Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

My wish for all of you is to have a wonderful Christmas.....make memories and distribute your love generously.....and may those feelings of love stay with you all year through.

No matter what your income level or living arrangement is at the moment.....just take the time to connect with family and let them know how much you love them.

As little "Cindy Lou" was trying to get everyone to understand......Christmas is not about the "buying" but about giving of yourself.

Do something kind for someone and you'll get it back two-fold......I promise.

Love and best wishes to all of you. Because of you, my life has improved. Each one of you have added something so the recipe "of me" is truly a good one but it wouldn't be what it is without you. I've learned so much from each of you. Thank you for continuing to come by my little place. I'm sorry that real-life caught up with me and I haven't posted much lately......I'll try to make your trip here worth-while after all the holiday rush. God Bless you all.

Be safe, Be happy and Be well. Merry Christmas with love.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Didn't I say "never again" last time.....

I would say that I don't believe I've ever been so tired in my life, but I know that would be a lie. I HAVE been.....just last year as a matter of fact.

Every year I say "never again", only to repeat it every Thanksgiving and every Christmas. I've been trying desperately to "pass the torch" as they say, to my daughter. HA, She's no fool.....she's refusing to take the damn thing. I'm speaking, of course.....of the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. How we slave for hours upon hours only to have it devoured in less than 15 minutes.

And then..........there's the clean-up. Oh the dreaded cleanup. Everyone is so full, no one wants to move, but the food has to be put away, otherwise it will spoil. The dishes have to be done, otherwise the food will dry on them, making it twice as hard to clean. Thank God for dishwashers. When I was a teenager, I was the dishwasher.....me and my grandma. Now, teens disappear quickly after a meal, so mechanical dishwashers are a blessing. Nothing is more wonderful than to walk into a nice clean kitchen after a huge meal like that. Tell me what it feels like, will ya? By the time we get all the dishes cleared up, the men-folk have decided that they want some leftovers heated up......or maybe a turkey sandwich and oh yeah.....how about another piece of pumpkin pie. More dishes, more crumbs. It's never-ending.

Each year I cut one more thing out of the equation. Pretty soon, I'll be making turkey TV dinners in my robe and slippers. This year squash was the one to get the ax; last year it was sweet potatoes, year before that, rolls. Yes....we always had BOTH sweet potatoes and squash. Why? Well, when I foolishly accepted the torch from my mother, that was on the menu. I've been dropping items from that menu every few years....and the last few have bit the dust every year. In all honesty.....no one misses what I drop; there is just SO MUCH of everything else. Hate to admit it, but I have just about got it down to bare bones; if I cut much more, it will surely be noticed.....like the dressing for example.

My family LOVES my dressing. It's something they talk about in July and their eyes glaze over. Yes, I'm happy that I've made my contribution to history as the best lil' dressing maker around these parts, but I really do want to pass things along now. I'm tired. Really tired.

My email in box has been crammed with emails all shouting Black Friday. Never have I gotten so sick of a phrase in all my life.....except for this new one; CYBER WEEK or sometimes, CYBER MONDAY. Those emails began filling up my in box the very minute Black Friday was over. I have no idea what CYBER WEEK is....although I'm guessing it has something to do with GREAT, HUGE BARGAINS all week long if you buy online. BUY, BUY, BUY.

With the economy like it is..............how can people buy?

Ah.....but they ARE.

The stores are crammed. Black Friday found swarms of people climbing all over each other to BUY. I can understand a good deal...........but not this. And they don't stick to their word. Black Friday kept on boasting that you could get Black Friday deals early......like on Wednesday. Same with the Cyber Monday hoopla. Get Cyber Monday deals on SATURDAY....get a head start on EVERYONE cause only a choice several million people know about this SECRET. Bah.

So I hope everyone had a happy and a safe Thanksgiving. I hope you made some really good memories and most of all I hope you all really thought about why we should be thankful. And even though I've been grumpy about being tired, I do it because it's a joy to see my family come together for this meal of thanks in a land where we have much to be thankful for.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Little of this and that.....

They have discontinued my very favorite coffee. I had very little warning, just an email about 2 weeks prior to my shipment of K-cups, stating that my subscription had been cancelled and I'd have to find another brand. Wow....not so easy. I finally went to another website and ordered some Caribou coffee. Yes! It's very good. I like it. I don't like the higher prices of coffee in general though. It's almost enough to make you stop drinking it.......almost. Give me my coffee so I'll still be a nice person. LOL

My whole family is sick with the flu. Thank goodness I hadn't been around them for about a week or more before they came down with it. The kids are better already, my daughter is doing a much slower recovery; she says it's the sickest she's been in many years. And no....she did not get a flu shot. They should all be ok by Thanksgiving. Now.....if I can just keep from getting it, everything will work out fine.

That may not be easy though. I will be giving my flu shot a real test. A lot of my co-workers are sick. And......DA-YUM......I hate it when they come to work sick; hacking and coughing all over the place, spreading germs to everyone. It's enough that we have to put up with the public coming in that way. Sometimes people just lack common sense.

Yesterday it snowed here.......hard. Huge big fluffy flakes were coming down so hard and fast it was nearly a white-out. It may have lasted 10 minutes, then cleared up and not one single flake could be found anywhere on the ground or on anything. This is just a warning of things to come, I fear. And....yes, you guessed correctly. I'm not fond of snow.

For the second year, my co-worker and I split the cost to furnish a needy family with all the groceries necessary to have a very nice Thanksgiving meal. We don't know the family's name, just that they live in our community; we are doing it through the church. We do know that there are 3 adults and 4 children; two of which are teenagers. Teens can eat a lot, so we bought a little extra. We will also be 'adopting' a family for Christmas. Right now, I'm not sure if it will be the same one or not.

Every year I send money to the Rescue Mission for Christmas. It's amazing how many people they can feed with a small donation. I've been contributing to them and Toys for Tots for over 25 years. I imagine this year they will have a lot more people to take care of. God Bless them all.

I really do hate the time change. My system is all off schedule. It may be daylight when I drive into work, but it's dark when I come home and I don't like that at all. It's hard for me to drive after dark; the on-coming headlights tend to blind me, especially if its raining (or snowing) and you have to have your wipers on. I'm grateful I don't have far to drive. I wish they would just pick a time and leave it alone!

My anti-virus program did a software change recently. They sent a pop-up so I could upgrade but I kept getting an "error" through windows. I googled it and discovered it was a windows error and not the fault of the anti-virus program. I tried to fix the problem myself using recommendations I found online but nothing I did worked. I finally broke down and called the number I was given to Microsoft.....except it really wasn't Microsoft. It was a place called Omni Tech Support.

I'm not going to bad mouth this company because, after I managed to get through their high pressure sales pitches for their software and services, they did solve my problem and, consequently, anti-virus was upgraded just fine. I did have to pay for their services and I did let them remotely fix my system. I'm still a bit nervous over all that but I watched everything they did (not that I'm any expert....but it didn't look like anything covert was being installed or activated). I guess this may be what we can expect in the future......computer repairs done remotely. I sort of like that in a way because you can get service quickly. It did take them nearly 3 hours to repair my computer, which looked to me like something in my registry was wrong. The thing I didn't like was that I didn't get any kind of receipt and I didn't get any kind of explanation of what was wrong or why it happened.

Afterward, I googled the company and found that reviews of them are mixed; people either love them or hate them. I didn't sign up for their "plan", which was horribly expensive.....so I can't tell you if it's a good plan or not. All I can say is that the tech did fix my problem and for a cost that probably was not any higher than what I would have paid for someone to do it at their shop.....but I had it fixed that very day, within hours......where taking it someplace.....well, you know how long you may have to wait when you do that.

That's about enough of my tidbits I would say.........are you asleep yet? LOL If I don't get back by Thanksgiving, I wish all of you happy times making good memories with those you love. Oh....and I have a recipe for a Pumpkin Dump Cake, if anyone wants it for the holiday. Just ask in the comments.

Keep Smilin'

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thoughts on Christmas

I received the following as an email, then today a Blogger friend posted it and I copied it from her to pass it along. Give this some serious thought this year and every year until we are back on our feet again. (jobs come back home). Thank you, dc of Things I know for posting it.




Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition





As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high

gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods --

Merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This

year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine

concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift

giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes

there is!



It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in

a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?

Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates

from your local American hair salon or barber?



Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some

health improvement.



Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned

detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a

book of gift certificates.



Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down

the Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift

receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or

driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.



There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift

certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about

a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this

isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town

Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.



How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or

motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?



Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a

local cleaning lady for a day.



My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is

struggling to get his repair business up and running.



OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin

their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery

and beautiful wooden boxes.



Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave

your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at

your hometown theatre.



Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.



Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese

lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about

fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to

burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.



You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that

China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about

US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow

their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our

communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.

Please make THIS the new American Christmas tradition.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Halloween

Boo Pumpkin Pictures, Images and Photos

Click on the title of this post for a little "mood music" while you're reading.
The movie, Halloween, and its many sequels holds some vivid memories for me, but the most vivid is the very first one......Halloween. It was a whole new dimension of "scary" for me.

I had promised....so after getting out of work at 5, I threw on a wig to cover my deflated hair-do and hastily prepared myself so we could make the 6 pm showing. I took 3 young children (all under the age of 11) to see this at the theater, thinking it was a "kid's show"....tailored for the younger set. (first mistake of a frenzied working mom and wife) It was a weeknight so it wasn't crowded, in fact there was hardly anyone there at all. My kids and a friend of theirs wanted to sit in the front row....I sat in the middle about half way back in a nearly empty theater. The first scary thing happened within minutes and I had 3 terrified children screaming and frantically climbing over seats to get to me, throwing their arms around my neck and knocking my wig askew. They kept their choke-hold on me through-out the entire movie. I remember after about an hour of being terrified, I kept looking at the lighted clock on the sidewall and hoping the movie would end before I had a heart attack. It was relentless.....just one horrifying scary thing right after another. You just wanted to jump right out of your skin. I must have told my kids a hundred times "It's just a movie" and yet it was scaring me as much as it was them.....I just couldn't let them know it. And of course it had to end without a real ending.....and my 8 year old son kept asking all the way home...."so where did he go, Mom, huh?......where?......he's still out there!"

When we got out of the theater, it was dark and I actually looked under the car before we got in (sneakily of course so the kids wouldn't see me). When I got in the car, I anxiously looked in the rear view mirror and my wig was turned around sideways. Thank goodness my kids were too nervous to notice cause I certainly would have never lived that one down. At least it was a good thing that we had a station wagon at the time so I didn't have them (and me) thinking that someone was in the trunk. And of course it didn't help that our weather was exactly the same as the weather in the movie.....Fall, with lots and lots of crunchy leaves on the ground.....when darkness comes very early.

I'm sure I scarred them for life with that mistake.....not to mention aging myself about 20 years. So every time I hear this haunting theme song, this is the memory that comes to me. Now it brings a smile to my face, but back then, it was truly terrifying.

Heh heh heh.....Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shots....not the Jello kind either

Well, it's that time of year again. Last year I didn't get the Flu Shot because of all the controversy surrounding it. I made it through the year without getting sick at all and I know I'm lucky in that regard. However, I don't need to press that luck....so I decided I'd better get one this year. Last year was the first time I'd missed getting a flu shot in more than 30 years.

Last year I had also researched getting the Shingles vaccine but was told my insurance didn't cover it and it was just too expensive for me. So I didn't get it. Since that time I've heard of several friends and co-workers who have come down with Shingles and it's not pretty. Matter of fact, I'm hearing about a LOT of people who have gotten the Shingles lately. It can be triggered by stress and everyone is under a lot of stress these days. I looked into getting the vaccine again this year and discussed it with my doctor. He wrote out a prescription for me and told me what to do. I then called several pharmacies as well as the health department. The cost at the pharmacies.....those that even carried it....was in the neighborhood of $220 for the vaccine, including receiving the shot. The cost at the Health Department was about $156 and they would only accept CASH as payment, which tells me they must have had plenty of bad experiences with checks or credit cards.

Now I must say right here that my present pharmacy has been skating on thin ice with me. I've had numerous occasions in which I've been shorted pills, one time as many as thirty. They have a very bad record as far as making you wait.....and WAIT....for your prescriptions, even when they are called in ahead of time. What put the icing on the cake was that a friend of mine has a niece who worked for this particular chain and in her training she was advised to make the customers wait at least 30 minutes for their prescriptions so it would give them time to browse the store for additional purchases. I decided to switch over my prescriptions to another pharmacy that's been in business just as long and furthermore, it's a mile closer to me. I'm making the transition as each prescription comes up for refill.

So the pharmacy I'm using right now was the first one I called regarding the Shingles vaccine; they were rude (as usual) and the girl further said "we don't carry it because it has to be frozen and I don't know nothing about it". (bad grammar always makes my spine straighten). So I called a couple other pharmacies, the one I'm switching to included. This pharmacist at the one I'm switching to went that extra mile and actually questioned why my insurance company said they wouldn't cover it. They checked a little deeper and found out I have supplemental coverage which DOES cover it and so I was able to get this vaccine without having to pay $220 all because a pharmacist was exceptional at her job.

So, I've had my flu shot and the Shingles vaccine. I think I'm all set as far as that goes. As soon as I get the last mess straightened out that my present pharmacy has done, (only giving me a one month refill on a 3 month prescription and saying the insurance wouldn't cover it when it covered it the last time I got these refilled). I'm not looking forward to all the phone calls I will have to make and I'm not sure if I even can get it all straightened out. These prescriptions were supposed to carry me through to the end of February 2012....now since they've done this, I'm not sure about anything. Why would an insurance company fill a script twice for 3 months supply and then the third refill say they won't do 3 month refills.....and it's the SAME prescription. This just shows you the difference in pharmacies.....my present one, they expect YOU to call your insurance company....the one I'm switching to....THEY call the insurance company on your behalf. See why I'm switching? The name? Why yes, I'll give it to you proudly......the name of the pharmacy I'm switching to is Rite-Aid.

We have enough stressful situations in life, we certainly don't need it from a place of business we utilize. So, til next time, keep smilin'. My next post is about a Halloween adventure I had many years ago that's still vivid in my memory.

Update: I've received some emails about Shingles since I posted this. From what my doctor explained to me is that if you've had the chicken pox, then you can get the Shingles. The pox virus lays dormant in your system forever once you've had it, just waiting for the right trigger. If you've never had the Chicken Pox....what you would get would be chicken pox instead of Shingles. (if you're going to get it at all) The vaccine is good for the rest of your life and may not totally prevent you from getting the Shingles, but you will only have an extremely mild case. Shingles are contagious as long as there are blisters; as soon as the blisters scab over, then you are no longer contagious. You are contagious this way: If you happen to touch the blistered area, then say pick up the phone for example....the germ would be on the phone and could be transferred to someone else. Some people may never get the chicken pox and those who have, may never get the Shingles. It is thought that the Shingles are brought on by stress. The most vulnerable are people over 60 who have had the chicken pox. As always.....talk to your doctor about your own particular needs. Hope this has helped.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Another adventure and 2 movies

Yes.....sigh......I sort of live under a rock. I no longer go many places that are out of a 10-mile radius. To work, which is 6 miles away; to the grocery store which is 2 miles away; drugstore, 1 mile....well, you get the idea. The last time I met my friend at the Cracker Barrel, I got lost. This restaurant is about 38 miles from me, one way. It's about 15 miles from my friend. So it is an adventure. Since I'd driven it before, I was fairly confident that I could do it this time and not get lost. We set a date to meet for lunch on Saturday.

Saturday was gorgeous; sunny skies, high of 58. I had previously checked out the online map to this place and memorized places of business along the way. So on Saturday I turned up the car radio that was tuned to the 'oldies' station and set out. I did fine until I came upon the spot where you either get on the expressway or not. I was in the wrong lane.

