Sunday, April 24, 2016

Well That Was Distateful....And Disappointing

Well, that was distasteful. The beauty of Netflix is that you can watch all sorts of things that you haven't seen in a long time and that you remember with amazing fondness. Things that you can't get on streaming but that are available on DVD.

We use Netflix streaming and Amazon Prime to it's fullest extent, but there are things that aren't available to stream or are $6 to watch once on Prime so we went back to Netflix DVD service as well. We ran the numbers on how much it would cost to have monthly DVD service in opposition to what we were paying when we rented new movies on Amazon Prime and it was a better deal to use Netflix.

OK, let's be honest, HHBL ran the numbers on that. We all know how I feel about math. It a necessary evil and something I do every day but it is stil a tool of Satan right along with liver and onions.

But I digress, sort of.

My DVD queue isn't all that long at the moment but it is growing. Movies that I remember with fondness will come to mind and if they aren't available on streaming then I put them on my DVD queue. I tend to run towards classics, things like Notorious, which I just watched last week. Most classic movies aren't available for streaming because, evidently, Ted Turner owns them all. Thanks Ted. At any rate I recently had the mini-series The Thorne Birds pop into my mind. Oh how I loved that 8 hour long star-crossed love story.

Or at least I thought I did.

A masterful 8 hours of mini-series melodrama straight out of the early 1980's. Family drama! Sexual tension! The wilds of Australia. Unrequited love! Or not so unrequited love it turns out. The Vatican. Brian Brown!! We all sighed when Richard Chamberlain was on the screen. So, I put it on my queue and watchhed as it slowly made it's way to the top. The first of the two DVDs arrived in the mail this week and I finally had time to watch the first DVD this afternoon.

I didn't even make it through the first two hours and it was for one particular reason. Between 1983 when the mini-series debuted and now, there has been the revelation of the Catholic priest sexual scandal. The minute Richard Chamberlain stairs lovingly into the eyes of 7 year old Meggie, it just felt really, REALLY off. So, so wrong and so, so creepy. And when he moves her into his house as a school girl, because the nuns are being mean to her. Just no, no, no, no, no. Heck, even the evil Barbara Stanwyk character sees what is going on.

I tried, I really tried. I just couldn't do it. It was distasteful. It wasn't so when I watched it on TV. It didn't seem so in my memory.

But it was.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Photo Cleanout: Begin As We Mean to Go On

Or, Vol 1 if you really want to be picky about it.

Remember years ago, I had the audacity to think that I could actually maintain TWO blogs at the same time. The 100 Days Cleanout was a fabulous idea.....that I only made it 45 days through. I KNOW! I am an overachieving idiot. I actually did clean things out for much longer than 45 days, or at least it seemed like it anyways. And I got rid of a vastly larger quantity of things than was represented in those 45 glorious posts. Believe me, when you downsize from a 5000 square foot house to a 2300 square foot house you can't take everything with you. Well, I suppose you can but we surely did not want to.

Our watchword from 2010-2013 was DOWNSIZE IT!

You can't take everything with you....except for photos. Remember BIMNISDS! That would be why I currently have 73,861 photos on my computer. That is the actual number, I just checked it. We aren't even talking about my external hard drive, which might not, at this moment anyway, be harboring as many photos as my computer is. I am going to be cleaning out photos until the day the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse come knocking on my door to let me know that the chaos is outside as well as inside. But, I have to start somewhere on this grand photo organizing adventure and this is it.

You see, I have to tell you something about myself. I know that there are many who would say, "Just start the project! Don't delay! Power up Lightroom and get things organized and keyworded and metatdataed and work through the deleting as you go."

Folks, I cannot work like that. It just isn't possible for me to do it that way. I am the sort of person who gathers all of her materials before she starts sewing. I am the person who has all of the ingredients for the recipe out on the counter, measured out into their own little bowls before I even power up the Kitchenaid.

Yes, I am that person. And because I am that person it is an impossibility of epic proportions for me to just power up Lightroom and add things to the cataloging system that is pure GENIUS before I have gone through and eliminated all the photos that I don't want to catalog. This is hardwired into my DNA.

