Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Minimalism - What a difference a day makes.

What a difference a day makes as the song says.  

The minimalism challenge has come full circle.  A year ago November I began a 30 day challenge to pick up, organize, clean out, recycle, and/or reuse. Then I turned it into a monthly update.

My behavior learned during the challenge really helped me look at the stuff that accumulates in my life.  

It was a successful year......

Cabinets with just what I really need.  Easier to cook and create.  Also stopped the duplicates at the store!

The cubby space is actually usable and I can find what I am looking for!  Success is getting all like items in one place.  It keeps evolving as I determine, all those cookbooks I don't use much any longer.  Now I search my favorite sites for new ideas.

Dresser drawers are another place that helps everyday living.  I can find it all with no muss or fuss.

What a difference a year can make.

Last winters storm damage to the 3rd floor carpeting pushed me to clean up my bedroom, closet, dresser, bookcases and such once again.  Bags of clothing were donated during the year to those that could use them.    Boxes of books were sent to the library for the Friends sale where the proceeds help the Lucy Robbins Welles Library in Newington.   Now it is a very peaceful room to rest and relax.

What a difference a year can make.

There was time for the garden and growing lots of veggies that I am enjoying today.  Started canning some of the tomatoes and with the winter squashes have been relishing the new recipes I'm trying out.

There's a sense of peace at the garden.  Enjoying the camaraderie of my fellow neighbors, trading secrets on how to do a better garden.  What works and doesn't work in the Newington soil and weather along with a dose of politics of course.

All this is happening due to my gardening space in the garage being cleaned up and organized!  

What a difference a year can make.

1st Place Big E 2015
1st Place Big E 2015
I finally got back to my lace.   I worked on coming up with entries to the Big E this past September.  Three presentations in tatting.  I received two firsts and a second!   

The firsts are shown here.  A collar and a series of hearts.

There was my crochet snowflake project going on since last Christmas at the same time.  

2nd Place Big E 2015
I have been making needle tatted flowers to practice.  I can carry it with me and in a few minutes I have made another flower.  Then I started giving them away.  By the time I realized it, I had given away around 200!  Now I'm keeping track of who they have been given to and the story that goes with them.  Everyone should have a piece of handmade tatting lace!

Once again -  clearing out nooks and crannies and organizing the would like to do patterns vs. notes on techniques and in various forms of handwritten notes, pdfs/jpgs, photocopies and books.  It's definitely better now.

What a difference a year can make.  If you start today.......  before you know it, you'll have made a difference just for you!  Enjoy

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


Friday, December 25, 2015

Snowflakes Viola!

One year ago today....  I decided that I would make the crocheted snowflakes.  

I had wanted to decorate with lots and lots of flakes.  Over the years I started and stopped; never getting more than a few accomplished.

Lots and lots of snowflakes....  while we are not enjoying the nature made variety in the balmy 65° weather here in New England, my collection of snowflakes did get done.  I made 35 during the year.  I had set a goal of over 50 flakes. Another batch would fill out the display in my foyer better.

I am so pleased with the flakes that I did complete.  There is magic as I look at each one of them.  Each is unique, each with a story of how a simple a hook and some thread  can capture the imagination.

Thank you to Snowcatcher , for year long inspirations.   It was a year ago today that I refound her blog.  Every Monday she presents a new snowflake pattern.  Before long, I was really looking forward to Snowflake Mondays.

To present the snowflakes themselves, here's a wee video to showcase them. Enjoy!

Now on to making more snowflakes for 2016.  I will continue with the crochet variety and will try my hand at tatting a few!

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

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Living My 60th Year - A Pot of Gold

Fun is... when you come out of a long meeting to be able to see a rainbow end on the roof of Lucy Robbins Welles Library.  The pot of gold lies within this very place here in Newington.   Somewhere in the universe, the rainbow said to me that we will be able to continue to create one of the best libraries in the area.  

I've been focusing on the library and its expansion plans.  While a trustee, I'm not on the facility committee, though I would attend the committee meeting as a 'guest' had I know when it met.  One of my pet peeves with this group is lack of communication.  

The Town Council finally got around to formally starting a building committee. The LIBRARY RENOVATIONS/ADDITION PROJECT BUILDING COMMITTEE (LRAPBC) (that's a mouthful) was formed back in April, five of seven members approved in short time, and the last two members approved at in July.  They finally had their first meeting on July 27th.  I was there and taped the meeting.  I'm planning on being their to video tape their meetings.  I did request, to the Director, after the meeting, that the LRAPBC hold their meetings in the meeting rooms that have mic's as the audio was a very, very poor quality. 

