Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Texas and mosquitoes

Summer in Texas is not determined by the calendar, the phases of the moon, or any other arbitrary date.

No, summer begins in Texas officially with the first swat at the first mosquito and you know as summer continues the barrage of mosquitoes will increase.

When I was younger, mosquitoes seemed to love me and bit me so many times that I would fall asleep scratching. Nothing stopped the itching.

Now they still bother me, and they bite, but the bites don't itch.

I tried to sit outside the other evening and as soon as I sat down, here came one, swat, then another, swat, then two at once, swat, swat.

Pretty soon I had enough on me to give up and go back inside.

Lately my life seems like I am being overwhelmed with mosquitoes. OK, so the problems are the mosquitoes and I recognize that the problems I am facing are not monumental. These are more like mosquitoes, buzzing around, and waiting to bite.

For the first time in probably 10 years I had someone else prepare my income tax return. It seemed like a good idea at the time but when inside of a return I got a letter from the IRS, I swatted at the problem. After the second and then the third letter, it really became annoying. The last one came this week notifying me that I am being audited. Good grief!

Then I woke up one morning with a strange email notifying me that my google account had been hacked Swat!

In a few days I found out my Facebook was hacked. SWAT!

Then, BUZZ, I found out my email account was hacked, a virus was in my computer and $130 later, I was rid of that mosquito!

In the middle of all this fun, I was also told that someone I had long admired and respected, was telling people that I was evil! SWAT!!!

BUT this time I had something that relieved the itch, something I never had when I was younger.

This week has also included Annabel's birthday and on Thursday will mark 3 years of her becoming part of our family.

Last night she called me in and gave me a bag from James Avery

She told me it was my "Gotcha Day" present from her. It was a charm that said MOM.

That was the best cure for all these mosquitoes!

Missing my girls!

I just dropped off my daughters at camp.
Now to minimize their importance in my life and how much I will miss them, I am actually overwhelmed with these prospects instead:

WHO will help me find my glasses? I I have two pairs and they disappear all the time. I am sure someone must move them during the night because I know I don't wear them to bed but they are NEVER where I am sure I leave them at night.

WHO will help me find my phone? Again, seems pretty easy, plug it in at night and take it with you the next day, but for some reason my phone has sprouted legs and can easily move in any number of directions without regard to me!

WHO will help me if there is a problem with the TV? At some point the TV has become a complicated machine to operate. I know the basics, turning it on and off, but if there is a problem with the satellite? I don't have a clue. That's not even covering the HUGE issue of trying to operate Netflix even though I have one of their DVDs to watch that I don't think they will ever want to see.

Now what was I thinking letting them go? Oh dear, I forgot about the dogs! And the fish! Good grief! They can't get home soon enough!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tomorrow is the day!

I cannot wait until tomorrow! I am so excited!

I hope the dogs won't bark too loudly at a stranger in the house! I really would like to sneak in and surprise my girls. They will be shocked!

Then on to work. Just think of the fun I can have! I should have bought a new outfit to make this even better! Wow! Maybe even I could avoid some of the recent problems at work.

You see tonight was the fifth application of my new evening moisturizer. It promises that in just 5 days I will have a whole new me with much younger looking skin.

Ooh! I can't wait! I wonder if you will recognize me?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Did you send me this?

Hi Jerri,

A new device named "Jerri's iPhone" logged into your Facebook account (Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 10:07pm) from Richardson, TX, US (IP= (Note: This location is based on information from your ISP or wireless provider.)

This device has been added to your account.

Was this you? If so, you can disregard the rest of this email.
This is the message I had on my email account when I got up. And no, it was not me. My bed is not in Richardson, TX, US and I was not awake at 10:07pm, so no, I did not add this device to my account.

Earlier this week I wrote about my email account being hacked into.

I immediately started changing passwords and hoping I could maybe remember one or two of them, but did not worry about my Facebook account because someone had hacked into it earlier so that one was already changed.

Now I know Einstein and others have assured us we have way more brain power than we use, but for passwords I think I have reached the limit! Some REQUIRE upper/lower case, some REQUIRE a numeral, some REQUIRE a symbol, the length seems to vary from 5 - 20 characters!

THEN you have to have a user name on a lot of the accounts, which may or may not be your email address or your name or your account number.

