Only GOD

Dawnelle Elizabeth had this post on Facebook, I wanted to share this with my readers.

It is a fact that there are many people that do not believe in God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. I am not one of them. From infancy I have been taught about the love of God, about His Son Jesus Christ, and later on about the Holy Spirit. The three of them together are called “The Holy Trinity”.

My teachings included how to “talk” to God through prayer and through my everyday actions around family members, the people I knew personally, in other words my friends, and my actions around those I didn’t know at all. The phrase, “Actions speak louder than words.”, has been said to me and around me so much that there is no way I could ever forget it.

In my teachings there were also such phrases as, “Beauty is as beauty does.”, or “Pretty is as pretty does.”, “It’s not what’s on the outside that counts”, “It’s what’s on the inside, in your heart that counts.”, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”, and last but by no means least, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

It was when I was a teenager that I believe I learned how to pray properly and reverently. Up until that time i usually just recited the few prayers I had learned growing up, those being, “The Grace”, the bedtime prayer, “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep”, and “The Lord’s Prayer”. During that time I was also taught that we were supposed to give thanks to God “in everything”.

That was a teaching that I thought was just way off base. Having been taught that God allows Satan to tempt us and to test us by doing mean things to us, was just a concept I was unable to grasp as a teenager. Once I got older and matured in my later years, that started to make sense to me. There was a poem, that I heard quite often, that really made a person stop and think. I think the title of the poem was “God Has Not Promised”. The poem went on to say different things that amounted to the fat that, life was not always easy, and that we had to take the bad along with the good. If we never knew anything bad, then we would not know that what we were living in was good and that life was not always that way.  

There is another poem, of sort, that I have heard for many years. It goes like this: “The devil is a monster,  Of such awful means,  That to be hated,  Needs but be seen.   But seen too oft,  With familiar face,  We first endure,  And then embrace.”

When I first started thanking God for everything, even the bad things and stuff, I was very angry about having to thank God, even for the bad things. That was like thanking your parents for spanking you when you did something wrong. And really, who thanks their parents for spanking them for doing wrong. Not anybody I know of.

It’s no surprise then when I tell you that my first prayer that I prayed to thank God for the bad things went something like this: ” Dear God, the Bible says that we are supposed to thank you for everything whether good or bad. I dont understand why I should thank you for something that I didn’t ask for and don’t even want, let alone to be happy for it and thank you for it. But if I’m supposed to, then I will. Thank you for …….(whatever the bad thing was), and I’m doing this only to do what the Bible says for me to do. That’s because I want to be obedient to your word.” Then I go on to say: “Thank you God for…….(whatever the good thing is or things are), I do appreciate it that you answered my prayer for it. I love you God and I thank you for sending Your Son to die for my sins. I also thank you for forgiving my sins, and understanding what I am trying to say even though it is not something I like. You are indeed a Wonderful and Gracious God. I love you, AMEN.”

All of what I have written above was necessary to explain what the reasoning is behind my wanting to share the picture poster above, at the beginning of this post.

The title of the poster is “Only GOD”, meaning that only God can correct the things that we do that are not right.

“Only GOD can turn:         A MESS into a MESSAGE.                                                                                                 A TEST into a TESTIMONY.                                                                                               A TRIAL into a TRIUMPH.                                                                                                   And a VICTIM into a VICTORY.

My hopes are that this post has helped you to understand why we are supposed to thank God for everything, good and bad. And to tell you about my own trip down the long hard road to being able to understand it, and then to put it into practice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giving and Receiving

Every person that has ever been a Church goer has certainly heard the phrase, “It is better to give than to receive.” Granted, there are people that have heard it and don’t believe it, as well as people that have heard it and have no concept as to what it means.

Raised in a religious environment, I was taught about giving to others. This has been true, most of my life, since being only a few months old and up until I was grown and married, . Even after being married, I still went to Church with my husband. When I found myself alone, I went to church as a single person.

Many of those years, both married and single, were spent teaching children from three years old up to five years old.Sunday mornings found me teaching the Sunday School Class of four and five year olds, and Sunday evenings found me having a story hour for three, four, and five year olds, and Wednesday nights found me teaching the same ages of children in the preschool choir. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Then when I moved to a different neighborhood and away from past reminders of a time that once was, I started teaching the preschool children again, only at a different Church. Again, I was happier than I would have ever thought a person could be. I was doing the giving and watching the smiles and happiness of the little children who were on the receiving end.

Vacations found me visiting some of my family that lived in a different state. One vacation would turn my world, as I knew it, upside down. The day for me to return to Kentucky arrived, but my sister knew that something was wrong with me, even though I didn’t really feel sick. All I knew for sure was that I had a sore and hoarse throat, from yelling at my seven year old nephew’s soccer game. My sister convinced me to go to the local urgent treatment center. Upon the doctor finishing his examination of me, I found out that I had asthma, bronchitis, and double pneumonia all at the same time, and he grounded me from flying back to Kentucky for two weeks. The time was 8:45 AM, and very reluctantly I went back to my sister’s house and went to bed. At 2:30 PM, (the time I was originally supposed to be boarding the plane to return home), I started feeling numb and tingly all over. I told my sister how I was feeling, and the decision was made to call 911.

Long story short, I was in bed almost a week and a half before I started feeling any better. After two weeks at my sister’s house, I was on my way back to Kentucky. At the time, I had a full time permanent job and a part time permanent permanent job. I was working 60-70 hours a week. Up until I became sick, nothing slowed me down. This was the beginning of April in 1990. Upon returning home, I resumed both of my jobs. However, I was being rushed to the hospital every 7-10 days with asthma attacks so bad that I couldn’t breath. On June 9, 1990 I lost both of my jobs. You can’t keep a job being rushed to a hospital that often. So started the beginning of a whole new way of life for me. I was on numerous medications, had to do nebulizer treatments four times a day, and was on oxygen as well. In the summer of 1991 I ended up having to file for bankruptcy.

