Monday, May 2, 2016

Happy New Year to me!

Happy New Year to me.  Yes, I've come up from the "season" yet once again.  It was long and challenging.  Yet, I'm out on this side once again.

This year needs to be a bit different.  In the dark of the winter months, I've had some time to reflect of what I have been involved in the past, what I'm currently involved in and what those items I'd love to try out in the future.  

Of course the future items and events many of them, I don't even know exist yet.  I do know, it is time to clear more of my decks so that there is the opportunity to be available to what comes across my path.

My year has generally been eight months long - May 1st through December.  Yesterday I took a bit of time to ponder.  What this year will be?  This is what I've come up with so far.

Minimalism  - Continue to downsize!  I continue to evaluate my "stuff".  A friend is having a tag sale so I could unload a few more or lots more items.  I also had an 'ah ha' moment as I could take part in the weekend flea market to dispose of more of my stuff.  During the season, I rearranged one of my rooms, well it was one room that impacted one other room that had two areas.  I was able to rearrange and viola - I have an empty room.  The room with the two areas is so much more enjoyable. 

Art - Spend time with my art .  My lace is in  various stages - lots of projects in at various stages of completion.   Fairs and such are beginning as it becomes demonstration season.  How do I get back to being part of it?  I was watching a video of myself giving a seminar, "Lace is Everywhere" and re-experienced joy.  Time to bring some of that joy back to the present!

Volunteerism - A big part of my non-working life.  I generally enjoy being part of organizations.  There is the contribution part, community part, and the just ride along part.  The first two are where I receive my most joy.  The third part is okay and helps balance out the my personal schedule.

Family and Friends -  Time is needed to help out a relative that has some challenges.  That will require being on the road quite a bit more.  Other family members have been doing the lion's share to date. Time for me now to give them some relief.  

Happy New Year to me.  I've started off with a different kind of list.  It's a more joyous perspective look at what I have before me. 

Hope your New Year 2016 has given you joy!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Living My 60th Year - Film Making

A couple of years ago, I began to volunteer at our local Community Access Television station.   Let me say, it is fun and sometimes frustrating.

I started out make a program, subject - lace, making it, some history, interesting tidbits and the such.  I made up a list of programs, who could I invite to be a guest on the program and such.  

On a show that is produced at the studio, Common Sense CT - I did an interview on lace.  With a bit of social media, blew it out across the globe to lacemakers everywhere.  It received the most views for a show ever.  I was laughing as the host, Gary Byron, said we couldn't talk about lace for an hour show.

Fast forward to this summer.  Sometimes, despite the 'gang', you need to take the camera by the lens and go out an film an event.  I did, my first one was a meeting and I had all sorts of difficulties.  The second one, pictured here came off pretty good.  It took so long to edit it.  Find an opening and closing, then find royalty free, fee free music for the beginning and the end.  Learn to make graphics, called the bottom thirds.  Oh did I say of course learn the editing software?  

I'm glad to say that last week, it was finally done and approved to be shown on TV (you need to live in Newington to watch on TV) and at our website where you can watch on-demand at .

My third had to do with the Town Hall Renovation project.  It was a hearing  to get feedback.  Let's say, the majority of the residents that spoke out, were not in favor of the plan the then current (now ousted) Town Council.

The last one I was able to do was the Kiwanis Speaker Meeting.  I was there to only watch and enjoy myself.  Low and behold the guy from the studio was nowhere to be found.  Our MC was not happy, and not having any time to get back to the studio to get a camera, I took out my phone and began filming.   I could only film about 15 minutes on my device and graciously the MC gave me his phone to continue filming another 45 minutes - all without a tripod to steady the camera.  November 30, 2015 show if you are interested.

So back to the studio and attempted to join two different videos (matching the audio), add the beginning and end, make and add the graphics and even a slide for "technical difficulties" as the speaker had begun before I could hit record button.  

This program is Scott's baby and he usually does the editing.  He's an expert when it comes to editing!  So we finished and as we sat back to send the video through encoding, he said, paraphrasing, despite using the phone to video the event, I did a pretty dang good job on editing.  He had written me a review on them with items I had to correct.  I'm going to keep them and actually write up some suggestions to "newbies" like me, to make it easier to learn the edit side.

Am I ready for Sundance or Hollywood?  Not yet, though debuting my work is pretty dang special !

