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Snapshots: Thinking, Reading, Doing, Snapping and Eating (February)

February 18, 2015

The last month has been pretty consumed with bringing Cody into our family. It’s hard to believe he’s only been with us for four weeks since it seems like he’s already a member of the family. He’s adjusting really well, and so is the rest of the crew. Casey seems to have warmed up and even plays with him occasionally. Tess is no longer afraid of him and will actually come right up and sniff him and be near him. She still won’t come downstairs, but I’ll take what I can get!

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Thinking and Doing …
So the big thing that I was dealing with the last few weeks was losing all my photos stored in iPhoto. Apparently I accidentally deleted them all when I was cleaning out computer files and applications. I have no idea what I did, but when I discovered it, I was in complete panic and cried hysterically. I’m still depressed thinking about it. This may seem trivial, but you have to understand that those photos were all the photos I’ve taken from 2012 – 2014, all categorized and put into months. And so many of those photos I use for my Red Tricycle work too.

I do have some photos from 2012 and 2013 and prior uploaded to Costco Photos and Shutterfly. But I hadn’t gotten around to doing 2014 yet. I had plans to upload the photos and even buy an external hard drive and back up every single photo. I am kicking myself for not doing this!

And before you ask if they still exist on my iPhone, the answer is, no, because I always upload the photos from my iPhone to the iPhoto on the computer and then delete from my phone (except for happy ones I like to look at regularly). So much for being organized and efficient!

I took my computer to a data recovery specialist and they were able to retrieve about 50,000 pieces of data that were on the hard drive. This includes every image that I’ve viewed on the Internet as well as whatever they found that I deleted. A lot of the photos may be there (and many probably are not). I haven’t looked at all the files yet because I haven’t had time, and quite honestly, because I’m scared to see what’s gone and what remains. Since then I’ve been barely able to boot up iPhoto because it’s been so depressing to me. Needless to say, BACK UP, people! Back up everything that’s important to you!

I will say this: I know so many people complain about and hate on Facebook. But I am so grateful so many of my 2014 photos were on Facebook and Instagram. Costco Photo, as well as Dropbox, has a way to automatically upload all the photos from social media sites, which you can bet I’ve done.

book on nightstand

Reading …
In more uplifting news, I feel like I hit the jackpot in terms of finding awesome books to start the new year. I guess it’s been the year of the memoir because I started with Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan. I read it in two days. It was fascinating and frightening all at the same time. SO good! I then moved on to Andie Mitchell’s It Was Me All Along. Also amazing! She details her struggles with food and weight so beautifully and heartfelt. Although I never struggled with binge-eating the way Andie did, I could certainly relate to SO many aspects of this book.

I then moved on to two books by Dani Shapiro. I finally read her writing memoir, Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life, and just finished Devotion: A Memoir. Devotion is a memoir of Dani’s struggle with faith, all set against a backdrop of marriage, motherhood and entering midlife. I didn’t expect to relate so much to this book, but I found myself dog-earing several pages (I never do this!) so I would remember the passages that spoke so much to me.

Here is one passage that jumped off the page at me. Dani is referring more to making the time for yoga and meditation. But this is exactly how I feel about writing for myself.

Writers often say that the hardest part of writing isn’t the writing itself; it’s the sitting down to write. The same is true of yoga, meditation and prayer. The sitting down, the making space. The doing. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Unroll the mat. Sit cross-legged on the floor. Just do it. Close your eyes and express a silent need, a wish, a moment of gratitude. What’s so hard about that? Except — it is hard. The usual distractions — the clutter and piles of life — are suddenly, usually enticing. The worst of it, I’ve come to realize, is that the thing that stop me — the shadow that cast a cold darkness across the best of my intentions — isn’t the puppy, the e-mail, the UPS truck, the school conference, the phone, the laundry, the to-do lists. It’s me that spots me. Things get struck.

And this was scarily familiar to me as I’ve been feeling this SO much lately!

I’ve been having trouble maintaining a sense of solitude. Oh, sure, I have the hours during the day when Jacob [her son] is at school, Michael [her husband] is at his office, the dogs are asleep on the kitchen floor. But solitude – the kind of silence inside of which one can transact some private business with the fewest obstacles, in Thoreau’s words — does not simply have to do with being alone.

There were several other passages, but many will become fodder for a future post or two. Anyway, it’s nice to find a writer whom it feels as if they’re speaking directly to you.

Now to start a new book!

Eating …
I have been eating, just not photographing and creating as many recipes. But if you’re looking for something yummy for Chinese New Year this week, check out my healthy and delicious Chinese fried rice recipe. This is one of the most popular posts on my blog. The post also contains a recipe for moo shoo pork burgers — also delicious. I also shared a recipe for cashew chicken and steamed shu mai. I love Chinese food! I think I need to redo my meal plan for Chinese New Year this Thursday.

fried rice

Snapping …
Here are a few photos I’ve snapped over the last few weeks A.C. (after catastrophe).

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sophie in a crate

dogs in the flower bed

sophie feetThanks for reading! So tell me, how was your January and February? What are you reading, eating, cooking and doing?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2015 7:59 am

    UGH… I can’t imagine losing all those photos. I’m so sorry. I’m so glad we have Time Machine backup. I’ve lost emails in the same fashion and felt SICK about it.

    • Leah permalink*
      February 18, 2015 9:59 am

      Thanks, Melissa! Yeah, it sucks! I just hope someone learns from my mistake.

  2. Amber Highburger permalink
    February 18, 2015 9:46 am

    I am so sorry to read about your pictures being deleted. My stomach turned when I read what happened. For weeks now its been in the back of my mind to organize and save all my pictures from 2013 & 2014. Like you, I usually have the pictures organized by date in folders on my computer, but I have been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to organize.

    I wanted to share with you what I usually do. After organizing all the photos in folders, in January each year, I burn them to a disc. Each disc I have is a years worth of pictures, neatly organized into folders! I dont trust the cloud, or dropbox or even Shutterfly. I can always take the disc with me to make prints and I can always pop the disc into a computer and look at them or upload them to make a memory book.

    Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking experience. It has now pushed me to take the time, this weekend, to organize and save all the pictures from 2013 and 2014. I hope, that deep in those recovered files, you manage to find your missing pictures. I feel for you and wish you the best.

    • Leah permalink*
      February 18, 2015 9:59 am

      That’s great advice, Amber! Thank you! I bought an external hard drive, so my goal is to transfer whatever photos I have on the computer and what they recovered onto that drive. I still like to print photos too, and hang them in my home.

  3. February 18, 2015 3:00 pm

    That is devastating about the photos. Weirdly, 15K of my own photos disappeared from my computer a few weeks ago and I, too, am grateful for Instagram and Facebook. The good news in my case is that the last time I backed up was November, so, I lost a fraction what you did. I’m so sorry!

    Loving the photos of the girl with her dogs. A girl after my own heart.

    xox,

    A.

  4. February 20, 2015 4:05 am

    Loved reading (and seeing) your update, Leah!

  5. February 20, 2015 11:50 am

    I loved Brain on Fire. I think in the future we will discover so much of mental illness is viral/bacterial, as is evidenced by PANDAS/PANS in relation to strep.

    So sorry about your photos. Glad you are doing well. Your darling girl is getting tall!

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