Thursday, January 29, 2009

Facebook, the pros and the cons

I love facebook.  I don't think that comes as a surprise to anyone.  It took a while to find my way around there, but now that I'm used to it, I love it.  There are so many chances to catch up with lost contacts, and see what's up with my friends and family.  It is a great tool, and my employers have even joined the fun!

However, facebook can be a huge time-waster, as well.  Sometimes, that's OK.  If I'm sitting around with nothing to do, why not waste some time playing mindless games on facebook?  If I'm out of town at a convention, or on most work nights, I don't have a ton of time, so I just cannot get to all of the applications.

I love YoVille.  I'm hooked on it, making it to "work" at least twice per day.  The same can be said for MyFarm.  I don't miss a day of harvesting and planting.  On cabin-fever type weekends, I'll even do super pokes, green patch, the cove thing, etc.  I can hit all of those applications more than once, on a long wintery day.

Now, comes the point that I needed to get to.  I ignore application invites.  Yes, it's true.  When I get home in the evening to 42 invitations, there is NO way I can do them.  No. Way.  When I'm out of town at convention, and get a chance to get online, it's not uncommon to see over 60 notifications.  Too much pressure, if I tried to do them all.

I guess I'm saying this to let you know, I don't always take you up on the offers.  Outside of YoVille and MyFarm, it's all a crap-shoot.  I appreciate that you think of me for that 1/4 second that it takes to click on my face.  It means that you pictured me and thought of me for a short time.  Thank you.

Just don't be offended, now that you know the truth.  

Also, for those of you who feel pressure/guilt to add all of those apps...stop it.  It's just a game.  It's all good.  We all still love you, even if you don't accept the random cow that gets passed your way.  What?  You didn't accept my cow?  WHAT?  Just kidding.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

22 years in a nutshell

I found a lot of long-lost friends from high school, thanks to facebook!  I was stoked immediately, when I saw Rhonda on there.  I have contact with a few, she has contact with a few others, and things started taking shape.

I suggested that we get together when the weather was warmer, in someone's back yard, or at a park, so there wasn't a lot of planning or expense on anyone.  They all instantly planned a get-together for Feb. 7.  Dang!  I'll be out of town!

I told Rhonda that I'd like to meet with her, regardless, so we're getting together this Saturday.  Now, a couple more have been invited.  I am so excited!  It's going to be fun to catch up.

Oh yeah, catching up.  I'm a bit weird when it comes to that.  I was chatting online with Rhonda, on facebook, and she asked a question that would take DAYS to answer in chat form.  I asked if I could call her.  She said yes.  Oh boy...I'm sorry, Rhonda!

I launched into a 5 minute monologue about the last 22 years.  Do you know how much happens to a person in 22 years?  Do you know?  DO YOU UNDERSTAND????  Anyway, I probably freaked her out.  I hope she still shows up on Saturday.  She can look at it this way:  She gets to dominate the conversation, since I've spilled ever.tiny.detail. in the last few minutes.

I'll take pictures and let ya'll know how it goes, but I know how it'll go.  It's going to be awesome.  Boot stompin' awesome.  I'm ready. 

Then, if this isn't enough, I get to keep Kameron this weekend!  Pictures of THAT to come, too!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow and other such nonsense.

It has been snowing all day.  Snow, snow, snow.  It barely let up at all.  It snowed and snowed.  And we don't even have 1/2" out there.  What a wimpy snow!  It is, however, cold as all get-out.  I guess that is the weather punch for this time.  Cold and miserable, and I had to pump gas after work.  Yeah, note to self:  Don't leave home without your gloves.

I'm flipping channels a bit tonight.  I usually don't watch American Idol a whole lot, until later in the season, but I'm catching parts of it.  I'm also checking in on Homeland Security.  I really like this new show.  Interesting stuff, along the lines of another favorite show of mine: Airline.

I'm noticing that it's taking me two days to recover from convention trips lately.  I feel the same tonight as I did yesterday.  Wiped out.  I'll be going to bed early, if I can get away with it.  Kevin was home today (vacation day due to low work) and had spaghetti ready when I got home.  It was yummy.  Thanks, honey!

