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Clumsy Crafter: November 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Power of the Blog

The blog has power, yes it does.

A few weeks ago I was talking with Lisa from Mama Says after a Houston Bloggers meeting. She homeschools a lot of kids and so I knew she would have an answer for me. Honestly Princess Girly Girl has been doing great with her homeschooling kindergarten lessons but reading was getting to her. We were using a curriculum that she did not like and the fits everyday when it came time to do reading were just escalating more and more to the point of them being out of control. So I asked Lisa what I should do and she suggested something called the BOB books and to change curriculum since obviously that one wasn't working for her.

Then that night she sent me a link to  Shannon's blog, Living Life at Home, who had done a post that very day on the BOB books (http://workathomehomeschoolingmom.com/2010/11/learning-to-read-celebrating-success/ and then http://workathomehomeschoolingmom.com/2010/11/bob-books-review-stories-for-beginning-readers/ )  and who I had met at the previous Houston Bloggers meeting.  It was weird, like people were reading our minds. There was also part of a conversation about wishing people could read our minds about winning the lottery and then We Are That Family posted a blog about the lottery that day too.. Cur-Razy! (disclaimer: no.. I really do not think people can read minds, this is why I wear super old underwear...)

So today I bought the first set of BOB books and then this is what happened:



My girl is reading!!! She needed some self confidence which we've been working on the past two weeks but these little BOB books, well they just sealed the deal.

I'm so excited that I might buy her Pride and Prejudice for Christmas. She's ready for it don't you think? Actually I bought her a copy of Little Women before she was even born! I think I'm more excited than she is.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Today

Today things bubbled over




































Someone apparently put dish soap in the dishwasher instead of dish washing soap. That person shall remain nameless even though she is my oldest and I love her. This is also her second time to do this in the past few months.  The dog was a huge help .... See him laying there. What do we keep him around for again?

I sent Damion this picture and he called me immediately to make sure that I was cleaning it up and not just standing there, taking pictures.

I had to finish running the dishwasher with towels jam packed underneath it and bubbles pouring out everywhere. My kids love it. I mean, love it.

I hope your day was full of bubbly love too.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

We're Back....




































We are home, finally.

Wednesday we pulled out of Houston headed to DFW (Dallas Fort-Worth)  with full expectations to be home on Saturday afternoon. As 99.9% of stuff in my life, that did not happen as planned.

Thanksgiving was great, seeing family was great, getting embarrassing pictures of my sister was great, Black Friday was AWESOME, and then it started to go downhill..... way down.

Friday afternoon I got food poisoning.  It was the type of food poisoning where you want to curl up and die but you can't because you're so cold that you're afraid you'll freeze to death with the drool still hanging out of your mouth. Now that would be a tough way to go. Please excuse me, I think I was so sick that I lost brain matter. I was finally up, defrosted, and breathing again by Saturday night. Our plan was to get up early on Saturday and leave.

Damion let me sleep in for awhile since I was still not feeling the best. I finally drug myself out of bed at 9:30 and quickly packed everyone's bags so that we could leave as soon as the guys were done doing some tweaking to our van. Turns out the tweaking needed more like a overhaul rather than a tweak and we were trapped for another night in DFW. So I spent the day lounging around, trying to get some energy back. Except I did have to run to rescue Princess Goofy when she drove her electric tractor into a rose bush. I came very close to fertilizing that rose bush with regurgitated food. Running while healing from a stomach issue is not smart. Don't do it.

So this morning we got before Dawn and were out the door before 7am. It's a miracle and my in-laws barely believed it was happening. We reached Waco around 9am and I have a picture to prove it to you non believers;

















We made it to College Station before we had to stop thanks to Cloudy with the Chance of Meatballs (the movie) and a sleeping toddler.




































I had a cute hunk to keep me company




































Well if you consider watching movies to be "company".

And finally we made a stop at a Farmer's Market where I had to talk Princess Girly Girl out of wanting pickled pigs feet and pickled eggs. Yuck. ugh. nasty.




































We pulled into our driveway around 1pm. It is the earliest that we have ever arrived back home from my in-laws house.

I'm glad to be home but I can tell I'm home.

Tonight I dropped a bag of rice, dropped a cup of flour, dropped my cell phone, dropped my laptop, and broke the door to the broiler on the oven.

