Tuesday, September 27, 2016

October Setup

Yep, it's that time of the month again where I have to set up for the coming month.  My spread and process has been working pretty good so far, so I only have a couple of things to add to my monthly setup. 

I 'borrowed' the idea of having the tracker page across from the monthly calendar from someone (who I can't remember - fail).  For those wondering on my monthly calendar what the "Q" and "J" stand for, these are the designations we used for the day of the week when I worked at American Airlines.  "Q" is Thursday and "J" is Saturday.  After 34 years, it's a hard habit to break.

I do go through and highlight Sunday as an easy way to tell the weeks apart.  I have a column for my work schedule, one for Savvy and one for Texter/Kayden.  For Texter, I generally only write something in completely different than the norm for her.  The final column is for meetings, appointments, outings which aren't work.  

Switching to this vertical column spread for the month really works for me.  I know when I move into my Hobonichi it will be back to a regular monthly spread, but I can work with that too.

Then I have my 'Goals' page.  And yes, I think I got a bit carried away with goals for the month, but most of them are just reminders on habits I want to promote, like walking, drinking water, and meal planning.

I have a 'Notes' page for reminders on things I want to get or do.  I realized the pajamas and house shoes are over three years old and are past the 'used' stage in well into 'shabby' and 'holely' stage.  So a new pair of slippers and some pj's are on the list of need to get in the coming month.  I also made a note to myself to THROW THE OLD STUFF AWAY!

This is where I really changed up things.  I have been using the vertical days for a couple of months now and like it better than a horizontal spread.  What I added was an area for my top three tasks for the day.  And at the bottom an area for something positive about the day.  I may put something I am grateful for, a good thing that happened that day or a positive affirmation or quote.  But having a separate, designated area is a good reminder for me to do something like that.

The date flags and little stickers at the bottom are from Cocoa Daisy for August which I had gotten for my planner workshop.  Since they were fall looking, I added them to the pages.  For October, I am going to use an orange highlighter and black and orange pens for the most part.

Finances are probably my worse area in my life.  I have started tracking all my spending for the month to try and be more conscious of it.  In September, I took a tip from someone (again, I have failed at noting the name) where they put actual money in the bag and left it there.  Kind of a self fulfilling prophecy of bringing money into your life.  

For September I put in a dollar bill.  And so far it's still there.  If you knew me and my finances better, the fact a dollar has stayed there all month is a minor miracle.  For October, I am putting in a $5.  That's going to be a real challenge to leave it there all month!  (I'm giving the $1 to Lady K for her piggy bank.)

My final spread is for blog posts.  I have sticky notes with post ideas I will move over from September to the blank page and then as I write and prepare for posting, I will note the title and then check it off when it is scheduled to post.  I put in the weekly reviews and mandalas which I try and do automatically on Sundays and Mondays.  This format worked really well for me last month.

There really isn't anything I am removing from my monthly spread.  I deliberately started out pretty much bare-bones-bullet-journaling and have added things as they came up.  I thought it was better than having a lot of things and then cutting them out.

I have room for one more month in this journal.  So December will have to be back in an older, partially filled notebook.  Then I can start January with my Hobo.  With it's bright yellow cover.  I think I can make it work in there quite nicely.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Mandala Monday

Autumn is a second spring,
when every leaf is a flower.

-Albert Camus

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Week In Review - September 18 - 24

Fall has hit Montana big time.  This past week has been a bit grey and drizzly for a few days.  But when you have the big Montana blue skies and the beautiful fall foliage, it can't be beat.

But it was also a really up and down week.  Lady K had an earache and high temperature, which meant a trip to the doctor.  Upside, she was better the next day.  Downside, we have learned a couple of things about our Lady K, nothing terrible, but will mean some testing and changes to how Texter and the rest of us parent and interact with her.

Last Sunday I tried out a new dish - Balsamic Glazed Chicken in my cast iron skillet.

While Texter liked it, she is not a fan all that much of balsamic vinegar.  Easy dish to make and I'll probably make it again one time when Savvy is home in order for her to try it.  There were leftovers, but I ate those too!

