Sunday Trees – 439 (…and a Personal Message)

…thanks to Becca Givens for hosting Sunday Trees

I can barely remember what day of the week it is and during this strange time in our history I find myself experiencing a whole range of emotions. One of them is extreme sadness and it hit me like a ton of bricks this past week. I reached out to my family and some of my friends and they helped me through this difficult time with humour and love.

For a couple of days my blog was sadly neglected and I’m only now trying to get back into it. I’m not doing this out of a sense of duty but rather for the love of it. It really does give me perspective and a place to connect with friends all over the world. I hope all of you are coping during these trying times and staying safe and keeping healthy.

Sending love and hope

Carol

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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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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!

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Goals Met

….after two years I’ve met and surpassed most of my blogging goals

Back in February (here) I wrote that I had already met many of my blogging goals before the anniversary of my second year. I reset some of my goals and set my target date to be April 30th. Well today is the day and I’m happy to report that I’ve met most of my goals and surpassed some of them again.

Here are my original goals and where I stood in February and where I stand now.

200 views for one day (currently sitting at 159) I reached 303 views on June 7th – I’ve reached 360 views for one day

600 followers one year from today I reached 600 followers 10 weeks early – I’m now over 675 followers

30 000 views one year from today I am 5500 views away from this goal – That would be 550 views a week, 79 views a day – right now I average about 50 views a day- this is the only goal I didn’t reach – I’m sitting at 27 500 views

300 new posts in the next year I’m at 262 so I have 38 posts to go – that’s 3.8 posts a week….very doable. My magic number will be 614 posts in total. – this is my 650th post

Again none of this would be possible without the support of my loyal followers. When I started this journey two years ago I had no idea how long I would do this. Now I don’t see myself stopping. I love writing, taking photographs, setting goals and participating in new challenges. I’ve enjoyed reading blogs from all around the world and I take great pleasure reading your comments.

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.

Cheers!

Frustrated!

….blogging shouldn’t be this difficult

I’ve always sung the praises of blogging on WordPress. A couple of years ago, I tried setting up an account on another blogging site and didn’t have much success. My sisters and I were the only people who read it, which at the time was fine but not very satisfying. When I started with WordPress I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was and I started to garner a following pretty quickly.

Several months ago I experienced my first problem with WordPress. For some reason I couldn’t publish my post. I thought I had successfully published it. It showed up on my Facebook page but the next day when I didn’t receive any responses from readers I discovered that the post was still in a draft. I don’t know what I did but eventually it was published. I asked for advice and one of my followers suggested that I close all other windows before I push the publish button.

That seemed to work until this week. It took me over an hour to write my post “Mexican Delights”. When I went to post the article it showed up in its entirety on the screen but when I checked it on Facebook only the first two paragraphs were there. None of the photos or links appeared. Fortunately I was able to find it in one of the many drafts that appear below the text box. I saved the draft again and published it a second time.

I can’t tell you how many times I had to do this. I closed all previous windows but that didn’t seem to work. After a couple of hours the post finally published and stayed that way. As much as I love blogging, I don’t have the luxury of that much time to waste on rewriting and reposting my stories.

That’s the main reason I haven’t posted much this week. I was very frustrated from the last experience. So I’m asking again if anyone else has experienced the same problems and how did you resolve it. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Cheers!