Inktober participation

Seven years ago, Jake Parker came up with the idea of doing an ink drawing every day for a month to improve his inking skills. He liked the results so much he created the annual Inktober challenge.

Inktober logo

I’ve eyed the sketches on various social media for a couple years now, and this year I’ve decided to take the plunge and join in. I don’t have fancy brush pens, but I have some Pentel pens of varying colors and Micro-Line pens of different thicknesses to play with, and I found a book at the Easton library on hand lettering — so I’ve got lots of playing to do. I’ll probably try to follow the prompts at least occasionally, but my goal is to have fun for the 31 days.

hand Drawn Lettering: Draw Print Paint by Max Marlborough

Anyone else want to give it a try?

Cooler weather at last!

It’s a small thing, I know, but I was getting rather tired of it being 90 degrees in September. This week, the highest it’s supposed to reach is 75. Not only that, but the humidity has dropped as well.

trees with fall colorLeaves are turning. Stores have apple cider for sale. Kids are thinking about Halloween costumes.

So weird — it’s like PA saw the calendar and flipped the switch when the autumnal equinox hit. Yes, I am grateful.

What are you grateful for this week?

New year, new challenges

As is probably obvious by now, I track years by school years as well as calendar years. Gives me twice as many new years! Of course, I’m rarely ready to start new projects when the new year rolls around, but I do have a burst of energy and attempted organization, so with luck, this’ll mean that I actually get Treachery finished this month. Helping in this are two apps, both of which I’ve mentioned before: Freedom (to keep me off the Internet) and Scrivener for iOS (so I can write even away from the computer).

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Three random things

Two-headed monster

(First thing)
Last week, I told the kids we’d do what they wanted for the last day of summer. They opted for the Da Vinci Science Center, so that’s where we spent the afternoon. (Morning was library, comics and gaming store, and ice cream shop for lunch.)

Which means that the kids are back in school now. Huzzah! This, of course, is what I’m grateful for. Continue reading

Looking on the bright side

One of the main reasons I do these gratitude posts on Mondays is to remind me that I have so much that is good in my life. This can be an especially valuable reminder on Mondays — our culture has built up a sense of dread about starting the week, so this is my attempt to counteract that. Not always easy, especially when I’m having a rough day. Or a rough week.
all out and all in

So here are a few bright spots in this day:

  • The temperature is under 80°, and it’s breezy. Yes, it’ll be back above 90° later this week, but right now, it’s lovely.
  • The part to fix our broken toilet was about $2.75 with tax, and the toilet is working now.
  • Verizon Wireless support on Twitter is trying to help me get my data plan sorted out after much frustration on my part. (Fruitlessly, it turns out, but they tried.)
  • My friends encourage me on rough days.
  • I got lovely new art supplies last week and took some time to play a bit this weekend!

What are you grateful for this week?

Air conditioning

air conditioning unit

Our air conditioning unit is old and battered (a bit over 40 years old, just like the house, although the house is far less battered and rusty), but it still mostly limps along. Carrier builds good products.

Every now and then, however, there is a hiccup in life. In this case, the proximal cause was probably the belt in the furnace that needed to be replaced. However, the service technician also cleaned the condenser coils out as well as the clogged air filters. (For the record, I do clean the filters twice a year.)

Now the house is cooling down again, and my brain is starting to feel capable of thought once more, as it is no longer stewing in its own juices.

What are you grateful for today?

Ouch

The other day, I tripped on my front step. Skinned my left knee, landed with most of my weight on the heels of my palms — primarily the right. Nothing’s broken, and there’s no real swelling. However, the joints all hurt, writing or drawing for more than a couple minutes produces twinges in the back of my forearm, turning motions (like twisting a doorknob) give me shooting pains, and lifting things is hard. I’ve been treating myself with OTC painkillers, ice, and rest, and I’m doing better day by day.

Meanwhile, I’m mostly confining myself to the iPad because mousing is painful. Which means I’m not around as much for a bit. I’m checking e-mail, so if you need something, that’s the best way to get in touch. And if I seem quiet for a bit, at least you know why.

the offending front step

Half the year is past

hosta buds

This year really seems to be flitting by. I wish I had more to show for it. Despite not having completed projects yet, however, I feel more on top of things. My writing feels more solid. I have plans for where I want to go with my career, which was never a high priority before — I tended more to the “spaghetti on the wall” method.

Family life feels more grounded, too. I still have days when I totally lose it with my kids because they interrupt one too many times, but I’m happy to plan time with them. My daughter and I have actually agreed on one hour a day that she gets my attention, to draw or play or whatever, and because I can plan on this, it doesn’t feel like an imposition. There are still things I want to add in, but we’ll see how that goes, little by little.

I’ve managed to actually complete a craft project (I’ll post about it on Sara’s blog), and I’ve got a couple others on tap to start.

In other words, right now, I feel settled. I don’t know if I’m really as on track as it feels like, but I’m definitely making progress and doing all the things that are priorities in my life. (Well, maybe I could spend more time with friends.) For all of this, I’m grateful.

What are you grateful for today?

Rainy Mondays

hosta leaf

Every now and then, I think I should water the yard. I worry about my blueberry plants (now with a dozen berries!) or the petunia that my daughter’s class gave me. And then, this being Pennsylvania, it pours. We’ve been here almost a dozen years, and I still find it weird — will always find it slightly tone-deaf — that people can worry about a drought if it doesn’t rain for two months (usually July and August). Two months does not a drought make. (It does, however, lead to times when it’s not ridiculous of me to wonder whether I should water the plants.)
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