Monday, April 2, 2012

The Wow Of Now

In praise of modern technology!

Deb: The other day I was on Facebook and my “chat” popped up. On the other end of the chat, was a dear friend who was in Berlin doing a show. We chatted away back and forth for about a half hour. It was absolutely delightful!  As I was waiting for her response, the computer informing me, Naomi is typing, I thought, Wow, look at us chatting away in real time across the planet! I told her this and she said, “That is exactly what I was thinking”. She said that the day before she had “chatted” with a friend as she travelled across Germany in a train. Later I got a FB message from her saying it felt like we had spent the morning having coffee together. The whole thing left me giddy. Couldn’t get over it really. The rest of the day I was wide-eyed and gawky, like the computer had been invented five minutes ago!

I hate when I take my modern inventions for granted. But happily, every so often—WOWZER! I am blown away.  At least once a month I am standing at my bank machine, or sending an email, or pausing a live show on TV and I have to stop and marvel. And I giggle because sometimes I just can’t believe my eyes. I think back to the days of frantically trying to get to the bank by 3pm on a Friday so as to have money for the weekend.  And if you didn’t make it, you were screwed. No weekend fun for you. Imagine!!!

I guess I am awed by it because it is awesome!

I think of my grandparents and the changes they saw! Can you fathom a lifetime of these wows: the CAR, the RADIO, and the TELEVISION? Ironically though, as witnessed by the popular expression, it is the invention of sliced bread that left the biggest impression! :-)

In my own lifetime I have been wowed by everything from colour television to the moon landing to Skype. I have always celebrated the advances in technology and continue to be awed by the speed with which it is growing and changing. 

I know we rail on about how technology is stealing our lives, but that is a whole other subject. That is about balance in our lives and that balance remains up to us as individuals. 

What I am awestruck about too is the sheer convenience of it. Our lives are so darned easy because of technology. I think one of the reasons it continues to astound me is that I simply don’t believe it’s possible. Any of it! Can’t fathom it. Don’t get it. Don’t understand how the technology works or, indeed, why it works. If I open my MacBook I am sure to find hard working fairies inside, working their wings off.  From the seat of my grasp on the inner workings of technical matters, it might as well be. And if it is ... thank you, fairies! Bless your little hearts.

But whatever the reason, be it fairies, or “hard words to pronounce”, technology is a gift. It is there for the taking. Look how lucky we are! We complain about Facebook Timeline like it is ruining our perfectly ordered lives. “FB timeline has broken my spirit”. Really? That’s all we got?

Today Barb and I started our Sunday morning on Skype with the lovely Shalaka. We sat and chatted, the three of us and our dogs. All the while I kept thinking, We are in Toronto in the morning and she is in Mumbai at night! Couldn’t get over it. Wanted to run out and tell someone, anyone. 

The idea behind our first Skype with Shalaka is that she wanted to be “with us” when she unveiled the gorgeous portraits she did of us and our handsome husbands. It was stellar. We got to hear each other’s voices and see each other smile and laugh, and it was awesome both emotionally and technically.

So in honour of that, as the earth is awakening in April, so too will be my awakening and appreciation of mankind’s inventions. While Mother Nature offers her chirping birds and tuliping tulips, I shall add to my annual awe by giving it up to my iPhone, that splendid device that just took a picture in Canada, which my friend in England is already viewing.

There should be an “App App”—an “Appreciation App” for all the brilliant geeks around the world who have made and continue to make our lives awesome.

This stuff takes my breath away. As it should.

Please stay tuned on Tuesday, same blog time, same blog station, as we reveal Shalaka’s stunning, loving portraits!!!

If you want to laugh till you cry please take time to enjoy this old chestnut from the genius of Louis CK. A man after my own heart! (We couldn’t embed the video, but it is so worth watching by simply clicking on the link.)

Barbara: I have to say, I agree with you completely, Deb. Sure, I believe people who tell me that technology is bad for me and that it’s a slippery slope and that we will somehow all be ruined by our rampant tech “addictions”. I believe these people … in theory. Because in my heart and in my life experiences, technology has offered me the complete opposite. Yes, there are all the lovely saving graces Deb mentions here like instant cash and such, but I can also feel on a visceral level the difference between my early 30s self—the she who raised young kids very often alone because her husband traveled, the she who often felt disconnected and lonely and unimportant (not always, of course, but often enough), the she who felt like she was losing touch with the world at large on both an emotional and intellectual level—and my present day self. Today—while I can certainly feel lonely sometimes, or alone, or disconnected—I feel like you are all here at the touch of a key-button, at the scroll of a cursor, at the launch of a browser. And we can talk and examine and discuss and soothe and support and laugh and cry. And if one of you isn’t available at any given moment, another of you is! It is miraculous. And I feel like the more we use these new innovations, the more we will adapt to them, not falling apart or shriveling up like “they” warn, but expanding and swelling and gaining more and more and ever more. But then again, I am an optimist : ). And those computer fairies? Yeah, they rock. As do the tiny little people inside our TVs and radios.

119 comments:

  1. Good Morning Ladies
    Deb, I was all ready to post Louis CK on Conan as I read your blog this morning. Much to my delight (and a little bit of ahhh, I was going to share that) you beat me to the punch. This is one of the funniest moments I've seen. Especially the line "How quickly the world owes him something he knew existed only ten seconds ago".
    I have three daughters and I believe that technology has helped make parenting a ton easier. Worry never goes away, but whenever I get paranoid to the point where I can't sit still, I just text to make sure all is good. My hubby is away more than he is home and texting, emails and Skype sure do help.

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    1. Oh yeah, the texting! The boy will land from a flight and I will hear that lovely ching of my phone telling me "Landed, love ya!". Can't beat it! And I agree that it makes parenting easier sometimes. The fact that they always have a phone with them. Phew!

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    2. "Landed, love ya!". Awwwwww, Deb that is the sweetest thing ever !!

