September 2011 - Posts

Warning - Dangerous Bacteria Outbreak In Some Cantaloupe & Romaine Lettuce
Friday, September 30, 2011 10:20 AM

Do you enjoy eating cantaloupe? Recent news has shown that there have been 13 deaths related to an outbreak of bacteria (called Listeria) that is contaminating some cantaloupes. It is being reported that 72 people have been infected in 18 states. It is also being reported that the incubation period could be as long as two months, so more cases are expected to surface. This does not involve cantaloupe that has been sliced, but whole cantaloupe. These cantaloupes are from the same grower in Colorado and does not affect ALL cantaloupe. 


Go to this ABCNews story for several videos and an article with more details and what you should do if you have recently purchased cantaloupe and are unsure of where it was grown. This site will include dates the contaminated cantaloupe was shipped to stores.


It is now being reported that there is also an outbreak related to some of the romaine lettuce that has already been shipped from a farm in California for consumption. You can read the details on ABC's website here. This outbreak SEEMS to be more contained to the California and surrounding areas.


What can you do? You can type "listeria outbreak" or "listeria symptoms" into Google to find reputable news sites that are reporting the latest on these outbreaks. Basically, just use caution and be aware that this warning is out there. Do what you can to spread the word to family and friends who might not have heard about it in the local news. This way you can help to prevent more cases of related illness until all of the food in question has been pulled of of the shelves.


by parker | 1 comment(s)
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Want To Look Up Who Called? Check That Annoying Caller Here
Thursday, September 29, 2011 3:45 PM

How many times has a phone number you don't recognize called your number, only to hang up once you answer the phone? Don't you wish you knew who it was or what they wanted? Isn't it irritating to have them keep calling over and over?


I recently came across a few websites that let users enter those pesky phone numbers and whether or not they know who it is that is calling. 


The most helpful of the sites is 800Notes.com and although it seems the website was set up for identifying who owns a specific 800 number (or at least, who is calling from it) you can also look up other phone numbers. I have found that most of the phone numbers that have called our place of business that are either not recognized or hang up when answered, are listed on this website. It really helps to ease the anxiety of trying to find out who is calling, without having to take an inconvenient call or call them back. Probably, 98% of these callers do not leave a message, which must mean it is not that important.


Use this website to save you some time.

by parker | with no comments
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Cozi.com Is An Excellent Family Management Tool
Tuesday, September 27, 2011 1:02 PM

We have a hectic schedule. My husband works from home and my children homeschool, while I work away from the home during most of the day. We needed some sort of way to communicate online so that we are all on the same page and I have found Cozi.com to be a lifesaver!


We can use it so save our grocery list. No more writing it down on scrap pieces of paper or trying to remember if we told another family member that we ran out of … We now can all log in using our computer / cell phone and just add what we need to the list! Even my 12-year old can use it which I love, since she is the most up to speed with what we need in the house. How do I see the list when I stop at the grocery store? Just pull up their mobile Blackberry app! Other mobile phone apps are available as well. I believe they also cover Android and iPhone. Visit their website for details. I can also have my husband or my daughter log into the website and either text or email me the list with the click of a button.


There is a handy family calendar that everyone can access for upcoming family appointments. We can schedule upcoming appointments for the children and ourselves and the whole family will be able to see when we are tied up, so no more committing to more than one event at the same time. This is also great for upcoming events that we intend to attend, but then let slip our minds once it arrives. The calendar will email a reminder to everyone's email address or send a text to those family members who have cell phones.


There are also endless varieties of lists that you can create with the same capability as the grocery list. Have them emailed, texted, printed or pull them up on your mobile app. List items can be checked off as they are completed so that everyone is aware when something has been taken care of. This can be used for chores to be done around the inside of the house, outside of the house, grocery shopping, errands to be run, phone calls to be made, school assignments to be finished. The possibilities are endless. Read more about what you can do with Cozi on their blohttp://www.cozi.com/coziblog


For my young children, who do have access to the internet on our home computer, but don't have a cell phone, there is a feature where they can send a message to my cell phone anytime or "text" me. I like that feature since they can always call from the home phone, but sometimes I miss the call.


So how much does this handy system cost? NOTHING. They do have an option to "upgrade" if you want to remove ads, etc. Our account has only shown one ad to date, nothing aggravating though.


by parker | with no comments
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This Word Counting Tool Is Helpful for Article Writing
Monday, September 26, 2011 4:18 PM

My oldest daughter recently needed to write a paper for her language arts class and the teacher asked that it be at least 250 words. Being fairly new to the internet, my daughter didn't realize the WWW offers many, many helpful websites when it comes to education. So her dilemma, coupled with my love for finding helpful tools online, sent me on a search for a website that would count the number of words on her paper she had already written. It didn't take me long to find a very simple, yet helpful website: http://www.wordcounttool.com.


 Although this site might prove to be most helpful for bloggers who have a minimum or maximum number of words they are shooting for, it was perfect for my daughter to use for her school autobiography. We don't have any fancy software for writing (like Microsoft Word). We  just use notepad or wordpad.


Try out WordCountTool.com. It's one of many free tools that will be featured on my blog. 


by parker | with no comments
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ClearCheckbook.com Might Save You From Overdraft Fees!
Friday, September 23, 2011 12:17 PM

If you are like many moms on the go and are responsible for helping to manage the family finances at the same time, than you find it almost impossible to keep up with necessary (but dreaded) checkbook entries. Then, when you get that sinking feeling that maybe the account balance isn't what you had hoped, you go to log in to your online banking system, only to find that you have much less than you expected and are about to be overdrawn.


My question was whether there might be a handy phone app to help with that and I found at least one. Clearcheckbook.com is a free online service that you and your spouse can share to enter transactions into your checkbook register. No more writing it down when you get the chance. No more worrying about giving the checkbook "custodian" your receipts. There are even handy apps that you can download to your phone (assuming you have either Droid or iPhone) so that you can enter your transactions as you make them and always see your current balance! No more overdraft fees or concerns about not knowing what you've spent with that handy, yet dangerous little debit card and no more phone calls, texts or quick sit-downs about what the current balance is.


Now my only question is whether or not I can find the equivalent for a Blackberry or if I'll be trading my BB in for a different phone when it sees it's last day. Looks like I'm finally jumping on the "app" bandwagon and time will tell if my BlackBerry can keep up with me!

by parker | with no comments
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