Storing Photos with iPhones

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I am a hobby photographer. I recall really honing in on it around 14, kind of left it behind in my early 20’s due to lack of equipment and didn’t pick it back up for about 10 years. Currently I own a very nice older DSLR that I never use. Last time I tried to use it the battery was dead and I was not able to find a new charger, the one I ordered online didn’t fit. It’s probably a lost cause at this point. I enjoy the perks of a DSLR but for 99% of my photos I like to use my iPhone.

I have had an iPhone 4s, SE, 7plus and now I use an 11Pro since my 7p met an untimely death thanks to an iffy repair person who was supposed to fix my screen. It wasn’t sealed correctly and the motherboard fried. I lost a lot of photos that were special to me.

The first thing I want to address is iCloud. It’s important to remember that iCloud is not storage, it’s a back up. You have to back it up. If your phone isn’t set for it, it won’t do it. You have to also be in a good internet WiFi to back up. I am not.
I’ve tried Google photos and other drop type sites. They work great at times, but it’s not the kind of storage for me.

I keep my photos organized on my phone. I use albums and try to sort frequently. However the past few months I kind of slacked on it. I’ve had this phone since September 20th. But I have around 10k photos on it. This is not my work phone so this doesn’t include the pet portraits we do. I take a lot of photos and save a lot of memes. So I’ve been reorganizing. This is what my albums look like.

Edit this are photos I want to use at some point but haven’t. iP11p Photography are the photos I have edited or just watermarked. I keep my original photo and copies of any edited pics and watermarked. So there is 2-4 copies of each photo. Finished photos and shareable videos are watermarked and ready to post. When I post my photography online I pull from those folders. I keep all of these on my phone.

Family photos, BLGC (Grooming and Salon Photos) etc. I only keep finished copies on my phone. I watermark all of my photos and most of my videos. So all of these are ready to share. And of course my memes library. Most memes are on my FB page, frequently used or plan to use are here on my phone.

Videos are listed below, but I also make an album. I’ll explain below.

You can see in my photos that I have 3,227 photos and 1,863 favorites. I only use favorites for sorting. What I do when I sort is once it’s assigned an album or albums, it gets a ❤️. So that would show 1,364 photos that I need to sort. You can also see 7,069 photos in my recently deleted. Recently deleted photos are removed after 30 days so you can see I’ve been busy purging this past month and I take a lot of fricken photos.

If each photo is assigned an album, it’s easier for me to keep track of. Like the videos. iOS shows me I have 480 videos. But I don’t want to have to look through 480 videos to find one. So I look in the album it should belong to

I save all my photos on a flash drive. I back up my flash drive on occasion to another flash drive, two layer back up or you can save to external hard drive. I don’t own a computer (sometimes I use my son’s laptop) so I have these that plug directly into my phone and have a USB port on the other end.

This is what the flash drive app looks like on my phone when the flash drive is plugged in (when it’s not plugged in it’s blank) I can choose “File Management” and see my albums on the flash drive.

Or I can transfer and choose the albums before the transfer begins

What I like about this is I can keep a mirror image of my albums. Usually when I save to a computer it just showed iOS folders.

One thing to note, as a photographer I take several photos of the same subject. I immediately delete any photo that is blurry, low quality or otherwise useless. But I will keep multiple versions of the same photo if I feel I can use it.

If you have so many photos you never look at them or can’t find the ones you want to see, it’s probably time to address  some purging and organizing. I hope this helps with your digital photos

Posted in My Hobbies | Leave a comment

Quarantine Schmarantine

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I needed to go to a farm store yesterday to get a few things for the homestead and check on my business and take care of the animals that live there. While we were out we drove by quite a few places that were hiring.

And I pondered…

I am not allowed to work at my business because of social distancing. Even tho we had closed our doors and were doing curbside pick up, and practicing CDC guidance we were told we had to close.

With me out of work we have no income coming in. The solution? “All these food places are hiring your husband should go work there” because you know, running a large family isn’t a job and people are sexist… but sure, one of us could get a job at say Walmart or delivering Pizzas.

So lets recap. Its not ok for me to groom as I was the week before I closed, but I can cashier for far less than I make at my business and see 50x more people than I would at my business?

It literally made me cry.

The government has determined what and who is and is not essential. Not the people, but politicians who get paid no matter what. No cuts in salaries, pensions, they keep their health care.. no risk at all to them

How do we determine which business are essential? Essential to who? Why is the GE appliance park allowed to stay open and so many single owner/operated businesses required to close? We literally allowed the government to pick and choose who is not allowed to provide for their family and who is allowed to carry on with life as normal. That should scare you because there is no logic to the decisions. Using the words “essential” allows the state to give one persons livelihood preferential treatment over another’s. Using the words essential gives the state the authority to decide whether my personal needs
are important.

