May 28, 2005
I (Heart) Delta, or ...

How To Build Brand-Loyalty.

I was reminded by Tony's new post of a time about six years ago when my husband came home from a business trip, encountering complications.

(It amazes my husband that I can't remember to pick up the dry-cleaning, but I can remember the exact words he used thirteen years ago to introduce me to a pseudo-ex-girlfriend. Once he mentioned during an argument that it seemed like I remembered every bad thing he ever did. I pointed out I remembered EVERY thing he ever did, good or bad. That kinda creeped him out. Thats really neither here nor there, just worth a mention to reassure you I have excellant memory skills IF it involves him. He is, after all, my favorite obsession. Some sports-freaks remember obscure stats ... I remember anything/everything related to my husband. He's gotten used to it, kinda like I'm a really good Jeeves. )

This particular time, I was home in Portland with a toddler and pregnant with our second. He HAD to make a trip to Boston, alhough I can't sleep if he isn't there. So, knowing I wasn't sleeping well, he started the cross-country trip home without waiting for the next morning. I called Delta's automated system to confirm that the flight was on time before driving an hour to the airport to pick him up. It told me that the flight was cancelled. Panic sets in.

I called Delta customer service. They can't actually help me, other than to confirm that the flight made it as far as SaltLake before being cancelled. Respecting customer privacy, they can't tell me where he is. Finally, they yield and confirm that he was on the flight to SaltLake. Its concievable that he made a connecting flight to Portland, or not, but they can't tell me because they're not allowed to divulge passenger list info. At that point, I might have been hysterical. "Do I drive the airport or not? I'm pregnant, its an hour away, I have on pajamas, what should I do?" Some conferring and the cusomer service people say "If I were you, I'd definitely stay home. Thats all we can tell you." Ya gotta love Delta for going that far. They really wanted to be helpful, and I'm pretty sure they didn't think a terrorist would be ranting about pajamas and how long it takes preganant people to get dressed and put the toddler in the minivan. I LOVE Delta for breaking that info-rule. It saved me a lot of grief, because yes I would SO have driven to the airport on the off chance he made that one connecting flight and that would have been in vain.

Meanwhile, in SaltLake, my husband gets gets off the plane and realizes everyone missed the last connection to Portland. He's beyond clever. Theres a whole plane of people in line at the Delta counter, but he works the phone to call directly into Customer Service and ends up making a crazy mad dash through the airport to just barely make the last call for the last flight to Seattle, where he could rent a car and drive home in just two hours! Everyone else spent the night in SaltLake, he got home only an hour later than he had planned. I still got plenty of sleep for the first time in six days, thanks to his willingness to travel into the night, and his ingenuity, and the people at Delta telling me to stay home in my pajamas. I love Delta!

May 26, 2005
Comments Will Be Fixed Soon

Until then, just email me any comments and I'll add them as "updates" to the post. It won't be long now! June 1st. Whooohoooo!

May 25, 2005
Another Island

Several weeks ago, I had Babalu added to my blog-list. I meant to write a really sparklely "welcome" post. I swear I did. Then life happened.

I felt almost guilty every time I clicked on my list, knowing that post was left unwritten. Also feeling relieved that having it on my list means that I wasn't forgetting to stop by there. And I do SO like stopping by there!

Today, life is still happening and I'm still bobbing along keeping my head above water. Three-and-a-half children and a dog-at-the-vet don't allow the time for this post to be long and effusive and sufficiently sparklely.

To the point: Val Prieto is a great writer, whose style is merely the frosting on his content. If you've missed him, you've really missed something special. ESPECIALLY today. He's got a post this morning called "A Tale of Two Terrorists" which is fabulous. Fabulous enough to inspire me to feed the children cereal for lunch and take the "saved" fifteen minutes to scribble out this post!

May 24, 2005
Thomasina Sawyer

I am defintely Thomasina Sawyer! This morning my husband went in to work late, after fixing the downed curtain rods in Cassie's room. He just looked in amazement at three children arguing over who got to mop the kitchen and wipe down the cabinets. Lee was SO psyched because it was his turn to mop, while Ron and Cassie were SO thrilled to use the "special" dirt-erasing sponges.

I tell you, its all about the brainwashing! Parents lose so many opportunities to shape their children's minds. Mine clean, and eat vegetables, and are generally nice to their siblings. They pray for the people in passing ambulances and policemen. They stand up straight when they say the Pledge of Allegiance. They answer the phone "Jones residence. How may I help you?"

Sure, they have moments of wild mischief and scandelous behavior. But I'm pretty sure that they'll always be "home" for the Holidays. Which we all know is the goal of parents, to ensure a good turnout for family holiday events. Ok, so maybe that isn't the goal of ALL parents, like my husband for example. Its a good thing he married me!

May 23, 2005

I love my in-laws. They are lovely people. They are also high-maintainence guests. They just are. They are still good people.

