Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Getting My Writing On

September is MY month.  

It's my birthday month for one thing (all gifts cheerfully accepted).

September is the month I am the Queen for the Bee Hive Quilt Swap (better get my block finished).

Doing a couple of classes for my "Planners, Planning and Productivity".

Fall has hit Montana and the days are getting shorter and my task list longer.  But the Parrot should start having their caramel apples, which are out of this world (and does constitute a meal - big debate at home.)

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner.  Big Read is starting in September this year.

So what do I do?  Add another "fun" thing to my pile of projects!  

And it's still FREE!

So I am using it to get my writing mojo back on and recharge my journaling process.

After all, September is all about ME!!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Planner Haul

These days I am completely obsessed with planners.  Planners of all shapes and sizes and layouts.  I watch countless YouTube videos on planners of all kinds. 

Problem is - I now have a wish list of planners I want to acquire.  Actually, it's more like the outer covering I am looking to get my hands on.  And that is usually the most expensive part of purchasing a planner, especially if you are getting an outer cover where you can then go purchase refills year after year.

But the good news is, there are many, many people out there with Etsy stores, and even few printables, so you don't have to purchase from the company who makes the outer shell if it's not to your liking.

One video talked about thrift store finds.  That intrigued me. I wondered what I could find here in Helena at the thrift stores.  And with a bit of time to spare before I had to pick up Lady K and Texter from school, I decided to see.  I wasn't very optimistic as there is not really any stores to purchase planners here.

But as you can see from the picture above, I did manage, for a total $4.50 to score 5 planner covers.  And a couple of them I am really, really excited about!

The first one is a Franklin binder with a few dividers and pages in it.  It has to be pre-1997 which is when they became Franklin Covey.  So this is from between 1984 and 1997.  Still in excellent condition with just one spot of rubbing on a corner.  Real leather, or at least a good imitation, I think. But for 50 cents, a super deal.

The next one is a DayTimer with several pages and pads of undated pages.  According to the ruler in the front, it dates from 1998.  It's in excellent shape.  But I will probably let this one go to someone who wants to use a ring-binder system in one of my classes.  Our local Staples does carry some DayTimer refills (I think).  This one was one of the 'expensive' ones at $1.99.

This is another personal sized, 7 ring, zipped planner cover, but with a cloth cover.  Excellent condition and from a drug company for it's reps, I'm sure.  But at 50 cents I couldn't pass it up, but it will be offered up for adoption to a happy home.  

From Cambridge (Mead), is this passport sized, refillable planner cover.  Dated 1994, this was another 50 cent purchase and will be given up to another home, if wanted.

But the real find, the one I am so excited about...

A real Filofax!  I was so hoping my little Hobonichi Techno would fit in here, but it has the rings and is a touch too small.  Dated 2003, this little red Domino Pocket Organizer has captured my heart.  And at 99 cents, it's a cheap thrill!  Especially since they go for about $30 if I were to buy with the calendar.  I think I am going to get plain paper refills and use it for my brain dump notebook I carry with me.  

There is a bit of a scuff on the back, but otherwise in fantastic shape.  

Now I have the bug!  I will be haunting thrift stores everywhere!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Mandala Monday

In this world without quiet corners, there can be no easy escapes from history, from hullabaloo, from terrible, unquiet fuss. 

- Salman Rushdie

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Week in Review - August 21 - 27

In the back corner of fiction at the library, is a huge hibiscus 'tree'.  One of my co-workers noticed two buds on it a week or so ago.  I went and checked on it the other day and this was the display.  A huge, multi-petaled flower.  Not your normal, single petal hibiscus.  Beautiful

Anyway, this week has been busy.  School started for Texter on Wednesday, which means daycare started for Lady K.  She is back with her 'kids' and has a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (her current favorite) nap mat.  While everyone is glad to be back at it, there is the adjustment period getting use to the new routine.  Which means up at 5:00 a.m. for me in order to get my 'quiet time'.

Otherwise during the week...

