: Family Members

Fuzzy Numbers, Just for Fun and no Profit

Hi everyone:

Today, I would like to share some fuzzy numbers with you.

Now, folks, I am not the world’s greatest mathematician, though I am the daughter of one and the mother of a certain young man who called calculus and “Easy A” in college, but I am still relatively good at basic math skills.

Case in point: Two days ago, my next door neighbor, who I only know by her first name, came knocking on my front door. She invited herself in and sat on my couch, where she proceeded to tell me a tale of woe.

It seems those nasty folks at the power company had turned off her power because she hadn’t paid her bill. For quite some time. However, there was a way I could help her.

She wanted to borrow $421.00. She would give me $300 the next day, after she got paid by her employer. There was no reference to any additional payment, so I guess that she was willing to borrow $421 from me, with the understanding that $300 would settle her debt. Since the problem that led to her nonpayment still existed, I would have an opportunity to share in this type of money scheme in future months.

When I declined the opportunity, she asked me how much money I did have. I allowed that I might be able to rustle up $200 in cash, but that I needed it for my own bills. I did offer to “carry her around” to three churches, to see if they would pay her bill out of their benevolence funds. She agreed to be carried.

No such luck with the churches. It was after hours, so they were all closed for the day.

During our trip around town, she said that $200 would do for now, and she would pay me back $100. I commented that, while I sympathized with her, I was not willing to do that. It seemed to me that, in the first case, she was willing to pay back 71% of the money owed me but, just a few minutes later, she was only willing to pay back 50%.

Things went downhill from there. She then suggested I give her one of my credit cards. What????? It seemed that she thought I should not only pay her bill (without the smallest suggestion that anything would ever be paid back), but that she would be able to shop at my expense, until the card was maxed out. Seems you never need to pay back credit cards, in case you were wondering, or the person who owns them.

So, my question for you is this: Are people really this nuts when it comes to money, or is it just me?????

I would pay tribute to this mathematical genius by name but, sadly, I don’t know it. However, if you would like to pay her bill, let me know and I can walk over and give her your number. The good Lord knows, she isn’t good at them.


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Announcement of radio and television appearances

Hi folks:

I will be appearing on Andre Whitehead’s radio and television shows this weekend. Here is the information on dates and times:

This weekend we’ll introduce you to an author, educator and blogger discussing becoming “Suddenly Single!” You just have to meet Sheri Dean Parmelee on TV Sat 7am WGNT/27 in Tidewater, Sun 9am on CW Central VA. Sheri will also be on our Radio show Sun 8am atWLNI.com.


Dr. Sheri

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Finding Your Way Home…From the Airport

Hello everyone:

Traveling has become a recent occurrence in my life ever since my mother died. About once a month, I go from Point A to Point B to visit my elderly father.

One thing I learned pretty quickly was that it is very easy to lose your car in a 9-story parking garage at the airport. Covered parking is only one of the options available at the airport, so how do you know where you left your car when you get back? I have run into folks who were clueless, telling me, “Oh, I left my car in the garage. Won’t the bus take me back to it?”

Well, yes, in a manner of speaking. The bus, if you hop on the right one, will take you to the garage. Keep in mind that there are a boatload of parking options at larger airports, so which bus will you get on? Daily? Long term A? Long term B? Amtrak? Metro? You get the idea.

Let’s say you get on the right bus. Now, at which stop do you get off? With the Daily Parking Garage, you have four more choices. Then you have to decide which floor to go to. There are nine options with this decision.

“Whoa,” you might say. “Slow down here.”

Let’s work through this backwards, to figure out how to find your vehicle. You arrive at the airport and decide on the Daily garage. Superb. If this is the first time you parked there, write it down. Next, pull into the parking space, making note of which floor, which aisle, and which space you are in. For example, 7H 42. Write it down and put the piece of paper somewhere you can find it easily. Do not leave it in your car. Do, on the other hand, leave your parking ticket in the car (see the next paragraph).

Make sure you put enough cash in your car, along with the parking lot entrance ticket, to pay for your parking expenses when you get back. You may return from your trip penniless. (My record is 25 cents.) That way, you can get your car out of hock without having to go to a strange ATM with your suitcases in tow.

