Posts Tagged 'Life'

Adventures in Feedblitzland

Every day’s a new adventure!

After turning off my tendency to worry about how I’m going to accomplish all the things I have to accomplish in the project of setting up a new website and blog, I resolved to give it over to the Lord, to stop trying to figure it out and let Him lead me.

I did not expect that He would lead me to deal with Feedblitz today. Feedblitz is the service that converts my blog posts to emails and sends them out to those of you who have subscribed so that you receive them in your Inboxes. (You can subscribe — I think — using the “Click here to subscribe” link in the sidebar.)

I’m trying to decide if I should move the blog over to the GoDaddy WordPress incipient website first and then design the two together, or design the website first, then move the blog. Or, not move the blog at all, simply link to it. That would be easier, but the whole would not end up as pleasing.

So I decided to head over to Feedblitz just to see how difficult it would be to change things there if I moved my blog to a new URL. Well, not hard at all, supposedly. At least as they described it. But then, changing out your email wasn’t supposed to be hard either.

Somehow I ended up doing that… changing out my admin email. And in the process I lost my entire subscriber list! You don’t just change the email address, you have to “merge” your existing list/”site” named by the old email address with a new, non-existent list/site named by your new one. Then they send an email to the old address to approve and the new address with instructions on logging in and approving… and then suddenly you are dealing with a template, and all kinds of social media feeds (or whatever they are) and well, they were asking me the weirdest questions as I set up my “publisher profile,” questions I didn’t think they should be asking someone who was doing what I was doing that I was becoming uneasy and frustrated. Especially when I had no idea how to answer.

And then I noticed that the tab leading to my “sites” had vanished.

I panicked, went looking everywhere throughout my account panel, couldn’t find them anywhere. I went searching through the documentation. Nothing on losing one’s entire subscriber list. Then one thing led to another, as I tried this and that (including emailing Feedblitz’s support and posting a public question) I even went back to previously opened browser windows and suddenly there were my sites again. (I say sites because even though I only have one Writing from the Edge blog, for some reason I had 2 “sites” for it.) But when I tried to get to that page through a normal login, they had vanished again.

Long story short,  I had to finish updating the publisher profile. Once I did that, they reappeared for good. But they were no longer under the “My Sites” tab which had been done away with, but under the Account Dashboard link.

How can things that are so basically simple get so weird and complicated?

Anyway, if you are a regular subscriber and have received this blog in your inbox via email and you feel inclined to reply, I’d appreciate knowing if at least some of you have received it. And if it looks different from what you’re used to.  You can either reply directly to me or in the comments. Thanks.

Lost in Techland

karen profile

temporary profile picture

Why do I always think this stuff is going to be easy?

Oh yes, it’s marketed as easy, but somehow there are always these little glitches. And these little glitches somehow manage to consume hours of time to rectify.  And as soon as you resolve one issue, another pops up.

Over the last week I’ve spent a day trying to install the printer, researching on the web, downloading new drivers, trying to get the system to recognize them only to discover… ahem… the printer was not plugged into the computer. An oversight due to my fogged brain and swiss cheese memory, which gets worse under stress.

Last post I mentioned the problem with addr.com. Well, it turns out they are not as out-of-order as it appeared. The problem was not that addr.com was down or shutting me out, but that… Internet Explorer 11 in the Tile side of Windows 8 will not let me sign in to something as apparently ancient and backward as addr.com. But if I switch to the desktop and open that IE 11, then it works and I can get in. So all is not as bad as I thought it was. But it took days to figure that out.

Even so, I’ve already switched to a new hosting service for my website (GoDaddy), but when I couldn’t decipher my notes to figure out what I was supposed to do with all the login names and passwords I’d hastily scribbled on a sheet of paper during my conversation with the guy who set me up, I had to call in again. I did that today, and spent at least an hour and a half on the phone getting all that resolved. I guess the URL I’d been given was pointed back at addr. com for some reason, which was why I kept getting error messages. At least I managed to get all the various user names/passwords identified and fully documented.

Then there was the email, which is once again… well… I don’t know. I have the Win8 Tiles (I guess that’s called Metro) for two of my …services? inboxes? — And then the IE11 in desktop for a third. Now I have a fourth connected to my website which supposedly will receive all karenhancock.com mail, but not the other two…. So, though I’d already ticked “get the email working right” off my list of things to do, apparently I was premature because here it is, back on the list again.

