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A Picture from Edna

The cheery cherry tree that we planted in our front garden about four years ago is in full bloom today. It is beautiful! My memories of it shall never vanish, as I have captured them with my trusty Canon point and shooter, which I love, for just that reason.

This tree is the Yoshino, Japan’s favorite cultivated cherry tree developed more than one hundred years ago. More than 3,700 of these trees grow around the Tidal Basin, at East Potomac Park, and on the Washington Monument Grounds. Can that number be true? I got it from the National Park Service.

I planted this tree because my husband has always exclaimed over one whenever it blooms on a property that he owns in Burke, Virginia. My neighbers on either side of my house also have cherry trees. The one on the south side has a weeping cherry which blooms after mine. The neighbor below us planted a double flowering Kwansan cherry tree, so that we can delight in even more spectacular cherry blooms when the weeping cherry is finished. We love our cherry trees here, and they love being here too.

The image, Cherry Blossoms, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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My Son’s Twin


A Picture from Edna

Hey Mom, is this me?”exclaimed my son. “What am I doing here?” he wondered when he found his face plastered upon a Fox News Banner that appeared recently at the Fox News website. I also was stunned to find him amongst the Fox News employees going across country on a recent project, as he does not work for Fox News. How did his photograph come to be a part of the gaggle of Fox faces? I have no idea. The picture of the man on the far left hand side is either that of my eldest son or my son’s identical twin, which I never knew that he had. Was I robbed on the day he was born?

The spectacles the elusive twin is wearing in the photograph are the same that my son wore last year until he sat on them, and the cell phone being used is exactly like the one my boy used recently until he dropped it, scattering its case and innards into a hundred and one pieces. The twins obviously have inherited the same taste in accoutrements. I wonder if my son’s identical twin is as clumsy, too?  (CLOSE-UP of Photograph)

The image, Fox News Banner, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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I have been troubleshooting my problems with Picasa Web Albums since mid November, with nary one iota of help from Google. Google automatically charged my credit card in mid-November for another year of storage and at the same time re-sized smaller all of my thousands of photographs that I had uploaded to my paid account the year before. In addition, I can no longer upload my full size images – each time that I try my photos are made smaller.

I have written four emails to the only two contacts I could find. Only one received a response, from Picasa Support picasa-support@google.com, which response had nothing at all to do with my problems (Re: [#226174541] Picasa Web Albums):

Thank you for your recent storage purchase. Below are some frequently asked questions; each link will take you to a help center article where you can find more information. If you don’t find an answer here, please reply to this message.

I have now given up all hope of ever receiving help from Google and I will now have to eventually find the time to reupload all 137 of my albums at Picasa Web Albums from my computer to my Flickr account. This is such horrible service from Google that I must now rescind all of the complimentary posts I have made at my various blogs praising Picasa Web Albums. NO MORE PRAISE from me about Picasa Web Albums. GO FLICKR!

Caveat Emptor!” Rereading the TOS (Terms of Service) I see that Google is behaving in the exact manner that it warns about in its TOS:

4. Provision of the Services by Google

4.2 Google is constantly innovating in order to provide the best possible experience for its users. You acknowledge and agree that the form and nature of the Services which Google provides may change from time to time without prior notice to you.

4.3 As part of this continuing innovation, you acknowledge and agree that Google may stop (permanently or temporarily) providing the Services (or any features within the Services) to you or to users generally at Google’s sole discretion, without prior notice to you. You may stop using the Services at any time. You do not need to specifically inform Google when you stop using the Services.

4.4 You acknowledge and agree that if Google disables access to your account, you may be prevented from accessing the Services, your account details or any files or other content which is contained in your account.

4.5 You acknowledge and agree that while Google may not currently have set a fixed upper limit on the number of transmissions you may send or receive through the Services or on the amount of storage space used for the provision of any Service, such fixed upper limits may be set by Google at any time, at Google’s discretion.

