Scams and Identity Theft are on the rise and guess who they often target?? US!!!!!! Can I be Queen for a day and hurt some of these people??? If you missed the last blog, I listed some potential scams to be aware of. https://notyourmamassenior.com/beware-seniors-scams
So, once again, this maybe redundant to some of you yet enlightening to others. Pick and choose what helps you.
– Safeguard Online
– Passwords are the first line of defense. Obviously do NOT use “password” for your real password. Don’t laugh. I know people that do. Ideally, they should be long with a mix ofUPPER/lower case, Numbers and Symbols. So, how do you remember them? I know I can forget where I parked my car within 30 minutes of entering a store. Use a phrase such as: “ILove2WalkmyDog!!” To be honest though, I have a notebook that I use for my passwords. Just don’t leave it out for roaming eyes.
– Unknown Email messages will frequently go to a spam file automatically where you can look review them as sometimes it’s a mistake. If you see a message from someone you don’t recognize, hover your cursor over thefrom address. If it’s a bunch of letters, it’s spam – DELETE immediately.
– Links or Attachments should NOT be opened in and email or text message if you were not expecting them.
– Generic Greetings such as “Dear Customer”, misspellings or poor grammar are also signs of scams
– Unsecure Data found in cars, laptops, and bills. Remove all papers from your car or glove compartment before you leave it at a garage or even in your driveway. We’ve had a few issues where kids have gotten into our cars in the neighborhood. Lock your car, shred your bills, blacken out your name/address on junk mail. Shredders are fairly cheap these days.
Do not keep your Social Security card or Passport in your purse.
If there is anything that makes me mad, it’s people that try to take advantage of others simply because they feel like they CAN. As seniors, we are most at risk. Senior Scams are the worst!
Back when we were growing up, we played outside and even created our own games. As long as we were back before dark (or dinner) all was good. Today, so many kids are addicted to the TV and if not that, then their laptops/IPads or other computer device. In the majority of families, both parents work so the devices are babysitters of sorts. The schools are getting kids started on computers earlier and earlier. Schools expect them to know in Kindergarden the things we learned in 1st grade. There’s pros and cons to that.
It blows my mind how much technical knowledge many kids have at a young age. Scamming is not only easy money but it’s lucrative if they find the right people – elderly, retired people who aren’t as tech savy and supposedly have money to burn. That’s not me but I can see how they might think that.
Scammers capitalize on current events. The timing now is RIPE. We’re dealing with COVID-19, Census, Tax Season and the Election!!!!
With COVID-19, a whole new set of scams has erupted. Some of these you might have seen but just in case, these are the ones I’ve heard about. BEWARE!!!!!!
– COVID-19 TextYou receive a text message like this
You’re already in a state of fear and you want to know who it is and what you need to do – but DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK!!!! It is not a legitimate text, it’s a gateway into your information. Police say it’s a phishing scam to get your personal information.
– COVID-19 Test You get a call, email or someone coming to your door offering DNA swab tests for the virus. In order to get this though, you need to provide your Medicare numbers. DO NOT give your Medicare number to anyone except a medical provider that you know and trust.
– COVID-19 Vaccine You get an email or call offering a COVID-19 vaccine. You are already living in fear and are anxious to finally get out so this may be your saving grace. They might ask for your credit card information or even your Medicare card number. As of yet, there IS no vaccine. Keep checking legitimate government agencies for updates (websites that end in .gov)
– COVID-19 Donations Requests for donations are common during a crisis, HOWEVER, check to make sure that the business is legitimate or they are not posing as a non profit that you’re familiar with. Go to their website and donate.
If COVID-19 isn’t bad enough, this is the year for the Census. You should have received a survey in the mail that you could respond to. If you have NOT responded to that, a census taker MAY come to your door.
