Thursday, December 20, 2007

We're Out Of Here

When all of the things that need to be done get done tomorrow, we're hitting the road and won't be back until sometime in 2008. I may show up here from time-to-time, but don't count on it. I just wanted to wish all of you a safe and happy holiday season. And I wanted to leave you with an old song that has newly touched my heart as I have listened to people around me wanting this or that, and as I've been asked over and over what it is that I want/need. There are, in fact, a few things I need and this song pretty much covers it.

In Need

In need of grace
In need of love,
In need of mercy raining down
From high above.

In need of strength
In need of peace,
In need of things
That only You can give to me.

In need of Christ
The perfect Lamb,
My refuge strong
The great I Am.

This is my song,
My humble plea:
I am Your child
I am in need.

©1996, Reliance Music
Words and Music by Ross King

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Brown Paper Packages, Tied Up With Strings...

...These are a few of my favorite things!

Jeff and I have recently ordered several things online, and so we've had delivery people showing up at our house every day this week. I have to tell you that I secretly get so very excited when I see the UPS/FedEx/DHL/mail truck on our street that I almost can't contain myself. And, secretly, I'm always VERY disappointed when it doesn't stop at my house. I may have mentioned that I LOVE to get fun snail mail, but a package just makes me flutter inside. And, apparently, it makes no difference to me that I am the one who ordered the package and know very well what's inside. I still get giddy--even if it's something completely mundane. It's a wonder I haven't become addicted to QVC or HSN or something. We are scheduled to receive more packages tomorrow, so I shall sleep in peace knowing I have something so exciting to look forward to. Sweet dreams to you, too.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mixing Business With Pleasure

We met up with Jeff's aunt and uncle tonight to deliver some sugar scrubs and enjoy a delightful dinner. They live in Canyon Lake, so we decided to meet half-way, which put them in Austin and ironically, put us still in Austin. (It's a long way to the south side of town from here, folks). We ate at Texas Roadhouse, which was a new experience for Weston and I, though the others had eaten there before. There is something truly special about a place where they have barrels of peanuts sitting around and you are actually encouraged to throw the shells on the floor. Ruth, of course, thought this was absolutely the best thing in the world, and almost made herself sick on peanuts just so she could keep throwing the shells down. Weston especially enjoyed the fact that the bread arrived at the table at the same time we did, though he became quite sleepy half-way through the meal and began trying to fall out of his booster seat so he could lay down on the cushy booth seat. The food was really good and the company even better. It's so nice to live close enough to family to get to do things like this from time to time.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Are You Free Between 8:00 and October?

As you all know, my dishwasher decided to die on me just after Thanksgiving. And so, since then I have been waiting somewhat patiently to have it replaced. My waiting included these steps:
  • Call Home Warranty Company (HWC).
  • Be transferred to Service Company (SC).
  • Set up appointment with SC. ("We can come out on Monday...between 10:00 and 3:00. Do you need us to call you before we show up")?
  • Bad report for dishwasher from SC.
  • Wait for HWC to call with my options.
  • HWC calls, but hasn't really read the diagnostic report. ("I guess we haven't done the proper research. We'll have to call you back").
  • Wait for HWC to call back.
  • They never do.
  • Call HWC to find out what the heck is going on.
  • ("Oh yes, it looks like you are eligible for a new dishwasher. Here is a model number of what we are willing to put in. You need to go to a store or look online to see that this one will fit in your allotted space and that all the hook-ups are the same").
  • I look it up online, all the while pondering how on earth I'm going to know if all the "hook-ups are the same," then say the heck with it and order up.
  • I call HWC to inform them of my decision.
  • HWC goes through a very long disclaimer about what isn't covered, making me think they are definitely hustling me and that no matter what I order, there will most definitely be a problem.
  • HWC agrees to ship the new dishwasher to my house--in 5-7 business days. ("We can call you back tomorrow to give you a more narrow time frame.)"
  • HWC actually calls back, informing me when the dishwasher will arrive and that I need to call the SC when it does to set up the installation. ("Looks like we can deliver your dishwasher on Friday--between 10:00 and 2:00").
  • Delivery Company (DC) calls at 6:45 Friday morning to say that they are on their way and should be to my house in 20 minutes.
  • DC leaves dishwasher in garage.
  • I call SC when they finally open for business around 9:00. ("I think we can get to that on Monday--between 10:00 and 2:00").
  • New dishwasher is finally installed and old dishwasher sits in garage waiting to be hauled off to the dump--because that is one of the things that neither the HWC or SC is responsible for.
I'm thankful to finally have a working dishwasher, I just wish I could have had it a little sooner. And, really, what is it with service companies and their all-day time-frames for getting things done?! I can understand a small window of time, but all day is ridiculous! And then to have the audacity to ask if they should call first! As if we're all just sitting around with absolutely nothing to do but wait for them to show up! It's ludicrous! But, I digress. The point is, I have a new, working dishwasher and no more puddle in the floor...And I only had to wait two weeks for it!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

