The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts from the ‘At Home’ category

Ancestry.com Subscription Not Renewed

Yesterday was the first day in a year, when having the opportunity to do so, that I have not opened ancestry.com to research my family tree.  I allowed my subscription to expire.  I do plan to subscribe again to ancestry.com but, for now, I am taking a break.  I plan to take advantage of time saved by not researching my family tree to accomplish other projects.  

I spent several hours yesterday working on my blog.  I removed Flickr-embedded photos and replaced them with uploaded photos.  Why am I doing this?  Click here to find out.  I have been blogging since March 2009.  I anticipate spending many, many hours on this project.  I hope this project can be completed before Flickr Pro comes up for renewal on November 1st.  My desire is to cancel my Flickr Pro subscription and save $49.99/year. 

Here are a few other projects I have in mind.

• Thoroughly clean our house to include cupboards, closets, etc.

• Improve my photography skills 

• Learn how to take advantage of all that Family Tree Maker offers me.  At the present time I use Family Tree Maker only to sync my online ancestry.com family tree.  Family Tree Maker has many more features that I want to become knowledgeable of.

• Continue publishing new blog content

By the way, these are not resolutions for the new year.  I tend to break new year resolutions soon after making them.  As a result I don’t make new year resolutions any longer.  I do hope, though, that I maintain my motivation to put in the effort to work through some or all of these projects.

 

 

Wickett’s New Mat

I went to lunch with my friend Valerie C. yesterday.  Valerie picked me up at home at 11:30 am, and we went to Applebee’s.  We ordered from the lunch menu.  I had loaded potato soup and half of a club sandwich.  Valerie ordered the loaded potato soup as well and, if I recall correctly, a Crispy Chicken Salad.  Our lunch selections were delicious, but the free-flowing conversation between Valerie and me was best.  Even though Valerie and I live within a couple miles of each other, we do not see each other often.  We do keep in touch via Facebook.  Both Valerie and I think lunch once a month is a great idea.  I am looking forward to our next lunch date.

Last month I asked Valerie if she could make a catnip mat for me similar to one that I saw on a friend’s Facebook post.  Valerie made me two catnip mats!  She gave the mats to me right before leaving for Applebee’s.

I placed a couple tablespoons of catnip inside one mat last night.

Wickett was rolling around on the mat, within minutes of laying the mat on our living room couch.

This morning, when I got up, I found Wickett lying on her new mat.

Good morning, Wickett!

The new mat is on the center cushion of our couch, where Wickett usually lies when Bob and I are sitting in the living room.

Wickett’s new catnip mat

The catnip mat should cut back on the amount of cat hair that we have to remove from the couch!

The catnip mat is reversible. This is the design on the other side of the mat.

I am undecided on where to place the second catnip mat.

Consultation with Jones Pest Control

Facebook is a great resource for obtaining information about local businesses.  Yesterday I needed to contact a pest control company about our mouse problem.  I asked for recommendations for pest control on Facebook.  Several members of the “You Grew Up in Warren PA if…” group recommended Jones Pest Control.  I telephoned the company and spoke with Shawn Jones, who stopped by yesterday afternoon. 

I HIGHLY recommend Shawn Jones.  Same day service was much appreciated.  He was very thorough in looking for places where mice may be entering our home.  He found likely entry places and recommended packing said places with steel wool.  He recommended strategic locations for placement of mouse traps as well, based on where he saw mouse droppings and carried-in birdseed.  I was very satisfied with Shawn’s consultation service.

When Bob came home from work, we went to Lowe’s and purchased steel wool and mouse traps.  Bob set six mouse traps, four in the basement and two in our living room closet.  He will stuff the holes with steel wool another day.

I got up at 5:30 am this morning, just before Bob left for work.  I went to bed last night, feeling that the mouse traps would do Wickett’s job.  I slept fairly well last night.  Oh, I did keep a light on in my bedroom.  Wickett awakened me a few times during the night.  Being able to see Wickett, when she awakened me, helped me to rest easily.

Bob checked the mouse traps this morning.  He didn’t find a mouse in any of the traps.   I didn’t find a mouse in my bed either!  

One day soon Bob will stuff the entry places with steel wool.  We hope that doing so will stop mice from entering our home.

 

 

One of my Worse Fears Realized

I didn’t sleep well last night.  Wickett awakened me around 11:30 pm by jumping in my bed with a mouse.  It was pitch black in my bedroom; I didn’t see the mouse.  I did feel Wickett’s wet nose(?) on my face.  I sleep lightly.  Ever since December 30th when I found a dead mouse on my comforter, I sleep even more lightly.

I sat up quickly, promptly left the bed, and turned on the light.  Wickett may very well have had a mouse in her mouth.  Her behavior indicated so.  Wickett was circling around on the bed (hunting), with her nose on the bed sheets.  I left the bedroom and walked into the living room.  I was prepared to sit up all night in our reclining chair.  I couldn’t relax.  After a few minutes, I got back up and walked into the bedroom.  

