Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Annoying phone calls...

95% of the phone calls we get on our landline are junk calls.  It is very, very annoying.  Yesterday, I called our phone provider to inquire about breaking the contract for our phone line.  The fee was more than I was ready for (of course), so I asked what I could do about these annoying phone calls.  Here's what I learned...

#1  You have to re-register on the Do Not Call list every year.  EVERY YEAR!  Here's a link to the site:

#2  That list is updated quarterly.  QUARTERLY!  So, if you register in January, your number won't be on the list until the end of March :(  Better late than never...

#3  I could change our phone number... but that invites other kinds of issues.  Who knows?  The person who had that number previously might have been getting even more junk calls than I do now!
#4  Verizon has a Call Block Feature on their app/website.  I need to write down the frequently calling wrong numbers and simply go into the site/app and record them.

#5  My phone has a call block feature.  I've been lazy and haven't used it.  Today I started using it.  I looked up the directions online and it was simpler than I had realized.

Basically, I learned that if I want to get rid of these calls I will need to be proactive in blocking them.

When our current contract is up, I can switch the physical phone I use, discontinue our landline, and get a link2cell phone which will allow my kids to talk on the phone via my cell phone line.

Any other ideas about how I can get rid of these nuisance calls???

Post script... The phone just rang.   Then, I saw the screen.  Call blocked.  CALL BLOCKED!  Yippee!  One down, many more to go... he he he.  But, I have hope!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Some of my favorite kitchen utensils...

Today a friend of mine and I went for a walk and she asked me about parchment paper.  I love parchment paper.  I purchase a 1000 sheet box from the webstaurant every 2-3 years.  The paper doesn't curl like it does if you buy it on the roll and it's astronomically cheaper than buying it in small quantities.  My mom bakes a lot and so do I, so we go through it at a good pace.  After we talked about parchment paper, my friend asked me if I have any other favorite gadgets.  I told her about the treat I found yesterday at Ollies, a bargain store near where I live.

The set I bought only had the purple, orange, and green models, but it was only $4 instead of the $12 that Amazon wants for this set of five mini spatulas.  I hesitated when I picked them up at the store.  I had seen them in the weekly ad, but I had been given a much shorter mini spatula several years ago that was quite frustrating to use.  So, of course I hesitated.  But, I love them!

I have already used them 3 times in 2 days!  I used the spoon spatula twice to get mayonnaise out of the bottom of the jar and didn't end up with a messy hand!  Happy day!  Then, I used the orange spatula to scrape the peanut butter jar clean.  I was able to get enough out for 2 extra sandwiches!  Wow!  

Now, there's one caveat about this set.  When I brought them home, one of the handles was a little rough in a few spots.  So, I grabbed a piece of 220 sand paper from my kitchen junk drawer and sanded all three handles down for a minute.  Then, I took out the jar of mineral oil in my kitchen, which is a foodsafe way of finishing wood, and poured a little on a piece of paper towel and rubbed the handles down.  I could have skipped doing this, but it made me happy to improve the handles.  

Then, tonight at dinner I used another of my favorite utensils--my flat metal whisk.  
This is a 12 inch Best Manufacturers Flat Roux/Gravy Whip.  I have two whisks.  One is a rounded model with silicone on the wires so I can use it in nonstick pans.  This whisk, though, is my favorite.  I've had it for twenty years or so (I'm not sure what brand mine is).  I use it for gravys and... for frying!  It works so much better than using tongs to lift oysters, chicken, and fish out of oil after being fried.  (Tonight we had fried oysters for dinner.)  

I do have lots of kitchen utensils I love, but I am very thankful for these spatulas and whisk!