When I was supposed to be paying a bill . . .

I found out that I was owed money. I had a cell provider for a long time, January of 2002 through October of 2007. I was a loyal, content customer, I even bragged about how much I liked their customer service and service. When others were paying less for service, I was paying a bit more because of the satisfaction I found when speaking with customer service representatives. That is, until I moved to the middle of nowhere. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy in the middle of nowhere, I grew up in an area of NY no so different. There is a drawback to the middle of nowhere, not enough customers to warrant good coverage between major towns. I jumped through hoops with this company to improve my service. I was encouraged by the aforementioned representatives to drive 2 miles north, south, east or west to obtain better coverage. I reminded them that I expected to have coverage at my house, I was informed that coverage in my house was never guaranteed. I should only ever expect to have coverage outside. I then walked outside with the phone and waited for the call with them to drop, which didn’t take too long. After several weeks of going round and round with various individuals with many titles like engineer, I was finally released from my contract. I ported to a new carrier and then the nightmare began. I received a bill indicating that I was being charged for early termination, when this company had in writing already indicated that there would be no charge once the engineers determined that coverage would not be improved. I got the feeling that the guy never drove through our town calling people and asking if anyone could hear him now. I called several times and thought the early termination fee was removed, but I should wait for the final bill before paying it. By the time the final bill arrived, the company was threatening to write off my bill and turn me over to collections. The final bill indicated that I owed far more than I felt I should, $95 vs. $45. I was happy to pay the $45, but was insistent that I would not pay the entire amount. I called the only outside number I was ever given for the company, besides *number if my phone was still from that carrier. I was stuck in a loop-enter your zip code, enter your phone number, sorry, the office is closed, we’re only open from 8-8, I was calling at 7:30. Actually, I was a returning a call I was disconnected from, and could only get through when I stopped entering my zip code and phone number. In a call last night, I tried to explain my complaint when my phone call was finally answered. I could not get the woman to understand that I simply wanted my month in advance deposit returned. She attempted to explain how it was already refunded and would not listen to me. According to my bill, I was charged for the whole month of November, which was not accurate, as service was canceled in October. Another line reflected a refund of November, which she explained was my refund of my month in advance deposit. That seems a bit shady to me. She then looked over my account and said the $95 charge was part of the $125 early termination fee and I would receive a check for $29 and change in March, since January billing was completed.

April 29, 2008: I keep receiving statements from Verizon saying they owe me money, but they never send it. I should be receiving another one this week or next. That will make the third statement without money. I don’t know if I want to call, I enjoying receiving statements that tell me they have my money so I don’t owe them any.

When I should have been writing . . .

life happened. It appears that I have not contributed new content to this blog in a while. I have been borrowing books from the library on the subject of knitting, hoping to find an absolutely brilliant pattern for I don’t know what or inspiration so I am able to say I have designed the perfect pattern for I don’t know what. All that to say, not much to write about.

My grandmom & grammyparents have been in and out of the hospital over the last several months, my grammy struggled with diabetes for a long time, as long as I remember. When things weren’t regulated just right, off to the hospital so she could receive help getting back to normal. My grandparents went to stay with my uncle in Long Island for a while, upon arrival, Grandpa entered the hospital to manage shoulder pain and kidney problems. After a month or so, Grammy took a spill and wasn’t doing so well. Off to the hospital to as well. Jason and I traveled to NY to visit with family and make the trek to Long Island to visit them. I was very saddened, it was/is difficult for me to see them ailing. I hold images in my mind of the energy and vitality they had to have possessed to keep up with a very active and demanding little granddaughter. Grammy entertained me for hours with games and imagination and stories and errands. I would spend a week with them at Easter, Christmas, and a few every summer. Grammy had chores to do, but somehow managed to speak most of them in before my sleepy-head got out of bed. We would have cereal, toast, and juice for breakfast. If Grandpa was home, there were Bible verses and long prayers for people I didn’t know. If Grandpa wasn’t home, after breakfast the fun began. If I had the option to choose the activities for the day, I would often pick the children’s museum or the zoo. On errand days, Grammy would share a dollar or two with me so I could buy a toy at the local department store. When I was a bit older, my brother and I had an allowance, from the money she received when she returned the soda cans, mostly diet. On the days we stayed home, I looked forward to games and imagination. We would play school, with a real desk and all. Other times we would play store, with a grocery cart and toy produce and toy boxed products and and and. The games varied with my age, among our favorites-Racko, family picSkip-Bo (after I taught her how to play), Mother’s Helper. Most of the games were from when my mom and uncles were a bit younger, but Grammy would play them, even let me pick out ones I had no idea how to play. At some point in my stay at Grammy’s house, she always seemed to bake something, though I couldn’t guess what. I just know that I had a drawer of my own next to the sink on Kent St. My own little Oneida cookware sauce pan and fry pan. I’m sure one could use them for cooking up a small amount of something legitimate, but as far as I ever knew, they were there for me. Grammy said that one of the times I was visiting I sighed deeply and said, “I guess it must be about time we back something.” If Grandpa was home, we’d have grand adventures to local attractions. At bedtime, there was always a story or five from an interesting little story book. The stories were always about little boys or girls learning an important lesson about God. On Sundays, we would pile into the car and head to church. I found Sunday School absolutely fantastic-with little chairs and tables, a good story and a colorful paper to bring home. Grammy and Grandpa were God to me. I don’t mean that in a sacrilegious, idol worship, stone me sort of way. They were for me what God meant parents, grandparents and any adult to be for children-a picture of his love and forgiveness on earth.

