Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Late Monday Morning Chat Over Coffee

Dashed out of my house the minute the plow had been down the country road. The day was planned. There were errands to run and a friend to meet. And no time to blog. But I did have a wonderful chatty time with my friend, Dianne, over Chinese buffet and down the aisles of Hobby Lobby, JoAnn fabrics, and Sam's Club.

But meanwhile the belated Monday Morning news. Lapping into Tuesday I suppose.

Last week's snow storm: Really a bit of a bust. Hit the west slopes or what is termed here in the highlands as the up slope. We did get some snow but minimal compared with last year and the two before.

This week's storm watch: This looks more serious. They are already targeting the east slopes (or down slope) where I live and talking about significant snow accumulations. As the snow pack in the mountains is essential to recharge our aquifers and very necessary for the health of the forest to abate forest fire potentials I have decided to be in favor of this storm on a guarded level. Still would like much of it to go to the drought ridden south of us. But no worries until late Wednesday.

Trip to Santa Fe:  I had applied to be able to see a public document (actually my documents - the original application for building permit) and they called last week to tell me they were available for me to view. Could they mail the one page I asked for. No, no said they. So I drove down arranging to meet a friend from south of there for lunch. And upon arriving at the building to see my PUBLIC documents they would not mail was told they had mailed them the 21st. They are probably in the mail box on the road which I will check this morning.

But it was good to get out and stretch my city legs as it were and have a delightful time giggling with a friend. I also got yarn for a new cable knit sweater project, canvas for more paintings, 40 pounds of kitty litter for the purr kids and a lining material and a pattern to use this delightful brocade I have had for ages and make a lovely evening jacket. This should inspire me to get back to sewing this spring. (Sewing room is currently too chilly.)

This blog, Chats with Charley II, is my least visited of blogs and I have been considering taking it inactive and just moving Monday Morning Chat over Coffee (my one consistent blog I do here) to Sidetracked Charley which is more popular. And I may begin double posting there to prepare for that transition. I set this blog up for my Y!360 friends and as a place to archive some important blogs in my past. And now with most of my Yahoo Sisters on Facebook it seems Chats is really more just for me. My but how times do change.

Any strong opinions out there?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Morning Chat Over Coffee - Catch up with status

Magique and Mardi on a Runabout

The snow is melting off and the exposed ground has become rather powdery. A sign that we could use more moisture, but for the moment the dogs really love the almost spring like days. The big plus being that I take them for longer walks. Beginning tomorrow we have four days of rain and snow mix. Rain during the days which are scheduled to be in the 40's F. and snow at nights.

I had my trial date with the suit from the contractor from hell scheduled for  this coming Wednesday but the court clerk messed up the judge's calendar and it had to be put off until March 19th. Driving weather to Raton (1 1/2 drive through a mountain pass and across a windswept plain) would not have been good. I did really want this over two year ordeal out of my life, but as we are all prepared for trial I essentially get a two month recess from the stress. Two months when I really, really need to paint and get ready for the summer art season.

The weather has also made me want to start on spring cleaning. My plan this year is to do it in stages - room at a time - instead of breaking my back in an attempt to do it all in a day or two. But then snow this week may kill this thorough cleaning urge. It does require in my mind the opening of windows and the airing of throw rugs, etc.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Morning Chat Over Coffee - Internet Irritation

I got so irritated with the Internet yesterday I signed off my computer! Everyone on Facebook was playing those silly little games. Yesterday it was pillow slams or something. I hate seeing my wall cluttered up with all that. Okay, I am a bit compulsive on my "blog" pages. And then all the comments on my blog about China on Travels with Charley careened off into me slamming teachers. NOT. And in spite of my expressed wish to not discuss the court case for the entire weekend everyone else seemed to want to. This obsession seemed to manifest itself in chats on FB or Yahoo messenger. Before I turned off the computer at mid day I had four chat windows open.

And people accusing me of ignoring them. And not heeding brb or brwy. I could not get off the computer fast enough. Nor did I get back on until this morning. And I am flying cloaked.  My sister just called me to check that I was alive. Yes, I am alive but just acutely aware of the communication issues inherent with Mercury in Retrograde. Even Yahoo IM doesn't seem to understand my need to fly under the radar and keeps shutting down. When I bring it back up it of course wants me visible to the world.

Just a bit of notice to my friends. I am going to be flying low for a few days. I am not available for chats or am I welcoming those stupid things posted on my FB wall or those e-mails that have to be sent to 30 friends in 30 seconds. Nothing personal. My interests are just elsewhere at the moment.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Monday Morning Chat Over Coffee - Winter Depression

I am depressed. The holidays can do that for you except in this particular instance I think the holidays have actually helped prevent me from being more depressed. Good times were had with friends and that helped lift my gloomy mood. The year just ended was a bummer for more than just me. I have cautious hopes for 2010 but January can be a real downer so I am working on a game plan to help.

