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

 

Photo Avalanches and Hocus Pocus

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Digital life brings file management hell! It is SO necessary. I find the longer you have been in this the more you have to change…..those just starting are able to leap ahead from our lessons learned. Clean up is tedious – but necessary. In some ways it is like our new home – we have lots of things that are important to us or have history and still in great condition -but it would be so much easier to start from scratch than try and work with what we have.

But you can’t escape – so it is figuring out how to make what you have work and improve on it. Much like collaboration on creative pieces – building and tweaking on what is already there…..hmmnnn – another DS106 thread of life.

I embarked on the DS106 path in January of 2015- 6 months after retirement. My goal was to organize myself and learn in order to document family. As I have gone thru iterations, I have found wealth. As I approach my 3 year mark, it is time to reflect.

I have improved my skills and learned new things. I have met new people. I have expanded my global view.

While DS106 is many things- it has made me think about learning and teaching.

I have always been one to think learning is personalized. You get out what you put in. I never quite figure out how others do it differently. How can you not want to put things in order and figure out how they work?

Part of my personal journey is to keep family first. Figuring out how to make sure my kids and their kids know who we are, where we came from, and how great they are in carrying us into the future.

I have inherited the family photo albums. We have 30K in digital pics! We have our first grandchild who prompts us to create even more to document!

After 2+ years of trying to figure out Lightroom I fell into a format by accident.

I have been following and reading bloggers by the numbers on how to organize and manage. I saw a common thread of saving by date and then using collections. It all sound great- but how.

I deleted what I had set up in Lightroom. I was working with only current photos. On a lazy Sunday, I started a new catalog from all of my photos that were on my hard drive. I didn’t realize I had set up Lightroom for certain import specs. By accident I got it right. All my photos imported by date!

This did create MANY folders. but it was okay. It was better than going photo by photo.

I began reorganizing by year to make the tree structure smaller. This was also a time to get rid of all the duplicates. It actually went smoother than I would have expected.

The other plus was the work I had done previously in Lightroom or in tagging etc. all carried forward!

The first thought was to get my catalog smaller in case Lightroom would start to freeze etc because the catalog had 30K+ photos. But more research points towards the fact that it is a database and not actual storage and many have not yet found the breaking point.

Next steps will be to go in and create the collections. I now know to keep folders with originals and dates move forward from there. With tagging I can create collections for special events or times.

I am almost finished up to the current date. Ironic in that 2017 is the most difficult. Seems I was saving and making sure I had pictures so I have 5-6 of the same picture to go thru. My sister also scanned all her hard photos and shared them with me so I have 1K that say 2017 when they are really the last 30 years. They are all tagged by her name – so I will create a collection and a folder that says Sandy’s Pics to separate them.

There are also all the ones I have downloaded from family via Facebook, messenger, texts. Those don’t always come thru with good metadata – so there is now a folder of Unsorted that will need attention.

All in all – so far it is feeling a whole lot more manageable. I found my notes from more than a year ago a workflow. I have changed it up a little to actually be less tedious.

  1. only download on desktop and directly into Apple Photos
  2. Title, tag, add descriptions etc. in Apple Photos
  3. Export to an auto import folder on my desktop so when LR opens they import with all the tags and metadata. (at least once a week or as needed)
  4. Optimize SmartFolders for Collections to pull in by tags.
  5. Set Time Machine up to back up hard drive so that Photos and Pictures folder are backed up. I know I have pictures in two places – but now I can back up the photos library and and the hard drive in two different places so that I know I will have redundancy.
  6. Set up Flickr for album uploads to share with family (also another back up)

Along with this new workflow I am also doing a weekly update in a private family blog. My first direction was to create the stories – but with so much coming in and limited time – I have been missing milestones and become buried in content. The weekly updates will offer a slice and still allow me to do the creations for events and milestones – but hopefully have more organized and ready to use. Plus it eliminates the urge to include everything in a creation – because now the content is still somewhere and available as narrative.

As I was cleaning up these files I also cleaned up my music files. Two older iPods are now music only and have all of our music on them. New music can be added easily now. It is backed up as well. Two years to get to this point – including ripping all of our CDs!

Can you see me doing a happy dance? It has made sticking to a walking regimen easier too. Just hope the new neighbors don’t laugh too hard if I start singing out loud while walking.

Yes – I guess Spring is the time to get organized!

The photo is from a ds106 Daily Create. It is a self portrait in a mirror and using photo editing to eliminate the camera. It took a little longer than 20 minutes but was a great creation process. #TDC1427

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.

Re-entry with Garden Creations

Picking up the keyboard again and beginning to post here and in family site. Going for posts more often and probably shorter eventually. Thinking it will be better to keep up with things if I chunk it as it happens.

This blog has been my DS106 documentation – but as others who have journeyed that path – it is now just turning into whatever I am into at the time blog -but highly influenced and still with the #4life influence.

So-  we are now 8 months in our new location. We closed the chapter on our former residence March 17 so all is behind us now. Things are feeling like home and yet still have a newness and adventure feel.

The first spring and summer season is bringing the discovery of the garden and yard.

Watching what comes up!

Spring finally Sprung!

I have no idea what is planted and what might come up. Today I found that the large Maple tree at the corner of the house – which when we looked at the house and when we moved in was surrounded by deep brown mulch is now flush with new sprouts of something encircling the full trunk and about 5 feet around it! They are all the same type and seem to be planted in a pattern. Guessing they might be Lily of the Valley – which I love! – they don’t look like hostas. It is still such a surprise as there wasn’t a piece of green anywhere in the mulch when we move in the first of August.

Being retired now, I can do gardening. When I was teaching and working – the end of the school year ran the schedule and I mostly didn’t get things in until right before the fourth of July! So the itch is there and I have been watching the freeze and frost forecasts and comparing them to the records of averages. Since the yard is unknown I am creating in containers. I decided to plant them. Until the nights get a little more stable I carry them in and out of the garage each day. The deck railing plants may go in soon -even if I lose them. I am still not sure about light over the days – so it is a gamble anyways. I have to give credit to Cathy Jo Nelson – my muse and inspiration for the deck planters. She creates and nurtures the most beautiful porch setting with deck planters. I have admired for a few years now from her posts on Flickr and FB.

Garden Creating

I have also been searching out the garden centers in the region. Each new one brings delights! Here my favorite so far of the containers for the front porch.

2017 Flower Containers

I also am working on the back service entrance.

Vintage

And have created my Gnome and Fairy succulent dishes as well.

Gnomes in the garden

Finding Fairies

My other influence is a very enjoyable young woman -Laura,  from Ontario Oregon who started with her own YouTube videos and has been picked up by sponsors now. I love her passion, style and creations. Check out the Garden Answer on YouTube and Facebook.

 

 

Blowing in the wind????

Getting back to documenting #4life  – my life.

After a long winter – a day of exploration and fun with my go to lady and friend, Judy.

We took a photo walk of the Old Soldiers grounds at the regional VA Center. A little rusty with my camera- but it felt good.

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The album of my shots: https://flic.kr/s/aHskUb4r5J

Judy’s Album of Shots – she wasn’t as rusty as I was!

We found a great place for lunch and then wrapped up the day with a glass blowing lesson and session at Square One Art Glass in Milwaukee. Erin was a great instructor and guide and helped us create some pretty awesome pieces. I think we are hooked!

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My first glass creation

Next – garden inspirations!

 

 

 

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