Back To Real Life

We got home yesterday evening after a long tiring day. By the time we got packed up, made sure the condo was clean and nothing left behind, we weren’t on the road long before we needed to stop for breakfast. We had a late lunch, stopped for gas, another time at a rest stop. . . and well, it was 10 hours before we got home. We went through rain much of the latter part of the trip. Even though I wasn’t driving, I was exhausted.

My mood wasn’t enhanced to look at the mail after we got home and see a bill from T-Mobile. Here’s the thing – I don’t have a cell phone hooked up with T-Mobile. Nope. So why did I get a bill? Oh yeah, you know. It’s more of that stupid fiasco from some jerk (jerkette?) using my credit card info.

Now, never mind that I called the company within half an hour of those people using my card fraudulently to buy phones at I canceled my credit card the same day. So somebody please explain to me WHY T-Mobile didn’t cancel that plan? Cause I sure don’t understand it.

Instead they let them run up a bill of $765.89 – there were FOURTEEN PAGES of charges!

Maybe I’m missing something, but I just really don’t get why they allowed these people to continue using the phone. But now that they have, there are pages and pages of phone calls, many to the same numbers, and it seems like they should be able to use some of those numbers to track down WHO did this. Yet I have this sad feeling they will never bother, but will instead just write it off.

No wonder people keep using credit cards fraudulently. If you’re dishonest, I guess there isn't much incentive NOT to do it. I mean, I canceled my card and called companies almost as soon as this all happened. Seems like I did it as “right” as possible. And still these people got the benefits from using my card fraudulently.

If the company was afraid of cutting off a genuine consumer, seems like all they’d have had to do was call and ask if I’d actually signed up for this.

Well, I can say “seems like” a jillion times, but it doesn’t change what is. All I know is nobody gets my info over the phone again.

On the good side, when I called T-Mobile this morning to ask about the bill, they told me they’ve marked it as fraudulent, and are taking steps to be sure it doesn’t hurt my credit and I don’t have to pay the bill because it wasn’t “initiated by the true consumer.” That’s great of course, but it still SEEMS LIKE they could have saved me some stress and never allowed the billing in the first place.

Yep, we're back to real life all right!

In the meantime, I’m glad to be home even though it’s been raining. At least I should be able to avoid eating hamburgers for a while. I mean, who goes to the beach and eats seafood just ONCE, but tries out every new hamburger joint they see??? Five Guys Burgers & Fries, WhatABurger, the usual Wendy’s. . . well, you get the idea. I told Jess I don’t want to see another hamburger for a month, at least!

And of course I took pictures. . . hopefully I’ll get them sorted soon and put some of them up.

At The Beach

Yes, we're really here! It's a good thing we're not sun worshippers, because there hasn't been a lot of sunshine. I told Jess today that we're going to associate thunder with surf sounds from now on, since that's what we've heard most of the time. At least so far, but if the weatherman is correct, things aren't going to change.

However, there have been some brief periods of sunshine! Here's Jess walking along the beach this evening.

I have LOTS of pictures (big surprise, right?), but I won't be putting them up until we get home because this condo that was supposed to have wi-fi . . . doesn't. And dial-up plus a slow, antiquated laptop equals glacial slowness! So more pictures after we get home!

Vacation Eve

Hey, if you can have New Year's Eve, I reckon you can have Vacation Eve. At any rate, tomorrow is the big day, and we're headed to Panama City Beach. Hooray!

I had a loooooooong "to do" list. I actually got it all done. I'm a bit astonished.

The laundry is done. The ironing is done. I shampooed the carpet in the living room. I made sure all bills coming up in the next week are paid. I watered plants. I made food bags for the parrot with birdie bread, hard boiled egg and apples, so all Jonathan has to do is open one up each morning and put in her bowl. I printed out a "Critter Care" sheet so he knows what needs done for all the animals while we're gone.

I've got a brooder set up in case any of the remaining peafowl eggs hatch. I don't really hold out much hope there, but as sure as I didn't, they would. And then Jonathan wouldn't know what to do with them!

