Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Back to normal?


Yesterday was a bizarre day. At the end of the day, I didn't feel like I had accomplished much. Why? Well, for starters, I did a couple of NORMAL things, and they both consumed a LOT of time. How quickly we forget how time-consuming errands can be!

I got my hair cut! And can you believe that I messed up the time? Got the right time (almost), but on the wrong date! Fortunately, Paula wasn't very busy, so she could accommodate me into her schedule. Seriously??  I had to laugh about it as I didn't even have the time right. That's what happens when you do things in a hurry! 

What I left behind

But it feels good to get that extra length off. It was driving me crazy when I could feel my hair inside my shirt. Well, it's gone. I can still make a wee ponytail if we ever get back to the gym and on the bikes. 

Then Ronda and I went to a movie last night. GASP!! I know. I don't normally go to the movies, but I like to go from time to time. She had a coupon, even though it was Tuesday, which is the cheap day. I'm guessing they have the start times staggered, and when we arrived, there were no other patrons in the theatre lobby. Three or four employees, and that was it. 

The lobby at the theatre

We had popcorn for dinner! On our way out, we saw two customers coming in, but we saw no one else. It wasn't difficult to do social distancing! I might go to a different movie next week. I mean - why not? We need to get life back to normal as much as we can. 

We had assigned seats, but I had to laugh because when we entered the actual theatre. There wasn't a single person in that particular theatre. Just the two of us! We could have chosen the 4DX seats - the ones that move, but like the good people we are, we stuck to our assigned seats! 

An empty theatre

I'd say that the cinema is a pretty safe place to go to—loads of room for social distancing. I felt very comfortable and safe. We need to remember that it's contact with PEOPLE, not things that spread this virus. As I said, we barely saw anyone!

Both of those events took a fair amount of time! And several lengthy phone calls didn't help the situation. Miss Lexi is not happy with me. I couldn't take her for a walk yesterday. Why? Well, I had called my service provider yet again, and the technician was scheduled to arrive between 8 and 12 yesterday. I was just arriving at the house at 8 AM with Miss Murphy, and the technician had just arrived. So I wanted to hang around while he did the testing and whatever he needed to do. 

He tested the pair of phone lines that bring in our service. He showed me the tests. Those lines are NOT balanced. Not even close, and I'm certain that has been our problem all along. They cannot get the two lines to work together. That's what happens when you piecemeal things together. 

Can we drop one line? That didn't seem to be a good idea because he didn't like the look of any of the lines coming into the house. What's next? Why bring in a totally new line. I'm good with that. So he drilled a hole right through the wall into the family room. 

New wires for the phone service

It had to be there because of the gas lines outside the house. Personally, I didn't care if it resulted in a large cable that had to be taped to the floor (OK - I'm kidding), but I want STABILITY with the internet. You can't really see the cable - it's stapled to the baseboard and runs under the large, built-in cupboard where the modem sits. 

Installing a new wire

Murphy was freaked out because the technician was outside pulling the wire, and Murphy couldn't figure out what was happening. 

Mom? What is this big box?

We only need ONE pair of wires for the service, but now we have FOUR pairs. That's three spares - just in case! We weren't on any Zoom calls yesterday, but I stream the radio on Alexa, and we were on the internet for part of the day, and DH watched TV. We had no issues. So we are in wait mode - did this solve the problem? We can only hope!!!

But I learned some things because I asked questions when the technician was here. Can we test the bandwidth that we are using? How do we know if we are maxing out? Well, guess what - there is NO test for that. Do you know why? I'm guessing here - but the companies advertise that you NEED more bandwidth with all the devices you have connected to the internet. More bandwidth means they can upgrade your service because MORE is better. 

However, I found an article on-line that says that most of the streaming services that we use have COMPRESSED their files so much that the likelihood of us maxing out our bandwidth is extremely unlikely, even if you have many devices connected. Let's say your phone is connected, and you get notifications. The amount of bandwidth required to do that is so minimal that it probably doesn't even register on the bandwidth scale. 

However, you can test the SPEED by going to  That might be just for Bell customers. Then you can see your speed. Oh - it's not high enough - well, you can buy FASTER, but faster doesn't get you anything! Isn't that interesting?? 

If I were a gamer or had many, many people streaming Zoom calls or TV or whatever, then bandwidth MAY be an issue, but highly unlikely! Something to think about as you see all those ads for fiber optics and fast download speeds. You don't need it! Just two simple phone lines and we're good to go - provided they like to talk to each other. I need to have a conversation with my Dad because he understands all this stuff. I should have asked him first! But now I'm armed with knowledge! 

Not that you're likely interested, but here's an article about how much bandwidth is required for Zoom. Here's the number for group calls. 
  • 800kbps/1.2Mbps (up/down)
Guess what we have?    ---      7.2 kbps and 47 (average) Mbps.  Do we have a bandwidth issue??? I think NOT!!! I wish I had known all this before we switched. I wish that there was someone that could have helped me before we upgraded! BUT -- this is good information for you! DO NOT be persuaded that you need more until you check what you already have!!!  So even if we have MANY devices (that would take a whole lot less bandwidth than Zoom, and a computer or two and even a TV connected, we would NEVER top out our bandwidth! 

I got this customer quilt off the long arm yesterday, and the next one is half loaded. I hope to work on that later today. 

Customer quilt - DONE

I had been trying to make squash soup for a couple of days. I had baked the squash on the weekend. So while the technician was doing his thing and I had to bring dogs in the house and then out of the house depending on where he was working, I got the rest of the veggies (potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and an apple) chopped (very coarsely chopped I might say) and into the pot. I added sage. 

Last night, I added some coconut milk, and when I got home from the theatre, I heated up a bowl. Oh my gosh - it was so good. I wonder why I don't do this more often - it really didn't take long. Obviously, it's been a while since I last made soup because I couldn't remember where the immersion blender was stored!

Squash soup

I got my Trendtex 2021 challenge kit in the mail. I have an idea - I'm just not sure it'll work with those fabrics, but I'd like to get started. But FIRST, I must finish the Cherrywood Challenge, which is due December 31. 

Don't forget to bid on your favorite Trendtext Challenge pieces for 2020. It's a fundraiser for the Canadian Quilters Association. I see there are no bids on mine yet. That's good as I want it back! 

Instead of writing this morning - I did manage to get one more written thing done yesterday; I decided to cut some stuff that needs to be done. I almost got all the Summer Moon blocks cut. And I almost got the border cut for PRISM Squared. It looks a wee bit askew in the photo. 

PRISM squared

I have a presentation tonight that I have to prep for, but hopefully, it won't take too long, and then I might just get some sewing done. 

Hopefully, today will be a little less crazy. My car didn't know what happened as it went out TWICE on the same day!

Have a great day!!!!



  1. What is the recipe for the squash soup?

    1. Lynda -- Oh -- I missed this comment. The recipe?? I just googled squash soup and picked one! I'm not good with using the same recipe over and over. Loving my new shoes - thanks to you!!!