Thursday, August 26, 2010

My onion letter (with an orchid note)...

A few years back, I read an article (I wish I could remember where, but I found a blog post about it here) about an onion letter and an orchid letter. I think it was written by a flight attendant and she told the dif between the two. The airline would get good letters and bad letters. The good were titled "orchid letters" and the bad, "onion letters". This is my take on an onion letter for all of you bloggers that might be interested!

Why is it when you go to a fast food restaurant (Chick-Fil-A last night) they insist that you get a medium drink with the Combo that you order? I'm just sayin'...

My sweet angels now like to order off of the "adult" menu at CFA. They no longer want the nuggets, but the chicken sandwich. Last night we had a treat for dinner. We had CFA. As I'm giving (screaming) my order over the loudspeaker, I requested a small lemonade with both "Combo #1's". The reply was, "Ma'am, the combos come with a medium drink."

"Okay," I answered.

But, why? Can't I just get what I want? After all, they are in the customer service industry sort of. I mean they are precious friendly people, really they are. But, I have two small children who have two small bladders and they will keep Daddy and me up all night with a MEDIUM lemonade. I.JUST.WANT.A.SMALL!!!!

Then, today I had to go to the FedEx store. Now, keep in mind that it is the FEDEX store. I didn't have the account number with me, but this shouldn't be a problem, because I'm at the FEDEX store. "Sir, I don't have the account number, could you look it up for me?" No, I don't have access to that information. How does the FEDEX store not have my FEDEX information. It is the FEDEX store, right? Then, he couldn't ring up my paper purchase at his register because his register was only for FEDEX SHIPPING. Again, can't find my shipping account number at the register/computer that was for FEDEX SHIPPING, and now, he can't take my money. Double whammy! I remembered as I stood there waiting for him to wrap my package (which took 30 minutes, but I did thank him for doing such a nice job), this is why I switched to UPS! So, the FedEx shipping experience was only used in a dire situation! That makes me wonder why there is no UPS Store within reach that I can use...should I write an onion letter about that?

Are all companies this difficult? I run into it all the time with my job. My job is to make a person's life easier. I do a really good job at that (patting self on back now). My boss and I are Colonel Potter and Radar. Isn't making life easier what these "customer service" oriented businesses are supposed to be about? I do it, why can't they?

I know, it's a soapbox, but does anybody hear the pleas of the simple American Mommy/Wife/Executive Assistant?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

On an orchid note, I had to contact my credit card company today and they were simply delightful! I cannot say enough about how pleasant and helpful Ms. Gonzalez was as well as Marcus. They were both so helpful and so kind! Thank you to them both!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Limos, The Hulk and Rattles, oh my...

As you may or may not know, I started this blog to keep family and friends up to date on all things Beebs and Annie (my two precious angels). So, here are a few outtakes from the last few weeks of life with words and sayings that only come from the "moufs" of my babes (should I change the blog name to that or what?)

Annie after a big storm we had a few weeks ago..."Mommy, should I go out in the yard and pick up all the 'LIMOS'?" You know, the limbs! Beebs wasted no time in correcting her, by the way. Like she knows what she's talking about, hence the Hulk.

Beebs going to work with me last week..."Mommy, there's the Statue of Liberty!" They get so excited about it and I hardly even notice it after 15 years of passing it daily. "Yep Beebs, she's facing downtown where her home was 20 years ago," I replied. "Mommy, do you think she's looking at the Hulk?" Beebs asked. "The Hulk? What in the world are you talking about?" I questioned. "You know, her boyfriend, the Hulk! The big statue with his butt (yes she said butt mother) showing!" she answered. "Ohhhhhhhh, you mean Vulcan! Yes, I think she's looking at Vulcan, who is her boyfriend, but not the Hulk, who turns green and his clothes rip off when he's mad." Yes people, only from the moufs of babes!

Yeah, rattles. Well, we had a mouse (most likely a rat, but Daddy didn't want to freak me out too bad), that lived in our walls last winter. We could hear him scratching around inside the walls day and night. All I could picture was Jerry from "Tom and Jerry" making that little arch shaped hole in the wall so he could come out at night and get something from the fridge. Anyway, Annie was laying (rolling around like a wild idiot) on our bed the other day and we heard something. I can't remember exactly what it was now, but I'm pretty sure it was Daddy messing around in the garage. I do know that it wasn't the mouse/rat because I'm pretty sure it's not in the hot attic or walls during the hottest time of the year! Anyway (again), I told Annie to hush (shut her big fat mouth - not really, but only in the minds of Mommies) so we could figure out what the noise was. Please note that she (and Beebs and Daddy) talks non-freaking-stop and I haven't been able to hear myself think through the major part of my thirties, aka post-kid! After the whole shushing thing, Annie said (in her non-freaking-stop talking kind of way), "Hey Mommy, I fink de Rattle is back." Yes folks, she was talking about the mouse/rat. Apparently, Daddy told them it was a rat. Hmmmm, maybe that's why they won't go downstairs by themselves...

