SCAM WARNING

Wal-Mart Supercenter Torreon

Wal-Mart Supercenter Torreon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First things first, Thank You Mike for sending this warning, I am forever grateful. We all know how careful we must be during the Christmas shopping season. Parking lots are creeping with predators hungry for our cash. Be very aware.

OLDER MEN SCAMS
Women often receive warnings about protecting themselves
At the mall, parking lots, etc.
But this is the first warning I have seen for men,
And I wanted to pass it on in case you haven’t heard about it. A ‘heads up’ for those men who may be regular customers at Lowe’s, Home Depot, Costco, or even Wal-Mart.
Last month I became a victim of a clever scam while shopping. Simply going to get supplies turned out to be quite traumatic.
Don’t be naive enough to think it couldn’t happen to you or your friends. Here’s how the scam works: Two nice-looking, college-aged girls will come up to your vehicle as you are putting away your purchases.
They both start wiping your windshield with a rag and Windex, with their breasts almost falling out of their skimpy T-shirts.
(It’s impossible not to look). I should have known better because it was 30 degrees outside.
When you thank them and offer them a tip, they say  ‘No.’ Instead, they ask for a ride to McDonald’s. You agree and they climb in the vehicle and start undressing. Then one of them starts crawling all over you, While the other one steals your wallet. I had my wallet stolen October 4th, 9th, 10th, twice on the 15th, 17th, 20th, 24th, & 29th. Also November 1st & 4th, twice on the 8th, 16th, 23rd, 26th & 27th, and very likely again this upcoming weekend.

 Wal-Mart has wallets on sale for $2.99 each. I found even cheaper ones for $.99 at the dollar store and bought them out in three of their stores.

Also, you never get to eat at McDonald’s. I’ve already lost 11 pounds just running back and forth from Lowe’s, to Home Depot, to Costco, Etc. So please, Send this warning to all the older men that you know and warn them to be on the lookout for this scam.

(The best times are just before lunch and around 4:30 in the afternoon.)

 

A Human Interest Story

God Blesses America

The every first e-mail I opened this morning is the story below. Sent to me by a dear friend and colleague of many years. I never get things from Lou that needs checking for accuracy. In spite of that, I searched the net for this article and found it posted on many blogs for some time. This couple wrote  from the heart to share something that is not easily written about, a person’s character and compassion.

Here is the story, check the links and decide for yourself.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Subject: Romney – From Couple Who Bought His Park City Home

Hal and Corinne Prewitt distributed this email on their own (scroll down), and it checks out.  Good human interest story for voters who don’t want to read policy articles and believe the media’s chant that Romney is “too rich and hence, out-of-touch.”

FYI, Google lists many sources of info on this couple, including an article in Park City Magazine , Winter 2012, that describes how they eventually remodeled the home.

Sounds like Hal is pretty much a Renaissance guy and Corinne graduated from Wharton and served as Asst. County Mgr. for Miami-Dade County($7 billion govt.).

As, you may know we own Mitt Romney’s former Park City, Utah home. Corinne and I have written a non-political-issuestory that you very likely have not heard. We did this because many Democratic, Republican and Independent voters strongly recommended and found it valuable. Private details, how he acted out of public view and when not running for office. We are messengers delivering facts not initially his supporters nor anti-Obama. Mitt Romney is very different from the man that many Americans have been led to believe.

Regardless of who any of us are supporting in the presidential election, we all are better served by knowing the truth as this does influence who we support. It was not approved by Mitt Romney or his campaign.

A download PDF is available www.prewitt.net/MittRomneyInsite2012-08-16.pdf You are welcome to email the PDF, page link, or forward this email to your friends. Sorry, if you received this more than once. Like to hear your thoughts…

Ours is a factual story that provides a rare glimpse and insight into the real Mitt Romney. Does he really relate to the average American? As President, would he impose his beliefs on others? Is he really Christian?

When you buy a home and its contents from someone you really learn a lot about their true character, values and beliefs. And rarely does anyone have the opportunity to learn how a politician acts out of the public’s view and when they are not running for office. Well, this actually happened. When? Only a few years ago, in spring of 2009 when we bought Mitt Romney’s Park City, Utah, home. His family lived in this home for about ten years. Because our deal included most of the contents, we gained a unique and unusual perspective of him and his family of which most Americans are completely unaware. What we experienced was not what we expected–not the stereotypical actions of a millionaire and more importantly not the image most Americans have of Mitt Romney.

