Finding My Way Back :)

Hey everyone, welcome to (almost) fall–hope all is well with all of you! Believe it or not, I’ve missed you!

Yes, I’ve been missing, and thankfully, for no particular (bad or unfortunate) event. The fan in my ‘puter (as a long ago student referred to the computer) went on the fritz in early summer. Took a couple of weeks before the correct fan came in (via Ebay and USPS—God bless both) and Older Son got the ol’ Acer up and running for his ma.

That kind of put me in a holding—and, yes, I’ll own it: avoidance—pattern. (I was sort of in one anyway, typical of the rather chaotic feel working our school’s summer academic program promotes.) Then August came and went. Before I knew it, summer was over and school is back in session!

I was blessed, though, with a restful and productive time. What I’ve been up to:

*Allowing myself to rest and enjoy the time off I am blessed and privileged to have every summer. Usually, I start mourning August’s end before it starts. This year, I got myself in check fast. Got to the beach a few times; enjoyed a free concert there one night and two spectacular sunsets on the other occasions. (Next up: getting there—with Hubby, of course—in time for a sunrise.)

Sunrise--Wildwood

Morning at the “bend” in North Wildwood.

Sea wall Wildwood

Sea wall, North Wildwood–now that’s a “serenity space.” 

me--5-2015

The gardens at the Hereford Lighthouse, North Wildwood. 

Sunset--8-2015  sunset-8-2015-2

Sunset–Sandy Hook (both images)

*Reading: I got in about seven books since in the last 5-6 weeks. (That’s an accomplishment. My attention span has been next-to-nothing for a while now. As with everything else, I blame hormones.)

Tennis: Practicing my shots and playing with Hubby, Older Son and anyone else willing to hit the court with me. Kept up with a teenage neighbor for an impromptu practice session. He quit before I did—how cool is that? Made it to the qualifying rounds of the US Open Tennis Championships! Awesome to watch the speed and power behind the ball as it flies live off the players’ racquets!

US Open--2015

*Cleaning/Purging/Organizing: Took me at least ten hours to clean the desk/office area in my semi-finished basement. (Younger Son thinks it’s his space, but his ma is willing to share.) I dumped notes and evaluations dating back up to 20 years, folks. I even found one of my very first, handwritten evaluations. Now I’m happily utilizing this space again—hopefully, more so as time progresses—for creative endeavors!

desk

*Sewing: I love making small quilts as baby gifts. I keep them very simple, and currently have four (?) in the works, started on a day when I dragged the Singer in front of the TV (during a Masters 1000 tennis tournament—what else?)

Quilting

sofa

Disguising cat-damage to the sofa arms is another art form I incorporate here and there.

*Writing: Some. Got inspired at the beach and got back to a work-in-progress started 3-4 years ago. I also signed up for an online novel-writing class and hope to be working through that in the upcoming weeks. (More on that in a future post.)

Best news of all: Booked my first two (PAID) speaker gigs!!! The first is my parenting workshop (10/8) and the second is about sensory strategies (1/12 and 1/19 of 2016). Go figure: an adult school in my area is going to pay me to talk—how awesome is that????

That’s what’s going on with me these days. What are you all up to?

Cheers!

Joanna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Catching Up and Checking In

Happy Presidents’ Day, people!

The East Coast has been getting seriously hammered with snow and ice these past weeks—snow days from school abound, it seems, and another one loomed as I wrote this. Gave up grumping about having to make them up later, opting to be grateful I don’t have to brave the slippery, slidy elements in a car or other form of transportation. Makes for a much more peaceful day, in my head, anyway.

winter 2014-2  The ice got quite thick. We’re blessed not to have lost power. 

winter2014 Hubby’s newer car is under there. About 2 feet of solid snow and ice are between its front and the fence. 

V-day flowers 2014

Hubby  made sure I was not w/o flowers for Valentine’s Day, so I got these two days prior.  I wound up snowed in, so he got his first hand-made card (a color-by-numbers I’d used with my students at school–special thanks to Mrs. M for bringing that to school in the first place). Of course, hubby shows me up by pulling my card from under his pillow before it was light enough to see on Valentine’s day. That’s a Leo for you…)

Vday for dad 2014 Made sure I cropped out the mushy stuff I wrote on the side 🙂

So, between snow days and a high-profile (?) report last week got away from me. I am, however, thrilled to report I’ve made serious headway into a presentation/workshop I’ve been working on. (PowerPoint part done. Check!) Next, I’ll be trying my hand at CreateSpace to put together a related booklet. (Tips welcome.) After that, promo letter and maybe a separate blog dedicated to the topic.

Anybody out there with thoughts re: getting started on types of venues to book? Paid or not? I’m thinking about reaching out to PTAs in neighboring districts and libraries to start. I’m sure there are many more and would love input.

Thanks and have a great week!

Joanna

Checking Back In and Catching Up

Hi all. Hope all of you are well. Sorry. Went a bit MIA these past weeks. Between feeling lousy (sinusitis and a nasty antibiotic that made me a tired insomniac—yes, in that order); some family matters to attend to and work beginning the end of winter-into-spring-paperwork rise, life just got in the way—again.

I am glad to be back, though. Ironically enough I recently read a wonderful post about procrastination by Darlene Steelman. Yep! Spent the rest of that day avoiding the laptop but finally parked my back end at the darn thing around 9 PM to draft this write up.

Jakee-boy
Isn’t Jake the sweetest thing? He’s my son’s girlfriend’s pitbull, 4-5 months old. Love him and I promise my son was playing with him in the gentlest way!

In other Joanna news, I’ve been working on getting back into a routine that includes some ramped-up exercise. It’s way too easy to go slack after not feeling well for close to a month. Recently finished Larry BrooksStory Engineering, too. Now there’s an awesome resource for plotters and pantsers alike. More on that in another post. A must-read book for anyone trying to find their way to story constructing nirvana.

And I finally made risotto! (Did you catch that, Dr. Stratford?) Got up the nerve last Friday evening. (Parts one and two of the post that inspired me went up last month.) Won’t tell you I followed James’ recipe but I could see his line about ‘stirring it lovingly’ throughout. (Truth is, I hunted down an alternate recipe b/c I committed risotto sacrilege and used long grain white rice. Sorry James, I didn’t have Arborio and was too lazy to go out and round some up. I found a recipe that fit the bill online, doctored it a bit and fell back on instinct to reach the finish line. It worked out, too. Well enough that I’m sharing my take on it.)

I am, however, running longer than I should so I’ll share the recipe later this week. (Besides, this lets me sneak in an extra blog post, as I am nearing the 300 mark!)

Catch y’all later!

Have a great day,

Joanna