Blog Archives

The Reel Story

Otherwise known as my conflict over mowing the lawn.

A Real Reel

When we bought our house we opted for a reel lawn mower over the traditional gas-powered mower or a quieter electric mower. The reel mower isn’t your grandfather’s lawn mower (in my case, grandmother’s), it’s made by Fiskers and is the definition of environmentally friendly and neighborly (completely silent! I could mow at 6am and no one would care except for me.).

It takes a fair amount of effort to use though… it’s actually a really good workout… legs, arms and core if you do it right.

I got home early one evening last week and decided to mow the lawn (not my normal chore) and set to work. I enjoyed mowing the lawn. But here’s the problem… Read the rest of this entry

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Whatever happened to customer service?

If you haven’t noticed by now, I appreciate good customer service and get upset with poor service. I haven’t really ranted about customer service for awhile so…

48-Hours to Schedule an Oil Change

When I needed to schedule an oil change, I went to the dealership website and they direct all service appointments to this online scheduling form… as in you can’t call the service department directly or find how to make an appointment if you don’t want to do the form. So I filled in the form and waited more than 24 hours. I heard nothing… so I called the dealership and asked to be transferred to service. I had to leave a voice mail. I missed the call back (let me not they called me back right at closing time) and asked me to call them the next day when they were open again. I said that I wanted an appointment for any time on Friday. ANY TIME! I can even drop my car off in the morning and leave it with them all day to squeeze in. Why couldn’t they just schedule it or tell me that Friday wasn’t available?  The next morning, before they were “open” I actually got an email, saying to call and schedule an appointment for the next week and Friday wasn’t good. Two days after I made the original request.  I was able to get an appointment for tomorrow so they called my husband to confirm. What is that? I’ve mentioned before that the dealer hasn’t been the best about customer service anyway. I love my car, but when my lease is up, I’ll be taking my business elsewhere.

Meter Inspection Date

Then the gas company needs to inspect our meter, which surprise, surprise it’s not accessible from the outside and someone needs to let them into our home to look at the meter. The postcard they sent said, “make every effort to do the work at a date a time that is convenient for you.”

The postcard’s message.

That turned out to be a load of crap. We tried to schedule a real, actual appointment at a convenient time just to find out that you aren’t able to schedule a date and time, just give them a time frame (ie morning, afternoon, evening) and they’ll call you “30 minutes” before arriving at your house. My husband was able to get us “an evening” which is defined by 4:30-8:30 on some evening at some time in the future… We didn’t know when. Last night when we got home, there was a tag on the door that they had come for an inspection. Neither of us got a call, they just showed up sometime during the work day. Brad called them and explained that they never called, had they called him he could have been home and the inspection would be done… wonder of wonders! They gave us a date… an actual date for the inspection! Like he’d asked for in the first place. Let’s see if we actually get a call now…

Have you noticed a recent increase in advertising that highlight excellent service as a benefit? The reason why is because everyone pretty much sucks at customer service, so companies that have truly good service have their different and better right there.

Rant Over.

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Best Friend of Big Brother?

The Utility Circus

You’re Doing It Wrong

The Dining Room Transformation

We stood at the dining table (not ours) below and decided, that yes, this house was the house for us and we would make an offer. We decided to get the house even though the room was sunshine yellow with baby blue-ish carpet.

The photo from the home listing.

From offer to acceptance, we kept plans at bay. Our offer was accepted a few days later in April, we closed in June and officially had renters until mid July.

From acceptance to possession, we made plans… including what to do with the dining room. I turned to Pinterest to find an image to accompany what I imagined. This became roughly my vision for the dining room and was something that Brad could also picture:

Image via Pinterest

The walls, trim and ceiling were all painted. The carpet was ripped out. Brad laid new flooring. Windows were re-treated. And here’s how it ended up… Read the rest of this entry

Bursting into a basement lake

I’m taking a break from D-Blog Week (possibly rounding out my participation since I don’t normally blog on the weekends) to talk about an adventure in home ownership.

One of the things that we loved about this house when we put our offer on it more than a year ago was that it was updated within the previous 5 years (new furnace, air conditioning, new water heater) and had current code wiring, which isn’t that common in houses built when ours was.

