I am back in business as far as my laptop goes. I was able to salvage everything except for my email and my favorites. I had my favorites full of writer's sites, both blogs, and publications with open calls for submissions that had intrigued me. In addition I had a lot of contest and grant info saved off there. Nothing like starting fresh.
I was able to save my files to cd, and likely i could have saved my faves and email, too but I just could not find them. Once I had the cd written, I realized why I was so concerned about my old emails. Our trip confirmation was sitting in my inbox. I realized this yesterday afternoon, and immediately emailed cheap tickets from my yahoo address and begged them for help. They finally resent the confirmation email to me, and once I received it, I forwarded it to my yahoo email as well as to E at work. Once that was taen care of, I wiped the hard drive and did the quick restore which set the laptop back to like new status. I now have a clean slate.
I also need to figure out a system for backing up that will work for me. Daily will seem tedious. Maybe Wednesday and Saturday? Any ideas are greatly appreciated.