“Rainy days and Mondays…”

Rainy days, maybe not so much, but Mondays? Definitely a downer this past week!

It had rained, off and on for the past several days. Normally, those days are for sleeping or being just plain lazy, especially now that I’m retired and don’t have to worry about going to work…

…said the Old Fossil never!

I hired my own self as a writer on the day that I clocked out of my job for the last time. This has been my favourite job to date, and make no mistake: writing is work.

It just happens to be work I love doing!

Except this past Monday.

This past Monday was no less than hell!

I’d been putting together this children’s book for months. Mind you, I’m no longer in that ‘mommy of little children’ business…haven’t been for nearly a decade…so writing this little book has meant massaging the memories out of this fossilized old brain.

In short, what I remember in my head tends to leak away during the very short transition to my pen…or keyboard, as the case may be. But I’ve been determined to “git ‘er done’!

Notebooks, pens, laptop…transcribing all of what I remember Mama always saying…and making so much leeway that I thought I could slack off for a few days. After all, my self imposed deadline was four days away and I was nearly finished.

Two days before I was going to submit my proposal, this past Monday, I thought I’d go ahead and complete it early. So it was that 8a.m. found me in front of my computer.

My non. working. computer.

My computer whose Word program would not open.

My computer whose WordPad would not open

My computer which froze up completely, with a black screen, while some random Microsoft Office was “…downloading the required feature.” Which feature, incidentally, no one seems to know what is.

(thanks to the Facebook poster from 2008 for this!)

(thanks to the Facebook poster from 2008 for this!)

Sixteen hours later, my son took my grandson out of the house, my husband was ready to serve me with divorce papers and my dearest, sweetest neighbours on three sides were conspiring to have me “Baker Act”ed.

Monday was getting me down…and I was gonna drag everyone down to the fires of hell with me. I was still travelling in that direction on Tuesday, me and my black screened computer.

I don’t even have Microsoft Office 2010…only Microsoft Office Starter 2010 – you know, the free one that has always opened all my .doc’s! So why is a program I don’t own, downloading a feature that’s required only if I purchase the full version??!!!

There had to be something I could do! I’ve used this computer since 2012, when I purchased it (“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”) and I have never had a single, solitary problem with it. Until Monday.

“…Microsoft Office may appear to be unresponsive while this feature is downloading.”

Oh really? Ya’ think??

I don’t even have Microsoft Office 2010…only Microsoft Office Starter 2010 – you know, the free one that has always opened all my .doc’s! So why is a program I don’t own, downloading a feature that’s required only if I purchase the full version??!!!

Be that as it may, I waited. For hours. And hours. And then more hours.

And days.

But it could never seem to finish downloading this awesome “required feature” that was sooo important.

By Wednesday, I had gotten about 3 hours of sleep, trying to find a solution to this gosh awful problem. Seriously. I would be up until 6-6:30AM, then get up at 7 to get my grandson off to school. I’d stay up until 5-6 the following morning. Waiting. Waiting for the “required feature”. Going to all the geek websites and even straight to the jackass’s…er…horse’s mouth: Microsoft . com. And Googling, “What the heck is the required feature?”

The only thing I found out about it was that the same question had been being asked since……wait for it:


I Tweeted my frustration. I posted my aggravation on Facebook. LinkedIn had its share as well. Oh, and did I mention that my family and neighbours were exposed to some pretty little outbursts?

I spent all night on Tuesday, reading MS forums posts, even about unrelated stuff, until I chanced, Wednesday in the wee hours of the morning, to go into a fugue state…you know, that “almost, but not quite beginning to fall asleep” state, where you’re just beginning to get droopy eyed? Yeah, that state. Anyway, as my mind was beginning that pre-twilight drift, I was “seeing” all the posts I’d read to that point…but with a strange difference. Some of the words were in all cap’s and bold italics.

Do you know what an ‘epiphany’ is? Well, I had one:


I snapped awake and gave a shout! Hubby came running into the livingroom to see what was wrong (they’d all been concerned I might irretrievably blow my top, you see) and stood with raised eyebrows and gaping mouth as I dashed frenetically around the house, shouting, “WHERE IS IT? WHERE IS IT??”, until finally,

“AH HAH! I knew I still had it!!”

When I first began writing for my boss’s company, he had the IT guy give me…yep…Microsoft Office Professional 2010 for my laptop, so that I could work at home. That was two computers ago, but I still had it!!

Full System Scan, then a System Restore to a ‘clean’ point before “Microsoft Office is downloading the required feature…”.

Then I downloaded my old Office Pro. And guess what?!

It’s all good!

I was able to finish my proposal and submit it by the wee hours of October 28th, as planned.

Then I went to bed…

 I just got up.

Today is Friday.