Saturday, June 30, 2007

Finally - on holidays - Woooohooo!

Last night at work, as the night was winding down, I started thinking about the next couple of weeks and how I was going to spend them. I took a page from my husband, who is super organized, and photocopied a calendar page for the month of July. I know I have lots I want to do but also know that typically I won't get a lot of that done unless I'm organized. So I started working my way through the page and pencilled in the things I want to do. I find that by actually marking a date on the calendar that makes me psychologically commit to doing that task on that date.

I find it certainly helps. I feel more in control and I feel like I'm actually accomplishing something instead of just wasting time by spinning around and being unfocused. I think it also helps me to manage my time better. I've always been a list maker but as I'm easily distracted, the list will often get set aside and I forget about it.

My first day off and I already have the next 3 days planned out and I am committed to doing something on those day. I think that is a great accomplishment!

Friday, June 29, 2007

I haven't posted for quite awhle - it's been a busy couple of weeks that's for sure! I've been in major catchup mode with the store. Trying to get stock and new designs in there as quickly as possible but will definitely need to get some serious production happening. Husband is going away on Sunday and will be gone for 18 days. I'll have some time to myself to just do my own thing! Wooooohoooo! I've taken the same amount of time off so will be working like a fiend to get caught up.

I tend to flit from thing to thing. It's not uncommon for me to start a major project or task at midnight if that's when the inspiration hits me! I'm not able to do that when he's here - he gets all weirded out about me not getting enough sleep, getting stressed out, getting sick, all that sort of thing. But when he's gone - watch out! I'm free to be as sporadic and unstructured as I want to be and that is kind of fun!

My "to do" list is a mile long. It should be interesting to see how much I actually get done while he's away! I plan to get lots of work done but also plan to do some "fun" things. I definitely want to make a paper run over the line to Bellingham. The Paper Zone down there is to die for! Right next door is Stampadoodle - an awesome Rubber Stamp store. Hmmm, I think I see a plan coming together. Don't ya love that?

I've let my "30 minute collage" project - which I committed to back in January - totally fall by the wayside. I got one done but wasn't all that happy with it - it just didn't look finished. I could not for the life of me decide what I needed to do to complete it. I kept looking at it but it just wouldn't click and so I kind of ran out of steam. I'm so mad at myself that I didn't keep my committment to myself! I really want to make an effort to get back on track with that!

Looking forward to doing less "work" and more art. Will be posting some of my accomplishments in the couple of days! Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

It's funny how things happen in life. Opportunities come and go, tests are failed and lessons learnt. If we don't learn from our mistakes, then we keep making the same mistake until we learn from it.

This point came through to me loud and clear the other day. I was channel surfing and I stumbled on the Biography channel. The program was called "the 5 things you need to know before you die". I thought that was kind of interesting so I stuck around and watched the remainder of the program. The lecture was given by a doctor named Dr. Izzu or something like that. He lives in BC somewhere and I found him to be absolutely fascinating. While I don't think I learned the 5 things I need to know, I think I did learn 3 of them.

He said that he had learned all he needed to know about life from his dog. He talked about how we all rush through life, always focussing on what lies ahead or what happened in the past but not living in the moment. He talked about how he would take his dog for a walk and the whole time they were out, he was impatient with his dog because the dog would stop and smell the flowers, explore all the new sights and sounds and smells. He'd be hurrying the dog along, not letting him stop to sniff the flowers. He said one day it dawned on him that his dog was enjoying the walks way more than he was because the dog was taking it's time, smelling the flowers, taking time to visit with the people and animals it met along the way. He said once he learned to take his time, live in the moment, that the whole experience was richer and more fulfilling. He met new people and enjoyed the exploration.

He also kept using the phrase: "to the subconscious the thought becomes a prayer". What we think - about ourselves. our lives, our hopes, our dreams - becomes our reality. Now, I knew that, I've read it a thousand times, I've heard it a thousand times but for some reason it just hit me. It was a light bulb moment. Wow! How profound is that?

The other thing he talked about is gratitude. He described how an elderly friend says each morning when he wakes, he gives himself 2 or 3 minutes to meditate. He thanks God, the creator, the Supreme being , whatever deity you believe in, for giving him another day and asks that the day not be wasted. This same gentleman takes 2 or 3 minutes each night before he goes to sleep to catalog all the reasons he has to be grateful and thanks God for giving him this day.

I've always thought of myself as being a person who is aware of all the things I have - aware and grateful. But I think I'm going to have to revisit that whole idea. This whole aspect of gratitude really me; it touched a chord and really reasonated with me. Consequently, I've made a promise to myself to make an effort to embody these things in my life. I've pledged to myself to take that few minutes at the beginning of the day to thank God for the gift of another day and to pray that I don't waste that gift. At the end of my day I want to take a few minutes to thank God and to catalog some of the things for which I am grateful - for the "gift" of another day, the "gift" of all the loved ones and friends in my life, for all the opportunities I have.

I am so happy that I stumbled upon this program!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Some new art for a collaborative book I worked on for another list. I don't want to say much more about the project as I don't want to give anything away. I am pleased with the results of my efforts.
The good news in my little corner of paradise is that it seems like the flood threat is pretty much over for those of us who live in the Lower Mainland. We've had cooler weather and less rain so the run off has slowed and the volume of water coming from up north has diminshed quite a bit. Unfortunately, some areas will still have some flooding but it won't be nearly as widespread or as bad as was predicted.