All's Well That Prints Well

The hero came through with the printer.

True tragedy was averted.

The damsel is in less-distress.

They printed off into the sunset.

All's right with the (printing) world.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

If It's Not One Thing, It's Another

What I need is a little more stress in my life just now. I mean, here I am with nothing to do, nothing to worry about, really not a care in the world--if only something (or everything) could go wrong, that'd be great! (And if you didn't catch the sarcasm dripping from that non-verbal statement, let me assure you it was full of it)! Today, it was the printer. It died, what sounded like, a truly painful death. But the real pain came when I realized that I have lots of sugar scrub orders to deliver this week and not enough labels to make the products official. Will the fun never end?! Guess I'll be getting cozy at the print shop tomorrow, while I wait for my knight-in-shining-armor to ride up with a new printer and save me from my woes. (He did promise he would try to get me a new printer tomorrow, but then, of course, it has to be installed and I have to figure out how to use it--blah, blah, blah). If I go to bed now, I may just be able to put off another pitfall until tomorrow!

*On a positive note, the leaking jar fiasco seems to have been resolved satisfactorily. Thank goodness for that!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Meet Body Dulce's Newest (And Best) Salesman

The Curves where I work out is hosting a "Member's Bazaar" this week, where they allow members who have something to sell to set up a table and hock their wares. This event does not require you to actually be at your table (or even in the building), but if you want to come up, they don't object as long as you don't hassle the people who are trying to work out. I find it helpful to be there, because when I have a chance to talk to people face-to-face and tell them about the products, they are more apt to buy them. Obviously, if I want to go up during the day, I have to bring my Little Shadow with me. I wasn't at all sure how this would work out, but decided to give it a shot. He has been perfect. He brings his little backpack, filled with entertainment and also really enjoys the music and the attention he gets. This morning, he even got the attention of a couple of ladies looking at items on another table, and pointed to the scrubs on my table and said something that sounded just like "Body Dulce." And, seriously, who could resist a sales pitch coming from this little cutie?! The bazaar is going well, and I think sales will continue to pick up as the week progresses. I think if I keep my very best sales' guy on the job, it's sure to be a success.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Christmas Cards

One thing I really love about the holidays is getting Christmas cards in the mail--and we got our first one this weekend! I'm always a fan of fun snail-mail, but the Christmas cards generally carry news and/or pictures of friends and family, some of whom we don't see very often. So it's neat to see how everyone has changed and to learn what's going on in their worlds. Now, I'm not saying any of you have to send me a Christmas card, but know that if you do, it will be appreciated. And if you send a picture, you will even be awarded a place of honor on our fridge. Our cards go out for New Year's, so if you're waiting for us to reciprocate, just hang in there and know you have something to look forward to even after the other cards have been opened and the gifts have been put away.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


"To work again."

As in: "Hi. This is the salon carrying your sugar scrubs. Over half of the sampler packs I recently bought from you are leaking oil. Could you come by and take a look at them and see if you think this is normal?"

And: "Oh my goodness! That is definitely NOT normal. I will take them all back and replace them for you."

So everything has now been re-worked. The recipe. The jars. The bags. Everything. I've heard that these kinds of things just happen sometimes when you are starting up a business, but I was completely mortified! Fortunately, the lady was very nice about it, and the problem seems to have been resolved. But I'm exhausted--partly from the stress of it and partly from the re-working itself. See you all back here tomorrow for, hopefully, a less than woe-is-me post!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dishwasher Woes

