Monthly Archives: April 2011

MacCool (Mac users vs. PC users)

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“Never ask what sort of computer a guy drives. If he’s a Mac user, he’ll tell you. If not, why embarrass him?”
Tom Clancy

What can I say? I own a Mac.

I know, I know. I already spread the news. However, I felt compelled to share one more time since our son sent an article including traits of a Mac user.

Based on research, it’s actually been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt (or at least speculated) that Mac users are cooler than people who own PCs. I sure hope my PC using husband reads this post.

Cooler because we eat vegetables, not meat. Wait a minute, no more burgers?

Cooler because we choose Vespa scooters over Harley’s motorcycles. Bye, bye flame-embossed wallet.  

Cooler because we dip our pita chips in hummus, the mushiest food on the planet.

I had keys in hand with plans for shopping at vintage stores and for a more youthful look, but stopped in my tracks when I read I’ll soon be lunching on tuna fish sandwiches.

So, what are researchers trying to tell me? That I spent my life savings on a laptop and still don’t fit in?

Ever feel like you let your laptop down?

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – I have a better chance of belonging when I recognize I’m not defined by what I wear, what I drive or what I own. The list goes on. Fitting in begins when I close my Mac, take off my sunglasses, and accept who I see in the mirror. Now, that’s MacCool.

On the lighter side: I got a kick out of the article even though I’m an exception to the rule. I only bought a Mac trying to avoid viruses. My PC got sick a lot. However, I’m coming to understand the loyalty. Macs are cool.

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Advice From the Dark (chocolate) Side

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“I lied on my Weight Watchers list. I put down that I had 3 eggs, but they were Cadbury chocolate eggs.” Caroline Rhea

Listen up like you’ve got big ‘ole bunny ears.

Here’s a list of 10 Easter tips to live by:

  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
  • Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.
  • There’s no such thing as too much candy.
  • All work and no play can make you a basket case.
  • Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.
  • Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.
  • Keep your paws off other people’s jelly beans.
  • Grass is always greener in someone else’s basket.
  • You show true colors when you come out of your shell.
  • The best things in life are usually chocolate.

Which advice will you hop on first?

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – Easter is ceremonious, then gratefully celebratory. It’s okay if it’s also a little silly.

Thanks, Agnes Spurlock, for sharing your humorous Easter post. Click here to read Agnes’ blog.

Pick me, me, me … God’s Favorite

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"Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all." William Shakespeare, Artwork used by permission from Cindy DeLuz

“Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all.” William Shakespeare (Artwork by Cindy DeLuz)

My husband and I headed toward the door of our last stop before calling it a night. We were on a mission to buy pumpkin pie.

At the same moment, we made a noise that let each know we’d caught a glimpse of a person from the long ago past who left both of us feeling shaky and vulnerable … back then and now.

It was someone who, because we didn’t follow his religious rules, accused us of living out of sync with God. He told us he was living the right way, living by God’s word, living in God’s favor.

He went so far as to say that since the Bible said “Go, and sin no more,” he no longer sinned. Then asked, “What about y’all?”

I let his comments foster all sorts of self-doubt. I wondered if maybe he knew something I didn’t, that maybe I was living outside God’s favor. Maybe he was right and I was off track and far from being anyone God would love, care about, or even have much to do with.

All over again, I was blindsided by thoughts and feelings of inadequacy. 

Since neither my husband nor I could remember why we were in the store, we walked up and down aisles until we got to the rack full of huge stuffed bears. We felt safe there and laughed about buying the biggest one to go under the Christmas tree for our 26-year-old daughter.

That’s when it happened.

A little girl, holding a toy dog as adorable as she was, walked around the corner of the shelves. She stood there until we both faced her, me with my arms full of bear.

“Your kids are going to love that,” she said, her expression and voice full of tenderness that’s hard to capture in words.

I followed her until she found her mom, some four rows away.

“She looks like an angel,” I said. Her mom smiled and nodded, then turned to shop.

