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Monday, December 26, 2011

Keeping up with Blogs

It has been an interesting process as I have blundered my way through learning to blog. I accepted the WordPress to write a blog a day for a month. Though I did that, it left no time to spend here as well. I also learned that I can share my posts between blogs by posting a link.

Here is the link to today's post: http://wp.me/p1UxcC-8T

I am such a hopeless organizer that I thought I had to have a plan for a blog. I envisioned a framework and following some kind of a script. In the process I discovered that my blog was not working for me that way. It works for writing a book, or cleaning a house, but when it comes to blogs, I simply have to go with my heart.

Well, more appropriately, it is not my heart, it is my fingers. When I sit down to write I a constantly surprised at what comes out. Tonight included.





One thing I love to do is take a series of photos every day. These can be something I saw on my way to work, or just different ways to look at the same thing. What takes the time is uploading it to my computer and then getting ready for the web. I find it is actually best to simply post one blog and let my followers  click on the link to check it out.

I am a photographer and taking photos is what I do. Usually my blogs are more of a photo essay, these photos are a random assortment from several dozen I took yesterday. Don't worry only a few are at the following link.

If you are interested you can follow the link: http://wp.me/p1UxcC-8T

I hope you had a great holiday and wonderful times with family. I am so blessed because that is exactly what I did yesterday.

Best Wishes to All,
Shez

Friday, November 25, 2011

What a Difference A Day Makes

This photo essay was a fun bit of photography in a four day time frame. During those four days our landscape changed from colorful autumn trees to barren trees. I think you will enjoy this post. You can check it out here.

                                             http://wp.me/p1UxcC-5z

I mentioned a few days ago, that I have been devoting my blogging time to my Totally Random Shez blog. I know I have been a little obsessed with autumn this year and have taken hundreds and hundreds of photos. The colors were amazing and the weather remained mild.

There are mostly photo essays posted at Totally Random Shez but also some things written from the heart. It started as a way to force me to find time to write daily. That ended up being from about 11:00pm until 12:30am or so. I am happy to say, I did keep up the pace for weeks at a time, but I let the housework pile up and learned to get by on little sleep.

It was a difficult time and to keep my balance it required me to create. So create I did. A new blog, many photos, essays, and DYI tile projects. Things with permanence when life is fragile. Things beautiful to me, when life was not beautiful. Silly things to make people laugh when it was hard to find something funny to laugh about.

Please click on the link and tell me what you think. There are about 35 or so posts there, some short, some long, some funny, some serious, some with lots of photos, some with only one.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Taking a Side Trip

I'm feeling bad. I kind of jilted this blog when I took up the "Write A Blog A Day Challenge " over at Word Press. Along the way I discovered I had set "guidelines" for what I would blog about. The eyeopener was that blogging about whatever popped into my head on a daily basis was easy. My stumbling block was my self imposed "guidelines."

So for a while here I will direct you to my other blog. I have been having fun. I call my blog
                                           
                                             Totally Random Shez 


Why Totally Random? It leaves the door open for anything, no borders, no confines, no guidelines.
Why Shez? It's my nickname. I've had since I was little. My baby sister was one and couldn't pronounce my name. When she tried to say "Shari" it came out "Shezzy." It stuck, was shortened to Shez, and I've always liked it. Kind of a quirky name that fits me.

                   You can visit there by going to   shezwrites.wordpress.com

So for now, I will be linking you to that post. I hope you like it and most of all I look forward to your comments. I will be posting the link to each post here.

Today's "words of wisdom" ( WISDOM? Yeah.Right. Sure.) include a slideshow of some wonderful classic cars. It can be viewed here:   wp.me/p1UxcC-4f

Wish I had thought about linking it from here. Better late than never hopefully applies here. Thanks for reading, well thanks if you do read it. But whether you do or not I am...

Wishing you a day filled with hope and love.
Shez

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How Can the World Be Normal?

Today I will share the blog from the other blog I post to daily. I hope you will take a minute to visit and read this.

http://wp.me/p1UxcC-2v

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Surviving the Last Days

Once again my mother has confounded science. I should never have suggested on my last post that she was dying. Two weeks later she is still having mostly good days and she has survived longer and in better shape than most.

Last night I took my 11 year old grandson to visit her. When she saw him her eyes grew bright and she sat forward to say, "Hi, Hayden!" What is remarkable about that is she has become so weak, she only whispers.

Grandson was so sweet. He chatted away with all of mom's housemates and patiently answered the question of how old he is and what grade is in several times, to the same person. He promised them all he would come back soon. He gave his great-grandmother the longest and warmest hug a person could imagine. She held him as tenderly as if he were a new baby and she laid her cheek on his head and drew strength from his love.

Back in the car he said he wants to go see her again next week, do I think she will still be here? He was also very impressed with her extremely bright yellow skin, which is darker and brighter than the last time he visited.  At home he told his grandfather she looks very, very sick.

