Saturday, August 20, 2016

Did You Know You Could Replace Your Laptop Keyboard OR It Almost Cost Me $400.00 Plus By Judy A. Harper

My Laptop Keyboard!
Image result for free picture of a stress person pulling hair

     As you know, I'm having trouble with my keyboard; I finally called the best IT person ever!  Robert is a wiry fellow, who only knows two speeds, race or sleep. He's helpful and doesn't mind teaching me a thing or two. He worked on the computers and software at the company I retired from.      My problem was that the "Help Menu" kept popping up, tabbed out to 30+ tabs. I couldn't continue using my laptop, so I slammed the lid  closed, and I came so close to throwing it against the wall; it has been a lemon from the day I bought it and I thought I would have to buy a new one. But before I replaced it, I called Robert to check it out to be sure there wasn't a virus.
      I learned a few things: It wasn't a virus, but stuck keys and he could replace the keyboard frame! Lastly, never buy a computer with Intel i3; that's why I received such a good deal, HP was having problems with that series, and Robert and I personally feel that they wanted to get rid of them before announcing they discontinuing making the series!
     I did have to go online to order a keyboard frame, which cost $32.99 (this included shipping), this definitely beat the $400.00+ to purchase a new computer.  Hopefully by Tuesday, it will be fixed.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Image result for hummingbirds free photo
Many hummingbirds, Googles free pictures

Red Throated hummingbird Googles free pictures

     The past few summers I've had multiple hummingbirds, but not this year until this weekend. Now I have five. They have already sucked three feeders dry, and making a dent in a fourth. Usually this only happens when they're heading south for the winter. Here it is only the 15th of August. Does this mean we're going to have an early winter and a cold one?
     Do you like to keep up with the spring and fall migration of the Hummingbirds and others, like Monarch Butterflies or songbirds? Here's a link to follow for information: Hummingbirds, butterflies and songbirds

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Growing Up In Rural Alabama and Georgia: How To Plant A Garden OR Stubborn As A Mule!

Mule pulling a plow-Googles free pictures

     I remember when we first moved to the "Big Woods" at New Home Community, Georgia Daddy planted vegetable gardens. Now we didn't have a garden tiller, I don't even know if they were invented at that time. One of our neighbor's had a mule, he was a solid bay color and I can attest to the phrase of "stubborn as a mule". Daddy always tried to borrow him first thing in the morning because the more work he did before we got him, the more likely he would balk at pulling the plow, as he was tired and didn't want to do anymore.

Notice the ears! Googles Free Pictures

     Thankfully we didn't have a large garden! Now my Uncle Lloyd truck farmed. He grew strawberries and potatoes. During the summer when we visited, we tried to help with the strawberries, but I'm afraid we ate up the profit. Later on, after we moved back to Alabama, we helped gather up the potatoes to take to the potato grader shed where they were sorted, washed and boxed to be loaded on trucks that carried them to trains and to the market. You were given a basket, sack or bucket. and we went along the rows where a tractor had plowed the ripe potatoes up. You dumped them into a truck or wagon which brought them to the potato grader.It was hot and dusty work! 
     Of course, one of the fun perks of having a garden was helping pick the vegetables and fruit to can. Freezing the food wasn't popular at that time and the meat was kept in a smoke house. Electricity was hard to come buy and most of the wiring wouldn't support a freezer. Though I seem to remember Aunt Jessie having one on her back porch, at sometime, plugged into the light fixture outlet with an extension cord.  There was usually only one plug outlet to a room; talk about extension cords. I hated shelling blackeyed peas and peeling peaches. The peach fuzz made my hands itch! But I have to admit, the food was delicious in the winter time.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Repost from August 29, 2011

   Have you ever noticed in certain family lines, it's like they've been cloned.  At certain ages, it's hard to tell who is who.  See what I mean in the following pictures:
William P. (Arville's father) & Martha Harper (Arville's mom)

Arminda (Arville's step-mom) and William P. Harper (Arville's dad)

Arville & Manila Harper

Clifford, Arville, Bernum & Erchel Harper 
Clifford and Erschel Harper
My nephews (my brother's boys)

My other nephews
My Dad
My brother 
My grandson
Me 3 months
My daughter, JB, 3 months
Granddaughter 3-6 months

My Mom
My grandmother Manila Harper
My great niece 
My Dad's Sister

My sister

Does make you wonder doesn't it?  I bet my g-g-grandfather looked just like my Dad, Granddad Arville and G-Granddad William. I know my Mom's sister and Mother could have been twins. What about your family, anyone look like an ancestor?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Retirement: I mowed My Yard, It Took Three Hours OR Out Of Shape!