SO, I think you should come along on the process with me. Who knows, I may blogfade on this idea in, oh, about 3.2 blog posts. OR, I might just keep going with this until all of you throw up your hands and yell, "STOP! Stop showing us these things. Our eyes are bleeding." I am going to try to put up one of these blog posts every week or so. I won't show you all the photos that I will be cleaning out, only the "gems" so to speak. The current crop are stored in a file on my computer that I am calling "Blog then delete".

I hope.

If you know me on a personal basis you know that there is no way I could ever have resisted taking a picture of this. I didn't buy it....although I wanted to very badly. I may however have put it up on Instagram.
 Hmmmmm, an artful picture of an onion, a knife and a cutting board. I just have no idea why.
I am obviously writing in my journal. I am also obviously cold as I have my Fetchings on. Other than that, I got nothin'

I think it was originally cottage cheese...or yogurt...or sour cream....or some science experiment from 2001 when I spent a year homeschooling Cartoon Girl. 

Baking gone terribly awry. I have no idea what these were even supposed to be. Did they taste good? What the heck happened?

Obviously an omelette. Obviously I made it. But why I thought I should take a picture of it is, at this time, unknown and shall remain so.

I am sad just looking at an entire jar of homemade yogurt splattered all over the garage floor. I do recall that I let Max the Magnificent take care of most of the clean up. He felt so healthy after.

 Obviously a path. I think at Sunny Lake. But why? Why?

I seem to be obsessed with Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, or at least taking pictures of them. Trying to go back to my childhood? No, that would be pictures of Peanut Butter and Banana sandwiches, the bane of my school lunches. Sorry mom, I hated them....and threw them out. I would rather go hungry.

Obviously a meeting. Where? Why? A mystery I choose not to solve.

 My shoe. At the Community Center. Not walking but sitting. I think I will call it, "A Still Life After Weight Lifting Pain."
I can't even.......

There. They are blogged. Now I can delete them. Only about 30K more to go.

Is that the Four Horsemen I hear? 

Saturday, March 26, 2016


Yup, still here.

Nope, can't seem to get myself back on the regular blogging schedule. I actually think this is because I sit at a computer for the "real" job and when I come home I just can't even contemplate powering up the big computer to blog.

I could blog while at work....of course now that I have said that the the cat would be out of the bag as the boss (aka HHBL) reads my little words here. And besides, I just basically don't have a spare moment during the work day to contemplate doing that. It is hard enough to get all of my tasks done on any given day.

But I have digressed right off the bat.

When I am able these days I am in the very beginning stages of a massive photo restructuring/moving/purging project. I know that this might come as a shock to some of you but.....I might have a few pictures on my computer. One might be able to legitimately call me a picture hoarder. That is the downfall of the whole taking all of my pictures digitally thing. It is so very, very easy to just keep everything, and I do mean everything. Up until the last year or so I have had a very difficult time with the whole "ruthlessly culling your pictures" concept because, you know,


For the uninitiated that would stand for But I Might Need It Someday Syndrome, a little known section of the ever growing pantheon of medical issues that we face in the digital age. I fight against my BIMNISDS tendencies every single day. HHBL brought home a back pack from a recent conference. He held it up and asked, "Do you think you could use......"

YES! said I, not even letting him finish his sentence and snatching the item from his hand because my my said, you know.......


I completely do NOT need a poorly designed and made backpack with the logo for HIMSS plastered on the front of it. After about a week BIMNISDS! had worn off and I was able to consign the now unwanted backpack to the ever growing pile for Goodwill. A small triumph over BIMNISDS! I work for those every day.

And now has come one of the biggest BIMNISDS! projects facing me....all the photos that reside on my computer. This is a tedious process because I do actually have to go through the photos one by one and decide if I need to keep one of the thousand photos I took of a particular thing.

You think I am exaggerating, I know you do. You would be wrong. And of course it isn't just that I have to go through each photo, it is that I also have to check first to see if they are in my Lightroom photo catalog system. They must be removed there and then moved or deleted. I haven't even THOUGHT about Photoshop Elements yet. There are so many parts to moving photos to an external hard drive or deleting them permanently. What a pain in the patookis. Not all photos should be deleted, many photos that are work related can be moved to my external hard drive for "off site storage" if you will. I still refer to those on occasion and there are many that I use. It is just that storage on the big computer isn't quite at critical mass stage but I see it coming down the pike if I don't do something. Once it is ALL done, just about the time of the Apocalypse, I will then import everything into my Lightroom catalog, tag all photos and add metadata.

