Gone Fishing!

me and cat on wallOK, maybe not exactly fishing, but I’m going to be absent from Blogland for a few days. I’ve now posted daily for over 40 days, and I’ve achieved several of my crazy blog goals that I set for August–knowing it would be the last month I had to devote that much time to blogging for a while. During the next few days, I will not be writing for my blog or posting on my blog. In addition, after the next 12 hours (a little time tonight and a little time tomorrow morning), I will not be visiting, commenting, or liking other blogs (unless I slip off the wagon) until my return toward the end of next week.

During these next few days, I will be focusing on a few deadlines and projects that need my attention. To be honest, blogging is more rewarding than some of the projects I need to do. The “responsible” part of me had considered a long-term leave from the blog, but the “rational” part of me vetoed that crazy idea. I learn so much about myself while blogging, and I am unwilling to give up the community that exists among the bloggers I interact with. My life would be so much less without blogging and the people I have met because of it. So I’m taking a short break–just a few days–to try to make sense of my schedule in a way that allows me to get things done and to honor this blogging thing, which has become so much more than simply a hobby to engage in only when I can squeeze it in.

During August, I intentionally made blogging a priority. I’m hoping that by telling myself that I’m taking a break, I won’t say to myself (16 times a day), “Oh, I could blog about that.” And I won’t be asking my husband, “Oh, could you get some pictures of that.” In other words, taking a break is intended to remove blogging (which I really enjoy) from the forefront of my thoughts as I figure out how it fits into my life during the normal schedule.

To help with my blogging withdrawal, I will spend some time doing some sewing on the quilt top for the summer mystery quilt challenge. Hopefully, I can begin to do some regular drawing practice. Or at least, alternate it with Zentangle. But my main focus is to create a schedule for the coming academic year that provides a balance between what must be done and what I want to do.  Such a schedule may be too big a project for a week, but I will see how far I can get, while knocking off a few things on the project to-do list.

I have a couple of blogging “questions” that you can help me with, if you are so inclined. First, I would be interested in how other people organize the reading of and commenting on other blogs. Do you have a system that you would care to share? Some of you seem to get around much more than I do, even when I spend some dedicated time on it. So any suggestions would be welcome.

When I come back (probably on September 4th or 5th), I hope to have a blog plan. The free-flowing thing I’ve been doing may become more structured. It may not. If you have any preferences about which of my posts you enjoy reading the most, I would be delighted if you would let me know in the comment section. You can choose as many as you wish. I’ve listed a few that you can refer to by number (see purple list below). Or if you have other ideas, that’s fine too. This is also a good place to ask questions if you have any curiosities about me. Although, I’m sure that’s not very likely. Right?  😉

1. Responses to challenges where you learn random things about me?
2. Posts about Life in Taiwan?
3. More about my family and the experiences that got me here?
4. Quilting and creativity?
5. The eclectic mix that I currently do?
6. A decluttering challenge.

OK, thanks for all your support. Your comments will help me as I figure out my blog plan.

I’ll see you in about a week!  🙂

261 days til 60!

Ten Things of Thankful: The Quick Edition

TenThingsBannerWe left the house at 6:20 am this morning, and got back at nearly 9:30 pm. But it’s been a good day. And that is something to write Ten Things of Thankful about, even if it’s quick. Details about today’s trip (with pictures) will follow, but it’s closing in on my bedtime.  🙂

I am thankful for:

1. The ticket agent who found us seats on the express train. We just had to change seats once we got to Taipei.

2. The lovely view of the ocean on our way to the Luodong train station.

3. The wonderful visit at the National Center for Traditional Art.

4. The puppet show and live theater performance at the NCTA.

5. A husband who takes cool photos for me.

6. A most amazing student from one of last year’s writing classes who invited us for this great adventure.

7. A most amazing iced latte at a local coffee shop.

8. An amazing breakthrough on two projects that I’ve been stuck on. (This could generate its own thankful list in a day or two if it continues.)

