A few days ago I uploaded my first YouTube video. I’d been wondering how to do that for a few years now. Well, it turns out that it’s a simple thing, so you’ll probably be seeing a lot more videos, but I promise, they won’t be of me flossing, or eating breakfast, or any of the FB kind of nonsense!
We got some baby chicks this past May. The “Black Stars” that were not so common when we got our first batch back in 2002 now seem to be very popular because when we placed our order in March, they were back-ordered until the middle of May. It might be on account of the feed/egg-laying ratio being one of the best with this breed. With the price of feed going up, the amount of eggs that one gets should be a goodly amount.
A friend who said he would split the flock and take half of the 24 came over to tell us that he was going off to Costa Rica, so we’ve been feeding and trying to get used to double our normal (and very comfortable) number of hens.
They were supposed to start laying a few weeks ago. Seeing no eggs, I thought that our hens might be sterile. Oh no! That would mean taking them all to the market, where someone would bid on them for supper.
I decided to take my first YouTube video of them, to send to my family and friends, urging them with all the love I could muster in my heart, and more or less let them know that it was time to start laying.
The day after I shot this, the 2nd egg came, and then the 3rd, and now, today, I’ve already got 6. – I think my fears of sterile “Sally” hens can be put to rest.
For a while, there didn’t really seem to be much happening on the political scene. Of course, that’s all changed since the Republican and Democratic Conventions. I hope everyone that is able to vote come November will do so. I know who I am going to vote for, and I don’t need to talk about it, or convince anyone that they need to change how they feel, or convert anyone to my way, or hate anyone for not voting the way I do. Or bring up the racist issue of the color of anyone’s skin.
What else? Oh, fracking will happen in NC because the loudest opponent MADE A MISTAKE and “accidentally” voted FOR FRACKING. Not that it probably ever could be stopped. I’m just noticing things, that’s all. But it is kind of bizarre how it passed. Fracking the earth is just the next step in fueling the electrical power plants that supply the energy needed to be on this computer typing this post, doing my job, communicating with folks, and yes, sharing *.
Which brings up the topic for today’s post, the many ways in which we can be using our dear, dear, friend, our smart phones.
TIME magazine recently featured 10 WAYS MOBILE TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING OUR WORLD. Did you read it? I found it so very interesting.
“Just as remarkable as the power of mobility, over everything from love to learning to global development, is how fast it all happened. It is hard to think of any tool, any instrument, any object in history with which so many developed so close a relationship so quickly as we have with our phones. Not the knife, or match, the pen or page. Only money comes close – always at hand, don’t leave home without it. But most of us don’t take a wallet to bed with us, don’t reach for it and check it every few minutes, and however useful money is in pursuit of fame, romance, revolution, it is inert compared with a smart phone – which can replace your wallet now anyway.”
People from all age groups and income levels in 8 countries, the U.S., the U.K., China, India, South Korea, South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia were asked questions to find out and better understand attitudes concerning technology, being connected, and the average age thought appropriate for a child to own a mobile phone, which is 13 years!
I am in the minority in how I feel about it, that it is not good. For instance, I do feel like being constantly connected by technology is mostly a burden: 13%, vs. 76% that find it helpful.
That I place my cell phone in a different room from where I sleep (13%) vs. the 68% that sleep with it next to their bed. Three quarters of the group between 25 – 29 years of age sleep with their phones. Rather intimate I think, and stupid, since not one study has ever been funded to prove that the amount of radiation given off of our phones is harmful, or harmless!
32% of all respondents said they they would prefer to communicate via texting. Which broken down by age groups shows another surprising find:
In response to the question, “Have you ever used a text message to…”, 73% of the 18-24 age group said yes, that they use texting for flirting with someone. 55% of the 25-29 age group said they used a text message to send suggestive pictures. And 36% of the 25-29 age group said they used texting to coordinate or commit adultery. Hmmm…what is going on? I think I need to get with the program, give the smart phone a 3rd chance to dominate my life, and start to rekindle the sexual excitement that I am lacking in my menopausal life with my partner, or, someone else.
Well, it doesn’t seem to be something that is going to stop or slow down any time soon.
The only question I have is with all these ways to be in touch, are we really connecting?
