Every day from June through the fall, I'm awestruck by the beauty of the hydrangeas in my garden. Years ago, I selected some very special hybrids - all procured from hydrangea specialists - and watched them grow into their current glory. It was one of my best garden decisions ever. My hydrangeas make me happy. If they were only fragrant...
My week was crazy. I started by installing software on my new computer and trying to get accustomed with Microsoft Office 2010. Just a month ago, I was an Office expert. Now? I feel like I'm trying to learn Chinese. I hear I'm not alone. I wonder who let the software maniacs loose when Microsoft determined that the new GUI was preferable to the old, familiar one.
Last weekend, we had "the storm." A typical thunderstorm in my neighborhood was anything but at my mother's house, just five minutes away. It was probably a micro-burst that took down hundreds of mature trees in minutes. It looked surreal, with downed power and phone lines everywhere. To get into Mom's house, we had to hop over and under downed lines - it was discomforting. She went three days with no power or phone (or television), a long time for someone who's 89. She didn't want to leave, though. So, I line hopped for days until Dominion Virginia Power finally got to her snapped pole and restored her power. I got to be good friends with the army of utility contractors in her McLean neighborhood.
During that time, my DSL connection to the Internet was dying. The connection was so slow, it was worse than dial-up. Then I started losing the connection entirely, usually when I was doing something important. "Annoyed" would be too mild a word to describe my feelings as I tried to diagnose the problem with Verizon's representatives - in India.
One day, after spending an hour and a half on the phone with one of them, I saw a Verizon truck on my street. I hijacked the repair guy; he tested my line at the junction box and found the speed to be good; and then he asked about my Jurassic modem (the one Verizon had provided years ago). He put his money on the modem as the source of my problems and told me to call and request a new one. I did (not the proper way - I couldn't stand another 1.5-hour conversation). To make a long story short, I'm zooming along again. I am enormously grateful to that man - and to Mike, another Verizon repair expert who has been following up with me (and to the @VerizonSupport team at Twitter - they got my mother's repair ticket set up). However...
Right in the middle of all this, Thunderbird, the e-mail client I've been using (related to Firefox) started mixing up senders. I would get an e-mail from one sender, but it would tell me it was from another. After hoping someone on their self-help message board might be able to suggest a fix (silly me), I gave up on Thunderbird entirely and migrated to Outlook. More hours gone.
I had trouble re-installing my color printer, so there went another three hours. After a call to Xerox tech support (she was great) and a bit more work, my printer started to respond.
That's the short version of my technology-challenged week. I have a few more programs to install, like Adobe Acrobat Professional, but I think I'm back in business. Whenever I needed to calm down, I went outside to look at my hydrangeas. We won't discuss the alcohol.
Beauty? It was a slow week, from a delivery perspective. I'm tempted to pay Neiman Marcus a visit later today to see what's new. Since it's time for The Friday Forum, maybe I can get my latest dose of beauty from you. Did you find any deals you couldn't resist this week? Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Do you have a question others might be able to answer? Want to talk about skin care? What's new in your life? Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By early the next week, most (not all) readers have moved on.
Don't forget to enter the giveaway contest for a NARS Sweet Disposition Mini Multiple Set. The deadline is tomorrow, July 9, at midnight. It's a fabulous little set.
Photo by Best Things in Beauty