March Matters – 2023 A to Z Theme Reveal

Okay folks, it’s almost time for that super exciting A to Z Challenge that happens every April. Are you ready?

Last year I did my take on dating adventures. That was fun. The year before was traveling through San Francisco. That was pretty interesting and I was amazed at the places I had never seen before even though I’ve lived in the Bay Area all my life. I’ve also done a few years of showcasing my concert albums and even the A to Z of Michael’s Arts and Crafts store.

This year I happened to stumble upon another interesting bit of the San Francisco experience called “Illuminate SF.” Throughout the city there are different light installations that “celebrate the City’s culture of creativity and innovation.” Unfortunately I missed the “Festival of Lights” that runs from the day after Thanksgiving through January. We were busy with moving my mother-in-law from Oregon to California so I didn’t have time to prep for it. Illuminate SF has been going on for 10 years now and though some of the exhibits are only temporary, there are many that have become permanent fixtures. Those are the ones I’m going to find for you.

Here’s a sneak peak of some of the ones I’ve captured so far:

As with every A to Z I’m giving a heads up that I will be using my creative license to cover all the letters. I hope you will come along on this light trip with me. Are you doing the A to Z this year? Lemme know so I can follow you too!

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March Matters – 2023

February went by in a blur. My mom-in-law is settled in her new place next door and it really is working out well. I go over twice a day at least to make sure she has taken her meds and do little things around the house for her. We’ve gone to the library 3 times and even took a stroll through the dollar store. That is way more than she was doing when she was in Oregon.

Now it’s time for me to prep for the A to Z Challenge in April. I have an idea of what I’d like to do this year but I’m not sure I’ll be able to pull it off. More research is required and I thought I was going to be able to get some pictures taken the other night but it turns out I was driving instead of my husband and we couldn’t quite coordinate the timing. I knew what I was looking for but by the time I was able to explain it to him so that he could take the picture/video, we had passed it – LOL. Any of you married folks out there know what I’m talking about? It was not easy to just go around the corner to take another try at it so I told him I’d plan the route more carefully and have him drive next time so I could hop out of the car to take the pictures and he could come back and get me. I better get my act together though because the theme reveal is on March 12!

I’m excited to be going to the Scrapbook Expo on Saturday. I didn’t go last year and the year before it didn’t happen because of COVID. Hoping I can get some good deals on necessary supplies but will probably come home with some extras too. I won’t have my niece there to help keep me away from the papers. I am a paper addict.

I will leave you with a couple of pictures I’ve taken recently. We have had some gorgeous skies and the other day was a hailstorm that was quite exciting. It’s the closest thing we get to snow around here. See my little miniature gnome garden in the background? I need to redo it as the wind has knocked it over a couple times and things have broken.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Hope everyone out there is doing okay.

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Just Jot January 2023

I certainly haven’t done much writing here this month. Not that I haven’t had anything to say, just that I’ve been busy getting my mother-in-law settled in her new house next door. It has been a pretty smooth transition I must say, although we’re not quite done yet. Most of her things are unpacked and in their proper spots. We’ve gone to several doctors visits and had lab work and hearing tests. At 97, I want to make sure we have all the most up to date info about her health that we can get. Today we went to the library and got her registered there and went and I took her to have her hair done. The last time she had it cut they did a chop chop job that she wasn’t happy with.

In the last few days I have actually had a bit more time to myself. I was able to make my vision cards for this year and now I will write on the backs of them to help identify the areas I want to concentrate on for each theme. I kept the main themes the same this year, our house, our finances, connections, travel and adventure, my crafty life and my healthy life.

