Thursday, October 31, 2019

About those passwords

One of my readers commented that it should have been easy to retrieve my Apple password, saying she has an iPad, and iPhone, an iPod, and a Macbook, so I should have been able to get to my password by way of one of those.  Well, I do have an iPad, but the problem was that Apple locked me out for typing in the wrong password too many times.  I logged in with recovery mode more times that I care to think about, following their directions.  The computer stopped letting me in, entirely. There is a place to type in your password when in recovery mode but it was grayed out and it didn't let me type anywhere.  The people talked me through several different solutions.  And I do have a list of passwords, two notebook pages long.  When I have to change a password, I update the list.  However, sometimes I can't find a particular password and when I look at the list, I miss seeing the old ones until I need to see it, then I see I have two different passwords in two different spots on the list.  I just counted, and I have 81 passwords.  Some for our smart TV and the apps thereon, some for Kindle, some for Libby (the app for library books), grocery store websites, Amazon, Kohls, the site I log into to see how my blood tests came out after I've been to the doctors, the bank... I'll stop there, but surely you get the picture.  You try keeping track of 80 passwords and let me know how you do it.  Meanwhile, my husband stayed outside away from my mess-up, muttering about why I would ever buy such an inferior product as a MacBook.  I tried to explain to him that I was the inferior product, not this fine Apple computer.

We had about an inch of snow this morning, but it's gone now.  Now it's just nasty out, sun is shining but there's mud everywhere.  It's been so cold I haven't had my walk for four days, but I did hop on the exercise bike yesterday so it wouldn't be too hard to walk when I finally go again.  

One day this week I was within a pound of my goal of 152 pounds, but it's slow going.  I weigh most mornings, but Cliff does weekly weigh-ins because he doesn't like all the ups and downs of weighing daily; I know how weight loss works, so I learn from the ups and downs.  

Cliff had lost four pounds Sunday morning.

I don't have much to blog about right now, but I wanted to explain, as well as possible, what happened with the Mac.  It must be a very unusual occurrence, because none of the four people at Apple who helped me out had ever been in quite that situation before.  Leave it to me to be the first!

Just call me a trend-setter.  Yeah, that's it.

Sincerely yours,

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Passwords, bane of my existence

I’ve paid our bills online for a long time.  I like how the transactions show up on my bank’s app within 24 hours.  I like saving money on stamps and checks.

I remind Cliff occasionally that if I die first, he will need to call the phone number on each credit card and have them go back to mailing a paper bill to him.  He is not knowledgeable enough about the internet to pay bills online, although I told him to have our daughter help him out if he had a problem.  Honestly, he'd be wise to cut up all but one credit card, because there are three cards we hold only because they give credits for using them, so I get money back.  Then there's a Kohl's card I never use unless I get 30% off; once in awhile they actually give me 40% off by email.  He would never use that card anyhow.  I'm not sure he'd use Amazon, although he has before, if I'm sitting there beside him to help.  So the card that gives us the most money back for Amazon could go.  And so forth.  Anyhow, we don’t carry a balance on any card:  we pay in full each month.

I recently had a horrible experience because I got flustered and made too many attempts to register my brand new Macbook.  I had my Apple password written down, even.  But between mixing up my Mac computer password a time or two with my Apple password and accidentally typing in a wrong letter at times, I was out of luck.  Never fear, I thought.  It's a brand new computer, and the folks at Apple have to help me.

But everyone I got in touch with began the conversation with "type in your Apple ID”.  Now, if I'd had my new computer ID, the one I use to sign in so I can use my computer, there'd have been no problem.  But I had gotten so confused after trying to figure out the difference between my Apple password and my sign-in password, I couldn't do that either!  All this took place after I had spent a couple of hours transferring all my pictures from my old Mac Mini.

The first two techs I contacted had no idea what to do about this situation, since nobody but me knows my Apple ID.  Mac products have such high security about them, the company makes important passwords really hard to make, and won't accept them if they aren't "tricky".  This is a good thing when someone is trying to hack into your computer, but if you've lost your password, it isn't good news.

