Friday, January 31, 2014

Ho Hum

Here we go back to my photos and the same old. same old. Yawwwwwn. ☺ ( BTW, I clarified what I meant by same old, same old in yesterday's post. I am talking about myself and this blog, not anyone else or anyone else's. Goodness knows, no one could accuse me of not loving blogs and bloggers. I love them all. Soooo many blogs...soooo little time.)

The last day of January...let us all praise God for the passing of January 2014...not only was it the most frigid in recent memory, so many of us lost dear ones. I was not exempt. A dear friend, just 63 years old, is gone due to early onset dementia. She leaves behind a family of five children all in their twenties and thirties, the eldest of whom was my daughter's best friend throughout childhood. They still needed their mom. I know the pastor still needed his wife.

This is why I am yet fretting about potatoes... Why must I insinuate my own fears into every life situation? 

Have you ever seen a gal get so much mileage out of potatoes for crying out loud? It's embarrassing.


If you need a sprouted potato picture, these can be had for a fee. LOL! I do crack myself up. No, really, if you ever want a photo of four sprouting Russets, these are all yours. I found them yesterday. They are not the real lost potatoes, but they were definitely lost. John says that they're ready for planting, but we're eating them tonight in a yummy shepherd's pie.


And here's just the hot mess of a photo that I love to share because of all that's going on in every corner. Let's see, there are whisks, a timer, cat bowls, lighters, books, plants, you know, what most of us have in every shot. I may have been reading too many I SPY books. Mostly I share this photo to say that we have finally made it to suppertime/five p.m. in daylight. How about you? Are you in daylight at 5 in the evening?


And finally, I know, you thought the end of this post would never come, a photo of my house via that right click thing I told you about. (I'm sorry for all those of you who can't access that feature. It's very handy.) I tried it on my home button over there to the right and g00gle came up with all these comparison photos. Really? My house looks like a van? Or Worse? Well it was depressing. 

On to February...
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fair Use and All That


This post should not be considered an intellectual discussion of Copyright Infringement. It merely contains my thoughts on the matter. I actually have been down this research road before at least twice and had forgotten. So it's good to get this into some sort of clearing house post if only for my benefit. To quote Dr. Phil, sorta, never substitute my judgement for your own!

Oh, by the way, may I quote someone? Yes, I may.☺

Information is taken from the following sources: here, here regarding screen capture, and more on screen capture here. The last one is the most entertaining; however, there is valuable information in all. 

From what I can gather, the courts have not yet established a hard and fast rule concerning copyright infringement in this day and age of the www. Experts disagree between them about fair use. As my friend Donna said, "If they can't figure it out, how am I expected to?"

A humble blogger like me could decide to go ultra conservative in all things. I have recently deleted posts and replaced a photo. You may be interested to know that, in light of my recent study, I would probably allow it all to stand. This blog is not written for any monetary gain; I harmed no one in the process giving full credit. In the future, if I use a generic g00gle image, I will source it as such or try to make contact with the owner, unless it is in the public domain. Frankly, it's just easier to use my own photo. I have many permissions from authors to cartoonists to architects to you-name-it. It gets complicated after a while. It's not something that I want to invest so much time in for a nothing little blog like this. So this is fair warning — posts are probably going to be more dull than ever before. (Edited to Add: MY posts are probably going to be more dull than ever before.) 

I will definitely not post any professional photographers' work again, sourced or otherwise, neither here nor on Pinterest. That ship has sailed. And, as for Pinterest, in the future, I will only pin those photos that either have a "pin me" or an obvious graphic that lets people know that it is okay. What a pain. This is just my thing; refer back to the Dr. Phil quote. I am going to err on the side of caution. 

There is one exception to that: the only place where I will not err on the side of caution is with regard to my first amendment rights. I have a right to express my opinion; you have a right to express yours. Let's not allow anyone to mess with that privilege!

Quite frankly, I worry most about the professional bloggers who never source a thing. There are a number of them. They may be taking a risk because they are using their blogs for a monetary purpose (nothing wrong with that, folks, I am not making commentary about that). Apparently, the monetary aspect and fair use is where the wicket really gets sticky.

