Onto My Next 40 Years

My adventures in reading and writing



Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sky

CFFC (Cee’s Photography)

I took this pic on a walk last week because of all the different kinds of clouds all in one space.  When I look at the clouds in the sky, I do 1 of 2 things – 1) I imagine myself flying through the clouds, lying on their fluffy coolness and spying on the world below or 2) I look for fun shapes in the clouds like in one of my favorite children’s books, It Looked Like Spilled Milk by Charles G. Shaw.  I would always read this book in Spring to my Preschool class and then we would take some white paint, drip it onto blue paper and then fold the paper in half and squish the paint around.  We would then take turns opening our papers to see what shape cloud we made.  Preschoolers have wonderful imaginations.  Sometimes I miss being a preschool teacher.


One Word Photo Challenge: Elephant

OWPC: Elephant (Jennifer Nichole Wells)

This word came up at the exact right time.  I have been painting this elephant for the past few weeks as a gift for my sister-in-law who loves elephants.  When I decided to paint it, I didn’t think it was going to take that long, but there were so many squares/rectangles and I was trying to paint each one different with a palette of colors I chose.  Luckily, Petroglyphs allows you to do a “work in progress” where you can bring in your piece several times and keep painting until you get it the way you want it with a one time sitting fee.  I wanted to make sure that each color got enough coats because I wanted it to be vibrant when complete.  I originally chose 5 colors, but after really getting a few on there, I decided I needed a few more to keep it the colors away from each other.

My girlfriends and I celebrated Galentine’s last night at Petroglyphs since all of our Valentine’s were working.  I brought along my elephant and wanted to finally finish it.  I got all the spaces filled and did a few extra coats here and there and fixed a few mistakes.  There are some parts that I probably could have added more coats to, but I started getting hungry and I was just done.  I reluctantly turned it in to be fired.  It was weird to leave without it after keeping it for so long.  Now I just have to hope that all my hard work over the last few weeks pays off when it comes out of the kiln.  Cross your fingers for me.

17 for 2017

If you’ve been following along with me, you will know that my year has started out a bit rocky.  Wisdom teeth and the terrible awful flu have caused havoc these last few weeks, but now that it feels like I am getting back on my feet health wise, it is time to make some goals for this year and work towards them.

I was inspired by the blog Wild Daffodil to do “17 for 2017”, but unlike her goals that use the numbers as part of her goal, I just did 17 goals because I found that I couldn’t fit what I wanted to achieve in the same way. So here goes:

  1. Make 4 journal pages a month
  2. Exercise at the gym 2x a week
  3. Walk 5x a week
  4. Make (at least) 5 fabric/yarn projects this year
  5. Write in my journal 3 times a week
  6. Submit 6 stories to different publications through the year
  7. Complete 3 5K’s  this year
  8. Read/listen to 65 books (I did 72 last year, but I figured with all my craftiness and writing going on, I may not read as much)
  9. Make 12 Scrapbook pages
  10. Take 3 road trips this year (my husband and I used to go all the time…we need to start again)
  11. Take 1 vacation this year (it’s been nearly 5 years since I’ve taken a proper vacation…it’s time to change that)
  12. Find 12 geocaches this year
  13. Commit 12 Random Acts of Kindness this year
  14. Write my representatives once a month re: current issues coming for a vote or that are concerning me (I figured I gotta start complaining to the right people especially in the times we find ourselves in)
  15. Work (at least) 10 hours a month preparing for NaMo WriMo – I hope this will be my first year participating
  16. Draw/Paint/Color 12 times this year
  17. Buy (at least) one Christmas present a month (trying to avoid draining my bank account in December every year)

I have broken them down by goals I want to achieve weekly/ monthly and by the end of the year.  I added pie charts to my bullet journal that I can color and keep track of (as you’ll see in the featured photo for this blog).  I will be updating my progress each month at the end of the month to help keep my focus on my goals.  I hope to achieve them all, but I’ll be happy if I just stay focused as that seems to be one of my bigger problems. Below are some of the journal pages I created this month to also help me keep track of some of the things in my life.  The first is my “Books Read in 2017” page to write in each book as I complete it.  My “2017 Year in Pixels” is to keep track of my moods throughout the year.  The “Movie Night” page is the place I will glue in all my movie tickets for the year.  As you can see, my husband and I finally got out to see our first movie of the year today.

