Monday, June 27, 2011

It happened AGAIN! (almost) ...

If you've read my previous posts, you may remember how much I hate shopping. And ... about how the carts full of stuff I've gathered and parked momentarily out of the way (whilst I run back to grab something more) get taken away.

Can you believe it happened AGAIN?!? I was doing my monthly mega-shopping (with more than usual because we're having a houseful of company for the holiday weekend). I had two carts heaped up to the rafters and made my way to the checkout area. Then I realized I still needed one more thing from the dairy aisle. I pushed my carts where they'd not be in anyone's way, and went quickly to fetch what I needed. When I returned to where I'd left the carts, they were GONE! I scanned the area and, sure enough, they were definitely gone.

One cashier, who had nobody in her line, was chewing her fingernails and looking a tad suspicious to me. I squinted one eye and glowered in her direction until she caught my stare. Then guess what she did? She called over to the front-end manager and told her "this lady's looking for her stuff." The FEM brought my carts back, apologizing profusely. She said, "She told me this stuff was abandoned. I don't know why she said that." I told her I had needed to get one more thing and didn't want to haul all that stuff back through the store. I was gone not more than three minutes, if that!

The cashier had nobody in her line when I first approached, and she looked up at me when I parked the carts. She KNEW how long I was gone. I suspect she was afraid I was going to go through her line with that mess. I worked as a cashier in a grocery store when I was in school -- I get it. She mumbled a half-baked apology because the FEM was looking at her like she should. I tried to say something like, "oh, that's okay ..." but all that came out was a low growl.

Oh, and before I hit the grocery store, I went to pick up a few things in another place. The fellow rang up my few items, I wrote my check and waited for him to hand me the receipt so I could be on my merry way. But it was not to be so easy. The register refused to print a receipt. He pushed all the buttons repeatedly, with no success. He called for help. The helper couldn't make the register happy, either. Eventually, I said I didn't need a receipt -- I just want to get out of the store sometime tonight!

Ohhhhh ... how I loathe shopping! If I were rich, I'd hire someone to do it for me.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Let's try that again ...

(I did NOT hit send, but my post got away from me before I was ready.)

I want a medal. I think I deserve it. I'll tell you what happened just now, and see if you agree.

My dog was summoning me to come out of the house by barking his head off from the porch. I went to see what's up, and found two guys making their way to the back door (away from the dog). I leaned out over the edge of the porch and asked them if they were looking for someone?

Seems they own the cabin down the road a bit and are looking for some sucker to brushhog their property for them a couple times a year. They heard from a neighbor that we have such a gizmo here on our farm. Yep. That's right. We do. One guy started a lengthy speech about who he is, why he and his partner need someone else to do the dirty work for him, etc., etc. Here's where patience comes into the picture.

As he blabbered on and on, I was memorizing his looks, as I've never actually seen him before even though they've owned their property almost as long as I've lived here. I was also wondering how he had nerve enough to come to ask us to do what he wanted done. And I exercised great patience in NOT saying what I was thinking. Oh, no ... it's not that I'm a cranky old hag who bites strangers' heads off just because they come asking a favor. Here's the story:

These people come a few times a year for their party weekends during which they shoot guns all day, until it's too dark to see their target. The noise! If I were to go into their neighborhood and create a similar racket, they'd have the State Police on my butt in a heartbeat. But even THAT's not it. When they're not firing off their rifles, they're zooming up and down the road on their four-wheelers. I can't, for the life of me, figure out why people buy a place in the quiet country just so they can act like complete fools and do all they can to disturb the peace of the countryside. But no ... THAT's not it, either. The thing is, these people have kids that are the rudest brats I've ever encountered.

A number of years ago, they had a boy of about eight years of age ripping up and down on a four-wheeler. He was obviously not big enough to handle the machine safely, and I'm certain it's not legal to operate that thing on a public road without a license. He actually rode up on my front lawn and flipped the thing. I was outside, and went over and asked him if he was okay. His response? F*#k You, Lady!

After I picked myself up from ground, I told him to take his 4-wheeler, get out of here, and don't let me catch him on my yard with that thing again or he'd be one sorry little cursing son-of-a-gun.

Another time, these idiot kids rode their 4-wheelers back and forth past our farm and decided to shoot out the windshield of my son's truck parked in front of the barn. That time, I called the police and they got their little fannies in deep doo-doo. It surprised the daylights out of them that we actually HAVE police, I guess. It ruined their party atmosphere. They left early that weekend and didn't come back for a long time. (No, I didn't miss them!)

Now, I've got to say, the guy who came today seemed pleasant and was very polite. I wanted sooooo badly to ask him if he was the one with the out-of-control kids. Or just who in the world WERE those little jerks? But patience prevailed, I'll have you to know. I took his name and number, and politely told him I'd have my husband call a friend of his who would probably do the job for him. Without ripping him "a new one."

Whaddya think? A medal for patience, or a crown for Stupidest Neighbor on the Road?

I want a medal.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The rest of the story ...

