Change and Hope (PBC January 2021)

The first 2021 photo blogging challenge theme is appropriate on many levels: change and hope. On the COVID-19 front, one big change is the development, approval and pending delivery of effective vaccines. Canada has little to no sovereign vaccine-making capacity, so availability is limited and roll out is slow. But we hope every resident of Canada has access to COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2021. Then we can all get on with figuring out the new normal. We hope it will be good and we know it will be changed from pre-COVID. 😉

Despite the pandemic, small changes and positive expectations help us create a rhythm of purposeful days. Here’s a handful of examples from January:

1. Looking back and planning ahead

At the start of each month, I partially take apart/rebuild my perpetual Lego desk calendar. It takes about five minutes – just enough time to reflect on the most memorable parts of the past month and identify at least a couple of things that could make the next month even better. Sometimes I review lessons learned or particular accomplishments. Other times I feel especially grateful for someone’s kindness or a great telephone conversation. Regardless of the specifics, monthly reflection fosters change and hope.

perpetual Lego calendar
With every change of month, I disassemble and rebuild my perpetual Lego desk calendar. The few minutes it takes is a good opportunity to reflect on highlights of the past month and my hopes for the next.

2. Every day is a fresh start

One good thing about winter? You can sleep in (at least for a bit) and still catch the sunrise. Each one is unique. Sometimes the golden orb climbs into a blue sky. On cloudy days, sunrise is obscured. And there are some days when Mother Nature puts on quite a show of colour. Regardless, it’s a reminder that every day is a good day to make a small change for the better. 🙂

man walking in snow
Mr GeoK changed up his shoes for this walk, hoping his sore feet would be a little happier. And every sunrise, marking the change to a new day, is a prompt to hope for a good day.

3. Try it, you’ll like it!

I first made Chocolate Dream Pie over a year ago. I’ve made it several times since, always for special occasions – birthdays and Christmas, for example. That changed this month, due to a screaming deal on whipping cream (one of the main ingredients). But the timing of the best before date wasn’t good. Mr. GeoK and I were headed to Canmore for a few days, with youngest (adult) GeoKid staying in Calgary to continue online university. Divvying up a large pie for transport isn’t easy. So I opted to try mini pies and hope for the best. Verdict? Worked well, but no need to double the amount of crust.

chocolate dream pie
With the best before date on a carton of whipping cream just a few days out, it was time to make a Chocolate Dream Pie. But with two of us headed to Canmore for a few days and one staying in Calgary, how to make it easy to share? Mini pies!!

4. Upgrade, with fingers crossed

In the run up to the winter of 2019/20, we bought folderover mitts to wear for winter photography outings. They served us well. But we’ve done more winter hiking this winter than we’ve done in all past years combined. And we’ve learned that bare fingers are a recipe for frostbite when you’re on the shore of a frozen mountain lake with wind howling through the valley. So we decided to upgrade.

We called our local camera store on Black Friday and got them to price match despite the need to special order in top-notch liner glove/windproof mittens. After a long and convoluted “adventure” (details may be shared in our upcoming gear review), we finally have two sets of new mitt-gloves. We hope these are our forever cold weather handwear!

two different mittens
Our trusty fly fishing foldover mitts just don’t cut it with all the photography-oriented winter hikes we’ve been doing, so we changed out our hand coverings with the hope they’d be more effective.

5. Fourth (and final?) revision

I’ve been sewing cloth masks since April and have worked them into PBC themes a few times already. This month, it’s a fit because I’ve changed the design for the fourth time! First it was two-layer masks. Then two layers with a slot for a disposable filter (Scott shop towels, mainly). Next came three layers, with polypropylene as the middle layer. Now, with several jurisdictions recommending/requiring N95 masks (still not readily available for purchase), the challenge was finding a way to securely hold in place the N95 filters we bought off Amazon.

I spent a few hours developing various prototype lining layers that tried to find a way for a rounded mask to hold a flat filter. But then came the breakthrough idea!! I dug out a no-longer-used two-layer with filter slot mask and after another couple rounds of prototyping, figured out just how to stich a very flat w-shaped seam across the front of the mask to hold the filter inserts in place!

Here’s hoping no further revised mask guidance will be issued.

That’s it for me this month. Now hope on over to host PJ’s post to see what’s changing for other PBC participants and what they’re hoping for in the months ahead. While you’re there, please consider joining us in February. The theme is I Spy with My Eye… Surely you can take five such photographs between now and posting day on March 1st? The amount of accompanying text is up to you!

3 thoughts on “Change and Hope (PBC January 2021)

  1. Ahhh…the Lego calendar looks like fun! And, I agree every day is a new opportunity to make a change for the better. Chocolate Dream Pie looks yummy….I’d probably overdose on them if they were in my house. I changed up my mask pattern too. I make mine with two layers of tightly woven cotton with featherweight interfacing fused on the inside for an additional layer. Is spring here yet………..

  2. The mittens made me laugh. They look so much fancier than Bernie Standers’!

    That mini pie looks delicious.

    Gorgeous Canadian scenery as always!

    And it’s about time you posted some more Lego pictures!

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