I did say I video taped the meeting!  Yeah, I signed out a camera and tripod from NCTV (our community TV station) and will start to do live shoots.  The only way to learn, in some cases, is just to get out there and do it.  It is a very boring shoot.  The room was to small, so I couldn't focus in on the individuals speaking.  I did the Library meeting on Monday night and the Parks & Rec Informational meeting on Wed night.  The P&R went better as they met in a bigger room and allow me to focus on the speakers.   

Now I need studio time to transfer the files up to the edit machine.  That took a really long time.  Note to self - need to find a better way to transfer the files.  So while I was waiting the transfer, I began to make the graphics for the bottom third.  Our expert, Scott, was there and he was able in a quick few minutes to instruct me what to do, some good points about software we use, and how to work the layers.  Great start.  Unfortunate part, I need to be at the studio to work the editing at this moment.  The studio has limited access at this time.  We shall see how that changes in the near future.  This opportunity to video is like a kid in the candy store to me.  It's only the beginning - maybe some gold dust will fall on me.

The Shelby - I've been working on this blanket for just too long.  Having had the opportunity to visit with Shelby (niece), she was able to try it on for size.  She was so excited.  Ahhh - it needed to be expanded in length.  Maybe one more row or two?  We settled on two more rows.  Over the other weekend, I had almost an entire day to work on the blanket.  

What a joy to work on this blanket especially since Shelby was here.   It's tying in so many of the rows, adding the balance of the squares and really see it take shape.  What was really nice - was working outside and having the sun as my light source.  Looking forward to getting this completed by the end of August!

These two weeks have been filling my pot of gold - helping in my community, learning a new discipline, and seeing my work appreciated.  Cha ching!

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

Monday, July 20, 2015

Living My 60th Year - NCTV ...

It was Extravaganza here all week.  My volunteering surrounded the events and the station.  We, NCTV,  are awaiting a large grant to arrive any day now, once the state of CT gets going.  This organization is funded primarily with government grants.  Anyone that knows grants, let alone from the government, are at the whim of political powers to be.

The group has been anticipating this grant that would allow us to upgrade to HD production.  All the avenues that we are pushing the content to are all switching to HD.  In the business, we can not snooze!

While it is really techie, I'm learning lots about the station that I can help with.    I've had the chance to edit part of a program we filmed with adding the graphics to the "bottom third".  Watch the TV news, did you notice the bottom third the screen?  Then we gave me some 'permissions' to update the website with writing some code to link our programs to the website. That takes me back to the days I used to do some programing.  A simply misplaced comma and it won't work.  

What is amazing with this group - they are amazingly bright individuals.  Each of them with their speciality - audio, editing, filming, content, and the list goes on.  

Anyway - Extravaganza - this was my second year as the on-air talent.  Mike G was my cameraman  once again.  It is amazing how much the talent and camera guy work to get the best.  Besides interviewing people at random, we sought out certain folks that were in charge of the event, other notable individuals from the community.  

Then we separated to obtain additional footage close ups that help will help fill out and transition during the film.   Great experience for me to "see" what the camera can pick up.   He picked up footage from Wednesday night, we teamed up for Friday night footage and interviews, and then all day on Saturday doing pretty much the same.  

I'm having fun with this, even with the learning curve and learning and earning the trust of the group.  Most of the background work is helping make up processes so that we have less time in the admin side of the station and therefore having more time to work on content.  

One idea came as I interviewed various people and organizations - we need a show on the station that highlights these organizations.  So I guess I'm going to be writing up a proposal in the middle of the HD upgrade.  

Great week - lots of stimulus, other areas were equally good.  More on the minimization of 'stuff', and clearing up items.  Thanks for stopping by and see you next week!

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

Monday, July 13, 2015

Living my 60th Year - little things

Little Things that give us pleasure.

Little things can give us so much satisfaction and pleasure.  I'm sure each of you have a host of items, no matter the size or frequency that really make your day.  This past week there was lots of little pleasures.

Cleaning pleasures -   First of all, the week had the big cleaning day I do once a month.  From one month to the next, my minimalist measures continue to make a difference in how my place feels around me.   A bit more accomplished, few more items disposed of by some manner, my space stays in better shape as I can keep it up to date  - everything in it's place or at least, has a place!

