Starting Wednesday I will be taking a blogging break for a few weeks. I will still post a little but not on my regular daily schedule. I’ll be taking time to enjoy my family visit. I’ll miss you.
Monday, February 29, 2016
"We cannot live our lives constantly looking back, listening back, lest we be turned to pillars of longing and regret, but to live without listening at all is to live deaf to the fullness of the music."
~ Frederick Buechner
It is easy when you are in the winter of your life to look backwards. All those years that are behind you have memories stored in your head. What a life I have led. The memories blow around like kites in the wind…my school years, college, marriage, children, career. I have cherished memories that resurface when I want to remember happy times. But I have never been one to dwell on the past. There is too much present and future for me. I try to keep current.
Once when my son and his boys were riding in the car I was singing the words to the latest hits on the radio. He was so surprised that his seventy year old mother could do that. And he also is proud of me for keeping up with technology as well as I have. I try to move forward with my life continuing to travel and learn new things. I don’t want to get stale. To sit around watching tv all day. Carpe diem.
Sunday, February 28, 2016
I was yearning to learn something new so I started the course Photo Artistry. Quite quickly I realized that it was so very technical and would require a lot from me. I remembered that I tried Lightroom once and had to admit defeat. Am I brave enough to stick with this? Am I willing to put in the work that it would require to actually follow through and create something that I am proud of? I went through some videos that delved into such photography and Photoshop issues such as resizing an image and downloading textures. It became overwhelming. I almost quit. Then I read a few essays that were written about how hard it is to learn something new. This particular part of the essay made me change my mind.
I used to teach guitar lessons for a living, back when I was a teenager (and when all I did was play guitar). When I took on a new student I always told them up front: "You are going to sound AWFUL for at least three months. Deal with it. Just accept it. Plan on it. It's going to take three months to get your left hand and right hand to work well enough together to listen to what the hell you are telling them to do and have it sound reasonably decent. Until then — it's going to be frustration and noise." Those three months are the make-it-or-break-it for most aspiring guitarists. MOST give up. They can't deal with even a month of it being difficult and sloppy, much less three months of that kind of struggle. And because they're not great at it right from the start (or even a month along), they find it difficult to put in the time. So ... they give up. They give up before they ever manage anything worthwhile. But the ones who stick to it and shoulder their way through those first three months, practicing every day — sounding awful, but practicing anyhow — those are the ones who break through and end up playing guitar for the rest of their lives. Those are the ones who fall in love with it.
(And the ones who take the most chances, have the most fun . They also end up with the best chance of actually getting really, really good.)
That really got me thinking. I am impatient and want immediate results. I know that about myself. But I also know I love a challenge and I love to learn. So today I started playing around with some of the concepts. And I found I liked some of the results. This is the one I liked the best.
Saturday, February 27, 2016
I don't own a smart phone yet. I can see the advantages and know since I love my ipad that I would also love a smart phone. But I just can't justify getting one yet because I still have to have a land line. The signal isn't great where I live. And besides I talk a long time on the phone to my sisters and holding a smart phone to your ear all that time just isn't comfortable. Plus the fact that when my bill came for my flip phone last month I had only used four of my alloted four hundred minutes. I would love to have one for the convience of getting on the internet whenever I wanted. And I'd love to take pictures too. I know one is coming in the future for me.
But last night I saw something that gave me pause. Don and I were out to dinner and a younger (maybe in their thirties) couple came in and sat in a booth near us. Both of them got out their phones. They sat there absorbed in doing what ever they were so involved in until their appetizer came. Then they used one hand to eat and the other to hold their phone all the while staring down and not talking to each other. Really? They couldn't stop long enough to eat? Do you see this happening too?
Friday, February 26, 2016
I have always loved Winnie the Pooh. I read the books to my children and read them to my students in class. How wise was Pooh. And who could forget his friendship with Piglet. And Eeyore with his constant state of discouragement. I even named my son Christopher.
Speaking of Chris we had a little scare. He went to the emergency room on Wednesday night with chest pains. He is forty five and too young for that. He needed up with a heart cath on Thursday morning. He had a small artery 100% blocked but other vessels had grown around it to reroute the blood so they did not put in a stent. He will be on quite a few meds for the next ninety days to help those vessels grow. He had to cancel his work trip to Switzerland next week. I'm so glad his wife Michele who is a nurse insisted on taking him to the hospital.
