7. Start the blog day!

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Friday, August 31, 2012 – 

= 990 subscribers 3016 visits 196 comments
I made a promise to myself that I would take the weekend off and enjoy my new life. I woke up this morning and remembered how much had happened in such a short space of time. I kept saying “… and I don’t want to miss a thing”. The answer was to spend a bit of time and blog the past few days before I forget them – forgetting comes with old fartdom!
I have managed to put most of the important “bits” into the the blogs and now I am writing today for today. There was one point in the first blog where I needed to go to my fb page to find a copy of those potatoes I had made and I cried. There were messages on it, that I had not seen yesterday, from so many people who took the time to send me wishes. People who I have not seen in years. People who I met years ago. i am truly blessed and I cried, i don’t mind admitting that.
i am looking around this room and seeing that it is a mess! I am going to take a little time to take a break and tidy up. Then prepare for the live broadcast later.
It’s just after 9pm and here is a lesson in ego! I got ready for the broadcast, got it all set up and was ready to go. One person showed up and refused to speak to me. Ugh. Then another who also refused to speak. After the wonderful interactions of the first broadcast, with Benji, it was difficult to take! So after 20 minutes of pulling teeth and getting nowhere, I shut it down for the night and came back to my family on the channel.
Benji just sent me a fb message to say he bought me a fancy HD camera thingie for my birthday. He is such a wonderful support at this time.
I am going to take a break now and chill out with some videos – heal the ego and rest the mind.
omg.. 1001 subscribers and 3247 visits

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6. What a wonderful birthday!

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Thursday, August 30, 2012 – my 65th birthday

= 979 subscribers and 2860 visits 136 questions answered
Somewhere in the past few hours, I managed to get good wishes from Eddie (who is in Afganistan and  was the first called me Mama Sal), Doug in Kenya, my “son” Cisco in Toronto (who reminded me that I could create sub-folders in my emails and start keeping them in some sort of order) and so many others from around the world. For someone who was not able to have children, I have a wonderful group of people who care for me and continually let me know they love me. My entry into my senior years started the same as the day before… I woke up. I was grateful for that!
I am not sure what is happening with the stats but have you noticed that in the last couple of days they have grown, incrementally? It is as though they are feeding on themselves. I uploaded the PPoint and felt good for taking another risk. Sure, nobody might like or watch it, but at least I had tried to make things easier. I am only responsible for my behaviour – how many times have you heard me say that?!
I work with a wonderful group of people (on the good days!) and today I was close to tears as I saw the time and effort that had been put in, by overnight magic, to welcome me to my 65th year. There was a huge Happy Birthday sign strung across the entrance to my office. A massive 65 on a nearby door and sprinkles of Happy Birthday, little balloons and 65’s all over my desk. My sincere thanks to Corinne and Anca (and anyone else I don’t know about) who created my little wonderland. It touched my soul. 
At work it was a day if kindnesses and care and I loved every minute of it. There were little moments of pure wonder where people gave me “private” gifts and I know they do not want that to public but it was so special to me. They sang, and pretty much in tune this time(!), they brought me roses and they gave this this beautiful cake. Maybe being an old fart is not going to be that bad, after all.
When I got home my second family (downstairs) came up with… yes, you guessed it, another cake – rats I forgot to take a pic – and some forbidden chocolates and other gifts to make my day. Beaner, the dog, just wanted his cookies!
I quickly answered some questions that had come in from around the world either through the channel or privately and went to bed early. Not before checking the stats, of course:

987 subscriptions 3014 visits a whole lot of love and fond memories of a great day

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5. Trying to make it through the day

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012 – 1 day before my 65th birthday

= 904 subscribers and 2213 visits
I will admit that I am not a morning person. I have about 4 alarms that go off at different times and intensities. They are meant to jolt me out of my stupor and make me jump out of bed like the people in the commercials. It doesn’t happen in my world.
Some days I wake up and it is as though someone has pulled a plug out of my body and drained all the energy while I slept. Haven’t been able to find out what causes it but it happens. Wednesday morning was a prime example. I phoned work and told them what was happening and said I was going to shower and see if I felt a little better but that I would be seriously late or not be in at all. I would let them know, after the shower.
I checked the stats quickly. I rubbed my eyes and looked again. Had our family really grown to nearly 1000 subscribers and over 2,000 visits overnight? I showered and decided to go to work and do what I can even though my energy was gone. 
It was a difficult day for me but I made it. Everyone knew that it was my birthday coming up and it is amazing how many people ask you how you feel about turning 65! I wonder what the right answer is? Parts of me were wanting to yell, “how the heck do you think I feel? Old!” but I know they are asking from a place of caring so I kept it simple. 
I wasn’t sure that I could do much on the channel today because of how I was feeling. I check it out, of course, it is part of my routine now. 912/2213 by the time I got home. Not much of a change but still amazing considering we are talking just a few days. I noticed that the comments were getting very scattered and tried to think of how I could make the “lessons learned” stand out a little. What if I did a synopsis on a PowerPoint? Like an overview? Hmmm… that might be helpful. I was energized again.
It didn’t take long to put it together and then I found out that you cannot upload a PPoint to YouTube. Rats. That voice in my head was busy muttering about the fact that some people would have checked that out first – she’s a real pain, as you know. Always stating the obvious. Then I thought that I probably wasn’t the first to hit the problem and therefore someone was bound to have the answer. Yup. Found a place where they convert the PPoint into a video. Undoubtedly, I will have to pay to use this service before too much longer – that’s the way of the internet – but it served it’s purpose.
I went to bed knowing I had answered a few more questions, learned something new, taken another risk and I checked the stats:
936 subscribers 2433 visits and tomorrow I will wake up a senior with a whole new life. I made it through the day and achieved a lot even without any energy.

