Christmas In June

I spent most of last week working on a collection to enter a contest on Zazzle.

The idea is that the products could be ordered and kids can color them in to gift to someone else or as a part of their gift.  There are also sets of 25 tearaway paper place mats that could be used as a party activity.

If you have time, maybe give them a click.  They are still in the open submission time period, but maybe some traffic will up my chances. 
Thank you!!

 

 

Career Choice: Introvert Inventor

The ever changing healthcare system has restructured me into a new opportunity.

I have the chance to spend some time focusing on some passion projects and leave the medical charting world….at least for awhile.

If you have followed me long enough, you know that this is not the first time that I have been fired, let go…my position has been eliminated. (Fired by Shakespeare)

The last surprise vacation, I was still on antibiotics for Lyme and vowed to rest and recover.  I did rest, somewhat.  I started perusing job postings and developing a plan almost immediately. I logged about a month of being off antibiotics before I started back to work.

Since I am feeling much better than I did then, I am going into my unplanned vacation with a little more confidence.  I have a plan.  Not one in stone, more like firm Jello.

Over the past couple months, I started to have some ideas for inventions.  The first is already in the: writing a patent application phase.  The other two ideas are not yet inventions.  They are bubbling around my head with a hundred variables of how to approach a problem.  Now is the time to really focus on them.  My hope is that I can get them developed enough that I can get to at least the “patent pending” stage on all of them prior to having to return to work.  Of course, it would be great if that happened more quickly and the first companies I pitch were in shock at my genius and just started throwing money, begging me to allow them the honor of producing my world changing items.  I have assigned myself next Monday as the day to send the second sprout over to my intellectual property (IP) attorney.  I needed to set a date because the longer I work with it, the more complicated I am making it.  Also, I want to make sure that I do not send it too early.  More than once, I was going to send something over that would have lacked enough detail, wasting everyone’s time.  It is much more complicated than the first sprout, so I need to make sure that I present it properly and in a much more organized way than what is going on in my head.

In the mean time, I am also painting more.  It’s fun experimenting with different techniques and learning a lot along the way.  The product is being altered in Light room and/or Photoshop to try to clean it up a bit and to morph it into something that can be put on a shirt, poster, key chain, mouse pad….whatever.

I have a store on Zazzle that has a few different groupings or collections.  The one with more of the painting based ones are here:  Active Art

Sites like this are not really big money makers for most people.  It is a way to share things that I create and if I tag them right, maybe I can make a few bucks while I hustle for licensing deals.  Can’t wait for ugly sweater season to approach.  I’ll have to come up with a few for that. Maybe Benny will get a new look.

Benny The Turtle PosterBennyHat

BTW–If I can’t get a nibble from a company about one of the sprouts, I may try some social media stuff to see if anyone would be interested in it.  Stay tuned….but it may be a couple.

The storm outside is building up a second blow, so I am going to publish before I lose internet again.

 

 

 

 

Swimming in a Spring

I was ready to tweet about swimming in a spring this afternoon.  I wanted to recommend that if ever you have a chance, do it.  Even after I had parked and changed, I found myself wanting to turn from the moderate size crowd and go back to my car.  The thing about most springs is that you have to walk downhill to get to them and uphill to get back to your car.  The areas to enter the water are always congested. Was it worth it? There is something about earth cooled water and the sandy floor of nature’s pools that is both relaxing and revitalizing.

What stopped me from making the tweet was that I started to think about the faces in that moderate crowd. I guess Berthold Gambrel was right, “Writing about an experience is a great way to capture what was most important about it.”

