Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Going under the knife

I am now counting the days until I am admitted to the hospital for a total knee replacement. I have been nervous about this procedure because this is MAJOR surgery. They are going to be taking something of mine out that I was born with and replacing it with a metal device that I will have in my leg for the rest of my life.

My doctor is going to insert so much metal that he will give me, the lucky recipient, a card to present to the TSA gestapo at the airport to explain why all the metal detectors in the airport are going off as I approach Security.

Because I have been jittery about going under the knife, I have decided to face this ordeal with a little humor. Why? Because they tell me that laughter is the best medicine, and I need all the help I can muster at this point. So, here goes my feeble attempt to inject (pardon the pun) a little hospital humor into the situation.

Gee, I hope they let me wear my own nightgowns.

And, then there's this:

A lady goes into the hospital to have a very serious operation. While on the operating table undergoing preparation, she flatlines and soon finds herself standing before St. Peter. She begins to wonder what she is doing there.

“Are you sure that I’m supposed to be here, St. Peter?” St. Peter says, “Let me look at the Book of Life.” He looks carefully and says, “Why, no, my good woman, you’re not due here for 30 or 40 years!”

Suddenly, the lady wakes up in the OR and the doctor says, “Wow! We thought we had lost you! We’ve consulted here and we decided you don’t need this operation at this time.”

The lady hesitates and says, “Doctor, since I’m here and all prepped, could you perhaps see what you can do about this flabbiness under my arms? And, maybe give me a little tummy tuck and, oh, oh, how about these facial laugh lines?”

A week later, she is walking across the hospital parking lot when she is hit by a truck and killed. She again goes before St. Peter and says, “I thought you said I’m not due here for 30 or 40 years?”

St. Peter says, “I didn’t recognize you, my dear!”

One of the things I have to remember to do prior to surgery is shave my legs. It's getting on Spring now so I guess it's about time for that particular activity anyway.

They better have a really good pen in surgery so I can make notations on both knees. I certainly don't want him operating on the wrong knee. On my left knee I will write, "No. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200." On my right knee I will write, "Yes. Cut along this line. Do a good job and you can collect your $30,000.00 fee."

I also hope they have a lot of good drugs to give me. I need a vacation.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Kentucky Cat House

For those of you who have been following my blog, you already know that our six cats are allowing husband and I to continue living in our house and have extracted life-long promises (just like in a marriage ceremony) for us to take care of them, for better or worse, 'til death us do part. All you pet lovers KNOW what I'm talking about. You will note I did not say "pet owners." That misnomer would not fit our situation in the least and would imply that we were somehow directing the lives of these felines.

I'm here to tell you that cats are untrainable. They train us, the humble human servants, to take care of their needs, feed them, pet and love them upon demand, and clean up their numerous messes. In addition, we must share our La-Z-Boys and beds with them whether we like it or not. But, we would not be without these six spoiled brats. They have replaced our kids who are grown up and gone.

Husband and I have been known to talk to them -- as if they would really answer back. I was on the computer last evening and heard a conversation from the living room. I thought husband was talking to the TV but he was actually talking to several of the cats. The funny thing is that when you talk to them, they seem to understand. They may be untrainable, but they are pretty smart when they want to be.

Tiger Lily likes stalking robins in the back yard on a fine Spring day. She also likes to bring her "trophies" in the house for us, including moles, mice, and birds. Some are alive and some are not. Tiger Lily, our youngest cat, came from one of Alipurr's litters.

Peaches is lying on the deck teasing Bootsie who's just trying to get a drink of water. Peaches was found coming out of a cornfield and a friend was kind enough to give her to me.

Sweetie is always waiting for some loving. Sweetie is getting pretty old now and looks kind of puny, but she's still my sweetie kitty. She showed up many years ago and was found eating in the garage alongside our other kittens. She promptly came in the house and has not left. We don't know where she came from.

Polly-I is getting ready to take an afternoon snooze in bed. We found Polly-I at a local pizza restaurant when she was about a month old. She was sitting on our van tire trying to get out of the rain and was soaking wet and starving. She got her name from the restaurant, Pagliai's, and chowed down on left-over pizza in the car coming home.

Bootsie is sitting by the slider waiting for Mom to open the door so she can go outside on the deck. Bootsie showed up one afternoon last fall and decided she liked living at our house. She's never left.

