Sunday, April 30, 2017

We Have Become a Society of Disrespect

At one time, probably around the years during which you and I were growing up, it was generally considered wrong to defy, mock or disregard authority. We had rules, right? Consequences and expectations which were laid out served to show us what was required, and I think we knew it and more often than not, settled down to meet those guidelines. Today’s parents however, in a large part, appear to be insecure in setting boundaries as well as so desperate for their children’s affection and friendship that they, perhaps unknowingly, have developed into a society of enablers. Did the child screw up at school, fail to study, skip class before an exam? In our current world it seems far more common to blame the teachers, the other kids, “politics” and “the administration”, rather than taking a tough love approach. Does the gaming system get taken away, or the cell phone, to allow more time for homework and study? Often no, because fewer and fewer adults wish to be “the bad guys” and set limits and boundaries.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Juggling, Tricks and Technicalities | Time Management, Part I

I struggle with managing my time. There. I'm coming clean, admitting the struggle is real and that while I absolutely appreciate and value the opportunity to work from home, tasks and prioritizing and hours in the day DO in fact, often get the best of me. (Whew. I said it.) Had I realized that things needed to change? Of course - but seeing it and saying that and actually creating improvement - those are several very different things. It's so easy to become caught up in the details and projects and emails and Stuff That Demands Immediate Attention,  that I just seem to forget the goal for the day was to operate more efficiently, and thus the cycle continues. Until now.


I read an article this morning and was inspired by the ability which supposedly lies within me; apparently I'm more capable that I'd thought to take charge and set goals; to define work objectives and wrestle back control of my hours and minutes. I just have to tap into "what lies within" and learn to set limits and boundaries, because if not, there's no external force that can fix this for me. Confident in this new knowledge and wanting to dive right in, I implement new guidelines for the following day, which is Monday. 

Monday morning: I write and send an email detailing a situation which needs resolution ASAP. Immediately after clicking "send", I realize that omitted from the list was an article which must be written today, and so I spend 40 minutes hurriedly Googling for details and essential ingredients. Although not built into the time frame it's necessary.
Next, I attack the Great Pile of Paperwork. UGH. This is complex on many levels, but as the Pile poses a growing source of irritation and annoyance, I just leap in and being sorting. The goal of knocking out the mountain of papers wasn't clearly defined time-wise, but it does up end up taking more than four hours.

Update: It's Tuesday at 1:50am and I'm finished. I got all three projects done, along with a few smaller tasks, several which were normal but that I failed to include in my estimate for the day. A couple of others had cropped up suddenly with red flags requiring attention (a continual problem for me as I tend to underestimate the time needed to process). 

Despite the article's advice to take on the toughest part first, I wound up leaving the most difficult two things for last. I'm now curious if tackling the most challenging aspects could have helped productivity? At the time, feeling pretty overwhelmed, I opted to take baby steps instead, and looking back now it seems as if restructuring my process and approach could be a better game plan. We'll see what happens on the next run.

#delmarvausa | community advocate | localist | respect | united we stand

Friday, April 21, 2017

Why We Don’t Know Each Other Any More | "The Things We Are Losing"

We are changing rapidly, sliding down the slippery slope of progress, applauding our forward movement and evolution into technology, while at the same time we lose ourselves more each day. Our crazily over-scheduled lives focus around the internet, speed of information and how quickly we can be made happy, and any idea of delaying a purchase until it is saved for, or earned, along with a strange concept called "working for it" appears to be rapidly fading into the past. Because, when you look at life today, it seems it's primarily based around getting everything right now.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Vintage Postcards of Delmarva | Life in Sussex County, Delaware

These images are from postcards featuring areas of Delaware in the southern area of the First State. (Delaware only has three counties....Sussex, Kent and New Castle), however each one has many small towns which are all distinctly different. I recently began exploring many of the nearby places, visiting the historical society websites, walking and touring the main streets and soaking up the stories of yesteryear at their museums and community centers. I'm hoping to feature more information about the individual and unique places that Delaware has to offer in upcoming posts. Please enjoy the trip back in time with these postcards and don't miss the links at the bottom to other collections of photos and memories of the Delmarva Peninsula.

the Brick Hotel on the Circle in Georgetown
For comparison, here's a photo I took in
November '16 during the Return Day parade
Sussex County date but that car....?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Visiting Delmarva | Sights, Signs & Local Attractions of Fenwick Island, Delaware

The town of Fenwick Island is considered by some to be just a shortcut, a blip on the map as they pass through heading south to the larger resort town of Ocean City. And sure, it's a tiny place, tucked just on the other side of the Mason-Dixon Line bordering Delaware and Maryland. But for many, it's magical, with that vibe of "soaking up the summertime" appreciation for the sand, surf and shore that most of us have within us. It's a beloved destination for many who return year after year, often staying faithfully at the same family-owned and operated motels and cottages which fill the two mile long stretch along the Atlantic Ocean. Fenwick Island is more than "just a place", it's an adventure; a ritual of summer; a time for family and friends to gather together and a quieter side of life along the sea. Here are some pictures I've taken over the last few years around the town and it's surrounding streets and neighborhoods......I hope you enjoy strolling through our little beach community with these images. Note: they aren't in geographical order or specifically organized; just photos that I've added here to showcase the area.