Welcome home. I'm not known for my grace, or poise, or skinny butt.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tutorial: How to Cut Burlap in a Straight Line


Crafts with Burlap are huge right now but have you ever tried to cut burlap in a straight line? Or have you ever bought burlap at the store and then got it home to find out that it is so jagged and misshaped that it is now too small for your project?


 Cutting Burlap with straight edges is easy, all you need is to know how to do it.  Start by finding the size that you need. This piece of burlap had already been cut so it did not have selvages (the woven edges) however, if yours does have it then you need to snip the selvage where you need to cut the burlap at on both sides of the fabric. Just make a simple cut that goes from the outside edge of the selvage all the way through it, stopping at the border between the selvage and burlap.
Now, at whatever length you need, find one string or thread of the burap and start to pull it out. Don't yank it because you'll break it, just pull with an even force.

 The rest of the fabric will start to buckle and gather, this is ok... just keep pulling.


Pull the string all the way out and then you'l be left with a channel that you can cut straight through to make an even cut.

Viola'. Now you have a straight line for your Burlap edges.

Most importantly, you can politely share this tip when having your burlap cut at the fabric store. It will assure that you and the peope that come behind you, always get home with the amount of burlap that you paid for.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Untitled-1

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

An Open Letter to my Niece

Dearest Emma,

You are a big sister now. As a big sister, yet the littlest sister in my family, I thought I could share a few tips with you on how to survive  succeed at being an awesome big sister to your new sister.

First of all, your mom and her twin (Aunt Laura) were always the nice ones in the family. Your other aunt and uncle, not so much but don't tell them I said that. You aunt and uncle (who shall remain nameless) taught me many things about growing up that I thought you should know.

1. Don't duct tape your younger siblings hands together and spray Lysol in his her eyes. Your mom might get mad. Not that I would know.
2. Don't let your sister talk you into things such as duct taping someones hands together and spraying Lysol in their eyes. Again, I know nothing about this.
3. It would be best not to record your sibling acting out soap operas while in the shower, at the age of 5. Five year olds are good at retaliation such as peeing on you. Again, I know nothing of this... I have just heard.
4. If you see an extremely large rock shaped like Daffy Duck, don't convince your sibling to pick it up. They might drop it on their foot, break a few toes and your mom might get mad. I plead the fifth.
5. If your grandma sends you a pair of granny panties, don't put them in the back of your drawer and swear to never wear them. Throw them away immediately so that they can never be shown to your preteen love interest by your sibling! Anything that might be considered embarrassing needs to be destroyed or can and will be used against you. And to James Howell, I apologize for that unfortunate experience... not that it happened.
6. Don't convince your sister to put yarn between her teeth and floss with it. The yarn might get stuck, your mom might have to take her to the dentist to have it removed, and she might get mad. Or so I might have heard.
7. Convincing your sibling to eat dog food is wrong, even if they look like a basset hound sometimes.
8. Don't stalk your sister's best friend, even if you have a HUGE crush on him. It just gets awkward. Not that I have ever stalked anyone that worked at a mexican food restaurant when I was in high school that drove a blue and white pickup. never. I made all that up just to make a point.

And now let me tell you a few things that your mom and her twin (Aunt Laura) did that impacted me.

1. Do send your sister flowers when you can't make it to her 8th grade band recital. It will mean the world to her.
2. Do always tell her how funny she is. It's a thing on the Kralka side of the family.. everyone thinks they're funny but no one really is.. still you need to stroke those egos. We're famous for them.
3. Do love her unconditionally. (ok.. your other aunt and uncle might have done this too).
4. Do offer to serve punch and cake at her wedding at the  last second when she was too bone head to find someone in advance to do this.
5. Do give her space when she needs it.
6. Do be ready to stand and defend when she needs that too.
7. Do recognize that just because you're sisters, you might not follow the same paths, do the same thing, believe in the same cause.. but support her anyway.

Being a sister is a powerful thing.

Over the next few years you'll fight over that pink tutu I'm sending to you tomorrow, bite each other, scream at each other, and disavow each other too many times to count and that's ok. Because I know that with a mom like yours and aunts like you have... you will be a fabulous sister. You have the best role models possible, even Aunt Julia.

love,
Aunt Bobbie

P.S. give your mom an extra hug today, I'm sure she'll need it at some point. oh. and learn to change diapers. I know you're only three but you gotta start pulling your own weight eventually.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Stitch by Stitch

We went to the thrift store today. I love love love thrift stores because I love bargains. There is a goodwill south of where we live, close to an very rich part of town that always has great kids clothes. That's not where we went today. We went to a thrift store that I almost wrote off as a bust until we came to the book section and found these:
 Aren't they pretty? Vintage, old, and funky craft books about sewing, knitting, crocheting, needlework, and a few other things. They were all on sale for a ridiculous price so I grabbed every single one they had.