Do not lose the parking ticket or you will have to fill out forms galore and prove when you took off and landed, in order to get out of the garage. I will be the poor, in-a-hurry slob behind you in the cash payment line who has to wait for you to fill out the form, pay through the nose for your parking, and chat with the employee about how unfair it is….I’ve been behind plenty of those folks and had some unkind thoughts about them during the ten minutes it took them to pay their way out of the garage. Help me keep my Baptist, folks. Don’t lose that ticket!

So, you are on the right bus. Take a minute and locate your piece of paper that has your floor, aisle, and parking space written on it. Get off the bus when you get to the garage, take all of your baggage (and small children) with you, take the elevator to the right floor, and there’s your space!


Dr. Sheri

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Mice are not Your Friends

Hello everyone:

You know those weird sounds that you have been hearing, the ones that sound like scratching? Do you sometimes find strange brown turds on your counter tops?  Have you ever reached into a cardboard box that you had in the shed and saw something move out of the corner of your eye?

My dear, you have mice (or, at the very least, mouse). Keep in mind that these critters are very fertile and letting one live with you can lead to your having a whole colony of mice.

You need to get rid of them ASAP. There are various ways of doing this; we have effectively used baited traps in our garage and basement. The upside is that the traps can be baited with peanut butter; the bad news is that you have to get rid of the mouse after you catch it and it may still be alive, just stuck.

When a mouse threatened the sanity of my time working in our garage a few years back, we put out a snare, only to find that the mouse survived the entrapment.

When the little critter showed up for the peanut butter feast, my hubby was out of town, so I managed to get the mouse and trap into the middle of the garage, covered it with a layer of cardboard (to protect my tires), and drove back and forth over the covered mouse until there were no more signs of life underneath.

I then swept the entire contraption outside and moved the car back into the now-mouse-free space. The deceased rodent thoughtfully remained under the cardboard until my husband returned home, though it might have looked a bit odd to the neighbors.

A good friend of mine has a cat that periodically demonstrates its love by depositing half-dead mice at her feet. After she got somewhat used to this method of devotion, she said that her favorite means of removal was to pick the rodent up with a large pair of kitchen tongs and place the unfortunate animal in the toilet, for rapid flushing.

She must have a really high-quality toilet, since there is no problem with the toilet accepting the mouse for disposal. If you have a toilet that might not take such deposits, you might be better off using the tongs to toss the creature outside in order to rid your home of it.

However, if the animal steadfastly refuses to die, you could have a problem with a mad, injured mouse returning to torment your life via the courtesy of your cat, since the mouse would be considerably easier to catch in its current condition.

Do you have any stories of woe regarding these furry little critters? I would love to have you share your tales with my readers.


Dr. Sheri

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Carpenter Bee Infestations are not Fun

Hello everyone:

I discovered something last weekend that was very, very bad. The weather was nice and my front porch seemed to come alive in the warmer weather.

Sure enough, the pest control fellow discovered a boatload of carpenter bees had taken up residence under my front porch. An infestation, if you will. A huge bother.

The good news about carpenter bees is that they don’t sting. The other good news is that they are merely curious about who and what you are. They seem particularly fond of people with flowers in their hair. Or person. Oh, joy!

Additional news, albeit bad, is that they have pinchers that like to grab a hold of something and eat it. Like the wood on your wooden porch, for example. Failing to find purchase on your porch, they are also willing to take a nibble on you.

Talking to the man at the bank, I was informed that he likes to rid his home of these pests by offering tennis rackets to his kids and letting them have at it. It’s a two-for-one special, as his kids get some much-needed exercise and he gets rid of the bees. I prefer the “squirt and murder” approach to the bees, so I asked the exterminator to spray the life out of them.

He tried Plan A with regard to my newest family members; he will be back in a week if they are still hanging (or, in this case, flying) around. I’ll keep you posted.

Do you have any tried-and-true methods of extermination?


Dr. Sheri

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Getting Rid of Old Clothing

Hello everyone:

If you have something in your closet that you argue with yourself about every time you go to put it on, give it away. Be brutal. If you haven’t worn an outfit in a year or more, chances are slim that you will wear it now. (Especially if you aren’t slim enough to wear it now.)

