Monday, January 30, 2012

1/30/12 - Stuff B-Gone

It is different. This life of not buying or decorating around a sticks and stones home. Very different.

I recently decided to get rid of my 3-cushion sofa and keep just the loveseat. The goal was to free up enough room in the living room so I can actually have room to work out - something I haven't done in a very long time, and it is high time I get back to it. I want to be healthy and strong when I move in to my RV, right? And yes, I know I should live a healthy lifestyle no matter what, but there's something very motivating about wanting to live on the open road AND drive a motorcycle again.

So, I asked my roommate if it would bother him having just one couch instead of 2.  He looked at me as if I had lost my mind and then cracked up laughing.

Since we live in a 2 bedroom split floor plan duplex and both of us pretty much stay in our rooms and rarely see each other, let alone sit in the living room, he finally quit laughing and said, "Yeah, sure. Whatever. Doesn't matter to me." My roommate is a man of few words. LOL. So, without further adieu I called a thrift store today.

It surprised me when they said they wanted to come pick it up tomorrow. So tonight we took it to the garage where it will sit over night. I cannot believe how much more room there is now, and how freeing it is! In fact it is so nice having the extra space, my roommate suggested we also get rid of the loveseat. I couldn't go that far, but it did motivate me to toss in a few more donations.

I started looking around the garage. I cannot believe the amount of things I have from my previous mortgaged home that are just sitting in the garage waiting on me to take out another mortgage! Since I don't ever plan on doing that, opting instead to one day be a full time RV resident, I started piling on as much sticks and stones decor/dust gathering items I could get my hands on.

Before long, I could barely see the couch!

All of that will be gone tomorrow. Simplifying and downsizing is fun!

I'm on my way folks. It seems that I never know what the day will bring, but I'm very grateful each day allows for forward progress. Even if it does look like a pile of junk.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

1/29/12 - God Always Gets Me

One day, a long time ago, I was telling a friend of mine about some plans I was making for my life. I was very young and quite naive. The plans were very detailed with strict timelines. I even had spreadsheets, timelines and graphs to back it all up. She just laughed and said, "You know what God does when you make plans like that, don't you?" I looked at her with a blinking, blank stare.

She continued, "He smiles, points a finger and says, 'Oh look. Isn't that cute? She has a plan'."

I didn't get it then, but I get it now. I suppose it takes seasoned wisdom to understand the whole "best laid plans" phenomenon. Seasoned, I am. Wisdom? Still working on it. ;)

For example, 2 things happened this weekend that were no where near being on my agenda. Hadn't even considered either one of them. I got off work Friday and had my "plans" for the weekend of what I needed to work on. Here's the story of what happened instead. 
As you know, I have 4 tabs on this website: my blog, writing, all things photo, and all things admin. From previous blog entries you may also recall that I also want to be a public speaker one day. Actually, I used to be, and I want to get back to it. Not in this area where I live now but I used to speak for fund raisers, non-profits, and civic organizations. I was a committee chairman for United Way and I served on the Board for a domestic violence prevention group. I was very active in the community and engaged quite often in addressing large audiences.

I want to get back to that and I also want to start speaking to schools - only I think I'm too old for the children to really relate to me. So, all of this has just been brewing in the back of my head. You'll note that I don't have a Public Speaking tab. Yet.

Well, over the last few days I've been getting what I call a 'God Nod' to start thinking about adding the Public Speaking tab. There's no hurry, nothing formulated yet, just the premonition. Then today I wake up and during my morning routine and meditation it comes to me that I should speak to faculty and administration - not the students. Now that excites me! And it fits with what I have to say, so, Yea! Problem of target audience solved. Getting back in to the circuit? Not so much.

Then I log on to FB to catch up with friends and family and one of the 1st things I see is this sign:

It turns out it was posted by a friend of mine that works in the school district. Bazinga! God got me. I sent her a message, told her what I was thinking, stressed that there is no stress or timeline, and asked her opinion. We chatted for a bit and decided that I will draft something that she can show school district personnel.  I have no idea what that draft will be, what it will look like, or even what it will say. But I know God does. And if I listen to Him, He will guide me. He always does. Then we'll go from there. Voila! Next step solved.

