Wednesday, October 14, 2015


October 2014.   Milo taking one his last walks of the season down the dock at the lake in Michigan.

Hi everyone!  I'm so happy to be here!  I know you've all been ready to give up on seeing a post of mine but for every few weeks.'s just been a rocky road for awhile now.  I'm going to take you on a trip down memory lane a bit as far as photos and maybe a few little memory joggers (for you and me) on what was happening last year at this time.  Don't you love that about blogging and the whole photo library thing?  We can track our lives back years and read about what we were doing going back as long as we've chronicled  it on our blogs.  

October 2014.  Front yard of lakehouse in all its fall glory!

Fall is absolutely gorgeous at the lake.  The woods are just across the street so we see a breathtaking amount of color out of every window.  Many different types of trees were originally planted on our property when the house was built so we have oak, maple, birch and well, a few I don't really know the names of!  If the house wasn't still in terrible shape after the burst pipe and subsequent damage, we would be up there now putting away the boats and toys and patio furniture.  The Husband would be hoisting the kayaks into the rafters and I'd be emptying and storing flower pots and all of my outdoor accessories.  I can't believe I'm getting a lump in my throat over this,  I usually detested this sort of work!

Last week after I wrote, I spent a good amount of time outside.  It was in the 70's and the dogs were loving it.  It hadn't (and hasn't) rained in quite awhile and with a nice breeze, they had their little sniffers in the air constantly when they weren't rolling in something smelly and decayed.  I emptied out the pathetic looking pots, put all my little doodads in the shed but I kept my table and chairs on the patio.  I continue to go out to read and spend a little time with the pups before it gets too cold.  

I fertilized the front lawn and plan to rake and over seed next week.  I can't believe I have yet to get one single pumpkin or mum or pansy, my very favorite fall decorations.  I keep saying, "Tomorrow."  And then it never happens.  Maybe this will be the 'Fall That Never Was'.

The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome downer last fall.

Oh!  And how can we forget this problem (for lack of a better word) that fell out of the skies and landed for no rhyme or reason on me?  Waking up with my fingers numb and my wrists hurting.  Two surgeries within 7 weeks.  Oh yeah, bring it on!  And you new followers think the broken arm in June was bad.  I'm so getting used having my arms in casts I can pretty much surf the internet and call my kids on the phone with my toes.  

Right now is the perfect time to tell you about my computer woes.  No offense to anyone but we all have these troubles and we really probably bore the heck out of each other with our various issues.  It's like gray hair---it's going to happen.  

My laptop was dying a slow death.  It had been seriously slow for over 6 months and then last week it wouldn't connect to the Internet although all of our other devices were.  I brought it in to our Tech guys up the street and told them, "No heroic efforts.  If it's over $50, unplug it and let it go."  After I left I thought long and hard (well, maybe not so long) about how I had gone through two laptops in 6 years and that's not surprising given the time I spend on it and what I store and the fact that they were both pretty inexpensive.  Long story short,  I went to Best Buy and spent a lot of time with a great guy looking at every laptop they carried and then two hours later walked out with a Mac.  For the record, I've never made such a big purchase for myself on my own without discussing it with The Husband first   I stopped at my son Jeff's house as he has the same Mac and he helped me get it set up.  I told him I was afraid to go home to the Firing Squad.  Well, The Husband was very cool.  Like, "I'm glad you took the 'horse by the reins'" sort of attitude.  It was a very liberating experience and I was not only proud but so grateful that my son and the Husband treated me with respect for my choice. :)

Asheville, NC.   November 2014

A little time at our condo for me to recuperate from the first hand surgery before the next.  

I spent most of this past weekend working on learning this whole new realm of using  computer with so much horsepower and so many options.  Not to mention a whole new way to do the basics...scrolling with two fingers, synchronizing your iPhone and iPad, how to store photos...and my old laptop is still in the shop and I need to transfer my old pictures and downloads.  And the old girl is being resurrected for under $50.  I love these guys.  And I'm going to gift her to someone in need.  

Briefly, I just want to tell you that I fell head first into a scam yesterday.  My new laptop froze with a warning that I had a virus.  I called the number on the screen, terrified that I had lost everything and I actually fell for it all, the protection insurance that was offered, the whole freaking ball of wax.  They got my passwords, access to my files and my credit car number (not to mention $200.00 that I thought would save me from losing everything). Abby was here and it didn't take more than 2 minutes of her screaming at me at over what a gullible fool I was.  I called Apple, crying hysterically of course.  They are exceptionally polite, friendly, intelligent and mostly comforting.  They helped me clean up the whole mess and I then cancelled my debit card.  Lesson learned...I wanted to pass it on in the case that anyone has something like this happen and has fears they will lose everything.  This person/company was able to fill my screen with serious looking data that said over and over, "Warning!  System compromised by virus!"  It wasn't a simple phone call. he was all over the place on my screens.  How do they do this?  All I know is that you must hang up and call your computer manufacturer.  This guy said he worked for Apple.  I was simply sickened when it was over.  

