Sunday, November 27, 2011

Shout Outs ...cause I' like that.

I recently was awarded my 19th blog award. Now I haven't actively participated in the awards in a very long time because I'm bad at keeping up with them and agonise over who to give them to. So I took my award page down, though sometimes I gaze at it privately and glow all over, but I have always tried to do some shout outs for the people who gave them. I'm behind on a couple of those too.

Because I've been decorating my house for Christmas since Friday and because it is a three day project at my house...and that's just the living room...and I have 2 full time work projects next week and I haven't thought of an actual post I am doing my shout outs. It also means I won't answer my comments consistently and I hate it when I don't.  The past couple months have been the least amount of time I have ever spent at my blog and I'm starting to feel guilty for not visiting everyone more often. But anyway, what better time for you to visit someone else instead. Below are a list of Bloggers who have given me an award and a couple who I have found more recently and I would give an award to, if I wasn't so lazy busy, and that I have met since my last award ceremony---about 2 templates ago.

I like them all. Go visit! ...or you're grounded.

Mommie Dearest Strikes Again.  Who is terrific! I love her blog and we discovered we have something in common. But I'm not going to tell you what it is.

Gene Pool Diva from Diminishing Gene Pool She is funny, with a dry wit,  and I love that. I also suspect that, we too, have a couple things in common.

Daphne at My Distant Husband. Who, besides having one of those terrific names I am envious of, is living in a separate state from her husband for work reasons and handling this difficult situation with grace and wisdom.

Ms. A from Sarcastic Granny: Because she is one of those wonderful people that you fall right in comfortably with, as though you have always known them And I love that too.

Fi from Inspiration To Dream: Because I like Fi. And I think you might too. She is introspective and strong and has boys -like I have girls-so- she deserves a hug as well as a shout out ; )

And last of all Charlotte from Charlotte's Web.  A young woman I call my 'blog daughter' because I tease her that she was meant to be one of my girls and would have fit nicely in the gap between Biggest and Mid, but during that time we were poor as dirt and taking care of my husbands elderly grandfather, so fate sent her to a terrific and lucky mom (who I suspect I would also like very much) in England. I adore her and if you like my girls you will adore her too because she is like them in some ways, only Not Awful. She recently started a new blog after a hiatus, so go say hi : )

Or, as always, visit someone from my blog roll. Worth a visit,  Every. One.

I had better go now. Especially since I have repeatedly erased the same random hyphen from multiple words before I realized it was a spot on my screen. Have a great week! I'll visit whenever I can escape.

© 2011 All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 21, 2011

Now, Where Was I....

Oh. Yes. After harassing Bleeps department store I left on my trip.  Now that I returned last night and made a mad dash to the store for turkey and stuff,  alleviating  my anxiety that they would be out of those little white heat and serve rolls, and am under the influence of over a weeks worth of laundry, I can take a moment between cycles to catch up.

I left just at the moment of the full moon and so was not able to give my monthly report. However, being away did not stop the lunacy at all and I can now share Novembers events.

First, and simplest of all, the night before I left,

Biggest called.

And told me I have a new grandchild.

His name is Eugene. He is approximately 7 to 8 weeks old. We weren't home an hour before she was calling to see if she could bring him over. Apparently Eugene's Mama was carrying him across a road when a jerk in a truck almost hit her and she dropped Eugene and ran into the woods. A nice lady saw this and stopped to get him out of the road but Eugene's mama never came back so she scooped him up and the natural magnetism of the earth aided by the full moon brought her in the direction of Biggest.
Now Eugene has a new Mama.

We also had some teenage drama in the week before I left. The night before I left , a Thursday, was Homecoming week at Littlests' school. She and her boyfriend had mutually decided that wasn't their bag. However Lits' boyfriend has a female friend that Littlest just barely abides, because she doesn't trust her. So. This young lady kept lamenting the fact that she was not going to Homecoming so pitifully, and pathetically, and constantly that a few days before Homecoming Lits boyfriend took pity on her and volunteered to take her and sent Littlest a message letting her know and asking if since he was going anyway did she want to tag along too.


The sequence of reactions from both Littlests' friends and family went some thing like this:

What? Dump him. Can he really be that dense? He can't be that dense?

Yes. He. Can.

