Sunday, February 28, 2021

It Comes in Threes

  

That’s what they say about trouble.  In my case it’s more like inconveniences and not really trouble.  It all started about a week ago when our water was shut off.  There was a tag left on the door stating that it was cut off for non-payment.  No way I thought, as I always pay our bills on time.  Then I read the tag a little closer.  It was not my address and not my name!  The water cut off order was for a different home owner at a different address.  Now I understand mistakes happen, but to not even match the name and address was a bit much.  Our house number is large and prominent on the front porch.  The person that did this was either randomly cutting off water or couldn’t read.  I immediately called our small-town water department and explained the situation.  The lady I spoke with was very understanding and promised it would be corrected as soon as possible.  She did seem more than slightly aggravated with the man that did it and I sensed this was not his first mistake.  Our water was cut back on in less than an hour so no harm was done. 

The second of the three was a few days later when I received our charge card bill.  We just use it for online purchases and I usually pay it off every month.  As I was checking over the bill I found one $40 payment made to Apple.  We do not use Apple products at all so I knew that charge was not made by us.  I called the charge card company and explained the situation.  They said it was a fraud charge and canceled that card number so it would not happen again.  The $40 was refunded to our account and they sent us new cards with a new number.  So, thanks to our card company no harm was done.  However, that card was listed with multiple companies for automatic payments.  You know, companies like Netflix, AAA Auto, and things like that.  I spent one afternoon changing the card number with a whole list of companies online.  Not a terrible thing, but an inconvenience.

The third of the three was just a couple of days ago when suddenly my main email account stopped sending and receiving email.  I have a gmail account associated with Blogger but my main account is what I use with all our bills and anyone we do business with in addition to family.  This has been really aggravating as I still have not been able to completely get it corrected.  I updated the account with the service provider and finally got it working on their website mail program and on my phone.  I can send and receive mail now.  The problem I’m having is that I can not get it to work with the Outlook email program.  Outlook is the program I have always preferred to use for email.  I’ve spent two days on it and I’m so frustrated I’m just going to leave it alone for now and use the web mail.  Hopefully I will eventually figure it out.  I know I must sound like I’m complaining, but overall I am grateful to only have these types of inconveniences and nothing really serious.

I do have one piece of good news.  Tom and I have appointments to get our first Covid vaccines this Wednesday.  I had us signed up on three different vaccine lists and just this evening I received an email offering us an appointment this week.  I was able to schedule it online tonight.  This is what they are calling a “mass vaccination event” so there is no telling how many people will be there or how long we will have to wait.  Whatever the situation, I am so glad we will finally be able to get the first shots.   

I hope everyone is well and happy.  I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I posted.  I’ve got to do better than this!  I’ve just had nothing to write about.  I’m going to work on that.  Take care everyone – Spring is coming!

 

Zeus and Sophie

 

 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Cold Weather, Birthdays and Birds


Last week I wrote about how so many of us were headed into the deep freeze with all this cold weather.  Well, I guess we got there because temperatures have continued to go down in many parts of the U.S. and many other countries as well.  It is currently 0 degrees F here and was below 0 last night.  I’m not complaining though because I have friends in Minnesota and Canada that have temps of -40!   

We braved the cold last night to celebrate my granddaughter’s 25th birthday.  Originally, we were going to do that last weekend but heavy snow postponed the celebration a week.  We met at a popular Indian Restaurant for dinner and then went to my son’s house for a bit.  It was wonderful to see family as that is a very rare occurrence these days.  We will be fortunate to see everyone again next week as we will be celebrating my grandson’s 19th birthday.  Gavin and Annika have birthdays that are less than two weeks apart making February a big birthday month for our family! 

I always feed the birds here but in this extremely cold weather I try to have a little extra for them.  We get a nice variety of birds year-round so today I thought I would try to get a few pictures.

 








 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day today!  Tom gave me some chocolate covered strawberries and a beautiful red rose!  Have a good week everyone!

