Cyber Shopping, Cyber Talking, Cyber Learning, and Cyber Burnout!

After frantic Black Friday in the stores, buying boots that looked great in ad and returning them the next day when sanity also returned, I turned to the Internet.  I found what I was looking for, but I had trouble with the purchase and had to go to the chat room for assistance.  They helped me – and then I didn’t know for certain if the ‘buy’ had gone through.  After sending them a customer support ticket, I finally decided to go ahead and re-enter the credit card and – viola!! I received the e-mail confirmation.  While I didn’t have to fight crowds to get the products, I did experience frustration none-the-less.

The last internet purchase I made was a refurbished lap-top.  It has sound problems with the microphone providing a banshee like wail whenever I lay my hand on the front of the keyboard or try to talk to someone.  I called the provider and they put me through to tech support.  He told me to turn off the microphone, which I did.  The wailing stopped.

To add insult to injury, this morning when I opened my computer, I had a cyber class on blogging that I had forgotten about.  I went to the JoinMe sight and Skype and turned on the microphone and the screaming began again.  I tried to fix it – but to no avail.  I am now on the second computer but, it too, has a mind of its own.  The Office application has a glitch.  As I am typing, the letters decide they have a better place to be than in the word that I am typing.  They jump to the new sight and when I look up; I realize that I have made unfamiliar words inserted into an entirely different thought.

So, now I am in my blogging class and the topic is Cyber Monday.  Help me, Lord!  I remember a kinder, gentler time when I had a Rolodex (not to be confused with Rolex)  and a file cabinet, a phone and a car.  My own mind was the computer and things worked amazingly well.  I didn’t have access to all the things I do today, but truly, it was less stressful.

So, here I am, after a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends, struggling to be thankful for cyber-anything.   Thinking back longingly to a time when Christmas Shopping was fun and didn’t start until December.

Cyber-burnout is really just a state of mind.  I have to know that if I didn’t have the internet I wouldn’t have blogging class with friends in Rockford, Illinois, or a Skype friend in South Africa.  I wouldn’t be able to see my grandchild in Madison, Wisconsin, or write to an audience of people I don’t even know and will, most likely, never meet!

After reconsidering, I am thankful for the Internet and the amazing way it allows me to communicate with the world.

Thanks, Al Gore!!!  (lol)

After Christmas Glow

We spent the holiday with our families.  They are all so important in our lives.

When we had time to sit and talk to our grown children, we realize what awesome people they are.  Now I am not saying that my kids are perfect, but they are fine people.  They definitely have their own ideas and opinions.  Sometimes that is difficult when I think I know something that they have arrived at in a different way.  I am learning to yield to them and most of the time, I keep my mouth shut!!

We can see that they are going through things that we once went through and we would like to save them from the pain but they have to find their own way.  I know that each of them will work it through.  I know this because I did.  My parents didn’t think I would ever make it!  When I was fleeing to New York to get a job and move away from the issues in my life, Dad told me that I was a failure and that by now, I should have gotten it together!  But, within a year, I had met and married my husband and everything in my life has gone up from there.

Christmas reminds me that we all go through our own challenges and our own issues in our own ways.  My children have had many experiences that I can only imagine.  They have proved that they are capable and competent.  They know how to make good choices. 

Christmas was homemade this year.  It meant a lot to me to receive wonderful created gifts that I knew had taken thought and time.  The books that I did for the grandchildren required hours of thinking of them.  I know the things that they did for us, gave them time to think of us as well.  These are real gifts and while they didn’t increase the economy much, the gifts warmed our hearts.

My heart is full this year with the overwhelming love that I feel for my family and the gratitude for each of them.

Christmas in the Ozarks

We celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season by going to Silver Dollar City in Branson.  It is a wonderland of lights and joy.  We attend the White Glove inspection which is the charity event for 400 attendees.  The money goes to the support school children with the mentoring program.  The great thing about this is that the park is fully ready for the public, but it is a night with no crowds.  We meet friendly, happy people from all over the region.  I highly recommend it!

Stuff it with love!

Things are different now than when my Mom was young.  She will be 95 years young on Christmas Eve and has a good quality of life.  Image DetailHer stories of Christmas past can give all of us in our material driven society pause.  Born in 1916, she was a girl in the Roaring Twenties, but her family was never prosperous.  When Christmas came, there wasn’t a huge Christmas tree and presents piled around it.  Still, she speaks of it fondly.

