Saturday, September 7, 2013

As the world turns

When I was a little girl, my mother and I always watched an afternoon television soap opera called As The World TurnsThe phrase came into my mind today after I read that Mia in Norway was thinking of giving up her blog. You may read her words and all 153! (so far) comments here. She has brought up a subject the world is talking about these days - does blogging have a future in light of all the new ways to communicate. I was recently told by a twenty-something friend that blogs were old school, and that I should get an Instagram account. I quietly defended my choice to stay with blogging. 

In my comment to Mia, I said

It is clear from all your comments that many, many people love your blog. It is a meaningful oasis in this busy, busy internet world. All the things you mentioned FB, Twitter, etc. are flash, are quick, are easy. But they aren't deep. Blogging is for the deeper life- the thoughtful, slow approach. There is a place for both in the world, and it will sadden me if bloggers give up their blogs. There is so much clutter on the internet, and blogs such as yours offer a refuge. A quiet place of beauty. I do not read blogs on a reader so can't comment on that. I just come over as if I were visiting a friend. Sometimes I leave a note, often I don't. But I am refreshed and renewed when I see your photos and read your words.
The blogs that I read, and there are a lot of them, are works of art. Really. They are also works of passion. Sometimes that passion is about gardening. Sometimes it is about old mysteries. Sometimes it is about food or family or knitting. Whatever the blog is about, it is written with care. The reader can tell that thought and time has been put into the writing.

There's a place for a quick picture, and heaven knows I have lots of posts with just a photo or two, but there's also a place for considered writing. Thoughts that come out after being pondered for a while. I like the deliberate pace of a blog. I like slow food, and I like slow living. I may be out of step with a world that is becoming increasing frenetic but I think that perhaps readers, introverts, alternative people are never quite in step. Ever since the world began there have been books or songs bemoaning the fast pace of that current world. I get great solace from old songs and novels because I often see how very little life has changed. There is always a new thing. There is always a flashier car or house to covet. I see maturity as the ability to accept the new without necessarily giving up the old. I'm no Luddite but I don't embrace every new technology that comes along. I guess what I should say is that I may embrace it, but I don't let go of the old simply because it isn't new. I do have a smart phone which I adore. I do not have an iPod. I listen to my music on CDs or burned CDs from my iTunes or on my turntable. I have a computer but not a laptop or iPad. I have Apple TV but no 'regular' TV anymore. I love my Kindle and my print books. I don't like an either/or world. People may be on Facebook and Instagram and also keep a blog. There is room for it all, and it is up to the individual which gets the most emphasis. 

I'd love to hear your feelings about this subject.

51 comments:

  1. Before retiring, I worked in an industry dominated by young people. Because of that, I felt duty bound to keep up with the latest and greatest in technology and communication. Since retiring, one of the greatest blessings is no longer needing to push myself in technical directions I really do not appreciate. Oh, I do have my gadgets and I do enjoy them; however, I am no longer obsessed with them.

    On one hand, this internet-dominated world we live in makes me somewhat sad. Thoughtful contemplation and reserve have given way to a "have to be first even if not correct" approach to almost everything, especially news and the weather.

    On the other hand, this internet-dominated world has brought so many of us together through our blogs. Here, we take the time to think about what others have to say; friendships are born and grow.

    My point? You are spot on, Nan: This does not have to be an either/or world. Yes, we have the technology to do so much more than ever before; however, we also have the option to use only that part of the technology that brings us pleasure.

    Pleasure for me is visiting and reading blogs. No, blogs are not quick nor are they easy; but they are thoughtful, constant, and rewarding.

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    1. Your words are just perfect. 'thoughtful, constant, and rewarding.' I love that word 'constant' and even wrote about it once here:
      http://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/2007/07/quote-du-joursarah-orne-jewett.html
      Yes, the internet has broadened and warmed my life so much. The blogs I read make me a better person.
      I don't know why 'fast' is always supposed to be better.

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  2. I wish I could write as good as you do. You have expressed how I feel about the other forms of communication. I love blogs. I don't post as much as I used to because I have been writing about the same garden for so many years but i hate to give it up. I would hate even more if you gave up your blog. I would miss you.

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    1. You are a great writer. And your garden is never exactly the 'same.' Each year there is something new, or something lost, or a different setting. The continuity and the change are both interesting and worth writing about, and certainly worth reading about!