The other day, I posted a picture of the border of this quilt in progress. Here's the rest of the story. Very pretty, don'cha think?

It's Sue P's quilt. The pattern is from Deb Tucker, and utilizes her Wing Clipper tool. I love her rulers -- they make fast work of things like flying geese and hunter's star. Oooo ... that reminds me ... I never finished the blue one I started in her class. Maybe I'll get back to that once I get my complete-mess-of-a-quilt under control! If I started right now to finish up all my UFOs, I'd need to live at least twenty more years to get them done. (sigh)

Time's a-wastin' ... I'd better get crackin'!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Found It!

I told you I'd find that missing baggie of triangle pieces for my quilt if it was the last thing I did. It was located in a box of totally unrelated stuff in the laundry room. Now how did it get there, you ask? Oh, c'mon ... I know I'm not the only one who does this! Like the guy in the TV commercial who invites someone over and then rushes around like a lunatic to get ready, and at the very last second before she arrives, swooshes everything from the kitchen counter (including some laundry) into the dishwasher ... see? It's a very common practice!

At some point in the last few months, I must have done similarly -- swooshed everything off the table into a box, stuffed the box in the laundry room, closed the door, thinking "I'll put that stuff back where it belongs after they leave." And then? Outta sight, outta mind.

So, "Yea! I found it!" It's supposed to rain a lot this week. Maybe I'll get time to work on the quilt again if it does. Even tho, I really should clean my office before someone decides to send in a team for intervention. It looks like a hoarder lives here.

It all started back when DH decided to start fixing up the bathroom. The pipes for the shower are only accessible by going behind the wall of the closet in my office. Everything had to come out of the closet to open that wall. Thinking I'd take advantage of the forced removal of everything in there, I made piles all over the room, sorting as I went. What IS it about closet cleaning?!? By the time everything is out of the closet and sorted out, energy is drained and time is up. It gets left in a state of total disrepair. Well ... I am the Queen of Ignoring Messes. It has been this way for a very, very long time. Whenever I try to make myself deal with it, I go into the "Prioritize!" mode. And believe me, tidying up this disaster is NOT high on my list when compared to gardening, quilting, wandering aimlessly about, or really-- ANYthing.

Friday, June 17, 2011

So much for dry socks …

If my morning is any indication of what will follow, I think I should go back to bed. Wake me when it’s over.

It rained again last night. A lot. For at least the third day in a row. When I let Tuck out, I tried my best to ignore his obvious attempt to alert me to the fact that something’s amiss. I donned my shorts and a comfy pair of socks with rubber shoes, thinking I’d stroll up to see what’s going on in the garden. It was not to be. The siren song coming from the neighbor’s front yard drew me from my intended mission.

I did my large animals a favor last night by letting them stay in the lower pasture so they could get in out of the rain by sheltering in the barn if they wanted. They repaid me by hiking off into the neighbors’ yard. Well, they’re not ALL such ingrates … it was only a cow with a calf, and the bull. Oh, dear. The cow’s a dolt; the calf is afraid of me. And the bull is afraid of the electric fence that he was now on the wrong side of. Oh, yeah … and I’m sort of afraid of the bull. He’s not actually shown any signs of aggressiveness yet, but given the odds of me being the first to discover it, well …

Turns out, it was not as big a problem as I expected, thanks to my hero, Tuck.

Hoping the bull’s as stupid as the cow, I armed myself with a long stick to scare him with, and went after him. Thankfully, Tuck knows the drill and the bull seems to know Tuck is The Boss. While I trudged behind, calling commands to the dog who could not be seen from my position downhill in wet grass up to my knees, he herded them back where they belong. All’s well that ends well.

Problem: The only pair of clean, comfy socks I had left this morning are now wringing wet. And I’m allergic to grass, so now have a serious case of hives all over my legs. Someone remind me to call for an appointment with the butcher today, will ya?

Here’s a glimpse of Sue P’s “Atlantic Flyway” quilt I’m working on. She said “have fun with it …” So I am. Heh-heh … should I tell her I’ve got one from that pattern myself, and am using her’s for practice?

Moving right along … I am trying to finish a quilt to enter into our local guild’s show. I have until September, but here on the farm, we like to say, “Make hay while the sun shines.” EXACTLY! Seems like the sun never shines any more, so it’s more like, “Try to figure out a way to get around it, because you can’t depend on things going right.” When I started this quilt several months ago, I was on a roll. Got all the pieces cut out (and there were soooo many of them). Then I read the directions, at which time I learned what I had gotten myself into. Will I never learn?!? I worked on that quilt until other things got in my way. And they were plentiful things. Like being called for jury duty, a month of battling pneumonia, a backload of work to get caught up on, etc.

Thinking there’s a lull in the calamities that fill my days, I went back to the quilt. I couldn’t even remember where I left off, so I had to re-read the instructions, all the while wondering what evil thing possessed me to get me started on this! Turns out, it’s a dog’s breakfast. A whole baggie of triangle-shaped pieces is missing. I don’t have enough fabric left to cut them again. Aaaaaah! I will tear through here like the tornado that hit Joplin until I find that baggie – if it’s the last thing I do!