This is very interesting information for students and teachers giving reports or preparing papers *here.*

The Idiot's Guide of Blogging Rules and Etiquette

Oh, may I link to other sites? Yes, I may. ☺

Feel free to ask a question or express a concern. I love to do a little research, but remember, even The Experts haven't figured it out.
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Downton Abbey Discussion

Technically, this is not a Spoiler Alert because once a program has been shown, it is open for discussion. However, I know that many are not interested in finding a discussion on a blog and many are not all caught up; therefore, if you do not wish to read about Episode 5, please scoot. Enjoy your day!
~~~
This episode ran only 49 minutes and had many storylines going as per usual. I'm not going to mention each and every one with a lot of detail, but I am going to share the ones that I very much enjoyed. I am also using screen captures. 
(Come back tomorrow for a discussion of why I feel that I am within my rights to do so.)

FYI, you can find reviews of Downton Abbey episodes at Wikipedia. They are concise and helpful without giving away too much information. I, on the other hand, am giving away too much information for many today.


This episode begins with Bates leaving his cottage alone and with his wife Anna at Downton Abbey in great distress of mind. You know that you are hooked when you begin praying for characters in a story. Sigh.


A new storyline is the introduction of Baxter, Cora's lady maid. She was recommended by Barrow and he expects her to be his spy in return. She captures the good will of Cora in many ways, the first was by serving orange juice for breakfast an American custom. The second was with a quick repair of Mrs. Patmore's apron when Patmore is expecting a visit from Cora. The exact quote by Barrow: Another one roped to the chariot. Oh that guy! 


In light of the conversation Lorrie brought up last week in comments about the lack of attention to the children, I really wanted to show the warmth of this nursery scene with Tom playing on the floor with little Sybil and Mary holding George. Without the screen capture, it all goes by so fast. I was very pleased to see Mary's countenance as she entered the room and throughout. It was a tender scene.

Speaking of tender...I loved all the scenes with Anna and Bates. He was trying so hard and, at last, figured out a way to learn what happened. Yes, his anger is white hot, but his love for Anna is profound.


Wonderful acting...Look at Anna's face as she waits for Bates to arrive in the morning. She meets him at the bottom of the stairs and is cold. He tells her that he waits for her to be the first to greet her. Sigh. I don't have the exact quotes, but when he said something like you are made higher and more holy by all that you have been through...
  thud   >

The moment when she was able to look into his eyes was worth the wait. And all those of us who watched heaved a collective sigh of relief.

There was the usual wonderful banter between Isobel and Violet, but my favorite was between Violet and Robert at the table. Remember? He said something about learning from the past to do well in the future and she said, "Where'd you read that?" He told her that he had made it up and thought it quite good. She said that it was too good and if there was one thing they didn't need in the family it was a poet. Isobel wondered why and Violet referred to Byron who didn't end well. Loved it!

I've left out so much. Feel free to fill in the blanks. Perhaps this was the thing I really should not leave out...


really good foreshadowing...

Of all the episodes of Downton Abbey from the very first of the first season to now, this one goes down in my top five. I loved it. How about you?

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Disjointed Tale

Today I am going to tell such a disjointed tale that I fear you will be driven off. It's one of those things that started off to be one thing and turned into quite another.

Let's begin with The Potatoes. I was visiting Pat who shared a link to a Blogher site where the blogger discussed something that we must all consider when writing and sharing photographs. You can find Pat's post *here* and then follow her link if you're interested.

