Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bad Case of Withdrawal!

Have you ever gone into withdrawal? Maybe from trying to quit smoking - or drinking - or drugs - even dieting - whatever, and the stress from trying to give up something that was a big part of you really just about did you in?

That happened to me today.

I went into withdrawal from about 2 a.m. Monday morning until almost 7 p.m. Monday evening.

The cause - my computer was sick! So sick, that I couldn't get into anything, much less get online. Couldn't check my e-mail or read my favorite blogs or just surf. Sure as heck couldn't write a post either for my blog. Heck, I couldn't even get it to open enough to even play solitaire.

And, let me tell you this - I was lost! Like a little kid, separated in a store from Mommy dearest. Geez, I was like a fish out of water! Yes, it was THAT bad!

My problems began last night - about this time - when just out of the blue, the computer shut down on me and from then on, it wouldn't let me do anything. Just went into a loop as it tried to boot up again and again but something was blocking it. I could hardly wait till 10 a.m. when the computer shop opened for business Monday morning and was probably the first caller of the day there too! The owner tried to walk me through re-installing XP but it kept failing. Finally, he said he was sending his "techie" down to pick up the computer, take it to the shop and get it fixed there for once and for all!

About 1 p.m., Matt - the techie - showed up and bundled up my baby, almost as lovingly as I would have done had I been the one carrying it out to the vehicle waiting to take it to the computer hospital. And, about 4 hours later, the shop owner called to tell me he had it all operational again but just one small problem. When they re-installed XP, it wiped out all the information I had on it since I purchased it not quite three weeks ago! Even though when he tried to re-install XP, he had selected for it to remember files and folders, etc., it just zipped on by that command and erased my e-mail files, the software I had carefully installed and took with it one word document I had begun for my 1964 newspaper research collection.

It was about 6 p.m. when the shop owner's wife stopped by the house with my computer. She hooked it all up and I could hardly contain myself to log in to the internet, get my e-mail up and running and be off to the races again.

Thankfully, when I knew I was purchasing a new computer and that they wouldn't be able to transfer my e-mail over from the old one to this one, one of my blogger buddies had suggested I send e-mails from the old computer over to a webmail account and for once in my life, I listened to that directive. Boy, am I ever glad it did that too! I still am missing some e-mail addresses but was able to build a file from the e-mails I had shipped off to my g-mail account and then copy the address in from those messages to my address book. Thanks to Cariboo Ponderer for that piece of advice. It really worked great to have those e-mails to fall back on Vic.

Even so, it still took me from about 8 p.m. tonight until around 2 a.m. to get all those addresses copied in and nicknames, names, addresses all set up there!

So, I'm pretty beat tonight - my eyes are about worn out now too and I'm calling it a day and heading off to bed.

But, Tomcat - if you're reading this, please e-mail me because your address was one I didn't have when I got this computer so I had no record of it stored in my g-mail to re-add it in here tonight. There are a couple others whose e-mail addy I didn't have then too and I'm going to have to go into a search and destroy mode over the next couple of days now to track them down and get their addresses added too. But that's not near as hard to do as it would have been to try to find e-mail addresses for well over 100 people now is it?

SO - since I missed posting on Monday and here it is - already Tuesday - you get a double dose now of Bushisms so I am at least caught up in that department!

February 26, 2007
"We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile." - Des Moines, Iowa; August 21, 2000

February 27, 2007
"I like the idea of people running for office. There's a positive effect when you run for office. Maybe some will run for office and say, vote for me, I look forward to blowing up America. I don't know, I don't know if that will be their platform or not. But it's - I don't think so. I think people who generally run for office say, vote for me, I'm looking forward to fixing your potholes, or making sure you got bread on the table." - On elections in the Mideast; Washington, D.C.; March 16 , 2005

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Long Day's Journey

The title of the Eugene O'Neill play - "A Long Day's Journey Into Night" really strikes me tonight as a good way to describe my day today! Because, it was truly a long day for me as I "journeyed" towards my night!

My long day began last night - or rather in the middle of the night about when I was seriously giving thought to going to bed but those plans were scratched by my granddaughter. Seems that Miss Maya woke up about 2:30 or 3 a.m. - somewhere around that time - and was laboring under the mistaken impression that it was time for her to "rise and shine." And since I was the one still up and at least semi-awake at the the time, it fell to me to stay awake with her then and try to coax her into laying down on the sofa with Grammy in hopes she would fall back to sleep.

Then about 45 minutes later, her little brother, Kurtis, decided to join her in her wide awake state only this time, the kids' mother was up with him while I was still trying to convince Maya why she should go back to sleep or to bed. Finally, about 5 a.m. or so, Mandy did convince Maya to go back upstairs to her bed, although she was not very pleased once she landed back in her crib. Mandy just politely closed her door and let her scream and after about 10-15 minutes, she did then bite the dust.

But by then I was wide awake and spent my timeplaying solitaire on the computer till about 7 a.m., when Mandy's husband got up and came down to get ready to go into work today. So I finally crashed on the sofa at about 7:30 a.m or there about and slept till around 10 a.m. when Mandy and Kurtis got up. Mandy had to run some errands in town so she was kind enough to take Kurtis with her so in my semi-awake state then I only had to deal with Miss Maya who didn't wake up then till about 11:30. When Mandy came home about 1 p.m., I headed off to my bed for a nap because I knew I had to be able to stay awake all evening tonight!

The reason being we - Mandy, the two little ones and I - were going down to Bellefonte to attend a dinner and awards ceremony for the cubs scouts and webelos down in that vicinity where my grandson Alex is a webelo and his father (my soon-to-be-ex-son-in-law) is leader for Alex's troop or pack or whatever it is called.

The dinner was very nice - very good too! Ham, mashed potatoes (and not the instant type either I might add), baked beans, corn, applesauce, tossed salad and lots and lots of really good desserts too!

The kids in the various cub scout and webelos dens were honored for some achievements and my grandson, I'm really proud to say, took first prize in the contest for selling the most popcorn to benefit the troop! His prize - a really nifty Coleman camping lantern just the right size and such for a young boy his age to have on a camping trip! He looked so dapper too first as he stood at attention when the cub scouts brought in the flags and we did the pledge to the flag and then, when his name was called as the first place winner in the contest and he had to go up front and get his prize, he did it with a good mix of pride and humility too! He's really such a terrific young fellow and yes indeed, Grammy J is very, VERY proud of him!

After dinner, we had to run down to State College to the Walmart there and pick up a few items we needed rather than put it off to tomorrow to do that. First off, Mandy has to work tomorrow and secondly, the weather forecast is not a very pleasant one either as they are calling for a "wintry mix" to come through overnight tonight and last most of the day tomorrow. That will consist of the three lovely elements to make a perfectly miserable day - snow accumulations, sleet and yes, freezing rain! Wonderful, wonderful!

While Mandy was roaming at Walmart with Maya, my older daughter, her fiance, the baby and I were traipsing through the Barnes and Noble store and I managed to find a nice buy for myself - the book "Coal Run" by Tawni O'Dell. I'd read her first book "Back Roads" when it (and she) appeared on the Oprah Book Club and really had enjoyed her writing so I was quite pleased to find this book in a very affordable paperback edition tonight! This story - "Coal Run" - like "Back Roads" is set in a coal mining town someplace in Pennsylvania which gives her work a lot of appeal to me plus the fact Ms. O'Dell is now residing "locally" too - in State College so it's kind of special then to read a book done by someone who lives fairly close to my home ya know!

Anyway, by the time we finally got back home, it was after 11 p.m., both kids were totally worn out and I was pretty doggone close to that status myself! But, because of my sleep being all messed up earlier today, it had interferred with my e-mailing and my blogging things so I decided I would try to catch up on reading my favorites blogs and then do my post for the day and go to bed.

I made it through just over half of the blogs I normally read each day and decided to change my plan of attack and skip the rest of the reading tonight, do my posting and surprise, surprise, then go to bed before 2;30 a.m.!

And according to my computer clock, which says it is now 2:05 a.m., I'm moving along a bit ahead of schedule so if I pick up and flop my fat self in bed as soon as I close out this post, I might even manage to be asleep too by 2:30 a.m.!

Imagine that! See, and you thought miracles don't happen, didn't you?

It just might be a miracle for me to achieve that but today was really a very long journey to get to saying good night!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Unwinding and Absorbing

Good Morning! I figured I could say that now since it is, technically, morning. To me, it is still night and the time of the day when I normally tend to be the most wide awake. Try talking to me or getting anything semi-intelligible out of me between oh say, 6 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Odds are is all you'd get then is a half-way understandable request for information about coffee. Remember, I am a night owl, you know.

Earlier this evening I was digging into my research project - after a lengthy hiatus from it over the past two, probably three months or maybe even a bit longer than that. Actually, it's probably been more like almost five months since I really worked on the research stuff very consistently. When I got engrossed in blogging, that aspect just seemed to blot out everything else I needed or should have been doing! Does everyone go through a period like that at some point shortly after one discovers the fun of blogging or was that just my own "private little Idaho" thing going on there? Just curious, you know.

Actually, the last I had worked consistently on the research stuff, I was getting rather bored with it because the only things that were popping up in response to my search were either obituaries, marriages or birth announcements. Not that I found those things unessential in a boring sense but rather that it was all I was getting - nothing that brought other memories of the era I was digging into at all.

