Sunday, June 26, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake!

As most of you know, my birthday was last Wednesday. I took the day off work (being self-employed, I can do that) to spend with my family. The original plan was to sleep in, have my coffee, get dressed, go ring shopping, have a mommy/daughter date, have my husband make a yummy dinner, and have Krispy Kremes while opening my gifts from my girls... Well, let's just say the day didn't quite go as planned (What my brother says about plans -- "Plan: (N) 1. A list of things that don't happen." HAHA!).

Oh, I slept in... 'til 9a (that's late for me), then Princess made my mocha. As I'm sitting on the couch, Ace comes in from outside (he was painting the rails for Squeeks' bed - her bedroom redo will be another post) and said, "Put on your glasses & come outside." He was a little harsh about it, so I was a bit confused... "but, it's my birthday!" I set down my laptop & mocha, and put on my glasses, then went outside to join him.

We're standing on the lawn & he goes, "What's that?" as he's pointing to a neighbor's driveway. I said, "That's a safe." (Back-story: a couple months ago, a detective showed up in our neighborhood, asking questions about the activities of one of my neighbors. We were all asked to keep an eye out, and call him if we heard or saw anything related to those activities.) He goes, "Call the detective."

I dug his business card out of the recycling (it's been two months, and we hadn't heard or seen anything he was talking about... figured I didn't need it), and gave him a call. He answered, "Detective XX." "Detective, this is D... G......-K....; you came by our house a couple months ago, asking about the activities of our neighbor, Kevin?" He said, "Yes. Do you have information for me?" "Um, he's got his garage open & a trailer in his driveway. The trailer is open in the back, facing the garage, but there's a safe in the back." He goes,"Right now?!?!" I answered, "Yes." He seemed excited, and said, "OKTHANKSBYE!" It took him & his team about 6 minutes to get here.

For the next hour, they took photos, asked us a couple questions, one of my other neighbors (M), was texting; asking what was going on... They also questioned some lady who was over there (Kevin's girlfriend, perhaps? FTR - Kevin, et al, have been MIA ever since...). At this point, we left to go ring shopping (my promise ring's stone - a fire opal - has chipped in a couple places; apparently, opals are almost as soft as pearls so I'm lucky it lasted almost 10 years).

We got to the local shopping center... turns out that the store where Ace got my promise ring no longer sells Black Hills gold. The sales associate told me that when the price of gold started going up a few years ago, the BH gold makers were charging "too much" for them to feel comfortable continuing to carry their product so they got rid of it. While there, we had my ring sized, 'cuz I couldn't remember what size it was. Then, we went to another store... they, too, no longer carry BH gold.

When I asked if she knew any local store that still did, she looked down her nose at me and said, "KMart does." I was irritated at her attitude, and said, "I'm not buying jewelry at KMart, but thanks." She glared (GLARED!!) at me, and said, "KMart's owned by Sears now, ya know!" Um, yeah... that doesn't make it better. I wouldn't buy jewelry at Sears, either... Frustrated, we went home. Ace, knowing my size now, went on an online search and found five or six he liked, made by the same company who made my wedding set.

In the meantime, Princess & I went to Newport Bay for lunch. Since it was a Wednesday afternoon, they weren't busy. We shared a plate of sushi, a bay shrimp salad, & crab cakes. We also each got a citrus-flavored Mojito Breeze; yum! When we were about half-done, the manager came over and challenged Princess to a tic-tac-toe game. He said, "I heard you think you're the best tic-tac-toe player this side of the Rockies..." She was obviously confused, and said, "What? I didn't say that..." He said, "Tell you what; how about we play a round of tic-tac-toe. You win, I'll buy you & your mom a dessert of your choice."

She lost, but he gave us dessert anyway (I had a convo with her about hospitality, and going above & beyond). We then headed to the movie theater to see "Mr Popper's Penguins", which was cute. On our way home, we decided to hold off getting the donuts, seeing as Squeeks was working with her mother that night and wouldn't be home for dinner anyway.

When we got home, I chose my favorite of the rings Ace had picked out online, & he ordered it (should be here next week). Squeeks was already gone (Ace took her to the MAX early, so she could meet up with a couple friends at the mall before heading over to her job). Throughout the day, some of my friends & family had texted, a couple of them called. We did "Make Your Own" for dinner. The rest of the day was just chill.

Thursday, I made up for taking Wednesday off; I worked a longer day than usual. Mom, my first client of the day, had made me lightweight slipper socks for summer (she'd already made me a heavy pair for winter). However, I had forgotten, until I was almost home, to pick up the donuts! So, Friday, I took Princess to work with me, did her nails for her trip (she's in Canada 'til 4th July with my mom), took care of a client, hit up the beauty supply, and finally picked up the donuts!

We ate them for snack, and I finally got a chance to open my gifts from the girls. Princess made me a poster that says, "You ROCK!" with hearts, and a mini tree skirt (she sewed it) for my mini Xmas tree I have for my office! Squeeks bought me a new set of mini nail art brushes. My mother showed up shortly after that to pick up Princess for her trip, so we made sure she had everything she needed and said goodbye.

