Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

Twenty Minutes and Counting...

My husband and I bought a 4-in-1 copier, scanner, printer, fax machine for our office the other day. We had been discussing this purchase for a while and decided to do it since our old current copier has been dying a slow death and our fax machine was on its last ink cartridge. We strolled around Staples casually as if we knew what we were looking for when Shawn, the salesman, approached. He was very helpful as he helped us determine which machine would best meet our needs. He answered all of our questions clearly. One final and important question that I asked him was how difficult was it to set up since it would be a wireless connection.

"Oh, ma'am, it is so simple. Why my mother, who is quite a bit older than you, hooked her machine up in less than twenty minutes. And I can tell from the questions you are asking that you are much more techno savvy than my mother." Being a total sucker for sweet talk I decided to purchase this 4-in-1 super easy to install machine.

My husband carried the heavy machine into the office and helped me position it on the desk. I told him that I was confident I could have this machine up and running in nineteen minutes. It took me thirteen minutes to remove all of the packaging material. I then sat down to examine the four instruction manuals. Groan.

Things moved rather quickly in the beginning. I installed ink cartridges and paper trays. I was feeling good. I called out to my husband that I'd have this sucker printing fresh new copies in under one hour. Shawn was one of the few honest salesman I'd had the pleasure of meeting in a while.

I was down to the final part of the set-up ~ connecting the new sleek machine to our wireless connection. No problem. I just had to type our secret password WEP on the touch pad. I typed. The new sleek machine told me that it was the wrong secret password WEP. I typed it harder seven more times as I tried to impress on the touch pad that this was the correct secret password which would unlock whatever was locked. The sleek new machine told me I was incorrect - try again. I had now been working for an hour and a half to hook up the sleek new machine.

My husband asked me how the new machine was working. I told him that he should know, after thirty years of marriage, that I don't like to be bothered when I am performing critical technical work. I also casually asked him if he had changed our secret password for the WEP. "Nope, you set the secret password when you decided our office should be wireless." I was afraid that's what he would say.

I tried a variety of possible passwords with no success. Why didn't I write the password down so that I could have put the paper in a safe place? Of course I would have forgotten where the safe place was but that's another story. I could feel frustration settling into my shoulders. The mother of Shawn, the sweet talking salesman, must have remembered her password or... maybe Shawn's mother doesn't even own a 4-in-1 sleek machine.

And then a lightbulb went off in my gray matter! I would call Ken, our very wealthy computer support person and ask him how to reset our wireless router! Sometimes I amaze myself. I explained the situation to Ken and he asked me the question I was dreading. "Don't you write your passwords somewhere safe for when your memory fails you?" No. No, I Don't. Just tell me how to reset the stupid router. Please.

He explained about pushing the reset button on the back of the router...blah,blah, blah...I had heard enough. All I had to do was push the reset button ~ that's all I needed to hear. Thank you very much. I rushed to the router and pushed the reset button. I rushed back to the sleek machine. The clock was running. I had now been working for close to three hours. Wish I had Shawn's cell phone number so I could ask him where he learned how to tell time.

I touched the sleek machine's super sensitive touch pad and followed the direction on screen. It is telling me to reenter the unknown secret password. What the heck? Oh, man. Why hadn't I listened to Ken, the computer specialist. There obviously was more to this then pushing the reset button. Why hadn't I listened to his blah, blah, blahs. I quietly called him and told him that I couldn't remember what to do after pushing reset. Oh. Just find the router software and reinstall it - I could then reset the password. Thanks, Ken. Now all I had to do was find the router software. I stopped myself from ripping the clock off the wall. This was the longest twenty minutes of my life.

I looked everywhere for that software and it was no where to be found. Now I was mad. I grabbed the phonebook and searched for Staples' phone number. I was ready to give Shawn a piece of my mind. My intuitive husband, who had stayed out of my way for the last four hours, told me he had an idea and would I mind if he helped me. I hated to admit defeat but I said, "Yes, please help me." I had been defeated by the sleek 4-in-1 machine. I had been defeated by Shawn's elderly mother.

