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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Two More Spins

 
Yesterday and today-- two more spins around the axis

Last night's moon. I always like it when some foliage is silhouetted.

moon

I was getting ready to post the moon picture alone when I realized that every bit of light outside was pink. Ran out to catch the sunset.

pink sunset

An almost unproductive day. Ho hum. Need to work on that tomorrow.

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Monday, July 30, 2018

White

 
Another nice day. White probably gets neglected in my color spectrum because... it's just white.

So I concentrated on bringing home some white pictures to feature. How about white birch bark? I like the tones. If it weren't for the green leaves you might think it was a black and white picture.

white birch bark

In fact, here it is in black and white. Very interesting texturally.

white birch bark

The lowly Queen Anne's Lace is always lovely.

Queen Anne's Lace

The white globe bellflowers bloomed in my garden. Not sure why they are later than the purple ones.

white globe bellflower

Common yarrow is another overlooked wild flower.

white yarrow

Best white picture? This beautiful cumulus cloud rising in the east. Before I got home the base of it was producing some impressive rumbles of thunder, but nothing came of it here.

cumulus cloud

In other news: I worked on my files a bit. I worked on my Books Leaving Footprints newsletter a bit. I read a bit. A calm day. That's OK-- I'm supposed to be retired, right?

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Color My World

 
I have a card reader! Actually I'm pretty happy with it-- we'll see if it lives up to expectations. At any rate, I can get the pictures from the last few days off my camera.

Just thought I'd bring you some color from my world.

I've been waiting for that begonia in my planter to kick into gear and bloom. Here you go! Now I have hot pink, purple and orange. Theoretically, these are my least favorite colors, but these are intense, not pastels, and I love the way it looks.

planter with bright flowers

This month's full moon was known as a blood moon. But early in the evening the sky was the deep, deep blue I love so much.

deep blue sky with moon

As it got higher, the deep orange color of the moon showed through. I had to use a filter to get the camera to see it, but this was about how it looked to the naked eye.

deep orange full moon

This morning, the sunrise was peachy and glowing. Sorry about the wires, but I can't go unclip them when I want to take pictures.

sunrise with glowing clouds

On today's walk, I found the cut-leaf teasel in bloom.

cut-leaf teasel flowers

And the highbush cranberry (really a viburnum) is just beginning to redden.

highbush cranberry

Hope you enjoyed the bright spots in life as much as I did!

In other news: rebuilding my files is going... s-l-o-w-l-y, but I didn't expect anything else. I'll need to take it in small doses-- it's making me nuts. I also wrote my monthly column for the newspaper.

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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Somebody's Birdbath

 
Can't access my camera pictures tonight. Need a new card reader. So I went hunting for a pretty picture you haven't seen yet.

Here's a nice female oriole taking advantage of a bird bath (from 2016). Not mine, although I do see more birds using mine this year, which is awesome!

photo label

This computer switch is no longer kicking my butt. However, there is still a lot of drudge work to do, and then re-creating the files I lost. Sigh.

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Friday, July 27, 2018

Friday Night Live

 
I did something tonight that I would never do of my own free will (because it's all about crowds and noise), except that I had a purpose. Needed to scope out the Friday Night Live event in Ludington as a possible future venue of the book event that we had last weekend.

The entire downtown of Ludington is closed to traffic and there is family-friendly stuff all over. Here's some of what I captured. The Flipstar Gymnastics Club was doing a demonstration. I caught one girl in mid-flip.

gymnast

I'm adding one more picture because I want to show you that all the girls, big to small, lined up and each did what they could in a run whether it was the standard two flip-flops and a roundoff or back flip, or just a roundoff or maybe one flop-flop. Most of the girls who ended with the roundoff were then spotted by the coach to add on a back flip.

gymnast

The West Michigan Old Engine Club had a whole line up of antique tractors.

antique tractors

And an antique fire engine which kids could climb on.

antique fire engine

I got there just after 6 pm, when it had barely opened, and it runs till dark. There was already a sign that said all the pony ride tickets for the entire evening were already sold out!

pony rides

There are portable stages with live music at the deadends of each closed off street. This band was at the end of the main drag. They were playing zydeco. Of course, when I heard the accordion I was just pulled down to see the player. His keyboarding was very good, but that's what he is, a keyboarder, not an accordionist. He never played any of the left hand buttons, and that thumb on the frame of the keyboard is a no-no. Nevertheless, very enjoyable because he was good and also a good singer.

accordion

In other news: I worked half the day out at Shagway. Made a little progress on my computer restoration. Realized another batch of files I've lost. Found out some more things to try to get my phone reading its card again. Sometimes technology is the pits.

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Blobs

 
Today was mixed bag. I did entirely too much sitting still, but I made some progress on the computer restoration.

The best find of the day is these four colorized pictures that I made a long time ago, and had forgotten about.

blobs

I made the blue one my desktop background.

blobs

You know I love color, so I couldn't stop with just two.

blobs

And here's the last one.

blobs

Any idea where the original came from? Here it is.

blobs

It's the dregs of gravy in the bottom of a frying pan! Always keep your eyes open for something interesting.

The software that loaded and was working last night decided it wouldn't play today. Uninstalled and reinstalled 3 times under various permutations. No go. So I downloaded (3 hours) the newest version as a 30 day trial. It works fine with Windows 7. But I'm not paying the money for that upgrade. Found a version that will be an upgrade for me on eBay at a more reasonable price, and it will be here before my free trial expires.

I have most of the files that can be recovered organized. I am missing a bunch of business files that are going to be really hard to recreate accurately. I got so paranoid about backing up the writing that I sort of slacked off on other things. O well. I'll try to do better, but this is me... so who knows?