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  2. It is truly amazing how technology has progressed with such leaps and bounds. Your Blog is a good example. People from all over the world chatting together, exchanging ideas, feelings and lending support to each other. People who haven't even met each other, yet feel a great bond and share their lives and journeys together. It blows my mind every morning!! It is a wonderful thing you started two years ago and how you so sensitively used technology to reach out and bring people together. Little Blog fairies! Happy Anniversary and thank you!!!

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    1. Mary-Jo it is so true! Look at all these fabulous people that are now connected because of technology. I have gotten advise, laughs and comfort from this blog. It is a treat a real treat!

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    2. I totally agree! This blog brings people together from all over and we feel like we are sitting around, just chatting, giving and getting advice, laughing, crying, etc.

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    3. Thank you, Mary-Jo!! xoxo

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  3. As frustrating as modern technology can be sometimes, I find it to also be extremely useful. When Kelly and I were in Europe this summer we were able to keep in touch via the wonderful world of Skype. We hooked up our webcams and would spend hours video chatting. all the while I kept thinking, hey, I'm in my part of the United Kingdom and she's in her part of the United Kingdom and we're close but far way and we're talking to each other on a computer!!!

    Yay technology!

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  4. I completely agree with you. Technology is amazing. I grew up without the Internet, but now I wonder how in the world did I do it?

    I love that I don't have just 24 pictures on a camera anymore and that there is no guesswork on how well those pictures took. I love my little digital camera. I can take picture after picture of my kids being goofy and never worry about the cost of film or getting the pictures developed. I can see it the moment I take the picture, load the pictures onto my computer and have hundreds of memories of my kids.

    I love that long distance phone calls aren't extravagent expenses anymore. I can talk to family around the country anytime I want. I love that I'm sitting here in the US and getting my degree from an university in Scotland! I must say, technology is simply amazing.

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    1. Molly it is a precious gift and sometimes it's nice to acknowledge it right? If you didn't have the time yet watch the Louis CK thing. Fantastic!

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    2. Watched it! Extreemly funny, completely true. I think I'm one of the last generations to have used rotary, corded phones.

      I remember when we bought the new gaget called a VCR and going to the first video rental store in town. We had one of the earliest home computers, an Apple IIe. It used those 5 1/4 floppy disks. The monitor was green. There was no mouse and the computer could only run one program at a time and you had to shut it down and restart it if you wanted to change programs.

      Our first cell phone weighed about 20 pounds. It wasn't really a cell phone, it was a car phone that was plugged into the lighter plug. My mom was an incredibly clever woman and she figured out how to put a small TV (the size of my 3 year old) into our van, with the VCR and plug it into the lighter socket so we could watch viedos on the way to visit our grandmother who lived 5 hours away.

      I have flown many, many times in my life and every time we take off into the air, I tear up because I'm simply amazed. It's corny, but true.

      I look forward to sitting in a rocking chair when I'm old and telling the grandkids, "Back when I was young, we didn't have the Internet," (hear the children gasp in horror) "we had newspapers and books that were actually made out of paper. Digital things existed only in the best science fiction stories."

      One thing that I do find disappointing. Airplanes are like a hundred years old now. Why are we still flying in them? I expected that by the 21st century, we would be using teleporters like in the Jenson cartoons!

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    3. Molly what a great comment. Love all the memories. Me too. When I was a kid we only had a black and white TV. Dad claimed he was waiting for them to perfect the colour. We still tease him about it. I do have lovely memories though of knowing your special movie was on (i.e.-Wizard of Oz) and making a point to be home and gathered round to watch it. sweet memories all! Love yours.

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    4. Ah Molly, you're so right...

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  5. It's so true! I'm guilty of grumbling about the woes of modern technology, but without it I wouldn't get to see my sister and my beautiful niece and nephews in Canada. I love that I can see them and they can see me--almost like we're in the same room. It's wonderful. Sometimes, like you Deb, I stop and realize just how amazing it is that we can do that. Of course I'd prefer to see them in person (you can't hug properly on Skype) but with airfares so expensive it's not an option at the moment so Skype is my lifeline. It's also been so important the last few weeks, enabling me to see and chat to my husband while he's away, and the kids have loved that too.

    He comes back tomorrow!!! I can't wait! :D

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  6. Roz we all grumble about it right? Human nature. That's why we have to give it a shout out every once in a while! And Roz I so hear you. When the boy was in NYC, Skype was our lifeline. I would get so excited knowing we were actually going to see him! When Colin was in LA last month he picked up his computer and walked around his little apartment giving me the Skype tour. Fabulous!!!

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    1. Yes!! That's exactly what my sister does. We get to see the snow piled up outside her door while we're bathing in sunshine! The kids don't quite understand the whole time difference thing, though. :P

