TreeSquared: Cat Up a Tree

I have been AWOL the last few days, but I am back with another kind of “tree” for Becky’s July Square Trees. Cats love to climb on things, and are attracted to furniture with different levels, enclosures or holes to explore. Or to sleep on. Cat trees are typically made of a carpet material which felines use as a scratching post as well. The structures cat owners buy for their pets come in different sizes and shapes. This is one of my grandcats, lying on her humans’ “cat tree.”

CFFC: White

Cee is doing a color series for her CFFC and this week’s color is white.

soap with bubbles
white lilies
Queen Anne’s lace macro
hydrangea macro
Flowering tree at Chicago Botanic Gardens
Waterfall – CBG
Snowy footprints
ceramics ready for decorating
leaves in frost
VW in Bethlehem
bride and groom
patio chairs in January

Month of Lurve #27

For Paula’s second to last day of her challenge February Love Me, I am getting low on topics (lol!), but I now turn to media…specifically TV.

I wanted to say movies – who doesn’t love movies?? But I realized that there is something on TV that I love more than movies.

Feb. 27: I love…TV miniseries! Most of them are on PBS but not all – we no longer get HBO or Starz or Showtime, but we do have Netflix, which has many of its own original miniseries. Some miniseries last only a few weeks, while others run for several seasons. The most famous of these is probably Downton Abbey, which I followed diligently, and couldn’t wait for the next season to start! PBS has a lot of really good miniseries, most of them British. But Netflix has Unorthodox, Anne With an E (based on Anne of Green Gables), Ratchett, and more. Some of them are “feel good,” some are funny, some are profound, and others are historical or maybe mysterious. I like being able to follow the same characters every week in my living room. Below are a few of the miniseries I have enjoyed regularly.

This is actually the trailer for the Downton Abbey movie, not the series.

I Won Fair & Square!

For several daily word prompts, I present a window into one of our oldest family traditions: playing board games.

Every New Year’s Eve, it’s a tradition for my sister and brother-in-law and the two of us to dust off the Scrabble game. Accompanied by wine, you would think everyone would have fun!

I’m sorry to say, however, that my brother-in-law is a sore loser! I was surprised to discover this trait in him, because he is usually laid back and accepts whatever comes with a chuckle. But coming in last in Scrabble – he just can’t take it!

Here’s the scenario:

I’m looking over the board, trying to find a place to place at least one of my difficult-to-play letters. There are few openings. I’m in third place with few options at this point in the game.

Aha! I spot an “I” with spaces around it! And one of them is a double letter square – usually not great, but by placing my “Q” in that spot, it boosts my score by 21 points, and I move into second place!

QI?? What the hell is that?” says E–. (I am not disclosing his full name, in case he or anyone who knows him happens to read this!)

“Qi – you know, it’s a Chinese word,” I try to explain. “It means ‘energy’.”

“Well, whatever it means, it’s not English!” he retorts.

“But everyone – (ahem) – lots of people know about it,” I reply. “And it is frequently used in my Words With Friends game which is based on Scrabble.”

Words With Friends?? I don’t know what that is. We are playing Scrabble here.”

With a sigh, I try to explain that it has come into general usage in English. “I know at least one blogger who uses it a lot.”

“Well, one blogger isn’t general usage,” he insists stubbornly. “Katy, you’re being really ostentatious.”

“Oh, come on!” I protest, getting flustered and trying to think of another example of a foreign word that is used in English.

“Qi is an acceptable word,” my sister puts in. “It’s in the Scrabble dictionary.”

“And also the English dictionary, which we have right here!” I say exuberantly, and jump up to look it up in our Webster’s 20th Century Unabridged Dictionary, which lies open on the chest next to the dining room table.

“Wait, wait,” E– says. He turns to his wife. “Why do you say it’s acceptable?” He still clings to the slim hope that he can prove us wrong.

“I just told you – it’s in the Scrabble dictionary,” my sister says.

“And here it is in this dictionary, too,” I reiterate as I put a finger on the word in the massive dictionary.

“But we don’t use dictionaries when we play Scrabble,” E– insists.

“Huh?” both my sister and I exclaim. “Yes, we do,” she continues.

