Good News – Well, For Me Anyway

Twice before in my life in corporate America, it has been rough times.  Nothing quite like this, but for the travel industry, tough.  After 911, with all the airlines shut down and folks scared, everything went very quiet in my division for several weeks.   The second time was the recession of 2009, when companies thought that having incentive programs would make them too “visible”.  All the bank programs went first (even the banks that never took monies from the government), but many followed suit.  During both of these times, management was very serious and a vice president actually said out loud that it wasn’t a time for happiness.

I’m feeling the same right now, as if joy and happiness have been outlawed and I think this is more stressful for me than the general situation.  So it is with trepidation that I announce I am experiencing some happiness right now.

When YA was six, we took that vacation to Maine for the Machias Blueberry Festival.  I know I’ve mentioned this before.  I journaled, took photos and collected postcards, placemats, brochures and anything else I thought could be useful in a scrapbook.  When we got home, I found a good supply of stickers and doo dads at the craft store; I already had a good supply of rubber stamps of lighthouses – I’ve collected them for years.

I got the scrapbook designed and in the first month or so, I managed to get about a third of my material mounted and decorated.  Then things got busy and I put all the items in a black wire basket that eventually got shunted to the top of my studio bookshelf.  As YEARS went by, I often looked up at it, but never felt like I had time to really dig back into the project.  Well, I have time now, so last weekend, I pulled the basket down, dusted everything off (cough, cough) and got to work.  It took me a bit to figure out the font I had been using and I spent about an hour sorting everything out, putting things in piles by location and eventually finding a scrap of paper in the bottom of the basket that I had used to record where we had been each day.  Gold.

So I’m happy to announce that finally, nearly 20 years later, the Maine scrapbook is finished.  I was on a roll, so I also did two little scrapbooks for Rhiannon and Zorro as well!  I have all three of them in my bedroom, where every time I notice them, I get a little thrill of accomplishment.  Wondering if I would have such a good feeling about the scrapbook if I had actually finished it 20 years ago?

Any projects you’ve been putting off for far too long?

67 thoughts on “Good News – Well, For Me Anyway”

  1. my warehouse will be done in 30’days one way or another
    it’s inspiring but my helper just quit until after the all clear is done .he is an odd duck with ocd at a stage where it is an issue but i find his help was appreciated and i will miss having him involved

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This would be a good time to work on some long-postponed home improvement projects except I’m not willing to venture out for materials right now. It’s just not that critical.

    I spent a few days resuming my project to scan all the old family photos that Were passed down through my parents from my grandparents. I’ll come back to that in the coming weeks.

    The last couple of days I’ve been transcribing handwritten historical documents from the Newberry Library and the Boston Library.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. My local hardware store is doing something similar where they will run your item out to your car, run your credit card back into the store—I’m sure they’re getting a lot of exercise right now. My problem is when I am shopping for home-improvement items, I don’t often know what I want until I see it. So not being able to wander around the store would be hard for me.


      2. Typical plumbing projects involve two or three hardware store trips. I can’t see waiting in the parking lot multiple times for someone to bring out a particular fitting I need.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. How wonderful, vs, that you finished your Maine scrapbook. I think I know what a joy that can be. I’ve long been annoyed and embarrassed by the fact my divorce was such a consequential event for me. Nobody else could understand what it had meant to me, although Clyde sensed it better than anyone else.

    I recently concluded an essay explaining the unexplainable. It originated as a letter to my daughter and then became something quite different and unique. The actual writing was unexpectedly pleasant, particularly since I was surprised by the conclusion. I have now finished the scrapbook of that voyage, concluding two decades of trying to process the defining event of my life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Congrats Steve. I think I know a little bit about how you felt after my dad died and I did the scrapbook of his life. I liked the physical work but of course it was painful since he had passed. But then when the book was done and I had it all put together and ready to bring to my mom, it gave me an immense feeling of satisfaction and understanding. I felt like I really understood my dad at a deeper level at that point.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I have made ten 10″X14″ hardcover photo books of international trips taken since 2004. The last one (Patagonia 2018) was more difficult to make. Apple discontinued the “create a book” function in iPhoto and changed to using an app such as Motif or Mimeo. I used Motif for the book – it had fewer options for templates & backgrounds, text boxes were smaller and poorly placed, and individual pics could not be captioned. The book turned out “OK” but I was not particularly happy with it. My most recent trip was to Morocco this past October. I have been reluctant to even start a book. My older sister recently used Mimeo for a similar type book and said it wasn’t too hard to use. So I am using this time at home to get that project started and hopefully completed. Fingers crossed that I won’t need to use colorful language while assembling this one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve seen this kind of thing out there but never used it myself. So how does it work? You upload your photos into the app and then arrange them with the templates and backgrounds and things that they already have included in the app? And then do you print out the book yourself or do they send it to you?


