Tuesday, January 11, 2011


No pictures today, just some random musings and reporting from my life.

First of all, let's talk about the date today: 1-11-11. 

Huh, look at all those ones. Guess I'll see something like it again in November.

OK, that's done.

Next up:  Discussions about the Arizona shootings.
Tragedies like this at the hands of a person who clearly is mental ill is just that: A tragedy. 
It is not a reflection of political rhetoric, too much violence on TV or uncivil discourse any more than a flu's fever is related to anything except the body's reaction to a problem.
I am sorry for all the pain this man's actions have cause. 

Then a bit of about an article in Sunset magazine this month.  A family of four lives in a 1,400 sq ft. house in Mill Valley, and has virtually NO trash to put out each week.  The mom goes to the store with glass containers and buys fresh items like meat and such, and has them placed directly  into the glass containers. She shops for non-packaged food items at the local farmers market.
 Each family member has a specific number of clothing items which are replaced as needed twice a year at the local thrift shop.  Memory items are photographed and sent on their way, each person has one "memory box" in which to store things they want to keep. 
All family toiletries and medicines fit into one medicine cabinet.
They have no books in the house; they visit the local library for reading materials.
(There is no mention in the article that any house in Mill Valley costs over a million dollars by the way...the mom does fly home to France once at year, which she mentions as her one vice in a totally living green lifestyle.)

Sounds like an austere home. 
We raised our two children in 1,100 sq ft. and never thought it was a daring lifestyle choice. 
We shopped at thrifts shops because it was fun.  
We raised veggies sometimes.
This sort of article makes me both annoyed at the Northern California "superior" mindset about everything they do, and also wistful about the fact that I find thinning my possessions to be extremely time consuming. 
It is nice to have just the bare necessary items to attend to; it is also a lot more cozy to have some useless but visually attractive items AND some back up items for emergencies too.

Given the choice between California and Western United States covering Sunset Magazine and Southern United States covering Southern Living: No contest!  SL is the best!!!!

Next: Picasa has upgraded to include HD video content downloads. Hurrah! Anyone out there tried it yet?

I installed the upgraded version and then started to get Picasa is not available messages.  Worse, my photo library disappeared from Dec 2010 back.  I can still see the pictures in my external back up hard drive...and Picasa was installed in that drive so I don't get why Picasa isn't displaying the pictures.

Also: My DSLR camera downloads sooo slowly and copies all the chip's pictures again into Picasa even thought I have directed that duplicates not be copied.  It makes me not want to use my DSLR because at 800 pictures loading at about a minute per picture...forget it!

Anyone else having these kinds of issues?

A whine:  Last March a church friend had a baby girl. I bought a gift for her...and we at last connected in the summer months for dinner with the family at our house.  Due to a quick exit due to baby and big brother issues, the gift was left behind.  I have tried to connect up with the family a few times, and the gift is still in my possession.  I need to call and make a hard appointment to drop by with the gift before the baby outgrows the outfit!  Why is it so hard for me to make the call?  I think it is just awkward at this point but still...
Any suggestions on how to handle this? Would it be rude to suggest the mom meet me downtown or something?  I hate to have her have to feel like she needs to stop everything to visit with me at home....

A minor medical report:  I broke one of my unwritten rules and went down our uncarpeted steps on Sunday evening.  Slipped and thudded down six steps on my my upper outer thigh.  The black bruise is as big as my hand, but my shoulder muscles got some minor tears from my attempt to hang on to something to stop the fall.

In October I fell from atop a four foot ladder while picking apples in our neighbor's yard.  The ladder was very lightweight and on uneven ground.  I should of known better that to climb up on the top step and reach for an apple with my finger tips.  The ladder fell with my legs tangled inside, and I rolled with the ladder on my legs over an embankment when I fell another four feet to a concrete patio.  I was lucky I didn't hit my head!  Both my ankles and calves were black for a few weeks, and my ankles are still sore to touch.  Bone bruise and some tearing was the opinion given by a massage therapist.  It may take up to six months before all the ankle swelling goes down.