Hopefully I’ll be able to write more now that MIL is pretty settled. I go and check in on her twice a day at least and make sure she is eating and has taken her meds. We have a baby monitor set up so that we can hear but not see her (didn’t want to be too invasive). We know the system works because the other day she was cooking something and didn’t turn the fan on over the stove which caused the smoke alarm to go off. My husband and I were over there in a flash to see what was happening. We put a little mark by the button for the fan so that shouldn’t happen again. We also had an unexpected blackout in the neighborhood and we went to light candles and give her a flashlights. I had to help her get out of her motorized lounge chair because it was stuck in the lounge position – LOL. It certainly is easier taking care of things like that when she is right next door as opposed to getting calls from her crying when she is in Oregon and we are here in CA.

Write was our final prompt in Linda’s Just Jot January challenge. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone else’s contributions. Let’s see what February brings!

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Just Jot January – 2023

In combo with the #SoCS our prompt for today is “out of the box.” I’m pretty sure that I have had my fill of taking things out of the box.

I packed 31 boxes and the movers packed another 40 pieces (some boxes, some furniture) for a total of 71 pieces that were moved from my mom-in-law’s house in Oregon to the one bedroom apartment in the house next door to ours in California. My son and I unpacked most of the boxes and got some of the furniture put in place but this weekend I’m going to concentrate on getting the space livable since my MIL has been staying with us for the week. While I don’t mind and she has needed some help (she’s 97!) I am ready to get back in my own bed and spend some time in my studio.

Wish me luck that I can get the rest of the stuff “out of the box” and make the place livable for her in the next 2 days.

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Just Jot January – 2023

Linda says thanks to Dar, our prompt is solo. I love my family but every once in a while I need to be solo! Hubby told me to go and do something special for myself in appreciation for all I’ve been doing for him and his mom. My wish is to spend a day (or two) alone in my studio!

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Just Jot January – 2023

Our #JustJoJan prompt for today is Constellation, thanks Willow!

While constellation usually makes you think of the stars in the sky, and goodness knows I’m all about sky watching, it can also mean a group of related things. Thus, I could call this a constellation of planners:

I’m working with four of them this year. Your Life is Your Studio is for my “regular life.” That phrase is something that Jamie Ridler uses all the time. She is the one who taught me about vision cards. Start Fresh is for my health and weight loss journey. Let Faith be Bigger Than Your Fear” is for my crafty business and Love Today is for my word of the year journaling. I’m taking Ali Edwards One Little Word class this year. My word is Delight but I’m sure I’ll have another post about that. Three of them are from the company called Plum Paper and one is an old Heidi Swapp undated planner that I have had for a long time. I loved the cover of it but hadn’t used it because I like the customizability of the Plum Paper brand.

I am anxious to get them all set up but I am having to do it in bits and pieces as we are still transitioning MIL to her new apartment next door. Her furniture gets delivered tomorrow! Wish us luck with fitting it all in. How about you? Do you use a planner, several planners or just wing it? Do you look at the constellations in the sky or do you have a constellation of other like things? Lemme know.

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Just Jot January – 2023

Our prompt from Linda for #JustJoJan is Resolution. I don’t really make resolutions. They are too easy to let fall by the wayside as the year goes on. Rather, I make vision cards with themes that cover the different areas of my life where I have some goals I’d like to accomplish. These were mine for 2022.

We just got back from Oregon where we packed up my mom-in-law and brought her back here to live next door so that we could take care of her. She is 97. Because we spent the last week of 2022 up there packing her things and planning for the big move, I didn’t get a chance to make my new ones for this year. I’m looking forward to things settling down a bit so I can do that before the month is over! Time flies when you’re having fun, right? How about you? Make resolutions or are you like me and set some goals to accomplish during the year?

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Nebulous November

Well here it is the day before Thanksgiving and while I truly do have a lot to be grateful for, honestly I’m just in too much of a fog to think of them all. Let me explain.

The last post in October was about the crafty things I had been working on. We also went to our final concert of the year, Scorpions. They always put on a great show and did not disappoint this year either, kind of. There are so many songs of theirs that we like but they just had a new album out and played some of the new stuff that we didn’t know. Good, but not spectacular. Lots of lights and special effects which was fun to see.