I started to think of the retired couple heading back to their car after a picnic, the little kids playing jokes on each other, the ladies in bikinis, the ladies in wet suits, the guy just sitting on a bench enjoying the atmosphere, the little kids in the shallow area that was the only part of the pool that had clearly been altered by park staff to make it safer for the kiddos, the mom in a tube float with her youngest sitting on the edge holding on to mom, the middle aged mixed race couple that were comfortable and relaxed with each other, the teenage mixed race couple with their new relationship tension and passion, the snorkel that was always moving around but never surfaced, the older gentleman climbing down the steps with fins and snorkel in hand, the different languages that echoed across the water, the group of kayaks coming back to shore after adventure on the other side of the swim area, the young lady stretching trying to find the right angle to capture the scene, the group of young men just hanging out and making plans for the weekend…

I was not there very long.  In fact, the middle aged man blowing up floats for his family in the parking lot when I arrived was just starting down to the pool as I went back to my car.  I was there for a quick cold water walk in the sand. I had no idea my brain was having a soak in all the warmth community can bring.

Be kind to each other. Be kind to yourself.

Go swimming in a spring.

Frisbee by the Spring

I did not take any photos today so this is an old photo of a similar area

 

Where the Black Water Rolls

Where the Black Water Rolls

The first 2 views on the page were taken with a new toy I am playing with.  It is basically a low cost neutral density filter. I got the idea from Richard Bernabe.  He does some fantastic work and his blog has some great tips and information.

The insects were fussy today.  I just could not get them in focus.  The blue guy had 2 buddies but they were so fast I basically just popped it in sports mode and hoped automatic fire could catch them.

BlackWater-3BlackWater-2BlackWater-4BlackWaterBlackWater-5BlackWater-6BlackWater-7

 

This is the song that kept coming to mind as I walked on the path surrounded by black water. Warning-Bluegrass sound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Floating Spider

SPider study

Last Friday I had the chance to start down a trail that I have never been down before.  Shortly before I turned around, I looked up to inspect the sky that had begun to grumble.  This aerial acrobat was suspended about 30 feet overhead.

SPider study-2SPider study-3SPider study-4

It reminded me of this little guy that I caught closer to eye level a few years back.  

Building a web

Hmmmm, at least cousins.

SPider study-6

 

 

 

 

Weekend Dress Rehearsal

Paddleboard on car roof



– When all else fails, buy a lotto ticket and go home –

I had a plan.

I am not sure why, but for the past month or so I have had a lot more energy and a lot less brain fog.  I have been gradually increasing activity to try to avoid any sort of crash.  Last weekend, the box with the crossbars for my car was finally opened and they were installed.  Last night, the SUP carrier was attached.  I decided to wait until the morning to inflate the board.  The board was purchased last year because it was lighter than my previous board and because it was bigger and so easier to balance on – allowing for a less strenuous ride.  Before the end of the night, I had found my waterproof camera and started charging the battery. All systems go for morning launch.

This morning I woke feeling a little off but still good. I got a cup of coffee and started to inflate the board.  The point of inflating it at home instead of at the lake was because the loud motor seems so disruptive when the water is still glass and the boats are still on shore.  Apparently, it also seems disruptive at 8am in my neighborhood.  I brought the board into the garage and closed the door, hoping to muffle the sound at least a little.  Eventually, I caught on that I had hooked the air compressor up wrong and was not getting any air into the board.  That fixed, the hose then popped loose halfway through and the board lost a good bit of the air.  So, started again but this time holding it on to make sure it stayed attached.  

The board was loaded but I was dripping with sweat (it gets hot/humid early) and my legs felt shot.  The last few SUP outings I tried prior to being diagnosed with Lyme, taught me that  pushing through the feeling I was having would pretty much lead to a short and disappointing outing.  

Trying to roll with it, I decided that if my legs were going to be wobbly today, I would try out the kayak seat attachment.  I took it out of the bag to make sure I knew how to use it and made adjustments to my paddle.  I also decided to pick a closer lake and then went inside for some cold water and a rest break.

Time to roll out.  I headed down the road and was a good bit away from the house when I realized that I forgot my fanny pack life vest (picture with link).  No problem I thought, I have my leash and a regular vest in the car so I will be legal.  I started planning out how to adjust the leash from the regular attachment to a kayak conversion position.  My brain then fired off a Red Alert.  I forgot the center fin.  The detachable fin was still sitting on top of the garbage can.  I hit the next turn lane and headed back to the house.  I pulled into a gas station to take a minute to plan and, well, to get gas.  

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