Posts Tagged ‘cell phone’

Jury Duty, My Nemesis

November 28, 2016

Since it’s been 18 months and zero days since my last jury duty, the flimsy white postcard arrived in the mail as scheduled announcing my day(s) off from homeschooling! Yay!

It’s that weird season between Thanksgiving and Christmas when most homeschool mamas are torn between math and cocoa with whipped cream. Grammar and Elf. History and fuzzy socks and a snuggly blanket and a good Christmas storybook. Turning on the heater or playing wii Dance 2 for P.E.

Needless to say, I wasn’t super disappointed to be leaving my children unattended for a day or three. (This will be our little secret, k?) My remaining offspring are 13 and 18 and fully self-reliant… with eating and staying alive. Not so resilient with doing school work unsupervised, but hey, it’s December. (Well in three days it’s December, but close enough to already have Christmas cheer!) And lying cozy and warm in your bed reading a fantastic book for hours IS school! Yep!

The day started off with a BANG! From the short walk from the shuttle bus to the front of the court house, I crossed paths with a very angry black woman who spewed, “White supremacists!” to me and my fellow non-assuming, white, middle-aged, minding-our-own-business jurors. Her words literally shocked me. My mouth dropped open. Turning to the lady walking right behind me I shared, “I have never been called that before!” She hadn’t either. Wow! I felt sorry for the name-calling woman. To harbor that much anger must make life horrible! I thought of singing Christmas carols to bring up the Christmas cheer but she walked off too rapidly for my first tune to commence. Joy to the World would have been top of my chart.

Being a returning expert to jury duty, I arrived on time. Signed in and got my sticker badge. Most of my morning was spent reading two months of text messages and trying to figure out who was the other texter. I lost all my contacts on my phone except those who left text messages… but they were nameless numbers. For two hours I READ texts from September 26 to November 28 and tried to remember who I had that conversation with followed by typing in every blinking name. When would I have had time to do that if not for jury duty? Thank you, Madison Court House!

Finally I sat working at a desk until my name was announced. Dang it. I have heard rumors of people getting the notice and sitting in the waiting area ALL DAY. Think of it! ALL DAY pretty much alone to read or look up papier mache Christmas ornaments on Pinterest or make grocery lists or doodle or nap or knit. Sugary bliss! But no.

My juror number this time, out of 40, was 2. Not good. The chances of numbers 30-40 getting selected, in my vast experience, are slim to none. But I was hopeful of being dismissed just by my explanation of what my husband does for work. The trial involved police, so I was sure to mention that Rick flies for Department of Public Safety… the governor, SWAT teams, prisoner transfers and photography… and has for worked for the State of AZ for 17 years. (So the 17 years didn’t always include DPS but I could have clarified if needed.)

This is not my first jury rodeo! (It’s my second.) So I had a much firmer grasp on my emotions as fellow jurors gave feeble attempts at being excused. There was no rolling of my eyes. There were no bursts of laughter like last time. I didn’t even snicker when an elderly gentleman raised his hand and urgently told the judge, “I have to go to the bathroom so bad I can’t think straight!”

The process of jury selection was much quicker this time around and there weren’t sob stories of abuse that we had to endure, thankfully. We returned from lunch and nine jurors were selected just like that. No questioning of any of us from the attorneys. Two minutes after lunch, the rest of us received our Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card. BAM! Civic service done! Bring on the eggnog!

December 2016 I will look for my $23 fuel reimbursement check in the mailbox!

May 2018 I will look for the little, flimsy white postcard in the mailbox announcing my next half day off!  Whoo Hoooo!

The 21st Century Awakening

March 11, 2011

Yes, it’s true.  I got a new phone.  It’s not a smart phone, for I am not that smart yet.  I’m working my way up from the razor flip phone I upgraded from yesterday.  Slowly.  Sad part is, I do not have time to learn to use a new phone.  I’m a busy woman with life flying by at a rapid pace.  When the salesman handed me the phone, I handed it to my 14-year-old son and requested, “Here, figure it out and then fill me in.”  BIG mistake on my part.

My current ring tone, that I do not know how to change, is a jaunty rap number that makes me want to flick my head back and forth when the phone rings.  It truly brings a smile to my face, but it is so unconventional for me.  Hello!?  I’m a 44-year-old mother with four children.  Some sense of decency must be upheld.

And my wallpaper on the new fangled device is a picture of a frying pan filled with scrambled eggs.  Nice.  I can’t figure out how to change that either.

