Saturday, January 25, 2014


We are still in the Polar Vortex, like much of the country.  Last Sunday we had balmy temps of 30 degrees, sun, no snow, no wind.  We fled the house on a wonderful visit to nearby Wauwatosa, WI, suburb of Milwaukee for a dinner out.  We walked down a charming street filled with small businesses and shops, and I stopped in amazement to see two big old-fashioned store front windows in a dry cleaner's store filled completely with pots of geraniums, blooming, growing, blossoming in the afternoon sun.
What a complete treat, a luxury to behold in the middle of the frozen winter with sun once a week if we are lucky, and snow and cold almost every day.  The flowers must have been on the sidewalk outside for all of last summer, and then brought in to flourish through the winter in the windows.  The owner saved them, loved them enough to keep them going thru the winter and let us, those who walked by or came in for business, delight in their beauty.  All those shades of pink, rose, red, white! 
Note the gloomy, snowy, bleak landscape behind me in the photo, and our reflections too, all bundled up, trudging along.  Sigh.
We saw a mini library outside too, next time I'll get a photo of that, they are so charming.  The old shoe store but with modern Clark's in the window, and real moccasins, love that one too.  The chocolate shop, the bakery with incredible confections.  Then we arrived at Balistreri's Italian restaurant, one of our favorite local places, for yummy pizza.  We experienced Christmas all over again with the holiday décor, and spent a very enjoyable time, eating delicious thin crust melt-in-your-mouth real pizza. 
We're headed to way below zero again, and the icy ferns on my window will reappear, just another winter window for me to enjoy. 
I think I spoke too soon about enjoying the treasure hunt in my new Windows 8 computer, eeeeek!  I am finding it so frustrating not to get my old menus, not to be able to easily find and do things, but it is getting better as I conquer this.  I do like the slide shows of the photos from the App screen, much like those in tablets.
I reached my breaking point last week trying to print a coupon for the office store.  It was a pdf attachment and showed on a black screen.  No matter what, no menu, no right click, no way to say "PRINT."  Finally I read the Help topics and did a Screen Shot, saved it, and could print that from the little file folder system on my taskbar.  Well, it printed the entire black APP screen plus the coupon, which I did take with me to show my tech guy and ask how to do it.  He didn't know, and they all laughed at my using half an ink cartridge to get the coupon........grrrrr.  I had to laugh too.
I figured it out now; I hook up my old Windows 7 Netbook I used for travel, open the email and coupon in that, click Print, and out it comes on white paper, perfect.  There must be a better way.........
Then I get an email from HP telling me they will soon have new laptops with Windows 7!  Ah, too late.
Hope you are surviving winter, it's a bad one for the entire country.  I am glad I am not driving to teaching gigs, or the airport at 5 a.m. on dicey roads. 
Today I was organizing my photos, writing an article for American Quilter Magazine, and found the one, below, of my window in the room I often had at Asilomar where I taught for several years.  I loved that window.  I could relax after class and before dinner and evening events, feel the cool ocean air, smell the Monterey pines, and just "be." 
Soon I hope to crank up my trusty Bernina and do a bit of quilting.  I think Oliver would like to be back in "that room" again, looking out his two front windows, watching the world go by!
Keep quilting; don't let the cold grey days stop you.  Your work gets better every day...


Diane said...

I love Balistreri's. I may even love Simma's more!

At the moment I'm working on an appliqued sweatshirt jacket that is a gift. For all that I've had my Bernina 830 for over a year, I'm still dealing with a steep learning curve. While the three small sunflowers on the back of the sweatshirt look nice, the one on the front looks much better - because it was the fourth one I did. Bit by bit.

I'm hoping for a "cold" day for Monday or Tuesday...a chance to stay home and sew.

Sara said...

Stay warm! I am originally from WI Kenosha area, so I do remember those cold, cold days/months.

Hope you get Windows 8 all worked out or figure out a way to get Windows 7 again. My hubby refuses to utilize 8. Says it's garbage so we stuck with 7.

Have a wonderful time sewing away!

Pip said...

I just got a new laptop with Windows 8 also, it is a bit different to the old Windows, my tech guy also installed a programme called Classic Shell (just search Classic Shell) which makes Windows 8 much more user friendly, although like you I do like the slide shows of photos.

Jenny K. Lyon said...

What a lovely post! There is beauty even in the midst of a long hard winter-love your perspective.

I have Windows 8 also and it took me months but I think I finally have the basics down.

Anonymous said...

I dumped 8 and installed 7 when I got my notebook last year. Love it.

Lin's Quilts said...

Windows 8 is a mystery to me too. Right now I can't get my printer to print at all. Says it isn't communicating. I've tried talking to it, but it just rolls its eyes at me.

Lee said...

I too have one machine with Win-8 and find it so NOT user friendly - or I'm just too 'old-school'. I had the same problem of not being able to print from a pdf. And, if my rememberer is remembering correctly, you should be able to do Ctrl-p and be able to print. I've still much to learn, especially in finding all those hiding spots.

Diane Gaudynski said...

Thanks for all your comments and support! I am managing Win 8 OK, just that print thing. I've got all my documents and photos organized and like working in the desktop mode, of course.

What were they thinking with this Windows 8? It is not intuitive, not user friendly, just silly and wastes a lot of time. I think they just dumped off all of us who have been using Windows from the beginning in favor of new users who won't even miss the menus, organization, and control.

Anyway, thanks so much for all the tips! I'll try anything....!

Anonymous said...

If the PDF opens in the Reader app and you have a touch screen, try touch the bottom of the screen and swipe up. Look along the bottom of the screen and see if the print command is listed,

SewCalGal said...

So sorry to hear you are also having problems with win 8. My win 7 laptop died this past spring and I realized that ALL new PCs were being shipped bundled with win 8 so I was stuck. Hated it in the beginning and still hate it (almost one year in). Have heard computer manufacturers have found a way with Microsoft to be able to ship new units with WIN 7. I may go buy a new WIN 7 laptop, as I hate WIN 8 so much. Worst operating system ever.


Featheronawire Sally Bramald said...

I am still mourning XP and have problems with Windows 7. Heaven help me with with WWindows 8. Stay warm.