See, big project. But I am starting small. I am starting with my iPhone pictures, of which there are many and some are just ones that I scratch my head and wonder why.
 Can someone explain to me why I took a picture of the groceries in my cart back in 2013? I am sure I had a reason, I always do, but for the life of me I can't remember why. This is a perfect illustration of my problem. I routinely download my iPhone photos into Dropbox and then onto my computer, where they then sit in perpetuity, no matter how mundane they are.

Begone nondescript picture of my shopping cart!

Now to get to the other 5200 photos in the iPhone download folder.

If I never show up again, you will know that my photos staged a revolt and I am no longer among the land of the living.

Wish me luck.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Bitty Bits of Blather

I really should do some kind of graphic for these....but where to find the time.

Did I digress already? Oops.

This week I learned, definitiely, that I have high blood pressure.


Oh, I knew this was coming, I just hoped that I was wrong. It has been sneaking up on me over time. Even 15+ years ago, when I would go to the eye doctor, my BP would be elevated a bit. I laughed it off because who really likes going to the eye doctor. Or any doctor for that matter. Then I finally got to the OB/GYN in December, and I gave them a reading that basically scared them a bit.

Then I had my colonoscopy....and I did it again. But it came down after they gave me the Fentanyl and so all was well.

And then I had my physical this week. I could feel my BP rising as I was driving there but I figured it was just a bit of "White Coat Fear". But I might have been wrong about that because WCF (which is a known effect by the way) would not have given off a BP that made the nurse look at me like she wanted to make sure that I still had the top of my head. Even sitting quietly in a room for 5 minutes with the BP cuff periodically taking a reading didn't bring the numbers down all that much.

So now I take BP medication and take my BP every morning. Yesterday morning and this morning it was down a bit so I guess the stuff is working. We will see.

This week I also had to admit that my cholesterol is not what is should be. I saw the number on Wednesday night and thought that I had somehow misread it. And by that I mean that it is a number that is less that 300 but more than 200 and that is all that I am going to say about it at the moment. There will be some dietary changes made, not that we eat unhealthy because really we don't. But butter and I are going through a trial separation at the moment. We won't even talk about my relationship with bacon.

Breaking up is so hard to do. I am also sure I will blog on it more indepth after Dr. M tells me that I will also have to go on meds for the cholesterol.


HHBL and I are off this weekend to spend two days just hanging with these people.

We are sometimes serious, I assure you, but these people are the reason why I would say that if you don't have a core group of friends who you are absolutely assured will laugh and cry with you, will tell you the truth when you are being a butthead and will love you no matter what....

Then you need to go out and find them right now and keep them in your life.

Maumee Bay State Park Lodge does not know what it is in for starting about 6:30p tonight.

This is what that stupid FitBit makes me do.

Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, I realized that I was exactly 200 steps shy of 10K for the day. Most sane people would say, "Hey, I did pretty well today! Made almost 10K steps. I will pat myself on the back and get in bed."

But not me. Oh no, I have to actually walk around my house, in my pjs, hoping that my neighbors don't wonder why I am wandering in seemingly aimless circles, so that I can get that happy little buzz on my left wrist that tells me that I have made it to 10K steps.

That thing isn't the boss of me! Nope, not at all.

I started knitting another baby blanket this week. Thank goodness I can do this now without really thinking about it because this is the fourth baby blanket THIS YEAR and I am getting a bit sick of them.

I know, I know. I said that I wasn't going to do anymore for a while but then I get the baby shower invitation for one of TMO's friends and, well, every baby needs a baby blanket that is knit with love. So there you are. And THEN TSiL's twin brother's wife had baby #2 last week and he will also need a blanket I am thinking. I so want to cast on a sweater. The swatch is done and I was spot on with the gauge (patting self on back) and the yarn is a lovely brown with copper highlights. But I have told myself very sternly that I cannot cast on until I have finished at least one of the baby blankets.

We all know what I am going to be knitting in the car on the way to Maumee.

We had snow this week. Next week it is supposed to be in the 60's.

