Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Mostly Finished Sorting - Now On To Scanning

I once again have had a crazy day that took on an element that I hadn't planned. I have been helping my father sort his history and organize his files. He, like many of his age, hoarded papers. He had many boxes of items and each box had the same things in it.

He has been trying to sort the boxes but it is taking him a lot of time to try and get through it all. He likes to write everything down and makes notes throughout the day and he has LOTS of little index cards, tons of sticky notes, and many folded pieces of papers with notes on them.
I don't know that he will ever be able to get through all of that, but I am proud of him that he has gotten through probably 10 boxes. I sorted the things I was going through down to about ten boxes when I took them home a few weeks back. 

The past few days, I have been able to sort the ones I took down to three boxes! It feels super good to be able to organize all the stuff into plastic containers so that if the office floods again ever, the most important stuff will be safe. 

I was able to get all his pictures and important stuff into the portable file box. I was then able to get all the files down into the storage tote. This is things like his school files, church documents, resumes, jobs writings, newspaper articles etc. I also have a box full of photograph albums to take an scan as well. I now need to spend a few days near a scanner to scan all the files and pictures in the albums and in the smaller file folders.
It is crazy how much time I have spent over the years sorting papers for both of my parents. I hope that I am getting near to the end of the sorting and will be VERY happy once I can get the scanning done. 

Have a blessed and organized Day! 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Wishing the Leaving Missionaries Well - T-Shirts - Pillowcases - Laundry Bags

When my older girls were on their missions, I had my siblings and their cousins sign t-shirts to mail them. I was having the same people sign a shirt for Princess Four on her mission when one of my nieces said, "I wish you would have sent one of these to me! 

I decided at that point to send one to each of the missionaries in our family. My girls said that they really didn't enjoy the t-shirts much as they wouldn't wear them out and they were not good for sleeping in the cold or really hot. I then thought I would send pillowcases. Every missionary needs a pillowcase. 
Recently, I found a thick duffle type laundry bag and thought that that may be a better gift for them as it wouldn't be washed as much and they all need extra bags even if they don't have to go to a laundry mat. 

I really don't think it matters what you send, I think that it just makes them feel good knowing people are thinking about them and wishing them well. 

Here is a link to where I did one for Princess Two. We usually do t-shirts at family camping or parties. Since we weren't able to do Easter camping this year, it has taken months to get all the signatures collected. It was nice to be able to finish getting them at two different events this weekend. 

I thought I would share these three ideas as I think each time they see them, they will know they are loved. 

I turned the pillowcase inside out to hide names, but you can get the idea. Have a Blessed Day!  

Monday, July 29, 2019

Oh What a Man That Gaston - My Nephew The Giant Actor

I have some amazingly talented family members. My brother sings in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir which is now known as The Choir at Temple Square. He has five sons who are all tall and amazing singers like their father. They've sung some songs together 
a 'Capella and it is amazing.   

One of his boys, who happens to be the tallest, tried out for the role of Gaston in a production near his  home of Beauty and the Beast. He was cast as Gaston. Due to copyright issues, I couldn't record him singing or acting in the play but he was SO amazing. His voice was naturally so loud they had to turn down his microphone. He is also SUPER tall! Not only is he tall, he is large in stature. 

His other four brothers are mostly very tall and thin. This nephew is not thin, but he is not fat. He is just  a large man. I have posted about him before. He is the tallest of the brothers, but not by much. Here is a post where I show how big his hand print is.

I didn't think I would be near his home to see him in the play as I don't live near them, but I ended up visiting the area and my sweet step-sister bought me a ticket and 12 of us ended up going to see him opening night and he stole the show! His booming tenor voice was just beautiful. He  was so good I wanted to hear more songs from him! 

He got a huge burst of applause at the end of the show. He was perfect for the part! I really wish I could have recorded him singing it but the whole copyright thing makes it hard. 

He wants to move to Hollywood and become an actor. He is just tall enough that that might work. If they could hear him sing, I am sure it would increase his chances. I for one think he would be an amazing pro wrestler. He could be "Gaston - The Singing Wrestler!" 

I don't know how he would feel wearing a singlet but I saw "Andre the Giant" wrestle in person back in the 80's and my nephew towers over me and I think he could rival the best in size. Now when it comes to bulk or muscles, he would have to put the work in, but I think he could ham it up!

