January 3, 2014

January - A Look Ahead

January 2014. Wow! I passed another milestone when the calendar flipped this past Wednesday. I’ve been blogging for six years! Can you believe it? What on earth have I been jabbering on about? As an introvert, it is amazing that I’ve said so much here, but then again, writing has always come easier to me than talking. Hand me a pen or a keyboard, and the words come pouring out. Talk with me and ask me direct questions, and I'll give mostly short answers and let you do the majority of the talking. That’s how I roll.

December has been put to bed and 2013 has closed. December was decidedly a good month. 2013? The vast majority of the time it was filled with fear and anguish. But we endured our brush with that conniving devil called cancer. I have never picked a yearly one-word theme, and I won’t begin now. But I did utter a statement to Mr. Jim on New Year’s Eve that sums up 2014:

It’s got to be better.

That thought will stick with us while we face whatever comes our way. And we’ll do our darnest to make it come true.

So what lies ahead for January, the first month out of the starting gate? The Christmas decorations got put away on New Year's Day. So now I can focus on organizing and accomplishing some needed tasks around the house. I find I am using my handy iMac computer tools more and more these days, such as Notes and Reminders, and other apps such as Skitch and Evernote. With the clever Apple iCloud, it is so easy to synch notes, lists, contacts, etc. between my desktop and iPad. I plan to also finally jump into the smartphone waters in the near future, and it will be an iPhone to round out the integration.

I am also signing up for a month or two of lynda.com 24/7 video training (see sidebar for link), most likely starting this weekend. Mr. Jim gave me a Wacom tablet for Christmas, and I need to take a video course to learn how the tablet device can help my Photoshop editing efforts. There are over a dozen new photography-related courses on lynda.com that I would also like to take. Technology is changing fast, and I’m not going to let it pass me by! I plan to have a follow-up post in a couple of weeks that outlines my specific photography-related goals for 2014.

Mr. Jim is doing well these days and is regaining his strength. He has a CAT scan scheduled mid-month, with a follow-up visit to the chemo doctor. My mom is continuing to make progress in recovering from her latest health scare. She got out of the hospital yesterday and is now settling into a beautiful rehab facility. Thank goodness! As always, I am very appreciative of the prayers that you say for my loved ones and me.

All of Mr. Jim’s doctors told us last month to start living our normal lives again, so we’re taking them at their word! Yesterday, we finished all of our planning and completed reservations for a photo tour to Moab, Utah, in March. And we’ll soon start rescheduling a summer trip to Newfoundland and a fall trip to Yellowstone/Tetons. I’m sure we’re going to schedule more jaunts during some other time periods this year. The bucket list is back on top of our priorities!

My other blog is coming up on its 1-year mark next month. A Personal Photo Challenge has been well received, and I plan to continue it for the foreseeable future. It creates a lot of extra work for me, but I think that the participants are really enthused about the monthly challenges and enjoying their new and improved photography skills. I have already developed a 2014 plan for subject matter. And I will continue this month to glean informational resources from the web that will help challenge participants throughout 2014.

I hope that you are approaching the month and the New Year with enthusiasm and a commitment to do those things that you have been postponing for a while. Procrastination is not your friend! Oh, that reminds me. There are some boxes in our storage room that haven’t been unpacked from our move over three years ago. Oops! Now there is something else to add to this month’s list of activities. I think January is going to be a busy month.


  1. Yes: 2014 has got to be better. Please God, no worse. But whatever He sends, we will trust Him. I too have got to get cranked up (again) on projects that have lain dormant for several weeks now as all the drama of the holiday season unfolded. You my friend, are going to love that iPhone! And you'll enjoy traveling with your sweetie again, and taking pictures. xoxo to you both.

  2. best prescription ever: start living your normal lives. amen!

  3. Wishing you a blessed 2014, Donna! You sound like you have some fun things planned!

  4. Donna
    You are off and running right into 2014!
    Good for you. I'm so happy you and Jim are
    back on track with that bucket list. Which means
    more fabulous photos for us!
    I hope your Mother improves quickly.
    Best wishes for your New Year-Kimberly

  5. Amen to it all! Makes me smile to hear such good things all around.

  6. Donna, when I was a young new Mom I detested January and a dull and boring month. Now I can't believe how fast January zips by. Time flies when you are having fun or just plain busy with life. I must have missed the info about your Mr. Jim's bout with the "enemy". What kind has he been dealing with. My Bro had Thyroid Cancer two years ago and is all fine now. There are so many types, huh? Yay, you are planning to see Moab again, great!!!

