Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Computer Maintenance

My plans for posting every day in September were sidetracked by the fact that my laptop needed some serious attention.  There are so many photos saved on my hard drive, my computer can barely function in any mode faster than "snail's pace".

As a result, I devoted several hours on Saturday to backing up my computer with an external hard drive. First, I spent an hour starting at 11 a.m. trying to make it work, then another 45 minutes on the phone with customer support when I couldn't.  Most of that call was spent waiting for my wayyyy too slow computer to catch up to the instructions he was giving me.  He was very kind and extremely patient but eventually, he told me the process would be continue to be slow as long as there was so much stuff saved in the computer's memory bogging everything down.

After a break for lunch, I got busy deleting photos.  Over a thousand of them, which took a while to find.  Finally, around 7 p.m., I started the backup program again and left it to run its course.  Which it did, slowly...slowly...slowly! Finally finished backing up my entire system just before 1 a.m.  (No, I'm not kidding!)  Luckily, Legally Blonde was on TV as of 11 p.m. so that helped to keep me awake since I didn't want to leave the program running overnight, in case something went wrong and it stopped!

On Sunday, I started again with a second external drive. This time, I set it up to only back up my photos (and not the system files that seem to comprise about 50% of my storage space) - because really, that's what I want to be sure to save.  Everything I've read online about backing up suggests you should have at least 2 external drives, in case one malfunctions.  The second backup process was quicker, only about five hours, although for the first half hour, I wasn't even sure the machine was working - the tracking bar seemed to have stalled at only 3% completed.  Eventually, it started to move (very slowly) and I knew we were on the right track!

I've also saved a number of photos online, using Google Photos (a free program).  Haven't had time to play with that program too much yet but I like knowing my photos are also safely stored there and that I can access them from all my devices at any time.  It also provides me with a "virtual assistant", who likes to play with my photos and suggest collages and filters, etc. (you can turn off this feature if you don't want it).  Today, my assistant (I'm calling her Madge) showed me this pretty edit of a picture I took in Mexico City last March:

The next step is to actually delete photos from my hard drive and rely on the external drives if I decide I want to see them again. Right now, my computer is definitely moving faster, which is a relief. Some day soon, when I have more time, I'll get back to the process of editing and deleting my vast photo library and possibly even print some. In the meantime, I'll let Madge do all the work! ;)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Caution To Be Taken

Saw this image on the escalator at the mall today:

Sure, getting your clothing stuck in an escalator would be rather scary, especially if you were as fashionable as this woman appears to be, but somehow, this picture just makes me laugh!

Friday, September 11, 2015


The years might pass by
Yet no matter how long now
We do not forget.

I remember the shock, the horror, the confusion and the uncertainty of that sunny September day fourteen years ago.  But even as the years go by, I also remember many good things about that day - the inspiration, the goodness, the kindness of those who did all they could to make a difference that day and in the days to follow.  There were so many positive, uplifting stories that rose above the pain and anguish that so many endured that day and still do.  It may never be enough to erase those terrible memories from our collective conscience but it does give me hope and a certain knowledge that not all humans are filled with anger and hatred towards each other.  There are so many people out there doing good, reaching out a helping hand to a stranger, living in the light of love and joy.

I wrote these words on this date back in 2011 and I still believe them to be true:  The triumph of the human spirit, the courage, the bravery, the selflessness of all of these individuals is extraordinary and an example to us all that we can each reach out to help others every day in small ways that can change lives in a positive way.  That's how each of us fight back against acts of terrorism, every time we do reach out to another with love instead of hate.

For more Haiku My Heart Fridays, visit Rebecca's blog.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Happy 50th, Jay!

My youngest brother Jay turns 50 today. Hard to believe another one of my siblings has joined me in the Half a Century Club!
He was the cutest baby, all of his baby pictures are totally adorable!
I love this picture of me holding him at three weeks old - see that cute little smile on his face?
Of the four of us, he was the one with the thick, dark hair.
Now he has three cute boys of his own and they are celebrating together out in their Rocky Mountain home. Wish I could be there too.  Happy Birthday, Jaybird! xo

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Labour Day 2015

I had a frustrating couple of hours yesterday afternoon, trying to get a newly purchased external hard drive to back up the photos on my computer. It would start the program and then stall out at a mere 3% completed.  Finally ran out of patience and decided I would take myself out to dinner. Ended up at a Wendy's near the airport and was surprised to find at least 30 people out in front of this location, some standing, some sitting in lawn chairs, watching the planes land.  I have eaten at this restaurant now and then during the week and knew the planes flew in directly over the parking lot as they came in to land on the runway across the road but I had no idea that crowds gathered on warm, summer weekend evenings to watch them!