What am I talking about here - what research is this? Let me explain it a bit.

I'm researching information online through a database of old newspapers of which there is a very extensive collection of issues of the local daily newspaper covering from 1913 up to or through 1976. And what I am using right now as my search word is the name of my hometown so anytime there's something in the paper mentioning my hometown, I read it and decide if it is a "nothing of interest" piece or if it is something that tells a bit about the town as well as the people who populated this village. Once I get through the newspapers collection, I will go back and search through the papers again only using the names of any of the surrounding villages to glean the same type of data from them. Then, once I finish this monumental task, I will start to go through what articles I have transcribed, grouping them under various categories and post the articles in a time-ordered fashion - at least of some sort. The goal in doing all of this is to -hopefully - have selected information that will paint a picture of what life in the little smattering of villages in this township where I live has been like between 1913 and 1976. My goal is to provide information that would be useful to anyone doing family tree research for openers and also, to people like myself who are just curious about things from the past.

Tonight though, I found two articles that jogged my memory a good bit.

The first was a story about a guy who graduated from high school three years before me and who, the summer before I graduated from high school, was injured in a swimming accident that left him a paraplegic - with a young wife and a new baby to support too. And the story, written three years after the accident was about how he had managed through time spent at a rehab center in the state to pull himself together after the accident and become an instructor at the rehab center. Because at the time this article was written I was not living at home - I was working in Washington, D.C. at the time - I never knew about what had happened to him after word of the accident had drifted back home three years before. It was an interesting human interest type story about what he had accomplished and nice to learn 40 some years later what he had gone on to do with his life after sustaining such major injuries.

The other piece I came across involved a terrible automobile accident involving two cars that hit head-on on a highway about 25 miles from my hometown and the drivers of both vehicles were killed. One was dead at the scene, the other died enroute to the hospital.

That accident I knew about because my Mom had told me about it. One of the young men killed in it had been a classmate of mine. I also knew him from church too as we belonged to the same church, had attended Sunday School together from about 3rd grade on until he "outgrew" going to Sunday School or Bible Study. We were confirmed together. It was a terrible blow to his parents as he was their only child too. My Mom, of course, knew his parents quite well from church and as was her "duty" then, she had told me about going to the viewing at the funeral home for him.

As this area consists of what would be considered five villages large enough to have a post office and two other small communities that received their mail via the Rural Delivery, it's a township in which people not just in each village know each other but also know many of those who live in the adjacent villages or little communities. And, there is only one funeral home here - the next closest funeral home being about 8-10 miles away in an adjacent township - so when folks die - or are killed as was this instance - the funeral director comes to know just about EVERYONE.

My Mom knew the local funeral director quite well. They were on a first name basis as the funeral director had taken over the post when her father passed it on to her. And, Mom had told me when she went to the viewing for this guy, my former classmate, the funeral director had told my mother that he was the most difficult body she'd ever had to work with to prepare for a viewing - that was how badly crushed he was from this accident. My mother was a nurse and hearing that come from the undertaker she said it really shook her to the core as she had witnessed many things in her day of people brought into the hospital and having to care for them but hearing that, knowing this guy's parents, having known the victim too somewhat from things I had mentioned to her about him over the years in school and such, she just found that extremely difficult to comprehend.

And, because she knew I'd known him but also that I had never been very fond of him, she wanted me to think not of what he'd been like but rather of the pain this whole event had thrust upon his adoring parents.

You see, this guy was from the time I first met him at church, until he dropped out of sight in the fall of our senior year in high school, in my opinion, a spoiled brat and also, a bully!

Not only was he mean and spiteful to those of us around him at Sunday School where we only had to cope with his actions for roughly an hour one day out of the week, but after I entered 7th grade, I had to go to school with him, five days a week and listen to him make rude, mean, obnoxious comments to anyone within his range along with seeing how he also loved to torment a girl in our class mainly because she marched to her own drumbeat and not to those patterns held to by the majority of her classmates. His torment of her continued in junior high and clear up until the day he suddenly got up from a class, walked out the door of the school and went home, loaded up his car with his belongings and drove to the nearest Navy recruiting office and enlisted in the naval branch of the armed forces.

When about two days after he had done that and the word got around school about his enlistment and all, I remember coming home and telling Mom about that and being really relieved to have him gone from our class. Now, I didn't want to see his life come to an end the way it did - not for him, certainly not for what it put his parents through - but being rid of his bully ways in school was something I found worthy of rejoicing in at that point in time.

At our last class reunion, the girl he had tormented for so many, many years though walked up to a very good friend of mine -not just from school but she had grown up next door to me - and the girl who'd been tormented had told my former neighbor/friend/classmate that she had wanted to thank her for something she'd done over 40 years ago. The neighbor friend had been, back in high school, in the upper echelon of our social structure - pretty, good student, friendly, popular, a cheerleader - and one day, as she was walking down the hall she came upon this guy who was in the middle of one of his normal sessions of tormenting the girl who walked to a different drum beat and who had about had it up to her eyeballs with the daily ration of garbage he would toss out at her. She was ready to haul off and throw a punch at him, knowing full well it would no doubt have gotten her a severe reprimand, at the very least, possibly even expelled back then too but she was at that time, at her wit's end. And, my neighbor and friend seeing what was going on had marched up to the bully, face to face, and calling him by name told him in no uncertain terms to stop what he was doing to this other young woman, our classmate. And, to the victim's surprise, he had actually backed off and away and shortly thereafter, had made his exit from the stage of our school life.

Funny, isn't it, how that little confrontation stopped him, dead in his tracks! I never knew anything about that happening, even though the girl he'd been bullying for so many years and I were friendly - not best of friends, but we associated to a certain degree. But she'd never told me -or to my knowledge - anyone else that she associated with at school either, about what my neighbor/friend had done and the impact it had had on the bully. Not for many, many years after had she told me of this happening. But I think now, especially when I hear things in the news or watch programs on tv about bullying in schools and such, how one person made another's life a living hell and another managed to stop it with a short, sweet confrontation. And then, she had also promptly walked away and forgotten about it until the other girl came to her 40 years later to thank her!

Where am I going with this? Be darned if I know. I'm just remembering how things were back when I was a kid, how this guy had been such a brat, a bully one at that, how rude and disrespectful he was to anyone he regarded as not being on his high social level and how he also got away with acting that way for the majority of his life too. My Mom's best friend was also a cousin of this kid's mother and I remember her telling my Mom back when I was a kid how his parents had no control over him but she felt it was because they had never exercised any form of control over him from the time he was born so he had been raised to feel he had the upper hand with virtually everyone else - since he wielded it so easily with his parents, it was a natural thing that it be transferred over then to kids around him too.

And, I think now too about my own kids and how I worried when they were growing up that because I tried to keep them walking a straight and narrow path as much as possible for a single mother and one who worked two jobs and relied heavily on the oldest of her children to watch the two younger ones so she could keep up with the two jobs and keep the house afloat, that I would somehow cause my kids to take out their frustrations in a manner that might actually make them turn out someway, somehow, like this guy I'd known back as a kid and as a teen.

Trying to balance teaching kids when to be strong and stand your moral ground, how to use empathy to understand where others are coming from, is no easy task. Kids can indeed be cruel and it is hard to walk away from those who don't accept you for who you are inside yourself. I often worried and wondered if I was taking the right path in how I went about trying to teach those things to my kids. My first rule of operation with all three of mine was that if they ever got into any type of kid's fight with another kid, they'd best not come home crying about it to me and expect me to call that kid's parent and in essence, fight their battle for them. They had to go that road alone because it was my firm belief if you did that, you and the other parent would inevitably be holding a certain amount of anger towards each other for years to come while the kids would be back to being friends again, usually within a matter of a couple of days - sometimes within hours. It was a hard and fast rule my Mom had with me and one that I decided long before I had children of my own that it made sense and to this day, I still believe it's the best way to operate.

And, now that both my daughters have children and the older girl's son is in school and could be encountering situations like that, she tells me she understand completely now what I meant when I set that law in stone for her and her two siblings. THe younger girl, with the two little ones here also understands the need to realize that much as we like to think our children are always the perfect ones, it's always someone else's child who is at fault, that is not always the truth! And discipline, with respect to other people's feelings is something very important for kids to learn early on in life.

By the way, my other rule, of sorts, to my kids was when they would complain that this or that thing wasn't fair - whether it be some order I had given or something that happened to them somewhere along the way - "Life isn't fair - get used to it!"

And now, tonight here I sit, worrying and wondering yet again and about one of my kids too, no less! Why? Because my son is on the road, driving truck - he left early Tuesday morning and hasn't called home since Wednesday evening and that's not like him. Usually, he calls home at least once sometime during the day, just to "check in" and let us know where he is, that he's ok. And, the fact that I called his cell phone around 5 p.m., his sister tried to reach him around 11 p.m. and all either of us got was his voice mail and no return call, really has me edgy. I have no idea where he might be as all we know is that he and his partner were headed for Denver on Tuesday but they had no clue what direction they'd be heading after they got to the terminal there.

