September 10 on 10…

Welcome to September 10 on 10…

If you happen to be new here, 10 on 10 is a monthly photo challenge to shoot 10 photos over (roughly) 10 hours, on the 10th of the month – a pattern which I take great liberties with. 😉

This warm September 10 on 10 day is “canning centric”. The garden is in full swing, and all this delicious fare needs to be prepared so it can be enjoyed all winter. This is a huge part of my life. The garden, the food, the farm…these things are part of what makes me, me.

10 on 10 photo project - a bucket of homegrown barley pears

When pears are ready, they’re ready. There is no putting them off, and 50+ pounds were ready this morning!

10 on 10 photo challenge - canning bartlett pears

Some of the pears are being canned.

10 on 10 photo project - drying bartlett pears

Some of the pears are being dried, and the pears are so sweet after drying it’s like candy. SO. GOOD.

10 on 10 photo project - diced peppers and onions for corn relish

My peppers are ready…

10 on 10 photo challenge - corn planks for corn relish

and so is the second planting of corn…

10 on 10 photo project - home canned corn relish

so it’s time to make some corn relish!

*PSA – if you’re interested in canning, ALWAYS use an approved recipe. In this day of internet everything, there are a LOT of unsafe recipes going around.

10 on 10 photo challenge - saw blades for porter cable saw

A couple of afternoon hours devoted to working on the greenhouse.

10 on 10 photo project - yeti cooler in truck

A loaded cooler to take corn to some other families.

10 on 10 photo challenge - BLT with fresh corn and tomatoes for dinner

A simple BLT grilled sandwich, corn, and sliced tomato for dinner, was the perfect end to the day.

That brings to a close this September 10 on 10. 10 on 10 photo project is the most achievable photo challenge I’ve found, so please consider joining me next month.

Until next time,
play hard, and have fun,
~Beth

Is this the year you’ve decided to improve your photography skills? Click this link to learn more about my Photography Workshops!!
Stay up to date (and to get exclusive offers) by signing up for my NEWSLETTER.
Oh, and if you’d like to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 and for photography and sportsmom related stuff from around the web, “like” my FACEBOOK page.

August 10 on 10…

Welcome to August 10 on 10!

It’s been a crazy-busy month since the last 10 on 10. This month the 10th sort of snuck up on me, but I didn’t forget! (Ya’ gotta celebrate the little victories 😉 )
If you happen to be new here, 10 on 10 is a monthly photo challenge to shoot 10 photos over (roughly) 10 hours, on the 10th of the month – a pattern which I take great liberties with.

10 on 10 photo project - awesome radio tunes

This 10th found me heading to town bright and early for a physical therapy appointment. On the drive down I cranked up some tunes to try to get psyched up for the tests ahead.

10 on 10 photo challenge - FMS balance test

As I get farther along in my PT they start testing me to see how well I’m progressing. This little device is designed to test my balance and range of motion. This was definitely the easiest (read, least painful) of the tests they put me through!

10 on 10 photo project - restocking at Target

Each time I make a trip to town, I try to make the most of my time by getting as many errands accomplished as possible. My first stop was Target where they are restocking for back-to-school shopping and it seemed like everywhere I needed to go was blocked off. It was like a game of hide-n-seek.

10 on 10 photo challenge - Oregon bottle deposit return

The next stop was bottle returns. Here in Oregon we are required to pay a deposit on recyclable bottles, and you only get your money back if you return them. While it’s a great idea, it’s always a big time-suck. The bottle return machines always have a waiting line, and they are always getting stuck and require someone to come and restart them.

10 on 10 photo project - grocery shopping at Safeway

The garden is in full production right now, so that means my grocery list is super short this time of year.

10 on 10 photo challenge - Oregon Hazelnut Salted Carmel ice cream by Tillamook

Since we are Hazelnut farmers, this ice cream has been on our list to try for quite a while. With the 100º+ temps they are calling for, it seems like the perfect time.

10 on 10 photo project - still combo tool blower

I don’t look terribly thrilled about this project, do I?