Then there’s the Census
– Census Survey An impostor comes to your door or you get a call. They might ask for your Social Security Number. NEVER give that number to even a REAL census taker. (As a side note, I don’t even give mine to the doctor’s office). A legitimate census taker will also immediately identify themselves with a GOVERNMENT ID. They will ask you questions about people in your household NOT any of your personal numbers/accounts. When I first moved in, someone did come to my door. They are very professional. If you have any questions or concerns, visit https://2020census.gov/en/avoiding-fraud.html
Some of the other common scams:
– AETNA Insurance A friend just posted that if you have AETNA Insurance, you get a call asking you to call a given 800 number and enter the code that person gives you. Then provide the additonal information that the “insurance company” needs “to better serve you”. DO NOT fall for it!
– Amazon/Companies If you’re like me, you order a lot from Amazon. This one is a common one that has happened to people I know. You might get an email that looks like it’s from Amazon. It has a link for you to click on to “confirm your credit card number” DO NOT CLICK on the link. There is a very high risk that it will place malware on your computer.
Actually, if you get an email from ANYONE requesting something as confidential as your credit card number and asking you to click a link, do not do it! Go to the company site directly. Some of these people are VERY good at graphics that look just like a legitimate company logo.
– Jail/Overseas/Spoofing You get a call from someone that says he’s your grandson or she’s your grandaughter and they’re in jail or have an emergecy. Of course, you’re in a panic. They ask you to send them money. This is what my mother did and I thought it was brilliant. She asked how (made up name) was. When they responded like they knew the made up person, she hung up. Now granted, some of those calls are LEGIT but you need to check it out before sending anyone funds. BEWARE: sometimes they will use a fake number that uses the same area code as you use so that you believe that it’s local.
– Wal Mart I noticed the other day that Wal Mart now has a sign in their customer service area warning people of scams where victims are solicited for gift cards, wire transfers, money orders or cashiers checks, VENMO, PayPal, etc to pay for fines, taxes, lottery winnings or whatever they can convince you of. The form of payment is a RED FLAG itself. Remember, you will get a letter from the IRS or court if you owe them money NOT a threatening phone call.
As I said, you may have heard of some of these but I wanted to cover all I knew about. Better safe than sorry. I despise scammers.
Have you been scammed? If so, how? Is there something that you know about that wasn’t covered and can help the rest of us?
So, we’re all stuck inside and what are we wanting to eat? Lettuce? Ummmm, NO! WHO craves lettuce and really, if you think about it — have you ever seen a skinny rabbit? Yeah, me neither. So, why do we eat lettuce to lose weight? Go ahead…think….I’ll wait. I have time!
MY answer to the question….we want Comfort Food. So, I saw this cute quiz titled Comfort Food IQ! Who knew we had one of these but while we’re stuck inside, we might as well exercise our brains:
1.Which of these comfort foods does not have an emoji?
