- Cannot customize drop shadows or add them to shapes
- No gradient fills
- Text cannot contain a link
- Oddly, without a hardware keyboard I can only style text at the block level. If I want to style text within a block (sentences, individual words, etc) I have to use a hardware keyboard.
- This client’s business is primarily based on Spring/Fall workshops so I’ve created a section for the upcoming schedule that get’s added to the events page of the website/postcard/poster.
- A section to place his Pages documents for new or updated event pages.
- A section for the links to the pages so that he can review previous year’s event pages as well as the new or updated pages before we make them live.
- A section for miscellaneous documents such as the postcards, posters, etc.
- Just as Apple Notes provides checkboxes I’d hope that we’ll get a checkbox list type. This seems like an obvious feature for an app designed to help people with project tracking and creation.
- More Pencil options. Currently it works just as a drawing tool. As a drawing tool it would be good to have the ability to draw a square, arrow, triangle, etc and have the app straighten the lines into a perfect shape is it does in the Notes app. Also, have as an option to use the Pencil to select/drag to move objects.
192 Square Feet: Part 3
Previously: Part 1, Part 2 I shared about the first year of my tiny house life. Building the tiny house, setting up the garden and food forest during the first summer. Then, of course, learning about living in the tiny house during winter and what that means for keeping warm and keeping things working.
The following spring and summer were spent extending the garden, building a chickencoop-greenhouse and raising chickens and guineas, and setting up a bee hive. Oh, and some local farmer friends brought me an orphaned fawn. We also built the kids’ cabin, the third cabin, for Kerry and Greg’s kids. A wild goose showed up mid-summer and adopted me.
The chicken coop greenhouse came first for practical reasons. I needed a place for the young chickens! The idea was to have the two attached. In theory the greenhouse would help keep the chicken coop warm in the winter and the proximity of the coop to the greenhouse also made sense in terms of composting the chicken coop straw bedding that was full of chicken poop. I could haul the straw just 25 feet to a compost pile between the greenhouse and the garden.
Then the bees which were set-up in their new hive in late April. More about beekeeping an a future post. All went as planned. Until it didn’t.
Petunia the deer came to live with me in early June after a new farmer friend. Luckily we had a safe, enclosed area for her. More photos of her in another post.
I also set up 6 rain barrels on a frame behind my cabin. Each barrel held 50 gallons and they were upside down with a PVC pipe connecting them all via the built in screw lids. This arrangement allows the barrels to all fill at the same time because they are filling from the bottom up. The photo below was taken before everything was finished so the run-off was a haphazardly arranged salvaged gutter that carried water to my swale which was mulched and planted with pawpaws and rhubarb a well a a few herbs.The newly finished chicken coop greenhouse. Happy chickens! Setting up the new bees in their hive. Herb spiral bed in front of my cabin. The kids’ cabin before the roof Petunia moves in The spring kitchen garden, fully fenced in and mulched with cardboard and straw Mulched paths taking shape! Paths The early food forest interplanted with squash The food forest in front of my cabin with a mix of peaches, plums, gooseberry, currants and comfrey. Mulch with straw between small seedlings. Paths are defined by small logs and covered in bark and wood chip mulch.
True story: Loretta the goose showed up one day in the summer and followed me to the outhouse which is back by the chicken coop. As I’m the only one here full time I leave the outhouse door open while doing my business as it’s a nice view. Well, this goose follows me up into the outhouse (3 steps) and proceeds to turn around to face outward and sits down on my feet. I almost died right there. When it was time to go I stood up and she did the same and then she stepped out ahead of me and followed me back to my cabin. And that was that, I’d been adopted by a Canada Goose. She spent the rest of the day hanging out around my cabin and left at sunset. I didn’t know if she’d be back but hoped she would.
