Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I just love summertime. Sunshine and a nice ocean breeze. Windows open. Relax on the deck for lunch and enjoy THE NEIGHBOR'S DOG BARKING CONTINUOUSLY FROM 8 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING UNTIL I LEFT THE HOUSE AT 3 P.M.!!!! Now that I'm back home, the neighbor is as well, and the dog has either quit barking or developed laryngitis. You see, now that school is back in, no one is home to keep poor doggy company all day. This WILL get resolved.

On a funnier long should milk stay fresh?
We, meaning Amanda and I, went grocery shopping yesterday. Amanda bought a quart of milk amongst other things. I reminded her that she had an unopened quart still in the refrigerator. This morning while we were walking down to the Whistlestop Mall to get the newspaper, Amanda started spouting off about how nasty the cereal was that she had bought just yesterday. "Smells like dog food," she said. "When we get home YOU smell it and you'll see what I mean!" It really annoyed her that she would be throwing away an entire, expensive box of cereal after only eating one mouthful.

So, we got back home and as I was sitting reading the newspaper, Amanda strolled in with the open box of Special K Cinnamon and Pecan. I grudgingly took a sniff. Ehhh, not too bad, I thought. Smelled a bit weak on the cinnamon. Then I had a thought.
"Which milk did you use?"
"I don't know, I'll go check," said Amanda.
She came back and remarked that she thought it was the milk that was bad, not the cereal. The milk smelled bad and she didn't want to be the one to have to pour it down the drain!
Off I went to investigate.
Sure was the milk.
Sell by date: JUNE 30, 2008!


And in conclusion, here's a picture of our ficus.This beautiful braided tree was sent to us, last summer when my Dad died, by my friends in Florida. But what does one do with such a gorgeous tree when winter approaches? This guy likes a temperate climate. They will survive indoors but they don't like the change from humid summer to dryness in a winter heated house. The 'best bet for survival' solution became to haul it down to the workshop in the cellar. The lowest temperature there through the winter is 52°F and it isn't as dry as upstairs. Not much natural light though, even with placing it just below the tiny windows high in the cellar wall. It wasn't very happy and by March we were dubious about it's survival. Mid-April it was still struggling along but looked very pathetic so I decided to risk the low outdoor temps in favor of moderate days and higher humidity. After two very cold nights, we thought it had succumbed. We waited, fertilized, and watered, and watched. It recovered. So despite poor living conditions, we still have the ficus. It's leaves are smaller than last year, though. I think seeing it through another winter might be a challenge!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mail Call

YES!FINALLY! Three long weeks.
I think they heard your threat, Mary!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

And Once Again

The mail has arrived.

Nada. Again.

Are you surprised?

update: I had a check to deposit so I headed for the bank. Also, I only had one 'starter' check left so needed more. Officer that was supposed to initiate a trace on the missing checks was not at work today.

There is a problem for these people. Beyond the absurdity of the situation, I have a fantastic memory. Situation went as follows:

Deb: The officer was going to request a trace.

Bank: Oh she was? I know that she checked and confirmed that we ordered them on the 2nd and the printing company shipped them on the.....

Deb: They were charged to my account on the 13th.

Bank: Yes. She's not in today so I can't check if there was a trace.

Deb: I'll need more 'starter' checks.

Bank: Would you like five or ten? They're on us.

Deb: At the rate this is going you better give me ten.

Bank goes to back room and prints 'starter' checks.

She returns.

Deb: Would it be possible to get a debit card on this account so I can actually use my money?

Bank: Yes, but that takes two weeks. We have to send out for them. I know that 'V' was going to do a trace on your order.

Deb: Yes, I was the one that just told you that.

Bank: Even one of our employees hasn't gotten her checks and it's been three and a half weeks.

Deb: Your officer told me that no one else was having this problem.

Bank: Well, it does seem to be the Post Office that's the problem.

Deb: No, the bank's handling of the problem is not appropriate and the entire situation is a very poor reflection on the bank. We are considering relocating all six of our accounts elsewhere.

I turned my back and left, ten relatively useless 'starter' checks in hand.
Don't worry. I'll go back tomorrow.......and every day until my checks arrive!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Can't Bank On It

May I take you back to August 1st? Okay, thanks.