As the saying goes, “You have to get rid of what you don’t want in your life to make room for what you do want.” Do you really want to keep those ugly, dated shoes with the worn-down heels? It would probably cost more to have them re-heeled than they are worth.

As you work through your closet, have three piles: give away, throw away, and keep. As the closet empties out, dust for cobwebs and clean off the shelves and floor. As you put away your “keep” pile, your closet will be cleaned, as well as cleaned out. 

Please note that this works well on dressers, as well. Do you really want to hold onto a nightgown that itches, a belt that pinches, or underwear that cinches? Nope. Give them away or throw them away.

Undergarments that don’t fit will not lead to a nice-looking appearance. The battle of the bulge will throw off your whole look, so toss or give away these items, pronto. Do you really want to keep something that seems to indicate you have two sets of cleavage? I didn’t think so. Ladies, there is nothing even remotely sexy about back cleavage.

What ideas would you like to share about getting rid of old clothing? I would love to have you share some tips, as well.


Dr. Sheri

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What To Do When the Ice Cubes Are Stuck

Hello everyone:

Have you ever had a refrigerator with a door ice maker refuse to give up its wares? I have and I figured out how to unstick the stuck. That is the topic of today’s blog posting, profound though it is.

I went to my refrigerator, pushed my glass underneath the ice dispenser, and ….nothing but a groaning came from my appliance. Being a patient person (or not, as is actually the case), I tried again. The refrigerator strained with all its might but… still nothing.

I opened the freezer and reached into the ice dispenser at the top of the freezer section and scooped out the much-needed ice (smoothies are not as exciting minus the ice cubes) and went on my way. But I realized that something had to be done. I could not keep on living like this. But what?

By the next time I needed ice, the problem was solved. I opened the freezer and played around with the ice cubes that had already dropped into the area where they are either liberated as whole pieces or pulverized into ice chips (please note the need to be extremely careful here- the metal ice pulverizers at the bottom of that part of your door mean serious business and could easily mangle your hand, if you aren’t aware they are there, lurking in the darkness.)

Sure enough, the ice waiting in that area was frozen solid….I lifted it out, freeing the unit to go about its normal business and make ice cubes fall freely down the ramp and into my waiting glass. Success was mine!

Now if I could only get the ice maker to stop throwing out random ice cubes about 30 minutes after I ask for ice…they fall on the floor with quite a racket and has startled me out of a deep sleep…Suggestions?


Dr. Sheri

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Beware of Elizabeth River Tunnel Scams

Hello everyone:

This week, another scam came into my life. This time, it was from a Tunnel Toll collection company. According to the posted they have on their website from 19 other people who have never crossed their bridge, I am not alone. I pass this along to you, dear readers, in the hope that you will not get scammed by them or someone like them. Here is my letter:

Dear Sirs or Madame:

I wish to report a miracle. It appears, based on the enclosed bill I received from you, that I was in the Norfolk area on Saturday, January 11, 2019 at 5:40 am while I was on my treadmill in Lynchburg at the same moment. Since the locations are 189.7 miles apart, I believe that this qualifies me for sainthood in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church.

Please also note that my temporary tags were about to expire, so on Friday, January 10th, I had the Virginia tags replaced with my Maryland tags while I waited the arrival of my updated sticker for my new vehicle. The tags which you say were crossing the Elizabeth River Tunnel were actually in my home in Lynchburg, as well. I am unaware if sainthood can be bestowed on cardboard, but perhaps you can check into it.

This is to say that I have no intention of paying your bill for $5.76. The photo you sent me is totally dark so unless someone in your organization has X-Ray vision, I would argue that the car in question is not mine. I do not have a self-driving car and I am reasonably certain that my car was in my driveway at the time of this event, since I used it to go somewhere local at 8 am. The car, unless it sprouted wings and flew, could not have possibly have made it back to my house in time to take me to breakfast with some friends. They can vouch for the fact that I was in Lynchburg, should that become necessary.

Please reply via snail mail that you are removing the charge of $5.76 from my account, especially since I have never crossed your bridge.  (Nor do I plan to, anytime in the near future. However, should it become necessary, I will make sure I get a receipt for the toll.)

