Monday, October 24, 2016

Progress... And Hey Girl Revisited

     If you read yesterday's post, you might be thinking I'm taking long, aimless bubble baths and sitting around a lot. Instead, after publishing that post, I...

    *Did some more wash and folded a bunch of clothes
    *Cleaned up the kitchen and loaded the dishwasher (at 1:30 a.m.)
    *Started an election judge's job at 9 a.m. this morning. (Sounds more impressive than it really is -- I'm just opening envelopes.) Worked more than 5 hours.
    *Stopped by church and unloaded 35 pounds of chicken wings...for a January seniors luncheon. Somehow I got them all stuffed in the freezer. Cleaned up the chicken drippings off the counter and floor. (The car is next; fortunately, we have a rubber cover that slides out and can be hosed off.)
     *Went to the bank, the library, the post office and the grocery store.
     *Got home. CRASHED.
     *Picked myself back up, ate supper, fed the dogs and chickens -- then:
     *Cored and chunked apples for three hours at friends' house. (They're canning applesauce and chutney this week.)

(Oh, and the Broncos creamed Houston, 27-9.)

Boy, am I beat -- but at least I got a lot done.

Now for that long bubble bath.

If you've been hanging out on this blog very long, you know I've got a thing for the 'Hey Girl' memes -- especially the book and craft-related ones. Ryan Gosling's the main feature, but now and then other guys creep in.

             Check out the previous ones by clicking on the link -- or just enjoy this current batch. Yow.


Yeah...well, I did it today anyways, buddy.

(Mr. Cumberbatch is included, in honor of Sherlock Holmes  finally starting its fourth season. Love this guy.)

And to keep things steady, until the Brick gets home from hunting:


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Keeping On Keeping On

    It's dry, surprisingly warm (at least during the day) and sunny...and I have absolutely no motivation to do anything. 
    Is it loneliness?  The Brick is off hunting with his buddies this week on the Western Slope.
    Is it recovering from fatigue and a lot of stress? (I did do a lot of teaching and running around this past month or two.)
    Is it going into flu? 
   It's not football malaise -- Michigan stomped all over Illinois this past week, and the University of Colorado won a game against Stanford -- in California, no less -- that they weren't supposed to be capable of doing. Guess the Buffs didn't get the message. (snicker)

    Who knows.

    Stuff is EVERYWHERE -- piles of clean (but not folded) clothes, dirty dishes in the sink, cans of soup on the floor, keeping company with the hunting gear the Brick didn't take. 
    I have chores that need to get done before cold sets in -- like painting the front door and the chicken coop, and starting to clear out the basement. I've been going through the hundreds of books we have, and keeping just the dearly-loved or rare ones. Gotta lot more work to do in this area.
    These are tasks that are easier to do without having to stop to make supper, do that errand, or cart this around because the Brick needs it. I should be chipping away at the list NOW.
    Tomorrow starts a side job as an election judge. This sounds more important than it will be: sitting at a table for hours at a time, opening vote envelopes. Whoopee. But it's work, and adds $$ to the mutual coffer. Things shouldn't be too stressful until the last few days of voting...when you work 10-12 hours at a time. 
    Speaking of:

Who won the third (and final, thank God) presidential debate? Many are saying that Chris Wallace, the moderator, did. 
     While we're at it...

Ten more things learned about Mrs. Clinton and her tribe, courtesy of Wikileaks and Listverse. None of which are pleasant.

For all those rude celebrities (and others) who announce if So-And-So wins the election, they're moving to Canada:   a list of prime Canadian real estate, all set to choose from!  (Thank you, Urban Daddy, you rude bugger)

Money tight? Look on it as a challenge.  (From Life After Money)

Save more by doing your holiday shopping AFTER the holidays. And it isn't just Christmas, either...  (From One Hundred Dollars A Month)

Nine of the strangest recent forgery scandals in the art world.  (From Artnet News)

Terrifying archaeological discoveries -- including the 2,000-year-old body that refuses to rot. (Scientists think it has a lot to do with the 20 layers of silk that she was wrapped in. Hmmm...) From Cracked, who gave us more of same, if you're interested. (Like pits discovered, full of severed hands. Ironically, they're all 'righties.') Plus some weird scientific "we sure can't explain THIS" discoveries.

