Foggy Mornings, Big Brother Listening, and Necessary Blog Upgrades

Good morning here! Sipping coffee and finally getting some blog time. We find ourselves sitting on a Wednesday already. The week has been fast yet I do find myself asking if it’s Friday yet. It is so doggone hard to get anything done during the week. Just work, eat, sleep or try to sleep and get up rinse and repeat.

So the early mornings this week have been foggy and full of deer. The deer make me smile so long as they are not meeting my front bumper. Yesterday morning was almost a bit frightening as it was pretty dense in some places. It actually started to clear up some here.

Payroll went well. I am a bit worried about getting quarter end done without having to work weekends. I have to take Mom for her eye appointment today. So I’ll leave at mid day to go home and get her in Mount Juliet and then get her to Hendersonville. She also has another medical situation that has crept up and if not in control we’ll be going to an urgent care this evening or tomorrow. It is what it is. What can you do? But I’ll be glad when quarter end is done so I won’t have to worry about THAT anyway. I will probably work later in the next two weeks to try and avoid working on the weekend. I usually get the Transport information way late and that makes me have to rush during that last week, and/or have to work weekends. Or not and get in trouble later, lol. It depends. I may not have a choice if we have things going on with Mom. And there usually is. So….I have prayed about it and it will be what it will be and I will do what I can for the company and likely will put family first as it should be and what remains after that, simply does. I can’t worry about this every day. I’ll just do my best and it will be what it will be. But I’ll be honest. When I leave here at 7 and hardly leave my desk. I’m ready to leave at 4 and I usually don’t leave until 4:30. That is 9.5 hours and then 45 min commute which is 1.5 daily. The traffic is up and also I’m going the back way most days because the interstate is getting dangerous. People are even being shot at, as if these Nashville drivers were not bad enough. ::sigh:: My point is that any hours worked beyond 4:30 my brain is mush at that point.

They are Listening. But Who are They?

Define they. I’m not sure. Some Alexa or Apple employee or some third party ad partner gone astray and crossing boundaries? But take note of this:

So we are sitting at the dinner table and Mom says “hey you remember that guy that you gave a ride to, when a bunch of you went to see your friend in the hospital?” and she mentioned the guys name. Let’s call him David Longbutt, (That’s not his name but lol, might as well make it fun). So….Mom said the guys father (Mr. Longbutt, Sr) had called and blessed Mom and Dad out because I let his son ride with me and I was only 16 (at the time) and didn’t have his permission to ride with me.

First of all, I did not even remember giving him a ride to the hospital. I remember giving him a ride home from church once. And I had to laugh because I was thinking as Mom told me this – what a goofball, you don’t punish the other person who is being nice to give a ride, you punish your own child for not following your parenting directions – if directions were even given. I’m surprised I wasn’t arrested for kidnapping, the way Mom made it sound. Anyway, aside from all that and our discussion at the table, guess who I got a friend request from the next day?

You guessed it. “David Longbutt”. Now how the hell heck did that happen? What is the irony of that? I did not have my phone with me, but I had my Apple Watch on. Alexa may have been within ear shot but two rooms away, so not sure. The room could have been bugged by neighbors, employers, FBI, lol. As the sunroom’s back handle door was compromised once and put on backwards. We never figured that out although I have my suspicions. I seriously doubt that Mom or George would have created an alias and done it to mess with me but who knows? Anyone of these options are suspect. lol lol lol.

So the Facebook account appeared to be a cloned account of David Longbutt (not the real name) as the cloned account used pics of the real person’s account. Unless the real person created another account for himself suddenly just to befriend me, but is this not weird. He also sent friend requests to several of my friends, some of who accepted. I deleted before I thought to get their names to warn them. I thought Facebook would take care of it, but no they refused to delete the account. It’s up to them if they want to keep fake accounts, but I guess they did not do their research. But anyway, I deleted him. I also stayed up half the night last night from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. (awake anyway) to try and secure my Facebook account. Although I doubt the “hearing” of the person’s name that triggered said friendship request was a Facebook issue. I still decided to tighten my account. I got rid of friends (about 40 of them) that I thought really had no business being on my friend list. I’m ok with acquaintances that had been nice to me during periods of my life for a time, even people I’ve met on a whim that we hit it off and I could tell they were ok. But there are some that I just didn’t have that much of a bond with that I felt were there for spy purposes or for their own personal interest. Some I just didn’t know very well but we were part of the same wellness group and no longer interact and didn’t really ever remember interacting to tell you the truth. Those were deleted. I kept those that inspire me, challenge me, interact with me on some level though.

