Monday, September 28, 2020

Alexa Joins the Family

A few weeks ago we received a gift from our son, three Amazon Echo Dots or Alexa, smart speaker/virtual assistant.  I must say there was a time that I would not have one of these in the house.  I was not too sure about something that could be “spying” on you and listening in to what you say.  After learning more about it and seeing how friends and family enjoyed it, I have changed my mind. 

You don’t have to have more than one of these little speakers but if you do you can use them in different rooms plus, they work together as an intercom.   Our house is small and we would normally never need an intercom but with Tom’s hearing getting so much worse this has been very helpful.


We have only started learning some of what this can do but already we are glad to have it.  I have it set up with access to a calendar I have on my computer and Alexa will remind us of appointments or I can ask if we have any plans on a certain date and she will tell me.  We can ask anything you would ask Google and she’ll give us an answer.  We can make phone calls through her and she keeps a shopping list for us.  If we receive an Amazon delivery, she tells us when it arrives so we don’t have to worry about it sitting outside.  My favorite use for Alexa is in playing music.  You can request any kind of music and she will play it.  There are many things you can do with it involving controlling lights, heat and other such things but many of those require special plugs, etc.  We are working up to that!  

We’ve also just had fun with it.  We were joking around when we first got it set up and Tom (with his little boy humor) said “I wonder if Alexa farts?”  Immediately she began making farting noises!  Anytime you say her name first, it wakes her up and she does what you asked if possible.  If you have children you might not want to teach them this Alexa ability because I know when my boys were young this would have gotten old fast!  Alexa will also play quiz games and such with you.  She likes to tell jokes but they are usually bad and I don’t recommend you let her sing either.  One of our cats, Sophie, is fascinated with Alexa.  I think she is trying to find the person that goes with the voice. 

I just realized this post sounds like an advertisement for Amazon Echo but I promise you it is not.  I had been curious about this speaker for so long and wondered what it could do so I thought others might be curious too.  Is it a necessary item?  No.  It is a fun convenience plus as I said, ours was a gift.  Maybe our kids are trying to keep us up to date with the new gadgets, or possibly just keep us busy and out of their hair!   😉 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

A Pleasant Walk

Three days a week I take Tom to his cardiac rehab appointments at a small hospital not too far from our home.  The hospital has a very nice walking trail on the grounds for use by both the patients and anyone else interested in a short or long walk.  I've been enjoying walking on this trail to pass the time while he is busy with his appointment.

We are just beginning to see a bit of Fall here and the weather is perfect for walking outdoors.  The trees have not quite started turning yet but I hope to catch them changing soon.  The world has become so crazy this year that I often feel the best when I can be alone with nature, even if it is in the middle of a busy city.  It can be good to turn off the rest of the world even for a short time.

We did have a nice opportunity to visit with Chris and Kristi (my son and daughter-in-law) yesterday.  We usually see them once a month or so as they live in a nearby town and stay busy with their jobs and other activities.  They had us over for dinner and a chance to have some relaxing time together.  Kristi served dinner on their screened in back porch as the weather was so nice.  It was so good to catch up with them, especially since these days it is rare for us to see anyone other than people at medical appointments or the grocery store.

I hope everyone in blog land is doing well.  I enjoy seeing the season change from all the different blogs I follow.  So many of us are in different stages of the changes leading into winter.  Before we know it the holiday season will be here and although it likely won't be quite the same as previous years, I expect to stay busy with the simple preparations I do for my family.  I send my best to everyone here! 



Sunday, September 13, 2020

Still Here

I’ve certainly not been much of a blogger this month.  It’s been two weeks since I’ve written a post and this past week I’ve not been commenting on other blogs much either.  We’ve been busy and out with appointments almost everyday but nothing exciting to write about.  

My sweet girl, Sophie

Tom is still not driving due to his equilibrium problems, so I’m driving him to his cardiac rehab appointments three days a week.  In addition to that we’ve each had other medical appointments, so it does keep us busy.  He is scheduled to have an MRI this week to try and find out the cause of the equilibrium issues.  If we could get that cleared up he would be able to do more and feel better.  The hearing loss may be permanent but we will see.  Sorry, I don’t mean to complain.  Mainly I wanted to let you know I’m still here even though I have been an errant blogger! 

The past couple of weeks we have had wonderfully cool Fall weather!  After our extremely hot summer, it has been a joy to have Fall start almost on cue the first week of September.  This past week we’ve seen rain almost every day but that is okay for it was needed.  As a result the grass has grown like crazy and I have just gotten done mowing it.  August was so hot and I didn’t feel well, so I hired a neighbor boy to cut our grass for the month.  It has become much more difficult for me to do yard work when we have temperatures in the 90's F.  It used to never bother me but it sure does these days!  Now that we have some cooler days, I’m hoping to get caught up with some needed yard work.  

Zeus, about ready for a nap

I tried to start a jigsaw puzzle I’ve been wanting to do, but after three slow starts I gave up and packed it up for another time.  I just couldn’t concentrate on it plus my vision has not been very cooperative for a challenging puzzle. 

Our son gave us an Amazon Echo Dot or Alexa, smart speaker/virtual assistant.  We have actually been having some fun with it as well as finding it handy.  I will write more about it on my next post. 

I apologize to all my blog friends for not commenting much recently.  Things sometimes catch up with a person as I’m sure you understand.  I admire all of you that manage to write a post several times a week or even every day as many of you do.  You are all amazing!  I hope you all have a wonderful start to the week and enjoy whatever beautiful Fall weather you have at the moment!