animals, Blog, creativity

Befuddled Day With a Touch of Joy

Image Courtesy of Molly Sharp Voorhees

Day 291

It was a bit of a mixed up busy day. I had a busy morning and a rushed afternoon trying to wrap up a few loose ends. Friday and Saturday I am taking a jewelry workshop with the fabulous Molly Sharp. What a great designer and a wonderful teacher! She teaches in her home studio in North Carolina and at locations throughout the U.S. and Mexico. (I hear rumors there are also possibilities of workshops in the U.K. and in Florence.) I am so excited. When I work on jewelry, I am able to lose myself totally in the process. It’s not easy work; it takes a great deal of focus and good eyesight (thank you magnifiers) and patience.

After I finished my afternoon miscellanea, I had to go out and run a few errands. I was feeling a little discombobulated and rushed. When I turned the corner to head back to the house, I saw a couple of deer on the roadside. I eased up to try and take some photos. I didn’t get too close before they got spooked and ran back into the woods. I checked for traffic (there was none) and stopped to get the photos. Suddenly, all the stress of the day just dissipated.

Here on the side of the road, life simply happens. It was peaceful and relaxing just to watch. I felt bad that I spooked them, but their instincts will serve them well. I am glad they are a little wary of people. This is hunting country.

Hubby went out tonight, so I just had a simple pasta salad for dinner. I sat in front of the TV and watched re-runs of NCIS. It suddenly started pouring rain. It was one of those hard-hitting but somehow relaxing rains. When I took my dishes into the kitchen, I saw this little guy stuck to the window.

 

So, although the day was a little crazy, the tradeoff is well worth it. I will have two days free to immerse myself in creativity. The photo at the top of the blog is a sample of the necklace we are making. Hopefully, I will have a photo of my creation to share later in the weekend.

For now, I am going to treat myself to a dish of frozen yogurt and call it a night.

Short blog posts until Sunday when I play catchup.

 

Blog, creativity, meditation, solitude, Writing

Why I Write

Day 90

Tonight I’m tired. I had a restless night last night and today a long drive. I want to spend a little time on my writing class tonight before I go to bed so this will be short.

I’ve been reading a little of what writers have to say about writing. So many feel compelled to write. It made me wonder why I write and what I get from the process and also what I give to my writing.

Perhaps I’m a bit of a romantic at heart. I love the written word. Old letters are the best (I’ve written about them before in this blog post). People spill their hearts onto the paper and don’t worry about perfection. They convey thoughts and ideas, love and displeasure. I almost think I’d like to find a pen pal — do they still exist? There is something about writing, waiting and finally receiving a response that we’ve lost in these days of immediate communication with one another.

Writing for others is a different animal. This is where I lose myself. I am a part of the story and I am every character that I create. I hear their voices, I know what they are thinking and I can see an image of them in my interpretation of the words I wrote knowing full well that the reader may construct completely different imagery.

When I write, I enter a place where I forget everything happening in the world around me. I would not consider it escapism because I’m truly not trying to escape my life. It is more a place of meditation and beautiful solitude which is becoming more and more difficult to find.

Since I’ve been taking Margaret Atwood’s MasterClass, I find ideas are running rampant in my brain. I’m struggling to slow down my thinking so that I can do the exercises that accompany each unit. It requires an effort to contain and compartmentalize some of my thinking. I’m itching to write again.

Now I’m off to work on my class. More tomorrow.

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Blog, creativity, rainy day, Writing

I Need Your Input

Day 85

Today has been a relaxed day even though another day of heavy rains. I woke up around 7:00 am but then allowed the rain to lull me back to sleep. Since waking the second time, I have been relaxing, doing a few chores and doing some research. If you follow and read, or happen to stumble upon my blog, I’d love to ask for some input.

Why I’m Blogging

I have been a blogger both personally and professionally for years. I love the outlet it gives me when thoughts swirl around in my head. This particular blog, however, was started as part of a challenge out of an online writing class I was taking. The challenge was to blog for 365 days straight.

