Have You Gotten Reacquainted

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I have started a new social distancing activity called reacquainting myself with stuff.

I won’t refer to the digging in and going through nooks and crannies as cleaning out, because I rarely throw anything away.

It’s more like taking inventory.

For instance, I have 4 of my previous wallets stashed in a box. Two of them have been in the box for over ten years, one was put in there because it was my all time favourite but is falling apart. The forth one is my traveling wallet and is occasionally used.

Does anyone else save old wallets after buying a replacement?

Worse than that is my collection of glasses cases, drugstore sunglasses, and readers, that I can’t even wear now because of my prescription. Not all of them are in this box. I have no explanation for this, but as long as there’s room in this box things are safe. Once it’s full I will not start another one. That’s when something will have to go.

The box that is getting scary is the one housing out dated phones, cameras, chargers and cords. It’s getting full, but it’s not on my to conquer list yet.

My memory is still pretty good as to what we have and don’t, but I don’t always remember right away where something is stashed. Which can lead to a little frustrated search. So, I’m enjoying this rediscovering.

I’ll admit I had a brief moment of, I should make an alphabetical list of where stuff is. I guess I’m not bored yet, because that didn’t happen.

Have you gotten reacquainted with stored things yet?

Hopefully you and yours are staying healthy, and you are finding ways to fill your social isolation days.

This Is A First

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5:28 am. I’ve said many times I’m a morning person, so seeing these clock numbers is not unheard of, but being up at this hour for today’s reason is a definite first for me.

Mister is stirring in the bedroom and is about to join me which is even more unusual.

We’re not up because we’re sick, headed to a doctor, going on a trip, picking someone up at a airport, nothing like that.

We’re taking Covid-19 serious, but this I actually found funny. Well, I don’t think I chuckled the instant I threw the warm cozy blanket off and rolled out of bed.

It’s Wednesday, March 18, a coffee sits beside me as I start this post which I will finish later.

What are we up to?  We’re headed for groceries.

A store in a nearby Town is opening at 7:00am, a hour early for seniors and vulnerable people to shop during the Covid-19 social distancing. 

We live about a half hour drive from this town, and I shouldn’t be in public without at least one cup of coffee so that’s why I’m up long before the sun today.

We appreciate the store doing this, and hopefully we find the pork chops and few other things on our list.

The store wasn’t as crowded as we were expecting which was nice.

Experts say don’t touch your face, eyes or mouth when out in public, so of course standing in line I got something in my eye. Not wanting to use my finger and thinking I’m smart I took off my glasses and used the arm tip to rub my eye. Than I was like, wait, when was the last time I cleaned that part of my glasses. Needless to say, I stopped what I was doing and tried to clear my vision by blinking alone.

I won’t bore you with details, but we came home with everything on our list. We should be set to hunker in for awhile once again.

With all coffee and crafting get-togethers here canceled for now it’s a good time to dig out some tucked away projects. Maybe after a nap though.

Have you been having trouble finding or getting out for supplies?

What are you doing to ward off boredom?

Bittersweet Driftwood

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Reusing or recycling items during our craft afternoons is something this group tries for as often as we can.

Many here share my appreciation for driftwood’s natural beauty and uniqueness. Last winter the crafting group agreed it made perfect sense to use the wood for a project, but we needed to wait with the lake frozen and the shoreline under snow.

Living at a lake resort on a damned mountain fed river means driftwood floating downstream occurs every thaw season.

The resort likes to keep the marina and beach debris free so last summer a few of us would go gather pieces to stock pile so they would dry and be ready to be transformed this winter.

Doing a “driftwood” search on Pinterest brings up tons of ideas of what to make. For many of us that was the hardest part of this craft.

Candle holders, wind chimes, sun catchers, wall art, ornaments and even a serving tray were created this day.

Perhaps, I should have zoomed up on the projects for the picture, but the women’s smiles is more what these afternoons are about.

Emotions snuck up on me as I wrote this post which is why “bittersweet” is in the title.

You see, I have a sister and brother-in-law who for years use to come to their cottage here on weekends and holidays. My sister, who also loved to craft, and I would often get up early to paddle our kayak up and down the shorelines and around the island, searching and gathering driftwood. We would load the kayak with as much as it would carry and sometimes the bigger pieces for our yards we would drag behind with a rope.

