Friday, January 31, 2020

End of Week

Thanks for all the suggestions on the last post. I'm still not feeling too creative, but I did go up in my room and make a few cards. I do have to make one for my sister's 60th birthday in March so I've been looking around for ideas. I still have a little while to think I guess.

I have been reading a LOT - you might be able to see from the sidebar. My goal on Goodreads is to read 100 books. The rate I'm reading it might be a lot more than that. I suppose there could be worse things that I could be doing. Most of these books will be leaving the house once they are read so that's another good thing.

It's almost the weekend again. Husband and I are hoping there will be some sunshine on Sunday (it is forecast but we know how that goes) so we can get out and go for a walk somewhere. I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Creative groove...not

I think it's a combination of winter and dull, grey days that I'm not feeling all that creative lately. I tend to have ideas at the most awkward time and then when it comes to when I have time to sit down and create nothing comes to mind! Is anyone else struggling with all the darkness at this time of year?

I did splurge when I was with daughter. St. Cloud Minnesota has the most fantastic craft shop (Crafts Direct) that I love to visit when I am there. They have every craft imaginable, lots of new products and are a family owned shop. They do have a 40% off coupon each week that is available off any product for a donation of $1 to the charity chosen that week. I love this idea! What a great way to raise money and give people the coupons they love. I had such good ideas to do with the items I bought while I was there and now that I'm home - poof - they are gone and I am feeling uninspired. I am going to try to keep a notebook near me so I can write things down. Perhaps I shall have to go on Pinterest and have a look around. Where do you get inspiration from?

On the home front I haven't done a lot of clearing out. I need to take a page out of daughter's book. She had been sorting through her wardrobe and had over 10 plastic bags of clothes to take to the charity shop! I don't think I even have 10 bags of clothes lol. She likes clothes, but buys a lot of them at the charity shop or when they are on clearance for ridiculous prices. I have managed to clear out a few books that are in a bag waiting for me to take for donation but not a lot else. I think it's time to get back to the list making!

Today's Photo - this is a Northern Flicker. It is a woodpecker though it does feed from the ground too. They have a lovely heart-shaped red mark on the back of their necks. The males have a black mustache whereas the females don't. Some stay in the southern part of the state of Michigan, others fly south. I love the way these woodpeckers look. This one visited my suet feeder out front of my house. The weather wasn't the greatest (snow/ice) and the woodpecker seemed a little confused - or maybe he was wishing that he'd gone south for the winter!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Been a While....

It's been a little while since I wrote. I hadn't planned on it that way but I think after the lead up to the flight that wasn't and then subsequent delays I just wanted to spend the shorter time completely with daughter and relax and enjoy. I ended up not taking my computer with me either.

My last post was just a confirming that my flight that was supposed to leave Saturday morning ended up being cancelled. I think that was because the snowstorm was in Minneapolis (where I was going to fly into on Saturday) and the plane that was supposed to leave there and be our plane that would be going back there in the morning never left. I was rescheduled for Sunday - this would not be a straight through flight but a connection in Detroit. My plane was supposed to leave at 6.30 in the morning. I got notice Saturday night that it was delayed until 8am. The snowstorm had moved our way. In the night I got another notice that it would not leave until after 9am. When I got to the airport there was no plane in sight and the time had been changed to 9.26am. The plane arrived at 9.30 so we didn't leave then. We finally left around 10.30. I thought I would have a long wait at Detroit as my layover was supposed to be 4 hours. I had time to get off the plane, hurry to the gate...only to find that plane had been delayed. Luckily not by long. I did have time to go to the loo and get a drink (I hadn't had anything since I got up).

I finally made it to see daughter. We had a lovely week. The weather wasn't all that great - though no major snow storms while I was there! It went really quick as obviously my time was cut by almost two days. We enjoyed our time together. Husband and I will be going to visit again in April though that time we will be driving lol.

Now it's time to get back into the groove of things. I've taken a couple of days to just decompress. Obviously good byes aren't good. Sigh. I shall be back blogging and catching up on some reading!

At this time of year planes have to be de-iced before they fly!

Are you going to share? It's really hard to get a sitting photo of all of them, but they did this totally by themselves - daughter was eating crackers.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Flight ...

It was cancelled. I was supposed to be in Minnesota by now, but I got a text last night telling me that my flight has been cancelled. They have put me on a different one for tomorrow. Sigh. The flight I had was straight through from our local airport to Minneapolis. Unfortunately on Sundays there is not a straight through flight so I have to fly from here to Detroit and then Minneapolis. Hopefully I will make it tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Grey Ol' Days

It's not been very nice here in Michigan for the past couple of days. We did manage to get out for a little walk on Sunday. Our area didn't get a lot of ice - though there was quite a bit on the cars, which had to be seriously defrosted before we left - but the roads down here weren't too bad. However as we travelled up a little north of us you could see where they had got significant icing and snow. It wasn't very sunny but the fresh snow was a nice change from the grey and brown.

