Thursday, May 2, 2013

One More Time With Gusto

Fast Forward several months and here I am still wishing and hoping to actually have a blog. Yes, I do technically have a blog. However if you don't actually write anything, there is reason to question this statement.

So today is a test post from my iPad while riding the commuter bus to work. Will this work? Will I be able to add a photo? And dare I say, if this works, I may post from my phone too!

If all went well, there is a lovely photo of a newly restored window in the Seminary Ridge Museum in Gettysburg that I toured yesterday.

It is time for the real test. Will this post where it is supposed to be?

Hopefully more soon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hello? Anybody Out There?

Of course I know you're still out there. I guess the question is "am I still in here?"  Is it possible to think about posting on your blog every day (or at least every few days) for almost two years, not actually do it and STILL call yourself a blogger?

It seems to me the answer is yes.  Feeling the desire to write and composing blogs in your head must count for something. I read my favorite blogs every day.  Love Google Reader on my computer and FeeddlerRSS on my iPad that keeps them all straight.  The chance to get to "know" someone through their blog is really nice and although I understand that what people share on their blogs is only one side of who they are, these bloggers still feel like friends.  I admire their courage in sharing even small aspects of their lives with the cyber world.

I don't know what I hope to accomplish here and whether or not another two years will go by before I write again. What I do know is that I really didn't want to hit delete.  I didn't (don't) want to give up. I also don't want to make excuses for where I've been or make promises about what I'm  going to do.  Let's just see how it goes.

I thought I would try a quick update from my iPad more, no less and figure out what's next tomorrow.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

In Praise of Post-its!

I love a good to-do list!  I love making them and crossing things off as I get them done.  Well, as long as I'm actually getting things done.  I prefer a to-do list I can see all the time so even though most of my work is on a computer, I usually print my list  so I can have it beside me all the time.  But I do love a good handwritten list too, especially one with colors. 

The end of year is an especially busy time for me for a number of reasons.  It's the end of the semester for the course I teach and I have papers to grade and tests to correct.  My consulting job usually has some end of year deadlines -- grant applications, invoices, etc.   The end of the year also bring Christmas preparation. I am the daughter of Mrs. Christmas (believe me, this is the topic for another post) and the owner of a large 1903 Queen Anne style house and those two things together create A LOT of Christmas decorating.  To complicate this a bit, we (okay just me) am pretty strict about only starting the decorating after Advent begins and not finishing completely until shortly before Christmas Eve.  We then celebrate the twelve days of Christmas and Epiphany with the house all festively decorated.  That, too is the topic of another post.
Too much to do combined with an attitude of "I will get it all done" forces me to come up with a variety of methods of keeping on track.  And that invariably includes many to-do lists, often unsuccessful ones.  But this year was different.  In a flash of brilliance (that may be a bit overstated), I devised a system of using color-coded Post-it notes in a simple spiral bound notebook with a page for every day.  The best part of this system was when something didn't get done on the day it was scheduled, I could simply move the Post-it to the next day or the following day based on my schedule. 

It gave me a great visual, pretty colors and the ability to checkmark the ones I completed and never feel bad about the things undone.  I don't want to give too much credit to just my to-do system but for the first time in YEARS, I got everything done AND I finished several days ahead of schedule.  Was I just more motivated this year?  Were the planets aligned?  OR did my new brilliant system actually work for me? 

Based on my success, I'm going to try to keep it going.  I found a spiral bound date book and some smaller Post-its and developed a new color-coded system for everyday life.  I'm only a week into it and it's working so far.  I actually thinking of adapting a variation of the system for my regular work tasks.  I am a disorganized person who LOVES being organized and so I'll try anything to keep me on track.  I'll give an update a little later in the year.  In the meantime, you might want to buy stock in Post-its!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Love/Hate Relationship With Those Writing Prompts!

Reading over my last post and my smugness over not needing those introspective writing prompts has been a bit of a slap in the face today.  I was fairly certain that I didn't need those writing prompts to keep me going on this regular (semi-regular) blogging habit.  However, once I stopped using the prompts, I suddenly had nothing to say.   A little karma to start the new year right. 

I'm happy to report I have moved on from this dilemma and now have several ideas for writing.  Along the way, I have found some great tools for writing prompts..many that are not focused on navel gazing. 

So stayed tuned for some posts soon covering a variety of topics...

Friday, December 31, 2010

#reverb10 - December 24 Everything's OK

What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

(Author: Kate Inglis)

I have bravely been carrying on with these prompts even though I'm now a week behind.  I enjoyed the last two I did on travel and a new name.  I was even feeling like this was a pretty good exercise until I got to the December 24th prompt.  Honestly?  This is just too much self-reflection for me.  So I thought I'd skip ahead. However, now that I've read the next seven prompts through December 31st, I reluctantly must admit I'm done.  I just can't bring myself to forge ahead with this.

