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Dear Diary – I don’t know what’s going on and it makes me feel like an “old person”. Technology is getting hard. Part of me doesn’t care. The other part just feels stupid.

I tried to take a photo today of a rosebud with my cell phone, but I couldn’t get it to focus on the rose. The golden, leafy backdrop, however, was in perfect focus. I really wanted to share a photo of this survivor. Not only is it daring to bloom in November (and it better hurry – they’re predicting snow this weekend), but last May I thought the bush was dead. It was planted long before we moved in. Every year it has had new growth and a portion of root has rotted out. It’s been slowing down for years. With no sign of life, I figured it was gone forever, so I dug it out and started planning what to plant next year. A few weeks later, it shot up through the earth. 

But I couldn’t get a photo.

I tried different angles and different settings on the camera. The macro setting was the worst and it’s the one you’re supposed to use for close-ups!

To make matters worse, my phone has developed an extra shutter button. It hangs over the real shutter button like a Venn diagram, and if you don’t hit the right spot, the camera doesn’t fire. It didn’t help that the wind was blowing, which makes everything blurry in a photo, but when it dropped, the camera refused to recognize that I was pushing the shutter. I felt overwhelmed by the same frustration I get when my iPad refuses to take a photo. Only for me. Inevitably, when I ask Hubby or Youngest Son to try, it fires right away and I look like a freaking genius once again!

Tired of bending over this tiny bush in multiple and unflattering angles in front of my neighbours, I came here to whine to you, dear diary.

Yesterday I recorded a video for my Etsy shop, but also not without some trials. I had to set up my cell phone in a trip-pod, and re-arrange the crap stuff in the background. After several starts and stops, I got through my script…but instead of looking at the people to whom I’m talking, my eyes were slightly off. It wasn’t the look I was going for: a fun and sassy lady. Instead, I looked like a doughy, cross-eyed cadaver.

I tried taking still photos to see just where I was supposed to be looking.

I thought I got it.

I did not!

I finally broke down and asked for Hubby’s help. I hate asking for help, especially for something so trivial. I’m a smart lady. I should be able to figure this out. Plus I never want to give him the satisfaction of being “right” or encouraging any feelings of superiority. It’s a matter of principle.

But I had already invested too much time in the venture.

I painted the barn put on some more make-up, fluffed my hair, and started again. It was much more convincing.

I downloaded it from my cell to my laptop and trimmed the excess at the beginning and end. But when I went to email it to myself, so I can download it to my iPad so I can post it on Instagram, the file was too big.

I would have to ask for help again.

This time I went to Youngest Son. We both know he’s smarter than me, and I’m okay with that. He compressed the file in no time, and 6 hours later, my video was posted on Instagram. It’s been almost 24 hours now and I have 0 likes.

I’m aware that the stereotype of older folks struggling with technology is a big hit among the younger crowd. I think we need to make sure we don’t believe the stereotype ourselves, and I strongly advocate that we stick together and find another way to kick their butts. I’m not afraid to pull out old photos to remind others that they didn’t always know how things worked, like the pic that recently showed up in my Facebook memories. One of my boys dressed himself…and his jeans are on backwards!

I would share it, but somehow all the photos before December 2009 disappeared from my laptop ages ago!

 

The best part about being over 40 is that we did most of our stupid stuff before the internet.

Unknown

Dear Diary – Youngest Son was very unhappy Tuesday morning because he was looking forward to a return to online school. Friday and Monday, kids were home due to strike action by education workers, but an agreement was reached, sufficient that Education Assistants and others were back. So instead of firing up his laptop 5 minutes before class, he had to roll out of bed 10 minutes before Mom’s Taxi left.

Of course, Mom wasn’t very happy either. She also had to roll out of bed 15 minutes before the “taxi” left (because she had to make sure Youngest Son rolled out in time)!

Dear Diary – They’re plastered everywhere in construction zones. Posters of people especially kids, reminding us that someone they love “works here”. Slowing down around workers and obeying the flagmen, should seem like a no-brainer. And yet, this week oldest son, who works as an arborist and is often trimming branches around hydro wires, witnessed an accident. His crew had flagmen on other side of a stretch of road because the bucket truck was blocking one lane. A group of young guys blew past the flagman, laughing, even though the flagman was clearly holding a stop sign. The flagman tried to stop them. He tried to warn the other flagman too. But it was too late. Cars from the other side were already streaming through.

There was a crash!

The flagmen followed all their rules to make sure they did their job right to keep people safe.

Fortunately, it wasn’t a serious accident. But it could have been! They could have also seriously injured the guys doing their job. Instead, they were all mildly inconvenienced while they waited for emergency services to come. The crew had a ton of paperwork to record the incident. The other drivers had to find a different way home. Was it worth it?