“We only use a dictionary when a word is contested,” says E–.

“Yeah, and you are contesting my word,” I put in.

“Which means you lose your turn,” my sister says smugly.

Now my sister’s husband is really mad. He begins to sulk.

I try to smooth things over by being reasonable. “You know, we use a lot of foreign words in English. What about taco?”

“Everyone knows what a taco is,” he replies resentfully. “Qi – what’s qi?? – It’s not in general usage.”

Because it is three against one (my husband, who has kept out of this conversation, votes with us women), E– has to accept it. It’s supposed to be his turn next and he slams the letters he was going to play on the table. He really does have crappy letters, I notice with chagrin.

When the game is over, I’ve won and E– is in last place.

We have had this argument at least three times. Now when someone plays “qi,” he just shakes his head and grumbles to himself.

The Monday Peeve

I don’t ordinarily participate in this challenge, hosted by Paula Light, but today I have a big peeve with WordPress, as other participants and the host do!!

This morning, I chose about 20 photos to include in a gallery for a “special edition” of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. The theme this week was orange and green. I had already posted several photos for this challenge last week, but over the weekend, I was looking at my photos of Bryce Canyon National Park and I started thinking, these photos would be the perfect gallery for a photo challenge about orange and green!

I selected the photos I wanted to use and then started a gallery block on the “block editor.” They were taking quite a bit of time to download into the gallery, but I didn’t worry about that, because I’ve had that happen hundreds of times in the past (pre-Block Editor!) and the photos always downloaded eventually and appeared in my Media Library, and from there I put them into the post.

I guess the idea was to bypass the Media Library when WP designed the Block Editor, because you just select the block “gallery” or “collage” or “tiled gallery” and then download the photos directly. They do appear in Media Library, but you don’t have to go through the step of selecting them from there anymore, unless you want to use them again.

Well, apparently in this new system, you have to wait for one or two photos to download completely into the gallery before you can add others, because otherwise the others will not appear. Once I realized this, I painstakingly downloaded one or two at a time and waited until they appeared fully before adding more. I then discovered that if I tried to add a caption to the ones that already were fully downloaded into the gallery while at the same time others were downloading, once the download was complete, those captions disappear or revert back to whatever original caption was assigned to them.

When I got them all in the “gallery” (which is what I selected for the block), I added/deleted captions, and decided they would look better in a collage or tiled format, because some were vertical and some were horizontal and in the gallery they all appeared as squares. I thought, no problem – the photos are in the Media Library, so I can just delete this gallery and select the entire collection to put into a tiled gallery. So I deleted the gallery blocks and selected the “tiled block”, then clicked on “select images” and “Media Library.” What to my surprise and frustration, I found that only seven of the images were still in the Media Library even thought I had originally downloaded all 20!

By this time, I had worked on this one post for nearly an hour and I wasn’t going to go through the lengthy process of redownloading all the remaining images, since that had taken so long. So I simply posted the seven that were in the Media Library but was peeved that after all that work, my other photos would not appear in the post.

Halloween Challenge

I just heard about this challenge from Melanie B. Cee, who hosts Share Your World. I don’t get into Halloween anymore, so perhaps this challenge will inspire me.

This Halloween Challenge comes from Tourmaline and it’s in the form of a calendar, with a word prompt for each day in October.

Tourmaline says:

Each day in October there will be a new prompt. Share a picture, write a poem, write a blog about your day, anything along the lines of the theme will do!

Post as often or as little as you’d like. Share your links with me on my daily post and I’ll keep a running list of all participants both here and on the daily posts, whether by blog, social media, however you contribute.

I’ll do as many as I can, but first I have to catch up!

Oct. 1: Fog – nothing spooky, just taken outside my former workplace on a foggy day.

Oct. 2: Blood – I really don’t have photos of blood – I try to avoid it if I can. I also don’t write about it usually! Here’s a photo I took after I fell flat on my face on the sidewalk one day when I was taking a walk. I’m only showing the nose because the picture is awful and pathetic.

Oct. 3: Owl – not just one, but two! Taken in Tanzania, it was the only time we ever saw an owl there.

Oct. 4: Hay – fall decoration

Oct. 5: Frog – in the muddy bog (Volo Bog)