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cq5dam.thumbnail.319.319Too often, we hear blog posts and FB posts about horrific customer service. I need to share this story because I recently experienced some wonderful customer service and folks need to hear about when things go right, not just when they go wrong.

We have a lock on our door manufactured by a company called Schlage. It is a keyless lock that uses a numerical pad instead of a key. We love it and couldn’t imagine going back to the “carrying your house key days” ever again. There was just one problem. One of the number buttons used to enter the access code to unlock the door became loose and fell off. The first time this happened, we found it in our mudroom on the floor and pushed it back into the empty slot. The second time, we weren’t so lucky and we lost the number (we assume) in the newly fallen snow outside of our door. White button, white snow – there was no way despite our best efforts that this was going to be found until at least spring. The loss of the number itself wouldn’t even had been that big of a deal because the lock still worked, except it was one of the numbers in our access code to unlock the door and in the master code to program the door. So, without that number, we couldn’t get into our house and we couldn’t reprogram the lock to change to the access code to another number that didn’t require the missing digit.

I called the customer support number for Schlage and the woman who spoke to me was wonderful. I asked her if there was a way to get a replacement digit. She told me that unfortunately there was not. However, after a few short minutes on the phone with her, I was assured there was another of the exact same lockset on its way with her sincere profound apologies that we were inconvenienced by having to use the actual (gasp) key to access the door in the 7-10 days that it would take for the replacement to arrive.

The replacement lock came exactly one week later and I am happy to report that we are back to using our keyless entry. If anyone is looking for a lock (keyless or not) I highly recommend Schlage. Their customer service and their keyless entry locks are both wonderful.

 

P1010201The beginning of this week, our anniversary evening was cold and windy. The end of the week, today, is also cold and windy. While the temperatures both those days pale in comparison to the temperatures we had mid week, it is still pretty darn cold. Wednesday into Thursday here we had a low temperature without wind chill of -14 and with the wind chill of -30. Some places were checking in with even colder temperatures running closer to -20 without taking into account the wind chill. Definitely the weather to stay hunkered down in your fleece pjs or if you needed to venture out, your flannel lined jeans. Lots of eskimo looking folks wandering around like the stay put marshmallow man – yours truly included with them.

None of this though seems to hold a candle to the place reported by the Weather Channel as being the coldest recorded temperatures for an inhabited area on the earth. That distinction goes to Oymyakon, Russia where the average winter temperatures (average, okay?) are around -50. The coldest recorded temperature in the town was back in 1924 and registered -96 degrees. Here’s a link to the website which has some pretty amazing photos, especially of those Russian folks bundled to the hilt.

Stay warm.

Yesterday was considerably colder and windier than the same day 23 years ago when a certain someone got married. I remember how much I fretted over the fact that I was sure that our big day was going to be snowed out due to some horrific, world ending blizzard. If I asked the banquet manager once, I probably asked the poor guy at least a dozen times how things would be handled if the weather was less than cooperative. I know, several of you probably ask, ‘then why the hell did you decide to get married in January?’ Good question. We decided after 11 years of dating that our wedding day should be close to the date of our first date. Since Friday and Saturday evenings were considerably more expensive than a Sunday evening and we were paying for our own wedding, January 5th was the date we decided upon. Turns out in the end, all that worrying was for naught, since the day was beautiful and sunny. Not particularly cold considering January.

We had a great wedding, at least that’s what everyone has told me. Most of that day for me is a blur of pictures, hugs, laughter and that smile that I was sure would have to be surgically removed from my face. Today, 23 years ago, we were in beautiful British Columbia embarking on a winter wonderland honeymoon skiing at Whistler Blackcomb. Here are some pictures from so long ago.

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The whole wedding gang

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Whistler Blackcomb

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Honeymoon selfie in our condo

Hard to believe that 23 years have passed. So much has happened in that time, littering the road that we call life. Good and bad, happy and sad. I have three great sons that make my heart swell a hundred times larger than its normal size with pride. I have great friends and family who were so kind to extend such heartfelt and wonderful anniversary wishes. I have an adorable little puppy who can make me smile. I have a good guy by my side -he’s pretty okay.

Hope the turning of the calendar page finds you and yours well. Remember to be thankful for what you have and celebrate it always, not just with a special day on the calendar.

 

It is definitely difficult to get everyone in the same place at the same time these days. Gone are the days when I plopped the boys in their Sunday best down for Christmas pictures. In the last few years, I actually had to let go of the Christmas card idea since getting a picture with everyone (or at least all the boys) that wasn’t from the summer or graduation has been damn near impossible.  Since every year, I stare longingly at all the wonderful family photos that everyone posts, on Christmas Eve after mass I attempted to get a family picture. If nothing else, it’s good for some laughs. Hope your Christmas was merry and bright and you got to share it with those you love and cherish. After all, that’s what matters, the pictures will eventually come…..

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IMG_4095Well, it certainly was breathtakingly beautiful this morning. The snow blanketed trees and turned things into a winter wonderland. The downside is that to look that good, the snow is very wet and heavy. The trees were bowing graciously under the weight of the snow, but some succumbed to the heaviness and there are many branches and whole trees that are down. This has caused the inevitable, power outages. We were more fortunate that some, our power went out around 3:45 this morning. Others have been without power since Tuesday when the storm first hit. There are, last I heard about 38,000 people without power and there are lots of folks working hard to get us all back online.

Nothing to do but look to the bright side. We have oil lamps, candles, our headlamps and a warm woodstove. We are luckier than a lot of people.