I also couldn’t sign into my online banking account. I spent several days trying innumerable things,  including calling my bank. At first I got someone whose knowledge was too basic so she had someone from the tech department call me back. Turns out their system is as yet incompatible with Windows 8 and they have no idea how to get it to work. So I’m out of luck there until a later date. He suggested I use my hubby’s computer since it has a different operating system.

I just have to laugh. This is supposed to make our lives EASIER, right?!

😆

Chaos

blowing rain

My computer crashed last week. I decided to just go down to Best Buy and get a new one. Which I did. Actually I bought an all-in-one first, brought it home and immediately realized it was too big and heavy for my set-up. So the next day I brought it back.  Got a new tower with Windows 8

****SIGHHHHHHHH*****

I even had the Geek Squad do a data transfer so I wouldn’t have to do it. I thought it would be well worth it not to have to hassle with trying to figure out how to get the stuff off my old computer myself.

<<<desperate, hysterical laughter>>>

No hassle? Are you delusional???

I should add that the weekend before this I filled up our older top loading washer full of sheets only to have it stop dead. That was Saturday morning.  So I spent Saturday bailing water and researching washing machines, and then Stu and I went to Lowes and bought one. Of course it is nothing like the machines I’ve used all my life and necessitated an entire instruction book full of detailed directions to follow lest you ruin the machine, destroy your clothes, fill your washer with gunky fabric softener… did I mention that it was a new High Efficiency machine specifically designed to be used with a Downy Ball which are available “everywhere?” Not.

So first order of business after getting the machine into the house was to track down a Downy ball, if I didn’t want to have to time every wash load for the precise moment the fabric softener needed to be added. That’s what I did on Sunday and Monday. I could find none in Tucson. Had to order some online.

On Tuesday afternoon my computer crashed… so I bought the new one, then, as I said brought it back and exchanged it for the tower, and…

I only like old things!!!

I was told that the new one with the office program came with an email program similar to the one I had been using. NOT. I’ve been trying for days to get it set up and failing. (And thus had no email because of it) Today my hubby called in a friend who has a business doing this and he couldn’t get it to work either.  In the process I tried to contact my ISP, except they were down both phone and chat, but I could “contact them through email” as they suggested. I finally managed to get on a chat and the woman changed my password and I retried with that. Didn’t work.

So now I’ve been sent off to my webpage hosting service, only to discover they, who trumpet their 24/7 availability, also happen to be unavailable by chat or phone, but hey, I can leave a message and they will email me! Not. I tried logging on and couldn’t even do that.

Then I read reviews about them and was horrified at all the bad ones. Now I want to sever ties with them ASAP, but that would mean I’d have to find a new web hosting service (actually I’ve been thinking of trying to integrate my website with WordPress) (but that would mean I’d have to think about how I would do that) And anyway, what would that do to my email address which comes through the web hosting service?

I set up all this stuff over ten years ago. Not only can I remember little of the details, it’s all changed anyway.

Just to add spice to the mix, I also had doctor’s appointments nearly every morning last week, two of them lasting hours. But! I do not need a hearing aid!  And I do not have skin cancer! And further, the shingles relapse in my eye has dramatically improved. So I can’t complain there.

 In addition to all that, hubby is retiring NEXT FRIDAY and only found out about it last week. He’d planned on waiting another month. No, he wasn’t being urged by his employers to do so… he was just in a different benefits program for the first year of working for the company ages ago now, and then switched to a second and in order for both to be applicable, he has to retire earlier than he expected.

On top of all that… here comes the computer mess. I can at least do Bible class!  And write this post. But for the moment, no email. I could go with the Outlook that comes with Windows 7, or switch to Gmail… but how to get the domain name put into it is something I’ll have to research further.

And all this just exploded at the end of last week after I’d had four days of very consistent work on Sky.  But. I know my times are in my Lord’s hands, and that He knew all about this in eternity past and even chose it as part of His highest and best for my life so I shall try to focus on that, rather than, what-am-I-gonna-do? I have no idea what I’m doing, and don’t even know where to go for help!!

As proof of my Lord’s care, however, is the fact that for the last two weeks Pastor John has been teaching on the importance of us knowing what it means for us to be in Christ and enjoying all the blessings that come from that. Focus on that not all the craziness of life. We have been told we will triumph in Christ.

Okay, off to walk Quigley.

Slowly Returning

single rose small

 

I think.

At least that’s the plan.

I’ve been “on staycation” for about two months now, with posting here pretty sporadic.

A lot of stuff has happened. Most recently the shingles came back to my eye, and for the last three weeks I’ve been dealing with that, complicated by the fact that I seem to be reacting adversely to the antiviral the doctor wants me to take.