      1. VS – The photos on my MacBook are already arranged into events. Using Apple products, I don’t have to upload any photos – just choose the event. With Shutterfly (and I suppose others) I would have to choose which photos to upload. For both the old iPhoto function as well as the new apps, when the book is completely finished online I just hit “order” and they make it and ship it. The 12 (or 10) X 14 comes as a hardcover with a dust cover. There are other options for photo books – smaller sizes and soft covers.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great to find something at home that makes you happy, VS. I’m going to work on that.

    There are several little sewing projects, making handle covers for my cast iron pans for one, some mending. Way back in the reaches of time I’m sure I was going to make myself s piece of clothing, but I’ll be darned if I can remember what it was.

    And then there are the shoulds:
    – deleting old emails, going through file cabinet and tossing
    – taking a good look at legal stuff like our will, and living will
    – organizing and cleaning the basement
    None of them are terribly enticing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I have been taken up with the task of sewing masks. I may try a post about this, since it is easily translated to pictures and videos. Yesterday passed with this activity, and I realized I did not get onto the Trail.

    K-Two’s comment that her photos are all categorized really iced my project–going through my electronic collection of photos. They are a mess and I have many unneeded photos of the following stuff:

    Business deposits (I sold the business 3.5 years ago)
    Stuff I was pricing at the store and I took pictures of the products to compare
    Flowers in my garden–these need “weeding out.”

    And then there are the paper pictures which require scanning into a virtual record. Several years ago I sorted them, and discarded many; but given that I have 4 generations of these family records, there are many yet to sort and categorize. The hundreds of pictures of hogs my dad’s grandfather took were easy to dispose of–after all, one pig in the mud looks like most other pigs in the mud. But the human cousins and other pictures pose more difficult choices. Recently, I agreed to take an archive of family history and civil war letters from my grandfather’s cousin who lost her eyesight. Her son sent these to me, and I now have a scanner with a document feeder which should expedite the scanning.

    I suppose I could clean. out my kitchen cupboards, but even under a SIP order I cannot summon much enthusiasm for that.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I have had an unwanted project on my list recently. Three weeks ago someone hit the passenger side of my car, and it’s considered a total loss. So dear old Freddie and I have parted ways. The woman that hit me had good insurance, so I got a rental car for awhile. But I had to go out and buy a car in the midst of a pandemic. Not the best of circumstances. The car I bought had an airbag recall issue, which I had fixed at no cost last week, but it has other mechanical problems as well. Nothing that can’t be put off for the time being, though.

    Dealing with the title transfers and the adjuster from the insurance company took some time. And unfortunately I scraped the rental car against a post and had to launch another insurance claim for that. So I haven’t fully gotten into shelter-in-place mode so far.

    The flower shop where I work closed up on Friday, but I got a call from the owner today saying he is expecting to reopen on Monday, and I am scheduled to work on Friday. The flower shop was doing curbside pickup and no-contact delivery last week. Next week it is supposed to be no-contact delivery only. I’m sort of nonplussed about this – by whose definition is a flower shop an essential business? – but I’m kinda hoping that by Friday I’ll get a call telling me not to come in. A lot of people don’t really want someone bringing flowers to their home or hospital room, anyway, even if the risk is still considered small.

    But for the next few days, I have a project I’m ambivalent about. My cat Isabel is nearly nineteen, and her kidney failure has progressed. It’s day-to-day. I have fluids to give her subcutaneously, and an appetite stimulant that I rub in her ears every day. I’ve been carrying her up the stairs lately – she can make it on her own, but she looks tired and unsteady her feet, poor kitty.

