Saturday, April 23, 2016

Look Up... Look OUT!

Yesterday I came out of work and noticed (not for the first time) how most of the people walking around the campus were walking and staring at their phones.  Here it was a beautiful day - nice temps, green grass, and so on.  Lots of things to enjoy but all these people were doing was staring at their electronics.

It astounds me how oblivious people can be to their surroundings.  I watched as people streamed from one building to the next, most their heads bowed as though praying.  Unfortunately, they were praying to their electronics.  One after another oblivious to who was near them, where they walked, and what they were missing.

I'm not going to claim I'm not oblivious.  I can be and often am oblivious to all that isn't going on inside my head or even in my immediate environment.  But watching these people be zombie like (yes I went there) as they walked around campus made me want to drop something LOUD to see if they would look up, stop, or be distracted from their phones.

I've only had a smart phone for a year.  I know I'm over involved in it.  I read books on it, take notes on it, play games on it, look at email on it, and a variety of other tasks.  I also pay too much attention to it.  However, if I ever get as bad as the people I saw yesterday, I hope someone smacks me hard on the head.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Where did the week go?

This week sleep has been interrupted - I sleep for two hours and wake up; but writing has been fast and furious all week.  Starting last Friday, Ken and I have been busy.  We drove to Indiana to visit Vicki.  We spent Saturday with her and in the evening we drove home.

We got home about 11:30 and my legs were tired.  Sunday I meant to work on the craft room but my legs were still hurting.  I spent the day crocheting - finishing a scarf for Vicki and catching up on the shows we missed all week.  It was good to finish the project and worked on an afghan.

Sunday night I started writing on Wayfarer 11.  Since then, I've been writing every night this week.  I've added nearly 20,000 words to the novel and finished it off.  It is now out to my test readers which means, I sit back and wait for the feedback from them.

This novel will sit for at least a week so I can let go of the story enough to do the editing.  Meanwhile, I have to decide what's next.  I have an article I proposed and need to write it.  However, I still have to finish the craft room, crochet a skirt and an afghan.  I've started reading this new book which has enthralled me.  So many possibilities - I just need to narrow it down and prioritize the list.  Really it's a matter of what I feel like working on most when I sit down with some free time.

On the good news front, I had an article accepted and a layout copy sent to me.  It was a rush to see.  I always forget how exciting it is to see my work in print.  It's more positive reinforcement for me to keep writing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Word Geek

I'm a word geek.  I get a daily email with a word, definition and origin.  I like the way words sounds, how they look when you write them and where words can take you.  More than that though, I'm a Word - as in Microsoft Word - geek.

I'm working on a manual at my day job.  I'm only copying content so I get to focus on the construction of the manual.  Things like font, themes, colors, headings, table of contents, tables, and so much more.

It's registration time and I'm stressed out trying to get back to people promptly so they can get registered for the correct classes.  In between the large number of emails, I'm working on this document.  I contacted people to find out the colors for the University.  In Word you can create your own color palette to match the colors for the company you work for.  I got to do this today.  It was fun.

In addition to that there's all this other stuff that when it comes to crafting the document is a bit fussy - in a fun way - but ultimately when I'm done the document will look wonderful and can easily be updated and changed as it is needed.

It will sound geeky - I know it does - but when I sent off the hard copy to the faculty I am working with, I was proud of the document I created and a little sad I wouldn't be able to use more of those skills more often in my job.

So you can visualize me in the geeks corner confessing - Hi I'm a geek, I love words and Word!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Bad Sleep

Ken got the shopping done early this morning.  With my list, coupons, sales flyer shopping and rebates, he saved over $20!  This is about 20% of what he spent.

Last night I made a list of what I wanted to get done today.  I meant to get up early, get to work, and keep at it as long as possible.  I didn't count on a bad night's sleep.  I got up this morning - woken up by one of the daughters.  After talking to her, I did the rebates for the shopping.  Then I proceeded to do nothing more strenuous than play a couple of games on my phone.  I'm up and moving again.  After I'm done on the computer, I'll head back to the kitchen to do some food prep for the week.

If I find any energy, I'll go back to the craft room and work on organizing.  I have a few things Ken needs to carry out and put elsewhere - mostly empty rubbermaid containers.  There is some stuff which is going in a box to our daughters in Atlanta.  If my energy level stays, I'm hoping to make more of a dent in that room today.

Last night I worked on a skirt for a friend.  I LOVE how it is turning out.  I made the waistband using broomstick lace technique.  Then it's a simple hdc for the rest but with a vertical stripe - which means I have seven strands of yarn hanging down.  This slows me down a bit but it is still coming along nicely. As I'm working, I'm writing the pattern.  I'm trying to write it in such a way it doesn't need sizing.  However, I'll have to see how successful I am at this.  I've never written a pattern for clothing before - one of the reasons is I don't like to size things.

New experiences are good even if they are a little scary.  I'll keep pushing forward and hope it works out.  Once I'm done with this size, I may have to try the pattern on a larger size to see if it works for the plus size person.

Unfortunately, with the bad night's sleep I just want a nap but Sundays are a bad day to nap because I have to go back to work tomorrow.  I'll have to find my energy and work on things which keep me moving forward and awake.  Hopefully that means I accomplish a lot but only time will tell on this.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Errands, Bookwork, Snow, and Organizing

This morning I got up much earlier than I wanted to but I paid bills, did budget, and placed an order with our butcher shop - Sorgs.  Ken and I ran out to Sorgs through snow and wind.  After Sorgs and bringing the stuff home, we went to Joann's, Home Depot, and Wendy's.  At Joann's I bought material for gifts I'm making.  Of course I had coupons.  While I spent $29, I saved $32 in the process.

At Home Depot we priced out projects we want to do to the house.  I asked a lot of questions and the people were very helpful.  We picked up what we needed to finish my shelves for the craft room.  On our way home we picked up lunch.

Ken has since finished my shelves.  My next stop will be going to the craft room to organize and put away all my goodies.  For now, I'm working on catching up the checkbook and recording my sales for March.  I've also figured out how to automatically calculate a breakdown of my sales - so by month by vendor by book type - in January from Kindle I sold how many crochet patterns, or novels, etc.

Formulas and I in Excel don't always work.  Stephanie helped me find the right one.  I got it set up, copied and now all I have to do is enter my sales by book and it figures out how to count it.  I can now easily tell which category of book is selling at what percent, percent of sales each month compared to the total annual sales.  I can tell you through which vendor I sell the most books.  Finally I've broken it down by category and vendor.  This should allegedly help me focus my marketing.  I might have to do some graphs to get a better handle on it.

In the last half hour, I've looked out my window and saw blue sky and driving sideways snow.  Welcome to Wisconsin's spring!  Goofy weather.

On to organizing.  I am hoping to make my craft room look much more presentable by the end of the day.  I'm also hoping to have to ask for minimal help from Ken.  However, I shouldn't be moving shelving units around so we shall see how things go.  

Back at the Grindstone

With nine days off, you would think I got a lot accomplished.  I did when it comes to spending time with my girls but off my to-do list?  No...