I sat inside and watched the planes pass by the window while I ate. Air Canada, Icelandair, Westjet, Cathay Pacific - quite a variety from who knows what exotic locations, arriving every five minutes or so.  In between, other planes were taking off from the same runway, slowly taxiing into position while we watched.

Afterwards, I joined those standing about their cars in the parking lot and waited for the next plane.
Snapped this photo with my iPhone.
Might need to go back some day with my camera and see if I can get a better shot.  But first, I'm going to have to figure out how to get my photos backed up!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Vintage Cooking

I popped in to an estate sale last weekend and lucked out getting a large metal tin box for only five dollars.  It was chock full of papers and magazines from the 60s and 70s, most of which were recipes and cookbooks. 
The recipe book covers are prime examples of vintage artwork.

I might try out some of the recipes but probably not any of the ones in this booklet.
I never have been a big fan of sauerkraut!
My personal favourite? 
Who doesn't love a good luau?!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Days 2 and 3

Here are my lists from days 2 and 3 of #30DaysofLists. I am enjoying putting these lists together!

Friday, September 4, 2015

When I Can't Sleep

In the dark of night
My mind is awake, keeping
Sleep out of my grasp.

Here is my list for day 4 of #30DaysofLists, what keeps me awake at night. Lucky for me, insomnia doesn't strike too often.  But when it does, these are the usual suspects.

For more Haiku My Heart Fridays, click here to visit Rebecca's blog.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Photographic Enquiry

It's always a fascination to me to realize total strangers around the world read my blog. How they find it, I don't know - any Google search could point them towards one of my posts, depending on what they are looking for.  Such was the case recently when I had an email enquiry from a writer in Alaska who wanted to use this baby photo in an article he is working on about polar bears, as he thought the rug might be a polar bear skin.
As you may recall if you read this blog post from August 2011, the photo was one contained in a photo album I bought at an antique show.  All I knew was that the photos were probably from Germany and sure enough, here's the text from the back of the image:
The photo is dated 1918 in pencil and was taken in Franfurt but there is nO way of knowing what type of fur that rug might be, so the photo won't be used for his article but that's okay, I still love it!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mail Call

Thought I would share a couple of gorgeous cards I have recently received in the mail.  Found this beauty in my mailbox today, thank you so much, Marilyn!  I especially love the sentiment, "Procrastinate Tomorrow" - definitely words to live by!!
Last week, this lovely card arrived from Frances.  She and I were paired as penpals earlier this year. The joke was that we both live in the same city! So far, we haven't met but we will, one of these days!
Always a treat to find art in the mailbox, thank you ladies!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


I have signed up to participate in a month long challenge called "30 Days of Lists" that started today.

I first heard about it from my friend Vanessa, who recently posted about it on her blog as she was getting a little book put together to keep her lists in.  The organizers describe it as follows:  "30 Days of Lists is a semi-annual journaling challenge for Listers, from Kam of Campfire Chic and Amy of Lemon and Raspberry.  Not everyone can make a mini scrapbook every week or an art journal page every night. 30 Days of Lists is our encouragement and challenge to you that you CAN journal just something every day — even something as small as a list."  It sounded like fun, so I signed up. Yesterday.  (I'm impulsive that way!)

I want to use as much as I can from the art supplies I already have on hand, so I decided to use this small (4 x 6 inch) Tim Holtz binder. Luckily, I knew exactly where it was stashed and I was able to find it quickly and easily.
I am also going with a vintage theme, which will give me an excuse to use some of my delicious antique invoices, ticket stubs and ledgers and whatever else I can get my hands on.  I also have a number of scrapbook papers with a vintage vibe, I am looking forward to mixing them in as well.

Today's topic is "things you may have heard about me".  Here are the 2 pages I made for day 1, featuring an old photo of myself from 1963.

Here's a closeup of each page:

Many thanks to Maria, who can be found on Etsy and Instagram @OneCraftChick, who made the prompt headings and shared them with our group.

If you are intrigued by the idea of making lists on a daily basis, it's not too late to sign up, click here to find out more about it.