Many family members went to the play over the run and we were all just thrilled at his performance. It was well worth attending. Bravo Nephew, you are AMAZING! 

Have a Blessed day!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Comparing Wasp and Hornet Killer Sprays, Distance and Price Comparison - Part 2

Yesterday I shared about how my trailer got lots of hornets nests inside the vents, under the hitch, and in some of the vented compartments. I used several types of wasp spray and wanted to replace the ones I used so I would always have a can handy if needed quickly.

I had to go to home depot to get a sprinkler part so I put the hornet spray on my list and headed to the store. I took some pictures of the different sprays and show the cost difference in the sprays. 

As far as distance goes, the Raid brand and similar shaped store brand cans said they shoot up to 20 feet. My experience was that they shoot up to maybe ten feet but the spray didn't drop them quickly and they would fly around with the foam on them before dying. 

The Raid was also more than twice as expensive than the Spectracide brand which shoots up 27 feet. It is $6 for one can and Spectracide is two cans for less than one Raid can. I show in the video how I shoot 22 feet with accuracy. The reason it isn't shooting well at the beginning of the video is I think there was a clog in the nozzle. It took a minute of spraying it before the spray shot that distance. The bottle I had I the garage I used on the first nest, shot from a long distance. I think it was just a fluke that the new one didn't shoot so far. If you don't want to watch the entire video, jump to the end and watch it shoot long and accurate. The top on the new one didn't leak on my hand either. I am fairly sure in the post yesterday, I mentioned that it had been dropped.

I learned something interesting about hornets. As I was squishing one with a stick, it thrusted its abdomen up and down several times. There are some insects that emit a furmone when they are dying by thrusting their abdomen up and down calling others in to help. One such insect is the crazy ant. when it is dying, it thrusts its abdomen up and emits a chemical that tells others to come. They then come and build upon the dead ants making a dead ant bridge to the next stable wire. They feed on electrical wires. They are also called the raspberry ant or the honeydew ant.

When I was squishing the hornet, it thrust its thorax up and down and it made me think of the crazy ant I researched after finding one in the house. I then used my scissors I keep in the garage to cut up some screen to put into the vents as you can see in the second picture. I used the scissors to poke the wire into the vent. I used it to scrap out the larvae and guts out of the pipe. 

The next morning when I was out demonstrating the spray. I had the scissors in my hand and a hornet went to the vent pipe, then to the fridge vent and then to the scissor tips I held in my hand! There had to be some way it smelled the other hornets on the scissors. 

I also noticed that when there was a breeze, it would go down wind a bit and work its way to the pipe. Over and over new wasps would come to the pipe. I couldn't figure out where they were coming from thinking they had somehow escaped from the hive the day before, but then I realized that the furmones were bringing in any hornet within a radius. It was interesting to see that. 

So, you can see that the Spectracide at two cans for $5 is a good deal and that it really does shoot the furthest of all the can sprays. For the price and the distance, I don't think I will ever be using the other brands again. For the ease, distance, and cost, it is well worth it to me to purchase the Spectracide. 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Comparing Hornet and Wasp Killer Sprays By Cost and Distance and How Quickly - Part 1

A few days ago, I had my brother-in-law haul my trailer from being stored in a field near them to my house so I wouldn't have to pull out my suburban to go get it as they are building a home near where I store my trailer. 

The field has NO grass or weeds and is just a dirt field a friend of theirs owns. I didn't worry about spiders as there is no tall grass and I haven't ever really had much of a problem with that so was thinking this year would be easy as there were no bugs to worry about in a dirt dry field. 

My sister called saying her husband got stung by a wasp while reaching under the hitch. I felt horrible about that and felt guilty for asking them to pick it up anyway with how busy they are working on their new house. 

They dropped it off in the dark and we just wedged some blocks under the tires and unhitched it that night. I have some repairs I wanted to do on it before we go to the lake next month. 

I headed out to the trailer and opened the hatch to plug it in and immediately got stung by a wasp. I didn't see a nest or hive. I just felt the sting and when I flicked my hand, saw a wasp fly off. I immediately ran from the area and it followed me. I got far enough away and in a few minutes went to the opposite side and was opening the door when a wasp came from under the trailer and few at me in attack mode. I ran off to the garage and pulled out some wasp killer I had. 

