Saturday, June 28, 2008


Reduced to watching their every move, I spent two days baby-sitting contractors as they correct their screwups. 2nd to the the worst screwup was the incorrect grout in the backsplash. Number 1 was the incorrect wood stain on ALL cabinets, kitchen and bath. Plumbing had to be removed and new correctly stained cabinets installed.
Perched upon my kitchen table, I pondered whether I should feel guilt or sympathy for the young man who was scraping out the existing grout with hand tools.
NOPE! No guilt happened in the 6 hours he worked that day.
It was not my fault the shop owner suggested SAND shaded grout to me and I took his recommendation.
It is not my fault that the contractors put in HOT CHOCOLATE shaded grout.
It was not my fault on two separate repair jobs that the workers continued to use the HOT CHOCOLATE grout.
It was not my fault to insist of receiving what I ordered.

In all I do love the house. Still have a lot of unpacking to do, a few more contractors to deal with. Maybe the next group will actually use belts with their low-riding pants and I won't have to spend my days crack-sitting while they work.

Monday, June 23, 2008

i'll just have to settle

As a kid, a part of my summer break would be spent preparing for our annual family cookout. It was somewhat a regional family reunion for my dad's folks but later incorporated my mom's too. In the preparations, besides cleaning the house and yard, there would be the daunting task of picking peaches. This task served multiple purposes. The most rewarding was the homemade peach ice cream my mom would make. Mind you there was no electric churn. We all took turns cranking the handle. The younger ones would churn when the batter was in a milky state, but older ones took over when it started to freeze. Her ice cream has always been a highlight of the event. The other purpose was to salvage as much fruit as we could because many would get knocked off the tree during the volleyball game, or slammed during the kickball game, or just bumped off by kids running around.
It has been years since we've had the cookout. The last one the year before my dad took ill with leukemia. He was the main stimulus for the event. The participants of my paternal and maternal family grew to include family friends also. The last one was so large, a community center was rented to house everyone. Besides the lack of parking, we realized as we grew older that it was TOO HOT in Central Georgia to do this outside.
Last year that old tree, "peached out". Too old to hold peach-laiden branches. Now it's trunk is just a reminder of old times. Fortunately, a squirrel, chipmunk, 'possom, stray cat, or whatever creature must have predicted the demise of that old tree years ago and planted a pit in another flower bed. That pit has grown to produce another generation of Georgia Cling peaches.
As I walked around my mom's yard the other day, searching for rippened fruit, I was saddened that the few that remained were still green. But hope emerged, her patio blueberry shrubs were ready to be picked, washed, and consumed.

Now I cannot have my much-awaited peaches, I'll just have to settle for home-grown fresh blueberry cobbler.

Side note: That old tree produced so many peaches, one summer I opted for a peach sandwich (peaches, mayo, and bread) one day when the sandwich meat was frozen. It was actually good.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

customer no service

Working in service for several years has its advantages and its disadvantages. From cashier, cook, and shift supervisor at Krystal’s, to staff/tutor at college computer labs, and to application development consulting for 16 years, I have had my fair share of providing service to customers and clients. With this experience I can provide support in a manner that is profitable for business. This is an advantage, giving treatment like I want to be treated.
The disadvantage is I EXPECT the same treatment in return when I am the consumer. The level of service is so important that I would pay a higher expense knowing better service would be given.
An incident occurred a few weeks ago and it probably would not have bothered me so, but my mother was involved and my “lioness-cub” protective instinct kicked in.
Having a flat tire, my mother took her vehicle to our area S**rs Automotive Center before 3 PM one afternoon. Her paperwork promised the repairs to be done within an hour. She called me and I arrived at the location a little after 4 PM. Her car was in one of the stalls with the trunk open. Since it seemed repairs were started, we left to run some errands. Returning approximately 45 minutes later, her car was still in the same position with the trunk open. Leaving her in my car with AC running of course, I went into the counter service area to inquire the status of the work.
After standing in line for several minutes too long, the staff told me that they could not repair the tire and it had to be replaced. They had her home number as the contact so they could not call her. I returned to my mom and relayed the message, but then it occurred to me. My mom had been waiting over an hour in their waiting room, exceeding the promised completion time before we even left. This is where the “lioness-cub” attitude developed.

