No flat surface left uncovered in this house…

Through the years, my husband would often complain that if there was a flat surface in our house, I would find something to put on it.  Well, I’ve tried to keep that quirk to a minimum (truly, I’ve tried) but 2013 has been a year of failure on this front.

I know where everything is (for the most part) but that actually doesn’t help. The only flat surface not currently obscured with clutter or “stuff” is the dining room table, and that’s only because I’m planning to wash the tablecloth.  In order to avoid IRONING the 102″ long tablecloth, I’ll need to wash, dry and immediately replace it on the table. So no clutter is allowed on it until that’s accomplished.  If I delay much longer, we’ll be celebrating the holidays and the dining room will be decorated!

Which brings me to the “question of the day” posted for November 5… What is the condition of the writing space where I blog… or something to that effect.  Gee. I have to go with cluttered and stacked. My wrists rest on my iPad mini (waiting to charge through iTunes), a pad of paper, a few Rolodex cards, 2 postcards (they need stamps affixed before I can mail them), a gasoline receipt, and a few loose notes (from the aforementioned pad of paper). This is only the stuff UNDER my wrists.

To my right is the telephone/answering machine–which I sometimes answer because I start thinking it might be someone other than a salesman, politician or a police/fire foundation who wants money because I was so generous five years ago (I gave them $10. If I’d know what a PITA this would become, I would NOT have donated $10).  I am always disappointed when I answer the house phone, but I grew up answering the phone. “It might be important!” Also to the right is an empty water bottle (and now I’m thirsty), a pen, TWO pairs of earrings, more receipts, a stack of blank index cards, the mouse and mousepad, and the Rolodex.

The Florida Catholic newspaper

The Florida Catholic newspaper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To my left is a miracle of balance and symmetry. In no particular order is a small cutting board and a paring knife (I think I had a wine and cheese party one night while reading email), a discarded bra (it was tight and I wanted to get comfortable), a suede photo album with nearly 100 4×6 prints of my grandson celebrating his ONE-YEAR-OLDness….

Peeking around the edges of this stack, I can see my Certificate of Insurance forms for 2013 and another for 2014. Perhaps an issue or two of the Florida Catholic newspaper, some accounting forms, attendance pages from my Jazzercise class (oh, that’s where the August pages are!) and stuff I can’t identify because I’d have to adjust the delicate balance of the stuff on top.  I do know that there’s nothing time-sensitive in that pile.  It’s on the LEFT side of the desk.  I’m RIGHT-HANDED.  Simple logic.

I know a picture is worth a thousand words. That may be so, but my iPhoto app on my iMac computer is still INOPERABLE.  If it were paper, it would be located on the RIGHT-HAND side of my desk, which is where things get taken care of sooner (rather than later).  

English: Apple iMac aluminium

English: Apple iMac aluminium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And now that this description is posted, I will endeavor to CLEAN MY DESK at the first opportunity. Then I’ll find some way to take and post a picture. I suppose I can E-MAIL it to myself since neither my iPhone nor my iPad mini are able to upload photos to my iMac.

Tech-Savvy to Some, Tech-Challenged to Others

If you were to rate yourself in the “Tech-Savvy” department from 1 to 10 (no zeroes because, hey, you’re reading this on a computer, duh!) what number pops into your mind?  Is it easy to make a determination? It depends on who wants to know, doesn’t it?

To folks who have no clue about “bookmarking” a website on their computer, you’d easily score the mighty TEN.  But if Bill Gates is asking, you’d probably go with a realistic number and say seven.  (I’m thinking you’re pretty darn smart! You read blogs!)


