Posted tagged ‘IPad’

“If things are getting easier, maybe you’re headed downhill.”

November 13, 2016

Today is a glorious fall day, sunny and warm. Gracie has been outside most of the morning. She knows a good thing when she sees it. Well, I never did get to that laundry. It is still sitting in front of the cellar door, maybe today, maybe not. I do have to make that dump run as the dump is closed the next two days, and my trunk is filled with trash.

Today I am going to grocery shop from the convenience of my home. My refrigerator is pretty empty. I’m down to having eggs for supper.

When I was in Ghana, the Peace Corps sent us the insert The Week in Review from the Sunday New York Times. I didn’t have a radio to listen to the Voice of America and the Ghanaian papers had mostly local news so that insert was the only current news I ever got about the United States. I did get the whole New York Sunday Times as a gift but the issues came months later in groups of four or five. Usually, I didn’t read the news but devoured the rest of the paper. Though so much was happening at home, I was disconnected. My life revolved around Ghana: teaching my classes, shopping in the market, greeting people and continuing to learn Hausa, traveling on vacations and developing friendships with Ghanaians and my fellow volunteers. The United States was just too far away.

On this last trip to Ghana, I did check the news each morning on my iPad. I kept track of the election but little else. That feeling of disconnection returned, and I didn’t mind. I was back to being involved with Ghana: with the heat, with my former students, with my favorite Ghanaian foods, with my bathroom runs (sort of a pun) and with my friends. I was glad for the respite.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

September 4, 2014

School started here today. I heard the kids walking to the bus stop at the end of the street. Two parents with coffee in hands were with them. At about nine the five boys finally boarded the bus but not before they’d hung off a tree branch, climbed another tree and chased each other. Right now the summer rental next door is having its weeds mowed, and I can hear the clicking when the mower hits rocks. It hasn’t been a quiet morning.

At the housewarming party friends threw for me when I bought this house in 1977 one of the gifts was an iron. I’d do my wash, hang up everything which needed to be ironed on a line downstairs, and when I had a enough clothes, I’d set up the ironing board, watch TV and iron my clothes. I’d do that every couple of weeks. I still have that iron, and it looks as good as new. I can’t even remember the last time I used it. When my nephew started school in the mid-1980’s, he was given a test of reading readiness. The only thing on any part of the test he couldn’t identify was an iron. I only one person who still irons, and he is mystified that I don’t. My clothes have that right out of the dryer look, but they’re never wrinkled enough for ironing except for a couple of linen shirts which I do wash but bring to the cleaners for ironing. My iron can now be described as vintage 1970’s.

When I went to Ghana, I didn’t bring any music, but my mother sent me a cassette recorder and some of my tapes. The recorder was that rectangular one we all had. My camera was an Instamatic. Pop in the film and take your pictures. My mother had to send slide film to me as Ghana had no film at all for the camera, not even film for stills. I had to send the finished films to my mother to be developed. When my house was broken into, the thief left the camera.

I have some albums which I first bought on vinyl, then cassette, then CD’s and now I upload new ones or ones I don’t have from iTunes and similar sites. I can’t remember the last cookbook I bought, and I used to collect cookbooks. The only ones I’d buy now are those based on novels or authors to add to my collection.

I have a CD player, a multi-zone DVD player, an HD TV, which was the first in the neighborhood, an iPad, an iPod, and an iPhone. The phone needs to be upgraded but I don’t really care. It does enough for me. I know there is blue-tooth to replace my DVD player so I’m behind a generation, but I don’t care about that either.

I use to be filled with wonder at all the changes my grandmother had seen in her lifetime: from the beginning of air flight to the trip to the moon being the most amazing. I have grown up and gotten older in a world where change is a constant. Think about it. It is now so commonplace we seldom even notice.

“…I have to go home and get a few things done. If I don’t get out the Pledge soon, the dust bunnies are going to be leaving tracks on my furniture…”

January 15, 2013

When I went to get the papers, I notice green shoots, probably dafs as they are usually the first. I wanted to yell and tell them to stay down as winter still has the stage. I suspect they have been fooled by all these days in the 40’s, like today. Even the nights have been warm.

No sun again. It is a damp, grey day, the sort where there must have been fog over the river early this morning, but I slept in even though I had set my alarm. I had a couple of mice get trapped last night. They each made so much noise I got up and went outside to let them go. No car this time. I just walked a bit down the street and freed each from the trap. It was a good thing I did as I found a package on my front steps. It was raining then so by morning the package would have been soaked. I was home all day so I have no idea why the package was left outside.

