Monday, January 04, 2021

January 4, 2021 Monday-2pm

Good afternoon!

From now on you can likely expect a late afternoon or early evening post from me.  That would be my guess for most of my Mondays.  Letting go of my own inner expectations includes not trying to force myself into being a day person--LOL!  I was born a night owl and I am not going to worry about when I sleep anymore.  I've been setting alarms and wishing I was a "day person" for way too long.  Not that I won't occasionally flip to earlier hours naturally, but I'm accepting the fact that I am a night person.  If I need to be up for some reason or another THEN I can set an alarm.


So, how has this week gone with no alarms?  Amazing!  I have been sleeping longer and up less during the night (or morning--LOL!).  I am not so tired that I can't move out of my chair for a few hours and am online, anyways, all morning.  I may sleep till 11am or noon but I get up and feel more rested and get moving!  Often not online until much later in the day because I am up, dressed, and doing my journaling at the table right off the bat.  Yes, I am a little surprised by this turn of events from just letting go of expectations...and it might wear off...but I am very happy about it.


Back when all we had were friends and family all knew not to call me before noon--LOL!  I guess I am back there once again.  And it is not that I am necessarily up that much later but, at least for right now, I am sleeping way longer!  Like last night--bed at 1:30am and woke up at 11:45am!  I must really need the sleep because I've been sleeping like 9-11 hours most of the time...and only up once usually.  Wow!  

I am also trying to just do one (or maybe two) bigger-for-me projects a day...and to stop I CAN do more the next day.  That's not easy to do when even laundry counts for me--but I've been doing pretty well with it.  So, it's quite a good start to this new year.  I am getting more done over my you will see.  :)

We had snow last Tuesday!

Finally it's white out there!
I was finishing up my time-sensitive projects before the new year.  Worked on setting up the new bullet for 2021.

No fancy lettering on headers...possibly not all year.  We'll see.  Any creative juices I have will be corralled into the studio this year.

Even had Leah use the weekly spread without the little squares for doodling this time.  Any doodling will be done at the art table.  :)
Then on Wednesday I made up the biggest batch of Annie food yet.

