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      Thursday, December 13, 2018


otherstuff
11:48 AM - 12/13/2018

The topic: Guess who has two thumbs and
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Is officially going to get a new hip? 

ME!!!

Just got back from the orthopedist and they took another x-ray, then I met with the doctor and he asked some questions. Like can I put on my shoes and Brian just bust out laughing (I can put on my left sock and shoe, but not my right). I told the doctor that Brian was my Prince Charming.

He also went over the x-ray with us. My left hip has a fair amount of room between the ball and the pelvic socket, so it's easily moved. But the right....the right, not so much. On the way home Brian remarked that it actually looked fused to him, no room at all. The doctor said there's no shot or medication or physical therapy that will fix this. Just the one option. Surgery.

The doctor said he usually asks a certain set of questions and my answers pretty much all pointed to needing a new hip. And from my health history he thinks I'll do pretty good with recovery. He thinks I'm a good candidate. It would be done as an outpatient surgery. I go home the same day. The surgery itself takes about three hours.

He's about three months out, but I was put on a list in case anything opens up sooner. I'm hoping we're walking the hill again by next summer.

I'm so excited!

Me, in six months or sooner ----> yippee

hip replacement    doctor   

      Sunday, December 16, 2018


geekstuff
01:37 PM - 12/16/2018

The topic: This is kind of geeky, but also cool
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Back in October, I revisited electronic photo frames. I have an old one and at one point I thought it would be fun to have a photo wall in the living room. I picked out a paint color and Brian bought the paint, but I never had the energy to do anything about it (this was before we knew about my hip). I was going to print out different photos I've taken over the years, make my own paper frames and somewhere in there, have that old photo frame, that cycled through photos that were on a memory card.

Well, for my birthday this year, I started looking at them again. I'm sure they're much nicer now, than they were fifteen or so years ago. And thanks to a couple of great friends, who gifted me $$ cards, I was able to find one. A Pix-Star 15 inch frame. It was really super nice, easy to set up, you can have friends email photos directly to your frame using a special email address, it has Wi-fi, it has a nice sized internal memory, and it also uses a memory card.

Brian got it up on the fireplace (we don't have fires, I won't clean it out, it's a dirty job and I hate cleaning that more than I love having a fire). And we both enjoyed it.

But the thing is fifteen inches isn't really that big. Not when you're sitting twenty feet or so away. I checked larger photo frames and for the most part, the ones we could afford had really bad reviews. The expensive ones were out of our reach.

Then I had an idea. The Roku. I've used the one here in the family room to listen to my music using the Roku Media Player. I like that because I don't have to have a computer on.

We have a Netgear Nighthawk router that allows me to attach external hard drives and use them as my own personal cloud. I have two drives attached, with files and photographs and music. I also run my accounting software off of them, I like having the files available from all computers.

I tested out the Roku's slideshow capability and while it was nothing fancy, I can shuffle the images and choose if they switch out fast, medium or slow.  I go with shuffle and slow. I haven't figured out if I could have them in seperate folders, so for the time being, having just one big file was fine with me. Now that I knew the Roku would work, I needed a monitor of sorts. A television.

I did some research, I did test out Amazon's slideshow with the Fire TV, but you have to have the images on Amazon. I don't want them out there in the internet. I want them here at home, in my house. I'd hate to have them all get lost or something or have the accounts hacked and see them all over the internet (well, not that they'd go nationwide, it's just clouds and suns and cats). I just wouldn't trust that.

So, I looked at televisions, I figured a thirty-two inch set would work out nicely. And I started researching different televisions.

And I found a TCL Roku TV.  I researched TCL and they have good reviews, even Consumer Reports suggested them as a good buy. So, I put one on my Amazon wishlist. I also found a mount that would work with this size set.

And a couple of weeks went by. I got caught up with paperwork. There was my annual doctor's appointment a couple of weeks ago (guess who had really bad cholesterol and is pre-diabetic?). Then the visit with the orthopedist. I finished up the holiday packages, got those shipped out on Wednesday.

