Planning 2014

Last year (well, the end of last year) I made a planner for myself with an old Circa binder I had and supplies I had laying around. While I really liked that planner, after surfing the web way too long looking at Filofax blogs and Pinterest pins, I got hooked on a Midori Traveler’s Notebook. I asked for and received one for Christmas and that’s what I’m going to use for my planner this year.

The Midori is basically a piece of leather with some bands in the middle to handle insertable notebooks and a band on the outside to hold everything together. It comes with a lined notebook that I am using for a daily journal. I had to buy a planner to go in and the only planner notebooks that I could find that fit in the Midori were undated, which I didn’t really see as a problem. Banditapple makes a planner that would fit in the journal and it was a lot cheaper than the Midori one but I really liked the Midori layout better so that’s what I went with. I liked the week (starting with Monday) on the left side and the blank page on the right. Lots of room to write appointments and To Do’s.


The Midori planner has only 6 months in each book so you need to buy two books for the whole year. I only bought one to start and to make sure that I really liked the format. I’ll order a second one later in the year. I made tabs for the months and attached them at the top. They were easy to make in Photoshop since it’s just a rectangle with the month on both sides.20140110-IMG_0684

So far I’m very happy with this setup, although it has only been 10 days.


Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

I haven’t been art journaling in quite a while. Part of the problem was that we were traveling most of July and August and I didn’t do any journaling then (a story for a different day.) But I’ve been back for about 3 1/2 months now and have not started up again. I guess part of that can be attributed to trying to get back in the swing of things after being gone so long but still. I guess it takes me longer to get back in the swing of things than most. So, in an effort to kick start some creativity, I’ve decided that I need to buy some new supplies. Hey, any excuse to get new goodies! My problem, however, is that I love about $2000 worth of new supplies. And it takes me forever to narrow down my choices. I like to put lots of stuff in my shopping cart and let it sit there for a few days and then I come back and narrow it down. (Which is why I like digital art supply stores that have a sticky shopping cart.) I do find that a bit of the items I put in no longer appeal after a few days. So much of what I like depends on my mood on the day I’m browsing. And if I still like something after a few days there is a good chance I will like it for a while. Right now I’m still in the narrowing down process.

On top of that my motivation is low and I can’t seem to find something to “art” about. I guess I could fall back to my sometimes motivator of using today’s Tarot card as a jumping off point. I’m playing around with the Stories of the Wild Spirit tarot deck and the art work on these cards is very nice. I don’t think that the art work always goes with either (especially) the short meaning or the longer story that was written for the card but nonetheless I can still use either the meaning, the story or the card itself as my inspiration.

And just jumping in and putting something on the page, even if I throw it away later is better than sitting here doing nothing but complaining about not having motivation. Although it is fun to complain. Ok – off to shop.


20130607-IMG_9484It’s cold and very rainy here in Central New Jersey today, not almost summer-like at all. I’m feeling a bit unmotivated today. I just want to sit and read, which I will probably do. I’m taking a Coursera course on Fantasy and Science Fiction and this week’s reading is the book Children’s and Household Tales ( the Lucy Crane translation with Walter Crane illustrations) by The Brothers Grimm . I’m not sure I’ve ever read these original stories. I think it was only the Disney modified versions. They are quite captivating and quite bizarre. I recommend reading these but they might not be suitable for young children.

(Photograph taken with Hipstamatic using Lucas AB2 lens and Ina’s 1969 film.)

The Nursemaid

Hennessey, my black cat is hurt. He somehow got an abscess on his arm, we’re not sure how, that had to be taken care of. I took him to an emergency veterinarian clinic where they x-rayed his arm, shaved it and then cut open the abscess. He now has a swollen, hairless patch of skin and he is not happy. I have to give him an antibiotic twice a day and pain relief medicine when necessary. Both came in liquid form and neither is easy to get into him. Right now he is sleeping on the beat up old couch in the family room. (Beat up from cats using it as a scratching post.) He spends most of his days sleeping. The pain relief medicine has that effect.


I have to get Hennessey up every few hours so that he exercises his legs a bit, has some food and water and uses the kitty litter box. I feel like a nursemaid, which I guess I am now. It makes me somewhat nervous that I have to give him the medicine. I always feel as if I’m doing it incorrectly. I had to google both medicines to make sure that I truly understand the instructions the veterinarian gave me. I seem to be doing it the right way but that doesn’t really assuage my fear. I just gave Hennessey some pain reliever and now I’m worried that maybe I should only give it to him at night, even though the doctor said he could get it every 8-12 hours. Maybe tomorrow I’ll only give him some at night to help him sleep. Yes, I worry too much.

I’m sitting in the family room watching him. My old dog is sleeping next to me while I study verbs and adverbs and nouns and pronouns and adjectives. It’s very quiet here today except for the buzz of the lawn mower and weed whacker being used by the hired gardener working next door. The family room has a large window that looks out onto the front yard. It’s cloudy today and it may rain. I can see the branches of the trees blowing about. I would like to go outside but it doesn’t look nice enough for a walk.

I guess the gardener has left as now it is very quiet. It’s really amazing how many sounds you can hear when it’s quiet. I hear the hum of the refrigerator and the tweeting of the birds outside. I hear the water heater kick on and the meows of some cats playing (or fighting) outside. I hear my own breathing. I love the quiet and the sounds of the neighborhood, even the lawn mowers and weed whackers and the few cars that come up my dead-end road.

Happy 90th!

This week was Wayne’s mother’s 90th birthday. Happily, Kathleen and Megan were both able to get here for the celebration. Megan came down on Monday and Kathleen came up on Tuesday.

Tuesday, Gert’s actual birthday, we took her to dinner at Rod’s in Morristown. The food was very good, the service was horrid. I expect that when I’m paying $40 for an entree that the waiter would occasionally interact with us. But apparently that’s not a criterion for a waiter at Rod’s. The place was fairly crowded so I’m assuming that we were the only one’s annoyed by the lack of service. Well, at least I didn’t have to leave a large tip.


But we still enjoyed ourselves as only our family can. And, we had a surprise guest for Nana: Wayne’s brother’s daughter Meredith who was home from college this week.

After dinner we went back to Gert’s where we had cake and coffee and more talking. Gert wanted the cake so that she could bring pieces to all of her neighborhood friends.


The hat that Gert is wearing came from another birthday bash in her honor thrown by some of her friends from church.20130427-princess

And Matilda is here!20130427-matildaKathleen had to go back to work on Wednesday, so Wayne and I drove her back to Philadelphia. We, finally, got to see the NCC exhibit of Prohibition. It was very well put together and very interesting. And the video tour produced by Kathleen was excellent.

And I even got my photograph taken with Al and Lucky. I guess I’m lucky – (sorry)