". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Rundown (Lowdown? Scoop?) . . . Oh, whatever!

Wow--two whole days without blogging! Due to a "perfect storm" of circumstances and events, there has just not been time. A sampling:

1) My dryer played out last week. Because of its age and the nature of its demise (the inside of the drum was literally crumbling), we decided it was time to buy a new one. Yay! Unforunately, when the new dryer arrived yesterday the delivery man took one look at the current exhaust set-up and announced it was not to code (which surprises me not, since it seems nothing in our house ever meets code). As a result he couldn't hook up the dryer. Having spent almost a week washing clothes and hanging them inside to dry (resulting in stiff, scratchy clothes), I felt like crying. I was all ready to do laundry yesterday! And I was actually looking forward to it! (I have friends who actually like to line dry. I don't. I like the way the clothes come out of the dryer, all warm and cozy and soft.) Instead, I had to make a trip to the hardware store to buy the proper sort of exhaust pipe (the previous set-up, courtesy of the previous owners, had the venting tube itself going through the wall to the outside instead of connecting to an exhaust pipe that is installed in the wall).

2) I am a "single" mom right now. My husband flew south a few days ago to check on and assist his parents. (His dad is currently hospitalized with back injury and his mother is bedridden at home.) He'll be home today!

3) I am still entrenched in Solo & Ensemble season. Rehearsals on Friday, a competition on Monday, and more to come. I'm not complaining. I am happy for the work and extra money and the opportunity to do a lot of piano playing. But it does lead to a more hectic schedule than usual.

4) My congregation hosted a theological conference this past weekend. It was wonderful and worth it, but it took time.

5) Our computer is being difficult. Anything internet-related takes forever to load. It's definitely a disincentive to blogging and emailing. (Susan G., are we leading parallel lives?) I am in the process of trying some different remedies that others have suggested. But that takes time, too. (How does that old song go . . . "If I could save time in a bottle . . .").

I have been feeling generally out of sorts because all of the out-of-the-ordinary stuff has made the ordinary stuff go by the wayside. So the paperwork is piling up, and the house is out of control, and the homeschooling is suffering. I keep telling myself that this will pass, that spring is around the corner, and summer is on the horizon. Self, are you listening?

In the midst of the chaos (and the absent husband), I find myself relying even more on my children. They are truly gifts from a gracious God, as I did nothing to deserve them. While I am otherwise occupied, they continue to do their studies, largely on their own, without my nagging them and without grumbling. They willingly help around the house, again without grumbling. The older ones play with and care for their little brother. (A few nights ago I retired to my bedroom early and Caitlin took care of getting him ready for bed, reading to him, brushing his teeth, etc..) They listen to me "vent" about the dryer ;-) (that sentence is for you, Elephant's Child) and all manner of things in which they probably have little interest. And they love me in my imperfection.

Even Evan seemed to sense last night that I was in need of a little extra encouragement. He made this drawing for me and then wanted to take a picture of me holding it:

(Obviously there wasn't time to brush my hair or powder my face before the picture was snapped). Take note of the hearts and the cross. I thought the little objects inside the large circles were balloons, but he said they were candles. Where do we have candles? Church, of course. Love and Jesus and Church--this kid knows just what I need.

Time to go hang up some more clothes. And then get ready to get my knight in shining armor at the airport! Things are looking up!


Susan said...

Does your computer run XP? Talking with my son-in-law (who is a computer geek, and who was talking to his friend the computer geek who works at the sem IT office) there is a HUGE amount of infections, viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, etc, out there right now attacking XP machines. My kids and husband and friends who are running Vista haven't been touched. Chatting with Laura's husband on Sunday, he had just wiped and re-installed his son's computer-guts; Philip (their son) was running XP too. Laura's husband's computer (running Vista) is fine.

I putzed with mine for over a month, with it getting worse and worse, until I got to the point where wiping the whole thing (even if it meant losing the photos and the documents) was better than trying to continue to "fix." That's pretty desperate! Boy, I've learned a LOT about computers in the last week, and about the sneaky underhanded low-down foul ways people try to sneak into your computer's brain and steal information.

But I'm running again. Only have two more steps before the computer is back to good-as-new. And my security settings are set way up high.

Also, Nathan told me that for a few weeks at least, not to websurf nor click on links. He said only go to totally safe places (like Amazon or Wiki or sites run by google, like blogs or gmail) because the infections right now are running rampant, and you want to quarantine yourself kinda sorta like when the whole world has terrible flu and they're not staying home from work/school, so you hunker down at home to avoid the germies.

Elephantschild said...

Wow. Who would've thought that there was ever an advantage of running Vista? And I think I'll tell my hubby what Nathan said, since our laptop is still running XP.

Kim said...

I'm one of those line drying people. We are used to stiff clothes, although if we have wind everything is really soft. Every time I hear someone talk about buying a dryer or I look at my electric bill I'm motivated to continue hanging up the clothes :)

Cheryl said...

Susan, our operating system is indeed XP. So thanks for the warning! We may be looking at scrubbing our computer, too, but before doing that we absolutely must get everything backed up. That's one reason I tried subscribing to Carbonite. I blamed the slowness of the computer on that, but in retrospect I think the slowness was already underway. Removing Carbonite has not helped. Someone else (Julee B. for readers who know her) suggested a free Carbonite clone--Mozy--so I'm going to look into that. Once we are backed up we can get serious about a remedy.

I'm glad you're just about out of the computer woods! With any luck I'll join you in the sunshine before too long!

Susan said...

I asked the guys about Carbonite. They said that, yes, it's good as far as backing up documents and photos and stuff. But if you're backing up viruses and trojans too, then doing a "restore" isn't going to solve anything.

The one that convinced me to wipe it clean and start fresh was when Philip explained to me that fixing and repairing and mending leaves a bit of a mess with your system, so that you can, to some extent, be more vulnerable. He said that once you get that many infections and that much spyware, repairs don't really fix it, and starting over is the only real solution.

So, yes, back up your documents and your bookmarks and things.

I think we may still move over to Vista pretty soon, even though that means installing and changing over all the documents and settings again. And Nathan said it sounds like our wireless router has been compromised too, so that our settings there (and passwords and privacy filters) may need to be all changed. Sheesh.

Susan said...

Also, I'm leaving the computer disconnected from the internet as many hours as possible. Less time for the infections to try to sneak past the filters and firewalls.

Elephantschild said...

We tend to unplug our router from the wall when we're gone for more than a day.

We also actually *shut down* the computers at night, rather than leaving them in standby.

Off to do a documents and pictures back up!

Cheryl said...

Susan, Phil made the same point about Carbonite backing up all the problems as well as the data. We have never gotten into a good backup routine but we are going to change that. Today I'm going to buy a few more flash drives and we are going to get this done before we seriously regret it.