Yingge Ceramics Museum 2014 Visit: Part 1

10357197_800301846658535_124676647032877771_nAs mentioned yesterday, today I went to the Yingge Ceramics Museum.  (The link will take you to the English version of their website. I met Rena and Matthew (see left) at the Taoyuan train station this morning to catch a 9:25 train to Yingge, the next station north as you’re headed to Taipei. We were on the train less than ten minutes. Right outside the station, we hailed a taxi for a short ride to the museum.

The first two floors of the museum have permanent exhibits that show the history of ceramics in Taiwan. The different fuels, different kinds of kilns, and samples of various kinds of pottery. You can walk right into a model of a kiln to see where everything fits and how the cars move on the rails through it. You can see a large wagon filled with ceramic wares that would be transported to various markets. There are video displays that explain things in detail.  You can also check out an audio set (in Chinese or English). Then as you walk through the museum, many of the cases and displays indicate the number for the audio explanation of that item or section. You punch it in on a phone pad and hold it up to your ear and can learn about all kinds of interesting facts.

I think that my favorite part of the first two floors is the section  of two facing walls that has a series of tiles showing samples of the various ways they add decorative elements to clay. Next time I go, I’ll have to get a picture of those walls. But what I do have pictures of items from the third floor. The third floor has special exhibitions that rotate. So this floor was totally different from my last visit. It featured items related to 3-D imaging and copying, and the way technology is advancing ceramics into new areas. I learned in another area that ceramics can be used as semiconductors, chips, and other electronic components.

But the place where I really had a lot of fun was the part of the exhibit that shows what artists and ceramicists are doing in terms of the environment, especially with upcycling ceramics. Today, I’ll show you the arrangement that is behind Rena and Matthew above. I’ll also show you a few photos of work that is a ceramic version of origami. Next time, I’ll show you my favorites of the upcycling collection.

10561644_800295856659134_8912544092664874026_nI love how the leg of this table is a stack of coffee mugs. There are many little lamps with cups as the “shades.” Not seen in this photo are plates made into clocks.  Below is another view with yours truly.

10525827_800295839992469_4165168695356585230_nNow you can see one of the clocks made from a ceramic plate (on the far left).

10553557_800295049992548_5052301010668388388_n

A table of ceramic origami. It’s hard to believe these aren’t paper. They look so incredibly delicate, as you can see better in the close-up below.

10500482_800295403325846_6692553212824261903_n

And for tonight’s “weird” entry, I give you a ceramic arrangement called simply, “Traditional babies”

10527268_800295666659153_2318453125220997165_n

OK, and since we were feeling silly, and we didn’t understand this piece at all, we staged an additional dose of silly.

10452459_800295546659165_7288288248216923157_n

See you next time with some really interesting upcycled stuff. In the meantime, ask yourself, what would you do if you had lots of broken pottery to find a home for?

************

As an aside, to give you an idea of costs: the train ride was the equivalent of 50 cents US, each way. The taxi ride to and from the museum was about $3 US each way. Admission to the museum was free. So for $9 US, we had a lovely cultural outing.

If We Were Having Coffee: The One That Almost Wasn’t

admin-ajax.phpI haven’t done one of these since the end of June. I almost called this: The July Edition, but I think I do want to get back to doing this on some kind of schedule. So with any luck, there will be one more before the month ends, but no promises. So grab your cup of coffee, tea, or whatever strikes your fancy, and let’s get started.

***************

If we were having coffee,I’d tell you that . . .

. . . today, we finally have our new bedroom air conditioner! It was installed early this afternoon, and it’s already heavenly. I may have to move my computer and sewing machine in there for the duration of the summer. We’ll see.

If we were having coffee,I’d tell you that . . .

. . . I’m frustrated that I haven’t been having coffee with you lately. I would tell you that I have kept hoping I would find some motivation to care about things. I want to feel excited about something. I want to have something to look forward to.  I want to CARE about something, almost anything.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that . . .