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  7. Awwwwww...Bless your heart for being so so sweet !!!! and its so true we skyped and It was unbelievable...bcoz we TALKED.....ONLINE........even though we are like a MILLION MILES AWAY.......It was amazing....and Deb "The idea behind our first Skype with Shalaka is that she wanted to be “with us" ” this sentence moved me so much coz that is exactly what I meant. I love talking to friends especially the ones I love so much and who have been a big part in my life...and technology today......made it happen for me coz honestly without it we couldnt TALK IN PERSON.....VIRTUAL PERSON XD
    there was so so much more to talk about yet we had stuff to do....and the pups were killer cute !!!!!!!I LOVE TECHNOLOGY....because of it I talked to you two gorgeous ladies yesterday and It was so wonderful and also for the fact that I am GOOD FRIENDS with someone I havent met personally and yet I trust them so much and LOVE THEM MORE......There is always a good side and a bad side to everything around us..And decide to ignore the bad side and just be HAPPY and amazed by the good side...coz I owe technology so much as it has given me some of the most wonderful friends(LOVE YOU !!)......I mean It was like I was there with you four.....well five, Stephanie was there too......We chatted so many times before...and it was so much more amazing when we talked yesterday...And did you gals feel this coz I felt like we have known each other for a long time and we are just hanging out at some coffee shop talking about stuff....And there is so so much more to say which I couldnt coz of my uncle was sort of spying on me :P I am sure you wondered why I wasnt all positive self and talking about something from the "PAST" (I said PAST in my special BRIT-ARICAN british and american blend accent)....But the fact that It felt so real and we TALKED......and I just wanted to come there AND SQUEEZE YOU BOTH (although technically we did squeeze Deb!). It was just so wonderful!!! And I loved to see your faces when you saw the paintings......I can still see them....:D
    and this video AWESOME...Especially the airplane part......its true...sometimes we take things for granted...!!!!!
    I just love technology so much I cannot explain! and Bless your hearts for being so sweet and honouring me with your kind words and wonderful gesture of posting my work tomorrow....Lemme tell ya one thing......this is my BEST WORK...!!! and will always BE MY BEST WORK....because I have always loved every painting I ever made.....but for the first time I loved the people in the painting so much and that they honoured me and loved me back.....and all of this...because of this genius computer of mine....If I could find the fairies working inside it....I would so hug them...for bringing the most beautiful manifestation in my Life in the form of two gorgeous ANGELS !!!!
    I LOVE YOU BOTH SO MUCH......and you are both so so so gorgeous...!!!I said it a millions times before I say it again.....WE SHOULD SO SO SO SKYPE AGAIN.....anytime you want......I am free...coz yesterday was the best DAY OF MY LIFE !!! xoxoxoxo

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    1. Took me a minute to realize the Stephanie you are talking about isn't me! I can't wait to see your paintings!!

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    2. :D....yeah I wrote StePHanie...and not SteFAnie.......got confused with the spelling :P....I hope you like the paintings !!! :)

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    3. Yup, Stefanie is my girl :) And Shalaka, it was a truly wonderful experience for Deb and I too!

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  8. MAN THATS A LOOOOOOOOOOONG COMMENT ......I think you gals are used to it by now XD

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    1. Comments that are long AND lovely are just fine by us!

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    2. haha, my comments tend to be long, too. ;)

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  9. WARNING: This is may be a bit of a downer after all the joy of celebrating Technology

    I am utterly amazed by technology. I was sitting in the Emergency Room with my mom hooked up to her monitors, and I was amazed at how much information is there at a single glance. It even detected when Mom's sleep apnea kicked in (she was trying to doze but those silly alarms!). Then, when she got her room, they switched her to a portable heart monitor where she just could wear it in a pocket, and that machine just transmitted the info to another computer in a different room! And, to think that we didn't have such info 60 or 70 years ago.

    I'm feeling particularly scrambled right now, and I need my brain to engage for work.

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    1. I hope your Mom feels better soon and that you're able to get some rest and recharge soon.

      I just wanted to say that the advances in medical technologies absolutely amaze me as well. To think I'm qualified to care for my brother and his ventilator after only a few hours of course work is amazing. The machine is now so advanced that less and less human intervention is needed.

      To think a disease that 20 years ago had a life expectancy of 15 years is now 25 years or more thanks to the technological advances in respiratory care. There is still no therapy or treatment for DMD the only changes have been to the technology used in treatment and support. Thanks for the decade change in survival rates goes entirely to the technological advances that have been made. That's a big wow for me.

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    2. Dear Jo, so sorry that your mom has to suffer these medical issues. Thinking of her too! Sending love xoxo

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    3. Oh my gosh apnea monitors are CRAZY loud! However, they sure are useful. Hope your mom gets to feeling better :]

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    4. Jo i certainly agree with you . my mom has been ill this year too . it is amazing to see how technology has helped the treatment of illness . my mom has also been on the portable heart monitor when she was i n hospital 2 weeks ago.

      send my best to your mom Jo .

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    5. Jo, Big hug to you and your Mom, hang in there, and thank God for technology!! (((((()))))

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  10. Jo this is so not a downer. Yes it is awful for you Mom, that is the sad truth of it. But look what they are able to do, to your point. They have made such strides and when our loved ones are in jeopardy, we see the benefits of that. We will all keep her in our thoughts.

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  11. Also Jo, is it too much to ask what happened? Is this something new? Is she going to be okay?

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  12. Technology...Honestly, I don't know how I would function without it. I still love real books, that is one thing that I just cannot change, but I use the Internet everyday (many times a day). Having instant access to millions of things, videos, articles, people...it's amazing. I don't text a lot (don't like it when people use a lot of "text talk") but it is useful when I can't make a call in the middle of class (not that I text during class or anything ;) )
    I have never Skyped, but I understand the advantages that it gives people. It's hard to believe all the technology that there is out there now. I take online classes as well as on campus classes and if not for technology I would be spending so much more time in a physical classroom (which there are benefits to actually being in class, but still...) It is easier to get help with homework now (although there is also a downside to having that help available).
    Of course, thanks to technology, we all get to "talk" on a daily basis!!

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    1. So true Steph. And yes me too. I still love turning pages although I did read one book on my Kobo reader and found it really nice for late night in bed. No pages to flop over in weary hands!

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  13. Ok I had to share this.....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiFWZ8MC2cE

    I shared ths because its NOT A REAL MOUSE......Its 3D !!!! Thanks to technology.....
    And its so freakin cute !!

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    1. Soooooo cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    2. Yeah, I worried when I saw the trap go off, but how brilliant in the end!

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  14. It is amazing...

    I don't take it for granted, I'm always stunned and excited.

    And the way it changes! The progress is moving so fast!

    I remember using tapes to record songs from the radio...of course you always missed the beginning. And the host started to talk, when the song was still playing.

    Then I got a CD player. WOW!

    Now I can carry around 100 CDs on my iPod. Isn't that amazing?

    I still have my VCR recorder, but of course I prefer DVDs. And now I can watch my favourite tv shows online (and not in the stupid dubbed german version).

    My first internet experience was in the year 1998. It was like a wonderland to me. Awesome!