Evernote (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Computer events can make my tech-savvy number feel like a TEN… like when my Evernote app syncs between my iMac, iPhone and iPad mini it’s just the best feeling in the world. Wahoo! On the other hand, when my iPhoto app on the iMac crashes and fails and downright REFUSES to open, my tech-savvy number plummets to THREE. (It’s been three weeks since I’ve been able to upload photos. I feel so STUPID!) The first thing that popped into my mind three weeks ago is that I couldn’t add any new photos to my blog posts, and then I stomped my foot in frustration. I haven’t started cursing yet; I’m a pretty patient gal, slow to anger and all that.  (Side note: my hubby is thankful for this trait, hence the 35+ years of marriage to HIM.) 

I took a running leap (of faith) and joined the NaBloPoMo challenge late Sunday evening,  and was feeling like a NINE for finding the sign-up link. (It took me more than 10 minutes to wade through several pages, but I found it!) Then I started searching for the linky thing-a-ma-jig to add my NaBloPoMo posts each day… but instead found something which MIGHT NOT BE what I’m looking for … it included the word SOUP in the link name. Now I wonder if I’m lost …  that if I use the link my entry will be posted in an online cookbook challenge. My  tech savvy-number is now TWO.

I want to ask someone for help, but I need to know that their tech-savvy number is higher than mine, but not so high that I don’t understand a word they say.  Because I am a control-freak and hard-headed, I’ll fumble and tumble around a bit, hoping to hit a base run to the NaBloPoMo link before the sun rises on Monday.

And in my bumbling stumbling quest, I hope to find the “badge” to add to my site. Not exactly sure how or what to do with it, but some niggling voice in my head thinks that it’ll be cool to display it. Is this it?

NaBloPoMo: Glorious Madness

NaBloPoMo: Glorious Madness (Photo credit: cizauskas)

7 Quick Takes — Mid-Life Rebellion

— 1 —

Instead of sleeping Thursday night, I watched a few things online from links in e-mails and blogs. First up was the link to the Explore God Q&A Forum with Jennifer Fulwiler and two pastors.  Next up was a documentary that caught my eye on the YouTube side menu when Explore God ended.  (I wasn’t tired yet.)  I highly recommend it to Catholics, because we generally don’t know much about modern saints and this featured the lives of TWO saints and ONE blessed (soon to be saint). Can you guess their names? Check out the one+ hour documentary, Ocean of Mercy.

By the time the documentary ended, I admit to feeling a bit tired, but another video caught my eye and so what-the-heck… I clicked with the intention of just watching for a few minutes.  Before I knew it, I’m watching the All In the Family episode when Edith Bunker discovers she’s going through “the change.” It was still funny. I watched the entire episode. In for a pound, I then followed it up with the 2-part episode featuring the birth of Gloria’s baby.  Was it a boy or a girl?  I couldn’t remember.  Now I know, and I’m not telling… you’ll need to google it or watch the episode yourself.

— 2 —

Household chaos. This week’s household chores can be counted on one hand. Washed dishes twice. Washed two loads of laundry. Hmm.  I have a finger leftover. Should’ve cleaned the bathroom or vacuum the living room.  Ah, I picked up the toys off the living room floor. I draw the line at stepping on little Hot Wheels cars.

— 3 —

My 1998 Honda Accord dashboard information warning lights have been on so long I rarely take note, but now they’re down from four lights to three, thanks to my hubby helping me get a new bulb for my taillight. Now it’s just ABS, Maintenance, and Engine.  We’ll open the hood this weekend to take a peek at the serpentine belt and check the oil, water and battery.  Anyone else out there drive around with dashboard warning lights ON? Which is the most annoying light you ignore because nothing turns it off? I hate spending money for EACH light to determine the codes. Mainly because I like spending that money for groceries….

— 4 —

Our church’s Fall Festival was last Friday night. As expected, I was only able to sit down for 3 minutes to eat a quick bite, but that’s par for the course for the folks in charge. No time to sit when you’re zipping from one activity to the next playing “hostess.”  This year’s fall festival included a Chili Cook-off, Square Dance, Kids’ Costume Parade, and a Photo Booth featuring the decorated Pumpkins folks contributed for ambience. Ann, my co-conspirator, supervised the campfire outside for the kids to roast marshmallows; her hubby supervised the old-fashioned hayride.  The pot-luck chili cook-off was lots of fun, and the square dance was enjoyed by young and old.  I’d like to try square dance lessons, but I enjoy the Monday night bible study classes too much to trade.