And last, but not least, the ruler of the house and our oldest cat, Alley Cat, who was found in an alley behind my mother's house in Indiana in 1993 -- she was about two months old and she still acts like a young cat. Even though she loves me, she's mean as a snake and independent as anything, and will bite the hand that feeds her. I guess she's getting cranky in her old age. Both Bootsie and Alley Cat are known as tuxedo cats characterized by their white socks and gloves, white whiskers, and white bibs on their throats.

There is an invisible sign in front of my house that says "All Cats Welcome." I guess these cats are smarter than I thought because some of them can read.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Oh, happy day!

We just received news this morning to make this Motherkitty's heart sing.

Son and his wife are coming to visit. They are leaving San Diego on April 1st and driving all the way to the hills of Kentucky just to see us. We have not seen them since Christmas 2004, so this visit will be especially happy.

I have put everyone here on alert. This means that we have exactly one week to get our houses clean! (Where's that magic genie when I need him?)

We will also be celebrating not only my birthday a little early, but we will be celebrating DIL's birthday. I think I will take everybody out for seafood. Seafood's good and will fit into our diet. I have an unused gift certificate left over from Christmas at a very nice seafood house and I'm sure daughter, son, and the family will enjoy it.

It will be so nice to have the family together again, even for a short while. I hope they will be able to be here when I have my surgery on the 10th.

Eli’s Comin’

ritten by Laura Nyro
As recorded by Three Dog Night

Eli's comin'
Eli's comin' (Eli's a-comin')
Well you better hide your heart, your loving heart
Eli's a-comin' and the cards say... a broken heart
Eli's comin', hide your heart, girl
Eli's comin', hide your heart, girl
Girl, Eli's a-comin', you better hide
Girl, Eli's a-comin', you better hide
Girl, Eli's a-comin', you better hide
Girl, Eli's comin', hide your heart, girl (hide it)
You better, better hide your heart
Eli's comin', better walk
Walk but you'll never get away
No, you'll never get away from the burnin' a-heartache
I walked to Apollo by the bay
Everywhere I go though, Eli's a-comin'
(she walked but she never got away)
Eli's a-comin' (she walked but she never got away)
Eli's a-comin' and he's comin' to git ya
(she walked but... she walked but...)
Get down on your knees (she walked but she never got away)
Eli's comin' (hide it, hide it, hide it)
Girl, Eli's a-comin', you better hide
Girl, Eli's a-comin', you better hide
Girl, Eli's a-comin', you better hide
Girl, Eli's comin', hide your heart, girl (hide it)
You better, better hide your heart
Eli's comin', better walk
Walk but you'll never get away
No, you'll never get away from the burnin' a-heartache
I walked to Apollo by the bay
Everywhere I go though, Eli's a-comin'
(she walked but she'll never get away)
Eli's a-comin' (she walked but she'll never get away)
Eli's a-comin' and he's comin' to git ya
(she walked but... she walked but...)
Get down on your knees (she walked but she'll never get away)
Get down on your knees
No-no, no-no
Lord, I said no-no, no-no, no-no
(hide it) She can
(hide it) hide it
(hide it) You better
(hide it) Somebody
(hide it) You got t'
(hide it) Oh, my
(hide it) Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Watching our weight

Well, we finally did it! After visiting my doctor on Wednesday for my semi-annual check-up, and at my doctor's suggestion, hubby and I took the plunge and joined Weight Watchers this afternoon.

You see, ever since both of us (1) quit smoking and (2) quit working, we have watched our weight increase expotentially as our ages also increased. We now find ourselves in the unenviable position of being not only overweight, but also out of shape. And we don't like it. We joined a health club several months ago so we could exercise. We have gained a little muscle but have not lost any weight so far.

Being overweight has decreased our stamina, limited our activities, and made us feel horrible. I'm scheduled for knee surgery very shortly. My increased weight has exacerbated my lack of stamina, made me lose muscle tone, caused my back to hurt all the time, and made all my weight-bearing joints sing mightily when I'm on my feet. Walking any distances has been out of the question for some time now. Thank goodness for those electric carts in most large stores. Otherwise I would be sitting in the car while husband shopped.

How pitiful is that!

That's why we decided (I actually decided and husband is going along for the ride) to join the wonderful world of those who wish to be young and slim again. When we arrived at the meeting place, I expected us to be embarassed beyond belief. Fortunately, the opposite was true. It seems we knew a lot of people there and we were welcomed with opened arms. Great.

