Friday, April 28, 2017

A Day Full of Little Things - Getting Things Done

I love how you think when you get up that you are going to get stuff done, then life happens and what you had on your list doesn't get done.

Days like that are frustrating but on the flip side, there are days where you check lots of stuff off "the list" and I feel like I got so much done even if the things on the list were all little things.

Today was a bit of both worlds on that front. I was asked about five months ago to print up an 8 x 10 picture for my dad and his wife to go on their wall as they wanted current photos of all their families up as a type of "brag wall."

I planned on getting right on that and it wasn't until this week, I was cleaning out some of my emails, when I realized that I had NOT gotten on that and hadn't printed it up. There have been so many things needing my attention that usually the most pressing gets done. I hate living like that and actually listened to a tape my mother made last night where she was getting counsel on picking out only the MOST important things as she was spreading herself thin taking care of 8 kids and the home and community as well as serving in her church.

I really liked the suggestions that she was given on how to prioritize but when I look at my life, it seems like most of the things I am dealing with aren't things I can have much say over. I admit my mom's stuff, I could throw it away, pay someone to store it for another ten years etc. However, that DOESN'T take it off my list! To me, it is just avoiding the horrible. It has been in the back of my mind as a constant weight hanging over me. There is no one in my family that will do it and even when I ask for help, most don't want to and find excuses as to why they can't help.

One would think me being a single parent would get me out of the brunt of it but I know my mind is built differently than others. I don't see things the way others see them. I am a sensitive spirit and just "know" things many times that others don't see or get. With that, I often can pick out flaws in plans, ideas, etc and make suggestions to correct the problems before they become issues. Also being a nurse, I see were situations can arise so I have been made fun of when people say, "If you want to know what could go wrong, ask her."

You have to take the good with the bad. I do see all the situation and "what could go wrongs" but, I also see others needs, how we could simplify situations and work problems by finding an easier way to do things. I take out the flaws and paint a perfect picture so when people view something, they can enjoy it. I explain it like this: If you went to a museum and everything was beautiful except it smelled like fish, how much would you enjoy your visit?

I like to do everything I do to the best of my ability making it a "whole" experience. So, I may take a bit longer to sort before scanning but in the end, we can find what we need by going to the files of "work, pageants, childhood, singing, modeling, teaching...." etc.  If I did it by year, who knows where that one certificate for teaching would be and what year. I have wasted many hours looking through thousands of scans because there is no organization to it all.

By taking the time to sort it by category, now, you can open a file, go to about the year you think the event happened and sort through a few hundred scans rather than 10,000 scans.

With that, I find myself overwhelmed sometimes not knowing where to start. I shared how just sorting through one cupboard or drawer a day has helped me get through things one little piece at a time. I find that I can't look at the entire pie and think I can eat it in one setting but over a few days, I could surely finish a pie.

Today, I took lots of little things off the "to do" list but can't say that I ate any of the pie! I finally printed the 8 x 10 for my dads house. I finished writing birthday and Mothers Day cards, baby shower gifts, helped Princess Five get ready for her last girls choice date of high school, framed a picture of my girls that was taken 9 months ago, and best of all, I got to enjoy my bunko friends and Princess Five as she got to sub in my group tonight. I had a great dinner with great friends and best of all, I was able to win a prize that Princess Two has wanted for some time. I was super happy to get the prize and already put a bow on it for her birthday which is coming up.

Sometimes, you have to put the pie in the fridge and know it will still be there in the morning and just enjoy the day and get to bed earlier than if you dug into the pie!

I had a good day and yet, really didn't take anything off the list but it was still a good day. I hope you have a BLESSED DAY!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Mom's Helping in My Family History Work - Rainbows Again

I woke early this morning when Princess Five left for school and I tried for long over an hour trying to get back to sleep as I haven't been sleeping well due to coughing all night with the pneumonia.

I wasn't able to get back to sleep but have so much on my "to do" list so I got going for the day and checked a few things off my list. I am still not wanting to do much outside as it looks warm but has been cold and I put poison on my grass this week so I am avoiding that until it soaks in a bit more.

