Gone Fishing!

not really

I’ll be at the cottage for a few days so you won’t see any new posts after tomorrow until Saturday or Sunday. As many of you know I have no internet or electricity. Hopefully we’ll have some nice days but regardless it always nice to get away.

Here is a recent photo of our granddaughter catching her first fish. The photo was taken by her Mom. Boy do I miss these guys.

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Problems Again

….not sure if I’ve been hacked

Almost a year ago I experienced some issues with my WordPress account because I couldn’t like any posts or leave comments on anybody else’s blog. It turned out to be a Safari problem and thanks to some of my readers I was able to correct the problem.

The same thing is happening again but this time going into Safari looking for the same setting is not the issue. I’ve contacted WordPress and they’ve informed me that the problem rests with my ‘over’ usage of my blog. Here is exactly what they said.

…..please note that your account has been flagged for an excessive amount of social activity which made your account appear more like a spam-bot than a human being.

Please keep in mind that our like features are designed to help you keep up with your favorite blogs, give easy feedback to their authors, and nurture direct conversations. They are not to be used as a means of promoting your site through mass notifications.

Does this sound like me? Many of you have probably wondered where I’ve been because I haven’t been able to keep up with all my emails in the last two months. To keep from getting too far behind again I’ve tried to read emails as they come in and many of those I do ‘like’. I’m probably reading 50 emails a day on average. Is that considered over use?

When I questioned them on what is considered excessive this is the answer I received:

To clarify, I’m specifically referring to the amount of times you’ve been using the Like feature. When you like content on WordPress.com, the owners of that content receive notifications each time. This is intended to inform content owners about who is interacting with their content and is not intended as a system to attract mass attention to your content.

After blogging for seven years I think I know how to use the Like feature. I only have 2000 followers, many of whom I assume are dormant. I don’t have time to look for new blogs. Anyway after 24 hours the Like feature will supposedly be enabled again.

I apologize to those who haven’t heard from me in awhile. I have tried to remedy that but WordPress has made that impossible. Hopefully all will be sorted soon. Has anyone else had a similar problem? I’d like to know and any advice that you can give me would be most appreciated.

 

Apologies to My Followers

….WordPress no longer likes Safari

For a couple of months now I’ve not been able to ‘like’ or leave a comment on some of your blogs. I’d say that 60 percent or you or more have not heard from me in awhile. It’s not that I don’t read your posts, I do but I can’t press ‘like’ or leave a comment when I open up WordPress in Safari. For over six years it hasn’t been a problem. I know that some of you are experiencing the same thing because you’ve written about it.

When I open up in Google Chrome I’m able to connect with all of you but I find it difficult to write my own posts and add photos. Has anyone had a similar problem with Chrome?I’d much prefer to stay with Safari but if I have to move over I guess I will. Please leave me some advice if you’ve experienced a similar problem. I haven’t contacted WordPress yet. If no one can help me I guess that will be my next step.

On Vacation

….I’m leaving tonight for London, England

I’ve scheduled a few posts ahead of time so you’ll see some activity on my blog until Oct. 2. I’m not taking a laptop with me and I’m not sure I can post from my iPhone. I’m sure I will take a ton of photos but you might have to wait a couple of weeks before I can share them with you.

I’m very excited about this trip. It’s my first time to England and I’ll finally get to see where our son and daughter-in-law reside. My husband and I are travelling with our oldest daughter and her wife and we’ll be staying together for the first eight days. After that Andrea and Josie are taking the train to Scotland and we’ll stay in London.

The only thing that we’ve booked so far is a tour of Buckingham Palace and on the second of October we’re going out to a nice restaurant to celebrate my husband’s birthday. There are lots of places we want to see and and things we want to do in London. I expect that we’ll take some bus tours and definitely walking tours and of course we’ll check out the art galleries and museums.

We haven’t booked things ahead of time because of my husband’s condition. He never quite knows when he can leave the house safely without having to rush to a bathroom. With the time change and jet lag the first few days could be tricky. We’ve done this before and it’s not ideal but spending time with our son and his wife is more important.

