Friday, September 30, 2016

Deeper Things - Things That Have Touched My Heart Recently

Are we sure it's Friday? This week has been so confusing. Austin being off on Wednesday and working on Thursday - having Cosette on Wednesday instead of Thursday - just has made for a weird week. The thing is... what happens in my day doesn't change much from day to day. The only perceptible changes are what other people are doing... like Pop going to church on Sunday and Wednesday and playing golf on Thursday. And Tuesday. And other days when he can. When they do things on the wrong day I don't know what day it is!

My mom has her first injection today. This is what will slow the spread of the cancer. It's very expensive and insurance won't pay all of it. So that will be fun. Good job, Obamacare, we're all living better lives. *eyeroll* I don't know what kind of side effects are expected with the injections so we'll just see what happens. The good news is we have practically nothing on the schedule for the weekend. That I know of. And I don't always know. I'll share more about the injections she's having in a later blog post for those who are interested.

So...  I have a little doggie tucked up beside me. The house is quiet. My hips are killing me. The weather is perfect. I actually wouldn't mind if it was colder. Leaves are just beginning to show some color. It's OCTOBER TOMORROW! How did that happen?

I thought this one be a good day to go a little deeper in my blog and talk about some things on more than just a surface level. Between the exhausting emotion of the custody case this past Summer, my mom's illness, dealing with my own limitations and the political environment I've been just glossing over stuff because to feel anything for too long would just leave me too raw and vulnerable. I didn't want to feel all the feels... as they say.

Then there was this Facebook post last week that stopped me in my tracks. It was written by one of Cody's friends from school and baseball, a guy he grew up with who was another one of my kids... and Cody was definitely one of this guy's mama's babies... they flew him to Detroit for visitation with the friend's dad one Summer... they had him over for spend the nights that turned into spend the weekends. They were brothers. He was part of Cody's "Village" that raised him - a United Nations looking village that contained people of all different skin tones - and all these kids and their parents hold a special place in my heart. I don't consider myself racist in the least bit... I have dated people of various races,  my nephews are mixed, my daughter-in-law is Mexican so my beautiful little Oliver has Mexican American heritage. I feel like I'm "race-adjacent" in the same way I'm "gay-adjacent" by having many gay friends in my life over the years.

Long intro... I'll get to the point. Cody's friend is African-American, highly intelligent, the friendliest guy you'd ever meet, always smiling and happy, unlimited energy, well-educated and well-spoken - he's just the kind of man that any mom would be proud of. I definitely am. I mean... he's well-connected to the point the he's met Obama... and John McCain... and I don't even know who all else. He very sincerely plans to be the 50th President of the United States. This is a kid - not really a kid anymore - with ambition and drive and determination. But last week he posted on Facebook about feeling anxious whenever a cop gets behind him. I would love to share the direct quote but I've messaged him for permission and haven't heard back yet. Then in response a white friend of his (not Cody, trust me!) made it out like as long as he wasn't doing drugs and followed every single command that he was fine. I'm just not so sure that's true any more. I think the anti-cop / cops vs. black men rhetoric has escalated to the point that things are happening that didn't happen before. Or if they did... I didn't know about it. And there's a lot I don't know.

The thing is... his comment made it so much more real to me. It made me realize that being "race-adjacent" and "not racist" as I would describe myself, doesn't mean that I necessarily understand what it is to be in his shoes. This young man that I have watched grow up. who doesn't have an ounce of "thug" in him, who probably is the most well-mannered child Cody ever hung out with... he is afraid of the people who should be making him feel safe. That just broke my Mama Heart and made me want to hug and him and - make it all better some how. He's not a cop hater. His step-father was a cop. I'm sure he has never done anything the least bit out of line but still this young man feels fear. Honestly, it made me cry. And although I could go case by case of the various cop vs. black slayings and say - "but this guy was breaking the law..."  or "more white people are killed than black" and... "black on black crime"... yeah, I know all of that.  We all know the validations and excuses. The truth of the matter is I've been pulled over five times in my life. All five times for speeding. All five times I was relaxed and casual and respectful, of course. I felt annoyed. Stressed that I might face a speeding fine. I felt embarrassed but the thing I didn't feel was fear. I went away from each encounter with just a warning and I can't help but wonder if that's because I'm an overweight middle aged white woman. And I can't imagine living in a world where I had to feel fear whenever I got behind the wheel.