. . . my blog is about the only activity keeping me connected to people at the moment. It is the only drive I feel, writing something every day, so that I feel that I am accomplishing something in spite of myself. I still get a few other things done, but it is not the whirlwind of productivity I thought I’d be involved in at this point.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that . . .

. . . I’ve just been invited to go the Yingge Ceramic Museum tomorrow. You can read the blog post from my first trip there in early 2013. I’d rather keep to myself tomorrow, but I think getting out in the world to do something that others consider fun might be good for me. Afterwards, we’re going to a coffee shop to do some zentangling and hanging out. With any luck, there will be photos.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that . . .

. . . things will eventually work themselves out, and I’ll be back to feeling like my normal optimistic self, but for now, I’m going to ride this out and look forward to our next coffee.

Finally, if we were having coffee, I’d tell you that . . .

. . . I really appreciate your willingness to have coffee with me even when I’m not all cheery and full of good news. Your friendship means the world to me.

Share Your World: My first session (Week 29 of 2014 for the rest of the world)

Random photo: compliments of my daughter

Random photo: compliments of my daughter

While I’m still trying to figure out what I really want this blog to be, I keep experimenting with different things. Today, I thought I’d try the Share Your World, hosted by Cee’s Photography. Each week, 4 questions are posted, and you just answer them. And since the questions are totally random, it fits right in with my current blog “untheme.”  And by the way, for those of you who like photography, Cee’s Photography also has several photography challenges you might want to check out.

When I started blogging, I didn’t do a lot of challenges, but I’ve picked up a few along the way. I’ve noticed that Sheena Not a Punk Rocker might be responsible for roping me into many of them. She writes such cool posts, and then I think — hey I should do that. Go check out her blog, she’s got lots of cool RANDOM stuff. I really like random! And if you like the random photo on the left, you might want to check out my daughter’s blog, Sincerely Kate and see what else she’s up to.

So, I’m going to jump in right here with this week’s questions and see where they take me.

Share Your World – 2014 Week 29

Have you ever been in a submarine?  If you haven’t, would you want to?

BecunaIn the early 90s, I was in Philadelphia with my two oldest sons. We were visiting our friend, Sue. One of the things we did while in Philadelphia was to go to the Independence Seaport Museum at Penn’s Landing. While there, we had the chance to tour the Becuna (SS-319), a submarine built in New London, CT. It was launched in 1944 and was involved in WWII missions. It was involved in surveillance after the war. It was decommissioned in 1969, and is now in the museum in Philadelphia. My oldest son love American history, and at that time, he was fascinated by WWII, so this was a natural stop.

So yes, I was in a submarine, but not in one that was submerged. I’m sure modern submarines have a little more space inside than the Becuna did. I admire anyone who actually works in space like that, even if it’s just standing still and you can come up for air. I can’t imagine being in that confined space for days or weeks on end.

On the other hand, I would say that if I were just going as a “passenger” and could read or write or knit on my own schedule, I might be interested in going to sea for a few days. There I said it.  But I don’t think I’d want to do longer than 3-4 days.

Are you a listener or talker?

This definitely depends on the situation. As a teacher, I have to do a lot of both. I am accustomed to people coming to see me when they need to talk, so I guess I’m perceived by some as a listener. I do find there are times when I’m overwhelmed with stuff, and I just talk and talk and talk. I try to watch how much I do that or who the audience is, because I tend to be a little too self-revealing at times. I’ve made a point of getting better about that. Now when I’m thinking about revealing something, I’ll check in with someone I trust before spouting off. But in terms of the general give and take of conversation, I know some people who also do both listening and talking, so I think it works out most of the time.

I have to say though, that my preference is to do less talking. I like that I can communicate with people through online messaging of various kinds. I’d much rather email or message someone rather than call them. It’s funny because it wasn’t always like that. I used to talk a fair amount on the phone, but no more.