We walked up a lot of steps that day and I could certainly feel it the next day! I'm still feeling it a bit today. I went out for a walk yesterday but thought I'd give it a rest today. It's been horribly grey and dull and - to be honest - I just couldn't be bothered. I'm trying to save money - or rather not spend a lot - so I didn't want to go to the shops. I did however take back a whole bunch of recyclable cans and bottles that have been accumulating in our garage. Here in Michigan we pay a deposit on each can or bottle of fizzy drink (both alcoholic and non). It felt good to get rid of a bunch of them.

I also spent most of the day trying to sort out Photoshop. I watched a few tutorials and tried to at least learn a few things. It isn't easy, but I imagine it's like anything else - it will take a while to get the hang of. I did manage to make a composite photo of one of my lighthouses photos from Saturday. It turned out quite nicely I think. I like the almost painting look. It's something fun to do on not-so-nice days and I'm looking forward to seeing how these print up. It will also be good on cloudy days to maybe try to photograph some textures to use in building the backgrounds.

I'm trying not to stress about the weekend - a snow storm is supposed to come through Friday night and Saturday morning - when I'm supposed to fly out. I am telling myself that I can reschedule the flight (it is a straight-through flight) if mine is cancelled. Fingers crossed though and the weather people will be wrong!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Weekend - and Thanks!

Thank you so much for all the encouraging comments on the last post. I'm still feeling a little blah, but I'm trying to just get on with it. Perhaps this is just too much information but I think it's a collections of things that's making me feel this way - the weather, the grey days, after-Christmas slump and the beginnings of menopause. I feel like I'm on a roller coaster of emotions and the way my body feels. Sigh. Yup, that's probably enough.

It's the weekend and, despite the weather, husband and I took a little drive this morning. It was raining and windy, but the ice didn't start until later. As I look outside now it is icing a little. We shall have to see what it is like before we decide on going out tomorrow. Today we took a quick trip to the lakeshore. We didn't get out long as it was raining but it was nice to take a drive and chat.

Here's a shot out of the car windscreen with my phone.

And another of the lighthouse we did get out at. The waves were really wild at this one. Husband was a little behind me and when I walked out I could see the water was coming up quite high so I walked up a slight hill onto some higher sand. He saw me moving up just as a wave was coming and quickly followed. If he had walked along the pier he would have got very wet!

We really are quite careful when the waves are like this. I think people underestimate the power of the lake. There was a story from New Year's Day where a couple was walking along the walk at another lighthouse and were swept off by a wave. They weren't from the area (and I don't think there are any signs at that one) so probably didn't know how high the water is and how slippery the walkway can be. One of them managed to get to safety but they haven't found the other one yet. The lake is so high right now that places that used to be safe to walk no longer are.

When we got back I Skyped Mum which is always uplifting and talked to daughter. I leave to visit her next Saturday (fingers crossed for the weather) and am looking forward to that.

Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Blah Day

That productivity I was feeling the other day has skidded to a complete halt. It's been a blah sort of day. I don't know what's wrong. I just feel blah, grumpy and teary all in all one. I did sort out a couple of storage areas but I didn't succeed in letting go of much though I did throw out some rubbish. No crafting at all today. I just wasn't feeling it. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I have to go out and pick up a couple of things tomorrow. We're under a Winter Storm Watch for the weekend - joy! - that includes, rain, ice and snow so basically it will be a mess.

Today's photo - early morning at the park

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Feeling a Little Productive

Even though it's only Tuesday I feel as though I've been quite productive so far this week. I ticked some things off my to-do list and have spent quite a bit of time in my craft room tidying things up and doing some crafting. I have managed to make several more mini-albums. Now I have to fill them! I think tomorrow when I am in my craft room I shall make sure to spend some time sorting out some photos that can go into each  mini album. The hardest thing - I find - is coming up with a theme to each mini album/book. I feel as though they should have a theme.

I have been out for a walk yesterday and today.  My ankle is doing a bit better. I think I am learning when it is time to stop. I have also spent money that I didn't mean to spend. It was Christmas money and I bought a couple of jumpers (sweaters) that I did need. They were on clearance and the shop had another 30% off their clearance. I really like them. They are big and comfy and just what I was looking for. It's funny though because when I was actually shopping for jumpers I didn't see these ones. I wouldn't have paid full price, but I would have kept an eye out for a sale.

Tomorrow I have some running around to do, ring Mum, a couple household jobs and then some crafting. I do have to improve on meal planning. I know it's chicken something for tomorrow just not sure what lol.

