Stitch Fix August 2016

The end of the summer is nearing already! We’ll be taking our daughter off to college in about a week. I’m really excited for her and all the new experiences she’s going to have, but I’m sad, too, because our little girl has turned into a young woman. It’s a busy, busy, month, and I wanted to squeeze in one last summer Stitch Fix. I didn’t specify very much this time, I thought I’d have the fun of surprise. Although this post contains affiliate links, these are my honest-to-goodness opinions. Stitch Fix offers a $25 Referral Credit if a new account is opened and a Fix ordered. You can earn referral credits, too!

Shaylin Ponte Dress by Adrianna Papell ($98)
Shaylin Ponte Dress by Adrianna Papell
Shaylin Ponte Dress by Adrianna Papell

One thing I did mention was that I could use a new “little black dress” that would be suitable for a variety of occasions. My stylist, Cindy, sent this Shaylin Ponte Dress by Adrianna Papell. We had a hard time getting a good picture of it. I usually like to take my pictures in front of the fireplace, but the black didn’t stand out against it. Our den has lots of windows and natural light, but today was overcast and stormy, so I tried standing in front of this solid door (I dislike our old wallpaper). This dress is a good quality, thick knit. If I were about twenty years younger I might have kept it, but the knit was too clingy in certain places and I didn’t feel good in it. There is a short slit in the back that was basted closed, so it didn’t show up in the photos. It has nice details, so I think a lot of ladies would like it, but it wasn’t the right style for me, so it will be returned.

Curran Split Neck Blouse by Pixley ($44)
Curran Split Neck Blouse by Pixley
Curran Split Neck Blouse by Pixley

This blouse seemed meant to be since we share the name “Curran,” although mine is spelled with an “e.” In her note, Cindy said that she had noticed lots of polka dots on my Pinterest board and thought that I would like it. She was right! I love the classic color (navy) and pattern. I tried it on with some jeans, since that’s what I wear most often, but it would go well with other things, too. The earrings I happened to be wearing went well with it, too. It’s a keeper!

Sharipova Lace Back Top by Market & Spruce ($58)

When I first pulled this top out, I thought it was really cute and unique. It’s a pretty light pink, and I would describe the front fabric as poplin. Then the back has a really pretty lace that I bet would be good for air-circulation on these hot summer days. I think it runs a little small. I tried to get a good picture of the back of it, but it “pulled.” Although I thought it was really cute, I decided it didn’t fit well enough. It will be returned.

Winston Open Cardigan by Bobeau ($58)
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Winston Open Cardigan by Bobeau in Light Pink

Cindy recommended trying this cardigan on with the Sharipova Lace Back Top, so that is what is under it. The colors do work well together. I have a few other pink pieces that I bought in previous Fixes that I can wear under it. I really liked this cardigan. It was soft and comfy, and would be great for transitioning in the Fall and Spring. I tried it on with these cute shoes I got in my June Fix – Mazzota Cut-Out Flats by Nine West in Rose Gold. They go great together! (Don’t mind my goofy tan)

Nine West Mazzota Cut-Out Flats
Nine West Mazzota Cut-Out Flats in Rose Gold

The cardigan is a little wrinkled from its trip in the box, but a quick ironing or steaming would Fix that. I’ve got plans for this little cardigan to take a trip to my closet. (Keeping!)

Bano Lace Knit Top by Loveappella ($54)
Bano Lace Knit Top by Loveappella
Bano Lace Knit Top by Loveappella

In choosing this top, Cindy noted all the feminine pieces and lace I had on my Pinterest board, so I know she’s paying attention to my preferences and styling especially for me. I do like the pretty, bright pink color and lace, and the fabric is soft. Again, if I were younger, I might keep this piece, but the fabric is a little too thin and clingy for me to feel my best, so I’m sending it back.

How Stitch Fix Works

In case you are new to Stitch Fix, I want to give you a quick run-down on how it works. You can get an even fuller understanding from reading my previous posts about Stitch Fix, as well as see other things I have received from them.

