Thinkin' about it Thursday

This week, I'm thinking...

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  • how much Auggie is enjoying watching the Olympics.
  • that I've never had a TV-watching doggie before. 
  • how sometimes I question his taste in shows (although we do agree on the Olympics).

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  • how great it feels to be sewing again--and I got a UFO done! (Pillowcases for one of my great-nieces, as I'm doing a quilt for her baby sister.)
  • that it was also great to have something for show n' tell this week at guild (although I haven't shown it here on the blog yet as it's a gift so it's under wraps until it's gifted).
  • how I'm glad I thought to bring my four bags stuffed with books to guild, free for the taking; I came home with only two bags. Woo!
  • that I need to brush up on FMQ now to finish the gift in time for the giving.
  • how I'm positive I'll be getting my Cotton Cuts and Sew Sampler boxes soon and it's like waiting for Santa.

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  • that, even though I refuse to knit or crochet, it's nice to have friends who do! Thank you to @sarahinhouston for making me this adorable little sloth! He's perched on my sewing machine and actually stays put while I sew. (I haven't named him yet. Suggestions?)

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  • how much fun I'm having now that I'm 95% done with school
  • how I've finally joined the church choir like I've wanted to for years
  • that I love being part of something at church that doesn't depend on my presence so I can travel for work and know that the choir is just fine without me.
  • how much I realized I missed singing in a choir as soon as I started singing in one again.
  • how it even got me inspired to finally take my flute off the shelf it's been sitting on for probably 15 years or more.
  • that, although the flute needs some serious cleaning now, and I've totally lost my embouchure (my lip strength), I actually didn't sound half bad when I played a little at lunch time.
  • that I might sign up for a few lessons just to get me rolling again.
  • how good it felt to be playing even as I was wincing at missed notes and slow fingers.

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  • how nice it is to have a grand-kitty I can cat-sit while his mom is away on vacation.
  • that I have an endless "animals on parade" in my house for a week: Nikola (the cat, as in "Tesla") is fascinated by Spencer (Princess Doggie) and follows her around everywhere. Princess Doggie wants none of it, so she keeps trying to get away from him. Aug-dog is fascinated by Nikola so follows him everywhere. Nikola doesn't really want to have anything to do with Aug-dog so keeps moving away from him. There goes Princess Doggie with Nikola following, and Auggie coming behind. It's all very civil and quiet--no chasing, hissing, or spitting. But it gets tiring to watch! 

Thinkin' about It Thursday

This week, I'm thinking...

  • that I can't believe it took me probably 10 years to figure out how to keep this handy little tool-holder (a guild retreat gift from the Way Back) from falling over. I've had it weighted down with my grommet tool box for years, which drove me nuts with the space it took up. I was clearing up some of the detritus from my organizing sessions when I suddenly realized, "3M Strips!" Bingo. (Before you ask--no, I don't have the pattern. Go to http://quiltingrevolution.blogspot.com/ and ask my buddy Jan. If I recall, she and our departed-friend Vickie had made these for everyone that year. They slide over a plastic photo frame. I love it, especially now that I've figured out how to keep the weight of the tools from tipping it over.)

 

 
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  • how hopefully the handy tip I read on some blog somewhere about organizing your UFOs will help me get them done. "Hang them in bags within sight," it suggested. Great way to keep track of my pillowcase project and a few little random bags of blocks and kits I haven't decided whether I'll actually do yet or not. (The thing hanging on the large ring to the right of the bags is my stitch directory from my sewing machine. I made that as part of a Carol Ann Waugh Craftsy class several years ago. Pain in the butt to do, but handy!)
 
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  • that I'm still such a fan of 3M strips because I easily reorganized a few of my rulers on the wall to adjust for the different size and shape of my new Stripology ruler (compared to the June Taylor one I had before; Stripology is second ruler in from the left). I also moved my one remaining non-Creative Grids ruler--the orange Fiskars 6x24 that was probably my very first-ever quilting purchase years ago (far left)--from a much less convenient spot to this one. I only use it to fold the fabric to put on my shelves to keep it all the same size, so I don't use it much, but it's much easier to lay my hands on here so it's more likely things will get put away more quickly now. (Ignore the mess on the cutting table. I'm still working on the cleaning/organizing step! Those are mostly piles of fabric I'm cutting down into strips.)
 
