Sunday, July 31, 2016

Week In Review - July 24-30

It's the end of July and shortly, Texter and Lady K will be heading back to school.  Not a moment too soon for either, I think.

Otherwise, it's been hot and dry.  Or dry and hot.  Whichever you prefer.  But the daisies in the beds on the walking mall are still going strong and maybe, just maybe, I'll get some tomatoes off my plants.


Besides my "Geekgasm" swap package this week, I received another goodie in the mail.  A subscription book from Cocoa Daisy for the month of August.  While I am not a coordinated pages or 'pretty planner', this is almost enough to bring me over to the dark side.  I think I will be investing in some of the add-ons they have available in their shop in the future.  But a reveal post will take place soon as I am using this box in my upcoming class.


And speaking of my "Planners, Planning and Productivity" class, I am having so much fun getting ready for it.  It's great watching all the videos out there on the subject and telling family 'it's research'.  Savvy remarked she couldn't believe I was watching videos on planners.  My response was "and you watch 'what' on YouTube?"  She huffed and left me alone.

Otherwise this week...

  • An emergency prop making and gathering for a Big Read photo shoot at the library for an upcoming ad.  I have seen the ad and Lady K is just all over it!  Will share when I can officially release it.
  • Doctor's appointment to discuss my upward numbers on several fronts.  Changes are being made to increase exercise and change some eating habits.  Not as dire as I was expecting, but changes do need to be made.  Especially since I have gained about 15 pounds over the past couple of years.
  • Worked two of my days off at the library filling in for people on vacation and having teeth pulled.  Amazing how much that cuts into my 'free' time.
  • Walked 62,715 steps or 90% of my goal.  Problem is, these are steps taken throughout the day and not straight walking steps.  So I need to start figuring in at least 30 minutes of straight, exercising walking daily.
  • Finished 2 books.  Reading through Naomi Novik's dragon series and loving it.  What an alternative world she created.
  • Tour de France ended.  A good race pedaled this year.
  • Started on a skirt for Savvy,
  • Finished up #onebookjuly2016 and more on that later.

For the coming week...

  • Pictures!  Of planners and knitting and crocheting and sewing!  Lots of picture taking.
  • Organize my ideas for Big Read projects and then full steam ahead!
  • Work on power point for Planner class
  • August blog plans - lay out an organized list of posts
  • Monthly review and plans
  • Working at the gallery one day
  • Working an additional shift at the library
  • Attend First Friday events downtown
  • Sewing and knitting and crocheting
  • Get Bee Hive square done and start on mine for September

Busy week ahead, so I had better start planning...



Thursday, July 28, 2016

Getting Ready for the Big Read

I/We am/are really excited about this year's Big Read at the library.  It's a fantasy novel, A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin.  Right up our alley.

So when our publicity person came downstairs on Monday in a panic because the production guy needed pictures 'tomorrow!' and there was nothing to be had, the women of the household jumped on our collective horses to ride to the rescue.  After all, she is a damsel and she was in distress.

Pulling items off shelves and whipping out some dragon eggs and a quick knight's tunic Monday evening, we loaded up and went to the library Tuesday morning to be there in time for the photographer. 

This is the display which we set up...


Except for the books, it's all ours!  The joy of being 'geeky'!  

And better yet, Lady K put on her dragon tail and the photographer took some pictures of her.  Since he sent Texter a release form, we are assuming/hoping she is going to be included in the ad for the library.  This would be the second or third time she has been in a library promotion.

So the next couple of months will be spent making items for decorations and workshops for the Big Read.  We are in our element!


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Geeking Out!

The Geekgasm Swap at Chaotic Goddess Swaps




Let me explain with this little story as to why a "Geekgasm" swap appealed to me.

The library needed a display for publicity shots for our upcoming Big Read and they weren't ready yet with any props.  It's still two months away.  So the "House of Geek" comes to the rescue.  We pulled together a sword and shield, knight's tunic, goblets, dragon eggs and other miscellaneous odds and ends to fill up a table and get some great shots.