They will be arriving sometime today or tomorrow. Yep, thats as close as I can get to an ETA. Because my MiL gets tired easily while traveling they sometimes take an unscheduled stop. Which is understandable. Except for the part where I have no ETA.

AND my house needs work. Which was nie impossible while herding cats (children) today. It got to the point that I got a room clean, and locked it. Still have sweeping, mopping, wiping to do. And a bathroom.


May 19, 2005
Lucy Goes To Lunch

This morning my husband took some time off to take us out to the house-site to watch the bulldozer work on the road. (Yes, we're indeed building the house this Summer. Bwahahahaha. I'm sure there'll be posts later. Lots of posts.)

The driveway is amazing. My husband calls it a road, I call it a VERY long driveway. (As he tells his family/friends who raise their eyebrows at the size of our site "Here, land is cheap".) We went all the way to the top of the ridge today, and the view is fabulous. I forget how pretty it is until I get up there, and then the memory is marred by my fear of ticks on the way down. And, yes, I should be very afraid of ticks. If you count the baby-ticks on my husband, last weekend we de-ticked the family of about 47 ticks. TICKS! But thats another post. One I won't actually be writing because I'm trying to keep down the blood-pressure.

Anyway, after a lovely morning of pleasent surprises, I volunteered to take us out to lunch before dropping my husband at the office. There's this new restaurant I wanted to try. Afterall, I have a coupon. I thought it was the new location for the potato-bar that closed on mainstreet. NO...... it was not. Instead it was a ... Country Karioke Biker Bar. I kid you not. I couldn't make this stuff up.

As we pulled up in the parking lot, pausing to let a few Harleys turn left, my husband and I just looked at each other. We went to PizzaHut.

May 16, 2005
Lingo Review

My husband switched our long-distance carrier to Lingo, an online phone service. Aieeeee! Evil, evil, evil.

It is the worst possible situation! They messed up switching the phone, making it so that friends down the street had to call a long-distance number to reach my house. Sometimes the calls go through, usually after attempting to dial at least three times. Sometimes we get the "Your call can not be completed as dialed" message, in the middle of a phone-call right before it cuts you off. It is completely ridiculous.

I was trying to talk to my husband while he was at work, and the phone cut us off just as he was asking "Do you want ...". I called back and said "I'll TELL you what I want", as he interupted laughing and grimacing "I'm sure I know what you want and I'll take care of it". Yes, we'll be getting a new phone service. Today, actually. Because its my theory that I should be able to just pick up my phone and use it, the first time every time. Lingo isn't getting it done.

May 13, 2005
Now THAT Really Got My Attention

I'm assuming that whoever deleted the post also reads the site. And since you need passwords and stuff that limits the range of suspects to: My host/techie, who is too busy and unmotivated. My website designer, who is too busy and probably unmotivated. My husband, who is too busy and probably thought "hmmm, she'll regret that later so I'll delete it now".

Interestingly enough, I was looking for it to re-read it and consider deleting it myself. Because I was thinking about maybe regretting it. Or not. I barely remember what I wrote. Although I'm pretty sure I was irked at the time.

Note to Husband: SOMEDAY you'll be wrong. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday!

Hopped Up On Ginger

This post will be the rantings of a woman hopped-up on candied ginger. I've accepted that. You should too.

Lets start with ... pergolas. Pergolas and arbors. Ewwwww! Especially the ones covered in vines (aka "snake camo"). Every time I see one all I can imagine is the snakes lurking above the heads of unsuspecting revelers, waiting for the perfect moment to drop from above to bring sure chaos. Because let me assure you, if indeed a snake drops from above on me chaos will definitely be following in short order. It happened to me once as a child, doing nothing to diminish my fear of snakes. Interesting bit of weird trivia: copperheads smell like cucumbers. If you're outside at night and suddenly smell strong cucumbers, move quickly but extremely carefully away from the area.

I also don't understand gardens that insist on placing benches and chairs in a virtual nest of undergrowth and/or overgrowth. Sure, it looks "natural" and "provencal" to your garden designer. But practically, all I see are Ticks. And Snakes. And Spiders. All within inches of my person, especially my hair where I won't feel them crawling until its too late. I don't find that particularly restful.

Potpourri. Dead flowers. Often with fake scent. Collecting dust. How do you clean potpourri!?! Just condo's for dust mites. Plus the ugly dead color. There is no redeeming value for potpourri. Do I make this announcement in houses where the owner has covered every available surface with bowls of potpourri? No. Some of my best friends are potpourri afficiandos. I've even given them potpourri gifts, because it makes them very very happy and thats the point of gift-giving. However, the reality is that potpourri is just ugly dead flowers, gathering dust while exuding weird chemical "floral" smells.