The only thing I’ll miss when I’m away is being able to spend time with this sweetie:

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Portraits of Two Fine Gentlemen

…..days 136 and 137 of 365 Days of Art

Yesterday I posted some portraits of older men that I found photos of on the internet. Two of my followers, Ivor and Derrick, made some nice comments about my work so I decided to try and draw them. I hope they won’t be offended at my attempts.

I found a photo on Ivor’s site Ivor.Plumber/Poet which I attempted to draw. The glasses were a bit tricky because there was a glare on them and I drew them slightly off kilter.fullsizeoutput_7064

Derrick’s photo came from his profile picture. Sorry Jackie I left you out of the drawing. Check out the countryside where Derrick lives.

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Renovation and Computer Blues

,,,,,it seems like forever since I wrote a post

As some of you know we’ve been undergoing a renovation in our home so that my 90 year old father could move in with us. During the renovation our phone lines and internet connection went down. We were planning on switching our service provider once the renovation was done so we didn’t call anyone in to fix the problem during construction.

Little did I know that I would feel so disconnected from the rest of the world. A couple of times I would drive to the nearest Starbucks so I could use their WiFi and check for important messages and do my on-line banking. The first time I did this I only had 10 minutes to check my mail because the store was closing earlier than I thought.

For weeks we lived in chaos to get ready for the renovation and then for the actual job. We had to move my husband’s office from the basement to the room where I had my art studio and we moved all the art supplies into the master bedroom (the largest room in the house). My daughters helped me purge and get rid of a lot of stuff. That part felt good but we still have more things to move. Some of the cabinets and the microwave have to be returned and my husband still has more files to go through. Luckily my father is in Calgary for three weeks visiting my sister.

I had a great contractor and he did a wonderful job. He started with the bathroom, fixing the plumbing, repairing the drywall, waterproofing the walls and installing tile in the shower, on the shower floor and on the floor itself and putting in new pot lights. He also put in a new toilet and grab bars and painted.

In the living area he boxed in the duct work, installed 6 new pot lights, added new baseboards and trim and painted the ceiling and walls.

In the old office the floor was pulled up and a new floor put down, the plumbing was retrieved from behind the walls, built in shelves were removed and new pot lights were installed. A fresh coat of paint brightened up the room but the cabinets, counter and sink weren’t put in place when my Dad moved in. Luckily it took only one extra day to move in the new refrigerator and affix the new cabinetry to the walls.

I’m happy to say that our new phone lines are in and the internet is once again working. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks I’ll bring you up to date on all the goings on here at Mama Cormier’s.

Till then, cheers!

Volleyball, Toilets and Trad Music

…..exciting two days

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about my personal adventures and daily routines. I don’t know where the time has gone but being sick and dealing with family members who are also under the weather has definitely put my writing for this blog on the back burner. I’m also trying to get my house ready for our new addition. No, we’re not expecting another grandchild or taking in a foster child. My 90 year old father has decided he wants to live with us. Of course, we couldn’t say no.

Since the March Break I’ve been sick with an ear infection and then with a sinus cold. My hearing has suffered greatly and I feel like I’m under water. I can’t tell you how many times I have misheard what people are saying. Sometimes it can be quite comical but it’s also frustrating. I think I’m getting better but in the evenings my throat gets quite sore. Other than that I feel okay and I haven’t taken any time off from work.

Earlier this week, my friend and colleague, P, asked me if I wanted to be part of a volleyball team and play in a tournament against teachers from other schools. I agreed to do it as long as I felt well. By Friday, three people dropped out and that left us with only six players. Regardless of how I was feeling, I just couldn’t drop out, so I went to the tournament.

When I got there I felt somewhat intimidated by the players from the other teams. I think there was only one other player out of 45 players or more who was older than me. On our team, we had two 26 year olds, two 31 year olds, one 50 year old and me, the almost senior citizen.

Once we started playing, I quickly lost any inhibitions and just had fun. My serves were terrible but by the last game I finally worked out what I was doing wrong and my serves improved immensely. There were six teams in total and to my amazement we made it into the finals. In the seventh and final game we played against one of the teams we had lost against. At that point I was happy to place second. It was in that game that I took some chances and I actually dove for a ball and landed on my knees (no knee pads, of course). OUCH!