Many of the adult children and grandchildren in her life find it so hard to visit someone so ill. My own husband who loves her dearly and would do anything he could for her, is distressed by every visit and has cut back to short weekly visits it is so hard on him. So why does a sweet eleven year old like to go visit very old people who are medically fragile?

He goes because, "It makes them so happy."

Too bad the people of the world do not have such compassion for each other.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dying...Last Days

My mom is dying, still she greets me with a hug and a smile. I smile back hoping she is reassured all is well, when it is not. It had been a grueling year for my husband and I. The responsibility for her care and moving her and her belongings three times as her needs grew and her space shrank. Hoping the decisions were the ones she would have made. Praying she is happy. We have spent so many hours together, me interpreting her words when the stroke had robbed her of speech. Laughing with her as she relearned to make words but not actually sentences. Playing 20 questions until I understood. Being with her for endless hours in waiting rooms, hospice when there was no hope, hospitals, therapy, nursing homes, making choices that affected her well being. Cheering as she thrived and grew stronger, signing her papers, arguing for her causes, praying I was doing the right things. She made jokes, had a twinkle in her eye, never lost her sparkle and things got better. Then a bad fall and we were starting all over again. Watching her suffer while her broken bones were healing after she demanded more of her body than it could deliver. I have learned how to transport her and a wheelchair everywhere. She turned bright yellow. More tests and the call from her doctor, she has pancreatic cancer and nothing can be done, she will be gone in two to three weeks. Today is day 44. We have lived, loved, laughed. We have taken a surprise birthday party to my brother, gone to lunch with her friends and been thankful for 43 great days. Today is the first day she has become sick. From here on out the disease is brutal. Any hurt or hate I felt often throughout my life have all vanished during the hours I have watched her overcome the impossible. I have a new appreciation for this woman who pushed me hard and was never satisfied. She wanted for me what she thought I could achieve but felt she never had. We have always loved each other but we are finally at peace with each other.  She held me so tight and long before I left tonight. I promised her my famous homemade cinnamon rolls on Friday; they are a forbidden treat, but at this point it will not make a difference in the outcome, if she can savor the flavor, we will both be happy. Lord, this will be a hard week for both of us, please keep me strong. Right now she needs my love, hugs, smiles and strength. She does not need to know my heart is breaking...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Logins, Passwords, and PINs the Rest of The Story


We dealt with the avalanche of LPPs that have to be juggled on a daily basis. Now onto the ones I use less frequently. The ones I have little hope of ever remembering. These include:

BONUS POINTS: Of course all those credit cards also have special bonuses or points or something all available for exciting viewing in your very own account using of course, your very own special loginpassword and PIN.

On line shopping! Every single place I have ever ordered from, knows it's me. Goodness sakes, didn't they initiate the sale by emailing me my very own personal picks along with special pricing for being their very best customer? To take advantage of all of this, I only need to login, enter my password, and my special best customer account number, plus the coupon code from the back of a catalog that is in the recycle bin at home and the today only special discount code. These codes are not permanent it is just that I didn't write them down and to back up several screens to find it puts me at the beginning. I found out the hard way that I am now back to my very own special offer page. Nothing was saved to my shopping cart so if I really want to actually purchase something I have to start all over again. Go "shopping" and find each item on it's page; select color, size, and quantity to add each item to the shopping cart all over again.

GROCERY SHOPPING Well of course, I am a smart shopper, I just forgot my card. I can use my phone number? Which one did I use? It would depend on when I got the card or did hubs set it up. What phone number would he have used?

BILLS At first it was great, they sent the information to my bank, I got a reminder from the bank and could easily set up a payment. Then the utility companies decided to protect my privacy and I can only get the bill reminder from my bank. I have to LOGIN to the utility company's website and  e-n-t-e-r my very own assigned @%$^&#'s . That would allow me to see the total due and the due date. After I tried unsuccessfully several times to LOGIN I am denied access. By then I have to log back into the bank account because I have been signed off due to inactivity to protect my security.

I have mostly solved the amount due and due date by asking for equal pay, which is never equal for the electric company, but works well for the gas company. For the electric company I add a few dollars each time to what I paid the month before. At the end of their accounting year they send me an overpayment check. Hey, it works for me.

5 email addresses 
Blogs
Websites 
ADD Uploading codes

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
I belong to several wonderful ones all of which have so much help and information at my finger tips, if only I could remember my ... 

DOCTOR Contacting my doctor is done online and it is so quick 

                                       and easy to order

PRESCRIPTIONS online and never run out, if only I knew the prescription numbers.

There are so many LOGINS, PASSWORDS, and PINS I quit counting. I am sure there are more to add to the list, but I couldn't remember them all. That did make me feel better, it's not memory loss it's simply  too many numbers to ever remember.

It's gotten so bad I quit writing down all my logins, passwords and necessary PINs and just pick up the phone and call. Of course my husband is also frustrated because he expects me to remember all of his LPPs as well. We are often both on the phone.