That was the day I stopped trying to justify it all and just allowed myself to absorb what it might be like to be someone other than me. That's the day I decided to just let people feel what they feel without being defensive. Not saying that the rioting and all that is right... just saying that we sometimes have to admit we don't know what it's like to be someone other than ourselves.

All that being said. Being me is a struggle of it's own. I'm single in a world where things come in twos. I'm unable to do a lot of things people just take for granted. I feel (at times) very isolated... and other times really glad to be insulated against the world. I can't be who I want to be... go where I want to go... do what I want to do... because I have a body that doesn't work like it's supposed to. I'm not feeling sorry for myself... I'm just saying, from a deeper perspective, it's frustrating. I rely heavily on my parents for... everything... and there's a lot of "what happens in the future" type fear for me, exacerbated, of course, by my mom's illness. There is so much already that I can't do - that might surprise  you to know I can't do - that makes me really nervous about what ten years or twenty years on might look like.

I'm not good at handling change. Austin's work stuff has been eating at me. I just want to take that manager who is harassing him by the neck and say, "DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD I'VE WORKED TO GET HIM TO THIS POINT?" and you're screwing it all up by being a d*ck. This guy is known around town to be a lousy boss, a bully, a bit of a perv... you say his name and people wince. But the corporation he works for lets him get away with it and I wonder how many young peoples' aspirations he's destroyed. I've worked for some unfair employers over the years but this guy... he's punishing Austin in part because the store didn't schedule a person to work the Seafood department on Sunday so (since Austin knew how to run Seafood) they sent him home early on Saturday and pulled him completely off his job on Sunday and then told him on Monday "you're not paid to think, just do what I say" when Austin knew there were things that had to be done... and then when they weren't done on Tuesday when he was off... he got switched to bagger. (that's the short veresion, there's a lot more to it, of course) It's so incredibly insulting and this Grizzly Bear Mama who has fought for this kid from age two when I realized something was a little different with him... this Mama is ready to knock heads together.

EXCEPT. I know...what taught me to handle these situations was living through these situations. I know that my kid has a beautiful safety net spread beneath him. He will not starve or be evicted or have his car repossessed or have his power cut off or any of those things that I had to face as consequences for employers who didn't play fair. Lightning forced me to move to a cheaper apartment because I was too comfortable/afraid/unaware that I could have a nicer place for less money. It took lightning for me to look around and find something else. Facing a jerk of a boss who does things that are completely unfair may move my kid into the place where he's supposed to be so I'll complain here, with you guys, among friends and family and not take my picket sign to march in front of the place Austin works. I mean, I wouldn't stop you guys from doing it... but in the meantime I'm just trying to keep him covered in prayer every day, in a way that I haven't been as faithful to do as I should.

AND...

Politics. Can this just be over already? We are at the stage in the election process where nobody is changing their minds and all the pomp and circumstance and constant news coverage does nothing but rile people up or increase their blood pressure. Hillary is a champion of women's rights... unless they're someone her husband has slept with or unless they're still in the womb... She has more political knowledge except... she knew enough to leave those guys to die in Benghazi. She knew enough to know she needed to cover her a$$ and blame it on a video. The Arab Spring took place under her watch and she did nothing diplomatically to shore up that very shaky part of the world, leaving room for ISIS to grow and begin to rape, torture and kill so very many people. How many people have died because she didn't do what she should have done? Don't even get me started on emails and pay for play and all the things she's done that make her just a very crooked, bad, not-worthy-of being president person. Beyond that, I think she's hiding an illness but I don't want to go too far down that rabbit hole because it gets crazy really quickly.

