Sunday, May 20, 2018

Week in Review - May 13 - 19

I am no longer 'reporting' from Montana!

In fact, this time last week, I was throwing Texter and Lady K out at the Bozeman Airport and hitting the road. About 2300 miles later I was in Charlotte. Along with the humidity!

Boy, had I forgotten about humidity!

Still, it's been a long week. But now I am back on a mattress again (huzzah!) and the majority of the important boxes are unloaded. I still need to move my sewing/office boxes up the stairs into my new sewing/office/tv room.

However, while awaiting the van to arrive so I could start unloading, I did manage to...

Farmer's Market!


Briefly visit the Charlotte Regional Farmer's Market and pick up some fresh strawberries and peaches. Real, juicy peaches. Peaches that smell like peaches.

And, of course, I already have my new library card.


One must have one's priorities in order.

So the coming week involves...

  • Going to Raleigh and FINALLY unloading a storage unit I have had for five years now!
  • Resting!

But in the meantime, I need another cup of coffee.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

101 Things and North Carolina Redux


My new 'digs'!

And awaiting the van bringing the rest of our stuff from Montana. Hopefully, it will arrive today (Friday). If not it will be Monday at the earliest before it arrives.

So while I am waiting for the truck to arrive, I thought I would start on my new 'plan' reveal.

Prior to leaving Montana, I was watching Amy Graham (Bad Ass Valkyrie) on her '101 Things in 1001 Days' video.  We are both of a certain age and she is inspiring me to overcome my weight and get up and moving. Of course, I have no desire to go quite as far as she does, but still, it is an encouragement to me.

Back in 2009, I did a similar thing and decided this would be a great time to revisit my projects, plans, and dreams. What was really interesting to me is the fact several of the things I had written down in 2009 are the same things I wrote down in 2018. I think it's time to get up and get them accomplished now.

This time I broke my 101 things down into categories which fit into the Miracle Morning plan and the areas for a 10 level life. Now we are settled in North Carolina (sort-of, kind of) I want to get back into some sort of routine.

So here are my categories and 101 things...

Career/Business -

No, I no longer have a 'career' as such, nor do I want to actually start a 'business', but I put these items into more of a 'work' area.

1.   Write 1000 words a day, 5 times a week
2.   Publish a book
3.   Take a writing workshop (either online or in person)
4.   Take a photography class (to better my skills)
5.   Work on a Botanical Art Certification (a longtime dream)
6.   Be a writer/artist in residence
7.   Update my website (get my own domain name, etc.)

Contribution/Giving - 

8.   Volunteer somewhere (right now I have looked at doing some volunteer work at the two gardens in the area)
9.   Donate to one charity or blogger who has impacted me a month
10. Donate blood regularly


Family - 

11. Monthly meal together
12. A week at the beach (rent a house for everyone to gather)
13. Work on the family tree - think I am going to use Lady K as the base so I can get more family connections in there
14. A trip to Disneyworld - Lady K is getting old enough to enjoy
15. Do Ancestry DNA to see if it comes up with what I am finding in my family tree or if there are some surprises
16. Make a Christmas stocking for everyone 
17. Write up a family cookbook
18. Have a handmade Christmas (2019 is my goal)
19. Put Savvy and Texter's writing and artwork into a book form
20. Assist in training Carly as a service dog (more on this item later - it's coming soon!)


Friends -

This is an area which I really want to work on. I made some FANTASTIC FRIENDS when I moved to Montana and a lot of that was accomplished by putting myself out there. 

21. Join a mineral society (Lady K loves rocks!)
22. Join an orchid society (I still have TONS to learn)
23. One letter or card a week to friends
24. Find a writing group (to keep me motivated)
25. Find a stitching group (everyone needs to stitch and bitch)
26. One social activity a month for a year 


Fun/Recreation -

27. 26 movies I have seen starting with each letter of the alphabet
28. Go to the movies once a month for a year
29. Postcrossing for 12 months
30. Attend 6 cons/Ren Faires
31. Visit 6 North Carolina Breweries and Vineyards
32. Visit 6 North Carolina trails and waterfalls
33. Attend 6 fiber festivals, quilt shows, and mineral shows
34. Attend Planner Con
35. Finish Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series (on Book 8 and each one is HOURS long)
36. Finish one piece of knitting/crochet a month
37. Finish one piece of needlework/quilting a month
38. Visit Biltmore 
39. Buy DPAC season tickets
40. Do some poured acrylic paintings for the house
41. Once a month bookstore 'date'
42. Visit botanical gardens in the state and surrounding states


Health -

43. Walk 10,000 steps a day for 30 straight days
44. Run a 5k
45. Be below 200 pounds 
46. No fast food for a month 
47. Yoga 3 times a week for 6 weeks
48. Do a Yes.Fit 'race'
49. Walk parts of the Appalachian Trail
50. Work on upper body strength 3 times a week
51. Run a 10k race
52. Get a bike and ride
53. Walk parts of the Mountain to Sea Trail
54. Have a spa weekend
55. Ride in a century


Home -

56. Help Texter buy a house
57. Try 3 new recipes a month
58. Create a garden sanctuary 


Money -

59. Do 52 Week Money Challenge 
60. Get a new Mac Desktop
61. Save $15,000
62. Record amount of fabric in and out of my stash (try and have more out than in!)


Personal Growth -

63. Six quilts finished and in use in a year
64. Blog at least 4 times a week
65. Take 1 quilt workshop a year (minimum)
66. Make garb for everyone, including me
67. Learn to upcycle clothes
68. Learn a new word a day for 1 year 
69. Learn 3 ASL words a week
70. Learn to sharpen knives and chop with them
71. Get another tattoo
72. Finish my degree
73. Visit area thrift stores and use what I can for garb
74. Learn more about aromatherapy
75. Spin wool - buy a wheel (I suck at drop spindles)
76. Take a class at the John Campbell Folk School
77. Learn classical guitar
78. Cooking lessons, especially for Asian cooking
79. Become a master gardener


Spirit -

80. Identify 100 things which make me happy
81. Create my Book of Shadows based on my studies
82. Pull one tarot card a  day to study. Do weekly/quarterly and yearly readings for myself
83. Set up an altar and meditate 4 times a week
84. Have a Silent Retreat Weekend
85. Disconnect 1 day a week for a month 
86. Select one tarot deck a month to study
87. Learn more about plants and crystals


Travel -

88. Travel to 4 new places in a year
89. Visit Monticello and Mount Vernon
90. Visit Williamsburg
91. Visit all the National Parks
92. Visit the state parks in North Carolina and the surrounding states
93. Visit NYC and shop
94. Rent a camper and use it to visit parks
95. Travel back to Montana and see what I didn't before
96. Ghost tour of New Orleans and London
97. Stay 2 or more weeks in another country
98. Visit Japan
99. Visit a 'new' European country
100. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway
101. Visit all 50 states


I plan on doing a quarterly review of my plans. 

My start date will be June 1, 2018. This puts the end date as February 26, 2021. I'll probably make my end date February 28. That appeals to the Virgo in me - all neat and tidy to end on the last day of the month.

But for now, it's watching the Royal Wedding and figuring out if I can find something to make toast one.






Sunday, May 06, 2018

Week In Review - April 29 - May 5

Well, here it is. The last week!

I should be up and finish up clearing and packing the kitchen except for the very, very basics. Start a box marked 'dirty clothes' as the washer/dryer went to a new home Friday.

The moving van comes Monday and leaves on Wednesday so I have a busy, busy couple of days getting all the boxes and bits on the van. I have some young men coming to help with the heavier stuff on Tuesday.

Texter is finishing up her last week of school, taking a couple of finals and doing her presentation before a panel on her Capstone project. Not only did she and her partner do the required event, but she went and did a second event during the Spring Art Walk Friday night. 


While looking for donations for their event in April, Texter stopped by Aizada Imports on the Downtown Walking Mall. Since the theme of her Spring Art Walk was 'pets', it was a natural fit for Texter and Dani's Capstone project. She offered them the opportunity to serve the refreshments she would normally provide at the Art Walk and to ask for donations for the Lewis and Clark Humane Society.

Texter is now a margarita expert, having made many, many pitchers of them during the evening and collecting another $150 for the project. She had a ball.

Then Saturday morning, we got up and out to Helena Reservoir for the annual Migratory Bird Day celebration.


It was a bit cloudy but pleasant. Not the wind we have had in past years.

Someone made her third birdhouse which will be going with us to North Carolina and will probably be gifted to a set of grandparents. 






































Face painting was a must. As was decorating a cookie. One must keep their strength up.

And then making a couple of masks...











































































She also made a 'bird feeder' for the yard (which we will leave behind).