Anyway, not sure what happened but yesterday I was thinking about banning Alexa, taking off my watch, hiding my phone – I mean sheesh. I guess I’ll do some study of how to protect ourselves more. And try to understand how to do that w/o being inconvenienced. I’m ok with them looking at my activity and sending me ads that apply to me. I’ve found that helpful actually. I’d rather see ads for things I’m interested in. But getting a friend request from a fake account from someone over 30 years ago I’ve not spoke of until last night, is just bizarre and apparent and obvious that either someone in that room (George or Mom) or either someone listening on some device, sent that request. Again, I am not accusing anyone, I’m just like the police and listing all the possibilities. And what would the goal be? And my friend list is hidden to only friends. So it would have to be someone that could see my friend list. Hmmmm.

Blog Upgrades Ahead

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I am highly dismayed that I’m at 96% media (photos and videos space) storage with WordPress. I have a personal premium account but my space is about to run out. It’s going to be around $200 to keep on blogging here and I’ll have to upgrade to a business account. Sure I get all kinds of perks with it. Not sure if I’ll use all of it but the storage vastly – I mean vastly increased. I’ll probably die before it runs out, but the cost is annual. I’m guessing around $300 to $400 annually. I suppose it’s worth it because it is something I love doing.

The other option is to start over with a new blog, and if I did that I’d probably have to start with a new VLOG too and YouTube. I don’t really want to do that. I also already have subscribers and it’s so hard to even get a few in these first few years of vlogging. I’m kinda fond of the Less Hustle More Coffee vibe. It’s so me. Let’s not rush here but sip and have coffee – has been my whole meaning of life. Well not really but it’s always there in the back of my mind as I rush off and try to meet everyone’s agenda including my own.

So as of now, I’ve made the decision I will do it when it’s time. I get credit for what I’ve spent already this year on this blog, that is why I’m not sure how much it will be when it renews. I will have to look at some other things though. My hobbies and online internet expenses are adding up. I’m paying some bucks for online services and storage and for digital graphics and animations, music that doesn’t violate copyright issues, etc.- also Apple iTunes, Audible, YouTube Buddy, Apple storage, and so it goes. I also pay for my domain to have the name on it’s own instead of a WordPress location.

Now maybe someday I can switch to another internet company like GoDaddy or some of the others, but I’m pretty happy with this set up for the most part. So I need to let George know that when the time comes (soon), I will have to pay or not blog and I know which one I’m choosing. I could delete media (photos) but what fun is that and when people read the past blogs, which is often as I get likes here and there as it gets attention on the internet some – according to title or subject. So I guess I will just keep going. There is a WordPress seminar in Nashville and I’d love to attend but I guess I’ll have to wait until I retire, lol.

I have it on my list for 2022 to sit and map out my goals with this blog and with the vlog. I want to redefine – or narrow down a few things before I try to grow it any further. I will determine what is in, and what is out, as far as my goals and what I want to accomplish. I think it’s something you have to look at every year. This year has been more of a “test” year of “can I do this?” and “what can I do” and now I think it’s more of “what do I want to do?”

So anyway, I’ve blogged on enough. Need to get going and get to work and get as much done as I can. I leave today to take Mom to the eye doc for her eye injection and then tomorrow will take her for the other appointment unless it is worse today. If so we’ll have to go after the eye appt.

And only two weeks away for seeing her house inside and also the closing 2.5 weeks away. The truck to move has been scheduled by George!

