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HomeSurvival Handbook

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Ramblings

Remember many years ago took a trip to Canada. Quebec specifically.  While we were there many of the people we met along the way  – once they found out we were from Texas – wanted to know if people rode horses to get around?  Hated to tell them ‘no’, but that we in deed did have cars . . . but  sometimes people rode horses.  Didn’t want to disappoint them.  The photo is a night shot of Quebec and the ‘lights’ going up the side of the hill to the right is – if I remember correctly – a cable car ride.

 

This random thought came to mind when we were coming back from town this morning and we saw real cowboys – on horses – rounding up cattle.   They were all decked out in regular cowboy attire, hats, lassos, and spurs.

 

 

 

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Cowboys are not an unusual sight for us to see. But do have to say, that even for me, having been born and raised in Texas – I still find the sight of real cowboys working the range somewhat surreal.

 

As were the baby fawn and two baby armadillos that were crossing the road.  We saw these earlier in week when heading to the doctor’s office.

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Going to the doctor is a big part of our life with everything segmented into three-month blocks of time – where we go see the doctor, get a report, come home and wait for the next appointment to see the doctor  in three months time . . . if all is well.  In the meantime, we try to have as normal a life as possible – although this is sometimes easier said than done.  Medicines, pain, and energy (lack of)  all have their own unique impact on our lives.  Why am I telling you this??  I guess because I’ve come to learn over the last four years that one should do the things they want to when they are able. Don’t wait; no one is promised tomorrow.    Even now with our limited abilities, we still try to do what small things we can to have fun.    That’s all – putting away the soap box.  Just had to say that.  Maybe because I wish someone would have told me that many years ago.  Know I would have done some things differently.

 

Another thing I’ve learned during these four years is to have more patience and to try to be as kind as possible because you never know what the other person is going through . . . can definitely say that due to my experience.   To that end, saw the following video – sort of sums up my thoughts on karma.

 

 

 

 

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.Been somewhat retrospective these past couple of weeks. Even went online to use Google street-view to look at one of the houses I grew up in. Wanted to see if it looked the same . . .  plus  I enjoy Google street-view, lets me take a trip while sitting in front of my computer.  Just typed in the address, city, state, country – and viola -there I am . . . back in Houston.  Nice thing, I  can view the location from any angle and even travel the surrounding streets.   [To view a location, go to Google maps, type in the address you want to see, once the page loads, click on the image in the upper left corner.   You can then navigate the area.  There are lots of other places to see/visit on Google street view and Google earth. ]

 

Now back to my house. Must say I was totally gob-smacked to see that ‘my’ old house  was under renovation and was having a second floor added!!! looks like they even tied-in the garage apartment to make it part of the house.  WOW  !!  Can’t even imagine what that must look like inside.  It wasn’t a large house, so can understand the expansion – but OMG – how strange it looks.

 

FREE MAHJONG

As previously mentioned, I sometimes find days overwhelming. To that end I can either work in the yard (getting a little too hot to be out there as much as I’d like) or play computer games.  One of which is mahjong.   Don’t like to buy games and don’t like to download them into my computer as they take up so much space – and never quite sure what might be attached to the game.  So, found a Mahjong game to play online – and for free!!  Here’s the link should any of you want to give it a try . . . www.freemahjong.org.  In addition to playing for free, you can make it full screen.

 

HACK !!!

 

OK – this has been a much longer ramble than intended – but have to add this last part because we just had a major computer hack.  Or maybe ransom ware? 

David had gone online to look at some cars on an auction site (countryclassiccars . . .  I think) – when his computer started making this horrible sound like an alarm  going off plus a box popped up stating that his hard drive was at risk and we should “call this ‘888’ number for technical support”.  PANIC !!!!

To try to save his computer and stop anticipated further damage, first thing was to unplug the power source from the back of the computer since all the keys were not functioning.   Mouse didn’t work either.  Did a restart, but had the same problem – horn going off,  box popping up when he tried to get online.     Did another restart only this time did not try to open the browser but ran the PC Pitstop program – not once but twice, restarting the computer between the scans – and then restarted the computer to see if he could get back online via Firefox.

Computer went through the start-up fine, and David  was able to open his Firefox browser with no problems.  However, when Firefox came up, had a message that our last browsing session was interrupted – you think?? – did we want to restore it?  Absolutely, NOT.  Immediately closed out that option and selected option that opened a new browser page.  Thankfully, all was back to normal.

