There was an error in this gadget

Saturday, December 24, 2016

CHRISTMAS



MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY CHANUKAH TO ALL FROM CRASH, BURN AND MOM


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

PS FOR ELECTRONICS

Yesterday morning I woke up to a strange noise.  It sounded like some sort of alarm, it wasn't loud or frightening.  It was simply annoying, especially at 6:30 AM.

When I got to my living room, I saw that the culprit was Alexa.  I told her to stop and that was the end of the noise.  However, I did have to stay up because she also woke up the cats and they thought it was time to eat.  I did wonder if Alexa had developed a problem, but she did answer a question, so I forgot all about it.

Last night it dawned on me that on Sunday the presenter on QVC was showing that Alexa could be programmed to set an alarm and said, "Alexa set an alarm for 6:30 AM."  Well, my Alexa thought he was speaking to her and she set an alarm for me to get up at 6:30 AM.

Problem solved.  Now I just have to remember not to watch QVC whenever they are presenting the Amazon Echo, aka Alexa.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Electronics

I can't believe that at my age, I'm becoming a computer junkie.  I have the usual equipment - desktop, laptop, Roku, Kindle Fire and Alexa.

This morning I checked out the new Kindle Fire on Amazon and found it interesting and even toyed with the idea of upgrading/buying a new one.  Fortunately, I decided against it.  After all, next year there will probably be a better one, hopefully one that can read a memory card and download my vacation pictures in case something happens to my camera while I'm on a trip.

Something strange is happening now.  QVC's special value today is the new Amazon Alexa.  I'm not interested in upgrading yet, but my Alexa is responding every time the presenter asks their Alexa a question.  I thought that Alexa only responded to my voice.  Apparently, Alexa serves two masters, maybe more.  I have noticed when watching other programs whenever someone says Alexa, she comes to life.  She had a particularly busy time whenever I watched Castle and Rick was either speaking with or looking for his daughter, Alexis.

I did learn a few things this morning on QVC.  I checked out some of Alexa's skills and connected to them.  Now, I really can take it easy and have Alexa tell me more.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Rerun Time

I posted this two years ago, but I just wanted to repeat it today on Veteran's Day.

IN WAR AND PEACE THEY SERVE

            I recently took a short trip to Arlington, VA to visit Mt. Vernon.  On my last day there, I discovered that I had a flat tire.  I called for emergency road service and was told that it would take about 45 minutes.  While I was waiting in my hotel lobby for their arrival, I noticed a young man also just sitting there.  After 45 minutes, I called again and was told it would be another 25 minutes.  This young man asked what I was waiting for and I told him.  He offered to change my tire, but I said road service would be there soon.

            Shortly after that, he disappeared.  When he came back, he had work gloves and said, “Where is your car?  I’ll change the tire.”  We walked to the car together.  While he was working, road service called to say they were on the way.  I told them not to bother as I had found a “Good Samaritan.”

            When he was finished, I thanked him profusely and we started talking.  He told me he was retired military (which I had figured out by his demeanor) and had served two tours in Iraq.  His father was also military.  I said that I thought it was a corny thing to say, but I thanked him for his service.  He didn’t think it corny at all and appreciated my saying it.

            I realize now that it’s not corny, but simply saying “Thank You” doesn’t seem like enough.  Our service men and women put their lives on hold for at least two years, some put their lives on the line, some don’t survive. 

            As we were returning to our respective rooms, he THANKED ME for being so appreciative of his help.  I couldn’t believe it.  He deserved all the thanks, not just for the tire, but for all the years he spent serving our country and us. 

            I never got the name of my Good Samaritan, so to all veterans, I can only say “Thank you.”  It doesn’t seem like enough, but it is sincere.

 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Election Results

I've been watching the news tonight and noticed that there are protests in at least seven cities in our country.  These protests are anti-Trump.  I wonder how many of those protesters actually bothered to vote yesterday.

