Life


What do you give a writer who loves photography? For at least a year I’ve admired the work of countless artists on Flickr and Deviant Art, and built up enormous favorites lists. Always wanted to dive in myself. Or at least wade into the shallow end. So…

For my Mother’s Day present, my husband and my son teamed up on a fancy new camera, and I’ve been having the best time, playing with it. I’ve even posted pictures on Flickr, and…

To top the celebration, I’ve started a new photo blog!

Please do go check it out. I’m so proud of it.

It’s called beholding…

(Image courtesy of… me! Care to join me on the porch?)

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Related to the last post’s topic of time management, see this week’s podcast of Dick Staub’s Kindlings Muse.

“Who do you want to jott?”

“Myself.”

“Beep!”

“Remember: must have something left, both of time and self, once I’ve finished managing.”

“Got it.”

(Thanks to Rodolfo Clix for the picture.)

Time management is an eternal struggle with me.

I do try. I’ve got loads of calendars of every size, format, and price range, two or three for this year alone, and it’s only May. The small ones are too small to do any good. The big ones are too big to fit in any purse I want to carry. I dearly love PDA’s but don’t love the cost. Neither do I love it when they stall, crash, or just totally die.

Book person that I am, I’ve read books. Lots and lots of books.

I’ve read GTD. I’m reading ZTD. So far the latter seems better suited to my fragmented little brain.* But my problem still is that little notebook I’m supposed to carry around, to collect all the gems that pop into my head so I can later transfer them to my other lists, calendars, on and on…

I can carry the notebook. I can slip a nice Moleskine Cahier into the back pocket of my jeans. I can write things down in it. But for some reason, I can’t be sure I’ll get around to making the transfer from Cahier to calendar and list.

Years ago I had a similar frustration regarding my checkbook. Lots of great ideas as to how to manage the thing, but the actual balancing of the checkbook was a rare and arduous process.

Then came Quicken and online statements, and I learned that, given the right tools, I could accomplish the heretofore impossible. Now I balance my checkbook every single day, down to the penny. Well… mostly.

Could it be that, similarly, the right tool would come along one day that would make time management as simple as balancing my checkbook? Dare I hope?

I think I’ve found it: My cell phone, the one I already have. And a free (got that?) service called Jott.

Here’s how it works: I think of something I must remember to do. Or my sister tells me she’s having a party next Saturday. I speed-dial Jott’s phone number, tell the electronic lady all about it, and when I go back to my calendar and/or todo list, there it is in text, right on the list or calendar day where it belongs. There’s no second step to flake out on. There’s only one step, and the scheduling’s done.

Jott works with any of a bunch of online calendars, lists, and blog services – most of them free. You can even talk your tweet into Twitter.

I’ve ended up switching to Google Calendar and Toodledo, because the two services work well with Jott and with each other. You can set Toodledo up to integrate your list with your calendar. There’s a Firefox sidebar extension that let’s you check your list while you’re working on other pages.

Dare I hope that my struggle is over? Could this be what you’re looking for, too? If so… well okay, you can thank me for the tip. Or send chocolate.

*Leo Babauta, who wrote ZTD (Zen to Done) also has an excellent time management blog.

(Thanks to Nocturna for the image.)

Further follow-up to this post, and this one, and this one:

I found the gosling!!

I have no doubt. I found the only goose family at the lake with just one gosling, a runty, Steve Erkel of a thing. He stumbled about (though not as much) and got pushed around by nearly everyone with feathers. If I tossed him some chick feed, he ran away. If I threw bread, the other ducks and geese would step on his head to get the food.

But little Stevie made quick getaways, and he did eat. I think he just might make it.

Hallelujah. I can be happy now.

(Thanks to Danny Barron for the image.)

Today I took my usual walk with my mom around the lake, counting goslings as we went. We kept an eye out for very young ones. Had Mrs. Goose’s eggs hatched?

When we got to her nest, we found it empty! But before we could get too excited, a fisherman stepped up and told us that over the weekend a couple of teen-aged boys had thrown rocks at the goose, chased her and her mate away from the nest, and destroyed the eggs. The fisherman, who seemed to know such things, said the eggs would have hatched in about a week.

I don’t even know what to write about this, except that I am so sad. I knew when I found her nest that she’d chosen a bad location, off a concrete promontory the fishermen use to reach deeper water, where kids go to skip stones across the lake, where ladies like me go to feed the birds. And I guess a few of us had made Mrs. Goose our special pet.

My husband says a lot of boys these days – and you must be getting old when you start to say “these days” – that a lot of them don’t have fathers in their lives, and they try to be men and they don’t know how. So they do senseless, violent things. (Yikes! is that how they think men are?) I don’t know. I don’t know who the kids were.

But just now I want to round up all the mothers and fathers in town and tell them to teach their children kindness, to teach them to be human.

May you have a gentle day.

(Thanks to Jeff Jones for the image. You take better pictures of geese
than I do.)
P.S. Updates to this story here.

Five days a week, my mother and I walk around this lake.

Three quarters of the way around, we stop to feed the seagulls, the ducks and geese.

Especially this one – look closely – a nesting Canadian goose who insists she must get her share. We named her, imaginatively, Mrs. Goose.

Yesterday when we went to the lake there were goose couples with goslings everywhere. What about Mrs. Goose? Had her eggs hatched?

Nope, not yet.

(I’ll let you know.)

P.S. Updates to this story, here, and here.

See that red button over in my sidebar? That will take you to The Literacy Site, a website dedicated to helping you find simple ways of helping children learn to read.

For a limited time every e-card you send out from the Literacy Site results in one book given to a child in need. Very simple (didn’t I tell you?) and very cool.

While you’re there, look around. You’ll find you can also help end world hunger, provide health care to children, fight breast cancer, protect the rain forests and help animals in distress.

In short you can make the world a better place.

And they’ve got lots of ways for you to do that. You can shop for goods and gifts made by artisans in impoverished areas. You can donate small bits of money to buy big gifts for people in need that will make real differences in their lives.

You can even just click a button every day that induces advertisers to support the site that supports the projects you care about.

Go ahead. Push the button. It will make you happy, I promise.

The Literacy Site

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