  • When you set up your account, you will fill out your “Style Profile.” It doesn’t cost anything to do this, so I encourage you to check it out. The Style Profile is how your stylist gets to know you, everything from your sizing to your style preferences. Tip: You are able to include a link to a Pinterest board where you can pin pictures of clothing and accessories, whether from Stitch Fix, or not, for your stylist to study in preparing your Fix. Take advantage of this for the best Fix possible! You are welcome to pin photos from my blog if there is something you’d like to try.
  • When you schedule a Fix, you are charged a $20 Styling Fee. Your stylist will choose five items from among clothing, shoes, bags, and jewelry. If there are any categories that you don’t want things from, you can specify that in your Profile. If you keep at least one item, the Styling Fee is deducted from your total.
  • Once you receive your Fix, you have three business days to try everything on and make your decisions. Even if your first impression of something isn’t good, go ahead and try it on. That’s part of the fun, to let your stylist help you get a little out of your comfort zone, and choose things you wouldn’t choose for yourself. I would further advise you to have someone take pictures of you. It has really helped me make decisions and I’ve changed my mind several times because of them. You also have time to “sleep on it,” and make sure of your decisions.
  • Stitch Fix sends a pre-addressed and pre-paid return envelope, so all you have to do is put the unwanted items into it, seal it, and drop it in a mailbox. Extremely fast and easy!!
  • Go on line to your Stitch Fix account to check out. Here each item will be listed and you specify whether you are keeping or returning. There is also a box for you to type notes to your stylist about what you did or didn’t like about it. Please take advantage of this opportunity to give them feedback. It helps you get the best Fixes possible.
  • If you choose to keep all five items, you receive a 25% discount. Sometimes ladies buy all five pieces for the discount and then sell the ones they don’t want in Facebook Stitch Fix groups, so there’s another option.

I hope you’ve had fun peeking at my Fix! If you’re ready to try it for yourself, I would really appreciate it if you would use one of my affiliate links! And let me know what you get! Fashion shows are always fun!


Stitch Fix August 2016
Stitch Fix August 2016

Let’s Go Flea Marketing!

Who wants to go with me? Flea marketing knows no bounds when it comes to age or gender. Since they are typically made up of many vendors with different niches, everyone can find something to suit their interests. Just the other day I saw a young man of about ten shopping with his grandpa, oohing and aahing over vintage toys. I’ve also seen three generations of family members strolling the walkways and sharing memories that were recalled by things they encountered.

Timeless Treasures

Filled to their brims with timeless treasures just waiting to be discovered, flea markets are never boring. It’s like walking back through time and revisiting grandma’s house, or other comforting memories.

Save Money
Let's Go Flea Marketing! Depression Glass at a Flea Market
Depression-era Fire King Peach Luster Dishes

You can save money by shopping flea markets to furnish your home. Whether you need furniture, dishes, pictures, or textiles, they can all be found there. I find it fun to hunt for things I need. If you buy something new, it typically loses value, but with vintage items it’s possible for them to increase in value over time. Some older things were made better to begin with.

Save money by buying books at a flea market
Save Money on Books at a Flea Market
Collecting

Whether salt and pepper shakers, antique fishing lures, or depression glass, lots of people enjoy collecting something that “speaks” to them. Some things I’m drawn to are pitchers, vases, depression glass (clear or green), lamps, and kitchenware. I prefer things that are actually useable.

McCoy Pottery - Let's Go Flea Marketing!
McCoy Pottery
Antique Fishing Lures and Equipment
Vignettes

I have a little booth myself, but I’m fairly new at it and still learning. I study other booths that appeal to me, trying to analyze why so I can improve on my own. I have a Pinterest board called “Vignettes” where I save pictures of attractive groupings that I can refer to for ideas. It’s just another little hobby that I have.

A Fun and Unique Idea for Christmas

One year my family decided to do something different for Christmas and shop for each other at flea markets and garage sales. It was a real hoot! As we opened our gifts we’d brag about how little we paid for them. We definitely spent less that year and had a lot of laughs.

All of these pictures were taken at Bella Vista Flea Market in Bella Vista, Arkansas.

Do you enjoy flea marketing, too? What are your favorite things to hunt for?