This is how my life is going these days - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  And by the way, I've been designed Donatello, the purple turtle.  Lady K is Leonardo and everything has to be blue or TMNT.

Anyway, Texter found a pattern for an afghan which is super simple and TMNT themed.  She wants it for Christmas.  I agreed, got the yarn yesterday and started.  But I will save the details for another post.  In my usual fashion, I can't just simply follow the pattern.  CS will soon be laughing or banging her head on the wall when she hears about my 'alterations'.  She is my afghan-crocheting-queen.

In addition, this past week contained...

  • Purchasing the World of Warcraft latest expansion (like I need something else occupying my time!)  But it took almost a month before I caved.
  • Wrote 7 posts last week
  • Finished one scarf and about 1/3 of the way through another one (pre-afghan plans)
  • Walked 41,017 steps or 59% of goal
  • Finished 3 books, 2 of which where Christine Feehan novels.  Also picked up 2 of her books the library doesn't have at the Hastings closeout.

Also, I think my Hobonichi dilemma has been solved.  I'm ordering one in the next little bit.  Why?  Because I 'converted' a co-worker and we are going in on the order together to split shipping.  Sounds like a great reason to me.  

I also have converted one of my other co-workers into a Franklin-Covey planner, CS has my old Day-Timer binder for her use and ordered her daughter a Purple Trail planner for her birthday.  I'm spreading the 'planner' word!

The coming week seems pretty quiet so far...

  • The Lewis and Clark Library 40th Anniversary is today, so will be stopping by after soccer
  • Setting up my bullet journal for October - and maybe throwing in some 'decoration' on the pages when I do 
  • Lots of crocheting
  • Lots of 'planning' for 2017 
  • Start pre-planning for NaNoWriMo, both on a personal level and a municipal liaison level
  • Getting my Halloween Swap partner's name and a bit of 'holiday' shopping for it

So off for more coffee and crocheting, or World of Warcraft....depends.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Wrapping Up!

The weather went from summer to fall overnight here in Montana.  Which is actually nice, because now I can wear long sleeves and sweaters.

And with the craziness in my life lately, I needed something I could pick up and put down and finish quickly.

The first thing I started was the dragon hat.  However, it's on hold.  I hate picking up stitches and I have to do that all down the center of the hat.

Instead of picking up stitches, I took the skein of yarn out of the bottom drawer of my bedside table and untangled it.  I wanted something which would show off the colors, only use the one skein and be easy.  I went with the Gallatin Scarf by Kriskrafter.

Actually, I feel this would be a quick one day scarf.


I used my ironing board to do a little blocking to help show off the 'welts' created.  Also, I had some assistance on this portion of the scarf making.  She was waiting to spray it with water.

I didn't steam and block the one side of the scarf to keep the look of the design, just the top portion to get the welts to stretch out and not be bunched up.  Looking back, I realized I used a size 10 rather than a 10.5 needle, but it shouldn't have made that much difference.  I was getting 4 stitches to the inch.  I'm a little disappointed it isn't as long as the picture with the pattern.

Ignore the model, she doesn't like have pictures made of herself (especially selfies!)  So I might go back and reblock, really stretching the heck out of it.  Or just leave it as it is.  It's meant to be a pop of color against a black or grey top anyway.  And it used up a skein of yarn which was all tangled up in the bottom of a drawer.  But I love the colorway in this yarn.  The color is Sailor's delight by Universal Yarn, their Classic Shades line.

So I immediately started another scarf with the mini-skeins Texter bought me ages ago.  I finally settled on the Color Tipped Scarf by Purl Soho.  Since I want to use up all the yarn I have from these three hand-dyed skeins, I knit the first 'tip' and will add stripes in the center part of the scarf.  I am pretty sure this scarf will turn out to be much longer.

I am loving the subtle color variations in the skeins from the hand-dyeing.  It's Squish Worsted from Farmer's Daughter Fibers.  The pattern is pretty straight forward and an easy TV watching knit.  Since I have three movies on hold at the library to pick up, I am sure this one will be done shortly, just in time for cool, damp weather.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Planner Dilemma - Year End and 2017 Plans (Already)

I have discovered what the biggest problem with leading a workshop on planners and planning is...


