Friday, April 27


Last April I sat here in nearly the same position I am now. Last year I had an internet connection sometimes. It was weak and it was slow but it did work enough to get by. I called Verizon on two different occasions and after going through all the hoops they told me, " Someone will get back to you within 48 hours with a solution to this issue. " No one ever did...BUT the connection worked enough to get by so I didn't  call them again. This spring I decided I was not going to live with that and pay for poor service any longer. I have so far had two bouts of tech support at the higher level with no resolution. The second tech support person last monday told me someone will call you with a resolution within 48 hours. No one has called. So I am about to embark on my 5th tech support call
But before I do... I called a company I talked to last winter while in Texas. They offer satellite internet either through them...Exceed is the company name...or through Dish Network.  With Dish it would be Internet only and it would be the cheapest way to go.
With Exceed 7.5G per month
$149.99 Install fee
$ 49.99 per month plus
$9.99 lease fee
Total per month 59.98
Can put it on vacation or what they call a pause fee for $10 a month with a 6 month limit

With Dish Network 10G per month
$99.00 Install fee
$49.99 a month plus
$10.00 lease fee
Total per month $59.99
Can put it on vacation or what they call a pause fee for $5 a month with a 6 month limit

I asked about a gaurantee of a connection and she said the tech guy would not bother to set it up if there wasn't a sattelite signal and  it would be as instantaneous as our satellite TV. She said you will not notice any hesitation when you go from one website to another.

So now we will go get the bottom line from the local telephone company. I will try not to have a chip on my shoulder when I go in the door. My last stop there the receptionist practically threw a phamplet at me and in trying to figure it out on my own the internet was going to cost nearly $600 to set up...$59.99 a month and $35 a month to put it on vacation. I plan to stop in again and ask for more specific information. I will give them a chance to not blow me off. But if they do.....

Jefferson Telephone Company
One time fees of:
$99 Install fee
$15 INS
$69.95 Modem/Router combo

$57.95 per month
Vacation fee is 1/2 the price of the monthly fee.
They were OK at the telephone office.

Called Verizon- the technical engineers are working on the case. They will either cancel my contract or suggest something that will work within the next few days. They are beginning to handle me with kid gloves.

You are able to read this because I am at the other Brookers. The new credit card was in the mail yesterday so I am at the other Brookers making sure the new credit card numbers are on all of the auto pays affected. The bulk of our auto pays come from our checking account. It is a better situation in cases where the credit card is "comprimised".
But a few... I would say 6 at this time are on the credit card.

Oh my, you are finding out so much about how our life works. Fascinating? NOT!!

I am more hopeful today. I hope Verizon gives up on me so we can go with the sattelite as it seems like the best connection for the money.
My life is not the same without the Internet at my fingertips.

Thursday, April 26

Holding Pattern

Thursday, April 26, 2012
I have told Butch, "No more Rhubarb Pudding!" The stuff is just too good. I have discovered that my little apartment size stove I have in the garage and consider so handy is not working correctly. I knew it was running hot so Butch checked it for me. It is too old and does not have a calibration on it. So its malfunction is that the temperature keeps climbing. Try and cook with that feature!! I have been successful so far but I do not believe I would try something that needed to bake for more than 30 minutes. I put the rhubarb pudding in at 275 and when I took it out 30 minutes later the oven thermometer registered 360 and Butch assures me it would keep going up. So it is too old to fix. If I happen upon an aprtment size stove that works though I will be very tempted to buy it for our garage. I have discovered it is very handy to have an oven in the garage. Think summer kitchen.

 I am in a holding pattern.  As we were tooling through the countryside, somewhere in Oklahoma I believe, we received a call from our credit card company telling us our credit card had been comprimised and they had sent us a replacement that we had not activated. This phantom credit card had made a roundtrip to Texas and back. We did finally receive it but not before calling them and telling them we needed a new card because we had no idea where it was so it isn't any good to us. So we are waiting for the second new card and it rather ties us up on using it. Plus I have several auto deducts that come out of that card that I need to update to the new number but it has to wait until I know what it is....thus a holding pattern. Sure hope that stinker shows up in the mail today so I can get that little bugaboo off my plate.
It seems that every now and then we must endure a batch of these little irritations. The secret to maintaining ones sanity is to remember that they are minor and they will pass.

