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.



Share Your World 2016 – Week 2

….thanks Cee for this week’s questions but I can’t help but think that I’ve answered one or two of these before

Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets?

Absolutely. I think it would be pretty arrogant to think that we are the only race of beings to inhabit the universe.

How many places have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities.

I haven’t lived in too many different places. I was born in Frankfurt, Germany and when I was one we moved to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria. Soon after that we boarded an ocean liner and moved to Canada where I have lived most of my life in Toronto. For a period of four years, when I was 6 to 10 we lived in Oakville (a bedroom community close to Toronto) and when I went to university I lived in the town of Guelph.

If you given $22 million tax free dollars (any currency), what is the first thing you would do?

I would pay off all my credit cards and then give each of my children $1 million dollars, so they could pay off their debts and own a home. After that I would probably put aside enough money to live on comfortably and afford a couple of vacations a year for the rest of my life. Then I would share the rest with my sisters and friends and donate to different charities every year. Spread the wealth!

The Never List: What are things you’ve never done? Or things you know you never will do?

I will never and have never done the following:

  1. Jump from 10m tower into water
  2. Go bungee jumping
  3. Go skydiving
  4. Do drugs
  5. Climb Mt. Everest
  6. Smoke

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful that my son has started to heal from his surgery and that he returned safely to London, England on Monday night. Before he left we spent some quality family time with his siblings and our granddaughter. Last Saturday, B, A, J and I drove to the Aga Khan Museum and spent a couple of hours perusing the artifacts from the middle east. It was fun watching my children take in the displays and actually taking the time to read the text that explained the history of the different ceramics, books and articles of clothing.


After our experience at the museum we drove to Hamilton and met up with my husband and younger daughter and her family. There was a whirlwind of activity in the kitchen as homemade meatballs were being prepared by the two of them while the rest of us took turns holding the baby and entertaining her. She is so curious now that she doesn’t want to sleep. The dinner was fabulous.

IMG_7315On Sunday I drove my son to the AGO to meet up with one of his good friends and to see the Turner show. I enjoyed our time together but I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of Turner’s work. I liked his small watercolour studies but his large pieces were too dark and gloomy for me. I am, however, very curious to see the movie on his life. I think he was one very strange man.


Later this week I’m hoping to figure out how to transfer photos from my new camera to my iPhone and computer using WiFi. So far transferring my photos onto the computer and onto my phone has been a challenge to say the least.

Hopefully I can sort out my photography problems so that I can continue to participate in photo challenges.


Held Hostage by the Cloud

….all my gadgets stopped working 2 weeks ago

I’m not much for electronics but I do love my iPhone and I use the camera all the time. For my birthday this year my children bought me the Jawbone Up which tracks my steps and sleep patterns and I’ve become addicted to it. Everything was working well until two weekends ago when we went to the AGO with friends to see the Alex Colville show. As you know I take a lot of photos and I was devastated when the camera on my iPhone wouldn’t work. The message that came through said that I didn’t have enough storage.

I tried to delete some photos but it didn’t seem to help. Now almost all of the photos on my phone have been backed up to my computer on IPhoto so I decided to delete them all from the camera. Success. Well for a few minutes and then all of a sudden all the photos reappeared on the phone. I did manage to take a few photos at the gallery but I knew that this problem would reappear.

Later that day I discovered that my Up bracelet wasn’t working as well. It is also hooked up to my iPhone. Again the message was that I didn’t have enough storage.

On Monday, the following day, I made a trip to my local Apple store but they were so busy that I couldn’t get an appointment for at least 5 days. I pleaded with one of the staff to give me some clues as to what I could do. She suggested that I back up my photos onto iTunes.

The next day I took my computer to school and my friend L and I played around with the settings on iTunes. It took a while but we finally figured out that the storage problem was on the iCloud. I had two options. One was to buy more storage and the second was to back up all my photos onto iTunes, even though all my photos were already on iPhoto.