Helpful Links:

Bella Vista Flea Market Facebook Page

My “Vignettes” Pinterest Board

Let's Go Flea Marketing! By Mid-Life Blogger
Let’s Go Flea Marketing!

Be Still

Occasionally we lose electricity for no apparent reason. I’m sure there is one, we just never find out what it is. One day this past May that happened. It was a beautiful Spring afternoon and the electricity suddenly went out. These occasions are a stark reminder of how dependent I’ve become on electricity. The only thing I could think of to do housework-wise was sweep, so I did that, but just about everything else was dependent on electricity. We have a well, so without electricity we have no water, either. So no laundry, no vacuuming, no cleaning. Okay, well now I’m thinking I could have dusted, but that day I decided not to overheat my brain trying to think of housework I could do and to instead take the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful afternoon. I made a cold drink, grabbed some gardening magazines, and went to sit at a table in my front yard in the shade of a huge oak tree. The soft breeze made the flowers nod and surround me with their sweet scents. Sitting beside the hummingbird feeder, I got to enjoy the whirring of hummingbird wings as they flitted around, visiting the feeder, nearby flowers, and defending their territory. Other birds sang from surrounding trees. To say it was delightful would be an understatement.

Be Still by Mid-Life Blogger

I spend as much time as I can in my front yard garden, planting and tending flowering plants, but I hardly let myself enjoy it. Oh, I try. I sit on my front porch fully intending to relax and take it all in, but it doesn’t take long before my eyes see faded flowers that need to be deadheaded, or weeds that need to be pulled, so I either have to get to work or go back in the house. This particular afternoon was like a gift, like God was telling me to just “be still” and know that He is God.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 46:10 NIV

I can’t be outside in this beautiful country and not be aware of how God provides for me, both for practical needs such as food and shelter, but also spiritual needs such as peace and relaxation. Sometimes I wonder what heaven is like. Scripture speaks of pearly gates and golden streets, but I hope He also has beautiful trees, gardens, and birds. Gardens were His idea, afterall.

Country life is simpler, and being further from city services we sometimes go without power, water, or travel for longer periods than city folk. It can be an inconvenience, but it can also be an opportunity to just Be Still.

 

Open Windows

Open windows are another simple pleasure. Normally, I only get to enjoy them in Spring and Fall when the weather is pleasant, but right now our air conditioning is out and it looks like it may be awhile until we can get a new system installed, so even though it’s mid-July and steamy, we have our windows (and doors) open, trying to keep our home as comfy as possible. (I’m also making use of another simple pleasure, the clothesline to keep my dryer from heating up the house further.)

Night Air

I especially like sleeping with fresh night air. It seems more oxygen-rich, and the mixed symphony of locusts, tree frogs, whippoorwills, and who-knows-what-else, lulls me to sleep. I don’t usually get to sleep with the windows open because my husband is more sensitive to sounds and light than I am, so I’m trying to enjoy this rare treat. Focusing on this glass-half-full part helps me deal with the I’m-hot-and-sweaty part. In doing a quick search, I found the following research that supports my own feelings: The Effects of Bedroom Air Quality on Sleep and Next-Day Performance. It’s conclusion states that the lower carbon dioxide levels of fresh air are more conducive to a good night’s sleep, and that next-day performance is better. It seems to me that if the carbon dioxide was lower that the oxygen would be higher, but I’m not a scientist. I just know I sleep better.

Home Freshening

Have you ever been gone from home a little while and when you return and walk in the door you become acutely aware that your home has a stale, musty odor? (I know you have, LOL) Out with the old and in with the new. Open the windows and invite in the fresh air!

Special Circumstances

There are times, such as mine now, that it’s nice to be able to open the windows. In past times homes were designed to take advantage of cross-breezes for cooling but with air conditioning becoming so widespread we’ve become dependent on it. Our home really wasn’t designed with cross-breezes in mind. We have plans to do some remodeling, and at least my plans, include some new doors and windows. We need some that are easier to open for when we lose our air conditioning for one reason or another and need fall back on the old ways.