Now, you can bet your bottom dollar that when he does finally call and report in - and it better be sometime early Saturday morning too - he's going to get an earful from either his sister or from me - depending on who happens to pick up the phone when he does call home! If he knows what's good for him, he better hope it's me and not his sister who answers the call! She can be much more demanding - and tempermental than his mother can be.

She takes after their father you see!

Friday, February 23, 2007

"Waxed String"

Everyday, at some point during the day I go through the list on the right side of my blog and read (or at least glance at) those listed there. I have a little routine when I wake up each day -get a cup of coffee, head to the bathroom as the computer signs in, and upon my return, go through my e-mail first, then click into read the Centre Daily Times - the morning daily newspaper from State College - and after that, maybe attend to corresponding with some e-mails. Once through that and with a glance over then at Gantdaily.com's site to see if there is anything interesting in the Clearfield County news realm, is when I usually head to reading my favorite blogs.

Today, my blogger buddy - Bob - over at "Letters I Wish I'd Written" mentions me and my lovely current ISP provider in a piece on his other blog - "Bob's Odder Blog" (which can be found inside his Letters blog - I'm too lazy to go do the leg work of putting the link in here.)

And in his piece there today, he referred to my lovely ISP - Peoplepc.com - as a "waxed string" - a term I really loved and appreciated very much because there are many times when I have called my ISP names not near as nice and polite as "waxed string."

However, the days of living with Peoplepc.com may be numbered soon as I am going to make arrangements in the very near future to sign up with the tv cable company for their offer to have a broadband connection here for my computer! I did actually take the first step in that direction when I contacted them the other day to make sure that our branch of the tv cable service is included in the Broadband offer and yes, it is.

What's more, I learned that they have two plans one can select from too - at two levels and two different prices. The plan mentioned in the flyer that came with our cable bill is their premium type service - fastest speed, etc and is priced at $42.50 a month. I kind of cringed at the thought of our cable bill running us roughly $90 a month or more - after the lovely excess taxes are added in ya know but then, they told me of the other plan which offers a high speed connection - just not quite as fast as the premium plan but still much faster than dial-up. That plan rate is a mere $23.95 a month - a little more in my price range there and fits nicer with the little bit of the Scottish ancestry in me. (Every now and again that side of my gene pool does surface!)

Because it often does take me a while to think things over where spending more money is involved I'm not giving any time span here as to how soon I will take that big leap forward to getting a Broadband connection but suffice it to say, it is a plan being worked on in my mind now at any rate!

And now - the Bushim for today and while I am at it, I will include the one for tomorrow and Sunday - kill two birds with one stone and I won't have to remember to put that in my blog posting tomorrow or Sunday. Which is a good thing because tomorrow - weather permitting - I hope to be going down to Bellefonte to attend a lunch or dinner thing there with the older daughter and my little prince (turning way too quickly into a big prince), Alexander in conjunction I believe the daughter said with the Boy Scouts or some such thing he is involved in nowadays. Should be a nice event and time to be around "Prince Alex" - which is always a neat thing too! This also frees my mind and time so I can keep reading the latest book I started into yesterday - another novel by Jodi Picoult - "The Pact." And so far, I am really enjoying this book too which is no surprise to me as I have yet to read anything by Ms. Picoult that I haven't enjoyed very, very much! She really spins some incredible stories!

And now - the Bushism for Friday, February 23 as well as the one for Feb. 24/25 combined.

Oops - an error here! I find that someone has removed the page for Friday, February 23rd and since I see some tell-tale crayon marks on the one for Saturday and Sunday, I think I know too who the culprit was that ripped two pages out of my desk calendar. It would appear that the "Little Princess Maya" has struck again on my desk! Oh well, at least this latest move won't entail my having to spend an hour or so trying to reconfigure something on the computer now will it?

So - here's the quote for Saturday/Sunday then!

"Kosovians can move back in." - CNN's Inside Politics; April 9, 1999.

And, just in case I get too engrossed in reading and don't get a post up tomorrow or Sunday - have a great weekend now, ya'll!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A New Leaf!

I've been kind of "lost in space" here the past couple of days it seems. Been doing things but getting nothing much accomplished it seems and also, having several "senior moments" to top it all off!

I'm still - after almost two weeks now -learning stuff with and about this new computer. I did get some instructions the other day from Tomcat about how to do a "work-around" for one issue I'm experiencing here but I haven't had the courage to try to figure out exactly what all to do to use his instructions there. I'm not very good at understanding ANYTHING if it has the least amount of computerese language in it!

Today, my little princess presented me with yet another challenge on my computer! Isn't it strange how a 3-year-old can just barely tap something -like some key or the mouse -and create little problems for someone in their 60's to then try to figure out and correct? In the blink of an eye, she managed to reconfigure my toolbar at the bottom of my screen and it took me the better part of at least 45 minutes to an hour to get things back to almost normal again! See what I mean about doing things and yet, getting very little accomplished then in the process?

I can hardly wait to see what will happen here once the little prince gets his bearings, starts walking and I will then have two little sets of fingers to deal with after they manage to wreak their own brand of havoc on my computer - along with the ripping and tearing up that two toddlers will be able to do on the rest of the house too! Oh yeah, I'm really excited about that prospect too!

I have been trying this past week now though to get back to working on my "research project" on the new computer though. I have a subscription to Ancestry.com mainly for access to their historic newspaper database because they have a fairly extensive file there of old papers for the local (county) daily newspaper covering from 1913 up through 1976. I also have a similar subscription with Newspaper Archives but I don't like to use it because it is poorly organized and searches there often return a kazillion duplications and makes it very difficult to track if I have already found a particular item and transcribed it over to my word document files.

The purpose in that research is to "hopefully" be able to compile a record of some type that would be useful to people doing family tree type research and whose roots are to this geographic region or also, it would be of interest too perhaps to those, like myself, who just like to read about things that happened here and the people who once populated the region. But, judging by the volumes of articles I have transcribed just about my hometown here, trying to edit those word documents I have built now is going to be one mammoth task!

I did finally get one thing accomplished today though that was a step in the right direction. I finally called Wise Eyes and made an appointment to get my eyes checked and get a new pair of glasses - something of which I am really in DIRE NEED! March 7th is my big date to take care of that checkup and ordering new frames, etc. Should be interesting to see how much of that expense my insurance will cover too. LOL

Because I got really behind, had a senior moment yesterday and forgot to do any posting whatsoever then you all get to read two Bushisms (again) today! One for yesterday - February 21st and then, today's snippet as well!

February 21, 2007
"The war on terror involves Saddam Hussein because of the nature of Saddam Hussein, the history of Saddam Hussein, and his willingness to terrorize himself." - Grand Rapids, Michigan; January 29, 2002

February 22, 2007
"It would be helpful if we opened up ANWR {the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge}. I think it's a mistake not to. And I would urge you all to travel up there and take a look at it, and you can make the determination as to how beautiful that country is." - Washington, D.C.; March 29, 2001.

Have a good day now!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Finished, Finally!!!

Here it is - 3 a.m. and I'm just now getting around to doing my post that should have been done before midnight but I had other things, pressing things, I had to take care of, had to finish. And I did that.

I finished reading the book I started about a week or so ago and tonight, I just couldn't put it down. I had to keep going until I got to the end of the story. And, what a story it was too! Indeed!

Reading for me has always been probably the thing I love to do the most. My Grandfather is to blame for this trait in me. He introduced me to books when I was just a toddler - read those little children's "Golden Books" to me and by the time I was about four years old, I was reading them on my own. And although there are a kazillion books - some or actually many of them classics - that I haven't read, I've loved to read just about anything I could put my hands on it seemed.

When my older daughter started school, reading was not her best subject. By the time she was in second grade, both my ex-husband and I were having issues about her reading skills and the difficulty she was encountering. Because she didn't bring her reader home, when her grades kept dropping and dropping, we both told her to bring the reader home and her Dad and I would work with her to improve her reading ability. But she told us she wasn't allowed to do that and I admit, I went a bit ballistic and called the school, spoke to the elementary principal about this and was astonished at his answer.

He informed me that it was true - they didn't allow the kids to take their reading books home because - are you ready for this now - two reasons - one, they didn't have enough books to go around and two, if the kids took their readers home they found the kids tended then to "read ahead." Gee, go figure! And that was a bad thing? How times - and education - changed from when I was in grade school to the early-to-mid-seventies when the educators had then decided that reading ahead was not something to be endorsed.

Shortly after learning this, I encountered the lady who had been my second and third grade teacher one day at the post office here in town and I told her what the gem of a principal at the school had told me. I quipped to her that I don't remember any teacher of mine ever cracking my fingers or being upset in any way, shape or form over any of my classmates or me for reading ahead. She told me that she and other teachers of that era were always very happy if/when students did read ahead and made an effort to read ANYTHING! She also reminded me then that I had been the only student she had ever had in all her years of teaching who had brought the "Reader's Digest" to school and was actually able to read it too!

That school year, I fought over and over with the teachers, the administrators about my daughter's reading problems - to no avail. Oh, they did have her hearing tested to make sure there was no problem there and they also brought in a psychologist to talk to me daughter and then to me to give me the "results" of his tests he ran on my daughter. His determination was that I was the problem and I was expecting my daughter to be as interested in books and reading as I had been and also, that she would be as capable of reading at that age as I had been.