Meanwhile. What would Trump say about my grandson? Or my daughter-in-law? Or her precious family who have been so wonderful to my son? Trump is crass, rude, uncivilized, out of control. Can we trust him not to push the button and start World War Three, assuming you don't think it's already started (and you could almost argue that it has) and... that Libertarian guy can't name a single world leader and doesn't know where Aleppo is. All we can do is pray, y'all. It's a crazy world.

I guess I've dug deep enough for today. I am so grateful for my life, for all of these bonus years. We sort of breezed right past the anniversary of the day that it almost ended for me... it's been 8 years now! Can you believe it? All of the amazing things that have happened in my life over the past 8 years... great meals, warm hugs, pride in watching my kids grow and become great partners and fathers, being able to be here with my parents and be an "only child" for a season of life, learning to love dogs, having a kitty cat for a best friend, learning another language, watching so much great stuff on tv, being able to live in a place as beautiful as this, having a time of life where I can breathe, relax, reflect... and of course, best of all... being able to be a Nana to two precious little angels... despite the struggles and uncertainties in life, I am so glad to be here for these bonus years!

If you've made it all the way through... thanks for sticking with me today. Thanks for the role you all play in my life and for caring about what I have to say. Hope your weekend is amazing and that when you scratch beneath the surface of your life that you'll find the same kind of rewards that I find and not just fleas! (sorry... sitting with a dog... who doesn't have fleas but ... never mind). Happy Weekend! Love and hugs!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

My Day

I woke up this morning. I don't know what time.
I went potty.
Brushed my hair. It may not look like it but I start everyday with a freshly messy bun.
Took my meds.
Made a hot chai tea.
Started working on my Italian lessons / surfed the internet to catch up on life.
Austin stomped down in a rage because his entire schedule was clear on his work internet - meaning they had taken him off the schedule for the entire pay period. Was this an error? Was this a misunderstanding?
He made several phone calls and never connected with someone who could give him an answer.
Austin mentioned he was out of cigarettes. Son under stress without cigarettes? Buying cigarettes jumps to the top of the to-do list.
I pulled on some crocs (making my SIL cringe) with my pj pants that I had slept in. (Since we were out and about with Cosy-roo yesterday I was a bit sweaty so instead of sleeping in what I had lounged in all day, I changed to a different lounging outfit after we took her home).
We drove to Leaf Grocery (a gas station/restaurant/small grocery store that is the closest place to us to purchase essentials).
We discussed options and potential career changes.
Worst case scenario discussion.
Typical Mom Pep Rally.
We got home.
I resumed Italian lessons/net surfing.
More noisy feet came clomping down the stairs.
Austin made a few more calls.
He was on the schedule. Not in the department where he usually works so... still an issue there but at least he's still employed.
He got dressed.
I put back on the crocs.
I took him to work.
Since he was having a bit of a stressful day I offered to buy him a Starbucks.
We went in the store.
Ordered a PSL for me and ... whatever it is he drinks for him.
Bought a slice of apple pound cake.
Chatted with co-worker of Austin's who described the inadequacy of the person doing Austin's job.
I don't wish for anyone to fail but ... the worse she does, the better it shows Austin was doing.
Replacement is still unloading truck that Austin would have unloaded in a few hours the day before. She had worked on it a full day and was still going. *shakes head*
Left Austin.
Came home.
Finished Italian lesson.
Started watching coverage on train wreck in NJ since I AM... genealogically speaking... about 3/4 New Jersian/New Jersy-ite?
Reheated leftover Papa Johns Pan Pizza from last night. Very excellent pizza, if you ask me.
Made a big glass of peach ice tea even though I hadn't finished my pumpkin spice latte.
Seasons overlap.
Brother called needing a ride to pick up his car that had work done.
Briefly consider his standing in the community and decide I should change out of pajamas.
Drive to Bubba's house and pick him up.
Drive him to the repair shop which is LITERALLY across the street from our neighborhood.
Drive home.
Get deeply involved in marathon of Disney Emoji game which adds emojis to my phone.
Type blog post.
Decide to leave it for a little while to get further in the day.
It is currently 1:41pm.
I got a call from the dentists' office asking if I was reschedule some more dental work. *gulp*. Yes.
Scheduled dental appointment and entered it in my phone.
More news watching.
More Disney Emoji Blitz playing.
I spray painted my empty containers of Talenti Gelato with black chalk paint. My idea is for them to either be little cannisters OR to hold small gifts. I'll post a picture when they're finished.
I watched (am watching) my usual daily vlogs on You Tube.
Then I worked on my Italian lessons. I write the words and meanings down in a notebook to refer back to. That's the part I worked on today.
More Disney Emoji Blitz.
Another coat of spray paint.
Checked Facebook and Gmail.
Responded in great detail to the inquiries about my family tree, specifically my grandmother's paternal line from someone who found me on Ancestry.com. Had to put my thinking cap on for that.
Heated up some leftover green peas for a snack because... I like green peas.
Had a bag of dried pears also for a snack.
Guzzled some water.
Worked on my pumpkin spice latte that I'm still not finished with from this morning. Remind me of this when I complain in tomorrow's blog that I didn't sleep well.
Checked the family iCloud folders to see the latest photos of Oliver and my sweet nephew.
I don't think I mentioned it but earlier I uploaded the photos of Cosette from yesterday to her folder.
And now... I'm ready to hit publish on this blog.
It's weird because from the outside looking in it probably looks like I barely move from my nest but today isn't really that out of the ordinary for me... and there are several things that happened that I didn't mention like... feeding the cats and... tidying up... and ... you know, just life.
Pictures in today's blog are snagged from Oliver's iCloud account. He's just so adorable.
Just Facetimed with him for a few minutes... got interrupted by a phone call from Austin.
My life!
Happy Friday-eve, y'all! Hope you had a great day!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Surprise Daddy and Cosy Day