When I returned to my bedroom, Wickett was under the bed chasing the mouse.  She came out from under the bed, and zeroed in on my camera bag that was lying on the floor next to my bed.  I lifted up my camera bag.  There lying alongside the wall and the side of a bookcase headboard was a mouse.  I knew it!  

Wickett picked up the mouse and carried it into the hallway.  She dropped the mouse.  The last I saw the mouse was at the end of the hallway.  Observing Wickett’s behavior, I believe the mouse scurried behind our refrigerator.

It was 1:30 am, when I finally decided to go back to bed.  I left on the kitchen lights and my bedroom light.  I pulled the bed covers over my head.  I slept even more lightly, if that is even possible, until 6:30 am.

We have had mice in our house from time to time.  Either the cat or a mouse trap catches them.  One of my worse fears is a mouse in my bed.  That fear has been realized, twice now.  Bob suggested that we call a local pest control company for advice.  I countered his suggestion by saying that we should have the pest control company come to the house and find out where the mice are getting in.  I am making that telephone call now!

Happy New Year!

There was one Christmas gift that Bob received that was a surprise.

I gave Bob a Kalimba 17 key thumb piano.  Bob had never played a thumb piano.

In one week’s time Bob taught himself this song.

 

Happy New Year from Bob and me!

Little Voice in My Head


Image obtained from YouTube

I started a new project today, as a result of Flickr changes that I discussed in my previous blog post.

The majority of the photographs in this blog are embedded Flickr images. If I delete the original Flickr images, the embedded Flickr photographs in my blog will be deleted as well. In essence my blog photographs are held hostage by Flickr!  Recently I paid for an additional 1-year subscription to Flickr Pro; however, I do not wish to pay indefinitely for a Flickr Pro subscription.

My project, beginning today and continuing throughout 2019, is to download (and then delete) Flickr images embedded in my blog.  I will upload the downloaded images into my blog in their proper place.  Eventually my Flickr account will be devoid of all images, and I will either limit my photographs to 1,000 images  or delete the account.  Hopefully, I complete this project by November 1, 2019 — the day on which my Flickr Pro subscription would auto renew.

This project is a BIG undertaking! I have 1,474 blog posts to act upon!

I wish I had paid more attention to the little voice in my head, when I first started my blog. That little voice in my head kept asking “what if Flickr is no longer a viable hosting site for pictures in your blog, what then?”

Flickr

On April 23rd I received an email announcing that Flickr has agreed to be acquired by SmugMug.  I was informed that nothing would change immediately with regard to my Flickr account.

On September 19th I received an email notice that my 1 Year Flickr Pro subscription would renew on October 19th at the current price of $49.99 billed annually.  I had been a Flickr Pro subscriber since October 2008 and had paid $24.95 annually for the subscription.  The last time Flickr changed Pro pricing was when it re-introduced Flickr Pro at $49.99 in July 2015. At that time Flickr rewarded Pro members with a promise of a two-year protected price. The current subscription price of $49.99 is not an increase in price. Flickr is merely bringing grandfathered Flickr Pro members to the current Pro rate. It was nice, as a Flickr Pro customer for a number of years, to be grandfathered in 2015 for 2 years at the price I had been paying ($24.95).

As of September 19th a Flicker Pro account provided unlimited, full-resolution uploads; ad-free browsing for both myself and my visitors; advanced stats; industry discounts including 15% off Adobe Creative Cloud; the Flickr Auto-Uploader that allows me to automatically back up my photographs both on my computer and on my Apple devices.

A Flickr Free account at that time provided 1TB full-resolution uploads.  In September I was using only .22 TB of storage. Once I reached the 1TB storage limit, there was nothing stopping me from opening another Flickr Free account and making use of the 1TB full-resolution uploads.  A Flickr Free account did not include ad-Free browsing, advanced stats, an auto-uploaded or industry discounts.  None of the limitations of a Flickr Free account bothered me. At first I thought the Adobe Creative Cloud discount of 30% would be useful.  The discount is for the more expensive Adobe CC plan (approx. $50/month) that includes programs I have no use for.

I cancelled my Flickr Pro subscription on September 19th.  I would get along fine with the Flickr Free account.

Not having a Flickr Pro subscription was short lived. On or about November 1st Flickr announced a change that would directly impact me.  Beginning January 8, 2019, free accounts will be limited to 1,000 photos and videos. Flickr Pro will continue to provide unlimited storage. I have several thousands more pictures and videos than the 1000 picture limit of a Flickr Free account. Additionally the photographs contained in this blog are linked to Flickr. It would be an impossible task for me to remove thousands of pictures from Flickr and maintain my blog and Flickr connection.

I renewed my Flickr Pro subscription on November 1st.  I am certain there will come a time when my blog will no longer exist.  I can’t see myself (or my heirs) paying indefinitely for Flickr Pro and my WordPress blog.  Until that time arrives, though, it is business as usual!

I obtained the following screen shots from Flickr.

 

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