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  3. This post says so much to me.
    I started a journal (blog) 6 years ago so my children and grandchildren would know what I was doing and know me better. They like it.
    I rarely watch television and just a cell phone for emergencies and my landline. Wonder sometime about adding something new for me to learn. At present I think this is enough.
    I think about stopping but I truly enjoy writing and posting my pictures - if no one made a comment. But my granddaghter in N.Y
    writes me often about what I share and it
    encourages me to go on...
    for thses late 70 years.
    Hey, I never thought I would use a computer
    and I learned mostly by myself about 10 years ago :)

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    1. Oh my yes, you are always learning! And your writing is an important part of many readers' blogging life. You inspire a lot of people.

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  4. Nan,
    You have expressed exactly how I feel about blogging. I truly enjoy the different ways of looking at the world from the blogs that I visit. Very often, I agree with them, but sometimes, I do not but that's okay, I find them all interesting!

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    1. I don't read much that is controversial, but as you say, even if I don't feel the same way about a blog entry, I like the blogger. I think the world has gotten way too black and white. If someone doesn't agree with everything we think, we push them aside, out of our minds. People are way more complex than that. I can sometimes hold opposing views in my head quite happily. :<)

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  5. I'm right there with you, Nan! I have an iPad, but use it mainly when I travel (or when I want to read a few blog posts on my breaks at work). When I'm home, I use my desktop. I have a Nano, but rarely listen to music on it. It's primarily for audio books. I have a Nook Simple Touch, but have only used it to read one book (Under the Dome). I prefer my print books, but can see the benefit of the Nook for large novels. I'm on Facebook, but have cut way back, mainly keeping in touch with family and a handful of friends. I love to see all their photos, but wouldn't be heartbroken if it suddenly disappeared. Same with Instagram. I post every now and then, but the thrill of sharing a quick shot has disappeared. I still love to read book reviews posted by my favorite bloggers, but it's the posts about their lives, families, homes, etc. that appeal to me more than the 5-star book ratings.

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    1. That's exactly it! There's a place and time for each device.

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  6. Oh, thank you all. I so loved reading your comments. And Lisa you do write wonderfully. I've wondered how many blogs there are, so of course typed in my question. If you go here:
    http://snitchim.com/how-many-blogs-are-there/
    you will see there are zillions. I guess they aren't going to disappear overnight, plus the site said more are beginning every day. Nice to know.

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  7. I must have been not paying attention as I thought blogs were 'the' thing now, had no idea something else had taken their place. LOL. I like 'choice' to be honest. These people who say you should only do this, or only do that... you know... books or a Kindle, not both! shock horror... A pc or a laptop and on and on they go. I can only think that people are fashion driven and don't like to be seen with the wrong thing. I am now 60 so I can't be doing with that any more... in truth, I never have been a fashionable animal. I have noticed a few people giving up their blogs and always feel a bit bereft when they're people I like. I'm left wondering how they are and what they're doing. It's sad. I'm glad you're still with us, Nan.

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    1. It is especially hard when someone stops without saying they are stopping. And some old, unwritten-for-many years blogs are still up on several blog lists. I click sometimes just hoping there is something new. Mia didn't say she was definitely stopping, and my hope is she'll read all her comments and decide to stay. Some people (as I have, indeed) think they say the same things over again as time goes on, but then again, friends like to hear what other friends are seeing and doing. It's a wonderful world, and after leaving a couple times myself, I am happy to still be here.

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  8. I've been painting the deck all day and haven't had a chance to read any blogs. What a treat to clean up this evening and take some time to read the news from my blogging friends. Instant photos are not going to replace the written word anytime soon - at least not for this chickee. ;-)

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    1. A reward for all your work! I love how you put that 'the news from my blogging friends.'

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  9. My feelings echo yours, Nan. I hope that Mia will continue blogging, perhaps needing just a bit of rest from it.
    I appreciate the blogs I read, including, of course, yours. I've found some excellent writing, good subject matter, excellent book reviews. In fact, it is from blogs I read that many of the books I read come from.
    I did mean to comment, Nan, on your lovely post at the time of your mother's birthday. How beautiful it was and it touched me so. I still have my mom's wallet. I pull it out, now and then, just to feel it - and her.

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    1. Mia has written an amazing post about all the responses she had. I do believe she will continue.
      I just love it that you have your mother's wallet.

