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Friday, January 31, 2014

Could you please speak clear English?

Good morning from the icy, frozen north.
We actually went above 20 yesterday, but we're going back into the deep cold as another snow storm is headed our way.  :-\
I've spent a good part of this week, dealing with an online billing issue.
I book all of our camping trips online. I buy a lot of things online. Soooo, I go online about once a week, just to check my charge card statement to make sure everything is okay.Usually on Sunday.
Well, I was going over the postings, and noticed I'd been charged for 4 Michigan campgrounds. I thought, have I booked 4? I pulled out my pocket calendar where I write down all our camping trips, and besides the campgrounds I booked in Indiana and Ohio, I could only find 3. I then go online to the campground reservation site, log in and look at my made reservations. Again, only 3. I cross check the dates to find I didn't book anything on Jan 14th, just the 15th.
Soooo, I call the 800 # and speak with someone who sounds like they're from India.  Why can't American companies use people who speak clear English and not people who speak heavily accented English. Very frustrating. Anyway, after putting me on hold several times, she comes back to tell me a supervisor would look it over and get back with me before the end of the day.
Of course, they didn't. Soooo the next day, I call and go through all this again! This time I get transferred to a supervisor right away. Her name.....Shruti Jha. More heavily accented English. Nice....
So she goes through and decides I need to fax her a copy of the charges, and she will look into it. I do.
The next day, I arrive home from work to find a message on my answering machine from her saying it was being sent to tech support and started to give me a ticket number when my machine cut her off.
So I e-mailed her and asked for her to e-mail it to me, and when could I expect a response from tech support. She e-mails me back with the number and says to call if i don't hear from them in 5-7 days. I'm thinking 5-7? Why should it take that long? But I had time, since my statement had just closed and I hadn't even received the billing yet.
The next day, i get home from work to find another message on my answering machine from her saying they credited my card for the extra charge. I still don't know how it happened, but like I keep telling people, keep a close eye on your charge cards, and make sure every charge is legit. I could have easily over looked that extra charge, since I've been making quite a few campground reservation. Craig said if I missed it he would have caught it when the bill came, because he writes very charge I make on a board on the fridge he cross checks with.
So that's good, a double check.  :-)
Now with that over, on to the rest of my work week. It's been on the slow side, which is normal for this time of year. I'm completely booked Saturday, but that's when the next snow storm is forecast, so we'll see how it goes.
Stay warm and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Good morning from the North Pole.
Well,I'm not really at the North Pole, but it feels like it.
Current temp, -8. Wind chill index, -27. High today.....5.
It's really cold!
We haven't had a winter like this in years!
Record snow, record cold, with no end in sight.

So needless to say, we haven't gone any place that we don't absolutely have to.
 I have gotten a lot of indoor cleaning done.
And I've noticed, it's not just Michigan freezing. This arctic cold has covered much of the central US.
So stay inside and stay warm. It's bound to get warmer sometime, right?

Monday, January 27, 2014

too damn cold!

Good morning.
Good lord it's cold!
The bitter cold weather has us in it's icy grip.
We've beat our average snowfall for December and January.
And, we've been way under average temps for that period also.
So other than cleaning the Salon, and clearing the driveway almost e-v-e-r-y day, we're staying inside.

Friday, January 24, 2014

8 years!

Good morning.
Today is my blogs 8th year anniversary!
 I've been blogging way longer than I thought I would when I began.
8 years, 1584 posts. Wow!

 For those very few who may still be 'following' me from the beginning, you may recognize this pic, which was from my 1st year blogoversary.
The next 3 are from my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

I noticed after that, I apparently forgot each year about my blogging anniversary, since I never mentioned them.

I've also noticed each year from 2006 to 2009 the number of posts increased considerably. But from then to now, they've decreased considerably. Not sure if I just have less to say, or I've settled in to a posting routine.
Maybe it's just the way blogging has evolved.
Anyway, glad to still be around since I've seen so may blogs come and go.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

another weekend over, and one week closer to spring.

