When the Dashboard of your Dodge Transforms into that of a Chev (or WordPress Hides the Classic Editor Again)

Logged onto my WordPress Account this morning and the Dashboard (the place where you manage everything to do with your blog) was different. Familiar enough to know where everything was, but presented in a different manner.

I explained to The Car Guy that it was like getting into an old Dodge and finding the familiar dashboard was now something that belonged in a new Chev. I would be able to use it, but it would take a bit of time to figure out how everything worked… though there was a problem because I couldn’t figure out how to start it.

In WordPress, the ‘start’ button is the post editor. I’m used to the ‘Classic Editor’. WordPress is pushing us to use the new and improved and very confusing ‘Block Editor’. This morning, I couldn’t find the button to start the ‘Classic Editor’.

I contacted support and was told that the dashboard changes (which removed the Classic Editor ‘start’ button) are slowly being rolled out, which is why there was no announcement.

I’ve chased the Classic Editor over hill and dale and will not give up on it until WordPress ‘kills’ it. It is no longer about what is the best editor, it is about my stubborn determination to hold onto something that works for me.

After a bit of back and forth, the WordPress Happiness Engineer eventually found me a link to get me back into the old Dashboard. If you are a blogger and you want to get back to the dashboard that lets you use the Classic Editor, then here is the link. Just replace ‘yourblog’ with the part of the url that is specific to your blog:

https://yourblog.wordpress.com/wp-admin/edit.php

At Home Dining – We Up our Game

The Eating Bar in the Kitchen: every day dishes; cutlery we got as a wedding present (51 years ago); mismatched drinking glasses. In the background on the right – the box with the new kitchen taps act as a reminder that The Car Guy has to either install them or call the plumber…

For most of the last 270 days, our evening meal has been consumed, in our home, at the kitchen island Eating Bar,  by a Party of Two.

What with Lockdowns; Mandates of how big our social bubble can be; living in a rural setting (a bad mosquito season this summer); general caution by others for (and by) people in our age group; the threat of  Fines for non-compliance; and Snitch call lines – well lets just say our social life has been very ‘quiet’.

Christmas Day Dinner was no different and when I asked The Car Guy if he wanted to ‘up our game’ for dinner for two, maybe use the ‘good dishes’ and newer cutlery, he gave me that look that said “We’re having left over ham from Christmas Eve’s Dinner…”

So I imagined left-over ham on the good dishes on place mats and newer cutlery and Canadian Festive napkins – and said “Yeah, it doesn’t make much difference does it…”

The next holiday dinner is today – Boxing Day. At this point in time,  we have eaten left-over ham at two dinners, two breakfasts and two lunches (because a ham of any size is the definition of eternity). Boxing Day we are serving what we affectionately call New Food.

To celebrate, we invited a guest and I set the table in the Dining Room. (How many of you have Dining Rooms? How many times a year do you use that room? We travel through ours many times every day because it is the only way to get to the kitchen from the rest of the house.)

Boxing Day Table set; guest is already here.

The good plates, the good cutlery, the good crystal glasses, a centre piece and Bruce the Moose as our guest. We are all set to ‘Up’ our Dining Game!

(To be honest, this post was inspired by some truly awesome photos of Christmas Dinner posted by friends and family. By virtue of extremely good taste in decorating and/or more people in their family bubble, they had what looked to be a festive and fun Christmas Day.

The reality for many seniors (like us in Alberta and maybe elsewhere) Christmas was somewhat more subdued. Maybe this is because as Covid time passes, it is getting harder and harder to emotionally ‘kick it up a notch’. We are surrounded by a society where government is ruling by keeping people in a blind, perpetual fear.

We are asked to put ‘safety first’ but ignore the inner voice that asks, “what about the collateral damage?” So, we do things as safe as we can, we keep the people near us as safe as we can, but it is a task beyond our ability to make sure everyone else and everything we do is absolutely safe.

Many of us seniors have lived through two pandemics already. Some served in a war or two. We learned to drive before seat belts and air bags. We rode our bikes without helmets. We got chicken pox, measles and mumps. Between 95 to 99.9% of us seniors will chalk up another win in the pandemic column!

So, this year is different, and we can live with that in good humour and good grace. But next year I hope we’ll see a full complement of people at our ‘turkey or ham’ table!