9. Getting a taxi with no wait at the train station when we got home.

10. Getting my 400th blog follower while I was checking email and blog comments after we got home. My little orange guy lit up with a new follower. I checked, and it was #400.

Awesome day!

Pictures to follow.

For now, I’m off to bed!  🙂

265 days to 60!

 

 

 

 

Sharing Music, Computer Games, and Dwarfs from My World

If it seems like you just read a Share Your World post from me, that’s because you did. I revisited a previous question before completing last week’s questions, so here I am: trying to get current. Better to do two than skip one and have you miss out on all this random information about me.  🙂 Thanks Cee for your continued hosting of this cool challenge.

 

What is your favorite smell? What memory does it remind you of?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was difficult to come up with one smell, so here’s my list.

Freshly mowed lawn. Reminds me of summers growing up in Michigan, playing out in the yard, sitting under the plum tree, and generally being kids.

Bread baking. I’m not sure I have a lot of memories of bread baking, but I sure love the smell. On the other hand, it might be something that I wasn’t conscious of. (OK, so my color coding doesn’t work so well for bread. The tan is just too light, so you have to put up with this.)

Roasting green chilies (which I only smell in New Mexico, but it’s awesome).

The perfume my grandmother used to wear. One of the most amazing experiences I had after my grandmother died is having memories of her initiated in the most random places. Walking home from the bus, and I would pass someone wearing that perfume. And I could close my eyes and be with Grandma again.

Coffee, especially freshly roasted beans — no explanation needed.  But I do have a little story, because you know I often do.  When I was younger, I loved the smell of my father making coffee. But I never liked the taste. When I got married, my husband drank coffee. I loved the smell, but didn’t like the taste. Eventually, I found that if I started drinking coffee (with cream and sugar), that was pretty good. Then one of my bosses good-naturedly started hassling me about what’s the point of drinking coffee if I’m going to put all that stuff in it. So I gradually got to the point where I could drink black coffee, but I eventually returned to adding a little cream or milk to it. And I don’t do flavored coffees anymore. Just give me the basic stuff with some milk. Yum!

Name a song or two which are included on the soundtrack to your life?

Probably Tapestry by Carole King to represent all the rich and varied experiences (and my love of textiles), and Firework! by Katy Perry because I’m finally really coming into my own. And while I’ve done some awesome things in my life, I still have a few more sparks that need igniting.

Do you play video/computer game?  Which one(s) or most recent? 

I’ve played a few games in the past, though the names elude me. My current games if I need a little break include Spider Solitaire and Free Cell. I know, I lead an exciting life. Actually, I can’t get involved in games that suck me in, or I’d spend too much time on them.  😉

Which of Snow White’s 7 dwarfs describes you best?  Plus what would the 8th dwarf’s name be? (Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey)

I guess I’d say Doc. I’m the problem solver, the teacher, the listener. It seems to be the best fit, unless I was Happy on a day he forgot his meds. As for an 8th dwarf, I’ll go with Crazy.

Sharing My World from Last Week!

Thanks to Cee for keeping Share Your World challenge going. I always discover something unexpected when answering these random questions. That’s why I’m answering this quickly before this week’s questions are delivered to my mailbox. On to the questions.

taiwan-mapDo you believe in ghosts? 

I live in a country where Ghost Month just ended. I have to admit though, I didn’t personally see any ghosts at any time during the month.

Irregardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility:  If you could play any sport professionally what would it be?  Or if you can’t picture yourself playing sports, what is your favorite sport?

Figure skating or gymnastics. Or swimming. Or diving.

Do you prefer long hair or short hair for yourself?

I prefer Goldilocks hair. Not too short, not too long, just right.  🙂

If you were on an small island, who would you want to be with? And where is it?  How big is it?