The next activity I’m organizing at church is called “Screen on the Green.”  We’re sponsoring one screening of the new epic movie, MARY OF NAZARETH. We rent a 16’x20′ outdoor screen & surround sound audio to watch great movies on the grassy slope next to our rectory. Check online to see if “Mary of Nazareth” is playing near you (it probably isn’t, so you may need to spearhead a screening in your area.) Watch the trailer, read the reviews of this amazing movie of the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. If it’s not playing near you and you’re up to a trip, the movie will be playing at our church on Saturday, November 16 at 7pm in Mims, Florida at Holy Spirit Catholic Church (on the space coast of Florida).  Advance tickets are $10 each or $15 the night of the event.

— 5 —

Clothes. I need clean clothes. See #2 above.

— 6 —

These 7 QT aren’t too pretty. No pictures.  Am I the only person capable of personally destroying their iPhoto app on their Apple computer?  Each time I tried to “repair” my database, all I did was worsen the problem. Nothing’s worked, and now the app won’t open and I can’t access my photos.  Grrr.

— 7 —

No photos this week, but I have terrific news. Last Saturday I picked up my one-year-old grandson. When he’d finished hugging, I pulled away to see what special shirt he was wearing. The previous 3 days he’d been sporting costume shirts:  Spiderman, Batman, Superman (included a cape), so my curiosity was piqued.  The shirt said Only Child (crossed out) and under that it said “Big Brother.”  My daughter got my scream on video… another grandchild will be joining our family next July.  Wahoo!  

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Which Way?

What’s the positive side of spinning ones’ wheels? I feel a Fall malaise that has some serious consequences if I can’t get a handle on it soon. I’m not just talking laundry, dishes, housekeeping, yard work, car maintenance, personal hygiene, and poor nutrition. The mere action of reading e-mail, responding, deleting, reading articles, has consumed my evening and my designated sleep time. I am more behind than I can ever hope to catch up with, as if I’m sliding downhill while trying to climb a sand dune. The only solution is to DELETE ALL, throw piles on my desk into the garbage, and start fresh. Oh, but for the important papers in there, I’d do it in a heartbeat!

I’ve come to the conclusion that the Internet is not our friend… at least it’s not MY FRIEND this week. It’s beginning to feel like an instrument of the devil. Life has not gotten easier, it’s gotten crowded, rushed and relegated to a 2nd class existence. My grandparents must have had a simpler life, (yes, a hard life, but at least they were not interrupted every 2-3 days with knowledge of a major world catastrophe or mass shooting or terror attack, of which they were powerless to stop, change, or alter the outcome.)

Opinions were allowed time to percolate with introspection, reason, common sense, research and/or conversation among friends and neighbors. They could change their mind and it wasn’t held against them forever because it was posted on Facebook or Twitter. The heat of the moment these days can flare into a wildfire in the blink of an eye in 2013. I’m sure my grandparents got more sleep each night than I’ll ever manage to get no matter how hard I try.

I admit that I’m not up to the challenge of life with unlimited Internet access. I’m tired. I’ll wash my face, brush my teeth and salvage the remaining six hours sleep left to me to survive Tuesday’s onslaught of information overload. Things will look different tomorrow. Worse is still “different” in my universe… but at least I’ll have some sleep under my belt to deal with it… or delete it.

I’d post a photo, but the iPhotos app on my iMac computer disappeared Sunday evening. So that little computer chore of fixing the problem is one of the things weighing on my mind. Which is just as well, because the total embarrassment of posting a photo of my desk would seriously damage my ability to ignore it. Dear Lord, please allow me to have peace-filled sleep tonight! Amen.