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Monday, July 14, 2014

And she's back!

I kid you not. We did a year's worth of hard labor in six weeks at Casa South. It looks really nice now. And sellable, I hope.

We were actually done three weeks ago but we had major flooding in the area, and then the realtor had a death in her family, and then came the July 4th holiday. So we've been waiting on the realtor to come over and take pictures so she could list it.

With any luck it should list today. I know! It's insane it took so long. But I stopped beating myself up and allowed things to unfold at their own pace. (And that's not easy for an A++Tiberius Kirk personality.)

Those of you who follow me on Facebook probably saw the posts I did about barbecuing BBQ, the goat. (He was delicious!)  And how I embarrassed myself by not checking the sex of my rabbits. 

It turned out the one I lost was the male, not the female. In my defense, I took them out often for exercise. I probably returned them to the wrong cages.

Because of all the traveling, I had to turn down quite a few design jobs, but I got a couple in that turned out rather well.

Hopefully, my personal life will stop getting in the way and business will pick up again. I just spent a ridiculous amount of money on new graphics software. As my finger hovered over the 'send payment' button, it jerked into a drunken palsy desperate to keep me from doing anything stupid. 

I have nightmares of me pounding the pavement with a sign on my back. Will Design Covers for Food. 

You should've seen me when I wrote the check for my last car. I'm sure the salesman thought I was a nut as I struggled to write my name.

Anyway, it's back to normal for me until the house sells. There's so much to tell you about the homestead and the way things are transitioning. And BIG changes are coming to this blog and to Back to Basics. I'm not talking about redecorating either. I'll tell you more about that next week.

It's good to be back!

Oh, one of my email addresses will be going bye-bye soon. Spammers discovered it and apparently not even Norton could stop them. In the next few weeks I'll contact everyone who uses that address and send you the new one before I delete the old one.

Has your email box ever been mercilessly spammed? What did you do? My provider suggested moving to Mozilla Thunderbird but so far I haven't been able to get it to work. Has anyone tried it?


Mike Keyton said...

Great things are settling down, Maria. Ref mozilla, I have firefox - is that a different version? It works fine for me and I tend to use it more than internet explorer.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: Mozilla Firefox is the browser.

But Mozilla Thunderbird is the email server in that family of services. (I didn't know about it either until my internet provider told me about it.)

Stacy McKitrick said...

Yay! Welcome back! :)

Can't say I've been hammered with spam (knock on wood). I get it, but the e-mails go into my spam folder, which I go through every now and then (because sometimes something that isn't spam ends up there) and delete them. I do tend to get more spam with my yahoo e-mail than I do with may aol e-mail, which is strange since I only use my yahoo e-mail for my publisher.

Diane Carlisle said...

I use email filters and filter out by the domain. So, any emails coming from

and all other folks I have asked to unsubscribe me who didn't, they get put into a filter, never to be seen by me again.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: I can't say for sure, but I suspect the spam came through one of my publishers. They had warned us about a hack attack that harvested email addresses, and a couple of weeks later I start getting tons of spam.


Maria Zannini said...

Diane: This is what I don't understand about email. I did the filter thing right away and it made no difference. It's as if the hackers found a way to deliver email even if filters were in place.

There have even been email that refuses to let me block it as junk mail. These spammers have become uber sophisticated.

Angela Brown said...

So glad to hear things are setting themselves right with your life in general.

I hear ya on the trepidation-made-physical when it comes to paying on things that cost a huge amount of moola.

And as of yet, the spammers are still getting sent to the spam folder. I'm using gmail. I haven't heard of Mozilla Thunderbird.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: Gmail has been the best for keeping spam out.

I should use it more, but Microsoft Outlook is so much easier to read on the monitor.

Anne Gallagher said...

Oh no! BBQ was barbecued. But I'm glad he was delicious.

Happy to have you back. I can't help you with your email issues, I'm having all kinds of technical difficulties lately and have just about given up.

Can't wait to see what changes you're making.

Maria Zannini said...

Anne: I can work around most hardware and software problems, but internet issues are an alien landscape. It amazes me how people can slip through all known defenses.

I still don't understand how spamming people can net them a profit though.

One of life's mysteries.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back and good luck with the sale! So nice to have the hard work behind you!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...


at least you have a personal life


Maria Zannini said...

Marlene: It's been a huge relief to get all that work behind us. Now to get it sold.

Maria Zannini said...

Mac: I just hate to see all my lives intersect in a traffic jam. :)

B.E. Sanderson said...

