April One Little Word – Zibaldone

Z- 26th Letter of Alphabet /Zibaldone

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Also known as a commonplace book,  Zibaldone, the word/concept seem to be gaining in popularity and mention in the digital/print world, most commonly known as the Internet news, information sites.

Over the years, I’ve kept my own and several versions of a commonplace book, or a Zibaldone: “ a strange melange of diary, ledger, doodle pad, and scrapbook …” three volumes along with similar “hodgepodge’s” and “commonplace books” – served as a pattern for interior life from the 14th C onward, bringing comfort and inspiration to everyone from Thomas Jefferson to Lewis Carroll.”

In this, the 21st Century, we have the contemporary version, the Internet and “Zs” – in the form of blogs, tweets, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, bullet journals – both paper and digital, etc.  All are curiosities. Medium Daily Digest,  a website that is a forum for new, upcoming writers to share their takes on the various and numerous apps, along with tips for maximizing one’s productivity (there are as many as ten such links on any given day) usually has several articles a week about Zibaldone and/or commonplace books.

Over the past waning winter months and these, promising spring, I’ve created any number of Z-style records and/or journal entries, ranging from mind maps to photos to quotes: “this is it” to “no it ain’t” to, to, to ???  These exclamations and questions leave my brain and travel down my arms to write words, draw doodles on a piece of paper or  occasionally type on my iPad:  

  •  I rarely documented a quote or idea that hadn’t sparked another idea …
  •  Life presents too many invitations and opportunities – promising nirvana for the taker and all designed to earn some ducats for the offerer…
  •  I (may) have too much idle time on my hands, increased for sure by months of Covid…
  • FOMO?

I’m just undisciplined — or perhaps, creatively curious?  I rather like creativelycurious. I see something, I like and think: “hmmm, let me try this.” In many ways I do and I may even go so far as to purchase the ingredients for a bigger project … tho’ sadly, move onto the next bright shiny object before I even give the current one a whirl. I’m thinking that perhaps I’ll break that habit if I play/experiment … If I do, great or if I don’t, perhaps even better. Whichever, I can include the outcome in my Zibaldone and these two quotes are going in:

“But the practice of commonplacing has something to offer that current practices of creating a Pinterest board or blog post do not: it allows us not only to find and arrange information, but also encourages us to remember what has inspired us. I think this has to do with the tangible nature of assembling a commonplace book.” Source: https://verilymag.com/2021/02/keeping-a-commonplace-how-to-bullet-journal-hobby

“Unlike a journal, which is chronological and usually contains personal reflections, a commonplace book is a compilation of external information that speaks to us, written down as we come across it. And unlike a notebook that you keep for a class or for a job, it usually covers multiple subjects, bound together by the thread of our personal interests.” Source: https://www.thepapermouse.com/blogs/whats-new-at-the-paper-mouse/keeping-a-commonplace-book

This I know to be true: I know myself well enough that I don’t always say NO to a bright shiny object. Better that I flirt a bit, in my Zibaldone/Commonplace book and see just how enamored I am. If I am, then I continue and if not, I don’t. Everyday, life is an experiment. Some days are good, others not so. The sun shines and then it rains…the rain stops, clouds move on, flowers bloom.

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I’m currently in the “let’s see if the flowers indeed do bloom.” Ideas, Inspiration and “YES! This is It!”

simply a moment | 4.15.22 …

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Spring! This day, Friday and Good Friday at that, has lived up to its name and thanks to Mother Nature’s benevolence, has been exquisite. Astronomical Spring arrived March 21, not quite a month ago.  Since, Mother Nature has treated us with all the perks and joys of SPRING (including itchy eyes … not a complaint, just a statement of fact).  Today has been no exception.  I took the above photo of the Spring  Full Pink Moon last night – not quite full…tomorrow.

I began the day as I have for nearly three decades – that fact astonishes even me – writing in various paper journals and the DayONE app on my iPad.  The former I do out of habit and for the sensory experience: feeling the pen as it glides over the paper; making and forming letters in both cursive and printed fonts; inserting a doodle or punctuation symbol or even a spot of color from a drawing pencil or a bit of washi tape. The writing is as natural as breathing and the words flow, often times surprising me when a phrase or just the right word pops in my mind and appears on the page. With handwriting, I don’t have to worry about if I do this will/does that happen? I just know for I’ve had many decades of experience.

Writing on my iPad is a different ball game. For starters, as I’ve shared before, I don’t do QWERTY (type) tho’ I must admit the more I use the keyboard, the more I am doing QWERTY …but ne’er enough for it to become my method of choice.  I either use DayONE  or the Word Press app for the inherent ability to save, move paragraphs around, add photos, take a word count, assign categories, play with fonts and insert links, etc. For example, at this point in this post, I’d typed 350+ words and 1515 characters, give or take, twice. Why twice one might wonder? Simply because for some reason, Word Press on my iPad isn’t saving! Wonderful! So, I moved to my Mac and retyped the 350+ words and more than 1500 characters… and remember, I don’t do QWERTY….

