Playing catchup!

So, Miss Mallory is mobile… try saying THAT five times fast.  She started crawling last Sunday and hasn’t looked back.  She’s now terrorizing the dogs, pulling books and toys off ‘her’ shelf, and is already grabbing onto things to pull herself up on her knees.  It’s just a matter of time before she gets the bright idea to stand on her own two feet.  This is getting fun!  I can’t believe it took her this long to hit this milestone, but then I remind myself that all babies develop differently.  Mallory is definitely her own little individual personality. 🙂

By now you’ve probably all heard the news about Ben being picked up by the publishing arm of the ‘Library of the Living Dead.’  The first book in his ‘Undead Trilogy’ should be wrapped up in the next week and submitted.  We’ve been working through the first edit these past few weeks and I can’t wait to have it out of the house.  Don’t get me wrong, I love it and I don’t mind editing, but I’d like some time to just relax!  We’ve been living, breathing, and dreaming this book for the last few months.  Now we’re starting to research buzz marketing and all sorts of word-of-mouth and social media promotion for it.  I think that’s almost as much work as getting the novel together!

Let’s see… what else?  Oh yeah!  I started my new job today.  I left AccuNet a few weeks ago because I was just tired of being in sales.  Sure, every once in a while you get a pretty decent paycheck, but I was tired of cold calling, prospecting, and selling my soul.  My new company is leagues ahead of where I was.  It’s hard to explain what I will be doing in my new role, so I’ll save that for another post.  My first day included Elvis, tricycle races, and meeting every single person on our team – all 89 of them. I have a cube instead of an office, but that’s ok.  I’m not going to be a slave to the email notification on my cell phone anymore.  That’s a fair trade in my book.

I’m actually working on a piece of jewelry for a friend as a ‘thank you’ for serving as a reference deal.  She’s the one person I miss from my old job.  😦  Believe me, if I could I’d get her hired on at the new company post-haste!  I’m going back through and re-reading George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Ice trilogy.  Even though I’ve read it several times, I still sit in disbelief every time I read the part where King Robb of the North dines with the Freys after marrying that manipulative hussy Jeyne Westerling.  Who kills off a main character in such a crazy ass twist that you never expect!?

Weather’s getting warmer and we’re discovering Central Ohio’s great MetroPark system.  Glacier Ridge Park is near our house so we went there for a fun 2 mile walk on Sunday morning.  We bundled up Mallory in her stroller and did some exploring.  I think we’re going back this weekend to walk a different part of the trail.  They have a cool boardwalk over the wetlands (thank you, Honda!) so we’ll be able to see some scenic stuff as well.  I love how they’re reforesting the prairie.  Metro Parks are awesome!

Ok, that’s enough for me.  Time to head to bed.

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Cell Phone Drama

I had to report my cell phone as missing this morning.  I had it yesterday when we walked through a house my sister is thinking of buying.  I remember pulling it out to see what time it was and placing it back in my purse, which was hanging on the post of one of their dining room chairs.  Tried to call my mom on the way back to our house (yes, I know I’m a bad person for talking and driving) and couldn’t find it.  My sister looked through her Hummer, looked on the ground where she thought I might have dropped it, and where I was parked, but couldn’t find it. 

I’m stuck as to what we’re going to do.  Do I pay the $50 and get a refurbed model of the same crappy phone or do I extend our contract and get the Google Droid phones we’ve been drooling over lately?  To add to the difficult decision, the Droid phones are now BOGO.  Plus, if we order online we will get the $100 rebate instantly *and* free activation.  I’m so torn.

I’ve already called Verizon and reported it as missing.  My next step is to figure out what the hell I’m going to do.  In the meantime, don’t call me.

Any advice?

Stand a little less between me and the sun ~ Diogenes

Do not, I repeat, do NOT get between me and the sun this week.  The days are getting longer minute by minute  and I was dazzled by bright sunshine on my foray to work travelling an eastbound freeway this morning.  I hope to get the same brilliance on my way home.  It seems there’s a little more pep in my step with the emergence of the sun’s rays and I’m loving it.

I listened to the weather this morning and couldn’t believe my ears when I heard them say that it would going to be close to FIFTY this weekend.  Fifty?  Hallelujah!  I’ve been seeing more and more patchy spots of sullen grass peeking out from where the massive snowbanks are starting to recede.  I’m sure the sun will coax it to a brighter shade of green here shortly.  Pretty soon there will be buds on the trees and diminutive delicate beginnings of the crocuses will peek out from under their wintry cover. 

