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Sunday, January 24, 2021

#JusJoJan – 1/24/2021

You know how when you see something really cute like a baby or a puppy it triggers an “Awwww” response? That happened for me this past Christmas when my family, knowing how fond I am of Koalas, adopted a mom and joey called Peace and Harmony! Let me hear it…awww!

I have koalas in some form all over the house and in the studio. I used a stuffed koala as a focal point when I was having our first daughter.

I use this cutie as my logo.
This one is in the studio. Can you see the Koala stamp third from left?

I have pictures on the wall and statues of them as well. Clearly everyone knows that I have a special fondness for these little animals. Anyway, apparently there is an adoption program through the Australian Koala Foundation where you can pick a koala to adopt. The family picked a mom, Peace, and her joey, Harmony to adopt in my name. How cool is that?

Peace and Harmony

The letter talks about the fact that Peace and Harmony live in the semi-rural area of Brisbane West and there are cars and barking dogs which are a big threat to the non-aggressive koalas who don’t really understand the danger. My kids felt that since we live on a busy street, have a dog, and their mom is all about keeping peace and harmony in our family, these two would be perfect for me and they were right!

I got my official certificate yesterday along with some information about koalas and some stickers and fun stuff, triggering yet another “awww!” Bonus, if I’m ever in the area of Brisbane West, I can visit Peace and Harmony at the sanctuary! When can we travel again?

Isn’t that an unusual and thoughtful gift? Thanks to Linda for the prompt of Trigger for today’s Just Jot January.



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Saturday, January 16, 2021

#JusJoJan – #SoCS – 2021

First things first as they say, let’s talk about reading. Are you going to be following any reading challenges this year? Last year I only accomplished half of my goal of 40 books, which is kind of surprising given that we were in quarantine for most of the year. You’d have thought that I could spend hours and hours just reading. Guess not. Anyway, this year I am following the Popsugar Challenge list again. I think I’m going to try to go through the list and see what categories I can fill using the books I already have, that way I can donate the ones I don’t want to keep. That will help with one of my Focus areas, decluttering the house!

So far I have read one book this year, “Hiding Cracked Glass” by my friend, James J. Cudney. This is the second book about the Glass Family in a series he calls Perceptions of Glass. It is the sequel to his first book, “Watching Glass Shatter.” I loved both books and particularly favor the way he writes them, switching character perceptions each chapter. It makes it easier for me to keep track of everybody.

I had just finished reading the most recent book in his Braxton Campus Mystery series, “Frozen Stiff Drink,” the sixth book in that series. He has another one set to come out in a couple months. So far I’ve read them all and haven’t been able to figure out who done it in any of them! I didn’t realize until just recently that his titles are a play on words, Frozen Stiff and Stiff Drink. The next one is titled, “Legally Blind Luck.” (Legally Blind, Blind Luck). Pretty clever, huh? I can usually count on Jay’s books to help me fill some of the categories in the challenge. “Hiding Cracked Glass” filled “book in a different format” since I usually read the actual book and this was in e-book form. The new one could fill the “book that’s published in 2021” category!

Now I am reading “Becoming” by Michelle Obama. I am at the point where she has just started dating Barack. Really looking forward to reading the rest. It will fill, “book found on a Black Lives Matter reading list.”

For ‘book that has the same title as a song, I’m thinking of “Helter Skelter” because I’ve had that one on the shelf for a long time.

Book whose title starts with “Q” “X” or “Z” I’m going to use “Dr. Zhivago” by Pasternak.

“Such A Pretty Fat” by Jen Lancaster will match “book that discusses body positivity.”

I’m also going to try and hit some of the books that are on the scratch off poster that I got for Christmas a couple of years ago. Those are classics but I’m sure I can manage to fill a category or two with them as well.

Last thing is that our “SoCS” is hosted by the Lovely Linda. Thanks Linda!



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Monday, January 4, 2021

#JustJoJan – 2021 – Fingertips – Vision Cards

Since 2014 I’ve been making vision cards instead of New Year’s resolutions. I find that resolutions are easy to let slip by and are usually not very sustainable for a long period of time. Plus, once you “break” a resolution, your year is shot. Vision cards are a lot more forgiving and I really have been able to accomplish many more things, I think, by keeping these cards at my fingertips throughout the year. I file them in the back of my planner and look at them periodically, although somehow they always seem to flow through my subconscious.