I got up quickly and assured everyone that I was okay. I kept playing (there were no substitutes) and in a very close game we ended up winning it all. I think we were all a little surprised but ecstatic. Not bad for a group of people that had never played volleyball together. Afterwards we went out with the team we beat in the finals (they were great sports) and had a drink.

Later that evening when I got home I had a bit of a headache and a sore throat. The latter was from the cold and the former might have been from the fall. I think I jostled my brain when my knees hit the floor. Today, however, the headache was gone and I haven’t suffered any aches or pains from the activities of the previous night. Maybe I should look for a senior’s volleyball team to join when I retire.20170331_201317_resized-2

On Saturday, my husband and I spent the day looking for toilets and kitchen cabinets. When we agreed to have Dad come and live with us we knew that the basement would need some major renovations. We bought a toilet, a grab bar and at Ikea we started to plan out the kitchen. They have an amazing computer program for planning out your kitchen. I think we spent a good hour or more just playing around with different configurations for our tiny little space. When you’re done it gives you a parts list and the total cost of your kitchen.

In 8 days our contractor is coming to the house to start the job so we still have a little bit of time before we make our final decision. The tiles for the bathroom are purchased and the living area is mostly cleared so those two areas can be started on right away.

In the evening Kevin and I went out for dinner at a restaurant not far from our house. In the last year we have become quite close with Will, the owner of Sugar for my Honey. He is always trying new things to bring customers into his restaurant. Last night he hosted a great musical event with live Trad music. The group, Nua, is a Canadian trio, featuring a guitarist, a bodhran player and a fiddle player. If music is food for the soul, this group filled the bill. The event sold out and the crowd loved the food and the music. Here is a video of one of their selections from their new CD, Flow.IMG_1524

Flow (click to open)

 

 

Computer Woes

….it’s been a strange couple of weeks

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything in over a week. I took my computer to the Apple store to see if there was anything that could be done to fix the lack of speed and the freezing problems that I had to endure. This is how the journey began. I say journey because after the initial visit I returned at least four more times and spent countless hours on the phone with Apple Support.

None of this is a criticism of Apple. I’ve always loved their products and their service is very professional and friendly. The staff at the store and on the phone spent at least  8 hours with me and it was all free of charge.

After the first visit it was decided that a cable would be replaced, the hard drive would be wiped clean and the newest operating system would be installed. This should have fixed the slowness and freezing problems. My job was to back up the hard drive. When I went home I had to find the external hard drive that I bought three years ago. Just as I was about to give up I found the never opened box in a most unlikely place. I quickly opened the package and plugged it into my laptop and the process began. Four hours later the job was done.

The next day I returned to the store and left my computer with the technician but the job wouldn’t be done until the next day. It was odd not having my computer that night. I even returned to the store close to closing on the off chance that it was ready. No such luck!.

The next day after work I went back to the mall to pick up my computer. Now I had to transfer all my data back into the computer. I thought I knew how but soon after starting the process I ran into difficulty. One more night without my computer.

On the following day I made another visit. This time I had to wait to see a technician. I walked around the mall and grabbed a coffee and a bite to eat. After an hour and a half of waiting my issue was resolved. Well, at least I thought it was resolved. Before I left the technician explained all the steps I had to take to complete the transferring process and then how to log back on.

Once home, I started the transferring process right away so I wouldn’t forget the steps and then I waited for the data to be brought back over to my newly refurbished  and improved laptop. Success! Not so fast.

After the data was returned, I tried to log back on and this is where a whole new set of problems started. I typed in my password, pushed the return button and waited. All I got was the spinning wheel and it didn’t stop. I phoned Apple support. They guided me through a recovery process which would take a few hours and they told me if that didn’t work I needed to go back to the store.

Of course, it didn’t work, and I went back to the store again. This time I stayed there for four hours. I was the last person to leave. To the credit of the three technicians who tried to help me, they were determined to find a solution to my problem. I was so afraid that I had lost all my photos (over 4000), even though I had them backed up. In the end they put a screen shot on the laptop so that I could see  the steps I needed to take when I went home and they they arranged for Apple Support to call me next day to make sure I was able to carry out the steps.

