Thanksgiving Day. Or, Deer Hunting

Did everyone have a nice Thanksgiving holiday?  Is everyone still stuffed?  Is anyone contemplating learning how to sew so that you can move your buttons on your pants slightly further apart so that you no longer cut yourself in two at the waist?  Yeah, me too. 

We always have a lot of food and a lot of family on this holiday. This year we got Daddy-O and JiJi, pumpkin cheesecake, marshmallow salad and other assorted casseroles.  Ooh, and homemade cinnamon rolls.  It was awesome.  My job was to bring Brussels sprouts and the ham.  Because my job was to bring the Brussels sprouts, I got a note from my niece, Pooh.  It read:   

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Dear Aunt Jimmie –  

I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving.

Love, 

Pooh.

P.S.  Please don’t bring the brussel sprouts. 

I love you. 

I also got a text from Martie that said, Our meal is going to be so completely yellow, except for the Brussels sprouts.  I’m so country. 

Oh, the stuff memories are made of . . .

I might have mentioned once that all our winter holidays include not only eating until vital organs burst but also killing large animals like deer and squirrels.  And again, oh the stuff memories are made of . . . . 

Thanksgiving Memory # 1, when Jimmie, Martie, Bear, and Boo were still little

“Kids, Madre and I are going hunting.  We won’t eat until we get back.  Find something to amuse yourselves while we are gone.”  And then we sat around and stared at each other for hours until the parents got home.  Gah, it was boring and the way we amused ourselves back then was to hurt each other.  Ah, good times.   

Thanksgiving Memory # 2, when Bear and Boo were older and more responsible and had guns of their own 

“Girls, Madre and your brothers and I are going hunting. We won’t eat until we get back.  Don’t burn down the house while we are gone.”  Ha ha!  Martie and I had learned a trick from a previous winter holiday!  We stayed in our pajamas and ate giant Hershey’s kisses and listened to Michael Jackson’s Thriller album all day long.  Not boring! 

Thanksgiving Memory # 3, # 4, # 5 and also Christmas Memory # 1, # 2, and # 3 ad infinitum, when Jimmie and Martie were old enough to cook an entire meal unsupervised.

“Girls, we can’t have the Thanksgiving meal until we get back from hunting.  See you this afternoon.  Happy cooking.  Ingredients are in the fridge.”  (Simply exchange “can’t have the Thanksgiving meal” with any phrase you choose pertaining to fun stuff kids want to do like “open any Christmas presents” or “see what Santa brought” and viola – another memory!)   

Deer Hunting Memory, # 1, when Coach got involved with the family.

Says Coach, “I spent all this time getting ready to go hunting.  I was up long before dawn, dressed from head to toe in camouflage, got in the truck and drove over to Poppa’s house, situated myself in the tree stand so as to maximize comfort and alertness, and then waited and waited and waited for hours and hours and hours.  Poppa walked out his back door, strolled to the tree stand, sat down, just got comfortable, and then BLAM!  Five minutes later, he killed a deer.”  I think Coach cried a little when he told this story. 

Deer Hunting Memory # 2, Phranke’s story

Says Phranke, “I remember the day Daddy walked out onto the front porch in his orange towel skirt and pleather slippers and shot a twelve point buck in the front yard.”  I think Coach cried a little when he heard this story. 

Thanksgiving Memory #  . . .  Wait, I’m lost on the numbers.  I have no idea.  BUT!  It is another recurring memory which Martie and I lament every year.

“Kids, on the menu for Thanksgiving this year is dressing, corn casserole, green beans, cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes and a nice venison roast.”  (Here you simply exchange “nice venison roast” with “nice bear butt roast” or “nice lamb roast” or some other such nonsense to make a new memory.  Do you see how turkey is never on the menu?  Yeah, me too.)  Can’t we just have a turkey like the rest of America, just once?  Martie and I got smart and put our foots down and now we have turkey every year.  Also, a nice leg of lamb.   