Memories

I remember being about five and waking up to the sound and smell of my dad mowing the lawn first thing on a summer morning. Another fond memory I have is of spending the night at my grandparents’ farm during the summer and sleeping in one of the upstairs bedrooms with the window open for the cool air. Both of those experiences are anchored in my memory because of an open window.

Plan Ahead

If you’re thinking of building a new home or remodeling you might want to think about natural circulation and plan types and placement of windows accordingly. Whether you just want to enjoy this simple pleasure, or have the occasion to actually need it, you’ll be glad you did.

Do you have any memories involving open windows?

Seek and Ye Shall Find

One of the ladies at the rehab facility where I volunteer was distraught because her chronological Bible was lost when she was transferred there. I made a mental note, planning to go to the thrift store to check for one when our Bible study was over.

I went, fully expecting to find that exact Bible. I felt sure that God would want her to have it. I started by looking on the “Bible” shelves. When I didn’t see one there I started looking in the more general “Religious Books” section, thinking that possibly someone had misplaced it. I was so sure, that I spent 15-20 minutes searching and searching again. I even asked a volunteer to check in the back. At last, I had to admit that it wasn’t there.

There was another thrift store in town that I considered. They didn’t usually have much in the way of books, especially Bibles, but it wasn’t too far so I decided to run by and look anyway. Once there I went straight to the bookshelves and they were just as I had remembered. The book section was small and there didn’t appear to be any Bibles. Regardless, I slowed my eyes down and started to look more carefully. Suddenly, they caught exactly what I was searching for. There was the exact chronological Bible that I had in mind. It was brand new, still wrapped in plastic and with the original store’s price sticker of $21.99. However, there wasn’t a price for the thrift store. Suppressing my excitement, I took it to the front counter and asked how much it was.

“One dollar,” said the sales lady.

I keep wanting to write that I couldn’t believe it, but I could.

I couldn’t wait to take the Bible to its intended recipient and tell her how God had provided it especially for her. I was hoping that she would know how much she was loved and that He had not forgotten about her.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

A Gentle Breeze

The term “God-incidence” first entered my vocabulary about twenty years ago, and through the years I’ve learned to see God at work in everyday occurrences. Many of them have become treasured memories. I’m afraid that oftentimes people write things off as “co-incidences,” when it is really God at work, thereby robbing themselves of a faith-strengthening event. It might be hard to believe in air since it can’t be seen, but then it moves, causing leaves to flutter or water to ripple, making its presence known. If one were struggling to believe in God, then being aware of a God-incidence might be just what their faith needs. I have been in the company of people like that – I’ve heard them question God’s existence and say that they feel separated from Him.

A few times a week I volunteer at an addiction recovery facility where I help lead a voluntary Bible study. I’m very much aware of the spiritual battle that is going on, so it’s my practice to pray before entering the facility, and again when I enter the room where we meet, asking the Holy Spirit to come fill the room with His presence. Today I went to teach on the topic of “prayer,” and in the middle of class one of the ladies began to have breathing problems. She said that she was having an anxiety attack and that she might need to go to the hospital. Someone went to get a nurse, who came quickly to get her. When they had left, the remaining ladies asked me to lead them in prayer for her. When we finished, I asked them if they wanted to finish our Bible study, to which they said that they did. My eyes sought out where we had left off, and amazed, I asked one of the women to read:

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:13-16 NIV)

One of the ladies remarked, “Wow! I’m floored!” The next verse was:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6 NIV)

This God-incidence was not lost on the group, the ladies excitedly chattered about it. Let’s just say that I appreciated the Holy Spirit’s help with my lesson, for bringing it alive as only He can.

I try to be watchful for God at work and careful not to dismiss it as coincidence. I don’t want to be robbed of God’s awesome presence. Do you have a God-incidence that you’d like to share?

