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Showing posts from 2016

Goal Setting and Resolutions

Good morning.  This is it, the last day of 2016.  Over the last week, I've read a lot about goal setting, resolutions, and saying goodbye to 2016. Just a few days ago I was asked about my goals for 2017.  It's always fascinating to me how so many people are always so gun-hoe about "making a fresh start" with the ringing in of the new year, then as the year goes on many of those "fresh starts" are lost along the way.  Why do you need a new year to make a "fresh start" or to set new goals?  But I digress. I confess I don't set goals and I don't make resolutions.  When I was in my 20's I used to fall victim to the resolution trap, only to fail by the end of January or at best late February.  Then I felt terrible for days and beat myself up about the failure.  Then one year I stopped.  I stopped setting myself up for the failures.  Since then I've figured out the connection between the world of goals/resolutions and me.  I feel very

Back From Break

Where have you been?  Oh, wait.  You're probably asking me that, aren't you?  Well, I ran away to paradise for a couple of weeks.  I've been on an island, soaking up the vitamin D, and enjoying 10 hours of daylight.  Did you just read that and think "What?  Who talks like this?"  If you aren't from Alaska and have never lived here then this might sound like some fresh brand of crazy talk, but it's not.  Okay, fine I'll explain. When you live in the Interior of Alaska, you experience the shortest day of the year, known as "Winter Solstice," in a totally different way.  On this day our area has only about four hours of daylight.  No, don't adjust your glasses or your computer screen.  You read that right.  FOUR FREAKING HOURS - that's it!!  You view this day as a right of passage and begin counting the minutes that will become hours of daylight.  You've survived the darkness.  With the lack of light, comes a lack of vitamin D.  

Currently December 2016

The flu!  Is there anything worse?  Yeah, I can't think of anything either.  I got sick over the weekend, spent most of two days in bed.  I finally feel human again, after three days!  The only upside, I lost 3.6 pounds.  It's a hell of a way to lose weight.  I'll spare the details, but this little bug sucked.  I'm thrilled it was just a few days of hell.  I'm not a good sick person, not that anyone is a good sick person, but I'm a terrible sick person.  I'm whiny, hard to be around, and unable to make decisions about anything.  I also spend a lot of time apologizing for things that I really can't control.  These are all things that are not a part of my natural personality, but we'll save that discussion for another day. So, now that the flu is over where do I go from here?  Moving past the flu, I've added a couple of new blogs to my reading list: Against All Grain - really inspiring to me, as of late I've been giving a lot of thought t

Alaskan Winter December 2016

Winter storm warning, it's started snowing since 5:30 am yesterday morning.  It's more of the fine, dry snow.  The kind that limits visibility when a car passes you on the road.  The temp has risen to five below zero.  Regular heat wave here in the Interior.  I'm guessing when I say we got about four to five inches. I've officially reached an age where the cold bothers me.  This is the first winter where cold has really bothered my hands, as in my hands hurt and I'm still looking for the right gloves kind of hurt. Up until now, I've always been loyal to Isotoner gloves.  I love them.  They were the perfect gloves, warm enough, yet still great for functionality.  I own a pair of what I'll call ski gloves for lack of a better description, they're the big bulky kind.  Super warm, but totally dysfunctional for handling anything but ski poles.  Currently, I'm wearing a pair of Hubby's mittens with the flip-top, that exposes fingerless mitts.  Wh

Do Your Friends Know You Love Them?

Do your best friends know you love them?  No, I mean it.  The friends you've had the longest, the ones who could tell your secrets.  When was the last time you told them you cared?  I know there are zillions of people who've had the same best friend for their entire lives.  I'm not one of those zillions.  My best friends are the people I've picked up along the road of life. My oldest friend and I knew each other before we were born.  Yeah, go ahead and laugh, but it's true.  Our mom's bowled together, were pregnant at the same time and we were born days apart.  We grew up together.  We went to church together.  We teased each other through junior and senior high.  We haven't seen each other in over ten years and we live thousands of miles apart, but we stay in touch on Facebook.  He's a cop and I pray for his safety every day. In junior high, I met an upperclassman that took a liking to me.  I was in the eighth grade.  We've been friends ever s