Yesterday, I took a picture of some shorts at TJ Maxx that I intended to buy for one of my boys.  I was going to send it to him to see if he liked them…. but of course, I couldn’t figure out how to send it.  So I just bought them.  Thankfully, he liked them.  Later that night his sister was looking through the obnoxious pictures my children have already taken on my phone when she paused and asked, “Why is there a picture of someone’s rear end on your phone.”  Then I had to explain that it was the shorts in the store hanging on the rack…. that I couldn’t figure out how to send.  They all laughed at their mother.  Laughed!  Gah!

My FAV5 numbers were transferred over with my old sim card, but the FAV5 pictures did not make the transition.  Without much forethought at all, I asked one of my sons to put the right pictures in the FAV5 slots.  Well, one of my top five is the house phone.  So now there is a picture of the house phone handset in my FAV5.  Nice.  No smiling faces yet.

Today (day two of owning the phone) I noticed the battery bar blinking red.  I had to search for the cord to plug it in, for I hadn’t even opened the box yet.  All was fine and dandy, other than my 44-year-old eyes barely being able to distinguish the correct position to plug the cord into the phone.  Good grief it’s small.

Then we went out to dinner tonight and I left the phone on the kitchen counter plugged into the miniscule cord.  One of our sons stayed home and while we were out I called my cell phone to check on him.  I asked, “What are you doing?”  He laughingly replied, “Rockin’ out to your rapper ringtone.”  Nice.

Blessed by a Stranger!

September 2, 2010

A friend of ours called me and said they would like to donate a washer, an antique desk and a water heater to our “adoption” garage sale.  We gratefully accepted and I went over to take pictures so I could put the items on Craigslist to sell.  I used my husband’s cell number because I didn’t want the calls and he would have to meet them over at the other house.  In a few hours from me posting them, he had calls on all three items and set up meeting times last night.  So I went with him…. kind of like a date night, but totally not counting as a date night. 

Long story short, I wrote in the ads that these were donated items for our adoption and I didn’t have background info on them, only descriptions.  The guy that showed up for the washing machine didn’t even look inside the washer!  He looked at the knobs, looked at the hoses and cord and said he’d take it.  My husband and the man loaded it into his truck and then he reached for the cash in his pocket.  He paid exactly what we asked and then handed my husband another $20 “for the cause.”  It brought tears to my eyes.  He asked how old our daughter is “God blessed” us and drove away.  I love when strangers “get it.”  I wonder if he even needed a washing machine?  I needed that little boost of encouragement!  Thanks, God.

Oh My, I’m Old!

May 19, 2010

After last night’s fiasco at the grocery store, my 16-year-old daughter was flabbergasted at the thought of not having a cell phone… like in the “olden days” when I was a teen. 

She asked incredulously, “What would you have done in this situation when you were 16???” 

Wise Old Mom (me) replied, “I would have used the store’s phone at customer service.”  (no big deal!)

16yo:  “What would you have done if you ran out of gas??????”  (wide eyes at the thought of the stranded situation)

WOM:  “Walked to a gas station and used the pay phone.”

16yo:  “What if there wasn’t a pay phone?”

WOM: “When I was a teen EVERY gas station had a pay phone, as well as all shopping malls and even some street corners.”

16yo:  “What if you didn’t have any money to use the pay phone?”

WOM: “I would call home collect.”

16yo:  “What is collect?”  (Oh, the generation gap was widening in my mind….)

WOM: “It’s when you call the operator and ask for a collect call to be placed.  They ask for your name and then call the number you gave.  When someone answered they would say, “Do you accept a collect call from Linda?”  And when they said yes, we would talk.”

16yo: “Are there still operators?”

WOM: “I think there are.”

Following that unimaginable conversation, I told her about my college dorm that had one pay phone for 36 girls to share.  She couldn’t believe it!  She asked who would answer it, what we did when we had to use it and it was busy, how our parents left messages, how much it cost to call from Canada to California, and was basically in a state of shock that I lived such an archaic life.

I didn’t feel like she was quite ready to handle stories of her dad’s teen years with party lines…. I’m saving that for another day.

How to be an Awesome Parent!!!

July 31, 2009

Hello, Rick here again.  Linda gets back later today and she can write about something other than Hockey.  But I thought I would share a couple of thoughts about what I think is important on being a Dad.  I just finished an email to the parents on Austin’s hockey team.  I wanted to make them aware of what is really important this coming Hockey season.  The following is the body of what I wrote but it doesn’t just apply to Hockey moms and dads…it applies to all parentsgrandparents as well as anyone who wants to make or keep friends.  The art of conversation seems to be taking a back seat in our culture and it is because we are letting it!