The third tech person I talked to was a calm, kindly woman who kept assuring me I wasn't stupid, these things happen, yadda yadda.  I'll admit I calmed down considerably, talking to her.  She had me try many things, but nothing worked.  

"Well," she said, after about an hour of trying to get my problem solved, "it looks like we're going to have to wipe everything out and start over, so it will be just like it was when you first got it."

On the bright side, I'd only downloaded things from my old computer.  I did it once, so I knew I could do it again.  And that's how the problem was solved.  Folks, put your Apple password in a safe and don't lose it, because unpleasant things happen if you forget it.  

Yesterday while Cliff was helping his brother work on a tractor at his place, I got to thinking about passwords and how much stress they have caused in my life.  I changed every one of our credit cards so we get a paper bill in the mail; paying online saves the cost of buying checks and stamps, but I've decided it's worth making the switch for my peace of mind.  By the way, right now on the new phone I bought to replace the one I thought I'd lost won't let me sign into Google.  I wouldn't care much except I can't get apps from Google Play.  If I'm ever in the mood to talk to a foreign tech I can't understand, I'll call T-mobile and see if they can help me.  Yes, even T-mobile has gone to using overseas help now.  I'm hoping someone at the T-mobile store can help me, next time we pass by one.

Now, from yesterday's post about our road trip, which I posted on Facebook so I could tag certain people who don't normally read my blog, several had questions about the following photo:

One friend asked why the man didn't have a beard; I suggested perhaps he was single, since young Amish men don't grow a beard until they marry.  Someone else asked why he was wearing jeans?  Amish men don't wear jeans.

Cliff's cousin, Darrell, left a comment on the post that properly explains the situation.  First of all, this isn't an Amish guy; in fact, Darryl says there are no Amish in Morgan County.  Darrell types in all caps because it's easier for him.  Many older fellows who type with one finger do that, including Cliff.  I tell you this because I'm going to do a copy-and-paste and give you the explanation straight from the horse's mouth... so to speak.




And there you have it!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

A pleasant little road trip

Last week I suggested to Cliff that we should take a road trip someplace and view the autumn leaves; Cliff asked if Monday (yesterday) would be OK; I figured it was as good a day as any, so we began planning.  I didn't want to travel too far, so I suggested the Versailles/Lake of the Ozarks area.  Cliff called his sister Rena to see if she was interested; she was.  Then he called his brother, Phil, at Higginsville and invited him along.  He was raised in Morgan County by his grandmother... and after she became an invalid and later died, Aunt Gertrude took over.  He graduated from Versailles High School.  I guess at this point I'm safe telling you the reason for this, with Cliff's parents long gone:  When Cliff's dad married his mom, she had a child already.  This was a different time, and, as Cliff says, "they were just a couple of hillbillies".  His dad could not accept the idea of raising "another man's child", so Phil ended up in a much more stable environment than his siblings.  The only way he could ever get out of going to Sunday School as a child was to play sick, and his grandma gave him castor oil for anything that was ailing him.  He quickly figured out he'd rather go to church or school than to taste the nastiness of castor oil.  He was the only one of his siblings to graduate high school, and he had every award Baptist Sunday schools give for perfect attendance.  To any of our local friends who might read this and wondered why Cliff had a brother with a different last name, now you know why:  He got his mother's maiden name.

Back when I was babysitting, Phil, Rena, and Cliff drove to Versailles one day; Phil took them around to old graveyards where some of their ancestors were buried, and to some of the old home places where relatives once lived.  I really wanted to go with them, but I stayed home with Cora.  As you probably know if you've read my blog for long, I love graveyards and old-timey places.  

So we all met, loaded up into Rena's car, and went in search of pretty leaves.