I get my direction in small pieces these days, a slow reveal so to speak (grin), and I am okay with that. I have no idea what the outcome will be.  As each step is revealed, new doors open, eventually a little more is revealed and then more doors open.  It's actually quite nice. I may not have the graphs and timelines but everything unfolds just the way it should. Later in the day it occurred to me that as I draft "something" for my friend, it might even be something I could end up using as a Public Speaker tab. Who knew? Oh yeah, right. God did! :) 

This may sound strange to you but the world of scrapbooking and photo artistry is technically-oriented and advances are made at a very fast pace. It takes an investment of time to keep up with the changes and modern techniques. One of the shows I watch so I can see the latest, greatest is Scrapbook Soup.

Yesterday they had a segment on die cuts, matching stamps and 3D layouts. That gave me an idea for a gift I need to make for a client for Valentine's Day which led me to one of my favorite sites, Zutter.  Still with me so far?

Well, that class was sold out so I went to the instructors website, Hydrangea Hippo. OMG! I love her work. She has the exact type of products I want to make for my clients! So, I looked at her complete profile. Her name is Jennifer Priest. Then I just went bonkers. TMI! TMI! It's not that she was sharing too much. It's just that she has so much listed that I would actually like to do. My mind started going in all directions. Too. Many. Projects! (TMI = TMP = Information Project overload.) I started shutting everything down, including myself, and was headed for a full blown panic attack.

You know the drill: I can't do it all. I'm getting too scattered. I'm never going to be a success. Blah, blah, blah, blah. I'm telling you - my mind is not a safe neighborhood to be in sometimes!

Still, I kept getting a God Nod to go back to her website. I argued. Really? Seriously? And suffer from TMI/TMP again? I battled the God Nod overnight and finally gave in. (When am I ever going to learn?)

I went back to her website today and almost immediately saw that she sells her goods on and has a store there. And there you have it. Bazinga! Once again multiple problems solved.

I have been wondering what to do with all of my extra scrapbook supplies and tools. It's not like you can sell those things on Craig's list. And there's not a big run on eBay for 2x3 envelopes of colored, patterned ribbon. And who on those sites wants to buy a skein of mismatched numbers or alpha stacks? Okay, so it appears the next step for selling my wares may be an etsy store.

That brought up all kinds of business questions. For example, if and when I start selling items, what is the best way to package them? How do I go live with PayPal? How do I know what to charge? What business licenses(es) are required? How do I track it all for taxes? On and on.

And then the most amazing thing happened. You guessed it. Bazinga! God got me again. It turns out that through another one of my favorite continuing education sources, MCC, Ms. Priest is conducting a five week online course on "Crafting a Handmade Business on Etsy." She is covering all of my questions, and then some; the cost is within my budget, and the timing is perfect! The class doesn't start until February 21st. I will have my contest story written by then and all of my current projects for clients completed.

I'm telling you - God always gets me and He's always got my back. I am definitely Living in Grace, in spite of myself. I am going to be living in that RV full-time one day. I'm glad you're coming along with me.

1/29/12 - Dog Day Afternoon

Welcome to M Wallace, our newest reader! Actually, I have placed myself in the doghouse temporarily because M Wallace joined us on 1/25/12, and I am just now realizing that. Sorry M! And if DHS76 means anything to you, I know who you are! :) Regardless, it doesn't matter, I'm just glad you're here. Welcome!

I realize that I "talk" a lot about my babies - my 3 wonderful pets.  So, warning - if you are tired of hearing about Nonni and Bentley - you may want to stop reading now.  They get their own post today.

These two are SO different. And to me, it is their differences that make them just SO darn cute! For example, Bentley can't stand to be cuddled and he is happiest when he has gone swimming, then immediately after getting out of the water, finds mud to roll in. The dirtier he is, the happier he is, much to his mommy's chagrin.

Consequently, Bentley gets LOTS of baths. Here is a picture I posted on FB of him chillin' after his bath yesterday. He fell asleep looking at himself in the mirror! Is that just too cute, or what? By the way, this is his favorite pose for sleeping.


Nonni on the other hand, tiptoes through dew, can't stand to be dirty, curls up in a ball when she sleeps and loves nothing more than to snuggle while doing it. And while Bentley can't stand any kind of cover on him, Nonni absolutely cannot stand to be cold. They really are SO different!