So when I get home today and there is a box labeled "Geek Queen", I was thrilled (it made me forget my mashed thumb for a bit.)  Even better, Texter and Lady K had been napping when it arrived, so there was no peeking.

Packages inside packages!


I guess I should mention my swap partner is Beth from Printcess.  I had already been following her blog due to her book reviews and eye shadows.  She makes and sells 'organic' shadows.  And I got some!  A little tin for several green and purple shades.  I am going to save them and use them for when I dress up in September and October for the Big Read.  But I might have to try them out ahead of time.

Lady K eyed the 'colors' or metallic gel pens.  And Beth made me a dragon egg.  Much nicer than the ones we threw together the other night.  A great big saying and a fantastic bamboo cutting board.  The Tardis and Dalek are soaps (I think). 

And the fun didn't end there...



A Firefly inspired bag which I will have to keep out of other people's hands in the household.


And a wine glass with "It ain't easy bein' Khaleesi".  Which now resides on my shelf with the dragon egg in it.  Where else would I keep my dragon egg?

All in all, this swap was...



One of the best parts is the conversation Beth and I engaged in while discovering each other's likes.  What I found out....we both like the same 'geeky' things and would probably be dangerous if put together.

So, please go check out Beth's site and then visit Chaotic Goddess for information on future swaps.  You won't be disappointed in either.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Week In Review - July 17 - 23


Yes, this was my week.  Well, only three days of it.  I was the full time babysitter for Lady K while Texter was working/attending NaguCon here in Helena.  Of course, Lady K has been a bit under the weather for part of it.  Running a fever and no one knows why.  But she seems over it, but giving Texter the cold shoulder for being gone.

I did learn I am not above bribing with PlayDoh (which still smells great).

I am in a 'dragon' mode and ripped out the Honeycomb Cowl because (1) there were too many mistakes in it, (2) I realized I was using the wrong size needles and that's why it wasn't looking like it should and (3) I needed them for knitting a dragon hat.  So a 'blue' dragon hat started (knit) and a dragon scarf (crochet) and a skirt (sewing).  All started, none finished.

Problem with looking for YouTube instructions on starting with a 'magic circle' for crochet is I found directions on the crocodile stitch and a pattern for fingerless gloves.  These have been on my wish list for ages.  So a possible other project thrown in the batch.

What else this past week...

  • Tour de France watching (today is the last day)
  • Meeting to discuss projects for the Big Read (so several projects on the burner there)
  • Staff meeting
  • Cut out 1 skirt and 2 tops/1 skirt selected to cut out next
  • Altered a vest for Texter to wear to NaguCon
  • Made 1 batch of Candied Dill Pickles (my favorite in the world!) and 2 batches of jelly - one Nanking Cherry and one Berry Cherry Rum.  One more batch of Nanking Cherry left to make.
  • Fed and watered Christine's dogs while they were out camping for the weekend



For the coming week...

  • Set up August in my planner
  • Picture taking of planners for publicity and posts
  • Sewing, knitting and crocheting!!!!
  • Doctor appointment to discuss what do to about my 'numbers' which are not borderline.  Something that doesn't involve taking medicine, but rather changing habits.
  • Start my 'new' schedule at work on Monday's (huzzah!)
  • Working on Big Read projects (some sewing and design work)
  • Fleshing out the Planner class and starting the power point

Now, off for another cup of coffee and the last day of the Tour de France watching.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Midweek Look - A Few Things Off My List

So after what seemed like a long weekend, I have managed to cross a couple of things off my list. 

First off, Sunday morning dawned sluggish for me.  I couldn't get the old motor churning and I knew I had to finish up Harley Quinn.  So I used the early morning hours to tackle my desk.  It was piled with...well, piles.




First off, I cleaned everything off the desk top, except for the computer and then dusted and cleaned the surface.  Then I went through all the 'stuff' I had taken off and set up the desk again.




