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  • that maybe one more "keep it in sight to keep it in mind" organizational strategy may help me remember all those potential new stashbusting projects I'd wanted to make when I clear the decks to make them. I've been using this magazine holder the last couple of years for printed articles I was reading for school. Looking at this collection of pre-cut and scrap quilt books just makes me so much happier! I've actually added a few more magazines and a couple of books to this since I took the picture. Can't add any more until I use one or more of them to make something or it'll get too heavy and fall off the wall!
  • how I think I've now gotten everything to the point where I can get back to actually sewing happily. On to finishing up some projects!

Thinkin' about It Thursday

This week, I'm thinking...

  • that I'm thrilled to be out of the boot
  • how grateful I am to be able to take a normal shower again
  • how having to spend 10 minutes getting set up and then standing on one foot with the other stuck out from under the shower curtain and resting on a stepstool tends to put one off taking showers in the first place
  • how much of a #firstworldproblem this is, given the majority of the world's population has limited or no access to clean, running water at all
  • that I'm still grateful for my unencumbered showers
  • how I only have a couple of pairs of shoes that my still-swollen foot can even fit into anymore
    • but still, it's not a boot
  • that I love being able to get back in the pool a gain
    • and doing pool yoga
    • and working my way back up to pool aerobics as that involves a lot of potential for banging toes on the bottom
  • that I'm not even going to bother doing a Wardrobe Wednesday about the SweatStyle subscription box I decided to try out and ordered back in April to get my first box in August, when I thought I'd have lost enough weight that I'd need new workout clothes by now (which I don't)
    • because everything in the box read "20-year-old" 
    • and there are a lot of places on a 50-something-body that aren't as cut-out-, lace- or mesh-inset-friendly.
    • though even the couple I could've pulled off felt like I was trying to look 20
    • and regardless, it just wasn't me (I wouldn't have worn a lot of it when I was 20, either)
    • and the one tshirt I liked would've ended up costing me $60 all-in, between the price and the styling fee that gets added on to the cost of whatever you buy (compared to StitchFix where it's taken off the cost)
    • so everything's getting returned
    • and I've already cancelled my account
  • that I'll just keep buying my workout clothes at Target, thank you very much

 

Thinkin' about It Thursday

This week, I'm thinking...

  Franklin Covey Her Point of View planner pages

Franklin Covey Her Point of View planner pages

  • that, once again, I may want to test out a new planner system
  • how I keep coming up short on time to draw out all my trackers and weekly pages and such in my bullet journal, even though I'm keeping it all very simple
  • how I also don't like just having all blank pages so in the weeks I don't get my pages prepped I tend to avoid using my journal because I don't like the way it looks
    • because I like having some structure
    • and just a little bit of color, but not much, because visual clutter annoys me
  • that maybe a Franklin Covey system may work well
    • because it's got monthly tabs
    • and two-page daily spreads with the second page blank so I could still do my journaling and other stuff I do in my bullet journal
    • and it has weekly menu planning pages I could insert each week which was the main reason I went to a bullet journal in the first place
    • and a handy little expense tracker/envelope for keeping receipts which would be helpful on work trips so I could keep them out of my wallet
    • and I do sorta dig a couple of the prettier design sets, like "Her Point of View"
  • how it's hard to swallow paying that much to test something out, though
    • because who knows if I'd be happy with that one either
    • because, clearly, I'm really demanding way too much of my planner system

  • how much I still miss this guy
  • that I can't wait until Auggie is house-trained, sigh.

Thinking about It Thursday

This week, I'm thinking...

  • that, no matter how much I love puppy breath and fuzzy fur, it'll be nice to be on the other side of the training again.
  • that entertainment comes in so many forms, like getting so much joy out of the fact that my two dogs are actually playing together now (sometimes).
  • that, to all outward appearances, it would seem that my "healthy living goals" have taken a complete back seat.
  • how it's hard to stick an adorable puppy in the crate so you can go to the gym
    • but that I didn't have the same problem leaving my kids
    • so what does that say about how cute my puppy is compared to my kids?
 
  • how much there is to get done for work this week before I leave town for our big set of national events next week.
  • how it doesn't help that a puppy keeps breaking through my barriers and getting tangled up in wires and unplugging my mouse at random times.
  • that I'm beginning to worry about how much thesis-writing I'll actually get done during sabbatical unless Auggie and I work out a better system.
  • how it somehow makes it all more bearable when I spend a lot of my day working like this.

Thinkin' about It Thursday

This week, I'm thinking...

