Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Fave -- Christmas in January

The nights are getting shorter and the days longer--although you can't tell if you're not paying attention because you're too busy freezing your bewhondus off.

All the twinkling lights are packed away as are the tartookers, bizilbigs, popcorn and plums. So what's a girl to do to ward off a severe case of the dreaded January Doldrums?  Funny you should ask!

It helps that I've hoarded every post-holiday sale cross-stitch ornament pattern that I've ever seen.  I have kits marked Shopko $.30--and we haven't had Shopko here for a decade, people.  And, oh, how I miss that store!  So I'm loving lots and lots of cheery projects to stitch while I watch George Eliot's Middlemarch on Netflx, with an occasional Marco Polo episode  thrown in to satisfy my sweetie's viewing habits.

It might have taken a few days of digging in various boxes and bins to round up all the kits that have scattered over the years, but I managed to herd them into one corral finally. So maybe the correct embroidery threads aren't with the right kits. Details, details.  Close enough.

I'm just started project number seven!  Which sounds impressive--especially with an exclamation mark thownin--but three of them were already mostly finished (similar to "mostly dead", but in the opposite way) and took just an evening to wind up. 

Don't you just love that little gingerbread house on the green Aida?!  It's my favorite.  Atlhough the little hen with the brown eggs that says Merry Eggsmas on it (not pictured) is darn fun too.  In a chicken-loving way.

I'm not only avoiding the post-holiday letdown but I'm a whole eleven months ahead on next year's Christmas ornaments!  Whoot!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Guideposts--Number 107

Fail to plan? Plan to fail!

 The saying has been attributed most often to Ben Franklin, who is also credited with having said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

More recent variations:
“Fail to plan, plan to fail.” Carl W. Buechner

“Failures don't plan to fail; they fail to plan.” Harvey MacKay
"He who fails to plan is planning to fail." Winston Churchill (during WW II) 


Saturday, January 17, 2015

My Guideposts -- 106

Live strong.
Act bold.
Be brave.
Nothing's too hard to do.
 Always believe.

~James Hellwig
The Ultimate Warrior 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Favorite -- Fuzzy Flannel Sheets

Growing up, my least favorite part of a northern California winter was climbing into a cold bed. My toes took eons to warm up in those cold sheets no matter how many of Aunt Mabell's quilts and wool blankets were piled on top!

Brrrrr.  Still makes me shiver thinking about it.

The high desert is a lot more comfy in winter even if it is a whole lot colder since we have such low humidity.  Sheets seldom get clammy-cold.  Which explains why this is only the second year we've owned a set of flannel sheets. What a luxury!

When the nights drop into the single digits or teens, I make our bed with a set from Costco.  They are the same color as a tub of vanilla bean ice cream. These sheets feel as good as ice cream tastes!

I hop into a vanilla-colored nest of warm fuzziness, top and bottom.  No cold toesies.  No shivers.

Just fine, fuzzy, furry, fluffy, fizzy, fabulous, friendly flannel.  Yum!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How to Easily Backup Your Blog at Blogger/Blogspot

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to backup your blog.  

I was a good girl and just saved all my glorious pearls of wisdom from 2014.  I'm no computer whiz but it's easy!  Really truly pinky promise!  At least, it is on Blogger aka Blogspot.  

I can't speak to any other platform.  Sorry 'bout that.

First, you'll have to open your blog in Blogger (preferably in a separate window so you can read these instructions and toggle over to your blog to carry them out.)
 There on the left side, all the way down at the bottom, is a little wrench icon called SETTINGS.  You'll want to click that.

At the bottom of the menu you just opened is the completely uninformative word OTHER.  But that's the one you want. Click.

Near the top of your page you should see the title BLOG TOOLS and in blue it will say 
Import blog     Export blog     Delete blog

You want to select EXPORT BLOG.  Don't worry, your posts aren't going to disappear.  What you are doing is copying the whole shebang to a safe and secure location where Blogger can't accidentally lose every word you've ever published.  Your blog may not be Tolstoy (or maybe it is) but you've put time into selecting photos, writing and editing, reading comments and, as unlikely as it is, I've heard of bloggers whose posts that simply up and disappeared into the North Woods one day, never to be seen again.  

Big collective "ouch!" here.

A window will pop up to reassure you that you are doing the right thing and merely backing up your blog.

So select DOWNLOAD with a happy heart.