I received a call late Sunday evening from my mother, when I answered the phone, her voice and tone told me I didn’t need to ask questions, someone was hurt. Grammy fell backward in the kitchen and hit her head on the floor. Grandpa called the ambulance and the doctors were trying to determine the extent of the injuries, but it didn’t look good. A second call came with the news that nothing could be done, it was only a matter of time. The last call came close to midnight. There will be a memorial service in February at my grandparent’s church.

I’ll publish more pictures and more stories over time.

2008 Seed Catalogs I Ordered

Be ware-when you provide an email address, you can’t always get them to stop sending emails. I’ve marked the ones that won’t stop!

When I should have been sleeping . . .

WordPress has an administrative panel to manage this blog with links on the main page to other informative articles. I often browse the templates, looking for a new, clean, crisp shell to surround what you read. Somewhere in one of the links, I hopped to another page and another page an happened upon theforgivenessproject.org.

I read many of the stories, I will finish all of them, though not tonight. I was touched by a quote that I am unable to attribute to its proper owner as it was quoted like this:

She gave me a phrase that I now have pinned to my door: “forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past.”

My favorite search engine seems to find pages that attribute it to Landrum Bolling, who has apparently done much to further peace in many situations.

Marvelous Glad Tidings . . .

I have heard the most marvelous glad tidings – just before my entire website crashed and just as mysteriously came back to life.

Back to my joyous news, well maybe not joyous more like intriguing news. Robert Jordan’s wife has asked someone to work with the publishing team to finish the series. It appears as if there are enough notes, even if not all of the words are his.

I will be dreaming about how it ends. He has promised to answer some of the most pressing questions the fans have in the series.

How people found my page . . .

Someone searched for:

  • what does jason hole family look like – I laughed for a while about that one, yes, that is the correct search string.
  • free knit wool hunting sock pattern – I talk about jason hunting for deer, I talk about knitting him a wool sock
  • crochet 3 hole ski mask pattern, knitted ski mask patterns, 3 hole ski mask pattern and skimask & knitting – I referred to my partially knitted sock as a ski mask, but someone out there really wants to make a ski mask out of yarn. Let me know if you find one.
  • Jason Recliners rapids – I wish I had an explanation-maybe grand rapids?
  • tie dye printers in michigan – again, I wish I understood.
  • hitchhikers, marvin, knitting & pattern – I do refer to knitting and patterns, oh and a marvin the martian squished penny and I did try to read an autobiography of douglas adams with hitchhikers in the title.
  • nobody, messes, with & Santa – ok, that is legitimately here, don’t ask.
  • free, patterns, for, pony, beads & critters – I made pony bead critters while in Africa, but am not offering free patterns
  • jason, debra & proefrock – I think this one was actually for us

To Africa and back . . . (part the eighth)

Friday, June 22

Friday we boarded the bus and van, loaded the luggage on to the top of the bus and van, then departed. I was struck by the sights as we traveled back to Nairobi, more so than the trip to Mully Children’s Family. It hit me hard when I saw old women alone, tending a flock of goats, men sitting by the side of the road at the intersections talking the day away. Parents, grandparents, not caring for their family.On our trip, we were given approximately a day of free time in Nairobi. We were informed before we left the mallapproximate costs of various activities in the city. Between the souvenirs and activities, I brought home the equivalent of $2USD.On Friday, we went to a mall in Nairobi with an open market on the top floor. There was a great amount of civil unrest in the city, so we were taken to an area with armed guards and fencing. There were little shops: shoes, clothes, toys, eateries, and an internet cafe. I sent out a few emails, to let people know that our flights home had changed and we were all doing well. I found my way to the market and began dealing for trinkets to bring home. At that point, I wished I had made different purchases at Esther’s store. Many of the animals, chess boards, and shawls were available at different prices. I would have purchased more handmade items from her and haggled for the rest at the market. I purchased 5 wooden mallanimals for the price of one. I thought I was only missing one chess piece from a set I bought at Mully Children’s Family, but it turns out I was missing two. I purchased one replacement piece at the market, many animals, and a wooden flute that I gifted to my grandfather. The sellers are quick and crafty, they will offer a trade for a pen, pencil, hat or other item to get a potential customer to stop. They will ask what you like and then ask for the trade plus some money. I learned to look before arriving at a shop or stop and say I wasn’t sure what I was looking to buy. If I saw something I liked, I was always willing to leave it, which usually resulted in a lower price. My last, best trade was for a small beaded necklace. The man drew me in with the “trade” line and asked to trade for my bandanna, a white one with colorful lady bugs. I purchased a few bandannas to keep my hair back in Africa, so I was willing to part with it, I paid $0.88 for it at home. He directed me to some trinkets, necklaces, many that were too large for my small frame. He inspected my offering again and asked for money, saying certainly I could afford it. I let him know I was only interested in the trade, so if he would kindly return my lady bug bandanna. He held it as if to play keep away, but I gave him a look that said return it. He burst into laughter and said I was a hard woman and to keep my necklace and he would keep my bandanna. I went to stand with the team leader because I spent my allowance and saw the gentleman I trade with wearing my rainbow lady bug bandanna.We returned to the hotel for an evening meal. We had a dining room to ourselves with a wonderful buffet.