May gross some of you out.  Beef livers, chicken livers, and beef heart.
Annie is thrilled!
Oh, and woke up to more snow again.
Put out some seed.
I do love my snow!
I was happy to have a white New Years as long as we had a mostly brown Christmas.
And I'm always happy for the partridges to see a good layer of snow.
This is the big covey.
I made a video for you so you can see how they dig with their beaks and feet.  Just love to watch those busy birds!
New Year's Eve.  
Doing my banking and saw that I had my $600 pending for the 4th--and forgot till right now.  
Just checked!  It is in the bank.  Wow!  I didn't get my check this fast with the last one.  I have a few more essentials I can stock up on, but I did a ton of it with the last check and am still okay with most of them (which has been wonderful all year!). 
My SS check came early due to the holidays so I made an order to Dick Blick for mixed media art supplies I didn't have.  I dabbled many years ago when I lived in West Winds apartments.  Some of you followers from back then may remember my turning a broken clock frame into this...
...with cheesecloth, string, watercolors and Silks acrylic glazes.  My one time I really did let go and not care what it looked like in the end.  I used what I was more familiar with--watercolors.
Has a rainbow of color and lots of shimmer.  I love it.  Not other people's cup of tea, I'm sure, but it is hanging in my living room and always makes me smile.  My one accomplishment in mixed media.
I've never gotten used to acrylic paints.  But I've never given it a decent trial, either.  So, this is the year.  That's what most of these classes will be using--acrylic or craft paints.  I have wanted to get comfortable with I do have a lot of the supplies.  (Amazingly still good after such a long time--at least the ones I've been into so far.)  But there are items I have never had or used--like graphite pencils and such.  Never did anything but dabble a few times with mixed I feel like a complete newbie!  I'm not even used to acrylic brushes--LOL!  And mediums like glue--goodness!  Will be an interesting time ahead.
Back to the week...
My word for the year came to me on new year's eve.  I didn't even plan to pick one.  Self Care.  I guess that is two words, really.  But it covered all my goals for 2021 under one umbrella...letting go of the inner stress makers, being more creative, and finding a way to do gentle exercise.  All of that is self-care.  (I looked online and people write it both ways--tada!)  
If I had a phrase of the year it would be: 
 "Does it really matter?"
Well, I used self care for my first page in the AP (advent prompt) journal.  The first prompt was Postcard.  What you will see every time you open your journal--something for you to keep in mind.
This time I just dove in.  
Grabbed a cheap metallic watercolor palette I never use...
...and (blank page be damned) slopped paint all over it.
Grabbed some ink pads and some of my favorite kind of stamps (botanical) and added those.  Printed off "Self Care" and glued it on with matte medium.
Saw this bottle of gold ink I had not opened yet that I had purchased for calligraphy--and kind of did a golden wash over the page.  Just because.
I'm not sure if it's done, but that's as far as I got...and it doesn't really matter.  ;)
In the evening I did my angel cards for the new year.
Got the fulfillment card.
Kind of fit in--talking about addictions/compulsion (being type A with OCD tendencies I know all about compulsion)--slowing down--being in the moment--appreciating nature--paying attention to what really brings you happiness...finding the beauty in life that ultimately nourishes your spirit.  Self care on a deeper level.  :)
Then on New Year's Day I watched my first Wanderlust class video.  Had to chuckle.  We get a list of supplies a week ahead of time for each class.  Part of what she used is still in Dick Blick's warehouse--LOL!  So, I'll wait to do the first class until my order comes.  And it didn't. even. bother. me!  Sweet!
Got the supply list for the second class and I have everything for that one.  Good.  Could take weeks to get my Blick order, who knows?  I could substitute other supplies if I wanted to go ahead and do the first class--but why not wait and play with things I know nothing about, right?  The reason I took this course is to get out of my comfort zone (which I barely actually have one, but cling to).  So, I'll probably wait and go for playing with brand new products.  :)
New Year's Day.
I finally decided to go through the tedious process of filling out a new (smaller) notebook to keep track of my fountain pens inks.  You may notice the tabs on the side 1-4?
Yes, I have four trays of filled fountain pens.  
Some of you have seen these before.  I cut up a shelf liner for the bottoms so they don't roll around quite as much.
Now for those of you who think I am so organized...I have been putting this off for months.  I needed to re-do my FP ink notebook because I had actually pared my filled pens down to four trays.  Had 5 trays (have even had 6). Which means these pens have been sitting on my counter waiting to be cleaned and stored for months!!
And they're still waiting.  
(It's a big project involving a lot of standing and scrubbing--be a whole day for me...maybe two--so I procrastinate.)
On Saturday I spent a big part of the day writing letters.  I'd been gradually catching up on my correspondence all week.  By today's mail I had six more that went out.  Most of you have or will have heard back from me shortly--whoohoo!  How I do love to paper chat with you all!  :)
Anyways, one reason I am not stressed about the WL (Wanderlust) first class is that I have the 24 prompts to play with in the little AP journal.  And yesterday I started the second page.
[Note: I have to say--I do love being able to leave stuff waiting all over the table.  I am, therefore, winning the battle with my OCD side that is compelled to put everything away each and every time--LOL!] 
Okay, the second prompt is Fairytales.  Supposed to think of a fairytale or a book you read as a young child and write down everything you can remember about it on the page.  Then you are supposed to re-read the book as an adult so you can compare it to your memory of the book.
Well, I didn't read fairytales until I was a bit older.  When I thought of a childhood book I thought of Fun With Dick and Jane because that was the first book we had in first grade and it opened up a whole world of reading to me.  We read several Dick and Jane books when I went to Northeast Christian School for first and second grade.
Anyways, I came across Our New Friends at a rummage sale many years ago and snatched it up!  Even though this one was not lovingly cared for and is worn and has scribbles inside--how could I resist it?  

Whoever had the book in school (and never returned it) was also an animal lover, like me--lol!