One more thing - I know all you techies are going to laugh at me, but this is my 1st attempt at taking a video with my phone. It's of my doggies and it's only 10 seconds long and it took me forever to figure out how to download it. I even posted it on FB. I was just SO darn proud of myself. ROFLOL. One has to start somewhere, right? It was a beautiful day for a hike and the puppies were so patient with me. But at the end of the video, look how different they are - they go in complete opposite directions. SO different, but oh SO cute and loving.

Thanks for indulging me on this dog day afternoon!

Friday, January 27, 2012

1/27/12 - Feel Goods

As you know, my next contest entry is titled "A Pigeon Story" and I will submit it next month. It starts off with a catastrophe in a parking garage but has a happy ending. My blogger friend, Don, wrote about something similar on his blog earlier today: Bird Free!  You really should read it. Don insisted the attendants at a garage help a trapped bird, and by doing so he saved a hawk's life. AND the hawk came back to thank them. Because Don hung around to make sure the attendants really did do something to help this bird, he got a great picture of the freed animal soaring. Feel goods don't get much better than that. Way to go Don! I am so proud of you.

Well, I did it. I finished my 1st week at my new job. Hey, feel goods come in all sizes, right? LOL. You'd think the picture below is a celebration luncheon, but it is actually a weekly occurrence. Every Friday, all the ladies in the office go out to eat and the company pays! How great is that? And sorry, the quality of the picture isn't great, but I didn't want to ask the waitress (or my new co-workers!) to take another one.

I also continue to do work for clients. Next I am creating a business card for a client that has moved to a new location. She wants to combine the look of 2 cards she has used in the past. The challenge is that one is animal print and the other is vibrant modern art. It will be interesting to see what I come up with. At this point even I don't know! :)  Also, my wonderful niece is getting married and I was just asked to do the wedding program and shower invitations. How lucky am I?  Opportunities abound as do feel goods every time I get on the computer!

I'm a little worried about keeping quiet time available for writing, but I will work it out. I've always known it will take a lot of work and long hours to get to the point where one day I will be on the open road, doing all of this full-time from my RV, but who knew so many feel goods would come with it? Oh yeah, I remember. God knew or He wouldn't have had me create this blog! Duh, me. LOL.

So my wonderful readers - I am wishing you your very own abundant feel goods. Thanks for sharing in mine. Keep coming back!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sample Page - Graphic Design/Marketing

Welcome to my sample page!

This design was done from scratch without a layout or template or preset color scheme. Except for the two photos, all graphics and formatting are original creations. I asked the client for their favorite colors and went from there. I enjoyed this project because it is a combination of All Things Photo and All Things Admin.

Contact me for your virtual assistant needs.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

1/24/12 - Snoring and Wide Awake

First of all, welcome to our newest wonderful reader: Susan! Susan just retired, lives in her 5th-wheel and is getting ready to travel full-time. She has a cute little dog named Angel to keep her company, and they were gearing up to head to the big Q. Unfortunately though, she just had a couple of mishaps and her travel plans have been delayed for a few weeks. You can read all about it on her blog. Our best wishes are with you Susan! You'll be on the road before you know it. Welcome!

I started my new j.o.b. yesterday as an admin at a concrete company. The hours will be far less than what I was working at the Chamber so I should have energy left over at the end of the day. I also won't have to work weekends anymore. Plus, I'll have benefits. Woohoo! All of which should free me up to write and work on my online businesses. Can you see my smile?

And just to clarify - the smile is because I'll have more time to pursue my dreams, not because I left the Chamber. I met more wonderful people in the short time I worked there than I have in probably the last decade. I said it many times and meant it: The Mansfield Area Chamber of Commerce has the best members in the world! I was blessed to be a part of their lives for awhile. Oh what the heck, I'll just do a shameless plug here: Half-off any of my services to any Chamber member anywhere through the month of February. From me to you with heartfelt gratitude.


It turns out that at my new job I won't be able to do anything during lunch time (writing or business), which was a bit of a disappointment, but it's because I only get 30 minutes for lunch and everyone takes lunch at the same time in the break room. I suppose because it's a factory/industrial setting - not sure. I've never worked somewhere that does that every day, but I'm glad to join in and look forward to getting to know my new co-workers. Plus I get off at 4:30 - ahead of the bulk of the rush-hour traffic. Not bad!

