Sunday, November 30, 2014

Getting My Creativity Back

Port-a-Potties at Best Buy
Wrote two new pieces. I must admit I had inspiration--Black Friday happenstance and a comment from 18 year old Joshua whom I substituted for in September. Ideas take time to jell, but not this Black Friday ditty below.

I am not a Black Friday shopper, but it turned out I was hanging out with Sally and Jake on Black Friday. My car was getting new tires (actually received Black Friday discount) and we went to Best Buy so they could buy a certain item for their granddaughter.

Found out that Best Buy had people camped out Thanksgiving night (Gray Thursday) and they provided potties for their customers! I had to take a picture! I had to write new lyrics to Rocking Around the Christmas Tree. 

Waiting in line on Gray Thursday 
And is it ever cold! 
All I want is in the display 
Get it before it’s sold. 
Waiting in line on Gray Thursday
Let the big discounts be mine 
Later I’ll have some pumpkin pie 
My day off has been so fine.  
You might get a jealous feeling 
When ’er you hear 
All I got for my money 
To deck my halls to be so pretty. 
Waiting in line on Gray Thursday 
Sleeping in on Black Friday 
If I missed some big discount 
I’ll get it Cyber Monday. (Music) 
Waiting in line on Gray Thursday 
And is it ever cold 
All I want is in the display 
Get it before it’s sold. 
Waiting in line on Gray Thursday 
Let the big discounts be mine 
Later I’ll have some pumpkin pie 
My day off has been so fine.  
You seem to have some special feeling 
You say that I’ve been missing? 
Gratefulness for what makes me jolly 
Ingratitude yes ‘tis my folly.  
Thinking about what I’ve been missing 
With all these new traditions 
Ingratitude for faith and family 
Three new days of acquisitions 
Three new days of getting stuff.
I guess I am commenting on how materialistic we are becoming, so to get the bargain we sacrifice family time to wait in line for stuff.  I will share this ditty at Toastmasters like I did my snow birds piece two years ago. See HERE for Summer Wonderland that goes to the music for Winter Wonderland. That post shows celebrating my husband's 75th birthday--so glad we did that.

The occasion for the new rap topic came from Joshua, an 18 year old who said, Mrs. Johnson, write a rap about children having children. I did and it might not be politically correct as adults point out to me, but all the students I have tried it out on like it.
Think, think, think 
You think you're entitled
       Your passions are unbridled 

           You’re barely out of toys
And you’re into boys
You think you’ll be a bride 
But he took you for a ride 
‘Cause he’s given you a distortion 
Of love that’s really hormones
And you’ll have a child 
While you’re still one yourself 
That daddy’s gonna hide 
But we’ll be by your side 
And don’t get an abortion 
Think about adoption

Yes, the diapers start to stink 
All because you didn’t 
Think, think, think 
You don’t have a job 
You can’t go out and rob 
Laundry will be piled 
Welfare will be filed 
‘Cause you didn’t abstain 
And there’s little to gain 
You didn’t think think think 
Yes, it’s time to refrain 
Don’t have a child
While you’re still one yourself.
I also am enjoying rapping for strangers--for example young people who offer to take my groceries to the car. Saturday I saw the latest Hunger Games movie (students I sub for will see it) and I shared my Boredom Games rap with the young woman selling me my movie ticket. She giggled at this 70 year old rapper and I told her about my YouTube channel for MC AC The Rap Lady that is scheduled to have ten more raps up soon.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Getting My Momentum Back

Tuesday I had a lovely breakfast with Kristi who understands grieving from her own path of suffering. She is giving back however. She and her husband have taken in the husband's disabled sister and twenty-something Kristi is making the best of the situation, gradually getting her momentum back. Kristi shared Scripture with me that has helped her and suggested after discipline (doing things she didn't have the momentum to do) the feelings of wanting to take care of her home and sister-in-law came back. Here we were two women almost fifty years in age difference relishing how the LORD is helping us.

Even though it is hard, it is time I get my momentum back after being a caregiver and becoming a widow. Thankful I am able-bodied. START and the spunk will come back.

