Thursday, December 08, 2016

Christmas Mandala Recycled - Christmas Lights

Another recycled Christmas mandala from 2014. 

My head is returning to it's more normal size. However, the ear ringing (not to be confused with the ringing of the Salvation Army donation collectors) is still there. And the fatigue. And the nausea. And when I don't feel like eating...

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Recycling Christmas Mandalas

Tuesday I hopped out of bed with a list of 'stuff' to get done on my day off.  Part of that included getting the trash can to the curb (in the 6 inches of snow which fell overnight). It also meant I needed to empty out the kitty box and refill.

The problem started with the kitty litter being in the back of the station wagon.

So I trotted outside (actually, I shuffled out at 5 a.m.) and proceeded in the sub-zero weather to fling open the back of the station wagon. Problem is - in cold weather the hydraulics don't grab like they do in warmer weather and the huge, old station wagon door crashed down on my poor fragile head.

Needless to say, if I could have, I probably would have uttered some words best left unsaid. As it was, I made it back inside (finally), tears in my eyes, kitty litter in hand (must stay focused) and grabbed an ice pack.

So one concussion later, I am tired, nauseous and headachy.

And recycling Christmas mandalas from a couple of years ago.

I did go into urgent care later in the day to be told what I already knew. But they gave me some pills for the nausea.

And when I came back home, Texter and Lady K had run me a hot bath. Lady K was set to 'clean' grandma.

So know I am taking it easy for a couple of days. Which is really what you need to do during the holidays - right!

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

November Goals Review and December Goals

Can I say - just survive the holidays?

You see, I need my routine. And all these days off and 'changes' really bother me in the back of my wee brain. I feel like I can't get in step with what I need to do. But...

  • Finalizing and setting concrete steps for 2017 plans and projects - sort of/kind of...still working on it
  • Successfully complete NaNoWriMo this year made my 50,000 words despite computer issues!
  • Hosting several write-ins at the library not as successful as I would have liked, but decent
  • Submitting my proposed programs to the programing staff for consideration at the library. Did and got a list of workshops I am doing for 2017. Excited and can't wait!  
  • Decluttering my sewing areathis ties in with my 2017 plans for what I want to do - almost done, still need to get some things downstairs
  • Buying one towel, one plant and one set of sheets 
  • Plan Thanksgiving dinner 
  • Work on the TMNT afghan and get at least 4 more strips done - NOPE!
  • Finish up the little "Nemo" hat I picked up for Lady K Done and she wears it all the time
  • Finish up the Bee Hive blocks for October and November and get them in the mail Done and they have been received
  • Find a top to go with the leggings I received - Not yet, haven't been shopping for me.
  • Shopping trip to Missoula with Savvy and Texter Shopping trip was just Texter and I, Savvy had to work after all.
  • Letters written (which includes a now belated birthday card!) - NOPE!

So this is my current 'habit' I am trying to develop. Water. After my last doctor's visit, my blood pressure and blood sugar are up and I need to bring them down. So water. I figure if I put it on my desk where I am most of the day when at home, or at least near it, then it will prompt me to drink more water! And I wanted it pretty, to further inspire me.

After looking at my November goals, I realized I had actually done more than I felt like I had. So I am very pleased. December, in a way, will be a bit more relaxed. I have a week of vacation before Christmas, Lady K will be at daycare during the day, and I plan to 'veg out' and crochet and knit and read and write and nap and...

  • Get those damn letters written!
  • Buy towel and plant - actually the plant already purchased. An amaryllis for Christmas and Texter got me a little pink Christmas cactus
  • Finish getting stuff downstairs
  • Do December Bee Hive block
  • Get vision board for 2017 Word of the Year done
  • Finalize plans for "Results Not Resolutions" workshop on January 7. I need a power point and some examples made up.
  • Start working on plans for other workshops I'm leading
  • Exercise! Get a plan in place and put it on my schedule
  • Decide exactly what planners and notebooks I'm using in 2017
  • Write up project sheets for things I want to get done in 2017
  • Work on TMNT afghan
  • Enjoy Christmas vacation!

I think I am ready for December and 2017!

Monday, December 05, 2016

Mandala Monday

It seemed right to recycle this from a previous year. Now to figure out where the rest of my other Christmas mandalas are!

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Week in Review - November 27 - December 3

The past few weeks have been 'weird'. Weird in the fact that with the holidays, my routine has been disrupted and 'off'. I can't seem to get into that groove.  And I know there are at least 3 more weeks of this unsettled feeling before things get into a pattern again.


We have a Christmas tree. We had to go to Home Depot for screws and came home with a 3.5 foot fir for the tree. I wanted to go with a Norfolk pine (so I could have it after Christmas), but Lady K and Texter went into holiday mode and picked this.  A trip to Target for ornaments and lights and we were all set.

So my sewing table is now the bearer of the tree and soon, presents. Luckily, I only have one small sewing project to do by the end of the month.

After a trip BACK to Target because the first sting of lights didn't work, Texter and Lady K were happily decorating together.

And then the final touch, the pink glitter star.

