National Food Bank Day–September 4

St. Mary’s Food Bank founded National Food Bank Day to recognize the outstanding contributions of food banks around the country and to commemorate the establishment of St. Mary’s Food Bank by its founder John van Hengel in 1967. John van Hengel came up with the idea of grocery rescue and food banking and the idea spread throughout the country making St. Mary’s Food Bank the very first in the world!

Be a Hunger Heroe

The Coronavirus epidemic has created an increase in the euphemistically called “Food  Insecurity”.

Feeding America provides the following statistics:

1. From the beginning of March through the end of June, food banks nationwide distributed more than 1.9 billion meals to people facing hunger in the United States. In March alone, food banks gave out 20 percent more food than an average month.

2. If people continue to visit food banks at this rate, we will provide an incredible six billion meals this year

3. As a result of the pandemic, Feeding America estimates 1 in 6 Americans could face hunger.

4. Two-thirds of Feeding America food banks across the country are accepting volunteers.  

Many households that experience food insecurity do not qualify for federal nutrition programs and need to rely on their local food banks and other hunger relief organizations for support.

The Well’s Gone Dry


Bentonville--Well for of leaves at Cool SpringIt slaked the thirst of passersby

But now no longer,

the well’s gone dry.

In these  days of toil and strife

we still need hope,

the water of life.

If that wellspring also runs dry,

many will shrivel

up and die.

We need the living waters

to flourish and thrive

keeping ourselves and our hopes alive.


Happy 75th Anniversary celebrating the end of World War II.


Leaving a Footprint on the Sands of Time

I have never thought of myself as one who has left a permanent footprint in the sands of life, and it would be nice to know if I reached at least this one goal so that after I am gone, someone might look at that photograph and still say “wow”.–Rural Iowegian Mark Cooper ; MSgt/USAF Aka; The Rural Iowegian


Footsteps on La Jolla Shores Beach--Human and bird
Bird and Human footprints overlap at La Jolla Shores

I came to this blog via another post I read, “It’s about Living in the Present”.  The Rural Iowegian writes this as possibly his last post. He is celebrating his 63 birthday and has some ominous cancer probabilities.

Have you ever wondered if you will leave a footprint on the sands of time?  If you have children, you probably will leave some mark as least as long as you have descendants. It’s knowing what those descendants might do that can cause such a wrinkle in the science fiction world of Time Travel–what you change today will affect  the  future.

Most of us will not become famous, but we can make a difference.  Will it  be what we write, draw, or say?  Will we start a movement, set up a charity, change somebody’s life? It could be a smile at the right moment or a friendly greeting,  paying it forward at some restaurant, giving an extra generous tip, letting somebody else go first or merge into traffic.

two walking at sunset

We might like a Wow moment where someone remembers what we did that really impressed them;  we can always have a Now moment where we do something unexpected and practice Random Acts of Kindness.  Our Now moment could be somebody’s Wow moment because we gave them something neither of us realized at the time was needed.

Couple and dog walking at sunset


Why Seniors Don’t Change Their Passwords

Taken from a chain email

writer at computer



Please enter your new password.




Sorry, the password must be more than 8 characters.


Boiled cabbage


Sorry, the password must contain 1 numerical character


1 boiled cabbage


Sorry, the password cannot have blank spaces




Sorry, the password must contain at least one upper case character




Sorry the password cannot use more than one upper case character consecutively.




Sorry, the password cannot contain punctuation.




Sorry, that password is already in use.

Independent Book Store Day: August 29

Do you like to read?  Do you like to support local businesses?  Then  today is for you.

One of the benefits of living near the college town of Charlottesville,  we have many indie bookstores to chose from.  Some specialize in new books, others specialize in second hand books and memorabilia.

New Dominion Book Store  on the historic Downtown Mall bills itself as the “oldest independent bookseller in Virginia” since it has been in continuous operation under a variety of owners since 1924..  Right  now it is open for limited browsing, local delivery, and curbside pickup.  Normally it is a hive of local literary activity with author readings, new book releases, and panel discussions like the Charlottesville Reading series.  Although most of these have been cancelled, the store does have a few virtual events like the monthly UVA Club of Charlottesville Book Club and a virtual book launch.  New Dominion is also a sponsor in the annual March, Virginia Festival of the Book.