So she dumped. They both cried. Then he must have performed some kind of desperate gesture because within 24 hours He was not going to Homecoming and Thursday night he was hanging out at our house with Littlest,  watching movies. Wait...wait...this is the full moon part...During the course of the evening...

I Heard Her GIGGLE- I've been sworn to secrecy but that's why I'm anonymous.

Last of all. I may have mentioned Middlests' singing before. Mid has a full rich voice that could grace a mezzo soprano diva. And the pitch of....a toddler with a wiffle ball.  If she sings along with someone she does ok but otherwise it is something akin to a cat fight.  She was able to tune her instruments by ear with no problem. Maybe playing in bass clef all those years confused her brain. I bought the girl an Irish whistle on our trip and in less than 24 hours she has worked out,  Oh Danny Boy and part of the theme song to Lord of the Rings. I don't know what the disconnect is with her vocal cords but one of the things I love about her is that it doesn't stop her. She sings her heart out. It doesn't matter where either. She often sings while walking or riding her bike down the road. Which leads me to the phone call I received from her while I  was gone. It went like this.

Mom. I'm walking home from work and first that stray cat started following me again and I was walking along with him and was singing and was halfway thru the cut through neighborhood and three police cars suddenly came tearing up and stopped to question me because someone reported I was walking down the road threatening to kill myself.

What?! What did they say?

They said someone called and then they asked if I was alright and where I was coming from and where I was going and made me show them my ID.  I told them I was perfectly happy I was just going home and singing. Then they asked if that was my cat and I said no.

What on earth were you singing?

Nothing really. Just some Rancid ........

and The Hare Krishna Song.

As for The SeaMonkey and I we had a wonderful time. It has been over two years since we went on a vacation and visited the mountains. And though we do get to travel for business and spend some time together we realized it had actually been ten years since we have been able to go on a vacation trip together. Just us. That was way overdue and though we missed our girls at certain landmarks it was nice We really needed it.

We drove to Virginia where there were still a few pockets of gorgeous fall color and then followed the Blue Ridge Parkway down to North Carolina and across to Tennessee where we played in The Smokies for several days. We had some lovely cold weather and I sat on my rock.

This is my rock.

And I could play with all the smaller rocks to my hearts content.

We had a couple days of really good rain and the rivers swelled and were raging. And then best of all, up in the mountains of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, It Snowed!  I know many of you live in places where the trees become bare and it snows tons so winter isn't a big deal but to people who don't get a serious winter it can be very exciting. That morning it snowed for four hours leaving about a 1/4 inch on the ground and getting drifts of maybe 1/2 inch! ; ) Snow does something to natural born Floridians and others from warmer climates. For four hours we played around in the snow and watched others do the same. All ages, young and old, acting silly, taking pictures, throwing snow, catching snow, dancing around in snow and just watching in wonder as it fell on us. It was as much fun as playing in it to drive past and watch a group of people with cameras and looks of pure delight on their faces jumping around in ecstasy and joy. We craned our necks to check as we passed. Yep. Florida tags : ) 

The next morning there were still a few pockets in the shaded places and I did what any good Southerner would do with a wealth of half inch of snow

Made the worlds smallest snowman!

I had my fall and winter all in one week and it was wonderful : )

I told The SeaMonkey I was going to have all the snow pictures blown up, paste them to the windows and have my own personal white Christmas. But even if it ends up being 80 I am feeling Refreshed and Blessed and Thankful beyond words. Bring on The Holidays! I'm ready.


and if you're one of my friends from outside the US, have a Wonderful Week in general and eat some turkey anyway, just cause it's Awesome ; )

Then Sings My Soul. Those might be the words.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Am I Quibbling?

Want to know how I used to amuse myself before I began blogging? Here is an example.

 The following are a series of emails I have been exchanging with Bleeps Department Store.
If you sign up for their sale alert emails they offered to give you a 10% online or $5.00 in store discount on your next purchase. So I went for it. Why not?

First I got this:

Thank you for signing up to receive Sale Alerts!

To welcome you to Sale Alerts, you will receive two special offers:

- A $5 coupon to use in our stores
- A 10% off Promo Code to use online

. As a subscriber to our e-mail Sale Alerts, you'll hear about our biggest sales, shipping deals, credit offers and so much more! Every week, we'll send you up-to-the-minute info on our great sale prices. And, you'll periodically receive other great savings offers, like these:

- FREE Standard Shipping on your order (with a minimum purchase)
- EXTRA SAVINGS when you Checkout with your Bleep Charge Card
- NEW Markdowns in our Clearance Department
- BIG savings in every department

Plus, every e-mail includes an easy opt-out feature, so you can choose to unsubscribe* at any time. Please note, you may receive a sale alert before your welcome offer.

