Friday, July 28, 2017

Crazy Summer

This summer has been interesting so far...

My mom was visiting my aunt and uncle the first week of July, so of course, we went to see her a few times.

My aunt has a pool, and one of my mom's favorite activities is to go swimming. I finally have swimwear that fits me right - well the top does, the bottoms need to be brought in a lot, more on that later! - so we went into the pool with her.

The one evening wasn't so bad, except the mosquitoes were out something fierce. We were in for about half an hour or so before we decided it was enough.

That Saturday afternoon, though............

Stupid me forgot to put on waterproof sunblock or wear a t-shirt like I normally do. It was cloudy, and in my haste to get there on time, I forgot to pack something.

I wound up regretting it later that evening. We had spent an entire hour in the pool and of course, me without protection from the sun meant fried skin. I had a horrible sunburn that went from the top part of my back, around to cover both shoulders, the nape of my neck and the top of my boobs.

I was so sore I was in tears. But, that was my own stupidity.

Thank heavens for a certain kind of skin cream and aloe vera gel. Between that and putting cold compresses on the burned areas, it took away most of the pain and I was able to move without wanting to cry.

It took an entire week to heal enough to start peeling, after it blistered. Yeah, it was a really bad one. The worst one I've had since my early 20s. Normally I'm so darn careful because sunburns hurt like merry old hell, and I don't tan, I fry. Think redder than a cooked lobster after 20 minutes or less in the sun. Thank you Scandinavian genes....

In other news, I've been trying to get some work done on "Dream On" and other manuscripts I have saved on the portable hard drive. I wouldn't mind getting at least another standalone story published somehow sometime soon, and since none of the finished drafts are up to publishing standards period, I have a lot of work ahead of me.

Things would be a lot smoother if I was using my desktop system though...

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed things were slow, and the computer wasn't working right at all. I thought it was a virus, so I set it aside while Son and I went to see my mom.

Let's just say I had a hell of a time getting it shut down once we got home again.

When I went to turn it back on to do some diagnostics, Windows wouldn't load, and it would not let me into the Boot Menu.

This led me to wondering if it was a fault in the hard drive's software itself, not a virus. Like a few files got corrupted somehow somewhere along the way and it messed up the entire hard drive.

It finally tried a repair diagnostic, and I let it go.

Six hours later, I wound up pulling the plug.

Diagnosis: Full system failure, due to a faulty hard drive.

In other words, the hardware itself is no good. Whatever was on that drive is now gone for good, what wasn't saved that is, and that wasn't much... Just a few things I was messing around with on GIMP and a few downloaded photos for various things (desktops) that I got back.

I've been using an Acer laptop a friend of mine gave me a couple of years ago... It was originally set up for VISTA, but now has Windows 7 on it. It's a gorgeous computer. My main problems with it is that it has only 1 GB of RAM and Office 7 on it... I'm used to 8 GB of RAM and Office 2013... And a regular keyboard, not the flat keys on a laptop keyboard.

So...... What's going on with the desktop?

Nothing much right now. I do have a hard drive that works - it's from my old Acer computer, the one that decided it was going to keep frying video cards after the one on the motherboard got cooked during a power outage. That one was retired in 2013, and I purchased the Windows 8.1 computer then. It's only a 160 GB drive - compared to the 1 TB drive that was originally in the current desktop system - but it will do for now... I can easily run things from the portable hard drive if needed.

The drive has VISTA on it - that's what I was using the last year or so I was using the Acer system - so it needs to be rebuilt from the OS up, with  Windows 8.1.

I have a copy of that on disk, BUT there's a problem...

It has a different file system formatted on it. Windows 8.1 needs a GPT file system, while VISTA has a completely different one. Now this drive IS compatible with Windows 8.1, so I'm fine there. I just need to talk to a tech about how to format it... Which I'll be doing early next week. Or I hope to do it at least. Things have been so crazy the last while with everything else going on, I'm lucky to remember to get dressed every morning.

So until things are straightened out with the desktop system, I'll be broadcasting to all of you via the laptop, or if you follow my Facebook Fan Page (link to the left of the blog entries!) via my smartphone as well.

It's times like this that I'm grateful I'm so damn meticulous - (anal?) - about backing up my manuscripts and pretty much everything else on my computer... One never knows when something is going to die on them.

