Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I know the header is all caps. Please don't take offense, I am not shouting. Well maybe I am, but they are shouts of joy!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Visitors and Statistics

Numbers and Places
I love stats!  Who knew?  I must say that I do not get very many comments on this blog so my site counter and the stats from my blog tell me not only how many people have stopped by for a visit, but what country they live in.  That is so exciting to me.  So far I have people from 9 countries who have visited my blog and I have topped over 500 visits. Although, I believe at least half of those might be mine from checking in daily and doing general blog maintenance.

A Confession
Now, I believe when I began this blog I said it was for me to journal my process of redesigning my career and beginning a new business from scratch, along with the day to day of life.  And it is. That doesn't mean I don't want and enjoy having visitors stop in.  Truthfully, if I was writing totally just for me, I would journal in a notebook. I have realized that I was hoping for more visitors and feedback. I do, after all, have a full coffee pot on, figuratively speaking.   I was hoping for company.

So, here it is.  Talk to me!  I know I am not the only person new to blogging or working on creating a new business-or who have ever been new to blogging or creating a new business.  I can't be the only 50something person in transition and trying to figure out what is next.  If you can relate to something I have said or have a suggestion for an idea or solution to a problem, I would love to hear from you. If you have had a similar situation/experience to something I might have written about, I would love to hear how you handled it.  I could really stand to hear some success stories....and even some struggle stories, especially if they ended successfully. 

Shameless Request
There you have it.  I really appreciate the comments that have been left.  I have wonderful friends.  I appreciate those I do not know who have stopped by and I am asking that those who do not know me, yet, also drop me a note to say "Hi" and tell me what you think about my blog, about something I have said, about something you would like me to talk about....   If you have a blog, let me know. I will stop by and say "Hi" to you.  I should really be visiting more blogs anyway to enrich and expand my knowledge of blogging. Come on! Let's support each other.

So until next time, talk with you later!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Yea!  Six hours later,
I got my software back!

And, I got my fridge cleaned out, my house straightened up, and several of my garden beds cut back for winter! I guess frustrated energy is good for something besides making me nuts.  

Oh, the Saga of the Day
After trying twice to re-download (once it took so long it timed out, the second time my server disconnected) I gave it one last try. It had already been about four hours of waiting for the download process. They do say the third time is a charm. I am not sure, but I think the first few times I downloaded it I hit "run" rather than "save."  This time, I saw and read download instructions, and followed them.  It went much faster and it did recognize that I had it in the computer and did a repair.  I still have to wonder why I was able to use it for 10 days before it disappeared.  Oh well, I am just grateful to have it back. I am not a technical person so I was very happy to have a successful experience, even if it took awhile.

Determination and Perseverance
Once upon a time I might have seen all this, and some of the other things surrounding my life right now, as a "sign" to give up this idea of my business of the heart.  But not now. Not this time. Yes, I have tried many times over the years to write, or craft, or take pictures mostly for hobby but with intent of someday making a living at it.  The time is NOW and I am determined to ride the rough times and keep going. I cannot imagine a business, new or not, that does not have troubles now and then.  It is the belief in what they are doing, skill, and stubborn perseverance that brings people through to success.

Back on Track
Alright then, back on track. I did my research on trademarks and although there were none with the name I want, there were some sites with the same name online.  I am trying to think of another name, but I may just send the application and see what happens. In the meantime, I continue to play with my software (yea!) and create new designs.  A happy ending to a long day.

Set Backs for Business

It's definitely a day for wishing I was anywhere but here.

New Software "Disappears"
I guess set backs are part of the norm for businesses.  Somehow I have lost connection with my new desktop publishing software.  It looks like all the files are there and yet it won't open.  Instead it proceeds to download and then tell me it can't because it can't find the correct pathway.

The odd thing is that I was working with it just last night.  My granddaughter and I made an anniversary card for her mom and dad and it turned out great!  She chose the designs and I worked the computer. Madi is seven and I was not ready to give her full controls of this new program.  This morning we were going to make some pictures for her to make into 3D art as a present and the program would not open.  I have spent the last couple hours trying to figure it out. 

Computer-Server Disconnect
So, I decided to see if I could just re-download the program. All was looking good as it was downloading....until my computer/server connection was reset and the download stopped.  UGH! I will try again now that my connection is back.  I just needed to take a break from it.  Boy, some days are just like that I guess. And now while the download is going again-about 60 minutes-I have enough frustration energy to get mass amounts of housecleaning done. WhoooHoooo!

What's Next?
If the download doesn't work, I did leave a "work ticket" at the support center for the software and will follow up with them on Monday.  I am a little concerned about all the stationary designs I have worked on in the last week. At this point, I can't open them either and it would be a shame to lose them. Then again, better to lose several at the beginning than many further into this.

Wish Me Luck!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Creative Corner

Creating Space
My creative corner, formerly known as my daughter's bedroom, is beginning to take shape. Little by little I am setting up for the business I am working toward.  One of the first things I had to do was move my desk, books, and craft supplies into the room and get that all organized. I'm still working on the closets, but there is enough done to work with.

The Work of My Hands
Part of this business will be a photo gift and stationary e-shop.  In addition to playing with my new Serif desktop publishing software and designing various formats of notepads, I have been buying crafty supplies and trying out different supplies like glues.  For my sticky notepads I have tried Modge Podge and some dimensional silicone I had for paper tole as a binding glue. The Modge Podge worked ok and the silicone worked great, but took almost a week to dry.