To ease panic, the government quickly and illegally enacted a $2Trillion bill that will give those out of work approx $250 million. Of course most all business will suffer loss, especially small businesses. Theres money for that too.  I know aside from my personal loss of income I have salon bills that need to be paid, even if Im not open. Rent, utilities, insurance.. all needs to be paid.  So what about the rest of the money spent in this $2Trillion bill?

Here’s some of the “vital” emergency coronavirus funding items…

$7,500,000 to the Smithsonian for additional salaries
$35,000,000 to the JFK Center for performing Arts
$25,000,000 for additional salary House of Representatives
$3,000,000,000 upgrade to the IT department at the VA
$315,000,000 for State Department Diplomatic Programs
$95,000,000 for the Agency of International Development
$300,000,000 for International Disaster Assistance
$300,000,000 for Migrant and Refugee Assistance pg 147
$90,000,000 for the Peace Corp pg 148
$13,000,000 to Howard University pg 121
9,000,000 Misc Senate Expenses pg 134
$100,000,000 to Essential Air carriers pg 162
$40,000,000,000 Responsibility to Workers Pg 164
$1,000,000,000 Airlines Recycle and Save Program pg 163
$25,000,000 to the FAA for administrative costs pg 165
$492,000,000 to National Railroad Corporation 167
$25,000,000,000 for Transit Infrastructure pg 169
$3,000,000 Maritime Administration pg 172
$5,000,000 Inspector General pg 172
$2,500,000 Public and Indian Housing pg 175
$5,000,000 Community Planning and Development pg 175
$1,500,000,000 Tenant-Based Rental Assistance pg 176
$720,000,000 to the public housing fund pg 177
$100,000,000 For Native Americans pg 183
$250,000,000 for Housing Block Grants for Tribes pg 182
$130,000,000 for AIDS Housing pg 185
$20,000,000 of which goes to one time grantees pg 186
$15,000,000,000 Community Development Fund pg 188
$5,000,000,000 in Homeless Assistance pg 193
$100,000,000,000 for Rental Assistance – pg 198
$7,000,000 enforce the Fair Housing Act – 203
$227,000,000 for grants to States for youth 2 activities pg 80
$261,000,000 for grants to States for dislocated worker
$10,000,000 for Migrant and Seasonal Farm workers
$100,000,000 for ‘‘Job Corps’’,
$15,000,000 for ‘‘Program Administration’’,
$6,500,000, to the ‘‘Wage and Hour Division’’,
$30,000,000, to OSHA
$10,000,000 for Susan Harwood training grants
$1,300,000,000, for ‘‘Primary Health Care’’,
$75,000,000, for ‘‘Student Aid Administration’’,
$9,500,000,000, for ‘‘Higher Education’’,

This stimulus will add an estimated $17,000 in debt per citizen, for a measly $1200 check. So why does a economy recovery bill involve so much more? And why were so many willing to ignore constitutional authority and procedure to get it passed?

This is corrupt and dangerous. And far scarier to me than any virus. At least we have a fair fight against a virus.

As of March 29, 2020, the outbreak of thecoronavirus disease (COVID-19) had spread to six continents, and approximately 30,935 people had died after contracting the respiratory virus. Around 10,023 of these deaths occurred in Italy.

That is a lot of people. When marketed correctly its scary. But lets give some perspective. I looked up flu deaths worldwide on average

Illnesses range from mild to severe and even death. Hospitalization and death occur mainly among high risk groups. Worldwide, these annual epidemics are estimated to result in about 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness, and about 290 000 to 650 000 respiratory deaths.

I am not in the hospitals, I am not in contact with people who are ill. But I follow social media, I watch the news. I pay attention. And like many people, I’m conflicted. We do not know about testing. How tests are counted. Some are saying that any positive coronavirus test is being counted as COVID 19, coronavirus is the scientific term for a common virus that has many different strains and most people are infected by at some point in their lives.

I certainly don’t want to get sick, but that never stopped me from working before. If my body is at risk then that is my risk to take. If it comes down to making others ill, is that applied in any other scenario? Why this, why now?

I don’t trust it. Thats for sure. It may or may not have been created/released/orchestrated to teach Hong Kong a lesson, but it’s certainly being used to teach us all right now.

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Appropriate Behavior

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The other day  I posted a photo of my 13 year old daughters hair on our family FB page. Usually when I post photos of my hair I get a few comments from ill informed people about how it’s gross and unclean etc. On this post I specifically asked for that to not happen and that I would immediately ban anyone who was rude. I didn’t expect the results even though  I know better than to expect adults to be respectful. This went much further.

