Monday, October 5, 2015

Do Not Engage

Hubby Tony and I follow the same procedure when a call comes in on our phone.  When it rings we look at the incoming number. If we don't recognize the number, we don't answer. A legitimate caller will leave a voice mail, and we'll return the call.  That screens out the vast majority of rubbish.

However, sometimes junk still slips through. For example, today there have been three messages from the same number. Each time the message is a robotic voice claiming to be from the IRS threatening us with legal action.  For what, it doesn't say.  The whole thing is very amateurish.  It starts out by saying:
"The IRS is filing a lawsuit against...[this is where a professional organization would insert a name to personalize the message. This time there's an extended silence, then...] you. For more information on case file call immediately on our department number XXX-XXX-XXXX."
Of course, I ignored the message and immediately deleted it. There have been so many print, TV and radio announcements about scams like this I can't believe anyone would fall for it at this point.  However, I guess they wouldn't keep doing it if there wasn't at least some type of response.

Five years ago today: Fall Recollections

Friday, October 2, 2015

Pampering For Pussycats

I popped into my local pet store yesterday for some cat hairball medicine and a new litter scoop.  I had time to spare, so I also had fun browsing up and down the feline 'accessories' aisle, looking at what was there.

We love our two cats, and they live a very good life, but (based on what I saw) the manufacturers and merchandisers would tell us we're not pampering them enough.  They don't have designer dishes to eat and drink out of, and their litter boxes are simple.  There are no dedicated cat beds in the house.  (Not because we haven't tried--we have-- but the cats have always snubbed them.  They prefer to think of the entire house as their bedroom).

Some of the things I saw:
  • Food and water bowls plain and fancy, dry food feeders automatic and gravity-operated, and water fountains with recirculators and aerators.
  • Placemats in multiple sizes, colors, and materials to keep food crumbs and water dribbles off the floor.
  • Litter boxes with privacy hoods to protect kitty from prying eyes while he's doing his business and self-cleaning models that didn't have to be scooped.
  • Special mats to lay next to those litter boxes for Kitty to wipe his paws on as he exits the area.
  • A small selection of Halloween costumes (which I know our cats are thankful not to have.)
Five years ago today: I Can't Drive 55

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Post 1600

Tonight when I logged into my Blogger dashboard I discovered that a huge milestone had snuck up on me. On September 29th I wrote the 1600th post on this blog!

When I started my blogging adventure in 2009, it never occurred to me that someday I'd hit a mile marker like this.

Five years ago today: It's A Jungle In Here!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


September has not been a good to me, health wise.  At the beginning of the month I had a hernia repaired, then had to go back to the doctor's office several weeks later to have some stitches removed that should have dissolved on their own.  Then over the weekend I developed the mother of all colds, and I've spent the past few days constantly blowing my nose, sneezing, and coughing.

I've had enough viruses to know this one will eventually pass, but in the meantime I've been trying to treat myself well so it goes away sooner rather than later.  When Hubby Tony and I went to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner I treated myself to chicken soup (and added extra salsa for more sinus clearing).  I've swigged endless cups of hot tea with honey and lemon, used my neti pot on a regular basis, and elevated my head with an extra pillow at night.

I wondered, though, what remedies I was forgetting that might be helpful. Instead of using my friend Google to come up with the answer I threw the question out to the members of an online community I belong to.  Most of what I got was pretty standard-- take a steamy shower to clear the sinuses, use Vicks Vapo-Rub, take doses of Nyquil, Dayquil, or one of several other cough syrups, and drink  hot buttered rum (which, as the poster suggested, also has the advantage of making you not care you had a cold). 

Then there were a couple more offbeat suggestions.  One was to drink Gatorade (to replace electrolytes lost from blowing your nose), and the other was to indulge in medical marijuana.  Guess which of those I'd be more inclined to try?

Five years ago today: Clean As Mud

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Time To Take It Easy

This afternoon is perfectly cool, and a slight breeze gently rustling the leaves outside. It's a good day to relax. 

The ducks I saw at the park think so...

and the cats agree...

Who am I to argue?

Five years ago today: King Garlic

Friday, September 25, 2015

Snag A Suture

It's now been three weeks since I had a hernia repaired.  The recovery process has been slow but steady.  Fourteen days after the surgery I went back to the surgeon's office so he could look at the healing process.  He declared it was good and sent me on my way, telling me not to lift heavy things for several more weeks.  However, several days later a red spot that looked like a zit appeared at one end of the 2-inch long incision.  It grew larger and more painful, and I felt like my healing was taking a giant step backward.  I called the surgeon's office and they were able to fit me in that day.