 

 

 

This and That – Perspectives

This: Digital Perspectives

I’m reading “Digital Minimalism – Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World” by Cal Newport. I’m at the part where you do a one month Digital Declutter. I am supposed to step away from any technologies (apps, sites and tools on my computer or mobile phone) that I can take a break from without creating harm to my personal or professional life. Fortunately, I am 50% there even if I do nothing because I don’t have a mobile phone. I don’t have a professional life either… or much of a social life…

As for Apps, I can easily slim down Facebook. All I have to do is ‘snooze’ a few people for 30 days. I can clean-up my Twitter feed too – unfollow, block. News Sites? Shouldn’t be too hard to stop reading the news for a month… I’m feeling calmer already…

That: Funny Perspectives

My Twitter feed can be quite fun some days:

 

And the Other: ‘Rona Virus Perspective

I’ve read that a lot of people put on weight during the lockdown…

 

What Colour is a Balanced Life? (Video)

An uplifting 3D animation about a Father (Copi) and his son who are trying to find the balance between assigned tasks and creative living. Watch what happens when this is out of balance. Does it make you think about how unbalanced we have become in the ‘RonaWorld? What colour are you when you are in balance?

Balance is not something your find, it’s something you create.
– Jana Kingsford –

Alike – This animation production took 5 years to complete
Directed by: Daniel Martínez Lara and Rafa Cano Mendéz
Produced by: Daniel Martínez Lara and Nicolás Matji
Music by: Oscar Araujo
Production Company: Pepe School Land
Release date: July 8, 2015 (Mundos Digitales); December 13, 2016 (Online)

This and That – Tims, Misc

Memory Foam

A man was lying in bed on his new memory foam mattress. He soon regretted buying it because it spoke to him all night long – “Remember when you wet your pants at the school picnic? Remember when you could sleep until noon? Remember when you didn’t have to count calories?”

Rarities


Sunday Morning Love Story
Sunday morning, except for those week-ends where Saturday morning is declared virtual Sunday because real Sunday morning is otherwise occupied… The Car Guy goes to Tim Hortons and buys us each a Breakfast Sandwich and beverages – Coffee (light roast with 2 milks) for him and a small Tim’s Iced Capp Light for me.

Friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks.
-Tim Hortons T-shirt –

If you can tell people you’re at Timmy’s and they don’t ask ‘Timmy Who?’, then you might be a Canadian.

Laundry Day

One day a housework-challenged husband decided to wash his sweatshirt. Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to his wife, “What setting do I use on the washing machine?”
“It depends,” she replied. “What does it say on your shirt?”
He yelled back, “Texas A&M”.

Cat Tales or Tails

The cat sitting at the keyboard of the computer explains to the cat watching: “So far I’ve discovered I was in a litter of eight and my mother’s name was Fluffy!”
– Author Unknown – comment about Genealogy Research –

Tupperware? More like Tupper-where-is-the-freakin’-lid?
– Aunty Acid –

Oh, You Mean Real Red Flags…

Why does a space rock taste better than an Earth rock?
Because it’s a little meteor.

Have you been to Meteor Crater in Arizona? It is the world’s best preserved meteorite impact site – the result of a collision that rocked the American Southwest approximately 50,000 years ago. It is about one mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference and more than 550 feet deep. The object that created the crater was a nickel-iron meteorite about 160 ft (50 meters) across.

Valentine’s Days – Fiftyish

The Car Guy and I recently celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary. If you count this Valentine’s Day, and the ones before we were married, we have participated in Valentine’s Day observations more than 50 times! But 50 is a such a nice round number to talk about, so here are my thoughts about this epic number.

50 is the atomic number of Tin. Tradition says the 50th Wedding Anniversary is all about Gold, but science would suggest tin is more appropriate. Why? Because the most common use of tin is in the production of solder, which is a somewhat liquid metal that holds pieces of metal together. Likewise, 50 years of marriage means something held it together and what better symbol of that than good old tin!

On his 50th wedding anniversary, Henry Ford was asked his formula for a successful married life. He replied that it was the same formula that made his automobile successful: “Stick to one model.”
– Henry Ford –

50 years is – 18,250 days, 438,000 hours or 26,280,000 minutes – an adequate amount of time for us to move into and out of 19 homes in 4 different countries. Equally important to The Car Guy, it was time enough to own 27 cars/trucks that motored into and out of his Garages. (He sincerely regrets selling a few of those vehicles…)

50 is the percent of genetic overlap of a parent and offspring.  In our case, that overlap produced 3 wonderful children!

