Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas.....

Yes....this is me. I was so excited to see Santa and he did bring me what I wanted (a doll). Back then our desires were simple....we wouldn't have dared ask for presents that cost three or four hundred dollars. Well, maybe we could have asked but it was a sure thing that we would have never gotten them. LOL

We lived in the country and getting into "town" was not an easy matter for us. Back then there wasn't a Santa's helper in dozens of places either. There was ONE in our little town and we had to drive lots of miles to get there. Mostly we kids sent letters to Santa but this time I got to see him. I think it may have been the only time too in those 'believing' years.

I got up early this morning to put my turkey on. Since I had no room in my refrigerator for a 20 lb. turkey, I put the frozen bird in the roaster pan and put it on the workbench in the garage. That was Tuesday morning and I was shocked when I went to get it this morning and found it still frozen! However, as I'm writing this it smells great in here and I just checked it and its nice and done and very tender....but its been in the oven for a little over 6 hours. At least all the presents are wrapped and ready for the family when they get here. Its also a picture perfect Christmas day....its been snowing since late last night....just a light pretty snow that makes everything look nice and clean.

I wanted to wish you all a wonderful Christmas.....no matter how you celebrate it. I hope you make many warm and happy memories. Above all....stay safe. Thank you for stopping by. (and, of course.....keep smilin'!)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Observations and opinions.....mine


You know no matter how old you get, you always learn something new and its not necessarily new technology I'm talking about. About 4 or 5 years ago, my well started to go dry; my water pressure was down to nearly nothing. I called a well-man to see about having another well put in. He was a (self-professed) expert in his field and baffled me with a bunch of BS that I didn't understand. Bottom line though was that I, indeed, needed a new well. However, since the Township in which I live has a water system in place and it does run by my house, I was denied a permit for my own well and had to hook up to community water. I wasn't happy about it (being a farm raised girl and loving that "well" water) but had no choice. This "well-man", while trying to drum up his business, put some sort of filter on my water softener, stating that I would need it. I promptly forgot about it. I noticed no difference in anything since my water pressure was so low at the time anyway.

Well, I hooked up to community water and I must say the water pressure was much improved, although still not what it was supposed to be (unknown to me) and I was happy. Time went on and the pressure decreased. I suffered through years of horrible water pressure and come to find out it was that damn filter that whack job had put on my softener (which was the wrong kind in the first place and, secondly, was not even needed). After it was taking over 20 minutes to fill up my washer and I was beginning to feel suicidal, I called the water department; she suggested I have the water softener checked. I did and the filter was discovered and removed. I am like a kid with a new toy! I have water pressure again. REAL water pressure. I can fill up the washer in record time. I can take showers with an invigorating spray. I feel like I've been living under a rock for being so stupid!!!

On another subject.....I made up a cute little Santa video for my granddaughter through this website. Its totally free and you can personalize it to your liking. You can also send them to adults (however nothing off color is offered). Anyway, when she looked at it she was delighted and the look on her face was worth a million but she then announced to me that most of the kids in her class were saying that there was no such thing as Santa Claus and that only "babies" believed in him. OMG....she's only in SECOND grade! Not remembering the "yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" letter off the top of my head, I did the best I could do, stating that Santa lives on within our hearts. I was appalled even further when she told me more stories about her class and classmates.

There are "cliques" formed already and these little girls are MEAN. My daughter went to the class Christmas party to take some pictures and was told in no uncertain terms by 3 little snobs that my granddaughter could not be included in the picture with the 3 of them because "she's not one of our group". They had the nerve to tell this child's own mother (my daughter) that she was not to be included. My daughter took their picture only so that I could see what they looked like. Oh boy....do they have a serious wake-up call in a few years.....is all I can say. My granddaughter is close friends with a little Japanese girl who is treated much the same way. She is teaching my granddaughter to speak Japanese and they are having a delightful time with it. So who's the winner here!

What have parents done to their children to make them so hateful and especially at such a young age. I figure a lot of it is picked up from older siblings.....but what's wrong with the family units that they condone such behaviors? More than likely they don't even know their children are acting out in such hateful manners. I realize that junior high school is typical for this type of behavior.....but second grade??? I'm proud that my granddaughter is polite and kind and wants to be friends with everyone....no matter what. I hope we can keep those attributes alive and well in her all her life and that society doesn't knock her down and trample her.

She was having some problems in certain subjects at school and my daughter enrolled her in Kumon, which is a licensed tutoring center to help children over problem areas. She thought she was doing something beneficial. My granddaughter has blossomed under their learning program but when the school found out about it, they took umbrage over it and have doubled up on her homework so its nearly impossible for her to do both now. Instead of the teachers realizing that the ultimate goal here is to educate a child, they've taken it as an insult to their teaching abilities. Well, as far as I'm concerned.....there must be some guilty feelings there or they would not be feeling this way. My daughter is seriously considering placing her in a private Christian school beginning next year. She will be researching that. I can fully and completely understand why so many parents home-school their children.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holidays.....doncha love 'em

Oh boy.....there just aren't enough hours in the day. I can't believe how fast the days go. To have Christmas just around the corner is nearly unbelievable. Thank goodness the shopping is done and I have most of it here. Just a couple more things to be delivered and it will be totally done except for the wrapping.

I have sent the following to a few of my friends via email but then thought I'd post it because I can't think of anything worse than being far away from home on Christmas! Xerox understands this more than most companies and they are doing something again this year that's very heartwarming. So read on and follow the link to send a serviceman or woman a Christmas card. Bless your hearts. I'll try and get back here before Christmas with some brilliant prose. HA! Sorry.....I'm laughing at the brilliant prose part.

XEROX IS DOING SOMETHING COOL

If you go to this web site, www.LetsSayThanks.com you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq/Afghanistan. You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services.

How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!! It is FREE and it only takes a second and no personal info is demanded of you (email, name or address), unless, of course you'd like to include it. Its your choice.

Please take the time to pass it on for others. We can never say ‘thank you' enough. Our soldiers need to know we are behind them.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these?

Thanks for taking the time to support our military!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Two Days Late......


and more than a few dollars short, I might add. My family has been sick with ear infections and bronchitis. Not wanting to expose me, we all decided it would be the smart thing to just post-pone Thanksgiving. You can do this with a tiny family like ours. No one is flying in from another state or making long haul drives from miles away. We are all right here.

So tomorrow is the big day for us. Tonight I am baking pies and tomorrow morning I will put two turkey breasts in the oven. Cooking a whole turkey is just wasteful for us as no one likes the dark meat. My family is feeling much better and everyone is looking forward to a good meal.......cooked by yours truly. After dinner we are going to watch "How to train your Dragon" and "Toy Story 3".

This morning I got up early, made a nice cup of coffee and got online in my flannel nightgown to take advantage of Black Friday. It was cold with snow flurries outside.....and the wind was whipping around pretty good too. I can now proudly announce that I have my Christmas shopping done. I found some killer deals and had some great coupons. At one place I saved over $60..... that's with their own coupons, plus promotional coupons I downloaded. I have to admit, though, that a lot of things I wanted to buy were sold out and it was early! Not anything "Barbie" was left at all but I did snag the Rapunzel and Flynn dolls. Also found Tinkerbell and two of her fairy friends. I was thrilled over that as my one granddaughter is really into Tinkerbell right now.

So.....we're late for eating turkey but it will still taste just as good and our feelings of gratitude for what we have.....be it ever so humble, are just as heartfelt as it would have been on Thursday.

Hope everyone's holiday was a good one and a safe one. I'll be back.............. (keep smilin')

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sound off.....

I wasn't going to bore you with this, but then got to thinking.....I'll just bet there are a lot of people out there that feel exactly the same way I do about this. Let's see.

I had noticed a certain toll-free number on my caller I.D. a LOT. Sometimes twice in one day. Yet no message was ever left on my answering machine. A few times I was here but I won't answer toll free calls or unlisted or 'caller unknown' so left it to go into the machine only to hear a "click". Then I became curious. Who in the hell is trying so hard to get ahold of me, yet won't leave a message. I made up my mind to answer it next time I got one.....I knew I wouldn't have to wait long.

