My Divorce from Facebook

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I know, dramatic right?  But if you think about it, divorce is a good way to look at it.

Think about your relationship with Facebook.  When you first met him, you were excited, giddy.

Look at all these people you could find!  So & so from high school?!  Wow look at how much he aged!  Friend request!  Oh, and look at her!  Of course she married a doctor.  I never really liked her.  Friend request!  Oh boy.  Look at joe schmoe requesting me as a friend, like I don’t remember all the drama that he caused in high school.  Accept!  Omg, look at her!  I am so happy she found me!  Accept!  I wonder if she is still friends with that one; let me scroll her friends to see.  Wow, she IS!  Friend request!  I totally forgot about him too!  Friend request!

Remember how that went?

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Then, look at all you could do on Facebook!  You mean to tell me that I can play games WITH these ‘friends’?!  Sign me up!  I can grow virtual produce and have that farm I always wanted?  Yes, please!  I can ‘like’ Justin Beiber, Ellen Degeneres, Kanye West and Oprah Winfrey!?  Sounds great!  Do you think they will respond to me?

All of that excitement, like a relationship, is like the honeymoon phase of a relationship.  After a while you have 100+ ‘friends’, and you are sharing quips and memories of high school, college, or the old days.  You catch up with people, and laugh at their e-card posts, and cat videos.  What a way to relax at the end of a work day.

Then, and it is a different time period for everyone, you find yourself on Facebook, looking at all the posts made by your ‘friends’, and they all start to look the same.  You are getting annoyed at joe schmoe’s political posts now; you had no idea he leaned so far to the right!  You begin to wish there was a way to block his posts without offending him.  Then, you find out how and, whew, thank goodness that is over!  Whoa, when did so & so become so racist?  We went to the same high school and hung out together all the time.  How could this happen?  Delete.  Over and over you see posts that annoy you, but you still keep scrolling.  For what?  You wouldn’t take someone talking to you like that in person, why would you accept it on Facebook?  But you ignore and keep scrolling.

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Soon, you find that you are only communicating religiously with a few people, and the rest of your ‘friends’ really don’t care.  Or, out of the 100+ friends you have, some are just trolling your posts; virtual peeping toms watching your every move, but then still asking how life is when you speak to them.  You wouldn’t let someone peep into your window in real life, would you?

At the end stages of my personal relationship with Facebook, I found myself clicking ‘like’ on mediocre things, and only commenting on a handful of people’s posts.  I was wasting time scrolling and refreshing; television shows were the soundtrack to my loafing on the couch as I did.  I read articles about deleting Facebook in the past, but I didn’t think I would take them seriously.  I remember pinning on Pinterest a link to the steps to deleting Facebook for good, just in case.  Last week, I called for my divorce.

I messaged people I wanted to make sure knew I was gone, giving them my cell number and email address.  What is funny is the people I gave that information to, had it pre-Facebook anyhow.  Think about it.  Who on your Facebook ‘friends’ list would you, sincerely, want to give your personal information to?  It’s worth pondering!  Anyhow, I then began the process of deletion.  It was scary, but I did it.

On February 12, 2015, my emancipation from Facebook was complete.

What happened after I deleted was amazing.  People could not believe I did it!  Questions like, “How does it feel?”, “How was your first Facebook-free weekend?”, “So, why no more Facebook?” began to flood in.  My answer to all these questions were simple: I feel fine.  It went fine.  It was a distraction.  It is amazing to me how difficult that simple answer is for people to accept.  How could someone NOT want to be on Facebook?!  Here is what I learned in my brief time free of Facebook:

  1. Facebook offers people a false sense of community.  Sure, you have 100+ friends, but when you are feeling low, or need someone, how many of those ‘friends’ are there for you?  This includes ‘family-as-friends’.  The same ones you would call off of Facebook are the same ones that are there for you on Facebook.  Nothing changes.  All those ‘likes’, and comments only assist you for a small amount of time.  Then, you are there with the same problem, calling the same people.  Facebook has done nothing to help you, has it?
  2. Facebook deals you drama that you wouldn’t normally accept in your life; just because it is on a computer screen doesn’t make it any different.  If you are democrat, pro-life, pro-equality, posts by your ‘friends’ and ‘family-as-friends’, are only going to annoy you if you share different views.  Often times, you don’t realize that these people have such rigid views.  Then, when you see them offline, you are supposed to pretend that you never read anything they wrote?  If you don’t accept something offline, don’t accept it online.
  3. Facebook only causes problems with the people you have offline relationships with.  How many times have you heard, “didn’t you see my post?”, “how come you didn’t ‘like’ it?”  It has become a platform for passive-aggressiveness all around.  I will admit, I used Facebook to release venom I had stored up in me as well at points in time, but it did nothing to solve my problems.  It exacerbated them.  What ever happened to having discussions with people?  Now people are throwing ‘friends’ and ‘family-as-friends’ shade online, and then expecting life to be wine and roses when you meet up at the annual barbecue.  Life doesn’t work that way, but Facebook has allowed people to think that it does.  Hell, that post got forty-three likes!
  4. Facebook makes you feel bad about your life.  Or, it makes you judge how you are living it.  Have you scrolled through someone’s vacation pictures thinking, “I make more money than they do.  Why can I not afford to take vacations like this?”  Or, “She is such a good mom.  Why didn’t I think to do that with my kids?”  I could go on and on with the comparisons we make, but it would take up the rest of this post.  Facebook makes us critically look at our lives and judge ourselves against other people’s lives.  There is that one ‘friend’ who posts that you always say, “Wow so & so, you really have your life together!”, or secretly loathe them for their successes.  Facebook certainly does nothing to boast your self-esteem.
  5. Facebook is a time sucker.  Days before my divorce, I was talking to a co-worker, and I asked her, “How do you find so much time to read with your crazy life?”  She volunteers for a dog rescue, has nine dogs in her home (some are fosters), has personal issues, attends regular college basketball games and is always busy with work.  She said she has much more quiet time than I do, even with all of those things happening in her life.  So, I assessed my time and what I did when I come home from work.  I have a million books I want to read, and I needed to find out why I had no time to do so.  After watching my hours go by, there it was.  Facebook.  Scrolling, reading, catching up on things with my ‘friends’ that I missed since I logged in that morning.  Then, logging in to see what I missed after that.  My laptop was open all the time, and when it wasn’t, I was on my cell phone.  Think about how often you are attached to electronics for no reason.  You will see how much time you have in life that is being wasted!

Now, I know the many advantages to social media, and I am not condemning social media as a whole.  I know that people are missing people are found, and lives are saved using Facebook.  I applaud Facebook for those one-in-a-million incidents.  Thank God for it!  But, on a daily basis, it does nothing for me.  So, on February 12, 2015, I signed my divorce document to leave Facebook.

In the six days I have been gone, I have finished a book, and half of another one.  Life is good.

Here is the link to the steps to take to leave Facebook.  If you feel a divorce is in your future, be sure to read it:

How To Delete Facebook

 

10 Day Blogging Challenge: Days 6 & 7

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I am behind having missed yesterday, so I decided to double up this morning!  Turn offs and guilty pleasures are on tap for today, thanks to this challenge put on by Sharon’s Book Nook!

