The words “silent” and “victim” don’t go together!

March 6, 2014

I have enjoyed being a member of Facebook for quite a while now.  I compare it to reading a daily newspaper  that is all news about people I know!  But up until yesterday, I had just heard about people whose  accounts had been “hacked”, but now I’ve experienced it personally.   Yesterday morning when I signed into FB, someone had used the info on my FB page to create a duplicate of my  page and then “replace” me a Sandra Reed Herman!  They have then contacted people on my friends list pretending to be me.  I’m guessing at least one reason to do this is to progress to asking for money.

Anyway, I have spent the last 24 hours notifying my Facebook friends and, in turn, hearing about contacts they’ve received from the hacker posing as me.  I’ve also received alot of information from helpful friends and relatives about what to do about it.

The bottom line of all this is that I have decided that the best defense against being victimized, in this or any other way, is communication!

Soooo, I’m writing about this here today as one of the many ways I am getting the word out about guarding against this (for example, by making your privacy settings on any web-based site as exclusive as possible, while still reaching those you want to reach — as well as not allowing someone you don’t know or seems suspicious to be in contact with you).  Yes, young people, that includes those “cool” guys on the other side of the country who want to strike up a web-only-based friendship/relationship with you!

As I write this, it seems clear that this applies to many facets of or lives — don’t be a silent victim.  If you are being taken advantaged of or victimized in any way, fight back by telling someone or many people who can help you.  Not only will you received help and/or guidance in how to not be a victim, but you speaking up may encourage someone else to do the same.

“Silent” and “victim” should never go together!

ps  BTW, I especially liked what one of my FB friends (who ISN’T a police officer) messaged me about what she told “the other Sandra” when he/she contacted her on instant message:  Her message to me:

“someone messaged me telling me they got 200,000 cash from the government  did I get mine I said I was a police officer and that we will catch them  then they blocked me”

You go, girl!  With answers like that, it won’t take long for the person to realize they have hacked into a list of very smart, verbal people and will move on.

Cute, Creative Halloween Costumes

October 12, 2012

You know how you start at one point on the internet and end up going from here to here to here … and end up somewhere you have no idea how you got there?  Yeah, me too.

That’s what just happened to me.  I ended up at an on-line magazine for Mormons “LSD Living”, and saw this article about really cute Halloween costumes for little kids.

I remember always trying to find some new, creative ideas for costumes when my children were small.

So for you who still have small children, here is a link to that idea-filled article:

I have fond memories of Halloween when I was a little kid.

We were very generic back then.  I especially liked this costume because it meant I got to wear lipstick.  Wahoo!!

I’m guessing you have some great memories of costumes you wore too — and are making some great costumes and memories for your own children.

From the past-raising-kids side of things, I can tell you that any work or inconvenience you dedicate to making memories for your children, you will be soooo glad you did it when they are grown and gone.

A Very Surprising Visit!

August 27, 2012

Much of the time when I use my laptop, I sit in my comfy chair in the corner of our bedroom.  And much of the time, I’m already dressed and “made up” for the day — so, ready to meet anyone who might pop up unexpectedly. But, I have to confess, sometimes I look pretty darn ratty, especially without make-up, when I’m sitting at my computer.

Soooo, let me tell you what happened on Saturday that will make me much more careful in the future about how I look during those times.

I was sitting here (where I’m sitting right now and, I might add, fully clothed and made up) playing my favorite on-line game, Words with Friends.  When suddenly a blue box appeared in the middle of the screen that said, “Terry D____ is calling you”.  And there were two boxes to check — “Accept the Call” or “Decline”.  My thought was, “How in the heck is Terry “calling” me on my computer?”  (We went to grade school and high school together and see each other at class reunions.  He lives in Arizona now.)  So out of curiosity I clicked the “Accept” button to see what happened.

Wow!  Immediately my whole screen was filled with a video screen showing Terry sitting in a somewhat cluttered home office,  smiling at me and looking a little incredulous himself (he had just found the app himself).  And when I turned on the sound I could clearly hear him telling me “Hi!”.

I’m still not clear on how to do that computer-phoning thing, but it was fun to have about a 20 minute “call” with Terry.  And I’ve never met his wife, so when she came into the room, he introduced me to her.  How fun is that?

BUT, now that I know what it means when that little blue box appears in the middle of my screen, I will first give a thought to how I look, before I click “Accept”.

So, a word to the wise — beware the blue box.  Or you may get a surprise visit you aren’t prepared for!