The pictures alone make them worth it.
This one is my favorite cover. It just screams "warrior princess from the future with just a hint of Asian influence.".


I am having trouble deciding which one of these Damion needs for Christmas;



 I'm partial to the second one. Just something about a man in cap sleeves... yum.

And for you salad lovers, why not wear it on your hat?
 I was thinking about whipping this up to wear for Thanksgiving but I'm afraid my sister Julia would be wearing the same thing.  Plus my butt would look more like two hogs wrestling under silk sheets.


There are some really great things in the books that could easily be made more modern. I'm really excited about taking on a few projects from there. You might possibly see these books again.

Now for the best news.....

My sister used to look like this except without the bad 70's hairstyle;




































But as of this afternoon, she now looks like this;



































Congrats to the Kirby Family and to my favorite niece, Emma, who became a big sister today!

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Link Love

I love great ideas. Sometimes you see one and just think, "duh.. why didn't I think of that?". Other times you see one and think, "can that person please be my neighbor?". 

And because I learned to share.. I will share some of these great ideas with you.

Here are my favorite ideas from the blogsphere this week:

1. Homemade Andes Mints by I'm Topsy Turvy.

















Yes Please. Please be my neighbor.  I love Andes Mints. My grandparents always had a candy dish with them at their house, such sweet memories.

2. Little Turkey Tshirts by Dukes and Duchesses















These are so cute and a little known fact is that in this family, we call each other "turkey".  I'm not joking. One of the first things I have taught each of our children is how to say, "gobble, gobble" so that they can communicate with Damion in his native language.

3. Sweateralls from If Only They Would Nap..






















Princess Newbie needs these. Stat. or at least by Thanksgiving. Totally adorable. You are welcome for all the fragments.

If you love any of these ideas (who wouldn't?) please stop by their blog and give them some love.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Black Friday Mission.

I am a Black Friday shopper.

To say that I celebrate thanksgiving is but a part of the truth. Thanksgiving is like Christmas Eve, the moment of great anticipation before you rip into presents the next morning. To the real bargain shopper, it is pay dirt. The BB gun is to Ralphie in The Christmas Story as Black Friday is to pure frugalistas. Everyone else out there on Black Friday is just wearing a pink bunny suit.

Many comment that Black Friday is not worth the $20 of savings. If I only saved $20, I would consider it a great failure. 2002 was my best Black Friday year so far. I became a legend, somewhat in my own mind, when I came home with three shirts, one sweater, and one baby dress for only 15 cents. I saved the receipt in my wallet for weeks, showing everyone that would take a glance. Recounting the story numerous times of the saleswoman saying that she had never seen that before in her life. Apparently she had never met a true bargain hunter before.

There's rules to Black Friday.  First is to know your route and what you're looking for. Lists are made of deals at each store and the time the store opens so you can make a schedule and decide what your true priorities are. If you're standing in line outside a store, make friends with the person next to you and hold their place in line if they need to run to their car. However, if you are in line to pay in the store, no one will hold your place. If fact, they will call everyone they know on their phone and invite them personally to come take your place in line.

 Bed head mixed with the perfect mix of left over mascara is the official Black Friday uniform. You can always tell an impostor just by looking at their shoes first and their makeup, or lack there of, next. Heels will not cut it in the fast pace world of Black Friday. Dr. Scholls may be considered older generation but the perfect foot love will equal greater success. To put it simply, on Black Friday, make up and matching clothes are for sissies. If you have to get dressed in pure darkness and sneak out of the house like a covert operation than you will be a success.

Buyer beware, the Black Friday ads are slowly starting to be released. If you will be shopping in Fort Worth this coming Friday, you better watch out. The crazy woman in the white van that is wearing monkey pajamas and day old make up is one the loose and I've already made my lists.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hostess Gift Idea: Scented Hot Pad Tutorial

I have a secret, not the same one from yesterday but a different one. This one I can tell you but I'm a little ashamed of it. I never cook thanksgiving dinner. Every single year we go to my aunt's for dinner. I don't even know how to make stuffing from scratch. I'll stick with crafting, you stick with stuffing and the world will be a happy place.