  • That starting to wear contact lenses at 51 (and some) is a bit of a challenge
  • That my eyes are a little uncertain about this whole "putting something solid in them" thing
  • How nice it is, though, not to have to keep taking reading glasses on and off and on and off and on and off and...
  • That it'll also be nice not to have to be carrying reading glasses up to the podium during speaking engagements
    • and dropping them off the side of the podium
    • because podiums are always oddly angled
    • and usually way too small
    • and made for tall men
    • and I hate podiums
    • and I always leave my glasses up there afterwards and have to retrieve them later
    • so wearing contacts will at least decrease some amount of chaos in my life
  • How good it feels to be done with classes altogether
  • That, on the flip side, I already miss the academic camaraderie of my cohort
    • who I won't see in person again for a long time
    • until we graduate, probably
    • and some of my original cohort is no longer part of my cohort
    • because some have dropped out
    • and some have changed programs
    • and some had life happen and are now graduating later than planned
    • so we're down to about half of what we started with
    • and I still miss the ones we started out with
    • so I know I'll be missing the ones I finish with even more!
    • but that makes me sad
    • so I'm not going there for now
  • How nice it is to have my thesis proposal approved with no revisions required (woot!)
  • How much I'll enjoy being able to just hunker down and focus on my own project instead of needing to finish classwork before I can do my own reading
    • which means I still have a backlog of my own reading I want to get to
    • but I've got a nice long plane ride coming up soon
    • so Howard Thurman and Martin Luther King, Jr., are going to be flying with me
    • It'll be companionable
  • That I'm going to give myself a week off of doing anything school-related first
    • and go take Sammy for a canal walk on a beautiful spring day.

Random Thursday

I just have a couple of updates and don't feel like doing my usual bullet-point thoughts, so this one's a little more straightforward.

First, have I written before about how much I absolutely love Clothes Mentor

I have a speaking engagement this weekend which means three straight days of looking professional. Months ago, looking ahead to this event, I had planned to wear the white dress pants I got when I did the Christopher and Banks fashion show. However, this weekend, I'm just not quite feeling white pants. It still feels a little early in the season for that, especially since it's only supposed to be about 60 over the weekend. 

So, just for kicks n' giggles, I stopped in Clothes Mentor while running errands this week to see if I could find a pair of palazzo pants or something that would feel spring-like but not be summer-like, if that makes sense. Instead, I found this great dress. For $14! I love that store!

It fits perfectly, and its great for work. Although it's made to look like a wrap dress, it isn't really. The neckline is sewn, not just wrapped, so it doesn't get awkward gaps and it's not too low. The bottom is sewn too, so it stays closed when I move. It actually has a wide belt that goes with it (I forgot to put it on the dress before taking the picture) that makes the whole cut of the dress very flattering. Because it's short sleeved, it'll be good for warm weather, but I realized when I got home that my purple duster cardigan works fantastic with it for 60 degree weekends and any convention center I might ever wear it in, because they're always refrigerator-cold. I've got a couple of other cardigans I could wear with it to change things up, and I could go a little more casual with it with a denim jacket for a date night. And I have three different pairs of shoes that will work perfectly with it, depending on whether I'm dressing it up or down, and whether I want to go heels or flats. Plus, with those colors, I can wear it into the fall with dark tights and boots. I'm so excited! For $14!!!!

The other randomness for this week is about my bullet journal (aka bujo). I'm really loving everything my bullet journal does for me that going purely digital doesn't, but I'm still a bit of a hybrid. I have some things digital, other things in my bujo, and often I copy from digital into my bujo because physically writing something down does actually give me a better chance of actually getting it done. However, I can blast tasks out into the distant future much more easily digitally. In any case, what I still wanted to fix was being able to see my whole year together, rather than working one month at a time as using a bujo forces me to do (and seeing a whole year digitally is impossible). I use Leuchtturm notebooks for my bujo and happened to see that they have a yearly planner as well. So I bought the Monthly Planner with Notebook.

It's a little hard to see in these pictures because Leuctthurm uses a gray rather than a black font. The upper left shows that they include a yearly date guide for several years--2016-2018, maybe even further. (I don't have it in front of me at the moment.) The upper right is the two-page monthly spread. Lower left are the note pages in the back. There's a spot for writing the date at the top, so I plan to use these for master projects/tasks lists for each month--stuff I know ahead of time I'm going to want to get done that month. The lower right is the one I have to figure out how to use--it's a "Project Plan" spread. It's separated by month. Each month has five or six rows, divided into columns by day. Looks like I would write the project name on the row header and then check off which days it would be addressed. That would have limited usefulness for me but I may figure out a way I could repurpose it. 