I just got a HUGE pick-me-up on the phone!  Kameron (my granddaughter) is spending the night on Saturday night!  Brett will pick her up and bring her over.  I cannot wait.  Mom and Dad finally get to meet her, and I am tickled to death.  So much so that I have to end this entry.  I am wavering between smiling and tearing up.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm home!

I'm home!  It's awesome to be home.  It was a good show, and we had a good time, but nothing feels as good as being home, with the people that love me more than anyone else in the world could love me.

Kevin's job is in jeopardy.  It's a long story, and he shouldn't be there now.  It is WAY too hard on his body, which is broken down from this same job.  However, we need his income, and without a degree, we don't know what he can find.  At least here, he's working, with a paycheck.  The trade-off really isn't worth it, though.

I don't know what to hope for.  I don't know what to pray for.  I don't know what the future will bring for him.  He needs to be working, but I don't want his physical pain to keep going on, day in and day out.

Just pray for the right thing.  Send good thoughts for the right thing.  I don't know what it is, but God does, and we'll wait and see.  Please do what you can to support Kevin.  Advice is welcome, and criticism will be accepted.  I say "accepted" because I'm too tired to take criticism real well right now.  However, I'll read this again tomorrow, and I'll be clear-headed.

Wow, I'm scared, for the first time in a long time.  Scared without a specific hope to hang on to.  Do I want him to keep his job?  Do I want him to get laid off and do something else?  

I know that I want to keep my house.  I know that I want my husband to live a long time.  I know that I want to afford all I can for my kids.

*sigh*  I'm floundering, here.

Goodbye, Kentucky!

It's 6:30, and our cab will be here at 7 to take us to the airport.  We gain an hour, so we'll get to Kansas City in a decent amount of time, and then head to work.  We're exhausted, but it was a great show.  We have worked hard, but we've also laughed harder than I've laughed in a LONG time.

Michelle and I travel well together.  Our schedules work together well, and there are not odd moments when you wonder what the other is thinking.  Heck, we just TELL each other what we're thinking.  We keep the same hours, pretty much, and are both easy to get along with.  Nothing stresses us out, and we "roll with the punches."

I would love to tell some stories, but you know what they say:  What happens in Covington, stays in Covington.  LOL  We really have laughed until my sides hurt.  In fact, they're still a bit sore this morning.  

I'm all packed up, ready to head out the door.  We'll get to the airport, find something to eat (and a mocha from Starbucks) and wait for our 9:00 flight.  *yawn*  See ya later, from home!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hello from Kentucky

We got here, safe and sound, after an uneventful flight.  I posted images here.  It's just a lot easier than posting here on blogger.  I know there is a program on this Mac to do blog entries, but I haven't played with it yet.

After we got here, we were more than ready to eat, so we hit a little cafe across the street.  It had great food.  We usually don't have this much time to wander around and see what there is to see.  Today, though, they pushed the set-up hours to 8-11, so we had many hours of down time.  We explored the hotel, visited with other coworkers as they showed up, and just relaxed a bit.

I hate paying $2 or more for a bottle of Diet Coke, so BWF Michelle and I just walked about 1/2 mile to a convenience store where I bought a 12-pack for the room.  Now, a trash can has been converted into a cooler, and I shall have soda that is (sort of) reasonably priced.  Actually, it's a bit overpriced at a convenience store, too, but it's closer to 50 cents a can.

Well, 13 minutes until we set up the booth.  I better get off here.  I'll check in later!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Geographically challenged

The driving lessons will continue at a later date.  Boy oh boy, could I lay one on you tonight, but there are other things afoot.  WTH does "afoot" mean, anyway?  Seriously!

I found out a few weeks back that I'd be attending the Kentucky state convention.  OK, no problem.  I've never been to that one, but I have some customers that I'm excited to meet.  Last week, when I got my airline information, I saw that I was flying in to Cincinnati.  My first thought was, "There's a Cincinnati in Kentucky?"  

Yeah, I really did.

Apparently, we stay in Cincinnati, but it's a short hop across a bridge to be in Kentucky.  Hmm, interesting.  I had NO idea that Ohio touched Kentucky.  Sad?  Oh honey, this ain't the half of it.

I am well aware of which states touch Missouri.  I can even picture the shape of most of them, and pinpoint the major cities in a couple.  I was shocked, however, when I was at an Iowa convention, and was told we'd have dinner in Omaha.  Huh?  Yeah, I'm lame like that.

