Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Today is January 31st and it seems this week has been about deadlines.  Those moments in time that either you thrive or fall apart.  I have always been a deadline person.  I loved things like research papers in college, and part of that love came from hours among the stacks (who does that now?) and the looming deadline.  Even as a high-schooler on the school paper, I turned in articles at the last minute, needing the deadline to create.   With a deadline intact, I could sit, block out the world around me, and write.

I began thinking about this yesterday.  As I contemplated the oh so often missed deadline that is rent from our tenant.  Then, the deadline we put on selling the other house...oh we can do two mortgages for a year or so.  Then, the 'or so' that has turned into five years with a now two-year old inconsistent tenant.  So yesterday, my internal deadline was reached.  We're going to re-list our "lake house" and be rid of it once and for all, no matter the hit....and I'm sure it will be substantial.  The deadline of my patience for a continued bleed of our finances has now passed and I am irritated that I didn't turn it in in time.

Sidney just experienced her first real deadline.  Her aunt Ayne got her a fantastic gift for Christmas.  A participation in The Sketchbook Project.  Sidney created an illustrated short story that will part of a permanent display at the Brooklyn Art Library.  The deadline for submission was today, and I was at the post office in person making sure the post mark on her hard and amazing work read correctly.  It will be scanned in and posted online in April as well!

Today is a deadline for our very busy free mop month for Norwex hostesses and I submitted last nights show just under that deadline.

In more business terms, today is the deadline for property taxes to be filed, W2's to be mailed, and any number of necessities for income taxes to be mailed here in the U.S. 

So as the sun recedes into this crazy amazing fifty degree horizon, yet another deadline is reached.  January has reached it's end and I managed to get everything accomplished on deadline.  How was your January?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Day At The Races

Over the weekend, Charles' cub scout pack had their annual pinewood derby.  This year's venue was different and there were no chairs, only the gym floor to sit on.  The pinewood derby is synonymous with at least 4 hours of very slow moving heats while leaders and parents try to keep 50 boys calm as they wait their turn.  Think about it,  fifty 7-11 year old boys in a small space all told to keep it down to a dull roar and no running around.    The boys did amazingly well!  

I am always struck when we go, how all of the dads are sooooo intent.  They are all writing down times and discussing things that "they" might do different next year.  It is truly an afternoon of father son bonding.  Not in the typical fashion, they are not bonding with each other...The son's are all bonding and the father's are all bonding as they plot how well "their" cars did in a particular heat.  The dad's were hilarious to watch.  They would gather in groups of twos, threes, and fours, to check over stats and swap trade secrets.  

All in all, Charles' car won all four heats that it raced in.  The final race they had to re-run because another car jumped the track, and it happened to be his best time.  During the re-race, he had his worst time of the day.  Even with that time, he placed in the top ten, got a trophy, and moves on to the regional races.  Very exciting for him!! 

Silent Sunday~Lacy Snow

Friday, January 27, 2012

Gears Turning

27:366 Gears
Today I followed through and began to get the gears turning again.  A few years back I was quite regular with going to the gym and staying in shape.  That momentum halted when I had my gallbladder out.  So,  when I finally did get back to they gym, I was really excited.  That first work out felt really good, then after I'd changed and gotten in the car is when I saw the missed call from our friend Shane.  It was moments after that that I found out Brian had been hit by a car while on his lunchtime ride.

Today was the first time since that happened two and a half years ago, that I've been in the gym.  I realized when I was on my way that B was once again out on an afternoon ride.  That gave me an uneasy feeling, but in the end I beat the demon.  Not that that was the only reason that I hadn't been back, I have had plenty of excuses, I assure you!  It was just a lingering nightmare memory, that I guess needed to be exorcised.  I had forgotten how energized I feel after working out!  B is home safe and sound from his ride, and I'm ready to commit (have to be, my Christmas gift was cold weather cycling gear)!  I'm glad to know that getting these gears turning once again was just like riding a bike, your body seems to have a good memory.  Have you gotten your gears turning yet in 2012?  Happy Friday

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Boutique Breed Cock Fighting

D'uccle Rooster This past weekend we picked up two D'uccle chicks for Sid's 4h project this year and also picked up an adult pair.  Our hopes being that we could start to do our own breeding from proven bloodlines, and to also have some companions for Topaz.  Since we were getting a pair, we knew that there may be some growing pains with the two roosters.  If you recall, Topaz is quite petite.  It was a bit of a shock to us when we brought the other two in that they were significantly smaller!

Topaz and the new rooster (yet unnamed) began to size each other up, puff up, jump, nip and flap at each other.  The sight of this "cock fighting" was a bit humorous as they are such fru fru avian.  We separated them repetitively then left them for a couple of hours on trial to see if they could come to terms with one another, or if they would have to have designated areas in the barn.  On first check, a few scrapes but no real damage.  We left them to their own devices in the barn at roost time and the next morning all was well.  They still puff up and will occasionally go at one another, but I think Topaz has decided it isn't worth the effort and avoids him for the most part.  The female, on the other hand, Topaz quite enjoys.

23:366 How'R You Doin"?
How'r You Doin'?

22:366 D'uccle Chicks

And a peak at the babies.  They are still under heat lamps, though not for much longer.  Their adult feathers are coming in so they are reaching a bit of a homely age.  Hopefully a pair of blue ribbon winners and good mamas!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ingenuity At Work

Ingenuity During the first quarter, Sidney's class did a unit on advertising.  The big project to bring the unit to it's conclusion involved breaking into pairs, creating a product, making a mock up of it, developing a bill board and a video taped commercial, and then presenting it to the class.  She and her friend created duck tape dolls.  A complete series of boy and girl dolls each with accessories.  I was so impressed!

