Marge’s Valentine

One day she didn’t show up for work, which wasn’t like Marge. Upon checking, they found that Marge had passed away quietly at home, sitting in a chair, alone except for her pets. Marge was a somewhat unusual person. Single for her entire life, she lived alone in a small apartment. Her parents were deceased and she had no relatives — no human relatives, at least. Marge’s family was her dog, Valentine. While other people had pictures of their family on their desk, Marge had a picture of Valentine.

Marge was an animal lover and an activist for animal rights. She was passionate about animals, and I’ve seen her fire off more than one angry letter or phone call when she thought animals were not being treated appropriately. She must have also been involved in demonstrations as she once told me about being at one when the circus came to town.

Marge decided that the church she attended should hold a service for the Blessing of the Animals. She approached her pastor, but he was not in favor of the special service. Marge was extremely upset and took her cause to the bishop. Finally, she created enough support, or enough aggravation, that the church agreed to hold the Blessing of the Animals.

Marge didn’t want the service to be outside in the parking lot, which is where most churches hold such a service — if they have it. She wanted it inside the church in the sanctuary. When Marge had a cause, there was no stopping her. She volunteered to clean up the church if there were any accidents and again she got her way. The service was a big hit and many people came with pets, mostly dogs and cats with a few hamsters and even one snake in a cage. Marge took her dog, Valentine.

As it turned out, it was the last blessing that Valentine would ever receive. Not long after the service was held, Marge called work to say that she wouldn’t be in that day. Valentine had passed away. Valentine was cremated and his ashes scattered along the path where she had walked him.

Marge decided that she wanted to hold a memorial service for Valentine — in church, of course. By then people had learned not to argue with Marge when it came to animals, so the service was set and everyone she knew or who knew of her was invited. The place was full. After all, how many times do people get to go to a funeral for a dog in the church?

Marge was broken-hearted without Valentine. We were all glad when another dog eventually adopted her. He didn’t take Valentine’s place, but he did fill an empty spot in her life. She finally seemed to stop grieving and was so excited that she brought the new dog to work so everyone could meet him.

Not long after the new dog, I changed jobs. I sort of lost track of Marge when I didn’t see her every day. We met a time or two for lunch, but eventually went our own ways and forgot to keep in touch. I heard about her death from a friend who also knew Marge from another time. She told me about running into Marge one day by accident and Marge had told her about her new tattoo. The Marge I knew was not the tattoo type. The wildest thing I could remember her doing was going to tapings for American Country Idol.

Even though I hadn’t kept in touch, Marge is the sort of person that you don’t forget. I always think of Marge when someone mentions animal rights. I heard that Marge’s funeral was so packed that there was no place to park.

Marge’s tattoo was on the left side of her chest, close to her heart. The tattoo was a picture of Valentine. I am sure Marge and Valentine went over the rainbow bridge together.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

Posted in Creatures, Friends, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Pet Play

We have four pets, five if you count the fish. While I am away at work, the animals conspire with each other to think of ways to make me crazy. 

“I’ll chew the legs on the table,” says the dog to the cat. “You can start clawing the sofa.  If it wasn’t for us, these humans would never get any new furniture.” 

“I have a great idea,” says the cat. “Let’s get in the kitty litter box and throw litter. Then we can walk through it and track litter all over the house. Don’t you just love the way it sticks to the bathroom floor?” 

“I can’t imagine why you silly cats use a nasty old box of litter,” the dog comments. “Look at the nice clean carpeting. We really need to put our scent on it so everyone will know it belongs to us.” 

And so it goes. I’ve never actually heard these conversations, but I know they happen because of what the house looks like when I get home. In case you were wondering, none of the pets are actually mine. They belong to other family members. I like pets, but I like well-behaved pets better. 

The goldfish can’t chew or claw, so it uses passive aggression to drive humans mad. It swims to the top of the goldfish bowl, acting starved and holding its throat until it receives fish food. Then it refuses to eat and food settles on the bottom, eventually clouding the water so the bowl has to be cleaned. 

I tried to speak to the fish about this behavior, but it simply gave me the fisheye and swam away. “These crazy humans believe that I’m not smart enough to think of ways to get my water changed,” says the fish with a flip of its tail. 