“Travel Hockey is a long season but the reward will happen along the way as well as at the end of the year.  The progression of our hockey players will definately be noticed come March but the reward along the way will be in the form of a closer relationship with your girl or boy.  The travel time to the rink is such an important time and I feel it should be used for our benefit as parents and the benefit of our kids.  What I have tried to do especially last year was to turn off the radio and not allow Austin to play his iPod while we travelled.  This in turn, forced both of us to have to dialogue with each other.  At first there was a lot of dead air but as the year progressed we talked in depth and I learned more and more about my son.  Don’t get me wrong, there were times when all I wanted to do was to go to my “empty box” (as my wife, Linda calls it) and veg!  I began to realize that he had goals and dreams that I had no clue about.  It was fun to get closer to Austin on a level different than that of hockey.  When we as parents take the lead and put our focused time and effort into our most prized possessions, the year won’t feel so long and we will have fun a long the way!”

So hang up the cell phone, put away the iPod, read that book when they are in bed, get off the computer, exercise before they get up, take them with you when you go places, have them cook/bake with you, have them fix the car with you, take them out for some one-on-one time, take them to church, schedule time at the end of the day to tuck them into bed and talk to them, read the Bible to them, if you are doing something and they ask a question stop what you are doing and look at them in the eyes and listen, don’t let your mind wander when talking with them, don’t be impatient, answer softly, pray with them, hug them daily, kiss them daily and tell them you love them constantly!!!

Teddy Bear….. whatever!

March 10, 2008


Here we have a photo essay of the Teddy Bear.  One is cute and cuddly.  The other is prickly and parlous.  Whoever named this particular member of the cholla cactus family ‘teddy bear’ needs a lobotomy.  Why am I so opinionated about this plant?  I have hugged both varieties pictured.

Let me take you back to a cool, cloudless day in the City of Phoenix, Maricopa County, Sonoran Desert, Arizona, to a hill behind my parent’s home.  A family hike with the youngin’s in tow was under way.  There was no path, no trail, no guide.  Just a rocky hill with a summit to be conquered.  Enter the teddy bear. (sinister music should be playing in the background)  Numerous times we had instructed the chil’ens to leave a wide path between themselves and the teddy bear cacti.  Rumor had it that this breed actually reacts to ground movements and can “shoot” a limb at a passerby.  I did not believe it until that fateful day.

We were half way up the incline when my husband yelled, “OOOOUUUUCCCCHHH!”  He was bringing up the rear of the ascent, so we all turned to see what the alarm was.  He held up his hand to reveal a teddy bear arm embedded in the side of his hand.  My insides did the roller-coaster flip-flop upon first glance.  No one witnessed the attack, so we’re not sure if it was human error or preying plant.  “Find something to pull it out!” Rick yelled.  We all began scanning the hillside for sticks… but there were no trees…. and hence, no sticks.  Just dead cactus arms, rocks and scrubby, brittle bushes. 

Two water bottles were the best retraction devices we could come up with, so I advanced toward the victim with the bottles gleaming in the sun.  “Wait a minute,” Rick added as he searched his pockets with his free hand, “I should take a picture of this with my cell phone.”  Now, when I’m in pain with a parasite digging it’s spines into my flesh, I do not think, “Let me take a picture of this!”  It’s got to be a guy thing.

Anyway, photo-shoot behind us, I advanced with the water bottles a second time.  Rick held his arm straight down and I tenderly placed the bottles on each side of his hand.  On the count of three, I squeezed them against the poky branch and after a bit of resistance, it dislodged…… and flew into my thigh…. sticking through my jeans… and secured it’s new territory whole heartily.  I lost all the air in my lungs, while firmly gripping the retraction devices.  Confirming what I had earlier surmised, I did not once think of taking a picture of my pain.  I’m such a girl.

When I gained mental fortitude, I squeezed the bottles again.  But alas, the teddy bear was enjoying me more than my husband and was hugging more fiercely.  My second attempt was successful and I was indeed cactus free.

Later that night, simply for the comparison factor, we counted blood-dot entry points.  Rick’s hand had 9.  Linda’s leg had 23.  I won.  And I don’t even have a picture on my phone to show for it.

When hiking in cactus country, Be Prepared!  1. Water  2.  Sunscreen  3.  Large comb to remove cacti.