Good morning.
Well, the bitter cold is back as the highs for the week are forecast to stay in the low teens.  :-\
Booked another camping trip for the summer, and we now have 4 booked, and 3 more planned.
Also yesterday, I got my shingles shot. Was pleased to find out, that is one of the preventative immunizations now covered under the ACA. Saved me $220.00.  :-)
We also used one of our Christmas gift cards for lunch at a newer restaurant called Capitol Prime.
A little higher end then we usually go for, which is why we did lunch instead of dinner.   ;-)
I had the Marinated Grilled Salmon on Focaccia, and Craig had the Sliced Tenderloin Sicilian on a baguette. They were delicious! And not as expensive as I thought it would be.
We've got the front tree scheduled to come down by the end of next week. Then, when we can move the mo-ho, we'll schedule the back tree. We need the front tree out first, as there is a large branch that extends over the middle of the driveway, and the end is broke, but dangling. The is little danger of it hitting a car, because the car is parked up near the garage, but the mo-ho would be right under it.
Now time for another work week.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

It's wing time!

Good afternoon.
The work week ended very busy, except on Saturday, where a customer forgot her appointment, yet again, leaving me with an hour dead zone.  :-(
Anyway, we're going back into the deep freeze this week as temps are expected to plummet into the single digits. 
And, that means................wing time!
My first batch of wings this winter. Garlic/Parmesan on the left, and barbecue on the right.
I of course had to sample them, and they were great! I'll put them in individual snack size freezer bags for enjoyment later.    :-)
I spent the rest of the day doing light cleaning while Craig did his usual laundry and bookwork.
He's finally done with year end stuff.  :-)
And with that, not much else to say for now.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

weekend in review

Good morning.
I got home yesterday from our usual shopping and such, got on the puter to check the weather, and this is what I saw for Lansing......
Seriously, 117! This was the NWS website. Obviously, an error that was quickly corrected when I refreshed the page.
Yesterday was our last of 5 mild days of temps in the upper 30's to low 40's. It was nice.  :-)
All the snow and ice are off the roof, and light snow is falling this morning.
We finally got a tree service company out for an estimate on removing the 2 trees severely damaged from the ice storm. To cut down, remove all the wood, and grind the stumps...$2,300.00.
It was a very reasonable estimate from what I've heard from customers at work. We'll have to wait until the snow is gone, as we will have to move the mo-ho from it's winter parking space so the trucks can get into the back yard. Not really a problem as the trees and branches aren't going anywhere, and There's really isn't much left up in the trees to come down should another ice storm happen. And since this was the worst ice storm we've had in the 28 years we've lived here, the odds are pretty good it won't happen again. Besides, it's now 2014. All our expensive bad luck happened in 2013, including the ice storm. Maybe 13 is an unlucky number.  :-\

Also, while we were out shopping at Menard's, I saw a display of led light bulbs. Now unless you've been hiding under a rock, you've heard that they are phasing out the 60 watt incandescent bulbs because they are such an energy waste. Well, I've put off switching because they are so damn expensive! I know they are suppose to last until I die, or 22 years, which ever comes first.  :-)
But I just couldn't justify the cost. So, we've got 4 rooms that use  60 watt, and the bulbs on the display were on sale for only $6.95 each. Very good price from what I've seen elsewhere, so I picked up a few to try.
I must say, for only 13 watts of energy use, the light looks just the same as an  incandescent.   :-)
And now, time to get ready for another week of work. It's looking to be a busy one.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

there go my weekly's

Good morning.
I've just returned from cleaning the Salon, as usual.   :-)
It was a steady week at the salon.
I've lost another long time customer, as the family has put her in assisted living.  
As I have now done hair for over 36 years, many of my customers  I've had for all those years have gotten older too. I've lost over half the 'weekly's' I use to do, as they are literally a dieing breed.
Women first started getting their hair done weekly as women went in mass into the workforce back in the 60's.  They felt that was one thing they could 'treat' themselves to if they were working. But as hairstyles changed, and blo-drys were becoming more popular, this early group, for the most part, resisted since they were use to having it done once a week, and blo-drys had to be done every day. So of course, this group is now in their 80's - 90-'s. If I last in this business long enough, I'll soon run out of weekly's. But that's okay, I prefer the more profitable colors and cuts.   :-)
The temps have moderated, as we reached into the 30's Friday and Saturday.
With rain expected Friday night and into Saturday, when I came home from work Friday, I spent 2 hours pulling snow off the roof. We have such low peaks, the valleys collect a lot of snow, And since we're on a slab and all of our heating ducts go through the attic, even though I have them well insulated, we get a small degree of heat loss that melts the snow and then we get ice dams. I was hoping by removing as much snow as I could, the warmer weather and rain would melt the ice. As of yesterday afternoon, it looks to be working well. We should also be above freezing today and tomorrow, so even better.
 Now time to enjoy my weekend.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

