Tuesday, February 20, 2007


It's all Brad's fault. If you have trouble with my new site, talk to him. :) Just kidding. Better try and talk to me first. Then, as all chain of commands go, I'LL talk to him...! Thank you, Brad for all the hard work and help.

Please change your bookmarks and come see me at my new "home"!


I'm so excited! Can't you tell?


Monday, February 19, 2007

For Jen

No, they aren't socks*. Yes, they're upside down. They're stocking caps for premie babies! My mother gave me the pattern and the information. There is a place you can send them to Africa where the babies are all much smaller than they are here in the U.S.
Or, in my case, I am sending them to the hospital guild for the premies born here. They took such wonderful care of my premie 30-some years ago. It's taken me awhile, but I'd like to repay them in some small way. So, six down and who knows how many to go?
*These are my first attempt at knitting something that isn't square or rectangular.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Season's Change

Thinking about making a change with the seasons. Might be switching away from Blogger. I'll keep all four of you informed.

In other news, something has me so pissed off right now I can't talk about it. Soon. I promise.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

This 'n That

I have been one busy lady. Don't believe me? Ask Hubs. He's got the garbage to prove it.

My home office is still organized and wonderful. Trust me. To be able to say that a week or so after having completed the project is truly a miracle. I'm trying very hard not to slide back into my old habits. So far, so good.

The "bonus room", as the builders and construction plans all call it, has finally reached the point where it can be used! This is the large room that is over the garage that is designed, in our case, for storage and for my crafts (craps, as Hubs calls it). I think I've mentioned this a time or two, but I have waaaay too many interests. Besides being an avid reader (can you say, about 3 books a week?) I also am "into" computers, WoW video game (World of Warcraft for the uninitiated), rubber stamping (aka scrapbooking, but I'm not that organized), crocheting, knitting, cross-stitching, sewing, painting and uh... oh, yeah, blogging. We've now lived in this new house two-and-a-half years. I am just now getting all the boxes unpacked upstairs and all the craft stuff put back into shelves and bins and drawers and what-nots that make them easily accessible and available for use.

Hubs and I have an agreement. Since we live in the country, we have a dumpster for our garbage. It resides a ways from the house (who would want one right outside?) and we just call our local garbage guys when it needs emptying. My end of the deal is to take the trash out to the garage and line the wall next to where he parks his pickup. His end is to then load up his pickup and take it the rest of the way out to the dumpster. He says he can always tell when I've been cleaning house by the level of garbage he faces when he comes home. Needless to say, it's been quite a bit lately. Have you ever moved? Have you then later been embarrassed to realize all the JUNK that you moved that you then throw away? Oh... okay. Me neither. *blush*

I noticed on Sunday that the neighbor had about 10 pickups in his driveway. Guess that explained all the shooting. I haven't figured out what his thing is yet. He came from out of state (I won't say from where as I've met some really nice people from there and although my state likes to make jokes about this state and it's become quite the rivalry... I'm not going to blame them for one asshat). He has a business in town and sells Carhart brand clothing and who knows what else - I refuse to go into his store, so don't know for sure - have to rely on what Hubs has told me. Because he's from out of state I can't decide if these are all new friends, possibly customers that he's got coming out for some "hunting", or old friends from that other state. (Keep in mind, they aren't actually killing anything that I know of, just clay pigeons.)

I haven't been working at my paid job due to 1) lack of work 2) lack of motivation 3) weather and 4) too much other stuff going on. However, I did go into work on Sunday to box up the external hard drive that I couldn't get to work and the company is shipping back...finally... for credit on a new, brand-name, plug-and-play model. They were set for Monday pick up and the weather was to get pretty nasty so I went in Sunday to get it done. At any rate, I walked in and found my new monitor had arrived! Yippee! So, managed to get it all hooked up and the old one ready for recycling - as well as dusted. Yeah, did I mention I'm the maid? Just kidding. We all keep our own space clean, tho' and the guy I share space with and I have an agreement - I'll dust if he'll vacuum. Got that chore done for the month!

Last, but not least, the weather. It's yucky, but not as bad as they were saying earlier in the week. It is right now snowing and blowing pretty bad - but they're saying we're only to get about 5". Earlier they thought about 9". It seems Missouri is getting thunderstorms and the moisture they've been getting took all of the extra moisture out of the snow, so not so much now. Doesn't hurt my feelings. At least we aren't like the people out east facing 100+ inches. That's just nuts. Any time you have to go up on your roof to shovel, it's not a good thing. Yeah, yeah, I know... I'm the one who has been asking for it. Moderation, people!

There you have it! So, what's been going on in your world? What's that you say? I have to go read your blogs? I thought you were going to say that.


Saturday, February 10, 2007


That's how I was awakened this morning by the neighborhood gun nut. I can't believe this guy... even he's reached a new low (pun intended). The temperature is -5 (without counting the windchill). He's out there, shooting away ... at ... who knows? I knew he was an Asshat, I just didn't know how big of an asshat he was!