The Clothesline

Country life is full of simple pleasures. Things that often go unnoticed, or seem mundane to some. Hanging laundry on the clothesline is one of my simple pleasures. The first Valentine’s Day after we moved to our farm, I asked my husband for a clothesline. Checking Craig’s List, he found someone a few hours away that made and sold them, so one afternoon we made the drive down back roads that wound through small towns and hamlets (which is another simple pleasure). They were very sturdy and well-made, just what I wanted. Back at home, my husband set them in concrete and stretched the lines between them. I took on the task of painting them and I chose a shade of green (my favorite color) so that they would blend with the grass and trees. My mother-in-law made me a clothes pin bag, reusing a frame and fabric remnant that she had on hand. img_0648I love seeing the laundry gently swaying in the breeze, and knowing that the sunlight naturally kills bacteria while imparting a wonderful fragrance that you can only get outdoors. While reaching to pin or unpin I’m getting a dose of fresh air and sunshine, as well as some good stretching. I’m often serenaded by birds in the nearby trees, and I enjoy the cacophony of our geese, ducks, guineas, chickens, and turkeys. Occasionally one of our dogs or cats appears to keep me company. My favorite thing to line-dry is bedding. I’ve been hanging out every layer from the mattress pad to the bedspread, so I’m already looking forward to climbing into bed tonight. Sometimes while driving I’ll see a clothesline full of fluttering textiles and have a sudden urge to go home and do laundry.

Once we had a few men doing masonry work near the clothesline and I was doing laundry that day. When I went out to retrieve it one of the men said, “We sure are enjoying the smell of your laundry drying.” Wow, would you ever think you’d hear a man say something like that?! He went on to say that he sure wished his wife would hang their laundry on a clothesline. His comments were so unexpected that I still chuckle when I remember them. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one that appreciates this simple pleasure.

Note: Regarding sunlight killing bacteria, I found an article by a scientist/mother done on this exact subject here.

Stitch Fix July 2016

This was a great Fix! I had a hard time deciding what to keep and changed my mind a few times. Each time you schedule a Fix you are given the opportunity to write a note to your stylist to tell her what you need, or about any special events you may have coming up. This time I didn’t want to be too specific. Part of the fun is seeing what my stylist would choose for me, so I simply requested cool, easy-care items for summer.

A benefit of having a stylist choose clothing for you is that they will send things that you might not have tried otherwise. In my previous Stitch Fix posts, here and here, you can see that my stylist sent me light pink items. I didn’t have anything that color in my closet because I didn’t think it would look good on me. I’m glad I decided to try blogging about Stitch Fix because by asking my husband or daughter to take pictures of me, I’ve been able to see how the clothes look and that has helped me decide what to keep.  Those photos helped me to see that the light pink worked well with my skin tone. I’ve worn those items a lot and am really enjoying them.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you schedule a fix through one of them I receive a referral credit. You can, too, just by referring your friends once you’ve established your account.

I was thrilled that I had the same stylist, Cindy, and in her note to me she referred to both my blog (she read my blog!) and my Pinterest board. I really appreciated the time she took in preparing my Fix and she did a great job. A “Style Card” accompanies each Fix and gives suggestions for styling each of the pieces.

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Stitch Fix Style Card

When I first opened the box and looked at the edge of the wrapped items (photo at top) my first impression was really good.  All the colors and patterns were “me.” It’s nice to feel understood. Here is more detail about each of the items Cindy sent to me:

Kate Boyfriend Jean by Kut From The Kloth ($88)
Kate Boyfriend Jean by Kut From The Kloth on Mid-Life Blogger
Kate Boyfriend Jean by Kut From The Kloth

I was really excited to try these jeans because the ladies have been raving about them in the Stitch Fix Facebook groups. Although I was in them, this pair was a size 4 and I really need a size 6. I also prefer a higher rise, where these were a little too low for my taste. (sorry, no photo, nobody wants to see that) Otherwise, they fit well and seemed like good quality so I would love to try the brand again sometime. These will be returned in that handy little pre-paid envelope they enclose with every Fix. Verdict: Return

Edmond Henley Knit Top by Pixley ($54)
Edmond Henley Knit Top by Pixley on Mid-Life Blogger
Edmond Henley Knit Top by Pixley

I liked most things about this top. I loved the colors and pattern. I loved the soft, buttery feel. The neckline was a little low for my taste but that could be remedied by wearing a camisole underneath. The only reason I may not keep it is that it’s a little too clingy around my mid-section and I’m self-conscious about that area. Verdict: After seeing the photos, the pattern seemed to help conceal my problem area, and that’s my kind of camo! I changed my mind and decided to Keep.