Now all we have to do is drink six 8-ounce bottles of water and three glasses of fat-free milk a day (gads, I hate milk), measure and count units for every little thing we put in our mouths, read a lot of food labels, go crazy trying to figure out how to cook using their method (damn, no more cheese), and learn how to shop for foods that fit into the Plan. And, we get to pay and pay and pay to lose a couple of pounds.

Maybe we should just call Jenny Craig. I saw Kirstie Alley on TV the other day and she said she lost 60 pounds already eating Jenny's food. Nothing to prepare -- just throw it in the microwave. And, she gets to eat chocolate. How sweet is that?

We are now obligated to attend weekly meetings and to weigh in. If we lose 10 pounds, we get a bookmark. For each additional 10 pounds we lose, we get a gold star to put on the bookmark. I saw one friend's bookmark loaded with gold stars. I just had to give her a nice pat on the back for the wonderful job she's done. She looks wonderful and is an inspiration to us all (way to go, Mary Helen). Maybe we're not lost causes after all and maybe I'll look like Kirstie Alley one day.

Getting back into the swing of blogging

I'm sure some of you loyal blogger pals have noticed a lack of new posts from me lately. I assure you that there's a perfectly good explanation why I haven't written anything new since we returned home from Little Sister's birthday party. It's all because of poor judgment.

That's right. Poor judgment in ordering food at a nationally known franchise restaurant with a menu full of pretty pictures.

When we were out of town last weekend everyone decided they wanted to eat at the restaurant with the big red apple in its logo. I should have known better, that's all I can say. We had a large party and it took some maneuvering to get everyone seated. It also took a bit of time before we had our menus and decided on our drinks. Our waiter was attentive and we spent some time oohing and aahing over the pretty pictures of all the pretty dishes offered at this particular culinary haven.

After much contemplation, I succumbed to ordering a perfectly innocent-looking shrimp dish with penne pasta and a parmesan cream sauce (mistake number two -- actually mistake number one was choosing this particular restaurant). After a lot of time, our order FINALLY was delivered to our table. This is where the regrets start. There were several mistakes in the orders. I received the food I ordered but several others didn't. When I tasted my dish, I subconsciously noticed that the food in the bottom of the bowl was definitely hotter than that on the top of the bowl -- which means they didn't nuke it enough.

(My family always kids me because the minimum time I nuke anything that will enter my digestive track is five minutes. If the food is not volcanic after that length of time, in it goes for another five minutes. I fear germs in food because they tend to make me sick.)

Anyway, even after realizing that my food really wasn't hot enough, I foolishly did not send it back for that additional fire-breathing-dragon nuking. I ate it instead.

I will not bore you with the gory details of what happened next. All I will say is that it took about four days to start feeling "normal" again. Note to self: never order anything with a cream sauce in any restaurant, never eat off a buffet, and never eat anything out in public that isn't sizzling, steaming hot directly from the grill.

As promised, here are several pictures from the party. Everyone had a wonderful time and Little Sister will certainly remember this event for a long time. She was so cute as were all the little kids.

Little Sister enjoying her very own birthday cupcake. The pink frosting matched her pink shirt.

Little Sister is helping Dancer Girl fill goody bags for the birthday guests. They did a good job of helping mommy.

Despite several "unnatural" events, the party was a complete success and we were so happy to have spent the time enjoying family and friends. Poor old Cucoo, however, is having a particularly rough time and we hope he is rescued pretty soon. Be sure to follow his adventures at Abandoned in Pasadena's site.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

It's party time

We're off tomorrow to celebrate Little Sister's second birthday. Her actual birthday was March 14, but daughter is having a Dora theme party this Saturday for family and friends.

This is turning out to be a very special week for our youngest granddaughter. Little Sister was able to celebrate on Tuesday (her actual birthday), today (her other grandparents came over to celebrate), tomorrow (when we show up bearing gifts), and Saturday (when the big party is scheduled). I think over 20 little kids ages 2 through 5 were invited.

Seven of our family members are driving across the state to celebrate with us, so it's going to be a wonderful family reunion. We will all be staying in the same hotel, going out to eat, having pool parties, taking lots of pictures, catching up on everybody's lives, and generally having a ball.