With that, I chose to work on the family history project I am working on with transferring the cassettes and reel to reel tapes to digital files. I found a small reel to reel player in my mom's stuff and remember it didn't work really well so we borrowed one last time we tried to transfer a few reels about ten years ago. I figured I could use the old small one to preview the smaller reels while cooking dinner etc.

It had some wires poking out of it so I figured my brother hot wired it so we could plug it in without the adapter or something. MY BAD! I put a plug on it and plugged it into my wall and the popping sound and sparks that shot out were quite scary. What scared me more was when the player started smoking. I thought I may have started a fire so I pulled apart the player and boy did I fry the components! Not my best choice of messing with electricity!

I tried to contact my electrician brother before doing it but he is in Mexico and didn't get back to me until way after I screwed it up. Darn! He got a good laugh at my stupidity on the plug thing. Oh well, live and learn.

I worked on my mom's tapes for about 10 hours today. I once again found some treasures. I was super excited when I found a song our family sang all growing up. All of the kids know all the words to the song and I am not sure why it was such a big song for our family but I think we just likes the chorus as the words were different.

It is "Cats in the Cradle" which we sang over and over through the years. It was fun to create a file of "Family Favorite Songs" today. I found a few more of our favorites while working.

One of my last cassettes for the night was a happy find. I found a cassette of my mother singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" karaoke version when she visited Disney World in the 1980's. It was a bit dramatic "Midi" sounding which was a bummer but I was thrilled that my grandchildren can hear my mother singing them the song she sang to me every night before bed. We sang it at her funeral and if you don't know the story behind the song, check out my first post about it here. You can also type "rainbow" in the search box to read all the posts about it since as I see them everywhere now.  

It is weird that one tape will have hours of things on it I need to copy and then I can go through three of nothing. I am happy that all don't have stuff on them or I would fill several computers with files. I keep very busy when I am working on this, I have one to four players going at a time. I can't do anything else while I am doing this or I mess up. I try to keep two computers recording at a time but it doesn't happen often as I have been breaking recorders about as fast as I can clean and find them. I have broken three cassette players and two reel-to-reel players. The problem is that the cassette players I am using weren't made for all the fast-forward and rewinding I am doing with them. I need to find a heavy duty cassette player and recorder and I wouldn't go through them so fast.

I had to clean the heads again today and was really shocked at how dirty they have gotten in just a week. I am using them constantly though so it is understandable. I am going to have to clean them a bit more often and demagnetize the heads more often. Today, my best reel-to-reel player was really fuzzy and just cleaning the heads made a huge difference.

I am glad to be getting some of them  done. It is taking forever but at least I am on the path.... Have a BLESSED Day!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Customer Service Was "Classic" at Lays - Super Salty Chips

I had another first today for my nearly 50 years. I called a corporate number to talk with them about their product.

I bought some potato chips a few weeks back. One store was having a sale on them and they were $1.77 a bag if you purchased three at a time. There was a six bag limit at that price but I can't imagine needing more than six bags but we like them in soup and with yogurt and Princess had friends over this week and so we already have nearly finished three of the bags in just over a week.

When I opened the first bag, I thought it was quite salty but by the time I got some from the bottom of the bag, it was really salty.

Princess Five tried some later and said, "Wow, these chips are really salty!" on her own without me saying anything. I figured it was just that bag so we went on to the second bag, it was just as salty. She had friends over and we finished off another bag. When I made the video, I had forgotten her drama party she hosted which explained the second bag.

Yesterday, I opened a third bag. It was so salty. I figured I had already thrown out two bags so I couldn't do much about them but since they have a "customer satisfaction" number right there on the top of the bag, I figured I would make a call.

Today, I called the company. There was a two minute wait to speak with someone but for such a large corporation, I didn't think it was a big deal. The woman I spoke with was very polite and official sounding. She asked me for the two rows of numbers just below the expiration date. The expiration date and the upc number as well as questions if there were salt crystals on the chips that were visible.

I couldn't see any salt crystals but it tasted like it was sprayed on the chips or something. I don't think if I hadn't bought 6 bags at once, it would have been an issue but five of the bags were from the same factory and batch.

