You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead -- your next stop . . . the Debit Card Zone. (cue creepy music) Okay, so it should be The Twilight Zone...work with me here folks!
Picture this...you take your son to the dentist. His dental work is finished. You take out your ever trusty debit card to pay for the work done. The receptionist swipes the card. Then she smiles, hands it back, and says, "I'm sorry, your card has been declined." Ahhhhhhhhh! You have a look of horror on your face, you even throw up a bit in your mouth...you are apologizing profusely for having done nothing wrong, knowing you have money in the account...but still you feel like you have a sign on your forehead that reads, "DEADBEAT!" Then you smile and say, "That's impossible. Will you take a check?"
You know, sometimes when I've written a story I'll have someone ask me if what I wrote really happened or if I made it up. Trust me, if I've written about it, it's happened. Sometimes I might wish it were about "a friend," but alas, it's all true...even about me throwing up a bit in my mouth. I took Eldest to the dentist. I paid (thought I would, anyways) with my debit card. It was declined. I was mortified because even though I knew I had money in my bank account, no matter what I said, I felt like the receptionist didn't believe me. Thank goodness they did take that check - skeptically I figure.
After I left the dentist with my head hanging in shame I went to the ATM to check on my balance, not understanding what was going on. I went through the whole rigamaroll to get the paper to come out with the balance, and instead of that, I got a message on the screen flashing at me that I was unauthorized to use my card. Okay, surely there's been a computer error...so I go through the rigamaroll of putting in my info and pushing buttons to get the balance. Again, I get the message I'm unauthorized to use the card. I swear I felt like the Earth should have swallowed me up then and there. I went to the drive-up teller and asked them what was going on. After I supplied her with my card, identification, and story so far, she telephoned "security" who told her my debit card had been "shut down" because of "illegal card activity in France." Oh my goodness, there I was sitting in the van, and I swear their speaker was on ultimate eardrum blowing out volume, when she said that. The only thing I could do was shake my head in disgust and drive off with my tail between my legs to the main branch and see what was going on.
So, on to the main branch. I must say, they were very helpful and accommodating considering the situation...even though I was told they tried calling me, which they didn't. Caller I.D. and answering machines are wonderful tools we enjoy having use of, neither of which had shown hide nor hair of bank contact. They sent me an email instead, which I received after I got home from all of this. I suppose that's neither here nor there at this point, and I just thank my lucky stars I hadn't eaten at a restaurant after banking hours when this happened or it would have been a very interesting situation - probably one involving me throwing up my meal and law enforcement due to my inability to pay and inability to even access my account information. Thank goodness the dentist didn't want Eldest's filling back.
Okay, so I'm at the main branch.... Eldest and I sit down in nice comfy chairs, I take out my card and I.D., and begin the story. The nice bank woman then made a call to Columbus to find out what's going on, like I didn't already tell her, and reiterated back to me pretty much what I had told her, minus the part about throwing up a little in my mouth, but I did tell her of my humiliation at the dentist and the ATM. Then she got out the paperwork. Holy smokes...the paperwork! I had to look at the woman's computer screen and tell her what charges were credible and what ones weren't. Thank goodness she was a notary because I needed one of those, too, and since she worked for the bank I didn't have to pay her, because I had no idea how I would have done it with the wallop that my account has taken. How I could have been in different countries making purchases at the same time I was in L.A. making purchases, while I was actually in Ohio homeschooling our kids is beyond me, but I suppose I have the internet to thank for that. I sure wish I knew what I bought, but I sure bought a lot of it...from all over the world.
I would like to thank my bank for noticing the crazy charges and putting a halt to all activity on my account. It would have been nice if you actually did make that phone call, but in all honestly things could have been a lot worse than they were. I appreciate the security measures you took to keep me safe from what could have been an even more devastating situation than it already is.
