Other People’s Children Author Ellen Fannon shares her story

via Other People’s Children Author Ellen Fannon shares her story

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We would like your opinion

I just can’t help myself.  Whenever someone sends me an email survey, I have to click on it. I cannot resist sharing my opinion with someone who actually asks for it!  But when I am lured with the words, “paid survey,” I drop everything else I was intending to do until I go for the gold.  Unfortunately, these surveys are generally not quite the easy money they would appear to be.

For a few months I actually was registered to take paid surveys through a site whose name I forgot.  Every few days, the site would send me new opportunities to take surveys and list what the survey paid.  If I really hit the jackpot, I could make $1.00.  Most of the time I only made ten or twenty cents.  But it gradually added up and when the amount in my account totaled over $10.00, I could request a check.  I think in the end, after several months, I earned a grand total of around $100.00 for several hours of taking surveys. The problem was that in many of the surveys, particularly the higher paying ones of $1.00, I would be twenty minutes in and half-way through the survey when suddenly, the cyber powers that be decided I wasn’t qualified to take the survey, or they didn’t like my answers, or perhaps the computer just hated me for no reason (as all computers do) and I received a message saying they were sorry but I didn’t fit something or other they were looking for, but thanks for trying.  This was especially annoying after I had slogged away answering stupid questions for twenty minutes in which I could have been playing solitaire, only to be booted out.

So, what did I just do tonight?  I received another email saying:


We obtained your information from The Florida DBPR as a licensed Veterinarian with license number XXXX through a public records request.

This is a NEW important survey for veterinarians!

If you qualify and complete the survey, you will get a $10 Amazon gift card. Plus you might learn something new!

Okay, this is not the first time I’ve gotten these surveys.  In fact, I’ve probably gotten more than two dozen of them over the past year or so.  And only once did I finish the survey.  I never did figure out how to get the promised Amazon gift card, so it was all for naught.  But there it was again tonight.  And what did I do?  You guessed it.  I immediately clicked on the button that said, “Click here to start survey.”

This is what came up:

Thank you so much for trying to complete this survey.  We really appreciate your time to give it a shot!

This survey has some limits on the number of people who are allowed to complete the survey in each state, demographic group, and some other classifications.

It looks like the group you would fit into has reached its maximum.  I’m sorry we couldn’t communicate this in advance but we sincerely appreciate the time you spent on the survey.

Rats!  How could my group already be filled?  I just got the blasted email for Pete’s sake! Couldn’t the public records also address my demographic group before inviting me to participate and getting my hopes up for a paid survey?  Is there only one slot allotted to old, white female veterinarians and the one person who got there ahead of me obviously didn’t have to stop and help her son with math homework?  It’s not fair.  I swear this is absolutely the last time I will be tempted to click on this survey! Probably.  Maybe. Okay, who am I kidding? I’m still a sucker.

At least it’s not as time-consuming as the political survey that came in the mail.  This was a full two pages, front and back questionnaire which I meticulously and honestly spent thirty minutes answering, before getting to the end where it said, “Send money.”  I have now gone from getting paid to take surveys to having to pay to take surveys!  Even I’m not that gullible. If they want my opinions, they can have them for nothing!  Let’s take a survey and see who’s with me!



Happy Belated Valentine’s Day

For those of you guys out there who are clueless and don’t know why your significant other is giving you the cold shoulder, Friday was Valentine’s Day.  Yep, you missed it!  The most romantic day in all of commercialism.\

There is a long, boring, and somewhat uncertain history of how this day came to be celebrated having to do with ancient Romans and fertility and Pope Gelasius adding this day to the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar around 500 A.D.  At least three legends concerning who St. Valentine really was and how he came to be known as the patron saint of lovers exist. Somehow, Chaucer got into the act in the Middle Ages, and then my brain got all muddled from trying to research the origins of Valentine’s Day for this blog, so I gave up. Continue reading “Happy Belated Valentine’s Day”



My husband is no Shakespeare, but I love his poetry because it is original, corny, and heartfelt.  Usually I receive poems taped onto my wrapped birthday and Christmas gifts, the contents of which are often suggested by the theme of the poem.  My favorite all-time poem is “Ode to Doggy Doo,” which was written the year I received the carpet cleaner. I’ll spare you the details.

When we were dating, he decided to woo me with verses from the “Song of Solomon” in the Bible.  This is what I got: Continue reading “SHEER POETRY”


Okay, I want to know who put my name on the Nutrition Action Health Letter listing. My invitation to subscribe to this newsletter came in today’s mail.  Addressed to me. Was it someone who caught me eating chocolate cherry cheesecake and telling people I had met my nutritional requirements for the day?  (Cheese is protein/dairy, cherries are fruit, and chocolate is a vegetable—it comes from a bean.)  Continue reading “EAT WELL OR BE HAPPY”

The Good Doctor

I love watching medical shows.  The rest of the family, however, does not like watching medical shows with me, as I tend to point out all the things which are ridiculously impossible—much like my husband points out everything wrong with shows having anything to do with airplanes.  (I mean who really cares if the airplane is a B 52 or an F 16? Does that really make any difference to the storyline? Don’t answer that.)

Usually, after a few seasons, however, I lose interest, mostly because the shows become less about medicine and more about the interpersonal relationships of the characters in the show.  It seems everyone in the shows has some tangled or tawdry relationship with everyone else in the show which has nothing to do with work. Seriously, who wants to hang out with their co-workers after work? And let’s face it. Does anyone really want the two doctors performing their open heart surgery to have just had a lovers’ quarrel the night before? Continue reading “The Good Doctor”

What’s Cooking?

“Hey, what’re you making?”  My older son had wandered into the kitchen as I was browning some breaded chicken for dinner.

“Chicken with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, which I will then cover with cream of chicken soup and bake in the oven.”

He surveyed the sizzling frying pan.  “It would taste better if you added some tarragon.  Do you have any tarragon?”

Tarragon?  What the heck is tarragon?

“Uh, no, I don’t have any tarragon.”

“Too bad.  Pick some up the next time you go to the store.  How about paprika?  You have any of that?”

Paprika? Wait.  That sounds vaguely familiar.  It’s a type of spice, right?

“Sorry, no paprika, either.”

His lips flattened.  “Lemon-pepper?”

Okay, give me a break.  Is that a fruit, a pepper, a spice … what?


He picked up a bottle of garlic powder and liberally sprinkled it into my pan.  “Well, at least the garlic will make it better.”

Let me explain.  My son has spent the last few years as a cook in several various types of restaurants. As a result, he has become quite the “foodie.”  He has developed a gourmet palate and can wax theatrical on textures, subtle blends and nuances, and other masticatory adjectives describing food.  Me, I describe food in one of two ways—tastes good or doesn’t taste good. Continue reading “What’s Cooking?”