Another year…

I read the comics every day. Yesterday, two in particular jumped out at me because today is my birthday!


Close To Home by John McPherson, 1/10/15


Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis, 1/10/15

I mostly don’t remember how old I am. I spent the last few years thinking I was 57—both before and after I really was 57. Today I am 59. I thought it would feel like another non-memorable number, but I think I’m going to remember how old I am this year because 60 is going to get my attention.

It’s not that I fear getting older. In fact, I am enjoying where I am in life now, and I hope that continues to be the case. It’s more that I know the time in front of me is not endless. I am much more aware of the frailty of our existence. The older you get, the more you notice that people of all ages die for all sorts of reasons. (Side note: I wish causes of death were still listed in obituaries. Not because I’m ghoulish, but because knowing why can sometimes be useful. Useful is the wrong word but I hope you know what I mean.)

I woke up the other night thinking about the dent I’ll be leaving behind. What I mean by that is: who is going to notice that I’m gone, when I’m gone? Family and friends, yes. Quilters, yes, at least sometimes. But I’m pretty sure the world at large won’t even blink.

I am not changing the world in the same way that others have. Mother Theresa I am not. Nor am I Louis Pasteur, Ghandi, Paul Farmer, etc. I am not sure what I can do to change the world at large for the better so, rather than throwing up my hands in despair, I am going to concentrate on trying to be better in my very small sphere of influence. Perhaps the hardest part for me will be training myself to think first and speak second. I will fail at least some of the time, but I hope that those times become rarer. Here’s hoping that next year I can look back and see progress :-).

PS: I always tell my mom happy birthday on my own birthday. She did the work, not me. I just showed up on 1/11/56. It always makes her smile when I point that out.

I took the photography challenge…

First, an update on the iPhone that took a dip in the toilet… it works just like it did when it was new! Twelve hours in a food dehydrator did the trick. Oh happy, happy day.

In other news, I am on Ricky Tims’ newsletter list and on January 4th he announced the 52 Week Photography Challenge for 2015. I’ve had very a good camera for several years, a Nikon D90, that I’ve always meant to learn how to use, but I have never found the time (or discipline) to do it. The camera works well in auto focus mode, but not well enough.

Ricky is an excellent teacher and he knows a lot about photography. The class is very reasonably priced at just under $100 for 52 different lessons. It didn’t take me longer than a day to decide to just do it.

The first class is about selective focus. I have already learned more about how my camera works (and how I should be processing photos) than I would have imagined to be possible.

I’ve taken my series of pictures for this week. I don’t claim that my composition of toys* is particularly wonderful, but I was able to move the focal point around! I decided what was in focus, not the camera. Success feels good!


If any of you are interested in learning more about photography, I would encourage you to consider this class. I can already tell that it’s going to be good. There are requirements… you have to have a good camera. Ricky recommends that you have the newest versions of Photoshop and Lightroom. There’s more, but those are the most expensive requirements. If this class sounds good to you, now is definitely the time to sign up.

* The toy figures are from a set of ‘horrified movie victims’ that I’ve had a long time. A small set is available for purchase here. My set has more figures, but I have not found it online. I did find a glow in the dark zombie set that I wouldn’t mind owning :-).


Here’s a phrase I hope you never have to google:

How to dry out an iPhone 6?

My phone was in my back pocket. I went to the rest room. The phone left my pocket and landed in the (thankfully) not-yet-icky toilet. My ohshit-o-meter went into high gear!

I have since discovered that toilets and sinks are where iPhones like most to bathe. I very quickly dried the phone. I put it in rice and then started googling where I found out that rice is not as good as it is supposed to be. A blow dryer, fan, air conditioner, and food dehydrator were all suggested. To a lesser extent silica gel, oatmeal, and kitty littler were also mentioned.

I removed the SIM card and it was wet. Water definitely got inside. I have Applecare for this phone and I found out that it doesn’t cover water damage. Note to self: don’t buy Applecare for the next phone.

UPDATE: My Applecare policy does cover 2 hardware incidents, water damage included, for the length of the 2-year plan. Oh happy day! It will cost me $79 to replace the phone, much better than it could be.

It’s possible that ATT’s insurance does cover water damage. I’m going to check that out if I have to get a new phone. UPDATE: Yes, their plan does cover water damage but it’s at least as expensive as Applecare.

We have a food dehydrator that Steve uses to make beef jerky so that’s what I’m using. He also found some Drierite that appears to date from 1990. It looks like blue kitty litter. My phone is currently in the middle of a 24 hour stay in the jerky maker.

UPDATE: The dehydrator appears to have worked! I didn’t give it the full 24+ hours. My phone is now charging, but it’s working. I don’t know if it will hold a charge or what hidden problems it may have but at least it has life. Oh happy, happy day!


Biggest lesson learned? Don’t put the phone in the back pants pocket!

I am surprised at how much I miss having my phone. In fact, I’m awake in the middle of the night stewing over the phone and writing this post! I don’t have a land line anymore—this is both my personal and business phone. Most importantly, this is the phone my mom calls if there is a problem. I honestly can’t go many days without it.

If this phone is toast, I may buy a cheaper phone—but the camera on the iPhone 6 is really good, and I use it often. I think that’s why I’m awake now… I’m trying to figure out what to do if I have to get a new phone. And I can’t know that until I find out if I’ve saved this one, or not. Uncertainty. No one likes it.

Plans for the new year…

I have mostly given up making new year’s resolutions. Instead, I make weekly resolutions (usually at church) to be a better person—to listen more, speak less, show gratitude at all times, to be thankful for all that I have been blessed with. I do this weekly because, well, no one is perfect.

I used to be a faithful writer of to-do lists. Over time, I’ve moved my lists to an electronic format and, you know what? Electronic lists are easier to ignore which is not a good thing. So, on December 31, I made a list with all of my upcoming deadlines. It was necessary, but it also took my breath away.

I realized that I have come very close to over-committing. Every day, from now through the end of May, is crowded with deadlines. I think I can get it all done. I am feeling a little nervous; I am trying not to dither; and I am definitely looking forward to June.

Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis

Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis

But I know that there are people who don’t commit because of the fear of failure. If that’s you, I would encourage you to make a commitment—just one. Choose something that you think you have a fair shot at finishing on time—and do it. Maybe it’s a baby quilt, or a Quilt of Valor, or something not quilt-related at all. Choose a project and finish it. You will love the feeling that comes from checking it off your list. Personally, I can’t wait to cross off the entries on my list.