Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Neigbors

We're getting new neighbors - I think - well, I hope so. Its hard to tell just what is going on over there. I've been watching their moving-in drama for over a week now from my back door and out the window over the kitchen sink. I hope they don't see me watching them - or worse, ducking around the corner and having them become suspicious. I don't want to scare them off or anything, but the performance is a must-see.

From the looks of things, he is the one who found the house in the first place and is doing his very best to sell her on the idea. He keeps on moving in stuff, arranging it, leaving and getting more stuff. Makes me wonder how much can fit into such a small space. Its endearing to see how much he likes the location - sometimes he'll pause and look around at the scenery and just look so pleased with his choice.

For her part, she appears to be very picky and barely glances at him or acknowledges his efforts. I have a feeling the relationship itself won't last forever. On at least two occasions I've seen her poke her head in the door, look around and leave without so much as a how-dee-do. Both of these times he was literally trembling with anticipation and sat, dumbfounded, after she left. I felt so sorry for him and couldn't help wondering what kind of parent she'll be - she's obviously expecting.

Something about him, though, is that he makes a lot of racket. He has this thing forAdd Image singing, and he sings LOUD. He has a beautiful voice - effervescent, even. Not even the heat we've had has dampened his spirits. From just about any room in my house I know he's back at work when I hear him trilling outside. It makes me smile every time.

Just this afternoon, he called her over for another inspection of the inside. This time, she stayed longer than she has before. I watched with anticipation, holding my breath. I grabbed my camera - after all, this spectacle is definitely blog worthy. She still flounced out after poking around inside, but he didn't seem quite as despondent this time. Perhaps they've come to an agreement.

Want to take a peek at them? I know! It seems so prying, doesn't it? Its OK, really. Satisfy your curiosity and scroll down for pictures:

moving in......
Inspection fail! (Can you tell from this angle that she has her little nose up in the air at him?)
Ah, sadness.....
And persistence! "How can I convince her that this gourd would make a lovely home and this carport is an exceptional neighborhood?!"

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Oh, Missoula!

The location couldn't be...er...topped. The kids practiced in this brown carriage house/barn all week until the productions on Saturday evening.

There, now, she doesn't LOOK like an evil magic flower, now, does she?

Here's a hint as to what play they put on: Look at the staff that Alex is holding....and the Tin Man in the next picture:
That's Hannah on the far right - an Orange Evil Magic Flower.
If you look closely through the barn doors, you might spy the Scarecrow during the second performance.....
At least one of the audience members were satisfied with rolling in the freshly-cut hay (achoo!) on the hill behind the barn.

Cast pictures....
That's our unhappy (hot, tired, hungry, homesick?) flower second from the right. A bottle of water and a half-a-can-o-Pepsi perked her right back up.....

And then it was time to leave. It rained during the last 20 minutes or so of the second performance, but the reward of the steam rising up from the hollows of the Alleghenies more than made up for it.
Thank you to the Arts Council, the Alleghany Foundation, The Missoula Children's Theater Company and everyone else who made this a great time!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Password Protection and a FREE GIFT!

I'm taking a minute out of my busy, busy week to jump on and let you know about something that happened to a good friend of mine: Her PayPal account was HACKED! And since her bank account is linked to her PayPal account, thieves also gained access (temporarily, at least) to her bank account! Yikes! And although she had it quickly straightened out and didn't lose any money out of pocket, it was still unsettling, time-consuming, disruptive, disturbing - and (insert synonym here)!

You're thinking, as was I, that PayPal is CERTAINLY safe....and it IS! In fact, I have a PayPal account, also connected to my bank account, and I intend to keep them BOTH. You should too. BUT what you SHOULD do, is QUIT USING THE SAME PASSWORD ON ALL OF YOUR ACCOUNTS! INCLUDING E-MAIL! Wait....ESPECIALLY E-MAIL!

I'm sorry to have to shout like that, because, as you know, I try to keep this blog friendly and upbeat - garden, butterflies, kids - but I have a feeling that - -


- - - whoops - - - there's that yelling thing again - - -

I have a feeling that, if you're like me, you get complacent and might gloss over things, so yelling will get your attention. (Unless, of course, you're in the under-6 set and your last name is Morris and you don't listen to anything I say, much less yelling, then this is not for you.)