Although it’s not very small, I actually already live in an island. And even though there are lots of people here, including my awesome husband, Dave, and many friends I’ve made over the past 5 years, there are many people that aren’t here. They live half a world away. So if I could add a few more people to this island (or get an island closer to them), I’d like my parents, my children, and my grandson Logan to be on the island.  But for me, it’s all in the timing.

I will return to the US next year, and then it will be the people on this island that I’m leaving behind. My husband will still be with me, but all of the people I’ve met here, the people who have become my family on the other side of the world, will be on the island, and I’ll be back home. It’s odd having a home on both sides of the world, but I feel pretty darn lucky to have this kind of oddity in my life.

 

266 Days til 60

 

If We Were Having Coffee (August 24)

Thanks to Gene’O for inviting us all over for this lovely gathering. I will be visiting some of my fellow coffee and tea drinkers later on.  🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If we were having coffee,

  • I’d tell you that I’m excited about the creative discoveries I’m making. I not only finished piecing my current quilting project — a mystery quilt, I also figured out the correct layout for the pieces ahead of the clue that will be released on September 1. It looks great, and since I got word that my solution is correct, I’m going to begin sewing the quilt top. I’ve also been enjoying my drawing practice and Zentangle.
  • I’d tell you that I’m maintaining my exercise schedule–going to the gym and walking, more than ever. The walking is in spite of the fact that the temperature is regularly around 90 degrees (Fahrenheit) with high humidity.  And my efforts are paying off. I’m steadily losing a little weight. I’d be a little happier if those promised endorphins would kick in, but I’ll keep going regardless. I can tell that I’m feeling stronger.
  • I’d tell you that I had an awesome time on Monday, visiting a city in northern Taiwan. The day included an awesome seafood lunch, coffee overlooking water and mountains, a trip to the seafood market, and a walk through the night market. The day promises a couple of blog posts–one with pictures of the things I’ve mentioned, and a second one that covers the other activity we did that day–kite flying!
  • I’d tell you that I’m struggling with what is going to happen with my blog next month. That is when I add full-time teaching back to all the other projects I’ve been working on this summer. I really have enjoyed exploring my voice these last several weeks, but it’s been hard to always fit it in. But realistically, I can’t keep up at that pace unless I get more organized and write several posts in ahead and schedule some of them. So for now, I’m thinking that I will try to post at least 2-3 times a week, and spend some time visiting my fellow bloggers. This environment has been great for me as I’ve tried to find my way through a rough spot this summer, so thanks to everyone who has been part of that great connection.
  • I’d tell you that I’m looking forward to a visit to another part of Taiwan this week, and that you should be looking for more posts and photos.

Have a lovely week!

297 days to 60!

What Should I Do Next? (SofCS)

The prompt this week for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: start with a preposition.

Who would have thought that the struggling with the prompt led to the topic?  haha

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

Image courtesy of 89studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of 89studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

With all the things I need to do today, you’d think I’d have gotten off to a better start. I did get to Curves AND do some walking, so it’s not like nothing got done. But when it got to be 2:00, and I was only getting to the first thing on the list, it was a little disconcerting. But I think I know part of what’s going on.

For so long, I tried to kid myself about the illusion of choice. I can do this, OR I can do this, OR I can do this. So many choices. And I waste time and conscious attention wandering around from item to item on my list, spending my limited mental energy playing games about what I feel like doing. Now that I know better, you might think I would do things differently, but today is one of those days that I was on the verge of squandering a perfectly good work day.

On my list for today are six items. I prioritized the list because I have finally learned that just making the list and doing all that pseudo choice thing (choosing something from the list based on what I want to do) just wasted precious time and energy. It took me a very long time to make the connection between my indecision and my tendency to procrastinate. I’ve had people tell me that I thrive on deadlines. NO. What happened in the past is that the deadlines take away choice. Deadlines demand focus, and so there is no illusion of choice. I just do what needs to be done. I don’t thrive on deadlines. Deadlines make choosing irrelevant.

