Sunday, August 30, 2015

Raising Chickens

Last Sunday four of us met to discuss my upcoming trip to Kenya. Happily, the other woman who is going with me was able to join us and we were able to explain more of what the trip will be like. I’m pleased that she is serious about her commitment to Tumaini Volunteers.

After she and my sister left, my daughter and I were finally able to get through via Skype to our liaison in Kenya. He has been researching stuff for us to work on and he thinks he would like to begin chicken production. Meaning that some families are already raising chickens for eggs for their home use, but he wants to take it up a notch and get a full-blown chicken farm going at the primary school. He wants this to happen on a large scale, requiring an investment in money and a long-term commitment from the women who are going to participating in this. Which is why me and my friend have to get there and check out the logistics of this project so that it can be successful.  

I’ve started studying chickens and happen to personally know three people who are already raising chickens at home. I leave for Kenya in five weeks, so I have my work cut out for me.

So what else did I get done last week?

1. READING
a. Read and comment on my weekly assigned blog posts as a ROW80 sponsor. Done
b. Read fifty pages of “Shantarm”. Read 52 pages. I still don’t know what I was thinking picking up a 900 page book
c. Finish reading “Ten Fingers, Ten Toes”. Done. Want to write a review of it this week.
2. WRITING
a. Write two blog posts here and three posts to “The Dino Chronicles”. Done. Finally wrote three posts on my other blog this week.
b. Start the proposal for my novel. Not.
c. Do research on my new novel. Not.
d. Contact my publisher about my third devotional. Done. He answered me that they would love to publish my latest devotional, I’m just scared to know what the conditions are (i.e. cost).
3. REACHING
a. Posting to my social media has been a sticky-wicket of a goal. Let me try this. This week I will post three updates one for each of my books to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. I posted two.
b. Write an update on my website. Done. But not really a full-length update, so that’s why this is highlighted in yellow and not in green. 
4. PERSONAL
a. Nonprofit organization
1) Finalize our itinerary for the trip in October. Umm, no. See earlier note.
2) Try again to get an article submitted in the local paper. I totally forgot about this. Oops.
3) Print out a copy of the business plan, ready for distribution. YES. Finally got the business plan done and perfected and printed out and even in a report cover.
b. Physical
1) Work out three times. Yes, I walked on the treadmill three times and took a walk with the hubby and the dog once. 

What can I come up with this week?

1. READING
a. Read and comment on my weekly assigned blog posts as a ROW80 sponsor.
b. Read 100 pages of “Shantarm”. If I am ever going to finish this book, I have to step it up.
2. WRITING
a. Write two blog posts here and three posts to my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”.
b. Start the proposal for my novel, Jenny’s story.
c. Do research on my new novel, The Abbey.           
3. REACHING
a. Post three updates on any of my books to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
b. Write a complete update on my website.
4. PERSONAL
1) Research raising chickens. I already have a date with a friend for Thursday night to visit her son’s chickens.
2) Contact our liaison with my questions about raising chickens in Kenya.
3) I have an idea for a fund-raiser at work. Whenever I have come back from Kenya in the past, I set up a day to sell all the arts and crafts that we brought back. My co-workers go crazy over that stuff. So I thought I would offer them a $5 off coupon for every $25 they donate to me before I go. I need to roll that out this week if I am going to do it.  
b. Physical
1) Work out three times.

And that’s that. Now it’s time for me to get working. I have a lot to do yet this Round and there’s only a month left. How you coming on your goals?
This fella met his demise at the hands (and knife) of one of the women my daughter worked for in Kenya in 2010.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

super short update

I cannot believe it is Wednesday. It still always creeps up on me. I don't believe I worked on too many of my goals. I posted here and on my other blog once. I read one chapter of "Ten Fingers, Ten Toes", walked on the treadmill one time, posted to my social media about my books once and about my upcoming trip to Kenya once. Looks like I am doing okay, if doing everything one time is my goal at this point.