If that had been the only thing we did, it was a failure, even with me and Rena trying to be enthusiastic when we saw a little spot of color in the distance.  But it was a cloudy day, and there weren't really any bright red leaves in the landscape at all.  We saw yellow leaves and rust-color leaves.  Pretty drab, really.  But stories I heard, and conversations we had, made the day memorable to me.

Locust Baptist Church
I believe this is the church that had some mold in the basement; Aunt Gertrude had a lifelong problem with asthma, but as long as she was able, she attended the two country churches on this road, going to each one on alternate Sundays. 

There used to be a house back there somewhere.  Cliff's Grandma and Grandpa Wood lived here, but they didn't own the land.  They were squatters on coal company property.  This was a timely stop for me, since we had long since passed all public rest rooms and my bladder is very insistent at times.  It had been raining recently, so the others remained in the car while I loaded up my shoe-soles with wet gravel which ended up all over the back-seat carpet in Rena's usually immaculate car, and went to relive myself and take a couple of pictures.  We won't even mention the boulder we drove over that pounded against the underneath of the car, shortly after we left this spot.  "I hope that rock didn't bust the oil-pan," Cliff said, but he was only teasing Rena... I think.

The view going back to the car.

The slab

Cliff remembers walking down to "the slab" to swim; the two pictures above show the slab.  Phil said when it rains hard, the water pours over the top of it.  It's right down the road from where his grandma and grandpa Silvey lived.  It was interesting to me that the Woods and Silveys lived so near one another long before the time Cliff's parents got together.  People didn't go far in search of a mate in those days. 

Here's the other church Aunt Gertrude attended, further on the same road as Locust Church.  This is Ritchie Baptist church.

Ritchies figure into their mom's family, and there are a lot of them in this church graveyard.  Even the church bears their name.

Marriots abound in their family tree too.  I know this because they keep finding relatives for Cliff on "23 and Me" for Cliff, mostly second and third cousins.

                                                           I think I hear banjo music.

I lost several pictures taken on our trip through the woods because the files are no longer valid.  I've never had that happen before, but there isn't any way I know to recover them or fix them.  They aren't in the deleted photos folder, and I know I didn't remove the card from the computer until after the photos were downloaded.   I've used a Mac Mini for years, but unfortunately I didn't always look up the proper way to do things; I just sort of "got by" with everything the best I could.  Now, with a new Mac, I'm trying to learn to do things properly for the first time in years, and it's a struggle.  I'll get there, I just hope I don't lose more pictures in the process.

We had a deadline:  Phil needed to be home by 5 PM.  So we ended our little road trip by visiting their cousin, Darrel, in Versailles.  Aunt Gertrude lived with him the last years of her life:  she was unable to live at her own home because it was old, and impossible to get every trace of mold out of.  She and Darrell took care of one another, since Darryl has many, many health issues himself.  They made a good team, and I know he misses her. 

We had a great visit that would have been worth the trip even without going out into the boonies to visit the family history.  Darrell's whole house is a genuine man-cave, and the decor fascinates me.  He's very artistic, and knows how to throw things together and make it all look just right.  He built the house to accommodate a wheel chair, knowing that he'd eventually be using one.  The garage is on the same level as the rest of the house, with no steps, so he can wheel right on out there and putter on his cars.  

Cliff was on the Orscheln calendar a couple of years ago with his tractor, so Darrell decoupaged that page, making it a permanent fixture in his garage.  

The sides of this tool box are covered in pictures of cars Darrell had something to do with.  Darryl's daughter was responsible for collecting photos to put together for the sides.  I'm fairly certain the cartoon picture on the front is Darryl's art work.

Cliff is just nosing around in the garage, admiring all the man-toys.

After we went back in the house, Darryl's brother Rick stopped by.  It still seems strange that Aunt Gertrude isn't there any more, but you can almost feel her presence in the house anyhow.