I asked her if she wanted me to return the unopened bags? She at first told me she could only send me coupons for the opened bags, I asked what I should do for the other bags in case she wanted me to open them and see if they are super salty as well. She told me that if I returned them, they would just point me in the direction of customer service by calling them as well so she said she would just send me coupons for six bags.

I thought it was great! I have never called corporate or customer service on a food item like that. I usually just take it back to the store. I probably would have done that had I not had pneumonia this past week and haven't left the house if I didn't have to so it was partly circumstance of my life that I called today. 

I was impressed with how quickly and kindly Lays dealt with my issue and how they resolved the issue. I would suggest if you have an issue with a food, try calling the corporation rather than taking it back to the store, they will be the one with power to resolve it. It also saved me having to remember to take them back to the store and I wouldn't have gotten compensation for the salty bags. All in all, it was a win! Have a BLESSED Day!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Funny and the CUTE Brighten My Headache Day

Today is the third day in a row that I have had headache in the evening hours. We have had some storms and I just attributed the headaches to the storms and have had three HORRIBLE nights of sleep even after taking pills.

It wasn't until tonight that I thought, these may be "die off" headaches from taking stuff for my pneumonia. I wonder if some of the things I am taking are killing off the yeast infections I seem to fight after taking antibiotics which I did recently so perhaps it is just the yeast dying.

Either way, I am struggling again tonight feeling nausea with the headache so  I am hoping to get to bed soon. Thus, I am going to resort to something I have never done before. I am posting two videos I got today from my children. Both touched my heart in different ways.

Princess Two is terrified of moths. She doesn't like anything that flies but moths for some reason freak her out. I think it is that they don't fly in a straight path so she can't foresee where they are going. Anyway, enjoy her "moth" story.
Grand-Princess One is singing and I can't figure it out until the music joins in but she is so adorable, who can resist smiling at that?

I hope you can enjoy them as much as I did. You need to get into it a bit before they both get cute or funny.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Garage Door Upadate Three Years Later - Still Shiny and Great

I have gotten a few requests over the years from people to know how my garage door held up with the Teak oil on it. There are some that also ask how my trailer did with the teak oil coating I put on it.

Here is the original post where I show using the teak on my garage door.

Three years ago now, I had a cool experience where a man shared with me how I should use teak oil on my trailer as I was trying to figure out how to wax it.

There are links on that post to all the original videos on how I cleaned the door which was covered with minerals from the sprinklers hitting it for about 25 years. It took us lots of time to get all the minerals off the door, but once we did, the teak oil was much quicker than wax.

I also have links on that post to how I used the mineral spirits to clean the trailer on the dirty spots and used the Teak Oil on the trailer. I would show pictures but we haven't used the trailer as I didn't go Easter camping this year so it is in storage off site so pictures wouldn't be the easiest to get but we are headed camping to the lake this summer so I will try to get some update pictures if I remember then.

When I was coming home tonight, I was at a concert and had my camera with me and when I pulled in, I thought it was wonderful that the garage was still shiny after so much time. I thought I would make a short video showing that it was still shiny after three years. I couldn't remember actually how many years so I had to come in and look up the post but the trailer was about this time three years back so yahoo for it looking so good after three years of no attention.

I probably should give it a good wash with a hose and sponge and put on a second coat just to keep it looking good but it isn't like there is oxidation and color change but just dust from the dirt lot that is next to my home and we have LOTS of wind so there is dirt in the door but I bet just using the hose would take the majority of it off.

I have a window next to the garage that has siding surrounding it and I have had it on my list for years to get the minerals off that siding and teak oil it but I still haven't gotten to it. Not that I have been busy or anything. ;-)

I am very happy about the door and how it still looks and feel like all the work getting the minerals off was worth it and the teak oil is seriously one of my favorite "home" items as it works on so many things!

I am so grateful for the man that took the time to share his wisdom with me about boats and how to use teak oil on fiberglass, wood, and metal as needed! What a blessing to me and others that advice has been. Have a BLESSED Day!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Not all Family History is The Same - Of Mice and Mold

I have not had the best week of my life this week. I felt a bit wet in the lungs for the past few days writing in my journal that I was a bit worried as they were wet and I couldn't seem to get on top of it.