Here are my 15 momentum starter strategies and things I am thankful for: 
  1. Rejoining Weight Watchers. Food still can be fun. I am in no way perfect with my diet, but enjoy the 7 am Weight Watcher group I am in. 
  2. Studying my sleep patterns with the Weight Watchers Active Link.Planning 30 minute naps. See HERE
  3. Having a week off to get things done (November 24-28) and to be there for Sally whose car is in the shop. 
  4. Getting on the treadmill. Walked on the cruise and three miles at the Alzheimer's Association WALK TO END ALZHEIMER'S.
  5. Having yard sales and very conscious of what still needs to leave the house to be able to downside for a move maybe sometime in the next ten years. Meanwhile trying to take care of business at the house including home repairs. 
  6. Writing raps again. After a year of not writing raps, finally wrote one and am testing it out when I substitute teach. The topic, "children having children", was a suggestion from an 18-year-old high school boy. He wanted someone to speak up on this topic.  The students so far like it. Meanwhile very shortly ten of my recorded raps will be on YouTube to add to the other three videos. 
  7. Taking the anti-depressant Paxil every three days now instead of daily as at the start. In December I will not take this anti-depressant. 
  8. Giving back. I daily email other caregivers. I am tutoring Esteban. 
  9. Taking time for others. Went to a movie with another widow recently. 
  10. Making a list of what I am thankful for and telling people. Went out and thanked my mail lady Connie. 
  11. Planning ahead for Christmas. 
  12. Keeping a ridged budget and attempting to refinance the house so I can pay off credit cards.  
  13. Arranging my workspace for the dissertation on caregiving. Started working on it again after months of doing nothing on it. 
  14. Being able to clean the floors. (My husband used to do this for the first years of our marriage and it has been hard for me emotionally to do it.)
  15. Making progress with managing grief and being thankful. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Getting Hacked on Facebook

Friday night it became apparent that someone was impersonating me on Facebook.

Almost thirty of my friends fell for the scam. One engaged the impostor.

Engager: How is you husband?
Impostor: Fine.

HMM. My husband passed away from dementia at the end of June. My friend knew there was a problem! 

Dana received these messages from the impostor me on Facebook and, the English teacher that I am, I edited this uneducated scammer:
I’m so happy now because many good things are happening to me and am thanking God for that. It’s an empowerment program to help people especially the senior citizen, adult, youth. I have received mine from them already. The FedEx delivery service came to my doorstep and delivered cash of $300,000 to me in person.
About the 2014 empowerment program in conjunction with Facebook Yearly Bonus—the program is basically to help people to maintain a good standard of living in the entire community and there are prizes to me won. 
All right. I wonder if you have heard about the good news yet.

Dana: Did you open a new Facebook account?

Impostor: No, I did some re-setting so I have to re-add some of my friends. I hope everything is going well with you.

Dana told me As soon as the money was mentioned my suspcions were confirmed and she she unfriended immediately before he/she could steal her identiy. 

Then Dana messaged the real me on Facebook.

Dana: Carol, are you talking to me on a different Facebook page? I think you’ve been hacked. I unfriended your new account until I know it’s you.

The real me: I did not make a new Facebook account.

Dana: Sorry that happened to you! I could smell baloney! I knew it was out of character for you. 

The real me: This could become a blog post.

Dana: Haha! Yes it could. Have you recently accepted any new friend requests?

The real me: No, but I as at an unsecured WiFi Panera Bread [south of Plant City in perhaps the unincorporated Beaslville area] with my small notebook computer open and my iPhone on. Someone was sitting not far from me staring at me. I asked him if he knew me and he said no. The help section of Facebook is confusing to make a report.

Dana: That was him!! I’m sure! Sorry it’s confusing. Keep trying. Tell that story.

The real me: I will. The next Plant City Lady post. Did you LIKE that plantcityladyandfriendsblogspot so it will come to your computer?

Dana: I’m not sure. I may only read it when you share your blogs on your FB page.

The real me: I probably should share on FB. I don’t share all my blog posts on FB.

Then Dana gave me permission to use her name. Thanks, Dana.

Now I noticed an unincorporated place on the imposter's FB--Bealsville. Good information for the Plant City Police. That place is now gone on the impostor's page. 

I talked with a friend's computer-savvy husband last night and he explained to me the dangers of WiFi. Technology is being used to take advantage of us!  