Photos today
* mini-books I have constructed (put together with 3 pieces of 12 x 12 paper). I think I have these worked out now as I tweaked the measurements from the YouTube tutorial I watched.

* The beginnings of my Little Golden Books junk journal. Admittedly they don't have a lot of junk bits in them as I was more working on construction. I still feel funny about pulling apart books so I didn't pull apart anymore than this book. I have discovered that I have a couple of old diaries that have lovely decorative pages in them that I thought I might use next time and some glossy bird magazines. I did mess up on these and punched the holes on the wrong side of some book pages. Instead of abandoning the project I stuck some washi tape on top!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Sunday Happenings

It was supposed to be another cloudy day here in Michigan. We had decided not to go too far as husband had worked yesterday and I wanted to make sure he had some down time today before going back to work tomorrow. We ended up going to the lakeshore so I could start taking photos for my yearly project. It was - surprisingly - a little sunny though bitterly cold. I was so glad I had decided to put my long undies on under my jeans. I even had to use some hand warmers between two pairs of gloves as my fingers were so cold! Brrr…. We got out early and there weren't too many people around. I did manage to take photos. I haven't looked at them yet. I was rather tired when I got home and ended up falling asleep while trying to warm up and read a book.

While we were out in the car hubby and I talked about setting a state park goal this year. It's a big birthday year for me (sshhh… I'm turning 50 in May) so we are going to try to do 50 state parks this year. We have decided to include both Michigan and Minnesota parks as we plan on visiting daughter in April and going to a couple there. It's quite a big goal. We thought this would help get us out of our comfort zone as we seem to be going to the same places over and over. By setting this goal we'll get out and explore some parks that perhaps we would have overlooked. We've already made a good start this year.

Grand Haven State Park - New Year's Day
Muskegon State Park - New Year's Day
Warren Dunes State Park - January 5th

Still working on those other goals...

Things I do need to get done this week:

* wash kitchen and bathroom curtains (not big curtains but more lace style toppers)
* clean out small freezer. If I can get this cleared and sorted I would be able to work on getting down to just one freezer.
* at least 7 books to donate

Photo of the day:

This one is from our New Year's Day walk in the sand dunes at Muskegon State Park.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Saturday Ramblings

Another grey day here.  I did go out for a walk. I also stopped and picked up a brace for my ankle. After thinking about it I decided it was cheaper to buy the brace and give it a try rather than pay the $50/100 for a doctor's visit. Husband and oldest son worked today so I had the house to myself when I got back. I Skyped with Mum and we had a good chat. We will be back to our normal Wednesday and Saturdays now that the holiday season is over.

I started writing down some goals. I want to finish them up before sharing. I'm trying to focus my ideas and not have them all over the place which they tend to be lately.

I do have my photography goals written down.

* Continue with my black & white photography
* Make more photographic cards.
* Document Lakeshore Erosion - Big Project (for Camera Club)
* Learn Photoshop and do composites using textures - this makes photographs look like art prints/paintings. I plan on photographing most of my textures.
* Do more Still Life photography. This is something I am not very good at and really struggle with. 

If only the rest of the goals I have for the home would be so easy to decide upon!  Oh, I do a Goodreads Goal set up for 100 books to be read this year. Anybody else planning on a reading goal?

As today is the first Saturday of the month I participate in something called #1day12pics. It's supposed to give a snapshot of your day in twelve photos. These are mine in a collage.

Friday, January 3, 2020

FOCUS - Word of the Year

I have chosen my 'word' of the year. I've been thinking about it for a little while and this is the word that I decided upon. I've been all over the place lately and so I hope by reminding myself to FOCUS it will help me keep on track. I have lots of ideas and thoughts in my head - deep breath, focus - that I'm still sorting out before deciding on 2020 goals. 

We did go for a nice walk on New Year's Day. It snowed on New Year's Eve, but it was beautifully sunny on New Year's Day. It was supposed to be warmer - and it did warm up later in the day - but when we went out it was bitterly cold. There was ice on the plants by the beach. Brrr…. We did see some wind surfers out in the water for a dip. Made me cold just watching them. 

I did something to my bad ankle when I was out yesterday - I hope this is not a sign of how 2020 will be - so I've been taking it easy. I didn't twist it or anything. I had gone for a walk and done fine, went a couple of places and when I got home and stepped out of the car it felt as though my ankle would give way and there was a sharp pain. I had to stay off it most of the day yesterday and I definitely couldn't go up the stairs to my craft room. Not happy as I had plans. 

I decided to give it a rest and not go for a walk today but there have been a couple of iffy moments. I'm not sure what is wrong with it. Hopefully it will go away. I did get into my craft room and worked on some mini albums. This year I am determined to use up some of my paper and also use some of my photos. This album is made of two sheets of double sided 12 x 12 paper. It's just got things inside that make me happy.