Friday, September 29, 2023

Getting scammed

Well, it is seems too good to be true, it probably is. I deposited the check for the freelance job, and I was surprised it was for the full amount. Matt Diggle, who contacted me then texted me later and said the board had canceled half the presentation. I then said, I guess I owe you a refund. He said, can you send it as soon as possible and I felt pretty weird about the urgency! (Now this is where me spending wasting all of that time watching scam videos on YouTube comes in handy.) I told him when the check clears, I would refund half of the payment. He said it had cleared according to his people and I said, it hasn't according to my bank. Anyway, I have been checking everyday and today it was noted that the check had been "RETURN ITEM CHARGEBACK" so I called the bank to get the info on that. She said they thought it was fraudulent and were sending it back. She said the check was on Nevada Bank and I should call that bank when I receive the check. I had also NOT signed the back, which I quit doing years ago, and she said, it might be that reason.

Anyway, I have saved all his email, this text, his number, the venmo info he sent me. Oh, I had also looked him up in the very beginning and there is a Matt Diggle who worked for a school district in CA. Which was also the header on his contract that I had signed. So I called Mr Diggle at the school using the phone number on the school district website and it was NOT the same man. He said that had happened to several other freelance artist. He had contacted to authorities. I am calling the FBI today. Not sure they will do anything. You know my rant about our police system doing NOTHING to stop the bad guys. 

I am just thankful I didn't send him any money, or give him any important details. 

Well, at least I had fun re-learning illustrator while I was getting scammed. ;0

I found this online:

Recently I was contacted through email of a man wanting to hire me to paint 8 illustrations for an upcoming event for his company.

This guy apparently just found my email through my Artstation portfolio and contacted me out of the blue. He's says that he is an "event coordinator" for a medical company and he is asking for me to paint 8 illustrations for and upcoming event for students aged 18-21 about Covid. The company he mentions is in fact real (it's a medical company) and it matches up with his professional history in the medical field. (Although, this company is not mentioned on his LinkedIn.)

Now, I've been suspicious of this from the very start. I am not an established freelancer and do not have a network. But more so, I was contacted a little while ago by another client with a suspiciously similar story--asking for several illustrations for an event regarding covid that will be attended by students. That client dropped off the face of the earth, but this new has been very consistent and believable.

Here are the green flags:

  • Legit sounding email address w/ profile picture of his face

  • His name/ face is searchable on Google + LinkedIn

  • His LinkedIn work history matches up with what he's said in emails (though not perfectly)

  • Email is 90% free of error and spelling mistakes

  • Has been very patient, focused on the work itself, and hasn't focused much on money

But there are some red flags:

  • He contacted me out of the blue (I am not an established artist and have no network)

  • He has no email signature with external links/ contact information

  • Offering a very generous amount of money (~$1000 per painting, 8 paintings total)

  • Says he's "hearing impaired" when asked if he's open to phone calls

  • Says he wishes to pay me "via a cashier's check or bank certified check"

  • Is asking for my name, address, phone number, & bank name


Feeling 17, 18 again!




For the love of rocks

My friend and neighbor is a beader. She told me today she is beading rocks, they are beautiful. I would rather have a rock necklace than a diamond necklace, far more interesting. Funny thing, one of my neighbors and I were talking about clearing out our junk. Apparently, she keeps NOTHING superfluous at all! She said to me, "can you believe my BIL brings rocks back home with him on the airplane to KEEP? I laughed and said, I have bowls and bowls full of rocks. Anyway, I was looking up beaded rocks and found lots of things I think the kids and I should try.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Broken beyond repair?

I bought a small bag of Cheetos for a treat. 

How can they make toilet paper as thin as the last pack I bought???? 

The sun came back for a minute or two. Makes me happy.

An idea popped into my head about my wilting-in-the-heat hydrangea problem. My peony patch stopped blooming ages ago because the trees grew up near them. SO, I am going to dig up all of those peonies, move them to the hot, sunny spot where the hydrangeas are, move the hydrangeas to the cooler under the trees spot! I will have to pick out the healthier ones to move.  Now I just have to get help to make all of this happen, sooner than later. I mean, the peonies may never bounce back (they don't like to be moved). But as it is now, they never bloom anyway.

I had a sad, eye-opening afternoon yesterday. Around dusk, I decided to run to Trader Joe's and on the way it was getting dark. I thought ... why am I driving in the dusk? It is a little scary to drive at night now. So I  came home and decided to go during the daylight. Getting old SUCKS.