Almost immediately a wave of internet trolls scurried over like cockaroaches.  I was overwhelmed with trying to reply to people who had respectful comments and questions and extremely rude people who I banned immediately as I stated in my post I would. I deleted the thread and started over. Wondering if those who came across the original post and don’t follow my page would move on. They did not.

I attempted to have conversation with a few people, to know avail. This is just a sampling of what I was dealing with

using my child’s photo for her amusement

more shaming

everyone joined in. And is there a FB page called Shit Black People Do? I didn’t want to look.

then it gets worse. Threats to CPS and racist remarks towards myself.

I do not agree with violence and enslavement by any race. All through history humans have been vile to each other. I played no role in it. But if she wants to talk about ancestors and culture, let’s see how that goes down.

There are two issues with my daughters hair. One, people think it just looks messy and unkept. And it does. But it’s part of the process. Doing anything can look awful in the middle but the final product is what you should focus on. People have a hard time with that. The other issue is this term cultural appropriation. They feel I somehow stole my hairstyle from them, as if that would even be a bad thing. But let’s go with that. They are all out of sorts about my ancestors. Until I mention our ancestors.

My husband’s paternal side has lineage to the Blackfoot Indians. Indians wore knotted hair. Like you see in this photo. So let’s say if I was appropriating hair, what if it was this guys culture and not whatever culture she is from

Well that doesn’t fly. Because of all the other cultures and race my daughter is mixed with, it negates her Native American (or Canadian) heritage.

more about me being a colonizer. Hateful words. Because of my 13 year old child’s hair.

and this is payback for something that happened hundreds of years before my birth.

I pointed out the mentality of this type of aggression. Of corse there were several people in the conversation and I was trying to communicate with all of them and it was difficult. But this one wants to beat my ass because I made the point that these types of parents are usually the ones who have kids who beat up on kids in school. That goes for anyone. I’ve said the same about the group of minions that harasses my family, most of them are white. So this isn’t a race issue. But they try to make it one. There was so much division with race. This was kind of shocking to me. I deal with people from all sorts of lineage and this was just so hateful. My comment was about bullies and not about race.

See story here:

and here:

and here

you get the idea. People see these stories and ask “where are those kids parents.” Probably on social media bullying other adults.

It was too much. All of it. The hate triggered my anxiety and I shut my page down for the night. I had to walk away. I had to stop the hateful threatening comments. This is not appropriate behavior.

I am aware of the “cultural appropriation” phrase that gets swung around on occasion. Its especially meaningful when talking about systems of exploitation and dominance. But we are talking fashion. What if its not appropriation but cultural exchange?  We live in a multicultural blended world. Religious adornments are used a jewelry, tribal tattoos and Mohawks are very common among all races and cultures. Just think in a few weeks how many non Irish Americans will adorning the color green and pinching each other. Is that cultural appropriation? Is there going to be a big revolt on March 17th? Am I allowed to listen to Jazz music and eat creole food if Im not from New Orleans? Are they considered a culture? I can sing reggae music but I can’t wear Dreadlocks? What are the rules exactly?  Who would you even ask?

When people say that it’s politically incorrect for the Washington Redskins to use the likeness of the American Indians, there is a specific group of individuals reflected in the mascot. Its used in a way that is found to be disrespectful. Is a hairstyle disrespectful?

Who owns this particular hairstyle? Dreadlocks or whatever you want to call them  were worn by almost every ancient culture. Which specific culture is being appropriated? India, Eqypt, Greece? The Celts wore their hair like snakes. Someone cited Medusa, she is from Greek Mythology. It’s presumptuous to claim ownership of knotted hair. All hair knots. If you take care of those knots you can wear them decoratively, with or without adornments.

There have been various names for such hairstyles, fairie locs, dreadlocks, jata, and more. The common term most used today is dreadlocks. Its origin is unclear but some say it was from  the slave trade when their hair was matted with food and feces and was called dreadful. Another source claims the name came from the fear or dread the wearers instilled in others. Another claim is that the wearers had a spiritual  fear/dread in their god. So who is right?

Does it matter? If all cultures wore knotted hair and all hair knots why do some people make such an issue from it? It’s ridiculous to me for a government school to tell a student how to wear their hair. Its an infringement of free speech. So when people use that example to stifle my free speech I cant but think it’s extremely hypocritical. When those same people tell me I’m not allowed to have a certain hairstyle and in turn bully and harass me for it, it frustrates and angers me.

Over 3,000 comments on that post and counting. Some ill informed or just willfully ignorant in regards to my daughters hair, but a large majority are just plain hateful and mean. Some even went to far to dig up and share gossip blogs from 5 years ago.