Now I need to tell you something about me and driving. I try to be a courteous driver. I try not to make problems for other drivers so I am always anticipating what they may expect of me. The thought of me tying up traffic because I'm in the wrong lane and need to get over is unthinkable. So......I had to go with the flow and found myself on the expressway, when I did not want to be there. I knew the direction in which I had to head and so continued that way. When I got to the town that The Cracker Barrel is located in, I chose an exit and got off. Again, I was at the mercy of having to follow the road ("right lane MUST turn right"). I followed it along and this is where memorizing the businesses came in handy. At one of the intersections I found businesses on two corners that I remembered from the map and so I made a left turn right there, which once again set me in the correct direction. I finally found the place and was only 20 minutes late this time as opposed to nearly 45 minutes last time.

We love to visit the Cracker Barrel. Not only is the food absolutely delicious, but they have so many unique things in their store. I stocked up on their Pumpkin Butter and Apple Butter, hopefully enough that will last through the winter. I doubt very much that I will make this drive in weather that could change quickly. That's half the enjoyment of going; experiencing the scenery along the way.

Expressway driving makes me nervous because of the speeds in which people travel. I was doing 70 and the majority of drivers were passing me like I was sitting still.

I was in the mood for a movie that would make me laugh that night after I was safely back home. I went through my movie collection and found one that is maybe 15 years old or more, Made in America with Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson. I'd seen it before but it had been many years so I decided to watch it again. OMG, I had forgotten just how funny it is. I laughed and giggled through most of it. Will Smith is in it too.....he looks like he's about 16! LOL. Anyway, it's a cute movie.....no bad language that I can remember, no nudity.....there are sexual innuendos but I don't think a kid would pick up on them. So if you want some giggles, check out this movie.

Last week I looked at Bridesmaids. It's a movie that has a little bit of most everything in it. Kind of high up on the "ewwww" factor and lots of bad language, a lot of sexual situations and simulated sex, although I don't think there is any nudity. It's a comedy and I did laugh. But over-all, it's more than just a comedy. As it covers love, friendship, jealousy, envy, depression, forgiveness and many more emotions, it's a good movie with some lessons for us all. Yes, it's definitely a 'chick flick' and I'll wager to say that most all of us women have experienced a lot of the things that went on in this movie.....that's what makes it so funny. If you get a chance, grab a fun girlfriend or two and check it out. Definitely NOT for the younger set or anyone easily offended. This is a movie for open-minded people who can laugh at situations that are off-color and in bad taste....for lack of better wording.

Til next time, when I cover news about the Shingles Vaccine, drugstores and prescriptions.
Keep smilin'!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I got pranked.....

with the old "ring the doorbell and run" scenario. I was not amused.

It was Friday night and I was watching TV in my jammies. I was kicked back and relaxed after a hard day at work - the only light on in my house was light from the TV. It was late but not too late.....maybe 9:30 or so.

Suddenly my evening was disrupted by the ringing of my door bell....4 times rapidly....making it hard to distinguish whether it came from the front door or the back door. I checked the front door first......no one. Then checked the back door.....no one. Sliding glass door and the deck.....no one. Driveway.....no one.

Now, I've lived here for almost 40 years. Neighbors have come and gone but a lot of us have lived here for that long or longer. I have no teenagers that live close to me any more. This is a safe neighborhood and I've never been afraid. I have never been pranked before. But neighborhoods change over the years......sometimes not for the better.

I will admit that there have been times I have forgotten to lock my doors over night and have even left for the day and forgotten to lock them. My neighbors have done the same. But things change when different people move close by. I made a promise to myself that I will be more diligent about locking up.

After discovering "no one" at any of my doors and turning on porch lights and flood lights......I did become a bit concerned. I figured it was a prank, but there is always a little doubt in your mind that maybe something more sinister is at work. I called my grandson. I asked him if he had been here, by any chance....just clowning around. He said no, why? I told him. He became concerned. Within minutes he and his friends were here checking out my yard and then they retreated to an area where they could watch and sat there for about a half hour, just watching. Nothing was amiss and they didn't even see any gangs of kids. My grandson is grown and his friends are BIG. I was glad they had my back.

Now, although it did cause me some inconvenience and a little concern, I'm not really complaining. It was one of those "innocent" pranks.....nothing was taken, nothing was damaged. I didn't have the "bag of dog poo on fire" on my front porch. They just got a kick out of seeing the lights go on at each door I guess. I'm glad it took so little to amuse them. But my grandson and his friends will be watching from now to Halloween......and if the pranks get frequent or damaging, I would not want to be the prankster in this case.

On Halloween, our neighborhood is one of those that doesn't give out candy anymore.....the kids around here all go to church, school or private parties so they are not out on the streets after dark. I used to get a kick out of seeing all the costumes, but it really is much safer for them to just have a supervised party. Besides that, the last few years that kids were coming around, I was only getting bigger high school kids, not even in costume.....the little ones were celebrating in a safer environment.

I have been seriously thinking of getting another dog and so has my daughter. In the spring, maybe.....when housebreaking will be easier. We want bigger dogs, that will double as watch dogs, taken seriously. Her number one choice is a Rottweiler/English Lab mix.....that's what she had before and that dog was absolutely the best. Hopefully we can get two puppies.....sisters.

Of course I have not cleared it with Queen Abby yet......my rat terrier who basically dictates the goings on around here. She does not think she is a dog. She hates squirrels. She thinks cats are just squirrels without fuzzy tails. She does not like other dogs......so it could be interesting.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

This sounds like me.....

....some of it.....sometimes.

You Are Highly Authentic



You're as real as they come... and quite modest too.

You are very self-assured, and you have a healthy amount of self-esteem.


You feel confident that you can take on the world.

You have a great sense of humor, especially when it comes to laughing at yourself.


Friday, September 30, 2011

It Would Be Funny.....


if it wasn't so sad. I received this from a friend and was speechless. Just listen. I wonder what color the sky is in her world.

Click on the title to play the file.....a caller and a D.J., over the air.....talking about illegal immigrants and Arizona. It's only about 2 and a half minutes long.

I can't believe so much time has gone by so quickly. It's actually been pretty boring in my life.....but sometimes boring is good. I'll take that over drama and trauma any day.

I'll be back in a couple days or so and see if I can give you all something to laugh about.





Monday, September 5, 2011

Just gimme my coffee.....

that's all I ask.....just let me have my beloved cup of coffee.

In September of 2009 I bought a Keurig coffee maker. The coffee produced from this machine is purely heaven sent. The most delicious cup of coffee I've ever had, PERIOD. I was in love. Yes, the coffeemaker is expensive initially but it makes such a terrific cup of coffee in record time, you forgive it for being expensive. The K-cups (what you use to make your cup of coffee) I purchase through Amazon and figured out that it was costing me roughly .36 a cup, which is not bad at all. They have recently raised the price of coffee so now it's about .46 a cup. I run it through the same K-cup twice to make a 16 oz cup and the strength is just right for me. So, I'm getting a 16 oz cup of coffee for .46. In less than a minute.

Actually, I still am in love but I am now able to see the object of my affection without the rose-colored glasses; I'm able to see its major fault. That being: it seems to tire quickly and then refuses to do its job. In other words........it's moody.

The first coffeemaker quit 2 months out of warranty....just before Thanksgiving. I rushed to the store and bought a replacement. I was having a houseful of company for dinner and I had to have a coffeemaker! Now that pot has quit on me but thank goodness it's still under warranty. So, after trying everything I read to try and fix it to no avail I decided to call the company. This was yesterday (Sunday). I was shocked, amazed and very happy that they not only answered the phone (on a holiday weekend yet) but I actually got a real live HUMAN.

After taking my information and assuring that I was, indeed, still under warranty, she advised me that a brand new coffeemaker would be on its way to me and to expect its arrival within 5 business days. She also informed me that they would need a specific part from my present coffeemaker returned to them and would provide the means to do that. I'm more than happy to do so.....my present coffeemaker is of no use to me in its present condition.....i.e., not working.

I have to commend this company for doing everything possible to make their customers happy. The coffeemaker is superb when it's working right.....it's just temperamental. We've had a few summer storms that have caused intermittent power outages and maybe that had something to do with it.....I'm not sure. All I know, it was working on Friday and on Saturday morning, the settings were all messed up and eventually it shut itself down and wouldn't come back on.