So, the sun is setting on what has been a  day filled with many gorgeous Spring moments.

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I leave you with this photo of #blueskyblooms taken on my morning walk.  Enjoy and have a beautiful weekend.

Cheers~

borrowing …

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I first read Gretchen Rubin’s  Happiness Project book, published in 2009.  I’ve read all her Happiness Project books and listen to  her and sister Liz’ weekly podcast  Happier with Gretchen Rubin and now More Happier, which airs twice a month…and I’ve been to see Gretchen and Liz both times when they came to Washington DC.  Am I a fan? Yeah, I think one could safely say so.

Gretchen also has a blog which she religiously keeps up to date.  Today, I’m borrowing her “5 things Making Me Happy” prompt to share here on Morning Glory Studio.blog.

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  1. Spring has arrived! The colors of the flowers are just delightfully uplifting – seeing them – especially the yellow tulips – adds bounce to my step on my nearly (weather permitting)  daily walks …
  2. These days, I have been focusing on my AmaZe project, compiling, writing, editing stories of my life. Over the years, I’ve shared  these stories both current and past on my blog/s.  My aim is to end 2022 with a finished product/project. What that looks like is still a mystery… but I’m enjoying the ride …
  3.  I’m feeling  the urge to pick up needles – for all sorts of stitching projects – again. One of the side effects I experienced during Covid* was a loss of the desire to spend significant time in my sewing studio…slowly, that desire is changing to positive territory. New to my list to try: cross stitch.  I have several patterns/kits and eventually, I’ll get roun’ to it.
  4.  Clearing the garage of stuff that is labeled for the dump or recycling, such as electronics, medications, etc. is another major category on my list:   Just the idea of completing this task makes me happy!
  5. Engaging in more creative art journaling play… watercoloring; acryllic stamping; drawing the sky and clouds.  – Oh the clouds – today they’ve been a study and I’d like to be able to capture them in other ways beyond photgraphy.

What’s making you happier these days?

Cheers~

P. S. One other thing that has made me happy: I got my second Covid booster shot yesterday!

Loof Lirpa

IMG_1683   Norman introduced me to Loof Lirpa – April Fool spelled backwards. Rather clever,  I thought. Decades ago, one April First, he called an emergency staff meeting, sharing that due to increased competition from rivals, sales were dipping – the office/warehouse (he was in the beer business) might need to close and staff, furloughed. Understandably, staff were flabbergasted: What would they do? How would they meet their financial obligations? Questions came fast and furious… Norman had posted an agenda; the heading: LOOF LIRPA. He suggested that staff look at the agenda and see what they might learn from a careful analysis. After a few quiet minutes, someone shouted : APRIL FOOL! Ah yes! The secret was out…and staff, could and did breathe a gigantic sigh of relief. Years later, every April Fool’s Day, they remembered and ribbed him – even after he’d retired – about Loof Lirpa. I remember in elementary school how much we reveled in playing a joke on classmates …and then we’d convulse in laughter, feeling quite smug that we’d succeeded in besting each other. Our jokes, crazy questions, pranks were never created out of meanness – at least I don’t recall.  Just plain old fashioned fun. I looked up the origin of April Fool’s Day and found an article on History.com: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/april-fools-day. And this: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/g38986579/april-fools-quotes/ It seems that the news industry, including social media, takes April Fool’s Day quite seriously. There are all sorts of Loof Lirpa cartoons, coupons for fast food, gifs, poems, quotes, recipes, stories, tweets, videos, etc… Gretchen Rubin, prolific author of books on happiness and the very popular podcast: Happier with Gretchen Rubin, shares a story of introducing her older daughter, who was then about 7, to April Fool’s Day…you can read about it here. It’s a delightful story.  I imagine a 7-years’-old-soon-to-be-8 young guy I know might enjoy learning more about Loof Lirpa, this way, too. For me, I don’t have any Loof Lirpa tricks up my sleeve -but Chris, my 7 nearly 8 years old great grand nephew did: He made a bandaid out of toilet paper and pretended that he’d been hurt. Fooled his mother and grandmother and me and aunts, etc… I’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane and learning more about this fun day, especially on a Friday that began with cloudy skies, now blue; the sun’s out; clouds are for the most part puffy, white- tinged with grey and the temp’s on it’s way to a high of 65 degrees. What Loof Lirpa stories come to your mind? Whatever and whenever, do enjoy! Cheers~

Zibaldone | 3.26.22 …

Sunset at 7:34 pm EDT

I found a new app today; it’s called Twos and its function is to simply help someone remember things … a tall order considering the flow and quantity of “things” one encounters on any given day – a lot to remember and a lot more to forget, either deliberately or due to cognitive overload. The creator, Parker Klein, wrote an article (published in Medium) that caught my attention so of course I looked further, thinking what have I got to lose – beyond my keys? I’m forever looking for my keys …. Twos is free and available from both Apple App Store and Google Play; more info at twosapp.com/home. I haven’t used Twos yet – it seems simple enough but …to be continued.