Well, I have not yet missed a day, although a couple of my blogs were delayed when we had a snow storm and no power, internet or cell service for three days. Today is my 85th day of blogging every day.

It has been good for me to come here and blog every day. Some of my recent posts have been very short as we found our way through the death of my mother-in-law. Regardless, I was here and I made the effort every day.

My Dilemma

humphrey
My New Writing Muse – Humphrey

If you are a follower of my blog, I am wondering if publishing a blog every day for a year is too much. Today I have read that many people unsubscribe from blogs because if it is too much it becomes almost spam-like. I certainly don’t want that.

I, myself, follow a number of blogs and I do get emails when they are published. Some days I may have 15 or 20 emails and other days I may only get a few. Some of the blogs I read faithfully — regardless of whether I am subscribed or not.

While I know I can continue to blog every day for 365 days, is this what I should be doing? Now that I am focused on some writing classes and joining some writing groups, I know I will be writing every day. In the beginning, the idea of blogging every day was for me. Now I’m wondering if this is the right fit for me. Maybe twice a week is better.

Here’s Where You Come In

If you read my blog, I would like to ask you to take a moment and let me know your thoughts. Are you tired of getting an email or notification every day? I read a suggestion that a newsletter is a better option than writing a blog every day, but that seems too business-like for me.

After all, I really blog for myself but do enjoy the interaction with those who read my blog. Some comment here and others on social media where I share the link to my blog. I love that people are reading but annoying my readers is not my goal.

So, if you don’t mind, take a minute to weigh in and let me know what you think. I value your opinion.

“And so I write. I write my life. I write to escape real life. I write to live moments over again. I write to rewrite the moments I’ve lived over in a way that makes more sense to me. I write the moments to heal. I write the moments I hope never happen. And I write the moments I hope will happen.” 
R.B. O’Brien

 

 

art, Blog, creativity, Fear, reflection, Writing

It’s My Time

Day 83

Today was a turning point. I realized I’ve been waiting for something to happen. I don’t know what, but I’m tired of waiting.

I am a nurturer by nature. I worry about everyone and will always try to do anything I can to help those I love and care about. That’s a noble calling I suppose, but what I have discovered is that putting everyone and everything else above what you dream for yourself makes it impossible to achieve those dreams.

I will always love and care for people. It’s in my DNA. Today I decided it is okay for me to focus on myself as well.

MasterClassSince we didn’t really shop or exchange much in the way of gifts for Christmas, I told hubby I wanted to sign up for a couple of classes on Master Class. Specifically about writing. So, my belated Christmas gift was a year-long subscription to all the classes. Wow! I am so excited! (Click on the logo to the left to go to their website! There is a great promotion running until midnight Pacific time tonight — 12/26/2018)

Tonight I started Margaret Atwood’s Creative Writing Class. I am thoroughly enjoying it so far. It has already made me realize a few major changes I must take in how I structure my life if I intend to write seriously.

I am relieved to get some sort of validation that my method of writing is ok if it works for me. Now, why did I need for someone to tell me that? If it works for me, it works for me.

As I go through some of the questions raised in the class, I have already had to tell my inner critic to pipe down a few times. I get to control this. Years of nagging doubt are surfacing and I am working to change the way I think about my ability to write.

Retirement is wonderful, but it can be bogged down by the same things that bog you down in pre-retirement life. Remodeling, cleaning, cooking, errands, shopping, and laundry are all still there. It takes a conscious effort to achieve the things we hope to accomplish.

In one of my earlier blogs, I said I wanted 2019 to be lighter. I think that lightness may come in part by doing things that I really want to do. In so many ways, 2018 was hard. I cannot dwell on the difficulties and the hardships. I want to forge ahead toward the goals I have set for myself. There is room to do that and also love and care for those I hold so dear to my heart.

I feel lighter already.

“To be creative, first we must be generous. Then we must have a quiet, indomitable belief in our own worth.” 
Donna Goddard

 

 

 

 

art, blessings, Blog, creativity, friends, jewelry, memories

Feeling Accomplished

Day 57

Today I felt accomplished in some things but recognize I still have a number of things on my list that remains. It’s nice to check them off as tasks are finished.

