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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Jazzy January - 2016

January 26 - I'm concerned.  Within the last few years I have built up a slight reputation as being a "concert queen."  We've been averaging about 5 to 8 concerts a year and I have been able to get us some pretty good seats.  For our last concert, Scorpions, we were in row 14 and the stage came down the middle of the aisle to just about where we were sitting.  I got some awesome pictures.

These were not taken from the big screen like some of mine are, these are up close and personal!  It was a terrific show. 

I have, of course, created a Ticketmaster account and made a list of our "favorite" artists so that I get advanced notice whenever someone we like is going to be performing in our area.  Usually I get a pre-sale notice as well, either from the credit card companies or a radio station.  I have learned that during the pre-sales they tend to sell the tickets from the back to the front so just clicking "best available" doesn't always mean you get the best available and sometimes giving up the first set of tickets they show you will lead to better tickets the next time through.  It's a fine line and I'll admit I have lost some good seats because I wanted to "get a little closer."  I have even ended up with extra tickets because I found better seats after I bought the "best available."  Fortunately, most of the times I've been able to sell those extra tickets.  It can be a little nerve wracking.   

But, a recent experience with trying to get tickets to see Adele has made me a little nervous about being able to get these close up seats again.  

True, Adele did just come out with a new album that is breaking all kinds of records and is touring for the first time in many years, but the fact that I was UNABLE TO GET ANY TICKETS AT ALL, even with three shows in our area, made me quite upset.   

There was no "pre-sale" for this event as there usually is.  That means my having an American Express card or a Citi card made no difference.  There were the usual "special packages" available but really, $400+ for one ticket is just too much for us to pay.  

It's not like I was late getting to the site either:

In Line

I was right on Ticketmaster at 10 AM and "in line" to get tickets.  The next thing I knew it said I had a wait time of 31 minutes!  When the half hour was up, my message was that there were no seats available!  None.  Not even the $400 ones!  Not even the cheap seats in the nosebleed section.  Not at any of the three shows in our area.  And, after posting my frustrations on Facebook, I found out I was not the only one of my friends who was not able to get tickets.  That wasn't very comforting.    

The other day I saw another concert coming up with people we had not seen before (something that is getting harder to say), Sting and Peter Gabriel.  This time there was an American Express pre-sale and I was able to get tickets on the floor toward the back.  Not the best, but not bad.  

I went on Ticketmaster again when the tickets went on sale to the "General Public" to see what kind of tickets I could get and the selection was limited to high and on the side or way in the back.  I'm glad I got the ones I did.   

The Mountain Winery concert series posts their lineup around April.  Because we got tickets to four shows last year, we are supposed to get advanced ticketing opportunities for this season.  I'm hoping that is true and that they offer some good seats to the pre-sale group.  I'd hate to have to give up my "Concert Queen" status!  

What about you?  Any luck with Adele tickets?  Any ideas about how to break through the barrier?  Think it might be easier to call instead of going online?  


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Jazzy January 2016

January 13 - Challenge Time

Here we go again with the challenges.  Last year I participated in a few of them...the April Love Challenge, the 2015 Reading Challenge, Sparkles, August Break and Blogtember to name a few.  I find I like the challenge of a challenge and it really makes my brain search to find different and unusual answers to the prompts since sometimes the questions are the same.

A few years ago I did a 365 picture project where I took a picture a day for the year and then put them in a journal.  It was very fun to try to capture something new every day.  It was also very difficult at times, if I was busy and didn't remember to take a picture.  

I didn't want to do a 365 project again just yet, but I did want to do something that would reflect this year.  I decided to take a selfie each month on the 10th of the month (my birthday is on the 10th of March so that's why I picked that day).  Here is mine for January, taken on our back porch:

I've marked the date in my calendar for the year to help me remember.  

I know I want to do something else, something crafty, but I haven't decided what yet.  I still have a few weeks left in the month so I have some time to think about it.  Maybe a card a month?  Maybe I'll try my hand at a video?  A collage?  So many thoughts!  Any requests?  

For now, here is a smile for you from Janet!  

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Jazzy January 2016

January 9 - Vision Cards

For the last three years I have been making vision cards, something I learned from watching Jamie Ridler.   She shows us how to use vision cards to channel your focus on the things that you want to make happen in the year ahead.  She makes 10!

I made three the first year...


Craft Business
Our House

By using these cards to remind me of the things I wanted to work on, I was able to work toward some goals for each area.  While I did not accomplish everything on my list, I did make some movement in each area. 

In 2015 I made four cards:

Our House

Healthy Me

Craft Business


Our house and fixing it up remained one of my priorities, as did getting myself healthier.  

Increasing my craft presence by blogging and getting out there selling my creations was still a desire and I added a vision card to remind me about planning our financial future.  We are getting older!

