Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Warm but Fuzzy Memories

For years I have tried to understand VHS to digital transfer of videos representing 30+ years of family life, events, and vacations. With no success, I was still waiting for a good deal to pay someone else to do the project for me. $$$$

I found a solution this week. Because I use my Amazon Reward Points for FUN purchases, I checked on Diamond VC500 One Touch Video Capture. I read the reviews because the device was exactly what I need as an amateur...and it would be free with points. All was easy despite the sparse directions; however by trial and error, I got results. [Do not ask how I did it. As I said - trial and error...]

The images show the fuzzy damage of years of playing these tapes, but so does memory. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Outside Little Townships

As I do occasionally, I visited the area where I was born, along with five generations before me. The progenitor of my father's family in America was Samuel Jeffcoat, born in England in 1752. Here he settled in what is today my beloved South Carolina. On this particular trip, I attended the history day for our National Jeffcoat Reunion to learn why Samuel and others settled in this place called Big Pond Branch.

From the Map Collection, Mouzon Map of NC and SC, 1775 

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2014/01/08/3196667_rediscovering-the-indian-head.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Michael Jeffcoat , The State
Leading the history tour was my cousin Michael Jeffcoat, a forensic historian.[We share the same great-great-great-great grandfather.]

Interested in what Michael has learned so far? The State carried a wonderful article "Rediscovering 'The Indian Head,' A Special Place Lost to History" by Joey Holleman. Read about Michael's research here in Holleman's article.

Next year's history tour should be even bigger and better. Michael did a great job as a presenter and guide. I look forward to attending again!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Order in the House!

Steps so far to bringing order to "my house"

1. Working on my home organization steadily, I continue to find balance for a new life. Somewhat following this blog, I plod on daily. The difference, I believe, is that I have occupied this structure probably as long as this competent blogger has lived. She has great ideas, so I have adapted her ideas to my home. The big difference? I have taken fourteen months compared to the fourteen week challenge. I enjoy a process!

2. My friend Sammy introduced me to Fitbit Flex, a wireless activity and sleep band. The Flex tracks my activity and sleep, as well as syncs my stats wirelessly (number of steps toward a daily goal of 10,000, calorie intake from my food log, calories burned, and sleep patterns). I like that the Flex provides real-time progress with graphs and charts, while allowing feedback from fitness partners. My biggest challenge has been to put it back on when I have my hands in water (Flex is waterproof, but I do not want to test it). Thanks, Sammy! I needed to be accountable to someone concerning a creative way to get back to healthy lifestyle habits.

"I will reward myself with new colors when I reach certain goals."

3. Want to revisit my family cooking project? After about two weeks, I needed to cook again. I shopped on senior day at Publix (Wednesday), got the crock pots going for overnight (being thrifty by considering Peak Hour Energy times), and then spent about four hours on Thursday morning preparing and cooking our meals to divide.

[Recipe links are at the end of this post.]

I had spent the weeks since last cooking by putting together a method for my visually learning brain to plan menus. I created a personalized magnetic "Pinterest" board of my recipes. My daughters had a chance to choose what they liked, and I created a "balanced" plan for the month. (I guess that I missed creating my back-to-school teaching tools. Yes, I do have my own crafting laminating machine. Is that too strange?)

"So as not to be really tacky, I will remove these once the month to six weeks is planned."

This was the plan for this week.

[Salad, Soup, Veggie Meal, Chicken Meal, Beef Meal]

"We will divide the $81.68 three ways - DELICIOUS and THRIFTY!"

"I saved $36.68 for my red wine purchases this month."

Simplify, Simplify. Simplify. Well, now I feel like a modern Thoreau, but he would probably frown on my dependence on technology.