I only exchange gifts with one person at Christmas, another friend has her birthday in January. I needed to get the gifts for them, I knew what I wanted, but money's kind of tight right now, trying to get as much spent on the company as possible, for tax purposes. I checked my money market fund in my stock trading app and I pulled money out of that. And I got extra. Because. Because everytime I watched that little photo frame, I imagined a bigger photo frame. One we could see.

And I ordered it. And it got here yesterday. I took it out of the box and set it up on my work table and started it up. Logged in to my Roku account, all of my streaming apps automaticallly installed on the television. As soon as it was done, I went to the Roku Media Player and started up the slideshow.

IT WORKS!!!

Don't get me wrong, the Pix-Star was just amazing, but it's more something fit for a desk or a shelf. It has transitions between photos, a weather app, time, you can set when it comes on, set when it goes off. The television won't do that.

But we can sit on the sofa and see faces. We can tell which kitty that is.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in the Pix-Star, I don't have the box, but it's pretty new and works fine. I'm selling that for $150.00, no shipping. I paid $199.99 plus tax for it, so it's 25% off for something that's almost brand new.


The Pix-Star


The wood he used to mount the Pix-Star - Brian didn't have to change this out, the television is so light weight


Yeah, look at that avocado! The television is 32 inches, perfect size

I may try to see if the Wii works on this tv. It wouldn't work with our new one, even with an adaptor. I might want to play again when my hip is in recovery. That would be nice.

photo frame   

      Monday, December 17, 2018


craftstuff
09:27 AM - 12/17/2018

The topic: So, you’ve seen my first
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Back in November, I shared photos taken during the assembly of my first Heirloom Christmas tree. Here are the shots from the most recent tree, the green one. This one is going to my vet this afternoon.

The assembly of this was just like the first one. I'd cut them out at the same time, but had some new ideas for the second tree.

For the base I went with a plain red cardstock. I used a red mirrored cardstock for the panels. It was too dull, needed something more. So, I dug through my big box of embellishments and came up with Jolee's Boutique Dimensional Christmas Present stickers. I think you'll agree, they worked out nicely.

There are twenty photos over in my gallery. In the gallery, you can click on the photo to get a much bigger image. If you're so inclined. And as always, clicking on a photo here will take you to that photo in the gallery. Where you can see it bigger. If you're so inclined.

Okay, so here's the finished tree:

It started like this:

There was some gluing (putting the mirrored panels on the base piece).

Next, the stickers on the panels. Easier to do this before assembly.

The very bottom of the base has its own set of panels. I printed these out myself from a file I got over on Etsy. If you're into printing your own paper, you should check it out. Search for "digital paper" and prepare to be amazed. After they were cut, I embossed them, which turned out to be a waste of time, then I used Ranger Stickles glitter glue around the edges. When they were dry, I put them on the bottom base panels (on which I'd sprayed shimmer spray) before gluing them to the bottom base. (Yeah, three layers on the very bottom.)

The very bottom base with the panels added.

The base almost assembled. The lamp is in position. Base one and base two are ready for docking and that finishes off the base of the tree.

Sagwa oversees assembly of the tree itself. You can see how that's done at this link.

I went with a different star for this tree. I wasn't really thrilled with the star topper that came with the file, so I grabbed one from the Silhouette Design Store ( look for 3D Star, artist Jennifer Wambach). I had to resize it and after testing with a basic sheet of cardstock, made some changes. I had to make two extra pieces for the "stem" of the star. Then I  recut the glitter paper using two of the unflapped file and glued them at the star points, glued the top of the stem pieces together, and when they'd dried, I slid them inside the star at the bottom, then kinda sorta gently smooshed (industry term) the edges of the two star pieces together and used silver Stickles along the edges to close the gap, holding them together until it was dry enough to let go.

It worked out nicely.

Stickled edges.

Should I make another tree, I'm going to make the stem with the same cardstock as the tree, so when you look at it straight on, it will look like the tree top.

Over in the gallery, there are closeups of the individual panels with the Jolee stickers on them. If you're so inclined to go on over there....