What I witnessed the past 48 hours was worse than anything people accused me of for my daughters hair.  Yet those hateful commenters felt compelled and entitled to spread their negative energy. Is this the now culture? Instead of learning to encourage and support each other we just continue to create a divide?

I live in my hair 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I’ve had dreadlocks for over 5 years. They don’t hurt, my scalp isn’t ruined and my hair is clean and healthy. The same is for my daughter.
You don’t have to like our hair, but don’t spread misinformation to create hostility towards us for it. Because there is no way I would sit quietly while someone did that to you.

Posted in Commentary | 2 Comments

The “Accident”

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I am learning that over time memories that once consumed your mind become filed in the back somewhere and are mostly forgotten. Last week a story broke here that opened up one of those files and all the information and emotions that come with it.

It was a full moon (or close to it) on August 24, 1994. Full moon rising over the ocean is beautiful. I don’t have a photo of my own but I found this online. I pretty much grew up on the coast of Maine. While I love it here in Kentucky, I miss Maine at times.

My best friend Steph and I had spent the day looking at apartments for me. I had found this one that was perfect. I paid the deposit and went back to her house. An old friend of hers, Kevin, stopped by and we began to head out to the rocks. The rocks was a spot on the rugged Maine coastline that was not beach, about 15 minutes from town. There are huge rocks to climb and explore or just sit and watch the ocean. Steph’s boyfriend Todd was with us, as was a friend Billy. I asked Kevin to swing by my boyfriends place because I wanted to let him know my plans. Joe decided he wanted to go too and since there was no room, I told Steph I was going to ride out with him and his friends and I would meet them out there. Kevin said he was going to swing by a friends house and they’d be there after that. We headed out and sat on the rocks for a bit and watched the moonrise. Steph and them never showed, we figured they just decided to do something else.  Joes friends weren’t really into it and we were in their vehicle so we headed back home. The next morning I was woken up by banging on my door. It was Steph’s sister. Crying, frantic. She had been trying to reach me. Last she knew I was with Steph.

There had been an accident. A bad one. She told me but I don’t think I heard everything she said. That moment was all kind of a blur. She was headed to the hospital that morning and wanted to know if I wanted to go. I said no and she left.  I know at some point I just left and ran all the way to Stephs house. It was a few miles away. But I ran the whole way. I rode with her family to the hospital. I remember sitting in the ICU. I remember seeing Steph. I remember her parents. I remember the doctors and nurses.

Last week a story was all over FB and the news. The moment I saw the story that day all came back.

I hadn’t thought about my friends in a long while. I’ve been thinking about them all this week.

Stephs father was a firefighter. You hear stories about first responders showing up to find the victims are their family. It’s not much different when it’s another firefighters family. That’s one thing I remember from the stories I was told. When they saw her they knew who she was. Many of them have known each other all their lives.

Prior to that night Steph hadn’t spoken to Kevin in over a year. They too had known each other their whole life as Kevin’s cousin lived next door to Steph. But one night Kevin was speeding and Steph told him to slow down, he didn’t. She finally got him to stop and let her out and she walked home, a few mile walk. He had apologized several times and that night had agreed to hang out with him.

Kevin had a souped up 1979 Mustang. He was speeding that night on his way out to the rocks and we don’t think he hit the brakes. He not only hit a tree, the car went up it and rested on it. I was told Kevin was alive when the medics arrived but died as they were trying to get him from the car. Billy was in the front passenger seat and died on impact. Steph and her boyfriend were in the backseat. Steph was thrown from the car. Her head broke the back window and she was flung head first into a tree. Her boyfriend was flung threw the broken window and landed in the road, with just a few scratches. I don’t know how my presence in the backseat would have changed that outcome and I don’t like to think about it.

The reports of the accident in the news last week claim there were witnesses that said the young woman in the back seat was screaming for help. All I could think of is how Steph was probably screaming as well. I know she begged for him to stop.

Steph was in the hospital for a long time. She had a fractured skull, broken back and memory loss. When asked she kept talking about a brick wall. They told her she hit a tree, bu she kept saying something about a wall. When I got to the hospital I was able to clarify that for them. The apartment I had rented that day had beautiful brick walls on the interior.  She couldn’t remember anything after that. Her recovery was literally a miracle.

The boyfriend said he didn’t remember much, but he did make a statement that they had drank some beer and a backpack of unopened beer cans were found at the scene. Wherever Kevin stopped that night, that’s where he picked up the beer. I don’t think they ever found out who furnished the it. Kevin was going 104 when he hit the tree and investigators said he never hit the brakes. They suspect he was racing someone but there are no witnesses and no one had come forth.

