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Category Archives: Living the Life

Weekly Photo Challenge: Near/Far

 

An interpretation of the theme of the Weekly Photo challenge: Near/Far.  If you would like to participate in the Weekly Photo Challenge, visit the The Daily Post at WordPress.com.  Even if your blog is not about photography, you can still join in the challenges every week.  It is a great way to participate in a daily/weekly post.

 

Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

Please Enter a Valid Number

Every now and then, I feel there is too much technology in our lives. Oh, do not get me wrong, I enjoy checking the weather on my smart phone and using Google to research the things that flit across my mind.  Nevertheless, sometimes that same technology is overwhelming.

     For instance, this weekend I received an automated call from the village hall of my town.  I was not home when the call came in, thus a message was left via voice mail.  When I returned home, I checked my Caller ID and noticed that the village had called.  My problem…I do not know how to access my voice mail on the house phone.  My cell phone dials voice mail automatically, but the landline requires that I dial a number and put in a password.  I use to know the number and the password, however, the phone company I use, just upgraded their system. 

     I should know this information, except that my husband set up the new voice mail.  I wrote down the number and password somewhere.   I do not remember where I put the numbers, and my husband is out-of-town camping.  I would have called him on his smart phone, but apparently, his phone has gone deaf, blind and dumb.  He is not available to take my call or my text.

     Therefore, I do the next best thing, and Google my phone service provider. At their website, I am asked for my user name and password.  I do not remember this either.  I try every combination that I know without any luck.  Finally, I look up voice mail in the help section of the web site.  I am able to surmise that if I press *98 I can call my voice mail. 

     I call and I am asked for yet another password.  I am okay with this request, because I know my husband made it the same number we have used since phone companies have begun asking for passwords.  I confidently typed in the number and I am told that the number is not valid.  I type it in again, thinking that maybe I pressed a wrong digit. I receive the same message. Rats!

     All I want to know is what the village is calling my house to warn me about on a Friday night!  I worry that maybe we are under some sort of boil water order or maybe there is a killer roaming the streets. I need to know if I should barricade the house.  I think about calling my neighbor to ask if she received a call from the village, but it is getting late.   

     I am still thinking about that call when I go to bed.  I cannot sleep, so I go out to the computer and check the village’s website to see if there is some sort of word of caution. Nothing.  I open the back door and listen. Nothing.  The only thing I do notice is that it smells like a swamp outside.  So much for technology helping me in this situation.  The village could be calling me to tell me the world is ending.  I would not know, because I do not have a flipping password.

     The next day, my neighbor is sitting out on her porch. I wave and ask her if she received a call from the village.  She informs me that she did and that the village was calling to inform its citizens that they would be spraying for West Nile Virus.  Hmmm, that explains the swamp smell and the phone call.  Whew, nothing horrible except that poison is being sprayed in my town to help alleviate the mosquitoes carrying a deadly virus!

    As soon as my husband comes home from camping, the first thing I am going to do is have him write down all the passwords to everything we own in a notebook. I will keep that notebook in a safe place for the next time technology wants to send me an important message. Nothing like being prepared.

 

Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

Property of Grandmother musings.

 

Join the Weekly Photo Challenge. Every week there is a new theme.

New to The Daily Post? Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Subscribe to The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

 

Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

TRAIN – Shades of Seuss Challenge

Railroad Station photo taken by J. Nowinski

When he was a little boy,

My husband thought it would be a joy.

To sit on the train and watch the sights,

He could hear the whistle and see the blinking lights.

He rides the train every day.

He works and then he gets his pay.

Winter, spring, summer, and fall.

He takes the train to the mall.

The conductor punches his ticket.

The punch sounds like a cricket.

Clickety-clack, clickety-clack goes the wheels.

The commuter train serves no meals.

The people sit and then they stand.

At their stop, they all disband.

His train pulls into Union Station.

It is one of the busiest in the nation.

Work, work, work, all day long,

When it is over he joins the throng

Back to the train is where they head,

They go towards home and to their beds.

My husband enjoys riding the train.