My today started with a two hour FaceTime conversation with a dear friend; always good to catch up and reminisce along the way. We’ve known one another for 22 years – yeah, impossible…but true. After breakfast, I spent the afternoon reviewing scrapbook albums from 2011 to date, looking at and for stories that are incomplete and need to be finished or forgotten as well as those that were done. I have a project in process that I plan to have completed by 31 December 2022, all things considered. If I finish despite prevailing circumstances, hooray! And if I don’t, doesn’t matter – that’ll just be the way the cookie crumbles.

The sky’s a study: huge, ominous looking, roiling clouds, dark grey and tinted by the sunset, hover above. Dramatically beautiful! The weather forecast for tomorrow: windy and an overnight temperature dip from 45 degrees to 27 degrees in the morning. Why am I surprised? March is known for wild weather…

I read an online article headline, in the New York Times, on commonplace books being like a diary. I have tried to subscribe to the Times’ digital version but for some reason, I cannot. I guess the Times doesn’t want my measly dollar …and of course, they have Saturday afternoons off so I can’t get any help <smile>…. If and When I do, I shall share the gist of the article…If and When .

It is past time to have a bite to eat and call this full day a wrap. I’m looking forward to a quiet evening with a good book – not sure which, yet. Or maybe I’ll play with Twos…

Cheers~

Ides of March …

Minnie Pearl – daughter of Minerva and my mother’s nickname as dubbed by her daughters – my sister and I – had the dubious pleasure of being born on the Ides of March. My sister and I took immense pleasure in this fact – thus, we always referred to her via her nickname. She pretended to be slightly annoyed and that was the icing on the cake for us…especially since our father joined in the festivity with ice cream and cake.

Minnie Pearl was a truly special person – not only to us, her children and grands but also to the children for whom she gifted the love of books and reading over her lifetime, during her tenure as a children’s and branch librarian. She was an avid reader, never without a book in her hands or tucked under her left arm – except probably when she slept or bathed or was engaged in an activity that required use of her arms/hands… I remember calculating once that she read, on average, a minimum of 25 books a week, in all genres, both fiction, non-fiction, for all ages. She was an inveterate reader. Full stop.

Mama – her other name <smile> – apparently learned to read at a very young age; she lived about 4-5 blocks from the local branch of the public library and there she would escape her three younger sisters and a wicked stepfather (not mother). She managed to read all the books in the children’s section by about age 8 and the librarians decided there was nothing left but the “adult section” and so they let her have at it! That sealed it! She was forever hooked – and that love for books and reading was transferred to us: my sister and me and the grands and great grands and I’m sure their children.

She was the church organist during her pre-teen and teen years: during those periods in between announcements, sermons, she read : the Bible, more than once; Greek and Roman myths; classics; and I don’t doubt, some “forbidden fruit,” aka adult novels. I suspect she kept the books sequestered among the musical scores.

Mama also had another favorite place to read : a tree outside her second floor bedroom window. She would lock the door and climb out into the tree and read. Her sisters and stepfather were most irritated, to say the least. Mama just smiled, read and ignored. I remember thinking when she shared this story how neat that was; oh, that I could have such an adventure…

These days, Covid-19 notwithstanding, I have nearly all the time – tho’ not the tree – in the world to emulate Mama, but perhaps not. Other demands for my attention seem to be winning. At the end of January, I did a rough calculation of the number of pages in my stacks of books to be read…then : More than 4000! And that number does not include digital, audio or those print titles I’ve since added either because I forgot to initially include or they appeared in my life screaming “choose me!”

Today’s agenda is full – but there’s room for me to take time to add more reading minutes into the schedule, e.g, as I eat breakfast, listen as I drive to my appointment and continue reading (with my eyes or earbuds if my eyes are dilated) as I wait to see the doctor.

I have shared many times that my secret desire is to be cloned – so much I want to do and were there more of me, well… but, since cloning is not an option, I guess my next best option is to implement practices I can do.

What’s on your to be read list?