I was livid! That wasn't my thought there at all! All I wanted was for her to be ABLE to read because if she couldn't read properly, it would make all other courses she studied in school that much more difficult for her too. The school finally decided at the end of that school year that she was eligible for a special reading program that would help her to become a better reader and I was probably one of the first parents who signed their kid up for that summer program. And yes, she did learn a lot of things through it - how to "read" a thermometer, various other little things along with enabling her to go on special jaunts to East Broadtop Railroad and a trip to Pittsburgh to the Zoo - nice things for a 7-year-old to be able to partake of but yet, although the course was supposed to be "Remedial Reading" there was very little of that aspect going on there!

Towards the end of that course, I had stopped by my Aunt's house to visit a bit and was telling her of my problems at the school and my daughter's reading issues. My aunt taught school - second grade as a matter of fact - and she said she happened to have a second grade reader there and would sit with my daughter and have her read for her to see if she could put a finger on what was wrong there. A short time later, she came to me and told me my daughter had never been taught phonics and thus, could not sound a word out. She said if I wanted, I could bring my daughter up to her house two or three times a week for the rest of the summer and she would tutor her then in reading and try to get her on track. And, that is what we did. By the time my daughter entered third grade, she was reading labels on the shelves in the stores, packages, books that had been given to her, magazines I had - she was doing really great.

And then, she went back to school and at the end of the first grading period, one of her teachers told me in a parent-teacher conference that apparently the Remedial Reading course that summer had really helped my daughter and also, the fact that they had switched teachers on her too - the teacher she'd had for math in 2nd grade was now her reading teacher and the reading teacher the year before was now her math instructor and that change too had apparently made a very big difference. I never even mentioned to her that my aunt had spent six weeks tutoring the kid!

But over the winter months, because the school was not pushing the reading as my aunt had done, my daughter's skill level and also, her interest in books and reading, etc, waned and didn't return until she was in 5th grade when the teacher she had that year really pushed reading for the kids. By that time though, a lot of damage had been done and my daughter regarded herself then as a poor reader and also a poor student and it was a long time before she realized what a great tool books really are - and also, how enjoyable it is to pick up a book and read.

Today, she very much enjoys books but she still labors over them. Her son though has been fortunate enough to have teachers who really instilled good reading habits and pushed that subject as one of very high importance so now, he is rapidly becoming an avid reader. He and I have a little pact too. I told him last year that I will not buy him toys for his birthday or Christmas presents and I won't buy him clothes either because I don't know his tastes that well in colors and styles, but I will buy him books! And he was very agreeable to that idea. He provided me with a list of books and favorite authors I could choose from to select his Christmas gifts this past year and he's willing to tell his mother too which books he hasn't read and would like to receive too from me. It's a deal that definitely makes both of us very happy!

And, in case you're interested in what book it was that I couldn't put down tonight until I had completed it - "Second Glances" by Jodi Picoult! She has rapidly become one of my daughter's and my favorites as I've now read four of her books and Mandy, my younger daughter, has seven of her books now too. (Mom got her two of her books for Christmas and two more for her birthday two weeks ago. Nice gift because then I get to benefit from that too!)

So - now that you know why I am so late in posting this piece and so you don't miss out on my other routine I want to do each day here, I'll close with the Bushisms for Monday, February 19th and then for today, Tuesday, February 20th too!

"It is clear our nation is reliant upon big foreign oil. More and more of our imports come from overseas." - Beaverton, Oregon; September 25, 2000.


"I want to thank the astronauts who are with us, the courageous spacial entrepreneurs who set such a wonderful example for the young of our country." - Washington, D.C.; January 14, 2004

Nite now!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

No Heart Attacks Reported!

I did it! Finally! I made it to church this morning! And, what's more, I'm happy to report the minister didn't fall over into a dead faint nor did any of the parishioners. Although - my neighbor up the street from me and life-long friend did ask me when we were doing the "sharing of the Peace" a whispered question. "What knocked YOU out of bed this morning?"

My answer to that - I'm really not sure!

For openers, any one who knows me knows I am a night hawk - a terrible one at that! I grew up keeping late hours and it got worse with age. It's a bit of a family joke that many - or most - members of my Mom's family are night hawks too and we like to say it's a genetic thing. Maybe that is at least partially true as my Mom's one brother and I, when my kids and I would go visit him and his wife for a day or two, would sit up at the kitchen table till at least 4 a.m., often even later than that, just talking, smoking, drinking coffee and in general, just remembering many things about our family connections. A couple of my cousins used to be pretty good at keeping late, late hours too but with age, they seem to have fallen off in that routine and now, I am generally the only one who "burns the midnight oil" regularly.

So, for me to get to church has often been a struggle, even when our church had two services - one at 8:30 a.m. and the other at 11 a.m. But this past year, the Church Council voted to change our schedule of services to one at 7 p.m. on Thursday night and the other, at 9:30 on Sunday morning. And I guess because the THursday service conflicts with dinner time here and things like that, plus I am kind of old-school too and prefer to go to church on Sunday morning but yet, getting there at 9:30 in the morning just seems to create a lot of inner conflicts for me - for my sleep schedule, etc.

Of course, I have other issues too from time to time that keep me from getting out the door and to church. If Mandy has to work on Sunday - somedays she has to go in at 7 a.m., other days she will be scheduled to be there at 11 a.m. or noon and often as note, she also gets scheduled some weekends to start at 3 p.m. Now, the days she has to be at work in the morning hours, generally eliminates my getting out of the house and to church because my son-in-law dislikes getting up early even more strongly than I do and this, after he even goes to bed usually at a much more decent time of night than I may do!

So, if he isn't inclined to get up so someone is then up and awake to feed, change, dress, care for the two little ones, there is no way then I can go to church when Mandy has to work Sunday mornings!

Then there was for 5 weeks -from Christmas night until the end of January - the issue of transportation too as I had no vehicle! After my son totaled my car on Christmas Night, I had no way to drive out to church even if the son-in-law would happen - miracle of miracles - to get up to stay with the kids.

And add to that, occasionally my system in general just doesn't like to be cooperative about my going ANYPLACE, much less to church. So, my attendance there tends to be dictated by whether or not my system is functioning the way it should, if I have a vehicle, if Mandy has to work or not and finally, if I was able to thwart the genetic tendency to burning the old midnight oil!

But today things worked out fine and dandy and the stars, sun, moon, etc., all aligned perfectly and I made it there and felt much better about myself for having done that too!

This afternoon, Mandy and her husband, the two little ones and the older stepgranddaughter all went over to the YMCA in Clearfield where my sil's other daughter was having her birthday party - a swimming party no less - to celebrate her turning 11 this past Valentine's Day. Mandy had purchased a little swimsuit for Miss Maya just for this occasion - it has a picture of Ariel, the "Little Mermaid" on the front of it and she was really excited about this piece of clothing.

Mandy said Maya totally enjoyed the pool though! Although, she also added that when they first took her into the water she was just shaking - trembling - all over and very frightened but she overcame her fears and had a good time playing in the water then. Mandy even got a photograph of Maya in the pool - big smile from ear to ear on my little princess on that picture. She took it using her husband's cellphone and I suppose there is a way to download that picture from the phone to the computer but I am not anywhere near that technically oriented or knowledgeable so if anyone out there knows how to do that and can send me VERY SIMPLE (keywords there VERY SIMPLE) instructions on how to do that, I would be forever in your debt! I'll even remember you in my will - same as I'll do for my kids - in that you'll get a big "HELLO" from me!

And that pretty much says it all for today!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday Night!

Ok, it's not really Saturday night here -not yet - but that song, "It's Saturday Night and I ain't got no money" is rattling around in my head for some reason. Actually, I think it's because of a bit of a dilemma my son and my older daughter are both in right at the moment. Both are really short of funds!

I don't know what all has created the older girl's problems - other than most likely too much month and not enough money which seems to hit all of us more and more frequently now. My son's lack of funds this week stem from the fact he didn't have any work! No tickee, no laundry you know! He and his boss thought they had work and headed out yesterday morning to pick up a load in Hagerstown, MD and got as far as Breezewood, PA when the dispatcher at the job called to tell them their run had been cancelled for them that day as it went to another driver a bit higher on the seniority post. So now, Sonny Boy has lost the entire work week. I just happened to think this morning though that he should still have an open unemployment claim and could possibly file for unemployment for this week. I think it would work that way as he was available for work but none materialized with his employer.

Now, a bit of an update on the computer problems I've had for the past week.

The Techie person showed up here and the first thing he decided to do was to uninstall Explorer 7! My cousin had e-mailed me yesterday morning and suggested to me that I might want to consider leaving Explorer 7 and reverting to the Explorer 6 and the Tech guy decided that too. And, it does seem to have corrected a lot of issues I'd been experiencing.

One problem though that still occurs pertains to my graphics but the Tech Guy traced that back to my e-mail program. For some reason, when I sign into my e-mail, it "shorts out" (for lack of a better term) the color resolution on my computer. Now, I can go in there and change it right after I open the e-mail and it operates ok then, but it is just that it makes it go wacky when I open it. So, Although I am considering alternatives as to an e-mail program - currently using Eudora 7.2 (I think that is the number - it's 7. something or other), but I haven't yet decided if I will take that step or not.

