Tuesday, February 27, 2007

quote of the day

Absence is to love what wind is to fire: it puts out the little, it kindles the great.
--Roger DeBussy-Rabutin Histoire Amoureuse de Gaules

Sunday, February 25, 2007

there's an elephant in my garden

My grand daughter, Marley, wanted to have her picture taken with an elephant. I couldn't accommodate her in reality, but through the imagination and my photo editing program I was able to put her on an elephant in the middle of my garden. Also present are the stuffed animals she requested.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

another warm day

I took advantage of two splendid days to work in my garden. I've tilled it twice and I'll soon be ready to plant potatoes and onions.

I ought to be able to grow some groceries on this plot, don't you think?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

cocker poodle

Yesterday, Lizzie went to the dog groomer for a Cocker cut. This really doesn't look like a Cocker cut to me. It looks more like a Cocker Spaniel trying to imitate a Poodle.

She tired of me taking pictures of her so she jumped up on the couch and struck this haughty pose.

a touch of spring and a little philosophizing

It's 71 degrees today, so I began my spring rituals. I changed the oil in the tiller and lawnmower and got them both running. I started tilling the garden. It won't be long and I'll be planting onions and potatoes, and a few weeks after that, all the rest. What is it about the first real warm day after a bone-chilling winter that make you want to get in the dirt.
I spent most of my life living near Los Angeles and thought there was no place for me on this crazy planet. But, when I'm in my garden, and watching plants grow day by day, sucking their nourishment from the ground and receiving life from the sun, I know that I too am tied to the earth, yet when the light from a distant star travels light years to arrive at the retina of my eye, I feel connected to the cosmos. I am a part of the universe, and if I suffered the loss of one atom, the universe would be diminished.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

the eye of the beholder

In a previous post on changing the banner in the blog header, I remarked how my new banner fit on the page. It was a little big but I thought it fit. Last week I bought a new computer and now with Window Vista the banner didn't fit on the page at all. So I resized it to fit within the border of the blogger header. Do you ever wonder how your blog looks in someone Else's browser? I'm still using IE but it looks different now at a different resolution. Like Robert Burns said, "Oh, wad some power the gifty gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us".

Saturday, February 17, 2007

behind in my reading list

According to this website: The Great Books List I'm behind in my reading. I've read only eight books of the 100 listed. I'd better get busy.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

i was just thinking

This is my highly organized work space.
I finally had enough of those blue screens with their ominous warnings: This program has committed the unpardonable sin and will be shut down. I bought a new computer. My monitor and printer are fairly new so I just bought the processor, keyboard, and mouse. I looked for one with Windows XP, but there were none to be found. So I now have Vista. So far so good. I've heard some negative feedback about the new system and I'm having trouble installing my printer and making it work, but I think I'll get that ironed out.

  • Yesterday, Dorothy made some green chile potato soup and took it to work. Her green chile potato soup always warms the cockles of my heart* on a cold day. She brought back what wasn't eaten. Last night I made some Border Style Shrimp and we added the leftover shrimp to the soup and tonight we had a shrimp potato chowder. Yum!!
  • I was reading an article about someone who had endured more than her share of tragedy in her life and it made me think that: Tragedy should come with heavy feet, like an approaching dinosaur. The ground should tremble at its approach so we can batten down the hatches; barricade the doors. Instead, it comes as a casual visitor. It doesn't even knock on the door. It steals what we love while we're looking out the window.
  • The temperature hasn't climbed above freezing for the last few days. We got a dusting of snow today. 11 degrees are forecast for tonight. I left the water dripping in two bathroom faucets and in the kitchen. It might reach the 40's tomorrow afternoon. I hope winter is winding down. I plan to get the tiller ready next week and turn over some soil.

*cockles of the heart -- What are those? I don't remember seeing them in the pictures of any biology textbook I ever studied. I remember seeing aortas and ventricles but no cockles. During open heart surgery does the doctor have to clamp them to one side to make room? Just wondering.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

carpet cleaner

Lizzie is our specially trained cleanup dog. She stands at the ready to scarf up any tidbits that might escape Jenna's grasp.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

customizing your blog

Clarence of Can You Hear Me Now? suggested in a comment that I explain how to put a banner in the header of a blog. I'll attempt to do this now: I'm familiar with Blogger or Blogspot, but I think Clarence, who uses Typepad, will be able to translate these instructions over to his own page editor. One important note: Before you attempt to change the html on your template you should save a copy of the template on notepad, just in case you make a serious mistake. You will be able to restore the old template from the saved file.

Getting the Image

  1. Decide what image or photo you want in your banner. I always use my own photos, but there are images on the net that are in the public domain. (Don't use copyrighted images) Or you can create an image using a program like, Paint, Photoshop, etc. I use Photoshop to tailor my images to the size I want. The image file should be jpg., jpeg. or gif.
  2. Once you decide on the image it must be sized to fit your browser. My banner is 750 pixels wide. This fits good on my browser and it should look good on most of the browsers of the readers of your blog. Use your photo editing program to crop the picture into a horizontal strip about 750 pixels wide and about 260 pixels high. This will be about 10.4 inches wide and 3 inches high. That should be easily seen on most computer monitor screens.
  3. Once your banner is ready you'll need to find a website that will host your image. I use Flickr.com. As soon as you upload the picture to the site you can obtain the necessary html to copy and paste into your template.

Ok. So now you have created the image/photo you want as your banner, sized it, saved it as a jpg, jpeg, or gif, uploaded it to a hosting service, and now your ready to put it on your blog.