My husband called the maker of our router. The technician calmly and quickly walked him through the steps for resetting the router and super secret password. In a few short minutes my husband had the router sending out wireless waves to our 4-in-1. I typed in the new secret password and held my breath. All of a sudden lights started flashing, blinking and a sample copy printed out. We were connected in no time at all !

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Springtime in New Hampshire !

I love MUD !
I'm in love with mud,
It's sad, I know, but true.
I just can't help but splash in it,
Or stomp a path right through.
It's sticky and it's dirty,
And it covers all my clothes.
But when I see it lying there,
A voice inside me grows......
You can't resist,
you know I'm right,
It's fun to play in mud!
Look at it just sitting there,
I really think you should!
I splatter in the grimy gloop,
I can't resist the ooze!
I run, I jump, I stamp about,
It drips into my shoes!

©2003 Gareth Lancaster

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ready for the Weekend!

It is 7:00 AM. My teeth are brushed and flossed. The dust bunnies are under control, sort of. Work week is coming to a close. I am ready for the weekend. It is going to be a good one. Full of love, happiness, smiles, relaxation, calm, appreciation, nourishment of the soul. And I am ready. I won't be blogging this weekend - no computers allowed. I would like to share some pictures of Pumpkin and Peanut with you. Take care.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009


It is a rather odd Sunday morning for me. I am awake before my husband which rarely happens. I am glad that he is catching up on some sleep but there is one little problem. He always makes the coffee. I don't even know how to use this newfangled coffeepot which basically picks the beans, grinds them, and brews a decent cup of coffee in seconds flat. There are so many buttons, buzzers and lights on this machine you need an engineering degree to use it. So here I sit, trying to decide if I should attempt to make a pot of coffee or just make a cup of tea. I really want a cup of coffee so I will just keep typing loudly and maybe he will wake up. I just made some blueberry muffins (from a mix) so I am hoping the aroma of those will stir his nostrils awake!

I am also trying to ignore the weather report I just heard. The good news is that we are not getting a snowstorm in the next 24-36 hour period. Nope. We are supposedly going to get hit with TWO snowstorms, back to back, over the next couple of days. Enough already! But the reality is that I can't change the weather so I will just sit here quietly and watch the beautiful white flakes fall from the sky, pile up on top of the other one zillion snowflakes which have already landed. Okay, I probably won't be sitting here quietly - I am rarely quiet. So come on already...bring it shovel is ready...let it snow!

Today I am going to make cookies (from scratch). I obviously am in some type of Betty Crocker mood since I started my day by making blueberry muffins which smell delicious - ooh, if I only had a cup of coffee. I am going to make butter Spritz cookies for my husband. They are his favorite type and I just never got around to making them at Christmas so...better late than never! I am going to make peanut butter blossoms also. Maybe I am in the baking mode because my body senses there is another snowstorm coming and I need one more layer of fat to protect me against the cold! I am also going to make a humongous batch of beef stew - one for us and one for my daughter who just had our grand babies. The twins are home now and doing well but they are a little confused about the difference between night and day. As much as I have sometimes missed my baby making days I am not missing the sleepless nights. So later on today, before the first of the two snowstorms hits, I will deliver some beef stew and cookies at their door so they won't have to worry about making dinner.

I have a comfy, overstuffed chair by our fireplace which is where I station myself in the winter. I plan on reading some more of the book which my daughter highly recommended I read 'Jitterbug Perfume' by Tom Robbins. I have only read a couple of chapters but I have found myself wondering what Mr. Robbins might have been ingesting or inhaling as he wrote. I will no doubt be calling my eldest daughter at some point today so we can have a book talk. It will give me a chance to whine about the snow and allow her to tell me about the California sunshine.