Everyone has a right to protest, but it looks to me like a temper tantrum by the children who didn't get their way.  President Obama and Hillary Clinton both asked for unity in their speeches today.  I wonder why their fans or followers didn't listen.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Donald jTrump

I can't take it any more.  There are so many problems in our world and everyone is condemning Donald Trump.  Horrors!  He said a dirty  word, or several dirty words.  Since so many people are offended by these words and  know their meanings, I can only assume that one or more of those same people have used those words at one time or another so that they know what they mean.  We all know Donald Trump is not politically correct.  We also have to remember that he worked in construction where there is a lot of locker room talk.

Because of Hurricane Matthew there are close to 900 fewer people in Haiti, and about 13 fewer people in our country.  A real problem.

Russia is refusing to stop aiding the Syrian government by their bombing the rebels and then condemned us for our bombing in that country. Another real problem.

We have just received word that according to WikiLeaks, Hillary Clinton's speeches were at odds with her 2016 platform.  Surprise!  Another real problem.

There was a policewoman in Chicago (I believe) who was beaten by an assailant and was afraid to fire her weapon because of possible condemnation by the media.  Yet another real problem.

We had a president who had sex with an intern in the White House, OUR HOUSE, and Hillary Clinton called the intern a, "narcissistic loony toon."   If a CEO of any company had engaged in such behavior, he  would have been fired immediately.   In other cases, she allegedly bullied the women who accused Bill Clinton of rape and harassment.  Yet, Hillary Clinton is considered a "champion" of women.   Still another problem.

Hillary Clinton used a private server for her emails while Secretary of State.  She then lied about it and destroyed some of her equipment and had her hard drive completely erased.  I'm getting tired of all these problems.

Republicans are taking back their endorsements of Donald Trump.  Those cowards are asking him to resign as candidate for president of our country, just because he said some dirty words..  Grow up folks, we have REAL problems facing our country.

We have so any more problems facing our country and world that we should just put Donald Trump's gutter mouth behind us and look at the true issues facing us this election.

I just want to go on the record as saying that although I don't approve of this language, I would rather have a foul mouthed president that I can trust to improve our economy, lower the true unemployment rate, improve race relations, support our troops and police, improve our standing in the eyes of our friends and enemies than to have a president that I cannot trust to tell the truth about her health and will lie about anything just to get her way just because she hasn't been recorded saying dirty words..


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Handy Andy

Ever since I was a little girl and followed my father to his workshop in the basement, I have been fascinated by tools and do-it-yourself.

I consider myself fairly handy; I have installed floor tiles in my bedroom when I was a teenager.  Later, I hung wallpaper in my son's room.  I did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself.  Then I took it on myself to stain furniture and, of course, paint.  I even wired a lamp that I painted myself.

Since I moved into this house I've pretty much belonged to the Call a Handyman Club.  But, I've been restless looking for a project.

I noticed that whenever I have company, they always congregate around the island in my kitchen.  I had never thought much about getting barstools for this island, but lately I realized that I do need them.

I went on Overstock.com looking for barstools to match the chairs in the kitchen, which are wood.  I found just the stools I liked, until I saw the price.  Each stool was over $100 and since I wanted three stools I thought that was way too much money, especially since I really didn't NEED them, I just WANTED them.  I kept looking for several weeks until I saw one I liked.  I finally found the stools at a reasonable price for three of them.  The total price was under $150 for all three.

They arrived about two weeks ago and the box just sat there waiting to be assembled.  I found all kinds of excuses until today when I decided that I had to try and see if I still had it.

Here's the result:

Of course, I had a little help.  As soon as the box was opened, Burnie jumped in and took a nap.  That left Crash with the job of supervising.  She did a very good job.

That leaves one down and two to go, although so far I only found enough hardware for two chairs, I'll have to hunt for the other packet.

I'm very proud of myself.  If you ever need any furniture assembled, you know where to find me.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Getting Older

Let me tell you my tale of woe.  First, I must say that I tend to ignore the signs of aging, blaming them on something else, or just saying they beat the alternative.