So today I'm sharing this tutorial with you for a scented hot pad. It's a great gift to take to the person who is hosting you for thanksgiving if you are not cooking yourself. Plus it's also a great gift idea to take to neighbors this coming Christmas. You can wrap it up by itself or put it in a basket with some tea bags and a small tea pot.

The best part is one that you can't see. This thing smells amazing, even Damion commented on it. Then when you add a nice warm dish to the top of it, the smell radiates even more and it's wonderful and homey.

So for this project you will need:
1 piece of cotton fabric - 3ft x 3inches
1 piece of flannel - 3 ft x 3 inches
uncooked rice
cinnamon oil or candle fragrance
plastic baggie

The very first step you need to do 24 hours in advance, so make sure you add that time into your equation. Take two cups rice and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon oil or fragrance and then sprinkle with actual cinnamon. Put in well sealed container and let stand overnight or for 24 hours.
















When your rice is ready, cut your fabric into two strips that measure 3ft (1yrd) by 3 inches.  Lay the cotton fabric, right side up on top of the flannel.

Next fold the fabric over until the ride sides are touching and stitch a line along the edge.

´╗┐After you sew one straight stitch, go back and use a zig zag stitch along the edge to prevent the seams from busting when you add the rice. If you have a serger, that would be the best option. If you don't zig zag the seams, you might regret it.
I plead the fifth as to how that happened.

After your seams are sewn, it's turn to turn it inside out. I used a coat hanger with one end bent to help turn the fabric to the ride side facing out.

Next you need to stitch one end closed and then start filling with rice. I did not use the full two cups of rice, you will just have to play around with it.

Then it's time to start the rollin'.


To start, measure about an inch from the end and make an indention with your fingers, moving rice out of the way. Now turn it back onto itself to start the spiral. Do this one more time for the next turn and then it should start spiraling easily.

I started the spiral and then went back with my needle and thread to start sewing it once I had it layed out. I used a needle and thread to tack it down to itself from the inside every inch or two so that it would hold the spiral shape. I also hid the seam inside the spiral.

Tack it from the inside and no one will see your stitches! Keep going until you get to the end and then stitch that down to finish your scented hot pad.

Now you can sit down and enjoy a nice cup of tea.

Remember to always store your scented hot pad in a plastic bag to maintain the fragrance.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Secret

I was going to post a wordless Wednesday post and then I realized that it is now Thursday. Next I'm going to realize that I'm 52 because that is how fast time is flying.

I have a major project that I'm working on. MAJOR.

I can't tell you about it yet because it's a secret (no family, I am not cooking up a baby). The hard thing about it is that I have to learn something that I kinda thought I knew about and now realized that I know nothing about that subject. It's kinda like the first day of school when you walk into your high school level algebra class. Sure, you've taken math all your life so why can't you do this? Then the nerdy looking teacher, complete with pocket protector, starts taking about X's and invisible numbers. How do you figure out what an invisible number is unless you call Cleo's 1-800 number? Seriously, I think the entire invisible number thing is a sham to make some of us look and feel like blustering idiot's but I'll save that who conspiracy theory for another day.

There are however two things that I am learning with this new project.

Number one is that you can't give up. Trust me, I've thought of it. I have wanted to quit and just turn it over to someone who can handle it. But at the end of the day, what will I have learned by doing that? Will I be able to handle this project in the future if I do not know the root and core of it because I was too timid and frustrated to learn?

Second is that my husband is my biggest fan (and biggest critic). Two years ago when I layed the groundwork for this, I didn't think he was behind me. Now I know that he's behind me, and talking about me at his work. Now when he asks me where I found something at and my reply is, "I made it", you can tell he is proud of me. That is a huge validation to me and it makes every dirty diaper (the baby's, not his), every fight, every dishpan hands worth it.

Hopefully in a few weeks I'll be able to show you what I've been furiously working on. I do promise to give you a craft for a hostess gift this week. You will know though if this project doesn't go on as planned because there will be a news story about a naked chick wandering up and down I10 in Houston waving chicken heads and singing, "who let the dogs out".  That will be me, and that put a stop to the crafts for awhile while I go into a little psych. hold for a few weeks.

