Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Technology Is Not My Friend.

I choose to attribute this fact, and it is a fact, to the onset of old age. In just a few years I'll be able to get free coffee at McDonald's and I feel sure that this is why I have so much trouble with anything at all technological. Take this blog for instance. I have a number of friends who also have blogs. On their blog they have links to all of us who have blogs too. No less than THREE separate people have attempted to show me how to get their links on my blog page. Go back and look. Do YOU see anyone's links? Because *I* sure as hell don't.

For Mother's Day I asked for one of those Aero Garden things. I love flowers and fresh herbs, but I do NOT love to dig in the dirt, run across worms, or be outside in Florida during the growing season. I couldn't wait to set it up. I did the responsible thing and read over the directions before I started doing anything. I laid out all the parts. I felt OH so smug in the knowledge that when Mike and Rob came home I'd have it up and running. Right. I got to the last step. "Insert grow bulb into lamp hood. Do not twist bulbs." Done. Then I plugged it in.

BZZZZTTT, FLASH, BOOM. FIRE!!! Ooops. That doesn't seem quite right does it? One of the big, bright light bulbs appears to be flaming. Clearly THIS is not good.

I call the help line at Aero Garden and talk to a nice man named Nathan First question he asks me is "Is the fire out?" Let's see.... call the fire department or call to report the problem to Aero Garden.... let me think.... let me think....... "Yes Nathan. The fire is out." Nathan remarks on how calm I am for a woman who has just had a flaming Aero Garden in her dining room. Clearly he is not used to the level of disaster that surrounds me. The upshot is that I am to replace the hood (which either caused the bulb to ignite, or was ruined by the igniting bulb) and the two bulbs to them. He said Engineering would want to look at the scorched remains to see if they could figure out what caused the problem. I didn't attempt to explain the ongoing Me Versus Technology theme we have going here.

When the replacement parts arrived Rob happened to be home. He was quite firm about the fact that I'd better try this again while he was here in case of further disaster. Of course everything went just FINE that time. He tried really hard not to look smug. He did not entirely succeed.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

I spent today reading Final Salute by Jim Sheeler. Wow. If you haven't read it -- DO SO. A book about young men killed in Iraq may seem like the wrong choice for a woman whose younger brother and son in law are both active duty Naval officers -- especially with the son in law currently deployed. I have to say that Fitz and Derek were never far from my mind as I read the book, but I'm so glad that I did. It follows a Marine whose duty it is to go to the homes of those killed in the war and tell the family. The author then stayed in touch with the families as they dealt with their losses. I cried a lot. I wanted to hug my son REALLY badly -- these Marines were barely older than Rob. Major Steve Beck, the marine, is an empathetic caring man, and I think that maybe the families who he had to notify are the better for having had him deliver the news. He really cares. They talked to other people who were not so lucky, who were contacted by uncaring people, who never had any follow up support. He is now Lt. Colonel Beck and has been re-assigned to the Washington, DC area. I hope that whoever took his place is half the man he is, and I hope that his new duty assignment allows him to share his wonderful, caring soul.

The author manages to leave himself completely out of the book. He recorded what the families and the military escorts experienced and left it at that. He won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing, and this is well deserved.

Have I mentioned that this book should be required reading for every American citizen? Because it should. We go along and take our comfortable lives and the freedoms we enjoy for granted. But this book brings home the fact that freedom isn't free. Never has been. If you know a vet, or the family of an active duty service man or woman, take a moment to thank them for their contribution to the American Way Of Life. We owe it to them.

Happy Memorial Day. It isn't just a 3 day weekend, or a day to grill out. It's a day to remember those that gave their lives for all of us.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Entering the Blog-o-sphere

Well here I am!  People keep telling me that I MUST get a blog.  Usually I resist anything that people tell me I MUST do.... but I decided to go for it.  I am going to have to become seriously more interesting however, or nobody will ever visit me!   Let's see.....  I'm 49, a fact that shocks me each and every time I say it aloud.  I mean how DID this happen to me?  How did I get wrinkles and age spots and cellulite and those HUGE thighs?  It TOTALLY crept up on me.  TOTALLY.  I've been married for 22 year to THE best man in the universe.  He's patient and caring, smart and funny, and I am so lucky that he chose me to go through life with.  Our son Rob is 19.  He is a really talented artist, but discovered that art school (SCAD) was not the right path for him.  He amazed even himself by discovering that he wanted to read a book, have a discussion, do homework!  So he's going to start at University of North Florida next month.  He also works at the Apple store which he LOVES.  Mike's daughter Keli is 33 and married with 3 of the world's best kids.  No really, they are.  What?  You say ALL grandparents say that?  Well meet mine and I dare you to argue that fact!    Keli's husband is a Navy officer and currently deployed, altho he will be coming home next month.  

We live in Jacksonville, Florida.  I hate Florida.  Don't get me wrong, Jacksonville is a nice place, and if it were in .... say..... Maine I'd love it.  I hate hot weather and I love snow.  Perhaps you see the problem developing?  I moved here with my first husband in August, 1983.  I've been trying to get OUT of Florida since ... oh... August, 1983.  ::sigh::    But luckily we have a vacation home in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  I LOVE it there.  It's so beautiful and peaceful and COOL.  Also, my in-laws have a place there too.  I'm one of the lucky people who adores her in-laws.  Mike's mom has become a mother to me in the absence of my own and is a wonderful constant in my life.

I love animals, I love music, I love reading and playing on the computer.  I love hydrangeas, the smell of lemons, and scented body lotions and candles.  I'm short, I'm a little overweight and I need to get back on track with my yoga practice.  So there you are!  ME!  In a nutshell.  Come and say hello!