“I”m bored says the dog. I believe I’ll slosh some water out of my water dish and walk through it. Look at all the neat pawprints I can make on the kitchen floor. This floor probably has more prints than the FBI data base.” 

“Why make pawprints on the floor,” says the cat, “When you can make them on the kitchen table. And from the table you can look out the window and watch birds.” Cats are notorious bird watchers, you know, and card-carrying members of the Audubon Society. 

What do dogs watch? Other dogs. The dog gets behind the curtains and sits for hours waiting for his canine friend to go for a walk so he can bark and scratch the paint off the window sill. “Can you come inside for a play date later, baby?”   

Meanwhile, the cats decide to take a nap. Cats always want to nap, but not on the floor. With all this nice soft furniture to use for cat beds in the living room, who could resist? 

The dog in the meantime has tried to chew into the box of dog treats, but can’t get inside. He finds a favorite toy instead and begins chewing the stuffing out. If he gets tired, he can always nap in the bed where the humans sleep. 

The cats tire of napping and scratching the furniture and decide to climb on bookcases and the mantel and see if they can push anything off on the floor. “Oh, don’t break that vase, says one cat. Break this one instead. It is our human’s favorite. Be careful not to cut your paw on the broken glass.” 

The cat can jump and touch the doorknob. “I could open this door if I only had a thumb,” it mumbles.” Then we could all escape and play outside for the rest of the day. Who knows, we might find a better trash can to turn over, one with more chicken bones and fewer coffee grounds.” 

“Wait,” says the dog.” I hear a car in the driveway.” He tears the blinds off the window to see and runs to the door to jump on the humans with love, affection and cuteness. 

“Boy, are they going to be happy to see us.”

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

Posted in Creatures, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Writer’s Life

A blog? Of course, I’m going to write in my blog. I always blog a few times a week. But first, I have to check my email. My inbox is overflowing, and I really need to delete the SPAM. I don’t know how all those people get my e-mail address.

I’m going to write in my blog, but I might as well have a cup of coffee first. It’s really too early in the morning to blog unless I have a cup of coffee. I certainly can’t write humor when I’m grumpy. What kind of blog would that be?

A blog? Yes, yes, I’m going to blog, but it’s time to work now. You don’t expect me to avoid work to write a blog?  Blogging doesn’t pay the bills. I’ll think of a good idea today and write in my blog during lunch.

Lunch is here. No time to fool with blogging. I need to eat lunch and get back to business. You can’t believe how busy I am today. Besides, my cell phone has been beeping all morning. I must have a hundred messages to check. I’ll do that now and write in my blog later.

Gosh, what a busy day. I’m pooped. And I still need to write in my blog. First things first, I need to fix some dinner. I cannot do without dinner just to write in my blog. There will be plenty of time for writing after the dishes are done.

What is on television? Gee, I’d really like to watch that. I know I didn’t write in my blog yet, but I’ll feel more inspired when I don’t have something else on my mind. That is my favorite program and several more good ones coming on after it. I guess the blog will not get written tonight. I can always do it later.

Write in my blog? Yes, I’m going to in my blog. Would you please quit bugging me about it? I’m tired! I have to sleep sometime you know. I can’t write when I’m this tired. My head would hit the keyboard and I’d be writing in my sleep.

Another day — another blog to write. I’ll think of something to write about while I’m in the shower. But would you just look at the news! Good grief! Floods, wildfires, global warming. I have to watch the news. I certainly cannot be blogging when the world is about to end.

Blog? Of course, I’m going to write in my blog. I always write in my blog a few times per week. Just like clockwork. I can’t seem to come up with a good idea. What I was going to write about doesn’t seem very funny anymore. I’ll think of something better while I’m walking the dog.

Now, I’m ready to write, just one small peek at email first. Oh, my goodness. Look at the news from my blogger friends. A blogger is ranting because he was edited. I need to write a blog about this while it’s hot. I can write my humorous blog later. Right now, I need to write about something else.

