Friday, March 09, 2018

Friday Already?

To be fair, I had a really bad day yesterday, and I never even remembered my resolve to blog on Thursdays. But just keeping at the blogging is important, even if I do mess up, so here I am. I'm so glad that spring is on the way, even if winter decided to remind us that it's not quite gone yet yesterday. Anyone else have Seasonal Affective Disorder and have a rough winter this year? Of course, I didn't use my light box as reliably as I could have, so it's partially on me. My psychiatrist gave me an article recently about a light box being more useful to bipolar people if it is used around noon, so I might try that as March slowly winds away.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Where Have All the Lutherans Gone?

Talking with Scottius led me to blog today about something that I think about a lot, which is why there doesn't seem to be a strong conservative Lutheran community. The church Mr. BTEG and I currently belong to is a good distance away from our home, to begin with. While I suppose it would be asking too much to have a solid church actually in my community, it'd be nice to have one closer by. I don't feel any sort of connection to anyone at my current church. In addition, there's not really much of a strong Lutheran presence online anymore. Not only are bloggers gone, but people that I used to see on Google Plus aren't there, and Facebook is dying all on its own. When you don't have a church family, and you don't have an online church family, you can start feeling pretty detached from your church.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Working at It

I've been doing a lot of thinking about blogging, ever since one of my fellow doll bloggers made a post about the benefits of it. I enjoy the doll blogging, but most of the regular bloggers from when I first got started on this blog aren't around any more, and the Lutheran blogging world is pretty much non-existent. However, not only do I still enjoy blogging, it still seems to be the best platform for me. Besides which, as my doll friend's post pointed out, blogging can make you a better communicator and writer. That's always a good thing, so even if I never had a huge following here, it will help me provide a better doll blog too! Don't worry, I won't be blogging about dolls here, but doll collecting truly is where a lot of my time, blogging and money goes, now that my daughters are starting to make their own way into the world.

Both of my daughters and I each have several YouTube vloggers that we like to watch, although I'm waiting for some of my favorites to be shut down any day now. However, what the most successful vloggers seem to do is provide regular content. Even if it's crap content, they get something new up one or two days a week. So for now, I'm going to try Mondays and Thursdays as my days to blog here. Even if I have nothing that seems exciting to say, I'm going to try to put up a new post every week on those days.

For this post, let me tell you about what Mr. BTEG and I were able to do with some of the "crumbs" we received in our tax refund this year. For starters, this past Saturday we drove down to the IKEA in Columbus, Ohio, and picked up a cart full of items that we've been needing for quite some time, like a mattress, a set of dishes (most of our old plates got broken or chipped during the child-rearing years,) and a bookcase with glass doors for my doll collection! The IKEA warehouse makes a Costco or Sam's Club look like a little mom-and-pop operation.
The BTEG family has not taken a vacation in many years, partially due to commitments like school, but largely due to finances. Mr. BTEG and I both suffer from seasonal depression, which seemed especially bad this year. So this past Sunday, Mr. BTEG and I were able to spend the night at one of my favorite places, Great Wolf Lodge indoor waterpark in Sandusky, Ohio. I'm not a strong swimmer and not really up for large water slides, but there are enough water attractions at GWL to keep me happy, and it's got a very nice restaurant and a few other in-hotel food options handy, so Mr. BTEG and I were able to wind down and relax. Plus, I got some swimming in Sunday afternoon and evening, and Monday morning.

The first time we took a vacation at Great Wolf Lodge was all the way back in 2004. Mr. BTEG was working a contracting job in Chicago during that time, which meant that the girls and I didn't see him as much as of course we were used to. Fortunately, we were already homeschooling, so there were a couple of weeks the girls and I drove out to Chicago and stayed at his apartment there with him. It was even educational, since we visited a lot of the family attractions Chicago has to offer. But we wanted to spend some serious family time at Christmas, and on a contractor's salary, Mr. BTEG was able to afford a couple of nights stay at what I believe at the time was Great Bear Lodge.

Honestly, it was probably one of the best times we had as a family. The girls were young enough that somehow "Santa" managed to sneak all the Christmas presents past them, so that they were truly surprised when they woke up on Christmas morning.
Our eldest had brought some "reindeer food" that she'd made with her Brownie troop. We put that on the balcony the night before, and I scuffed the snow around after they went to bed, to look like the reindeer had come by and snacked on it.