Here at the farm we are finally finishing up repairs on our driveway after the contractor disaster of last fall. The company that will be doing the asphalt patching should be here first thing in the morning, so today I need to clean the driveway. Yippee… (sorry for the hazy photo, apparently my lens was a little foggy from the heat)

10 on 10 photo challenge - driveway asphalt repair

Cleaning was only part of the driveway prep, I also needed to place markers for all the repair areas.

10 on 10 photo project - home canning green beans, pickles, and relish

The garden goodies I canned yesterday needed to be washed, labeled, and put in the pantry. The dill pickles (kosher and regular), dilly beans (pickled green beans), and sweet relish, will be enjoyed this winter.

10 on 10 photo challenge - home garden with deer fence

I’m doing double-duty with these next two pictures. I’ve had some repeatedly requests for photos of my garden, so I figured this seemed like a good time to oblige 😉 This photo is of the fenced area. This protected area is where we plant the things the deer like to eat most, and therefore need the most protection. There are four (high) raised beds on the left, and six (low) raised beds on the right. So what’s in them?

left side beds:  bed 1 watermelon and cantaloupe. bed 2 cucumbers and zucchini. bed 3 tomatoes, peppers, and peas. bed 4 – spring bed – lettuce, spring carrots, red potatoes, beets, and peas. bed 4 – winter bed – lettuce, beets, parsnips, and winter carrots.

right side beds: bed 1  strawberries. bed 2 – blueberries. bed 3 – red currant, asparagus, rhubarb. bed 4  yellow raspberries. bed 5  red raspberries. bed 6 – garlic, and yellow potatoes.

10 on 10 photo project - home garden

This “open” part of the garden is still protected from the deer by a motion-activated sprinkler called a Scarecrow. In this area there are more tomatoes and peppers, plus pickling cucumbers, green beans, and of course, corn!

10 on 10 photo challenge - watching Olympic swimming

The day is finally winding down, so that means time spent watching the Olympics; and swimming is the sport du jour.

That brings another 10 on 10 to a close. 10 on 10 is the most achievable photo challenge I’ve found, so please consider joining me next month.

Until next time,
play hard, and have fun,
~Beth

Is this the year you’ve decided to improve your photography skills? Click this link to learn more about my Photography Workshops!!
Stay up to date (and to get exclusive offers) by signing up for my NEWSLETTER.
Oh, and if you’d like to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 and for photography and sportsmom related stuff from around the web, “like” my FACEBOOK page.

a fresh start for you, too…

its a fresh start for you too

All over the country parents are sending their kids back to school. A new grade, new classroom(s), new teachers, new lockers, maybe even a new school. We’re all gathering the items on the ENDLESS school supply list, and trying to replace an entire wardrobe of clothes that fit perfectly when school got out, but now stretch too tight and rise too high. However you look at it, it’s a kind of

 

fresh start.

 

While this time of year seems like it’s all about the kids, I think it’s the perfect time for us adults to get a fresh start, too. Back-to-school time is like a second New Year for parents. Along with the new school year come new commitments, extracurricular activities, and of course the beautiful change in seasons that’s just around the corner.

It’s good stuff, but busy stuff.

All these things culminate in a feeling of newness, a feeling of opportunities just around the bend. With the forced changes a new school year brings, it feels like the right time for a fresh start with new routines and habits for us, too. It puts me in the mood to reevaluate how things are going, personally, as a family, and in my business – then make the necessary course corrections before the holiday season turns my world upside-down. Because as you know, it will be Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and before I know it, Hello New Year! So before life completely gets away from me, here are a few of the things I like to reevaluate/prepare for at this time of year.

  • clean camera and lenses & prepare for holiday season
  • review my menu plan
  • make a holiday budget and gift list – start gathering gifts (I always try to make sure I’m done with Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving, because personally, going out into those holiday crowds destroys my holiday spirit)
  • look at my volunteer commitments
  • adjust my fitness plan
  • plan down-time

Getting my act together after the relative freedom of summer can feel restrictive, but it also helps me feel like I’m regaining control.