  • Attended the knitting group at the library after my shift was over on Wednesday.  Progressing along on the dragon hat.
  • Trip to the thrift store and netted some goodies in relation to my planner class (post coming on that).
  • Attended staff meeting on ideas on how we are going to change up things with relationship to our 'desks' physically.
  • Worked on handouts for my planner class.
  • Cleaned up and out my huge list of bookmarks on the computer and put them in the proper file.  Weeding on the files will be taking place soon.
  • Set up September in my planner.
  • Met with co-worker to discuss building a castle (more on that at a later date)
  • Good day for tips at the Parrot on Tuesday - meant Texter had some extra money for snacks and drinks and work and a bit of grocery shopping.
  • Worked on new idea for staff picks at the library - need to do some typing up there!
  • Discussion of new idea for staff picks netted me two new books to read, along with the ton I already have.
  • Received my swap partner info for the Books and Bloggers Swap.  Can't wait!
  • One book finished
  • Walked 47,281 steps or 68% of goal (and losing my fitbit for 24 hours!)
  • Wrote 2 posts

So this week - 

  • Shortened version of the planner class for college class
  • Bee Hive block for August and my block for September where I am the Queen!
  • Write my French pen-pal (so sad, I'm behind)
  • Create a powerpoint for my planner class for library
  • Phone meeting with dietitian for work on my eating habits and general health
  • World of Warcraft Expansion out - can I afford to purchase it this next week?
  • Working out details on new tracking system for long term goals (after all I have a ton of planner 'stuff' now!)
  • Getting my rows completed on the Knit and Swirl Sweater for August

So off to get a new cup of coffee and start pulling fabrics and sewing!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Mandala Monday

I love the calming influence of a scented candle.  There is something meditative about staring at the warm glow and releasing stress, breathing deep.

The cool mornings heralding the coming autumn seem to call for the glow of a candle.  Chilly nights are warmed by their light.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Week In Review - August 14 - 20

The 'fairy garden' we made about 6 weeks ago is now overflowing the pot and looking very lovely.  In fact, the chair and table in the garden are starting to get a bit overwhelmed.  But it sits on the side of my desk by the window and is lovely.  I would still like a small cup and saucer to add to the table for a bit of whimsey.

And I am hoping a 'friend' will be joining it shortly.

I usually miss it, mainly because it has been held in our now-defunct-except-for-Penney's mall.  But this year it will be between the library and Parrot!  So I can hit it for a bit on Friday, Saturday will be a miss, but can show up on Sunday.  Hopefully, I can pick up an orchid or two....for my birthday.

But this week has been full...

  • Only finished 1 book
  • Walked 55,788 steps or 80% of goal.  14,592 of that was just on Saturday!
  • Posts written - 3
  • Picked up Texter's books for the semester 
  • Signed up for Books 'n' Bloggers swap
  • Set up days for NaNoWriMo at the library in November
  • Attended staff meeting at the library
  • Lady K got registered for soccer
  • Found out I won office massages and will set up the date with them on Monday 
  • Took a day trip to Great Falls for a bit of shopping (very, very small bit)
  • Worked 2 days at Parrot and brought home a pound of chocolates for the family

So the coming week is going to be hectic until we get a routine established...

  • Texter and Lady K start back to school - well, school for one and daycare for the other
  • Silent Writing session 
  • Talk to Silent Writing person about possible programs in 2017 and NaNoWriMo tie-ins for this year
  • Office meeting at the library on Tuesday before work at the Parrot.
  • Meetup to learn about chakras - of which, I am convinced, mine are all misplaced and out of alignment
  • Knitting meetup on Wednesday after work and before I do my pickups at school
  • Clean house!
  • Work on planner class (for real now!)
  • Set up September pages in planner - changing things up just a tad on a couple of items
  • Concentrate on drinking more water and eating better.  Have to balance out the 'broken' chocolate.
  • Meeting to discuss plans for constructing a castle for the entrance to the library.

So now, to warm up my cup of coffee, change into clothes and start cleaning which listening to videos!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Still Time to Join In!

It's that time again!  And fall has hit here in Helena, so what a great way to celebrate the changing of the seasons - a Books 'n' Bloggers swap!

My good friends, Beth and Angie, at Chaotic Goddess are hosting another fun swap

The rules are fairly simple:

  • Have a blog and enjoy reading
  • Sign up
  • Get assigned a 'secret' partner
  • Skulk around and learn about what they like to read
  • Then the fun starts...

You select a book from their wish list they want to read.  Then you pick one you think they would like to read that you have read.  And then throw in another book, probably one you want to read, but haven't.  And then a little something else 'fun' book-related gets thrown in.  