Wednesday, April 25

Same old story

The replacement Internet device arrived yesterday afternoon. I quickly found out it did not make a difference. So I spent another chunk of time with a tech support person. The first one was male and sounded U.S., this one was female and I suspect in India. At any rate it was determined that I have a 4G device and no 4G signal in our area. Now last year when I was having this problem I was told it would fall back to 3G if 4G was not available. No one is telling me this now. So little miss whatshername in India said she would put a trouble ticket on it whatever that means and someone would contact me as to what they were going to do about it. My guess is an entirely new gizmo with a new 2 year contract and that is not going to be acceptable. I dug out our old Verizon gizmo this morning and if anything it is what we will use. They cannot stick a new contract on us because this device was on an old contract that expired a long time ago. All of this is most likely of no interest to you but it is therapeutic for me to write about it.
So I do not have an Internet connection as yet and not sure when I will have one. So if you are able to read this it means I have been to Leo and Keri's with my computer in hand to use their connection.

I think our neighbors to the north that I have not had time to get acquainted with as yet are moving out.
Oh well, no point in it now.
Yesterday Jason came over to help his dad with a "project". Trouble is we really had not started one yet. But never one to pass up free help they decided to get the duct work under the house put back together. They got it all done except for one little piece. We ordered pizza for supper and I made Rhubarb Pudding with our very own rhubarb from our very own patch. It is rhubarb we moved last year. If it had not been moved it would be underneath where we now park the motorhome. It is thriving in its new location. Okay I have to tell you the whole story. We had a lot of rhubarb to move. So I placed some beside the clothesline thinking that was a good spot. Butch placed a second plot of it on our north lot line. His has flourished and mine has not. It gets more sun where he put his patch. I am not going to quibble about this...the bottom line is we have rhubarb!
Rhubarb pudding is a family favorite. We do not need the extra calories so often in the spring I pass it up. It also can depend on the availability of rhubarb. Many times I would have had to go to extreme measures to acquire it. So last evening I decided to make a batch. Hmmm...hunted high and low for the recipe and could not find it. Jason says," As often as you made it, Mom ,I cannot believe you do not remember the recipe." So I decided to wing it and amazingly I did remember it after a bit of cogitation.

Rhubarb Pudding
4 cups rhubarb, chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 TBLS butter
2 cups sugar,divided
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

Place chopped rhubarb in bottom of a 8 x 8 greased baking dish. Dot with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and 1 cup sugar.
Put remaining dry ingredients in a mixing bowl  and stir until dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and place egg and milk in the well. Stir until completely mixed and pour evenly over rhubarb. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes

In most years the rhubarb would just be coming on about now but everything is about two months ahead and the below freezing temps they had a couple of weeks ago has not seemed to affect things much. The trees are all leafed out and many flowers that we do not see till June are blooming such as iris. Our iris are not up but on my walk today I noticed that many were. I may have done mine in when I weeded the flower bed last fall. If I have, maybe I should give up doing flower beds and rhubarb!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Today is Jason's birthday. Jason and Laura have plans to attend the Drake Relays later today but first he came over to have breakfat with us and then play golf with Butch. Leo also joined us at the Uptown Cafe for breakfast. I walked home and finished up a book I was reading, washed sheets and made another Rhubarb Pudding.
Do I miss having the Internet? You cannot even fathom how much. A gazillion times a day I say, "I will get online and...."  And then I cannot do it. Frustrating as all get out. Verizon was supposed to call me with their decision as to what they could do. It has been two days now and no call. Every time I decide to approach the neighbors to see if I could launch a deal with them I see them pull out of their drive. I just called one of the neighbors I do know from way back in our youth and they do not even have a computer much less a wireless internet connection. She did not have the faintest inkling of what I was talking about. And she does not know her neighbors! Talk about living in a bubble!

It is confirmed. The neighbors to the north are moving. They sure have taken their sweet time about it but today a poor mans moving van pulled up, an old guy with a truck and a trailer, and they are commencing to load it up with all their worldly possessions.
As you can see I have made my way to the other Brooker's house to use the internet.
Stay tuned to find out my solution to the internet dilemma. I too will be interested to see how this works out...