Goodbye for today from the loony bin.

Monday, November 15, 2010

List Lover

I love lists. If you have read this blog for more than a week, you might know this by now. So here's a few things I have to tell you tonight;

1. I have a blue toilet seat now, formally white.
2. We ate flowers for dinner.
3. I gave away some fabric tonight to a Girl Scout Troop. I miss it already.
4. I am a Fabric Hoarder.
5. I just watched Hoarders, can you tell? It makes me what to clean and purge.
6. Princess Newbie can now say, "Dadda, Momma, puppy, ba-ba (bottle), and M & M". The kid has her priorities straight.
7. I had hummus for lunch. I pretended I was in Morocco, sunning myself at a royal pool. Then I heard someone yell that Princess Newbie had a stinky diaper and I was back to reality. Reality stinks, literally in this case.
8. My favorite stores are Hobby Lobby, Target and Sam's. I'm a frugal girl.
9. I think Goodwill is overpriced, at least here in Houston it is. Women's clothing starts at $6.99. Has no one told them that Target has brand new Tshirts for $7?
10. I'll finish up one craft tomorrow and post it here. I have a long list of Christmas crafts and I'm excited.
11. We watched the video for Samaritan's purse about the Christmas shoe boxes tonight and I cried. We're dropping our shoe box off tomorrow.
12. I didn't sleep last night and I'm so tired.
13. Are you still with me? Wow. I'm impressed.
14. I'm waiting on this guy...

to go get in the shower so I can steal his Kit Kat bar and eat it. Don't worry, I don't believe in keeping secrets from him, so I'll leave the wrapper on his pillow.





























If anyone else has any questions you're curious about, leave them in the comments below and I'll answer them. I'll even answer the question about where I buy my fabric that I forgot to reply to. *Sorry*

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Amazon Update

Wednesday twitter was a firestorm of rage and fury as the word spread that Amazon was selling a book about how to be a better pedophile and not get caught.

You can find my original post about it here.

I was blown away about this and quite shocked that a company so many blogger and parents rely on was selling a book such as that based on the freedom of speech and press argument. One day I was looking for books for my kids on that website and the next day I found out that the same website was selling a book to possibly endanger my kids.

Thousands, if not more, of people called, wrote, and emailed Amazon.com asking for the book to be removed. Many people were given the response that Amazon.com did not desire to cause harm to children but they were not pulling the book because they did not want to censor the books they sell. This comment just caused more anger and got more people involved, even CNN's Anderson Cooper. As one person on twitter said to me, "If it was a book about how to bomb the twin towers, it would have been removed by now." It took about 12 hours for Amazon.com to finally pull the book. That is 12 hours too long.

However, the worst part is that Amazon.com has still not released a comment and the author of the book told CNN that Amazon.com is just reviewing the book. So what does that truly mean? Does it mean that the book will never come back? The author also told CNN that the book will be back on Amazon.com. Is Amazon.com just waiting out the fury before quietly placing the book back for sale?

Does that one book really matter that now it has been discovered that Amazon.com sells several other controversial books about pedophilia and pictures of underage naked children? Mama Says has a great post about the controversial Amazon.com products that they are continuing to sell.

The deciding factor isn't really about this one book, it's about a line. There's a line of morality that all of us have the right to set for ourselves. My family chooses to set the line pretty high, expecting the people that we support with our money to be worthy of that choice. No matter what my family chooses, your family has to choose their own level of what they will and will not tolerate when it comes to morality. If Amazon.com's decision to pull the book, even temporarily, satisfies that line for you than please continue to shop with them. I have made the decision not to shop with them, maybe even permanently.

No matter what, you have to choose where you line is because now this has opened a whole can of worms. What you'll find with a little digging is that other big name stores, online and box stores, all sell questionable objects. How far is too far for you? Think about it, make your choice, and don't let anyone judge you because of that choice.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gobble Till You Wobble (revisited)

This is an old post that I wrote two years ago, so therefore this idea is four years old!! Ugh that makes me feel old. I should definitely redo them.  However, it's cute and easy to do, especially with children. These would be the perfect addition to school thanksgiving feasts. ´╗┐



These cupcakes are old and these photos are blurry. Now you know where I stand.

I made these cupcakes two years ago but I found the pictures tonight when I was going through the old pictures on our hard drive. This is the perfect time to show you them! You will have time to make them for your kids thanksgiving feasts, well some of you might. These would also be the perfect dessert to bring to a get together this weekend.

They are so simple to make. Frost a cupcake with light brown frosting. If you want to use canned frosting (yuck.. agh. .uck...) just mix chocolate and vanilla together to get lighter brown. Ice the cupcake with a thick layer of frosting on top.

Take gel icing colors you buy at the store and make big rainbows using different colors. Now take a toothpick and drag from the outside of the cupcake into the middle, going around the outside edge of the cupcake. This makes the tail feathers.

Next, top the cupcake with a Nutter Butter cookie. Add eyes and the red hangy thing (I don't know the name of it) using the gel icing. I added a beak using banana laffy taffy cut into a small triangle.

Voila'! Finished Turkey cupcakes. Now go out and Gobble till you Wobble!
                                                      

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Adorable Thanksgiving Crafts

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and my waist line is getting ready....

But I have a confession to make. I don't really do thanksgiving crafts. We travel every year to celebrate with our family in North Texas so there's not really a point to decorate specifically for it. I just decorate for fall. Sometime next week I'm going to share a great tutorial for a thanksgiving hostess gift for those of you that will be at someone else's house for thanksgiving.

Tonight I'll just going to post some of the cutest thanksgiving crafts that I've seen with links to their page. If you like the craft, make sure to visit their blog and leave a comment.

First there's this fantastic centerpiece by The Pink Peony of Le Jardin
It's a Pottery Barn knock off that she created for only $5! I love Pottery Barn Knock offs and hers is actually better than the original. She shares an entire tutorial to make your own in case you want your house to look better than the Pottery Barn catalogues.

Next are these super cute paper pumpkins from Amber at This and That.
How cute would those be on a console table to welcome your guests?


For the perfect way to dress up your thanksgiving table... use chalk cloth like Laura from Finding Home did. I love this idea but I think my kids would love it even more.
One of the things they're thankful for is "the smell of maple syrup cooking."  Why have I never smelled that? oh. because I live in Texas where all you smell is cow manure in the country and smog in the city.

Don't worry, I didn't forget you serious Pumpkin Spice Latte drinkers. (I'm a gingerbread latte girl myself)
Vintage Dutch Girl created this amazing graphic for you and it's a free printable if you visit her site!




































Ok, so maybe the last one isn't actually a thanksgiving craft but latte's will help you get through the crazy family time.

There's a ton of things that I'm thankful for this year and one of them is you! Thanks to you faithful readers, you faithful lurkers (I see you), and to my faithful friends.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Don't Make Mama Mad....

I'll guess we'll just call this the "get Bobbie all riled up week". First it was Amazon and now it's our former AC repair company.

I have been so mad today that you could probably boil yourself a cup of earl grey tea in my blood, not that you would want to. All you twi-hards might want to try though because of the whole vampire aspect.

A few weeks ago J&K Air and Heating came out here to do some simple duct work repair for us. The guy, who was extremely nice and has done all our AC work for the past 4 years, told me that we also had a clogged drain line and needed a float switch, so he did that stuff. Fast forward about four hours after he left and we heard water dripping down our walls and landing on our garage ceiling. The drain line that he had just unclogged was overflowing at the top and running down the walls. He had removed and discarded the cap that would have prevented this. Then the same day we also noticed the AC was sluggish going on and off. We just blew it off because we had water damage to contend with.


Over the past few weeks we have had more and more trouble with the AC not coming on or not shutting off when it should. This past week, the blower fan ran for 36 hours straight. I love wasting electricity, so much fun when you have money just spilling out of your pockets to spend on it (sarcasm).  So spare you all the other details, the AC company was finally able to come out today but I did request a different technician, which made them mad.

He came out and changed out a part which he said would fix it and assured me that nothing the other guy did caused this, it was just an old part. Then he left, and the AC ran for three hours straight so I called them back. Obviously not only is it not fixed, it's worse because it's not just the fan blowing, it's the actual AC unit, which can kill our unit and freeze us out of house and home.

The AC guy returned my call and said he would be back in a few minutes. Two minutes later he called back to tell me it was probably our thermostat causing the problem but he would still come check it out. That was at 2 o'clock this afternoon. All I wanted today was a happy hour drink from Sonic. So I waited. and waited, and then I waited some more. At 5 pm I called to see if they were coming and the woman told me that she would find out and call me back. After I failed to hear back from them at 6pm, I called again and their answering service said, "I was told to tell you that they would not be able to get to you until tomorrow."