She was back the following morning and spent the day with me. She just hung around outside the cabin, near the little pond I’d made for the frogs. At sunset she flew away. This was the daily routine for the next couple of months. She’d follow me around as I did my chores during the day and occasionally take a dip in the pond. There were times when I’d be doing chores and there would be a line behind me: the chickens, Petunia the deer (who was now free ranging) and Loretta the goose. On at least one occasion when I had guests over for dinner outside she stayed later than normal and as we stood/sat around a little fire after eating she stayed next to me making her various adorable little utterances. It seemed to me that it was her way of being in the conversation.
In late November or early December we had a few cold nights and the lake started to freeze over. As far as I could tell she didn’t spend any time in the lake but it seemed to be a cue to her. She flew off one evening and I never saw her again. I loved her and I still miss her.The mostly completed kids cabin Cutting up a cantelope with my niece, Emma Rain barrels and swales collecting rain in the food forest behind my cabin. The system wasn’t complete when the photo was taken hence the crazy arrangement! A basket of tomatoes and basil
In 192 Square Feet Part 2 I wrote about my first winter living in my tiny house. Keeping warm with a wood stove without being too hot or too cold was difficult in a small space. Also, winter water challenges!
Had a fun ride on the snowy trail yesterday.
An older post from 2016 about the process of building my tiny house and the first few months living here. 192 Square Feet
The frozen memories of summer.
Posting versus blogging
I’ve been blogging for just shy of 20 years not counting my static html site in the late 1990s. Ah yes, I remember fondly “blogging” with straight html and ftping updates to a manually updated list of links. Over those 20 years I’ve accumulated far too many categories due to sloppiness and a lack of intent in my use of them. I’m still not entirely clear how I want to use them.
In any case, as I’ve been doing a bit of tidying up I’ve also noticed that most of my posting over the past few months has been increasingly of the “micro” type post. Essentially, 280 words or less which is the limit on timeline posts on Micro.blog. The thing about micro posts, wherever I may have posted (Mastodon, micro.blog, or previously, Twitter), my primary intent is to share with other people. This might seem obvious as that’s the point of social media.
But as I read through older posts I’m reminded that for me blogging is more about the writing down of my experiences for myself as much as anyone else. Blogging is an act of journaling for the sake of writing, remembering, and appreciating the happenings of my life. Sure, I’m posting on a website that I’m happy to have others find and read but when I’m blogging that is secondary to the deeper, reflective process.
Of course it’s possible to do both but it’s easy to fall into the habit of the shorter social posting as it requires less effort. I’d like to make more of an effort at longer posts as they reflect a deeper, more deliberate thoughtfulness on the life I’m living and an appreciation of that life.
Another aspect of this is just the realization that it’s easier to let free time with a screen become a more passive consumption of timelines. In recent times there’s more awareness and discussion of the nature of different timelines in various social media and the hazards of “doom scrolling” and an algorithm designed to keep people “engaged”. I deleted Facebook long ago￼ but continued using Instagram and to a lesser degree Twitter. But then stopped using Instagram only to see my time increase on Twitter. Now I’ve left twitter and am using Mastodon and Micro.Blog.
The common story at the moment is that Mastodon, compared to Twitter, has a much better, friendlier, healthier community and timeline and I think that’s true. Even more so micro.blog where there is a deliberate design to encourage people to engage with one another with actual comments rather than just boosting or liking posts. I think both of these are healthier than the social media that have come before. But they’re still a kind of social timeline where it can become a habit to scroll and react. And while leaving a comment is more thoughtful than a simple boost or like, the timeline is still a primarily social and more consumptive/reactive process.
One of my favorite websites of the early to mid 2000s was Flickr which, unlike the others that came later, never felt like a bad place to be. There are a lot of high quality photos on Mastodon and quite a few on micro.blog too, it reminds me a bit of my time on Flickr.
Overall I’m finding that most of my non-work time with a screen is being split between Mastodon and micro.blog and I’m really enjoying time spent between the two. But I’m hoping to shift a bit more of my time to reflecting and writing with a goal of a better balance.