When most of us buy a home, the real estate agent or seller hands over the keys at closing and then as buyers, we are on our own. Not this time. We met Mitt Romney by himself at the house. He spent as much time as we needed showing us around, answering our questions and explaining how to use and service the home’s equipment. And when he was done, he gave us his direct contact information should we have problems.

To move, if we can afford the cost, most of us would hire movers with a team of workers. To save money, many of us are the do-it-our-selves types. Which did Mitt Romney do? Like many of us, on his own he rented a six-wheel truck and moved himself. He drove to the local Home Depot and purchased wood to build whatever he needed for the transport. Mitt moved his family’s clothes, his family’s photos, his family’s mementos, his grandchildren’s toys. With the help of a friend and family, they loaded the truck. Then, after answering all our questions, Mitt Romney said his goodbyes, climbed into the truck, and began the long drive to his new home by himself.

The Romney Park City home, which they designed and built, and its contents had much to say. Having raised a family of our own, we saw that the home was built with a focus on his family. No swimming pool, tennis court or movie theater. There are no maid, butler, or nanny quarters. Clearly Ann and Mitt raised their kids. No gold faucets, no fancy silverware. The kitchen was simple and typical of an average three-bedroom home, very much like those in which we were raised. We were struck by the discovery that most of the art, furniture, and all the curtains were made in America and many by local craftsmen. Most of the linens were of good quality but not what is found at very high end, exclusive stores. The master bedroom pillows had tags from the average American’s most popular discount store.

In the most honored place in the master bedroom hung a painting of Jesus Christ. Most Americans know little about Mormonism and we didn’t either. Mitt Romney clearly had a home of faith and family just like the rest of us.

One of the most interesting questions many have asked is, “As president will he impose his beliefs on others?” Many claim that a President Romney would take away rights and impose his beliefs on all Americans. The Romney home contents gave us insight into this question. One of the strongest Mormon beliefs is the prohibition against drinking alcohol. We were surprised to find a small supply which we were told was available for guests, not for the family. Mitt Romney had a respect for his guest’s wishes. By not imposing his beliefs on others even within his own home, then clearly a President Romney would not take away rights and impose his beliefs on all Americans. Those making such accusations should stop. The facts do not support their claims.

It is amazing what can be learned about someone from observing the smallest details. In the Romney’s family mud room where the boots and outdoor clothing were stored, we found the Governor’s ski gloves. One of his son’s apologized for his dad’s lack of concern about his appearance when Mitt went skiing because the gloves would surely be noticed. They were worn out and had holes in the fingers. Mitt had gone to the garage tool box and wrapped them with duct tape. Thrifty? Yes, and the repair provided an immediate practical solution rather than traveling to the store to buy a new pair. His indifference to appearance demonstrated his confidence, true character and priorities. Good qualities but easily misunderstood because they are quite different from those displayed by many famous people and certainly politicians, who highly protect and prize their appearance.

As you have read, our story is not about a wealthy man’s nice home or its beautiful contents. It is about the story they tell and how our experiences with him showed the real Mitt Romney. How his family truly lived is a real indication of their values and beliefs. There is more we could tell, but hope we have provided enough facts to answer some key questions on many voters’ minds. Mitt Romney is very different from the man that many of us have been led to believe. Clearly he is more like most Americans than not. We learned many things about Mitt Romney that contradicted what we have been told. He is not aloof or out of touch. He is a man of faith, family and American values. A guy who is well-grounded. It is not beneath him to roll up his shirt-sleeves and get the job done. The fact that he has allowed this to be kept so very private is a true testament to his character and shows how different he is from many other politicians.

