2015? Already?

So, I look at my phone today and it shows me that it’s January 3rd, 2015!  Really, we’re in 2015?  How did that happen?  When did that happen?  Okay, logically, I know that 3 days ago was when we moved into 2015, but mentally, I’m just not  there.

Over the course of the last few days, while I’ve been down with the flu bug, I’ve paid little attention to social media, except the occasional browse through Facebook.  Hey, who doesn’t browse FB when they’re bored?  One of the things that I saw mentioned was that the movie “Back to the Future II” was set in 2015.  My first thought, then where are the flying cars!  LOL

That got me to thinking about the year change and our expectations or lack of them.  Resolutions, intention words, changes, I don’t particularly set any of them.  And yet, always during December, in the darkest of the long nights, I find myself looking forward.  And thinking about changes I’d like to make.  Just as I always spend a few days near the end of January, when the sun is shining and the temps are mild cleaning house.  Or in February when I start browsing the garden centers, even though it’s way too early to plant.  Some things just come naturally at certain times of the year.

Earlier in December, I was thinking of regaining my health (knee injury) and maybe dropping the weight I put on before my low thyroid was diagnosed.  Did I set a resolution to start on New Years Day?   No, I’m too impatient to wait for a day three to four weeks away.  Did I make progress, well, for a little while, until the holidays hit, and then I got the flu.  Will I go back to the changes I had implemented (drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, taking daily walks), most definitely!  As soon as I’m truly back on my feet. Which hopefully will be in the next few days (did I mention my patience level?).

I suppose, if I’m honest, I do have intentions for 2015.  Several months back, myself and a friend both decided that we would work more out of our stash this year.  Now that won’t be hard for her, stash, and scrappy, are her preferred way of quilting. But for me, I’ve never really held to working out of either for any length of time.  Will I manage it?  Who knows?  I will give it a good try, and I do have a decent stash to work out of.  And I did order in some special fabric for a planned project.  After all, now that it’s here, it’s stash, right?

Another intention is to do more sharing of what I’ve learned over the years.  Not exactly teaching, but lectures and workshops.  I guess workshops are teaching in their own manner.  I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching a teenager how to make clothes this last year and it’s re-ignited my love of garments.  Now if only my body was as easy to fit as it was 25 years ago!  I’ve booked two lectures (quilting related) for 2014 so far, and look forward to them.

Of course, as Quilt Show Co-Chair for the Lake Norman Quilters  Guild show in August, I know that I’ll be busy with organization.  But I’d like to see that organization extend into my home office as well.  Truly I would.  I dream of having all the paperwork caught up to date, but there’s that patience thing again to sit down and actually do the paperwork!

And I’m taking some online courses to refresh my bookkeeping skills.  Who knows where that may lead, but learning, or  re-learning, is never wasted!

I’ve started advertising my longarm quilting services again, as I do miss the interaction with quilters and enjoy seeing their finished quilts.

I’ve decided to cut back on the rabbitry.  I have nine Angora rabbits now and as they slowly leave me (as they inevitably will), I won’t be replacing them.  While I love the breed, they take a lot of time that I’d much rather spend elsewhere.  And I still have the 3 dogs, 1 cat, and 16 chickens here to care for.  Why yes, I do believe I am an animal magnet!  LOL

So, those are a few of the “intentions”, or “resolutions”, or changes that I’d like to see happen in 2015, and beyond.  After all, why limit it to just the next 365 362 days?

Catching up on blogs and news

With all that has been happening here this summer, life has been crazy and hectic.  Along the way I didn’t spend my usual time schedule on the computer and was doing more of a grab a minute here, or a minute there, get lost in a certain social site and lose an hour (or more) type of life.

 

Now that things are settled down (and I say that hesitantly cause we all know how “THAT” goes!), I’m trying to catch up to a normal computer life for myself.   My old life (before this summer and getting lost in social “stuff”) consisted of morning coffee with my I-google homepage and my Google Reader.  After a cup of coffee, I would feel in touch with what was going on worldwide and head off to start my day.  As I said, this summer it’s been grab here, grab there, get lost in social media, lose time, run out the door feeling frustrated and behind.  Not the best way to start your day.

 

So this morning I decided to remedy the situation.  If there is a remedy to a constantly changing social/technological world for someone that likes things to remain consistently recognizable (especially at morning coffee time!).

 

Earlier this summer, I had grabbed the “Feedly” reader when I did a quickly terminated attempt at using Google Chrome.  But I really don’t care for Feedly.  You might, and that’s okay, but I didn’t.  The homepage never did set up to a comfortable (for me) way of reading blogs, and I do get easily frustrated trying to navigate around something that my mind says should be simple.  Today I went blog reader hunting again and found a few new (to me) options.  A few options that came up were NewsBlur, Newsvibe, and The Old Reader.

