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Monthly Archives: July 2017

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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New Dilemma (Of course!)

Okay, so now that I am crazy excited about my journal project, and adding pages every day, I have a new dilemma.

I shared with you the Canon “Selphy” I’m printing photos on at home, right?

I was running out of paper and ink for my canon “selphy” and got on Amazon to order more. In the process I ran across the newer version. Mine is a CP910, and there is now a CP 1200. So, of course, I had to check it out, right?

Yikes.

You’ll perhaps remember that my biggest concern was that the only way to print from the “selphy” was by way of the iPhone. It couldn’t be used with the computer, thus effectively taking the majority of my photos out of play. None of the photos I take with my “big” camera can be printed using the “selphy.” So, if I want to use them, I have to have them printed professionally. Not a HUGE problem, but certainly not as convenient as doing them myself at home. And, as I mentioned in an earlier post, if I want to do small prints (2×3) I have to order 4 of each, rather than being able to print 4 different photos on one sheet on the “selphy.”.

So. The 1200 has the ability to interface with the computer. Woohoo!

I’d love to step up the drama and make like this is a big decision. But, hey. No brainer, right?

Yup. Gunna do it.

Now the only question is do I want the case, too?

So Here’s How It’s Supposed To Work…

So, you know I’m infatuated with my new journal project.

And you know I’m trying to go back and catch it up from the first of the year.

And you know that I’m working on it almost daily.

Well, in a perfect world, each day would get done at the end of the day, but it hasn’t been a perfect world.

HOWEVER, it ALMOST happened. Just missed by a day.

Yesterday I took the darlings to the Jelly Belly Factory. I took photos and brought home a hat and some stickers to use as embellishments. But by the time evening rolled around I was just too beat to get the day documented.

So I did it today! Yay! Just got out my Selphy printer, printed up the photos and got it done!

Plus I even worked backwards and made a bit more progress toward catching up.

On another note, I was a very bad girl and bought a bunch more washi tape (it is PERFECT for this project!) and ordered (and received) 3 more little suitcases from Queen and Co. for storing it. It’s more storage than I need for now, but I’m afraid they won’t be around forever (in fact, I couldn’t find them on Queen’s site and had to order from Amazon!) That brings me to 10 little suitcases, and I’m going to try VERY hard to live within that space.

For you washi freaks, Tim Holtz just did a release of  4 (at least) tubes of awesome tape that is right up my creative alley. I ADORE it. And yes, I bought all 4. And had there been 10, I would have bought all 10. I am THAT crazy.

 

The Journal is Actually Happening!

I’m happy to report that my super duper deluxe journal project is actually a real thing!

I’ve been spending time working on the dates and making notes for “catch up” pages, even dabbled a little with a few pages, but until a few days ago, I hadn’t actually completed one.

 

Part of the problem was figuring out how to do photos for it, or even if I SHOULD. Regular 4×6 photos are okay if you only have one or two for a day, but for this format, smaller photos are more practical, and if you’re having them printed, 2x3s come on a sheet of four and are significantly more expensive than 4x6s. And then, do you even need photos for a journal? But with this large format, I was thinking yes.

Awhile back (like maybe YEARS) I got a Canon Selphy photo printer. I played with it a little bit, but never did really use it. I decided to pull it out and relearn to use it for this project, but hadn’t taken the time to do it. Until today. I had a day with no kids, and no MAJOR projects I needed to take care of, so I went for it.

I made a few mistakes along the way, wasting both ink and photo paper, but I’ve got a pretty good handle on it now. Hopefully, I’ll continue, and it will be less time consuming not having to “re-learn” every time I get it out!

And, ta-da! An actual completed page!

And another one!

And another one! Woohoo! I’m on a roll!

And yet another one!

Well, ALMOST finished! Still needs a little work down there in the right hand bottom corner!

Now my next issue (and there’s ALWAYS an issue with me, isn’t there?) is that there does not seem to be a way to print from my computer, just my phone. And if the desired photo is not on the phone there seems to be no easy way to get it there. In my “free time” (Bwahahahahahahaha!) I’ll keep researching.