Cheers~

Zibaldone |2.26.22 …

My aim today was to capture whatever and wherever I was around/at 2:26 pm on Z- day, as I’ve dubbed the 26th day of the month. This month, February, I am at home. About 12:45 pm:  I was at an artist’s art/craft supply store, looking at the selection of journals for my Zibaldone. It isn’t that I can’t shop my stash – which is a common reminder to/for scrapbookers, memory keepers, designed to keep us mindful of our ever present/growing collection of whatever the “must have” item is and to pause, take stock and inquire: Do I really NEED this? 10 of 9 times the answer is a RESOUNDING: NO! Rather, the motivation is want – surely the perfect journal is out there waiting for me to find it… and perhaps you wonder, just what does or will make this elusive, to be discovered book , so perfect? Well, I’m not sure I can answer that question and I may not know til I find it…but rest assured, when I do, you’ll be the first to know! No luck in finding a new journal – I’ll use what I have- but I did find some fun stickers and managed to spend $25, give or take a penny… About 1:50 pm:  Before heading home, I decided to go in search of a latte… remembered – a coffee shop several blocks away from the Arts & Crafts store, actually near the building where I first worked for the library system, 1974… a long time ago. Originally, the building was a firehouse, then it was turned into a library branch that also housed my office and now, it houses loft apartments. I found a metered parking lot – 50 cents an hour, all automated. Punch in your license plate number, insert a credit card and presto, you’ve paid for at least one hour. Your receipt is texted, if you wish. The coffee shop – super busy. Coffee is served in cups that are 100% biodegradable * compost-able… Beans are roasted on site and the coffee was good tho’ expensive. C’est la vie…
2:35 PM… Just arrived home 2:56 PM … My coffee is all gone.  I’m debating about taking a walk – it’s sunny tho’ a tad chilly. Well, I just checked my daily Health activity stats and I’m a tad beyond the 50% mark from closing all 3 rings – so, that decision is made! Out and Off I go! To be continued…
Just as I stepped out the door, my sister called…so, she joined me on my walk …. I was delighted by signs of Spring: crocus; a flowering tree; warmer temps… My outing and walk were envigorating ( I had to make a quick trip around a couple blocks in order to close the Exercise ring!) but I’m not ready to abandon my mask, just yet…
I think the biggest lesson/connection to Zibaldone this first time out is the role contemporary technology has played in my life on this day, even tho’ I was on a quest to find a paper journal…and that I can/do comfortably transition between analog and digital platforms. To be continued …  

2.22.22 or 22.2.22|…

 

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…whichever, the world has had more fun with today’s date and Wordle – the latter I’ve not played but nearly everyone I know has…including my niece Christian Marie who has a 27 day streak…

…my thought was to make note of 22 positive things that I encountered throughout my day – unfortunately, I forgot to make note of all; c’est la vie … this I do know, I had a full and positive day, a good mix of connecting with friends and family, doing life’s chores exercising both my physical and creative muscles, journaling, reading, and just enjoying it all.  It’s 7:54 pm and my watch just informed me that I’ve closed all three of my activity rings. Go Me! Now, it’s time to rest…

… I hope your ultimate twos – 2.22.22 / 22.2.22  – day was one you too will always remember with fondness…

Cheers~

simply a moment | 2.15.22 …

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~watching Ali Edwards’ “Awesome” story presentation~

2:15 pm: my long-time friends – former colleagues – and I just ended our bi-monthly “Recent Reads Zoom” gathering.  We meet to share what we’ve read and most importantly, touch base, catch up on each other’s lives, especially during these times of pandemic. Since March 2020, we’ve hoped that our next meeting might be an in-person gathering. We shall wait and see if a face-to-face gathering happens in April … hope springs eternal.

Today also marks  the sharing of Ali Edwards’ monthly story prompt – ideas and invitation to jumpstart the telling and illustrating of a story (or more ) of our lives. This month’s theme  is awesome – a word that isn’t a part of my daily vocabulary but as I reflect on what is awesome in my life, I jotted down these thoughts:

  • I am alive, in good health, have warmth during this cold day, month; food in the cupboard; good friends;  and family …
  • The sun shines, the clock ticks, today’s temperature  – a tad warmer and for some strange reason, early this morning, I was reminded of my very first airplane ride to Chicago, decades ( and I do mean decades) ago. What stands out in that memory was the fact that the flight attendants changed clothes/uniforms three times: they greeted us in one outfit; served us in another and sent us off the plane, after it landed, in another – all of this in a span of 90-minutes…
  • Sunrise and Sunset usually add a bit of awesomness to the day. According to NASA, the next Full Moon will be tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, midday appearing opposite the Sun in Earth-based longitude at 11:57 a.m. EST. I hope I’ll be able to see it…
  •  the clock in my craft studio ticks loudly and steady; the sun shines and hopefully, it’s warmer ~ a whole 37 degrees . I think I’ll go for a walk… I’ve been sitting  a while and stretching my legs should be a good thing to do. I wonder what I’ll find on my walk that is awesome?
  • What is awesome that graced your day today?

Cheers~