Pumpkin Cheese Ball

I loved making this last fall, very simple and fun and a big hit when I brought it to Jeff and Deirdre's engagement party.  Here's the recipe if you missed it.

8 oz. cream cheese
10 oz finely chopped sharp cheddar
1/4 c  blue cheese crumbles
2  t Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t celery salt
1/4 t  onion salt

 Mixture of approximately 1 cup finely chopped walnuts and 1 T paprika


Mix first 6 in a standing or hand held mixer.  Roll into a ball shape and chill 1/2 hour while you grind up walnuts and mix with paprika in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Place the ball of cheese on a large piece of parchment paper.  You will need to shape the cheese into a pumpkin shaped form.  Bring the parchment paper up and around the cheese ball to keep from making it sticky and shape it into a round larger from the middle down.  Once done,  pat the walnut/paprika mixture all over.  Using a butter knife, score the 'pumpkin' like the real deal from top to bottom in a curved fashion.  Add a real stem (wrapped in plastic at the bottom) or a piece of celery for the stem.  Chill an hour before serving with crackers.  I doubled the recipe to make the cheese pumpkin you see in the above picture.  Serves about 12.  Maybe more.  

Layla a few nights ago in our little den, sharing my fave chair.

That's all I have for now.  Sorry you have to hear all my troubles but this is why I've been remiss.  I wish I could figure out how to give links to the posts from last fall.  I will as I navigate this new monster of mine.  If you are interested,  just check my archives under October/November 2014.

Thanks for bearing with me.  Tomorrow is another day, another adventure and photos to share.  Hope you hang in there with me!

Jane x


Anonymous said...

Hi Jane! I loved this post. Your Layla is beautiful :-) and that pumpkin cheese ball!! What a great idea. I would love to try that. It is fun to look back on old memories, both the good and the bad because they allow us to appreciate what we have today I think. Congratulations on the new Mac. That really is a monster! My hubby has one and I'm still kind of lost on how to use it. New technology is scary at first but once you get the hang of it it's difficult to go back. I have an iPhone and don't think I could ever go back to a normal cell phone. I'd be lost without it! Take care of that arm!! hugs to you, your puppies and the fam. Silvana xoxo

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Everybody that I know who has a Mac, loves it. They tell me that it is very user friendly and easy to navigate. I am sure you will grow to love it.

So much can change in a year. We just have to count our blessings and hope that the good will outweigh the bad.

Bluebird49 said...

Oh hon, I'm so sorry you had all that mess with your new Mac. I know I'd have fallen for the same thing. I haven't a clue how I'd figure out a Mac...I just got an iPhone 6 (birthday coming up) I'm sure I'll never figure out, but...I can Facetime with my grandkids and that was the draw. I hope I made the right decision! I was satisfied with my Android. Maybe you can give me some tips!!

Gotta try the cheese ball--although I kept thinking,
"Did she leave out the canned pumpkin...?" (Yes, you know how addled I am!!)
love ya!!

Stacey said...

I thought Apple products weren't supposed to get viruses? That's terrifying!! Proud of you for taking control though. :)

What's the progress on your lake house? I know you must really be missing it.

Here's hoping for a better winter to come. :)

Theresa said...

Oh my goodness, that's a lot for a year! I have had those calls pretending to be from Apple:) Sometimes I hang up and sometimes I just go along and then say "do you think I am stupid"! Enjoy your day dear friend, let's go get some MUMS:) HUGS!

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Good Morning Jane,
I did not realize that your arms had been through such torment over the past year, and of course you made me chuckle with your reference to using your toes for communication purposes!
I am thankful that for today you are well, and just maybe it will be the day for pumpkins and mums?
I did not purchase a single mum this year, well with being in California for the last 3 weeks and back home with temps still flirting with the 90's, it just doesn't seem to be worth it.

Cheese ball is wonderful-a must try!

Lynne said...

"Those ugly scammers" are aggressive individuals aren't they? I picked up a virus about a year ago when I accidentally clicked on a pop up ad on one of my favorite design bloggers page. I tread very carefully on the blogs that have employed "Ad Sense", as the clean up was costly.

