How I’m Spending My Free Time! TWO Surprise DAYS OFF!

Oh ya’ll! I took a PTO day off yesterday, after being physically and mentally exhausted much of the week with lack of adequate sleep on some days. I have now slept 9 hours solid the last two nights giving me energy again. I also get energy from having self time and if I don’t get it, I basically cannot function properly as a human, lol. I did not tell anyone about the day off but my boss and George. I just needed to know that this day was mine and wasn’t going to be filled with anything else.

What I did yesterday was video “Spend a Vacation Day with Me at Home”. I think it turned out great. I used my iPhone for much of it but made myself use the EOS M50 for a few things. I did everything I wanted to do yesterday and nothing I didn’t want to do. lol I still did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, cleared out some things in the fridge, made a smoothie, fixed popcorn and watched a show or two, changed my sheets, packed for Hot Springs, scheduled the Amazon returns, ordered vitamins for me and for Mom, and worked many hours on the flooring video. I’m almost through with it but I will need to video a segment of our house all put together to end it. I also will need to work on thumbnail. I’m not sure when the upload will be. I’m not pushing myself. But I do need to figure out a way to catch up on the videos. I’m not getting the time I normally had, as you well know. And it makes me very sad, mad, disappointed to move at a snail’s pace toward my goals.

Homemade Smoothies

The smoothie was made with the following ingredients.

I used the entire container of individual size yogurt, threw in some frozen chopped spinach, some blueberries, strawberries and then added unsweet almond milk on top and blended. It worked! It was great. I should have put the remainder in the freezer though but I put in the fridge and even though the internet says you can still drink it the next day – it looked very unappetizing this morning. So next time I’ll freeze and have it the second day.

Because women enjoy watching other women’s make up routine, I actually filmed that too after I took a shower – no I didn’t film that part, lol.

The ring light is having some issues. The cube it’s plugged into is getting really hot. It turned off in the middle of filming. At least it did that instead of catching on fire. But I will have to watch THAT. Might need to research that and see if there is a better way. First of all I don’t want a fire and second of all I can’t have it cutting off on me in the middle of filming something. I had the iPhone on the other tripod.

Publix Makes a Great Salad

Publix Salad

I had bought a salad at Publix Thursday evening. It looked small for $6.99 but it looked good and fresh and I bought it anyway to have for my day off yesterday. I put it in another bowl and let me tell you, the salad exploded into about twice this size. The lettuce was packed in there. It had a lot of dressing and it hit the spot. I love this salad with blue cheese, strawberries, candied pecans, and balsamic vinaigrette. It’s a favorite spring salad.

The Little Girl I Was.

Me as a Little Girl playing with cards. I saw this on Facebook last night – as shared by a cousin to me a few years ago.

Age 4- ish

So, I was only child for 10 years. And I learned how to entertain myself. I think it is the reason I really enjoy having self-time now. It’s just what I’m used to. I like for everything to be calm, no stress, and not a lot of activity. So Mam-ma showed me how to play SOL (solitaire) and Mam-ma called it “beating old SOL”, which I pictured as the devil for some reason. I guess because he was some spirit I couldn’t see that I was trying to beat. That made it fun. I was so happy when I learned how to shuffle the cards the adult way. Later I learned to play Go Fish, Old Maid, and up to about the sixth grade, enjoyed playing “War” with friends. I knew one magic trick with cards that someone showed me. I wonder if I can remember it.

On a trip – likely in Destin, FL – we bought these cards. It was fun for me to buy them because it reminded me of playing SOL with cards when I was little. I think today I’ll play an old fashioned game just for the memory and see if I can remember the trick. Mam-ma made the rat I think. I have several rats like this in my office as they remind me of Mam-ma and her whimsy. She was very crafty also. My Nanny could sew like a professional though and I wish I had spent more time learning it. It was always a desire and still kinda is but just one I’ve never invested in because well – you see how many hobbies I have already and don’t have time as it is. It’s a blessing to love to do so many things in life but a curse to not have time to do them all, lol!

As a young girl, I also loved to draw, paint, and do crafty items although there were not many crafty items to be crafty with except that Mam-ma taught me to embroidery on old pieces of clothing or old pillow cases or flour sacks and also taught me the basics of crocheting, and even quilt making. I’m so thankful to anyone who took the time to show me “how to” do things as a child which was mostly by grandparents. Grandaddy taught me to read at a very young age. My grandparents really invested in their time with me to show me these things.

