Sunday, November 23, 2014

Lucky Update

Lucky:  November 23
Update 12/29/14:  So very happy to report that Lucky has been adopted by one of the vet techs at Benton Animal Hospital!  She and her husband have fallen in love with Lucky and so Lucky will be moving with them to their new home next month.  He will have a life full of love and kisses and I couldn't be happier for him.  A perfect ending and a new beginning for Lucky!  Congratulations to all and big public thank you to Benton Animal Hospital for their support and unending care for Lucky!

You remember Lucky?

Steve and I went to Petco today to the TSR La Baby Momma Rescue group's adoption event and we got to check in on Lucky.  What a difference some loving care can make!

Look at our boy, now!

Lucky had a challenging day in his quest for a furever home because there were at least 20 cute, fluffy puppies at the event, but he was still just as happy and friendly as he could be.  He was sniffing and kissing everyone who walked up, but one after another turned to the puppies.  But it's okay because I know Lucky will end up with a loving home and when he does, it will be the right one.

If I didn't have three rescue dogs already I would take Lucky into my home in a heartbeat!

Many of you donated to Benton Animal Hospital for his care after he
Lucky: October 30
was rescued, so I just wanted to update you and let you see your donations at work.  He's still improving daily but it's clear right now that he's a beautiful and loving dog.  Even after the abuse he endured as a bait dog, he is today sweet, loving, and full of kisses; even better, he is friendly to all the animals (he even made friends with a goat).  He just wants to be loved.

Thanks for your donations for Lucky!  He thanks you too, I'm sure!  And if you, or someone you know, is looking for a sweet little dog who will love you forever (and won't chew up your shoes), contact Ronda Spataro at Benton Animal Hospital, or come to Petco on Youree Sunday, November 30 from 12 to 5, and you can meet Lucky.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

I Am Not a Smart Geek

Most people are probably a lot more technologically savvy than me, and if you scoff at my technological ignorance it really won't hurt my feelings.  I can screw up something as simple as an iTunes account so badly that it takes a genius to unscramble it and get it back to something resembling normal.

That's were SmarterGeek comes in.

Let me explain.  Briefly.  The adult child that lives at home (going to school) upgraded to the iPhone 6.  We use the same Apple ID ( I know, I know...) and didn't realize that in order for me to NOT receive his incoming text messages (never a good idea) we simply had to uncheck one of the devices in the settings on the phone.  Before we figured that out, however, we attempted to set up a new Apple ID for him and somehow erased the original Apple ID (mine).  This seems like it would be okay -- just use the new one, right?


The problem got ugly when my iPad began prompting me to verify my iCloud account.  My password didn't work, of course, because that Apple ID was no longer in service.  I couldn't log out of it because I had to log into it in order to log out of it.

You see the problem.

The new phone was working great, but my devices were freaking out.  Many of my apps were inaccessible because of this Cloud issue and of course nothing would back-up.

So I tried to fix things, we reset passwords and reset the reset passwords; we tried to go back to how it was originally, before the phone upgrade.  The mess got worse and Apple disabled the account.

I vented on Facebook about how awful Apple is (and it was never Apple's fault) and my friend Rex at SmarterGeek said, "Call me.  We can fix this."

I could never have fixed it without his services.  Never.  We spent most of yesterday on the phone -- first so he could untangle the mess and diagnose the problem, and then we had to eventually do a conference call with Apple because the original email account had to be rescued.  I couldn't have even called Apple myself because I didn't know how to tell them what the problem actually was or how to tell them what I needed.  Rex anticipated a couple of issues that we were able to straighten out before they were problems.

In the end, my devices are back to normal and working fine (I think!).  The kid's devices are working fine too, except that he has to delete and re-install some apps because they were purchased under a different Apple ID and now they won't work.  We need to figure out a way to get his music onto his device, too, but in light of what we just went through, these seem like minor problems.  He's a little out of joint about it all because a couple of his apps were gaming apps where he had attained certain "levels" (no, not Candy Crush!), and he's disgruntled about having to start over, but hey, you can't have everything.  He's got a new iPhone 6, after all.

Anyway, all this is to say, if you ever need tech services, call SmarterGeek.  There isn't much he can't do, from what I can see.  What I most appreciated is that throughout the whole process I was in stressed out, panic, hair-on-fire meltdown mode and Rex was very calm and not alarmed in the least, which helped me calm down a little; his confidence that he could fix this was reassuring.

So, I'm sharing this in the hope that maybe I can avert a similar mess for someone else, and if such a mess occurs, know that there is hope and someone out there who can fix the problem!