Do you prefer crunchy peanut butter or smooth peanut butter?   Anything with your peanut butter?

Crunchy. Extra crunchy even! At least two companies make it. It’s awesome! I like mine on home-made wheat toast for breakfast.  Thanks, Dave!  <3

Oh, but you can build fudge around my peanut butter anytime, with or without chocolate involved.

Have you ever been drunk?

No. I was willing to try it once. In my early 20s, I was staying somewhere for New Year’s Eve, and thought, let’s see what all the hoopla is about. But halfway through my second drink, I just felt fuzzy and uncomfortable. It didn’t seem like anything I want to go any further with. So I stopped, and that was that.

Fast-forward 20 years, and a friend (hi, Sue!) went barhopping on foot in the small town I lived in at the time. I had two drinks, and supplemented with Sprite. I had a good time, but again, it just felt like something I didn’t want to go further with. It’s not that I never drink, but I do it rather infrequently.

One more thing. Friends who know me well know that I can be just as much fun as the next person at a gathering even if I don’t drink alcohol. A few of my friends know to just give me a Coke, and I’m in having a good time right along with the rest of them. haha

 

***************************************

SO, what you think? Is this the kind of post you’d like to see from me? Should I put it into the rotation? Tell me what you think in the comments.  :-)

 

 

The Musical Garbage Trucks of Taiwan

taiwan-mapI’ve lived in many cities in the US, but trash collection is pretty much the same. You find out what your collection day is (which day of the week), and on that day of the week, you take your trash out to the curb to be collected sometime during that day by the trash trucks.

When I first came to Taiwan, I lived in an apartment, where we took our trash to the basement of the complex and sorted it into assorted bins and containers. I had to have a student go downstairs with me and help me translate the Chinese signs, so that I knew where glass, plastic, and paper went. You would think that I could tell by what was already in the containers, but not so much. Some of the tenants weren’t very good about sorting their trash. But there were a couple of women who went and sorted and packaged up the trash from the basement and met the trash truck each day. Also, three nights a week, a second truck comes behind the garbage truck. It’s a white recycling truck. It doesn’t have music, but it has a spoken message. (It’s in Chinese, so I don’t know what it says.)

During my second year in Taiwan, I moved to another apartment where each tenant takes out their own trash and deposits it into the trucks. Six nights a week — at approximately 6:50, the trash truck comes right to the front of our apartment complex. Sometimes, it’s a tad later, but by 7:10, it’s been here to collect our trash. The trash trucks announce themselves with music. That’s your signal to head downstairs.

I should warn you about the music. It’s a certain kind of music that lasts for a certain duration and then can loop endlessly as the truck drives through the city, announcing its arrival to those who want to deposit trash. There are two main songs that are used — the one in the video below and –

 

the other one below. Let’s just say Beethoven would not be happy.

 

 

Taking trash out in Taiwan is much different from anywhere else I’ve lived, but this has been an easy adjustment to make. We don’t have to remember when trash day is. We can choose the trash day we want. It’s so convenient.  It’s easy. It’s especially easy because my husband has taken over taking out the trash. <3

I hope you enjoyed this little piece of Taiwan trivia.

 

 

Building Rome: Week 3

10488068_904644176218804_5335081388678646298_nBuilding Rome is a mini-challenge hosted by Bradley at Green Embers. Participants set weekly goals, then report in the next week, and cheer each other on along the way. You might want to join in the fun.

I posted toward the end of last week because I had been teaching at a English summer camp Monday through Thursday and had no time until that was over. On Friday, I reported on my week 1, and then set some things for my short week (weekend) that was left. So before setting my new goals for the week of July 21, I will report on my weekend task list.

