Living where we do, we pay through the nose to get fast internet service, although even at its best, we can't stream things. No NetFlix for us, or even watching YouTube videos, which is fine. We're too busy to watch much TV anyway.
But this past week, our Internet went out entirely. It's powered by a solar panel at the top of one of our fields, which somehow catches a signal from the nearest town. The solar panel went out, and we were without internet for almost a week.
I still managed to get on each day, briefly, via a modem that gets a signal from Verizon. But the modem overheats quickly, and its battery doesn't last long.
Then last night, our hot water heater finally gave up the ghost. Hubby said he could take cold showers until harvest is over (three weeks from now!), after which he could fix it. He's a DIY guy, not the type that would ever call in an electrician, plumber or any other type of fix-it person, 'cause he can do it himself better, and for less. ; )
Well, he might think he's tough and could get by without hot water (SERIOUSLY???? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND???????), but I cannot.
After I objected, he gave it a second thought and decided he'd rather have hot water to shower in as well.
So our son-in-law will replace it for us TODAY. He's been out here anyway, beginning to rebuild our deck. He remodels bathrooms for a living, and so he's also replaced many a hot water heater. He said he's never heard of any lasting longer than this one did. It's been in the house since 1979, when we built the house.
My flowers (above) are still looking very pretty. The marigolds are beginning to really fill out. And I'm beginning to get a bunch of ripe cherry tomatoes. I've never grown tomatoes, and those vines just kept putting out blossoms. We'll be having a frost in as little as 2-3 weeks, so I cut off the blossoms, hoping the plants will put their energy into making those hundreds of cherry tomatoes larger and redder, instead of continuing to grow new leaves and blossoms.
On the writing front, I've revised the first 25 pgs of my new manuscript, and have almost completed a revision of my original synopsis (1000 words). I noticed that I changed the ending somewhat from when I first wrote the synopsis, so I need to go back and change it to reflect my new plans.
I'm still planning to enter it into several August and September RWA contests. The first deadline is on August 15. I hope to get some good feedback. If by some chance I final in any of the contests, I might need to scramble to finish writing the last three-quarters of the book.
Wouldn't that just be awful? (Not.) The agents and editors who will be reading the manuscripts that final in each category are fabulous.
On the reading front, well, I haven't been reading much lately. Instead, I've been looking at all the pictures I've taken since the beginning of 2013 and am preparing to make scrapbooks. There's a method to the way I do things. First I digitally crop and/or otherwise adjust the photos that I have deemed worthy of scrapbooking. Then I open up Microsoft Publisher and start dropping them into a 12x12 (cut in half) template, which gives me a two-page layout on one 8.5x11 page in landscape.
I find it much easier to play around with photo and journal block arrangements when I do it that way. It gives me the option of changing my mind about whether a picture should have a horizontal, vertical, or square shape before I actually print it out. And I am guaranteed of getting a nice balance of horizontals and verticals in each layout. Because I make sure that I do.
Seeing each page in miniature, it also gives me a good idea for background colors. Predominant colors show up more readily on the screen than when looking at the actual pictures placed on a 12x12 background.
By laying out an entire album before printing even one picture, I can make sure I'm not repeating layout patterns, but am getting a lot of visual variety, apart from the sizes and shapes of the pictures themselves.
Anyhew, I spent six hours this week doing just that. In addition to the Disneyland album, which I finished last week, I've got pictures for three albums. I'm still using strap hinge albums, although when my stash runs out, and that will be soon, it looks like I'll be switching to three-ring binders. I've never liked post albums at all.
Next up is actually printing the pictures and trimming them to shape. After that, I slip them into the album on the page where they belong and select initial background (cardstock and/or patterened paper) colors. Then comes matting, mounting, journaling and finally embellishing. Each album generally takes about a 40-hour labor of love.
How was your week, reading, writing or otherwise?