Thursday, April 27, 2017

Happy Patron Saint Day to the Isle of Man

Yesterday was unpleasant and I was moving at a snail's pace through my errands, but some basic pain pills and a sedentary afternoon did help. After blowing off the gym yesterday, I'll be back in the water today and I'm quite sure I'll face questions from the rest of my 5:00 am group regarding my absence yesterday. It's all good, though.

Since I'm usually one of the first three people in line at the gym, and
rarely miss a day, I'll be asked a lot of questions today. 

Yes, the foot still hurts and it's still a bit swollen, but I finally found a set of shoes that I can wear and I'll try to spend as much time as possible seated today. Tomorrow will be even better because that's how these things work. Taping has been helpful, and I'll strip yesterday's tape off after my swim today and replace it a bit later with a new batch. I'll heal - bones do that - and I'll beat myself up about my very sleepy act of pure stupidity that led to this ridiculous result. Such a silly and clumsy girl!

I came across this really lovely map of the Isle of Man while looking
for a photo of the Patron Saint. Obviously this isn't the saint, but
it is a beautiful rendition of the Isle. Somewhere there is my friend
and her family. I'd love to visit some day. What I find most amusing
about this map, however, is that it is topsy turvy. The turtle should swim
down, not up. 

Waves out to my friend on the Isle of Man today - it's the day of their Patron Saint. That's actually pretty kewl. I don't think we have patron saints here in the USA. If we do, I haven't heard of them. I suppose a few cities might have one or two hanging around the stratosphere, but not the nation. I think we left stuff like that behind when the first residents of Europe sailed over to our shores. I'm absolutely certain that our Native American tribes didn't have patron saints. I'll celebrate along with the rest of the Isle of Man today, and I'll keep you, your husband, and your fabulous daughter in my thoughts today. Hugs from across the pond heading your way from the Frozen Northlands.

Here's the lovely Isle of Man, correctly oriented, the
turtle swimming down, head to the left. Just needed
to set the geographical record straight - LOL. 

Have a wonderful Thursday, all. I'll still be moving a bit slower today, but I'm going on record - I refuse to let such a silly thing like a cracked bone slow me down for long. Do a simple kindness for someone today - brighten their day and start a new ripple.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Fate Takes a Hand & Saturn's Beauty

Fate stepped in and resolved the mouse issue quickly. Yesterday morning when I powered up the laptop, the mouse was dead. No power. Changed my battery, still no power. Tried a couple of other things, but no. So off to the office supply store I hustled, and after trying out several sample models I ended up with another Logitech. This one is a bit more upscale, it uses two batteries instead of one and has a nice, crisp feel for the buttons. It's still not fancy, but it was more than $10. If I get a few years from it, I'll be happy.

The Google Cartoon for today shows Cassini moving between Saturn and
the planet's rings. It's really rather incredible. Check out this photo from
April 22nd. 

I think my body is telling me to take a day off. In the early hours of the morning, I stubbed my little toe against a door frame and now, more that two hours later, it still hurts like the dickens. Of course, it's my "day off" so I'll be on my feet for a lot of the day, plus it's raining and will be raining throughout the day. My mood is not great, still, the show must go on. I'm divided about swimming, though. I'm thinking I'll take the day away from the pool and tape my toe firmly so that I can walk with less pain. Of course, I still have ten minutes to make up my mind, so I can change it and try the pool.

There's something absolutely magical about Saturn and its rings. I've been in
love with Saturn since I first saw drawings of it. To actually see photographs
of the planet in real life/real time is more than amazing. 

Short and sweet today. Have a wonderful and joy-filled spring/fall day and enjoy your Wednesday. I'll try my best to be more mobile by tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Castle Recommences

Thanks to everyone for mouse input. It's been very helpful. Tomorrow I hope to get out to the office supply store and put my hand on some of the display models to figure out what will work best in my hand. DH used my computer yesterday for a while and he hated my mouse even more than I do, even though it was behaving itself relatively well yesterday. Oh well, I know it's a problem and I'll have to try and resolve it.

It's going to be a week of cooler weather with rain. Great for
the flowers, trees and grass, not so good for my personality
or DH's progress on the Castle. 

We're back into some cold and rainy weather for a few days, which is a bit of a bummer. DH had resumed work on the Castle last week, moving loads of dirt from a pile he left in late fall so that he could start work on Phase II of the construction. He was looking forward to continuing this week, but the weather might not cooperate. He'll have warm temps today, but that will fade with rain that will appear in the late afternoon. The rest of the week will probably be too cold - at least Thursday will be. Friday will be chilly, but he may go out and work for a while anyway. He has a lot on his agenda for this summer, so it's full steam ahead once more.

As a reminder, this is what DH accomplished last summer in our back
yard. I call it "The Castle". It extends a bit beyond on each side, but it's the
best overall photo I have of the stonework. This was all done by hand, no way
to get machinery into this part of our yard. 

