Sunday, January 23, 2011

Odds & ends, postscripts & followups

Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! I started the day off by getting my blood pressure checked (!)(120/80, woohoo!), spent a few hours at the spa getting pampered, retrieved my brand-new Kobo e-reader from the transit lost & found (more on that further down -- there are, apparently, still honest people left in the world), & had steaks with dh for dinner at one of our favourite restaurants.

Oh yes, & dh gave me a pair of garnet & diamond earrings (garnets are my birthstone). I had hinted that I would like some birthstone jewelry for this milestone birthday, and he picked up on it. Together with the Swarovski butterfly he gave me for Christmas, he is really knocking them out of the ballpark these days...!

Saturday night, we went over to FIL's to celebrate his 82nd birthday. BIL & family were also there... and surprise! It was also a birthday celebration for me too. : ) I got to share the cake with FIL, and got some presents too. Oldest nephew's girlfriend brought me a beautiful potted orchid plant. And SIL handed me a gift bag. Inside were three smaller enclosures -- from Pandora (eek). There is a Pandora shop close to where I work & I've seen a few women wearing their bracelets, but avoided even looking there, because I knew it was pricey stuff.
BIL & SIL gave me a silver bracelet & started me off with a birthday cake charm. Oldest nephew & his girlfriend gave me an angel charm (!). And youngest nephew (a philosophy student) gave me a jolly looking miniature Buddha, lol.

I was quite floored. When I tried to say thank you, BIL said, "No, thank YOU for everything you've done for the boys." Sniffle.
*** *** ***
As mentioned above, I got a Kobo e-reader for Christmas. And promptly lost it the first time I took it with me to work. :( Dh was working late that night, so I took the train & then the bus home by myself, and was reading the Kobo on both. Slid it into its leather case as we got close to my stop, & then into the side pocket of my briefcase, which was sitting on the seat beside me.
At least, I thought it went into the briefcase. When I got home -- NO KOBO. I looked in every nook & cranny of my briefcase, retraced my steps inside the house since I got home, nothing. I was certain it was gone forever, but thought I'd try calling the lost & found the next day, just in case.
And it was there! Kind of restored my faith in humanity. : ) The only annoyance: the lost & found was located at the transit office in the next town over from ours, & office hours were 7:30-4:30, Monday to Friday. Not exactly convenient for me. So I wound up spending part of my birthday travelling there to retrieve my Kobo. Better than having to ask for time off, I guess.
*** *** ***
Adding to my dismay over losing my Kobo: wouldn't you know it? The book I was reading was this one:

(a) It was a great book, & I wanted to keep reading!!
(b) As the last thing I was reading before I lost my reader, the cover was prominently displayed on the Kobo screen. I sort of felt like a teenager trying to claim my lost box of condoms from the teacher, lol. :p ; ) Fortunately, nobody asked me to identify what I'd been reading, & nobody mentioned it when I went to pick the thing up at the lost & found.
*** *** ***
I did not think e-readers would be for me -- & I can't see myself giving up "real" books entirely (especially when I have PILES of unread ones lying around the house, erk...!), but I am rather enjoying mine. "I'm Taking My Eggs" is the first book I've downloaded (& I hope to have a review shortly), although the Kobo comes pre-loaded with 100 classic titles. I got one for me & one for dh, with a particular eye to reducing our excess luggage weight when we travel. We normally bring along at least two or three books each for a one week vacation -- often hardcovers -- & they can really add to the weight -- & the airlines are getting stickier all the time about excess poundage.
*** *** ***
Kobo incident aside, one more signal that I'm aging &/or losing my mind: on Friday, in a rush to leave the house (as usual), I grabbed the top pair of black shoes in the pile on the closet floor & stuffed them into my briefcase. When I got to work, I unpacked my briefcase, put on my shoes & started walking to the water cooler to fill my water bottle.
Something about my shoes felt weird. I looked down. They were dh's shoes!! I guess he had tossed them on top of my pile when he got in the night before, & I just grabbed them without looking. Serves me right, I guess.
I dined out on that story for the rest of the day. (I posted it on Facebook, & stepSIL told me she read it on her cellphone at 3 a.m. & cracked up.) They weren't a bad fit, but I spent most of my time at my desk in stocking feet, lol. It was either that or wear my snow boots all day -- and I HATE wearing my snow boots indoors any longer than I have to.
*** *** ***
In my hurry to post my thoughts about the diversity & inclusion workshop I attended recently, I managed to leave out the most important part: the end. The facilitator wrapped up an already-thought-provoking session by telling us his personal story & why he does the work he does -- & there was a flurry of Kleenex by the time he finished speaking. There is a video clip on his personal website.
One thing he said to us which he didn't say on the video was how his mother used to tell him, "You're a tall tree, and tall trees can withstand strong winds." And he added that the tall trees shelter the smaller trees, until they grow strong enough to withstand the winds on their own.
I thought about it again after reading the transcript of President Obama's speech in Tucson this past week -- particularly the part where he said, "Let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.... We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us."
It made me think of Melissa, & the work she does to bring our ALI community together, and Kumbaya. : )
*** *** ***
Craig Kielburger -- who became an activist & founded an organization called Free the Children when he was all of TWELVE YEARS OLD and has appeared on Oprah -- was the special guest speaker at a company-sponsored event on Friday at lunchtime. He was an amazing speaker -- still isn't even 30 yet. Made me feel that I have accomplished absolutely nothing worthwhile in my life to date, lol... but I digress.
He talked about how companies like mine are recognizing the fact that we are not just employees, that our life is not just our work at the office, that we are members of broader communities. "You're a mother, a father," he said.
And then he added, "You're an aunt, an uncle."
I could have hugged the guy for going beyond the obvious appeal to parents. Thanks, Craig. : )


  1. Wow, you cleaned up for your birthday! Rock on! I love the charm bracelet, especially. I've heard of Pandora but had never seen their wares. Lovely!

    I have a Kobo, too (do not love their customer service but that's another tale). Overall I prefer the experience of a 'real' book but I do love the e-reader for its portability. The book you're reading looks great - I'm glad you retrieved your e-reader.

  2. What great presents (the garnet earrings are beautiful, that's my birthstone too I love it). The bracelet, so very thoughtful. What a surprise.

    Love your final sentiments. And I am curious about that book now :)

  3. What a great birthday haul! Count me in on the garnet lovers too. And thanks for the Pandora info, something I have to go check out now *g*. Yes I said have.
    One thing to note on the kobo and holiday travel, I brought my Sony with me last year for space/weight reasons, but quickly discovered that it's not quite like a pocket book when you're pool/beach-side and just want to go for a swim. No way I was just leaving that on my beach chair, so I was really glad I'd brought at least 1 book to read while soaking up rays.

  4. Gorgeous earrings and bracelet! I am glad you had such a good day.

  5. Don't you love a man who can take a hint?

    I'm glad you got your Kobo back. I have one (and read Lisa's book on it over Christmas), and love it. The bonus of a Kobo over an iPad (actually we have one of them too) is how light it is. Oh - and the battery life. Brilliant for travel!

  6. Gifts that truly recognize the special place you have in each of the giver's lives.

    I feel like this is going to be a banner year for you!

  7. Those are some great gifts. I love those little charms and the earrings are gorgeous!

  8. Only just catching up on my blog reading, and sorry to discover that I missed your birthday. Many happy (belated) returns, loribeth!

    Also very interested in hearing about how you're getting on with your Kobo, as I'm thinking about taking the e-reader plunge myself.

  9. What wonderful presents you received for your birthday! Very impressive, my dear, very impressive. What's even better is the love and appreciation you were shown. You've got a good family.

    Isn't it lovely to find a lost object? Glad you got your Kobo back - amazing really! I've always wanted one of those type of readers but I'm not sure I'd really use them a lot. Still holding onto my paper books.

  10. what gorgeous thoughtful presents.
    so glad you got your kobo back.