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Out of Africa!

It’s hard to believe it’s been over a month since I last posted. But here we are.

The week before we left on vacation, I was up to my eyeballs getting ready to leave, and now we’ve been out of the country on the adventure of a lifetime!

It was one of those fabulous vacations that you are so glad you went on, but are so happy to have over!

Africa is an amazing place, but part of what makes it what it is, is that it is so hard to get to, and a challenge once you’re there, at least for us, shall we say, mature folks. Old age ain’t for sissies, and neither is going on safari for 12??? days, 8-10 hours a day, on dusty washboard roads, day after day, sleeping with one eye open because wild animals are right outside your hard-sided tent, trying to remember not to put your toothbrush under the tap because you’ll come down with God knows what intestinal distress, and getting it anyway because you forgot the fresh tomato sandwich you had every day (for lack of a better choice) are grown in the same filthy water.  Add to that, being vegetarian in a country that doesn’t really understand what that means, concerns over potential side effects of malaria medication, and packing up every 2 or three days to go to yet another camp…It was interesting, educational, thrilling, exciting, and HARD!

I’m pretty sure Mr. Tattered is through with expedition type vacations, but fortunately I can’t think of any I’m dying to take, so I think we’re okay. China, Cambodia and Vietnam (set for next fall) seem pretty tame in comparison.

So. Now I need to figure out how to convey the spirit of the trip in as few posts as I can, so I don’t bore you to death.

This was one of our sunset photos, one of my favorite non-animal photos of the trip!

Hopefully by tomorrow I’ll have a set of gorilla photos ready to go!

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Our New Addition

When we were in Springdale, just outside Zion National Park, we couldn’t help but be drawn to a gallery with amazing wind sculptures all around the building.

We’d seen them before, in South Lake Tahoe, but we couldn’t quite take the leap then.

This time we did.

There were so many to choose from we had a hard time deciding which one we wanted. After changing our minds several times, we placed an order to have it shipped home.

It took a few weeks, but it finally arrived.

It was packed really well, but still had a couple of little bent spots we were able to reshape.

I don’t think we realized when we bought it that there was quite an installation process, including sinking the pole into a 24″ hole filled with concrete. We have terrible soil – hard pan – which is not easy to dig through. It was a hard, dirty job, but we did it.

It was so exciting to get it in place!

We’ve taken to spending a little time almost every evening sipping a glass of wine…

and watching it spin. It can be a bit mesmerizing…

You can find a little video of the awesomeness here:

https://www.facebook.com/tatterednworn/

 

Checking In with Lori Mitchell

When we last talked about my infatuation with Lori Mitchell figurines, I had ordered a Nativity set and a couple of “non-girly” pieces Hannah wanted for “her” figurines.

They arrived awhile back, but it’s taken awhile to get unpacking them to the top of the priority list.

I vacillated back and forth about whether or not to show them to you now, or wait ’til the season, but I couldn’t wait. They’re sitting out on the counter totally out of place, so I thought I’d better photograph them, then tuck them away until their “season” comes up. So, as long as I’m taking photos, I thought I may as well share them with you!

Turns out Hannah wasn’t as impressed as she thought she’d be. The turkey is too fat…

and “Bat Boy’s” belly is sticking out. I could swear I showed them to her before I ordered them, but she must not have been paying attention.

I just LOVE the Nativity set.

I’ve spent years trying to find just the right one, but never found one that was grown up enough while still having a “look” I was nuts about and didn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for. Then I found this, and I’m happy with it!

 

 

 

 

 

I hope she adds some more critters as time goes by, but at least the basics are here.

I have a friend who grew up with a Nativity set that had Baby Jesus as a separate piece, and they didn’t put Him in until Christmas morning. I like the idea, but alas, in this set he’s attached. I’m trying to figure out if I could separate Him from Mary without damaging them…We’ll see.

 

One Obsession Leads To Another

So.

I’m obsessed with my giant journal. I just LOVE the format, and I’m doing a pretty good job of keeping up on it (by my horrendously low standards.)

I’m only missing a few days in July, and I’m making nearly daily progress getting caught up with the earlier part of the year where I’m having to go back and reconstruct what happened.

Vacation days and special occasions are pretty easy because there are photos to jog my memory,

 

but normal days aren’t as hard as I thought they would be because I have Facebook notes to fall back on, credit card statements to show where I’ve been, and notes on our regular calendar.

 

 

Did you happen to notice along the edges of the pages, the decorative stripes? This is washi tape, and it’s become a staple on this project. I use it on every single page. You could say I’ve developed a “style.”

That wasn’t my intention. I just did the first page using it, and I liked it so much I don’t want to do a page without it.

