Friday, April 26, 2019

Honest Memories

I spent a small fortune to have a dozen video (VHS) tapes converted digitally for preservation this past month.  (HA! Like converting them to X's and O's makes them safe from destruction!) I had not looked at these tapes for years even though we have saved an old TV that has a VHS player built in.  I still have more than a dozen more, but need to save up money to have them converted in the fall.

They packed the tapes very well upon return and then inside a tiny gray envelope taped to the inside top of the box I got this below!  The black item above is the normal "thumb drive" that you can get at the drug store or office supply store which I placed next to the actual memory device I got.

That little tiny silver item is the "pinky" drive they sent me with about a dozen 10-minute movies on it.  I am wondering if I need to paint it red to keep from losing it!  I did not know they made memory sticks this tiny.  It seems like a rather jarring representation of your life (in movies) of Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas mornings and vacation trips.  This is what we have been shrunk to.  Talk about feeling like insignificant stardust!

I also heard my "leadership" voice-over as I got people organized or explained what was being recorded authoritatively.  I am sad to say that I was (probably still am) a bit annoying with my desire to capture it all.  Maybe you can remember hearing your recorded voice for the first time and wondering why you sounded so different.  Well, this was even more "enlightening."  I felt like apologizing to everyone in the movie.  Oh well.  If we saw ourselves as we really are, we would be much more perfect.

Now I have to find some movie software to work on these files and give them some headings and historical context (if I can stand listening to my voice).  I used to work with something years ago, but remember I hated working with movies...maybe there is something cheap and quick out there.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Saving Life

Over 30 years ago, and I have written about this before, I used to send out research articles to agriculture scientists on "greenhouse gases" and "greenhouse warming." At that time, many of the articles said we had about 15-20 years to turn this situation around.  We were creating a warming of the planet by releasing fossil fuels that had been captured for millions of years.  That was back in 1989 and people who were busy with their lives ignored it. It was before the Internet became so easily available, mostly government and universities were beginning to get access to databases...not the common man.  Therefore, most people did not read these articles, besides they were boring.

Yesterday I was watching Fareed Zakaria's television show which appears twice on Sundays on CNN. (Avoiding the drumbeat of this divisive administration that CNN loves to pound.)  He manages to capture hugely important issues and condense them to five-minute reports, for those of us who missed the issue.  He has a truly global perspective which our tribal views may miss.

Yesterday Zakaria interviewed an author about a book written 30 years ago on climate change.  "The End of Nature," considered by some to be the first book on climate change.    This author now has a new book out titled "Falter."

Today is Earth Day...please honor it in some way that is environmental.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Good Morning

Awfully busy but also spending time with my camera outdoors instead of blogging or reading your blogs. I will be back sooner rather than later. (Note the plants I am putting in pots for the Plant Sale.)

Sunday, April 14, 2019

You Are a Fly on the Wall

(Background to the text messaging below.  S is a former colleague where I worked prior to retirement.  We are not super close, but last year I said I would invite him to our house in April...which I never did.  He HAS been here a few years ago.  The text message that I refer to below left off with that invite.)

saw you were online and thought to say hello

Hello! Saw my message above and feel guilty about not making arrangements for having you guys come canoe or boat. Are you interested?

oh, I will ask the wife
I am, but not sure how excited she would be
she liked it before

We could do hiking in the local park instead??

she is a slow walker
canoeing might be better

ooookaay. Check for an April weekend and will see if we can coordinate.

I will ask her right now


well, she is on phone
I will ask when she gets off
what have you guys been up to

No problem. I am off to do lots of laundry today. Was up in the city to meet up with my brother and sis in law and then babysat grandkids. Now a bit exhausted with a looong list of errands.

my experience is that one gets busier after retirement
not a bad thing, just doing more of what you like I planted radish and collard sees in garden last weekend

Actually I loved Jan. because I did not have much to do! I am behind on seed planting although husband has the spring garden seeds in.

I have much to do to get mine ready
including new fencing to keep out deer
My flower beds need wedding and then mulching....


I am working on a free software setup for our mastergardener volunteers, I need to call window cleaners, I have to clean the bird bath, move the outside plant shelf, get the wood off the porch, do some more detail stuff for our visa to China, take my car up for an environmental check....

Sharon says she is "not opposed" to being on the water
not a huge ringing endorsement of the idea, but she is onboard (so to speak)

motor boat or canoe?
Second weekend in April??

that would work
canoe is OK with me. Sharon will be alright with it.
I will get her exercising more in the coming weeks to get ready

Ok. Lets set the 14th for and let me know if you are planning on staying overnight.

oh, 14th
I was confusing with the weekend before
yes, that will be fine
I will get back to you on the overnight
we would probably come back home

Ok. Going to pull laundry out of the dryer.

alright, let us talk again

APR 1, 2019, 11:57 AM

Looks like our painter is coming on Saturday, so we have to be here for that. What about Sunday?

APR 1, 2019, 2:33 PM

Sorry, I got confused. We scheduled for next weekend? That would be the 13th??

SUN 7:28 PM

yes, I was thinking we would come next weekend
13th? your painter coming on 12th?
let me know when we should show up

MON 8:28 AM

Let me get back to you this afternoon as I am off this morning to help some children learn how to size oyster spat! This week is full!