I've started filling out the monthly calendar with all the stuff I already have scheduled--trips, doctor's appointments, staff meetings, etc. Each calendar day on the two-page spread has a little box for you to index the page number from the notes pages that's relevant to that page. Since I plan on using the note pages more for a general monthly brain-dump, I'm not sure how often I'd use that indexing system, but it might come in handy.

My plan is to do something like this right at the beginning of the year. (Since I just got it now, I'm considering the start of this year to be May.) Then, when I sit down to do a new month in my regular bujo, I'll reference what I've got in this one to start, and go from there. The regular bujo would be the one I keep up-to-date--I don't want to keep going back to this one all the time. It's pure reference, but it's the best way I can think of to see everything for the year all in one place.

So far, the only drawback I've run into with this new monthly planner is the fact that it's from Europe so the calendar weeks start on Monday rather than Sunday. I've caught myself getting off by a day a couple of times as I was filling things in. I just have to pay really close attention!

By the way...I'm presenting a webinar for work on time management in June. Within 24 hours of sending out the first email promo, we already had a bunch of registrants. Apparently I'm not the only one working on my organizational skills out there!

Thinkin' about It Thursday

This week, I'm thinking...

  • how tired I am of dealing with computers
  • that getting a new work computer is more curse than blessing
  • how long it takes to make sure all the software I use is installed
  • that I have to re-set all my preferences
  • how nothing ever talks to everything else right
 
  • how long it took me to get the new computer to find my printer
  • that, as soon as it did, the printer started jamming
    • and jamming
    • and jamming again
 
  • that I did finally win the battle to get two computers (personal and work) to talk to a single monitor, keyboard, mouse, and printer
  • that the process took two trips to Best Buy and some time on Google
    • and, apparently, just waiting for stuff to get over itself and finally start cooperating
      • but it's done
      • and it's nice
      • and I feel all sorts of techy now
  • that it takes way too long to offload old work files from my hard drive to our network drive
  • how nice it is to have done it, though, so I can delete the old work files from my hard drive
    • so I can set up my cloud backup
    • and it won't take as long
    • because there's not as many files to back up
  • how boring this post probably is
    • because who wants to read about computers?

 

Thinkin' about It Thursday

This week, I'm thinking...

  • how annoying it is that I've got a spring class at the same time as I'm supposed to be getting my proposal for my thesis to the approval committee
  • that the next meeting of the approval committee is next week
    • and then not again until May
    • and I really don't want to wait until May
  • that I'm trying really really hard not to stress about this
  • that it doesn't help that I'm down with another chest cold and haven't been able to run off my stress this week
  • that even saying "run off my stress" is something I would've never said a year ago
    • so there is that
  • how at least I have a fantastic D.Min. advisor
    • who actually responds to emails
    • and responds really promptly
    • even if it's just to let me know she's traveling and can't respond fully yet
    • and her comments are extremely constructive
    • but "constructive" also means "making changes"
    • so I'll probably throw a little party-in-my-head when I just finally get this thing sent to the committee
  • that getting it sent to the committee is really just the first step
    • because they can also not approve it
      • and want more changes
      • and I'll be back in the roundabout again
    • but my blood pressure goes up just thinking about that
      • so I won't
  • that I went to my quilt guild meeting for the first time in months this week
  • how it's been so long that when I went to sign in, I discovered I'd been dropped off the roster
    • and they swear it was by accident
    • and blamed it on someone who wasn't there
    • and I pouted
    • and they told me I really was important to them
    • and I just joked about having been disappeared
    • it was all very funny
    • and I know the woman who accidentally dropped me off the list will feel bad
    • which just gives me the opening to razz her to no end next time I see her
    • because that's just the way we are at my guild

P.S. Sammy has his follow-up appointment with the surgeon this afternoon. He's recovered really well from the surgery--no signs of problems that I can see. He's feeling so good he's become a bit of a poopy-head about staying low-key, so I've let him off a lot of his restrictions already since he was doing so well. However, I did draw one line: I haven't thrown any tennis balls for him yet. I'm hoping the surgeon gives me the go-ahead so Sammy and I can have a celebratory game of fetch when we get home. Thank you, all, for your thoughts and prayers! It's meant more than I can say. 