I made six again this year, same themes but I called them different names. Maybe a little quirky but it works for me. You can see last year’s here. This year’s in no particular order:

I call this one “Nest” but it really means our home. As you can see I have my fire pit on it but also a new couch. I love the look of the home by the sea and although we are not moving any time soon, I should be able to make our house feel comfortable again. A deep clean and some more purging and organizing will do wonders I’m sure. Hubby said I could have the fire pit (my Christmas present) but wants me to go with him to pick it out. Sure thing!

I have Self-Care as a topic instead of just “Health.” I am coming to realize that things like meditation and long walks by the ocean (when we can go back there) are just as important as healthy eating and exercise. Even something simple like taking a day to just read a book, something I hardly ever do. Plus, although I lost 75 pounds, I did put back about 5 or 6 of them and reached a plateau. Time to step up the game a bit. Longer walks with Benny and some ankle weights to start. Maybe adding some dancing.

I’m going with Experience again this year. With the pandemic shutting everything down, who knows when we’ll be able to actually go on an adventure! When we do, local ones like a ferry to see Alcatraz Island or a helicopter ride over the SF Bay would be fun and close to home. I’d still like to get to Carmel and Monterey so maybe we can take a drive down there some weekend. In the meantime, I am taking longer walks with Benny and snapping pictures of new and interesting things I see. Wonder if it okay to walk the Golden Gate Bridge? We did it for my 60th birthday and I’d like to do it again.

Prosperity means finances. I know there are ways we can cut corners and save, although we do need to get the hubby a new truck so that will be the major expense this year. He really needs one so we’ll make it work. Getting credit card debt down is important too. We are not getting any younger!

This one is Sharing. With the pandemic and it’s ups and downs, seeing people is harder and harder to do, even our own daughter who lives an hour away. Using Zoom and FaceTime are not perfect but at least a text or phone call to my mom, my sister, niece and friends once in a while is better than nothing. Hopefully it won’t be long until we can have a dinner at least.

And finally is the Business of Magic. You would think that with all the restrictions and inability to go places I would have a lot of time to work in my studio. It is not as easy as all that and I have to figure out some new ways of promoting what I have to sell since I am not sure when we will be able to hold craft fairs again. Using YouTube, making my own website and adding videos to the Etsy site are all things I have swirling around in my head. I’m a Creative Memories consultant too and I rarely ever promote that. Need to use my talents!

So there you have my vision cards. I’ve written some basics on the backs of them and will slip them in my planner now. I’ll check in again in June or July and see what’s been happening. Thanks to Linda for her #JusJoJan prompt of “fingertips.”



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Sunday, January 3, 2021

#JusJoJan – 2021 – Servant

Behind from the start, I decided I’m not going to be a “servant” to the prompts. If I get in, I get in and if I miss one, I’m not going to try and make it up. There. That’s a load of pressure off me! Thanks to Linda for the prompts and for her relaxed rules about following them.

I haven’t posted since December 12. I’ve been around and commented on other blogs but my own posts have been pushed to the side. One of the reasons is that I have had some work to do, which is a good thing. The other reason is not so exciting. About the 15th of December we got a call from a friend of ours letting us know he tested positive for the virus, yes, THAT virus. We had seen him at the end of November (in retrospect not a great idea since he had flown across the country twice in the week before). My husband had gotten what he was sure was “just a bad cold” about a week after we had had lunch with our friend. Once we got the call though, we figured that hubby had better get tested. Sure enough, the test came back positive.

Fortunately my test and the test of all of our kids came back negative and hubby’s symptoms never reached a point where he needed to have medical attention. In fact, by the time we got the news of the positive test, he was already getting better. Still, it meant that we could not have Christmas on Christmas since our eldest daughter does not live with us and our son couldn’t get tested until Christmas Eve so we would not have everyone’s results back in time. For a week, we were on pins and needles even though none of the rest of us had had any symptoms.

The presents sat patiently. Actually, we had some extra time for shopping and waiting for things to be delivered.

We decided to have our “Christmas” on New Year’s Eve and that way our daughter could spend the night and we would ring in the New Year as a family, something we haven’t done since the kids were little. Even then, the kids were little and probably in bed – LOL.

Cheers

I am definitely saying a prayer of thanks that we managed to come through it as good as we did. Postponing Christmas was a small price to pay. Hopefully with the vaccines rolling out we will start to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Happy New Year to you, if I haven’t said it yet. 2021 has got to be a better year!



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Saturday, December 12, 2020

Decidedly December – 2020

Wow, 4 days behind. I was working, which is a good thing, and I have some more work for next week which is also good. Let’s see what magic I can make with these prompts.

December 9 is Silver and Jingle. That’s easy! A bunch of silver bells from my craft stash in assorted sizes, just waiting to be added to some fun project.