    And look, how much it has improved (or whatever). The whole world is connected.
    Without the internet, I would have never found "Whose Line", I would have never found you (and many other amazing people from all over the world).
    I love to read what other people are thinking. I love to watch videos and pictures, chatting and playing...it's so much fun. And even though the internet seems endless, it's like a huge family. Comforting. Caring. Loving.
    (Of course there are some idiots around. Can't change the human race, can you?)

    Tomorrow I will visit a friend (eeek, 10 hours on the train! I really want them to invent teleporting) in the north of Germany. Her best friend from London is currently visiting her. Now I can meet both of them. Without the internet, I would have never known them!

    I'm soooo glad and thankful for all my experiences (and I had a lot!). They made my life so much better! =)

    The internet is the perfect place to stay in contact, to find friends (some time ago my old penpal added me on Facebook. Isn't this awesome? She thought of me. She searched for me...), The internet is great to share your thoughts, ideas, and emotions, and to have fun!

    *huuuuuge virtual hug*

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    1. Becki I loved the list of your firsts! Isn't it exciting the changes we have all seen. I marvelled at your because you are so young and yet...
      Yes teleporting will be awesome. I might just miss that one by a few years sadly. I LOVED when you said that your old penpal found you on FB. That one almost made me cry. I love that.

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  15. I love my technology. I love laying in my bed working on my laptop A LOT. However, I have become more lazy, staying my my jammies longer and longer. I miss the air, my butt is getting bigger!!!!! But I do love my facebook and my writer friends and all their adventurous blogs. BALANCE is my new mantra.

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    1. Madge you said a mouthful there. Balance is my new Mantra. Yep. Must. Remind. Self. Every. Day. :-)

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  16. I couldn't have fathomed what I'm doing at this very moment even a few short years ago. Sitting outside on my deck typing on a touch keyboard on a device less than a cm thick that will post my words after auto-correcting them on the internet and allowing people half the world away to read it. I mean wow.

    I really feel it when I start to compare my childhood to the one my kids are experiencing. They have smartboards instead of chalkboards, Ipods instead of cassettes/records, Smartphones instead of party lines, touch dialing instead of rotary, hundreds of Tv channels to my 4 (two of which were CBC), Wikipedia to my encyclopedia, Laptop to typewriter, arcades and atari to emulators and playstation. Handheld tetris to their multi-platform multi-game devices, Tablets instead of giant and limited desktops and the list goes on and on. What a specatacular change!

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    1. Erin thanks so much. I am loving the lists of things today. Reminding me of all the devises I haven't even thought of. And the comparisons of then and now. Spectacular indeed!!!!!!

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  17. Mom should be okay. She has diabetes, COPD, sleep apnea, heart problems, and is a cancer survivor. Basically, she has a build up of fluids which are pressing on her chest (which makes breathing a challenge) - which may be related to her diabetes (but I'm not certain). So, we're in a "wait and see" mode right now. They're going to hook her up to a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine, and show her how to properly use it. With her health problems, this is not a completely uncommon occurrence (typically once a year). But, with my brother and sister-in-law and toddling nephew visiting, it's just more chaos to a chaotic situation. :)

    Heck, she may even be released today. As you can tell, I don't have a clue about what's going on yet.

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    1. I am so grateful that my sister lives with my mom, and is the primary caregiver for her. It's a load she's taken on since dad's passing (before he passed away, he asked her to do that for him). I keep thanking her at times like this.

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    2. Awww sweetie its all gonna be fine...I am sending healing thoughts and a lotta love....!!! I know Its all gonna be fine...you just hang in there, relax ...and be HOPEFUL...thats the best you can do now......
      :) <3

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    3. Jo what a rock she is! Look at all the things she is dealing with and she is pushing through. She is really up against it and it makes it much easier for her with you and your sister. Believe me, your sister will appreciate your thanks. And you are a good person to make sure she is thanked. But don't underestimate what you do either and the love you give her. Good luck today and in the days that come. We are pulling for your Mom and for you. xo

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    4. Oh what a fighter she is!
      Thinking of you, your sister and your Mom!

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    5. Good wishes to your Mum!

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    6. I left a love comment up on your other comment, Jo, but I'll add another one here (to make sure you get it!) Love to you and your mom xoxo

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  18. Good post, ladies! I am also in awe, but I must tell you something pretty unusual about it. I was trained to be a computer programmer/operator back in the early 80's. A select group of us took an intense 2-yr. course, with a challenge: complete the entire 2 yr's worth of studies & work - from start to finish - in 6 months.Did it. Swore to God I would never touch another computer, come hell or high water. In other words, HOW BORING! Excruciatingly boring!

    Did I learn a lot? Yes. Did I enjoy learning it? Sort of - some computer languages are easier than others, but the most frustrating part was finding a loop in your program, & fixing it, so that the program executed successfully. Normally, such a thing, when completed, would leave me filled with a sense of satisfaction. But no, that didn't happen. It merely left me filled with an intense hatred of computers, LOL!

    And so the years passed. 5, 10, 15 - a boyfriend had a computer, & his sister built & repaired them. *groan* Well... okay, I'll get a yahoo account. Hmm, games - I like games. EUCHRE?!? You can play euchre with other people on this thing?!? YEAH!!!

    I'm addicted. I admit it. Technology in the form of computers has me firmly within its grasp. Send help.

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    1. Oh My Goodness Daisy you were literally pulled kicking and screaming into the computer world. Wow. You O.D'd on it before I even had a grasp of it. What a great story. Thanks for sharing that.

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  19. I forgot to mention.......I am gonna be a big part in the movies created by this technology !!! the wonderful realistic experience only possible because of this wonderful technology creating new and amazing stuff...I mean we used to create animated movies completely by sketching and painting taking months and YEARS to complete a 10 minute movie...coz its very complicated....and now.......these wonderful tech-creations help us minimize the time span and help us out so well that we can actually create 3d realistic creatures by putting motion sensors on the actor........like AVATAR !!! This is so fascinating !!! and SO SO SO thankful for the wonderful tablet that allows me to PAINT ON MY COMPUTER...!!!!!

