Two Very Different Letters

Been a successful letter writing campaign around here this week.  A couple of letters were written; one to me and one by me.

When I got home from work on Wednesday afternoon, I found a handwritten letter from the grandson that lives with us. IMG00010-20100731-1328 Kaeden is 8 1/2 years old. The letter is so sweet!  It brought tears to my eyes.  Some were tears of laughter, but others were tears of love.  Here’s a copy of that letter:

Kaeden First Letter, 112410 001 (Large)

Isn’t it just the cutest letter?  Apparently his class is learning how to write letters.  I’ll treasure it forever!  It will have it’s rightful place among his other treasures in his “treasure box”.

Grandmas and Moms all have one of those for each kid, right?  Mine’s a flat, under the bed type, Rubbermaid storage box with a lid.  Gotta’ have the lid to keep the dust bunnies out!  I’m thinking it’s about time to get another box.  This one is close to overflowing with the first 8 1/2 years of his life!  Home school, preschool, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd & 3rd grade!  That’s a lot of stuff for one little guy!  There’s his little bird’s nest made of mud, complete with little blue eggs; his first hand drawn 3-D picture of a farm, drawn in 3rd grade Art class; his first self portrait also done recently in 3rd grade Art class; a really cute gingerbread man made of construction paper and stuffed with cotton balls, done at age 4 1/2, at pre-school.  Anyway, you get the picture.  Not exactly sure what I’ll ever do with all this stuff, but can’t bring myself to just toss it either.

The other letter, one written by yours truly, yesterday morning, is of great importance because I feel like I beat back the lions!  Long story short, in early November I had to take my 1994 Dodge Grand Caravan into the dealer’s shop for some starting issues.  We’d already spent about a $100 in parts and our own labor in attempting to ‘fix’ the problem.  For some reason, the van simply wouldn’t start if the outside temps were below about 45°.  Well, that’s just not acceptable around here, especially going into late Fall & early Winter.

After beating our heads against a brick wall, we succumbed to letting the local Dodge dealership work on it.  I was extremely explicit in my instructions to them.  I specifically told them to put it on the diagnostic machine to find out why it wasn’t starting in colder temps.  I also told them they needed to do that during the early morning hours before temps warmed up.  This was on Nov. 2nd.  Left the van overnight, so they could test it first thing in the morning.  Did they do that?  Of course not.  Their ever intelligent staff waited till about 10 a.m. to start it.  By then it was about 50° outside.  Of course it started!  It started hard, as it has done for many months this past summer, but it started.

I promised a short story, so suffice it to say, I spent that entire week without a vehicle, telling the shop manager to be sure to test it when it was cold outside, borrowing and begging rides not only to get me to work, Curves, the grocery store & home, but to get Kaeden to school everyday.  Seems the dealer didn’t have a loaner for me.

I paid for the initial work they did, $215.97, that by the end of the week, should have been refunded or credited to the final work they did.  God only knows  how many times I told them to test it in cold temps.  Not that the engine had to be cool, but that the outside temps had to be colder than 45°.  I discovered this little fact over several days of dealing with it prior to calling the dealer.  The one fact that stood out, was that it wouldn’t start with the colder outside temps around 7:45 – 10:00 or so.  When they finally did as I ‘d asked the first time I took the van to them, they actually got test results that told them what was wrong.  And it wasn’t the fuel pressure regulator, it was the crank sensor!  Would someone please tell me whay outside temps would matter for a crank sensor?

By this time, it was Friday afternoon.  I left it one more night, so they could test it again on Saturday morning.  Sure enough, it started just fine.  Of course, before I could leave the shop, they wanted mo’ money!  Another $176!  So, now the van is fixed and starting without any problems, but I’m out almost $400 because they didn’t do what I asked the first time.  I promised to keep this short, so not a lot of detail  here, but I suspect you get the picture just fine.

Side note here; as with most Americans, we’re not flush with funds by any means.  And with Christmas just around the corner, the last thing we needed was more repair bills.  Disabled husband with medical bills, 8 year old grandson living with us and I only work 30 hours/wk.  Our budget is stretched to the max with no room for repairs of anything.

After fuming about this for almost 3 weeks, I finally sat down and wrote a letter to the owner of the dealership yesterday.  Sometimes it takes me a while to get my thoughts going.  It turned out to be 2 full pages, and rather scathing of their shop staff’s performance.  I hand delievered it to the Service & Body Director, Gary Garman, asking him to just read it when he had some time.  I told him I just wanted to vent and let someone know that they had a pretty pissed off customer.  He was upfront apologetic immediately, and I accepted  his apology, then asked that he just read the letter, it would explain everything.  At that point, I left and went to work.

Less than 2 hours later, hubby called from home.  This is how that call went:

Hubby:  “So, I assume you went out to Clemons’ before you went to work?”

Me:  “Yep, sure did, why?”

Hubby:  “Because I just had a visitor.  The Service & Body Director, Gary Garman, hand delivered a full refund check for the initial charges that we’ve been so upset about, along with a huge verbal apology and a hand written letter of apology.”

Me:  “Oh MY GOD!  You’re kidding me!  The full $215.97?!”

Hubby:  “Yep, all of it.”

Me:  “So, sometimes the squeaky wheel really does get greased.  Cool beans!  Now at least we’ll have a little money for Christmas.”

So, here I am today…thinking two things:  One, I need to write a BIG thank you to the Pat Clemons Dodge, Chrysler, Chevy, Buick dealership.  And two, my faith in humanity has been somewhat restored.  Am I thankful?  You bet!  Thank you Gary Garman for taking the time to care and thank you Pat Clemons Dodge, Chrysler, Chevy, Buick dealership for making this situation right!

Now I’m off to do just a little Christmas shopping that I didn’t think I’d get to do this year.

OH, and if anyone needs me to take up a letter writing campaign to beat back your lions, just let me know!

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Rules for Kickin’ Ass

Got this as an email message a couple days ago.  I love it!  So wanted to share it.

Rules for the Non-Military

Make sure you read #13 !!!

Dear Civilians,

We know that the current state of affairs in our great nation has many civilians up in arms and excited to join the military.

For those of you who can’t join, you can still lend a hand. Here are a few of the areas where we would like your assistance:

******1.  The next time you see any adults talking (or wearing a hat) during the playing of the National Anthem – kick their ass.

2. When you witness, firsthand, someone burning the American Flag in protest – kick their ass.

3.  Regardless of the rank they held while they served, pay the highest amount of respect to all veterans. If you see anyone doing otherwise, quietly pull them aside and explain how these veterans fought for the very freedom they bask in every second.  Enlighten them on the many sacrifices these veterans made to make this Nation great. Then hold them down while a disabled veteran kicks their ass.

4.  If you were never in the military, DO NOT pretend that you were.  Wearing battle dress uniforms (BDUs) or Jungle Fatigues, telling others that you used to be ‘Special Forces’, collecting GI Joe memorabilia, might have been okay when you were seven years old. Now, it will only make you look stupid and get your ass kicked.

5.  Next time you come across an *Air Force* member, do not ask them, ‘Do you fly a jet?’ Not everyone in the Air Force is a pilot.  Such ignorance deserves an ass-kicking (children are exempt).

6.  If you witness someone calling the Coast Guard ‘non-military’, inform them of their mistake – and kick their ass.

*****7.  Next time Old Glory (the US flag) prances by during a parade, get on your damn feet and pay homage to her by placing your hand over your heart.  Quietly thank the military member or veteran lucky enough to be carrying her – of course, failure to do either of those could earn you a severe ass-kicking.

9.  ‘Your mama wears combat boots’ never made sense to me – stop saying it!
If she did, she would most likely be a vet and therefore would kick your ass!

10.  ‘Flyboy’ (*Air Force*),
       ‘Jarhead’ (*Marines*),
       ‘Grunt’ (*Army*),
       ‘Squid’ (*Navy*),
       ‘Puddle Jumpers'(*Coast Guard*), etc.
are terms of endearment we use describing each other.   Unless you are a service member or vet, you have not earned the right to use them. Using them could get your ass kicked.

11.  Last, but not least, whether or not you become a member of the military, support our troops and their families. Every Thanksgiving and religious holiday that you enjoy with family and friends, please remember that there are literally thousands of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen far from home wishing they could be with their families. Thank God for our military and the sacrifices they make every day. Without them, our Country would get it’s ass kicked.

12.  It’s the Veteran, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.

It’s the Veteran, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.

It’s the Veteran, not the community organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate.

It’s the Military who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.

AND ONE MORE:

***!!****13.  If you ever see anyone singing the national anthem in Spanish – KICK THEIR ASS.
              They should learn to sing it in ENGLISH!!!

ONE LAST THING:
If you got this email and don’t pass it on – guess what – you deserve to get your ass kicked!

I sent this to you, not because I didn’t want to get my ass kicked BUT BECAUSE  I KNOW YOU WILL NOT BE OFFENDED AND ARE PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN AND WILL FORWARD THIS.
THANK YOU

WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE, ONLY BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE!  
 
                                             IN GOD WE’d BETTER TRUST!!!

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

I’ll leave the above just for posterity.  I do want to thank my good dear friend, Bob, for getting this blog going for me.  He’s a great friend, even though we’ve never met face to face, we’ve know each other for many years, right here on the world wide web.  THANK YOU Bob!

I’m sure there’ll be more to come as soon as I can find my way around here.  It’s much different than the WLS neighborhood I just came from.  But, judging from the WP themes etc, I think I’m gonna’ like my new ‘home’.  I’m excited to be starting out on a new blog adventure, but way too tired tonight to try to learn anything new.  I’d probably just screw it up.  So, for now, g’night.

My First Blog Here

Today

Today is the first anniversary of the worst day of my life. This date is deeply engrained in my brain and on my broken heart. If I could have a re-do it’d be to re-do that last hug on that fatal morning and NEVER let go. My heart aches everyday. There’s a big hole in my heart where you belong. I miss you every waking moment, Cameron.  RIP my beloved son.  Oct. 4, 1979-Sept. 30, 2009.

Dressing for the High School Reunion

Got this in an email from one of my best friends this morning.  It’s absolutely HILARIOUS!  ‘Bout choked on my coffee when reading it!

I had prepared for it like any intelligent woman would.

I went on a starvation diet the day before, knowing that all the extra weight would just melt off in 24 hours, leaving me with my sleek, trim, high-school-girl body.  The last forty years of careful cellulite collection would just be gone with a snap of a finger.

I knew if I didn’t eat a morsel on Friday, that I could probably fit into my senior formal on Saturday.  Trotting up to the attic, I pulled the gown out of the garment bag, carried it lovingly downstairs, ran my hand over the fabric, and hung it on the door.

I stripped naked, looked in the mirror, sighed, and thought, "Well, okay,  maybe if I shift it all to the back …"  Bodies never have pockets where you need them.

Bravely I took the gown off the hanger, unzipped the shimmering dress and stepped gingerly into it.  I struggled, twisted, turned, and pulled and I got the formal all the way up to my knees … Before the zipper gave out. I was disappointed.  I wanted to wear that dress with those silver sandals again and dance the night away.

Okay, one setback was not going to spoil my mood for this affair.  No way!  Rolling the dress into a ball and tossing it into the corner, I turned to Plan B:  the black crepe caftan.

I gathered up all the goodies that I had purchased at Saks:  the scented shower gel; the body building and highlighting shampoo and conditioner; the split-end killer and shine enhancer.  Soon my hair would look like that girl’s in the Pantene ads.

Then the makeup — the under eye "ain’t no lines here" firming cream, the all-day face-lifting gravity-fighting moisturizer with wrinkle filler spackle; the ‘all day kiss me till my lips bleed, and see if this gloss will come off’ lipstick, the bronzing face powder for that special glow

But first, the roll-on facial hair remover. I could feel the wrinkles shuddering in fear.

Okay, time to get ready!  I jumped into the steaming shower, soaped, lathered, rinsed, shaved, tweezed, buffed, scrubbed and scoured my body to a tingling pink.

I plastered my freshly scrubbed face with the anti-wrinkle, gravity fighting "your face will look like a baby’s posterior" face cream.  I set my hair on hot rollers.

I felt wonderful.  Ready to take on the world.  Or in this instance, my underwear. With the towel firmly wrapped around my glistening body, I pulled out the black lace, tummy-tucking, cellulite-pushing, ham hock-rounding girdle, and the matching "lifting those bosoms like they’re filled with helium" bra.

I greased my body with the scented body lotion and began the plunge.  I pulled, stretched, tugged, hiked, folded, tucked, twisted, shimmied, hopped, pushed, wiggled, snapped, shook, caterpillar crawled and kicked.  Sweat poured off my forehead but I was done.  And it didn’t look bad.

So I rested.  A well deserved rest, too.

The girdle was on my body.  Bounce a quarter off my behind?  It was tighter than a trampoline.  Can you say, "Rubber baby buggy bumper buns?"  Okay, so I had to take baby steps, and walk sideways, and I couldn’t move from my buns to my knees.  But I was firm!

Oh no … I had to go to the bathroom.  And there wasn’t a snap crotch.  From now on, undies gotta have a snap crotch.  I was ready to rip it open and re-stitch the crotch with Velcro, but the pain factor from past experiments was still fresh in my mind.  I quickly sidestepped to the bathroom.

An hour later, I had answered nature’s call and repeated the struggle into the girdle.  I was ready for the bra.  I remembered what the saleslady said to do.  I could see her glossed lips mouthing,  "Do not fasten the bra in the front, and twist it around.  Put the bra on the way it should be worn — straps over the shoulders  Then bend over and gently place both breasts inside the cups."

Easy if you have four hands.  But, with confidence, I put my arms into the holsters, bent over and pulled the bra down … But the boobs weren’t cooperating. I’d no sooner tuck one in a cup, and while placing the other, the first would slip out.  I needed a strategy.  I bounced up and down a few times, tried to dribble them in with short bunny hops, but that didn’t work.  So, while bent over, I began rocking gently back and forth on my heel and toes and I set ‘em to swinging.  Finally, on the fourth swing, pause, and lift, I captured the gliding glands.  Quickly fastening the back of the bra, I stood up for examination.

Back straight, slightly arched, I turned and faced the mirror, turning front, and then sideways.  I smiled, yes, Houston , we have lift up!

My breasts were high, firm and there was cleavage!  I was happy until I tried to look down.  I had a chin rest  And I couldn’t see my feet. 

I still had to put on my pantyhose, and shoes.  Oh … why did I buy heels with buckles?

Then I had to pee again. ……..So I put on my sweats, fixed myself a drink, ordered pizza, and skipped the high school reunion.  
If this didn’t make you laugh out loud, you’re too young!!

THE BASIC RULES FOR CLOTHES LINES

I love this!  Got it in an email from a friend this morning.  Just had to pass it on.

Many memories, old & not so old.  I still have and USE my clothesline.  Do you?

Remember these days?  You have to be a certain age to appreciate this.  I can hear my mother now….

(if you don’t know what clotheslines are, better skip this)

1.  You had to wash the clothes line before hanging any clothes-walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.

2.  You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang "whites" with "whites," and hang them first.

3.  You never hung a shirt by the shoulders  –  always by the tail!  What would the neighbors think?

4.  Wash day on a Monday! . . . Never hang clothes on the weekend, or  Sunday, for Heaven’s sake!

5.  Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you could hide your "unmentionables" in the middle (perverts & busybodies, y’know!)

6.  It didn’t matter if it was sub zero weather  . . . Clothes would "freeze-dry."

7.  Always gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes! Pins left on the lines were "tacky!"

8.  If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.

9.  Clothes off the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.

10. IRONED?!  Well, that’s a whole other subject!

           A POEM

            A clothesline was a news forecast
            To neighbors passing by.
            There were no secrets you could keep
            When clothes were hung to dry.
            It also was a friendly link
            For neighbors always knew
            If company had stopped on by
            To spend a night or two.
            For then you’d see the "fancy sheets"
            And towels upon the line;
            You’d see the "company table cloths"
            With intricate designs.
            The line announced a baby’s birth
            From folks who lived inside -
            As brand new infant clothes were hung,
            So carefully with pride!
            The ages of the children could
            So readily be known
            By watching how the sizes changed,
            You’d know how much they’d grown!
            It also told when illness struck,
            As extra sheets were hung;
            Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too,
            Haphazardly were strung.
            It also said, "Gone on vacation now"
            When lines hung limp and bare.
            It told, "We’re back!" when full lines sagged
            With not an inch to spare!

            New folks in town were scorned upon
            If wash was dingy and gray,
            As neighbors carefully raised their brows,
            And looked the other way …..

            But clotheslines now are of the past,
            For dryers make work much less.
            Now what goes on inside a home
            Is anybody’s guess!

            I really miss that way of life.
            It was a friendly sign
            When neighbors knew each other best.
            By what hung on the line! 
YES, THOSE WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS, WHEN
NEIGHBORS ACTUALLY VISITED WITH EACH OTHER.

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