It is Monday morning, January 16, a tad after six in the morning and under normal circumstance I would be preparing to email my article for my column to this weeks edition of the paper, obviously this week things are a bit different. I suppose the most glaring difference is I haven't yet written an article. To say it has been an off week is like saying driving on a Houston freeway is being on a roadway with a few other cars. I can only be happy I no longer have to deal with Houston freeways but have the sanity of San Saba roads and the quiet of country living to endure my Friday the 13th that started way before the day and keeps on giving.I try very hard not to be one of those people completely reliant on technology. Yes, I have a computer, cell phone, MP3, Wii and Harold bought me a Color Nook for Christmas but I still have a land line phone and I seldom ever use my cell phone, do not use it to take pictures and it does not have web capabilities. I write my column on a computer, wrote my novel on one too and quite frankly could not fathom using a typewriter for such tasks. It was when I decided to sit down to begin writing my column on my laptop last week that trouble began. If you have ever driven a standard car, you know that sound when you push in the clutch, move the gear shift back and then press on the gas and expect the engine to come through the floor board? Well, when I turned on my laptop that was the kind of sound I heard and I had no screen, no sound, no anything. The thing isn't that old and Harold had gotten one of those extended warranties for like an extra $100. I remember how excited he was because he told me they said if it ever broke all I would have to do is bring it back and they would replace it. WRONG!!!!Please remember, my loves, when someone is trying to sell you something they are going to lie in order to do it. Luckily, I had the presence of mind to actually call the store before driving the many miles to "simply pick up my brand new computer! As it turns out, you call a number, they send a prepaid UPS box, you send your computer, they fix and send it back to you in about two weeks or so. That night when I spoke to Harold and told him what the reality was with the plan, he said... "They don't give you a replacement computer or anything?" Guys, this is a monumental thing happening here because he thinks I am the one who is so naive I would give a car thief the keys to my car, my pin numbers to all my accounts and then ask him if he would like some dinner. What really makes me sad is I like being able to trust people and believe what they tell me. I don't want to go into a store or anywhere else with the attitude I am going to have to be on guard but time after time I am shown I must be. Speaking of being on guard, trying to keep Patches from jumping on the furniture is like me trying to guard an entire basketball team at the same time and him being their best three point shooter. That dog can come running through the house out of nowhere, fly through the air and be on the back of the couch before I can even turn my head to see what happened. He doesn't care that when he hurts himself it is me that loses sleep while he whimpers all night, or that I have to get up five times a night to carry him outside, nope not even a little. Realizing I was fighting a losing battle, I ordered some steps online to facilitate his access to furniture without the need for jumping. The steps were rather expensive but had a wider base and I thought would be safer for him and easier for him to maneuver. Imagine my disappointment when the package arrived and I realized what I had paid for was a pile of cheap plastic that was never ever going to come together as a set of steps. As I have said many times, I hate to shop and often buy online to avoid having to actually go through the process of physically doing it. Needless to say, after hours of struggling to get pegs that would never match corresponding holes, I gave up, boxed it up and drove the over 70 miles to exchange it for steps that Patches now won't use.If you guys are in need of a laugh, come on by, I will be in the living room with Patches. With the way things have been going lately, he will probably have me on the leash, placing bits of dog food on the steps and saying, "Come on, mom, you can do this, I know you can!" Life is that way sometimes, computers crash, you don't get what you pay for and old dogs wish you would learn new tricks but all in all even the weeks that are not as bright as others are far better than the alternative. I am off to practice some of my own steps now, the steps I do that save my sanity, called exercise. I love you all with all my heart and hope your week doesn't crash and your steps are light and airy!