I asked about taking an hour lunch just once or twice a month and was told that I could do that, but I would be docked for the time. There is no opportunity to make it up or anything. So, needless to say, I won't be doing that! Consequently, I will miss my respective monthly lunches with my high school girlfriend and my former pastor. I really looked forward to those 2 outings each month too so that's a BIG bummer. But, if that's the only major adjustment I have to make, then I'm pretty darn lucky.

I fell asleep last night at 8:00. Starting a new job is exhausting! I hope I don't ever have to do it again. Wouldn't that be a blessing? Anyway, fell asleep at 8P, then I woke up at midnight. Wide awake. Couldn't go back to sleep. But that's okay, I've been having a blast the last few hours - got some work done for a couple of my clients and got caught up on the blogs I follow. I'll probably pay for it this afternoon but I'm having such fun, it's worth it! :)

I've also been jammin' to some great tunes while working. I can do that because my roommate works nights - which is probably a good thing since I had to turn the music up really loud to drown out the snoring of my dogs! OMG! I had no idea they snore so loudly! I'm getting surround sound stereo and not in a good way! LOL.

Bentley and Nonni - Rockin' the House

Once I have permission from my clients, I'll show you some of my finished works. I also continue to make progress on A Pigeon Story and you'll get to see that next month. But for now, just know I'm working and writing. And I'm in heaven.

Take care everybody. Love and hugZ, D

Sunday, January 22, 2012

1/22/12 - Gratitude and Focus

It is amazing to me that some people just seem to be born with focus. They know from an early age exactly what they want to do in life. That didn't happen for me until October 22.

Since that day, I don't do anything, buy anything or pretty much even think about anything that isn't related to my goals of being a writer and one day living full-time in an RV.  I am focused and the dramatic difference it has made in my life is incredible. And the impact has been swift.

As you know from a previous blog, I am a traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor, and am very grateful to be alive and functioning. I lost my job, my house, my car, my savings, my retirement, my husband all within a year, 2008-2009. I moved back to my hometown to be near family in March of 2010. Starting completely over has been challenging and interesting, but I have many blessings and am very grateful to have my health.

In July of 2010, 2 of my best friends came to visit me for my birthday. During that visit they helped me set up a Facebook account and showed me the basics. Can you believe that?!?  I didn't even have a Facebook account a year and a half ago. Now look at me! LOL. I will never forget that morning - the 3 of us lounging in the living room, still in our pajamas, each of us on our laptop and them teaching me FB. What fun! I am forever in their debt. Thank you Carolyn and Bobbie. Everything I am today I owe to God and the Grace of Jesus, family and friends (and a few great doctors).

Life continued to be a struggle and nothing changed much from July 2010 to September 2011. I lost Dad in September 2011. That changed something inside me, and it's hard to explain. I hope no one reads disrespect into this statement because if you know me at all, or have been paying attention on any level, you know that I loved that man very much and losing him has been devastating to me. Far more than I ever dreamed it would be. I miss him more than I ever thought would be possible to miss anyone. Yet in Dad's death I found freedom.

I don't have the words to explain it, but there became this sense of urgency to do something. I was up all night on October 22 struggling with the "what to do" question and all my "what ifs" when I finally answered a God nod and created this blog. Until that day, I had no direction, only vague dreams and the nagging desire for something different.

In 3 short months (yes, this is the anniversary date), I have gone from having a "what-the-heck-am-I-doing blog" to an operational website with concrete purpose. I found a voice to stand up for myself in several areas of my life and have even changed jobs. I've entered 3 writing contests and am working on my 4th, and it is a substantial piece - 8,000 words. I started 2 online businesses and since introducing them on January 15, I already have 7 clients with 6 more pending.

I am happier than I have EVER been, and have more energy, and feel better than I have in years.

Am I still broke? Yes. Is it embarrassing that the brakes on my '93 Buick are squealing so loudly that they ask me to turn the car off at the bank window? Yes. Am I amazed that just 3 short years ago I had a life that included a long-term career with the State, a mortgage, a new car, a husband, etc.? Yes. Does it matter? No.

I am so grateful for this life and all my blessings. Even more than that, I am grateful for the focus God has given me.

I am at a time in my life that feels similar to the moment at a theme park when you step off the platform onto a thrill ride. You sit down, buckle up and hold on. I have no idea what lies ahead. I only know that it is coming at me fast, I am steadfast and secure in my seat (holding hands with God), and I am enjoying every moment of this glorious ride.

