Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Let's Talk Classes and Projects

I'm lifting this idea from Rinda because I've been going round in circles in my head lately with thoughts about classes and projects, what to keep, what to let go, when and how you know it is time to "move on"...

So I've said this before, but let me start by saying it again... Hello. My name is Cheri and I am an online class junkie. This is the part where you respond with "Hello Cheri" and then possibly admit that you also suffer from online class addiction. Just so I don't have to feel so alone in this world. My ability to "just say NO" when a fun or intriguing new class comes along is pretty much non-existent. Resistance is futile. I will eventually cave. Some classes really excite and intrigue me, some classes I feel I should take because I have a need to know about the material being presented, and some classes just sound like fun and I join in because I don't want to be left out of what all my blog friends are doing.

But here's the problem. I'm truly over-extended. I sign up for more than I can possibly fully participate in, given that I also have the duties and obligations of a full time employee, wife, mother, and homemaker. Does any of this sound familiar?
Summer Project/Plans?  4 out of 8 completed (items 1, 6, 7, and 8). 50% was never my style.
In looking back at my class lists on Big Picture Classes, Shimelle, Jessica Sprague, and other sites, I realize that I have a fair number of classes where I never finished all of the content. And several that I never even started. This past summer I was signed up for Ali Edwards "Hello Story" class.  I listened to the content for about 3 of the 12 weeks. I did not do a single one of the assignments. Of course, it is there for me to go back to at any time. If and when I ever make the time.

My first completed assignment for Jessica's Sprague's frame class - I only got through 3 out of 10 days.
In addition to the host of partially completed online classes, I have a plethora of partially completed scrapbooking projects. Theme albums, kids albums, folders full of ideas and memorabilia just waiting to be attended to.
And it is all making me feel kind of guilty and less-than right now. 
So, I've been thinking a lot lately about the classes and projects that I take on each year. I'm wondering if I still want or need to be doing year long classes like Move More, Eat Well or One Little Word? What about repeating classes like Learn Something New Every Day or Journal Your Christmas?  Have I gotten what I need out of them and maybe it is time to move on and not feel like I have the obligation of keeping up with them? Do I let them go, or continue to use them for accountability to myself? I had every intention of participating in LSNED this year. I never got past jotting down lessons for the first week.

And what about new classes? Should I put a temporary ban on new classes? Should I set up a schedule for getting through old classes that I never finished (or never even started)??? Obviously, I have some real soul searching to do on this topic.
Because someday I want to be able to laugh at this ornament.
Now it is your turn. How do you handle online classes and ongoing or unfinished projects? Do you have limits on what you sign up for each year? How do you decide which classes get your money and time? What do you do with classes that you signed up for and projects that you started but didn't finish?

Monday, September 23, 2013

2013 Summer Photography Scavenger Hunt Wrap Up

I'm pleased to report that I got all 21 prompts plus both bonus items in this year's Scavenger Hunt. I even had multiple contenders for eight of the catgories, but ultimately, these are the ones that made the cut and will have a permanent place in my Library of Memories albums!

I had a great time playing along this year and can't wait for the next one!  I'm linking up with Rinda's Final Scavenger Hunt linky.  Check there for everyone else's final post and submissions! :)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

Holding On and Letting Go

Well, it is official. As of today, I am no longer the mother of teenage girls.

They went from this:

To this:

all before I think I really even got the hang of being a Mom.  Today I am the mother of three "twenty-something" daughters. I'm so proud of them all. And so thoroughly freaked out. I mean, look at them! So, Happy Birthday to Rachel and Becca. Hope your 20th is a day filled with fun and love. And to all three of you:  You mean the world to me. I love you and I am so proud of you all.

Just a Quote for Friday:

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”  Havelock Ellis

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Scavenger Hunt - 6 - August Linky Party LATE Entry

I'm participating in Rinda's 2013 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt.  At the end of August,  she hosted a link-up so if you want to see what others have been posting in response to the prompts, you can head over there!  Of course, I've been crazy busy with getting my girls off to college and work and basement remodel and travel.... so I'm really late to the Party.  In fact, I'm pretty sure everyone else has already left! But here I am anyway.  Coming to you from Dallas, Texas where I'm visiting with my mother.  

Some of the last photos I took before leaving for Dallas were iPhone photos - just grabbing a few pictures that I'd been meaning to take for awhile:

#1 - An Open Air Market.  This is Rice's Market. Open Tuesdays and Saturdays year round. Most of the year this place is wall-to-wall vendors and people.  Traffic was light this particular day and the flea market end of things was kind of sparse. At the other end is all new merchandise - everything from socks and sunglasses to purses and perfume.

#2 - Theater for Performing Arts.  This theater actually used to be a movie theater.  Current owners converted it. The last time I was in there Sarah was in middle school and was in a theater summer camp, playing the part of Owl in a "Winnie The Pooh" production.  Yeah, it has been awhile.

#17 - Candles. Courtesy of our local Walmart.

