Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

So today I'm gonna take a break from the craziness of Christmas and relax a bit. I'm going to go chat with everyone on Everyday Rurality's front porch. Well, she says it's a bit wet for sitting on the porch, so we'll have to invade her virtual kitchen and sit around, drinking coffee and chatting.

I'm gonna take Dad along with me. He likes to get out, so maybe he'd enjoy a virtual trip! Actually, I'm thinking Dad would think it was very silly. He doesn't understand why folks would want to have online social connections and blog. This, despite the fact that he met his ex-wife on! He was 82 and she was about 72! The match turned out to be a disaster, but at the time I had to commend both of them for going out on the edge like that!

So, let's chat! Here are this week's questions and my answers:

1. Who makes the best cookies in your family?
I'm sure Dad will agree with this, but my mom used to be the best cookie baker, ever! She had several wonderful recipes. I especially liked the  rosettes she used to make a Christmas. She had a special rosette iron and would dip it in batter and then fry the cookies. Yum! Right Dad?

2. What was the most satisfying or pleasing thing about Christmas 2011?
For me, it was having a Christmas tree and decorations in my house again. When we first moved our Christmas things were left at the old house. It took over two years to sell it and get all of my things under one roof. Then, we were always heading back east for Christmas, so we just didn't bother. This year, despite our going East again, I took some time and decorated. I love it! 
So, Dad, how would you answer this? Hmmmm, I'm thinking he'd be glad that we decided not to exchange gifts and not to fuss too much about the holiday. I think he's also thrilled to have a wonderful 'girl' friend who cares about him and cares for him.

3. How many photo did you take while your family was together for Christmas? Tons? A few? What pictures?
Despite taking several cameras with us on our trip, we hardly took any photos. I did insist on a group shot, and that will be posted on my other blog in the next day or so, with a similar shot from 22 years ago! I wasn't with Dad at Christmas, but I'm betting he didn't take any pictures. Up until recently he couldn't even find his camera, and despite having an iPad and an iPhone, he forgets how to use the camera feature on them. 

4. Do you have a fireplace, wood stove, or pellet stove?
We have a gas fireplace in our new home. Years ago we had a wood burning stove and used that to heat our house. I loved it... except for the delay between getting the fire started and heat being generated! Dad doesn't have a fireplace in his current apartment, but he insisted that houses he had built have Rumford fireplaces - these are taller and shallower and throw more heat.

5. What time did you get up on Christmas morning?
Without little ones in the house we were able to wake on our own schedules. Since I was two time zones away from home, I actually slept a lot later than I usually do, and probably got up around 8 or 8:30 AM. 

If you want to participate in the chatter visit Everyday Rurality's blog and click on one or more links from others who have joined us for the chat.

See you next week! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Everyone Can See This

It's happened again. Dad sees something on his computer screen and he thinks that everyone can see it. He seems to think the computer screen is like a TV and that people can tune to a specific channel and see what he is seeing. This morning I was screen sharing with him and I went over a series of emails that had gone back and forth between me, Dad's lawyer, Dad's financial advisor and a trust accountant. After going from email to email, showing and reading my initial query, the response from one person and the next, Dad commented, "I hate this!" I asked what he hated. He responded he hated that everyone could see his business. When I asked what he meant, he said that anyone could see it - I'm not sure whether he meant on a TV or a computer, but he felt that what he was seeing on his screen was something accessible to all people, someplace, somehow. I tried to explain it, and he sounded a bit relieved, but this time I'm not convinced that he was really satisfied with my explanation.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Let Me Write That Down

Dad has always been a note taker. Years ago he even had a pen with a light in the end of it so he could jot down notes in the middle of the night without waking my mother.

Now he will write down just about everything. I think he has adopted this strategy to reinforce what he is hearing, as well as to leave a record to refer to later. Dad's strategy backfires when he can't find the notes he has made, or when he can't understand them out of context! Dad often writes his notes on the back of an envelope, or on a small scrap of paper. Sometimes he will add notes from one day to the end of another note that he wrote several weeks previously. Occasionally a note he wrote several months ago will surface and he will become confused about the content.

I bought a special notebook for Dad - an early Christmas gift. He can write the date on the top of the page and then write down his notes. When he completes a task, he can go back and cross it off.  Maybe having all of the notes in one place, in sequence, will help him keep his thoughts in order.

I found this notebook at Staples. It is similar to one I have coveted from Levenger for years, yet it is a fraction of the cost. What appeals to me is that pages can be moved and more pages can be added. One can also purchase different types of pages, which may also be helpful to Dad.

I am thinking that if Dad adopts this slight change in his note taking strategy he may feel a bit more organized. Time will tell!