Thank you for taking it with me.

Friday, January 20, 2012

1/20/12 - But Who's Counting?

As of today, I now have 5 official clients for my business that I officially launched just 5 days ago, January 15. Not bad, right? I am thrilled!  This whole journey has been incredible.

Five months ago, five weeks ago, even five days ago I would never have dreamed that I would be sitting at the lake two days in a row working on projects for clients. MY clients! That has such a great ring to it, doesn't it?

Before I go any further, I want to welcome our 3 newest wonderful readers!
  • RonMc. According to his profile, Ron's interests are God, computers, people and nature. And I hope he won't mind me sharing this, but Ron and I went to high school together and I can tell you that his priority is definitely God. He's a great guy - Ron, that is. I think we all agree God's pretty good. ;)  Ron's blog is The Virus Fighter and while it addresses techno stuff, you'll also find on there that Ron plays the guitar and sings. Welcome Ron! Am really glad to have you on board.
  • Richard. Richard doesn't show information on his profile, and that's okay. It doesn't matter. I'm just glad you're here. Welcome Richard!
  • Janet Horton. Janet doesn't list any information, but I know Janet through my previous job. Janet doesn't like to toot her own horn so I'm going to do it for her. She is very involved in giving back to her community, is an independent business woman with DynaMAXX, and as the founder and CEO of a non-profit org for MS, she is philanthropic. She's also a mommy and a loved grandmother! Welcome Janet! I'm thrilled you joined us.
I love all of my wonderful readers! I carried you with me to the lake again. It got up to 67 today!  If the weather is this pretty next week it is going to make it REAL hard to be stuck inside the office at my new job. Mind you, I'm not complaining. I'm grateful to have a job, but being able to be by the lake this week sure makes me want my RV-living life even more.

We sat at the same picnic table and had yet another surprise visit by feathered friends, but of a different variety. They flew almost the entire expanse of the lake and then settled right by us. I forgot my camera so I grabbed my phone. The quality of the picture is horrible, but today was so pretty it deserved some sort of commemoration. As did the Mallard. Too bad his beautiful colors don't show up in this. Sorry about that, but to make up for the poor quality, I hid a couple of surprises in the picture. Can you find them?

You might recall that when I first went to the lake on January 14, my brakes were squealing. Now they are so bad that it is down right embarrassing! I called my mechanic. He said it will be $140-$200. That means it will be 2 more weeks before I can get the car to him. Rent comes first. It is hard to believe that 3 years ago I had a house, a new car, substantial savings and retirement. Before you think I'm getting all negative on you, let me warn you, I'm going to flip it and this is actually about gratitude. And focus. I am SO blessed!

Actually, so much so, I just decided to make it another blog entry. Stay tuned for "Gratitude and Focus." Next up. See you there!

1/20/12 - Picking an Office

Well, if I could choose an office, the one I had yesterday wouldn't be bad at all. I took the dogs for a long hike around the lake and then we settled at a remote picnic table for Mommy to get some writing done. For most of the time, it was just me and the dogs. Sometimes the only sound was the wind through the trees, the birds, and the lake lapping against the shore with an occasional boat engine in the distance. I was in Heaven. It got up to 74 degrees and it was just picture perfect. See for yourself.

And then there was this little guy. He just came right up to the tree beside our picnic table. Bentley had a stare-down with him, and even talked to him. Nonni on the other hand decided it was too little to eat, got bored and laid down with a thud. Bentley remained diligent until the bird flew off which wasn't for quite some time.

Here's the kicker. I was able to be at the lake, instead of a walled-up office because I start a new job on Monday. It's not the career job I had hoped the previous one would be, but it is a job where I can be of service. Hopefully it will be my last j.o.b. EVER.

I will be an assistant (secretary) to the President of a company, no OT, and no weekends. Won't that be nice? Maybe I can enjoy more days at the lake. The key is that I will get off work by 4:30 each day and can devote my evenings and weekends to my online businesses and my writing. Then one day I can pick any office view I want. Won't that be nice?

Until then, be sure to let me know if you have any photo or admin needs.

While at the lake today I made progress on what will be my next contest entry, A Pigeon Story. I'm already at 3500 words and I was worried about coming up with enough! Ha! The limit is 8,000 words and I'm only about 1/3 of the way through the storyline!