The victims of the crash last week were the same ages as my friends were. The driver of the crash in Indiana survived. From what I read he has an infant son. He will likely spend his sons entire childhood in jail. I think it’s unfair that he survived and his passengers didn’t, but he will have to live with that decision. As will his family and his passengers families. Just like Kevin’s family and Billy’s family. And of course the long term injuries and trauma Steph and Todd may suffer. All because of a split second decision to test fate.

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The Walking Dead

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This show has the best theme song ever. I love how intense it is. It invokes emotions I can’t quite describe. It’s fucking awesome.

I am not a typical TV watcher and when my husband was watching another one of his end of days shows on the laptop I didn’t pay much attention. Until one day I kind of got sucked in. I think it was season two or three. I was asking a lot of annoying questions like I usually do. My husband was like whoa, hold up. If you are into this we can start from the beginning because this is an awesome show.

Ive never binge watched a show until then. We had to watch on bootleg sites and had to wait until the next season started to catch the last one. By the time I caught up I was still a season behind. Even now with Netflix carrying it I won’t see this new season till next fall unless I pay Amazon $4 an episode. Which I won’t.

The original creators of TWD are from Kentucky. My teens read the comic books a few years ago. The original story line followed the book for the most part.

An episode or two into Netflix season 7 I quit watching. If you have seen it, it wasn’t due to events in the show, but because of my own mood and the fact I absorb the emotions of the show. About a month ago I decided to catch up. I’m almost done season 9 and ready for season 10.

 Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

If you are a fan of the show you understand. The characters are well written. You even end up liking the villains at times. Some of the content hits me hard. One of the characters deaths hit me way harder than I ever imagined. Because I’m a season behind I was prepared for it and figured it would be a sad part, but it was so much more intense. I feel connected to the story. I feel like that I would character was real. I hate when books or movies do that to me.

I don’t normally like end of days movies and certainly not zombies, but TWD is a place I could see myself. I’m at a point in my life I would be fine if this was how the world as we know it would end.

Realistically, I’ve been talking lessons from the show. For one, the humans are always worse than the monsters. Never let your guard down. Build good fences. While we enjoy modern conveniences we also like simply and practical old world tools. We have several “keys to the future” and are designing a homestead that can both benefit with modern technology yet sustain when its not available, whether it be for a night or a week or a year. As we are watching with the loss of a power grid in California, I’m reminded of what we need to have prepared. A few years ago Kentucky was shut down for a few weeks due to an ice storm. We need to be able to survive that again.

I hope this show keeps going. It has the ability to double its current run, if not go even longer. While I love the current characters I see the potential of the next generation and an expanded story line.

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The Grateful Dead

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I grew up with classic rock and 80’s top 40 music and a little bit of country. I preferred classic rock and while my friends were playing Madonna I was dressing like Stevie Nicks. I was the only 10 year old who knew who Mott the Hoople was. I still don’t think anyone my age knows who they are. I listened to ELO, Led Zeppelin and more. I knew most of the bands from the 70’s.

In 1987, I discovered a new to me band of a bunch of old dudes. Touch Of Grey hit the radio charts. I loved the song as did everyone else. But I wanted to hear more from them because I had no idea who they were. I asked my dad why we didn’t listen to them, he said it wasn’t his kind of music. I know right. What the hell?!

I found a few albums, but you know how hard it was hard to find used Grateful Dead albums? People don’t sell them lol. I was able to find two, American Beauty and From the Mars Hotel. Actually the Mars Hotel was a cassette. While looking I also found Janis Joplin’s Pearl album. I think I still have that. I lost a lot of my sentimental items over the years.

I was an instant Dead Head. Even through my NKOTB fan phase. When I got into high school my friends thought my music was weird. But then something weird happened. More and more people were listening to the Dead, Janis, Zeppelin… it was like they finally caught on!

Who Was Jerry Garcia? We Asked the Guy Who Photographed Him for Two Decades.

The end of my senior year I found out the Grateful Dead was coming to Boston (I lived in Southern Maine) My best friend and I made plans to go. Unfortunately she was in a tragic accident that summer and was in ICU for a while. She wasn’t going to the show and I didn’t want to go without her.

When the show came around in October the tickets were sold out and she was still in recovery. Joe suggested we at least hit the show to walk around, see the sights and listen from the parking lot. My friend wasn’t able to go, so we went without her.

We spent about two hours walking around before the show but decided to leave before the show started. I recall buying some memorabilia but I no longer own any of it unfortunately. I didn’t know that was my one and only opportunity to see The Dead live.