 

I’d like to take a moment to point out the awesome prices available right now at all the back-to-school sales, why? Because all that stuff we need to get for our kids is the same stuff we adults need to get our lives organized too!  And the sales now are generally better than the New Year sales 😉 . If one of your goals for 2016 was to get organized, this is the perfect time to get started (or re-started). Go out and get the file folders, pens, calendars, planners…whatever you need to get yourself on the organization train.

What is it you are looking forward to most this fall? Are you doing something right now that has you enjoying this season? Do you have a new thing you’re gearing up for?

until next time,
play hard, and have fun,
~Beth

To stay up to date (and for exclusive offers) sign up for the Elizabeth Wendland Photography NEWSLETTER.  And “like” my FACEBOOK page to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 .

one trick that will improve your pictures overnight…

one tip to improve your pictures overnight

One trick that will improve your pictures overnight… really? Yes, really.

If you haven’t already heard it a million-gazillion times, a great picture is all about great light. Unfortunately we can’t always get great light, or can we? 

A few years ago, it happened for the first time, the mom of a senior I was photographing started asking questions. She was the first in a long line of moms who asked me the exact. same. thing. During the photo session she watched and helped (because if moms have an interest I’ll put them to work 😉 ), as we moved her son around a private garden for his senior pictures.

The garden location meant a lot of shade, sometimes deep shade. While my professional flash could light up a small stadium, I rarely need to use it; instead I opt for reflectors whenever possible. As we moved through the garden and I showed this mom how to position the reflector to bounce the light back toward her son’s face, she fell in love — with the reflector.

Professional photographers have been manipulating light since the beginning of photography. It’s what we do.

Reflectors are simple to use, and can be nearly anything. I bet you have something in your home right now, that could be pressed into service as a reflector, and BOOM, your photos just got better! Here are just a few items you might already have on hand that bounce light:

1.  white poster board

Most moms with school age kids have some poster board in a closet somewhere. This flexible, cheap, and easy to use item works wonderfully to gently bounce light back toward your subject.

2.  a white sheet or towel

A towel or sheet work best when your subject is on the floor. Place this on the ground in front of them to reflect light back onto their face. If they are sitting, place the towel or sheet across their lap.

3.  a white door

If you have white doors in your home, count yourself lucky. They are amazing when you’re trying to take pictures inside your home. Just move that giant, hinged reflector, back and forth to see where the light falls, and voila’!

4.  concrete sidewalk

Use this just as you would the white towel. Concrete is particularly helpful if you are photographing someone laying in the grass.  Have you ever noticed how the grass bounces back green light, and makes people look, well, green? Avoid that by having the person lay close to the sidewalk so the light bounced back will be neutral.  Works like a charm 😉

5.  reflective car window shade

If you have one of the foil-like shades you put in your cars’ windshield to reflect the sun, you can use it in your photos for the exact same purpose. One of the benefits of these is that they are generally easy to prop on something, freeing up your hands.

6.  aluminum foil

To make a DIY reflector, wrap aluminum foil (dull side out) around both sides of a piece of cardboard, poster board, or other firm but lightweight, surface. Leave one side with the dull foil facing out.  One the other side, mist some white spray paint (hold about 24 inches from surface). The paint will soften the bounced light. This gives you two reflectors to use in dark areas. Using foil can be overkill, because it’s a very harsh reflector of light. I would only use it if the location is extremely shady.

If you are just dying to know what reflector I use, while it’s no longer available, this one is very similar. Do you have another idea for a reflector? If so, please share it here so we call all learn something new!

If you’re ready to learn your own mad photography skills, talk to me about which of my photography classes would be right for you. Click this link to learn more about my Photography Workshops!!

until next time,
play hard, and have fun,
~Beth

To stay up to date (and for exclusive offers) sign up for the Elizabeth Wendland Photography NEWSLETTER.  And “like” my FACEBOOK page to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 and for lots of sportsmom related links from around the web.

