Friday, April 21, 2017

Lost and Found

Over the last few months the computer I used for writing and photo editing developed disk issues.  I was warned of the eminent danger of a total failure.  An online backup was found and days on end were spent as the system was being backed up "out there".  I monitored what was being backed up to make sure all those photos were saved.  Day after day the system ground on with the process.  finally I was notified the process was complete.  I looked quickly and the picture directory was there!

I continued using the system until the day it died.  Hard drive totally dead.  Now wanting to spent the cash for a new computer, I used our 'business' computer for several weeks.  I toyed with the idea of just replacing the hard drive myself.  We asked advise of our son. "Your computer is over 8 years old, replace it" was his response.  After all it was not 8 years old as it had been completely rebuilt in 2012.  Under warranty.  Still, five years old.  it is time.  So the research was done and a new one was ordered.  It arrived the same day as our cousin.  The new system was set aside for a few days as ther were bluebonnets to see.

After the first few days of sight seeing, going to ball games, etcetera things slowed enough for me to unpack the new computer.  Slick and soft.  Plugged it in, finally found the on switch and the SSD had the opening screen there and ready to play in just seconds.  Finding how things worked was fairly simple.  Setting up preferences took a day or two as we still had a visitor to enjoy.  Eventually I began retrieving the files from the cloud.  Business files, address books and my endless spreadsheets were the first.  The process was going just fine.  There were a couple of times it was a little slow as the 650 MG limit forced packing files together instead of just selecting single folders.

Finally I was ready to begin grabbing my photos.  Now the 650 MG limit would prove to be a challenge.  Then I noticed for the first time the picture folders names.  The last year was 2014.  No backup on the 2015 or 2016 years.  I quietly adjusted to the fact that all the editing was lost but the original photos of 2 weeks in California, 4 weeks traveling in the upper Midwest to Montreal and all of the 2016 European trip and other events of those years were on memory cards.  I quietly was grateful we had made that decision.  I sat to the task of downloading to my new system.

It was about a day into the project that a realization slowly sunk into my brain.  All the scanned folders had not backed up to the cloud.  No backup on the hundreds of scanned photos from my sisters visit last summer when we divided photos.  I was literally sick to my stomach as some of the photos were scanned then tossed.  Tossed into the recycling bin never to be seen again.  I grabbed the memory sticks that I usually use when doing the scanning project.  No luck.  They are gone.  So I shall spend days, months attempting to move beyond the guilt of the loss of those images.  Many of the photos were on CDs and there were some on the sticks.  But not the ones from last summer.

Now I must decide will I work to see if I can possibly use some sort of device to attempt to get something off the old, dead drive.  Maybe I just need to do what the father in the Prodigal Son parable did.  I shall rejoice for what was once lost but now is found.  Rejoice in the good and just be thankful for that.

Take care over the upcoming weekend.  Son is taking us to see Willie Nelson and Family perform Saturday night.  We will be with the whole family along with youngest Sister, BIL and Birthday Nephew.  Yes, we will rejoice for what we have!

Peace and love,

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Taking a Break

Not to worry.   I am alive and doing fine.  Just working to get the new computer up and running which just meant finding the on switch.  Now all the days of retrieving all the pictures from 'out there'.  The uploads I made did not get all my files.  I should have been more meticulous in checking. A.L.L of the edited European trip files are lost.  gone.  computer dust.  I do have them SOC on the memory cards.  10,000 photos.  I have not checked on memory stick to see if hopefully the scans I did last August are on them.  If not they are gone.

So pardon me for a while as I am putting things back together.  And figuring out how to use the dual drives on the new computer.  Just needing to get this in order before I can feel like writing again.  Live and learn to check one more time that stuff backed up properly.....

Of course there have been other things going on, too.  Stuff like out of state visitor for 10 days.  We stayed busy.  Once computer is going I will share photos on one of the blogs.  The other thing is spring sports.  Lacrosse, soccer for 3 players, and track make for lots of short trips.   Also, doing backup duty for transporting grandkids.  Stays sort of busy.

Well, now I shall get back to restoring data and organizing the new computer.  Thanks for stopping by for a visit.  I'll have a cup of tea waiting for the next time!