You often see the Amish buggies on roads around Versailles, and in town at Walmart and other spots.  There are various varieties of Amish folk, as well as Mennonites and everything in between.  The locals can't even keep track of which kind everybody is, so they often simply call them "Pennsylvania Dutch" as an all-inclusive term.  Darrell said there is such a huge recent influx of them that they have caused land prices in the area to go crazy high.  

Because yesterday was Monday, most of the Amish had done laundry and had clothes hanging on the lines.

I know you aren't supposed to take pictures of the Amish, but I didn't know he was going to turn his head toward us just as I was taking a picture.  Besides, what could he do to me?  Try to catch our car with a horse-drawn carriage so he could tell me off?

We went toward home, stopping in Sedalia at LeMaire's Cajun Catfish for a late lunch.  None of us thought it was top-notch, but it filled us up, anyway.  


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Is the universe playing tricks on me?

I've lost my cell phone.  This is a first for me; in the past, I've stayed with a cheap, basic phone.  But when I saw that Cliff and I could get a pretty good deal as senior citizens ($70 monthly for both of us, unlimited data), I decided to go for something besides a flip-phone and settled on a Samsung model in the $250 range.  After having it over a year, I've finally learned how to answer it without hanging up on folks.  I've also learned to text, although I don't use that feature a lot except to read what others send.  

But sometime between last Friday night and Saturday, it disappeared.  I had it in hand a lot while I sat with Cliff in the emergency room, fielding calls and texting with someone I thought was Jimmy Capps.  My daughter brought me home Friday night and picked me up Saturday morning at home to go back to the hospital; she has checked her car, but the phone wasn't there.  When I got to Cliff's room I looked for my phone in my purse, assuming it was there.  When it wasn't, I figured I'd left it home, which wouldn't be an unusual occurrence,

When Cliff and I came home that afternoon, I told him to call my cell phone, certain we'd hear it ringing and the mystery would be solved.  When that didn't happen, we called the hospital to see if anyone had turned it in.  Nope.  So I guess we'll be going to the T-mobile store and paying for another phone.  In an unrelated occurrence, yesterday evening Cliff's phone quit working.  When he tries to call someone, the phone tells him, "Not registered on network".  If someone tries to call him, the call goes to voice mail.  

So sometime today we'll be heading to Blue Springs T-mobile to get some help with our problems.  My problem, I'm sure, will cost more to fix than his problem.  I will see how much it would be for insurance.  

And then!!!  Of course Cliff is supposed to keep an eye on his blood pressure, so we got out the old blood pressure monitor, which we've been using daily for the last couple of weeks, only to find it's gone wacky.  So there goes another thirty or so bucks.  It isn't that we can't afford it, but why do things seem to happen in clusters?  Cliff's high blood pressure scare, one lost phone, and another that won't work, and a broken blood pressure monitor.  

We'll probably stop by Aldi's, since they have a couple good buys on fruit.  I need to buy a case of green beans there, too.  Since my sister told me a secret about cooking green beans, they don't last long around here.  Last year when we were visiting she was cooking, and the subject of green beans came up:  I mentioned that I always add a little bacon grease and some diced onion, and she said, "I like to put a little sugar in them; any time I take green beans to a carry-in dinner, people say, "Oh, these are the best green beans I've ever tasted!"

"Really?"  I responded.  Seriously, sugar in green beans?  Who wants sweet green beans?  That didn't even sound good, but my sister has been a master cook all her life, so there must be something to this concept.  "How much sugar would you add to one can of green beans?"

"Oh, I don't know," she said.  "I don't measure.  Maybe 1/2 teaspoon."

Well, that wouldn't be enough to sweeten them.  So, ever since this little talk with Maxine, I've added sugar to green beans when I fix them.

The first time the oldest grandson tasted them, I hadn't told him I did anything different.  He took a couple of bites and said, "Man, these green beans are good!"

You're never too old to learn something from your big sister.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Boy, do I have stories for you!