It took up until 1993 for the doctors to find the perfect combination of medications so that I wasn’t being rushed to the hospital every time I turned around, so to speak.

I started going to the local community college in May of 1993. As I was about to enter the building, I received a call from my primary care physician. What he told me was totally unexpected. He informed me that I was diabetic. I had been on Prednisone ever since being diagnosed with the severe asthma. In the first six months I gained 100 pounds. After finding out that I was diabetic, I continued on with my life having one turmoil after another as well as several surgeries. Still on the Prednisone, I started having trouble with my legs, and ended up in a wheelchair in 1995. I continued with my education, just with a different major. Finally, I graduated with Honors, in 1999 and went through the graduation ceremony in May of 2000.

After my graduation, it took three months to find a job. There were many expenses involved with starting back to work after not being able to work for ten years, as well as having many medical expenses involved with being in a wheelchair. Long story short, I ended up having to file for bankruptcy a second time in 2001. I worked from March of 2000 up until November of 2004. That was when I lost my new job. Since that time, I have had even more surgeries, and am waiting for at least two more surgeries, and possibly a third one.

Up until 1990, I was a person who gave whatever I could, whenever I could, however I could, and was very thankful that I was able to do it. Unfortunately, since I became sick and with the resulting medical problems from all of the the medications that I have taken, I have had to become a receiver. When a person is used to being a giver and then has to become a receiver, it is very hard. Or at least it was for me.

For quite a few years I tried to make it on my own and do everything for myself. But then there came a time when I just couldn’t do it any more. I found it necessary to have someone move in with me to help me around the house. Eventually, I regained my strength and was able to do for myself again.

In 2016, I started crocheting in answer to some adds for The Red Scarf Project, and then doing pieces, that were seven inches by nine inches, to send to someone that would join all of the pieces together to make quilts for needy others. As I hadn’t crocheted in years, I had to watch a video on how to crochet. That was when I came up with the idea of crocheting scarves for homeless people.

The first year, 2016, I was only able to crochet seven scarves. A friend helped to deliver them. Many homeless people smoke, and I am allergic to smoke and will go into an asthma attack if I am around a lot of it, so the friend delivered them for me. Upon returning empty handed, the friend told me that we had to do it again the next year. When I inquired as to why, I was told that everybody that got one cried. So, in 2017, I crocheted thirty- six scarves. That winter was so old that the city declared a state of emergency. That meant that any place that could put cots down had to do it for the homeless to be able to get out of the cold. We were able to hand out twelve that year. That meant that I had twenty-four scarves left. I was able to crochet sixteen scarves before I had to have my right shoulder replaced. For 2018, I had a total of forty scarves to hand out to the homeless. I gave my Church fifteen to give to the men that were staying at the church for the program called “Room At The Inn”, some went to the Christmas shop for approved families that were needy of help, and the remainder went to the Chrysalis House for Mothers and children that were there for protection from abusive spouses. As yet, I have not been able to do any this year, but I have started on one, and hope to finish it as well as some others. I hope I succeed. will let you know how it turns out.

The whole reason for this long post is to show that even though giving makes us happy, we also need to be gracious receivers. when we are gracious receivers, we allow the other person to be a gracious giver and have joy from their giving the same as we used to before we became receivers. Also, even though we have to be receivers sometimes, we can still find some way to be givers again.

 

 

“Time Really Flies…” – Yet “Time Really Drags On”

There are two sayings that I have heard most of my teen years on, and they are, “Time really flies when you’re having fun.” and “Time really drags on.”, when what you are doing is not interesting. At any given time all of us could use one or the other of these sayings.

Ever since I was a small child, on my way to visit kin folks, it always seemed like we would never get there. That every time we went on a trip, “Time really dragged on.” The most confusing part for me as a child was that whenever my brothers and sister and I would ask “how much longer is it going to be before we get there?”, the answer never made sense. We were always told how many more hours it would be before we would get there. With not being very accurate with subtracting hours from each other, each time we asked, it seemed like we had even longer to go to get there than when we first started out. Of course, as we have grown up and become the drivers of our trips, we now know and can tell the difference. It’s not the fact of how many hours we have left to travel, just that we were so anxious to get to our destination, that we could hardly contain our excitement and expectation.

Now, on the other hand, when we were on our way back home, “Time really flies.” was true in every sense of the phrase, but it wasn’t because  “we were having fun”, as the last part of the phrase states. Quite the contrary, we dreaded going home. Why was this true?, you might ask. We dreaded it because we knew we were leaving the place where we were having so much fun, and going back to the same old boredom that we faced every day, before we left on our trip.

When we were just children making the long trip, of course it seemed to take a whole lot longer than what it does today. There are two reasons for this. The first reason being that we had very short attention spans and became restless very quickly. The second reason being that cars could not go as fast back in the 50s and 60s because there were not the interstates that there are today and the engines and motors were not as powerful then as they are now.

Now that we are grown, everything has changed. Cars are much more powerful today both to being made better and to being made of lighter materials. The heaver the material, in the making of the car, the more gas and the longer it will take to arrive at your destination.

Besides the obvious mentioned above, there are a few other elements taking place when we take a trip. It still seems to take longer to arrive at our destination than what it takes to return home from our trip. There are several reasons for this fact. The time element is for the most part only in our mind. We are wanting to arrive there quickly so that we will have more time to enjoy the trip while we are at our destination, but it seems that we will never arrive. Once we arrive, it seems like time flies while we are enjoying our visit, even though we know that there are the same 24 hours in a day that there has always been and will always be.