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    1. Shalaka you of all people must love that technology because you are doing it yourself. Have you ever thought of getting into the movie making aspect of it? You would be wonderful. Everyone will get a chance to see just how wonderful when we post your portraits tomorrow.

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    2. AWW...yes I am very interested in movies...I WOULD LOVE THAT !!! I can't wait !

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  20. I am/was a senior high teacher, currently an (older!) stay at home mom expecting my third and last at age 43 in early June! :D

    I have been delighted at times with the reaction I get from students when I tell them, "When I went to university, I was allowed to submit handwritten assignments..." Oh, how the definition of "dinosaur" has changed, lol!

    But on Friday March 30th, hubby and boys and I went to get a 3D ultrasound done of this baby (a *girl*! the estrogen balance of the household finally gets a boost!) and we were able to share the broadcast live, including all the conversation in the room while it was going on, with select relatives and friends, far and wide! I was vastly amused at the idea that all these people were peeking into my uterus from Alberta, BC, England, Chile and Australia. :)

    And to think a mere 5 years ago I was explaining the concept of "pee on a stick" to my incredulous and cracking-up-with-laughter grandmother when she was asking me how the heck I could possibly know I was pregnant with my first when I hadn't even seen a doctor yet...

    Skype, social networking, live broadcasting, the now "humble" email... heck, I was even able to talk live to students via Elluminate while also showing them my computer screen to explain/demonstrate concepts while I was an online teacher! The ways we can connect with each other are quite astonishing!

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    1. I love the "pee on a stick" remark. Reminds me of sitting with my Aunt Goldie, & talking about things, old & new.

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    2. Oh yes, some of my online professors use Elluminate. The whole online learning thing is amazing. I am working on my degree in education now and it is amazing that I have seen a change in the classroom: from real chalkboards to smartboards. Absolutely amazing!
      Congrats on your baby girl!!!

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    3. Dena first of all congrats on your beautiful baby soon to be girl! This is a fantastic story and another great example of the techno miracles. I loved when you said that people all over the world were peaking at your uterus! Next stop-transporting!

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  21. I so want to respond but I am on my way to spend some time with baby Ella who is full of smiles these days. I will post a response later tonight when I return hope you all have a wonderful happy day!

    XOXO

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    1. Enjoy that darling Ella and respond when you can!!!!!!!!

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    2. Thank you Deb I just wanted to say that in my opinion technology saved me. I hope I don't bring anyone down with my examples I don't mean to just stating facts. I grew up in a violent abusive home and I used things to escape my life. One of them as I mentioned before was the show Bonanza. Well once my stepfather found out I liked it, he made sure it was never on our TV again. Well back in the early seventies my friends from school willingly taped episodes that I wasn't allowed to watch on their tape recorders. I would sit in my room with an ear bud and listen to the guys whenever I needed to escape. Who knew years later I could actually have the episodes on VHS and now DVD tapes. I can not only listen to but watch the show!

      The second instance I felt technology saved my life in a way was when Sam died. I went into self isolation and focused on my two children and seldom left the house. Then my brother was worried about me and he gave me a computer and showed me how to log onto the internet. The first thing I found was others like me who loved Bonanza and joined a couple mailing lists. I made some awesome friends who brought me out of my shell and breathed life into me again. Over the next few years I met people I never imagined I would including executive producer David Dortort who created Bonanza (also Restless Gun and High Chapparal) and developed a friendship with him. I also met Cindy Landon (Michael's widow) and we had a long talk about being widowed young and left to raise young children on our own. Were it not for the miracle of the internet none of that would have happened.

      And now this blog has brought me to a place to vent and breathe while going through another tough point in my life. Still trying to find my balance yet again but oh so thankful that there are others "out there" who are willing to support and listen. I hope that I can also offer the same to someone, anyone. I know what it is to feel alone and I don't want anyone to feel that way. I want to be there for someone as others were there for me.

      Ella is doing great, two months old already and have realized tonight that she has cute little dimples in her cheeks when she smiles. I would post pics but not sure how that works. Anyone who wants to join me on facebook let me know, lots of pics there

      God Bless all of you

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    3. I am so with you with the escape with a TV series. I was more lucky in sense that I could watch what ever I liked and no-one cared.

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    4. Mary I would LOVE to friend you on FB. Send out a request for me. I would adore seeing pictures of the darling Ella. I am also a Bonanza fan. Never missed it when I was growing up. Ben, Hoss, Adam, Little Joe. Loved it! What a horrific childhood you had Mary. I will never for the life of me understand how people can be so cruel. I am so happy that you have kindness around you now enabling you to blossom within it. And I am so glad to have you here. So very glad.

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    5. Mary, thanks so much for sharing your story. Truly remarkable spirit. Please request me too -- we're always happy to FB connect with our blog readers! Give sweet Ella kisses for me. xoxo

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    6. I couldn't find you guys but look for Mary Doyle Stone on FB and that is me.

      My stepfather died years ago and my relationship with my mom was never great (I think we have managed to be something akin to friends now) but I wanted children because I wanted to give them what I missed as a child and I hope I succeeded. They have taught me what it is to be loved and I will always be thankful for that. And people who have come into my life have shown me that I am worthy of love and that I survived for a reason. Thank you ladies for accepting me as I am. XOXO

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    7. I couldn't understand how you couldn't find us on FB, Mary, because after all, there can't be that many Barbara Radecki's! But then I tried to FB you -- and it came up 0 in the search, then gave me all kinds of other possible, completely unrelated names. So FB is not very well wired if that's the case...Let's keep trying and maybe we can find each other over there...

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    8. I found you Barb (spelled your last name wrong sorry : ( But a lot of Deb name showed up didn't know which one was her?? We'll get it figured out

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    9. I'm ashamed to admit this but right after I sent that message I had a sense of panic because I felt like now they will see what I look like and then they won't want to be friends anymore. Intellectually I know that is residuals of my childhood but in my heart I know it isn't true. I also know you are ladies who see with your hearts so thank you so much for your unconditional acceptance

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  22. Hello everyone, I hope you're all having a wonderful day.