Off in the mail it goes by the deadline and then you get your package and reveal what goodies you have received.  What could be better than getting a package in the mail filled with books!

There is still time to sign up and it's a really fun swap, so GO SIGN UP!  (I have already talked one of my co-workers into signing up.)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mandala Monday

After staring at it all afternoon and evening on Saturday, I took Lady K to the 'castle' playground.  A playground full of huge wooden rooms and stairs and ramps and twist and turns.  On the promise she could play and then when we said it was time to go, no crying.  Lost on that one!

But still it was a great 30 minutes and she met 'friends'.  Luckily, it's back to school in 9 days and she'll have all the friends she wants to play with all day.  And hopefully come home exhausted!

Now off to swap out laundry and start the week!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Week In Review - August 7 - 13

It's been a full, full week and the weeks are going to only get a bit crazier.  But loving it!

The first BIG thing was starting my new part-time job at Parrot Confectionary.  Selling candy is more difficult than I thought.  But I will succeed!  Or eat my way out of it.

Big ego bust - was asked by our publicity person at the library to teach a version of my planner class to her alpha group at one of the local colleges.  I did manage to get my big head through the door at home.  That's set for sometime in September.

But the big events all took place on one day.

Saturday was a full day.  It started with Lady K running in her first 'race'.  

Actually, a friend's kids walked/carried her the one mile and then set her down to run to the finish line.  The event was sponsored by our local hospital and other health-related organizations.  We got a free bike helmet and Lady K 'won' a $1 and a couple of coupons out of the air bouncy thingy.

Here she is checking out the ambulance in her race shirt.  We did have a bit of a melt-down in the car on the day we picked up the shirt.  All the shirts this year are orange.  But she wanted a green shirt because of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.   Sigh...

We walked back home, lunched, napped and then Savvy and I walked back up, but on the other side of the street to Memorial Park for...

The Montana Brewers Summer Rendezvous...

This is the second year Savvy and I have volunteered to be pourers for the event.  We missed last year because of closing on the house and moving.  But were back this year and I have made a note on my future log in my calendar to be on the lookout for next year's signup.  It's a great volunteer gig.  You get a t-shirt, your tasting glass and time to sample beer!  And it's free as a volunteer.  

The biggest bonus is meeting brewers up close and really get to know some of the beers out there.  Savvy was back with Quarry Brewing out of Butte where we poured the first year.  I think Chuck, the owner and brew master was thrilled to see Savvy again.

This year I was assigned to Flathead Lake Brewing out of Big Fork.  David is the brew master and Hillary was there to assist.  And I am now officially in love with their Chateau Aeneas Barleywine, which they assure me will be bottled and on the market soon.  For this non-beer drinker, it was fantastic.  Aged 14 months in wine casks, it was mellow and just down right good!  Can't wait to get my hands on some for home.  Big Fork is a bit of a drive to go for some.

This was my next favorite.  Light and really refreshing.  Enjoyed it a lot.  I don't mean I had a lot of it, just it was really, really good.

The other two beers they were offering on Saturday were their Centennial IPA and their Bufflehead Brown.

I'm not usually an IPA fan (too hoppy for me), but it was good and enjoyable.  The Brown was, well brown!  You knew you were drinking it for sure.  

But I love the artwork on their packaging and in fact, one of the reasons I enjoy going to the Brewfest is to see all the artwork for the different breweries.  

That's Hillary, who is an assistant brewer and really, really nice.  Both she and David made me feel like part of the 'family'.  And a really good part of being a pourer is you get to eavesdrop on the conversations between the brewers.  It's a great way to pick up little behind-the-scenes information on the whole process.

The weather was great, as was the music being performed.  People are really, really nice and despite having all the beer you want in a 5 hour period, very, very little actual drunkenness.  I got to see people I knew from the library and everyone loved my purple hair.

As the evening wound down and it was time to head home, David presented me with a 6-pack of the Bufflehead Brown as a thank you.  However, I do believe Savvy has appropriated it for Dungeons and Dragons tonight.  And the sunset last night...

One of the biggest pluses however for being a volunteer at Brewfest is just how nice everyone is.  Granted, we have not worked in every booth (maybe one day!), but all the brewers are as nice as they can be, especially when you ask them about their beers.  I have never been treated with any less courtesy as a volunteer than if I had actually paid to get in.  And they have always been very thankful we were there to help out, which frees them up to go talk to other brewers and customers.  This is a great event and a great volunteer opportunity, one which will be on my calendar for years to come.