I put a new flea collar on Toby, as his old one was shot. Jess got mowing done and the gutters cleaned out and the car cleaned up.

Our clothes are all packed. Stuff is pretty much ready to throw in the car in the morning, although I'll admit to some misgiving that everything is going to fit! Clothes, groceries, etc. for a week . . . it looks like we're moving!

Getting ready for a long vacation is a lot of work! But once we're headed south, oh boy! A whole week of goofing off, wow!

Just so I don't forget my camera . . .

The Beat Of A Different Drummer. . .

Okay, I confess. I'm different. Maybe even eccentric. But definitely not part of the norm.

(And you can quit snickering RIGHT NOW, or rolling your eyes, or making comments along the lines of, "Tell me something I didn't already know!")

What prompted this renewed revelation was a glance down through all the posts on my Facebook home page. There are posts from lots of family and friends, and over and over I see comments like:

"Go BAMA!"
"Go Steelers!"
"Go Devils!"

There are people rooting for BAMA, Auburn, WVU, Steelers, Blue Devils, Manchester United, various NASCAR drivers, and for individuals and teams for just about every sport imaginable.

I can promise you, there is not ONE post from me cheering on any sports team. The closest I come to watching any "sport" is the competition on "Dancing With The Stars." All the football, baseball, basketball, tennis, golf, whatever, leaves me totally untouched. You want to talk sports with me, I'll listen because you are interested. But the bottom line is I couldn't care less. As in, believe it or not, I. DO. NOT. LIKE. SPORTS. PERIOD.

Yes, I know that puts me totally out of the norm. But frankly, the only sports that would grab my attention is when someone I care about is participating, like when Ryan is playing football for Lenoir-Rhyne University. The interest would be because I love Ryan, because one of our special grandkids is playing on that team, NOT because I care about football.

And it's not because I was never exposed to sports. For instance, since I was in the band, I went to every football game when I was in high school. And Jess and other family members talk, watch and love sports. Fine with me. He/they can watch all the sports he/they want. For myself, I'd rather compute or curl up with a good book.

Of course what constitutes a good book varies. My tastes in subjects is eclectic. Fiction or Non-Fiction, just depends on my mood. Fiction books of sci-fi, mysteries, fantasy, romance, suspense, classics, and more. Poetry. Non-fiction books on science, photography, copywriting, gardening, blogging, internet marketing, travel, medicine, research, natural cures, on specific computer stuff like Wordpress and Photoshop... I could go on and on.

The point is I love to read. There's a reason there are bookshelves in every room of the house!

So maybe most of the rest of the world loves sports. Fine. I have no wish to change to fit the mold. I'm just going to stick with Henry David Thoreau's philosophy:

"If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away."

That works for WOmen too.

Everyone Seems To Be Crazy Busy!

I just came in from doing chores, including a mad dash for the end of the driveway with our loaded trash cans when I heard the truck coming down the road. The usual trash day is Thursday, but since we had a holiday Monday, it's a day late. The guys dutifully took care of the trash yesterday . . . Jess carted the trash cans out to the end of the road; Jonathan carted them back. Just the tiny detail of nobody emptied the trash cans in-between!

It's the usual time for Phase Two of my day, where I switch from farm and housework to internet work. Only today is going to be a little different. I'm going to try to get most of the packing and stuff done for our trip...

Which we leave in THREE DAYS (but who's counting, right???). . .

I like to have stuff done ahead of time, then I don't stress so much when it's right close time to go. I do the same thing when we're flying somewhere. Get me to the airport way ahead of time, let me get through checking-in and security, and I'm a happy camper to just sit and read or something for an hour or two until it's time for the flight. I'm there, not worrying if I'm going to make it there and through security on time!

But I'm not the only busy one! Not by a long shot! Seems like everyone in our family is crazy busy right now.

* Richard, Chrystie & Ellie are flying to Vancouver, B.C. today. They'll have the weekend to sight-see, then Monday is a day full of appointments for Ellie at the Children's Hospital there to see if she's a candidate for spinal surgery to help her walk. (Kind of disappointing if she isn't, good if she is, scary if she is. . . as Chrystie says, it's not finger surgery, it's SPINE surgery).