I went to my desk to grab a new 'book' of personal checks. The box was empty. Oh yeah, it was a while back that I turned in the 'time to reorder' slip at the bank. Where were the new checks? I hunted all over. No checks. I headed to the bank for answers, but I was still somewhat concerned that I had misplaced the new order. I have been kinda busy, y'know.

So I got to my bank, just down the street about a half mile. As a family, we have had accounts at this bank for over 35 years. When I spoke to one of the bank officers I was informed that they had no record of an order being processed and that they had changed printing companies. It had probably gotten missed in the transition, I was told. Just marvelous. What was I to do? The officer put in a new order and gave me five free 'starter checks'-the limit for freebies.

Now in this case, starter checks are a funny predicament as they are not really starter checks being that the account has been established for over six years. Starter checks are NOT funny because most business establishments will not accept them. Can't use them at the mall, supermarket, Home Depot, Ace, pharmacy, etc.

You get the picture? I can't do diddly unless I pay cash, have either Amanda or my mother write a check to pay, or put it on my credit card (I won't do that). Thankfully, ESP, my shipper will accept them from me and I can use them to pay the bills that get mailed like utilities, etc. (Gee, I hope :-/)

Anyway, back to ordering the new checks...the bank officer assures me that I'll have them in 5 - 10 business days.

Let me now insert the fact that I have just written 'starter check' number twelve. The first five disappeared quickly even though I tried to hold off on stuff until my REAL checks would arrive. I tried to be patient, but when the tenth day rolled by with the checks NOT being in the mail, I headed back to the bank to complain. They assured me that the order had been placed on the 2nd (it evidently took them an entire day to place it?) and that I would have the new checks within a day or two. I insisted on five more 'free' starter checks. They weren't too pleased about that.

Saturday morning rolled around and my mother was heading for the bank. I owed her for half the fuel oil delivery and the water bill. She had been patiently waiting for my checks to arrive. I gave up and wrote out a starter check to her. A couple funny things then happened. I decided to go to the bank as I needed to get some cash to buy some food. My mother was still at the bank when I arrived. Funny number two was when she tried to deposit that starter check and they discovered that they had printed the wrong account number on it (and the other 4)! Good thing that I was there because they went in to panic mode about those other four checks. Thankfully for them, I hadn't used any of the others and gave them back...again asking for more 'starters'.

Sadly, the question "do you think my checks will be in the mail today?" has become a family joke. We are convinced that I am cursed. I went to the bank once again last Friday morning. I had a nicer officer who at least made the effort to look up my account to see if it had been charged for the missing checks. She said that they post the charge to the account the day that the checks are shipped. My account had been charged on Wednesday 13th.

Yay! I should have them shortly. If not that week, certainly by Monday's mail.

Tuesday's mail came and the curse lived on. I was furious and headed back to the bank. I had bills to pay and not enough 'starter' checks. And besides, I really needed to blow my top at someone.

Back to the original officer, drat. I told her that my checks STILL HADN'T ARRIVED. It was now two and a half weeks. It was MORE than inconvenient. And what did she do? She passed the buck, of course. After all the bank HAD ordered them and the printing company had shipped them. It was the United States Postal Service at fault. Well, I was not pleased with that 'not me' attitude and I told her as much. I told her that I should not have to pay for the checks, if and when they ever arrive. She offered to reorder!!!!! Huh????? and wait and wonder once again? Then she offered to order additional checks, leaving the original order in place. The additional order would be at no charge to me. This I agreed to (although I'm somehow sure that the 'no charge to me' part will be conveniently forgotten by the bank and more 'meetings' will ensue over that one). Then she said she thought she might have a trace put on the original shipment.

HUH??? THOUGHT???MIGHT??? I truly believe that this should be at the top of the list of follow-ups! ... followed quickly by the offer to issue me a debit card at no charge so that I, a longtime, loyal customer, will not be so inconvenienced in the meantime. Pfft. Haven't heard a thing.

I asked for five more 'starter' checks and got them with a glare from the teller.

I went home and paid more bills. Then off to ESP to ship some keys. I've got two more sets left to ship this week. One tomorrow and another Friday. Guess what? I'll then be needing more 'starter' checks. As........

I still haven't gotten my new checks in the mail.

The curse idea just might have some merit. What do you think, tomorrow maybe? 20 days and still counting...................

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Key Difference

"When you receive the box of keys that I just shipped, please call me if you find car keys inside!"