Lavender. I detest lavender. Everyone and their cousin is telling me now that lavender is restful and relaxing, things I need. However, I think lavender smells hideous. Smelling it makes me want to ... do bad things. Which is neither restful nor relaxing. On a bright note: lavender looks lovely in the field across the hillside across the valley from my grandparents kitchen window. A whole field of it, downwind of the house! Thats the way to enjoy lavender!

Vanilla infused vitamins! What!?! My prenatal vitamins were infused with a fake vanilla scent meant to make them easier to get down. Except that I developed a pregnancy-aversion to fake vanilla. Just thinking about the vitamins makes me queasy. Why do people think that making a bad synthetic version of something thats naturally great will be equivelant? People, its NOT the same.

I'm also tired of defending my choice (MY choice) to buy organic milk, from cows that are free of hormones and antibiotics, fed only stuff with no animal-by-products in it. Friends look at me like I've turned into a liberal tree-hugging-hippie. Not that there's anything wrong with liberal tree-hugging-hippies. Thanks to them and their social impact, I've at least got the choice even here in the rural mid-west. For those of you that still believe the FDA when they tell you there's nothing in your "regular" milk that shouldn't be there: What goes in, comes out. I can attest to this first hand after an unfortunate incident involving breast-feeding and extra-spicy-Kung-pao-chicken. If the cows producing your milk are taking antibiotics and growth-hormones ... its going to be in the milk.

Ummm. Milk. Milk and cookies. Done ranting, going in search of milk-n-cookies.

Update: Yea! I got a comment ...

May 12, 2005
My Little Brother, The Stay-At-Home Dad

My "little" brother is slightly over thirty. He dwarfs most people. Its not that he's overly tall, although he's not short. Its not that he's overly heavy, although he's not skinny. Rather, he's ... sturdy. Mostly muscle. He's a ... big boy.

He's an avid camper, hiker, and gun-owner. He has skills. He could be dropped in a forest in Montana naked in Winter and thrive. Although he'd be cranky. Very very cranky. Thanks to my parents choice of schools, he also has other skills. He can do his tie seven different ways, and have brunch with the Vice-President without thinking twice.

As life would turn out, he's a stay-at-home-Dad. They have one little boy, just 12 months old. They decided that someone needed to be home with the baby. She has a career, he had a job. It made financial sense for her to keep working and my brother to stay home. Although he's taking a few classes, so he can have a career later and give her a break in a few years.

My brother's got an easy charm with a quick laugh, like a toddler fresh from a nap and ready to go! Everyone loves him. Its impossible not too. However, there are those moments ... moments when those that cross him have very real concerns for their personal safety. I'm sure that vigilante images from old Westerns flash through their minds. More "Clint Eastwood" than "John Wayne".

My brother, as the stay-at-home-parent, takes the baby to all the doctor appointments. Last week he took the baby to get a vaccine. The next morning the baby had a huge hard extra-hot knot at the injection site, his whole leg was swollen, and he had a high-grade fever. My brother called the doctor's office. The receptionist told him they'd see the baby the following afternoon at 4:30. You couldn't have paid me enough to be that receptionist.

He told her, enunciating clearly and coldly, "I am not calling to make an appointment for tomorrow. I am calling to tell you that I will be there in twenty minutes. I will NOT be kept waiting. Do. You. Under. Stand. Me.?" Stammering "yes, sir. I understand, sir, we'll be ready in twenty minutes".

There was no waiting at the office. He walked in, and was shown to a room immediately with a nurse and doctor. They determined it was a spider-bite. Maybe. Several doses of Tylonal later, the baby is fine.

I suppose there are disadvantages to being a stay-at-home-Dad. However, there are definite advantages. I doubt very many women would have been able to terrorize the receptionist/nurse into doing the right thing. Or, perhaps, most women wouldn't have tried. My husband has often pointed out the difference in women and men in negotiating. Women tend to accept what is offered, men tend to push for more. (Which might account for part of the disparity between women and men's salaries for similiar jobs, although thats neither here nor there).

I think lots of us can learn from my brother's experience. I certainly know I can.

May 03, 2005
My Husband Listens To Me

I was going to preface the most recent stories about my husband with a post concerning how hard it is to live with me. In fact, I partially wrote the post in my head while laying in bed vainly waiting for sleep to over-take me. When I did finally fall asleep I had the WORST nightmares about him leaving me (which isn't an option in reality, no matter how hard I am to live with). So ... I'm abandoning the topic. I can't take any more of those dreams!

Instead, I'll trust the reader to accept my claim that my husband is truly a charming man. Practically perfect in every way. Meditate on that thought. Remember, the exception proves the rule! Prepare yourself for the lastest crazy-naughty thing That Man has done!

May 01, 2005
Not Just An Incubator

Feeling a little used-n-abused, having cooked a lovely dinner that only 20% of the family deigned edible, I later whined to my husband "I'm just an incubator!"

He comforted me with a hug and smile, "Of course you're not just an incubator ... you're a MOODY incubator!"