I still don't have my data returned to me - Dave forgot to put it and the old computer in for the tech guy to deliver here. I'll survive a bit longer I suppose till I get it all back and installed, etc though.

One thing though - the Tech Guy was talking to me about the changes coming up next month with the Daylight Savings Time being moved up to the middle of March for the switch instead of doing it the last weekend in March. According to him, this is going to create more pandemonium than did the switches anticipated when we turned the calendar to 2000! Makes sense too the way he explained it so here's hoping though it is all worry for naught!

Frankly though, I don't see how moving the time ahead actually gives us more sunlight in a day. I always thought each day has the same number of hours of sunlight whether the clock is set ahead or not.

Well, doesn't it?

Friday, February 16, 2007


Once upon a time, a long time ago, I used to work and way back then, I worked a job that had "normal" hours - Monday through Friday! Well, to be totally honest, frequently at that job I also worked Saturday and Sunday too and lost of evenings as well, but at least when I did that then, I got paid overtime for my efforts.

Work I had over the years from 1980 to 2002, often was shift work and usually entailed a different work week as well -more often than not, Sunday was the equivalent to Friday for normal folks in my life. And usually, the only time that was a big problem for me was when there were special events in my life that required following the normal person's work week cycle and I would need a Saturday off or an occasional Sunday. And every June and July for many years, I would need off work for a long weekend entailing Friday, Saturday and Sunday off! (Those were for Teamster Picnic Weekend in June at Conneaut Lake Park and the last full weekend in July for my family reunion.)

That really has no bearing on anything in my life today since I am no longer able to work and every day could be considered a "holiday" or "weekend" type in my life I suppose. But, I just thought I would use the TGIF thing here and recap the past week - since it's been a bit different for me.

Today marks a week since I got the new computer. It's been a lot of fun sometimes as I've been playing around here, trying to get all kinds of software reloaded into this computer, playing around with Windows XP and some of the features new to me. I'm learning - slowly, but I am learning how to use it and some new stuff I have on it that wasn't available before.

I still don't have my old data available although Dave, the Computer Guy, has transferred it now from the old computer to cds for me and is supposed to bring it down this evening along with the old computer too. THe game plan right now is to give the old computer maybe to Kate, the stepgranddaughter here to use to type up homework, etc., on it - no internet connection for her, sorry about her luck there! But she has not proved herself to be trustworthy in having access to the internet so she'll have to make do with a computer that has WORD, EXCEL, POWERPOINT loaded on it and she can always save her homework to a floppy to print it out from this unit later or in school. And, she can play Solitaire to her heart's content and use whichever format of it she wants without interference from me or Mandy either.

We got hit here Tuesday with a snowstorm - first one of this winter - and received probably about 12 inches of the white stuff. School was dismissed at noon Tuesday and the kids have not gone back yet. Yesterday and today, it is closed apparently due to the low temps (wind chills of minus 10-minus 20) so lucky kids get another vacation day.

Wednesday, Mandy bundled little Maya up and took her outside to let her play in the snow for the first time ever. How I wish we'd had a camera here to take some pictures of her playing in it! She took to sliding on one of those little plastic sleds like a fish to water! I don't know who enjoyed the outing more either - Maya or her Mommy! Mandy was just all smiles and laughing as she played with Miss Maya out on the snowbank in front of our house and Maya really didn't want to come back into the house either!

Yesterday, most of my family and I - along with the step-grandkids' maternal grandmother and the little daughter of my son-in-law's ex-wife too -all went to PIzza Hut for supper to celebrate stepgranddaughter Sierra's 11th birthday - which actually was Wednesday but the weather and road conditions kept us from going out that day. It was a fun dinner which everyone seemed to enjoy very much - especially me, since that meant I didn't have to cook yesterday and got to dine on Pizza and breadsticks and tossed salad! Yippy skippy, huh?

We got a notice too in our tv cable bill yesterday that they now offer internet (broadband) connectivity and I'm going to call the 800 number listed there to see if that is available to everyone on the cable or only select areas. If it is available with our cable here, I may opt to go that route as DSL is NOT yet available here through Verizon although they have been advertising it is coming here for over a year now. But so far, they haven't gotten to this exact area yet with that type of connection. THe cost to access Broadband through our Cable company would be an additional $42.50 a month - a bit higher I think that what Verizon had been advertising DSL would run - if they ever do finish installation of accessibility to that service.

I don't know the differences -exactly - between Broadband and DSl - just that either one is way faster than dealing with dial-up and Broadband would not require using the phone line either. Hmmm - might mean we could go back to one phone line service to the house then I suppose. But if anyone reading this can give me some data on differences between Broadband and DSl, any recommendations of one over the other too - that would be a welcome bit of information for me to try to digest.

And, finally - yesterday for some reason or other, I forgot to post the Bushism of the day, so guess what? Today you get yesterday's, today's and also an extra one - the one for Saturday and Sunday which is a combined "Bushism."

Thurday - February 15, 2007
"Sometimes, Washington is one of these towns where the person - people who think they've got the sharp elbow is the most effective person." New Orleans, Louisiana; December 3, 2002

Friday, February 16, 2007
"My answer is, b ring them on." - On Iraqi militants attacking U.S. forces; Washington, D.C.; July 3, 2003

for Saturday and Sunday - Feb ruary 17/18, 2007
"And there is a new history now that has been done, and that history needs to be included in the process." - Bratislava, Slovakia; February 24, 2005

Hope everyone has a good weekend - stay warm, safe and "be happy."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Boo Hoo and Hiss Hiss

I'm going to post the Bushism for today right now - or by the time I finish my lovely rant here below, I may very well forget that I haven't done that as yet! Early senility setting in here at a rampant pace you know!

"I appreciate my love for Laura." - Washington, D.C.; April 20, 2005

I just bet you do, DUBYA!
Now, on to the more unsettling things that have been permeating my life for the past 24 hours -well, actually since about 7 p.m. Friday night after the computer guy got my new computer set up and left me to my own devices.
The computer, over the weekend, wasn't really a problem -other than the issues with the Family Tree Maker which won't let me copy files I have saved (in Family Tree Maker format no less) over to the computer so I can once again, log in and work on my family trees with relative ease. Well, that and when I tried to re-load the Windows Office Professional Suite, initially it wouldn't read the first disc but I got that squared away on Monday. Just gently wiped it off and presto magic, it worked! (I even had occasion on Monday to use the Frontpage program - the Image composer - for the first time, ever! Neat!
Yesterday though was a horse of a different color! Boy, was it ever!
I don't remember exactly what time my troubles began - sometime in the afternoon I think. It's all pretty much a big blur because it was so consistently a problem that who can separate out specific times.
It started with my system just crashing - I think I moved the mouse and all of a sudden, I was staring at a black screen and then, watching XP sign back in again - only to do the same thing to me numerous times during the late afternoon, throughout the evening and till the wee hours of the morning. At one point, it even crashed on Adobe when I clicked on the pdf file to read the Valentine's Day e-book!
I still have no idea what caused all these woes - haven't been able to get through today to the Computer Shop. But besides having the whole system crash on me numerous times, having it even go through the CHKDSK thing to reboot XP, I also lost my anti-virus thing for a short time. I never shut it down but it somehow, magically, was showing that it was indeed turned off. Got that fixed.
THen, my Firefox browser got lost. Took me about three tries to download that program again, reinstall it -a couple of times - before it finally began to work properly.
Then, I reinstalled my Eudora e-mail program - just out of general principles, really.
And finally, I even downloaded the Explorer seven program and reinstalled it too because it was acting very strangely too!
All that activity took me up till about 4:30 in the morning and by that time, I was majorly stressed out as well as dog-assed tired too and I just gave up then and went to bed!
So far today, I've only had a problem once with the system when it froze up on me. I hate when that happens as I know when I had the other unit and Windows 98, when I would have to quit by just turning the power off to the computer, upon startup again, it would give me the lovely message to always quit by using the start button, etc. Well Hell's bells! I would have gladly done that if the freaking equipment hadn't just frozen me out to where I couldn't click anything on ya know!
So, just cross your fingers and hope things are on a smoother path now. Well, all except for the Yahoo messenger that is. If a contact I am talking to there has a photo posted on their site of yahoo messenger, all it looks like now on my computer is a lousy negative! And, as yet, I haven't found a way to correct that so I am taking suggestions there!
And, if you have any ideas as to why my computer went nutso -whacky on me yesterday, feel free to let me know your thoughts on that too.
The snowed in old lady here in central Pennsylvania is leaving the keyboard now to go start supper and praying for a better night of computing tonight!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Computer Management!

If you've been following my blog the past couple of days or weeks (even months for some perhaps), you are aware then I just purchased a new computer. It was delivered and set up for me last Friday and since then, my life has been a zoo!

I've been trying to add in software I used on the other computer, rebuilding my e-mail address book, keeping up with my incoming/outgoing e-mails, maintaining my blog, adding new software I couldn't put on the other computer as well as my normal day-to-day stuff like watching the two little grandchildren, cooking the main meal of the day for the family and often, being the one getting stuck with cleaning up after cooking supper too. (The latter, although there is a 15-year-old here who is supposed to at least "occasionally" wash dishes and clean up after supper but often just happens to forget about little tasks like that!)

