Monday, April 24, 2017

And Still Nothing

Still no progress on restoring my photos on this laptop. While the Apple Support Specialist tries different things, each of which takes several days and makes the laptop too slow to be useful, I resort to using my phone for reading news, web surfing, email, and everything else I do.

I miss posting here but even writing this is an annoyingly slow operation.

Aside from this, things around La Casa de Sabine are fine, or as well as they can be — given who is in "charge." We've taken to watching nightly television news for the first time since 9/11. We tune into Rachel Maddow with curiosity and wonder, like it's a soap opera.

The cats are flourishing and enjoying the kraft paper and boxes from a recent Amazon delivery of litter. Harris slept between our heads last night. When he decides to be snuggly, no one is snugglier. He puts his head on my shoulder. It's hard to stay asleep in the presence of so much feline gloriousness, not to mention his nursing on our ears.

To pass the time, I'm rereading The Age of Innocence, one of my favorite books, again. I've done this every few years since my 20s, and it amuses me to discover how my impressions have changed since I first devoured it. Newland Archer has been steadily losing his stature as a noble and tragic hero over the years. I still think he's tragic, of course, but he seems more and more like a fool. He's far too traditional and limited in his thinking, too "New York" after all, to have had a happy life with his Countess. Still, he deserved someone far more companionable than May. A bolder, more honorable and creative man would have found a way out of his engagement that left his and May's reputations intact. As for May, she was no fool at all, yet he never bothered to find that out about her.

Possum is also rereading the book but he's less interested as he feels the descriptions of food and art and inadequate, and there are very few descriptions of birds or wildlife in the country scenes.

That's all I'll say. Please go read some LITERATURE until I can post more drivel here. Thank you for your patience.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Update

I'm still waiting to hear if Apple has been able to find thousands of photos that are missing from my iCloud account. I was supposed to hear on Wednesday; maybe today will be the day. In the meantime, I'm taking photos on my phone but iCloud is turned off, so they aren't transferring to my laptop.

In the meantime, I could be droning on here without any photos, but what fun would that be for anyone? But it could come to that, so be warned.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Eggs


I hope you had a happy Easter. We celebrated with my husband's Armenian family, and they traditionally play a game where each person chooses an Easter egg — as a weapon. They take turns trying to crack the ends of each other's eggs while everyone watches and comments. When two eggs make contact, one will crack the other. If your egg cracks, you reverse it, which gives you another chance to crack someone's egg. People with two cracked ends are eliminated, and the game keeps going until only one egg remains intact; its owner wins the game. And then everyone realizes it's time to go home.

So my husband and I dyed a dozen eggs on Saturday, knowing they were sacrificial victims. That was a bit difficult for me, because I put some effort into creating pretty eggs. And I've been known to keep the prettiest of my eggs in my fridge until Christmas or beyond. But currently our little fridge is so stuffed with food that even fitting a tiny bowl of eggs in there would be a problem, so I was prepared to let them all go.

While the eggs were cooking on the stove, I settled into an armchair to investigate our newly purchased Paas dyeing kit. Paas kits were hard to find this year because CVS and Walgreen's stopped carrying them, and even the Star Market only had one kit left, weeks ago, and it was the ordinary kind with no special decorating materials. We finally drove to a party store, which also had slim pickings. But there was one kit left to make "Golden Eggs," which included a packet of shimmery gold paint, somy tiny sponges, and a little plastic tray to hold the paint and a few drying eggs.

I quickly discovered that our kit was a few years old, well past its prime. Two of the five dye tablets had crumbled to dust, which poured through the cracks in the brittle cellophane packet that held them. Particles wound up on me, the armchair, and then the kitchen, where I fled to clean it off. But any touch of moisture produced brilliant dye . . . so I had color all over my hands and many parts of the kitchen. We vacuumed the armchair and cleaned up the kitchen as much as we could while the eggs cooked.

Dyeing was messy and fun as usual. We used food coloring along with the surviving tablets, and the eggs came out looking fine, if a little boring. So I opened the tube of golden glaze, hoping it still worked. It did, sort of — but as I was painting an egg it got slippery, and I accidentally knocked over the painting tray, cracking two more eggs and spilling the slimy gold glaze all over our counter. But we kept at it and I only broke one more egg before I gave up and left the others plain. Here are the results:


The egg game participants who chose gold-glazed eggs admired them at first but quickly began complaining that the color was coming off all over their hands. I had no sympathy since they were wrecking my lovely eggs and also because I had just eaten such a quantity of Armenian food, coffee cake, fruit salad, and a bagel (we have a Jewish contingent as well), that I was borderline comatose. That gold glaze is slimy, but it washes off quickly, and a slippery, sticky egg makes the game more challenging.

I took these photos of the eggs yesterday morning, to memorialize them.

Harris knew better than to touch any of the eggs this year. Last year, he kept trying to fish them out of the bowl so he could roll them onto the floor. This year he just posed attractively. Harris is smart.


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Saturday, April 15, 2017

In the Public Garden

Back Bay is all spiffed up so it looks good on TV during the Marathon. The streets have been cleaned, spring bulbs are blooming in gardens, urns, and windowboxes, and the swan boats are back in the Public Garden, floating on what was only a pond-sized mud hole last week.

I went by and took the usual, boring shot:


After all, it's always nice to see them in April after months of looking at the mud hole. 

Then I walked toward Charles Street and ran into Jesus. I knew Him right away because of the crown of thorns, the shepherd's crook . . .


And the rollerblades: 


We were happy to see each other. It had been a while (since high school, to be honest), and we hadn't been keeping in touch. 

This was on Thursday, so I reminded Him that He had a dinner date and an appointment at the Garden of Gethsemane later. So He was in the wrong garden. (I always try to help visitors find their way around my city.)


He skated a tight, graceful circle around me as we talked, and confessed that He had no idea where He was supposed to be going next. "I should read the Bible. I actually don't know a thing," He said, looking deeply into my eyes in that Jesus way of His.

I said it made no difference, really, because the story turns out okay for Him in the end.

On Berkeley Street

I spotted these hydrangeas in a pair urns flanking a door on Berkeley Street, and the colors couldn't have been better:



But as I walked around the corner to Beacon Street, I was surprised to find this guy in the garden instead of the Easter Bunny:


Friday, April 14, 2017

Update

Just checking in . . . I miss you all!

I've made a few more new Apple Support Specialist pals around the country — including J (a patient, old-school Southern gentleman), D (Genius Bar, entertained us with spectacular mime and hip-hop moves during the long wait times of our 2 1/2–hour session), and S (Sacramento by way of New Jersey, rescued newborn kittens last year who didn't make it, so I'm hoping to talk him into adopting).

But my photos still aren't fixed and my laptop is still slow and cantankerous. My case has been "escalated" to an Apple Engineer, who will try to repair my iCloud account. This will take several business days. I don't know how it will happen, but I imagine that the engineer's first step will be to go up in a plane and look for my account, and then try to find my 9,000 missing photos, which are probably floating around loose up there, and persuade them to go back where they belong.

In the meantime, I'm supposed to keep my paws off the Photos app. But I will post some unedited recent photos tomorrow.

Good night!