Dear Reader

This blog is no longer active as of 2017.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Be the Change You Wish to See

We ate Chinese take out food tonight and my fortune cookie had the following message "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Immediately it reminded me of this banner I had photographed in London last June. It was on display as part of a protest in a public square. I liked its positive message and snapped the picture as a reminder to myself.

What these words mean to me is that when I see something wrong in this world and feel the urge to do nothing but complain, I'm missing an opportunity. If I want a more accessible world for everyone, then I need to be part of making that happen. I need to advocate for increased accessibility within my own sphere of influence.

What does this quote attributed to Gandhi mean to you?

Thanks to Jonathan for telling me the source of this quote.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dealing with Disappointment

Originally uploaded by meibukan76

Last year at this time I was reading several fiction books about the Amish. At the time I was struck by a recurring theme of accepting God's will as the Amish way of handling disappointments. I was intrigued by this attitude. Sadly, I've seen people turn bitter when life doesn't go their way and I wanted to know how I might avoid travelling that road myself. I searched "God's will" on Google and found this beautiful Catholic prayer. It's meant so much to me that I printed it out and placed it on my desk where it is within my view at all times while I am work. I've found it helpful in dealing with the inevitable disappointments that have come my way over the past year. Perhaps you will find it helpful too.

Prayer to Accept God's Will

Give me, Lord, the strength and courage to accept Your will at this time of my life, and throughout my life. You know both what I want and what is best for me. Help me to recognize Your blessing and presence in all my needs so that my thoughts, words, and actions might reflect my trust in Your wisdom. Amen."

You may also want to check out this other photo of disappointment on flickr. It's guaranteed to make you smile.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

One Minute of Your Time For Hearing Ear Dogs

Pepsi Refresh Project is sponsoring a contest to fund good ideas. Quota of Ontario, Canada has entered their idea to provide 9 hearing ear dog guides. Quota clubs across Ontario fundraise and provide service to deaf, hard of hearing, speech-impaired and disadvantaged women and children. They are proud sponsors of Dog Guide sponsorship with Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides.

Quota needs your vote. It only takes a minute of your time, it's free, and you can help make it possible for 9 people to get the hearing ear dogs they need.

Vote here. This site explains the Quota clubs project and what the organization will do with Pepsi's money.

Thanks to Cathy who alerted me to this opportunity. Currently Quota is the 6oth ranked idea. Your vote is needed to push it to the top. You can vote once a day until December 31. Even Coke drinkers votes count.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Buying Eyeglasses Online

After I wrote in September about the ordeal I had getting my new eyeglasses replaced after the frames broke, I was contacted by Marc of He offered me a $50 credit if I would buy a pair of glasses from his online store and blog about my experience. I had several readers comment that I ought to have a spare pair of glasses with my current prescription, so I decided to take him up on his offer. Marc also mentioned that buying glasses from would be significantly cheaper than what I had paid at my optician's office.

Here's how the prices compared with the eye doctor's office costs in blue and the JustEyewear costs in green:

Frames $225/$56

[Note: I did choose different style frames. A frame identical to the one I got at the doctor's office was priced at $29 online. I would have purchased that one but it was unavailable with bifocals for some reason.]

Progressive Lens (bifocals without lines)$245/$49

Antireflective Coating (necessary for computer work to reduce glare)$60/$29

Transitions (turn into sunglasses outdoors) $100/$59

Lenses $100/$19

[Note: I did buy 2 different types of lenses. At the eye doctor's office I purchased super thin lenses. Online, I chose thin lenses. Super thin were available online for $67. Because I would be using this pair mainly for backup and the wire frame was lighter, I decided thin lenses would suit just me fine. I've also noticed that my super thin lenses get dirty easily and require frequent cleaning.]

The eye doctor's office had 2 additional charges: $30 extra charge for high Rx and $30 for edge treatment (roll/polish).

Total costs: $730/$212

My health insurance covered quite a bit of the eye doctor's price, but I was unwilling to purchase a spare pair (not covered by insurance) at those prices.

Now that you know the bottom line, I bet you're probably wondering what it was like to order eyeglasses online. I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive as selecting new frames is one of life's Big Decisions for me. Fortunately the website is very user friendly and guided me through each of the decision making steps.

Once I placed my order, my eyeglasses arrived within two weeks. I put them on, they fit, and I can see perfectly with them. I'm very happy with my online eyeglass shopping experience.

This is the pair I chose. A bit more traditional in style,
I liked that the lenses did not have the wire frame on
the bottom. I'm embarassed that I didn't quite get
all of my glasses into this photo. You can view
a better photo of this pair on the JustEyewear site.

Here's a closeup of the filigree on the sides.
I like this light, feminine touch.

