Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Goulet Pens and Bohoberry Rock!


Yesterday started with a beautiful sunrise.


And a bit of a planning session at Starbucks before work.

I had to keep myself busy because I was expecting this when I got home...


My 'winnings' from Kara at Bohoberry sponsored by Goulet Pens.

I had read and seen unboxing videos on items received from Goulet Pens, but haven't actually used them. Well, that's changing! After all, how can you not order from someone who puts a Tootsie Roll in your order?


And there it was! Wonderful goodies all nice wrapped up for me!


One of the extra touches were these cards signed by Goulet and with the ink color referenced. How great is that! These are hitting my Hobonichi for inspiration.


Lady K was fascinated by the 'bird'. I was fascinated by the pen.

I have test 'driven' it a bit and find it a wonderful feel. Easy to fill with my wonderful Pelikan Aquamarine ink, it is a dream to write with. And since February is ICWM, it will get a bit of a workout. Especially since I have this...


Real stationary!

So thanks to Kara and Goulet Pens. It will warm me up on this cold, snowy day in Helena, Montana!
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Monday, January 30, 2017

Mandala Monday


Hopefully, I will be pulling this picture off the wall at the Temple of Fire this week and saving it for the new home. If NYC can come back from 9/11, then so can we! 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Week In Review - January 22 - 28

It's been a 'fun' week (tongue in cheek).

Lady K has been at home all week with RSV. The first part of the week was spent coughing and hacking. The last part of the week was spent climbing the wall. So Texter and I tag teamed watching her. And then Friday I felt like death warmed over and Saturday threw my back out. Not a 'fun' week.

But with the aid of some pain killers and a couple of 'prone in bed on the heating pad' sessions, I think I am up to the boarding up the house planned for today.


As you can see, by Saturday she was up and active and ready to go!

I do have one complaint about myself. I am pouting because I don't have 'me' space. Really! Most days I can't get up and write or type because (1) CJ is sleeping on the couch and/or (2) Lady K is sleeping in my bed. Yep, I am using any excuse for not doing things I SHOULD be doing.

But onward and upward!

This past week saw me winning two giveaways!

The first one, from Plannerisms.com. It was for a Personal-Planner. I had one I was going to use for 2017 to monitor and track my projects for the year. Will am currently using the Create 365 for a monthly grid journal and was going to use it for my project tracker once we got more settled, but will switch to the Personal-Planner for project tracking. It's a BIG one! A4 size - which means it's bigger than 8.5 X 11 and will be a 'stay-at-home' planner.

The second WIN was from Kara at Bohoberry to celebrate ICWM and was sponsored by Goulet Pens. I have drooled over their site in the past as both Kara and Miss Vicky Bee rave over Goulet Pens. If their normal service is anything like fulfilling orders for giveaways, then I'm sold. I had barely pressed enter to email my address back to Kara, when I received confirmation it was shipped! I'll be getting it Monday, so expect a review shortly thereafter. And just in time for ICWM!

Other than that, I received notification my car is headed to the great junk yard in the sky. Just a matter of time (days, weeks, months?) At least the need isn't immediate, but means no out of town trips unless I rent a car for the day. Bummer!

Texter and I went to a Lularoe 'opening' here in town yesterday evening. Now I am not a leggings person. Or thought I wasn't until I received a free pair from a giveaway. 

First off, Texter fell in love with them and was glad when we received some which were not my size and she could wear them. Being at school all day, she finds them comfy and durable. And I am enjoying mine for the same reason. But I just have to find tops to cover my butt! Which they have! So now I have leggings, a long skirt and 3 tops. The leggings are such fun to wear in all their wild patterns. And there are 'collector' clubs! 

I will do a post on my 'wild legs' soon!

It's the Year of the Rooster and I am a Rooster according to the Chinese zodiac. As is Texter. We need red and jade!

Otherwise...

  • 5 posts written
  • 1 book finished reading
  • 56% of steps completed for the week
  • Picked up tickets for the Princess Tea in March for Lady K (and she wasn't fooled by Tinkerbell - it's Miss Jessica!)

And most importantly...

We viewed a potential permanent/temporary house! Fingers crossed. Five bedrooms (3 up, 2 down - perfect!) and we can have the dogs there. They are finishing up some renovations, so hopefully we will hear soon. We need space! And real internet!

This coming week...

