On The Blackwater

Musing on retirement, writing, puppies, and whatever else strikes my fancy

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Spending my life in 20-year increments: DC, Calif, Maine, & now in the BlueRidge Mountains of VA, where my YoChon, Sadie Mae, has started to blog...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Catch up re Kindle

I e-mailed Amazon and they got back to me immediately, telling me there is no backlight on the Kindle, that it automatically adjusts to the light in the room.

I'm still very happy with the Kindle. I keep it beside my bed and leave it on the charger. I don't have to use the bookmark because as soon as I turn it on, the page I was last reading comes up.

It has a lot of other applications, but this is all I need it for at this time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bye Bye Aunt Lydia

Every family has ... or should have ... an Aunt Lydia. 83 years old and a lovely old soul. She and Uncle Win were delightful to visit. "Oh, come on down to Calais (Maine) and we'll play cards and eat us some lobstah."

She had the downEast accent; calling Uncle Win an ahss followed by her happy chuckle made it less of an attack!

Winfield was a dynamo, enthusiastic and energetic. When we brought the grandkids to visit, he'd take them out into his kitchen garden to help him pull veggies for supper. Then he'd hike them up to the small pond he'd made in his back yard, surrounded by pinwheels and cartoon figures. When they traveled, they'd stop along the way and buy more figures for the pond. For the grandkids. For their own pleasure, as they sat in the evening looking up at the stars.

We lost Uncle Win to a heart attack some years back, but Lydia kept right on going. A breast cancer survivor, diabetic, she would raise her shirt and stick the needle in and never even pause.
When Win died, the entire small town turned out for his funeral. He left a big hole when he passed on.

Now, yesterday morning, we lost Lydia. She had been fading a bit, having breathing problems, was in a nursing home in Texas, near her daughter JoAnne. The decision was to make her comfortable, to ease the pain, to let her slip away. Lydia helped make that decision herself, and that last night, she and JoAnne laughed and talked about Win, even joked with the nurses. Then, in the early morning hours, Lydia's voice softened. She smiled and said quietly:

Win and I are going fishing now.

Those were her last words.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Church Thanksgiving Feast

Today was our big Thanksgiving feast at church. We always have way too much food and invite community groups to join us, such as the mentally challenged. Sadly, the Women's Shelter doesn't join us...according to their director, the abusive men suddenly get all apologetic, the women go home, they are there through the holidays and usually back in the shelter after the first of the year when the men resume their original behavior. I feel so bad for the kids in these families.

As a church, we did, however, have a lovely feast...the downstairs hall was a beautiful bouquet of tables with soft yellow tableclothes, vases of fall flowers, orange and yellow, orange napkins, and lots of food. We fill take-away foam containers to deliver to our members who are home-bound for any reason.

And since we are United Methodist, we have more than one long table loaded down with desserts. Oh my. I'll be hungry again maybe sometime tomorrow~

Friday, November 20, 2009

Go see the movie, 2012!

We went to see 2012 yesterday afternoon...it's playing at our local theater.

WOW!~ It is truly amazing, the special effects are incredible. Yes, it has gotten mixed reviews, but based on the trailer that has been playing, I wanted to see the movie on the big screen.

We were on the edge of our seats, gasping and commenting, just overwhelmed. Of course, it starred a favorite actor of mine, John Cusack, so that didn't hurt.

I thoroughly recommend 2012. I had a feeling it would rack up the numbers, and it opened at 65 million $ US-wide, twice that world-wide.

More on the Kindle

Their e-mail does work well, although it is interesting that a crucial piece was left OUT of the booklet that came with the Kindle.

According to the e-mail, I need to hook up my PC with the Kindle before I can download anything. Well, DUH! It makes sense, but should have been included up front.

Naturally, they are using terms I do not understand, so I'll get my computer-savvy husband to clarify it for me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Learning to use the Kindle

I knew it. I'm just not a techie. The Kindle is all powered up but when I try to select a book to download, I cannot access the latest Wayne Dyer book.

(I was mistaken in the price of his audiobook...more like $38...which I still believe can be downloaded onto the Kindle for $9.99.)

Problem is, as I follow the directions, they become more confusing to me, using technical terms that I just cannot recognize.

There's an e-mail support site, and also an 800# I can call. I think I will go with the 800#. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Kindle is here!

Much faster than a speeding bullet...and seems to be very easy to use. I've already figured out how to enlarge the text 5 times.

I haven't ordered a book yet, but will probably get the Wayne Dyer book since that one is over $70 if narrated, whereas I should be able to order it for $9.99. There's probably a charge for having it read to me, but I haven't investigated that option yet.

OK, this is a preliminary report....more in the next few days.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

OK, the Dr. Wayne Dyer story!

Way back when I was divorced and living in California, the local university advertised that Wayne Dyer was going to hold a seminar having to do with his book, "Your Erroneous Zone."

