YouTube University


I’ve been playing around with a new photo editing  system and have discovered you can teach an old dog new tricks. (I’m referring to myself, my dog Lucy would be offended if I alluded to her age). This first picture is an ad I created for a writing business I’ve lately been involved in.  I’ve also been making similir  promos for other people, and am having a lot of fun with it.PENTAX Image

Dr Mike 3

Now, the reason for this post is that I’ve recently discovered the wonders of youtube.  As I mentioned, I downloaded a photo editing system and  was really excited about what it could do, unfortunately I had no idea how to make it do those things. There was an instruction manual with the program but it was hopelessly complicated and over my head.  What to do?  Someone suggested you tube.

Hellooo, that was a very good suggestion.  As it turns out many people have created how-to videos about every detail of this photo program.  I love it!  I’m terrible with written instructions but when someone shows me how to do something it usually clicks.  Also, with a video you can hit replay a hundred times until you finally get it – without annoying the instructor.

After a little experimenting I’ve discovered I can find how-to video’s on just about anything anyone would ever want to do.  Want to know how to knit a scarf, change a car headlight bulb, or dance the tango?  Check out youtube – it’s amazing and no, I’m really not on their PR staff – I’m just a new convert, and you know how those people are.  Anyway, now I can do all kinds of fun photo editing things, and for now am focusing on helping people promote their websites, products and blogs. New tricks? This old dog is still learning.

For your own animal ad go to

For tips on good sites for freelancers:


Blog Slacker, or Where I’ve Been Lately

burning candle at both endsSome of my more loyal followers have noticed that I’ve slowed down a bit lately.  Not in a physical sense unfortunately, since I still feel like the proverbial chicken running around with its head cut off,  (this is a very gruesome metaphor – lets say, a very busy person, instead) but due to all the other demands on my time, I’ve recently become a BLOG SLACKER.


A blog slacker is one who lets her blog go to rack and ruin because she’s overbooked during the day and her body thinks it needs to sleep at night.

O.K. so what could possibly be more important than posting regularly on your blog?

1.Spending time with family members whom one rarely sees anymore except on holidays and special occasions.

2.Cleaning and other boring but essential activities which  make it possible for me not to be featured on one of those hoarders reality shows.

3. Church callings and  civic responsibilities, where seemingly minimal commitments can balloon into staggering amounts of time. (i.e. Organizing the Church Luau which 91 people – so far – have signed up to attend.)

4. Attempting to read the stacks of books which call to me from the shelves of the library each day. Even when I have a million other things to do, I get panicky if I don’t have a good book going.

5. And this brings me to the library – Ah yes – the black hole into which the vast majority of my hours fall.

Yes, earning a living ranks right up there with blogging when it comes to matters of importance, though lately the necessity of a regular income has begun to edge into the lead.  If it were up to me I would spend my days writing, all the while commenting on other people’s blogs and witty repartee, but alas, I am compelled to trudge off to my job (which I quite enjoy by the way) to be able to meet my financial obligations.

Interestingly enough, I’ve recently discovered several new ways to twiddle away my time – and add to my bank account, by writing on-line. Who knew?  I will address this in my next post, whenever I can fit that in, but in the meantime, don’t give up on me.  I’m still here – just not as often.


Rock My World


Daily Prompt: Under Pressure? Only when I’m awake . . .

It doesn’t take much to confuse me these days, but this one really rocked my world.

I was running late for church last Sunday and wasn’t paying a lot of attention as I jumped in the car and drove off. I attended church, had a lovely time, and returned to my car only to find  the door wouldn’t unlock.   Now let me explain that this was my husband’s car and it has one of those electronic keys that you don’t even have to take out of your purse.  It’s magic and the door unlocks as soon as you approach – but not this time.

car keyWhen the lock wouldn’t work, I  assumed the car battery had died since it’s been doing that lately.  I was once again in a hurry  so I hitched a ride home with a neighbor and, master procrastinator that I am, promised to resolve the car problem later. Not surprisingly things came up that afternoon, and that night it  was just too cold so, bright and early Monday morning my spouse and I  went to retrieve his car.

We were surprised when the car immediately sprang to life with his key. Apparently it wasn’t a dead battery after all,  so what was wrong with my key? I began digging through my purse and discovered that the key wasn’t in there.

Wait a minute, how had I driven his car to church without a key? OH NO! Had I lost it at church?  Please not that. This key is expensive, in fact  one of my pet peeves about new cars, is that they all have electronic keys that cost roughly the equivalent of a years pay (mine anyway) to replace.

But I digress.

Back at home I tore the car apart to make sure I hadn’t dropped the key inside. I tore my purse apart again, and checked all the pockets of the clothes I’d worn to church. No luck.  Defeated, we finally sat down to discuss the options.  We still had one key to his car, but if we lost that we were toast.

toastMe: “I guess we’ll have to buy another key.”

John:  “Yes, it’s unfortunate that it costs roughly the equivalent of a years pay.”

Me: “Sigh.”

Daughter:  “Are you guys looking for Dad’s key?  I’ve got it right here.”

John:  “YOU have the car key?!!