Friday, February 09, 2007

Tic Toc

That's about all that's going on around here. Clock-watching. Waiting. I hate waiting. How about you? I used to be more patient. I don't think it was in my youth... oh, maybe it was. I didn't mind so much waiting in lines or waiting for things to happen. Do you suppose that it all ties in with the older we get the less time we feel we have and the less we want to waste it on a line somewhere?

*Gasp* ... does that mean I'm getting old?


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

You've GOT to be Kidding Me

You know how I just got a new computer at home? Well, ignore that for a minute. It's fine and I love it. Remember how I just got a new computer at work? Yeah. Let's talk about it. When the Company I Work For got me the new 'puter, they didn't get me a new monitor. Why? Because I'm half blind and they'd already put out the bucks for a nice, flat panel, 20" monitor and they didn't feel the need to do it again. Not a problem. I thought. Until yesterday.

Go ahead, ask. "What happened yesterday?". Yeah, innocent questioner you. HA. I repeat. HA.

Yesterday morning as I was minding my own business and working away like the busy worker clone that I am, I hear a slight "pop" and then... wait for it... my monitor screen goes blue. Blue? Yes. Not the BLUE SCREEN of DEATH. Nope. This was more like the orange tint your old Polaroid pictures get after 20 years in a cardboard box in the depths of hell known as the attic. Except, instead of having a lovely orange cast, everything was blue. Blue was the new white.

Remembering when I got this monitor new, I realized what must have happened. I remember playing with the settings. (Don't give me that look... you all do it too.) I remember it having a particular feature that you could set the 'lighting' for daytime or night - and then for text, movies or pictures. I distinctly remember the night-time settings as being... blue tinted. Uh-huh. My monitor has gone to the darkside. I tried playing with settings, but to no avail. Nothing would give me back my white whites.

I hooked up a co-worker's monitor, just to be sure it wasn't some setting I'd accidently changed. Nope. With his screen attached I once more had white whites, red reds and green greens. It was all the way it was supposed to be.

I'm home for a day or two. I have a new monitor on it's way. Another 20" flat panel.

Now, if I could just get the damn external hard drive they got me for backups to be recognized by the computer, I'd be set. Technology. I love it. When I don't hate it.


Monday, February 05, 2007

B-Day Wishes

...go out to Brad! Go wish him a Happy Birthday and tell him Sue sent ya!


If I'm Awake It Must be Monday

Did everyone survive the Superbowl? Did you all get your wish? Me? I am so not a sports fan...

Daughter had some co-workers over to watch on the big screen. Hubs watched awhile with them, then decided young women yelling loudly was too much for him and came back upstairs. I played some WoW, read a book, watched some re-runs of "The Closer" that TNT was running all day. I bounced back and forth a bit to check the score and occasionally caught an over-priced commercial. All in all, it was a pretty laid back Sunday.

Now it's Monday and I can't figure out why I'm having such a terrible time waking up. It wasn't like I over-did it yesterday. Could it be the -4 degree temperature outside this morning? (I don't even WANT to know what the windchill is. Let's just say, the dogs were outside about 15 seconds this morning. It must be cold.) Amazing as it sounds, and as illogical, it is supposed to snow later today and tomorrow. Only a couple of inches. Normally, this is too cold to snow. I know, it sounds weird, but trust me... that's how it works. Hubs tells me the weather predictors are saying when it warms up a bit in the next week or so, we're supposed to really get dumped on. You just know I'm smilin' inside, right?

In other news, I expect a pat on the back. Okay, I'll do it myself. The office is CLEAN. It is ORGANIZED. It is a miracle. The bookwork? Well, I have a day or so to finish, but I see the end in sight. Also, I cleaned out my pantry cupboards. You may not think this is a big deal, but trust me. I moved cake mixes and jello (to name just a bit) from the old house two years ago, probably never looking at the expiration dates THEN... and, yes, if it expired in 2002 I'm probably not going to be wanting to make it. Shaddup. Soooo... Hubs comes home and immediately states "you've been cleaning". Does he have ESP? No. He knows because we have a little arrangement where as I put garbage sacked up in the garage, then he loads it into his pickup and hauls it down the drive to the dumpster. (We live in the country, remember?) It doesn't take a genius to realize when he gets out of his truck and the whole wall is lined with garbage sacks two deep that there has been some serious cleaning going on in the house. What can I say? I'm a packrat. I admit it. However, once in a blue moon I get a wild hair and start pitching things. I have to be in just the right mood, or I look at something and think "I could do...(fill in the blank) with this." When I'm like that, there is no sense even thinking about cleaning. At least, not the pitching out part. (I would like to take a moment in advance to apologize to my children for whatever they are going to have to sort through and get rid of after their mother leaves this earth. I hope that sometime between now and then I have the energy and the will power to get rid of most ofthis shit.)

Enough rambling. Happy Monday everyone!


Saturday, February 03, 2007

You Never Stop Being a Parent

This isn't going to be a newsflash to anyone who has older children, but to those of you who have babies or toddlers or god-forbid-teenagers or who maybe haven't taken the plunge into parenthood quite yet but are thinking about it - it never ever ends. Not when they become 18, not when they graduate from college, not when they get married, not even when they have children of their own. They are always your babies, in your heart.