Happen to have the book in the apartment because I brought it in with a few other books to read with Ian on Gramma Days but we never really got to I can even re-read it like she wanted us to...and it is a Dick and Jane book.  I haven't read it since I got it at the rummage sale maybe 30 years ago--but I did see a couple pages with Ian from the first chapter before he lost interest.  (I had even forgotten they had a baby sister--named Sally, I think?)  Won't be much for me to write on that page--ROFL!
I don't know exactly how to print pictures of my own photos (yes, I could probably figure it out-- too lazy).  I do know how to copy and paste online pics onto a document and print that out--so I looked the book up online and stole the picture--hehe!  (Someone was selling this book for around $15.)
I put blue craft paint all over the page by scraping with a palette knife.  Something I have seen people do on videos a million times but I can't remember ever doing myself.
Later used matte medium to glue down the picture of the book.  Obviously will do more on this one.  Not a clue what, though--LOL!  Besides having to write down what I remember about the book--which is little or nothing.  But it needs more than penning some words on the blue paint.  Good reason to watch more YT videos.  ;)  Told you I am new to this.
Funny--this isn't technically a fairy tale book, but to me at the time I remember it feeling like one.  It's as much a wonderful fairy tale to me as when I devoured Leave It To Beaver, Father knows Best, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, and The Donna Reed Show.  Wonderful lands with happy families.  Ahhh!  I absolutely adored those shows!
Anyways, a new year is here.  Things are shifting already in my little corner of the world.  Was a productive, restful week.  Most of my self-talk is putting my automatic negative self-talk in its place as much as possible--LOL!  "Does it really matter" echoes in my head.  I'm appreciating nature outside my door.  Oh, I see the lone partridge!
Annie had been snoring when I jumped up to get the photo of the lone partridge and wondered what in the world was going on--LOL!
She looks like she needs a good brushing again.
I am so happy I'm alive in this time of the internet, cell phones, and online shopping.  If you are going to live through a pandemic--what better time than now?  Well, at least for those of us blessed with the ability to have the internet...and a home.  I am so grateful that I have food and a warm place to look out at the snow with a shy cat who has become a loyal companion.  That I can still remember being five in first grade and moving to the newly constructed house in Fridley that same year...the pleasure of settling into the rug on my belly in front of the TV to watch Leave It To Beaver...and the exquisite anticipation of Walt Disney on Sunday nights.  
Ran into a lady here who was waiting for a ride on the entryway bench--she was often the one who would carry down packages to my door if she saw they were for me (before covid).  She got the virus in November, was in the hospital for two days, and she can still hardly do anything because she is "so awful tired".  That's the second person I know of just in my building on my floor.  Sweet lady.  I told her I was so glad she was here!
I have been blessed not to get far.  
Knock on wood.
I saved a bunch of self-care type quotes this past week for possible use in my art journals.  Be using those for a while on Mondays.  Bless you all.  Stay safe and well.  With love and hugs till next week.  :) :)
"Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love."
Brene Brown 



Anvilcloud said...

I was once a nighthawk, but I don’t know what I am now. I don’t need an alarm for sure. If I lived on my own, I might give up sleeping pill, but with out it, I wouldn’t know whether I was coming or going. Do I go to bed when I’m tired or wait until 4, but what do I do from 11-4 when I am too tired to do anything really? Such a conundrum.

Dick and Jen were my readers. I think I remember getting some for our youngest who did have one trouble reading.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I learned to read with Dick and Jane also. I have a reader around here someplace bought at a garage sale! Sounds like you are doing better! I am a nigh owl some nights then i sleep til 9 am hardly ever later. 1-9 is usual for me. That gold was really looks great!! Have a good week!

Deb said...

Self-care! What a great word and theme for your year. I am glad you are getting back in to your natural body rhythms without judgement. I can tell from your post that you are feeling better this week. You sure got a lot done! I love your mixed media, acrylic. Beautiful! You are so talented and creative. I remember those Dick and Jane books with fondness. I think I bought some of the new republished versions for my grandchildren several years ago.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Such an interesting, albeit long post, of catching up on what you have been doing, Rita. I totally agree with you on not setting alarms, that said, I have decided to try and stick to a regime of going to sleep by 11 pm and it’s been working for 3 days, so far. This year started with sorting through photos on my desktop PC and backing up to external hard drives, quite a task as I save way too many images. Many have been useful in past blog posts, but do not need to be kept past their used by date, like food. Nice to see the new snowfall and wishing for some here. Your excitement on the new art projects shows in this post.

jinxxxygirl said...

