Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Revolutions

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.  ~Benjamin Franklin

new year

It's about time to change over to a new calendar.  (Which means that I need to get one.)  A new year, a fresh start, and a large portion of the population is making resolutions.  Resolving to do things to be healthier and happier.  No one makes resolutions to eat more french fries or watch more TV.  At least, no one I know.  I make the same resolution every January 1st.  To floss more.  Generally by this time, I've fallen off the flossing wagon.  But that's about the only one I make.  I'm not going to resolve to do something I hate doing and thus have no chance of changing.  Maybe I should resolve to change my attitude.  Ahhh, but I've done that.  Prozac helps.

I know what needs to be done in my life to improve it, I just can't find the motivation to get going on any of it (exercise, eat right, exercise, organize, exercise).  I do things in bits and spurts and it rarely lasts longer than a week.  If I joined a gym for the new year I would only last a few weeks.  I know that about myself, so I don't join. 

While scrolling through Flickr to find some pictures to add to this posting I saw a jar of resolutions.  I think I might try that.  Every day I can pick something new.  Things that are small and manageable.  Things that I can do in less than an hour.   I think pulling a new thing out of a jar each day might make the whole thing more do-able.  If it's kind of fun, I might keep it going.  If I can come up with 20 things or so, I might get some positive changes going bit by bit.  I think I'll also put in some stuff that are like easy passes.  "Give yourself a manicure."  If I pull it out of the jar, I have to do it.  That means that I have to make some time to do something for myself. 

After writing that paragraph, I got out a piece of heavy paper and a permanent marker and wrote up a list of things to put in my jar of daily resolutions.  It wasn't as difficult as it first seemed.  Once I got going, I really got going.  I've got more than 30, so it's enough to do something a day for over a month.  Then I can put all those pieces of paper back in the jar and start all over again.  If I think of another something, I can always add it to the jar. 

One little tiny step at a time.  Something; no matter how small, has got to be better than nothing.  Every day, my own little revolution. 

Always remember that the future comes one day at a time.
Dean Acheson

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ho, Ho, Ho, Scary Christmas!

"Did you ever notice that life seems to follow certain patterns? Like I noticed that every year around this time, I hear Christmas music." ~~Tom Sims

Tis the Season To Be Jolly

It's the crack down to Christmas.  Time to crack down and make those gifts I've been procrastinating making.  Time to crack down and wrap those gifts I bought.  Time to crack down and bake those Christmas goodies that everyone is expecting to eat over the holidays.  Time to crack down and clean the house, so Santa isn't tripping over miscellaneous things as he deposits the stuff the good people in my house are recieving this year. 

I guess that means I'm going to have to put off starting Stephen King's 11/22/63

Jack Torrance ( The Shining)I've never read a Stephen King book.  The only movie based on one of his books that I've seen is Misery.  First impressions are hard to break.  My first impressions of Stephen King include movie posters of The Shining and It.  Much too scary for me, even if the rest of his books haven't all been along those lines.  And it's not like I haven't enjoyed other creepy novels.  I read a fair number of Dean Koontz's books and some of those were pretty scary.  Some of Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child's books have been scary and I've enjoyed all of them.  

So, this latest book by King will be my first.  Here's the couple sentences that made me want to read it:


Sounds intriguing, doesn't it?  Yep. Once Christmas is over I'll be able to give it my full attention.  Until then, it will only get bits and pieces of my time.  I should have waited a bit to order it.  Oh well, who could have guessed that this inter-library loan request would go through so fast?

Happy Holidays!  Here's hoping you get a good book to read, among all the other gifts under the tree.  If not, the library will be open again next Tuesday, and you can come and check out one of the good ones we got!

Holiday Tree Book Art

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see. ~John Burroughs

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Not your average snowman

“Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery.”
Bill Watterson

Picture-books in winter

The gray gloomy days with no snow are just right for settling down under deep layers of blankets with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa.  The gray gloomy days with snow falling down from the sky are also good for settling down under deep layers of blankets with a good book and a cup of cocoa. 

I'd rather have the snow right now.  This slushy rain/snow mix that we've gotten is not my idea of a good time.  We live in northern Minnesota, we're used to snow.  We can handle it.  Some of us even enjoy it.  I enjoy it (at least for the first few months.)  Even most snow haters want a white Christmas.  But, we may be looking at a brown one this year.

I guess if I can't be out enjoying the snow, it's good that I've got a couple books to read.  The library has been a busy place lately, with lots of books going out.  