Of course, it didn't stay like this for long.  My desk is on the 'path' through the house and seems to be a dropping off point for things.  And Lady K has an affinity for wanting to mess with things here.  But at least it got me going.

After having to mess with grommets for way too long, Harley Quinn is actually finished.  Well, finished enough for this weekend.  I am going to have to redo the corset at some point.  But I won't be using that company for grommets again.  Every time we went to set the grommets, the tool stuck in the grommet and had to be pried off.  Took about 10 times longer to put in 30 grommets.  I've done them before in costumes and never had this issue.  But 'Harley' is done...

















































So Harley is off my to-do list.  In it's place I am going to work on some clothing for a bit.  I have several pieces of fabric given to me which will make up into some nice tops for work and maybe a skirt or two.  First on the cutting table is a couple of pieces of 'dark mustard' fabric, only about a little over a yard each.


While I originally bought the pattern for the longer skirts, I am making this into the short skirt for Savvy.  She loves the color.  Since the woven fabric is a bit too see-through, I am using the silky fabric for the lining.  The colors match really well and should make up into a cute skirt (fingers crossed).

On the garden note...


Three pounds of potatoes from two of the pots I planted them in as an 'experiment'.  The plants never bloomed and started dying back.  I figured I was going to get nothing and dumped out one pot to check it out.  Much to my surprise (and Lady K's delight) there were some potatoes.  So we tried a second pot.  She was more concerned with washing them off than finding them in the dirt.  But enough for a couple of meals for us all.  Now I need some green beans!

During my two 'vacation' days off this week, where I am babysitting Lady K while Texter is at NaguCon here in Helena...housecleaning!  And some sewing.  And some planning for my part in the upcoming Big Read in a few months at the library.  But at least one big project has been removed!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Belated Week in Review - July 10 - 16

Yep, it was that kind of week.  I should have known things were off when I kept dropping everything I touched on Thursday.




My neighbors hollyhocks are blooming.  Mine, which I transplanted from seedlings, might bloom a bit this year.  A few have buds on them, so will wait and see.  Will have to take pictures of the sunflowers which are doing great.

And continuing the plant theme...


From the "Craftea" at the library this past week, Fairy Gardens!  Lady K helped put this one together and it is now on the side of my desk.  I stuck the rose cutting in the dirt since it wasn't rooting in the water, but I don't think it will make it.

And I received this package during the week...













Not one, but TWO Hobonichi Techno Planners for my planner class demo.  I wasn't expecting to receive two, so one has been gifted to a young co-worker who is into all things Japanese.  So much so, he is planning on becoming a Japanese translator.  While this is the smaller version, it only makes me want the larger "Cousin" version.  With a case.  One day when I have money!

On our walk to the Symphony Under the Stars on Saturday, I discovered this lovely gate and the rain chimes.  Of course, we don't really get enough rain to really appreciate the bells, but I still out like some.


Isn't the gate inviting?  Makes me want to explore what is beyond it.  I would hope a really neat garden is back there.

And some lilies...


Otherwise, this past week...

  • Steps - 51,973 or 74% of my goal
  • Books finished - 4
  • Posts written - 6
  • Lots of Tour de France watching
  • Lead a coffee klatch at work
  • Picked up extra hours
  • Interviewed for extended hours position at work (didn't get it, but something good is still coming out of it)
  • Did a blood draw for my health incentive at work (potential money right before Christmas!)

This coming week (even though it's already started)...

  • Finish up Harley Quinn costume (I did, but issues with grommets)
  • Meeting with SS from work to discuss Big Read ideas and what I will contribute
  • Pick up extra hours at work
  • Write a couple of letters I owe
  • Mail off Geekgasm Swap package
  • Three full days of babysitting while Texter is a NaguCon
  • Make Nanking Cherry Jelly
  • Set up August pages in planner
  • Work on planner notes and power point 
  • Picture taking of planners

Well, off to get more coffee and get a move on.