I got two GFs to go with me, and we had a great time. As I recall, Dyer was into empowering women, and he set up a scenario where a woman would ask another person (we were all women there, the self-help patrol) for a date, and not back down as the 2nd person gave every excuse in the book not to go out with the 1st person.

Then Dyer said: this is the difficult part for me, because nobody ever asks me out.

Both of my friends physically pushed me forward...uh, OK, I'll ask....and I did, and Dyer grinned and carefully gave reasons not to accept. Then he announced to the whole class that I'd backed down!

So, that's the story and I'm sticking to it...

Changing perspective...

Ah, nice sunny weather. Temps in the low 70's predicted, even higher tomorrow. Sunny days lift my spirits.

I've decided to pare down my very active life. Have resigned from boards, and since I can no longer drive at night, even church committee meetings must go on without my participation. What a relief!

Now, I've always been a very cautious person. Do I buy this or wait until it goes down in price?

For some time now, I've been pondering purchasing a Kindle. I like to read in bed at night, and books get really heavy to hold and read. I would consider purchasing an actual book, and then wonder if it might be better to get it for $9.99 as a download, or not. Recently, a Dr. Wayne Dyer book is one I want. I met Dr. Dyer eons ago in California...in fact, I sortof had a date with him, during a seminar he gave at a university. (Hmmm...that may call for a blog all by itself!).

So I'm exploring the Kindle, and learn that: (1) it has gone down in price twice, (2) Barnes & Noble is coming out with their own version soon, and (3) other companies are planning to come out with their versions. My cautious self was saying: Oh, just wait, maybe by Christmas or shortly thereafter, you can get a Reader/Kindle for much less than the $259 it is priced at today on Amazon.

But NO!...heck, who knows what will happen in the next few months? Not I. Bite the bullet, spend the money, call it a Christmas present to myself. Yep, I ordered the Kindle.

I can enlarge the text. It is back-lighted for reading at night in bed. It is extremely light. I read through the reviews...it'll get here to me before the week is up. Free shipping.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

But I can't swim!

Wow, did we ever get heavy rain and more heavy rain yesterday and all night long.

We woke up this morning to see the Blackwater River at least 4 feet over its banks below us. Thank heavens we built up on the stone cliff side where the water could not reach us. Our neighbors, closer to the river than us, perching their log home on stilt-like framing, had water coming under their doors but fortunately not enough to damage the interior.

Schools closed and low-lying areas braced for flooding. Since we've had wet weather for some time now, the current storm water just rolled off the surface and pooled.

We also lost power for a few hours during the day, but it is back on now. I had dragged out the candles just in case.

Hubby has a barbershopper concert over in Lynchburg tonight; I'm planning to attend the closer performance tomorrow night at Moneta. Now that the power is back, I can relax and indulge in my Thursday night ritual...Grey's Anatomy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Last Night, Just What I Needed

Last night, the Marines celebrated their birthday, with the Marine Corps Ball. First one they have held in this area; last year, 18 former Marines showed up to plan for last night's event. There must have been 60 or more people there last night, including the oldest Marine at 82, and the youngest, at 19.

Dick, as a VietNam veteran, two tours as a helicopter door gunner, was one of the fellows celebrated and congratulated. With Veterans' Day today, and all that is going on in the world, it felt good to recognize the men who, when they actually came home from the battle, were treated very, very badly.

We laughed and visited and sang the Marine Corps hymn together, but there were many serious moments throughout the evening.

I felt safe. Does that make sense? It was a dark night with heavy rain, yet I felt very protected.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Saddened by Mass Killings

Will we be known as a country where nutcases grab a gun and randomly kill everyone in their sight because of a perceived slight? Just too much for me to deal with right now. I am so sad for those families ... 31?... who now have lost everything that matters.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Christmas is Coming!

We've been practicing our Christmas cantata at church for weeks, and today's frosty start really puts me in the mood.

Gifts? How about this as a suggestion: Give someone a certificate for a pedicure...

At one time, I thought pedicures were a bit pretentious. That was before my California daughter-in-law insisted it was a calming, spa-like experience, and she took me to her fave place. AHHH!

Now, I go once a month and float out of MY favorite place on cloud 9. See, some of us (me) have ingrowns that curl and cause a lot of pain. Wearing sandals means I failed to notice the pain, but once I put on regular shoes, it was hobble around time.

I went to a podiatrist, who charged an arm and a leg (ahem) to fix one big toe. Now, I go to my place, choose a nail color, sit with my feet in bubbling warm water for a total of 2 hours of being coddled and massaged and made pain-free.

Surely you know someone who would love such a gift. Rather than a sweater that doesn't fit or something to put on a shelf and dust, think about a gift certificate for a pedicure for your Mom or Sister or good friend.