Once I got through some of the more "important" accounts, I started looking at all the email in my in box. The source of the hacker could be any of the numerous "special" groups I have subscribed to! I am especially suspect of all the group coupons. On them I had even saved credit card information. How dumb can I be? That just doesn't even seem remotely smart, to subscribe to something, in hopes of saving a little money, give them my credit card number, then sit and wait???

Don't get me wrong, I love the discounted items that I use but a whole lot sounded good at the time but were never redeemed. Now that I have unsubscribed and asked to have my account deleted I have found out that you can still make a company honor it for the face value for up to 5 years after the expiration date! Remember when companies GAVE you half price coupons in hopes of earning your business? Now they sell them to you!

Now I will post this if I can just remember my user id and password for my blog.

One final word of advice: CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

No chance of it getting to be too quiet!

About the time that I am sure that things have calmed down and we can really begin to enjoy the summer, a series of things begin to unravel and you spend countless hours trying to "fix" it!
Recently our desktop would not boot up. The $75 I had spent for updated virus prevention software was evidently not enough. I tried for hours and days to download (or is it upload) something else but right as it was completing, it would shut itself down.
I finally gave up and called a repair person, who had come highly recommended. He showed up that afternoon and in a matter of 4 or so hours, had cleared out all the problems, downloaded new and improved virus protection, and I think replaced the hard drive, but once he got to a description of the problems all I could hear was something that sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher, "Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah!". So $180 later and it is fixed!
I knew my laptop was having problems but kept thinking I had fixed it (again that word) and hated to think how much more I would owe him so we put it off for another time.
Of course, almost immediately mine began to display the same issues as the desktop. I hoped it was a 24 hour bug but of course it is much worse.
I'm still waiting on the repair person to contact me so I am without my usual computer.
At the same time I had been attending a conference in a town about 25 miles from us, which was 25 miles more than what I wanted to drive, but the conference was good and I was glad for the change in scenery, as well as the opportunity to learn something new.
On the very last day of the conference I stopped by the restroom before braving the 100+ temperatures and the long drive home. Without a thought, I dropped my car keys into my conference bag that looked just like all the other conference bags. I had left my purse at home, accidentally but carry anything important with my phone, so I had decided not to turn around and return for it. The first of many mistakes for the day!
When I came out of the stall, I washed my hands, and bent to pick up my bag to get my keys ready so I could start that a/c as quickly as possible!
Hmmm, I don't remember bringing a black jacket.
Hmmm, I don't own a black jacket.
Wait a minute! This is not my bag.
I immediately dig through everything in the bag still expecting to find my keys, as well as the bottle of cranberry juice I had left from the refreshments (which is a sure sign that I am getting old: taking the juice for one thing, the other that it was cranberry).
I run out of the restroom with the bag in hand and stand there with my mouth wide open wanting to scream for everyone to stop where they are! Instead I start asking anyone and everyone if they had been in the restroom and gotten my bag by mistake.
When that didn't work, then I positioned myself by the doors so I could stop each person leaving if they had my keys.
Of course the question begs, why didn't I just get someone from home to bring me the other set?? BUT the problem is, I only have 1 set!
After calling my co-worker to come back and rescue me, a tow truck was finally secured, and my car was brought home once more. I was sure that the person who had taken my bag would finally figure out they had someone else's bag and send my keys back so I could avoid the $400 cost of re-keying my car.
It's good to work with someone who is able to help out with all sorts of problems and soon an email went out to ALL the participants and within hours my keys were found.
Thankfully Dad did not mind loaning his HUGE truck to us so Grace and I were able to make it to the 12:01 AM showing of Harry Potter.
Sometime in the midst of all of these things happening, Annabel decided that both dogs were sick and we had to get them to the vet. $175 later, the dogs are both on the mend, which was about the time I got a call from the Golden Retriever Rescue group, where I had signed up for us to be a foster family.
Annabel has wanted a Golden Retriever since the first time she saw one and while I put her off at Christmas with the suggestion that summer is a much better time to get a dog, I was now faced with the need to make a good decision on adding to our family.
The foster program seemed ideal as it would allow all of us enough time to decide if a third dog would work. Our dogs are pretty sure they do not need a pet, but the rescue group thought we would be perfect for fostering and less than 24 hours later, we added Charley to our group.
The jury is still out on whether Charley is a permanent addition. I will keep you updated.
Now to my more recent irritant.
While trying to get the new dog in the house I lost my phone. I kept knowing I needed to make sure I had not left it somewhere, but our house was in quite a state last night with all 3 dogs squaring off and the girls trying to keep peace, so my phone was not a priority.
It always comes down to Annabel to find it for me and when she did I found I had several strange posts on my blog and in my in box where hackers had been doing there work.
Ugh! I hope you did not click on the links that showed earlier today. If I knew how to lose weight or how to get a better life, I would not post them for free on this blog! I would be out there trying to do an infomercial selling it!
I could really use a quiet evening. Soon!