Today is my last day of working at the day-job for the week. I need to wash my windows one day, visit my mom for an hour or two one day, and work in my garden - what a disaster that is. Oh, yes, and I need to walk some streets of my hometown. Last year and much earlier this spring, I was walking the streets of my town and posting pictures and stories of those walks on my other blog. When I got laid up with bursitis in early June, those walks fell off my radar and now I have struggled to get back at it. Hopefully either Thursday or Friday, or both days, I can get in some of those walks. It has been miserably cold here the last few days and I am afraid my exercise will remain inside now until next spring. I need to retire and talk the hubby into moving South. I have had it with winter!
From the Green Lake Conference Center.
I wish I had this kind of view out of my office window year round. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

sorry for the rant

I want to ask a question and then I might have to rant a bit, so please bear with me.

Has anyone tried fund raising through gofundme or other on-line crowd-funding sites? Did it work for you and if so, how did you do it?

I’ve had a site on gofundme for a month to raise money for my upcoming volunteer trip to Kenya and I’ve had five people give a total of just over two hundred dollars. I’ve posted to all my social media, I’ve added pictures and updates. I’ve tried not to be a pest. I guess I would be okay with where I am at, coz I know that money is tight and people have a lot of other things to donate to. But then I look at what other people are raising money for and I just get pissed. How are these other people raising thousands of dollars for their honeymoon or their divorce or their dog’s hip surgery (and you know I would do anything for my own dog – except ask strangers for money for his vet bills). Maybe I am just na├»ve but I just don’t get it. I know that my cause – going to Africa to help kids in need – doesn’t pull on everyone’s heart strings. And maybe some people use crowdfunding for their wedding instead of expecting gifts at the wedding (or registering at snobs-are-us) or some people were just never able to put a dime in their 401K (or whatever they are called these days) and they need that $10,000 to take their dream vacation after their last day of work as an under-paid civil servant or they truly, truly did not see that their spouse was a loser who was going to rake them over the coals in a messy, cross-country divorce. Or any of a million other scenarios. And if you really want to share your dirty laundry on the internet to make a buck, maybe I should applaud you for having that kind of fortitude instead of criticizing you.

I don’t know. I guess, thanks for listening (i.e. reading) and if you have any insight I would appreciate hearing it. But now that I got that off my chest, let’s move on.  
  
Here’s how my week came out:

1. READING
a. Read and comment on my assigned blog posts as a ROW80 sponsor. Done
b. Read 50 pages of “Shantaram”.  Read forty pages. I am in awe of people who can consistently read a book a week. Do those people sleep? Or work? Or shower?  
c. Read two chapters on “Ten Fingers, Ten Toes”. Read two chapters and only have three chapters left.
2. WRITING
          a. Write two blog posts here. Yes.  
b. Write three posts to my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”. Still at two for the week. That seems to be the most I have been able to crank out.
c. Attend the Green Lake Christian Writers Conference short-track sessions and come home with the usual inspiration to tackle all this writing. Attended.
3. REACHING
a. Post one writing update to one of my social media daily, and figure out how to keep track of this.  I posted a couple times. I could expound, but I think I am just going to stop sweating this one.
4. PERSONAL
a. Nonprofit organization 
1) Post three updates to my Go-Fund-Me page and share with social media. I posted one update and shared it with all the social media. See my rant.
2) I should update the business plan and print off a copy of it, but I haven’t been able to find the most up-to-date copy. My daughter is going to kill me. We are meeting in a couple hours.
3) Try to get in touch with our contact in Kenya to figure out our itinerary while there in October. My daughter had a long talk with him on-line the other day and he is going to Skype into our meeting today. Pretty excited to hear his plans.
b. Physical - Walk on treadmill three times. Walked twice.   
c. Church – Type up a note for the weekly bulletin looking for mentors for our college students and military enlistees, as well as a reminder to their parents to get me their contact information.  Yes.
d. Alexis’s picture – Burn a copy of her graduation pictures onto a CD and either mail it to her and get it to her grandma next weekend. Yep, and giving it to my sister today to take to her.