With my lung damage from the parasite, any type of issues with the lung scares me as when I came out of surgery, I couldn't breath and was crying and blue due to not being able to breath. I truly don't want to end up like my mother but am more than half way there.

I woke myself up in the night to loud crackles and wheezes in my breathing. It scared me as I have never heard it so clearly audible without a stethoscope. I also kept waking myself with a wet cough. I had no question in the night as to why my lungs were wet as I knew it was pneumonia but as to what caused it, I was a
bit worried.

It wasn't until after taking all sorts of stuff, diffusing oils in the house and dealing with a few more of my mothers things that I KNEW what caused the pneumonia.

I did a super long transfer day about four days back. Two of the audio tapes I transferred had actual mold on them. I  figured that I would hurry and copy them and throw them out. I put them in a tied up bag after transferring the audio over and threw them away.

However, I pulled the boxes around them up to my nose and sniffed to make sure I threw away everything with mold on them. I infected my lungs with that mold! GRR 

Due to that issue, today, I pulled out anything I thought may have mold on it and threw it out. One of the suitcases had "reel to reel" written on the outside, I hadn't opened it. I did and found about fifty of these little reel to reels. I was super excited about the find as these are usually letters detailing my mothers life to her parents who served as Missionaries twice for several years.

The little ones I have transferred over already have many of my siblings and I talking to my grandparents in our cute little voices. It will be fun to organize these files by date when I get the all done and have a living history in my mothers voice. I can't say that I am super excited about all the time it is going to take but fun listening to them all just the same.

I spent about two hours yesterday cleaning a reel to reel player that I purchased at a second hand store when dropping some things off there. I was excited as it has the buffer to keep the tape playing when the reel causes it to lurch. Neither of the two that I have do that. However, this player only has the two speeds so many of the tapes can't be played on it.

As I was cleaning it out, I pulled out what I thought was a little cocoon from a moth or something only to find out I had just grabbed a dead mouse head! I screamed out loud. My daughter came running. I was so shocked I dropped it and couldn't get back to it
for a second, I had to bleach and alcohol everything over and over and my hands paid the price for my obsessive washing after that. I guess it had touched the fuses and been electrocuted.

I figured it was worth it to have a machine I didn't need to babysit and can't leave the chair due to having to push the reel if it lurched. I previewed about five tapes today and don't you know it, the darn thing broke! The play doesn't work anymore. I think the spring may have snapped but darned if I want to spend another two hours pulling it apart again! I am seriously questioning my sanity at doing all this as none of my siblings seem to be interested in helping but I feel like it is something I am supposed to do and if you know me at all, I follow those type of feelings and it usually pays off in the end.

Lets hope I find no more mold, no more mice and only amazing things.

I wanted to end on a blessing note. I found a 12mm movie shown at the top of my mother at the state capitol and in the state parade as a state beauty queen before she married! I also found two more records and one has my mother singing and my grandmother playing the piano on it! There are blessings to be found amongst the mold and mice!

Have a Blessed Day! 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Splicing - Repairing - Fixing Broken VHS, Cassette, and Reel to Reel Tapes

I know that the video for this process is bad. I really would love to have fancy equipment or someone to at least hold the camera for me but most of the time, video taping is a last thought in the process of what I am doing anyway so I don't think to take a "before" and "after" video or even pictures for that matter. I usually am halfway through a project before even thinking that maybe I should blog about what I am working on.

As you know if you follow my blog, I am working on a huge family history project involving ten boxes and bins of cassette and reel-to-reel recordings that my mother made over 50 years or so.

I have done two "recording sessions" of about 8 hours each so far and have only gotten less than 30 of the tapes done. I am averaging about 2 per hour with constant attention as I am forwarding through the tapes until I find something I want to record and then it takes some planning to check the sound and line up the recording and hook it to the computer etc.

I then check the sound and then record at the proper level so it is best for playback by anyone who may want to listen to it in the future. I have several different folders of items so far. I have one for extended family on one side and one for the other side. I have one of my mothers singing, one for just songs she wrote and then one for my family.

My favorite so far is one of my mother being interviewed as a national beauty queen while crowning a state winner the year she reigned. I have a file of just that type of thing as I think it will be fun to make a slideshow with the pictures of her in the state and the interview and put a link to it in her book.  