MON 2:50 PM

13th is fine. We have been juggling repair projects. You can come down anytime you get here, but let us make sure we keep an eye on the weather!!

MON 6:11 PM
yes, ma'am
so, late morning/early afternoon. it will take us about 2 hours, I think, to get there

It takes us 1 1/4 hours from (suchandsuchcity), IF there is no real traffic problem.

we live a little further, so probably will take two hours
I will talk to wife and see how soon she wants to wake up. She sleeps in a bit

Whatever works for you. We can keep up-to-date by phone or text.
We are now sitting in the dark due to the storm!

TUE 9:23 AM
do you use gmail? you can get in touch with me via Hangouts

TUE 11:05 AM
I do not use Hangouts, too much info to them, but I do have I have several IM apps and they confuse the hell out of me!

TUE 5:55 PM
I will use your email
At a meeting now, but have some questions for you tomorrow!

WED 12:38 PM

I will be outside this afternoon, but have my phone with me.( ###-###-####)

Chat Conversation End

For further information, these friends are also vegan and that means a shopping trip for food for me or a study of best restaurants.  After watching the rains the night before and morning phone call on the day of the meet up we decided, since it was raining off and on all weekend, we would postpone...but no future date has been set.  I am thinking the wife is very relieved and we may not revisit this again.....

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Who Am I? Thursday Thirteen

I am the old lady with the wind-blown gray-white (fuzzy) hair standing on her deck in that soft spring sunshine and seeing the first bumblebee of the season hovering around the citrus trees which are in bloom and recently moved from inside my house.

I am the old lady that talks to the bee encouraging him not to give up in his search for the Kafir lime blossoms and the Meyer lemon blossoms that are tiny and hidden within the waxy green leaves of the branches. He does give up and heads into the strong breeze, but I have not given up hope that he will be back.

I am the old lady that talks to the birds telling them her deck feeder has been taken down as the weather has warmed and they need to go the feeders in the yard or fend for themselves.  I watch as they come to the window and cock their heads in frustration like children I have put on a diet.

I am the old lady that gets such a pleasure from completing her lists and then makes more lists!  What is up with that?

I am the old lady that embraces the term Nonna, and I have never felt dread in reaching that honorific.  

I am the old lady that swears on rare odd occasions and my husband is surprised as I never used to do that in my younger years.  I explain to him that my frontal lobe is shrinking.

I am the old lady that sees the world and the reason for living in a much different perspective and very sharp vision, as the world turns a bit faster and I like to share this discovery with others, even though they may find it a bit tiring.  

I am the old lady that gets more compliments these days and respects them less because people are always complimenting old folks the elderly because they are on the doorstep of death, which can be frightening to the one giving the compliment and perhaps thinking it is a way of warding off evil and slowing their own approach to my domain.

I am the old lady that has no fear in wading into politics but knows that anger only fuels those who are fearful, ignorant, and unable to see both sides.  One must be calm and carry on while showing data.

I am the old lady that looks back on youth and wonders why she did not see that she was attractive in her youth and why she focused on stuff that made no difference in the grand scheme of things.

I am the old lady that admits she has regrets but files them away to selectively pull out when her grandchildren reach their teenage years, as one of mine has!

I am the old lady that has the wisdom to realize how rare it is to be married to someone who sees the joy in observing 4 Ospreys in flight high against a clear spring blue sky, or two male mallards fighting over a female near the shoreline, or two green leaves emerging from a pot, and calls to me on his cell phone to share.

I am the old lady who realizes she is one of the millions and throws wide her arms to an old lady sisterhood.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Linda Got it Right!

How appropriate that Linda Letters got 110% on my guessing game in the prior post! She is in sync and a very detail person! Do not go visit her blog if you have garden envy issues. She and her husband have created little bits of paradise everywhere.

For the first time this year, we hired a young man to help weed and mulch. He actually did most of it as hubby cleaned out the shed and worked on the garden tools and I cleaned out the house.   Hubby got distracted by an old golf club he found in the shed....

The man who helped with our landscaping is actually 42 and we hired him from a church program where they help lost souls find rehabilitation. He used to be an electrical engineer, also worked as a carpenter and spent seven years in prison for killing someone with his car while under the influence. He is 6 foot 3 and a gentle bear of a man. He tends to work very slowly and methodically, but our beds have never looked so good and I feel no guilt in not spending the five days out there with him. (Hoping and praying for his return and getting a job.) We used a half dozen cubic yards of mulch.  What a luxury to be able to get all my seedlings planted, all my container pots painted, and ready things for the plant sale.  April is a crazy month.

We also hired another man who owns a cleaning company to power wash the house, bleach-wash the gutters and deck, and hand clean my dozens of windows. I gave up on doing it last year as I had so many interruptions. Everything was covered in dirt and algae from two years of neglect. Now the house sparkles as if new!

We rewarded ourselves with a lamb chop BBQ dinner on the newly washed deck.  (Now all I have to do spray paint that table in the coming week!)

Spring can be exhausting and demanding, but it is so welcome!