Thanks again for subscribing to Bleeps Sale Alerts! Stay tuned for more great savings, coming your way soon!
Then on November 8th, I sent this:

I signed up for email alerts on October 21 and was supposed to receive an online discount or $5.00 off coupon for in store by email within ten days but have never received anything.  Can you give me any info? Thank you.
Then I received this:
Dear Ms. G,
Thank you for contacting Bleeps regarding our Sale Alerts promotion. I appreciate the opportunity to review your concern.

I regret that you did not receive an e-mail containing your $5 coupon and 10% promo code. Please allow 7-10 business days for these offers to arrive. To ensure timely delivery of our e-mails, please add to your list of approved senders and check your spam blocker. We are unable to send a duplicate e-mail or issue physical coupons.

If the designated timeframe passes and you still do not receive these offers, we have the following alternatives:-You may place an online order and we will be happy to credit 10% off the order and honor free standard shipping when you e-mail us the order number.

-You may make a purchase in-store using your Bleeps Charge and we will credit $5 to your account when you e-mail us the numbers at the top of your purchase receipt (beginning with the purchase date). Please also include your billing address so we can locate your account.

The $5 coupon and the 10% promo code are not valid on the purchase of Bleeps Gift Cards. E-mail addresses previously signed up for e-mail Sale Alerts are not eligible to receive the $5 coupon and the 10% promo code. Also, the $5 coupon and the 10% promo code cannot be used together. If you choose to place a order, priority shipping and the shipping surcharges are excluded from this offer. We are unable to process credits to credit cards other than Bleeps for in-store purchases.I hope these options are suitable and I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you experienced because the offers were not received.

We appreciate the time you took to contact us and look forward to serving you again at
****** S.
eService Advocate
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------So I answered with this:

Hi ***** S,

 Thank you for responding. As I mentioned in my original email, I registered for email alerts on October 21. That would be 13 business days, not including the 21st which was a Friday.  Not to mention the offer said nothing about business days, but no big deal. The email is not in my Spam filter.  I was able to check it because I always forget to empty it. The Advertising Alerts somehow managed to get through just fine. Perhaps they will be directed to my Spam box in the future.  I do not have a Bleeps Charge nor do I wish to get one. I also only rarely shop online as there is a Bleeps store only 10 minutes from my house. I was planning on doing some shopping there this morning. Perhaps my car will be directed somewhere else in the future.

I appreciate your taking the time to contact me in return.

 Ms. G
 And Got This:

I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with your $5 coupon. I can certainly see why you want to take advantage of this great offer. I know saving money is important for all of us, and shopping with Bleeps is a great way to stretch those dollars.

To ensure timely delivery of our e-mails, please add to your list of approved senders and check your spam blocker. We are unable to send a duplicate e-mail or issue physical coupons.
While it may be difficult to receive negative information about our services, it is important for us to become aware of the recent challenges you experienced. We make every effort to ensure that your online shopping experience is a pleasant one. I regret this was not the case for you.

Your disappointment is understandable. Please know that your comments have been heard at our corporate office and that we are dedicated to improving our website.
Mrs. G, you are a valued customer and we appreciate the time you took to contact us. We hope that you will allow us another opportunity to provide you with the excellence in service that you truly deserve.

We appreciate the time you took to contact us and look forward to serving you again at

****** W.
eService Advocate
Ok. In my draft box I have this reply:
Hello ***W,

Thank you for taking the time to contact me over $5.00.
I'm sorry if I seem grumpy, I know it's not a huge issue but considering I have spent nearly $343.94 at Bleeps during the past month and approximately $600.00 since August, I did find it rather annoying. After all just think how much that $5.00 coupon could have stretched those dollars.That $5.00 might pay for half a pair of socks or the lining in some underpants at your store.

I quote myself from the previous email, "The email is not in my Spam filter.  I was able to check it because I always forget to empty it. " My email client sends Spam directly to a folder, if it even catches it, which it usually doesn't. The only specific filters I have created would go into effect if Bleeps was trying to date me or Love Me Long Time. Which they obviously don't intend to do. But that's ok. Don't worry yourself. I'll get over it eventually. After all I know it's not me. It's you.

