Thursday, April 30

New Toy

I got an EyeFi SD card with the capability to upload to MobileMe automatically (others are included, too, like Facebook or Snapfish), and it's GREAT!

I take pictures.

I come home and make sure the iMac is on.

I turn on the camera.

The SD Card uploads the pictures.

If I pay for it, I can get geotagging and uploads remotely from hotspots around the country.  I might do that (the remote uploads) before our trip in July.  

I have to say, it's pretty cool.  

Friday, April 24

Seven Quickies

Thank you, Jen, for hosting again!

  1. I have discovered a painful truth about myself.  I am a ... complainer!  Yikes!  How did I get myself into this habit of finding the negative about my life??  I think I used to be more positive than this!  I'm going to start playing the Glad Game from now on, to help me focus on what's right, not what's wrong.  Instead of complaining that I'm busy, I'm going to thank God for allowing me to work from home to help our family get out of debt faster.  And that I can work at all!  Instead of being upset that my cough gives me a headache by the end of the day, I'm going to be glad that I'm still able to work and care for the girls; then I'll offer it up for some good cause.  Instead of grouching that I don't have time for myself, I'll be glad that I have two beautiful children to smother in love.  I'll remember this last one especially while they are still small ... -ish.  (By the way, you can watch Pollyanna, in full, here.)

  2. I'm going to call my parish today and see if they would mind if I came and did First Communion portraits of Little Girl amongst the Easter flowers that are about our altar.  They are so pretty, and her dress is drycleaned, and I am not working from now until Monday morning.  (Well, not working the phones.  Natch, I'd like clean clothes for next week!)  I think they'll be amenable to the idea.  

  3. Next week is a happy week!  First, Wednesday is my 39th birthday.  I cannot believe that I'm really 39!  Only recently am I starting to feel my age a bit more.  But it's all good, because having knees that ache me sometimes is better than not being able to use them at all.  And being 39 is better than the alternative, you know.  ;)  (See?  Glad Game!)  Also, just after my birthday, Travel Man and I are going to go to the State Convention for the Knights of Columbus!  Hooray!!  I'm so pumped up!  Thank you - a BIG thank you - to our friends who are keeping the girls for us while we go on our jaunt.  We'll be busy the whole time, but I'll have to see if Travel Man sees time in his schedule to visit with a friend of mine who is in Alexandria - not far from where we're going.  Today is her birthday, too, so I want to call her and wish her a happy day.  

  4. Speaking of being alone...

    My parents take their grandkids on "Grandma and Pa Pa Vacations" once a year.  Mom just booked their next one, and Travel Man and I were making plans to go away together for a WHOLE WEEK!  (What shall we do?  I know...probably talk about the girls.)

    Here is Plan A:  We use his frequent flier miles that he's stockpiled from being Travel Man and fly to somewhere in the contiguous States.  I picked California because I've never been, I hear San Diego is GORGEOUS, and I want to visit (not live) there.  

    Here is Plan B: We look at flights online and discover that, despite the fact that he had enough points to fly us on the "cheap low" days a mere six months ago, Delta has upped the price for tickets using frequent flier miles.  From 25,000 each to 42,000 each.  If we fly, we must (a) buy more miles ($$$$$$$$$$$!!), (b) fly early and leave early (or fly late and leave late), which means (c) get hotel rooms on either side of the trip, (d) rent a car... &c.  Instead of flying, we opt to drive somewhere from Orlando, to which we will also drive in (hopefully) the company car.

    Result? Plan B!  Mom and Dad take the kids to Pompano Beach, FL, and Travel Man and I will actually stay in Orlando!  We lived just north of the city for 15 years, but we're determined to do things we haven't done.  That list is surprisingly long.  When you LIVE in a vacation destination, you don't take advantage of all the vacationy things to do there.  So we're compiling a list of Things to Do That Don't Include Theme Parks.

  5. That reminds me of the first time I went back to NJ to visit after I had been living in Florida for a few months.  A friend looked at me and said, "You don't look very tan for living in Florida."  My answer was, "Hey, I live there.  I'm not on vacation.  I have a job, you know.  And school."  

  6. I cannot be specific about this, but I think you might get the idea here (in general).  When I work, I take down (not for personal use, just to log a person's sale!) LOTS of email addresses.  I'm shocked at the professionals who have goofy, petty, or downright bizarre emails.  Some people call to get their education discount (teachers, faculty, staff, and college students get one) - people who are professors - and when I type in their email, I'm just gobsmacked.  (I love that phrase!)  A lot of times, they spell it instead of saying it as words, as if I might not notice what it says or something.  I don't know...maybe they are embarrassed.  In that case, perhaps it would be better to think more carefully when you select an email name or ID on Google or whatever.  Not a lot of people like to change email addresses often, and maybe it's a great joke between you and your friends, but perhaps you might want an email that strangers can use (like shopping, etc.) that isn't so ... odd.  Or offensive to some.  Or so non-professional.  You know?  