The Fenwick Island Surf Shop, established 1983

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Happy Easter | A Collection of Hilarious Cartoons, Vintage Greetings & Cute Stuff

Sometimes you just need to laugh. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend and happy holiday! Double click to open any image in a larger window to download.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Shop Local for Easter ~ Support the Independent Retailers Where You Live!

The upcoming holidays of Easter and Passover offer a wonderful opportunity to visit and shop with the local, independently-owned businesses right in our own neighborhoods. From providing jobs to offering community support, these unique establishments provide layers of distinctive character and quality which cannot be found in a big box store! If you are not lucky enough to know the people behind the counters where you live, perhaps now would be a good time to make a change. Ask friends and neighbors for suggestions, look around and find some small, family-owned gems to try.

Avoid racing through each store and perhaps take a little time to get to know the people behind the counters, the mom and pop business owners and the true heart and soul of the place where you live. Enjoy these explorations with the whole family; make a rule to leave cell phones at home (that goes for you too, parents, as well as kids!), so you can actually participate in talking to one another and interacting. Remember that by shopping small, you aren't wandering around in the mega-sized buildings that everyone just disappears into, but instead view these outings as an opportunity to connect, talk and spend time with each other again.

FYI, if you're going to need some sweet treats, there is nothing like an independent candy shop!

Flowers and plants seem to go hand in hand with Easter. Why not explore your local hardware store, nursery or garden center today?

Often the best part about indie retail shops is finding specialty items that the big box stores don't have.

Well, of course he does, because rabbits are wise. Just like you.

I'm thankful to have the opportunity to visit and enjoy the independent retailers where I live. Matter of fact, the act of "supporting local" almost becomes a lifestyle of sorts, because you wind up forming relationships with the owners and employees and places that you value. Make the smarter choice this coming week. Who knows? You just might find a new favorite experience as you get out and explore!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Visiting Delmarva | Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, Delaware

Craft beer is big news - and big business - and this location slightly south of the state capital of Dover is no exception. Dogfish Head has been evolving and growing over the past few years and it's able to provide an informative and interesting tour experience. Described as a place with "Off-centered ales for off-centered people", they offer daily tours to beer lovers and aficionados. Note: this is just a quick overview of the place, not a techie write-up of the flavors and tastes and variety of brews. I'm not that into beer but was so impressed with the tour that I just wanted to give you a brief run-down of our visit so you can then go see for yourself. What I noticed first, when pulling up to the facility, is the massive size of the operation. Hearing that it's located in one of Delaware's small towns you may be surprised as well when you see it.

There's this great truck parked out front with the iconic oval logo....

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Tales from a Small Business Owner | "Long hours and rescued pets"

One of the short stories which originally appeared as "Juggling", a collection of events, afternoon mishaps and the struggle to balance my retail store, houseful of rescued pets and the reality of working really 12-14 hour days for months during the summer.

I am really not all together. I was only able to remain at work today for just a few hours before the thudding pain in my jaw pain made me decide to call the dentist. Unbelievably, they had an open spot to see me so I put a note on the store door apologizing for “unforeseen circumstances” and raced across town. I’m worried that I won’t make it home in time to check on the pets but this seems to be of a higher priority right now. Diagnosis is possible abscess/infection in root of tooth but not at the tooth level but in the jaw level; I get a prescription for ten days and then appointment to come back and we’ll see what’s really in there. The word “crown” is mentioned in regards to that tooth but if that’s the case she’s going to have to write me a prescription for Xanex first because I don’t do well with long appointments. Or drilling. Or crowns.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Off-Season in Ocean City | Wintertime Views of the Iconic Boardwalk

During the summertime the town of Ocean City roars to life as Maryland's largest vacation spot and favorite beach destination. Everyone wants a ride on that Ferris Wheel overlooking the sparkling skyline of the coastal resort, and no visit would be complete without a stroll on the boardwalk. During the peak season of the warmer months is one of the best times to take photos of the lights, attractions, people and faces along the iconic strip by the ocean, but when that fades away and the crowds return home, the hectic pace is replaced by a slower and quieter version of life. It is then that this place takes on an entirely new facade dotted with vacant windows, silent coaster tracks, colorless signs sitting idle, waiting to glow again, and that spectacular view of a deserted boardwalk that seems to go on forever.....I call the months following Labor Day the time period "after the summer ends", and then by about March that transitions into "before the summer begins".

"Tickets please, tickets......everyone must have a ticket to ride!"
It's usually late October when they take the cars off the Ferris Wheel