It's not about sandwiches! It's about my life!

Monday, July 11, 2011

My excuses

There have been some problems with my blog lately

My computer refuses to cooperate and I spend hours trying to find what is wrong with it.

Everything I wrote sounded preachy.

It is HOT.

Even with the long hours of sunlight, it does not guarantee that you can get everything done.

I'm just tired.

So instead I have been writing my blog in my mind but not enough of you are psychic and can read my mind so then I even feel guilty about not taking the time to write.

I looked at the calendar and realize that my girls only have 3 more weeks of summer vacation

ALL of that stuff I was sure we would have time for this summer, just isn't going to happen. I know we have done a lot, not necessarily fun things, but we haven't sat still very much either.

As my girls got older I really thought summers would be easier, instead they just get harder. Or else I forget how hard they are because I am so excited at the prospects of a slowdown of our usual race during school that I think summer is the answer.

I've had the same job for over 12 years. I thought I had it down to a science, but this summer I feel like it is kicking my bottom.

So that is why I haven't been writing lately.

Let's hope I can figure out a way to add even more to my already packed day!

Monday, July 4, 2011

10 Tips for Keeping your Independence

10 Tips for Keeping Your Independence

Alzheimer's disease is always changing you. One day you may be able to do something, and the next day you may not. However, you can continue to live independently during the early stages of the disease by making simple adjustments, taking safety precautions and having the support of others.

1) Get help with daily tasks. Give yourself more time and less hassle by using services that can take care of everyday activities like shopping, cooking, bill paying and housekeeping. You could also ask a friend or relative to help with these tasks.
Get meals or groceries delivered to your home. Also consider stocking your freezer with microwave meals.
Use a lawn service to do yard work.
Ask your bank if they provide services to help pay bills and keep track of your accounts. Or, have bills paid directly from your checking or savings account.
Hire a cleaning service to vacuum, dust, mop and do laundry.

2) Use memory aides. Labels, lists, notebooks and sticky notes can help you cope with memory loss.
Label drawers to help you find things.
Keep important numbers by the phone.
Post reminders to lock doors or shut windows.
Have step-by-step instructions on how to work appliances (such as the computer) or complete routine tasks (such a fixing your hair).

3) Take safety measures. Make home safety improvements, such as installing grab bars in the bathroom to minimize falls. Use appliances that have an automatic shut-off feature. Enroll in MedicAlert® + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return® to help protect your safety in case you cannot find your way home or if you have a medical emergency.

4) Plan for the future. At some point, it will become too difficult to live independently. Make plans now for your future care so your family can honor your wishes. A good place to start planning is with CareFinder, our online guide helping individuals and families find the right care options. Learn more about planning ahead.

5) Take your medications as prescribed. Taking your Alzheimer's meds can help minimize symptoms. Consider using a pill box to help you organize medications. Ask the pharmacist or a family member to place pills in the pill box for you. Write down the times to take your medicine on a calendar.

6) Have a plan to get around. If it is no longer safe for you to drive, there are other ways to get where you need to go. Ask family and friends for a ride. Take taxi cabs or other public transportation. Some communities offer paratransit services for seniors and those with special needs.

7) Protect yourself from solicitors and potential fraud. Do things that will limit solicitors calling you on the phone or sending you mail. Get your phone number registered on the "national do not call list." Consider getting Caller ID so you know who is calling you. Stop unwanted junk mail by taking steps to get off mailing lists.

8) Stay active. Continue doing hobbies you enjoy. Whether it's gardening, dancing, painting, volunteering, playing sports or card games, you will benefit from the mental and social stimulation.

9) Talk to friends about your memory loss. Your friends may not know how "to be with you" after you disclose your diagnosis. Put them at ease. Talk openly about your memory loss and allow them to ask questions. You will get their support and understanding.

10) Get support. Get in touch with the Alzheimer's Association for information and support. We can give you referrals to local programs and services that can help you keep your independence. You can also talk to others who know what you are going through on our message boards.