F R E E D O M ! ! ! …. Choose a Paint Palette

So I want to really make my craft room pretty and functional.

To that end, my sister-in-law, Carmen, is coming to help me decorate. It’s good to have another opinion and it’s certainly more fun, you know?

To that end, I feel I must get the room cleaned up and cleared out…..just like the professionals do. They clear the room completely out and only bring back in what is useful and/or pretty and place it in the perfect spot.

To that end, I feel its a good time to go ahead and paint it. You see, this is what happens. All I want is stuff on the walls. Now, I have a cleared out craft room and a junked up spare bedroom. This is not the first time this scenario has played out. The goal is to keep the turnaround time to a minimum.

Making mountains out of molehills is something I’m pretty good at. I’ll be posting this adventure once it’s all done but, for now, there is the issue of paint color:
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Great Sale on WordPress tutorials! Sale ends April 4

I realize there are only a few souls who are following me at this point…and I’m grateful for all three of you. ha!

I’ve come across a great sale and you know us girls. Even if it can’t be worn, displayed or eaten we cannot pass up a great sale. The author of the book I bought, WordPress for Beginners, has a website: ezSEO Newsletter. His name is Andy Williams and I’ve been learning so much from him.

Anyways he is having a killer sale on some important online tutorials if you are blogging…..want to start blogging….want to optimize your online presence….or are in LocalHost hell like myself. The normal cost for courses on sale is anywhere from $49 to $199. Through April 4th, they are being offered at the rock bottom price of $8….that’s right…it is not a typo.

I purchased:

  • How to Write Great Web Content – Better Search
  • SEO 2016 – Better Search Engine Ranking With Safe SEO
  • Install WordPress Locally – No Monthly Web Hosting Costs.
    • This course is going to be my savior….I’ll be beating that puny 2M max file size and posting video content before you know it. Bam!

For me, 24 buckaroos well spent. If you are into blogging you know there are a gazillion websites to help you. So many in fact that you (meaning, I) can’t move forward because you’re (meaning, I’m)  searching for just the right one. Look no further my three amigos…Andy has us covered.

stick girl dancing

A Week In Pictures….

It’s been an interesting and full week in my neck of the woods.

It began like this:
week start
Made a mad dash to the craft store. Forgot I was in my slippers until I got out of the car. Pajama bottoms and no bra would have put me in full blown Oklahoma podunk territory.

My mad dash was for supplies for a custom order luggage cover:
lad
I just love it and I hope my customer does too! (please forgive the flower bed)

Then I started on a new item that will be in my Etsy shop very soon:
bins
I’m venturing into home storage products. VERY EXCITING!! These fabric bins are not quite complete. I haven’t put the finishing touches on them that will make them stand out from the crowd. That’s the thing about having a shop on Etsy…or any place you sell your handmade things…you may or may not be reinventing the wheel. You look to see how you can make things from your vision. Wait until you see what I do with these babies!!

So I declared my New Year Resolution this past week and put my resolve to the test the following day:
plants
I resolved to plant everything I buy. I didn’t resolve that I had to plant everything I buy on the same day…or the next day…or the next day. Nothing here is going to die.

While on that shopping trip another impulse buy was made:
luck charms
It was a toss up between Lucky Charms and Capn’ Crunch.

The ‘Charms won out because I felt it would go better with:
breakfast
Breakfast of Champions…..:-)

By Friday I had more fabric bins sewn up:
bin sets
I’m using fabrics you cannot find at your local stores. The owls are so cute. The middle big bin is called Tree Party. I love it! My plan is to buy yardage of several designs from a designer’s theme so they can be mixed-and-matched. What do you think? Good idea? Another type of bin is in the works that I don’t think you’ll be finding on Etsy. I’m super excited about it!! Again…this is not the final product. They will ROCK!

On Friday we found our boat trailer had a serious safety problem:
trailer
This is called a square U-bolt. We’re not sure what happened but what I can tell you is the boat is secured to the part of the trailer that is about to come off the main frame. I spent Friday night going from place to place to find a replacement bolt. Never even heard of a square u-bolt until then. Learn something new every day…..