A few days ago, I received one. When the phone rang, I nearly killed myself to get to it so I could see who was calling. Yep, there it was, same toll-free number. I answered it on the third ring only to be disconnected. That did not set well with me. The next day I received another one and again could not make it until the third ring and was again disconnected. My curiosity was killing me, I must admit....although I was fairly certain it had to be a solicitor. I wanted to answer it for no other reason than to tell them off. How fast do they think an old lady can move, for cryin' out loud.

Yesterday I received one and this time I was right by the phone and got it on the first ring. The wind was blown out of my sails when she announced that she was from "(I'll hold back the name)" Well, I certainly could not tell her off....not a charity, although a lot of them have overstepped their bounds on some occasions. I did not tell her off but was rather curt. I have never given to this particular charity. Matter of fact, I'll tell you that I do not give to charities unless they are non-profit. I want 100% of the donations to go to the cause; I'm not paying someone's wages. I'm sorry, but that's how I feel. Check out what some of these executives of certain charities obtain in wages and you'll see why.

Anyway, she was quick to say that she wasn't asking for a donation. The scenario here is that they send you 20 informative brochures, donation cards and envelopes. You are supposed to stuff these, put postage on them and then TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR FRIENDSHIPS by sending these to all your friends and neighbors. It further irritated me that she had my name and address. I hate it that we no longer have privacy. They have you in a fail-fail situation here. I would LOVE to know what IDIOT came up with this hair-brained idea. First of all, that's a lot of work. Secondly, when your "friends" receive these, they are ticked off for sure because now they have to send money or look bad in the eyes of the whole neighborhood. They don't even want to get around you for fear you may ask them if they've sent anything in yet (and they haven't). This is a HORRIBLE idea. I was quick to tell her that No, I do not participate in anything like that, thank you very much, have a nice evening.

I get so much more out of buying a winter coat for a child, or being a secret Santa for a family or saving the lives of 20 dogs and cats. How about you?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Faith pays off.....

I went to the mailbox today to find a package from Microsoft. They did it! They sent me the Microsoft Word Program. Exactly like the counterfeit one I had purchased except, of course.....THIS one isn't counterfeit. Boy I sure hope they catch those crooks!

In the meantime I'm soooooo happy to have my Word program back.....I have really felt lost without it....even though Open Office is darn close. I'm just used to using Word after all these years and that's what we use at work.

I have really been neglectful but there hasn't been much going on. My daughter and her whole family got sick with a variation of the flu called "echo virus". I have stayed away from them all this time because I don't want to get exposed to it.....its miserable.

Its 45 here now and raining pretty good. It's supposed to do it all night long. The guy who does my leaves showed up tonight and got them all picked up. He just beat the rain which is a good thing. With 26 trees in my yard, most of them oak, you can just imagine how many leaves there were.....they were mid-calf deep on me.

I have my turkey in the freezer.....actually its two turkey breasts. No one in my family cares for dark meat so buying a whole turkey is wasteful. Making two turkey breasts suits us perfectly and there is no waste. I keep one and give my daughter the other one. They both fit nicely into my large roasting pan. If its stopped raining by tomorrow, I may go and get the rest of the fixings for our dinner. My co-worker is on vacation that week and I will have to work the day before Thanksgiving. I wonder if we will have snow.

Hope everything is ok in your corners of the world. I'll be back in a couple days......in the meantime, keep smilin'.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Around and around we go.....

I called the first number to Microsoft and talked to a man with a slight accent....of what kind I'm not sure. He was either Tad or Ted but he was very nice. He took all the information I had to give, even saying that eBay would work with them in this case. Glad to know. I want this thief caught! Then he gave me another number to call about getting a replacement. He didn't know anything much about that but kept saying I could buy another software package from them.

I had to laugh at Glen's comment about getting "John" from India because that's precisely what happened. Although "John" was super nice....friendly, compassionate and probably knowledgeable, I could only understand about 1/3 of what he was saying. Never have I said "pardon me" so many times. I even had him wait for a minute so I could change to my other phone which has a volume control on it. Why is it that when we have a hard time understanding due to an accent, we think that if we can hear it at a more intense volume, that we will be able to decipher it better? It did not help, by the way. I finally was able to understand where to find the form I needed to fill out in order to report piracy and also to "have a chance" at getting replacement software once I sent them my discs and documentation. So, I will send that off tomorrow or the next day.....insured and certified. Its up to them to decide whether I deserve replacement software and if they decide in my favor, it will take a month to get it. I was referred to yet another number (thank goodness for toll-free).

This was in reference to my Windows XP, which is not what its supposed to be either. About all I was getting out of that is that I can purchase a new set of discs. Forget the fact that this would involve wiping my entire hard drive and starting over from scratch. What happens to all my stuff? Why....for a price, they can store it online for you while you do this. XP is no longer for sale, so I would have to buy Windows 7, which may not be compatible with my existing programs. Yet another number was given to me to find out if my programs would work. This guy also gave me the impression that I was some sort of moron for buying a computer at an auction and also for buying the Word program for $139 when it sells for nearly $500.....and that should have raised some flags. Well, no....it didn't. I was buying software that had already been upgraded to a newer version (2010) and I thought that the older version (2007) would be less money because of that. I decided I wasn't in the mood to be belittled, so I said I would research buying new software and let him go. He was condescending and not very friendly.

So, now I wait. Yes, I have learned a lesson. Buy computers and computer software from well-known establishments, ones that can prove they are authorized Microsoft dealers. Check your PC's and laptops to make sure you have your certificate of authenticity on the side or bottom. If not.....you likely have illegal copies. But of course the certificate of authenticity could be counterfeit (as what happened to me). I think Microsoft needs to come up with a better way.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sometimes it pays....

to put off cleaning out files. I am so excited. After hours of hunting, I have found my receipt for the Office program I bought. You know....the one I talk about in the previous post....the one that is counterfeit. (leaves a bad taste in my mouth to even type it)

Do you know how exceptional this is? I bought it last December.....and I have found the receipt! Woo hoo. Martha, eat your heart out. Tomorrow I call Microsoft and see what they say. Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

And the icing on the cake.....

I open up my Microsoft Word program to write a letter and a sign appears advising that my copy may not be genuine and to "click here". I do so and it routes me to the MS website. Long story shortened.....I contact tech support for some help. They are very prompt at replying. I have to send them my numbers off of the software I have, and he'll get back with me.

I bought that software and installed it about a year ago. I thought I had bought it from a reputable place. When I received it I was even more convinced that I had bought the authentic product; it had all the necessary paperwork and certificate of authenticity as well as a product key. I've been happily using it all this time, blissfully unaware.

I have a counterfeit copy and I'm LIVID. I bought this through eBay. I have no receipts to speak of. Its been long enough I can no longer find the transaction on eBay. I can find where my Paypal account paid them, but I can't find the actual transaction that states what the product was. MS claims they will replace the software if they are convinced I innocently bought it and its a convincing copy (doesn't look like someone whipped it up in 5 minutes). Oh....its that all right. Its an excellent copy....someone took some pains to make sure this looked authentic.

Just one more thing to think about. I will give them what I have and hope for the best. I'm not going to be optimistic. However I do have one major bitch. WHY did they wait so long to let me know it was counterfeit. If it was closer to the purchase date, this thief could have been caught....the listing was up on eBay for a while. They tell you things to look for that would alert you that it was counterfeit...like the hologram being pasted on instead of part of the disc. Well, how in the world are you supposed to view that before you buy it....you absolutely cannot....not even in a store where you personally go. You cannot open the package unless you purchase it. Once again.....bend over.....the consumer gets screwed. And in the meantime, my OFFICE software only functions with the bare bones features, which is not acceptable for what I do with it. Open Office is looking better all the time.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Add coffee and gently mix.....

