A Garden of Delights

Archive for the ‘ROW80’ Category

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.

Just a drawing of a mouse, under a mushroom

What did Burns say about the best laid plans of mice and men?

Nah, doesn’t quite apply…  Truth is, I wasn’t as ready for this Round of Words in 80 Days as I’d hoped I would be when it started last Monday.   I had a vague direction in mind, and some things I wanted to achieve, but really…  I only knew what my “one goal” was:

To live a creative, interested and inspired life full of friends, loved ones, and shared passions

The rest was pretty much up in the air.  And some of it still is. Some wise fellow RoWers reminded me that I don’t need to plan my whole year in advance, and that even if I do have a plan, plans can (and should) change to suit what I need to achieve that one main goal.

So, here is my revised set of goals…  most are the same as I posted last week.  The changes are in pink or struck out.

Writing

The ROW80 is a writing challenge, so… I will:

  • continue to write, explore and develop the Fanqtia-verse (the conglomeration of worlds and histories that envelop the stories I write)
  • finish a the first draft of one book in the Swan Song Series (yea…ah, I haven’t actually decided which one yet, but I have narrowed the choice down to two: Courting or Singer)
    I realized that with the upcoming move, this was too ambitious. I will simply work on these stories as I can, at least one day a week
  • blog WIPpet Wednesday posts
  • bi-weekly check-in posts to the ROW80 blog

Blogging/Social Media

  • visit and comment on the blogs of fellow ROWers once a week
  • participate in activities or discussions once a week on FB, Twitter or some social outlet
  • have the ROW80 website fully updated for 2019 by the close of Round 1

Heart and Hearth

Where the living really happens…

  • finish packing for our move in March
  • daily “us time” with hubby and kidlet
  • make time to connect with distant family at least once a month
  • daily physical activity wherever I am and a once-a-week workout at the gym

Developed Inspirations

  • weekly art — I’d originally thought to work on a drawing a day, but the truth is, doing this I’ve created a bunch of unfinished pieces that I’m not happy with; this way exploring details and techniques will be easier to do, and I should be able to finish a few. I may even continue working on a piece longer than a week, focusing on a new section, if it is a larger piece. I revised this to include other forms of artistic expression including “adult coloring” (Mom gave me six books for my birthday); the goal as always been artistic exploration, after all.
  • photography — go through my accumulated photos, edit and post a few online (various places)
  • MOOCS and other classes — one per round (this round’s goal is to finish my class on Life and Times of Richard the III)
  • read at least one fiction and one non-fiction book a month

I think this combination will allow me a fair amount of time for growth and exploration while allowing time for the extras that not only make life worth living, but those extras that aren’t exactly asked for.

For check-ins, I’ll post a note in my Wednesday WIPpet post with a link here saying whether I made progress or not, only noting details if they involve a completed goal or a change of focus. For the Sunday check-ins, I’ll be commenting on the ROW80 blog.

And since it is check-in time, how did I do this week in general?  Pretty good, I’d say.  No new drawing, but I did color and explore some new photo-editing techniques in Photoshop.  I need to log back in and refresh myself on my Richard the III class.  The rest…  making strides.


First Friday Photo

Something to inspire

obligatory “What I Allow”

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