It takes a real friend – thank you

Plymouth Brew

Isn’t it always the way? We moved to our new hometown about 14 months ago. Many of our friends are still working full time plus jobs, family, etc. and are now at least an hour or more away. In busy lives 2-3 hours on the road for a visit just don’t happen often or easily.

Today – a very special friend decided she was coming to see what our new home town was about. I was excited to have the company. We connect often online thru chat and text – but in person it has been a while. There wasn’t much to catch up on as we do stay in touch. I haven’t explored as much as I would like around our new area – so was a little stumped on what to share or show off….

We had an afternoon. We started with a short tour of our new home, letting the dogs give her some love and then off to the new Heritage Cheese Center. The place is small – but it is a small town. It is very well put together and had some neat things to look at and see. We had a “cheese lunch” and conversation. We were busy talking and didn’t get to the interactive pictures – another reason to return!

Cheese Heritage Center

Then we headed out to see a little of downtown and got our cameras out. I let my camera sit a lot lately – not sure why – but I do. These little “teasing” expeditions get me in the mood again to be out and taking more pictures. We really didn’t have a plan – so unlike us – but at the same time comfortable in just going with the flow for this visit. We did some walking and looking for the Walldog Murals. The weather wasn’t bad -but a little cloudy and a chill in the air. Downtown was a little somber as well because of a fire investigation. A huge 4 alarm fire happened last week and there was a fatality. So parts of the street were blocked off. It was also a Monday – and in a small town that means most things are not open. The open times are Thursday – Saturday for most shoppes.

I got some pictures.  (album on Flickr) and even with that, I am so rusty with my camera that I really didn’t get a good batch to work with – so another reason to go out on a photo walk!

At the Stafford

Thank you good friend….as always you are there for me. You so subtly show me how much I have to be thankful for and the richness around me to enjoy. Not sure I can ever give back half of what you give to me. Thank you.

 

 

60 Years -HUH? Ramblings and thoughts

60 Years! = Who would’ve thunk?

No make up, no fussing – just me. In my pj’s and relaxing.

Yes- some self reflection.

I turn 60 on November 3, 2017. Amazing! and not ashamed to claim it either.

I don’t feel like 60 years on this earth – in many ways I feel like I am just starting. I have so many things I still want to do and accomplish. What I do know now is to take it in and enjoy every minute while it is happening – no wishing time away.

And yet – so much has happened over the last 60 years.

  • Elementary school
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Band, extra curricular activities
  • Bowling
  • Jobs
  • PEOPLE! So many who were and are and always will be a critical piece of my puzzle even if they are already in place and I don’t see anymore. Thank you! Each of you has been a part of my story.
  • People and connections in each of those stages
  • Family-  added and lost
  • Love, marriage, children, grandchild
  • Learning, creating
  • Making a difference
  • Working hard and hardly working….
  • Doing stupid things
  • Doing very smart things
  • Adding many new people to my circle and yet losing so many
  • so much!!!! I can’t even begin to bullet list it.

I can say every stage of life has been spectacular. Memories of all I have been a part of are strong and meaningful. There are no regrets. And while there is at times a feeling of loss – it is overcome by the feeling of knowing I had the experience or connection and it was a so important at the time. I look at not losing, but fortunate to have had the opportunity and the chance to be in a time and place when it was.

We can’t have things forever – so why not keep adding while not grieving, but rejoicing that we had something even if it was an instant.

What I have learned. Accepting others for who they are, rejoicing in their uniqueness and passions. Care and love is stronger than hate. No one should suffer and never suffer alone. Listening is important. The world does not revolve around ourselves. Sometimes others don’t have it figured out. Chocolate and turtle sundaes – and vodka are good. Hugs and snuggles are priceless. Family is number 1. Worry is wasted energy, but sometimes something that you have to do. Be happy with what you have.

Maintenance, upkeep and care go a long way. One act can change everything you know. There is no easy way to do anything and no one will do it for you. We are all better when just do it.

Health is important. Illness sucks.

So much yet to come….

enough reflection – it has been – looking ahead and not at my shoes….

Here’s to the next 60 years (or at least 30!) Hoping anyone reading this is a part of the journey….

yeah  – just beginning to realize how fortunate I have been and still am. Thank you to all who have been a part of it and to those yet to be added. The best gift of all – what others bring to my world and heart. Thank you.

Fiscal Year Change Remnants=Create Surge!