When I was settled in the examining room the nurse practitioner took a look at the area. My incision had been closed with glue and sutures that were to dissolve on their own.  One of the sutures hadn't broken down properly, and was stuck underneath the red area.  She took a pair of forceps and removed the top layer of skin, then dug around until she found the tiny piece of filament that was causing the problem and pulled it out.  As she was cleaning up her supplies she told me that if another filament started causing a problem I could just get a tweezers and pull it out myself.

Yeah, right. The process was really painful.  I'm not into inflicting self-pain.

However, after dinner I felt something prickly right below the original spot.  When I looked at the area in bright light I could see a piece of a suture sticking up about an eighth of an inch above my skin.  I got a pair of tweezers, affixed them to the filament, said a prayer, and pulled.  I was thrilled when the small piece came out without too much effort or pain.

It's been more than 24 hours without any issues, so I hope the problem is solved.  I guess if it isn't I'll know what to do.

Five years ago today: Autumn

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Purse Fix

Can you see anything out of the ordinary with my purse?

This is one of my small collection of Vera Bradley bags, a nice-sized saddlebag style with a flap that has a magnetic closure. The pattern is actually a replacement for my original purchase, which I used for several months before the magnet in the flap became detached and started floating around.  When that happened I called the company and they sent me a replacement.

 Sadly, the replacement bag had the same problem. I was constantly fishing around the flap for the piece so I could drag it back to where it should be to keep the purse secured.  I liked the purse, but figured that if even if I got a second replacement it would do the same thing, so I decided to see if I could do anything to fix the problem.

Can you see the fix?

I just happened to have the right color thread in my stash, so I used a zipper foot and sewed around one of the quilted diamonds, effectively trapping the magnet in place.  The back side of the flap, which isn't quilted, now has the shape sewn into it, too.  I figure that very few people will see that part, though, and it's a small price to pay for being able to keep using the purse.

Five years ago today: Social Media

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Song For The First Day Of Autumn

Sing with me...

Do you remember the 21st night of September?
Love was changing the minds of pretenders
While chasing the clouds away

Our hearts were ringing
In the key that our souls were singing.
As we danced in the night,
Remember how the stars stole the night away

Ba de ya, say do you remember
Ba de ya, dancing in September
Ba de ya, never was a cloudy day

Ba de ya de ya de ya
Ba de ya de ya de ya
Ba de ya de ya de ya de ya

My thoughts are with you
Holding hands with your heart to see you
Only blue talk and love,
Remember how we knew love was here to stay

Now December found the love that we shared in September.
Only blue talk and love,
Remember the true love we share today

Ba de ya, say do you remember
Ba de ya, dancing in September
Ba de ya, never was a cloudy day

Ba de ya de ya de ya
Ba de ya de ya de ya
Ba de ya de ya de ya de ya

Five years ago today: Heroic

Monday, September 21, 2015

Peanutize Me

Somehow I'd managed to miss the announcement that there's going to be a new Peanuts movie coming to theaters in November.  That changed today, when a friend of mine shared a cute webpage where you can make a Peanuts character

My result
Making the character was fun.  The page gives you a lot of choices: boy or girl, skin tone, hair style and color, eyes, glasses if you want, mouth style, clothes (top, bottom, shoes), watch or not, and--last but not least--the background.  When I was done I could download the result or share it on selected social media.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Off Key Symphony

Last night Hubby Tony and I learned that an acquaintance of ours was celebrating her 60th birthday today. She said the only thing she wanted, present-wise, was for people to sing Happy Birthday to her either in person or on the phone.  Tony and I both told her we didn't have good singing voices.  She said it didn't matter; she enjoyed hearing everyone, and in her experience the joy went both ways, because everyone smiles when they sing the song

So after dinner tonight I got out my phone and prepared to make the call.  Son Donald was in the room, so we enlisted him in our informal chorus.  I dialed the number, turned on the speakerphone, and waited.  When she answered we announced ourselves and launched into our off-key rendition of the song.  

She seemed genuinely happy to have heard from us. We wished her a happy day and hung up. This had to be one of the easiest birthday presents ever.

Five years ago today: Artistic