Friday, September 24, 2010

Experimenting With Blog Creation Options

To create a new post, I come to this screen.
Somehow, I changed the options for creating my blog posts.  I clicked on a few tabs and was suddenly offered a whole bunch of possibilities.  Some options were available on my previous system but I'm sure new ones have been added.  I'm as sure as an unobservant person can be. 

Now I can type in almost any color imaginable.  How about orange for Halloween?  Blue is cool.  Green ain't too bad either.  What if I can't decide which color to use? 
After a day or two I'll probably go back to basic black. 
For now, I'll show off what I can do.

I can underline words.  That's kind of fun.  I can be bold and I can be in italics. I can cross out words as I type them.  Well, why write if it's that bad!

I can type small.
I can type normal.
I can type large.
I can type largest.

I can use the Arial font, the Courier font,Georgia, Helvitica, Times, Trebuchet, and Verdana.

I can use a colored background.  Whoknew such things were possible?

Somehow I've been magically gifted with these new abilities or else I just never paid attention before.  That could very easily be it.

 Below I've included a couple of random pictures from previous posts.
My work satchel.  See how my words are a caption under the photo?  That I like.

A very important vitamin.

I'd like to do some normal typing but for some reason everything is becoming a caption.  Good grief.  I want the old technology back.  Does anyone know how I can get out of this caption mode?
Hmm.  I'm out of the caption mode but I don't know how I accomplished it!!!!!

I'll just have to keep experimenting to find out how to operate in this new territory.
Numbered list:
  1. Letters
  2. Starfish
  3. Crumpets
  4. Deviled eggs
  5. Soap bars
          Bullet list
  • Hey, hey this is cool
  • Now I know what a bullet list is
  • You can teach an old dog new tricks after all!!
  • Dang
  • Yikes
  • Ouch

Halloween at our House

Since we're too old to go trick or treating, we enjoy Halloween by resurrecting our pumpkins, spiders, and witches from storage in the basement. We place them where we spend most of our time, that is, in the kitchen and family room.

When we unpacked this colorful pumpkin-head, he used his sport shoes to run and jump up on this mini bale of hay. He's perfectly content to watch our activities from his perch atop the scratchy hay.

I warned this guy, "One too many caws out of you and I'll fold you up and stash you away." I don't know what he does while we're gone, but I haven't heard so much as a peep out of him when we're home.

I adore my witch trio. Their colors, expressions and antics make me smile. Their skinny arms are bendable. (Don't tell anyone that I got them at the Dollar Tree).

In the evening, we light a candle behind this decorative pumpkin and enjoy the glow that shines through the moon and star shaped openings. Help yourself to some corn candy.

I hesitate before I reach for the remote these days. In fact, I haven't watched TV since we let him loose. He's definitely a control freak!

This funny fellow bounces up and down gleefully when I bump him as I walk by.

The darling Halloween napkins/coasters are a new addition to our decor.  My good friend, Sarie, made them and mailed them to me.  This gift was a total surprise.  They arrived in the mailbox today.  Don't you just love people who are creative and  generous as well?  Sarie remembered that Lon and I love Halloween stuff because last year at this time, I posted pictures on my blog of our favorite pieces.  A few days ago, Sarie requested that I post pictures again this year.  As you can see, I'm happy to do so.

Do you decorate, dress-up and go out, eat lots of candy or do something unspeakable, like smashing pumpkins, to celebrate Halloween?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shaddy's October Ready

I’m competitive. I don’t like anyone or anything, including time, to get ahead of me. September left me in the dust. I was still tying my shoes while it was heading down the home stretch. I was irked and vowed it'll never happen again!

October isn’t due on the starting blocks for over a week. I’m already stretching and warming up in preparation for her arrival. Without further ado, here’s October as presented in my datebook.
I hate to gloat or be spiteful but October may find itself choking in my dust.

I shouldn't pick on October. I like Halloween and the fall weather it brings. I apologize to the upcoming month in advance for the dust but my competitiveness is unquenchable.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Shaddy's Snacks

Are you familiar with Kashi: The Seven Whole Grain Company's products on the shelves in your grocery store?

My latest find is Kashi’s U cereal. I don’t eat it for breakfast but enjoy it in the evening as a snack while I’m relaxing with a book. It’s satisfies my cravings and is nutritious as well.

I pour it from its 100% recycled paper box into a bowl and eat it with my fingers like popcorn.

You know grains are good for you. Right? Well, get a load of this. U cereal ingredients include: hard red winter wheat, oat, rye, long grain brown rice, buckwheat, barley, sesame seeds, walnuts, black currants, oat clusters with acai fruit and more.

The currants are surprisingly light and crunchy. The overall sweetness of this cereal comes from cane juice and honey. I feel good when I eat natural foods, don't you?

I often start my day with Kashi TLC Chewy Granola Bar. My favorite is the Trail Mix bar.