We had a wedding here of one of “our own,”,that is one of the members of our local congregation, a young lady who happened to be one of the students in my Sunday School class, and went on to become one of my dear friends.

Friends and family came in for the event, and such things always cram a lot of things into a very short time, where you spend days after recovering, not only from the simple exhaustion of late nights, longish drives and lots of talking, but having your head and heart full of wonderful moments that surface in a disjointed parade of memories afterward. (See my Introvert post, Static and the Need to Recharge, about needing to “process” the sudden high-volume of “deposits” that have been made into your soul)

At the same time as this was happening, my hubby was away elk hunting, and I had full charge of walking Quigley. (I don’t usually walk him every day — we take turns.) Hubby returned successful, so then we had, well, A LOT of meat to deal with. YAY! (We were completely out of wild game and I detest store-bought hamburger, and am not much fonder of ground turkey…) He did most of the work, but the kitchen and refrigerator were commandeered for about a week, I think, which was… distracting at a minimum.

Then there was the matter of my car failing its emissions test, twice, and various  trips to the repair shop, until finally it was decided that we could get a waiver on the whole thing. And all of this pretty much happening concurrently.

So it’s not really been the most “restful” staycation, and it’s not like I’ve had nothing to do but play… though I have managed a bit of that.  In fact, I actually went on 2 Artist’s dates!  And  yes, a month ago or so, I picked up the next Artist’s Way book, Vein of Gold, and started working through it…  only to stop not far in as the Lord took me off in another direction… but that, I think, is for another post.

In fact, I’ve already written a good deal more than I had thought I would. I just wanted to take a tiny step back toward regular blogging, and here I’ve got a full-sized post already. 🙂

Helping the Time to Go By

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So here I am, it’s April 14th, two weeks since my last post. I really had intended to get more regular in posting but somehow… it didn’t happen.  I can hardly believe we’re already halfway through April.

Reminds me of the young man the car repair shop got to bring me home last week and then bring my car back to the shop (I’d arrived too late to catch the shuttle home and was going to have to wait a really long time for it to come back again). That was on a Monday. As I drove, he asked me how my weekend had gone, what I’d done. I told him it had been Communion Sunday and we’d had a pot luck, as we always do the first Sunday of the month, which was a lot of fun. We did a Chinese theme this month which turned out quite successful.

Anyway, he nodded and agreed that sounded nice. “Helps to make the time go by faster,” he said.

I blurted something about already having the time go by so fast, the last thing I want to do is make it go any faster! But for him, that was not the case. He apparently was chronically in search of things to make time pass.

The last time I can recall really feeling that way was in elementary school when I was certain there was something wrong with the clock because for those last twenty-five minutes before school was out it seemed the hands stood still.

Now it seems they twirl madly about the central axis as if I’m in some sort of time machine. If I didn’t have a glorious reunion with my Lord and Savior to look forward to in heaven — and the fact I’ll never again have to concern myself with time’s passage, fast or slow — I might be alarmed at the speed at which it’s passing.

But I canNOT imagine being in a situation where I’m desperately searching for something to just “fill the hours.”  I may not make the best use of my hours, but I have no dirth of things I’d like to do with them. In fact, my problem is having waaay too many things I’d like to do. Far more than I can possibly do in this lifetime.

That used to bother me, but I’ve begun to see it as a sort of idol. Or if not that, then a desire that doesn’t necessarily spring from the mind of Christ. We live in an incredibly rich environment when it comes to things we can do and have.  And we’re constantly being bombarded with advertising about them all. With new ones  appearing every day.

TV. Radio. The Internet. Even if you try not to look for things, those blankety-blank windows rise up before you whenever you click to a new page. They pop up, slide up, drift from the side, drop down from the top, pop up some more and even if “Internet Explorer has blocked XYZ pop-up” you still get the pop-up that tells you the other pop-up was blocked… Who thought that was a good idea?

Finding the “close” icons and clicking on them is rather like swatting a bunch of flies before you can sit down to eat…

I have stacks of books to read, yet new ones are constantly being released. I have a wish list of clear and rubber stamps I’d like to get, yet new stamps are constantly being released. I was determined to stick with my regular TV shows this year, yet new ones are constantly being introduced, and done in such a way as to take advantage of one’s tendency to just sit there when an old favorite concludes until you’re hooked. (I knew I was going to be hooked by Elementary, but tried to avoid Golden Boy. I failed. I’m now hooked on that one, too. At least I’ve decided that Hawaii 5-0 is too annoying to watch anymore and that has dropped off my list…)

(Whoa! I can’t believe I’m writing about TV shows.) Anyway, it just seems that any area you choose there’s always new stuff, and it’s emerging at such a rapid rate I don’t see how anyone could keep up. Unless that was all they did…

I think I’ve complained about this before. Which is weird because I like all the stuff I’m complaining about. I just don’t like that there’s more of it than I can possibly enjoy.

