Feeling Like

Feeling Like

I’m feeling like crap today.  I should be mowing the lawn, but the weather is saying otherwise.  I can’t mow in the rain, and I shouldn’t mow feeling like this.  It doesn’t feel like a cold, it doesn’t feel like allergies or asthma, but whatever it is, it has me short winded.

After doing some office work, I came in and laid down.  I grabbed my laptop and attempted to work in it while trying to rest, but that didn’t work either.  I finally gave up and took a nap.

After the nap, I asked Elizabethe to fix me something to eat.  I ate that, took some Nyquil and went back to sleep for a while.

If You Know Me

If you know me, it is hard to keep me down.  I’m fretting over what to do about tomorrow.  Perhaps I’ll go to church, see how I feel, and decide whether I should stay or come home after Sacrament Meeting.

Wrong Part

I got a stylus today that Best Buy ordered for me to go with my new laptop.  It doesn’t work.  It doesn’t work on my hp tablet either.  I looked up the part number, and it doesn’t list either of my computers.  So, on Monday I will return it.  Disappointing.

Preparations for the Cold

Preparations for the Cold

Wait.  It is late April.  Why are we making preparations for the cold?  Because they say it is going to snow tonight.

Elizabethe spent a good portion of the day making coverings for her seedlings in the garden.  The sister missionaries came over and helped scraped some paint inside and then took a tour of the garden and back yard.

copyright 2015 db walton
Sisters Jones and Petersen

We want the place to look nice as tourist begin to arrive.  Here at the Beckwith Mansion we get a lot of guest, especially during Hill Cumorah Pageant.  (Hill Cumorah Pageant brings tens of thousands of people each day to Palmyra, New York.  It is held mid-July.  Those wanting to visit during pageant should make their room reservations NOW.  We happen to have a couple of openings due to some schedule changes, so call us before the word makes its way around!)

It’s been too cold to do any painting.  I’m anxious to get some of the weather beaten paint touched up.  Also, I’m going to repaint my door wall.  One of the doors is almost down to the bare wood after this winter.  And, I have another door that needs to be mounted to the wall.

The Beckwith Mansion and Estate is a Tourist Home.  (A Tourist Home is like a Bed and Breakfast, only we do not serve breakfast.  We offer a clean room and linens when you check in and access to the kitchen and laundry facilities.  We cannot, offer any hospitality services by law.  This, however, allows us to keep rates lower than motels, hotels and bed-and-breakfast inns.


Selecting Images

Selecting Images

Selecting Images for International Print Competition (IPC) is quite the chore.  Every year, PPA (Professional Photographers of America) hosts a huge print competition.

I anguish over the selection process.  And, for some crazy reason, time slips away from me and all of a sudden I only have a few weeks to come up with suitable images.

It would really be nice to have someone with a Master Artist eye could sit with me and say, “Yeah, that one… no, not that one… Okay, there’s a good one… oh, and that one there.”

Anyone qualified for the role?

A few years ago, I tried getting friends to help in the process.  (If you are one of them, please don’t take offense at what I’m about to say.)  The problem was they were all “yes-men”.  Everything was good.  Plus, one has to understand the process of Print Competition.

The ideal screener would understand the 12 elements of style and be able to say, “That needs this done and that done.”

Elizabethe suggested I not worry about print comp, but having a goal to shoot for gives me motivation.  Without that motivation I don’t get anything done.  I guess I’m just a goal-oriented type of person.

The weather is still cold.  I think this is the February Don McClean wrote about when he said, “February made me shiver.”

Yeah.  It’s cold.

Church Cancelled

Church Cancelled

Church cancelled today because of the snow and very cold temperatures.  This is the first time they’ve done that since I lived here.  This winter is brutal.

We spent most of the day in the bedroom where it is warm.   It would be crazy to venture out for anything on a day like today.

Some how we ended up with two subscriptions to Amazon Prime.  One under Elizabethe’s account and one under my account.  Hopefully they will refund one of them, or at least extend our subscription.