If you research it on the Internet, you find many people having much the same problems.....but almost every one of them have nothing but praise for the company and how well it stands behind their product and how hard they try to please their customers as long as you're still under warranty. I guess that's all anyone can ask.

For the weekend, I went downstairs to the basement and pulled my old Bunn coffemaker out of retirement. I've had it for years and it still worked for me. I was able to make a pot of coffee, although it was not the best as I was using coffee from two years ago.....but it WAS coffee and I figure it's better than nothing at all. I am so used to being able to have a cup of coffee in a minute or less that I was pacing the floor waiting for the Bunn to make the pot and it couldn't have been more than a 10 or 12 minute wait. Funny how we become accustomed to the FAST life....it's an addiction.

If you think about it......that's how we expect everything to be. FAST......INSTANT.....we are a nation of no patience. And yep.....I include myself in that equation. Remember when (all you seniors out there) when we had to wait until something "warmed up" when we turned it on before we could get sound (radio) or a picture (TV). That would drive our present day younger population absolutely crazy. Well.....keep smilin' y'all And DO take some time to stop and smell the flowers!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Well, it's obvious.....


that SOMEBODY in my neighborhood either took their graduation money and bought enormous car speakers or got the actual speakers for graduation. I've written before about the idiot who drives through and rattles all the pictures hanging on the walls.........well he was nothing compared to this new idiot.

This new one comes through and it honestly vibrates the organs inside your body. Its a sickening feeling and I can't understand how anyone could be in the vehicle with the power those speakers possess. You never hear any words to this so-called music....its just the bass that you hear.....and I can't even say you hear it....you feel it, and not in a good way.

No matter what, there always seems to be individuals who just HAVE to push the envelope. This idiot and ones like him will eventually be the cause of having laws written forbidding this type of display. It was bad enough when it first started but at least it was tolerable. Now, it has just gotten ridiculous......and dangerous. There is NO way the driver of such a vehicle could hear an emergency vehicle coming.

Come to think of it.....I haven't heard the first idiot in a bit now.....I'm beginning to think that he has upgraded and this new one isn't a new guy at all.....but the same one with bigger speakers. Unless you've experienced it, I can't begin to describe how irritating it is....especially at 2 or 3 in the morning.

Yep.....lawmakers.....get those pens busy. I'm sick of it.

Speaking of music.....the Woodward Dream Cruise had wonderful weather this last weekend. (click on link to see photos of a lot of the vintage cars that were there) There was some trouble here and there but you have to expect that when a large crowd of people are gathering anywhere. The 60's and 70's music was wonderful to hear again and the cars were gorgeous. It is, indeed, like stepping back in time. Well, except for the idiots that insisted on playing dirty rap music at ear shattering levels. That was not appreciated but people just moved on and left that area in search of a place where they could sit back and enjoy the music of the times.

The packages containing school clothes are coming in; 3 yesterday and 2 the day before that. I'm hoping we will get most of the remainder today. At least with this new school we won't have to worry that they are not going to be open next year or in the years following; they have plenty of students but not so many that it takes away from individual attention if its needed.

I can't believe that summer is nearly over. Fall is a favorite time of year for me (summer taking first place) but its also an emotional time. Fortunately...... not in a bad way. Keep smilin'. Make everybody wonder what you're up to. LOLOLOLOL

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Stressed spelled backwards.....

is desserts and I certainly felt like having a boatload of them after the news we received. Talk about frustration! I think I made up some new swear words! The christian school my granddaughter attends contacted my daughter to let her know that the school will no longer be open; registration was way down and it just wasn't profitable enough for them to do it. WHAT!!!!! School starts in less than 10 days!

She wore uniforms at this school and so we hadn't worried about shopping. She was basically all set except for a few small things. Now....we had to buy her an entire wardrobe....but first we had to find another school for her since public school is definitely not an option. That took one whole day but we did find another school. There are 10 times more children attending this new school and their curriculum is better. They have some different rulings in reference to a dress code and no, they do not wear uniforms. The kids can wear regular clothes but they have several restrictions. No jeans or slacks on girls. They have to wear dresses or skirts and they can NOT be above the knee. Art class is once a week in the evening; they are permitted to wear denim skirts or jumpers for this class. I had no idea how hard it would be to find a denim skirt that was knee length or below. No writing on any of the tops or jackets, only black closed-toe dress shoes for class, but tennis shoes for gym. Girls have to have one outfit that consists of a white blouse and black skirt. I'm sure we'll find out more as we go.

I got busy on the Internet and online shopped for HOURS. I am praying that we have time to get everything before the first day of school. Its all been ordered and so now we wait. I had absolutely NO idea just how hard it would be to find skirts and dresses that come to the knee or below. It has been a nightmare.....I feel like I've been through the Boer War. At this late date a lot of things were sold out, especially the types of clothing I needed. So many cute dresses out there, but almost all of them are short.....coming to the mid-thigh. Not acceptable. I had very good luck in finding sales and had promo codes and coupons to also help out. One pair of shoes only cost $7.60 after the deductions went into effect from the sales plus the promo codes.

I'm a lot angry at her old school for waiting until the very last minute to inform us. It was very inconsiderate as far as I'm concerned. Their excuse was that they were waiting for a last minute miracle to keep them open. Humph.....well maybe if they hadn't raised their prices $50. a month that would have helped boost their enrollment. Pardon me for being snarky but I'm tired from all that shopping. My mouse finger will never be the same. LOL I'm just thankful that I have the means to use a computer to shop. If we would have had to do all this by driving to various stores, walking, searching, waiting in lines.....lordy......how I remember doing that when my kids were little. If I had to do it again I think it would probably do me in.

How about you guys.....do you have all your back to school shopping done?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I don't know if it's in the stars.....

or what.....but this picture describes pretty much how I feel about now. It seems like every time I turn around I'm spending money for necessary things that have to be done.....like repairs.

Last week I had plumbers here. They did manage to get the kitchen sink fixed, but the bathroom drains are still clogged. They are no better than they were before the visit....matter of fact, they may be a bit worse.

So I called them and they are coming back today. I let them know that I did not plan on paying them again because it was not fixed the first time they were here. I'm not trying to be difficult.....but I just want to get what I pay for.

On Sunday my daughter mentioned to me that I was losing cold air from around my freezer door. Well, I had thought that too but was also thinking that perhaps something wasn't sitting on the shelf right, not allowing the door to completely close. I had fooled around with moving stuff in there and thought I had the problem solved, but I guess it wasn't. I don't know if the hinge has gone bad or the seal.....but the refrigerator seems to be running constantly. The food is frozen, but the ice cream is not rock hard, which I think is a good thing....but definitely shows there is a problem with losing cold air.

I have an appliance insurance plan through my gas company. At only $9. a month, it has paid for itself a couple of times through the years. I called and YES, that problem is covered so they are supposed to be here today to work on it. At least this won't cost me anything more than I've already paid. But it did remind me that my refrigerator is getting old and is probably giving me warning signs that I'm going to need another one soon.

My small circulation fan I keep in the bedroom quit and I had to buy another one. During the hottest days of summer.....you know I paid an inflated price for the replacement, but I needed it. It just seems like a bunch of little things....a ripped screen, a broken downspout, a warped garage service door that will no longer close properly and lock.....just a bunch of "irritants" and all of them mean money flying out the window.

I think the fates felt sorry for me and gave me a small something to keep my spirits up. I checked my bank statement the other day and I had an extra deposit of $89 from social security. When I called to find out about what it was, cause I had no idea.....I was informed that it was some sort of back money owed to me. Its a one-time payment, but better than a kick in the teeth. Today in the mail I get a bill from my doctor.....$140....charges from over a year ago that my insurance didn't pay for some reason. I will be calling them today to find out what that is all about. Sigh.....win some, lose some.

And how is YOUR summer going? Just remember to keep smilin'.....it keeps people confused and off-guard, if nothing else. LOL

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I was hoping for.....

a Cha- chingle......but instead it was a CHA-CHING!

Ahhhhh yes.....two plumbers in my tub. And why YES, you DO see lip-prints on his boxers. I was hoping for Spongebob boxers to make me giggle....but I guess the lip prints are a close second.