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  10. Brava! You have it just right, Nan. Blogs will thin out, perhaps, but they will not go away.

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    1. Well, according to that stat I mentioned above, there are loads and loads so I don't think they are going away anytime soon. The thing about bloggers is that they become friends, and we want to continue being in touch. I know I still miss people who don't write anymore. It's kind of like when someone moves away, and they say they'll keep in touch, but that touch is lost.

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  11. Like yourself, one of the things I love about blogging is that we can put there whatever we like - just one picture, or a long essay about a particular subject dear to our minds and hearts; sometimes a recipe, a book review, or a travel report, or even just a few jokes to make other readers smile, like one of the bloggers I regularly read has the habit of doing.

    Again, like you, I love both my kindle AND my printed books; that is a very good example of how I go about embracing the new (if it suits me and my lifestyle) without discarding the old.

    I have never visited Mia's blog, but I do hope she takes the "hint" of the over 100 comments and stays a happy resident of blogland.

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    1. Mia ended up with 212 comments, and has since written again, and today I saw there are over 70 there. She was so grateful for all the responses.
      I like what you said about posting. I know that for me, what I post is what is on my mind that particular time - a song in my head, a poem I've read, something I've baked, or as you say an 'essay about a particular subject dear to our minds and hearts.'
      It's a great, great thing.

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  12. Nan, I remember how upset I was when you "disappeared" for a while, and what a joy it was when you reappeared! I have a blog, mostly for book reviews, although sometimes a bit of house or furniture revamping, and although I get very few comments, I don't mind at all. I have a pc, and a pay as you go phone. That's it! Mr Mac started with a laptop, and has now progressed to a smaller "notebook", and neither of us has a facebook account. Twitter? When that first arrived, I was so excited, thinking that news would travel faster than the speed of light (well, nearly!) and we would be up to date with the world..... thank goodness I never opened an account, for I don't want to be up to date with inane chatter. I find dipping into blogworld a lovely part of my day. I discover people who have time for other people, and that's a magic thing in this busy, got to have it now world. Thank you for yours, and thanks too to all those other bloggers who use their blogs as an old fashioned way of communicating.... Don't give up!

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    1. I have learned that just because there aren't comments, that doesn't mean the post isn't read. I recently got an email from someone about the poem on my mother's birthday, saying she couldn't put her emotions into words about it. Sometimes we readers can't always find the words, but that doesn't mean we haven't been touched by the post. Ah, 'furniture revamping' one of my favorite topics to read!
      I love what you said about people having time for other people.

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  13. I love your blog and hope you continue it for a long time. The world is changing so quickly and even though a blog is part of the new world, reading one such as yours, is like reading a letter from a friend.

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    1. What a nice, nice thing to say. I've felt badly this summer that I haven't written as much. I may do a post about that sometime. Too often my thoughts have stayed right in my head. :<)

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  14. Heaven's to Betsy! I'm proud to be old school then!

    As the World Turns, how I remember that! I once even scheduled our house closing appointment so it wouldn't interfere with it. A year or two later I realized I was addicted and kicked the habit, cold turkey.

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    1. How about Search for Tomorrow? I think I'm remembering correctly that it was on around lunchtime, and that I watched with my mother when I came home for lunch. I don't think it happened very often because I think going home for lunch didn't last very long, but it is a fond memory for me.

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  15. OK, I love what you said and it even tempts me to go back to blogging. LOL

    I just signed up for Facebook this weekend, mostly to keep up with family. My hubby had it and would keep reading me stuff about the fam and I was feeling a little left out. That being said, I plan to limit it to family and a very, very few friends. I shall not do Twitter or Instagram. It just gets to be too, too much. I have kept reading several blogs, but I have not commented in some time. Part of that was from changing my Google account and part was just lots going on. I do still read the book reviews some, but I so keeping up with their lives and gardens and cooking, etc. That what makes me think about starting a blog again. We'll see. I deleted the other one, so it would be starting from scratch.

    For you, dear Nan, I'll continue read whatever you'd like to share for as long as you'd like to share it. :-)

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    1. I would write ten such posts if they would convince you to come back. You have no idea how much I miss reading your blog postings. I know we email, and I am so thankful that we keep in touch, but there's just something wonderful about reading your words every few days, no matter what you choose to write about.
      I'm amazed you went on Facebook. I thought you and I were the last holdouts on earth!
      Here's a funny story - the other day we went shopping out of town with Margaret. We met Michael and Esteé at the mall, and when we were eating, Tom said he didn't need to check his phone because everyone he calls or texts was at the table (except Matt, of course).

