Fun Fact: Encyclopedias

Image by Julia Schwab from Pixabay

Does anyone remember encyclopedias? Do they still exist? If so, does anybody use them?

Encyclopedias are a set of about 20ish, identical-looking, hardcover books. Each letter of the alphabet has its own volume, and the letters that don’t have many entries are grouped into one book. So, for example, topics beginning with XYZ might take up a volume.

Basically, encyclopedias were what Google and especially Wikipedia are now. If you needed to do research, you used an encyclopedia. If you wanted to know more about a particular subject, you used the encyclopedia. As you can imagine, these were a pain to use because you had to carry around several volumes, usually, in your school bag and it was all so clunky. And unlike Wikipedia, they didn’t cover as many topics.

Every year or two, the encyclopedias were replaced by a new set, which were edited to include more topics, change any sort of recorded stats, basically update information. I don’t know what people did with their old encyclopedias. My own family didn’t have them, so I don’t know. I don’t think there were many recycling programs back then (the 70s). Maybe they were donated? Ha! We could probably Google it to find out!

Did you have and/or use encyclopedias when you were growing up?


Image by Nina Garman from Pixabay

“Girl…you’re getting old!!” That’s what my body would tell me if it could talk. In fact, my body does talk to me, just not in words. For example, when I wake up every single  morning for months and my back hurts, it’s probably time to get a new mattress, or at least flip over the one we have. When I get up from the couch and my hip hurts, it might be telling me that it’s cold or raining out. When my shoulder hurts as I pull on a t-shirt, even after going to the physical therapist for treatment, it might be a sign to go to acupuncture for all of the above. After all, nothing else worked.

I first sought relief for my knee, which I had already seen the doctor for numerous times. We tried an anti-imflammatory and muscle relaxer, neither of which worked. The doctor suggested a cortisone injection. That didn’t work, either. So I lived with the pain for a while, then finally decided to seek acupuncture.

I had never before thought about using acupuncture, which is an ancient form of Chinese medicine. Needles are inserted just below your skin (it doesn’t hurt) on various points on your body. For example, the acupuncturist inserted needles around my toes when he was healing my knee. To be honest, I don’t know how all this works.

Different acupuncture practices have different vibes. Some are clinical: you’re led to a room, and the acupuncturist comes in and takes care of you. I went to something called a community acupuncture place. There was only one room that seated maybe 6 people at a time. Everyone was in various stages of their healing processes.

This turned me off at first, the idea of being with other people in the room while I’m healing. But I brought my ear buds with me each time so I could listen to my meditation app while I waited the 45 minutes or however long it took to wait. Also, I scheduled my appointments to be as close to opening time as possible, so I could pick the seat that I wanted.

I saw the acupuncturist once a week for maybe 2 months. They can’t heal you with just one visit, which is how I thought it worked; you have to go several times for it to take effect. And it worked. My knee still hurt for a short time after I stopped going to acupuncture, but now the pain is gone.

I’ve read that depression and anxiety can be helped by acupuncture, but I haven’t tried it. From what I understand, it takes several months to treat. I’m pretty much at the end of my rope with my anxiety, so maybe I’ll try it.

Have you ever been treated with acupuncture? If not, would you consider it?

Text Me

Photo from Wikipedia

I can’t imagine life without cell phones, yet I lived for 30 years without one. How is that possible? I admit I’m guilty of checking my phone frequently, mainly at home.

I turned off the sound notification from my e-mail app because the numerous dings! were driving me nuts. In fact, the notifications for all of my apps have the sound turned off. All except text messages and Facebook Messenger. (I Messenger more frequently than I text.)

Mobile phones actually came out in the 80s. They were the size of a brick, as you can see in the picture (above). They weren’t common, the way cell phones are today, and from what I can remember, only businessmen carried them. They looked ridiculous carrying one of those giant phones, and even more so when they used them.

Photo from Wikipedia

There’s no question that smartphones — apps — make our lives easier. I can take my pulse, track my sleep, post to social media, and many other things. If you can think of something, there’s probably an app for it.

Back in the mid-80s, I was on the phone with my friends constantly. Hours at a time! Now, I hate calling anybody. I absolutely can’t stand talking on the phone. I’d much rather text (or e-mail). I don’t know when this transition occurred, or why. Maybe texting is less anxiety producing? Maybe it allows you to hold a conversation while you feel like $hit? Maybe they’re easier to ignore? Who knows!

Do you prefer to text or talk? Or both?

Surprise Ending

Photo provided by author

Last year, at the age of 49, I FINALLY got a pair of glasses that I’m happy with. Sometimes, I even go without contacts and wear glasses for the day! I’m even happy having my picture taken while wearing them. Finally.

I first started wearing glasses when I was 8. Up until I turned, maybe 16, my mom chose my frames for me. I had very little say-so. I grew up looking like a nerd. I still look like a nerd, but it’s by my own choosing–I’ve owned my neediness. Because my nose has no bridge, my glasses slid down my nose all. The. Time. My new glasses still slide, but I don’t mind so much because I love them and I get them adjusted regularly!

At 16 I was finally allowed to wear contacts. I had a gas permeable pair, which were kind of like if soft and hard contacts had a baby. I don’t think most people wear them anymore.

Also at 16, my mom took me to get my drivers license. I failed twice, but passed the third time, which is supposed to be a charm, right? It turned out my glasses were the wrong prescription!

What surprise endings have you experienced?