I had a rough night last night. The past few have been rough. I can't get comfortable. It's not as much fun as you might think.

This morning Austin went in to work and things had been changed... from where he worked to when he worked and... it's just a big frustrating mess. I want to go into a lot of detail here but it's not my story to tell. I will just ask that you keep his work situation in prayer. He works hard and some things are happening that aren't quite fair and don't make sense but I say that knowing that every time in my life that things happened that didn't seem fair... it was because God had something better planned for me.

I will never forget driving home from the unemployment office in pouring rain back in 2012 after finding out that some *less than true* things had been said about me by my previous employer. I was hurt, mad, discouraged, confused, stressed... honestly, I felt deserted, like I had gone to work for a Christian person whose actions towards me were anything but Christ-like. Then I heard a voice - in my heart or in my head or wherever these thoughts come from - that said, "what man means for your harm, I will use for your good". It's scriptural, not a complete translation, just the substance of what it felt like to me in that moment. What I couldn't have even dreamed in that moment was how useful the *less than truthful* information would become not only in my next job but eventually in my disability case. The things that were said were the exact things that boosted my case.


Anyways... not to dig up old bones but just as a reminder to myself and Austin and all of us, really, that we can never begin to imagine how God weaves these loose threads of our lives into a masterpiece. I mean, he's suffered some indignities but he's still employed.

The change in schedule had Austin off today and working tomorrow... when we were supposed to have Cosette. They also have him off on Sunday and working Monday - when he's scheduled for Jury Duty. Grrr. So at first he wanted to have Cosy on Sunday but realized that since he HAS to be off Monday, they might get him to work Sunday. Or they may just cut his hours even more which... again... so frustrating. He's been so consistent in his job... sigh. But the good news is Tasha was cooperative and had Cosy up and dressed by 8:30 for us to pick her up today. We had breakfast at Chickfila, then went to Walmart to pick up some things and then came home and played on the playpen porch for a few hours.

