December 31, 2020 Christmas Photo A Day!

2020 is on the way out. Wipe your slate smooth and clean. Be safe and healthy in 2021!

(To my email only subscribers, I hope you can see this video on your email…if not, do visit the website. It’s a cleansing breathe. AND, because why not, “I” can see the video playing perfectly well, if it doesn’t seem to be doing so … look to the right column on PC/laptop and view via Instagram, or find it on Instagram and follow me there..rteest42!

Word of the year….is ….(drumroll, please!)

The word, as usual , jumped out at me without my being conscious of choosing it.

(As is typical, I could not tell you what my word of the year was for this past year until I looked it up😋… hey, 2020 has been a LONG YEAR )

Past words:













After this last year of Covid, (and who knows how much longer before life returns to whatever “normal” means)…the word satisfied jumped in my head, then the lyrics to Hamilton—“you will never be satisfied” and there I am—-singing to myself…. and…

…so the word wants to be SATISFIED, and it will not be satisfied if supplanted with any other word. (Hey, I don’t make the rules.)

…but, wow! What a word!

That idea may need to be turned on it’s head, to make it so that really the idea is “TO BE SATISFIED” (with life as it IS). To be satisfied with what you have—(but not so much so that you accept things as they are, IF there is a desire and ability to change, it should not come off as a fatalistic acceptance and acquiesce, either). NB. I attempted to supplant it with Appreciate, but that was a non-starter.

…it should not be a settling for, but more an appreciation for what you have….being satisfied with life the way it is because this is what we have, and well there are a lot of things one can change in one’s life, but a pandemic is not one of those things.

I have been one of the lucky ones, whose life has been constrained but not ruined, damaged or changed in any but the most surface ways…. no travel, no hugging, no visiting family, but also no job loss, no sickness, no loss of loved ones.

I have worked the entire pandemic and instead of doing things after work with friends or family, I come home to my husband and cats.

And satisfied means not being envious of bigger houses, better yards…. but loving where and what I have….

Christmas Photo a Day, December 31, 2019

I KNOW Barbara Walters’ voice is in your head as we get ready— Say it with me– “I’m Barbara Walters and THIS is 20/20.”

Word of the year.

2020 hindsight… .people always say, well, if only I had known this would be the result of that, I’d have done it differently, … that idea that being able to see into the future would change the decisions you make as you go through your life….

But your life, your life experiences–all of them, good bad or indifferent– have put you in the spot you are standing right now, with the people you are surrounded by, loving, working with, raising…. so, if you had 20/20 hindsight….would you use it? Of course, if you had known that I-95 was going to be backed up 6 miles, you might have taken 288 instead, right? Then your boss wouldn’t be on your case about being late again.

But, what I mean, is for the big stuff, would you use it?

When I was 13, my mother, who had abandoned me when I was three, convinced my newly teenaged rebellious self that I was wanted once again. That my strict grandparents only wanted to deny her more than an every second Sunday visitation, and that I would have freedom and love and A MOTHER if I moved back with her. I believed her.

Instead, I became Dobby the House elf and the primary caregiver of my 3 year old brother, and disappointed my grandparents beyond belief. They still loved me till the day they died. (I don’t recall getting the love part, or the mother part.)

In hindsight, though, using that 20/20 vision…. I can’t say I would change a thing. Because I met my daughter’s father on the bus-stop going to high school in sophomore year. A bus stop I would have never been on, going to a school I probably wouldn’t have attended. Then, I wouldn’t have my daughter. I might have had other children, but not HER. And that would mean I would be missing that experience, that child that I love, that woman who I adore with all my heart. THAT I can’t imagine.

And if I hadn’t had her, then, maybe I would have gone to a different college, and not met friends who are still my besties 35 years later. I could had a different career, in a different place, and met different people, and not had the chance I had when I met my hunny, and if hadn’t met him, I also wouldn’t have my granddaughter, and…. It’s not even close, is it?


So, how to tie this into a word of the year?

CLARITY. That is the word of the year.

clar·​i·​ty | \ ˈkler-ə-tē  , ˈkla-rə- \ the quality or state of being clear.

How I see it being used this year is somewhat amorphous … unclear… I know… It’s a work in progress, even to define…

2020… we are heading into the Roaring Twenties??