On our trip home, we are not looking forward to arriving at our destination. We know that we have unpacking to do, as well as laundry to do, get caught up with our mail, get everything ready to return to work, usually the next day after returning home, and get some much needed rest. This is so, because for the most part, when we are away from our job and home, we tend to cram everything we can into the time we have there.

When we are children, we depend on the adults to give us ideas and things to do to keep us entertained. Once we become adults, it’s all up to us individually to keep our self entertained. Yes, I know, it’s sometimes heck to grow up. But we all have to do it and as the saying goes, “go with the flow”.

 

 

 

 

 

Parents Aren’t The Only Ones

This was on Kelly Bagnasco in my Facebook. This doesn’t only go for parents. This can also go for brothers, sisters, and aunts and uncles. I can’t help but to wonder why aunts and uncles never get mentioned whenever there is anything to do with children. It’s always the parents and grandparents that are thought about. Aunts and uncles are capable of having and giving love to their nieces and nephews the same as parents are of giving it to their children and grandparents are of giving it to their grandchildren. So why are aunts and uncles always left out. It just hurts. This is especially true if they wanted children really badly but were never able to have them. Watching everybody else having fun with the children just punches it home all the harder. And yes I am one of those people that was never able to have children bur wanted them more than anybody could know. Even though I am 65, it still hurts to this day that I was never able to have children.

Just think about that the next time everybody that has children gets together and leaves the childless members of the family out. Just because we don’t have children doesn’t mean that we are not capable of loving children and wanting to be around them.

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A Post About Bad Choices

When you hear life is short some may say yep it is and go on doing what you do. Today I was at the location of a wreck right after it happened. I saw the truck in the ditch, I saw hero’s from fireman, EMS, police, bystanders try to help get the driver out of the truck only to realize a woman was also in the truck. He (driver)made the choice to drink and drive. She made the choice to get in the truck. The life of everyone is changed forever! His for drinking and driving. Hers because she didn’t survive. Mine because I saw her laying there knowing she was a daughter and maybe a mother or grandmother. And her life was gone in a second! To have your life taken away by a choice.. I hear people talk about all the gun laws what about ALL the driving loop holes allowing people to have multiple DWI or driving with out a license , texting or SPEEDING!! Passing with double yellow lines!! How many lives have been killed from stupid car wrecks and choice people make driving??? Shame we all can’t make citizens arrests.. drive safe my friends and watch out for the crazy drivers!!

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One of my cousins posted this on Facebook Thursday. When I read it, I really felt bad for the lady that lost her life in the accident. Immediately after feeling bad for her, I thought “Just like I have heard for many years, the drunk driver that causes the accident that kills another person doesn’t usually die in the accident, even though they may get hurt.”

Why is it that our laws are so lenient to drunk drivers? Sometimes I think that it’s because the ones that pass the laws are drinkers too. If they make the laws too stringent, then they wouldn’t be able to drink. I guess for some people being able to take that drink or those multiple drinks is more important than life itself.

I’m pretty sure that drinkers would think twice if it was a law that whenever you go to a bar or a party and drink, you have to surrender your keys upon entering the establishment, or if you are at a friend’s house, you be set to spend the night if you get drunk. I can’t imagine any friend not wanting to let their friend stay the night. They would rather have you sleep on their floor that to drive home and possibly have a wreck and kill someone. I know I sure would.

Next time before you take that drink, or let a friend take a drink, make sure someone other that the drinker will be driving, or that they can stay at whatever place where they are when they take that drink. A little bit of precaution is worth a whole lot of peace of mind that nobody is going to get hurt or even killed because someone you know had too much to drink.

After all, “FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS DRIVE DRUNK.”

Some “Food” For Thought

In this post I am going to write some verses and different things that I have heard, through the years, that really made me stop and think. When different things happen to me or to my friends, some of these verses come back to me and that in turn makes others, that may not be related to the original situation, come back as well. Below you will find the ones that have been running through my head lately. Maybe they will make you stop and think too.

Satan

Satan is a monster of such awful means,

That to be hated needs but be seen.

But seen too oft, with familiar face,

We first endure, and then embrace.

 

Mistakes

Learn from the mistakes of others.

You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.

 

(I saw this on a cloth bag someone was carrying.)

What you think,

you become.

What you feel,

you attract,

What you imagine,

you create.

Creative Yoga

 

Now, I’m going to talk about regrets. We all have had them, and for as long as we live, from time to time, we will continue to have them. They are inevitable. We cannot avoid them. None of us is perfect. We are going to say something that we shouldn’t say, do something we shouldn’t do, go somewhere we shouldn’t go, or just the opposite we won’t speak up when we should, we won’t do something that we need to do when it needs to be done, or we won’t go someplace where we should go. And when it is all said and done, we regret whichever of those things above that we are guilty of.

Most of the time, we can make amends for whichever one we are guilty. We can apologize for saying something wrong or doing something wrong, or just the opposite., we can apologize for not doing or saying whatever it is that we were supposed to do or say.

I say most of the time, because you cannot make amends whenever the other person has passed away. It never fails, whenever we are upset with someone else, or just don’t like them for whatever reason, and we stay away from them, avoiding them like the plague so to speak, that when they pass away, we experience that pang of guilt.

That pang of guilt I talk about could very easily have happened to me. When I was growing up, I had two step-fathers. My real Father had left when my Mother was expecting her fourth child. She married my first step-father when I was 9 years old. He drank quite a bit, but never would admit that he was an alcoholic. I didn’t like to eat many things, and would get a beating when we were eating, if it was something that I didn’t like. He would also beat me whenever he got drunk. As a result, I stayed angry at my Mother for not protecting me from him. I even went so far as to say that I wouldn’t even be very upset if my Mother was to die. Well, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in January of 2000 or 2001, I can’t remember which. They did surgery and removed the cancerous lump, and apparently they got it all, because she hasn’t had any problems since then. It was at that moment when I realized that I would indeed be upset if my Mother passed away. Since then, my Mother and I have had a good relationship. Every year I went to see her and my second step-father (“Pop”), until I no longer had a car. Every time I had surgery, my Mom and “Pop” came to stay with me and help me until I was back up on my feet. I no longer have a car, and Pop passed away in 2011, but I still keep in touch with my Mom. She lives with my sister, and I call to talk to her. I got to spend two weeks with her last year when my sister and brother-in-law went on a trip, and I took care of my Mom while they were gone. I got to see the rest of the family that lives around the area too. It was a really nice trip. Now I no longer have any regrets like I would have had had I not resolved things about my Mom.