REPORT FOR THE PAST WEEKEND

  1. Use one-hour blocks as needed to complete the following tasks:
  • an editing project – one more section COMPLETED
  • completing another project spreadsheet NOPE, will add to new list
  • preparing for fall classes – just type the notes for one session OK, I didn’t do this, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. It’s just that when intended to work on it, I had the wrong materials with me.  Reschedule for this week.
  • write three emails regarding one of my fall classes and a meeting for next week All three completed!

2.  Walk twice over the weekend. YAY!

3.  Complete Step 2 of the Mystery Quilt Challenge. YES!!! See the note below about this item!! A new RE-discovery about this accountability thing.*

4.  Visit more of my fellow builders. Since it was so late in the game by the time I did this, I visited everyone on the list, read through what they were up to and “liked” all of them, even though I didn’t have time to comment.

 *SPECIAL NOTE: 

I want to point out something that happened to me yesterday having to do with #3 above. I had this Mystery Quilt Challenge on my list for both weeks. When I updated my list on Friday, I put this task on the weekend list (my abbreviated week 2), figuring I could get it done over the weekend. While it’s true, I underestimated how much time it would take (a little more than 2 hours rather than the one hour I originally estimated), it still was manageable. But last night, it was hot, and I had done a lot of other stuff, and I had other things I could do, and blah blah blah. You know what got me going? The fact that I’d have to get on here and say I didn’t do it. Sure, I could do it next week. But that isn’t the point. It’s on my list because quilting is something I want to do for me, and what does it say about me following through on things for me, if I’m not even doing a simple quilting activity that only requires 2 hours?

So if anyone doubts whether this accountability stuff works, here’s one example. I will tell you this. If it were just me, I wouldn’t have any trouble disappointing myself–it would just be one more week I put it off — to my sick way of thinking. But having a group who cares whether or not I do what’s good for me and my goals — it does make a difference. So thanks Bradley, and all those who are on the construction crews. You’re making a difference in my life, and I appreciate all of you!

GOALS FOR THE WEEK of July 21)

1. Complete 18 one-hour blocks. The tasks for those blocks include:

  • editing project (3 sections)
  • writing project (finalize template, begin introductory material)
  • complete a project spreadsheet (PRIORITY)
  • preparing for fall classes — type notes for two lessons
  • Writing 201 — read post, choose piece for revision, and spend at least 2 hours on said revision

2. Maintain walking three times this week (in spite of the heat).

3. Start piecing possible designs for quilted postcards.

4. Visit more of my fellow builders and comment on their posts.

5. Make a plan for my blog.

6. Catch up on my unanswered comments.

Wishing my fellow “countrymen” a good week.

 

Ten Things of Thankful: Summer Camp Edition

10553603_904662536216968_1254067680936128336_nIn my Building Rome post this week, I mentioned that my week was busy with teaching at an English Summer Camp held at our university. It was the first time our the university had held such an event. It was an intense, but fun four days. On Monday morning, we met 30 young people–ages 10-16–who stayed with us for four days and three nights.

From the time I was first asked about doing this way back in February, I’ve been thinking about the different lessons I could do. But it took the pressure of getting those materials actually ready for production that really got me moving. And even after we started, I made some adjustments. There’s something especially interesting about doing something for the first time. So many aspects of the situation can’t be predicted. Still, I have much to be thankful for during this last week.