Who are we and why are we speaking out? Growing up in Florida and Pennsylvania, we knew little to nothing of Utah, Mitt Romney, his family or values, beliefs, religion and his capabilities. We were amazed by what we learned. We want nothing more than for our fellow citizens to know what we know. We are not part of any campaign, not Mormon nor religious activists. We have voted for Democrats and Republicans and were not Governor Romney supporters. Hal is a farmer, race car driver and retired after creating a number of successful businesses. Corinne is a retired government employee. We do not come from wealthy families. Our parents worked average jobs. Our fathers were a mailman and an engineer. Our mothers were a nurse and a housewife. We struggled, worked hard and are grateful for having been rewarded over the years. We have never given up on achieving the American dream. But the story we tell is not about us.

As Americans, we depend on our press to provide us with factual and unbiased information. We hear politicians sometimes misspeak and others take their statements out of context. Many times it is hard to tell what is fact and what is fiction. Over the past few months, we have noticed how different from reality some of the public perceptions and media presentations of Governor Romney are. Unfortunately, some political opponents spread false information and misconceptions. This is wrong.

This injustice and the value of our story has led us to speak up and provide these facts. No one can say with absolute certainty what kinds of decisions a president will make while still a candidate for that office. To predict, we only have access to their words, history and if available the most useful facts of all, how they acted out of public view and when they are not running for office. This is why our story is so important, valuable and must be told. No doubt some will want to dismiss our story, argue that it is not newsworthy nor relevant and possibly subject us to an undesired spot light. However, we hope the American people are given the opportunity to hear the truth, especially when the facts directly contradict what many people think to be true.

Corinne & Hal Prewitt

mail@prewitt.net

Ugleee!

ugly-tomato-contest-winner

ugly-tomato-contest-runner-up (1)

For all the folks in the world who think I am a loser here is evidence that I am not. A few months ago a blog that I follow offered an ugly tomato contest and solicited entries. This was my big chance to show the world I can grow a tomato. The plant came from Home Depot and I planted it late. The species was labeled as Big Beefy. I wanted a big, juicy, meaty, red tomato to slice on to my sandwiches. Alongside the Big Beefy I planted a cherry tomato. I can report that I thoroughly enjoyed the cherry tomatoes in abundance all summer. The Big Beefy was somewhat sluggish to produce. When it did finally yield a fruit, it was always a distorted orb with tumor like growths projecting. The one in the photo caught my eye as a work of art and not as a meal. I picked it green to take photos. That’s when Soulsby Farm was looking for candidates. I seized the opportunity if only to redeem this fruit’s self-esteem. It would be an entrant in the ugly tomato contest. Never in a hundred years did I expect Big Beefy to become a finalist. Big Beefy won the runner up award.

I must confess I doctored the fruit just tad. Big Beefy looked very much like an Ogre. So I got creative and used a heavy marking pen to enhance his features with eye-pupils and eye brows. I thought Big Beefy looked rather scary. If he lasts until Halloween he will be my contribution to the night of horrors.

Thank you Soulsby Farm for an entertaining post.

Burning Gas-Santa Fe

During my lifetime I have traveled a lot. My goal is to visit as many places in the United States and Canada as I can before my travel days end. Lately though, I find myself re-visiting places I have been to before. When I plan a trip, I try to include new cities, and new routes, but there is always someplace that I really enjoyed that is near the new place. My last post in the Burning Gas travel series took us to the White Sands National Monument near  Alamogordo, New Mexico. That put us within one driving day from Santa Fé, New Mexico. I love Santa Fé. My family camped there on a visit some forty years ago. We fell in love with the tiny hamlet of Santa Fé. Established in 1608 it rivals Saint Augustine Florida for the title of the oldest city in North America. What I found when I returned with Peggy was not a three hundred year old village, but a three hundred year old village surrounded by urban sprawl. Immediately my mind played back the lines from John Steinbeck’s novel Travels With Charley,

“Tom Wolfe was right. You can’t go home again because home has ceased to exist except in the mothballs of memory.”  

Oh how true that is. We stayed in a modern hotel, on a six lane median separated street five miles from the center of the old town. Every intersection has another shopping center with Home Depot, Staples, Kohl’s, Appleby’s, and other national chain stores. Laced in between were the more homey Spanish-Mexican-American food places which I so longed to try, but couldn’t because Miss Peggy cannot handle those spicy foods.