Okay, the work is done and posted, the flood is over and the news is too awful to watch any more. I’ve worked all week and been too busy to write and too tired when I got home. And okay, I’ll admit it. I had to see what happened on my favorite TV show. The world is full of distractions.

But here I am at the computer with an empty screen in front of me, a cup of coffee beside me, the dog is walked, the television is off, the cell phone is recharging, and the email inbox is empty. It’s Saturday morning and I don’t have any work to do. I’m ready at last to write in my blog. But for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was that I wanted to write about.

Copyright 2011-2021 Sheila Moss

Posted in Crafts/Hobbies, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Hoarder Episode

My house was like an episode from “Hoarders.” I don’t know how it happened — but that’s what they all say, isn’t it? Okay, I do know how it happened and it’s my fault … sort of.

I wanted to get rid of the carpeting in my house. It was old and worn out and beyond the point of being revived by Merry Maids or Stanley Steamer or anyone else. At some point you just have to face the fact that nothing lasts forever and the carpet had to go. I have allergies and so do half the other people in the house. If we had to redo the floors, we might as well do something besides re-carpet.

I looked at all the ads in the magazines. I talked to other people who said how easy it is to take care of hardwood. I lusted after the new prefinished hardwood floor at the dentist office from the time I first saw it. So, I decided that I wanted hardwood … no more dusty carpets in my house.

That doesn’t sound like a hoarder, does it?

But hardwood floors were easier said than done. The installer came and measured, and then we went down to the local Lumber Liquidators and picked out a beautiful hardwood. After signing on the dotted line, I got the news. “Wood has to acclimate.”

“Acclimate?” What’s that?

Well, it seemed hardwood had to be in the house where it would be installed for a week to adjust to its new surroundings – all 50 boxes of it. It’s like a plant moving to a new location. Who would have known?

So, that’s why my dining area was full of boxes halfway to the ceiling with cats jumping around on them. It was awful, but what could I do?

And the rest of the boxes all over the house? I could explain, truly I could. But, that’s what they all say, isn’t it?

You see, when the installer was here, he didn’t like all my accessories. It happens that I like knickknacks and had a lot of things. And then I had some pictures of my grandchildren, and a few nice things that I picked up on various vacations or received as gifts. It’s was a hodgepodge of collectables, but tasteful, not overdone — in my opinion.

The installer said, “We, will move the furniture, but you need to move the lamps and all this other stuff.”

Oh dear, I was afraid of that. But I didn’t want my collectables broken. It may be junk and clutter to construction people, but it wasn’t to me.

And that’s what was in the other boxes. My son put most of them out in the garage where they would be out of the way. And some of it was on the fireplace mantel and kitchen cabinets.

Then I realized the closets would have to be emptied too. Oh-my-god! I forgot about the closets. How could I forget about the closets?

So that explained a lot more of it.

And those boxes in the bedroom that we were climbing around were honey’s “art collection.” He had a lot of art prints that we didn’t have room to hang, and so we put them in the big closet — the one under the stairs.

The dust? Did you have to bring up the dust? I dust every week. But, somehow when you start moving everything around, the dust flies. I don’t know where it comes from — but that’s what they all say, isn’t it?

After weeks of living like a hoarder, it was finally all over. I got rid of a lot of stuff that I decided wasn’t worth the trouble of packing and moving around. What was left would be clean. And this time I was going to keep it that way — but that’s what they all say, isn’t it?

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

Posted in Home, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Year of the Locust

This has been the year of the cicada in parts of the U.S. Cicadas have invaded like – well, like a plague of locusts from the Bible. Cicadas are sometimes called locusts, although, as I understand it, a true locust is more like a grasshopper.

These little buggers are not grasshoppers, but they do come in cycles. Our particular locusts are the 17 year cicadas, also known as Brood X. There are also 13 year cicadas and many places have both. How lucky can you be?

We were told that they would come this year. At first we didn’t pay much attention. “I remember last time,” said one friend, “and they were terrible. This year there are only a few.”
So much for that, we thought, but it was early. They were still underground and most had not yet immerged to put on their noisy spectacular.

How can I describe what they look like? To me they resemble a giant roach with the wings of a moth. But the prominent bug eyes that are bright orange are the worse part. They are without a doubt one of nature’s ugliest creations.