Cabin in the Snow

How's the weather there?  The cold is starting to settle in.  It was below zero for a few days in a row.  Snow on the ground, cars plugged in, people nestled in cozy houses.  Winter has finally arrived in Alaska.  Today the wind has picked up and will blow away much of the powdery snow. The past couple of years we've had "mild" winters.  Temps dipping down to 20 or 30 below, but never staying there very long.  Limited snowfall, mostly of the dry powdery variety.  We haven't seen a really cold "traditional" winter since 2012 when we moved to Alaska. I'm pushing myself to take more winter photographs.  For help on this journey, I'm using the Capture Your 365 photo prompts.  Sharing my perspective of the world through the lens, any lens. This shot of a cabin I pass nearly every day, on my way to work.  I've played with a few editing effects, adding the border, the snow falling, and the focal blur, along with a little color adjustment.

Life Snapshots November 2016

Good Morning, Are you ready for your day?  Did you start with a glass of water?  Have you had your coffee?  What about breakfast? I don't know if I'm ready for my day just yet.  I did start with a big glass of water and enjoyed a smoothie for breakfast.  I'm enjoying my third cup of coffee as I write this.  Yes.  I said third.  There's something about hot coffee on a cold morning.  It's 26 below again this morning. We had a bit of snow last night.  It's the dry, fine powdery snow.  The kind that blows away the minute the wind comes up.  We need a good, heavy, wet snow to insulate the ground and provide moisture.  It's been pretty dry in this neck of the woods. What are you reading?  I'm trying to finish Lady at the OK Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp .  It's not a bad book, it's just that I keep picturing the cast from Tombstone while I read.  I've seen the movie a dozen or more times.   Don't judge.  It's on

26 Below Zero

It's 26 below zero today.  Winter has finally made it's way to Alaska.  We've seen it colder many times, but it's always a shell shocker when the mercury drops this low. We have a slight ground covering of snow, not more than an inch or two.  It's a fine powder and will be gone as soon as the wind brings the temperatures back up.  That's how the winters are here.  You wish for something above zero on the thermometer, you'll be wishing for the wind as well.  Most of us will accept the super cold to avoid the howling winds. The light is sitting around the five-hour mark.  What I mean is we currently have about five hours of daylight.  The sun rises at about 9am and sets around 4pm.  I could live here for 20 years and never really adjust to the dramatic changes in weather and light this time of year.  Since I am neither a fan of the cold nor the dark, winter in Alaska is a bit of a struggle. It's that time of year where we put boots on our littlest

Midori Traveler's Notebook

Last night I set my Midori up with its 6th journal insert.  I've been using a Midori Traveler's Notebook for nearly a year, and it goes everywhere with me.  I thought I'd share what my setup currently looks like. The exterior is starting to show some lovely scuffing and wear marks.  I've added three charms to my elastic closer and beads were added to the bookmark you see peeking out the bottom.  The happy binder clip serves to hold my pen. The first thing inside is the handmade Midori folder, I created last weekend.  In my setup, it hugs an insert. Inside the folder are a few samples of washi tape and a couple of extra paper clips.  The right side is a generic insert that I picked up at Michaels a while back.  This insert is the one I did some of my InkTober pen and ink in. This is the back of my folder, the inside pocket is currently empty.  The other side is the grid insert from Traveler's Notebook.  This is the insert you see in many of my dai

The Art of Living

Jefferson School

Jefferson School - Missouri ( 28 July 2008) It’s vacant now; the school at the corner of Franklin and Orchard streets, but that morning as I stood, on what remained of the playground, the laughter of school days gone by could almost be heard. The blacktop has faded and the markings for hopscotch have paled with the sun, but the L shaped red brick building stands silent and alone. Of what once was a pair of swing sets, only poles remain, the framework from which swings once hung. Were the swings removed for safety or stolen by vandals, I do not know, but I can tell you no children play there now. Jefferson School - Missouri (28 July 2008) There is a chain looped through door handles, of a double door, on the south side of the school, locked by padlock. Signs remain telling visitors to STOP, Teachers lounge, go to the main entrance. Many window panes bare the scars of a vandal’s rock thrown. Spray paint mars the walls of the lower level on the north side. Blinds are draw