Decorations

IMG_7915Finally, all the indoor decorations are complete. The tree has a topper and a skirt now. The fireplace is decorated and the nativity scene is out. I love this phase because that means all the mess of boxes can be put away until it’s time to take it all down again.

Hubby started putting the outside decorations up. We just do lights outlining the house and lights through the bushes along the driveway. He’s about halfway done so it won’t be long until we can just sit back and enjoy it all.

Shopping

I mailed a few things today so some of my shopping is complete, but not nearly all. We ordered a few items online and will go out a few times together to finish the shopping for the grandkids. It gets harder as they get older and have very definite ideas about what they want and do not want.

I really missed Toys R Us and Babies R Us this year. Going store to store in hopes of finding something is tiring. Then the toy aisles in stores like Target and Walmart are just picked over and messy. That is why people order so much online – it is so convenient and it does save money and time. It doesn’t do much for the local economy, unfortunately.

Memories of Treats

IMG_7893 2I bought a box of clementines which started a conversation with hubby about our youth. When Christmas rolled around, there were certain treats that showed up that we did not seem to have been around otherwise.

The first was soft peppermint sticks. We both grew up in a common geographic area, so the brands we had were often the same. The peppermint sticks were made by Helms Candy Company which was just down the road from my grandparents’ home. The candy came in a box and it was nice and soft – not hard like peppermint candies. They are still in business and you can find the candy at a lot of local stores.

The second was of course tangerines. Both tangerines and oranges showed up around Christmas and they were a treat! Our stockings always had an orange or a tangerine in them.

The third was ribbon candy. Now I am picky about my ribbon candy. It cannot be thick. I like it wispy thin. And I don’t like for the colors to be overwhelming. Of course, if you bought the thin candies, there were always little sharp shards of sugar broken in the box.

The last was chocolate covered cherries. Now, we always had these at home, but I NEVER liked them and I do not care for them now. It was always THE gift for teachers or gift exchanges at school — do kids even do that anymore? Probably not.

Creativity

I finished NaNoWriMo which was an accomplishment. All my writing buddies finished, too, which was really nice. (Goodonya Tanya for finishing first time out!) Now I have a nice novel that needs to be finished, then ripped apart to fix all the ‘stuff’ that creeps in when you write that much in a 30 day period.

This weekend I have another jewelry workshop. It’s supposed to pour rain all day, so I’m glad I have some inside fun things to do. This is similar to the workshop I had to bow out of a few weeks back because I became ill. I love working with silver so I am hopeful I have better luck this time.

Earthquakes

Today there was a 7.0 earthquake in Alaska. The epicenter was very near where I lived when I lived there. I only have a few friends who are still in Alaska so I was holding my breath until I knew everyone was okay.

This brought back lots of memories of my time in Alaska. I remember going to ‘Earthquake Park’ which was an area of town devastated by the Good Friday earthquake in 1964. I also remembered feeling small quakes when we lived there and waking my children up to stand in the doorways when they occurred in the middle of the night.

Earthquakes are the most unsettling of natural disasters I have ever encountered. Everything moves. The buildings and their foundations, the ground, the cars, everything that is not nailed down. I worked as a switchboard operator (another thing I doubt exists anymore) on Elmendorf AFB when a fairly strong tremor occurred. After that, they secured the switchboard to the walls for fear someone would get crushed if it fell over. They were huge pieces of equipment.

Of course, I never felt anything of the magnitude the good people of Alaska felt this morning. I am holding them all in my prayers. Thankfully, it does not appear there were any fatalities or serious injuries so that is a blessing, but there is extensive damage to roads, buildings, and homes. And there is an unsettling feeling that takes a while to overcome.

That’s about it for the time being. Now it’s time to unwind for the day.

“Do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, laugh as much as you breathe, and love as long as you live.” 
Rachel Ann Nunes