happy mother’s day

by grace on May 9, 2010

i hope you have exciting mother’s day plans.  i’m giving my mom a massage for mother’s day.

here are photos from dad’s birthday celebration.

this is my favorite photo of the night.   wouldn’t you say dad wasn’t so crazy about noodle?  or maybe about getting his picture taken.  maybe both.

then, of course, i made him smile.  dad really does like noodle, and i think he likes getting his picture taken, but i’m not so sure about that.  at least he’s usually cooperative about it.

yes, numie is one of the most lovable dogs ever.

goslings!  now that’d be a lot of work, being a mom to all those little goslings.

they love to eat the food around the bird feeder, and if kevin comes outside, they hurry up to the feeder, assuming he’s there to feed them.

friday morning, the lake was dazzling.  it was cold and really windy, but beautiful.

ok, so you might have noticed that the changing pictures usually over there on the right of the the screen is missing now.  yesterday morning christine and i started working to update this wordpress, because it hadn’t been done in about a year.  it worked ok and i felt like i could do it the next time by myself.  we had to update it a lot because they keep making new versions all the time, it seems, but christine says some of those updates were them fixing problems.

we got that done, but then…no photos.  no videos.  christine then took over and worked at getting the videos up.  she did that and started working on the photos, but it was frustrating, so we went to lunch.

we came back in the afternoon, and i was gonna give her a massage since i haven’t given her one in about eight years, maybe, but she kept working and working…the deal is that these plugins that create things like rolling photos are all created by users.  they’re all free, but they don’t necessarily work with the stuff that i have on my host server, so she’d install one and it wouldn’t work and then she’d have to un-install it and this went on and on and on.

here she is, still smiling even though she was working like a SLAVE.  not a nice way to spend a relaxing weekend in springfield.  at least now i know that she has been here MANY MANY TIMES, and she has been able to do fun things here in the past.

mollie, of course, was right there with her.

amy was hosting a large dinner party last night and i went over to see if she needed help, and she did need help, so as christine worked on the website, i worked at amy’s.

christine finally got to stop working, as did i, and we had a nice evening.

she has to leave soon, which is too bad, but she has to get back to work.  she builds websites for a giant international company, and they even called her here on friday to ask her how to upload something or do something like that.  so that makes it even worse that she had to spend all that time trying to fix my site…

and meanwhile, there will be no rotating files for a while, but i’m sure they’ll be back someday.

here’s another gosling video, because who can get enough of them?

and here’s mollie, in action with her orange ball. she gets the ball in the morning when i get up and if i don’t give it to her right away she is quite despondent. she then theoretically gets it at about nine at night, but lately she wants it earlier than that and she’ll jump up on the couch and bounce around on us til she gets it. she’s a big dog to be bouncing on it, so of course she gets it whenever she wants. not that she’s spoiled or anything.

ok then,
sunday grace

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it’s 10:19 p.m. saturday night and it just dawned on me that i’ve been sitting here in total and complete silence for about two hours now.

that’s after i stopped vacuuming.

i realize that i’m not very good at just relaxing while kevin is away.  i’m not good at it right now, anyway.

i had thought to myself that i should call somebody, go somewhere, do something…but there are just so very very many things i want to get done.  i’ve done a couple of them, but there are so many other things that i can’t possibly get to…

here’s a picture of the pop-up camper that kevin is staying in.


this is his friend garrick’s camper, and garrick is allegedly going to be selling it to get a newer model, and kevin told me when he called yesterday that garrick would sell this one to him “at a great price.”

hmm.  “great price” is very relative around here.

would we ever use it, is my chief question.  we haven’t been camping in…how long?  quite a while.  plus, where would we store it the other 364 days of the year?

here’s a picture of the inside.


not such a detailed photo as i’d have liked.  and here’s a picture of garrick’s dinner last night, which kevin sent me for some inexplicable reason.


it looks obscenely large and kind of gross, if you ask me.  i guess this was some kind of fish fry?  fish fry with a side of fries and a roll.  a beige dinner.

and here’s the photo he sent me tonight, of the fish boil they had.  i haven’t heard anything from him, except a message earlier, and two pictures of this fish boil (in case the one picture of the fish boil wasn’t enough).


so i know he’s been eating.  lots of fish.

but what about ME?  and the INSANITY of me???

it’s a long story.

for years, i’ve been meaning to videotape mom and dad, to quiz them about their lives.  at least three years i’ve been wanting to do this, and finally started videotaping dad after he broke his wrists.  we finally finished the videotaping (three tapes worth), and today i started to videotape mom.

we filled up an hour-long tape, and when we were done i said “let’s just look at it.”  AND THERE WAS NO AUDIO.

oh brother.  this is because i’d attached an auxiliary microphone and i DIDN’T PUSH IT IN ALL THE WAY.