LISTEN UP APPLE! If you want to add something amazing to the iPhone 8, add that capability!!!

So. I’m not taking a victory lap just yet. A few completed pages do not a 365 day journal make. But, I’m working on it, making progress, working out bugs, and over-coming difficulties without giving up. For me, that’s HUGE.

 

 

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Hannah’s Big Adventure (part two)

When we were planning the trip we put a lot of thought into whether to fly coach or business class on the long leg of the trip. Domestically we almost always fly a bargain carrier. But when we fly long distances, we almost always fly business class so we have the opportunity to rest and not lose time when we reach our destination. We are cranky travelers, and the times we’ve flown coach, we’ve lost a day or two of our trip recovering. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Heeheehee!) But Mr. Tattered was concerned about totally spoiling the child. She said, “But, Da, if we fly business class I will get a taste of what I can have if I work hard in school and get a good job!” How can you argue with THAT kind of logic?

So business class it was. She took to it like a duck to water!

We woke up just in time to land in Quito, Ecuador.

Da had booked a tour guide to show us the highlights of the city. We had a great day going on the tram to the top of the mountain,

followed by a drive around the area, a stop at his favorite place to get empanadas and ice cream, to the crater of **** volcano

and to the museum at the equator. All along the way our guide told little stories about the city, educated us about the flora and fauna, and taught us a little Spanish.

 

 

We crammed a lot into one day!

The next morning we hit the airport again to head to Baltra and the beginning of our Galapagos adventure.

As you’ll remember, Mr. Tattered and I had been to the Galapagos before. But most of the stops on this trip were not duplicates, so we were looking forward, not only to seeing the islands through Hannah’s eyes, but to seeing some new things ourselves.

Day one was spent getting moved into our new digs, our home away from home for the next six days, on the “Silver Galapagos,”

familiarizing ourselves with the ship, attending a safety briefing, and learning the ropes of the buffet. (Which I might mention, was pretty impressive for a small ship.) Where our first trip to the Galapagos was pretty primitive, this was quite a bit more luxurious. I felt a tad bit guilty about enjoying the luxury, but what can I say? Mr. Tattered didn’t want to “rough it” again, and who am I to question his judgement? Heeheehee! We were off to a good start.

The section of the Galapagos we were about to see is called the North Central area, and encompasses the islands of Genovessa, Seymour Norte, Santiago, Santa Cruz, Española, and San Cristóbal.

I have spent many hours whittling down photos from about 3,000 to just over 700. I’ll save the ones that didn’t make the cut on the original camera cards, but they just can’t be on the computer or in scrapbooks. Before I print them, I’ll attempt to thin them even more. Sometimes when I let a few months go by, it gets a little easier. You would think that once you’ve seen one blue-footed boobie, you’ve seen them all, but each photo captures them just a little differently.

How I’m going to decide which ones to show you is beyond me. So I guess I’ll just jump in and make a selection that tells the story, and we’ll see what happens!

Galapagos 2017

 

Hannah decked out and ready to explore!

 

The Zodiac was our mode of travel to and from the ship.

Red-footed Boobies

A species we didn’t see last time and didn’t even know existed!

 

Nazca Boobies

 

Our favorite, Blue-footed Boobies

Mating ritual

 

Photographing the Sally Lightfoot Crabs (love them!)

 

 

A Frigate with his wares on display!

One of many beautiful sunsets

Land iguana

Small marine iguana

They like to huddle for warmth.

Photographing is fun because the animals have no fear of humans

Albatross – Hannah got an eyeful of THEIR mating habits!

At the fish market, the critters hang out waiting for scraps!

Swimming with the sea lions!

 

The sea lions pretty much own the place!

Lots of nursing pups

And, finally, the tortoises

 

Playing with a shell…

…and her best turtle face!

All too soon, it was time to head back to civilization…

Hope you enjoyed our little tour! If the Galapagos are not on your bucket list, you might want to add it. It is a unique experience, and we’ve just touched on the highpoints – WAAAAAAY more to see!

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