  • Back on routine (I hope)
  • Tuesday to myself! Movie and a long list of to-do's
  • Writer's Roundtable on Thursday night - Writer's Notebooks!
  • Sorting through (I hope) some fabric, books and yarn I pulled from the "Temple of Fire"

Well, off to change into old clothes and wait for Savvy and CJ to arrive to go get plywood to board up the back of the "ToF" (Temple of Fire - the old house). Maybe have some cereal before I go.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Slowly, But Surely

Right now we are still in temporary housing, so I really don't want to be pulling a lot of stuff from out of the Temple of Fire. 

However, in the spirit of seeing if it is possible I did pull out a bin with quilt parts in it.


This is my "Joy" quilt I started a couple of years ago and it go sidelined with Texter's divorce and moving into other quarters and the rest of 'life' at that time.


I was ready to start on block 3 when it got put away. All of it. Including the thread!

I was able to wipe down the outside of the bin, removing the layer of soot and the fabric inside is just fine. This is one of my projects I originally had set to finish in 2017. 

My 'basic' sewing machine is in it's carrying case in a friend's garage, so I can get to it. And the Bloc Loc rulers are still in there also. 

And...

Joann's is running a sale this weekend on cutting mats, rotary cutters and Gingher scissors! Time to replace some of the things I know haven't made it.

So, anytime someone pooh-pooh's putting your projects in containers, or at least zip-lock bags, this is the reason why. They are protected! Let's see what else gets rescued this weekend. And if I remember the procedure for making all those flying geese strips!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

For February! InCoWriMo!

See...

I had originally planned to not take part in any challenges in 2017. Instead I was going to put my head down and work on things I had piled up which needed to be completed.

And then life stepped in and changed that.

I follow Kara on Bohoberry for all things planners and organizing and fun (and a giveaway too). Her latest post brought InCoWriMo to my attention.

International Correspondence Writing Month, or InCoWriMo, is to encourage writing. The goal is to send 28 letters (or postcards) in 28 days.

Used with permission of Kara at www.bohoberry.com

And since I am working on a program for April for the library about letter writing, this seemed to be a great 'primer'.

Check out Kara's post as she has a ton of additional information and links. I'm actually being lazy and need to get out a ton of thank you notes before the start of February!




Monday, January 23, 2017

Mandala Monday


And so we remained till the red of the dawn began to fall through the snow gloom. I was desolate and afraid, and full of woe and terror. But when that beautiful sun began to climb the horizon life was to me again. 

- Bram Stoker

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Week In Review - January 15 - 21

It's been an interesting week all the way around. And I am taking a bit of departure from my normal week-in-review format.

First, we have had some amazing sunrises this week as temperatures rose. Ok, maybe 20's isn't what a lot of people would call warm, but when you have been below zero, it's an improvement.



And with the warmer temperatures, came morning fog.

We pulled out Texter's Mac from the house and plugged it in. And it worked!


This is the 'cleaning' process, going from black to silver. We will be taking both Mac's into the Simply Mac in Missoula for a 'detox' on the inside as soon as we have a free day. But they are working just fine.


My 'new' Hobonichi arrived. I didn't get the yellow cover I had before, but went with "Cherry Cookie". Which is a bit funny, because I ordered this before I realized the coming year in the Chinese Astrology is 'my' year of the Rooster and I need to wear red for luck. (By the way, Texter is a Rooster too.)


But Cherry is filling up nicely. I am loving her.

And along with red, I am suppose to be wearing jade. I have a ring I am going to order in the next week or so from Savvy. And  "Jade", the car, is slowly getting all tuned up. Turns out she has a bit of a problem with going to 'hot' and back in a flash. Menopause car-wise. But we are getting it all ironed out and she really isn't overheating, but a sensor issue (we think).

But the BIG event was on Saturday -
The Women's March!


I went to walk for Savvy, who was working and would have loved to have been there. I walked for Texter, who was a home with an ailing Lady K. I walked for the women in the past and the women in the future. I walked to show elected officials to be very, very careful about the decisions they make in the coming years.


According to the news, there was about 10,000 marchers in Helena.


The energy of the event was so fantastic! 

I am filled with hope for the future now. Politicians had better take warning. They will not be getting away with much and will be held accountable for their actions. They may push items through (like cutting funding for programs like Planned Parenthood), but it will be remembered come the next election. I think the next four years will see a flood of letters and phone calls to elected officials, giving them our opinions of what they need to be doing and what they need to not do. Accountability will be a watchword and I feel some of the 'good old boys' are going to be in for a big shock the next few years.