no audio.

i’d also just gotten a new DVD recorder, which i need for making DVDs of the mini dv tapes from the camcorder.  i realized about a week ago that the old DVD recorder wasn’t working properly.  it wasn’t working right about a year ago and i don’t know why i figured it had probably fixed itself in the interim. sometimes i’m very unrealistically optimistic.

so mom and i did then a test to see how the picture looked, and then i recorded the mini dvd onto another DVD on the new recorder, and it looked terrible.  was it the new recorder?  so i made yet another DVD, then i played it in the blue-ray player, and the first DVD didn’t play at all, the player just kept spitting it back out, and then i finally managed to made one that worked but the picture was crappy so i tried cleaning the camcorder and then it looked kind of better but then i made a DVD of one of my scotland tapes to compare, and the one from scotland was definitely better.  all this time i was working with the two DVD remotes plus the remote to switch the input on the TV and it all got a little overwhelming after a while and was making me very frustrated.

meanwhile the sky had turned green and it was raining a lot and very very windy and the ferns i’d just bought were sitting in the back yard and i was afraid they’d get blown to bits and was going to stop and rescue them, but mom volunteered to go out in the rain and do it.  she’s a very GOOD mom.

plus i’m sure she was happy to have a few minutes away from me swearing about all the technology that just wasn’t working right and making me very frustrated.

i finally figured out that the problem is with the camcorder.  it’s six years old, which is TOTALLY DECREPIT in technology years.  i decided that the video quality was good enough, and we sat down and i asked her many questions yet again.  it’s good that we did it again, because she had a few more interesting anecdotes this time.  but at this point i was pretty mentally challenged and sometimes i couldn’t think of anything to ask her, but she just kept going…mom is a TROOPER.

after we finished she went home to a technology-frenzy-free zone, and i started making a DVD of the tape i’d just recorded.  And then i was desperate to clean a little – i don’t know if i’ve mentioned this, but i’m a HORRIBLE housekeeper.  the kitchen floor was horrible, horrible, and when kevin was leaving for his camping trip he kept tromping in and out in his great big boots, bringing in even more bits of stuff from outside and so inside it was JUST LIKE THE OUTSIDE.

so i vacuumed.  yes, vacuuming at seven o’clock on a saturday night.  DO I KNOW HOW TO HAVE FUN OR WHAT???  that’s me, party girl.

i was very happy to vacuum, because when i was done the place didn’t look quite so wretched.  i can’t mop tonight though, that’ll have to wait til the morning.

but then i sat down and started researching camcorders.  and a few hours after i’d started that is when i realized that i’ve been sitting here in total silence.  except for mollie’s snoring.

there are way way WAY too many camcorder choices out there, and i guess tonight wasn’t a great time to start looking after my technology-overload.  do i get an HD camcorder?  one article i read said that they’re really not necessary, but then if i don’t have HD i can’t record in that great big format, 1080×720 or something.  plus the more reviews i read, the more irritated i got because some people LOVED a camcorder and other people thought it took REALLY SHITTY VIDEO.

oh brother.

i could keep taping mom using the old camcorder, but the picture won’t be so great.  but then when i looked at the finished DVD, i decided it didn’t look so bad…

at this point i honestly don’t think i could make a decision about anything.  i’d like to have a glass of wine and watch some SNL if it isn’t a repeat, maybe do a little reading.  wind down so i can get up in the morning and MOP.  and then rush around doing all the things that i wanted to do besides cleaning and obsessing over video-related things.

the thing is that i’ve started editing the video i shot in scotland…LAST SUMMER.  i’ve been enjoying doing it, after spending a whole lot of time trying to figure out a good way to get the footage onto my computer – there isn’t an easy way to get it onto the laptop and i was going crazy for a while before figuring out how to do it.  i’m almost finished with the first video which is just the first two days of our trip.  but i haven’t worked on it at all today when that’s what i wanted to do.  plus i have a writing project that i haven’t even thought about. plus…plus…

PLUS i looked up the video editing software i use, pinnacle, on amazon just to see what people said about it, and was quite dismayed that it got HORRIBLE HORRIBLE REVIEWS.  i mean, HORRIBLE.  like, one star.  everybody HATES it.  the thing is, they complain about the stuff that has also made me crazy about it, but i screwed around with it long enough the last time i edited a video that i finally figured out how to make it work for me.  it was a HORRIBLE PAIN, but i did get it to work, pretty much.

perhaps i am, indeed, going a little crazy.  i should get out.  but i just have so much i want to do here…

i also took a bunch of photos and i have to upload them here.  not gonna happen tonight either, now that 11 o’clock is approaching.  the last time i got up, mollie got up with me and looked expectantly at me, hoping that she’d get her treat and we’d go to sleep.


relaxing, i’m going to be relaxing now.  randy invited me out tonight, but he wasn’t going out till NOW.  much too late for me.

ok then, i can’t imagine that you could POSSIBLY be having as much fun on a saturday night as me…

hillybilly grace with my snoring dog.