When I hear that I'm going to a state in which I know someone, I email them to ask if we can meet up.  I often find that they're 4 hours away from where I'll be.  *sigh*  I should do more research, or be more informed, or go back to 4th grade.  Something.  I'm not good at this stuff.

So, if you live in Mission, TX (like my Aunt does in the winter) and I find I'm going to Ft. Worth:  I will probably call you and ask if you want to have lunch.  When you announce that it would be a 10 hour drive, I'll sound shocked and amazed.

I'm just sayin'.

All I can say is, there will be stupid pictures coming soon, from Ohio or Kentucky or Utah or Canada...or something.  Braille room number anyone?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Merge left, please.

Today, boys and girls, I bring to you a lesson on merging.  If you drive, I'm sure you've had to merge into traffic at some point.  Based on what I observe while driving in Kansas City rush-hour traffic, most of you suck at it.  Let me give you a few pointers:

1. Do NOT stop at the end of the acceleration ramp.  Yes, boys and girls, that is what it's called.  It is a little lane for you to accelerate in.  If you ease slowly toward the end of the ramp, and then come to a complete stop, it's going to be a bit harder for you to merge with folks going 55-65 mph.

2.  If you are on the interstate, and someone is coming toward said interstate from an acceleration ramp, try to judge the speed/distance.  If it appears that you will come to the merging spot at the same time, you have to make a choice.  Speed up, or slow down.  Those of us on the ramps don't care which you choose.  Just don't maintain a speed that will require mergers to stop (see #1) or drive onto the shoulder.

3. If someone comes down toward you on the acceleration ramp, their blinker should be on.  I agree with that.  However, if there is no turn signal on, it is still safe to assume that they want to join your little commuter party.  Seriously.  What else would they be doing?  Nobody wants to drive on the shoulder.  Honestly.

4.  If you plan to exit the ramp at 10 mph faster than anyone on the highway is going, and then go straight across three lanes of traffic to get to the left lane, pray to God.  Pray now, pray often.  Do NOT, under any circumstance, assume that I will slam on my brakes to oblige you.  My car cost $400, 2 years ago, and it's not all that great anymore.  I'm safely buckled in, and I'll take your little sports car out like a stray deer.  I am insured, both medical and auto.

This ends the lesson on merging.  Tomorrow, perhaps we'll discuss interstate driving protocol.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The web class, and some nonsense

My web class went well.  Actually, it went better than I could have imagined, and most attendees commented to say as much.  Four of them even called to ask a question later in the day, and mentioned again that I did a good job.  PHEW!  That's a good feeling.

It got up to 29 here today, but it's still so darned cold.  I'm looking forward to the next couple of days of a bit more warmth.  Let's face it, I'm just ready for Spring.  Flowers, green grass, and warm sunshine.

I'll be flying in to Cincinnati on Friday, for a convention in Kentucky.  I hope I can see Kameron before then.  I'm working on that.  It's going to be cold there, too.  At least we'll see some customers and show off some new products.  We've got some cool new stuff.

I didn't get to watch the inauguration.  Our phones at work got oddly quiet during that time, but we were there...working.  Maybe I'll watch it online later in the week.  There's quite a buzz about it.  I heard a story about a black lady who watched her father get lynched when she was a young girl in the deep South.  Now, 83 years later, she is watching a black man become president.  Amazing.

OK, enough rambling.  I'm going to sign off and relax for a bit.  I hope you all have a wonderful rest-of-the-week.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Web Classes

So I teach web classes at work.  They are elementary, really.  One is intended to teach new customers how to find their way around our web site.  It's pretty straight forward.  I talk for a living, so talking isn't a problem.  Talking for an hour with no feedback, though?  That's another story.

So, I talk, show my slides, and teach.  It's rough.  I get a froggy throat, struggle to answer the typed questions, and keep going, no matter what technical issues may arise.  I'm good at talking.  If you've met me, you know this.  It's just so different when it's one-sided.

Tomorrow, I teach a class that I've never taught before.  In fact, I just finished writing the class tonight.  I have to set it up in power point, import it into webex, and get ready to roll.  I'm not nervous in the sense that I can't do it.  I'm nervous because there are technical issues that arise that I can do NOTHING about.