I too have cut back on my posts. I have only been posting about every ten days. I think that I have experienced a form of writer's block. LOL

Jane! Grandbaby #3 will be arriving in just over two weeks! The kids went "old school" . . . we will learn the sex at birth!

What a year! One place I do not like to be a frequent flyer is the world of healthcare. (I work there, but I hate it when it hits home.)

Sending hugs to you and all the beautiful "B's"!


Primitive Stars said...

Morning Jane, what a little sweetie Layla is,so adorable. That is such a great cheese all, love hat idea. Poor you, that is so awful to have, hope your feeling better.Blessings Francine.

Kim said...

I hated the mere mention of Apple products. I was the biggest skeptic, then my laptop got a virus and it kept crashing. I too walked out of Best Buy with a Mac and I adore it. Love is not a strong enough word. It was pricey, but so far, worth every penny. Oh, BTW, I am having the fall that never was, too. ;)

Susie said...

Blondie, Isn't it a shame that some people with no scruples work so hard to scam would think if they had that kind of knowledge on computers they could hire out fixing problems..A pox upon them all. :):) Glad you got it all taken care of and that things are good. I know you will love having your lake house back in order again. It's nice that you enjoyed the time outdoors...I am wondering how much longer we will have to do that. I'd like a very long fall and short winter. , myself. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

Lynne said...

Jane! I am back to say . . . WOW THOSE CUBS!

NanaDiana said...

Congrats on the Mac. My daughter swears by them as well. So sorry you got scammed though...especially with a new computer. I know the Macs are impervious to viruses so that is one of their best features.
It was fun looking back with you. I remember it all, too.
Hope you have a great day. I have another sick grand here for the day---going on 2 full weeks now. xo Diana

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

I never ever open anything or update anything or trust anything when it comes to technology. I don't sync my devices either. I really only use a small percentage of what they are capable of doing because I just really don't need the headache of viruses and scams. Plus really detest learning how to work so many different apps and programs. My kids both have Macs but I tried using it and just found it all too foreign. Good luck with it all. Saw my friend today who has the cast on her right wrist and her fingers are still bruised and swollen. I sure hope everything is healing properly for her. And that your arm and ankle are okay now, too. Take care!

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

I'm so sorry about that scam. Those people have created some serious bad karma for themselves. I can't even imagine what kind of people they are, or what happened to them to make them take advantage of people like that. Hope you're seeing progress at the lake house. I can't wait to see the new version!

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Enjoyed your trip down memory lane Jane. I'll make your pumpkin cheese ball again this year, loved it last Autumn. John and I swear by anything Apple makes and love each of our Macs. They are impervious to virus's and John is in digital media and I an artist/designer couldn't imagine a day without them.

Sarah said...

Oh, my, I'm sorry to hear you had hand surgery. Hope you have a speedy recovery.
Congrats on the new Apple. I know the feeling of which you speak. I got the same message this summer. Scared me! fortunately I didn't click on it, but I did contact Apple. Don't know what I did to make it pop up. Glad you got it resolved.
Take care of those hands. Happy fall!

Curtains in My Tree said...

ahhh Layla is so cute and yes I'm sure fall is really pretty around the lake

that cheese ball has my stomach growling for a bite

memory lane can be good sometimes

Art and Sand said...

First, congratulations on buying a Mac. I swear by Macs and wouldn't have anything else after succumbing to a cheaper PC once and regretting it from the minute I brought it home.

Second, Steve fell for the scam once too so don't feel bad.

Traci said...

I've gotten that computer message several times. I've almost fallen for it several times too! I'm a little more leery of things since I was the person that responded to an email supposedly from Chase asking for my password. Yeh, I gave it to them. Thankfully, I realized that maybe that wasn't smart & called Dean. Oh how he loves cleaning up my messes!!! LOL! I'm so impressed that you went out & bought a MAC by yourself. I would never be that brave! I bet your hubs is happy that he didn't have to deal with it. Have a great day!

Town and Country Gals said...

enjoyed our walk down memory lane very much! I too got that message a couple of weeks ago but luckily for me, I did freak out but called my son and he told me how to delete it. I'm so afraid of clicking on anything that comes up for fear of really messing up my computer. It's really sad there are so many crooks and scams out there, so sorry you got caught up in it!

Barb said...


My do have a full life.

I am probably the only person in the world who did not like a Mac. My husband purchased a top of the line one for me and I did not like it at all. I have a desktop and don't like laptops....guess I am just different. I can accept that. (wink)

Ron got a new kayak for his birthday and will be able to use it almost all winter. We are coming into the beautiful time in Florida....come to see us. Winter is like a paradise here.

Always thinking of of my favorite bloggers.


