Saturday, March 31, 2018

Wonderful Pistachios - Unsalted

When you have high blood pressure and borderline cholesterol readings, you do try to manage a reasonably healthy diet. And I try to! But sometimes finding the exact item is tricky. Both my husband and I like pistachios. They come in all types, but mostly salted, spiced, and lightly salted. It’s really hard to find unsalted - although I much prefer the salty taste! And we prefer the shelled type rather than just the nut. Every time we go to the grocery store we look for them to no avail. Even the lightly salted ones are hard to come by. So, as everyone else does, I checked on Amazon to see what I could find and there they were. So I ordered up four of the one pound bags. I really don’t think it’s necessarily heart healthy, but it sounds good. It seems weird to get a package in the mail for this sort of thing and it came all the way from California. Hopefully the supply will last awhile. But at least now I know I can get my hands on it. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Uflex Knee Sleeve, Ace Bandages, and Curbs

For no known reason, for the last six weeks or so my knee started to ache. Rather than rest it, I worked it and kept walking and exercising. After a couple of weeks with no improvement I started taking aspirin twice a day. That helped a little. It wasn’t a constant pain, and it would switch from knee to hip and back to knee. I started using a pillow between my legs at night so as not to rub kneecaps. But it just wouldn’t quit. After a month or so I finally decided to have it checked out and ended up at the prompt care clinic (it seems the regular doctors don’t want to be burdened with these types of things) where I ended up catching whatever awful bug was circulating in there. They wrapped it with an ace bandage, told me to stay off of it, use ice or warm compresses, raise the leg, wrote a prescription for an anti inflammatory, and wrote a referral to see a sports medicine GP for follow up. So I went to see him, had a few X-rays, and got a diagnosis of arthritis along with instructions for exercises. However, when I received the X-ray findings in the mail, they all said “normal.” So, I don’t believe anything I’ve heard. All I know is that when my knee was really bothering me, wearing an ace bandage around it for support just felt better. So I ordered a uflex knee sleeve to have in the event of future events because the ace stretches out and the fit doesn’t last. But one of the things I came to really appreciate were the ramps on the sidewalks. Taking stairs and curbs put extra pressure on my knee. So using the curb ramps has been on my agenda every day when we walk. I’ve stopped taking aspirin and wrapping my knee and have started slowly to resume my usual activity and exercise. My knee still doesn’t feel right but it’s much better than it was. I think I may eventually need an MRI or Cat scan to find out what’s really going on. I’ll save that for my next annual visit since that’s the only time you can get an appointment with your regular doctor. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

DEPSTECH Wi-Fi Endoscope

We live in a place where it is pretty tight quarters. It is near to impossible to access whatever is going on above us in the “attic space” above the washer and dryer in the tiny closet. Every once in awhile you need to get a closer look at the old pipes and check for other untoward things. And once you are up there, you can’t even fit in to the space because of hvac and beams. So we decided to get an endoscope in case the need arises in the future for us to get a better view - not only for there, but other tiny spaces that you just can’t see. I checked on Amazon and found the best results for the DEPSTECH endoscope camera. Both my husband and are were Heath care professionals. Endoscopes have certainly come a long way! He was so thrilled to see this thing because he loves to explore and remedy problems. It arrived yesterday and it really is something else. At this time we don’t need it for anything in particular so I just stuck it in his ear, behind the refrigerator, and up in to the kitchen cabinet. It is semi rigid and a few feet long with a controllable light source on the tip. It also comes with attachments for the tip - a magnet, a hook, and a mirror. You can charge the batteries with the accompanying cords. You simply download the app, connect the scope via Wi-Fi to DEPSTECH via settings, and then you can view the space on your iPhone or other device, take pictures or videos, and see what’s all going on. It was only $38 - amazing! Technology has sure come a long way and can be used for very practical purposes. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Banner Page Updates - So Many!