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but in case you have more technical savvy about computers than me and very very fancy isn’t good enough for you, here’s all the information from the side of the box:

it’s an HP Pavilion dv7 Notebook.  it has an AMD Turion II Ultra Dual-Core Mobile Processor M620 (2.5 GHz, 2MB L2 Cache)

a 17.3″ diagonal LED high-definition brightview widescreen display. (WHICH IS FABULOUS!!!)

500 GB hard drive

4096MB DDR2 SDRAM (2 Dimm)

plus many other number and letters of goodness, and if you’re really that much of a geek you can look up the computer on your own computer which i can’t IMAGINE could be fancier than mine!

well, i’m sure that’s not true, but this one seems so much faster and bigger, better and nicer than my old one…mine had 1 G of HD, that’s all i know for sure.  plus it was 32 bit, maybe?  and now, many many more delightful bits.

so here are a few more funny photos i took with my webcam.  now i just need to find somebody somewhere with a webcam so i can chat!  probably many many people have them.

i also figured out how to put a video onto a post.



and this is my favorite…


plus these can all be videos if i want to make videos.

i was pretty sure i was much better today, so i washed the inside of some windows in order to put the screens back up.  the screens are filthy, too.  but washing the windows took much much more energy than i really had, and when i was done i felt utterly exhausted.  i sat down in order to rest up before washing the screens but now i’ve decided to do NO MORE WASHING today.

i felt better yesterday, but i think it’s partly because i did almost no physical exertion.  going to best buy was the most exhausting thing i did, and it doesn’t really take that much energy to go into best buy.

so today, more sitting around.  IT’S LIKE SUMMER HERE and i really want to be outside raking and cleaning and doing millions of things.  but i’ve started reading the last harry potter again, and that’s a pretty nice way to be lolling around.

here’s a funny thing that happened at best buy – you know, kevin never, ever gets mad, not really upset, not angry, he’s very very easygoing.  like me, only i don’t think he has as many inner demons constantly tearing at him like i do.

he’s a pretty happy guy.  non-flappable.

so, we went to best buy because our friend wayne the computer expert said he’d seen a good laptop there.  he had been looking at a Dell, but then kevin saw the hp and so they were talking on the phone about it.  the sales kid who we’d told that we wanted to buy a computer then asked me what kind of stuff i did on the computer and for some reason the first thing i said was video editing, even though of course we all know that i hardly ever do that.  i don’t know why that popped out of my mouth.


and he dragged me over to where the macs were.  one of them was $1,200, which seemed pricey compared to the cool ones we’d been looking at, but he said, no, here’s one for a thousand bucks (more expensive than the cool ones) – it was a mac…notebook?  it was very, very small.  the screen, very very small.  smaller than any computer i’ve ever had.

but the guy went ON AND ON AND ON about how the mac is SUPERIOR IN EVERY WAY and the other computers will have to be traded in and the mac will keep going and they’re AWESOME and on and on and ON and i just wanted him to stop talking after a while but this was apparently never going to happen.

kevin finally appeared at my side and started to tell me whatever it was that wayne had said and the guy quickly started in on his FERVENT PITCH and kevin looked at him and said “can i talk to my wife, please?”  in this rather snarky voice, and the guy shut up, and kevin said a few things, and then the guy wanted to start in again and finally kevin pulled me away and explained why neither he nor wayne thought the apple would be good, and we just left the guy standing there.

we bought this very fabulous computer and kevin kept going on a little bit about the kid and how he’d just been trying to sell me something for whatever nefarious reasons, and, well, i was just happy to leave the store with something so fancy.  i can’t say for sure if this computer will be better than that teeny tiny apple, but i do know that so far I LOVE IT and if i suddenly have a HUGE BURST OF CREATIVE ENERGY and start editing the many many videos i’ve shot but done nothing with, and i find that this computer isn’t doing it for me, well, i can worry about it then.

it was just funny, that’s all, to see kevin getting so wound up.  i’m sure it’s good for him to do that once in a while.  he used to be married to a very evil woman who got mad all the time about everything and she broke things on purpose and yelled and was just rotten as far as i can ascertain, and he got mad a lot then, which is reallly hard to picture.  so now he’s much happier and only has the rare outburst at pushy salespeople.

i asked him the other day if i broke more things accidentally than his former wife broke on purpose, and he said he thought it was about equal.  hmm, she must have broken quite a few dishes.

that is all for now.  i must get back to my reading.

ok then,

utterly sedentary hillbilly grace.

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