Daughter: Uh oh, (stricken look) how did you get home from church Mom?”

Me:  How did I even get to church?”

John: “Why do you have the key?!!

(What you see here is a classic case of multi-level confusion.)

To make a long story short, unbeknownst to myself I had taken my own car to church.  My daughter who doesn’t like to drive Dad’s vehicle came by and traded cars with me, then left an FYI text which I never saw because I don’t know how to find texts on my new phone. She left John’s car in the same parking place so I wouldn’t be confused, (Hah!) but neglected to leave the key, and had been blissfully unaware of the problem until now.

Is anyone still with me?  I’m not.

Anyway, all is well now because my paychecks can once again go towards paying bills and buying chocolate instead of installment payments on a new car key.

Note to car manufacturers:  Enough with the magic.Can we please go back to cheap metal keys?

This Takes the Cake

IMG_20140205_154900Here’s one for Sherlock. We’ll call it the Mystery of the Baffling Baked Goods. As I walked out of McDonald’s one afternoon I came across a puzzling sight.  There on a little patch of dead grass in the middle of the parking lot was half of a child’s birthday cake, perfectly preserved, with plastic lid still intact. (In case you’re wondering, the white patches are melting snow.)  Now some of you might say, “So?  There are many reasonable explanations for a situation such as this. For instance,” ? . . .?  . . . ?.

See what I mean?  What could possibly have caused a half eaten birthday cake to appear in this parking lot median. Did it fall from a passing space ship, the remnants of an alien child’s  festivities? Did it get bumped out of  a hungry delivery man’s bakery truck? Did someone eat their fill and decide to share with other parking lot dwellers? I don’t know, but that’s about the extent of my theories.  Ideas anyone?

Where are Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys when you need them?

Dog On It – Lucy and the Library Lady

dog reporter 2Not long ago I read a post where the blogger was interviewed by her cat.  For the life of me I can’t remember the name of the blog or I’d link it, but my dog Lucy got wind of the idea and wouldn’t rest until I let her have a go.  I’ve recently  gotten behind on award thank-you’s,  so I thought I’d combine them and do one interview to answer the required but difficult conditions of talking about myself.  Lucy, my faithful companion will now conduct the interview.

Lucy:  Ahhhhemmm.  So, Library Lady . . .  who is favorite family member?

LL:  Oh that’s easy, my husband John.

Long pause and stink-eye from interviewer

Lucy: Are you sure about that ?

LL: Yes, of course.

Lucy: And who, might I ask, takes John for walk everyday and makes sure he doesn’t get lost, and who has also learn to fetch newspaper so you don’t have to go out in snow every morning?

LL: That would be you, but my answer is still John. He’s my husband.

Lucy: But – but I am dog! – spluttering noises –  I am highly offended!

LL. Well I’m sorry, but you shouldn’t even ask questions like that, I mean I love you too but – wait a minute. What kind of interview is this anyway?  We’re supposed to be talking about me. Here, have a dog treat and try to calm down.

Crunching noises.

LL: Don’t forget your crumbs.

Lucy:  O.K. we try again.  Tell me ten things you like to do in  non-work time:

LL: Now, that’s more like it. I like to read, go for walks, watch old movies – preferably with Cary Grant, Omar Sharif, or Sean Connery type actors. I like to go out to restaurants, especially Mexican or Chinese.  I like to hang out with family and  friends, and travel, and sing in the choir.  I like Chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven with a glass of cold milk . . . whew, three more to go . . . I like to go to the ballet, and ride horses, and I used to ski until it got too expensive. There!

Lucy: You like to throw ball for dog don’t you?

LL: Of course there is almost nothing I’d rather do.

Lucy: Raised eyebrows and perked up ears.

LL: Not now though.

Lucy: Sigh. You also like to sit in messy room and stare at box.

LL:  Messy room . . . the office?  Oh, you mean writing! Yes I love to write.

Lucy:  Stare at box is called writing?

LL: The box is a computer, and I’m not just staring, I’m thinking.  I’m creating characters and dialogue, and story lines.

Lucy: Looks to me like sit with butt in chair and forget about favorite dog.

LL:  Aww – pat, pat –  I never forget about you, but you have to admit you’re asleep most of the time.

Lucy:  True, I easily bored, like now. Let’s go for  walk.

LL: O.K. but first I’d like you to type this up and post it.

Lucy:  Check. You want pictures?

LL: Yes, just make sure you show my best side.

Lucy: No problem.





dog reporter 2Now for the rest of the story.  The following are some of my favorite bloggers (ie, great writers and my most loyal commenters). They also nominated me for some blog awards.  Thanks guys! Check out their FANTASTIC blogs. (Dragon Loyalty Award) (Also Dragon Loyalty) (Sunshine Award) (Also for the Sunshine Award) ( Versatile Blogger Award, and the Sisterhood of world Bloggers)

Now here’s some more of my favorites:

Thanks everyone for  your support.  I love your blogs and appreciate  all your good words!

Children Read To Shelter Cats To Soothe Them

I love the kindness blog! It’s always a bright spot in my day. This story made me smile and I wanted to share.