Thinkin' about It Thursday

This week, I'm thinking...

  • that I really am just so done with snow and cold (Unlike Frances, I do occasionally complain about the weather.)
  • that even the dogs were unsure about the last one
    • especially when it started thawing
    • and got a hard crust on top
    • but still had a soft, squishy middle
    • and they kept falling through
    • but that didn't stop them from trying to chase squirrels
 
  • how a treadmill in the gym is an okay option when it's still too cold to run outside lest I irritate my barely-recovered lungs
    • but it's a little boring
    • even when I'm running away from zombies
    • so I'm looking forward to slightly-warmer-than-freezing-temperatures so I can run outside again with the 5k program gang
  • that working my way back up from where I was before the Two Week Nastiness is a little frustrating
  • how I need to keep reminding myself to take it slow
  • how, on the other hand, I may be finding a more comfortable pace
  • that I'm not out to win medals or break speed records
  • how I really just want to get to the point where I can run 5k continuously with no walking
  • how that means keeping it slow for now is probably smarter anyway
    • but I refuse to call the Two Week Nastiness a "blessing in disguise"
    • unless you count DH saying "bless you" when I sneezed
    • but that wasn't really in disguise
    • so nope, doesn't count
    • that I'm getting better about doing embroidery while I'm watching TV
    • how it's nice to finally be making a little progress 
    • that maybe I'll actually be done with the Halloween BOM in time for Halloween this year
      • but let's not get ahead ourselves
      • this is me we're talking about, after all

    Thinkin' about It Thursday

    This week, I'm thinking about...

    • How ridiculously excited I was about starting my new bujo
    • That I blew through my first bujo notebook in about six weeks
    • That this new bujo notebook had better last longer
    • How it's got a lot more pages and more space per page
      • so it should last longer
      • or I'm writing way too much in it.
    • How starting bullet journaling may end up giving me a decent outlet for my "I love new school supplies" habit
      • because I'd need a new notebook every three months or so
      • and maybe some funky new pens
      • but mostly the notebook
      • because I love me some brand-spankin'-new-pristinely-blank-notebooks
    • How I still haven't entirely figured out how to dress for outdoor runs
    • That it would be nice if it would stay the same season for two outdoor runs in a row
      • But that's not Western NY
      • especially at this time of year
    • How thrilled I was to see a tip on Pinterest about wrapping necklaces in Saran Wrap to keep them from tangling when traveling
    • How I've already packed up my fall/winter wardrobe jewelry in Saran Wrap for storage
    • That it makes it so much easier to find the necklace I want when I've only got my spring/summer ones on my hanging rack
    • How it was also easier to pack up the jewelry I'm donating without worry about tangling it
    • That I was also brilliant enough to remember to stick the matching earrings in the Saran Wrap too
      • because once in a great while I do actually think ahead
      • although it doesn't happen as often as it should
      • so I give myself a big pat on the back when it does
      • hoping it will encourage the brilliance to show up a little more often.
    • That I am also patting myself on my back for finally realizing I should also sort my scarf collection by season
      • because it's getting totally out of control
      • because I do wear a lot of scarves
      • but I only wear half my scarves half the year
      • but I'd been keeping all of them in my closet
      • so they seemed to breed like rabbits
      • so I'm culling the herd and donating a few
      • but not nearly enough
      • so I'm storing the off-season ones and will go through them again in the fall
      • because maybe my heart won't break quite so much when I try to figure out which ones to give away then
      • hoping "out of sight is out of mind"
      • so I'll be less attached and can have more objective eye towards downsizing then.
      • How I also realized I needed to approach my closet the way I approach my quilting
      • That I was having difficulty picturing this whole "capsule wardrobe" thing
        • until I remembered
        • "Make visual decisions visually."
      • How it only took me about 15 minutes to figure out how to download the pics of my clothes from the Stylebook app and print them out "contact sheet" style and cut them into pieces
      • That there are a couple of helpful "capsule wardrobe" template worksheets available on the internet here and here
      • How much fun it is to sit while I'm watching TV with my husband at night and play "paper dolls" with my clothes, figuring out capsules and discovering new outfit possibilities and then entering those outfits into my Stylebook app for future reference
      • That having it all out in front of me makes it easier to find good color combinations--just like choosing fabric for a quilt
      • That I'm also able to see which clothes I don't tend to integrate much (so I can either try harder to make them work or just get rid of them)
      • That it also makes it so much easier to figure out where the gaps in my wardrobe are
      • That I still have a couple too many white camisoles and dark dress pants
        • but no light casual or dress pants
        • and no dresses
        • and no light shoes
        • and almost no dress shoes
        • and only one skirt that I don't even like much
      • That now I have my shopping list narrowed down in an extremely helpful way.