 





Sunday, February 7, 2021

A Cold and Snowy Weekend

 

Like many other areas, we have headed into the deep freeze for the next week!  Our high today was 15 Fahrenheit and that is about the warmest we will be for at least a week.  We’ve also had snow today and expect more over the next several days.  It is February after all and such weather is expected, so we will just hunker down at home.  I’ll make some homemade soup and may even start a new jigsaw puzzle.   


I had my first appointment with my new doctor this past week.  I like him and he seems to be a good doctor.  There’s just one thing, he appears to be younger than my kids!  I know, as we get older that happens but it just seems so, so weird!  Is it just me or does anyone else feel that way?

Last week my granddaughter, Annika had a birthday.  She turned 25.  How does that happen so fast?  We were supposed to celebrate with her at my son’s house Saturday night but they rescheduled due to the snow.  Maybe next weekend. 

As you can see there’s nothing too exciting around here right now.  Well, maybe one thing.  Our local football team, The Chiefs, are playing in the Super Bowl again tonight.  I am really not a sports fan but it’s hard to live in the middle of “Chiefs Country” and not be a bit of a fan.  Their stadium is about 15 miles from our house and we are surrounded by fans here.  Tom loves all football but especially our local team.  He is really excited about the Super Bowl and is planning on making his “once a year nachos” for the game.  I call his nachos that because they are not the healthiest and reserved for special occasions! 

I hope everyone is well, happy and staying warm!




Saturday, January 30, 2021

Forty-One Years


Today is our 41st wedding anniversary.  We were married on January 30, 1980 in the East Prayer Chapel at Unity Village, Missouri.  Unity Village is the world headquarters of the Unity Church and their buildings and grounds are beautiful.  Since we were married in January you can see the whole area was decorated white for us!

 

Unity Village


We had a small, simple and inexpensive wedding in the small chapel on the side of the much larger church.  We were married by a wonderful lady by the name of Hypatia Hasbrouck.  One of my favorite books is The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran and she included excerpts from his writings on Love and on Marriage in our vows.

 

The East Prayer Chapel

Last year on our 40th anniversary we had originally planned on going out to eat as we usually do on our anniversaries but Tom got very sick with the flu so we were unable to go out.  Then soon after that the pandemic hit and many restaurants closed and we stayed in most of the time like everyone else.  This year we are going to have a nice dinner from a favorite Italian restaurant.  We have decided to get take-out from the restaurant and enjoy it at home.  



As I’m sure many of you will agree, it is funny how time passes.  On one hand 41 years is a long time, while on the other hand it can be just a blink of the eye.

 

 


Saturday, January 23, 2021

Day by Day

 

Another week passes pretty much the same as the last.  Not much changes in my daily routine.  I don’t go out much due to the increase in Covid.  I putter around the house a lot.  Do you ever putter?  You know, where you spend an hour or more doing an assortment of little things that need doing but individually seem inconsequential.  When I putter around the house, I am often amazed at how quickly the time passes but yet how little I seem to have accomplished.

I am also a great procrastinator.  I think about doing things but often put them off for another day.  Well, this week I finally did one of those things I’ve been putting off.  I made an appointment with a new doctor.  My previous doctor retired last August.  There was a doctor left in his practice I could use when needed but I didn’t want to stay with that one.  It is hard to change doctors when you’ve been seeing the same one for over 40 years!  That’s a long time.  So, I have an appointment with the new guy in a little over a week and I’ll see how it goes.  I do feel good that one thing is off my to do list.  Now maybe I can attempt something else I’ve been putting off.

You know how it seems to be a “thing” to declutter and reduce your belongings?  I really need to do that.  Not because it seems to be a fad now but because I have too much stuff.  Eventually I think we all realize that we are not going to live forever and we are likely going to have a lot of belongings left when we go.  If you are like me you may have been through that scenario with your parents and you know how hard and emotional it can be.  I don’t want to make things difficult for my children when I go.  I have put this job off because it is a big one.  We’ve lived in this house for 44 years and during that time we have also inherited items from my family and Tom’s family.  I’m hoping, a little at a time, I can get this started and maybe by writing about it here in my blog I will actually keep up with it.  Wish me luck and if anyone has hints that would help, I’m all ears!    