The sun is out today and it's looking like it might actually be nice for the weekend. I am just coming off 4 days of work and will be able to enjoy 4 days off before I have to go back again. I have a ton of things I want to get done this block but not sure what I will accomplish. Husband and I were talking yesterday and he mentioned it's only 2 weekends left before he takes his annual summer trip back East to see his family. Since I'm taking he same time he is but staying here it was like ----woooohooo!! Only 2 more weeks til holidays.

I'm totally looking forward to having the place to myself - well, myself and my daughter. When he leaves he always says "now don't fight girls." And the funny things is we get along very well and we never fight. Go figure. I think he's the one that makes us both crazy when he's here!
A coworker from many years ago used to refer to the freedom of not having men around - ie not fetching, carrying, explaining and catering - as the freedom to have smarties for dinner. No one was going to say a word! I think that sums up the feeling of freedom pretty accurately!

One of the projects I have on my list is to clean, maybe paint or at least freshen up my workroom and to reorganize /reconfigure what little space I have. I managed to snag 2 small bookshelves from someone on our local Freecycle group which was truly a bonus. Saved me some money that I can now use for something else. Hmmmmm....... can you say rubber stamps?

The bookcases are not all the pretty and are a little smaller than I had hoped for but they are more than sufficient for my needs. Since I'm a very visual person, I am more comfortable when I can see my stuff because that means I will use it more. But I am also distracted by visual clutter so I am trying to address that by making my open storage more attractive but also more uniform and organized. What often happens at the end of a marathon cleaning/reorganizing session is that I may very well end up with a bigger, or maybe different mess than what I started with! I've been wanting to get at this since I got the bookcases last week but just kept telling myself, no you cannot do that now, you have other things to do first. That mantra does not usually work, but it did this time so that's a "good thing".

Will keep you posted on my progress.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

It's cooler here on the coast today - overcast with threats of impending rain. We got some rain yesterday which is probably not a good thing with the impending flood. On a brighter note thought, we got a message from "the Big Cheese" telling us to check our municipality's website to see if we lived on the floodplain. We were given a contact name and instructed to let her know if we did live on it and would required assistance. I went to the Pitt Meadows website, did my check of the city map and to my profound delight, discovered that I am not on the flood plain. The flood plain ends about 3 blocks from my house - woooooohooo! Is that a weight off my mind! If the worst happens, we will still be impacted - we won't be able to get in or out of Pitt Meadows - I plan to be at home if that happens - but at least we won't be under water. So I am very relieved about that!

Knowing that I won't have to sandbag my house has made me even happier with my little garden. My little angel is firmly ensconsed in my backyard and it looking wonderful. The littlle frog I bought is so cute I have to keep checking on him to make sure he hasn't moved. I was out in the yard last week when I heard some chattering and some fluttering wings. I looked over at my little fountain and there was a black and white bird sitting on the rock drinking from the fountain. As I watch, he hopped closer and started taking a bath, hence the fluttering wings. It was darn cute and such a joyful thing to watch. I've been lurking around out there with my camera but so far I haven't been able to catch him enjoying his shower.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I finally downloaded my pictures from the digital camera to the computer. I was very pleased with the pix of the flowers. I'm not sure what it is about them that draws me - maybe it's the texture or just being able to get such a good closeup. I'd really ke to use them in some of my art but not sure it I'll be able to do that!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Today was a beautiful day on the coast. The temperature at 4 pm was 30 degrees celsius. Now that is hot! Husband was out golfing with his cronies and I spent the day at home. The plan was that I would get lots of cards done...... not so much!

I ended up doing my running around first thing in the morning, rather than later in the day, and a good thing too. The boys had car trouble on the way home and they needed to be rescued. Luckily the car broke down in town rather than out on the highway, so they were able to have it towed fairly quickly. The problem was fairly minor - almost $500 to fix though - but at least the garage was able to get the part and fix the vehicle fairly quickly. Since they had decided to carpool to the golf course, I had husband's vehicle so I was able to go and pick them up. They had to wait about 45 minutes as I was coming from a neighbouring town, but it was a nice ride out and back so all is well.

I've gradually been adding to my garden. I'm not too proud to take freebies and I've scored a few that have saved me some money. A friend of mine has a beautiful yard and when she culls her overly large plants or plants that are becoming too crowded, she gives them to me. Her gifts have helped me to fill in some bare spots, and while the garden is still a work in progress, it looks good! I think I'm just about finished putzing for this year. I finally found a garden ornament that I like and broke down and bought it. It's an angel perched on a decorative column. It's really pretty - I'm very happy with it. I placed it in a spot that will get dappled sunlight in the morning - it makes me smile! I also bought a garden gnome to go on other side of the garden. I'm usually not big into gnomes but this one is a frog dressed up in a golfing outfit and carrying a golf bag. Pretty hard to resist when husband and I are both golfers. Very cute! I took pictures so I'll post them when I finally download them to the computer.

We're off to play a round of golf tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to it as we're playing at a course the I really like but which I haven't played for a couple of years. It's supposed to be hot here tomorrow as well, so we'll be riding in a cart. This particular course is pretty wide open so the sun can get be very hot but usually there is a good breeze as part of the course borders the slough.

I've managed to come up with a couple of new Father's Day designs. The King is from Alpha Stamps and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

I also like the blue one - the combination of gold and navy blue is particularly pleasing to me. It reminds me of a navy suit with a gold tie!