Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ever Have One of Those Mornings?

I did. Today. It started with my restless sleeping as Hayes decided he must sleep in the bed with me when daddy's gone. Seemed like a sweet thing at 9:30 last night -- around 1 a.m. it's just annoying. And then, at 2:30 a.m. I hear the dog retching. Yup, she is throwing up. Thank God it's on the carpet and not in the bed. 

I get up to see if I can help her, and I realize it's the Easter chocolate - and the foils - from about a dozen mini Reese's Cups. Great. Exactly what I was NOT wanting to see. (In case you are unaware, chocolate is toxic to dogs and can be lethal in large doses.) I call the after-hours vet hot line and speak to Liz. She is not concerned. Apparently milk chocolate is better than dark (how can it be possible?) and the fact that there was peanut butter as part of the treat seems helpful as well. She says we can expect some vomiting and diarrhea over the next few days. Nice. I go back to bed. Jezzy comes with me. I say a short and direct prayer about doing anything so long as she doesn't "pass" the chocolate in the bed. I am sure God has heard me.

Hayes wakes me up at 5:30 - the bed is wet. So are his boxers. Really? This hasn't happened for ages. Yup, really. Ok, strip the bed; strip the kid; wash the kid; redress the kid; put kid in his own bed (where I am now convinced he should have been all night anyway); throw the bed clothes in the laundry; redress the bed; get under the covers only to hear the alarm go off -- I have to work today. Where's Richard, you ask? He's in Orlando. He'll be back Thursday afternoon. Most of the chocolate should have "moved through" Jezzy's system by then.

I'm tired. I think I'll go to bed. Alone.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

John O'Donohue

I have never really heard or read much about the Celtic tradition of faith, and honestly this man doesn't exactly promote it. But poet and author John O'Donohue is what I think of as a modern day mystic and for that, I like to think of him as Celtic. He is after all a native Irish man. 

I ran across him listening to the Speaking of Faith podcast. It's an NPR show that airs here on Sunday mornings. The podcast is entitled "The Inner Landscape of Beauty." I think I have listened to it now 5 times. It is the sort of thing that I just can't get enough of. A conversation about a faith integrated with a longing for beauty and an intense relationship to God and a friends. I highly recommend downloading it.

 Although he passed away this January, his newest book of blessings has just been released. It is To Bless the Space Between Us: A book of Blessings. I've purchased it and his beautifully entitled book Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom. Anam Cara means Soul Friend. You can see why I was immediately attracted to it.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Drama, Drama, Drama

So remember way back when I posted about how much I loved my mac? Well, to quote one of my favorite kids, "ALL DONE!" I mean really, I am all done with this MacBook Pro. And thank God Apple is doing something about it.

Around November, my 'puter started having some issues. Mainly, it would shut down in the middle of working in a file. At first it was annoying. And by the end of December it was outright maddening. So when I took it to the Genius Bar, they informed me that it would have to go to the Mac Dr. in Texas to be fixed. Oh God, this means I'll have to be without a computer for 7-10 days! But the Genius-on-duty says to me not to worry. If I wait until February, all the college kids will have their repairs done (which they apparently do en mass over Xmas break) and it should be a much faster turn around time.

So I wait. And while I am waiting for February to roll around, the problem continues to escalate. Now I can't even send e-mail and surf the net without a random shut down. No warning either. Nice. When the time finally comes for me to ship off my computer, the first repairs don't go as well as planned. Lo, and behold, the logic board needs to be replaced. Thank heaven I purchased the Apple Care program! So 14 days later -- yes, that's 14 days without my computer -- I finally get it back. I am so overjoyed that I begin to design right away and what should happen? You already know. It shut down on me again.

Back to the not-so-aptly-named Genius Bar we go. This time they seem to think I need more RAM. After all, I am running Photoshop Element and I could use a gig more. So I purchase it. But of course they don't have it in the store. So I wait another 4 days for it to arrive. I put it in my Mac immediately. I am amazed at what speed my Adobe software can process! Perhaps it is really fixed! Perhaps this was the answer and I can move on with ---- nope. It shut down again.