The other day I bought a little portable paper cutter. It works ok, but not as well as I would like.  I was trying to keep with inexpensive things to begin with. I should know better.  That's ok, it will be fine for small straight cuts.  Then I bought a rotary cutter that has a few different blade attachments. It is not a major heavy duty cutter, but it is lightweight, portable and can nicely cut 10 pages at a time, which is great for now.  A friend of mine had asked that if I ever created bound journals that I make the pages with perforations because she hates tearing off pages and having the scraggly edges.  Well, Barb, my new rotary cutter has a perforating blade and it works great! It also has a 'wavey' blade that leaves a smooth, wavey edge.

So I continue working with my Serif software and enjoying the effects I am finding are possible and I will be trying out different types of paper to find those that provide the quality and look I want at affordable prices.

The Next Step
Now that I am closer to getting some stationary designs finished, I am back to needing to finalize a name for this business and creating a logo. That is my main focus for the week as I also continue to finalize designs and create templates. Slowly but surely, this part of the business is taking shape.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Progress Report on Blog and Business

Blog Progress
You can be assured that if I am not posting every day, I am doing something to learn about blogging. I have been reading my new copy of Problogger by Dareen Rowse and Chris Garrett, visiting by Darren Rowse, or checking out other blogs. Today I checked out and read an article from a guest blogger, Annabel Candy, and then checked out her blog.  Wow!  I'm hooked on

Photography Progress
If I am not doing or learning about blogging every day, then I am doing something for my hoped for 'business of the heart' that I am laying groundwork for. Recently, I have been playing with a trial program I downloaded last week from Serif.  As I write this, I am downloading the full version of Serif PagePlus X4.  I have really enjoyed working with it. I know I have only scratched the surface of what it can do and am very excited about it. 

Keepin' it Brief
And because PagePlus is still downloading and I don't have the fastest laptop anymore, I am going to keep this post very short. So until next someting you love every day!

P.S.   I was trying to change the page background color for this post.  This is what I got, just text background.  Back to the books!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Oh The Times They are a Changin'

Cup of the Day
Beach Nostalgia
I didn't make it to the beach this summer.  Sand and surf are calling me, but I don't think I'll get there.  It may be the first time ever that a summer has not found me barefoot in the sand, listening to surf and seagull, and watching the waves roll in at least one day, somewhere.

New Season
Autumn is approaching here in the Midwest. Cooler weather has been teasing us for a few days now.  I absolutely love fall in the Midwest.  Actually, I like all the seasons. There is just something about the feel of autumn.  Forest, prairies, fields, and gardens will soon turn various shades of colors creating a beautiful outdoor tapestry. Savory soups will once again be simmering on the stove. Fresh picked apples, apple cider, apple butter, and more things apple, will tickle the taste buds with sweet and tart flavors. It feels good to leave a window open at night and to snuggle up in a warm blanket with a hint of chill in the night air. 

Life Changes
This is also a life changing time for many. I can remember the day my first child (and second and third) had their very first day of school. I remember preparing for each subsequent new school year with the school supply and clothing shopping rituals. I remember dropping two of my daughters off at college and driving away. These were/are times of mixed feelings a parent knows well.  There is the pride and joy of watching your children grow blended with the sadness of knowing they are moving on without you, away from you-which is as it should be.

Empty Nest-almost
This year was a little different.  Over the weekend we delivered our youngest to her first apartment, not connected with college, and once again drove away. It didn't occur to me, not really, until late last week that this was not like college and she would not be home for holidays and over the summer. I am ecstatic and happy for her. It is a wonderful, exciting time in her life. This is what we raise our kids to do, to leave home and be happy, strong, independent adults.  She is that. We do not have an empty nest yet, though.  So the full affect of fledgling children hasn't fully hit me yet. But we do have an empty bedroom.  I went in there when we returned from the move.  It was much more empty than it has been when she moved for the semester.

Letting go and Rearranging-rooms and life
The plan for the room is to move my 'office' into her bedroom. Of course, there will always be a bed in there, you know, just in case we are lucky enough to get a weekend visit now and then.  As I stood there in her room trying to figure out where I would put things, I realized I had to stop. It was too soon. I had to have a little time to give full value to the major life change that had just happened. So I waited until the next morning, letting the room sit relatively empty. I sat in there once or twice, trying to absorb her presence and revisit memories.  I needed to let go before I could take the next step. So the next morning I was ready. 

Moving On
It is not only our children who move forward without us, parents must also move forward without their children. And it is not really 'without' each other, nor will it ever be, it is just different. Our relationship changes and I have thoroughly enjoyed the changes in my relationships with my adult daughters. So, I move forward with an eye on the past, my heart in the present, and joyful anticipation of the future. All of my office furniture and most of my things are in the bedroom now.  The hardest part, physically and emotionally, is done-the first step taken. It is still a mess and I will take my time making the rest of this transition. The move itself took quite a long time, in part because I was trying to maintain a sense of my daughter when I arranged the room. I am ok with it now. I hope she will be, too, because no matter how much time passes, to me it will always be her room.

And tomorrow, well tomorrow I visit my parents and maybe I will borrow a car and head for the beach.