And thus was born another obsession. Well. It wasn’t BORN here. I already had noticed I seemed to be accumulating a lot of it. I purchased cute little boxes to store it in…first 3, then 8, then 10. I made myself stop there.

I was buying multiple little packages of tape at a time.

They are just so darn CUTE!

But it went from being something I bought every once in awhile, to what is becoming a full blown, “crack-addict” obsession. I can’t walk into a craft store without heading to the washi section, and now I’m buying multiple large tubes at a time instead a few little packages. What kind of an industry preys on people’s weaknesses like this???

I wish I could tell you this was the only time I did this, but it’s not. There are more.

And yeah, the 10 boxes? Truth be told, this last orgy of buying pretty much filled them and then some. I’m going to have to order more before I can’t find them. Queen and Co. (the people who came out with them) don’t have them on their website any more, so I have to go to Amazon and HOPE they’re still available. But how many more? 3? 5? Sweet Jesus, I can’t keep doing this. Seriously.

I have to have tape for every theme known to man, and if I can’t find anything, I become agitated. I’ve taken to doing google searches to locate obscure companies hoping to find what I’m looking for.

Every once in awhile, there is none to be found. Like volleyball tape. Can’t find it. So I had to improvise, using nondescript tape and adding stickers.

The lengths an addict will go to.

The good news is, I’m using it, not just collecting it, which is pretty much what I was doing before starting this project.

So, I’m off to buy more cases. But no more tape. Not tonight, any way.

 

 

 

 

When It’s Good It’s Great…

…but when it’s not? It can leave you pulling your hair out!

What are we talking about today?

Well, let’s start with from the beginning.

You remember a few days ago when I was talking about my frustration that you can only print photos on the Canon Selphy from an iPhone, not the computer? And that is problematic for me because so many of my photos are from my DSLR camera and stored on the laptop? And then as I was researching, discovered the newer model of Selphy WILL let you print from the computer, so I ordered it?

Well, it arrived today. A bigger than expected box with the Amazon logo that makes my heart go pitter patter.

I could hardly wait to open it and get to work!

Five  hours later I’m ready to either chuck it out the window or do myself great bodily harm.

For those of us who are not terribly tech savvy, words like “access point” need to be defined, so I didn’t get off to a good start. But before I went sideways, I kept my cool and figured it out. It took awhile, but I actually got the Selphy running and ready to print. I have to admit I felt a sick bit of pride that I was able to do it by myself!

Then one of my biggest frustrations with technology reared its ugly head. Not all apps are available for both iPhones AND laptops. PicStitch is one of them, and without a collage app, I’m high and dry. So to make the best of an bad situation I figured I’d try just printing 4x6s and see what happens.

It was not pretty. I can print, (not wirelessly, but connecting the computer to the printer with a cord, which is fine) but it was of a small portion of the side of my son’s head.

The 4×6 was just a small section of the much, much larger photo, and I’ll be darned if I can figure out how to make it small.  Still, I was keeping it together.

Grrrrrrrr. I researched for another hour or so, but couldn’t come up with an app that is NEARLY as user-friendly as PicStitch. Lots of trial and error.

So, plan (what are we on now, “C”?) I go back and try to set the printer up to just run from the phone, and I can’t get the phone to communicate with the printer. More trial and error and FINALLY I realize it is trying to connect to the old 910, instead of the new 1200. I was so frazzled I couldn’t figure THAT out. That’s when I came close to losing it. I just sat there for a few minutes, head in hands. Got myself under control, and set about starting over. MORE wasted time, but once again, got it working.

Mr Tattered thinks I should send it back, but I already told my daughter she can have the old one (and she’ll use it) so I’ll keep it, and keep trying to find an app that will do what I need it to do. Or, try moving photos from the computer to the phone. I’ll figure something out.

Anyway. Technology. Like I said, “When it’s good, it’s great, but when it’s not?” There’s not REALLY a bald patch, but it FEELS like there should be!

I have a stubborn streak a mile wide, and I don’t like to accept defeat, so I’m guessing you haven’t heard the last from me on this subject. But for today, I give.

Oh, and btw, Apple, I know I said it before, but I’ll say it again…if you want to come up with a sure-fire way to get me to pop for an iPhone 8, make it so you can download photos ON to it as easily as you can take them off!

 

 

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Time Flies!

It seems like no matter what, fun, drudgery, hard work, time flies. The days are racing by at an alarming speed, and there just doesn’t seem to be any way to slow it down.

Time has become a very valuable commodity, and I find myself using it less wisely than I should.

I give myself conflicting messages –

“Be careful how you spend your day, for you are exchanging a day of your life for it.”