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4. BlogTv – getting seriously brave now!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012 – 2 days before my 65th birthday

= 661 subscribers 1501 visits

I woke up to see the stats shown above and thought I was still in a dream. Over 1,500 visits? Really?

I started trying to tell people at work a little but I know that it is just not something they can relate to, except for a couple who not only know the real me but also know that I wouldn’t make this up. Decided to keep the inner circle small. Maybe, one day, I could let them understand just what an honour it is to be trusted by so many “strangers”.

The questions are getting deeper now. Maybe the first question was answered in a way that gave people hope or trust? Not sure but I can see a different level being asked. I am finding it very challenging to give a 500 character answer but then found I could do multiple 500 character answers. Makes the comments page a bit of a mess but, hopefully, it is more helpful to the people asking the questions.

I find that I am processing some of them as I drive to and from work. That girl who asked me about making friends with the Japanese girls at school. Kept coming back to that one. Wasn’t sure I had answered it in a way that the sender could get strength to take the next step. Driving is great thinking time, in my book. I used to “write” a lot if speeches while I was driving. Of course, fellow road users were convinced I should be heading for a mental facility but I didn’t care 🙂

While I was driving home I kept replaying in my mind what Benji had done to get us on the air on Saturday night. Something called BlogTv? Got home, made the famous cup of coffee and sat down and Googled it. Yikes. A lot of strange people doing and saying equally strange things! Oh well, if I don’t try I will never learn, right?

There are few things lonelier than staring at own webcam seeing how old you are that noticing that webcams are not designed to bring out the best in you. Double chins, laughter lines and such appear to jump out at you. Why would anyone watch this? Then someone asked a question. Obviously, someone young and not in our “family” just causing trouble. Oh well, as in life, you have to deal with all-comers. I did my best to stay polite. Then I saw “MamaSal!” and my heart was uplifted. The questions started to flow. Too fast to keep up. It is not easy to multitask at that speed. I then hit another problem. Someone came onto the channel and started being really insensitive to the person I was trying to help, I knew there had to be some way of silencing him and my mind raced to “why didn’t you check all that out BEFORE you hit the broadcast button?” I have this voice in my head, and maybe you do too, who is not my best friend. She is always stating the obvious and does not do a lot for my self esteem. I was doing what I could to keep supporting the person I was helping with “bozobrain” continuing to give his judgments and unasked for opinions.

The cavalry arrived! I was smart enough to post that I was going live on the YouTube channel and Benji and Judy must have seen it. They came in to see how I was doing/support me. They are such angels. Before I knew it Benji was sending me notes (still don’t know how he did that but I will find out) telling me to make him an operator and then told me how to do that. It didn’t take long before our troublemaker was gone! For the rest of the broadcast Benji acted as my bodyguard, kicking out troublemakers and left me the room to do what I wanted to do, help people.

I went to sleep that night knowing, yet again, I had done what I could to help another human being, I had learned something new, taken a new risk and just before I turned out the light I checked the stats…

704 subscriptions 1671 visits and no new geography lessons! 2 more sleeps before I am officially an old fart

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3. Where in the world are the Northern Mariana Islands?

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Monday, August 27, 2012 – 2 days before my 65th birthday – Geography Lesson

= 565 subscribers 1086 visits

I have always considered myself pretty good at world geography. Well, up until they started changing a lot of the names in Africa some years ago. I lost it a bit then! I was fascinated that people were viewing and subscribing from countries I had not expected. Saudi Arabia surprised me. As did Gaum. Oh, look! There are men subscribing from the Philippines…that is interesting.
Then it happened… someone hit subscribe in the Northern Mariana Islands. Where? Where in the world are the Northern Mariana Islands? Thank goodness for Google and how did we ever live without it?! I found out that they are a string of islands north east of the Philippines and on your way to Japan. You probably knew that but it was a geography lesson for me.
Going to work was going to put a stop to all my goings-on but it was a pleasant distraction. It was a very busy day at work so, by the time I got home, I made a cup of coffee and sat down at the computer to find that our little family had grown to 630 subscribers and 1341visits.
There were more questions in my inbox and I spent the evening listening to the dings of subscribers – which now had the therapeutic effect of making me smile each time I heard them – and answering questions as best I could. 
By the end of the day I looked at 646 subscriptions and 1396 visits and thought that maybe there was a need for people to have a place they could go to either ask or check out what other people are dealing with and, hopefully, get some support in that. 
I closed my eyes knowing I had grown that day. I knew where the Northern Mariana Islands were, in case it ever came up in casual conversation in the lunchroom!

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