Saturday was spent with my honey on a local river fishing for sand bass:
sandbass
Sand bass are spunky fish. They flop and jerk all over the place. Every Spring when the sand bass “run” you just have to cast your lure into the water and these suckers bang into it. It’s fun fishing! Don’t ask me what’s up with my thighs being two different sizes or why I’m holding this fish with my pinky out….I dunno…

The week ended like this:
week end
White socks bulging out from leather slip-ons.

I promise….I typically think about footwear a bit more than I did this week. Notice at the beginning of the week I was in capris and at the end of the week I was layered up. That’s because Spring left us for a few days….as I knew it would.

Thanks for reading!! I so appreciate it. Please let me know if you have something to say!

cin

 

I Resolve To……….

Yes, I know we’re on the brink of April but I still need to decide my 2016 New Year Resolution. Actually I’m ahead of schedule…considering my history of this momentous declaration. I have issues resolving my resolve.

History:
The only three that matter are the two I’ve succeeded with and the one I almost did. The others…nah…you don’t need to know and I don’t need to remember.

  • 2001: I resolved to change out my toothbrush every month. I decided on this one during the summer. Success! But at some point in 2003 things got crazy and I stopped. I suppose I should finally buy a new one. (just kidding)
  • 2014: I resolved to change out the empty roll of toilet paper with a new one and throw the empty roll away. This one came to me in May. Success! I am 342-0. Not one full roll of paper has sat on the back of the toilet, nor has one empty roll been left to collect dust. Also…because I was so serious in my resolve…NO t-p roll has escaped me. Not at work, movie theaters, or friends and family homes. I rock!! And I’m still going strong.
  • 2015: Riding on the heels of my 2014 success I shot higher. I resolved to not let my gas tank go below 1/4 and I was to wash and vac my Camaro once a month. That’s what a big head will do. Set you up for failure. Wash and vac quickly was removed from this resolution. I would say I’m 60-40 with the gas. Not a success. And I was stupid enough to create a set of NYR’s during the summer: a big F on all of them.

While I’ve been thinking about my 2016 NYR since last Fall its the onset of Spring that has forced me to declare. Some choices pondered:

  • Call on the phone a real person, friend or family, once a week to TALK.
  • Eat all the fresh veggies and fruits I buy.
  • Wash and beautify my face and neck every night. I used to do this without fail.
  • Plant everything I buy. Case in point:resolve resolved
  • Along the lines of beautifying…moisturize my body when I get out of the shower. I can’t speak for everyone like me (poor you) but when you stay home (no office attire), or change into scrubs as soon as you get to work (no office attire), or you just wear jeans most of the time, you can get a little lazy. My skin is showing that laziness. But here’s the thing, whenever I start to moisturize I hear Buffalo Bill say, “It puts the lotion on it’s skin..” and it creeps me out. (The Silence of the Lambs) Perhaps I should speak with someone about that.

There were a few more contenders but these are the ones that have stayed in my head. I guess the winner ought to be the one that has prompted me to write this post:

!!!!!    PLANT EVERYTHING THAT I BUY    !!!!!

It’s officially Spring. We are about to go on a plant buying spree like we always to. I resolve to plant every single plant that Kelly or I buy.

Take away:
My opinion is to keep your NYR a bit on the light side. I mean, if you have the resolve and history to tackle more serious wishes then go for it. If not, keep it silly and simple. I tell you what, every time I change out that roll of toilet paper I do an air fist pump. It makes me feel really good that I’ve succeeded in this resolution for so long. I don’t care how minor it is. I’m doing it.

Thanks for reading!!
Cin

Bassmaster Classic — I Came, I Saw, I Conquered

In the bass fishing world the much anticipated Bassmaster Classic was held in my neck of the woods two weekends ago. That blog entry was to be the first post on my site using more technology than I apparently know.

Hello, my name is Cindy. I am not tech adept.

