Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sunday Sundry 7-9-17

I'm back home with my feet up after spending a couple hours on a beautiful bike trail earlier today.  Should really have some ice on my knees, but I guess that can wait a bit longer.
It was as close to perfect a summer day as there can be, and I'm glad we were able to get out and enjoy it.
We've had a good amount of rain so far this summer, and everything is looking lush and green.  The tiger lilies were in bloom along the trail.
Marsh asters and Queen Anne's lace.  Afterwards, we had a picnic by the river.  A very picturesque little spot.
I have a thing for water lilies.
Which is why I picked up a water lily art print at the thrift store last weekend.  It joins, on the wall, my other thrifted water lily print found a few years ago.
 These are signed and numbered prints and professionally framed.  I don't think either one cost me more than five bucks.  Wish I knew more about the artists. 

Last week's bike trail ride was cut short due to Norm getting a flat tire.  Since it was a holiday weekend, the bike shop was closed.

The thrift store, however, was not!  It had been a while since we went junkin', as I'm more of a mind to get rid of excess than accumulate it these days.  But I have a place or purpose for all of the things I brought home.

I've been needing a lasagna pan since my old stoneware one cracked last year and I had to toss it.  I found a large 13x10-inch (or thereabouts) Corning Ware baking dish that will do just fine.
Zippers are always handy to have in the stash.  I used up a lot of my supply when I was making gift zipper pouches last year.
The Love Letters book might not have been a necessity, but at 69 cents, it was worth it for the beautiful illustrations and words.  And that's my very first "barn quilt" for the porch, from a local store that had them on clearance for half off, can you believe it?  It's a 12-inch metal Thistle Bloom block.

I did get a quilt basted yesterday.  This one's from bonus half-square triangles from a Christmas quilt I made last fall from an Aspen Frost layer cake.
The flimsy has been done for a while but I wasn't in a mood to work on it until now.  My HSTs only went so far, so I added a wide border all the way around to get it to lap quilt size. The blue thing at the bottom of the picture is a foam gardening mat from the dollar store.  It's a knee saver!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Inspector Gadget

Guys and gals, I've been dropped.  At least my blog has been, from my own Feedly reader feed.  The nerve!

I have been investigating, but turning up very few clues as to why.  I unfollowed my blog, then added it back.  Still can't see the latest post.  It shows up as a blog I follow, but isn't updated by Feedly to current.  I tried adding it to the "Favorites" list within Feedly, and it appeared (and current) for a brief few minutes, then disappeared again!
Then I started to wonder about all the many quilt (and other) blogs I follow.  Could it be that I have not been seeing their updates in Feedly either?  So I started looking closer, and although Feedly was telling me some hadn't updated in months, if I clicked through to the blog itself, they were, in fact, staying current.  Curiouser and curiouser.

I began to wonder how many people might be having the same issue with Feedly, and may assume I dropped out of the blogosphere?

I learned that the free version of Feedly (which is what I use) is now limiting new users to 100 blogs.  Any more than that and you have to pay a monthly fee to upgrade to unlimited.  Free Feedly didn't used to be limited, and I've followed hundreds of blogs (not that I get around to reading them all).  But I wonder if some internal metric now determines which of those I get to see in the Feedly reader free version?  

I hadn't updated my own blog in over 30 days.  Perhaps 30 days is a metric by which the blog "falls off"?  In the meantime, however, I've added blogs without an issue, and I'm seeing those people's posts in Feedly; hence, I conclude they're not truly limiting me from adding new ones above the 100 mark (perhaps I'm grandfathered in?).  But maybe, instead, the less active blogs (mine included) are falling off the radar (or reader) and not showing up as having posted anything new?

Many questions, a few hunches, but no definitive answers that I've found thus far.  Guess I'll see if this post all of a sudden shows up in my Feedly feed like nothing ever happened.  Maybe the previous post exceeded some parameter (like overall size...there were a lot of pictures in the last post).  I'll let you know.  (Edited to add:  Okay, so I see this post in Feedly...that's good, but it's still weird about the previous post.  I still have questions.)