If someone is monitoring me with my camera this is what they see:

I think the lens is in a weird location.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Watching A Movie

Today I was watching Boynton Beach Club.  This is a movie from 2006 about folks in a retirement community.  The story has one scene where a character is writing his online profile for a dating site.  He was, also, reviewing several women who had done whatever it is that says they are interested in him.  As he read two or three of these aloud it got me to thinking.  How would I describe myself?  I wanted to think on that for a moment.  Besides, I am not single.  I texted 'I love you' to my Hubby.  Cause, you know, I do and I still can.

Hubby was off getting one of the Son's autos serviced or something like that.  Hubby is the guy in the family that does all that for all of us.  Now with a bonus granddaughter almost ready to have her own car, he has been getting the DIL's old car serviced.  Like new tires, inspections, washed and cleaned up for our only princess.  BTW, she is winning the 800 meter in most of her competitions.  Last weekend while we were going to the right place at the wrong time and the wrong place at the right time, she was walking across the stage accepting an academic award.  Smart, fast and beautiful, a dynamite combination when mixed with her sweet personality.

Back to the question of how would I write an ad for myself on a singles site.  Hmmm, maybe this:  overweight old woman that prefers to be quiet, danced when I was young, does not seek the company of anyone now.  We are coming up on the 10th anniversary of my second chance of being the wife Hubby deserves.  Hubby replied to my text with 'I love u 2'.  For this day, for this moment I have the perfect man for me.  Hope he feels the same.  

Thanks for the visit!



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Busy Weekend

Apparently I cannot read simple calendars anymore.  Last weekend we were to go watch our grandson play lacrosse against two different high schools, McKinney and Allen.  I had attend McKinney High my freshman and sophomore years.  My folks had moved the family to Allen during my freshman year.  I decided to attend Allen for my last two years in school.   Anyway, I had marked the days for the games to be Friday and Saturday.  We would leave on Thursday morning, spend the nights with my youngest sister, and attend the two games.

Put the brakes on, Hubby had a commitment on Thursday morning.  We would just delay the trip until Thursday afternoon.  That meant hitting rush hour in the Dallas Ft. Worth area.  Yuck.  About midnight Wednesday night I checked the calendar to get the addresses of the stadiums.  Well, fudge but that is good, too.  The games were scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, not Friday and Saturday.  We could travel on Friday morning and have time to see the great nephews and great niece.  That was just great!  Calls to Sister were made and all was good.

We had no problems on the trip up.  It was great spending the evening with the 2, 5 and 8 year old children.  We played basketball, watched them play on the trampoline, slide and generally have fun outside.  Dinner was pizza, more outside time before dark, baths and a Disney movie rounded out the time.  Back to Sister's home for the night.  Up and out of the house to reach the lacrosse field by noon on Saturday.

We pulled up to the field and noticed the game was not lacrosse.  And the boys were girls.  And it was a rugby game.  We went to two other possible locations in the area.  In desperation we called our son. Though the calendar had 12 a.m. Jr. and Varsity, the second time was 5 pm.  We were five (5) hours early.  Well, fudge, again.  Backup plan, check out one location for our 50th wedding celebration.

Fine.  Still over 3 hours till the game.  We headed out to visit our neighbors of 47 years ago.  They were not home.  Hubby had to talk to someone so he knocked on the door of the home we had built 48 years ago.  He then talked to the current owner for an hour.  I talked, too.   It was pleasing to talk to someone that enjoyed the home we built as much as we had the 6 years we lived there.  After leaving we stopped for a couple of items at CVS.  Still 2 hours till the game.  We decided to find the location of tomorrow's game.

I pulled up the team's calendar.  We both looked at the thing and confirmed Boyd High was the location.  Alrighty, we look up the address, put it in the GPS and head out to confirm the location.  The field was right there and the calendar still said Boyd.  It was still an hour till game time.  We drove to the parking lot, found a shade tree and parked.  It was good to see grandson finally arrive prepared for the 5 o clock game.  They lost but grandson played hard.  Visited with middle grandson after the game which was great.  A quick hug of Oldest and we headed back to Sister's home for the night.