My yard, August 2016

     Why do we let ourselves get out of shape? I know it's miserable! In the M. C Beaton books, Agatha Raisin, she's a single middle aged woman (50'ish), who has decided to retire. She does it in a big way; she moves from London to a small village, she pays a company to decorate her house with items she thinks will make her look good rather than stuff she likes (her first visitor says it looks like a showplace). She then buys exercise equipment to help her get into shape; indoor bicycle, a really fancy outdoor bike to ride around the country (she purchases a helmet, gloves, riding outfits, goggles, everything she feels will make her fit in(which really sets her apart).
     When, after a year of not doing my own yard work, I started back, in July of this year, it was rough! It was hot and humid; I only cut the lawn, none of that extra stuff, trimming bushes and weed eating (yeah like I'm going to weed eat, see It's Alive!). I had to take several breaks to cool off and drink water.  The first time it was exhausting, and this was just the front yard, it took me three hours and my yard isn't that big, see above picture.  I've improved since then, but it's still exhausting. When the weather cools off in the fall, I know a few bushes that are coming down!
     I'm also following Agatha Raisin's idea, setting up an exercise routine with my exercise (indoor) bike, it's too hot for riding outside. My sister-in-law has always been faithful about going to the gym and walking around the neighborhood; now I wish I had followed her example!
Won't be long till fall, then we'll have all those leaves, ugh!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

What Is A Cozy Mystery?

Who Murdered Mr. Malone? (Garden Girls Christian Cozy Mystery Series Book 1) by [Callaghan, Hope] 
Book cover from Hope Callahan

     Wikipedia defines "Cozy Mysteries" as simply being referred to as "cozies", a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. The detectives in such stories are nearly always amateurs.
     That's why I like "cozies", it's more about the one doing the detection and crime, rather than the sex and violence.
     Some authors tend to make the police inept or silly, but there are some who incorporate their police relationship into the story such as Hope Callahan's series "Garden Girls Christian Cozy Mystery". Gloria Rutherford is a widow who inadvertently solves a crime that put her in touch with the policeman of her small Michigan town. The first few books build on the meeting until they fall in love and help each other solve crimes, along with her friends of the "Garden Club". One of the reasons I like this series is that the stories are realistic, in other words, I could be involved as this could happen in Center Point. Hope has several series, "The Cruise Ship Mysteries "; Millie a sixty plus year old woman,  newly divorced and a cousin of Gloria, from the Garden Club Series. Millie is out to prove that her ex was wrong not to include her in their business, investigations. She's now an assistant cruise director and has already been involved in a mystery and helped solve it.
     As I mentioned HERE, M. C. Beaton and her Agatha Raisin series is a great favorite of mine, especially now that the book has been made into a British TV series. A middle aged former public relation business owner, who has sold her business and taken early retirement; she's moved from London, a busy city, to a Cotswold village. She tries to fit into the quiet lifestyle and becomes something of an amateur sleuth. What I love about Agatha is that I can relate to her rising from the slums of Birmingham, England, putting herself through business school, proving herself to her boss, who helps her, financially, set up her business; then when she retires to a small community, she discovers that she's spent a good part of her life working and now is faced with a totally different culture. She never was one to help with the church women's guild, helping to raise money, learning that some of the biggest problems arise from taking an elderly, pessimistic couple on an outing to relieve the boredom of their daily life. Each book shows her growth in this area, while in other areas she keeps making the same mistakes, such as her obsession with James, her neighbor.
     Another good author is also American like Hope Callahan. Elizabeth Spann Craig has three series, one she writes under the name of Riley Adams, The Memphis Barbecue series.  One of my favorites from the "Memphis Barbecue"  series is "Finger Lickin Dead".  The Myrtle Clover series is about an 80 plus year old woman from North Carolina, who with her sidekicks, try to solve mysteries; if they can do it before her police chief son, she's very happy. 
     Over the coming weeks, I'll spotlight more of my favorites and some new ones too.

Monday, August 8, 2016

I Cannot Use A Weed Eater OR It's Alive!!

Image result for Free pictures of a weed eater
Borrowed from Googles Free pictures

Image result for Free pictures of a weed eater
borrowed from Googles Free Pictures

     A weed eater weighs from 12 pounds to 25 pound, anyone should be able to use it, right, even kids. That is so very wrong! My brother gave me his old electric one 16 years ago. All I had to do was plug it in and press the button. First off I envisioned the wire cutting off my legs right above the ankles. Then I am supposed to cut it just right, so I spend my time raising and lowering because I can't control it at the right level. Oh and I don't want to talk about changing the wire (I never was able to change the wire, it kept coming off) so I threw it down, put the weed eater back into storage and used my lawnmower or pulled the weeds up by hand. 
     Last summer I bought a new Snapper, thinking surely there are new updates and it will be so much easier, especially if I buy a gas one! Well, In June of this year (I waited a year because I wanted time to think about it), I finally decided to try it. 
     I have decided it's alive, laying in storage waiting to attack me. Did you know you can't use the same gas for a weed eater that you use for your lawnmower or car? You gotta buy this small bottle of "something", then measure out exactly 1 gallon of gas ( you know how hard it is to find a useful container, I lost a good tea pitcher) and mix. Not only that, it weighed 30 pounds.
     I'm finished trying to use a weed eater, because that's me in the above first picture! Anyone want to buy a barely used weed eater?