Friday, June 28, 2013

Don't EVER Think Your Day Couldn't Get Worse

Plumbing under the kitchen sink started leaking and this is what I came home to after my vacation in San Francisco. That's what I was going to post about today, but I guess it will have to wait until we get this mess cleaned up.



Monday, June 17, 2013

Digital Generation Suffers From Social Media Burnout

I've been seeing these stories lately, and a lot of the stories have reported it as a problem of Generation Y. Don't ask me which generation is Y. I'm not sure which one is Generation X either, or why there wasn't a Generation W, or what they are going to do after Z and they are out of letters. But I digress.

Most of the stories showed young people about the age of my girls, admitting that their parents knew what they were doing when they limited computer play time when these young people were children. But the problem isn't limited to those generations. I know a lot of people my age who say they spend too much time online. I know I do, and I was one who limited the time my children spent playing video games. But we all shared one computer then, and on dialup too. Now I have my own computer with unlimited high speed internet, and no children to pick up and shuttle around all day.

I don't do Facebook anymore, I don't Tweet, I seldom Pin, and I don't Instagram. But I do blog and I'm on several forums. But it's blogging that takes up way too much of my time. If I'm not resizing photos or writing a post, I'm reading and commenting on other blogs, because as most bloggers know, you don't get comments if you don't give them. Plus, I just like seeing what other people are thinking and doing, and I like to comment too. But it does take time. That's one reason I decided to limit my postings recently. I don't think I'm burned out, exactly, but I do see the time it is taking away from things I need to do for me and for my family.

And then there's email and surfing, looking for answers and solutions to problems. In my mind I tell myself I will get my house and garden work done in the morning and not turn on the computer until noon. But if I happen to turn on the computer before noon, that's it, I'm sucked into the internet vortex for the next several hours. And that has got to stop. Generation Y isn't the only one who wants to dial it down, it's Baby Boomers and anyone in between.

My new goal is to limit my internet time to two hours a day. I know Hubby will be happy if I can do that. So if you don't hear much from me in the next few weeks, you'll know why.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Walk Through The Japanese Garden

Yesterday, Hubby and I celebrated our anniversary by going to the Japanese Garden at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. It was the perfect morning for it; clouds after a morning shower that made it both cool for walking and the right amount of overcast skies for taking photos.

This garden was built on an old gravel pit, so there is a wonderful depth to the winding paths and ponds. Because it is built on a pit, there are ponds and dry stream beds like the one below to direct the water from the occasional heavy rains.

When they began building the garden, they used everything that had been left in the gravel pit, and it looks like a lot of the boulders are actually repurposed concrete pavement, turned upside down.

Within the Japanese Garden are smaller gardens. Below is the Suzuki Garden with contrasting stone surfaces.

Next to it is the Karesansui, or Dry Landscape Garden, with its famous raked sand.

Throughout the Japanese Garden are winding paths and stairs built of many different materials to encourage slow, peaceful walks and meditation. I love how every view is seen through a leafy frame.

There are four main interconnected ponds, divided by bridges, stepping stones, and islands. They are filled with koi that swim near the bank when anyone approaches, waiting for a handful of fish food to be thrown their way. When someone throws in some food, the water churns with wall to wall koi and the sound of their smacking mouths momentarily drowns out the peaceful waterfall.

I love this bridge, with beautiful views from both sides.


The paths wind down so gently that we never felt the slope. One time the walkway seemed to be in the tops of the trees, and a view over the edge showed that's exactly where we were.

There are many areas to detour off the main path, climb some steps to a tea house, circle a tree, sit on a bench, rest on pretty patios, or walk a secluded path by the fence.

There were surprise water features everywhere, along with an almost hidden path through a bamboo forest, and these neat cypress knees.

None of the ponds had any water lilies or lotus, probably because the koi would destroy them. But in one little stream there was some water lettuce and at the edge of this pond, some taro.

Toward the end of our tour as we rounded a bend by the last pond, we spotted a gray heron across the pond. At first I thought it was a statue, as it wasn't moving even with people walking right behind it. But then it took a step toward the edge of the pond, oblivious to the nearby people. As we walked toward it, I thought surely it would fly off by the time we got there, but it continued to watch the pond. It finally moved when I invaded the patio it was on, but it never flew, just took a few steps off the patio where I couldn't follow.

Thanks for touring the Japanese Garden with me!


Friday, June 7, 2013

Inappropriate or Not?

While at the grocery store this week, a store employee (a male employee) was in the parking lot gathering carts to take back inside. I pushed my cart to my car which was next to the cart rack and he waited while I unloaded my groceries. I asked if I was holding him up, and he said "No problem, baby."

Maybe I'm out of step with the times, but I think that is inappropriate from someone representing the store. I think I looked shocked. I hope I looked shocked. I don't look like a babe (or baby), so the statement wasn't meant as a compliment either. I think I would have been equally nonplussed if he had said "No problem, grandma."

I wonder if I should have said something to him but I couldn't wait to get in my car and get away from him.

Do you think that statement is inappropriate? Would you have said anything?


Monday, June 3, 2013

The Time I've Been Dreading - Summer Is Here

The calendar still says spring, but the temperatures say summer. A new to me term for it is meteorological summer. What it amounts to is that we are probably not going to see a day under 95 degrees for the next four months. Ugh.

On the up side, our garden has started producing and we've had enough rain lately to keep the water bill down.  We decided this year that we are only going to water through the end of June.  Past that, and the plants don't produce anyway so it's a waste of time to keep them alive and weeds out.

I'm trying to gear up for a trip to San Francisco later this month and should be walking more every day.  I know those hills are going to kill me.  We're still working on the house, but nothing new to show you.

I bought bamboo Roman shades for the dining room and then found that they are practically transparent at night.  I did a bloogle (searched google blogs) and found that a lot of people have solved this problem by gluing a blackout liner to the back of the shade.  I followed their instructions (and mine had more cords than theirs so were twice the hassle) and voila - it looked terrible.  I am the only person in the blogosphere whose lined shades looked worse than the unlined.  They were too bulky then and wouldn't pull up straight anymore.  So last night, I peeled off the liner and am going to either put mini blinds behind them or a roller shade.

I've decided to curtail my blogging and time spent online and try to do something useful for a change.  My goal is to blog three days a week and not even touch the computer at least two days a week.  I'm not sure I can do that, but I have found that a day away from blogging turns into two, and then three, and pretty soon I'm barely thinking about it, so I hope the internet addition will fade as well.

But since this is a blogging day, now I'm off to see what you have been doing.