The bird bulbs were a happy accident. I had used all of the gold/yellow bulbs I originally got with the ivory tree. As a matter of fact, I had run out and used clear bulbs. This was back in February and I ordered another bag of the bulbs. But I couldn't find them last week. I searched for hours. Not having any luck, I went over the Amazon to order more, they weren't expensive. But they weren't in stock. Deal breaker. Looking through the other offerings, I saw these little bird bulbs and checked out the sizing on them, would they work with this tree? Yeppers, they sure would. I bought a few bags. And wouldn't you know it, I found the other unopened bag of bulbs in the little box I use to put my supplies that need to be put away. Right where it was supposed to be. But I like the way the little birds look sitting on the tree.  Like I said, a happy accident.

heirloom tree    craftstuff   


craftstuff
01:10 PM - 12/17/2018

The topic: When I was making the holiday card
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I made my own envelopes. Since I got the card instructions on a webpage over on the hgtv.com website, envelopes weren't included. Just like the card templates over on the Silhouette Design Store.

Last year, I got this little punch board (damn, it's almost have the price now!) and it's pretty easy to use. I printed out my own paper, some stock I've had for a really super long time, I don't even know why I bought it. I found it earlier this year cleaning out the closet in the office and it worked nicely. 80# stock, glossy finish, ink jet coating on both sides. The company I got it from is no longer in business. It's that old.

Anyway, I used a snowflake pattern (digital paper) for the inside of the paper.

For my paper crafting bestie, I like to gift her with products that I've found pretty useful. After all, if it weren't for her, I probably wouldn't be doing this. I sent her one of these for her birthday last year. I really didn't think she'd tried it out yet, it took her a while to try out the Big Shot embossing machine I sent her and when she finally put it together and tested it out, she was gobsmacked how simple it was. So, with her in mind, I made this little video when making the envelopes.

 

we r memory keepers    video    punch board    envelope   


mrs. crankypants
02:39 PM - 12/17/2018

The topic: Someone asked me about a mobile device friendly blog today
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I'm running an old version, there have been two upgrades that I knew of. Version 3 and version 4. Both cost more money that I want to spend right now.

But out of curiousity, I checked out the website where I got it. They no longer have version 3 or version 4. They now have version 5 and it's free! The problem?

No support. Well, affordable support. When I had problems with this one, there was an option of silver support that was $49, good for a month. Now, the cheapest? $199.00 a month. I am not kidding.

So, I just saved my database, and will be very careful not to blow this software up. And I'll keep backups.

Geez....

I did find a plugin that might solve the mobile device problem, but I need to get my head in that mode. It might be a while.

      Thursday, December 20, 2018


geekstuff
09:23 AM - 12/20/2018

The topic: Still stoked about the big slideshow machine
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Yesterday, I was watching the photos change and started thinking about all the ones I took with a film camera.

I found two containers filled with old photos and store envelopes with the negatives. I have more in the extra room, I hope the bugs didn't get to them. If they did, maybe the negatives there are still okay. There are pictures of kittens and this house and roadtrips that Brian took without me.  Going through them is going to take a lot of time. And I'm pretty sure I've got more negatives than photos. So, how to deal with this?

I checked my scanner, it's an oldie, Epson Perfection 4990 Photo. I did some research online about scanning negatives and there were pictures, which included a negative holder. Huh?

I went over to Amazon and looked for such a thing. Wow! There is such a thing, but which one do I want? And then I found the online manual for my particular scanner, searched for "negative" and guess what? It has its own holders for negatives. And transparancies. Cool. Now, where did I put them? I'm pretty sure I didn't throw them out, I throw out nothing. It took me a while, but I finally found them. On the shelf that was about three feet away on the same desk that the scanner is on. Yay! I need to clean some of the interior glass on the scanner (I didn't even know this part was there, it's in the lid and I guess it works along with the main scanner or something). It looks like it will come apart pretty easily.

But yanno, putting those negatives in the holder, scanning them, and seeing which ones I want to keep, is going to take time. I headed over to Amazon and found some negative scanners, can you believe it?  A couple even convert to an image.  And I can sit here in the family room, won't be tethered to my desk in the office. So, I jumped on it. It should be here tomorrow. If the converted photos are poor quality, I can just scan the negatives with the scanner and take it from there. But I'll be able to choose which ones to work with!

As I dug through the boxes yesterday afternoon, I found photos I didn't even know I had. From a family reunion at Brian's folks. Pictures of his mom and his dad. This is going to be so fun.

photo frame   

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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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