Sunday, February 17, 2013

Valentine's Day (late . . . again!)

Our calligraphy study group did a Valentine exchange last week-end, but because life sometimes goes speeding by too fast to notice, it has taken me a week to photograph some of the Valentines and blog about them.  One of the great things about having a group like this is that we get to share ideas and learn from each other.  The Valentines were all wonderful, as you can see.

Kathy made a heart out of hand marbled paper, and you can see the contents of it below.  Marge showcased her delightful lettering with the verse below.
 Here you see the inside of Pat's hand lettered card, and Joyce's tag -- hand lettered on paper that she designed herself.
 Here is the outside of Pat's card and the inside of Kathy's.
Barb's sparkly heart shaped card is next to another shot of Joyce's card.
 And this is the front and inside of mine -- lettering and "zentangle" decorated hears on the front and hand lettering with white ink on the inside.
 Whatever the date, I'm wishing you lots of love today!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Overcoming SAD

I have SAD.  Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Or, as I like to say, I'm solar powered.  No sun and I start to run out of energy.  First the physical energy and I start craving sleep, hitting the snooze alarm too many times, etc.  Then the emotional energy starts to go, and it's a quick ride to a very bad place.  Trust me, I've been there before.

The past two winters, at the suggestion of my "shrink", I have taken winter vacations to sunny locations.  And I haven't experienced much SAD.  So this winter, I decided that maybe I don't have to worry about the winter anymore and I'd be fine.  And it has been a pretty mild winter.  Which is why it took me completely by surprise when Monday at work I realized that all the things that I've been experiencing more and more the past couple of weeks was very recognizable:  I was slipping into the dark pit of SAD.

I immediately called my shrink, who is a very wonderful lady.  She changed the dosage of my meds right away.  The other things that always help are exercise and sunshine.  So yesterday I ran two miles on the treadmill (OK, so it was great for the endorphins, but pretty bad on the calf muscles this morning!)  Today was my day off work, so I planned to get together with a friend at the Arboretum to walk in the sunshine.  No sooner had I finalized the plan that another friend (my walking buddy) called and said she was free to walk this morning.  The sun was out, the temperature was mild, so I agreed to meet her.  We ended up walking three miles.  Here's a picture I took with my phone during our walk:

You can see it was a beautiful day for a walk.  After walking, I worked on a couple of projects, had some lunch and left for the Arboretum, where my friend and I took a leisurely mile long hike.  Then I got a text from my son, suggesting that he come over and walk the dog with me.  Since I never turn down my kids on any offers like that, I agreed.  A half hour after getting home from the Arboretum, Jordan showed up and we walked the dog -- to the Post Office, around the lake, through the wooded area and back home -- a total of three miles.  Here a picture I took with my phone from that walk.

So now I'm home, with my calf muscles screaming at me.  But it sure was a fun day.  And I'm thinking that I've staved off SAD for at least another day!  I hope so, because I may not be able to move tomorrow.  :-)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

This is a test!

The past few weeks I've had all kinds of problems with my blog -- pictures wouldn't upload, things would lock up, and other frustrations kept me from being able to post anything.  So I'm going to try to upload a few pictures to see if the issues have resolved themselves.  I have been participating in a 365 photo prompt challenge, so here are a few of the prompts and my photos for them.





And here's some other favorite photos that I've taken in the past few days:

 The view from my daughter's 17th story apartment window on Michigan Avenue in Chicago -- sunrise last Saturday morning.
 This guy was quietly perched in our lilac tree when I got home yesterday.  I wouldn't have noticed him at all except that the chickadees were chirping like crazy!
Looks like Blogger is working again.  Happy Day!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!

First of all, I have been absent from "Blogland" for several weeks, mostly because life got really busy and because I was trying to evaluate whether blogging is still a good use of my time and energy.  I really considered calling it quits, but when I logged back on and started reading blog posts from my contacts, it made me want to keep it up.  It is a good creative discipline and a creative connection as well.

This tree represents my current word for 2013:  Breathe.  I say current because I usually fall off the word bandwagon after the first six weeks, and then when I revisit it in December I wonder what in the world I was thinking by choosing the particular word that I did.  But today I know that taking time to breathe (physically, spiritually and emotionally) is important for me. 

I always forget to breathe during Christmas.  There are so many things to do, to think about and to accomplish that I find myself running out of the essential resources necessary to keep going.

It was, however, a wonderful Christmas season filled with music, family, worship and fun.  Here's one version of our family Christmas photo:  Each of us chose a pose that represented what had transpired for us over the past year. 

Another time-consuming but very rewarding project I did during December is pictured below.  It was a commission for a friend's daughter with her confirmation verse.  I realize it's not the best picture, and they were going to matte it in purple,which will look much better.  But I loved the way it came together AND in time for Christmas (just barely).
That's a bit of a catch up for now.  Happy New Year to all my friends in "Blogland"!