December 30, 2013

Now?! Now, I'm past the "mild irritation" and quickly heading toward "BOOM!"

Do you remember how in my last post I mentioned, in passing, that Man-Child's big gift had not arrived in time for Christmas morn?  And I kinda laughed it off because he's not a tiny guy any more?

Well, now I am getting a tad bit infuriated irritated.

Apparently, the Amazon supplier took their damn sweet time in actually shipping said gift.  So much so that they didn't bother to actually ship it until Hubby sent them an email saying "What the hell?" (I'm paraphrasing obviously...since he is so much nicer than me).  Funnily enough, the package was then shipped immediately.

WITH the caveat that the package would arrive anywhere between December 20th and December 26th.

Well, obviously the 26th has come and gone.  And still...nothing.  So Hubby fired off another angry (he claims) email today.  To which the response was, "We are soooooo sorry; it'll be there by the 2nd...for sure!  We can offer you a 10% discount."

Which was about the time I kicked Hubby away from the computer and replied for him.  I told them that we would be HAPPY to have 10% discount...provided the damn gift ACTUALLY arrives on or before the 2nd.  Otherwise we expect a full refund.

I GET it.  I get that both the online retailers AND the delivery services are overwhelmed during the Christmas season.  Seriously, I do.  Particularly since I don't have a small one waiting on "Santa" to deliver the goods.  But this?  This is totally unacceptable.

Up until now, I have been fairly calm about the situation, but now I'm about ready to explode.  If it weren't for the fact that this is a that Man-Child has NO idea that he has a snowball's chance in hell of getting - AND the fact that Man-Child is headed back to school soon - I would just tell them to take the whole thing back.  Period.  I don't want it.  Lose any and all chance of profit.

But it IS a gift.  One that Man-Child wants so very much.  One that he thinks he would never, ever get...even from Santa.

So I will wait.  For the next three days.

And if that damn gift doesn't show up?  Well...some VERY INDIGNANT emails will be sent.  And Man-Child will be getting a different gift.  And that's all I can say about that just yet.

Bastards.  Ruining Christmas for the "children..." How dare they?!


December 27, 2013

Reflections on this and that...

Hello!!  No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, despite my marked disappearance (you did notice I wasn't around, didn't you?).

But with moving and Christmas falling one right after the other I was more than a little busy.  I had assumed that being off for almost two weeks that I would get plenty done; both with the house and blogging.  Well, we all knows what happens when one assumes....

Needless to say, during the move and it's immediate aftermath absolutely NO Christmas shopping took place, so once I was free from the normal work day that became my main focus pretty much right up until Christmas Eve.

Our Christmas was very nice.  Beginning with dinner with friends on Christmas Eve.  It was a lovely evening punctuated with peals of laughter from their small ones.  Made me a tad nostalgic for Man-Child's "small" phase, which seems so far away now.

Christmas Day was a quiet one for us.  All the gifts - those that actually arrived on time - were oohed and aahed over and much appreciated.

The "one" gift...the one that was "the" gift for Man-Child has yet to arrive.  I'm not sure whether to blame the supplier or the delivery service.  I'm leaning toward the supplier since Hubby ordered it on December 10th and it didn't ship until much later.  Luckily Man-Child is old enough to understand that sometimes even Santa has issues with his suppliers.

Unexpectedly, our Christmas Eve guests called us late in the day to reciprocate - I can only assume that they needed to see different faces as much as we did by that point.  So once again, we ate, drank and made merry.  It was wonderful.

Although our Christmas festivities were fabulous - there was a pall hanging over them, as we had received the news that a friend from our old neighborhood had passed away the day before Christmas Eve.  Tonight we attended the memorial service as a family.  It was tough.  Man-Child had absolutely adored this woman when he was small.  Despite the fact, that on our first Halloween there she scared the boy half out of his mind by sitting so still, dressed as a witch, that she looked like a decoration.  Until he walked up next to her to ring the bell...when she yelled out BOO!!  And had that small, little guy running down the stairs, screaming for his life.

The realization that this was the first memorial service I have attended for one of our social circle is sobering.  It made me realize that I need to pull my friends closer and make the time to see them more often.  Life is short.  All too short.

