New Email Subscription Option

January 11, 2012

World of Julie has a new way to subscribe: via email! I think. It’s something I’ve been meaning to add for a while, and it only took angst, frustration, and a degree in computer mechanics to install it. Not really. Just seems like when I decide to tackle this before 6:00 a.m.

So! See that little box in the upper-right-hand corner? The one that says “Enter your email address”? If you enter your email address in that box, and click on “subscribe” (and then follow the directions that pop up), you will be notified via email when World of Julie has a new post.

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CATEGORIES: Julie

What Happened When My Computer Caught a Virus (or, a Pioneer Life Thrust Upon Me)

April 29, 2010

My computer caught a virus a few weeks ago – a nasty one that pretended to be antivirus software, continually opened windows and pop-ups, and which directed any web browsing to discount Taiwanese shopping sites. I turned the computer off once it started loaded some kind of porn onto my desktop.

When I took it in to be fixed, the computer guy asked if there were any files I needed them to get me right away. There weren’t. If this had happened at a different time – if I was still in school, or if I hadn’t done our taxes – I would have been much more panicky. But, as Dave pointed out, the more you do on a computer, the more trouble it can cause you. I think I was ready for a break.

The virus had also corrupted my operating system, and so a week without a computer stretched into two. And I have to say, other than being out of the loop with all the people I only communicate with by email, it was great. Also at this same time one of our cars needed a bunch of work done to pass inspection, so while that was in the shop, Dave took the other car to work and I had no car and no computer. I felt like I should make my own bayberry candles and put up preserves. My world shrank around me, and rather than being claustrophobic, it was freeing.

On one of the first computer- and car-free days, I was making dinner early while Zuzu napped. I felt an incredible urge to call someone – anyone – to have someone jabbering in my ear while I peeled potatoes. I didn’t, though, and let my mind wander while I cooked. How much time do I spend surfing the internet to avoid thinking about my life? A lot.

Even on days where I didn’t get much done, I got a lot done. When there’s no internet to run to every 20 minutes, you can fold laundry, wipe down the bathroom, and make dinner early. You can clean your desk, on which you’ll find all manner of important buried paperwork.

When there’s no internet, you can also look your child in the eye. How long have I been talking to the kids while staring at a monitor? Eli, our spirited boy, was noticeably calmer. And, really, so was I. Having no computer meant that a huge chunk of my day – let’s be honest: hours of my day – was suddenly free. So I did the housework and the meals and everything else, but with that much more time to do it, I wasn’t rushed. So when Eli needed something, I could help him. Or I could get him to help me. He can help me cook and clean, but he can’t really help me cruise the internet.

I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to realize it: being on the internet is not “me” time. It’s time spent in a mildly frantic state searching for me time, but mostly just reading other peoples’ writing. Which is good a lot of the time, and interesting sometimes, but not particularly vital. I can read other peoples’ writing with those books and magazines and newspapers I have. And I could have more time to do writing of my own.

So, friends, I’m stepping back (you knew it was coming, didn’t you?). I’m soon to have a fourth baby, and while I need to focus on her, and the others, I also need to focus on me, and on Dave, and on grown-up, non-kid things. Idle surfing is focusing on other people, not on me. I also have gotten all in a tizzy with the idea of supplementarily homeschooling Henry and the others (that is, keeping him in public school, but adding to it more formally at home). There are so many subjects he wants to know more about that he’s not going to learn anytime soon at school, like biology, and Latin, and ancient history (and ok, yes, I was inspired by a blog, In Need of Chocolate, to do this, but still). So I’m excited to do the formal teaching and to really work on creating this little 4-pack of eggheads.

I’ve always wanted to meditate. I know it would be good for scattered, unfocused me. But I’ve never been able to make it work. There are just too many people and distractions in my house. The two weeks without a computer, though, I got a lot closer to meditative chunks of time, suddenly able to catch snippets of calm while doing dishes or folding laundry, or just sitting outside while the kids played in the yard. I was also able to let my mind wander in a way that makes me consider my life a lot more. This is something that doesn’t happen when the magnet pull of the computer calls me back every 20 minutes to see if anyone has emailed more, or if a new post has shown up on one of the many blogs I plugged into Google Reader.

My plan is to find a sweet spot during the day of uninterrupted time – a half hour or 45 minutes – when I turn the computer on, check email, do online banking, and buy anything I need to get (because what would I do without internet shopping? most of the time I really cannot be bothered to load everyone in the car and take them to a store). And then I’m going to turn the computer off. This will mean, clearly, a lot less blogging, if at all. Sorry. But I owe it to myself, my family, and my children, to be a responsible, calm, happy grownup. I realize this is all possible because I am lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom, and that I was already somewhat disconnected electronically (I don’t have a cell phone, I don’t use Twitter…). But I do know that I wasted a lot of time maintaining a false connection to the outside world through this electronic computer box, and it’s time I maintained a real connection to my own self, for one.

