Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 14

I have so many questions when I look at this picture. I wonder where she was when this was taken? Are those her things on the wagon? If they are, where was she going? Was she off to start a new life somewhere? And I wonder what she has packed in there? She looks happy, so whatever is going on, it must be a good thing.

Okay girls, what's so funny? Let us in on the joke. That gal on the left is sure having a good laugh over something. I wonder if they had been friends since they were little? Maybe even sisters? or cousins? They look like they know how to have a good time!

Somebody sure is having a good time with the laundry. Oops, it looks like someone's undies are drying in the breeze! Maybe she was cold and that's why she wrapped herself up in what was hanging on the line. Or maybe she was just being silly. I can't tell if this was taken in the spring or the fall, but I don't think it was taken during the summer because there aren't a lot of leaves on the tree branches in the background.

What a beautiful, elegant lady! I have a feeling that this might have been an engagement picture. She looks a little formal here, but you can still see the twinkle in her eye. I wonder if she married a wonderful man? (she did)

I wonder if she had any children? (yep...three)

I wonder if she was one of the most generous women the world has ever seen, giving her time, her love, and her energy to every person and cause she met? (most definitely!)

I wonder if she had grandchildren? (five)

I wonder if she ever took her oldest granddaughter to 6 am mass on a Sunday? (oh yeah...and it was in LATIN!)

I wonder if she ever sent her oldest granddaughter out of the kitchen while she was making homemade pasta? (never once)

I wonder if she let that little girl help, even though it meant that the whole process was going to take twice as long? (she let that little girl help EVERY SINGLE TIME she wanted to)

I wonder if she ever took anything for granted? (no way)

I wonder if she knows that she has two wonderful great grandsons? (I'm sure she does)

I wonder if she knows how much she is missed and thought of every single day?

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Another Phone Conversation

The other day as I was going through all of my mail (that procrastination issue again, sigh) I came across my Alltel bill. Alex was elected to stop by the local Alltel office to drop off the bill and a check. It's the least he can do since he is the one who gets the most use out of my Alltel account..

His phone died a little over a month ago and we went in there so we could decide on a course of action. The phone needed to be replace and I told him that he could select whichever phone he wanted WITH THE UNDERSTANDING that he was going to have to pay for it himself (it would be on my bill, but he would need to pay me for it...sort of like how he pays for the unlimited texting feature...over 4,000 incoming texts a month AND over 4,000 outgoing texts a month???? How does a person get their thumbs to move that fast?).

Anyway, the lad chose a Blackberry of some sort. I'm sure there are several models of Blackberries out there, but I have no idea which one it was. It was $120, with a $100 rebate (of course they didn't tell me that the rebate was in the form of a Visa gift card...shame on you Alltel for not making that clear).

I knew my bill would be pretty high because of the phone, but I got the rebate and Alex was going to pay for his texting and the $20 he owed me for the phone. He was in a hurry to leave, so I wrote out the check, and then scrutinized the bill after he left.


Thank goodness I look at those 10 pages of that bill closely.

According to Alltel, on the phone that I exclusively use, I went over my texting limit, shame on me. They SAID I had 105 outgoing texts and 107 incoming texts. I was charged a total of $1.80 for these overages.


I called Alltel.

I told them that I did NOT send 105 texts, nor did I receive 107. They insisted that I did. I told them that there was a definite problem because I rarely text. I told "Sheree" that it's much easier for me to leave a voicemail than to text. It's too hard to try to get my fingers on the right keys quickly. She checked for the current billing cycle and said that I sent THREE texts. I told her that was probably correct, but the 105 was NOT.

Sheree insisted that those texts came from my phone. Eventually she removed the $1.80 charge and I told her I appreciated that. However, it was the principle of the matter.

I mentioned that there was obviously a problem, either on my end or Alltel's end. (I was trying to be nice. I did NOT send out over 100 texts. I did NOT receive over 100 texts. I think in the past year and a half I've received a total of 12 texts.) My concern was that if they made a mistake on the number of texts I sent/received, then there could be other errors.

She finally told me that I could talk to a technician.

"Julio" was not much help either. He emphasized that the texts came from my phone and maybe someone else used it. I said that the phone was always in a case in my purse when I wasn't using it. My purse is kept on the counter at home and everyone else has access to their own phone and wouldn't need mine. At work, my purse is in my desk drawer and no one else gets into my desk.

Julio insisted, yet again, that the texts came from my phone. I told him at least twice that I rarely text. It's too much of a hassle.

We went back and forth for about 5 minutes on this. Finally I asked him if he could tell me the date and time of these texts.