A few years back, I purchased a lot of cans of wasp spray as a self defense item for the girls. I have one by each bed and one in each car. I heard somewhere that a gun is hard to aim and hit and can be dangerous to the user as I personally know two people who have been shot by a friend or shot themselves accidentally. Pepper spray you need to be super close to make work but hornet spray shoots up to 20 feet. 

I pulled it open and went to the trailer and immediately saw a nest in the heater exhaust pipe and saw hornets going into the other pipe. I was 15 feet away and shot it and it was a great shot and killed them almost on contact. The top of the sprayer oozed a bit but I am sure it had been dropped a few times over the years. 

I usually just hook up a hose to a high pressure nozzle and stand 20 feet away and hit the nests on the fences that way but I didn't have any last year and haven't had any in the yard this year either. 

I sprayed the vents several times and then took a stick and started poking it in there. Each time, more and more hornets came out and I would spray it again. 

I found that I had to take off the vent covers to get the nests / hives out of the vent pipes and the one had three hives in it, There were larva in the nests and I am sure that is why the hornets were so defensive about the hives, 

I then got on a ladder and sprayed the rest of the one can on a nest just inside the air-conditioner cover and there were six dead hornets on the outside of the cover and about 15 on the inside that dropped down in. There was larva in that hive as well. 

I had an air-conditioning guy coming to check out the electrical and he wanted to check the a/c unit and I figured that there would probably be hives there.. He knocked out about four when he took the cover off but all the hornets were dead. 

On the other side of that, live hornets kept coming back to the hive. I kept having to spray new hornets from outside coming to the hive for a few hours as I worked on the outside of the trailer. The worker found a hive just inside the fridge vent cover and I sprayed it and it was also full of larva. In the end, there were probably 10 - 12 nest or hives on the trailer. I have never seen more than one on it ever. Last summer we had one inside the air vent cover while camping and I had to use a squirt gut to soak it through the inside screen and then open the cover to let them fly away and then remove the screen to get the hive out. 

I guess in the small town, they have more of a problem as I have never had that problem to that degree. I know when I cleaned out the heat vents a few years back, there were a few small empty nests inside but these were huge full nests / hives. 

I had to pull out two other sprays as I ran out of the Spectracide. The Raid brand shot about five feet and was foamy but the wasps were crawling through it and it smelled like a spider spray. It is more of a yard fogger spray so it may just be specific for all flying bugs but the foam coated the area and the wasps crawled through it and then flew away. I am sure it killed them at some point but they didn't drop and die like the other spray did. 

I also used an Ace brand spray which was more of a squirt gun type stream. Both the Ace and the Raid only shot about five feet. You had to get much closer to make them work well and I had to move super slow as to not get attacked by the wasps. 

I will post the second video showing me spraying the can of Spectracide and how far it shoots. I also learned some interesting things about wasps I will share as well as compare prices. Check out the photos closely as you can see wasps crawling into the vents and two in flight near the vents. 

Have a blessed day! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Quick Fix After Lots Of Heat on Commercial Cool Portable Air Conditioning Unit

 I spent most of a month at my dads helping him try and heal from his surgery that happened two months ago. While there, the house was HOT! 

My dad was fighting an infection and was cold all the time wearing lots of sweaters and blankets all the while I was literally dripping sweat on him. 

They purchased this Commercial Cool portable air conditioner for their bedroom a few years back and as my father healed, his temperature got back to normal and he started to feel the heat. He asked me to turn on the air conditioning unit and I had never used it before so I plugged it in and it would make a little "beep" and the blue light display unit would flash blue and then go dark. We tried all sorts of things popping the plug fuse on the wall and the unit wondering if we had blown a fuse or circuit. 

I texted my brothers to see what they thought or see if they had any ideas. They had me plug in an extinction cord to anther line of outlets to make sure it was the unit and not the outlet as my brother had just installed a grounded outlet in that room a few days prior. 

I was frustrated as you know when you are hot and things aren't going well, it can get a bit crazy. I started watching youtube videos on portable air conditioner units and decided to start pulling things apart as after several videos, I figured I could at least see if we had blow a fuse in the unit or fried the electronics or something. 

We kept pushing the power button on the front like you can see in the picture. It wouldn't even turn on. The only thing we could make happen was the blue light and beep when we would plug it in. 