Little Sister, the Birthday Girl

Along with celebrating this special birthday, we can't forget our other granddaughter, Dancer Girl, who is getting all grown up. She will be five in August and has already started her pre-school home schooling. She, of course, is teaching her younger sister all the big girl stuff she is learning.

Big Sister, Dancer Girl

We will be taking lots of pictures but will share only the flattering ones with you. We are expecting to have lots of fun this weekend as we will use any excuse to say It's Party Time.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Celebrities I have seen in my lifetime

I have lived in some interesting places after leaving my hometown of Hammond, Indiana, when I was 18, including Chicago, Miami Beach, and New York, before finally settling down in the backwoods of Kentucky. I have also been blessed with the opportunity of traveling to a few nice places along the way.

While living in these interesting places, or visiting them, I have come across some celebrities in unusual spots. For example, I used to work at CBS in New York and Chicago. Celebrities frequently came to the corporate offices on Park Avenue to discuss, I imagine, big business deals. I had the pleasure of seeing General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jack Valenti, Peter Falk (in his famous trenchcoat), Danny Kaye (rode down an elevator with him), David Wayne (rode a subway train and actually had a conversation with him before I got off), and Jackie Kennedy (who was all dolled up and getting out of a taxi with an equally snazzy male companion). I saw all the early astronauts, including Alan Shepherd and John Glenn, riding down Broadway in a tickertape parade.

During the 1960s, I met Frank Gifford, Jack Stroud, Y.A. Tittle, and coach Allie Sherman of the New York Giants (that's football) at their spring training camp in upstate New York. While living in the Village in New York, a movie company was filming Two For The Seesaw a couple of blocks away from my apartment, so I had a really good look at Shirley MacLaine and Robert Mitchum. I saw jazz greats Herbie Mann, Jack Teagarden, Gene Krupa, and Gerry Mulligan at clubs in New York. In New York, I sat in on the Ed Sullivan Show. In Chicago, I danced to David Lee Roth and his band at a swinging bar. In 1968, I saw all the activists demonstrating in Lincoln Park before, during, and after the Democratic National Convention, and probably before they got their heads bashed in by the police. I enjoyed Ravi Shankar from India and Tony Bennett from San Francisco in concert. I was entertained by Victor Borge, Robert Morse, and Carol Burnett as they performed on Broadway. At a hotel in Las Vegas, we were honored to shake the hand of comedian Marty Allen.

One night, while husband and I were walking in the Loop in Chicago, we saw the boxer Muhammad Ali and several others exiting a long, black limo. He stopped to wave and smile at us.

While sitting poolside at the Fountainbleu Hotel in Miami Beach with husband several years ago, we saw a bunch of mafia guys and gals (who looked like they just stepped off the Sopranos set).

The most exciting celebrities I have ever seen were the one and only Beatles in concert in Chicago. I was working at CBS and we heard that one of the CBS Radio DJs was on the air giving away tickets to the upcoming Beatles concert at Comiskey Park (baseball stadium). A friend and I went down, actually got on the air and were given four tickets. So two friends, my sister, and I had the thrill of our lives one summer day in 1965. The noise in the stadium from all the screaming fans drowned out most of the band's music, but who cared. We were seeing the Beatles live and in concert.

I'm sure there are more celebrities that I have seen during my lifetime given the places I have lived and the entertainment venues I have visited . But, they were probably unknown at the time, so who knew? I could have stood next to Donald Trump and never knew who he was (especially if he had normal hair at the time)!

It was fun remembering all these close encounters with greatness. Maybe one of these days I will meet someone who contributed something to the world besides entertainment or politics -- maybe someone who made the world a better and safer place to live.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

My New To-Do List

I'm always making lists. It's not that I'm absent minded; it's just that I like to stay organized and it's my Type A personality shining through. (It's also a sign that I don't have anything better to do with my life.)

I have a spreadsheet on my computer desktop to keep track of my monthly bills. I have a shopping list on my computer desktop for items I need at the store or other places like Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Home Depot, PetSmart, or Books-A-Million. If I have errands to run, I will make a list so I don't forget what I need to do. I have a spreadsheet of all my DVDs and videos. I have a desktop mailing list so I have instant access to names and addresses, and to make mailing labels for envelopes and packages. I've even made a list of all my favorite blogpals by adding you to my blogger page links.