It has been a crazy weather year. We haven't had any huge snow storms. We haven't had any really cold weather for long periods. I am not complaining but it has just been a strange weather year. Let's hope that Spring doesn't bring us an April like we had several years ago where it rained every. single. day.

Not fun.

Instagram. Because now, with the changes that Instagram has made, I can post to the THREE accounts that I am in charge of. Let's post ALL of the pictures from ALL of the things.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Lessons From the Inbox

A few weeks ago HHBL switched me from Pop! (whatever that means) to Exchange. The transition has gone well, most likely because I was already very familiar with Exchange and the whole if you delete it one place you delete it all the places thing.

But that is not what this is about. No my little email padawan, I want to speak about email management. 

I am, although I did not mean to be, an email hoarder.

I spent most of a Saturday morning working through all of the old emails that HHBL had saved for me from my old and now useless version of Outlook before the transition. Honestly, I don't think that I was really aware of just how many emails that I had laboriously stored in my email folder system and then had never gone back to look through. I might have found some emails that date back ELEVEN YEARS and didn't really have anything to do with my life now. They got "filed" and then slowly made their way to the bottom of the email pile, there to languish in email obscurity, presumably forever. They are now gone.

I might have found emails from Shoe Queen's high school detailing their new security measure....from 2008. I know that it was 2008, but I think I can let go of them now. Nor do I need to keep her college freshman class schedule. Being the child/adult that she is, she would send me an Excel spreadhseet with her semester class load. You have to love a child that values Excel. And she had the good sense to marry someone who is even more Excel mad than we are.

Do I need to keep all the emails dealing with the progeny weddings? I am thinking not. There were A LOT of those. Weddings take a great deal of planning and emails flew back and forth from Illinois to Ohio to Uganda to India to Pakistan and back again. I have culled them, kept info that might be useful and then hit that big old Delete button to send them out of here and into wherever old and unloved emails go. Is it outer space? It has been fun to read through some of the emails that the progeny and I send to each other. We often have strange and humorous email exchanges. My gut reaction is to keep ALL OF THEM JUST IN CASE as they are sort of like a letter conversation. But I did not.

I found a treasure trove of emails that my father had sent me. I had thought that most of them had been deleted long ago but that is not the case. It has been so nice, especially as last week would have been his birthday week.

The thing about all of this is, it has taken time to go through all of these emails. Time right now is a precious commodity for me. There just isn't quite enough of it sometimes to get to all the things that I want to do. So let this be a lesson to you.

Clean out your emails and your inbox and your deleted folders. Or else one day they will consume you.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Bitty Bits of Blather - All Over the Place

Look what I am bringing you!! Bitty Bits of Blather, which I haven't done is a boat load of time.

Can you have a boat load of time? Hmmmm.

At any rate, I am currently sitting in a hotel room, wrapped up in the bedspread and trying not to think about what might be ON the bed spread and if they have even washed the bedspread. The room is alternately just right and freezing, depending on where you are sitting. I have my feet propped up on the coffee table which puts the toes right in line with the A/C blowing, so I am wrapped up. Just what you want when visiting be cold.
Blather that is way better than watching a political debate.

Yes, we are traveling in Arizona at the moment. HHBL is speaking at a conference for the next day or so. I will actually be holed up in the hotel room today, cranking out work. I generally don't like to spend an entire day in a hotel room. It isn't a terrible hotel room but it isn't the Ritz either. Yes, I know what a Ritz Carelton hotel room is like cuz I have stayed in several. THAT is a story all by itself. Let me tell you that a RItz Carleton, especially up on the "Club Floor" is an experience like no other. Can you say, "Cookies all day long"? Can you say, "A room with TWO king sized beds and a balcony where, if you sleep with the doors open, you can hear the ocean waves clear as day". Can you say, "You can only get up to the floor if you have a special key for the elevator".

This hotel is not like that hotel.

But it will be fine for the next three nights.