I am in the midst of a planner 'problem'.  

You see, I am currently using an original Bullet Journal (#3) for my planner since July.  Actually, I started a modified version earlier in another notebook and then started using the Bullet Journal when I got my hands on one.  It works for me.  The whole process gels for me and my 'style'.

Now comes the problem - I really, really, really want a Hobonichi Cousin.  A bigger version of #9 in the picture above.  I have wanted one for a couple of years now, ever since I learned about them.  And after handling a Techo (the smaller size), has only reinforced my desire. I love the monthly, weekly and daily pages already laid out for me.  I love the feel of the paper.  I just love it. 

The one I currently have will become a 'card journal' I think.  I want to start working with my cards and drawing one a day.  This will be the log for them.  It's small enough to fit right in.  And I can just ignore the day of the week and year, making it a continuous log until it's all used up.


Not only do I have another Leuchtturm 1917 (#4) available, which is basically a Bullet Journal, and also...

A Personal-Planner for 2017 (#6), which is customized for me. So do I stay with what I have currently or do I satisfy my 'desire'?  A lot depends on the pocketbook in the next few weeks.

Then my second issue is about the other notebooks.

Notebook #2 is my current journal and #5 is a notebook where I have my Master List of   Goals/Projects/Collections/etc.

However, the bottom planner (#1) is a Franklin zippered ring binder.  I picked it up at the thrift store and it feels so good.  It's leather or really good fake stuff.  With it, I can add and subtract pages.  I am thinking about taking my Master List and transferring it over to the ring binder.  That way I can add/move/subtract pages as I want to.  I can also make decorative dividers for the sections.  But I just started the other notebook.  It was a discounted notebook from Barnes and Noble, if I remember correctly.  It would make a fun weekend project moving things over to the ring binder and since it's so large, I know I won't take it out with me.

I am currently thinking once my current journal (#2) is filled (which it almost is), I would move my journaling over to my fauxdori (#7).  I can get additional inserts as needed and it is also a size I can carry with me easily.  

I have been using a little paper notebook for my brain dump notes recently.  I think I am going to get some filler paper for my little Filofax, another thrift store find.  I can drop it in my purse and take pages out and put in my journal or planner.

Right now, for my planner, whether or not if I obtain my Hobonichi for 2017, the Personal-Planner will be a planner I am going to use for 2-3 big goals I want to accomplish/track/plan in 2017.  It will be a stay-at-home-on-the-desk planner.  My Hobo would be the one I carry with me.

If I don't get the Hobo, then I think I will keep going in the Leuchtturm 1917 for 2017 (a bit poetic there).  It's a nice olive green.

So there you have it...my dilemma.  

"To Hobo or not to Hobo, that is the question!"

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Halloween Swap

Yep, it's that time of the year, especially here in Montana.  Trees are already bright yellow, red and orange and the days are pleasant, nights are nippy!

I have signed up for the first time for the Halloween Swap with Chaotic Goddess.

Personally, I think I have signed up more for Texter, who is a big Halloween fan, than myself.  I know she will love going to shop for "Halloween Things".  I can't wait to see who my swap partner is this time around.

If you want a really fun time at Halloween, join up with the swap.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Even More Angel Goodness

Yesterday wasn't ending well.  Lady K had complained about her ear hurting on Sunday and Monday afternoon the daycare called to let us know she was running a 104-105 fever and come and get her.  So I left work before the end of my shift, picked up Texter from school and off we went.  Luckily, we could get her into the doctor a bit later that afternoon.  

I was scrambling to contact co-workers and swap shifts around so I could be off during the day while Texter was at school to watch Lady K.

During all the scrambling and running around and hysterical Lady K at the doctor (another long story), I found a box from Jenefer R. on my front porch.

It was like Christmas, birthday, and every holiday in between!  

These were the books in the box.  Many of them are ARC's, but who cares!  A stack of 10 books!

But my swap angel didn't stop there.  No.....

All the nooks and crannies in the box were filled with wonderful goodies!  Bookmarks and stickers for my planners.  Pens and pins.  Even a Moleskine notebook and a wonderful tote bag.