Now that we have lived in this much smaller place for almost a month(!) I have to say we are adjusting.  The furniture might be a little tight but we are finding life is a LOT easier in smaller place; although Hubby still has dreams that we will eventually somehow squeeze both cars into the garage (just typing that makes me giggle because of the amount of STUFF that is currently residing in there.  He's a dreamer, that Hubby of mine).  It's not quite the pain to put things away since their are no stairs to navigate.  Cleaning is certainly a lot easier.  And, we are finding that instead of hiding away in our separate areas doing our own thing we are interacting more (which may explain the lack of blogging despite being home for so long).  Eventually, I hope to do a house "tour" but we still aren't quite there yet as there are still boxes to be unpacked (or repacked for the attic), pictures to be hung and things to be sent to the local Goodwill.  We are still tweaking things here and there as we settle in but the important thing is that we are comfortable and happy.  We really can't ask for anything more than that, now can we?

As the holiday season comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to let you know how much you all mean to me.  This blogging thing started out as a lark, never meant to be taken seriously.  And while I still don't take the stats, number of comments, etc. seriously, I do take the friendships and connections that I've made very seriously.  And I wish you much peace, joy and love in the new year.

2014?  Somehow I have a good feeling about it.

December 16, 2013

The question of the day. Is it considered "murder" if...

I purposefully let some of my larger plants to die?

As some of you may know, I have an extensive collection of house plants.  Which are now housed in a MUCH smaller space...which means that I really don't have the room for them - currently they are occupying every square inch of extra square feet we have.  Which we can't afford to lose at this moment.

I have tried to give some of them away; to no avail.  As of today, I've only been able to unload one of them. *sigh*

Which is what turned my thoughts to "assisted suicide." Is it morally unethically to let some of them die a natural death?

Don't start throwing the stones just yet!  Normally, I do whatever I can to keep my plants alive.  But at this point, I'm at a loss.  Some of these things are HUGE.  Which necessitates HUGE pots.  Which takes up valuable real estate.  And the thought of just letting them die is killing me.  But unless someone takes them, what choice do I have?

Currently, they are practically sitting on top of each other - all vying for the little sunlight this place offers.  It's making me crazy.

So that is the question.  Is it morally unethical to just let them "go?"

Sorry for the absence - both in posting and commenting.  I've discovered that "downsizing" has meant that I am more visible in the home; i.e., there is no place to HIDE!  And, apparently, if I am visible I become a magnet to the Hubby and means I am available for a chat.  Despite the fact that I am on the computer...typing away and giving only monosyllabic answers. *sigh*

December 6, 2013

Moving, apparently, brings out the freak in me.

It's true.

Despite my recent lapses, at my heart I am organizing freak; and my freak flag is flying high.

It's true.  In my heart of hearts, I like things neat and tidy.  I like everything having a "home."  Unfortunately, I live with clutter-bugs.  And, of late, I have given up.  But no more...

I've been busy, busy, busy unpacking, discarding and organizing...and according to Man-Child (who isn't even here to witness the insanity) I'm over-thinking things.  Why did he say that?

Because when he called the other day to see how the unpacking was going I just happened to mention that I had been dealing with the closets.  That, in itself, wasn't enough to raise his eyebrow.  No, apparently, organizing closets and making them tidy is quite normal.

No, what had him roaring with laughter before informing me that I am insane was the hangers.  Yes, hangers.

I don't know about you, but in this house hangers have an ability to disappear with the blink of an eye.  This, of course, causes you to run out and buy more, grabbing whatever is available.  And before you know it, you are overrun with them.  And then you notice that they are all different colors.  You have white ones, tan ones, green ones, pink ones, blue ones and black ones.

And that is, suddenly, not pleasing to your eye.  So you decide that there must only be TWO colors of hangers.

White (and sturdy) ones for the guys and the nice, slim-line, velvet covered ones for you (to accommodate that smaller closet, of course).

So when I informed Man-Child that we now had designated hangers he thought I was insane.

He may be right.  But....

Those closets look damn good right about now

December 5, 2013

It's Official - We've Downsized. The Aftermath...

I was going to attempt to write a nice coherent post - possibly even break it up into a series like Part One: Packing 101.  Part Two: Moving Tips, etc.

