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Showing posts from September, 2012

iPad Case with Keyboard cheaper online? Very Cool!

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Okay, I admit it.  I love the idea of shopping. I really don't need to leave the house to shop but don't tell my husband. He doesn't really know that yet...we have only been married 51 (almost 52) years!

For example, I need to tell you about a new iPad case with a keyboard I got this last week. I found it at a kiosk in the mall while I was dreaming of an iPhone 5. The kiosk featured all those cool accessories we need when we own the portable technology available today. My iPad case was not working like it should after a year of hard use so I began looking to see what was available. It is amazing how classy and functional the covers have become since the iPad came on the market.

The one that caught my eye was a iPad case with the keyboard integrated into the case. When I stand the device up, it becomes a laptop by linking the keyboard through a blue tooth. The one you see below is very similar to the one I found. Mine has a magnetic latch that shuts the screen off when it…

Books: SEVEN THOUSAND WAYS TO LISTEN by Mark Nepo (NYT best selling author)

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"I hope the journey of this book will enable readers to discover and enliven their own personal practice of staying close to the aliveness we are each born with, and so inhabit the durable and precious gift of life." Mark Nepo on his new book, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen. Seven Thousand Ways to Listen Staying Close to What Is Sacred By Mark Nepo This edition:Hardcover, 288 pages

ISBN-10: 145167466X ISBN-13: 9781451674668

When I review a book I normally read it because I am obligated. I am sent a copy before the book is released and I read...from cover to cover. So I began reading Mark Nepo's new book SEVEN THOUSAND WAYS TO LISTEN: Staying Close to What is Sacred in the evening because it was the time I could snatch from a busy day. My vision was blurred and the words began to swim. Then the sound of the words in my head stopped me dead. "Stop! Stop now! Listen" my heart said. I don't know why but my being was listening even if I wasn't.

Have your ever…

An invitation to link: 5 Small Things To Do...Everyday

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There are things that I think we should do everyday...not big things but small things, doable, and real.  Why? Because big elephants need to be eaten one bite at a time. When we look at the whole, we become discouraged and stuck. Think about these small things. This is an invitation to link to this post in the comments with your blog post about your 5 things:
Savor waking up every morning.  Have you ever thought about the miracle of sleeping and waking every day of your life?  It is one of the most amazing things. Begin each day slowly, savoring the joy of being awake to greet the day.Walk fast for a little distance. Time is no problem because a short distance can take a matter of seconds. Who knows, if you begin with a very short fast walk, you may find yourself walking fast for a little longer each day. Don't pay attention to how long or far...just walk until you are done and then be done!Smile at someone. Is there a scientific reason we should smile?  I don't know nor do I c…

"Why are you getting old?" the two year old asked.

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+I think I have told you before that my grandchildren do not know how old I am.  The little ones think I am just like them and the older ones think I am decrepit. I don't know why but there you have it!

The two little grandsons spent the night with us last night so we had fun walking, talking, reading, coloring, playing and sleeping. Going to bed is always hard but we manage to get the job done every time they come. I suppose children will sleep eventually no matter what we do. I really don't say much because I have learned sleep doesn't always appear at the door when I want it to.

However, I want to take control of the getting up part. It is not any easier than the going to sleep part but I am always hopeful.  See I am not an early riser...not even a little bit. I told the boys last night that I wanted them to stay in bed, sleep in, let grandma sleep as long as they could.

They looked at me in stunned silence and the two year old piped up the usual question.

"Why?&q…

Zen, Worry, and the Drive-thru Window at 7-Eleven

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In my imaginary Zen world, I had come to believe that worry was something that could be conquered. I would say things like "Why worry about things that probably will never happen?  If bad things do happen, that is the time to worry." Even James Russell Lowell thought worry was for other people.
Let us be of good cheer, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which will never happen.  ~James Russell LowellAs I understand the teachings of the Zen, the goal is to not just to know but to become enlightened. Wikipedia says, "Zen emphasizes the attainment of enlightenment and the personal expression of direct insight in the Buddhist teachings." In teaching we could call this internalizing the knowledge. Ah for the ability to truly become one with the knowledge we have attained throughout our life. So that brings me to the new drive through window at the local 7-Eleven convenience mart.  

When the latest granddaughter climbed behind the wheel of the famil…

Children's Books: DAMIEN AND THE DRAGON KITE by Raymond Macalino

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If I find something good when I am shopping, I can hardly wait to tell everyone I know.  Today I need  to tell you about Damien And The Dragon Kite (click on link to buy).
My husband and I walked to Saturday Market here in Hillsboro this morning. Usually I buy vegetable but today I came home with a beautiful little book written by Raymond Macalino called Damien and the Dragon Kite. Macalino was reading the book aloud to a young family.  Of course you know I am but a child at heart so there I was, standing and listening. I loved the message and simplicity of the book.

