Saturday, May 21, 2016

Has Facebook Become Curator of The World’s Memories?

As I wrote in my last post, Ross and I have been experimenting with podcasting on YouTube.  I explained there were three reasons I wanted to explore this form of creativity and expression.

In case you missed that post or have by now forgotten, I mentioned two of the reasons and promised to reveal the number one reason in another post.
To review:
Number Three: it's a challenge for us, as seniors,  to learn a new technology.  I have learned so much in the last five weeks.
Reason Number Two: for our podcast venture is it's something we are doing together.   Although we are retired and spend pretty much 24/7 in each other's company, most times we are not actually interacting.  Doing the podcast, we are definitely interacting.

Reason number one is the most important one for me.   Let me tell you why. 

I have two precious videos.  One is of my mother, the other is of my son and his son.  

When I watch each of those videos, as I often do, not only am I able to see two of the people I painfully miss so much, but I can see them alive, moving, talking, smiling, hearing them speak.  Being able to hear their voices and their laughter fills up a hole in my heart, at least for that little while.

So, I thought it might be something that my children, grandchildren or even great-grandchildren might also cherish. 
But actually, it's not only our future generations.  No not only for them.  I thought about Ross and me.   Perhaps one day there might be a time when we might not be as cognizant of our surroundings or we might get a little forgetful.  Maybe watching ourselves as we once were might jog a bit of memory and bring about a glimmer of recognition and then even a little smile.

The more I thought about it, though, I started to think about where these videos are stored.  
It's not like it was years ago.  There is no 8mm film in tin canisters or even VHS tapes.
Some of the videos, like the one of my mother and son are stored on my computer.  Most of the others have been uploaded onto YouTube or FaceBook. 

So, then, this gesture I was making of preserving our memories for our loved ones or each other, might not be accessible to them after all.  

If you are on Facebook, which I'm pretty sure most of us are, each day you log into Facebook for the first time you most likely get this message:


I don't know about you, but I usually go "ahh, or wow".  
Yes, I have come to depend on Facebook to preserve my memories and then recall them for me.

But, what about after Ross or I pass away?   
Facebook does have something called "Memorializing An Account".

Here's what I found under FB's Help:


Memorializing the account:
Memorialized accounts are a place for friends and family to gather and share memories after a person has passed away. Memorializing an account also helps keep it secure by preventing anyone from logging into it.
If Facebook is made aware that a person has passed away, it's our policy to memorialize the account. Learn more about what happens to a memorialized account.
Please keep in mind that we can't provide login information for someone else's account even under these circumstances. It's always against Facebook's policies to log into another person's account.
To report a profile to be memorialized, please contact us.
Removing the account:
Verified immediate family members may request the removal of a loved one’s account from Facebook.

What is a legacy contact?
A legacy contact is someone you choose to look after your account if it's memorialized. Once your account is memorialized, your legacy contact will have the option to do things like:
                Write a pinned post for your profile (ex: to share a final message on your behalf or provide information about a memorial service)
                Respond to new friend requests (ex: old friends or family members who weren't yet on Facebook)
                Update your profile picture and cover photo
You also have the option to allow your legacy contact to download a copy of what you've shared on Facebook, and we may add additional capabilities for legacy contacts in the future.
Your legacy contact can't:
                Log into your account
                Remove or change past posts, photos and other things shared on your Timeline
                Read messages you've sent to other friends
                Remove any of your friends
Learn more about memorialization and how to add a legacy contact to your account.
If you're a legacy contact, learn how to manage a memorialized profile.
Note: You must be 18 or older to select a legacy contact.

To find out more about this go to the top of your FB page, along the blue bar, pull down on the arrow next to the Lock icon and select "Help".  Search for "Memorializing". 


 Google also has a feature called "Inactive Account Manager"



After my first year of blogging, I used a website called "Blog2Print" to download all of my postings from the first year and had them bound into a book. 

The point is there are options, but I wonder how many of us think about leaving passwords to our devices or social media accounts in a secure place for our loved ones to have access to.

But at the end of the day or more appropriately for this post, at the end of my life, after I have made sure that my memories will be accessible,  I will continue to post on social media, write my blog, and record our podcast.

Oh, and in case you missed episode 5 of Sundays with Lynda and Ross, here is a little taste:






Monday, May 16, 2016

A Hat for a Pretty Lady, and Sunday’s With Lynda & Ross

I've been fighting a cold for over a week. Hopefully, it's finally on its way.   I've been keeping myself busy with a few things during my housebound hours.

My son's friend's wife is going through chemo treatments.   I am knitting a hat for her.   The pattern I am using is my mishmash of  "The Giving Tree",  found on Ravelry here and "Felicity", also found on Ravelry here.