Later that night I clicked the button that said back up to the computer and the ICloud option shut down. I’m not sure that I want anything on iCloud for now but maybe down the road I’ll pay the extra money. I guess the one advantage is that I can access my photos from anywhere if they’re stored in the cloud.

The bottom line is that I can use my camera again and my Up is working the way it should.

Share Your World – Week 15

…..I can’t believe it’s already week 15

For your blog do you basically use Windows or Mac, laptop, desktop, pad, or phone?

I’m an Apple user all the way. For my blog I work on my MacBook Pro…photo 2-9

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was a very young child I remember wanting to be a nurse but when I was 12, I changed my mind and wanted to be a Family Studies teacher. I was asked to attend an open house at the school and demonstrate how we were using the sewing machines in class. I was hooked. In high school I toyed with the idea of being a doctor but I kept going back to being a teacher. P1030481

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

For most of my childhood I grew up in Toronto. We lived in Oakville for about four years but we moved back to the big city to be closer to my father’s job. I have fond memories of living in Oakville because it was like living in the country at the time. Our house backed onto a field with a creek running through it. We lived in a new housing development and I recall playing in some of the unfinished homes. Pretty crazy when I think of the dangers we encountered daily. We were also allowed to go to the creek without adult supervision and we rode our bicycles through the field and onto busy streets on our way to the plaza. I had one nasty spill onto the gravel road and still have the scars on my knee to this day.

When we moved back to Toronto I was 10 years old and we lived directly across from the school. There was a huge park that surrounded the school and right across the street from us was a skating rink in the winter and a tennis court in the summer. A few years later they also built a public outdoor swimming pool right next to the rink. We lived in an apartment building but I was so close to so many recreational amenities that I never missed not having a backyard. In the summers we went to the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) and as I went from being a pre-teen to a teenager I started taking the subway to the downtown area. Basically, I loved living in the city. P1020030

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

I always think of myself as younger. I work with a wide range of ages but I guess I’m now the oldest person at my school. Our caretaker might be a bit older than me but not by much. If I had to put an age to myself I’d say I feel like I’m only 45. I actually feel better now than when I turned 50.

On my 61st birthday.

On my 61st birthday.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for the the warmer weather we experienced last week and for all the snow melting. Unfortunately we’re suppose to get colder temperatures tonight and tomorrow morning we’re expecting 5 to 10 cm of snow. Yikes!photo 4-83

Later this week I’m looking forward to visiting my sister in Chatham. My new brother-in-law really wants to see my husband who was unable to attend their wedding in January because of his fall. On Monday we’re spending Easter Monday at my daughter’s (A and J) place and will be enjoying a delicious Easter brunch.

Visiting my sister and my brother-in-law, D to check out his new 'man cave'.

Visiting my sister and my brother-in-law, D to check out his new ‘man cave’.

For more Share Your World contributions check out Cee’s Photography.

Share Your World – Week 5, 2014

….here’s how I feel in this moment in time…..tomorrow my answers could be different

If you had a choice to live anywhere would be your preference salt water beaches, forest, fresh water lakes, hot tub, ski resort or desert?

My preference would be a fresh water beach. My cottage is on the most beautiful beach in Georgian Bay. The bay is part of the Great Lakes in Ontario. I’m only there in the summer so I might not feel the same way if I lived there in the winter, especially this winter. It’s been brutally cold. So if I were to live in one place year round I might choose a salt water beach in a warm climate.Image

What was your favorite toy as a child  . . . and now?

My mother hated clutter and if our toys weren’t put away they eventually ended up in the garbage. The only toy I can remember having for a long time was a baby doll that I named Dorothy. When you fed her she would wet her diapers and her eyes closed when you laid her down. Now my favourite toys are my laptop and my ukulele. I would be lost without my computer and I’ve only recently pulled my ukulele out of storage. Some day I might actually learn how to play it proficiently. Currently I know only a few chords. I need to practise, practise, practise…..

photo 2-9 photo 1-9

Which do you prefer sweet, salty or both at the same time? 