I pulled out what was the remote from the front of the machine as I didn't realize it was a remote. When I got the remote out, I noticed that there was actually a power button UNDER the remote at the top center of the unit. The machine came on just fine and blew all sorts of crap right in my face as I was sitting in front of the machine trying to see what was broken. 

I cleaned all the vents, ran the unit, and it was working perfectly. I aimed the remote at the unit and it turned on and off just fine without me changing the batteries so I figured I would make a video of the situation in case anyone else had issues with the remote not turning the unit on.

It is such a silly thing to have the power button behind the remote. It was not a very thoughtful design. Anyway, we enjoyed having the cool air in the afternoon and they were grateful that I could figure it out without having a service call to the house. 

Have a cool and Blessed Day!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

She's On The Move - Short Email from Princess Five in NJ

Princess Five video chatted with me today to let me know she was moving to a more southern part o her mission. 

She sounded good and was excited to go to a new place and meet new people. She was made a leader for the women in her area and is excited about that. I let her know about all that is going on and shared how crazy how things are with me still. 

She sounded great, and I am glad she sounded well. She said she didn't have much time for an email as she needed to pack for the move. Here is her short email and some cute pictures. 

"It's been crazy hot this week, like unreal hot! And, I waited until the last minute to write this, but I just wanted to let you all know that I've been transferred! I'm going to Plainfield, New Jersey tomorrow with my new comp Hermana New Companion! 
Love you all!
Hermana Princess Five"

Monday, July 22, 2019

Working All Night To Organize Someone's Life

I worked all evening, and then all night, trying to finish sorting the last three boxes of my fathers history stuff. I then took pictures as I have been working on a bit every day but need to get it done because I don't want to store this stuff.

There were so many of the same type of files that I finally just filled half a box with "dad's writing" so I could finish as I am falling asleep at the table. I am glad I got through at least a basic sort and organization. 

I took some pictures of the process but somehow they aren't showing up on the sd card now, so I am just using these pictures from when I packed up the boxes. I at least got all the pictures sorted out from the documents and file folders and can now actually take the pictures and scan them. 

Sorry this post is late, I just keep working and falling asleep at the computer. I am hoping to get a few hours sleep before I do the final sorting. I am not sure I can do that without my dad but I need to get this done and out of my home. 

My wood stove is full of paper, my front room is a mess, but I am happy with the work I have gotten done, Have a Blessed Day! 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Finding Some Fun Things While Sorting Through My Dads Boxes

I started sorting through my dad's boxes today. I went through two boxes of pictures and negatives today. I got some wonderful surprises while sorting through those two boxes. 

I sorted out the pictures into piles., pictures of my dad, his wife, them together, extended family and siblings photos. There were a few other odd pictures, but for the most part, they all fell into those categories. I also pulled out all the photos that didn't have someone in them. 

When I was sorting my mothers stuff, I sorted out all the pictures that didn't have people in them and then also pulled out the ones that had people in them that we didn't know. If you type in "picture sorting" into the search at the bottom of the home page, many posts will come up because I have done this so many times. I can't believe how many pictures I have gone through in my lifetime and I am no where near done. Here is a link to one of those posts. 

Just last week, I took pictures off my fathers current computer, three older computers / laptops, two large back up drives, lots of back up cd's and about 20+ usb drives. Once I got them all onto one larger back up drive, I spent a day sorting and organizing them by trip, date, event, and people. 

I'll share how I did my back up drive. I usually sort by year first, giving the full year. I then put month, sometimes day, and year and then type in the event, trip, or person. I tried several ways to sort pictures in the past and have found this one to be the best and most organized and easy to use.

At the end of the dated material, I will have subjects like, "Pictures of friends" or "Good pictures of mom and dad" type of things. There are always times when you need a good picture for something so I will usually pull out good pictures into a file while going through all the pictures anyway so that they can find them quickly if needed. So, It would look something like this:

2012 3-2-12 Easter Camping with family S. D.
2018 12-24-18 Christ. Eve Dinner with extended family 
Good pictures of Uncle John
Favorite pictures of Each Kid * Then I would have sub folders with each kids name. 

When I am sorting printed photos, I put them by person, then sort that person by age starting with youngest to oldest. I then scan the photos in order so that when I am looking for a specific picture, I can go right to that person and quickly scan for the age I am looking for. 