On that note, I'm making this quick and simple today. I'm rushed and I also have a birthday wish to get posted, so I hope all of you have a wonderful Tuesday and thanks once again for the input on computer mice that you have and love. It's nice to know that there are contented people working with them out there. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Mice and Road Construction

Thanks for the input on mouse problems, I tried a different USB input on Saturday and I'll check out a different (smaller spare that I keep on hand for emergencies) mouse today and see how that one works. DH and I played all day on Sunday, but that was on my desktop and that mouse was just fine, so I suspect it is a mouse issue. Just one more test and I'll probably break down and order something a bit more up-scale than a $10 sale item. LOL

I'm thinking of ordering a two-button mouse like this. It might
be easier for my hand. If I have time on Wednesday, I'll drop by
the Office Supply store and test out a few varieties to see what
fits my hand the best. I need to buy some copy paper for the
shop, anyway. 

I had a busy Saturday and a lazy Sunday, just the way I like it. Today I have a Chiropractor appointment in the early morning for the first time since road construction began on the route that I take. Oh joy! I'll have to build in a bit more time to get out that direction so that I can accommodate any road construction issues. I may as well get used to it, I'll be dealing with it until late in the year. We always say that Minnesota has two seasons - Winter and Road Construction.

I saw this picture and just had to share. It might not be
true (I've seen the road guys in action and they work
pretty hard), but it's just plain funny! 

I got my first list of supplies for one of my scheduled classes for Bead & Button in my email overnight. It's hard to believe that time is moving so quickly, but yes, it is only about six weeks or so until I head out to Milwaukee once again. I guess I'd better get that oil change appointment and general auto checkup scheduled!

I'll build in some extra time today because I don't know exactly
how they will have the lanes arranged, but it won't take long
to get acquainted with this year's blockades and detours. *sigh*

So, nothing much to say today except that it's the start of a new week. I have to get going on writing my SGW story, and of course I'll continue playing in the Festival events at Lord of the Rings Online. At least I'm occupied and can't get into too much trouble in the virtual arena. Have a wonderful Monday, I'm looking forward to my shortened swim and seeing my Chiro once again. Enjoy the Day!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

LOTRO 10th Anniversary and Mouse Problems

It's the weekend, I have one more day in the pool today before I can sleep in tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to some sleep! And ... I just remembered that I planned to make breakfast tomorrow and I don't think I remembered to buy eggs while I was at the store on Wednesday. Crap! I'll have to ask DH to take a quick trip to the store for me today and he won't be happy about it. Oh well, it's either buy the eggs today or eat out for breakfast tomorrow.

Thursday started the Anniversary Celebration with daily scavenger hunts,
fireworks shows, and miscellaneous events crossing the Shire. We often skip
events like this, but there are some unusual housing items that only become
available during the Festivals, so we're playing this time and having a blast! 

We've been super tied up in the Lord of the Rings Online 10th Anniversary Celebration. It started on Thursday and he's been working on how to get my Level 51 character into a few areas which are geared for levels twice as high as I am for the last three items on my Scavenger List. He thinks he might have figured it out, I'm not so sure, but we'll give it a shot on Sunday and see how successful we are.

We've been playing LOTRO since the beta days, so it's actually been longer
than ten years for us, but we don't play it constantly. DH plays more frequently
than I do. He has more patience than I do. But when the winter comes or when
it's raining outside and he can't work in the garden, he'll go into Middle Earth
for a few hours. 

Question for those of you who use a wireless mouse for your computers. Do you find that the type/brand of mouse really makes a difference in the ability to control? I'm getting super frustrated by problems with my mouse while working on my laptop at the shop, but I'm wondering if it is the mouse, or if maybe a cable is being pinched in one hinge that isn't positioning correctly now that the laptop is getting older. What do you think? Would I perhaps resolve the issue if I purchased a mouse that costs more than $10 on sale?

I have a really cheap wireless mouse for my laptop, and it is
acting up. I don't care about having to try something twice if
I'm working on a text document, but if I can't target a goblin
while trying to survive a solo run in Goblin Town, it's NOT
a good thing. Do you have a mouse that you love and would
recommend to me? 

On that note, I'm leaving you. I'm grabbing my swim bag and heading to the gym for their 6:00 am door unlocking time. The pool is calling. Have a wonderful weekend, celebrate Earth Day in a way that lessens your footprint on our Mother Earth. In fact, why not choose one item to change for this coming year that will make your carbon footprint less. After doing it for a year, it will be a habit and you can choose a second thing to add to your conscious actions for the Earth. Happy Day!

Friday, April 21, 2017

How Far We Have Come - More Earth Day Thoughts

A friend brought up a good point about one thing I said in yesterday's post about Earth Day. I'll condense and paraphrase because I don't have a right to quote her without asking for permission and I'm running late. She expressed a bit of healthy cynicism about Earth Day, stating that it's a one hand/other hand issue. The increased awareness of the environment is good, but for many people it's just that single day and they return to their poor habits immediately thereafter.