Athenia Button Down Top by Aratta ($37)
Athenia Button Down Top by Aratta on Mid-Life Blogger
Athenia Button Down Top by Aratta
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Arm hole detail

My first impression of this top was good. I like plaid and I liked the muted colors. I liked that it could feel quite casual or be dressed up. But when I put it on, the fabric was too thin, and the arm holes were too big. I appreciated the button detail, but they came unbuttoned too easily and gaped a little. I’m disappointed to say it has to go back. Verdict: Return

 Rosetta V-Neck Top by 19 Cooper ($58)
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Rosetta V-Neck Top by 19 Cooper

 

Tiny Pleat Detail
Tiny Pleat Detail

This was a beautiful bright red top. It’s made of silky smooth rayon. The sleeves have a little elastic to make them 3/4, and there were tiny pleats on the front. Although it felt nice on, it was a little too blousy and I didn’t just love it.Verdict: Return

Aribau Twist Neck Halter Blouse by 41Hawthorn ($54)

I fell in love with this top, although it’s not real practical for me. It feels really nice on and makes me feel about twenty years younger. That’s worth buying right there, even if it just hangs in the closet! I like the classic yet updated black & white pattern and the unique halter-tied neckline. If I keep it I think we’re going to have to book a cruise or a resort vacation, and I’m pretty sure that my hubby will be okay with that. It would be good for date nights closer to home, too, so I’m thinking…Verdict: Keep

Summary

Now that I’ve made my decisions, all there is to do is go online to my account to “check out,” then I’ll put the returns into the pre-addressed and postage-paid envelope that they provide and drop it into a mailbox.

If you want to get in on the fun, visit Stitch Fix to open your account and fill out your “style profile.” You won’t be charged anything until you schedule a Fix so go ahead and explore.

Stitch Fix currently offers Petite and Maternity, but they are also working to expand their services. Stitch Fix Men will debut Fall 2016, and Plus Sizes will start in Spring 2017.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe for more!

Stitch Fix July 2016 - A Great Summer Fix!

Stitch Fix July 2016

Homeschooling and Entrepreneurship

Our son, Hayden, lacks one class for his Associates degree, but about a year and a half ago he decided to buy a computer repair business, putting his college education on hold. Not too long after he bought it, a local tv station invited him to appear for a short interview. It was a great opportunity that he didn’t want to pass up, but he began to worry that they would ask him about his education, or more pointedly whether he had a degree in computer science. When he first mentioned that to me, I, too, began to fret, but it dawned on me that Hayden had been studying computer science his whole life.

This post contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase through one of them I may make a small commission. It doesn’t cost you any extra, but it helps to support my blog.

When he was just nine months old I began sitting at the computer with him several times a week, and using a product called JumpStart Baby, he could touch any of the keys on the keyboard to see what would happen on the screen. As he grew, we graduated to JumpStart Toddler, then JumpStart Preschool, and so on, with each level gradually teaching more. By the time Hayden’s sister came along, he was almost four years old and while I was busy with the baby, he was able to start the computer, boot up his software, type in his name and do everything on his own.

As he grew up I felt like I saw an aptitude for technology, so I looked for opportunities to nourish it. An on-line electronics course, was one such way. Another passion he had was for Legos. He played with Legos his whole childhood, and I have to admit that I got tired of all the tiny pieces always being around the baseboards. Somewhere along the way I learned there was such a thing as Lego Robotics groups, and wished there was one in our area that he could join. When he was around ten, I decided to splurge and buy him his own kit, thinking of it as an “education expense.” That turned out to be a good investment. Hayden spent about an hour and a half just about every day for a year and a half, or so, designing robots and programming them on the computer. He was totally self-taught and followed his own interest. When he was around eleven, I found out that the high school computer science teacher sometimes held Lego Robotics camps, so I contacted him and asked if he would consider having one the upcoming summer. He did, and Hayden attended. The teacher’s own son, who was an incoming high school senior, assisted for the first few days. When the kids had designed their robot, he helped them program it on the computer. But when he was no longer able to be there Hayden took his place at the computer helping the other kids. Every day when I went to pick Hayden up the teacher would ask me questions about him, such as how long had we homeschooled, did we always plan to homeschool, and “how old is he?!” At the end of the camp, he (the teacher) invited eleven-year-old Hayden to take his high school computer science class. He went so far as to walk me to the Principal’s office to talk to her about it. She wasn’t there, and talking with her confused secretary could be another blog post, but the result was that the district’s rules wouldn’t allow it since H wasn’t an enrolled student. Mr. O started giving Hayden private lessons. He taught him different computer languages and beginning animation. Not too long after that we moved to the Ozarks.