I initially wanted to say sweet but I actually love both at the same time. My favourite popcorn is Chicago style which is a combination of cheese popcorn and caramel popcorn. Yum!

Would you prefer snowy winters, or not, and why?

I prefer snowy winters but this year has been a bit much. It’s not the snow that bothers me but the frigid sub-zero temperatures and icy conditions have been extreme this year. I love the sound of soft crunchy snow under my boots and it has never stopped me from going for walks. The ice, however, this year has been treacherous and I spent some time in the emergency ward with my husband after he slipped and fell. Luckily he didn’t break anything but he did collapse his lungs and stretched the connective tissues between his ribs, causing him a great deal of pain. After three weeks he is just starting to feel better. Come to think of it, the winter where we had no snow and mild temperatures sounds pretty good right now.  We were able to ride our bikes all winter. Hmmmm!!!!!


Where is Everyone?

….must be out Christmas shopping

It’s bitterly cold today. A great day to read emails and stay indoors. I guess not everyone else feels the same because it’s really quiet on the blogging home front. With over 500 followers my site is unusually quiet.

I know that I, sometimes spend too much time on the computer but I love learning about new things and getting new ideas for my own art or projects for my art classes at school. This morning I learned about a woman in the Netherlands that recycles old t-shirts and makes rugs using only her fingers (after she’s torn and cut the old shirts apart using scissors).  

I then watched a 20 minute video tutorial on making an art collage called Industrial Heart. I was mesmerized. If you’re a budding artist or want to try a new technique check this out.

Well I guess I should do something more constructive today. I need to buy a few more things for Christmas but my husband is balking at going to the mall. I may end up fighting the crowds on my own. Wish me luck.


Christmas Shopping On-Line

…..easy if you know what you want and don’t go for the first link

More and more I’ve been shopping on-line for Christmas presents. One of the reasons is that my adult children post everything they would like on-line with links as to where one can purchase the items. It really makes it easy but I have discovered a few glitches along the way.

First of all, when you’re ordering from Canada the free shipping claim is often null and void. By the time you pay the shipping you’re not saving very much money, if any. This is true for Amazon. com. The shipping charge was more than $16.00 for one item and the Canadian taxes hadn’t been added either. When I went to the same item was initially a little bit more expensive but even with taxes in and no shipping charge the final price was cheaper than the American price. So Canadians beware.  and are offering free shipping for a month on all items but after that you will be charged a $79.00 fee for the rest of the year. Personally I rarely shop on-line after Christmas so it doesn’t make sense to sign up for the free offer. If you’re willing to wait a few extra days for delivery you can get free shipping anyway. The lesson here is to read the small print.

If you use Paypal you can get a 5% discount back on all your purchases that you make for the next little while. I think its just from now until the first week in December but every little bit helps. I wish I could use Paypal for all my on-line purchases.

This year we used Elfster to organize our gift exchange. It’s been fun and it’s forced me to think about what I would really like for Christmas. At first I found it extremely difficult to write down what I wanted. I just couldn’t think of anything that fit within the $100.00 limit. I never have problems knowing what I’d like when I actually go shopping but the reality is that I probably don’t NEED anything. I did, however, come up with several items. Once I started I was on a roll and before I knew it I had nine items on my list. Some of them are over the limit but my husband doesn’t have to stick to the limit. The gift exchange doesn’t include significant others. I’m still responsible for getting my husband gifts and vice versa.

The best part of on-line shopping is having the parcels arrive at the door in a few days. It’s like Christmas opening the parcels, even though you know they’re for someone else. I think there’s some truth in the saying ‘It’s better to give than to receive’.


P.S. We’re finally having our gift exchange party tomorrow, even though we all know who we’re buying presents for. My husband is starting to feel better as he recovers from his shingles and is finally up to preparing his Gluewein and Goulash dinner.