They work in teams. This team snaked my drains. $162.50, thank you very much. The second team responded about an hour after the first team left and repaired the kitchen sink....it needed two new drains that attach to the sink. They put new washers in my faucet to prevent it from dripping and wrote out the bill; $160, thank you very much again. CHA-CHING.

Even though the boxers did give me a chuckle, it didn't crack me up.....so it wasn't worth $322.50 in my opinion. If you really think about it.....with the time involved, these guys make more than doctors!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

It's never a good time.....

for a leaky pipe. I just have to keep reminding myself that it could have been worse. At least the dishes were all done.

My niece and her son were here from Arkansas so I had a family get together on Saturday. Late at night after everyone had left, I didn't notice the puddle on my kitchen floor until after I noticed that my kitchen drain seemed to be clogged. The dishwater from earlier still hadn't completely drained out. I put some Drano in it and when I came back to check, it hadn't done a bit of good, which is unusual. I then noticed there was a puddle in front of the sink. (hey....I had a lot of my mind that day...lol) I opened the cupboard under the sink and water was all inside there and was overflowing out onto the floor. I could feel it coming rather rapidly from the sink pipe.

I ran to get a bucket and hand-dipped the water out of the sink (cursing). I kept hoping that the Drano was mixed with enough water that it wouldn't burn my hands off. And I also wondered if maybe putting the Drano in there had caused the problem...I have PVC pipe under there. Since Drano comes in a plastic container.....I kinda doubt that it eats plastic. But when you're stressed, you think of all kinds of weird scenarios.

So today I made the call to the plumber that we use and asked the answering service if they could call me tomorrow so I could make an appointment with them. I can get by without my kitchen sink for a couple days. This month I have extra bills due and its a tight month. Of course.....it would happen at this time. But then again.....its never a good time to have plumbing woes. $$$$$

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Never brag........

only show gratitude. The picture is exactly what it looked like yesterday afternoon as we peered out of the office building window. In all my years I really don't remember seeing such black clouds envelope an area the way these did. I was reminded of the movie, Independence Day, where the alien ship slowly takes over the entire sky over the city.

It was in the 90's and miserable. A nice rain was needed....but not a storm. As soon as the black clouds were visible from the windows, we started trying to get to the Internet to see what was going on weather-wise. Over the fire radio, we could hear the fire departments west of us going out on run after run for downed wires, trees, etc. We knew we were in for it.....yet there was this faint glimmer of hope that it may miss us. We've been fortunate in the fact that a lot of storms go south of us. Something had happened because we were not able to get to the Internet....probably lines down somewhere. So we just had to depend on our own eyes and listen to emergency services do their thing.

Within minutes it was as dark as night even though it was only about 3 in the afternoon. Then the winds and the rain came......it poured so hard that cars were pulling off the roadway. The phones started ringing with people asking if we were under tornado warnings. What? People still haven't learned to tune in to their TV or radio for up-to-the-minute notices. I didn't know much more than they did.....that it was raining and dark. And yes.....frightful looking. Now here is where the selfishness creeps into my being. In the back of my mind I was hoping desperately that I would not lose power. I have a freezer nearly full of food, plus that.....its NINETY SOME degrees out and I love....LOVE my central AC.

The storm whipped through in about 10 minutes or so.....just long enough to cause havoc in some areas. The sun was coming out as I dialed my home phone number. If my answering machine picked up, then I would know that I still had power. We had heard on the radio that a major intersection a little over a mile from me was down due to a tree on a transformer. YES! I silently yelled to myself....the answering machine picked up. I had POWER! I was already thinking of sleeping in comfort during this hot spell.

Through-out the afternoon I heard from several co-workers.....a lot of them were going home to no power. One lived about 2 miles from me. Just before I left for home, I called my house again and heard my own voice answer as the machine picked up. I had a smile on my face. I was lucky! But I know not to brag. I've lived long enough to know what happens when you brag.

It only takes me 11 minutes to drive home. I saw evidence in that 6 mile drive of the storm's fury. Lots of branches and traffic lights out. I pulled into my driveway, got the mail, and hit the remote to open the garage door as I got back in the car. Nothing. I hit it again. Still nothing.

You know us humans are funny that way. When something won't work, we just can't seem to give up. We always have to keep trying it....3 or 4 times before we finally accept the inevitable.

Needless to say.....since my garage would not open, that meant that I had no power. I parked outside my garage door and came into my house. It was still cool inside but I knew it wouldn't stay that way for long. Thinking about all the power outages in the area, it could be days before I would be restored. What about my food in the freezer. I do have a generator, but haven't the strength to operate it any longer....if it still works. Its been a long time since I've fired that puppy up.

I came inside and laid across my bed.....ticked off. Yes, ticked off. I could hear my neighbor's generator running. I could probably get him to help me, even though I really hate bothering people. All of a sudden the power came back on and I felt truly blessed. So far, it has stayed on but.....nothing would surprise me. Its going to be in the mid-90's again today, tomorrow and over 100 the next day. I hope the storms stay away but we all know.....extremely hot weather and electrical storms just seem to go together. They are predicting strong storms again on Friday.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Good news.....

I went to the eye doctor yesterday and my eye is improving nicely. The vision has improved remarkably. He was extremely happy about it....(not as happy as I was though). The very best thing was that I did NOT have to have another injection. That truly made my day.

So.....I go back in 3 months unless something unusual happens....then he wants to see me right away. I left there in a fog....for real because my eyes were dilated.....but I did notice a little jaunt in my 'get along'. I hope that I never have to go through that eye problem again.....and also hope that it never happens to anyone I know....or know of.

So today is Friday and its going to be a beautiful day. Tomorrow they are predicting the high's in the 90's again but its better than a blizzard any day of the week. Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, July 8, 2011

I put it off as long as possible.....

but I finally had no choice but to go grocery shopping. I was out of bread, milk and (gasp) dogfood! So after work, I trudged to the grocery store in 87 degree heat.....walking uphill 20 miles. No....wait....just kidding about that last part. Even though I felt like I'd done that.

Now I am able to walk.....I just no longer do it well. With my bad knee and my bad hip (I know I sound like Grandpa McCoy) I cannot walk for long periods of time. So I opt for the riding grocery buggy. When these things work well, they are fantastic! I can get my shopping done twice as fast because they move faster than I can walk. That's when they work well.

Most stores only have 2 or 3 of them available. Some of them have definitely seen better days. A lot of stores have a problem with PARENTS letting their kids play with them (take them for a ride through-out the store, terrorizing small children and seniors on foot.) So, the problem with going shopping late in the day is that the buggies are basically pooped. You may walk in and find them all neatly lined up with their cords plugged in getting charged, but that doesn't mean that they have been sitting there more than 5 minutes. It seems like I have a greatest knack for picking the buggy that will die halfway through the store at the farthest point from help. I will usually have a full basket when this happens. One time a checker rescued me by bringing me another cart and we swapped out the groceries from my totally dead buggy to the other one.

Do you have any idea how humiliating it is to ride one of these things when its nearly dead? A snail moves faster. I'm serious. They barely move and you inch your way toward the front of the store so you can unload your groceries. Grass grows faster than these things move. But.....ahhhh when they are working well and fully charged.....you breeze down the aisles, the wind whipping your hair back as scenery of cereal boxes and canned goods whiz by. Why....just the joy of it makes you forget about all the high prices of the items being offered.

Unfortunately, today was another day in which I chose the buggy that died within minutes of me taking it. Since I wasn't getting a lot, I continued to use it and inched my way through shopping. The red light blinking and the beep beep signal convinced me I'd better forget the last few things and head for the check out. I must have been a pretty pitiful sight. No wonder that 3 year old was looking at me strangely. I don't want to think about it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ahhhh.....

my day off and I could sleep in a bit. I looked over at the alarm clock on the nightstand and it said 8:45, which meant it was actually 8:15 because I have my clock set 30 minutes fast so I won't be late. (don't think about that statement too much, ok?) I stretched and decided that I would sleep in a bit longer.....after all, it was my day off and I had no plans.