Teaching pleasures - My girlfriend's son, Ian, was over for a bit.  Great kid and he's learning about making choices, at ten years old.  He's getting to determine what he would want or like to do and the costs $$'s.  Beginning to get grounded in learning how his choice make consequences.  Love seeing the light go on, or  an aha look.

Working pleasures - Solid work time scheduled without any interruptions.  This is like heaven as I am so much more productive.  

Craft time pleasures - Whether it be making lace and crochet, or pinning pictures, a little bit of time everyday puts the beauty of creation higher on the conscious level.   Over the last few weeks, I've finished up a bunch of little projects.  I was able to give away a scarf I just finished to a friend of mine.  She was so excited as she is going to a patriotic event in a couple of weeks and will be wearing it.  That pleasure of making it was doubled when  I was able to give it to someone who would enjoy it.  

Garden time pleasures - Pull weeds and some more weeds and lots and lots of peas and squash!  It is so quiet at the garden, a peaceful place to get away from the rush of the day.

Volunteering pleasures - seeing work come together, working with other folks that truly share the same desires to more an organization forward.  TV gang is getting the files up that we serve to the town here.   I'm doing some website coding, kinda fun yet frustrating - a little learn as you go.  I do the simple stuff and the complicated stuff goes to the experts in the group.

What are your little things?  

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

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Minimalism - June - Progress!

As my kick off month - I am making tremendous progress.  Are You?

Going minimalist living takes courage to find ways to dispose, eliminate, and change your head of what is important.  Stuff for the safe of stuff takes away your energy, time, and money.  I started this challenge last November.  Looking ahead, I've got five more months to my big celebration.

Here's the round up of some of the progress that happened for the Month of June.

Cubbies in the kitchen - there are four left to do out of sixteen!

Garage - began to clear out some stuff, a little at a time.  Since I've moved so much of the stuff into this space, it is creating a little bit of an overwhelming feeling.  Best thing is to pull back a little, and break tasks down into smaller chunks so something can be done.  

That's the Key to Success - break down tasks and get something done!

There was a little setback as the tables I borrowed from a neighbor to use in the garage had to be returned.  Si la vie ---- I've cleaned off another table I have and will embark on the garage once again!

Storm damage - the ceiling got done in the studio, the carpet was looked at, and supposedly the floor is okay and the Assoc will be sending someone soon?

Craft items - I started to get a little carried away.  I cleaned out the closet where I keep stuff, rearranged items so they can be used, threw out items, and found the missing in action beads I purchased last November.  What  I really found is that I have more space than I thought!

I reclaimed projects - which is to say I'm not going to finish them any longer.  So I unraveled the thread / yarn that I can use for another project.  Cut off the samples and put in my sample box.  This was the first big go around probably since I moved in.  Now the bed is covered with those projects / items that need attention but not right now.  They can sit for awhile and let them stir around in my subconscious.  Occasionally, I go and look at the closet and smile!

My lace pillows  and supplies received a first big overhaul.   I found a batch of snowflakes that I made and tucked away.  That makes a dent in my challenge to make 50 snowflakes this year!  Yippie! The star project got a big boost as I starched the little guys - so easy with a little water and all purpose white glue and pin them to the board.  The stars look amazing.

Farm - the plots are some what done or as done as it is going to be.  The squash is looking really great, the tom's are growing and have some fruit on them.  We've been weeding and weeding.  Least favorite item to do -  but it is happening.  We have picked some squash.  It's now time to go in maintain mode and let mother nature do her thing.

Books , Books, and more Books.  I was able to go through more bookshelves and get rid of more books - some went to the library for their book sale, others were tossed.

Revisit - part of this minimalism is that it is very difficult to change the way you have lived.  So I went back to the front hall closet and cleaned it out again.  This time it took only about 30 minutes and I found a winter coat that can be given away!

Organized more "paper work", undo piles - you know what those are.  Most of us have them.  So I took a small handful and sorted them out.  It was surprising (not really) that more than half were tossed out and the other half were filed in places that had been set aside for exactly that.  Then gradually, I took another handful and then another.  Before I knew it, all of the pile was sorted, scanned, filed, and tossed.  Note to self -- remember to put it away while you have it in your hands!

Minimalist living doesn't mean you are a hermit.  I arranged several get-togethers with friends I hadn't seen for  a while.  What a nice time and that allowed me to celebrate these accomplishments.