Whenever I think about regrets, I can’t help but to think about the song that Frank Sinatra wrote, and made famous when he sang it, “My Way”. It starts out the end being near and facing the final curtain. He goes on about all that he has done, and then brings up about having regrets. That little part goes;         “Regrets, I’ve had a few

                                                           But then again, too few to mention

                                                                      I did what I had to do

                                                         And saw it through without redemption”

This goes to show that even very important people can have regrets. But as he says he saw them through.

What I am trying to say or ask is, is there anybody that you are upset or angry with to the point that you won’t talk to them or go to see them? And if so is it worth it to the point that you would feel badly if they were to pass away? If you would feel badly if they were to pass away, then you need to do something about resolving whatever it is that has you so upset with them. Life is too short to spend it being upset with any family member or friend that has said or done something to upset you. Try to get back on good terms with them. If the person has medical issues where they don’t know who you are, don’t stay away for that reason, go to see them anyway. You know them and that is all that counts. You may end up visiting on a day when they do recognize you. Once they have passed away, it’s too late then to make amends. All you will have is regrets, remorse, and guilt about not going to see them or at least trying to talk to them. It may haunt you for the rest of your life. Then you will have the “If only I would have gone to see (fill in the blank)“, thoughts.

I know people who this has happened to. They don’t like a grandmother or grandfather, or great aunt or great uncle, or whoever it may be, so they won’t go see them or talk to them. Next thing you know, the person is at death’s door with only a few hours to live and they don’t know anybody, then they pass away and you didn’t even see them for that one last time. Your heart hurts, you are full of sadness, and your eyes swell up with tears. You are having regrets for not going to see them, but it is too late. Don’t let this happen to you. Just seriously think about it. Is worth it to regret it for the rest of your life, that you and whoever did not reconcile your differences? I don’t know about you, but it’s not worth it to me.

I am so glad that I had some good years with my Mom before my Pop passed away and she withdrew into herself. When she woke up and found him next to her, cold as ice and stiff as a board, she just withdrew. All she would say is “I don’t know what I’m going to do, I don’t know what I’m going to do.” Pop died in his sleep from a diabetic coma.  My Mom called 911, hoping that he could be revived, but that wasn’t to be. The rescue squad said he had passed early in the night, for the amount of stiffness that he had.

My Mom has stayed with my older brother, and then my sister, back and forth, since Pop passed away. If Pop had have been my real Father, I never would have had a step-father to begin with. I loved him so much, and will miss him until the day I myself die.

Moral of the post is “Life is too short to spend it having regrets when a loved one or friend passes away, after having been estranged from them, because of an argument or misunderstanding.”

 

Some Words For Thought

I came across this on my Facebook when I was reading a post by Kelly Bagnasco. When you stop and think about it, it is so true. If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.

Treat the Root, Not the Symptom

Are you treating the outside but missing the root cause, a negative mind-set toward yourself? Your thinking in some area may be infected. Continuously have positive thoughts playing in your mind. When you play thoughts like that, the toxins can’t stay. Your mind is being renewed.

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Our attitude that we start the day out with determines how we feel during the day, as well as how we affect others and rub off on them. That little saying “Brighten the corner where you are.” is so true. Just a little light can brighten a dark room. If you don’t believe it, just try plugging in a little night light. Granted the light isn’t light enough to read by, or do anything delicate by, but it does allow you to see what is in the room.

When you are thinking happy and upbeat thoughts, it’s impossible to not feel good about yourself and the day, The same goes for when you are helping others. When you are helping others in need, no matter how big or how small the need, it’s not possible to feel bad when you see the look of happiness on the person’s face. When they thank you and possibly hug you, you have to feel a certain amount of satisfaction about what you did.

For example: Last year, around October, I came up with the idea to crochet scarves for homeless people. I hadn’t crocheted in a long time, and couldn’t even remember how to cast on the yarn to start the first scarf. with starting so late, I was only able to crochet 7 scarves by December. My friend and I went downtown one evening to hand out the 7 scarves that I had finished. I figured that handing out the 7 was better than not handing out any. I couldn’t actually go to the area where the homeless people were gathered because some of them were smoking. I am asthmatic, and the cigarette smoke would make me have an asthma attack and have to be rushed to the hospital. Needless to say, I stayed a safe distance away from them.

After my friend had handed out all 7 of the scarves, he came back and told me that the few people that had received the scarves cried when they got them. He also told me that we should crochet more scarves for this next year. I agreed. So I started out the new year trying to cut my time down from around 10 days to do a scarf, to 5 days, if at all possible. I didn’t have very much luck, and in March I also started having a lot of medical issues. I was being rushed to the ER every month. I didn’t get back on my feet so to speak until some time in June.

In June, I also had to go to my storage unit to get my big suitcases out, as I was leaving the 5th of July to go help my sister, by taking care of my Mom while she and her husband went on a trip. While I was at the storage unit, I decided to bring home a small table, on rollers, that I had made while I was in college. At first, I just used it for miscellaneous things. One night when I was using it, I also used it while crocheting a scarf. I found that it made the whole process go quite a bit smoother than what it had been being done. Long story short, I have got the process down to where I can complete a scarf in 3 days now.

