Saturday, November 29, 2014

Siskels & Eberts


Here's this post for ya, Readers. Enjoy.

I love a hooked pillow that was really naughty and would not let me put it on here correctly.  I have NO idea why it is posting on top of my main page. I need to learn about computers.

The colors from the pillow seem to usher in Thanksgiving & Ultimately Christmas!
 (It is from a store called Sturbridge. )
The fall colors seem to lean towards the beginning of the holidays, which for us, is Thanksgiving- in 24 hours. Which means a lot of work for whoever is doing it.
However, here in Idaho it snowed.
Photo History- a time when it snowed in Idaho that was a stock photo of mine
(then the wind blew and it mostly melted making the lawns a dull, muddy brown color)
The pillow from above ultimately reminds me of going to my grandmother's on Christmas Eve. 
Which entailed a very scary bridge over the
It was a tradition to drive to Shelley, Idaho. Back then the snow piled high up on the sides of the roads and, if we were lucky, new fallen snow would be spread out over the open farm land and lights from people's homes would have a soft glow.
Grandma's Waffle Cookies were waiting for us
 (I wonder if I will make these this year? I should have started in August like everything else and froze them, then we could)
Where was I?
oh, a blog post and throwing out random photos cause it's hard to take new ones right now.
I will start the original post.... 
 (random stock photo of my little wheelbarrel and shovel with some fall berries. back when I could forage the yard and neighborhood for berries. sheesh.)

Due to technology we can get things easier, faster, and sometime cheaper, and not even know it.
Uuuntil ya get a letter in the email asking you to review it.

ME: "Who do they think I am? Siskel or Ebert?" I ask myself upon opening my email to find a million emails  from no one I know.

They (the companies that you may have purchased from or got your email address was given them from the company you worked with) actually don't care which one of the movie reviewer persons you most resemble, they just hope you will take a moment out of your stressful life and leave a positive review.
Padre thinks that it is heavily one sided as the only reviewers leave bad ones cause they are so mad.

ME: "I don't. I actually do the opposite. If they have good service, are kind and have a quality product that reaches me in a reasonable amount of time; I am letting the world know!"

Also I have the time but often, even if I am too ill to get on here, I  truly desire to give a company a good review, and APPRECIATE a good review when searching for the best quality and bang for my buck, I try to return the favor. For you Readers. And the non readers.

There are times when I delete the emails and go on with my life with my perfect new whatever and thank the company in my brain when it holds out, or up or whatever because I didn't have the strength to give the review.

Taking the time to write one is almost the equivalent to a hand written Thank You note from a wedding or baby shower.  It's that hard to get done. There are a lot of people. And it's hard to remember who is who.

(not a real bird. random shot taken by me some time ago for, yet again, random post moments.)

The moments when some item has let you down can send you rip roarin' to your computer to write the most detailed review possible! To save some unknowing person the hastle of buying something wonderful, which it was- in fact it was so soft and nice to sleep on the first time but then started to pill right after the first wash and then it had to be returned.

Glad I keep receipts.

Thank you, Padre for your example of keeping track of all things purchased. I don't live up to your level, which is almost akin to an art form,  but one day I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.

In today's tech world, it's sometimes harder to do a return than ya think. I keep my invoice numbers and so when I had a need to return an item, I called the company the immediately found the info. and I was excited to get it taken care of but then they said:

 "You will have to take it to our store."

ME thinking to myself: "I can barely walk to the mailbox because of a nice asthma attack after bronchitis and who a body that needs to  be taken to the recyclers. ?

If I could have boxed it up and got all the info. I could have asked a friend, family member, or passerby to take it to the post office. But usually they have you print something off and put it on there and when you see the UPS dude, you wave him down.

So basically upon hearing this information I was about getting the item BACK to the place of purchase. It  is a bit harder.

If you are me.

If you are you and it is hard too, well then you can relate.