At first I noticed only a few dead ones lying on the sidewalk. Well, they were dead, nothing to worry about there. They are not going to be nearly as bad as last time, I thought.

And I was right, they were not as bad as before — they were worse. As the weather grew hotter, more of them began to emerge from their holes. They were looking for two things – food and sex. What can you expect? It’s been 17 years.

They were everywhere. Their cricket-like calls filled the air as they sang their mating song. There were so many that the songs joined together in chorus and became a deafening drone. The hotter the day, the louder the song. They become so loud at the peak of the season that you can hear them inside with the doors and windows closed.

They claimed residence in the trees. Leaves are alive with the crawling bugs, which means you need to stay away from trees. I found this out the hard way when I walked too close to a low hanging limb and was buzzed by dozens of the critters.

They are suppose to be harmless to people. They do not sting or bite and supposedly do not carry any sort of disease. Still, who wants to be harassed by flying roaches?

Actually, I heard that they are crustaceans, which means they are of the same family as shrimp or lobsters. That’s all we need, flying shrimp. Personally, I like my shrimp in the water until time to go to the restaurant.

Yes, a few crazy people actually cook and eat them – more for the publicity than anything else, I think. They may eat bugs in Africa or China, but I’ll pass on that delicacy, thank you.

The air becomes thick with swarms of insects crashing into windshields. The Interstate is cicada alley. The side of the road is littered with cicada bodies, victims of previous accidents. It is impossible to keep them outside. Cicadas get inside your car and wreak havoc while you are driving.

I screamed the first time I saw one on my kitchen floor. Soon it became the norm. You simply swat them with a fly swatter and sweep them up. They even come down the chimney.

They seem to attack you outside. I don’t know if it is deliberate or if they just don’t watch where they are flying. One day a large bug dive-bombed right into my face.

Just when you think you can’t stand it any longer, the season is over. The amorous bugs have had their fun and each female will lay about 500 eggs. Next time could be worse.

Bigger and better plagues may be coming soon. The 13 year brood will come in 2024. In the meantime, I can say, “See ya later, cicada.”

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss
Updated 2021

Posted in Creatures, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

How to Become a Victim of Financial Fraud

There are ways to assure that your credit card numbers — or even your identity — will go to thieves who will download porn movies, and make 900 calls with your credit card. If you are really lucky, you might even have your identify stolen and credit opened up with items charged that you have never heard of. Imagine getting a bill for a flat screen TV or new computer that you didn’t buy, or having your bank account cleaned out via an ATM.

Want to know how you too can become a victim?

Here are a few ways to guarantee that your information goes straight to scammers, spoofers and phishing artists who will probably sell your credit card number it before you know it’s gone.

When someone calls on the phone from an unidentified number and asks for a charitable donation, go ahead and give them your credit card number and help out them out. It’s for a good cause, and they sound okay.

Write your PIN number on the back of your ATM and debit card. How else can you remember it? Besides you are not going to lose your card, are you?

Don’t worry about mail piling up in the box while you are traveling. It is too inconvenient to go to the post office to have it stopped and then go again when you get back to pick up the mail. No one will steal your mail out of the box.

If unsolicited credit card offers come in the mail, just throw them away. No one would bother with getting a new credit card in your name. Who has that kind of time? You don’t even have the time to opt out of receiving these offers.

Shredding documents before you put them in the trash is another big time waster. Who would go through garbage to look for your bank account number? It’s full of coffee grounds, and kitty litter! If that isn’t insurance enough, what is?

Don’t worry about keeping an eye on your bank and credit card accounts online. As long as your charges go through and your checks don’t bounce, everything is fine. You can’t obsess over every item and some of those charges are hard to figure out anyhow.

If you get email notices that there is suspicious activity on an account, just click the link in the email and sign in with your password to check it out. It takes you to the bank’s website, doesn’t it? If you call them, you will be on hold for 30 minutes.

Never call law enforcement or your bank unless you are absolutely certain something is going on with an account. The police will think you are paranoid and you will make a fool of yourself over nothing. Just watch and see if any more suspicious charges come up.