The Osage River

Sunset on The Osage River - Missouri (08 July 2009) The river,  she dances with delight and turns for spite,  a superhighway,  for speedboats and floaters,  who troll for fish,  snaggers with their catch of spoonbill,  trotlines fill with catfish,  frogs croak and birds sing, nature is busy,  while the water rushes by. by SLMPetersen

The Alaskan Moose

The Alaskan Moose - big, grand, beautiful creatures.  Big, grand, pain in the tuchus!  These marvelous beauties have done grand things like eat our garden, drive our crazy dog crazier, and hold me hostage in the house while laying in our front yard. Morning Moose - Alaska (02 November 2016) Outsiders, yes you who watch the "Alaska Reality" shows, think it would be grand to see these beasts from your living room window while sipping a hot toddy and watching the snowfall.  Yes, that a beautiful Hollywood vision, but it's just not reality. Reality is checking your yard before letting your dogs out, as moose have been known to stomp dogs to death.  Reality is they are 500 pounds and will take on a human they see as a threat.  Reality is they are near-sited animals and who see humans, smaller than them, invading their space. Yes.  Big, grand, beautiful creatures, when they aren't found bedded down in your yard from the night before, keeping you from getting to y

The Love of Abandoned

Who doesn't fabricate a tale in their mind when they pass a weathered and vacant structure?  I've been doing it since I was a child, traveling across Nebraska on Old Highway 30. Farm House - Nebraska (23 June 2007) When you travel the main highways and byways, you often miss the bits of history in small-town museums, roadside fruit stands, and local mom and pop restaurants.  Travel the back roads and you'll often discover a way of life left behind, as just a memory.  Along with local interests, often come a plethora of run down farms with abandoned houses and dilapidated barns. My mom and I made many trips across the farmland, filled prairie, on a journey to visit family.  Along the way, we had many discussions about how to fix up these abandoned places, what we'd do with the place and what could have led to their demise.  And so was born, was my fascination with the abandoned. Pair the childhood nostalgia with my love of photography and you get a collection o

InkTober Completion

October has officially come to a close, which means InkTober has also come to a conclusion.  I thought I'd take the time to reflect on how much I created over the month and be truthful about how this challenge worked for me. Did I draw daily for the entire month?  Nope, I sure didn't.  I started out strong, but I set myself up for failure by making my art part of my days end rather than the beginning.  I was consistent in a daily journal for 13 days, then it became one more thing I had to do each day.  I didn't enjoy the setting up of a journal for pen and ink like I thought I would. Did I enjoy the experience?  Yes, mostly.  I struggled with daily drawing, but once I let go of the journal and just drew when I felt like it, in front of the TV, I was more productive with the challenge. What did I draw? InkTober Day 1 "N" Monogram - Custom Order "K" Monogram - Custom Order Inktober Day4 "A" Monogram - Available

Turning Empty Around

I read a quote the other day that made my mind wander: Give until your heart is full. How much giving is that?  Two years ago I started sending happy mail.  Giving away what I made.  Spending my own money on postage.  Daydreaming about the smiles that were happening on the receiving end.  Touting that I was doing this project to make myself happy, and no one else.   The truth?  Two years later and I felt empty.  I felt like I gave and gave.  The end result was most often a hollow Facebook message that says "thanks for the cards."   Not what I imagined would happen.  This was not part of the daydream.  I had visions of pen pals and letters dancing in mailboxes.  All the returned messages weren't hollow, but the heartfelt ones didn't feel like enough.  I didn't feel like I was on the right path.  So.  I quit.  I quit sending happy mail.     This isn't the first time I've felt this kind of empty.  I'm a giver, I give and give and give