Fall Decor is Out, Pazole, and iMac Storage Files

2021 Fall Decor

Although I have two full “tubs” of fall decor not including the wreath, it seems like I have very few decorations out. And it’s nothing special. But it’s enough to get us excited about fall and enjoy the season of “harvest” and of the chilly evenings and mornings to come, of soups and stews and corn bread, and all that comes with fall and winter evenings. So here are the touches I have set out. And much of it is the same year after year. I added a couple of things last year. I really like to make the fireplace mantel special with what is going on with the season.

Cody and Katy here in their engagement pic.

I need to get River in a frame, but he looks different every month. ;-). George’s parents are to the left. My Dad to the right.

And of course Dad and Mom.

Susan and Kevin (SIL and BIL) and Uncle Ken and Aunt Martha.

I was sitting in my chair over in the corner and noticed that Snuggie had its feet crossed like Maisy used to, LOL LOL LOL. It made me smile since I call Snuggie my “fake dog”. Never have to feed it. It never poops or pees and it’s always there on the bed. I told Snuggie if it ever moves for real, I’m leaving the room and never coming back. I guess Snuggie is having a gender crises. I’m not sure whether to call it a he or a she. If I get another dog I want it to be a girl dog, so I guess it’ll be a she. But I think of stuffed animals as “he” for some reason. Snuggie is a good and perfect pet – and just what I need for now. My pretend pet, til the real one comes into my world.

Not a very good pic – kinda blurry but here are our grandparents – not all of them. We have one of George’s set of grandparents on the wall in the hallway (too big to set here).

I don’t really think I’m happy with the “white” angel there with the fall decor, but I felt guilty taking it down. I know it’s not a real angel looking over us though, and God is the main one that we have watching over us – or with angels he has said to charge over us that we either can or can not see, as the Bible says some are angels we are unaware of. So likely I will talk myself into swapping the angel for a scarecrow or something – but you see my dilemma! lol lol lol

Welcome scarecrow in the foyer.

A little cluttered here, but George’s big iPod player! lol. Notice I tucked the Thanksgiving Pilgrims back out of the way for now. Tis not time for their presence! I really do not love how clunky this has become. The cabinet is a liquor cabinets and the things you see here are too tall to fit in the cabinet (rolling eyes). I used to like to see the actual mirror back there but you can barely see it now.

The bird sitting on the lazy susan.

The tea center, which half of it likely needs to be tossed (of the tea). We just don’t drink a lot of hot tea much anymore. I like having Sleepy Time tea, peppermint teas, and herbal teas around, but I don’t drink a lot of it. I will in the winter but this is overkill and has been for some time. I don’t want to put it in my kitchen cabinets as the space is too tight and I don’t want to throw it away. I mean does tea last forever? So it sits there for a while longer.

The essential oil corner. I have been having to use essential oils in my bedroom. When I come home from work it smells musty in there. I told Mom it smells “like an old man has been sleeping in my room”. It’s not always like that, and I don’t know why it does it sometime. I wondered if an old man was in the house and died in here. The things your mind wonders some time. It’s a peaceful room though, my office and bedroom. Mom asked me how I knew what an old man smelled like. lol lol. I don’t know it just smells like old stale air. Yuk. So I try to use the diffuser in there some. But I don’t have that kind of time normally. I need to find an air freshener that is not too pungent but will do the trick. Something linen or lemony or fresh scent. I’ll have to check. Any ideas? It might be that the air is circulating up from the basement or something. I have no idea – it just started doing it really. Just a little touch in the sunroom.

I added a fall apples table cloth and the plant seems to look good there as is.

Last night we had Pazole, a Mexican stew with pork and hominy and tomatoes. George made his own tortilla strips to go over it.

We had a burrito on the side.

I fixed an awesome sandwich for lunch. We are having hamburgers later. I probably didn’t need to sets of breads today but a sandwich really sounded good. This was breakfast and lunch including 4 strawberries.

