Sunday, March 1, 2015

Thankful Sunday--March 1, 2015

I am thankful Spring is only 20 days away.

A sign of Spring in years past.


No signs of Spring yet except on the calendar, but it never fails to show up. And for that I am thankful (and hopeful).



Saturday, February 28, 2015

Time for a smart phone?

Technology has passed us by.
For several days this week our Triple Play wasn't working. That's advertising-speak to say that our TV, internet, and telephone weren't working. Those are all things that I can certainly live without, but golly, they are really convenient. If we didn't have any of them on a regular basis, we'd have to change the way we do things here.

First of all, there's the weather. During this season of ice and snow, we do a lot of checking of the weather and the road conditions. This helps us to plan our day to travel in the safest way. We usually do this with the TV local news or local weather channel. Also, we sometimes use the internet to get the same information. The first morning of the outage, I was at a loss until Ward reminded me that we could use old fashioned radio waves to get the information we needed. So we turned on the radio and found out what we needed--sort of. We didn't get all the details we wanted during the 30 second-blurb that happens every ten minutes. We got some generalities, but the not the specifics for our out-of-the-way community.

Next, we have a very serious family situation going on right now in which there are frequent updates. Many of these are done with email with the occasional phone call. The internet is definitely missed in this situation. And during this very serious time, our nerves have been on edge. And when this happens, I find old reruns of Andy Griffith and I Love Lucy the most calming for me. Ward plays a couple of different computer games to slow his thoughts down. Those were not an option when we felt like we really needed them.

We could have handled all of these problems if we had had a smart phone*.

And you're probably thinking, "Okay, so they don't have a smart phone, don't they at least have a cell phone? Or what about at work? Couldn't they use the internet there?" Well, yes.

We do have cell phones--very old flip phones. In most circumstances, they have been just fine for our needs. However, their poor quality was noticeable during the important family calls. And yes, I can use the internet at work, but I'm not supposed to use it for personal reasons. Consequently, when changes were happening frequently with the family situation, I checked for updates, but not as often as I wanted.

So during the time when our Triple Play was out, I really missed all of our services for some serious and not so serious reasons. I thought about how nice it would have been to have a smart phone. I thought hard about it.

I have been almost ready to get a smart phone for a while now. I like the idea of having a good camera and the internet at my fingertips. I like the fact that you can pay for things with it and get good coupons and deals with it. (I really don't like the fact, that many of these are not available to those of us without smart phones.) And while not necessary, I like the fact that I can look up something easily. I have seen this feature used quite well during our book club discussions. And what about all of those Youtube videos and streaming tv shows I can watch on it.  And the list goes on. When I think about it, a smart phone is a miracle device.

So, am I going shopping for a smart phone today? Well, no. Everything is working again, so the edge is off. But soon, very soon I may join the 58% of Americans that already have one. Up until now, we have chosen not to spend the money on what we considered a luxury. However, it may be making it's way to the top of the list soon.

Do you have a smart phone?

*(We are really technologically challenged. We don't have a tablet either.)


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Second Look--February 25, 2015

After many snow and ice events and plenty of frigid temperatures, we finally had a big snow with more than a foot of accumulation over the weekend. The birds were out all day in it and they provided a great show for the cats who were pinned to the windows watching them. Ward and I were right behind them wondering when it was going to stop while at the same time appreciating how pretty it was.

Here were a few things I saw this week 
during a Second Look.
(All of the birds have a seed in their mouth or suet on their beaks in the pictures below. See if you can find it.)

These deer were visiting during last week's snow.


There go the azaleas. :(


We put out fresh suet before it started to snow which this squirrel really appreciated.


Bluejay


Female cardinal


Junco


White-throated sparrow



Monday, February 23, 2015

Complaining

I overheard someone the other day say that they had given up complaining for Lent. My ears perked up because I thought that was an interesting idea that went beyond the usual sacrifice of chocolate or TV.  Was this something I might try? I generally consider myself a positive person looking on the bright side things, but upon closer examination, I'm wasn't sure that was true. In certain circumstances, I am very positive, but in others, I can join the rest of the crowd with their, "Isn't it awful," complaints.

But if I were going to try to go cold turkey on complaining, what would that entail? Trying to define complaining was harder than I thought it would be. I think we'd all agree a statement like, "Liver and onions for supper Again?" Or "The grocery store never opens up enough lanes when I need to check out," involve complaining. But what about, "I'm cold." Is it not complaining if you say, "I'm cold. Could you hand me my sweater?"

I think context and tone of voice have a lot to do with the intent of the comment. I think most of us would agree that anything said in a whiny voice (especially by our kids) is usually a complaint. However, is it a complaint if we state a problem and then follow that by a proposed positive action to fix the problem? (the cold, sweater example above.) And is it okay to complain if it is going to get a problem fixed?

Basically, after trying to think through the concept of complaining, I'm confused. So, here is what I plan to do. I've decided to try not to complain about something if I'm not ready to take action to fix it. This may mean being quiet and reading the checkout magazine headlines, instead of complaining about how slow the checker is. Or it may mean writing my congressman about what I would like to see happen instead of saying what a bunch of bozos are in congress. (But does it count if they really are? Said with an attempt of humor. Ha, Ha)

Wish me luck.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Thankful Sunday--February 21, 2015

I am thankful for my entertaining cats.

Lucky

I have been featuring the cats on my blog recently because we're spending more time indoors with them. Today we are snowbound, and when we become tired of the TV and working on the taxes, one of them has always been there amusing us with their antics. And for that I am thankful.