I ordered the yarn, Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Sport in turquoise, Ping's favorite color,  from WEBS, which is a fabulous yarn shop.  They are having their anniversary sale.  This particular yarn usually sells for  $6.25 a hank.  It's now on sale through the end of May for $4.39 a hank.  Of course, I ordered other colors too.  I couldn't resist.

Although I ordered two skeins of each of the other colors, I only ordered one skein of the turquoise.
I got 3/4 of the way through knitting the hat and I ran out of yarn.  It seemed silly to just order one skein of yarn.  So, yes, you guessed it I ordered a few more skeins in other lucious colors.
For those of you who were following my A-Z posts, remember this photo of my closet from my Y for yarn post?
Out of control!

So, the hat project is on hold until my WEBS order arrives.
In the mean time, Ross and I have been experimenting with podcasting on YouTube.  Yesterday we recorded our fifth episode.  We finally decided on a title, Sunday’s With Lynda & Ross".  We love comments and adore new subcribers :)

There are three main reasons we are doing this.
Number Three, it's a challenge for us, as seniors,  to learn a new technology.  I have learned so much in the last five weeks.
I'm quite comfortable now with editing using iMovie.   I can now even add sound effects and titles.
One of the things I was struggling with was figuring out how to add a personalized banner to my YouTube channel, or what YouTube refers to as Channel Art.
I admit I can be obsessive when I am trying to master a new skill.  It took me four or five days of trial and error, but I finally got it to work.   I did find a helpful YouTube video on how to create a YouTube Channel Art banner.
Reason Number Two for our podcast venture is it's something we are doing together.   Although we are retired and spend pretty much 24/7 in each other's company, most times we are not actually interacting.  Doing the podcast, we are definitely interacting.
When we watch the video, as if we were a viewer, we realized that some of the ways we interact with each other is quite interesting.
You all should try it sometime.  I think you'd be amazed at your facial expressions, the tone you use with each other, who is the leader or follower in conversation.  For me, it has been a real eye-opener.

I'll talk about Reason Number One that we have been doing our podcasts in tomorrow's post.

For now, here's a little something for your entertainment.








Monday, May 9, 2016

Reflection - A to Z Challenge

During the month of April, I participated in a blog challenge called  “Blogging from A-Z Challenge” 
What was it?
Blogging every day.  It began on April First with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until I finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.   The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.

I am pleased with myself because I completed the challenge for the fifth time.

After the challenge, the bloggers who participated are asked to write a "reflections" post.   What we liked about the challenge.  What improvements could be made.  

A to Z Challenge



First of all, I have immense respect for Arlee Bird, the creator of the challenge, and his co-hosts.   I can't even imagine the amount of time and effort that goes into the organization and running this event.

Thank you!

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
J
eremy Hawkins @ Hollywood Nuts
Damyanti Biswas @ Daily Write
Heather M. Gardner @ The Waiting is the Hardest Part
Author AJ Lauer
P
am Brown Margolis @ An Unconventional Librarian
Zalka Csenge VirĂ¡g @ The Multicolored Diary
Joy Campbell @ The Character Depot
John Holton @The Sound of One Hand Typing

I found the encouraging posts on the AtoZ blog each day to be helpful.  I looked forward to those.  They gave me the oomph I needed to keep on going.

I think the "staff" did a good job in keeping the sign-up list current.   I think I started out as number  1000 something and ended up in the 600's.  

I'm not sure if this was ever addressed, but when I was doing my visiting and would come across a blog that never started, or was way behind, I thought about "reporting" it.  But I didn't know how or if I should do that.  If it isn't already mentioned, perhaps there could be a list of people who are the ones who keep the list up to date.  And if we, the participants do know of blogs that are no longer in the challenge, then we could let the "keepers of the list" know. 

Visiting other blogs is a part of the challenge I enjoy because I do want to find new blogs to enjoy.  
 It is time-consuming to go through the list, which is okay with me, but there are many blogs that, frankly, do not appeal to my interests.  However, that is my personal issue and has nothing to do with the organization of the challenge. 

Someone mentioned in a post, sorry I don't remember who, that one of the ways to find new blogs is to visit the bloggers who comment on blogs that you do like and visit often. 

I found that tip to be helpful.  Although, that does seem to keep us all in one circle of blogs.

I wonder about the people who don't respond to comments and or don't return visits.  I would apply the "three strikes and you're out" rule.   

I would do the challenge again.  It helps me get back into writing and makes me remember how much I enjoy it. 

I love the artwork on the 2016 survivor gear.  I think I'm going to go with a tank top.

