Friday, May 16, 2014


We have had a minor dilemma around Casa LaJoy.  Matthew has been in need of a much more powerful computer in order to continue his AutoCAD studies.  His little laptop, though perfectly good, was proving unable to smoothly run the AutoCAD software because it just wasn't designed for that kind of usage...not enough memory, graphics card overload, and a few others issues which I am completely unprepared nor knowledgeable enough to pretend to explain.

Because he is quite serious about technology and seeing Computer Aided Drafting as a very probably future for him, we want to do all we can to support his learning.  He needs the right tools, and after he showed me exactly how badly his laptop was functioning while running the AutoCAD program, we realized we needed to do something.  He couldn't even complete his beginning course if we didn't upgrade somehow, and there was no way he could move on to what he really wants to explore...3D drafting...if we didn't upgrade.

We have been talking about it for several weeks, and trying to find the least expensive way to do this.  Olesya offered to purchase Matt's laptop, so that contributed a significant amount to the project.  Matthew kicked in almost all his savings for the past couple of years, which represented many long hours of hard work, weed pulling and washing dishes at the restaurant, and we were going to kick in the rest.  Matt spent hours and hours researching what would be the best computer for future expansion and future higher tech needs.  We spoke with a couple of different professional drafters and received their advice as well.  One of them laughed when they heard Matt has been trying to run the software on such a low powered computer.

Matt price checked, looking at several models, then came to us with an idea to save money.

"Mom, I think I can build what I need for a lot less money, if Dad can help me.  It really doesn't look that hard, and I already have a list of all the parts I would need.  It would save a fortune, and I can have a really powerful desktop computer that would last me for years because it would be upgradeable.  What do you think?", he then proceeded to show me his comparison sheet, price list, etc.  The boy had done his homework, and I was proud of him for being so careful and frugal.

Dominick and I talked about it, and I was concerned because they have never done anything like this and it will be impossible to come up with the money should they blow something up and have to repurchase it.  Dominick thought it was a fabulous idea, said he thought it would actually be quite easy, and a great learning project for Matt...let alone a huge money saver.  I relented, and more online price checking was done before a final order was placed.

Today, all the parts arrived, and Matthew was SO excited!!  Watching him caress the case as he opened it out of the box cracked me up.  This thing is ENORMOUS.  I have never seen a desktop this big.  Seriously, it is the Granddaddy of Desktops.

He went for a white outside case for the computer, because it looks "classier" and "more original" than black.
Was I kidding? This tower is the biggest ever.

This is the much debated mother board.

Trusted Sidekick...Kenny LaJoy

With Dominick offering encouragement and a little guidance, the boys set about installing each of the components.  As of 11:45 tonight, which is when I am writing this post, they are still diligently working on it.  Me?  I am saying a little prayer that when it is completed, and the magic moment comes to turn it on, there are no glitches.

Tomorrow we might have "lift off" and if all goes well, he will be able to use the computer.  

In other news, I received my Mother's Day necklace in the mail today:

What a sweet gift!  Everyone pitched in to buy it for me, and it has the birthstones of everyone in the family on it.  Yes, there are 8 stones there, you are counting correctly. The kids thought it only fair to put Sunny's birthstone on it, too! HAHAHA!  I thought that was so cute!  I love it, and was so touched by their thoughtfulness.

We are having up and down days with Mom, as she struggles to settle in back at home.  Medication seems to be totally off, and there may be something else wrong as she is feeling ill with no specific reason why.  Trying to coordinate care from this far away is incredibly difficult, and we are hoping that we can get everything settled down for her and that she can remain independent as long as she wants to be.  It is very hard to know what to do, or how to effectively provide her with the help she needs.  We are taking it day by day, but each day feels as if it is very precarious right now.

Day by day...moment by moment...breath by breath...for this night, all is well and safe.  Tomorrow, who knows?  We might have a blown up brand new computer, mom might be in worse condition, and a roof leak could develop.  I am not going to waste a moment anticipating it, and will just rest in the fact that tonight, all is well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cindy, a quick note, as I take a break to read my morning blogs. Our daughter graduates on Sunday, so I need to keep at the prep-work for her party. Wondering if your mom's medication issues are about taking her own meds, handling that...or just health reactions from some meds. If it's the former, I think of a couple of options. One, I've learned recently that some pharmacies can prepackage daily meds in blister pack type cards. Each day's meds are then popped out, one at a time as needed. Seemed safer to me than the refillable pill cases with days of the week marked. Not sure if that would help your mom or not. Or can she have home health come in to administer them? If it's a matter of not being able to handle them herself, I know from my mom's experience, that her health and also her dementia improved greatly when she got them administered by nurses at their assisted living facility. My parents also have long term care insurance, which pays for some of this.
Best wishes. My parents are dealing with some new issues, which are very hard to sort out right now. Fortunately for me, my sister is taking this "shift" from afar, as I prepare for our graduation here. I know some of the issues you are facing, caring for your mom...and especially from such a distance. Anyway she would consider moving closer to your family? I know it would be a huge change for her, but the benefit would be she would be near your family for her own enjoyment, and it would make things easier for you to help her.
Nancy in the Midwest