Don’t worry about buying gas at the pump or using your card at a drive-through restaurant. It is very unlikely that a reader has been attached undetected and is collecting the numbers of everyone that uses the scanner. You are safe as long as you don’t see anything suspicious.

Finally, if all of these suggestions are just too difficult and you simply can’t wait to become a victim of fraud, post your credit card numbers, social security number and other personal information on Facebook or Twitter. That should do it.

Remember, anyone can be the victim of financial fraud. You could be a victim even if you are careful and don’t make any of the obvious mistakes. Criminals are thinking up new and creative ways to steal your money every day.

Of course, if you don’t want to be a victim, and want to keep your money for your own needs, don’t do any of this stuff. Thieves know enough ways to steal from you. Don’t help them out.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

Posted in Finance, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Flash Flood!

“Help, somebody help!” What are those kids yelling about now, I wondered, thinking it was my grandchildren. Then I remembered, the grandchildren are at home.

My daughter came down the hall yelling, “I need help.” What in the world? Is the house on fire? No, but it might as well be. I rounding the corner to see Old Faithful erupting in my bathroom and a river coming from under the sink.

Water was squirting from a broken pipe. By then the water was an inch deep on the floor. The little knob that shuts off the water wouldn’t turn any further. We needed to turn off the main water supply.

“Go under the house and turn off the water!” We were getting pretty panicked and the water continued to flow. My daughter grabbed a flashlight and took off to the crawl space. Soon she was back. “I can’t find it.”

The water was getting deeper and starting to run out the door into the bedroom. She called my son. “Come home! We are having a flood. We need you NOW!”

A plumber, I’ll call a plumber. I grabbed the phone book and looked for one with a 24 hour emergency service. Here’s the one that I just paid over a thousand dollars to work on the septic tank. I called. “We are taking calls for tomorrow,” he said.

“I have a busted pipe and water is flooding the house. I can’t wait until tomorrow. Can you just cut off the water?”

“Sorry, I don’t have anyone available.”

I called the next emergency service plumber and got an answering machine. “If you are club member and this is an emergency, press 1.” Plumbers have clubs? What the H…!

“Should I get the neighbor?” asked my daughter. “Yes, yes, anything!”

Thank God for neighbors with good sense. Our neighbor came and looked, then ran back home and got a tool to cut off the water at the meter. I knew that plumbers did that, but I had no idea how to do it.

We grabbed towels to soak up water. Every towel in the house was soon wringing wet and the rug in the bedroom was squishy for several feet from the door. I remembered that the carpet shampooer would suck up water, so I grabbed it and started vacuuming.

“It was like a waterfall under the house,” my daughter said. “Water was coming from every crack.” Oh, God. I was soaked to the waist and my daughter was too. We took everything from under the sink and threw it in the shower.

The neighbor said all we needed to fix it was a small part, so honey, who had been as useless as the rest of us until now, took off to the hardware store instead of helping clean up the mess.

Meanwhile, my son arrived after it was all over. When honey finally came dragging back with the part, he went in the bathroom and fixed it.

“I’m turning the water back on now,” he said. “Be sure it doesn’t leak.” Fortunately, it didn’t and the crisis was over, except for washing three loads of wet towels and running fans for a week to dry the rug.

Eventually everything dried out. I was planning to replace the rug soon anyhow. The part was only $10 and I didn’t have to pay a plumber.

This Saturday we are all going to get lessons in how to shut off the water in case of an emergency and I’m going to buy one of those tools to do it with, regardless of cost. The next time I need a plumber, it will not be the non-emergency, “24/7 emergency” service.

We’ve had flash flood warnings due to the rain, and river flood warnings due to the runoff, but they forgot to mention flash floods in the bathroom due to broken pipes.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

Posted in Home, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments


I had an epiphany this week. Sad as it might be, I’m not getting any younger. I need to realize that one day I’m not going to be around anymore. All the stuff I’ve been saving because I might need it one day is not needed now and likely never will be. I might as well get rid of it.

I periodically decide to clean and get rid of excess junk. When you move, you pare down and trash things to keep from having to move them. However, I have not moved in 20 years and it is starting to show — big time.