The baked beans are ready to go. They are good. I tasted them and about the best recipe of baked beans I’ve ever tasted. I made them but yet it was someone else’s recipe. I will share it later in the week if you all think you would want it? It’s the perfect blend of tastes and made from scratch with navy beans. You can’t go wrong with bacon on top either! These have sautéed onions, garlic, and green peppers as well and also has a sauce of brown sugar, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, bean water that the beans cooked in, salt, pepper, chili sauce, and BBQ sauce all mixed together. The beans cooked about 1.5 hours on the stove after soaking overnight. And then the casserole itself baked for 2 hours. Anything that takes six hours to cook, better taste good right? I have a feeling this will become a classic though for summer parties, guests and even for us when we fix homemade pulled pork.

Video and Files: Behind the Scenes Here

So I was able to go through from May up until September with my iPhone photos – putting them into the upcoming video themed folders or into my pics by year of family photos. I am so thrilled with this. This helps a lot. Now I can simply just edit!

After I get the videos made I then delete those off my phone. I am afraid to delete them until the video is made though. I’m afraid it’ll goof up like it did one time when I did that. I’m not sure what happened. So I always wait! So after every video I delete delete delete of the iPhone, off of iMove timeline and off of iMovie media. The files are in my video files and remain there for both family photo files and video photo files so I’ll always have them in there. The video files are on a external drive. And the family photos are on my computer which is backed up. I may have to buy a separate external drive for my photos though as I have been putting a lot in them. If the Mac seems to get really slow I’ll do that next year some time.

Here’s a diagram for what is going on with my files. I ended up buying more cloud space to cover my needs. It was a whole lot of space for not a lot of extra money per month. I really struggled and had to learn (probably 2 or 3 times) as every time I’d learn I’d forget – the best way to store my files and organize them for what I am doing. I had to understand what the Mac was doing and what was on the cloud and just on my computer. It was a learning process for sure.

The family photos by year are about the only thing on my Mac and it’s backed up on the back up drive along with my system set up. Oh and there’s not much in the Movies file there other than my system drive information and probably whatever is in the iMovie program right now.

The “documents” folder is what shows up in “the cloud” and on all devices too if needed. I created several “LHMC files “Less Hustle More Coffee” for things I use often on the videos for a quick find if needed. And this screen shot shows you the upcoming videos I’ll be doing under “LHMC Projects”. There are two “summers” on there – you can’t see the entire title on the 2nd one – it’s “Late Summer”. I am not sure what the exact titles will be but that is what I’m calling that particular folder and I have to use the year and month and a title so they will be in order. lol

Anyway all that to say, things are in much better shape – although I still do have 1607 photos in my iPhone alone, lol. But so far so good.

Week Ahead

Well, we have a lot going on this week. It’s a 4 day week so that is good. But that means tomorrow will be a long payroll day as I have to do Monday and Tuesday all in one day. So I’ll go in early. Wednesday I will also go in early as I have to leave early to get Mom and get her to her Primary Care doctor so we can get her blood pressure meds renewed up here. Her doc has renewed all she can without seeing her. We’ve had a time finding a primary doc so I hope this one works out. We shall see. My reality side says “ain’t nothing gonna work out the first time” but I’ll put on my rosy glasses and hope for the best. We shall see if Mom is happy with this doctor.

Thursday I’ll probably be back for a blog post and catching up with you guys. It’s also the day George gets his 2nd shot. We have a weekend excursion planned to show Mom around Lebanon if all goes well – I guess it’ll mostly be by car. We are keeping a low profile with her during the “dreaded illness comeback”. Oh and tomorrow George is off and is taking her to get a new set of tires on her car. He noticed the tread was worn and one had a split. They researched the tires this morning. Soon we may need to take Fancy to the Vet also – she’s decided no longer to sit with Mom in her chair. We are unsure if it is because she feels bad or just that she fell off of it a couple of times and is afraid of it. She is coughing a lot though and may need more meds. She has acted a little off this week. So we may make her an appt for Saturday. I’m not sure I’ll have time to though until Wed maybe when I’m in the waiting room or car. We’ll see. Will be busy but I’ll see you guys back here on Thursday, Lord Willing!

I think I’ll go make Brownies as we have some Vanilla Bean I can put on top!

You doing anything special this week?