Saturday, Ace & I got up a little earlier than normal... we were expecting some friends for a bbq around 2p, and still had to clean house & grocery shop! Squeeks pitched in, and by 11a, the house was clean. Ace & I made a list and headed to Costco then Safeway; we were home by 130p. We quickly set up the table & island with munchies and waited for our friends to get here.

My friend, Jessica, MADE me a flip flop cake (from scratch... she even makes her own fondant), and about 20 of my friends (plus some of their kids) came over for food, visiting, cake, & some presents. I set up chairs & a ground cover outside; everyone was relaxed & enjoyed themselves. Those who hadn't seen our home improvements were wow'd. Even Ace (usually a very reserved person) was visibly enjoying himself.

Friday, June 17, 2011


My offer on EBay was accepted; paid roughly half of the cost of new, each, for two new BODY GLOVE cases for my phone. They came yesterday. I changed out my beat-up old one for my brand new one, and I am now good to go!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Faster Doesn't Mean Easier...

Is it just me who makes her kids do things around the house? It's come to my attention recently that many of my friends either do things for their kids that their kids are perfectly able to do themselves (fold & put away laundry, make school lunch, etc) or do things that take a lot of time for no reason (ie: folding socks &/or ironing jeans)!

Let me break this down for you: My kids are: age 18 (SS, graduated from h.s., comes over for a couple days here & there right now), age 16 (SD, finished sophomore year, comes over for scheduled parenting time), and age 11 1/2 (DD, finished 5th grade, lives here permanently). They do MANY things for themselves; sometimes willingly, sometimes not so much... but they still do it.

Age: Walking -- old enough to help parents pick up toys, books, etc.
Age: 2 or 3 -- old enough to start helping prepare meals, try to brush teeth & wash body without parental help (obviously, you still should keep eyes on them), etc...
Age: 4 or 5 -- old enough to put their own laundry away (who cares if it's folded as long as it fits in the drawers?), wipe down counters, dust, empty small garbages, etc...
Age: 7 or 8 -- old enough to empty the dishwasher (with help for higher shelves & sharp utensils), reload with assistance, make their bed, make school lunch & simple at-home foods, vacuum, empty larger garbages, home improvement assistance (painting, using a screwdriver &/or hammer), etc...
Age: 10: old enough to properly feed animals (cats or larger -- understanding portion control), gather & separate laundry to be washed, clean the toilet, load dishwasher, etc...
Age 12: old enough to do almost any regular chore & required food prep for most meals, can now babysit (in Oregon, you can take a babysitting safety class at age 11), etc...

Now, obviously, this is NOT an "all-inclusive" list. I also hope you understand that some kids can do these things (& more) before these ages. This was to give you an idea of what kids are capable of, if WE JUST LET THEM! No, the toilet isn't going to be as perfectly clean as it is when YOU do it, but "It's just easier if I do it" shouldn't be your motto. Teach your children how you want it done; MAKE the time, and find the patience to do so. In the end, you'll still have (most of) your sanity and they'll know EXACTLY what it takes to keep your household running smoothly.

For the record -- my 18yo & 16yo now do their own laundry, my 11 1/2 yo will help by collecting/swapping loads/folding/etc. All the kids take out trash/recycling, load & unload the dishwasher, set & clear the table, cook occasionally, vacuum, dust, clean the whole bathroom, and much more... They don't always do it "my" way the first time, but with some encouragement (or full-on just watching them do it, start to finish), it's eventually done correctly.

Friday, June 10, 2011

"Guaranteed", my patootie!

Seven months ago, Ace & I bought our new fancy smartphones. We had the OMNIAs previously and upgraded to the DROID X. Silicon cases had never been a good idea for us; we're rough on our phones. So we opted for the hard cases made by Body Glove. We spent a little more on them, buying from Verizon instead of online, because we were told they were "guaranteed; we'll replace them free if they break".

Fast forward to last Tuesday. My case had basically fallen apart. The two parts were no longer snapping closed and the rubber outer part was peeling away from the plastic. So, among our errands for that day, we stopped at the Verizon store in our area (the same store where we bought our phones).

When I asked about replacing the case, the customer rep said, "Yes, of course. We don't carry them in stock anymore, now that the Droid 2s are out, but let me see what I can find." He proceeded to look it up on his computer to see if other stores have one. One showed up in the Klamath Falls store, but when he called, it turned out to be a computer glitch. So, then I asked about another kind of case; I'd even take a silicon one until I can replace it. Nope; not even silicon.

I will give the man credit; he was appropriately sympathetic and really tried to find me a replacement (checked stores in Washington, Oregon, & Idaho), but what he DIDN'T do is offer me a discount on my next month's service, or reimburse me the cost of replacing it online, or have me talk to the manager to see if HE/SHE could do anything... something to satisfy my need of a new case.

So, I am waiting to hear back from a "make offer" on EBay... but I'm greatly disappointed in Verizon right now.