Macalino is from the Phillipines where a kite festivals are celebrated each year. Damien is his little boy and actually looks a lot like the illustrations in the book. It is beautifully illustrated by Andras Balogh so that Macalino's stories comes to life magically. I was a teacher of small children for many years so you need to trust me when I tell you...you are going to love this one!

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Raymond Macalino can be found…

4 Perfect Gifts for Grandchildren from Creative Grandparents

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Christmas is coming and finding just the right toy for your grandchildren, young and a little older, can be a trick.  Grandparents need to be creative, frugal and (best of all) fun.  Here are some ideas for you.

I went to the mall today.  Here are a few that I spotted.  These are all available on Amazon or online at other places,  I have included links for your convenience: iPad Protective Cover:  The one I saw had handles on the side that allowed the child to grasp the iPad and move it around.Augmented Puzzle:  Parent magazine says this is one of the best toys for 2012. Your can download an app on an iPhone or and iPad that will bring the puzzle to life.   I am getting this for my family.This groundbreaking new “augmented reality” line of interactive puzzles come to life with a free downloadable app that uses the camera function of your iPhone or iPad2 to animate the scene. 
Rocking Bowl:  If your grandchild is a toddler, we all know that keeping them active in the house can be a chall…

AARP: Healthy Living Trivia Sweepstakes, Prizes and Learning

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Yesterday I received a letter from a Melissa Summers, a Community Manager and Content Creator for B2B and Consumer Facing Brands.  She is promoting an AARPsponsored website calledHealthy Living Sweepstakes.  The website is all about healthy lifestyle awareness and learning while playing a game of trivia.  The hook is a $20 credit toward a pedometer/radio or a 3-day vacation at a resort.  Hi Barbara,I'm writing on behalf of AARP to let you know about their ongoing Healthy Living Sweepstakes. You can read more about it here: http://aarp.promo.eprize.com/health/#.UE9YL1Ew-7t. As a non-profit organization with more than 37 million members, the AARP advocates a healthy lifestyle as part of its overall mission to support independence, choice and control in the lives of Americans 50 years old and older. Because your (extensive) content focuses on many aspects of living well after retirement and you recently shared some thoughts about the AARP re…

Lonely Planet: "No, I'm not a 'twitcher'!"

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I saw the item in my paper.li website (Retire in Style Daily News).  The Top 10 Destination for Twitchers. Was that something I should know about?  Am I a twitcher?  I know that there is a term "curtain twitcher" for people that peek through their curtains so they can keep an eye on the neighbors.  I knew that I was not one of them. If I want to know what the neighbors are doing, I go out in the front yard and ask. I was fairly sure Lonely Planet was not talking about that variety of twitcher.



Source: lonelyplanet.com via Barbara on Pinterest
It turns out a twitcher is a bird watcher of the rare variety. They travel around the world looking for rare birds and adding the name to their list of said rare birds seen.  It is a kind of rare competition I think.  The article in Lonely Planet had some comments from people that I wouldn't want to meet...sort of mean and cross.  Evidently LP offended them in some way! Bird watcher really need for those of us that don't (watch…

Magazines on iPad...some for free! Goody Goody!

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I am loving my iPad more now that when I first was given it as a gift. This is my latest discovery...magazines for my iPad! We only have one TV and it is football season. My husband loves football. I love it in small doses. I cannot write or work all of the time. I need my iPad magazines so I can pass the ever darkening evenings that come with Fall. It turns out that it is true:  Necessity is the mother of invention (or discovery in my case). Here is what I have learned...iPad has MAGAZINES...LOTS OF MAGAZINES!

The iPad allows me the option of reading and storing my magazines. Paper is kind of precious or that is what I think. Now I can read my magazines and not have piles under the table and on the table and in the drawer of the table. It is all good.

However, there are a few things I have noticed. While there are many magazines that can be downloaded using the magazine App, not all the magazine for the iPad are created equal.
Take Country Living for example. This magazine has been on…

PERFECT FOR GRANDPARENTS: 7 Ideas for a Custom Made Gifts...Christmas is coming (I'm sorry)!

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Note: Become a follower...I would like that!

Do the marketing genius people have us conditioned?  It is not even Halloween yet and I am beginning to think about shopping for the Christmas Holiday season.  It is just sick!

