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February 5, 2012

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As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney

OpalToney7-24.jpg (37075 bytes)Seasons...
Well, I’m looking forward for spring, but when I woke up this morning and opened the door to go feed the cats and give Son #2’s dog food, whose name is “Bounce a Little,” but it takes quite a lot to feed him. I have to watch, or the cats wouldn’t get a bite!
I enjoy fall and winter when Santa comes, but spring is my favorite.

The Last Word: I enjoy them all! – O.T.


honeyandflag.jpg (61206 bytes)The View From Here
By Katherine Veno

We can handle this...
There is no way to tell what may occur or happen to us every single day, but we can decide what happens inside us, and how we handle it.
On the pathway, we encounter lots of pot holes, big dark spaces we can fall into and disappear. If it were not for the flashes of light, laughter and happiness, only too brief, life would be dragging us down to the depths of darkness.
It is up to each of us how we internalize our trials and worries. Within each of us is a spirit that can be awakened to triumph or be broken. What we do with each situation, how we react, and how we stand or fall is really the most important way we handle what happens to us. It is really what matters most in the end.
Worrying never really seems to help me, it just wears me out. Fortunately, most of the things I have worried about never even happened.
Life gives us much to enjoy, but if we allow our negative thoughts and negative people to poison our lives, we do not stand a chance to be happy even for a moment. Life is a garden that must be weeded in order for the flowers to even be seen.
Sometimes, I wish I had a magic wand to make things “right.” I would un-do anything and everything, take back every unkind word, deed, action, or thought. I would spread magic fairy dust over all my past and the sparkle would erase and cover all the misdeeds I have done, spoken, or acted upon.
There was a time in my life I could not handle much of anything. I was fearful of lots of things, and would not even remove a mattress or pillow tag without fear of some sort of legal consequence. My how things change as you grow up.
There are certain freedoms in my life now. I do not have a bedtime, and I do not have to get up early. I can wear a big sunhat and a bathrobe in the garden if I so please.
I do not have to know all the answers or most of the questions, and if I change my mind, nobody really dwells on it, because it is probably expected. I am unusual, unique, and a little bit eccentric.
We can all handle life because we must. This is not a rehearsal for what we will do in a few hours, days or years, it is living for today, and living fully today. We are resilient and strong, even if at times, we feel weak and fragile.
We no longer have to do it perfectly. We can give it a good try and respect that effort. We can take a walk wearing comfortable shoes and nobody will care, stepping around the potholes is smarter than falling.
We are wiser.
Accepting the reality that we will not live long enough to accomplish everything we want is freeing. Putting the past behind us, then putting the future into some sort of reality lets us live each day as if it were our last. We can handle things because we realize, at any time at all, it someday will be our last.


EmilyLundy4-2.jpg (36194 bytes)Escapades of Emily
By Emily Gail Lundy

The aches of automation...
That leaves the most disturbing trend of all facing us - the increasing use of robots to talk to us as though we’re equals. The telephone voice for unknown numbers has improved a smidgen, but he or she does not recognize the difference between cities and states, and if the town has an out-of-the ordinary name, spelling it out may or may not help, such as Biardstown or Round Rock.
If a robot is not making you choke yourself with repeats and questions it can not understand when you do answer, or you have someone with a foreign accent who speaks louder the second, third and repeated times. One such caller asked my Texas friend if anyone lived in the house who could speak English. “Well, I can,” said my friend, “but you can’t.” Think of an automated voice with a foreign pronunciation. This is surely on the way.
But the worst is the nonhuman voice asking questions with you to provide the “right” word spoken into the phone. Nightmare. “I did not understand that,” is the reply. Then there is the pitch to use the web site which I may not remember when I get to my computer. After all, it took three days to find the correct telephone number. Yes, I know the wait will take hours, but I touch “speaker phone” and go about my personal doings until I hear a change in the music or hear a human voice.
These artificial recordings will even give samples of words they want the caller, me, to use to secure help. Of course, none of the words are what I need. If I say my own word, I hear, “I’m sorry. I did not understand you.”
The topper of this conversation was having me give my telephone number one digit at at time. This is where a recording device in a different use would have been of the most aid as I said my number three times. Then, I was to give an alternate number. I have none presently. I said nothing. The message gets repeated. This continued until I said, “Zero, zero, zero, pause, zero, zero, zero, pause, zero, zero, zero, zero.” That was wasted effort too. Did I mention I weep easily?
After another repeat of rejected zeros, I switched to “wait time,” hearing automated apology after apology for my not being helped. All this waste must be to save money when people need jobs. But what do I know. It’s called progress.
The next time you are bored, call the social security office in a city about 50-100 miles proximity. Take your blood pressure medication first.


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