Freedom is lost gradually by an uninterested, uninformed, and uninvolved people.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I didn't plan it this way ...

I never planned to be the person I have become -- it just worked out this way due to circumstances beyond my control. Had things been different, I may have been a whole different ballgame. I may have been the life of the party. I may have been a very diligent sort who always follows up on things I've said I'd do. Who knows?!?

But grief got in my way. Not to belabor the point (well, maybe), but today marks 21 years since the death of one of our sons, and I cannot help but wonder how that can be possible. My Friend Most Faithful went with me to the cemetery today, to tidy up and leave some flowers to make it pretty. Twenty. One. Years. I look at the date on the gravestone in disbelief. Did I pass in-and-back-out of a coma for many years without anyone noticing? In some ways, it seems like that horrible day was just yesterday. But in other ways, it seems like it's been forever ago that coping became a lifestyle, and living became a quest for better coping skills.

I do take pleasure in lots of things, but they tend to be the simple things, the quieter things. My idea of a party is the colors in a quilt, or a bed of flowers. Stuff like petty arguments and power grabs grate my nerves, and because my nerves have "had it," I like to stay away from the likes of those things.

Want a glimpse of a "party" I've recently been invited to? Here ya go:

It's Linda M's Civil War repro quilt. In the second picture, I flipped it over so you can see part of the back (that's homespun on back -- and it quilted up with no issues, surprisingly!)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Did anybody miss me?

It's been about a week since I've been here, posting. It's not that I've nothing to say (is there actually any way to shut me up?!?) -- it's that I've nothing NEW to say. I'm back to my usual routine: gardening in the early hours, quilting when the sun gets too hot.

Since the stinkpot-of-a-Spring we had, and then my month-long siege of illness, I felt I had to do whatever it takes to get some semblance of a garden going out there once the rains stopped. Of course, that near-90 degree heat tried its best to do me in over the last few days, but I'm persistent. They say only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. I do have a substantial bit of English blood in me, but I rather think it's the gardening gene that causes people to do crazy things under the most adverse conditions.

After setting out many, many languishing plantlings from the cold frames (which should more aptly be called "plant-baking ovens" lately), I made my way back inside, rustled up some bean seeds and went back out. Now if I just get some squash and cukes in soon, I'll be content. Or maybe I'll still plant a few other things. (Keep in mind, "few" is a relative term. One man's "few" is another man's "slew.")

I did eventually retreat to the indoors when I was certain even one more minute would be my certain demise. And I quilted. Here's a few shots of Natalie H's quilt:

It's for a young friend of hers. Here's a peek at the back, where the quilting shows up better:

I also got a couple of others done this week, and another is loaded on the machine and ready to go first thing Monday morning. Pics to come after the weekend is over.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

An Unmitigated Rant.

(you know where the delete button is, should you feel the need to use it)

Did I see an ad recently that read, "Nothing Runs Like A Deere." ?!?

For the second day in a row, and only about the fourth time in a month, it isn’t raining. And where am I spending the time? Out tending to my yard? Working in the garden? Or at least enjoying a day of sunshine? Nope. I’m busy trying to resolve a problem. Story of my life.

DH was in the middle of mowing lawn yesterday with the two-year-old ride-on mower when the axel broke. Now, he’s a pretty big guy but not a giant of a man, so let’s just get that off the list of possible causes right off the bat. And I’ve never even as much as sat upon said tractor, so my fat butt surely didn’t break it. It’s a manufacturer’s defect. Plain and simple. Only 130 hours on that machine and it’s toast.

So today, DH sent me to the “big box” store from whence he purchased it, to see if they would offer to do anything. Yep. Here’s what: I asked to speak to the manager of the department that sells mowers. Not available. So I asked to speak to someone who might be able to discuss the problem with me. They sent the store manager down the aisle. When I told her why I was there, her initial response was, “Well, did you purchase the extended warranty?”

Ummm … I’ll find out, but we’re talking about a machine that is only two years old and the AXEL BROKE! Shouldn’t that be covered under the warranty, or something?

Her answer: “I don’t know anything about mowers or tractors.”

Me: “Then why did they send you to talk to me?”
She: “Because you asked to speak to a manager.”
Me: “No, I asked to speak to the manager of this mower department, or someone who can discuss my mower problem with me.” (Can you see where this is heading?)

Long story, short: The store claims no responsibility for the crap they sell. They would gladly put me in queue for the repair service which is sent out and has a very long waiting list. (So kind, and helpful … don’t-cha think?)

I asked if they could at least provide me with contact information for customer service directly with the manufacturer. No. Not only does this manager know nothing about mowers or tractors, apparently she knows nothing about customer service, either.

I’m going out to pull some weeds. Given my current frustration level, I’d sure hate to be a weed in my yard today! (And if you're lucky, I WON'T tell you in my next post the story of what happened the day I went to this store to pick this crap of a mower up.)