Sunday, February 28, 2010

Credit is Only for School Courses

Grab a cup of coffee, turn off your phone -- this is going to be a long one!
Words in "red" denote my voice getting louder and deeper.

The mail came; 2 notices from the credit card company. One reads "your card has been cancelled"; the other, "your credit limit has been dropped to........"

No big deal. Limits have been dropping like the President's ratings. But the cancelled card -- now that makes my blood boil! "I'm calling them right now"; "call them" chimes BH.

CC: "Hi how may I help you?"
ME: "I just got a notice my card has been cancelled; I'd like to know why. I have no owing balance, I pay it off every month and I've never been late with a payment"

CC: "Let's see what's going on here. What's your yearly income? Ok, it seems that your debt to income ratio is over exceeded."
ME: "As you can see by the credit report in front of you, we have never been late on any cards; we pay more than the minimum every time; we have an excellent credit rating. And, who requested this report - because every time a credit report is requested, our credit score goes down!"

CC: "We require a credit history on a regular basis to insure our customers are not getting in trouble. What are your plans for paying off your debts?"
ME: "I went back to work 18 months ago. We are not in trouble. Don't you think a "red flag" would be your clue as to someone in trouble - late payments, no payments, less than minimum payments - of which we have none of these?"

CC: "Yes, ma'm. But we have to protect ourselves from just such circumstances."
ME: "It's a GAS card, for God's sake! With a limit of $350! We're not talking 10s of thousands of dollars here!"

CC: "Ok, here's what we can do. I will cancel your other card (the one we got the notice of reduction in limit) and re-instate this card.
ME: "That's fine."

CC: "Ok. I will cancel the other card and mark your credit report that you requested the cancellation"
ME: "But if it says I requested the cancellation, that will bring my credit score down!"
CC: " I'm not 100% sure about that; I'd have to look into that".

Note: This is a representative of a Major credit card company, of which we have 3 different cards!

ME: "Everything we have heard from finanacial advisors warn against cancelling your cards; it reflects badly on your score".
CC: " That's the only way I can re-instate your other credit card at this time"
ME: "It's a GAS card!" This leaves bad feelings for people who are doing the right thing, paying their bills on time, no signs of trouble. You should pay more attention to those who can't keep up instead of those in good standing."

CC: "Well, that's the only thing we can do at this time."
ME: "Ok, cancel the one and re-instate the other. It's a GAS card, for God's sake."

And so it ended. We have our gas card. The one we use sparingly and pay off when the bill comes in. Two days later we get notices in the mail. One reads "we're sorry that you have cancelled your credit card. You have been a valued customer for many years".

The other says"we are informing you that your credit limit is now $350". (Take note of paragraph 7 above). DUHHHH!

And remember, these are "Financial Geniuses" who run the world!!!

God help us all!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Surge of Energy

Finally! Finished cleaning the house today; did half of it Wednesday night. Then a load of wash; scrubbed out the refrigerator - you know, from when I spilled the juice a few weeks ago - took me over an hour! Cleaned the filters on the space heaters; folded laundry; grocery shopping; wrote out the bills; glued legs on a little stool - they kept falling off everytime I picked it up; took pictures of the Andean hats. Now I just have to wash them; gotta make a new curtain for the bathroom window - the current one kind of got very thin.

Of course, the sun was shining; temp at 31. It was a beautiful day! Visions of Spring dancing in my head! It felt great. And the best part, or the reason why I got so much done today - didn't have to go to work!!

Here are the pix of the other 2 hats. The pink one was done with larger needles, more stitches and a bulkier yarn. The red and grey one on smaller needles, much more stitches and a worsted weight yarn. They both fit! One thing I did different - I don't like wrong-side yarn ends showing. I don't like raw edges when I sew something and I don't like seeing ends of yarn. So I reversed the earflap decreases to increases, worked it up to the beginning and stitched the inside flap. Then, when I did the 2 rows of crochet around the hat and earflaps, it joined the flaps together - perfect. And 2 layers of earflaps is much, much warmer than one layer. Does all this make sense? It looks confusing when I see it in print!