The next one was just for fun.  I originally just wanted to make a collage of the Christmas Wrapping paper I used so I can see the different choices I make each year, but then I turned into what you see here.  There were 4 different rolls; one with the animals, one with the trees, one with the chevron design, and one that just Merry Christmas over and over.img_2392

Here’s to 2017…may we all keep moving forward – remembering the past, living in the present, and looking ahead to the future

Gratitude Days 15 -18

Day 15 : What season are you grateful for?

I guess right now I would have to say Fall.  Fall is the season that rescues me from the heat of the Summer.  Plus it’s the time of year that has some of my most favorite holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving.  And well I also must admit that it’s the also because my birthday is in the Fall.

Day 16: What about your body are you grateful for?

This is a hard one, but I finally settled on my eyes.  I love to read and see beautiful things.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to not be able to see or to even to be color blind.  My Dad was color blind though he could see burgundy and some blues.  His wardrobe was black, burgundy, gray or blue.  I would sit around and try to imagine what it was like, but my brain could never quite fully imagine it.  I am definitely thankful for my eyesight even though it’s not 20/20 and my ability to see all the colors of the rainbow.
Day 17: What knowledge are you grateful for?

I wasn’t really sure how to answer this one.  I have so much knowledge yet I there are days feel like I know nothing compared to the amount of knowledge that is out there.  I see pictures of giant libraries and I think about how long it would take to read all those books and it’s mind-blowing.  That being said, I am grateful for my knowledge to read a map.  I love to take road trips.  When I got my first car, I bought myself a Thomas Guide to make sure that no matter where I went, I wouldn’t be lost.  I kinda miss having that giant book in the pocket behind the passenger seat.  There are so many Map apps nowadays that having an actual map seems pointless, but I still love maps.  I love to see all the roadways and imagine racing along them.  I think I need to take a road trip.
Day 18: What piece of art are you grateful for?

My brother in law is an artist.  He doesn’t sell his art.  He’s just one of those guys that must constantly doodle, draw, paint, sketch, takes photos, sculpt, etc.  His work is eccentric yet amazing, but he doesn’t see it as such.  Many years ago after a trip to see his family in the Philippines, he came back and painted many different paintings about the things he saw.   One of them looks like just a bunch of squares, but it’s actually his interpretation of his home town and how crowded all the buildings are there.  I have had that painting hanging in every house and apartment I’ve had since he gave it to me almost 16 years ago.

Creative Inspiration

I have always loved the moon.  I have spent many, many, many nights just sitting outside staring at it.  The moon has been a silent friend watching over me as I have cried, celebrated, laughed, yelled, broke down, or just sat in wonder.  My favorite time of day is when the sky grows dark and the moon begins to glow.  I feel more awake at night.  If vampires or werewolves were real, I’m pretty sure I would be one of them.  A long time ago before I was a preschool teacher, I worked the over night shift at an adolescent treatment facility.  I thought I would have trouble adjusting to sleeping during the day and being awake all night, but it was easy.  I kind of miss it.

Yesterday, I read a blog post by Charlie O’Shields titled “My Favorite Person” where he talks about being inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, a man that worked on and pursued his passion daily.  I have read Charlie’s blog for a few weeks now.  I forget how I stumbled upon it, but I really enjoy his writing as well as his daily paintings.  His posts often make me smile or laugh.  I have been trying to get in touch with my creative side again and Charlie’s blog has pushed me to want to go further.

I started writing this year, something I have kept telling myself I would do since I was a teenager, but only found the courage to do now.  It felt really good letting the stories out that I thought I needed to do more.  I haven’t been creative in years.  Life has been overwhelming and crazy as well as fun and busy.  These past few years, I have felt seriously drained by my job so much so that I finally quit in June.  I found another job which starts next week.  One that gives me time to keep writing and now as I said, I am thinking I need to do much more.  Today, I got out my pencils and chalks and started sketching my old friend the moon.  The moon is not an easy subject, but I thought it was the perfect thing to draw on this day of inspiration.  The drawing I did was simple though not exactly what I saw in my head, but it’s a start.  I really need to learn not to be so self critical and just be happy with what comes out.  Just keep practicing.  So, I am making a promise to myself to do something creative everyday whether it be writing, drawing, painting, photography, paper arts, or whatever else comes to mind. Thank you Charlie for the creative inspiration!

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