I started with my closet. I don’t work in an office anymore and never wear most of the clothes I own. I could have sworn I cleaned the closet last fall when I had nothing else to do due to the pandemic. I don’t know why I still have so many shoes. Somehow, a clean closet inspires me to buy more clothes.

This time it is not going to happen.

A clean closet inspired me to clean dresser drawers. In case you are wondering, yes, I’ve read Marie Kondo’s book about “tidying up.” She says take each item and ask yourself if it gives you joy. If the answer is no, get rid of it. That doesn’t work for me. If it didn’t give me joy, I wouldn’t have it in the first place.

The question I ask is, “Do I ever use this?” If I don’t currently use it, it is not likely I am going to use it in the years I have remaining. My only exception is a few things for which I have a strong (very strong) sentimental attachment. I once saw a program about organization that said anything worth keeping is worth displaying. With a limited amount of space for living, that draws a pretty clear line.

From the bedroom, I went to the kitchen. There was not a whole lot to do in the kitchen, but it did need organizing. I tried to get rid of the goose pattern dishes (honestly), but realized we would not have anything to eat on. I also kept my “good dishes.” I guess someone else will have to get rid of the wedding china when I die as I simply can’t do it.

Of course, the big overwhelming problem is the attic, stuff that has not been touched in years, stuff I’m going to need “one of these days” — maybe. Ridiculous. So, I resolved to do the deed while I was in the mood. I sent four storage bins of stuff to charity today, and have at least four more that can go next.

I’m giving away some good stuff. I thought I would have a garage sale one day, but garage sales are a lot of trouble. Usually, after dragging all the cast off items out, pricing it, advertising it, spending a day selling it and putting up with people wanting to bargain when stuff is already dirt cheap, I am lucky to end up with a hundred dollars. I am just going to donate it and be done with it once and for all.

It’s hard, but the more things that go, the better I feel. I will soon be done with my hoard. Does everyone have a stuff not good enough to use but too good to throw away? Judging from the many rental storage units seen around town, I’m not the only one. I’m beginning to see that my hoard is only a small part of the problem. Since I have plenty of room, other people put their junk in my attic too.

My back hurts, my allergies are acting up from the dust, I have a headache, and it is hot up there. I’m running out of steam. Maybe I will leave the rest until I have more time. This seems to always be how my stories about downsizing end. 

Copyright 2021 Sheila Moss

Posted in Home, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Fashionable and Free

“Free lunch bag,” said the advertisement.

“Hum, that’s pretty cute,” I thought. “I wouldn’t mind to have one of those. So what’s the catch?” If there is one thing I’ve learned in life, it is that nothing is free that is worth having.

I flipped the box over and read the conditions. Twenty boxes . . . that’s a lot. I knew they were not giving away lunch bags for nothing.

“But, I can do it.”

The boxes I am talking about are frozen dinner boxes. Yes, I know, but I take a frozen dinner to the office for lunch most of the time. It started when I was on a diet. After I stopped dieting, I kept on taking frozen lunches. They are better than a baloney sandwich, and all you have to do is grab one out of the freezer in the morning.

Let’s see, one box a day, five days a week – it will take a month, I calculated. That’s not too bad, and I have to eat anyhow. Honey eats them too, so I could get his boxes. This is beginning to sound easier all the time, I thought, as I decided which one of the styles I liked best.

The pink one with big dots is really snazzy, “The Ashley – fun and flirty,” it says. But I guess I’ll go with “The Nicole – glitz and glam.” A darker color will match more things. Not that it matters if my lunch bag matches my outfit. What am I thinking?

“Collect 20 unique codes (one code found inside each box). A few entrees a week will get you there in no time.” Okay, so where is the code? Then I found out that not all the dinners have the code, only the more expensive dinners. That figures.

I sent my honey an email, “Save your frozen dinner box and bring it home.”

“Bring home the garbage?”

I had to explain the entire thing to him to get him to bring home the stupid box. Then wouldn’t you just know it? It was the wrong kind, no code.

So, I ate chicken and rice — rice and chicken. Some of the dinners are pretty good, but none of them are gourmet cuisine. How good can a frozen diet dinner be?