I also did the same thing to the first of these hats that I made - the one that turned out to fit a child. This one, though, I had to pick up a stitch at the beginning of each row, knit it together with the first flap stitch, because the crocheting was already done. It worked. Looks very good.

Today I started a pair of socks - cabled; brown Shetland sportweight yarn. I'm debating if I should rip them out and start over. They look too big. BH says they look fine - men's socks. So maybe I'll just keep going. Have you noticed I haven't said anything about spinning lately? Because I haven't been. It's on my list. So is putting another spinning wheel together after I oil rub all the wood parts.
Thursday we went to see our friend who was in that horrible car accident in November. She is doing well; she's now in a rehab center. I think it's going to take a while until she can be released to function on her own. It looks like she may need a home health care aide. But the important thing is she's improving. She was telling us that the doctor and 2 nurses who treated her when she first came to the hospital in a coma came to see her before she was transferred to Rehab. They told her they could not believe how she had come around and improved - they never figured she was going to make it.
"Man makes plans and God laughs!"
Son is home for the weekend. Sounds like the job is going ok. It'll take time; lots to know, lots to study, but he's a smart kid. I know he'll do fine. Planning a big dinner for tomorrow - pork chops, dressing, mashed potatoes, broccoli and applesause. Think I'll make strawberry shortcake for dessert. Then BH and I will have leftovers for a few days - no cooking!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

10 Reasons Why.............

Ok, it may not be 10 reasons; I haven't counted. I have missed not blogging lately, but time and days have just gotten away from me!

1. Busy, busy at work, of course

2. Daughter called last week; her cat was having another reaction to the insulin; seemed like diabetic shock. Call the vet - a different vet. The current one just doesn't seem to manage this correctly. This new vet is great. We were given more information on the disease and treatment than ever before. Of course, this took most of the day - my day off.

3. Son-who-is-living-with-us.........started work Monday!! Lots to get ready; pack up; instructions for Lammie (the bunny). Haven't heard from him yet as to how the new job is. I will call him tonight if he doesn't call first.

4. I have been trying to clean my house for 3 weeks. Yes, 3 weeks. Have gotten nowhere. Ah, but today is the day. I will clean house. Repeat:

5. With any free time, I have been knitting like crazy. I have finished 2 more Andean hats. Pictures will follow in a day or so. I did different weight yarns; different cast on stitches; finally figured out the stitches needed for the size hat I want. Success! I do like the way they turned out.

6. I finally did finish the vest; sewed on the buttons; washed it. Done. The color may not be dead-on in these photos; the light greyish brown is the alpaca and the dark brown is Shetland. I'm very happy with it and I do like the sleeves.

I do think a couple pairs of socks next. I love knitting socks.

7. The bunny. Having a pet is like having another child in the house, I always say. I've been bunnysitting. She's quite a character. Likes a lot of attention. Likes to be out of her cage. Will ring her bell or pull on the bars continuously until I let her out. Which means chasing her around the house, blocking off all doorways, wires, computer and any small space she may wish to explore. I am told this will be for 3 months - until Son-who-just-started-a-new-job can acquire his own apartment!

8. We changed our "computer operandi". We've been on dial-up, now high speed. Finally found a price and hook-up that fit our wants.

9. Taxes. We did our taxes and daughter's last week. Signed, sealed, mailed.

10. I've been lazy; no. tired. Haven't really felt like going on the computer because - well, frankly - before I know it, hours have past, the day has gone by, I've done nothing. I fear the computer. It's like a siren - "come. sit. browse. type. you know you want to. you know you love to. it'll be fun. just a few minutes won't interrupt anything." Another day shot to hell!

But I certainly did enjoy being here again. I could stay here all day. Housework,smoushwork. It'll be there tomorrow. But no. I must be strong. I must do what needs to be done. Crap.

You all have a great day. One day closer to Spring!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Should Be........

So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains,
And we never even know we have the key.......
("Already Gone"; The Eagles)

I had great plans for today. I formulated them last night. Get up early; clean the fridge (yes, the splatters are still there); change the bed linens; dust, vaccuum; clean the bathroom; mop up the floors.