Nora Roberts, my favorite author, says to just tell the story first. Then go through and do any edits and polishing that is needed. So, that's what I'll do. I'll tell the story first. It will be interesting to see just how many words the base story has. I sure hope I don't have to cull too much. I have to get better at brevity in my drafts, if for no other reason than time management! :)


Welcome to our newest wonderful reader! Her name is Mrs. Hopson and her profile says she is in education. She has the cutest darn blog: Take Time With Me which shows her talents as a teacher. I also love the way she organized her Pinterest page. You rock Mrs. Hopson!

And by the way, I happen to know she was a beautiful bride this past June. Mrs. Hopson, Elisabeth, is my niece! Welcome aboard sweet thing!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

1/19/12 - My Wonderful Readers!

I'm not sure what's up with Google/Blogger and the member widget but while it is working (for a change) and showing all of my followers (finally), I thought I would give a shout out to my wonderful readers! Thank you for signing up to follow my blog. Even if you never leave a single comment, it keeps me going just knowing that you cared enough to sign-up. With all my heart, thank you.

If I don't have a join date for you and you know when (or about when) you signed up to follow my blog, please let me know. Sorry I wasn't tracking it before now. It's my thing, may not matter to you, but I'd love to know. Thanks!

If you're reading this and haven't signed up to follow yet, please do. I miss you! :)

Here they are..... MY WONDERFUL READERS!.....

1/19/12 - Russ Krecklow, Travel in Therapy
Russ and Donna have an amazing love story - a must read. They also have the most adorable family and furry friends, and a very interesting blog. They picked up their Lazy Daze RV on 2/24/11 and love to travel. I get it Russ - I can't wait to get on the open road myself. Welcome!

1/9/12 - Blacksheep, Voyager54
John is the ultimate boondocker and I am learning a lot about the RV world from him. Thanks for all the helpful links Blacksheep! If you follow his blog you will never have to wonder what he is thinking. John is never lost for words! LOL. Thanks for joining my blog John. See you on the open road one day. Happy trails!

Maria Meiners, Maria Gets Real
Maria is an intuitive consulting coach and a small business mentor. I cannot tell you how invaluable her help has been to me. Thanks for taking all my calls and keeping my website up and running - don't know what I'd do without you Maria. HugZ!

Rev. David, no blog listed
Rev. David is an invaluable part of my life and one of the most spiritual people I know. I am looking forward to our monthly lunch tomorrow! You mean the world to me. Rev. David. Should you ever wish for me to add any of your websites, music, books or meditation series, just give me the approval and consider it done! Love and hugZ!

Barbara, My Spot
She has some great stories, cute links and helpful information on her blog. Check it out. Welcome Barbara!

Nancy L, no blog listed
She doesn't list a blog or personal info on her profile and that's okay! Nancy, if that ever changes and you want a shout-out for your blog or a website, just let me know and I'll update your info. I also appreciate you giving me a name so I'll know who it is should you ever leave a comment. I'm glad you're here Nancy. Welcome!

Carol, no blog listed
I met Carol through work. She is one of the hardest working, biggest-hearted people I've ever known. May we remain lifetime friends, Carol. Thanks for following my blog! :)

Don, A View from the Road
Don is a character. So is his dog Tigger. Gotta love them and his friend Hermann. His funyun profile pic was my idea. Don is currently on a whirlwind trip through the whole U.S. of A. Check out his adventures. Thanks for following my blog Don. Wish I were already in my RV to reciprocate!

Joe Baker, no blog listed
I have found a lot of great blogs through Joe's profile. Joe and I have never met - only know each other through the blog world and the world wide web, but we realized we live in neighboring towns. It sure is a small world! Glad you're here Joe!

John L, no blog listed
John is another one of my readers that has hooked me up with some great RV blogs to follow through his profile. Sorry I'm not in an RV yet John, but I will be soon. Thanks for being here!

Ostende, no blog listed
It took me awhile to figure out that Ostende, Patrick and Outsiplout are all one in the same. Patrick, if I can do a better job of giving you a shout-out or directing folk to a website or blog of yours, please let me know. Your comments and support all the way from Belgium have been invaluable. Thank you! :)

Jim S, no blog listed
Is this Jim and Gayle? If so, please let me know so I can give your blog a huge shout-out. It's one of my favorites! And even if this is a different Jim, no matter - I'm glad you're here! Thank you! :)

11/9/11 - LSB, no blog listed
Hey everyone, see that beautiful red Rhodesian Ridgeback in my banner? I got her from LSB in February of '09. We've been BFFs ever since - me and LSB "&" me and Nonni. LOL. Love you LSB!