P1080896The Nor’easter that is paying us a visit for a while longer (snow is forecast through Thursday) has already dropped well over a foot of snow. It is the heavy, wet snow, perfect for building snowmen and snow forts. Last night it was falling in giant clumps of snow, and while I type this there is a lull, although we are forecast to get another 2-5 inches today and another 1-3 inches this evening.

There are a lot of people without power because, the snow is wet and heavy. Last night we had several blips of power but so far, we are still connected.

I love a good snowstorm, there is something magical about snow, particularly when you wake up to it. I know there are a lot of folks out there that would disagree, but give me this, okay? Put aside your grumblings and just take a good look at how beautiful Mother Nature can make everything when she puts on her winter coat.

Happy Snow Day!

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Being less than diligent is dangerous particularly as it relates to a food allergy. It has been years, literally, since our son had an allergic reaction to a food. Things have gone so smoothly that it went from being foremost in my mind when he’s going out or I’m cooking and that is a dangerous thing. He started with an allergy to eggs and strawberries and grew out of both of those only to grow into a new set of allergies months later with the onset on adolescence. The new allergies were white fish, sesame, tree nuts and peanuts. The idea that we had narrowly escaped so many episodes with any one of those was enough to throw me into a bit of tailspin. Asian food was scrutinized for sesame, fishes, fish sauces were avoided and nuts, well nuts and peanuts were forbidden. The other night seizing the opportunity to make a bean soup (since my husband can’t eat beans and he was away), I grabbed the package of bean soup mix — you know the one containing the dried beans and seasoning to which I added my own onions, celery, tomato and chicken. The soup cooked all day on the stove and smelled delicious. Accompanied by some fresh homemade bread, it would be a delicious dinner.

A few mouthfuls into the meal, I noticed that my son had stopped eating. Very unlike my son and very unlike most teenage boys I know. My question was answered with another “are there lentils in this soup?” Why yes, I do believe that the package contained lentils in addition to several types of white beans. Well, within a short period of time everything went from okay to not so much okay. Benadryl was distributed. His throat was tight and he was queasy – two of his telltale allergy signs from when he was as young as 18 months (he is quickly approaching 18 years). Without giving it any thought at all, turns out I had almost done the poor kid in.

Sure enough, giving a little research I learned that peanuts, lentils, soy, peas and chickpeas are all related in the family known as legumes — damn I knew that too, but I just wasn’t thinking. A person with a peanut allergy is 80% likely to have an allergy to one of these other legumes and 60% likely to have an allergy to at least three. Legumes account for some of the most severe allergic reactions to food. Cross reactions are common with legume allergies evidently so given his peanut allergy, it is not unusual that he is also allergic to lentils and could possibly be allergic to other legumes such as chickpeas and soy. While other beans, like the white beans in the soup are also legumes, these beans and green beans are less likely to be the subject of a food allergy. Peas, now peas are another thing. He has an itchiness in his throat when he eats fresh peas or canned or frozen, so peas are on the list in this house. Now, evidently, lentils are as well.

He is fine now, although mom is scarred. In an attempt to make a nice dinner for us, I almost spent the evening in the emergency room and it could have been so much worse.  That will teach me.

So, a word of warning to other with food allergies or family members with food allergies – be diligent.

Today, with all its beautiful sunshine, makes the colors that are emerging on the trees even more beautiful. It seems that each day the colored foliage is more and more prevalent. Now, the mountains are clearly dotted with yellows, reds and oranges.

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The colors are coming on fast and furious. Every day it seems that there is more and more color in the mountains.  There is serious doubt around our house that there will be any leaves really left on the trees for the leaf peepers that arrive on Columbus Day weekend. In fact, taking a look of the wind blowing around today any of those leaves that have already turned are dropping at a high rate of speed from the trees.

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Seems that we are starting the foliage season already. According to the news, the state will start its foliage reporting to advise leaf peepers of the changing colors. There isn’t much changing happening our way, although you can definitely notice a much lighter green on the trees and a definite yellow tinge to a lot of them. There are some trees that are already changing, mostly those that are either young or stressed.

I thought that it might be fun to post our own foliage report. So, I will post photos of the same view so anyone out there that cares, can watch the leaves in our neck of the woods start the foliage parade through the coming weeks.

Here’s today’s photo. As you can see, not much in the way of color going on yet, but it’s definitely coming.

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Today is my dad’s birthday.

While he’s no longer with us, and hasn’t been for a while, his presence is felt everyday. It’s the little things, remembering something that we did together, or how he was such a kids himself, particularly when it came to Christmas and presents or some story that someone tells. He loved having fun and I sometimes catch a glimpse of him in my own boys and it makes me smile. I used to give him a ride back and forth to work and honestly, it was a nice part of my day when I was still living at home and he was working. It was just the two of us and he was always happy to hear about what I had planned or what had happened. It was, in some respects, our time. I miss it and I miss him. No one can ever fill the hole that is left when someone who was a part of you and your life passes away.

I so wish he were still here. He would be so very, very proud of his grandchildren and how his family has blossomed.

Happy Birthday Daddy – We love you and we miss you!

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I have not had a whole lot of luck growing sunflowers which is pretty frustrating considering just about everyone else can grow these flowers like weeds. For whatever reason, they have been a gardening challenge – either birds or other critters have eaten the seeds before they could germinate or the plants didn’t seem to thrive and never flowered. This year, however, I have sunflowers! Not a lot, just three plants but they are beautiful.

Here are some pictures – seems I’m not the only one that appreciates these beautiful flowers.

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Evilwife on the move

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