(The only shot I got of J. and his friend skiing last year. Yeh, the moon- pretty, no?  As we were leaving Kelly Canyon the boys were tearing off wet socks in the car so instead of taking a shot of that stinky mess, I snapped this lovely shot of the moon .)

I have been astonished what has to be done within some companies to return an item purchased online.  *(are any one's feet cold? I am FREEZING. Double sock Day. Hate those. Make my shoes not fit. Especially with ankle braces. Sorry, back to my post...)

Once, I had a Nike customer service rep. tell me the back alley way to returning an item on their website and I was forever grateful to him. Living at home made that easier too. It was only easier cause I could print up something lickety split and get the UPS driver the package the next time I saw him. Which was the next day.

*(just stand outside your house and flag them down as they drive really fast down the road. Wear bright colors. )

So, before it is even Christmas I have had some returns. Heck, before Thanksgiving! However these were not Christmas purchases.

They were items that I had to return because they failed. That's right, failed. After all my research, debating, then "go aheading"- the item failed. ?

(This twig has fallen over more times than I can count and I STILL have not put heavy rocks in it.)
This is also cuter in person- the polar bear goes was bought to go along with the book:
 The Christmas Wish.
I found this ornament and a cardinal to go with each book Madre gave the kids/will give the grand kids this week so they can enjoy the magic all month! I love how
"Piggy & Dirt's"
 (a shop on etsy and his name is actually Kurtknudsen) 
star looks like the frozen, ice cave the little girl, Anja, has to walk through with the enormous, and quiet musk ox. The glass looks like the shards of long hanging ice sickles from the book. I am loving the clear glass stars more than I thought I would!
 And I kinda like the twig I chose for this year's Charlie Brown Twig Tree in my room.
With some dimmed lights on it, it doesn't look too bad.
Buy the book for anyone you know! It is so good! My sister read it last night,  texted me: "this is really cute," and she hadn't even read it to the kids yet cause they had to go to bed pronto after leaving grandma's house.
I swear I am going to be knitting Nordic attire anytime in the next decade!
Okay, back to my return story.

So yesterday started with just one simple return, help my grandma who is tougher than me , by hanging something, then be done. Two hours max. Right? Wrong. And that wasn't because it was a long line.

First of all I had to simply hang something for my grandma.

 (More random fall-ish stuff which was a project of keeping leaves soft and supple. They are in some book between wax paper somewhere)

Upon going to her home I found that the gift I had gotten her a few months ago, was actually broken a little bit. Well, a lot "a bit." It is a sun catcher. The one that is a mad blue bird. A little chain holds it up. Well the side of the circular glass has a small, soldered part that basically had the strength of cheap floss and it was broken. All this time she has had it and not been able to use it! Darn!

I felt so bad. And she didn't want to put anyone out by asking for help.

Good thing I owned one too, so I could exchange it and hang it using a 3M sticky hook.  Well, the window needed to be washed off first. Actually, it was really clean but she is meticulous and so she had my grandpa shine it up so I could put the sticky stuff on. Then I noticed the thing only held a small amount of weight and it wasn't the see through kind. Clear would be better.  I decided to go to a craft store and get a see through one and maybe some material. Real quick trip, right?

(Grandma's Swing in the Winter Courtesy of my cousin, Karen)

Long story sorta short, I drive to the craft store, grab a ticket so that the long line of people waiting to have fabric cut isn't longer when I decide to get some fabric, and it double the time it takes to get to me  and then I look for the 3M product.

On the scooter.

 I have to gauge my ability and cortisol levels for the day's activities and try to make it balance- kinda  like a check book at the end of the day. I make a lot of errors in this little calculation and come up short most days. Which is frustrating to a semi- wanna- be medcial accountant.

But determing what energy to spend and where is hard.  It's kinda like trying to guess what the weather will be like. Well, maybe for a meteorologist back in the olden days.

I am still new at trying to drive these things and there an be obstacles that make it hard.
The craft store, in an attempt to tempt customers to buy wrapping paper, have their displays on the side of almost every aisle. I don't know if they used a measuring tape when they did this but and I can tell you it is hard to do a 90 point turn in a Scooter around wrapping paper, people, and aisles.