As far as the rest of the week went...

  • Finished 1 book
  • Wrote 3 posts
  • Walked 56,609 steps or 81% of my goal
  • Sat in with the Wednesday afternoon knitting group at the library

The coming week will prove to be filled to the brim also.  But not with beer!

  • Picking up Texter's books for the semester on Monday
  • Staff meeting on Tuesday
  • Two days this week at Parrot (and maybe starting to learn what the squiggles on the top of the candies mean)
  • Vacation day and a trip to Great Falls to do a tiny, tiny bit of shopping and to get out of town for the day before school starts
  • Picture taking for my powerpoint for the planner class
  • Start working on the powerpoint
  • Finish up a couple of quickie 'wizard' outfits for the upcoming Big Read

Well, off for another cup of coffee and some blueberry coffee cake.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Planners and Planning

I am working on the final 'stuff' for my "Planners, Planning and Productivity" workshop in September.  It's been fun a chore having to research planners and planning, but someone has to do it.  Similar to having to eat chocolate for homework as part of my new part-time job.  Anyway...

This is my bullet journal.  Actually I do more of a modified bullet journal.  I have decorated the outside with various stickers I have gotten over the past couple of months.  And my pen loops?  Binder clips with elastic super glued to it.  I am really enjoying this bullet journal and method of planning.

But I was curious with Texter's school schedule, my TWO jobs now, driving back and forth to daycare and college, exactly what my week would look like.  So I used google calendar to lay out a typical week once school starts.

In order to get a 'peaceful' start to my day and do the things I want to do in the morning, like my morning pages, reading email and blog posts I follow, I will have to get up at 5 a.m.  I do it anyway (almost) as the dogs usually have me up at 530-ish.

Then 6:30-7:15 a.m. will be getting Lady K and Texter up and dressed and out the door.  Then, depending on the day of the week, I have some 'me' time.  Time I can read, do chores, sew and get myself ready for work.  Tuesdays and Saturdays I put in for a full shift at my new job until I get the hours I would actually be working.  Those times are the possible hours I would be working.

I want to have dinner between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and then until 9:00 p.m. it will be 'free' time.  Part of it will be getting ready for the next day.  The goal is to have Lady K in bed no later than 8:00 p.m. It shouldn't be hard as she will be at daycare for four full days.  Friday will be her only half day. 

Luckily, nothing is very far in Helena.  Even something 'across town' is only a few minutes away.  And I want get my grocery shopping and errands to just Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.  And I want to get into a housekeeping routine so that my Sundays can be for relaxing and fun rather than doing chores.  There are a few road trips I would like to take.

With Texter having to be at school for most of the day, she can get her studying done there and not have to worry about it in the evenings or weekends for the most part.

It's not only a lot of fun to see what a 'colorful' live I lead, but also, to have it charted out like this, I know where I can fit those little things that need being done.

Which means I better get working on my class prep.  I have pictures to take and a power point to create!

Monday, August 08, 2016

Mandala Monday - It's 'Dragon'

"Algae-non" is finished, thanks to a lot of Olympic games watching.  And while he isn't big enough to be an adult scarf...

He suits someone smaller perfectly.

I used the pattern provided by Six Little Mice and it's a fairly quick (and forgiving) pattern.  I attached my wings a bit more forward than she did and my 'spines' aren't that articulated.  But for something which will be thrown around and twirled and twisted and generally abused, it works just fine.

Now to finish up the dragon hat I started!

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Week In Review - July 31 - August 6

One of my options for walking home is going through a tunnel to get to the neighborhood on the other side of a wide street.  I usually don't take it, but it was hot and I needed some 'space and time' to walk off a bad day at work.

When I entered the tunnel, which has graffiti in it, there was a strong smell of paint.  Apparently, it is going through a 'renewal'.  But this time there is some wonderful gold paint on one side and silver on the other.  I love the artwork.  Of course, it may signify 'kill everyone', but it is interesting and pretty.

And no, that is not a Pokemon character, although there is a Pokestop just outside the tunnel.

But the large, jarring pictures and colors suited my mood.  Then when I exit the tunnel, there is this building up on the side of the hill.

Not sure what exactly the building was built for or currently being used as, but I would love to have some huge potted trees on the deck.  Maybe a pergola.   Somewhere to sit and read or talk with friends on a summer evening.