I'm pretty sure it is never a good thing when your dishwasher dumps most of its water on your kitchen floor at some point during the wash cycle. And, unfortunately, that's what's happening when I run my dishwasher these days. So, I dutifully called the home warranty company, who dutifully sent over some technicians, who diagnosed the problem with realative ease. "Looks like your heating elelment is warped and has burned a hole in the bottom of your dishwasher tub and in the spray arm, and that's what's causing the problem." The service company dutifully turned their report back into the warranty company who dutifully called me today to give me my options. They dutifully neglected to actually read the service report, however, so they were unaware of the holes. "Holes?! I didn't know anything about any holes...Can I put you on hold for a minute." We'll the lady very sheepishly admitted that they hadn't done the proper research, and she wasn't sure what we needed to do next...but she would definitely get back to me--later. So, after hosting a dinner party tonight, I am dutifully running my dishwasher--with all its holes--with a towel down on the floor to absorb the water. We all have to make choices. I choose not to hand-wash all those dishes!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Reading Update

Ruth's newest reading poster was points-based rather than book based--meaning she had to earn 5 points rather than read a certain number of books. We are assigning points to the books based on the points assigned by the Accelerated Reader Program. Most of the books she has read up to this point have been zero or half-point books. Well, today, she finished her first 1-point book-- a 55-page, 7-chapter book with mostly words and only a few pictures. She's been working on this one for a while, but today she insisited on reading for two straight hours just so she could finish. This completed her poster and boosted her confidence even more! She was soooo pleased with herself, and Jeff and I couldn't be prouder! I'm sure in no time at all she'll be tackling War and Peace!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Just Another Day In Paradise

"Ruth would you like to have reading time or Bible time first this afternoon?"
"That's no fun!"
"Well, I need you to change your attitude and pick one, please."
[Young girl proceeds to stare at Mom as if she has two heads].
"Do you want to change your attitude or would you like to go to bed?"
[Continued staring, but now with a challenge in her eyes that says, "I'd just like to see you try to send me to bed"].
"You can choose or I can choose for you."
[Now, murder in her eyes].
"O.k. I think you need to go lay in your bed for a while."
[Crying, wailing, udder heart-brokenness and stomping up the stairs--followed shortly by silence].

4:30 pm
"I hungee. I-ant sumping eat."
"We'll eat when Daddy gets home."
[Small boy toddles off to living room and proceeds to empty all bookshelves and toy bins].
"Weston please pick up the books and the toys."
"I hungee. I-ant sumping eat."
"O.k. we'll have dinner when Daddy gets home. Let's work on picking up those things."
[Major whining, followed by reluctant obedience].

4:45 pm
"I hungee."
{What are we going to have for dinner?!}

4:50 pm
{How about leftovers with a twist}.

5:00 pm
[Key sounds in the door].
[Toddler runs at full-steam to front door].
"I hungee. I-ant sumping eat."
"I told him we'd eat when you got home."
"Oh. No wonder he's so glad to see me."
[Mom heads upstairs to wake sleeping 5-year-old, who doesn't want to be awakened].

5:05 pm
[Dad's phone rings].
[Toddler enters room with every noisy toy he owns, sending Daddy upstairs to talk on the phone].
[Mom begins dinner prep].

5:10 pm
[Mom leaves kitchen to inspect and finds toddler trying to use guitar as a ladder while grabbing things off the piano].
[Glass covers the floor. Mom reprimands child. Crying ensues, followed by a thousand "I sorrys"].
[Mom gets broom and begins sweeping just as the curious, now-wide-awake and barefoot 5-year-old enters the room].
"Why is there glass all over the floor? What's going on? How did Weston get up there? Where's Dad?"
[Mom notices blood gushing from her finger].

5:15 pm
{What is that smell?!}
{Oh gosh, that pan is still on the stove, on high, and no stirring has occurred for at least five minutes!}
[Mom, with small sobbing boy wrapped tightly around her leg, grabs a paper towel to stop the bleeding and returns to the stove to find the middle contents of the pan burned on to the pan].

5:16 pm
"O.k. Ruth, I'd like for you to get your book and read to me while I finish getting dinner ready."
[Girl immediately obeys, having already seen the choice Mom will make for her if she doesn't spring into action].

5:20 pm
[Dad appears, and the crowd goes wild].
"Can I do anything to help?"
"How about getting me a band-aid?"
" I hungee. I-ant mlk, pease."
"O.k. just a minute!"
"Can someone help me with this word?"

5:30 pm
[Peaceful and fabulously prepared dinner comes together flawlessly].

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Riddle Me This

How is it that the more a hotel room costs per night, the less chance you have of getting a free breakfast?