One bit of software that I got loaded in here on Sunday was my Family Tree Maker program. I have four family trees I have been working on for the past 8 years - on a computer - and as such, had a lot, and I do mean A LOT of data on them too. I had saved four of the trees about a year ago to cd with some help from my next door neighbor's son so yesterday I thought I would try to get that data from the cd's and placed into the program on my computer so I could be able to return to it and work on it easily then - doing additions, changes, etc., to them.

Boy, what a hassle that simple little project is becoming for me!

Try to comprehend what is meant by the words "export" and "append" with respect to a family tree and a cd in the D drive and what do you think they mean? Export, to me, would mean taking whatever data you are working with and sending it elsewhere - don't 'cha think? "Append" indicates to me that you are taking data and adding it to previous information or files. But, apparently I do not think quite the same way as whoever designed this aspect of working with family trees!

I do know -learned this the hard way a couple years ago - that if I "export" my files -either to put them online for all the world to view and use - in the process of doing that one must create a "GEDCOM." And, a GEDCOM is a file that is supposed to be compatible with virtually all family tree type software and with the area online where you can submit these files.

However, what the creators of the GEDCOM don't tell you is that if you do build one of those things and ship it to the great family tree database in cyberspace, that the little old GEDCOM will take any data it finds that give an indication of the person's age and it will obliterate it for the big database in cyberspace. It also doesn't tell you that it will ALSO go directly into YOUR computer, to YOUR files there and it will obliterate the same data there too!. Years of work entering dates of birth, marriage dates, etc., will be wiped out in one fell swoop! And it will create a lot of ranting, screaming, crying, gnashing of teeth and a very blue air in the area where you have your computer and these files stored too! Trust me on that - I know from first hand experience!

And, suppose another member of your family is working on family tree stuff too and would like you to share what data you have in your files with him/her and you follow their simple instructions to export that data to your other family member. Well, it will do the same thing to your files in that action too! Wipes out any dates that the programs perceive to indicate a person who could still be alive today!

Now, what sense does that all make? Be darned if I know! I can understand when you publish your tree online that to protect the privacy of some family members who don't want the world to know how old they are or when they got married, that it obliterates that data there - not a problem. But, for that software to double-back and dip into MY FILES and remove the data I worked long and hard to gather and enter there - well that is just plain WRONG and non-sensical. Also very mean-spirited too on the part of the person who developed that part of the software in my opinion!

But anyway - it seems I can't figure out how to move the data I have saved on my cd here of my family trees over to the computer and the program waiting to receive it.

It appears that now I am going to have to print off copies of each tree (saved in rich text format) and manually re-enter all that documentation to FOUR, not one, not two but to FOUR family trees! At least one tree has well over 1,000 people named in it, another has almost 700 family members and the other two have close to 1,000 people in them as well! It could be YEARS before I complete this task at hand now! After all, it took me 8 years to get it in there to begin with.

Of course, a lot of that time was spent in research mode too - but still, that's a lot of work all apparently going down the drain because of lack of simple instructions in how to reload data in to the trees when you purchase a new computer as well as their obnoxious behavior in obliterating some of the user's valuable data too!


And, with all that said and done - before I sign off - here's the Bushism for today!

"The fundamental question is, 'Will I b e a successful president when it comes to foreign policy?' I will be, but until I'm the president, it's going to be hard for me to verify that I think I'll be more effective." - Wayne, Michigan; June 28, 2000.

Gee- that almost sounds like it could apply to me and my family tree issues, doesn't it? Will I be a successful author of four family trees by having to re-enter all this data, search for missing birthdates, marriage data,etc., etc.,...

Time will tell and be the master now, won't it?

A Valentine's Day E-Book!

Love Is In The Air! Can you feel it? It's just around the corner and here's a little something you can get to celebrate this special feeling on a very special day.

What day is that, you ask? It's Valentine's Day! Just one more day and it will be here - the day to remember love, lovers, loved ones -you name it!

And, if you'd like to get a nice little give to present to your special Valentine - or just to have so you can enjoy reading some time stories giving a tribute to love in general, special folks, lovers - whatever - here's where you can request to have the Writersville Gang's latest e-book sent directly to your e-mail inbox where you can read these articles at your leisure and enjoy the day, over and over throughout the year.

Simply click on the website here below, fill out the request form and put a comment in there too that Jeni sent you over to order this great little e-book!


Enjoy and have a very Happy Valentine's Day -courtesy of the Writersville Gang (and me).

Monday, February 12, 2007

Good Monday Morning!

Now, how's that for a greeting for you on a Monday morning? No, nothing super special has happened - as yet -nor do I anticipate anything spectacular will occur in my life to make this a super good Monday morning. Maybe the fact I am posting this message before 10 a.m. eastern time is special - it sort of is for me since I'm usually not that functional at this particular hour of the day!

My plans today are to call the guy at the computer shop and see if he can give me some more insight as to why my screen seems to go all flickery-like when I open my e-mail along with suggestions on how to get my cds for the Windows Office Professional 2000 suite to install on this computer.

Mandy is working today but I probably will just have Miss Maya here with me and she's taking the baby up to the sitter today. Maya will be here because her "toy lady" home visitor is scheduled to show up at 2 p.m. today with the next little "gift" for Maya through that program. Should be interesting to see what she has in store for my little princess today and hopefully, it will be as well-received by Maya as the last toy was! She loved getting the big box filled with little vegetables, fruits and tiny boxes made to look like corn flakes, a carton of milk and one of orange juice and it was nice to see just how many of those items Maya could identify and also, was able to determine other points of interest about many of them too! But the little pinafore apron that came with that package was the biggest hit of all in the box as she has insisted on having that apron on almost every day since then at some point or other during the day! She apparently has a lot of genes that skipped over me completely, briefly touched my daughters but landed full-force in Maya as she very much loves to "clean" -everything and any thing - usually with a baby wipe but what the heck, if it picks up a little dust and makes her happy in the process, I say "you go for it baby!"

On another note here - if Paige from Paradise Valley happens to be reading my blog, please e-mail me. I've tried on several occasions to get my link to your blog -seen under my favorites here -to be changed but for some reason or other, it doesn't want to work and now, I can't log into your newer blog and I miss not being able to read your prose and poems.

And finally - yep - the Bushism for today, Monday February 12, 2007 is as follows:

"I hope we get to the bottom of the answer. It's what I'm interested to know." As quoted by The Associated Press; April 2 6, 2000.

All of which makes really good sense to me. Sure it does!

Walking on the "Wild" Side

Thankfully, this weekend is now history! Not that there was anything really obnoxious that happened to me between Friday and this point in time, but it was not the calm, cool and collected two days I was really hoping for!

First off, today - or rather yesterday since it is now Monday as I write this -was my younger daughter's 31st birthday. In so many ways, she resembles her father A LOT so it is probably quite miraculous that she survived this many years as she has an attitude at times that is just LIKE her Dad's! But that has good things too in that although she may blow up quickly, really snap at people, once it is out, it is pretty much over and done with and life goes back to normal as if nothing ever happened. (Very different from her older sister who will carry - no actually nurse - big time - a grudge of YEARS!)

Well, I got Mandy two books -about two weeks ago - for her birthday gift -two by the author Jodi Picoult, who happens to be a favorite author for both my daughter and for me! So if anyone reading this wants a bold-faced suggestion of what to give me - or Mandy -We already have six of her books around here someplace but there are I think somewhere between 6-10 others we don't have. Just ask me if I've read a specific title of hers and I'll be happy to let you know if it's one we are missing!

Now, my older daughter decided that for her little sister's big birthday she would come up here Saturday and pick up the younger one's two little children and cart them off to spend Saturday afternoon and night and most of Sunday with her and her fiance. A nice gesture indeed since both Mandy and I would benefit from a much needed break from a 3-year-old and 10-month old - especially nice in the form of a good solid night's sleep!

However, you know that old saying -"The best laid plans of mice and men" - and with the older daughter, her best laid plans normally go awry with the timing aspect. And, true to form, that's what happened Saturday.

Initially, she was to work a couple hours in the morning for one or two clients she takes care of and be finished in time to be up here to pick up Maya and Kurtis between 11:30 and noonish. Now, since those times were "her estimations" I figured I'd be lucky if she got here by 1 p.m.

She called me about 12:30 saying she had a load of clothes in the washer and a load in the dryer and as soon as the one in the dryer finished up and the one in the washer was ready to be plunked into the dryer, she would be leaving to come get the kids. (It's at least a 45 minute drive from her place to ours too I must add here and that has to be configured into our time estimations although I don't think she ever uses that theory in her eta's.)

The time passed by and around 4 p.m., she phoned, spoke to my son-in-law and told him she was going to be leaving her place "shortly" and would be right up! After he hung up the phone, he made a prediction that she probably wouldn't arrive till at least 6 p.m. and it's a good thing I didn't bet any money there as he would have won! She got here about 6:15. I almost bit a hole through my tongue as it was really tempting to ask her if she had to wring out the clothes in the washer by hand and blow dry them as well as the other load she had in the dryer using her hair dryer! But, I was nice -quiet, ticked off but nice. And, since I had supper almost ready when she arrived, I told her to just sit down and have a bite to eat too because the granddaughter hadn't yet had supper and was hungry and she did that.