50/50 is often thought of as being the ultimate in equal partnership.  Fortunately, our definition of equal is quite flexible. If The Car Guy had been required to change 50 percent of the diapers or clean 50 percent of the toilets; if I had been responsible for doing half of the oil changes in vehicles or fix the leaky toilet valve 50 percent of the time – well, I don’t know if the marriage would have survived…

Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.
– Author Unknown –

Looking ahead, our next Anniversary is the 51st. Did you know the Atomic Number 51 is assigned to Antimony? I don’t think Antimony is what is typically thought of as something you give as gifts for this occasion, but I’ll look into that next year.

In the meantime, Happy Valentine’s Day to The Car Guy, to my family, all my friends, and everyone who visits my blog!

Crochet – What Does Enough Look Like?

The Car Guy retired permanently a few years ago. He thought we’d have enough money and he knew his body and brain were no longer interested in the work routine.  I sort of retired when he did, though my career as a stay-at-home domestic ‘manager’, wasn’t one I could just walk away from. (Well, I could ‘walk away’, but that would probably mean I was either dead, or The Car Guy had decided to replace me with a younger ‘manager’…)

I used to have some ‘staff’, but they left home many years ago – so I turned to The Car Guy. Turns out he was willing to take on the evening sustenance routine and culinary procurement duties – but he balked at any task that involved removal of foreign substances from hard and soft surfaces. His foodie help was great, but it still left me many hours and tasks short of a leisurely retirement.

That led me to ask and answer my own Retirement Question – what does Enough look like? What is the intersect between dirty enough and clean enough? Enough stuff or too much stuff? Enough or not enough exercise? Enough or too much news? Enough or not enough…

I don’t have all the answers yet, but regular rounds of rightsizing – belongings, tasks, routines, etc  – has given me the mental energy to carve out more free time and be more creative.

Which leads me to a new craft I started in November. Scrumbles  (Freeform Crochet). Apparently Scrumble is the word that describes a small crochet ‘patch’. When the patches are all joined together, they are called… I don’t know, maybe Many Scrumbles?

This was my first Scrumble. I started this one on the car trip we took last fall from Alberta to Arizona. Three days of sitting in a car, in the silence that comes when the other person in the car is not a talker… I call it “Snails lost in a Flower Garden”

Going on a trip. Need about 4 skeins of yarn. I’ve packed 152 just to be safe.
– thecrochetcafe –

Ta da! Crocheting is a bit like being a magician… you mumble to yourself and waggle a stick around and no one else has a clue how you did it!
– crochetnow uk –

This Scrumble took exactly  one ball of yarn. It was one of those yarns that changes colour every few yards or so. I wonder how they dye it so it turns out like that. I call it “Snails and Pacman with Octopus Tentacles”.

This is where the enough aspect comes in. It is hard to know when the Scrumble is done because there is no pattern. You just make stuff up as you go along and unless you run out of wool, like I did on this Scrumble, it is hard to know when it is finished.

Marry the one who gives you the same feeling you have when you enter the yarn store.
– hooked –

I should learn to crochet something I’ll actually use… like a martini!
– Maxine.com –

This is my third Scrumble. I call it “Denizens of the Coral Reef”.  I knew it was done when I found a new ball of yarn that I liked a lot and it didn’t fit with the colours of this Scrumble. A quick finish to this Scrumble and I moved on to the next.

Yes I’m Bilingual – I speak fluent Crochet! Ch6, DTRC in base of ch 6, SC in next cluster. Repeat from * around, join with sl st to first st.
– Author Unknown –

Crocheter’s Hourly Rate:
$20/hr minimum
$30/hr if it requires black yarn
$40/hr if you require it by tomorrow
$80/hr if there is no pattern
$90/hr if your example photo was knitted.
– Author Unknown –

What Say You – Have you asked, and answered, your questions of “What does enough look like”?

Canadian Snowbird Stories

The fountain in Fountain Hills Arizona – on St Patrick’s Day. the water is tinted green.