 

On further investigation here are my results.

NewsBlur, would not work for me as it’s limited unless you pay an annual subscription fee.  You can, for free, follow up to 64 sites.  Over that you must pay the fee.  And in my old feed I have over a hundred blogs that I followed.  Nope,  not going to work unless I have no other choice.  Hey,  I pay enough for internet access already, between the internet service, and the upgraded programming for certain blogs I own, and the cost of running my quilting business website.  Then there’s the anti-virus programming charge and …… well you get the picture.  So strike that one off the list.

 

Newsvibe sounded like a great program.  Except I couldn’t add any feeds to it.  Neither by trying to import my Ighome feeds, nor by manually adding a feed.  It would  tell me it added the feed, but then not show it when I refreshed my subscription list.  After three or four tries I gave up.  Did I mention my limited patience for technology?

 

Finally I tried The Old Reader.  Now I’m NOT going to proclaim this as the next and best since sliced bread site.  But, so far it seems to be adequate for me.  It has three columns, like most sites I use.  On the left is a subscription listing.  In the middle a frame for new posts or to read/glance at new feeds.  On the right is the frame I like best as the very first heading is “Recently Updated” which shows current feeds.

 

The only major drawback to this whole experience is that I did not export my Google Reader feeds before they shut down and I have now gone from following over 100 blogs about many varied topics, to just 8 that I can easily remember or find.  Although maybe the silver lining in that is that I’ll actually finish my cup of coffee earlier now and move on to other things on my daily to-do list.

 

As for my I-Google home page, it’s not gone yet, but they say it will be on November first.  So for now I’m trying out IgHome as a substitute and it seems to work for my visual preferences.  I choose the gadgets I want to see, it’s a three column setup (yes I really like that) and it’s a clean page.  Not a lot of social media stuff on it.  Well, okay, I will admit I did immediately delete the Twitter and Facebook gadgets.  But that’s another story for another day.

 

 

In the meantime, now that I’ve got a “hopefully” workable and time saving way to catch up on morning news, I’ll refind my old favorite blogs, gain a little more time each day, and slowly wean myself away from the time draining website I’ve come to visit all too often!  But then again, we (or I) do get addicted to certain sites and find myself not quite ever able to draw away totally!  😉

 

 

 

Electronic Time Eater………….

Lately I’ve been noticing a few things.   How much less I get accomplished in one day compared to what I used to get done.  And while some of that can be explained by aging and a few injuries, the majority of it seems to be that time just disappears.   One minute it’s 7:30 a.m. and the next it’s pushing 10 a.m.!  How does this happen?

 

So, I’ve been trying to pay more attention to those “little things” meant to enhance our quality of life that actually suck the time right out of the day and I’ve found my biggest time leak.  Social Media (a.k.a. Twitter and Facebook).  Yep those supposedly wonderful sites that are supposed to help up connect with people and be more aware of what is going on in the world around us.

 

Now I’ll agree, social media can be a catalyst for change worldwide, but in my own little world, I find the main thing it’s changing is my perception of time and the ability to actually live my life to the fullest moment to moment.  To that end, I have decided to delete my Twitter account.  Seriously, it seems to be a site for people to throw things out into the world with no communication between people value at all.  You may like Twitter, I find it to be a big waste of time.  If I say something, I enjoy the back and forth of conversation.  If I just want to hear myself talk, I’ll talk to the dogs thank you very much.

 

And, in the interest of recapturing they style of life I had when I was most productive and enjoying the days most, I’ll be making some changes to my Facebook account.  There are only about two dozen people I actually interact with on Facebook.  The rest appear to be lurkers or advertisers only.  And while there are PAGES I enjoy looking at, it’s personal COMMUNICATION I’m interested in.

So, what does this all mean in the long run?   Well, I recommend you subscribe to this blog if you want to see what I’m up to on a daily basis.  And don’t be offended when I start trimming that 900 and some odd “friends” list down to those few people who truly are either friends or family.

 

You may be asking “why blog” if I’m looking to decrease my electronic time?  Well, I find blogging, when done regularly, to be much less time invasive than Facebook.  And while I don’t receive, nor expect, the volume of comments that I can get on Facebook, a blog is my own journal of my life on a daily basis.  The part of it I’m willing to share that is.  The part I’m not willing to share, well that’s written somewhere else, never to be seen in the light of day until some year, way into the future, after my earthly demise.   WAY, WAY, WAY into the future.  LOL  I’ve got a lot I want to do, which is the whole point of locating the Electronic Time Eaters in my life and reducing or elminating them..