I had just started my first job at a grooming salon in end of June of 95. I didn’t know anyone really. But I remember walking in to work on August 9th and a co worker walked up and hugged me crying. She told me Jerry died. All of my other co workers were confused. She said she was waiting for me to come in because she had seen the dancing bears patch on my backpack and I was the only person who would understand.

One of my newspaper clippings I have been able to save

Much like Bob Dylan, I appreciated the dead differently than I did most other bands. I didn’t care what Janis was saying, I just loved her voice. But the dead told stories that were fun to hear and wrote songs that spoke to me. If you ask me what my favorite song is I won’t know. But if you push I would say Scarlet Begonias. It just is.

If you asked my second favorite, it’s Ripple. If I’m having a bad day, feeling sad or just want to chill, this is my go to song. Jerry’s voice and Roberts words are therapeutic.

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice come through the music
Would you hold it near as it were your own?

It’s a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken
Perhaps they’re better left unsung
I don’t know, don’t really care
Let there be songs to fill the air

Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full may it be again
Let it be known there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of men

There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone

Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow

You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall, you fall alone
If you should stand, then who’s to guide you
If I knew the way I would take you home

La da da da La da da da da
La da da La da La da da da
La da da da La da da da da
La da da da La da da da da

Jerry co wrote that song with Robert Hunter. The poet of the Grateful Dead. Robert Hunter passed away last week at the age of  78. I came across this article this am and prompted me to finish this post. 

When I named my standard poodle, I named her Sugar Magnolia, because she’s a white poodle. I have already decided to name my next standard poodle Althea. Goes along with a cat I use to have, Sugaree.

I have so many other favorite Dead songs, if you are a fan I’m sure you understand. If haven’t listened to them I suggest you do. If you don’t like one song, find another. They had such an varying style you are sure to find at least one you like. Or you may end up a Dead Head like me.

The Grateful Dead in the 1970s, clockwise from top left: Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Ron McKernan, Mickey Hart and Jerry Garcia. The late Mr. Garcia played his last show in Chicago, where the Fourth of July weekend shows will take place.CreditChris Walter/Getty Images

note: this blog was written to be originally published for Jerry’s memorial in August, but I never finished it until today.

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I’ve always been a pretty simple person, at least I think I was. My family is the same. Even as our family grew and we kept things simple out of necessity, everyone seemed happier. I recall when we had been living in small houses for many years, and we had finally found a huge vacated Amish home to rent. It had 4 bedrooms upstairs, a huge kitchen, huge living room and two bonus rooms downstairs. Two of the bedrooms stayed vacant, my children preferred to be either on our room or in the living room. We then rented another large manufactured home with two living rooms, 4 bedrooms and still, half the place was still vacant.

When we left that last home we decided to build a tiny house. We have made a few changes to them as the family grows, but still, I consider it Tiny House Living.

We recently added a smaller cabin to the larger cabin we had been living in. We expanded the boys room so that it has 4 bunks, the girls have their area with hammock beds (their choice) and the littles have loft bedrooms. We have our small kitchen area. I say small but it comfortably fits a 10ft x4ft table.

I use to blog on our family blog about our life, as a large family and how we make it work, and what we do when it doesn’t work. I’ve kind of left that aspect of blogging because people used, rather tried to use, the content of my blog maliciously.  But I have photos of our cabin progress over the years on that blog.

The new addition serves as our bedroom, storage, office area etc. In total we have 1,000 square feet not counting the 4 lofts. This is my personal area.

One reason we went with these raw cabins is that I like to custom design everything. Both cabins I chose the layout of the windows and doors, then we built the shelving. My husband and our children do the interior building themselves. It’s a very simple and clean design that holds up well. This allows the home to run smoothly. With 11 people living in a 1,000 square foot home, its easily maintained. Everything has a place.

You can see in my photo above, I have my area quite organized. On the large shelf clothing is in 3 baskets, one for my outfits, one for my under garments and one for my pajamas etc. The 4th basket contains my miscellaneous stuff. The bottom shelf has my laundry basket and the bucket of dog food for my dog. The top shelves have my personal items kept orderly.

On the smaller shelf I keep the top shelf clear to work with daily. It’s a work space so to speak. The middle shelf is also a work space, holds the devices, and things I bring back and forth to work. The bottom shelf has my shoes and a basket of random items such as bags, bandannas etc.

In this photo you can see the loft area that we use for storage. I keep it organized everyone has two totes of whatever they need to store. We also store long term family items. The loft on the opposite side of the cabin is for short term storage. We have a ladder going up to that side. We store out excess bedding, paper products and clothing (mostly winter) etc.

Our office area is also my at home bow station for now. It gives my husband a space to do homeschool if he’s working one on one with a child, or any other project. You can also see our chart to keep the family organized. We have a shelf for towels, littles clothing and etc plus a large book shelf. We keep games, and other miscellaneous items in these baskets.