    It is both a blessing and a heartache to have this time with her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry, Linda, both about the car and poor Isabel. Glad you can at least enjoy whatever quality time you have with her.


    2. Uffda, Linda. When it rains, it pours. Car problems are inconvenient, but last days with pets are bittersweet and poignant. I am glad we have connections here to share the heaviness of that.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. And here I am, almost two weeks out from my second cataract surgery, and there are days when my eyes won’t focus. My old glasses, of course, are useless, but in the overall scheme of things, I’m not complaining. Things could be much, much worse.

          OT – This morning I emailed a (technically flawed) video to baboons who are not on Facebook. It’s a presentation by Dr. David Price from the Weill Cornell Medical Center in NYC. He’s an ER doctor in what is pretty much the epicenter of the Covid-19 crisis in NYC. He shares valuable, factual information on the virus, and how to protect yourself from getting it. I found it reassuring and empowering, and I urge you all to take the time to watch it. I could post it here if that would be helpful, I know I have probably left someone off the list.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. OT. Husband is now moved off the rez. We are home, and will sort and unload all his stuff. Good thing the State has me on quarantine for 2 weeks for going to MN.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I heard there’s been a run on seeds. I thought about that one day but haven’t bought any yet.
        Suppose there will be veggie seeds to obtain in a few weeks?


      1. On Saturday the ND Department of Health ordered anyone who has travelled out of state in the last two weeks to self quarantine or face Class B Misdemeanor charges. I can’t imagine how they will enforce it. Not only can’t I go to work, I am stuck at home. Good thing Chris is home to run errands.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, I stand corrected. Minnesota isn’t considered a high infection State, so I can leave the house without breaking the law. I still can’t go to work, though.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Yum! Looks delicious. I’d obviously have to either make some substitutions or go shopping as I don’t have all the ingredients, but I’m sure I can come up with something that will work.


  9. Renee and Sherrilee have agreed to let me run an experiment, offering tips on YouTube programs that others might enjoy. I noticed some time ago that my use of YouTube had increased dramatically. I might spend three hours a day on YouTube. That says something about my life now, but it also reflects the fact YouTube is a rich resource that ban be extremely entertaining.

    My plan is to post a new YouTube suggested channel each Sunday, the day when Trail Baboon has no new content. It is usually a slow day.

    I had to talk myself into this. YouTube is such a messy combination of things good and awful. It seems almost anybody can “publish” YouTube videos, and most of them are a waste of time or worse. But some are delightful. Maybe I can point you toward YouTube channels that you will enjoy.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. The first YouTube channel I will recommend is one that never fails. The History Guy is put out by a history nerd who has a command of an astonishing amount of historical lore you never heard of. He does both short and long commentaries, the short ones being 10 minutes or less and the longer ones running as long as half an hour. The History Guy has no secret agendas. You can trust him. If he makes an error, he owns up to it. He is just a great storyteller. Many viewers write to say they love his work and only wish that their history teachers had been so interesting. Others note that this is what the History Channel on cable TV should have been.

    One of my favorite shows was about the history of domesticated cats.

    Want a shorter one? Try this:

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I’m finally going to make some face masks – I was telling myself that since they weren’t medical grade, the weren’t really worth making, but I understand that sometimes they’re being worn over the medical grade ones to make them last longer.

    To get to my sewing machine, we had to clean/reorganize the basement a bit, following a plumbing adventure a few weeks back. We’ve finally done THAT, and now I can sew.

    Jacque – do the ones you’re making have elastic, or ties? Seems like, since not everyone has the same size head, ties might allow a better fit?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. OT – I just spent an hour in a front-row seat watching a live streaming of a Richard Thompson concert. What fun! That man is such a phenomenal musician. He was joined for the last part of the concert by his ex-wife Linda on a handful of songs. Made my day.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. OT – After a sudden onset of Covid-19 symptoms, John Prine was hospitalized on Thursday. He was intubated on Saturday evening. He continues to received care, but his condition is critical.


      1. Hope he pulls through, but he’s in pretty fragile health. His wife, Fiona, posted a video earlier in the week of herself in home confinement, having also tested positive for Covid-19. She was feeling pretty miserable, but not in serious enough of a condition to be admitted to the hospital. They had both just recently returned from somewhere in Europe, London, I think.

        Liked by 2 people

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