About the only good thing to come out of the deadline realization was that it wasn’t that the stress of the deadlines was the motivating factor as much as not having to decide what I could or should be doing. Or I got trapped in the craziness of believing that I was a good multi-tasker. It could be argued (and undoubtedly will be) that it really doesn’t matter WHAT I’m doing as long as I’m doing something. But that’s not always true. Like everyone else, I find dozens of ways to kill time, and it’s not always a merciful death. So the trick is to make the list, put it in order, and move from one thing to the next. Not that I don’t take breaks, but when it IS time work, I’m actually working, rather than shuffling papers and ideas and possible activities. It’s not like it’s inflexible. If something comes up, I adjust as necessary, but I’m not getting in my own way, by stopping several times a day and asking, “Hmmmm, what shall I do next?” I have many more interesting things I’d like to spend my time thinking about. But I can spend my conscious attention on the actual content of the projects I’m working on rather than a pointless decision process as to what to do next.

Of all the things I’ve learned about the brain and how much conscious attention we really have, the illusion of choice may be one of the most helpful things. Even if the prioritizing is random, removing the choice just makes it easier to move from one thing to the next. I had the perfect example of this today when I sat down to write this post. It was next up on the list, cool! But sometimes I have a hard time making decisions (which is why prioritizing my list really is important). And today’s prompt threw me for a while, because I had to start with a preposition. That should be easy, right? There are LOTS of prepositions. I just had to choose one to start with. DAMN!

For someone who often has trouble making decisions, especially little ones, this prompt really drove it home. Luckily, I came up with a solution. I made a list–just like I do for my tasks. Then I randomly chose one and began. With each paragraph, I stopped long enough to think of a way to start with another preposition and then kept going again. And I know that it wasn’t necessary to use a preposition for each paragraph, but sometimes I embellish things a bit.

In the end, it was the usual thing. Once I started, it was easy to continue, and with each paragraph, I just looked at the list and grabbed one and went. Starting is sometimes the hardest part, but that’s why not having choices really can be freeing, even though that seems counter-intuitive.

At least, the post is nearly finished. It rambles, but I’ve once again learned some valuable things by letting the unconscious part of my brain go to town. That’s the great thing about stream of consciousness writing–you don’t have to think about it.  At least not once you get started.  ☕️

socs-badge

This post is part of SoCS: http://lindaghill.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-august-2314/

 

268 Days to 60!

 

 

I Dreamed Too Small

IMG_0345Sometimes, small is good. Like our great little dog, who is a delight to have around. I never expected to have a dog EVER, but here I am with a dog that was rescued from the street. She may be small, but she’s still awesome in my book. But not all things should be small.

In last week’s Share Your World, there was a question a gift I’d like. As I will explain in this post, I decided I needed to revisit that question before going on to this week’s questions. I was surprised to realize that even when I know better, I still have a tendency to think small.

When Cee asked to consider what gift we would like to receive (anything). Upon thinking about it for a couple of days, I thought it would be great to have a place to pursue my quilting art and creativity for a period of time in a retreat or studio experience. Here is the question and my actual response from that post.

If you could be given any gift what would it be?

A year-long stay at a quilting/art colony with a fully stocked studio and access to fabric, as well as a couple other artists to brainstorm and collaborate with. But I could still be ecstatic with a month or two.  🙂

But then a couple days later, I was out walking, and that’s when it occurred to me that if I could choose any gift, I really should be thinking much larger. And I got caught on that post. Don’t get me wrong. I love quilting and art-making in general. I love making music. The idea of having a place where I could really pursue those activities is awesome. It’s the second part of the “gift” that I really missed. I mentioned that I would like a few other artists there with whom I could interact. Duh!

Many people have memories of doing creative things as a child. But we often put those things aside as we “grow up.” No time. Or we got the idea that we weren’t necessarily good at it. Or as we got older, we might have been told that there was no way to make a living with that kind of thing. Whatever the reason, we may have pushed artistic expression underground.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have been fortunate to rediscover some of my childhood passions as well as discover several new ones. I sometimes don’t give enough time and attention to these artistic pursuits, but I recognize their importance. As a result, I want to make adjustments in my life that open up my participation in creative expression.