Okay, day two mission accomplished though we did spend a huge amount of time in a car.  Son had reconfirmed on Saturday that the Sunday game was definitely at noon.  In McKinney at Boyd High which by the way was a change from the original location in a soccer park.  We arrived about 11:50 am at Boyd High stadium.  An empty stadium.  I pulled up the d&*(^ed calendar again.  McKinney High is now on the freaking calendar.  We drive to where I remembered the McKinney High stadium to be.  Sure enough there was the stadium and it was empty.  Hubby stopped to ask a stranger as I was beginning to google McKinney High.

We arrived across town at the McKinney High school and Hubby saw a man.  Another stranger.  I was saying the stadium is ahead around the corner.  But Hubby was no longer believing a word I said.  The nice stranger told Hubby the stadium was ahead to the left at the corner.  We arrived at the game at half time.  Oldest Grandson was swapped with different players during the game.  At one point he was hit with the end of a lacrosse stick in the right groin and down he went.  He came off the field limping and sat out the rest of the third quarter.  He came back in about half way through the fourth quarter.  He assisted on 3 of the scores.  Round Rock lost again.  Grandson visited with us, hugged and said he loved us and appreciated our coming to his games.  That made it all worth the mess ups along the way.

Our last stop was for a meal in Allen at a second location that we were considering for the 50th shindig.  We headed back home about 3 pm.  Smooth sailing all the way to the last 5 miles.  There was a wreck and traffic was at a standstill.  It took about 25 minutes to go one mile.  Ugh.  We had spent between 6 and 8 hours in a car with additional 1 to 2 hours on bleachers or in restaurants for three days.  Monday I crashed.  Hubby had another appointment in the morning.  He crashed in the afternoon.  That is what happens after a busy weekend with lots of travel time.  And a frustrating calendar.

I rechecked the calendar on Monday.  12 a.m. was still on the Friday calendar.  I had missed the 'a.m.' and that almost every day there is a game out of town '12 a.m.' appears on the calendar.  WTH.  And the game locations 'are fluid' I was told.  That is not particularly helpful for septuagenarians that are not on the email list to receive the notifications of changes.  Oh, well.  We at least made it home and were not in Dallas when the hail storms hit Sunday night.  Older sister's new car was damaged and both sisters' houses will need new roofs. What is a little calendar mix up in the big picture.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

It's Tuesday

Have the patio and little area around it cleanuped and ready for just sitting and enjoying for a while.  Watering brings the birds out pretty quickly.  Most of the visitors have been white-winged doves, two or three different kinds of sparrows and house finches.  It is fun seeing the interaction between the different types of birds.  Seems the pecking order exists for sure!

There has been this one female finch I have been attempting to capture in a clear photo.  She is not cooperative.  Here then there then out of sight among the lilies.  Hopping across the patio picking at whatever is there to snack.  She pauses.  I grab the camera and get her in focus.  Snap and check the photo.  Sure enough, she flew just as I snapped the camera.  Grrrr.  Next time she sits for an instant.  In focus, snap and check.  Hubby moved his foot between the bird and the camera.  To give the bird some credit, I am shooting through a double pane window so that may account for some of the blur.  My hands are not as steady as they could be.

I had purchased a block of food for finches.  Not the thistle type of food like the yellow finches love.  This block was full of little, round seeds about the size of mustard seeds.  I hung it first from the feeder rail where I would hang the thistle feeders.  No takers.  Lowered to about 18 inches above the ground.  Still no takers.  I rearranged the little fountain so the water trickles over a rock so the birds could drink there.  I hung the seed block from the side of the fountain.  The seed block was just off the patio about 1 inch .  Still no takers.  Fine!  I put it on the ground next to the gate and walked away in a grumpy mood.

You guessed it.  Immediately the female finch was all over it.  I grabbed the camera and started shooting.  Instantly it seemed she was hiding in the area on the opposite side of the block of seeds.  I now have about 200 blurry photos of what I believe to be a house finch.  There may be two pretty good shots of just her head peaking over the seeds.  I am about to decide she is really a drone sent by the senators I have been writing and calling.  You know, tantalizing me to keep me distracted from the issues. .  .  Or maybe she is just a bird visiting my feeders.  Thanks Obama.