I'm tellin' y'all, only from the moufs of babes!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My happy place...

Thank you Rhoda at Southern Hospitality! You are an inspiration! I first saw Rhoda's staircase redo over at The Lettered Cottage. My stairs had been in a world of hurt for quite a while. You see, they are hardwood, but had been stained in, oh, 1963 or 1964 when our house was built. Then, they had a weird rubber old lady runner thing on them, then they had been covered in carpet, which was absolutely, ridiculously disgusting when we moved in and I was 6 months pregnant. Note to self and all those in blog world, please don't EVER move when you are pregnant, especially if your "new" old house has 1960's paneling and carpeted stairs!!! I cried and I cried and I cried and I almost made Daddy cry when I said, "I think we bought the wrong house!" on the day we closed. But, ugly 1960's paneling is something that can be beautified with a little paint, Praise the Good Lord, and thank Him for great parents who paint because you can't/shouldn't when you are 6 months pregnant!!! But, I digress. So, here are my stairs to begin with...

So, yes, quite hideous! I know you are asking yourself, "Why, why in the world have you lived with this for 5 LOOOOONNNNNGGGGG years?" Well, let me just tell you that they were carpeted when we moved in. We had all the carpeting replaced (it was nasty and was an absolute requirement from an insane pregnant woman who asked Daddy to dig up Jasper the Cat that we had buried in the back yard of our last precious home to move him to the back yard of our new/old home so he would still be with us...another story for another day). The stairs were carpeted when we bought the house, so we assumed we would just replace the carpet on the stairs as well. Bing, bang, boom and DONE. Not so fast! When the carpet layers (also puller uppers) took the carpet off the stairs, they realized that the "down" stairs were hardwood just like the "up" stairs. We live in a split foyer home (I swore I would never live in a split foyer home because they were TOO dark, but I do love our home, and I knew it would be our home the minute we walked in, pink walls, 1960's tile, hideous wallpaper, paneling and all). Again, digressing. The moral of that whole story is, don't listen to Daddy when he says, "Don't let them put carpet on the stairs! I'll refinish them since they are hardwood." Yeah, that didn't happen and I wasn't holding my breath after 5 years. Love you my precious hubby, but you are a bit behind on the DIY's:)!

Almost 5 years and many blog and Google searches later, I came across Rhoda's stair redo on The Lettered Cottage. Okay friends, now we are up to speed. I do love me some background so you can get the gist of everything...

So, I went to Lowe's and got some Crown NEXT Paint Strip environmentally friendly paint and varnish stripper (and installed myself a pole...ha ha) and got to work. Here's how my steps looked after the stripper (pole and all...ha ha)...

First, let me emphasize the importance of safety goggles. No, they don't particularly work when you have them on your head! Yes friends, I had them holding back my hair that was hanging in my eyes blocking my view of properly "STRIPPING" my stairs. As you can imagine, I flung some of the paint stripper in my eye and had to flush for 15 (3) minutes and throw away my brand new pair of disposable contacts. Oh, I was fine! It was just a little and I still have my eyesight 2 weeks later. So, I know, right, the stairs are still crappy, but my toenails look pretty in the picture! Daddy was still hanging on to the whole "I'll refinish them" thing. I'm thinking that would require a professional, which we are not! Sorry Daddy, you're a pro at a lot of stuff, but...

Next, I primed, and even the primer made me so happy! I also primed the wall/paneling around each riser and tread where there was no primer or paint due to it being painted before the old carpet was pulled up 5 years earlier. Oh, and did I mention that I did all of this when my two crazy kids were at the beach with my Mommy (shout out to Mommy who loves it when her 30-something daughter calls her Mommy - and she is the greatest Mommy in the world - overboard? maybe a little). Anyway, she took my kids away so I could ACTUALLY complete a project, so I gotta give her what she wants, my Mommy that is:)! And, drum roll please, here are my steps primed...

Lovely, right. Once the primer was dry, I set out with my Valspar Porch and Floor paint in "something" black (can't remember the exact name and the paint is downstairs and I'm not getting up to walk down there now even though I would like to see my pretty stairs, what with all this talk about them). Please note that I do tend to get paintbrush happy whenever I am holding one in my hands. I had the bright idea, which came back to haunt me later, that the parquet entry floor should be black too. I just tested it out a little. I'd love to show you, but it might ruin the finished product picture I have saved up. Let me just say that Daddy didn't like it. As a matter of fact, he said, "Why'd you paint the foyer floor?" As in, you crazy, paint brush-holding woman, step away from the paint can and put DOWN the brush! That brush happy mistake only took an HOUR to SCRAPE off.

