Mickey and Merlot

What a strange name for a title, don’t you think?

One week ago I got two kittens: an orange one and a calico one. The orange one is a boy and he’s Mickey. When it came time to name the girl my daughter suggested Merlot, and I agreed. Sure, they’re boozy names; but given what life has dealt me I think it’s fitting. And how many cats do you know that are named Merlot?

Mickey is helping as I write this. Doesn’t he know it’s after 10 pm and he should be sleeping? He’s chewing on my sleeve, and tries to walk on the keyboard. If there’s a typo chances are I missed his input.

What I have been doing since December (my last post).

Christmas came and went, even though it was much different than any I have ever celebrated before. My daughter had dinner with me, then I went to my son’s for supper. During dinner we video chatted with my sisters and my son, so we spent some time together even though we couldn’t be in the same house.

Our winter has been fairly decent for the most part, so I did some tree-trimming and a lot of branch-burning in the fire pit when it wasn’t too windy. When we did have the minus 40 temperatures, I stayed home and inside for the most part.

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I have been working on my Etsy Shop, and have even changed its name to reflect more of what I do now. It started as Not Just Alpaca because I sold alpaca fiber and items made from it. As time has gone on, I have added patterns (of my own design) and printables: all digital downloads. The name of my shop is now Not Just Alpaca Designs – not a big change, but still a change.

Little changes have been happening since I lost Ross, and revamping my shop and what I offer has been one of them. Another is my daughter and her dog have moved back in with me. No matter what life has dealt me, I am a mom first. And if one of my kids needs a place to live, then my door is always open. She moved back into her old room, with the only change being a new, bigger bed. I do have to say, these modular homes do not have second and third bedrooms big enough for a big dresser and queen size bed. It’s a tight fit in there. (The third bedroom is my office, so no bed in there.)

I haven’t been diligent with my blog postings, which hasn’t been helpful to you, my reader. I’m the first to admit I have a tendency to procrastinate, and that’s something I’m going to try hard not to do. Life gets a little overwhelming at times, and writing is what used to get me back on track. I have found that even my journal has been neglected; something that used to give me joy has become a chore.

It’s amazing how the time has flown by, no matter what has been happening in the world and my life. Covid-19 has dictated where we can go, what we can do, and who we can spend time with. It’s hard to believe we have been living in the Covid-19 world for over a year now. I am glad I have a home in the middle of nowhere, and can go outdoors without neighbours giving me the evil eye. I really do feel for those who are stuck in apartments, and can’t go out at all.

Where I am now.

As we begin month four of 2021 I find myself needing to be more present here. I started this website to help others earn an income from side hustles, and I haven’t been a good mentor. I am working on rectifying that problem, and realize it’s time to go back to using a planner. When I made notes, kept track of what I planned to do in a day, and jotted down some gratitude, I was more productive. Now that one day seems to blend into the next, I find I’m kicking myself for not getting as much done.

It’s amazing how much a planner helps. I have drawn out spreads for each month, week, and day; and also just taken the Bullet Journal approach. I’ve had separate habit trackers, gratitude pages, lists, and recaps. At the end of the day, I could reflect on what I did because I had it documented. Now the end of the day comes and I have nothing written down, and it bothers me.

The photo is of the daily page in my planner. When using a digital planner, the tabs are hyperlinked so you don’t have to flip through dozens (or hundreds) of pages to get where you want to be.

I’m switching from a paper planner to a digital one (started using it just about a week ago) to see how it works out for me. It’s a hard switch to make because I’m generally a pen-and-paper girl, but I need to do something. And given the areas of my life I want to keep track of, hauling around a two-inch binder full of paper just isn’t going to work. My iPad will be much easier to carry around than a binder.

I’m using one I bought from Secret Owl Society (on Etsy), but will be making my own. I’m partway through the course on how to make them using Affinity Publisher, so will be learning as I go. I have a basic one made, so if you’re interested in checking it out, just follow the link to my Etsy Shop above. My personal one will have several more sections than the one I have listed in my shop, simply because I have more things on the go.

One thing I did learn (after the fact of course) is that with digital planners there’s no need to have a page for each week or day of the week. When using an annotation app such as Goodnotes, there’s an option to add pages as you go along. I guess I should have watched the rest of the videos before I added 52 weekly pages and 365 daily pages. Whoops!

Moving forward.

Now that Mickey and Merlot are sleeping, it’s time for me to do the same. I have a feeling my office time will be much more entertaining now that I have two little hellions underfoot. I have missed having cats in the house (Ross was allergic so we only had outdoor kitties), and it’s going to take some getting used to. I ordered a cat tree for them, so maybe they’ll spend more time on it than on my keyboard when it gets here.

Now that I’m working on getting back on track I’ll be posting more often. I can’t promise a certain number of posts per week or month, but I will do my best to get at least one out a week. And my planner will help me with that.

Have you used a digital planner? Paper planner? Or no planner? What are your thoughts on digital, whether or not you have used one?

Author: Diane Ziomek

I am a mom, grandma, independent author/publisher, freelance writer, fiber artist, and information product creator. I like to share what I have learned with others over the years, in hopes of making their lives easier and more lucrative. My published works can be found on most ebook platforms, as well as on my website. I also have two just-for-fun websites: one about gardening where I share information about plants, how-to's, and gardening in a cold climate, and the other to document my journey to a healthier me by practicing yoga and low-impact exercise.

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