Category Archives: security

Home Security System

As I type, we’re making the final arrangements for an ADT Security System for our home. We called when we got an ad offering a promo and arranged for the installation man to come today.

So far, I’m impressed with the installation guy. We went over all the doors and windows before he started, and we had several questions. When we were in agreement about these, we discovered that because we didn’t have prewired doors and windows, we had to go for Option 2.  This means that instead of being able to use the standard system out of the box, we get credit toward the purchase of the equipment we need. After a lot of talk (questions/explanations) a major consideration is whether our Internet system will qualify for the lower monthly charge, or we have to ‘upgrade’ to the use of a sim card in the control box at a higher monthly charge.

This is not a typical bait and switch thing, or if it is, it’s extremely well done. The communication between the ADT people and our system is cut and dried. If it works, we get the lower price each month. If it doesn’t we choose whether to pay the higher monthly fee or blow off the whole thing.

We ARE considering some add-on equipment, since we have more doors and windows than they were covering, have two stories, and I like the idea of the personal emergency thingie I can wear around my neck in case I fall on my head unexpectedly. Even though I’m not alone, our house absorbs sound really well. I have been in the position of trying to yell for my husband’s help and he doesn’t hear me.

So – as soon as the test results are in, we’ll make the decision as to whether we put the system in or not.



Okay. It’s quite a while later. The ADT system couldn’t communicate with our CenturyLink modem, so the lower monthly price is off the table. My husband said no to the higher monthly price with a contract for 3 years. The installation guy is trying a last-ditch effort to get the price of the equipment down enough to mostly offset the higher monthly price. If he can do that, maybe my husband will go for it. Fingers crossed.


It is again later in this saga of home security system. We have made a deal and he is installing the parts now. I’ll update this a bit later, as I need to be available for him.


There is a keypad that’s the main part of the system. We’ll have an extra keypad for the second floor, a motion sensor, a detection sensor on every door and every window, 2 keychain remotes, and a personal emergency pendant I’ll wear. On the keypads there are panic buttons for police, fire, and emergency.

Important considerations for us are that our system can be active and we can open our bedroom window to use the attic fan when the weather allows. We can also let our doggies in and out without triggering anything.

I can’t say enough about the installation guy. His name is Roderick McCray. He is knowledgeable, pleasant, put up with Amber, and worked with us to make our home security happen. He started his day by driving to us from Little Rock – a 2-1/2 hour drive. He’s been here since before 11:00 this morning, jumping through countless hoops to make this day good for both of us. He faces the drive home once the system is finally in. He has taken no breaks.

I will feel safer knowing there is someone on the other end of this system that may be able to help us in case of emergency.


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Filed under Arkansas, Changes, Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business, quality of life, security

First Day of Winter 2017

I’m ambivalent about this being the first day of winter.

I love some things about winter –

  • hot chocolate
  • fires in the fireplace
  • warm clothes
  • building snowmen
  • curling up with a good book under a cozy throw in my recliner
  • watching big, fluffy snowflakes fall
  • Christmas
  • not having to mow the grass every week
  • comfort food

We live on top of a ridge line in Greenwood, Arkansas. It’s good because we don’t have to worry about flooding. It’s bad when we have ice. Arkansas doesn’t ‘do’ winter well. Instead of having snow, we have sleet and ice first and THEN snow. We have snow tires on our Honda Ridgeline Truck, but they’re useless on ice. Our driveway is 650 feet or so and steep. When there is snow, we have little problem getting down and back up again. When it’s an ice skating rink, we might end up across the street in the field across from our place, and it’s impossible to get back up. We just have to stay home until all melts. Since our driveway is on the north side of our property, that could be a week or more after the rest of the area has forgotten about the inconvenience.

Because we might have trouble getting out and back in again, we spend a lot of time and effort preparing to spend a bunch of time up here, away from the rest of the world. We try to have back up systems so we have water and electricity. One year (I think it was 2000) we had a BAD ice storm. There were trees broken and down all over our property, including in our driveway all the way down. We stood on the front porch and listened to the awful sound of branches snapping like gunshots as they broke. The generator we had at the time blew a gasket. My husband and son rigged a big barrel outside the well house and filled it with water to try to cool the generator. We had to check it every half hour 24 hours a day. We were up here, trapped, for 14 days. No electricity. No public water. No way to get down to the road. That makes you get really serious about preparing for whatever might happen.

I don’t like it when I have to worry about whether I can get to an appointment or not. Plans made during the winter make me nervous. I know that I can reschedule doctor appointments, and that friends and family will understand if we get trapped up here, but I don’t like worrying about whether we could get out or not if we really needed to.

I’m happy if I can stay home and just take some days off to enjoy the ice and snow up here and it doesn’t bother anyone else. I can just decide to stay up here ‘until further notice,’ make snow angels, snow people, have a snowball fight, see how our animals react to the white stuff, and make some hot chocolate and some beef stew with garlic bread…..


Filed under Mother Nature, security, taking care of yourself

The Detector is Up and Working!

Optex Infrared Detector

Optex Infrared Detector

For the past 30 years or so, we’ve had a complicated system of lines and sensors running down our driveway to alert us if someone was coming up the driveway. The system worked well for years, thanks to careful maintenance and troubleshooting by my husband. For quite awhile now, though, it’s been wonky and unreliable.

We got a new sensor and laboriously installed it and connected it to the rest of the system, sitting beside our driveway in the hot. That didn’t solve the problem, and my husband started talking about trying to put a new electrical line in. This would mean hiring a trench digging guy with equipment to dig a trench 650 feet or more down the side of the driveway, put in the new line with some kind of protection, fill the trench up again, attach all the sensors, etc. and HOPE the problem was solved THEN.

I suggested that we try to look at the problem in a different way. I thought that MAYBE if we put some kind of motion sensor or the like on the garage end of the house, anyone pulling up to the house would set it off. THEN, if we could attach that to a noise thingie in the house, it would let us know we had a visitor.

A few days ago an Optex Infrared Sensor was delivered. We spent the evening installing it, leaving the wiring for another time. The next day my husband ran the wiring we needed. We got the noisemaker to work, finally, but there was a loud hum on the line ALL THE TIME. My husband has spent all day for two days trying to build a hum suppressor and get the whole system to work.

He just came into the office, sighing as he plopped down in his chair with an orange. I expected him to gripe about equipment, the vagaries of the universe, or such, and he said quietly, “I think it works.”

I jumped up and went outside just past the driveway pad and “VOILA!” the detector saw me and made the noise which sounded on all the speakers in the house and in the driveway!!!!!  AND there is NO hum on the line!

Rather than declare a victory lap and do something fun for awhile, as I’m typing he’s making a list of other things that need work so that we can prioritize them….

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Filed under security