I got Pixie and me more liver pate. We will share.

I had a heart-stopping moment when I came home from shopping and she was still asleep, I didn't think she was breathing. 

My friend sent me picture of her platters that she reeived from her MIL, who is ill. None of the other kids wanted these! UPS packed them up and then arrived shattered in many pieces. I was furious for her! Do we were brainstorming about how to salvage them. Or course the fist think that came to mind was the art of repairing ceramics, kintsugi. She thinks the pattern might be too busy for that, but I think it would be lovely. Plus, the platters are just wonderful! I am heart-broken for her.

This could be the fix!
Buttons? Jewelry?
Whatever this is?

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The rain cometh

I popped down to the bank to deposit my freelance check and it was soooo dark, I took a drive down Sunset Ave, near Sunset Beach, very close to my street. Looking over to the Olympic Mountains, the rain is right there, on it's way! The hard rain just hit!
There is something very weird with the views on my blog and I am dying to know what it is. I use to be able to figure these things out but I gave that up years ago. But 4,000 views a day? And now my total views is at 2MIL. I always said 1MIL was my goal then I would think about stopping. I know these are not really "reading:" my blog, but something strange is linking to it. There use to be a WhoLinksToMe site, I can't even remember what it was. I just want to make sure it's not sinister.

Meemaw has a Karen-in-the-wild-moment.

It happened at Jack in the Box, getting food for the kids after school. The little crappy chicken nuggets for the kids, a couple of bagged french fries in the kid's meal, my single hamburger and we all wanted milkshakes. Small ones. Which they did not have. I ordered an Oreo, vanilla, and chocolate. She kept writing down Oreo, vanilla and strawberry. I corrected her at least 5 times (to be fair, there was a lot of traffic noise). When we got to the window, thankfully, Mason caught the word strawberry when she was telling us our order. I said, NO NO. Oreo, vanilla and Chocolate, not strawberry. I might have said that last a little forcefully because that is when Mason made the comparison and said "Meemaw, you are acting like a Karen". We all laughed and had to wait another 5+minutes in front of the store for the (get this) $34.00 meal. So I paid $5 for ONE milkshake! They only had one size, the $5 size LOL 

And of course, the kids didn't finish their nuggets and I only ate half of the burger and fed the rest to Murphy's happy mouth. 

I was telling Joanne this story and thought it said so much about the times, I had to share. 

I love this woman (Textile Designer Rebecca Vizard), her style, her home and her ridiously adorable dogs. Her Instagram.


Just to make you feel old, BeeGees Grandkids, you are welcome.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Getting along alone

I love watching all the spiders very busy the time of year, and wonder why they have to build their webs across a walkway. I gently push them to one side and before I know, they are back in the walkway. 

Sleeping is still an issue. I never feel afraid here by myself. To be honest, I never feel "by myself". Sometimes I wake up with the distinct feeling everyone is here with me. It is a warm feeling.

Mason and I enjoyed a brunch and toy shopping on Sunday. I was feeling a little flu-ish because of the Covid/flu vaccines but we managed through the day. The thing I notice about Mason when we are out together is how nice and polite she is to everyone. Speaking to all, thanking everyone ... I am always so proud of her. A month or so ago, while we were out "lunching", as girls will do, she ran into her old teacher. She went over and they had a long conversation. It was very sweet. Anyway, I am feeling better. Between being sore from my fall and my arm from shots and the flu symptoms, I am glad to feel better. 

I can not figure out what to eat these days! I am hungry but everything seems terrible. I have ended up eating lots of baked potatoes. They always sound good. I had my mouth set for Pacific Cod yesterday. Baked some potatoes and opened the fish to cook and HOLY MOLEY, did it smell bad. I guess I found out what had gone awry in my fridge. 

In a couple if meals, I ate all the lettuce in the veg drawer and I am feeling very proud of myself. I have used up several bottles of dressings and a couple of honeys (with yogurt and crunchy bits). So I need to go shopping. I just can't figure out what I should buy for a protein. I am thinking about more of those Trader Joe's frozen dinners, to have them on hand when I am hungry. 

I have been watching PBS Van Der Valk, season 3. Such a good series. Unforgetten season 5 is coming Oct. 1. Another wonderful show. I think I mentioned this before, but I am now addicted to Inside No. 9. It is very dark and some are very funny.  Might not be your cup of tea.