The boxes stacked up. I started counting. I had fourteen. When is the deadline? Oh, no, it’s the 3rd. There are not enough days left!

I sent out an urgent plea to my co-workers. “If you eat frozen lunches, can I have your box? I’m saving for a free lunch bag. “Apparently no one ate the same brand of lunches as me. I got one lousy box out of it. Still, a box is a box.

Five to go.

Maybe I could buy new lunches and take them out of the boxes, I thought. I was starting to get desperate.

I went to the grocery store, and the specially marked lunches were hard to find. I dug deep and came up with five.

I’ve saved four more this week. One of my five was the wrong kind. Only one more dinner and I’ll have enough. I have to go to the grocery store again. They better have some of the good boxes left, or else . . . Or else what? Well, I don’t know what, but after saving nineteen of these things, I want that free lunch bag.

I did have one piece of good news. I read the fine print wrong. I have until the 31st to save my boxes, not the 3rd. I’m practically assured of getting a free lunch bag now.

Let me see, at an average of $2.88 per dinner x 20, the free lunch bag has cost me over $57. But that’s not the point. The point is that I didn’t have to pay extra, the lunch bag is FREE.

I really hope they don’t give away anything else, though. I can’t afford any more free lunch bags.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

Posted in Fashion, Food, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Brave New iWorld

My grandchildren have a new electronic toy. My daughter called it her iPhone. It seems in a moment of sheer insanity, she downloaded a free game for the girls, thinking it would keep them quiet in the doctor’s waiting room. Since the kids found out about the toy, mommy never gets to play with it herself.

The rule is that the only games that are allowed to be downloaded are the free ones. The problem is that the free games have bright flashing ads for the improved $3.99 version. The even bigger problem is that neither of the girls are old enough to read. When they see a big flashy button, they think it is part of the game. The rest is history.

Daughter figured it out after she got the $112 credit card bill from Apple iTunes. Now the girls are supervised better when they play with mom’s toy.

It’s strange how kids seem to instinctively be able to play with these sophisticated electronics. The girls also liked my grandson’s iPad. While an adult will spend hours trying to figure out how to use an app, a kid can pick an iPad and have it playing tunes on the Disney site in 20 seconds.

After many years, I’m still trying to learn to use my iPhone. The only good thing to report is that my texting skills are getting better. Now that I have figured out the phone can spell better than I can, it’s become a lot easier. It fixes all my mistakes and just keeps going.

The iPads and iPhones have all sorts of sophisticated iGames on them that are downloaded off iTunes, for example, “Pop the Bubble Wrap.” Now that’s an intellectual game that can hold your attention. And you don’t even have to buy new bubble wrap when all the bubbles are popped.

My daughter was excited when she found out that my Wi-Fi connection downloaded games really fast. She filled up her phone with games figuring she could transfer them to an old iPod when she got home and give it to the girls instead of letting them play with her iPhone. Of course, the iPod idea didn’t work out all that well. Since there are two kids, they now each have a toy and mom still doesn’t have one.

I really don’t understand the attraction of having a telephone that doubles as an electronic toy. I’m sure I must be missing out on something very important by not downloaded music or games. I’m so far behind the times that I don’t even know what that something is. Sometimes I even enter the number instead using my directory or the voice app. I do use the touch pad instead of a rotary dial, so don’t laugh too hard.

I know how to post on Facebook, though, and with my new text messaging skills, I can almost pass for cool. I managed to fool the “Guess Your Age” game on my daughter’s phone into thinking I am forty-six, even though I don’t watch the Simpsons. It was either the fact that I send several text messages a day or that I eat a large number of hamburgers. Who would think that eating hamburgers is a way to stay young?

I must admit that finger painting with an IPad has advantages over letting kids paint with the real stuff. I really don’t understand why you need a computer to pay tic-tac-toe, though. I guess it is like a lot of things, it is done with a computer only because it can be done.

The worse, absolutely worse, game, however, is one of the children’s favorites. The name alone is enough to convince me that I don’t want it on my iPhone. The only skill required is a fast thumb and a strong stomach. It is called “Smash the Ants”.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

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