I even loved sewing in Home Ec – like I really LOVED sewing, but Mom’s machine was old and crotchety and neither she nor I had much patience in teaching/learning with me on that old machine-so my love for sewing quickly fizzled. Looking back, my mind was so open to learning new things. I loved to draw, sketch, and just decided I wasn’t too good at that either although Mom says I was. If I couldn’t make a living doing it, I gave it up because it frustrated me as I always went for perfection and couldn’t reach it. With art it seemed that you either had the talent or didn’t. I didn’t and didn’t think it was something I could improve. I could have been wrong. But it mostly seems to be a gift and one I didn’t really have within me. I mostly liked doing all my hobbies but always felt I was no good at them or never good enough to take off with any one of them. I was always interested in other countries and cultures through school but had very little information.

I wanted to be an ice skater, or a teacher when I grew up. I wanted to write on the chalk board and those projector things using flair pens. Oh my gosh – I never got to do that part with the projector – I missed out. lol But I do have a chalk board and dry erase board, lol.

Mom taught me how to house clean (lol) but Home Ec taught me how to cook – and George did too.

I also fervently wanted to learn piano, but was given a guitar instead and I tried to have an interest in that but I just wasn’t. I wanted to join the band and be a part of that community but was discouraged in that realm. I would have played the flute had I joined. I think I would have loved it back then. I would have loved being a part of that group and I think learning musical notes can impact your brain in a positive way making paths for learning more difficult things. I loved music, collecting and taping music on my cassette recorder – that was the coolest thing to record the radio and make cassettes. I also wanted to be a singer, but my voice was never high enough. I am a very heavy alto. But my range was never big enough to be valuable. I guess that was maybe 6th grade through 8th grade or so.

I did buy a keyboard and taught myself to play in my late twenties, learning the notes and all. But quickly gave that up when the computer scene hit. I was ALL ABOUT computer games, digital graphics, anything on line, and then one that stuck – something that I was finally good at -writing and blogging which lept a bit into dabbling in photography and now vlogging. I’m not a professional photographer or videographer and really don’t have time to learn it but have always just jumped in – to get a blog or vlog done. I like to watch other people’s videos and then go learn how to do what they did. I am itching to learn – and of course that is where the problem comes in – this itching of mine to learn and explore. I can’t travel as often as I’d like so I am thankful for our internet and YouTube to keep showing me things and taking me places.

And that brings us up to date I guess. lol

It Snowed Last Night

So it snowed last night and so Fancy’s trim is canceled for today and rescheduled for the Saturday after Hot Springs and Mom wants to look at furniture that day as we were supposed to do that today. The roads are very icy even though they look somewhat clear. I took these very early morning as the sun came up so they are twilight blue. I am so glad this didn’t happen during the work week. lol

I can’t decide if I am in the mood to do a snow photo shoot or not. lol I could go out in the cold and do one. I mostly just want to catch up on everything that I am behind in though. But we’ll see.

Miscellaneous Updates

Oh, I had my consult for the colonoscopy Thursday. And then followed with Chic Fil A drive through. I think Chic Fil A took about as long as the doctor, lol! Anyway my colonoscopy is scheduled for one day in May.

Katy and Cody and Little Roo are feeling much better from the flu. Little Roo is taking a few steps here and there. It’s so cute. We got to see him yesterday. He is also saying a few words now. And repeating more. I can’t wait to see him next week. Then it’s going to be hard leaving him again, because the next time is going to be a long time.

Today’s To Do List

First of all let me say how grateful I am to have three days in a row off! My psyche needed it, as you know. It was a secret day yesterday just for me. I didn’t want anyone knowing about it because I knew if they did it would make me feel guilty that I wasn’t spending my time elsewhere doing God knows what and I just need down time to rest and enjoy being home. Working FT takes so much out of you while trying to do so many things. We seem to be gone all the time.

I had learned to manage my time better in recent years and then now we are back to reshuffling again and trying to fit everything in. I absolutely refuse to give up my hobbies though because they are what make me the happiest and give me joy. Giving up work and sleep is not an option either but sadly all three of those things (work, hobbies, and sleep) have to give way at times to make room for everything else going on that pushes them out of the way. It’s all good, I’m not complaining about the responsibilities and glad to do them – just saying it is truly a time management issue – not that I don’t want to do it. A big adjustment process that I keep talking about because I have not truly found an answer. I’m just kinda limping along. Maybe that is the answer, lol. I’m dealing with it all (having no time at home) the best way I can. And that is to blog about it, lol. Sorry – not sorry.