Got sidetracked onto some other recordkeeping that is related to the computer issue. No regrets, but maybe it wasn't the highest priority.

Actually was a tiny bit productive as I got the last few typos out of The Bigg Boss and the cleaner version uploaded. That was a good test of what miscellaneous software items need to be reinstalled. (A lot.) But every day should get better. At least until I have to re-create those missing files.

The new computer is lots faster. I like that.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Drawing on the Calm

 
Hello again (after several days of not blogging due to computer issues). I have my "new" computer up and running with my most important software working. This is pretty much the only good news of the day.

So... I'm going to just share some pretty pictures from the past few days. I'm drawing on these memories to try to stay calm as I discover what all my automatic backup software didn't bother to save. I haven't lost any writing because I was backing that up manually. Other stuff? I still don't know. I think I have enough to be shy of tearing out my hair, but I think I lost some business files that will be a monumental pain to recreate... if I even can.

Meanwhile, how about a pretty fritillary butterfly on a butterfly bush?

orange butterfly on purple butterfly bush

This was the sky a couple of days ago at sunset. Not to the west, however, but to the south. It's always so interesting how the sunset can change the other quadrants of the sky.

sunset light

Here's a feisty little occupant of my lawn. This is one of a set of twins. I think it's a little buck. Take particular notice of his legs. They are unusually long, and he knows how to use them. You should see him jump. He's also very bold for such a little one. Already venturing far from Mom. We'll see if he survives that recklessness on this road.

fawn

Here's the sky just a little while ago. Nothing special, but beautiful. I'm attempting to remember that a computer changeover is not the end of the world.

blue sky

My phone SIM card has not been working for a long time, and a new one doesn't seem to be working either. All other errands attempted today were also failures. Tomorrow might be better. I hope.

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Ester to the Rescue

 
Today was all about the almost final approach (tomorrow is the final approach) to the Writers' Rendezvous on Saturday. It was a little bit nuts, and Ester upheld her reputation of coming to the rescue.

First, let me point out that we took time to go get some yummy deli items and eat them at the beach for dinner.

picnic

I spent most of the day making cookies. All the rest of the minutes were spent answering emails and putting out fires in relation to the Rendezvous.

Here's the biggest snafu, rescued by Ester (who is coming to help with my book table on Saturday).

So... if one needs office supplies here, one is up a creek. A few years ago, Staples came in and built a small store. This put the local office supply place out of business. Then Staples left. Sigh. I have a business account with Staples on line so I can get free overnight shipping with a minimum order. No problem. Needed colored paper, name tag holders and a couple odd things.

Ordered them Tuesday. They didn't come Wednesday. Tracking said they were delivered to the wrong address. Try again today.

They didn't come today either. Tracking sent me a text that they had just been delivered. Not. This was at 4:00 in the afternoon. I immediately got on a chat with Reynaldo at customer service (I prefer that because they have to type in English no matter how they pronounce the words). He confirmed it was delivered to the wrong address AGAIN. I said "I NEED MY STUFF!"

Meanwhile, I realized that Ester was on her way here and was nearing Muskegon... last chance for an office supply store. Reynaldo said his computer system was acting up and he couldn't figure out where my order had gone, they would re-send tomorrow. I said "NO!!!!!"

Meanwhile, I'm texting Ester furiously to Stop... wherever she was. I caught her just at the Muskegon turn! Reynaldo asked me what I wanted to do. I said, "Issue me a refund." So he did.

I gave the order number to Ester and she got the stuff in Muskegon. She said they were falling all over themselves trying to be accommodating about the order. They only had more expensive name tag holders, but they gave them to me at the same price. Meanwhile, I got an email from Staples that my refund came through, and if the items ever showed up at my house, I could just keep them too.

They'll probably keep my business, since it's the only place I can get overnight delivery on my toner cartridges, but it was good that they tried hard to make it right. Shhh, don't tell them I'm stuck with them anyway.

So once again, Ester saves the day!

We spent the evening putting together info packets for the authors.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Mason County Garden Tour 2018- Hosta and...

 
Most of the gardens on the 2018 Mason County Garden Tour made good use of hosta. They are great in shade and fill in the space fast. Tons of sizes and color variations. (And they make a nice salad bar for the deer some years.)

This was a large area near that red barn. Part sun, part shade. Most hosta will tolerate that as well as deep shade. Here we have hosta and hosta. Blue-greens, yellow-greens, edged leaves.

Mason County Garden Tour hosta

At the next stop, a tree had been ringed with a smaller striped hosta and lots of varieties of coleus.

Mason County Garden Tour hosta

I liked this one because it has large hosta and small hosta. I'm not sure how well this will work in the long run because the small varieties may get hidden. But they are quite tolerant of being dug up and moved, so for right now this is fine.

Mason County Garden Tour hosta

There are WAY too many cultivated varieties of hosta for me to start guessing names without tags, but I like how wide the white stripe on the edges of this one is (and it might be 'Patriot.') It sure makes a nice edging.

Mason County Garden Tour hosta

This garden has the same idea I do- hosta and heuchera. But I would like to contrast them. Here they are a tonal match. Either way, they both do well in shade.

Mason County Garden Tour hosta

Finally, this is just a really nice display of hosta and hosta. I think I'm counting eight different varieties in this bed. Nicely planted to complement each other and show off the colors.

Mason County Garden Tour hosta

In other news: I got to do a really fun thing today, but pictures were not allowed. I'll tell you about it one of these days. Other than that, I worked on the Writers' Rendezvous all day.

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