Monday, July 18, 2016

Mandala Monday - Broadway - Symphony Under the Stars!

It's been a long weekend, mainly because I had two 'late' nights (at least by my standards) and I'm still not chugging along on all cylinders yet.  So instead of a mandala to start the week, here is the fireworks display at the Symphony Under the Stars from Saturday night.  




Sorry about the change in angles, but I wanted to get all the fireworks in the shot.  And it was late.


(Yes, I know I probably shouldn't have recorded it, but what the heck.  They do a great job each year and I'm not selling it in any way.)



From the hillside overlooking the area.




Getting to the Symphony Under the Stars.  We are loaded with drinks and food for the evening.















This has become our 'regular' spot.  Third year in a row we are on the front, slightly to the side of the stage.




"Selfie" fans given out at the event.



















  

Exhausted from dancing around to the music they were streaming prior to the real show starting.  She did ballet and tumbling for a good hour or two.



Of course, they have no fun what-so-ever during the event.  I had to force them to come and pretend to have a good time.

Savvy and a couple of her friends were able to join us just as the symphony started playing.  With Broadway the theme this year, there was no way she was going to miss it.

Until next  year...

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

In My Spare Time...

So I need to finish up the Harley Quinn costume (almost there).  Gardens need weeding.  Behind a day on the Tour de France.  Just lots of 'stuff' going on.  So what else is on my plate?

This...


Creating a workshop to be given in September on "Planners, Planning and Productivity".  I am exploring all things 'planner-ish' and loving it.  How can you pass up an excuse to get this?


ARC is upping it's game and coming out with additional items for their system other than calendars and pages.  Another post will follow on the stickers and post-it notes they have released (which I can't see on their website).


I have the pages both in the large A5 size and the personal notebook size.  I almost hate to get them messy.  While I don't see them working of a BIG project, something simple would work well.

Soon there will be pictures of different planners received and finished Harley Quinn pictures and a bit of knitting (I have a couple of new knitting projects I want to do, but can't until Knit and Swirl is done!)

Oh, and the other thing...


Yep, Pokemon everywhere.  It's sad.  But they keep popping up!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Loving Eleanor - Susan Wittig Albert

My public school education went something like this -

Start of school year - pre-colonial American
End of school year - Civil War Reconstruction (maybe)
Start of next school year - rinse and repeat

Basically, I made it up to and maybe through Civil War Reconstruction, but that was about it.  Modern, 20th century history (at least until I started living it myself) wasn't covered.

This made reading Loving Eleanor, by Susan Wittig Albert, all the more interesting.


Based on the thousands of letters exchanged between Lorena Hickok, or Hick, and Eleanor Roosevelt, this is an account of the decades long relationship between the two women.

Upon the death of Eleanor Roosevelt, Lorena pulls out the over 3000 letters exchanged between the two women over their decades long relationship.  The story, told looking back, highlights both Eleanor's growth as a personality of her own and Lorena's contributions.

Several things emerged from reading this book.  First, I didn't realize just how much one woman had contributed to 'first's for women' on her own.  Lorena Hickok was a powerhouse of her own in the world of journalism in the early part of the 20th century.  Because of her love for Eleanor, she opened doors for the First Lady to expand upon her ideas and not just be a typical behind the scenes presence in the White House.

They were both mature women when they met and fell in love, but the relationship was not without it's issues.  The primary being the need to be extremely discreet and not having much of an opportunity, especially later in their relationship, to have time alone.

Loving Eleanor has made me want to delve more into the relationship between Eleanor and FDR (which was quirky on it's own) and the roll they played in shaping America as we know it today.  Binge watching Ken Burn's The Roosevelts touched on some of the intimate relationships the president and First Lady had over the years, and not with each other.  Makes me wonder if they could carry them off in today's world.

A great read, but a trifle sad in how Lorena had to put her relationship on hold as Eleanor grew in stature as a personality.  