Today is a different story. Oh, I got up early, ok; 5:00am. Started up the wood stove, turned on the coffee, turned on Cspan, grabbed my knitting, had coffee, put more wood in the stove, more knitting. BH got up, had coffee; looks very tired. I suggested he go back to bed. "I'll probably sleep til 8:00am", says he. "You can sleep til noon", says I. He went back to bed.

More knitting, more coffee. Ok, I should really get going now with the chores. Uhhh, I think I'll check the blogs first; might not get a chance later in the day what with all the things I have to do.

The bunny is pulling on the bars of her cage. Give her more food; still pulling and ringing her bell. Ok, ok. Let the bunny out for a bit while I check the blogs. Chase bunny away from the wires, the wicker and high places she loves to jump on. Read some more blogs. Geez, I should really write something while I'm here; might not get a chance later what with all the jobs I have to do today. Oh, yeah, and there's a few more blogs I want to put on my list of "Blogs I Read". Good ones.

Ok. well it's 9:00am now. If I get started with all the chores, I could be finished by 1:00pm. Then I will definitely need a nap. Oh, but shoot, BH is still sleeping. I don't want to make any noise and wake him up. Wait a minute -- where's the bunny?! Jeez, she's on her bed in the next room, eating. Whew.

Well, if I don't do chores today, I'll have to do them tomorrow. I hate cleaning house and such on my last day off from work. Then it's like I didn't have any days off.

But it's cold outside, though the sun is shining. It's cozy in the house. Really things don't look that bad! A little dust; spots on the floor I can wipe up with a paper towel; I think I just cleaned the bathroom Sunday. I think I will change the bed linens when BH wakes up and wipe out the refrigerator. That'll be good.

Besides, as I started a 3rd Andean hat this morning, it occurred to me that I don't have a lot of colored yarn - or white, for that matter. And I do have the sky blue on one wheel and white merino on the other. I should really get back to spinning. Because there's a beautiful yellow/gold roving that needs to be spun. And a denim blue. And a fuschia. And some alpaca.

I think I just found my "key"! Thank you, Eagles!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Men - the Bain of Human Existance

If you are about to get married; if you are a believer in "a man is king of his castle" -STOP. Do not read this post.

What is wrong with men? In particular, older men. Why is it they can find the most unimportant, nothing-to-do-with-them moments and get so bent out of shape, they ruin your day? Why is the simplest thing such a big deal, that they go on a rant that any sane person would find irrational?

Case in point: Son-who-is-living -with-us has a crapload of auto parts stored at the old farm house, which we use for our own storage. They've been there for 5 months. Now our stuff is in no particular order - especially when I ask BH to take something over there; it gets dropped where he finds a space. I do attempt to organize things a few times a year - garden things, Holiday things,craft things, household things and yard sale items - all in there alloted spaces. He has a room for all his fishing gear and boat items as well as the basement for tools, chopped wood and the shed for yard equipment.

Me: "I need to go over and find my vegetarian cookbooks I told a gal at work she could have".
Him: "Where are they; I'll get them".
Me: "They're in a box marked "ebay books" on the steel shelving unit on the left side of the back room, bottom shelf towards the picnic bench". Was this too much information? No. Same man I tell "the salsa is in the fridge; second shelf from the top; behind the bowl of salad; next to the loaf of bread. You have to move the salad".

Get my drift?

2 minutes later: He comes back. "They're not there". He sits in a chair; scowl on his face, starring out the window.

Me:"What's wrong?" And we're off!!! Here we go:

BH: " they're not there. There's only a box of computer magazines" (son's). You can't find anything over there; everything is a big mess; you can't even walk around over there; boxes everywhere; it's a sh****ing mess!" (His voice is getting louder and deeper).

Me:"Ok. ok. I'll go over. If I see the box, I'll know it's the one. Maybe I put them somewhere else".
BH: "I'll go with you."
Me: "Oh, no. no. no. no. I'll look."
BH: "I'll go with you. It's slippery outside".

Well, we went and looked for the books; not there. I'll think about this later; I can't think about it now. I'll think about it tomorrow; afterall, tomorrow -- is -- another -- day! (Scarlet O'Hara).