"British black comedy anthology television programme that first aired in 2014. Each 30-minute episode is a self-contained story with new characters and a new setting, almost all starring Pemberton or Shearsmith (usually both). Aside from the writers, each episode has a new cast, allowing Inside No. 9 to attract a number of well-known actors. The stories are linked only by the number 9 in some way, typically taking the form of a door marked with the number 9, and a brass hare statue that is in the background of all episodes. Themes and tone vary from episode to episode, but all have elements of comedy and horror or perverse humour, in addition to a plot twist. Pemberton and Shearsmith took inspiration for Inside No. 9 from an episode of Psychoville, a previous project, which was filmed in a single room – this in turn was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's Rope."

I think the kids are really moving back in, pretty soon I guess. Months I am guessing. I need to get in gear to get this place tidied up and the extra crap out of here. 

Oh, how I love Tramp Art!

Saturday, September 23, 2023

An interesting thing like a fart in history

This story came up in my feed. It is rather weird, but so weird, how can I not mention it and do a Google search? Naughty Nuns, Flatulent Monks, and Other Surprises of Sacred Medieval Manuscripts More funny manuscript art British Library has an amazing collection of illustrated manuscripts

Japanese fart wars?

More bizarre art, I guess they just called it like it was?

Friday, September 22, 2023

"I told you so"

The shrimp pesto dish, super easy, really good. I didn't not cook the pasta long enough, I find when I think it is done ... leave it a few more minutes. I think I would add some cayenne pepper to the spice mix but I will definitely make this again. I made just enough for one meal. I threw away a bunch of spaghetti yesterday in the trash. I am slowly learning. 

This time I removed the tails before cooking so I don't have the usual mess while eating. Got my Covid booster and the flu yesterday. Was going to also get a couple of more but thought better of it in the long run. I will just go back later. My arm, super sore but so far, I feel fine. I managed to trip on my slide-ons taking the trash out and fell in the street. Perfectly okay, just feel silly. As my son said, quit wearing those silly shoes in the yard. Which is what David always told me. He is up there, telling me, "I told you so". 

Woke up very, very early and managed to go back to sleep after watching something on YouTube. We have a weather change coming. It starts out cool and turns warm in the late afternoon. But they are warning, go enjoy the sun ... it is not going to last. Not what I want to hear, but whatever ... it is the rainy PNW (or use to be). I need to finish picking up the backyard. We are still under a drought in this area. I landed on this Frontline piece that was such a great interview with Mona Charen. This is a part of the Lies, Politics and Democracy (full documentary) | FRONTLINE. She is probably not someone I would have read in her former Republican state but she has some great, truthful observations here. It was funny because one of my best friends and I had a long conversation yesterday that headed to the trump cult and how I react and why I choose not to associate with former friends and family that are a part of the cult. Elana says because I am enlightened. I just will not tolerate someone that refuses to acknowledge the moral decay of that man, it is a moral issue, completely. He is obscene and the tongue-thrashing she gives the gutless, spineless, republicans is delicious. I know I watched some of the bigger documentary, don't know how I missed her!


The girls are going to spend the night if I keep feeling okay. They always want to spend the night until about 20 minutes into the visit, then they are bored LOL. I think we will make a cake, watch the Barbie movie. I watched an interesting video. I subscribe to this historian, Waldemar Januszczak. He has all kinds of fascinating history documentaries. This one was about. Rococo art, the basic and then the more risqué art. I learned what a Catholic Scapular Necklace was ... not sure I have heard of this before. "Wearing a blessed scapular indicates, first and foremost, the conscious effort of one who is motivated to live as a true disciple of Christ. In this way, a scapular offers many occasions of grace. It acts as a reminder to pray regularly, to ask the intercession of the Blessed Mother, and to live a faith-filled life." My mom has one, I just never heard what it was called. I think the original ones were just fabric. 


This is the risqué one 

Rococo paintings


Rococo Mask from Venice. Rococo interiors were just more of everything, more gold, more blue, more ornate. The Baroque period saw the creation of writing music in a particular key. However, the Baroque period is commonly known for complex pieces and intricate harmonies. Still, this period laid the groundwork for the next 300 years of music.

New shows, on Peacock, The IrrationalThe Continental. Mile 22 on Netflix, a spy thriller, intense, brutal, bloody. Uncharted is a couple of years old, but an action adventure worth watching again. In other words, I have stepped away from Dateline LOL