A. Hot Dog
D. Potato Chips
2. What’s another name for Chicken and Dumplings?
A. Parchment chicken
B. Chicken and slicks
C. Saucy chicken
D. Noodle bird
3. Why does lava cake have a gooey center?
A. Hot fudge is piped into it after baking
B. A center of chopped chocolate melts after baking
C. Cake is underbaked so the middle is still runny
D. Center is made of pudding
4. Which of these creamy pasta dishes does NOT typically have milk?
C. Penne alla vodka
D. Mac and cheese
5. What meats are in the “meatloaf mix” sold at supermarkets?
A. Beef and veal
B. Pork and veal
C. Beef (with herbs and spices)
D. Beef, pork and veal
6. Match the type of gravy to the food it’s commonly served with: Redeye, Sausage, Cream, Giblet
B. Chicken or turkey
D. Chicken-fried steak
7. Which combo of veggies are you most likely to find in chicken pot pie?
A. Peas, potatoes, broccoli
B. Peas, carrots, onions
C. Corn and peas
D. Corn, red and green peppers
8. Chicken-fried steak is typically made with what?
9. Which of these ingredients is not found in a traditional Texas chili?
C. Ground beef
D. A, B & C
10. Why are grilled cheese sandwiches often served with tomato soup?
A. Traditional pairing in England where both were invented
B. School kids loved the 2 served together
C. NYC Waldorf Astoria hotel offered the duo in the 1940s & it stuck
D. During WWII, soldiers cobbled the meal together from their ration kits
11. Which cut of beef is used to make pot roast?
12. What is the name of the white sauce frequently used in mac & cheese?
13. Which of these pies is made with chocolate?
B. French silk
14. Cincinnati chili is traditionally served over which starch?
A. Mashed potatoes
15. Which of these dishes is a casserole?
A. Chicken tetrazzini
B. Beef stroganoff
C. Chicken Kiev
D. Steak Diane
16. T__F__ Grits and polenta are the same
17. T__F__ When making biscuits, you should melt butter before adding into dough
18. T__F__ Spaghetti and meatballs originated in America
19. T__F__ Chowder is the same as bisque
20. T__F__ Traditional green bean casserole is made with cream of chicken soup
Answers: (give yourself a point for each correct)
A (creaminess comes from eggs)
A Redeye, B Giblet, C Sausage, D Cream
C (breaded and fried like chicken)
A (one of my FAVS with mashed potatoes!)
D (equal parts butter and flour and whisk)
B (invented in 1920s at Empress Chili Parlor in Cincinnati)
F (different types of corn)
F (work cold butter in until size of peas)
T (really? how many Italians beg to differ on this?)
F (bisque is smoother than chowder)
F (estimated 40% of mushroom soup sold used for this dish)
So—-how’d you do? I pretty much flunked but y’all expected that.
0-7 points: Total Discomfort. You need a crash course in comfort food
8-17 points: Getting Warmer. You’re no stranger but you need more of it.
18 and above points: Comfort Zone. Celebrate but not a lot. Comfort food has a LOT of calories unless you’re working them off.
If any of you awesome cooks have an issue with an answer, please argue with the Food Network Magazine, March 2019 issue. I have NO idea how I came to possess this magazine but I thought the quiz was fun.
I could really go for some chicken and dumplings right now though ……………my crash course I guess.
SO, what was YOUR score and what is YOUR favorite comfort food?
Comments/Thoughts are welcome and encouraged as always.
I will be the first to admit that I am NOT a cook. I have a TON of interests but cooking is not one of them. I have a kitchen because the builder said it came with the house. I do like to bake – well, in reality, I like to decorate more than bake. Since I don’t have an assistant though, I thought these tips would be useful:
Measure flour accurately
Use a “spoon and sweep” method which means to spoon the flour into your measuring cup rather than scooping your measuring cup into the flour.
With the back of a knife, level the cup and “sweep” the excess back into the bag/container. I use a container for mine because when I lived in the south, I had issues with it.
Scooping the flour directly can pack the flour leading to dry, dense baked goods.
Warm eggs to room temperature
Get eggs out before you start to bake so they get to room temperature. If you don’t have time to wait, put cold eggs into a bowl. Cover with WARMwater. Let them set 5-7 minutes while you’re preparing other things.
Warm eggs blend more easily and whites whip up with a bigger volume.
Test your baking soda and baking powder
I need to do this!!!! I’ve been burnt before but never learn. Spoon baking soda and baking powder into separate small bowls. Pour boiling water into baking powder. Pour distilled white vinegar into baking soda. If the fizz, they’re still good.
If these ingredients aren’t good, your baked goods will not rise or be fluffy.
Measure liquid and dry ingredients separately
I’m bad about this one too. Use clear measuring cups with pour spouts for liquids. Use flat-bottomed cups for dry ingredients. Again, use that spoon and sweep method.
Too much or too little liquid can spoil the recipe. The clear cups allow you to see exactly how much liquid you’re using and let you pour right up to the fill line without spilling.
Prevent over baking
Use and oven thermometer to check your oven. Sometimes they don’t heat accurately (above or below what the dial says)
Set your kitchen timer and check for doneness a few minutes early. You might want to rotate your pan half way through for even baking.
Watch how your baked goods are browning. Some spots in your oven may be hotter than others.