Of course, now that I’m aware of this option, it may be ME calling.  In which case, go ahead and answer it.  I promise not to act shocked however disheveled you are.

A Facebook “gotcha”

June 11, 2012

You know the advertisements you sometimes see along the right side of your Facebook page?  I’ve never paid too much attention to them, but have noticed one that says “Rachel Ray lost 47 lbs!”

Today, for I have no idea what reason, I clicked on that ad.  Hmmmm.  I immediately had that feeling you sometimes get right after you’ve done something, “I think that may have been a mistake.”

I was sooooo right.  Once I got into it, it would NOT let me get out.  And when I would try to reboot my computer to get rid of it, I couldn’t even get that done!

So I went to the tried and true, old-fashioned way … I turned it off manually!

Just a warning.  Click on the ads on Facebook at your own risk.

solutions to three little problems …

March 22, 2012

Problem:  My cereal/chips/cake mixes etc. cabinet sometimes gets too full.

Problem:  The Special K I love is pretty sweet.  Not that I’m complaining, but I like to cut calories any time I can.

Problem:  When I make chex mix, it’s impossible to get just the right amount of the three different chex cereals for the recipe so I always have leftovers.  And I am not fond enough of them to finish them off for my breakfasts.

Aha!  I’ve mixed all the chex cereals in one box and then I’m mixing a half bowl of that mix with a half bowl of my favorite Special K, for my normal bowl of cereal in the morning!

I actually like this combo, so it’s no sacrifice.

Solution:  I’m getting rid of  unused cereal in the cupboard that is just taking up space.

Solution:  My favorite cereal is just a little less sweet this way and I like the crunch the other cereal adds.

Solution:  I’ve found a way to finish off any partial boxes of less popular cereals which end up taking space in the cupboard.

May all your problems today be little ones … and may they all have simple solutions.

Happy Thursday!

Meat Market Mentors

December 6, 2011

There is a family who have had a meat market in town for several generations.  At one time I think there were four brothers working in the business and now their off-spring run several locations.

When Hubby and I were first married, we lived in an apartment in a big old house just a few blocks from the brothers butcher shop.  Neither one of us had learned to cook at home, making any meal we cooked now that we were married a real adventure!

So we started going to this butcher shop regularly to buy meat … because when we bought a cut of meat the brother who was waiting on us would then tell us how to cook it … perfect!  Although unfortunately, their instructions sometimes didn’t all get remembered when we were actually doing the cooking.

After the first time we bought steaks from them, when we went back the next time they asked us how we enjoyed the steaks.  We told them they were really good, but it was so smoky in our apartment that it took away from the fun of eating them.  Too bad we had apparently missed the part of their instructions about leaving the oven door ajar when broiling!  We are so lucky we didn’t have a fire.  I don’t remember them laughing at us while we were there, but I’m guessing they did after we left.

Our relationship with these butchers continued for the two years that we lived in the near-by apartment.  But after we moved to a house and had a family, and our favorite butcher shop was on the other side of town,  it was just easier to buy our meat at the grocery store.  And I had learned enough about how to cook the different cuts that I didn’t need the detailed instructions the brothers had provided any more.

Well, over the years I’ve become a pretty good cook, and Hubby can put out a meal too, if he has to.  But something has happened recently that made me remember the early days of our marriage and the tutelage of the brothers at the butcher shop.

If we are both in town on Christmas Day, we have a tradition with our friends Candy and John to get together for a meal.  Last year they had us to their home and Candy made a fantastic prime rib, something I had never cooked.  It was wonderful.

So, they are coming here this year, and I told Candy I’d like to try my hand at the prime rib she did last year.  And you know where she directed me?  To the butcher shop of the brothers who taught Hubby and me how to cook meat 46 years ago!  She said they make it so easy — it comes already rubbed with spices and they give you a printed set of instructions on exactly how to cook it.

I look forward to having a perfectly cooked prime rib on Christmas Day because I know from long-ago experience, that family of butchers are very good at instructing those who buy their meat on how to cook it.

I do have to wonder though if the brothers first thought about giving people written instructions after their experience with the newlyweds who didn’t remember to leave the oven door open when broiling and could have burned the building down!

just along for the ride …

November 8, 2011

When they first came out, I purchased four cloth bags from the grocery store and had every intention of using them when I grocery shopped.  But unfortunately, I had trouble remembering to put them in my car.  And I finally quit even trying to remember them when I realized that there is a recycle bin for the store’s plastic bags in their entry-way.  So I figured I would still not be wasting plastic bags if I brought them back the next time I shopped (or the next time, or the next time — you know, it’s a memory thing).

