Thursday, October 30, 2014

Change

It's funny. Sometimes I don't blog because I don't have anything new to say. In other instances, I don't blog because I struggle with the quality of my writing. In some cases, I am an absentee blogger because I am mired in the posts of social media. This is not a time like those.

My One Little Word for this year is "light". It should probably be "change" or "new".  It seems like I have had a lot of changes lately. This odd phenomena started when I had a mole removed. As silly as it sounds, it was a big change. I've had it all my life, on my right cheek, right up on the cheekbone. My mom once had an identical mole on the opposite side of her face-we had mirror-image moles. She had her mole removed when it got to be quite large. I did the same-bigger than a new pencil's eraser. It wasn't a "cancerous" mole, my dermatologists said. However, it would keep getting bigger, and my face is small, so it was quite noticeable. Once it was removed, it felt like a big change.

I also worked on another aesthetic change-getting my teeth fixed. I had braces from 8-12+ grade. I had them removed before my senior pictures, and replaced for a few months after my freshman year in college, but they didn't do permanent retainers, when they removed braces, then. I had the plastic kind that slipped over your teeth. Once I was expecting my first daughter, and had some morning sickness, I stopped wearing them. My teeth slowly moved out of their perfect places. However, over the last few years, they have moved exponentially faster and got harder and harder to clean due to their proximity to one another. So, I started the Invisalign procedure. I am so excited for the final product.

Sad vs happy changes... My big dog passed away and then we got a puppy-Quite big changes in the pet department. Both big changes to my heart, as well.

Changes in my profession also sailed along. I officially accepted the fact that I was moving away from teaching, cleaning and sorting my supplies. I stayed put in the realm of funeral coordinator. I still have that job, and happily, it's been a slow business lately-knock on wood. With that freed time, I wondered... "what else?" My house is quiet, when I'm not working on teaching Morgan commands, and even then, it is only I who speak. I started researching how to make my husband better at social media for his business posts. I found I really enjoyed the topic, reading and learning about business. Who knew? :) I talked with two women I knew in the business field, who knew me-my first "networking" appointments. They were adamant that I could make the transition. My husband had been saying this for a long time, but he's married to me so he has to say nice things, right? ;) I also set up a meeting with one of his partners, on my own, and spoke with him. He was in agreement. They are meeting about possibilities of me helping out in a more permanent capacity with their company. We will see what changes come from that. In the process, I am reading several books about marketing, mainly in the social media realm, and business analysis. This would be a huge change.

We are making changes in our home, as well. We had some companies look into remodeling, and after pondering the choices, we are building a new home. It won't be done until May or June and it is only about two blocks from where we currently live, but will have such better use of space. I am incredibly delighted. I have no reservations about this or the occupational jump. They both feel like the right steps to make right now. The right changes to make.

One last change that is fairly big for me, and then I will stop for tonight. I have always loved running. Long story short, over the last two summers of half-marathon training, I have battled injuries. I haven't given myself time to heal. This year's half was slower than I'd hoped and was by no means a personal record. However, I finished. Normally the thought of resting from running makes me sad and restless. This year I am going to keep running, but cut down on my milage and begin to try some other things like pilates and barre. I enjoy yoga, definitely, but am ready to try something new. With these as two new possibilities of cross training, running seems like a fun "extra". I'm hoping these will help me change my fitness level, away from the running only plateau I have put my tent up on. Once I feel successful, I know it will help me change some of my bad eating habits, too. That's how it works for me, it's all a cycle.