Custom Made
This year I am trying to think "custom made" for some people on my small list.  Over on the Grandparents.com Facebook account a website for custom made toys created using a child's artwork caught my eye. I love the idea of giving a piece of artwork to parents or the grandchildren that holds wonderful memories. Here are some of the websites I found:
Totally Out of Hand is a website devoted to creating children's artwork  using a child's artwork.Child's Own Studio recreates the artwork into custom soft toys for childrenDog Magic Studio has formed a partnership with the National Autism Foundation to recreate jewelry using the child's hand print or thumb print.Kid Doodle will do the same. The artist is a mom working out of her home…

Will you just RETIRE already? There is a line waiting!

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Since when did retirement get to be such a big deal? I mean, really folks, when the time come, be prepared and, as Nike would say, just do it. It is not rocket science.

Because I am old, I remember when people worked their required 30+ years and then they retired to do what retirees do. They went fishing, took care of the grandchildren, bought groceries and worked at what ever they wanted to work at.  It was natural and right!

Now there seems to be a trend toward working forever and staying young forever. People live beyond their means so retirement becomes a race to make enough money so they can keep on living beyond their means.Heaven help us all! Halting the passage of time forever is about as possible as a 20 month pregnancy or putting a rock on you child's head so he will never grow up. Some things CAN not be changed. We should grow up, do what ever grown ups do, let our children do the same and get on with our lives.

Have you ever thought that retiring as we grow older is a…

Keeping Life Fair: Wear Hearing Aids and other good stuff!

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LET'S PLAY FAIR
Do you have a hard time hearing but, according to you, are doing just fine?  How many times a day do you say "Huh?" After all, if the you are able to get most of the important stuff, can turn the TV up on the 12 setting and don't have to listen to a lot of small talk, why should you pay all that money for the stupid things?  Right?

Well, here is the deal. You do not live in a bubble. You share your life with other people. Taking those people into account would lead most people to reconsider their decision to pass up the hearing aids. How about you? Remember, you need to be fair to the humans and the whining dog that needs to go out.

Oh by the way, my husband has worn hearing aids for years so I am not talking about him or anyone in particular!:) I'm just saying.

ON A LIGHTER NOTE...
I came across a couple of blogs I think you should read.
Frikos World: Friko is a middle aged German woman living in England who can be funny while quoting Shakespeare. …

Travel PDX: Dan and Louis Oyster Bar...WWII Flying Tigers and more!

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Portland is a magnet for people from around the world. I think that is one of the things I love about this city.  It is not uncommon for me to visit with a tourist from Switzerland with a beautiful big camera and within a few minutes be talking to one of the oldest living survivors of the veterans of the all-Chinese American Flying Tigers.  Honestly, I don't know how that can be but it happens to me here all the time. The only thing that changes is the cast of characters.


We were eating dinner at the Oyster Bar* located on Ankenny Alley in Old Town near Burnside. We had taken a seat inside near a window and ordered a drink when a couple wandered up to one of the picnic table outside.  The man had a beautiful big camera he put down on the table. Not 10 feet away a far bigger camera was being used by a far younger man. I could not resist the temptation to compare the cameras. The encounter resulted in a conversation with a gent…

Book: Why read "Monkey Mind, a Memoir of Anxiety"?

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Monkey Mind*: A Memoir of Anxiety was written by Daniel Smith, son of a psychotherapist and brother of a hypochondriac. His whole life experience it turns out was lived with very anxious people. It was only natural that he should suffer from something and anxiety seemed only natural. When he explained what he had come to understand as the underlying cause for his affliction he said: ...[my brother's] admonition is that I never realized how influential our upbringing must have been....In his early 40s, my father had a series of panic attacks that sent him packing to the behavioral ward. My mother, meanwhile, was struggling to make it through P.T.A. meetings without hyperventilating herself into unconsciousness. (NYT 4/2012)So Smith did something I thought such an monkey minded person could never do...he wrote a book. It turns out it is a wonderful read. If this book doesn't become a movie, I will be very disappointed. Woody Allen wo…

Being "honest" in politics must be very hard! Photograph to prove it!

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Technorati Tags:  Being honest can get you in trouble. The fact might be that telling the truth is very rarely a good thing for the truth teller.

I received a text message the other day with the message, "At least they were being honest."  Here was the picture included.  The sign said:

Get us drunk  420 ("420" means for a $20.)
Luckily there was a Safeway just up the road so these guys could stagger over and buy some beer if someone actually gave them money. Imagine if these truth tellers were Republicans or Democrats raising funds!
With political season heating up and claims begin thrown around by both parties, the probability of anyone being totally honesty is very small. Anyone that has taken a statistics class knows that numbers can say anything. It is all about how you spin the message. I know what I think is true but unless I employ an honest to goodness "fact finder"*, the type the high class magazines like The Atlant…