December 10 is Jolly and Warm Fuzzies.

Saw these jolly guys sitting on the shelf at Safeway
This little guy in his warm Christmas sweater gives me the warm fuzzies.

December 11 is tree and ink. We got our tree up reasonably early this year and I am grateful for that because this weekend we are having some rain so it probably wouldn’t have gotten done. Our daughters and I went and picked it out and then put the lights on. A couple of days later, our youngest and I watched a cheesy Xmas Hallmark movie and decorated it. Fun!

Here is our tree this year

As far as the ink goes, usually I would talk about the ink I use in my crafting but this kind of ink is a bit more special. I’m not a fan of tattoos but our daughter asked me to write out La Vita e Bella for her so that she could have the tattoo made in my handwriting. Had I known she was going to get it done EXACTLY as I wrote it, I probably would have written smaller – LOL. This covers her whole forearm and the black birds represent the five of us in the family. The one outline bird is for our first real pet, a cat named Whisper, who had to be put to sleep. How could I object to something with that much meaning?

Life is Beautiful

Today is Lights and Best Decision in 2020. Again, lights is easy:

The lights in front of our house.

I’m going to have to think about the best decision of 2020. Perhaps it is getting a new refrigerator. Perhaps it is deciding to make my own website. Perhaps I haven’t made it yet! I still have some time to work on it.

Okay, there we have both the Countdown to Christmas and the December Reflections up to date. How are you doing? Got your tree and lights up? Warm fuzzies happening? Made a spectacular decision this year? Lemme know!



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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Decidedly December – 2020

Another two days of challenges. December 7 is easy to combine. On the Countdown to Christmas the prompt is “Fireplace” and on the December Reflections it is “On My Wish List.” We used to rent a house with a fireplace and I just loved it. When we moved 24 years ago our house did not have one. A few years ago my husband got me a portable heater for my work area. It looks like a mini fireplace when it is going.

So on my Wish List this year is a fire pit for the backyard. I think Santa is going to get it for me too! Something like this:

Of course I would love a wood burning one but in the interest of air quality, a propane one will be okay.

Today’s prompts were “Craft” and “Fave photo of 2020.” I showed the gift card holders I made already but here is another one of my creations:

The roof comes off the top and inside is a Christmas mini-album. You can see more pictures if you click the link.

As far as my favorite photo of 2020, I have a lot but I think this one tops them.

My son and I are sitting in the waiting room at Kaiser, where he is about to have a CT scan (or an MRI, I can’t remember which). It was a scary time for us and fortunately everything is okay, but he took this picture and posted it on Instagram and it touched me. Plus, I like how my legs look thinner – LOL.

Okay, caught up again. Maybe tomorrow I can post just one. How about you? Favorite photo? Craft anything for Christmas? Lucky enough to have a fireplace or a fire pit recommendation? Share!



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Sunday, December 6, 2020

Decidedly December – 2020

So I missed posting yesterday because we went and got our Christmas tree. Making it up by cramming in a whole bunch of stuff today.

Music was the theme for Countdown to Christmas and List was #SoCS so here’s a list of some of my favorite Christmas songs in no particular order and by no means complete:

  • Old Toy Trains – Rafi – makes me cry because I can see our kids up on stage singing it when they were little.
  • Merry Christmas from the Family – Rosie O’Donnell and the Dixie Chicks (now the politically correct just “Chicks”) Cracks me up.
  • Little Drummer Boy – David Bowie and Bing Crosby
  • Jingle Bell Rock –
  • Santa Baby –
  • Silver Bells
  • The Christmas Song
  • Christmas Through Your Eyes – Gloria Estefan
  • Must Be Santa – Rafi
  • The First Noel
  • Greensleeves

The prompt for December Reflections was: Biggest lesson from 2020. Maybe not a lesson but just a reminder that nothing in life is certain and you need to be able to roll with the changes.

Today’s prompt for the Christmas Countdown is plants. Has to be poinsettia (which I always want to spell with a t, like pointsetta). My dad had a big poinsettia plant growing in our front yard. He was so proud of that thing. He worked for a florist and every year we would take about 15 or 20 poinsettia plants to the church to decorate the altar. I felt so special being able to go into the back rooms that no one usually sees.

And finally, December Reflections is Ornament. I did that the other day with the ornaments that I have been using for the past 40 years, but I also have other ones that mean a lot to me. I haven’t finished decorating the tree yet so I’ll post more pictures of ornaments when we get them out.

There, caught up for now. How about you? Favorite Christmas song? Do you want to spell poinsettia with a t? Share!



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