First of all, Cliff had an appointment to take a stress test.  He’s been wheezing a lot for a long time.  When the insurance company sent a nurse to the house as they do ever year, I mentioned the wheezing.  She listened for it and heard it.  Sometimes he can be at one end of the couch and me at the other and I'll hear it.  She told him he might have COPD and that we should see our regular doctor and see what they said.  

The nurse/practitioner at the doctor's office heard it too.  She said it could be something related to his heart, so before anything, she wanted him to do a stress test... not the nuclear stress test though.  Cliff told her he didn't think he could do it because he gets out of breath too easily, and she said, "Well, let's try it and see."

But when she took his blood pressure it was 190 over 90.    She quickly took him to the emergency room in a wheel chair.  They took blood for some tests and did a chest X-ray.

Now, I don't normally post blow by blow details on Facebook when I'm in the hospital with Cliff, but I had already "checked in" at St. Mary's Hospital.  When something seems like it might be serious, I wait until it's over to post anything.  But I had already started by saying we were there, and after awhile, friends were asking questions and relatives wondered why we had been away so long.  So I was updating my whole Facebook family was worried.
Five hours later Cliff got a room, and the top number on his blood pressure was 165, so it was heading in the right direction.  My daughter and I bade goodbye and as soon as I got home, I went to bed.  This morning when my daughter and I got to the hospital, it was 124 over 70.; in other words, perfect!  They hadn't given him anything or done anything to bring it down, except his normal meds minus his blood pressure pill (of all things) but we will be seeing the cardiologist soon.  

My husband looked pretty bad last night, and his face was red as a beet the whole time we were there.  This morning, normal color.  The grandson said Cliff hadn't felt good for two days.  My crazy husband didn't tell me because I always make him go to the doctor.  And so it goes.

And that leads me to my other story:  Last night, sitting in the emergency room cubbyhole we occupied, I heard the "PING" of an Instant Message.  Of course I was getting a lot of those at the time.  I looked to see who it was and it was Jimmy Capps, the session guitar player whose Facebook page I follow.  Cliff and I read his book and really liked him.  "Cliff," I said, "you won't believe who just instant messaged me!"  And I read the first lines the guy had typed to him.  "I am not smart enough to know the right words to say how much your likes and comment has done for me. All I can say is THANK YOU from a very grateful soul for your love and support all along" 🙏

It seemed like it might be Jimmy Capps, not that I would know, but if Cliff hadn't mentioned "scam", who knows what would have happened.  He asked about my husband and I told him we were in an emergency room waiting for a room.  He said, "Please don't tell anybody about this call."  Well, I thought, of course that makes sense.  He'd have everybody calling him.  He wanted to give me his private number so he could "reach out to me"  if I was having a hard time I could call and talk.  I told him we have plenty of people around us to talk to. 

I should have known by all this it wasn't him.  Because guess what?  I'm fairly sure it wasn't.  I don't know if I would have realized it, had Cliff not said something.  You see, I went to the Jimmy Capps Facebook page I follow and at the top of the page Jimmy's wife Michelle had put a warning: "If you get a message or friend request from “Jimmy Capps, it isn’t Jimmy. Someone has set up a fake account using hispicture. 😕 This is the only page he has, and it is a fan page. Thanks, ya’ll! Michele."

After reading that, would you believe he messaged me again today?  That cinched it, and I told him, "I don't want you to contact me any more.  My husband says you are a scammer."  His answer? "OMG".

Sure, every seventy-six-year-old man types OMG when he is texting.  a senior citizen who has a much younger, lovelywife isn't going to be wasting his time messaging old women.

But for a minute there, I thought I was going to be a special fiend to Jimmy Capps.  I felt so special.

I'm fairly happy about it though, because it gives me a story for my blog.

Be safe on the Internet, folks.  Don't be like Donna.  