  1. I am thankful for 30 enthusiastic young people from many places around Taiwan to join in our activities, even as we were figuring out the details and making adjustments as we went.
  2. I am thankful for my fellow teachers, Megan and Judy, who were a joy to work with. We also continued bouncing ideas off each other during lunch and other encounters in the hallways.
  3. 10557378_897939373553681_3076575304406176014_nI am thankful for the teaching and residential assistants. They are the ones who stayed with the kids in the dorms. Each of the three teachers spent an evening with the group, but these students from our Department of Applied English were totally awesome and they did so much to make our lives easier. It was especially good for me, since I’m the teacher with the least time in Taiwan (of the three) and the weakest spoken Chinese.  Because of the efforts of the TAs, I was able to communicate with all the campers, regardless of their English ability.
  4. I am thankful for the support staff who helped with the organization, the preparation, the printing, the errands, the shopping for baking supplies, the paperwork, and just anything that needed to be done. And everyone was so cheerful the whole time.
  5. I am thankful for the air conditioning in our classrooms. Which will make more sense after you read #6.
  6. I am thankful that I got an email after Day 2 of Summer Camp that our landlord bought a new air conditioner for our apartment. We thought it would be installed by now, but still, it will happen within the next couple of days for sure. I’m pretty sure it will show up on next week’s list. Living in a place where the standard daytime temperature is 85-90 every day with high humidity. Yeah, even if it’s only in the bedroom, having a place where I can chill is a good thing.  :-)
  7. I am thankful for my husband, Dave, who went way beyond the call of duty in terms of making sure I had the materials I needed, the iced coffee I wanted needed, and lunches that he went and gathered each day from the cafeteria down the hill. When I miscalculated how long some activities might take, he saved the day by searching for extra videos and materials I could use that were related to my topics. He helped keep the sun tea project going between classes, took photos, and carried my materials back and forth. Thanks, Honey!  <3
  8. I am thankful that the camp was a huge success. The students seemed to have a good time. The siblings, parents, and grandparents who came for the talent show and closing activities were quite taken with things, if the number of times we were photographed is any indication. 
  9. I am thankful that it was only four days. As much fun as it was, it was very demanding, and I needed some downtime to get my mental faculties back up and running.
  10. I am thankful for the memories and for the new friendships that were made with teachers, campers, and TAs.10303749_10204143685053114_4391656008739241687_n

***************

Thank you to Lizzi at Considerings  for coordinating Ten Things of Thankful. Check it out and join in if you’d like.  

TenThingsBanner

 

 

On the Sunny SIDE of the Street: Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Photo credit: nuchylee at freedigitalphotos.net

Photo credit: nuchylee at freedigitalphotos.net

This week, the Friday prompt for Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness post from Linda is “side.” Add a prefix or a suffix or use it as is.

When I first read the prompt, I started a quick mental list: sidecar, side salad, upside, downside, alongside, preside, offside, on the side, right side, wrong side, on someone’s side. But then the song came to me.

I’m usually considered an optimist by most people who know me. Yeah, things get me down. But, give me ten minutes with a problem, and I’ll probably come up with several alternatives that could improve the situation. The other SIDE of that situation is that I can be too optimistic and think that almost anything is possible.

Interestingly, walking to the coffee shop late this afternoon, I didn’t walk on the sunny side of the street. It’s too hot! This is the first summer that I’ve stayed in Taiwan instead of traveling back to the US for a couple months. So the shady side of the street makes a lot more sense. But I do love the sunshine here.

But then all that talk about sides of the streets made me think of another side word: SIDEWALKS. I should actually do a post about sidewalks in Taiwan. Cement and concrete are used on the roads and curbs, but many of the “sidewalks” are made of various kinds of tiles. I actually posted about this a few months back when I fell because of some water I didn’t notice on some of the tiles near my apartment. If you want to hear about that sad story, you can go here.  But in general the sidewalks are quite smooth, although there are sometimes steps to contend with.

But for now, I’m going to SIDESTEP the issues with the enthusiasm that sometimes gets me in trouble and the tile sidewalks that sometimes trip me up. I want to take a moment to do a little venting about one of my pet peeves.

Sometimes, it would be nice if people could be a little more supportive of each other, instead of creating the illusion of needing to TAKE SIDES. I’m a little frustrated by a couple of situations in which I really need a little support, people to be on MY SIDE. It doesn’t require that you be against anyone else. Still, I will persevere on these projects, knowing that I’m doing them for the right reasons even if I don’t get much appreciation for the effort. It’s on of the times when it does help to be optimistic, in order to move beyond the crap and get back to the sunny side of the street.