A to Z Survivor Gear


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Zing! The A to Z Challenge The Letter Z

Blogging from A to Z Challenge
April 2016
This month I will be participating in the “Blogging from A-Z Challenge” 
What is it?
Blogging every day.  It begins on April First with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until I finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.   The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.




"Zing Went The Strings of My Heart"
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
heartstrings                                                                                 
                                                                                                      
 The deepest feelings or affections: a tug at the heartstrings.     
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So here we are at the end of another A to Z challenge.  This is the fifth one I have participated in.  I feel the same way at the end of this one as I have at the end of the other four.
One feeling, of course, is relieved.  I'm not going to lie, it is a challenge.
I also have an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and exhilaration!

But most of all I have the deepest feeling of affection for the A to Z Challenge






Thank you to all who visited and commented on my A to Z posts.   You gave me the incentive and encouragement to keep on going until the end :) 
  



Friday, April 29, 2016

Just One More Skein, I Promise - A To Z Challenge - The Letter Y

Blogging from A to Z Challenge
April 2016
This month I will be participating in the “Blogging from A-Z Challenge” 
What is it?
Blogging every day.  It begins on April First with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until I finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.   The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.


Photo Credit CoolChaser Graphics


I am an avid knitter. I also crochet.  Most avid knitters and crocheters I know are yarnaholics.   We call our accumulation of yarn our stash.  Actually, a knitter's stash can also include knitting needles, project bags, markers, stitch holders, binders filled with hundreds of patterns, and anything else having to do with our craft.
But mainly our stash is yarn.
I have a four tier shelf in my walk-in closet which holds eight plastic bins, two on each shelf.  These bins are filled with yarn.  Not all of my yarn fits in those bins, though.  Some of it is still in shopping bags from whatever store I purchased the yarn.  Those bags are on the floor in front of the shelf.
Next to my chair in the corner of our living room, known as my nook, I have two baskets filled with the yarn of my current project(s).
If I had to explain my addiction, I would say that it is a pleasurable sensorial experience which in turn engages my creative imagination.
Trippin' on yarn?  Perhaps.
When I walk into a yarn shop, I'll stop for just a second at the front of the store and sweep the room with my eyes, perceiving the vibrant colors and soft hues of yarn filled shelves as one large painting.
As I make my way down each aisle,  I will choose an inviting skein to touch and squeeze and brush my cheek with.
I think of who might like a "Really Red" hat or a "Periwinkle" shawl.
On the way home, with my newest acquisitions safely tucked inside the cute pink shopping bag from "Woolbearers", my local yarn shop or LYS,  I solemnly promise not to buy another skein until I get my stash under control.
Yep, that's the talk of an addict for sure.
Oh, and don't even get me started on WEBS,  which is not only my favorite brick and mortar yarn shop (a four-hour car trip that I'll take once a year) but it is also my favorite place to online shop.  Curses to them for currently having their 42-anniversary sale. 


Okay, you wanna see, don't you?
I really have to re-organize 

But, I dare to believe that I have knitted and crocheted my way into perpetuity.


Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

X Doodling - The A to Z Challenge - The Letter X

Blogging from A to Z Challenge
April 2016
This month I will be participating in the “Blogging from A-Z Challenge” 
What is it?
Blogging every day.  It begins on April First with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until I finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.   The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.



X doodle

I'm sure that I don't have to mention this and I shouldn't whine about it, but I will anyway.  X is impossible.
Okay, not impossible but pretty darn difficult.

To try to get started I googled "nouns that begin with the letter X".
Did you know that there is a website called, Nouns Starting?

They have the nouns broken into categories.  It looks like this:

There are 18 animals listed, all with very long unpronounceable names.   I didn't think you'd be interested.

Did you know that there are no foods that start with the letter X.
I got this message when I clicked on the Food tab:

Sorry, we do not have any food words that start with X :(

That's according to "Nouns Starting" anyway.

They list three objects that start with the letter X


I wonder how many bloggers will choose to write about one of those.

Oh, the places you will go.  Well only three that start with the letter X



There are 22 "X" plants.  I picked the one with the longest name, xeranthemum annuum to show you.


It looks like this:
Pretty huh?

I read an article in the May 2016 issue of Family Circle magazine about 20 influential moms.
One of the moms is Johanna Basford.  They call her the Master Doodler.   According to the article, "If you ever wondered how the adult coloring book trend got started, look no further than Johanna.  The Scottish illustrator, whose hand-drawn works are featured in her wildly popular books like Secret Garden and Lost Ocean, reminds us that kids shouldn't have all the fun."