Wow, I didn’t realize how much I missed spring!  I actually want to work in the garden, plant some flowers, and get dirty!  (No, WIGSF – not that kind of dirty).

The only thing that sucks is this whole spril forward thing next Sunday, March 14th.  I hate ‘losing’ that hour of sleep.  However, dogs and babies aren’t governed by clocks sooooooo this may work out briefly in our favor.  Any suggestions for how to adjust bedtimes to coincide with DST?  Any input would be appreciated.

I’d like to bundle up Mallory and take her out walking in a metro park this weekend.  I think I might check out Glacier Ridge Metro Park near our house.  We’d have to drive there, but I think it would be fun.  She LOVES the outdoors and shrieks with excitement when the wind blows in her face.  I have a feeling she’ll be a fearless daredevil on her bike when she gets older. 

What are YOUR almost-but-not-quite weekend plans?

Cha-cha-cha-chaaaaanges!

I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever done yesterday… I put in my resignation at my current employer.  I love this company, I love the people (well, ok, *most* of the people), and will really miss them, but I learned enough about myself during this process to know that I’m not cut out for sales.  Once I get in front of a customer I’m magic, but it’s that whole ‘hunter’ persona that I’m lacking.  Cold calls?  Huh uh, no way!  I gave two weeks notice and will be taking three days off – including St. Patrick’s Day! – before starting at the new place.  More money, incredible stability, better fit for my work personality, and I think it was just a change for the best that was a long time in coming.

So yeah… it’s weird.  I’m kind of being treated like Public Enemy #1 by some people here but others are extremely supportive.  You may remember that my current boss is my neighbor.  Luckily, he understood that I needed to get out of sales and pursue a new career.  I did tell him that if a different position ever came open or they created a new position to definitely give me a call and float me an offer. 

Met with the insurance adjuster yesterday and we’re looking at $4,000 (his number) in damages done to our house from the ice dams.  That includes the money we’re going to have to pay to the water remediation company that installed two industrial grade dehumidifiers in our house along with blowers to get everything dried out, new carpet in the upstairs bedroom, lots of repairs to the kitchen, and possibly new cabinets *sigh*.  I have a feeling that once we have our contractor get in there and start taking the cabinets off the wall, the scope of work is going to change dramatically.  We’ll probably do most of the work ourselves to save on the labor cost, but will need assistance from a contractor to document our loss to the insurance company.  This is going to be one great big pain in the butt, I can just tell.  I have NO IDEA when we’re going to get started.  Looks like we need to put some plans together right away.

Ben and I are still doing well with the entire lifestyle change we’ve made.  We’re cooking more low-fat / low-carb meals and have completely cut out sugar.  It’s weird for me to get a sweet craving and automatically reach for an orange instead of a fudge round.  I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even miss it anymore.  We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary this weekend with some specialty macaroons from the Whole Foods bakery and they were just overkill.  I’ve gotten pretty handy at putting together a meal plan ahead of time and arranging our grocery shopping around it.  Saturdays & Sundays have become Slow Cooker days – it makes the house smell soooooo good and we always have plenty of leftovers for the week’s lunches.  I’m trying my hand at Meatless Mondays and tossing in a seafood day or two throughout the week as well.  Ben is making fish in parchment paper with asparagus and oranges for dinner tonight.  I can’t wait to taste how that turns out!

When it Rains, It Pours

Literally pours in our case.  Ben went downstairs to our living room and noticed water dripping either from the ceiling or down the wall.  The slate tiles in front of our fireplace were wet and the carpet was damp.  We thought that the water was coming in from the fireplace or from the wall, but closer inspection and a trip up the stairs to our  guest bedroom revealed that we have extensive water damage up there as well.  Water has leaked in the ceiling, down the wall, buckled the drywall where the window meets the wall, and dripped all the way down to end up in the living room.  The carpet is wet in there as well.

I called our insurance company (Liberty Mutual) and they told me they’re getting a TON of complaints similar to ours.   Unfortunately, she told us that the damage will keep happening until the root cause (all the snow and ice that’s been built up) is completely gone.  She said that we can try to extract the water from the carpet ourselves and to keep all receipts.  She also put the worry about mold in my head.  We took lots of pictures and documented the damage as best we could and will give our guy a call to see what he thinks needs to be done and how much it’s going to cost us.

My neighbor had the same damage and in his kitchen they’re going to tear out his drywall, repaint, hang cabinets if necessary, etc.  In his bedroom they’re going to replace the carpet,  tear out & replace the drywall, repaint, and replace the trim.  He just noticed that he has more water damage in his laundry room and upstairs bathroom.  The estimator will be coming out again to take a look at that damage.