So, after many (kidless) hours of working on my stairs, a little "stripper" in the eye, some scraping due to "brush-happy" hands, lots of primer and a little porch and floor paint from Lowe's, here is my finished product...

Oh, and I painted the end posts and railings too (told you I am brush happy), but left the spindles white. That small touch updated the entire area. I am telling you that my entry way is now a happy place to be! I also had a pedicure in the midst of all of this and picked out a fabulous purple called "Can You Dig It" by OPI.

Let me also mention that I found the cutest, most precious half round table that is perfect for my foyer, along with a great iron candle stick and a green cross as accessories at The French Flea. And here is a picture of that...

Thanks for stopping by to see my stair redo that was totally inspired by Southern Hospitality!

I still have some molding to add and some paint touch up to do and maybe a poly top coat to add that will help with the crazy kids scuffing it all up, but for now, I am in my happy place!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Eiffel Tower and Lillian's

Summer Rose (previous post) is sad, cause it's all officially coming to an end this week! No more sleeping late, no more staying up late, and the week of QUIET has officially ended. Yes, my precious Mama and Papa took my kids home with them last week and let me just tell you that they had a blast!!! They were at the beach for an entire week! What kid could ask for more? Of course, the wild woman came down with a horrible Strep Rash one day in and Mama had to find a pediatrician close to home who confirmed the illness. Then, Mama caught the same highly contagious rash, with a vengeance! Love you Mommy!!! Thank the Good Lord Beebs and Papa didn't get it. The rash didn't stop them from having a good time (sorry to those of you that went to see Toy Story 3 at the same time, went to the indoor pool at the same time, and the kids' fav restaurant at the same time). Nope, you can't stop Mama from having a good time...

On the day when Mama's rash was the worst, Papa took the girls to the Naval Museum, which they absolutely loved! Not sure if they loved the Naval Museum as much as they loved hanging with Papa for an entire day, but it was cool! After the Naval Museum, Papa took them to a real lighthouse. They climbed (seriously, lots of stairs) all the way to the top. They were about 10 steps from the top when they came across a little guy (Beebs says he was going into 1st grade, although I'm not sure how she knew that what with all the crying he was doing) he was freaking out about going back down the stairs. Papa secretly freaked out at this point, cause he thought this was going to make the girls freak out! When I asked them later if they got scared when they saw how scard the little boy was, Beebs said, "No, he just made my head hurt because he was soooooooooooo loud!" I'm telling you, only from the moufs of babes! Anyway, they called me that night to fill me in on the days events, and I got to talk to Annie first. Annie's gig on the phone is, "Mommy, I need to tell you sumfin." To which I always reply, "Okay, tell me."

This time, what she told me made me laugh out loud and almost fall on the floor! "Mommy, we climbed de Eiffel Tower today!"

"You did what? I didn't know Papa took you all the way to Paris!"

Then, I hear Mama in the background, "No, Annie, you went to a lighthouse." I guess in a four year old mind, a lighthouse with all its stairs is kind of like the Eiffel Tower. But, how in the world does she know what the Eiffel Tower is? It's gotta be a Disney Channel thing...

We finally, after the quietest week EVER, arrived to gather up the children and spend one night with my precious Mama and Papa before heading to our old stomping ground, which is my dad's beach place! We had a great time with Mama and Papa (aka, Mr. Old Fashioned, which is my blog shout out to Papa - "that's what I'm talkin about RIGHT THERE! - love you Pops). Anyway, we had a fun little family mini-vacay with the kids! We took them to eat at Lillian's Pizza, which is one of our all time fav's!!! It used to sit right on the beach, until one of the hurricanes knocked it OUT! Anyway, they rebuilt, but this time, across the street from the beach. Still great food (and wine), but across the street. As we were pulling in, Daddy was showing the girls where it used to be before the hurricane. To which Beebs promptly replied, "Did the hurricane move it across the street?" Ahhh, I'm telling you, only from the moufs of babes!

Again, see the previous post about the things that come out of my babes "moufs". It's truly the reason I write this blog! They crack me up daily!

So, to sum it up, Summer Rose is happy about the fun we had this summer and so happy that it ended on a happy note! This post is just a little reminder of how much fun we had with Mama and Papa. Thanks y'all! This one's for you two lovebirds and the best grandparents two (or seven) little ones could ever ask for!!!