      Thinking about It Thursday

      This week, I'm thinking...

        (Ice-covered car window from 2016--I haven't taken any winter pics yet this year)

      (Ice-covered car window from 2016--I haven't taken any winter pics yet this year)

      • That it's such a Western NY thing to do to start training for a 5k outside in the snow
      • That running on snow-covered sidewalks is akin to running on a sandy beach
        • except for the temperature
        • and the color of the sky
        • and, basically, any color visible anywhere
        • except my neon running clothes
        • because I'm desperate for color by February
      • That "running" may be overstating what we're doing at this point
      • How excited I was when I saw that I don't leave town for vacation until after the Color Run is in Rochester
        • so I get to finally do the Color Run
        • because don't all quilters basically want to take a bath in color?
      • How that means I'm suddenly going from not-a-runner to signed up for two 5ks in a row
        • because the "graduation" event of the running club is the Wegmans Family 5k at the end of April
        • and the Color Run is in the middle of May
        • so I know I'll keep running for at least that long!
      • That I'd really better not blow out my knee this time around or I'll be seriously ticked at myself
      • How that's the reason I joined the 5k training club through Fleet Feet
        • so I would train properly
        • and have people to ask about form and such
        • and not have to run alone
        • because that's creepy
        • even if Fleet Feet did make us all get headlamps to wear for our evening runs until daylight savings time
        • so we'll look like an alien glowing caterpillar when all 50-ish of us are out running two-by-two along city streets
        • which makes me really wish someone could get an aerial shot of that
      • How I've still got a lot of prep to do before Saturday when we're hosting a tea party for DD's 24th birthday
        • because she's big into tea
        • and so am I
        • and its fun to bring out for once the family tea sets we've inherited
      • That I can't wait to make the cranberry orange scones from my friend's recipe because those scones were dang good when she gave some to me as a Christmas gift
      • How I need to save up as many WW weekly points as possible for those scones
        • and clotted cream
        • and homemade preserves from my sister-in-law
        • but at least I drink my tea straight....

      Thinkin' about It Thursday (and retreat report)

      This week, I'm thinking...

      • that I can't post pictures of most of what I did on retreat this past weekend because they're going to be gifts
      • that it's unlikely that the recipients actually read my blog
      • how it's sometimes a pain that I have this blog linked to Facebook
        • because then the pics may show up on FB
        • and they might actually see them
        • and it'll be pretty darn clear what's going on
        • because how many people in my family are expecting right now, anyway?
      • how I can at least post a pic of this finish.
      • that it's nice to have it done
        • but I don't know how often I'll wear it
        • because it wrinkles like the dickens
        • and I hate ironing clothes
      • how I'm lucky it actually fits because I measured it to myself 25 pounds ago
        • and it fits now, so it probably wouldn't have if I'd finished it then. Go figure.
      • how my friend taking the picture said "strike a pose" and so I did
      • that it's obvious I'm not a runway model.

       

      IMG_1796.JPG
      • how I used my last hour on Sunday morning of the retreat to get some random non-sewing stuff done
      • like filling in my next week's layout in my bullet journal
        • because yes, I'm back to bullet journaling
        • because going back to the planner lasted about a day and a half
        • because I just felt too cramped to breathe in a pre-printed layout
      • how I actually used colored pens
        • and a ruler
        • and planned a layout ahead of time
        • so I could fill it in fast "on the go" during the week
        • and then I got a stomach flu almost as soon as I got home
        • so the first couple of days remained blank because I couldn't deal
        • so, so much for pretty layouts
      • how this is a handy little gadget for any book that you need a writing utensil for.
      • that I can now add a pen holder to any journal I use (it's got an adhesive back so you can just adhere it to the inside back cover).
      • how everything I get involved in has its own world of fun little supplies.

      (This post includes Amazon affiliate links--thank you!)

      Thinking about it Thursday

      This week, I'm thinking...