Not sure what it is. When working June 30 was the end of the fiscal year and July 1 was the new year. The time for new beginnings and a chance to maybe get it right for once. It seems to be hope.

While I am now no longer a retiree rookie and starting year 4 (where did that time go?) there still is that sense of new year and hope. New goals, new energy.

I have been active – just not public.  Following a 13 month old and trying to capture family memories, the everlasting challenge of trying to organize workflow and photos/videos!

I am headstrong – making inroads to photo/video management. I have started a weekly family update in a private section of the family blog to capture our history as it happens. That is going well. It will allow me to keep up as well as have the opportunity to better do the main events of our lives.

I also realized I had become functional vs creative. Things were getting done – but not really creating. So I have signed up for an iPhone Photo Academy online course to improve my use of that camera because it is the one that is always with me. OMG! The talent in the participants! This is a good thing. It will push me and inspire me.

Part of this is getting back to creating each day – so a photo post a day will be the goal. I have also come out of my room at Hotel DS106 (you can check out but never leave) and reaching out to have some playtime with others in creating things. I missed the 30 day Daily Create Challenge in June 2017 when energy was high – hopefully there are still a few who are running fast and will hang around for a while longer.

Time to get back with others again.

Here is my photo for today – July 3, 2017. Pig Wash and Dry. This was mostly practice in how to hold the phone in a better way for pictures. Simple but important.

Pig Wash

 

#ds106 #4Life is Real – it transfers

My ds106 journey started in January 2015 fast and furious!

RECAP: I decided to take the open course plunge because I wanted to begin the storytelling of my family in digital form for my kids and grandkids to have instead of a room full of photographs and momentos that would seem like just old stuff to them.

While I still continue the ds106 routines because they have become #4life – I am really seeing how “education” can turn into “life” and be useful.

Much like in high school, wondering when one would ever use algebra in real life – I trusted the ds106 non-rule rules for success. Many of which have been restated and re-emphasized by students in the traditional ds106 courses as advice to newbies. 

Big lesson learned: Start your weekly summary early in the week as you complete tasks and you will be set at the end of the week and not miss as much or feel overwhelmed.

YES!

That habit has helped me in now doing some weekly updates of family events and news. I keep a post in draft form and add to it as the week goes on. Just like ds106 where dailys, assignments, etc. all have a place, I have created the same type of organization for each section of the family. Some weeks get video summaries, some get photos, some get GIFs, etc. I seem to be coming up with a halfway decent outcome and the work is distributed over the week so I am keeping up with it.

So many of the non-rule rules transfer to life. The marker of a true artist environment of innovation, exploration, and creating, backed up by constant practice of skills and building skills, commitment to self and discipline.

It is that we are our own toughest judge – so just do it. Doing your own part without entitlement or expectations will bring others to begin to add and contribute making whatever you are doing even better.

Thanks #ds106 and the #ds106 community of #4Life….

(Due to some of the information and the comfort level of family members about info on the internet – the majority of my family documentation is in closed or private formats – I keep a separate WP setup just for family memories – otherwise I’d be glad to share)

Balance Acts

Holy mackerel! No posts since December 2016! What gives? Well-  trying to figure out the balance act of life and allowing self to take some detours to expand experiences.  I also forgot that I had set up the blog to Tweet when I publish – so now everyone is seeing my catch up frenzy! After this rush – I am pointed to just find the balance between this personal blog and a private family blog.

I am finding that a comfort zone and close circle is wealth in life – but it grows richer when one travels a bit outside the trail to circle back. I am starting to see life as a path that goes forward and back – ahead and around. It is not a one way direction. One step forward – 2 steps back. To me it is like Billy’s maps in the Bill Keane comic “Family Circus”.

Did you ever look back at something you did and wonder “who was that person that did all this?”

The ds106 path seems that way for me and now helps me understand when new participants dive in that personal expectations could drown you. There is so much to sample, explore, create. DS106 has no “rules” about how much effort or production one does. But the gem is that so many have added and built upon it as well as continue to add to it that the opportunities to have a path that has markers and resources upon it – doubled with a diverse community who will jump in at a moments notice. It really is like having part of your life in Hotel 106 – you can check out – but you never leave.