Immediately after the show we had to fly back up to Oregon to check on my husband’s mom. She, herself, was fine but she wanted us to look into progress of the house she had for sale. That was fine too, thankfully, and we managed to get some things done for her in her new apartment and take her out to lunch one day, dinner the next and to the grocery store for her to get some things she wanted. We stayed in a really nice hotel and will probably stay there again any time we go to see her in the future.

Once we got home I had another pop-up craft fair and that turned out well.

November started out fun. I was able to get away for a much needed scrapbook retreat with my BFF and worked on my concert album for two days straight.

Our health plan offers some free benefits to seniors and one of them is a gym membership so our youngest daughter and I started going to the gym at 5:30 in the morning. She wanted to go before she goes to work and since I have no set time schedule, it worked for me too. I was actually enjoying getting up early and then starting my day. We were getting into a pretty good rhythm.

And.then.Covid. Last Thursday I started feeling a tickle in my throat and coincidentally my daughter sent me a text from work saying that she had a scratch in her throat. I took a home test and it was immediately positive. Our son had been coughing for a few days and he took one as well, positive too. My daughter and husband at first were negative but by Saturday we all had it. Fortunately we have all been immunized and boosted so while we were all feeling pretty lousy, I think that we could have been worse.

As I do, I’m trying to find the silver linings in all this. One is that we all got it at once so it will sweep through the house and we should be done with it rather than having it drag on and on. I did take two or three days where I didn’t do much besides stay in bed and read, something I rarely give myself permission to do. Now that I am feeling a little stronger, I can still work since I do it from home anyway and my clients have been very understanding that things are taking just a bit longer.

I am most bummed because I did have to miss the local library book sale where you fill up a grocery bag of books for $10 and the first of my holiday boutiques. Fortunately I am getting the space fee back for that and truthfully I don’t need any more books at the moment.

Turns out Safeway makes completely cooked turkey dinners so I’m going today to pick up ours that way I don’t have to cook. We will miss our older daughter because obviously we don’t want her to get it too but we will survive one holiday apart. It was going to be a strange one anyway since my mom is gone and she usually spends Thanksgiving and Christmas with us.

I do have a big show on Saturday and one more on December 11th. Of course I’m not as prepared as I’d like to be but having this down time has also given me a chance to think and plan for next year so I can get a little ahead for these unexpected changes in life. Also, very happy to report that I did make my 1000 followers on TikTok and my shop link is now live there! And, we are going to see “Ain’t Too Proud,” the play about the Temptations next week so I have something to look forward to so while my head may still be a bit cloudy now, I think I can see the sun breaking through.

Wishing everyone who celebrates it a very Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your family and friends. I am grateful for you all!

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OMG It’s October!

In the last post I promised to show you some of the crafty things I’ve been working on…

First is a custom ordered baby girl mini-album. I think it came out very nicely.

Mainly I am a paper crafter but occasionally I like to do a little crochet as well. Here is a poncho I finished and one that I’m starting.

The big one is so warm and comfy. It will be good for those cold mornings when I am sitting in front of the computer typing away.

I did also finish the two Halloween box mini-albums and put those up in the Etsy shop.

I am working on another custom baby album, this one for a baby boy. After that it will be time to start working on things for the holiday boutiques I am participating in next month. So much to do but this is the fun stuff! Are you keeping busy? Ever crochet a poncho?

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OMG It’s October!

And where did September go? Well I’ll tell you, for me it went to Oregon. My mom-in-law is 96 and decided it was time to transition to a senior living apartment. Hubby and I flew up on the 6th of September to help her find a place. Luckily she liked the first one she saw and then we began the process of going through her house to see what she would take with her and what could be donated, sold, whatever. What.a.process. Mom was from the Depression era and you know that means every paper clip has value. Add to that being a collector of cookbooks and a jigsaw puzzle aficionado you can guess there was a lot of stuff to go through. We tried to take some furniture to the consignment store but after sending them pictures, they only wanted one of the bookcases. Apparently oak furniture is not in style now.