Really, I am trying to remember them all, but am giving in to requesting my password via email. That way in a few minutes I am allowed to create a whole new password, which makes my new LLP file system obsolete. I hate to admit it, but about 92 minutes ago I had to phone. Again. Currently I am listening to non-stop commercials about the joy of doing everything online. It is interspersed with a static noise I think is supposed to be their hold music. Wait, there's a voice, gotta go.

"Hi, can you help mee...."  Oh CRAP it's another commercial. 
                                                                                          
                                                     I'm
                    still on hold!                                                                                    

Shez

Monday, August 8, 2011

Logins, Passwords, and PINs at the 9-5

How Many Passwords Are Too Many? Vol. 1


The other day I couldn't remember a password or was it the login, maybe it was both. Could it have been my PIN that was missing? This bothered me. I started to worry, was this a sign of Alzheimer's setting in? The more I worried, the more times I had to re-enter another guess at something. I know the security is for my own good; you know to keep anyone from messing with my accounts on my computer. 


My accounts are so pathetic it would take a fool to mess with them. That could be part of the problem. I must be that fool, because I do have to mess with them, pretty much daily. I HAVE to know all those logins, passwords and PINS.
In desperation I decided to organize only my current logins, passwords and PINS. It won't take that long if I make a list. I list started with... 


BANKS: 2 personal bank accounts, mortgage account, 401K account, and 2 separate businesses bank accounts, a business loan account, my 89 year old mother's bank accounts.


                  Six so far, two or three security items each.. about 14 +/- 1 or 2


WORK: point of sales, internet sales program, bookkeeping, and payroll accounts. Each computer uses its very own login and password and requires that the passwords be changed every 90 days. The online accounts with our vendors are all different but if you want technical details, you better LOGIN. How many more LPPs is that?


CREDIT CARDS: 2 are mine; mom = 1, hubs = 2, company cards 2 plus 3 employee cards = 12 more LPPs.


TAXES: 5 entities. Basic annual taxes, employment taxes, sales taxes for states. All require fillings and payments be electronically. That includes monthly filing, quarterly filing and annual filing. Each also requires EF transfers for funds. = 21 separate LPPs  to add to the complexity of life, most of the PINs are random items assigned by the other end. 


DEBIT CARDS: More randomness I did not choose. I had accepted the bank's offer. It would be handy for emergency use, like being stranded in the middle of the desert or something. Not for easy access to forgetfully overdraw my bank.


But my bank also requires me to use it monthly or the dang card is cancelled. I found out the hard way when it actually was an emergency and I REALLY needed to use it. Even though I had resorted to having the PIN tattooed on my arm just in case, it didn't work. 
  
The situation required a phone call, at which point I was to push a hundred buttons, hope and pray I am now waiting in the proper hold queue. 


The lousy hold music is constantly interrupted by messages, 'Do you I know that you can log in and get the information on line?" Every time a person's voice interrupts I quickly respond with, "Oh hi, can you help me retrieve my login, password and pin?" before I discover it is the same deaf lady. To make matters worse, they alternate between a man's message and a woman's. If it weren't for the interruptions I could actually get some work done while the hold music drones on. It makes me loose focus on what work I could be doing if they were not bombarding me every few seconds with the question, "Did you know you can get all this information on line at www.ourownpersonalwebsite.com?"  How could they not know that. Do they not see I am waiting for the login help line? 


Sometimes the hold is so long, I miss coffee breaks, bathroom breaks, lunch and dinner. If I needed an urgent trip to the hospital to birth a baby, I would not hang up. I can't lose my place in the hold queue. It would push me over the edge to start all over again tomorrow.


I quit counting while on hold but I think it is around 48, but I am not done.


Really I am trying to redo and update them all in a system I can use when I need it. 
I will do that soon, but for now; hang on, wait a sec..   



"Oh hi, can you help mee...."  Oh CRAP.                                                                                            
                                                     I'm
                    still on hold!                                                                                    


Now, where was I..?


Shez





Monday, May 30, 2011

You Too Can Do It in Ten Minutes

What a tantalizing tidbit. But for me most things do take longer, much longer. For instance when you go into a restaurant you can have something to drink immediately if you want water. When it comes to setting up a blogger site, if you accept the prebuilt template, it does take ten minutes. If however you want to implement it with your actual web site, or at least have it look like your web site, it takes longer, much longer.

Every change was accompanied by a request to "copy the above letters." No matter how many times I entered them the message actually never went away. After 10 tries, which only proves I am persistent or stupid, I finally gave up only to find it had actually worked. Who knows which time, they all returned the exact same message and never gave the response I have been trained to look for; something like "continue" or "next." Instead it just sat, asking yet again for the typing of another wet noodle pile they "claim" are letters.

Are you listening, Blogger?

I gave up trying to incorporate it into my web site and did not upload the appropriate files to it. Suddenly when I wanted to preview my work, I was at my web site. Nice, except there was nothing there yet to see.

After re-directing Blogger to keep my address with them, I did at least get this page to be in the right colors and it is looking better. Now I am back to my web coding text book. Learning ten minute skills is so much fun if it didn't take me ten hours. 

Anyone else out there brave enough to admit they have ever faced this situation?