Now, the younger daughter had written a list of things the older daughter needed to know about the two kids -how much the baby generally ate, doseages of the cold meds to give both kids, a few other pointers, you know. And about a half hour after the elder left, she phoned us asking how to fix the formula for the baby as she had gone off and forgotten her little sister's list of instructions. Son-in-law told her the proportions of water to formula.

Roughly a half -hour after that call, she was on the horn again. This time, she was asking about what time did we usually start trying to get these two hooligans to go to bed. Now at that question, I just started to giggle. She informed me she was serious and wanted to know when to try and get them ready for bed and since I started laughing harder then, and she kept asking me that over and over, the more she asked, the harder I laughed! These two kids have NO SET BEDTIME! It is whenever you think, judging by their actions, that you can manage to get them to go to sleep!

After I quite laughing quite so hard, the elder one then asked about the formula -what brand did her sister buy for the baby because she apparently had neglected to pack any in his bag so the elder was going to have to go purchase some formula for him.

I told her just to get the generic brand as the younger says it all has to meet minimum nutritional standards so there really is no big difference but with the elder, things almost always have to be purchased according to "Brand names!" Why would anyone want to possibly save a bit of money by purchasing generic when you can get ripped off by getting a brand name of this, that or another thing! An argument then ensued between her and I over the name of the formula she should purchase and ended with her putting her fiance on the phone. And, to him, I virtually shouted that this was not blankety-blank rocket science here - just buy the blankety-blank generic formula and just get a can of the already mixed stuff too that way, she could get a container with enough to take him through one day (all he would need) as opposed to buying a 2 week supply of the powdered stuff!

So that was that issue -resolved in my mind at any rate.

Now, after a fairly decent night's sleep, I got up Sunday morning, found a cup of fresh hot coffee and settled in to do more work in downloading some software to my new computer. No big deal, but just a bit time consuming. I figured though I could get that done by 1 p.m. and then, get ready to run to Walmart and get a big grocery order as well as stopping by the nursing home near there where my almost 90-year-old aunt and her daughter are now patients.

Fat chance!

For openers, when I logged into my e-mail this morning, the screen went black - which scared me - although it was only for a couple seconds - and then, when my e-mail account opened for me, the colors on my screen got kind of squirrely looking - squiggly and just strange. Got through checking out my new e-mails and then moved over to read the local Sunday paper online. There I came across an article about people up in Minnesota someplace making the old-fashioned Swedish Potato Sausage and since a cousin of mine, her husband and several friends of their through their church make tons of this type of sausage for a special church dinner every fall - an Octoberfest type thing -I wanted to send them the url for this article as I figured they would enjoy it. But, when I tried to paste the url into an outgoing e-mail, it crashed my e-mail - not once, but twice! So, I ended up just forwarding the article directly from the website and wrote a plain e-mail note to them then as well.

That done, I decided my first order of business in downloading stuff was to put the Office Professional Suite programs on this computer. Ok, it's the 2000 version but the computer guy had said it would work with Windows Xp and I'd have no problems putting it on here. Boy, was he wrong! Big time! On the very first CD it bombed on me at about 65 percent of it being downloaded giving me an error message that Error 1305 involving a filename with a "font" in there was the issue and I was to verify that said file actually exists. Well, it doesn't!

So, I went to another little bit of a "help" tool here - the "program compatibility" thing and tried running the Office stuff again using the compatibility software to get it to work and no dice! So, as of tonight, I still don't have Office Professional installed here! I do however now have "Printmaster" and some Calendar making program plus a big Clip-art program installed though!

Ok, so I screwed away a good bit of valuable time when I should have been at Walmart but finally got out of the house and on my way about 3:30. I decided I would go to the Nursing Home first, then to Walmart.

At the nursing home, although my aunt looked good and was happy to see me, it was alarming to me at how her mind is really getting very, very foggy now. She recognized me right away so I thought that was a good sign but as it turned out, it was very deceptive. She couldn't remember now how old she is - she'll be 90 in April - and at my last visit there just before Christmas, she was reminding my daughter and I the whole time that she will be 90 this spring. Then, she didn't remember that there had been 10 children in her family and that she was the youngest of the ten! THat really scared me as most times her memory of her siblings is very good with the exception that she hasn't been able to remember what year this or that one died much of the time. She also told me she was hoping she would be able to go back home - something that no way is that going to happen -but she realized now she couldn't do that. However, her reasons why she couldn't do that were not reality based. She said it would be too hard because she would have no money and wouldn't be able to get a job because she had been away from working for too long. The latter part there is true -she has been retired from teaching for about 28 years now, but she would have money as she has her retirement, social security from her husband, plus social security disability payments for her daughter who is severely mentally and physically challenged. But she apparently has forgotten about having that income.

For me to see her mental state has regressed this quickly in about 5-6 weeks time span is really frightening as well as extremely sad. It was hard enough to watch her struggling at home before things were forced on her to go into the nursing home last August but at least, the senility factors though present weren't quite as rampant as they appear to be now. There were a few other things we discussed while there in which I could see the senility popping up more too but I tried to make the best of it while there with her. At least today she wasn't angry about her circumstances and didn't have the mean look in her eyes that she had when Mandy and I were there before Christmas. Some little thing to be thankful for there you know.

Then, it was off to Walmart where I spent way too much time and maybe a bit more money that I had anticipated dropping there but hey, I found some good buys and figured it was best to take advantage of them now! I got myself a new pair of shoes -much needed casual slipon type - three nice thick bathtowels on sale for $3.50 each and you know, you can't beat a price that low! I also splurged on a new crockpot too - a 5 quart sized one -very pretty design on it too along with a smallish three-drawer plastic storage stand to help me clear out some of the rubble on this desk and get it somewhat organized. And - I also bought a corkboard type bulletin board which I plan to put up on the wall beside my computer so I can post notes to myself there about various traits, events, etc., pertaining to characters in the novel a small group of 6-8 other bloggers and myself are involved in writing online!

Oh yes, and I did buy groceries too!

Home - unloaded the van, put the groceries away, at a bite of supper that my son-in-law had been kind enough to cook and off to the computer to check e-mail, try to get some work done here and then, I ran into yet another computer problem!

I went to print out one particular e-mail for my daughter and stepgranddaughter which had the practice schedule for the next two weeks for the step-granddaughter to follow for the school play she is participating in and geez, don't ya just know when I hit the print button, I got a message that I had no printer!

Now, where the hell did that printer go anyway? It was there yesterday - working fine and dandy and I hadn't messed with the printer programs at all since Dave reinstalled the printer for me on Friday! So, I had to uninstall the printer - which is actually a printer/copier/scanner all in one - and reinstall it. And to do that, you have to completely disconnect the darned thing, partially install the software, then reconnect the unit to the computer and plug it in and then let the program finish installing it. Thankfully, it went smoothly because I really wasn't in the mood then to fight with the computer any more!

And now - it is roughly 2:30 in the morning and I still have not gotten around to doing the Sunday crossword puzzle -which, if I don't have the paper by 8 p.m. at the latest on Sunday and playing with the crossword puzzle, I tend to go into a withdrawal almost as severe as I would if I didn't have the computer to play with for a couple of hours!

So, that's the report on my lovely weekend and now, I'm heading to the dining room to dig out the crossword puzzle and see how much of it I can fill in today before I get totally stumped. I won't be bothering tonight though to dig out my two big fat crossword puzzle dictionaries and my thesarus either for that matter as I am just too darned tired tonight to go to that much trouble!

Night All!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered"

Yep, that pretty well describes me today!

The long-awaited new computer arrived yesterday -about 6 p.m. (EST) as a matter of fact. The Computer Guy (Dave) had been down here early in the morning with plans to remove the data from the old computer that I want and NEED too (all my research is on there!!!) but as so often happens, things didn't quite work out that way.

He hooked up a unit to pull the information off, inserted a disc and my computer would only read a portion of the disc so he had to scotch those plans. For the time being, anyway.

He brought the new one down, got it installed and such and took my old computer away with him (the harddrive) to take the harddrive out, put it into another machine and thus extract the data in My Documents, My Briefcase, my family tree files along with the data stored in the D-drive, consisting of lots more information in My Documents and My Pictures files there. He figures by probably Tuesday he will have it all removed and saved to cds for me!

So now, I've been playing here - got most of my address book re-set up. I now have three bookmarks saved too! Whoopy Ding! Moving along ever so quickly. HAH!

Last night, with the internet search screen from my provider in place, it took me forever it seemed to figure out where the "copy" Button is located on that page. There was no header there with the Edit button as I am accustomed to using.

After that, it was a long time before I figured out where the "favorites" and the button to "add to favorites" was as well. Ok, finally found that so I'm working much better with this now.

Got a "google pack" downloaded so now I can view things either with Internet Explorer or Firefox. And that's nice because now I can finally read Skittle's blogs once again! The old computer wouldn't open her blog in IE, so I had downloaded Firefox - just so I could read her blog - but then, the old computer decided it didn't always like to deal with Firefox and would often freeze up while I'd be reading her blog! Go figure!