Audio can fail.  My presentation may not load.  Someone could have trouble logging into the meeting.  I can deal with any of those issues, but not while I'm teaching.  I won't have a "second chair" tomorrow.  Usually, there's someone else there to deal with the details, while the teacher teaches.  Tomorrow, it ain't happening.

Anyway, I can do it.  I'm not cocky, but I'm confident.  I have a case of the nerves, but by 11 in the morning, the class will be a memory, and I'll revamp it, based on what happens during this inaugural session.  

I really love this job more than any job I've ever had, but it's also the most stressful.  I have constant stress, but can usually do what it takes to move beyond the troublesome things.  Tomorrow will be no different.  The trade show this weekend in Kentucky?  We'll deal with that when it gets here.  LOL

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Getting over a virus

No, I'm not sick, but if you remember, my PC was.  I've done some online searching, and found a site that sounded like it had things spelled out.  The problem is, I needed to do it on a weekend, and I was gone last weekend, so today was my chance.

The website that contained the helpful information was, which I found quite humorous, and it described my feelings to a T.  In researching "antivirus 2009 removal" I found Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, and it seemed to do more cleanup than anything else I'd tried.  

I ran it more than once, even though the first time seems to have caught it all.  I also ran Avast a few times, and it updated and found a thing or two new.  I ran it more than once, too.  So far, the computer is online and working normal so far.

I'm glad I didn't have to pay someone to fix a $200 computer.  It seemed ludicrous to do so.  I just hope that I'm right about it being fixed.  If not, I'll try again.  I'm pretty stubborn when it comes to working on my computer.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

New signature 'n stuff

Thanks to Kelly for the information on adding a signature to my posts.  I love this feature!  

My car has taken on a recent habit of dying.  Anywhere. At least once per day.  Sometimes, I'm going 65 mph on I-70 and it just dies.  I am used to it now, so I pop it into neutral and start it again, then put it back into drive and keep on rollin'.  Safe?  Nah.  Probably not.

Anyway, Kevin went and got the part for it today, (intake manifold gasket?) and he and Dad spent all of their afternoon putting it on.  The car is small, and the engine compartment is tiny, and it's not easy to do anything in there, but they did it.  I only drove the two miles between Dad's house and ours, but it sounded like it was running much better.  Tomorrow, we'll drive it farther and see how it goes.  I feel confident that it's fixed.

Since we're getting out tomorrow anyway, I'm hoping to see Kameron tomorrow afternoon.  If her Momma is going to be home, we'll see her for the third time, and hope that she's awake this time.  LOL  That baby sleeps a lot still.

OK, time to sign off.  I just wanted to try out the new signature.  Thanks again, Kelly!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Home sweet home

It sure is good to be home.  It was in the 70s every day in Phoenix, and I woke up today to a -2 temp., but at least I'm home.  It was a very productive show, and we were constantly busy.  That is definitely a good thing.

I was so wiped out when I got home (shortly after 3) yesterday, but I stayed awake long enough to finish Twilight.  Monica was hooked, so that's the book that I grabbed for my trip.  Good read, actually.  Now, I have to wait for her to finish the second book in the series, so I can start it.

Tonight, I see me turning in early again.  I have to go to dinner with customers tomorrow night, so I'll need my sleep.  That's my excuse, anyway.  Frankly, I just want to crawl into a warm bed and sleep for 9 hours or so.

I have trade shows every other weekend for a while.  I'm home this weekend, gone to Kentucky the next, home the next, gone to South Carolina the next, etc.  At least none of those conventions are long, like this last one.  5 days is just too long to be gone.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I just flew in from Phoenix, and BOY are my feet tired!

I know, that's not how the joke goes, but my feet are SCREAMING at me!  It has been an awesome show, and Tuesday is the last day.  I'll be home on Wednesday evening.  My feet are angry with me, and I don't think we're on speaking terms anymore.

I tried to upload some images this morning, but the connection isn't playing nice.  I mean, I *am* stealing internet from the room next door, but I wish it was a faster connection.  I will post images when I get home.

Don't worry.  The room next door is occupied by coworkers with a legit wireless connection, paid in full by my employer.

After the trade show today, 2 of us took a customer to dinner, then we relaxed in my room for about a minute.  Seriously?  It *was* less than a half an hour.  Then, down to the suite that we reserved, to host a party for customers, potential customers, and friends.