So, there you have it, folks. A total shock to my system - the hacking of my banking account, the waiting for the bank to go over my disputed charges, and waiting impatiently to have my money returned. Having to wait for a new card is also no trip through the tulips either, I must say. I have no idea what I've purchased all over, but whatever it is, I hope it was worth it. May you, you nasty no good horrible bank account hacker, choke on it if it were food. If it was clothing, may the butt of the pants split open on you in public. Basically, I'm a firm believer in what goes around comes around, and you had better hold on because you're in for the ride of your life. Oh, and get yourself a real job. One that pays legally. One that both God and your mother won't be ashamed of you for. Now to wait for my new card...and to start changing that banking info everywhere. I figure I'll be getting notices for quite some time about my banking information being declined, which is technically my old information on file, even thought I've got a wait on the new one... Smiling & Waving, Sharon
You might remember a few months ago...oh, alright so it was maybe somewhere around last March or so...I mentioned starting to pull wallpaper off the kitchen walls. I'd squirt the walls with my squirt bottle concoction of hot water and fabric softener, get the top ugly kitty in baskets border, along with green/white check and flowers wallpaper torn off, so I could start on the bottom layer. The problem was more often than not the paper layer on the wallboard and that tape that's used on the wallboard seams would come with it. It was a nightmare. I wanted to do what I did when I started refinishing the family room floor that was riddled with hundreds of stripped screws and nails - sit down and cry. Instead, Hon saved the day by saying we would rent a steamer. He said we'd do that next weekend. Well next weekend turned into next month, which turned into...well, you get the picture. This past weekend we finally rented the steamer. You want to know what? It didn't make a difference. The paper layer on the wallboard and the seam tape still comes off with the wallpaper. That is why I am writing this story.
Folks, if you absolutely must must must put wallpaper up, do the necessary wall preparations first. Let me give some handy dandy suggestions. First off, I know It's exciting when you finish your new construction/add on and want to get the wallpaper up, but please make sure you prime the wallboard first. And next, use sizing. It's important. Goes on just like paint. Sizing sort of prepares the primed wall to take the wallpaper - you know, makes it so the wallpaper glue doesn't adhere to the wall permanently so the one taking it down doesn't lose their mind...it makes getting it off an easier process. I say easier because in all the rooms of wallpaper I've taken down, none has been particularly easy, but if you don't prepare the walls properly first, it's a nightmare to get down. Don't give me any, "Well, there wasn't a such thing as sizing when we put it up..." and other excuses. This wallpaper has been on these walls, oh, I'd say a good 30 years. There was sizing in the 70's when this kitchen add-on was built. Maybe not in 1859 when the house was built, but some time afterwards.
Now, back to my kitchen walls... Hon and I spent Saturday and Sunday steaming, scraping, and peeling wallpaper. We're not finished yet. I decided since the steamer had the same effect as the squirt bottle with hot water and fabric softener, the steamer might as well go home. I won't get to these battered walls again until next weekend anyway. Hopefully then Hon will begin the painful task of skimming the walls with spackle. Spackling walls sort of falls in the same category as making spaghetti sauce - Hon does it and doesn't think I can do it any better. It will take him an I don't even want to think of how many weekends to finish that task. Then there's the sanding. Oh the sanding...in the kitchen...blah.
I must admit I've put up wallpaper before. I've even had Dad put it up for me. Every time it was done I used sizing first. That way when I took it down, wondering what I was thinking to put it up to begin with, it came down easier.
So, there you have it folks. Think of sizing as proper wallpaper etiquette. You never know who might be the one taking it down. I've taken wallpaper down from just about every room in the house, having the kitchen, Young'un's room, and a bit in the foyer left. The kitchen might just do me in. Then Young'un will never get the blue and yellow flowers off his walls... Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I know...it's been a while. Well, Mom mentioned today that I haven't written in a bit, and since she has an uncanny way of making me feel guilty (even if it was through Facebook messaging) I decided to ask you this question...Have you seen my firestar? Any idea where I put it? I'm at a loss and can't find it.
You see, I talked with my friend Linda last week for a bit. Okay, so it was a bit shy of 1 1/2 hours... One of our many conversations was making some fiber batts. I admitted I hadn't used my drum carder in a long time and she talked me into giving it a workout. Besides, I have a few batts I should put together and get in the mail to another friend, so today seemed like a good day for it.
I decided to go through some of my little baggies of fiber that I've saved up and make a colorful everything but the kitchen sink batt or two with some firestar added for kicks. For those of you who are now wondering what in the world firestar is, it's a nylon product that adds sparkle and even a bit of strength to a fiber batt. Angelina is another add-in for a bit of bling, but I personally enjoy using firestar.