July 10 on 10…

Welcome to July 10 on 10!

It’s time to share another 10 on 10 with you, which doesn’t seem possible. Summer is going by way too fast.
If you happen to be new here, 10 on 10 is a monthly photo challenge to shoot 10 photos over (roughly) 10 hours, on the 10th of the month – a pattern which I take great liberties with 😉

10 on 10 photo challenge - beach at Chinook Winds Lincoln City Oregon

My 10 on 10 started at the Oregon Coast. Mr. Awesome had work related things happening in Lincoln City, and I got to go along! Even though it’s July, weather at the coast is always a crap-shoot. Today was no different. The sun was quickly driven away by another burst of showers.

10 on 10 photo project - kinesio tape for knee

My knee is getting a lot of attention.
My physical therapist sent me home with this funky tape job on my post-surgery knee. My knee is still too swollen to wear pants, which means my shorts and skirts show this off quite well. I had a lot of stares, and was stopped several times by people who thought it was a tribal tattoo and wanted to know what it meant. Weird, but true.

10 on 10 photo challenge - geocaching bench of names Lincoln City Oregon

Geocaching is one of our favorite activities, and this trip worked out to be special. We were about to hit our 300th find, and were looking for the perfect cache to mark the occasion. We found this geocache, The Bench of Names, which is number 10 on the Oregon list of Favorite Geocaches, and they had 299 favorite points. See where I’m going here? 😉 So for our 300th find, we bestowed a favorite point on this cache to get them to 300 Favorites! I love it when a plan comes together 🙂

10 on 10 photo project - geocaching water cache bench of names

Behind the bench is a 2-inch tube about 3 feet long with the geocache laying at the bottom (see that little skull?). There’s a trick to getting it out 😉

10 on 10 photo challenge - geocaching 300 finds

10 on 10 photo project - Pig'n Pancake Lincoln City Oregon

Time for breakfast before we head back home.

10 on 10 photo challenge - rainy drive vanduzer corridor oregon

The drive home was wet.

10 on 10 photo project - DIY greenhouse polycarbonate panels

We stopped in town to get more supplies for our latest project. Twelve foot tin, and polycarbonate panels for a greenhouse.

10 on 10 photo challenge - garden corn six feet tall by 4th of July

Once we arrived home we went out to check on the garden and see if anything was amiss. Mr. Awesome stands six feet tall, and the corn is well over his head. I think we have achieved “knee-high by the 4th of July”!

10 on 10 photo project - baby watermelon home garden

Baby watermelon!!!

10 on 10 photo challenge - willamette raspberries home garden

The red raspberries are nearly finished fruiting, so eating a few handfuls every time I go outside is practically a necessity.

And with that, another 10 on 10 is in the books. 10 on 10 is the most achievable photo challenge I’ve encountered, so please consider joining me next month.

Until next time,
play hard, and have fun,

~Beth

Is this the year you’ve decided to improve your photography skills? Click this link to learn more about my Photography Workshops!!
Stay up to date (and to get exclusive offers) by signing up for my NEWSLETTER.
Oh, and if you’d like to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 and for photography and sportsmom related stuff from around the web, “like” my FACEBOOK page.

June 10 on 10…

Welcome to June 10 on 10!

I’m back to share another 10 on 10 with you. If you’re new here and wondering what’s up; 10 on 10 is a monthly photo challenge to shoot 10 photos over (roughly) 10 hours, on the 10th of the month – a pattern which I take great liberties with 😉

10 on 10 photo challenge - rainbird sprinkler watering lawn

My morning started by trying to figure out why this sprinkler wasn’t working. It sprayed, but wouldn’t rotate. It seems like I replace these things way too often.

10 on 10 photo challenge - dirty reading glasses

Mr. Awesome is working from home today. He kindly volunteered to take me to my class this afternoon when it became obvious I’m not healed enough to drive. I would say something about how dirty his glasses are, but I’m pretty sure mine look at least as bad 😉

10 on 10 photo project - home canned marinated mushrooms

A few days ago I canned some Marinated Mushrooms, and Pickled Carrots. This morning I washed the jars, and now they are waiting for me to take them down to the pantry.