I suppose all these lists are leftover habits from my working career. I like to make lists because it bothers me to forget something that I was supposed to remember to do. Besides, as I age my mind tends to wander just that little bit and I tend to have those "aha" moments more often if I don't write it down.

So, in keeping with this lifelong habit of always making lists, I have compiled a new to-do list to serve as a reminder of the things I would like to do with my life. I don't know if I will be able to accomplish everything on this list, but if you don't have goals, then you're just taking up space.

My New Life Goals To-Do List

1. Get a set of new knees (so I can walk again without crying)

2. Write a book (so I can tell all the stories residing in my head)

3. Finish all my needlepoint projects (so I can frame them and stack them in a closet for posterity)

4. Clean the garage (so I have more room to store more junk)

5. Get rid of all the extraneous stuff in my house (so I can walk through the house without tripping)

6. Organize my hundreds of books (so I can find those I have been meaning to read for the past several years)

7. Start sewing again (so my mother's old Singer doesn't rust from lack of use)

8. Lose weight by dieting and exercising more (so I don't have to shop in the ladies' grande shops anymore)

9. Learn to make stained glass windows (so I can see the world through beautiful rose-colored glass)

10. Start having more fun in my life (so I can get the heck out of the house more often and stop blogging all day and all night)

11. Plant more flowers in my yard (so I'm surrounded by beauty and grace)

12. Love each day that I live (so I can appreciate and love those around me)

I may not be able to accomplish everything on my list in my lifetime, but I want to be able to say that I tried (plus, I can get my husband off my back -- he's always telling me what to do). I certainly don't want to spend the rest of my life reciting shoulda, woulda, coulda, and regretting what I didn't do. Even though it's raining this morning (AGAIN!), I love that I am alive another day so I can say "I love you" one more time.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

New Company Policy

For all you lucky stiffs who are still out there working in the business world, I thought I would pass along a copy of a new company policy that was recently posted at one of our local places of employment.


We will no longer accept a doctor statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

Operations are now banned. As long as you are an employee here, you need all your organs. You should not consider removing anything. We hired you intact. To have something removed constitutes a breach of employment.

Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturday and Sunday.

All employees will take their vacation at the same time every year. The vacation days are as follows: Jan. 1, July 4 & Dec. 25

This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or coworkers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend to the arrangements. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early, provided your share of the work is done enough.

This will be accepted as an excuse. However, we require at least two weeks notice, as it is your duty to train your own replacement.

Entirely too much time is being spent in the restroom. In the future, we will follow the practice of going in alphabetical order. For instance, all employees whose names begin with 'A' will go from 8:00 to 8:20, employees whose names begin with 'B' will go from 8:20 to 8:40 and so on. If you're unable to go at your allotted time, it will be necessary to wait until the next day when your turn comes again. In extreme emergencies employees may swap their time with a coworker. Both employees' supervisors in writing must approve this exchange. In addition, there is now a strict 3-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, and the stall door will open.

Skinny people get an hour for lunch as they need to eat more so that they can look healthy, normal size people get 30 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain the average figure. Fat people get 5 minutes for lunch because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim Fast and take a diet pill. Sondra gets none.

It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary, if we see you wearing $350 Prada sneakers and carrying a $600 Gucci bag we assume you are doing well financially and therefore you do not need a raise.

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternations or input should be directed elsewhere. Have a nice week.

-- Management

For those of you who have joined us in the retirement club, I hope you had a good laugh over these new and improved work "rules." (I wish I knew how to add music to my blog. I would love to play "Take This Job and Shove It.") The way the economy is going, the above rules will probably go into effect on Monday.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Memorable Wedding

Darling Daughter and Long Hair Daddy
March 9, 1996

Happy 10th Anniversary, daughter and son-in-law. It's difficult to imagine that ten years have passed since that fateful date. It was a wonderful occasion and you two have brought us much joy over the years.

For me, it was the wedding I never had. It was a wedding I imagined all my life, one that was filled with many flowers, a beautiful dress, beautiful music, a church filled with loved ones from all over the country, friends to share your joy with, and a wedding party to end all wedding parties. The seven-tiered cake decorated with real flowers was spectacular and the reception was lovely. You were a gorgeous bride, and other than almost setting yourself on fire when trying to blow out a candle by bringing it under your veil, the ceremony went off without a hitch. It was also the only time I ever saw your father cry openly in public. Everyone enjoyed themselves and they were so happy to share this moment with you two. We even had an unexpected visitor that made the occasion extra special.