What can I come up with this week?

1.    READING
a.   Read and comment on my weekly assigned blog posts as a ROW80 sponsor.
b.  Read fifty pages of “Shantarm”.
c.  Finish reading “Ten Fingers, Ten Toes”.
2.    WRITING
a.    Write two blog posts here and three posts to my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”.
b.    Start the proposal for my novel.
c.    Do research on my new novel.       
d.    Contact my publisher about my third devotional.
3.    REACHING
a.    Posting to my social media has been a sticky-wicket of a goal. Let me try this. This week I will post three updates one for each of my books to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. See if I can do that.
b.    Write an update on my website. Since I just renewed it for another year, I should do something with it.
4.    PERSONAL
a.    Nonprofit organization
1)    Finalize (as near as we can) our itinerary for the trip in October.
2)    Try again to get an article submitted in the local paper.
3)    Print out a copy of the business plan and ready it for distribution.
b.    Physical
1) Work out three times

That looks like enough. I hope to get back to the regular work schedule where I have Fridays off (routinely my most productive day!). 
Time to stop goofing around and get to work. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

the only way to go is up

I have rather a mixed bag so far this week. Since green is accomplished and yellow is worked on, I think that by half-way through the week to have mostly yellow is an okay thing.

1. READING
a. Read and comment on my assigned blog posts as a ROW80 sponsor. Done
b. Read 50 pages of “Shantaram”.  Read ten pages, that is pathetic even if it is only Wednesday.
c. Read two chapters on “Ten Fingers, Ten Toes”. Read one chapter.
2. WRITING
          a. Write two blog posts here. Here is one.
b. Write three posts to my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”. Nothing yet, I have got to get my inspiration rolling on that blog again.
c. Attend the Green Lake Christian Writers Conference short-track sessions and come home with the usual inspiration to tackle all this writing. Attended, but got home at midnight Monday night so have not had time or wakefulness yet for processing.
3. REACHING
a. Post one writing update to one of my social media daily, and figure out how to keep track of this.  I don’t think I posted anything to social media yet.
4. PERSONAL
a. Nonprofit organization 
1) Post three updates to my Go-Fund-Me page and share with social media. I don’t think I posted anything to social media yet.
2) I should update the business plan and print off a copy of it. We hope to meet next weekend and I should at least have done this much. Nope
3) Try to get in touch with our contact in Kenya to figure out our itinerary while there in October. He actually sent me a message, so that’s a good sign.
b. Physical - Walk on treadmill three times. Walked once.  
c. Church – Type up a note for the weekly bulletin looking for mentors for our college students and military enlistees, as well as a reminder to their parents to get me their contact information.  Yes.
d. Alexis’s picture – Burn a copy of her graduation pictures onto a CD and either mail it to her and get it to her grandma next weekend. Nope.

I have lots of room for improvement by Sunday. But hey, that means the only way to go is up. How about you? 
(I hate that I wasn't able to turn this but my computer is being a pain.)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

a stellar week

OK, it is time to get my act together. No more excuses. To recap, this is what I have going on this Round:

1.    Take an overnight trip to Michigan. Done and had a good time.
2.    Survive my daughter’s wedding, after surviving the planning of it. Done and everyone survived.
3.    Attend the Christian Writers Conference in Green Lake. Heading there as soon as I post this.
4.    Attend my cousin’s wedding out of town.
5.    Make final preparations for my trip to Kenya (I arrive in Africa the day the next Round starts, so don’t expect much out of me then.)

It looks like I am halfway through. What about last week? Despite some scheduling changes, I made it through and accomplished a stellar amount of stuff. (Speaking of stellar, I also got up at two a.m. two nights in a row to watch the Perseid Meteor shower.)