10 on 10 photo project - compression wrapping arthroscopic knee after surgery

Putting the compression wrapping back on my post-surgery knee before heading out. Trust me, it’s a public service.

10 on 10 photo challenge - bridges in portland oregon

With Portland divided by the Willamette River, that means a lot of bridges, and a lot of on/off ramps.

10 on 10 photo project - home canning classes

As a birthday gift from Mr. Awesome, I’m taking a series of home canning classes. I grew up canning, but it was handed-down information, so I figured it was time to make sure I was doing everything “by-the-book”. And if I’m lucky, I’ll learn a few tricks that might make things a bit easier. Today’s class was Tomatoes and Salsa’s, and I left with several amazing-sounding recipes to try.

10 on 10 photo challenge - I-5 to Portland

It started raining while I was in class. It’s Fleet Week in Portland (part of the Rose Festival) so traffic was epically bad. We left Vancouver at 3:00 p.m. to go to a friends retirement party. At 5:30 p.m. we still hadn’t even made it through Portland. We ended up bailing off at an exit and heading home since the party would be done before we could get there.

10 on 10 photo challenge - icing a post-surgery knee

After sitting in traffic for so long my knee was done. Ice. I needed ice.

10 on 10 photo project - chinese takeout containers

We grabbed some takeout on the way home. It was going to be too late to cook 😉

10 on 10 photo project - strawberry shortcake with garden strawberries

Our garden is pumping out berries right now, and because Mr. Awesome is, well, awesome, he brought me strawberry shortcake for dessert.

That brings another 10 on 10 to a close. This month’s 10 on 10 contains a “secret”. My camera broke a couple of weeks ago, and there wasn’t enough time to deal with it before my surgery, so everything was shot with an iPhone this month!

10 on 10 is the most achievable photo challenge I’ve encountered, so please consider joining me next month.

Until next time,
play hard, and have fun,
~Beth

Is this the year you’ve decided to improve your photography skills? Click this link to learn more about my Photography Workshops!!
Stay up to date (and to get exclusive offers) by signing up for my NEWSLETTER.
Oh, and if you’d like to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis ???? and for photography and sportsmom related stuff from around the web, “like” my FACEBOOK page.

May 10 on 10…

Welcome to May 10 on 10!

I’m back again to share another 10 on 10 with you. If you happen to be new here, 10 on 10 is a monthly photo challenge to shoot 10 photos over (roughly) 10 hours, on the 10th of the month – a pattern which I take great liberties with 😉

10 on 10 photo project - first strawberry of the season

Spring in the NorthWest is a glorious and spasmodic thing. A 30º temperature swing from one day to the next is not unusual. It makes for a bit of stress though when it comes to my garden. All my young tender plants could still get nipped back by an unanticipated frost. This year, some unseasonably warm weather spurred my strawberries into the earliest ripening I’ve ever had!

10 on 10 photo challenge - mole tunnel under corn row

When I went out to check the garden I had an very unpleasant surprise. While I won’t curse myself by mentioning the critters that aren’t too bad in my garden, two of the worst culprits managed to cause havoc overnight. First, a deer managed to break through the deer fence and nibbled on my blueberries; and now the fence needs to be mended. Then there is/are the mole(s)… >:(

I’m having some evil grumpy thoughts about critters right now.

 

These rodents tunnel underground and eat worms and bugs, so generally they aren’t too much of an issue. However, when they tunnel right underneath your corn rows and pushing out the tender new plants, it’s mass horticide. I work too hard to lose my garden to the buggers. But since they live underground, ridding yourself of them is rather difficult, and involves hours of patient waiting, which this morning I didn’t have time for, I had an appointment to get to.

10 on 10 photo project - surgery paperwork

After re-injuring my knee last summer (at yoga, of all things), the fix has been put off as long as possible. Doctors appointments, second opinions, third opinions…finally acceptance.