The room got so crowded and overheated that I started guiding people out onto the roof.  OK, not the real roof, but the 4th floor roof, which is called "Valley Outlook" or some such nonsense.  It worked.  About 20 of us chilled out on the roof, and laughed.  I caught up with many folks that I normally talk to, but never get to meet.

Now, it's 1 in the morning, and I need to be up at 6.  Who needs sleep, right?  Oh yeah...I do.  Dang.  Well, there's always tomorrow!  Then, I sleep a few more hours tomorrow night, then catch a flight to HOME SWEET HOME!

Look out, family, Mamma's coming home!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A quick "hello" from Phoenix

I'm exhausted, and there are no silly hotel pics yet.  I have pictures from the flight and the booth on my facebook account, and I'll try to do the silly stuff tomorrow.

We've been super busy in the booth, which is good.  We had a great meal both nights, and the hotel is new, so it's clean and nice, too.

I'm off to bed now!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Trying to make a miserable and long story short

I had to shop today.  I HATE shopping.  I hate it like MADD hates beer.  I hate it like victims hate their criminals.  I hate it from the depths of my soul.  I HATE it.

I don't care about fashion.  I only wear t-shirts and jeans, or sweat shirts and jeans.  It's comfortable and fine with me.  But when I go to conventions, I have to dress like a girl.  ::shudder::

I needed pants, so I went to the mall.  I could cry, thinking about it.  In the stores that I need to go into, people look down their noses at me, talk to me like I'm a moron, and watch me like I'm going to steal something.

By the time I was finished, my self esteem was in the toilet.  Then, to WalMart, where I fit in, and there were 4 different kids screaming with no reaction from the parents.  My eyes were welling up in self pity when I left there.

Now, I'm home and packing for the trip to Phoenix.  I'm mostly done, but there is more to think about.  I have to check 2 bags this time, so I have more than I've ever had.  5 days away, with 3 "dress up" days, 2 pairs of shoes, other than the tennis shoes that I'm wearing, and personal care items.  It boggles the mind.  

I take extra hangers, since the room usually comes with 4.  I take a power strip, since you can find 1-2 outlets in most hotel rooms, and I have a phone to charge, a laptop, an iPod, etc.  Yeah, I can't find a power strip, so I'll make due, and charge the iPod and phone from the laptop.  Yup, I'm a survivor.  ROFL!

I survived shopping, I'm almost done packing, and I'm coming to grips with the fact that I won't see Mom and Dad until next weekend.  I always try to see them before I leave town, but shopping screwed THAT up, too.  Oh well.  I love you, Mom and Dad.  If it weren't for the 4:30am departure time, I'd see ya on the way out.

I'll call you from Phoenix, Mom and Kevin and girls and Linda and Brett.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Trying to prepare for travel

I'm good at my job.  I'm good at conventions.  I'm good at setting up the booth, entertaining customers, talking about my company, and generally doing what needs to be done.  I miss my family when I'm gone, but they know I'll be back, and I get to see a new part of the country.

I manage to find time to take mindless pictures and enjoy some time, even though we're terribly busy and the days can be 20 hours long.  I'm OK with going to conventions.  If I didn't have a family at home, I'd go to all of them.  I can't, though, because I DO have a family at home, and I miss them when I'm gone.  I get homesick.

Anyway, back to the point of the post.  (sorry it took so long.)  I get all weird before I leave.  3 days before, life goes on as normal.  I make no preparations.  I can't pack, because I don't have enough clothes to allow me to pack anything that far in advance.  I talk about the trip, so the girls will be prepared, but I do nothing to get ready to leave.

2 days before, I make minor preparations.  I bought some hose today, because I only had one pair in good shape.  I bought a shirt that will look good under the vest that I'm wearing, because it was on clearance for $4.  Still, nothing is packed.  This is the day that the weirdness sets in.

Here I am, 2 days before, and I won't go to bed.  I SHOULD go to bed.  I'll get 6 hours or less of sleep tomorrow night, by the time I stop at the store, get home, pack, go to bed, and get up at 3:45.  I know I'll be sorry that I've been up so late.  It's just that I feel defiant in a way.  This is freedom, and I'm going to savor it.