I am glad to report that I have 19 scarves crocheted at the current time, and am working on the 20th one. I look forward to working on the scarves everyday. It is not possible to tell you how good I feel doing this project. I am so committed to this that I have made a website just to report about the crocheted scarves for the homeless. The website is mammahen.org.

You are welcome to visit the site anytime you want. I am trying to recruit other people to help with crocheting the scarves, and have even asked that anybody that knows how to crochet hats will also volunteer to crochet some for the project. There is a contact page on the website where you may find out any and all the information necessary to help with the project. I make pictures of each scarf as I complete them and post them on the website. As soon as I can save up the money, I plan on making the website a Not For Profit website. There will be a donation button on the website for anybody that wishes to donate to the project. I just hope that if anybody wants to help raise the money towards the Not For Profit certificate, they will mark it on the donation. If there is no marking on a donation, then the donation will be used for yarn to crochet more scarves.

Even though I have numerous medical problems, my doing this project makes me happy everyday. I actually look forward to the time I spend on my crocheting the scarves. The main point that I wanted to make is, like I said earlier in the post, it is not possible to feel bad when you are doing something to help someone else.

 

Technology Is Wonderful as witnessed by me

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the advances in technology, that I am aware of, in my lifetime, and how they have helped me. Having been born in the early 1950s, I have experienced many of the changes first hand. I will obtain as many pictures as possible from Google on the internet to show the items that I am talking about.

In the 1950s there was no such thing as “color TV” and there were only 3 channels in addition to PBS. The televisions were console models and had tubes in them that would burn out and have to be replaced.

Antique B&W Television tubes-inside-old-tv

Music was recorded on vinyl discs and played on phonographs. Many times the phonographs were also in a cabinet that resembled a low table and it also had a radio in it. There are some sample pictures below of both the records and the cabinets they phonographs were in.

record-player-with-tall-spindle Ventures_78rpm record

Home movies were on reels and had to be shown on machines that had attachments for the reels. It was also necessary to use a big screen to show them on.

old-fashion-movie-projectorhome-movie-screenhome-movie-reelslooking-at-home-movie-film

Regular pictures were taken on cameras that needed flash bulbs to get good pictures, and the film came in rolls that had to be threaded into the camera. The camera had to be wound after each picture. They used flash bulbs that had to be thrown away after just one use. Then came cameras that used film cartridges that did not have to be wound up after each picture and flash cubes that could be used to take four pictures before the cube had to be thrown away. After that came cameras that were automatic wind and flash, but you still had to use film cartridges. Finally came digital cameras with built in light sensors and cell phones that could also take and store pictures. The digital cameras and cell phones use SD cards for storage of the pictures.

brownie-fiesta-camera-outfit cartridge-camera-with-flash-cubes

sd-cards

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA cell-phone-camera

When I was growing up, we had a wringer washer to wash our clothes. It did not automatically cycle through a rinse cycle and then spin the clothes so they could be put in a dryer. The machine had to be emptied each time a different cycle was necessary, and that meant that all of the clothes had to be put through the wringer, one by one, to get the excess water out of them. We didn’t have automatic dryers, and the apartment that we lived in had pulley clothes lines, to hang the clothes on to dry outside. I found some internet pictures that are shown below.

wringer-washer using-wringer-washer pulley-clothesline

There was no such thing as a cell phone when I was growing up. All phones were wired into the wall, and most people even had what was called a “Party Line”, which meant anywhere from three to five different households had the same phone number. If there was someone else on the line and you needed to make an important call, you had to break in on the conversation and ask if they would mind hanging up the phone so that you could make the phone call. You were at the other person’s mercy as to whether or not they would end their call and let you use the phone. It was possible to have a private line, but they cost extra. You had to dial the number using a round dial with holes in it and the numbers were on the solid base of the phone. You would put your finger into whichever hole had the number you needed under it and then turn the dial clockwise until you hit the little stop piece.

old-rotary-phone

Touch tone phones did not come until after I was a teenager.

touchtone-phone

Cell phones didn’t come until after I was an adult. There are flip phones too.

cell-phone-evolution flip-phone

For people in manual wheel chairs, the invention of power wheel chairs was about the best invention in their lives. The accessibility, to most people with insurance, made it possible for people that could not afford them on their own to be able to own a power chair. It was almost unbelievable to people with any type of paralysis. They were able to get around with a power chair, when they could not do so with a manual chair, unless someone was willing to push them. Even quadriplegics were able to get around, with the aid of a blow tube to control the chair.

manual-chair

47

These are all really great inventions, but computers have to be the biggest change in all of the wonderful changes that I have seen and had a chance to use and own. To think that back in 1970, when I was in college for computer programming, I had to actually punch cards, stack them, and then verify them before I could run them to see if my program would work. First picture is of a man punching the cards. Second picture shows cards in the keypunch machine. Third picture shows stacking cards to put them in the machine that would verify them, the verifying machine is in the fourth picture.

punching-cards punch-card-in-machine stacking-cards-to-verify punch-card-verifier

There was no such thing as a motherboard. There were physical boards, that had to be wired by hand, one wire at a time. These boards are what told the computer what to do. They were the fore runners to plug in modules, since there were no such things as modules

wired-board

Only businesses and very rich people had computers. The computer and all of its’ components could take up any where from one room to whole buildings. There were raised floors, so that cooling equipment could be installed under them. The temperature had to be kept between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit in the rooms where the massive computers were set up.