10 on 10 photo challenge - ditch cleaning

Whoohoo!!!  The torrential rains of this winter (eg. 21″ in 21 days during December) meant the drain underway driveway was half filled with mud. It was a clean-out job I was NOT looking forward to. After getting home I could hear a loud racket at the end of the driveway, and surprise!, the county came through and cleared it for me! Can I tell you what an awesome feeling it is to get to cross something off your I-really-don’t-want-to-do-this list, and NOT have to actually DO it?! *happy dance*

10 on 10 photo challenge - 410 shotgun and shell

Time to see if I can get a mole.

10 on 10 photo project - beans and ham soup

Lunch break. Simple food makes me happy, and Beans & Ham Soup, is one of my favorites.

10 on 10 photo challenge - mole tunnel

Back outside for another attempt at catching the mole. It was kind of fun to stick my iPhone down one of the tunnels and see the result.

10 on 10 photo project - dirty garden hands , muddy hands, farmer hands,

Digging up tunnels to set traps is dirty work, but I have to admit, I love “playing” in the dirt.

10 on 10 photo challenge - 410 shotgun shell

See my reflection in the shell primer? Cool huh!?

10 on 10 photo project - shadow

Standing watch.

And with that, another 10 on 10 is in the books. 10 on 10 is the most achievable photo challenge I’ve encountered, so please consider joining me next month.

Until next time,
play hard, and have fun,

~Beth

Is this the year you’ve decided to improve your photography skills? Click this link to learn more about my Photography Workshops!!
Stay up to date (and to get exclusive offers) by signing up for my NEWSLETTER.
Oh, and if you’d like to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 and for photography and sportsmom related stuff from around the web, “like” my FACEBOOK page.

April 10 on 10…

Welcome to April 10 on 10!

A quarter of the way through the new year already?! Whoa. No wonder I feel so far behind.

If you happen to be new here, 10 on 10 is a monthly photo challenge to shoot 10 photos over (roughly) 10 hours, on the 10th of the month – a pattern which I take great liberties with 😉

The 10th started about 3:30 a.m. (yes, that’s obscenely early) with a major headache, and another sleepless night. I didn’t even try to take a picture of the first four hours of darkness.

10 on 10 photo challenge - homemade baking powder biscuits for breakfast

Mr. Awesome and I have birthdays just a few days apart, so we were planning on doing a little birthday celebrating this weekend. My headache put the kibosh to those plans, and also meant something easy-on-the-stomach sounded good for breakfast. Baking Powder Biscuits to the rescue.

10 on 10 photo project - phone calls home

Sunday mornings are our usual time to talk with Thing 2. Hearing her voice is something I look forward to all week.

10 on 10 photo challenge - planting beet seeds in to garden

The day started out overcast, and since I was going to feel rotten no matter what, we went outside to play in the garden. Beet, lettuce, and carrot seeds are now tucked into the warming soil of the garden.

10 on 10 photo challenge - blueberry blooms brigitta

Among the many blooming plants this time of year, one of my favorites are the blueberries. They bloom earlier than the strawberries and raspberries, but the fruit comes on later. Yes, I’m an Ag geek among other things 😉

10 on 10 photo project - planting peas in the garden

Planting two varieties of peas, snap and snow.

10 on 10 photo challenge - drifts of cherry tree petals

The cherry trees have already bloomed and are starting to drop their petals. I wish you could walk with me through the drifts of petals — watch them swirl around your feet, and sprinkle into your hair when a breeze comes up. It feels otherworldly.

Once the sun decided to come out, that meant I needed to go back inside. The bright light was too much to bear with a headache.

10 on 10 photo project - homemade hamburger buns

We had planned on making sliders this weekend, so that meant I needed to make some hamburger buns. SO YUMMY.

10 on 10 photo project - asparagus from the garden

We had our first asparagus harvest a few days ago, so of course they were part of dinner.

10 on 10 photo challenge - homemade sliders

Sliders!
They aren’t as small as they look. A little lens distortion makes the fork look ginormous.