Once again, I was too shy to pose for a closeup
so I got one of my assistants to be the model.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Celebration of Family History

Me, my aunt Louise, my Uncle Gene,
my cousin Worley, my husband, and my son.

Genealogy has never been an interest of mine. I don't find investigating the family tree the all consuming passion that my husband, my father, and so many others do. Honestly, I never understood the fascination with one's ancestors until recently. My change of heart began with a letter.

Last August I received an elegantly worded invitation to attend the 125th anniversary of a historical society my great great grandfather had started. The current membership had tracked down all the living descendants of the orginal thirty-three founders and requested the honor of their presence at this momentous occasion. As letters like that don't arrive in my mailbox everyday and I hadn't seen my relatives that lived in the area for two years, I chose to attend and make it a family event by bringing my husband and son along too.

Sons of the American Revolution

Due to our work schedules, we chose to fly in to a major eastern city late the night before and drive down to meet our family at the courthouse in time for the event. As I had just been there two years before, I didn't anticipate any travel problems. I was blissfully unaware that a complicated new highway system had been built in the meantime. Naturally we promptly got lost. The situation was more problematic because the one hour time difference between the Central and Eastern time zones had affected me more than I realized and we were running late. Fortunately, a quick cell phone call to my aunt got us on the right road once again. We arrived only minutes late. Luckily, someone at the local newspaper had misprinted the event's time by a half hour and the historical society chose to wait the additional thirty minutes before beginning. We were able to catch our breath, connect with our relatives, and be introuduced to the historical society director without missing a thing.

Me, Charlie, historical society members, and other descendants
gathered in front of the courthouse for a photo op.

Charlie cut the ribbon
(I was too slow on the draw to get the ribbon in the
photo, but you can see he still has the scissors in hand.)

Bringing a teenager to a historical society celebration seemed a bit risky to me. Although my son loves history I wasn't sure whether this event would hold his interest long. I needn't have worried. My son was treated like a celebrity by the historical society. All because he had the distinction of being the youngest descendant on hand. They asked him to cut a yellow ribbon to begin the event and later on asked him to start the food line at the reception. Before he could leave the table with his loaded down plate, someone snapped his photo saying, "We need to know what the younger generation is eating." Heh. As his mom, I was proud that he had dressed nice for the occasion with a tie.

Once inside the courthouse, we were treated to a history of the historical society. My ears perked up when I heard that one of the earlier members had been deaf. I was sad to learn that his hearing loss kept him from doing all he wanted to for the society. The good old days weren't always so good!

On a lighter note, the historical society had a funny story about a cannonball I found memorable. This cannonball was a relic from the war of 1812. It had been in the historical society office for as long as anyone could remember. Over time it had assumed the function of the society's doorstop, quietly propping the door open until the day in 1995 when someone took a second look and asked if the cannonball had ever been tested to see if it was 'live' or not. Well, no one had ever considered that possibility before so the local fire department was called. Turned out the society was using a live cannonball as their doorstop. The fire department took the cannonball to a field and safely detonated it. The remaining shards are on display in the society's museum.

After the society's 125 year history had been reviewed, the search for the descendants of the original founders was discussed. It had been quite an effort and the society membership were pleased at the number who were in attendance that day. Coming from Illinois, I think we had travelled the farthest to be there. They presented each of the descendants with a certificate and a piece of the ribbon which Charlie had cut earlier. Then it was on to the reception at the society headquarters.

As you can see from these photos, it was a lovely luncheon and we enjoyed it very much. It was wonderful to be a part of family history for a day. Maybe those genealogy buffs aren't so crazy after all.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Brief Update

Now that it's November, my time as Employee of the Month is over. It sure is hard to let the parking space go. It was very convenient getting to park close to the building on days I was running behind schedule!

This past month has been so busy. I looked at my kitchen's daily calendar today and it said October 3. Oops. I guess I've been busier than I realized. Since the end of September I've made two trips out east to spend time with family. I plan to write about those special memories on my blog soon. Another post to watch for will be my report on my experience buying a pair of eyeglasses online.

Someone who hasn't been overlooked in the craziness of the last month is dear old Rusty. My husband and I were at the hardware store recently buying a wheelbarrow kit when I spied this oversized teddy bear. I knew immediately Rusty would adore it. He had come with us to the store and was waiting in the parking lot. He hates riding in the car and I knew this furry friend would cheer him up enormously. When he saw me carrying it out to the car, his tail started wagging. He just knew it was meant for him. The two have been inseparable inside the house ever since.

I'm reading a hilarious book, Enslaved by Ducks, about pet ownership gone amok. I recommend it to anyone who needs a good laugh. It certainly makes my life appear sane by comparison.

What's been going on with you?