January has been busy but not in the usual way.
Through Newcomers I am on the committees to update our bylaws and constitution and on the nominating committee for the next executive board so those were several very interesting meetings. I was the note taker for the bylaws and constitution updates so some extra work for me. I had the distinct pleasure of being able to award Loaves and Fishes, one of the charities we are supporting, with a $5000 check. Also I got to notify three of our other charities of donations we were making to them at the end of December. Very rewarding work. I could get used to giving away money !
Also, for years I have been on the board for Silent Witness Initiative. Their goal is “Promote peace, healing and responsibility in adult relationships in order to eliminate domestic murders in the United States by the year 2020.” The organization hasn’t been doing much until lately so now lots going on with conference calls, emails, updating the website and the blog. The website is silentwitness.net. Check out the blog silentwitness.wordpress.com
OLLI classes didn’t start until mid January and Bob and I are both taking another Southern history class. This one covers the reconstruction period after the Civil War through the 1920’s. I have been trying hard to learn why the South is the way it is and started looking for explanations from when the area was first settled back in the 1600’s. I found some clues but it wasn’t until I heard the two lectures on Reconstruction that I could connect many of the dots from the late 1860’s to mid 1870’s to now. Many things become clear when you understand what happened during Reconstruction. Out of all the history I have learned definitely I learned the most about the south from these lectures. I also will coordinate a few Friday bonus trips for OLLI. Those are easy and fun.
Yesterday Bob finished his part of the 12 chairs for OLLI and he is EXTREMELY glad to be done with that huge project. He and another woodworker made 8 craft tables, 4 square oak tables, 9 bookcases and 12 chairs. As soon as the chairs get stained and finished I will take pictures to show you. He is very excited to get back to doing what he wants to do and has several small projects to work on.
Working on letting people know about Travelers Rest being on the final ballot for Budget Travel Magazines Coolest Small Town contest has also been so much fun. We have a couple weeks to go and really need you to vote. We are currently in 10th place. The town that is winning is twice our size so we have to work really hard to beat them http://budgettravel.com. One of the city council women is going on TV tomorrow to talk about it. It’s pretty fun being known as the person who got Travelers Rest into the contest. I feel very, very good about that.
I have also been trying to help my friend Bill find a home for a beautiful black cat he took in. So far no forever home for Midnight.
Last but not least, I am attempting to update the book I wrote with Bob’s mom into a print on demand book and also a kindle downloadable book. So far so good. I’m over half way through it so will soon know how successful and easy the process with CreateSpace is. Create Space is a division of Amazon and Amazon also has another division that does the formatting for Kindle type books. Helen is very excited, as am I. Something new for me to learn. I have an new cover designed so anxious to see how that will look.
We looked at all our expenses from last year and talked with our financial planner and we are still right on track and she says we could even spend a little more and be ok. We pretty much feel we do everything we want to but might splurge for the really expensive fine dining experiences a little more often. She says that we are her shining examples of what happens when people live within their means. Of course we have also worked hard and saved money for a very long time.
We have lots of theater performances, classes and other learning activities coming up in February so lots to keep us busy and happy.
Kitties have been indoors a little more. They don’t like the cold and the wind.