A bit of poor communication this week resulted in this being brought home once again in the most gut-wrenching way. A night was spent in worry and frustration as temperatures outside plunged below zero and people weren't where they were thought to be and gravel roads were driven with one eye to the road and the other to the snow-filled ditches. All was well and communication was re-established by ten o'clock the next morning, but this mom didn't get any sleep Thursday night. At all. Those are the times when an over-active imagination and love of all mystery-murder-CSI-type shows came back to bite me in the ass.

It's a fine line to let your children live their lives and yet keep an eye out for their safety and happiness. It's hard to know that they are self-sufficient and yet feel if I were the one in the snow-filled ditch with a dead cell phone and sub-zero temps and only ice covered cornfields between me and civilation, I would hope someone would miss me and come looking.

I've been accused of being over-protective at times. As I've told my children many, many times... "If we didn't love you, we wouldn't care". I know this was just a case of mis-communication. I know it's not going to happen again. Still... it's a sleepless night that will take awhile to get over. You just don't spend sleepless nights with a baby's ear infection or a toddler's bad dreams. You don't only sit up worrying that your teenager is hanging with a bad crowd or that the last time you had a fight there were hidden messages between the lines.

It really never ends. I wouldn't want it to. It's called love.


Thursday, February 01, 2007


  • For those of you who have been trying to e-mail me and can't get me, I'm not sure what's going on unless you have my old e-mail address (it got changed awhile back, not by anything I did but the company changed hands). Also, I noticed it wasn't in my profile anymore. Don't know when it went away - maybe when I updated Blogger? At any rate, I'm all back and operational again. To save you looking it up, it's sesnyde at hughes dot net. You are smart enough to put it in the right way. (If you aren't I don't want to hear from you anyway!)
  • About the time I bitch about it being cold, it gets colder. Yeah. This weekend there are days we are supposed to have windchills of -30 something. Needless to say, you won't see me far from the fireplace! It has to warm up a bit to snow...
  • I'm still working on getting everything loaded into the new 'puter. Does this mean I have too much stuff? Possibly. We won't discuss that. Haven't even tried WoW yet. Afraid it will be too wonderful and I won't get anything else done, and I have a few things I absolutely have to get done first. At least, that's what my tax man says.
  • The office is almost done getting cleaned and organized. I may even post a picture when I'm done. I ran out of hanging file folders last night, so not quite there. Have to make an office supply run today. I love me some office supplies. The only reason I can figure is when I was little and my parents would go bowling every friday night, I was sent next door to my grandmothers' house. She was a widow and worked in the state auditors' office - as an auditor. Rather ahead of her time for that day and age. At any rate, when she would babysit me, one of the favorite games I played with my grandma was... you guessed it.... "office". So, I figure maybe that's where my love of all supplies office comes from. Proudly, I can say I've passed it down to at least one of my children.
  • Ironic that the post about the weather gets the most comments I've had for weeks. Hmmm... what does this say about my level of posts?


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Oh My Freakin' God...

...it's COLD! It was -2 degrees on the way to work this morning. Wind chill is -22. Yes, those are both negative numbers. I know, I know, I said I wanted winter. If you recall, I specifically said snow. Not ice, not this frost-bite shit, but snow. C'mon... work with me.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Wishes!

Go over and tell Amy to have a Happy B-day! I know I will be...

Updating more later.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Strike Two!

...and another day has come and gone and the new 'puter is still in the box.

I must add that I'm one step closer, tho'. I think I got Hubs all fixed up, and Son has everything at his house and connected - even if I still have some twinking to do on his as far as setting up the i-net, e-mail and so forth. (Don't give me any grief. Twinking is an accepted technical term.)

Today? Maybe? I may even take tomorrow off from work just to make sure the bonding process is complete. Those of you who get new computers understand that, right?


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Unreasonable Expectations

My hubs has it figured out. We both get frustrated (read grumpy) when we set unreasonable expectations for ourselves. Case in point? My new computer came yesterday afternoon! YIPPEE! Yes, I was doing the happy dance! I left work early to get it set up. Would you believe it is still in the box? Yeah. Why?

Well... in my family, when I get a new computer (it is usually me who gets the new one, however last time it was Hubs) I have enough children and spouse that I just pass my "old" ones down. Usually someone is ready to upgrade, and my "old" one is just that. This doesn't happen without some planning. In this particular instance, Hubs' computer isn't that old, but he likes my monitor better - it's bigger. Therefore, he's getting my old monitor. His printer has been acting up. It works, but you have to finagle the paper a bit and he's not patient when it comes to technology, so I've gotten him a new printer. His old printer, his old monitor, as well as my old computer is going to my youngest son. (Keeping up?)

Since my old computer is going away, I'm cleaning off the hard drive - after backing up all the things I wanted to move to an external hard drive my eldest son loaned me. In theory, this would be easy, however, I haven't yet figured out what asshat decided it would be more cost-effective not to include the operating disks with computers anymore. Instead, they give you links to this and that and if you really, really, really want the disks, they'll send them to you - for a fee. Needless to say, the links to this and that are long-gone and the simple process of restoring my system isn't so simple anymore.

