Libraries, Lessons and Learning

It’s Monday. I visited the library. I checked out 2 books, 3 books on cd and 2 music cds. I grabbed some magazines from the “free magazine” table and read the local newspaper. I read some chapters from books on the ‘New Non-Fiction’ bookshelf and paged through some Northern Colorado Business monthly newspapers.

Cover of "Little Bee: A Novel"
Cover of Little Bee: A Novel

Now it’s Tuesday and I am deep into the audio cd book titled Little Bee by Chris Cleave. The story uses first person voice alternating between Little Bee and her plight from a British immigration detention center and Sarah O’Rouke and her family from Surrey.

As each cd finishes, I contemplate whether to load and listen to the next one or to proceed with my Adobe TV learning, lessons and projects. I can’t do both.

In the Rotarian magazine (March 2013) was an article titled Living by the Book by Joe Queenan. On average he reads more than 150 books a year and reads about two hours each day.  Last year I read 59 books and remembered the stories from most of them. I remember audio books much better than I remember books that I hold in my hand and read. I’ve found that if the author gets too much into the scenery or other details, I skip ahead in a book. When listening to it, I might miss some dialogue or other important information so I never skip ahead. One would say I am an auditory learner I suppose.

When I am at the computer, I listen to music while I am working on my projects. The music helps with the flow of learning and for some reason my brows are less furrowed when the beat goes on…

The magazines that I brought home with me (recycled instead of thrown away) are playgrounds of images – of designs that I’ve only noticed now as I work in the world of graphic design. Headers, sub-headers, number of columns and image placement – all mean something now. I think about the person (or team) behind the scene who determined the color structure and the layout. The magazines that I once gathered for content are now kept for ideas for future projects.

My world is surrounded by ongoing learning, lessons and application these days. Free tutorials on, Adobe TV, and other sites help me to continue learning as I sit in my warm computer room (the rest of the house shivers in 60 degrees temperatures). Learning when to push away at the end of the day is the hard part  – and it usually happens with a smile on my face.

Having What You Need

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Driving to the library yesterday with my handy-dandy new camera, I stopped several times along the way to take pictures of the things I see on a daily basis. This library is 10 miles from my house (heading EAST) and full of wide open sky, rolling hills, farm land, old houses and mountain views.

I understand that I need this open space. I need to see the mountains and be surrounded by miles of sky. I realized that what I have is what I need. Not sure if that makes sense or not. I could not be happy in a city with buildings all around. I want to walk down the street and see the mountains. I need to be able to hop on a trail and move. I surround myself with the things that make me smile – books, learning, open spaces, friends, strangers (soon to be friends…)

And in having what I need, I have these lovely photos – all taken within a 10 mile radius of my pillow. I hope you enjoy!

#4 – Give from your keyboard!

Today – December 4 is Colorado Gives Day. Last year over $11 million was raised in one day via online giving. A ONE day fundraiser and all non-profit organizations in Colorado that sign up can receive donations. It’s a day of state-wide giving and a way to endorse and support the organizations that make up Colorado.

The first year the program hoped to raise $1 million for local non-profit organizations. Instead, over $8 million was donated in a 24-hour period to the website.

The focus is to ‘Give Where You Live’ and give to things that matter to you. My library is on the list, homeless shelters, school programs, solar projects and everything in between. Deciding where you want to donate may be the most difficult part of the whole process. You can focus on children or schools, hiking trails or ranger stations, nursing homes or preschools, horses or birds of prey, hospitals or libraries, recycling or art, clean water or fresh air… the long list is chock full of areas that can benefit from your donation.  Most important of all, is you decide who gets your money.

This is a chance to step up and put our money where our interests are… Time to stop talking and time to give where we live.

It’s simple, easy and painless. A donation of $10 is welcomed as well as $100. A one day fundraiser … what an excellent idea!

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Fall Dieting: Apples, Tomatoes and Basil, oh my!

It’s fall. You already know how much I love apples, right? My drawer is still chock-full and I eat 2-3 daily. And I made applesauce and I put some in the freezer.

Honey Crisp Apples - U Pick!The other items in my fall diet are tomatoes and basil. Oh my.

I have 5 tomato plants that are quite happy right now. Once I figured out why one plant had tomatoes that were still on the vine but rotten on the bottom (the research suggested that my watering schedule was too erratic and needed some consistency) my crop started to look healthy again.

Ok, so it’s been tomatoes and apples in my life these days. I have other items in the house to eat (um, sometimes) and I never have to worry what else to put on my plate. (Hint – think RED)

Last week I was catching up with a long-distance friend and as I talked I opened the grill, turned it on, lit the match, watched it catch, closed the lid, walked in the house and talked for another 30 minutes or so. The next morning as I was outside trying to be consistent in my tomato watering routine, I noticed the grill was still on. I looked inside and wondered – what did I have for supper? I planned to grill chicken and obviously did not, so what did I have? Probably tomatoes and basil!

Ever done anything like that before? Done it lately? (Please say yes …)

That’s all from Chef Margarita!

Cheers —

Fading away…

Have you noticed that summer seems to be fading away? In the early morning I need a long- sleeved shirt to keep me warm!

Red maple leafI love the change of seasons especially when it is a gently unfolding. When the leaves turn and slowly fall instead of a heavy wet snow to tear down the branches still filled and glorious.

I love living in a region with four seasons.

I love the smell of warm leaves.

In Colorado, the autumn consists mainly of gold aspen. It took me a LONG time to appreciate this splendor and stop comparing it to the beauty of Upstate NY.

I adore the cool mornings and evenings.

Have you even stood in a forest and watched the autumn leaves fall? It’s the best!