Yet another window will open asking you if you want to Open With (a default program) or
SAVE FILE.  So select SAVE FILE and push OK.

Great!  You've downloaded your blog, every comma, every paragraph, every comment.

You've essentially copied your blog from Blogger/Blogspot to your own hard drive.  But your hard drive is subject to various ills--viruses, malware, old age--so you need to find secure storage to park all the info. Here in the cottage, we have an external hard drive which is where I save my valuable photos, videos, blog data, etc.  You could choose to put yours on a DVD.  Or maybe up in the Cloud.  I share the external storage with my sweetie so I have my own section and a file I have brilliantly named Blog Backup.

Ahem...moving on.

You'll find your downloaded blog under My Documents (click),  Downloads.  I find My Documents when I push my Start button.  It's also under My Computer/Local Disc (C:)/your Documents.  There's always more than one way to access data. 

There, you'll find it listed alphabetically under "blog" along with the date you downloaded it.
i.e., blog-1-14-15

Right click on the icon or title and CUT (or COPY** if you're the nervous type), then PASTE in your chosen safe storage.

**If you selected COPY, you can now first check that you successfully exported your blog into your safe storage before you go back and hit CUT.

See, told ya it was easy. 
I'll bet the hardest part was deciding where to save it.  Am I right?

One last trick.  Copy this post onto your blog, give it a catchy title like HOW TO BACKUP MY BLOG, and save it as a Draft rather than publishing it.  You've put it into an easily found and easily remembered place so next January you can do the same thing again. 

Stay shiny,

Parties to visit for more fun, inspiration and eye-candy and how-to's:

Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Guideposts- Number105

We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. 

~His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Je suis Charlie.  Islamic State urging producing babies as future jihadists.  North Korean bluster.  I can't change any of them, but I can produce an expanding bubble of peace in my own space that will reach others and bring them peace.


Friday, January 09, 2015

Friday Favorite - Simple Enjoyment

In the "Trying To Be A Better Blogger and Post More Often" category, I've had the idea of featuring one thing that's brought me joy during the week for a while but I never followed through.  I regularly find myself looking at something I'm using and thinking, "Gee, I love this".  They are almost always vintage items I've had for years, but sometimes I discover that things I didn't know I needed are amazing additions to daily life.

So here goes, my first Friday Favorite: My Dish Drainer.  Exciting beyond belief, right?  But honestly, every time I look at my dish drainer recently, I smile.

I have a dishwasher that I could (but don't want) to live without.  Our '50's bungalow didn't have one so I was more than a little excited when we bought a new house With A Dishwasher. 

Although it turned out to be a dishwasher that I'd turn on then leave to grocery shop.  Or go upstairs and use the sewing machine.   Or wander outside to pull weeds.  Noisy, much?   We never started it up when we wanted to have a conversation or watch TV or eat dinner.

There are some things that are not meant to go in dishwashers though--like wooden knives and cutting boards, aluminum measuring cups, melamine bowls--so they get washed by hand.

After twenty-five years of noisily but efficiently cleaning dishes, Dishwasher #1 began having issues (I can relate) and a new quiet model has since been installed (thankfully my husband has not replaced his older and noisy Wife #1). 

Those wooden/aluminum/melamine items still have to be washed individually though.  Hence the dish drainer. The current one is as old as our granite counter tops. Well, not as old as the granite pluton that spawned them originally. 

That would be silly since plastic didn't exist then.  

Neither did humans, now that I think of it. 

When we gleefully demolished our ceramic tile and grody grout a few years back, we bought a clear plastic dish drainer that wouldn't obscure our amazing smooth granite counter.  Years of cradling wet dishes left the rubber with a cloudy residue from unknown minerals in our generally fabulous water straight from Lake Tahoe.  Not pretty 'though still fairly see-through.

New Year, new eyes.  As I dried the dishes recently I actually looked at the drainer, saw the residue and made a change.  Not by buying a new drainer--applying a bit of elbow grease showed how easily the cloudiness could be eliminated.  A baking soda paste and a soft cloth revealed a clear, good-as-new surface.

So humble dish drainer, thanks for making my dishwashing chores a bit more beautiful and satisfying.

And the moral of the story (it occurs to me as I type) is that I have the power to improve life in lots of ways if I just open my eyes and make the effort.  I'm betting it works on people and relationships as well as dish drainers.  Grin.

Stay shiny,