A bulldog coffee table!  (From The Graphics Fairy)

I don't live in a truck -- I just stay there. (From Inside the Box)

Trolls-inspired recipes... from our buddette, Betty Crocker. Including this rainbow cake roll:

Ol' Bett's got a list of restaurant-quality dishes that can be done in the crockpot, too.

Ten mysterious mosaics. Including Hagia Sophia's hidden angel, found only during restoration work...and a bunch of Roman stuff.  (From Listverse)

Caramel apple cheesecake. Oh my.  (From Crazy for Crust)

Simple-yet-unusual ideas for makeup, accessories, costumes for Halloween.  (From Apartment Therapy)

25 Cent Dinners for a Family of Six -- a free Amazon e-book by Juliet Corson. Granted, this book was first published in 1879, but it has some enormously helpful tips that still work today. It also has some interesting recipes, including Baked Pig's Head and Half-Pay Pudding. But for free, what can you quibble about?

Have a great week. 


Just a few days from now marks the year anniversary of a very difficult professional situation I was forced to endure. Once it was resolved (and that took a LOT), the hits continued. It took at least six months for business to start coming back up...and I still carry the scars. Probably always will.

But I'm still here, thanks to God's grace and a lot of patience. 
    If you're going through a difficult situation right now, remember: 

Hang in there.

Friday, October 21, 2016


This is one of the stranger canine entries on the Weird-O-Meter  that I've come across...

A dog gets stuck in a tree trunk sometime in the Sixties, but isn't found until decades later, mummified and stiff as a board.

So what do the loggers who found him do? Cut the tree down, naturally, and feature this guy in a museum!    (Another take on this petrified hound dog is here.)

"Stuckie" can be viewed, tree trunk and all, at the Southern Forest World Museum and Environmental Center in Waycross, GA. You can see him up-close in this video:

(Don't be afraid to mute the sound, if need be -- the guy narrating can get a little silly.)

Interestingly, this isn't that uncommon: dog mummies are routinely found with burials -- more than 100 in Peru, so far. Hmmm...

...and millions in Egypt.

And so you don't have nightmares -- some happy dogs whose owners didn't mummify them!

Charley included...
Mom -- nobody's laying a paw on ME!

Nine Ways We Saved on Cross-Country Travel

In the past two weeks, we put more than 2900 miles on the Outback, thanks to a teaching gig in North Carolina for me (and a class for the Brick), and an unexpected funeral we needed to attend in Kansas City. But we also did it at minimal cost, compared to what we could have shelled out.

What did we do?

*Drove instead of flying. If we'd flown, it would have meant renting a car after we got there -- Brasstown, NC is way up in the Appalachians. And what would we have done about suddenly cancelling our vacation plans? I am very grateful we drove, because we could adapt. (Not to mention that two plane tickets --since the Brick came with -- would have been considerably more than the $200 we spent on gas.) I also was able to take a lot of extra quilts, fabrics and other goodies for class that would not have fit into suitcases.
     Gas is not that expensive right now. And we enjoy seeing the scenery. I read books to the Brick. (This last one was Bigfoot experience stories, who would have figured?!) We rehash what's happened in our lives lately, work out problems and plan for the future. I love being with my best friend and doing this. He enjoys it, too.

     On the way home, we also stopped at the Russell Stover factory outlet in Kansas for some great-priced chocolates, and a hot fudge sundae. Oh, the sacrifice.

*Booked hotel reservations online...even though we were on the road. This gave us a better price, but still let us make plans (and changes) quickly. And during this trip, adapting was essential.
     I like using via Swagbucks, which gives you a good price plus points back we can use on gift cards and other goodies. It's free, easy to use, saves you money -- and they don't sell your info. Click on the link, and you'll see what I mean.

*The hotels had free breakfast included. Basic, yes, but it meant we could eat quickly and get back on the road, without having to stop again or search around.