Finally, despite the dressing in camouflage from head to toe, driving to a deer stand, setting up shop to maximize comfort and alertness and waiting and waiting and waiting for hours and hours and hours, Coach and Daddy-O made no new memories that involved actually killing a large animal like a deer or squirrel, unfortunately.  However, I made new memories this year.  Phranke and I drove to our home town together, a town that is this ( ) big.  Along the way, we took pictures of things that epitomize the feeling of our town that is this ( ) big.

For your viewing pleasure:

 

Moo?

 

Baa?

 

I have no idea what a guinea says.

 

My makeover, courtesy of Tigger

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A Guest Post, By Murphy

Okay, people, we need to have a word about the Smushy One.  I need for you to talk to her for me.  She’s gettin’ all weird about me going outside.  I’m a grown cat.  I need to roam free.  I need my space.  There are also some ladies that require attention and quite frankly, they get irritable when I don’t make our dates.  It’s enough to drive a cat to drink.   

That guy who lived here, the one with the Quivery Dog, used to let me out all the time, and I gotta tell ya, I got a taste for it.  I spend an awful lot of time telling the Smushy One about it, too, like for hours.  She ignores me, though, and won’t open the door no matter how much I claw at it or how loud I get.  Sometimes when she opens the door, I’ll make a mad rush and get free but the Smushy One gets real grimace-y when that happens.  Usually I puke up some grass on her carpet afterwards, to show her who the boss is around here.  She yells a lot when that happens. Man, those are good days. 

Also, while we are on the subject, can you tell her that I really need the whole bed to myself?  I mean, I’m ten pounds.  I need my space.  I’m particularly interested in the pillows right now but she insists on hogging the one that I want, all the time.  Seeing as how I’m not sure which one I want every night, though, she should just give them all to me.  Tell her that, okay? Lately I’ve taken to spreading out over both of them, right in the middle and I think she’s finally getting a clue.   

And while you are talking to her, make her leave my face alone.  I like the dirt.  It gives me a rakish air that drives the dames wild.  She keeps cleaning it off and I tell her, “I’m a grown cat.  I need my space.  Leave it alone.” But she doesn’t listen.  It’s exhausting.

Don’t make her too upset, though.  I heard rumors of a tree being put up with lots of clanky glass balls on it.  I want that tree!  I’ve got a hankering to climb one and since she won’t let me outside . . .  

Mrow.

Murph

A List Of Things That Irritate Me

  1. People who talk to me like I’m stupid.  My life is not one giant happy accident resulting in my success.  I did not get here by being dumb.
  2. The word moist.  Also, morsel.  Stupidest, grossest words ever.
  3. While we are on the subject of words, I’d like to add using the words fork and spoon as verbs instead of nouns.
  4. People who do not use turn signals.  Yes, I realize that the lawful use of them would potentially devalue your car by dozens of pennies, especially when you consider that the bulb might go out one day resulting in you having to hand over $1.89 for a new one.  But really, are those dozens of pennies that important when I’m barreling down the interstate at 80 miles an hour towards you  and you suddenly decide you want to be in my lane?  I don’t think so. 
  5. Jazz.
  6. The phrase “on tomorrow” as in “I will send that email on tomorrow.”  Is that even proper grammar?
  7. My hair, when it won’t do right.
  8. This website right here:  White Castle Recipes.  I cannot think of anyone who wants to use 10 White Castle burgers as the main ingredient for stuffing for the holiday meals.  Just no. This is wrong on so many levels.
  9. Spam comments on my post that consists only of pictures:  Youre (sic) so right. Im (sic) there with you. Your blog is surely worth a read if anyone comes throughout (sic) it. Im(sic) lucky I did because now Ive (sic) acquired a whole new view of this. I didnt (sic) realise (sic) that this issue was so important and so universal. You absolutely put it in perspective for me. Well, of course I did, because my picture of a cat showing his man parts is universal and important.
  10. Me.  When I am less than honest with people I care about. It is a terrible habit of mine and it only serves to hurt the other person, even if I’m doing it with the best of intentions.  I’m practicing on not doing that. 