Since then, she has been duck-tape-creative crazy.  She has designed book marks, bracelets, purses, wallets, hair ties, and bow ties (shout out to her love for Dr. Who)....just to name a few.  They seem to have become popular items as I found out that she's selling them at school from anywhere from .25-.75 cents (.75 is for a braided bracelet.)  She came home irritated at the end of last week, because another group of girls was planning on making their own, and undercutting her on price.  On Saturday night I noticed that she had spent the evening, creating a menu of sorts with a swatch sheet of color choices, so that kids clients could place special orders.   Always thinking, my girl is coming up with value added ways to promote and offer her superior (totally prejudiced on this one) and well thought out product~ Ingenuity at work!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Snow Globe

20:366 Snow Globe

Today, moments were spent going about my business from the inside of a snow globe.  Watching the snow drift so lightly down around me, as workmen were in and out fixing the things that all seem to break down when it's cold and snowy, I decided that comforting and tasty treats were going to be my goal.

Buttermilk, Pesto & Parm Bread

A buttermilk, pesto and Parmesan bread will go nicely with homemade pasta a fagioli.

Blackberry Cobbler

To top it off, warm blackberry cobbler ala Pioneer Woman.

I hope your weekend is beginning with the warmth of family within your snow globe.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Whispered Promise

18:366 Frozen Garden Sunset After last weeks snow, and then thaw,
yesterday's snow, and then deep freeze,
it seems that winter, if only for the moment,
is here.  Tonight's frozen sunset captures
a sleeping garden, a hibernating compost,
and a whispered promise, Spring.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The First Rule of Sledding

Nothing like the first real snow to make the kids desperate for sledding.  So despite it only being 17 degrees, off we went!

Perfect Powder
Now Class........ Can anyone tell me the first rule of sledding??

Push Off

Always look up the hill, once you get to the bottom!

14:365 Watch Out Charlie!

Quite the move inspired by dad and Sid racing down the hill.
I still can't believe I caught him in mid air!!
A fun outing despite the cold!

Outta Control

Friday, January 13, 2012

Inspired To Jot

 For a long time I have had the urge to get a moleskine to dabble in.  

What?  This legendary little book used over the ages by the artists and thinkers of their times? 
Van Gogh, Hemingway, me?  

What happens when the creative mind meets the list maker? 

Can one who visualizes lists in outline form be freely creative? 

I love my iPhone and have been able to fully replace my paper calendar with it.  
 But the reminders section or any of the list and notes software doesn't seem to do it for me.  
I need to have it on paper in front of me, more tangible.  Yesterday, I went to fulfill my desire to have a moleskine that I could fill my 2012 blank pages.  I must admit that I was overwhelmed by the shelves of colorful books just empty with lined pages, no structure at all.  

So, what do I do? 

I find a 'wellness' moleskine that has lined pages, yet is sectioned off for different areas of life, health garden, diet recipes, fitness, and inspiration. 

Let's just see if this inspired list maker can become more free to jot, whether structured or not.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

From Short Sleeves to Snowplows

12:366 First Snow
Yesterday was fifty degrees and beautiful, as were many days in the past month.  Now that we are well into the "winter months"  today, right now, we are having our first snow.  It was funny, I racing around early to get errands done before the roads got slick.  I soon realized that many of the cars had transformed.  Pickups and Jeeps seemed to have gone from just another car driving, to one adorned with a plow, for the first time this season.  A friend posted on her facebook today:  "yesterday was motorcycles and convertibles, and today is snowplows."  A fitting description!

Snowy Barn
I may grow weary of the snow later on, but right now, it just feels right, and looks beautiful.  The grey world is slowly morphing into what will prove this weekend I'm sure, to be a winter wonderland for everyone.  The kids are itching to go sledding and I'd like to get the cross country skis out! :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Off And Running

It has been an super busy invigorating start to the new year!  I am looking forward to the weekend.  B has Saturdays off this month, woohoo!  After meetings this week, we are into our fair poultry project planning for 4h and this year it looks like we are going to get a breeding set of D'auccle chicks.  Check them out they are gorgeous birds.  Norwex is getting fast and furious start and research for another venture is advancing.  We have had amazingly mild weather, today making it to 50 degrees!  Speaking of 50 degrees, check out my latest post on A Sustainable life.

I was happy to see that my Post Cards To Blog Camp group is set to do a 365 project this year and I jumped in whole-heartedly, missing the inner challenge of a 365 last year.  I posted my first several pictures labeled that way.  Then at lunch today (a great three hour lunch) with a group of wonderful friends I realized that there is 366 days in this leap year!  Oops, I need to get those labels changed!

All this and I am managing to channel the serenity of my fair feathered friend above.
 I hope your year is off and running!  Happy Weekend!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Savoring The Process

Today we are back to work, yet we are beginning the year with play. A new sense of energy to accomplish oh so many ideas, yet slowly.

 Savoring the process.

 We don't need to live life in fast forward.

This afternoon, the last free time before the kids go back to school, they each had a friend over and I was able to fill the house with the smells of comfort food, a roast with fresh garden veggies and some warm cookies. I love the holidays, but something about the beginning of the new year makes me want to get the Christmas decor all nestled away and treat the house as a clean slate, my first blank page for the year.

So that I did, and as a result, our dining room was transformed from entertaining center to....

The moment B walked in the door from work, Charles put a paddle in his hand...how about a ping pong tourney with dad on the Stickley dining room table?! Yes, what a way for some bonding time on a frigid evening of a new year, full of laughter.

Savoring the process.


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