The Personal Shift

Getting personal really wasn't my plan when I started blogging again, but it's just kind of started happening.  More of an evolution if you will.  If I'm going to be true to my heart and mind with my desire to write more, this blog has to grow and expose more of who I am. The Porch Postscript - a place to hang around, sip coffee, chat with a neighbor and enjoy the summer sun, even in the dead of winter.    If I really believe that, then I need to move forward, change my writing style and create more post that are more porch chats and long visits with friends.  I think most of you who are reading this blog are people I know personally in my daily life.  Some of you might be strangers, but new friends are always welcome.  While it's only 5 degrees this morning, pour yourself a cup of coffee and settle into a comfy chair.  Let's get real and be personal here. My claim to fame is being born in Wyoming.  I lived the first 28 years of my life there.  I wear tha

5 Reasons to Use a Feed Reader

What is a feed reader?  Simple answer - a feed reader is a place to gather and display RSS feeds or web feeds if you will.  Translation - This is one page you can visit daily that will contain all of the blogs you don't want to miss stories from, and it eliminates the need to visit each individual page.  There are dozens of feed readers out there - Feedly, Bloglovin', Feedbin, Flipboard and many others.  There are even extensions for Chrome users to add to your toolbar.  Do some research, experiment, you'll find the one that fits your style and needs.  I'm a Feedly user, more on that later.  Let's talk about why I use a feed reader first. 1. All Your Blogs in One Place I don't know about you, but I don't have the desire, nor the attention span, to click and read dozens of different blog pages.  I follow 53 blogs.  Don't judge.  By putting it all in a feed reader I open one page and read all my blogs in one place. 2.  Full Article Feed Now,

Currently October 2016 Part 2

Struggling with: My Weight - Yes, I'm opening that door.  I started this battle, and yes I see it as a battle, in January.  It's  now October and I've yo-yoed my way to a total loss of 7.6 pounds.  Hubby and I are working on this together, and I think many days that's the only thing keeps me going.  I will continue to move through this battle and move toward my goal.  I will also accept that there will be bad days and maybe even bad weeks.   Blogs I'm Loving: The Healthy Maven - I read this post first , which hooked me, and then this morning I read her post about Knowing Your Value .  Loving this blog.  Lots of foodie goodness, but also a good bit of real life too.   Shutterbean - I stated following Tracy when I first started writing my own blog in 2008.  I love her recipes, her photography and her unapologetic writing style.  You know if I've been reading for eight years, and I'm still reading, she's got it going on. Recipes I Need to

3 Thought Provoking Quotes

Our everyday lives are so full of negative.  We're conditioned to focus on the negative, the can't, the not enough.  Think about it.  You're standing in line at the store, reading the magazine covers - Lose 30 pounds fast, Look younger, Look sexy now.  What does this do?  It paints the picture that you, as you are, isn't enough. The news media spends most of their time focusing the stories that talk about a torn world; if it bleeds, it leads.  There's political mudslinging on the TV and radio.  Don't even get me started on the condescending, mean memes on social media. I've been fighting my own battle in my head, focused too much on how hard it is to make the changes that I need to make to get to where I want to go.  Over the past couple of weeks, the universe has been dropping some subtle messages, which I've been hearing, but not listening too.  These are the quotes that I heard, but silently left standing on their own.   I found the foll

Currently October 2016 Part 1

Yesterday's post was pretty intense, so let's lighten things up today.  It's Monday, the day most people like the least.  Let's savor our morning coffee and be thankful for the day.  Spin things in a positive light to set the tone for the week. What I'm Reading: Woman Code - reading small chunks of this at a time.  Too much of it at once is really overwhelming.  (Kindle book) Rising Strong - haven't picked this up in a few day, but it's on my list of things to pick back up this morning.  (Real book) Present Over Perfect - I grabbed the Kindle sample of this and after reading a few pages last night I'll be grabbing the full book. (Kindle book) Curly Girl - Bought this over the weekend.  While I'm not into all of the "bible" steps they talk about I've been meaning to read this one so I can add some curly coping skills to my bag of tricks.  (Kindle book) What's Happening in the Studio: InkTober - Daily drawing in