Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Here, at least, is why I have been busy these last two weeks.  A freshly painted porch, new flower bed, and a new front door (not shown) that is also just painted.  Also painted the back deck, upper porch, and cleaned the pool.  Loads of work!  Looks really good!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Drives me nuts

I promise I won't write about the weather.  OK?

I thought I had my genealogy stuff pretty well organized, and then I found an entire box of miscellaneous records for all 4 lines I am researching.  All scrambled together, wrinkled, staples coming loose, bad photocopies, now what do I do with them?  So I came in here and decided to ruminate on my blog.  Just like my subtitle, better living through denial.  Manana. I have found some stuff my dad would have been interested in, but I found it after he passed, it's been 10 years now.  I found that his dad Floyd, of whom very little is known due to an early and bitter divorce, is in fact illegitimate.  The family name is Floyd's mother's maiden name (is this too confusing?) and her name changed only after she married another man and Floyd went to live with his stepfather.  The mother was a housekeeper in 1850 for the family next door to her parents, a man of 30 with a wife and 3 small children.  It isn't hard to speculate as to who was the father of Floyd, but of course no records to prove this.  It is just interesting.

I have a friend who is also into genealogy.  Several years ago she discovered that her ancestor who was a Revolutionary war soldier of some status was black.  She just thought it was interesting and was glad that a good bit had been written about him and his 12 children, back in those days when WV was VA.  Her mother, however, was appalled, and insisted that my friend keep this as a secret.  I mean, what would she do with this information, go on Dr. Phil?  Anyway, the scoundrels and ne'er-do-wells are the interesting members of the families, as long as they are far enough in the past.  All of my ancestors were farmers, drat it.

I ran across my old report cards when I was sorting through old papers.  My mom kept everything, even a receipt for a spring for 25 cents.  Old cancelled checks from 60 years ago.  Everything.  Anyway, I read the "comments" part at the end of each grading period, and most all of them said that I started projects and then didn't complete them.  And I thought, what else is new?  I STILL do that.  Like that kiln sitting in my garage, all wired up and empty.  Or that guitar in my living room, tuned, but I can't play it with long fingernails.  Etc.  Anyway, I threw the report cards away, I don't want them and for sure the kids won't either.  I threw away a lot of stuff.

Today I mailed off three 3.5 inch floppy disks to a company that transfers them to a CD for $1.99 per disk.  It turns out that when N transferred these files to a CD back in the day, there was some error and the CD is blank.  There are only 4 jpg files on them, but no other way to get them, luckily I had kept the floppies.  I am my mother's daughter.  Hope it works.

Bumper sticker(s) for the day:  "Master of obsolete technology." and also "Grandmas ~ the original laptop."

Friday, July 13, 2012

It's actually Raining!

It is so lovely raining, just a light steady rain storm that is dumping significant water on our parched withered greenery.  The lawn, the shrubs, everything looks better (I don't want to think about the sprinkler we ran yesterday).  No one waters in this place, sprinklers sold are mostly for kids to play in, but everything looked so dry, we watered.  Of course it would rain today!

I have been working on my genealogy today.  I  ran through my notebook on the family, and I found that the last time I worked on it was 1995.  I had no idea it was so long ago, but the amount of information available online has increased exponentially.  I still need to go to the courthouse of certain WV counties to check land deeds, but N still has his consulting to do, so it will need to wait a while.  Less than 17 years, I hope.  My database has 2500 entries on Family Tree Maker so far and I am paranoid that I will lose it, tho it is backed up in several places.  There just isn't any way to print out hard copies for all of that, much less to enter it all again.

I just received the photos from our Hawaii trip, I had them printed at Walmart, for only 9 cents each ~ there were 147 of them.  I had no idea it was so cheap, it sure beats printing them out here.  The ink, and the paper, I bet they are 10 times as expensive, at least.

My son just bought a Kindle, that makes 5 for this family.  He went to Barnes and Nobel and couldn't find anything he wanted to read, so he decided to get a Kindle so he can browse online instead of standing in the aisle.  Have you ever noticed, when you are browsing at an actual bookstore, you cannot see the bottom two shelves unless you are hunkered down near the floor, crabbing your way along at knee height.  No doubt I've passed over lots of good choices over the years because my knees wouldn't take the stress.  My only complaint with the Kindle is that I spend way more on books than previously.  I read about a book per (laid-back) day, so even choosing among the 99 cent offerings it adds up.  I've read around 100 books on the Kindle so far.

Bumper sticker for the day:  "Honk if you think I'm a great driver!"