Monday, October 14, 2019

Things should get back to normal

Yeah, with one thing and another, I haven't stopped to think about a blog entry.  I've spent a lot of time getting used to my new computer.  Saturday we had our tractor club's weinie roast at the local peach orchard.  I took my guitar and sang.  Honestly, Cliff seemed more nervous about this than I was.  As for myself, I wasn't nervous, thanks to the church folks at Journey of Faith wanting me to sing there.  That got me used to singing in front of folks again.  

I sang three songs songs I wrote myself.  And I read one poem.  Now, here's the thing:  I already knew that when you sing at an outdoor event with food involved, most people are eating and chatting (especially when you're on your own to introduce yourself).  I knew most wouldn't be listening, and it it seemed as though NOBODY was listening, I had decided beforehand to stop at one song.  However, as I sang and looked around, I noticed a few people really paying attention.  So after the first song, I just sang to the ones paying attention.  Some went on talking, which bothered Cliff, but not me.  I had warned him of this!  He was just on pins and needles, scared somebody wouldn't like my singing, I guess.  Obviously he's never looked around when there's a music act at our town fair, because it's the same thing.  Maybe half the crowd listens, if that.  If everybody had seemed interested, I would have done another couple things, but I decided to quit while I was ahead.  There weren't as many people as usual in attendance, probably because it was 32 degrees that morning with frost on the ground.  

We did a tractor ride to Lexington, probably 7 or so miles from the orchard, to Anderson House.  There are lots of Civil War bullet holes in the walls of the place, inside and out!  On the way back to the orchard we went through the Macphelah cemetery to remember one of the club's founding members who passed away last winter. 

I thought I'd lost a cat.  Jake, Mama Kitty's son, didn't show up at chow time for a few days.  When I mentioned this to the guys, Arick said a yellow cat had gotten run over nearby and thought it was probably him.  But yesterday old Jake showed up, looking no worse for the wear.  He seemed really hungry, though.  

Cliff had a problem with the Oliver 1855 tractor, our biggest tractor.  He said he was really afraid it would be some expensive, hard-to-fix problem; turns out he and Arick found the problem and fixed it without any expense at all, and very little trouble.  They've also been working on Arick's John Deere lawn mower, and found whatever it was that had caused long-term problems with it.  So that's fixed too.

Today Cliff saw a tractor on Craigslist that may be worth the money.  It's in Payola, Kansas, over 80 miles away, but that's not so far to go look at a tractor; we've gone a lot further in the past!  Arick thinks he and Cliff need a new project to do together.  

There are lots of turnips growing with the other stuff in Arick's wildlife plot, so I've been helping myself to some.  Cliff never liked turnips; he'd try them, but one bite was enough to make him "turn-up" his nose in disgust.  There are only about half a dozen foods that he doesn't like.  He is not very picky.  But he's never liked turnips.  I looked on and found 150 recipes that contain turnips!  I wanted to see if there was anything I could do with them that Cliff would like.  I also wanted to look for a recipe that would taste like my mom's turnips, and I actually found one.  I passed over it a few times because of the silly name of the dish:  "Thanksgiving Day Creamed turnips" (who cooks turnips for Thanksgiving?).  When I finally noticed the word "creamed", I checked the ingredients and thought it might be what I was looking for.  Mother served many vegetables "creamed"... carrots, peas, and sometimes creamed potatoes. I cut the ingredients for the sauce in half, though, because I just wanted enough to coat each slice, not enough so the turnips are floating in it like soup.  Also, the recipe said boil the sliced turnips for 5 minutes, pour off the water, cover them with fresh water, and cook another five minutes.  I didn't do that, because I was sure my mom didn't.   

I told Cliff I finally found a way to make Mother's creamed turnips, and he took a small bite.  Then he took another BIG bite, and about four more.  "Yeah, I'd eat that," he said.  Now that amazed me.  

We've had three lovely autumn days, counting today, with highs around 60.  Tomorrow sounds like the same sort of day.  Nice days to hang all the clothes out on the line.  There's just the right amount of breeze, and the sun is shining.

Enjoy this lovely time of year, won't you?  I will get back to a regular blogging schedule eventually, I'm sure.

