Friday, August 2, 2019

What Is It About Blogging ??


Is blogging an addiction, an escape, a journal, online communication where the world can see you based on how you have your settings in the background? I do know that the internet, smart phones, online gaming or reading blogs is addicting. Some can handle it and control the amount of time they spend doing those things. Yet, is it out of control if you feel like blogging publicly again? I have quit many times since October 2011 when this blog started. A few of those times I deleted the blog just like I did to this one on July 25th ... but I always seem to come back.

Now the decision will be which blog do I use ... this one or my Wordpress blog ?? There are features I like on both formats, Blogger and WordPress. One big difference is Blogger has unlimited space for photos where Wordpress gives me a certain number of Mb of data depending on which plan I pay for. Since I just moved my blog back to their 'free' account, my space available for photos has decreased drastically.

Blogger compresses their photos Wordpress does not. They are not quite as sharp and clear on Blogger but is it that big of a difference? Big enough to pay for a plan just to have better quality photos? Remember, I'm cheap, I hate wasting money although I don't mind spending money ... just not for stuff like that.

So I am leaning toward returning my blogging to Blogger at this location.

I am sure a few readers are wondering what happened from my last blogging activity in May on WordPress until now. There have been a lot of changes and at the same time some things remain the same. The hounds do sleep the majority of the day but I have moved to where I am not pulling ticks off of me after every summer dog walk. Heidi misses her grass yard but she has taken more walks the past ~2 months than she has in years. Even Stella whines early in the morning if we are not out on her walk. If you remember she was boycotting the walks in late May.


The high desert doesn't have a lot of green grass or a hay field to walk in. I have found though, after years of very little running or trotting by Stella ... she does like to trot and even run at times as she walks down the middle of an empty street. She still can track scent on vacant land and we still walk the same amount of time and almost the same distance was we did in the field.



What is much different is Stella and I our doing our daily walks before 6am. Every day. She now lives in a neighborhood with neighbors nearby that have dogs. She can stand at the living room window and see walkers with babies and dogs pass by her house, or a group of bicyclist ride by her house or those that walk by with just their dogs, pass by her house. It depends what she sees or smells, if she decides to howl or not. She has become a neighborhood favorite to those that have met her.


She and Heidi have a fenced yard and all the sunbathing they can handle. Heidi still prefers air conditioning over hot sunshine while Stella will still lay out under the sun for the same short time after lunch as she did in the tropics of Southern Indiana. Nothing has changed there.


What has changed is me. After 21 years of staring at my bicycles leaning up against the wall, not ridden ... I now ride 4-5 morning per week and while getting in shape I can now ride 20-22 miles and around an hour and 45 minutes of continuous pedaling. This move has added years to my life and those changes are already showing my on the scale as my weight continues to drop.

I no longer have to drive 6-12 miles to buy a tank of gas for the car nor do I have to drive 12-25 miles to buy groceries. Both of those services are within 2 miles of my house and there are more than one business to choose from. I love that change. The hounds get to keep their same dog food as they were eating back in Indiana although due to our location they are drinking about twice as much water.


They both like to lay out on the patio every morning as I have my first cup of coffee, where the skies are bright and the temps are cool. My day is no longer started by turning on my computer but by grabbing that first cup of coffee and stepping outside to sit and enjoy the sunshine that is rising or has just rose minutes earlier. By the time that first cup of coffee is finished Stella is whining to take her walk and Heidi has moved back inside to one of her three different morning sleeping spots. She likes walking later in the day, not first thing in the morning.


This move was not a spur of the moment decision. If you were to look at the blog archives on the sidebar, click any year and read through the months between December - February you would see that almost every winter I wrote about wanting to move further west away from single digit temps, humid ticky summers and to an area where I could bicycle at least 300 days per year. I would always talk myself out of making those moves. I'll not go over all the reasons why since they have already been written about but I will say a LOT OF RESEARCH took place and in some cases over a period of years ... before I decided "that's it, we're out of here."

I almost moved various times to Alamogordo NM. That is also located in the 'high desert' but with some information from a couple of people that live there I decided to check that town off of my list. I kept coming back every year to the town I now reside in and had for years. I also decided that "small towns" were no longer an option since I had done that for the past 21 years. This move was going to be one about "conveniences" and that seemed to be more of a factor as I get older.

I also decided that I would really downsize this time. I did a lot of downsizing in 2014 when I thought I was going to live full time on the road in some sort of RV or small trailer. This time the downsizing was serious, really serious. All furniture, my record collection, pots pans and dishes were given away. Almost all of my books except for a few favorites were donated to the local library. The things that people did not want for free I donated to Goodwill. By the time we left that early evening heading west ... I had a 5x8 UHaul trailer that was not even full with the possessions I had left.


