First Place

On the blog Best-Fiction-Books, I’m the first place winner with my post, “A Very Welcoming Book.” I’m a fan of Fannie Flagg’s writing, and her book Welcome To The World, Baby Girl!  is my favorite. You can read my review here.

Don’t Try This

Don’t try this, but I did.

Yesterday morning, I went in to the home office and found my three-year-old desktop computer’s CPU power button blinking orange. In order to turn it off, I had to press and hold it for several seconds. When I turned it back on, it was blinking again. The screen was blank and there was no sound of a motor or fan. Nothing. Dead.

I turned on my netbook and did a search on what could be wrong. The first few pages were heavily into it being the power cord and me needing a new one. I really didn’t want to be bothered with that, and didn’t think that was the problem. I went deeper into the search and came up with lightning and power surges.

Bingo. We had a bad storm the previous night. I unplugged the CPU and plugged it back in. Nothing. I followed more directions, like when to press the power button. Still nothing. An hour had lapsed and I hardly even had my first cup of coffee. My nerves were frayed.

I did what I do best when I’m frustrated. I whacked the CPU with my hand and whacked the modem. Hard.

It came to life.

I doubt this is what did it; maybe my hand hit a hidden restart button somewhere. Or maybe it was just being ornery and behaving badly, like an over-tired preschooler.

Everything’s fine now. I put it in sleep mode and am using my netbook until tomorrow, after the desktop computer  gets a good night’s sleep.

The Last Laugh

My mother carried a secret to her grave. In fact, her gravestone is her last laugh.

Years ago, when she was in her twenties, she decided that absolutely no one would ever know her true age. Not even her new husband. Vanity? Maybe. Becoming a nurse in later years when she should be retiring? Perhaps. Wanting the doctors–and others–not to treat her as an old woman when she was past her seventies? Most probably. Whatever her reasoning, her birth year was always an enigma, even to us, her surviving four daughters. We had our suspicions from stories she told. And of course she had conveniently misplaced her birth certificate. When she applied for her driver’s license (in the years before intense scrutiny) she made up a year. And the admissions office at the hospital had three different birth years in their computers. “Pick one,” she’d say to the staff when she was to have surgery.

Through the years, she defied the calendar. Her hair was chin length and medium blonde. She only occasionally wore glasses. Her everyday outfits were skirts and pumps and pressed blouses. Her jewelry was simple yet elegant. She walked with her head held high.

Finally, when her time on earth was completed, we knew exactly what our mother would want. Under our mother’s name at her gravesite is a birth year we chose at random. She had the last laugh, just as she’d want it.