10/23/11 - Gloria, no blog listed
Gloria is my cousin in Arkansas and was my very FIRST follower. She signed up the minute I told her I had created a blog. Support and love like that just doesn't come along that often. Love you Gloria! xo

Well, there's my list to date. I hope it grows and grows. Spread the word, won't you?

And don't be hating on me (grin), but I'm gathering up my babies now and taking them for a long hike around the lake. It's a BEAUTIFUL 74 degrees here today. For what it's worth, you'll be there in a way because I carry you with me everywhere I go.

Once again, love and hugZ to My Wonderful Readers!

Monday, January 16, 2012

1/16/12 - IE vs. Google Issues

Hello dear readers - Thank you for letting me know there was an issue with my blog! I really appreciate the heads-up. You guys are amazing!

And a HUGE shout-out to my "what would I do without you" girlfriend, Maria, for directing me to the help forum where the issue is discussed:
"We've raised this with Google Engineering. Until it is fixed I would suggest settings your comments to either Full-Screen or Pop up rather than Embed.

NOTE: The problem does not happen with Google Chrome or [Mozella] Firefox. It seems to be a problem with just Internet Explorer.

Hopefully Google will announce when the issues are fixed."
So there you have it. Don't know when they'll get it fixed or even IF they'll get it fixed but ITM, I have changed the setting to Pop-Up. I don't like it and I apologize for the inconvenience, but at least I can still hear from you this way.

I sure hope those two (IE and Google) work things out. They make such a lovely couple! Don't you think?

I love my readers! Thanks again. HugZ!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

1/15/12 - A Walk In The Clouds

OMG! I had forgotten how time consuming it is to start a business. Mind you, I am not complaining. I am very grateful to have a business to start, and will work as hard as I need to so that I have my mobile income and am on the road one day in my RV/Harley Hauler. I figure the harder I work the sooner I get there, but OMG! It is a lot of work! Oh, I said that already - sorry.

Plus, it's kind of hard to complain when you have such beautiful weather! I took a break this afternoon from working on business "stuff" and took the doggies for a long walk around the neighborhood. We had 70 degree temps again today. Wow. And look at the clouds that we were blessed to walk under!

Nope, not much to complain about - at all.

1/15/12 - New Business Card

Here are drafts for my business cards. Dear readers, would love to have your opinion.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

1/14/12 - 69! In January! I Noticed.

Got the babies out and went for a walk today along the shores of the lake.

Bentley and Nonni - Chillin'

Could not believe it is January and the temp was 69! There were people in shorts everywhere. Two of the guys from the Kayak Club were even in trunks - although I didn't see them brave the waters.

Kayak Attack

Then, to get some inspiration and my mojo back, I drove around the overnight campsites. I noticed there were a ton of pull-behinds but not many motor homes. Why is that I wonder?

I also noticed that they all grouped together. Why would they do that? I would have asked the park for a sight away from the others. I don't mean to be anti-social, but I certainly wouldn't travel and go to the lake in my get-away-from-it-all RV rig, just to park 5 feet from somebody. Especially in the Off Season! I don't get it.

They also all were parked in the sites closest to the main road. I would have chosen one on the back side, the most remote area, as close to the lake as possible - with a view of the lake! Am I missing something?

And to continue with this theme, I also noticed that a LOT of the pads or drives or whatever you call it, weren't for long homes or trailers. Most were for, what looked like to me, 24' or shorter.  I bet the spaces that could accommodate a toy hauler are booked fast. That will certainly make finding places to stay interesting for me when I do get on the open road. I can't wait for that day.

On another note: my brakes in my sweet, old '93 Buick are squealing. I did not know that until I was driving at very low speeds today with my windows down. So, I drove around with my left foot on the brake. I know that's not good for a car, especially an old one, but I could just hear my blogger friend John and some others talking about this rude lady in her noisy car that drove through the park disrupting everyone's peace and quiet. LOL. I didn't want them blogging about me tonight! Ha!