Kindness Blog

At Animal Rescue League of Berks County, children can read to shelter cats to soothe them. The cats adore them and are always delighted to have these little humans there to keep them company.

Children in grades 1-8 who are able to read at any level are welcome into the shelter to read to the cats at their adoption room. “The program will help children improve their reading skills while also helping the shelter animals. Cats find the rhythmic sound of a voice very comforting and soothing,” the shelter wrote.

Colby is cuddling with the kitty and reading him “I Will Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch.

Children Read To Shelter Cats To Soothe Them1

Isabel is reading to a very playful kitty.

Children Read To Shelter Cats To Soothe Them1

Sam, 1st grade & Ben, 2nd grade stopped by and became Book Buddies! The kitties loved them.

Children Read To Shelter Cats To Soothe Them1

Cassandra, 1st grader, is reading to two rambunctious kittens who are very excited to see her.

Children Read To Shelter Cats To Soothe Them1


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Gold Medal Winners!

winnerIn honor of the olympics, I thought this would be a great time spotlight some Gold Medal  posts from my favorite bloggers. The first is by N.R. Hatch at Spirit Lights the Way.

Spirit Lights The Way

We are magnets.  When we emit positive energy (thoughts, feelings, and vibrations), we attract more positives to us.

Bueno!  Life, she is good!

Mangia!  Mangia!

When we dwell on the negatives, we attract negatives ~ sapping our energy and strength in the process.

If you’re tired of living under a perpetual rain cloud, keep reading! 

Yes, Eeyore, you too!

If we want to attract heath, wellness, and vitality to ourselves, we must stop circulating (and re-circulating) toxic, negative thoughts and feelings.

Here are 10 Ways to Attract Positive Energy into your life, while boosting your immune system, curing dis-ease, and counter-balancing daily stress:

1.  Love and accept yourself as you are right now.  Start a list to remind yourself of all your wonderful qualities.  Add to it every day.

E.g.,  I am the most positive person I know.

2.  Free yourself from past resentments and disappointments about who you were yesterday.  Stop engaging in self-blame and guilt for past acts and omissions.  Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Revel in it.


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Housecleaning 1900’s Style

victorian lady cleaning 2

Travel back in time and attempt to clean your house. (I dare you).

One of my favorite books, was received from my mother who I’m sure got it from her mother.  It’s called, Household Discoveries and Mrs. Curtis’s cookbook.  This weighty tome was published in the 1903 and contains 261 pages of recipes and tips  for the modern housewife.  The following is the first of several installments gleaned from this highly informative publication.

Sweeping Day: Carpets

Before Sweeping dip the broom in hot soapsuds and have at hand a pailful of soapsuds in which to rinse the broom when it becomes dusty.  Squeeze out the water so that the broom is damp but not wet.  This practice toughens the straw, makes the broom last much longer and softens it so it does not cut the carpet.  To prevent dust when sweeping wet a newspaper, tear it in small pieces and scatter the paper so that it will not drip.  Or sprinkle the carpet with moist tea leaves which may be saved daily for this purpose.

Blogger’s note – I’m not exactly sure, and am unwilling to experiment on my own carpets, but with all the soapy water and newspaper shreds and tea leaves it seems like the carpet would be more of a mess after sweeping then before. (?) But let me be the first to say I’ve learned a lot from this chapter. For instance:

cleaningSweeping Day: Techniques

To sweep well with a broom is an art that calls for quite a little skill and intelligence. There are wrong ways in sweeping as well as right ways.  The former are perhaps more often practiced than the latter.

1. It is wrong to lean on the broom or dig into the floor with great force, as if trying to gouge the dirt from the surface. All the dust and dirt which can be removed lies directly on top.

2. It is wrong to sweep the whole length of the room toward the door in order to sweep the dirt into the next room as this carries dirt over a larger space of the floor than necessary.

3.It is wrong to push the broom forward so as to drive a cloud of dust in the air.

4.It is wrong to sweep always on one side of the broom so that it will get lopsided and have to be thrown away.

The right way to use a broom is to keep the handle always inclining forward and never allow it to come to the perpendicular; much less incline backward. The stroke should be rather long, the sweeper standing on the soiled portion of the floor, reaching back and drawing the dust and dirt forward as if pulling or dragging it. A skillful sweeper will lift the broom before it becomes perpendicular so as not to raise dust, and will tap it gently to shake the dirt out  before reaching back for another stroke.

Bloggers note:  Who knew? Apparently I’ve been wildly careless and ineffective in my own sweeping habits, and will endeavor to do better in the future. I sincerely hope these post Victorian household hints have enlightened you all as well.


Breathtaking – Daily Prompt: Colors

sunset 3Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. . . .

A stunning sunset.
A stormy sea.
Falling in love with your best friend.
A healthy baby born.

A son’s wedding.
A daughter’s smile
The downhill side of a roller coaster.
The end of a good book.

A high lift at the ballet.
A fast horse
Laughing until your sides hurt.
A child’s baptism.

First story published.
First step
Accidentally hitting the accelerator instead of the brake.

A near miss.
A sweet kiss.
A happy ending
All this.

What takes your breath away?