10 on 10 photo project - homemade carrot cake

And what birthday celebration would be complete without cake? My favorite is Carrot, but I haven’t found one I like from any of the local bakeries. This is the third recipe I’ve tried, and it make be a winner!

That brings another 10 on 10 to a close, and I hope you enjoyed the April 2016 edition. Please consider joining me next month for this photo challenge.

Until next time,
play hard, and have fun,

~Beth

Is this the year you’ve decided to improve your photography skills? Click this link to learn more about my Photography Workshops!!
Stay up to date (and to get exclusive offers) by signing up for my NEWSLETTER.
Oh, and if you’d like to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 and for photography and sportsmom related stuff from around the web, “like” my FACEBOOK page.

10 on 10 photo project - 45 pound lap dog

If you read this far, I’ll share a bonus pic with you 😉 Mr. Awesome took this picture while I was siting outside taking a break from the garden. My 45 lb. lap dog was feeling a bit needy, can you tell?

is it a to-do list, or a wish list…?

is it a to-do list or wish list

to-do list or wish list…?

I haven’t been sleeping well lately. Lately being weeks. It got so bad I resorted to taking a Benadryl before bed just so I could rest for a while.

Most of the problem is all the stuff that my brain insists is SUPER IMPORTANT — at 2:34 a.m.! Last night it was the truck. Apparently my brain became extremely concerned that I hadn’t cleaned the battery terminals in quite some time.

 

The battery terminals, people. Seriously.

 

My to-do list is always long, and right now with dad’s estate stuff, work stuff, house stuff, and Mr. Awesome’s schedule, I just can’t keep up. I decided it was time to sit down and have a brain dump. Get everything, no matter how ridiculous down on paper, and hopefully, out of my head. Next, I broke down that list into loose categories of the things that were going on in my life right now.

  • a sick child
  • dealing with dad’s stuff
  • my business
  • the mess left from a contractor who bailed on the job
  • Spring, which means a husband working 12-14 hour days, 6 days a week
  • finding a car
  • getting seeds started for this summer’s garden
  • food stuff: bread baking, snacks, etc.
  • house work

This is the short list, but it’s wide-ranging. Each of these has a long page of items that need to be taken care of. Usually getting things out of my head and on paper makes me feel better.

Not this time.

Things felt overwhelming in my head, and when I got it on paper, it seemed overwhelming there, too. Regardless, I organized the mess of thoughts into a work list, and got started.

This sort-of worked – for a while. Then the sink backed up.

The evil lemon-of-a-dishwasher that has been breaking down every few weeks since we got it, finally stopped working in December. It wasn’t the end of the world, with just two people (one of which works insane hours), doing the dishes in the sink was manageable. Then the sink clogged up.

The kitchen sink was the domino that destroyed my carefully laid plans.

Once I couldn’t wash the dishes, they stacked up.
Then I had to clear out under the sink, and take apart the plumbing to clear the clog.
Next put it all back together and check for leaks.
Finally, put everything back under the sink, oh, and do the pile of dishes!

This process (due to other commitments) ended up dragging out over two days. Two days that I had things planned for. Two days that put me behind. I felt defeated and overwhelmed. Again.

The list I had so carefully curated to Get. Everything. Done. had fallen apart. It forced me to look at the list again, and what I discovered gave me a bit of freedom.

Is it a to-do list or a wish list ?

 

This season of my life is busier than I could ever have anticipated. Much of my list consisted of things I felt like I should be doing. You have some of those too, I’m sure 😉 Some of these are fairly important, like getting the seeds planted so that I will have plants to put in the garden in a couple of months. Others are things I feel are important, but can be put off – like getting all the photos my sister rescued from magnetic albums at my dad’s place, out of boxes and into albums.

By trying to plan every second, when the (inevitable) clogged kitchen sink pops up, I just get farther behind. As I move forward I’m trying to be more realistic about the want-to-do vs. the need-to-do, and learn to shift responsibilities around so that the essential things get taken care of.