#18 - Your local pub/bar, coffee house or tea shop. This was the hardest for me. I haven't been in a bar since my 20's. Literally. I rarely drink alcohol. I never drink coffee or tea.  Ultimately I chose The Perk. This establishment is right in my home town. Built in the 1850's and originally known as The South Perkasie Hotel it was a popular stopover for Lehigh Valley merchants and farmers enroute to Philadelphia.  Today it is a restaurant that just happens to have an attached bar - the only bar in Perkasie that I'm aware of!  It's been awhile since I've eaten there - right before my 50th birthday getaway was my last time, although my girls still go there with friends frequently.

And since I've been in Dallas, with a real camera in hand, I've added:
Bonus item - a sundial.

#9 Someone that is clearly out of place or doesn't belong - that would be me - at a shooting range - with a 22 Beretta in my hand.  Cross "shot a gun" off my "I Have Never" layout!

#11 Animal in zoo, aquarium, nature preserve, etc.   I have butterfly photos!  Taken at the Texas Discovery Museum Butterfly House.  This one is a Tiger Longwing, native to Central and South America

This one is a Blue Morpho, also native to Central & South America. The eyes on the under wings are to ward off predators.  See that tiny little sliver of blue up at the top (on the top side of the wing)?...

 This is what it looks like with the wings open.  The blue is actually iridescent and so pretty!

And I can't decide which of these butterfly photos I like best. Despite how gorgeous the Blue Morpho is, I'm really drawn to the photo of the Tiger Longwing. Which of these photos is the stand out for you?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Story Telling Sunday - My Precious 9

I used to collect Boyds Bears figurines. Until we decided to build a sun room, move our dining area into the sun room, and get rid of all of the dining room furniture we had at the time, including the big unit that housed my collection. As I was boxing them all up, it occurred to me that when the remodel was done I no longer wanted to display my Boyds Bears. In fact, I realized that I didn't really have any interest in owning them at all. The collection was more of an easy out for people who didn't know what else to gift me with to buy something than it was particularly meaningful to me.  So I boxed them all up and sent them off to Good Will for someone else to enjoy.  

Well, not quite ALL of them. I kept three.  Two are Christmas themed ones.  At least one of them belonged to my Mom and was given to me after she died. My memory is less certain on the second one. And the third one I kept? Was this one:

This one is finally being pulled out of storage and will be displayed in our recently remodeled basement. But why did this one survive the purge when so many others didn't? Why does this particular one tug at my heartstrings? Thanks for asking.  This figurine is very special to me because it reminds me of this:

Of a time when my husband still had a full head of dark hair. Of a time when my first born child wasn't off living in another state practicing at being a real adult. Of a time when my babies were really babies, not college students.  Of a time when my own journey into motherhood was still in its early phases, full of possibility and unknowns, at the outset of the life-long process of getting to know these little miracles that Jay and I had brought into this world.

That little red wagon played a prominent part of their outdoor lives for several years. When Rachel and Becca were a little older and more capable of keeping themselves upright, Sarah used to pull them up and down the sidewalk in it. This photo is a scan of the original which I cropped to get in closer to Jay and the girls and sharpened to improve the details. The original also has a digital date on it - April 24, 1994. So Sarah is not quite four in this photo and Rachel and Becca were only seven months old!  I've printed this out in 4x6 and plan to display it framed next to the figurine. 

For more Precious Stories visit Sian's Story Telling Sunday.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

One Little Word Blog Hop - August Edition

Whether you arrived here from Lee's Blog  as part of the One Little Word Blog Hop, or you are here because you love me and drop by regularly... Welcome! I love visitors! The One Little Word Blog Hop is a monthly hop run by Lee for members of Ali Edwards' One Little Word class over at Big Picture Classes. The hop goes live on Sunday at 6:00 a.m.  You can always check back later if someone's post isn't live yet.

The assignment for August involved getting outside and creating the letters of your word - Ali had examples like writing your word in the sand or creating it out of twigs... that kind of thing.  I went a little different and just photographed letters in my world... resulting in this:

The "D" was taken from among wooden letters for sale at Michaels. The "a" was in the store sign "Wawa" (like a 7-11 for those of you who don't have Wawa). It was taken from the car at a fairly good distance from the store sign, hence the graininess. The "r" is a throw pillow on Rachel's bed. And the "e" is from an ice machine at the gas station.  It was a fun exercise. I'd like to find a replacement for the "a" that isn't as grainy and maybe is a color that isn't already in the collage. But the exercise definitely had me doing some surreptitious street photography (all taken with my iPhone) which is pretty DARE-ing for me!

I'll leave you with my tracker for August. It was a crazy hectic month, but I did complete the 21 day meditation challenge at! 
You'll also notice that "eat well" didn't play a prominent role in my month.  Too much ice cream! But I think I'm back on track now.

If you are continuing on in the hop, your next stop is  Margareta's Blog.

And just in case you get lost, here's the entire list: