Welcome!

Welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming! One day I hope my little piece of internet real estate will be home to lots of family photos, pictures of my scrapbook and card art, with some random thoughts and memories posted on a somewhat regular basis. Mostly my world is very predictable, but occasionally some excitement will find me, so visit often. Who knows what useful (or useless) information you may find here.

cathyb

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Missing Church- Again!

Well, I suppose my pastor and my church family must surely think I've fallen off the face of the earth. This is the third Sunday in a row that I haven't made it. I feel like a huge part of my week is missing when I don't make it. I have the most wonderful SS class ever... (I call us the Rejects. A few years ago Bro. Gordon announced a new class for folks who normally didn't go to SS, or who felt they didn't really fit in to the already-established classes. Thus my title- the Rejects. Ha!) I have really gotten to know my pastor during these classes, and was delighted to find that he's a normal kind of guy like the rest of us, really funny in a dry sort of way, and extremely smart about a lot of things. With most pastors I know, there was always the need, for me personally, to be on my "best behavior", and important for them to think that I'm probably a *better* Christian than I really am. What I really appreciate about this guy is that I can be myself, warts and all, and don't feel like he judges me for the areas that need improvement. And he's pretty much not afraid for us to see his warts and all too. If he doesn't know something, he'll tell you he doesn't know. He doesn't try to act like he is so spiritually far above us that he has all the answers. He is kinda tricky, though, when he asks questions... and will just laugh when our eyes glass over, or when someone gives an answer from left field. Not in a condemning fashion-- he just loves to "trick" us... to inspire us to think outside the box sometimes, and to examine the possible answers. In our class, most anything goes. He doesn't get all puffed up or high and mighty about what he knows compared to what we don't know. No question is a stupid question. We spend equally as much time off on tangents as we do on whatever lesson he has planned for us. Which to me is great. It is the best SS class I've ever been in, and it makes me irritated when things come up (like oversleeping, or my morning headaches that make me feel lousy) that keep me away. The fact that I work Sundays from 12:30 til 9 pm is sometimes an *excuse* that I will use for not draggin' myself out of the bed, especially on a morning where I can't rid myself of a headache. I have to sneak out every Sunday during the invitation hymn to get home in time to fire up the computer and get settled in to work. But I'm so thankful that my work schedule will allow me to attend church, therefore working on Sundays isn't even a valid reason for missing church.

I did discover that one of my favorite pulpit-preacher/teacher types, John Tally from FB Winder, is on one of our local access TV channels. I went there when I lived in Winder, and though I never quite found my niche in SS or the social aspect of the church family, I dearly loved his weekly sermons, and how they taught us to live every week. So, I try to tune in to those broadcasts, especially when I miss my own church services.

(Oh, and, okay, Bro. Gordon, I know you will read this at some point, so don't go gettin' too big for your britches because I'm saying nice things about you....)

So. For the situations beyond my control, I obviously can't change anything. But for the rest of the time, I am hoping to get back in the swing of things and get myself to that class that means so much to me.

Now it's off to work for the afternoon/evening.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Very Busy Saturday

Happy Saturday! I'm in full Greemaw mode again, as the babies returned home yesterday, and I got me some sweet baby lovin. They were all tired and worn out from the drive home, and we all crashed relatively early last night. Whitney had another episode with her heart in the wee hours of the morning, when Leyland startled her from a deep sleep, and after thirty or so minutes she still hadn't converted. Dustin took her to the hospital, but ironically, as they pulled into the parking lot she converted, and they came back home. She is to follow up with her doctor for a referral to an electrophysiologist (the same one I saw) next week. Hopefully they'll figure out exactly what it is and how best to treat it.


This morning I was able to do one of my most favorite things in the world... sit on the deck at DJs, drink coffee and visit. Ahhh. Perfect morning. A bit noisy, as one of our neighbors was cutting down some trees, but even the buzzing of the chainsaw didn't deter us from enjoying the morning air and the company of family and friends. Since returning home from DJs, I've been working in my room, reorganizing and rearranging furniture. Dustin has removed the old tvs, and I'm still rearranging. And yes, I'm just as anal about arranging furniture and organizing "stuff" as I am about arranging photos and elements on my scrapbook pages! I'll spend another hour or so on this project, maybe grab a nap in one final attempt to rid myself of yet another all-day-headache. Then it's back over to DJs to do another of my favorite things in the whole world... enjoy a juicy, medium-rare, super-delicious David Steak! We're having a cookout tonight as a Good-Luck-Send-Off for (DJ's sister) Delores and Donald. They're leaving tomorrow for Texas, where Delores is scheduled to undergo testing and treatment at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. I believe the plan is a minimum two-week stay, with the possibility of participating in an eight-week program. She's really fought this thing, and we're so happy that she's going to this world-renowned cancer center to participate in cutting edge treatment and technology. Please remember her and the entire family in your prayers. Not only is this going on, but Mama Jo, DJ and Del's mom, is in the hospital following yet another stroke, and is facing a rough, rocky, uphill road. It's a lot to be happening in one family at the same time, but we trust that if God does not still the turbulent waters, then He will surely still the souls of those who are tossed about, and grant peace in their hearts.


So.. it has turned out to be a very busy, very productive Saturday. Gosh, I love it when that happens!!! The house is quiet again; the Veals have gone to visit PawPaw. That bodes well for a Greemaw nap, after I finish up a few more things. Happy Saturday!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sleep Study Completed

But may I just go on record as saying... they have incorrectly named this diagnostic procedure. It should be Sleepless Study. My first disappointment was when I realized I forgot my camera. You know, the scrapbook geek in me has to document everything with photos! So I'll have to settle for finding an image on the internet. While doing a Google search for some images depicting the study, I came across the blog of a gal who pegged it just perfectly, so if you're interested in the details, check this out: Sally's Sleep Study. If you're not interested in the details, I'll bore you with them anyway. I was somewhat looking forward to the adventure, excited to be one step closer to resolving the daytime-sleepiness issues I've been dealing with. I was good to go with my laptop, an Advance (health information) magazine, a good book... anything I thought might help me relax and settle in for a quiet evening. Wrong. After donning my jammies, my sleep tech came in to "wire me up". Friends... that is an understatement. He had me sit in a small, straight chair, and when he turned toward me with such a plethora of electronic gadgets, I felt like a death-row inmate, having met my final destiny with The Chair. He just laughed and said he hears that all the time, but not to worry, the state wouldn't spend that much time and effort to monitor an execution. Now I know why he said that. It took a good 30-45 minutes to hook everything up. Butterbean-sized globs of magic glue were placed strategically about my scalp, to secure the EEG leads. (Ladies... remember what it was like in the olden days when we slept with curlers in our hair? ummm yep... that's a pretty good comparison.) My face was covered with sticky EKG-like pads with wires attached. A cannula was placed in my nose to measure air movement, with another little gadget hanging over my mouth to measure mouth breathing. EKG leads were placed near my collarbone. Leg-movement detectors were placed on both my legs. An elastic band with expansion-sensors was placed around my chest, and yet another around my waist. Oh and I musn't forget the pulse oximeter taped to my finger. I felt like ET!! I'm going to hijack Sally's photo here, just to give you an idea of what it looks like. The only difference is the patches on my face were larger than hers appear to be. My eye patches came virtually across my cheekbones also, like the black marks you see on football players' faces. And I had long white patches covering my mandibles. I suppose to monitor for bruxing (teeth grinding). And you can barely see Sally's snore-detector... a little microphone that they tape to your neck. All these wires are then intracately routed together, behind your ears, over the river and through the woods, ultimately to join together somewhere behind your neck. I was reminded of our Jamaican friends with all those braided thingies pulled back into a ponytail. And when you need to get up, they put the little box thingy (where all these wires connect) on a lanyard around your neck. At first I thought I would have to attempt sleep with that heavy little box hanging around my neck, but thankfully it was removed once I got snuggled into bed. Hmmm... snuggle.... not exactly the word I should have chosen. Now I'm all about hygiene, ya'll know that, (I wanted to question him if the wires were sanitized between patients, but forgot!), and I understand that it would be really nasty to use the same pillows all the time. But I also don't know how they could ever expect a sleep-disordered person, who has been intricately attached to countless wires and creepy things, to sleep on a pillow that rustles every time you move. Should have taken my own pillow! Not one to sleep on my back anyway, I finally had to just move the noisy pillows away. So finally a little after midnight I turn off the tv. Eyes Wide Open. I wiggle about, trying to find an unglued spot on my head to lay on. Then I am cold. And I need to go potty. I decide if I can get warm, maybe I won't have to go potty. So I call my tech, who brings me a blanket. A little later one of my leg leads came of. So I call my tech. Finally I doze a bit, then wake up... and there's no stalling (pun intended) any longer. I must go potty. So I call my tech. A wonderfully patient man who unhooks the connection, gives me my lanyard necklace, and soon I am feeling much better. Back to bed. More tossing and turning, nearly strangling myself with wires, starting to itch from the glue on my face, my head, my legs... and most of all from the tape securing the snore microphone. Mr. Sandman finally wound his way through the maze of wires and sprinkled some sleep into my weary eyes, and for a few hours I did sleep. Then my tech called me. 5:30, time to wake up! Another while to remove the leads, a shower to remove the globs of glue from my scalp, and I was out the door by 6:30. I knew that it wouldn't be an easy night. I sleep on the most comfortable mattress ever made, and I sleep on my tummy with my nose smashed into the mattress. Not on my back tethered to a box looking like Frankenstein. (Well, maybe I do look like Frankenstein...) and certainly not with people on the other end of that infrared camera and room microphone watching and listening to my every move and sound!! But I must say it was a might bit worse than I expected, and I'm already dreading the repeat performance scheduled in two weeks for the CPAP titration portion of it. There is a chance that my findings won't indicate the need for CPAP, but I expect they will. My tech told me to ask for drugs next time. I'm all over that.
One cool thing, though. I told my tech that I'm the person who will actually be transcribing the report, (as is part of my work-load assignment each day), and that I'd be typing my own report in a few days anyway, so couldn't he give me some info on how I did? He said my apnea events were in the low range, except during REM, where they doubled. And that in itself would probably necessitate the repeat study with CPAP titration. Then I asked for a tour of the "control room", and he was gracious enough to oblige and even showed me the tracings from my own personal report. (To anyone concerned, there were no confidentiality/HIPAA violations here.) I found it interesting, in a geek sort of way, to *see* exactly what it is that I'm transcribing. That part was cool.
As for the rest of the day, I think I shall attempt to clean/organize the craft room, wait anxiously to hear again the pitter-patter of little grandbaby feet about my house, and perhaps join my parents, Aunt Peg & Uncle Billy for dinner. And look forward to sleeping in my own personal, wonderful, sweet-smelling, comfy bed tonight, untethered and free as a bird. woohoo!!!!
Thanks to Sally for letting me hijack her post and her photo. I'll take my camera if I do the CPAP thing so I can have my own photos. Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Few More Beach Photos

Warning: Possible side effects of viewing this post:
~Puckering of the lips (you just wanna kiss these babies!)
~Sniffing the air in an attempt to smell the salt.
~Multiple "awwwwws" escaping your vocal cords.
~Sniffing of your favorite sunscreen, just wishing you were there.
~A sincere longing in your heart to visit the beach. (Unless of course you hate the beach, then you'll count your blessings that you are at home reading this boring blog instead of at the beach covered with sand. I'm not sure I even know anyone who would fit into that sad state of mind.)


Disclaimer: The author of this post assumes no responsibility for any of the above-mentioned side effects. View/Enjoy at your own risk. (Some photos will enlarge when you click, but some of them won't)

























Thanks for looking!! You can stop puckering now!!

Babies At The Beach

The quiet in my home is almost palpable. I'm sure missing those little munchkins! They arrived safely at MB on Monday afternoon. Leyland loved her first experience of wading in the surf. Corey wasn't impressed. I've talked to Whit a few times, and they're having a blast. On Tuesday, Leyland and Mary took up with some little old ladies who were sifting through the wet sand in one of the left-over high-tide pools on the beach. Whitney says she has some great photos, but so far she hasn't been able to upload them to her facebook. She did send me a couple of photos that she took on her phone. Aren't they adorable?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day


Memorial Day. The long holiday weekend that marks the traditional beginning of summer. A day off work. Picnics, barbeques, and parades. The end of the school year. Such fun things! Memorial Day is indeed all of these things, but ever so much more. Driving by the cemetery, I get choked up every year to see all the flags in the military section, honoring our veterans who have died. Once I even found the flag flying in honor of my Uncle Billy. That was sweet. I found this blurb about the day on the web: "Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was instituted to honor Union soldiers who died in the Civil War. After World War I, the purpose of the day was expanded to include all men and women who died in U.S. military service." Though my Uncle Billy, and many other veterans in our cemetery, didn't actually give their life blood on the battlefield, nowadays we have somewhat adapted Memorial Day to honor all veterans, alive or deceased, for their service. As well we should honor them. My dad, my brother, all of my uncles, many in my church family, many friends, and spouses of friends, and the dads of most of my friends. To borrow a phrase from another, "All gave some, Some gave all." To those men and women who have given anything at all, whether it be short-term service, a lifelong career, their life's blood, their limbs, their mental health, their physical health.... and to the spouses and children who have sacrificed the presence of one so significant in their lives, I pause today to say... thank you. From the bottom of my heart- a heart that beats within the chest of a person who is free to worship where I please, free to live where I please, free to enjoy for myself the liberties granted to me by the blood spilled on New England soil so many years ago, the liberties still protected protected this day by those who wear the uniform of the U. S. Military. To those who gave all, to those who gave some, and to those will will give in the future: Thank you.

May the flags continue to fly proudly in cemeteries across the country, and on the doorposts of our homes, but mostly may our gratitude fly high in our hearts and our souls.

And boo-hiss to Google. I'm a huge Google fan. I use it many times, every day, both for pleasure and for work. I once watched a documentary on tv about how your graphic artists spend hundreds of hours to come up with the cute holiday/event-specific renditions of your logo. I am always amused by the cleverness, and look forward to seeing how you will incorporate the event in your logo. So today, a day in which we remember the soldiers who purchased your right to entrepreneurship and capitalism, today the only thing you can come up with is a small yellow ribbon on your home page? Shame on you!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Corey's First Haircut

Despite Candace's threat to form a picket line to protest the occasion, Corey got his first haircut on Saturday. Well, his first "real" haircut. Whitney and I had snipped off the Eddie Munster swatches of hair a few months ago, and as a result, he had a few strands of hair that were about 4 inches longer than the rest. It looked really funny when pulled straight up. The Little Man had hair enough to put in a little pony tail on top, and I had threatened to do so... but the looks Whitney gave me when I would play with his hair stopped me cold. They are preparing to leave for the beach tomorrow, and it was decided that the unruly locks must go. Besides, that little face is just too cute to be covered in boy-bangs.

Corbin's great-grandma did the honors, and both boys got a trim. Corbin is a pro at it by now, as this was his third time in the chair. What a big boy! He sat all by himself!

Below are a few photos to document the occasion. (I apologize if they appear splattered all over the page. If I post on my laptop it looks wierd on the PC. If I post on the PC it looks wierd on the laptop. I'm not going to fight with it today.) But, you know I just had to have these pictures for the scrapbook!!! I'm already designing the pages in my mind! Thanks for looking at my two most favorite little guys in the world!


BEFORE






DURING (Hmmm. not so sure about this...)

_Nope, not liking this at all...
Brave Corbin!

AFTER!
ADORABLE!!





Thursday, May 21, 2009

More On The Mower

I forgot to post an update on the Lawn Mower Saga. (See edited portion of HH Gregg post) My dad and I went to Lowe's on Saturday to take the broken mower back (for the third time). At the service desk, a nice young lady called the Lawn Mower Guy to tell him we were there. I guess he must have remembered us, because the girl was just smiling into the phone, saying "it's okay"... but he didn't come up to where we were.... he just told her to refund my money and then sell me another mower for the same price. No questions, no hassles. I guess he was as tired of dealing with us as we were tired of dealing with a lemon mower. To my surprise, they even refunded the cost of the extended warranty, so that I had enough to get the extended warranty on the new one too. I'm glad to report that I was indeed smiling as we drove away with a new mower in the truck. One more good customer service experience to report. Gotta love that. Now let's hope this mower is a better-behaved machine than its predecessor!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Capitis Sanditis


Seems that the reality of getting older is more evident every day. Not necessarily because of the way I feel, but because of the number of doctor/hospital visits I've had (and scheduled for) lately. When I went for my yearly physical, I asked my doctor for a 50,000 mile tuneup (just turning 50 and all). I had a long list of questions about issues that, until passing the 50-mile marker, I have pretty much ignored. I'm a terrible patient. I don't test my blood sugar faithfully, I don't take my medications like I should, my eating habits are deplorable, and my exercise level is fairly nonexistent. That's pretty much a recipe for disaster. You'd think in my line of work, I'd be more conscientious. Every day I see (transcribe) patients whose most glaring diagnosis is capitis sanditis, or the dreaded head-in-the-sand syndrome. Those people who failed to take care of themselves earlier in life and who now are paying the consequences. That's my #1 diagnosis... and probably the most dangerous one of them all. Okay, enough self-flagellation... back to my 50,000 mile checkup:


My doctor was impressed with my sudden interest in getting a fix on where I stand health-wise, and once I read my list of concerns to her, she was quick to agree that we must indeed investigate. As a result, in the past week, I have seen a pulmonologist, and an electrophysiologist/cardiologist. I nearly killed myself walking (galloping) on an inclined treadmill with my heart injected with radiosotopes. I've had a chest x-ray, EKG, tuberculine test, and an extreme battery of bloodwork. In the upcoming three weeks, I am scheduled for two more doctor appointments, an echocardiogram, an overnight sleep study, and a CPAP titration study. Chances are good that I'll be wearing a space alien mask to sleep every night to help with the confounded extreme daytime sleepiness that plagues me each day as I sit and try to work. (Take Me To Your Leader....)


Now do you know why I feel old? It's hard to keep up with the medical appointments of my mom and dad, and it seems like the aunts and uncles spend most of their time in doctors' offices as well.


Something tells me that if I don't get a handle on this stuff ASAP, I'll be spending my golden years tethered to an exam table somewhere.....




Monday, May 18, 2009

Speaking of Weddings...

Trivia: Two important things happened 29 years ago today. Do you know what they were?

1. Mt. St. Helens erupted.
2. I got married.

Today would have been my 29th wedding anniversary, had Randy and I stayed married. My goodness... where have all the years gone? We were married for 12 years, and have been apart for 17 years. For me, the absolute worst thing about the divorce (besides the obvious effect divorce has on children) is missing the in-laws. After the first few years, though, we worked our way back to becoming close again, and I am very fortunate to enjoy a great relationship with them. And I guess the best part is that 98.9% of the time, Randy and I get along better now than when we were married. While divorce is usually never pretty, and leaves scars on many people, I am one of the fortunate ones who had the unconditional support of family and friends, and as I said above, eventually became close again to my in-laws (who, in my eyes, will forever be considered my in-laws). Whitney has a stepmom who has been very, very good to her, and for that I am most thankful. For sure, the road has been paved with boulders and potholes, and the navigation hasn't always been easy. It is still a journey... filled with ups and downs, happy times as well as challenging times. Never the destination, always the journey. I love the quote at the top of my blog that says "Things turn out best for those who make the best of how things turn out." (Art Linkletter) That is so true. I'm so very grateful that, despite the challenges of single-motherhood, working extra jobs, raising a daughter, I'm at a place in life where I'm pretty much content. Oh, things could be better, of course... there are some health issues that deserve more attention/action, and I wish things were different for some family members, but all in all... I'm extremely thankful that at the end of the day I have a nice, warm (or cool) place to lay my head, we don't lack for food on the table, I am healthy enough to work at a job I enjoy, and that there always seems to be enough money to pay the bills. Life rarely turns out how we expected it to, and mine is no exception. We make the best of what we have been given (or chosen). I believe that there are some elements of life that are within our control, while others are not. Regardless of what we possess, how much money we have, how healthy we are...there are still some people who just choose to be unhappy (void of joy). Not me. Somewhere along the molecular map of my DNA, some happy ancestor of mine passed along the happy/joy gene, and I have chosen to be happy. 100% of the time? nah... I'm a realist, 100% happiness ain't gonna happen. But.....it makes such a difference in how you view the bad things in life. When you have chosen to be happy, you know and understand that when the bad things come along... "they come to pass... not to stay." Though the rain may fall today, the sun will come out again. So.... even though I will not be celebrating 29 years of marriage, and even though there have been dark and difficult times along the way... I'm wearin' my shades, because I believe the future is still bright for me and the ones I love.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Best Wedding "First Dance" Ever!

No time to blog today, so I'll just share a little video that my friend Patty sent. Click here to see the most fabulous First Dance ever!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

LOST Finale & Vocapeople

LOST: Wow! What a finale! Though each episode always raises more questions than it provides answers, the show last night did not disappoint! As per usual, some questions were answered, and the picture becomes a bit clearer, whereas the haze thickens in other areas. The last few minutes of the show were quite intense, and sad, (I'm a Juliet fan), and left me panting for more. Which, in my opinion, is exactly what a finale is supposed to do. Hooray for drama, boo-hiss on those anticlimactic ones that make me wish I had just gone to bed early. I hope to go back and watch some of the shows on the internet during the summer hiatus. Sad to think that the next season will be the last one, but I am looking forward to seeing how in the world they're going to pull it all together and get the loose ends tied.

Here's another Wow for you. Click on the arrow on the left underneath the box to initiate an amazing video. This is called Vocapeople. They are a group of performers who sing a capella, and use their voices to make the music. Totally amazing! Enjoy!
video

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

H H Gregg Shopping Experience

In the past I have written letters, commenteries in newspapers, and made phone calls to businesses who have poor customer service. I may even have written about them on my blog.. I dunno. When we research an item prior to purchase and read reviews, many times the negative reviews outweigh the positive ones. We watch the news, and usually what we see are reports of the bad things. Occasionally the news programs will try to integrate some good news into their broadcasts, usually at the end of the program. Perhaps not to leave such a bitter taste, or such negative thoughts in our mind at the close of their program. Why is it that we focus so on the negative? My daughter will gladly tell you that I am forever nit-picking at her over the things she does *wrong*, and not so much encouraging and appreciating her for the things she does right. The right things she does far outnumber the *wrong*. So why is it that I/we focus on the wrong, or the bad?? Why do we do that? Do the emotions evoked by a bad experience outweigh the good feelings when something goes right? Or do we just have such expectations that things always go right that we fail to appreciate it when they actually do?

In an effort to focus more on the positive, I want to tell you about a wonderful shopping experience I had this past weekend. I had the opportunity to do some p.r.n. work for a former client, and decided to use the money to purchase a TV for my new room. As time went on, and the hours piled up, I realized I wouldmake enough to also replace the 18-year-old TV that my Aunt Joyce bought me when Randy and I split up. How exciting! After shopping, researching, grilling my brother and my dad about different models, I decided what I wanted. My neighbor Kim told me about a new HH Gregg that was opening in Snellville, and that I should check it out.
It was a shopping experience like I've never had before. I walked in the door, was greeted by a nice gentleman with a sales paper, then by a young man who offered to help. I jokingly asked him if he was my personal shopping assistent. To my surprise he said "yes, ma'am, that's exactly what I am". His name was Maurice, and he walked with me through the entire television section, explaining differences in models, LCD vs plasma, and all the various wires, cables, boxes, etc., that are required to make the gizmos work. After deciding on the two sets I wanted, he showed me which of those additional items I needed, and gathered everything up for me. I could see the dollar signs rolling behind my eyeballs, and was starting to feel a little faint at this point, thinking that I might need an oxygen mask. I asked him to call his manager and work up a proposal for me, because, after all, I was hoping to buy TWO tv sets, and I had driven all that way just to visit his store. So Maurice got his department manager, they crunched some numbers, and after discounting each item, the bottom line was that all the "stuff" (that was priced at around $300.00), was virtually no cost to me. How terrific is that!! It was a costly purchase, no doubt, but the fact that I saved $300.00, paid cash for it (Dave Ramsey would be so proud of me- not that I would have charged it anyway, but still, cash feels good!), and had the opportunity to work extra to earn the money... that was pretty groovy in my book!

Of course it is a new store, with the grand opening sale going on and all, but while I was waiting for them to load my purchases, I did speak with the store manager about my experience. I told him that Maurice was very helpful to me, and that I enjoyed having my own personal assistant, as opposed to chasing down someone to help me, like one must do in another Geek store. He told me that the "personal shopping assistant" is the way they do business, and not just a grand-opening gimick. I suppose some manly-man-types might not like it, but I sure did. He didn't even flinch when I took time out to call my dad twice and my brother once. (Funny story, though... while they were crunching numbers I needed to utilize the ladies' room, and while I was gone, my phone rang and it was Maurice... looking for me... I guess he thought I had escaped while he wasn't looking!)
At any rate, my initial HH Gregg experience was a delightful one, and though I drove away with my car loaded down and feeling a bit light-headed from it all, I will definitely shop there again, when in need of electronics. Too bad they don't build outdoor decks. That's my project for next year.
So there's my contribution to Positive Customer Reviews for the day. Two good consumer experiences in one week (see previous post). Now that's something to smile about!
[Edited to add- be sure to check back in a week or so and see if I'm still smiling after returning my still-new lawn mower to Lowe's. For the THIRD TIME. Before I even finished writing this post, Whitney told me that it died again yesterday while Dustin was cutting grass. The mower has been used less than a dozen times, and as stated above, this will be the third (and final) time that I return it. I even sprung for the extended warranty (sorry Dave, and Clark Howard), with the promise that if they couldn't fix it they would replace it. If they replace it with a new mower, I'll be smiling. If they don't, you will find me writing yet another letter, or making another phone call, and writing a bad review. Wish me luck!!]

