Thursday, January 06, 2005

Technology Can Be Hard On The Head!!

I am much calmer this morning. Yesterday was a technological nightmare that had me in tears by late last night. We decided to get high-speed internet for my Macs at last since there is a new feature that will let me put our fax number onto the home phone line while still keeping the same fax number I have always had and not tying up the phone line. Technology has changed so much since I first started freelancing a decade ago, but the learning curve can be hard on the head!!!

Our friendly Internet install technician came and spent over 2 hours here! My big desk was too heavy for him to get at the phone jack in the wall to do more than just plug things in, so he had to wire it to the panel to the house. Then it turned out that my new Mac was newer than their install software... but we only figured this out after spending 45 minutes trying to figure out why it wouldn’t respond to what they wanted it to.

I didn’t want to use my new Mac for much on the Internet to keep it safe, but you do have to be able to go on-line now and then to send in registrations etc., so I’d bought a router to let me have both machines get on the Internet at the same time. The only problem is that the Aliant technician couldn’t help (wasn’t his place to do so in the first place) and then the Router instructions didn’t work for the first 2 hours of trying to get my LAN (Local Area Network) set up right. By the time we got the girls to bed, I was ready to eat any chocolate left in the house, pour a big glass of Baileys, cry or beat my head against the older computer’s screen. All of my office furniture was pulled to the middle of the room and what had once been set up just the way I wanted was now in shambles... and still didn’t work.

Those of you who deal with computers and their quirks each day for wiring and networking purposes now have my UTMOST respect!!!

Finally this morning, after calling a Mac wizard and having him fix everything in less than 5 minutes, I am all hooked up.... but I have discovered that I need 16.75 feet of cable to put all my furniture back... and only a 15 ft. cable!

I guess the furniture can stay in the middle of the room until Nick gets home with the car tonight and I can get a 20 ft. cable from the store....

Sword play had to be easier on the head... if not a little more deadly to the body!!!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The Ties That Bind Us... And Set Us Free!

It has been an hour now since the house fell completely silent except for the sounds of the washer and dryer going at full tilt and the clickety-clack of my keyboard as I caught up on e-mail in a quiet, empty house.

YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOO! (A dragon skids through the living room in her cozy but ugly wool socks on the hardwood floor)

Though it was hard for the girls to leave for school today, knowing that Nanny and Grr would be gone by the time they got home, they knew that they had an April visit to look forward to. MY grandmother, Jet, always insisted on planning the next visit before anyone parted company and I am glad that my Mom and I have both tried to keep up that tradition. It makes saying goodbye much less painful somehow. I still prefer the French expression “A la prochaine...” which means “until the next one”.

I had a hard time saying goodbye to my Mom and stepfather too. It was a great visit this time, especially with the holidays to celebrate, and I will miss being able to hug them in person. I’ll be glad to get back to less sweets in the house because I have almost no willpower when it comes to stuff like candy, ice-cream and chocolate. Losing over 40 pounds with Weight Watchers helped me accept that it was OK to know that I couldn’t be strong and resist certain foods... I just don’t keep them in the house very often to tempt me! I do much better saving them for an occasional treat ... or waiting for when company comes.

This holiday season has also had me thinking about how I define “Family”. Having special men in my life like my stepfather, John, or my step-father-in-law, Jerome, has given us relationships with people who might never have become part of our family if my parents or Nick’s parent had remained married. Here are two men, who despite not being biologically related to either of us, have brought so much extra love, warmth and laughter into our lives and the lives of our daughters. Sometimes ties of the heart can run as deeply as those of blood.

Jerome has been in the hospital for a few days now. It looks as if he will have to have another angeoplasty in Saint John, but there is still no word on when that might be scheduled. After a wonderful Christmas Day and Boxing Day with them, it seems hard to see him winded and weak. Technology is certainly amazing though, so we are hopeful that everything will go smoothly.

I also had the chance to hear from my brother and sister over the holidays as they each celebrated with THEIR families in countries on the other side of the world from me. Some ties run so deeply that even distance cannot disturb that connection.

Yet, as glad as I am to have all these wonderful, loving connections in my life, including those 3 most special people in my life that live right here with me, I am also skipping through the house today and enjoying that quiet head space to get my work done.