We don’t have a lot but we have what we need. We are able to keep things clean and organized. Clutter steals joy. I didn’t use to believe that but I’ve seen the difference. Minimalism doesn’t mean doing without. It means having an environment that relieves stress not causes it. It means a lifestyle in which you don’t waste time and energy on things don’t have a purpose.

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I Remember

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I wanted to share some older thoughts I had about 9/11 from years past


12 years ago my eyes were opened. 12 years ago I began truly paying attention. I have learned a lot over those years. My political and religious philosophy has changed.

I encourage all of you to learn the history of what led up to 9/11.. and use various sources. Find the truth for yourself. Because the only way we can truly bring about peace, is to understand the real cause of war. Peace starts with you.


I am not going to post pics of the twin towers. I don’t need little memes saying “never forget”. Trust me. I remember.

I remember sitting at home watching the morning shows prepping for my sons first birthday party.

I remember the first plane thinking “what a dumb ass”. The second caused concern. “What is going on”.. The coverage went on, stuff about more planes…Then the pentagon was hit. That’s when it set in. The reality. The knowing “This won’t end well”

I remember calling my grandfather. I don’t know why but my grandfather was the first one I called. I was never close to my grandparents but that’s who called. Maybe because they were both alive when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Maybe because he was the calmest person I knew. And I needed calm.

I remember the anger. I remember wanting revenge. I was the ‘Murica crowd. I spent the next few days making ribbons for co-workers and clients to wear.

I remember in the days following taking up talk radio again. (I had listened to Rush in years prior but had lost interest in politics)

Ironically 9/11 was Glenn Becks 2nd day on national radio. I also found a radio host named Neal Boortz. I listened to them both. I learned. I questioned.

And I continued to question. The more I learned the more angry I became. I defended the presidents actions. I thought it was the right thing to do… But I was never taught the history. I lost trust. Why would we be lied to. I remember. I remember it all.

Today I will see the memes, the new profile pics of the towers. I want to comment on them. I want to grab people and shake them by the head and say “wake up”. I want to say “read Ron Paul’s book, a foreign policy of freedom”. That was the final straw for me. He WARNED us, on the senate floor, FOR TWENTY YEARS.

I remember wondering. Why. Why weren’t we taught this history. How could I have survived 13 years of public education and have never been told the history of the Middle East. The TRUE history. I know why. And it was a big factor in my decision when two years after 9/11 we chose to homeschool.

So while I may not jump on the bandwagon, the ‘Murica hoo rah military bandwagon, I will however commend those who were on the front lines that day. Those who ran into buildings. Those who worked tirelessly selflessly to help others.

But I do not, will not support the governments response.

I remember 9/11. It’s when I began to realize the government is worse than you imagine and they aren’t here to help. You are just a pawn.


My news feed is full of 9/11 posts. I have a lot to say on the topic, but I truly lack the energy to communicate it all. And most won’t read what I have to say, because it’s contrary to what many others are posting. But here it goes anyhow…

Like all of you, I remember that morning clear as day. I remember the emotions in the days and weeks after.

For me, it took me in a direction I never thought it would.

I became more politically aware. I was a “hoo-rah” republican waving flags and touting my patriotism.

It took several years for me to be in a state of mind to look past all of that. And a lot of swallowed pride to admit, I was wrong about my government.

I’m not here to say 9/11 was an inside job. I can’t say either way, what the specifics are of the events that day.

I can say this. I blame the US Government. I blame the politicians, I blame the citizens who allowed our politicians to act in such a manner. I blame the soldiers who blindly and obediently followed orders in the years leading up to this event.

My thoughts on this matter were solidified in 2011 when I read this book.

It’s not a political book. It’s not someone’s interpretation of events, it’s not opinion. This is a collection of 20 years of a US Senator warning the State of what would happen. This is on the record statements. For TWENTY years.

Today, it’s nice to honor those who lost their lives that day. I chose this photo specifically. We shouldn’t forget. We shouldn’t forget that these events effected lives outside of NYC.

We also shouldn’t forget, or discount what led up to that day, and how for the past 14 years we have continued to perpetuate this disaster.

Stop pretending our government is the hero. Stop pretending more wars will fix this. Stop pretending an entire religion is at fault.

Remember not just the Americans who lost their lives, but the 50,000 Afganis, 1.7 million Iraqi’s and 35,000 Pakistanis who also died because of someone else’s actions.


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What The Frick is an INFJ?

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The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator is an introspective self-report questionnaire with the purpose of indicating differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world around them and make decisions. The MBTI was created by Isabelle Briggs and her mother and was influenced by Carl Jungs theory that humans experience the world using four principal psychological functions – sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking. Those dominate functions often relate to how we think, feel, understand things. 