OR

“Wasting time isn’t wasted time, if you’re enjoying it.”

So what’s a person to make of that?

It’s like on the one hand I’m wanting to have something tangible to show for my time at the end of the day, and on the other, being perfectly content visiting friends and reading on Facebook, playing spider solitaire, word connect and toy blast (yes, I’m up to 4 different ways to waste time now) and puttering at nothing in particular.

And why am I thinking about this again, now?

I know the answer to that. My journal. Yep, it’s got me thinking about how I’m spending my time.

Now that I’m writing it down, I’m becoming more aware of just what a “time waster” I’ve become.

If it’s a day when there is focus (like going to the Jelly Belly Factory,) I’m fine.

But if it’s a day when I’m left to my own devices, I do a lot more time “wasting.” Most minutes are filled with SOMETHING. I can hardly STAND to just sit and do nothing. But, I’ve become complacent about what kind of “something” I’m doing. I’ve somehow convinced myself that as long as I’m doing something that involves even the slightest amount of concentration, it is exercising my brain, and therefore beneficial.

So I’m spending way too much “exercising my brain,” and not much else. What good does an exercised brain do when your body is WAAAAAY under exercised, your house is a disaster area, and unfinished projects are stacking up?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a total “no-load.” I do a good job (or at least reasonably good) at caring for the kiddles. We generally have a game plan, things we want to accomplish (workbooks, reading, science projects.) But those don’t always need MY attention, and it’s that downtime I’m concerned about, along with the time I’m at home on my own.

It is easy for me to justify popping onto the computer to fool around, because I can go back and forth without skipping a beat, unlike most projects which require more concentration. But that’s not going to work on two different fronts. 1) It is “using up” bits and pieces of time without accomplishing a thing, and 2) it’s sending the wrong message to the kids about how to use time appropriately. Right?

So how can I make “better” use of those random minutes – those little blocks of 10 minutes here, and 10 minutes there. Well duh. One pops to mind right off the top of my head…MOVE. How about if I used that time just to walk around the house?

I’m having a terrible time getting in 10K steps a day. So I’m going do a little experiment. I’m going to set the timer for 10 minutes, and see how many steps I get if I just walk around until it goes off. Back in 10.

Tada! 967 steps. Color me amazed. If I did that every time I knew I had 10 free minutes coming up, I’d have my steps in every day – early!

And then there are my simple projects that don’t require a lot of supplies. Even my journal, if I put together a really basic “go bag,” could be worked on for a few minutes at a time.

It pretty much boils down to those lists I have a love/hate relationship with. I use them for a few days in a spurt, then I fall off the wagon again.

So, I can either keep doing what I’m doing and be upset with myself, or put together a plan (again) and start working it.

Then, just about the time I get headed in the right direction, it’ll be time to leave on our next adventure, and I’ll be out of the habit AGAIN…good grief. I just can’t win for losing!

So what’s it going to be? Give up before I get started, or at least give it a try?

As exhausting as it is, I’m going to try again. And again. And again.

Every day is a new beginning. Right? Let’s drink to THAT!

On To The Summer Tree

As sad as it is to see the 4th of July tree come down,

 

time waits for no woman, and summer is flying by. So, if I’m going to do a summer tree (and I really want to!) it needs to happen sooner rather than later.

Today is the day.

I’ve been collecting little bits and pieces for months, and it isn’t easy (or at least it wasn’t at first.) Year ’round trees are not yet a “thing.” I think I am either ahead of the power curve on this, or there IS no power curve, and I’m in my own little world here. It wouldn’t be the first time, and I’m sure it won’t be the last!

I had purchased a lemonade stand,

a bar-b-que,

and a patio chair to add to the metal ants I already had,

plus a cute sign to stand next to the tree, and a plaque to use as a tree topper, but I was still feeling frustrated that I hadn’t found more.

Then I discovered the Mary Englebreit Studio m collection of figurines designed for embellishing “fairy gardens” at our local Green Acres (where I was buying succulents for my garden – funny how easily I get distracted!) All I needed was a roll of thin gold braid, and the transition to “ornament” was easily accomplished. I was on my way!

So now I have fairies,

 

 

watering cans,

topiaries, a bench, a gardening bag, flowers growing on a trellis…I guess these things COULD be used on the spring tree, but we’ll go for summer for now. I still need a garland (I’m thinking of making one out of baker’s twine and triangle flags) and WAAAAAAAY more ornaments.

Oh, and I ordered 4 more fairies that I was unable to find locally!

I’m  thinking I still need flip-flops, popsicles, slices of watermelon…the options are nearly endless. I just need to FIND them! Or make them (I know, what are the chances?!) But it’s a start. And starting is always a good thing!

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