On our first  trip, I recall seeing the new and modern State Capital building on the outskirts of town.  This time I had to find it with the GPS. It is surrounded by business and sub-divisions near the center of town.

When we finally did find Old Santa Fé it remained the same, except for the amount of vehicular traffic streaming through the old town. The Veranda of the Governor’s Palace is still the market place for native Americans selling their handcrafted jewelry. The Basilica is still at the end of San Francisco Street. The town square is still a hangout for hippies. Except now the hippies are forty years older and sport long white hair and beards. Artists abound selling small twenty-dollar pieces to the tourists. The shops around the square teem with more elegant artwork and clothing that one can only find in Santa Fé.

We visited the oldest house in America on De Vargas Street off the Old Santa Fé Trail, and across from the Mission San Miguel.  San Miguel (est 1610) is one of the oldest missions in North America, and  is still an active parish. A short stroll from the Mission we entered the Loretto Chapel. This church is modeled after Notre Dame in Paris, however it is much smaller. The architect forgot to build a staircase to the choir loft. The good nuns who served the church prayed to Saint Joseph the builder for a solution. A stranger showed up and built a magnificent spiral staircase to the choir, and then left. No one knows who he was nor from where he came, nor where he got the wood. The church implies it as a miracle, but will not declare it so.

A few blocks away we entered the vestibule of the Basilica Saint Francis Assisi to find a funeral mass in progress, so we decided to call it a day.

We also visited the Georgia O’Keefe museum to learn about the artist behind the print of the huge red poppy hanging on our wall at home. It turns out she invented the concept of painting  flowers close up and big. She spent much of her life on a ranch near the museum painting desert scenes in solitude.

Before we left Santa Fé, we formed a new bond and  now have a second benchmark to which we can never return.

 

 

Boyz Nite Out

This story begins in 2002 when I attended the wake of a neighbor and fellow garden club member. At the time, I was president of the club. I agreed to lead at a meeting formed to disband the thirty something old organization. I was newly retired and gardening was on my list of goals for my special time. Barbara nearly fell out of her chair when she heard me agree to do it. Later she asked me why I volunteered when I was trying to avoid stress and be free to travel, and do retired things.  “After thirty-five years at my job, this little club will be a fun project.”

At Dorothy’s  wake I expressed my condolences to her husband Bob whom I had met casually on garden walks. A year later, we met him again. This time he came to Barbara’s wake to express his condolences to me. I told him we have to stick together because now we are brothers of a kind.

The garden club people took care of me after Barb died. Bob joined and began coming to meetings. He and I bonded and we became friends. More time passed before Bob told me about his “group.” He met every Tuesday for supper with carefully selected friends. Each was in a manufacturing  business, and a widower. They met after work to share a meal and talk technical things about making stuff. Bob felt that since I spent my career making stuff that I would fit in and give new experiences to the conversation. The group had one rule: no one was to speak of the dying process their wives experienced.

After meeting Bill, Bob M. and Herman, I learned that one was not really a widower. Bill was captain of a seven-forty-seven airliner during his career, his wife a hostess. She still worked and spent a lot of time away from home, thus “he was a widower when she was flying.”

The men of the Boyz were all of retirement age, but most still worked daily in their businesses.My friend Bob was seventy-five, Herman was eighty-six, Bob M around sixty-six, Captain Bill, the pilot, was seventy-four, and I logged in at a baby-faced sixty-six.

Bob, and I spent a lot of time together, usually at the club for dinner, or on shopping excursions to Home Depot. I remember the two of us staring at a wall filled with a display of forty toilet seats pondering the differences and discussing how “in the good old days” a toilet seat was not a decorator item. It is a functional thing, and when you moved into a new house, you expected the toilet seat to be there fifty years later in good working order. I asked Bob to be my best man when Peggy and I married.

A year after our wedding, Bob had a stroke;  he was eighty. His son moved him to Portland to care for him where he lived another four years.

Captain Bill assumed the leadership role of the Boyz. He chose the restaurants, and made the calls. Some of the original members dropped out. Herman at ninety-four had trouble driving, Bob M. paired up with a lady, Captain Bill opened the group to new faces. The Boyz expanded to include a PhD scientist, a cousin, a brother-in-law, a self-made millionaire industrialist, a retired Air Force Colonel: we dropped the widow rule. Bill made Tuesday evenings an event as it had been under Bob’s leadership. Captain Bill kept Bob’s legacy secure.