I will be upgrading a few things once this stupid computer is rebuilt... Office 2016, anyone? Drool!!!

Quick note about my wellness journey:

I am up to walking a full MILE each time I hit the track! (6 1/3 laps, or 1.6 km) I feel great! It takes me about 20 minutes to do the entire thing, and that's not too darn shabby. I always carry my phone with me, to listen to music while I'm zipping around, and to keep track of my time each lap on the clock app. It keeps me motivated to keep going!

And...

I was weighed about 2 weeks ago...

I'm DOWN ANOTHER THREE POUNDS! *happy dance*

I can tell I am still shrinking, because my jeans are getting looser, and my capris almost fell down the other day when I reached up to get something from a shelf in the bathroom.

I am feeling soooooo much better than I did even two months ago. I feel like myself again.

I am feeling so much like myself that I even went bowling with the guys AFTER I did my laps at the track! I only played 2 strings compared to their 3 but it was still bowling, and tons of fun.

It wore me out but it was worth it.

I hope all of you are having an amazing summer.... And if you are an author like I am, you do not have the hardware problems I've been having. It stinks!

And please, don't be stupid like I was and get a sunburn folks. It wasn't fun!

I leave you with some photos of Crescent Beach.... Have a great weekend everyone!

Moonlight hitting the water.

Seagull!

High tide... It's so high that you can't take your car on the beach at all without it getting soaked by salt water!


Wild pink rose - my favorite flower!


Information about the birds of Crescent Beach.

A prop job plane flying low over the beach and the LaHave Islands.

The government wharf on Bush Island.
One of the many jellyfish we see washed up on shore on the beach, this happens often.
This greeted me when I came downstairs this morning... Hello MONITOR KITTEH!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Sesquicentennial

HAPPY 150th BIRTHDAY, CANADA!
(Bonne Fete, Canada!)




Sesquicentennial means 150th anniversary. Since my beloved nation is 150 years young today, I thought it would work as a blog title.

Things have been hectic with the end of the school year and just life in general. 

Son's last day of school was yesterday, and I didn't know that they had an awards ceremony for students in grades 5 through 8 who excelled in academics and sports during the closing. 

I only found out when Son's grade six teacher called me and invited me to attend.

You see, my son got an award yesterday, Greatest Improvement Overall for his class. He, along with a few of his pals from grades six, seven and eight, got the awards because they went from struggling to doing an amazing job in their studies. 

When Son's name was called, he didn't walk to the stage like every other student - he RAN! He was so excited that he was jumping up and down and hugging a lot of his fellow winners. 

He won a medal with the school emblem on it. It is gorgeous, and it'll be hanging in his room over his bed when we get around to putting it there. 

I'm really proud of him. His grade six teacher said he's a brilliant kid, he just needs a little guidance and a reminder now and then... He was also a joy to teach and have in her classroom this year. 

I've learned that exams are only given to Grades 8s, 10s, and 12s... So he's safe for another year! (THANK HEAVENS!)

He's now home for the summer, and we're making plans to do a few things. He wants to go swimming at the lifestyle centre, play video games at home, as well as go bowling in town, and take the occasional day trip.

I am still going to the track, but not as frequently as I would like. Son doesn't like the walking bit of it, so it's best I go without him. I am getting faster at doing a km, and I've even upped the laps to five (1250 m) a few times. I'm slowly getting more and more used to it. 

I'm not as heavy as I thought... I was weighed during an appointment with the centre that helps people who have that lifelong condition and I'm about 30 pounds less than expected. I still have a long way to go, but the amount I want to lose seems reasonable right now... It's a lot but it IS possible!

As for the writing, I'm not going to write at all this summer. I've decided that I have to clean up Dream On before I go near Fourteen and its rounds of cleaning, then start writing it again. I'm thinking a full rewrite may be needed. 

I don't know, I'll just have to see how I feel in September, or when Dream On is finally in the hands of my beta team. 

I may not post a lot over the next few weeks - real life and summertime fun with my family will probably dominate July anyway, if not August.

I wish all of you an amazing summer... Don't forget to wear sunblock if you're going outside a lot!

In the spirit of the day, I leave you with a song by one of my favorite Canadian bands, RUSH.... CLOSER TO THE HEART.