For your amusement you may read about my struggles here. But I’m a survivor and by gosh this entry is gonna happen. Right here, right now. So, like I said, the BASSMASTER CLASSIC came to town:

The biggest tournament of bass fishing! The world championship of bass fishing! The Super Bowl of bass fishing! What I don’t get is, why is it the first tournament of the season? Championships are the last games to be played. In the bass world, anglers fish tourneys and earn points during the prior year. Those skilled few who earn enough points get to fish the first tourney of the next year’s season. There could be more to it…but I’ll never be in that company so the particulars do not matter much to me. What matters is the Classic came back to Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees only three years after it’s first appearance here. Unheard of. Kelly and I didn’t get on the water in 2013…because it was freezing and miserable and we had no problem wussing out. We did go to the Bassmaster Expo and one of the weigh-ins though. This year we wanted to do it all baby!

Real quick:

  • The tournament is three days.
  • Each angler can have a maximum of five fish. You can cull…throw back a lesser weight fish if you already have your five and catch a bigger one after that.
  • Weight totals are cumulative. Only the top 25 anglers with the most weight after Day Two go on to fish Day Three.

Here is our weekend in pictures…..

The event started out at home. We weren't sure of about tournament etiquette....can we fish the lake too?? We decided that we could not be on any lake and not have our gear ready to go. Just wouldn't be right.
The event started out at home. We weren’t sure about tournament etiquette….can we fish the lake too?? We decided that we could not be on any lake and not have our gear ready to go. Just wouldn’t be right. These are a few of my poles. Yes…I have my own rods (poles) and reels and tackle and lures and plastics.

Shortly before this pic was snapped our convo went like this:

Kel: You want me to put your poles away best wife in the world?
Me:  Nope. I’m good.
Kel:  I’m already up here. I can do it for you love of my life.
Me:  Nope. I’m gonna take a pic of my poles cuz I’m gonna blog about our weekend.
Kel (eyes rolling):  Here…(as he pulls out a couple of broken rod tips)….blog about THIS.

He’s sooo funnnnny. Just because some broke rod tips came out of my rod storage box doesn’t mean I broke the poles. If there are no pictures, it didn’t happen. These are words to live by folks.

boat is ready
There she is! All ready to go. We love our boat! Nitro Z8 with a Merc 250.

gasing up
Day One.  Up at 4am Friday morning. Ugh! The launch…..where 55 of the top anglers speed off to all areas of the lake at one time…occurs at 7am and we intend to be there.

time and temp
What to wear?
Me: tank top, tee shirt, long sleeve shirt, hoodie, fleece jacket, wind jacket, hat, neck gator, gloves, jeans, socks, tennis shoes.
Kelly: long sleeve lightweight shirt with sleeves rolled up, shorts, hoodie, boat shoes, and at the last minute, wind pants.
Now, look at the temp in this pic and I ask you….who came prepared?

launch2Nothing like the sun in your eyes when trying to take pictures while standing on a rocking boat. And someone needs to figure out how to actually see the viewing screen on a camera when you’re wearing polarized sunglasses. But here they come! We stayed back from the launch site and were in open water.

launch closeup
You never see boats this close together under normal situations. You shouldn’t anyways. And these boys don’t much care that you are on the lake too. They’ve got someplace to be. They are going at least 55-60 mph. (Correction per my husband…70+ freaking mph!)

pro wizzing by
Here’s a pro whizzing on by. He is haulin’.

(This is where my first ever video clip was inserted with my first try at this post. It was going to show you real action man. I was able to increase my max upload file space from 2M to 64M when I could get into the code. But since all of that is still out in la-la land and I have to use the easy method for now, I cannot insert it because my file is 11M).  🙁

trolling into a coveBecause the pros are driving like mad men to their fishing spots, its safest to sit back and let them pass before you take off to follow them. That’s when Kel and I asked each other, “Where do we go?” Grand is a huge lake! So we just pulled in to the first cove we came to and saw all these people. Surely there was a famous angler fishing back in there. And there was……

jcThis is Jason Christie. He led the pack for most of the tournament. He’s in that boat way in the background that you can hardly make out. It’s tournament etiquette to stay back a good distance from the pro so that he can actually fish. Everyone has sonars on their boats that emit pings (think Hunt for Red October). We are supposed to turn them off so the fish don’t say, “What the hell is going on here?” Speaking of Jason…..