Unfortunately, I found out just a week or so before the march about the 'Pussy Hat'. I knit a total of 5, selling 3 before the march.


The one on the left I wore to the March. The one of the right I need to sew up the side seams. I have a feeling Savvy will be claiming one of them. I plan on holding onto mine. 


One day, Lady K may be studying the March in history and I can pull it out and tell her I was there!


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Week In Review - January 8 - 14

This was the first week in about 3 weeks there was no vacation, no holidays. Just a regular week. I'm still feeling 'off-center'. But as a friend advised me, "it hasn't been a month yet". Of course, workers on the roof of the library installing the new solar panel system smoking near the intake vents and making the back of the library smell like smoke didn't help any.


This past week has seen a clearing up of the really low, low temperatures and snow. A heatwave forecasted for the coming week - 30's!


But some beautiful mornings dawning outside my window this past week. But still too cold for me to run outside and take pictures. Besides, the 2nd story allows for more of the sunrise despite the window screens.


And the Full Wolf Moon on Thursday. Beautiful setting over the snowy hills.


Since all our plans for this summer are now in the crapper, I am glad I hadn't cancelled my hotel reservation for Miscon in May. So I have started a tracker for my long weekend. Will have some insurance money to replace some of the books I have lost while there, so my main expense will be the hotel room. Texter and Lady K going again (we need a baby sitter for the weekend to go with us so we can attend panels!) We generally pack food and drinks and only eat out once or twice during the weekend.


I have a waitress in-house now. She's great at getting orders (and expanding what you might want), but service is really slow. Have yet to get my food! But she is learning her letters and pretty much write her name (first only) and can identify the first letter of my name.

Otherwise this week...

  • Consulted on a jade ring with Savvy at her work. Need some protection!
  • Trip to Missoula, mainly because we were bored and tired of being stuck in the house.
  • 2 posts written
  • Planning session with Ms. OK at General Merc with some great hot chocolate (Texter tagged along)
  • Finally (I think and hope) got the personal item sheets completely correctly for the insurance company.
  • Walked at least 50% of my goal steps every day.
  • 2 Pussy Hats completed and one needs seaming
  • My replacement Hobonichi arrived in San Francisco for customs.

So this coming week...

  • Clean and straighten today
  • Knitting and watching "Victoria" tonight on PBS
  • Lady K to school and then rummaging in the old house for some items to bring out and 'de-smoke' hopefully
  • Tuesday - trip to Missoula (again) this time with my computer for a cleaning
  • Doctor's appointment with Lady K's immunologist to discuss getting her tonsils removed which should solve the whole 105 temperatures every month or so
  • Short week at work due to MLK day (thus the house rummaging)
  • Women's March on Saturday (hence the Pussy Hat knitting)
  • 5 books finished 
  • Working on my first Writer's Roundtable program - creating a general and a specific writer's notebook
  • My replacement Hobonichi should be here this week!
So off for more coffee and to start cleaning!


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Monday, January 09, 2017

Mandala Monday


"Right now I am trying to be in a place of calm, a place where I can chill out and then handle the chaos of life better. You don't just get it overnight; you have to work at it. It's a daily struggle."

-Jackee Harry

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Week In Review - January 1 - 7


I'm slowly getting 'back in the saddle' again. And coping with a desk the size of my computer. Which doesn't leave much room for writing or setting anything down on it. But I'll deal. Anyway...

I was reading Samelia's Mum and read her review of Makelight.com. It's a website promoting perfecting your photography and use of instagram

They are offering a 2016 review of your instagram posts and recreate it in this cute clamshell pattern, based on the colors of the pictures you posted. Or you can also see it like this...

Cute and fun look back. And a reminder to use instagram more. These pictures also come in handy as I haven't been taking too many pictures the past few weeks. Need to take a deep breath and up my picture taking game.