Being stuck inside Elizabethe was looking through the TV schedule and noted that there is not much worth watching on TV.  It seems that shows are either extremely vulgar, dark or sexual in nature.  As a result, I ordered an on-demand movie from the 60s.   It has no vulgarity, it was funny and light, and I think there was a brief kiss or two.

And, as much as social media attempts to run a “clean ship”, they leave it to people to complain.  What’s wrong with simply saying that certain words are banned?  Yeah, call it censorship, but most of us grew up with it.  It came in the form of a small bar that said, “Dial” on the label.


Great Chinese Food

Great Chinese Food

Happiness Garden has great Chinese food.  We decided we were too beat to fix dinner and so we ordered Chinese food.  Even though they are only take out, the flavor and freshness is always good.

This time I decided to try something different, so I ordered pork with Chinese vegetables (carrots, bok choy and snow peas).  It was quite tasty.  Elizabethe went for the chicken with snow peas.  The sauce on the two was the same.  Oh, well.

When in Palmyra, you must eat at Happiness Garden.  Great food and the owners are good people.

While it was quite cold last night, the temperatures are warming up today.  By warming up, I mean they are in the 20s.  Last night they were in the single-digits.

Most of my day was spent retouching pictures.  It won’t be long until software is smart enough to do all the retouching.  Right now, there are packages that do a so-so job, but they often times miss where the eyes and eyebrows are, can’t figure out the lips, etc.  They are getting close, but still have some flaws.  Watch out when they do.  Because, once they figure that out, there’s no reason why they can’t build it in to the camera.

Cold Wind Blows

Cold Wind Blows

The cold wind blows the snow around.  Brrr… It is so cold I can hardly stand being in the kitchen.  (We don’t have heat in the kitchen.)

I went out to the sitting room where it is not being heated either.  The thermometer said 34F.  That’s exactly what I keep the refrigerator at.  Brrrrrrr….

While I’m itching to get outdoors and do something, this weather is additionally prohibitive.  It’s crazy cold and icy out there.  I’ve got a few sit-at-home projects I’m working on, but I’ve always been an on-the-go and outdoors person.  In the mean time, I’m making a list of things I want to do.

Elizabethe was assigned to be at the Family History Library tonight.  I went with here and they had one patron show up for about 30 minutes.  But, Elizabethe managed to get a lot of genealogy done.

Visiting Palmyra, New York

If you plan on visiting Palmyra, New York, now is the time to make your plans and reservations.  We have plenty of openings through the spring, summer and fall currently, but these do not last.  So, plan ahead and book NOW.  (see our main page at http://www.beckwithmansion.com)

If you really want to treat yourself to something special, when you book your stay, book a family portrait at the same time!

Here is a list of reasons you should stay at the Beckwith Mansion:

  1. We are walking distance from the E.B. Grandin Building and Alvin Smith’s Grave
  2. We are walking distance from Palmyra restaurants – Mark’s, Nima’s, Acropolis, Athena’s, and Happiness Garden, as well as Duncan doughnuts.
  3. We are only 2 miles from the Temple, the Smith Farm and the Sacred Grove.
  4. We are only 5 miles form Hill Cumorah
  5. Although we are not a bed-and-breakfast (we are classified as a tourist home under New York State laws), you can use our kitchen to prepare foods.
  6. We have a lovely yard with a patio, BBQ and a fire pit.  (You must supply your own charcoals or wood.)
  7. You can browse our library and read some fascinating books about Palmyra and its rich history.

So Cold

So Cold

It is so cold today.  Well, for me it is.  I didn’t go outside, but it is cold inside.  I kept asking Elizabethe to shut the door to the room because every time she opened the door, the temperature would drop sharply.  Brrrrr.

I got my talk re-written.  I read it out loud and it was right at 10 minutes.  Wahoo!

Trying to figure out a good date night lately has been a stress.  I’m getting tired of calling out for pizza.  Elizabethe fixed some dinner and we just binge-watched The Unit.