Of course to tow that trailer I had to trade my Mini Cooper S Countryman. I did more research on what to buy. Not only did I need a vehicle that could tow 3,500 pounds safely but I needed a vehicle that could get me off road out here in the wild west plus plenty of room in the back for the hounds to make the cross-country trip and the local trips after I moved. They did well on the cross-country move and if the car was moving ... they were sleeping. They enjoy taking the local trips although they still sleep most of the time while the car is moving.


So there it is ... we are living out in the 'tropics' of the high desert where the days are hot the nights are cool and there are no ticks. It might get a little cold this winter but nothing close to single digits and most of those times the high temps of the day will be in the 50's not in the teens or 20's.




Oh, the house in the 'tropics' of Southern Indiana ??? It was sold to the young man that I called to give me a quote to sand and seal my hardwood floor in the bedroom. I was preparing the house to list with an agent to sell when I called him for an estimate. While he looked at the floor I caught him looking all over the house and a couple questions he had led me to believe he was interested in buying my house ... he called two days after his floor estimate wanting to buy it.

Everything that happened in the moving process happened right on time and it was the smoothest transition I had ever experienced moving. They hounds adjusted almost immediately. They still might be in the old time zone but that fits in well out here. Early to bed early to rise gives me more time to do things outside and believe me ... there are a million things to do or go see around here.



I had to wonder this morning when I decided to start blogging again .....

Since I no longer have to spend time mowing the yard, raking leaves or general old house maintenance ... I have more free time. I still have time to ride my bike 2 hours per day, take local trips, go hiking, watch ballgames and still have time to blog. I may not blog every day but a few times per week ... basically like always in the past, when I feel like it.

Now ... I just have to decide ... Blogger ?? or WordPress ???


The hounds love living in 'the tropics' of the high desert.

14 comments:

  1. 12 years of Blogger here. Most folks cannot see the difference in wordpress pics vs blogger. Free and unlimited storage won my heart way back there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. 12 years ... that's a lot of story telling. Good to see you sticking with it. I enjoy reading it.

      Delete
  2. Wow Steve. You did make a lot of changes. I'm glad the girls adjusted well. It will be fun to hear what your days are like. To get out of that humidity has got to feel good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The time we left, 6:45pm Indiana time it was 96° and 100% humidity that day. I drove like a madman to get here. Left Tuesday night and pulled in Thursday morning 9:30am local time. I LOVE driving cross country. Always have.

      Delete
  3. I think that was a great move you made and I am envious. We are very familiar with that whole area and have many pleasant winter memories to look back on. Had it not been for me being a Canadian we would have moved to the Southwest years ago and maybe even to the very area where you are. So much to see and do and you have the best location there between those mountain ranges. Great to hear the hounds are doing better and it sounds like you are doing much better as well. The great American Southwest has a habit of doing that to some of us. All the best Steve and enjoy your new digs and surroundings:))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Al. A lot of your blog posts from the SW over the years, had me checking out the area. Every winter I would cruise through my list of towns, their bookmarked websites and a lot of analysis. I try NOT TO ask myself "what took you so long?" LOL, Yes ... their is just something about the western high desert and mountains that make me feel good.

      Delete
  4. So great to have you blogging again and look forward to many new posts and updates!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It might not be on a daily basis but it will be often.

      Delete
  5. Wow! Lots of cool changes I see. Did you just do a cold move or did you already have a prearranged place waiting for you out west? Stella got a new collar too I see. When the time is right things just seem to fall into place more easily. Looks like a beautiful location.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bought the house before I moved, then needed some time to get the other house ready to sell, which was part of my annual 'to do' list anyway. I had researched the house, the new town and the area enough to know I could do it all online before making the trip. Stella was wearing a collar that had become a little small for her and needed a little more room around her neck. The whole move seemed right based on how smooth it was and how things fell in place.

      Delete
    2. So, you bought the house "sight unseen?" I hear people do that sometimes... Did you find it a little scary? Glad to see you all back again.

      Delete
    3. Yes I did but I had a lot of photos to look at. It was a sale by owner so they gave me a lot of information about the house and neighborhood. They furnished a current house inspection and a receipt for their treatment for bug/spider prevention. I used Google street view to look at the neighborhood and surrounding areas to ride my bike.

      The day I called and finally got a hold of the owner, she had shown the house to 4 people and had 3 contingency offers with 8 appointments scheduled the following two days. I made her an offer right there but I had done all of my research before I called her.

      Delete
  6. Welcome back to Blogger Steve. I wondered when or if you would break the news of your move. Congrats on the bike rides and weight loss. Living close to stores and other needed places is a great thing to have. We are having a record breaking warm Summer here in Anchorage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought long and hard about breaking the news. In the end it just didn't matter that much. The bike rides started slow, all based on time, not speed or distance. Of course early I felt terrible but the more I rode the more things came back to me. There are enough bike paths around this area that you really don't need to ride on any road, although I do. I can usually finish my rides by 7:30am - 8:00am and stay out of the heat. That is hard to believe what's happening in Anchorage.

      Delete