Maybe she was, I thought.

Grateful for our “sign of comfort,” I was tempted to do what had been done to us, to conclude God picked us as his favorites, but I knew better.

He did, however, choose us as well. 

Illustration by Jim Hunt

Illustration by Jim Hunt

Are you ever tempted to compare, knowing you’ve been the more devoted Christian? The one more favored by God? The one who’s lived your life more right than others?

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – God doesn’t choose sides. He chooses each of us. Thankfully, his relationship with us is not contingent on what we think of each other.

On the side: To see more of Cindy’s artwork, visit An Artsy Chick.

To see more of Jim’s illustrations, visit Jim Hunt Illustration.

The year was 2008 …

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“When all the details fit perfectly, something is probably wrong with the story.”
Charles Baxter

Everything went right that year.

After writing thousands of words and submitting to dozens of publishers, I finally saw my stories in print.

The editor who mentored my work asked if I’d like to write a human interest column for her newspaper. Right up my alley. I also wrote for a glossy magazine about Upstate SC homes and their owners.

Our nearly hundred-year-old fixer-upper was featured in This Old House magazine. I wrote the story.

We sold that house the following month for four times what we paid.

My husband and I bought a downsized home of our dreams, 700 feet from the ocean, along the stretch of the Grand Strand called the Golden Mile.

Family was on track. Our son had a great-paying job, and our daughter and her boyfriend bought a house and began the remodel.

And I, well, I was miserable.

A turning point in my life. Whatever could go right, did. And still I was unhappy, scared, lost.

I found my answer at a book study. I don’t remember the title, only one sentence.

“If you’re unhappy, it may be because you’re still in pain.”

All the good life experiences couldn’t fix what was broken and hurting inside. That year brought me to my knees, where I belonged long before 2008.

Ever felt so low that getting on your knees was a step up?

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – Dear God, I’m not especially good at focusing on you even when I know no one and nothing else can heal the pain and fill my emptiness. Because you’re graceful anyway, you’re doing for me what I can’t do for myself, bringing me to the end of myself so I can live fully for you.

On the side: The oil painting is of our home that was featured in This Old House. It was painted by artist Ruth Cox.

This post was rewritten and featured by Jeff Goins on his site, Wrecked. Click here to read “The Perfect Year – Wrecked.”

Mac and Me: A Quality Relationship

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“We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didn’t build the Mac for anybody else. We built it for ourselves.”
Steve Jobs

I am back after an episode with my crashing computer, a frenzy over “What to do? What to do?”,  and the battle of “I want to keep my Dell so make it work.”

But my Dell didn’t work, and it had no plans to ever work again, so I purchased a MacBook Pro. It took more than a week to get comfortable. I had to get acquainted with Mac.

Relationships take time, you know.

Our son encouraged me to go with a PC, saying MacBook Pro was too different from the laptop I owned.

My husband agreed that I’d probably be frustrated with an Apple product, although I think he was anticipating his own frustration over having to train me.

I’m just now emerging from the Dark Ages of flip phones and a seven-year-old computer.

Our daughter just said, “Nuh-uh, you didn’t get a Mac?”

Truth is, I was a bit surprised myself.

The purchase was pricier than the around-$700 we set out to spend. What sold me, though, was listening to satisfied and virus-free Apple users (including our sales guy), their enthusiasm over quality and graphics, and the laptop’s compatibility for writers.

My husband’s pep talk helped also. He pulled me to one side and said, “You need a Mac for your work, and you deserve it.”

What upgrade is waiting for you? You know, the one you deserve, but don’t quite think you do?

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – I believe we all deserve good stuff, even though I often get hung up on that word. We deserve quality relationships with family and friends. We deserve quality relationships with our career, with our home, with our car and, yes, even with our laptop.

On the lighter side: I recently added the photo to this post. I’m proud to say I took it with my up-to-date Apple iPhone.