A few fun things...

Daddy carrying all the things.
There was a stuffed cow by the cash register at Chickfila and I asked the cashier if they were selling them. She didn't think so but said she would check. She surprised us a few minutes later by bringing one out to Cosette - no charge. She said they had a bunch in the office and it was their gift. Don't those kind of things just restore your faith in humanity? They do for me.

Our Walmart run was for some basics but because we were in no hurry and Walmart was practically empty we let Cosy out of the cart and let her just wander around the Halloween section. She doesn't talk a lot but she is very clear with whether or not she likes something. She was really concentrating hard on which things she liked and which things she didn't. I'm sorry... but whenever the babies (toddlers) do things that are adult like it's like when animals take on human characteristics. I was so entertained by her thought process of checking out the Halloween selection, knowing that she has no concept of Halloween or what any of that stuff might be for.

She ended up with a Princess Anna costume (from Frozen) and a cat costume (ears, tail and bowtie). She has only seen the movie Frozen maybe twice? Not much. But last December I took my Christmas money from my grandma and bought Cosette a matching set of Elsa and Anna dolls that sing. Best. Investment. Ever. She loves those dolls! Also, best marketing ever because anything with Elsa and Anna on it draws Cosy's attention. She even eats string cheese packaged in Frozen packaging. She at first wanted the Elsa costume but the one she grabbed was huge so we dug around and found an Anna and she was one happy little munchkin. She also picked out this ridiculous Mickey Mouse dressed in a suit and top hat that I went ahead and bought because I know Oliver will love it. She also picked out an Elsa and Anna purse. She wanted two of them but I convinced her that one was enough. She can't say Elsa and Anna but she will point back and forth between them and expects me to say "Elsa. Anna. Elsa. Anna." over and over. She makes a sound like "Eh. Ah. Eh. Ah." along with me sometimes. She also sings along to the dolls but not the actual words yet.

We evolved from the Anna costume into a onesie but she wanted the cape still. Plus the Frozen slippers. So she looks like a little Frozen Superhero.  

We attempted a nap but it wasn't in the cards today and since we weren't going to have her all day, we just waited until she was ready to go to sleep and ran her home quickly. Her mom is about a three minute drive away. While she was downstairs in my living room after the failed nap attempt, she noticed that I had cookie cutters in a container other than the container that usually holds the cookie cutters. She grabbed one and said, "hey..." and furrowed her brow and immediately got up and went to the find the correct place for the cookie cutters. My OCD Princess.

She also noticed that her clothes and diapers were scattered around... I fixed her diaper bag in a rush and Little Kitty climbed in the cabinet and kept swatting my hand every time I tried to get anything out. I gave up and just left him there... and he dragged a bunch of stuff out after I left. She started picking things up and putting them where they go. She is a big fan of taking things out and putting them back in. Today she spent ten minutes trying to put a cap on a marker. She also was insistent that the markers Aunt Marquee gave her that go with her magic coloring book needed to go in the container that I keep my sharpies in. OB....sessive.

Anyways... how cute is she in my cheap-o Walmart cheaters. These are not my actual glasses that I wear. They are what I wore before I had actual prescription glasses. She wanted to wear my REAL glasses so this was a compromise. She was quite proud of herself with the glasses on.

I'm not happy with adobe photo software, especially since every time you sign in they beg you to sign up for the more expensive editing experience which is way more than I want or need. Still searching for something better. I edited the photos in this blog on my phone, just with the standard iPhone stuff.