Anyway, back to the story. As I was going through my fiber baggies that sit next to my wing back chair looking for the firestar I decided maybe it was time to do a bit of clean-up. The fiber had kind of taken on a life of its own around my chair and it seemed like a good idea to tame the beast. Well, if I knew then what I know now about how much stuff I actually had packed in baggies, bags, and boxes around that chair, I'd probably have ignored it a little while longer. I can be real good at ignoring things. It seemed like cleaning up the fiber around my chair lead to cleaning up the knitting projects, which lead to tackling the fiber in the laundry area, which lead to thinking about organizing some of my fiber mess in the cellar... See where this is headed? It was a nightmare gone rogue. Through all the sorting, tossing, and taming I still can't find my firestar. I know it's around here somewhere...probably right where I put it last time it so I didn't lose it, but until I figure that out, I'm at a loss.
I've now just about sorted through everything fiber and yarn around here. I have two large totes full of various fibers that I put in the cellar and another that's holding (okay, overflowing with) my fiber baggies. I have yarn in another tote just waiting to be used in some sort of way. Hon is going to be shocked when he comes home...at least he had better be. I can't imagine he won't notice, but then again...
So, there you have it folks. Cleaning up the fiber day here on the farm in hopes of finding my firestar. It's a mystery to me where it went to, but I suppose it'll eventually come to the surface for air. As for the fiber in the cellar that wasn't part of the extreme clean-up for today, I think I'll ignore that for a little bit longer. Okay...I'm going back in... Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I know what you're thinking. It's Sunday, Sharon, not Spamday...well, read on and you'll understand where I'm coming from.
A few weeks ago Young'un asked me what spam is. As I was telling him it's meat in a can, Kid jumped in and said I was wrong, that it's all those obnoxious emails we get but would rather not. Kid likes to be right all the time, by the way. Now, I know they're both spam, but totally different subjects. Entirely. After clarification of the two, I thought the subject had died. Little did I know it would continue to haunt me.
A few days after the discussion, Young'un asked me what kind of meat Spam is. Being as I truly had no earthly idea, and hadn't eaten it since Hon and I camped many moons ago sans children, I had to admit my lack of knowledge on it. I did tell him it was canned meat and when we went camping we'd take some along, slice it up, and fry it as part of our morning breakfast.
That bit of knowledge got him thinking about it even more, obviously, because he kept bringing it up. Finally on Friday Young'un said he wanted to try it. Okay then, if we are going to make a meal of it, he can help cook it. I told him I'm sure there must be a Spam website because there's a website on just about everything. Isn't there a Spam festival somewhere also? We decided this past Friday to declare today Spamday!
Yesterday we went on the spam.com website and tiptoed through the recipes. It's amazing what one can do with a can of Spam. We chose to make Spamkins breakfast muffins. I mean really, who could go wrong with that! They have had 288 yums, which we have added ours and it now stands at 289. Not only that, it's a blue ribbon recipe, so between the yums and the ribbon, we knew we'd have a hit!
Today Young'un and I decided to make the Spamkins for lunch. We really had a craving for pancakes this morning, so we figured it would be just as good for lunch. That way, if Kid and Eldest fussed and made a stink over our muffins, they'd have chili too look forward to for dinner also. Young'un and I made a science lesson of it, too. Together we gathered the ingredients, talked about what the yeast does, and away we went. Young'un cracked eggs, sauteed Spam, and measured out what we needed. It was actually a neat recipe of three different layers. Easy peasy, though. There's a bottom muffin layer, a Spam layer (which floats to the top), and an egg layer. Oh, and the extra niceness of cinnamon and sugar added on top of the muffin layer, too. Yum!
In the end, our Spamkins recipe was a hit! A bit on the salty side, but still, a hit. Well, with everyone but Eldest. He wouldn't even give it a go. Kid, however, said, "Hey, this is actually really good!" And we'll take that compliment because he fussed and moaned about it since our declaration of today being Spamday.
So, there you have it folks. Spam. Meat in a can. I have no idea what it means, and according to the website only a few select individuals actually know, so it's a super secret, but as far as meat in a can goes, we give the recipe a most excellent "Yum!" Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I'm the queen of our farm, although the animals wouldn't agree. My title is Head Chicken Wrangler, but most days I'm just called Mom. Life on a farm is full of family and hard work and I wouldn't have it any other way.