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.
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.
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.
I also am working on the back service entrance.
And have created my Gnome and Fairy succulent dishes as well.
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.
Wow! Still pinching myself and trying to figure out what just happened. Almost seems like a Thelma and Louise moment of decision-making! But with a better outcome!
We have a new grandchild – our first. Our daughter lives about 6o miles from our current residence. Not a horrible distance, but enough to make visits something that have to be coordinated. No pop ins either way and no “can you just run over for 15 minutes and help me out” types of things.
Leaving from a visit about two weeks ago as we were driving out of the neighborhood, I spotted a house and just casually pointed it out to my husband and said that I really liked that house and could see myself living there if it was possible. Just mostly dreaming and in a way story telling in my head. I had no idea what the house looked like on the inside etc.
The next week I went to spend a few nights to help my daughter out while her husband had to be out of town. A 3 week old and new mom need extra hands. We were chatting about how it would be nice to be closer for helping out over the hour plus drive. As we were chatting – we heard activity outside. A FOR SALE sign was going up on the house I had admired! We quickly brought it up online. I had been watching the housing in the area for more than 18 months and new styles, looks etc. I had started watching when my daughter was looking for her home and never stopped the search updates. Over that time I really never saw anything that said MOVE NOW. Some things that were like dream places and way too big, too expensive, and too much upkeep for us in this stage of life, or too small, too old, too many projects that we just don’t want to do anymore. BUT- this one was different. It actually looked like it was meeting all the dreamy checklist items I created in my mind that I thought would be impossible to ever come up.
Next – my husband is not a change lover like I am. He puts up with my change addiction, but does have some comfort boundaries.
I showed him the house online and reminded him of our previous conversation before it was for sale. He said – let’s look at it. WOW! Not expected.
Then things just get faster and more connected.
We made a showing appointment for a Wednesday. We took our daughter with us and we toured. It spoke to both of us as soon as we entered. Some of the customized features of the home were things we have done in our homes or have wanted to do. The finishes were not a downgrade from our current residence and several are actually upgrades. Some of the perks one thinks they should have after working hard for many years. Touring we noticed that most of the color pallette in this home were the exact same colors I have chosen over the last 2 years in our current home as updates. We got to the mechanical room of the house and found it has radiant heat and a boiler. My Dad was a great believer in radiant heat and we had learned a lot from him on what to look for, what was good etc. in a system. We couldn’t find anything that wasn’t pleasing or comfortable.
We went home and had some conversation. Should we move from the area we have known for almost 60 years of life? What would it be like moving to a rural town? But we would be closer to family. Very close to our new grandchild and 40 miles closer to our oldest daughter as well. We know our current residence we love -but taking care of 8 acres and a large home is getting to be not what we want to spend our time doing. This new place would still have things to do, but at a scale that is more enjoyable and not task mastering.
We decided to make an offer on Thursday. Did the research came in with a lower offer than asking price, but still fair for all as we saw it.
16 hours later we received news the offer was accepted in we were now in a legal contract to purchase! Closing will be within 30-45 days!
OMG!!! What just happened? Usually we take painstaking steps or research and revisiting and reflection to make a decision. It takes me weeks and samples to choose a paint color!
But this all seems right. If it doesn’t work – we can move again.
We don’t have jobs anymore to tie us down and work around. We have not made the “snow bird” life choice of 6 months somewhere else each year. We can still commute to see friends etc. when we want and that will become the planning and scheduling instead of planning and scheduling family. It just all makes sense. And too many coincidences and signs – too many to list here now that say this is going to be good for us and our next adventure.
Nothing we are going to do can’t be changed again.
We only have this one time to be part of our grandson’s development. He has already changed so much in his first month – we don’t have years to make this decision. We have to act in the present to make a difference in the future.
So many things we thought we would do leisurely like clearing out belongings – getting the current residence “spiffy” and ready for selling. Now all that gets moved up and fast paced! We do have the advantage of some pacing as we have a closing date on the new home and the current one is not even for sale yet – so some transition time. But still a lot faster than ever imagined.
BUT IT FEELS RIGHT!
Here are the realtor pics of the new home with the current owners stuff – so things will change.
and here is our current home – someone looking to move – let’s make a deal!
So – to my #ds106 friends and collaborators – I will be popping in and out for a few months. I won’t totally be gone – I don’t have that in me – I am #4life. Trying to think of it as my summer break. By the end of August we should be settled and set up again. I will be in the background watching and listening and supporting – not gone until then. Not sure if I can go that long without a GIF or video or design creation!
