Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Holiday Season - It's about more than shopping...

The holidays are a wonderful time to look past our own walls and offer a little happiness to those in need.

This article about a Long Island Veteran losing his home brings helping those in need front and center.

While there's always two sides to every story, the gist of the matter is that while the veteran was away having knee surgery in another state.  The neighborhood and the town, took it upon themselves to demolish his "deemed uninhabitable" home.

Interviews with neighbors, give the impression that none of them ever had any contact with this man and that they were more concerned with appearances than the deeper situation.  A simple knock on the door or an offer of assistance from either the neighbors, the town or both, could have possibly stopped this whole process.
AP Photo/Frank Eltman

My own community, is relatively tight knit as most townhouse developments are.  I notice if I haven't seen someone for awhile, I talk to my neighbors and have a rough idea of what is going on...therefore I worry when something seems out of whack.  There's a difference between being nosy and being aware.  We all like our privacy and at that the same time, feel a sense of security in the knowledge that someone is there, should we need them.

So this season, I ask that everyone takes that extra time to show a neighbor kindness or offer assistance. 

Every year I do my donating to the various food pantries, etc..  This year, I'm more focused on the military and their families.  I found a great site that offers all kinds of options for helping both in service and retired military, as well as their families.

This link from Education.com gives 100 different ideas on

Donate your time to senior living facilities and local charities by visiting

Help the Homeless by signing up with 

Do be careful when googling sites, other than listed above, as the charity business has become home to many scams.  For info on some of the worst charities visit

and you can always check the FTC's Consumer Information site at 

Aside from the info listed above, use this special time of the year to look around you and see who may be in need.  
Maybe it's the small joy of a conversation, a small gift that will brighten their day or the offer of assistance with something that may be a struggle for them (household chores or yard work, a ride to the store or doctor, possibly even helping them to decorate their home for the holidays).  I can tell you that as I get older, dragging all the Christmas stuff down from the attic becomes increasingly more difficult.  I can't imagine having to do this myself when I reach my 60's, 70's or 80's....add to that those with physical disabilities and there are quite a few people out there, who I'm sure would love to decorate for the holidays, but simply can't.

As always, thanks so much for reading and have a wonderful holiday season!

~Pam


Saturday, November 21, 2015

The New Social Media



The thing about having a business online, when you're past a certain age (we'll say 50), is trying to keep up with all the changes that so drastically effect your business.

For some of us, just keeping up with technology is a feat.  On a recent trip to Best Buy, my husband and I probably looked like we had just come out of a time tunnel.  Pointing while ooo'ing and ahh'ing, we'd only been there a year ago but the changes in basic personal technology, were astounding.  The new version of my 7 year old Canon, is now the size of a credit card and don't even get me started on TV's!  We thought we were quite the up to date couple with our Galaxy phones and Samsung flat screens (do they even say that anymore?).  I will admit that our stereo system is the envy of anyone who loves the 1980's...but other than that, we really thought we were keeping up.  A little note on customer service and Best Buy here...as one who has shopped with them from the beginning, I was a little miffed when the sales guy told me that my Best Buy customer info had been deleted because we hadn't been there in 6 months!  Isn't customer service about appreciating those customers who have been with you for years?  But that tell does tell you a thing or two about how quickly people upgrade their items...and honestly, that's a little scary (not to mention, wasteful).

Anyway, back to business...recent changes to G+, reflect an ongoing trend...social is now supposed to be, you guessed it, "Social".  More interaction and ongoing conversations, less memes & more meat, less shameless self promotion and more true info, although I'm not sure that some people really want to learn, so that could be a problem...but you get my point.
This comes at a perfect time for me as I've always been uncomfortable with shameless self promotion anyway and I love to learn...the trick however, will be teaching this old brain new tricks.

My advice to everyone is read, read and then read some more.  Figure out what is best for your business and focus on it, instead of posting items (or whatever product you're selling) willy nilly, to anywhere that will let you.
Get to know some of your fellow sellers and be supportive of other businesses.
Spend a little more time curating boards or collections of your interests and not  just your business interests...even I get tired of seeing "Vintage" in front of everything.

If you're on G+ and trying to get used to the changes...remember, the laptop became the new PC and now Mobile is the new laptop.  Whether we use Mobile for all of it's capabilities or not, our customers do. 
We have some good posts and comments in our Vintage & Antiques Community that address the new changes on G+ and I highly recommend this post
The Future of Google+ from Martin Shervington.

If you're one of my vintage readers, think of it as upcycling...taking what is old in our minds and turning it into something new, all the while keeping that old charm:).

Have a great weekend and as always, thanks for reading!

Pam

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Vintage American

As a middle aged woman, striving to adapt to a changing world and changing country, I find that I'm at odds with many things.
This blog was initially intended to focus on only vintage/antique business topics but as time has gone on...I find myself more concerned with the events of our times.

I think many of us have lost ourselves, forgetting who we are and what we stand for.  Some of us, possibly fearful of speaking up, lest we be hit with a barrage of anti-American sentiment.

We come from tough stock.  First we left what we were comfortable with, to enter a world unknown...in the name of freedom.
"Edward was an apprentice tanner and leathermaker. He was present at the first Thanksgiving Feast at Plymouth. He was among the first men to explore the shores of the New World in search of a safe landing point. In all likelihood one could claim that he is figured in the famous etching of the landing of the Mayflower. Will Doty was a Civil War veteran and resided in Pompton Township." by Richard Townsend with Photo taken from northjersey.com

...and then we did it again
Ellis Island 1892

Many of our ancestors passed through the doors of Ellis Island, going on to endure years of poverty while committing themselves to hard work, with the hope of giving their children a better life.

We continue this tradition today, with countless numbers of immigrants making a new home and new life here every day. 

The education system began cutting back on American History requirements in the past 15 years.  Native American History is almost non existent...and maybe this is why there is such a disconnect now between older generations and younger ones.  Stories have not been passed down, toughness has not been instilled and an entitled attitude has formed.

Give me back the days of honesty, respect, hard work, a slightly thick skin and a love of country (with the ups and downs that it entails).  The old phrase, "Never let them see you sweat" comes to mind.
For those who didn't grow up during any of the wars (including the Cold War), standing up for freedoms (choice, religion, way of life, speech, etc.) is an important part of life that comes with a cost.  Whether it's on a global scale or a community level, it has to be done.  Right now, we need to back the France and support them in every way possible, as they have backed and supported us since the beginning of our country's history.  Make no mistake, that what happened there, will happen here...and in other countries (who possibly are not militarily equipped to deal with it...don't worry, despite what most of those countries say about us, we'll have your back, we always do).

The "Zen" in me (yes, there is some:)), would like to think that we've transcended the common approach to reaching these goals but the realist in me, understands that we are miles and miles away from that being the case.  We still live in a world where, with great change comes great conflict.

...and please let's stop being offended by the smallest of things...the color of a Starbuck's Coffee Cup/Design for example or saying "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays".  I mean really, don't we have bigger fish to fry right now.
My own house is half Jewish and half non demoninational Christian...none of us take any offense to sayings meant only in kindness.

For a little while, let's try to remember what it means to be American.  Don't just put on those vintage clothes and jewelry pieces or mid century mod up your house...actually make it a part of who you are.

Whether you agree or disagree, I thank you for reading and I hope that somewhere it sparks a grain of thought.

Pam