Her comment made me think, since I've been involved with Earth Day since the very first one while I was in High School in Colorado. I thought back over my more than thirty years of celebrating and fighting for environmental awareness and causes, and remembered what the prevailing attitudes about the land that we lived in were like back in the early 1970's. It really wasn't that long ago to me, but I have a lot of friends who weren't even born then, so I guess it's been a while. 

Toxic water was becoming all too common with chemicals and pollutants
being added to the waters at an alarming rate. The awareness started by
Earth Day led to some serious cleanup of the waterways as well as
strengthened regulations about waste water disposal practices. 

What really hit me is that over the years, environmental causes and a focus on helping to save the environment has become a part of standard rhetoric and discussion. It's nothing for a municipality to publish their water testing results in their monthly newsletters and signing a community up for curb-side single container recycling has become commonplace (and oh, so nice!). The EPA was established and strengthened over the years, factories and other businesses were fined and forced to clean up their environmental damage, and toxic waste dumps were fenced off, analyzed, and in some cases cleaned up and repurposed. 

Businesses are often really poor at self-policing. They'll go for the
least expensive solution and the short-term fix. Those practices
can lead to long-term problems that can affect generations to come. 

None of this would have happened without that original Earth Day and the subsequent ones bringing the topic of the land around us into sharper focus. We're losing that focus now, with our new political administration, and I have to admit that I'm probably more afraid for the lasting effects of this poor decision on Mother Earth than many other aspects of the current President and Congress. 

I'm grateful that concern for the environment isn't as much a 'grass roots' and 'underground' lifestyle as it was when I was a kid. Environmental causes have shifted from the back pages in a bottom corner to being front page news. Talk about the future ramifications of environmental actions, project construction, and corporate decisions that impact the land, air and water is a standard topic for discussion. All of this comes from that original Earth Day. 

Many cities and suburbs have taken to fully mixable one-step curbside
recycling containers. It's so easy and efficient! The waste containers
have a radio code in the lid that helps the truck speed from one stop
to another. The picture here is from Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Yes, Earth Day might be just a single day in the year for many people to think about the Earth we live on. I can't disagree with that; I know people personally who live that way, compartmentalizing things that make them uncomfortable or that demand that extra step. But those first ripples in the water went on to become a movement that changed our perception of the world. I'm grateful that we still celebrate and acknowledge Earth Day because even if it's only a single day, that's one day of thought that can fertilize more awareness in the future. 

I'm so grateful that I've had an opportunity to be part of
environmental awareness for most of my life. It's a gift. 

Have a wonderful Friday and enjoy every aspect of it. I'm quickly choosing pictures and getting this posted. Running late for my swimming! ACK! 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bringing Some Important Dates to Your Attention Today

OMG, how can it already be Thursday! There are lots of things going on within the next week that I want to bring to your attention, so here we go!

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd. What have you
done for our earth lately? Remember, we borrow the
earth from our children, so leave them with a world
worth living in. 

First of all - Saturday the 22nd is Earth Day. It's a day to remember that we only have a single planet upon which we live and that if we mess this up, it's curtains for us as well as a lot of other lovely and amazing critters who share this world with us. The next race to inherit the earth after us may well be the cockroaches, so let's do our very best to assure that doesn't happen. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Replenish and Restore - treasure this world we live on. My DH and my staff know I'm a bit of a maniac about recycling. I blame/thank my aunt for that. In the early days when she lived in Aspen, she would drive miles out of her way to take her recycling to the center of town where there were bins set up for glass and paper. My mother could have given a darn, but Tante Vera cared about the environment a lot. So thanks, Tante Vera, for teaching by example. I've never forgotten it.

Check your local restaurants. Many areas will have
restaurants participating in this nationwide event.
Follow the link in the paragraph below for more

Next week, on the 27th is Dining Out for Life. This National effort helps raise funds for AIDS services. You can find out more specific information on but check out what events might be happening in your own area and try to support them. Last year more than $4 million was raised in North America for this cause through this single event and a lot of very generous restaurants and eating establishments.

I wanted to get this, but I'm cheap. I didn't want to spend
the money on it. I'm sure it will go on sale at some
point and I'll pick it up then. I'll just have to watch
for it in the sales emails and flyers. 

Yesterday I walked into Target with a shopping list (I still ended up forgetting a couple of things, despite the list) and $55 of gift cards in my pocket. It was my intention to get a new pair of jeans and maybe a DVD with the gift cards. After shopping and getting lots of things for home and the shop, I checked out the jeans. The style I wanted was sold out of my size - my size was only available in styles that I already had and didn't want more of. Meh! So then I checked out the DVDs. I knew I wanted the Harry Potter offshoot - "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" - but ended up looking, and deciding that I'll wait until the price goes down. I'm not in a rush, I just want to have it. So, yesterday I walked back out of Target with a shopping cart full of paper products and $55 of gift cards in my pocket.

Here's hoping you have a tremendous Thursday. I'm ready to hit the pool and dive into my day running. Lots to do! Enjoy!