jason's disciplesHis groupie population grew as the day went on. That’s him to the far right. At least 30 boats are following him.

kvd
Here is KVD…Kevin VanDam….a 4-time Bassmaster Classic champion. Only one other angler can claim that fame. His fishing tips are gospel to me. Not today though. Kev did not do well at this tournament. He did not qualify for Day Three. But he’ll always be my fav.

kelly
We did fish some. There were at least a thousand bass boats on the lake causing ocean-like wave action. It was nice to break away from all of that and find a nice quiet spot to enjoy calm water and the beautiful weather. It was an amazing and fun day.

bassmaster expo sign
Day Two. The Bassmaster Expo. It is absolutely crazy how many people attend this expo. About fish. Bass fish. Largemouth bass specifically. It’s nuts. And we’re nuts too.

expo people
See what I mean? This is just one exhibition hall. There were three…or four?? I lost track. How we left this treasure trove of our fishing dreams without spending a cent is a mystery to us both.

skeeter boat
Boats, boats, and more boats. Metallic blue is our thing. A $70,070 price tag is not our thing. And this is not the most expensive boat here.

resize mark zona
These guys are at the Expo but are broadcasting live by watching video feeds on several large screens out of view on this pic. Nearly all of the pros have a camera man on their boat who have to constantly be videoing because you never know when a fish bites. I can’t image how exhausting that would be. There is a control room somewhere that decides what videos these three guys see. As they watch the feeds they talk about whats going on. All of this is what will be televised in a couple of weeks. The center guy is Mark Zona. I love him…I smiled and waved like the goofy fan that I am.

build a bait
Oh how I could spend hours right here. Hours. All the pros say to switch it up. Try something the fish aren’t used to seeing. I wonder how many of them shop at Hobby Lobby for tackle supplies.

bass wheels
And oh how I want these wheels. See the bass cutouts? Technically these are made for a boat brand called Bass Cat. But I really do not care about that.

bok people
This is the BOK Center where the official weigh-ins occur. The pros have to be back to the place where they launched by a certain time each day. They’ll trailer their boats and head on down the road to the BOK. I took this pic at 2pm. The doors do not open until 3:15. The weigh-in does not start until 5ish. All the entrances were like this. You have to get in line early because thousands of people attend and every day people will be turned away because the arena is at capacity. Pretty arena isn’t it?!

weigh in
Total madness! The pro will be sitting or standing in his boat while someone drives him around the floor…starting and ending at the stage you see on the left. See the boat on the right? When he gets back to the stage, the pro will open his live wells and pull out his two biggest fish and wave them around for the adoring fans to see. The crowd goes crazy. Then he pulls out all the fish he caught and they get weighed on the stage.
I have to confess….after walking ten miles at the Expo and both of our fitbits were doing the happy dance, we chose not attend a weigh-in this year. This is why: Last year, like everyone else there, we went crazy watching the first 5 anglers circle the arena, pull out their fish, see the official weight, listen to the host interview the angler, and listen to the list of sponsers the angler has to acknowledge. With the next 5 anglers….it was really cool. The next 5 anglers….we realized this same scenario was going to play out 35 times more and so we left early. This year, we decided it was a been-there-done-that scenario for us. We went to El Guapos for Mexican food and margaritas instead.

edwin evers
Day Three. Sunday for us was spent at home watching the Bassmaster Live app on the computer. Who won? Oklahoma son Edwin Evers from Talala, just up the road from us. He caught an incredible 29 lbs, 3 ozs. Remember, this is a total weight of FIVE fish. His 3-day total was 60 lbs, 7 ozs, for 14 fish total. Jason Christie, an Oklahoma son too, had it in the bag until Edwin hit the ball out of the park. Not a bad way to earn a $300,000 paycheck.

In case you were wondering what happens to the fish I’ll tell you. They stay in the angler’s live wells (on the boat) for the trip from the lake to the weigh-in. The live wells are filled with lake water and have aerators that keep the water oxygenated. An additive is probably added that helps keep the skin healthy. After the official weighing, the fish are immediately put into a tank. At the end of each day the fish are taken back to the lake and released. I know by the end of day Saturday there was a 100% survival rate. We’re all sportsmen and sportswomen; we want what is best for the fish.