Ok, this is how I picture myself in the morning. I am definitely not with the program until after I've had my coffee. As soon as my feet apprehensively touch the floor in the morning I am in a fog, doing things on auto-pilot until I get that cup of coffee. Lord help the person who calls me early in the morning and wakes me up. I've been known to carry on a short conversation and not even remember it later. Although its not my nature to be mean, I've been also known to get a bit snippy if you call me during that time. Most of the time though I go through the motions early in the morning, get my cup of coffee and check out the news without being bothered and things turn out well for everyone involved.

This morning, however, it was different and I certainly hope its not an indicator of what the rest of my day is going to be like.

After getting up and taking care of the necessities we all have to do in the bathroom upon rising, I then trudged to the kitchen. I let the dog out and then proceeded to make my cup of coffee. Now I have one of those one-cup brewers, which I love BTW, and I brew a huge mug of coffee (18 oz.). It only takes about a minute and a half to brew this cup and so I get my meds out and take them with juice while waiting. Then I normally fix my coffee with coffee-mate, get some coffee cake or cinnamon bread and sit down to enjoy. This morning, however, I had to open a new container of coffee-mate. I got it out of the pantry and when I opened the pantry door a stack of paper grocery bags I had in there picked this time to fall over and spread across my kitchen floor.....so I had to pick those up, using my feet to push them into a pile and then carefully bending over to get them.....all the while cursing under my breath. Then I went to open the new container of coffee-mate, that boasted NEW CONTAINER all over the front. Now, I don't know if they think that coffee-mate consumers have a hand-span of a Yeti or what.....but I could not open that container. My fingers were not long enough to reach around the lid, which screwed on. By now the coffee is done and sitting on the counter in a mug.....the aroma beckoning to me. I try to get it open with a butter knife....no luck. I try banging it on the counter thinking that maybe it will loosen it up.....no luck. I then go for the bottle opener that's sticking to my fridge door by its built-in magnet. I use the one end that's pointed and used to open canned milk. I'm starting to make headway when the container slips out of my hands and hits the mug of coffee. The mug of coffee tips and falls off the counter, pouring HOT coffee all over the floor and some of it on me. 18 oz of coffee all over the kitchen floor. The mug hit the floor also and I can't believe it didn't break, but it didn't.

I had some folded bath towels sitting on top of the dryer and so I grab one and throw it on the floor. There is no way I can bend over and clean this up at this time. My back won't let me do it right now....I'm still stiff from sleep and my meds haven't taken affect yet. (I have back problems....arthritis) I wipe it up using my feet, cursing out loud now. I get that done, noticing that my mostly white bath towel is now stained with coffee stains but at this point I could care less. I brew another cup of coffee and mangle the coffee-mate container enough so that I can get it open. I then go to let the dog back in and she's gotten herself tangled around the deck steps (AGAIN) because she chases squirrels and I can't get her inside unless I go outside and untangle her. Ain't gonna happen.....at least not right now. Probably no neighbor is looking outside but I'm not going to take the chance. My too short nightshirt with the huge coffee stain in the front, my hair sticking straight up on the left side and my face marked with creases from the wrinkles in my pillow is not a sight for the faint of heart.

I have now had my cup of coffee and my coffee cake. I feel human again. My brain is functioning again and I can't help but wonder if what happened this morning in only 15 minutes after arising is any indication of what the rest of the day is going to be like. If so.......I'm grabbing a book and heading for the couch. In the meantime, I hope you all have a great day and remember to keep smilin'. And.....may all your lids open with no problems. (I'm headed out to the kitchen for another cup of coffee)

Friday, October 8, 2010

I'm back in the game.....

Yes, I have both of my computers back from the repair guy. They seem to be working ok now but this whole ordeal has made me very shaky about the info on my hard drive. I'm going to have to get my pictures organized and put them on a DVD so I can feel secure that I'm not going to lose them.

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day. In the mid 70's and nice bright sunshine. The leaves are beginning to turn and some areas around here are getting pretty colorful. I went grocery shopping after work.....one of my favorite things to do. Why, I like it as much as I like to iron! Ahem. Anyway, I was quite surprised that the store was nearly empty and I was able to get in and out in record time. Needless to say, I was glad to finally get home and relax.

Some of the TV programming this fall is really unusual. I've come across a series called Swamp People. Its about several Louisiana families who make a living catching alligators. These people work hard and seem to make a pretty good living doing this. The programs have all been interesting so far. Then there is another Louisiana family who specializes in pest removal....bugs, snakes, skunks, you name it. They are good at what they do but I sure wouldn't want to do it. That's interesting too and gives you the creepy crawlies just looking at it. Then there is Hoarders.....look at an episode and you'll never again feel that your own house is cluttered or dirty.....guaranteed. I've been looking at Project Runway lately and now am hooked on that too. I had no idea how hard it was to be a fashion designer.....not to mention the stress. I used to watch Fringe...it was a favorite of mine but they have made it so confusing that I no longer can follow it and have stopped watching. Same goes for CSI Las Vegas. All my favorite people left and so I quit watching. I seem to be sticking mostly with A&E on cable and cannot find much to hold my interest in the regular stations. I love Adventures of the New Old Christine.....she is a real hoot and I always get a laugh out of her show. We need more good comedies. Have a great weekend....I'll be back as soon as I can find something to talk about that may or may not interest you. My life is just not that exciting........but sometimes that's not bad.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Again, she writes.....

I contributed to Magpie Tales again. Last week I was upset over my computer so I didn't do one. Let me know if you enjoy it or not.

The Bottle (Go here).

In the meantime, keep smilin'.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Happiness is.....

your hard drive dying..........NOT.

I can't believe it. My computer is not that old either. I can't blame it on any particular manufacturer because I have my systems built for me (clones). I've had very good luck doing it this way....but not this time. My hard drive won't even spin and that's a horrible feeling. My computer guy said something about putting it in the freezer if the bearing will work. Sorry....all Greek to me. He will try to save my data but I'm not optimistic this time.

I have become dependent on the computerized lifestyle.....something I always said I would never do. But I now do all my bills and banking online except for a couple who do not participate in online billing. I do back up my system but I've been having problems since June and that's the last time I backed it up. Of course its better than no backup at all....if it actually does work and its not corrupted or something. The troubles I was having with it was not with the hard drive, it was with my internet connection.....which turned out to be my router. My computer guy has car trouble so he can't come and pick it up until this coming Saturday. Right now is the time of the month that I schedule my bills. Thank goodness I did some of them before the frying of the hard drive took place.

So I ordered a laptop. I have to be able to get to the Internet. I guess it will be here in about a week....about the same time my old one goes out the door for repair. I have never used a laptop and something tells me that I'm in for quite an adventure. I searched online for hours and hours looking at different brands with oh-so-many different features. I settled on a Toshiba 17" screen because the reviews on it were awesome and the price was lower than most of the others.

I have a very old computer that the kids use when they are here and that's what I'm using now. Amazing how its still hanging in there........oops....did I say that outloud? Well, its true.....it just seems like the newer things are not built to hold up near as long as the older stuff. Its part of an evil plot to keep us buying new computers once we're addicted and dependent. Well, wish me luck that this old one holds up. It doesn't recognize the keyboard half the time and using the on-screen keyboard is a real pain in the patootie....trust me.

Anyone have any good advice on things I should know using a laptop.....or notebook I guess its called. I'm hoping it will last me for a while....and yes, I did buy insurance on it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Anger in the air.....

Boy oh boy....I don't know if the planets were lined up just right yesterday or what the reason was -- but it seemed like everyone picked that day to just be ANGRY. I often pay for the person's order who is behind me in the drive-through in the mornings but I do have a limit. This morning the guy behind me had an expensive order and I couldn't do it so the day went downhill from there. I was forewarned.

Everyone had a complaint of one sort or another. My co-worker got sick of it and put in for a half vacation day and left. Since every boss in the building was also gone.....to say I was left to my own devices is an understatement.....you can only sweet talk people for only so long.

