Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I received a letter and a check in the mail this week from Reader''s Digest.  The letter looked very official and said that I had won the Grand Sweepstakes prize of $150,000.00.  At first I really wondered if I HAD won, because a month or so ago, I bought the December issue of the Reader's Digest.  I always buy that issue, because I love their Christmas stories.  In that issue, was an insert for entering the Reader's Digest contest and it said you could enter online.  Since I happened to be sitting on the couch with my laptop, I decided, "Why not?" and entered.  Now I never enter contests like that and don't know why I did then, other than just because my laptop was there. 

The check that was enclosed, was for around $3500.00 and the letter stated that before you cashed the check, you had to call this number and they would activate the check so you could cash it.  The check looked very official and was from a company called, "Texas General Agency, Inc.", that was supposedly located in San Antonio, Texas.  It even had a watermark on the back of the check.  The thing that first made me suspicious was that the check and the letter had come in a plain envelope - the long kind you would buy at Staples or Office Max.  They had typed my address on an address sticker and stuck it on the front. There was no return address.  My first thought at seeing the envelope was that it was some kind of advertisement. 

I emailed Delirious about it because she is always checking out scams on Snopes.  She gave me a couple of web sites to check out.  One was a fraud website, and when I went there, they had 4 or 5 entries from people who had gotten the same type letter and check -supposedly from Reader's Digest.  That clinched it for me that it was a scam.  On that website, one guy had actually called in so they could verify the check.  He said that after he did that and cashed the check, then when the check went back to Texas General Agency, Inc., they had his account number and then proceeded to hack into his bank account. 

Anyway, everyone beware!  If you get a letter from anyone like that in the mail - it's most likely a scam. 

Oh, and by the way, just one more reason for me to put on my list to REALLY not enter contests anymore anyway.  To me - and I know there are a LOT of you who will disagree with this - entering contests to me is like gambling.  Besides, if I won that contest and got a lot of money - then a WHOLE LOT of people really would try to beat down my door and demand to live with me. (See my "I Think I'm Watching Too Much Fox News" blog about my dream. :0)  )

Monday, December 20, 2010


This summer we went to Moab, Utah for a few days and went to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.  I had never been there and thought it was so cool, I'd love to go back again (and we plan to).  Here are some pictures we took: 

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I went to the Post Office today and stood in line for 40 minutes.  While I was waiting, someone came up to the lady behind me and I overheard this conversation:

(after greeting each other)
Him:  (teasing) "So, are you keeping out of trouble?"
Her:  I'm in a "step" program now.
Him: (a little taken aback) "Is it helping?"
Her: It's a little different than the other program I was in. 

As in 12 Step Program????   :0+ 

Thursday, December 16, 2010


My husband watches Fox News.  All. The. Time.  If we have a movie that has come from Net Flix, he'll watch that.  The rest of the time the tv is on Fox News.  I seriously think it's starting to affect me.  With that in mind.......

Last night I had a weird dream.  I dreamed someone rang my doorbell, and when I went to answer it there was a large group of people standing on my porch.  They told me that because of the recession they were having a hard time, and because I had (in their words) "lots of money" that they were here to come and live with me.  I told them "No!"  I didn't have room for that many people.  They were pushing and trying to force their way into my house.  I finally got the door closed, but they ran around to my other doors and were trying to get in.  I fought and fought them, locking doors and windows.  Finally they got in a patio door that hadn't been locked.  They were laughing and mocking and telling me that NOW they were going to live in my house.  I was telling them "No, no no!"  Finally I stopped.  I knew what to do. I looked at them and said, "Ok, you can live with me, but here's the catch....I'm  a MORMON!!! So if you live with me, then you have to go to my church EVERY SUNDAY!"  They all yelled, "NOOOO!!!" and ran out of my house and ran away. 

Weird, huh?   When I told my husband this morning he said, "I think you're watching too much Fox News."

Sunday, December 5, 2010


My daughter and I were doing crafts last week and listening to Christmas songs.  After listening to "O Holy Night" she asked me if I knew the story behind the song, since I collect Christmas stories.  I didn't, so she googled it and we were amazed by the story.  I thought I'd share it with you.

In 1847, a parish priest wanted a poem for Christmas mass.  He asked his friend, Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure, who was the commissionaire of wines in their small French town.  Cappeau was traveling to Paris by coach when he was considering the priest's request.  He decided to use the gospel of Luke for his guide.  By the time he arrived in Paris, he had written the words to "Cantique de Noel" ("O Holy Night"). 

Cappeau decided that O Holy Night should not just be a poem, but should be set to music.  Since he was not musically inclined himself, Cappeau turned to one of his friends, Adolphe-Charles Adam to help him. 

Adolphe-Charles Adam was the son of a well-known classical musician.  He had studied in Paris at the conservatoire.  He had written works for orchestras and ballets all over the world.  But when his friend Cappeau gave him the lyrics to "O Holy Night",  he must have had a greater challenge. 

Adam was of Jewish ancestry.  The words of "O Holy Night" were about a holiday he didn't celebrate and about a man he did not view as the son of God.  Nevertheless, he was able to write the beautiful words to "O Holy Night" and the song was performed just three weeks later at a Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

"O Holy Night" was wholeheartedly accepted by the church in France at first, but later on Cappeau left the church and became a part of the solialist movement and then church leaders discovered that the composer was a Jew.  The heads of the French Catholic church banned "O Holy Night" from their church and declared it "unfit" for their services because of its lack of musical taste and "total absence of the spirit of religion".
Even though it was banned from the Catholic church, the  French people continued to sing it and a decade later an American writer, John Sullivan Dwight, brought it to America. 

John Sullivan Dwight was an abolitionist who identified with the lines of the third verse: "Truly he taught us to love one another; his law is love and his gospel is peace.  Chains shall he break for the slave is our brother; and in his name all oppression shall cease."  After Dwight published the English words to "O Holy Night" in his magazine, "O Holy Night" became quickly popular in America, especially in the North during the Civil War.

On December 24, 1906, the first extended broadcast of the human voice was transmitted through the air from Brant Rock, Massachusetts.  Until then, the "wireless telegraph" had only carried dots and dashes of the Morse code, but Professor Reginald Fessenden was convinced that it could also carry the human voice.
Using a new type of generator, Fessenden spoke into a microphone: "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed..." 

Imagine the shock of radio operators on ships and wireless owners at newspapers to hear a human voice for the first time in history broadcast across the air!  Fessenden was probably unaware of the sensation he was causing.  After finishing his reading of the birth of Christ, he picked up his violin and played, "O Holy Night," the first song ever broadcast through radio waves!