PS - the lace program hasn't happened yet.  The studio has made progress in getting techy stuff in order so folks like myself can make movies!  I did make a movie on my snowflakes which you can watch here on my YouTube channel.

Here's to a year of catching the dreams you chase,
doing what makes you smile,
and loving the life you live.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Living My 60th Year - Having Lunch and get a Bonus

Here's to a new year and remembering to eat lunch!

Yes, remembering to eat lunch.  I know that could sound strange.  

It's not the eating, I'm referring to.  I have my lunch, sometimes it is over the sink, grab a sandwich and run, or bring it back to my desk and consume it among the pile of paperwork.

I've been taking a full break for lunch lately and not at my desk.  Lunch is a pretty decent meal for me.  Many times it is left overs from the dinner before or a sandwich with fruit.  How much time?  About an hour, it's an hour I take time away from my work.

When I worked in a large office with lots of people around, this was what we did.  Somewhere around 10am we began discussing lunch.  Where to go, what we would like to have, who brought lunch and a host of questions.

Since I've worked for myself, that isn't the case.  I often talk to myself, though the subject matter isn't about lunch!  

What I have found, that by taking that break has allowed me to do a host of items that would had been regulated to some other part of the day.  I've done some fun reading; do part of the laundry;  or do some pick up around my non-working space.  Most of these types of tasks are 5 -10 minutes, though they feel like a received a bonus at the end of the day.  I find that I am a bit more focused during the balance of my day and accomplish work effectively.

Life is good, I get to have a better lunch,  a good break and am more productive for the balance of my day.  

What's your lunch break like?

Here's to a year of catching the dreams you chase,
doing what makes you smile,
and loving the life you live.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Living My 60th Year - Apples, Apples and more Apples

Apples, Apples, and more Apples.

It's that time of year..... Apples, Apples, and more Apples.

This year, my farm partner, Pam, decided that we needed to pick apples.  We had three plots in the community garden this past summer and planted veggies like you couldn't believe

Summers are great as there is so many choices of all kinds of veggies.   We grew this corn and it was pretty good.  The big farm up the road grew three types of corn.  Yum!  I brought all three types to a family picnic, husks in tack as we were going to grill them.  Sweet.
My Corn Crop

It was kinda funny when the kids peeled back the husks to find out that they were different.   The drama was .....  Really we need to get kids in the garden so they know where food comes from!

Thanks Dad!
Back to apples, we picked lots and lots.  Driving back home with bushels and wondering what we were going to do..... then that moment and I had an  "ah ha".  My Dad had a dehydrator and my brother Tim had it.  So I called him and made arrangements to borrow it from him since he wasn't using it.  

Oh my goodness, I thought it was a small one.  Nope, and he and I laughed, and said simultaneously - That's Dad.

Apple Chips
 Since I had lots of apples - I tried out the apples!  That's the result and they were great!

You need to be consistent in the slices - thicker slices the longer they take to dry.

Not the prettiest apple chips, yet they were really good.  Unfortunately I need to get a routine to make the chips - the routine to eat the chips is already working!

If you are wondering how crunchy - they are not potato chip crunchy.  They are still pliable and really good!  I put some away, I couldn't believe that, and when I took that back out, they were still great.

Pork Roast and Apples
I still had lots of apples left.  Bring out the crock pot.  There is a pork roast in the pot with some apples.  Very nice.

Apple Sauce
Next - applesauce - the crock pot is great to make apple sauce.  Cut them up, put on a good amount of cinnamon and nutmeg on low for 4-5 hours.  The last hour add cranberries!   

I've made several pots of applesauce so far.   I went out and purchased more apples.  Some times, especially for applesauce, the second hand apples work just fine and I can make two batches.

Roasted Butternut /Apple Soup
My last creation to date was to make a roasted butternut squash apple soup for Christmas dinner.  It was quite the deal as I couldn't find exactly the soup recipe I wanted.  The butternut squash came out of our garden

Low and behold with a bit of tweaking, viola, an amazing soup.  Mom and Tim had some, everyone else turned up their noses - their loss!

It's been a good season for apples.  The next time I make sauce, I'm going to do some canning of the sauce.   Isn't the old saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away?  

Anyway......... Apples, Apples and more Apples.  Hope you decide to try some!

Here's to a year of catching the dreams you chase,
doing what makes you smile,
and loving the life you live.