I can feel your happiness bounce off the computer screen Rita. I learned to read with Dick and Jane too.. Funny how i can remember that so long ago.. And i loved Walt Disney on Sunday nights.. and Wild Kingdom with the animals.. Loved getting your letters this past month.. One headed your way soon! Hugs! deb

pearshapedcrafting said...

I use a planner with a format I like - it leaves me room to do maybe a sketch or doodle and little bit of collaging when I feel like it - not getting hung up about not having one done each week as I sometimes make 3 in one go!
I loved seeing the bird feeding, never mind cat TV, it would keep me happy for a while too! Not so good seeing that much snow though! I love the self-care page - gold ink..hmm....I think hubby may have some of that...! I haven't finished my advent calendar prompts and hope to make a start on my Wanderlust lesson 1 later. I will hopefully use the bonus classes alongside when I feel like it!
I'm pleased you have found a sleeping routine that suits you! I sometimes get up and go to my craft room in the night (less in Winter!) I can usually go back to bed and fall asleep straight away!
Thank you for my cards and letter which arrived this morning and made me smile! I will get some stamps so that I can avoid going to the post office too often! Not just yet though as we are now in Lockdown again and we are staying in!
Take care, Hugs, Chrisxx

Bonnie said...

I love how you did the Self Care page on your journal. It is really pretty. I remember the Dick and Jane books and how I loved them. Most of us around this age probably learned to read with them. Annie looks just beautiful. That food you are making her must be doing a lot of good because her eyes are bright and her fur looks so shiny and healthy. You sure have a good start on your new year! I'm getting off to a slow start this year and I need to improve on that. Take care Rita!

DJan said...

This was the longest and most upbeat post you have made in many a year, Rita! It was great to see and hear everything going on in your life right now. And it seems like giving in to your nightowl self is Just Right! Happy Self Care Year! :-)

carol l mckenna said...

Found you ~ so glad you are doing well and busy creating ~ Happy New Year to you ~

Try sauntering through the day ~ what do you notice?

A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Tim is a night owl he has always stayed up much later then me. I am a day/morning person up at a good time 6ish dressed straight away and stuff down. I prefer morning appointments as well

Janie Junebug said...

Your video is great. I get so much more done at night than during the day.


Divers and Sundry said...

I've developed raging insomnia over the past several months, and I've wondered if it would help if I quit trying to sleep all night and just took sleep when it came.

That blanket of snow is lovely, and the birds are always fun to watch. I love your mixed media piece, and you found the perfect space for it. I remember Dick and Jane readers, but I was also a fairy tale fan from my earliest days.

I'm also grateful for the connections I've made online. If not for that I'd have no contacts except my husband (and that's not an exaggeration). Contacts like you have enlarged my life and kept me company, and I can't tell you how grateful I am.

Jon said...

From one night owl to another - - I have always been a night person as long as I can remember, even when I was a child.
I love the colorful art work you made out of the old clock frame.

Lady Fi said...

Sweet Annie - and snow!

Jenny Woolf said...

Now this is such a nice post, optimistic, cheerful and practical. I love your idea of letting go and just being a night person and getting so much extra sleep must be doing you a power of good. I love your free and easy art work as well. When I am doing art, that's often what I enjoy the most. Self Care is not selfishness, it is being the best person you can possibly be for others, which you do all the time, anyhow, and I try to. I'll carry that forward into 2021.

Dee said...

Dear Rita, like you, I'm letting go of certain expectations I've had of myself for decades. I'm going to be gracious to myself this year. I've encouraged many others, throughout the past few decades, to do the same but really never did it myself. so this year I'm doing that self-care that is your word for the year. And no alarms for me either.

Good luck with the acrylics . . . let us both be gracious to ourselves and "talk to ourselves" with the same interest and compassion and understand as we would to someone else!

Finally, like you, I'm so grateful for my life and so aware that many, many others in our country and throughout the world experience hunger and cold and homelessness while I am able to live in a heated house with a full refrigerator and pantry. This year I hope to do more to even this up a little. Peace.

Rajani Rehana said...

Fabulous blog

Harvest Moon by Hand said...

That's such a great word for the year: self-care! Very fitting given what you've been struggling with and what you were reflecting on recently. You have a lot of fountain pens! How fun to be able to have such a variety of them!