Working through my blog archive to simplify categories and came across this post from almost 10 years ago. There’s nothing quite like a long night under the stars. Weeping to the Cosmos // Beardy Star Stuff
Perforated ruffle lichen, Parmotrema perforatum. The large yellow-tan cup-like structures are a spore-bearing surface, apothecia, each with a hole in the center, hence the name perforated. Long black cilia around the perimeter. Fascinating but also a bit creepy.
Surrounded by my furry friends this cold night. This is the best kind of cozy! 🥰😊
Rosie, all curled up in snoring on the pillow behind me. Cozy Caturday.
On a ride yesterday a branch was in the path and it was completely covered in thick lichen. I don’t recall ever seeing lichen with such black hair-like growths. A fantastical, tiny world!
Freeform, the new kid on the Apple block I’ve always enjoyed using Apple’s Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps so was eagerly awaiting Freeform. I think it’s going to be a useful app for a lot of folks.
Freeform, the new kid on the Apple block In first use I immediately felt a comparison to Apple’s Pages, Keynote and Numbers would be in order as Freeform seems a natural companion to those apps. In fact, one of Apple’s own marketing images demonstrates a potential use of Freeform as a collection point for digital assets including Pages and Keynote documents. In this marketing image a Freeform document is being used to organize an issue of a school newspaper and contains various embedded documents including PDF, Pages, Keynote, web links and images. It’s clear that Apple intends Freeform to be used a collaborative collection point of not just ideas or process, but of project resources.
Like many others in the Apple ecosystem I’ve been using Pages, Numbers and Keynote for many years. In general, the formatting and style features are just a small subset of what’s available in the other Apple apps like Pages and Keynote. Given this is the first version of the app it’s not too surprising that there might be some missing options. Here’s a sample of what’s missing:
While Pages, Keynote, and Numbers all have a standard, uniform UI for design and formatting tools, Freeform deviates from the other three in small ways that seem unnecessary. Why not stick to the same UI? Of particular note is the lack of a complete formatting palette. It’s possible that the more basic options are just the fact that it is a version 1 of the app.
Attached File Considerations It’s worth noting that attached files are not links to originals but are copies that are embedded. One can view them without editing and in this QuickLook mode copy text. In that mode there is a button to open the file in the native application but doing so will result in a duplicate document being created in that application’s file storage space. Edits can be made but are in the new document and are not copied back to the file being stored in Freeform. So, if multiple people are sharing in Freeform it’s worth mentioning that editing of embedded documents should be done carefully so as not to result in mix-ups of edits/document versions. Any time a user makes edits to the embedded original they’ll need to manually attach the new version to the Freeform document.
I should also note that I’ve not actually shared a Freeform document yet so I can’t say for certain what happens with embedded documents in that case. What I would hope for is that in any embedded document, particularly any embedded Pages, Keynote or Numbers document, iCloud sharing with participants would be automatic. That the embedded document would become a shared iCloud document. I doubt that’s the case currently but I’d hope for that in the future.
Will I use it? I tend to work with individual clients but I immediately thought of one use I’ll have with one client in particular. I manage his website as well as design promotional postcards and posters. Add to that various graphic and document designs during the year as needed. Typically he sends requests for edits, new pages, new documents via email or Messages. About a 50/50 mix and that’s always worked pretty well. Sometimes its just text, other times it’s a Pages document with text and images to be used. The main downside to using Messages is that over the course of a busy day or days, it can become a bit tricky following a thread of files intermixed with commentary about those files.
Freeform is going to be a great solution in this case. I’ve already created a new Freeform document. I’ve created 4 initial landing zones to keep it organized. I’ll add new sections when or if they are needed.
I plan to use Sticky notes for commenting back and forth on the specific elements/documents/pages etc as needed. As changes are made we’ll both be able to view everything in one space. I’ll use a green check mark from the clip art gallery as an indicator that I think something is finished and if the client needs a new change he’ll either remove it or we’ll add in another clip art indicator that a revision is needed.
Hopes for future Aside from the above mentioned critiques and hoped for changes I would add the following:
Feeling grateful for the green moss and flowing creeks that I get to visit on my trail rides.