Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Loyalty Department

This is an actual department at Verizon. After informing several Verizon employees that you intend to cancel your service you are routed to the loyalty dept. where you get to talk to a Verizon Nazi spouting the company line hoping to convince you to remain one of the "millions of satisfied customers at Verizon" ...yada yada.

Actual comment from aforementioned employee/drone...after being told that my service couldn't be canceled until the 26th of Aug. because that is the billing date and all cancellations take effect as of the billing date....."But don't worry, you won't be charged any more for that time, you've already been charged for it, it's on your current statement" ??? huh...How is this information supposed to somehow relieve my concerns? ...I've been billed for it, haven't paid that bill yet, but don't happy. Why am I slightly insulted by this attitude? I keep thinking of the Seinfeld episode in the Chinese restaurant when Elaine is shaking her head and saying....
"Where am I?"

In this same conversation, I was told that Verizon is not a profit making business but a service industry (I'm sure the stockholders will be glad to hear that one), that Verizon's customer service has been rated number one in the country (sad state of affairs if actually true), that money is not why certain policy's are in place but rather because of customer requests (liar liar pants on fire), and last but certainly not the least bit true...."We do everything by the highest ethical, moral and legal standard".

I'll accept legal, but moral and have got to be kidding.

Friday, July 25, 2008


"Forgiving and being reconciled to our enemies or our loved ones is not about pretending that things are other than they are. It is not about patting one another on the back and turning a blind eye to the wrong. True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the hurt, the truth. It could even sometimes make things worse. It is a risky undertaking but in the end it is worthwhile, because in the end only an honest confrontation with reality can bring real healing. Superficial reconciliation can bring only superficial healing."

Bishop Desmond Tutu

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just one of the Reasons....

...why I love my Mom.

When I pick out a birthday card, or any card for that matter...I look for two things, humor and word 'belated' somewhere in the message (need I say more). I rush thru and usually settle on whatever makes me Gary Larson cards.

My Mom is a whole different story. This wonderful woman has turned looking for the perfect card into an art form. She studies, she reads, she ponders, she opens dozens of cards in her search for the most meaningful and appropriate card according to who she is buying for...trying desperately to match a Hallmark sentiment to a unique individual. This quest can be especially difficult if the recipient is say...a ward of the state....prison humor just hasn't caught on in the greeting card industry. With 7 children, 20 grandchildren, countless sons and daughters-in-law....not to mention friends....her card choosing proclivities can be time-consuming. But it is something very important to her and she takes it quite seriously. She wants the recipient of her cards to read and 'own' the message of the card. It's not just schmaltzy words....she needs to believe what is written just as surely as if she'd written it herself. And I don't think in my lifetime she has ever not sent a card of birthday wishes, get-well, wedding, sympathy,'s a flippin full time job for heavens sake!

How can anyone not appreciate the effort and love that goes into this simple gesture? You're the best Mom....and everyone who matters thinks so!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Vacation Bible school

An amazing amount of time and effort goes into this week of 'fun and games'. I went for two days, just took pictures and I was exhausted. Praise to the adults and teen helpers who did a great job teaching the bible in a fun and exciting way....and really, how can you go wrong with the 'Pirates who don't do Anything' as your theme?

Our nephew Nate stayed with us for the week so he could attend (and to give my Mom a break :)....he was excited about going, had fun doing crafts, singing songs and wielding weapons of minor destruction. Plus it got him off the video games...yeah!

Friday, July 18, 2008

For my Hubby

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Just because...

For a variety of reasons....not excluding, but not limited to his multitude of 'skills'.... I adore my husband Steven.

Plumbers apprentice...tho he was kinda of bummed that Alan wouldn't let him use the torch.


Tile cutter...for the backsplash at my Moms....which makes him a heck of a son-in-law too!

Drywaller (drywall guy?)...shown here with rare footage of his sons helping:)


Plasterer ....technically, he scrapes and I plaster, but 'scraper' doesn't sound like much of a job description.

Cement pourer.

Painter...and most importantly, he lets me pick ALL the colors :)


Animal lover...ok, that's not officially a skill, but I thought it was a cute pic.

He is Superman....really!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer has officially begun...

....cause the pool is up! Ok, it's actually been up for a week but I haven't had time to post a pic. Here's Wilson doing his 'future emergency room visit' somersault.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Gotta love Sundays

Cusak’s Vanity Fair Proust Questionnaire included the following:

Q: Who are your heroes in real life? A: Let’s go with Jesus. Not the gay-hating, war-making political tool of the right, but the outcast, subversive, supreme adept who preferred the freaks and lepers and despised and doomed to the rich and powerful. The man Garry Wills describes “with the future in his eyes … paradoxically calming and provoking,” and whom Flannery O’Connor saw as “the ragged figure who moves from tree to tree in the back of [one’s] mind.”

I thought of this quote in church I sat and looked at the variety of people who call our church home. The gentleman with his mentally challenged son who was dancing and clapping during the worship music, the
Caucasian family with 3 adopted Hispanic 'drug' babies growing up to be healthy loved children, the two elderly ladies wearing thrift store clothing (one in a pair of junior high PE shorts), the biker chick with the tattoo on her arm that any sailor would be proud of, the hippies from Lemon Cove--long hair, beards and Birkenstocks - and the rest of us more pedestrian folk. What a great group of people to worship with... I should definitely do this more often. :)

Thanks to Susan Isaacs from whom I stole the John Cusak quote.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Color just makes me Happy

This is the view from one of our gardens out to the pool...pole beans and flowers. I decided after I planted the zinnias in this area that we needed more food items in the vegetable garden (flowers for cutting would be a bit of a luxury this year) so I planted beans against the picket fence where the zinnias were. My plan was to pull out the zinnias as the beans grew to give them more room and plenty of sun...but once I saw the purty flowers I just couldn't kill them (what a sap). So now they are being forced to coexist; the beans will just have to reach to find the sun and live in a crowded world must we all.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A job well done

Unfortunately, I didn't get a good 'before' pic but you get the idea; this was basically an unused section of grass.

All 3 of our boys helped remove grass before we amended and planted the new garden area.

We are now just a few days from harvesting green beans and by next week the tomatoes should be turning red...yea!

What started as a spur-of-the-moment panic over rising food prices has actually turned out to be a nice addition to our yard (and one less area to mow:)
This fall we are digging up the front yard!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Your Parents are Cheap....move along

We belong to a group of individuals who are avid recyclers (or just plain cheap) called Freecycle. Thru emails you can post things you want/need or respond to other people's posts for stuff they are giving away....all free. Tho we have had some success in furnishing both Sam's new room and Brad's apt. (or should I say collecting furniture for future use) by responding and then picking up various items (nice desk chair for Brad, great Papasan chair for Sam) many times the descriptions of said items are, how shall we say....less than honest. We have traveled sometimes 10-15 miles only to become painfully aware that we are hauling away someone elses garbage; it has made us a bit more cautious in responding to posts. Free or not, some stuff is just not worth the effort it takes to pick it desks are NOT wood just because they are painted brown (for that matter, 4 wobbly legs and a top does not qualify as a desk), a working stereo should have actual sound coming out of the speakers and not be missing several control knobs (and a boombox is not necessarily a stereo)....sometimes it's OK to throw things away....REALLY!
Our children get quite a kick out of our misadventures on fact, they have come to be slightly wary of the dubious descriptions of the treasures we require them to help us pick up. Our son Wilson does a much better job of describing their attitude towards our current foray into frugality in his latest blog post. Oh to be young and brilliant again :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth!

We are filling up the pool, plastering the room, and watching fireworks today....yipee yahoo!

Have a Great Holiday!