 

***************************

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS): http://lindaghill.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-1914/

By Deborah Posted in Taiwan

“Visiting” Rome: Summer Camp 2014

Image courtesy of 89studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of 89studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is my second week with this challenge. I’m late for this post, but I had an unusual schedule this week. Still I want to report my progress about last week’s goals and set a few for the next three days. And then I’ll be back on schedule.

Before I give you the update on last week’s goal, let me tell you briefly what I did the first four days of this week. We held an English Summer Camp at our university. It was the first year for such an endeavor, and it was an intense, but fun four days. On Monday morning, we met 30 young people, ages 10-16 who would stay with us for four days and three nights. I didn’t have to spend the nights. We had teaching and residential assistants for that part. I was one of three teachers, as well as one of the main developers of the curriculum we used. I’ll be posting more about it in my Ten Things of Thankful post in a day or two, but for now, let me just say that by the time I got home at the end of the day, I was pretty much drained from being cheerleader, entertainer, and energizer bunny–all in one. It was successful, and I’m glad I did it, but yeah, it was exhausting.

One side note: For one of the writing activities, I took students on virtual tours of a couple European cities. Hence, the title of my post: “Visiting Rome.”

Progress on last weeks goals (WEEK of July 8)

So back to last week’s goals (week of July 8). I wrote about how I wanted to designate 20 one-hour blocks of time and then schedule tasks that would fit into those slots. Last week, that meant setting up four one-hour blocks for each workday. I estimated how many “blocks” each of my goals would take.

1.  Complete 18 one-hour blocks.  The tasks for those blocks include:

NOTE: Since a couple of people expressed interest in the idea of these “working blocks,” I’ll just say that my first week of experimenting with this had mixed results. Sometimes, I used them, and had good results. Other times, it was still hard to get going. But one of the most amazing things for me was that on a day that the blocks were coming fast and heavy, I found I was able to move through the editing project at an amazing pace. Not that the editing itself went unusually fast, but I found that I was so focused. I attribute it to setting the music timer for the hour, and then continuing on because of the momentum.  I’m going to give this a try again next week (week of the 21st).  :-)

  • an editing project – EXCEEDED GOAL  (As I mentioned above, the block aspect really helped this project. I had mapped out this project over several weeks–it’s a huge project, and I completed five weeks! So, even if that’s the ONLY benefit from using the blocks, it’s something I’m willing to continue experimenting with.
  • writing project – some progress, not as much as I had hoped
  • completing a project spreadsheet - COMPLETED (I seriously underestimated the time this one would take, but it’s done)
  • preparing for fall classes – no progress on this one; more prepping for summer camp than I had planned.

2.  Maintain walking three times this week (in spite of the heat). YAY! I actually did it 5 times!

3.  Complete Step 2 of the Mystery Quilt Challenge. I did nothing with quilting last week. Thinking about quilting is not the same as quilting.

4.  Visit more of my fellow builders, now that I’ve jumped into the fray. I visited a few this week.

5.  Make a plan for my blog.  Thinking about blogging is not the same as blogging.

GOALS FOR what’s left of the week of July 14.

  1. Use one-hour blocks as needed to complete the following tasks:
  • an editing project – one more section
  • completing another project spreadsheet -
  • preparing for fall classes – just type the notes for one session
  • write three emails regarding one of my fall classes and a meeting for next week

2.  Walk twice over the weekend.

3.  Complete Step 2 of the Mystery Quilt Challenge.

4.  Visit more of my fellow builders, now that I’ve jumped into the fray.

If you’d like to play along, you can join in here:   http://greenembers.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/building-rome-week-29-opensaysame/

 

TIME TO GET AWAY: Stream of Consciousness Saturday, July 13

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhere to begin! The prompt was to take off with either “getting away” or “getting out.” They both have such interesting connotations for me.

I so want to get away from everything. I need a vacation, but I need to focus on the catching up that I’m doing. I need to get out of this funk I’ve been in for a while now.

