Tuesday, October 10, 2017


I haven't been using this blog in a long time because I had some technical problems and all reply messages from Blogger.com kept being sent to g-mail accounts I couldn't connect to with my computer.

I finally gave up trying to get tech support help and signed up for a WordPress blog. I have been using it ever since. Those posts are linked to my website, www.janetanncollins.com.

However I wish I'd stayed with BlogSpot because I'm getting lots of spam messages and would have to pay extra to have those screened out. And the page doesn't look as good as the Blogger one.
But I've signed a contract with WordPress and can't get out of it.

Please go to my webpage, www.janetanncollins.com to see my newer blog posts.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Earliest Memories

I can remember some things from when I was two years old, but some people can't even remember things that happened when they were four or five years old.

My earliest memories are of my grandmother, who died when I was two and three months old. We visited her every weekday, so that's one reason why she's stayed in my memory.

And I remember when my baby brother was born. I was two and a half when that happened. It was an important event, so it, too, was impressed in my mind.

I wonder why some people can remember things that happened early in their lives while others can't.

What are your earliest memories? Do you know why they might have stayed with you?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Stupid Expert

I've always been interested in languages. I took lots of electives in college just for fun and have several shelves of books about languages.

But the stupidest thing I've ever read was in a book by a supposed expert in Linguistics.

I read it so long ago I can't even remember the title or author's name, but I've never been able to forget one stupid thing that supposed expert wrote in his book.

He (and, yes, I do remember it was a man) gave an explanation for the variety of Native American languages.

Here's the explanation:

Thousands and thousands of years ago early humans came across the land bridge that existed between northern Europe and the North American continent and traveled southward, then across the continent.

As they traveled they dropped off babies and toddlers who hadn't yet learned to talk at multiple points along the way. Each group of tiny children developed their own language.

In the first place, what are the chances of kids that young being able to survive without adults to care for them?

And why would any people simply drop off their babies and leave them, probably to die?

Even if the toddlers survived to adulthood, could they really invent complex languages?

The whole concept is so impossible I don't know how whoever wrote that book even got it published.

I wish I could find out the title or author. He ought to have won an award for the worst academic book ever written.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Mnemonic Devices

A Mnemonic device is something that helps a person remember something.

Most of us probably learned some of those in school.

One example is "I before E except after C or when followed by G as in neighbor or weigh."

As we get older our brains gather more and more information, so it becomes easier to forget things.

I've developed a few mnemonic devices of my own.

For example, I used to keep my medications on the windowsill over the sink and I'd move them from one side to the other after taking them. That way I'd be sure I'd done so.

I'll put library books I've finished reading in a different location than the unread ones so I don't forget to return them.

I keep a big whiteboard in my office and write my daily to-do lists on it, then check off the things I've accomplished.

And, of course, I often write notes to myself and put them where I know I'll see them.

What do you do to help yourself remember things?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


With all the disagreement going on in the world about politics, religion and just about everything else, it's nice to know there's one thing everyone agrees on.

What is that? you may ask.

It's money.

Money is only bits of paper or metal or even references to those things. The only reason it has any value at all is because everybody agrees that it has.

Even the gold standard only worked because everyone agreed that gold was valuable.

You can't eat it, cook with it, build houses or make clothes with it, but it is pretty and rare.

Money isn't even pretty or rare, though most people would like to have more of it.

All of us work for it, trade it for things we want or need, or hoard it.

It would be interesting to see what the world would be like if money didn't exist.

Maybe there are creatures on planets in other galaxies who have advanced societies without money. (Okay, my writerly imagination is coming into play here.)

But here and now, we can be grateful that at least there is one thing we can agree about.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


I've blogged about my early experiences with computers before, but here's something else about computer history.

Today I looked up the word, computer, in my old dictionary that I used in college. (I still keep it because it tells about the history, not only the definitions of words.)

That edition of the dictionary was published in 1958 and the word, computer, wasn't even in it!

Wow! The world has certainly changed a lot since then.

I think it was in the 1960s that we began hearing about those things. The early ones were gigantic, about the size of refrigerators. And they only existed in a few science laboratories.

Rumors began spreading about those strange contraptions, which seemed like something out of science fiction. Like many people, I found the concept a little scary. There were even rumors that someday computers might take over the world!

Well, that's one prediction that has certainly come true.

Since I wasn't a scientist I didn't know exactly what those huge, early computers could do, but it was only the tiniest fraction of what even tiny cellphones can do today.

Of course my writerly imagination still wonders if they might someday be used for some sort of mind control or other world dominance.

But, in the meantime, it's hard to imagine what we would do without them. I'm certainly grateful for mine.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Big Change

I'm preparing for a big change in my life.

Since my income will go down in a few years I've decided to go back to operating a preschool in my home, as I did years ago. I no longer live in the same community, but I'll use the same name for it, Happy Hands.

I'm not as young as I used to be, so this Happy Hands will be mornings only, but I think there are stay-at-home parents and grandparents who would enjoy a break from childcare while their kids or grand kids benefit from learning.

Besides operating my own family daycare home, I also taught in several preschools, so I have lots of experience.

And I love working with young children!

But the requirements are much stricter and more complex than they used to be, so it will be several months before I'm licensed and ready to start advertising Happy Hands.

I can hardly wait!