And then when the day has quieted down I will work on my never-ending project. My pride and joy of the moment ~ my mermaid rug which I am hooking by hand. This is not a kit. This is a traditional hooked rug - just like they used to make in the old days during those long, cold winters when all it did was snow. My goal is to finish this rug by the end of summer. Yes, I am a slow hooker! I shouldn't show her to you until she is complete but what the heck! Who knows what tomorrow might bring besides more snow?! Here she is. I am trying to figure out what color to make the baby mermaid's hair. I started hooking it in the brunette but I don't like it so much. What do you think? I don't ask for opinions very often so here is your chance! :)

Another way to get my mind off of the snow is to think about summer. And when I think about summer I think about lemonade stands. These last two sentences are a lame attempt to tie in the wonderful award which my dear blogging friend and mentor Akelamalu awarded to me a few weeks ago. It is a refreshing award this time of year. I have now collected three awards and they are all from my dear friend, Akelamalu. Thank you Ake and I will pay you off later. Just kidding! Please go over to her blog today - I promise you won't be disappointed. She is one creative lady! Now let's get serious. I am supposed to award the 'Lemonade Award' to ten people. Yikes. This is hard. I don't have that many blogging friends and I hate to hurt the feelings of the few I have ~ so to all of my blogging friends I award to you the Happy Snow Day award. Here it is :

Notice it is all white. That is due to the fact that it is a blizzard with white out conditions. Okay. So I am trying to avoid having to pick ten blogging friends for the Lemonade award. Let's see... Lemonade is sweet with a tart, zingy taste mixed in. It is refreshing. It is reliable and has withstood the test of time. So I am going to choose ten people who are sweet but zingy, refreshing and reliable. Here are the winners of the March 1, 2009 Lemonade awards, listed in no particular order. Please take a minute to visit their blogs and congratulations to all who made it to the end of this rambling post.

Here is the award. Please take yours as you exit the stage.

The rules of this award are quite simple. Choose ten people to whom you would like to give this award. No easy task I warn you! And then please link back to the person who gave you the award. And here are the winners. If I didn't choose you and you feel that you are worthy please feel free to take this award also. All I ask is that you link back to me - I need all the help I can get!

  • Marg at Home Again ~ Marg is honest, kind and one of my first blogging friends. She is very energetic, loves her family and friends and lives each day to the fullest.
  • Willow at Willow's Cottage ~ She knits. She reads. She sews. She travels. She has a good heart. She is mindful of moments and reminds me to appreciate the small stuff.
  • Daryl ~ On the M104 ~ Daryl is the City Mouse and I am the Country Mouse. If I ever get to the Big Apple I will have deja vu because of the virtual tours I take on a regular basis over at Daryl's blog. She is a very talented photographer and she is zingy! I love zing!
  • Louise ~ Potted Frog ~ Lousie is an artist - on many levels. She writes from her heart with honesty and humor. I love her photography as well.
  • Jennie at View from My Camera ~ I love Jennie's blog. She hasn't posted in a while but I am hopeful that maybe this award will lead her out of hibernation. I miss you, Jennie and I hope you are well.
  • Sandy at Writing in Faith ~ I am a newbie to Sandy's place but I always enjoy my stay. Whether it be her words, her reflections or her photography I feel refreshed after my visit. I urge you to stop in and say hi.
  • Rapunzel at Rapunzel's Castle ~ Rapunzel deals with life with honesty and real emotions. She tells it like she sees it which is refreshing. Life has given her way too many lemons lately so please stop in and share a glass of sweet lemonade with her. Thank you.
  • Sandi at Holding Patterns ~ I love visiting Sandi and I love it when she visits me! She leaves honest comments with a positive outlook. Her blog is full of great stories of her adventures in life and let me tell you - she has had many! She is sweet, she is loyal and reliable and she has lots of zing!
  • I'm Being Held Hostage ~ An Air Force Wife, J writes with incredible humor and honesty of raising a family. I swear she could be a stand up comic. I feel guilty sometimes because I find myself laughing at her various life adventures with a house full of kids. I often think to myself that I have been there, done that and I am so glad that I am past that stage in life! She deserves a medal!
  • Beth ~ One of my newest places to hang out! Warning - do not have food or drink in your mouth because you could choke or spray liquid all over your monitor. Beth is funny! Beth is real! Beth has zing! And I love what she has to say!

And now... I am going to drive to Dunkin' Donuts. I need my coffee!

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