What do you suppose our kids would say today if the only thing in their stockings was an orange.  Well, that is what Mom tells me.  The orange was like candy is to us today.  It was a rare and special treat.  But what really struck me as she told her story was that the biggest thing stuffed in the stocking was love.

Dad and Mom married in 1938 during the great depression.  They had $25 between them.  They took their honeymoon in Sioux City, Iowa, and on an old post card they wrote to their folks, they moved from the Martin Hotel to the Jackson because the $2.47 a night was too rich for their blood.

When they got home from their trip, the old car they had used broke down in O’Neill and they spent the last night of their trip at the Golden Hotel.  The next morning, Dad’s parents came and got them.

Every Christmas, the main stocking stuffer he bought Mom was silk stockings.  He always acted like that was all he bought her.  “What?” he would say and his nose would wrinkle in the way it did when he told a fib.  Mom would pretend to be hurt and he would bring out the season’s gift of love.

What will you put in your kids stockings with this year?o into debt to give their families gifts they don’t need and toys that lay idle.  Somewhere along the way we have lost the joy of sharing.  So this Christmas, instead of loading the tree with gifts, let’s make hot chocolate or hot apple cider and play games.  Let’s get the grandparents to tell stories about when they were little and what they did at Christmastime.  Let’s make a memory instead of a pile of debt.  Stuff their little stockings with love.

What will you put in your children’s Christmas stockings this year?


A Quick Way to get into the Christmas Spirit!

A quick way to get into the holiday spirit is to begin to make something for a loved one.  It can be simple – a Christmas card, a unique poem, a craft, a snowflake or special baked goods.  The task itself may not be quick, but the Christmas spirit will rise up inside you.  It will give you joy thinking about the other person as you begin to develop the special item.

This year, I am writing special poems for my grandchildren and then illustrating them.  Now, I want you to know that I am not an artist, but I love to write poetry.  The art is a love gift from my heart.  It is simple but it makes the point

I thought perhaps a quick way to end this post would be with a little poem to EncoreNow readers.


Christmas can get hectic if we try to hard,

Buying and trimming trees and being too involved.

We forget what the season is really all about,

Because there are so many voices crowding it all out..

A little baby that was the Son of God in a manger lay

And that is the reason we have Christmas day

So say Merry Christmas to others that you meet

Remember the reason as you smile at others that you greet!

It is a quick way to feel good inside today

Take the time to settle down and know its all okay

With a cup of cocoa, curl up on in your easy chair

Relax, breathe deep and say a gratful prayer!

The 1st Thanksgiving was 1621 and We are Still Thanking God in the US!

I have many people to thank for my favorite holiday.

I thank God for the Pilgrims because they left comfort and friends to find freedom in a new land.  When they arrived, they began the adventure by thanking God and dedicating the new land to Him.  When they began to get established, they had the first Thanksgiving meal with their new friends, the Indians.

On September 28, 1789, the First Federal Congress passed a resolution that asked president to recommend to the nation a day of thankfulness.  A few days later, President George Washington issued a proclamation establishing Thursday, November 26, 1789, as a “Day of Publick Thanksgivin”.

Sarah Josepha Hale began to campaign to have the president make a proclamation to set aside a day of thanksgiving .  She petitioned five different presidents and found favor with President Abraham Lincoln who made the Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1863 setting aside the last Thursday of November.

President Franklin Roosevelt changed the date to the fourth Thursday of November succumbing to pressure to increase the number of shopping days until Christmas.  This caused a great bit of confusion and in 1939, as it seems there may have been two Thanksgiving Day celebrations!  This commotion led to the great congress of the United State on December 26, 1941, in the midst of World War II, to set aside time to pass a law declaring that the holiday would take place on the fourth Thursday of every November.

I thank God that this special holiday exists and that is purpose is to thank our Gracious God and Father for all of the blessings that he has given to each of us. 

In 2011, we are still a free nation!  We still pledge allegiance to the flag as one nation, under God.  We still have “In God we Trust” on our currency.  Our buildings in Washington still proclaim that God is the founder of this nation and that He has a plan and a purpose for it!

I am thankful for this great experiment of the government of the people, by the people and for the people!

What are you thankful for in 2011?