What I Learned in July

So, one very relevant thing I learned in July is that my computer and my camera no longer get along. They decided not to speak to one another, so the only way I can figure out to get photos onto my computer is to load them onto someone else's computer first and then email them to myself. Which...in the classic and profound words of some woman who will ever be known for a GIF..."ain't nobody got time fo' dat."

I felt like I was committing some mortal blogging sin if I posted without pictures, so I just haven't posted. But maybe you can all put up with some dull-looking posts until I get a new laptop? I'm sorry for my technological ineptitude.

Therefore, moving picturelessly on...

1. The crawl stomp makes for the cutest tantrum ever. 
Gabriel, only one day away from his first birthday, has been putting most of his energy into developing personality, it seems. To express his displeasure, he "stomps" his hands against the floor as loudly as he can and crawls six or so feet away from me, before scurrying back and throwing his head against the floor at my feet. I promise I do not purposely make him mad to see this, but it's tempting.

2. It's estimated that one in three girls between the ages of 9-13 in Kenya is a slave. 
As we've been reading our way around the world for Jamie Martin's Read the World Summer Book Club, we've been learning both wonderful and shocking things about our neighbors around the world, but this horrified me and stuck with me the most. One unexpected result of our reading and learning is that it's given us much, much more to pray about.

3. You should see your own town with a tourist's eyes.
Two things prompted this discovery of how lovely my own surroundings are. 1) Thinking up activities for our North America week with the aforementioned book club (I promise pictures, you know, someday) led me to realize that there are about a gazillion great things to do with kids within 20 miles of me. 2) A visit from my big sister, who made the seven or so hour trek from upstate New York so we could have some sister time! We walked around the local center of town and stopped in a dozen stores, some of which were already old favorites (the bookstore! the stationery shop!) and some which were new discoveries (the cheeeeeese store...).

4. This sounds so elitist, but.... There's really no comparing grocery store cheese that's been wrapped up in plastic with cheese shaved freshly off a fine wheel.
Mark and I had to go back to the local cheese shop after my first visit, probably because I'm in the early stages of addiction. The shop owner was a lovely woman who chatted with us about cheese and dairy farming and cheese making for over half an hour (reminding me of how much I love buying locally and getting to know passionate local business owners!) and offered us copious samples of cheese (fueling my addiction). I learned a lot in that half hour, but I won't overwhelm you with the fascinating way that as cheese ages, the amino acids gather together and form crusty little pockets and.... ahem.

5. Parenting trick for those of you with toddlers: nothing keeps a baby occupied like setting your utensil holder on the floor and letting him get into all your wooden spoons, ladles, and spatulas. 
I bring it out only when I need a solid twenty minutes to focus on writing, and I set it down where Gabriel can just see it out of the corner of his eye. When I walk away, he silent-crawls over to it and quietly takes one utensil out at a time, with an expression on his face that clearly says, "Mama doesn't realize she just put these big person things where I could reach them, but I am totally going to make a mess of them until she catches on."

Now what I'd love to learn in August: 1) what's a more efficient way to get pictures onto my computer? and 2) what's a good, inexpensive but reliable laptop? Can you help me with either?


  1. Oh, glorious cheese! It is terribly addicting. We discovered a food cooperative here in Philly where we can get good cheese at less bankrupting prices. My fave is still Cotswold. But I love just about any sharp, salty cheese.

    While you're working on the new laptop situation, I recommend morguefile.com for free-use photos for blogging. I always attribute the photographer in the caption, though it's not required. I've been fairly happy with my HP Stream laptop. I do wish I'd picked the model with a bit more RAM, because Windows 10 is a RAM hog. But for a budget laptop, it has been decent.

    Another thought about your photos: if you have cloud storage--like Google Drive or Dropbox, you might be able to hook up your camera to a PC at your public library and load them onto your cloud drive, and then back at home, access the drive.

  2. My Canon camera has a memory card I can pop in to my HP Pavilion laptop. Otherwise, I wouldn't have a clue. :) So no need to apologize for tech ineptitude. And I'd recommend HP except I have trouble with the power button. It's finicky.

    Your parenting trick made me smile. When my oldest was a toddler, I let him have one low cabinet and gave him all the plastic spatulas, measuring cups, etc. to play with.

    1. Yeah, my camera's card used to plug in, but the laptop won't read it anymore. :( Thanks for the tip on the power button!


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