I’ve edited the following popular Snowbird joke that circulates in emails. I made it an Alberta/Arizona joke instead of Minneapolis/Florida (though it is rather far fetched to think someone would choose to honeymoon in Arizona…)

An Alberta couple decided to go to Arizona to thaw out during a particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier. Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So, the husband left Calgary and flew to Phoenix on Thursday. His wife would fly down the following day. The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an e-mail to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her e-mail address, and without realizing his error, sent the e-mail.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband’s funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow decided to check her e-mail since she was expecting messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she screamed and fainted. The widow’s son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife
Subject: I’ve Arrived
Date: November 18, 2004

I know you’re surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send e-mails to your loved ones. I’ve just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.
PS. Sure is freaking hot down here.
– Original Author Unknown –

Now, here is a real Canadian Snowbird story.  If you are going to run out of a prescription drug before you can get back to Canada, there could be a way you can get it refilled.

Take the remaining medication to a local Urgent Care (Primary Care Walk-in) Centre (we used the one nearest  to us, in Fountain Hills Arizona). Be sure the medication is in the original container with the label from the pharmacy that filled your prescription.

The Doctors or Nurse Practitioners will give you a similar check-up to what your doctor at home would do before renewing your prescription. There will, of course, be a fee for this service.

The prescription will be sent to a pharmacy of your choice for pick-up the next day.

Ghost in Landscape Mode

A Special Report from our ‘Rover’ reporter, Ghost the Dog:

hi peoplekind!

this photo shows me thinking.   it might look like sleeping.   but you can see I have one eye open.   i do my best thinking.   when I’m in ‘landscape mode’.   what better place to stretch out.   than on a people couch!

right now, I’m thinking about what the gramma dog (owner of this blog but not owner of me) meant.   she told me politicians are sometimes kind of whackadoodle.   it’s an election year and gramma dog tells me all sorts of things.    when we go for a walk.   i don’t think anyone else.   wants to listen to her anymore.   a wackadoodle.   all i’ve come up with so far is that it must be a kind of poodle cross.   that I’ve not seen  at the dog park.

i’m not that impressed with poodles, really.   our ancestor was a prehistoric wolf!   i see a lot of wolf in me.   but a poodle – well let’s just say they developed.   along a branch that should have been lopped off.   before it got as far as it did.

the gramma dog  tells me that because I am a dog.   i don’t see as many colours as some people.   i don’t really remember.   what issue we were discussing.   when we got onto this topic.   i’m red-green colour blind.   grandpa car guy is colour blind too.   so we have that in common.

when I visit their house i am the shop dog.   i don’t get to go into the house.   i thought when I quit piddling a lot,   i might get a house pass.   sadly no.   the Grandma dog says if I could leave my coat outside.   she’d let me in.   i shed a lot… plus, she says I can’t chew sticks in the house.   and I can’t knock stuff off shelves with my tail.   that would be a lot to give up.   just to see if her couch is comfortable.

that’s if for now.   i really have to go to sleep.   but if you want to read more about me, click on the tag below.   with my name in it.   gHosT.

Saying Goodbye to The Fisherman

I recently read the book “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory” by Caitlin Doughty. It is a witty and thought provoking look at the history of caring for the dead and how the process has been sanitized by today’s funeral industry. The author explains the process of cremation in some detail – all very fascinating if you are interested in options to the ‘casket in the ground’ type of burial.

The Car Guy’s dad, The Fisherman, passed away in October 2017. The Fisherman was cremated. It was a good choice because a number of events, including the weather, made it preferable for us to hold a burial service the following June.

As the date for interment approached, our family discussed what kind of special box or urn we would use for the ashes. We decided that a wine bottle in a wood presentation box would be an excellent choice because The Fisherman had made his own wine for decades.

The Car Guy filled one wine bottle with ashes for the cemetery. With the remaining ashes, he filled several half bottles and three spice size jars.

A half bottle now sits on a shelf in The Car Guys Garage, a place where father and son had worked every Wednesday for many years building and fixing things, including  a Yellow Challenger T/A, a Corvette, and a Fargo half ton.

The spice jars were perfect for the ‘road trips’ where his ashes were scattered – at the farm where he was raised and two of his favourite fishing places.

As for the Cemetery Interment, we knew it was going to be a ‘do it yourself’ project because the cemetery was a very  rural, ‘old school’ sort of place that let you do that sort of thing. We also knew the ground was rock hard. But we didn’t need a very wide hole, so a post hold digger was the logical tool to use.

The Fisherman’s Daughter conducted the service, a lunch was served at a country hall, and a two day Family Reunion was held at a rural retreat – all were the perfect way to say good-bye to The Fisherman.

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.
-Doug Larson –