I have now made a great step into the tech world. At the advice of Robin Andrea, verified by my musical-audio friend Fred, I downloaded Audacity, a freeware program that makes digital recording and editing easy for dummies like me. I had thrown away our cheap computer microphone, so I had to call The Hermit while he was errand-running in Duluth and tell him to pick up an adapter so I could hook up my amateur musician microphone (had to look up on the Web to find out what it is and what it does) to the computer. Apparently we hit upon the right connection because I got the mic up and running. Before I could drag a guitar out, though, the kids had learned the basic commands and were recording themselves. They had a blast.
Oh well, there's always tomorrow. The drawback is that the computer is in the "porch", while I normally practice in the bedroom, on the other side of the house (which isn't a terribly large distance). The advantage is that my microphone picks up very little peripheral noise (video games, shouting matches, etc.) So I could maybe set up in front of the computer with the guitar or mandolin and record a few songs. Or I could even record a guitar track, mandolin track, flute track, and voice track separately if I so desire. This is going to be so FUN!
I am exploring options for sharing my musical experiments with you, my blogging family. I'll probably have to eventually pay for my own site to host mp3 files. We'll see. In the meantime, I'm excited to have recording ability again!