And everything else? It’s optional.

 

Will this mean I can finally start sleeping again? That remains to be seen; but with my to-do list and my wish list now separate, at least I have a chance.

until next time, play hard, and have fun,

~Beth

 

I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts about your own to-do list vs. wish list. Do you confuse the two? What is your “clogged kitchen sink”?

March 10 on 10…

Welcome to March 10 on 10!

With 2015 well underway, how are your New Year’s Resolutions holding up? Anyone still joining us for 10 on 10?
If you’re new here, 10 on 10 is a monthly photo challenge to shoot 10 photos over (roughly) 10 hours, on the 10th of the month – a pattern which I take great liberties with 😉

10 on 10 photo challenge - stormy morning in Oregon

Some months are challenging for me, and this was one. I had just returned home from a 2000+ mile road trip to deal with my dad’s estate sale. I’m exhausted physically and emotionally, and felt like there was absolutely nothing of interest for this 10 on 10, for me or you. I felt so uninspired that I really put off taking pictures, and almost all them were taken after lunch. This was one of those days that, as my dad would say, I wanted to “defer for lack of interest”. All that said, I did manage to take 10 pictures, though it extended well over 10 hours.

This morning started of very dark and stormy. It’s been rainy, windy, and all around nasty. Actually, it kinda matches my mood.

10 on 10 photo challenge - boxes to unpack

If you’ve been following along here for long, you know I’m a minimalist and don’t acquire “stuff”. I did however, manage to bring six boxes of “stuff” back with me. Most of it is necessary paperwork, some of it is pictures (and some of it is my childhood Atari); but just seeing it sitting there gives me anxiety.

10 on 10 photo project - collection old keys in a cigar box

Some of what I need to go through are the keys. Oh. My. Goodness, The KEYS! I am of the firm belief that my dad held onto every key he ever had. This is just one box. That’s right, one. There are at least three more of these that we know about. Oy vey.

10 on 10 photo challenge - old volkswagen key

My dad was THE Volkswagen guy. Growing up I didn’t realize that my normal was very odd. What, you mean not everyone has 50+ VW’s in their back yard?? There’s something about finding these old VW keys that is particularly sentimental.

10 on 10 photo challenge - nativity scene

For several years I’ve wanted to purchase a nativity set, but two things prevented me. One, uhm, stuff. I really am a rather minimal Christmas decorator. Two, I really didn’t like most of the nativity sets I saw. Finding my mom’s nativity was a huge surprise. Most of the things I remember from Christmas growing up were nowhere to be found, but this showed up in a well-marked box, along with some random odds and ends. That’s my long way of saying, I now have a nativity set 😉

10 on 10 photo project - corn chowder ready for freezer

Over the weekend I made a big pot of corn chowder. After having some of the leftovers for lunch, I got the rest ready to go in the freezer.

10 on 10 photo project - homemade hamburger buns

The weekend also saw my first attempt at homemade hamburger buns. They were good with burgers, so they must be good with chowder too, right?

10 on 10 photo project - wordbrain screen

This game makes me crazy. It’s called WordBrain, and I just advanced from Snake to Rat. Did I mention it makes me crazy? And yet, I keep playing it. :/

10 on 10 photo challenge - seed storage

It’s the time of year when I take inventory of the seed I have, and make note of the seed I still need to get. I’m almost ready to plant starts and cool season crops, but still need to get some tomato, and corn seed.

10 on 10 photo project - dishes drying

The dishwasher machine decided to quit working. Again. After taking it apart (again), I’ve decided I’m not putting more time or money into the piece-of-garbage machine. That means for the foreseeable future this will be part of my daily routine.

10 on 10 photo challenge - black teapot

This happens most nights. Lemon and honey “tea”. It’s an excellent way to warm up, and wind down. Do you have any nightly rituals?

That brings another 10 on 10 to a close, and I hope you enjoyed the March 2016 edition. It would be awesome if you joined me in this photo challenge.

Until next time,
play hard, and have fun,

~Beth

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