1. READING
a. Read and commented on my assigned blog posts as a ROW80 sponsor.
b. Read 50 pages or so of “Shantaram”.
c. Read a couple chapters in “Ten Fingers, Ten Toes”. I read this when I am walking on the treadmill, because I have it on my Kindle and “Shantaram” is just too big to hold when I am walking. It makes my husband crazy that I can two or three books at one time.

2. WRITING
a. Wrote two blog posts here and two posts to my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”.  
b. Edited 20 entries of “The Early Ministry of Jesus in 40 Days”.
c. Finished writing those last two pesky entries of “The Early Ministry”. This has been a thorn in my side for months. I just couldn’t find the inspiration to write those last two days, but it came to me the other night. Right after I finished the first entry and was psyched to write the second one, my computer locked up and shut itself down. I was like ‘you have got to be kidding me’. I should have hand-written my inspiration while it was still in my head, but instead I just went to bed. In the morning when I fired up the laptop, the document had auto-saved before shutting down. I finished the last entry, saved it on the laptop and then emailed it to myself, just to be sure. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah me!

3. REACHING
a. Posted lots of updates on most of my social media. I easily lose track of this one, but I think that the goal should be to do something somewhere every day, so it is what it is.

4. PERSONAL
a. Nonprofit organization - Posted some updates somewhere – again – I just can’t keep track!
          b. Physical - Walked on treadmill twice.  
c. Wedding –Edited the wedding pictures and posted them on Facebook as well as on my other blog.
d. Niece’s graduation pictures – Finished editing her pictures. Now I just need to get a digital copy to her to see what she thinks.

What can I do this coming week to top all of that!?

1. READING
a. Read and comment on my assigned blog posts as a ROW80 sponsor.
b. Read 50 pages of “Shantaram”. 
c. Read two chapters on “Ten Fingers, Ten Toes”.
2. WRITING
          a. Write two blog posts here.
b. Write three posts to my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”.
c. Attend the Green Lake Christian Writers Conference short-track sessions and come home with the usual inspiration to tackle all this writing.  
3. REACHING
a. Post one writing update to one of my social media daily, and figure out how to keep track of this.  
4. PERSONAL
1) Post an update to my Go-Fund-Me page and share with social media.
2) I should update the business plan and print off a copy of it. We hope to meet next weekend and I should at least have done this much.
3) Try to get in touch with our contact in Kenya to figure out our itinerary while there in October.
b. Physical - Walk on treadmill three times.  
c. Church – Type up a note for the weekly bulletin looking for mentors for our college students and military enlistees, as well as a reminder to their parents to get me their contact information.  
d. Alexis’s picture – Burn a copy of her graduation pictures onto a CD and either mail it to her and get it to her grandma next weekend.

What do you think? Does that sound pretty reasonable? How about your goals? Are they still doable?

Cheers to me on a stellar week. 
(From my daughter's wedding of course, and none of them were thinking about me at the time.) 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I've had enough

I have had it. I wanted to put this at the end of this post. But it will absolutely not move there. Argh. And it is ten to nine and almost bedtime. So here is the back of the dress. Finished and on the bride. 

My tough momma look. 
Not much in the way of progress to report.
  • Finished editing pictures from the wedding.
  • Posted those pictures on Facebook for all the world to see.
  • Looked at my niece’s daughter’s senior pictures but haven’t done any editing.
  • Promoted “A Time for Every Purpose” on social media.  
  • Promoted my trip to Kenya on social media.  
  • Bonus: My brother found an article about the upcoming trip in a local paper. I found that article on-line and reposted it all over my social media.
That might be it so far this week.

On Sunday I leave for the Green Lake Christian Writers Conference and hope to have my first-round of edits done on my latest devotional as my publisher will be at this conference and will most certainly ask if I have written anything.

By Saturday, I hope to have edited the senior pictures as I have a bridal shower to go to which my sister also will be at and I could give her a jump-drive of the pictures to give to my niece.

