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UBC 201801 Day 9: Picture of the Day – Wil Is Eaten at The Village Deli

Wil stands in a blow-up green mouth with sharp teeth that is taller than he on Halloween of 2013..

Wil is eaten at the Village Deli

Going to the Village Deli was a Halloween tradition for us when we lived in Augusta, GA.  We lived within a few blocks from our favorite restaurant from August 1998 to April 2007; and again from September 2011 until we moved to Charlotte in October 2014.  There were very few small children living nearby for trick or treating.  After being inundated by large and intimidating teenagers in 1998; we made sure to be elsewhere on All Hallows Eve.  The Deli was always decorated for the occasion with the staff wearing their best in costume show.  My vote for Best In Dress went to Gene Gurley  the year he waited on us in high heels, panty hose, and dress as a buxom woman.   Wil and I were regulars, made many happy memories; and even had lunch with friends on our wedding day.

The staff worked together to make the Deli experience a great one for all customers.  They took care of each other and their customers like family.  They are supportive of the Augusta community.  Even though we are no longer in Augusta, they still support my Augusta Lions Club donating gift certificates as door prizes for our annual Willard Pryor Memorial Golf Tournament held each October.  We always receive a warm welcome back when we visit Augusta.

If you will be in Augusta for the Masters, Iron Man Competition, or just passing through; tell them Wil and Denise said ‘Hi’.

Until next time…

Posted in Picture of the Day, Uncategorized.

UBC 201801 Day 5: Amazing Dental Technology

Picture of laptop displaying image of teeth on bottom jaw.

Scanning software creates image of teeth without the need for mold impressions.


Technology has grown in leaps and bounds!  Before my root canal crisis early last October, I had not seen the inside of a dentist’s office since February of 2007.  Traumatic childhood experiences made it difficult to seek out a new dentist after leaving Augusta.   Pain, and thankfully good insurance,  brought me in to meet the new technologies offered by today’s dentistry.  Dr. Bunn and staff of Skyview Dentistry have made it easy to call it my new dental home.    On October 20th Dr. Bunn removed aged silver metal fillings from the two back molars of my upper left jaw, refilling them with a new bonding material that looks and feels more like the natural teeth.  I had been unaware that these old fillings shrank over time causing additional decay and damage inside the tooth.  Unbeknownst to me, one of these teeth was also headed down the road to root canal city; but never made it.  Dr. Bunn created surfaces on these two teeth that look and feel like the originals.  The experience of REALLY chewing again has been awesome.

Have I confuse you about the root canal crisis?  The root canal was perpetrated on tooth number 31 which is the bottom right molar next to the missing wisdom tooth.  The crown process had been delayed pending the higher dental insurance option effective date.  The technology shown in the picture above is the inspiration for this post.  I must also share that dental x-rays are taken and immediately appear on the computer in the patient’s record.  The picture below shows a portion of my lower right jaw showing teeth 31 and 30 respectively at the top.  The teeth are scanned with an instrument connected to the laptop which produces an image of the teeth.  Tooth 31 has been reconstructed and awaits its crown.  This scan will be transmitted to a lab where a crown will be made to precisely fit into the base shown.  It has a temporary cover until the crown arrives in a couple of weeks.  Tooth 30 had an aged filling removed and replaced with the new bonding material sporting this awesome chewing surface.  I regret not taking a ‘before’ picture of these teeth to give a good comparison.

A close-up of the scan shows the top tooth awaiting a crown; and the next tooth completed.

Close-up view of scan.


I have a few more teeth needing replacement fillings and reconstruction; but am looking forward to a more satisfying chewing experience.  I will be much happier when I only need to go for dental cleanings and check-ups twice a year.

Until next time…

Posted in Blog.

UBC 201801 Day 4: Fajita Chili

Pictured is a crock pot of Fajita Chili.

Fajita Chili


Today, I turn my attention to those who are freezing their butts and other body parts off around our fair nation.  My Facebook buddy and former Augusta friend, Linda Miller, posted a yummy Fajita Chili recipe to ease the pain of frozen buttitis.


  • Package of frozen fajita beef with spices included or Flat Skirt Steak for fajitas with added packet of fajita seasoning
  • Two 15oz cans kidney beans
  • Two 15oz cans black beans
  • Two cans diced tomatoes
  • One can ROE-TEL mild tomatoes
  • 12 oz bag frozen corn
  • One diced onion
  • One diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 tsp (or more) Cumin
  • 1 tsp (or more) Chili Powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion and bell pepper until the onion is transparent. and add to ingredients in pot.

I bought the Flat Skirt steak and a packet of fajita seasoning at Harris Teeter as it was on sale; and the Walt-Mart is not close to me.  I cut the steak up and browned it; trimmed excess fat; diced it, and put it in the pot.  It tasted great; but the frozen option would be easier.