And I slipped on ice in the canyon in November, skinning my knee.  I haven't had so many "boo-boos" since I was a toddler I think.  I'm glad I have 1. A hot tub to soak in 2. Massage Therapists that know what they are doing 3. studied how to fall (go limp, don't fight it...a fact that I remembered as I thumped the third step down on Sunday.) and 4. have a really healthy body that heals, but it is really a drag having a sore shoulder when it comes to hooking up bras and slipping on winter jackets.

Another whine:  My office had a ceiling collapse due to roof water leak.  My computer died.  The leak collapse messed up a bunch of stuff, and it is unclear if that was why the computer died.  Anyhoo...today I finally got a new computer and the replacement ceiling tiles that are exactly one week old are already soaking wet.  The temperatures outside have not been above freezing since the collapse happened, and there is a LOT of snow on the roof.  One warm day, say at 37 degrees and I will have a restful waterfall spilling down from three locations over my head.

Apparently no one is concerned that another collapse will take out the new computer. No one was concerned that I did absolutely nothing at work for six days either.  Well, I did dust a bit just for the exercise.
Basically though, I got paid for just showing up and sitting around doing nuttin'.

The pay check will be taxed however.

What else? 
I ripped through my to-do lists over the holiday, and yet can't seem to check anything more off.  The baby gift, an application process, diet and exercise, painting the downstairs bath, Bible study, booking flights, reallocating stocks, renewing Norton computer security...all these things just languish on my list. My brain considers them, then zones out. 

I remembered the first time someone told me that they were not thinking about anything.  I was as shocked as if they had told me they were not breathing....of course the brain is constantly engaged in thoughts!
Lately I have discovered my brain is very capable of shifting into neutral too. It is totally strange.  I'm not sure if I can go back to constant processing, or if I even want to.  The "ignorance is bliss" aspect is so much more appealing than "knowledge is power" sometimes.

Every time I find something out (like what was with the Florida airports changing the headings on their landing strips) then I find myself having yet another question that puzzles me.  For example, the pilot next door explained that the earth's core is fluid and moves about, and that causes changes in magnetic north, so the landing strips have to have their heading changed to match the new magnetic north's co-ordinates.

I totally got that....then about twelve hours later I started to wonder why only one Florida airport airstrips needed changing.  Wouldn't all the landing strips in the world need changing? 


(Tuning my brain back to white noise static. Feel free to join in!)


Lovella ♥ said...

Well for starters. . .you don't need to post pictures. . you are completely entertaining and can induce me to actually do some thinking for a change without the visual stimulus.

I did start to think about the north pole magnetic field shift. .and wondered aloud during lunch whether we might possibly become a tropical destination. Clearly it is still beyond me.

About the baby gift. I wonder what the ettiquete (sp?)is about this. My guess is you will not be recieving a thank you note for the effort.

About your office. Clearly they still have money to slog about. I hope they see fit to give you a raise for just being in your office space which is hanging over your head.

About your falls. . .oh I feel so bad for you that you landed hard once more. I remember years ago falling down the back patio stairs and grabbing the railing which in the end caused years of discomfort in my shoulder. I would have been better off just going with the fall.

The article in the paper. . sounds like an obsessive compulsion situation. I think we need to be mindful of cluttering up the earth with more stuff but when the idea becomes an idol .. time to let it go. I have also figured out that everyone has their vise and only their vise is considered acceptable.

Picassa has been behaving fine for me. I would not be happy to have anything change in that regard.

Lucy (aka RHarper) said...

I loved this post! Your "social life" clearly is better than mine. I have to sit around and make up stories about a cat sleeping in front of the fireplace for blog fodder. :)) Hope you're feeling better from the stairs.

Vicki said...