Now the point to this little drama is this could've turned quite ugly. Men have a penchant for sulking, stewing, brooding and yelling about this most inconsequential things - things that don't matter a hill of beans, but the situation will make your stomach turn upside down and jump into your throat. Until you just want to strangle the daylights out of him - or pack his clothes and throw him out on his arse!

I have had enough drama in my life to last me forever. I have been at the mercy of other people's miserable attitudes since I can remember. At 60 years old, I want peace - and I don't care how I get it. The friggin house could blow up - I don't care. Let me be. Laugh and walk away. My mantra is: Nothing is so bad that it can't be worse. These are the words I live by.

The problem is, this is not an isolated incident. He tends to explode over the stupidest, unimportant things lately. Yes, I know our life isn't the same with someone else living here. Yes, I know things are hectic, unco-ordinated and messy. HELLOOO! You, dear sir, are not the only one going through this. Chill!

My dad was and is the same way, so I grew up with this scenario. I don't know how he and my mom made it through 61 years and counting.

I didn't have to go to work today; not enough rooms to clean. Yea! I get to stay home. I should've gone to work. Or somewhere. And scream. And think "the Amazons had it right - mate with them, then kill them".

However, I do have to go to work tonight. See? Nothing's so bad, it can't be worse!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hectic is the Word

What can I say. It's been another nutsy week. Egads. Took daughter shopping on Wednesday. Left home at 9:00am; got home at 6:00pm. She lives an hour away. She did her grocery shopping, which takes about 2 hours. We have to check labels for salt, fat, cholesterol and compare prices. Sometimes we have to readjust her list for her menus because of in-store sales vs. ad sales. Then it's off to the big box store. She needs a new vacuum cleaner and various household items and cat supplies.

Back to her apartment. Put all the groceries away (we shop for at least 2 weeks worth of food). Humidifier needs cleaning, new filter installed (which has to be cut to fit because they didn't have her specific model in stock, of course); light bulb needs to be replaced in the fridge; batteries need to be replaced in her remote and shaver; and then I have to put together the new vacuum cleaner. Of which I cannot find the 2 screws the instructions say to attach the handle to the body of said cleaner. After rifling through all the packaging for the 4th time and swearing a blue streak, thinking I have to take this back to the store; I'm going to blow a gasket - there are the screws in a small bag attached to the handle. Thank you, powers that be.

While putting the first screw in the handle, I discover that the holes are not drilled. Of course. Using the screwdriver, which, by the way, is one size too big for the screw, I twist and twist and twist. The screwdriver slips and - Bam! - right into the palm of my hand at full force. She is talking to me all the while. "Julie, Please!" I yell. Calm down. On to the task at hand. Finally got the damn thing all put together. Now I instruct her how to clean the tank and wash the filter, reminding her to be very, very careful as it feels as if the cleaner is made of cheap plastic. I don't even want to think of the phone call telling me the dojiggie that closes the flap on the tank has broken off; or the dohickey that holds the tank to the handles has broken off.

Home I go, stop at the DQ for chicken strip baskets for supper.

Thursday, BH and I go do our grocery shopping. Did you ever stop and think that if you didn't have to eat, we could all be rolling in dough! No money problems. Geezz.

Rough week at work. Busy. Snowmobiliers. This weekend, Super Bowl revelers (and we're not even in the Super Bowl - I don't get it). Lots of rooms to clean; lots of messes; lots of night cleaning rooms. Come home and prepare the feast for BH and sons because it's - Super Bowl Sunday.

I have started knitting another Andean hat. Increased the stitches, switched to bigger needles and thicker yarn. It's seems to be ok; not sure if I'm crazy about the colors. I keep talking myself into thinking it looks good. I'll probably frog the whole thing by the time I get to decreasing the crown. I should've started a pair of socks. I love knitting socks.

Friday was Number One son's birthday. He and family still live in New York. I miss him like crazy. He turned 42. 42! How is this possible? I don't feel like I have a 42 year old son. He was always "attached to my hip" when he was small; he always looked out for me (still does); he was my Rock when I was going through some very bad times. Happy Birthday, John! You'll never know how much I love you!!

His First Birthday.

Isn't he a Doll?!! I miss him so.

Well, it's time to get rolling again. Get ready for work. See what the day will bring.