And now, a conversation that did not irritate me.   Jimmie and her co-worker, Always Keith, text in the early a.m. about the umbrella he left in her car: 

Jimmie:  I have your umbrella.  Bring one million dollars is small bills to the office for its safe return. 

Always Keith:  I’ll cut you . . .

Jimmie:  You forgot the “dawg” part.  It’s “I’ll cut you, dawg.”   C’mon man.  Still, one million dollars.  I will not negotiate. 

Always Keith:  I will cut you female dawg . . .

Jimmie:  Damn.  That was impressive.   

 

Happy Birthday, Daddy-O!

Daddy-O’s birthday is today.  You know how I like to share stories about people on their birthdays. Of course I couldn’t let Daddy-O down! 

Once upon a time, Martie and I lived with Daddy-O and JiJi for a little while.  Daddy-O has spent most of his life around girls and all three of his sons turned out to be daughters and it should be noted that the years Martie and I lived with Daddy-O were the years right on the cusp of us becoming women.  Martie and I got hormones, then JiJi got preggo with The Squirt and then JiJi had The Squirt, so you can imagine the daily and volatile mood swings he suffered from.  For two years.  What a man. 

I lived with them in what I like to call my “experimental phase” and by that I mean, I discovered makeup and hair goo.  (Get your mind out of the gutters, pervs. This here post is about my Daddy-O.)  Daddy-O and JiJi let me experiment as much as I pleased which, you know, looking back doesn’t embarrass me at all and no one is allowed to visit them and look through those old photo albums. I would have rainbow eyelids one day and powdery blue shimmer from eyebrow to eyelash on another.  I was a big fan of neon-colored mascara and wearing Daddy’s too-big sweaters.  I loved every color of nail polish and chewed grape bubble gum all day, every day.  It was the year I fell in love with George Michael and learned that plastering my walls with his face made very nice wall paper.  Oh, my poor Daddy.

It was also the year that my formerly waist-length hair was cut into a normal teenager haircut for which I would take a can of hair spray, hold out my hair to the side, squirt it down with a very liberal hand and then dry the hairspray with the hair dryer, effectively giving myself shellacked wings.  I proudly traveled to school each and every day with hair like that.  BUT! Right before that hair happened, I thought I would experiment with a round brush on a Sunday morning and see how far I could roll my waist-length hair onto that brush. 

For those of you not in the know, round hair brushes look like this:

 

And waist-length hair looks like this:

 

Turns out rolling your hair onto the brush from the waist to the forehead is super easy.  Unrolling it even an inch, however, is nearly impossible.  I looked like Sally from Peanuts with a giant wad of hair stuck in a puffball that adorned my forehead.  And my poor, sweet Daddy-O found me hiding behind my bedroom door trying desperately to get that brush out of my hair before we had to leave for church.  If he rolled his eyes and sighed loudly, I do not recall, but I do remember him spending hours getting that brush out of my hair.  His only comment:  “Have you ever had your hair rat-combed before?  Because now you have . . .”

Happy Birthday, Daddy-O!  I love you!

Love, Sally (aka, your favorite oldest daughter)

Customer Service: The Good, The Bad, Buy A Kindle

We all have customer service experiences, right?  We live in a society where we can have almost anything we want, instantly.  Everyone wants our dollar, and hundreds of different companies are willing to sell us hundreds of different products that are just like everyone else’s product.  The difference in this day and age is service.  Some customer service people are great.  Some are awful. And some of them should count themselves lucky that they are, indeed, a phone call away and not anywhere near our (my) vicinity otherwise they would lose an eyeball when we (I) stick our (my) ink pen in it.  (I’m sorry, I’ve had no sugar today.)

I have had some experiences, yes, and some of them are below: 

Regions Bank:  A++.  I love these guys.  I would consider baking them cookies.  Always helpful, all the time. 

Budget Rental Car:  C.  This one has a story (naturally) and an ending in three parts.    