I cooked it in the crock pot for at least two hours on high.

It can be served with crackers or Scoops for dipping.

I added cheese as well when I served it.

Be adventurous and try different things based on your own tastes.

Above all, stay warm and enjoy a bit of comfort only a great soup recipe can provide.

Until next time…

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UBC 201801 Day 3: Gramps

Gramps stands to the right of the open mailbox which contains a tiny dog, wearing a little sweater, Nerd. (1977)

Gramps with Nerd in the mailbox.


Our family of seven, Papa, Mama, and us five children, were blessed to live in the same house with Gramps and Grandmother (maternal) for the first nine years of my life.  Gramps spoiled us rotten as is one of the rights of grandparents.  There is no doubt in my mind, heart, or soul that his love for me gave me the needed spark to live that spurred me on through a difficult childhood.  His character and personality taught me more about life than any written or spoken words ever could.  Gramps’ outlook on life was always positive; and he focused on seeking the good in others.  I learned to laugh and develop a healthy sense of humor that is an integral part of my being.  He made life fun.  As soon as I learned to count, he taught me how to play poker; count money; dicker for the lowest price; and count seconds between a lightning strike and the responding thunder clap.  His attitude toward others was open and never confrontational.  I learned never to go to bed angry.  He taught me more by the way he lived his life and treated others than he ever knew.  His laid back demeanor taught me not to sweat the small things in life.  I learned the rules of baseball listening to games on hot Summer afternoons; and have been a Braves fan since their move to Atlanta in 1966.   Liberace was a household word as well as a New Year’s Eve tradition.  Gramps planted many seeds of a life well lived; and I hope that these have grown in me and shine brightly today.

Posted in Blog.

UBC 201801 Day 2: Will the Real Denise James Please Stand Up?

Wil and Denise share a Birthday toast at Queen City Q.

Wil and Denise enjoy a Birthday toast.


My love for writing was born in a sixth grade Catholic school classroom that would certainly lead me down the path of that predestined successful writer that was to be my life’s dream come true.  I wrote for my high school and college newspapers thus sealing my fate as a famous writer once graduated sporting a Journalism degree.  Reality had other plans.  I was the first of five siblings to obtain a college degree, a BS in Psychology in the Spring of 1983.  The Journalism major went by the wayside when I could only hunt and peck on the typewriter failing the eighty words per minute requirement.  My English major quickly changed to Psychology when visions of a starving undervalued author ran through my brain.  I could surely earn a living as a Psychotherapist while writing on the side.

Dreams of graduate school faded to the reality of needing food, shelter, and money.  My love and compassion for others led me to choose St. Rose of Lima (patron saint of Social Workers) as my role model for life, actually sealing my fate.  I wrote for  twenty-one  years in my career with the Department of Family and Children Services in Richmond County Georgia as a case manager in the economic  programs (AFDC/TANF,Food Stamps, and Medicaid) and services programs (Adult and Child Protection, Relative Care Custody, and Adoption Assistance). In addition, I volunteered with Hospice, Rape Crisis, Domestic Violence Crisis, and General and Suicide Crisis Intervention.

Ten years into my case management career, I lost most of my functional eye sight to an uncommon inherited type of Proliferative Vitreo-retinopathy.   During my two year hiatus from the job, life took a turn for the better.  I went to the SC Commission for The Blind to learn to adjust to my vision loss and creatively learn daily living techniques (cooking, cleaning, and laundry) differently.  Writing on paper required a guide placed over the page to enable staying in the lines.  I was introduced to making things in a Wood Shop class as well as bowling with a guide rail.  Mobility with a white cane became a safe travel method and Windows 3.1 made the scene opening a new world of technology for me.  I received my first dog guide from Leader Dogs for the Blind and returned to finish my career with a new zest for life.

I met my husband (who is also visually impaired) in May of 1997 upon joining a blind bowlers league in Augusta, GA which is part of a national Blind bowling league.  We first dated July 4th of that year; moved in as roommates in August 1998; started sharing the same bedroom in November of same year; and then I became Mrs. William (Wil) James on November 14, 2003.  The rest is written in history.

I began testing web sites for accessibility to those with disabilities in 2005 along with  Wil and other persons with varying disabilities.  Using assistive technology such as screen reader and magnifying programs, we are able to identify and report potential obstacles to fully use and interact with web sites.  I am still assessing and writing this type of report  as needed.

