Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Living My 60th Year - A Pot of Gold

Fun is... when you come out of a long meeting to be able to see a rainbow end on the roof of Lucy Robbins Welles Library.  The pot of gold lies within this very place here in Newington.   Somewhere in the universe, the rainbow said to me that we will be able to continue to create one of the best libraries in the area.  

I've been focusing on the library and its expansion plans.  While a trustee, I'm not on the facility committee, though I would attend the committee meeting as a 'guest' had I know when it met.  One of my pet peeves with this group is lack of communication.  

The Town Council finally got around to formally starting a building committee. The LIBRARY RENOVATIONS/ADDITION PROJECT BUILDING COMMITTEE (LRAPBC) (that's a mouthful) was formed back in April, five of seven members approved in short time, and the last two members approved at in July.  They finally had their first meeting on July 27th.  I was there and taped the meeting.  I'm planning on being their to video tape their meetings.  I did request, to the Director, after the meeting, that the LRAPBC hold their meetings in the meeting rooms that have mic's as the audio was a very, very poor quality. 

I did say I video taped the meeting!  Yeah, I signed out a camera and tripod from NCTV (our community TV station) and will start to do live shoots.  The only way to learn, in some cases, is just to get out there and do it.  It is a very boring shoot.  The room was to small, so I couldn't focus in on the individuals speaking.  I did the Library meeting on Monday night and the Parks & Rec Informational meeting on Wed night.  The P&R went better as they met in a bigger room and allow me to focus on the speakers.   

Now I need studio time to transfer the files up to the edit machine.  That took a really long time.  Note to self - need to find a better way to transfer the files.  So while I was waiting the transfer, I began to make the graphics for the bottom third.  Our expert, Scott, was there and he was able in a quick few minutes to instruct me what to do, some good points about software we use, and how to work the layers.  Great start.  Unfortunate part, I need to be at the studio to work the editing at this moment.  The studio has limited access at this time.  We shall see how that changes in the near future.  This opportunity to video is like a kid in the candy store to me.  It's only the beginning - maybe some gold dust will fall on me.

The Shelby - I've been working on this blanket for just too long.  Having had the opportunity to visit with Shelby (niece), she was able to try it on for size.  She was so excited.  Ahhh - it needed to be expanded in length.  Maybe one more row or two?  We settled on two more rows.  Over the other weekend, I had almost an entire day to work on the blanket.  

What a joy to work on this blanket especially since Shelby was here.   It's tying in so many of the rows, adding the balance of the squares and really see it take shape.  What was really nice - was working outside and having the sun as my light source.  Looking forward to getting this completed by the end of August!

These two weeks have been filling my pot of gold - helping in my community, learning a new discipline, and seeing my work appreciated.  Cha ching!

Here's to a year of catching the dreams you chase,
doing what makes you smile,
and loving the life you live.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Living My 60th Year - NCTV ...

It was Extravaganza here all week.  My volunteering surrounded the events and the station.  We, NCTV,  are awaiting a large grant to arrive any day now, once the state of CT gets going.  This organization is funded primarily with government grants.  Anyone that knows grants, let alone from the government, are at the whim of political powers to be.

The group has been anticipating this grant that would allow us to upgrade to HD production.  All the avenues that we are pushing the content to are all switching to HD.  In the business, we can not snooze!

While it is really techie, I'm learning lots about the station that I can help with.    I've had the chance to edit part of a program we filmed with adding the graphics to the "bottom third".  Watch the TV news, did you notice the bottom third the screen?  Then we gave me some 'permissions' to update the website with writing some code to link our programs to the website. That takes me back to the days I used to do some programing.  A simply misplaced comma and it won't work.  

What is amazing with this group - they are amazingly bright individuals.  Each of them with their speciality - audio, editing, filming, content, and the list goes on.  

Anyway - Extravaganza - this was my second year as the on-air talent.  Mike G was my cameraman  once again.  It is amazing how much the talent and camera guy work to get the best.  Besides interviewing people at random, we sought out certain folks that were in charge of the event, other notable individuals from the community.  

Then we separated to obtain additional footage close ups that help will help fill out and transition during the film.   Great experience for me to "see" what the camera can pick up.   He picked up footage from Wednesday night, we teamed up for Friday night footage and interviews, and then all day on Saturday doing pretty much the same.  

I'm having fun with this, even with the learning curve and learning and earning the trust of the group.  Most of the background work is helping make up processes so that we have less time in the admin side of the station and therefore having more time to work on content.  

One idea came as I interviewed various people and organizations - we need a show on the station that highlights these organizations.  So I guess I'm going to be writing up a proposal in the middle of the HD upgrade.  

Great week - lots of stimulus, other areas were equally good.  More on the minimization of 'stuff', and clearing up items.  Thanks for stopping by and see you next week!

Here's to a year of catching the dreams you chase,
doing what makes you smile,
and loving the life you live.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Living my 60th Year - little things

Little Things that give us pleasure.