Day 6: Five Turn Offs

  1. People with negative/bad attitudes – I try to live my life in a positive way, and when I am around people who constantly complain, it really drags me down.  Also, when people simply have a piss-poor attitude in general, I find it difficult to be around them.  I am not saying that I am above having bad days, because I have them more than I would like to admit.  I am talking about those that it is ingrained in: sucking teeth at stupid things, rolling eyes and dismissive attitude when things are not exactly how they think they should be.  I simply will not be associated with people like that anymore.
  2. Ignorant/Helpless People – I am not referring to those that have valid problems in life.  Mental illness is something that I live with in a small capacity, and I know those that simply cannot help themselves because it is clinical.  I get that.  I am talking about those that CHOOSE to have others do everything for them.  Lazy people.  The whiners that expect hand-ups when they are perfectly capable of getting up and walking across the room to get something themselves.  Also, I cannot take people who choose to stay narrow-minded and not entertain other sides of stories or situations.  I am not saying that everyone should believe the same thing, I am saying just be open to listening to someone else without placing judgement.  There is WAY too much of that going on in this country.
  3. Sheep – No, I am not talking about the animal.  I am talking about those that follow a trend, rumor or otherwise, simply for the sake of fitting in and staying mainstream.
  4. Fake Celebrity – Kardashians, Hiltons, any reality show “celebrity” – what a false message they send young people about life.  I have a difficult time thinking that Snookie has published TWO books.  Since when is the television channel, TLC a reality TV station?
  5. Politics –  Can we agree as a people who no matter who we vote in, they are going to suck at something and thrive at something?  Why are we divided like we are?  Vote for the least offensive and move on.  If you don’t like it, run for office.  It is as simple as that.  I HATE political attack ads &  people on their high horses.

 

 

Day 7: Four Guilty Pleasures

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The TV Show, Dallas – I was so excited when TNT revamped this ’80’s television drama, and was equally devastated when I found out that they cancelled it after three seasons.  Not only is the eye-candy good, but it was rich with nonsense and drama.

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Grey’s Anatomy – Now, I did not begin watching this television show in real-time until a couple of years ago.  I ended up catching up on it through a Lifetime marathon from beginning to end (at the time).  Now, no one gets between me and my TV on Thursday Nights.

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Carbs – Oh yes!  That evil food product that everyone avoids!  I love breads, chips, cheeses etc.  Until the day that I am told that it is life or death to stop consuming this heavenly group of organic compounds, I will enjoy every single bite!

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Music – Now normally this would not be considered a “guilty pleasure”, but I listen to EVERYTHING.  You can walk into my office and hear anything from P!nk, Britney Spears, Foo Fighters, Barry Manilow, Metallica, Jay-Z, etc.  I like to say that I have musical multiple personality disorder lol  I enjoy it all!!  So if you hear me singing Sweet Caroline, just join in 🙂

10 Day Blogging Challenge, Day 4

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This is one of the most difficult of Sharon’s Book Nook 10 Day Blogging Challenge.  I love all of my posts, so to choose seven is difficult.  But, I did it!  I give to you:

Day 4: 7 Favorite Blog Posts from My Blog

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A Very Pinterest Housewarming Party

I had such a blast planning and entertaining for the first time in my new home, I had to choose this as one of my favorites!  There are great links to quick and easy recipes that can be used for up and coming holiday parties!

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New Poem! Silence

As of this post, I had not written a new poem in a couple of years.  To write one and then share it is a big deal.  This is definitely one of my favorite posts!

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Casting Off My Shackles

Depression is a bitch.

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Pinned It, Did It Wednesday – Coffee Station

This, by far, is my favorite Pinned It, Did It!  I love my coffee station!

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Battle At The Family Reunion

I took the Blogging University, Blogging 101 class, and in this post I had to post original work using dialogue.  I am uncomfortable with it, but I think I did a pretty good job here!

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My Love Affair With Writing

This post reminds me why I love to write, and why I need to continue!

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My Hometown

Any time I can write about my home town is a good post.  This is my love letter to Buffalo.

A Very Pinterest Housewarming Party

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Last week, we were finally ready to open our home for our first celebration!   I have never been to a housewarming before, nor have I been a part of throwing one, so I headed off to Pinterest to see what others had posted for ideas.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted my pet together to look like, but I knew three things that I wanted: (1) I wanted it to be an Open House atmosphere so that people didn’t feel like they had to stay a long time and they could come and go as they wanted to; (2) I wanted the food to be bite sized and convenient in case people wanted to wander and eat.  Plates and silverware are cumbersome, so small plates were the way to go; (3) I wanted to incorporate a taste of our home town, Buffalo, NY, into our food.  A taste of the north in the south, if you will.  So, off to Pinterest I went!

