Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Real Thing

Eler Beth will turn 14 very soon, and yesterday she and I were talking about how fast it's coming up.

"I'll be a REAL teenager then," she said

"Being thirteen isn't being a REAL teenager?" I asked

"No, it's kind of like . . . ," she thought a minute. "It's kind of like a teenager with training wheels."

Another Quake in Haiti

A 6.0 "aftershock" quake hit Haiti about 6:03 this morning. How much more can this country take?

I got an email from a missionary friend yesterday evening. They and all their fellow missionaries are fine, but they have lost loved ones in Port-au-Prince. One couple lost a 14-year-old girl (buried yesterday) that they had "adopted" (her parents are divorced and she had grown very close to this couple to whom she looked for guidance). Her mother is holding up well, thankfully, with lots of help from friends.

This hit me harder than I had expected. I was reading the email aloud to Thomas and the kids and I just got all choked up, even though there were some lighter moments that she described. (Like the students pouring out of a dormitory -- stark naked -- because they were showering when the quake hit.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Have you made arrangements?

Donna at Just Me wrote Saturday about missing bloggers -- blogging "friends" who suddenly stop blogging and commenting without any notice to their readers. We get worried about our friends when that happens. And yes, it's no one's business really if or when we blog; if we don't have the time or inclination to blog we don't really owe anyone an explanation.

Or do we?

I think we do. Most of us do. We do to a certain extent, at least. I'm going to mention three "types" of bloggers here for comparison:

No. 1: If we write in our blogs, accept and appreciate comments, but don't necessarily make a habit of visiting and commenting in return, then we haven't really built up a relationship that calls for certain common courtesies. (There are a couple of blogs I read like this. I enjoy them and don't expect reciprocating visits and comments from the blogger. They're nice if I get them, but I'm not disappointed if I don't. These bloggers don't write for comments or as part of a community, and that's okay. But if they suddenly stopped I would wonder and worry; I wouldn't feel like they owed me an explanation, though. We didn't have that sort of relationship.)

No. 2:
I think if we make a point of visiting others' blogs and becoming familiar with their lives and families while they are visiting our blogs and becoming familiar with us, then that constitutes a relationship of some sort. We are not obligated to say "I'm taking a break from blogging for now," but it sure is considerate to do so. In the case of these bloggers I would certainly wonder and worry should they be missing because we do have that sort of relationship.

No. 3: Those of us who have been following one another for years, since AOL Journal days, who have identified ourselves as J-Land friends -- You bet I'm going to be upset if you stop blogging and I don't know that you are okay! Thankfully many of us have other forms of contact besides our blogs and can let our fellow blogger friends know if there is a problem. We even have blogging friends who have set up blogs,
like Call for Support and J-Land Central, just for keeping one another apprised of illnesses and other problems that could keep one of us from blogging, as well as letting us know when someone who has been away from blogging returns with a post!

What do you think? This is just my opinion. It is a subject that I'd already given some thought, so when I read Donna's post I decided I needed to write about it.

My son and daughter both know how to get to my main email account, and my daughter has access to my journal. They have both been given instructions that should anything ever happen to me, they are to post a notice in my blog. Does that sound a bit egotistical? It isn't meant to be. I just got to thinking about it one day, and it occurred to me that I would want to know if a blogging friend were sick in the hospital or had died in a car accident or something. I'd want to send a card and flowers, or express condolences at the very least and do more if I could. So I figured if I felt that way, others probably did too. So Andrew and Eler Beth know that they are supposed to put an entry in my blog or make a post on my Facebook page if I am suddenly seriously ill and unable to do it myself. And, of course, Eler Beth now "knows" some of my blogger friends through her own blog.

If I were to suddenly die? Well, you might laugh, but Thomas has instructions that as part of the preparations he would have to undertake he is to let at least one blogger friend know, so that person could let my other blogger friends know. (I wouldn't put that on my kids!) To do that he can email someone in my address book, have Eler Beth put him into my blog to make a post, or he can put it on my Facebook account -- where many of my blogger friends can be found.