    Well, I just had to take a little moment from my hectic work schedule and post something on this very subject because at it so happens, my work would be much harder without technology. I'm a drafter (we're the ones that put the brilliant ideas of architects and engineers into drawings... think blueprints if you will), and before the computer, it was all hand drawn. To modify something in a big sheet, we had to use an eraser that did not leave these awful marks on them, and redraw whatever it was the architect/engineer wanted. Depending on what it was, and if you wanted it done well, it could take 10 minutes. With the softwares used nowadays to draw, it takes 10 seconds. That's just one minor change, and with all the changes a design goes through before it is finally approved, can you imagine the hours worked on it? So yes, in my case, it is a wonderful thing :-). I do much more in my job than just draw, like keeping in contact with clients for all source of projects, e-mailing, texting, etc. In my job, it's only my boss and I. We're females, and we're a powerful force just the two of us, but we know that without all this technology that we're using, we wouldn't be able to handle it.

    So anyways, while all this technology is absolutely wonderful, it also scares me. Just yesterday I was joking around with a cousin of mine who posted on Facebook that the new cell phone she got has all the "wonderful" applications such as, if she says "call Pizza Hut" or "find me a photo of mouse" on command, it does it for her. I told her that since when did one of our family members just sit on a couch and say to her phone "do this, do that" :-D. I just found the whole thing a little hilarious, but if you really think about it, I thought "Yikes, we're getting just a tad lazy here". So I agree, it's all about balance. Because let's face it, it's not the same as seen a loved one who is oceans across over a screen, as hugging them in person. But for the moment, all this technology allows all to be "technically connected" :-D.

    Anyways, I'm mostly a lurker here, and everytime I post, it's always a LONG post, so forgive me if you fell asleep halfway through :-D. Love your Blog, and love the fact that even if I'm traveling, I can still read it on my cell. Technology you see :-D.

    Take care,
    Sheyla

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    1. Sheyla, I'm so glad you included the difference the computer makes in your career as a drafter. My daughter is in a drafting and design program in high school. I think that what used to be done to make the changes might give her perspective, like, look, the computer is used for more than just facebook! :)
      Thanks for posting this.

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    2. The drafting is fascinating Sheyla and I agree with Dawn I am so glad you posted about it. Funny Dawn and true -computer. More than FB. Be a lurker or be a poster Sheyla we are happy to have your spirited and thoughtful comments. To your interesting point-it should give us free up time shouldn't it? But....we become obsessed and we stay and stay and stay. We should say "that just saved me four hours...going for a walk." that is where the balance comes in isn't it?

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    3. Thanks Deb!

      Yes, the thing is we stay and stay. All the time that we have "saved" per se, in our advancing and multi-tasking workplace, it is replaced by other work, in my case, not necessarily drawing. It's hard to keep up sometimes. But yes, the key word here is "balance" :-D.

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    4. Dawn, I'm glad for your daughter, it is such an interesting career, many times underestimated. I agree with you, if she saw how it was done in the past, her perspective of it all would change :-D.

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  23. P.S. I forgot to mention that I think one of the best inventions that has always captivated or drawn my attention, apart from the car, is the airplane. How in the heck did they ever figure out how to make that huge thing get up there and stay up there, and fly oceans across. It has always bugged my mind :-D.

    Sheyla

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    1. Me too! How are we staying up there! I know the concept but still! It is heavy that plane and believe me, during my fear of flying years, the fairies inside the engine did little to calm my nerves.

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  24. This blog has got to be my number one reason to love technology <3
    But I was recently reminded just how quickly times change in reference to technology. My 4yr old colsin was sitting next to me in the car the other day playing on her mother's IPhone. She then asked me how to change some setting on her game and I had no idea what she was talking about! A four year old knows more about technology than I do! LOL : )

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    1. Oh I KNOW Kelly. The boy knew more than I did at 4 years old. I had to get over it fast.

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  25. Hey, y'all. Could we all please put this amazing technology to a good use today? Yesterday, an Arkansas toddler was abducted during a violent crime. Please tweet, post to facebook, etc. about 1 year old Zahkairi Morrison. She is still missing and in grave danger. Statewide news agencies, radio stations, etc. are getting the word out. This morning, it broke in a limited way in national news as she may be being taken to California.

    http://www.kait8.com/story/17306990/police-morrison-stabbed-missing-girls-mother-with-ice-pick-to-kidnap

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/02/arkansas-toddler-missing_n_1396845.html

    Please help get the word out and eyes peeled.

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    1. Thank for spreading the word here, Rigel. Praying for her safe return.

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    2. Oh no. Thank you Rigel. We are on it. Prayers and can do.

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    3. News update spreading through state! SHE'S SAFE!!! Abductor in jail!!! :D

      http://www.todaysthv.com/news/article/205052/2/Zahkairi-Morrison-appears-unharmed-Ralph-Morrison-turns-himself-in

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    4. Phew....! Thank goodness...

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    5. This is the best best reason to love technology!

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  26. I am from the rotary-dial days too and just wanted to share the funny moment when we Skyped the nieces in Costa Rica over Christmas. My 86 yr. old Mom & Dad were flabbergasted when their newest great granddaughter laughed and giggled for us on this glowing screen. My Dad just shook his head and declared that it must be magic.....likely those fairies you were mentioning Deb. I too, am still in awe of this magic and am truly grateful for how it connects us.

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    1. Karen that is what my Mom always says. She says "it's scary but wonderful".

