Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Technological Conundrums

Another Christmas has come and gone (is this not the most hollow phrase ever?). It was a quiet Christmas day here at Chez Edel north, and Jonathan and I enjoyed every minute of it. We spent the day with our pets, opening presents, making delicious food and taking care of our stable of horses. Serene Christmas bliss, with the exception of a couple of new gifts that provided endless amounts of frustration and causing us to use words that no one should use on such a hallowed holiday. Item #1 was the Flip video. I was ECSTATIC to receive this gift from Jonathan. It's so cool. I made a quick "Hi and Merry Christmas" video for my parents and anxiously sent it off to my Mom's email address, wringing my hands and hoping that it worked. When I called her she ran to her computer and I could hear my voice and her giggling as she watched it. Yes, success! The next video that I sent could not be viewed for some reason. What was the reason? I don't know. Still don't know. The flipping Flip is flipping me the bird for some reason. It tells my Mom she needs to download Adobe Flash. Why? Dunno. Why was the first video a screaming success and the second proved to only induce screams of annoyance at it's reluctance to be shared? I made some adjustments, tried again, then tried again and tried again. No dice. Anyone have any ideas? I'm afraid that my technological dingbatness has ruined the fancy new toy.
The second amazing gift was a ipod touch from one of our beloved customers. It's so awesome! Our music is all in it, and we have apps! But we can't use the apps, because it won't connect to the internet. Again, sigh. What's the point of having all of this amazing technology tantalizingly close to our fingertips, yet we can't access it? It's the fate of 40 year olds who just aren't up to dealing with these new fangled instruments. Our brains are addled, we get confused and frustrated. We swear, shed tears and pace at our ineptness.
I give up. I'm going to read a book, which thankfully I still remember how to do. That is the one thing that helps me feel less stupid while facing these technological adversities. Words, I get them. Instructions on the computer are written in what "appears" to be straightforward English, but somewhere between my comphrension and application I am still failing to provide satisfactory results. Am I cursed? Have I ruined my two amazing perfect gifts in three days? It's all too much. See Dick. See Jane. See Spot Run. That is apparently my speed.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chilly, chilly weather

This week it's gotten really, really, seriously cold in my neck of the woods. The wind at my little farm is breathtaking, and I don't mean that in a good way. It takes your breath, hides it and gives it back to you in thin, icy blasts that burn your lungs and give your throat frostbite. We had our first snowfall yesterday. It was quite lovely to view...from inside the house. When I had to go outside and turn out horses, it was another matter entirely. The horses were alot more frisky due to the fluffy white ground cover and the brisk wind that blew up the backsides of their blankets. Getting them to their respective paddocks proved to be a daunting task. "Behave yourself", was a phrase that I ended up repeating over and over again. They did. They tried. No was injured during the turnout phase at JEM Stables. Phew.
All of this cold weather has conjured up a memory from my childhood that now makes me laugh, but at the time it was serious business. In early grade school, I had a best friend named Sarah. She was a lovely friend, besides the fact that she made me walk across a slippery, moss covered top of a brisk waterfall one day, but that's another story. Sarah was (and probably still is) smart and funny. I so enjoyed going to her house after school. Except in the winter. Her Mom was an experienced, 70's sort of mom. She'd had twins early on in life, in fact the twins were the same age as my oldest sister, so nine years older than Sarah and myself. Fresh air was stressed at that time of child rearing as being VERY good for kids. This meant that when I went to Sarah's house after school in the wintertime (this is NH, mind you), we would have a brief respite in their warm, cozy house and then no matter what the temperature, or wind chill, we were expected to bundle up and go outside to PLAY. Who plays in minus degree temperatures? I hated it. Sarah's mom would lock the door, with a big cheery smile and say "Have fun, girls!". I wanted to find the biggest icicle possible and stab her through the heart when she said that phrase. Sarah would shrug her shoulders, obviously conditioned to this type of misplaced mothering and totter off down the hill to gaze at the frozen pond that bordered their property. I vainly attempted to enjoy those after school moments, but really I just wanted to sit in front of the TV and watch The Mike Douglas Show. It was inhumane, child abuse, yet I went back again and again, because Sarah was such a good friend and after all I couldn't let her freeze to death by herself. Well, the good news is that we never died. Carol, the "Mom" still lives in the same house I visited as a child and Sarah lives, guess where? HAWAII! Hmm, bet those frosty afternoons have something to do with her chosen destination of where to raise HER kids.
Now I live in Millbrook, NY, where it's brutally cold in the winter. Very windy, unforgiving and frigid. Maybe those frosty afternoons with Sarah helped to prepare me for a lifetime of enduring winter weather at it's extreme. God help me. I'm off to apply another layer of face cream. Thanks, Carol. You witch. And I mean that in the fondest of ways.