"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of." ---Benjamin Franklin.
So help me, I've found another great way to waste time: Pinterest. And like a record when the needle gets stuck, that quote keeps playing in the back of my mind, causing all kinds of guilty feelings for not doing something more productive with my life, like maybe alphabetizing the spice rack, or polishing the silver.
According to Wikipedia, "Pinterest is a pinboard styled social photo sharing website. The service allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections." It's not a photo sharing site in the tradition of Flickr or SmugMug, where users upload pictures of the family pets, kids and vacations. Pinterest users create virtual bulletin boards of things that interest them. One board might be full of recipes. Others might showcase craft projects or home decor or fashion, whatever happens to float a user's boat. With a tool called the bookmarklet, a user can go on any website and "pin" or bookmark something of interest from the site and place it on her bulletin board. (I say "her" because a website like Pinterest would appeal to women far more than men.) The bookmarklet automatically credits the website; I guess to keep one party from accusing the other of stealing.
One of my boards is a collection of wedding ideas. (My husband, if he had a Pinterest account, would probably have a board devoted to elopement ideas: a picture of a suitcase, a gassed-up car, a Las Vegas wedding chapel with Elvis as the minister.) That being said, my kids are a long ways from marriage, or even thinking about tying the knot. The oldest, who's not quite 25, has gone on record as saying anyone who gets married before the age of 30 is stupid, so it looks like we are in for a long wait there. The middle kiddo is going straight into the Army after he graduates from Texas A&M, and while marriage and the military are not mutually exclusive, that kind of life does make it hard to date and settle down. As for the youngest, and it's mainly for her that I've started this bulletin board, she's only a college freshman. But hey! a mother can dream, can't she?
Another board is DIY stuff and craft ideas, which, if you knew me, is a laugh. I have very little patience and my own thumbs oppose me every chance they get, but I like to imagine myself as the neighborhood Martha Stewart. In fact, I'm getting together with a friend tomorrow to try a Christmas ornament craft we both saw on Pinterest. If our endeavors aren't too shabby, I'll take some pictures for a possible future blog. (Update: our efforts didn't look anything like the picture promised, just like my holiday dinner tables never look like the pictures in Southern Living magazine.)
Since joining the site last week, I've pinned several recipes, including two that require baking; the kind of baking that needs measuring and sifting and beating. I don't like preparing food that requires a chemistry degree, but I pinned them anyway because they look pretty on my food board. The other recipes fall into the handful of this, pinch of that category; in other words, the kind of haphazard cooking that has been my game for 31 years. Being that I'm in one of my periodic what-to-fix-for-dinner ruts, I'm anxious to try these out. I hope they taste as good as they look. (Update: one recipe, called Crack Bread, because it's supposed to be addictive, was just plain awful. I don't know how it's possible for a recipe that features bacon and cheese to be awful, but trust me, if you see this recipe on Pinterest, do not attempt it, no matter how much the picture sucks you in.)
Despite the setbacks, I love this site because when it comes to ideas, I have none of my own. I am in awe of people who can take something mundane and transform it into something extraordinary, or give it a usefulness no one else has thought of. Sometimes, I will piggyback off another person's idea by adding my own little twist, but I'm just too literal minded to see the possibilities in things. When I see a wine rack, I see a wine rack, not a handy-dandy bathroom towel holder. I am not good at thinking outside the box.
The clock in the lower right-hand corner of my computer tells me it is well after midnight. Again. And I am reminded of another of Franklin's wise sayings: "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."
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