All I Want For Christmas…

Is some data management. Really. You have no idea.

So it is Christmas Eve. The oddest Christmas Eve I’ve ever spent. There are about a hundred projects I can be doing, but nothing urgent or pressing. I know we usually shoot a new video on Friday’s, and drop the next one onto YouTube, but we opted to skip tomorrow, since it is, well it is Christmas, and truth be told, my daughter has exactly 7 days left to finish her third semester of her vet tech course. Parasites. Something like that. Canine, Feline, Avian, she is spouting nematodes, protozoans, and odd things that sound yucky, but totally fascinate her. The only tradition we have done so far today is our Christmas Eve Sushi Dinner. Of course it had to be take out this year. We did it for lunch.

I decorated. Minimally. We have animals. They get into mischief. My daughter added the Swedish touches, since she is half Swedish or at least Scandinavian.

We got our first snow. The dogs watched carefully and then leaped for joy when we let them outside. They don’t want to come in. Sadly it is supposed to rain 2″ tomorrow, which means all the snow will be gone. 60 degrees, flood everything and then drop to 27 degrees overnight so everything turns to a sheet of ice. Fortunately I don’t have anywhere to go.

So it is just Bri and me for Christmas. We will Zoom with my son and open gifts in the morning. We will Zoom with my family tomorrow afternoon. With the passing of my step dad two weeks ago, my mom is now with my Maryland sister for the holidays so I’ll get to spend time with her virtually, which I didn’t get to do when we drove to the burial, 3 hours, stood in the pouring rain well away from the family, with a mask, and then got in the car and drove home. By then it was rush hour on the Garden State Parkway, so the trip home was longer coming home. This whole year has been so odd, so sad, and yet, I’m an optimist at heart, and I constantly look for the silver linings in everything. It is how I get through life.

I almost never make new year resolutions, because largely my life is what it is, busy, crazy, creative, fun, and there isn’t much I’d change. But this year, though it is all of the above, however, I never go out. I never get to move around, exercise, and I’m really feeling it. On encouragement from a group of weaving friends scattered all over the country, we meet via zoom every Wednesday, there was all kinds of heavy duty suggestions to just get out and walk. So I did. I got up at a decent hour, dealt with the animals, and then went out and walked, some 6000 steps. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’m out of shape. I hurt all over. But it was beautiful. And quiet, and peaceful, and perfect. I went out and walked this morning as well.

I did finally finish my run of dishtowels, though they are a bit larger than I usually make, and one of the recipients enthusiastically said they were more like hand towels and should be in the bathroom. Sure, they work fine as hand towels too…

I of course had lots of help.

But with dogged determination, the knots came up the back of the loom and 15 yards of 8/2 cotton got cut off the loom, washed, dried, hemmed, and either shipped or driven around and dropped at front doors. This is Strickler 728 if you are a weaver and have Strickler’s book of 8 shaft patterns.

And so what’s up with the data? I’m actually drowning in it. I’m trying to work with my tech support to get a back up plug in for my blog, which has more than 12 years, and 800 plus posts in it. With all the hacking going on around the world, if Word Press gets hacked, I’m sort of screwed. So that’s sort of an ongoing thing we are trying to work out, but there are other data issues.

I am generally organized, but 6000 emails in my inbox, no matter now much I try to file and stay on top of things, is overwhelming. I have to try harder to spend the time working through the backlog. Truth is, I don’t want to organize 6000 emails, I want to be in my studio designing or inventing stuff. It is what I do best.

And all the pattern directions need to be updated, because now I have all these cool YouTube videos that tell you with each step, to watch this particular video for more information. And we have to add the logo to everything.

And the worst job of all, is my images. So I have a decent system for storing images, and they are backed up regularly to the cloud. But the folder with all of my images, dating back to 2008 (before that images are all stored on CD’s which is a whole ‘nother issue), is 121 GB, 916 sub folders with 43,000 files, presumably that means 43,000 images. The problem is, when I’m trying to write an article, a blog post, develop a tutorial, a PowerPoint seminar, or even just help illustrate a technique, I have to have a rapid way of searching through that data base of 43,000 images to find what I need. And I actually do. I use an image organizing file, Adobe Bridge, which I love, and it allows me to add keywords to each image so a quick sort will bring up all the images say, on bound buttonholes, or my tartan plaid fabric (which I recently had to do for an article coming out in Handwoven Magazine.) The only problem with this system is adding the keywords in a timely manner. Like as soon as I import them from my phone or camera.

And therein lies the problem. It is sort of hit or miss. So I spend hours looking through 916 folders to find what I know is there. My goal or resolution for the new year, if you will, is to get the keywords under control, or at least assigned. I started this morning. There were a number of subfolders where I did already add them. But there were just as many without. So I sit with my screen, folder by folder, working from a data base I created of key words, and assign.