Thank you to the month of June!  I feel so much better!  Now on to July.....

Monday, July 6, 2015

Living My 60th Year - about half over

Yes it is almost my half birthday!  Can you believe that half of the calendar year has past us by?
For me the first four months are buried in lots of work and therefore I've pretty much celebrated May 1st as my happy new year and the year which lasts eight months.

I have mini celebrations the first of each month.  Why you may ask?  Because I can and deserve to take a moment out to celebrate me.  For the 1st of July - I treated myself out for dinner at a local joint called TJs.  Got to sit on the patio, enjoyed a simple meal and read fun lace magazines!  

Over the past week, I completed more stuff!  Stuff I won't need to complete again.  It truly feels like small weights are being lifted.

With a little less on my plate, I have had the chance in the last week to complete some of my 'art' projects.  The sand dollar and shell were given to me by Iris who escapes our winter in Florida.  So the shell sat on my table as I continued to think about it.  then I found the doily and the hoop - viola it is now complete and hanging up in my home.  It reminds me of our friendship, the beach and of course, lace.

Then the Red/White/Blue scarf was completed.  I had enough thread and time to create another, a string scarf.  My design, inspired by a few scarves I 'pinned'.  Wow - expand my mind.  The string scarf reminded me of a piece of jewelry my mom has.  Now I have two scarves just in time for the 4th of July!  

Oh my goodness - the star project is now complete.  I pulled down the grid, removed the crystal and lace, and put up the stars.   All the yarn is used up!  Here's a look see of the grid.  I'm thinking I would like to add more stars to the grid.  I'll wait until I get one of those 40% coupons for JoAnn's to get another package of those mini skeins.   In the mean time, I am loving my stars - the colors are so bright and cheery.

My June went well, using my accomplishment journal, I am seeing that I am getting back in my saddle. I am getting things done and behind me.  

Lucky now it is summer as some of my charity work really slows down.  The local community TV group on the other hand is ramping up.  We need more volunteers which can always be a struggle.  

Like many organizations, they do not reach out or remember to market themselves.  We have some new blood, so new ideas are surfacing.  I'm completing an admin task for them.  Revamping some documents - updating them for the changes in technology, address change for some (lol they moved five years ago), even getting to learn some HTML code for addressing simple changes on the website.  It's kinda fun to write code - haven't done that in ....ah  lets say in many years.  I also had the opportunity to assist to help in adding graphics (post production) to video we shot several months ago.  It's like a new adventure - I'm out of the house, around some really techie folks, fun.

This coming week is quieter with no big appointments.  It's time for me to go back to my list of stuff and see what I could start and /or complete this month.  We have concerts in the park, our big Extravaganza week, a week long town event ending in fireworks in two weeks.  Make dates with friends, and the items around the place that I need to address.   I already made one goal - have the shredding company come by again after 8/15.  

What is your second half of the year look like?  Have you made plans to complete the todo's you have; make dates with family and friends; treat yourself?   Sit down with your calendar - make some dates for you!

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

Friday, July 3, 2015

July 4th - Remember the day

Celebrating Independence Day, the day the United States formally adopted their independence in 1776 and the separation from Great Britain.  It is truly a cause for celebration.  We will tumble and evolve, we will continue to fight for freedom.  Happy 239th Birthday America!

Irving Berlin wrote this song in 1918 and was shelved until 1938.  That's when Kate Smith sang it on her radio show..... and as they say, the rest is history.  Hope you will listen in.......

Living My 60th Year - Git 'r done

Has been my mantra for the last month or so.  Most of you may remember Larry the Cable Guy who said this just about every time he was seen.  He was/is so funny.  If you remember him, it dates back to the early '90s!  Twitter (2006) and Facebook (2004) were not around and we gathered around TV and some radio.  

Chat rooms were the rage in the late 1990s.  I remember connecting with an amazing group of people all over the eastern seaboard on an MSN.  We even had a couple of get-togethers out on Long Island, NY.

But I digress - Git 'r Done has been my mantra.  I've been using two methods to kick start and fire up my personal engine that seemed to be idling for too long.

Method One is to write down what you have accomplished today.  Doesn't have to be earth shattering, none of the items were.  Yet after several days you will feel a sense of accomplishment. Heck after this month I feel so much better!  I really do!  