My dream is to help people uncover or rediscover their artistic and creative dreams. I want to help people to want to dream big, whether it be starting a graphic design business, painting, designing clothing, woodworking, writing, illustrating, creating a unique restaurant, or something totally off the beaten track. Even if it can’t be done all at once, we can take baby steps toward getting creative expression in our lives, baby steps that put us in motion toward the big pictures.

When I first answered the gift question last week, I got so caught in the everyday aspects of life that I forgot to look at my big picture. By not having that in my line of vision, I asked for a gift that was nice, but was still limited–both in scope and in its influence.

My new answer to the question?

If you could be given any gift what would it be?

A residential retreat center with room for classes, studio space, and equipment to help myself and others find space to create and experience art in all its forms. And an assistant to help with all the administrative details, so that I can do creative coaching, teach classes, and explore artistic possibilities.

How often I limit myself from accomplishing what I could be doing by thinking small. The Farther to Go! exercises and materials has given me the tools to change that. I just have to keep focused on the ideas I’ve gotten along the way. If I do, I will remember that the path to a life rich in creative expression is to think big and keep moving on those baby steps.

269 Days to 60!

 

When Life Gives You Lemons, Quilt!

Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Did you misread that the first time? Did you think I said “Quit”?

It’s “Quilt!” And believe it or not, that’s not a typo.  🙂

I have to admit, sometimes it seems easier to quit than to do something more constructive with those lemons. But today, when things started going south, I took a different approach. Somehow after the lemons stopped hitting, I had an idea about how to handle it.

It was frustrating to see the day slipping away from me as I tried to process a series of things. I knew that I could not do a reasonable job on the writing projects I had. It was just too much. But I figured out that quilting — or more accurately, piecing — was just the thing to relax me and help me smile again. It also required less conscious brain power–which I am sadly in short supply of right now.

It was the right thing to choose. The rhythm of the sewing machine is soothing. I have the pinning and sewing process set up so I easily move from one seam to the next to finish one block, and then move to the next set of pieces to sew the two seams that turn it into a finished block.

mystery quilt fabricRemember these fabrics from the Summer Mystery Quilt? Clues 1 and 2 have been completed, and it is time to complete the sewing for Clue 3. This sewing project has been on my mind since the clue arrived on August 1. So let’s just do it.

And it also works for my Building Rome project this week. Normally, I wouldn’t do the “fun” parts of the list until after some of the other things are done, but I DID have enough brain power to figure out that if quilting got me back on track and helped get something done from my list, it was a total WIN.

I also rescheduled an appointment I had for tomorrow. I can use that time to catch up on what I intended to do today. Which is a good thing, because I notice I’m starting to recover and feel like myself again. The quilting is working its magic.

So I’m going to go back to it. I finished 4 quilt blocks, and I only have 12 to go.  And I had an experience that proved this was the right thing to tackle tonight. I was sewing a seam and getting reading to put it in the finished pile. It was the fourth one. And I was surprised, because I had only remembered doing two. Yup, the PERFECT activity for tonight.  Even if I don’t finish the 16 blocks tonight, I’ll have a great start, and I’ll be MUCH further along toward getting them done than if I had quit.

AND I’ll have a mystery quilt update to post in a day or so.  🙂

 

270 days to 60!

Roaming Around Rome

Park near our apartment

Park near our apartment

Well, it was one of those weeks when nothing (or at least little) went according to plan. And even though such occurrences aren’t a big surprise, the lack of progress on my list made me wonder if I even made a list. Normally, the fact that I made a list at least moves me in the right direction. Last week–not so much. To complicate things further, this week started out in a rather unusual way with extra outings and unplanned events–hence the “roaming” title.