Blue Whale BooksBlue Whale Books, also on the Downtown Mall, specializes in antiquarian books in good or better condition, and antique maps and prints.

From the Facebook page:

We have about 20,000 used books, and hundreds of antiquarian / rare books. We also have 1,000 original prints, especially chromolithographs from the 1800s. Our maps are 18th and 19th century, with the occasional early Virginia map from the early or mid-1600s. The owner also performs appraisals on a regular basis.

book piles

Cool Springs in Bentonville, Virginia

As we were driving along Gooney Manor Loop near Bentonville, Virginia, we saw  an old well across from the Cool Spring Church of God.  It looked intriguing enough to stop.

Bentonville--Memorial Sign on Well at Cool Spring

This sign provides all of the information that I could find on the spring.

Bentonville--Well at Cool Spring

The well has gone dry.

Bentonville--Well for of leaves at Cool Spring

I love the romance of a well providing cool water to local residents and trekkers as they past by on a hot, humid day in Virginia like the day we visited the well.  Lucky for us, we were on our way to Glen Manor Winery where we slaked our thirst with wine and water.

Pictures of the Church of God across the street.  According to Manta: “Our records show it was established in 1997 and incorporated in Virginia.”

The Battle of Cool Springs is not connected to this well. According to Wikipedia

The Battle of Cool Spring, also known as Castleman’s Ferry, Island Ford, Parker’s Ford, and Snicker’s Ferry, was a battle in the American Civil War fought July 17–18, 1864, in Clarke County, Virginia, as part of the Valley Campaigns of 1864. The battle was a Confederate victory.

August 26–Centennial of Women’s Right to Vote in the United States

Many people celebrated the Centennial on August 18, when the amendment was ratified by Tennessee.

19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Womens Right to Vote (1920)

19th Ammendment

The 19th amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation and protest. Beginning in the mid-19th century, several generations of woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered a radical change of the Constitution. Few early supporters lived to see final victory in 1920.

Beginning in the 1800s, women organized, petitioned, and picketed to win the right to vote, but it took them decades to accomplish their purpose. Between 1878, when the amendment was first introduced in Congress, and August 18, 1920, when it was ratified, champions of voting rights for women worked tirelessly, but strategies for achieving their goal varied. Some pursued a strategy of passing suffrage acts in each state—nine western states adopted woman suffrage legislation by 1912. Others challenged male-only voting laws in the courts. Militant suffragists used tactics such as parades, silent vigils, and hunger strikes. Often supporters met fierce resistance. Opponents heckled, jailed, and sometimes physically abused them.

By 1916, almost all of the major suffrage organizations were united behind the goal of a constitutional amendment. When New York adopted woman suffrage in 1917 and President Wilson changed his position to support an amendment in 1918, the political balance began to shift.

On May 21, 1919, the House of Representatives passed the amendment, and 2 weeks later, the Senate followed. When Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920, the amendment passed its final hurdle of obtaining the agreement of three-fourths of the states. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification on August 26, 1920, changing the face of the American electorate forever.

Live in the Time of Coronavirus: Pt 18, What is Return to Normal? Eight Things to Ponder

rush to return to normal

When we return to ‘normal’ what will it look like?

  1. Will we wear a mask and then remember we no longer need it? Will we toss it in the air like seniors tossing their hats in the air at graduation?
  2. Will the anti-vaxxers prolong this epidemic because they don’t want the new vaccine (assuming there is a safe one that works)?
  3. How long will it take us to lose our COVID-19?
  4. Will you have cast what  is probably one of the most important votes in our lifetime? Did you vote in person or by mail?
  5. Are principals or platforms more important to you?
  6. When you can do or go anywhere you want, what will you do?  Where will you go?
  7. What do you miss the most from your old (pre-COVID) life?  What do you want  to do differently?
  8. Are there any COVID lessons you will retain for your new normal?

Spearphishing–Pt 2

Comment  from my friend Bonnie:

In the past two months, I have received three emails from friends asking for help with gift cards for a nephew/relative. In all three instances, I called the friend, and sure enough, they had been scammed. One friend said that I was the 15th caller to report it, and one friend completely deleted her email account and started a new one.

A few months I received such an email from an acquaintance.  The email exchange went something like this:

Her:  Can you do me a quick favor?  Do you have an Amazon account?