This list of ten words that have been missing from my life lately came about on my gift of a totally private blog where I can journal privately and rant and rave. It seemed rather too good to not share.
  • Light. Sunshine where possible but actually turning on some of those low energy bulbs and making it not so dark before dawn.
  • Warmth. Turn a heater or two on now and then to bring up the temperature. Especially in the bedroom and the mornings on the computer. I have cut my kilowatt per day usage over last winter by 1/3rd and that has made only 7 cents savings.
  • De-clutter. I have been living in this little circle of light surrounded by mess and covered over with blankets. No room to move. All cornered in literally and emotionally.
  • Positive plan for January and the year ahead. This would be a good time to really explore subject matter in paintings. I have the canvas and the paints and just need to buy stretcher bars though I have quite a lot at the moment. So I need to entertain myself cheaply but still have projects to do. Creative de-cluttering would be another thing to put on the schedule.
  • Finances. Allow myself to "waste" on a special little gift to self from time to time. Come up with aggressive self-promotion plan to increase sales and earnings in my studio. Delete the word budget as it is very depressing.
  • Escape. Plan day trip out of valley and away from everything by myself (dependent upon weather and workability of vehicle).
  • Exercise. Some bit of it daily and three days a week longer workout. Get Yoga back at least once a week. Endorphins is a good why to improve ones mood.
  • Diet. Don't want to quit that though I realize it does cause stress. But being overweight is not helping mood either. So will continue to strive to lose weight but not beat myself up over not losing fast enough.
  • Think positive. Affirmations all around have worked in past. Reinstate this practice.
  • Play. Whether it is games on the computer or non-sense in the studio or a lunch out with friends
This list can be added to but if it gets too long it can be depressing in and of itself.And some of the things on it may not apply to you. But to begin the year in a positive fashion I encourage you to use this as a basis of your own list.

Do you suffer from winter or holiday depressions? What works for you?

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Optimism - Word Thursday

My father used to say, "If you can keep your head while all others around you are losing theirs you clearly don't understand the situation." He was the optimist? He used to optimistically get us into situations that triggered Mom's we-are-not-going-to-make-it gene. Us kids, caught in the back seat as the car ran dangerously close to out of gas miles from civilization, or trailing behind in a force march out of our favorite fishing hole with the temperatures soaring to above 100, or in our bedrooms listening to fights over money were just literally along for the ride.

I have learned to whistle in the dark but firmly believe the light at the end of the tunnel has a good chance of being a freight train. I keep waiting for my ship to come in while debating to swim out after it. But in my heart of hearts I am afraid of sharks. And I have read about the Lusitania and the Titanic.

Optimism comes from the Latin word optimus, meaning "best," which describes how an optimistic person is always looking for the best in any situation and expecting good things to happen. Optimism is the tendency to believe, expect or hope that things will turn out well. Even if something bad happens, like the loss of a job, an optimist sees the silver lining.

I can be very optimistic from time to time. And I believe in the power of positive thinking though I know that did not work for the builders and passengers of the Titanic. I always hope on New Year's eve that the year ahead will be better than the last. But since Christmas Eve 2001 it has been one long struggle after another to avoid that train in the tunnel. I have fought to get the doctors to believe something was seriously wrong, I fought for worker's compensation and then Social Security Disability, and bankruptcy so I could keep my home and not the debts incurred while not working - just living from day to day. Then the contractor from hell. I am frankly rather tired of fighting.

But I read my yearly horoscope this morning to try and find some reason to believe the dot on the horizon might be my ship coming in and not a swarm of locus. My trials over the last eight years seem to all be about the now non-planet of Pluto.

Gemini is one of the few Sun signs that doesn't have an animal symbol, but this may be the year that all of that changes. In the past few years, with Pluto opposing your sign, you've been a little like a monkey, swinging from branch to branch trying desperately to keep one step ahead of the predators and keep yourself fed. With Pluto now moved on into Capricorn, a lot of the major partnership issues you've faced will be lightening up. You'll still retain the swing, but this year you're going to feel a lot more like a hummingbird: still mobile, still getting things done, but in a much more elegant manner. 

Your renowned intellect has been strained the last couple of years, as it's been forced to find solutions to the many issues you've been dealt. In 2010, you'll finally be gaining some traction on your biggest challenges, and solutions will flow to you with ease. 

And my career and financial path seems to be upward mobile for the first half of the year. So dare I hope as I wave goodbye to 2009 that 2010 will be a better year? Or is that being overly optimistic? Foolhardy even?

Where do you fall on this time-space continuum?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday Morning Chat - Not Where I Thought I Would Be

The clock is ticking down to the final days, hours and minutes of 2009. I am always of a reflective mood this time of the year. And it occurs to me that this year I had really thought I would be further along than I am.  I wanted to have the lawsuit from the contractor-from-hell over and done (it has been more than two years now), and I wanted to be showing some in impressive income from my studio. But I think the economy got in the way on that last.

On the upside I survived 2009 financially. Just barely at times but I am still able to pay bills. I completed my Chapter 13 early which helped this fall. And I started a small pet and house sitting business which has added some extra income which I think will build. And I have had steady sales of art. The past year also included two Best of Show awards giving me a total of three within the last two years. Validation that I am on the correct tract with my art. And further validation was found in those clients which have purchased a second and third piece.

But I really wanted the mechanic's lien over with. My legal aid attorneys offered a settlement where no money changes hands but he has not snatched it up. There is a telephone hearing this morning on discovery. Hopefully the judge will just cut through all the crap and issue a summary judgment. Keep your fingers crossed. This lien has so handicapped me financially. And made it so I do not want to do any enhancement of my house even where there is only sweat equity involved.

I am still, however, developing plans for 2010. One cannot continue to live without hope and plans. Now if just those things I have no control over like the economy and the legal system and the weather will cooperate it could be a very rosy new year.

How was 2009 for you and do you have plans and hopes for 2010?

Friday, December 25, 2009

May All the Blessings of the Season be Yours

And may Santa have brought you all you wished for even if you were not on the best of behavior this year. I know I wasn't. And will 2010 be exceptionally wonderful for all of us.