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.

In the “olden days” picky eaters had it alot tougher!

August 17, 2012

There was a “conversation” on Facebook about grandchildren who were picky eaters.

And that inspired some of the grandparents to share why there weren’t picky eaters at their house when they were growing up.

Here are my two favorites:

“as a child my family’s menu consisted of two things:  take it or leave it.”

“my mom used to say ‘If you don’t eat it tonight you’ll get it with milk and sugar for breakfast tomorrow!”

These quotes are funny, but it is seriously true that food was not taken for granted then and you were expected to eat what was put before you (including the hard crusts on the bread) or go hungry until the next meal.  I don’t remember very many “snacks” when I was growing up — just three square meals.  And we were all healthy and happy — we didn’t know any different.  In many ways, we were the lucky ones, compared to all the variety of food choices kids have today.

Truly, what were they thinking?

March 3, 2012

There has been a rash of robberies of drug stores in our area.

So, someone in a position of authority with one chain of drug stores passed down instructions for a way to solve the problem:

From now on, an employee would stand at the door and greet customers as they walked in.  And if someone was wearing a hood they would ask the person to take it off.

The woman who was telling me this works at one of these drug stores and is about my age.  She would have to take her turn during her shift as the “greeter”.  She was dismayed, and I don’t blame her.

Let’s think about how this would work.  A drug-addled young man might be in a withdrawal frenzy, desperately in need of a “fix”.  But he has no money, so he goes to a drug store to do anything he has to to get some drugs.  Just before he walks into the store, he remembers to put up his hood in hopes that he won’t be recognizable on the surveillance cameras.

But when he walks in the door he is immediately confronted by an “old lady” who tells him to take off his hood.

So, how do you think this scenario would play out?

I hope that he would just turn around and leave.  But, depending on how high he is, this could be very dangerous for the person who confronted him as well as anyone else around, especially if he is carrying a gun.

But, luckily, this plan of action didn’t last very long.  So many of the employees rebelled at being put in this position that the management backed down from the plan.

I also wonder if some of the managers might have taken their turn at the door and maybe that made them realize what a vulnerable position the “greeter” was being put in.

I sympathize with the managers who are trying to figure out ways to thwart robbers, but I don’t think this particular plan was well thought out.

The plan reminds me of one of my favorite sayings:  “Nothing’s impossible if you don’t have to do it yourself.”

A ticklish situation

February 18, 2012

School was new to him.  His school didn’t have a kindergarten so he was having his first school experience in first grade.  So far he was enjoying it, especially the recesses where he had the opportunity to play with lots of new friends.

That was many years ago but he does still have a couple of vivid memories from that time.

Like his first experience with store-bought milk.  He lived on a farm where they had dairy cows, so fresh milk was what they drank.  He remembers that the first time he drank the homogenized milk at school, it was so different from what he was used to that he threw up.  But he soon got used to it, and found out that he really enjoyed the lunches at school.  Thus began a long tradition of him making friends with the ladies who did the cooking in the cafeteria. They liked him because he was a good little eater (and I assume just a likable little boy) and he liked them, well, because they made him lunch every day!

His other memory is one in the classroom.  They were having a play time in their classroom when the teacher stepped out the door a minute.

He and some others decided to play hide-and-seek.  The kid who was “it” had already started counting so he quickly looked around for somewhere to hide. There was a cubby hole that he could climb into … perfect.  He crawled as far back as he could into the cubby hole and sat perfectly still in hopes “it” wouldn’t find him.

But suddenly everything changed when the teacher walked back into the room! She told everyone to return to their seats and she walked to her desk and sat down.

OH-OH!  He was trapped in the cubby hole of the teacher’s desk!  And then she kicked off her shoes!  Well, he was just a little kid and even though it had surprised him to get trapped under there, he wasn’t so worried that he could resist what came naturally to a fun-loving little boy — he gently tickled the bottom of one of her stockinged feet.

Well, that got a response!! The teacher shrieked and jumped up!  Then she looked under her desk, fully expecting to see a mouse but just saw a sheepish little boy, who wasn’t sure what to do next.

As soon as the teacher realized what had happened, she laughed out loud so, of course, the whole class laughed too.  And the little “tickler” was just relieved he wasn’t in trouble.

In case you haven’t guessed, the little boy was Hubby, and I’ve repeated this tickling story many times because I think it is so cute.  But what made me think about it recently was when a story was on the national news about a first grader who was suspended from school because he told his teacher she was cute!  That makes me sad and to long for the days when little boys weren’t punished for doing innocent things that come naturally to little boys.

Where’s Mr. Wizard When You Need Him?

January 4, 2012

When I was growing up and television was in its early days, there was a show on Saturday mornings called Mr. Wizard.  Frankly, it wasn’t one of my favorite shows because it was all about Mr. Wizard doing experiments with everyday items and then explaining the science of why it worked.  One I remember was putting a burning match in a glass bottle and then putting a hard boiled egg on top of the bottle. As the fire on the match used up the air in the bottle, the egg (without its shell, of course) was sucked into the bottle.  Some of the experiments were interesting, but I was not a very scientifically minded kid, so I was more interested in cartoons.

But when Hubby and I were at a restaurant recently, something that happened made me think of Mr. Wizard.

When Hubby poured his root beer into the frosted mug, we watched in amazement as a thin cylinder of ice began rising up from the mug.

We don’t know why this happened, but assume it had something to do with the temperature of the root beer when it was poured in in contrast to the temperature of the frosted glass.

Even though we didn’t know why it happened, it was fun to see it.  And I was a little sorry when it melted a short time later.

Mr. Wizard, if you’re still out there, have your people call my people and let’s do lunch so we can talk about this, okay?

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.



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.”

two different specialists …

September 15, 2011

When I walked up to the express lane at the grocery, a man was patiently trying to feed a coupon into the designated slot.  After he tried unsuccessfully a couple times, I really looked at him for the first time and realized he was Dr. K, our  family doctor!  He has been a wonderful addition to our lives since we changed to him a couple years ago.  He is not only an excellent doctor but has a friendly warm personality and makes you feel like he is actually seeing you as a person, not just the patient in Room 4.

Anyway, because Dr. K has a great sense of humor, I knew that he would see the humor in his situation, so I stepped up behind him and said in a low voice, “You probably need a medical degree to do that.”

When he turned around and recognized me, he chuckled and said, “Apparently that isn’t enough!”

Just then Diane, one of the most helpful and experienced of the store’s employees, walked by.  She immediately saw what Dr. K was trying to do so she walked over and said, “Let me help you with that — there’s a trick to it.”  She quickly inserted the coupon into the slot and then leaned over and gently blew in after it.  The coupon disappeared immediately.  He thanked her and she smiled and walked away.

When he looked at me and chuckled, I said, “She may not have a medical degree, but she’s very good at what she does.”  He agreed and then said good-bye and left.

What struck me about this incident was that both Dr. K and Diane are very good at their jobs and both deserve to take pride in what they do.  I’m fortunate to be one of the beneficiaries of both their sets of talents.

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.