(Grandmother's House- where we'd go every Christmas Eve. It waw a little cramped but we all managed to get inside and open a special gift grandma would have found for us at King's in Shelley, Idaho. The butterflies would build as we drew closer to her home; passing big snow drifts and periodic houses lit in the vast sea of darkness and drowned deep with snow. I hated the bridge we had to cross!)

Dear store,

Please know that by putting a bunch of wrapping paper on every aisle, nearly had me in tears by the time you called up #o7 to have some fabric cut. Yes, this gave me time to find more items to buy like a thing to make 'scherenschnitter'

(German for paper cutting. Or paper cuts. I'm sure it happens while paper cutting.  ) to keep J. busy over the break but still.. (They were at 80 on the fabric cutting out situation when I got there. Once it hits 100- they start over.)

Before I was a person who needed a scooter, I didn't think like one, so I didn't drive it down aisles and pretend to not be able to maneuver around things. I just lived my life oblivious to what people who can't do some things can't do. Like drive around wrapping paper displays. So I know that you don't realize how difficult it is for some people. Please move those darn boxes of wrapping paper! Or I won't be able to come shop there. Well, maybe it will be best if I just stay home.



(A ramp outside of Grandma's house that we liked to climb and get in trouble for doing so! ha! Photo Courtesy of Karen,  Aunt Becky's Daughter!)

Out of the craft store, with my clear hanging hook and a bit of fabric, I came upon the car to find Jaden listless in fact he was dead! Cause of death: boredom. ! He quickly resurrected and told me:

J: "I was able to clean the whole car out while you were in there. But then the sun beat down so hard and I got hot  just got listless, hungry, then passed to other side."

ME: "Did you see a light? You should have put together the puzzle I brought for such emergency situations!"

J: "well, the light from the sun was blinding me from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and I couldn't put the puzzle together because you don't have a card table in here. Just a sink."

ME: "Well, put that on the list!"

(more of Grandmother's house in black and white by Karen.)

After I revived him with water and some gummy fruit snacks, and revived myself with some almonds and gummies. Kidding. He actually was sprightly and told me he had cleaned out most of the car like I'd asked him to but the exploded pop can I had put in there for an emergency still needed some detail work. He must know Christmas is around the corner.

To keep him from dying of boredom, I  had him help me with the next return item.

Readers, I was REALLY worried about this one. Everyone is out for the holidays, it is almost Black out Friday.... I had my needed equipment to hold my decaying bones up, but would they have a chair if I needed to sit down? I said the return prayer and headed in with my trusty side kick; J.

*Can I just interject that it is REALLY hard to write a blog post when Padre keeps texting me? He's just upstairs.... and it's way too early to start texting right now.

His text- which spoils the end of my post- "You can't (shouldn't) drive very far on the donut spare, especially the front drive wheels, it's a different circumference."

(How would Santa fit down this chimney? I often wondered when we'd be at Grandma's for Christmas Eve
Me texting back: "Well, how do I get it back to the tire store to be changed." ha! that should stymie him for a bit.

So back to my original post.....

I got out of the car and thanked heaven that it was a sunny day and not slushy snow to drive around in and when I walked into the store I was so happy to see TWO  workers and ONE customer. My prayer was answered!

They helped her then a THIRD worker showed up. She started talking to the worker # 2. I waited. My glasses started to fog.
(Wearing those Ebola suits is so hot!)

*Op! Nope! here is another text from Padre: "That will be ok, just can't over do it or wait a long time. With the holiday and Black Friday, it would be wise to deal with it today and I will help. "

Me: "They don't open til 9. And it's six something."

Padre: "Ya can't be too early."

ME: "I guess I could make some hot cocoa and wait outside til they open."

(Aww- there she is, Readers; my Grandma. The one who put on those waffled cookie Christmas Eves. Thanks, Grandma. Also pictured is the photographer's mom and my aunt, Becky.

back to my post.....