Hence, the unreasonable expectations. I wanted to have all my switching done last night and have my new 'puter up and ready to go. *sigh* Yep. Still in the box. Maybe today...


Monday, January 22, 2007

Dibs and Dabs

Catching up a bit...

  • Yes, it snowed. Although "officially" we only got about 5", our deck says otherwise - try about twice that. It's beautiful. Cold, but beautiful.
  • I'm taking a jammie day. I hadn't intended to, but woke this morning feeling achy and icky and hoping I'm not getting the current cold that's going around. I made an executive decision to stay home and be warm and cozy and medicated and hope it gets killed off before it gets too good a hold on my body. I can hope, right?
  • My new desktop computer for home is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow! Whoot! I'm so excited. It's going to be powerful enough to play WoW on, and yet... smart enough to get my bookwork all neatly organized. To be fair, I've done pretty well on the laptop, but there is something about paying bills while balancing things on a stupid folding card table just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I want my desktop computer to be functional again - along with the nice big calculator and the better workspace. It just puts me in a better "working" frame of mind. Of course, this means work to get everything switched off of the old one so I can give it to youngest son, plus he's getting Hubs' printer, plus Hubs is then getting my old, bigger monitor and youngest son is getting Hubs' smaller monitor and Hubs has a new printer to connect. I think you're getting the picture. It really shouldn't have to be this much work.
  • My new desktop computer for home is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow - at work. Need I say more? You know where I will be tomorrow.
  • I've been doing some crafty things I may not have mentioned. At Christmastime I cross-stitched some bookmarks for some of my dearest friends. I knitted nice long warm scarves for most of the kids (except the ones I knew wouldn't wear 'em). I also re-did a cross-stitch of Noah's Ark for my parents that they lost in their house fire. My mother even cried when she opened it. I was glad I did it. Since Christmas, I've finished crocheting two baby afghans for friends having babies. One was just born and the other isn't due until June, but it's done! I also got into making prayer shawls through a real-life friend. Although I have some cross-stitch wedding samplers to get done for my boys, These shawls are pretty mindless tv-watching type things I can do when I don't want to think too much. I just finished one and have started another. Also picked up some more yarn "just in case" I want to make a couple of other little projects. When it's cold out you can't beat knitting or crocheting on an afghan or shawl. The more you get done the more it keeps you warm as you work on it. Someday I'd like to learn how to do socks, like Jen does. I think they'd be fun. She makes the most beautiful things.
  • In case you missed it, Helen got engaged! Whoot! I can't imagine someone who deserves as much happiness as she does.
  • The new World of Warcraft video game expansion "Burning Crusade" is out and is really exciting. I know, I know, I'm too old for this shit. Blame my kids. They got me hooked. I don't play near as much as I used to ... "life" seems to get in the way. However, when I do play I remember why I like to play and how much I miss playing and how much I miss the people I play with.
  • A friend from blogland got me hooked on the Jim Butcher "Dresden Files" books which just premiered as a show last night on the sci-fi channel. I liked it! I'm normally more mystery and gore than sci-fi, but it worked and I enjoyed seeing how they put together things in the books with things on the show. In my mind it works much better than "Bones" does. I loved the books, but the show just leaves me a bit flat. The character she's made herself out to be (it's based on the real-life of foresic anthropologist and fiction writer Kathy Reichts) isn't quite the same as the one she's portrayed herself in her books. Maybe that's the point, I'm not sure. However, I have a hard time watching and not seeing flashbacks to "Angel" (David Borrenos co-stars) - not sure if I spelled his name right and too lazy to look it up.

I think we're caught up now, for the moment. Feel free to carry on with your regular scheduled activities...


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Be Careful What You Wish For

Y'know how I was wanting it to snow? Yeah. Well... it came, although not as much as I'd hoped for. We only ended up with about 4 inches. But it blew. And it iced up. And my internet satellite is frozen in a cocoon of something-or-other that keeps it from working. Damnit. So... that's why so quiet the past few days. I stayed home. I read. I slept. We finally had our meeting with the banker (and get to farm another year - yippee!). I even ordered a new computer for home (over the telephone).

I've missed the "outside" world of the internet more than I thought I would.

Of course, I came back to work to a pile of stuff a foot high and a list of calls to return a mile long. This is supposed to be the sloooow time. The time I can be gone and no one misses me! Guess I'll have to hold out for February.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

An Extended Pause

(Sit down. Get comfy. This is gonna be a long one.)

I've noticed something in the past couple of years I've been doing this "blog-thang". There seems to be a natural ebb and flow to the collective creativity. Even people who blog with an almost 100 percent productivity rate, that is to say daily, have days when they resort to memes or a pictorial or a one-line blurb about how they are sucking stones trying to get the creative juices flowing again.