We had a Kids' Cabin room, where the girls had their own little cabin with a bunk bed, a twin-sized bed, and their own game console and TV (the two pictures below are from another Christmas that we spent there.)

Most importantly, we got to spend that Christmas holiday together without worrying about dealing with annoying family, making food, washing dishes, or even going out in the very inclement weather that we were having at the time.
It's one of those times that as a mom of two adults, I still look back on with fondness, and they do too. (They *still* don't know how we managed to sneak all their presents past them.)

So yes, Great Wolf Lodge has wonderful memories for me, but Mr. BTEG and I still found it a very relaxing place to recharge this past weekend, so we can hold on until spring weather gets here to Northeast Ohio (Spring Training notwithstanding, Scottius!)

And I'm going to do my absolute best to put content up here every Monday and Thursday! It might be crap content ;), but it won't be doll-related. And no, my doll stuff is not crap, thankyouverymuch! :)

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Happy New Year!

I've meaning to put up a blog post for a while, because I have some big news, but I never did. I'm out of the habit, not sure anyone reads this thing anymore, etc. But then Scottius Maximus re-emerged from his own blogging hiatus, which gave me the impetus I needed to revisit my own blog. However, this post isn't going to be about 2018, but the last big family event of 2017. Our eldest daughter got married!
As you can guess, the wedding had a Halloween theme. Overall, it was very nice. I'm hoping I won't have to deal with any big events in 2018, however, at least not in my immediate family!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Taking Stock

So the Dancer is officially done with high school, and the Musician is getting married in October! Time to do my own thing is becoming increasingly less scarce. Even though I'm really introverted, I'm still trying to find new ways to get out of the house, that I'll enjoy. I already attend a knit/crochet group once a month, and I'm trying to find people locally who are interested in doll collecting. I like going to baseball games, and it'd be fun to go to a concert once in a while. Neither my husband nor daughters are interested in the same music I am, nor are they interested enough in baseball to swing tickets, for the price.

At the same time, while scanning Google Plus a few days ago, I realized how few of these people online are my actual friends. It was enjoyable having other people to talk to about homeschooling, for example, while I was still doing that. But quite a while back, I realized that during the last period of time when Mr. BTEG and I were especially suffering through a difficult situation, we had absolutely nobody there for us. Our pastor did come and commune us, since Mr. BTEG's health hardly let him leave the house at that time. But it was just Mr. BTEG and I in the day-to-day struggle, me mostly trying to support him and be there for our girls. And now that I have more time to make better friends, even if some of them are still online friends, I don't want to waste thoughts or time or bandwidth on people that I don't have a real relationship with. And with more discretionary income and time, I can focus more on things I've always wanted to try, and maybe make real friends that way too.

This may not become strictly a hobby blog, but I think posting about new things I'm trying, and hopefully new people that I meet, will make for some fun blog posts. I may go back more to posting about current events, if I have a bloggable opinion. Because I like blogging! I've been able to interact and meet with some fun people while I've been writing this blog, and I'm hoping I'll meet more. Next time I blog, it will probably about my lunch date with a friend either in Ohio City or the Tremont neighborhood. I've never been to Tremont, although that neighborhood has been livened up by the development of the Christmas Story House and Museum. Don't know if we'll visit that, but if we do end up in that area, I'll take pictures.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Starting Anew

I find that I love beginnings, of the year, month, even week. It gives me motivation and opportunity to look at my goals, and try to improve my habits to get to where I want to be. I've learned over the years not to try to make huge changes, but to move a little bit in the direction that I want to go. Once I get that in place, I can move on to a further step. Although this is the beginning of a new week, for liturgical Christians, it is also the start of a new church year. This is the first Sunday in Advent, a penitential season leading up to the feast of Christmas. It's definitely not the time to make grandiose proclamations about being a saint in future, but if God's mercies are new every morning, then it can be possible to make a new start!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Making an Appearance

Besides being busy with my everyday life, I've been spending a lot more time on my hobbies, frankly because I need something enjoyable and fulfilling to me, in my life. But people do occasionally pop in here, so I should probably be more active here again too. As I've said, I'm pretty sure this blog has lost me acquaintances from the hobby side of my life, who've come here and read my stuff. But Barb the Evil Genius was already my private online persona, as opposed to using my real name with family and friends on places like Google Plus. I didn't want to create yet another nom de plume, so I'll stick with who I am, where I am, and hope it works out. Honestly, although I can get passionate about my beliefs, I don't bite. :)