So back to the “to do” list. I’ll work on these things today and tomorrow. They may not mean much to you or seem very productive, but to me these things mean the world to have time to do them. Because it means I’m home and able to be here and just BE! What does it mean? FREE TIME! YEAH!

  • laundry finish
  • iron
  • redo vitamin case for next week
  • check Hot Spring weather again
  • Do some Canon lessons
  • play cards the old fashioned way
  • set up the puzzle
  • transfer photo/video footage from camera
  • go through about 12 notes/lists and compile them
  • update my planner with some new dates/events
  • update to do lists so I don’t forget
  • vacuum
  • work on video – maybe even finish it
  • watch a show
  • read
  • clean some as necessary – I’m not overdoing it this weekend!

So who’d have thunk it? That I would have TWO sort of Surprise Days off in a row?

Thank you God. I love you for that! How’s the weather where you are? Did you make it this far down the blog? lol. And what is on YOUR agenda for the weekend. Love hearing from you.

Valentine’s Day, Weekend Fun, and Switching from iMovie to Final Cut Pro Review

Hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day. Hope you have a great day! I was surprised with roses this morning and a card that said “take these to work so you can enjoy them” – so I will – since that is where I am most of the time.

We had a fine time with my BIL and SIL. They arrived and we played a few games LCR and Pass the Pigs while we talked and caught up and waited for our dinner reservations at Hermitage Steak House. The steak was one I called “the best steak I ever had”. Oh my gosh. It’s flavor and tenderness – and the salad bar of course is the best in miles and is everyone’s favorite. Even the baked potato was good.

We had an amazing breakfast at First Watch in Hermitage. I got a healthy morning juice blend that had organic ginger, oranges, lemons, agave nectar, turmeric, beets, and several other things. It was really good but had like 30g of sugar. Had I know, I’d have not done that. But honestly it seemed like something that my body needed as far as the citrus goes and the ginger taste added so much to it. It was so good. It looks like an alcoholic drink but it was not.

We came home and they loaded a trailer with their items they had in our basement. And then after that George went to the store and I began working on the new intro in Final Cut Pro. I can’t say I’m elated or thrilled with the Intro I’ve created, but it’ll have to do for now. I made the project harder on myself than it really needed to be. I had pulled a lot of photos and videos with intent to use somehow but really only needed a few. I’m sure the Intro will evolve at some point but I created something very similar to what I had before. It’s finished and it’s done.

What a learning curve I’ve had to go through with Final Cut Pro. I was able to get started on the next video. It’s a bit shorter than most and less than my standard 19 minutes. My goal is 13 to 19 but sometimes it goes into 21 minutes or longer. I think this one is about 9 or so. It will go live Saturday at 7 a.m. as long as everything goes well. I just have to add a few layers (graphics) to it and it’s done. But I had to watch about 5 to 8 various YouTube videos for help during this learning process. So here’s my thoughts on Final Cut Pro.

My Review on Switching from iMovie to Final Cut Pro

I think it’s important to capture the “beginner’s” view point on this. I had maxed out pretty much what I could do with iMovie. Well, I can’t say I learned how to do EVERYTHING on iMovie but I was experiencing moments where iMovie would not allow me to do what I wanted to do. I wanted more options with text, more layering of graphics, and more use with gifs. I wanted to go beyond the limits that iMovie was keeping me in. So I was very excited to dive into Final Cut Pro.

My initial reaction was: “HOLY COW, WHERE ARE ALL MY NORMAL BUTTONS AND ICONS”. Pretty much had the same “frame layout” such as my media (clips, photos, etc.) is still in the left hand corner and the video frame was in the same place and then the timeline down below, but it seemed that not much else was the same. I had to watch a video straight from the start. I tried to mess around with the icons and buttons and saw a few things but was totally confused as to how to do even the basic things.

I remember having these issues below which I had to watch videos to overcome.