Then there are the burn-outs. People who have lost the feeling and just can't seem to get it back. They write with such an outpouring of emotion that when the end comes it comes with an empathetic thud. One such person that comes to mind is Darrell. Such a prolific poster he filled day after day with sharp observations and thought-provoking images, only to stop abruptly... now only a trickle of words trip across his blog. The "mad murmurer" has become the "shy whisperer".

Most people give notice they are leaving the blogosphere. We get a short paragraph stating they are "taking a break", "burnt out", occasionally "we are getting out while we can" or "found" by some "real world" people they would just as soon not have peeking into their minds. My own child can be held as example. My eldest had a lovely little blog that several of you visited - but because of some actions by a "real world" former high school classmate it made her uncomfortable and she decided she'd rather just read 'em than write 'em. I miss some of the insights I got into my own daughter's life, but acknowledge her right not to share.

That brings me to the drop outs. The ones who just stop and fall out of sight. They appear to be going along on a normal course of day-to-day living and sharing said life with us when one day - they don't. Ever again. Leaving us asking "where are you?" "are you okay?" "is everything allright?" in comment sections and possibly even in e-mails. Mr_g comes to mind. He had a pretty prolific blog which increasingly became disturbed as he realized his wife was having an affair. It continued on until he became paranoid that she (and her lawyer) had found his blog wherein he created a new site and continued to let us faithful readers know how he was doing embarking on his new role as 'single guy'. Oddly enough, his last post was about him getting "visitation" with his dogs. This begs the question, "What happened?!?!" No reponse to e-mails or comments for months. Did his ex kill him and bury the body? Did the dogs eat him? Did the lawyers find him again and he felt the need to "get out of town" cyber-speaking?

I have a valid reason to ask. A few months ago I had a comment from a new person and being the perfect blog hostess I immediately went to visit and say thanks for coming by. Oh, who am I kidding? The truth is, I didn't notice this person had commmented on an older post so it was a couple of months before I contacted them. Trust me... I learned my lesson. As I am prone to do, I went to their blog and started at the beginning. I like to do that. Go deep into the archives and read chronologically, getting to know the person before I commit myself to opening the door of blog friendship. His blog went back a couple of years and in reading it I found him to be well-written, funny, warm and sensitive. In other words, someone I would like to keep reading. Abruptly, a month after he'd posted on my site, his stopped. I searched frantically to see if there was a clue to why. None. He'd talked about only good things happening in his life and I couldn't see there was a cause to leave, unless, like some of the rest of us, a busy life just got in the way. In reading over the last comments I started to be alarmed when I started seeing "he'll be missed" showing up. Stepping bravely into the unknown, I sent a couple of e-mails out to some regular commentors who appeared to know this person in real life. Bless their hearts, they responded. He'd had cancer (which he had never once indicated on his blog) and had died while being operated on for it's removal. I was stunned. Speechless. Someone that to me I'd just "met" was gone before I even had the chance to thank him for his kinds words on my site. Needless to say, I'm a little quicker on the responses now.

So, what do you find in your blog life? (Don't kid yourself - it is a whole 'nother life out here in the blogosphere. We have friends we've never met who we become attached to and for whatever reason have bonded over words. Just words.) Have you, too, had experience with people dropping out of sight and wondering "what happened?". Have you been that person who took an extended break and came back only to find the blogosphere had moved on without you? Am I putting too much thought into this?

...maybe I just need more sleep.


Friday, January 12, 2007

The Only One?

Am I the only one who didn't figure out it was de-lurker week? C'mon... give me some love...

If You See My Post, Send It Back

I think Michael has the right idea. I need a mind recorder. I swear I was laying (lying?) in bed last night with the best post running through my head. Do you think this morning I can even remember the topic? Hell no. So, instead you get me rambling about how I can't remember my post.

I think I'm one of those people the real writers complain about.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Feelin' Mighty Cocky

Yes, you heard me right. I'm feelin' might cocky right now. Remember Monday? Yeah, right down there, below this post. I was bemoaning the fact we had no snow in the forecast. Mwhaa haa haa.

We are expecting snow. Big-time. Soon.

Rain starting today, turning colder tomorrow, to ice, then to snow on Saturday afternoon and a chance of HEAVY snow on Sunday and Monday. 6-12 inches. Blowing. Cold. You know, winter!

Some of you know what this means. Grumpy Bunny (not blogging at the moment), Miss Sizzle, and possibly one or two others of you... it means... jammie days are coming! Whoot!

I need to go buy a lottery ticket. Who knew I could be so powerful?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Putting Away the Christmas Decorations

Okay, to be honest, they're still up at home. I decided I needed to put them away here in blog-land, however, so ta-da! Here we are fresh and new in our winter coat. Unfortunately, it is drab and grey and brown here in Iowa. I know, I shouldn't complain. Hubs keeps telling me he's happy not to have to fight the snow. I know in my mind it is safer for driving and walking and general well-being not to have a foot of snow on the ground (let alone ice). Me? I'm ready for a good two-feet of blizzard where I can snuggle up next to my fireplace with a bunch of warm-blooded critters and just veg. Not much hope of it in the forecast. Darn.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Do You Hear That?