Childish?  Yeah.  TV is lame at this time of night.  I have nothing left to do on facebook or myspace, since my YoVille characters and my farms have all been tended to.  I keep looking at the clock and telling myself how sorry I'll be tomorrow.  I DON'T CARE!  Yeah, I do, but I get all defiant like a 4 year old kid.

Tomorrow, it's all business.  I'll go to work, come home, pack everything, grill myself 40 times about what I may be forgetting, and catch a few Zs before waking early and heading to the airport.

I'm ready, and I'm not.  I hope the girls are good to Kevin.  I hope the dog eats.  (he doesn't like to eat when we aren't all home.)  I hope the girls are OK walking to school, as cold as it will be at the beginning of the week.  I hope my flights aren't delayed.  I hope I can steal an hour here or there to take mindless pictures.  I hope I remember to take business cards.

Phoenix, here I come!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Watching the People's Choice Awards

Here I sit, comfortable in the fact that my power cord is plugged into my Mac.  Nothing much is on TV, so I'm watching the People's Choice Awards with Monica.  I'm out of touch.

I remember when Saturday Night Live was really funny.  Remember Eddie Murphy in Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood?  Kill da landlord!  Remember the fun we had watching that?  I watch SNL occasionally, and I only get parts of it.  I am out of touch.  You have to be up on current events and pop-culture to understand.

I remember when I could watch an awards show and sing every lyric with every artist.  If I didn't like the artist, I still knew what they sang.  I don't know many of these "artists."  I'm out of touch.  You have to listen to more than one station to understand.

I remember when I could dress to fit in.  We didn't have enough money to own all of the latest fashions, but Sears Surplus was a blessing, and my parents always made sure that we had enough to work with.  I wore the purple eye shadow, pegged my jeans, owned some leg warmers, and did some radical 80's stuff.  Now, if it weren't for t-shirts and jeans, I wouldn't know what to wear.  I'm out of touch.  You have to read fashion magazines to understand.

I am out of touch.  I don't understand.  I'm OK with that.  It's just that I get slapped in the face with it when I watch something like the People's Choice Awards.  I'm a grandma at the age of 39, I hate to shop, and I get into a rut when it comes to the TV and radio that I like.  I'm OK with all that.  You have to be me to understand.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Computer woes

My PC has a nasty virus. Do I pay someone to remove it (since my attempts have failed) or be glad that I only paid $300 for it? If someone charges me $100 to fix it, I'm hosed. I don't know yet, but I'm thankful daily for my Macbook Pro that I have for work. I can get online wirelessly and do whatever needs to be done, while I ponder what to do with the cheap-o PC.

Lisa asked about the battery life of a Macbook, since I have one, too. I explained that I've had it over a year, and it's fine. Then, I unplugged and watched to see how long it would run. Not nearly as long as it used to. Hmmm. I asked co-worker B about the cost of a battery, and he had a suggestion.

I was to unplug it, and let the battery die. Completely. Then, I was to wait 5 hours before letting it charge back up. That should help. OK, no problem. I was at work, so I unplugged and went back to work. It died at 11:15. I planned to come home and plug it back in, so I could surf in pleasant bliss.

I got home, and came to a VERY nasty realization: My power cord is at work. It's 40 miles away. WAAAAAA! No surfing tonight, unless I spend time on Kevin's PC. (Mines dying, remember?) OK, so he's being kind enough to share. No problem, right?

Wrong. Holy heck! This is painfully slow, and I can't use the keyboard very well, and the mouse isn't optical, and DANG! This is a PITA! While I was complaining, I told Kevin that I was going to post about how horrible this fate is. I asked if he'd be upset if I griped about his PC. He said no. Not at all.


But I needed to stop and remember my first PC. My mother-in-law (you know, Grammy!) gave it to me. I was running Windows 3.1 and had issues pretty frequently, but I LOVED that thing. We lived 150 miles away, but I could talk to Mom as if she were right there with me.

Later, we got another computer. My brother built it for me and shipped it via UPS. For years, my girls would see a brown UPS truck and say, "There's the guy that brings computers!" I had windows 95 now, and felt that I was up-town! It was so cool.

Eventually, I decided to open Kevin's eyes to the World Wide Web, and I learned how to network. Now, we had TWO computers! Wow, just like rich people! The only thing was, we shared a dial-up connection. We would be in the same room, surfing the net, and laughing about the fun we were having.