I had been yelled at over the phone mostly but a few residents appeared in person. They had rants about various little things but the longer they thought about those little things it made them expand to huge dimensions and they wanted action NOW. By the time 5 o'clock rolled around I was more than ready to escape to my own turf....to lock myself in with some soft music to calm my shattered nerves but first I had things to do. Number one on the list was get gas for the car cause I was riding on fumes, which is something I never do but I had forgotten to get gas earlier in the week. Then I had to quickly visit the grocery store and I was dreading it. Grocery shopping is one of my least favorite things to do.....topped only by ironing. I almost put it off but remembered that it was supposed to rain all day Saturday and that gave me the energy to proceed.

The most important item I had to purchase was a birthday card and cake for my daughter. I was surprised to see that the grocery store was nearly empty. Nearly empty at a little after 5 on a Friday? I simply had to take advantage of it. I ended up getting a few more things than the cake but it was still a quick visit, the anticipation of enjoying my easy chair and a good book in the quiet of my home giving me the impetus I needed to get this task done. At the bakery department I waited at the counter to get "happy birthday" written on the cake. The woman who waited on me had disgust and anger all over her face. She looked like she had experienced the same kind of day as yours truly. She answered my questions with short, sharp retorts and I made up my mind that I was going to put a smile on this woman's face before I left. She took the cake and returned with it a few minutes later with a beautifully written "happy birthday" on it. I smiled and told her it was absolutely beautiful.....actually the best I'd ever seen. (which was really true) You know what.....I honestly saw her icy exterior melt and she smiled and thanked me. I KNOW I made her day.....and it made ME feel better knowing that.

I finally made it home, fixed myself a nice hot cup of coffee and, grabbing an apple fritter that I had just purchased at the store, I headed for my easy chair and book. My son, of course, had to call me later on and put the ending on my day by some unnecessary garbage of his own. I almost felt like I was being tested.....especially when I found out that my ex and his wife had won an all expense paid trip to Paris, France. I'm glad for them.....yes I am. Yes I am. I'll just keep saying that with a smile on my face. It just seemed like I was everyone's punching bag yesterday. Did any of you have a day like that too? You know what?.....even if it IS cold, dark, dreary and raining today.....I am sooooo glad its Saturday and I don't have to go anywhere. I don't even think I'll answer the phone today.....so there! Hope you all have a good one today, no matter where you are or what the weather is like.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Take some time.....

out of your busy day and view this video. Its a little over 6 minutes and its absolutely one of the most beautiful presentations I've ever seen. It truly is Magnificent. Go there and watch, you won't be sorry.

Nothing I could write today could top this. And....thank you, Jackie, for sending it to me. xo

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Cottage.....

Another story popped out of one of those old filing cabinets. Let me know what you think of this one. Go here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

People watching.....

Today I offered to take a friend to the courthouse because they needed a ride. I figured I would be there for a couple hours so I prepared a gigantic thermos of coffee and took a good book. In reality I was there for over 4 hours because a high profile case went before hers and she had to wait longer than usual.

I decided to wait in my car, figuring it would be more comfortable and also offer a greater variety of people to watch. I used my handicapped placard and found a great parking spot close to the main entrance of the building offering a wonderful view of the variety of people coming and going. I would say that I spent equal time people watching as I did reading my book while I waited. Its been a long time since I've people watched and I think its good for your soul. Some people may make you envious but then others make you grateful to be in your own skin. Most of the time, the gratefulness outshines the envy. The first essential item you need is a good pair of dark sunglasses so you can check out things without being caught doing it. I watched all colors, all sizes and all ages....not to mention social skills ranging from restrained and respectable to slovenly and ignorant. The only thing these people had in common other than being mammals, was that everyone was in a hurry! Your imagination can go wild on such watching excursions as you picture what sort of lifestyle each person may lead. After devoting much time to this delightful pass-time, I have ascertained the following:

~ Old, untanned men should never wear shorts
~ Old, untanned men should never wear sandals with socks
~ Old, untanned men should never wear sandals with brown socks
~ Heavy women should not wear crop tops
~ Heavy women should not wear shorts
~ Pregnant women should not wear skin tight clothing
~ Bright red lipstick and blue eyeshadow on an 80 yr old is not recommended
~ Long dread locks just don't do a thing for old gray-haired men
~ If you have a huge beer belly, buy shirts big enough to cover it
~ Pants worn so the crotch is knee level is just plain wrong
~ Why do some women think that ankle length skirts and over blouses look good together.
~ I was impressed that so many women dressed so professionally. They looked good!!!
~ I was dismayed that so many women dressed so horribly to go to work (had work badges on)
~ Brown dress shoes with a navy suit.....ummmm not so good
~ Some professional men were a wrinkled mess
~ Some professional men were picture perfect without a wrinkle in sight
~ I get bonus points for spying one person who forgot to take the size tag off their pantleg
~ One woman saw me watch her throw her chewing gum in the flowers (boy, did she look guilty)

We are a nation of opposites for sure and that's what makes people watching so much fun. But I'll tell ya, the ones who were dressed weird and acted weird were the ones that caught your attention and held it more than the others. One women hacked up and spit on the sidewalk.....I'd never seen a woman do that before. I was embarrassed for her.

One women came out and went back in several times and she was absolutely striking. With every hair in place and a neat black suit with heels, she was a head-turner. She had to be someone's executive secretary.....or at least she looked the part.

I could not believe how tired I was from just sitting there waiting......and watching. I had to come home and take a nap.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Something new.....

Thought I'd dabble in something new. Go here, .....I hope you enjoy it.
I will still post here also.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hot August Night.....

oh its been hot. I find myself humming the opening phrases of Neil Diamond's song, Brother Love's Travelin' Salvation Show when it gets hot like this. This is like the summers of my youth, the air so hot and sticky, barely a hint of a breeze....the locusts singing their whining songs from the trees, starting off softly and ending in a crescendo. It always meant HOT weather was coming when you heard the locusts. We didn't have air conditioning back then and now that I've been spoiled by it, I wonder how we existed. I remember laying in bed at night and would keep turning the pillow over so it would feel cool against my face.

The days of sliced garden tomatoes, fried chicken and potato salad. That tall glass of iced tea where the outside of the glass is all wet with condensation. That unmistakable fragrance of freshly husked corn and picking green peppers from the garden, rinsing them off with the garden hose and then just taking a big bite. Ah, yes, this summer has reminded me of the summers of my youth.....lazy, hazy days.

Do they still have revival meetings in tents on hot summer nights? After marriage we rented an apartment that was located in the last building on the dead end street. It faced the woods and on hot summer evenings we could hear the services coming from a tent that had been put up on the other side of the woods. We would sit outside and listen to the songs and could hear some of the sermon, especially when a point was being made......amid all the hallelujahs and amens and then gospel music, sweet and bluesy.

That neighborhood went into disrepair a few years after we moved from there. And it has since gone through a lot of changes. It was pretty bad for a while and then a facelift was given to the area and things were cleaned up. But, unfortunately, its much like an old and haggard woman putting on layers of makeup....its all cosmetic...quickly and cheaply done. But it is better than it was and that's the important thing. Lord, that was 45 years ago we sat and listened to "the travelin' Salvation show" on the other side of the woods. I wonder if they still have them.

I have my granddaughter's school clothes all ordered and they will be delivered next week. That, of course, signals the end of summer when Back to School rolls around. I can't believe how fast the time went. I found some killer deals doing Internet shopping once again.....and suffered none of the hassle that the mall would have given us.....and got free shipping to boot. Ah, Life is Good.

I just noticed a weather alert has come up on my browser. Air Quality Alert. Never had any of those back in the "dog days" of the summers of my youth. Speaking of air.....I can't wait to see my next electric bill...........Ouch.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Old Hand Pump.....

Ever used one of these? They are a rarity anymore. I recently saw a picture much like this one and it triggered some warm and wonderful memories for me.

