Downton Abbey and American Girl

ladymary  samanthaladymary

I read an article that compared the BBC Masterpiece Theater Hit Show: Downton Abbey with American Girl dolls.

I admit I am one of those Gen Yers whose parents could afford the $82 price ticket (I wonder if they regret that now).  I have continued to collect these dolls into my adult hood because they were such a wonderful part of my childhood.  Their allure is in their stories and the accuracy in which they make history come alive.  I won’t go into the then and nows of their product line.  For this post, I am only looking at the connection between Downton and Pleasantville.

Is Downton the American Girl of adulthood?  I don’t know if I would say that.  I love Downton Abbey and I love the historical line from American Girl.  I know plenty of non GenYers that are in love with this show and also plenty of GenYers who did not own anything from Pleasant Company (American Girl pre-Mattel) who are equally obsessed.  So saying their is an automatic link between the two is hard to swallow.

I also don’t really see the comparison between Molly-Edith, Felicity-Sybil, and Mary-Samantha.  if you just HAAAAVE to pick characters to fit- then sure we can make those girls fit into each other’s shoes… but its not going to be a cinderella fit.

What I do see, and find my imagination wandering into, is the connection of Mary and Samantha, but it is not personality based.  Samantha, a 1904 tween, would be about Lady Mary’s age during the time period Downton Abbey is taking place.  Many fans of Samantha, enjoy imaginging what happened to Samantha as she grew up in the early 20th century.  I have heard both colorful and even dark images, including Uncle Gardner jumping from his Law Firm’s window when the Stock Market crashes.  It is an easy step to slip Samantha’s person in Lady Mary’s position because of the similarities in looks , age, and financial situation- NOT an exchange of their personalities.

Downton Abbey is so rich in design that even without an incredible story line, the places, dressings, furniture, and accessories are a giddy treasure to devour.  Those of us GenYers that did this very thing with a doll line would be natural candidates for a further cinematic appreciation.  But our past neither makes or breaks our love for this current show.

If someone wants to really marry the two then I submit the pictures posted at the top of this post.  That is my Samantha doll from the very early 90’s.  Thanks to a very talented seamstress and the wonderful world of Etsy I have been able to completely merge two loves into one.  This is how Downton Abbey becomes the American Girl for Adults.  The little girl inside those privileged GenYers aren’t going to be content with only the eye candy.  If you insist on drawing a line between the two then I demand you do it with a full set of matching clothes, furniture, and accessories.  (For those wondering- The set above isn’t complete.  I plan on adding a belt, making a better hat and a second string of pearls with the knot)


Liberty’s New Cage

libertyponderingthewall   libertycage2  libertyapproved

So today has been a very big day for my cockatiel, Liberty.  CAGE UPGRADE!  Liberty’s cage,technically, was large enough before but I was very disappointed with its layout.  It was longer than it was high.  This seemed very uncomfortable for Liberty, as he would wedge himself into a corner he really couldn’t fit into.  It was also the biggest pain to clean.  These things coupled, I was compelled to go on a search from  something bigger and better.  Thanks to the wonderful world of Amazon we found a happier habitat.

cockatiel cageSales Page Picture

The reality of the product was much the same as pictured above.   I did read/watch the reviews found on Amazon and most of the complaints were spot on.  The directions/instructions were a joke.  I use the words “Directions” and “Instructions” very liberally.


The “Instructions/Directions”

I managed to get it together, as I am pretty savvy when it comes to building things.  Without previous experience, I can not imagine how other people have gotten this together.

There are some design flaws and the cage does not fit together flawlessly.  I did manage to  improvise.  The fact I had to make my own adjustments to get the thing to work was annoying.   But once I got it all settled, I must admit I am pleased.  I think Liberty likes it as well.  It gives him more freedom, and when your name is Liberty that is crucial.

I am still working on putting his favorite perches and toys in there but its late so some of it will have to wait for tomorrow.   I am taking the move as an early opportunity to clean his things.


GREAT STORAGE THOUGH! (Plenty of room for Pellet container and Paper Towels not pictured)



Samsung Galaxy S5 Camera Error and the Worst Customer Service Known to Man


Seriously, it’s been a frustrating week!  I purchased my S5 mid April and was very pleased with what I got.  In my opinion, it was a better size than my previous Apple iPhone 5 and I was excited to break out of the Apple carousel of mediocre product releases over the past 3 years.  My Galaxy S5 could run laps around my old iPhone 5 in battery power.  Trying to watch one of my hour long tv shows on my apple device would leave me dependent upon a cord.  I could watch show after show and surf the web like no one’s business before I would even need to look for a link to an electric outlet.  So what popped the honeymoon bubble?