Monday, April 23

Loose Ends

We are busy getting loose ends wrapped up. That always takes a bit. Things like car insurance and license paid. Ran out of this and that so running around town picking up those items.
Running around Jefferson is not as simple as it used to be. We are getting an overpass over the railroad so a big chunk of the town is torn up so a person really has to know their way around to get things done. Fortunately, we do! There is work being done uptown as well and on 3 sides of town. We were joking the other evening that the only way to get out of town was through Scranton, a little town 7 miles west of Jefferson.
Butch is out to the golf course this afternoon paying his dues and I am once again at the other Brooker's so I can be on the Internet. As I have said many times it always takes me about a week to settle in no matter where we are.
If the news we have heard is true we will be getting a new grocery store in Jefferson and it will be 3 blocks from us!! We sure hope it is true because it could not be more convenient.
I think of many,many of you often but right now getting a quick email off to you isn't as easy as it once was.

Frozen Burrito Casserole

A quick and tasty meal


Frozen Burrito Casserole

7 - 8 Frozen Burritos, I used beef & bean (completely thawed)
1 - 14.5 oz Can Re fried Beans
1 - 15 oz Can Wolf Brand Chili, no beans
1 - 10.5 oz Can red enchilada sauce
2 - cups shredded cheddar cheese or Monterrey jack cheese blend
Sour cream (garnish)
black olives (garnish)
salsa, optional (garnish)
chopped onion and tomatoes (garnish)

Spread the re fried beans on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Lay completely thawed burritos on top of re fried beans. In a separate bowl mix enchilada red sauce and the wolf brand chili together, blending well. Pour the enchilada sauce mixture on top of the burritos. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and burritos are cooked through.

* If you want you can pre bake the burritos in the oven on a baking sheet for just a bit before adding to the casserole. It is really up to you. I think i might do that next time so the burritos are a little more firm and a bit crispy.
Donna Gabbert

Sunday, April 22

Sunday morning blog entry

 I sit here knowing that my email is mounting up higher than a mountain. I really need to make my way out to the other Brooker's to get it caught up. It has been a long time. At least a long time for me.
Jason and Laura came over yesterday and we had a great time getting caught up. We brought stuff back for Jason and we tried to not have him pay us for it so we could lay on a small layer of obligation for help in the future but he would not let us get by with that. Jason and Laura brought brats to grill and I made THE broccoli and rice casserole. At least I intended to do that. I pulled a package from the freezer with a picture of a green vegetable on the front. Turns out it was spinach and not broccoli so we had a spinach and rice casserole with our brats. It was delicious though. So a tip for all who have that recipe-other vegetables work with it as well.

Saturdays blog entry

Our Blog- Saturday
Yesterday after arriving at our cozy little home, one of the first things I tried to do was connect to the Internet and I was unable to do so. This time I did get hold of a Verizon tech support person who seemed to know what he was doing.  After an hour or so of jiggle-jaggle we came to the conclusion that my device is not working correctly. So they are sending me a new one and it will take 3-5 business days. In other words sometime next week I might have a new device. My next question to this tech guy was," What if it doesn't work?" " If it does not work I will want out of our contract." He assured me that if it did not work it would not be  a problem getting out of our contract because it would be sanctioned by tech support. So if it works, okay ,but if not I will be searching for another option. We have had company in the past who were able to use their Verizon connection so I think it probably will work.
We do have some neighbors I could "borrow" from if I knew who they were and their security key and I may do some investigating and pay them for the privilege if they are open to the idea. In the meantime I will go out to Leo and Keri's to use their connection.... So enough of the Internet woes.
It was not Leo who mowed our lawn 3 times. It was Keri! I am sorry about that Keri. I really should have realized that Leo was too knee deep in tax preps to be able to take time to mow.

We ventured up to the Uptown Cafe for breakfast/lunch yesterday and when we walked in it was like old home week. Of course it was! We spent quite some time there visiting with Paul and Joy Bartley, John Hamilton, John Redfern and various other acqauintances. It could not have seemed more welcoming had it been planned.

We called DirecTV to renegotiate for a lowered rate. This has worked in the past but it seems this time we had a modicum of success. There was  $5 HD extra plus package that we were able to take off that brought our monthly cost to $78.99 plus tax. He did tell me that there are promotions all the time with different discounts so it pays to call now and then to see what they are but right now there are no discounts that would help lower our bill any further than it is. I will call them now and then until I hit the jackpot. Hehehe...More than one kind of lottery it seems.

Last evening Keri invited us for supper at Bev and Barts BBQ. It was delicious and then we ventured on to the Mexican restaurant for dessert. After all the re-meets and greets are done I will need to get my exercise and diet routine firmly established.
It felt really good to hit that mattress last night after our week of travel. Till next time...