Thursday, July 27, 2017


I love hearing from friends via email. No matter the distance, time seems to collapse as I read their messages, and we are once again together, chatting over things important or insignificant. I am blessed with communication from family and friends near and far away. Some I haven't seen in over 35 years, but the memories of their friendship are still fresh and alive. I may not remember all the little details, but I always remember the loving, joyful emotions that accompanied us on our friendship journey. And what fun continuing these friendship connections through modern communication means.

In one of my recent devotionals, the subject was how "every particle is connected to every other particle in the universe." That reminded me of an experience I had when I first started studying metaphysics and learning to meditate. One night I was awakened from a dream that stayed with me to this day. In my dream, I was walking among a large crowd of people. I was amazed to see what looked like white arcs of a cloud-like substance that connected all of us from the tops of our heads! Most seemed oblivious to this phenomena, however, I thought I was supposed to see this as a teaching experience. Proof of our connectedness?

 (Claudia Rogge - a famous photo artist from Dusseldorf)

Needless to say, no photo exists that shows the arcs that connected us in my dream. However, this artist has some remarkable photos that demonstrate our connectedness in unique ways. I found this on a Russian site, believe it or not. All Day Plus The site really looks interesting. When I have time, I will go back and review it.

When I really want to get "woo woo", as my son Craig calls it, I like to think that not only are we all connected to each other, but to everything on this planet, and everything's made of the same "stuff". I don't mind having the same quantum level makeup as a vegetable. That's why they are so good for us. By the same token, if I am the same as the animals on this planet, would that make me a cannibal for eating meat? (Oh, no, my vegan daughter will jump on this observation.) Sometimes I feel like I have the same quantum level makeup as a rock. Do you ever feel that way?

I realize that this is a screwy - and probably inaccurate way to speak of quantum anything. But recently I sent off for my DNA testing to get a better idea of just "what" it is that makes me me. Can't get much more quantum than that!

In today's world, if one is as blessed as I am with almost everything in the electronic world that I can possibly want - or understand, it is easy to maintain various connections with others, but difficult to find enough time in the day to make use of all our "toys" that do so. I've had a desktop computer for many years now. Although it has been tedious at times to learn enough to do the things I wish to do with it, I can now:
  • Search the web for anything under the sun that I wish to know.. the world's largest encyclopedia of knowledge at my fingertips. I have a great Ad Blocker that Matthew installed, but I also know how to search "incognito", thus fooling the advertisers or any other nosy entity who wishes to snoop on my viewing habits. Not that I view anything I wouldn't want found out. I'm too prudish for that!
  • Print out any texts or photos with my laser printer...from recipes to family history, newspaper articles, emails, and letters to keep.
  • Scan and save photographs from my own or others' collections in my possession, and save them to one or more places on my computer. The scanner is another electronic time consumer of mine that I wouldn't want to do without.
  • Create and maintain two blogs that I publish when I have the time and the inclination/inspiration.
One can always watch movies or listen to music on a PC. However, my children have gifted me with better options. First it was ROKU, which allowed me to watch Netflix and other movies, TV, and news programs on my television. Most are viewed without annoying commercials. (It came with its own "box" and remote control.) I could also choose the kinds of music I want to listen to on Pandora through my ROKU. I connected my old stereo to the TV in the living room to enhance the music through the speakers.

Image result for Amazon Fire Sticks
Last Mother's Day son Matthew gifted me with two Amazon Fire Sticks that take the place of ROKU. They do everything and more that ROKU did - plus Amazon's and Hulu's original TV shows and movies. There is so much on there one could subscribe to, it takes forever just to scan through the lists! I have one in my living room and one in the bedroom. One even has the feature like Alexa that lets me ask for whatever I want to view. If they have it, it shows up! These plug into the television sets, come with remotes, and use WiFi to work. (Of course, one must sign on to Amazon Prime to use these. Another gift from Matthew, I am on his account.)

As a home telephone, somehow Matthew hooked my phones up to a system through my WiFi and Google for a low price of around $10 a year. This does everything a regular landline does.. voice mail, unlimited calls anywhere in the world (I think -- haven't tried international calls yet), and more. Missed calls, voice mails, etc. are transferred to my computer and stored there. The only drawback - if my internet connection drops, which it does frequently lately with the new service provider Spectrum (don't use them if you have a choice!), you might lose the call. As I don't use the telephone very often, that isn't much of a problem. I also have a small (free - my sons tease me and call it an Obama-phone) cell phone to use in an emergency or when I was driving. I can even text on it if need be. I have adamantly refused an iPhone.

Related imageMy favorite electronic "gadget" is the small android tablet seen here. It is a little larger than a smart phone, and I can do nearly everything on it that I can on my PC. There is even an app that allows me to take telephone calls "face-to-face" if I wish. I don't use that as I'm often in my pajamas nearly all day. And vain female that I am, since I no longer wear makeup every day, I certainly don't want to let anyone see my face that close up! Therefore, I use the text option more often. I can take and send and save photos and videos with it. Record voices or sounds. View and answer emails, search the web, and my favorite, read the news sites throughout the day. As I don't have cable TV, I can stay up-to-date with the latest. There are apps for everything (but could quickly put way too much data on there), and I play solitaire when commercials come on my broadcast TV. My favorite pastime throughout the day and night is to play Words With Friends - a type of Scrabble. The tablet has sounds to alert me when messages or games appear ready for me. It also has a Google feature that will answer questions similar to Alexa.

If I need to type something very lengthy and don't have access to my PC, my granddaughter Audrey bought me the neatest "keyboard" that I can rest the little tablet on, use blue ray, and !voila! - a miniature computer!

How's that for staying "connected"?


Before closing, I want to share the following award that was issued to my
youngest grandson, Matthew Travis Rider, who turned 15 last month. Not only has he thrilled us with his accomplishments in golf in recent years -- making the high school golf varsity team this coming semester,  making the A and B Honor Roll consistently, but he also participates in volunteer work with both his church group and the Young Men's Service League, the Viper Chapter.

(Update, July 28: Travis's dad Matthew informed me that it was only 70 hours of volunteer work. Sorry.) Travis put in over 70 hours of volunteer work last year. This is "The President's Volunteer Service Award", issued under the Points of Light Award program, started by President George H.W. Bush in 1993. It celebrates "The power of the individual to spark change and improve the world". Way to go, Travis! Another of my grandchildren on his way to changing the world for the better. God bless.

Peace and Love,


  1. Yes, Marilyn, it is a Brave New (electronic) World...and I love that folk like yourself and my mother embrace it as opposed to shunning it. And congrats to your grandson!

  2. Fun stuff. Just try to stay away from the "Darknet". btw.. Travis had 70 hours of service. I think an Amazon Echo is in your future.

    1. Whoops! Guess it's just another example of grandmother's pride! Even 70 hours is a lot for a young teen to work helping others on a volunteer basis. I'm still exceedingly proud of Travis.
      Echo? I think not. There is something a little creepy about having something inanimate hear you speak and answering back by voice..