Brain Dump

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Sorry for the random smattering of blog posts these past few weeks. The winter is the breath before the busy spring and summer meaning that I try to slow down a bit too and get away from the computer.

This past weekend we went to the lake and for the first time in as long as I can remember I didn’t bring my computer and didn’t check my email once (this used to not be a problem but since I got the I-Phone I now have service at the lake….sometimes helpful but mostly an unnecessary temptation when I’m trying to relax!) Often when we are there there are at least 4 people visiting but this weekend we planted the flag and told everyone they weren’t invited (in a very nice way!)

It was a totally different feel and just so darn relaxing. After taking a walk on Saturday I sat on the couch / sat in front of the woodstove all afternoon reading, thinking, and writing. I got a great book for Christmas from my friend Robert called “The Success Principles” by Jack Canfield. I’ve never read the series Chicken Soup for the Soul which he is most famous for but I think he has some great ideas in this one. I had read a bit in Vermont over Christmas but not since then. It’s the sort of book that you really need to sit down and be in the right headspace for – I don’t think it’s as helpful to read a chapter here or a chapter there. So I did a lot of thinking about the upcoming year, setting goals, and just really thinking about what I want Orchard Cove to become and how I want it to evolve….heavy but important stuff 🙂

Another thing I’ve been trying is block scheduling. I was going a little loony checking my email constantly and not being as productive as I could be so I’m trying a new method. Taped up to the wall in front of my computer screen is a list of monthly goals. Every night before I go to bed I compare this list with the random smaller to-dos that are always present and plot out a schedule for the next day. This allows me to keep Orchard Cove moving forward instead of standing still. It’s called worked ON your business instead of working IN your business…..also very important.

My other big goal is to only check email twice a day. This is really difficult for me. It might sound silly but for so long I’ve checked it whenever I needed a break from the task that I’m doing or if I get bored that it’s going to take awhile to break a habit. This is all fine and good because my Inbox is almost constantly empty but it was taking me away from efficiently accomplishing other tasks. So basically I’m aware of the benefits of change and am trying….we’ll see! I’m sure some days will be better than others but the big thing is that to make a change you have to be intentional about it!

Yesterday I attended Justin & Mary Marantz’s Spread the Love Workshop. They billed it as more of a life workshop so all of my hard work on the couch on Saturday seemed very timely. They encouraged goal setting and gave some good tips about many aspects of business and life.

One thing they asked is to set a goal of a business book you will read in the next month. “The E Myth Revisited” has been on my list FOREVER so that’s what I will be reading. Jeff and I are meeting his parents for a little skiing this weekend so on my way by the airport bookstore I’m picking it up!

I find it difficult to make time to read business books. By the end of the day my brain is full and I just want to chill out and unwind to go to bed. So a trip will be a good way to get through this one and I hope to include reading business books as part of my new block schedule….I have a couple on my shelf I’m also psyched to read.

In other reading news I am proud to say that I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can put down a bad book and be done with it! For so long I’d suffer through thinking for some reason I HAD to finish it but no longer….I’ve been liberated! For the past few weeks I had been trying to read this book “The Secret Scripture” by Sebastian Barry (recommended by Mom….sorry Mom! Most of your recommendations are fabulous!) and would only get through 4-5 pages before putting it down and going to bed. So it’s gone! My Mom is a huge reader and so every time I got visit her she gives me a stack of books that then stack up on my shelf 🙂 She has pretty discerning tastes but her note on this one said “I adored this book” so it just goes to show that everyone has different tastes 🙂

Now I am reading “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” by David Wroblewski. My friend Mimi recommended it to me and the first night I read 40 pages before turning off the light so that is a good sign 🙂

Ever since reading “The Friday Night Knitting Club” I’ve been trying to learn how to knit. I made one scarf but knew I wanted a smaller project that would last me a night or two. During lunch with a friend a few weeks ago she mentioned that she had been knitting baby caps for charity and they only took her a few hours each….perfect. Yesterday during the workshop (I can focus a lot better when my hands are busy….I needlepointed all through college classes!) I finished my first hat. I knitted it on straight needles so today I’ll stop by my favorite knitting store Creative Fibers and figure out how to sew it together! Later this month I’m taking a mini workshop at Creative Fibers to learn how to knit “in the round” so that your hat is seamless and looks like a hat. Specifically I’m going to learn how to knit the ADORABLE strawberry hat you see in the photo on the left (no this is not my hat…thank you Google image search!). I can’t wait….totally cute!

In other news I’m almost completely booked for the ’09 wedding season which is exciting! My first 2010 couple confirmed the other day and I said that they were a couple after my own heart – planning ahead 🙂 I am shooting at all new venues this season and can’t wait to get to know each couple better….my job is the best!

Strider’s ears continue to be a bit goopy but we are cleaning them every day and he is now off the anti-biotics. I wish that the clean out the vet did had gotten rid of the problem completely but I’m starting to accept that this might just be part of who Strider is 🙂 He’s still on his no allergen food and we’ve been pretty good at not giving in to his glances at the kitchen cabinet for treats….it’s been tough!

I think that’s about it for now – I have a dentist appointment at 10 (my fingernails on a chalkboard sound is the little plaque scraper they use on your teeth…..blech!) so I’m going to get through all my emails beforehand so I can start to get down to business when I get back!

Have a lovely day everyone and thanks for listening to my brain dump/randomness 🙂

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