Luv Your Friend,
 Ms. G

What do you think?
Should I send it?
Am I Quibbling? ; )

I am leaving tomorrow on my Obviously Much Needed Vacation! I will not be taking any media devices with me...which is probably a swell idea too. If I miss you today I'll catch ya when I get back! For now I better get busy ( Driving back to Bleeps Dept. Store because the Associate forgot to take the alarm tag off the coat I bought yesterday) because I have just spent about $50.00 worth of my time on $5.00

I've used this one before but it fits...

Moon Music

© 2011 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lessons Learned

This week ended up being way more eventful than I planned so I haven't been around much after all.

Some unexpected work projects came up where my presence was required but that is a good thing because it means money and money is good. Other than that....

I may have mentioned before that I have been driving since I was 18 and have never been involved in a car accident. Not even a fender bender. Until Tuesday. Since it has been getting light later, I have been driving Littlest to school. Because my kids don't drive and possibly never will...anyway..I may have also mentioned HOW I have been driving them for twenty years. No, not in my pajama's. I get up and change from my pajamas into something much worse. Most recently that would be my cool weather uniform of faded yoga pants-with a hole, old green chenille sweater-with two holes, over giant t shirt (no bra), flip flops and hair that may or may not have been brushed. Every morning I pray that I don't get in a fender bender or get a flat and become a mockery on the side of the road. Does that stop me? No. I get up at 5:30 and leave the house at seven and the school is only 5 minutes away. Getting dressed for that is not worth the trouble. Particularly if I'm coming straight home to blog work at the house for a few hours. So. Tuesday Lit and I are approaching her school when "what the hell are you doing?!" a truck turned Right In Front Of Me! But I am an excellent driver and I stopped before I was eating airbag for breakfast. The lovely teenage driver behind me? Well she stopped in time too ( though later when I mentioned it was my first accident she cheerfully told me she had been in three!)  I had just started to move forward again, when the teacher behind her-slammed the the back end of her Mercedes with his ten year old Ford Ranger and I said, "Oh Lord that didn't sound good and then I said, "Are you serious?" Because, she was suddenly forced forward too and I was involved in an accident. We all pulled over and as far as I could see I had no damage. The Mercedes and Ranger were not looking as good. But I stayed anyway. I have never done this and we did get jolted pretty hard. I wasn't sure what to do. But by the time the cop came, I just told him what happened, said I was fine and asked if I could leave. Then I did.  Do you recall Middlest graduating in the spring? This was HER math teacher. End of Story.

 Oh Wait. Did I mention that it was one of the 1 out of every 500 times, in the past twenty years,  that I had to go to work directly after dropping kids off and was fully dressed?
There is a God.

In other news...

Middlest moved out two months ago and she's had a bit of a rough time. First, as soon as she moved out her manager at work cut her down to about 6 hours a week at work. This guy is a first class jerk in many ways and this was just the latest. So she had to find a second job. And she did. At a different sub shop. Which is when the jerk at the first place fired her for working at the second place. But the manager at the new job was understanding and they gave her a lot of hours. So she was doing ok.
Then. A few weeks ago we get a knock at the door. Surprise,  it was a detective! With photo's. Of our beautiful daughter with the most unsavory characters I have ever seen since Biggest was 15. Now it's been a long time since the police showed up concerning one of my children and the previous times I was the one who called them. I have only recently come to a place where I thought I could breathe easy. Can you feel the panic? Yeah. Me too. The detective wanted to question her about these fellas. Seems they had some questionable tattoo's that alerted someone in McDonald's to call the police. They were asked to leave the restaurant and Middlest Went With Them. They were walking down the road when they were stopped and questioned as to why they were in the area. Along with my child. They said they were just passing through and the police began keeping an eye on them. They lost track of them and they wanted to find out if Mid knew their whereabouts. What was my daughter doing associating with these people? She was being an idiot she was sketching them because she likes painting unusual or freaky looking people. These were not just unusual people.  This girl has no common sense. Thankfully, she hadn't seen them again. Biggest and DecentGuy were both Livid. Not only because they felt responsible for her but also because she was putting them in danger by treating these people as acceptable. I reminded Biggest that she has romanticized street figures in her stories and her sister does not have the experience to tell the difference between 'regular' street and criminal. They were about fed up with her at that point but were giving her another chance. At the time we had a talk with her about what would be expected if they told her to leave and she came home. Her Dad listed her responsibilities and the rules. He pointed out that she still would not have to pay rent but would have to supply her own snacks and personal supplies. Then for some reason he randomly threw in,
 "Except toilet paper. We buy it in bulk and we have plenty. So you don't have to provide your own TP."
In the end Middlest weighed the options. They were almost identical, the only differences being she paid rent with Biggest and we had an earlier weekend curfew. She decided to pay for the curfew and stay where she was. Common sense people. Seriously. I must have missed some kind of essential nutrient when I was pregnant with her. So anyway.

