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Carine’s Blog

  • I Already Did This

    Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2015

    I Already Did This!

    I had a good laugh and a scare at my own expense this week.  It's a good thing, I needed a good laugh. Not so happy about the scare.

    The past couple of weeks I've been really doing a lot of interviews but hadn't had the time to write them up!  Or at least I thought I didn't...

    We've had the boys over for several nights and then there were the countless physical therapy sessions along with the doctors' appointments that made my time feel as if it were totally non-existent.  Plus, well-my pain level has been rather high thanks to the very cold (thankfully brief) winter weather.  

    My neck and lower back were on fire for a few days there-so much so that the manual therapy and extra reps of kinetic exercises did NOT help.  I decided to give in and take a muscle relaxer and some anti-inflammatory to cut myself a break.  About 40 minutes after I swallowed those 2 rather tiny pills, I realized that I was just sitting on my extra pillows with my heated rice-filled sock on my back and staring out into space in front of my computer.  

     Despite the pain, I felt I had to get some actual work accomplished.

    When I caught on to the fact that I was not working but in a daze-I gave up and went to bed and tried to sleep it off.  I didn't really sleep.  But I didn't go back to work either.

    Then a few days later, after another doctor's appointment, a walk with Lucky and a round of PT exercises I sat down at my desk and knocked out one of the profiles, wrote a couple of e-mails to the press offices for the blog I needed to write on Earth Day and then decided to keep on going and write up another profile.

    I opened up the file, the one with what I thought was just the name and questions I had written-guess what I found????
    Believe it or not-the story was written!  Not only was it written-it was really WELL written.  Whoa!  I couldn't remember writing a single word of it.  That is scary enough on its own to realize, but to discover I can do my job in a muscle relaxant coma was even scarier!

    After thinking it over, I decided to keep up the hope that maybe, just maybe-I wrote up another one during the time I found myself staring into space.

    No, no such luck the second time around-I opened up that file and it really was just the name of my interviewee and the questions.  Darn.

    0 Replies
  • Happy Birthday to Lucky

    Posted on Friday, January 16, 2015

    Lucky's Birthday

    It's hard to believe but a few days ago was Lucky's second birthday.  Oh I know when Adam and Sam found her that freezing morning in that wash she was somewhere between 8 months and a year old, but for us her birth happened on that January 11th.

    We don't remember what life was like "BL" (BEFORE LUCKY, DUH) but we're very happy to know what it's like with her.  Even Pepper loves his little sister.  It did take 5 long weeks of hissing and barking while scaling baby gates, but he loves her all the same.

    When we first took her in we tried ever so hard NOT to fall in love-after all the first week we tried our best to see if there was a family out there missing her and crying.  Thank goodness the 3 general pet rescues and the 2 Chihuahua rescues came up empty because by the end of day 3 we adored her-accidents and all.

    Yes we loved her, babied her, spoiled her and practically had a catered party for her every time she "went" in the yard-but we felt that she deserved all of that and more.  It became very obvious to us that whoever had her first did NOT feel the need to show her love.  Tiny, scared and in need of gentle hugs Lucky made us realize that small packages really do contain the most precious of gifts.

    Two years later, Pepper and she share the left side of my body (and the bed) and blankets while sleeping.  He taps on her and nips her ears when that 7 a.m. alarm is about to go off and the morning "bath" is still a habit.

    But now instead of giving up-Lucky "tells" Pepper that he's late!  

    While our little love bug can't possibly walk as long as her predecessors (our first Lucky who was a shepherd mix and of course Sunshine, a Goldie/lab mix) she makes me well aware that once the sun hits the back door it's time to get her weather appropriate outerwear and leash and start off on our mile long tour of the neighborhood.

    Another change is that when we first adopted her she had no idea what a doggy treat was or what to do with it.  In truth, she thought it was something that meant she was naughty.  She'd cower, shake and roll over-tears coming out of her eyes.  It was heart-breaking.

    Today, her stomach must tell her when it's 6:30 because she can be sound asleep on my lap and suddenly pops up and runs for the cupboard.

    As I said when we shared her arrival with everyone here-we were going to adopt a pup but while sometimes you search for the right one-sometimes the right one comes to you.

    0 Replies
  • Customer Serve-less

    Posted on Thursday, January 8, 2015

    Customer Serveless

    Being a person who hates shopping-I'm a bit cynical and fed up when the few times I expect customer service I don't actually receive any.

