Drilling down…

I am running late this week.  The past two weeks have been busy, busy, busy.  The work load has picked up as it usually does in the Fall, we have been trying to finish several outside projects at the farm before the weather gets cold (and hunting season kicks into high gear) and we are having our second annual chicken stew on Saturday which takes some prep work as well.  So while I have a few minutes left…

The new fire pit is one of our recent projects in prep for the annual chicken stew.
The new fire pit is one of our recent projects in prep for the annual chicken stew.

I have decided that it is time I got serious about a few things.  If you have read any of this blog you should be getting the idea that I’m serious maybe 20% of the time.  It is not that I don’t take things seriously. I do. But something happens in my brain and often what went in seriously comes out with a warped and amused twist when it exits my brain and oozes down to my fingers or springs from my mouth. Serious stuff has happened over the years and that tends to make me selective about what really is serious.  Did that make ANY sense at all??

Back to where I was going with this.  I can do lots of things.  That is not tooting my own horn, it is just my reality.  I have had to learn how to do lots of things.  Artsy stuff you know about, but I can also do minor car repairs, use power tools and do some basic carpentry, grow my own food, run a business, raise kids safely to adulthood (any parent will tell you that is HUGE), and a ton of other things.  I bet you can as well.

The problem is that I am a jack-of-all-trades but the master of none. Most of what I know I had to learn quickly and “git ‘er done” on the fly.  Even the subjects I wanted to explore and learn more about I have not had time to.  Then there is that Creative Attention Deficit Disorder.  Surely I am not alone in this.  You are starting a new creative venture and loving it.  About half way in you are doing some research and come across some new cool thing and BAM, you drop the first or thirtieth project and dive into the new one. This is actually how studios and storage units are acquired.

So now that life no longer includes sitting beside a soccer field for days on end or attending numerous networking meetings per week, I THINK I have time to begin drilling down on some skill set improvement.  Number One – I need to do some concentrated drawing and painting again.  You use it or lose it.  Number Two – Improve my sewing.  Actually I have been doing pretty good on this one.  I have made myself several pieces of clothing lately.  I will do a post on those soon.  Number Three – I can’t just sit and watch TV or a movie. I have to do something. That something is usually knitting or crochet, but I have never challenged myself with much more than simple scarves, prayer shawls and the occasional fingerless gloves.  Now I want to tackle socks.  Why socks you ask?  Because I need them and because sock yarn comes in luscious colors so I will have a reason to buy it.  Number Four – I will soon become mama to three horses. I don’t know squat about horses.  Guess it is time to get some horse sense.

So those of you who patiently read this rambling of mine each week, please keep me accountable.  Heck, join me and let me know what you are working on and we can help each other.  I’m going to need help badly.  In the Spring I am getting married (yeah!) and that means ANOTHER move, plus we are remodeling his house extensively starting NOW (that should give me plenty of blog posts and new DIY skills).

Wishing you a wonderful week!

My hideaway

Generally I am a creature of habit like most human beings. Most of my days have a rhythm that I don’t think much about and the day to day chores get done on a regular basis. I have a crazy quilt way of making a living that even has a schedule I can predict most days (more about that in another post). Lately though I have noticed a shift in how certain things are getting done.

Maybe it’s my age (I’m not telling! Well, maybe later.) and I’m needing more quiet to concentrate.  Maybe I have been running on warp speed for too many years and the engines are wearing down.  Maybe I am craving my country roots after almost 20 years of suburbia.  Whatever it is, I have found that I have been escaping my suburban townhome more often to do my thinking.

I happily work in my newly converted (from post-teenage boy room) studio space at my townhome when I need to get the actual work done, but for the thinking, new ideas, planning, zoning out parts of life/work I have begun to head to The Farm.

morning

Later on I will give you more information about it, but just know that when I escape it is a 45 minute drive from where I live to a rural area with a different culture from my town. At The Farm I tend the garden with my boyfriend. My goofy city dogs come with me and pretend they are cool country dogs though I don’t dare let them off their leashes.  They have no “forest smarts” as opposed to “street smarts” which they don’t have either.  I would rather they not end up as coyote food!  We have three horses at The Farm as well, though we don’t get to spend as much time with them as we would like.  Not that the horses are complaining.  They get their daily food and hay and get to spend their leisurely days in the cool woods with a lovely spring running through it, without having to earn their keep by toting a couple of humans around.

Bob

I am writing this post at The Farm now. I should really give it a more creative name. Maybe in the future it will get a proper title.  The Farm is down a dirt road with only two neighbors so there is no traffic noise.  The rare, unknown car makes all animals and humans alike run to see who is stirring up the dust.  Occasionally a rooster crows and there is a strange anomaly where we can hear a distant neighbor’s radio fairly clear on certain days. A dog bark. Birds, lots of birds. Crickets and tree frogs. What is missing? Traffic noise, neighbors talking, someone else’s TV or music set too loud.

I did not realize just how much constant sound surrounds me until I started spending time at The Farm.  It took some getting used to. At first I was stir crazy and didn’t know what to do with myself.  Now, I swear my blood pressure drops when I get here.  I take my time weeding my flowers and herb garden that migrated here over the past three years. The garden is constant work this time of year, but there is something grounding about tying up tomato plants and hoeing weeds. The horses seem to enjoy my visits with them and don’t mind my picking their daisies.

garden

Yes, I drag my ever present smart phone and    computer with me to The Farm, but I use them differently.  I’m much more focused here.  I don’t have six browser windows open at once, jumping back and forth between them.  I open one for some research and the software I need for a job. I don’t check social media constantly here.  Why I do it at home, I don’t know.  All I do know is that what I accomplish here is much more fulfilling and concentrated.  Most of us don’t realize how much our environment affects how and what we do.

Bee

To wrap this post up, I would like to let you know that I just took the dogs out for their night business.  Lightening bugs. I have missed lightening bugs.  You don’t see them much where I live.  Bats.  I have not missed bats!