That, my friends, is the sound of silence in my office. There is no cussing or throwing things or stomping of feet... because... my computer appears to be working this morning! Whoot! Okay, now everyone knock on wood. Seriously.

Friday, January 05, 2007

What's Next?

Would you please look me over? Check my back... is there a target painted there I didn't get washed off when I showered? Is there a black cloud over my head? Is "666" on my forehead? Something has to be saying it's my turn...

I get to work this morning and my brand new wireless keyboard and mouse don't work. At all. For some reason, Bluetooth thinks my license has expired? After an hour trying to get a "wired" keyboard and mouse to hook up (who knew the new computers all had wireless or USB connections and don't even come with the old keyboard connectors?) I finally was able to access my computer to download a new driver which (computer provider to remain nameless) swears will fix this problem that they've never seen before. Egads! I'm a lab rat!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

What Year Is It?

Andy posed a good question in the comments of my last post. "What year is it in Iowa?"... I'll tell ya, at this point I'm not even sure. I just had to look to see what day it was. After working my buns off (don't I wish...they're no smaller - shaddup) trying to get my new work computer filled back up with data and programs (can you say, 14 hour days?) I was greeted yesterday morning to a black startup screen.

Black? YES.

Now, I know just enough about computers to be dangerous. I may experiment with various things on my personal computer if things go wrong, but the work computer? Nope. I turn chicken and go right to the office tech support people. I was able to get myself into "safe" mode. At that point the tech people wanted me to do a "restore". Well, gee... the most recent restore point was last Friday morning at 8 a.m. Against the rumblings of my gut, I ran it. It made no difference, except, of course, (you see this one coming) all the data that I'd entered in since then was gone. I'd be terribly surprised if you didn't hear the cussing several states away. Did it fix anything. No. I was so brave. I didn't even cry.

Now the tech support people had me run "spybot" and "ad-aware" and to defrag my hard drive. Spybot wanted some update that it couldn't get, so it wouldn't run. Ad-aware found 5 bland cookies, and I spent 2 hours running defrag.

Did it work? Yes. Why? No clue.

Now I call tech support to see if they can tell me why, as I do not want this to happen again. They have no clue. They say, "just keep re-booting periodically to make sure it's working". Helpful, aren't they? They tell me to call the tech support people for the major GPS software program I use (which was basically all I'd been using for day before, trying to restore and re-run previous data). That tech support person suggested I may have a lemon. He thinks I may have an unstable hard drive and/or something wrong with the motherboard and gee... I should contact my computer manufacterer to see if they can run some diagnostics.

I call the computer company. (I'm not naming names as they have always been good to me... and until it has been proven to me that it's junk, I'm not bad-mouthing them. They are not the same company as the computer that failed.) The computer tech support person (he spoke ENGLISH! Whoot!) tells me there is a 'fix' in Norton anti-virus version 10 and proceeds to have me change one setting and re-boot. He tells me this is going to take care of it. Huh. You mean, I could have avoided doing a "restore" and losing all my data?

I, and my company tech support people, are skeptical. However, my computer booted up this morning as though nothing was wrong (after spending all yesterday once more loading data back into my program).

One day soon, I hope, I may be back in the world of "normal" people. You know... the ones who work 8 hour days with a lunch break and who get to go home at 5 o'clock to see the people they love and cook supper and watch TV and play WoW and read friends' blogs... oh, yeah... that's called a LIFE, right? I vaguely remember. Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006


It's almost here! The day children all over have been anticipating. I think I'm just about ready...

I spent all day yesterday in my car. Hubs bought a new (used) semi-tractor from a guy in western Minnesota and we spent hours getting there to pick it up. He's tickeled that it's how he remembers it when he went to look at it about a week and a half ago, and he's not going to do much of anything to it (yeah. I'm not holding my breath.) but putting the license plate on and driving it. He's got a bunch of grain to deliver next week and he'll be getting it "broken in" pretty quickly. I think he's already bonded with it - at least that's what he kept telling me all the way home.

Today was "getting ready for company". Doing the usual weekend things like laundry, and cleaning, but with that little extra emphasis on trying to make it "company presentable". Okay, who am I kidding... I'm trying to make it "mother-in-law" and "parental unit" presentable. The kids are all coming for Christmas day, too, but I wouldn't do this much for them. I also finished wrapping gifts. I think... I really think... I'm done. Whoot!

Tomorrow I have a couple of cooking things to take care of, but other than that I'm set. We'll be having Christmas Eve at MIL's, which is okay, except we have to spend time with my brother-in-law and his family. You remember them, "The Boys". Yeah. Is it any wonder that my kids all found "prior committments" to attend? I should be so lucky...

Sunday should get off to a calm start. Because my eldest son is going to be out of town to his fiance's parents until Christmas morning, I said we'd push dinner from 1 o'clock to 3 o'clock, so they didn't have to rush so much coming back. This will be new and different for us, and I'm not sure we all know how to act. I'm thinking there will be present opening all day long as each batch of "kids" and their significant others trickle in. Then again, I could be wrong and they may all want to wait until the last ones come. With my kids you never can tell.