So I've adopted today's prompt to say...everything IS going to be OK.  I've written more during the month of December than I have in a long time and I've enjoyed it (except for the rant above...and the rant the other day).  I really hate not seeing it through but if you're going to sweep out the old and bring in the new, what better day to do it than December 31st? 

You only get this one grand new start once a year.  Sure, you can start fresh every day but there is something about JANUARY 1ST that makes it seem more important.    So what have I learned and what will I do with it?   

1.  I don't really care if anyone reads this.  And judging from the lack of comments, I'm guessing no one does. 

2.  I really do like doing it and so I will post when I can but I'm not setting up any unrealistic expectations by dictating a schedule.

3.  I'm a little concerned I won't have anything to write about that is even mildly interesting, even to me.  At least the prompts, gave me something to work on. 

4.  I found it much easier to post without dealing with photographs.  Unfortunately, I know that photographs makes blogs more interesting, especially if you're going to post about crafty things so I will need to figure this out. 

5.  Overall, I'm pleased with my progress and I hope to keep going.

Thank you for reading (or not reading, as the case may be).  I hope your 2010 goes out with a bang and 2011 is a wonderful beginning. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

#reverb10 - December 23 New Name

Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

(Author: Becca Wilcott)

When I was a kid, I loved to pretend that I was a single gal making her living as a secretary in New York City.  I had this very cool apartment in a Second Empire house (my house at the time) and worked for "World News Today Magazine."  I had a lovely office (in the kitchen) at a great desk (the kitchen table) overlooking the skyline of New York City (well, actually my backyard).  I also had a cool red plastic phone and an Underwood typewriter.   My name was Amy Miller.  I don't know if the love of the name Amy was my own or because my mother once told me that if she were to have another girl, she would name her Amy.  In any case, I loved the name and used it for any occasion when I wasn't myself.  Amy, the secretary, Amy, the Tony Award winning actress, Amy the librarian.  I was an only child and had an amazing fantasy/pretend world.   Why did my parents have to burden me with the stupid name I had?  Why couldn't I be named Amy?

Now as I reflect on today's prompt, I wonder why I wanted to be Amy Miller.  Pretty uninspiring.  I love my name now.  I do use my nickname, Mindy, in daily life and I guess I'm not all that fond of it; one too many "Mork and Mindy" jokes when I was wearing a name tag at the Burger King counter.  But I think my given name, Melinda, is lovely.  Not so unusual that people haven't heard of it but unique enough that people don't know ten Melindas.   I think my love of the name Amy Miller had more to do with being an easy-to-spell name that made me feel just like everyone else.  Whereas Melinda and my last name were not common. My last name had to be spelled for everyone and earned me a nickname of "mustard" in college.    And because the name wasn't common, I was often called Missy, Melissa or Wendy.  I hated  that. 

If I could reintroduce myself from now on, I would drop the name Mindy and only use Melinda and I would always use my "mustardy" maiden name as my middle name, even if I have to spell it. So why not just make the change now?  Unfortunately because I spent my whole life going by my nickname, Mindy,  being called Melinda indicates you don't really know me or you are my mother and I'm in trouble!  So what's a girl to do?  I love my formal name but don't use it and continue to be called Wendy or Missy!  Hmmm.....maybe Amy would be better?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

#reverb10 - December 22 Travel

How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?
(Author: Tara Hunt)

I travel regularly in my job and although I run a statewide organization, it still requires a lot of travel outside Pennsylvania.  This was a surprising revelation for me when I accepted this position four and a half years ago.  I thought I would spend the majority of my time traveling around Pennsylvania to small communities, rural areas and many cities.  As it turns out, my staff does most of the traveling within Pennsylvania and other than a few trips to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, I stick pretty close to Harrisburg with the exception of my participation in the Pennsylvania Humanities Council's Commonwealth Speakers' Bureau.   

The Commonwealth Speakers' program gives me the opportunity to speak about The Lincoln Highway in about four to six small communities each year, usually at the local library or historical society.  I love visiting these small places.  I've always adored visiting libraries so it's been fun to see all the great buildings.  For instance, the library in Danville, PA is just beautiful.  But here's the thing:  I go to these places, usually at night, speak for an hour or two, and head back home.  I hardly ever get the chance to really explore the places I visit.  If I could make one change in the next year, it would be to organize my schedule a bit better so that I arrive in these communities a little earlier in the day and take some time to explore. 

Sitting here in December, looking forward to the spring when most of these trips are scheduled, it seems like a great idea. Will I be able to do it?  I sure hope so.