And the little castle in the middle of the picture is a castle...

And it opens!

Jenefer is not just a swap angel, she's a swap saint!

In order to spread the love around, I have read Delicious and The Time Machine and I have another copy of The Raven Boys.  Anyone interested in one or more of them, please let me know and I will send them on.

This is the kind of people you can 'meet' in these swaps and it surely makes your day.  Thanks to all my swap angels who stepped in.  While I hope I never have to have them again, it is nice to know the system works miracles.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mandala Monday

Thinking of this as my ray of sunshine on what is suppose to be the start of a gray, cool and rainy week.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Week In Review - September 11 - 17

Well, the highlight of the week was the Orchid Show opening on my birthday.  (I'm still convinced they had it just for me!)

Lots of eye candy and names of things you can't pronounce.  Now, on my desk are five different orchids.  One I already had, one was my birthday present from Texter and the other three I got at the show.  

This past week was also the start of Lady K and soccer.  I have to hand it to the coaches.  They have the patience of saints or either do a lot of drinking and drugs!  A dozen 3-4 year olds, soccer balls...like cats with catnip...no two are doing the same thing!

The rest of the week was pretty much the same as usual, which was nice.  Except for Friday night when Lady K too a diver off the monkey bars and we had to take her to urgent care for her arm.  Hyper-extended her left arm.  Like mother, like daughter!

Received a big bad of beautiful MacIntosh apples.  One skillet 'cake' down and will be making some Apple Bread shortly.  Just deciding on which recipe.  And in the cooking vein, Balsamic Glazed Chicken for dinner tonight.  Since it is suppose to be cool and rainy this coming week, I already have a little roast for the crockpot tomorrow so it will be ready to eat when we get home from work and school Monday.


  • Books finished - 1
  • Posts written - 5
  • Steps walked - 48,270 or 69% of goal

For the rest of the day, I will be doing those little things around the house (like about 10 loads of laundry), some writing, knitting and TV watching in between.  Also...

  • Soccer practice for Lady K
  • New Book Group meeting Tuesday night (will see if I can fit it in between work at Parrot and other things)
  • Some sewing and knitting 
  • Lots of writing and planning and new posts
  • Hitting my walking goal for the week

Off to figure out what apple recipe to make and another cup of coffee!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, as of yesterday, I am one year closer to moving into the next statistical category, "60 +".  It's sad in some ways, but nice in others.  One year closer to collecting social security, along with the possibility of two retirement checks.  Yep, looking good.

But the big even yesterday, other than taking Lady K to Urgent Care to check out her arm/wrist (nothing broken, just hyper-extended from falling off the monkey bars), was the Orchid Society Show.  Personally, I think they held it just for my birthday, but they say not.

How can you not want to walk into a room full of these lovelies?  I went in before work and picked up two different orchids (plus one freebie).  Actually, it's probably good I didn't have the dollars to spend any more than I did or I would have come home with armloads.

One co-worker won one of the raffles (can I say I was jealous?) and purchased the tiniest orchid I have even seen.  The flowers on it were the size of a pinhead.

Another co-worker (and my fellow pen-lover) purchased a Paphiopedilum (Lady Slipper orchid) and probably the same one I did.  She also bought a Sharry Baby which smells like chocolate!

So after a bit of wandering the room and lusting after what I can't afford or have room for, I trotted off to work.

Then, right before I was going to go pick up Lady K from daycare and drop her off at home where Texter was doing her homework, this walked in the door.

My birthday present from Texter and Lady K!  She finished her homework and walked down to see what she could get me for my birthday at the show and bought this jewel.  The flower stalk is 2.5 feet long and filled with tiny yellow and brown flowers, some just now opening.  Which means weeks of flowers on my computer desk!  And the best part is there is a second flower stalk which hasn't finished forming or started actually blooming yet.  So I can plan on several months of flowers!

Savvy is taking me to dinner somewhere nice in the next couple of weeks, when we can coordinate schedules, so my celebration will last a bit longer.

I love birthdays!  Especially mine!