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.

A week like no other …

October 7, 2012

My two sisters and my brother came for a visit a couple weeks ago.  For five days we visited, laughed, ate and played Yahtzee.

Betty is 82 and Martha is 79.  Maybe I’m biased, but I think they look wonderful for their age!

Hubby took a picture of the four of us right after Jimmy got off his plane  …

and a few days later, he took some at home …

but then he told us to look at each other so we would looked more “connected” — and looking at each other made us laugh.  So it did make for a good picture — smart Hubby!

We had a great time.  If you have siblings who are far flung, I definitely recommend a reunion like this.  It was a wonderful experience.

Betty, Jean, Me, Martha and Jimmy — Easter, 1948

The only thing that would have made it better is if our sister Jean, who passed away a few years ago, could have been there too. But she was there in our hearts and in many of our memories —  many of her were about her making us laugh.

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.

Remember to Pass on “Thankful” … A Thanksgiving Prayer

November 24, 2011

This is the prayer we will pray today.  May each of you have a blessed, thanks-filled Thanksgiving.  You each bless my life in some way, if nothing else than coming here to read what I write.  I am thankful for you.

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Heavenly Father, Thank you for all the blessings we have to be thankful for today, especially our loved ones and for your Son who died for our sins.

And please help us to show that we are blessed and loved by being a blessing to others.

When a jerk cuts us off in traffic, may we remember that she may be a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, pay bills and spend a few precious moments with her children.

Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, seemingly disinterested young man who can’t make change correctly may be a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day, may be a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

And when we get behind an old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles, blocking our shopping progress, may we remember that they may be savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

Heavenly Father, may we remember each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. And, that it is not enough to share that love with just those we hold dear. Please open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all people in our lives.

Help us to be slow to judge and quick to forgive, showing patience, empathy and love.

In Jesus name we pray, Amen



November 22, 2011

Hubby has lots of family in this area and Bonnie was the wife of one of his cousins.  They lived in a town about a half hour away so we didn’t run into them much, but we did always see them at family reunions and, of course, weddings and funerals.

I always liked Bonnie, but I really didn’t realize what a wonderful person she was until we went to her funeral last week.  We had just heard she had a brain tumor not too long ago, so were shocked when we heard she had died.  But this is an excellent reason to go to a funeral.  I now know Bonnie better than I ever did while she was alive, and she obviously inspired many in her life, and especially during her illness, but also many, like me, who heard about her courageous journey through her illness after the fact.

Bonnie kept a journal that the pastor read from during her funeral.  In one entry she talked about working at being thankful for today.  She said she wasn’t going to waste the things she could be thankful for today because she was concentrating instead of what might happen tomorrow.

One entry was about the technician who took the 31 staples out of the incision on her head.  She talked about how gentle and kind he was.

She talked about her husband and children and how blessed she was by them.  The pastor told a personal story of arriving in her room one Sunday afternoon shortly before she died and there was Bonnie and her family sitting around eating, watching football on TV and laughing!

One of the things I found out about Bonnie is that she loved singing in her church choir.  So, of course, they sung at the funeral.  If ever there was a reason we should all join the church choir now, it is that there is no more stirring music at a funeral than the heartfelt songs sung by a choir celebrating one of their own.

We had heard that the end was near for Bonnie and that she was in the hospital.  But the obituary said she died at home — so I had guessed that she had asked to go home to die.

The last entry in her journal was written in the margin of the last page as she was being taken home.  It said, “Almost home”.

Bonnie’s home now.  But I left her funeral knowing that even though she’s physically gone, she has left a wonderful example to all who knew her.

I look forward to getting to know her better when I see her again.


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!

a loving touch …

October 26, 2011

A friend recently mentioned that her husband was always asking her to scratch his back, and she got tired of it so she bought him a back scratcher.

It was just an off-hand comment so we really didn’t discuss it, but I’ve thought about that conversation since then and wish I had told her about my extensive experience with back scratching.

There are definitely two kinds of back scratching — when the back itches — and as a loving touch.

I don’t remember why I started this practice, but I have used back scratching as a loving touch for my family for a long time.  DD has told me that she fondly remembers me coming into her room to wake her up when she was a little girl and scratching her back as I told her it was time to get up.

And I’ve continued that practice.  If one of my loved ones is sitting near me, or a small one is on my lap, I will just give them a little back scratch.  The response is always a positive one — from a loud “ahhhhh” to just a simple sigh — and almost always followed by a thank you.  And with Hubby, unsolicited back scratches for him are a long-time habit, which he always says he appreciates.  But, by the way, if his back really itches he has a back scratcher.