Monday, July 09, 2012

Losing weight

I've been on Weight Watchers before and lost around 30 pounds, but then I got the big C diagnosis, and dieting seemed like the last thing I needed to think about.  But now, the time has come to get back in the routine.  I haven't actually re-joined, since I have all the materials to just go on without the meetings.  I would have to drive to the meetings and driving is one thing I haven't mastered  yet.  I mean, I have driven since I was 16, in big cities like Miami, Memphis, San Francisco ~ so why do I find it so difficult now?  I try to force myself a little, because the psych. doc says I have to go beyond my comfort zone so that I won't, step by step, become completely house bound.  I feel a little that way even now, so I am working on it.  But weekly Weight Watcher meetings aren't going to happen anytime soon.

The heat has moderated a bit today, only in the 80s after the weekend of over 100.  All the lawns and trees are suffering from the lack of rain, although it did rain a little in the wee hours this morning.  I am anxious to hear how the hay crop has been, I'm sure there won't be a second cutting with the lack of rain, so will hay cost more?  How much more?  Another thing to worry about.  It's too bad that worry doesn't cause me to lose weight, you know?  I do so much of it.  Like, I wonder why crying isn't good for the complexion, all it does is make my nose red and my face all splotchy; not like in the movies when the heroine just quietly drips down her face.  Maybe they teach that in acting classes.  The only thing that I drip down my face is sweat...

Bumper sticker for the day:  "HERE I AM.  Now what are your other two wishes?"

Saturday, July 07, 2012

It's HOT

We had to bring the dogs in from the barn today, it is too hot today and forecast to get even hotter as the day goes on.  They seem to be tired, just zonked out, probably because a panting dog doesn't pant while sleeping.  I lost a dog to heat stroke many years ago and I am wiser now than I was then. 

I got another book order through ABEbooks (see link on the right) and I am bummed because it is going to Australia and I lose money when I ship there.  Essentially I pay to have the book ordered.  This particular book is a paperback called Thin Air, a fictional story based loosely on an actual program during WWII called the Philadelphia Program.  In the book, the military are involved in a program to make ships disappear from radar and from sight, with devastating results.  It is an interesting story, although the book is pretty old.  The buyer is a bookstore in TAS, Australia, so I would guess it is a special order for a customer.  One who isn't clued up about out-of-print books and how to buy them directly.  At least it isn't a hardback, which is yet more expensive to ship.

Thanks to storms in the area, the 4th of July was pretty quiet here, so the dogs and horses weren't a total wreck the next day.  Now if only it would cool down, that would be fantastic.  The horses can sweat in the heat, unlike the dogs, so as long as there is plenty of water available they do OK.  We go out and top off their buckets at midday, just to be sure they are drinking.  It's pretty rare that horses that are at rest have problems with the heat.  Knock on wood.  After all these years of owning horses (37 and counting) it is still remarkable how much work is involved with it ~ and this is without actually riding, which my knees and hips prohibit.  Not even taking into account the geriatric horses (21 years and counting ).  They were born here, and other than sending them off to be broke to ride as youngsters, they have always been here.  And spoiled by the easy life.

Bumper sticker for the day: "Help stamp out and eradicate superfluous redundancy ."

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Almost the 4th of July

The weather here, like nearly everywhere on the eastern half of the country, has been brutally hot for this time of year, making everyone dread the really hot month of August.  We opened the pool this year ~ last year we were too distracted with the chemo, etc., and it was a horrible black gloppy mess.  It is all clean and shiny, better living through modern chemistry, as was said decades ago.  And boy does it feel good, especially after working on the deck and mowing the grass (and weeds).  The grass is very dry and we need rain ~ just not the kind of rain we had Friday night, when the huge storm front went through and toppled tress and power lines and left thousands without power even now.  Luckily we had flickering and one brief outage, and the trees that fell didn't hit anything, although the pool had a huge branch fall into it.  I've never seen lightning like that night, one continuous peal of thunder and the entire sky lit up for 10 or 15 minutes.  I was sure the dining room windows were going to be smashed, and what would we have blocked them up with?  Locally there is not a generator to be had, and supplies of bottled water and camping stoves are depleted too. 

Tomorrow will be hard on the horses and the dogs, who do not appreciate fireworks.  We will leave them all in the barn for the whole day, so they don't panic and run through the fence.  I don't appreciate fireworks either, come to think of it.

I spent an hour this morning looking for the thumb drive that I used to back up all my important files, only to find it right in plain sight, with a post-it stuck to it listing the files.  So frustrating!  My desk is a mess, I have way too much stuff.  A lot of it is stuff that I had on my desk at work, memo cubes and such, that I feel attached to for some bizarre reason.  Heaven forbid I throw anything away...

I just heard of the death of Andy Griffin.  The last thing I saw him in was the video with Brad Paisley, "Waitin' on a Woman" , a bittersweet song.  He was 86.  I'm old enough to remember the Mayberry show the first time it was on...

Bumper sticker for the day:  "I don't exercise; it makes my coffee spill."