Look. I’m not going to ever have a chicken coop in my yard. I suppose if there was an Atwood-type apocalypse and the survivors had to live off the land, I MIGHT have chickens, but mostly to trade the eggs like they do with cigarettes in prisons.
I have been vicariously living the chicken-keepers life through the blog North West Edible Life by Erica Strauss. She can turn a phrase and I’m basically just into her deal, which is about gardening and simple living. She’s recently came out with a book, The Hands-On Home, and it’s chocked full of good tidbits. For example, here’s a big learning shift within minutes of sitting down with this book…
She talks about the daily “resetting” of high-traffic zones of the house: bathroom and kitchen. She writes about how she zips in these two rooms to reset them quickly and efficiently.
Reset vs Clean.
Cleaning a room is lame, tiresome and boring. But resetting a room is quick and easy, despite the fact that they are the same thing. Since reading this little tidbits of a book filled with equally brilliant tidbits, I’ve been resetting the zones in the house that always need a little pick-me-up. It’s like being a stage hand on Broadway. I’m not cleaning. I’m resetting the scene. Getting it ready for Act Two, which is usually the next meal of the day if it’s in the kitchen or the next shower if it’s in the bathroom. Resetting… brilliant.
Her blog is filled with all kinds of recipes I sometimes do and a bunch of other stuff that I won’t ever do (keep a chicken coop), but all of it is so well written that I keep showing up for more. And now I have a book to keep me amused offline.
We all know I’m a fan of the lovely Elizabeth Gilbert, another one who can turn a phrase. In Big Magic she talks about ideas and how they are floating around looking for someone to be born through. If one idea comes knocking on your noggin, you can choose to let it be born through you, or if you keep pushing it away or pondering it too long, that idea can float away and find someone else to be born through.
It inspires you to act on your ideas.
And fast. Before they find your arch nemesis to be born through and you find yourself in a tumult of jealousy and self-loathing. The book is full of encouragement for artists at any stage of their creative journey. And of course, because it’s written by her, it’s funny, insightful, inspiring and kind. This book is going in Christmas stockings this year. For sure.
Which brings me to calendars.
An idea came by to make calendars of my Paris Letters. I mulled and mulled, thought and researched, but after reading Big Magic, I thought, sheesh just do it, otherwise the idea will go find someone else. Plus, if they don’t sell, no biggie. It’s print-on-demand for heavensakes.
So here is my 2016 calendar collection.
We’ve got three versions filled with Paris Letters from the archive, a version of red photos of Paris, and a version with delicate postcard backs featuring lovely examples of the fountain pen penmanship of yesteryear. Find them all over at the shop.
Elizabeth Gilbert also speaks of listening for clues to guide you along the way. This is especially important when one is feeling lost. I was feeling lost the other day. I was at the post office sending off a lovely Paris photo from my shop. I severely underestimated the shipping charges for this grand, gorgeous photo, so that at the end of this day, I paid for someone to buy one of my photos.
Hardly a shop keepers dream scenario.
JUST at that time, OUT OF THE BLUE, a friend emailed me and asked why I didn’t sell those photos on my shop digitally. That way the buyer could print at their own local print shop and no one has to pay for shipping. She didn’t know I had just been HAD by Canada Post and my own underestimating. But for some reason, she sent me a message just as I was in the middle of my miff.
I took it as a clue.
So over the next few days, I’ll be making the photos on my shop also available as a digital download so you can download, send it your neighborhood print shop, and we can both save on shipping.
When I started listing the digital files, a sense of relief washed over me. A good sign. Potential Atwood-type apocalypse of my shop averted.