But that’s one of the curses of mankind — the soul of (fleshly) man, says Solomon, is never satisfied, no matter how much it has. Even if it has no more time or room or energy for more, it wants more all the same…

Been Sick

Yes, indeed, I am now recovering from my marathon cold. I don’t think I’ve ever had a cold that lasted as long as this one nor that got me down as badly as this one did. First it was the four days of lying around doing absolutely nothing except sleeping. On and off. Then the days of lying around reading because everything else was too hard.

After that the nose running and coughing began. And lasted. And lasted. And lasted. I am still, on day 10,  blowing my nose and coughing, though not nearly as much as before.

But today, finally, it’s backed off a bit. A box of Wal-Act — pseudephedrine plus an antihistamine — helps somewhat; much more than the four-meds-in-one cold medication I was taking. I guess the decongestant in those OTC cold meds is a weak version of sudafed, which they can only sell through a pharmacist now. No wonder it didn’t work very well!

Anyway, I got back to work today, finally. 3+ hours on Sky. Whooeeeee!

Eye Saga Part 2: It’s Shingles

Yes, that is the diagnosis. I have shingles.

I saw my primary care physician on Friday, at 10:30am and after looking me over and hearing the tale, said he thought they were shingles after all. I just haven’t presented the symptoms in the normal way. The pain usually comes before the rash, and in my case, the rash came without any pain at all.

However, my eye is another story, because it is involved, too. In fact, THAT’S where the pain first showed up and that’s why it was devoid of any sign of symptom.  (Also why everyone thought it was dry eye, which is the most common cause of the symptoms I was showing.)

My PCP said I needed to see an ophthalmologist that very day and his office would see that I had one. Well, I ended up with an appointment, but it was with an optometrist after all. (In fact, I think it was the same one I would have seen the previous Wednesday, had I hung on to the 10am appointment.)

She was excellent. Inspected my eye thoroughly and agreed: it’s shingles, all right. She saw two “vesicles” on the outside of my eyeball, neither of which are likely to threaten loss of vision. One’s on the cornea, the other on the conjunctiva. There’s another on my upper eyelid.

Illustration from antranik.org

Illustration from antranik.org

The pain I felt in my eye for the last week, the weirdness of it, the way it would come and go, the kind of stinging, flash-like sensation of it, all this before any redness showed up, was the shingles affecting the nerves there.

But who would ever think that apart from the bumps on my forehead?

Anyway, I’m on meds now, and anti-viral and an anti-inflammatory, which come with their own somewhat unnerving side effects, but as I’m getting used to them, things are improving.

The pains have also moved to other areas on the left side of my face — the back of my tongue, in the temporomandibular joint, sometimes in my neck, on the top of my head, just to the left of the centerline — all consistent with the diagnosis.

And I can actually work on the computer for a bit without my eyes going completely bonkers.

I see the eye doc tomorrow morning, and the PCP on Friday. I’m hoping the meds will take care of it, but one thing I’ve learned about shingles is… who knows what it’s going to do.

I was feeling guilty because I didn’t get a shingles vaccine last summer when my PCP told me to, but he said the vaccine has a 60% success rate so it’s pretty much a toss-up whether it helps. A third of his shingles patients this year had gotten the vaccine, and ended up with it anyway. So there you go.

The coolest thing about it all was that when I went across town on Saturday morning to look at the new eyeglass frames I’d ordered two weeks previously, I stopped at Starbucks first for breakfast, took one of my new anti-inflammatory pills and drove on to the optician. While I sat in the waiting area, my heart suddenly seemed to be pounding in my chest, faster and harder than normal.

I grew alarmed. It was only 20 minutes since I’d taken the pill. Was this a side effect? Was I going to suddenly have a seizure? Collapse in a fit of anaphylactic shock?  I got up and went to speak to the woman at the desk…

And it turned out that she had shingles , too! Was just getting over it, in fact. How’s that for a “coincidence?” We had a fascinating conversation, and in the end I was much comforted, so I know that was a provision from my loving Father, reminding me He has everything in hand. As always.


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