But today, I opened her blog and it was all fine. And what's more, I was even able to view a YouTube video she had posted there! Neat one, at that!

I still have some programs I need to download here - my family tree for one. I have some cd's my neighbors son had burned for me last year from various floppies I had here with a lot of my research data on them so, I can still access some of that stuff.

Plus, I have a kazillion e-mail messages that I forwarded to myself at my g-mail account so I would then be able to glean e-mail addresses I want to re-install in my address book. Only problem there is I forwarded about 10-12 of those e-mails to my regular e-mail address yesterday, but so far only about 3-4 of them have managed to make the trip! What gives with that, I wonder?

So, it looks like I have a lot of work ahead of me today - and for a good while after that too as I get acclimated to using Windows Xp - it is a big switch for me from Windows 98 to this system -confusing yes, but also fun!

Now, I suppose I need to go buy a Windows XP Book For Dummies or Idiots so I can try to figure out all that I really NEED to know about this system and maybe even learn some stuff I just WANT to know in the process! Here's hoping they have a book like that which has been written in what I call "easy-speak" computerese! None of the real -or very little anyway - of the computer jargon that tends to confuse me - a lot - sometimes!

My parting thoughts for the day - from someone else who often seems to be "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" - I give you the Bushism for today and tomorrow - one, for both days, aren't you just ever so lucky now!

"So thank you for reminding me about the importance of being a good mom and a great volunteer as well." St. Louis, Missouri; January 5, 2004.

Who knows how much of this I will have mastered by tomorrow! Now, there's a laugh for you!

Friday, February 09, 2007

And the Beat (er - Wait) Goes On!

Well! Some news about the computer but sadly, no computer - yet!

The guy I'm buying it from was supposed to come down this afternoon and do the data transfer but that didn't quit pan out as planned. However, there was some other news about the computer that I think was something good.

He informed me that as he was working on getting it together at the shop today he noticed the harddrive was different from what he had ordered. He had ordered 250 Gig of memory for the harddrive and told me that they had sent him 320 Gig but apparently they didn't realize they'd done that as they had charged him for the one with 250 Gig. So, for no extra charge, I'm getting not 250 Gig but 320! Now, how's that for an ok transaction?

Since I forgot earlier to post the Bushism for Thursday, February 8th and since I have no clue when I will be online and have time to post anything tomorrow - and since it is slightly after midnight here now too, I'm going to post both Bushism with this post! Aren't you just the lucky ones here tonight though. I get a new computer with 70 extra Gig for free and you get two Bushisms instead of only one piece of great wisdom - and maybe a tad of mirth - to read!

Can't beat that with a stick now, can ya?

Thursday, February 8, 2007
"As governor of Texas, I have set high standards for our public schools, and I have met those standards." CNN online chat; August 30, 2000.

And for Friday, February 9, 2007 - there's this gem!
"In other words, I don't think people ought to be compelled to make the decision which they think is best for their family." Washington, D.C.; December 11, 2002

That's all, folks! For tonight anyway! Maybe the next time I post here, it will be from a new computer, using a brand new (clean) keyboard! Let's hope so anyway!

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Brother! It sure does seem that the bulk of my life has been spent waiting.
As a child, I was always waiting for a brother or sister to magically appear some day. (A little difficult to have happen considering my Mom was a widow, not the least bit inclined to looking for a new husband, or even a boyfriend of any type.) Or once I figured out that was never going to happen, I was waiting for us to get a TV set, or me to be given a stereo (record player it was called back then). Then I was waiting to turn 16 and get my driver's license but Mom made me wait till I was 18 - punishment for having driven her car up the road past our house when I was age 11. Gosh I was really a brat then. At least, my son was 14 when he did that with his sister's car and almost 17 when he got a ticket for driving "his" car but that had no tags, no inspection and hadn't even had the registration changed over to his or my name! Small favors he did me, huh?

Then I was waiting to graduate from high school. After that, it became waiting for some Prince Charming to come along and whisk me off to the little cottage with a white picket fence where we would live happily ever after and raise a passel of beautiful children. Yadda yadda! Ok, I got the husband, did get three beautiful children out of the waiting periods there too but Prince Charming - still waiting for him to come along I guess. (Actually, I quit waiting for that aspect of my life to be fulfilled and decided it was better I just adjust to living with ME!)

I've waited for decent jobs, for raises that rarely materialized with jobs I had and waited for snow to arrive, then prayed for it to leave. Waited for roads to be cleared - in more ways than one - waited for grades to come telling me how my kids were doing in school then waited for my own grades in college to appear to let me know if I was able to move up the ladder there and all the while, I was waiting too then to graduate from college.

Waiting for my kids to leave home, then worrying and wanting them to come back and when they did, waiting again for some prince or princess to sweep them off their feet and they would settle down to a nice married life and give me grandchildren. Now, that was one wait that was definitely worth holding out for! Sitting and staring, just staring for hours on end at my first grandchild - my first "little prince" -in absolute awe of him and how beautiful, how absolutely perfect he was in every way, shape or form. Oh and at age nine now, he still is - absolutely the most handsome of young boys, almost as tall as me now and smart as a whip too! Oh yes, he was definitely worth the wait!

But then I waited for more grandchildren and along came the granddaughter who, like her cousin before her, immediately captivated me as I held her for the first time and our eyes met. Oh yeah - another case of love at first sight there too! My very own little princess and that, she's always going to be! If I ever have more grandchildren and am blessed then with another granddaughter, that one or maybe more, might be "lady in waiting" or even get elevated to queenly status but Maya will forever be my little princess.

And a year ago, I waited for the arrival of my third grandchild - terrific - another little prince. He's my sweetheart! Loves to snuggle with his head on my shoulder and his momma says that's because Grammie has lots of padding that she doesn't have and doesn't look like she ever will either. He's a gem! My most-of-the-time smiles by the miles little man here, he is!

I've waited in doctor's offices with sick kids, fretted over a few broken bones there too. Waited for a diagnosis that when it came, scared the heck out of me on a couple of occasions too. Waited for surgeons, for promises of healing techniques, for rehabilitation too after the fact and thus far, those things finally came as well.

And right now, I'm waiting again.

This time it is for a new possession though and one I'm really excited about. I've talked about it a lot over the past week and it appears today is the day my wait for this is supposed to come to an end.

I have the top of my desk cleaned off of all the dust, crumbs, coffee marks, bills, other rubble and am waiting for the phone to ring now and hear the guy from the computer shop on the other end telling me he's on his way to my house to bring it - yes, my NEW COMPUTER is supposed to be on its way to its new home today!

And, for that wait to come to an end, I do say "Hip, hip and HOORAY!"

Now, watch them call and tell me it's being postponed to tomorrow! I really do have to work on my negative thought processes don't I?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Smile Pretty, Girls!

I located this photograph today and since it happens to be one of my all time favorites, I thought I'd post it here for all the world to see.
The two little girls here are my cousin Ruth Ann and me. It was taken waaayyy back when she was three and I was two and was done on "Picture Day" at the old school in her home town. Our aunt taught there and somehow managed to get my Mom to bring me up and have pictures taken of the two of us. There was this one of us together plus separate photos of her and of me.
The thing that always gets to me about this particular photograph is that Ruth Ann's smile then and her smile today are exactly the same! And, if I could find a photograph of her dad - my Uncle Arch - to post alongside of this picture, you'd be able to see exactly where her smile came from too.
Growing up and now as adults, there are other things about her that have never changed either. She's a red-head - sometimes even has a bit of the temper to accompany that hair color too - and still has lots and lots of freckles as well. But that's just the outer appearance there. Inside, the way she operates, she's still pretty much the same bubbly person she always was when we were kids.
One thing I noticed when looking over this photo today is how we're seated, holding hands and how sober or scared - not quite sure there - I am, with her all smiles but look at the hands. Mine is on the bottom, then hers and then mine on top of hers and it could maybe be said she was trying to send me a message that there was nothing for me to fear, cause she's there, holding my hand, giving aid and comfort. And, mine on top of hers is - as always - accepting that but sending a signal that it's so good to know you're here with me.
And that is something we still have today.
We're miles and miles apart, geographically. She's down in Alabama and I'm still here in Pennsylvania but we e-mail frequently. We exchange photographs frequently of our grandchildren especially. And we try to keep each other abreast of how members of our family are doing these days too. Her mother - age 97 now - lives near her in a senior citizen center but it is one that has assisted care too which helps to lessen the worries Ruth Ann has about her Mom's day-to-day care. And I live about 22 miles away from the nursing home where our surviving aunt from our Dad's family now lives with her daughter. I don't get over there near as often as our Aunt would want, expects too for that matter, but circumstances dictate that particular issue. I can't always get out sometimes due to weather, other times because I am watching my grandchildren and I can't handle taking the two of them anyplace by myself.
But my daughters and I try to keep tabs on how things are going for our mutual aunt and if there is anything we can do to help her, to keep her a little content from time to time.
So when I look at this picture now, seeing our hands together, it keeps reminding me that is still the ongoing feature of our relationship. We reach out to each other now across the miles through words typed into computers and with a click of the "send" button, our hands entwine again.
A great way to keep both of us moving on, knowing the other is still there, reaching, touching, patting, comforting and still saying the same thing -"I'm still here for you."
Love ya, Red!