Hotel 106 - TDC1585

I am so pleased I committed to myself and started the open course in Jan of 2015 – hitching onto ds106 Noir and expanding into open collaborations with the Burgerons, Prisoner, FairyTale Festival, and ds106Western – I think I even had a small touch of Tales of Open DS106. The experiences opened up discovery, skill building and a sense of creative community. The online world has connected me to others who also practice paying it forward, but without the drama. Individuals who are confident in self and find success in seeing others successful. The selfish, the needy – the ones that see themselves the center of the universe are still there. I think what I find in the online communities is that the introverted extroverts have a place to be heard and to know they are not alone. Now – friends  I am not labeling you! But I have discovered many of you who have highest self expectations but also the heart and soul to support others without enabling.

Well – loads of life and transitions that is what has happened over the last 8-12months. As the circle of the hamster wheel (or is it hedgehog) turns, other things come up and consume one’s life. The ebbs and flow of what should be. I have moved to a new region of our state, bought a home, sold a home, a daughter’s wedding, the birth and first year of first grandchild, taken on some part-time consulting work.

A large part of relocation planning and managing and doing was on my plate due to health limitations of my husband. The blessing of early retirement has allowed for the time and attention needed to work through things in a comfortable (although sometimes lengthy) pace.

I am ds106 #4life – but it is now becoming integrated into life and not the focused and concentrated learning that leaves the rest of ones experiences wedging themselves in. I find the true barometer is how your connections can be intense and focused for a time. You set up the threads of common beliefs and interests, work on things grand and mediocre. But you can not sustain. The sustainability is in knowing and living that you can have the rush of the moments and common path and then take a turn and cross again without feeling like there has been an absence or neglect. Bringing what you gather from the time apart back and never missing a beat.

I had a short obsession with an online FB group of HGTV Fixer Upper Fans. A community page focusing on Farmhouse decor style of Joanna Gaines. It was like being able to tour people’s homes and see their creations. Great advice – some dreaming and interesting to see how no matter what a budget or place – people take pride in their homes. It really is a group who make houses homes. It also was a positive space during the months of first tension due to political climate in the USA. A great escape from the extremes -but also showing that in general people of all different backgrounds and beliefs can find common ground and be nice. I still scan and take part but have “balanced”.

I have been immersed in settling into a new community, caring for family, welcoming a new grandchild and watching him over the last year. I still watch and scan what others are doing and where their new paths are taking them. I know I do not have to be a part of every inch of another’s life to still feel connected to them, still support them and still call them friend.

So – Ronald_2008 – is expanding his art skills and creating some fantastic creations as well as still being the #1 daily create participant. He even authored a book!!!

Our book in the classroom

@johnjohnston is back in the classroom (I think) and making a difference for kids but also still expanding his support of educators and his futzing with how things work. I love that he has found some of his own balance.

Mariana Funes – @mvdfunes –  is finding her balance and together with John are on the airwaves again for all of us to enjoy and break open new thoughts in our brains thru their broadcasts and discussions. Mariana also models how to interconnect all these online spaces. I am excited and intrigued to see how her different online spaces come together and the strategies she has developed to keep immersed, but balanced.

John and Mariana stayed true to their promise to their 1M listeners of the 106Bullets radio broadcast and are back at it with a monthly session of Loose Learners. I missed the first ones due to erratic scanning of feeds – but it is on my calendar for June!  I encourage you to join in. Just look at this awesome poster Mariana created to tell about it! The conversation and tweet along is a must do! And for those in the USA – 1pm EST/2pmCST etc. Check out the archive episodes.

@cogdog expanding our understanding of the alchemy of the narrative online world and sheparding thoughts and directions of Creative Commons. Most of all sharing Felix with us! I love this dog! Such a soul.

You Rang?

flickr photo shared by cogdogblog under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

@jimgroom traveling the world and teaming with @timmyboy in providing reliable, affordable access and domain of one so that we may all connect. Thanks Reclaim Hosting.

So many others who are active and doing things and I can’t mention them all in this post or what they are doing and really – most of you know what they are doing because you do keep up! I know they will come up in future posts. 🙂

I see hedgehogs, stepping out for a concert and Twitter as the date, finding WA state beauty and running for the ds106 Athletic team, research and teaching, creating beautiful daily creates and art, traveling, gardening, grandkids, great things for kids in education led by many of my media specialist friends, classroom teachers with astounding energy and devotion to their students and selves through continued growth and practice, hard working being done in transforming public education from the ground up in SE Wisconsin.

Thanks to all that share and allowing me to learn from you and for your support in my loopy journey of life.

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