Method Two was to take an inventory of what I want to get done.  That is always a moving target, one thing gets done and two or three more pop up out of no where!  This type of list could actually get you not to do anything.  It may be to daunting at first. 

Writing it down gets it out of your mind, relieves you to concentrate on getting something done!  I find that when I have a spot of time, and I say to self, "self, get something done off the list" and viola, my list reminds me of what I could do at the moment.  I call those spots of time, bonuses!  Now who doesn't love a bonus!

So this past week - CPE was worked on; cleared more files and extensions; pinned more lace to my Pinterest boards and surpassed 4,000 pins - yeah; been weeding on the farm; worked on the stars project - last of the starching is just about complete; wrote thank you cards; mailed a box of goodies to one of my nieces; lunch with a friend of mine; watched a movie; wrote my first bit of code in WordPress.  Oh my goodness, pretty darn good.

Happy July 1st - Happy July 4th - and choose  a Git 'r Done kind of week.  Whatever makes you feel great - friends, family, or just for you!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Living My 60th Year --- KC is on the mend

This week had me taking KC to the vet.  It isn't generally a fun event for her nor me.  Though she seemed to do pretty well.   She spent the day at the vet to test her BG curve and several other tests for kidney, sugar, etc.

News finally came and she's been feeling badly due to an UTI infection.  Back to the vet the next day to get the antibiotic that will need to be administered for the next ten days.  Her sugar is double what it should be  - some of it due to the infection.  She will have to go back for another BG curve test some time in early July.  

I Found The Beads!    Yippie - I'm not losing my mind - just putting the stuff away in a safe place!?!  

This past week, it was one month since the resignation.  I'm loving sitting in the back of the room during the meeting this past week.  I didn't lose the day preparing for the meeting nor lose a couple of  days after taking care of all the work that would have been assigned to me.  I did do one thing, posted the Meet the Candidate notice for this coming Thursday evening all over Facebook.  

Master Bedroom Suite --- Still no information about getting the room fixed from the leaks. Though it was approved to have the engineer look at it.  In the mean time, back to minimization.  

There is a bookcase - with lots of assorted books. Also a stack of them next to it as there isn't any room for more.  Occasionally, I'm looking for a title, stuffing more books in it, yet I'm no longer using most of them. 

Ready to Donate!
Then the week before,  it came to me --- I've not touched it since moving in.  I decided that without looking - I gave myself the okay to keep ten of the books.  

So proud to say - it is cleaned out and I've got a box of books ready to donate at the library!

Okay, if you are counting ---- yes, it is a little more than ten.  
Not going to happen.

Next to tackle - Lace pillows, not the kind you put your head on, the kind that you make bobbin lace on. Many of them had WIPs and were moved into the suite area some months ago.  

It was time to look at them and find out what there is.  Some of the pillows had demo projects on them, some with projects I'm still half done, some not started.  

Question I asked myself - how much time do I have to complete any / all of these.  Several were cut off, couple left for demo purposes.  The one pictured here had some severe structural problems that I would not tolerate when I took it off the pillow.  I cut off the dozen bobbins,  unwound them, and put them back; two pillows have projects on that I want to finish and my demo stand pillow is ready for the next demonstration - possibly late summer and the fall.  The snake pillow is ready for a beginner!
In process.....

Yes, the star project is happening.  I starched two more boards of stars during the week, put a loop of fishing line through them and hung them up.  Connected with this project was making a few more snowman scarfs for a project later this year.  Those are done and put away for now.  I'll make up more stars with the remaining yarn and this project will also be completed.  

KC is feeling better - it is amazing what 48 hrs can do for her.  This coming week will have lots to do with the farm plots.  Stay tuned.........  and enjoy your week.

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Snowflakes - Look what I found!

Yes, I've been away and unfortunately not making my snowflakes.

It feels like summer here.   When I wrote last time, it was winter at the end of April.  Now the snow is melted and everything is in bloom.   Lately, I've been feeling 'blessed' as much that I am working on is coming together.  The first time in a long time.

This is one instance of my work coming together.  Back when I challenged myself to make the snowflakes, it was two fold.  One to make a snowflake and second to take the time to write about the process of making a snowflake.  Sometimes we go along without a bump, then there are those bumps that take you out of circulation.  It hit one of the later bumps.

Lucky that bump didn't last for long. This past week I was taking a part the studio.  Reclaiming old projects, cutting off projects,
and deciding what I truly wanted to complete.