These were great times, and she would have been in her glory at this craft afternoon, but they sold their cottage a few years ago.

Now, my sister, only 7 years older than me, lives in a world where we can’t visit. She has advanced Alzheimers, and I miss her dearly.

Sorry for that unexpected turn this post took.

Back to crafting. I’m showing a close-up below of a project I made because the fish are a result from a previous craft session. Each one is 33 layers of construction paper completely glued together, dried for a day, the edges beveled and sanded, then finished with a couple layers of clear nail polish. You can make beautiful pendants, fridge magnets, etc. with this simple process also found on Pinterest.

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I will share some of our other crafts in future posts.

Have you ever crafted using things from nature, or reusing or recycling?

I’m always looking for suggestions for future craft projects.

Are You A Curious Person?

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When mild curiosity strikes do you search for answers right away?

Have you ever noticed these long tags and little tabs on some big transit trailer rims?

I have numerous times, and I’ve always wondered what was their purpose. Then by the time I’d get home I would forget to do some research. But, I finally remembered to question our son who’s in the transit industry.

The long tags have a couple purposes. They are not a mandatory item, but they’re a safety feature usually used by trucking companies that haul to and from large yards. When the trailers are slowly maneuvering, or backing in and out of spots, others driving or walking in the yard can see the tab movement and can stay clear and safe.

For drivers pulling these units for their runs seeing the spinning tabs in their side mirrors indicates no problems like locked trailer brakes.

The yellow tabs under some tire lug nuts are another non-mandatory safety feature. They are, loose nut indicators. When the lug nuts on a tire are tightened the points are aligned to make a circle. If during a tire check a point has slipped out of position the driver knows it needs to be re-torqued.

Are you a curious type person when it comes to the “how” and “why” of things?

Google has made finding answers pretty easy these days. Although, If I can, like for above, I still prefer answers from experienced people.

Can You Imagine

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This book is a true story about the authors life after being accidentally shot by a family member.

I don’t usually do book reviews on this blog, but this read is definitely worth a mention.

Don’t be misled by the innocent title. This memoir is the inspiring story of a young girl who at nine years old was robbed of the youth most of us take for granted.

A children’s afternoon outing ends in a hospital miles from family and their farm with her spinal cord severed. She will never walk again. She may never see her thirties.

Her determination and bravery will inspire you as you follow her journey and dreams of owning dogs, horses, riding, and living on a farm again.

Partly from necessity, she discovers she has more than love for animals, she has a talent for training dogs to aid and enhance her way of life.

You’ll read about her special companions who also served a purpose and how they helped add meaning to her life.

 As tragic as this story is, this memoir doesn’t dwell on the negatives. It’s an enlightening and uplifting read. Although, I needed a tissue a time or two.

I can personally vouch for the great person this author became having known her now for forty some years.

The book “Dogs, Horses and Me” is available on Amazon in print and ebook versions.

How Far is Far Enough?

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Do you have a limit as to “how far away” from your home is “far enough” for a hotel or motel stay?

We don’t. Okay, maybe fifteen minutes away might be too close, and it probably matters that we live out of town.

Even with the above view out our window, Mister and I still enjoy getting-away. Long distance trips don’t happen as often for us anymore, but we take a few short jaunts every year.

This post was triggered by our recent venture which is a popular one for us. It’s roughly an hour and a half drive from our home.

Have you or would you stay in a Hotel or Motel that’s near where you live?

I can’t speak for Mister, but what I enjoy most about these little trips is they are usually in a city, and are often closer to family or friends.

It has been 38 years since I’ve lived in a city with everyday conveniences within walking distance.

I loved living in the country with horses out our back door, and here at the golf and lake resort. But, I was born and raised in a city, and I kind of miss that way of life too. Maybe it’s just that “grass is greener on the other side” thing, but living in a smaller city or town remains on my bucket list.

If a “staycation” is when you vacation at home, is there a name for when you stay in the same city as you live or somewhere super close?

In the beginning years of marriage when our kids were young and we lived in the country, a 30-60 minute drive to one of the nearby cities was sometimes our vacation. (Guess what word I first typed at the end of that sentence? Check out my “Holiday or Vacation” post for an explanation.)

When our youngest was about a year and a half old Mister started travelling more and more with his job. The kids and I would go with him as often as we could.