There was NO call to inform me of this, I had to call them twice. Now to get our AC to turn off, we have to shut it off at the breaker or take the thermostat apart. I am getting mad just typing this.

Not only that but while the guy was here, he looked at the ceiling water damage in the garage and said, "oh.. that's from your house plumbing, not our fault." UM... hello guy! That was caused by the drain line in the attic that you guy was working on that very day, you don't think there's any chance the two are related? Yeah, they are related and I was going to let it go and not ask them to pay for it, but not now.

Now you have made me mad, and I don't get mad often.

So... if you want a bad AC company that will not hold up to their end of the bargain, use J&K Air and Heating in Houston, TX. Actually their mailing address is now in Waller but used to be off of West Little York Rd.

Here's their complete information:
J&K Air and Heating
jkac.com
http://host.trustab.org/jandkac
telephone: 281-855-0100


Whatever you do, don't use their service. I was a loyal customer for years and this is how they treat us? No thank you.

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edited : 11/12/10

This morning we called another company out who was able in five minutes fix the wiring mistake by J&K Air and Heating. Yet no one from J&K would still return my calls and so we were forced to file a complaint with the BBB.
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Sorry to vent about this on my personal blog but I really want it out there so that when people google this company, they can read this before hopefully deciding not to use them.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Personal Rights: Amazon.com Vs. the Littlest People

Personal rights are a sticky thing. You have so many rights that are a blessing but the key to the whole saga is how to partake in your rights without infringing on someone else's.

Case in point.. My neighbor has the right to blare his music as loud as humanly possible while driving in his car. He has a right to do that as we live in a free country. However the fact that I can tell you what the songs are saying, word for word, while sitting in our bedroom at 1 o'clock in the morning is the problem. At that point he is taking his personal right and shoving into my right to live peacefully without distraction.  Yes we have asked him to stop blaring it so loudly and he replied with a loving, "no".  We do have city ordinances help us protect our personal rights but since we live in such a large city, small things like this are usually ignored by the police. It's not that big of a deal to me, especially since my dad sells hearing aides and I see his extremely loud music as an investment towards my inheritance.

The real dilemma behind personal rights is when it affects those who are not old enough to protect their rights, such as children. Today it has come to my attention that Amazon.com is selling a book about how to be a pedophile. The title is extremely offensive so I am not going to post it on here. However, the book was written as a guide to help those find sexual love with a child and how to avoid the jail time that might result from it. I am serious when I say that I would like to throw up just thinking about that.

Yes, this does go beyond the regular infringement of personal rights because it is an offense about a child and the subject matter is illegal. However, that man had the right to write and publish that horrible book. Books have been wrote on how to make bombs, how to kill people, how to do drugs, etc.  While those are all illegal subject matters, the authors did have the right to write them.

So let's grant the sick man his right. I have no problem with that. In the end it's just going to bring attention to him and hopefully to law enforcement to find him and monitor him. What I do have a problem with is the fact that it is available to purchase on amazon.com for your kindle, or any public arena for that matter. Just because this man wrote this book, does not mean that anyone has to sell it. In that instance, you are invading my right and my home, forcefully. It's more than a little loud music, it's the protection of my children. It's the personal safety of someone that is too young to realize how to fully provide for and protect themselves.

Many people are speculating that Amazon.com will not pull this book from their site because it would infringe on the author's rights. I have emailed Amazon.com and have received no reply (and phone numbers are impossible to find for them). However, let me just say this; The rights and safety of someone too innocent and young to protect themselves should always come before the rights of someone who is trying to violate them in any such way, including just writing. That's why things such as Child Protective Services exists, to protect the children when others try to do evil against them.

So what should you/ can you do?

1. Email Amazon.com - you will need to reference ASIN# : B0049U4CF6. I actually sent my email to Jeff@amazon.com, which is supposed to be the CEO's email address. We all know that it is not his personal address, but someone will see it.
2. Call Amazon customer service - 1-866-216-1072 and again reference the above number. Be nice when you call, these are just employees who will probably be just as shocked as you are about this book.
3. empty your Amazon.com shopping lists and delete wish lists. Yeah, they are going to notice this if enough people do it.
4. Take off any affiliate or links that you have on your personal blog, or any amazon.com ads.
5. Write about this on facebook and encourage your friends to do the same.

