Friday, November 30, 2007

Getting into the Christmas Spirit with a Cute Survey

You can take this survey yourself. Just copy it from here, delete my answers and add your own, then post it in your blog. Pass the spirit of Christmas along.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I love wrapping presents. I've used
paper and bags both.

2. Real tree or artificial? artificial.. it lasts forever and is better
for the environment and won't harm my dog or parrot.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually right after Thanksgiving

4. When do you take the tree down? Right after New Year's Day

5. Do you like eggnog? No, but my husband does. Yuck.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Spirograph, I played with it for
hours making the coolest designs

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. I had two, but gave one to my
daughter and her husband because they didn't have one.

8. Hardest person to buy for? My husband. Anything he needs or wants, he
gets on his own. And he's so darn picky.

9. Easiest person to buy for? Right now, it's my grandson. I just get a
gift card to KB Toys. He lives in Arizona (I'm in Florida) so makes for
easy gift giving.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Doilies

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. I love the whole process of
writing each card, putting the stamp on the envelope, mailing the card
and then imagining the recipient opening it up and reading my note.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Charlie Brown Christmas or How the Grinch
Stole Christmas

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? November. I shop online
and send direct shipments to recipients to get there by Christmas.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Probably.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Tie between my pumpkin pie and
homemade decorated sugar cookies.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Both, but never at the same
time. Pick one or the other.

17. Favorite Christmas song? The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole

18. Travel for Christmas or stay at home? Definitely stay home.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Dasher, Dancer,
Prancer, Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen, then RUDOLF

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? I've done both. I just don't put
Santa Claus on top of the tree.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? People forgetting the
Christmas spirit and stores not playing Christmas music or saying "Merry

23. What I love most about Christmas? How for a few days every year,
people are extra nice to each other.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Forever on Thanksgiving Day
The heart will find the pathway home.

-Wilbur D. Nesbit

Monday, November 19, 2007

Writing a Book: Free Teleseminar

Is there a book inside of you just waiting to come out? Have you
always wanted to write but just didn't know how to begin? If you've
answered YES to either of these questions you need to sign up for the
Writing a Book: How to get Started Teleseminar.

On Thursday, November 29, 2008 five fabulous writers will share with
you their insights on how they got started. Believe it or not, there
is no one perfect formula for writing a book and these experts will
explain how they did it:

Monica Diggs
Kim Sims
Vicki M. Taylor
Kathie Thomas
Debra Shiveley Welch

The free teleseminar will begin at 8pm EST on Thursday, November 29. Seating
is limited so register early to guarantee you will be able to get your spot.

To register, go to: Call-in instructions will be sent after your registration.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Gratitude: What am I grateful for?

When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.

-Elie Wiesel

It's that time of year when we say "thanks" for all that we've received throughout the year. What am I thankful for?

In no particular order:

My grandson
My children
My husband
My dog
My parrot
My health
My doctor
My country
Our American Troops
My God
My soon to be born granddaughter
My friends
My neighbors
My family (my mom, my sisters, my brother, aunts, uncles, inlaws, etc)
My home
My Baby Boomer Women friends
My Baby Boomer Diva friends
My Myspace friends
My writing friends
My Blog friends
My new computer
My husband's technical computer abilities
My neighborhood
The beautiful planet Earth
The inventor of the Alphasmart Dana
My publisher
My pets' vets
Digital Cameras
My gift for writing
The time I have to write
The time I have to spend with my family
My marriage
My new screened in back patio
Each beautiful new day
My ability to see, even though I have to wear glasses, I can still see the colors in the world
My ability to hear the birds in the trees and a child's laugh
My ability to touch, so I can still hold my husband's hand
My ability to walk, even though I was in a wheelchair four years ago.

Today is my birthday. And I am grateful for one more candle on my birthday cake.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Hell Has Frozen Over

Has Hell frozen over?

Really? It hasn't?