I need to get out of bunches of deadlines I took on when life looked so much brighter. Sometimes, I see far too many possibilities, and then the hard reality sets in. Of course, it would be nice if I could simply get out of some of the deadlines. If I could go back and renegotiate my involvement. But alas, the things I most want to get out of not that easily set aside. I do have a plan, but I still have to work that plan before I can see my way out.

But it isn’t hopeless. And in the meantime, maybe I can get away for a few days somewhere in the next few weeks. And in the meantime, I’m using coffee breaks to get away. In addition to my morning coffee at home, I get out at least 3-4 times a week for coffee. The walk to the coffee shop gives me some exercise — in both directions. While there, I am able to hyper focus on whatever projects I bring along. The getting away from my computer desk does magic for my productivity.

In spite of this talk of getting away and getting out, I’m also drifting to thoughts of getting into things that refresh me. The purpose of getting out is to build up my passion, my motivation to do the things that are often hampered by the crazy deadlines and ill-considered projects. With a plan to get away from those things, I can get into my writing and my quilting. I know I’ve written about these creative endeavors before, but the fact that they keep returning is something I need to listen to.  I need to learn to advocate for my creative voice. And that’s definitely something I want to get into.

 

*********************************

This post is part of SoCS: http://lindaghill.wordpress.com/2014/07/11/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-1214/

Building Rome: My First Day

Image courtesy of 89studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of 89studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

After weeks of watching people make posts on this Building Rome theme (hosted by Green Embers), I’ve decided to dip my toe and try it. I chose today because I was particularly inspired by this week’s posts from Mental Mama and Not a Punk Rocker. The main idea is to have a place for goal setting and accountability. So today, because it’s my first time, I will post a set of goals that I want to accomplish this week. Then, next week, I’ll report my progress on those goals and post my goals for the new week. I know firsthand that this kind of accountability system works because I was part of a similar group with three other women located in various parts of the US. We did ours by email, and our weekly “check-in day” was Tuesday. We kept at it for about six months, and we all found that we were much more productive when we were using such a system. I’ve even tried to recreate it a could times–without success. So, after several weeks of hemming and hawing about joining this adventure, here I am. Since one of my goals is to have more time for writing and quilting, I want to reduce my working hours to 20, at least for the rest of the summer. But I want to those twenty hours to be focused and productive. My hope is that I can accomplish as much in those twenty hours as I normally would by working longer hours by being more intentional during those 20 hours. Taiwan 047To that end, I am setting up four one-hour blocks for each workday. I then make a general task list for those 2o hours, i.e. what I need to get done this week, and estimate how many of these “blocks” it will take to accomplish each task. Maybe it’s crazy, but I’m going to give it a try. I’ve been trying it for two days so far, with great results on Day 1 and less spectacular results on Day 2. BUT I still got more done on Day 2 than  I would have otherwise. I suspect it’s because it’s easier to tell myself, “Just focus for an hour. Then you can take a break.”  mmmmmmmmmmmm coffee! Part of the reason I told you all of that is that my goals are going to focus on blocks of time and more general names for some of my projects. I realized that part of the reason I didn’t join sooner is I didn’t want to post some of the specific things I’m working on, so now I have a solution for that issue. So now that I’ve bored you to tears, here are my goals for the week.

GOALS FOR THE WEEK of July 8

1.  Complete 18 one-hour blocks.  The tasks for those blocks include:

  • an editing project
  • writing project
  • completing a project spreadsheet
  • preparing for fall classes

2.  Maintain walking three times this week (in spite of the heat).

3.  Complete Step 2 of the Mystery Quilt Challenge.

4.  Visit more of my fellow builders, now that I’ve jumped into the fray.

5.  Make a plan for my blog.

There you have it. I feel more accountable already.  :-)   If you’d like to play along, you can join in here:  http://greenembers.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/building-rome-week-28-silver-napkins/