This past week...

  • Got a new part time job working a couple of days a week at the Parrot Confectionary
  • Saw the new Star Trek Beyond.  Now I'm really excited for the new series starting in January.
  • Worked at 1+1=1 Gallery and found a piece of pottery for an upcoming exhibit I am going to have to have
  • Saw a hummingbird visit the hollyhocks next door
  • Walked on 63% of my steps for the week or 43,781 steps
  • Finished 1 book
  • Wrote 4 posts

So now for the coming week...

  • Take pictures and start power point for Planner Class
  • Working on Bee Hive square for August
  • Finish sewing up a skirt
  • Work on dragon scarf and hat while watching Olypmics
  • Start my new part-time job
  • Attend Silent Writing on Monday night

And next Saturday will be filled with Kids Fun Fest in the morning with Lady K and Texter.  And then in the afternoon/evening, with Savvy, at the Montana Brewers Summer Rendezvous.  We had to miss last year because we were moving, but are volunteer beer pourers again this year.  So looking forward to a fun day on the 13th!

Now, off to watch some Olympics and knit/crochet on dragons (and maybe a bit of house cleaning).

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Happiness for Beginners - Katherine Center

I was initially drawn to the premise of this book by the fact it was about a woman taking a hiking 'journey', both inward and outwardly.  I had plans, in my mind at least, to hike the Appalachian Trail at one point.  So I was interested.

Enter Helen, 32, one year after her divorce.  With a dog NO ONE likes.  Who signs up for a very rugged, outdoor, three-week adventure with the goal of getting her life together and receiving a certificate at the end of the experience.  Despite having no hiking or outdoor experience.

And what's not to like when on page 43 you find out her grandmother, who raised her and her brother, at 83, is a member of an erotic book club.  And proceeds to discuss the merits of bondage and hot wax on nipples.

However, none of Helen's hiking experience goes as planned.  Also on the hike is her annoying younger brother's best friend.  Ten years younger than Helen and just like her brother.  Or is Jack?  And the leader of the hike isn't even old enough to vote yet.

As the hike and Helen's outdoor experience continues, she comes to realize not all is what it seems and is forced to give up some misconceptions, not only about herself, but others.

Once I started this book, I couldn't put it down.  Katherine Center has written a wonderful story which will make you laugh out laugh before getting tears in your eyes.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

July is Over and August Goals

July started out with these goals in mind:
  • Finish Harley Quinn! (I have grommets now for the corset, just need to spray paint them black before using) Did it!  Finished and she wore to NaguCon.  However, must redo corset and get grommets from another source.
  • Sew one item of clothing It's cut out and the front of the lining is 'darted' and sewn together
  • Catch up RSC16 for May, June and July Nope, nada, not done.  Now I have 4 months to do!
  • Hit walking goal weekly So-so.  Will need to ramp up and try and hit 30 minutes of continuous walking daily
  • Start my Bee Hive block NOPE!
  • Do the #onebookjuly2016 challenge Did it and enjoyed it. Post on the process shortly
  • Knit and Swirl sweater through Welt 26 Did it and now for the next chunk of welts.  Not to mention the dragon hat and the dragon scarf started.
  • Figure out a pen holder for planner Yep, did it!  Not only for my planner, but my journal too.
  • Attend 1 Helena Hiker hike All set and then rain in the forecast and it was cancelled.  I'm the death of hikes for the group this year.
  • Start power point and handouts for the "Planners, Planning and Productivity" workshop Yes and no.  Haven't actually started them, but lots and lots of notes and a good start on the actual class outline.

Overall, my progress in July wasn't half bad.  I'm ok with what was accomplished and what wasn't.  So for August...

  • Catch up on RSC16 for May, June, July and August
  • Do the Bee Hive block for August and do mine for September and have ready to post by the end of the month
  • Finish up the power point and handouts for Planner class
  • Write up a posting schedule for August
  • Complete one piece of clothing
  • Hit walking goal
  • Organize and start on Big Read Projects
  • Knit and Swirl sweater through Welt 35
  • Get Texter and Lady K ready to start school at the end of the month (free time for me arrives!)
  • Attend a couple of Silent Writing meetings

August is going to be busy, but a fun busy.  Hopefully, the temperatures will back off a bit and not make it quite so hot.

Monday, August 01, 2016