I could have sworn that I'd own a Mac computer only when Hell froze over. Or other words to that affect.

My computer died earlier this week. It was a Dell laptop. I'd probably killed it considering how much I made it do and the fact that I used it probably a good 8 to 12 hours a day or longer. It was old anyway. Probably four years old. I think that's long in computer years, isn't it? Isn't the life expectancy of a computer decrease significantly the moment you remove it from the store and then the day the warranty expires it goes on life support?

So, four years of good service. Not bad for the little laptop that I used as my desktop. Oh, let me tell you how it died. It wasn't anything dramatic or spectacular like sparks or flying pixels. I hadn't rebooted it in a while and I wanted to use my scanner so I thought I'd reboot and clear the memory cache before I started scanning my bills. I closed all the files and applications I had open. Then I clicked on the Shut Down button.

It shut down.

I waited. Giving it some time to rest. The poor thing needed it. Then pressed the Power button.

The computer whirred, the DVD drive spun, then stopped.


I waited. I waited some more. Then I pushed the Power button again. The computer whirred, the DVD drive spun, then stopped.


You'd think by now I'd be freaking out. Amazingly, I was calm. I don't know why. My freakin' computer wouldn't start and I didn't have a recent back up. (I know, I know. 40 lashes with a wet noodle. My most recent back up was July 2007) Although, to be fair, all of my important documents were stored on an external drive.

I didn't even call my husband and cry over the telephone.

I got up from my desk chair. Turned off my office light. Took my parrot and dog with me and we watched Grey's Anatomy episodes I'd recorded until my husband came home from work. When he came home, I let him get relaxed and situated before I said, "oh, by the way, I think my computer died today."

Me. Calm. I have a panic attack at the drop of a hat and here I am calmly telling my husband my computer died. His solution? It's time for a Mac.

Now, my husband and I have come from a long life of using PC's. DOS was the language of choice and we only reluctantly accepted Windows when it was introduced by Microsoft. Although, as a programmer, he was pretty hooked on UNIX too. But, for desktops and laptops, we went with PC's. For years. Decades. When Mac arrived on the world's doorstep, we scoffed and scorned its simpleton ways. Only people who didn't know how to use a computer would use a Mac, we taunted. With a Mac, now anyone could use a computer, we said disdainfully.

I admit it. We were PC snobs.

Then, suddenly, this year, my husband starts making noises about wanting a Mac. I look at him as if he just grew a horn from the center of his forehead. I have to admit, most of what he told me about them went in one ear and out the other. A temporary phase, I told myself. He'll come to his senses.

But, he didn't.

One day, he came home with a Mac laptop. I mean, he brought it right in our house! And, it stayed. He actually installed programs and copied over files from his old laptop. He was serious. The more he used it the more he loved it and sang its praises. For my husband to love a Mac meant one thing. Apple had improved their operating system and the way they ran programs. No longer just a box with a silhouette of an apple on it, but it had power and performance too. My husband, the die-hard PC programmer, was convinced. Then, he uttered those dreadful words, "We should get you a Mac, too."

I resisted. I balked. I argued. For every reason I gave for not wanting one, he would answer with two or three reasons why a Mac was better. There were Mac versions of the software I needed. If there weren't, Mac could run Windows in parallel. The darn guy started to convince me. Was I betraying my PC brethren?

So, here I am. Using a Mac. After my laptop died.

Hey, do you think my husband had anything to do with...? Nah.

I'm not hating my new Mac. The transition was painless, actually. So, I click a red button on the left instead of an X on the right to close a window. It still closes. My e-mail works. My Internet works. I can open my Word documents. I can even update my website like I did before, using the same software. So, I've mellowed in my old age. Aren't we supposed to try new things? Well, here I am, a baby boomer, trying new things.

Oh, right. The scanning. That's what started all this in the first place, wasn't it? Well, I must admit, I haven't tried it yet. Maybe next week.