Getting the new banner on your blog header

These instructions are for those who have switched to the new blogger. If you still have the old template you can put a new banner up but it takes more intricate changes to the template than decribed here. If you want to customize the look of your blog it will be easier with the new version. My friends and family think I'm computer savvy, but I'm not really. I'm just good at finding out who is savvy and getting the knowledge from them. I found the following instructions on A Hoosier Family and used them to change the banner on my blog:

  1. Go to your dasboard and click "layout".
  2. Click on "Edit HTML".
  3. Make sure "Expand Widget" box is unchecked.
  4. In the edit template field scroll down to the header code. div id="header-wrapper". Under the header code you will see code that says maxwidgets. Switch the 1 to a 2.
  5. Nearby will be a code for showaddelement. Change the no to yes.

Now go back to Page Elements. There will now be an additional "Add Page Element" section in the header area. Click on it.

  1. In the Add Element section click on the HTML/Javascript.
  2. Open your photo hosting site. (Flickr)(in a new window)
  3. Copy your photo's url html and paste it into the appropriate HTML/Javascript box.
  4. Save changes.

Now go back to the Edit HTML tab in Layout and check that "Expand Widget" box is still unchecked.

  1. Scroll down the template html until you find the code that says: "Header1" locked="true" title="Title of your Blog (header)"
  2. Change true to false
  3. Save
  4. Click on edit in the previously existing page element (the old header) Click remove or delete.
  5. Save

Your blog should now have a new look.

Clarence, your banner would be changed in basically the same way. Since I don't use Typepad I'm unfamiliar with the "language" they use. Here is a url to get you started: Typepad Banner

Sunday, February 04, 2007

quote of the day

If you observe a really happy man, you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden, or looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi Desert. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that had rolled under the radiator, striving for it as a goal in itself. He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living life twenty-four crowded hours of each day.
--W. Beran Wolfe

Friday, February 02, 2007

new look

The above banner is jut a trial. I'm experimenting with a new look since I lost the old one when I updated the template. So instead of reinstalling the old picture I thought I would come up with something new. This photo is a little large so I'll have to reduce it. I thought the autumn theme would be appropriate because I see a lot of similarities between retirement and the fall of the year; life is winding down, withering, moving inexorably toward the death of winter. I'm not saying my own demise is near but on my tiptoes I can see it from my back porch.
But, retirement is also a new beginning, and since I'm determined to live another 30 years, the banner should probably illustrate potential, growth, and adventure. I'll let all that percolate in my head for a few days and I'll be trying out different banners. Let me know if any piques your interest.

tagged, i'm it

Dawn gave me the nudge on this questionnaire, so I thought it would be fun to respond:

A. Available/single? No, I've been happily married for 40 years.

B. Best Friend? -- Dorothy has always been my best friend. Also, Ricci Davis, a guy I've known since high school would be my life long best friend and we've kept in touch over the years.

C. Cake or Pie? -- That's a hard one. I think pies will edge out cakes because I can't think of a pie I don't like, except strawberry rhubarb. But, Dorothy makes a Cranberry Ambrosia cake and a Banana Coconut cake that are superb.

D. Drink of choice? -- That first cup of coffee in the morning is sure good, but I've always loved the taste of iced tea. In the summer I make a chocolate tea ice cream that is good, and I'm working on a tea flavored icing for my grand daughters' birthday cakes this year.

E. Essential item you use every day? -- Computer. I use mine everyday to write this blog, keep in touch with the kids and friends, banking, and conduct an online business.

F. Favorite color? -- Blue

G. Gummy Bears or Worm? -- I don't like either. If I eat candy I want chocolate and peanuts in it.

H. Home town? -- Although I was born in Oklahoma and have lived here for the last 27 years, I grew up in Hermosa Beach, CA, and I'll always think of it as my home town.

I. Indulgence? -- On an intellectual level: reading, but for indulging the senses you can beat a meal at El Zarape restaurant.

J. January or February? -- I can't tell the difference, except that February does hold a promise of Spring.

K. Kids and their Names? -- 2: Rachel and Kelly

L. Life is incomplete without? -- Dorothy. She is my life partner and I wouldn't want to take another step down that road without her.

M. Marriage date? -- August 9, 1966

N. Number of siblings? -- 4 sisters, I was in the middle.

O. Dawn what happened to O? -- I'll make one up: Opossums? -- No, I don't own any.

P.Phobias/Fears? -- The older you get, the less you fear, and I'm getting pretty old.

Q.Favorite Quote? -- Never make a decision when you're discouraged.

R. Reason to smile? -- Family

S. Season? -- I like spring because it's a new beginning, tilling and planting the garden, watching the trees bloom and leaf, everything is new and shiny. But, Autumn is good, refreshing cool breezes, the year is winding down, it reminds me of retirement. I want to die on the last day of fall.

T. Tag? -- I think I'll tag Lucilocket

U. Unknown fact about me? -- If I reveal that it would no longer be unknown.

V. Vegetable you don't like? -- I don't like collard greens very well.

W. Worst habit? -- procrastination

X. X-rays? -- Xray vision, no. I've had a few pointed in my direction over the years.

Y. Your favorite food? -- I love Mexican food. Also, during the summer, a meal of cornbread and beans and all the vegetables fresh from the garden.

Z. Zodiac sign? -- Leo

Thursday, February 01, 2007

unexpected update

After receiving several error reports while attempting to access my blog I found out that it's necessary to update the template. What you see now is a rather generic looking format. I'll spend the next day or so trying to come up with something with a little more pizazz.


Where the blizzards come sweeping down the plain....

Over the past few years we've been spoiled here in Oklahoma by relatively warm winters. This one is more like they were twenty years ago. Of course, the ponds aren't freezing solid, but the snow comes frequently and it stays below freezing for several day at a time. Last night it took Dorothy almost an hour to drive home from work; a drive that usually takes 30 minutes. She went in late today and may come home early depending on what the weather does.