Archive for September, 2010

Technology AGAIN! It’s exhausting…

September 28, 2010

Here I am again. While I try to be calm and cool about it, technology has me by the YOU KNOW WHAT.  I have a wonderful piece of equipment which can copy videos and DVD’s onto each other.  Yesterday I decided it was a good time to copy a video from a daycare I had years ago in Drexel Hill.  Some time in the next few months, we will be having a reunion of the parents and children (who range from age 16 to 18 years of age now).So I diligently made 7 copies..

Just now I decided to view the DVD’s on another of our DVD players. Sometimes DVD’s won’t play on all DVD players. So far I have tried 3 of the discs and none of them-NOT ONE-works. The machine tells me “no disc”.  I go through a variety of emotions , the first one being “I must be insane.”  Did I not just do everything I need to do to copy the video for 7 people? WHY CAN’T THESE MACHINES JUST DO WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO DO? WORK – ALL THE TIME– Make me happy.  Apparently you also need to know what kind of DVD’s your player will accept.      

I will check out the other 4. I am not expecting much. Then later, I wil try all 7 on yet another DVD player in our house. Ugh! I just HATE all of this..People today assume that everything is routine, run-of-the-mill, easy…for so many young people it is…BUT I AM 63 YEARS YOUNG!  Here’s the process for me.

              1. Determine what type of disc is compatible to use with my burner.

              2. Make sure video is re-wound to the beginning of the desired film.

              3. Insert video in machine, then insert disc.

              4. Press to vcr to make sure machine is on vcr mode.

              5.  Press PLAY and then quickly press dubbing.

              6.  Come back to the room when video has completed copying, in this case-87 minutes.

I did this 7 times and look at my reward!!!  (Not that I was looking for a reward…I just wasn’t looking for a lot of nonsense.)  As I’ve heard before, “No good deed goes unpunished”- I hate that saying. I don’t really believe it, but it appears to be true in this instance.

And after all of this, I have to figure out what the problem is and possibly record these all over again.

This is MeddlingMom…I hope technology is working for you.

Transition-Changes in the Workplace-Adjusting

September 23, 2010

Ah, your job…you go there every day and expect certain things to be the same…your manager, your benefits, your workspace, expectations of you and the people who surround you and make your work environment enjoyable. A friend of mine recently had a change in her work space, a change that she had no opportunity to impact. It was simply thrust on her. Now, mind you, she has a good job, one which she is not anxious to leave.  On Friday her entire workspace was moved to an area where the only person within 25 feet is her manager. Oh, that sounds like fun, right?

The truth is, her manager is a “good guy”, but even so…exchanging being with your compadres with being with your boss? Mmmm…I don’t think so…but that is what she is left to deal with… when she arrived at work this week, her workspace was less than desirable to say the least. Coping can be quite a challenge.  First of all her computer wasn’t on the right side of her desk, there was some industrial hook hanging above her (she works in a manufacturing environment)…not a cool or safe way to go.  It was pretty depressing….

The human spirit is fascinating and we are infinitely creative and flexible. The next day when she arrived at work, the situation got better as she proceeded through her workday.  What happened? Someone removed the dangerous metal hook…that was a good thing…then, that same person came over and adjusted the goings on related to her computer, so that now her computer was in the right place and she could start to feel more “at home” with her work space.  The next day was even better…she discovered a bonus! Although she was next to her immediate superior, she was on the far side of his workspace; he was facing the rest of the room…nobody could see her and what she was doing! Not that she is doing anything wrong, but it is definitely nice to NOT be in a fish bowl (or feel like you are).
Time will tell whether this space will truly work for my friend,, but at this point, we seem to have the  ultimate example of turning lemons into lemonade!

This is MeddlingMom……remember to do your shopping early, if you have a son or brother living away from home, take a look at

The Westtown Station Gallery

September 21, 2010

I had a wonderful time on Sunday at one of the most enchanting exhibition spaces in the western Philadelphia suburbs. Arts and crafts were showcased in a special show this weekend.  The Westtown Station Gallery (Route 926 between routes 202 and 352) presents an Art Show and Open House every September for two days.