I see several hours ahead with my iPad blasting #ds106radio tunes as I am packing, cleaning, etc.
Also in my mind trying to figure out how to capture and create the story of the beginning of the adventure to put together once we are set up again.
And the awesome part is the online world doesn’t have to get packed or moved – just wifi! One less thing to think about. LOL!
Seems I have been absent in some ways in posting and updating. But I have been busy creating and #4Life. My intent was to create along #ds106tales this fall but seems they are now in week 7 already!
I look back at the last 8 months and how much the DS106 community has accelerated my skill building and made a difference in my creations. Adopting the “Make Art Damn it!” frame of mind has been awesome. Learning from others, expanding possibilities. I started this journey to learn things so I could use the stacks of family content now in my possession and under my care due to the loss of parents and parents-in-law over the last years. The loss along with my own children now adults and starting their own life paths of careers, love, and family, I wanted to be able to start creating in ways that would be special for them and the future through digital storytelling of family.
My brother-in-law by alignment of the stars has a milestone birthday of 70 years in October. My husband and sister-in-law wanted to do something to remember and celebrate their big brother’s milestone. Deadlines and specific targets always seem to keep me focused and this seemed a good kick-start to now applying some of my learned ds106 skills to something personal.
I have created GIFs of family and events. Scanning photos, capturing audio and whatever I can. Rochelle Lockridge introduced me to Flipbuilder via the Noir106 radio programs in spring 2015. The many assignments of the ds106 assignment bank in audio, design, video, have given me lots of practice of which most is posted in this blog. The daily create has been a great source as well! Sandy Brown-Jensen has been a muse and inspiration as she shares her family storytelling creations. Thanks Sandy!
And thanks to all my #DS106 friends for your support and sharing (Twitter): @mdvfunes, @johnjohnston, @ronald_2008, and so many others – too many to list, but so important! Follow the #ds106 tag in Twitter and you will see them.
DESIGN: Created some designs to use as chapter start pages and book cover
I used Canava for these design posters. A handy tool for good graphic plates when you need several instead of one intense grand creation.
I practiced my audio and video skills and learned lots! So much it is hard to share. I used Wondershare Filmora and iMovie as video editors and expanded on tools within each. I used the iMovie map animation in a video about the places he has lived over the years – so cool! The feature was there right in front of me all the time, but I discovered it thru this tutorial.
Each one improved IMHO. I used Audacity for audio and created audio scripts and clips first. Then imported into the video editors. For some of the videos I used features in one and then imported into the other video editor to gain the best features of each. I also used some of the iMovie templates, but to escape from the constraints, built a foundation and then changed the movie to a new project. This kept the theme transitions in place and available, but then allowed me to add and change to meet my needs.
I also was able to use family video from years past. Boy – a lot of footage and not much captured! LOL. I used a downloader to convert the DVD footage to usable digital pieces and edited in the video editors. A few I used FinalCut Pro for editing, to create content pieces much as I did with Audacity for sound. Without all the fancy interface it was powerful, but less cluttered and assisted in sticking to creating content pieces instead of production.
I also used my JibJab account and captured some video card creations to manipulate and build upon.
The Flip Book Creation:
The Flip book itself was a learning experience. Creating the WP plugin version and getting it to be accessible via a web page on a sub-domain I created for family stories.
The sub domain will give the opportunity to create something more static and approaches content differently than a straight up blog. I am going to try different versions of the theme with the sub domain over the next few months.
Flip Book Builder worked well. Things I know I will do differently are in customizing presentation and making sure the table of content links actually become links. I included the thumbnails open in the link to help family see the navigation. In the future, I would present with the option closed as the default.
The biggest AHA was that I now want to improve an develop more skill in using a page layout tool. I have access to inDesign – but will also look for some other open source options. The first flip book is okay- but being able to make the pages look more art like and not document layout will be more pleasing for reading. It is not just about the content. Content is first and critical – but presentation makes the content shine.
As I move on to the next family project – I will reflect and try to post some process and development posts.
To see the Flip book check out my Family Stories site (still working on a better title for the site – suggestions welcomed!)
One of the lessons learned with#ds106 is creating art is good for heart, soul and mind! When you don’t know what else to do, when you feel like you can’t carry out anything, when things are just AHHHHHHH!! Create a GIF! Instant relief.
I followed the suggested process (thanks @jimgroom)- no frills, no deep or complicated tricks, just fast and dirty good GIFs. Good for heart, soul, and tension! TRY IT!
Probably a few more to made tonight…… 🙂
The above are from a Farmer’s Insurance Commercial.