"We can only do that with a court ordered subpoena."

Well, I'm not going that route, so I told him that he was obviously not going to see the point I was trying to make.

Then he said what I'm sure they're required to say, "Have I answered your questions satisfactorily?"


And I told him that. I went on a 2 minute rant and ended with "Goodbye" and hung up.

Like I said, it's not the $1.80, but the fact that if they screwed that up, what else are they screwing up? I go over my Alltel bill with a fine tooth comb because with so many pages and so much information, there's a huge chance for error.

I wonder who I'll get into it with today?

Gotta love spring break...it gives me so much time to do things like this.

Monday, April 6, 2009


I'm a procrastinator. I know it. I admit it. I've been burned fairly often by being this way. But the fact remains that I continue to procrastinate.

Part of my procrastination is letting mail pile up, then when I have a nice big stack, I'll sit at the kitchen table and go through it all. As long as I have a trash bag nearby, I'm in good shape.

Well earlier this afternoon I went through the accumulation of mail. I always find little surprises when I do that, and today was no exception.

We received brand, spanking, new American Express cards!

Isn't that great???

Ahem. No, it's not. Especially considering that we do not have an American Express account. I looked at the cards a little closer. They did not have an account number of 1234 567891 23456, which is what companies usually put on the card if they're just advertising. Then I looked a little closer at the paper that the cards were attached to. It said that we'd been a "member" since 1983.


So I gave them a call. I told "Kevin" that I did not want these credit cards.

Kevin: You've had them since 1983.

Me: No, I have never had an American Express Account.

Kevin: Your original cards were issued through MBNA and your account was purchased by American Express.

Me: I don't use the account you're referring to and I want to close it.

Kevin: Why would you want to do that?

Me: Because, AS I JUST SAID, I don't use the account. I don't need it.

Kevin: Well, you know that will hurt your credit rating. Well, not exactly hurt it, but you won't have funds available in an emergency.

Me: I have other credit cards that I use, so that will not be an issue.

Kevin: Why do you want to get rid of this particular account and keep the others?

Me: Because that's MY choice. I do NOT want this account.

Kevin: So you want to close it?

Me (at last, he's getting it): YES

Kevin: You really should hold onto it.

Me: Can you tell me the last time I used this account?

Kevin: Yes, in 2004.

Me: Well this is 2009, and if I haven't used it in the last FIVE years, I don't need it. PLEASE JUST CLOSE THE ACCOUNT.

Kevin: Well, if you insist.....


Kevin: Well, then I need to read you some things to make sure you understand what you're doing.

Me: Fine, go ahead.

Kevin: Yadda Yadda Yadda

Me: Okay, close the account

Kevin: Yes ma'am. You'll get written confirmation of the closing of the account in the mail. It will be sent within 24 hours. Is there anything else I can do for you today?

Me: No thank you. (My parents taught me manners.)


He just wouldn't give up. I know that's what he's supposed to do, but all that does is irritate the customer, or soon to be "former" customer.

And that, my dear friends, has been the highlight of my day so far.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Easter is a Week Away

And in celebration of this holiday, you, my lucky readers, will get to share in some of the old photos that I have been scanning with my handy dandy photo scanner. So far, so good, as far as the scanner is concerned. I've probably scanned around 300-350 pictures with it and it's still so EASY to use!

Anyway, here are a couple of OLD, I do mean OLD, shots of Easter outfits. These were taken back in the day when little girls got an Easter dress, an Easter coat if Easter fell in March that year, an Easter hat, an Easter purse, Easter shoes, Easter socks or stockings, and probably Easter underwear.

This was taken when I was 3 years old. I was at my grandparents' house.

Same year, when I was 3, but this time with the coat off. Obviously Christie Brinkley had absolutely NOTHING to worry about!

I was 11 this year for Easter, and my brother was 7, and going through a peaceful stage. Other than my First Communion, this was the first time I was allowed to have white shoes and also the first time I got to wear pantyhose. I didn't do a very good job with them, as they're bunched around my ankles. I still remember this dress. It was total polyester and everything snagged on it. But I thought it was pretty.

This was taken the following year when I was 12 and my brother was 8. I can't tell you how old my mom was. She'd get mad at me.

There are other Easter photos in the pictures that are buried in the basement somewhere. If I get to them this week, I'll be sure to share them with you. Afterall, that's what keeps you coming back here all the time, right?

Friday, April 3, 2009

A New Hobby? (Edited So Page is No Longer Private)

I discovered www.scrapblog today. If this looks like I hope it will, then I'm going to need to expand my day to at least 36 hours!

