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Learning to Use My Christmas Gift

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. The weather was so warm here that we came within two degrees of breaking our record high. While it didn’t really feel like Christmas because it was 70 degrees outside, the love of my family is always the same and made the holiday special.

My husband and I opened our gifts to each other this morning. Then we went to visit my mother-in-law, who is currently in a rehabilitation facility recovering from a nasty fall. She seemed to really love her gifts this year. I took a big chance and bought her a new robe with matching slippers. The risky part was I guessed at her size, and I’m happy to say that I guessed correctly. She also really loved the large print Bible I bought her, which was the only thing she requested.

After visiting my mother-in-law, we came back home for my husband to get ready for work. I stayed with him until he left for his shift, and then I went to see my own mother. I was sad that he couldn’t go with me, but at least we were able to spend part of Christmas together.

True to who she is, Mom offered me peanut butter balls and cake the moment I walked in the door. Her maternal instinct says to fee her children, no matter how old we are. Honestly though, nothing says Christmas in my family more than Mom’s homemade peanut butter balls.

I really enjoyed my visit with Mom, my nephew, and a friend of my nephew’s. We had a lively chat about movies, TV, and dietary choices. I stayed at Mom’s house for a few hours before I came home to deal with my responsibilities. The blog must go on and laundry doesn’t do itself, after all.

I’ve spent the evening trying to learn how to use my Christmas present from my husband. He bought me the most thoughtful and supportive gift this year. He knows who hard I work on my writing career and decided to take one of my goals and hand it to me wrapped in Elsa paper. He bought me a Dragon Nuance, which is a program that allows me to speak into my computer and have the words appear on the screen. It may not seem like it on the surface, but this is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.

A friend of mine supports herself as a copywriter, and she uses one of the Dragon programs to write all the time. After talking to her about this a few years ago, I’ve been looking at different options and decided it’s time to try one. I discussed my decision with my husband, and he surprised me with Dragon Nuance. What a great surprise on Christmas morning! I was planning to wait a few months, but there’s no time like the present.

It wasn’t difficult to load onto the computer. The tutorial was pretty thorough. I think once I get the hang of this, I’ll be able to write much faster, which will help me make better use of my time. I’m an extremely busy person and my time is precious.

Dragon is really good about recognizing most of my words, but I tend to have a thick Ozarks accent with some of my enunciation that makes it difficult for anything to recognize. For example, every time I say “accent,” Dragon writes, “accident.”

I shouldn’t be surprised. Every time I tell my car phone system to call my husband, Jim, it tries to call my cousin, Jan. I usually end up just having it dial each number by numeral instead of name. Unfortunately, that option only works if I know the phone number of the person I am trying to call.

Overall, I think Dragon will be a great asset to my productivity. I’ve used it to write most of this blog post. I’ve had to go back and correct few words, but I’m sure it’s my fault. I’m just not speaking clearly enough. I will get better at it, though.

I’ve always been told that when you stop learning new things is when your mind starts to deteriorate. Technology changes so fast that I can’t imagine ever not having to learn new things at a rapid pace just to keep up with how to make a phone call, create a document, or check my email.

As the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, famously said, “The only constant in life is change.”

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