In spite of the lack of green in my report below, I am not discouraged. Things got done. Experiences were had. Just  because they didn’t match the ones I planned doesn’t mean they aren’t good on their own. A plan is only a plan–not a contract. And it really does help to just go with the flow, make a new plan, and then see how the opportunities and the necessities mesh together. In other words, I’m trying to look at it as part of the process–not as a series of roadblocks, and certainly not as a reason to give up my goals.

REPORT FOR LAST WEEK

1. Complete 12 one-hour blocks. The tasks for those blocks include:

  • editing project 1 (2 sections)   DONE
  • evaluate new editing project and complete 2 sections (if taken) Only one section last week, still progress.
  • writing project (map out all sections and start to write SOMETHING) PLAN yes; WRITING no
  • Work on a basic plan for upcoming webpage.  hahahahahahahahahaha

2. Go to Curves three times during the week; walk three times.  DONE

3. Sew blocks for Clue 3 of Summer Mystery Quilt.  Nothing

4. Start piecing possible designs for quilted postcards.  sewed six pairs of scraps together, no pressing. That’s not exactly a design.  😉

5. Continue visiting my fellow builders.   I didn’t do very well this week.

6. Write a post about decluttering; schedule launch. Thinking about something isn’t the same as doing it, and in this case, I only gave it a couple passing thoughts. I started doubting the wisdom of the project. So that was not a good thing. If I’m going to think about it, I should at least be thinking positively about it. I know it’s worthwhile. Maybe I’m just overwhelmed.

7. Map out blog plan.  Started. I have the list. Now to come up with a reasonable schedule.

8. Catch up on my 20 unanswered comments. (Maybe if I choose a number instead of looking at it as catching up on all my comments, it will actually seem more doable.) NOPE. I kept up with new ones, but didn’t touch any of the backlog.

 

THIS WEEK’S COMMENTARY

Last week, Bradley offered Finding Neverland! as the theme, and challenged us to take a break from the hard work and find our inner child.  I’m proud to report that in addition to last week’s Zentangled kite, I will be reporting on my kite outing in a post this week.

My special “theme” this week is the way I refer to my goals in my weekly reports. I’m going to give each project a letter (Project A, Project B, etc.). It allows me to be a lot more specific for trackign myself without giving details that I probably should not be posting. I hope that makes sense. Once I have the letters, I may color code them–one color for work projects, one color for supplemental projects that help my future, a third color for things that I’m doing for me and my inner child.  Maybe I’ll even give my inner child her own color.  🙂 So there may be a new look to this report next week.

But for now, here are the goals for what’s left of the week of August 18. Note that I am putting my exercise in a “Habit” category for now. I’m doing this regularly, but I’ll post it to keep it as a priority. And I am eliminating one of the quilting items for this week.

 

GOALS FOR WEEK OF AUGUST 18

1. Complete 12 one-hour blocks. The tasks for those blocks include:

  • editing project 1 (2 sections)
  • complete 2/3 of new editing project
  • 2 sections of a work project
  • writing two sections of the mapped-out writing project
  • make a basic plan for upcoming webpage

2. Go to Curves three times during the week; walk three times.

2. Meet with J to plan collaborative project

3. Sew blocks for Clue 3 of Summer Mystery Quilt

4. Start piecing possible designs for quilted postcards.

4. Continue visiting my fellow builders.

5. Write a post about decluttering; schedule launch.

6. Plan out the next two weeks of the blog.

7. Catch up on 20 of my unanswered comments.

8. Attend Friday dinner.

HABITS TO MAINTAIN:

  • CURVES – 3 times a week; walking 3 times a week.

 

I actually feel like this might work this week! Best laid plans and all that!  🙂

Good luck to everyone on meeting your goals this week!