I have been busy of late cleaning weird places in the house, like the fridge, and last night I cleaned my bookcase, the travel route for the bedroom mice. I was tired so I went upstairs around ten and that’s when I noticed the bookcase near my bed was dusty, a Miss Haversham type dust. It’s only a two-shelf bookcase so I figured why not. I’m a near-sighted fool sometimes. Besides books, there are old Barkley lead figures on the shelves, and they were so dust-covered it was difficult to see their colors. I got on the floor, took them all off, cleaned the shelves then cleaned each of the figures. When that bookcase was done, I went to the big one, the one which is the length of the side wall and has four shelves all the way across. On the top shelf, I found the mouse route. I cleaned that shelf first then cleaned everything: the other shelves, all the old toys on them, the banks, the framed pictures and the other stuff I somehow collected over time. When I finished, it was close to 11:30, so much for an early night. I got cozy, grabbed my iPad and started reading when to my surprise a mouse strayed into the trap. I got up, Fern got up and Gracie got up. The three of us went downstairs. I went outside and freed the mouse. The three of us went back upstairs, got cozy in our usual spots, and I read for a while then turned out the light and fell asleep. At 1:15 I heard a racket. It was an unhappy mouse caught in the trap. I got up, grabbed the trap and went downstairs. This time I was alone. Fern and Gracie stayed in bed. It was still raining when I went outside to free the mouse in about the same spot as the first. I’m hoping he finds his friend and the both of them take up residence at someone else’s house. I’d even throw a housewarming party.

Two house finches were at my feeders this morning, and the flicker was back. He is such a huge bird especially in comparison to the finches and the chickadees who were also dining at the feeders. It was a busy bird morning.

Gracie and I have a few errands. She’ll be happy. I’m not.

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”

January 4, 2013

The sun is shining, but it is just a ruse to draw me outside where I’ll freeze to death. The day looks a bit hazy as if I need to spin the lens to sharpen the image. The dump was on my agenda, but it will be far too cold as the wind there is like a blast of Arctic air. Gracie loves the dump, but she stays warm in the car wearing her Pendleton blanket coat. My back is a bit iffy today so hauling trash may not be the best idea.

The books have been flying off my iPad shelf. I have been in a reading frenzy. My favorite so far is Mr. Penumbrum’s 24-Hour Bookstore. I’m not quite sure how to describe it. There are books and there is technology, advanced technology of all sorts. One of the characters works for Google; another creates boob simulation software for which there is a huge market. The main character works in the bookstore, and it is he who prompts the action, as such. He finds coded books on the top most shelf, books he wasn’t supposed to read, and then the quest begins to solve the codes. Kat, great name for a character by the way, is the one who works for Google. It is she who buys a New York Times but can’t figure out to operate it. You have to love that line but you bemoan it at the same time. Real books take center stage so to speak in this novel which sort of made reading it on my iPad an oxymoron. I don’t know what prompted me to get this book, but I’m really happy I did.

When I was in Ghana last summer, I read eleven books in three weeks. In the mornings I’d sit on the porch with my coffee and I’d read. At night, I’d lie in bed and read myself to sleep. Even when the electricity went out, I had my iPad and all the light I needed. When I was a volunteer there, I read at every opportunity, much the same as I did last summer. Without the distraction of a TV, reading and listening to music are the best ways to spend time. That was about the only thing that didn’t change over the forty years in between visits.

“Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June.”

June 24, 2012

I should be outside wabbling “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” as today is perfect. The humidity is gone, the sun is shining and it is only 72°. Last night the sky darkened and winds blew from the north so I expected a tremendous storm. We got one for about five minutes. The huge drops pounded the deck, and I was hoping for thunder and lightning. I’m still hoping. The storm was a bust.

I declare today a deck day. I’ll haul out my iPad and the magazines I got yesterday and sit and enjoy the day. I do have to fill the bird feeders and water the veggies, but those are my only tasks of the day.

My first cherry tomato is ripe. Fireworks are in order!

The roads were filled this morning when I went to breakfast. I found a booth right away in my diner, but within a short time, crowds were waiting outside for seats. The crowd is a sign summer has definitely started here, but, for those of you who are skeptics,  I even have further proof of this change in seasons. As I was going to the diner, the driver in front of me for what seemed like forever put his blinker on four times before he turned. I cursed. The air turned blue. Yup, that’s my summer color!

It’s a short post today as I can see the deck out my window from here in the den. The breeze is ruffling the leaves, the birds are singing and I swear I can hear my name being repeated over and over again.

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”

March 31, 2012

Finally we have some rain! After our snowless winter, they are predicting possible drought conditions this summer so any rain is welcomed. For some reason, though, the rain makes me lazy. In my imminent future I see movies about climatic upheavals and a nap in the darkness of the afternoon. The animals are already asleep.