I remain,

Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D.

I hope this saves some of you from paying bills that you did not generate.


Dr. Sheri

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Your Immediate Response is a Scam

Hello everyone:

I recently got a new car. It’s under warranty from the auto maker, but I got a very panicked-sounding letter from the “Vehicle Services Division,” telling me that my warranty was in danger if I did not respond immediately, if not sooner.

It’s a crock of baloney. Let me tell you what they told me in their letter.

First, they told me twice, no less, that my “immediate response to this notice requested.” [Please note: They left out the verb “is”- perhaps they thought that would scare me more.]

Next, they accused me of not contacting their company to “have the vehicle service contract for your ___________ uploaded.” Sorry, folks, this is the first time I have ever heard of you. Why would I go looking for you, pray tell?

Then they told me that they had created my very own website. Why? I didn’t ask them to do that. I refer back to the thought that I have never heard of them, so why would I expect them to create my own personal website?

Additionally, they told me that “by neglecting to replace your coverage you will be at risk of being financially liable for any and all repairs after your factory warranty expires.” Yes, I assume that I would be, but my car has less than three thousand miles on it, so why would I sweat over this right now? [Note: They left off the commas with their parenthetic expression that begins “you will be at risk” and ends with “all repairs.”]

Then they told me that I have less than a month to sign up. They said “your file on this vehicle will be deleted [Oh, no, please do not delete me!] and you may not longer be eligible for this offer regarding service coverage after 3/13/2019.” [Good. The extremely fine print says you are not associated with my car manufacturer anyway.][The finer print says that all repairs would have to be pre-approved, even if I did get their coverage.]

I am reminded one final time that I must “call no later than 3/13/2019” or really bad things will happen. Their small print (that I had to put my glasses on to see) informed me that “This is an advertisement to obtain coverage.” This information is buried so completely in other legal gobbledygook I would have missed it, if my panic had set in to the degree that they had hoped. [I did not panic; I got ticked off. Poor punctuation and bad writing have a tendency to do that to me.]

Watch out folks! The bad guys are out to get you, but let me wave you off. Don’t panic when you get a piece of garbage like this. The only good thing about receiving this urgent offer was that I could share it with you. Please forward this blog posting to everyone you know, to warn them about these folks, as well. Thanks!


Dr. Sheri

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Whitey-Tighties Don’t Look Very Manly When They’re Pink

Hello everyone:

A friend of mine needed to wash his orange bedspread. He had never washed it before, but jammed the spread into a large-capacity washer and turned it on.

Although he took care to wash it separately from his other clothes when he went to the laundromat, he was not so careful when it came time to dry the clothes.

He felt that he could save money by dumping his whites in with the bedspread. Well, he did save money but he left the establishment with pale orange underwear and T-shirts.

He admits that the tiny bit of savings did not make up for the months he spent wearing colored undergarments. After a few months, the color faded to pale peach, which he steadfastly refused to wear and he replaced the garments.

The idea that “Yes, you must separate the colors from the dark clothes” is actually no longer etched in stone, if you purchase something called Shout’s “Color Catchers.” If you goof and mix your colors (or if you steadfastly refuse to separate the clothes), you can throw one of these sheets into your washer and re-wash the clothes.

The Color Catcher will pull the dark dye in the clothes away from your lighter colors. As it does this, the Color Catcher will turn a dark color, which beats having your clothes that color! Do not dry the clothes together, or you will have defeated the purpose of the Color Catcher catching your misplaced color. You have to dry the darks and lights separately or the problem will reassert itself.

Do not try to re-use the Color Catcher sheet. Follow the directions on the box and discard the sheet after you use it. Keep in mind that these things cost money, they do not replace your need for laundry detergent, and they do not function as fabric softeners. Their sole task is to keep your light things from turning dingy because you washed white or light clothing with dark.

Think of this as the “morning-after pill” for washing machines. Do not dry the clothes before you re-wash them, or the dinginess will be set in the clothing. If you are careful with money, it would be better to just separate your clothes and avoid the need for this product. Let me repeat: you will still need to use laundry detergent with this product and it is not a fabric softener sheet, although it looks like one. These products are not interchangeable!


Dr. Sheri

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