Tuesday, July 22, 2014

War on Pests and a Politican Statement

Arkansas Patti apparently feels a bit guilty about giving her new pup rein to indulge its hunting instincts.  She has a problem with voles.

There is a lot of that going around.  I went to the hardware store just the other day and asked about traps, poisons, machine guns, anything that might get rid of these little pests.

Wikipedia image.
Much cuter than a mole.

We did not have this problem when our cat was alive.  Perhaps he was more of a hunter than we ever suspected.  Now there is such a system of tunnels in the yard that I sink when I work in the garden.  The tunnels rim the perimeter of the house.  I live in fear that the place will sink into the center of the earth.

Our neighbors old cat saunters over to lie down under the shady astilbe and seems to just watch the voles scamper around him.  Useless.

Poison all over the yard is a bad thing for other forms of life while the voles a happily pulling the grass down from the roots.  Traps are distasteful when you have to empty them and supposedly don't always work that well.  A machine gun would not really do much more damage than a vole colony as far as tearing up the lawn, but I believe our town recently passed a noise ordinance.

Moles tend to be fairly solitary critters.  They are easier to trap successfully and you can impact their food supply to some extent.  Voles eat grass and garden plants--hard to eliminate.  Voles give rabbits a real run for their money in the family planning (or lack there of) department.

Oh! Oh! I just thought of the solution.  I will set out have-a-heart traps and send all my VT voles and my FL rabbits to Ted Cruz.  (You know, because he is the expert on reproduction...even though I am still convinced he himself is, in fact, a Disney animatron.)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Good News!

Good News! That is how a letter I got today from my credit card company.
I can request an increase in my credit card limit--instant!  No hassle!  Ask and it is mine.

Good news indeed.  And how lucky am I?  The opportunity to sink myself into debt is as good as winning the lottery.  Really, there is no need for me to want for a single thing.

So you won't be able to call me because I have no cell service...but I will be out shopping anyway.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Personal Journey in Technology

For years and years, I never felt the need for a mobile phone of any kind.  What would I have to say to anyone on the planet that could not wait until I was home.
I certainly never overheard a conversation on a cell phone in a public place that did not sound as though it was considerably less than urgent.

Then we got stuck at an airport after a weather-related flight cancellation and I noticed that those who were whipping out their cells phones were at a distinct advantage over those few of us (basically Mike and me) who were searching for a public phone to make the needed arrangements.

A few years later, when we started to travel to Florida for the winters, I decided to get a phone for travel purposes.  I had seen an ad in the AARP magazine for Consumer Cellular.  At the time is a free phone and $10 per month for a very basic service.  I called them.  They informed me that they could not send me a phone because there was no service in my area.  I tried to explain that I did not really need service in my area, I wanted it for travel.  I got switched over to a supervisor.

I explained that I wanted the phone for our time in Florida.  We had had some problems with the phone systems in rental houses, and of course there was the travel time itself.  It was about emergencies.  "Oh, you have an address in Florida?"  I thought I was getting somewhere.  I gave the address of the rental.
"Oh, but that is not your credit card address.  We can't send you a phone there and we can't send a phone to your home address because there is no service there."  Seriously?

It took some negotiations,but I finally received my little clamshell phone that allowed me to make and receive phone calls once I realized it had to be turned on and if I could remember to keep it charged.

A few years later, Mike decided to get a phone for himself.  By this time the basic clamshell was about $35, but it had a little camera and rudimentary texting capability--a real upgrade.  Also by this time, even though there is still no service in our area, it was not a hassle to convince the company to sell us a phone--I assume some corporate shake-up and a new business strategy.

Last summer,  I learned to text.  This was a necessity brought on by the need to keep family updated about Mike's condition.  We had the standard telephone dial setup.  That means 3-4 would drop down when you hit the key and you scrolled down to the letter you wanted and selected it.  It was a laborious process--far more so than those flying thumbs I see other people using.