There you go! Bass fishing may be something you’ve never thought would ever enter your mind but someone somewhere is going to mention the sport and you my friend will have a tidbit or two to add just like you know what you’re talking about. ha!

Thanks for reading!

Cindy

Technology….can you not make me feel so stupid?

There used to be a time when the computer world was a simpler place…a kinder place. A place where PC screens were black and mono-type letters were green. There was a time when coding was simple. Each line of code was transferred to punch cards. One line for one card. The cards were fed into a mainframe computer and, wallah, your program was created. If the program didn’t complete you could tell on the printout what punch card line of code caused the error because that would be where the program stopped. Fortran, oh how I miss you. You were a simple language and I got you. I was 16 and probably the last kid in high school the teachers and vice president, Ms. Willie, thought would ever be in a data processing class. It was the one class I didn’t skip.

Let me put it to you this way….most days, if I was in school, I was in Ms. Willie’s office because of an unexcused absence in one or more classes the day before. But my data processing class?? I loved it.

punch card

Ahh…the ole punch card.

Fast forward 29 years. In computer advancement that is 290,000 years. When I worked at Texas Instruments several years ago I created my department’s website. I wrote html (it’s very simple folks). There wasn’t Wix in those days. I wrote Java; dabbled in a bit of Perl. I coded. I was decent. In a nutshell, I may not have known everything about programming but I could figure out what I needed to know.

Punch cards found a second life for awhile.

Punch cards found a second life for awhile.

Today, a nutshell does you no good. And why on earth did I not pursue programming as a career choice? Other stoners of the 70’s did and made a lot of money. Steve Jobs. Steve Wozniak.

stick cryingWhich brings me to the point of this post. I had the bright idea of moving my blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. Is there a difference you ask? Yes. Yes there is and I want to be on the .org bus. Using .com is easy peasy. Like with most tasks computer related these days we can be as ignorant as a bug. It’s all done for us. But I welcomed the challenge and excitedly went to the .org website and clicked on the download button. And my hell began.

There are two choices:

1.)  You can use it like .com. Create all your posts on your live server and publish immediately. But!

  • What if you want to test out background themes….all the pretty stuff.
  • What about widgets and plugins….all the useful stuff.
  • What about columns and categories….all the organizational stuff.

If you explore all these things you must publish your site to see how the additions and changes work. If you don’t like it or it doesn’t work then you go back to the drawing board. The only thing is everyone else sees these changes too if they’re keeping up with you and it gives your site the appearance of inconsistency, looks disorganized, and you might have parts of your site not working. That’s where….

2.) creating a behind-the-scenes platform comes into play. It is the preferred choice of programmers. I thought I could squeak by as a programmer.

Option 2 requires:

  • transferring my domain name. Buying space with a new hosting company
  • downloading a WAMP server to run the WordPress.org software
  • installing/upgrading C++, C++#$%^@* coding software on my computer
  • access to my cPanel
  • creating an FTP account
  • downloading a program to run said FTP account
  • setup phpmyadim
  • setup my sql
  • creating a database
  • creating a migration database
  • setup ability to use localhost
  • uploading, downloading, migrating, creating and keeping up with more usernames and passwords than the law should allow

With Option 2 you’re working with the same WordPress software so to speak except you get to do everything you want and see how it works before you migrate it over to your live website. Option 2 requires you to get into some files and make changes. You have to program. And you had better keep track of what you do because there aint no deck of punch cards or printout to show you where you screwed up.

Note to all who post instructional videos on YouTube:

PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS IMPORTANT IN THIS UNIVERSE, REHEARSE FIRST, CHECK YOUR LIGHTING AND FOCUS, PUT THE DOG OUT, PUT THE CAT IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM, TAPE YOUR VIDEO WHEN THE BABY IS SLEEPING, CHECK YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR, AND FOR GOD’S SAKE TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. AND STOP SAYING THE WORD ‘LIKE’ SO DAMN MUCH.