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I love anything caprese, so these caprese bites were a must-have on my table.  I didn’t need a recipe for this one, but I did see a close up of the picture of it here.  I used decorative tooth picks with frills, and skewered a basil leaf, cube of fresh mozzarella cheese and cherry tomato on it, attaching the leaf at the top and the bottom, hugging the cheese and tomato.  I drizzled olive oil and balsamic vinegar on them at the last-minute before serving.  I knew that a crudite platter was something that is a must, so I made sure I had one.  I found an adorable way to house dips on Pinterest as well.  again, this is something I just did by looking at the picture, no recipe needed.

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On to the “entrée” and the tastes of home.  I made these tasty Beef on Weck Crescent Rolls and Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels.  If you are not familiar with what “weck” is, you are not alone.  The majority of the country doesn’t!  It is simply the caraway seeds and coarse salt on top of the crescent roll that makes it “weck”.  Traditionally in Buffalo, when you order a Beef on Weck, you would get a tender roast been sandwich on a roll with caraway and salt on top with beef au jus.  Here, the roast beef is rolled with mozzarella cheese and then topped with the weck topping and backed.  I found the idea for the rolls without the weck here.  The filling for the Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels is traditionally warmed up as a dip and served with celery, carrots and nacho chips, but this post showed how to spread the filling into a tortilla, wrap and cut it into pieces.  That fit right in to my “bites” theme, so I hopped on it!  These two were the biggest hit of the party!

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For dessert I found a post for Chocolate Dipped Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries, and I knew that had to be one of my choices!  I was preparing these the night before, and I was worried about the chocolate dip on the outside of the strawberries sweating off once they got to room temperature again, so I decided to fold mini chocolate chips into the cheesecake filling before I filled them.  I also made french vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting ala Duncan Hines for the cake lovers =)  Strawberries are light and sweet at this time of year, and they did not disappoint with that filling!

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Last, but not least, I wanted to my new friends off with a taste from our family kitchen.  We love making and canning salsa when tomatoes are in abundance, so we did just that!  We shared our recipe with them as well.   Our family could eat Mexican food forever, so salsa was the best choice to share!  We saw this idea to get addresses for thank you cards and future correspondence with our new friends, and did that as well.  I haven’t changed over my telephone book since 2005, and there were many changes to it since I started it.  With that, I used this idea as an excuse to re-do my phone book!  Does anyone else still use the traditional phone book anymore?  I know I live and die by it for cards, etc.

So that was that!  My very Pinterest housewarming party!  I was gifted a lot of wine, and shared laughs and made new friends in our new home.  I cannot wait to host my next shindig!

 

 

Book Review: This Is Where I Leave You

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While thumbing through an Entertainment Magazine recently, I came across an article about the most anticipated movies of 2014.  In it, it featured a movie called, This Is Where I Leave You, based on a book by Jonathan Tropper.  The cast is both an amazing comedic and dramatic force with players like Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Dax Shepard, Rose Byrne, and Jane Fonda.  It was described to be a dark comedy, which I happen to enjoy, and I had a feeling that this book would deliver if I read it before the movie.  My assumption was correct.

I am a huge fan of books written in the first person; its like I am being told a story by a friend over coffee, which makes it personal to me.  This book is written from main character, Judd Foxman’s point-of-view, in a strong male voice.  Ladies, if you ever wanted to know how men think, this book is one to read. I was both amused and pained by Judd’s story telling about his life, family and angst.  His realistic voice made this novel easy to read, and very entertaining.

Judd Foxman comes home one day from work to find his wife cheating on him with his boss.  In them midst of his depression, he finds out that his father has passed away.  He heads home to sit Shiva for his father, a seven-day open house of sorts for the public to come and offer their condolences and share memories.  As you can imagine, getting together adult siblings at any function can be tough, but for an entire week, under these circumstances, and each having their own drama unfold beneath one roof, can make for both humorous and heartbreaking stories.