Personally, I think he is insane.

 

Railroad Sign photo taken by J. Nowinski

****If you would like to participate in the “Shades of Seuss Challenge” please check out  20 lines or less and post a poem. Better yet, join 20 lines or less and post your poems, prose, and photographs, daily.

Related Articles

Dr. Seuss Challenge

Dr. Seuss II

Shades of Seuss

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Night Owl vs Early Bird

    

My internal clock is set for burning the midnight oil and eating midnight snacks.  I am not sure why I enjoy staying up late and sleeping in, but I have always been dubbed a “night owl”.  I think it runs in my family.  My grandmother would stay up late watching TV until the screen went fuzzy.   I too have been known to go to bed with the birds singing.

     The problem is that it is so very difficult to live and work in a world that demands that I wake up with the birds.  It is especially hard, after a long summer break, to suddenly wake up and live on a morning person’s schedule.  Coffee and lots of it is required to survive.

     Morning people are a different breed from Night Owls.  They enjoy waking up to the sunlight and have no trouble getting all their work done before 8:00 P.M.  As a Night Owl, I start doing my best work at 8:00 P.M. and the creativity is really flowing after midnight when those early birds are fast asleep.   Going back to the world that strives on daylight time requires enormous energy for me. 

     The phrase of “Thank God It Is Friday” has a special meaning to a Night Owl, because it means that I can stay up late, once again.  The alarm is set to off and creativity flows once more.  The hardest part is going back to the weekday schedule and falling asleep on Sunday night.   I am a night owl living in an early bird world!

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

Lights, Camera, Improv!

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     The hardest thing for most of us to do is place ourselves out in front of an audience. While blogging is a way to interact with an audience, in truth, no one really has to see you. As a writer, the audience only knows what I want them to know. I can hold back, if I choose, and only submit a perfect piece of work after much editing.

     This evening, my Improv class performed for a live, breathing audience of family and friends. This class is a very advanced group of people who have worked together for a few years. At the end of each 8 weeks of class, the whole troupe gives a performance to show the skills we have learned. And, even though this is something I do often, it still gives me the jitters when it comes time to perform.

     In spite of the jitters, I have received so many benefits from doing Improv. What began as an interest and a way to get my husband off the couch, has spiraled into more than I could have ever imagined. Now, my husband has joined a troupe that performs every month in front of a paying audience, and I have elected to teach Improv to paying students as an enrichment program. It is amazing what just putting yourself out there can do.

     What is Improv, you say?  Well, it is a form of comedy that is made up on the spot. There are not any scripts, but, often, it takes the form of a game where rules are the only parameters given to the performers.  If you have ever watched the show, “Whose Line is it Anyway”, then you would be familiar with Improv.

     According to Awkward Squad Improv Troupe site, “The experience and knowledge that you gain from participating in an Improv troupe will enrich you in many unique ways.” Some of the common benefits are:

  • Increased Confidence

  • Improved Public Speaking Skills

  • Enhanced Acting Abilities

  • Gained Comfort in Social Settings

  • Refined Brainstorming Abilities

  • Improved Listening and Observation Skills

  • Enhanced Creative-Thinking Abilities

  • Improved Decision-Making Skills

  • Team Development Skills

     Improv has helped me as a teacher to think quickly and make connections for my students. It aids me in speaking to parents, to administrators, and in everyday conversations with others. It also makes me feel more confident about myself and boosts my ego. Not to mention, the friends I have made and people I have met.

     There are so many advantages to taking a chance and putting yourself physically and mentally on the line. Is it scary? You bet!  However, it is worth every moment of time. My husband and I began at our local community college by taking the Improv beginner classes.  The cost was less than going to the movies a couple of times. So, if you are looking for something to take you away from the TV this winter, you may wish to check for an Improv class in your area. What do you have to lose? And if you still feel too shy to try it yourself, go and see a live show. I guarantee that you will have a good laugh.

Links to Improv:

Improv Comedy Clubs – this site will connect you to Comedy Clubs in major cities around the USA.