Pat has the most amazing photograph (the second one) to share. I'd really like to pin it; however, I am rethinking Pinterest entirely in light of the link mentioned above

So what does this all have to do with a bag of potatoes? Well, after reading said article, I remembered that I had used a photo from g00gle without sharing a source and that I needed to replace it with a photo of my own. I took the photo you saw yesterday and did just that. Now, instead of seeing a little pile of potatoes on burlap, you see my own 10 pound bag of potatoes. And that is where the fun begins.

Why? Because some of you thought that I had found the lost potatoes. It's perfectly normal. People make such conclusions all the time and not just about small potatoes. The brain is always searching for connections and will make them whenever the dots are not connected. Yes, I have lots of willy-nilly dots over here floating about.

So now you know the awful truth. I have ten pounds of potatoes still on the loose and ten pounds of potatoes as a replacement bag used for a nabbed photograph. Do you suppose potatoes have any attraction to other potatoes? That would be lovely on so many levels. Have you seen the price of potatoes lately? 

(By the way, did you know that you can right click on any image in Blogger and a menu box will open. There is an option there that says: Search g00gle for this image. Go ahead sometime, you may be surprised.) 


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P.S. The dice? Yes, just washing the dice. They had that odor that comes from the manufacturing process.  It would have meant a new game if it hadn't worked, but it did. Yay!

***A reminder: A Downton Abbey discussion right here tomorrow. Yes, I will give fair warning at the beginning of the post.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Dicey


This was my afternoon tea yesterday. It is getting to the place where I must have afternoon tea and no little herbal number either thank you. Yesterday was a lovely English breakfast tea; today, I'm going to try the Irish breakfast tea. The Goldfish? Just like stealing candy from the grands. 



Oh my! What are they doing there? More on this another day...


John said, "Whatever soup you're cooking on the stove looks a little dicey."

Hahahahaha...what a card!

There'll be a whole lot of these in my day. It's a teacher's workshop so I have the grands. I'll be around later. Have a good one!
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Sunday, January 26, 2014

No Worries

1 Peter 5:7

*Fret Buster 117
As I was climbing the stairs to bed last night, I began to imagine all the horrible things that could go wrong in my life. I played out entire scenarios in the length of time it took me to get from the bottom stair to the landing. Praise God that by the time I reached my bed, I had begun to sing "Jesus never fails..." He is incapable of doing so. He has carried me through many a trying time and He will continue so to do. I was delighted to find this message unread in my Inbox this morning. Just further confirmation...

Many blessings to you this day...

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*photo removed

Friday, January 24, 2014

Let's Pretend

Former Photo Source

Ahhhh...that's lovely. A little pretending in January can be a blessing. Jill's not been pretending. She's been "away." You can see all of her pretty vacation photos *here.*

Do you travel in winter months? John and I have discussed the possibility of being snowbirds one day and spending January through April in Florida or Arizona. It's fun to pretend.

When the cold of January has seeped deep into my bones and I just can't seem to settle, those daydreams are nearly all the warmth there is.

To be honest, neither of us would enjoy skedaddling for that long.  Guess that we'll just stay where we are becoming more and more frozen to the ground.

How are you feeling about winter this year?

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Are You Stressed?

Thank you for the great discussion yesterday! It was so much fun that I think it'll be an every Wednesday thing for the next few weeks of Downton Abbey. Next time, we'll only have Episode 5 of Season 4 to discuss so it won't be quite so involved. I promise that a notice will come first for those who are behind or don't wish to run into a discussion on a blog.