Whew, like, I feel better.

stick slaying computerOkay, back on task. My first post using Option 2 is about the Bassmaster Classic fishing tournament that was held in my ‘hood this past weekend. It’s a great post, full of clever and witty dialogue, photos, and my first ever video clip…which in itself was a chore because I had to learn how to increase my file space capacity. Yep, I changed the program. I wrote it on my localhost working platform. I found a wonderful, logically organized, clear pics, website to help me with the final migration from my localhost to my live site. No transferring errors….no popups saying WTF did you do. But when I went to my live site to look at this fantastic blog entry it was not all there. Half of it did not transfer.

To complete my personal breakdown I went back to my localhost and could not access my working copy. As far as I know the migration is more like a copy than a cut/paste situation. I’m hoping this is the case. As of right now most of my witty and clever dialogue is gone…gone to who the heck knows where. I don’t know what I did. Don’t even know where to look. And because it’s programming, I’m fearful of making any changes suggested by people who don’t know how to produce a decent YouTube video.

What to do? First, I posted what happened in the Comments section of the website I used to make the migration. I was pleasant and did not use any cuss words so I’m hoping they will respond. Second, we have a neighborhood online site called NextDoor where people post anything from asking for a good plumber, to traffic situations, to looking for Fluffy who snuck out of the back yard. I’m going to ask if anyone has a teenager who knows programming and has a blog and can they help me out of the mess I’m in. I betcha I’ll get a few names. Do you?!

In closing, one of many lessons learned is to write my copy in Word and save the doc. Clever and witty comes in spurts in my mind and I have to strike when the iron is hot. Another is to have a neighborhood brainiac kid on speed dial.

This post is being written using Option 1. I may have to own up to the fact that technology is on the Bullet Train and I don’t have a seat.

Thanks for reading!

stick with cocktail

One last thing….If you are a programmer and want to pick apart my usage of computer related terms feel free man. You just show me your YouTube videos and I’ll decide if I want to care or not.

 

Disclaimer: I have no first-hand knowledge the two Steves were stoners. It was the 70’s. That’s all I’m sayin’…

Spring….don’t you toy with me

We are enjoying beautiful end-of-winter weather here in northeast Oklahoma. I mean shed your jackets and long sleeve shirts kind of weather. It was 66 degrees yesterday and I’m tellin’ ya, it felt so warm. Has Spring come early?? My answer is: I won’t hold my breath. I’ve seen too many cold spells arrive at the end of March and even in April to announce: Spring Is Here!!!

But you wouldn’t know it from a trip to Lowe’s yesterday.

trees
Whitebud and redbud trees, native to Oklahoma are blooming all over the place. You know what that means don’t you? I’m guessing you do not so I’ll tell you. The white bass are running! According to my husband.

 

bulbs
Springtime means get your bulbs and fruit bushes in the ground! Unless of course we have a Spring freeze. Then you may have wasted some cash.

 

daffodils
Ahh….daffodils. A sure sign Spring has sprung, right? This is a good time to comment on my photography from yesterday. When we have unseasonably warm weather it means one thing….a southern wind is blowing hard. I mean whip-the-life-out-of-you hard. The fact that you can even tell these are flowers, much less daffodils, is pretty amazing as they were blowing all over the place.

 

herb stands
Soon these shelves will be packed with all kinds of herbs, all varieties of tomatoes, ditto with hot peppers, squash, bells, the usual suspects. I will be buying any number of the above mentioned vegetables for our garden. I always do. I always say, “This year I’ll do good. Our garden will be lush with green plants bursting with colorful fruit.” It starts out well enough. Then the spider mites attack. I don’t know what it is. Those suckers refuse to die. No doubt there will be a future post dedicated to my warfare with these unruly arachnids.

 

mowers
Lastly, gotta include lawn mowers as a sure sign of Spring. Another slightly blurry photo. The mowers weren’t moving around. I was. My camera was. With the wind, I could not have stood still if my life depended on it. Well, maybe the mowers were moving now that I think about it.

So Mother Nature….don’t you toy with me lady. The humans have voted. We want Spring even if it means near tornadic winds. Please do not let winter come back until it’s supposed to. Like December.