Kathleen Grace said...

Ugh! Those stinking scammers! If they gave half as much effort to working hard they could be just as well off without being evil incarnate. I hope canceling the debit card meant they didn't get the money. I do love blogging for being able to look back, pictures and all, at what happened. I think it's the best journal ever and we get to make friends along the way. Enjoy the rest of Autumn!

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

Not sure if you remember my computer debacle a while back, but we experienced something very similar. I learned not only to NEVER click on anything like that, but also even if you google something like 'Microsoft support' the number you get is most likely a scam. The only safe way is to go directly to their website. And no matter what, never pay with a debit card. It's almost impossible to get your money back.

After that experience I got a Mac and love it. I spent the money to get their three year support and it was the best money I've ever spent! Highly recommend it Jane.


Junkchiccottage said...

Sorry Jane with all the trouble with your debit card. These scammers have nothing but time to figure out so many different schemes. I have learned to never give any info out on anything and just call if I have questions. It is frustrating but I feel it keeps things safe. I have a Mac and love it. It took a short little bit of time to get use to it after having a PC for so long but now I would never go back to a PC. I have very few problems with my Mac (knock on wood!!! LOL) now that I said that!
Have a great week.

Beth said...

Hi Jane, I went from PC to Mac last winter and I LOVE my Mac. It's easy to use once you get used to it, and Apple has classes you can take too. I learn a lot from them and have fun at the same time. My hubby is using the PC now and I keep telling him he should upgrade...he says he will eventually. Right now the PC is still under extended warranty so he might as well keep it for now. Sorry about the scam. We frequently get calls from persons claiming to be "certified Microsoft engineers" - they are scammers too. Have a good autumn!
Hugs, Beth

xinex said...

Sorry about all your computer troubles, Janie. I thought Macs do not get hacked. Anyway, I hope you hand heals up pretty soon. Sorry for not visiting much. I thought retiring would give me so much time but I have been so busy, babysitting grandkids, cooking and helping John. I am not complaining though. The grandkids are fun. You
take care now.....Christine

Brenda Pruitt said...

Sorry about what happened with the computer. There are terrible people out there and they prey on us.

Carla from The River said...

Hi Jane,
I love the Pumpkin Cheese ball, I am making that. :-)

I am sorry too about the scam.
I am happy about your Mac. I am saving for one. I have heard so many great things about them. Keep me posted on how you like yours.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I finally replaced my computer last January and my online life has been so much easier. So sorry to hear about the scam trouble...there's always someone wanting to take what isn't theirs.
Our dock and boat come out this weekend...always a little sad, knowing it will be spring before we put it out again...

Elaine said...

Oh my you have had a lot of problems in the past year. The house, your health, the computer. Glad you are finding your way out of it.

Love your dog photos. They are such good company aren't they?

I hope you get your pumpkins and get into the season. It is the best time of year in my opinion. Our foliage is a little late due to mild temps. Still very pretty around here these days.

I had the virus warning on both my laptop and my cell phone! I took the phone to Verizon and I was told that cell phones do not get viruses. Crazy world we live in!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

It was good going back and remembering your past posts. From now on it's going to be smooth sailing for you and yours.
Don't feel bad about the scam. It was Windows for me and he had control of my computer and he could fix everything. They wanted $350 and I gave him my CC, but Bank of America realized it was a scam and declined the charge. He called back to say he needed another CC, so I said call me back in 15 minutes. I knew that I had money, so I called the bank and got the fraud department.we canceled the charge and card. I found out that they will never call you on the phone. But it did cost me $300.00 to have everything deleted from my computer with Norton. He tech said it was one of the worse virus's he had ever seen. It came out of Germany, but the person on the phone was from Asia. Long story short, about a year later the same man called and I remembered his voice and I said you scammed me once but not again and I hung up.
Hopefully the Lake House will be already for 2016.
So glad that you like your new computer.
Wishing you sunny warm days my friend.

Benita said...

Bless your heart on the virus deal...what an ordeal!! And a DOUBLE bless your heart on the carpel tunnel....what a horrible ordeal...2 surgeries in 7 weeks!! I cannot imagine! Glad you were able to get the computer issues straightened out. Stuff like that sends me into a total panic as well. Love the pumpkin cheese ball...may be featuring that at our Halloween party this year. It will look so pretty in the pumpkin set I just bought! Hugs girl!!

Lori E said...

Some days we let our guard down and then it hits the fan. I hope all is clear now.
I guess the best advice is to never ever trust someone who contacts you looking for information. Tell them you will call them back. Then check with the actual company to see if they do call outs or contact on the computer like this. I don't think any of them do.
I am still enjoyin gsunshine and have only brought out my fall wreath for the fireplace and a welcome sign. No pumpkins out yet, real, metal or ceramic. No mums.