This one is a reclaim project.  I found another use for this thread - I needle tat five petal flowers.
I can do them in my sleep and when I'm in a meeting or waiting, I can whip off one in about 15 minutes.  Since I started making the flowers last fall, I think I made at least 50-60 of them of which I have given most of them away.  This week alone - I made/gave away nine  of them.  It is so cool to do as the recipient is surprised and pleased and I know in my heart there is a little bit of handmade lace in another home!

Okay - back to snowflakes.  I found the snowflakes in the pictures above!  Viola!  Fifteen of them, most white (10) and five of them are in ecru.  Not too sure about the ecru ones yet.  Of course - they need to be blocked and I need (to make peace in my mind) find out which pattern book they came out of.  While I've been away since April 22nd, I need eight snowflakes complete by today to keep on track to be done by November!  Looks like the crochet spirits are with me and have rewarded me with a few spares.

Therefore...... based on the 21 completed so far..... and the white ones - I've 31 completed and a few to spare.  I'm feeling back in the saddle again and look forward to posting new snowflakes and beginning to get them starched!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Living My 60th Year - I still can't find the beads

Those are now empty boxes no longer needed!
Haven't you swore that you had something, remember buying it as if it was yesterday and then you can't find it?

Lately I've been looking for several items - crochet stars, beads from the Fiber Fest this past November, additional handmade snowflakes, and 
 crystal chandelier to name a few.  

What is it with our memory sometime?  Are we not exercising the grey matter enough?  Is there just too much on our plate, that the thoughts just pass through at lightning speed?   

With picking up and rearranging that I started last November, some items seem to have gotten put in the mystery place.  My minimalist strategy has been working quite well except now I am getting to critical mass.   There are spaces now at that stage.  The studio/bedroom and the garage are those places.  

Besides lots client work, office admin work, planting at the farm, neighbor cookout/party at Jim's driveway,  it has been a good week.  Plenty productive!  Best of all, it was housekeeper week and it looks so nice about my space on earth.  

I decided to get to the studio, do a little bit each evening.  I want to find those beads.  Not in the two places where the beads should be - I looked several times.  In the mean time, I am getting distracted with the 'stuff' in boxes, bags, books, etc.  Yesterday, I decided I would dig in a bit further into the various work-in-process projects, maybe, just maybe I'll find those beads.

Reclaiming is great - it's when you undo the work that was done and have yarn/thread for another project.  I reclaimed three projects - nice work though no I'm longer interested in the project.  Two others I cut off the work and placed the work in my samples box.  It's a little box with bit 'n pieces of trying out a yarn/thread or a pattern that I've collected over the years.  

Another project is the stars project.  That kicked off my energy on Sunday.  I needed to starch them, so I made the potion (equal part's Elmer's glue and water), soaked them and repinned them to the drying board.  Later I found that I have another  19 to starch and probably enough yarn to make another dozen.   Yippie. 

It's is snowing in the studio - another one for me!   I found another fifteen flakes already
completed.  From the notations in my various pattern books, I knew I did more, though their abouts were not easily found.  While emptying more mystery bags, I found them.  This find will keep me on my track of making 50 (plus) snowflakes for this year.  

 When you are on a roll, it's amazing what you can find.  Yes I found the chandelier!  The chandelier was packed away in January in the garage so that it would not be bumped into.  Problem was I changed the  box it was packed in.  My mind was telling me one thing and my eyes were not listening.  Another mystery solved.

As for the beads - still can not find them...............  stay tuned, I know they are in that space!  I need to "see" instead of "look".   Have a great week!

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

Monday, June 8, 2015

Living My 60th Year - A heck of a week

It's been a heck of a week.  Can't say it was one of the best, yet it is getting better as I clean off more stuff.

Geez this sounds boring on one hand, though the progress is getting better.

I've another organization that is now on summer vacation after their meeting this week.  I completed my responsibilities on Sunday and emailed off the document to the gang.  It is missing some information, yet it is as complete as it goes.

This past week we had more rain and pretty cloudy days.  Finally cleared up by the end of the week in time for the weekend.  It was Tag sale/fundraiser
weekend here in town; the Rotary was at the high school; the Art League was on the lawn of the Kellogg-Eddy house and was coordinated with the Historical Society on the same property; and let's not forget the Congregational Church!