~~~

John and I had a little discussion yesterday morning that went like this:

Me: Honey, are you stressed?
John: Why do you ask?
Me: I think I have proof.
John: Like what?

~stress relievers~

Whenever the table looks like this after John's been to the store, I can pretty much bet that he's having some stress. He was. The car. It needed repairing. We didn't have an extra grand to spare. He's been working on it. It's cold.  He is pretty certain that it's fixed. Ohhh...perhaps these aren't stress relievers after all; perhaps they're for celebration!

~~~

Later in the afternoon, John took out his stress in an arm-wrestling match. (No eight-year-olds were hurt in the telling of this story.)

 ~grim determination in the face of great odds~

 ~look at this mismatch~

~an amazing finish~

~~~


I'm going to start calling them the Blurry Boys. They sure can move! We come home from the bus stop, have a snack, do homework, read, play basketball, and end with some time on the iPad. An hour and a half of rollicking good fun! (Unless it's all day of rollicking fun as it was on Martin Luther King Day.)  





Both have recently celebrated their birthdays so now they are behaving like little gentlemen. True. I'm getting a lot of mileage out of those new ages. They are my favorite boys in all the world. 

What do you do when stressed? 

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Downton Abbey Thoughts Pt 2

Yes. There will be a Downton Abbey discussion for Season 4 programs through last Sunday night/Episode 4.  If you don't wish to be tempted, hustle on outta here while you have the chance! Anything from now on is at your own risk. We are not discussing future programming, though I have indeed done as Kathleen says below.

Vee how could you! You watched the whole thing?! That's like eating the entire bag of candy. Like reading the last page of the book! ~Kathleen


~a gift from Lovella~

Call me incorrigible. I absolutely do eat all the candy and I always read the last page of the book (before I read the first). ☺ 
~too good to save~

~~~


So there is a lot to talk about. It seems more fun and interesting to chat as we go along, while we still remember the plot. ☺ (At first, I thought we'd talk in code, but I can't figure out how to do it well so I've nixed that idea.) 

How fabulous Mrs. Hughes is! I really love her. She is so wise, so intelligent, so good. On the other hand, I have read some commentary suggesting that she is nothing more than a hypocrite for being on the one hand very concerned for Anna and, on the other, willing to threaten similar bodily harm to Edna. (Say! That was pretty good code talking right there.)For me, I found it very satisfying when Edna had met her match in Mrs. Hughes.


Seems as if everyone is ready to throttle Julian Fellowes for taking the program into such a controversial area. It didn't settle well with me either because I am still thinking of Downton Abbey as tea and scones. It is hardly that. If I am honest, it never was. But to have a favorite character suffer this... Well, feel free to share your thoughts.

 So Mrs. Hughes is my favorite this year. I am unimpressed with the upstairs people thus far. I call them the "flat people" in their one-dimensional portrayals. Tom may have a few layers, but that's because he's half one thing and half another. Rose's story bores me. Party girls always do. Edith is not behaving well. Does that give her more layers? Cora and Robert are lost in their terrarium, though did you not love how Cora handled that mean, old, rotten Nanny West? Mary remains Mary of the ever so haughty tone, which happens to be quite flat. If anyone has anything redeeming to share about Mary, please do!

Still enjoying the banter between Isobel and Violet, especially now that it is ratcheting up.

Does it seem as if the scenes move even more frenetically this year? As if there's a lot of ground to be covered and not much time? 

Turning the floor over to you. Tell me, what has been your favorite episode this year? Is it always the last one? What is your favorite storyline? Who makes the best villain? Do you have a favorite character?  Edited to Add: One more question: does your husband join you in watching?(mine does not)Do share!

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P.S. I'd like to thank Lorrie for encouraging me to stay with the show. She said that things would get better. One can hope! 

Photos allowed to stand...from g00gle images...though I added characters' names to the first

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Downton Abbey Thoughts Pt. 1

♪music♪
~~~
No spoilers here. Oops. Lied. I'm giving one spoiler. So tread lightly through this post. And, please, no spoilers in comments. Let's keep this reader friendly today. Tomorrow, we'll be a little freer.
~~~

Who knew that I was going to glean useful cleaning tips from Downton Abbey? Not I that's for sure!  My beautiful FlyLady feather duster, circa 2005 or something, is perfect for cleaning light fixtures and especially when the end is cinched with a cute little ribbon so that the ostrich feathers don't flail about so. Achoo! So pay attention to those opening scenes of DA, you never know what household tip might work for you.