So then I took the trip with my grandkids.  I could not find my phone the whole time I was gone--thought I must have left it at home.  I could not find it anywhere when I got home.  I needed to get a new phone and I caved to peer and grandchildren pressure and ordered a "smart" phone.

Then, of course, I found my old phone safely tucked away in the secret compartment of my travel bag--even though I thought I had completely emptied it at least five times over the two weeks we were gone.

I bought a Motorola G from Consumer Cellular for about $150.  It arrived yesterday and befuddled me for most of the day.  It was all about getting it hooked up to wifi--something my granddaughter does successfully every time she visits.  I finally left it alone and went and got a pedicure where I sat in one of those back massage chairs.  Ah, all was well when I got home and I got right onto the wifi and could start playing a bit with my phone.

Like my dryer, something new that I really didn't need, but there you have it.  So I am sure it doesn't do the things of an iPhone or more expensive Androids, but it will keep me busy for a while.

You still cannot call me though--no cell service here.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Too Smart for Me

I finally did it, made a step into the 21st century!

I bought a smart phone.  So far it is way too smart for me.

And I hate being outsmarted by something the size of my hand so I may have to give it a full body smack down.

Or perhaps I should go see my grandchildren to have them explain it all to me.

I have the "getting started" videos, but they seem to have no relationship to what actually happens when I turn on my phone.

I have to stop and go listen to my anti-anxiety tape and I will probably fall asleep as a result.

Don't anybody try to call me for a few days.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


My friend Ginnie sent this to me.  I had to pass it along because it made me laugh:

Bertha and Betty
Two 90-year-old women, Bertha and Betty, had been friends all of their lives. When it was clear that Bertha was dying, Betty visited her every day. 

One day Betty said, "Bertha, we both loved playing softball all our lives, and we played all through high school. Please do me one favor: when you get to heaven, somehow you must let me know if there's women's softball there." 

Bertha looked up at Betty from her deathbed and said, "Betty, you've been my best friend for many years. If it's at all possible, I'll do this favor for you." Shortly after that, Bertha died. 

A few nights later, Betty was awakened from a sound sleep by a blinding flash of white light and a voice calling out to her, "Betty, Betty."

 "Who is it," asked Betty, sitting up suddenly. "Who is it?" 

"Betty -- it's me, Bertha." 

"You're not Bertha. Bertha just died."
"I'm telling you, it's me, Bertha," insisted the voice. 

"Bertha! Where are you?" 

"In heaven," replied Bertha. "I have some really good news and a little bad news." 

"Tell me the good news first," said Betty. 

"The good news," Bertha said with joy and enthusiasm, "is that there's women's softball in heaven. Better yet, all of our old buddies who died before me are here, too. Even better than that, we're all young again. Better still, it's always Springtime and it never rains or snows. And best of all, we can play softball all we want, and we never get tired." 

"That's fantastic," said Betty. "It's beyond my wildest dreams! So what's the bad news?" 

"You're pitching Tuesday." 

Life is uncertain - eat dessert first!!! Live to the fullest!!And, always be ready!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Luray Caverns

I had planned to stop to take some tours along the long ride home from Florida, but that plan was largely scrapped when it was apparent that the kids really, really seemed ready for home.  We did stop to tour Luray Caverns in Virginia on the way back to Vermont though.  I knew that they would enjoy that.

My camera mysteriously stopped working.  The battery showed plenty of charge the day before, so I am not sure why it stopped working.  Too much sand and sun?

Anyway, it was a bummer, because I would have loved to be taking pictures.  But it was pretty spectacular and you can see some pictures HERE.

I have hosed out the car.  Now it is time for me to attend to the weeds that had themselves a field day in my absence.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


We have been on the road.  My grand kids are being good travelers, but they like air travel over a long car trip.  I should have them home by tomorrow.

There are far too many cars, trucks, and RVs on the road these days.  That's my take on the situation.