I’m putting this here to hopefully be of help if you ever find yourself in that situation.  So many people doing bad things.   PC Pitstop is a great program that can be purchased for the life of the computer for one price.  In fact, I think you can have up to five computers on the same Evergreen program.  No, we don’t get any $$ from them – they’re just that good.

 

Happy Mother’s Day

 

 

 

 

Not too late to make Mother’s Day reservations – some links below to find restaurants with special offers:

 

A couple of national chains offering Mother’s Day specials are Chili’s and Red Lobster. For other restaurant deals, visit the links below:

 

MD Specials (1) –  Eat, Drink Deals

MD Specials (2) –  Retail Me Not

MD Specials (3) –  Other Specials

Want to find a restaurant in your area? Just search for ‘Mother’s Day Specials” + “City Name Here”, i.e.,   “Mother’s Day Specials” + “Dallas, Texas”  on your favorite search engine.

Spring Fever

Spring fever, tired, etc. call it what you will – not much going on simply because I need a rest.  So, found the following.  The roses are gorgeous and the young man is looking to find his brother.  Will do better next week – promise !

 

To view the rose video, click on the image.  This will take you to a Facebook page – you can sign-in with your account or select the ‘Not Now’ to view the video without signing in or creating an account.

 

 

Sorry, I don’t have a FB account, but wanted to share it anyway.  Maybe someone out there will be the connection he is looking for.

 

 

 

Spiders, Snakes & Scams

Had some unexpected surprises this week. Not the good kind either.  Went to get a mailing box out of the garage so we could send something to David’s brother –  and just as I was reaching to grab the box –  there it was – a HUGE spider sitting right on top of the stack of boxes.

 

The boxes are stored in the shadowed side of the garage so guess I was lucky to even have seen it.   Otherwise, you might be reading about my heart attack.  Have to think I startled it as much as it startled me as it leapt off the box, and hid behind the bookshelf.  Must get some insect spray out there.  No telling what else might be lurking.

 

Barely had recovered from the spider incident when early yesterday evening -when we were out on the deck – Bear started acting strange . . . tiptoeing around the flower bed, looking at it from one direction then another – low growl.  I thought he was stalking a lizard.  Not so.  Went to check and there it was . . . SNAKE !  Best I could tell it was a ribbon snake about 1-1/2 foot long – but as far as I’m concerned – a snake is a snake, and I don’t want to be anywhere near one.

 

Got Bear on the deck, grabbed a hoe and went after the snake. Did some digging around in the plants and mulch – but  it had gotten away.  That sighting will certainly impact how I work in the yard from now on.  I don’t always wear gloves and the rocks I use for bordering the flower beds are now suspect as harboring snakes.

 

 

Now about the scam. This might also be a heads-up  to those with paid health insurance or are on Medicare,  Medicaid.

 

David got a call this week from someone supposedly representing a Healthcare Service. They wanted to send him some medicine.  This person had quite a bit of our personal information – enough to know that David had back pain.  After a brief conversation, they then wanted to transfer him to their ‘pharmacy’ where he could order this new medicine.

 

We were both on the line and at this point, I asked them to send us a hard copy of the information, we’d review it, contact his doctor, and then get back to them IF it was approved by his oncologist for him to use. They didn’t want to do this but rather insisted we talk to their ‘preferred’ pharmacy to get the medicine today.

 

At this point, I had had enough. Told them there was no way David was going to take any medicine that was ordered over the phone,  sent from an unknown pharmacy, recommended by someone we didn’t know and  that his doctor had no knowledge of.  This ended the conversation – they hung up.

 

At the beginning,  it all sounded very real, especially since they had so much information. Have to wonder where and how they got all those details???    Don’t have any idea where this scam was going, can only think they wanted us to give a credit card number to their ‘pharmacy’  to pay for the meds.  You can figure out the rest.

Vitamins

As you know, I like home cooking without all the additives, preservatives, etc. that come in pre-packaged foods.  In addition I also like vitamins.  So when I saw this chart couple of days ago, thought it interesting.  Gives various symptoms, i.e., dry skin, restless legs, low energy, etc. – along with the foods you should eat  that can help counteract them.  True or not?  Who knows.  But certainly can’t hurt eating fresh and healthy.  The link to the original article is at this link for those who would like to read more.  The article gives you the various  foods associated with the vitamin/mineral recommendations shown on the chart.