 A few days later Middlest called to chat on her way to work. She was in a good mood. She had just cashed her paycheck, gave Biggest her rent and was looking forward to going to the store after work to get some food because she was out. Of Food.  A few hours later at 7 PM I get a phone call.  All I hear is sobbing. Finally I am able to make out that it's Mid and she cries,

"I lost my wallet! It Had All Of My Money In It!"


 "I'm so hungry. I just wanted to get my food and I needed to get toilet paper! She burst into heavy sobs again. "I Dooon't haave aaannnny Toiiiiilet PaaaPerrrr!"

God has a sense of humor.

I finally got her to calm down. Then I told her, "I know that sucks honey and I'm sorry. You have to be super careful and not carry that much with you. The first thing you need to do is call the bank right away and tell them your debit card is gone before someone gets that money too." To which I received the answer, "There isn't any money in it." Yep. She cleaned out her account in two months. There wasn't a huge amount in it but there was more than enough to carry an emergency like this. So what did we do? Well the next day The SeaMonkey took her to the store and bought her some groceries- and toilet paper. Biggest gave her some of the rent money back so that she could ride the bus and have something extra in case she needed it. But she grumbled over it because Middlest had wasted her money on stuff like a new camera and unnecessary clothing items. I would remind her that Middlest did have to learn more about responsibility and appeared to be learning but just turned 18 two months ago and she shouldn't expect miracles. Over the past two weeks she has learned to live with no money and owing people on top of it.  Biggest continued to call me a million times to complain about how irresponsible she was. When I talked to Middlest I would get the other side of the story and find the most likely reality somewhere in the middle.

I finally have the answers to the questions I was wondering about not long ago. No. There is no money left in that account. Yes! She dumped the Douche (Who was 21 and wasn't going to college and also had no car, no job,  lived with his mother and was cheating on her). Some Good News. She likes the shift manager at her new job. Ok. She is actually dating the shift manager at her new job, (Who is 25 but has two jobs and goes to school too- !)  so I don't think she will get fired anytime soon.  She has learned a lot of hard lessons in a very short time. All lessons that she absolutely needed to learn and may not have if she hadn't been on her own.

Biggest called:  the other day and was on a tirade about Mid and how she was always off with her friends. I said as long as she was keeping up with what was asked of her I didn't think what she did with her time was Biggests business. But she still wasn't satisfied with how she kept up with things. Middlest had mentioned what Biggest considered, 'keeping up with things.' When she was finished I called Mid and asked if she wanted to visit me after work. I offered to pick her up and came up on her from behind in the car and noticed that she getting so skinny that her skinny jeans were loose. I brought her home and her dad and I had a little chat with her.

The night before last I was reading in bed and someone came scurrying into the room and sat on the steps to my bed and snuggled their head on my arm. I asked, "What's wrong?" The sniffling answer was,

 "Nothing, I just haven't been able to do this in a long time." Sniffle.

Ms. G, you know you baby that Mama's girl don't you?

Yeah. I know.

While Littlest found a whole lot of reasons to not miss Middlest she also realized she had no one to call in when she found something funny on YouTube, borrow boots from and worst of all- burst into song with.

I spent the first evening Mid was back doing something I missed: Being serenaded by an impromptu duet performance of various musical numbers from Cats, Disney and Avenue Q.

When Biggest came home and saw that Middlests' things were gone she cried.

Lessons learned.

I would like to go do my blog visiting now but I will have to catch up on my reading (AGAIN) later. My back is pretty sore and I could barely finish this. I think I need to go lay down with a heating pad.

But that's ok. I'm feeling thankful anyway.

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