I call the Apple Store and ask to speak with a "Genius" again. Now I am mad. It takes me a long time to get there. They assure me that if I come in to the "Genius Bar" they will be able to help me. So once again, we trip over to the Apple Store. This, by the way, is a half-hour drive. The young man who helps me looks over the crash reports and asks, "Can we keep this for a while?" and I ask if he means a couple of hours (oh, so hopefully). He says, "Like maybe 4 or 5 days." And that's when it happened. I knew it would. That's why I asked Richard to come with me. I started to cry. And Justin, the Genius that he is, went and got his manager.

The manager was unable to help us. He kept insisting that all he could do was send it back to Texas and see that the repairs were "expedited." I couldn't talk, as I was still crying. In fact, as Richard was raising his voice and I was crying the look in this young guys eyes just kept saying, "I hope they leave soon." He did tell us that we could call the Apple Care line and ask for a customer service rep. This is exactly what we did, from the parking lot of the Apple Store. I was a mess; Richard was a knight in shining armor. 

After a very long talk with "the Apple Goddess," I will be getting a brand new MacBook Pro. Finally, a person with a heart, a person who understood all my angst, a person, a real live person. And some resolution. I can only say I hope that in a couple of weeks this is all behind me and I am designing up a storm. I hope to open my Mon Ami Designs Shoppe on-line in a month. Let's all keep our fingers crossed, shall we?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Webkinz Fun

My nieces introduced me to the world of webkinz. I love it! I know it's not exactly geared toward me, but I confess, I love to play. I decorate virtual rooms, collect virtual charms, earn virtual cash, and search for virtual gems. And I have a little naming theme going on: I name my webkinz after movie characters. It's not as easy as it may first appear. I have to first decide if I have a boy or a girl; then I have to choose a name that suits the little creature. I try to name them after characters in my favorite movies. This of course begs the question, what are my favorite movies? I consider favorite to be a movie I could watch over and over and still enjoy each time.

I would say these are the top 10 movies of all time for me:

1. The Birdcage
2. The Usual Suspects
3. Somethings Gotta Give
4. The American President
5. The Princess Bride
6. Enemy of the State
7. The Fugitive (with Harrison Ford)
8. The Thomas Crown Affair (with Renee Russo)
9. When Harry Met Sally
10. Amelie

I feel there should be an entirely different list for Holiday films. Mine would have to include:

1. It's a Wonderful Life
2. The Family Stone
3. The Gathering (ok, it's a made for TV movie - still counts)
4. Holiday Inn
5. Love Actually
6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
7. A Charlie Brown Christmas

So I have a new duck and I just can't decide what to name him/her. I already have:

a little frog named Mimsy,
a googles named Starina,
a chiuaua named Lt. Dan, and
a clydesdale named George Bailey.

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Back On Line!

After a LONG 2 1/2 weeks without my MacBook Pro, I am finally back on line! It feels like I can return to the land of the living once more. I may still have to address a RAM issue, but this seems like small potatoes compared to a logic board and LCD screen. Thank God for warranty protection!

I tried to stay busy without access to a computer. It was much harder than I imagined it would be. But I did have some time to mess around with my new camera and I am very pleased with the results. I had a beginners class to learn about several of the features. I feel so in control of my photos now! I have several "assignments" I want to complete before I take another class. It's awesome to be able to do things at my own pace.

I also started two trays of seeds while I was waiting around (and a tied up about a hundred other loose ends!). These are our veggies. They took off within a week! I am so anxious to get them in the ground!
It felt like spring might actually have arrived this weekend. We were running around without jackets on Sunday. But just like Indiana, we got another cold blast yesterday. Looks like the planting will have to wait another 3 weeks or so, just like the almanac said.