I've mentioned before that I was raised on a small farm. We had more chickens than anything else and the chicken coop was quite impressive....as chicken coops go. Ours were not free range chickens but the fenced yard that kept them out of our garden as well as everything else was very large. Inside the coop was a hand pump just like this one pictured. My dad and I both shared the love of the crystal clear ice cold water that this pump would bring to the surface. In the summer, several times a day you would find us in the chicken coop getting a nice long drink from the long handled drinking cup that hung nearby. Some days I almost ache with yearning to just have a sip of that water again. I have tasted nothing that can come remotely close to that particular strain of "nature's wine".

My family is all buried in a very small cemetery that is only about 2 miles from where I now live and 2 miles from the farm on which I grew up. Under a tree, positioned in the approximate middle of the cemetery was a hand pump so you could water the flowers you planted on the graves of your loved ones. I was disappointed many years ago when I saw that the pump had been replaced by a modern spigot. At the risk of appearing to be a person without perception....I really don't like all the changes that have happened in my little corner of the world. I used to know everyone because my dad knew everyone. Not so anymore. The farm that was home to me was sold many years ago, torn down, sub-divided and a huge apartment complex built on the land. The only things remaining are the two huge mulberry trees that used to be in our front yard. I'm glad they were spared.

I think I may be entering another phase of my life....some things that interested me before no longer have the appeal they once had. I don't watch much TV anymore, finding more programs to be witless and dull than ones that entice you to tune in. The "reality TV" has definitely lost its appeal for me....they have over-done it. We need more comedies I think. Comedies that us older folks can identify with....instead of everything being geared toward teenagers. Something to help us relax in the evening and have a good laugh. We'll see what this Fall holds for us.

My computer is sick and is at my guru's place being looked at. He thinks its a 'bug'....I don't. I think some files got corrupted ONCE AGAIN after some power outages we had recently. I'm using my old stand-by that's showing its age....but hanging in there. Kinda like me. LOL

My attitude is not a lot better than it was on July 3, my last post. I really can't say its any one thing.....it seems to be MANY things. It was as if my writing ability just packed its bags and moved away. I hope its only temporary and I will soon feel creative again. The summer has been hot and I'm not complaining. I keep thinking of all the snow and the cold from last winter and the heat of the summer is more than welcome in my book. If it makes those of you who are in the snow belt feel any better, I've read that we are supposed to have a mild winter. I hope so.

My friends, if you have stuck with me and checked here often for a new post.....I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You've been patient and for that I wish I could reward you with a witty, laugh til you pee post.....but I can't think of anything like that just yet. Hopefully....it won't be long and I can at least post something that's interesting. I hope everything has been well in your little corners of the world and I'll be back in just a few days. As always.....keep smilin'.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Attitude adjustment.....

Sorry I have been so neglectful. Real life, as you know, takes priority over blog life. My attitude needs some serious working on....too many things....too much drama.

So until I can get things into perspective and until I start feeling good about some things again, I'm going to say "so long".

I will still be visiting everyone because I love you all but I may not comment. I just hope you don't forget about me. I will be back in a little while.

Have a SAFE and memorable holiday weekend. Enjoy the simple things.....the small things. And try to keep a sense of humor about the things that attempt to pull you down.

See you soon. Keep smilin'.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lucky me.....

Somehow.....the Republicans think I am a straight ticket republican and the Democrats think I am a straight ticket democrat. I have been getting so many political notices and bulletins and newsletters from both parties that I am just about ready to bang my head against the wall. I especially love the ones where they nonchalantly ask you to donate $500, but if you can't manage that, please consider $250. They talk as if that's such a small amount. I guess it is to those that have plenty.

And that is just ONE facet of my exceptional luck. I've also been getting scads of phone calls. Is that a word....scads? Well, it sounds right so I'm leaving it. You get the idea anyway. I pick up the phone and its a recording telling me all about how bad the republicans are. Then 20 minutes later I pick up the phone to a recording telling me how bad the democrats are. I figure its just a matter of time and I'll be getting stuff from the "Independent party" or the "green party" or the Mickey Mouse party!!

The primary is in August so I have about 6 weeks of this garbage......then it will be coming down strong for the November election. I'm so fed up with it all. It doesn't seem like our elected officials do anything they say they will and once in office, they don't seem to care about any of us until its time for re-election. The one and only time in my life that I contacted my Congressman to help me with something I wasn't even given the consideration of a reply from him personally. He had his assistant talk with me and they were not even able to help me with my request. I'm remembering all that, by the way.

I think a lot of us voters are finally remembering a whole bunch of things. Bad news for some of those now in office. You all keep smilin'.....makes everyone wonder what you've been up to.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Another Movie Review.....

Sorry I haven't been posting anything lately. I just haven't found anything interesting to write about....although I have been reading and commenting once in a while. Seems like I've been interrupted more often than not lately. Lots of solicitors. I know everyone is trying to make money....but to try and SELL products or services in an economy as depressed as ours is....is ludicrous.

Also I've been in one of my feeling sorry for myself moods. I just could kick my butt from here to Sunday when I get like this and even though I don't like it....it takes a while for me to work myself out of it. I therefore am on the lookout for things that will make me laugh.

I don't know what you all think, but I think that good comedies have fallen by the wayside. Either that or my sense of humor has packed its bags and left town. You know how you will read that some movie is "hilarious" or that it had the viewers "rolling on the floor with laughter". I can watch a movie that has had stuff like that said about it and not crack a smile during the whole thing. Afterward, I will think to myself.....there must be something really horribly wrong with me. Have I have gotten to be a dull- spirited, crotchety, grumpy, old woman? I oh-so-did- not want that in my obit.

But I can say one thing....I never give up. I have faith that out there .... somewhere....are people who know how to make a really funny movie. So I keep trying and I keep watching. So many people are going through so much stress right now that we really need something to lighten our day and put smiles on our faces. Last night I was rewarded. YES! Last night I watched a movie that made me laugh more and louder than I have in years. It was hold your sides funny. It was clench your legs so you don't pee your pants funny

OLD DOGS.....with John Travolta and Robin Williams for starters. There are a lot of well-known people in this movie....Travolta's wife and daughter included. Its from Disney and because of that, its family friendly. I loved it and my daughter and I laughed so hard on several occasions we honestly had tears rolling down our cheeks. Yes, this is a keeper. I'm glad I bought it. Go rent it or buy it and watch it....you'll get a kick out of it, I'm sure.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Have you ever been.......

scared? Really scared? The scary movie type of scared....but you can't shut it off like you can a movie. The type of scared where your common sense and your brain tells you you're being stupid.....but the rest of you just screams.....GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE! All your instincts tell you that this is DANGEROUS and for you to flee but you try and pass it off as an over-active imagination.

I've read that we humans have a built in .....radar..... for lack of a better name right now. We don't rely on it like we would have had to if we were lower down the food chain and lived in the wild, so we have basically dismissed it and we don't pay attention to it anymore. Big mistake! I always try to listen to my "radar". I, of course, will never know, but I do think its saved me a bunch of times. One time at a spooky RV campground comes to mind......ewwwww....gives me the creeps just thinking about it. But that was one of those "you had to be there" type of stories and wouldn't make for good reading. However.....this one will.

This is another police story. How much more safe can a person be, you ask. Inside a police station with help only as far as the pressing of a microphone key. In the front of the building a fireman sleeps peacefully but is ready to respond at the mere flick of a red button on your desk. A person should be pretty secure. Should is the key word here.

Our little police station is located about 10 miles from the main "big" jail. We had a holding cell and sometimes there would be as many as four or five in there, awaiting transport to the jail. If they had bond coming, we wouldn't bother taking them down there....we would just accept their bond and release them from our site. As a dispatcher, it was one of our many duties to monitor the prisoners in the cell. This was before closed circuit TV was installed, so we had to physically walk back there and check on them every 15 to 20 minutes. What a pain! The male dispatchers didn't get much lip, but us females sure did. I've had more propositions and more insults levied at me than the average woman, that's for sure.