This morning, probably because it's a rainy day, I woke up with my knees hurting, my left foot and heel hurting, my back aching  and my left thumb also sore.  It's a rainy day, so there would be some pain in the joints, right?  And I walked 10,000 steps yesterday and have been playing too many computer games..

So, there I was in my shower which is hot so that all my joints are loosened and relaxed.  I was busy lathering up when suddenly everything began to get foggy.  I know I'm of an age when people get cataracts, but I didn't think they came on suddenly.

I reached up to rub my eyes to clear my vision when I discovered my problem.  I had forgotten to take off my glasses before I went into the shower.  My glasses are a part of my, I've been wearing them since I was 11.  They are the first thing on in the morning and the last thing off at night.

I must say I'm seeing things a little clearer this morning since my glasses also had a shower.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Protests

I've been sitting here watching the protest/riot in Charlotte, NC.  I won't comment on the shooting by the Police since I wasn't there and don't have access to all the facts.

But, I will comment on this riot and the anger over one person's being killed while all those people who are rioting and looting don't seem to have any concern for their brothers and sisters who are killed everyday in Chicago.  Don't those people count?

The group Black Lives Matter is quick to condemn police shootings of black people, but they are strangely silent when it comes to black civilians shooting other black civilians.  Why do they only matter when they are shot seemingly ignoring police orders?

Saturday, August 6, 2016


Burnie here.  I know it has been a while since I wrote.  There has been a lot going on here.  Mom has been home most of the time.  She only went away for one day.  I guess Crash and I scared her when we stopped eating during her last long trip.

Crash and I both visited the doctor this week.  Crash is doing OK, her thyroid is steady, but she got so upset in the car that she messed up our carrier.  It's a good thing that I went on Monday and she went later in the week.  Mom had to wash the inside of the carrier.

I got very good news from the doctor.  My diabetes seems to be all better, I don't have to get my shots every day, twice a day.  Now, if only mom would stop trying to give me that pill.  I feel so good that I take time every day and look out the window and watch the world go by. 

Sometimes, I even get up on the couch and sit next to mom, Crash doesn't like that.  Sometimes when she's sitting by mom I sit on the floor and stare at her until she realizes that I'm there.  Then she hisses and growls and runs away.  Sometimes I chase after her, other times I jump up onto the couch and go to sleep next to mom.

That's about all the news for now.  Hope that mom lets me write again soon.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Life is Good

Thanks to all the technical progress of the past few years, I was able to sit on my couch, look at pictures from my various vacations and listen to Mantovani.

I've been able to load all my pictures into Plex, a streaming service, on my TV.  It's so relaxing and brings back so many wonderful memories of my various trips alone and with good friends.  About a month ago, I bought myself a new toy - Amazon Echo or Alexa.  While looking at the pictures,  I realized that it is too quiet, so I asked her to play a selection of Mantovani, which she did.  Then, I realized what was missing.

 I went to my wine refrigerator and took out a bottle of Apple Wine from the Horton Vineyards in Virginia which I bought last year on a trip to various presidential and civil war sites.

The wine, the music and most of all the memories of good times with good friends, does it get any better than that?

Life truly is good!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Instructions

A few weeks ago when I was food shopping, I saw something that took me back in time.  Many, many years ago when I was working in the patent department of American Can Co., they had a department for testing new products.  Sometimes they would give these products to employees to test for our impressions.

One of these products that I was given was cheese in a can.  I don't know what it was called then, but it is now called Easy Cheese.  Well, when I saw it in the supermarket, I just had to buy it.  I know, cheese lovers and gourmets would frown on it, but it brought back many memories.  I often bought it, it was easy and fun for my boys on evenings when I decided to have party time and not cook.

I tried it tonight, it was OK.  It's not as soft as it used to be, but, as I said, it brought back some good memories.  This time, I added a glass of wine, which made it much better.

I decided to read some of the instructions on the can.  Obviously, the manufacturer doesn't think much of the intelligence of the consumer.  Here are the directions:

     "For best results, remove cap, hold applicator tip close to food, press tip firmly and move slowly across food surface."