In the process of investigating and looking into options, I've started to get reacquainted with Bloglovin'.  I'm still not thrilled with it—the layout seems a bit overwhelming and less informative to me, for starters—but at least I seem to be seeing in Bloglovin' all the blogs I follow.  Things have changed since I last used it on a regular basis, and it'll take some time to get used to again.  Also, I'm having to sort through the blogs I had been following in Feedly and add them to Bloglovin'.  Good thing it's been a holiday week with available down time, ha.

In going through the Feedly blog listing one by one—wow, a lot of people I used to follow have stopped blogging.  Maybe they are connecting on a different platform (Instagram, etc.).  But I miss you guys!  It's sad to realize the extent of the exodus, and it feels like losing friends, even though most of us have never met in real life.

Has hobby blogging become a thing of the past, do you think?  I don't know, there seems to be a different vibe than just a couple short years ago.  Not sure whether readership has increased or decreased, but it seems like people commented more.  Myself included.  Just an observation.  Speaking personally, it seems sometimes like things reach a level when you just can't possibly keep up (maybe after 100 blogs? he-he), so you give up trying and just pop in here or there with a comment when you can.  Yet reading and somewhat keeping track of where people are in their lives, feels like a true connection, even if you don't engage or comment, so when those people go away, there's that pang of loss.  Still, I totally get that there are various reasons people move on, and I wish them all the best.  It may well be that I decide to do the same someday.

Anyway, back to the story.  Along the way, I decided to subscribe to my own email list.  Why I had never done that before, I don't know.  Come to find out that in the last post, the email version doesn't have the YouTube videos embedded.  Just dead space where there was something to see in the actual post.  Good to know.  I'll keep that in mind for the future.  Also, I'm not sure I like the look of the email version, but that seems beyond my grasp of how to fix at this point.

(By the way, the music in the last post under "Listening" was by Jason Isbell, and "Watching" was the Netflix series GLOW.  Maybe in the future, I'll just link versus embed stuff like that.)

Here's a question about Bloglovin':  I've been getting periodic email notifications that read, "Bloglover is now following your blog."  After about the third or fourth identical notification, I assumed this was a tactic Bloglovin' used to get users to log in after a period of time and use the site.  A kind of solicitation, like the emails Pinterest sends to get you to click over.  But I see now, in looking at my Bloglovin' followers, that there are indeed numerous "Bloglovers."  Hence, I wonder if this is how it appears if someone follows you anonymously, i.e. the generic name "Bloglover"?

I probably sound really green about this stuff, and I apologize for the technical nature of this post.  Maybe your experiences can help this dog learn some new tricks.  Do you have any insights or observations to share on the subject of your favorite feed reader?  Or on blog reading and/or commenting in general?  Do you follow your own blog to stay on top of technical issues and/or see it from a different perspective?  Do share.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Going Fourth

I hope those of you in the States are having a magnificent 4th of July! It's been a pretty low key holiday for us, and that's just fine.  We did do a little grilling at suppertime, since the weather was not just cooperative but spectacular.  After I get done with this post, I'm looking forward to taking a walk at sunset and enjoying the beautiful evening.

Are you a cloud watcher?  I sure am.  Is there a better word for someone who likes looking at the changing sky?  (No, not an airhead or space cadet, thanks brain.)  We live in a fairly level area but with some gently rolling hills.  My favorite walking route takes me up a couple small hills that are great vantage points for cloud watching or sky-gazing, and, in the fall, noticing the changing colors of foliage.  It's a highlight of my day, strolling along, feeling the breeze or the humidity, as the case may be, the warmth of the sun as it sinks toward the horizon.  Listening to an audiobook or sometimes just the birds...or barking dogs...or the highway...or the lawnmowers...or the Med-Flight helicopter...

Although I haven't blogged for a month, I have taken a lot of pictures.  In general, there hasn't been a whole lot of quilting and sewing, though there has been some.  There are plenty of other things to engage and distract me this time of year.  Here are a few of June's highlights—in alphabetical order, how about that.

Backing - Baking (with Beets!) - Biking - Bird-watching:

Family (Father's Day) - Flora:


Mini-Making - Mural Marveling:

Planting - Picking:


Reading - Relaxing:

 Watching (Wrestling!):