Current Music Obsession: The Tenors

Oh my goodness. Why did I not know. How could I have missed. I have to back up a minute. I think sometime back I told you that one of my goals is to have played all of the music that I have in iTunes at least once. To have a "1" in the Times Played column. I have A LOT of music and so this is a big undertaking. But, I also work in an open office environment which means that at least some point during the day I have my earphone in so that I can concentrate on work and not hear the phone calls and conversations. So when that happens I open up iTunes, switch to the "Songs" view and look for music that doesn't have a number of any kind in the "Plays" column. That is how I came last week to be listening through an album (did I just date myself?) called "The Canadian Tenors" by The Tenors. I THINK that this particular album is one that came from my dad, it sounds like something that he would have liked, but I cannot be sure. The one thing that I do know is that I didn't buy it. I didn't even make it through all the songs before I went and purchased two more albums worth.

Total musical obsession.
You can thank me later.

A bit more on the FitBit. I both hate and love the thing. I hate the fact that it just hangs out on my wrist and waits for me to do something. I know it's there. It knows that I know. We have a stalemate at times. It is that silent yet nagging reminder that it is half way through my day and I only have 4000 steps to my name. It is that small knocking in the back of my brain that says, "Pssssst, you have been sitting at your desk for two hours. Get up off your big fat bahookie and take a walk."

I hate that whispering voice.

But I also love my FitBit for some of the same reasons. It reminds me that I have been sitting on my big fat bahookie for two hours (and sometimes more if I am really dialed in at work) and I need to get up and move. There is that happy little buzzing on my wrist when I hit 10,000 steps. I make my steps 5 days out of 7 and if I don't make it I don't sweat about it. 10,000 steps is a goal but not concrete daily thing.

And there is the fact that my resting heart rate has gone WAY down.

I guess we will stick together for awhile.

Winter has finally arrived in the Frozen Northeast Ohio......and we managed to avoid it by flying out the morning of the falling snow.

It is a tough job but someone has to do it.

This also means that I will now obsessively check the weather for what things will be like on the day that we fly back. I try not to worry about this because, in the wise words of the Russian spy in Bridge of Spies, "Would it help?" No, it won't help.

But you know me, I have to have something to worry about.

We have re-upped for the yearly Poultry CSA with Brunty Farms. They have gotten big enough that they can offer some different options as far as how many chickens and egg dozens you sign up for. 20 chickens is a bit too many for us, although we do love and eat a fair amount of chicken. So, I signed up for less chickens per month......

And I committed to half a pig. I KNOW! What the heck am I thinking. 

Oh I know what I was thinking. The thought of all that sausage and bacon and chops and roasts and other parts just overwhelmed me and I said yes before I could talk myself out of it. I can be fairly certain that we will not eat THAT much pork over the course of a year but we will see. There aren't too many things that are more yummy than pork on the grill in the summer.

I will keep you posted as to how it goes. We will get the pork in either Spring or Fall but I am not sure wish. I am so excited. 

Knitting Update. I know that you are dying for that.

It will be a long time before I knit another Baby Blanket, unless of course, that a grandchild arrives. NOT that I am putting pressure mind you. I knit three of them (baby blankets not grandchildren) in the space of 8 weeks and I don't think I can do another one for a while. They are pretty much "no think"  knitting as I watch TV or read, it is just that it was miles and miles and miles of Stockinette or Garter stitch or some combination. Mile and miles and miles. But new babies or soon to be new babies do need blankets and so....I was a baby blanket knitting fool.

Traveling means that I am knitting socks. I have a tradition that when I am sitting on the plane I start a new pair of socks. Since I am doing my second annual Mystery Sock Yarn project I don't actually know what I am going to unwrap until I actually open the paper bag. Knit Picks Felici in the colorway Wizard. Squee!! Obviously I knew that was one of the skeins that I wound up in December but I just love Felici. The stripes are so happy. I will be putting in afterthought heels in black and toes in black. Thankfully I had some black yarn that was hanging around in my sock knitting box bag.


When I get back from AZ I have yarn wound up to start another sweater. I have great sweater urges these days. Who wouldn't want to wear a war wool sweater that you have knit yourself.

There are several UFOs (unfinished objects) that I need to work on but I look at them and go, "Meh" so I am thinking that they are still going to be sitting in the UFO bin for a while longer. I will get to them eventually.

And then there is the never ending sock yarn blanket that I would really like to finish some time this year.....or decade. Why do I take on these projects?