Take care and have a good weekend!                                                     

                                               

Sophie Napping


Zeus napping under his favorite worn out cat quilt



Saturday, January 16, 2021

Customer Service

 

This is something we all encounter from time to time.  It can be in a store, online or on the phone.  Of course, there can be all levels of customer service from nonexistent to bad to quite good.  On rare occasions I have encountered above average, even excellent customer service.  I was fortunate to have this happen to me recently and I thought I would share the story with you.  I am absolutely not advertising for anyone but I did want to share something positive that happened to me last week.

We shop with an online Pet Store for our two cats’ food and other supplies.  This online store has competitive prices and free shipping over a certain dollar amount so it is handy for us to use especially since we are staying home more due to the pandemic.  My last order was about a month ago and I picked out a special “cat scratcher” item as a Christmas gift for our cats.  Sophie and Zeus usually love any toys or other items that we get them but for some reason they simply were not interested in this scratcher.  They each tried scratching on it once and that was it.  After I had received it the Pet Store emailed me and asked if I would review it on their website.  I did write a review for them and honestly said my cats were not interested in it.  I was nice about it though and even said that it was well made and other cats might like it even though mine did not.

Cat Scratcher

A few days later I received the nicest email from a Customer Service Representative with the company.  He said he was sorry the item did not work out and that he had refunded my card for the purchase.  He also said: “As a fellow pet parent, I completely understand that not everything works out perfectly. Instead of shipping anything back to us, in this case, we ask if you would please donate this to a local shelter, rescue, or friend in need so that way a needy furbaby can have a brighter day.”  He suggested a few alternative items if I was interested and then ended his email with: “In the meantime please stay safe and please give Sophie and Zeus some lovin' from their friends here at Chewy.  If there is anything else we can do, please don't hesitate to let us know. We're always here and more than happy to help.”  He then signed it “Best wishes and pet kisses”!

I was blown away!  I had not complained about the item but just gave an honest review and I certainly did not ask for a refund!  I also love that he suggested we donate it to a shelter.  Maybe it is just me, but I think this was customer service over and beyond what was necessary.  It also made me feel really good to know there are still companies and people out there like this. 

As far as Sophie and Zeus go, well just like children they did enjoy the box it came in!

           

Zeus



Zeus and Sophie

 


Saturday, January 9, 2021

A New Year

 

It’s hard to believe that we are already nine days into the new year.  It started out for us with a snow and ice storm on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  It was beautiful and we enjoyed watching the birds and squirrels as we fed them.  They provide entertainment for us and the cats.  The cats know the word “squirrel” and will come running to the door if we say it.  I tried to get pictures of the birds at the feeder but every time I opened the door they flew away.  However, the squirrels were not so skittish and I could almost walk up to them to get a picture.  Those guys will practically pose for you if you have food.

 

Mrs. Cardinal watching from the trees


This fellow was happy to get a treat

January 1st was my one-year blogging anniversary.  I feel like such a blogging toddler compared to my friends.  I started following blogs six years ago after I retired.  I had not planned on starting a blog myself but after a few years it just seemed to be the right thing to do.  When I look back on my first year of posts it is clear to me that I have a long way to go to be the kind of blogger I’d like to be.  I have lost some of my writing and grammar skills over the years and I am often lacking in good subject matter.  More important to me though is the simple day to day sharing of activities and thoughts that we all do through our blogs.  It’s the friendships we make and the caring for one another. 

 



It’s difficult to realize that we will soon be in our second year of this pandemic.  I remember how at first I thought it would just last a few months.  I guess that shows how little I knew about pandemics.  In many ways it is worse now than it was back then.  But do you know what?  I think we should all be proud of ourselves for adapting as well as we have over this past year.  Yes, it’s been challenging but it has also shown us what we can do when we put our mind to it.  We now have a couple of different vaccines and that has to make a difference for us all.  The authorities here in the U.S. are still working out the best ways to get the vaccines out to the people but I am confident we will get there.  In fact, just a couple of days ago I was able to get Tom and myself signed up on a list for the vaccine with the Health Department.  It may be months before we get it but at least we are on a list for it and that is the first step.  I think every state is handling the vaccinations differently and if you have not heard anything about it in your state it might be worth checking with the Health Department where you live.     