      • that I'm back to using my Passion Planner again
        • for awhile at least
        • just to make a more complete comparison with bullet journaling
      • that part of the problem was visual clutter
      • that apparently not a cute-sticker-kind-of-girl
      • that they ended up just annoying me and getting in the way
      • that color coding even feels like it takes too long
        • even though I know it's a helpful tool
        • but I need to streamline or I won't use anything
      • how much better I felt when I ripped all the added note pages and financial trackers out of my Passion Planner
      • how I apparently like a clean and minimalist interface
      • that I'm not keen on always having to draw my own monthly and weekly calendars
      • how the Passion Planner provides all that for me
        • which is very handy
        • because I'm basically lazy
        • and I'm not someone who needs my planner to be a work of art
      • how I keep waffling, though, because I can really see the use of a bullet journal
      • that you're probably all getting really sick of reading about my waffling
        • so I should just keep it to myself from now on
        • until I finally commit one way or the other
        • and then I can let you know the end of the story
      • how much I'm getting out of Imogene Lamport's Ignite Your Style Genius workshops
      • how I took four big bags of clothes to Goodwill this week
        • because 3/4 of them are now too big to wear (yay)
        • and the other 1/4 are not good colors for me, good shapes, or good at playing in the sandbox with the rest of my clothes so why give them real estate in my closet anymore?
      • how I like having an emptier closet because I know everything in it actually works
      • that I can't wait to hear back from the person I've contacted to set up a color analysis
        • because that will really help me shop smarter when it comes time to fill some of that empty space again
        From Feb 2016 but it'll look about the same this year--my "Squares of Chocolat" quilt is my retreat quilt. (No "e" is intentional: Chocolat was a line by Moda that most of the quilt was made from, and it's the  Square in a Square technique  by Jodi Barrows)

      From Feb 2016 but it'll look about the same this year--my "Squares of Chocolat" quilt is my retreat quilt. (No "e" is intentional: Chocolat was a line by Moda that most of the quilt was made from, and it's the Square in a Square technique by Jodi Barrows)

      • that by the time you read this I'll be on a quilt retreat
      • how exciting it is to be touching my sewing machine again
      • how I'm trying to keep myself reasonable in what I want to get done
      • that I'm looking forward to the weekend with my peeps!

      Thinking about It Thursday

      This week, I'm thinking...

      • that it's finally decided to be winter again.
      • how I'm back to running space heaters and wearing fingerless gloves in my office.
      • that apparently I'm leaning into the bullet journal thing.
      • that I was ridiculously excited to get the email that my next StichFix has shipped.
      • how it's almost like Christmas to open that box and see what they've sent.
      • that I've got to keep myself from checking out front every day to see if my package has arrived yet.
      • how it'll probably be early next week when it finally comes. (Tapping fingers on desk.)

       

      • how it was almost as fun to get my husband subscribed to StitchFix for Men
        • because he absolutely hates going shopping
        • and his wardrobe decreased by at least 50% when he changed jobs last spring and donated all the free logo shirts he owned from the former company
        • and we joked that there would be some very well-dressed homeless men downtown doing some free advertising for said former company.
      • that I was right to convince him that setting up delivery from StitchFix every couple of months would help him update his now-mostly-empty-closet without the grief of having to go to the mall
      • how he whined even just filling out the stupid questionnaire (sigh)
      • how right I was
        • because he actually liked a lot of what was in the first box
        • and he's keeping three shirts (the two button-downs and the flannel)
        • and he grudgingly admitted it was probably a good idea for him. I win.
      • how it's like pulling teeth to get my draft thesis proposal done 
      • that I'm trying not to stress because I'm supposed to be turning it in within the next week
      • how I'll be spending some heads-down time this weekend because I just need to get the monkey off my back.

      (The StitchFix link above is a referral link--you'd be helping to support my husband's wardrobe, LOL. If you prefer, just go to www.stitchfix.com and click on the StitchFix for Men tab. This link is not a referral link.)

      Thinking about It Thursday--January 19, 2017

      This week, I'm thinking...

       (Bullet Journal from  www.bulletjournal.com )

      (Bullet Journal from www.bulletjournal.com)

      • that there's way too much pressure to have a pretty planner.
      • that I need to stop looking at them on Instagram and Pinterest.
      • that I am about to burst the binder on my planner with everything I'm adding into it to make it work for me.
      • that maybe I should explore bullet journaling.
      • that bullet journals seem excitingly free-form but a bit scarily too-free-form.
      • how much our personality determines what kind of planner really works best for us.