During his teens, Hayden started tinkering with his own computers, taking them apart, fixing and upgrading them. When the opportunity arose to buy this business, Hayden had been working there long enough to learn the ropes from the owner who was wanting to relocate. He was only twenty at the time, so it would be a big risk and responsibility for such a young man. My husband’s background was in finance. Having worked for Morgan Stanley (previously Dean Witter) for over twenty years, he was talking to an old friend about the opportunity. His response was that Hayden would learn more from the business than he would with a college degree. We agreed, and with Scott’s expertise in finance, and my experience in advertising, public relations, and customer service, we felt like we still had things we could teach him and that the business would provide that avenue.

Hayden continues to learn through his business. It definitely hasn’t been easy, but I’m proud of him. Last year he was contacted about installing a new technology. I was amazed at how confidently he committed to learning it, and negotiated his rates. We asked him if he had any previous experience with the technology, and he said no, but that he could read the manual and figure it out. And he did.

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Lockers Hayden installed in Austin, Texas. Photo credit: Teresa Bressi

It was for Walmart and they hired him to do work for them in five states, installing lockers for their Pickup service. He also maintains a contract to service all of the McDonald’s restaurants within a 50-mile radius, and is called when any of them have problems with their POS system. Hayden services computers for businesses as well as individuals.

On a radio program once, I listened to a speaker talking about homeschoolers. He said that, in general, they have high self-esteem and are independent learners, and that those traits are beneficial to entrepreneurship. I don’t know what the future holds for Hayden and his business, but I know that the scope of things he is learning from it will be beneficial to him wherever life takes him.

Computer Medic on Facebook

Computer Medic website

Related Reading:

The Homeschool Entrepreneur

Interview Feature With…a Homeschool Graduate Business Owner

 

LEGO Brand Retail

Oriental Lilies

Oriental Lilies are blooming now and they’re amazing! I’m making a mental note to order more of them. A single flower can perfume an entire room, making it one of my favorites to bring inside, although their pollen can make a bit of a mess.

Stargazer Lily bouquet by Mid-Life Blogger
Stargazer Lily bouquet with Queen Anne’s Lace and gladioli

The blooms are huge, about 6-7″ across, and their colors are intense and vibrant. They need full sun to thrive, and grow to be about 3′ tall. Their show starts when others have waned, in mid-summer. I love to order plants from catalogs, mainly because I truly enjoy looking at the beautiful photos, comparing descriptions, and sometimes getting ideas for companions. Doing that by the fire in the evenings is how I survive the bleak winter months. Breck’s is a company that I order from quite often and their products are good quality. If you don’t already have some of these lilies, you’re missing out!

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“Stargazer”
"Dizzy" Oriental Lily by Mid-Life Blogger
“Dizzy”

Breck’s has their Stargazer Lilies on sale Here. And here’s a collection that just happens to be on sale: Oriental Lily Collection

While researching to positively identify these lilies, I happened on the website for The Lily Garden which has a vast array of varieties.

Mystery yellow lily by Mid-Life Blogger
Mystery Yellow Lily

I wasn’t able to identify this yellow lily, and I don’t remember ordering it. It could have been a free gift, a mix-up, or my memory could be faulty. If you know what it is let me know. Do you have oriental lilies in your garden? What are your favorites? If you enjoy gardening, too, please consider subscribing to my blog.

Related Reading:

What’s Blooming Today (June 21, 2016)

My Mini Garden Pond

Spiritual Corridor daylily

Coal Miner daylily