Yep, there they were.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Oh my, I did not want to get out of bed this morning. First off, it had been soooooo nice not having storms during the night. I had stayed up watching the Olympics until nearly midnight and slept soundly until 7 a.m. How nice it was to relax and doze until 7:30. But of course that had to come to an end. I needed to get up and have some breakfast, do a few chores around, and mentally prepare myself for Dreaded Dentist Day. Doomsday time was 11:30 a.m. Scheduled was a cleaning and hopefully a repair to that chipped molar.

My adult life has been plagued with dental problems. No matter the treatment, I have a few decent problem-free years and then get hit hard with expensive problems. This doesn't mesh with no dental insurance and limited financial resources. So, this visit promised to be nasty, I figured.

I arrived about ten minutes early and kept myself calm staring blankly at the walls. The dentist was running about 15 minutes late.

This should not be allowed. Fight or flight sways heavily toward the latter during that wait time!

Finally, I am summoned to 'the chamber'. I'll be right with you, he says. Got to go numb someone in the next room. Grrr. More waiting. Until finally....he arrives for my treatment. I'm informed that a seriously thorough and deep cleaning is necessary. Yikes, doesn't sound like fun. I'm told of a wonderful new tool that he has. Designed just for this particular torture.
"It's super effective, but it can be painful," he says.

Flight is sounding even better!

I'll leave out the details as I know a lot of you love the dentist as much as I do. Yep, it did hurt a bit, but not nearly as much as I had anticipated. And my dentist is very committed to 'less pain equals better dentistry'. My gums are sore now, but only really bad in a few spots. Still haven't gotten that chipped molar repaired! Wouldn't you know I've got another appointment for that.

This afternoon I treated myself to some shopping. Mom and Amanda were waiting for me to get home and saw their dreams realized when all was well enough with me to drive us all to the mall and then up to Skip's for burgers. At the mall, I bought a winter shirt and some nice shoes for the colder weather.

Tomorrow night I'm rewarding myself with an outing to a slide lecture presented by Fisk Organ Co. and hosted by the Sandy Bay Historical Society. 7:30 at the Community House. Hope to see y'all there!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Sun, sleep, fun....none.

Okay, a teeny bit.

We're soggy here in New England. Today, on the weather, they said that it has rained over half the days so far this summer. That's not a tan, ma'am, it's rust. So here's the rainy view out my kitchen window. Window number four out of six that I am permitting. The fungus are thriving for the most part. Actually, a few are getting mold growth on them.

The sun has come out late this afternoon. This is spectacular as now, with the heating of the sun, we should have gigantic thunderstorms again tonight. Last night I got out of work at 10 p.m., came home and had a quick bite to eat and watched the Olympics until 11:30. I was just dosing off for the night when...


Scared me wide awake. Just how I want to be at 1 in the morning! I knew I should have shut the computer down and unplugged it. Lights on and up I get to take care of the computer. What a storm! I do like a good thunderstorm, but not when you see the lightning and hear the crack of thunder simultaneously. That's just too close for me, up on this hill amongst the tall oaks. So...not a heck of a lot of sleep last night.

Today I've been trying to have an 'easy' day. I've been working on more ivory necklaces. This photo doesn't do them justice - really. Sort of bleaches them out. Remember, these are only about .75" X 1.5". Not all have been 'strung' yet and some of the newer ones will have the necklace part threaded directly through the ivory, side to side, so there will be no visible hole at the top.Another design that I have come up with uses both the ivories (naturals) and the ebonies (sharps). These are on a trial basis as they will be more expensive. I've made two ivory and ebony, and one ivory and walnut.

Tomorrow is another triple D day (dreaded dentist day). Can't wait for Thursday!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Almost Pitiful

Last week there was a teeny, green grasshopper hanging on to the antenna of my truck as I drove around town and even all the way to Gloucester and back. Sometimes he was only gripping with one leg, the others flailing in the wind and his little wings splayed and shimmering in the draft. Eventually, while my truck was parked, probably during the night sometime, he gave up and let go.

Unlike a certain person from my past. Seems my ex (you know, the one with the criminal harassment charge pending against him) tried to submit an application to be a volunteer with WHOA, Working to Halt Online Abuse. That's the organization in which I volunteer. For obvious reasons, his application was denied and he was told not to contact anyone within the organization. You'd think that he'd have better things to occupy his time rather than trying to be a nuisance to me. Pathetic. 6 years and still can't leave it alone.