Candy Window Update: Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Board from Wikimedia Commons

Today I thought I’d update on what Bill is doing for the window this year. The core piece is a Raspberry Pi board like in the photo above. What does a computer board have to do with a candy window display for Christmas? I’ll try to explain. There are three sets of Christmas lights in the design: one on the Christmas tree, one on the wreath over the doghouse door and two strings of the large lights that drape over the roof of the doghouse. The plan is to use the Raspberry Pi board along with some other hardware to control how the lights go on and off. We are keeping it pretty simple this year to test things out but hope to do more complicated things with lights in future years.

We are playing around with having the lights synced to music from “A Charlie Brown Christmas“. This is new territory for us but I’m excited at the possibilities. In the worst case scenario we can have the board turn the lights on in the evening and off at midnight or so. Hopefully we will get succeed in doing lots more than that.

As far as candy gluing goes I’m now behind the schedule I made for my self for getting my this years candy window done. Yakira’s career change has distracted me. The plans for getting her to Florida are mostly in place so I’ve got to get back on track.


2014 Family History Writing Challenge

The Armchair Genealogist is planning her Family History Writing Challenge for 2014. At this point she is asking what our biggest writing challenges are, other than time. You can comment on her blog or on Facebook. In 2012 Lynn did 29 day writing challenge from February 1 – 29th. And it looks like she repeated the challenge in 2013. Now she is going to change-up the challenge a bit and while I don’t know what will be, I’m committing now to participate in The Family History Writing Challenge in 2014. I’ll let you know when she posts more information about the challenge but it would be awesome if everyone would seriously consider taking on this challenge.

Joy Jar

P1040284It is amazing how one little change in my life can thow me off kilter. It didn’t even wait until Emma arrived, just news of her arrival. Well she is 16 weeks old and six weeks have gone by since her arrival, so I’m trying to repent and get back on my goal of weekly Joy Jar postings. I haven’t just missed my weekly postings, I’ve been missing my nightly writing too. It isn’t that my life hasn’t had joy, I’ve just been procrastinating, I guess. But I don’t want to give up on my goal to fill my jar with joy each week through the year, so I’ve got to jump back in and fill in the best I can. So here is seven weeks of joy as best I can remember.

  • going to the state fair
  • a new leather belt
  • seeing a King Fisher
  • photos of Zodiac
  • new printer
  • blue skies
  • my continuous ink supply system
  • story prompts
  • printing on chipboard
  • super price for my printer
  • finishing walking the Jordan River Parkway Trail
  • starting up “Nature Club”
  • getting an “E” pup
  • cute Emma
  • photos of Banta
  • smart Emma
  • Book Club
  • planning with Karen
  • family time
  • sleeping through the night
  • autumn
  • no accidents
  • chatting with K & R
  • going to Tarzan
  • singing
  • sharing Emma
  • General Conference
  • Snoopy’s doghouse done
  • Bill’s help with the candy window
  • Sunday afternoon naps
  • getting a photo of Zulu (Zodiac’s sister)
  • my old printer lasting until I got the new printer
  • Dune off house arrest
  • Dune on a better relieving schedule
  • finding a great place for Yakira
  • no nighttime potty runs
  • good poop from Emma
  • warm autumn days
  • walks with Dune and Emma
  • Dune and Emma playing together
  • snuggling with puppies

Pupdate: Yakira

Yakira at six months

It was kind of strange today, realizing that it has been a week since we got the news that Yakira had been career changed. The first few days after that were kind of crazy. We had decisions to make about her future. Since Yakira was a guide for less than a year it was our responsibility to decide what should happen. Saturday morning the perfect placement for Yakira came to light. Yakira is going to live in Florida and join Apex’s extended family. Apex’s handler, Sue was chatting with her mother about Yakira and the inspiration hit that Yakira would be the perfect companion for Sue’s mom. Sue called us to find out if it was possible and we said yes and agreed that it was a great idea.

We have spent the last week trying to figure out the logistics of getting Yakira from Oregon to Florida. Not an easy task because there are no direct flights making it too long for Yakira to go by cargo. 18 hours in a crate is just not a good idea. So the current plan is to get Yakira to us in the next week or so and then send her by direct flight to Florida. There are a few possibilities and if those don’t work out we will drive to Oregon to pick her up. I’m excited to have Yakira stay with us for a day or two between the legs of her cross-country trip. I’m just as excited for her to get to Florida and get adjusted to her new family!


Laundry Tells Stories

by abdelrahman dnewar of Mansourah, Egypt on Behance

While I was browsing on Behance today, I came across this collection of photos that tells the stories of families in Egypt through their laundry hanging on the line. I’d never thought of this before. Hanging clothes out on the line isn’t something I see much of in my neighborhood it is fun and inspiring me to open my eyes to the things in our culture and the bits of info, photos and ephemera that tells us stories about our families. Stories are all around us, I’m just not as aware of them as I’d like to be.

Have you noticed any unexpected ways stories are told in the world around you?

another photo from abdelrahman dnewar


More on Story Prompts

Since I’ve been working on my story prompts project (I really am making progress and I should have something to share soon.) I’ve noticed story prompts in more places. In Your Story Coach‘s October newsletter besides listing her own “story sparks” Tami also shared a Tumblr site that shares daily writing prompts. Both of these resources are intriguing and I want to use them in future projects.

What have you used to help get your memory going?

Big Things From a Tiny Kitchen

Here is a fun way to share your passion about food with family and friends. The first part of the video talks about making the cook book and the last part how to make her signature dish. Below are previews of her two cookbooks. I love the idea of putting together your own beautiful cookbooks. Food is such an important part of families and our memories of childhood and good times together. These books are great inspiration.