       

      • that I may go back and look at Daytimers again as well.
        • that I haven't used a Daytimer in probably 20 years, since I got my first Palm Pilot.
          • how old that makes me feel to even say the words "Palm Pilot."
            • how some of you reading this may not even know what those words mean.
      • that I really only have a couple of more weeks to figure out what I want to do more long-term about planners because pretty soon I get super-busy again
        • and a good planner will make a huge difference to how stressed that makes me.
        • and wine.
      • how helpful it was to talk with a Weight Watchers "coach" this week
        • and how proud of myself I am that I sought help
        • because I tend to be cussedly independent
        • and that can sometimes make things worse.
      • that I'm still waiting for a phone call from my hopefully-new-trainer.
      • that my PT appointment this week hurt but helped.
      • that I can't wait for my massage therapy appointment next week.
      • how it takes a village to raise a Sandy.

       

      Thinkin' About It Thursday

      This week, I'm thinking about...

      2015-09-02 17.02.21.jpg
      • my daughter looking at my newest school-related purchase: "What is this, some kind of an iPad stand?"

      Umm, no, sweetheart. Remember those things called "books?" 

      Goin' old school for school.

      Thinkin' about It Thursday

      This week, I'm thinking...

        This little critter has been joining me for morning coffee every morning this week. (Taken through my living room window. The dogs have, so far, remained oblivious.)

      This little critter has been joining me for morning coffee every morning this week. (Taken through my living room window. The dogs have, so far, remained oblivious.)

      • that it's nice to feel definite improvement in my knee after roughly three months of PT
      • how I've now "graduated" from PT 
      • that I need to figure out some way to keep myself going on the PT exercises without that weekly appointment I'm working towards
      • that I'm not burning up the track on exercise in general
      • how I really need to fix that at some poin
        • but it won't be anytime soon
        • because I'm getting on a plane again in a few days
        • and then another plane a few days after that
        • but the second trip is vacation and we usually do a lot of walking
        • so we'll see how well this PT thing really worked
      • how I got my syllabus this week for my first doctoral studies residency session in August
      • that I immediately stressed out when reading it
      • how my response to stress is to go into task-oriented-mode
      • how that works well in this situation, at least, because I therefore scheduled out all the readings and papers on my task list with deadlines n' all
        • and immediately felt better
        • as long as I only thought about it in one day increments
        • because there's a boatload I'm supposed to get done before even showing up on campus in August.
      • that this is likely going to be my last Thinkin' about It Thursday post for awhile
        • See above

      Thinkin' about It Thursday

      This week, I'm thinking...

      • How good it feels to have the "kids in college" thing behind us.
      • That moving another person's four years' worth of stuff back into the house is a challenge.
      • That I've now built enough shelves over the last few years that I no longer have to refer to directions.
      • how much bruises hurt.
      • that I bruise way too easily.
        • From carrying cartons...really?
        • But the one I got when I pinched my arm between two metal poles while building said shelves is pretty legit.
        • and it's a good thing no one was around to hear me immediately following the incident.
      • That it's nice to know PT is working.
      • How the downside to being more organized and capturing more tasks I need to do is that I've been spending so much time taking care of tasks I haven't spent much of any time in my sewing room.
        • How that sorta stinks.
        • But it's my own fault.
        • You can only put off household stuff for so long before it comes back to haunt you.
        • And it'll feel good getting it all done.
        Photoedited with "smart splash" effect to remove color from all but the embroidery thread. 

      Photoedited with "smart splash" effect to remove color from all but the embroidery thread. 

      • How, on the flip side, that means I've been doing a lot of embroidery.
      • That I'm once again going to be away for a weekend.
      • How this one will be very nice too, but for different reasons.
        • Vacay with my husband.
        • Relaxing.
        • Seeing plays.
        • Reading.
        • And probably more embroidery.

      Thinkin' about It Thursday

      This week, I'm thinking... 

      • That I really am loving me some embroidery. 
      • That all those wonderful, funky threads are like candy. 
        • I can't resist. 
        • Give me more. 
      • That adding some beads is a dangerous thing. 
        • Addictive. 
        • Another collection. 
      • How getting fiber art books out of the library can seem like a penny-wise move. 
        • Until I realize I really want to own the book. 
        • Ahem.
      • How nice it was to be able to start playing fetch with Doofus in the backyard this week. 
      • That he and I both need to get into better fetch shape.  
        • Winter was rough on both of us.
      • How I'm sorta looking forward to my work trip next week because I know I can take my embroidery with me. 
        • It's a sickness.