Businesses had to be connected to their main computers by modems with internal dial-up routers.

dial-up-modem

The businesses had actual floppy discs that were 8 inches square, or 5 and 1/4 inches square. The users had to be careful not to bend them, or the information that they contained would be corrupted. Then came the 3 and 1/2 inch square floppy discs that were actually hard plastic.All three sizes and types were called floppy discs though, because they had a very thin floppy disc inside, that contained whatever information that you entered into the computer.

disksize

These floppy discs were the first type of storage, and later were replaced by hard drives. The hard drives were metal and had metal discs called platters inside of them. These platters spun around and as the data was entered into the computer, it was recorded on these platters. The first hard drives could only hold mega bytes and/or kilo bytes of data. It took a few years before the first Gigabyte storage capable hard drives were developed. My first Gigabyte hard drive was capable of storing 12 Gigabytes of data. When I had that installed into my computer, I thought it would last me for the rest of my life. I have since had hard drives capable of holding up to over 500 Gigabytes of data.

After the hard drives came external hard drives that could be carried and hooked up to computers in other places via a USB cable. These too were not capable of high volumes of data at first. Now internal hard drives and external hard drives are capable of holding Terabytes of data, and are also available in Solid State Drive form. A Solid State Drive is one that has no internal parts that move. Below are three hard drives. The one on the left is an internal hard drive, the one in the middle is a laptop hard drive, and the one on the left is a solid state hard drive. The solid state hard drive is the same size as the laptop hard drive is. Since the solid state hard drive has no moving parts, it will last indefinitely.

hard-disk laptop-hard-drive solid-state-drive

Below is a comparison of a regular hard drive and a solid state drive.

hard-disk-drive-vs-solid-state-drive

.The actual computer was in a very large metal case with the workings inside of it. These were called desk top computers, and came in various sizes. With the desktop computer it was necessary to use a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse. Some of the computers were able to be put flat and the monitor was placed on top of it, but most of them stood beside the monitor. See pictures below.

The monitors of the older computers used cathode ray tube (CRT) technology, and were separate from the computer. These first monitors were very bulky and heavy. They didn’t get moved very much. The CRT monitors were deep from front to back.

The next type of screen to come on board was the liquid crystal display (LCD). This type of screen had a sharper picture than the CRT, and was not as big and bulky. It was no where near as deep from front to back as the CRT, and was much easier to move from one area to another.

lcd-display

After the LCD type of screen came the light emitting diode (LED) type of screen. These had an even sharper screen. They were very skinny from front to back when compared to the CRT, and even a bit smaller from front to back than the LCD screens were. Both the LCD and the LED screens were available in many different dimensions when compared the the CRT screens.

led-display

After the LED screen cam the plasma display screen, and was the most vibrant of all of the screens before it. It was available in even bigger sizes, while still being very sleek. These screens even had High Definition (HD) capabilities.

plasma-display

The most modern screens have touch screen technology built into them, as shown below.

touch-screen-display

The computers continued to be improved and made smaller and easier to be carried around. These came to be known as Laptop computers, and even smaller ones are called tablets. The tablets are more for watching movies ans playing games though, than for actually being used as computers. They usually didn’t have keyboards with them and therefore were not practical for business use. Now, however there are tablets that have magnetic keyboards that may be connected to them, so they may be used as regular laptops.A regular laptop is shown on the left, and a tablet with a magnetic keyboard is shown on the right.

laptop-computer tablet-with-keyboard

The first computer that I had was one that friends gave to me. It was a standup desktop with a CRT screen, keyboard and regular mouse. I later had a computer built to my specifications that also had a CRT, but it was a 17 inch screen. I had a keyboard and a regular mouse.

Today my mouse is an optical mouse. Even though I have a laptop that has a mouse pad and a keyboard contained in it, I like using an external mouse and an external keyboard. I am a senior citizen, and it is just easier for me to use the external devices.

The portability of a laptop is great. When I take the laptop anyplace, all I take is the external mouse, and use the keyboard that is made into the laptop.

When I think of all the technological changes that have happened in my lifetime, I am all but overwhelmed. It is simply amazing to see how far technology has come. Children of today, and even many adults will never know what having vinyl records playing on a record player was like. Nor will they know what a hardwired house phone ( more commonly called a land line) was like. They will never have known black and white TV, VHS movies, cassette tapes and eight tracks, cameras with flash bulbs and film that had to be wound after each picture. With being able to make videos on cell phones, they won’t know what home movies and home movie projectors are all about. By the same token they will not know what having negatives to pictures is all about since they can take and store pictures on their cell phones and upload them to the cloud. With mp3 players they don’t have to have walk men for the CD, and DVDs have evolved to Blue Ray and now even 4k, I think they are called. The x-box is going away to a degree, since most games can now be purchased and played on PCs and/or laptops.

Even though some of the advances are hard to get used to at first, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Technology is wonderful, and change will never stop happening. When you stop wanting to learn new things, you stop living to a degree. I am very thankful for the changes that I have come to depend on each and every day. There is no way that I can single out how they have helped me and which one is better than another. But if I had to pick just one, I would have to pick the phone first. And if by chance I could pick two things, I would have to pick the laptop next.

How Technology Changed My Life

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the advances in technology, that I am aware of, in my lifetime, and how they have helped me. Having been born in the early 1950s, I have experienced many of the changes first hand.

There was no such thing as a cell phone when I was growing up. All phones were wired into the wall. You had to dial the number using a round dial with holes in it and the numbers were on the solid base of the phone. You would put your finger into whichever hole had the number you needed under it, and then turn the dial clockwise until you hit the little stop piece.

old-rotary-phone

Touch tone phones did not come until after I was a teenager.

touchtone-phone

Cell phones didn’t come until after I was an adult. My first cell phone was big and heavy, like the one in the far right of the picture below. My second cell phone was a flip phone, like the one in the picture by itself on the right. These first phones had three letters and/or characters on each number. It was sort of hard for me, at first, to get the hang of having to press the individual number from 1 to 3 times to get whatever letter I needed for the text I was sending, or the contact that I was entering into the phone. Most cell phones today have touch screens with keyboards on them, so you can type whatever message you need to send. And for those that can’t or don’t want to use their hands, they can use speech to text. The three that I know names for them are, Alexa, Cortana  and Siri . A person merely has say “Hey Alexa”,  “Hey Cortana”, or “Hey Siri” to activate the voice system. Phones with Google are activated by saying “OK Google” and then telling Google whatever it is that you want Google to do. Siri and Cortana can also be told to do other things, such as call someone that you have listed in your contacts, set a timer, and set alarms if necessary. I have come to appreciate the touch screens quite a bit.

