January Book and Project Wrap Up

I’ve been so focused on daily business that I rarely have done or tried anything new or challenged myself in what felt like YEARS. Bottom line is, running a blog about trying something new daily has become my way to get over the freezing effects of anxiety, to force myself to make decisions and not be afraid to try new things.

After only one month I’ve learned:

  • Trying to coordinate with extended family to attend a theatrical performance is even harder than trying to coordinate an appointment with my son’s ortho and dentist.
  • it is not easy to make Indian food, actually ANY food look good in a photo. Maybe February’s project will help?
  • Family is totally fun to mess with by dragging them into this project!

January’s Project has been to learn how to use WordPress, and although there are a few things I’d still like to figure out (how the heck do I hook up the Twitter and Facebook feeds in the Widget bar? How do I link a “featured image” to its original site? Dianne Parks has beautiful artwork that she graciously allowed me to feature but maybe feature images don’t allow it), at least I have learned the following-

  • How to upload my photos
  • How to link up within a post the web pages to my photos or to those that should be connected to an original site- like the Comic Pearls embedded in my post here.
  • inserting links wasn’t that hard, either,  like this!
  • The tech support chat really does work!
  • I love that I picked a layout for my blog titled “2015,” reminding me of the blog’s overall goal.

January’s Book of the Month, The Happiness Project,” by Gretchen Rubin… I get a kick out of statistics and studies, I’m weird like that, so I’ve enjoyed reading her summary of literature and philosophies, as well as the 12 months of tasks that she chose to explore.

These are a few of the great lines and quotes I found in the book-

  • “I’d often wondered why anger, along with pride, greed, gluttony, lust, sloth, and envy- were the seven deadly sins, because they didn’t seem as deadly as lots of other sins. It turns out that they’re deadly sins not because of their gravity but because of their power to generate other, worse sins. They’re gateway sins to the big sins” p. 47 (italics and bold are mine)
  • Oscar Wilde observed one is not always happy when one is good, but one is always good when one is happy.” p. 54
  • “Like grief has five stages, …happiness has four stages. To eke out the most happiness from an experience, we must anticipate it, savor it as it unfolds, express happiness and recall a happy memory.” p. 108

…and many, many more favorite passages could be listed, because I enjoyed this book tremendously. I definitely recommend “The Happiness Project” to anyone.

In one month I’ve banked two really enjoyable experiences- a new read and and a new skill. Here’s to the anticipating eleven more of each to come!

January Theater with The Mom- Pirates of Penzance

Last year my mom and I decided that since we enjoy theater so much, we should try and see a play at least once a month… grand total that we made it to? Zip. We didn’t make a single one outside of my teen’s high school productions. This year we are determined to hit 12 shows, dammit!

Tonight the family saw a youth theater production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, yea! We brought grandparents, teens and a spare boyfriend- I tell you, I’m going to commit to getting out to do these new activities once a month and invite as many people to come along so they hold me to it!

This show was FABULOUS! We hope to see more productions by the J*Company Youth Theater at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center this season. “Annie” is up next this March, followed by “West Side Story” in May, and both will undoubtedly be fine shows.

Balboa Park- Walking Tour

Today we ended up walking all around Balboa Park- something that we really haven’t ever taken the time to do. We have visited the San Diego Zoo,  the Air and Space Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Old Globe Theater for a play, and the Ruben H Fleet Science Center, all great venues! But today we took the time to really walk most of the park.

We saw wedding parties posing for photos, wandered through the 35 International Cottages, saw artists working on their creations in the Spanish Village, viewed the improvements being made to the Japanese Friendship Garden (deciding that we need to eat at the Tea Pavillon!), and watched enormous koi swimming in the lily ponds in front of the Botanical Building. I snapped a few photos about upcoming events that we saw on kiosks so save for future reference, too… What a great day! I don’t recommend trying to walk the park and taking in more than one museum on the same day, at least not with smaller children. Definitely a two day visit, at least.

San Diego Youth Symphony  has free weekend rehearsal performances!
San Diego Youth Symphony has free weekend rehearsal performances!
Tea Pavilion hours and offerings...
Tea Pavilion hours and offerings…

January Read: “The Happiness Project”

Along with a new project every month, a new book sounds like a great idea!

Both my husband and I picked up a few books while shopping for Christmas, 2013. NEITHER of us read those books. I don’t think I finished an entire book during the entire year of 2014, and in the past I was a voracious reader. What happened? Can I just blame this on Pinterest and Tumblr being so DARN interesting? No? I didn’t think so…

All right then, no more excuses.

The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin
The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin Click the photo to a link to Amazon

This month’s read is “The Happiness Project,” by Gretchen Rubin. I love the alternate title even more: “Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sin in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun”

Got any great reads you’d like to suggest? Please share, I love hearing what others are reading.

January’s Project: How do I Drive This Thing?

Just do what the guy says and we will all be safe...
Just do what the guy says and we will all be safe…

Three days into January and I’m still finding something new to do. Every day! WOO HOO! What are the bets that I can keep this up for another three days?

How about a project for the month? That sounds good to me. To quote the great Captain Picard, I’ll “Make it so.”



(Now that I’ve dated myself with that ST-TNG reference above, I’ll get to the point…)

Hopefully, by the end of the month I will have figured out how to incorporate pictures, establish links with social media sites, choose what this blog will look like on screen (WordPress calls this the THEME, see? I am learning, YOW!) And while I figured out what a sticky post is,what the heck is a slug?

Lucky for me search engines exist, and these three sites will be great helps in this project:

From WordPress-


A great infographic-


And a whole ton of links and explanations from WordPress blogger Gretchen Louis-


So, if you are an experienced blogger and have some great tips for a n00b like me, please share! What did you do to learn how to navigate WordPress, Blogger or your platform of choice?

Jean Luc Picard says "Here's to you, awesome n00b blogger!"
Jean Luc Picard says “Here’s to you, awesome n00b blogger!”
Everyone should try new things every day!
Everyone should try new things every day!