a bitter cold weekend

Good morning.
It's currently 0 out but expecting a high all the way up to 15! :-\
Actually, we're in for a much needed mini heat wave, as by this weekend, we should reach into the mid 30's.   :-)
With us pretty much house bound due to the frigid wind chill temps, I continued my indoor cleaning, tackling the bathroom and vacuuming. I also did my yearly computer cleaning, which involves opening the tower, and blowing out the accumulated dust. Everyone should do this once a year. Dust build-up is the main cause for overheating and failure, and easy to prevent with a little maintenance. Just be sure to do it on a table and not on static carpet, and don't touch anything inside the case.
I also replaced the batteries in the touch pads of the two garage door openers. I could only do one at a time before warming up in between, as the air is so cold, my fingers were quickly freezing.
I've also booked 3 camping trips for the upcoming season. We stay mostly at state parks, and you can book them up to 6 months in advance. Which means, they are taking reservations up through early July already.
Craig continues his year-end paperwork, and has started his books for the new year also.
Craig's ribs are doing very well, as he can now sleep on his side. It's been 10 weeks now, and he's pretty much back to normal.   :-)
Now time to get to work, as I go in early to damp mop the floors, thanks to all the snow and salt on the ground.

Monday, January 06, 2014

snow, snow go away

Good morning from the great white frozen north.
The coldest, snowiest winter in a long time has gripped Lansing.
Good news is, it's hiding a lot of the broken branches from the ice storm.
Here's Craig busy with numerous year end paperwork. And no, I haven't put away all the Christmas decorations yet.
And here's some pics of me clearing the driveway.

We had so much snow over the last 2 days, I had to clear the driveway 3 times yesterday, and again this morning. It's the most snow I've seen in years! I believe we got about 13 inches yesterday alone.  :-\
I did manage to get in and clean the Salon this morning. The snow has let up enough for the plows to get the main streets clear. I tried to get in yesterday morning, but with the constant snowfall, the roads were to hazardous. So we stayed home yesterday. I did a major kitchen project, cleaning out and rearranging the cabinets and drawers.
I've also started to check online for this summer's RV trip destinations. We brought home our appointment books Saturday and yesterday, sat down and figured out what weekends we can take off.
We're hoping to do Brimley and Starved Rock this year. Those were 2 we had to cancel last year due to the mo-ho transmission problem. We'll probably also go back to Indiana Dunes and Maumee Bay, as they are two of our favorites. I think we have a total of 11 weekends available between early May and the end of October. Anyone have any ideas of where we could go for a weekend trip?
We won't be out much today or tomorrow, as today, we've already reached our high of 12 and it will drop to -4 tonight. Tomorrow's high is forecast for 4 with a low of 0. brrrrr.
And that's it for now.....

Friday, January 03, 2014

a good start to the new year

Good morning.
I can't believe it's Friday already!
New Years Day found me in the Salon, taking down Christmas decorations.
Back home, I watched the Rose Parade while Craig started his long year end paperwork.
We also took in the Rose Bowl Game, where his Michigan State Spartans beat Stanford.   :-)
The stadium was over 60% green. A great showing for the spartan nation.
Quarterback Conner Cook with the trophy.
The Michigan State mascot, 'Sparty' on the field.
Thursday was busy. I had to clear the driveway of snow before going to work. We've had just enough snow daily to keep the roads a mess.
And winter has us in an icy grip. As I write this, it's a bone chilling -5 out. That's right 5 BELOW 0. brrrrrrr. Going for a high of all of -2.  :-(
 It the coldest we've been in years!
Anyway, work was busy, and I'm booked today and tomorrow also.
After work today, we're going out to dinner for Craig's birthday.
This weekend, Craig will spend working on 1099's and assorted year end stuff, and I'll lay low, staying out of his way.   :-)
Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2013...gone for good

Good morning and.......
I for one am very happy to see the expensive 2013 gone for good.
It seemed like it was one expense after the other, and ended with another big expense with the ice damage to our trees.
Here's to a healthy, prosperous new year!