The historic train station gallery features handcrafted art pottery by Ken Kazanjian and paintings by his wife Shelley Shultis. During the Open House, refreshments are served in the Outdoor Sculpture Garden and artworks displayed in the Train Underpass Gallery on the grounds.. The gallery also features primitive and tribal arts, bronze windbells, Mayan hammocks, Indian blankets, textiles and blown glass. Admission is free.

The Westtown Station Gallery is located in the original Pennsylvania Railroad Westtown Station (originally aka Street Road Station) located adjacent to Street Rd just west of its intersection with the Thornton/Westtown Rd. Originally built in 1859, the station had seriously deteriorated by the 1980s as traffic declined and SEPTA prepared to discontinue the line. It was boarded up and ready for demolition when Ken Kazanjian found it.

Having just returned to the area from the Peace Corps, he was looking for a new home and work space and arranged to rebuild the station. Trained at the Philadelphia College of Art, over the next few years he remodeled the building to include his living area, studio, and gallery space for his future business. Today the Westtown Station Gallery features the works of Ken and Shelley.

Ken specializes in high fire ceramics. Based on the ancient Asian process, he creates strong pieces in muted colors. Each piece is a unique original design meant to be used. The collection includes many striking and beautiful pieces for your garden, table and walls.  Shelley is a self-taught painter who divides her time between her art and teaching horseback riding for the disabled at Thorncroft Equestrian Center in Malvern.

If you enjoy finely crafted art or are looking for a special gift, unique accent pieces, or outdoor sculpture, The Westtown Station Gallery is highly recommended. Think about the special people in your life and the special events that are approaching. Your favorite bride and groom and your friends with discerning taste will surely appreciate a piece from this fine collection. Keep in mind The Westtown Station Gallery is open daily from 10-5 from May through November.  Make sure you do your shopping before they close for the season after Thanksgiving weekend. Call 610-399-6986.

Keep in mind, if you are a mom of a college age son, take a look at for a wonderful gift for your son.

This is MeddlingMom…happy shopping!

Technology-here’s real help for those who are challenged!

September 17, 2010

Several months ago, I received a message from my daughter who knows just how technologically challenged I am. I am self-taught on the computer.  I do pretty well, but there is so much that I don’t know how to do, especially when it comes to refining work. There is a new-ish company called FloH Club (as in Florence Henderson of Brady Bunch fame).  Florence Henderson who is in her 70’s felt that there was a need for tech support for seniors. Don’t worry if you aren’t a senior citizen;  FloH Club does not discriminate if you are not a senior and need help.  Becoming a member has made such a difference to me; I feel such relief.  For $25/month or $250/year, I can call anytime I need help with my computer and anything related to the computer.  This is great for the Baby Boomers…I no longer feel so vulnerable when I need help understanding what to do when I receive weird messages (and I know you receive these, too!).

FloH Club even gives you a link on your desktop; when you need help, you simply open it, click on and it issues you a ticket number.  You call and give that number to the tech who will be working with you.

Another site for those who are challenged…check out eldergadget…if you google “floh club”, you’ll come up with some other helpful sites for the “challenged”.

This is MeddlingMom…good luck with your computer, etc.

Planting Autumn/Fall Flowers?

September 14, 2010

I had a beautiful flower garden this summer with Snapdragons, Portulacas, DahliaHydrangea, Double Impatiens in a hanging basket, Creeping Myrtle (a ground cover), Astilbe and several types of Lilies.  I  truly enjoyed the entire process, the planning,  planting, mulching, watering and removing the faded (dead) flowers so that new ones would replace them…I had the help of my 15 year old niece, Anya…she planted over half the garden and mulched the same. It was wonderful that she was here to help out when my initial enthusiasm and energy for planting and mulching had a temporary lag.  Anya was an amazing help.

It was  a very hot summer and the plants required much watering. At least every other day, I went outside to remove the faded flowers and to water the plants.  Every 3 weeks, I gave them food.  The garden did not disappoint me at all.  Those plants gave more pleasure than one would expect or imagine. The garden was stunning and the foliage proved to be sumptuous and expansive..