And that’s really all I should try to get done in the next few days. I have to work this Friday (my usual day off), so I won’t be able to be too productive, but I’ll see what I can churn out.


Have your goals all slammed into each other like a log-jam? And left you feeling not so productive? Or feeling like you should just post random wedding pictures?
We be sistas.
Flowers for the wedding explode from my car.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Survived

I am trying to post this by nine o'clock, coz that is just my deadline. We most all survived the hillbilly wedding. Even the dress. 
 My daughter with her step-dad. Aren't they both precious?
 Besides the daughter, I have a son too. No, he's not married, which you probably could have guessed.
 And here's the whole hillbilly family. Gotta find pictures with our boots. And of course Val's bare feet. Not pregnant yet though.
I will try to share more pictures and stories next time. But first, I need to make a promise to you that I will get back to writing. I will have progress to report on Wednesday.

Have a good week and thanks to all my readers for supporting me through the stress of the last months.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Latest Update

 Here is the latest update on my daughter’s wedding. I got her dress done and trussed her up in it. And just like the thanksgiving turkey, she looked mighty fine. 

One of her bridesmaids and I sewed the four BM dresses in about an hour Monday afternoon. They are pretty rough, but we plan to tweak them when they try them on Friday. It is a Hillbilly themed wedding, so they are kinda cute. 

Tomorrow the hubby picks up the sign-in piece of wood. I’m anxious to see it. Instead of having a guest book to sign, a friend of mine who does wood-working, burned their names and date of the wedding into a cross-section of a tree trunk and people will sign that with a sharpie pen. To get the idea here is a picture of the one she did for our house. 

What else? Oh, just too many little details to write them all down. Please pray for decent weather as it is all being done outside. Yes, we can all cram into the bar on the grounds of the resort, but that wouldn’t be so fun.


I promise to let you know how it went at my Sunday checkin. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

What were we thinking?

How did August get here? Man, oh, man. Where does the time go?

So my daughter’s wedding is a week from yesterday. On Friday morning, the dress was looking pretty good. 

Then I had her try it on, and because it was only pinned in place, Val freaked out when the pins started poking her (I really can’t blame her). So instead of trying to unstring the corset, I just took all the pins out, so when I got the dress back home again, this is what it looked like. 

I’m not saying I’m back to square one. I just really thought it would all be over by now. But wait, there’s more.

She called me yesterday afternoon to see if I was still free tomorrow. I had taken Monday off from the day job a long time ago to help with the wedding, but the daughter swore on Friday that there was nothing I needed to do until the day before the wedding. Now Val wants me to come down Monday and help one of her friends sew dresses for all four of the bridesmaids. 

Still, I don’t freak out. This has gotten way past that point. Here’s where she went wrong. Because the wedding is so ubber-casual, Val had told her bridesmaids (I’m going to just call them BMs coz I can’t spell today) that they could wear anything they wanted – some kind of sundress or a maxi-dress. All four of them have been telling her that they can’t find any such dress. Really? Coz Val and I found like 20 of them two weeks ago when we were dress shopping.

Anyway, Saturday afternoon Val and one of the BMs were talking and decided they could make super-simple dresses based on the pillowcase pattern people use for little girls. Oh, sure, it looks simple, until you make four of them for four different sized women! 

But that’s not all. Val proceeds to tell me not to bother to come to her house on Monday until 4 or 4:30 coz that’s when this BM gets off of work. Really? We are going to sew four dresses in like four hours. And only one of the people who will wear this dress is going to be there?    

Do I need to tell you that no writing has gotten done this week, except for the flash fiction piece I wrote one night? I have been keeping up on my ROW80 sponsor duties but that’s about it. Don’t look for much more this week.

Oh, and one other thing I did get done was taking the graduation pictures for my niece's daughter. I told them I would edit the pictures and give them a copy when I see them at the wedding. What was I thinking by making that promise? 
And how has your week been going???