Again, each area got some attention.  In the "Home" area we got a new fence and had a clean out of the backyard.  For my health I had a physical and started taking steps to lower my blood sugar.  In the crafty sense, I participated in some blog challenges and had a table at two craft shows.  Financially, we got some credit cards paid off and plans for our retirement started.  Not bad.

For 2016 I have made five cards.  I love the process of deciding my focus points and then gathering pictures and words to bring them to life:

The process

Our House

Our house is still a big one but this year instead of just concentrating on the outside, I want to do a huge cleaning and reorganizing project.  The dynamics have changed with the kids mostly gone so it is time to get things more functional for two instead of five.

Finances are still a big issue as well, with Bill turning 65 this year and with his Workers' Comp claim coming to a close, thank goodness.  We will be experiencing some income differences I'm sure and I'm going to need to keep on top of what our options are.


Craft Business
 My health is also still a priority.  Healthy eating with the Hungry Girl plan and continuing to monitor my diabetes is key.  I am still not a fan of exercise but there is a new craze called "housewalking" that I may try.

As far as the crafty business, I need to organize the space I'm in and concentrate on making more items, in addition to finding new ways to get the word out there about all the neat stuff I can make.  Adding some new products will help there.   


My fifth card is Travel.  We did some traveling in 2015 but they were quick trips and for specific purposes (the family reunion in July and Oregon at Christmas) and they were fun but not relaxing.  I have something more like a romantic getaway to Carmel or a splashy trip to Las Vegas in mind.  (The finances card is going to come into play for this one as well!)

Well, those are my vision cards for this year.  I usually do a follow up after about six months to see how I am progressing.  
What about you?  Ever try making vision cards for your goals?  Love to hear about it!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Jazzy January - 2016

January 4 - The Bible

I must confess that I have never really read the Bible.  I find that somewhat surprising given the fact that I went to eight years of Catholic grammar school, including going to church every Sunday, almost from the day I was born up until early adulthood when I began to have some questions about the changes the Catholic church was making.

Of course I know the major stories, Adam and Eve, Sodom and Gomorrah, King Solomon and the birth and death of Jesus, and I've seen some of the movies based on those stories.  I know the 10 Commandments and try to live by them faithfully; no lying, cheating, stealing, coveting, honoring my parents, etc.

I even have a bible.  I'm pretty sure I got it when I was married as that is one of those things my mother used to give to young couples as a wedding gift, along with the "10 Commandments of Happy and Successful Husband and Wife."

Happy Husband

Happy Wife

I even have the Key to Heaven:

The Bible that I have has nice big print and there is even a place inside to record the important events of our family:

Large Print

For the record

But, as you can see, I've never recorded anything.  In fact, there was kind of a lot of dust on the book when I took it off the shelf.  I decided that I would make a plan to actually read the bible this year.  I believe there might be some interesting things that I may have missed.  I went online and found a site that gives a plan for reading the bible every day for a year.   This is just one I found, I'm sure there are others.  

So, I've put in the date of January 4 and the site has set up a list of portions of the bible for me to read daily for the next year.  I figure it can't hurt, right?  Promise I won't get all "holier than thou" on you!

What about you?  Read the Bible lately?  

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Jazzy January - 2016

January 2 -

JAZZY - Adjective

1) of, resembling, or in the style of jazz
2) bright, colorful and showy

Synonyms:  funky, hip, vibrant, lively, spirited, bold, exciting, flamboyant, showy, gaudy, flashy, brightly-colored, striking, impactful, eye-catching, vivid.

Don't those words sound great to go along with my word of the year, Focus?

Vivid, eye-catching, brightly-colored.

A word to kick start this new year.

Lots of ideas swirling around in my mind, new things to try, adventures to undertake.  I'll be making my vision cards for the year this weekend and starting to focus on the most important ones.

In addition to the Reading Challenge, keeping up this blog is one of them.  I had 133 blog posts last year.  I'm gonna shoot for 216 in 2016.  I hope you'll come along on the journey with me.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge

January 1 - Well, I did it.  I managed to finish the book "A Stolen Life," the story of Jaycee Dugard who was kidnapped when she was just 11.  It was interesting to see how she has been able to slowly come back to the real world.  What a terrible thing to have happened.  There certainly are some twisted people in the world.

That means I was able to read 17 books last year.  Not bad but I am going to try to get more reading done this year.

For my first book I'm taking from the category "A murder mystery" because I am trying to weed through my bookshelf.  Plus, it is written by Margaret Truman, an author I have read before so I am hoping to get off to a good, quick start.  Being the daughter of President Truman, her books are usually set in the capital or one of the other places in Washington.  Her stories have bits of history running through them and I like that.

Here we go...what's your first book of the year?