* My niece, Bobbie, is having a C-section today for her 3rd child. Those are pretty routine these days, but no surgery is routine if you're the one having it!

* The Sanford Clan is always busy. With 4 young people, it's impossible not to be! Ryan is getting into his first year of college, Lee is back in college classes, Kellie has started back to school (her junior year of high school if I'm remembering right), and Emily has a new job working at an optometrist's office. Dave works, and Debra also, both at home and doing substitute teaching. Like I said, BUSY.

* Jess is crazy busy at work. The next time he's sitting around with nothing to do, I think we should plan a trip. That always brings in a lot of work, ha! He's trying to get some stuff ready for a bid due something like the 23rd of this month, but he insists he is NOT cutting our vacation time short to get it done!

He had quite a triumph earlier in the week. He prepared a big bid for someone, and when the bids were all read, the one he took in was opened and read last. . . and was lowest. So they beat out everyone and won the job! Even better, for a multi-million dollar job they left just a few thousand dollars "on the table" (the difference in the amount of their bid and the next lowest). Well done indeed!

There are lots of things I didn't mention, but you get the idea. And I'm sure there are even more things I don't know about!

Everyone in the family just seems to be going in a dozen different directions with bunches of stuff to do!

Busy-ness Incorporated!

I’ve got a busy week planned. But then so do the guys.

Jess got some work in late last week, and had to go out yesterday morning to survey a future job site with his client. He'll have to go into the office tomorrow to work since the job is bid Wednesday morning. He can't be sure to get all the digitizing and figuring done on Tuesday, so he'll labor on Labor Day.

Jonathan will also Labor on Labor Day. He worked extra yesterday, as someone else needed off, but he got off today in return. He's already got a couple of overtime hours in, and they like to keep those to a minimum.

As for me, I need to do snail mail first thing tomorrow. Then I have 5 humor mailings to put together and send out one daily, Monday through Friday. I also need to catch up on laundry and ironing. The house could sure use a little care, especially the floors and bathrooms.

Of course, there are daily critter chores, and cooking, and then cleaning the kitchen back up.

And I need to start thinking what all I need to get packed up and ready to take on vacation. (Another reason I need to catch up on laundry!)

I need to get a new critter care sheet made so Jonathan will know what needs done while we’re gone.

And I still have my studies. There was a 1 ½ hour seminar yesterday morning about online marketing and getting to the top of Google. The bottom line is when someone searches for something online, most of the time they don’t get past the first page of search results. If you’re not on there, you’re not going to prosper.

It’s getting to the point I already know a great deal of what they talk about, but there’s almost always some new insights, ideas or ways of doing things to learn about. Yesterday’s seminar was no different.

I’ve got two webinars this week, each from 9pm-11pm, one on Tuesday and one on Thursday.

There is also stuff to be done in a course workbook, regular website upkeep, and article writing. . .

Yep, I believe I have enough to keep me busy this week.


If you have to ask "Ten days until what?" then you haven't been reading my blog much, ha, ha!

Going to Panama City Beach just seems like the right thing to do. I mean, after all, I'm from West Virginia. It's in the Appalachians. What's that got to do with it? Well, read this:

"Ever wonder how our beaches stay so clean and powdery white? Panama City Beach's legendary pure white sand resulted from quartz crystals washing down from the Appalachian Mountains centuries ago. Along their journey, the crystals were bleached, ground, smoothed, and polished until the surf of the Gulf of Mexico deposited these millions of grains of sand on the shoreline."

Therefore, it seems only fitting that I should go visit this beach, since it's made with quartz sand washed away from the land of my birth. (Does that sound pretentious, or what?) What it sounds like to me is as good an excuse as any to go to the beach!

I'm just thrilled we're going! Not that I'm big fan of sunbathing, but I love to walk along the beach, and I'm sure we'll go for several long walks. Of course, I will probably take my camera along, just in case the opportunity for some picture taking comes up. . .

27 miles of white sand! Ocean air and sunshine! Seafood! Photography! Reading! Watching the ocean from our balcony!

Just ten days. . .