Akins Ford Mazda - Does It Again!

You may recall an earlier post that I was very impressed with the customer service at Akins Ford-Mazda of Athens. Well, they've done it again. Dustin noticed the front driver's-side tire was in pretty bad shape on their van. They're leaving for the beach in a couple of weeks, so instead of replacing the tire with a refurbished one, it was decided to take the van down to Akins for a new set. The CS was once again fabulous, and the job was completed one day sooner than promised. (The tires had to be ordered.)

Two things that I absolutely hate to spend my money on are tires and the dentist. Thank goodness, I have healthy teeth, and my tires normally last a good long while. Two absolutely necessary expenses, granted, but painful nonetheless.

Unfortunately, Whitney had to dip into their vacation savings to pay for the tires, but fortunately, she had the money... and fortunately this happened before vacation instead of during, or after, when there for sure would be no money. A huge blessing is that Dustin has been putting in overtime hours, so there will be some vacation money for them after all. At least now they can drive to the beach on safe tires! I'm just thankful that Dustin took notice of the tires. I'm such a girl, and never even think to look at my tires, until some nice random man at the gas station, or my dad, tells me that my tires are about to split open. It would have been a disaster to have a flat (or worse, a blow-out) on the interstate with a baby, a toddler, and a 6-year-old in a van packed to the gills with various and sundry baby/kid paraphernalia.

Once again, hats off to Brad Akins and his crew for a job well done. I will worry less about my little chickadees as they travel, knowing that they will be riding on new tires.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Wonderful Daughter

Oh dear... in the post below where I thanked everyone for pitching in to make my mom's party a success, I failed to mention the hard work of my lovely daughter. As a rule, our home has that "lived-in look". The only problem is, it normally has that "lived-in-by-a-large-family-of-migrant-farm-workers" look, with toys and laundry (dirty and clean) strewn about, and the kitchen seems to have a way of dirtying itself, and keeping its sink full of dishes. Our counter and table tops become the landing zones for whatever objects we are holding when we enter the room, and it's not often you can actually see those surfaces. I won't even tell you about my bathroom. (well, now, my NEW bathroom is spic-and-span, sparkling clean, save for some sorted laundry that I'm currently processing). But the Community Bathroom just down the hallway is usually pretty messy. Not nasty (well sometimes...), but with a toddler in potty training, a constant stream of dirty baby laundry, towels, towels everywhere, it is nearly impossible to keep that room sparkling clean. Most of the time I'd settle for presentable.

Whitney and I had most of the day on Friday, and a good part of Saturday to get our chores done in preparation for the event on Sunday. Normally when we work as a team, especially under pressure, we can get the job(s) done pronto. However, we had ourselves a little trouble getting started, and spent Friday evening working on Michael's scrapbook. Determined to get it finished, I pulled an all-nighter, and didn't make it to bed until after dawn on Saturday morning. I slept a few hours, then got up ready to get the job done. To make a long story short, I'll just say this.... we ended up not doing squat on Saturday except running around picking up things we needed. Even though it was after 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning when we went to bed, the house was still a wreck. Honestly, I considered taking a "before" picture, (just in case we made it to "after", for comparison). So.. talk about PRESSURE on Sunday morning! We got up at 7:00 a.m. and got more work done in one hour than we had done the previous two days. That gal of mine worked like a maniac cleaning and scrubbing, putting away (sometimes hiding behind locked doors) things that didn't belong. She cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the living room, tidied the Princen Room. All the while, the clock ticked onward. Fortunately, Rick and Sherree arrived early enough to get the appetizers started while I took a quick shower and got myself ready.

So, I was terribly remiss in not saying a special Thank You to Whitney for all her hard work. I certainly couldn't have done it without you, Whit!! Now just remember, when I turn 70, you'll have Leyland to help you clean up your house for MY surprise birthday party!!! :-D Love, Mom