So my advice is that when a loved one asks you to scratch their back, if it is because it really itches, hand them a back scratcher.  But, if it’s possible it’s really a request for a loving touch, take the time to give it.

I like it that when I am gone, one of the memories my grandchildren might have of me is as a great back scratcher!

Long Distance Fans

September 7, 2011

Gunny’s son, Jay plays high school football 12 hours away.  We always go to visit them in October at the time of his sister Nikki’s birthday, so we get to see one of his games while we are there … and get to see Nikki cheerlead at the same time.  And when we go for Jay’s birthday in January, we get to see him wrestle.  Only twice a year … wayyyy less than we would wish for.

We do get to attend DD’s children’s activities a little more often because they only live four hours away, but it’s still just an occasional treat because of the distance.

It is sad for me that I know of grandparents who live in the same town with grandchildren but never attend their activities.  It would be heaven for us if we were close enough to watch our grandchildren perform regularly.

So, may this be a reminder to grandparents who have maybe always lived close to their grandchildren and might be a little blase about going to their grandchildren’s games or plays.  I encourage you to recognize the opportunity you have and take advantage of it.

Life is short and we need to constantly re-evaluate our priorities.  Being as involved as possible in our grandchildren’s lives is an investment in their future, creating closer relationships with them and making memories for them that will last long after we’re gone.

Marian’s Chocolate Cake

August 4, 2011

Right around the time Hubby and I were married, a new recipe was floating around — Texas Sheet Cake.  It’s hard to imagine this, but back then the only way recipes were shared was through other cooks, cookbooks or the occasional one in a magazine.  So, Mama started making this wonderful cake and and then gave me the recipe.  It was the first dessert I remember making that I thought, “This is REALLY good!”

When Gunny was a baby, Hubby was a bricklayer and I was a stay-at-home mom.  We lived in a small town with a volunteer fire department and our next-door-neighbor asked Hubby if he wanted to join.  Well, when Hubby joined, I soon realized I had joined too!  There was a Women’s Auxiliary for the women and it was very active and planned lots of get-togethers.  So, when we started attending all the fire department potlucks, I took my favorite chocolate cake.

There was one older woman who belonged to the Auxiliary named Marian.  A very nice lady whose husband had actually died, but she still belonged and was much loved by all.

When Marian tasted the sheet cake I had brought to a potluck, she loved it and asked for the recipe.  I gave it to her shortly thereafter.  For the next potluck I must have decided I didn’t want to look like a one trick pony and taken something else.  Because, lo and behold, Marian brought the Texas sheet cake and received all the raves and more that I had received when I brought it.

Long story short, Marian then brought the Texas sheet cake to every potluck from then on … and people always looked forward to and raved about “Marian’s Chocolate Cake”.

This didn’t stop me from sharing recipes, but I do still think of it sometimes when someone in a group asks for a recipe.  And I have said a time or two, if it was someone in a group that gets together regularly, “I’ll be glad to give it to you, but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t bring it to this group, because I might want to bring it.”  That has always worked.

But, this has also made me very aware of how easy it would be, after receiving a recipe from someone, to inadvertently do what the sweet Marian did.  So I try to make sure that I don’t step on someone’s recipe “toes”.

One of life’s many lessons learned through, of all things, Marian’s Chocolate Cake.


don’t compare your accomplishments to others’ …

August 1, 2011


Remember when I tried zip lining about a month ago?  Even when I did it, I realized that going across a not terribly wide river at about 20 feet above the water wasn’t probably a very big zip line experience.  But little did I know!

When a golf friend returned from a vacation in West Virginia recently she told the lunch group that she had ridden a zip line 350 feet above a river!  Another friend chimed in that she had zip lined high up among the tree tops in a jungle in South America!  And someone else mentioned that in Hawaii she had zip lined between the peaks of two mountains!

Wow.  I didn’t kid myself that my zip line experience was a really big deal, but I had no idea what real zip lining must be like.  I know now that my experience compared to my friends’ is like comparing Tour de France competitors with me riding a bike around my neighborhood.

But, if nothing else I am a positive thinker.  So, while my friends’ experiences are impressive, I still savor being able to say I’ve zip lined — and I still enjoy the memory of the admiration my family gave me when I accomplished it.