Besides the phone’s capabilities of making calls, sending messages, and setting timers and alarms, for whatever reason, cell phones of today can record videos, take pictures, and provide GPS capabilities. You can locate your family members with Life 360, your lost phone(if the app is turned on), and find what route to take you anyplace that you need to go. It is also possible to watch movies and TV shows, as well as play games on them. I don’t know how people made it as well as they did before the advent of cell phones.

cell-phone-evolution    flip-phone 

Taking pictures has even become much easier. Now days there are digital cameras, for those old timers that don’t want or trust cell phones(there are still a few of those people around), and for people that take a lot of pictures and don’t want to run the battery down on their cell phone. Cameras of the past had to use flash bulbs, and film that had to be physically rolled onto a reel in the camera and advanced with each picture that was taken. My first camera was a Brownie Fiesta, that was like the first one in the picture below.

brownie-fiesta-camera-outfit  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For people in manual wheel chairs, the invention of power wheel chairs is about the best invention in their lives. The accessibility, to most people with insurance makes it possible for people that could not afford them on their own to be able to own a power chair. It is almost unbelievable to people with any type of paralysis. They are able to get around with a power chair, when they could not do so with a manual chair, unless someone was willing to push them. Even quadriplegics are able to get around, with the aid of a blow tube to control the chair.

Not only are there power chairs, but even manual chairs now have a device that can be put on the two big wheels that can assist them in being able to propel their chair. They are called “power assist motors”. I hope to be able to get them for my manual chair. I had a power chair, but it gave up the ghost about four years ago, and I had to go to my back-up manual chair. But without the manual chair I would not be able to leave my house, so I am happy to have it.

manual-chair

47

These are all really great inventions, but computers have to be the biggest change in all of the wonderful changes that I have seen and had a chance to use and own. To think that back in 1970, when I was in college for computer programming, I had to actually punch cards, stack them, and then verify them before I could run them to see if my program would work. First picture is of a man punching the cards. Second picture shows cards in the keypunch machine. Third picture shows stacking cards to put them in the machine that would verify them, the verifying machine is in the fourth picture.

punching-cards  punch-card-in-machine  stacking-cards-to-verify  punch-card-verifier

There was no such thing as a motherboard. There were physical boards, that had to be wired by hand, one wire at a time. These boards are what told the computer what to do. They were the fore runners to plug in modules, since there were no such thing as modules

wired-board

Only businesses and very rich people had computers. The computer and all of its’ components could take up any where from one room to whole buildings. There were raised floors, so that cooling equipment could be installed under them. The temperature had to be kept between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit in the rooms where the massive computers were set up.

Businesses had to be connected to their main computers by modems with internal dial-up routers.

dial-up-modem

The businesses had actual floppy discs that were 8 inches square, or 5 and 1/4 inches square. The users had to be careful not to bend them, or the information that they contained would be corrupted. Then came the 3 and 1/2 inch square floppy discs that were actually hard plastic.All three sizes and types were called floppy discs though, because they had a very thin floppy disc inside, that contained whatever information that you entered into the computer.

disksize

These floppy discs were the first type of storage, and later were replaced by hard drives. The hard drives were metal and had metal discs called platters inside of them. These platters spun around and as the data was entered into the computer, it was recorded on these platters. The first hard drives could only hold mega bytes and/or kilo bytes of data. It took a few years before the first Gigabyte storage capable hard drives were developed. My first Gigabyte hard drive was capable of storing 12 Gigabytes of data. When I had that installed into my computer, I thought it would last me for, the rest of my life. I have since had hard drives capable of holding up to over 500 Gigabytes of data.

After the hard drives came external hard drives that could be carried and hooked up to computers in other places via a USB cable.

external-hard-drive

These too were not capable of high volumes of data at first. Now internal hard drives and external hard drives are capable of holding Terabytes of data, and are also available in Solid State Drive form. A Solid State Drive is one that has no internal parts that move. Below are three hard drives. The one on the left is an internal hard drive, the one in the middle in a laptop hard drive, and the one on the left is a solid state hard drive. The solid state hard drive is the same size as the laptop hard drive is. Since the solid state hard drive has no moving parts, it will last indefinitely.

hard-disk  laptop-hard-drive solid-state-drive 

Below is a comparison of a regular hard drive and a solid state drive.

hard-disk-drive-vs-solid-state-drive

The actual computer was in a very large metal case with the workings inside of it. These were called desk top computers, and came in various sizes. With the desktop computer it was necessary to use a separate keyboard and mouse. Some of the computers were able to be put flat and the monitor was placed on top of it, but most of them stood beside the monitor. See pictures below.

desktop-with-monitor-keyboard-and-mouse   desktop-that-lays-flat

The computers continued to be improved and made smaller and easier to be carried around. These came to be known as Laptop computers, and even smaller ones are called tablets. The tablets are more for watching movies ans playing games though, than for actually being used as computers. They usually didn’t have keyboards with them and therefore were not practical for business use. Now, however there are tablets that have magnetic keyboards that may be connected to them, so they may be used as regular laptops.A regular laptop is shown on the left, and a tablet with a magnetic keyboard is shown on the right.

laptop-computer   tablet-with-keyboard 

The first computer that I had was one that friends gave to me. It was a stand-up desktop with a CRT screen, keyboard and regular mouse. I later had a computer built to my specifications that also had a CRT, but it was a 17 inch screen. I had a keyboard and a regular mouse.