 


I’ve not started this year very well as far as getting posts out but I hope to improve on that.  I always enjoy reading everyone’s blogs.  There are some good people out here in blog world and I appreciate you all!  Take care my friends! 

 


Thursday, January 7, 2021

Shocked and Saddened

 

I had planned on writing a post yesterday.  It would have been my first post of the new year.  (yes, I'm slow)  However, after watching the disgrace that was happening in Washington yesterday I could not bring myself to post anything.  I try hard to not write political posts here.  Yes, I have an opinion and I often share it on other blogs if the subject has been addressed but I do not wish to get into politics here.  It is important to me to have a blog where we can relax and get away from the stress that is usually caused by politics. 

That said, I will put up a regular post in a few days hopefully.  At the moment I feel overwhelmed by everything happening in our country as I am sure many if not most of you are as well.  We have been through much turmoil in recent years and yesterday, in my mind, just pushes us over the edge.  I love our country and I want so badly to see it be what it once was many years ago.  I will not give up on us and on our country but I do realize the coming days may be difficult.

I just wanted to let you know I'm still here.  Sorry I have not posted sooner.  Take care everyone.  I know for many of us these days are not easy.  I'll be back.  💓


 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

An Ice Storm and a Birthday

 

We woke up this morning to a bit of an ice storm.  I know the picture looks like snow but it is actually ice.  A good day to stay home and off the roads which is just what we have done.  I did venture outside late this afternoon to roll our trash container out to the end of the driveway since tomorrow morning is our pick-up day.  It was a little slippery going but I made it! 


We had a nice coating of ice and sleet.


Today is my oldest son’s birthday.  Chris is 48 today and while he may think that is old, it really makes me feel old!  Many of us know that 48 is actually quite young when you are in your 60’s and looking back!  I sent him my love and birthday wishes this morning.  The day he was born was the best day of my life and it changed my life for the better! 


Chris at eight years old.

It’s been quiet and slow around here since Christmas.  I appreciate the quiet days after a holiday.  It seems like there is always a lot of rushing around with cooking, cleaning and other preparations for Christmas and a break afterwards is welcome. 

There’s not much to write about today but I wanted to stop in and say Hello and see how everyone is doing post-Christmas.  I don’t think I am the only one that has this very wintery weather today from what I have been reading on other blogs.  I made some homemade White Chili soup for dinner tonight and that just hit the spot for a cold, icy day.  I send my best to everyone for these last days of 2020. 

 


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve and a Special Gift


Can you believe it?  Christmas Eve already!  I’m not completely ready yet but I’ll get there.  I’ve got last minute cleaning and baking to do today and just one more gift to wrap.  The final gift I had ordered arrived in the mail today.  The Post Office and all the various delivery people have had a hard time of it this year with Christmas and pandemic mailing combined. 

 

Our Nativity

I received a special gift from a dear blogger friend couple of weeks ago.  Connie from Far Side of Fifty writes a wonderful blog about their life in snowy Minnesota.  She and her husband are talented wood carvers and every year they carve over one hundred Christmas ornaments as gifts.  She has a drawing each year for a few of them and I was so fortunate as to have my name drawn!  She also sent me one of her beautiful homemade cards and a very handy little dish scrubby that she made!  Thank you again Connie!  I love my beautiful, original ornament!

 

Here's the beautiful hand carved ornament on the right!


We will be able to see one of my two sons tomorrow and his family.  Chris and his family are the ones we saw Thanksgiving and they will come to our house tomorrow.  Saturday we will drive to a nearby town and deliver gifts to my younger son, Sean, who due to health is isolating during this pandemic.  I feel blessed to be able to see them even though we’ll only see Sean at his door.

I hope everyone is well and enjoying these special days.  I know it is not the same as usual and many will not be able to see their loved ones.  That is hard I know, especially for parents and grandparents.  It is important to remember that we are still blessed in many, many ways.  I am thankful to have our home and family and even though our health may not always be perfect it could certainly be much worse. 

 

Our Tree 


I send a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my dear friends.  Thank you all for your friendship and kindness.  I appreciate you!