Our original plan had been for me to fly home on the 10th so that I could work and my husband would stay until the 20th to help mom but once the actual move was set in motion we thought it would be a good idea for me to drive our truck up there and that way I could help with the moving and bring some things home that we wanted to keep. So I flew home and caught up with my work and then drove up on the 14th. We made several trips back and forth to donation centers and to the new apartment. I tried to be as organized as possible and to help ease the pain of having to leave so much stuff behind. The next goal was to have mom in her new apartment by Saturday the 17th. Hubby and I were still going to be staying at the house until the 20th so we could bring over anything mom realized she wanted/forgot and to help her organize her new living space.

In reality, it all worked out much smoother than I had anticipated. We were able to meet with the real estate agent and mom’s financial planner and lawyer to make sure that all the paperwork was in order. As we were moving in, mom met some of the other residents and when they found out which apartment she had, they all told her that it was the best in the place. It is light and airy with lots of windows and a hexagon shape to the bedroom which makes it quite large. There are community spaces for her to work on puzzles with other folks and several spots around the place with lots of bookshelves. There is even a Coca Cola room where she could go and bake a cake or cook something if she wanted to (her room has no real kitchen since the meals are provided).

The food is not 100% to her liking and there are a few other things that are not perfect but she has made some friends and one day she even walked all the way around the outside of the building and then sat out in front chatting until it got dark. She hasn’t done anything like that in years, being mostly housebound since neither she nor my brother-in-law drove. Plus, my husband doesn’t have to worry about her living alone. There are attendants around all the time and people to help her if she needs it. Three meals a day, laundry service, someone to clean the apartment and television service are all included plus rides to the doctor, pharmacy or grocery store and lots of community activities like bingo and even planned outings are available to her if she wants to make use of them. Right now she can have as little or as much assistance as she wants. As she gets older, if she needs help with medication or things like that, it will all be provided.

On the 20th, we loaded the truck with the things we wanted to keep. There was a gliding chair with a footstool that I really liked and wanted to bring home but it didn’t quite fit in the truck. (I think it would have if the truck had been packed differently but hubby said it wouldn’t and after a little outburst, I let it go). Hubby flew home and I drove home. A couple of days later we got a call from my brother-in-law who had noticed that the chair was still there and he asked if we still wanted it. I made the decision to drive back up over the weekend to get it and our youngest daughter came with me so she could go visit gramma in her new place and make one final trip through the house to see if there was anything else we wanted to keep. The two of us took a road trip on the 24th, spent the night in a hotel and drove home on the 25th. We didn’t tell my mom-in-law that we were coming up so it was a nice surprise for her.

The glider in its new home šŸ™‚

Now the house is for sale. Anybody looking to relocate to Oregon? Check it out here:

In other news, before we left for Oregon we went to our last concert at the Mountain Winery for the season. It was Rick Springfield and guess who got a high five from Rick himself??? My hand is the one that shoots out toward the end, the last one he hits before the clip is over. The song was Human Touch and he went through almost the whole venue slapping hands, giving hugs and posing for selfies. Thanks to my hubby for getting this shot!

And we went to a couple of Giant’s games. A bit of a disappointing season for us but I am a fan to the end, good or bad. We saw one thrilling game where Joc Pederson got an inside the park home run and a not so thrilling one where they lost. I still love the 415 section and we’ll be back again next year for sure. Even got to see my cousin who is an usher there. My face is red from the sun, not the Irish coffee – LOL.

I wanted to get a post out in case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been. I have tried to comment on folks blogs but to be honest there were a lot of days I missed. Can’t do it all, I’ve come to realize. I also have had some work to catch up on since I didn’t do any while in Oregon.

Guess I’ve bored you enough for now so I’ll end this one and come back to show the crafty stuff I’ve been working on another day. Did you miss me?

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