I was on a textile shopping hunt.  I did not find any lace, though I went back to the United Methodist whom had a booth at the Rotary sale and got such a deal!  That is an enormous bucket filled with embroidery thread, couple of knitting needles for my mom's friend who teaches knitting, other bits and pieces ... and including the bucket $20! And found a small end table - for the cost of carrying it away!  It could use some sanding and painting.  Instead I'll cover it with some lace and I'll be loving live.  Found a crochet book at the Art League $2 and some gift boxes and picture frame from the Historical Society $4 and lastly a small plastic storage box, good for thread, picture frame and file stand for another $5.  LOL!  What a deal.

The studio/bedroom is almost back in order.  I'm taking my time and clearing away a few more items that do not need to be there.  It is nice to have the ceiling looking clean again.

I didn't attend to the farm too much.  The picture is the squash plot - my plot isn't complete yet.  Yeah Yeah Yeah -- I know, so much to deal with and so little time.  My green bean plants have germinated!  Kinda surprised that all the seeds didn't wash away.

This will be a big week!  Take care and enjoy your week too!

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

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Minimalism - May - Donate and Recycle

What a great month!  

My Minimalist Challenge  from Day 21  - keeping only necessities in the kitchen is completed!  My goodness, what a difference.  I have space I didn't know I had.    What I found were dishes I haven't used since I moved in here some seven years ago.  Just because I had the space, well it is now time to determine what I need to keep because I use it.  Owning it is not a reason to keep it!  I found several vases- one of which I haven't a clue where they came from?  

At the beginning of May, I made a list room by room, closet by closet  - not too detailed,  yet enough to get it down on paper.  I find doing that type of exercise liberating.  The ideas are not running around in my head and when in front of me I can see the small tasks vs the large tasks which means something can get done.

On to the cubbies!  I've one of those 4 x 4 cubbies from Ikea in the kitchen.   I'm down to 10 of the 16 completed.  Here's the success in many ways:

- disposed of a complete cubbie of cook books and donated them to the Friends of the Library for their book sale. Really when I am looking for inspiration - I look online.

- used that open space to put my little crochet project in so that it is not stacked on the counter in the kitchen.  You can see the striped bag in the picture.

- organized/ sorted other papers and found enough space to keep my laptop bag and purse in the cubbie.  

There are four more cubbies and those will be done this month!

The Living space was another set of small tasks.  I found old magazines and old books.  Low and behold the mags were recycled and the old books were donated.  Then audio rack where I  found a box of cassette tapes - 30 tapes!  There were some great albums I listened to back then - not so much today.  So to remember those good titles, I made a list of them, and then took the box and donated them to the Friends Sale.

While donating those items for the Friends book sale - I found that the Senior Center in town has a gift/consignment shop.  When I visited, I found more lace - yeah!  I also found that they are always looking for greeting cards.  Wait, this was a bonus.  I have two boxes full of note cards - not any longer!  A full box of them has been donated and I received so many thanks.  I was grateful not to have to throw them out.

Now off to the transfer station I go - like the old toaster that really didn't work, or those power strips that don't protect any longer along with the UPS boxes that were replaced in the office.  Yeah - proper disposal is key today.  More on my bid to increase recycling here in town later on.

Another part of minimalism is to use up what you already own.  I've got a sizable stash of yarn and WIP projects (work in progress).  I purchased some yarn eons ago because I liked it. I hadn't found the right project, the yarn is a bit cranky to use, whatever!  Then - Viola, in doing some Pinterest, I found the pattern.  Thanks to , I have my inspiration.   It's the beginning of a baby blanket for a basket I will be making up for a fundraiser in September. 

I even looked at some of those WIP's and said that I'm not interested in that project and reclaimed the thread and yarn to use as another project.  

It was a good month.  By being present, opportunities abound about you.  I found new place to give away items and have made a few folks happier that they are enjoying.   Thank You!

June will be even better.  I've the balance of the cubbies to complete; the 2nd bedroom/studio was taken apart to fix the damage from the ice damming this winter so it will be re-assembled with a minimalist mindset; the garage is looming, now that the light is fixed, I'll be taking on small bits at a time.  My goal is to have the garage complete by July.  Of course there is the balance of the damage from the ice damming needs to be completed.  

Are you beginning to look around?  Have you found some precious minutes to be present with you?  Go ahead I invite you to take a few.... your soul will appreciate the opportunity to speak to you.