This has been a rough week medically. Don had a routine colonoscopy. My granddaughter Sara had an endoscopy and a barium swallow test to discover why she has trouble eating and gets full so fast. So far the results don't show any problems.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
It must be the teacher in me. I have always loved education. To me it is thrilling to learn something new... a new skill, a new word, a new way of thinking. I love learning. And I loved to teach. That is why I got a degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Art. Then my Master's degree and continued on to get 42 more additional graduate credits. I loved finding out new ways to teach, new ways to educate a child, new teachniques to use in the classroom.
I have always tried learning new things. I tried countless different crafts over the years...embroidery, sewing, quilling, watercolors, and many more. I was always pursuing something to learn. While I was teachin there was plenty to learn and with the invention of computers I discovered an unlimited source of knowedge.
Then I retired. It was time to learn something new. So I began a blog. It was a learning curve that I enjoyed. Blogging gave me an outlet and challenged me every day to write creatively. And I began to become a photographer. As time went on I researched about photography and learned more and more. I bought Photoshop Elements and learned how to use it creatively to improve my pictures. It was a steep learning curve there and I used all my power to find tutorials. That is when I discovered Kim Klassen. She turned out to be the most influential blogger in my life. I took online courses from her which were tough but rewarding. Her down to earth way of teaching fit into my pattern of learning. I learned so many skills from her which made my blogging even better and through Photoshop made my pictures better too.
Now I am taking a new course that is being offered. She will be teaching a course and she has asked another teacher to also teach one with her. I am taking Photo Artistry. The goal of the course is to take many photos, use Photoshop to manipulate them, and make works of art worthy of framing and displaying. The course is quite extensive and I'm just beginning. It will be work to learn all those new techniques but I am excited about it. I hope to improve my photography and take it up to the next level. And I hope to use my artistic skills to make them works of art. I am very excited about this.
Are you still learning? Have you taken any courses or been taught a new skill?
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Downton Abbey is by far the best thing on television! I’ve watched it from the beginning and the characters and story lines are amazing. Every person on the show has a reason for being there and a story to tell. There are so many plots going at the same time. It is so sad that in two weeks it will all be over. The end of the final season. This week the cruel sister finally was told off. I practically shouted out loud when Tom let her have it.
No more wise cracking dowager countess. Oh how I will miss her and her quips.
Downton was a reason to love Sunday nights and it will be missed greatly.
If you’ve been reading Season to Season for any length of time you already know how I love my blue and white accents in my living room.
I’ve been collecting it for a number of years. My living room is the only room that has blue and white now.
I even have paintings of blue and white china.
The plate behind this round blue and white box is a favorite of mine. It is a Danish plate from Royal Copenhagen and was given to me by my best friend.
I even used a pot for my favorite flower the agapanthus. By the way I painted that little watercolor of the lavender fields in France from a photo I took there.
There are pots on top of the entertainment center and more pieces on the mantle.
But my very favorite pieces are those for tea…a cup from Royal Copenhagen that I bought at their factory, a Chinese teapot given to me by a friend, and a wire tray from another friend.
Are you a reader of Nell Hill? I’ve mentioned her before on this blog and today her whole post was about blue and white. You can find it at the side of my blog or go here…
Do you have blue and white in your decorating scheme? Or some other prevalent color?
Monday, February 22, 2016
My friend Linda has been using Hello Fresh for a week and loves the taste and convenience of it. She wanted me to try it so she gave me this box of Fusilloni Al Forno which is a fancy name for beef and pasta with spinach.
All these ingredients came in the box.
The directions were very clear and easy to follow. I browned the onions and garlic , then the meat. Added the spinach and mixed in the ricotta and nutmeg. The seasonings were included in the package which would make it easy for those not wanting to go out and buy special spices.
Pros: It was easy to make even though it involved quite a few steps.
All the ingredients were included.
The directions were very clear and illustrated.
Cons: Don’s opinion—You make better than this. I make a similar dish that he thought was more flavorful.
The price-$70 for three meals a week. Each serving is very generous. Don and I could have two meals with this serving.
It is fresh so you have to eat it up right away.
Conclusion: It was fun to try and I really liked the recipe. But I would rather buy my own ingredients. I have spices on hand. It would not be practical for us, but for a single person I would recommend it.
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Saturday, February 20, 2016
All over the web ...especially in the south..bloggers are beginning to post about Spring. The weather there is warming up and they are beginning to see signs of the change of seasons. This is when we northerners are yearning for a nie day above freezing and the melting of a little snow. Our Spring is still a long way off. Our tulips won't be out until April. So it's hard to get excited about those pictures of forsythia when our ground is still covered in white.
It's an in between season. Too cold to go outside walking. We are still in winter mode. It's a great time to be cleaning and organizing but I'd rather cuddle and read.