In case I don't make it back on here in the next couple of days, I just want to take the time to wish each and every one of you a peaceful and pleasant holiday... and to all of you who have sent me cards, I LOVE them, thank you. To those of you I didn't have addresses to write you back - well, I still LOVE them and I'm sorry I didn't get one out to you. Be assured you are on my list for next year. Giant hugs to you all!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It's Been a Rough Couple of Days

comp_crash Oh, yeah. It's been fun. Trim the tree and singing carols kinds of fun. NOT. Monday was such a good day... followed by the first days of hell as we know it. I go to work and see a co-worker left my computer on all night. Not that big a deal. Until I go to re-boot my computer and I receive the black screen of death. The one that tells me to pick an option. You know, the list starting with "Safe Mode". What a joke. Like there is anything safe about what we're about to do.

Needless to say, "Safe" mode wasn't an option. It didn't like that or any other option on the list. It just kept re-booting. Over and over and over. The operating disks that came with my system had exceptionally scary options on it, too. Options like "formatting the hard drive". Not a happy thought when my most recent backup was a month ago. I know, I know...don't lecture me. Be glad it was only a month ago.

I call our home office "IT" people. I get mumbling and the number for the corporate account tech support people. Uh huh. Yeah. I'll call them. No. I won't let them reformat my hard drive.

Luckily, I actually got a woman I could understand. She spoke English quiet well. After dealing with tech support people in India and other foreign countries in the past, I ventured to ask. Florida. I can handle this.

To her credit, she was very good. She walked me through many, many things - not once trying to direct me to the deadly "reformat" command. We ran some different repair features - one which ended up taking a mere four hours (I have a very large hard drive). Finally, after going through the repair I was able to bring my Windows desktop back. No programs would work, but I was able to use my CD burner and my tape backup driver and I was able to back up everything I could possibly think of that hadn't been backed up. I got home about 10 o'clock last night with a vague sense of relief knowing if the whole thing went down I now had my data available to reinstall.

This morning I was greeted by the IT people telling me if I would take my tower to a computer guru they knew (40 miles away) they and he thought my hard drive could be "ghosted" to another hard drive he had on hand. I'm game. Off I go, lighthearted optomism my passenger.
He tells me he should have it done by the end of the day. I give him my cell phone number.

Two hours later I get a call. Partition one is junk. This has created a problem with his plan. With partition one being bad, his 'ghosting' program won't even start. Huh. I tell him to call the IT people. He tells me he's got another one or two tricks up his sleeve. Yeah. I'm not holding my breath.

Another hour goes by and I get a call from the IT people. They tell me just what guru guy has said. He's stuck. Now I have options. Do I want him to install the new hard drive, spend hours loading my information and programs onto it only to turn around next week and repeat the process when the new computer they are going to order me comes OR do I just want to wait for the new computer to come and do it once. Well... let me think... DUH.

So... I have a vacation. I'm going to be off work until next week when the new computer comes. Except for the fact that when it comes I'm going to be so busy I won't be able to see straight, I'm kinda enjoying the fact I'm going to be off a couple extra days around Christmas. Now I just need to get some sleep.

The Eldest

31. That's how old my eldest child is today. I'm a little late getting this posted (more about that tomorrow) however, the sentiment has been with me all day. She's an adult. She's a wife, a mom. She's a wonder. She was a second "mom" to her siblings during my darker days. She was the backbone of the family. She's paid the price, too, and I will always regret that. She's remarkable in her ability to forgive.

I've written before about her birth story and about the two-month prematurity that had to be dealt with. She was 3 lb. 5 oz. at birth. Think about that. Get out a pound of hamberger and look at it and hold it in the palm of your hand and visualize three pounds of hamberger in your hand. Now visualize trying to diaper that three pounds in a newborn diaper. That was long before the days of the "premie" clothing and diapers. She lived in doll clothes for many months. Blessed with minor health issues at her birth, there has never been a doubt in my mind that she was saved for something special in her life. Whether it was to give birth to her beautiful son, or to do something else, it brings me such joy to see her reaching milestones - so many years after those days of touch-and-go.

She's a beauty. Porcelain skin. Sandy brown hair. Bright blue eyes. A smile that won't quit. Yes, I'm probably biased. That's okay. I'm allowed. More importantly, she's beautiful inside. She has a vulnurability and a naivity one expects in someone much younger... and a laugh that takes many a person by surprise in it's spontaneous combustion; far too loud for such a little person. Sneezing she inherited - not one delicate "achoo", but several in a row - the ones that get the uninitiated patting you on the back thinking you must be choking, not sneezing! She loves to play WoW (yes, she is the culprit who got me hooked!) and when playing her fingers fly over the keyboard as she carries on conversations and moves her player through the "world". She's always up for a good movie, but be sure it's not too violent. She hates that and for years would be the only one who would go to her room instead of watching whatever the rest of us found and exciting pasttime... now she'll go, but hide her eyes.

