"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away?"

Author: Unknown

Friday, June 29, 2012

Harassing Phone Calls From a Telemarketer Re:My Last and Final Notice On My Credit Card Account

   I wonder how many of you are getting harassing phone calls from telemarketers? You know the kind that like to come in at inopportune times, such as when your eating dinner, sleeping, etc. Years ago i had all my phones put on the "do not call" list. Not that it did a lot of good. There is one especially obnoxious telemarketer company that really has me angry. For 2 years we get calls almost every day, sometimes 2-3 times a day from one particular company. The message is always the same.
    " We have an important message concerning your credit card accounts." and  a short message about pushing a certain number to speak with them, then " this is your last and final notice". Yea, I wish!!
     I even got these at a time when we had canceled all our credit cards. A few times I pushed a number to speak with them, and preceded to threaten them with legal action if the calls did not stop. Guess what, they still continue. Sometimes they wont give you a number to push to speak with someone. it will say press a certain number to get their service. Which I dont do, because then they will probably bill me. So I hang up and call the number back that shows up on my caller ID. Sometimes this works and I make threats again, other times i get a message stating that this caller does not accept calls. I have also wrote down some of the numbers, but they are always different.
      Todays call was different. This time when I called the number back I got a message from a man saying since I called this number I must also be receiving harassing phone calls from this company. It is not a true return phone number. Some how they are routing their calls to look as if they are coming from innocent phone company customers. Further harassing us, and intruding into our personal lives.Telemarketers  from reputable companies  are bad enough, but these people need charges filed against them and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I called frontier to complain, but the only thing they could tell me to do was to hang up on the call and then immediately dial *77 to block that number. Even tho I explained I could spend the next two years blocking all these numbers, some of which are private numbers they are using. And still not accomplish anything. I told them it is outrageous that we pay our phone bills every month on time, and have to put up with being harassed. Oh sure, i could change my number and pay to have it unlisted. But i have had this same number for 34 yrs. I know they have the means to track these guys. But i guess not the interest. If there was a class action law suit i would jump on it in a minute!

Menu Planning

        I have decided to give menu planning a try. I hate the age old question of "Whats for dinner?". Trying to scramble at the last minute and get food on the table. I don't have a lot to cook for anymore. My kids are grown, but I still have 2 sons at home and my husband. That's a dramatic drop from the 7 I was cooking for.
I have been doing a lot of research on the different methods. Some create themes, such as Pasta night, or Crockpot night. I thought this sounded interesting, but I kinda hated to limit myself to certain meals on certain days. To be honest there are days its just "fend for yourself" night. But they are all adults, and there's always left-overs. They also know how to cook. My Daughter-in-law told me the first time my son tried to make mashed potatoes. Mashing them before cooking is not a very good idea,lol. But when he was little, I was younger, and had more energy. I took care of everything for them. A behavior that I have also gotten on to my husband in the past. When the boys were teens, if a car needed fixed, he did it. He didnt want to take the time required to teach them how to do it. On hind site, that wouldnt have been a bad idea for the girls as well.  But I digress.
        The method I opted on required me to start a folder on the computer. I listed  all the meals I fix for my family. I then started separate files for main meals, soups, sides, breads, and desserts. In each file, I numbered the dishes. If I found a recipe online I wanted to add to my mainstays, then I copied the address, then pasted into the next numbered slot. That way when I am trying to work up a menu, I can just click on the link for directions. Once we try these new meals, then I will probably print it out and slip it into a notebook I started for recipes I have printed off the various sites on the web. If we dont like it, then out it goes.
    Some people also plan their menu's for a month at a time, or  just for a week. Since I shop weekly, I decided to just do a week at a time. In my notebook, i will write my initial plan for the week. Then when completed, I plan on using a dry erase marker to transfer it to the new board I created with scrap book paper. I still have to get a magnetic frame so i can stick it on the fridge, but for now I slipped it into a plastic sleeve protector. Then you just write on the plastic over the designated days of the week, and wipe off later. Some people even frame these in regular frames and stand them on the counter. The meal plan I write on paper with stay in the notebook, and eventually I can just rotate these and save lots of work.
    By the way, I still plan on a few "fend for yourself" days, meaning empty slots on the menu  :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cutting strawberries Back For Production

      While doing a search on other garden questions, I found several articles about mowing over your strawberries when they are done producing.This is done with June bearing plants and within a week after crop is finished. This is done to increase production next year, and I believe to control runners somewhat. This is my second season for these strawberry plants and they have grown by leaps and bounds, and extending out of the raised bed I have them in. They are nice and healthy looking but produced very little. In the 2 ft x 25 ft bed I have them in, I was only able to pick a few  now and then to eat fresh while I was in the garden. So I just spent about 45 minutes outside in  52% humidity and 86 degree heat trimming all of mine back to within about 3" of the crown. Other sites say you can safely mow them, but to stay at least 1" from crowns. Since mine were in a raised bed, I had to hand cut them. Then I threw them to the backside of the potager for the start of a compost pile. Heres to an abundant crop of strawberries next season.