This one midnight shift, which had been pretty quiet by evidence of the empty holding cell, my officer radioed that he would be checking out a subject sitting in the middle of the five lane highway that went through town. Sitting.....crossed-legged, in the center turn lane. Its a wonder he wasn't run over but then again.....maybe even the cars were afraid. The subject was brought in and placed in the holding cell. He did have a warrant out of another department but he was definitely a couple sandwiches short of a picnic....either that or he'd taken some drugs and was zoned out. We never could tell which it was....sad to say. The officer put him in the cell and left. Now I am alone with this......guy. True the fireman is asleep up front but really.....I'm not going to wake him up to babysit me. I've been doing this way too many years.....watched way too many prisoners. The first time I check on him, he's sitting in the corner on the floor looking like Jack Nicholson looked at the very end of the movie, The Shining.....that "look" on his face. Chills went up my spine as I went back to the dispatch center. It was more than a little unnerving. Then I heard it. It sounded like there were 3 or 4 people in that cell. The guy was talking to himself and answering himself in different voices. You would have sworn that there was a bunch of people back there. I even went back and looked again just to make sure! I guess I could have put up with that except the one voice was Satan. He identified himself as such and it was pure evil sounding. It made all the hair at the back of my neck stick out, it made me almost freeze in terror. I tried to talk myself out of it.....told myself I had watched too many scary movies.....but the guy kept it up and it was terrifying. The things he said were terrifying and I wanted him OUT of there.

Well, of course the officers got busy and no one could come back for a while. I advised over the air that I'd like them to make this transport.....they asked if he was giving me trouble. Well, no, I couldn't say that he was.....cause he was only talking....in all those voices!!!!! The devil included. I knew I would forever be teased by the guys I worked with if I let them know just how scared I was.....so I hid it and put up with it for about 2 hours. I think I can honestly say that is the scariest experience I had ever had and I know it doesn't sound like anything in writing....but trust me, it was horrifying. It made me have a lot of respect for what some psychiatric nurses and attendants have to be around on a daily basis for their severe cases.

Yes....I know, I know. A lot of us pay good money just for the thrill of being scared. We read scary books and watch scary movies and TV programs......but we can always put the book down, shut off the movie and walk away and do something else if it gets too intense. Real fear is not like that. I hope I am never frightened in real life any worse than what I've just written about. Matter of fact, that one experience should do me for my lifetime, thank you very much. I don't need to be scared again period.

And even though I'm an old lady, I still walk a wide circle to avoid clowns.....I don't like them....they give me the creeps and I've always felt that way. I never let my children any where near them. I can't tell you why either.....its just that "feeling" I get and I'm not about to ignore it.

Anybody have some good true life scary stories they want to share? I know ya do.....we all do. LOL

Friday, June 4, 2010

Of Glasses and Smoke.....

We never suspected a thing because she never gave us cause to. It was the school that said she needed her eyes examined. So my oldest granddaughter went in to have her eyes checked and ...... unfortunately, she has to have glasses. She has moderate Astigmatism. She will turn 8 in a couple months and I just hate it that she has to wear glasses. I was probably close to 10 or 11 when I first started wearing mine. Her mother (my daughter) was about 10 when she first had to have glasses. I remember how the teasing from the cruel kids at school would bring on tears night after night.

We have hidden our dismay from her because we don't want her to feel bad or think she's ugly because she has to wear them. I just hope the cruel kids at school don't put her through too much hell over this. She gets them tomorrow and this is pretty good timing. She will have the summer to get used to them with no kids around to tease her. And yes......we remembered to insure them!

The other day at work one of the department heads waltzed into my office with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. You know with all the cigarette bans in place, its unusual to see something like that anymore. Anyway at first I just thought he was holding it in his mouth because he was stressed or something but then I saw him take a drag and blow smoke out. Heck, he even French inhaled! I looked over my shoulder and whispered..."are you nuts?....You can't do that in here!". He laughed and took another big drag and blew the 'smoke' toward me. I noticed then that I couldn't smell it.

To get to the bottom line here......what he had was the new "e-cigarette". Ever heard of them? They look just like a regular cigarette until you touch it. Its made of plastic and its, of course, heavier than a real one. The end even lights up like its burning. The cartridge is the 'filter' part of it, which screws on. That is where the nicotine comes from. He said that one cartridge is the equivalent of about a pack of cigarettes. When the nicotine has gotten weak and used up, you screw on a new cartridge. The "smoke" is a vapor that dissipates, leaving no odor....no smoky trail. He is a heavy smoker and he said that he couldn't tell the difference in taste and/or enjoyment from a regular cigarette. They are not harmful to the environment, not harmful to others around you, including children and babies, and from what I understand....not even harmful to you. Its the tobacco and smoke that's harmful, not the nicotine...but its the nicotine that is addictive. This e-cigarette makes sure you get the nicotine in whatever strength you want....light, medium or heavy. He says the cost of cartridges equivalent to a carton is about $15. I guess that's a pretty hefty savings right there.

I used to be a smoker so I do understand. I've been smoke-free for over twenty years and never crave them anymore. They warn you not to partake of this e-cigarette if you're a non-smoker....so I can't personally tell you what they are like. Anyone out there tried one of these yet? If they are as good as my co-worker says.....than this is a wonderful invention. Smokers can have their cigarettes without fear of harming themselves or anyone around them. Nothing smells of tobacco smoke because there IS no tobacco, so no odor. No worries of burning anything....its battery operated. The only downfall I can see is that you would have to make sure you didn't misplace it. Boy, I'll tell ya.....this is like having your cake and eating it too. I sure hope this catches on. I'm working on my daughter to try them. I guess the initial cost for the starter package is around $130. About the cost of two cartons of cigarettes.....and I guess the starter kit comes with enough cartridges for 5 packs of cigarettes.

Have a great weekend.......promise?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'm not making this stuff up.....

honest. Memorial Day weekend is a time for family gatherings, picnics, BBQ's and reminiscing. My family is very small. My daughter suggested we get together for two days this weekend....Sunday and Monday. I was to fix one of her favorite hot weather meals on Sunday and then BBQ ribs on Monday.

Saturday I more or less vegged. Did some little things around the house and just enjoyed the lovely weather. Sunday I fixed the meal she requested. Its a simple meal so I didn't have that much time invested. The meal was ready by 3 pm. I put it in the fridge to chill and waited for her and her family to get here. We have argued many times in the past about her waiting until the last minute (when everything is all done) to show up and I made up my mind I wasn't going to do that anymore. Life is too short to be arguing about something like that. So when she wasn't here by 4, I will admit I was a bit ticked but let it slide. 5 o'clock came and went. 6 o'clock. I decided that if she wasn't here within a half hour I would go ahead and eat alone.....but I was not going to call her and chew her out for being late once again. She called me at 6:30 with a "Hi, how are you feeling today?" I said, I'm ok. Then she said, "what are you doing". I said, I'm waiting for you to get here so we can have our meal. Dead Silence. I said "hello?". She said...."Mom, that's tomorrow." I said yes, I know you're coming tomorrow too....but you requested we have a meal together today. She said once again....that's Sunday. I said Yes. She said that's tomorrow. I said NO....Sunday is today. Dead Silence. Then.....she said OMG, I have lost a whole day somewhere. I thought today was Saturday. Bottom line here.....SHE FORGOT. Because of her closed head injury, she does have memory problems, which makes me have to keep my mouth shut....when I'd really like to tell her off and say.....that's what calendars are made for!!! Sticky Notes! Strings tied on fingers!!! Needless to say, I ate alone....it was too late to do anything together by then. I was not a happy camper. I had made enough food for 5 or 6 people to have generous helpings.

So the next day, I start the preparations for the ribs early in the day and she does show up early also. We have a very nice day together. The meal was good and we watched a movie afterward. The only bad part was that she had to leave fairly early as my granddaughter is still in school and had to get up early the next day. I did not throw it in her face about her forgetting me the day before.....even though I really wanted to. Am I bad?

