer Bundle
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Petite Petals Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
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Pictogram Punches Clear-Mount Bundle
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Pictogram Punches Wood-Mount Bundle
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Playful Pals Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Playful Pals Photopolymer Bundle
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Project Life Memories in the Making Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Project Life Memories in the Making Photopolymer Bundle
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Reason for the Season Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Reason For The Season Photopolymer Bundle
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Rose Wonder Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Rose Wonder Photopolymer Bundle
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Simply Sports Clear-Mount Bundle
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Simply Sports Wood-Mount Bundle
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Six-Sided Sampler Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Six-Sided Sampler Clear-Mount Bundle
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Six-Sided Sampler Wood-Mount Bundle
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Snow Place Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Snow Place Photopolymer Bundle
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Something for Baby Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Something For Baby Clear-Mount Bundle
Price: $39.75
Something for Baby Wood-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Something For Baby Wood-Mount Bundle
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Stake Your Claim Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Stake Your Claim Clear-Mount Bundle
Price: $37.25
Stake Your Claim Wood-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Stake Your Claim Wood-Mount Bundle
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Sunburst Sayings Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Sunburst Sayings Clear-Mount Bundle
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Sunburst Sayings Wood-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Sunburst Sayings Wood-Mount Bundle
Price: $45.75
This Is the Life Project Life Bundle  by Stampin' Up!
This Is The Life Project Life Bundle
Price: $35.50
Vintage Leaves Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Vintage Leaves Photopolymer Bundle
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Watercolor Wings Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Watercolor Wings Photopolymer Bundle
Price: $36.50
Wonderous Wreath Photopolymer Bundle by Stampin' Up!
Wonderous Wreath Photopolymer Bundle
Price: $43.25
You're So Sweet Clear-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
You're So Sweet Clear-Mount Bundle
Price: $50.00
You're So Sweet Wood-Mount Bundle by Stampin' Up!
You're So Sweet Wood-Mount Bundle
Price: $56.75
To get your items, send me an email at janfoselli@yahoo.com and I'll place your order today! 


     






  Stampin' Up! © 2016

Just the Scraps.....

Bits and pieces of our lives.