But it is important that we (I, it’s MY word of the year) see things clearly. Be certain that decisions and opinions are coming from a place of clarity and informed thought, rather than knee-jerk reactionary behaviors. This can be as little as if I am posting a Meme, have I done due diligence? Do I know that the website it may take you to isn’t simply collecting your personal information for purposes that may not be honorable? I don’t want to misinform, and I DO want others to have clarity of information, because decisions need to be made this year, and we need to be eyes wide open and we all need to see clearly, no matter how uncomfortable clarity of vision may be.

So, CLARITY. What do I want and how to get there, visualized? Like I have said in years past. the word appeared, as it does, without my prompting– I will go with it.

FOCUS! On the Word of the Year.

(I was somewhat astonished that FOCUS has never been “my word” before… I am a photographer, right? You would have thought I would have STARTED with that one and then moved on 😉)

However, I had started this “Word of the Year” with a FOCUS on quilting…indeed I think where I first heard of a “Word of the Year” was in an online quilt forum. So, my brain didn’t go elsewhere. And as I have stated before, the word picks me.  If I consciously settle on “Abracadabra” as my word, some other word jumps out and says, “Not so fast, there, I get a say, too.” (here is last year’s post, and my entire word list since I started this exercise)

“FOCUS” is the opposite of “Rabbit Hole”, in case you were wondering…

And I think THAT is actually the point of this word.

I can’t have it all. (I know, what a bummer!) I can’t DO it all, either.  And I think there’s a lot of “ooh, shiny thing” in my world. …I am interesting, dammit! Or interested. .. or distracted, or something…

I need to FOCUS. (Which is a sneaky way of saying resolution, if you aren’t careful, so I will be VERY CAREFUL…)

FOCUS on essentials: Health, family, friends, finances, work-related.

FOCUS on topics of interest– Genealogy vs quilting vs photography vs travel vs gardening (Giving that one up as a focus…. Easy. …Because no matter what my intent is at the beginning of the spring, by late spring it’s too hot, too buggy and I stop- this does NOT mean you won’t be getting garden photos when I am enjoying it, by the by…)

I have a laundry list of THINGS I WANT TO DO. I really need to FOCUS on 2 or 3, accomplish them, having given them the time, FOCUS and energy they deserve and then, move on. Enough of trying to fit A, B, C, D, E and F into one day off…

But, also, I can’t do ONLY one, because I do tend to flit.  I need to have some A list/left brain things, AND some B list/right brain things so that I don’t burn out on any one thing.

Genealogically, I REALLY need to transcribe and scan and then disperse originals to a place that is capable of caring for them. And, of course, disseminating the information to family. I don’t need the TREE part done, I feel pretty confident there, at least back 8 or 9 generations and even off into various branches. But there is SO MUCH paper! (Thanks, aunt Gertrude!) Following up beyond that, I would like to consolidate some of the info into a bound photo book. This is a HUGE project overall. Will I finish in a year? Doubtful…. but I do need to get it moving.

Quilting?  I am embarrassed to express in numbers the quantity of unfinished quilts –(unfinished, in my lexicon, indicates the TOP isn’t done)– let’s just say I don’t need to be inspired by any new ideas, I have plenty of things to keep me busy.

Photography? Household? Career? Yep, this could grow unwieldy, and fast! I will be making similar lists for each of these topics, and will try to focus on completion…

I have settled on a list making, journal type thing…. The Happy Planner was too much– it seemed to me like the making of the page became more important than the list or the doing…


Yes, I took that lens and cleaned it after seeing all that dust!!!

“The best camera is the one you have with you,”–(Chuck Jarvis) and so I am sticking to that concept in choosing “One Note’ …. I auditioned many, read a lot of threads other friends  started on FB, took all their responses, loaded up my iPad with Apps and played for the last two weeks. (Anything that required monthly payments or such in order to unlock its magical real potential was an immediate NO)

I loved and liked a lot of features on a lot of different apps, but settled on One Note for a variety of reasons which are particular to my needs.  If you are looking for a productivity app, that is actually the best way to do it… ask people for recommendations but choose for your “learning style”.

I am also totally going to admit I hardly ever live up to this post. Quiz me in March about what my word was. I dare ya!

HAPPY 2019! It looks like it will be AMAZING. (here’s hoping, anyway!)