Monday, March 29, 2010

Floored!

...And in a good way.


I'm writing this very quick post from the floor. It's where I landed when I got the mail this morning, you see.

I got a package today.
I wasn't expecting a package, so I was intrigued.
(think: kid in a candy shop...)
I opened the box, and found a note from my friend Grace.....

and one of her gorgeous shawls. (Sorry, Rav link only.)

And I'm on the floor.

Thank You, Grace! You are the most sweet, thoughtful person ever!
I love it, I will treasure it always, and I will always think of you when I see it!

Of course, today is gray and rainy and dark and gloomy, and pictures will have to wait for tomorrow.

But I'll bet you can guess what I'm wrapped in while having my coffee (and I'm moving to the sofa in a minute. The floor is cold!)


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Light at the end of the tunnel

Last October, I lost a favorite Uncle.


In January, I lost my 21 year old cat, Fat Ghost.

Two weeks later, I lost ical on my computer.

And at the end of February, I lost my Mother.

Are you listening, God? Go play with someone else.

Yesterday, in a fit of determination heretofore unseen, I spent more than four hours on the phone with the World's Smartest And Kindest Mac Genius.
That's his full title.
His name, however, is O'neill.
And he has a place in my heart forever.

I have ical back.

Are you cheering? Did you utter a sigh of relief or contentment?
I did, and still am!

For ical is so much more than a blank calendar page!
It is my to-do list.
My journal.
My life, reduced to words.
My history, and my kids'.

It's where I track trips off, and appointments, and deadlines, and work schedules.
Health issues, and meetings, and milestones.

For two months I didn't know who I was.
(Okay, I still don't know. But I have my calendar.)

I feel human again!

It was no easy task, retrieving this app. It took hours. When it looked like it was all back together, O'neill asked me to look it over, to see if all the info was there. (Um, five years' worth of life is documented here!)
I browsed through...got caught up in my schedule...saw that I'd missed a few deadlines for freelance articles...and exclaimed, out loud- with O'neill listening- that I was due for my, ahem, cycle.
Because EVERYTHING gets tracked on that calendar!

Ical will never take the place of my loved ones. But it will make the everyday a tad more bearable.

Thank you, O'neill. You are a lifesaver.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cleansing Enema

Huh, that got your attention, didn't it?


I am, in fact, giving my entire house a cleansing enema.

I have removed...drumroll please...25 garbage bags full of belts, shoes, purses, diaper bags, and clothes that do not fit anybody in this house.

It was awesome.

And I'm still going.

I also threw out all the outdated medicines (I am stocked better than your local pharmacy, for obvious reasons, and keep one of everything on hand.), baby food (I kid you not), and other unnecessary assorted paraphernalia.

Seriously, I found bibs in a kitchen draw, sippy cups still in kitchen cabinets, and baby spoons- the infant ones- in the silverware drawer.
My kids are 7 and 9.

I know.

p.s. I owned 5 pair of black stiletto heeled pumps. Not a one of them has ever been worn, and I have no recollection of ever buying such a thing.
I trip in crocs.
I think there are elves in my house. Weird, slutty ones.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I HEART US Cellular

Or, "Why my cell phone company can beat the crap out of yours any day of the week".


US Cellular rocks.

Buckle up, this is going to be a long ride.

Waaaaay back in January, I went to Boston to be with my Mother while she had surgery (which she later died from, but I'm not bitter or angry at the dirty hospital she caught 5 post-op infections from or anything).
Yeah. I'm in that stage.

While there, I routinely called my two sisters, my Dad, My Aunts and my many cousins to update them, and to let them speak to my Mother.

I roam when I'm in Boston. What does that mean? In monetary terms, it means about $400 bucks.
I started to sweat. it isn't just outgoing calls, which I could control, it's incoming calls, too.
I called US Cellular.
Help! I said.
I'm going to have a million dollar bill by the time I go back to My Calling Area on the 31st! I said.

And the lovely lady on the other end of the line said, "Have no fear, crazy person from Maine with the sucky calling plan. I will fix all for you."
And by God, she did!

She put me in a text plan and erased the incomprehensible sum I'd accrued in text charges.
I never really liked the text-y thing. Too 'twelve year olds with their own language' for me. But, like most things, once you start, you can't stop. And once I realized I could text updates to 10 people at once without spending 20 minutes on the phone with each of them...well... it was all over.
Now I like it a lot.

Then the lovely lady said, "And I can see that you are deviating from your normal usage".
I explained where I was, and why, and how long I expected to be there.
And she credited my account a nice round number to offset the roaming charges I was accruing, without my uttering a single word.
Because, really, I would never have asked for such a thing.
I was floored.


Fast forward to today. My Mom is gone. I am trying to get back to Normal, whatever that is.

I got the mail. I got my cell phone bill.
I opened the bill, expecting to see it higher than usual.

I fell on the floor.

$819.66

I grabbed my phone, and called them.

Yet another lovely lady answered the call. She, too, fell on the floor.
You're a great customer, she said.
I sweated nervously, thinking she was thanking me for ringing up an $819.66 phone bill, but she went on, Let's see what we can do about this.

I held my breath.
What I expected (or hoped for) was to be moved into a different plan, one that would encompass the calls I had racked up, retroactively.
While that is not exactly what happened, the end result is the same.
They cut my bill down to $262 and change.

I was ecstatic. It was more than I had hoped for!
I am now in a great plan, that better suits our circumstances (no more roaming!).
She also did a usage audit, to evaluate our normal number of minutes accrued.
And she put in a fail safe, a new program for US Cellular called Overage Protection.
They will text me (for free) when I use 75% of my minutes, and again at 100%.

And that is why I've been their customer for over 14 years.
And why I will never leave.

Thank You US Cellular!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Reality Check

Oh Good Lord.


If I had remembered how I left my house the day my Mother passed away, I never would have come home.
Never.

The source of the smell was easy enough to track to the kitchen sink, where the crockpot, in which I had cooked chicken, was left soaking FOR 10 DAYS.
Gross.

There were dishes in the sink. (I never leave anything in the sink!)

There were loads of dirty laundry. Dusty furniture. Unwashed floors.
Nasty garbage in the trashcan. (We always empty the trash on our way out the door!)

Oh, the horror.
Thank God I remembered to buy wine.