Usually this last one is a bunch of Instagram photos. However, I am using my work computer so I don't have access to my personal Dropbox so you are out of luck. I will leave you with a picture that I took this morning of a fellow in the apartment across the way from our hotel, who was very happily taking his morning toke before going off to work.

Who would ever see him out on his own balcony indulging in his morning "pick me up" before going off to work.

Who indeed.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

This Thing is NOT the Boss of Me.

I bought myself a little "gift" last month. I wasn't going to buy this thing that many other people already have. I hate doing what the crowd does. I don't like going with the general flow. I choose to be an outlier. That must be why I have gray hair that you can take from me only when you can pry it from my cold, dead follicles.


Off topic. Getting back on topic.

So, I have been to three different doctors in the past 2 months to check up on and look at and scope out various things. I went to see Dr. O'Brien about the lump that is on my left arm, right below the elbow. It has been there for, oh heck I have no idea how long. It is in a weird place and I just didn't notice it. But when I the doc I went. He looked at it, wiggled it a bit and said, "It's just a lipoma. If you were a member of my family I would just tell you to leave it alone."

OK. I am good with that. I have named him Reginald. He has been asking for an Instagram account of his own but I have resisted.....for the moment. HOWEVER, now that Instagram will let me toggle between up to 5 different accounts I might have to rethink this.

Then there was the Colonoscopy. No need to discuss that further, you can read all about the colonic antics on that blog post.

Then there was the quick and precise gynecological exam with Dr. B. 

Dr. B: How have you been?

Me: Fine. Can't complain.

Dr. B: Strip down and lets see what's what. No uterus. Check! No cervix. Check! Still have knobbly boobs. Check! Here is your order for a mammogram. I am moving to Florida. See one of my colleagues when you come in next year.

Dr. B is a woman of few words.

The mammogram doesn't need to be described either. I know I have a blog post about mammograms in general but I can't find it at the moment and my "Gigantic Excel Spreadsheet of ALL the Blog Posts" isn't done yet. Let it just be said that if men had to have the equivalent of a mammogram on their peckers then someone would come up with a less painful mammogram. I'm jusyin'. I will also say that I "failed" that mammogram and there was all the, "Oh you have to now have the more extensive mammogram because we don't have your old films and we don't like that thing that we are seeing." And the, "We called University for the old films and they don't have them and don't know you." To which I replied, "I will call them and we will see." Which I did and low and behold they DID have the old films which they sent to Cleveland Clinic where the radiologist promptly looked at them and said, "Nah, she doesn't need further tests. Her breast have always been this weird and knobbly."

The common thread through all of this little medical journey weight and my blood pressure. My weight is my weight and I am not telling you what it is and no I will not EVER diet again. My blood pressure was....elevated. Some of that has to do with the fact that when you come at me with a blood pressure cuff my BP shoots up just to be contrary. Darn BP. And some of it was not for that reason.

That is what it took for me to buy a FitBit. The fact that my blood pressure wasn't just a bit on the higher range. It was high. And I hate taking pills. And I don't like medication. And when someone tells me that I HAVE to take medication I become so non-compliant. Hey Mom, I bet you never knew that I took myself off of the Prednisone and Anadrol when I was so sick in High School, LOOOOOOONG before the docs said to taper down.

SO non-compliant. Well, all except for if I have a bladder infection. THEN I am compliant to a fault.

But when all of the medical sites that talk about what to do about elevated blood pressure tell you that upping your exercise might help....I finally had to listen. I cut down on the amount of coffee, or actually just switched to half caff and got to walking. AND lifting weights. I know, that one is still funny to me. Believe me when I tell you that I am a noodlearmed 90 pound weakling when it comes to the weight machines. But I still do them. And I am managing, not every day but most days, to get my ten thousand steps in. It usually entails being on the treadmill at 6a for 30 minutes and then another 30 minute walk when I am at work. For about the first three days I also wore it at night so that it could record my sleep. However, I have put the kabosh on that because I really don't need for it to tell me that I slept poorly and dreamed about folding stacks of tissue paper and exploding composting toilets.

That happens to everyone right? If I actually told you what some of my dreams are about you would run screaming.

But on SUNDAY I don't wear the thing because......


On Sunday that is. Every other day of the week it is kicking my big fat bahookie.