Saturday, August 7, 2021

In the neighborhood!

 It's amazing how energized you are in the morning when you have a good night's sleep. If only we could bottle that. The previous night, I had a terrible time getting to sleep - last night, no issue. Now, why is that? 

Well, it doesn't matter - you take the good with the bad and move on! 

I like where we live. I like our neighborhood and our house, and even though the weather can be wild, I don't have to go to sleep with these thoughts on my mind. 

BC fires at night

This is a photo my cousin took off her balcony two nights ago. She lives in Vernon, and while the fire is across the lake, that means nothing. They were NOT on evacuation notice, but many others were, and apparently, RVs are parked everywhere as displaced people flee their homes. While forest fires are part of life, they have increased in severity, and lack of rain isn't helping. So for those that say global warming isn't real? Tell that to everyone who has lost their home. But I won't go there. Let's pray for rain for Western Canada. 

My brother lives in Penticton on the hills surrounding the city. They had to evacuate some years ago as the fires were literally on top of them. It was surreal, as when we drove up the roads after, houses were burned to the ground, and others were not. 

I believe I mentioned that a friend moved to remote Northern Ontario. Well, it's not the most northern that you can go, but it's NORTH for me. I sent her a postcard -- do you remember what it looked like? Here's a picture to refresh your memory. Little did I know......................

Postcard for Heather

Here's a picture that was taken in their driveway the other day. 

The welcoming committee

Hmmm -- I don't think I could have created a better postcard for them!! I laughed when I saw the picture. I'm not so sure that I'd like to live there. While I'm pretty adventurous, and I like to walk and, for the most part, don't think too much about wildlife, if I knew the bears were that prevalent, I might think twice. And can you imagine walking dogs, especially Murphy, in that area? Not happening in my lifetime!!!

Speaking of our mild neighborhood, this was the most exciting thing I saw on the walk yesterday. The previous day, I had noticed a Dad trying to bounce an empty stroller through one of the secondary paths in the forest, which are filled with roots. Did I mention that he was on his cell phone as he attempted to maneuver the stroller with one hand? Why? Why don't people use headphones at least? The kid was wandering off into the forest by himself. The dad was saying, "come back, you're too far away." Well, I won't go there. 

A lost shoe

I bet the kid finally got back into the stroller, and eagle-eye Dad didn't notice when the shoe came off because he was on his phone. Sigh..............................

And I see that they have tried to fix the path once again. Well, the next time it rains (and we have had some pretty hard rains here), all that loose sand is just going back down the hill. They need to pack it or put larger stones on top or pave it or something, but it's just going to do the same thing again. And this is only recently that this has started to happen. In the past 18 years, they've never had to do this. More people walking? More erosion because of more foot traffic? The paths, especially the secondary ones right through the trees, are getting quite worn compared to when we first moved here. 

The repaired path

One more thing about the neighborhood. Should I or shouldn't I???  Do they even know these tomatoes are edible??? 

Tomatoes ripe for the picking

The plants are loaded with tomatoes, and they don't seem to be picking them. The birds don't seem to be touching them. It would be a shame to let them go to waste. These plants are along their driveway in the front of their house. This is the same house where their beautiful flower gardens (and many of them) are totally overgrown with weeds. It's quite messy and a shame because the previous owners really took pride in that house. 

It's time for me to get back to work on my presentations for the fall. I have wanted to revamp some of the content in them for a while - take new photos, make new samples, rearrange the order of the slides, etc. So I started to do that yesterday. I also need to have some of them translated to French. Yep -- I'm going for it - let's do these presentations in French. Don't worry -- I'm practicing, and there's quite a bit that I need to brush upon. But I'll be ready. 

I like to include screenshots of the sewing machine in my presentations since it's a challenge to do some of the stuff live. And you know what they say - a picture says a thousand words. Now, if you've ever taken pictures of the screen of a sewing machine, which I'm sure you never have, it can be a challenge. The PFAFF creative icon is particularly troublesome because of the black screen and its angle. 

Have a look. This is what the photo looks like if you just take a picture. Tons of reflection and not very professional. 

Loads of reflection

What to do??? Well, I now tuck something black on the bed of the sewing machine to cut the glare. I could also turn down the lights, but just covering it is fast. Then I put something black on the table right in front of the screen. But that's still not enough. I finally had to wrap my phone in black fabric to prevent the phone's reflection onto the images. And lastly, I use a giant black reflector to cut the glare from the overhead lights. Thank goodness, I can use voice commands for my phone to take pictures. Oh -- the phone is on a tripod. It's quite complicated but well worth it. 

Taking screenshots of the PFAFF creative icon

Here's the raw shot - no glare. 

No glare!

And then I crop out the excess to get a nice shot. I know it looks a wee bit crooked in the photo, but that's an illusion. I think the angle of my camera is just slightly off from the angle of the screen. 

The cropped photo

Wait --- these are for a presentation in French, so I have to switch the language in the sewing machine and then retake the photos. I have to do that for ALL the photos in the future. Twice the work! But hey --- it's worth it. Learning lots every day. 

Same photo - en Francais

My other big learning curve yesterday was this. I bought a new speaker. I really just wanted something like Susan and Katheleen had with Bluetooth. But DH said NO - I need Bluetooth AND Wi-Fi. OK -- so he's right - better to get both connections. 

I thought it would be simple to set up. But NO -- I have a separate account from him, and well, that wasn't happening. I get so frustrated when technology doesn't work. 

New Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speaker

So he called their support, and they ended up connecting to my phone to see the log-in process, and we had the support person on speaker on DH's phone. All while we were sitting on the deck outside. And it took several tries and about a half-hour, but by golly -- she made it happen!!!!  I still have to make the Bluetooth connection, but I'm sure that'll be easy. 

What did I learn?? If there's a screen on your phone that you do NOT want, including during the log-in process, you can swipe DOWN to get rid of it. That may not work for everything, but it's what I needed to do to connect to my account. Who knew??? 

Well, I've run out of time. The next quilt is loaded on the long arm. I have more pictures to take today, embroidery samples to make, presentations to whip into shape, and I have to finish cleaning up Studio B. It's rather messy at the moment. 

Have a super day!!!!!


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