Jerks, Haters and Internet Trolls

Jerks, Haters and Internet Trolls. This is my latest experience with a bully hiding behind a computer screen. What is it that makes people think they can say/do things online that they would never do face-to-face to another person? What makes people so uncivil when they are hiding behind a computer screen? Do people behave badly online simply because there are fewer repercussions to being rude, crude and downright mean?


Jerks, Haters and Internet Trolls

This is my latest experience with a bully hiding behind a computer screen. What is it that makes people think they can say/do things online that they would never do face-to-face to another person? What makes people so uncivil when they are hiding behind a computer screen? Do people behave badly online simply because there are fewer repercussions to being rude, crude and downright mean?

I have been blogging since 2008. I have been working online since 2001 at various forums on the internet. Please believe me when I say I have seen some pretty bad behavior online in the last 16+ years. There are quite a few people that are “very brave” online hiding behind the mask of anonymity. I will not go into the fact that is is a false sense of privacy on their part. An IP address is recorded when sending an email, messaging or leaving a comment somewhere. People can be traced (unless they are very, very good at ip masking, still have dial-up, or are posting from a library or internet cafe). You are not as hidden as you believe.

I have had internet stalkers for years. It is one of the reasons photographs of me on this blog are basically non-existent. And one of the reasons that my current last name (hey, I’ve been married twice) is given out to very few people. Some people are nuts, and I subscribe to a “safety first” mantra.

Last week I received a comment on this blog that was simply vile. It attacked me (who this person does not know), this blog and, unknowingly, a contributor to this blog who had shared an old family recipe. You see, I cannot run this blog on my own. I’d have been burned out and brain dead years ago trying to come up with new and different material every week if left to my own devices. I’m just not that clever. Or industrious.

While I allow (actually, I welcome) constructive criticism and differing opinions on Ann’s Entitled Life (see the comments here and here and here and here for a few examples), I have a much lower tolerance for criticism of my contributor’s work. Admittedly, sometimes they do make mistakes. Sometimes, my editing is not the greatest. I always double check the original material and if an error is found, I apologize (once I sent a lady a reward for letting me know of a mistake – because the mistake was so egregious that both I and my assistant should have caught it long before it posted).

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The reason for that disclaimer is because of the haters, internet trolls and just plain jerks. You would be shocked at how many people complain about a recipe after changing half of the ingredients! (Recipes seem to be the biggest culprit.)

But getting back to the repugnant comment…

After attacking me, my blog, the name of my blog (if you are not familiar with the story of my blog’s name, I can see where you might think it was a serious name instead of a goof), the recipe and wishing me personally ill, I was a bit upset. And I seldom get upset these days with mean internet trolls, internet bullies, or internet jerks (you know I wanted to write something worse here). I have just been online too long to frequently allow unpleasant people to get to me for more than a few moments.

Do words matter? Yes … and no. When words are disparaging to my work, friends or my family, I usually consider the source. If someone close to me says something hurtful, then yes, those words matter. Constructive criticism I take to heart and explore. There is a right way and a wrong way to present an opposing opinion. There are also ways to provoke that yield negative results. And I am sure the anonymous author of that nasty comment is happy as a clam that I responded with this post – because I cannot imagine they thought I would ever approve that comment.

I don’t know why this one cruel comment hit me so hard. I spent days trying to shake it off. I alternated between incredulous, and despondent. I (once again) spoke to Hubby about quitting blogging. Believe it or not, I do not make enough (or anything really) to take a lot of (or any really) abuse.

I wrote at least three different columns in my head laying out why mean people suck. I laid out what can be done to deal with internet bullying. I had grand passages mentally written about how to combat this type of behavior, and not encourage it. But the truth is I simply marked the comment as spam and deleted it without approving it for public eyes. (I also never approve posts with swear words or attacks on other commenters.) And then I flushed the spam so I wouldn’t be able to respond or approve (I have a propensity to overthink things, and I worried I’d approve later).