    I'm definitely not just talking about retail establishments either.

    Someone that my parents had taught the value of treating people right replied to a recent Face book comment I had made about being a touch angry with how a car (actually 3) dealership had behaved with, "Well, as you know I went to the school of Larry and Julia starting when I was in high school and I still live and work by those principles today."  He was sorry about what I had experienced.

    By the way, he's older than I am-so you can see those lessons were learned over 40 years ago.
    What really gets me is that the social media person for one of those agencies wrote on my review on a certain site that, "We strive to make people happy. Maybe you could call _ and discus this further?"

    Why?  I did try to get someone to help me several times-no one called me back.  That's why I took to a review site.  Just so you know-16 other people before me also wrote about their own less than stellar experiences at this place.

    Then one of the agencies didn't seem to care whether they made a sale or not, in fact they seemed to be trying harder NOT to sell anything!  

    That same place was also putting in a replacement CD unit in my car.  It was a faulty unit and under warranty.  My service person said he'd call me in 3-5 days so I could get the new box.  Two weeks later I called him.  Took him 2 days to call me back telling me that "it just came in".

    When I brought the car in-I had our older grandsons with me and told the person who checked me in, "The faster you do this the better we'll all be."  I also asked that while it was back there would they please check the tire pressure.

    It was supposed to take an hour.  One hour and 40 minutes later the boys and I decided to check on things (we were in the worst children's playroom EVER), Aidan looked to the right and said, "Grandma, there's your car right there."

    Not the service person or his assistant seemed to think that it was their job to either phone me on that new-fangled contraption called a cell phone OR come and get me.

    When I asked why, the cashier snidely told me, "How would I know, ask your service person."

    Then I asked if they had checked the tires.  Again, I got the same snide response and a very sarcastic eye roll to accompany it.

    I'm so not going back to this agency.  It will be worth the extra driving just so I don't have to deal with their lack of respect.

    The worst part is that they are smug in their belief that they are fine.  Yes, we fell through the cracks, but if you really "strive" to make your customer happy-you don't ask them to call you, you ask if it would be okay to discuss this and where to call.  

    It's a really good thing I save buying things until I'm really desperate for something new.  I don't know how anyone enjoys this "retail therapy" thing, I'd rather find out what a root canal would be like.

    On the flip side, Steve did find a dealership that did treat him with respect.  Not only did they make a sale but they now have our service business.  It wound up being a "win-win" for both sides.  Just as any successful business will tell you it should be, if they want to be in the community for the long haul.

    0 Replies
  • Here it is, Another New Year

    Posted on Friday, January 2, 2015

    And So It Begins
    Here we all are, starting off an entire new year and hoping for the best.
    Yesterday, we had freezing temps here in North Phoenix. The day before we had snow. We all know I did NOT move to the face of the sun for the cold weather.
    Our New Year's Eve was pretty kid-friendly.  I managed to stay up until almost 11.  Quite a fete, really.  The boys fell into dreamland at 10:30.  Our community center had quite the shindig, despite the freezing temps and the snow flurries!  They put out a plastic ice-skating rink, ran Frozen for the kids, dancing for the adults and shot off the fireworks that couldn't be used on July 4th (we had that flood producing monsoon!).  We heard the noise but we sure weren't going outside to watch.

    Lucky and Pepper only wanted to be held under the blankets.  Can't blame them-I was pretty well wrapped up in my thermal pjs, a robe and a couple of throws myself and had them on my lap.

    New Year's Day had Steve rushing out the door by 8-he had to be at work (his usual day off) to help with the first sale of 2015.  He had a great day, so it was a blessing.  I fed the boys and took them back to Sarah, ran a couple of errands and then tried to stay warm for about the third day in a row.

    This morning was Steve's 58th birthday.  The boys came in and the 4 of us went to Denny's to celebrate.  Steve then went on to work while the boys and I went to the car agency to finally get my replacement CD and radio.

    I'd say more about this except that I tend to become incredibly and caustically sarcastic when I'm angry-so I'm just going to zip my mouth and breathe deep.  Really, really deep.
    I'm also trying to focus on the up part of this latest experience-the new unit does work.

    This next week (actually 2) is filled with lots of interviews for upcoming articles, physical therapy and the boys-somewhere in all this I also want to get the family together to give Steve the birthday celebration he deserves.
    So here's to 2015, may it be much better than last year and not as good as 2016.