During this process, I have purchased three used reel to reel players at second hand stores. I think God is looking out for me as I have purchase two of these in the past two weeks. I go to those type of stores all the time as I have such an interesting life, I find all sorts of useful items there. I found one of them today and spent several hours working on it but will post about that later.

While I was fiddling with it, I broke one of the reels as it got pinched under a moving part. I remember my mother splicing reel to reel tapes from my youngest ages. I also remember my brother splicing movies when he would make creations using the 8mm silent film projector we had when we were young.
It is no leap then to see me splicing VHS tapes and cassette tapes in my teen and adult life. I have never thrown out a tape or video due to it being broken. I just use a screw driver and undo the screws on the tape if the tape has gotten pulled inside the cassette. If the tape is out of the cassette and had gotten eaten by the machine and broke, I fix it outside the cassette. VHS is a little harder to do outside rather than in as it pulls tight on the reels so I find it easier to fix while out of the case.

If you find a VHS or cassette tape that doesn't have screws and is broken inside the case, fear not, you can purchase one that has screws at a second hand store or get one from a friend by asking on facebook. Use a dull knife carefully to pry open the cassette case on the broken tape. Carefully transfer the reels inside the cassette to the new case that has screws and throw the insides tape out of the unwanted "screwable" case. Fix the tape and screw the cassette or VHS case closed and label it appropriately. Sometimes I can just peel off the label if the glue has worn off and glue it to the new case. Tape and a marker works too.

Once you have the two sides of the tape or film you want to fix, cut them straight on the edge so that when you tape them, you have no overage. Make sure you have both shinny side up. I have taped the wrong ends together a few times not paying attention and you won't be able to use it if you tape it that way. If that happens, just cut new edges and tape it correctly. I usually lay them flat on the counter and match up the cut even edges as best I can and then take a small piece of clear tape and just lay it over the two edges and press. Sometimes, static cling will pull them up to the tape and they will be a little off center. If this happens, I will put one side on the tape and then carefully lift the other side until it is even with the first and press it together.

Trim off the clear tape on both sides as close to the film or tape edges as you can. If for some reason you overlapped the two raw edges that were cut to line up, don't worry, you can take a pair of scissors and just cut the overlap off as close to the clear tape as possible so that the little end doesn't get stuck in the machine.

Put the clear tape on the shiny side of the broken film or recording. The dull or flat side has the recording on it usually. It really shouldn't matter what side the "fix" is on if it is a good close cut on the edges. I always trim up the edges if they are a little off center on the taping, I cut the excess film off to make the thing sleek and flush so that there are no edges to get caught in, or on anything in the machine.

When you watch the VHS or listen to the cassette or reel to reel tape, there is usually a small pause as that section passes through the heads and that is all. If you have a sensitive cassette player, the tape may get stuck at the point of the tape. I usually stop the tape quickly if I hear that it is getting stuck and will fast forward over that part. If it is one you listen to regularly and it is getting stuck, it may be that the tape around the splice is wrinkled and gets stuck as if the machine ate it and it got bunched up before being pulled out, or it could be it isn't liking the tape.

If this continues to be an issue, I would record the tape over to another tape if it is something you must have on tape. Or, you can easily and for free, make a wav file by downloading some easy to use software from Audacity.

You will need to babysit the tape until you get to the broken spot and fast forward if the splice doesn't work but in all the years I have been doing this type of thing, I maybe had one or two that didn't like the player I was using.

Feel free to ask any questions if you have any. I hope this was informative even without a great video. Thanks for watching and have a BLESSED Day!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Princesss Four - Easter in Japan

I am still having an issue with Princess Four's email but think I may have figured out why she is having a problem. It seems that those that have apple products can get her emails and pictures but when she sends her emails through with pictures to normal emails, it doesn't go through.

I hope that I have figured it out and maybe we will see next week. I guess she is now in a new area and is struggling with the language. Hopefully things will get easier soon. Enjoy...