Kelly said...

Congrats on buying a computer all by yourself! I've never done that before either. I always let my husband do that. I know all too well about computer viruses and broken computers too. I use our desktop to blog on so if that's not working well, I don't have a back up other than our lap top. However, I'm not comfortable with how to download pics and using it for blogging. Our desktop computer has been having problems with the mouse not working good and the whole computer freezing up from time to time. It's an intermittent problem so just when we think we'll take it in to get fixed, it starts working fine! Crazy! I hope your new computer gives you less stress now.

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

I am glad that Abby was there :)

A Joyful Cottage said...

I hope you enjoy your mac, Jane. I'm probably the only person in the world who went from a pc to a mac and then back to a pc. When I spilled an entire Starbuck's mocha on my laptop and fried it I just didn't want to go back and spend that kind of money for an Apple product. I've had my ASUS laptop (very inexpensive) for almost 3 years and I love it. It's just so easy for me to use, and when it finally dies I'll go back and get another one. I don't have virus problems and I NEVER open up anything unless I know it's from a known source. Especially those pop up warning windows. xo ~ Nancy

Melanie said...

I feel badly for you that you went through two laptops in six years! I'm still working on an old Acer (it's 6 years old) but it's time to get a new one, as this is running slow and overheating. I know exactly what I want, but there's some (boring) complications that are stopping me from just going out and buying it, so I'll spare you the details. ;-) Anyhoo, I've always picked out my computers myself. I just research a lot on my own, and then go for it. I don't want a Mac because I have an Android phone and also, I don't have any idea how to use a Mac and don't want to take classes. But from most of the people I know who have one, they love them. I was very surprised to hear that your new Mac had a virus though - I thought Macs couldn't get viruses?

20 North Ora said...

Jane - Nothing ruins your day like a computer glitch! I just feel so helpless. And I really am helpless. Congratulations on your new computer. I just despise those scams like that. wish those people would make better use of their time.

Have a great weekend.


Scribbler said...

I love my Macs! My son convinced me to switch about 10 years ago, and I would NEVER go back. They are so intuitive and user friendly, compared to Microsoft products. Macs rarely get a virus, so when in doubt, go to your Apple store and let the people at the Genius Bar help you out. I hope you signed up for the classes or help sessions at your local store? Please ignore that MacKeeper thing, too, as it will really mess up your computer. Sounds like your son is probably a good source as a first line of defense!

Jen Kershner said...

Oh my goodness. I'm sickened FOR you. I do not understand technology and cannot comprehend how that happened especially since Macs are supposed to be so much more secure! I am currently typing this on my 4 1/2 year old on it's last let HP and when it finally dies I am switching to mac also. We bought one for our youngest last winter and I'm eternally envious. It's possible I sometimes hope that it won't fire up when I go to use it so then I will be forced to make the purchase. As it is, I have a hard time spending money on a new one when this one still works, even if barely.

I'm really so sorry that happened to you. Don't be too hard on yourself. Sending you hugs lady.

Stonecropsister said...

Hi Jane,
It's a shame that you had to go through that experience. Especially when buying a beautiful new MAC should be such a wonderful thing, and something like that happens. I had similar experience, called the line, and didn't get through right away. So while I waited for someone to pick up, I realized that maybe something wasn't right here. So I hung up. I got out of the same situation by the skin of my teeth, so it's good that you have written about it, maybe the next one of us won't fall for it.
Love the pictures of leaves on the ground, Fall is such a wonderful time of year. I'm going to take a walk tomorrow, and enjoy the colours too. xx Nancy

susan said...

Holy cow, Jane, you've had quite a year! Glad you got yourself a new Mac. I've had one for a few years and I love it. I also had the screen freeze and made the call. As soon as they told me how to get the freeze off, I hung up and called Apple. At least we know how to fix it if it ever happens again.
Here's hoping life gets easier for you. Take good care of yourself.

Linda said...

Hi Jane....
Loved this are so real and honest...
Hopefully next will have 2 healthy arms...
Be opening your Lake house for the season...
Enjoy your week..
Linda :o)

Sherry @ Thrift My House said...

Oh Jane... I felt sick along with you with the whole computer thing. People make me so mad with all the scamming etc... I too am gullable but I'm learning not to believe anything until I ask around first. I love the pumpkin cheese ball. I saw it when you posted on instagram. It looks so good! Hope you're feeling better, I've been so busy lately but I'm trying to catch up on my blog reading. Have a great day!