I am not a psychologist and I do not play one on the internet. I honestly have no idea why that person was so mad at this poor little recipe. I do know s/he claimed to be a great baker, so the recipe must have been wrong (the Pinterest ratings and comments on this blog say otherwise). And, I definitely hope this person gets some anger management classes… goodness knows s/he needs help.

For anyone who has ever had a bad experience with a recipe, craft or other DIY after following the directions on a website (blog or otherwise) my advice? Do not be nasty. Email the contact page and ask for clarification. Many times the correct materials and/or directions are there but have been overlooked while reading quickly. You may never receive a response … or you may receive a detailed response helping you correct what went wrong. Be polite. It really does go a long way toward getting help and information.

Ok, so now that I have gotten this out of my system, I can move on and put that nasty bit behind me. I hope. 🙂 Until the next rotten comment (or email) that is. Naw, my skin is usually a lot thicker than this blog post would lead you to believe. It will probably be another few years before a horrible comment or spiteful email hits me this hard again. And I must say that just writing down my feeling about this matter has proven to be quite cathartic. Sometimes, all it takes is a good rant and a little Troll-Be-Gone spray, and *POOF!* you feel better.

I do appreciate all of you that come to my blog with the same polite manners that you’d display in my living room. You are the people I blog for, share recipes with, show off the latest crafts and homemade beauty products and give out my gardening tips and advice to. Your kind responses make my day. And I thank you.

Have you had an experience with internet bullies, stalkers or just plain jerks? How did you resolve the issue?


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10 Tips for Controlling Clutter in Your Home

10 Tips for Controlling Clutter in Your Home. Is your house a collection of clutter? Use these great tips to help control the chaos and clutter, and get your house tidy and organized!





Are chaos and disorganization taking over your life and your home? The unorganized mess in your house can literally be debilitating. When you look around at the clutter and think, “I don’t know where to begin,” it is time to start controlling the clutter in your home. While it is unlikely any of us can ever be completely clutter-free, these 10 tips for controlling clutter in your home are a great place to start managing the mess!

10 Tips for Controlling Clutter in Your Home

Make a List

The first step to controlling your clutter is to lay it all out. You cannot know where to begin if you cannot see the mess. Make a to-do list of everything that needs to be organized in your home. It can be difficult to make sense of the mess swarming around you, so do not worry about putting your list in order. Instead, just start writing it all down. You must start somewhere.

Do Not Try to Accomplish Everything at Once

The unorganized mess in your home was not thrown into clutter and chaos in a day, and you will not be able to organize it in one day. Take baby steps as you try to reorganize your house. Start in a small area and work your way up to the larger areas. Take a breath and relax. You can do this one small step at a time.

Start with the Trash

What is the point in trying to organize what you do not need, use or want? Bring out a large contractor bag, and scour your house for trash (and I am talking items you cannot donate, non-useable items – broken toys, crayons, exploded pens, torn envelopes – real garbage). You may need more than one large contractor bag and that is fine. Get rid of obvious trash such as paper plates, toilet paper rolls, and junk mail (you may move that to the shredder). The more you get rid of in that garbage bag the less you have to organize later.

Tackle a Small Area First

Many people give up organization when they do not see immediate results. It can be frustrating to have a room(s) look worse after a few hours of decluttering than it did before you started (it is always darkest before the dawn). Tackle a small area such as the foyer to your home, the bathroom, or a hallway or even simply the hallway closet. Once you can see a finished decluttered and organized accomplishment, you will feel more energized to continue throughout your home.

10 Tips for Controlling Clutter in Your Home. Is your house a collection of clutter? Use these great tips to help control the chaos and clutter, and get your house tidy and organized!


Use the Power of the Bins

If you do not have bins, now is the time to go out and purchase some. I highly suggest clear bins that you can label and/or see through. Or, color coded bins – perhaps one color per room or per child.