~~~

After the second Sunday of Downton Abbey, I'd quite decided that I would not be tuning in for any more episodes. That's just how frustrated and angry I was. Then I decided to search for the full episodes and watch them all in a great day-long marathon, which is exactly what I did. I don't know if this is legal, moral or ethical, but multiple sources were easily found. I watched on my iPad without even hooking up to the tv. So I have watched every episode of Season 4, including the Christmas Special. Spoiler: This is a lame spoiler, though I feel that I must include a warning for the purists out there. Avert eyes now! Remember how this season began six months after Matthew's death? There is going to be an even more fantastic leap of time within this season. Interesting, eh?!
~~~
Susan Branch has written so wittily about Downton Abbey without giving any spoilers at all, though she warns of one. If you'd enjoy reading that post, you'll find it *here.* I agree with her entirely!
~~~
Now I have some questions for you, presuming you're still here: 
1. Are you watching this season?
2. Have you found a way to watch the entire season or are you viewing on a weekly basis?
3. Would you enjoy a vague discussion of episodes shown thus far tomorrow? If not, I understand.
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Comments on this post are now closed.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Understanding Anger

The Bible tells us that it is possible to be angry and sin not. (Ephesians 4:26) Seldom, however, do I experience anger without allowing sin to enter. Anger is an emotion that, as Mark Twain once said, can hurt the container more than the one upon whom the anger is poured (or something like that). 

Last week, two little boys bent over the Bible story of Cain and Abel. Now there was an anger problem! The Children's Bible kept the story as simple and innocuous as possible.

 

Being brothers, sometimes even angry brothers, these little boys wanted more. They had lots of questions. So I picked up where the simpler story left off. When I had finished, they were both looking at me quite wide-eyed. The elder said, "But that's not fair! Cain took God a present." The younger immediately replied with this: "It is fair. God did not ask for fruits and vegetables. He asked for a lamb. You have to give God what He wants. He's God." Just ponder that for a moment. Yes, out of the mouths of babes

This is the problem, I always run into trouble when I set up my own will above God's. At some point, I must trust Him once and for all or I shall forever be flailing about making a mess of things that, if I had only trusted God in the first place, would not now be in the state that they are. (I want to add Does that make sense? However, adding the question doesn't make sense if comments are closed, which they are.☺)

Often I go looking for a quote to perfectly match my post. Here's a wonderful one:

Our tendency in the midst of suffering is to turn on God. To get angry and bitter and shake our fist at the sky and say, "God, you don't know what it's like! You don't understand! You have no idea what I'm going through. You don't have a clue how much this hurts." 

The cross is God's way of taking away all of our accusations, excuses, and arguments. 

The cross is God taking on flesh and blood and saying, "Me too.”  ~Rob Bell

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Odds and Ends #?

Other posts have been named Odds and Ends. I actually tried to discover how many. I learned two things: 1. the search feature in my sidebar no longer works, and 2. the search feature at the top left of the page seems to be hiccuping. Perhaps this blog has too many archives and is belching along like the gassy, old cow it's become. I will have to ponder that and what I might do about it. 

For example, commenting has become a nightmare with all Blogger 
blogs — not with Typepad nor Wordpress, just Blogger.
Seeing this at the end of my attempts to post a comment does not make me wish to kill pages; it does make me wish to kick blogger in the ask. I have tried using different browsers: IE, Mozilla, Google Chrome. It doesn't seem to matter. Every forum on the topic has been visited and read backwards and forwards. I try this; I try that. Nothing. Anyone else having this specific problem? 

On this cheery note, I conclude my rant for today. I'm concerned about ever so many things just now. The morning news for one. Okay, I must stay focused. Must stay focused. Must stay focused.

Thank goodness, I have dishes to do!

Have a great weekend...

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Edited to Add: Information here
and another
Information on my current problem. May not be blogger after all. May be Google Chrome.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Squirrely



1. Here I am on Vee's deck rail plotting. (Someone ought to tell her John that it needs a little paint.)


2. And perhaps no one has told those yahoos that squirrels can access any feeder from ten feet. This one's a piece of cake. With all this snow, I'm a mere three feet below my goal. 

 3. Ta Da! Told ya!


4. Let's see now, how do I get into this thing?


5. All this for a lousy piece of stale Rice Krispies bar?!

 6. Whoaaaaa...

 7. God didn't give me claws for nothing!
8. Nom...nom...nom...

John has expressed his concern about the hordes of squirrels that are circling the property. They are pretty brazen little duffers. I've had to give up feeding them. Are you feeding the squirrels birds this year?


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