Good News: New Job, New Energy

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So, after 8 months at a miserable job which sapped my time and energy, I have finally found a new job.

I’m working the front desk at a local resort. This  new job is a  sedentary one – which means I’ll have to hit the gym more – but it shouldn’t leave me so exhausted that I can’t pick up a pen to draw or form a complete sentence at some time during the day.  I’m hoping that means I’ll be blogging more and will be able to get back to my many, fun hobbies – especially my stories.

Another bonus at the new job is that I get to tool around, occasionally, on a golf cart and get some sun. You can’t beat that with a stick.

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So, here’s to a new start (once again) at this blogging thing.

Cheers!

Wishing Everyone a Peaceful Holiday…

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Whether you’re celebrating Christmas or simply enjoying some family time together, I hope it’s a happy and restful time for you and those you love.

Nikon 3300 and Zoom Lens

Just a quick note. I bought a Nikon 3300 camera (the red one – because it’s red 🙂 ) and zoom lens (Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus)  last year. With working, writing, and family life I’ve had little time to play with it. A few weeks ago my husband and I took a few days off to go to Galveston and I gave it a try.

It turned out better than I expected. I used the automatic settings and a tripod (I’m not as steady as I used to be).  The image on the left above is a cropped version of the image on the right. I am so pleased with the clarity of this image. Now, it’s my header image on this webpage.

Hopefully, I’ll get some time to play with it some more. It’s just a wonderful camera. And a side benefit of taking on a dull job. Pay the bills, but find some time to create. It does the soul good.

 

Art for Non-Artists: Gemstones

Today’s doodle features my first gemstone.  Gemstones are a fun addition to Zen Doodling (or tangling). And so I thought I’d give it a try.

There are many fine tutorials on the internet on how to make gemstones (with traditional materials). Here’s one of them:

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Simplify: The Art of Making Room for Art

meal2We only have 24 hours in a day. If we want to make room for art – we have to free up time (and money) to do it. One way is to simplify our meals and clean-up as much as possible.

Many of the recipes I use have changed over the years. I don’t have a lot of them written down the way I make them now or how I change them according to what I have one hand. Most of my children have moved away, but they are always asking me to tell them how to make their favorite meals.

I used to make meals for eight – and I think I did a pretty good job of it. But now I have to re-think meals for one or two people who are adults now. And, because I am working often at dinnertime, many nights they have to fend for themselves. So, I am converting many of my meals to simpler, easy-to-cleanup, fast meals.

Another plus, is that converting these recipes frees me from the worry of cooking every night for those who are still at home – giving me more time and energy to devote to my art work.

There are still special times (days off and holidays) where I can cook larger meals for our growing family, but I also know there will come a time when I can’t do it all.  As I grow older, it makes me feel better that they will know how to take care of themselves instead of eating out all the time. And, for now, it will help them spend less and live healthier lives.

Where to start: I recently saw a video for “dorm-friendly” meals and decided to try them. It’s here below:

 

I must say some of the recipes are very good. However, there were a few problems. For example – cooking rice or macaroni in a small mug in the microwave guarantees that it boil over. It makes a terrible mess. Another minor problem is that shredded cheese and milk is probably better for you, but mac and cheese is usually made with a processed cheese food. A third problem was that I found the frozen meatballs I bought disgusting (that may be a brand problem, but I do know how to make and freeze meatballs.) The point is this: if you are going to get people to change over to good habits you have to do it gradually.

Continue reading “Simplify: The Art of Making Room for Art”