The Internet adds another dimension to our lives. This dimension comes with both perks and pitfalls. For example, while busily bouncing from site to site searching for a great pair of lime green shoes with 12″ heels to go with that new dress, the Internet is at the same time tracking you.
I know this because my birthday surprises were diminished somewhat by the fact Rick purchased them on line. Not the boots, they were fabulous, but it kind of took the SURPRISE!!! out of the surprise. According to him he searched for the best deals on the brown leather boots currently decorating my side of the closet while at the same time ordering the lovely flowers decorating my entry hall. We share a computer. Soon after he hit “place order” the boots began showing up in ads at the side of my email account, on Amazon, below Yahoo, and everywhere else I found visiting. If the boots didn’t show up, floral ads prevailed. Hmmmmm. Very interesting. Now I’m blond, but I do not need to be hit in the head with a rubber chicken to figure out something was afoot (no pun intended). After twenty times of seeing the same boots might this not have something to do with a shoe box sized box arriving in the mail? “I think so, Watson. I really do.” Also, the flowers were glorious, but I wasn’t totally shocked when they arrived.
I get this from a marketing standpoint. Web business is booming. More and more folks are hitting the “add to cart” button these days thus avoiding the prospect of grouchy shoppers and endless lines prevalent in stores during the holiday shopping season. I’ll be right there with them finger poised.
Apparently not only following our interests, internet marketers track what we buy, how much we pay for it and with that in mind all this data influences the prices we are shown when we search. The time you search can vary the price as well from what I’ve heard. So many different threads influence your shopping experience you probably will be completely unaware are weaving together below the surface of the page you are on.
Whether you shop in the stores or on your computer holidays are getting mighty expensive. A Hallmark card might cost upwards of $5.00. With the price of food, it might be more expedient to mail a loaf of bread with “Merry Christmas” written on the side of it and a gayly wrapped jar of peanut butter.
A friend of mine has nine children. Yes, I said nine. When I asked her how she managed all those kids she replied “every time a new one came along we got a bigger dining room table”. Works for me. Their holiday tradition as far as gifts for their adult children is an ornament or Christmas decoration to use the following year. I’m sure this would be effective for a while but as they get older it might require purchasing a larger tree.
I love to shop for Christmas but with our brood it has become highly impractical to go into debt to say “I love you”. A friend of mine spent over $3,000 on Christmas gifts last year for two children and three grandchildren. All of it went on her credit cards. During a phone call last week she said she just got the bills down to a zero balance and Christmas is here again. I told her to step away from the card and get small thoughtful remembrances instead. Make something, give a gift certificate for a nice dinner out. Be creative.
I’m giving my son a Starbuck’s gift certificate inside a mug. As of this date he is one of their most loyal customers, spending a fortunate on coffee inspired drinks, so this seemed like an excellent idea.
Another thing to keep in mind while pushing through the crush of people in the stores is to watch your purse or wallet. Hackers are getting smarter as technology does. If you set your purse down and look away a thief can extract your credit card information as well as passwords before you drop that pair of mittens in your cart. An easy way to keep this from happening I understand is to wrap your cards in tin foil. Makes sense to me. I’ve already gotten notices from Home Depot and Target that most likely my personal information is floating around out there somewhere. Changing passwords and using passwords not easily detectable are both good ideas but as soon as we figure out how to fool identity thiefs, they figure out a way around it. I guess this is the price you pay for the convenience of having made so many amazing steps forward in the technical world.
On a lighter note I haven’t had a ridiculous “Susie Day” in a while. It seems I was overdue. Yesterday was a rainy drizzly sort of day. Not complaining, we definitely need moisture in California in any form. This morning the sun was attempting to break through the fog and finally by this afternoon it turned into a crisp fall sort of day. Leaves draped over everything in the yard sticking up from planters and covering our patio table and barbecue. Feeling industrious I went out front and grabbed my rake. In the middle of gathering the leaves I noticed one of our trees would soon be seriously encroaching on the upper driveway. Our driveway is the worst thing about our house. It was nearly a game changer when we were considering buying here. You come straight down at a grade and either into the garage or turn to the right. If one car is out and the other in the garage it takes about three tries to get out again. Pain.
Anyhow Rick came out to say he had a headache and was going to lie down. Fine. He uses a C-pap for his apnea so usually closes the door to the bedroom. Out of habit rather than toying with me he locked the door. Starting to get cold outside I swept up the last of the leaves depositing them in the scrap bin. Yea for me. Went to go in and the door was locked. Sigh. Really? Now we’re on the second floor when we enter the house and the bedroom is toward the back. I knocked, rang the door bell, yelled, and generally wet myself trying to get in. Finally a half an hour into my routine Rick opened the door. Good news, he was laughing. I was not as amused. At any rate I’m sure our neighbors thought we were having sort of drama and am surprised someone didn’t alert the authorities. In the future I’ll take a key out with me.
Country Captain Soup is something I can remember having years ago. I had a cooked turkey breast, or what was leftover from a meal, which I substituted for the usual chicken involved and added things here and there to bring it into this decade. It was wonderful on a rainy night.
Crockpot Country Captain Soup Revisited (Turkey)
2 tsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
2 large mushrooms, sliced thin
2 carrots, sliced thin
4 green onions, sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 tsp. celery salt
2 Tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 can Ro-Tel tomatoes, without juice (omit to reduce heat)
2 cups cooked turkey
8 cups rich chicken broth
3/4 cup cooked snap peas, ends trimmed and vein removed
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, green pepper, mushrooms, carrots, and apple to pan. Cook for 8 mins. or until vegetables are tender. Add celery salt, curry powder, ginger, black and white peppers, and salt. Saute for 1 min.
Add diced and Ro-Tel tomatoes to pan mix well.
Spray 6 quart crockpot with cooking spray. Spoon vegetable/tomato mixture into bottom. Top with turkey. Add chicken broth and mix well. Cook for 8 hours on low.
Cook snap peas in boiling lightly salted water for 6 mins. Drain. Stir into crockpot and cook an additional hour. Adjust seasoning if necessary.