Our discussion centered around sports, politics, cars, work, events. On some days there were as many as seven of crowded around the table, and the discussions were many. Captain Bill began another new tradition. He suggested we invite our ladies for special events like Christmas. Girlz night with the Boyz became a favorite. Before long, the Boyz and Girlz began visiting each other’s homes. The meeting of widowers killing their lonely times of grief had evolved into a first order social group of good friends enjoying life.

A year ago, Captain Bill reported to us about a health concern. We always discussed health concerns when they came up. He didn’t think it was serious and found early during a regular routine blood test. Captain Bill pushed forward with treatment thinking very positively about his outcome. He began a series of chemo treatments which in a large percentage of cases hammers the condition into remission. His chemo treatments continued. Our meetings suffered a bit during this time, as Captain Bill did not always feel well enough to make the calls and pick the restaurant. Often he ordered a meal and never ate it, rather, he had it boxed for “later.”

Sadly, today, I will attend the wake of this fine man I call Captain Bill.

Thanks Bill for entering my life and becoming a friend. Because of you my life became better.

My Grand and Glorious Garden (vote if you wish)

I went to the Tribune website today and found  that the Glorious Gardens contest is open for voting. I spent an hour rating photos, and came across only one picture of my garden.  If you go to vote, the pictures will appear randomly, and you have to rate each one from 1(lousy) through 10(fabulous,) before they let you go to the next picture.  None of the pictures are identified by owner. There are so many beautiful gardens it is hard to pick a  good one. Many of the photos are presented multiple times. My guess is that the winner will be amongst the first 50 photos presented because only entrants will have the patience to go through all of the photos. I’m not  sure if I saw all of the pictures. The website does not tell you how many pictures you have to review, or where you are in the process.

I learned alot about what kind of picture to present next year. It seems my idea of what they want, and what I gave  them are the opposite. I love close up flower photography, they look for overall views. Next year, I’ll rent a helicopter and hover over the yard to take a good photo.

Instead of voting for my garden at the Glorious Gardens website, vote by leaving a comment below. Give a rating  from 1 (lousy) to 10 (fabulous), or any number between. OOHs and AAHs will be appreciated. I’ve added a few new pictures below to base your rating on. Others are sprinkled throughout my posts, Vote for my Garden Please,  and on my Gardener page.

Monet Vision, Late Summer Garden

Too Exhausted To Think Election

Thank God the garden has distracted me from the election. My tulips came, and I now have a mission to plant. In May, during our escape to Holland, Michigan, Peg and I bought ten bulbs each of thirteen different colors. Now I’m anxious to see them bloom. Along with the bulbs, I popped for a Mantis power tiller-cultivator. I always wanted one of those suckers. I was just a little hesitant to fire it up for the first time, but I got over that, gassed it up, and pulled the rope. WOW! That’s all I can say about this machine. It does the job. My first try saw me holding on like a bronc-buster on a mustang.

 I started in the softest soil in the yard. That’s where I practiced moving the machine back and forth to get the feel for it’s power. After ten minutes, I was ready to tackle the bed for the bulbs. The top soil in the new bed is only three inches deep, Below is hard clay. Even so, the little Mantis ground its way into the ground. When It hit the clay it began jumping up, trying to get out. With some patience I was able to scar the clay.

My shoulders and neck ached from the tension of holding on. It’s been a long time since I stressed the old body this way. I’m sure that by the time I finish planting I will be in better shape, or dead. Next, I moved the soil out of the bed to one side with a rake. My last compost from son Steve’s horse farm went down in a thin layer. I planted three colors of ten bulbs by mixing. The next ten were the same color, after that another ten of a different color. The squirrel guard came next. For this, I used chicken wire, or as it is called at Home Depot, “poultry barrier.” Finally, I shoveled the top soil back to cover the bulbs. Next, I will add a six inch layer of soil, sand, and compost.  

Three hours after I started, I went into the house, too exhausted to think about the election, and the future of our great country.  The candidates need to do the same.

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