A major camera error that no longer allows me to access my camera in any shape or form.  At the end of April, Samsung released a press brief acknowledging this problem.  It is a problem with the internal coding and there is not a fix.  They have no intention to release a patch to try to address this problem.  My phone was just a month old when this happened.  I use AT&T as my provider and they gave me the run around… The store gave me a number.  The first representative told me to call Samsung.  And Samsung.. OMG… Worst customer service EVER!!!  They acknowledged the problem but their solution was for me to send the phone to them for repairs (at my expense) and be without a phone (my cell phone is my home phone and business phone) for AT LEAST TWO WEEKS!!!!!!  When I told the representative that that was not acceptable and I couldn’t be without a phone for that long (I would have even taken a loaner flip phone as annoying as that would have been), he became belligerent.  WHAT?!  He pretty much told me to go back to Apple if I didn’t like it.  I even had to stop him in his tracks and remind him that I was a customer and I had not raised my voice or said an ugly thing to him during the whole call and it is unacceptable for him to speak to me in that manner.  If this is the kind of service to be expected from Samsung, I will be returning to Apple with my next upgrade.  And that makes, a normally happy hedgehog, sad. Because minus the camera problem I  loved the device.  But now I am terrified, as a consumer, to gamble with a company with that kind of CS.

There is some good news for me.  After the CS call from h-e-double hockey sticks, I called AT&T back and reported the whole ordeal.  Turns out, the first girl I spoke to was clueless and AT&T took care of the problem (since the phone was still under warrantee).  SOOO, as we speak, I am waiting on a new or refurbished S5 with a camera that works.  I get to keep my phone until the replacement arrives, with only lack of camera inconvenience. (And this AT&T rep was wonderful! Just the manner in which she handled everything was professional, kind, and polite)  Of course, the wait is turning out to be agonizing; because wouldn’t you know it, this has been the week of photo opp GOLD.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Beware the fatal camera error.  If it happens to you, know you are not alone.  It is nothing you have done.  It is all Samsung’s fault.  Samsung CS department is apparently located in one of the outer rings of hell so don’t expect help from demons or the damned.

Longaberger Woven Traditions® Taco Holder- Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

 Woven Traditions® Taco Holder- ON SALE for $2 <~~~ Shop Here!

A taco holder how neat!  And only $2 bucks?  What could be better?  Well… since you asked… I’m going to tell you..

(Insert drum roll here)



WHAAA?!  I thought you said that it was a taco holder…  I did.  It does that too.


(I just made myself hungry D:)

But why limit yourself with only one use?  I myself purchased a ton of these.  I bought a set just for their intended use and another set for just about every use you see pictured above.  I craft A LOT and my hot glue gun causes me a lot of woe.  NOT ANY MORE!  Woven Tradition Pottery stands up to heat and it cleans like a dream so no worries when my glue gun spites me by trickling in-between uses.

I’m in love with the functions both in and out of the kitchen.

Here is what I’m using my taco holders for:

Glasses holder–  Why not just use those little cases that try to eat your hand that came with your glasses for storage?  Uh… because I’m apparently too busy and squeamish to fish this out from what ever drawer the case crawled in to die.  So what happens to my glasses?  Well, lets just say its a miracle they are still in one piece.  I have looked at other products that were specifically designed for this function.  They weren’t anywhere near $2.

Phone stand–  I have a Galaxy S5 and its a little too big to work with other phone “stands.”  Plus those other stands end up being flimsy and you spend more time getting them to stand than they actually hold your phone.  Again, products meant for this job are way more than 2 bucks… unless you are ordering china direct (cough eBay) and you will spend the same amount, have to wait a month plus (if it even shows up) and it won’t work.  For me, this solution beats being shoved in my night stand drawer or under my pillow.

Hot Glue Stand– Already mentioned above.

Spoons and Things (Cooking)–  Its the spatula that get me every time when I’m cooking.  Those little spoon rests are elitist pieces of pottery.  They only want to hold spoons.  My poor little spatula have no place to go (aside from a trivet that just takes up too much space).  Hello Taco… you’ve just given my spatulas a home, sweet home.

Mail–  I use it for important mail that I need access to.  For me, that means bills.  Not really happy things, but at least they look good in my Ivory Woven Traditions Taco holder.

Taco Holding–  You mean they can still hold tacos after all that?!  Yep.  After a busy day of mail herding, hot glue minding, phone toting, eye glasses protecting they can help feed you.  Take a little of the mess out of the fiesta. Over all for $2 bucks it is a great way to try Longaberger’s Woven Tradition Pottery.