Day 21 - kitchen cabinets - only the necessities  - Take one cabinet/drawer a day
0.  Cabinet to the right of microwave -----  December
1.  cabinet left of microwave - May 9th
2.  drawer below #1 January
3.  Drawer below #2 January
4.  Drawer below #3 January
5.  drawer to right of stove January
6. cabinet below #5 - March
7.  drawer on left side of island  February
8.  cabinet below #7 February
9.  drawer on right side of island- March
10.  cabinet below #9 February
11.  cabinet above to the left of sink May 9th
12.  cabinet above sink - May 9th
13.  cabinet above to right of sink May 9th
14.  Pantry closet /February
15.  storage in garage.
16.  storage cube in dining kitchen room
17.  Cabinet in dinning room January
18.  Cabinet Below sink!!  - March

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Living My 60th Year - It rains.... and it pours

Weather changes and so does life.  Not very poetic, yet enough to make my point of this week.

Yes - that is a flood in front of the garage - about 4" deep.  The drain, that runs across the front of the garage, can not handle the water.

So this is life - It is a good life, some days are better than others.  I've got some items to cross over in my path right now.  All take courage and patience and focus.  My focus has been scattered for quite some time.  My boat has been too full.  So eliminating one of the items (resigned for position) has helped.  Yet the boat is still too full.  It has allowed for the items in the boat to take a deep breath and each of them are clamoring to be next in line.

With my "I got it done" journal, I've been able to get more accomplished, true, yet it has allowed me to appreciate what I have completed.  What ever the tools we have, use them.  Don't have tools, go visit your local library, staff will show you where they are.  Search for them online - lots of blogs out there that you can gleam some hints and techniques that may turn your head!  

The resignation - it is working well for me.  I see spots of time, items to-do that are not  my responsibility any longer and I've cleared off a physical space of stuff!  More of that in my minimalist post for the month.  The repairs from all the ice damming are beginning. 

  Nothing more, nothing less.   Some weeks are just quiet.

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

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Living My 60th Year - A Step Forward and Giving Thanks

It was a great week... some changes and some fun.

This picture - I was impressed how it came out.  The storm clouds were rushing in as it blocked out the sun.  I was driving and finally found a place I could pull over and take this picture - with my phone.  It was truly impressive how mother nature painted the sky.  The storm that came later, did just that came and went.

I had a nice surprise to attend my niece's fashion show that her class and all the classes at her high school puts on at the end of school term.  It was fun.  Very interesting how the same pattern was used by many students, yet the students chose  different fabrics and colors.  As long as she is interested in fashion and design, I'll be going to three more of these annual events!

Saturday was our Memorial Day Parade and I volunteered with the local community TV station to help video tape it.  It's an early crew call, 7 am,  to get it all set-up to begin filming at 11am.  It was a grand day, lots of folks coming out to honor those military men and women that have  given so much to our country and it's freedom.

In between all of this was the GARDEN - got to get it in.  Pam and I got the new plot - just squash - all finished!  Yeah!!   Green and yellow summer squash and some winter squashes - acorn, butternut and spaghetti.  Then we were back to the prior two plots - we are rotating the planting between the two plots.  Got about one half planted between the two.  

We are still missing a couple of solutions as to how to trellis up the peas and cucumbers and mulch to keep the weeds back.   I've done more research - should pan out this week!  Our seedlings didn't do so well, so we are out buying plants to take care of getting the garden underway.  I'm a bit disappointed, this too shall pass.  

Work was a little slow in the garden on Monday as the temperature and humidity rose.  Even with #30 sunscreen, I got really red and felt pretty sick.  Maybe I need a new tube of the stuff - ya think?

I expect to plant a little more each day for this coming week.  Pam is reworking the plan some more so that we can get them all in by the weekend - That's the plan!

Back on the home front, I've been all over the place - scattered - and not getting anything accomplished.  It's beginning to make me crazy. I finished resigning last week from the executive board of a group I was involved.  Nice to remove all the 'stuff' from my place.  Now I need to reclaim that time for me.  

I made up a list for my home....  floor by floor and space by space.  It's not a perfect plan - yet it is a plan with sufficient flexibility that should allow me to get going.   I bet there are even more items that didn't make this draft.  That is why they call them drafts!  When it is done - I expect to see the "list" empty!   I even begun a "what I have done" page in my notebook.  Helping me see progress.

Another week - it is coming together - slowly - I know, I know, it didn't happen overnight, so give me some slack!

Enjoy!  Remember to give your service people a nod of thanks!

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