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As I have previously written, HERE, I have been mystified as to why my Picasa Web Albums has stopped working for me. I can no longer upload nor download my full size images. I finally found a way of contacting the Google people at Picasa Web Albums and at that point I was able to see a synopsis of my account. That is when I made the discovery that after having uploaded about 160 albums of my images and paying for a second year of storage, Google in its infinite wisdom seems to have canceled my account. It took over a month of troubleshooting until I discovered this, as Google never offered me one iota of notification of this change. I finally came across a notation at the Google site where my account was cancelled when I requested refund of a $5.00 overcharge, a Google error. It is very disappointing, as I have been a big fan of Picasa2 and Picasa Web Albums. I even get emails from others asking my advice on using the various features of both Picasa2 and Picasa Web Albums. And NO, Google never even gave me a refund for the year’s storage that I paid for, that it canceled. NOTHING! ZILCH!

I am back at Flickr now – it is easier to understand and use: http://flickr.com/photos/neddy/sets/ I suspect that Google has lost interest in keeping up with the Picasa2 and the Web Albums wing of its empire, hence the shoddy servicing of its photography software and storage accounts. I have had to uninstall the Picasa2 software for the first time ever, as it stopped working after its latest upgrade to a half dozen or so obscure languages, that I will never use.  

It will truly be a shame if Google has ruined Picasa2 as it has been a wonderful photo editing software. Fortunately, I have just discovered Picnik, which seems to be very similar to Picasa2. I will be evaluating it with my Christmas pictures and learning to use it. Perhaps I will be able to survive my photographic life without Picasa2.

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I have been a big fan of Google’s Picasa2 photo editing software and Picasa Web Albums, but something has been wrong for sometime now and I cannot understand what. Something is no longer working the way it used to and whether it is the software or the photo albums I cannot say. Unfortunately, there is no where to go for help when things like this happen. I have tried Google’s blog and message boards, but they are not the place to get any technical information nor help. 

I am now back to uploading my photographs to Flickr as they allow me to upload my original images and allow me to download the same size, something that Picasa used to do, but does not anymore. No matter what I do, Picasa2 changes the sizes of my photographs. Usually it makes them smaller, but the other day I exported two photographs. One went at the original size so I was happy, then the other went from the original of 2.5 mb to 9.5 mb when I exported it. I have no idea why. I tried twice and it was the same both times.

This all may have begun with the latest upgrade of Picasa2 which was a few weeks ago. It may have begun when I paid for another year of service which was about the same time. And to boot, I started using a new camera and downloaded its software onto my computer. I did all three of these same things about the same time and that is when I first noticed that all of my photographs at Picasa Web Albums had been resized smaller.

So for anyone wanting to upload and download your original size of image, Picasa may not be the place to do it. Picasa resizes my images smaller and I have no control over that. Make sure you double check to see it your original image is being uploaded when you choose that option. 

The only suggestion I have found at Picasa Help for general problems is to uninstall the software and then reinstall it: http://picasa.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=15040&topic=1144 . I will be trying that to see if it works.

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A Picture from Edna

How to Goofyfy a Grandchild in One Easy Step: Go to http://www.picnik.com . Yes, it’s that easy. It’s a Picnik, with a “k.”

After making my “Merry Christmas Card” at Flickr, I did some further investigation and discovered that one can utilize the Picnik application entirely free at their own web site: http://www.picnik.com/. There is no need to go through Flickr. Flickr is just making it easy to do it with photographs that are already uploaded there. Actually this Picnik thing will get photos from other photo storage sites and also from your own computer.  

Someone at Flickr inquired after viewing my Christmas photos if I am ready for Christmas. Of course I’m not ready! I am enjoying the “readiness” of others. Such as today, instead of readying my own home for Christmas, I am headed to Mount Vernon, even though the weather today seems to be sleeting. I am curious to see how the Mount Vernon ladies have decorated my cousin George’s house for the holiday. I am only going because my friend Martha is doing the driving. 🙂

The image, What’s Up Kara?, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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A Picture from Edna

I created this card with Flickr’s new “Edit Photo” feature. It is great and I am a living testament to it being “Granny-proof.” I have not been using the Flickr site for a long time, as I have been uploading my photographs to Picasa Web Albums. I just returned at Thanksgiving time, and today there was this wonderful new announcement of on-line photo editing from Flickr. It is something I have been wanting to try, as I have Adobe Photoshop Elements on my old laptop and it is so slow and cumbersome to use, I get frustrated. I tried this and it really works. I love it.