I turned over and snuggled against the pillows and started to drift off again. At this point I heard a firecracker so loud and powerful that it actually shook the house. I mumbled to myself, shaking my head. Some people have no sense, I thought. Here it is, not even 9 in the morning and they are already shooting off fireworks. I hoped that it was going to be the only one for a while and then I drifted off to sleep. I awoke about 45 minutes later. I'm not quite sure of the time because when I looked at my clock, the face was dark. I knew in an instant what had happened. I put things together immediately..........I'm quick like that. The loud noise I'd heard a while before.....it was no firecracker, it was the transformer again and guess what? I had no power! And.....there was for sure a fried squirrel laying on the ground at the back of my or the neighbor's yard.

This is a never-ending war between us, the power lines and the squirrels in our neighborhood. The squirrels are always the loser,but we end up suffering because it knocks out our power. Sometimes the power company is not busy and they can get us up and running again within a couple hours......sometimes, its 5 hours. This time it was 2 hours.

You know when you are without power......it seems like everything you want to do involves electricity. I ended up reading a book without my morning coffee.

You can understand why none of us around here are fond of squirrels.....even if they do have those huge brown eyes and that cute fluffy tail.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dana's been hacked.....

If any of you are followers of Dana of LIFE IS GOOD, I'd like to tell you that her blog, her Facebook account and her yahoo email address were all hacked into. She was able to get her email back, but the Facebook and Blog are history at this point. The passwords have been changed and she can no longer post.

Yes....she suspects it was done by the same people who have been terrorizing her.....unfortunately, they are family members or ex-family members. Right now she's trying to figure out what to do. So please, if you know anyone who follows her, pass on this info.

You know Dana.....SHE WILL BE BACK!!!

Also, if you have any ideas on how she can protect herself in the future and still post a blog (which she enjoys immensely), please let her know. Thanks to all of you.

Update: Go into the comments section of Dana's last post for a message from Joe.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Some days work is actually fun.....


The other day, in the afternoon, this guy comes into the building carrying a bucket, some bottles and a small hose. He stands in the hallway looking a bit lost, looks up at the sign above the door that says "Supervisor's Office" and walks in. He looks at me and asks if this is the Supervisor's Office.

Now, the corner of my mouth twitched but I managed to hold it together as my mind was saying, "not the sharpest knife in the drawer, are ya?" I nodded solemnly that it was indeed the Supervisor's office. He then proceeded to tell me that he was going to be spraying for ants around the offices and the perimeter of the building. I let my eyes drift down to his shirt, which has his name embroidered on one side and the name of the pest control company on the other. I state to him that we usually have a different company do that and asked him if he was new. (since I only work part-time I don't know everything that goes on) He said he was and left to go about his job.

A little bit later he came back and handed me one of those digital receipt thingies where you sign with a special pen and it looks all shakey. I start to sign and then noticed that the address on the invoice was that of the library, which is the building on the other side of the parking lot from ours. I tell him about this and his reply.............are you ready? Here it comes.............
He says....."Oh....ya know, I was kinda wondering where all the books were."

I swear.....this is a true story. I figure it's one of the rewards you get once in a while to make up for the fact that you have to work. The maintenance man and I had a good laugh about it after the guy left, headed toward the library. LOLOLOLOL Keep Smilin'

Friday, June 24, 2011

A problem solved.....

My daughter's refrigerator quit working. It's never a convenient time for something like that to happen. Thank goodness she hadn't just shopped, but she still had substantial food in it that had to be thrown away.....which she can't afford to do.

I've been working a lot more than usual lately and she wanted me along....more for moral support than anything else because I really don't know anything about refrigerators....other than I hate to clean them out. Of course it's not as bad as it used to be before frost-free ones came out.

Anyway, her kitchen is very small and the space for the refrigerator is also very small. She was going to have to measure carefully because a regular sized one just would not fit. So, armed with said measurements, we decided to make it a fun day and we picked Thursday because its the only day off I have this week. The only things I could tell her was to make sure it was frost-free.....and I guess they all are now....and to make sure the store would take away the old one. Free delivery would be great but not every place would offer it. An ice-maker would be wonderful if it doesn't cost too much extra.

So we had breakfast first and enjoyed that. Then we set off to store #1. We've had a couple of bad experiences with this store before.....the salespeople there seem to be uncaring and rude. But we had been told it was a good place to purchase a refrigerator, so we decided to check it out. We were treated the same way as before. Once they found out that she wasn't going to be spending a sinful amount of money on one of those refrigerators that do everything but balance your checkbook, the salesmen were uncaring and lost interest. When they found out that she needed a particular size......they implied that no such size was available and she'd have to settle for a tiny dorm sized one that was ridiculous. One was even suggesting she rip out her cupboards to make a bigger one fit. She was upset and getting stressed and looked at me with a "what do I do?" look on her face. One thing about getting old.....you can say what you feel and get away with it. I simply said "let's go someplace else.....I'm sure we can find something better elsewhere" and I said it loud enough for the salesmen to hear it. We promptly left.

She sadly said that we'd probably have to go to this one store that boasted of their low low prices. She was sad about it because this store is located in a not very desirable part of town and being two women and a child.....we felt quite vulnerable. I didn't want to go there either. We started to head in that direction when I said....."you know, I just don't want to go there, let's go to this other place right here around the bend and see what they have and if they say the same thing, then we'll have to make some phone calls". She said ok and actually breathed a sigh of relief.

Store #2 had friendly employees and the salesman who took care of us was knowledgeable and low pressure. He had exactly what she needed.....the size was perfect; the same size as the one in her kitchen right now. To top it off, it was on sale, they will take the old one away free of charge and delivery is free, free, free. The only thing she did that I really didn't agree with is that she wanted it in black, like the one pictured. Since her kitchen is so small, I'm afraid that black fridge is just going to leap out like a big black bear.....but it's her kitchen......so I didn't say too much. The only thing that matters is that it will be delivered by next Tuesday and this is one major problem solved. Oh and by the way.....it rained all day long.....sometimes it poured rain, so it was not exactly a perfect day for shopping, but it ended well and we made a memory.

Update: Well by popular demand.....the name of the store where everyone was so friendly, courteous and knowledgeable.....and where we made the purchase.......none other than HOME DEPOT. Great Store!! I would not be afraid to recommend them to anyone. Never have I seen so many smiling faces under one roof. Good Job, Home Depot Employees! We'll be back.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

There is something very wrong here.....

Before I start on my rant.....something right happened. My FOLLOWERS are back! Just as mysteriously as they disappeared, (way back in January, I think) they are now back. So I'm happy about that!

Now back to the scheduled post ......
I took my ONE dog to the vet for her annual check-up and shots. I had already purchased her license in January. She is healthy....although not feeling very well today. I think its because of the shots yesterday. If she's not herself by tomorrow I'll have to give them a call.

Anyway, this visit set me back $325.....it was more than last year because she was due for booster shots on two different 3-year shots. The actual office call was $42 and the rest was for tests and preventive medicine.

How many times do we see ads on TV and in the mail BEGGING people to PLEASE adopt a pet. I want to know.....how in the world can the average person AFFORD to have a pet with prices like this. According to the news media, The Humane Society is being criticized right now for putting down so many cats and dogs here lately. I guess just too many people no longer can afford their beloved pets and have left them off in hopes that they will find good homes.....causing serious over-crowding. The Humane Society states that they find homes for 100% of the animals left with them who are healthy.....but only 40% of those left with them ARE healthy. The other 60% are animals with health issues......and medicine is expensive. This is accounting for the pets left off with them....it does not take into account the unbelievable amount of cats and dogs abandoned on the streets and left to fend for themselves. It's truly heartbreaking.

I know that I absolutely cannot afford to have more than one pet. Additionally, I feel bad because I can't really give her all of what she needs. Although they are not horrible, she needs to have her teeth cleaned before they DO get horrible..... and the vet charges $331 for this. Right now I'm brushing her teeth with (ugh) Chicken flavored toothpaste. She's really very good about me messing around with her mouth but it doesn't do the thorough job a professional cleaning would do.....however, its about $315 cheaper, so that's what I do. I know people who have 3 and 4 dogs......I just wonder how in the world they can afford them!