On Mother’s Day, about two minutes into my morning shower it felt like the hot water had dropped off so I turned the cold off completely and took a luke-warm shower. Brad hopped in the shower after me and scolded me for using up all of the hot water. When I told him I’d had barely any for mine, he went downstairs to check on the water heater.

Draining the tank after some drying had occurred.

What he found was the beginning of a new Great Lake forming in our basement. Our GE water heater, manufacture date of 12/2011, had burst. We could still hear water running into the tank when he shut off the valve to the heater. So Brad shut off water to our whole house. We spent the rest of the morning with a garden hose running from the heater to the utility sink to drain, mopping up the water (that thankfully hadn’t damaged anything) in the basement, Brad called the company then called a plumber. Read the rest of this entry

The Utility Circus

My mom asked us about how things were going with home ownership now that we’ve passed a year since having our offer on our house accepted. The best way to describe our current home situation is a utility circus.

In the course of one week, we received our new trash and recycling cans… which will probably never be completely full. We rarely filled up our old can before. Another odd thing is that the recycling can is green, but prior to the new service recycling had to be placed in blue bags. Since there’s no label or symbol on the green can, people seem to be using it for trash although the pamphlet explained which is which. (Nerd Alert: I read pamphlets.)

The water company replaced our meter and the gas company was less than thrilled that they couldn’t access our gas meter to inspect it and now we have to schedule yet another time during work hours for Brad to be home to let someone in to check out the meter.

The cans are part of city trash service that our taxes pay for and the utility providers aren’t “charging” us for the new meter or the inspection (seeing as how they’re required and all). But it’s just a little annoying that we have to make phone calls, read pamphlets and arrange to work at home to accommodate the schedules.

Obviously the benefits of home ownership win over the drawbacks of apartment-living but sometimes it’d be nice not to have to worry about it.

Related Posts:

What a Weekend!

The House: Part 1

Considering a Facelift

Stream of Thought

Have you ever felt like you were forgetting something? I had that feeling all morning. I mentally checked off my list while getting ready for work. Contacts in? Check. Feed cats? Check. Put on deodorant? Check. Grab lunch from fridge? check.

I was almost all the way to the office before I remembered… I only put one set of earrings in. I keep meaning to bring a spare set to work and keep them in my desk, but I basically never forget to wear earrings. Today I’m sporting half-naked ears.

Our trash is still sitting on the curb. Between Easter observed on Monday and a solidarity, one-day walk-off among sanitation workers (supporting sanitation workers striking in another community), our trash was not collected yesterday as usual. It was still on the curb this morning when I left. I saw a garbage truck on our street so I’m hopeful. What happens when garbage sits on the curb for more than a day is a mess. Between people who don’t bag their trash and just put it in the can and people who only bag their trash and don’t use cans, there is unpleasant debris in the street. Not to be a whiner, but I hate picking up other people’s trash out of my yard.

It’s never okay to tear your spouse down on social media. Airing a frustration over your wife leaving the oven on for an hour after dinner or your husband forgetting to fold the clothes out of the dryer is much worse  than the actual “infraction.” I know that a lot of people use social media to vent, and I’ve caught myself a time or two wanting to tweet about one of my husband’s annoying habits but it’s good to stop and think, “Do I really want to put this person, who I love, down in front of my friends and family?” The answer is probably no. Plus it’s easier to get past those things if they aren’t immortalized on the internet.

I’m afraid of potassium. When I was in the hospital when I was diagnosed with diabetes, everything in my blood was off including really low potassium. They gave me IV potassium and before I was discharged, I had to drink potassium powder mixed with juice (great idea hospital, make the person who’s just out of DKA drink juice). IV potassium currently holds the title for the absolute, most painful thing I’ve experienced. I’ve broken bones, had blood drawn what dehydrated, gotten a concussion, punctured my eardrum and has a spring-loaded canula inserted directly into a vein… and the potassium wins hands down. It was the only time I’ve ever thrown up from pain. The potassium powder drink was disgusting to drink as well.

Back to why I’m talking about potassium… My latest labs showed that my potassium was low-ish again. Knowing that I can do something about this immediately, I bought bananas. I hope to never need potassium in a painful way ever again.

A couple of my stories are featured on OmniPod’s blog, Suite D today as part of their Diabetes Foolishness series. People say and think the strangest things about insulin pumps, glucose monitors and the things that people with diabetes do to stay healthy alive.

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