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Carine’s Blog

  • What Happened to the Years?

    Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2015

    Where did the Years Go?

    Wow!  This past week we had a celebration.  Dylan, our eldest grandson, had a birthday.  Number 8.  How in the world did this happen?  A few more days and Aidan, our middle grandson and Dylan's brother, will turn 7!

    It's amazing how the time has flown by and all the various things that have happened in the ensuing years since their births.

    Besides these major happy events, we've seen the entire Nadel family and their families move to another state, I've broken two limbs, we've all started over (in a fashion), we've added another precious grandson, Steve and I have lived through my having 3 major auto "events" and all of the lawsuits (one still in the works) and medical procedures that followed.  And these are all the things off the top of my head-trying to prioritize the rest in order of either importance or what I'd like to just plain forget.

    I'm not at all sure what the next few years will hold for the boys but the last few have been quite amazing, to say the least!  They came here as toddlers and now they know how to read, write, help around the house, have definite tastes in food and clothing and love their cousin Jackson.

    They love playing soccer and basketball.  Aidan loves to do arts and crafts.  Dylan loves creating with Legos.  

    They have hearts as big as the outdoors.  They both aren't thrilled about doing homework (but then again, I'm not thrilled about it either) but love helping grandpa around the house and even the yard.

    They've become little men.  Dylan is almost as tall as I am-but let's face it, it doesn't really take much for a boy with tall parents to overtake his 5'1/2" grandma.  Aidan is very close behind.

    Yes, the past 8 years have seen wondrous changes in the boys and their lives.  Let's hope that the next few remaining years of boyhood sees a smooth transition into the upcoming tween and teenage segment of life.
    The ride so far has been interesting and filled with love-may it continue.

    In the meantime, Happy Birthday to our two oldest dividends.

    8 Replies
  • 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