So right now I feel like I'm sitting on top of a mountain and just throwing money up in the air to watch it fly. It seems like every time I turn around here lately.....I'm having to pay out something big. The upgrading of my computer and a new battery backup was $250; fixing the back-room computer (older one for the grandkids) $150; the vet bill $325. Homeowner's insurance renewal payment $250. Retina doctor's payment; $150. My daughter's refrigerator quit on her and since she has NO money.....three guesses who will probably have to help her. And that also makes me think about my OWN refrigerator.....I can't really remember how old it is. (sending tiny prayers upward for its continued good working condition)

But I'm getting off track......back to the issue of homeless pets. I think we need to work on some sort of plan NATIONALLY to assure that people can have pets (a huge joy in my life, and I know a huge joy in the lives of so many others) without it costing them a small fortune. Adoptions are just not going to happen when people know that mandatory vet visits and shots are so expensive. I'm not looking for a hand-out.....I would volunteer some time to help out in exchange for getting a discount on the vet bill and required shots. What do you think? Does your state have organizations where pets can be taken for their shots at a much more reasonable price? The Humane Society here is supposed to be cheaper, but my daughter didn't think there was that much difference; it was still expensive.

I think a program should be set up where you can get a coupon for a discount at your regular vet's office. If you have to go to a different location, you know as well as I do that it will be crowded and long lines with pets in tow is not a good thing.....not to mention all the paperwork and medical histories on each pet. A nightmare! Make it available to anyone willing to give their own time, thus avoiding the cost of checking out financial history on each individual. I would be willing to volunteer my time doing something for so many hours to ensure that I could afford to get my pet all she needs. Now I just have to think of what jobs could be done on a volunteer basis with minimal supervision and no training required (which would be costly).....jobs that would save the state money, so they could justify paying toward your vet bill.

Hmmmm.....you know what? My ex-boss is now a Senator. I think I will write him and ask him to think about this. Please offer me some suggestions that I can put in my letter to him. Who knows....maybe Michigan can be the first state to start something that will become a National program, allowing many families the option of keeping their beloved pets instead of having to give them away because they can no longer afford them. The more hours you volunteer, the more coupons you get toward your vet bill. Please get your thinking caps on......and thank you.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Have you ever wondered.....

about your thought processes? In other words, you're sitting there thinking about something and all of a sudden you think.....now WHY in the world am I thinking about this, of all things. So you start to put your thoughts in reverse and figure out how one thought leads to another and so on. It actually shows you how amazing our brains are.....and there really IS some reasoning to our thought processes. Sometimes, I get lost and I'm not able to take it all the way back....but its good exercise for the brain nevertheless. However, you can save yourself all that reversing if you wake up thinking of something and from there it just leads you off onto some path down memory lane.

I woke up this morning humming "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley. I can remember when that song first came out and my mother thought it was absolutely ridiculous and said it made no sense at all. Of course it went on to be a chart buster and helped push Elvis to the top and secured his title as "The King" forever-more. However, I also felt that the song really made no sense as well, but I was a "tween" at the time and I would have never admitted it, especially to my mom cause that would mean I was agreeing that she was right; plus that..... it really didn't matter. Songs didn't HAVE to make sense. I accepted that and, accordingly, the song has never made sense to me all these years.....until today.

Well, this morning I was thinking about that and also thinking about the lyrics. "You ain't never caught a rabbit, so you ain't no friend o' mine". All of a sudden, a light bulb went off. As I mentioned before, I loved to date boys from the south and did end up marrying one. He was from a poor family in the deep south. He told me many stories of his childhood and also about his dog, Charlie. Charlie was a big dog (think mix between shepherd, spaniel and coon hound....and lord only knows what else). The dog pictured, although not Charlie, is as close as I could find to what he looked like from photos I've seen. He was a typical southern sharecropper's dog, laying under the porch for coolness, chasing coons, keeping foxes out of the chicken house and following the kids around. Lots of different jobs: Protector of the house, snake killer and squirrel hunter......and also a good buddy.

My future husband (youngest boy out of family of 15), who I shall refer to as J.R., was about 9 or 10 at the time and his dad (who was SO very strict) gave him 4 shotgun shells and told him to go shoot some squirrels for supper. Now he knew that if he came home with all 4 shells gone, he had BETTER have 4 dead somethings to show for it. There was no such thing as wasting ammo.....it was expensive and they didn't have extra money to throw away. If he couldn't account for 4 shells being gone, he got a whipping.....a good hard one.

So he and Charlie went off into the woods to hunt. He had been shooting since he was old enough to pick up the shotgun and was a good shot, as most southern boys are. You can imagine the fear in his little heart when he missed a shot and the squirrel got away. He sat, leaned against a tree, 3 dead squirrels by his side, no shotgun shells left and Charlie sitting on his haunches facing him. The tears were flowing as he confessed to Charlie a whipping was surely waiting for him. He said that Charlie trotted off and came back in just a little while and dropped a dead rabbit next to him. He said that dog was a life saver that day. He had gone out and killed a rabbit and brought it back, just like he understood what J.R.'s fate was going to be. The boys always took their game home and, after showing it to their pa just so he could confirm the amount (if you only have 2 dead somethings you damn well better have 2 shells left), they gave it to their mama, who cleaned it and fixed it up for supper. He knew she would never tell on him, that there were no shotgun pellets in the rabbit because she hated to see her boys whipped for something like that.

Anyway.....the line about not catching a rabbit in Elvis's song, suddenly made sense to me. It had probably made sense to every southern boy in the world....but now it was clear to me. And that was my thought processes upon waking, this beautiful morning. Rest in peace, Charlie, wherever you're buried....you were a good dog and a true "friend" to a scared little boy. I'm wondering if Elvis had ever had the same experience. What do you think?

Friday, June 3, 2011

A learning experience.....

for me. I know you all have been waiting with bated breath to hear the ending in reference to poor Mr. M and his SS number plastered on the $20 bill.

I finally found the time to stop at my own bank (credit union) tonight after work. I walked in and asked for the manager and got the runaround so I figured he/she had left for the day. The teller who helped me asked if she could be of assistance rather than the manager. So I explained to her that I had received the 20 from their ATM machine in the lobby and what was written on it as I handed it over to her.

The nosy teller in the next window piped up and said that it was probably counterfeit as that's how they (the banks) mark counterfeit bills. My teller retorted "then how did it get back in circulation if it was turned in as counterfeit" as she tested it with her counterfeit detector pen. She then announced to the other teller that it was a good bill. The other teller then said a bunch of stuff to her, most of it I couldn't hear....but I did hear "because of that new ruling, we can't do anything about it; she'll have to send it in to the government herself and wait for them to make a decision on giving her another bill".

Thank goodness......some people still have compassion. My teller took another 20 out of her drawer and handed it to me. She said....."You shouldn't have to be out the money....after all, you got it from our machine. I'll figure out a way to take care of this, don't worry". And I'm not worrying about it because I know that she doesn't want Mr. M's info to get out there either. I thanked her sincerely.....for caring, as I gave the other teller the evil eye. (as only a post-menopausal mother can successfully accomplish)

This tells me.....and now I'm telling you......be careful about the bills you accept. Looks like if you get stuck with a bad bill.....you're exactly that....STUCK. ATM's are another story; I guess you're taking a chance every time you use one. The banks don't seem to care anymore unless you find that rare gem of a credit union employee, like I did. I hope she doesn't get in trouble with her boss for what she did. She did do the right thing.....you know it and I know it. Rest easy, Mr. M.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I am appalled.....

at how uncaring our society has become.

Saturday I stopped at an ATM and withdrew some money as I was meeting a friend for breakfast. One of the twenties I received had a man's name and full social security number written on it. Not once, but twice; once on each side of the bill in dark bold ink. I folded the bill and put it separate so I wouldn't spend it. I decided to act on this poor man's behalf when the banks were open on Monday.

Today I had to stop at the grocery store and inside the store is a branch of a bank. It is not my bank but I figured any bank would do for my purpose.

I went up to the counter and took out the bill. I explained to several of the tellers (who were getting ready to leave for the day as the bank was now closed) how I had received the bill and showed them the information it contained. I asked if they would take the bill when they reopened and send it in for destruction so as to protect this man's identity from thieves. She informed me that they could do that but that they could not give me another $20 in exchange for it. I guess my shocked look said it all. She stated that I should just go ahead and spend it....maybe I could try and scribble the information out if I wanted to.