I'm always amazed by the number of almonds in every bar and the wide variety of other natural ingredients.

Looking back on my day, Kashi has me coming and going.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


For some reason, after I deleted a blog post yesterday, everything on the left side of my blog page vanished. My posts were the only visible items on my page.

Good grief! No matter what I did, I couldn't retrieve any of it. I gave up and went to bed, frustrated and upset.

This morning, I published a "Help" post, beseeching all of you to offer suggestions to help me retrieve my profile, blog archives, followers, blog list, and all the other essentials I absolutely must have at my fingertips. I clicked on View Blog and everything that had been gone, reappeared.

I'm relieved. My life is back to normal. You can't imagine how I felt without my oh-so-convenient connections to all of you.

Hmmm. Today, as I sit back in my chair and savor my resurrection from what felt like near death, my eyes rest on a little witch who keeps me company when I'm at my laptop. I love her and keep her close all year round. I bought her in Salem, Massachusetts during a visit to my friend's home near Boston two years ago.

Halloween is approaching. Could my little buddy's powers be awakening and might she be experimenting with them on my blog? She's so cute I can't live without her. Just to be safe, I'm repositioning her a few inches further to the left.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Perfect Timing or Good Luck?

The spread wings appear to belong to the perched birds in the foreground but they don't. Two birds who flew to the back side of the feeder hadn't landed yet and I caught them with wings outspread.

You're looking at the first photo I've ever taken of birds with their wings spread. The day I took it, birds were frantically coming and going from the feeder. I began snapping photos just as crazily and it paid off.

A female House Sparrow sits comfortably on the feeder perch, unconcerned about me and my camera while (below) another peeks shyly from behind.

This male House Sparrow knows exactly what I'm doing and loves being photographed, even offering a proud profile.

A third sparrow's head is visible on the left under the perch. See it?

The male appears to have a black crown in this field guide photo, but in the written description its described as brown. Here the chest appears white although its identified as gray on the page below. I'm realizing that putting names to birds isn't easy.

I'm trying to get a photograph of a hummingbird at our special feeder designed especially for him. You'll be the first to know if I'm successful.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shaddy Slips and "Falls" Into September

How could I?

Traditionally, I introduce each month as it arrives by sharing the drawings and sayings in my date book.

Woe is me! We're fourteen days into September and I'm finally getting around to acknowledging it properly. Honestly, only today did I realize my sin of omission.

As my Auntie Babe once told my cousin, "If you had a brain, you'd be dangerous." I hate to admit it, but her words are applicable to me as well as to Kathy.

Joseph Addison's words quoted way up yonder work well for me. Smiles are beneficial to both the giver and the receiver. I'm in the habit of using them to enhance every day. I can't control how many smiles I receive in a day, but I can give them away with abandon and come to the end of the day happier for it.

Yes, it's true. In the blink of an eye, half of a month has passed. September is flaming along just fine without so much as a word of introduction from me. Alas, am I that insignificant?

Ah, but watch me. I won't let October get by me without my written permission.
(Are you into birds? My previous posts focus on a Downy Woodpecker, a Black-capped Chickadee and a pair of House Finches. The closeup photos are pretty good).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Don't Flinch! It's Merely A Backyard Finch.

I fear I'll wear out my Birds of Wisconsin Field Guide in my quest to identify the birds in my backyard. After a flurry of page flipping, I matched my own photos taken over the weekend with these photos from my field guide.

This photo captured both the female and the male House Finch. I feel lucky to have both in one shot.

Staring directly at each other, neither Mrs. Finch nor I blinked or flinched.

Mrs. Finch caught with her wings all aflutter.

She gobbled feverishly right in front of me and never offered me so much as a single kernel. It becomes a free for all when six or seven birds are all hungry at the same time and find that seating at the feeder is limited. Their manners "go out the window" as aggressiveness brings out the worst in even the best of them.

I think Mrs. Finch looks much more refined without a beak full of seeds, don't you?

Mr. Finch prefers to wear red on his head and chest while his wife has chosen a more conservative shade of brown.

I suspect he's taking a few deep breaths before he dives headfirst into one of the feeding slots.

This male finch is willing to stretch and strain his neck in order to to fill his belly. But then, we go to great lengths as well when our stomachs start growling!

I wonder what birds do when they throw their necks out of alignment. I bet a kindly woodpecker provides therapeutic treatment via a precisely placed peck to the neck of the sufferer.

Aha. As I consider the finch, my brain has made a connection. Although insignificant, I'll mention it anyway. In the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus, Scout and Jem "Finch" come to life. I've read this book and enjoyed the Finches many times but until today I didn't give thought to the presence of the name of a second bird in this story.

If you liked this post and want more, you can view a Black-capped Chickadee and a Downy Woodpecker in my two previous posts. If unimpressed with my chatter, well, have a nice day.