A Garden of Delights

Geese, ducks… here they are

Yesterday Dan and I took a “date day” and went walking in Historic Smithville Park near the Historic Smithville Mansion. It’s a really nice little park, with a lake trail, butterfly house (not active right now), nifty bridges and creeks… and seriously buzzy power lines.

And waterfowl…

After the crazy week (and the bad news of Saturday), we both needed the break; I suspect Dan needed it more than I did.  We’re in the midst of trying to sell our old home in NY (we have to be in NJ for his work, and it’s a lot to maintain on a five-hour one-way commute).  Last week we received an offer on the home that seemed fair enough.  Saturday was the buyer’s inspection day…  yeeps.

Now, having just gone through this process in NJ, I know a bit more than I used to about what home inspections mean to a sale.  Certain things matter more than others.  Some things are “must do” issues; some are more annoyances that can be dealt with at the buyer’s leisure.

Well…  a few of the things we’d tried hard to get fixed and keep nice, still ended up being “must dos”.  Clay soils and very high mineral content water can do a number on a structure.  As well, not being in a house regularly seems to add its own share of issues…

We’re doing what we can now, making appointments for estimates and repairs, and thankfully we have a wonderful real estate agent to work with us on this.

So, that’s where our energy has been.  In that it’s hitting my husband more than me (he expended a LOT of time and energy into that old house, making it into a home that, had circumstances been different, we could have enjoyed staying in for a long time), the disruption and hovering stress has made it hard to focus on my ROW80 goals.

I did get some things done toward my goals.  Writing fell to every other day, and I did not get to the temp agency.  The one I went looking at, I couldn’t find.  And trying to call their office failed too.  Not what I would have excepted from Adecco; I’ve worked with them before, in Albany, and while they aren’t the best of the best, I was normally happy with my contracts through them.

Oh, and a last little thing…  a quick, simple (and tasty!) rice side dish I just threw together:

  • brown rice, one quart cooked (I used leftover rice from Chines take out….  if you go out to PF Chang’s or such, get your extra rice boxed…  it comes in handy! )
  • Craisins, half handful(or dried cherries)
  • cashew pieces, handful (unsalted)
  • turmeric *
  • cinnamon *
  • a dab of honey (about a half of a teaspoon or less)
  • add extra water and warm up on the takeout container, stir and enjoy

*I used this tea for my two spices, after I’d brewed the tea, I saved the grounds as seasonings.

Healthy Delish!

2019 was a crazy year.

I’m not complaining.  Crazy has it’s good points, especially when one is trying to understand her capabilities.  In the past few years I’ve learned more about myself and what I can do (and what I can’t), as well as what most inspires me to push myself to greater heights.

One of the things I didn’t learn was how to merge a busy life with my passions, nor how to add a necessary job search without pummeling myself with my social anxiety.  So…  when I had to get things set up for the ROW80 folks, I thought, maybe I should use that challenge to get back to myself while keeping hold of my new capability.

Now, the ROW80 tends to be about goal setting and accountability.  The last thing I wanted to do was set myself up for failure (and I’ve dropped out of too many ROWs in the past to say “oh, that can’t happen to me”).  But so many things are still in flux these days….  I realize I cannot commit to goals the ROW80 S.M.A.R.T. way, certainly not for a whole Round of Words.

So I’m doing my Round 1 a bit different.  I’m setting weekly goals and once a week check-ins (as opposed to the ROW80 standard of twice weekly).  This past year I found blogging (which I need to do as the challenge’s webmaven) more of a creative energy drain than ever, and then adding in check-ins and being “social” on social media…

I couldn’t do it.

But I want to try again.  I’m in a different place now, both in having completed a move and having reassessed my priorities (and years of accumulated “stuff” in the packing and unpacking stages).

So here goes…

Week 1 of ROW80 Round 1 2020

  • I will head to a local temp agency and apply for part time work
  • I will do two paragraphs a day of writing: two days of creative exploration and three of journaling or exploration
  • I will finish one of my “in progress” books.
  • I will update the ROW80 blog on time for both the Round beginning (tomorrow) and the two check-ins

That’s all for the moment.  It’s enough, I think.  Progress is made in the continued small successes.

Actually, none of these photos were taken on the first of any month (I actually took them last September).  But I’d been going through and trying to sort some of the stuff I’d finally uploaded from my camera to the server and saw these shots from our trip England last fall.  We were staying at a farmhouse in the Yorkshire Moors (and if you’re ever heading there, msg me and I’ll tell you the place, because we had a great time) and we took a daytrip toward Helmsley because I’d wanted to see the town we’d only breezed past during our prior trip.

I got some time in the town as a trade-off with my son, on the condition that we go back to Rievaulx Abbey.   The Boodle had loved the ruins during our last visit and was quite insistent that we would go.  So we headed out…

On our way out we found this great marker in the moors where some hikers were heading off:

Then we had lunch.  The Boodle had his usual gamon steak while I went for the Ploughman’s.  It was too much food and so easy to overdo on.

After that, we checked out All Saint Church, Helmsley and Helmsley Castle, plus enjoyed tea in the Helmsley Walled Garden and made some friends with a few local horses. But a promise was a promise, so we headed out the abbey.

We were in for a treat.

English Heritage was holding a three-day event at the abbey, called Illuminating Rievaulx.  Colored lights and sounds set up throughout the ruins set off details that normally didn’t show.  We couldn’t actually stay for the show (the day we’d come, a storm was due—it actually started as we drove out of the valley—and we had to get to our farmhouse before 8pm when the gate got locked… not that I really wanted to drive through the moors in the dark during a storm anyway).  We still got some amazing shots of the setup and some great discussion with the performers.

Heading into the Abbey

Storm Approaching

Perspective… those doorways up there? I COULD walk through them, that’s how big those columns are

Lights before dark….

In all, an amazing full day of discoveries…

All of these photos, save for the one of our meal, were taken on a Canon G5.  The meal was taken on a Samsung Note5 phone camera.

First Friday Photo

Something to inspire

obligatory “What I Allow”

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