Saturday, March 27, 2010

Here We Go Again

Last night was round two of Tables of Eight organized by our church. We are getting to know each pretty well and had a very good time. As the hostess, I can't be an unbiased observer, but it seemed to me that the conversation was interesting and non-stop! As a group we have enough in common to make us comfortable with each other and enough differences to make it interesting.
Just like our last get-together, I got great photos of the people, but this time, I must have screwed up the setting on the camera because the exposure is wonky. In the top photo are John, Sharon, Chris and me and in the bottom one are Georgia, Ron, Sue, and Heather. The dinner was potluck; Georgia and Chris brought smoked cheeses, crackers and fruit as appetizers. They smoke the cheese with fruitwood they have gathered from their trees. Yum. Sue and John brought a great tossed salad which was a veritable salad bar -- every imaginable salad veggie was in the bowl and then lots of toppings on the side. Also yum. Ron and Sharon brought a great moist carrot cake (with pineapple, the way I like it!). More yum. I served a variation on Chicken Piccata that daughter Colleen came up with several years ago -- it remains one of my favorite dishes to serve company (can't serve to the kids: too many mushrooms and other "weird" things). And we had green beans Logannaise. I've renamed green beans Lyonnaise because Logan LOVES them.

When the guests arrived it was so warm, I was wishing I had planned to eat outdoors, but by the time they left the wind was blowing 30 miles an hour (and still is).

Monday, March 22, 2010

I'm Confused

If a church goer succeeds in Overcoming Faith, what are they left with -- Towering Cynicism?

This new business opened in our town recently. But, I'm not sure what business they are in. This flower-studded Volkswagen is permanently parked out front with the sun roof open and this babe waving at all passersby. The lit sign in the window proclaims that the establishment is open. But, open for what: I want to know. No other sign gives a clue to the nature of the business. This exists in a town that doesn't have a single saloon and has probably a hundred churches for a population of 10,000 souls. What's your guess?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What Boys and Dogs Do on a Winter's Day in Spring and They Are Bored Out of Their Minds

Cinder, wearing Logan's glasses and shirt, will tolerate nearly anything to get some attention from his favorite people. Our spring ice storm keeps all of us housebound and antsy. We are BORED -- stayed home from church, canceled plans to see a friend performing in a show in Branson yesterday, can't use the brand-new lawn mower still sitting in its carton in the back end of the van, don't feel like doing anything but eating and reading. Ran out of things to eat and read, don't want to drive to the store on icy roads. Kids are on Spring Break, but we can't go out of town because Ben has two rehearsals and a competition this week. HELP! THERE'S NOTHING TO DO IMBOREDIMBOREDIMBORED.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sprint Update

My "case" has been assigned to a person in the "executive" office. She has been working on my case for a week now; today she concluded that the financial collections people should remove my phone number from their records. Gee, I wish I'd thought of that. I received another collection call yesterday, I wonder if it is the last. In no instance will anyone at Sprint admit to ownership of the problem. Everyone is sooooooo cautious -- every phone call is recorded (with my permission).
The thing that gripes me is that all of this has a cost. All this inefficiency is part of what you pay for with your wireless phone service. My executive case worker probably makes $100K a year and with benefits, overhead, etc she probably costs the consumer $200K a year. Maybe she spent 10 hours on my case -- I've had four phone calls from her. That's approximately $1,000 of cost, folks, to save me aggravation from a problem that should never have occurred. Of course, my time and aggravation have no value. I expect to hear at least once more from my Sprint caseworker telling me that the situation has been resolved and that the case is closed. I will be compelled to ask her if Sprint has assumed ownership of the issue, just to hear the weasel words around her answer. Sometimes I get a kick out of jousting with windmills.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Aux Arcs (Ozark) au Printemps

If Kenny were alive, he'd appreciate my fractured French.

Signs of Spring include:
  1. An increase in road kill -- little furry critters are mating and not looking out for cars!
  2. Robins pogo on the front lawn.
  3. The last of the parking lot snow piles have melted.
  4. Tree tops show pregnant promises of buds on the tips of their winter-dead branches.
  5. The ice beards have melted from the limestone cliff faces.
  6. Kids wear shorts exposing winter white legs.
  7. Canoes float on the river.
  8. Five kids play baseball down the street.
  9. The parking lot at the mall is full.
  10. I feel like cleaning house (but instead go to the mall).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Company I Keep

My quilting passion has created social connections for me. Here you see the some of the "Buttonhole Babes. " We meet monthly and are just completing a group quilt to donate to the library -- I'll show you a photo when it is done. It's a good group -- real casual, no bylaws, dues, etc. I like it -- I've outgrown structure (unless it is absolutely necessary). I also belong to the local quilt guild which is quite structured -- they have hundreds of members and a large bank account. Alternate years (September 2010, e.g.) they sponsor a quilt show which is a big deal. They also do lots of good works -- provide a lot of support to a local women's shelter, donate hundreds of quilts for various causes, etc.

This group is half of our Tables of Eight. Our church forms groups of eight who meet monthly for a potluck dinner rotating among the members' homes. My turn is in March which should ignite a fury of housecleaning. I'm still waiting for it to kick in.

Here's the other half of the group. Dinner was a yummy Mexican-ish Chicken Casserole. I brought Spanish Rice (never made it before, but it was simple, good, and went well with the main dish). Others supplied appetizers, salad, and dessert. This was the first meeting and I didn't know any of the other folks, but it was fun. I belonged to a similar group in California and enjoyed it. In California, we served wine with dinner, but no liquor was served to the Missouri group. I have gone to a Mexican restaurant with a local Methodist Women's group where booze was enjoyed, so I know it's not an entirely dry organization. I'm unsure about whether I'll serve wine when it's my turn. We'll see.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


The best looking boy in the band plays the marimba in competition. This drum line of 20 kids competed last Saturday. Too bad they were evaluated for their performance and not looks. On the same day Logan participated in his first competitive speech event. He performed two pieces -- a comedy dialogue and a poem. Did well on the first and according to him he bombed on the poem. I salute him for being brave enough to do it at all. He is looking forward to the next competition on home turf. I am so proud of them (can you tell?).

Monday, March 1, 2010

I'm peeved

So, what do you think will happen when Mr. Johnson gets this letter?

Bob Johnson
Chief Service Officer
6200 Sprint Pkwy.,
Overland Park, KS 66251

Dear Mr. Johnson,

Each month I receive an automated phone call from Sprint. Sometimes the message requests me to contact Sprint immediately about my wireless account. At other times I am advised my wireless service is about to be discontinued unless payment is received. These calls do not give me the opportunity to speak to a live person; I am required to enter my Sprint wireless number or account number to pursue the call.

I do not have a Sprint account. I am not a Sprint customer. I consider the calls from Sprint to be a form of harassment and I’ve grown weary of receiving them.

Today, I called Sprint customer service, spent half an hour on the phone, and went through four levels of “pass the buck.” I am told nothing can be done. I don’t believe that. I’ve been told I must continue to suffer this embarrassment and inconvenience.

I am providing you with my home phone number at the bottom of this letter. This is the number that receives the calls. I know it is possible to search a database and correct this problem. However, your customer service agent Bryan, serial number IT 255118, tells me my only course of action is to contact the National Do Not Call Registry. I refuse to take action exceeding the scope of the problem.

It cannot be incumbent upon me to resolve a problem originating with and perpetuated by Sprint.

In exchange for a quick resolution of this problem, no more phone calls about past due bills from Sprint, a letter of apology from your office, and training delivered to your customer service employees on how to deal with this problem, I will consider the issue closed.