  7. It's got to be better....sounds like you are making plans to make it much better! I love your trips, photos and glimpses into places I've never been. I almost moved to Moab years ago....but that's in another life! haha! Enjoy your weekend! Stay warm! Sweet hugs!

  8. I understand how happy you are to see 2013 gone, me too. It can only get better, but as Ms. Jenny says, whatever HE sends us, we'll deal with it. Thank you too for your prayers for my sister and me, I KNOW they worked. She's coming along better than any Dr. can believe. We are grateful. I'm anxious to see what adventure the two of you enjoy. Happy Happy New Year.

  9. Girl, you are always learning new things and moving forward! Go, you!

    Congratulations on your six years of blogging! Time flies, doesn't it?

    "Living normal lives" sure sounds like good news to me! I know you'll be excited to pack those bags this spring. And it's wonderful to hear that your mother is improving and that she is in a place where she is receiving good care.

  10. It's going to be better; I KNOW it!

    Glad Mom is better, and hoping/praying that the next app for Jim will go well!


  11. Love the positive vibes from this post. We don't know what the year holds, but pray that it will indeed be a better year! How fun to be planning trips again. I know you'll share your wonderful photos with us, too.
    I really appreciate all the work you put into the photography blog. I've learned a lot and you keep pushing us (gently) out of our comfort zone.
    So glad your mom is settled into a good rehab facility. I hope she does well there. And that Mr. Jim's appointment will be a good one.

  12. I always love your updates. So glad to hear about Mr. Jim. And it sounds like you are really getting all high tech and stuff. *smile* I was telling my hubby that I'll have been blogging on blogger for 6 years in February. But I actually started 6 months before that using a different blogging system. I can't believe it's been that long. I think we've pretty much been friends since then and I'm so thankful for you and your little space in the blogworld.
    Have a lovely day my friend.

  13. Congratulations on 6 years. You sound a lot like me. Writing is so much easier than talking to someone face to face.
    Sounds like you're going to have plenty to keep you busy for a while

  14. I don't have anywhere near that clear of a plan. Gonna wing it!!
    Glad that the crisis for you is in the background now.

  15. This year will definitely be better for all of us! Congratulations on 6 years blogging! I think it's 6 years for me this coming November but I'll have to check. Have a good weekend!

  16. Six years is a long time well done - CONGRATS!
    I often wonder if the blogging world will hold my interest over time - we'll see!

    It is always good to turn the page on a horrible year - there's a clean slate ahead with opportunities waiting.
    It sounds like you and Mr Jim are making the most of yours Donna - I'm so glad!

    I enjoy your photo challenge although I feel a very unworthy participant with my very basic little camera! I've already read the wonderful links you've put on your challenge blog - thank you!
    As far as Blog Parties go - you put your heart and soul into your "Personal Photo Challenge" - I can see it must take you a huge amount of time - I really appreciate that THANK YOU!

    Sending you both Big hugs and love for 2014

  17. Congratulations on six years!! Goodness...No doubt this will be a much better year!! So good to hear your husbands great reports and that you are following Dr's orders and getting back to normal life!! This will be A HAPPY NEW YEAR!


  18. I know I've been dropping in here for a long time and sure love to visit. Congrats on 6 yrs!

  19. I hope 2014 is a wonderful, healthy, adventurous year for you! So glad Mr. Jim got a good report from the doctors.

  20. I especially love that the docs have given Mr. Jim the big all clear to go ahead and live life to the fullest...........way to go dear Jim!!
    You are certainly a wonderful blogger Donna and finding you, following you, getting to know you, and just looking at your photos and participating in the Photo Challenge, made 2013 a special year for me. Now here it is, a clean slate of sorts, a whole year ahead to make the most of every day, deal with the ups and downs - there will of course always be both, it's called 'life' - and hopefully we will all stay healthy and happy, doing joyful things along with the mundane, each day.
    Glad to hear your mother is progressing - hope all continues to go well for her.
    You are such a good techy gal Donna, put me to shame! Soon I will be getting that awful 'office' space upstairs cleared out (Bob's former work space) and we can take it from there with painting, carpet replacement, heavy old furniture moved out and some lighter pieces purchased etc. Plenty to address this coming spring - as for now, readying for the big chill!!

    Stay warm this week.
    Love, Mary

  21. Catching up a bit late - but, hey, better late than never. Right? So glad to hear your mother is progressing well. Mine came home from rehab last weekend. Loved hearing your plans for the new year. We are just taking one day at a time. We're taking turns staying with my mother until we get care arranged for her.


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!