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  27. It's funny you wrote about this today. This morning, I was fascinated by something that I didn't know previously existed. I borrowed a Sharpie and, instead of taking the cap off, it was a click-pen type. (You know, the kind of pen that will irritate the crap out of you if someone else has one and also has a nervous habit. :) ) It fascinated me, 'cause I've never seen a click Sharpie. I'm also a clicker, so I had some cheap fun with it for a minute. :)

    I too grew up in the era of rotary phones with cords. In the worlds of Lewis Black, the phones were so heavy, if a puma attacked you, you could kill it. The early "technology" included VCRs with "remote controls," with the cord running from the remote into the VCR; the Apple IIc (or e) that someone mentioned above. (Hooray for stick figures and the up/down arrows when playing THE game.) The records, with, if you were lucky, a stacking turntable so you didn't have to get up and flip the album after 5 songs.

    Now I have my iPod. I have a dual DVD/VCR machine. I have a tv without the rabbit ears. I can watch shows from the next state without having to sit 6 inches from the tv peering through the static trying to see the show. My car has a CD player, not just the AM radio my first (dad's) car came with.

    Then there's the cell phone. This is the technology update that irritates me the most, yet I find one of the most helpful. I got a cellphone for the sole purpose of being able to call AAA if my car breaks down at 2AM on the Mass Pike. Knock wood, it's currently used for my mother to call and give me a "location" update. And so someone doesn't forget the bread at the store.
    It also helps a couple of hard-of-hearing, not-so-mobile parents reach me. UPSTAIRS. I'll be on the computer in my room and my mother will call me from the living room. It smacks of laziness, but we wouldn't hear each other otherwise.

    The internet is just beyond anything I would have ever dreamed could exist. To be able to connect with people who understand me, to become friends with people all over the US, in Canada, in Scotland and England, in Norway. To discover that Colin and Brad tour together and what's developed since then. To act as a research tool for my daughter, who's writing a paper on Spanish architecture.

    As mentioned in a previous comment, it's also invaluable in the medical field. Now all patient info is saved into the computer. Prescriptions can be sent directly from your doc's office to the pharmacy. Appointments are in the computer. That paperwork listing a patient's allergies or prescriptions can be accessed when the patient is unconscious or otherwise unable to give that information.
    Then there's the size of the computers. Instead of taking up an entire room, they literally now take up a lap.

    The one thing I haven't yet been convinced of is Kindle. I LOVE carrying a book with me on the train. I also love that, if I leave it behind, I've lost $2, not $200. :) It would save me some space on my bookshelves, but hey, the shelves are there for books, so I'll happily manage.

    However, for all the technology available, the information is still only as accurate as the person inputting the info. We must not forget to be vigilant about maintaining the technology, and pay attention to what we're doing, and what we share with the world, whether it's intended or not. We can use the technology, we just have to make sure we're using it correctly, and that it's working correctly.

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    1. Dawn great memories, great points and WELL SAID!! WE must alway always consider the source. Always.

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  28. I remember when I was a little girl, we had a rotatry phone of sorts. There was just few numbers on your phone number so it was really easy to remember. There was one small tv, from wich we watched the half hours long childrens program if we remembered. The indoor bathroom had been there for few years (it was an old farm) but there still were the outhouse in the yard that we used regulary as kids (during summer of course). I remember playing with pine cones (we made sheeps of them) and not really understanding what the fuzz was about barbies.

    We (me and my sister) got our first cell phone when I was 15 and she was 16, (when we moved away from home) well it was more hers as I rarely used it. I got my own first Nokia when I was 17 as me and my sister weren't living together anymore. I bought my first computer when I went to college and couldn't see how people would enjoy spending time there... Untill I got recommended places by friends.

    Compare it to now when I am online (because of work) almost all waking hour and I couldn't survive without my mobile internet (that connects to my laptopt, my phone has it's own internet connection)(yes I do have smart phone).

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    1. I know Kasku, isn't it funny that we cannot live without that which we did not have five minutes ago, a year ago a decade ago? But we can't. Because we adapt and we evolve we humans. Stand us upright and we never crawl again. But...we yearn for the nostalgia of when we crawled.

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  29. Great post! (Teehee look at me sitting here in a mess talking to people without having to worry about my appearance! Thanks technology!)

    I CAN'T WAIT to see Shalaka's pictures!

    Deb I hope things are going well with your parents :)

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    1. Aimee I loved that. "(Teehee look at me sitting here in a mess talking to people without having to worry about my appearance! Thanks technology!)" Thanks for asking about my parents. We are hanging in there at the moment. Good moments and bad.

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  30. (sorry, making previous comment on here about apnea monitors...)

    Skype is AWESOME. As I'm sure sis said it's how we communicated while we were both gallivanting in Europe. I didn't know you all and Shalaka had regular skype dates. That is super!!!!

    Oh wow. My birthday is next Monday :DDDDD I'm just thinking about how much has changed in my...almost 22 years of life. Shew! Kind of mind-blowing. Man....maybe the colin and brad show next season schedule will be posted. :] Sorry. Lots of random blah today; been a long day.

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    1. Kelly I agree Skype is awesome and more to the point I just typed Skype and auto correct capped it for me. I may weep. Kelly that is lovely that you have a bday coming up. Spend it frivolously! xo

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    2. Oh and just for the record, this was our first ever meeting with Shalaka! We have never skyped before!

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    3. Well, here's to many more chats :]

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    4. Happy Birthday in advance!!!

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    5. Well, here's to many more chats :]
      AMEN TO THAT !!!!!!
      Awww Kelly HAPPY BIRTHDAY IN ADVANCE...... :)

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    6. Skype dates sounds really cute BTW :P

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  31. Update with my mom. She's doing well. Unfortunately, she managed only 5 minutes at night with her CPAP machine before becoming totally overwhelmed (not surprised because she doesn't like the feeling of the mask over her nose and mouth at night in the dark. She sat with it on this afternoon for about a half hour (yay!). She's not coming home tonight. She's going to be hooked up to the CPAP, heart and oxygen monitors.

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    1. Jo thanks so very very much for giving us the update. I don't blame her. i would freak too. But hopefully with the extra time in the hospital she will be guided and calmed and better able to cope. I am glad they have kept her in. She will be ready when she is discharged and so will you and your family!