For the extremist in you:
1. Find out the people that hold the most control in Amazon.com stocks. Email those people. This information is very easy to find online.

I think that they will take this book down in time but until then, I will be staying away from Amazon.com.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Getaway



This past weekend we got out of dodge, er.. Houston. Unbeknown to me, Damion planned a little get away for our anniversary, kid free.

Do you realize how many things you can do without kids? I almost forgot that I could go to the bathroom without a four year old staring at me. Believe it or not, I can also get dressed without supervision. This just blew my mind.

Overall, the weekend was wonderful but busy. We never had time for the long lazy naps and sleeping in super late. I guess we're too used to getting up at the crack of dawn and going nonstop until bedtime, because that's what we did.

While we were gone, I posted the story of how we met. In case you missed it, you can find it here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

And because I share everything, sometimes too much (had this discussion with Damion tonight), here's a few pics from our weekend.. but just a few. I guess I don't share everything after all. You're welcome for that.


We went to a Japanese garden that had huge Koi fish.


looked at some awesome old buildings.
























 Our hotel bathroom was the size of my house (just about anyway) and it was my dream bathroom. Gorgeous.


















 I tried these on but took them off before I broke anything, like my neck.























and I stalked a very handsome man. Can you find him?

Well that's all the G rated pictures I can show you. Don't worry, there are no R ones in existence. Let's be honest, I am not Victoria, I don't know her secret... and I like chocolate way too much. No one wants to see this.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Story of Us (finale)

I was excited to see Damion for my brother's wedding but since I had given up hope of ever dating him again, it was a different kind of excitement. At that time I was just missing my friend and wanted to see him.

It had been several months since we had seen each other and he had always drove me crazy updating me on whatever girl he was crushing on. He was quite the ladies man while we were apart. There was movie dates, football dates, church group dates, not to mention that his crowd of friends at the time was 90% female.  It was enough to drive any girl crazy! I was kinda dreading hearing about his latest girls and how he was going to wine and dine them but I would soldier through!

He came and picked me up for the wedding and was handsome as usual. I have a very broken family and so weddings and family get togethers at that time were always bittersweet and he knew that. He stayed by me and made me laugh although I think some of my family was really surprised to see him again.


After the wedding, we were all standing around talking and my aunt asked him if he was a love interest or just a friend. He quickly and extremely loudly remarked that he was just a friend. It was so quick and sharp that it even caught me off guard. What? did I have a hump and wonky eye? why didn't he wanted to even be possibly tied to me at all? We all just laughed it off and went on with the wedding festivities.

After the wedding he drove me back to my dads and came inside to visit with my dad for a few minutes. For some reason though my dad went to bed five minutes later which now I realize is weird and the only time he left me alone with a guy. We sat on the couch and looked at a picture album for a few minutes and talked about our lives. Nothing too deep, nothing too crazy, just two friends sitting on the couch. Then things changed when he said, "can I kiss you?"

You thought I said "yes" didn't you? Well I didn't. I told him no because we had agreed 15 months earlier when we broke up that unless we were in it for marriage, it wasn't for us anymore.  That night the question of marriage was brought up again and we parted with a lot of questions between us.

Over the next two weeks we talked a lot more than usual and a lot more about feelings. I'm not sure how it happened but in no time there was flowers being delivered to me at work and I was going to Houston, to pick out a possible wedding ring. In true Bobbie fashion, I did accidently dye my fingers all the different shades of the rainbow on that same day and my boss had to help me bleach my fingers before I left to try on rings the entire weekend. (true story)
 

Three weeks after my brother's wedding my dad had to go to Houston for work and met Damion for dinner. Damion asked my dad that night if he could ask me to marry him. Two weeks after that, I drove back to Houston and Damion proposed Sunday afternoon. I was supposed to leave Houston by 1 to get back to Tyler before dark but we went out to celebrate and I didn't leave Houston until 3am and drove straight to work the next morning. I had a beautiful ring to show off to a lot of people that replied, "I didn't even know you were dating anyone." Yeah, me either.



Three and a half months later we were married at my church in Tyler. We had finally reached the point where we were ready to be married, and then God made it happen.

And today we're celebrating seven years of marriage.

Happy Anniversary to my hunk of burning love, you are a dream and heart's desire come true.