A few weeks ago, my Monday started like this:

Boss:  Here’s my Budget receipt.  They charged me an extra $127 because I returned the car an hour late.  It’s possible I called the guy f@cknuts.  Fix it. 

Jimmie:  <faintly> oh . . . .

Oh, this took HOURS.  I called Budget Nashville where I did speak to f@cknuts himself who blame-shifted me over to Budget Memphis.  There I spoke with a woman who answered every. single. question. and. request. I had with “Yes ma’am, it says right here that we charged you $127 for the extra hour on top of the $170 for the day,” like I was stupid and she was a benevolent information giver.  She blame-shifted me over to Budget Corporate who fixed the problem immediately, most likely while they were perusing the million plus miles Boss drives in their cars every year. 

Budget Nashville – You are walking a fine line.

Budget Corporate – A OK in my book

Budget Memphis – You people can suck eggs.     

Barnes & Noble:  Oh holy moly, I hate them.  F++

Obviously there is a story here as well. Surprise. 

Just over a year ago, I received as a birthday gift a Nook.  I’m a reader.  I love books.  I can blow through two or three of them in a week, so this was a perfect gift.  I didn’t even know I wanted it until I got it but I was in love from that moment forward. 

I was in love until, of course, the reading screen went into a blackout and never came back on.  Not one for being good at fixing or even understanding technical devices, I dutifully searched for the troubleshooting guidelines, performed them, and was not at all surprised when they did not work.  I called B&N, hoping for an answer and after explaining my problem, they offered to send me a replacement Nook. What a shock that was!  Usually the warranty on your car expires exactly 15 minutes before something major happens to the engine.  Or your washing machine will crap out two days after the parts and service guarantee shuts off.  You can see why I was thrilled that B&N didn’t give me any grief about sending me a new product.  I bragged about them to anyone who would listen, glossing over the fact that my Nook had broken just a month or so after receiving it.

Six months after the replacement arrived, my screen saver got stuck on the screen saver, never to reboot again.   Repeat all of the above paragraph.  I was promised a replacement, a new Nook.  Sure enough it came, except they sent me a used one.  It was called a “Certified Pre-Owned Nook” and while the box was packed up like Fort Knox, the back was off of the device and I smushed my finger trying to get it back together.  Also, I broke a nail trying to get the box open so suffice it to say that I wasn’t nearly as thrilled about my second replacement Nook.   

Also, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I didn’t like getting a used product when I had started off with a new one and was promised another new one.  Plus I wanted to know why my used one had been returned in the first place.  Plus I wanted to tell them to be more careful when sending out the used ones that were not properly put back together because my finger still hurt.  So I called. 

Oh my holy mercy, what a process that was.  Everyone was initially very nice.  No one spoke English as a first language.  Everyone put me off on another person.  No one gave me their real name (I was informed that they give fake names for their protection, and later I could see why.)  Everyone spent their hour on the phone with me saying “I’m sorry for the wait.  <pause> I apologize for the delay. <pause> I insist on being mournful for the time this is taking. <pause> I’m sorry for the wait.”  I finally exploded and requested that we sit in silence for the hour it was going to take for them to read the notes on my file, please for the love of all we hold sacred, just silence was all I needed.  “I’m sorry about that ma’am, but yes, I apologize for the silence.”  Aargh! 

Six phone calls later, two disconnections from B&N later, 270 “I’m sorry’s” later (six phone calls at an average of 45 “I’m sorry’s” per call, and yes, I counted), two weeks later, four supervisors later, two trainees sent back to training camp later, and still a used Nook with no ready information as to why it was returned in the first place, they gave in and offered to send me a new Nook which took two full months for me to receive because they neglected to make the note in my file to send it.   Incidentally, the final customer service rep I talked with had the whole discussion over and done with in less than fifteen minutes and said, “I’m sorry ma’am but it should have been this easy for you all along.  I have no idea what happened before.” 

Barnes & Noble:  Bite me.    

The Reading World:  Buy a Kindle. 

Anyone else want to chime in?  What is your customer service experience?