This morning I talked with my neighbor whose FB page was hacked several years ago. You just change your password, she explained and one of her friends called Apple and took care of it while she was on vacation. I learned from her to not take my devices open to a WiFi establishment.

I finally had time to do change my password last night. It wasn't so easy on Facebook HELP, and I didn't call Apple.  I used this site to do it.

As of this morning, 13 of my friends are on the impostor's friend list. He has no other friends as others have unfriended him. 

Here is how you unfriend someone as I wrote on Facebook:

To delete this hacker impostor of me, go to your Timeline Wall by your picture at the top right next to the word Home. Click on your name. Then click on Friends. A list will come up. Scroll down until you see the false me. Check to see if it just has two pictures. I have a lot of photos on the real one. Then for this false one with pictures that just were added click on the tab that has the check Friends rectangular button. At the bottom of it find Unfriend.

Someone taking advantage of a senior! I had that as I reported HERE. That post has had over 400 views (more than the 300 or so views when my husband died).  I did get my money back. I have dealt with an Internet bully also, and that bully turned around.

Hey, seniors! 
Hey anyone!

I can't punch my impostor in the face, but I can report him/her to the police in Plant City! I can encourage that they reform before they are arrested. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Getting Away on a Cruise

Items from gift shop
Last week I had the privilege of being a guest on a Caribbean cruise paid for by the same sister-in-law who took me on a cruise in 2012 HERE.  Her next door neighbors (a couple) whom I have known over the years went as well.

Sunday November 2 the three of them arrived at my house. Then  the four of us went by car to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We stayed over night in a hotel which let the couple's van stay in the hotel parking lot for the week while the hotel bus drove us and our luggage to the dock on Monday where we waited in line to get on the ship.

The weather seemed foreboding as we left.
Ruby Princess
The prediction said  80 to 90 % rain chance. However, no rain. and the weather was beautiful that week, including our trips ashore in the Bahamas and Jamaica.

Now when you take a 70 year old widow on a cruise (me) she gets tired and needs afternoon naps, but she gets new delightful memories. Here are some highlights in the week.
  • Being with people you like was delightful. Ann and Kim are so much alike. They both wear head bands, drink a orange spiced tea, and even had the same bags on the trip. I joined their club when I had orange spiced hot tea for dinner the last two night. Kim's hubby had a great sense of humor and went around taking pictures. 
  • I also met two couples and two women at the ship's morning Bible Study. I introduced myself to two Amish couples--Florida snow birds and I invited them to Plant City's Strawberry Festival--I will go pick them up as they do not drive. They liked my Southern Wonderland snowbird song (see HERE) and I wrote it out for them so they can share it with the Amish and Mennonite community in Sarasota, Florida. (I didn't rap for them--might have been TOO much of a cultural shock.)
  • The food was outstanding and hard to resist. At one multi-course dinner I counted four different knives including a special one for salmon and between each course the silverware was changed. So much pampering!  Not sure how much weight I gained back, however. Some of it may disappear by my next Weight Watcher meeting November 15th,  and my jeans still fit.
  • The walking helped me get back into exercise as well as burn calories. I have an Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk-a-Thon next Saturday after that Weight Watcher meeting. Will be on the treadmill at home so I can maintain new fitness levels. 
  • My spirits seemed to sore after a few days on the trip. I did talk about my grief with my travel companions at first. All three of them have experienced significant losses of parents. Two grief bursts came and went for me. One was seeing a dog ashore, but I pick up Ziggy from the kennel tomorrow. Another strange grief burst was hearing and seeing "Tonight" from West Side Story performed. Suddenly I missed my husband terribly. You just never know about grief. 
  • Speaking of spirits, I had a rare strong drink because I did not have to drive. It was just an experiment so I could empathize with students in the DUI class I teach. It was called Beverly Hills Iced Tea and I had the bartender write out how much liquor was actually in that drink: vodka, gin, rum, tequila, etc. I drank it slowly over two hours and then took a nap.  

  • I rapped in a Karaoke event and gained some fans who will follow me on YouTube. 
    Karaoke Rapping
  • I thoroughly enjoyed live entertainment and even a movie, Jersey Boys
Entertainer Steve Moris at left almost looks like a relative. 
Wish I could have taken you in my suitcase. 
Back to unpacking.