I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures of some flowers that my partner brought home from the tailgate market for me. It wasn’t a tweet of how much he loves me. Call me old-fashioned, but I love flowers, and you can’t do that via a text tweet (thanks Lisa for educating me on what can be done with a text!).
The one below is the Moon flower that opened the other night…I smelled something divine when I went out to dump the scraps on the compost pile, and realized that after waiting all summer for it to open, it had!
Peace, Joy, and Love, and I ain’t J/K-ing!
* Please go to our FB page and “like us”, tweet this post, or share it with all your friends. Also, leave a comment and post us on REDDIT! We want to have a TV show that is on Oprah’s network called “The Other View”, and we want everything we do to go viral.
My heart is heavy tonight, so heavy that I can’t think of anything funny or cheerful to write about. My state just voted in a totally unnecessary constitutional amendment–to ban gay marriage.
It is embarrassing to me to live in a state capable of doing such a mean-spirited thing. It’s embarrassing to me that the people working so hard against the amendment had to point out how it would hurt not only gays but also heterosexual couples–in order just to get people to listen. It’s most embarrassing to me that the forces of ignorance and prejudice and bigotry won out, in the end, over the forces of open-mindedness, acceptance, and love.
I am ashamed to call myself a North Carolinian tonight. And I can’t understand the vote–not at all. I don’t get it. I don’t see how something this small-minded could get enough votes to pass. I don’t see how anyone who thinks of himself/herself as a decent human being or a kind-hearted person could possibly vote for something that basically says to a neighbor, a co-worker, a colleague something like this: “I may act like I like you, but when push comes to shove, I really don’t like you all that much–because in my heart of hearts, I am threatened by you. You scare me, with the ways you are different from me, so I put up walls around my little, small-minded world, to keep you out. I even think I need to change the laws of my state, just to make sure that you don’t ever have the same rights I have.”
We did this once before in our history. This state’s legislators made special laws because of fear–fear that people that were different from them might contaminate their water fountains or swimming pools– fear that, worst of all, they might end up in their families. Now we fear that granting gay people the right to be legally married (and have the protections that brings) will somehow hurt our own marriages. (Maybe our deepest fear is that our children might turn out to be “one of them.”) All I can say is, anyone who is that worried about marriage must be in a pretty shaky marriage to begin with. We only fear earthquakes when we live on shaky ground.
In years to come–and I hope it won’t take long–maybe just long enough to get all the old dinosaurs out of office and get young people in there who have grown up in a world where being gay is, frankly, not that big of a deal. Maybe then we will look back on this vote, and we will feel ashamed to be numbered among the states that felt they needed a constitutional amendment to legitimize their own bigotry. We’re bound to overturn this law eventually–because, in the end, justice usually does roll down like water–but what a waste, in the meantime. What a hateful, hurtful way to treat our fellow citizens. What a waste of time and money, to put up an exclusive, gated-community kind of law that says, “I claim God as mine–not yours. My marriage is sanctioned by the Allmighty; yours isn’t–because I said so.”
I read an article in our paper recently about a local soccer star who was unable to come out of the closet while he lived in North Carolina, even though he was the star first of his local high school soccer team–and then of his college team. It took moving to Canada, where he played professional soccer, and living in an atmosphere of acceptance, for him to finally be able to acknowledge his homosexuality to the world. In the article, he urged people to vote against the amendment so that young people like him might not have to hide themselves–or their love– away. How many more young people will have to suffer before we get the message? How many more gay couples will have to hide themselves away?
My state has let me down, and I am heart sick.
My husband said tonight, “Let’s move to Canada.” I’m in.
After we got to Panama, it became obvious that Kevin’s family was burned out on elder care and we decided that we would take on living with Wanda full time. We moved into their house which was set up with fences and gates to keep her safe from wandering and they found another house that was more suitable for their family.
The first month taking care of Wanda was challenging. We were adjusting to her requirements (coffee must be HOT, plates must be WARMED for breakfast, specific breakfast and lunch menus could only have the slightest of variances, and a few other personal quirks that came out over time).
Beyond these must-have’s she is a very pleasant person to be with and she has a good sense of humor. Her health is excellent but her short-term memory loss is the biggest limiting factor in her life. It keeps her from enjoying movies (can’t remember the plot line) and from being in groups of people talking about multiple subjects (she picks up her purse and tries to leave – once going down the street away from a Christmas party before she was missed).