    Like I said, I won't be specific (that would violate privacy!), but I have seen some very, very strange emails in the last year.  

  7. Let's have something fun, shall we?  Finish the week off with a laugh! This is in honor of The Bard's birthday (which was yesterday).

Thursday, April 23

'Tis the Day to Speak Thusly

Today is The Bard's birthday, and thus I, instructor and tutor for mine children, have decreed that we shall speak as such all day.  Also, all young ladies must wear appropriate clothing for their fair sex (in other words, frocks and not clothing such as young men would wear).  

We shall also celebrate by reading Shakespeare in the park, methinks.  Perhaps reciting "The Comedy of Errors" would give us great pleasure.


Here, see what fun you can have?

Wednesday, April 22

Friday, April 17

Seven Quickies

Thanks, as always, to Jen for hosting!

  1. It's been a LONG year.  I have passed my one-year anniversary since I started working with Apple.  I'm tired.  I miss being just the homeschool Mommy and Wifey-Poo to Travel Man.  But it's been worth it for the benefits we've received.  Our financial peace is nearly established, and it feels good.  I'm only slightly phased that we might need to replace Travel Man's company car with a private one.  (It means my kitchen fixer won't happen, but that's okay, too.  It's not like the kitchen isn't functional; it's just not the best for storage.)

  2. I missed the last co-op meeting.  I was working in the morning - 7:30 to 9:00 - and then not scheduled to work again until 2:00.  Co-op is usually over between 12:30 and 1:00, so plenty of time to get back.  I wound up talking to someone from 8:40 until 12:05.  I kid you not!  She *did* buy two computers and a boatload of software, but we missed co-op completely.  By the time we would have gotten across town, we would have had to wave hello-goodbye and leave again.  The girls were quite bummed out.

  3. Jen's talked recently about spiritual dryness, and I'm all over it, too.  I'm trying to push myself to reach for God even when I don't "feel like it."  I'm not a child, you know, so I really can't use that as an excuse.  It is certainly easier on the face of things to just go along blithely and ignore my prayer and spiritual life, but it's not really easier.  It makes my life harder to ignore my soul, and it makes the days feel quite empty.  I'm glad I can look to the saints for guidance in this area.  I'm so glad to be Catholic!

  4. The girls were watching TV with Travel Man one day and found a new show: "Phineas and Ferb."  I was trepidatious (yes, I use that word frequently), but I finally sat and watched a couple of shows.  It. Is. Hysterical!  The show is based around two brainy brothers and their older sister.  It all takes place during Summer vacation, and the sister is asked to babysit her brothers while her mother runs some errand for a couple of hours.  The brothers build amazing contraptions and have adventures while their sister freaks out and calls their mother, but she can't seem to bust them for their activities.  Oh, and they have a pet platypus that is a secret agent/spy.  Yes, it's insane.  And there's always music!

    I've found that with some shows for kids, it takes a particular episode for me to fall for it.  For "Spongebob Squarepants," it was when he cheated on his boating test by planting a radio in his head so Patrick could give him directions.  For "Phineas and Ferb," it was this clip, which had me rolling with laughter.  (The quality isn't that good, but you get the idea.)

  5. Yesterday was the Holy Father's birthday, and Sunday is the fourth anniversary of his election to the Chair of Peter.  It's hard to believe it's been that long!  I have to say this: when John Paul II died, I wasn't sure I'd love any pope as much as him.  I was, after all, only eight when John Paul was elected.  I didn't really remember any other pope (though I do remember being confused that John Paul I had died so soon).  But I absolutely love Benedict XVI.  We are so blessed to have him to guide us.  (And he's there to guide all of mankind to Heaven - not just Catholics.  He loves each and every person in the world and wants all of us to go to Heaven.)

  6. Travel Man's company took over his cell phone, and because he was worried about restrictions, we took the opportunity to jump ship from Sprint to AT&T.  And my new phone is VERY cool, though it's not an iPhone.  (That'll be my next one - two years.)  But I can text and go online and even do a blog post from it.  It's a neat little toy, I tell ya'.  And if you think I'm happy about this phone (Samsung Propel), just wait'll I get my iPhone.  Oh, baby!

  7. Big Girl starts soccer tonight - provided she's not too sick.  First game with the "big kids" on the 9-12 team.  Up until now, it's been all 6-8 year olds, with the exception that girls are allowed to stay through their ninth year there.  (Every age group is set that way, since boys get bigger and the girls are at a physical disadvantage.  Big Girl will play on the 9-12 team until she is about to turn 14.)  She's discovered that soccer is actually hard, that coaches on the older teams make you RUN (a lot!), and that there are terms and position names that she is completely clueless about.  She has been discouraged over this dramatic change, so if you could say a little prayer for her, it would help her a lot.  I think she'll be fine by season's end, but in the meantime, she is definitely struggling to re-learn and move up from the bottom of the totem pole.