Little things can give us so much satisfaction and pleasure.  I'm sure each of you have a host of items, no matter the size or frequency that really make your day.  This past week there was lots of little pleasures.

Cleaning pleasures -   First of all, the week had the big cleaning day I do once a month.  From one month to the next, my minimalist measures continue to make a difference in how my place feels around me.   A bit more accomplished, few more items disposed of by some manner, my space stays in better shape as I can keep it up to date  - everything in it's place or at least, has a place!

Teaching pleasures - My girlfriend's son, Ian, was over for a bit.  Great kid and he's learning about making choices, at ten years old.  He's getting to determine what he would want or like to do and the costs $$'s.  Beginning to get grounded in learning how his choice make consequences.  Love seeing the light go on, or  an aha look.

Working pleasures - Solid work time scheduled without any interruptions.  This is like heaven as I am so much more productive.  

Craft time pleasures - Whether it be making lace and crochet, or pinning pictures, a little bit of time everyday puts the beauty of creation higher on the conscious level.   Over the last few weeks, I've finished up a bunch of little projects.  I was able to give away a scarf I just finished to a friend of mine.  She was so excited as she is going to a patriotic event in a couple of weeks and will be wearing it.  That pleasure of making it was doubled when  I was able to give it to someone who would enjoy it.  

Garden time pleasures - Pull weeds and some more weeds and lots and lots of peas and squash!  It is so quiet at the garden, a peaceful place to get away from the rush of the day.

Volunteering pleasures - seeing work come together, working with other folks that truly share the same desires to more an organization forward.  TV gang is getting the files up that we serve to the town here.   I'm doing some website coding, kinda fun yet frustrating - a little learn as you go.  I do the simple stuff and the complicated stuff goes to the experts in the group.

What are your little things?  

Here's to a year of catching the dreams you chase,
doing what makes you smile,
and loving the life you live.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Minimalism - June - Progress!

As my kick off month - I am making tremendous progress.  Are You?

Going minimalist living takes courage to find ways to dispose, eliminate, and change your head of what is important.  Stuff for the safe of stuff takes away your energy, time, and money.  I started this challenge last November.  Looking ahead, I've got five more months to my big celebration.

Here's the round up of some of the progress that happened for the Month of June.

Cubbies in the kitchen - there are four left to do out of sixteen!

Garage - began to clear out some stuff, a little at a time.  Since I've moved so much of the stuff into this space, it is creating a little bit of an overwhelming feeling.  Best thing is to pull back a little, and break tasks down into smaller chunks so something can be done.  

That's the Key to Success - break down tasks and get something done!

There was a little setback as the tables I borrowed from a neighbor to use in the garage had to be returned.  Si la vie ---- I've cleaned off another table I have and will embark on the garage once again!

Storm damage - the ceiling got done in the studio, the carpet was looked at, and supposedly the floor is okay and the Assoc will be sending someone soon?

Craft items - I started to get a little carried away.  I cleaned out the closet where I keep stuff, rearranged items so they can be used, threw out items, and found the missing in action beads I purchased last November.  What  I really found is that I have more space than I thought!

I reclaimed projects - which is to say I'm not going to finish them any longer.  So I unraveled the thread / yarn that I can use for another project.  Cut off the samples and put in my sample box.  This was the first big go around probably since I moved in.  Now the bed is covered with those projects / items that need attention but not right now.  They can sit for awhile and let them stir around in my subconscious.  Occasionally, I go and look at the closet and smile!

My lace pillows  and supplies received a first big overhaul.   I found a batch of snowflakes that I made and tucked away.  That makes a dent in my challenge to make 50 snowflakes this year!  Yippie! The star project got a big boost as I starched the little guys - so easy with a little water and all purpose white glue and pin them to the board.  The stars look amazing.

Farm - the plots are some what done or as done as it is going to be.  The squash is looking really great, the tom's are growing and have some fruit on them.  We've been weeding and weeding.  Least favorite item to do -  but it is happening.  We have picked some squash.  It's now time to go in maintain mode and let mother nature do her thing.

Books , Books, and more Books.  I was able to go through more bookshelves and get rid of more books - some went to the library for their book sale, others were tossed.

Revisit - part of this minimalism is that it is very difficult to change the way you have lived.  So I went back to the front hall closet and cleaned it out again.  This time it took only about 30 minutes and I found a winter coat that can be given away!

Organized more "paper work", undo piles - you know what those are.  Most of us have them.  So I took a small handful and sorted them out.  It was surprising (not really) that more than half were tossed out and the other half were filed in places that had been set aside for exactly that.  Then gradually, I took another handful and then another.  Before I knew it, all of the pile was sorted, scanned, filed, and tossed.  Note to self -- remember to put it away while you have it in your hands!

Minimalist living doesn't mean you are a hermit.  I arranged several get-togethers with friends I hadn't seen for  a while.  What a nice time and that allowed me to celebrate these accomplishments.

Thank you to the month of June!  I feel so much better!  Now on to July.....