The Scrabble factor
Wanda’s only daily interest in life is Scrabble (and crossword puzzles when she can’t get a Scrabble partner). We have now settled into a routine of Scrabble after each meal and other games as often as we have time during the day. We tried to wear her out one rainy Sunday but after 7 games we were the ones calling ‘Uncle’ and quitting the tournament.
I know some conversational Spanish so I have been able to cobble together enough information to get what we need and understand what is needed of us. Now that we are settled into a routine, we plan to start Spanish classes and I want to take a yoga class given by an expat. My hobby is photography so I have taken one class in encaustic painting as a possible segue into another way of presenting my work. We find the expat community very active and supportive and we have been lucky to live next to a Panamanian family that speaks some English.
We have experienced some frustration about how things are done here like getting the electric bill by email (I shouldn’t complain – it used to arrive by motorcycle) but having to stand in line to pay in cash in person downtown. There is no mail delivery and there are no house numbers which makes it tricky when you are having new furniture delivered. And when you buy something like an electrical appliance, you have to wait while a slow moving clerk unpacks it, plugs it in and shows you that it is working and then re-packages it and tapes it up for you to take home. But we can tell we are gradually slowing down, becoming more patient with Wanda and ourselves, and learning to live at a different pace.
Looking at it from 2 months in
At this point we have been here 2 months. Tonight we went to our favorite Italian restaurant, which we can walk to in 20 minutes if it’s not raining, and celebrated 6 years working together. Lots of my friends said they would never work with their husbands. We certainly had our days of stress but ultimately we both wanted it to work and our livelihood depended on us working well together so we quickly got over whatever gripe-of-the-day it was.
As we sipped a nice Genovese wine, enjoyed a fresh salad and crunchy crust pizza, we both realized that we feel like we have been here a lot longer than 2 months…like maybe 6 months…or maybe longer. We feel more relaxed. We feel at home here.
Our clients have been very supportive and pleased with our new pricing schedule. Wanda thanks us every day for taking such good care of her. We still are intrigued by day to day things…from the strange way they cut up chicken parts to the kindness of armed guards who open store doors for you! All in all we are very pleased with this move and are looking forward to getting to know ourselves and the Panamanian culture this year.
We arrived in Africa after a grueling but fun 29-hour trip. The heat here is overwhelming…a constant sauna…but, since it’s dry heat, you can tolerate it.
After getting situated in the place we are staying, we walked to a nearby mall and had a delicious dinner of Indian food and went to see “New Year’s Eve” in English–at an air conditioned theater. We could easily have been back home, except for the “chicken” flavored popcorn. The next day, we explored Becky’s city, visiting her university and moving her into her new dorm room. We were also visited by a stranger, who scaled the wall and the iron gate at the house, apparently to rob the house. But, since I thought he was the gardener, who was due to come that morning, I went up and introduced myself to him and said, “You must be Mr. Mompati! How nice to meet you!” He looked startled and said, “Yes, Mr. Mompati. Can you let me in?” He was pointing to my host’s office door. I said, “Yes, I can, but I need to go get dressed first,” as I was in my bath robe. When I came back out, he was gone. I didn’t realize his true identity until the real Mr. Mompati arrived the next morning with a big smile on his face. I thought he was trying to pull a fast one on me, until I realized that he knew all about me and my girls–and my purpose for staying in the house. After some discussion back and forth, I realized how close I had come to letting a thief walk right into my host’s office!
We tried to start the big jeep of a car that we were going to borrow–the one with an extra tank for long hauls–but it wouldn’t even turn over, so we have ended up renting a car. I can’t say I’m too disappointed: 1) it is automatic instead of manual, and I was having anxiety attacks thinking about trying to shift with my left hand, while getting used to sitting on the right side of the car and driving on the left side of the road 2) it is gloriously air conditioned! It doesn’t have 4-wheel drive, which might be a problem in the game reserves, but I’m hoping we can work around that. Now, if I can just stop putting on the windshield wipers every time I want to signal that I’m going left or right (since even the hand controls are reversed on the wheel).
Tonight, we take our malaria medicine and get ready to leave early in the morning for Khama Rhino Sanctuary–and Tuli Game Reserve–that is, if we can find our way to the road!