So there we were, Readers! No one in front of us, three workers to help us return the sheets that started pilled and looking awful after three washes!

Since I didn't snap a picture, I will try to paint one.

I was standing there with a floral cane. I wore teal with jeans. Jaden had on clothes too. And we stood there. The teen made eye contact then looked around.  I almost stepped forward into the

"You are Now Being Helped Zone"

but I quickly stepped back as no one had yet invited me because the two other workers were talking still about something non-store related.

I looked at J. He looked at me. I made him hold the sheets. Finally, I got the courage and just asked: "Can you help us?"

(This is what Santy Claus had to shimmy through to come to Grandma's house. Lots of memories made round this fire thanks to Grandpa Ed! He'd sit in his recliner and scare us as we ran passed him through the living room, into an adjoining hallway that led into a bathroom and opened up into the kitchen. Where we started the lap again. Much to Grandma's dismay)

Them: startled. They looked at each other and it seemed the teen lost the
"who has to help the next customer" war

by virtue of me being closer or possibly tenure with the company.
 I was helped and once I showed the proper identification that I bought the sheets and why I was returning them-
which I told the teen and the teen then read back some options from the computer and we tried to see which option matched .


Need to rest. So I will just tell ya that we got the hook to grandma's, my Uncle saw that one of my tires was low, I went into a tire shop and found out the good news; one is completely shot and all three need to be replaced. I thought I could get by til spring. Nope. Threw a donut on, and will have Michelin's put on it shortly. I can't wait. Better drive good in snow. Time to put salt back in the back of the car now.

(The door that opened from the bathroom to the kitchen which made the full crazy loop to run and aggravate grandma's nerves (Grandpa just turned the hearing aid down,)

In light of Thanksgiving, I am glad we got it checked out and there wasn't a big blow out somewhere in the middle of nowhere and me and J. weren't hitch hiking along 17th street.

Hopefully this will be my last post that I have to lean on other people's photos! I am regaining some strength in areas but we had a set back. The other day while reading I felt heat radiating from Jaden. Wonderful! The next day was Turkey day and that morning he was saying he couldn't make it!

But Readers he rallied back to make it and I followed. That night we read again, a story from the little magazine called: The Friend.  We had quelched his fever with ibuprofen and that Tylenol but there it was again; his body was like a little stove radiating . He was reaching 102 and that was when we wrapped up our reading, got the fluids going and trying to bring it down.

(a dresser we would pass in our track meets around Grandma's house.)

Don't you love sick days over the holidays? Makes it that much more fun!!! All the plans to play with cousins or do something fun, nope. This morning I took him some orange juice and allergy meds and he chirped:
"I slept really good! And I don't feel hot!"
I didn't take his temperature and just went about the morning and after
a few hours later he got up for real which was on teenager Saturday morning time and we clocked him in  temperature over 100. No going out to play today! I had gotten him some things do to over the break so I figured we were set.

However,   I have to admit that it was a struggle getting the sheets and bathroom cleaned when I was sporting a low grade fever right myself and getting that woozy feeling. But the mom has to push through! Towels cleaned, windows opened to air out, and disinfecting to be done. Why? So the domino effect doesn't happen!

To be honest, I was almost looking forward to a day where we just chilled. No places to go. Only some down time at home. Why would you want to go anywhere on Black Friday? It seemed like just what the doctor ordered! Except when ya feel REALLY bad.

And then it came..... the much wished for, anticipated event of his whole nephew career; "Do ya wanna go plinkin? " His Uncle asked and his younger cousins were ready to go.

The sick begged and pleaded. prodded. Readers, I hate having to make that call. But I told him no. Later tonight he admitted that I had been right to keep him home and that he had felt he should stay home but he couldn't resist the temptation to go. Wish he couldv;ve felt that earlier when my head was pounding and he was begging and pleading to go.

It's hard stickin' to your guns.

On the plus side I got my sheets changed and read and even written some reviews!!

Christmas Break better not go this way......

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