She and I also went on a bird hike. I was thrilled to be able to see the Great Blue Herons nesting across the lake.

Otherwise this week...

  • Managed to finish up 5 books....well, one was abandoned as being too stupid to read further
  • Texter and I got simple wills and a couple of other legal documents made up (for free!) thanks to Helena College
  • Haircuts for Lady K and I in preparation for our departure.
  • More trips to Goodwill and the Humane Society to drop off a TON of blankets and other 'extra' stuff we no longer needed
  • Hamburger lunch at Helena College thanks to the TRIO department as they celebrated their graduates and Texter picked up her cords
  • Turned in all my items at the library (so sad, I had to remove holds I still had on several items!)

This coming week will be frantic! (at least it will be in my mind)

  • Load the moving van and send it on its way to arrive in Charlotte on the 18th (so I can then unload it!)
  • Reasonably clean the house 
  • Pack the car for our departure
  • TEXTER'S GRADUATION!!!!!!

But for now, it's more coffee and a bit of 'feet up' before I get started on more packing!




Wednesday, May 02, 2018

What Day Is It?

All I really know is this time next week, the van should be loaded except the last couple of small items and awaiting pickup for it's drive to North Carolina. Then it will all be done except for Texter walking across the stage and receiving her diploma!

I think.

At least I'm fairly sure that's where I am right now.

But I seem to have some 'problem children' rearing their little heads.

It involves these little jewels...



They are blooming and getting ready to bloom like crazy! 

I thought I only had one long flower spike (about 2.5 feet at this point) and one smaller one, but no!


Nestled down in there are two more flower spikes starting!

And if that's not bad enough, the three flower spikes I thought were almost over...


Have sent out secondary flower spikes on the original spikes!

What gives guys? Are you that happy here?

And several of the other plants have new growth coming along...




My original idea when I was thinking about the move was to wrap them all up and up them on the moving van. After all, if they were being shipped to me by the nursery that's what they would do. And I would keep fingers crossed 10 days on a moving van wouldn't hurt them too much.

But now...forget it. They are in the car with me. Granted they will be stacked on each other somewhat to try and get them into one container, but they are in the car. And with all these flowers I'll look like a throwback to the 60's and Flower Power driving down the road!

I am hoping they adapt well to North Carolina and will like a summer out on the porch. Or in the windows upstairs. I will have to see. 

And on the 'plant front'...

Savvy has 'discovered' in her yard a Crimson Bonfire Dwarf Peach and blueberries. She's happy. Now if she can guard her peaches against her mother!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Week in Review - April 22 - 28


This time last week Savvy and CJ were on their way to North Carolina. And we left about 15 minutes behind them on our way to Yellowstone.

I had planned to drive via Yellowstone and Grand Teton on my way to North Carolina in a couple of weeks, but my plans were set aside as the roads through the two parks probably won't be fully opened to allow me to do so.

Texter also wanted a 'decompression' day after her fundraising event for the Lewis and Clark Humane Society. Which was pretty darn successful, despite the wind.

My goal was to see a couple of the springs I hadn't actually gotten out and walked around on our other visits.

The day was great. Sunshine, nice temperatures. 

Plus we took Amani with us since Noel was on her way to NC with Savvy. 


I'm in a 'funky' place right now. Most of the house is packed (I think). What remains is basically the kitchen and the rest of the bathroom items. But we still have a week until the moving van comes. So the real push to pack will come next weekend. 

I have hired the son of a friend and some of his friends to come over for a few hours the day the van is here to help load. They just drop off the van, we load, and then it gets driven to NC for us. But frankly, I'm too old and Texter too busy with the final days of school, to load it ourselves. Thus, young males are involved!

Of course, it seems every time I go to look for something the past couple of weeks, it's already packed up in a box. And I keep changing my mind about what I want to take with me and what I want to be delivered. Just a couple of days of 'roughing' it in the house before and after the move.

All of us are antsy and feel like we are in a permanent holding position. Texter will be glad to be out of school and have it over and done with. Kayden is looking forward to seeing the beach and the zoo and start school and riding a bus (we'll have to see about that part). Me, I just want it over and done with so I can get into a routine again.

And see some old friends again.

Savvy and CJ are in their new house already. And I have identified a peach tree in her backyard and given explicit instructions to 'leave that tree alone'!