"Hello beautiful family and friends!
Happy Easter! We had a lovely Easter Sunday yesterday, IN MY NEW
AREA!!! I transferred!!! WAHOO!! And..... I HAVE A JAPANESE
COMPANION!! What!? Her name is (new companion) Shimai. Old Valley Shimai! She
is a doll! And Can speak enough English to communicate pretty well...
ahaha some days are interesting... ahaha but I really do love her. She
is so fun. She carries a Ukulele with her everywhere. We were a match
made in heaven.... Literally. Baha. Jokes. Anyway.... This weeks

Us Eating Sushi.. for a dollar a plate..... I love Japan... its fine....

I got to eat chips and salsa my first day here in Higashi... It was a big shukufuku for me. I really miss salsa! But the "fruits basket" aka free food from angel ward members, in higashi is amazing. We got Costco muffins yesterday from an American member. The comfort food was needed with not being able to always communicate with my companion. God loves me :) haha

I am also blessed that Shimai can speak English. I love her.

I had to say goodbye to dear friends in Muroran, but that is ok. Ill see them again someday! We spent my last day getting goached, fed, by a member, and seeing Udon. We gave her a BOM. She is going to get baptized. She just has to. She is perfect !

WE also decorated her door a awhile ago, and she still had it up! So cute!!

I also said goodbye to Ai chan... Goodbye Aichan and Dream Bakery!!

Bye bishop and porkys! He is such a good man! And a great cook!
Remember how I lost 100 dollars..... yeah me too... The elders were so nice and gave me some of their personal money. 25 each. I tried to give it back, but (my old companion) Shimai too it from them... I really needed that money later, so I am grateful for Yamazaki and Takashima choro.!
They also gave me another Yugio card because I ruined the other one when I lost my wallet, and they love me, and my face matches this card lady's face...

Yesterday I was asked to bear my testimony... or Akashi... Here is a screen shot of that in case you want to know what Japanese sounds like...
After church we handed out tons of bags of Okashi... candy/snacks. Some people were super not interested in our happy Easter message, but we whipped out the bags, and they were a little more interested. I love Easter, Christ, and his resurrection! We handed all of these out yesterday, and the day before. We hope we get a few calls, but we will see!

We also went to this youth place to do or language study/ find some fun youth to baptize... Our plan kind of worked! A bunch of elementary school kids loved that I spoke Japanese, and they spoke really good English.. one said, "You really surprised me because you can speak Japanese" I said, "You really surprised me that you can speak pera pera English!" He was cute! He told me he had a leg disability. They were there for Saturday school, so we hope to see those kids again! We also met a cute girl named Ami! She had some rocking red shoes, and a sweat outfit that said Cheer on it. So I complimented her shoes, and asked if she was a cheerleader. She does dance! And LOVES MUSICALS!!!! We became good friends real fast. Shimai finished the conversation, and by the time we left we had her number! She is so cute! She lives out of our area, but we hope the other sisters will be able to do things with her!!

People here are a little less excited and willing to talk to us as a whole, but we do find gems.

OH YEAH!!! Biggest miracle... (Cute lady) and her mom!! My first day we were streeting/ going to the church. We were walking the same way as a cute girl. She had been to Canada, and liked English. We walked the same way, all the way to the church. WE kept talking, and the Choro came out of the church. We asked if she wanted a tour, she said yes. Here are the choro by the way.

They are fun. And American. So we talked for a while, and she said she would come to eikaiwa that night. She kept her promise. And even brought her mom. It was awesome! We had so much fun! the mom said I was sexy.. I couldn't understand her though, so the choro had to translate.... Choto awkward, but it was soooooo funny! They said they came to the church on Sunday once, but missed sacrament, but they wanted to come again! So that is crazy! They gave us a ride home. We were able to give them a BOM. Our goal is to give out 84 of those this transfer, and we are already at 5!! Go us!! Yay! But really. I see so many miracles. God loves us all so much!!!

I ate octopus and squid. They were ok. Kinda bland and chewy. But I'm glad I can say I ate them. Wahoo!

I hope you are all well!! I also had some awesome personal revelation from the BOM. It happens like everyday. That book is true, and has so much power. I know it will answer any and all questions. If you aren't reading it daily, choose to start today.

I hope your Easter was family and Christ filled!
Love、Princess Four"