Actually, they were starting out with blue and silver, after all BLUE is the official color of Lady K, but there was no blue glitter star. Pink was acceptable, so they had to redo all the balls they picked out.

Before you ask, no we didn't have much in the way of ornaments and lights prior to this. Lady K has been out of the state for the past two Christmas seasons. This is her first one here. We didn't bother before this, except for stockings. 

So today, it's wrapping presents time and putting them under the tree. 

The other BIG thing which happened this past week was taking "MAC" (my computer) to the repair shop. My video card died. And as it happens, after Texter was my tech liaison, Apple had a free replacement video card for the year of my computer. Two months over the cut-off, but she talked them into saving a 59 year old woman time in jail, and they replaced for free. So since it was in, having it's innards exposed, I had additional memory added. So MAC is back and better than ever.

But while in Missoula getting MAC fixed (dropped off Sunday, picked up Thursday), we stopped by the new Asian market, Castle and Pony.  

It's small. This aisle and one other. And a deli case.

But the young girl running it, Xian, was more than helpful, eager to answer any questions we might have. Texter and Lady K were happy with their Yum-Yum's and Panda cookies. 

A far cry from the Asian market in Raleigh, but better than anywhere else around. A friend, who is a patron at the library, actually called her when I told him and spoke to her (in Mandarin Chinese) and was glad he could advise his girl friend they existed.  I feel, in the conversations I had and he had with her, if there is something we wanted, she would do her best to get it for us.  

Savvy has a co-worker whose wife is native Japanese and she shared her goodies with them. I have a feeling (and a great one to have) cooking lessons are in our future.

Otherwise, this week:

  • Check up with doctor (blood pressure and sugars way up, especially for someone who has always been on the low end of the spectrum) Changes are being made.
  • Rearranged my room to accommodate Lady K's bed. She is sleeping it in now! Awaiting the arrival of her Privacy Pop.  Actually, Texter and I both want one too.
  • Won at NaNoWriMo, despite not having MAC to finish up on.
  • Led the last NaNoWriMo meet up for the year (1 person was there besides me) 
  • Finished 2 books
  • Wrote 4 posts
  • Walked 39,527 steps or 59% of goal...that WILL be changing in the coming days

So, the coming week:

  • Stitch and Bitch with friends today
  • Goal setting check in on Tuesday
  • Wrapping presents
  • Writing a couple of letters
  • Library Author even Tuesday night
  • Baking cookies for a cookie exchange next Sunday afternoon
  • Breakfast with Santa on Saturday morning and then the library Christmas party Saturday night at the bowling alley
  • More planning on 2017 workshops at the library
  • Clean up my desk area (such a mess from all the rearranging done)
So now, it's time to finish up the coffee and wrap presents so I can finish cleaning up my room. And figure out what cookies I'm making next week. I do have priorities after all!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

NaNoWriMo Win!

Despite having to take my beloved "Mac" into the repair shop for a faulty video card (it was determined and under a free repair warranty-thanks Texter) I managed to finish NaNoWriMo ahead of schedule. Breathe a huge sigh of relief. 

Actually, what I have isn't a 50,000 word rough draft, but 50,000 words of character sketches, partial scenes and backstory. Which I am actually very ok with. 

Once my 'baby' comes home (Thursday evening and with expanded memory too) I will start taking those bits and pieces and creating proper files for the information, probably in Scrivener. I think this will be the one I work on in 2017 since I have the flow going with it already.

And speaking of Scrivener, I get it at a great discount by using it during NaNo and 'winning'. I think I am going to see how it works to also set up information for my classes I am working on. Or maybe use either Evernote or Windows Notebook for being at least semi-organized on class content.

But regardless of the future plans, I did make it and am pleased with what is on paper and out of my head so far. 

Now for the hard work!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Mandala Monday - Almost

Well, not quite a mandala, but I came across this quote on Friday...

It came across my blog feed and it fits perfectly with the "Results Not Resolutions" workshop I will be holding in January at the library.

Now to create my vision board!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Week In Review - November 20 - 26

One thing I dislike about holidays is that it messes up my routine. Hopefully, the coming weeks will streamline a bit more and get back to normal.

It was a busy week for the most part, but I had some help.

My dishwasher on Thanksgiving Eve while I was making pies and fruit salad and other things to get them out of the way so I wasn't quite so busy on Thanksgiving.

Couple of things which happened this week are sending me to the doctor this coming week. Texter went to give blood, only to be denied because of her iron count being so low. She went in and got a vitamin regimen to help perk her up. And then Lady K did her high fever thing on Thanksgiving Day. Friday we took her in and they have her the one dose of prednisone. Fever gone! So at least we now know she does have that weird, rare immune disease (not life threatening or anything, just annoying). AND she has a low iron count.

So in light of the fact we all pretty much eat the same diet, and I've been feeling draggy and 'not myself' lately, I'm going in to the doctor on Tuesday to have my iron level checked and to get started on a weight loss program. Texter wants to drop a few pounds too and Savvy wants us all to eat 'better', so let the menu planning and eating habit changes commence.

