Archive for November 2011

It’s Gotta Go Wednesday

November 30, 2011

Note to checkers at Wal-Mart… If you have a line of 8 people waiting, and you may be the slowest checker in the entire history of the world, you probably shouldn’t walk away from your register to look at a fellow checkers register problems when there are already 3 employees there.

How many Wal-Mart cashiers does it take to check out a customer… you fill in the punchline.

You’d think that one of (if not THE) most successful retailers in the United States could effectively train their employees to scan items at more than 2 items per minute.

Slow cashiers who have no discernible common sense… they’ve gotta go.


Get Thankful

November 28, 2011

When the emissions light went off 20 minutes after leaving my parents house in St. George, and then we lost power in the car, thankful was not the first emotion I felt. A minivan full of 5 children, packed with all of our luggage and crap, and stranded on the side of the road was slightly surreal… something in the plot of a bad holiday movie.

We were literally in the middle of nothing… no houses, no gas stations, nothing. At first I felt like a kid lost at Disneyland. Overwhelmed and having no idea what to do or where to go next. It was Sunday and the dealerships and repair shops were all closed. I quickly pulled it together, called the insurance company who set up the tow truck to come pick up my car. I then reached my parents who were still at their St. George home. The plan in my head was that my dad would pick all of us up in his van and take us back to their home to figure out what to do next.

When my dad showed up in his big van, we transported our 50 tons of stuff and got the kids loaded up, with the expectation that either Greg or I would stay with our car until the tow truck came. But my dad had other plans. He told us to just take his van (he keeps it at that house just as an extra car for when all of the families descend), and he would stay with our car and get a ride back with the tow truck company. I felt really guilty about dumping our problem on him, but he insisted.

On the drive home, I went from being bitter and stressed to feeling incredibly blessed. Here we were, in a situation that could have been really bad, but it wasn’t.

It could have been cold and snowing, but it wasn’t.

My parents could have not been home, but they were.

My dad could have had any kind of car, but he had one that actually accommodated 7 passengers.

We could have not had the emergency road side assistance on our insurance, but we do.

We could have been 150 miles away from St. George, but we had just left.

Our van could have not been under warranty, but it is.

I could have been out of cell phone range, but we weren’t.

I could have had my first experience trying to flag down help, but I didn’t.

We arrived an hour or so later than expected, but after the events that took place, an hour deviation was really nothing. In the scheme of things, it was just a very small wrench in the plan. We’re not sure about what’s wrong with the car yet, OR how we are going to get it back, but at this point these seem like small inconveniences rather than real problems.

I’m so incredibly thankful to have the most generous and selfless parents in the world, AND ones who see the beauty in custom vans :). I’m thankful we had the foresight to get what we did on our insurance plan, as well as purchasing a car with was certified and under warranty. After this weekend, I’m grateful for a lot of things, and it definitely feels like there is someone watching over me and my family.

It’s Gotta Go Wednesday

November 23, 2011

Enough said.


Nearly Perfect

November 21, 2011

What would be your perfect day?

Would you be in some tropical place, being rubbed down with oil by a local cabana boy? Or how about on the slopes with amazing powder?

For me, the perfect day is kind of relative. It depends on what is happening in my life at that moment, and can change from one week to the next.

Yesterday was damn near perfect… not because I did anything exciting or life changing. It was simply because I didn’t do anything! It was deliciously void of “To Do’s”, and I can’t tell you how wonderful it felt. Now that I’m working part-time, the days I don’t have to go into the office are filled with appointments and other obligations. The lack of any down time has seriously been wearing on me. Doing nothing was the best thing I could do. Or not do.

So when I woke up at 11 a.m. yesterday, I sat by the fire and read the paper, and then read a book that a number of people have told me I just HAVE to read. And that pretty much sums up my entire afternoon/evening. Greg made a nice meal, the kids came home, I finished my book, and went to sleep.

Simple. And simply perfect.

Too Old For This

November 20, 2011

When I was a teenager, I remember staying up until 2 or 3 a.m. with no problem. OK, so I would sleep in until noon the next day, but that’s beside the point. These days, 10 p.m. rolls around and I am heavy-lidded and ready for bed. And it doesn’t seem to matter what time I go to bed, I’m always up between 7 and 8 a.m.

Last night Greg & I went to some friends house for dinner and games. By 9 p.m., I seriously could have gone to bed. MAYBE going to the new Twilight movie premier at 12:10 a.m. two nights before had something to do with my exhaustion. MAYBE the fact that 3 hours of sleep followed by a full 8 hour work day was a contributing factor. MAYBE the fact that I’m just not as young as I used to be is relevant. MAYBE having kids vomiting in the middle of the night earlier that week played a part. Needless to say, it’s been a rough week in the sleep department.

The movie was silly, but the pre-party and get-together with friends was definitely a fun time and almost made it worth it. But I must admit that I’m relieved that there is only 1 more movie to go, because these ridiculously late nights are going to kill me. I’ve only missed 1 premier, and that was because I had surgery on my shoulder that same day. I’m all for vampires, werewolves, completely implausible plot lines and bad hair, but come on… I’m too old for this crap!