Color code your holiday bins. Mine are green and red for Christmas, orange for Halloween and brown for Fall. Red for Vantine’s day would work (so stick to only green for Christmas), pink or purple for Easter, blue for the summer holidays would also be good choices.

Everything can have a place, and even if you are not the super organized type with labels, at least the bin will be in the proper room and assigned to the proper child. Bins can be a great way to organize anything and everything. You can use your bins to organize winter and summer clothes, organize your home office, or to have a place for all your shoes. Consider using smaller bins, medium bins, and larger bins for different items in your house. Use the power of the bins to get organized and master the chaos.

Label!

I am not saying you have to go all Martha Stewart on everything, but labels help you to keep organized in the future. They, also, help you to find what you are looking for when you are in a hurry. If you just throw everything in a bin, and you do not label what is in the bin for later additions, the chaos will come back.

Use labels such as:

• Winter clothes
• Summer clothes
• Summer shoes
• Winter shoes
• Office supplies
• Paper
• Blankets
• Sheets
• Important papers

Use a marker, a sticker label, or print labels using a label maker to label all your bins. The more you label, the easier it will be to keep it organized and see what you have in the future.

10 Tips for Controlling Clutter in Your Home. Is your house a collection of clutter? Use these great tips to help control the chaos and clutter, and get your house tidy and organized!


Organize that Paper Trail with File Folders

You do not need a file cabinet to keep your paperwork in order. In fact, hanging file folders work in boxes, egg crates, and bins as well. Get some file folders and start labeling them to fit all your important papers. Things like your mortgage, insurance policies, and taxes need to have their own special folder in place. Make your file folders before you go through your paperwork. This will cut down on the time it takes to organize and allow you to simply place your papers where they need to go.

I do not file every day. I put all the papers on top of the box and then file periodically. The box is stored in a cabinet, so no one sees it. As long as this paperwork is filed occasionally, this method really works.

Place Shelves in Closets

The front hall closet used to be a disaster of a dumping ground until I installed freestanding plastic shelving. Now, those shelves store things I use regularly such as crafting items, my camera equipment, etc. There is still plenty of room for coats and boots (also on the plastic shelving), but the closest is now organized and I can grab what I need in seconds.

Put Items Away Immediately

One thing I never allowed in any of my homes was a pile on the stairs. If something was placed on the stairs, it went up and was put away immediately! This included shoes, baskets of laundry (and the laundry was put away as soon as it went upstairs), books, etc. Not only am I afraid of a tripping hazard, it looks like hell. Very few people have the luxury of back stairs no one sees that can house clutter. The staircase is usually very close to front and center in the home, and the last thing anyone wants for a first impression is that their home is a cluttered mess.

Purge Items You Do Not Use

There is no point in keeping something you never use or do not wear. Use the 6-month (or 12 months for seasonal) logic on everything that is not of sentimental value in your home. If you have not used it in 6 months, as yourself the hard question: Am I really going to use this again? Be honest with yourself. If the answer is no, trash it or donate it.

Purging your house of extra clutter you do not need is not only going to help you get organized, but it is going to help you stay organized. Less is more and that goes for the things in your home as well.

Is your home in utter disarray? What tips can you give to help organize the chaos in your house? Share your organizational strategies in the comments below!


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Snowflake Soap

Snowflake Soap. Make your own Snowflake Soap! Perfect for the holidays or winter season, these decorative snowflake soaps are highly customizable. Making homemade soap easier than you think! You control the ingredients, so you know exactly what is in the soap you are making and using.





Make your own Snowflake Soap! Perfect for the holidays or winter season, these decorative snowflake soaps are highly customizable. Making homemade soap easier than you think! You control the ingredients, so you know exactly what is in the soap you are making and using.

Looking for a festive holiday soap you can make yourself? These snowflake soaps are great! You can make the snowflakes any color, and choose any scent. The bonus for these is they work great for Christmas, as well as January, February and March – especially up north!

