Saturday, January 30, 2010

We Value Your Opinion

This morning in my inbox, I found an email from




inviting me to submit a review of my latest purchases.  So just what were they looking for?

35836072 Did they want a critique of the latest David Baldacci legal thriller?  I finished True Blue a couple of weeks ago.

Or perhaps they were looking for something on the award-winning Southern novelist Karen White.  I bought my first Karen White novel after reading about it on another blog and promptly bought two more.

So I scrolled down a little farther and there they were, my most recent purchases.  Barnes & Noble was looking for reviews of Go, Dog, Go!, Are You My Mother, and The Cat in the Hat.  I had ordered them before Christmas to put under the Christmas tree for Lucy, our newest granddaughter, who should arrive in less than a month.

These three books, along with The Bear Scouts, were staples of our bedtime reading library when my boys were young.  In fact, we read them so often, the boys had them memorized, and I could never get by with an abbreviated version.

So when it came time to do Christmas shopping for Lucy, how could I go wrong with these classic children’s books?  I’m giving them all five stars!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Critters of a Different Kind (and Other Stuff)

Just wanted to take a minute to catch you up on what’s going on with me and to share a couple of random thoughts.

internet-security-2010 I’m still battling critters, but this time they’re techno-critters.  I have a computer virus that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  In fact, it has rendered my PC useless for getting on the internet, although I can still do some work on it.

Beware that if you see any program running on your computer that looks like this, you’ve got it too.  The program is called Internet Security 2010, and all it does is give you fake reports of viruses that it has “detected” on your computer.  I’m not sure where I got it, but it began showing up several days ago with all kinds of pop ups and dire warnings.

It tries to trick you into buying a full version of Internet Security 2010, but you’re not really buying anything.  Who knows who’s getting all the money unsuspecting folks are throwing away.  Meanwhile, I’m working with my anti-virus software techies to try to resolve the problem.  Since I don’t have internet access on that computer, I have to download their various diagnostic tools from another computer to a flash drive, then run them on the infected computer.


zz7401-27-10ipade132b0 Apple introduced its latest gadget today.  The iPad is scheduled to be available for purchase in March.  Although I love my iPhone, I’m not sure I could justify spending the $499 or more for an iPad. 

I imagine Apple is trying to compete with Amazon’s Kindle and other electronic readers with the added capability of being able to surf the web, watch movies, and other stuff.  For now, I can do most of those things on my iPhone, and I’m really not interested in watching movies on any screen smaller than my TV. 

I’m also not ready for an electronic book reader.  There’s just something about holding a book in your hand, and if you accidentally drop it into the bathtub or it slips into the footbath while you’re getting a pedicure, you haven’t ruined a $500 electronic toy.  I did that once with my cell phone, so I know from experience what water does to electronics.  Besides, I trade most of the books I read with my friend Janice, so an electronic reader would render our swap shop useless.

By the way, my sister-in-law Susie says that the iPad sounds like something Kimberly-Clark would make.


egg-drop-soup-a Today for lunch I enjoyed a hot bowl of egg drop soup.  My house keeper brought it yesterday, and I was the beneficiary of the leftovers today.  She often stops at a local Chinese restaurant for egg drop soup, and she always shares it with me.

Anyway, just as I was finishing the last drop, my nose started pouring like someone had turned on a faucet.  That’s not the first time this has happened to me when I’ve eaten egg drop soup.  In fact, other times I’ve even wondered if I’ve somehow gotten some of that soup from my throat to my nose.  I know that sounds gross.

My curiosity got the best of me today, so I googled “egg drop soup nose runs.”  Although I couldn’t find anything specific to what I have experienced, I did find several references to the powers of egg drop soup in curing colds.  So maybe there’s something in it that cleans out your sinuses.

Just a thought.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

All Quiet on the Home Front

Although we spent most of the fall battling the squirrel population of North Shelby County, for the moment at least, we've called a truce.  The squirrels are sticking to the yard, and LBeau has removed this unsightly contraption from the back of our house.

squirrel 006

He constructed it of galvanized flashing, and attached it to the house using duct tape and a C clamp.  Although duct tape may be good for lots of things, including getting rid of warts, I can testify that in rainy weather it will absolutely not stick to brick, thus the C clamp.

The idea behind LBeau's creation was to keep the squirrels from climbing up the brick beside the window and jump from there to the roof.  So they just moved to the other side of the window and took a longer leap, making LBeau's next possible move a gigantic squirrel baffle permanently attached all the way across the back of the house.  No thank you.

Meanwhile, we now need to fix the gutter damage where the squirrels ate holes in them.  You heard that right; they ate the aluminum gutters!!  See this hole where the two pieces of gutter meet.  That seam is supposed to be completely covered by that metal strap which used to overlap the top and turn down inside the gutter.

gutters 002

After a Google search to see if anyone else had ever had a problem with squirrels eating their gutters, I found a forum called Undieable Squirrel.  One poster asked for suggestions on dealing with squirrels eating gutters.  I particularly liked one bit of advise.  "Shoot the buggers!!"

As you can see, we are now prepared.  The kids gave LBeau this air rifle for Christmas, and it's already been put to good use.

squirrel 001

So just a friendly word of warning for all you squirrels out there.  As long as you stick to the yard and the trees, you're safe.  But if you make one move on our house, we'll be waiting for you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


words003 Hello, my name is Kathy, and I'm addicted to Words With Friends.

Looking back, my obsession probably started last fall when I upgraded my mobile phone to an iPhone.  I had been wanting one for a while, but I needed to wait until my contract expired so that I wouldn't have to pay full price.  At the same time I was a little hesitant, not knowing what kind of learning curve I would be facing.  I must say that I love the phone.

At first, I only downloaded a few apps—the Weather Channel, ESPN ScoreCenter, Facebook.  I was determined to resist loading it up with a bunch of stuff.

Then my hairdresser told me about Words With Friends.  I've always loved board games, so I thought it sounded like fun.  It's just like Scrabble, and you can play with anyone else who had the app on their phone.  If you don't mind ads, which are easy to skip, you can even get it free.


When I first downloaded Words With Friends, I didn't know anyone else to play with, so I let the app create a game for me with a random opponent.  Then I told my sister about it, and I also showed it to my friend Pam.

Little Sis and I play at least one game a day.  Sometimes I beat her, and sometimes she beats me.  We've even been known to play while sitting in the same room, and I'm sure our SIL Susie got tired of our games on our recent trip to Destin.

Recently, my son and daughter-in-law discovered Words With Friends, and just a few days ago I received challenges from my nephew and his wife.  As I write this, I have five games going on.  Whew!!  It's a wonder I get any work done, but I keep telling myself that it's good for my brain.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Inside!!

thermostat 001 What you are seeing is the thermostat for the main level of my house.  As you see, it's reading 51 degrees.  Sometime on Saturday the motor on my furnace fan went out, so we didn't have heat the rest of the weekend because the part was not available until today.

Fortunately, we did have heat on the second floor, so we could camp out there and stand in front of the fireplace when we had to be downstairs.  Also on the plus side, I was in Destin until yesterday afternoon with my sister and sister-in-law, leaving LBeau to brave the cold.

Although it was cold and windy on the beach, we were toasty inside.  Besides, you can't beat the sight of the sun setting over the ocean at any time of the year.

beach 5014