The best chapter in the Life of James’ began in October of 2014 when we moved to Charlotte, NC for Wil to begin his job as the Assistive technology Consultant for the NC Division of Services for the Blind.  He assesses the needs of assistive technology for those receiving services through his agency; and then sets it up for them at their homes or jobs. Since March 2015 I have been given the opportunity as a Mini Center Instructor teaching recently visually impaired persons to learn to do their daily living techniques differently through the same agency.

I have been blogging since 2005.  Now that Wil is working his 20 years in NC to match mine in GA, I will have plenty of time to be creative and write whenever the spirit moves me.  My life’s journey has written its own story with plenty of plot twists and unexpected turns.  I am that famous writer after all!  I am the keeper of the journey.

Until next time…

Posted in Blog.

Penny Loves Her Ball, Picture for January 2, 2018

Penny is curled Up on my footstool with an orange and blue Chuck-It ball between her nose and back leg.

Penny curled up on the footstool


It has been quite sometime since I posted a Picture of the Day. I think it is a good idea to resurrect JoBina by starting with a picture of Penny with one of her favorite balls. I am also testing to see if my social media connections will automatically share to Twitter and Facebook. I have also been updating and getting both of my WordPress blogs back in order. Enjoy!Until next time…

Posted in Picture of the Day.

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Ultimate Blog Challenge January 2018

The dawning of a new year opens the door for new creativity opportunities.  I became interested in writing when I was 12 years old.  Forty-five years later and the best technology has to offer leaves me little room for making excuses of not producing at least one daily paragraph of my thoughts for the world.

My Gramps asked me if I was going to be the next Art Linkletter.  Growing older and wiser gave me the realization of the prolific entertainer and writer of his complimentary comparison.  I have no delusions of Linkletter; but will share whatever strikes my fancy in my own unique style.  I am looking forward to this blog challenge as a way to reduce the stress of those crossing my path with a literary treat.

Until next time…

Posted in Uncategorized.

Long-Term Sprint Customers of Little Value

On April 4, 2015 we called to lower our bill and spoke with Erick (ID: I765219285) who told us of a special discount being offered to us as we used very little of the data that we pay for. We have two iPhones and four tablets on our account. We were told that switching to the Family Share of 20GB/month plan would give us a $100.00 discount from April through December of 2015. He gave us his ID number in case the discount was not applied. This would lower our bill to around $220.00.

I called on April 16, 2015 after receiving the bill with no discount ($329.00) and spoke with Marvin (ID: I771087877). After being told that no such discount existed, I requested a supervisor. After being placed on hold three times over forty-five minutes; each time being told that the supervisor was on the phone with another customer, I was told that the April 5 call would be pulled and reviewed. I was told that I would hear something within five to seven business days with no results. It was disappointing that a supervisor would not provide any direct customer service. I looked for other ways to contact other Sprint personnel with no success.

We called again after two additional months of struggle and spoke with Mia. Supposedly, our plan was being changed to $100.00 for the two phone lines with unlimited talk, text, and data. The four tablets were supposed to be changed to $5.00 per month with only 25MB. We are still paying on our phones; but this adjustment would save us at least $50.00 per month. Mia also told us that she was setting up the changes to start on August 6, 2015 (billing cycle begin date). She stated that it would prevent any prorating of fees resulting in a higher bill

Imagine my surprise to get our bill notification with new charges of $396.86. This plan includes the $100.00 monthly fee for the two phone lines The two iPads show at the correct $5.00 single plans with 25MB. The other two tablets, however, still show a 20GB sharing plan at $100.00 plus $10.00 each for access.

Because we have been paying this hefty bill in a couple of payments, a Sprint human customer representative cannot be reached. My only choice is to pay the past due or total balance. Even though I set up a payment online on July 31st for August 13th, we still received a text message of disconnection. When receiving the disconnect message in July, I called *3 and set up a payment date only to still have our service disconnected.

Two tablet contracts expire in September, at which time they will be dropped. The other two tablets and phones expire in May of 2016. This is the only thing keeping us from going to another carrier. It is sad to realize that good long –term customers seem to hold little or no value.

Posted in Life and Times.

Cinco de Mayo Comes Early


Wil poses next to a giant Corona beer bottle at the Epicenter.

Wil stands next to a giant Corona beer bottle

Cinco de Mayo came early on a beautiful Saturday in Charlotte.  This giant Corona bottle would have added some nice decor to our front stoop.  Unfortunately they refused to let us take it home.

Posted in Picture of the Day.

Triple Threat

Three faces in the bathroom mirrors.

Three Faces of Denise

NaBloPoMo’s theme for May 2015 is Photo. There is a daily writing/blogging prompt and a bonus photo idea to encourage the use of creativity. The first prompt is about selfies and a picture of one’s self. I hate taking selfies! Therefore, the world gets three of me at once today. Look out! Here I come!!

Posted in Picture of the Day.