Me:  I have an Amazon account but do not use it to purchase anything.

Her:  I’m having some trouble with my credit card.  I would like to buy my favorite niece a $200  Sephora gift card for her birthday.

Me:  I’m sorry if I gave you the impression that I would purchase anything.

Her:  Can you buy a Sephora gift card at a grocery store?

Me:  I don’t know.

Her:  Would you try to buy her a card so I can give her your email address and she can tell you where to send it?  I’ll pay you back as soon as my credit card is straightened out.

Me:  I’m sorry, I can’t help you.

Although I did not spend any money, for two months I was annoyed at this woman who I had considered an acquaintance but not a close enough friend to lend money so she could buy a niece’s birthday gift.  I kept thinking if it were my niece I’d send her a nice email wishing her a happy birthday and say I’d buy her a gift as soon as circumstances permitted.

Because I was not aware of this scam until I read Bonnie’s comment, it did not occur to me to email the woman and ask if the email was really from her.

I did send her an email today. She responded that said she had been bothered by an aggressive scammer and had had to make changes to her computer and her email passwords. Some other friends had gotten similar spam emails and had responded but their detection systems had caught the email before they had lost any money.  She also has no niece and her credit cards are fine.

Lesson learned and now shared.






Spear phishing is an email or electronic communications scam targeted towards a specific individual, organization or business. Although often intended to steal data for malicious purposes, cybercriminals may also intend to install malware on a targeted user’s computer.


In the past month, I have had one spearphishing attempt by email and one by phone (where they actually left a voice mail.) I have found that most phone spammers will not leave a voicemail.

The email was clumsily fashioned as an inquiry from one of my credit card providers saying that someone had attempted to use my credit card from an unrecognized device.  They offered a button on the email if I felt such an attempt had occurred.  Since I have heard from this credit card provider many times for just such an event (usually me from a different computer or tablet),  I knew that the font in the email was wrong as well as the language in the email.  Plus this credit card company has never offered a button within an email.

The phone call was equally suspect.  The caller on the voice mail never identified which company they represented, they used a local non 1-800 number, and they were vague about using Apple devices without knowing which Apple devices I do or do not use.

So far, this has only required a bit of commonsense and not responding immediately to an email or voicemail.

Both my father in law and my stepmother have or  had dementia.  This inability to pause before responding to a voicemail or an email is an early sign of dementia

I am not vain enough to say that I will never be caught by a spearfisher or even fake news, but pausing  to see:

  • Does this pass the commonsense test
  • Do I know this person or provider
  • If I do know this  person or provider, does it resemble normal communications
  • For email, has my malware and security systems vetted  the email
  • Am I able to vet  the information from a second source or by checking with  Snopes or another urban legend source
  • Does the URL match the actual organization link or is the logo authentic

Can make a difference in taking the bait and getting hooked or not.









I Thought It Was a Green Heron

When I lived in Alexandria, it was adjacent to Huntley Meadow Park, a Fairfax County Park complete with a boardwalk over a beaver pond,

  • dozens of waterfowl,
  • deer,
  • coyote,
  • fox,
  • muskrats,
  • snakes,
  • frogs.

We often saw Canada geese and Great Blue Herons but we never saw a Green Heron.

I had to move to San Diego before I thought I saw my first Green Heron.  Located on Paradise Point in Mission Bay, the Barefoot  Bar & Grill is a tiki-inspired bar and restaurant.  The bar also sells Swimmy Snacks to feed the fish swimming in its saltwater aquarium in a fenced-off portion of the Bay.  Although these fish do not appear on the menu, they do have a few feathered fishermen. While the California Brown Pelicans occasionally did a fly-by, one small heron seemed to be a regular diner.

On one visit, the heron decided to explore as it wandered around the patio tables as if looking for additional food choices besides fresh fish.

If it was a Green Heron (which I now doubt), ” from a distance, the Green Heron is a dark, stocky bird hunched on slender yellow legs at the water’s edge, often hidden behind a tangle of leaves. Seen up close, it is a striking bird with a velvet-green back, rich chestnut body, and a dark cap often raised into a short crest. These small herons crouch patiently to surprise fish with a snatch of their daggerlike bill. They sometimes lure in fish using small items such as twigs or insects as bait.”

Now I’m wondering what type of heron it was.  What do you think it is?