I only did the first page, so the next three pages are what scrapblog put up as a sample.

Thank Goodness for Spring Break!

Today is my first day of spring break and I really need it.

It began with a busy night. Alex, bless his heart, is a procrastinator. His senior research paper is due today, April 3. He got all the information about it on January 5. Yep, he had THREE MONTHS to get this completed.

I began to get on his case about this at least a month ago. Then as I was reading his myspace and facebook pages, I'm seeing updates from his classmates saying how far they are on the paper. (Yes, I read his myspace and facebook, and his email as well. Call me a nosy parent. I refer to it as being an informed parent.) When I commented to him that many people seem to be almost finished with their papers, he got upset.

Last weekend he went out with a big group of friends. HOWEVER, I told him that he could NOT go unless his paper was completed. It was completed and awaiting my proof reading. We spent an hour going over two pages, then he said he needed a break from the material. Cute. I couldn't go over it without him because I'm not familiar enough with the material. A few days later we got back to it. Then he decided to change some things. Fortunately he'd typed it all and saved it, but it is beyond me as to why he did it the hard way. He did it on his laptop in MSword, then copy/pasted it into an email, then sent it to himself so it could be opened on the main computer in the den, then copy/pasted into Word again. I asked him why he didn't just keep it in Word and add it to an email as an attachment. He said it was too much trouble. (Still shaking my head on that one.)

As I made some of the corrections, I just happened to ask him if he needed a title page. Why, of course he did, and it had to follow a specific format. Naturally. Was there anything else I needed to know? Well, he had a notebook at school, YES, AT SCHOOL, that gave all the information about the specifics. Oh yeah, and his physics paper was also due TODAY.

Wednesday night I told him NOT to come home on Thursday without everything, and I meant EVERYTHING, needed to complete the paper. Fortunately, he did. That's when I found out how the title page needed to look, that he also needed to turn in a typed outline AND at least 75 notecards. Oh yes, don't forget about how the first page of the paper needed to look. The entire paper needed to be written in MLA style and I've never used MLA. I've only written in APA. Yesterday I emailed his english teacher and asked her how to write song titles (in italics, underlined, in quotes, or nothing special). She emailed me back almost immediately and gave me the information I needed. She was very nice about it and told me to let her know if I had any other questions. She was probably thinking, "It's a little late in the game to be wondering about things like this." To be honest, that's what I was thinking.

It's hard to let your child struggle to meet a deadline when they could benefit from your help, and I know I should have let him sink or swim on his own. But I just couldn't. I had to help.

Yes, I'm an enabler.

But, in my defense, all I did last night was implement the changes we talked about and type the title page. He typed the outline (I couldn't read his writing anyway) and he did the works cited page. And I haven't even READ his physics paper.

Then this morning, the phone rang at 6:50. His car totally died on his way to school. He said the battery light came on, the radio stopped working, and it slowed down. He got off the road safely. Ted went to pick him up then Alex took Ted's truck to school. Ted came into the bedroom and said that he would take care of everything and I wouldn't need to worry about anything. At 7:15, the phone rang again. It was Alex. He said that he was sorry and he knew that everyone was mad at him. I told him that I wasn't mad. I didn't get upset when he called earlier, but that his dad isn't always the nicest person when his morning routine is interrupted. I talked to Alex for about 10 minutes and told him that this is not a big deal...cars can be fixed, and that the important thing is that he's fine.

Before he hung up, I told him that he really has to learn to not leave things to the last minute. Now that his papers were finished, he would work on a scholarship application this weekend. He knows that he absolutely HAS to, or there will be trouble.

Mixed in with all of this, Joe has had trouble with his computer. It needed a new hard drive. He took it to the computer shop and got it back the other day. Now it won't go online. I told him I would work on that after Alex's papers were finished, but he is NOT a patient person. He worked on things yesterday during the day and sort of screwed up the main computer. I was not happy. I ended up yelling at him, and he was yelling at me, and then I really felt bad because yesterday was his BIRTHDAY. I was in the den, working on the computer, trying everything I knew to do. He had a class last night and was to take a box of carnations with him to drop off at my mom and dad's after class. He ended up taking BOTH boxes (one box was for me). A teacher at school sells them as a spring fundraiser for her civic organization each year and I always order a box. When she brought them all to school yesterday, I saw a box with mixed colors and asked if she had any extras...I thought my parents would like them. She did have an extra box! Apparently, though, I was not clear when I asked Joe to drop them off after class. So today I need to be an Indian giver (I have no idea where that term came from) and go retrieve a dozen pink carnations from my parents.

And now...it's time to start enjoying my spring break!