Who knew that little dribbles of water could cause this much damage?  We’re committed to paying the $500 deductible.  Hopefully, we can get this all repaired soon.

How’s YOUR week going?

Some days you’re just speechless, yanno?

Had a good weekend even though I felt like we were just go-go-go both days.  Took Mallory to see Ben’s mom on Saturday.  It’s a good time for us to visit, make sure she’s doing okay after the sudden loss of her husband, and for her to just be delighted by her granddaughter.  From there we hit a few errands including buying Ben a few new fish for his tank and strolling through Whole Foods.  Squish scared the pants off a woman with a quick super high pitched shriek of excitement as we were walking through the bulk foods section.  I think she may have lopped 3 years off her life, the poor lady!  Took another family outing to Franklin Covey because we’re determined to ‘get organized.’  Well, at least we have refills of the tools we like to use.  We’ll see if the getting organized follows.

Sunday was a pretty hectic day as well.  Got up and got dressed – made sure Mallory had a mid-morning nap before my sister picked us up to go to church for the first time together.  She had a blast and was pretty good throughout the whole service except for when she started growling.  Of course this week’s sermon was about the devil  tempting Jesus when he was in the wilderness.    I’m sure many in the congregation felt there was a demon sitting in the back pew *sigh*.  All in all, an ok church but I’m still on my church shopping adventure.  We’ll see where I end up next week.

Following that, we drove up to see my parents and had lunch up there.  They took us to the new house and we got to take the tour with the tile up, lights installed, and cabinetry in place.  Words can not describe how much effort they put into the planning of this house and how they’re going to use it.  They plan to ‘live’ in the downstairs (so it’s kind of like a condo) and put visitors upstairs.  To save money and heating and stuff the upstairs and downstairs are two different zones.  They even have a separate hot water tank for upstairs!  Also, their pantry off the kitchen is larger than my office here at work.  They’ve worked hard all their life for that house and have done things the right way – good for them!  They give me hope that we too can have the same things they did.  We grew up in a trailer in SW PA and now they’re building a monstrosity of a house.  They’re living the American dream 🙂

Came home to a tremendous shock.  Ben had made dinner, cleaned up the living room – dining room – kitchen – AND family room – including dusting, organizing stuff that he didn’t know where it went, and vacuuming.  There were even fresh flowers in a crystal vase on the dining room table in addition to the smell of an awesome beef stew coming from the crock pot.  He worked pretty hard while Mallory and I were out of the house and it was so nice to be able to just sit and relax after I got home.  That was a pretty cool gift!

How was YOUR weekend?

My Cell Phone Conundrum

I hate technology.  Funny, isn’t it?  I work for a company that peddles the stuff.  Today, my ire is directed at cell phones, notably Smart Phones.  Sure, it’s great for me to have the Internet, my email, and other stuff at hand, but is it really *necessary*?  I’m beginning to think the answer is ‘no.’

My cell phone is the Samsung Saga.  It has about a 12 hour battery life (and that’s pushing it) if you don’t use synch-heavy applications like Exchange or Internet Explorer.  DUH.  It’s a smartphone.  That’s what they do.  Plus, lately it’s been dropping calls to the point of where I have actually ordered landline service from AT&T to the tune of $14.95/month so that I have a reliable phone at home.  I also have mysterious disappearances of texts in 2 week blocks.  I know that I’ve sent and/or received texts in those period of time, but they just randomly disappear.  All in all, I’m pretty disappointed with Verizon, its service, and Samsung phones.

Now, on to today’s issue!  As I walked into Verizon today I could feel my heartbeat start racing and my fight or flight reaction kicked in.  I *hate* going in there because it’s always bad news and it seems like it’s never in the customer’s favor.  After I signed in on the little kiosk, I waited about 20 minutes until I got called back to talk to a service rep.  She looked up my account, saw that I was three days outside my warranty and told me that my only option to solve my problems would be to get a new phone.  I could upgrade to a blah blah blah phone for only $199 today.  Seriously?

When I asked what my $5/month insurance payment went towards, she told me that they could ‘depot return’ my phone for a fee of $50 and I would receive a refurbished unit of my current model in 3-5 business days.  Again, SERIOUSLY?  She couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to sign up for a new phone that very day. 

There may be some changes here in the future that may not require me to be so technologically dependent, but those are in next week.  I’m stuck between suffering through what I’m dealing with now, getting shafted by paying $50 for a phone that I know has quality issues, or buying more phone than I need and spending money I don’t really want to spend.   I feel held hostage!

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