CATEGORIES: Julie

Thank you for your patience…please stand by.

January 11, 2010

Two more weeks left in this class, and then regular blogging will resume.

Random thought of the day: if we name the baby something that starts with an A, then I can arrange the kids’ first initials to spell out HAZE. Not that there’s any need for that, ever.

CATEGORIES: Julie

One Year

September 17, 2009

Hey, I almost missed it! One year ago, I posted my first post on my WordPress blog. And 377 posts later, here we are (though let’s not forget the many places you can get lost in the original World of Julie site). To celebrate the occasion, I got a haircut:

Ok, not really. I got a haircut because I desperately needed one (very diplomatic stylist upon seeing me and assessing my needs: “So, well. It’s long. And there’s a lot of it. And it’s all kind of just hanging there.”) There was essentially a haystack of hair on the floor when she was done, as well as two combs, because I had such a mass of hair that she kept losing combs in it, or something.

The really amazing part is that all three kids stayed with Sutswana (and her two kids), and Zuzu didn’t make a peep and when I returned she gave me one look and then demanded that Sutswana continue to help her practice walking around. Sutswana and I were both shocked. We seriously both expected her to be a weepy mess for at least part of the time. S. was all worried that I’d be heartbroken or offended, but I was psyched. I mean, I know Zuzu loves me. She tells me all the time. I’m just really really glad that she knows that when I leave I come back (that, or she just understood by looking at me that I really, really needed a haircut).

CATEGORIES: Julie

Viewing World of Julie

May 19, 2009

Hey, can you all see World of Julie ok? There has been a report of the “share” button at the bottom of the post cutting off the last line of text, but it looks fine to me (in Firefox). Is anyone else having issues?

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CATEGORIES: housekeeping
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The week ahead

April 18, 2009

Ok, so just to warn you, I have a massive giant the-majority-of-your-grade-rests-on-this paper/project due on Monday, and then another paper due on the 27th, plus it’s school vacation week, so I can’t promise much in the way of posts. Though I might also be procrastinating mightily, which often leads to some lovely posting. And I already have some posts in the hopper for next week. So I’m not sure what I’m saying, other than to give me a break if it’s not daily.

Vacation week started off with a lot of breakdowns and whininess and general re-entry issues, which didn’t really level off until Friday at 4:30, so let’s hope that the week as a whole works itself out and isn’t one of those imploding horror shows. I’m actually really glad to have Henry at home and give him the chance to be in his pajamas all day working on his Projects.

Ok. Over and out.

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CATEGORIES: housekeeping
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Painfully Slow and Incredibly Frustrating

February 4, 2009

No, it’s not the new Jonathan Safran Foer novel, it’s my internet and email issues since Fairpoint is finally making the Verizon-to-Fairpoint conversion. Or attempting to. I’m all caught in the crossfire, as are many others, it seems. My internet connection is veeeerrrrrry slow 90% of the time, and I can receive emails but can’t send them. So if you’ve emailed me recently, I probably did get it, but this is explaining why you have not received a reply from me. Sorry.

I called Fairpoint and they actually have a message saying, “Due to the high call volume, we can’t take your call.” Thanks. I guess it’s better than waiting on hold for hours. I am “live chatting” (i.e., having some kind of private online chatroom discussion) with a Fairpoint tech support person right this minute, and while he may be “live” he also appears to be “asleep” since I am doing the dishes and taking out the garbage in between what are certainly wildly unique questions of mine like, “What should my email settings be?”

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CATEGORIES: thirty second post
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I love you all!

January 14, 2009

Some of the Delightful Comments are up! You all rock. Sob. Sniff. [Insert appropriate emoticon here denoting hugs. Oh! Wait! It's the pretechnology emoticon from the Victorian age! XOXOXO!]

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CATEGORIES: thirty second post

Hurray! World of Julie is on Delightful Blogs!

January 9, 2009

As Seen on DelightfulBlogs.com Hurray! I have officially been named a Delightful Blog (as if you didn’t already know that). Please feel free to hop on over and leave a delightful comment about how much you love my delightful blog.

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CATEGORIES: thirty second post

Secret Search Box Suddenly Comes Out of Woodwork

November 12, 2008

Hey, look at that! That little box under the orange RSS logo in the upper-right hand corner of this site is a search box. I thought I added one somewhere, but then I forgot about it. You’d think it would say, “SEARCH” or something helpful like that. Maybe in Web 2.0 everyone knows a blank rectangular box is a search box. Search away!

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CATEGORIES: thirty second post
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