I would click on a link, then leave the room, fix a glass of iced tea, check on the girls, go back into the room, and the page would just be done loading. If one of us wanted to see something, we'd shout out, "DON'T CLICK ON ANYTHING! I GOTTA SEE THIS!" It was painfully slow, but we didn't know. We'd never had hi-speed internet before.

Now, as I sit in my home that I am NOT renting, and surf on one of 3 computers, because the other two have issues, I am repentant for complaining about the speed (or lack thereof) of Kevin's PC. With no power cord for my beloved Mac, and a horrid virus on my PC, I need to count my blessings.

I will read ya'll journals later. I will accept facebook gifts later. I will view images of my beautiful granddaughter later. I will watch some TV and remain thankful for the fun that I can usually have online. And tomorrow? Yeah, I'll remember the power cord.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fried potatoes

I have loved potatoes of all kinds my entire life.  Baked, fried, mashed or made into soup; it's all wonderful.  It's a root, growing in the dirt, for heaven's sake!  I know it's the new year, and we should all be watching what we eat, right?  Well, Sunday mornings in this house usually require a fattening breakfast.

This morning, I made fried potatoes and biscuits.  While frying up the wonderful spuds, I started thinking about my tools.  When I was a kid, the part of washing dishes that I hated the most was scrubbing pots and pans.  Then, suddenly it seems, non-stick cookware rushed onto the scene.

What wonderful stuff!  It was so much easier to clean up after dinner.  My grandma Wood is the first one I remember having the new cookware in my family, but I may be full of B.S.  (My memory sucks.)  I remember her saying, "DON'T USE METAL IN MY TEFLON PANS!"  You had to use plastic utensils.  No matter what, NO METAL.

Funny thing is, my favorite skillet to use for fried potatoes came from this same grandma.  And it's cast iron.  And it's huge.  And I love it.  As I was frying potatoes last weekend, I complained to Kevin that I missed metal spatulas.  You can't get the crispy bits off the bottom of the skillet with plastic, and the crispy bits are the best part!

While Natalie and I bummed around in Deals on Friday, I grabbed a metal spatula.  Viola!  Today's potatoes were the best I've had in a long time.  Crispy bits all mingling with the potatoes and bits of onion.  Mmmmmm.  Perfection on a plate.  Heart attack waiting to happen.

It may take a while longer to clean up, but my cast iron skillet and metal spatula are my best friends on a lazy, fattening Sunday morning.

Friday, January 2, 2009


I slept late, played around online, did the dishes, and then it started.  Natalie started nagging me to go shopping.  She had a few bucks of Christmas money still left, and wanted to go to Deals.  I had promised that we would, so we started trying to wake Monica.

No go, captain.  She had NO interest in going ANYWHERE, or even in getting out of bed.  OK, fair enough, it was to be just two of us out, facing the world.  Natalie bought more balloon animal balloons, since she fancies it her new talent.  I have to admit, she's quite good.

We went to see Mom and Dad, after a grocery trip, but they were gone on the bike.  Back home, we played some Xbox, watched some TV, and generally lazed around.  Kevin got home after working open to close, and now we're all doing NOTHING constructive.  I see where this weekend is headed.  LOL

Monica's two friends that were here for the NYE party managed to get a big ol' fat virus on my PC.  Thanks, girls.  It wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't told them to stay OFF of the computer.  When I walked in 5 minutes later, the two of them were online, and Monica was on the far side of the room.  Yeah, she knows what happens when you disobey.  

I told her guests that they were done, and I shut the computer down.  Unfortunately, and I didn't realize until yesterday evening, it was too late.  Norton won't update, AVG failed me, so now I'm in the market for a new anti-virus software.  I'm going to just pay for one.  I'm sick of this.

There are also a couple of girls who will NOT be in this house again unless the computers are off, and it'll be a while, even at that.  It was a cheap computer, but not THAT cheap.  Not disposable, for heaven's sake.

I'm off to watch these 2 brats beat the crap out of each other on Super Nanny, now.  Makes my girls look like angels.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My granddaughter!

Welcome Kameron, born 12-22-08.  Isn't she awesome?


This is not for the faint of heart, but it's an insight into what my home sounded like last night.