Happy spinning and knitting!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Oh for Crype Sake.........!

This will be brief because I have 1 hour to get breakfast, dressed, gather my lists (ha!) and get to my daughter's for a day of shopping.

Well, I finished the cap of the Andean hat, sans ear flaps. You won't believe this -- but if you read a previous post, you just might --- the hat is too frigin' small!! ; for an adult, that is. Oh Crap!! My own fault -- I don't do swatching and I don't do gauge checking! It goes against my grain --- of getting at it and finishing it Fast!

Oh, I think the hat is Beautiful! I'm so proud of myself that the charting turned out great (2nd time around --- "around" -- ha, get it?) But I don't know of anyone I would trust with a wool hat for a child ; you know, washing -- machine -- boop -- Barbie doll hat.

I'm hoping that once the ear flaps are on and the 2 rows of crocheted edging are finished, it will magically become large enough to fit an adult. It's the "Polyanna" syndrome. I have it quite often when finishing a knitted item. It's a curse.

Anyway, what do you think?

Ok, that was weird. I just uploaded 2 photos, but they're not here! If they show up anywhere strange, I'm sorry. Let's try this again......

Ahhh, success!! (oops, I notice I didn't hit the "Done" button after the upload! Silly me!) Next time -- larger needles! Definitely larger needles!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

If Only You Could See My "Happy Dance"!

One of my very favorite movies is "Happy Feet". If you haven't seen it, please rent a copy. The animation, music and story line is fantastic. And if you have young children, they will love it too, I think. It's the only movie I actually paid full price for ($18.00) when it finally came out on DVD.

The reason for this opening statement is because:

  • I started re-knitting the Andean hat; so far, so good. Got through all the charts and now starting the crown decreases. At this point is doesn't matter what color I pick up by mistake, I can make my own patterning. I can "fudge" real good!

  • I can now resume my planning of colors for the next Andean hat; I can continue dreaming about the charted sweater. It's all good.

  • My son-who-is-living-with-us-while-looking-for-a-job got a call at 3:45 today from an employer he interviewed with last week. He is to show up there tomorrow at 10:00am!! We're assuming it will be for training. So, he hurriedly showered, shaved, packed clothes, laptop, cell phone and other various paraphenalia and off he went (we are 3 hours from the Cities!)

Thank you all who had those candles burning, fingers crossed and prayers being whispered. Please keep up the good work until we hear from him tomorrow evening; then we'll know the whole story.

  • I didn't have to work again tonight! This is always Red letter!

  • I didn't have to make supper. We (BH and myself) had a bowl of chili and crackers; perfect.

  • Tomorrow I'm taking my daughter shopping. This is always an all-day affair, but once a month is ok. And I'm buying myself new underwear. Cotton briefs. That's right. I'm blowing the budget. (Remember: "what if you were in an accident and had to be taken to the hospital..........")

  • I am now looking over my house and dreaming of new paint, wall paper and the spare bedroom makeover - hopefully next month (see bullet about son above).

  • We are one more day closer to Spring!

Judy, you make me laugh! I, too, have set down a knitting project only to pick it up months later and try to figure out where I left off. Marking rows doesn't always work; is the dash for a finished row or begin this row?? I try to write notes; but mostly in a hurry and then I can't always tell what I meant by them, either. This is where "fudging" comes in very handy. At least for a few rows until it all starts coming back to me. Funny, I love fudge (the confection) too! Coincedence? Hmm.

Geez, right now I'm babysitting. I mean "bunny"sitting. She's running around like her tail's on fire. I cleaned her cage tonight; put in fresh hay and water. She wants to play. I gotta watch she doesn't get under the computer desk --she likes to cut wires and cords - and she can do it in the blink of an eye. And then there's the cords on the eco heaters; the sliding door that moves back and forth when she's nudging it trying to get in the spare room ("she's going to get her neck caught in that door; she's going to break her neck!" says son-who-is- ahh, you know the drill); and then there's my knitting in the family room. Yes, she also likes to chew my rice basket and I just know the yarn is not far behind.

OMG, it's going on 1:00am. I have to corral my little charge and put her to bed, then me too.

Good night, one and all. Remember - "Happy Feet"!