Category Archives: Uncategorized

Still havin' fun

Like many I am the one usually taking the photos. But there are a few with me in them:

One of the joys we can bring with photography is the memory of the good and happy. There is plenty of the other things to go around. I made a point of having a few taken with me and Grandma:

In a previous post I talked about how my Grandmother was one to see the sunshine, For All the Saints. For our family the struggle with joy has been poignant: my mother has some type of emotional or mental illness that is progressive ( and my youngest sister seems to be following a similar path). It creates a weird situation where we forget that there was good, fun, and joy because of what came after, or even in parallel. But we do a disservice to both ourselves and the person who was, at one point, a different person if we let that joy go. Photos can be a powerful tool in reclaiming the joy that is as much a part of our heritage as the weirdness and sorrow. For this reason Cee’s On the Hunt for Joy: Say Cheese resonates with me.

I’ve resolved to try and have more photos with me in them. But I also have an avatar. During my husbands first trip to China one of my son’s co-workers gave us a safe travel deer. We named her Amie Lu. Amie is French for friend, and the woman who gave us the deer was named Amy. Lu is Chinese for deer. We’ve been bringing Amie-Lu along on our travels ever since, and while I don’t take selfies, I do take Amie-Lu-ies.

Battered and splattered…but still blooming

In the On the Hunt for Joy challenge, the first challenge is to go outside. Today that has very little appeal, it is much more of a curl up by the fire with the pets and drink hot drinks kind of day. Gray, chilly, breezy, rainy and gray. We did get a few, fleeting, sun rays so I popped out and took a couple of pictures.

The sky, taken from just outside my front door today:

Winter clouds.
Today is so gray that the photo almost looks like a black and white…but wait, isn’t that thin spot almost blue?

And my favorite rose just won’t give up and call it a year:

A rose in winter.
Not a perfect specimen, but it has charm…and stamina.

Walking is not an option for me, the dogs insist on at least two a day, and have an active lobby for three. Many, if not most, of the photos I take are on walks with the dogs. These walks, though on nasty days like today sometimes feel like they are a very time consuming chore, help me keep on an even keel emotionally and maintain a sense that the world is a beautiful place, even when things aren’t going so well.

Walking is a family affair. The dogs have a "no dog left behind" policy.
The K9 Lobbyists at work.

Another year over…

2019 was not a good year, and it ended poorly

I’ve been rather inactive for the last month. I can’t seem to keep up and when I don’t keep up the vast number of posts coming out every day (honestly I do not know how people manage to post everyday) make catching up in the time available impossible. So if I missed your brilliant holiday posts I apologize.

Life has been going on. When stuff happens (do you ever feel like shouting “it didn’t ‘happen’, you did it!” to someone?) I always wind up silenced for a while. It’s kind of like when you fall and it takes a moment to figure out if you are alright or not, then get back up. If you don’t pause a bit before you get back up your legs can’t hold you.

…but it wasn’t all bad

I feel like I saw many beautiful things and learned a lot last year (notice my leprechaun animated GIF?).

A great thing about photography as a hobby is being able to go back through the archives for a year and see how much happened that was beautiful and good. I feel like holding onto the good and beautiful is critical to staying as close to sane as I can manage.

Will 2020 be a year of perfect vision?

Right now I have a fear that I may see perfectly a lot of bad stuff happening.

Here’s hoping I am wrong!

Time heals

I was reading the Cheer Peppers list this morning and found this post to be very up-lifting. I almost didn’t read it because I don’t have back pain, I’m not even sure why I did. The message of healing over time, being patient with set backs and making an effort to notice progress, even in the face of set backs is inspirational…and applies to many situations, not just a herniated disc.

Poly-ticks: Many blood sucking parasites

A.K.A., Politics

In continuing to try and explain (mostly to myself) about my grandmother and how the relationship has changed and affected me, politics needs to be mentioned. Because of the wide disparity of views, and the way they have caused animosity, and, at times, complete ruptures within the family.

In 2012 (she was 89 that year) we took Grandma to the Reagan Library. She loved it!

My grandparents liked Ike, and tricky Dick (a misunderstood soul), and absolutely adored Ronnie. Any tax was too much…but why should the government be so stingy with social security benefits, and the roads sure need fixing. Their loyalty and belief in the Republican Party was greater than their loyalty and belief in God, if actions are any guide.

Next gen

My uncle didn’t serve in Vietnam because of a bum knee (I was pretty young when this drama unfolded, so I may be off by a few inches about the body part). That was a disappointment to my WWII veteran grandfather, and I think also, on some level, to my grandmother, although she probably had mixed feelings.

Continue reading Poly-ticks: Many blood sucking parasites

They also serve…

Note: I started this post on Veteran’s Day, but struggled with it.

I always think about Grandma when I see veteran’s memorials…

In her later life Grandma always sold poppies, until she couldn’t drive any longer (due to the diabetic ulcers mentioned in Carpe Diem).

She was a die-hard VFW Ladies Auxiliary member. She ran her local group with an iron hand from the secretary-treasurer position that she held for probably about 20 years. I still have several photo albums and a rules book somewhere in the garage. It’s hard to know what to do with them.

Within the VFW her particular cause was disabled veterans. She put on many a spaghetti dinner to raise money to help them.

Continue reading They also serve…

CoBlocks-sampler and review

A couple of days ago I noticed that there were more blocks in my Gutenberg editor (they have been there a while). I decided to give them a test run. CoBlocks was originally an independent company, but now seems to be owned by GoDaddy.

Sampler

As I could find no documentation for using these blocks, I put together this CoBlocks Test Page. It demonstrates the blocks available in WordPress.com for sites that are below the “business” grade. I did it for myself, but decided to share it because others might find it useful.

Review

My not-so-humble opinions:

  • Most of the blocks are underwhelming.
  • There are some lovely button styles. I really dig the gradients.
  • The galleries aren’t as nice as the regular WordPress and Jetpack ones…except that the lightbox is more elegant. I don’t like that one cannot give the entire gallery a caption.
  • The “Hero” block could be useful. I used that on my Gallery of Images for Sale and I think it looks nice there.
  • If you are doing e-commerce you might find the “Pricing Table” block useful.

My only other comment is that, since CoBlocks is a free plug-in on WordPress.org sites, it doesn’t make a ton of sense that WordPress.com doesn’t let one use the full set of features.

Aside: I’m not crazy about GoDaddy, because I find their advertising sexist and unprofessional. As a woman who was a stress engineer I had to deal with too much of that kind of crap, and am opposed to supporting it. I have no reason to doubt that they have fine products.