Ideas for Positive Social Distancing....

I've been practicing it since 3/15 [we were on a trip and flew back and since then have remained indoors other than as below]

  1.  Stay indoors but if at all possible get outside each day for a walk, remembering to keep social distance = the fresh air is really a nice change.
  2. I am trying to follow the Pomodoro Technique:  set a timer for 25 minutes of focus, after which you get a five minute break.  During each break try doing a different exercise - anything that gets your body moving is good.  Full discussion of Coronovirus Work-from-Home Wellness Plan [highly recommended]:  Elemental Work from Home
  3. Use the opportunity to do some cleaning, maybe a room a day?
  4. Practice Yoga and/or Meditation [loads of apps to help with that]
  5. Read a good book, listen to music, create music, add some art to your life.
  6. Clean out your various email boxes - how much of that stuff do you really need to save?
  7. Go through your computer/iPad/iPhone or such and clean them out, delete apps. you don't need, back up and then clean off data if you don't need it.
  8. Phone a friend, audio telephone or video, renew connections.

Hope this helps....

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from Trellis Restaurant

Quote from a friend --

The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created--created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination. - John Schaar

 

[which reminds me of the Crisis/Opportunity quote by John F. Kennedy - 

“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” —John F. Kennedy


Ideas for spending time at home...a few thoughts and suggestions

I'm following the CDC/etc. guidelines and staying home and, as I do so, trying to be creative in the use of my time [note I said Creative not Productive].  I gather we can go outside to catch the air/sun, but keep our distance and be sensitive to others.  The 'social distancing' idea is, after all, to help others and is unselfish in concept.  So, did a little thinking and research [which is a good way to continue to put off that ToDo List even further. . . ]

In addition to the ToDo list there's always household chores:  Clean out shelves, cabinets, closets and drawers [so called "deep cleaning"] and other worthy things, but for sanity's sake I was looking for ideas to keep the mind active [might be particularly relevant for kids etc., in a more kid-like format certainly].  The following are a few suggestions - 

Review and Clean out and Unsubscribe from emails, newsletters and other things which just multiply over time [I do this at year's end but it probably should be done twice a year given how many new offerings come in.  

There are books:  the paper ones you have, the audio books you have or can get [the Overdrive app, and others, can access your library account], the iPad/tablet ones you have, going through all your magazines and reading or recycling what you can.

There is, of course, a plethora of choices of streaming TV [we've exhausted Vera and Brunetti among others but are finding quite a few more offerings]

For your audio enjoyment as you tackle the ToDo list or household chores, there's radio, your music library [mine needs some culling anyway]

And for more visual entertainment - virtual tours of places you want to go to/see:

 

    [My search was ‘Virtual Tours’ and I’m sure others can do something more detailed or relevant]

Hope this is helpful... In the meantime, enjoy a view of nature far away:

Sintra-Cascais Natural Park  Portugal
     Sintra-Cascais Natural Park Portugal

 


Taking back your life, Part II. De/Un-cluttering in a way.

As I recently wrote, at the end of the year I go through emails, newsletters, subscriptions etc. and jettison that which I can.  It is now 1-2 months since I started that process:  so far, I have not re-subscribed and I have continued to de-subscribe.  So far so good, still too many emails [particularly in a political year] but fewer than in the past.

Another process I have started - especially since the snows/ice/fog tend to keep one quietly in doors - has been to go through and organize my various 'digital assets' and delete whatever I can.  I have now used some larger [2-3TB] hard drives as storage for [1] music [iTunes, downloads, CDs saved from disk, etc.], [2] Client items [no longer needed currently but securely saved for the required time], [3] Financial info, [4] general reading, etc.  Actually I'm focusing on getting the music onto a drive so it's saved somewhere and I can delete items if I don't really need them currently.

I did have an epiphany the other day, though - I have PDFs from various articles, readings, etc. dating back at least 10 years and, if I wanted to really search for them, perhaps farther back.  There is no way in heck I am going to EVER be able to read those PDFs!  So, I'm also in the process of [1] getting rid of duplicates [I do tend to duplicate items 'just in case', and don't regret doing that] and [2] re-saving the most interesting, pertinent, useful ones and trashing all the rest.  If I haven't had cause to read an article since 2013, saved in pdf to disk, it's obviously not needed now == it's rather freeing to be getting rid of things I will never read, much less find time to read them = and which are findable on the Internet anyway.

So, another suggestion - don't let these things pile up so you have to do what I've been doing and clean things out.  And for your pleasure on a grey, snowy day = sunset in the fall, Urbandale, IA.

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Taking back your life....a good way to end the year, each year.

This is something I have done each January but now I'm starting in December and hoping there will be positive results in the new year.

Basically, I go through all the emails I receive as they come in [and then work back through those which have piled up] and if they are from non-personal/friend&family sources, decide which I want to still receive in the new year.  I then unsubscribe to as many as possible.  After all, if I miss the newsletter I can always sign up again.

I have an app which is part of Mail [MailButler] which does much of the unsubscribing for me, but I also have used Unroll.me - a website that will do much the same thing.  There are no doubt other ways of handling unsubscriptions, but this is what I do at the end of the year.

As for snail mail, that's a different thing to tackle, and a separate post.  In the meantime, a little hint of spring to keep people smiling.


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Blocking phone crap and feeling great about it!!!

CRAP CALLS - I now spend a fair amount of time at home, not just doing nothing but doing loads of different things [loving it!].  Of course, since I’m here we do get phone calls thru the day.  I don’t mind, so much, human beings calling - whether fundraising or politicking or whatever.  I’m willing and able to be kind to them. BUT I hate those machine people calls = the ones for the back braces, car warranties, health insurance, you name it.  [I am on the DoNotCall list]. The ones which try to sound like a human, “Hello this is Jennifer”..pause to allow me to say something, then move right along and try to make me think this is a human. BUT I’m having a great time with my call-blocking phone = I’m sure other manufacturers make them, but the one we have is a Panasonic and when one of those machine calls come in [I answer on speakerphone] I hit the Call Block button and even if they’ve spoofed some innocent Iowa area code and number, they are blocked totally.  I’ve noticed in the past few days calls have come in and either died on the vine or show “Call Blocked” on the screen and I punch it off.  Not having to receive these calls has been great — I just thought I’d report this small success in fighting the machines.

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Going through old photographs. . .

I found one from a trip in 2006 when I spent about a week in Beijing, China [and two in Bhutan] and joined a small tour group bicycling through the hutongs of the old city.  I'm going to be having a show in late July at Artisan Gallery 218 with photos of bicycles from that and other trips over the years.  Details of the show will be on the website and in its Newsletter or you can contact me for further information.

Vicky in Beijing web


Turn on Two-Factor Authentication ASAP!

Sitting here quietly and my iPhone beeped and a text message came in - "841138 is your Amazon security code" --BUT I have not been on the Amazon site for any purpose today or over the past several days.  I immediately went there and changed my password then called Amazon customer service.  As the lady explained, someone may have obtained my email and password in some fashion [how I don't know and I had an excellent password, I thought] and tried to buy something or get into the account for some purpose.  Thus, since I had 2-factor authentication set up, they couldn't enter because the text came to me with the code, not to them.  I know I harp constantly about passwords, password managers and security, but this is additional proof of the need to prevent easy access to one's accounts.