We ended up sleeping at our friends house last night (they live about 25 min. away and both Greg and I were so tired that crashing at their place seemed like a better option than the drive home). Air mattresses are better than a hard floor, but not by much. I went straight back to bed when we walked in the door at 8 a.m. this morning, and woke up at 11. That additional 3 hours made all of the difference. I feel caught up on my zzzz’s, and I’m ready to begin another week.

I’m gearing up for our annual Thanksgiving trip to St. George… lots to do to get the kids, house, and myself ready, but a few days off from work, helping kids with homework, and early mornings is definitely something I’m looking forward to. What are YOUR plans for this next week?

It’s Gotta Go Wednesday

November 15, 2011

“Hate” is a word that we try not to use in our house. When the kids don’t like something, like a certain food, person, t.v. show, etc., we encourage them to use words like, “I don’t like”, or “(blank) isn’t my favorite”. I think that the word HATE is incredibly powerful.

That being said, I think hate is the best word to describe how I feel about a certain telemarketer. For months, we’ve gotten calls from one particular number. And by calls I mean anywhere from 5 to 15. Daily. Yes, every day! The best part about it is that you answer, and there is no one on the line. I’m pretty sure that we are being robo-dialed, and if a representative isn’t available when we pick up, then there is just dead air.

We are registered on the do not call registry. The few times I HAVE talked to a person from this number I’ve asked them to remove our name/number and NEVER call again. Yesterday, after what felt like 23489874 calls, I called the number back. After holding to speak with a “representative” (live person) for 15 minutes, I gave up and resorted to writing emails and submitting complaints.

I get that America is founded on various freedoms. Some people have jobs that might create annoyances to others. But when their job starts to impact MY life negatively, that’s when I throw freedom out the window and want to start throwing dog feces at these people. Plus, if you are going to call me, you’d better well be there when I pick up the phone. Yelling into a phone with no one to hear is just plain unfair.

And while I can’t say I HATE all telemarketers and their calls, I strongly dislike them. Herman Cain is on my s*#@ list because his campaign kept calling my house early & late on weekends. I am now going to campaign against him… if he can’t even manage to make sure people don’t get called before 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning, I seriously question his abilities to run a nation. Well, that and he’s a creepy boob fondler. And no, I don’t want to donate to the Unified Police and Firefighters Ball fund, or whatever the heck people are trying to bleed me for.

Where are my rights for living in MY home that I pay a mortgage for and utilities on without being disrupted. When I am walking through a mall and one of those weirdos selling a head/back scratcher, or biblical cartoons, I may not like it, but I accept it. When someone is harassing me on my turf (even if the turf is my phone line), that’s where I draw the line.

Telemarketing… it’s gotta go.

My Aching Back!

November 14, 2011

How boring my life, and blog, would be if I didn’t have some physical ailment to complain about? What would I even talk about?

OK, to sum up, my back sucks. I’ve had back/neck issues for something like, oh, forever. It’s something I’ve gone to physical therapy for in the past, but just sort of accepted the fact that I’ve got a bad back. A year ago butt pain was added to the list of my back issues. OK, not exactly butt, but tailbone. It didn’t hurt to the touch, there was no injury to explain it, so everyone was confused as to the why it hurt and how to treat it.

The symptoms went something like this: I’d sit down on a chair, and if I sat for more than 20 minutes or so, my tailbone started to hurt, and at the point when I tried to stand up, it became insanely painful. A few months ago the pain started to radiate down my butt/hip through my thigh.

I sucked it up and mentioned it to my orthopedic surgeon, who referred me to a Physiatrist. After a million x-rays and an MRI, looks like I have something called spondylolisthesis (say it fast five times) as well as a couple of bulging disks, as well as general good ole’ sciatica. Awesome!

Treatment: A serious of steroid injections in my spine and physical therapy. The first day and night after my first injection (this past Wednesday) was HORRIBLE. Horrible in that there was absolutely no relief I could get… no position that felt better and there was no getting comfortable. It sucked. But by the next morning not only was this new pain gone, but my old back pain was almost unnoticeable. Yahoo!

Leave it to me that very day to fall down the stairs while carrying laundry. So now I have an entirely NEW injury. The good news is I think I’m just bruised, both my body and ego. Seriously, falling down the stairs? I never fall down!  Other than this spastic event, I’m excited by what it seems these injections have done, and the prospect of having a less painful existence is pretty exciting. What an awesome thing medicine and medical technology is!

I’m left to wonder what new trick my body will play on me next, but will appreciate the time I have of not having to sit on a doughnut while playing board games. Nobody looks cool sitting on a butt pad.


It’s Gotta Go Wednesday

November 9, 2011

I’ll get into more detail about what’s going on with me in a day or two, but of course I have a complaint about SOMETHING…

Doctors. How lucky are we to live in a time where there are experts that can relieve pain, cure disease, and treat so many ailments! I’m grateful to the people who invested years of their life and ridiculous amounts of money to help people. However, it seems that in college the one course that isn’t offered it Time Management.