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  16. You have expressed many of my own sentiments re blogging as opposed to FB or instant messaging. [I do have a FB account which is fine for staying in touch with far-flung family and friends.]
    I enjoy fine-tuning my thoughts for a blog post, crafting words and ideas into essay form. Most of the blog writers whom I enjoy are far better 'word-smiths' than so many journalists who fling out disconnected phrases and jumbled sentences,

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    1. I have a cousin in Texas who has tried to get me on Facebook for that reason, and she is really the only thing that tempts me to join, but I know I won't.
      I like your words 'fine-tuning my thoughts.'
      I agree that a lot of blog writers are better writers than journalists, and I would even go so far as to add published authors. There's some beautiful writing out there, and we are so lucky to be able to read it so easily.

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  17. Nan, well stated! There can be depth to a blog that is missing in some of the newer and quicker ways to communicate. That's so much of the reason that I rejoiced when you returned to blogging. When I read your book reviews, I feel like a trusted friend is giving me an in-depth analysis about why I might like a book or author. I slow down to savor your words. Thank you for the information and inspiration that you share!

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    1. How very kind of you! Thank you. I love being a 'trusted friend.'

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  18. Thank you for this thoughtful post Nan...I read it carefully and it is spot on as far as I'm concerned. I enjoyed all the comments as well (and see several bloggers here I don't know but would very much enjoy "meeting". (So now, besides adding to my 'to be read' list as your book posts almost always do, you are also adding to my 'to be visited' list!)

    I do have a FB account and what it has replaced for me in many cases is E-Mail. It's a faster way to reach friends and relatives who are on it (private FB messages usually). And I watch TV pretty much only because we live in small spaces and when Bill watches, so do I (or at least listen). Fortunately he's not heavily into TV either.

    The rest of what you say could be my words (if I were as articulate). And Susan's comment took words out of my mouth (about missing your blog when it disappeared for a while -- even though you told us in advance you were taking a break). I hope your blogging friend reconsiders.. it sounds as if she has a great deal to offer.

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    1. First of all, you are as 'articulate!'
      I think you'd like Mia's blog because it is full of pictures, just like yours, only hers are all from one place.
      That's interesting about Facebook replacing email for you. I wonder about the 'private' though. But then again, I guess our emails aren't so private either! :<)

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  19. I like blogs and I don't see them disappearing. Some people may stop blogging for a time or for all time, but I think there will be others. Blogging allows people to share something of themselves and the best blogs make their authors real to us. We find kindred spirits and our world is enlarged. I agree that one should not stop without telling people because I have had internet friends die and it took too long to find out what had happened. I think if they announce they are stopping they should let people still comment even if they never look at the comments. It is a mercy to your readers.

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    1. I love what you said - 'the best blogs make their authors real to us.'
      We do find kindred spirits. I have a great quote using that phrase that I plan to put up on the blog soon. It's from Anne of Green Gables of course!

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  20. I've always enjoyed reading old diaries about everyday life - social history. Those are the types of blogs I enjoy. Yes, we write about our gardens season after season, a beautiful sunset or moonrise, a cosy, rainy day with a good book and a cup of tea again - but I'm enjoying these things here, where I live, and I like to read about others who are enjoying the same thing. And I've also learned so much about different places in the world, discovered new books, great recipes and above all, have made friends with like minds. I am on facebook to keep in touch with family but blogs are a much more meaningful way to communicate - at least I think so. I hope my grandchildren will enjoy reading about my daily life as much as I would have loved to read my grandmother's journal if she had kept one.

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    1. Beautiful, beautiful words. Thanks for sharing them with me. I like 'I'm enjoying these things here' and that to me is the essence of good blogs. I love to have someone share their time and activities with me.

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  21. I love your blog - and this post (your thoughts) resonate with me. Blogs, their writers, and the view on life that is shared, bring richness and joy to my life. I don't do IG and don't care to start now. Blogs have expanded my boundaries in delightful ways and I am thankful.

    Thanks for sharing - and thanks for blogging :-)

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    1. I agree so much with your words 'the view on life that is shared, bring richness and joy to my life.' Absolutely.