Your friend,

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Where have I been?

Well, folks, I got a brand new Apple Macbook.  And therein lies a tale.

I'm semi-familiar with using a Mac, having used Mac Minis for a few years.  However, I was using a keyboard and a monitor I already had, because that's what you do with a Mini; which is why they are Apple's cheapest option for a computer.  The current Mini is running so slow, especially when working with photos, that I avoid it at all costs.  A tech said he could put a solid state drive in it for $500; he said it's slow because the system can't handle the latest updates.  So I could have spent less money doing that.  But I do like the idea of having a laptop, sitting in an easy chair to write my blog, which is the only thing I couldn't do to my satisfaction on the iPad.  There are apps for blogging, but I found those wouldn't let me do a very long entry because after a certain point, I couldn't scroll down to write more.  Pictures were a problem, too, with the apps.

So here I am, the proud owner of a brand new but more expensive Macbook ("expensive" is one of those words you could qualify by asking, "more expensive than what?).  

It reacts smoothly and quickly when I surf.  I actually do like it very much!

BUT:  On my Mac Minis, I never spent the time I should have to learn many of the perks, shortcuts, and so forth of a Mac.  The older I get, the less I like having to learn new things, and I've always been lazy, going with the flow.  So I made do and thought nothing of it, using my own workarounds.  You know, being too embarrassed to ask questions of my Mac-wise friends because I knew I'd appear stupid.

Guess who's doing her best to learn those tricks now?  This seventy-five-year-old woman, that's who.  And I'm getting there.  You see, I hadn't used a keypad for ages.  For the most part, I used the apps on the iPad, only going to the computer if I wanted to do a blog entry.  

I believe I've gotten used to the keypad on this thing, although I'm still learning new swipes and gestures to use.  Because it's a 13-inch Macbook, the keyboard is sort of scrunched up, more compact than the one I've been using, although I'm doing pretty well with it now except for the letter "P", and I've just about gotten over that slip.  My pinky finger just doesn't want to reach to that exact spot for some reason.  

I have a whole story to tell you about the process it has taken me to actually USE this computer.  All my life I've bought new computers, fired them up, and used them within a half-hour of getting them home.  My experience with this one allowed me to do that.  But when I began getting my Apple ID and such, things got hairy.  This time, through no fault of the Apple corporation or my Macbook, it was a journey in realizing how difficult old age can make things, because I get flustered so easily when learning new things.  I will be sharing this story with you to let you know that everything came out right in the end.  

Don't you hate it when people tell you the end of the story first?  But I hate sad endings, so I like to know a story will end well, before I read it.

As to what I've been doing?  After I transferred the files and folders to this new computer from the Mini, I began a task I've needed to do for years:  I'm cleaning up my photos, starting with 2007.  They would go back to 1998 when we got our first computer... no,, it was probably the second one, because I didn't have a blog at first...  anyhow, back then I didn't even know how to post a picture online.  Most of my computer skills through the years have been self-taught.  In other words, I had a fool for a teacher, because I was clueless.

I'd take ten identical pictures to make sure I got a good one for my blog, but I never took time to delete the ones I didn't want.  There wasn't any organization as to where the files lived on my computer, and sometimes I will find there are several copies of the same picture in different places.  I hadn't been giving myself a way to find any one single picture I wanted to see because I just didn't know how to access them.  I'm fixing that as I go, so if I want to see pictures of Cliff, I can type in his name and all pictures of him show up.  Of course I should have done all at the time I downloaded the photos and was done with them, but as I said, I'm lazy.  Now I'm paying for it.  

I'm only through about half the year of 2007 with this project, and there are 12 more years left to go through; so I'll be doing it for quite a while.  Wish me luck!  On the bright side, in more recent years I haven't taken nearly as many pictures.  So it should get better.