Looking ahead to the movie now, I am very happy to see how they cast it.  Jason Bateman as Judd Foxman is a spot on casting decision, in my opinion.  If you have ever seen him in movies like Horrible Bosses or The Change-Up, you are familiar with his sarcastic, quick-witted comments and fast comedic delivery.  Couple Bateman with Tina Fey, who plays Bateman’s sister, and who is equally as sharp with her tongue and quick with humor, and you have yourself a recipe for a fantastic movie.  The rest of the players certainly add to the dynamic of the movie as well.  Here is the trailer for the movie, due out in the fall:

I highly recommend this book.  It is a great summer read, with a movie to follow that seems like a wonderful compliment to it.  I am going to try to get my husband to read this book (BAHA!).  No.  Seriously.  I am going to try lol.

What have you read recently?

Pinned It, Did It Wednesday!

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It has been a while since I had a post like this to share!  I am very excited to share this project that has been in my brain even before we moved into our new home.

I never thought about having a coffee station in my home until I saw it on Pinterest.  I, like most people, have my coffee maker on my counter, taking up space.  But when I saw the different ways one could make a coffee station, I grew and more excited about the idea of having one!

I had a hurdle in my way before I could begin: I needed to decide what colors!  At the beginning of the project, this was the color of my walls and what I was working with:

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We purchased the hutch for $50 from a private seller.  It was a very dated piece that could be easily transformed!  My issue with color began in the green block of my kitchen walls.  The sellers painted it this way, and it is not back, but I have a strong aversion to shades of green  The only shades of green that I appreciate are Kelly green and hunter green, and both would not fit in this kitchen.  I do love a yellow kitchen, so I needed to figure out what to paint over the green.

Thinking about aesthetics, I knew I wanted a chevron pattern somewhere in my home, and where better than in this piece?  So, after much consideration, we decided to do shades of gray with our yellow walls.  I decided to do darker with the color block on the wall, and lighter in the coffee station.

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It was a beautiful day to paint outside on Saturday, so that is exactly what we did!  We all had a part in painting this piece.  My son painted the doors, I painted the shelves and backing and assisted my husband with painting the body of the cabinet.

Pinterest gave me a link to someone who did her own chevron pattern in a piece like this one.

Here is the link for you to check it out.

My husband measured out the chevron evenly for me to paint on the backing of the cabinet.

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We used 2in. painters tape to section off our lines.  I used the darker gray wall color I chose for the stripes, as the cabinet was a shade lighter and it would pop some.  Before all of this though, I did paint my backing white.

Here is what the walls look like now:

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Doesn’t that do well together?!  I was grew more and more excited as I pulled off the painters tape!  Now, for the best part of the whole day:

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MY COFFEE STATION!!!

Oh my, did I smile when this project was completed!  I picked up the accents for the shelves from my local hobby store.  You can’t really see it, but the silver item on the top shelf is a mini silver teapot that functions as a kitchen timer!  I purchased that gem for $1!  Not only do I know have a conversation piece in my kitchen, but it is functional to hold all of my k-cups in the cabinet and offers me more counter space!

If you like the colors, I purchased them from Home Depot.  The cabinet color is a Behr color called Anonymous and the wall color, also Behr, is called Slate.

So, what do you think?  Do you have any pieces like this in your kitchen?

Hometown Visit

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It has been a bit since I posted, or participated in any Writing 101 assignments because my family and I have traveled to our hometown to celebrate my parents-in-law’s 50th wedding anniversary!

We have been in town since Wednesday, and it has been one visit after another.  If there is one thing I dislike about traveling home to visit, it is that we seem to only have small amounts of time to visit and catch up with family and friends before it is on to the next one.  It makes it tough for me; I start to feel reacquainted, and then I am back to leaving again.  This moving away from home stuff is difficult.  Though it has been only a year and a half, it feels like we have been gone forever.

Tonight, I get to see all of my friends at a party my best friend is throwing, and that always makes for a good time.  More memories, more small amounts of time and opportunities to bottle up some love and laughter to take back to VA with me.

I am grateful for my family and friends and miss them every single day.  My advice for this Saturday is to go out and make memories with family and/or friends!