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  22. Nan, I didn't even realize that blogs were now considered 'old school'. To me they are very much still 'new' school. That's how much I know. I don't think we have to worry too much that blogs will go the way of the dodo.

    I have a Facebook account that I check into every day but I don't do much with it. I'll comment or 'like' something and I'll post a couple of odds and ends and that's about it. It certainly could never replace my blogging.

    I have much more fun on Pinterest but even that has begun to pall. Not sure how much longer 'pinning' will hold my interest. I'm thinking of using the boards more as dumping grounds for ideas than anything else. Though my art boards will always interest me, I think. They make me feel like a curator.

    I love your blog as well, Nan and I check in often even if I don't always leave a comment. Your blog, I think, is one of the 'quieter' ones I read and it usually settles me down in some way I can't quite explain. I love especially reading about your animals and the passing of the seasons and the books you read which are often books I've never heard of but immediately want to add to my TBR list. I also like to read the occasional poem.

    I'm not one for every new gadget either. I barely know how to work my computer and that's mostly okay with me. (The only reason I have one is that my daughter insisted. She showed up on my doorstep a few years ago with a computer which despite my protests, she proceeded to install. Now of course, I can't imagine living without one. Needless to say, I am forever grateful to her.)

    I don't talk about anything important or even very personal on my own blog, but I like to think that I could if I wanted to. I mostly talk about books, movies and art that I like. Nothing earth shattering. But I like doing it even if sometimes I have to go away for while just to refresh myself and my outlook. I'll continue to do it until I no longer enjoy it regardless of how unfashionable some might think it.

    What is an instagram account? I don't like the word 'instagram' - it sounds like some clunky old fashioned camera no longer in production.

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    1. I'm not on Pinterest, but I sure use it for ideas. And when I see one I love, I copy and paste it into folders I keep in my emails 'house pics' and 'garden pics.'
      It is so clear from all the responses that blogging is here to stay.
      I was touched that my blog 'settles' you down.
      Instagram is pictures. Many that I see are like old Polaroids, quick, often not too clear or artistic, but fun and of the moment.

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  23. I love blogs, I remember first discovering them and the excitement that they existed at all. After several years as a blog reader I now return to a very favoured few regularly (yours Nan, of course), and occasionally follow a new journey through blogland.....I've been to some lovely and some pretty strange places over the years. I hope they are never considered redundant, I'm always moved by the care and time and trouble the bloggers have taken.

    Carole

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    1. So very good to hear from you. I was about to email and check in.
      I don't think they will go away, and I am heartened by how many younger people have beautifully written, thoughtful blogs.
      'Care and time and trouble' - that's really it, isn't it. I think the other mediums are more for quick questions and answers.

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  24. I used to love hearing Bailey White on NPR and I remember how I laughed when I found A Fine Year for Plums in the cookbook section of our local Goodwill. I don't tweet or use instagram...Too much is too much.

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    1. That is very funny about the book. :<)
      Her writing is like all the good things people wrote about blogs - contemplative, slow, interesting. She enhances life.

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  25. Nan- I so clearly recall the sadness I felt when you briefly left the blogging land. It really brought home to me how important it was to me to connect with your thoughtful, compassionate, and connected views on the small and big (and everything in between) events of life. Your blog as well as the others that I read provide a place for me to identify with others that approach daily life in a way that I choose to as well. Knowing that their are kindred spirits out in this world provides a great deal of comfort to my soul. In this world, where so many of our connections with people are surface only, blogs allow us to see below the surface and discover the inner workings of people. I find that rare in most of my daily interactions. I love that when I occasionally feel isolated in my (and my families) world view, I know that I can visit Nan's blog and smile!

    My fam and I have a similar approach to technology. What we find practical and useful and that enhances our lives we keep (our computer, iphone, etc..) but we carefully moniter to make sure that these devices don't take over (it can happen so quickly!). We are looking at switching to appletv - how do you like it?

    Also, I have fond memories of watching Another World with my mom. When it went off the air, even though had given up watching it years ago, I was so sad!

    Your comment to Mia beautifully expresses my same thoughts - thank you for blogging Nan!

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  26. Thank you for your very kind words. They mean so much to me. If you'll email me, (go to about me under blog photo), I will have Tom write you all about Apple TV.

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