Some feel these determinations are vague and self applied like astrological signs and descriptions. Whether you believe in it or not, my Aries description is very much an accurate description of me and the INJF determination I got the first time I took this test is an even more accurate, so much so my friends and family were all in agreement that it described me quite well.

 I am INFJ. Some highlights. 

*Have you ever wondered why…

…your dreams and idealism are so often misunderstood?

…you are not quite sure how to reach your full potential in the world that sometimes seems so foreign to you?

…you find it easier to talk to some people, but not others?

*The INFJ type is believed to be very rare (less than 1 percent of the population) and it has an unusual set of traits. Even though their presence can be described as very quiet, INFJ personalities usually have many strong opinions, especially when it comes to issues they consider really important in life. If an INFJ is fighting for something, this is because they believe in the idea itself, not because of some selfish reasons.

*People with the INFJ personality type tend to be very principled, driven and compassionate. They will do their best to ensure that their children are able to fight for the cause they believe in and separate the good from the bad. This does not mean that INFJ parents are likely to encourage their children to become fanatical about something – on the contrary, the INFJ will push them to think independently and take responsibility for their own decisions.

*INFJs are not really interested in friendships which mostly revolve around practical, daily matters or physical activities. They are quiet yet very determined idealists, brimming with desire to make the world a better place. Therefore, INFJ personalities are likely to seek friends who are willing to let a bit of idealism into their lives and engage in deep, meaningful discussions about things that go beyond the daily routines.

*INFJs are warm and caring partners, able to love unconditionally and show that love to their partners. They tend to be perfectionists and this can sometimes irritate their partners – however, such a tendency also shows how sincere and serious INFJs can be. INFJ relationships often reach the level of depth that most people could only dream of.

*INFJs dislike routine tasks, strictly impersonal work or analysing small details. They are also very vulnerable to conflict and criticism. These traits mean that INFJs should avoid careers that typically focus on data rather than people or are prone to pressure and conflict, e.g. finance, audit, programming, data analysis etc. On the other hands, people with this personality type are very insightful and creative – they tend to be excellent architects, musicians, artists, photographers, designers etc. Best INFJ career paths revolve around these traits.”

Take the test yourself 

Over the course of time I found a few INFJ Facebook pages, and my love for memes found a new interest. INFJ memes. It’s like a new language for me. I don’t have to say a word just post a meme. It’s also helped me understand myself a bit more. Not all of INFJ things are relatable, but I appreciate the ones that are.










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Diversity of Dreadlocks

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I started my dreadlocks in the fall  of 2014. They began with twist and rip and some back combing around 6 months and on occasion for maintenance but they are pretty much free range locs 😉

One of the most criticial comments I get on my locs is regarding cultural appropriation. “Dreadlocks are for black people”. This is mainly an American stereotype, perpetuated by television and movies.

The reality is no one culture owns dreadlocks. All hair matts. And all cultures have embraced that. And once you start looking, it’s amazing to see that not only are Dreadlocks diverse in culture. They are diverse in style.

Most everyone thinks of Bob Marley when they think of dreadlocks. The Rastafarian culture is widely known for dreadlocks and Bob Marleys celebrity status has made a huge impact on how people see dreadlocks.

If I were to ask you, “who is the first person you think of when you hear the word dreadlocks” who would you think of? Let’s play Family Feud. Bob Marley is the #1 answer, what is your next option?

My dreadlocks are wild. I like them natural. They are long enough to pull up, but because I have thick locs they can be  tricky to maneuver. And new growth is giving me some unwanted extra frizz.

So who did you come up with?

My favorites celebrity locs

Lenny Kravitz shaved his off locs a few years ago, I’ve loved his dreads since the 90s. That’s probably where I got the idea to have them.

Captian Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has great locs as well. They are just awesome.

Michonne (Danai Gurira) has some notable locks

People with dreadlocks are very diverse in so many ways. Hair type, race, gender, age, lifestyle..,


And styles of dreadlocks are a just as diverse

Dreadhawks, Partial dreads, natural dreads, colored dreads, synthetic dreads, extensions, colors, wraps, beads. Hippie locs, hipster locs, fairie locks, Celtic locs, punk rock locs, short locs, long locs, tidy locs, loopy locs, skinny locs, fat locs, dressed up locs and wild untamed ones.

Locked hair can be so fun!


Dreadlocks have a debatable origin. I don’t think any one culture can claim originality. We’ve seen them from all parts of the world. These are some photos of Native Americans who also wore dreadlocks.

*Edited updated and reposted from a previous blog I wrote:

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