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

This post is part of the Building Rome Project:

http://greenembe.rs/2014/08/18/building-rome-week-34-breakfast-at-tiffanys/

Ten Things of Thankful: Tuesday Thoughts

TenThingsBannerI didn’t post a Ten Things of Thankful last week, but I did have a draft nearly completed. It was called the Ironic Edition, because there were many parts of my life that weren’t going that great, and yet I was still able to find things to be thankful for. Unfortunately, I forgot to save that draft, and when I went back to finish it, it was gone. And I moved on. In other words, I didn’t rewrite it at that time. I just posted something else that day. So here we go, with regular saving of drafts.  🙂

1. I am thankful for all my wonderful friends around the world, but today I’m especially thankful for the two young women in the photo below. Between the two of them, they have helped me in countless ways. They are both excellent translators, so when Dave and I get mail in Chinese or we see a posting in the apartment elevator, one of them always helps us out. They also translate take-out menus and the Chinese words in the photos Dave takes at the stores when he wants to know the details about something before he buys.

100_0642Dante (on the left) was part of the fabric play craziness last week. And yesterday, she showed us around some of her hometown (pictures and details in future post). Today, she sent me directions for my appointment (see #2) when I left my map at home. During the school year, she comes over one evening a week to help me with paperwork and odd jobs.

Rena (on the right) was my student the very first year I was in Taiwan, and she and I have been friends ever since. She has spent many working sessions with me at coffee shops. She visited the ceramics museum with me a few weeks back, and she’s my regular partner for The Shen Yun dance performance that I now attend each year (2015 will be our third time).

2. I am thankful for the wonderful health care in Taiwan, that the majority of the doctors here can speak English (as my Chinese is amazingly bad), and that the doctor I saw today made me feel like we were a team in managing my care. And I am thankful to my friend Jean for recommending him.  ❤

routemap2013123. I am thankful for the amazing transportation system here in Taiwan. I knew that it would be a challenge to get to this doctor, and it was: a bus to the train station, a train to Taipei, the MRT (subway) to the part of the city I needed, and then a 20 minute walk. But hey, with the walk each way, I got my exercise in. I am also thankful for how reasonable the transportation is. If I hadn’t taken the scenic route home–don’t ask–I would have paid less than $8.00 US for the round trip. (The map on the left is the for the MRT. They are still expanding this system, but it’s pretty impressive.)

4. I am thankful for my detour today. Even though it cost me a couple extra dollars (and a lot of time), I saw more of Taipei, learned more about how to get from one part of the city to another, and actually enjoyed the process of figuring out my alternate route home, piece by piece. As a bonus, I got extra exercise AND lunch at a restaurant I hadn’t tried before.

5. I am thankful that early on in my adventure (in #4 above), I decided that I didn’t need to worry about being productive today. I decided to view this day as a gift of time. I could take this day and just enjoy the adventure that was unfolding. I decided I only needed to get two things done today: this post and a little research. Which leads to #6.

6. I am thankful for the Internet and the amazing source of information that is available. After today’s appointment, I had a lot to think about, and being able to get reliable information was reassuring and informative.

kite7. I am thankful for the people who sponsor the challenges I’ve been participating in: Green Embers and the Building Room Challenge; Cee at Cee’s Photography for Share Your World; Indecisive Eejit and Mental Mama for the Cartoon Craziness Challenge; and all the people who pass around the If We Were Having Coffee meme.

8. I am grateful to the people who follow my blog, who read my blog, who comment on my blog, and who like my posts. This blogging experience continues to be a great help to me, and I appreciate everyone who interacts with me in some way.

9. I am grateful for the discoveries I’m making in the Cartoon Craziness Challenge about drawing and the need to practice. That it can be developed, and that it can be fun, and that it’s something I’ve kept on the back burner far too long. OK, I actually kept it totally away from the stove. But I’m glad I brought it back into the kitchen.

10. I am grateful the scraps of fun and hope that I am finding in my life, and for the people who join me and support me in the search.

And I am thankful for Lizzi at Considerings and the others who host Ten Things of Thankful.