Wednesday, April 15

Those are Some Powerful Stickers!

Gosh, if only they'd thought of this sooner!  Who knew that special stickers would prevent teenagers from driving wrecklessly?  (And is it really "wrecklessly" if they are, in fact, having wrecks?  Wouldn't that really be "wreckfully?")

Anyway, the headline from Fox News is:

N.J. Tags New Drivers With License Plate Decals


Officials say New Jersey has become the first state to require new drivers to display identifying decals on their vehicles in an attempt to curb teen driving death

Blustery Day

I couldn't resist doing two Wordless Wednesday entries today.  I really love the way the pictures came out this day.  The sky was so dark in color, and yet it was bright outside.  And the bright colors of the kites and the girls' clothes offset that sky so brilliantly!  I love Spring!

2.5 Dozen Minus 1

Friday, April 3

Pro-Life in the House (Updated with Forgotten Links)

Though the show occasionally makes me want to pull my hair out, Travel Man and I really enjoy watching "House."  I think it's a vicarious thing: he says whatever comes to mind without care if it bothers anyone else.  Sometimes you just wish you could say stuff, but social contracts (and manners) tell us "no."  

He's really a sad case, Dr. Gregory House, but it's an interesting show.  A bit predictable, but what do you want?  It's television.  

This past week, we watched what was probably the MOST pro-life show we've ever seen - from anyone.  And I'm not even sure if the writers intended it to be that way.  

This post will contain spoilers, so if you've got "House" stored up on the DVR, then skip this one and come back when you've watched it.

You've been warned.  

Go away now if you don't want to see the entire plot.

Last chance!

Okay, here we go.

The show opens in the patient's perspective.  Doctors and nurses appear, blurry, slightly out-of-focus, mumbling.  Everything goes dark, then it all comes back in a slightly different setting.  Still mumbling, not clear.  Finally, we see a doctor who says, "He'll make a good heart donor."

The focus becomes sharper as we hear a voice cry out, "No!  I'm not dead!  I'm right here! Listen to me!  Listen!  I'm not dead!"  Yet the doctors cannot hear.  

Dr. House comes in from the side, and tells the doctor that he doesn't think the patient is brain dead, despite the incredibly low brainwaves that typically denote a lack of cerebral function.  However, House isn't AT his hospital.  He's a patient in the ER there.  And this doctor is not interested in his opinions.  House insists that the patient is in there somewhere.  "If he's brain dead, how come his eyes are following you?"

So far, we have nothing but the patient's perspective, and, quite frankly, it's a bit scary.  He's in there, trying to communicate, agreeing with House, begging for a reprieve from his death sentence.  

His wife is brought in, and she's tearful.  House appears again, in a hospital gown, and tells her (not that anyone asked him) that her husband is NOT brain dead.  He's in there, but has "locked in syndrome," which is preventing him from speaking to them.  The patient thinks/says, "I like him.  Make him my doctor!"  She looks at her husband with doubt, and House insists.  He asks a question, tells him to blink once for yes, twice for no.  When the patient responds, we know he's in there, and we know he'll be in the care of Dr. House soon.

Throughout the show, House is compelled to find a way to save this man, restore his communication abilities, and give him back to his family.  The man sees this as a gift from God, but House sees it as interesting (and nothing more).  House is accidentally doing the right thing.

All throughout the show, we are put again and again in the patient's body, thinking thoughts of love and desperation to family, begging doctors for help, crying out in pain.  None of it is heard at all.  When his children come to visit (after he blinks twice for no so his wife doesn't bring them to see him this way), he realizes that his wife is afraid he will die and has brought the children to see him "one last time."  Another doctor hurries the family out, then leans down and says, "You were crying..."  Your heart just breaks for this man, trapped inside of himself.

House works like mad to save him and release him from the prison that is his body, and finally does it.  But, as I said before, House's motivation is to break the code, solve a puzzle.  To him, the patient is a puzzle, not a human being.  But the man knows better.  "God sent you," he says to House at the end.  

The idea here, the whole thing, was so amazingly pro-life that we saved the episode to watch again.  With all the talk of "quality of life" and "brain death" and whether or not organ donors are really and truly gone when their organs are harvested, this episode was very, very timely.  We were forced into the situation, forced to think about what it might be like to be that person that doctors said was beyond hope, beyond recovery.  But, as the Anchoress is fond of saying, doctors don't know everything.  And they are sometimes wrong.  There are many people out there who prove this every day.  And many people whose lives, on paper, look like they'd be frightening and unfulfilling and pointless, but are not.

Locked-In Syndrome is real, too.

One more amazing thing here.  This episode was aired on Monday, March 30, the day before the fourth anniversary of the murder of Terri Schaivo, who was not ill, did respond to her parents and family, and was heartlessly dehydrated to death over a painful, two-week-long process.  

What might her thoughts on the situation have been?

Who are your heros?


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