I sort family pictures together if more than one person is in the picture, and sort them by date as best I can. I then scan them in order of date and event, and then I can share them digitally with everyone in the pictures. I use Facebook to share pictures with cousins and other relations. I also do this with friends. I will make a group for specific family members so I can share bulk pictures there, but if I have a few of this person or that, I will just send them through messenger on Facebook. Sometimes people may not want the pictures public so messenger is a way to share them with the person but not make them public. 

I still have lots of boxes of things to go with more pictures that are older in age and more family history type pictures, but I was happy with the fun pictures I found today. One is Princess Three at the sand dunes as a baby. 

The other picture is Princess One in my arms and Princess Three on my back as I hiked her in on my back to an arch for a few miles many years ago. 

Of course, while sorting, I found a double rainbow picture. I shared yesterday that I have been seeing lots of 111 signs and coins, but I know my mother was helping me find all the things I needed to find to be able to finish her history and my dad had many things that will be helpful in finishing my mothers history and book. I smiled when I found this rainbow picture as I always seem to see rainbows when remembering my mother or when she is near. Here is a link about that. 

I am excited to get through a few more boxes tomorrow, and hope to get through them all and start scanning next week. I would love to get my dads stuff done so that I can get to my mothers as I stopped mid work on my mothers a few years back and never picked it up again. One of my girls rooms has become a work room for the project and I would like to get it cleaned out and make it more inviting for the girls to come home and not having totes of family history everywhere. 

I don't want to store this stuff any longer than needed. It will be nice to have everything digital and share a back up drive with each family member and finish it all up. 

Have a Blessed and memory filled day! 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

God Gives You Just What You Need When You Need It

As you know, my life has been a bit crazy the past month. I am really tired and have so much to do but am not sure where to start. 

My yard just won't stop producing weeds. I poisoned and it hasn't seemed to make a difference. I keep having sprinkler issues and have tried to fix this particular issues four different times. I look at what I did while staying at my dad's and felt like time was slowed down and I could get more done at his house than my own.

 I brought an entire car load of boxes home with me from my dads house. My house is still filled with my mothers items, my kids items and lots of my own stuff or things I would like to have in my house but just not actually using or displaying. 

I need to sort through all the boxes and organize the pictures, histories, VHS tapes, audio tapes, digital files etc. It is a bit frustrating to have so much stuff of other family members to go through and scan but I feel like I couldn't finish my mothers life story without going through my father stuff. 

I also feel like I was meant to be at his house so I could find all the family history in all the boxes he has stored. Both of my parents are academics and collectors. They loved information and had files and boxes of just papers. I appreciate my father's ability to compile and write and in going through all his files, writings, etc, I have learned more about him. I am looking forward to organizing it all into a usable and scannable format. 

I was stressing about how I was going to get all these boxes of items to the University campus library to scan them on the digital scanners they have available for use for free. Today was my first day home, and I went to one of my favorite second hand stores and I saw an items I had never seen at one before. It is a fold up dolly that has a safety guide that comes down and locks on one side to help you pull it at an angle and not have it drop or having to push it upright to stand. It is made out of steel and seems durable. The bungies will help hold the boxes on and I can get the boxes to the library in one trip using this dolly. I thought I would have to make several trips using a smaller carrier I borrowed from my dads home. 

While at the same store, I found a plastic file cabinet tote. I had wondered about using a tote to store some of the stuff but he has most things in files. It would be nice to have one file container that is water proof where I can keep all his important papers knowing they will be safe from future floods and the originals will be kept dry. I will scan them all, but it is good to have the originals. I thought to myself as I found both of those things near each other, "God has placed things I didn't even know existed in my path just when I needed them and didn't even know to ask for them because I didn't know it existed. At first, I thought I would borrow a stroller to carry each box in. Now, I can take several at a time and not have to store a big dolly or carrier in the car. This rack folds down into a very small space. 

I am relieved that a few of my concerns were dealt with today and I hadn't even voiced them to God yet. He is taking care of things before I can even worry about them. I was pondering on that as I was getting ready to write my blog. 

I checked my youtube account as I post numbers each day in my journal and I loved that when I opened the page, there were 111 views in the U.S. I have seen 111 about four times today. It was in an episode of something I watched on Netflix today while doing my checkbook, and I found a penny at the store when I picked up groceries for the first time in a month. There have been many signs from God that He is aware of what I am doing and how I am doing. I feel very blessed that my dad is doing better and I am being helped as I try and help him. 

Have a Blessed Day!