Welcome back, Maria! LOL about the gender-checking of your rabbits. I tried that once and the thing scratched my arms all up. Good luck on selling your other house. Can't wait to see the changes you have in store. =o)

Since I switched to gmail exclusively, I don't worry about spam so much. Gmail stuffs it all into my spam folder and then I can delete it all at once whenever I want (after scanning through just in case there's real mail in there). Good luck.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Oh, and I just read your comment up there, Maria. You can configure gmail to send directly to your Outlook program. I did it for my husband who prefers to read his email there than online. If you want me to walk you through that, email me.

Maria Zannini said...

BE: I thought about moving Gmail to Outlook but I like keeping them separate just in case something crawls into the works.

Re: changes
Some people might not like the changes. C'est la vie. ;-)

Jackie Burris said...

Thunderbird on Mozilla Firefox never worked for me either, finally nixed my yahoo email because of spam. Gmail filters help but still daily have between 50-75 a day in my spam folder to delete, only about 5 or so of those ever get into my regular inbox luckily for me so far.

Maria 6 weeks is a drop in the bucket, so happy you guys got to a point the second house could finally go on market and now the waiting period between that, the sale and final closing hopefully will not take too long.

Happy you are home and looking forward to your updates about everything else.

Maria Zannini said...

Re: Thunderbird on Mozilla Firefox never worked for me either,

I was going to say, oh good, but I didn't mean it that way. LOL.

I'm just glad I'm not the only one having trouble with it.

I might ask my service provider the next time I talk to them. There must be something I'm not telling it to do.

Gmail is great. Like you, I didn't have as much luck with Yahoo so I keep that strictly as my email address for people/companies that 'could' send me spam.

Rebekah Loper said...

Welcome home! Good job getting the house in shape, I know that's a lot of work!

Maria Zannini said...

Rebekah: Putting a house for sale is mega-stressful. I've had to do it twice in five years.

I'll be glad when this is behind me.

Darke Conteur said...

Yay for getting the house on the market! We've decided to do the same thing, but we've given ourselves a few years to get things done. I'd like to be IN the city before Sithboy heads off to college.

Hehehe...groping bunnies by moonlight, and it's been a really bright moon the last few nights. :P

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: Oh, don't get me started on hubby. He knew when this house had to go on the market.

In the end, it's always up to the wife to get the ball rolling.

I will now sing the song of my gender and cry me a river. LOL!

Jenny Schwartz said...

You're back! I've been missing the homestead updates -- I get all the joy, you get all the work :)

Maria Zannini said...

Jenny: Hey, yeah. I'm getting robbed here. LOL.

In truth, it's joy for me too, but first come the bruises and the aspirin. :)

Dru said...

Welcome back.

Maria Zannini said...

Dru: Thanks, Dru!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back!! You've been missed.

Glad things seem to be settling down for you. I hope the house sells quickly and smoothly.

Ref: email
I've had good luck with gmail's filters catching most of the spam. But I also have always set my accounts to exclusive ~ if I don't have the address in my address book the email goes to junk. It means I have to check my junk folder often but that's a small price to pay to keep the crap out of my inbox.

I do use Firefox but I haven't tried the email feature.

Good luck.

Mason Canyon said...

Glad you're back. Sounds like you've had your work cut out for you. Sorry to hear about the spammers.

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: Believe it or not, the house still isn't listed!! And the realtor hasn't answered our calls.

I'm sure there's a good reason, but they need to keep the client informed, otherwise we start to think bad things about them.

Maria Zannini said...

Mason: It was an incredible amount of work made harder because I lived so far away. Hard on the animals too.

Cate Masters said...

Welcome back! You deserve a luau after all you've been through.
One of my emails is constantly hacked, not sure how or why. I wish these talented people would find something worthwhile to do!

Maria Zannini said...

Cate: That's the problem with being so connected on a mass scale. Those vermin just harvest our email addresses from places we hope are safe.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

Welcome back! I hope all goes well for the home sell. I'm also glad you cooked that goat. Nice last laugh, that.

Would you mind doing a post on how the cover-designing business works? Does the client give you a manuscript and then you come back with ideas? Or is it more of a collaboration? How do you deal with a client who thinks they're an artist when they're really not and uses words like, "this needs more zazz!" or "I love it. Change everything."?

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: You got it, Barbara. I'll add that to my roster.

LD Masterson said...

I wanna know about the changes. You know all about me and waiting patiently.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: Soon, grasshopper. :)