Saturday, January 30, 2016

Organizing My Mind

January was my self-gifted Take-Off month, and I did pretty much nothing, just as I had planned.   February is my month to start to organize myself a little, and - because I was getting bored of Nothing - I have already started.   I am beginning to sort through all those old photos, separating them into Keep, Give Away, and Toss piles.  It looks like an endless job, but I've made a start and went through several hundred photos this weekend.     Only another 10,000 or so to go before I give up.
I sorted through my search and rescue and fly fishing corner, and got rid of the definite Don't Needs, which reduced (but did not really organize) the pile.   I haven't figured out yet exactly how to best organize that sort of hobby stuff.   There are lots more corners to go in my old 2-story farm-style house -- my hospice corner, and my printing corner, and my wedding officiant corner, and my radio corner, and . . . . -- but my Fantasy Goal is to be in shape to have a Realtor walk through at the end of February to give me some data to use for further decision making.   And as I've been telling people, I can hardly claim to be ready to move if I can't even get myself to do this first bit of organization. 

I've written a few letters this month, too, to catch up with people who I'd been out of touch with for quite some time.    A letter to a family-by-someone-else's-marriage woman who I haven't seen since her dad died over a decade ago.   A letter to an old co-worker from a couple of jobs ago.   I still need to write a letter to a law school classmate who I haven't seen in years and to a former sister in law.   And of course my regular pen pals can't be neglected either.   Although letter writing is certainly no hardship, it does take some time.

I've done a little (very little) internet research on some 'job' or volunteer opportunities, looking for ways I could hone my skills if I decide that I want to pursue some formal activity.   Too soon to tell, really, because I am enjoying the low stress, flexible time I am having so far.    I am sleeping til 8:00 am regularly, which seems to me very self indulgent, but I have to admit I like not waking to an alarm.

And I did my taxes, although I am not ready to finalize and send them in yet, to give myself a couple more weeks to watch the mail, just in case I've forgotten something.   My earned income gets smaller every year, so they get easier and faster to do.   I guess that's the silver lining.

So January has been a slacker month, but not a TOTAL slacker month.     Hopefully I can keep up my little bits of momentum and make February a month with a lot to report!

For those of you who have asked, Barbara at Three Cats Ranch gives a good overview of Redwork embroidery in one of her blog posts.    I don't know the origin of the needle nanny (I bet Barb does!) but I will look into it on one of my internet breaks.   The one thing I DO know is that I wanted the one shaped like a bunny because one of my screen names is Bunny Queen, but it was no longer available!    

Friday, January 15, 2016

It is definitely winter here.   Dreary and glum.   I started working on my first redwork embroidery.   I have not embroidered in years (and years) except for the occasional bit of whimsey, and had never even heard of redwork.   While working on the embroidery, I am using my new needle nanny, a gift I gave myself.   I had never heard of a needle nanny, either.   Both redwork and needle nannies were introduced to me by Barbara at Cat Patches.  I haven't started on the (many) French knots yet, but am hoping her direction is going to make them possible for the first time in my life even though they have never worked for me before!  Bloggy friends open up whole new worlds to us, my years of blogging have brought so many amazing blessings, so many unexpected joys.
It has been cold this past week, and I have continued to be a big sissy about it all.   The days with snow are not that bad, it is generally a little warmer when it snows and shoveling the fluffy stuff always lifts my spirits.

My son and his sweet wife bought me a new coffee pot for Christmas to replace my well used French Press.  I like a slow drip, low tech coffee.    The coffee I am drinking now is fabulous -- the filtering system removes a lot of the bitterness, but maintains the strong, deep flavor that gets me going.  Perfect for these snowy days.