In an attempt to shorten this fiasco, I will try to simplify.
1. Knowing my mom purchased some tires from them about a year ago. I inquired if the damaged tire was under warranty. This guy claimed (almost argued) that they did not sell the two brands of tires she had on her car. I had to basically hand hold this guy through their own system to prove my mom had purchased 3 tires from them about a year ago, they just did not sell them now. (Unfortunately the non-replaced tire is the one that had the damage.)
2. I had gotten him to admit that even though the paperwork said that my mom was a WAITING customer, there was no attempt to inform her that they could not repair the tire. He knew long before I came to pick her up. He claimed that he was busy at the time and never checked to see if she was a waiting customer.
3. We decided to purchase a new tire. He completed the sales order. I then politely informed him that she deserved compensation for her inconvenience. This guy looked at me like I was from another planet. He claimed that he needed the manager’s approval for that action and the manager was not there. Since he made no action to call the manager, I requested the phone number and I called him myself. After informed the manager of the situation, he tried to weasel out claiming that the store was just busy and there were several customers before her. I bluntly explained that her car was already in a bay when we left.

So after three-hour episode, my mother was given a 10% discount and put on top priority status and given a 30-minute completion time. We left for dinner; they were working on her car before we drove away.

Now, why was that necessary? Why did I have to increase my blood pressure, get another patch of gray hair, and waste an entire afternoon over a tire.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

now i know

Man of the house. Head of household. Father. Husband. Teacher. Leader. There are so many titles applicable to you. Your family was your life. Went to work each day, returned home each evening and there you stayed.

Taught me strength, courage, dedication. Taught me how to roof a house, mix concrete, lay bricks, change oil, change a tire and play horseshoe.

Represented the finest qualities to seek in a man. Represented the finest qualities of a man of God. At times you were not a man of many words, your actions spoke your meaning.

In your final hours, the last words I heard you spoke, you said to me, “you will find your answer”, I did not understand its meaning. Now I do. When you put your faith into the Lord, realize what truly matters is what is inside, then you are truly blessed. Jobs, houses, cars, worldly possessions are immaterial in the light of the Lord.

It took the loss of those items for me to focus my attention in the right direction. I possess those items again, but with a different perspective. There is no sense of “mine”. They just exist today and can easily be gone tomorrow. What matters is what is inside of me. My thoughts and actions represent who I am, what I am. A child of God.

At times I am saddened that you did not live to see me as I am now. Then I remember I know you are aware because of your presence in my dreams.

I thank you daddy for living your life as you had. I thank you for giving a daughter everything she needed in a father.

May your soul rest in peace.

Friday, June 6, 2008

only a man...

I took Lovebabz's advice and focused to locate my Charger plates. Traversing from room to room, visually scanning unloaded boxes, it became obvious they had to be in the one place a woman would never place them. THE GARAGE.

Now there is an abundance of appreciation for all the hardwork, hubby, JM, Cowboy, and Telly performed that day, but when you have been relentlessly searching for an item and you finally locate it in a place where it NEVER should have been, it places a minute damper on the successfulness of the daunting task of the move.

In the pic above, there is a small gap behind-left of the basketball base and the in front of the double-stacked speakers. Upon closer inspection...
Understandably, it was late in the evening and this was box was in the last load removed from the truck. But why in the middle of the garage? The other 6 CHINA/FRAGILE boxes of the same physical dimensions were placed in the kitchen or dining room. Why not this one?

In addition to locating the charger plates,

the collection of china bequeathed to us by my mother-in-law was in the same box. The collection is petite, but it was all she had left, other than her rings she wanted to be given to my step-daughter but somehow "disappeared" following her funeral and after hubby inquired to their location AFTER he saw them on a cousin's hands. (another post someday?)
I digressed.
I am a happier soul. My wedding china collection has been safely unpacked and shelved.

If only I could locate the VCR and the can opener.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

impossible, but true

For the first time in 38 years, 8 months, 2 days, and unknown hours, the thought impossible has occurred. The vivid imagination of SistaGP has stalled. It is understandable that traumatic and lifestyle change events occuring within a short amount of time of each other can have a significant affect on the psyche. Stormy weather, travel to graduation 300 miles away in the middle of the night, and move to a new home in three back-to-back weekends has physically drained this unique collection of brain cells.

12-foot ceiling.
Thankfully, we had the intellect to spend a weeks vacation for the unpacking process. Days were spent from sun-up to almost midnight daily in the tasks of locating items that had been in storage for 4 years, 9 months, and "too tired to count" days/hours. Hubby returned to work 4 days ago and I was left with a dining room and garage full of stuff that mostly will added to the county's landfill.

Since there has been no "power of reproducing images stored in the memory under the suggestion of associated images or of recombining former experiences in the creation of new images directed at a specific goal or aiding in the solution of problems", here is a list of the ten most popular ramblings during the process of re-aquainting myself with my personal belongings.

  • I know I saw that somewhere!
  • Why did we pack that?
  • "Label: Misc" Translation: I'm so tired of packing; just stick in this box.
  • Oh, I remember this!
  • I know I saw it, but where is it now?
  • WOW, it still works!
  • How do you turn it on again? (hubby's rigged stereo equip)
  • Did I raid a Tupperware party?
  • Why did he (hubby) put that there?

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