Tag: January 2016

Review and Revise
sun 3 jan 2016

Entry #1 on this page (tagged: january, )

Happy New Year!

Looking back over 2015, it feels like a pretty "okay" year... not the best, not too exciting, actually maybe a bit boring, but nothing horribly tragic happened, either. Here's what I accomplished:

in 2015, I read 35 books. The average book was 314 pages and GoodReads tells me my shortest book was 97 pages (84, Charing Cross Road) and my longest book was 973 pages (The Cider House Rules). I read 211 pages a week (I read 211 pages a week in 2014 as well, but 221 pages per week in 2013).

in 2015, I sent exactly 1500 postcards and letters. Wow. The average is 125 per month which is a huge increase over previous years. 2014 = 98 per month, 2013 = 78 per month.

The GoodReads Postcard Exchange group that I host, really kept me happy and focused. The monthly membership started at 45 and ended at 63 and averaged 54 players every month! I started working on a much needed FAQ, but haven't uploaded it yet. I also need to think about other time saving measures: the GR PCs are fun, but time consuming, I think I might like to work on other projects in the future!

I wrote and sent 13 Amnesty International cases. and I wrote letters of protest to all of the 12 Write for Rights cases, plus 1 solidarity card. In the past, my goal has been to write an AI case every weekend, but just 13 regular cases in 2015 makes 1 a month. My goal for 2016: 2 Amnesty International cases a month, plus a good effort at the Write for Rights, including especially solidarity letters.

I also re-activated my PostCrossing account, which had been mostly inactive since 2011 (with brief activity in 2013). I sent 33 postcards this year, bringing my lifetime total to 292 (I joined in sept 2008). PostCrossing is simple and fun, despite the heathens who say they don't like homemade or handmade postcards. I'd like to continue in 2016.

At Swap-Bot, I participated in 49 exchanges and hosted 3 of my own vegan group swaps. This brought my lifetime total to 191 from when I joined that site in May 2011.

in 2015, I took 4499 photos, averaging 375 per month. 2014 avg was 394. 2013 avg was 555. Maybe I'm taking better quality photos, so I don't have to take as many? uh huh. Maybe I need to get out of the house with my camera more often!

in 2015, I wrote 23 entries here and had 10 updates, which has been my normal average for the past many years. I enjoy crafting a post with words and photos and it's a lovely creative outlet for me. I don't know why I don't do it more often, maybe I can shake things up here in 2016?!

in 2015, SO and I kept gardening... but I think I'll put that in a separate post.

In last year's New Year post, I wanted to take on some vegan projects for 2015. I did host a couple swaps at my Vegan Voices group, but I never engaged with the Veganic Gardening project I was thinking about.

And I wanted to do some drawing in 2015... which I did: I started (but didn't complete) a Horse Drawing online class in November.

In 2016, I would like to do another Space Clearing year. I worked on a year-long online class about Space Clearing in 2014. I got some stuff done that year, but the clutter has not improved since then.

Not only do I want to tackle the clutter, there are also some home improvement chores that need to be done. I need to buy a new mattress and bed frame, a new couch would be nice, as would a new entertainment center for the living room. And it would be nice to adopt a new computer before the old one crashes in a permanent way.

Obviously I spend a lot of time and effort on postcards. But I had a "Reply To" pile that got overwhelming and completely "unaddressed"! That's okay, but I need to find a better system, one that actually works.

I am not sure how I would like to express my joy at being vegan in 2016. So I will be on the look out for some projects which excite me.

Canada Geese overhead

bored and dissatisfied
sat 23 jan 2016

Entry #2 on this page (tagged: january)

Bored and dissatisfied, arg!

Part of it is the time of year. Yes, I continue to go out walking with my camera every weekend... but I know I'm not going to get any brilliant photos right now. It's raining and sometimes I can't get out in the morning when all the urban wildlife is active. And it's cloudy and all the photos are dull anyway.

I have to admit, another part of it is the day job. It's very stressful and it takes it's toll that way, but I do not want my day job leaking into my Real life.

And another part of it is that I am bored with my current mailing projects. I sent 1500 postcards last year, ya know? I've got the postcard thing down to a science. I still enjoy it, but it's not challenging anymore.

I just need something new and different and inspiring... but I don't know what this new thing is, yet!

LetterMo is coming up in february. But that's just more of the same. Mailing extra stuff will keep me occupied for the month, but then I will get behind on sending replies, I'll get discouraged, and then I'll quit. Same old, same old.

I never finished my drawing class from last november. eh.

I seriously thought about taking on and revitalizing an old group at Swap-Bot. The Butterfly Anarchists was founded in 2011 and has about 80 to 90 members, there are loads of posts at the group forum, but there hasn't been much activity in the past couple of years.

Revitalizing old groups is hit or miss... believe me, I have tried multiple times: Blue Haze, SB Vegan Voices, Veganic Gardening, Eugene Community Gardens. But the GoodReads Postcard Exchange is a revitalization, and we are now a strong group with 500 members and 60+ active members participating in the monthly exchanges.

Yeah, I could take on The Butterfly Anarchists... but at this point it sounds more like work and less like inspirational fun. But perhaps that's just my overall "meh" mood talking.

So I guess I'll just hang in there until something interesting strikes me! Maybe I can spend a little extra time typing here in the meantime?

winter robin

An American Robin looking for bugs and berries at the community garden. Traditionally Robins are a sign of spring, but actually they can be found in most of the US states ALL year!

There are some real signs of spring tho: crocuses are pushing up some leaves and catkins are hanging from some trees.

Sun, 31 Jan 2016 20:29:05 PDT... LetterMo!

I probably get overly excitable about the Month of Letters. After all, I don't have any trouble with sending mail every day. The problem is responding to the mail I get.

So... maybe this year I will keep myself honest by listing my incoming mail here. And making a note when I send the reply.

Because I have made some lovely pen pal friends through LetterMo, and it would be nice to keep in touch throughout the year.

Plus I've found some great books as well! It's so wonderful when letter writers are not only book readers, but authors as well!!

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