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    2. Aww I am grateful...!! And thanks for letting us know...Its in a way good that they have kept her in as Deb said....ccoz that way they can make sure she is completely well before she gets home to you all.....She'll be fine !!
      I am sending love and healing thoughts :) xoxo

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    3. Keep us posted, Jo, and sending love!!

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  32. a while back i was talking to the teenage granddaughter of a friend of my moms . she was gobsmacked to hear i , a 37 year old , lived in a time before many of the devices she takes for granted were invented such as :

    mobile phones , when i was in my teens we all had phone cards to use in phone boxes(or phone booths if you are american!) or we used the phone at home . i can also remember rotary phones . blackberries were things you picked off buses and ate or made jam or tart filling out of .

    the internet, when i was young online was where you put your clothes to dry ! i got online in 1998 . boy did that change my life .

    when i first got a portable music device it was a cassette Walkman . now i have an i pod. music and i couldn't live without it .

    we rented or bought videos instead of DVDs .

    my mom's brother in new york is a total technophobe . h e tells me he has never used a computer nor a mobile phone . Kevin is 81 . just goes to show you different generations do things in different ways . thankfully Kevin's partner Todd, thankfully, has the internet and a mobile phone so if kevins house hone died we would be able to keep in touch through him !

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  33. Linda thanks for this. Technophobes are people I admire because they are true to a way of life that they held dear. I could not be that strong frankly. Wow I remember walking around all puffed up with my Sony Walkman too! Thinking I was all that and a bag of chips!!!!

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  34. Sharon(who is not &amp; never will be on Facebook) ReineApril 2, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    I hate coming across as a contrarian Luddite ( an especially hypocritical one as I am using a computer on the intra-web to write this!) But I am extremely distrustful of technology. Oh I'm greatful for advances in medicine ( esp glad for your Mom, Jo) but maybe I spent too much time reading SciFi where things went Terribly Wrong due to technology. ( environment anyone?) I have increasingly found myself remembering a story by E.M. Forster ( YES A Passage to India- Howard's End Forester!) called "The Machine Stops"-Forster was concerned about human dependence on technology.

    The story predicted several technological and social innovations, such as the 'cinematophote' (television) and videoconferencing. Forster also sought to establish the value of direct experience, which is threatened by excessive involvement in virtual communities. This shows remarkable foresight, and the book describes many nuances of "online life" over 60 years before the Internet was even invented. The final destruction of the mechanical society of the Machine is not without hope, in that the two protaganists recapture a part of the spirit of life and embrace each other for the first time, a mother and her son.
    In 1909 someone recognized our species tendancy to a make a messy meal out of something good ( i.e.antibiotics used indescriminently creating resistant infections) and sounded a warning- I just hope we can remember and stop b4 things go TOO Terribly Wrong.
    ( that being said I really like indoor plumbing and not dying b4 my 30th bday!)

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  35. Wow Sharon. Interesting for sure. But given that I am someone who avoids reading the front section of the newspaper on a regular basis, I am going to take what you said as a cautionary tale but still shout YAY!

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  36. Hi, I've been reading and appreciating your blog for ages but have never commented. I just really related to what Barbara said about raising small kids in her early 30's and feeling disconnected and lonely. Im 30 and raising a beautiful 3 year old boy, while looking after my mother who has leukemia. I'm so lucky to have good friends but most have recently moved away, and the long (sometimes difficult) days can feel isolating and lonely. Your blog really does feel like having a quick coffee with someone who is motherly, sisterly, and a hilarious friend all rolled into one. Such a blessing on days when a real coffee with a friend is just not possible. I agree- modern technology is great!! Thanks both of you for being so generous with your thoughts!
    Samara xo
    samara_masara@yahoo.com.au

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    1. Samara what a wonderful comment to wake up to. I am so glad we can be there for you on those days when you just need an extra friend. You my girl have your hands full. Thrilled for you and you lovely little boy. I remember the joys of my 3 year old boy. I am so sorry about your mother. I hope they have it under control and that it will be a distant memory this time next year. In the meantime (and I know this firsthand) take care of YOU. That is very important right now. And thank YOU for being generous with your lovely comment.

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    2. Welcome, Samara! (I mean to the comments section) Deb said it best, but I wanted to say hello and let you know I'm thinking of you too. I can't imagine what it must be like to go through your ordeal, but, as Deb says, if you make sure to take care of you (like having that coffee and blog break, among other personal treats), that is probably the only and best way to get through it all. Sending love and gratitude!! xoxo

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    3. So happy you commented on this one, Samara. I keep trying to add my own wish for you -- and for some reason my comment won't stick! So now I get to be frustrated by technology, even as I'm praising it!! Good luck with everything and, absolutely, take care of YOU!!!

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    4. Okay, weirdly, there's my first attempt at a comment now... well, double wishes!

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    5. Thank you so much. I live in West Australia- it's quite amazing that two women from Toronto who I've never met can cheer me up! And it was great advice, I think every mum/carer needs to be reminded to look after themselves once in a while. Both of you exude such warmth it can be felt through the computer screen on the other side of the world- and it's much appreciated!
      Samara

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  37. Hey Samara! I'm glad you love reading this blog, I feel the same way you do about it. I raised my oldest daughter by myself for 7 years, had a brief (& ugly) marriage & another daughter, & then raised both girls to adulthood by myself.

    Which brings us back on topic: the net is a wonderful way to make new friends! I don't use facebook chat, leery of it because of alleged viruses connected with their chat module. But sometimes my friends & I will have a chat through the Inbox there, or we'll play picture tag, tagging each in silly pictures.

    I hope your mother does well, & that you can find the time to have some fun online with new friends! *hugs*

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    1. Hugs to Daisy!!! So glad you're here!

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    2. Thanks Daisy! x
      Samara

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  38. Daisy wow, I am impressed. You girls blow me away with your strength and courage. It's wonderful having both of you here.

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