LearnImprov.com – A site with tips, games, and introduction to Improv

Improv Comedy : Why Take an Improv Comedy Class?– YouTube video

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

 

 

Stupid is as Stupid Does

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It is 2:00 A.M. and I am working on my computer at the kitchen table.  My eyes are blurry and my back hurts.  I decide to go out in the back yard to see if it is still as hot as it was earlier in the evening.  I save my work and go to the back door.  The dogs come running as soon as I open the back door. I squeeze past them so they do not get out. If the dogs get out they will wake up the whole neighborhood with their barking, and that is not good.  I close the door behind me.

It is still as muggy and stagnant outside as it was earlier in the evening. I instantly begin sweating in my purple P.J.’s.  A moth flies toward my head, and I slap it away.  Enough of this, I say to myself, and turn to open the door and go back into the house. I turn the knob and it is stuck.   I turn it harder. Damn! I have locked myself out of the house.

Another bug of some sort buzzes my ear, and I swat it away.  What am I going to do now?  I do not want to knock on the door and wake the whole house.  Then I remember the spare key we placed in a well-hidden place in the garden.  In bare feet, I cautiously walk through the flowers and weeds to get to the statue of a gnome.  I slap the mosquitoes away and bend down to find the key under the gnome.  It is not there!

Not knowing what kind of creepy crawly creature I may be touching, I put the gnome back and walk out of the garden.  Maybe the key is in the garage.  For the life of me, I cannot understand who took the key from the gnome.  Shouldn’t he be protecting my keys or something?  Isn’t that what garden gnomes are supposed to do?

I go to the side door of the garage. We do not usually lock it, so I am happy when the knob turns. I push the door.  It will not open more than an inch.  Oh, there is a refrigerator blocking my entrance. This said item is the refrigerator my daughter dropped off earlier to keep in the garage for drinks.  The refrigerator is hanging over the door just enough so I cannot budge the door open.  Double Damn! Why didn’t they check to see if the door opened after they placed the refrigerator in the garage?

I carefully make my way from the garage to the front of the house. I am cautious and avoid cutting my foot on something I cannot see.  I am hoping that the front door is magically opened.  No.  Ahhh….I retrace my steps to the back door again, trying the knob again in vain.  The two dogs have their noses crushed against the window looking at me.  I know they would open the door for me if they could.

Having no other choice, I leave the back yard once more. I head for my bedroom window where I dread waking up my husband; however, at this point, I have no other choice.  Like a thief in the night, I sneak up to the window and tap gently.  I know if anyone on the block looks out their window and sees me, they will think I am a burglar.  I am just about to tap on the window again, when lights blind me, and a voice booms in my ear.

“Please move away from the house and put your hands up.”

My heart falls to my feet.  I quickly turn around ready to explain, and I see that standing there is my husband.  The flashlight is in his hand and it is shaking due to the deep belly laugh he cannot control.  I am furious now and slapping bugs away from my ankles.  I probably will have malaria from all the darn bug bites.

“Jerk!” I mumble to my husband who is crying in hysteria.  I walk around to the back door that he has left open.  The dogs are happy I am unharmed, and I give them both a loving pat on the head for their good intentions.

Trying to control his humor, my husband follows me into the house.  It seems he heard me rummaging around the back yard and got up to see what was going on.  Seeing that I was locked out, he grabbed the flashlight and snuck behind me. He then waited for just the right moment to ambush me.

With a chuckle still vibrating in his chest, my hubby kisses my cheek and goes back to bed.  The bugs really bit me up and the bites require a little Benadryl cream to avoid the itching that will inevitably come by the time I wake up.  Other than the bug bites, I am doing okay.  I did learn a few lessons about locking yourself out of the house.  The first lesson is never trust your husband. Second, dogs only want to love you and let you in.  Finally, do not depend on garden gnomes to hold your spare keys.

In the end, I understand that I need to pay attention when I wish to wander outside in the middle of the night.  I am going to put a spare key somewhere accessible to me. I never want to be locked out of the house, again.

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 
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