And that's the end of my Wednesday. At least the part I'm going to blog about. There is a pint of gelato in my future. I hope your day ends similarly well. Love and hugs, y'all!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New Laptop, New Photo Editing Software

It's nearly 1pm and my new laptop has not yet arrived. I'm pouting. It's out for delivery, probably via UPS. A lot of deliveries transfer from UPS & FedEx to our local post office for final delivery because ... I don't know, rural, I guess... and I have had in the past where they say "out for delivery" and it comes the next day with the regular mail run. I guess you can't have it all.

I remember this quote and although the person who said it isn't my favorite, it holds true... He would say that their business could get things done fast, cheap and well-done - but you could only pick two of those. If it was fast and cheap it wouldn't be done well. If it was fast and done well it wouldn't be cheap. If it was cheap and done well it wouldn't be fast... you get the picture.

I feel like living out here in the country gives me a lot of peace and quiet, less stress, slower pace, friendly people... lots of benefits of living in a small town. The downside is that instead of rushing out to a computer store on Friday and replacing my laptop I ordered from Amazon and am at the mercy of whatever delivery system is available. "Slow boat from China" is what it feels like to me.

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It's just after 2pm and my new laptop is here and mostly set up to my liking. The keyboard doesn't have the same feel as my last one - the key spacing is the same, just doesn't have the same grooves worn into it. This laptop has touch screen capability which kinda blows my mind. I haven't investigated all the bells and whistles and I probably won't ever. I'll stumble across them like I always do... if it doesn't do what I want then I'll figure out why. I got the basics done, though.

Unfortunately Picasa has been phased out so I can't download it. It has been my go-to photo editor almost since I got my first digital camera. I'll play around with the new Google Photos page and see what capability it gives me. Stay tuned... it may be the end of grandbaby/cat photos by the dozens.

I'm drinking an Arnold Palmer in his honor ... and because I'm out of the peach tea that I love. I could have made a trip to the store but this is the first day in forever that I've had zero responsibilities and I didn't want to make any unnecessary movements today. The weather is changing which always brings in a different kind of pain. I didn't sleep well last night. Had a hard time finding a comfortable position. You know you have "positional" issues when you attempt to sleep on your knees on an ottoman with your head on a daybed. It felt great on my back and hips but then my knees started complaining. I found a comfy position this morning that was so I awesome I posted about it on Facebook. Then the cat pounced me and screwed everything up again.

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"THERE IS A BOY TOUCHING ME!!!!"
It's now just after 3pm and I've been doing research on photo editing apps. I'm using Adobe Express right now and I don't love it. Picasa allowed me to upload a bunch of photos and quickly flip through them to see what was usable and what wasn't. I almost always adjust the light in my photos and usually crop them. It's a bit clunky with Adobe but I'm going to play around with it and see if I can figure it out. If you have any suggestions for user-friendly free photo editing software, please do share! The photos I'm using in this blog entry are unedited.

This may determine what I do when it's time to get a new digital camera. The only reason I use the digital in addition to my phone is the ease of editing a large number of photos. I can edit on the phone more easily than this Adobe Express is working for me. Changing technology is so frustrating!

Anyways... hope your week is going well. Enjoy the rest of the photos - these are all from Saturday - and I'll hopefully have some more (better, edited) photos to share next time. Love and hugs!


 Oliver investigates Cosette's stash of toys... including dolls... you can see his brain going, "what is this.....?"
 This is Cosette saying, "my chair. don't even think about sitting in my Elsa and Anna chair."
 "I'll just touch her ear...."
This is the balloon that amazed Cosette. She kept looking at the balloon attached to Oliver and saying, "WHOA!" It's funny because she is very quiet and then she says "WHOA!!!" loudly.
 Oliver just wants a hug.
 Cousin Jamie gives Oliver a hand with some water. Not sure whose water. Both babies just tend to grab whatever beverage is closest. Good thing we're not drinkers.
 Playing "what's in the watering can" together.
 Is it just my mushy Nana heart or is the fact that he wants to hug her or touch her the sweetest thing ever? Oliver is such a rough, tough little boy but he is the sweetest! I always said that Austin was my youngest but Cody was my baby because he has the most tender heart. I can see so much of that in Ollie!
Pet the cousin....