Here’s what I don’t understand.  the summer flower garden is still going strong, as they usually do here in the Mid Atlantic states and will probably continue to flourish through much of October.  What I don’t “get”is why people plant fall flowers like Mums…in order to do so you must pull out your existing flower garden and throw away the plants WHILE THEY ARE STILL BEAUTIFUL AND FLOWERING – what is the point of that? Why would you throw away that which you have nurtured and which has brought you and others such joy?  So I vote for skipping the “Mum” stage, then plant bulbs for spring bloom.  Also, here in the Philadelphia area, one of the plants that is a winter perennial is the Pansy! Imagine that!  You can actually have winter flowers in bloom and they are edible, too! This info came to me through Mike McGrath of WHYY (radio) program, You Bet Your Garden.  So plant your Pansies when your summer flowers die on their own and buy yourself a flat or two of Pansies. You will enjoy their beauty this fall and winter.

For me, my garden is still thriving and I’ll be outside tomorrow removing the faded flowers and enjoying the wonderful Indian summer weather we are experiencing in the Philadelphia area this week.  I hope you enjoy your summer garden for some weeks to come!

When you come to the end of this blog, please remember to look at the tag words. if you click on one of them, you will be taken to a page with blogs on that specific subject.

This is MeddlingMom….. I welcome your comments…

Morbid Obesity-Weight Loss-Lack of Sleep-Obstructive Sleep Apnea

September 10, 2010

Last year I was driving to my doctor’s office and I was having difficulty staying awake AT 8:30AM!!! I mentioned it to my doctor who said he wanted me to consider having a sleep study done.  I finally made the appointment and had the study done in May.  I had many questions related to my obstructive sleep apnea (I had stopped breathing 34 times an hour during a night’s sleep-this is considered severe obstructive sleep apnea). Can you even imagine what it means to have your sleep disturbed  like that?

I have been aware for quite some time that adults are supposed to get 7 or 8 hours of sleep per night. I am also aware that a lack of enough sleep can cause one to be hungry and to gain weight. Obstructive sleep apnea causes the heart to work harder while you are asleep, therefore being a risk to your health.

If you are morbidly obese, which I am,  or if you snore, consider having a sleep study done . It might help you to save your life.

I now have a CPAP machine which I use each night. I have had to change my sleep habits and attempt to go to bed and arise at more regular times.  I now stop breathing rarely.  Best of all, I am no longer dragging around all day long as if I didn’t sleep the night before. I have no idea how long I had this condition; however, I suspect that it has been many years.  The energy I now have is amazing. I feel like a new person.  I urge you…if you are very overweight, very tired or snore regularly, speak with your doctor about the possibility of obstructive sleep apnea.

My life has changed. I understand that there is also the possibility that I may drop some weight as a result of using the CPAP machine.

Good luck.

This is MeddlingMom…

Sons and Daughters-Going Off to College-The Empty Nest

September 9, 2010

I wonder about you moms and dads whose sons and daughters have left home to go off to college..How are you doing? This is a time that is fraught with emotions. It can be exhilarating, exhausting, thrilling, fun and sad..The past year (s) have required much preparation and planning so that you and your child (adult?) are in good shape fot the transition and so that the school selection is correct. It takes such a huge effort to do all that is needed…college applications, waiting to be accepted (or rejected), planning “the move” and all of the necessary purchases, driving or flying to the school and helping your young person to move in. For some help on what is necessary for freshman, go to and check on “see the full list”…and mom and dad,  you might get some tips here for YOUR technology needs. Then there is the concern that your son or daughter will miss you or be lonely or homesick. You go home and find out just how much you miss your son or daughter!  This can be a rude awakening.  I heard on NPR yesterday that the average college freshman has 14 contacts with parents per week…that is truly amazing and it is a huge change from years ago when moms and dads had a hard time “catching” their college student once a week and when students had to use the hall payphone!…It is nuce for parents to have contact, but I imagine there are some this week who wish they’d receive just a few less updates from Junior and Princess…  After all, you ARE supposed to be enjoying the empty or emptier nest, right?

Be sure to take a look at my website: www. for some interesting articles.  If you have a son who is away, a great way to be sure he has his personal toiletries (you know how much he HATES to shop for such things!) is to subscribe for him…a monthly delivery from www.automated  He’ll be kept supplied with  a multitude of necessities (including condoms-if you choose to have that be a part of your order).

Have a great day and enjoy the newfound silence in your home…


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