  • Somehow my viewer (where you watch your movie as you piece it together) was different and I couldn’t figure out why. I couldn’t tell where the frame was. It was off or disproportioned. Turns out somehow mine got on portrait mode instead of landscape – didn’t even know you could do that, lol. I think I found it by accident out of almost desperation while looking for what was wrong. I didn’t even know what to search for in a tutorial on that one but found the solution up above in my “file menus”.
  • I could not even get a picture or video to drag into the timeline as it always tried to get only part or a section of it and it was very frustrating.
  • Where the heck did everything go? Where was my text options, where was the color adjustment panel, where were the filters, and where were the timeline control buttons? Nearly everything was reconfigured and all over the place.
  • There was some confusion as to the difference between events and projects and how to even get started creating your files
  • There were moments where my photos went black and had to figure out what happened and how to get it back.
  • My record button for voice overs – where on earth did that go?
  • Where’s the delete options?

Pretty much every process had a learning curve. All the buttons were in odd places and some processes didn’t have buttons any more and some were hidden and things were all over the place. I am not an expert and still not able to give you a list of short cuts and a fabulous “starter’s guide” but I can give you some advice or tips to anyone wanting to make the switchover.

My Tips for Getting Started on Final Cut Pro

  • First of all, be patient and do not give up.
  • Be prepared to watch a few videos on YouTube as to how to start your files and projects, what proxy is, whether to edit your clips and photos from your hard drive, or a back up drive. Be prepared to watch videos on just about every process you need to do. One by one, just watch as you start to do each process of using it. You can find short videos out there to discuss most any thing you need as you need it. But I’d start with an overview if you can and then get specific from there as you need to learn it.
  • You will need to learn your Mac control short cuts for sure. Most YouTube videos will cover this in the coaching videos you find. Be prepared to take notes. Because it’s really necessary to know these or the editing process will be so cumbersome you will no longer enjoy it. For example Control B gives you the blade tool. And you can learn to copy attributes for the rest of your clips.
  • You will use your file menu options at the top a lot more, especially until you get used to using the short cuts using your Command and Control buttons and various letters of the alphabet that most Mac users knew already but I’ve been slow to learn.

What You will LOVE about Final Cut Pro once you get around the Learning Curve:

First of all, I’m not saying you have to get all the way around the curve, I’m still climbing up it. But the very things I set out to improve, are the reasons why I love it so much. It’s iMovie on steroids and with more choices and options.

  • More control with titles and texts and fonts as there are more options and more freedom with what you can do with it.
  • Practically as many layers as you need in the timeline for each clip, video, or photo.
  • Increased use of gifs and layering videos on top of videos
  • Increases the creativity levels – it’s endless as to the tricks and tips to learn
  • There’s more of everything: more transitions, more titles, more filters
  • And a drum roll please. The color correction and color grading. Oh my gosh, it’s so cool what all you can do and it’s easy once you watch a basic video.
  • Endless learning lol

So hopefully over time you will see some improvements in the videos. This next one is very basic and may not have the bells and whistles yet but I can tell you that the colorization I used of this video definitely enhanced it and made it more interesting to watch. I changed the hue some of my shirt to liven it up and take attention away from my make-up-less face! lol.

This Week’s Outlook

Valentine’s tonight, No blog entry in the morning! I’ll be working to finish up the video and get it uploaded and scheduled into YouTube. It’s Mom’s eye doc appointment week, which is on Friday. I am making myself get my colonoscopy appointment scheduled as well as Mom’s scan, getting my Isagenix auto ship cancelled, finishing Sister Wives for the season (reunion show), talking to George about streaming and changing our cable set up. I need to order a few things from Amazon and begin another Target order. And I am starting to layout what my next “challenge” will be. It will be simple but multilayered just in an effort to improve some habits. And we will also get ready for company coming this weekend too. I also will think about when to take Mom out and run some of her errands such as looking at furniture and going to AT&T. I’m also considering going back to church now that this next round of the virus is on the downswing, and things are calming.

We need to work on our routine with Mom a bit and make sure she is taken care of and not too lonely in our busy spurts. I’m sure she is ready for a meal out before long. She has met a neighbor friend that she is spending some time visiting with. They have been to each other’s house. So that is good. I hope she continues to meet more people over there so that she has more than just us to talk to as we are not available much for conversation and can’t see here but a time or two a week.

So I’m off of here to get going on the day and get out the door for work. Ya’ll have an excellent Valentine’s Day and let me know if you made it this far. I figured I bored everyone out with the techie talk on Final Cut Pro.

What you doing for Valentine’s?