Really, if you have to be told to remove the cap, you should not be in a position of preparing food for yourself or others.  Just saying.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


Burnie here.  Mom just came back from Petco with a supply of my very favorite food - Max Cat Duck.  It's so delicious.

Mom looked so sad when she came home.  I read her mind (I can do that, you know) and found out that today is adoption day at Petco and they had a plethora of cats and kittens, mostly black or black and white (like me).  The lady at the store said that most people are superstitious about black cats.  They think that having a black cat, or even a black and white cat will bring them bad luck.  Well, I'm here to say that Mom has not had any bad luck since I came into her life.  Well, maybe a little - she didn't win the lottery, but that's about it.

Actually, Mom has had so many black cats over the years.  Some of them were Baby, Chow, Mein, Midnight, etc.  She didn't have them all at once except for Baby, Chow and Mein.  If you ask Mom, she'd say that she has had and is having a lot of good luck.  After all, didn't I find my way into her home?

Since Mom has her hands full with me and all my medicine and Crash really doesn't want another cat in our house, she can't adopt another cat.  I wouldn't mind, but Crash definitely doesn't want another cat.  She barely tolerates me.

So all I can say to everyone out there is, if you get a chance, adopt a black or black and white cat.  It will bring you lots of love and no bad luck.  And that's way better than good luck

Saturday, June 4, 2016

'Tis a Puzzlement

There has been a lot written about the protests/riots at Trump rallies.  The videos show one thing, but the president and leading democrats say another.

They say that it is all Donald Trump's fault and responsibility for these protests/riots because he said that Mexico was sending us their criminals and thugs.  Can someone please explain to me why someone who is swinging a bag of something at and hits a person, or why a crowd throwing eggs and attacking a woman wearing a Trump shirt is not a thug or criminal.  I always thought that attacking someone who is exercising her right of free speech was a criminal act.

How is all this violence Donald Trump's fault and not the fault of the protestors/rioters?  As the song says, "'Tis a Puzzlement."

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Burnie Here

I know I've been away for a while.  I just didn't feel like I had anything to say, but today is different.

Mom just got back from another of her geographical  explorations.  She was gone for a whole 2 1/2 weeks.  It's a good thing she found a good cat sitter so I didn't have to go to the hospital, I was able to stay home the whole time.  Of course, Crash was home with me too.

Anyway, she went to someplace called the United Kingdom on a boat.  I guess she had a good time since she was away so long.  But, I got even for her leaving me.

I did a lot of meowing and stopped eating.  This made the cat sitter so nervous that she called my doctor who told her to give me a couple of pills.  I didn't like that.  So I told Crash to stop eating too.  To make us eat, we got some special food.  I got some duck (my favorite) and Crash got some tuna (her favorite).

The cat sitter even texted mom on her trip that we were having problems, but mom didn't come home any earlier.  Hmm, I'll have to think of some other way to disturb her trips.  It isn't fair that she gets to go away and I have to stay home with Crash.  I might as well be alone, Crash doesn't like to play with me, all she does is hiss and growl at me whenever I try to play with her.

Well, that's all the news I have.  I've been feeling OK, just my usual problems, nothing new so I guess that's good.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Anti-Trump Protests

I'm sitting here watching the news and am very distressed about the so-called protest against Trump's speech.

Protests and rallies are, and should be, allowed, even at times encouraged.  But, these are over the top.  Last night the so-called protest became a riot, people were injured and property destroyed. 

Today, some of these protesters went so far as to carry Mexican  flags and others are dressed in the flag,  I wouldn't be surprised to see some of them walk all over our flag. They seem to be a mixed group with no particular message except hate.

I decided to tune into MSNBC to see how they are covering this.  One of the commentators said that Trump should be aware that he is not popular since so many Californians are willing to come out and protest his speech at noon  on a workday.  I wonder how many of these protestors are here legally and how many of them have jobs or are even eligible to vote.

I worry that these protests will continue to grow in number and violence and I hope they don't result in the voice of republican candidates being silenced.