Yes, I have actually included that in my "wishes", should something happen to me. I have letters to be given out to certain people, I know where I want to be buried, I have a will leaving certain things to loved ones, and, yes, I have a "Blogging Will". It's funny, and I am laughing. But I'm very serious too.

Because I'd like to think that there are at least a few of you out there who would want to know.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Yiddish Old Man River

This is from the Mary Tyler Moore show bloopers. It is the producer of the show, Stan Daniels, speaking "Old Man River". Absolutely hilarious!

Yiddish Old Man River

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Keeping Busy and Warm

I really have been busy, seriously I have. {stubbing my toe in the dirt, and hanging my head, ashamedly...} I didn't mean to neglect Dusty Pages, but life got in the way.

My Florida sister was in over the holidays, so there were trips to my Mom's house for some family good times. I had LOTS of time with Thomas during the holidays too. Every year his company shuts down for eleven days, ostensibly to let all the higher-ups have a long holiday and to get some maintenance work done that can't easily be done when the whole place is bustling. But this year they didn't do any work -- everyone was out of there for eleven days. We always plan for this, but usually Thomas will be one of the ones who works a few of those days. Not this year. I'm sure the company took advantage of the holiday to save a little money.

The kids and I were worried that Thomas wouldn't have enough to keep himself busy during all that time, but he has done marvelously well. Aside from family functions, he has completed several projects around the house, helped a buddy with some things he needed to get done, and even did a small welding job for a friend of ours who runs a construction company. If you are or have someone in your family who is a workaholic-always-going-Energizer-bunny type person, then you will understand why the kids and I are so relieved that he was able to keep busy and happy.

However. . . .

He is ready to go back to work now, and was supposed to be back at work on Monday, but because of the cold here they have called off work for the whole company so far this week. Very strange. I think something's up. This is a contract year, with the new contract coming up in April, and I think they're playing mind games with the employees, because it hasn't been cold enough to shut down the whole yard and all the shops and offices, including quality control.

Another way he has been keeping busy is the computer. Thomas only began using a computer a few years ago, right before he had to start using one for work. Up until last year he didn't do much on it, just check emails and look for things on Craigslist. Then we introduced him to Youtube! lol Someone asked him a while back how to do gel-coat (like what you paint a boat or canoe with -- I don't know why they thought Thomas would know), and he told him to check Youtube. Sure enough there was a video showing how to use gel-coat. He recently got a work buddy hooked on Craigslist and last night they were on the phone with each other looking at Craigslist at the same time, telling each other what they were finding.

I figured it had been a while since he'd been given something new to do online, so today I introduced him to He loves it! I've used it to catch up on missed episodes of favorite shows, and lately watched an episode or two of a couple old shows from my childhood. They have something for everyone. And it'll keep him out of our hair tomorrow. It's not easy to home school when your husband is home. He keeps walking into the room and starting up conversations before he realizes we're in the middle of something.

We bought Eler Beth a new laptop this year, which she was not expecting. Her old one died over the summer so she'd been using the family desktop, along with her dad and me. I got her a Gateway that she'd once pointed out that has the type of keyboard she likes. I had pretty much given Andrew my laptop after his died, and since we bought him a piano and are also paying for a trip he's taking this month, we decided that instead of buying him a new laptop, we'd get ME one instead. {happy dance} And have I been loving it!! I finally broke away from Dell and went with a Toshiba, specifically a Satellite L505. I LOVE the smooth keyboard and the rough touchpad, and it has a full 10-key pad which my old one didn't have. I am really enjoying Windows 7, too. I never left XP for Vista, but all reports I've read on 7 have been good, so I wasn't too worried about it, and I actually like it. We still have XP on the desktop, and since I'm rarely on it nowadays, Thomas is calling it "his" computer.

Well, I guess I'll get off here now. I have been catching up with a few bloggers and will do a few more tonight. Hope everyone is staying safe and warm!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sometimes it's better not to know . . . .

Thomas just asked me to find out what the temperature is in Hawaii right now! lol I think someone is a little tired of these cold temps!

It is 80° and feels like 83° in Honolulu as I type this. We have a friend on one of the islands (never can remember which one, one of the smaller ones) who has invited us over anytime we'd like to come. I have a feeling there might be a trip to Hawaii this time next year.