Today my mouse is an optical mouse. Even though I have a laptop that has a mouse pad and a keyboard contained in it, I like using an external mouse and an external keyboard. I am a senior citizen, and it is just easier for me to use the external devices.

The portability of a laptop is great. When I take the laptop anyplace, all I take is the external mouse, and use the keyboard that is made into the laptop.

When I think of all the technological changes that have happened in my lifetime, I am all but overwhelmed. It is simply amazing to see how far technology has come. Children of today, and even many adults will never know what having vinyl records playing on a record player was like. Nor will they know what a hardwired house phone ( more commonly called a land line) was like. They will never have known black and white TV, VHS movies, cassette tapes and eight tracks, cameras with flash bulbs and film that had to be wound after each picture. With being able to make videos on cell phones, they won’t know what home movies, large screens to show the movies on, and home movie projectors are all about. By the same token they will not know what having picture negatives, to keep up with to be able to get copies for other people, is all about. They can simply take and store pictures on their cell phones and upload them to the cloud. With mp3 players they don’t have to have  to use walk men to be able to carry their favorite songs with them.  DVDs have evolved to Blue Ray and now even 4k, I think they are called. The x-box is going away to a degree, since most games can now be purchased and played on PCs and/or laptops. Some are even available to be used on tablets, if the tablet is powerful enough.

Even though some of the advances are hard to get used to at first, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Technology is wonderful, and change will never stop happening. When you stop wanting to learn new things, you stop living, to a degree. I am very thankful for the changes that I have come to depend on each and every day. There is no way that I can single out which one is better than another, and how they have helped me. But if I had to pick just one, I would have to pick the phone first. And if by chance I could pick two things, I would have to pick the laptop next.

But even more amazing than the computers are the advances that are being made in the medical field. It is possible these days to have many surgeries with incisions that are only one or two inches long, instead of having to be cut open with incisions that are six inches or larger. Granted there are still surgeries that require large incisions to be made, but most surgeries are much simpler than what they used to be. Even the tools that are being used today are much more advanced than they were years ago.

There is the Gamma Knife, that uses gamma radiation to perform very delicate brain surgery.

gamma-knife

The Socrates robot(I think that’s what his name is) can perform many different types of surgeries. It has many different arms, that can be manipulated in many ways. There is no way that human arms can possibly make all of the different moves that the robot’s arms can make. This is just to mention a couple of technological advances in the surgery field.

socrates-robot

Even imaging has come a tremendous way. When I was growing up, the only imaging device possible to see anything inside of a person was the x-ray machine. When the ultrasound machine came out, people could not believe that such a great machine had been invented. The first ones were done on pregnant women, after about four month gestation, to check on the baby and its development. This was back in the 1950s. It was in the early 1970s when I had my first ultrasound. The next imaging device that I was aware of was the CT scan. My first one was in the mid to late 1970s. Next for me was the MRI, and I had my first one of those in the mid 1990s. I know that there are PET scanners, but as of yet I have not had to have one of those. Unfortunately, I have had too many of all of the others to keep count. I have had to have video imaging done on my bladder and kidneys, but I don’t know which one of the technologies was used for that process.

These imaging devices eliminate a lot of, what used to be called “exploratory surgery”. The surgeries that were done when the doctors knew that something was bad wrong, but did not know what, and had to find out to save a person’s life.

I am a true living miracle of technology. For I have an artificial bladder. My first bladder surgery was done in 1997. It was to have a supra pubic catheter placed directly into my bladder. I have a neurogenic bladder, and therefore was unable to tell when it was necessary to go to the bathroom, and when I would just go, because I knew I was bound to have to go, I was unable to do so. The first time it happened was on my birthday, March 22, 1997. I happened to already be in the hospital foe a different reason. It was 10:30 PM and I had not gone to the restroom since 7:30 AM. I knew that I was bound to have to go. I tried to go, but was unable to do so. I told the nurses, and they immediately had to catheterize me. To their amazement, 1,000cc came out. They told me that they were going to have to kink off the catheter or my bladder would go into all kinds of spasms. About half an hour later, they came back and released the kink in the catheter, and another 1,000cc came out. Once again they had to kink off the catheter. Half an hour later, they repeated the process. This time, only 800cc came out. The nurses told me that I was lucky to be alive. They went on to say that the normal bladder feels the urge to release at 600cc and can hold 800cc. They said that I was lucky that my bladder had not ruptured and killed me from peritonitis. Once a bladder ruptures, the person is usually dead within 24 hours. A Foley catheter was inserted and had to remain until my first surgery on April 18, 1997.

I was a very active person, and was attending the community college for a computer degree. After three years, the catheter started rubbing the inside of my bladder and making it bleed. The doctors knew something had to be done. I had finished school and was working full time. As you can see from the picture of me at work, I have many medical problems, but I try not to let them get me down. I’m not going to go into any detail here.

bonnie-at-first-bank-683x1024

On November 2, 2000, I received my artificial bladder. The bladder was made from my intestines. They took the part where the large and small intestines meet. That is the only place in the intestines where there was a sphincter that would open and close like the bladder needed to be able to do. In December of 2000 I had to have a knee replacement. While I was recuperating from the surgery, the opening to my bladder closed up. I had to have a catheter inserted into my urethra until the next surgery could be done. The doctors had to release me from the knee surgery before I could have the bladder surgery. In March of 2001, I had the bladder surgery.

I returned to work April 18, 2001. From what I have been told, of all of the people that received an artificial bladder in 2000, only a handful were still .living in 2003. Now I am the only surviving person that received an artificial bladder in 2000. November 2, 2016 will be 16 years. Were it not for technological advances, I would not be alive today. I am so thankful for technology and all of the advances that I have been able to enjoy, and will continue to enjoy for years to come.