The teenaged boys who spent a good part of the evening in the library last night didn't leave with any books, but they left a gift for me.  A tiny snowman on my car.  He fell off as soon as I turned the wipers on, but I appreciated the thought.  Kind of.  What made me laugh was the snowman in the middle of the street with another laying in front of it.  It was a snowman sculpture straight out of Calvin and Hobbes.  I wish I had a picture of it.  If you aren't familiar with Calvin and Hobbes, here's one of many featuring snowpeople creations: 

calvin and hobbes snowman 14

They say laughter is the best medicine.  Find a Calvin and Hobbes book and that will cure what ails you.  It's been 16 years since Bill Watterson quit his daily comic strip.  The adventures of a precocious 6-year-old boy and his stuffed tiger are one of the best examples of imagination at work that I've ever come across.  Bill Watterson quit while he was ahead, leaving a stack of work that never grew stale. 

If you have a reluctant reader among those you give gifts to, you might think about giving them a Calvin and Hobbes book.  Before you wrap it up, give it a read.  You won't be sorry.

Calvin & Hobbes - Snowmen 004

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pin your interests to the wall.

When you dream alone, with your eyes shut, asleep, that dream is an illusion. But when we dream together, sharing the same dream, awake and with our eyes wide open, then that dream becomes reality!  ~~Source Unknown

Source: via Yvonne on Pinterest

Well, last weekend's shopping excursion was a success.  I bought pretty much everything I'm going to buy.  Now, to get the tree up and the gifts wrapped and put under it.  I am not done with all the things I need to make for Christmas.  I've got some knitting and sewing to do.  I plan on making our Christmas cards again this year with some help from the children.  So far, I've bought the paper. 

I discovered Pinterest a couple weeks ago, and finally got my invitation to join last Tuesday.  I've spent a lot of time looking at all the favorite things people are posting there.  Now that I'm a bona fide member, I can post my own things as well.  Whoever thought of this website is brilliant.  I now have a place to put all those ideas I get from various websites along with a picture to give me an idea why I saved the site to begin with.  I've used delicious for years, generally for sites that I've found helpful or of interest.  I've never really known what to do when I've found one thing on one site that I want to remember.  I've saved those miscellaneous things in my favorites tab on my computer; but my favorites tab is getting a bit crowded, and I often don't remember exactly why I saved a site.  Pinterest is a solution to that problem.  A picture is saved along with a link to the site you're saving.  That super cute fleece hat that I've got saved in my favorites but can no longer find because I have no idea the website associated with it?  No longer a problem. 

On one hand, pinterest can be seen as:

Source: via Alex on Pinterest

And on the other hand it's:

It's pretty much all of the above.  It's a lot of interesting things.  And I could spend the rest of the evening searching for things to create instead of finishing something I've already started crafting. 

There are so many amazing people and things to discover.  I may copy their ideas, but their ideas are there for sharing.  Sharing is great.  Of all those ideas I had saved in various places there are only a few that will actually make it onto my "done" list.  But; if I share those ideas around, maybe someone else will get inspired to create it and cross it off of their own "done" list  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Only how many more days?

The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination. ~Terri Guillemets

Winter Road

Today is the first day of December.  Today I can start decorating for Christmas.  (I guess I should take down the Halloween stuff first.)  The children have made their wish lists, and I have made plans to go Christmas shopping with one of my girlfriends this weekend.  Here's hoping I can get it all done.  Okay, that's an unattainable goal for me.  It would be better to say here's hoping I can get half of it done.  I've made a plan and that's a step in the right direction.

I need to get to work crafting some gifts.  Homemade gifts are it for the name drawing presents with both my family and my husband's family this year.  It's always amazing to me what people can come up with.  Have you heard of pinterest?  Basically, it's a website where people pin things they are interested in.  Take a look, and see all the crafty things people have created.  I'm getting to the point where I really should have a plan for what to make for the name draw on my family's side, but I don't.  I should have cheated when I had the chance.  (Cheating is allowed, we're very open and honest about that.)  I don't know why I didn't.  I should have cheated last year too, but didn't.  It's ALLOWED.  Next year I'm cheating for sure.  Every three years I should cheat in order to get the name of a person I already have an idea for.

The library has been a fabulous resource when searching for things to make people for Christmas.  I don't have near as many books checked out as I did a couple weeks ago, but my library book area is still pretty full.  You can find books on how to create just about everything.  If you can find a website on how to make a bomb, you should be able to find a book on how to make something much less dangerous.  (Although, I have a nephew that would probably love to get a bomb for Christmas.)  Type "making" into the subject search, and see how many books pop up.  I request them through inter-library loan, peruse them, and get ideas.  Even if I never use those ideas, it helps get the creative juices flowing.

There's only a smidgy bit of snow on the ground.  I'm ready for a bit more.  It would be nice to take a snowshoeing break from holiday creating/wrapping/baking/decorating.  A walk through the woods is one of the greatest ways for me to get inspired.  Something about the quiet stillness and the snowbound trees lets my mind sift through all those ideas that have been converging in my brain.  Until we get some more of the white stuff, I guess I'll be left to my own devices.  Yep, I ordered a few more books this morning.

My mind contains many good ideas, but it's not always easy to squeeze one out.  ~Ashleigh Brilliant