I hope everyone everywhere had as beautiful a day as we did - sunshine or not. Love and hugZ!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wallet Photo Prompt - January 2012

I said in a previous blog that I would not count this as my actual contest entry, but that I would definitely enter it just because it is fun. Here is my submission for the opening sentence based on the photo below:

As I leaned over to get my wallet,
I had no idea it would be the last thing I'd ever see.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

1/8/12 - Gearing Up

My website has a new look. What do you think? I am thrilled!!!

There is still a lot of work to be done, a lot of extras to add, a lot of writing to be done, but I am on my way to being able to launch my business and do a marketing blitz. By the way, could you or anyone you know use my services from All Things Photo? Just let me know!

a H-U-G-E shoutout to my friend Maria!  She is an incredible muse and she gave me all the technical support necessary today to make these wonderful changes to my website. She also helped me create and setup each page AND she made it fun and hassle-free. Thank you Maria!

I will continue posting updates to each of my new tabs through my blog. I am gearing up to take off in my RV one day folks. Come along with me, won't you?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

01/4/12 - Choosing a Writing Contest for January

Well, it took me awhile but I have narrowed my January writing contest down to the ones listed below. The 1st one I will definitely enter - just because it's fun. But, alas, it's not a "story" so I will also choose another from the 4 below the picture.

Three of the actual contest deadlines are in February, but I will keep my self-imposed deadline of January 31. I will make my decision before I go to bed Sunday night.

What do you think? Any jump out at you as a "winner"?  :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

All Things Photo - Sample Page

Welcome to my sample page. Please keep in mind these are just a few of the things I can do. Click on each item to open it for better viewing.

Email me with your request. I will customize each order to suit your needs.

 I can do All Things Photo.  FREE SMILE WITH EVERY ORDER.

PHOTOS - I can restore, recreate, retouch, recolor, resize and even remake your photos.

GIFTS - I make everything from digital scrapbooks to traditional scrapbooks, photo spinners, embellished frames, and more.



Monday, January 2, 2012

01/02/12-Bones, Birds and Business

I have had great fun this weekend! I started to write that I had done nothing all weekend but "play" on the computer cultivating my new business, but that's not true.

I spent Friday night around a marvelous patio "campfire" after being fed a wonderful fresh catfish dinner by my nephew Robert and his wife, BJ. The dogs got to go with me and it couldn't have been better weather.

Then on Saturday I had a Sister Day Out with Sheree and Shirley. Granted, yesterday and today I've been glued to the computer, but I did manage to get some great walks in with the dogs, and I was able to get in some pretty decent bird watching. Not bad! Here are pics to give you a glimpse of my world these last 2 days.....

My niece asked me to take their Cape Cod pictures and make a gift for her daughter. Here is a compilation of a few of those pictures (8 pictures shown here, 4 pics per page). I'll put them into some sort of flip brag book this week (TBD) and deliver them next weekend. What do you think?

In addition to the walks, the doggies also got some great bones for Christmas and enjoyed chomping down on them throughout the weekend while Mommy worked. You can tell Miss Hope works hard too, right?

My desk looks out onto my backyard through a double window. I can see 5 of my feeders while working - a special treat for me. Here are a few pics I managed to get this weekend. Can't wait to see what views I'll have from my RV one day!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

1/1/12 - 2012 Rocks!

Okay, I realize I may be a bit premature in declaring the entire year s a success, but I have had SUCH a productive day! What a blast! 

I repaired and edited antique heritage photographs for my 1st client today. How cool is that? My 1st client on the 1st day of the 1st year for my 1st mobile income business: All Things Photo.

I WILL be a RV full-timer one day. The sooner, the better. I'm on my way!

I also made 12x12 digital photos of the before and after pics for my business portfolio. I'm so thrilled.

Now I need to figure out how to add tabs to my blog so I can include one for my business: All Things Photo. Oh, that was a repeat wasn't it. My bad. Yeah, right. ;)

I love productivity and progress! Happy frolicking 2012!

Enjoy the pictures...

12/31/11 - Sister Day Out, New Year In

Happy New Year!

I spent the last day of 2011 with two of my sisters and we had a wonderful time. Now for 2012!

I'm looking forward to moving closer and closer to becoming a fulltimer so I am very excited about, and open to, the possibilities 2012 holds.

Love, hugs and blessings! May 2012 be your best year yet.