My attempt at editing. Major fail. Cute outfit on Cosy, though, right?

















We'll try again tomorrow.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Waiting For My New Computer... RTLM

Welcome to this week's Reasons To Love Monday post!

Today is my mom's birthday! She is celebrating by going to a doctors appointment. Fun for her, right? We actually had a little family gathering on Saturday to celebrate both her and my dad (whose birthday was last week). Cody, Marquee and Oliver drove up from south of Atlanta, my brother Jim and his wife Angie and my sweet niece Jamie joined us and Tasha came over with Cosette. We feasted on chickfila nuggets, fruit, cheese and crackers, pretzels, chips and dip. Angie brought two yummy pies and Marquee made some awesome cupcakes! I posted a lot of pictures on my Facebook and... as soon as my new computer arrives I have about fifty more photos that I took on my digital camera to share. Truthfully... I only took pictures of Oliver and Cosette because I had a bad case of Nana-brain combined with a pretty nasty auto-immune flair (which you can see in some pictures because my face was flaming red). I held up until everyone went home and then have been hibernating ever since.

Today started really yucky as I just honestly am miserable. I was having major chills, coughing, sneezing, aching from head to toe. I took a few magic potions and I am feeling a little better than I started off. My only duty for the day is keeping the animals alive - RTLM! - and I am grateful. The cats are fed and Oscar is tucked in beside me in my Nest. Best purchase of my life - the extra wide recliner so that the dog can lay comfortably beside me. I have a huge comforter doubled over twice padding the seat of the chair (helps my hips) so the little doggie can lay his head on the arm of the chair for a little pillow.

My trusty laptop bit the dust on Friday. It was fine and then all of a sudden it was dead. It had a full battery and was plugged up... I got up for a few minutes and came back to nothingness. No amount of poking, prodding, turning off and on, changing batteries, changing power source can lure it out of it's darkness. It was fine and then it wasn't. That's never happened to me before. I've had that laptop approximately 3 years, it is (was) a Lenovo, the economy model and I have used it probably 12 hours a day every day since I got it. I consider that a reasonable amount of use out of it for what I paid although I would have preferred to have some notice that it was about to leave me so that I could have put some time and effort into choosing it's replacement. Ultimately... I just bought another Lenovo, the most current model, because it is inexpensive and I figured there would be less of a learning curve. I am not completely technically ignorant but I also don't consider myself that up to date, either. I don't want to have to read a manual to figure out how to get back online so I bought what I know and I hope it will be reliable. It is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. RTLM because Tuesday brings a new computer!

In the meantime I'm using a Toshiba of my mom's that I don't love. The keyboard feels different and ... I don't know. It feels like cooking in someone else's kitchen. I didn't want to download my photos on this computer which is why we will wait until I get the new one.

Someone asked about the photos on the other computer... the good news is that I'm so connected via social media that a lot of my photos, certainly the best ones, are posted on Facebook, the blog and Instagram. I use picasa - a google based program - to edit my photos and therefore can access most of my ol photos via google chrome. There are some documents that are saved that I can't access so I may take my dead computer to someone who knows how to take stuff off of the hard drive to be able to get those things back. Not the end of the world either way.