I’ve found images I didn’t know I had. I’ve found images that are tough to look at, of my late husband in his last months. I’m working backwards and am mid way through 2016. That’s the year he died. But this is a good exercise. And I have the time. It is winter. And Covid. And this is the first Christmas it will be just me and my daughter. And the animals. Usually they are boarded because we go spend time with loved ones.

As the year draws to a close, this has been the most bizarre year I’ve ever experienced, but not the worst. Having my son away, deployed overseas for a couple of years, having watched my husband die of cancer, those were really bad years. So far I’ve been healthy, and busy and I have lots to keep me occupied in the studio. I have more ideas than you can imagine, more yarn than God, I started up the dyepots yesterday morning, and so there will be color this winter. I have garments to make, cloth to sew. I have videos to shoot, and stories to tell. And lots of remote teaching in the new year. And lots and lots of data to be corralled and organized. Sigh…

To all of my readers, please be safe, we have all come so far. Please help me hope for light, peace and grace, civility, kindness, and health for the new year. I wish all of you lots of opportunities to be creative, to be with those you love, even if it means an old fashioned phone call, or an old fashioned letter in the mail. My daughter sends out about a dozen cards and letters every couple of days. There is something gentle and safe about communicating with a card or note, with lots of fun stickers, and receiving one in the mail. And zooming with friends means you stop and spend an hour just being with each other. Wine helps.

I wish you all good cheer, good health, and great stories to tell.

Stay tuned…

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

14 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Debby Lewis-Idema
Debby Lewis-Idema
December 24, 2020 11:39 pm

Love the cat picture. Wish mine was that calm.

Patricia Day
Patricia Day
December 25, 2020 7:47 am

Merry Christmas Daryl, and to your family too

Peggy Bowman
Peggy Bowman
December 25, 2020 8:36 am

Merry Christmas blessings Daryl to you and your family. You and Bri have accomplished so much during lockdown – best wishes to her in pursuit of her vet tech certification/diploma, and to you with your mountain of references photos, etc. Thank you always for the reminders to be thankful for our many blessings of health, family and friends and the gift of creativity. Happier New Year!!!

Judith Larsen
Judith Larsen
December 25, 2020 9:15 am

‘scuse the typing as my arm in in a sling from a fall but I want to say Merry Holidays and to thank you big time, for saving blogs and images. That means I don’t have to and I know where to find your wisdom and creativity.

Joyce Newman
Joyce Newman
December 25, 2020 9:54 am

Merry Christmas everyone, hope you are all well! Our Burlington, Ontario guild has been doing Zoom meetings – Daryl, enjoyed your session! Here in Hamilton, Ontario, we had rain yesterday, that turned to snow through the evening, and we got up to 6″ of snow this morning. We’re healthy, but with COVID numbers going up, our city is in lockdown – we’re doing a family Zoom get together later today.

Rose Sires
Rose Sires
December 25, 2020 1:04 pm

Peggy Bowman said it all for me. Bless you. Stay safe and healthy. Happy New year to us all we made it through a horrible year!!

Dayamitra
Dayamitra
December 25, 2020 3:18 pm

Merry Christmas Daryl.
I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and truly enjoy your posts.
Be safe and my prayers are with you and I hope this terrible virus will leave soon! Till then we all must cope as best we can and find joy where we are able. Thank God for weaving!
I live in Australia and hear all the awful news that is going on there in America. My prayers are with you all! Love from an Aussie weaver.

Alice Sharick
Alice Sharick
December 25, 2020 3:33 pm

I just love your blogs. They make me smile, laugh, and sometimes cry. And they always inspire me! Merry Christmas to you and your family! And wishing you a healthy and peaceful New Year!

Anja Kressel
Anja Kressel
December 25, 2020 6:24 pm

Merry Christmas from Dingmans Ferry, Daryl. I love reading your blog posts. Maybe next year, when people can meet in person again, I can join your weaving guild in New Jersey. Happy weaving and a Healthy New Year to you and your family and all your readers out there!

Pat Sole
Pat Sole
December 25, 2020 7:28 pm

Merry merry Christmas and a happy and safe new year!

Nancy Weber
Nancy Weber
December 26, 2020 10:59 am

Merry Christmas to all of you. I hope that Brianna can complete her course and get that diploma/certificate(?). We continue to all hope for ‘light, peace and grace (what a great thought), civility (we’ve lost some of that), and certainly health.’ Looking forward to the interesting stories you all have to tell. Hugs, Nancy

Susanne TORRENCE
Susanne TORRENCE
December 27, 2020 5:18 pm

Happy New Year 2021!!

Joan Ahern
Joan Ahern
December 29, 2020 12:01 am

And now on to the new year. Wishes to all for a safe, healthy and happy New Year. Let’s all pray for normal again.

Mary and Tom Vaccara
Mary and Tom Vaccara
December 29, 2020 9:15 pm

All the best to you, Daryl. ?