Tuesday I notice I have a new bill from my cable company and am upset, although not surprised, to see that its been raised $6.37......just like that. My cable company raises our bills approximately three times a year and its usually $3 each time. With the way the economy is, I just couldn't believe that this huge company has the guts to raise their prices once again. I figure we got the double raise because they neglected to raise it since the first of the year.....they've been too busy transferring channels over to digital I guess. Now maybe $6 doesn't seem like a lot to some of you, but it won't stop there....they will raise it another $6 before the end of this year and next year it will be the same. My bill for simple cable and internet is absolutely ridiculous but at this time I don't have much of a choice.....this company has a monopoly here and has had for quite some time.

I've been trying to cut corners everywhere I can to make my dollar stretch further. Last month I called my phone company and cut long distance from my bill. I rarely call long distance and if I do, I use my cell phone, which is also the most basic you can get. Its a no-contract 300 minutes a month phone I have for emergencies. I can make long distance calls without paying anything extra as long as I don't exceed my minutes. I can still make long distance calls from my house phone but I will be charged 12 cents a minute if I do. This adjustment shaved off about $18 from my monthly phone bill. So you can imagine my disgust when the cable company comes along and ups my bill over $6 a month......just because they can.

I called my cable company and I admit I was really disgusted with them when I did. When I finally got through to a human, I asked for an explanation of my newest bill and also to confirm that my bill had been raised. I wanted to yell at her but restrained myself. After all, its not her fault. I asked if she could transfer me to billing since she didn't really handle that area and she said there would be OVER a 20 minute wait and did I still want to transfer or maybe call back later. I figure a whole lot of customers are calling and complaining about the price hike, although it shouldn't come as a surprise anymore. This is a very greedy company, I fear. I opted to call back later.

Three hours later I called back and waited for 18 minutes. I spoke with one of the nicest ladies and she helped me trim down my cable bill. I thought I had the lowest package but I did not. Now I can only get channels below 100 but those are the ones I look at the most and the ones that the grands look at the most too. She even threw in a promo for me giving me $10 a month off because its a new plan. She said it will last for a year. I was impressed because its going to save me $22 a month! I'm hoping that in that year's time, either this company will realize how ridiculous their prices are and lower them .... or another company or two will come into our area and they'll be forced to lower them due to competition or I can switch.

Speaking of saving money. I recently shopped online at my favorite store......Kohl's, and managed to get my granddaughter a bunch of summer clothes....2 bathing suits, sandals and tennis shoes....everything was on sale, most of it 50% off, plus free shipping to boot. I'm not getting paid to tell you this....I just plain love that store. Their line of clothing is well-made and if you wait for the sales....very reasonable. For clothing for me.....they are not so good....but for the grands, its absolutely perfect. I have three stores that as far as I'm concerned have exceptional clothing for kids. Hanna Andersson I buy from online and the clothes are really expensive so I watch for sales only. Kohl's and Old Navy are the stores I use to buy the girls' most of their clothes. Great stuff and great sales. Check em out. This is not an ad.....this is my opinion.

Also my vacuum cleaner quit working. Its a good name brand and it just doesn't want to suck up the dirt anymore. I checked and re-checked and I can't find a clog, but obviously there must be one. The machine is not that old either, but its out of warranty (of course). I have found out that it will cost more to take this one in for repair and cleaning than it would for me to buy a well-known brand vacuum that's on sale right now. So I bought the new one for $67. ..... $100 regularly. We live in such a throw-away society and I really wish it were different but as long as they make it cheaper to buy new than repair old, this is our fate. I remember my very first glimpse into the throw-away mentality was about 15 years ago. I had a problem with the keys sticking on my computer keyboard at work and our tech company came out, unplugged it, plugged in a new one and tossed the old one in the trash. I stood there with my mouth open, not believing my eyes. He calmly told me that no one fixes keyboards, they are routinely tossed. Well, I guess I've had my say about a bunch of different things today. LOL. Hope you all have some good stuff happen to you and remember to keep smilin'.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Free samples.....

were once given out in abundance. I can remember receiving samples of nearly everything on the market....excluding, of course, alcohol, sexual items or aides. If you didn't have a baby but knew someone who did, you saved all your samples of baby items for them. I even got a baby t-shirt as a sample once.

I've received toothpaste, pantyhose, makeup, medicine...(gasp....yes, medicine)....well, aspirin, arthritis creme and cough syrup type stuff, but it's still considered medicine.....dog biscuits, deodorant, hand lotion....oh the list just goes on. And back before they passed a law against it, even cigarettes were given as free samples. A little box with 5 of them would be sitting in your mailbox just waiting for you to light up and pass judgment. It made it a joy to go to your mailbox....for hidden amongst the bills, you may just find a free sample or two. Like Christmas.....you never knew what you'd get......several times a month. I especially loved the little bottles of shampoo, dishwashing detergent or bars of soap. How about those little boxes of laundry detergent? And thinking along those lines....does anyone remember the so-called free towels and glassware in the boxes of laundry soap. I am saying "so-called" because I'm certain that we all paid a little extra for that soap. What WAS the name of that darned soap....Breeze? I can't remember. So much for creating a lasting impression on us consumers.

Free little toys in breakfast cereal....that were actually THERE....in the box. You didn't have to send away for them. I can remember dumping whole boxes of cereal in a bowl to find the toy so the kids could have it immediately (because they'd seen the pictures on the box and they KNEW) and then putting the cereal all back in the box again. Back then, they didn't care so much about getting your name and address and what type of products you prefer.....they just considered it a good marketing ploy. And it was.

Remember the gift stamps? Gold Bell, Holden's Red Stamps and S&H stamps (aka green stamps). I loved those stamps and obtained quite a few household items....absolutely free (except of course, you had to pay sales tax)....in exchange for my books of stamps. Only thing invested was time.....and spit. If you were smart, you used a sponge and some water to put them in the books. First starting out as a married couple, we utilized as many free offers as possible. In addition to his regular job, my husband worked part-time at a gas station.....back when an attendant pumped your gas, washed your windows, checked your air, water and oil. This one night a semi truck driver pulled in and filled up with diesel. He DID NOT want his stamps and gave them to my husband. When he came home with all those stamps.....there were HUNDREDS of them....I felt like we'd hit the lottery.

I can remember never having to buy a light bulb. You saved up your burned out ones and took them back to the power company and they gave you a new one for each burned-out one you turned in. They also would replace the heating elements on your electric stove burners and oven for free. Not even a charge for a service call.

Little by little the freebies stopped. Every great once in a while I will receive a free sample of something in the mail, but its probably not more than once or twice a year. There are places online that you can sign up for free samples, but your name and information is probably sold to thousands of advertisers in exchange for your freebie. For me, its just not worth all the junk mail or email I would receive. Sometimes you'll find a sample packet of shampoo or lotion tucked into a magazine.....but I don't consider that free because you had to buy the magazine to get it. Everyone likes to get something for free......REALLY free, no strings attached. I miss it.

Well, its supper-time so I'm going to pull off of memory lane and get into the house and see what I can get on the table. Hope all of you have a great up-coming week and most of all, enjoy this nice Sunday evening.
Keep smilin'.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Did you know.....

who Bob Howard was? Well neither did I until I clicked on a link that glnroz posted. I think we should all know this great American Hero's name. It should roll off our tongues like we've known him all our lives. Go here and watch the news video and be proud. I am.

R.I.P. Bob Howard. God Bless.

Why is it.....

that some people just get such a thrill out of embellishing facts? I've seen enough examples of it to know that its considered part of human nature, but it mystifies me. I think....sadly....its just another form of control and makes people with low self-esteem feel important.

Case in point. Two days ago I received a call from my daughter. I was at work. Now, her subdivision sits nestled between two pretty well-traveled roads. She has four exits/entrances in her sub; three of them onto one road and one on the other. She often takes the exit that is least used and that's the one that is the only one out onto one of the roadways. When she tried to go that way, the road was closed; completely blocked off by police and other emergency vehicles. She turned around and went back home and questioned some of her neighbors as to what was wrong. The story she got was varied but it basically came down to this. There had been a horrible accident. A cement truck had tried to take the curve too fast, flipped over and landed on a car filled with teenagers and killed them all.