I have several of those coloring books.  They're supposed to be relaxing.  Personally, they stress me out.  It's just my personality, I guess.  I want it to be perfect.
So what does this have to do with the letter X?

I decided to draw my own doodle.   So, first, I drew an X on the paper.  Then I doodled all around and in-between the legs of the X.  I finished off by coloring in all the doodles.  

LyndaGrace's Doodle X 


Do you doodle?


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Which Witch? - A to Z Challenge - The Letter W

Blogging from A to Z Challenge
April 2016
This month I will be participating in the “Blogging from A-Z Challenge” 
What is it?
Blogging every day.  It begins on April First with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until I finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.   The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.

There was an old woman who lived on the outskirts of our small town.  "Out in the sticks" is how we referred to that area. There were all kinds of rumors about the old woman.  The main one was that she cast spells and practiced unusual rituals.
Gosh, I haven't thought about that woman in years.  Her name was Mrs. Strega.
My friend Cookie called me yesterday.  Cookie and I grew up together in that small town.  I moved away years ago.  Cookie still lives there,  in the house that she has lived in her whole life.
We stay in touch, speaking on the phone every few weeks.  We visit each other twice a year.    In February I go back "home" and in August, she comes up north to my house.
Yesterday, when we spoke, Cookie asked me if I remembered the old woman.
"Of course," I said.  "How could I possibly forget Mrs. Strega?"
"I don't know if you knew this, Lynda, but the old woman left an unusual will."
I did remember my mother telling me something about a will, but I didn't remember the details.
Cookie filled me in.
Apparently Mrs. Strega owned about 100 "out in the sticks" acres.
"Developers were always trying to get her to sell some of it off," Cookie said.
"Anyway, she left the property to a distant great nephew, something like that," she said.
"Mrs. Strega and her nephew had some kind of an agreement.  There was a stipulation that if the nephew didn't come to live on the property withing ten years, he could dispose of it as he saw fit."
Anyway, Cookie said that the ten years was up and the nephew sold the property to Clarke Developers.
"There are going to be at least one hundred new homes," she said.
"I hope the developing doesn't start until after my next visit," I said.
After we hung up, I remembered the encounter Cookie and I had with Mrs. Strega.
Despite our parent's admonishments, we were always venturing "out in the sticks".
Each time we went, we got a little braver and closer to Mrs. Strega's house.
The house was a one room cabin.  There were four windows, one in the front, one on each side and one in the back.  All the windows had black oil cloth coverings.
The cabin was in the middle of a thickly treed area.   There was a clearing of about 25 feet all around the house.  Along the side of the house was a neatly kept herb garden.
This one day Cookie and I got all the way to the edge of the woods.  We hid behind a big old oak, peering around the trunk to see if we could catch a glimpse of the old woman.
Mrs. Stegra came out of the cabin.  She was bent over and leaned on a crooked stick.  She had long gray hair, and a big nose with a wart on the end of it.  I swear she did.  She wore a black dress and black shawl.
"The only thing she is missing is a pointy hat," I whispered to Cookie.
I don't know how she spotted us, but she did.   Maybe she heard me.
She yelled out, calling us by our names.  I can still hear her raspy voice.  To this day, I don't know how she knew our names.
"Come here!"
In shock, we froze.
"Come here, now!"she yelled"
We timidly came out from behind the tree.  I was trembling.  Cookie told me later that she was shaking like a leaf and felt like she was going to throw up.
We slowly walked towards her, arm-in-arm.  When we reached her, we stood in front of her with bowed heads.
"Listen, girls, I'm out of bread and low on milk.   Do you think you could run to the store for me?"
We both jerked our heads up at the same time, and dumbfounded, we looked at each other and then looked at her.
She smiled.  She had warm brown eyes.
I stammered, "Sure Mrs. Strega."
She reached into her pocket and pulled out a little black leather pouch.
Opening it, she took out two ten dollar bills.
Her hands and fingers were so riddled with arthritis she could barely hold onto her cane.
I reached for the money and she took my hands into hers.
They were surprisingly soft.
Her face was close to mine.  Her hair hung loose and brushed my cheek.  I caught a whiff of a scent of peppermint and eucalyptus.
I wondered if witches were supposed to smell like that.
We never did go to the store for her.
In fact, that was the last time Cookie and I ever went "out in the sticks".
I feel regretful about Mrs. Straga.  I'm sure she was just a lonely old woman.

Nah, none of that really happened.

Straga - Italian for Witch.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Although the above piece is purely fictional I do happen to know a Wiccan.  Funny thing is, her aroma is peppermint and eucalyptus.
I guess even witches shop at Trader Joes.

                     Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner with Peppermint and Eucalyptus