My replies to your thoughts:

The significance of today’s date? My darling niece turns a year older today. :)

Our family of seven (five kids born over an 8-year span) grew up in a one bathroom, approx 1200 sq ft non-air-conditioned home (I’m guessing that it was even that large, because it had been the builder’s model home in 1960). I mention the lack of air-conditioning because I was born and raised in the South and we preferred playing outdoors in the humid summers and even in the snowy winters. My mother was (is) the ultimate recycler. Born and raised on an isolated farm, she sewed all of our clothes (except for the undergarments!), shopped very economically, rode the bus (she didn’t get a driver’s license until she was pregnant with baby #5), did odd jobs for neighbors to bring in extra cash, and sent us off to school with our packed lunches. Yardsales and thrift stores provided the “nicer” gifts at Christmas and birthdays. We fifty-somethings had it made back then, didn’t we? ;)

(Oh, just a side-note: Southern Living and Sunset magazines have the same parent company, but like any good Southern gal, I much prefer SL, too! Your time in TX qualifies you as an honorary Southerner, Jill!)

Hmm...calling the church friend about the gift. I get that way sometimes, too…I just don’t want to pick up the phone. Do you see her at church? Could you just shoot her an email? Or, perhaps Lovella has the right idea.

Bare feet or Crocs on stairs – no socks! I’ve been on your stairs...the outcome could have been much worse, Jill. You sound about as klutzy as me. Perhaps our hubbies should consider upping our life insurance policies. Keep soaking those muscles and keep up the massage therapy!

Yay! A new computer at work. Perhaps you should ask them to buy a tarp for you to pull over the computer and your desk every evening. That might save them a little cash when the roof collapses. DUH!

Okay. I’m done thinking for now. Mind if I move my mind into neutral? (Oh, gee...now you’ve got me wondering about that single Florida airport...does it happen to be the one Doc will be flying into on Thursday evening...if he ever escapes being trapped in the snow and ice?)

Vicki said...

Okay...I just posted a comment and got an error message that it was too large to post. Did you get all of it, or should I resend the entire thing in two parts?

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

I keep getting that message when I post anything longer than a sentence or two.

Is blogger censoring/editing us?
The comments do post just fine despite the chastening pop-up about being too long!

ellen b. said...

Ok for starters...I'm hormonally challenged. I really think I made a mistake going off my hormones on December 6th 2010. If my comments have not made sense you'll understand won't you?
I'm with you on the stupid rhetoric.
I want a physical therapist.
I have to hang on to something every time I go up or down stairs. I fell off a ladder last year.
I would be dusting at my job too if I had one.
I can't try anything new right now so I can't help you with picasa...
Enjoyed your post...

Pondside said...

That was some post!
I can't think about things like the airport business too much or I'd go crazy.
So sorry about your falls - I hope you are able to break (no pun intended here!) the cycle soon.
Thank you SO very much for all the wonderful information on SD! I will print out your comment and put it in my book, as there are things there that I'd never have found. I am so excited about this trip - it is time for a break and I think this will be perfect.
Again, thank you very much - so generous of you to take the time to get that all down.

Vee said...

Goodness, Jill, I can't imagine your brain not moving at full tilt. (An empty head often sits on my shoulders accompanied by mindless staring.)

Yes, by all means you can just call new mom and ask what the best way is for you to get that gift to her little one who is soon going to outgrow said gift if you don't get cracking.

Totally agree with your comments on the tragedy in AZ.

As for the magnetic fields shifting or true north now being due west...forget it. I can't follow you there.

And as one who still has obvious bruises from a fall down icy steps...ouch, ouch, and ouch. I haven't fallen so much since I was a toddler either! What's up with that? (I think it's sciatica, but don't quote me.)

Also I don't care for snobby articles of any kind. Who cares? Not I.

Sara said...

Wow, a lot has been happening here since my last visit! I think I'll skip comments here and go to the newer post...