I love making soap. it is wonderful to customize the scents, the colors, and really make great seasonal soaps to use at home or give as gifts. And these would make excellent holiday presents. Soap-making these days is much easier than you think. If you have not tried to make your own soap, give it a go – this snowflake soap recipe is a great one to try.

If you are looking for a more Christmas-specific or basic soap recipe try these Peppermint Soaps! They are wonderful and so easy to make.

Snowflake Soap. Make your own Snowflake Soap! Perfect for the holidays or winter season, these decorative snowflake soaps are highly customizable. Making homemade soap easier than you think! You control the ingredients, so you know exactly what is in the soap you are making and using.


Snowflake Soap Ingredients:

Shea Butter Soap Base
Blue Soap Colorant
Soap Scent – This tutorial used Vanilla, but you can use any scent you like!

Snowflake Soap Mise en Place:

Snowflake Soap Mold
Large Glass Measuring Cup
• Silicone or Wooden Spoon
• Rubbing Alcohol (and spray bottle if needed)

Snowflake Soap. Make your own Snowflake Soap! Perfect for the holidays or winter season, these decorative snowflake soaps are highly customizable. Making homemade soap easier than you think! You control the ingredients, so you know exactly what is in the soap you are making and using.


Snowflake Soap. Make your own Snowflake Soap! Perfect for the holidays or winter season, these decorative snowflake soaps are highly customizable. Making homemade soap easier than you think! You control the ingredients, so you know exactly what is in the soap you are making and using.


Snowflake Soap Directions:

• Cut off two (2) ice cube sized pieces from your soap block and place into your glass measuring cup.
• Add 3-4 drops of blue soap colorant, and microwave for 30 seconds; stir.

Snowflake Soap. Make your own Snowflake Soap! Perfect for the holidays or winter season, these decorative snowflake soaps are highly customizable. Making homemade soap easier than you think! You control the ingredients, so you know exactly what is in the soap you are making and using.


• Pour your melted blue soap into just the snowflake part of your mold. Tip: it helps if you pour from the middle and let the soap run into the outer edges of the mold on its own.
• Place your mold into the freezer for about 5 minutes.
• Clean your measuring cup (or use a second, clean measuring cup).

Snowflake Soap. Make your own Snowflake Soap! Perfect for the holidays or winter season, these decorative snowflake soaps are highly customizable. Making homemade soap easier than you think! You control the ingredients, so you know exactly what is in the soap you are making and using.


• Add five (5) ice cubes sized pieces of soap and place into your glass measuring cup.
• Microwave for 30-45 seconds; stir. (If you need more microwave time to melt, do 15 second increments and stir in between each microwaving.)
• Mix in a 1 teaspoon of your favorite soap scent.

Snowflake Soap. Make your own Snowflake Soap! Perfect for the holidays or winter season, these decorative snowflake soaps are highly customizable. Making homemade soap easier than you think! You control the ingredients, so you know exactly what is in the soap you are making and using.


• Pour your white soap over your solid blue snowflakes, filling to the top of the mold.
• Lightly spray the soap with rubbing alcohol to prevent bubbling.
• Place your mold back in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until soap is hardened.
• Carefully press up on the bottom of your mold to remove your soaps.

Snowflake Soap. Make your own Snowflake Soap! Perfect for the holidays or winter season, these decorative snowflake soaps are highly customizable. Making homemade soap easier than you think! You control the ingredients, so you know exactly what is in the soap you are making and using.


• If presenting as gifts, you can tie with a ribbon, wrap with cellophane and a ribbon, etc.
• These are perfect for display, gift giving, or to set in a linen closet. Since they are snowflakes, they are great “fancy soap decor” well into March.

Snowflake Soap. Make your own Snowflake Soap! Perfect for the holidays or winter season, these decorative snowflake soaps are highly customizable. Making homemade soap easier than you think! You control the ingredients, so you know exactly what is in the soap you are making and using.


• To print the Snowflake Soap Recipe click here.


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