I have not yet tried to actually do photo editing as I was so excited to be able to create a frame and write text on the photograph, something that cannot be done with Picasa2, my usual photo editing software.  I suspect that the photo editing may be as good as Picasa2’s. I will try it the next time I have photos uploaded.

When you look at your photographs now at Flickr, you will see above them a new button on the right hand side that reads “Edit Photo.” The application or software that they are using is Picnik. Yes, it’s that easy – it’s a “picnik.” Kudos to Flickr!

The image, Merry Christmas Card, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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A Picture from Edna

Cousin Violet’s Fudge Recipe

Long ago, before collecting recipes from the Internet became de rigueur, we homemakers often traded handwritten recipes. My cousin made the most delicious fudge and I was intrigued and asked for the recipe. I had stopped making fudge because I could only manage success about once in five tries. My usual result was a soupy concoction that could only be eaten with a spoon. Cousin Vi’s recipe changed all of that. It is simple – no boiling, and I make it in the microwave oven, which we didn’t have in those long ago days of yore.

Cousin Vi is now 78 years old and her handwriting is still as beautiful. That is because she has the genes of an artist coursing through her veins, as her father was my Uncle Ben, of whom I have written much. I made the fudge seen above, molding it into large cookie cutters of Christmas shapes. I used Google’s free Picasa2 software to made the collage of photographs.

The Recipe As Written by Violet –

INGREDIENTS:

  • 18 ounces semisweet baking chocolate (such as 3 bags of chocolate chips)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans (I toast them in the oven first.)

PREPARATION:
In a heavy saucepan over low heat melt the chips into the milk, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat. Add the vanilla, salt and nuts, and stir until smooth. Spread evenly into a waxed paper lined 8 or 9 inch pan. Chill for 2 hours, or until firm. Turn fudge onto a cutting surface, peel away the waxed paper and cut into even squares. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

*MICROWAVE METHOD: Heat chips and milk on high for 3 minutes, depending on the wattage of your oven. Stir until smooth, then follow the traditional recipe.

The image, My Christmas Fudge, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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Ever since Google’s Picasa2 software and then their Picasa Web Albums became available I have been their biggest fan and supporter. I have been uploading almost all of my digital images to my Picasa Web Albums, and seldom use my Flickr account anymore. That is now changing, as I find myself going back to Flickr. I have noticed that there is something amiss with the uploading features from Picasa2 to Picasa Web Albums. I have been troubleshooting it a bit, but I have not been able to discover what it is that is causing my images to be re-sized smaller. Apparently this has been going on for a while and I have not noticed it. That is, unless the entire Picasa Web Albums has done a global resizing of everyone’s photographs.

I have been checking the help and I see that it says one cannot upload photos larger than 20 MB. WELL! None of mine are anywhere near that large. And, I definitely do not like having my 1-2 1/2 MB images downsized to 500-600 KB without my knowing why. Does anyone know what’s up?

I was just billed last week for another year of service, so now I am wondering if instead of keeping my account the same, they have downgraded me for some reason. Does anyone else have this problem? Does anyone know what’s going on?

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A Picture from Edna

I made my Brer Rabbit Cookies today and once I saw how they had come out all crinkled, I remembered where I had first discovered the recipe for them. It was from my long time Navy-wife friend Elaine Rypka. These were cookies that I first enjoyed at her house and I remember being quite intrigued with the appearance of their sugary crackles. It was Elaine who told me that the recipe was from the Brer Rabbit molasses bottle.

That is one of my long ago memories that had almost vanished, but it came back. There is also the memory of the beautiful wood baking racks that I have been using for thirty years. I have a set of three; the two small ones seen here and one large one. It is such a pleasure to place beautiful cookies such as these, or casserole dishes, onto these racks to cool. My long ago friend, Don Denault, made these for me as a gift, and I have not forgotten that either.

The image, Brer Rabbit Cookies, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Vanishing Memories at Blogger, for more of Edna’s writings.

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