They were (still are) great travellers. It never bothered them to sleep in a different place every night. They never whined about time spent in a vehicle, even if the day was 8-12 hours on the road.

Most of these trips were before in vehicle DVD players, handheld tablets, or cell phones. They would pack books, travel games, and a few toys each for entertainment, or just watch the scenery. Eventually, Walkmans and a few handheld electronic games, plus Gameboy, came out. Books remained one of their favourites along with listening to their own music.

A part of what we loved about these trips with Mister working his way across provinces and states meant we visited a lot of little towns. We’ve traveled many main routes, country roads, and back highways through areas most tourists don’t visit.

If Mister expected his business stop was going to be lengthy he would drop us off to explore shopping areas, playgrounds, parks, main-streets or wherever we thought looked interesting. This part of our life started before people had cell phones. We had to wear watches and coordinate pick-up places and times.

I remember when Mister got a pager, and how when it went off we all had to watch for a phone booth while he drove.

Do you remember the days before things like, “text when you are on your way”

Name Update

It’s still me ” Saddles to Shorelines” just my blog’s name here on my website has changed to match its Facebook page “Kathy Knull’s Life As It Comes Blog”.

The minor change will now show on my posts emailed to subscribers, where I’m mentioned as sender, wherever my blogs name is newly mentioned, and of course I’m working on a new look for my website.

Like before, my blog topics will continue to be as spontaneous and random as life itself.

 

Do You Holiday or Vacation?

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Which word would you be more apt to use when referring to a summer trip?

A) I’m looking forward to our summer holiday.

Or

B) I’m looking forward to our summer vacation.

I’ve never really thought about the correct definition of these two words. To me they both mean “fun, something to look forward to” so they have been interchangeable to me.

Recent curiosity had me doing some research.

Holiday– A day of festivity or recreation when no work is done. A day of national or religious celebration.

Vacation– An extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home. The action of vacating a space. A holiday period between terms in universities and law courts.

Sentence “A” has probably been my unconscious choice in the past. I’m sure I’ve used the word “holiday” more than “vacation” to describe a get-away.

Will I now think twice before using these words? When writing I will, but my daily conversations rarely involve proper grammar. I’m not a “whom” type of conversationalist, it’s always “who”. Being shy growing up meant I was too nervous specking out loud to worry about wording and sentence structure, and years of that habit is still with me.

I’m actually amazed when I think about how many words I use that I’ve never looked up their definition.

Thank goodness, we can learn by association.

Imagine what childhood would be like, or what it would be like even as an adult, if every new word we came across had to be researched.

If you come across an unknown word do you look it up, or guess it’s meaning by how it is used in the sentence? I use the, association method, the most.

Have you ever encountered that cute little toddler who spoke like a adult, and you thought, what a smart little person?

Maybe this is simply a result of what they are exposed to at a very young age, rather than say “genetics”

Back to my sentence question. Which option would you normally use, A) Going on a “Holiday” or B) Going on a “Vacation?”

A little Tidbit – Just above the word “holiday” in my hardcover Oxford Dictionary is “hole in the heart.”  I didn’t really think that one needed an explanation.

P.S. – So, parents, family, caregivers, teachers, friends, whoever, remember the words you say to a child and how you use them is writing their mental dictionaries and will influence their vocabulary and even knowledge.

Do You Know This Typing Tip

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I’m probably the last person to know this, a tip for typing on my iPad that’s going to save me so much time and frustration that I had to share the information.

Have you ever fought to get the cursor in the right spot to make a correction while typing on an iPad?

Here it comes, I’m excited about this. If you lightly hold two fingers on the keyboard the keys go blank, and it becomes a trackpad. As you slide your fingers the cursor moves. So far it works wherever I’ve tried typing documents, emails, notes, and messages. By pressing a little harder with first contact you can highlight this way too.

Now, I’ll explain why this tip makes me do the happy dance. A lot of my typing is while riding in vehicles where it is even more difficult to tap precisely where you need the cursor.

It is also handy for me because I’m a one finger iPad typer, and when going fast it’s common to not not hit the space bar correctly. I’m so tired of getting the “learn to spell” pop-up when two or three words have been combined and I’m trying to get the cursor in the right spot to separate them.

I have a great portable keyboard which has arrows to move the cursor, but I only use it when planning to write for a long spell. Writing while traveling is sporadic, usually just jotting down thoughts between watching scenery, reading, knitting or napping. Mister enjoys and does most of the driving.