From the day you and hubby-to-be announced in the local pizza parlor that you two were engaged to be married, you have continued to surprise us. Since 1996, you have purchased a home, had two beautiful daughters, started your own business, had your ups and downs, and remain as much in love now as you were then. So, I congratulate you on making your marriage a success and for accomplishing much over the past ten years.

We are looking forward to helping you celebrate Little Sister's second birthday next week. Dancer Girl will celebrate her fifth birthday in August and she will move into her schoolgirl phase. As grandparents, we couldn't be happier or more proud of these girls.

Happy Anniversary to you both. We send you our love and will remember your wedding day always with much joy and happiness.

P.S. I know you really didn't want a big, formal wedding, but wasn't it fun after all? You have such nice pictures to remember it by.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

This 'n that

Well, this is turning out to be a bit of a disappointing weekend. We were supposed to go visit daughter and grandchildren today, and they were supposed to follow us back to our house to spend several days. But, that is not what's happening.

Seems the girls still have runny noses and slight coughs. And, son-in-law, who evidently has been sick all week, went to the doctor on Friday and came out with a lot of medication. Seems he's still pretty contagious.

I decided that we would not be going to daughter's today after all. But, I think a little more explanation is needed.

Ordinarily I wouldn't hesitate going to see them, even if the girls had slight runny noses. But, I can't afford to be exposed to anything nasty right now. I'm trying to stay healthy so I'm avoiding being around people who are or might be sick. All this is because I'm scheduled for surgery early next month. You know, I told you about the new knee I'm going to get.

Anyway, I've been spending a lot of time at home (much to husband's chagrin), but he's been pretty patient with me. It's been a test of everybody's patience, but we will survive.

Also, I learned yesterday that our son and his wife will not be coming to visit us this month as originally planned. They were supposed to come visit from California in November/December, but couldn't make it then because they had property taxes to pay. Now, it seems, that DIL is unable to take off time from work in March. They also might not be able to make it in April either, although son said they would try. I was very disappointed that we might not see them before my surgery because of a stupid thing like having to pay property taxes on an overpriced condo.

(I just heard husband in living room saying, "Outside, take it outside." Now, that can only mean that our little white ferocious kitty hunter has come in the kitty door with something in her mouth that has a tail attached to it. No telling what I will find when I go in there.)

So, disappointment aside, I think we can survive the weekend. I have a baby shower to attend tomorrow for a friend's daughter and that should be fun. I have always enjoyed baby showers because the expectant mothers are always so excited and happy.

We also have a special birthday this month to look forward to. Our Little Sister will be two year's old on March 14 and she wants a Dora birthday party. It seems impossible to think that the past two years have passed so quickly. She is no longer a toddler, but is growing up so fast we can barely keep up.

The saddest thing is that sister and her husband are going on vacation next week to Costa Rica. They will be gone for ten days. I don't begrudge them their vacation, and I don't want to emphasize too strongly how extremely disappointed I am that I won't be able to talk with her on the phone two or three times a day while they are gone. I'm disappointed that they're not taking us with them! Hope they have fun and bring back lots of neat photos. Can you believe they're going to walk in a rain forest?

Yes, we will survive. Even though we won't be having company as planned, we managed to get a bit of housecleaning and laundry done and that's always a plus in my book.

I Will Survive
Written by Dino Fekaris and Fredie Perren
Originally performed by Gloria Gaynor
(a #1 disco hit for three weeks in 1979)

At first I was afraid, I was petrified
Kept thinkin I could never live without you by my side
But then I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong
And I grew strong, and I learned how to get along.

And so you're back, from outer space
I just walked in to find you here, with that sad look upon your face
I should've changed that stupid lock, I should've made you leave your key
If I'd have known for just one second you'd be back to bother me.

Go on now go, walk out the door,
Just turn around now, cause you're not welcome anymore.
Weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with good-bye,
You think I'd crumble, you think I lay down and die.

Oh, no not I, I will survive,
Oh as long as I know how to love, I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live, I've got all my love to give
And I, I will survive, I will survive . . . Hey, hey

Instrumental Break

It took all the strength I had, not to fall apart,
Just trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart,
And I spent oh so many nights just feeling sorry for myself,
I used to cry, but now I hold my head up high.