Slow down….someone I love works here.

Dear Diary – It’s “shopping season”! With my newfound (and likely short-lived) freedom from the wicked arthritic flare-up I’ve experienced this year, I have been hitting the stores.

I’ve forgot how stressful shopping can be!

First, you have to figure out what you need. In my case, pretty much everything. But with a limited budget, “everything” is off the table.

Second, you have to find something you like. I have to say, I am not impressed with the current styles, colour palettes, or fabric selections. I found pretty tops ruined by chunky zippers, giant plastic buttons, and gathering in places that will only accentuate the places I don’t want accentuated! Half the fabrics don’t breathe, which means 5 minutes after I start sweating, I’m going to smell like I haven’t bathed in a week! Crop-tops! Turtlenecks! Sweaters that hung to my knees like a giant wooly sack! And ugly Christmas sweaters that weren’t even fugly enough to make them “cute”.

Third, if by some miracle, you actually find something not cringe-worthy, you have to cross your fingers and toes that they have it in your size. Most likely, they will not.

Fourth, price check! If I’m going to invest myself in this garment by undressing in a tiny, dingy cubicle with mirrors poised in unflattering angles (if there’s even a mirror), to see if it fits, the price had better be right! It seems lately, sales prices are about what I would consider paying at full price, so the options shrink even further…

And finally, if it is deemed “worthy”, try it on. More than half the time, it looks better on the hangar.

But I can’t dash into the drug store naked, so while I can still walk, I made a couple trips to the Mall. (Plus there’s that gift-giving occasion coming up next month)!

I started slow.

On Friday night, I stopped on the way home from dropping Youngest Son at youth, to pick up some track pants for a friend. I thought I’d be in and out in a flash. Instead, I had a hot flash while I traipsed around this tiny store trying to locate the right style, colour and size for her. Texts dingled back and forth before she made a final decision and I was able to leave. 

I will make an exchange/return this coming Friday.

On Tuesday, I went with a friend specifically for jeans. I currently own about 6 pairs of jeans, from size 2-10. Of those jeans, 2 pairs fit. Are they flattering? Not in the least. Do I have a prayer of fitting into them again? Not likely. I’ve only kept the size 2 jeans as a bittersweet reminder that they once fit. I can still remember that day in the change room. The tears of joy. The jumps of jubilation. The screams of delight. The startled face of the salesclerk as I emerged elated! I posted the little purple tag with the number “2” on the refrigerator like it was a trophy! And it was! That “2” represented time, endurance, and self-control.

I knew there might be a “2” in the number on the tag and that it would have a friend next to it. I tried on the size “2” before I went shopping. I got past my knees, but not much farther. Our life together was so short!

I would have to face my fears…and shop!

I tried on over a dozen pairs of jeans, even ones that holes in them. (I actually like “hole-y” jeans even though they cost more simply because they have holes in them. I already know, thanks to past experience, that my toes get stuck in the holes when I’m sliding them on and I make the holes bigger, which totally ruins the “hole-y” look that I just paid extra to have…but they’re cool!).

After more than an hour of sliding denim up and down my body, and mouth-breathing as I strained with buttons and zippers, I was exhausted and very, very thirsty! 

I now own 8 pairs of jeans. But I didn’t leave with that same sense of success and jubilation as before. I doubt I ever will again.

Will I fit into any of them next week? Time will tell. 

I really should just be thankful that I have something to wear outside the house besides leggings thinning at the thighs, or worse, going naked. 

No one wants to see that.

Even me!

I have been shopping my whole life and I still have nothing to wear!
– Every woman

EPILOGUE:

Dear Diary – Apparently technology has feelings, and when you complain about it, it gets revenge!

I just lost an hour of writing. 

And then nearly lost it in frustration trying to explain to Hubby what happened.

And more time as he tried to figure out what happened and attempt to fix it. Frustrated, I might add, because I wasn’t using my new laptop. 

I confess…it scares me!

First, WordPress decided to freeze during an autosave.

Then, I struggled to copy the text, chunk by chunk and paste it into Word, so I could close the tab and start over.

But when I started over, WordPress opened in the old format, and the text I copied went in weirdly.

Then WordPress froze again. And again.

It was as I was fixing the weird formatting, that I noticed I had a duplicate chunk…and I was missing a very large, utterly brilliant chunk of writing. And none of that chunk was in the past revision subheading thingy because…Wordpress had frozen nearly an hour before!

I did what I just said I didn’t want to do…I had to submit to Hubby’s self-confessed brilliance. 

It pained me.

As Hubby left me to scrape together my thoughts and try to recreate my own writing brilliance, we had to laugh. My mug warmer didn’t like me and he had to turn it down…

I won’t be impressed with technology until it can download food. – Unknown