I did have a favorite candidate, but he has dropped out of the race, and now that I see how the opposition to Trump seems to be intent on fomenting violence and silence speech, I'm leaning more toward supporting the candidacy and election of Donald Trump as president.. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Size Matters

I feel a rant coming on.  I haven't gotten on my soapbox in a very long time.  I know some of you may not be bothered by this, but it is important to me.

Today I receive several mini-catalogs of women's fashions in the mail.  As I sat down to check them out, I saw that each and every one of them will offer their fashions in plus sizes, but at a price.  They charge an additional $5 for plus size.  THIS IS NOT FAIR.

I'm sure that if I questioned them, their answer would be that plus sizes require more material, even though they charge the same for size 2 as they do for size 14.  Using that line of thinking, they should charge less for petite sizes, they use less material. 

I have, on occasion, made my own clothes and I know that the material requirements to go from XL to 1X do not cost an additional $5.

These companies just wasted their money sending me their catalog.  I REFUSE to pay the additional cost for their clothes.  This is why I purchase most of my clothes from QVC.  They charge the same whether you are a petite 2 or a tall 4X.

There, I feel much better getting this injustice off my chest.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Burnie

During my recent trip, I received a call from a vet who was taking care of Burnie.  Since I learned that Burnie is diabetic and needs two shots of insulin a day, I bring him to a local veterinary hospital for boarding whenever I travel.  The vet said that Burnie wasn't eating and was having trouble urinating.  They took x-rays and they showed a blockage and possibly some growths or spots elsewhere on his body.

This upset me, there I was 3000 miles away and this vet made it sound like Burnie was at death's door.  Since I would be home in a few days, I asked that they make him comfortable and that I would decide what to do when I got home.

When I got home and picked him up, Burnie was his usual self, even serenading me on the whole 1/2 hour drive home.  I decided to let nature take its course and keep him as comfortable as possible.  That now included a pill twice a day and a dose of liquid directly into his mouth twice a day also.

Evenings at the house now resembled a hospital - Burnie's insulin shot, pill and liquid medicine, Crash's ear rub for her overactive thyroid and my cough medicine for the cold I caught on my trip.

Things have settled down a bit since then, but Burnie still gets his insulin and sometimes, I am able to give him his pill.  Have you ever tried to give a cat a pill?  It's not a pretty sight.  Even though I'm able to get the pill into his mouth and I massage his throat to stimulate swallowing, he spits it out.  I've tried putting it into his food, but he eats around it, leaving the pill.  I'd say he actually gets about one out of every five pills. 

After all this worrying and fighting with the pills, he's doing surprisingly well.  Last week, when I announced that it was snack time, he ran so fast to the kitchen, he actually beat Crash and me.  I guess the reason he wasn't eating at the hospital was that he didn't like the food they gave him, either that or it doesn't taste as good as when you're stealing someone else's food.  And he's still annoying Crash whenever he gets the chance.  I think he wanted to get even with me for going away.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A TASTE OF EUROPE






I recently returned from a very short river cruise from Vienna to Budapest, with a stop in Bratislava.  We left on Sunday and returned on Friday.  I was reluctant to go to Vienna; the last time I was there, it rained.  It didn't just rain, it poured.  All I saw of that city was the inside of my umbrella.  This time it was different.  The weather was beautiful.   These Roman ruins were discovered when they were digging for the subway just outside the home of Franz Joseph.






On our walking tour, we came upon a peace monument that was erected after the World War II on the site of a building where about 300 people died in a bomb shelter.


Then it was off to Bratislava.  Of course we took a walking tour.  Here are pictures of what remains of the city wall and St. Michael's gate for entry into the city.. 


I saw a lot of statues of heroes, kings, etc., but I really enjoyed the whimsical ones.  Here are two of my favorites.  After the first one was installed, people kept tripping over it, so they had to install the second one.


Then we were off to Budapest. 


We visited Revolution Square and heard about the uprising/revolution of 1956.  At last something I knew about and not just read in a history book.  Our guide was about 12 at the time and he told us that one evening his family just missed being in the middle of a firefight. . 