One thing I did want to share from Saturday - it was the first time that Oliver and Cosette really played together and it was so precious to watch them interact! Oliver is a little fish - he loves to get wet - so we let him play with Cosette's Hello Kitty sprinkler (that was a gift from my Cousin Kevin and his wife Tobye - thanks guys!). Cosette was afraid of the water but she was absolutely enthralled with Oliver playing in it. She clapped her hands and laughed out loud at him! He also had gotten a hold of a birthday balloon and was running around with it attached to him. Cosette would point and say, "WHOA!" They also played together on my dad's keyboard and there are a few really cute videos on my Facebook of that. Two little babies wearing just their diapers plunking away at a keyboard - honestly, if there's anything cuter in the world, I don't think I could handle it! I know as a Nana I can't guarantee that these two little cousins will always be buddies but I want to do all I can to connect them. Cousins are so important! Mine are to me, anyways. They're still so little and Oliver is so freakishly strong that we have to watch them carefully... he pulled Cosy to the ground trying to hug her on Saturday (which was really funny, even though it made Cosy cry for a minute). I got one picture of the two of them both trying to get my lemonade. It's out of focus but it's just so much of my heart... it's precious to me.

Also on Saturday (but we'll make it a RTLM because I'm only posting this now!) my brother and sister-in-law brought over my nieces' old picnic table and sandbox for Oliver and Cosette to use! They even brought brand new sand for us! It all fits nicely on my screened porch and I am thrilled to have the babies - now toddlers - use them. My living room and porch look a bit like a day care... as does the upstairs covered porch. Having babies around just brings so much life into the house. Even though it takes me a few days to recover from having them over, it's absolutely worth it.

This week I have nothing on the agenda, just my usuals plus two doctors appointments for mom. The weather is turning milder and we will have temps in the fifties for lows and the upper seventies/low eighties for highs. I'm so ready for it to be cooler! Getting hot aggravates so many things that are wrong with me. As a result I am greeting this week with wide open arms and can't wait to welcome October!

Hope you're all well and that you are finding your own Reasons To Love Monday! Love and hugs!

PS - this dog has gas and it is making my eyes water! RT NOT Love Monday! Whew!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Photo Dump

Just wanted to share a few photos that haven't made it onto the blog yet this week. The first two photos - with Oliver and Cody - were from last night. Ollie didn't get a good nap and his teeth were bothering him and he just wanted to cuddle his dad the whole time we talked. Poor baby! His grandma is out of town so he was a bit out of sorts. Next set of photos were from breakfast yesterday.  

Cosette is obsessed with taking things out and putting things back. She sat and took the butter out of the dish and put it back in the dish the whole time we waited for our breakfast. When they brought out our food there was this big pretzel roll on her dad's plate. Cosy snagged it and worked it like a turkey leg all during breakfast.

She even carried that bread out to the car with her after breakfast and was munching on it on the way home! She did eat other things at breakfast - potato pancakes (with onion, even!) pineapple, some applesauce, a few bites of scrambled eggs but the bread was the winner with her! Other photos... hanging out on the covered porch. Those big pillows (like the fuzzy green one) are what I sit on out there so I'm not leaning over as much. It's hard to get up and down a lot so I try to just get down and stay there. Doesn't always work out like I want it to. Yesterday she was really focused on looking out at the lake so she wanted me to pick her up so she could see over the porch rail. That wrecked my back! She's also gotten really fast so when we have her downstairs we have to be ready to run... here she is taking off for my room. She loves my makeup basket... which requires supervision, of course!
  




The above photos are from earlier in the week. I posted them on Facebook, but for those who aren't on Facebook or may have missed them... Oliver in the yellow shirt digging in the big linen chest in their living room... photos captured via Facetime. He is so strong! You can see him bracing the lid with his head so he has two hands free... and then slowly and carefully lowering the lid. You can also see him running toward his dad crying because the lid got him. He's such a boy! 


 This is a Cosy-selfie. Pretty good, right? Some of her pictures yesterday she looked so solemn. She really did have a good day. She got two naps. She ate well. She played outside to her heart's content. We were all exhausted by the end of the day! She loves sitting in the front seat of the car which we (of course) only let her do when the car is not in motion. She's fascinated with all the buttons and knobs.

Tomorrow we're doing a little birthday get together for my parents' birthdays. I'm sure I'll have another hundred photos to share so stay tuned! In the meantime... have a great weekend! Love and hugs, y'all!