So, back to my pal's - that is, my Friend's - story: After she noticed that her bank account was missing over $300, she found that there had been two PayPal draws on the account - neither of which was made by her or her husband. So she called PayPal (no doubt in a panic) and was told that while PayPal is nigh unto impossible to hack, E-MAIL is extremely easy. (If you're a hacker, that is....).

As an aside - she also said that the PayPal rep she spoke with was very soothing and professional and provided every assurance that PayPal is indeed secure, AND that when she hung up the phone, she was no longer in panic mode but had a clear set of steps to follow thanks to PayPal. )(Kudos to PP.....)

Now, back to our story: Most of us have web-based e-mail, right? Like yahoo.com or gmail.com or (fill in web-based email here). Well, it seems that those accounts are easy to hack. And shoot, blogger dot com is probably easy to hack, too, so beware of any posts that don't seem to be from me after this - who knows who I might anger? These types of websites do not have the layers of protection as does, say, a financial institution or PayPal.

Back to our story:
The Bad Guy(s) hacked her email account password and muttered (because bad guys mutter, you know?):
"I bet this chick uses the same password for all her accounts.....and.....(tap, tap, tap)....hah!...there it is......good.....now for her PayPal......this is too easy.....let's go shopping for electronics......(whistle)......bonus, it's attached to her bank account, so....(tap, tap, tap).......cool........and now to shop for a new cell phone....."
and so on and so forth.

Now, what are you going to do after reading this post? Shake your head sagely and say, "she's lyin' again...."? Fix a bread-and-butter-sandwich? Pickle those watermelon rinds you've been saving? Send me a FrontierVille gift?


And here is what you are going to remember as you change them:
1. They should all be different. Yes, this is a pain, but you must do this.
2. They should be unique. This means NO birthdays, no last 4 digits of anything, no street addresses, nothing. Make it up. C'mon, you can do it.
3. It should contain letters and numbers and characters - at least a combination of the two. We're going for protection, here, you know.
4. Write them down.* Do it!

(*Do you want me to make a password notebook for you as an incentive to change them? Seriously. Because I want to Do My Part to keep the web safe and fun. For the first ten folks who comment below, I will make you a sweet little password notebook and get it to you by first class mail or otherwise as a special free gift for reading this blog. No, I don't have a picture of what it looks like, so it will be a surprise. To both of us.)

Don't put it off!


Thursday, June 3, 2010


Maybe I get distracted by the cuteness.

Or, more likely, I can easily recall a time in the not-so-distant past when she was wholly dependent on me and trusted me and gratefully accepted my sage parental guidance in all things.

Then again, its probably those round brown eyes.

Either way, the Once Reasonable two-year-old (who turns 3 in mere days) has turned into a fuzzball of independence, making choices and taking stands on personal freedom that the most flag-waving patriot would gladly surrender based on mere grounds that the foe is indeed, larger.

I've given in on her wearing blanket sleepers - complete with feet - in June. They are pink, they have kitties on them, they zip and snap and they are polyester. But hey, at least I'm not checking covers all night.

Last night, however, was a curve ball.

Once Reasonable asked in a deceptively reasonable sweet voice, "can you get me some undahwayah?"

Me: Its bedtime, you need a dipey or some pull-em-ups at night.

O.R.: Noooo! I's potty-TRAINED and I can wear undahwayah!

Me: No, you're potty trained in the DAYtime and you still wear dipeys or pullumups at night
because whenever you don't, you wet th'bed.

O.R.: Waaaaahhhhhh!!! (Head in hands on side of bed)

Me: Even your sister wore pullemups for almost a YEAR after she was potty trained in the daytime because it is so HARD to be potty trained at night and...... (drifting off, realizing I'm negotiating with a terrorist....)

O.R.: perking up....

Me: (Relieved, because of COURSE she's being reasonable with this line of argument...)

O.R.: Gracie can help me! I know! Dat girl from my singin' class can help me go back and forth!

Me: ??

O.R.: She help me go to my pot and I can go on my pot and get back in bed!

Me: Grace from church?

O.R.: Yes, from curch! (Brightening and smiling through tears)

Me: Um, SugarBaby, Gracie lives far, far away and she is in her own bed in her own house with her.....

O.R.: Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!! (Head in hands)

Me: Sigh.

The compromise?

Me: You wanna wear unders over your dipeys?

O.R.: (Smiling again) Yes!
O.R.: Mama, can Gracie come spend the night tomorrow night?