Keep moving forward

I guess I have to say that I do have a New Year’s Resolution for 2012 after all.

Keep Moving Forward.

Everyday. No matter how large or small the steps.

That’s it.

I think it came to me because of my current employment situation. If you don’t know, the company I worked for closed on June 30, 2011.  So, I am unemployed. In the past six months, I’ve had two potential positions that, in the end, didn’t work out for me. Funny thing is, I’m pretty cool with that. At this stage of my life, I really don’t want to find another job working for someone else. I’d much rather spend my time and effort working for myself. So, for the first few months of unemployment bliss, I tried to come up with an action plan that would lead to self-employment, while looking for potential outside employment. I stumbled, floundered, pretended to be working on a plan, vegetated, worked on a few house projects, played on the computer, read, planted a fall vegetable garden and found myself not moving forward in any productive way.

It was getting to me. I knew I should be more productive, but just couldn’t find my way. So, after a lethargic few months the heavens of inspiration finally parted and I find myself with so very much to do!

One, is my gourd art. (I grew several hundred gourds on our back forty a few years ago and have kept them for some future projects.) The next step is to add a page to Cindy’s Country Corner and offer them for sale! I need to set up a ‘shopping cart’ and my paypal account on my website to make it easy for gourd lovers to buy them. That will happen in the next couple of days. In the meantime, if you are interested in having a gourd of your very own (they will go fast and make great gifts, btw), comment on this post and I’ll reserve the one you want! Prices range from $10 to $25, plus shipping.

Here are some photos.

These are the solids. Cleaned, primed, two coats of paint and two coats of varnish, they sell for $10 each.
(L to R) hand painted folk art ($25), decoupage sunflowers ($20), striped ($20 sold), leaf imprint ($15).
Ladybugs ($20)
Flower Power ($25)


Obviously, I can’t make a living at this. I’m no artist extraordinaire. But, I really like flexing my creative muscles! What do you think?



When one door closes…

Do you remember the blog I wrote a short while ago about the year of 2010 as being the one in which I would live fearlessly? I had several ideas I was mulling over, one was starting an on-line magazine about Lake Marion. It was going to be the site that every local and every tourist was going to want to check out! I had wanted to start this endeavor ever since I quit the newspaper business over three and a half years ago. I had never gotten around to getting started, always one excuse or another, but mostly it was fear of failure that kept me from taking that plunge. Well, since this was my year of living fearlessly, I decided to quit thinking about it and take a step forward. So, about a month ago, I finally bought my domain name – (Actually, I bought three domain names –,, because my site was so gonna rock that someone would surely try to piggy back on my success by using a similar name.)  

I had chosen a magazine web theme that looked great and wouldn’t be too hard for non-geek, non-techno-savvy me to use. I had quite a few notes on what I would be including in my first issues and pictures already worked up and ready to go. On my next long weekend, I was going to begin putting it all together.  Then, just several days before that weekend, I found a glossy magazine on the shelf in the restroom at work. I began to peruse the pages and realized that the publisher, who already had a daily newspaper with a staff of reporters and photographers on the payroll, was now producing a magazine, too, full of the same content that I had planned to have in my on-line magazine. Why, after all these years of publishing a daily newspaper, did this company now want to start a magazine? Well, same reason that I was, I reckon, it was a damn good idea!

So, I began to re-think my idea. Maybe I shouldn’t compete with the big dog. But, then again, why couldn’t I compete? After all, I used to know people in the industry and it wouldn’t be that hard to reconnect with the shakers and the doers of the community. And, I really had wanted to do this for a long time. What to do?

And so, for the next week, I pondered what the impact this magazine would have on my publication. I was still thinking that maybe I could do my thing. Until, I saw a billboard on my way to lunch one day. It advertised a new, online only magazine – Lake Marion Living. A SECOND COMPETITOR! I rushed back to the office and got on the internet to check out this new thorn in my side. Yep, there it was. But, this was worse. Much worse. This magazine wasn’t just similar to what I had been planning, it was exactly what I was planning. 

I felt like I had the rug pulled out from under me. Just like that. Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!

A second billboard touting has gone up just up the street from my house. I drive by it everyday. And, everyday, I am reminded of this painful lesson: if you have a great idea, don’t sit on it for too long, as someone else will surely think of it too, someone that won’t be a scaredy cat like you, and jump on it first!

It is time for me to let go of this dream. I know that. I’m working on it. The hard part is ignoring that one tiny whispering voice in my soul that says, “You never know, maybe someday…”

In the meantime, I have been contracted to create a website for a friend who is in business for himself.

When one door closes another one opens, yada, yada.


Sharing the happy

Most of you are probably wondering what that Happy Book thing is on the left sidebar of my web site. I hope you are wondering enough to read on.

First, let me start by asking you if you are familiar with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, a novel by Ann Brashares (and later a movie by the same name). The premise is that four best friends, spending their summer away from each other, decide to share a pair of pants to keep them connected. Each keeps the pants for a short while and then send to the next friend.

Second, The Happy Book, written by Rachel Kempster and Meg Leder is a book about being happy. It is an activity book that encourages us to discover or re-discover the things in life that make us happy. They (the authors) say their book is more fun that a basket of kittens!

Third, one of those happenstance, must be fate kinda moments in life, I happened to log into Facebook right at the moment when a friend shared a link to Jamie Ridler’s Creative Living Blog, and since I wasn’t too busy with anything else I clicked on the link and read that Jamie had interviewed the authors of The Happy Book and…

Combine these three elements and what you have is Jamie’s idea to send a Happy Book around the world for people to share their happy things!

What a cool idea, thought I, so I signed up immediately, wanting to be one of the few to get in on this happiness sharing thing!

Jamie would accept 26 names, come up with a mailing list, mail the book to the first recipient who can keep it for a week and do whatever happiness she wants in it. Then she mails it to the next person who gets to the same and so on! Considering the mail time involved, it will probably take about a year for the book to make a round trip.

Well, first so many people wanted to do this, that Jamie decided to start 4 books on their trips around the world! I am in the Glee group and I am number 14 on the list. When the book gets to me I can do any or as many of the activities that I want. I can insert pictures or doodles or use crayons or whatever makes me happy! I can share with my family and friends, if I like, but when my week is up, I send it to the next person. If we run out of pages, we’ll just add more!

I know none of the people in the Glee group in real life. But, I know I am going to enjoy perusing what the thirteen happy people entered before me. And, maybe my happy will add some joy to the people after me!

Jamie mailed the books on January 15 to the first recipient in each group. I should receive it, somewhere near the end of July. It will be Jamie’s job to help us keep the book on schedule and she has set up a blog site  for us to follow our book through its journey.

That’s it! I’m in a sisterhood of a traveling happy book and that makes me happy!

Everyone likes to be happy, yes? Let’s use the comment section of this post to share things that makes us happy! Send lots of happy comments, okey dokey? I’ll go first…