Monday, July 11, 2016

Mandala Monday


Mother Nature is much better at creating mandalas than I ever will be.  The volunteer sunflowers are probably the best growing things in my garden.  The blossom (which is huge) is for a pepitas pumpkin.

Enjoy the sunny yellow, because today is actually very overcast, windy and cool cold.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Week in Review - July 3 - 9

Since I run on routine, the past couple of weeks have thrown me a bit off stride.  Of course, the Tour de France has started, so hours now in front of the TV, staying up past my bedtime, doesn't help any either.

Some of this past weeks events -

Cut my hair, so the resulting dye grow-out and the hair cut made it look like I painted a purple circle on my head.  So I had to recolor.  This is the result...


People seem to like the hair.  And no, that isn't my autobiography I'm holding!


We have been on a sno-cone kick and guess what her favorite flavor is.  We had to put blue in her hair to match her tongue.

We have achieved 1 bird at the feeder and bird box.  Actually, I'm pretty sure it's 2, but we only ever see one at a time.  It's either a Mountain (which I'm leaning toward) or Black-Cap Chickadee.  I have to check for the white bar over it's eye.

The garden is chugging along.  Worried about some of the potato leaves turning yellow which are in my containers.  But the dwarf tomatoes are covered in blooms.  Now if they will just set fruit.


Note the upper right corner.  There are a couple of small pepitas pumpkins growing.  However, I seem to have an issue with something nibbling on my growing melons and zucchini.


The tomato plants are about 12" to 18" and loaded with blooms.  If they all set fruit, it's just going to be one big tomato.  But I fear the temperatures haven't been warm enough at night for them to set.  Hopefully, I'll get at least 1 tomato off of each plant.  I'm not asking for much.


My Roma tomatoes at the community garden are only about 12" tall and have tomatoes setting.  Not holding my breathe for much of a harvest there either.

Otherwise:

  • Steps - 42,920 for the week or 61%  Need to 'step-up' my game here!
  • Books finished - 1  (we won't talk about the 40 from the library sitting in my room!)
  • Posts written - 5
  • Worked the book drop on the 4th of July
  • Got the bustle and hooded shrug done for Harley Quinn and the corset is about 1/3 done.  Texter spray painted the grommets to match the fabric rather than being bright brass colored.
  • Donated blood
  • Attended monthly staff meeting
  • Almost through my goal for the month on knitting the Knit/Swirl sweater.  Watching 'men in spandex' really ups my knitting progress.
  • Started pulling together information and DIY ideas for the library's Big Read in September/October
  • Assigned my swap partner for the Geekgasm Swap (and we are too much alike!)

And the really big thing?


No, that isn't a fly in my fries. 

Yes, we are playing Pokemon Go in our household.  Is it wrong that at 58 I know what you are talking about when you say "someone is using a lure at a poke stop"?  And that I rush down the block to take advantage of it?  Or that Texter takes my phone with me when she meets up with her friend M to walk around and trap Pokemon?  I have to stay at home and watch a sleeping Lady K.  But I am sure, even though she is out at night, two women alone, they are safe.  There are 3 gyms and poke stops all within range only about 3 blocks away.  Which is also the location of the court house and police station.  Figure they couldn't be any safer than that.  Plus other Pokemon trainers are walking by all the time!

For the coming week:

  • Finish the corset
  • Symphony Under the Stars on Saturday.  Have to put out my blanket on Friday night.
  • Write my French penpal
  • Write up several posts I have in mind
  • Lead a coffee klatch at work on "Goals, Projects, & Tasks" on Tuesday
  • Convert a composition notebook to a planner for my upcoming class
  • Get several pictures taken for posts
  • Make some bands and pen holders for planners
  • Go to the Craftea at the library and make a fairy garden
  • Sort through books in piles in my room and take most of them back to the library
  • Get my walking in (may be tough with a couple of rainy days)

So off for more coffee until then.




Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Linden Trees

Walking to work last week, I was enchanted by the smell of 'something' in the air.  As I went along, I noticed my 'lemon-lime' tree was blooming.  I had my eye on these trees because after the initial leaves were out, they put out this long, really light green 'leaf', thus making me think of lemons and limes.

They are everywhere, much like the Bradford Pear trees back in the South.

So, being the curious person I am, I plucked off a leaf and flower cluster and stuck them in my bag to take into work.  I just knew someone at work would know what kind of tree it is.


Of course, since I have a 'specimen', it has to go into my journal.

The type of tree was on the tip of everyone's brain and we finally figured out it was a Linden Tree!  And I wasn't quite wrong referring to it as a lemon-lime tree.  In England, they are sometimes called Lime trees.

Then as it happened, on the day I was running around the library trying to figure out what kind of tree it is, a tourist came in and asked.  Luckily, it was AFTER I had my question answered.

Oh, the trivia I stuff into my tiny brain!


Tuesday, July 05, 2016

June Goals Update and July's Goals

Needed to finish up Harley Quinn costume.  Now to spray paint them black!

  • Walk more.  Not getting my 10,000 steps in daily and my body can tell it - still not getting in my goal steps, but better
  • Write more.  Need to get that pencil to the paper. - nope, but have started working on prep for NaNoWriMo
  • Finish Harley Quinn costume - Nope, and have about 2 weeks to finish up!
  • Sew one item of clothing - not even!
  • Get Bee Hive block out on time
  • Do May and June's RSC16 blocks and color wedges - nope
  • Keep up with garden - at home yes, community garden, not so much
  • Knit 4 more welts on my Knit and Swirl sweater
  • Go on two Helena Hiker hikes - nope
  • Get out in the kayak (finally) - nope

Well, I'm not happy about what I didn't get accomplished in June.  But will be moving on with July goals...

  • Finish Harley Quinn! (I have grommets now for the corset, just need to spray paint them black before using)
  • Sew one item of clothing
  • Catch up RSC16 for May, June and July
  • Hit walking goal weekly
  • Start my Bee Hive block
  • Do the #onebookjuly2016 challenge
  • Knit and Swirl sweater through Welt 26
  • Figure out a pen holder for planner
  • Attend 1 Helena Hiker hike
  • Start power point and handouts for the "Planners, Planning and Productivity" workshop

I'm also hoping (and praying and fingers crossed) going to get an additional 10 hours a week added to my work schedule.  Hopefully, will find out soon.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Week In Review - June 26 - July 2


This is living in my garden.  Don't know what it is, but a friend has a friend in the Forest Service, so hopefully, next week, it will be identified.  It just sprang up overnight and is a bit creepy.  No, it's a lot creepy.  But so far it isn't getting any bigger and threatening my tomato plants.

A highlight of the week is a letter from my pen-pal in France.


Lots of goodies along with a quick note.  She and her husband are getting ready to go on holiday (vacation) and will be driving and camping through several countries over a few weeks.  I'm a bit jealous.

So I will drown my envy with massive bouts of Tour de France watching.  Which lends itself to massive amounts of sewing and knitting. 

Otherwise, this past week...

  • Set up July in my bullet journal and will be doing #onebookjuly2016
  • signed up for Geekgasm Swap
  • Worked extra hours at the library
  • Met friends after work Friday for drinks
  • Steps - 56,057 or 80% - I'm blaming the warmer weather
  • Posts written - 3
  • Books finished - 0   but working my way through 3 really good ones!
  • Another welt finished on the Knit and Swirl sweater
  • Skirt finished for Harley Quinn costume
  • Lady K got her new, larger "pool"
  • Tour de France started!

This coming week - 

  • Lots of Tour de France watching
  • 4th of July BBQ at home - ribs!
  • Working a few extra hours at the library
  • More Harley Quinn sewing
  • Grommets coming to finish up Harley Quinn from Amazon
  • Hike on Saturday

Off for another cup of coffee and some cycling watching!