 That night we went for a sail to see Budapest at night.  I had heard that it would be a good sail, but I wasn’t prepared for the beauty of Budapest at night. The parliament building was all lit up.  It was breathtaking.





Then it was off to bed to be ready to head to the airport at 4:00 AM.  It was a wonderful taste of these beautiful cities.  I can’t wait to go again and spend more time there.




Thursday, February 18, 2016

Safety in New York City

There has been a surge of slashings in New York lately.  Most of them have been random.  For whatever reason, the assailant just comes up to someone and slashes, usually across the face.

I'm waiting to hear from Mayor De Blasio on his reaction, but he has been silent so far.  In the interest of public safety, he should make an immediate call for the registration or removal of any and all knives, just as he does whenever there is a shooting.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

STRESS

How do you handle stress?

I have two ways, either I eat or I clean.  I've had a stressful week, mostly involving my TV.  The cable company had a very short power hit this week which resulted in my losing cable.  After working with the tech, it was finally decided that I needed a new HDMI cable, which I picked up, installed and got my cable back.  However, in the process of removing this wire and that wire and pressing various buttons on the remote, I lost another service.  Then, last night, suddenly I couldn't change the channel.  I could raise the  volume or lower it, but I couldn't do anything else except turn the cable off.  Finally, I discovered that one tiny wire had become disconnected.  I reconnected it and scotch taped it to insure that it stays put.  Now the TV works.

Last week I had to take Burnie to the vet because he has developed the nasty habit of relieving himself in various parts of the house.  After some blood work and shot (in case he had an infection), the report came back that he doesn't have any new problems.  I also had to take Crash to the vet as a follow up on her thyroid condition - bouncing between hyper and hypo.  She gets very frightened when riding in the car (it couldn't be my driving, could it) and proceeded to vomit in the carrier.  It's a good thing we were close to home.

This morning I got up early, glad that the week was over.  I got dressed and went to church.  While waiting for mass to begin, a woman came over to me.  She said that she had been following me since I left my house and that one of my rear lights and the brake light are out.  Since early December, I have had a few rear lights go out.  Now, I have to drop everything and take the car to the dealer for repair.

Needless to say, I've been very stressed.  For a while this morning I was eating everything in sight.  When I couldn't eat anything else, I decided to clean.  I went to work on my office and only managed to clean my desk.  I found all kinds of papers.  If you've seen my office, you would know that my life has been  very calm lately.  My office is a disaster, but if I have more weeks like the last one, you will soon be able to eat off the floor in my office.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

I HATE CHRISTMAS

Well, I don't really hate Christmas.  Rather, I hate what I do at/for Christmas.

Yes, there are the cookies and the candy and the cocktails and their results.  I don't dare get on my scale, I prefer to live in ignorance, at least until I get a little more active.

The main reason I hate Christmas is the way I decorate.  If it doesn't move, it gets decorated.  I also have four Christmas trees.


 
 
Then, there is the other tree, whose picture is floating around in cyberspace along with my pictures of the Gingerbread House, small round house, garlands, candles, etc.  They've been missing since I was upgraded to the new Windows system.  I know they're there, but I can't find them.  Perhaps some kind son will help me find them.  But I digress.
 
Did you know that once you take a tree out of its box, it does not easily fit back in.  This is one of the reasons I dislike undecorating from Christmas.  I not only have to wrestle one tree, I have to wrestle four trees, then drag them back into the garage.
 
Every year at this time, I promise myself that next Christmas I will downsize when it comes to decorating.  Just one simple tree.  But come the next December when I start going through the boxes to see what I can eliminate, all the memories come rushing back.  How can I decide to not put a tree in my bedroom where I can go to sleep to the lights of the tree.  How can I keep the plaster ornaments that were painted by my boys in their boxes.
 
I know that, as much as I hate putting everything away, I will take them all out again next year and the years after that as long as I am able.  Every year as I check out the various ornaments I can again be the young mother who watched as her sons painted the wreaths, trees and animals for our tree.  Such wonderful memories.