And thank you for stopping by for a chat!


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Not Much To Report

It has been a really quiet day for me here on Saturday.  Thursday was laundry and cleaning the refrigerator day.  With a couple of 10-15 minute strolls I managed 6300 steps.  Friday was grocery and household shopping.  Step count was about 5400 for the day.  The best thing about doing the errands was that I could drive myself.  The boot had been my right foot thus making it unusable for the gas pedal.  It felt so good to be driving again I made two trips of it.  First stop was at WalMart, like I could not find a better first place.  I know but that is where we find the best price for the water we use in our coffee maker.

Since WalMart is somewhat all purpose, I strolled out to the bird and garden center.  Aaahhhh, flowers!  Stocked up on mealy worms, seeds for finches, and a small number of flowers.  Hoping  for the good aroma in the morning air I purchased petunias and stock in white, pink and peach colors.  A geranium and yellow marigold said they will add a little pop of color.  An interestingly shaped peach colored hibiscus held promise for a conversation piece.  Nothing like flowers for this old gardeners soul!

Back in the main part of the store the water and basic cleaning supplies were located.  I know there is a person that delights in moving the location of items around in stores.  They hope you will find something you really were not needing in the place of the item for which you are looking.  You purchase that 'how did I live without this item' as well as the item they moved.  For a person recovering from injuries this tactic is more frustrating than inspiring.  More likely to be inspired to say bad words than purchase newly discovered items.

While doing the search for the moved item I came across a family playing hide and seek. This particular threesome looked at first glance to be a young married with a toddler.  Now this was not just two on one aisle and one on the next.  No.  The young woman was crawling in behind the toilet paper in between the stuff on the other side of the display.  The young man had arranged more paper goods as a lounge chair and the toddler was messing around back and forth.  An older woman started calling names and the two older people emerged looking rather sheepish.  The toddler was retrieved and the group moved on while being versed in proper ways to behave in a store.

Eventually all items were located.  I stood in the check out line watching the young checker being very precise.  Money had to be counted twice.  Then the return money was recounted as well.  When she spoke to me I understood.  She is an immigrant from Russia.  I did not ask for a passport or other type of identification.  I welcomed to our country.  She told me she liked my flowers and we parted ways.  In the parking lot I was approached randomly by a couple for gas money.  Sorry, I do not carry cash.  You can follow me to a gas station and I fill your car up but that is the best I can do.  No, the tank was full.  They were not immigrants.  We parted ways.

After returning home with the water, 10 gallon bottles take up a lot of room.  Add to that the flowers and cleaning supplies there would not be enough room for the groceries.  Besides the space factor, the foot needed to be iced before much more walking.  We had dinner and watched a bit of TV and I was off to the grocery store.  There I found many of the items that were the loss leaders to be gone.  Butter for $2.49 is almost a steal except when the shelf is empty.  Really nothing to complain about, though.  If butter were needed there was plenty at the higher prices.

Groceries gathered and I headed to the one checkout that was open.  As soon I it was my turn a young man with 2 items was behind me.  I had him go ahead as I was still unloading my cart.  By the time he was checked through there were 8 -10 people behind me.  Each with just 2 or 3 items.  I tried to get them to go ahead and they would not.  Finally another line was opened.  One person told me not to worry as it was not my fault the store did not have enough checkers at the moment.  The young man that was checking me was not flustered.  He called for checkers and continued with my cart.  I asked how long he had been just standing waiting for someone to check.  He said about 15 minutes then it all hit at once.

Today I woke to the  Hubby kissing me as he left to go play ham radio again.  I stayed in bed for awhile longer but was uncomfortable.  Soon I headed for a cup of coffee and a bowl of cereal.  With Hubby gone I settled into his recliner for a little Poirot sleuthing.  I finished the cereal but not the serial!  I drifted in and out of sleep for several hours.  The body was saying, 'you sat around for 6 weeks so do not expect me to just start right up again, old girl!'  Eventually Hubby made it back home so I gave up the recliner.