(Most of this is from Oct 2019 free Giant flyer – you know where I bought my pre cooked chicken) LOL
Since I bake mostly for other people and on special occasions, I guess I won’t be doing much now that we are in quarantine. However, the silver lining to having to stay in is that I used my GPS and the builder is right…..I found my kitchen.
I always thought that eating prepared food or eating out was cheaper (less waste) since I was cooking for one. I don’t know how to cook for one and I got tired of eating a dish after a couple times. I know— freeze. I am eating in more often now AND saving money!!!!! Go figure. I might have to keep up this trend!!
So either way, cooking or baking, I hope these tips help.
As previously promised in my last blog I’m providing some book suggestions. I’ve always been an avid reader. If you are too, let’s take a walk down memory lane:
-I had quite the collection of Golden Books that cost cents and are now up to $5.00!!
–Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
–Betsy and Eddie books by Carolyn Haywood (have handwritten letter from her)
-various Mystery books by Mary C Jane (have letter, postcard and signed photo from her)
–Trixie Beldon books by Judy Campbell
–Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene ( Hardy Boys for boys)
Can you relate to any of these? I was a library geek and wrote to some of my favorite authors AND their publishing company who sent me book jackets. lol They’re all scrapbooked.
As an adult, I went through the Danielle Steele phase and still read some of Nora Roberts but both of these authors were sort of getting stale to me. When I look back, I can see I was always drawn to mystery and got stuck reading a LOT of John Grisham, James Patterson and my all time favorite – David Baldacci. I did stray somewhat and two books changed my life!
I joined 2 bookclubs to force me to read something different. Many of those that I’m listing are from one of those bookclubs. Note: The italics are MY commentary.
I read this book MANY moons ago and it was one of the two that changed my life. It made me think different. It’s truly motivational no matter what you do for a living!
The most famous of all teachers of success spent a fortune and the better part of a lifetime of effort to produce the Law of Success philosophy that forms the basis of his books and that is so powerfully summarized and explained for the general public in this book.
In Think and Grow Rich, Hill draws on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation to illustrate his principles. This book will teach you the secrets that could bring you a fortune. It will show you not only what to do but how to do it. Once you learn and apply the simple, basic techniques revealed here, you will have mastered the secret of true and lasting success.
Money and material things are essential for freedom of body and mind, but there are some who will feel that the greatest of all riches can be evaluated only in terms of lasting friendships, loving family relationships, understanding between business associates, and introspective harmony which brings one true peace of mind! All who read, understand, and apply this philosophy will be better prepared to attract and enjoy these spiritual values.
I have to say this one scared me for sure!!!! It gave me a new perspective though.
After the film in her camera is mysteriously destroyed at a small-town festival, reporter Bernice Kreuger knows she’s found something worth covering up. She brings the investigation to her boss, Marshall Hogan. Along with the local pastor of a struggling church, Hank Busch, they find something much bigger than they expected—a demonic plot to enslave their town and, eventually, the world.
The tiny college town of Ashton becomes the unlikely battleground in a cosmic clash between good and evil. Unseen by the human protagonists, armies of angels and demons wage war against one another in the spiritual realm for the souls of the people of Ashton. Up against supernatural forces, the future of the town seems bleak – but the power of prayer might be able to influence the outcome of the fight.
This fast-paced thriller birthed an entirely new genre, setting the standard for spiritual suspense. It has since sold over 2 million copies worldwide, sparking a renewed interest in the concept of spiritual warfare.
This is the sequel: Piercing the Darkness and I started it several times but couldn’t finish.I got too scared.
Interesting historical fiction. I did not know that such a thing existed.
Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?
As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.
Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.
Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, and unexpected friendship.
I was able to meet this author. Aside from being easy on the eyes (lol), he’s very entertaining.
