Tag Archives: solution

The Grateful Ornament

This is the time of year when everyone is running madly around trying to get things done in preparation for the holidays. In other words, it’s a stressful time. Right? To be honest, this year has actually been more stressful than most for me, whether it be good stress or bad stress, but through it all, I’ve been reminded how important it is to just stop for a few minutes to reflect on how fortunate I am.

No matter how good things are, they can always be better. No matter how bad things are, they can always be worse. But, I think the key to surviving it all comes from deciding what things are worth dealing with and what are not and to pay special attention to those things that edify one’s life over those that do not. Life is too short to waste on negativity. As a result of all this thinking, I decided to make a virtual, all-important ornament for my Christmas tree this year. It started out as a clear ball and developed from there. I named it, the “grateful ornament.”

To me, the “grateful ornament” has many layers. In its core is LOVE; that I picture as molten, ready to flow and seep into any space no matter how small or large. Surrounding this center are smaller layers that contain things like PATIENCE, FORGIVENESS and UNDERSTANDING. The outside of this ornament consists of a rich, glossy covering of KINDNESS that glows and pulses and is mixed with a multicolored, bumpy HAPPINESS, whose appearance reflects the favorite color of whomever is beholding it. But the wonderful thing about this ornament is that it has a magical quality that makes those who gaze upon it―full of HOPE and ASSURANCE that every year can be experienced with these wondrous qualities.

So my dear readers, this year I encourage you all to join me as I place the “grateful ornament” on my Christmas tree, front and center and you place your “grateful ornament,” on your tree, as well. As we race against time to get all things accomplished before year’s end, may we have the grace of gratefulness and so much more to carry us through. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very ornamental new year!



Coco Ihle is the author of SHE HAD TO KNOW, an atmospheric traditional mystery set mainly in Scotland. Join her here each 11th of the month.


Filed under How To, life, musings

My Aggravating Microsoft Word 2010

When I started writing, I used Microsoft Word 1998 and then graduated to 2000 and 2003. No problem. The 2003 version was the one I used while writing my mystery novel and the articles I wrote for the magazine for which I was a staff writer. So, naturally I got to be pretty knowledgeable about that version. I was happy as a lark, as the old cliché goes.

Then I bought a new computer with Word 2010. What was I thinking? You know the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” So why did I have to ruin a good thing by getting a whole new program? I don’t know. I thought it would be a smooth transition like the previous ones. I thought programs became MORE user-friendly with each version. Where did I ever get that idea? Silly me.

When it comes to 2010, I feel like a kindergartener once more. Where is everything? When I first bought 2003’s version, I was still able to refer to print books I had for previous versions so I could read along as I explored the new one, step by step. What a help that was! After trying to find in the 2010  version what I already knew how to find on the previous version and wasting vast amounts of time in the process, I’ve given up, broken down, and resorted to searching for and purchasing a new printed book again. This time for Word 2010.

Of course, there is online help, but reading the help suggestions at the same time I’m trying to experiment on the new Word is terribly confusing and frustrating switching back and forth between the two. Okay, I even have to admit to being a tiny bit techy challenged. Grrrrrr!

Am I the only idiot on the planet with this problem? Maybe my difficulty is my age. Young people don’t seem to have this trouble. I have unfortunately reached dinosaur status, but I prefer calling it life #7 of my kitty cat lives. Somehow that sounds a bit gentler, a little less old and antiquated.

So, my new Word 2010 step-by-step printed manual will be delivered in a few days. Let’s hope it will open up the elusive wonders that have been so cunningly eluding me. By George! I think I’ve got it! The answer to my aggravating Microsoft Word 2010. Yeaaaaaay!


Filed under Humor, musings, writing