*Coffee and snacks came from breakfast, too. We brought along our travel mugs and filled them at the coffee station. An apple and banana grabbed from the fruit basket filled in the edges until suppertime.

*Drove all night. True, it wasn't what we'd planned -- but it was the only way to get to the funeral on time. And it did give us extra leeway for the unexpected. (More on that in a bit.) Driving late means the weather is cool, there are fewer people on the road -- and you can still get gas, thanks to credit cards (at closed stations) and 24-hour autoplexes. Food too, bless 'em.
     If you get too tired, there is always the possibility of a quick snooze at a rest stop. Which is what we did.

*Knew where the cheapest gas was in each area. The Brick uses Gas Buddy, a free online app that tells you just where to go.

*Started with a vehicle that was gas-efficient. Our Subaru Outback gets 27-35 MPG, even in city driving. We drove steadily, and used cruise control most of the time to keep the speed even. (Cuts down on speeding tickets and 'Oh oh, I see an officer' panic moments, too.)

*Used we didn't get lost. Even in the middle of 'nowhere,' we knew where we were. Not only does that cut down on wasted gas and time, it gives you peace of mind. Especially at midnight on a pitch-dark mountain road. Now, if the Chattanooga road construction people would only get their act together...

*We (and God's grace) took care of an auto problem ourselves. While we were packing to leave, the car suddenly wouldn't start. Dead battery. My assistant 'jumped' it with her van's cables. Everything went fine, until 3:30 a.m., when it went dead again. Now what?
     Thanks to a trucker who was entering the rest area bathrooms when I was exiting (a 'coincidence,' right?), we got another battery jump. That took us two more hours, where we waited (car idling) for a Wal-Mart auto center to open. We paid $100 and change for the battery -- but it would have been a lot more if we'd called for a tow truck.

Now that I've had a rest, and several days of the Brick's wonderful coffee (don't other places know how to make good coffee??), I'm ready to hit the road again. But it won't be me this time -- I'll take care of home things while the Brick and his buddies go hunting. 

       If you're stuck at home too, you might enjoy traveling with Rae Crothers. She's been touring Europe for weeks, including out-of-the-way places like Albania and Bulgaria, and posting almost daily photos and accounts of her adventures out there. 
     I'm loving her blog, 'A Life By Design.' You will, too.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Hostage Spyware -- It Happened to Me!

     I was happily wandering around the internet this afternoon, and clicked on a gossip page. Next thing I knew, a huge message from 'Microsoft' flashed on the page:

WARNING: Your computer's been compromised!

According to the message (with a backing of an 'official Microsoft' website page behind it), my passwords were gone, my credit card info stolen. And if I tried to click off that page, my computer would automatically lock until I called "our engineers" to solve the problem. A toll-free number was 'helpfully' included.  (I tried clicking off, anyways -- nothing budged.)


No doubt the world would now end.

Either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton (depending on which person you think is more evil) would win the election.

All because I'd been hacked.


    After a moment of blind panic on my part, the Brick took a look and pronounced the whole mess due to hostage spyware. (Fortunately, I'd also noticed that the address, or URL, on top had nothing to do with Microsoft, so was a little skeptical. Whew.)

He also couldn't get any pages to close -- but he could go down into Programs and get Chrome to close everything there. (Which it did.)  He warned me:

*Don't let Chrome 'restore' the pages when booting it back up. And...
*Never, ever click on the 'ok' the spyware page was providing! (Let alone call that phone number) 

(And he also said to stay out of the celebrity gossip rags, where this stuff proliferates. He's right. I need to behave myself.) 

So...if you get a scary message like this, take a minute and check the URL. Then take a deep breath...and click DELETE. Or CLOSE. Whichever works. If it doesn't help, use the main program to close everything. (That will work.) Then you can restart, or just go back to what you were doing.

Now all is well.  (Maybe not on the Trump/Clinton issue...)

Charley would have never fallen for this...or maybe he would.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

They're Not Doing So Good Right Now...

so here's my take on it.

Go Broncos!

(That's a lot more fun than listening to the latest truth-stretching from tonight's debate.)