I learned to night that my Aunt Vicki passed away two days ago.  I don’t have any more details.  She called me a couple of months ago and asked how things were going and we talked for a while.  I’m glad she called.  Aunt Vicki is Devon Gummersall’s grandma.   (Devon was in My So Called Life as well as many other TV shows and movies.  He’s my cousin Greg’s son.)

A neighbor teen came over and did some of the chores around the house.  This has been such a great help.  He’s a great kid and works hard and has an amazingly positive attitude.


Spring and Snow

Here it is, a couple of days in to spring, and it snowed this morning.  We only got about 1/4″ of an inch, but the temperatures are dropping and they say it is going to be bitter cold the next couple of days.  Add to that, we are still without a heater.

Today’s Sunday School lesson was about when Jacob sent some of his sons from Canaan back to Egypt for food.   There was a famine and they had heard that Egypt had grain in storage.  Well, having just visited “Canaan”, it was kind of cool to be able to relate to where that was.

Spring and Snow copyright 2014 db walton
Canaan Today

Having lived in the Sacramento Valley for many years, it is easy to understand the effects of a drought.  I could easily see this fertile valley being turned brown because of a drought.  It makes the entire story come to life when you can relate it to personal experience.

When we went to Triano’s the other day, we bought some ribs in a cook-in bag.  Today we put them to the test.  I followed the instructions on the bag, stuck it in the oven as directed, and an hour later we had very tender BBQ ribs.  Note to self:  Buy more!

I’m really loving my X-E1 (see B&H link below).  This camera is a great all around camera.  The ISO 1600 images are better than most cameras’ images shot at ISO 400 or below.  I’m definitely a Fujifilm fan now.

I used my X-E1 after church today to take some photos for lds.org.  The instructor in priesthood used his iPad, Mac Book and projector as aids in teaching his lesson.  It worked out great for the assignment.

In all seriousness, if you are looking for a great deal, click on the B&H banner above and check out the X-E1.  Because the X-E2 is now out, the X-E1 has a reduced price.  For the money, you won’t find a better deal on a MILC camera with this type of quality.

It’s Still Winter

I heard someone comment today about it being spring.

It’s Still Winter

Yes, that’s right, it’s still winter and will be for another week and a half.  With winter comes cold, and today was no exception.  And, once spring gets here, we’ll still have some cold days ahead.

The problem is that this winter has had several very cold days in a row and has felt relentless.  We normally don’t get relief from winter until winter is really over.  I just think we’re getting tired of winter this year because of the number of sub-freezing days.

I noticed this afternoon that they well pipe has melted snow around it.  This shows how much warmer the pipe is than its surroundings.  Because that pipe goes down over 100 feet, it is obviously radiating heat from the ground.  Wouldn’t it be nice to harness that heat during these cold days?

Here’s a picture of how the snow around the pipe is melted…

It's Still Winter - Evidence
The Well Head

Yet, around these plastic LED lights, the snow has melted near the black top, but it has a long ways to go until it melts to the dirt.

It's Still Winter - Evidence
LED Lights

Another sign it’s still winter are the buds on the cherry trees.  They are one of the first to blossom.  Let’s hope they don’t blossom until we are past the danger of frost, ice and hail storms.  I’d really like to see my cherry trees have fruit this year.

It's Still Winter - Evidence
Cherry Buds Not Yet Blooming

And, did you know that red oak trees keep their dead leaves until spring?

My red oak tree still has its winter leaves.  Once the new leaves come out, the dead leaves will drop.  Until then, this is another sign it’s still winter.

It's Still Winter - Evidence
Red Oak Leaves

Almost Caught Up

I’m almost caught up with things that piled up while I was in Israel.  I managed to deliver some client photos, as well as update some more blog entries.

Today was VERY cold, and we got a few flurries.

It was nice to work in the temple tonight.  That said, the time difference is still effecting me.  By 8:30pm, I was having a hard time staying awake.

I guess the good news is I will sleep well tonight.