And always, always, have your own Apple ID.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Election Day and a Lizard

With the schools closed today for election day, I had a rare day off.  I was full of big plans to spend the entire day working on my manuscript, but an aging dog who had to be let outside every two hours last night derailed that plan.  I may have slept two hours the entire night -- and not all at once.

Today I managed to go vote and to take a picture of a lizard.

Thank goodness I filled out a sample ballot yesterday.  With multiple local elections, a Senate race, and fourteen amendments on the ballot there's no telling what I'd have voted for (or against) without my cheat sheet.

My brain is in a fog today.

Hope you voted!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Take a Trip to The Battle of Natchitoches

Today the South rose again in the fictional battle of Natchitoches.

The little city of  Natchitoches, Louisiana celebrates its 300th birthday this year and as a result there has been something exciting happening in the area all year long;  this weekend there was a Civil War reenactment in which Confederate and Union forces fought it out on Front Street.

There never was an actual battle for Natchitoches, although of course there were many Civil War skirmishes in the area and there were well known battles at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill roughly 35 miles away.  Grand Ecore was important, too.  There was plenty of Civil War activity around these parts, but never any actual "Battle of Natchitoches."

But today, there was a Battle of Natchitoches!

We got there about 10:30 this morning and the encampments were waking up, finishing off breakfast, and setting up shops and displays.

Steve got a t-shirt.

We walked around and looked at the camps.

And listened to a fellow playing an accordion by the river.

There was a blacksmith there making cool items for sale:

Around noon the Confederate troops marched down Church Street from the riverfront and gathered outside the Immaculate Conception church on 2nd Street where they received a blessing of their standard from the priest.

The ladies followed behind their men:

And then the blessing... front of Lasyone's, where they make the best meat pies in the world.


Then the Confederate troops headed to their bivouac area while the Union troops gathered by the Cane River.   I loved the period costumes the ladies wore...

...but they were all in character with the ladies shouting "Get those Yankees!  Get 'em, boys!"

The boys in gray plotted the battle plan...

...and the Union forces got their final instructions...

The tents sat empty.

Finally the Union forces made it up to Front Street...

...and the Confederate troops began marching up the side streets toward Front Street.

The ladies waited on the sidelines...

and the battle began.

It was fun as a spectator.  These guys were looking around the corner waiting for the Confederate troops to make a move; one guy looked over at us and asked, "Are they coming yet?"  Steve shouted, "Why would we tell you?  We're on their side!"  They laughed -- everyone was having fun.

Soon the air was filled with smoke as the two sides fought it out:

It wasn't long before we had a man down...

(But he got up later, saying "I feel much better, guys!" and rejoined the battle).

I got a kick out of the photographers trying to get a good shot of the "dead man."

He got right on down there with him...

Men were "down" on both sides.

And the battle raged on.

This went on for probably 30 or 45 minutes I guess.  Maybe longer.  There was a lot of firing and the smell of cordite hung in the air.


Finally the Confederate troops captured the Union army's regimental flag... Steve said, right there in front of the Japanese sushi bar on Front street!

And with much cheering, the battle was done.

The ladies were happy:

Then the armies gathered up their "fallen" and off they went.

The troops returned to their "camps"...

...And we went to find some lunch.

It was my first reenactment so I really didn't know what to expect; I loved it!  It was just good fun on a gorgeous fall afternoon.

Many, many groups from all over the country took place in this reenactment.  I was impressed with their authenticity, their good humor, their willingness to share their knowledge and talk history with anyone who wanted to visit.   Families and kids were all involved in it together; kids were shoveling dirt over campfires as the adults broke camp and loaded up to hit the road.

It was a fun day!

The SIGIS Take a Trip Series:
Take a Trip to the 2012 Defenders of Liberty Air Show at BAFB
Take a Springtime Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden, LA
Take a Trip to Logansport, Louisiana
Take a Trip to the Lock and Dam on Red River
Take a Trip to the 2012 Barkus and Meoux Parade
Take a Christmas Shopping Trip to Second Hand Rose in Minden
Take a Trip to the Fourth Annual Barksdale AFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Grand Cane's Fifth Annual Pioneer Trade Day
Take a Trip to the 2011 Highland Jazz & Blues Festival
Take an Autumn Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Take a Fall Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to the 8th Air Force Museum at Barksdale Air Force Base
Take a Summertime Trip to Grand Cane
Take a Trip to Desoto Parish
Take a Summer Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Melrose Plantation 
Take a Trip to Ed Lester Farms and a Random Antique Stop
Take a Trip to the Norton Art Gallery and the Masters of Cuban Art Exhibit
Take a Trip to Natchitoches to See the Christmas Lights
Take a Trip to the Third Annual BAFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Oakland Plantation