Downloaded Final Cut Pro and Setting Up for a Productive Full February

Finally in February, I have downloaded my Christmas present. George told me it was my birthday present. Whatever. It was the main thing I’ve wanted for Christmas and had planned for this for quite some time – maybe since last year. At $299 for the download, I didn’t want to just download it any day but made myself wait for it. Then when January was so busy, I thought how cruel it would be to download it and not have time to use it. So I had a few minutes and I’m slowing trying to crawl through all the list of to do’s that got put off. This was a big one. I’m grateful for the 45 minutes I had before dinner last night to get it done and even watch two short videos on editing. I think I watched enough to know kinda how to get around in it. Or at least enough to know that this is something I can do. I mainly wanted the upgrade to iMovie because I wanted more options, more tools, and a great ability to do more within the video timeline itself. I want to learn as much as I can as I also learn more about my camera and video creation.

Next up is working on my Intro. I think it’s a good opportunity to switch songs and do a new intro entirely. I may also up the game on my “OUTRO”. The intro may take some time to do but I’m anxious to do the next video so I’ll be pushing to get it done. I am going to go through video materials I’ve done before and see if I can find some clips of us to use in the INTRO – which will be in every video. The INTRO has to be short but yet inviting. So I’m a little anxious over it. But that is good b/c where there is anxiety coming from me there is a strong will to make something work. It’s just how I was made.

HOLD on while I go get more coffee.

Photo by Kaboompics .com on

Ok I’m back. lol

So while January was IMPOSSIBLE and I think I was able to prove that it was, February is FULL. But this time it’s not so full with events – there are a few, but mostly it is full of things that got behind from last month. I mean there’s like hundreds of little things built up. I chose to remove all these things from being worried about in January – just absolutely cleaned the slate as much as possible. So I have a lot of tasks and to do’s built up.

I went through my planner where I had taken notes about things and just made a list of the random things. I’ve listed much of these before, but this is what is on my mind (again) today. I’m looking forward to the end of February and seeing how much of it got done. I could be doing 10% of them instead of typing this blog entry this morning but what fun would that be? lol

Instead let’s just do a run on sentence of To Do’s, as everyone is probably tired of my lists at this point! ha! These are obviously not in any order of importance and some of them are not really important at all but just little things I wrote down that I want done:

Cancel Isagenix auto ship, extra bulbs for the lamp at work, bubble water to work, regular water to work, plastic cups and tea to work, oil and cotton balls to get the crappy dust off the plant at work, sending sympathy cards that should have been sent already, prepping for company coming, did I see Bryan Adams had new album or songs out – I need to check it out, make my colonoscopy appt, make Mom’s heart scan appt, do my last audible download, then cancel audible, give George a hair cut, put together the little bookshelf for my office at work, do a trim on my own hair (dead ends), Hobby Lobby for stems for my vases, mani/pedi, grocery for fresh items, clean house, watch sister wives, watch Being the Ricardos, work on intro for videos, work on next video, appointment with myself on blog and vlog growth, take Mom to AT&T store, Fancy trim, shopping for furniture. These are the ones that I really want to do for February. Everything else can wait a bit. I guess we’ll see how it goes.

Anyway it was a huge morale boost to get Final Cut Pro off the to do list as something I wanted done so bad is now done! I was patient and waited and saved us $ in January. Tonight I get my nails and toes done. I’m going to go in as a walk in. When I schedule it they always give me to this certain person and I don’t really like her work but when I walk in I have a chance of getting a random person other than her. lol And they always take walk in’s unless it’s just overwhelmingly crowded at closing time or something But if crowded they still usually take them but will tell you it’s a wait. So on a rainy Wed night I figure is a good time to go and hopefully get different people. I didn’t want to change my nail place but was considering it because of the quality of work going down when the older lady does it. I’m sorry but I think she just can’t see to do it and it looks sloppy. She also hurts my fingers when she works on them b/c she can’t see where my nail ends and skin begins. So noooooooo! I will walk in and hopefully get someone else. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings either. So if I’m assigned to her I will just endure it. And eventually change salons if it keeps happening. I mean who wants to hurt someone’s feelings. I don’t want to be a part of that.

Ok over and out! It’s a rainy messy couple of days that end in ice tomorrow night. George says we should still go out to eat. Go figure. I don’t know about that. It’s only a mile away and he thinks we’ll be fine for the evening so we’ll see. I just don’t want to be out in it.

A lot of you are probably getting some snow, ice, or rain from this system too. Getcha a cup of coffee, relax if you can – or if you are like me – pretend to relax but go after your to do list! Make it a fun full fabulous February!