It's very hard to believe that it's November! Is it just me or has this year flown by?

October, 2009 was one of the top 7 wettest months in North Central Texas ever! For awhile there, I thought I was in Seattle! Drop me a line using the Contact Me page and let me know what the weather's like in your area.

I've been very busy working on family birthday and Christmas gifts this past month. There never seems to be enough time to do all the things for friends and family that I would like. I just finished making a range of baby items for my niece-in-law who is having her first baby. My favorite? The baby shoes. I had requests to make some for others, so I'm trying my hand at it in my (HA) "spare time."

The holidays are almost here, so you might want to check into the "Seasonal Items" section below.

Here's wishing you and your family great times, reasonable weather and Happy Thanksgiving!


Shelly Morton

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P.S. -- My husband says if you don't know what to do with your leftover candy, you can send it to him!! :)

Computer Maintenance Tips

Does your computer need help?

Is it running slow?

Does it freeze up when you least expect it?

Computers, like other equipment, have a need for routine maintenance. Having worked with IT folks for several years now, I appreciate the necessity of regular computer maintenance! Most of us, however, don't know what is involved in maintaining our computers.

Everyday things such as dust and dirt can lead to serious prblems with your computer such as rebooting automatically, freezing up, random error messages and/or slow speed. Routine checks of your computer (like routine maintenance on your car or routine health check ups) will ensure it works well.

Maintaining your computer is similar to keeping your home clean and organized. Little things done on a regular basis will keep your computer healthy and you will be less likely to have to spend money on repairs or replacing it. In a tough economy, keeping what you have in good working order becomes more and more important all the time.

In the event you do have to call a technician, you should keep a folder with the basic information about your computer that a technician will need to know:

  • What type of processor you have
  • Installed RAM
  • Hard drive capacity
  • What type of operating system you use

If you're not sure about this information, consult your owner/operator guide that came with the machine. You can also find most if not all of this information by:

  • Clicking on the "My Computer" icon on your desktop
  • Under "System Tasks" you should find a "View System Information" tab.
  • This will give you some of the basic information you will need

Before you spend money having an IT Technician solve your problems, here are some things you can do routinely to keep your computer in top working order. Some of these steps will take time, but the time will be well spent.

Computer Maintenance Tips -- Keep Your Computer Running Smoothly

  1. Always shut your computer down properly. (Click "Start" and "Shut Down").
  2. Never turn off the computer until the window has completely shut down and closed.
  3. Purchase a power strip/surge protector that contains a UPS (uninterrupted power supply). This will keep your computer from crashing data during a power outage or brown out and helps balance the low/high voltage fluctuations. It can protect your computer from being "fried" due to an electrical spike.
  4. If you use your computer daily, run a "defragmenter" on your computer once a month (it's installed on your computer). Depending on the operating system you're using, you can click "Start," then "Programs," then "Accessories," then "System Tools,"then click "Disk Defragmenter." This might take some time, so be patient.
  5. Install a good Anti Virus program on your computer and keep it updated. Without it, your computer could become infected with a virus, worm, spyware or malware when you connect to the Internet.
  6. If you have a highspeed Internet connection, be sure to use a proper firewall (may come with your anti virus program). This will keep intruders from hijacking your computer or information on it.
  7. Limit the amount of programs that load when your computer boots up. Your programs will still be there, but if you don't use all of them, why waste time waiting for them to boot up when you start up your computer. This will save you some time.
  8. Try to keep at least 300 mb of storage free on your "C" drive. This will help your computer run faster.
  9. Create an emergency boot disk. When your computer has a problem, this will allow you to boot up when the hard drive is out.
  10. Always use the "install/uninstall" utility on your computer to add or remove software. Don't delete programs manually as this may cause problems. Manual deletions don't always remove everything that needs to come off.
  11. When saving files, be sure to create "sub-folders" to keep your files handy where you can find them and do not store them on your root directory. This may corrupt the root folder.
  12. Keep your working files in folders and sub-folders similar to the way you would file them in a file cabinet. You will be able to locate what you need faster. Frequently used files can be stored on your desktop for quick access.
  13. Delete (without opening) all suspicious emails especially those with the following extensions from unknown users (.exe, .com, .vbs, .bat, .mdb, .reg).
  14. If you download a zip file, after expanding it, be sure to delete the original zip folder. This will save space on your computer.
  15. If you leave your computer on all the time, reboot your computer at least once a week. This will help reset the RAM and help your computer operate faster.
  16. Delete/clean up temporary Internet files, temp files and other "junk files" at least once a month. This will delete unused "cookies" that you no longer use. It's safer and helps your computer operate more efficiently. Open your Internet Browser, Click "Tools" then "Internet Options" then "Delete Cookies," "Delete Files." You may have to "re-bookmark" your favorites, but a routine cleaning is better for your computer.

With regular routine maintenance, your computer will work better and you will be less frustrated!

Get The BUZZZZZZ Going!

Buzz it up!

Many pages on have an option for you to post comments, leave a tip, share a concern, ask a question, make a suggestion, leave a criticism, etc. Don't be shy. It's fun, easy and will help others. You can even post a picture! You don't have to be an IT Geek -- just fill in the blanks!

The information will be submitted to my email (monitoring purposes for decency and relevance). You can choose to remain anonymous. You will receive a reply when your information is posted. I never sell email or other personal information, so you're safe on

It's also easy for you to rate comments left by others (including mine)!

You can also get the Buzz Going by clicking on the "Socialize It."

Share your favorite pages: Google, Yahoo Buzz, Facebook, MySpace, Stumbleupon, Technorati,, Twitter.

I hope you enjoyed the November 2009 issue of Messy Makeover Magazine. I consider it a privilege that you took your valuable time to subscribe and read this magazine.

If you feel you've missed an issue, please be sure to allow this publication on your email server/browser. You can always check the back issues by clicking on the link below.

Stay tuned for the next issue! Toodles!

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