And you see me, somebody new,
I'm not that chained up little person still in love with you.
And so you felt like dropping in, and just expect me to be free,
But now I'm saving all my lovin' for someone who's loving me.

Go on now go, walk out the door.
Just turn around now, 'cause you're not welcome anymore.
Weren't you the one who tried to break me with good-bye,
You think I'd crumble, you think I'd lay down and die,

Oh no not I, I will survive
Oh as long as I know how to love, I know I'll stay alive,
I've got all my life to live, I've got all my love to give,
I will survive, I will survive . . . Oh

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

How computer literate are you?

I had a conversation with my sister yesterday and we were discussing a friend of hers who was having a hard time finding a new job. It seems that this friend has not kept up with the times and was not computer literate enough for the current job market.

My question to you is, how computer literate are you? And, would you be able to compete with others out there looking for a job?

As we all know, the times they are a changin'. If you don't keep up, you will be left behind to sink. I know, it's difficult at times, but there's always the "help" button on every program we use.

When I got online this morning, and I was going through my usual routine, I thought about all the user names and passwords I use. I have three e-mail accounts, each with a different user name and password. I pay my bills online, and each account has a different user name and password. It is getting so bad, that I have to keep a secure file of all my user names and passwords so my identity isn't stolen. I hope I don't forget my user name and password, otherwise I won't be able to remember how to get into all these accounts.

I remember the very first computer we purchased back in the middle 1980s. We were so excited that they had invented a home computer that we went right to Sears and purchased a Commodore 128. We couldn't wait to get home with it and start using this miracle. When we finally got it set up, we soon realized that all this machine was good for was word processing and spreadsheets, and there was no software available yet.

So, it was back to the store to exchange the 128 for a Commodore 64. This was great! We now had a machine that played games. We hooked it up to the TV in the living room because it didn't come with a monitor. The kids and I loved it because we were all game players. The downside was that you couldn't watch TV while someone was playing a game. The C64 also had a reputation of "burning" an image on your TV screen (no screensavers in those days) if you left it on for any length of time. We actually still have our original C64 tucked away in a closet somewhere.

Next on our list of updated computers was a Zenith 286. Man, we thought we were right uptown with this baby. It cost us a LOT of money, but we thought it was well worth it. It was a real computer, not just something you play games on.

About this time they invented something called the Internet and the World Wide Web. To get online, in those ancient days, you had to have an ISP and it was all about the dial-up. Slow as molasses and costly. I think our first month's telephone bill was about $500. Good-bye MSN.

We next discovered Dell. Over the years we have purchased three Dells, and every time we receive one of their pretty, glossy, colored catalogues, I get the itch to buy that new computer that's just a little faster, has a little more memory, and has one of those beautiful flat-screen plasma monitors. Maybe next year.

In the meantime, we got DSL. Now we're talking. Fast as lightning, no prolems to speak of, and we are always online quick as a bunny.

With all this progress in bigger, faster, prettier, more features, and more programs comes the problem of learning how to use this contraption. Now, I'm not big on reading manuals. In fact, it's a big joke at our house that I don't read no stinking manuals. Husband does. He's my IT man -- yeah, he's the man. So, if I have a question or a probem with my computer, I have a built-in IT man on premises and there's no costly service charges (that I can talk about).

Finally, we come to blogging. After a lifetime of working outside the home, and using a computer in every aspect of my career, I have degenerated down to a daily routine of using my vast computer knowledge for the sole purpose of maintaining a web log (blog).

(Sorry, I forgot to mention that I also pay my bills online, cruise the 'Net, correspond by e-mail, purchase stuff online, use an online dictionary, do genealogy research online, write, and find answers by Googling.)

My sister (you remember her from the first paragraph, don't you?) was finally talked into starting a blog of her own. During her initial set-up, she asked me how I knew so much about blogging. I told her that I have been doing it for about six months and that you learn these things by trial and error (since I don't read no stinking manuals). Actually, I know these things because I'm so addicted to blogging, I don't have a life. My day begins and ends online. Pathetic, isn't it?

The lesson for today is, if you don't stay up on all these computer advances, you will surely be left behind and you won't be able to compete in today's job market. For all us retired folks, it's still fun to play around on the computer. If you can't write, that's okay, we want to hear from you anyway. If you can't spell, there's always SpellCheck. Computing is still more fun than sitting around being bored and losing brain cells.