It’s cold this morning, but I don’t care. The house is warm and cozy. When I was young, this was the sort of day I’d stay in bed and read by the light of the bed lamp hanging off my headboard. It was a quiet time when I could be by myself. I’d follow Nancy and Trixie as they solved cases and feel bad for Heidi looking for her grandfather. One of the joys in life is finding and reading a great book for the first time. Sometimes I’d read the whole book in one sitting hour after hour. I’d close the cover and hold the book for a bit still savoring every word. My mother used to tell me to take my time, but that was never possible. Once a book grabbed me, it didn’t let go until I’d read the last word.

My love of books and reading has never changed over time. When I was younger and backpacking through Europe summer after summer, I’d bring 3 or 4 books. When I’d finish one, I’d carry it until the next stop. Staying in a hostel was the best opportunity to trade, and I found myself trading for and reading books I probably wouldn’t have otherwise read. That was the fun of it.

In the old days, Peace Corps used to give volunteers book lockers, cardboard boxes which opened into small bookcases. They were filled with paperbacks. In mine, left by a previous volunteer, was The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I devoured all four books and would never trade them to any of the volunteers passing through town. I knew I’d go back and read them again. Before I went up-country to live after training, I visited the university bookstore and stocked up with more paperbacks, all of them printed by Penguin Press. They were trade material. My town had a library and most of the books were by British authors. I read Ngaio Marsh, Ruth Rendall and the wonderful Dorothy Sayers for the first time. Such joy!

Despite having and using my iPad, I still cherish the printed word and love holding a book in my hand, and I still sigh when I’ve finished a book I loved.

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

August 22, 2011

The day is beautiful with a cool breeze and no blasted humidity. The pages of the papers waved in the breeze and needed something to hold down them as I sat on the deck to read. I noticed, when I was outside, that the spawns have stripped two feeders of their seeds so I have to pick up some more today. Yesterday I picked up the animals’ food and treats, that would for Miss Gracie and the Misses Fern and Maddie, which means one item on my before I go list is crossed off.

Being engrossed in a book lets time pass without my noticing so I bought a new book yesterday. Maybe a couple of days will go by without my counting the hours. This last week of waiting is killing me. I think I have everything that isn’t clothing all set to go and ready to be packed except for the last minute recharging of my iPad. When I tested the e-mail on it yesterday, it wouldn’t send so I had to reconfigure. It then sent just fine. I doubt I’ll have much chance to use the e-mail as wi-fi is pretty uncommon, but I wanted to be set just in case. You’ll have to check here every three days or so as I do hope to post.

The first time I was ever away from my parents for more than a night or two was when I went to college. Being eighteen and as brash as most eighteen year olds are, leaving was no big deal, but I was secretly reassured as my parents were always just a phone call and a few hours away. I don’t remember when I went home for my first weekend, but I don’t think it was all that soon. What I remember most about that weekend is when I walked into the living room the house seemed strangely different, almost as if I were the guest. Maybe that was the first sign we all have that we are starting to pull away into adulthood, into our own lives. I know as I got older I came home from college less and less, except, of course, for summers.

I figure the pulling away was natural, and we all did it maybe without even realizing why. Later, when I was really far away on my own, I did just fine. It was all that practice during college.

“Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.”

July 26, 2011

The morning has been so wonderfully cool that I slept in far later than usual. Somehow I feel as if I’ve overslept. When I worked and I was late getting up, I could be dressed and out of the house in minutes, coffee and paperless but on my way. Today I lazily got out of bed, brewed my pot of coffee and read both papers. It’s later than usual, and I do have to be at an appointment at 12:45 so I hope my muse is raring to go.

My computer goes shopping or out for coffee or somewhere. I can’t seem to get it to do a couple of tasks at a time. It gets busy and does no task. I sit here frustrated and impatiently waiting so I can get started. Today was like that. While I was waiting, I got to wondering where my computer would go. The Apple store is out as it is a Steve, who is the guy who put it together for me. Maybe I shouldn’t have named my computer. That could be the problem as we all know about Hal. I finally decided after much thought it might window shop at Best Buy or Staples looking for accessories like a new scanner now that the old scanner has gone to hardware heaven. Finally, after I closed Firefox, Steve decided to stop wandering and allowed me access. My iPad too had a glitch. Last night it wouldn’t connect to the internet. I checked all the settings, and they seemed just fine. I tried my Mac later, and it didn’t connect. All the lights on my linksys seem to be working so I am in a quandary. When I have more time, I’ll try and figure out the problem. Right now, I feel as if I have lost a friend.

I can do a lot of different things. I even have some talents, but computer problems make me feel like a country girl visiting the big city for the first time who’s lost on the subway and being crushed by the crowd.

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