Filled with dread and concern, she thought maybe I could find out more info at work but the only thing I could find out was....yes, the road was closed due to some sort of accident. Usually they close the roadways when there is a fatality and so that part of the story made sense. The more information she sought, the more horrible it became. Thankfully, she knew where her own son was....he was with her. But he has so many friends who drive and he was only able to get in touch with a couple of them. One of them claimed he had gotten "close" to the accident scene before being turned away and that he saw three bodies laying on the roadway covered up. Anyone who has teenagers or knows anyone who has teenagers were all worried. The end result of this ended up to be.....yes, a cement truck did lose its load on the roadway and made a horrible mess. But no one was hurt. The road had to be blocked in order to start clean-up procedures. The so-called bodies laying alongside the roadway was nothing more than globs of cement.

While I'm very thankful that it was nothing more than this.....I am appalled that this story got so far out of hand. Someone had to have started it and what kind of satisfaction did they get out of making so many people worry? Did your elementary school teacher ever play that game in your class where she tells the first kid in class something and they pass it on.....from kid to kid this information is whispered and at the end....after being told approximately 30 times, the end story comes out so different its ridiculous. She did this as an example for us to not always believe what we hear and I'm reminded of that class exercise more often than I like to admit.

I guess for some people there isn't enough heartache and drama in the world and they have to create more. I really do try not to pass on gossip but I admit....sometimes I have. But I have never embellished or added to it. Of course just by repeating it, I guess I'm nearly as guilty as the embellishers. Note to self: Work on that. Hey, out there....remember to keep smilin'!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Read my Lips....No More Vets

Yes, Tuesday was the day. The dreaded ... go to the Vet day. Of course it had to rain that day. Not just a little shower either....it poured.

As soon as I grabbed her leash, she knew she was in for a car ride and she LOVES to ride in the car. She pranced merrily out to the garage, stood on her back feet and danced outside the car door. I felt so danged guilty.

The vet's office is about 2 miles away. She was fine in the parking lot, leaving her mark in approximately five different places. However, as soon as we entered the waiting room, it was another ballgame. She turned into a shivering mass of jello. I was the first appointment after lunch so no one else was in the waiting room and they called us quickly. I'd like to know how a 17 pound terrier can suddenly morph into a 1,700 pound horse with all the strength to match. She stiffened her legs and refused to move. I didn't want to drag her by the neck so I had to carry her. I was not her favorite person at this time. Inside the little room she suffered the indignities of having her temp taken.....rectally, of course. The look on her face was almost priceless. Just when she started to relax a bit, they whisked her off for her blood test and to get her nails trimmed. She looked disgusted when she returned but gave me the happy face in an all out effort to make me feel sorry for her and take her home right then. Then she tried hiding behind me and if she could have gotten into my purse, she would have.

All in all, everything was ok and $244 later I emerged with a very-happy-to-get-out-of- there dog. Now it was still raining but not as hard. At this point I'm only 2 blocks or so from the grocery store and I'm out of stuff like bread, milk, creamer for my coffee and getting low on dog food. I decide to take a quick run in there while I'm out. With the temp at 48, I know she'll be ok in the car for a few minutes.

At the grocery store parking lot, I unhook her leash so she won't get all tangled and hang herself. I attempt to exit my vehicle and leave her inside. She's sticking to me like Velcro and I have to do some maneuvering, going out the door butt first. (this must have made a pretty picture for the old guy sitting across from me). In my attempt to quickly shut the door before she could jump out, I smacked myself right in the face with the car door. Honestly I hit myself so hard I almost knocked myself out. I have a bruise alongside my cheek that's about 6 inches long to show for that bit of stupidity. I sure hope makeup will cover it up so I can look halfway decent for work tomorrow. I didn't dare glance at the old guy in his car cause if he had been laughing I probably would have kicked the front of his car and made the airbag go off. (did you ever see that youtube video? OMG, go here and check it out. I guess maybe I have a warped sense of humor but I laugh every time I see it. Oh well....back to my story now.

When we got home, she headed straight for bed and after giving me a dirty look, curled up to nap the rest of the afternoon. I can't blame her. She'd had a rough day. I wonder if vets make house calls for animals smaller than horses and cows. As for me, I made myself a nice big cup of coffee with creamer and indulged in some no-bake cookies that I also picked up at the grocery store. Yummmm.....doesn't get much better than this. And....oh yeah....just thought I'd throw in that it quit raining as soon as I got all my errands done and was back home.
p.s.
For some odd reason, every once in a while when I visit blogs it will automatically leave a link to my latest post on the blog I visit. I don't know why it's doing this (if you can help me, please email and tell me what to do) and it does it randomly. It doesn't seem to matter if I leave a comment or not, so I don't think that's the trigger. I've tried to search in Blogger to find out what causes this and how to make it stop, but I haven't been successful. So I apologize, in advance, if I've left a link to my post on your blog or if I leave one in the near future....please delete it and I'm sorry for the inconvenience....its not being done on purpose. Honest!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Have you ever thought.....why am I me?


Maybe I’m an odd one, I don’t know….I’ve never really discussed this particular subject at length with anyone. When you were a child did you ever sit and think about yourself…..what makes you YOU….and furthermore, why ARE you, you? This is frustrated thinking because, of course, you have no real answer. I used to throw that one out at my mom once in a while….”mom, why am I ME?”….. and watch as her eyes would glaze over. She would mumble something that was so unimpressive that I never could remember what it was. It wasn’t, however, the answer I was seeking.

Now I am in the last third of my life and feel like I’ve learned a lot, not only from books but from experience. I tend to still think of that same age-old question and have come upon a quasi-answer…..for lack of a better word. I think that from the moment of birth we join a network of souls. Every single soul has a purpose, some have more than one purpose, but we all have a purpose and each one is important. The main purpose for each of us is to help each other. Ah, but not in the sense that you’re thinking…..not digging into your purse for an extra dollar or helping someone with their yard work. No, this kind of help is on the spiritual or emotional level. And it’s all planned way ahead of time….its part of the network, the soul or souls you’re pre-destined to help…its all part of an interaction and your part is as important as an ingredient is to any recipe. You may never see them again after you’ve helped them or you could end up forever friends.

Just think for a minute about the news articles you read depicting the story of ..…..the total stranger who popped up at just the right time to save the toddler who fell into the lake…or the stranger who happens upon a vehicle accident and pulls the passengers out of a burning vehicle. Now, not nearly as physical but every bit as important in the total scheme of things is ..….the lady at the check-out who took so much time writing her check and holding up the line it made you run 15 minutes later than usual and because of that you avoided being involved in a horrible accident that occurred on the highway. (actually she held up the whole line for that amount of time, thus altering the fates of all in the line) The incident can be monumental and receive public acknowledgment or it can be something minute that only a few know about….but each occurrence is equally important….and I believe, predestined. We call these helpful heroes who save lives Angels and they are indeed, just as much as the person who affects our lives by making us late or early or take an alternate route home, but I also believe it is all planned from the very beginning and very much part of the network.

My daughter, during one of the low points in her life, said to me, “mom, I am in so much pain and I feel like such a failure because I’m unable to do things I once could do, I don’t understand why I’m here…I don’t feel like I have a purpose and fear I may end up being a burden”. Wow, what an awful thing for her to feel and equally awful for a mother to hear. I told her my philosophy and actually pointed out 2 or 3 instances in which she was very beneficial, on an emotional level, to souls she hardly knew. In one case a person could be dead now if it hadn’t been for her and that person did relay that information to her, most gratefully.

I don’t know if I’ve written this well enough for you to get what I’m trying to say….but if nothing else, I’ve given you some food for thought. I look at things differently than I did 30 years ago. Now, if something happens to interfere with my schedule or makes me run a little late, I just take it in stride….knowing that I will be exactly where I’m supposed to be, at the time I’m supposed to be there. In the meantime, enjoy each and every day. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day tomorrow and if your mom is still around, give her an extra special big hug. If you’re a mother, I hope your day creates some wonderful memories and no matter what…….keep smilin’. .