Saturday, June 23

We awoke Saturday to a quick breakfast then out to a safari van. We had chartered several vans to visit the animal preserve and elephant orphanage. The people in our van had a wonderful time: laughing, giggling, and acting silly.We returned to the hotel, had lunch and packed our bags. We departed for the airport to arrive at 6P.M. I gave Jason a call to let him know that flights had changed and to stay tuned. It was nothing short of a miracle that I pulled his phone number out of my head. While we addressed wedding invitations in May, he and I worked together so that I knew his street address and home phone number, soon to be mine. Our return flights were canceled shortly after we arrived in Kenya and it was only discovered Thursday. Our big team leader worked very hard to get us all back into GR before 6:00P.M. on Sunday, the original landing time. The whole team flew out of Kenya together and when reached the Netherlands we split into two groups. From there we all went to Detroit, just at different times. The groups split again in Detroit, but the whole team went through there by 1 or 2. The first few groups to arrive boarded flights to GR, while the rest of the groups boarded a bus to GR. Many of the other flights to GR would not arrive until late Sunday evening or Monday morning. This plan allowed everyone to arrive a bit before originally scheduled.


The End

To Africa and back . . . (part the seventh)

Thursday, June 21

Early Thursday morning, about half of our group climbed one of the mountains. I had been looking forward to that trip all week, but when Thursday arrived I was too ill. Those that went brought back many pictures to show those of us who stayed behind. Upon their return, we gathered with the Mulli family in Charles’ office. The family shared their heart with us, their vision for the future as best they could and asked us to share the passion when we returned to our homes. I hope that I have done that through all of these entries about Mully Children’s Family.After lunch, we were able to do some farm work-we debra planting
planted two rows of trees in farm row f. I can’t explain where that is, but you can see all our hard work. There are many pictures showing the various stages of planting in the photo gallery. For the most part the guys carried the water to the holes and the girls planted. Our holes were already dug, which was very gracious on their part. The ground is hard packed clay. We put water in the holes, dig a little with our hands, then plant the tree and put enough clay around it to keep it upright. The holes stay deep around the trees so that when water is poured in the hole, it seeps slowly into the roots instead of dissipating and being wasted. Each of the older children at MCF have a tree that they water as part of their routine. Each tree receives 3 buckets of water a month until it is three years old. After three years, it will seek water on its own from the ground.We were given time to wash up, then we were able to play games with the children.gamesA few of the girls and all the boys when to play football (soccer to us). The guys played guys and girls played girls. The majority of the girls played volleyball when we discovered that was an option. When they play to practice, they will put the girls in the positions they are best in and rotate around them and they can double hit. It took a while to get used to, but we had fun.I had several conversations with kids sitting and watching gamesthe volleyball games when I wasn’t playing. The stories are heart breakers. One boy I walked with wanted to be a musician and an electrical engineer. I asked how he would do both, he responded that he would sing while working. Another young man I spoke with hadn’t been there very long. His mother died several years ago, his father was not a kind man. He had six sisters and three brothers. His goal is to be farmer and unite his siblings. Friday morning we left Mully Children’s Family around 11A.M., if I remember correctly. We had a two hour trip back into Nairobi. I was struck by the sights I saw, more so on the way back to the city than the way to MCF. Old men sitting by the side of the road at the intersections of roads, old women watching animals by the sides of roads alone, and young children at school in uniform out for exercise.

Projects to Complete in 2008

Projects to complete:

  • R2D2 Hat
  • Advent Calendar (not knitted)
  • Glove-mittens for me
  • Socks for me
  • knitted grocery bags-yarn or plastic
  • Noah’s Ark (must find pattern)
  • Animal for adventures
  • Traveling Gnome
  • something knitted from video tape-because it sounds interesting. If you have an old VHS to donate to the cause, let me know.
  • double knit scarf of old NY skyline
  • circle/round loom knitting – find or design more patterns to use these, stitch equivalents as well
  • youtube diy – watch episodes