Doesn't anyone care anymore? I bet you that if it had been HER information on that bill, she would have been more than happy to have exchanged it. I know banks submit worn out and partially destroyed bills all the time so they can be chopped up into confetti. Heck, the Feds even make money on selling little bags of that confetti.

Now I don't know if this man who's name is on the bill is a hateful soul or if his ex-wife or girlfriend just wants to cause him grief. I know nothing about him except for his name and social security number. I am going to go to my own bank and see what they say. If they give me the same answer.....then maybe I will just go to the news media with this. I think its disgraceful that human beings care so less about each other that they would let this valuable information float around out there.....free for the taking. Especially since the federal government has guidelines in place to deal with the disposal of money. You can be assured that the BANK doesn't take a loss.....they would get reimbursement by the government for the destroyed bill.

Stay tuned for the ending of this one. And Mr. M......you can rest assured that I will protect your information.....even if I have no other recourse than to mark it up so badly its absolutely impossible to read, which may make it non-negotiable. I just hope there aren't any more bills out there with your info on them.

Anyone have any ideas? Any bank tellers out there? Tell me what to do. I can't afford to lose $20 myself or I'd just destroy it and be done with it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

And so it continues.....

I am woman on the edge, I tell ya.....a woman on the edge. If there were any bridges close by, I think I would be jumping off one of them.

I wrote a HUGE email to a friend and just as I was ending it.....my computer shut down and re-booted itself, snickering and laughing under its breath. This is the memory problem I've been having and its slowly driving me crazy. I can't WAIT until my computer guy gets here with the extra memory.

So, then after a re-boot, I'm too tired to re-write the entire email again....so I figure I will do it the next day. Mind you.....I'm having to put up with this constant......chirp.....from the battery back-up. But its either that or no computer. I am not strong enough to move it and plug the outlets into something else or I sure would do it.

Late last night, before retiring, I decided to check the weather. I noticed that my keyboard was not working. All three lights were lit up....which I've never seen before.....but it was not working. I said to hell with it and went to bed. This morning I decide to pull the CPU out from the shelf alongside the computer desk and check the back to see if the keyboard had somehow gotten unplugged.....which I doubted since the lights were on. I pulled the CPU out and checked the fittings, then rebooted. YAY....the keyboard worked.....but the mouse didn't.

Now I'll tell you.....you can get by without a keyboard if necessary. You can use an on-screen keyboard and your mouse to type. Its slow and tedious, but it does work. I've had to do it before. But you cannot get by without a mouse. Well, I guess you CAN....but I don't know how. So for ME....I can't get by without a mouse. So I had to pull the CPU back out and check the fittings again and this time I got both the keyboard and the mouse to work. My self-confidence was beginning to rise. It fell through the basement shortly thereafter as I realized that now I have no sound. I'm done. I'm not touching another frickin' thing until my guy gets here......and if he doesn't get here soon, there will be a taped outline of my body on the living room floor.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It'll get ya.....

Lately its been ...."everything seems to be going wrong" around here. Hmmmm...that prompted me to wonder if Mercury is retrograde again. I checked and its not. Not that it would have made a difference one way or another....it just would have given me an excuse to use. "Oh yeah....Mercury is retrograde, you know....and that's when stuff goes wrong". But...no such luck.

I guess we can start with Blogger going haywire. I have been having problems with my Followers widget on Blogger for months and its never been fixed. I figure they must need some time to work on it.....and I'll be patient. In the meantime....if you don't see your avatar in my Followers widget or if you just plain don't see Followers at all....it isn't because I removed them. I guess they are still visible if you use Chrome. A lot of people have told me they can see them fine.....so yeah, it could be just me. I use Firefox.

Anyway, Blogger went goofy and some people lost a lot of stuff. I didn't lose too much, some comments and my update about my ......shudder.....eye. I guess we should all keep back-ups of what we post. What's that? You do? Oh well.....I don't and I guess I should.

Then came our usual weekly ritual.....me and my family's. We have supper and a movie....maybe two movies. We had Mexican that night and then settled in for a good movie. We put the disc in the VCR and........nothing. It wouldn't read the disc.....hell, it wouldn't even acknowledge that it was a VCR. At that point I think it may have thought it was a riding lawn mower. We fooled around with it and fooled around with it. More than an hour went by. My mood was getting dark. Now this poor little VCR, that is probably 8 years old, if not more.....has been a good one but it has been acting up here and there. Things like you having to rap sharply on top of it or the drawer won't open to accept the disc. Just small stuff like that. But it prompted me to buy another VCR around Christmas. I found one on sale and so, knowing that I would need it shortly, I purchased it. Notice I said Christmas! It has been sitting in the box, unopened, next to my TV in the living room ever since. Neither my daughter or I know anything about VCR's and everyone I asked to hook it up for me always said, "yeah, sure,.....I'll do that for you next weekend....tomorrow....next month....in my next life." Needless to say, it never got hooked up, let alone opened up.

So we decided, how hard can this be? Kids can do this for god's sake. You just take one cable off the old one and put it in the opening labeled the same in the new one. Piece of cake!

We pulled everything out from the shelf under the TV (Good Lord it gets dusty under there!). I did the brain wracking job of putting the batteries in the remote. Hey! I had to do my part too. Well....seems as though the cables I have hooked up to the old VCR have a pin in the fittings and the new cables have color coded plugs. Of COURSE the new VCR did not have any places for a fitting that had a pin. This truly puzzled us and we ended up putting everything back in the box. We replaced the old VCR right where it had been and stared at it for a while, our brains whirling. I must say that perseverance paid off in this respect because after fooling with it for only another hour or so, we did get it to acknowledge the disc and to actually play it without further incident. Of course we were afraid to even so much as sneeze during the movie in fear that the vibrations would make it revert to thinking it was, perhaps, a coffee pot and therefore refuse to play the disc.

We had a terrific thunder-storm later that night. I slept through most of it. In the morning my computer would not turn on. It was completely dead! Upon further investigation, I found that my Comcast modem was also dead. I tried to reset it and it laughed at me. Now, picture this....if you possibly can. Underneath my computer desk I have a conglomeration of wires that is beyond description. I am afraid to mess with any of them and leave it all to the guy who works on my computer. If it wasn't for the fact that most of my stuff had power and was working in that room, I would have thought I had blown a fuse. I was at a loss and so I called my computer guy. The first thing he did was tell me to check the surge protector power strips and that he'd be out on Sunday to take a look. Now....he didn't say he'd FIX it on Sunday....just that he'd take a look. That always makes me nervous.

Well, I did find that my computer and modem are plugged into a battery back-up system. I do that because power failures have fried two computers over the years. Somehow the battery back up had been turned off. When I turned it back on.....I had power to the computer and to the modem once again.....but now I have this irritating "chirp" that is going on. The back-up system doesn't seem to be recharging. I have a feeling that it is dead. He'll be here in an hour and will tell me.

Once I had the computer up and running I felt like I belonged in the world again. (sad, isn't it?) I have since noticed that my adding machine and my answering machine are not working. I'm hoping that its because they have become unplugged when I was messing in the jumble of wires under there. I went to recharge my cell phone and the battery is no longer taking a charge. I really can't complain....I've had the phone for over 10 years. Are you seeing a pattern here?

So.....while I had the system running, I went to my bill-paying sites and scheduled my payments through the end of this month......just in case. Yep, just in case he has to take my computer and I am without for a period of time. See? I'm trying desperately to head off Murphy at the pass.....but if there is possibly ONE tiny way something can go wrong......of course it will. But, you knew that, didn't you?

Update: My computer guy was here.(BLESS his heart) The new VCR is hooked up and the old one that is temperamental about working is now in the den. It will play VHS tapes and I have a bunch of those so I might as well keep it. The battery back-up, in all likely-hood took a 'hit' during the storm. He says those back-ups can only take one hit and then that's it. He's had his for 10 years and its still working. This is my second one in 5 years. Go figure. Anyway, he'll be back in a few days....I'm getting a memory upgrade.