It’s been a while since I updated the banner pages on all the websites I use. Over the last several years I’ve established a brand and logo for my digitalart. I use my initials “LIT” and combine that with digitalart or digital paintings. And most recently, I changed up a bunch of my favorite pet portraits to make all the backgrounds transparent. I was then most drawn to the black and white Kitties and Pooches and arranged them in groups of two, three, four, or five so I could use the same image on all the different banners because each site has different dimensions. But at least there would be now be more consistency in the look, and for the most part, the profile picture. I started with Etsy and my pattern personal website, then Artyah, then Redbubble, Twitter, Business Facebook page, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. Hound and Company, Merch by Amazon, Instagram, and Pinterest don’t really have “banner pages,” and I really need to do some homework on my Wordpress site. This is really a full time job keeping up with, updating, and making all these things fresh. I’m really glad I enjoy doing these things. Otherwise it would be a major inconvenience! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

LITDigitalArt on Redbubble

I’ve been updating the banners on all of my digitalart websites - except for Wordpress. I really am not sure how to fix that site since I started it with the help of a colleague using a desktop computer. Now it’s an app on my iPad and probably is a lot more user friendly - but I don’t want to mess it up! Anyway, I just got accepted to the Amazon Merch community and have spent the last few weeks fiddling around with my digitalart work. After a lot of research, I was finally able to make the backgrounds transparent and resize images to meet the requirements. Merch isn’t friendly to iOS devices, and that’s where I create all my work - using my iPad. I’ve also been reading about other websites to upload art and came across Redbubble - among many others. I figured if I populate enough of them, I may have better luck getting “discovered.” Every once in a while I get a notice from Zazzle or Fine Art America that someone found, and liked an image, enough to buy. It really amazes me that anything I have created is actually found in the maze of art on the internet. But it’s really a full time job finding, maintaining, updating, and then promoting all of these things. The nice thing about places like Redbubble is that the item is already created. My other website in Etsy usually means a custom pet portrait that takes a while to sketch and paint. So my Rebldbubble site is up and running. If you have a minute, please look around at LITDigitalArt. The stickers are cute! And I would welcome any feedback. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Happy Birthday!

It’s a very special day today. It’s my husband’s birthday. He hates having anything to do with birthdays, claiming they are over rated and were not celebrated when he was growing up. But he gets reminded of them by a couple of his closest work colleagues every year. He gets hard copy cards in the mail a few days before the actual day. Neither one of us does anything particularly out of the ordinary on days like these. We did our usual morning walk and I asked him if he would like to go out for lunch somewhere. I drove both to and from our lunch destination - something I wouldn’t usually do. I started wishing him a glorious day last evening and about every hour this morning. It’s a bright and sunny day which is unusual given the snow, ice, and rain of late. We are just so thankful that we are able to still get around and have each other’s company. That’s the best birthday gift I can think of. 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

On the Internet - Scientific Articles, Digitalart, and Children’s Books

Every once in a while I google my name to see what comes up. I post a lot of stuff on line related to my digitalart and have several websites that I update on a daily basis. It’s like having a full time job. So it was interesting to find something called “Art Ranked Discovery Engine” specific to springer spaniel paintings. There are thousands of images out there and I was pleased to see one of mine in the top 38. There was another site called “Alibris” that highlighted the best selling Betta books. Among the 12 or so that were shown was my children’s book called “A Tiny Fish Tale” that I wrote and illustrated several years ago about my Betta fish named George Washington. It was first published through StoryChimes and was available on ITunes. Then I self published the story on Amazon. What was even more interesting were the scientific contributions that were identified. These included my real clinical nursing and management articles about the first bedside automated documentation system using touch screens in 1991, my masters thesis abstract from Marquette University about peripheral vascular disease, and an article about venous stasis ulcers that I wrote as a head nurse so many years ago! I wrote another article about using multiple lines for hemodynamic monitoring in the ICU, but that didn’t make the list. When I look at all this it reminds me that I’ve had a very diverse interest in several things, but knew I needed to make a living when I selected my major in college. Luckily I’ve been able to enjoy nursing, journalism, and art throughout my careers and now in to retirement. I always liked to draw even as a youngster, but my practical side pushed me to major in nursing. Good things have come from each phase and I am very proud of all of them.