Image result for rattlesnake in bluebonnets
Cooked a little dinner and took a walk in the nearby park.  Arranged the flowers near the pots to see if that will be their home for the summer.  Then it was time for more ice on the foot.  That brings you to be with me just sitting in my chair.  Ice pack on my foot and thinking about that Twix fun bar on the table.  That's almost all there is to report.  Oldest Grandson went for a hike with part of his Scout Troop today and came upon a big rattlesnake.  That is why it is best not to walk out among the bluebonnets because .. rattlesnakes.

Thanks for stopping for a visit!


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Walking Is Good

Those first few steps in a regular pair of shoes were strange.  The knee of the leg that has had a boot that reached to the knee for six weeks felt wobbly.  Shoes that were exactly the same height was an interesting sensation, too.  I am shorter by about an inch or so without the boot and extra lifts for the other shoe.  There is still some stiffness in the toes of the foot that was damaged.  Who knows why.  Probably the doctor could guess.  I do not care as the foot seems to work when walking.  And it is not painful to walk.  I have almost 6000 steps for the day.  I have spread them out over the day instead of walking for an hour.  Ice packs were applied after each 10 to 15 minute walk to keep any swelling to a minimum.  Bottom line is walking is good!

Of course all this walking stuff is going on with a background of politics.  I really missed the ability to let off some steam by walking.  I fear I substituted eating but I have refused to step on the scales to confirm what my jeans suggested.  Budget cuts are coming.  The hiring freeze has already caused some historical sights to close due a shortage of workers.  Looks like volunteers will be in higher demand as the cuts and other changes trickle down from Washington.  We shall see what else trickles down from the swamp.

Our state government is making many of the same cuts.  School vouchers seem to be the new drum beat to solve education woes.  Fifteen years ago it was testing.  Texas' spending on education is in the bottom fourth of the nation's states.  Bills are being introduced to restructure state employee and  teacher retirement benefits in order to cut costs.  My contemporaries who served as teachers are terrified of losing their retirement income.  A close read of the two bills shows a study would be ordered to consider a hybrid retirement setup.  That hybrid would involve 401 K contributions from the employee as an option.  Nothing I read said anything about changing the plan for currently retired individuals.  I am not a lawyer so I cannot be certain I did not miss some loophole that the state could use to eliminate or reduce benefits.  My friend really wants the two bills pertaining to teacher retirement defeated as does the Retired Teachers Assn.

The 401 K savings account is a fairly typical approach to retirement in the business world.  It was scary when first introduced to the company for which we worked.  The company matched the first 4 % dollar for dollar and neither the company nor the employee paid tax at the time of saving.  We use the interest from these tax sheltered accounts for our major extra expenses.  Tax is paid on the money as we withdraw from the account.  With our current income level we get most of those taxes back after filing our tax return.

Our experience with the 401 K savings has been positive.  I surely understand the fears of us old retirees about our retirement income.  Not sure what the President and Congress will do to Social Security and Medicare.  The President says SS and Medicare will not be touched .  He has said and tweeted lots of stuff.  Many Republicans have been opposed to SS since its inception and want it abolished.  I really, really understand the teachers concerns as the same is being discussed at a national level.  Time will tell how it all works out for a while.  Then someone else will come along and just know for certain what will make 'it' all better.

Again I find myself typing while the TV is playing in the background.  The show I am half watching is on PBS, which is losing funding under the budget cuts, too.  The name of the program is 'Empire' produced by the BBC.  The episode is 5 of 5 covering the part of the British Empire in Africa.  Cecil Rhodes used the belief that the Anglo-Saxon race is "the first race in the world".  That sounds like the manifest destiny attitude that justified the decimation of the Native American culture of North America.

Thank goodness I will be able to walk.  Counting every other step, one, two, three ... one hundred, raise a finger.  One, two, three ... 'till I reach one full hand of out stretched fingers and thumb.  That gives one thousand steps.  Take the long way back to the apartment.  Counting and thinking.  Working through the issues.  Cause, that is how I keep going.  Walking is good.