In 1986, Henry Lee joins a crowd outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has discovered the belongings of Japanese families who were sent to internment camps during World War II. As the owner displays and unfurls a Japanese parasol, Henry, a Chinese American, remembers a young Japanese American girl from his childhood in the 1940s—Keiko Okabe, with whom he forged a bond of friendship and innocent love that transcended the prejudices of their Old World ancestors. After Keiko and her family were evacuated to the internment camps, she and Henry could only hope that their promise to each other would be kept. Now, forty years later, Henry explores the hotel’s basement for the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot even begin to measure. His search will take him on a journey to revisit the sacrifices he has made for family, for love, for country.
Another of his. It was good but not as good as the above Love and Other Consolation Prizes
Interesting but then I think the Appalachian Trail is too.
After Paul Stutzman lost his wife to breast cancer, he sensed a tug on his heart–the call to a challenge, the call to pursue a dream. With a mixture of dread and determination, Paul left his job, traveled to Georgia, and took his first steps on the Appalachian Trail. What he learned during the next four and a half months changed his life–and can change yours as well.
In Hiking Through, you’ll join Paul on his remarkable 2,176-mile trip through fourteen states in search of peace and a renewed sense of purpose. Along the way, you’ll meet fascinating and funny people, experience trail magic, and discover that every choice we make on the path has consequences for the journey. More than that, you’ll come away with a new understanding of God’s grace and guidance–even in the smallest things.
Anothertrail book is Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery This is ONE GUTSY woman for sure!!!!
I read this MANY years ago while I was a young military wife actually living in Brooklyn (Fort Hamilton) and it’s still relevant.
From the moment she entered the world, Francie Nolan needed to be made of stern stuff, for the often harsh life of Williamsburg demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. Often scorned by neighbors for her family’s erratic and eccentric behavior—such as her father Johnny’s taste for alcohol and Aunt Sissy’s habit of marrying serially without the formality of divorce—no one, least of all Francie, could say that the Nolans’ life lacked drama. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the Nolans’ daily experiences are tenderly threaded with family connectedness and raw with honesty. Betty Smith has, in the pages of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, captured the joys of humble Williamsburg life-from “junk day” on Saturdays, when the children of Francie’s neighborhood traded their weekly take for pennies, to the special excitement of holidays, bringing cause for celebration and revelry.
A Holocaust story auto biography. Inspirational to say the least.
At the age of sixteen, Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Hours after her parents were killed, Nazi officer Dr. Josef Mengele, forced Edie to dance for his amusement and her survival. Edie was pulled from a pile of corpses when the American troops liberated the camps in 1945.
Edie spent decades struggling with flashbacks and survivor’s guilt, determined to stay silent and hide from the past. Thirty-five years after the war ended, she returned to Auschwitz and was finally able to fully heal and forgive the one person she’d been unable to forgive—herself.
Edie weaves her remarkable personal journey with the moving stories of those she has helped heal. She explores how we can be imprisoned in our own minds and shows us how to find the key to freedom.
I’ve come to really enjoy her writing. This is another historical fiction. I had seen Georgia Tann’s story on Investigation Discovery called “Evil Women”. This has a happy ending though.
Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shanty boat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.
Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.
Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.
I’ve come to enjoy her works as well. This is fiction but having lived in Alaska, I can tell you, Kristen hit life in the bush spot on! Winters are TOUGH especially if you have emotional issues.
Alaska, 1974. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter north where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.
Cora will do anything for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. Thirteen-year-old Leni, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, has little choice but to go along, daring to hope this new land promises her family a better future.
In a wild, remote corner of Alaska, the Allbrights find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the newcomers’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.
But as winter approaches and darkness descends, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own.
This was a REAL eye opener. Jessica is a journalist and I can tell you that you will never think about Amazon the same way. All I can say is you have to love seniors!!! We’re resilient!!
From the beet fields of North Dakota to the campgrounds of California to Amazon’s Camper Force program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older adults. These invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in RVs and modified vans, forming a growing community of nomads.
Nomadland tells a revelatory tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy—one which foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, it celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive, but have not given up hope.
I hope these help get you started. I have a ton more. I’m ALWAYS reading something. If you have any suggestions for MY reading list, let me know.
Whatever you do, stay safe. Amazon delivers!!!!! Happy Reading!