Friday night was the Parade of Lights and we walked down to watch it. Santa scared Kayden when we came over to shake her hand. Savvy and I were in awe of his outfit.

Actually, the hard part was to keep Savvy from leaping over the railings and snatching his coat! This is one of the best Santas I've ever seen.

This is the first year Lady K actually understood what was going on. You watch a parade and you get candy! The Helena parade is far from Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. We don't even have a marching band in it (sigh), but it's fun. This is it was cold, but not too cold or snowy.

Otherwise, this past week...

  • Went over programs I want to do for 2017 at the library and have approval on most of them in some form. EXCITED!
  • Only 3000 words left to go for NaNoWriMo
  • Wrote 5 posts
  • Finished 1 book
  • Walked only 49% of my step goal (this not feeling up to snuff is boring!)
  • Finished my Color Tipped Scarf and just need to weave in some ends
  • Watched Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on Netflix. Really great job. I always wanted to be Lorelai Gilmore, the really cool mom
  • Made Thanksgiving dinner with the help from the girls
  • Made reservations for Breakfast with Santa in December

The coming week:

  • Trip to doctor for iron check and weight loss plan
  • Finish up 3000 words and "win" NaNoWriMo
  • Start working on programs for 2017 
  • First Friday out at the Painted Pot with the girls
  • Start on my 'organizing' of things for 2017 start
  • Figure out exactly what planners/notebooks for what purpose in 2017

Once I figure out why I am so listless (despite taking my vitamins most days), I hope my energy level goes up. I want to start a home yoga practice to improve my flexibility and a walking plan to get my steps back up to 10,000 a day.

But in case you have ever wondered, washi tape makes a great bandaid for those boo-boo's which only you know about.

Off for more coffee, 3000 words being written and weaving in ends on the scarf.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Pre-Thanksgiving Day Thankfulness

This was the view Tuesday morning as Texter and I stood in line to get into the store to pick up the guest of honor for our Thanksgiving meal.  This will be the third year in a row I have gone 'organic and fresh' for the turkey. Part of me cringes at the price tag, but the other part, the part which loves chowing down on a turkey leg, really loves the flavor of these turkeys. So I guess I have to say I am thankful for...

  • Organic Turkeys
  • The money to buy one

Then Texter, who has been diagnosed with low iron levels, requested a Chess Pie. And I had all the things available to make one for her last night.

  • Full pantry
  • Access to medical care
  • My own health is pretty good for someone coming up on the big 60
I am also cruising right along on my NaNoWriMo novel, just over 40,000 words so far and blessed with...

  • Imagination
  • Computer to type on
  • Time to write
  • Encouragement from family and friends on my endeavor
  • Desk area to write from, complete with plants, lamp and room for my coffee
As I look around the room, in the quiet of the early morning, other things to be thankful for occur to me...

  • Family and friends which I love and love me in return (despite my quirks)
  • A grand daughter, curled up in my bed, all warm and cuddly
  • Pets, despite their snoring and farting
  • Books (and way too many to be reading!)
  • A chance to do programs on topics I want to do in 2017

This year has not always been easy. And it doesn't look like the coming year(s) will be easy either, at least on a political front. 

I recently lost someone I had worked with for years to cancer. Which is doubly sad because he wasn't much older than me and had retired at the same time. He didn't have a chance to really enjoy his retirement and the extra time with his family.  And a nephew by marriage just passed, far too young.

So I guess what I am trying to say is, don't take anything for granted, which is so easy to do. We get caught up in our day-to-day lives and the drama around us and fail to appreciate what we really have.

Stop. Wear that funny hat at work. Dye your hair whatever color you want. Be outrageous. It makes people smile. And we could all use a few more smiles in our lives.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I Know, I Know...'s not even past Thanksgiving yet and I'm decorating for Christmas!  Actually, I am holding on with both hands not to push the button on my iPad which has my Christmas music playlist.

The past couple of years, Texter and Lady K have been out of town during Christmas and I really haven't felt the 'mood'.  Basically, I pretty much have a Grinch outlook (early Grinch) toward the holidays, anyway. But we have a cookie exchange planned already and I actually have Texter's gift purchased and hidden away, so I am getting in the mood. (I won't mention the almost two pounds of holiday candy I brought home from the Parrot on Saturday!)

I had been looking for a way to use my little polaroid to record Christmas and take a picture a day and put in my journal/planner for December and this popped up...

A Month of Remembering with Susannah Conway! What a great way to remember the month of December.

And it came at just the right time. I wanted to have some 'fun' at work during the holidays and asked if I could decorate one of the ball caps we sell.  Given the go-ahead, I picked a maroon hat and headed to the dollar store.  A couple of sprays of holiday flowers, some red jingle bells and little LED lights came home with me. Along with some garland and snow flakes for the Staff Picks shelf I maintain.


Texter worked her magic while I sewed on a baby quilt for a gift for her to give at a baby shower.

While it won't stand up to a windstorm, I think it will be a fun thing to wear during the holidays and hopefully create some smiles and laughter from our patrons. Maybe I can get my co-workers to join in!