But then about a month ago when a group of friends were talking about grocery shopping, one said she always uses the cloth bags.  Not just because they save on plastic bags, but because each one holds so much more than the plastic ones and the cloth ones never rip.  Let this stand as proof that some little thing we say can influence others — after that conversation and her listing the “pros” of using the cloth bags, I decided to re-commit to using them too.

The next time I went to the store, I put the big black tote that I keep the four cloth bags in in the back seat of my car.  And then predictably forgot to take them into the store with me.

But I didn’t give up.  I left them in the back seat, and the next time I went I actually remembered to take them in with me!

But then I forgot they were in the cart, and proceeded to put my groceries in plastic bags (I use the self-check-out most of the time — where you bag your own groceries).  I only remembered them when I walked back to my cart at the other end of the conveyor belt after I had put all the groceries in plastic.  Sigh.

But I was like The Little Engine That Could and kept on trying (I think I can, I think I can) and I am now happy to report, that the cloth bags have moved up from being just along for the ride and are active participants in my shopping experience.

So, I see two lessons to be learned from this story.  1) The cloth bags really do hold much more than the store’s plastic ones and, of course, are much sturdier, and 2) When you are having a conversation with someone, you have no idea which of your words just float away on the air and which may resonate with a listener and make a difference in their lives.

Happy Tuesday!


November 3, 2011

I’m back!  We’ve been out of town visiting family which was wonderful, and at the same time the trip supplied some fodder for future posts — a win/win!

But first, I read this on facebook this morning and just had to share it because it seems like such a great visual to use with kids to demonstrate why bullying is so bad:

“A teacher in New York was teaching her class about bullying and gave them the following exercise to perform.
“She had the children take out a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stomp on it and really mess it up but do not rip it. Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty is was. She then told them to tell it they’re sorry. Now, even though they …said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. And that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it. That is what happens when a child bully’s another child, they may say they’re sorry, but the scars are there forever.
“The looks on the faces of the children in the classroom told her the message hit home.”

If voting were an exclusive club, would you qualify to be a member?

May 3, 2011

What if there was suddenly a law that only those who had voted faithfully in previous elections, would now be able to vote in all future elections?  If you hadn’t been voting, how would that make you feel?  Would you feel excluded and cry “discrimination”, “unfair”, “not the American way”?

There already is a voting club.  The people who vote actually get to pick who runs our government — from township trustees to the president of the United States.

And you can be excluded — but, at least so far, the only person who can exclude you is … yourself!

Choosing who runs their government is a privilege that many people in the world wish with all their heart they had.  We are so blessed that we do have that privilege.

It’s not too late.  Join the club.  Vote every time you can, as if  your freedom depends on it.  Because it does.

Best Advice of the Week: Bathroom Graffiti our way

April 9, 2011

When we worked, I carried a small Franklin planner that was my go-to place for all things going on in life, both work and personal.  It was always either on my desk at work or in my purse, and I referred to it many times a day.  And Hubby had an electronic hand-held planner where he (and his admin) put everything important for him to remember and that his ad min synced once a day with his work computer as well as hers.  So that was his go-to spot for all things to be remembered.

And then we retired.

When we retired, it became much more important to keep a master calendar here at home.  But, then we had to remember to look at it every day.  A bigger challenge when in retirement, because there wasn’t nearly the daily routine that there had been during our working days.

So, I started putting post-it notes on the mirror in our bathroom when there was something we needed to remember.  Most of the time, these were reminders of things that were already written on the calendar that we kept, but seeing it on the mirror was a much more sure reminder.

But then something I saw on television, and my memory fails me here so I don’t remember what it was I saw that inspired this idea.  Anyway, I thought of the grease pens that are used on white boards and wondered how they would work on the mirror!

They worked.  And now any messages we need to leave for each other or any reminders we need to leave ourselves, are left on the mirror.

The notes are often incomplete — just enough to remind.  This tells me, on Friday I have golf at Shoaff Park at 10 am and we’re going to dinner and a movie with Doug and Linda about 4 pm.

This picture shows both what kind of works and what works better.  On the tub deck beside the plant is the calendar we write everything on.  But, when we realllly need to remember something, even if it is written on that calendar, we write it on the mirror “just to make sure”.

I put the markers and eraser in a container on the counter to keep them handy.