Yours truly,

Thursday, October 03, 2019

About Gabe, my dog

There's no doubt Gabe is MY dog.  Most of the time if he is going to lounge beside somebody... and that's pretty often... he chooses me.  If I tell him we are going to let him go bye-bye with us, he jumps and runs and spins like crazy and even gets in his living-room bed, trying to chew it to death; but i Cliff heads to the car without me, Gabe won't leave the house until I leave.

There is one time of the day Cliff gets some attention, though.  I get up early, could be any time from three to five AM because I'm naturally an early bird and love the quiet of early morning hours.  Usually Gabe is ready to get up whenever I do, although when it's as early as three, he will sometimes choose to sleep another hour or so.  I shut him in his kennel at night now, because a while back he had a couple of accidents near the front door.  I guess he thought his sitting by the door like he does all day would work when I'm asleep, as though he could transmit his needs from the living room to my sleeping brain.  When he's in the kennel, he will whine, on the rare occasion he needs to go out, or even yip a bit.  I have said to Cliff, many times, "He isn't the brightest dog I've ever had."

I thought I'd never get him to bark when he's outside the door wanting in, but he's finally perfected that.  However, for the life of me, the only way I can get him to bark when he wants OUT is to walk over in front of him where he stays in perfect "sit" position like a little soldier.  I then repeat the word "Speak" over and over and over until finally he will bark (but first he will let out a little growl in his throat).  I keep trying, but no results so far, unless I go through that ritual of saying "speak" until he gets tired of hearing it.  You have to admire him for his skill at manipulating me to do things that make Cliff shake his head and sometimes snicker, of course.  Gabe and I are always good for a laugh when I try to teach him anything.

Gabe sits beside me in the old recliner before and after he's had breakfast, while I'm cruising Facebook and playing Words With Friends.  He eats at 4:30.  Cliff usually has no reason to get up at a certain time, he simply doesn't like to sleep in, these days.  If he lays in bed too long, his arthritic shoulder on one side and his arthritic hip on the other hurt him.  So, at his request, I wake him at 7 AM.  By this time I'm done drinking my three cups of coffee, so I make three cups fresh for him.  Gabe knows my routine, and he has ideas of his own at this time of day.

I bought a package of well-made toys at Costco for Gabe.  He isn't one to play with toys too much, but when he does, he can be rough on them, and these toys last.  When he isn't playing with them, I toss them in his wire kennel, and he sleeps with them at night.  Now, picture this:  It's five minutes till seven and I see Gabe go right over to the bedroom door and sit.  When he does, I know Cliff already got up, although how Gabe can hear him walking on a thick carpet, I have no idea.  If one of his toys is available, he will have one in his mouth as he waits for the door to open, or else right beside him.  If the toys are all in the kennel, which stands open all day after I turn Gabe loose, he will dart inside it and grab a toy as quick as a flash, like he's sneaking.  This is an every-morning happening.

 When this was taken, I had already kissed Cliff on the cheek a few times and told him his coffee was ready.  Gabe got tired of waiting for him to get out of bed, because it takes Cliff awhile to get everything "woke up" so he can actually walk.  I, too, have this problem.  Yes, those are my shoes under the bed, and the random socks laying there are some Gabe took out of my other shoes.  He has a sock fetish.  

I have to take a minute to let you know as I was in here typing, Gabe actually went to the door and barked, with no coaching and without me even in the room!

While Cliff was waking up, Gabe decided it was a good day for the zebra rather than the horse.

 I always call him out of the room when Cliff gets up because my husband doesn't like a dog bothering him when he's half asleep.  Gabe remembers, every single time, to bring a toy out with him, because he gets it out especially for Cliff each day.

This is about all Gabe does with his toy.  He lounges with Cliff awhile and chews on his toy.  Once in a blue moon, if Cliff's in the mood, he'll throw the toy and Gabe will go after it and bring it back.  

Same routine, every single day.

By the way, here's a link to the Kinzenbaw website entry where they mentioned me and included a link back to my blog.  Click HERE.