Journals Galore – #JusJoJan

Can one have too many journals? If you are a writer or an artist, I would think your answer, like mine, might be no.

I am a sucker for a beautiful journal. The cover, the weight, and the binding and stitching are important. If I intend to use the journal for writing, it must open fully and lie flat. Please, none of those poorly machine-made journals that lose their pages upon opening.

When I take a writing class, I favor a spiral notebook. I rarely think what I write in a class is ready for a pristine journal. The exception is when I studied The Artist’s Way – I had a large 8.5×11 hard back journal I used for my morning pages. I may destroy it someday as I have other journals in my life. Journals that include therapeutic writing sometimes have a limited life. Once through traumatic times, I feel no need to keep the words that now serve as painful reminders of things I have overcome.

I have small journals from a time when travel was possible. I like having something small and easy to tuck in a pocket or a backpack to record life as it unfurls

Artists love sketchpads – each having their own weighted and textured paper. But I also use small unlined journals for sketching. The smooth paper allows for quick sketches and I love the portability.

Of course, I love a good bookstore. I always tend to end my visit by visiting the journal section. I love a journal with a good inspirational quote, or a soft pliable cover with good paper and a strong binding.

I wonder how many journals I have on hand? Probably more than one might think necessary, but then I might just disagree with you.

Written as part of Linda Hill’s JusJoJan.

Prompt word today (journal) submitted by Scarlet from Scarlett79.


We Need a Flowchart People! – JusJoJan

Remember when the pandemic first started and all the guidance was so confusing? It isn’t any better now. No one knows what to do. Businesses and schools and government offices all have their own guidelines. Hospitals have theirs. It is all still so confusing and we are starting the third year in this pandemic.

I remember early on, people were making comparisons to the plague. It seemed so unbelievable that people locked away for two years. We scoffed at the idea.

All this confusion makes me think we need an old fashioned flowchart. Yes, no, if, and then questions. It is unbelievable how confusing and convoluted the decisions around masking, testing, isolation, quarantine, vaccination, boosters, rapid test, antigen, PCR, monoclonal antibodies, and social distancing still remain.

Let’s hope this third year will take us back to even just a little normality. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Written as part of Linda Hill’s JusJoJan.

Prompt word today (unbelievable) submitted by J-Dub from J-Dubs Grin and Bear It.


Miracle Patients – JusJoJan

This year will mark six years since my sister passed away from kidney cancer. Her doctor called my sister her miracle patient. The normal prognosis was maybe two years, but she fought the odds for eight years before she lost her battle.

I am not sure I will ever get used to the truth that she is no longer here and I try to be thankful for all the extra years. The odds of her surviving all the surgeries and complications – there were many – were always against her. But my sister never let that overcome her will to live.

On her last birthday, she gave me a present – that was just like her. Unfortunately she gave me a plant and I am not good with plants – especially indoor plants. Since her passing, that plant has become symbolic to me of her survival. I have fought hard to keep it alive. Not an easy task for me.

We had a history with this plant – a purple passion (or velvet) plant – a Gynura aurantiaca. There was a time we both lived in Alaska. We each kept these plants in hanging pots supported by macrame hangers (yes, macrame which we both made). They were beautiful with their purple fuzzy leaves cascading in the sunlight. This was the plant she gifted to me. It was a tie to a different place and time when we relied on each other and transformed from sisters to best friends.

To say I have struggled to keep this plant alive is an understatement. It has come close to death on a few of those cold 19 degree nights. But now, that one single plant is in three small pots. That means they have a three times greater chance of survival. And survive they must. Anything else would feel like losing my sister all over again.

I know this feels sad, but if you knew my sister you would know she is somewhere laughing at me – the sister with the brown thumb – trying hard to keep one little purple plant alive. Laugh away, sis. I’ve almost made it six years! Me and my little miracle patient.

Written as part of Linda Hill’s JusJoJan.

Prompt word today (surviving) submitted by Wendy from Wendy’s Waffle.


A New Photo Challenge

I was once a photographer. I still love to take photographs but mostly with my iPhone these days. I saw this challenge demonstrated on Fandango’s post this morning. This One-to-Three Photo Processing Challenge comes to us from DailyMusings at A Day in the Life.

I selected an older photo that I always found simple and beautiful. Maybe I chose it because I am longing for spring. Regardless, here we go. The idea is to take one photo, alter it in three different ways, then post the results.

Let’s start with the original photo.

I used an App (Superphoto) for all the alterations and filters.

Painting Filter

Colorify Filter

Palette Filter

I like the results. Do you have a preference?



SoCS & JusJoJan – Birthday Wishes

Today’s post is a combination SoCS and a JusJoJan (rules here) post, both hosted by the lovely and talented birthday girl, Linda Hill. Check out Linda’s place to get the scoop on SoCS and wish her a happy birthday while you’re there!

Today’s prompt is as follows:

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and my very first birthday-Stream-of-Consciousness-Saturday is: “icing on the cake.” Write about the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the phrase “icing on the cake.” Enjoy!

I love blogging and I love SoCS, but having a chance to celebrate Linda’s birthday is icing on the cake!