December 1, 2008

I have heat!  And I'm so thankful!  I'm still a little leery of every sound or odd noise and every time the thermostat clicks on to engage the furnace, I hold my breath.  But so far, it's working!!  And the motor was covered under warranty, so it wasn't as horribly expensive and I was anticipating.  Whew!

It was snowing when I left for work this morning...the first of the year and luckily, it wasn't cold enough for it to stick or do any damage.  I'm still very panicky from the ice storm last year.  Really don't want a repeat!!!  And after going 2-1/2 days without heat, I'm especially gun-shy.  It was better to have no heat with electricity than it was last December to have no heat AND no electricity...for 5 days.  But the memory hasn't faded enough to be comfortable yet and this last bout of doing without heat kind of brought it all back to the forefront.  I am SO NOT ready for winter!


December 7, 2008

I'm having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit.  It seems like things just keep going wrong.  I'm still having furnace problems...though I have heat now (thankful about that), something else is wrong somewhere and though the repairman has returned a couple of times, he has yet to discover what's wrong at this point.  The furnace keeps cycling on and off fairly rapidly, running for about 7 minutes (or less) and staying off for only 4 minutes (or less).  I am worried about my heating bill this month, considering I ran a highly-inefficient gas fireplace for 3 days and am now consuming gas at an accelerated rate due to the weird cycling problem.  I'm still trying to clean up the mess from my credit card information being stolen.  And to top it all off, today at the grocery store, some very inconsiderate person let their shopping cart ram into my car because they were too lazy to walk 5 feet to put the cart in the cart return area.  I kind of feel like sitting down and crying!  Unfortunately, it wouldn't do any good and probably wouldn't make me feel any better anyway.  Happy holidays...

To try to get a little Christmas spirit going, I took some pictures of my tree and some of my ornaments to share with you.  Maybe it will make us both feel better inside!  As I mentioned in November, I have collected ornaments since I was a little girl and that dates back quite a ways, I'm sorry to say.  I've bought one or two or so ornaments every year since I was 9 years old.  I especially collect angels, moons / stars, and snowmen, but as you can see, I have a little bit of everything!  I'll put up a few more pictures over the next week.  I have over 2000 lights on the tree and I'm enjoying the glow.  I took these pictures without a flash so you can get a feel for how magical it looks at night. 


December 14, 2008

It has been another rather difficult week.  I've had the furnace repair people back a few more times...they were no show one day, but finally came again last Friday.  It's still not right and it's driving me crazy.  I also found out Wednesday evening that my other credit card information had been stolen.  Someone tried to use it to buy a couple of airline tickets and VISA stopped it immediately, recognizing it as being out of my normal buying pattern.  I'm now getting letters from the vendors who got caught in the Discover card theft and they are demanding payment from me.  I'm pretty freaked out by the whole thing...don't know what to do.  It's overwhelming and frightening.  I don't know how they gained access to the information to begin with, so I'm especially feeling vulnerable because I don't know where the breach was.  I'm trying to keep my head above water.  It's stressful at the moment.

I promised more Christmas tree pictures and then the crazy week got in the way.  Sorry about that!


December 15, 2008

I have now spent yet another day waiting for the furnace repair person to arrive.  After promising he would be here between 11:00 and 1:00, he finally arrived at 1:50 today and left at 4:40 p.m.  Another day totally shot.  Plus I am out $228 and am now praying this is the end of it at last.  He again checked this and that and everything in between and his best guess was that the thermostat was the problem.  It is a guess.  The fact that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the thermostat prior to the furnace motor burning out makes no never mind.  Out of desperation, I decided to give it a try.  Time will tell.  All my Christmas money is gone and then some.  Sigh.

We had an ice storm last night.  It wasn't as bad as the one we had a year ago when all the trees were destroyed.  Didn't lose power, thankfully.  But the roads are covered with a good 3 inches of sheer ice.  I guess having to stay home today to wait for the repair person was a blessing in disguise.  I don't handle driving on treacherous roads with any kind of grace.  It stresses me out totally, to the max, and I simply can't take it.  When I was younger, I could, or at least I could do a better job of handling the stress.  Now, the stress totally undoes me.  So, like I said, I guess having to spend the day with the furnace repair guy wasn't such a bad option after all.  It could have been a lot worse.

Speaking of a lot worse, can you believe Christmas is only 10 days away?????  Yikes!


December 18, 2008

I thought I was going to have to change my name to "Jail Bird Designs."  Long story...

