Sunday, January 2, 2022

Happy New Year 2022!


Happy New Year
Czech Off the Beaten Path

Hi Everyone,

I hope you've all had a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year! This is a little late, but things have been busy here! Even so, I wanted to put together a short update on what's going on here. 

Quiet Holidays

Jiri and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary in the first part of December! It's also the anniversary of my moving to the Czech Republic. It's now been 15 years since I stepped off the plane to my new life as an expat. It's hard to believe so many years have gone by! 

We had a quiet Christmas and New Year's. Our Czech family and friends didn't get together because of Covid. However, we still managed to celebrate with family and friends online. Even so, we still had a very nice holiday. It's been a great time to relax (after baking and cooking) and to spend a little time together. 

Covid Christmas

Covid Still Rules

Like the rest of the world, we're still dealing with Covid here, too. People are so tired of the pandemic, lockdowns, wearing masks, etc. There have been protests against the anti-Covid measures in this country; however, most people are abiding with the mask requirement and getting vaccinated. 

Vaccination has been a problem here, too, as it has in the US and other parts of Europe. However, with the onset of Omicron, there's been a slight uptick in the numbers getting vaccinated for the first time and those who are getting boosters.

They're expecting the Omicron variant to start causing problems once everyone is back from the holidays. So, we've been preparing just in case things get back. We're not hoarding! 

Instead, we've bought OTC meds a little ahead. For instance cough syrup. The kind of cough syrup I can take has been out of stock since before the holidays. So, I've bought the tablets instead. The freezer is also full. I've made some meals ahead and we have plenty of ingredients on hand. 

So, we're prepared as much as we can be.

Covid Vaccine

My Vaccine Experience

I'm an advocate for Covid measures, including vaccinations. That's in spite of continuing to deal with the side effects from the Pfizer vaccine. I've been dealing with neurological issues for the past few months. My last shot was in August. 

I'm due for a booster next month. However, I've got to consult with the doctor to see if the booster is safe for me or not. I'm concerned that the 3rd one could really cause some problems with my health. So, we'll have to see what happens. 

New Year Weight Loss Goals

New Year Weight Loss

As many others have done, I've also gained some weight since Covid started. So, I've decided it's time to start a weight loss regime. There won't be any specific diet used. My doctor has ruled out anything like the Keto diet or others that are trending. So, I have to use common sense. That means cutting out the garbage stuff, eating smaller portions, and exercising more. 

In the past this program worked pretty well for me. I'm older now, so it will be interesting to see if this type of weight loss program still works! 

I'd love to get an e-bike, but Jiri says they're too dangerous. Ach jo...that means walking and other types of exercise will be needed. That's OK. I can manage it, even without an e-bike! 

Writing on my Blogs More Often

Another goal is to write on my blogs more regularly! I've been busy with other projects and haven't had time to write here or on my other blogs. 

I have about four blogs with my own domains now. Each one is on a different topic, which keeps things interesting. But it's necessary to include these blogs in my writing schedule, which is already very full. 

It might be more realistic to write a blog post a month for each one. However, I'd love to write on my sites more often. We'll see how it goes. 

Never Stop Dreaming

Content Writing Work Continues

My work creating content for websites also continues on Fiverr. This is what keeps me pretty busy, with not much time for my blogs, etc! 

Creating Designs

I continue to create designs as often as possible. There, again, I don't always have enough time to devote to this work/hobby. However, I do create new designs every so often. 

My stores are on Zazzle and I have a new one on Gumroad, too. My main Zazzle store does OK. I don't do any promotion, so the sales are organic. This shop doesn't bring in so much, but it's OK. 

Then there's a new Zazzle shop Angelfire Mountain Designs (there's also a new blog that goes with this shop: Angelfire Mountain Designs). These are both new, so there aren't many products or articles yet. However, it's something new, which is always fun to work on!

I'm also looking at creating Canva templates and selling these on Gumroad. We'll see. These are some ideas. 

Then there's KDP low content publishing. I've also gotten into that a little bit. So far, there are only five books for sale. However, I hope to make more. It's fun and challenging to come up with original designs to potentially sell!

Wind Turbines Renewable Energy

 The Energy Crisis

As you may have heard, Europe is experiencing an energy crisis. I won't go into all the politics and issues with that. However, we've been told blackouts may be coming our way, especially if the winter is very cold. 

Blackouts are pretty common in the US. Where I used to live in the US, we would sometimes be without power for days! My folks installed a generator, which was a huge help. So, I learned how to manage when power outages hit. 

However, here, power outages have been extremely rare. I can count on one hand the number of power outages I've experienced since moving here. The power outages also didn't last too long--may 2 or more hours, but that's about it. 

But now things may be a little different with the energy crisis. No one really knows! So, like my Dad always taught us, I've been preparing ahead just in case. We invested in a small backup power source and a solar panel. These aren't very large, but would provide enough power to get through a day or so. 

I'm also looking at ways to change my work a little bit. I usually work online quite a bit. However, a new plan would be to do research before I write, saving it on an external hard drive. That way, I could still get work done and use my phone's data plan to upload the work when finished.

So, we're prepared as much as we can be if there really are blackouts and other energy problems. We'll have to wait and see what develops (or not)!  

Closing Thoughts

Well, that's about all for the update today! I just wanted to say hi and let you know what I've been up to! Even though I can't get out too much right now, there's plenty going on! 

I hope & pray that each of you stays safe and healthy! And I'd like to wish you all the very best in this new year of 20221

God bless,