I hope you are enjoying whatever gets YOU going!  Stay warm out there -- I am sure trying to.  :)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Slowly, Slowly Getting My Groove Back

I am still having fun and still having trouble getting back on track diet and exercise-wise.    A friend of mine got one of those veggie-'noodle' cutters and said that she and her husband really enjoyed them so I ordered one this week.   Maybe lasagna with veggie "noodles" will be on my menu when it arrives!  And I think those bacon-wrapped dates will be my new "candy" indulgence.   They are made of actual food, not sugar or fake stuff, and are very sweet-tooth-satisfying.  Unfortunately, as is true for me with any "candy," I am prone to over-indulge, so I will need to make them just a few at a time.  I learned that lesson the hard way!   I can easily make a meal of them, but I guess it isn't as awful as some of the high-cal and bad for me meals I've had in the past.

I spent one day this week driving Way North to take my brother into the hospital for an out-patient procedure.  Everything went well and I had the chance to spend time with him.   We saw a bunch of deer - I had to stop to allow a group of four cross the road in front of me -- and I saw a huge bald eagle feeding just off the side of the road.    A lovely day for a drive and family time.
I have been wearing my favorite bracelet a lot lately, made for me by my friend Kim at Snug Harbor Bay -- she made it with my name and (amateur radio) call sign -- I like that it was made by hand and that there is no other like it -- and I like wearing it with my fitness band, it helps me remember the fun hobbies I have that make me want to be fit.  :)    Seriously, how cool that you can pick what you want your bracelet to say, whatever it is that inspires you  --  check out her etsy shop. 

I packed away my Christmas stuff, but I wasn't ready to give up the lights so I added these, both on timers, as permanent additions.     I filled one of my conch shells with little fiber optic lights and put up another magnetic flame candle.  I love my candles, all on timers.  It feels good to come home late at night to a house lit with twinkly lights and candles.

And, thinking of all the gifts I DIDN'T make this year, I ordered a couple of kits to start for next year's gifting.     I hope to get started on some crafting soon.   Right now I am enjoying watching some Netflix -- I'm working my way through the series Jessica Jones right now and enjoying it.  I am keen on sci-fi and fantasy.   A good way to spend a cold evening.  :)

I hope you are keeping warm and busy, wherever you are.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year New Attitude - We Hope

So far so good.   I've already done a sewing project, a good start to 2016.   I made a (reversible) table runner for my son and his wife -- just an assortment of scraps with no plan or pattern, but I like it.   One of these days I should make one for myself!  Unfortunately I also gave it to them as soon as it was done, so my plan to get started early for NEXT Christmas is already off track!

Yesterday was the first Sunday of what has become a tradidional Dominoes Season.   Three or more of us -- there were 5 yesterday - gather for supper and a spirited series of games each Sunday evening until early Spring, when total scores are announced, prizes are awarded and my dominoes sugar cookies are baked and eaten.   What may be a simple game nonetheless leads to a bunch of smack talk and a lot of laughter.    We all look forward to it all summer and fall.

In honor of the Dominoes gathering, we had lasagna and, as an appetizer, I made a new favorite recipe -- bacon wrapped dates.   They were easy, they are relatively healthy in comparison to my usual favorites, and we all loved them.  That combination of candy-sweet dates with a crispy bite of everything's-better-with-bacon.    Yum.   I stuffed them with walnuts, although any nut or cheese would be just as good.
I am still adjusting to not having a work schedule, which continues to be harder than expected.   After decades of getting up before 6:00 a.m., always always before 7:00 a.m. even on Holidays, I am suddenly snoozing away until as late as 8:30.    It shocks me every day and I keep  hoping I will adjust back -- of course, as you might guess, I am also staying up late in my first thrill of living Like A Grown-Up, and that might be the real issue.     That isn't my only new lazy habit, though.   I am also exercising less, if such a thing is possible.  There were more stairs at work, and more walking back and forth than my new slacker schedule requires.   And of course it's way past time to shake of the carb-licious days from the past weeks of Holiday gatherings.    Changes gotta come.

I hope you are having a great start to the New Year, and that all your changes will be good ones.