My eldest. My strength. For a little while? My only. I love you, daughter. Happy Birthday.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Half a Century

I never thought I’d make it this far. There was once or twice in my life I almost didn’t. I’m so glad I did!

Yes, this is a picture of me at age 3. This explains a lot… like why I still don’t like to wear dresses. Obviously, I never did! This was taken before my biological mother died and was one of the pictures that my father and step- chose to keep from me until I was an adult. (Little did they know, I snuck around in my teens and found the “stash” – pictures of myself and my mother.)

I can remember a black and white television that was 19” and by God, we were lucky to have it! I remember 8-track tapes and mullets (before “Joe Dirt” made them memorable to the younger generation). I remember the Beatles and JFK and getting to stay up late to watch a man walk on the moon. Yes, all in black and white. I remember the “stereo console” that came in the big wooden cabinet (real wood!) with a turntable that my parents played Montovanti and Gleason on during the dinner meals and Nat King Cole at Christmas. I remember an Easy Bake Oven and Barbie and a new blue bicycle under the tree. With baskets. And a bell.

I remember it all. The good and the bad.

Why is it I don’t feel it’s been a half a century? I mean, I can sense time passing when I look at my children and remember them all as little bitty things – which they no longer are – but me? No! Except for the occasional twinge in the back or crackle in the knees, I still feel …oh, at least half this age! I’m not very active, but then – I never was! I still love music and reading and writing and crafts and critters and you … and it goes without saying, my ever-so-loving family. I’m not exactly the same as I used to be – who would want to be? I’m much better now. (My family will understand that comment.) But in my mind? I’m still a kid. I still have lots of things I want to do.

I want another 50 years. ‘kay?

Friday, December 15, 2006

I Wanna Crush Ya!

I love every one of those people over there, so don't be offended if you didn't make the post. Just know if I could write a post about each and every one of you, I would. I had to draw the line, and I chose to draw it at three.

Miss Sizzle got me into this. Ironically, she is my first crush! She was one of the first people I found, how? I don't honestly remember. She touched me with her humor, kindness and who can resist that smile? She struggles day-to-day with all the things any single woman in the world would and does it with a sense of self you rarely find. She's generous to a fault and has the kind of job that I know I could never ever ever do, but thank God there are people in this world who do them. She is a constant in my life and if she lived closer I believe we would be "real world" friends.

My second crush is on a guy who I would be proud to have as an adopted son. He's fun-loving, smart, and such a great husband and father - I mean, what's not to love? For those of you who couldn't guess with such a short description, it's Brad over at Almost Lucid. From the minute he printed a picture of his wife with not a speck of makeup and proceeded to describe how beautiful she was to him... to the heart-warming tales of his children to his job experiences and life experiences... he's a very well-rounded young man. I've also had a word or two via e-mail with his mom and trust me... he was raised very, very, well. What a lovely family and a blog I love to visit as often as possible.

Last, but by no means least, is Helen. Words cannot express the impact of this thing called an internet as much as being able to read this woman's words here in Iowa that have been written in England. If you think about it - How cool is that? To call what Helen writes merely "words" is not to give credit to the woman herself. She is such a heartfelt writer. She doesn't just give you sixty words on her day, but she reaches inside and pulls out handfuls of emotion and throws them at you with such force you can't help but be touched. Her descriptive talents escape explaination. I can't help but wish only good things for her the next year and pray she never stops blogging.

So, there it is. My not-so-secret blog crushes.

Oh... and don't forget the addresses for cards! I really, really, REALLY want to send you one!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Take It How You Will or Urgent Request!

This isn't exactly true. It's just how I feel right now. Sloppy and weird. You who have your minds in the gutter can leave now...

I am usually extremely organized. I may have piles here and there, but I know what's in those piles and can generally put my hands on most whatever it is I need at a moment's notice. So, is it age or am I just going crazy? (Maybe we won't think about that one too long, either.)

Last year I had a list of all my blog-land friends addresses and for most of the year I knew exactly where it was. I kept seeing it. First here, then there, then here again. I kept moving it from place to place, always aware of exactly where it was being put, as Christmas was only... a few months away. *cough*

Yeah. You are getting the idea. Do you think I can find this list, now, when I actually want to use it?

So... if you like me... or maybe just feel sorry for me... and you got a card from me last year or would like to get a card from me this year... could you please e-mail me your address again? (sesnyde at hughes dot net) I really do value your friendship and I didn't mean to lose you... honest.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What Happened to Winter?

Okay, I admit it isn't quite this bad around here... there is still a little green, but for the most part winter in the midwest without snow is brown. Dull, gray, lifeless, bo-ring. It is going to be 50-something degrees today and a possible record-breaking upper 50's on Friday. This is December. This is Christmas. This is the time of year we want to be a foot deep in it.

I was so happy because the ground was frozen solid and the "busy" part of my job was over for the winter. Then I found out today that because of the almost inch of rain we got yesterday, and the warmth, that the frost has gone out of the ground and they are back to soil sampling again. Arrrggghhh! Nooooo! Not now! Not so close to Christmas! Crap.

That lump of misery you see pooling in the corner would be me.