Medical providers, more than any other professionals, seem to forget that not only are the patients people who actually have lives, but that they are customers. If not for us, they would have no job. So why do they often not respect their client’s time?! More often than not, I spent 10 times more time waiting for the doctor than the time I actually SPEND with the doctor.

Waiting in the waiting room, then more waiting in the examination room, all for a magical 3-5 minutes that you get some real face-to-face (or today, ass/back-to-face) time. In all honesty, most of my practitioners are not too bad, but in the past there have been times when waiting an hour to see a dr. was a bitter reality. I find it terribly ironic that in most offices, there is some posted sign about how if you’re more than 10 minutes late for your appointment, you will lose your spot. But they have no problem making you wait significantly more time than. HA!

Doctors, or ANY person for that matter, who doesn’t respect other people’s time… it’s gotta go!

Pretty Lucky

November 7, 2011

As you (should) know, movies are kind of a big deal around our house. They were for my family as a kid, and as an adult, I’d say we keep our plate full with movies we want to see, should see, and just do see. It’s not like I have a specific goal, but in general, I like to mix old movies that were a little before my time into the pot. I also like to see huge variety when it comes to what genre and type of movie. Sometimes I want to just relax and be distracted. Other times I want a dose of reality and something that makes me think.

The Killing Fields was one of these movies that for years I’ve wanted to see. I remember my parents talking about it when I was young (maybe 8 or 9), and what they said has stuck with me. So we Netflix’d it, and the dvd has been in our bedroom for an embarrassingly long time. But lat night was the magical night.

This film is about the unrest and struggles in Cambodia after the wake of the Vietnam War, during the Nixon era. The thought that kept creeping into my mind was how the majority of Americans have NO idea with hard really is. And while it wouldn’t be appropriate to show my children, I kept thinking how great it would be to sit them down and have them watch parts of this flick whenever they say how crappy their lives are (usually when they have to clean or do homework 🙂 ).

The movie had a similar affect on me that Schindler’s List did… hard to watch, but an amazing way to gain some perspective. I am seriously worried about where we as a country and people are headed, but I can tell you that I would not want to live any place else. Maybe it’s selfish, but I feel incredibly blessed that I have had, comparatively speaking, an easy life and never REALLY known what it is like to struggle just to survive.

The End of a Search

November 5, 2011

Years ago I had this vision of what shopping for a car would be like.

It would be fun, exciting, and in general, easy. NOT the case, at least for us.

So this summer while searching for a new ride, I got my first taste of what it was like to be a car buyer. Instead of being fun, it was stressful and time consuming. For us it was a big investment, and we wanted to make sure we made the right choice for us and our family. As you know, we found our Honda Odyssey, which has been a great vehicle so far.

Fast forward a few months… when I got my new job working up near a ski resort, I realized (while driving up the canyon and seeing the posted signs) that I there were days in which the canyon is closed to vehicles that didn’t have 4-wheel-drive (or all-wheel-drive) OR chains. In case you aren’t aware, our minivan is not a 4×4, and the prospect of having to put chains on it every time a storm hit was less than exciting.

Greg was not a fan of our other car which he drove, a Ford Taurus. While I liked the car and it gave me NO problems for the 6 or so years I owned it, I think it was a little low on the “cool” scale for Greg, so selling it to buy something that would 1) solve my driving up the canyon issue and, 2) make Greg not feel like a 72 year old grandma became important.

We sold the Taurus to the first couple who looked at it. Easy peasy. But finding it’s replacement was less than ideal. Looking for an all-wheel-drive or 4×4 when winter is approaching is something that I don’t recommend. What we DID like went really quick, and other possibilities did not pan out. Every day we were searching KSL and researching possibilities in order to find what we needed.

Fast forward 2+ weeks to yesterday. Something interesting popped up on KSL. We didn’t see it in previous searches because it was out of our price range. Luckily, Greg caught it the first day the price had been reduced and emailed the link to me so I could check it out. I looked it up on a ton of auto websites and was thrilled to see the glowing reviews, safety features, lack of problems, etc. I was so impressed that I told Greg to get over to the dealer to look at it and to go ahead and get it if he liked it. It’s sitting in our garage as I type this, which means he did, and I do. I actually like it a lot! While it was a daunting task, we are both excited about our new ride, and we got it for a great price!

Here she is:

It is a 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor. I haven’t thought of a name yet, but I’m thinking Gertrude. We had fun testing her abilities with my parents today (trying to make it slide and do doughnuts in a parking lot). So far I’m impressed with how she handles and drives. I’m actually excited about this car.

I find it funny that I lived for 36 years without really buying a car (I’d gotten all of my others from my dad), and in 4 months I’ve bought two. I’m hoping that these suckers will last us long time and be great cars for us. Because the thought of doing this again… not cool.