I wish I could say that was the end of it but it wasn’t. When Apple Support called they were given permission to visit my computer so that they could see my screen and together we tried numerous other options. I’m happy to report that we were able to retrieve all my data. When I saw my original desktop screen saver come up and all my folders I was relieved. I’m not sure if the slowness issue has been resolved but right now I don’t care. I’m just happy to be able to write on my blog again.

The reality is that my computer is almost five years old. I know that I’ll need to buy a new one in the near future but I was hoping to put it off for at least a few more months. Hopefully, all this effort will have been worthwhile. I certainly learned a lot about computers over this past week.

Time to catch up and share some more stories, art and photos.

Cheers!

 

A Few Days Off

….from blogging that is

Tomorrow I’m driving 2 1/2 hours north east of the city to go camping with 60 Grade 5 students. We’ll be sleeping in cabins but we’ll probably spend most of our time outside. I’ve got my long underwear, two pairs of boots, three pairs of mittens, scarves, extra socks and woollen hats packed and ready to go.

I’ll be driving with one other teacher. I’ve got my snow tires on and I had the transmission fluid topped up yesterday. After I pack up the car in the morning I have to stop and get gas before I head out to school. Once at school I have a couple of classes to teach in the morning and then we’ll load up the buses with the kids’ luggage and get the kids settled into their assigned seats.

It should be an interesting 3 days and 2 nights. Hopefully we won’t have a lot of kids coming to our cabin in the middle of the night because of home sickness. The fact that they have to leave their cabin, in the dark and in the cold will probably deter most students from making that trek.

I’m not sure that there will be any WiFi or internet connection so I probably won’t be posting any stories until I get back on Saturday. Besides, I think that we’re all going to be very busy during the day and early evenings and will probably be too tired to do anything but sleep later on.

See you Saturday. Wish me luck!

Camp Kawartha Outdoor Education Centre

Four Years and Still Going Strong

….yesterday was my 4th anniversary with WordPress

If I didn’t check my notifications side bar today I would have missed it.

4 Year Anniversary Achievement
Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 4 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

It’s hard to believe that four years ago I started this blog to help me lose weight and get healthy. Four years later I’m still trying to lose weight but I’m healthier than I was then. I’m thankful that I didn’t gain back all the weight that I had lost (32 pounds) but it was getting painfully close when I finally started back on my weight loss journey. So far it’s been easier because my husband is doing it with me. I’m down 10 pounds and my husband is down 11.

My blog quickly morphed into a eclectic mix of photography, art, memories, recipes, teaching moments and my life experiences with my friends and family. I’ve met more than 1000 people who now follow me. I’m sure some have fallen by the wayside but many have stuck with me and comment regularly. For that I am truly grateful.

In the last four years you’ve seen me and my family change, grow and experience the ups and downs of life. I ran my first 5k, lost 32 pounds, turned the big 60, stood by my husband as he battled one illness after another requiring 4 separate surgeries and then I shared my son’s accident with you just last December when he needed surgery. I also shared with you my aunt’s prolonged stay in the hospital before she passed and how my 89 year old father fell, not once but twice, but lived to talk about it. I’ve spent way too much time in the hospital.

Not all hospital visits were for sick people. Last October I became a grandmother for the first time. That was the best hospital visit ever. IMG_2885-2

When I started this blog only my youngest daughter was married. Since then our oldest daughter got married a couple of months ago and our son is getting married this summer. Needless to say it’s been and continues to be a busy year.

 

I’m still teaching. I thought this blog might help me prepare for retirement but I loved my work and my colleagues too much to even consider it.  Now, I can say for certain that retirement is just around the corner and I look forward to my last year of teaching starting next September.

I’ve really enjoyed sharing my students’ art work on this blog and they love knowing that people really like what they’ve done and that they make comments about their work. I can always tell when my viewing numbers are really high that my students have found their way to my site.

One of the things that I’ve grown passionate about is photography since I’ve started this blog. I participate in a number of photography challenges and I take my camera everywhere I go. I’ve enjoyed sharing photos of our cottage and the beautiful parks in our neighbourhood and photos I’ve taken on our vacations.

Before I close I’d like to thank all of you who follow me and all those who pop by once in awhile for giving me a purpose to write. Knowing that people read my words and look at my photography gives me incentive to continue with this blog. Here’s to the next four years!

Cheers!