Saturday, November 26, 2016

Beware of what you find in the "clearance" section

I always check out the clearance section of websites where I'm buying something since I love me a good bargain... but when I was doing that today and found this... well, this is NOT a joke and is a real book.

First I sent it to Barbara and told her this is what I'm NOT getting her for Christmas. (/She replied thank you.) And I was so taken with it that I sent it to a few friends, among them Fran, whose Angelina saw the email and responded, "My fur is NOT for crafting." Well, excuse me. Don't know what MIlo thinks...

Mary's Thanksgiving

Party girl that she is, Mary celebrates twice, once in DC and once in Pennsylvania. Dinner has now been eaten in Pennsylvania and Mary reports:

I forgot to take pictures of the food.  Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, corn, green beans, creamed pearl onions, rolls, tossed salad, root beer cookies, oatmeal cookies, pumpkin pie, chocolate amaretto pie, and fruit cocktail cake.

I am full..
The kids are making graham cracker houses (they use icing to stick the crackers to little milk cartons)  so I got a couple of pictures   - and Judy. 


Credit Card tip

I had gotten my new Amex card and when I went to validate it on line you could request various alerts which I did. One such is called "card not present" and they send you an email every time your card is used without the physical card. Today I bought a gift on line, used the new card and sure enough, I instantly got an email. I don't have to do anything to confirm it so it's easy enough to do.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Lunch with Barb and PS on Clark

Barbara came over for her birthday lunch/our November lunch and we ordered from this other coffee shop called The Mansion (since it's near the Mayor's residence called Gracie Mansion) and we went for burgers. We splurged 45 cents extra to share waffle fries instead of regular fries. That's how we roll.

She didn't go to Two Little Red Hens for birthday cupcakes because the ATM near there was broken so she went to our other favorite bakery, Glaser's which has been open since 1902 and I swear (no joking) they have not renovated since then. The floors are tiny white tils and the display cases are all wood and the back is open and this old white guy apparently does all the baking on the premises. So she bought us rasberry linzer cookies and little heart cookies and the woman warned her (Barbara thought almost too much so) that the cookies had almond paste (the best part as far as I'm concerned) in case anyone had a nut allergy.

So here they are:

I had to put the leftovers out of reach as I believe in addition to almond paste, they must put a bit of crack in each cookie.

Barbara also questioned why there was no photo of Clark from Thanksgiving which was just a screw up on my part as he was supposed to be part of yesterday. Here's Clark who sat next to me, waited on me, and is as wonderful as ever.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Report

Back from Long Island and a nice day. The best thing, of course, were the guests -- all liberal Democrats. We had traditional turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and since there were three vegans present some sort of vegetable caserole.

Here's my plate:

This is Louisa on the left and her school friend Lydia whose mother Sarah also came. Both are very lovely.
Louisa and me
Charlotte who will turn 18 on 12/12
And Charlie who is a very sweet dog.

Dessert was three kinds of pie -- apple, chocolate cream and chocolate pecan. This is the chocolate pecan which fell apart, but it still tasted great.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Credit Card Woes

This has been a bad weekend for me and credit cards. I went to buy something on line last night and my Amex was declined. I knew that wasn't possible (well, it was possible since it happened, but I typically pay the bill the day it comes) and so after entering and re-entering the number a number of times, I called Amex only to be told I have a fraud alert on my card which was news to me. The woman reviewed charges where I had to say whether they were mine or not. I guess I (they) caught this early as it was two charges -- one for a dollar something and one for nine dollars, both in Houston.

She asked me if anyone else has access to my card and I said to her I have no boyfriend, no husband, no children and live alone so no. Mary later asked me if I felt she was being accusatory and I said no, not really. I am sure it's just a standard question.

This one got solved with canceling the card and they're sending me a new card to arrive on Tuesday. I really hate the scammers and spammers.

Oh another thing. I only have one other credit card and Mary suggested I check that which I did and last night and this morning there were no transactions. I checked twice.

Today I went online to make a car reservation for Thanksgiving, this time using my Citibank Mastercard, only to have that declined as well. Made me nervous. Entered and re-entered the number and then called Citibank who told me I had a fraud alert on the card, but this one was different.

This car/limo place prior to your paying on line first does a test to charge your card for $1. I had always used my Amex to pay for cars from this placce so the one dollar charge from an all-new vendor AUTOMATICALLY triggered a fraud alert. So the car place charges $1 and then my card for the full amount got declined.

I got an email from Citibank where I  clicked yes to confirm the car place was valid...which I did and then it took me to a page that said all was well.

Sort of.

In the meantime, since the fraud alert was lifted, I guess retroactively, I now had two identical charges for one trip.

I had yet to reserve my return trip.

So I call the car place, they connect me twice to customer service where I was promtly disconnected both times. On my third call, I said NO connecting me to customer service.

It took the patience of an animal trainer to explain to the guy that I needed on charge canceled. To add to the confusion, I was willing to just put the second, duplicate charge to the return trip which I had yet to make/reserve.

He finally got it sorted out, made the reservation for the return trip... and I would say what should have taken five minutes on line took more than an hour. Of course, with Citibank I had to go through all the security questions including my "secret word."

What?  I don't know how the hell we're supposed to remember all the codes, words, secret words, PINs, paswords, etc.

The friendly recording said that my secret word may be my best friend's last name so I gave it a shot and said Mary's last name and that worked although I have zero memory of ever recording that as my  (ahem) secret word.

No lessons or morals here, just whining about modern life in a world of crroks.

Barbara's Birthday

So here's her present -- a vintage quilt... along with the view from her window today with the first snow. In NYC, it's just crummy, gray, rainy, damp, but no snow.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Supermoon over Texas

Tom took this photo. When I saw him last and he was taking photos, I asked him if he was a lifelong photographer or had come to it recently. He said he always took photos but noted how pros with better equipment take better photos and was intrigued by that so he bought himself a better camera and has been taking lots of great shots like this one.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

What I'm Reading

What's funny is that I read 4 or 5 pages of this a few months back, couldn't get into it and stuck it in a drawer. Took it out over the weekend and have read more than half of it.

It was wildly well reviewed... an interesting story about perfume, an inheritance, that jumps back and forth between two characters in the 1920s and the 1950s and I am, of course, enjoying it.