I wish this two finger method worked on our iPhone, but it doesn’t seem to. I think I’ll do more checking though, maybe I’ll stumble across some handy phone tips.

What do you use most, a desktop, laptop, iPad or notebook, or a phone?

Do you have a hint to share?

Prepare

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“Ruben” the retriever is prepared

This post isn’t me complaining, it’s a couple tips on how we do it, and an awareness reminder.

We’re just creeping out of a week long cold spell. What do we call cold, -30 Celsius or more (-22 Fahrenheit).

The other morning we woke to -41 Celsius, add the wind chill and it felt like -51. No need for a conversion here because at -32 Celsius and Fahrenheit equal out.

Here in Alberta, Canada, we often get teased that these temperatures are common. That is untrue, but this kind of cold is also not unheard of. We do get at least 1 real cold spell a winter, and they can be worse than this one. They can last hours, but usually days or the odd time weeks. They can bring more snow or not. They can come quickly, or like this recent one, give us days of warning to prepare.

I feel bad and worry about people who have to be out in freezing temperatures, going to work, working in, doing chores, going to school, or whatever forces someone outdoors. But, if prepared and dressed appropriately it is doable.

Country living certainly meant more preparing and was more work than here at the lake, and retirement has made these cold or even blizzard days less worrisome for sure.

It seems, we often end up with doctor appointments or something though, this week there was 2 which had us on the highways in the frigate temperatures.

Winter road travel means preparation beyond the obvious vehicle maintenance which is so important.

As soon as our snow comes to stay we start traveling with warm gloves, hats, snow pants, boots, a blanket, and there’s a fold-up shovel which stays in the van. For those who take less traveled routes, a more extensive emergency kit is suggested. Heat sources like thermal blankets, candles, and nutritional snacks for example.

A downfall of living and experiencing this type of weather, year after year, is we can get careless and somewhat disrespectful of cold temperatures. All to often you here it said, I’m just running to the store quick, I don’t need my big winter gear.

This rare but true short story is a reminder of why we should be prepared. It happened to a girlfriend’s sons friend, so I didn’t stumble across it on the internet.

He was alone driving a not busy highway during a winter blizzard when a series of unexpected things changed his plans. His little white car left the road stopping far into the snow filled ditch. In its resting place it was unseeable by the rare passing traffic. He wasn’t injured, but he wasn’t out of trouble yet either. The seat belt release mechanism was somehow damaged trapping him in his seat. There was no knife or sharp object handy to cut the now binding nylon strap. Yes, he had a cell phone. It had been on the centre console and durning the jarring off-road ride it slid off landing out of reach on the passenger floor. It was hours and hours before he was found, and by then frostbite had set in to some extremities. Last I heard, he hadn’t lost any, but recovery was painful and not short.

What habits have I picked up since hearing about this unfortunate fellow.

  • I keep that bulky winter-coat on while in a vehicle, especially on bad roads.
  • The phone is either in my pocket or at least in a cup holder.
  • A multi tool with a knife is within reach.
  • Let someone know if you’re going to be on the road, especially in bad conditions and if traveling alone, and let them know when you arrive at your destination.

It’s better to prepare than be sorry.

Of course you can’t be overcome with worrying about the what if’s, or prepare for every scenario, but do think over some possible things that could go wrong wherever you might be and take precautions.

On a lighter note, here’s a few tips if you’re inexperienced and find yourself in some extreme cold weather.

  • If you think you have to pee and you’re going outside, pee. Cold air intensives this urge.
  • If you’re going out to say, shovel, and you can see without your metal frame glasses leave them inside. Metal draws in the cold.
  • Oh, and if someone tells you to stick your tongue on cold metal, it’s not a myth it will stick and stick good.

Our favourite vehicle option for cold days is a heated steering wheel. Lots of people enjoy heated seats, but I find they make me colder when I have to go back outside.

When winter comes I know what’s in-store, and I choose to live here. You’ll hear me say I love winter, but that doesn’t mean you won’t hear me mutter now and then when we’re in a cold spell.

So to anyone who has to contend with a cold weather season. Bundle up in layers, travel prepared, and just maybe you’ll be warm and safe.

Are you a warm weather person, or do you like the 4 seasons of change?