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The former Daily Statesman is now The Dexter Statesman and currently does not have an operating website.

Best laid plans of Mice and Men...

Posted Tuesday, June 16, 2009, at 3:38 PM

Robert Burns and John Steinbeck had it right: "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry..." My great idea for a variety of travel blogs was a BUST! Today is the first time in a week that I've been able to get online. I'm posting this blog in Memphis, but the photo is me with my grandchildren in Minnesota. I have learned several lessons in the last week:

* Free WiFi is about as hard to find as cheap gas.

* My new mini laptop is pretty much useless w/o WiFi and I'm too cheap to purchase that $60 a month deally-bob thing which gives you WiFi wherever you are.

* My fingers are unbelievably FAT! I must learn how to type on that tiny keyboard!

* I can live a week w/o checking my e-mail, but the withdrawal symptoms are not pretty.

On a more cheerful note, I've also learned that:

* My one-year-old Minnesota granddaughter is adorable! It took three days for her to warm up to me enough to smile, but it was certainly worth it!

* Like my cohort Minnie, I learned the importance of Mermaid Barbie. My three-year old granddaughter (in photo) is obsessed by all things Barbie and all things Disney. If I read "The Little Mermaid" and "Snow White" once, I'll bet I read them at least 25 times.

* My five-year-old grandson (shown) is obsessed with Star Wars, Star Trek, and all things ALIEN. Minneapolis even has the "Alien Place," a restaurant, where a large alien stands on the corner and waves us in, the universe shines from the ceiling, and the kids can win prizes in the game room. (The food is even good.)

* The Minneapolis area is so CLEAN and BEAUTIFUL, but it takes forever to get anywhere! Especially with three children in car seats! Other than the Alien Place, we went to the Zoo, a nearby park, several eating establishments, the movies (The new animated movie "UP" is WONDERFUL!!!), and a gymnastic studio (watched lessons for 3 & 5 year olds). No, we didn't hit the Mall of America this time. We just didn't feel strong enough for that.

* The power company has its own wind turbine. Wow. My son Todd says that solar power isn't too practical in Minnesota (for obvious reasons), but they have lots of wind. (Or was he talking about the politicians?)

* The weather was IDYLLIC! When we walked out of the airport last Wednesday, we both said, "Whoa!" and dragged our jackets out of our suitcases (It was 40 degrees, I think), but the rest of the time it was sunny and 70-75 degrees. The sun shone from 5 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. No kidding. June is the month to be in Minnesota. I've been there in October and December, and it's NO FUN!

All things considered, it was a good trip and well worth it. I guess I'll feel that way until I get back to Advance today and find out that I have about a dozen irate messages on my answering machine...

From the green and tree-strewn city of Memphis on the Mississippi, this is your traveling reporter Madeline, coming down from a "Vacation High" and bracing for a return to the flatlands of Southeast Missouri.

Showing comments in chronological order
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I can't believe you didn't take the 3 car seats and occupants to the World's largest shopping mall.......................think what you may have missed.

Welcome home to Stoddard County, watch for the 'Spring Storms' glad you had a safe trip.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Tue, Jun 16, 2009, at 9:54 AM
Madeline DeJournett's response:
I've been to the Mall of America once before, dexerite, so I know what I'm missing!! Maybe when the kids are older....

As a matter of fact, I had to pull off 55 at Portageville on the way back from Memphis -- The wind and rain were so ferocious that I couldn't see! I saw a semi which had blown off the highway near New Madrid.

I'm back in Advance now and glad to be home!!!

Glad you had such a great time! I have my granddaughter, Lucy, (19 months) for the entire month of June all to myself! I'm exhausted but happily so.

I want to hear from you about your mini-laptop! I've been shopping for one and I'd like to hear everyone's opinions.

Tired Grandmommy

-- Posted by lovebooks on Wed, Jun 17, 2009, at 2:46 PM
Madeline DeJournett's response:
It's a Dell mini. I saw them on sale at Walmart in Springfield for $288.00, but I paid a little more to get it at Blue Chalk Software in Advance, because I want Todd Mayberry's expertise. I can call him when I have problems.

The jury is still out on whether I would recommend one. The advantages are portability and price. The main disadvantage is the tiny keyboard, but Todd says I could get a full sized keyboard for it. However, that would be too bulky to carry around. The computer fits easily in my big purse. Another disadvantage is the touch pad, but I got a wireless mouse that works fine.

I'm determined to make it work.

I get a kick out of the reaction that people have when I pull it out! It causes quite a sensation!

You are a BRAVE soul to keep a 19-month-old for an entire month!!!

MD - I have short fat fingers and when I use the laptop after being on the desktop constantly I have major issues, I cannot begin to imagine the 'treat' it would be on a mini.

This Nana understands the happily tired. My granddaughter who is now 7 lived with me from birth to 3 years. And now I am anticipating the arrival of grand #9 on September 10, I am eager to meet Raven and spoil her endlessly. Such a joy to have grandchildren.

-- Posted by SKDellinger on Thu, Jun 18, 2009, at 10:33 AM

I think I want to wait until they figure out a way to put a DVD player on them. I want to use it when I travel for e-mail, web site updating, web browsing, etc. but I also want to be able to watch a movie on the plane if I want to.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my grandbaby! I've spoiled her horribly and I'm sure her mother will have a fit when she's home again...oh well, that's my job!

Keep us posted on your mini-laptop!

-- Posted by lovebooks on Fri, Jun 19, 2009, at 12:42 PM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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