So the coming week will be sorting and packing the kitchen and bathroom and getting ready to load the van the first part of next week. And watching a lot of Harry Potter, as we have introduced Lady K to them.

But for now, it's more coffee (which will be in the car with me!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tuesday Sundries - The Little Library Cookbook

In my book what could be better than a book about recipes from books and include those recipes!


Kate Young has written a fantastic, must-have-on-my-bookshelf book in The Little Library Cookbook.  

Each recipe has a brief description of the book and how the author relates to that book and why she picked that particular recipe. From a vanilla layer cake from Anne of Green Gables to chocolatl from The Golden Compass and meringues & iced coffee from A Room With a View, this book is a feast for the senses. Beautiful pictures accompany the recipes, making this a drool-worthy book on many levels. 

Time spent going through this book quickly had me adding this to my wishlist of books I need to have on my own shelf.

Caution: Do not read if you are hungry!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Mandala Monday - Not Quite!


A trifle off schedule this Monday morning.

Sunday, Texter, Lady K and I waved goodbye to Savvy and CJ and loaded ourselves up and headed for the last look at Yellowstone National Park before we too leave.

There were a couple of areas I hadn't stopped at in the past. And the day, while windy, was beautiful. Sunny and warm.

Today is resting up and start the final push to pack and clean the house (yep, some 'stuff' I have to clean up from CJ and Savvy).

And future posts on the pictures taken Sunday.




Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tuesday Sundries - Photoshop Play and a Potential Quilt?

I love Blue Lightning TV and have used many of his tutorials over the years. I was feeling a bit rusty and came across a tutorial I thought I would do a bit of practice.



On the second one I have some lines which appeared and can't figure out why or how to get rid of them. More work needs to be done.

However, as I did these all I could think about was what a great quilt they would make. Curvy lines and all! 

Hmmmm......


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Week In Review - April 8 - 14

Boy, I feel like I have spent most of the week taking Texter here and there to pick up donations for her fundraising event next Saturday.


Packing a few boxes here and there and Lady K happily plays amongst the chaos. What you are viewing is her 'aquarium'. That's the little basked overturned by the lamp. The stories I listen to while she is playing are great.

What I am happy about, is even though he will have her own room with the new house, there is a large bonus room where our computers, my sewing, and plants will be. Along with a TV and a huge area for her to bring her toys and play. So I'll still be treated to some great stories.

The big event this week was a visit to the annual Helena Mineral Show at the Civic Center.



The bottom floor was filled with tons of vendors and a great display of different rocks and minerals from around the state.

I did 'manage' to buy a tiny pair of Montana Sapphire earrings. 

They had a tent set up with a black light so you could see how different rocks would glow under the different wavelength of light.


Lady K was in love with all the 'shiny' rocks.


But the best thing (at least to us) was the grab bags! For $1 you could get a grab bag. And they were worth much more than $1!


This is just one bag. Of course, I know nothing about the different stones. They did include a list of what could possibly be in the bag to help you identify the different stones. Lots of quartz crystals and calcite. We snatched up a bunch of bags and later in the day they were completely out. I won't mention we plan on being there early today to 'grab' a few of the bags they put back for Sunday.

I also picked up a geode which was only partially open. Just enough to sneak a peek at the inside. My goal is to pick up some stones I want for my altar and I have a bit of a list to go look for today since we are going back. Texter needs to pick up a couple of donations for her event from a couple of vendors.

Otherwise this past week...

  • Down a total of 10.4 pounds
  • Had a weird mole looked at and removed (it's ok it turns out)
  • Donated 'glow' fish to the daycare (one thing off our move checklist)
  • A couple of trips downtown and around town to pick up donations
  • Watched the original 'Jumanji' and the new 'Justice League' movies on DVD while knitting

The coming week...

  • Another stop at the rock show
  • Trip out to Tizer Gardens to say goodbye to them (sad)
  • Texter has an eye appointment
  • Pick up my new glasses (hopefully - they are taking 4 weeks rather than 2 weeks)
  • Pack a 'goody bag' for Savvy as they will leave next Sunday
  • Texter's big event on Saturday - I am the babysitter and 'go-fer' for the event

Once Savvy and CJ are out of the way (so to speak) and the event is over with, we can really ramp up packing and organizing of the remainder of the household. We will have CJ's old room downstairs to put boxes as we pack them and have things out of the way so we can sort and pack the rest of the house. 

But for right now, more coffee before I get dressed to hit the rock show again.