But I'm exhausted.  So instead you get this ramble-y, jumbled mess.  Sorry about that.  Contrary to popular belief I am NOT Wonder Woman (but I really, really wish I was!).

So here's the deal regarding packing when downsizing.  No matter how ruthless you think you are being by getting rid of stuff prior to the move; you're not.  Believe me, you will soon discover this when you actually move into that new place that is roughly half the size of the home you just left.  And that's when the ruthless cutting out of things begins - and you make approximately ten trips in four days (and will still be nowhere NEAR done) to the local Goodwill drop-off.  Where the worker, who now knows your car by sight, will be flabbergasted when you start handing him dozens of pairs of shoes, along with those specialty cake pans that you only used once and other items that were squirreled away that you had completely forgotten about.

The next most important thing regarding packing?  Do not cheap out on the packing tape.  This is crucial.  My husband did just that and we nearly lost the bottoms out of a couple of boxes.  After that, I ditched the cheap tape and went for the name brand.  It was worth every penny.

The actual move wasn't too terribly miserable - mainly because of our friends and the friendly movers.  We hired professionals to move the heavy stuff - and that was also worth every penny spent.  These guys were fast, efficient, friendly and helpful.  As were our friends that we had enlisted to move the other stuff (night stands, plants, etc.).  But they went above and beyond.  Instead of just stopping at what we had asked for they proceeded to pack what was left and while I am beyond grateful (as it meant EVERYTHING got moved in ONE day) it has been a challenge to find some things.  Had it been left to me; I'd still be over there packing things into neatly labelled boxes...and eventually succumbing to panic and just throwing things into boxes willy-nilly.

As I was off this week, I was able to get the house set up enough that we can use the kitchen, the bathrooms and find our clothes - much to my husband's delight.  I've also been unpacking other boxes and, as mentioned earlier, making multiple runs to Goodwill with donations aplenty.  I'm trying to determine what we will need and what can go into the attic and what just needs to go.

We moved in on Saturday and were without internet until Wednesday.  I'd say it was a miserable existence - but it was actually a good thing because I was able to get so much done without the temptation.  I was able to keep up with most of your blogs via my phone during breaks - but neglected to comment because it's such a pain to reply on that thing.

Despite keeping us waiting for so long AT&T surprised me.  When I had called to move the service I specifically asked the woman if it would work when they hooked it up.  She said it would.  I told her that during both of our last moves it was a nightmare and wanted to be sure that wouldn't be the case this time.  She assured me it would be easy-peasy.  And for once, AT&T is not on my naughty list.

Today I decided to go through our filing cabinet - and let me also give you this bit of advice; it would be wise to do this once a year and not once every decade; which is apparently the last time I went through ours.  I now have a MOUNTAIN of paper to shred and have discovered that I really don't need that bulky filing cabinet.  The majority of what is left can either be scanned and stored on a cd or a usb drive (with the paper copies being shredded); while the few remaining paper copies that must be kept can be housed in a compact file box.  And?  Did you know that the IRS suggests that you keep copies of your returns for only two-three years?  Somehow I was under the impression that you had to keep that stuff FOREVER because I have found returns that date back to 2000!

I will admit that moving into a smaller space is a challenge but I'm already beginning to get creative with the little storage I do have.  Hopefully, I'll be able to share some of that in later post.

But I can honestly say that getting rid of so much stuff that is useless to me (but most likely needed by someone else; hence the donating) is freeing; more so than you would think.

In the end, I did have to part with some of my furniture (I know, I know, I swore I wouldn't) - but I've kept the things I really love and need (although it is a bit cramped in here) and my furniture now has a nice, new home where I can visit as often as I want.  I gave it to the friends that hosted us at Thanksgiving.

I finally realized that keeping everything would be impossible and that once we move to our "forever" (knock wood - because dear God in heaven I never want to move again once we land in our next place) home I would probably want to start fresh anyway.

So we are pretty much done with the old house.  The cleaners came today (again, worth every penny not to have to clean AND unpack!) and Hubby is over there now disposing of the last few vestiges that remained behind.

And now, we are looking toward tomorrow and what it will bring.  Hopefully something with bigger closets.