I was driving home last night and I was tired.  Wanted the drive to be over.  I was speeding a bit more than is customary for me because I wasn't paying attention.  My brain was focused on getting home as quickly as possible and getting away from the gloomy darkness.  I looked in my rearview mirror and there was a cop behind me with all his lights going.  Looked like a darned Christmas tree tailing me.  I knew I was night was going to get longer and "home" wasn't going to happen for awhile. 

The cop was fairly nice.  He told me I was going 53 in a 40 mph zone and I didn't doubt it.  As I said, I wasn't paying attention.  I told him I had had a long, very bad day, that I was tired and I was trying to get home as quickly as possible.  I told him I was sorry, that I hadn't realized I was going that fast.  I gave him my license and insurance verification and we talked a bit.  He said he would let me go with a warning and walked back to his car to write the warning out. 

Several minutes later, he returned and he told me that unfortunately, my evening was going to get a lot longer because my drivers' license had expired in July.  He explained that, technically, he was required to arrest me and take me to which point I lost control.  I had no idea that my license had expired, so that was enough of a shock to me.  But to be told that he had to arrest me!  I just couldn't believe it! 

Normally, I get a card in the mail that tells me my car tag or drivers' license is about to expire and I pay my money and go get everything renewed right away.  But I hadn't received any notification about the pending expiration of my license, so I was totally in the dark.  I don't pull it out and look at it...ever!  The cop could tell I was obviously shocked to find out it had expired.  It wasn't intentional! 

Maybe he decided to be merciful because he could tell I didn't know.  Maybe he decided to be kind because it's almost Christmas.  He did tell me that I couldn't drive my car and that I would have to call someone to come and drive me home.  I'm sitting there wildly trying to think of who to call.  He said, "Can you call your husband."  "No, sir, I don't have a husband."  "Well, do you have a kid you can call?"  "No, sir, I don't have any children."  "How about a relative?"  "I don't have any relatives in Oklahoma."  "A close friend."  "Sir, I don't have anyone I can call.  No one.  What am I going to do?  Please, please, can't I just go home...I'll get my license renewed first thing in the morning!"

I guess I was miserable enough that he cut me a little more slack.  "Well, technically, you can't drive.  I have to tell you, legally, you are not allowed to drive your car home.  I'm giving you a ticket for an expired drivers' license and then, I'm going to leave.  How you get your car home is your problem.  Understand?"

I understood.  I may be stupid enough not to know when my license has expired, but I'm not THAT stupid.  I obediently said, "Yes, officer."  And I shut up while he finished the ticket.  He got in his car and drove away.  I waited 3 minutes and started my car and drove home.  What else could I do?  I really didn't have anyone I could call at 7:00 on a Wednesday evening.  It was awful.

This morning, I went to the tag agency to get my license renewed.  You will not believe this.  I couldn't believe it.  But the computer was down.  I asked where the next closest tag agency was because, obviously, I was driving illegally, so I didn't want to have to go any further than was absolutely necessary.  The clerk informed me that it wouldn't matter, it was down STATEWIDE and had been since last night...since about the time I got my ticket.  This is the kind of luck I have.  This is my life.

I finally went home to wait, calling them every 30 minutes or so, and the system came back up around 10:15 a.m.  I carefully drove back to the agency and, after paying twice the price for a new one, showing my original birth certificate and smiling for the camera, I left with a new license in hand.  Drove like a madwoman to get to work in time for our Christmas party today.  Made it with 20 minutes to spare.  Didn't get pulled over on the way, although, I did drive a little slower than usual, in spite of my need for speed.  Guess I'm still gun shy.  Probably will be for awhile.  Merry Christmas.


December 24, 2008

Well, here it is...Christmas Eve...and I'm sick as a dog.  Sicker.  I'm weak and tired and running a fever of 102+ and have barely crawled out of bed a few times today.  I was supposed to be driving to my brother's house in Springfield, MO, to spend the holiday with him and his wife and my aunt from St. Louis.  I'm hoping I'm feeling well enough tomorrow to go.  I've slept a lot today; maybe that will help.  It seems like this always happens to me!  I get stressed, maxed out, and then I get sick, just in time for a holiday.  Darn.  The old body just can't take things the way it used to be able to...

I do hope you are healthy and enjoying this wonderful holiday.  Don't forget the reason for the season!


 December 25, 2008

Wishing you and those you love a blessed, warm, wonderful, joyful Christmas filled with family, friends and much to be thankful for!  MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU!!!!