Otherwise this past week...
  • Watched the new season premier of Sherlock
  • Finished 3 books
  • Led one workshop at the library
  • Had a meetup with Ms. OK for goal planning (working on Level 10 Life)
  • Wrote 6 posts
  • Walked 62% of my goal steps
  • Yoga 2 mornings and 1 cardio workout
  • Went and saw "Sing" at the movies with Savvy
  • Down 6 pounds from December
This coming week...
  • 1000 words a day writing
  • Trip to Missoula with computer to get the CD/DVD drive checked out
  • Crafting meetup with friends
  • Salad Social with hiking group
  • Drink more water
  • Exercise daily
  • Knock out a couple more books read
  • Finish up my Pussy Hat for the Women's Walk 
  • Start on my Writer's Bible and my Pagan Omni Journal
But right now, I have CBS Sunday Morning on the computer and listening to Lady K watch "The Bee Movie" for about the 100th time. Some days are harder to begin than others!
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Saturday, January 07, 2017

Finally - Word for the Year and 2017 Goals


Completion is my word for 2017.

One definition of the word meant 'conclusion/fulfillment'. And I really liked that idea. Bringing things to a conclusion with a sense of fulfillment.

After all, I am great at starting things, but my follow through lacks a bit.

Then the fire. And I despaired. Because not only had we lost our house (until it's rebuilt), but I lost my routine, things I wanted to do. I was adrift.

But I realized "Completion" still fit, I just had to step back and readjust my plans somewhat.

So...

Using Hal Elrod's Level 10 Life, I have come up with some plans for this topsy-turby 2017 (thanks Cindy and Christine for brainstorming with me).

Family & Friends
  • Be grateful we are all hale and hearty
  • Monthly 'fun' nights with family (of course, as competitive as we are this might not be a great idea!)
  • Monthly craft afternoons with friends
  • Monthly potlucks with friends
  • Movie Tuesdays to stay in touch with Savvy
Personal Growth & Development
  • Plan and deliver workshops for the library
  • Look at alternate venues for workshops
  • Stick to a morning and evening routine
  • Monthly goal setting
  • 175 books read and at least 1 book review weekly
  • Complete Bite Me! - my NaNoWriMo book
  • "Work" my various journals
Health & Fitness
  • Track what I eat
  • 10,000 steps daily
  • Yoga or cardio 4X week
  • Plan menus
  • Pare down the amount of sugar in my diet
  • Meditate and mindfulness to reduce stress in my life
Finances
  • Set an allowance monthly
  • Menu planning and shopping from a grocery list
  • No impulse spending
  • Use what I have
Career/Business
  • Workshops through the library
  • Enter work every day with a positive attitude
  • Establish writing contacts
  • Attend Miscon for writing in May
Fun & Recreation
  • Hikes!
  • Craft days
  • Explore Montana
  • Miscon in May
  • Movies on Tuesdays
Spirituality
  • Following Rhomeny's Realm and her Pagan Planner for 2017
  • Study and use my tarot cards more
  • Give people the benefit of the doubt - be more open and accepting
Contributions & Giving
  • Support bloggers who I enjoy and follow through Patreon
  • Look at ways to give back to the community
Physical Environment 
  • Try to remain as stress-free as possible about the whole rebuilding our home process
  • Adapt to where I am now and work with it rather than against it

Yep - it's a big list and many of the items span more than one category. But I have to have something to aim for in 2017.


Friday, January 06, 2017

100 Day Challenge

Well, a lot of life these days is a bit of a challenge.  Four adults and one child in a three bedroom apartment is my biggest one. Especially since everyone could really use their own space. But it's coming.

And I had promised myself "BF" (before fire) I wasn't going to join in with any challenges or "a-longs". However, since it is now "AF" (after fire), I am joining in with the 100 Day Challenge being lead by Quilter in the Closet, Jen.



"BF" I would have listed starting and finishing one of the quilts on my list for 2017.  Now that I am "AF", here are my three crafty goals for the 100 Day Challenge...

  1. Get back into the house and pull out what fabrics and fibers I can.
  2. Check them and see what can be salvaged and throw away what can't be (too smokey).
  3. Reevaluate my 'stash' of fibers and fabrics to see exactly where I stand.

There is some yarn which I haven't touched and is still in skeins and some of it is really nice and I am hoping I can soak them in Woolite or something to get the smell out.

A lot of my fabric and such are in bins and boxes and hopefully they are usable.  Will have to see what the state of affairs are once insurance lets us back into the house after the 13th.

So that's my 100 Day Challenge goals!

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Delayed Posts

Ok, I need to stop with the excuses. 