    4 Replies
  • 2014

    Posted on Friday, December 26, 2014

    I decided last week that I was taking today off from this blog.  But Steve went off to work, Lucky and I have already completed our daily walk and I’m still not in the mood to finish the 3 assignments I have sitting here and reminding me of their submit dates every time I come into my office.

    So, I figured why not?

    Hanukkah is officially over, we don’t celebrate Christmas and it’s really too cold outside to consider taking a second power walk.  Plus, the first one has left me so stiff that I have to wait to “defrost” before doing another set of physical therapy exercises.

    Lucky gave up walking home.  She was all for my harnessing her up and putting her pink hearts fleece hoodie on and getting outside-until we both felt that burst of 32 degree wind dispelling the 45 degree bright sun.  When we got to the 1 mile point, she dug her heels in and cried for me to carry her home.

    Sigh, I spoil her so.  Yes, I picked up my 5 pound ball of love and brought her home in my arms.

    As you all know,  I’m not good in the cold.  Plus, we ate breakfast at Denny’s Christmas morning and I’m pretty sure the “holiday” cook didn’t understand my specific order of “no dairy” in my fitfare plate.  I’ve been green to the point of not being able to stomach anything other than herbal tea.

    Guess it’s a good thing that Steve’s working-can you imagine Mr. Carnivore enjoying a dinner of herbal chamomile/peppermint tea and cinnamon toast for his evening meal?

    Some of the highlights of our year:  My new car and I getting hit head on, my rental car simultaneously combusting with me in it, Aidan graduating kindergarten, Jackson turning 1 and our home being burglarized and losing a lot of very sentimental (and entertaining) objects from our existence.

    It’s been a year.  May 2015 bring us all much happiness, good health and better times!

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  • Bugs and Slugs

    Posted on Friday, December 19, 2014

    Bugs and slugs

    No, I'm not talking about the actual "physical" pests.  I'm talking about things that bug me.

    Here are some that are on the top of my list:

    1-If someone is going to be an idiot and shoot off illegal fireworks in the neighborhood, why wait until everyone is asleep?  Yes, someone in the neighborhood decided to set what was probably their leftover stash that couldn't be used on July 4th (we had the monsoon to beat all monsoons) at midnight Saturday.

    Thankfully, our new found group of vigilantes called the police, who actually came within minutes and put the kibosh on the rest of their notions.  Still, with Steve visiting his sister, the fur kids and I did not sleep well for the rest of that night.  Poor Lucky was giving a pretty good image of the "Chihuahua shake".  Pepper just held onto my head.

    2-Tell me, why does the Post Office equate living in the outskirts of suburbia (a.k.a. The Country) mean that we don't see the carrier delivering mail until after 7:30 at night?

    3-I know that doctors have their hands full this time of the year trying to see every patient who is trying to get their appointments done before New Year's Eve-but why does this mean that I should be on hold for 15 minutes waiting for the "scheduler" to pick up her extension?  This also holds true for the famous Home Depot who couldn't find the employee who left me a message and his extension and then no one could find him in 3 phone calls totaling over 30 minutes of wait time.

    4-(Here's the slug) I've mentioned my PC is now over 7 years old.  Steve has deleted cookies, de-fragmented and "cleaned" up other things that are way above my "pay grade" to understand.  Then he says, "If you'd stop going on so many sites, it wouldn't run so slow."  Well guess what?  If I don't go on to those sites-I don't get the research done for the articles I'm writing.

    5-Another medical "bug"-when getting an MRI, you'd think that they could at least put on a bit of padding for you to lay on, no?  I had to get 2 done all on Tuesday morning.  I was told I'd be in "the tube" for an hour.  Okay.  Do they have any idea what it's like for a person with degenerative/bulging/arthritic discs to lay on a hard plastic table for that amount of time?   The only memory foam I received was the pieces around my ears to keep my head from moving and insulate my ears from the noise.  Oh-while I'm venting, I'm claustrophobic and I know there are such thing as "open" MRI machines, so why is it I never seem to have that option in any of the health facilities that are connected to my insurance carrier?

    And that is all.

    Here's wishing those of us who celebrate Hanukkah a very happy holiday.  May it be filled with health and happiness.  Enjoy your latkes, jelly donuts and brisket!

    And for those who celebrate Christmas and Kwanzaa-May you also have the best of the season.

    I've decided to take a break until after New Year's so I hope you all have nothing but safe fun and merry-making!

    Happy Holidays!

    0 Replies