What changes are you experiencing these days, Reader? I hope they are good changes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jan Karon

I have professed my adoration for Jan Karon's Mitford series books many times, here. I have read the most recent book, #10, and continue to love the writing. I love how the books take me away to the small, quaint town of Mitford.  I got misty-eyed as I read, just like always. :) The newest book is Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good.  Here is the synopsis from Barnes and Noble:
After five hectic years of retirement from Lord’s Chapel, Father Tim Kavanagh returns with his wife, Cynthia, from a so-called pleasure trip to the land of his Irish ancestors.
            While glad to be at home in Mitford, something is definitely missing: a pulpit. But when he’s offered one, he decides he doesn’t want it. Maybe he’s lost his passion.
            His adopted son, Dooley, wrestles with his own passion—for the beautiful and gifted Lace Turner, and his vision to become a successful country vet. Dooley’s brother, Sammy, still enraged by his mother’s abandonment, destroys one of Father Tim’s prized possessions. And Hope Murphy, owner of Happy Endings bookstore, struggles with the potential loss of her unborn child and her hard-won business.
            All this as Wanda’s Feel Good CafĂ© opens, a romance catches fire through an Internet word game, their former mayor hatches a reelection campaign to throw the bums out, and the weekly Muse poses a probing inquiry: Does Mitford still take care of its own?
            Millions of fans will applaud the chance to spend time, once more, in the often comic and utterly human presence of Jan Karon’s characters. Indeed, they have never been more sympathetic, bighearted, and engaging. 

If you haven't read the Mitford Series, and then the books between #9 and #10 which are the Father Tim Series, with the same characters, you should. :)

I have also read (I got from the library) the latest Tea Shop Mystery #15 by Laura Childs: Steeped In Evil 

Next I am onto a book that should prove to be interesting, considering that I love mysteries and Agatha Christie. It is called The Monogram Murders. It isn't written by Agatha Christie, but her estate has approved it due to the writing. See a synopsis here:
From Barnes & Noble
When Agatha Christie (1890-1976) published her first Hercule Poirot novel in 1920, she could have not imagined that her mystery series sales would eventually top two billion copies. (Only The Bible and Shakespeare outsell her.) And when she ended the Belgian detective's run in 1975, enthusiasts despaired that the series would never be revived. But now the unbelievable has occurred: After almost forty years, the Christie estate has finally authorized a revival of this classic and they selected respected mystery author Sophie Hannah (The Orphan Choir; Kind of Cruel) to create a Poirot whodunit worthy of its origins. By every evidence, this suspenseful fiction remains true to the letter and spirit of Ms. Christie. Editor's recommendation.
What are you reading, today, Reader? It is currently rainy, dark, windy and gloomy here... in my opinion perfect for reading. :)

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Kindness

Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness. ~Seneca

Friday, September 19, 2014

iOS8 Updates

Today I updated my iPhone5 to the latest operating system, iOS8. Visually there are a few changes, but nothing drastic. First, my phone gave me a few tips and tricks such as:

  • If I'd like to use the swipe feature, I could just change the settings so it applied to mail, contacts and calendars.
  • I can now ask Siri "What song is this?" as opposed to opening Shazam, which will be much more "hands-free" friendly.
  • I can double-click the home button and then tap on a favorite or recent contact. 
  • I can now share apps, music, and other things with my family-once I have purchased something, I can share it with up to 5 people in my family. I love that! The girls and I like a lot of the same music and it will be nice to share apps/games we enjoy!
  • The camera has a self-timer now, and better editing features.

I looked up a few articles to figure out the best features or features I needed to know about on Forbes.com, as well. I found a few great articles with lots of information:

I also found an article about whether or not to upgrade to the iPhone6 on Forbes.com, here. I also found an article about how to use this new OS to help with battery life... maybe. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Blogging

         I have been doing some reading about blogging. I found several articles linked in Pinterest and have been going back through reading them. I found a great graphic here, at Fabulous Blogging that has tips to increase blog traffic. I loved the simplicity of the graphic, which separates bits of information like food groups. :) It references marketing more than a simple personal blog, such as this, but I liked the information.

         I have been learning more about social media, as well, but researching to learn more of the business/marketing aspect. It has been a fun journey I look forward to continuing. Any new journeys or detours for you, Reader?