  • Too small a desk
  • All crowded together
  • All my writing in frozen piles in the old house
  • No reliable internet service where we are now
  • Whine, whine, whine

Because, while I am trying to remain positive about our current situation, I am wwwaaayyyy behind the schedule I had for myself.

I have a workshop on Saturday and I am tying up the loose ends of my PowerPoint and my handouts on Thursday! My plan was to have it done two weeks ago.

My goals for 2017...all messed up. But am getting back on track and should have a more finalized list by the weekend.

The kids are looking at a permanent/temporary rental where we can have the dogs and have ROOM! Hopefully, by the end of the month we will be out of where we are now and into something bigger. I'm at the cranky old woman stage and need my space! Not everyone appreciates my 4:30 a.m. awake time.

So they (my plans for 2017) are coming. At least by next Tuesday as I have another meet-up with a friend for goal setting and planning and she'll kick my butt if I don't!

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Planner Happiness

With the fire, I am having to replace planners....sigh...

So my Hobonichi has been reordered and on its way to me.  In the meantime, I am having planner withdrawal.

But on a trip to Costco, Texter spotted this...


For $24.99!

This will become my 'project planner/tracker'. But tons of washi tape and stickers, along with blank paper.



And I'll also use it for a 'grid' journal on the monthly pages.  I had drawn a grid for December and enjoyed doing it for December...until the "F", so I plan on continuing it in 2017.

There are also the inserts for 2018 too.


My 'planner anxiety' is receding somewhat. And while it seems silly be lost without it, but without my planner(s), I feel like I am walking around with only one shoe on.

Now onto some writing and planning - now that I have planners again.


Monday, January 02, 2017

Mandala Monday


Reusing a mandala from a couple of years ago. This quote reminds me life isn't always peaches and cream. There are downs. Sometimes more down than you can imagine.

But there is a beauty to it also. A reminder of the 'ups'. And we have to stay positive and the fact that the 'warmth of summer' will return.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Ending 2016 and Starting 2017


Can I say that 2016 went out with a ‘blaze of glory’? Or ‘Up in Flames’?

December 18, 2016 at about 11:30 p.m. I was awakened by CJ yelling ‘everyone out of the house!’

So there we stood, in our pajamas, as the house belched smoke and flames.

Not how I wanted to end the year. Not how I want anyone to end anything.

The community of Helena (and beyond) has been so, so, so supportive. Everything from a friends taking us in overnight and washing clothes for us to gift cards, donations of clothing and household items and cash. People who I thought of as friends, are actually family, caring beyond belief.

Unfortunately, two of the cats didn’t make it out and neither did the guinea pigs.  So there you have it.

Right now, and for the next couple of months, we are in a duplex courtesy of the Salvation Army. While it sounds bad, the duplex is actually nicer than an apartment we rented for $900 a month.  We have the place for about 4 months.


Hopefully, within that time period we find another place we can rent until the house is torn down and rebuilt. One which will let us keep the dogs with us.

Needless to say, it’s going to be a long, hard journey the next year or so, but we are all trying to be positive about it.

Lady K is in a day care where they are very much aware of the situation (and were a donation site) and she seems to be doing well.  We are trying to keep on a routine for her benefit if nothing else. And her Christmas will never be equaled again, thanks to all the loving support from Helena.


Texter called the college to talk to them about her classes this coming semester, of which all but one are online.  No internet where we are! And we can’t have it installed!  Upshot of the conversation – she now has a work-study job on campus which looks like it will continue into the coming semester since she has to be on campus all day anyway to use their internet. She has also been the ‘face of the family’ with all the donations and such.

Savvy is continuing to work full time at her job and I’m still at my part-time job at the library.  CJ is handling all the insurance ‘stuff’. We have had a pretty good delegation of duties.

So what does this mean for me for 2017?

This is me, looking dazed these days!


(Deep breath) Slowly relooking at my priorities and goals.  A big chunk of what I was planning on doing in 2017 is now ‘smoked’. The quilting and knitting are basically smoked and now frozen (and we won’t talk about the two fish tanks in the house).

But….

Surrounded by family and friends, I am sure 2017 will be a good year. I am revisiting what is important and what isn’t. It’s amazing how something like this makes you rethink your life. 

Posts probably won’t be as often as in the past since we have to do ‘hot-spots’ for internet. (Actually, doing without internet has been a bit of a revelation.)

And it means more writing!

So stay tuned.