Random 5 for October 3, 2021 – Seasonal changes, cats, fake customer service, life

Fall (Courtesy of S. Mailloux from Flickr)

Can’t believe it’s October! – Just had to say that even though I feel like that when most months change!

It’s different now – I realized this morning that my early morning trip to Starbucks is seasonal. The people change. Mr. Gorilla Man is gone. Haven’t seen him since August when he did a rant on having to go back to school. He teaches somewhere so either he’s a summertime coffee guy or our schedules no longer match. Then there was the fall drink rush. It was as if people never had a pumpkin latte before and they clogged up the works. Now it’s back to normal. Early Sunday mornings are peaceful especially at 7 a.m. For me Sunday mornings are never about sleeping in.

Does he get it? – (Sorry I’m sticking a Gus spot in here.) I have to put ear drops in my cat Gus’s ears twice a day. It was brutal the first few days. He ran and he hid. He cowered and he cried. I don’t know if the drops stung or it was just the sensation he didn’t like. I don’t like ear drops myself so I get it. The last two days he didn’t fight and he didn’t hide. We have today and tomorrow yet and we are done. Perhaps his ears are truly feeling better and he understands this is a good thing.

Lip service – I purchased a new car to replace the one that was totaled in an accident. Not a good time to buy. Not much supply. With people buying cars on line, I was expecting a streamlined approach at the dealership. It wasn’t. I put a deposit on a car that was “in transit” because that’s the only way I could ensure I’d get it. By the time a car arrives at the dealership it is already sold, sight unseen. To run my credit card for the deposit, I waited a half hour. There was no special paperwork, just a credit card receipt. The beloved husband and I snickered that they should put it through in the service department which is way more organized and timely. I got the car but there were a series of mishaps around money. They gave me the wrong amount for the check to pick it up. In the end I received three different refund checks from them because they overcharged (and I had to ask for two of them). Who was doing the paperwork? These things are usually run through a program. I was annoyed enough to give them feedback but I like to give it direct before blasting on the internet. I get feedback surveys all the time but none this time. On my last trip I asked for the manager’s name so I could send him an email. He came out to see me. What a putz. He listened with a constant smile and said all the things that sounded like they came from a book called “simulating warmth.” I wasn’t buying it but I said my piece. It’s unlikely I’ll get another car anytime soon (maybe never). The dealership has excellent service and usually a good selection of cars but the sales department is in the last century where you wait while magical things (not!) are happening in the back office.

Reflecting, good or bad? – I always seem to be looking forward to some life change or event. My mother called it “wishing your life away.” Right now it’s the kitchen but there was a time when I looked forward to retirement (which has been awesome!) or events or some dang thing. Today I was thinking back (wistfully) about my last house (and how much closer it was to Starbucks), my last job which was usually fulfilling, and my younger self (the one without wrinkles and sagging). I wondered if I appreciated those times as much as I should have. I don’t focus as much on appreciating the “now” as I should. By tomorrow I’ll be looking forward to (or dreading) the kitchen construction due to start in November. Today I will focus on good health (human and feline), wonderful weather and being alive.

So how was your week?

58 thoughts on “Random 5 for October 3, 2021 – Seasonal changes, cats, fake customer service, life

    • Turns out that way. The range has a poltergeist in it. The fridge has no ice maker and cannot be fixed and the dishwasher is rusted. We thought we’d replace them all but the cabinets are banged up. If we replace the cabinets it allows us to change the layout which isn’t working for us. So there you have it. Scope creep! I’ve learned that people are really different. We lived in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. As we replaced items and did routine maintenance we used quality items. Not everyone does that. In this new home the 12 year old kitchen is far worse (far, far) for wear than our old 20 year kitchen at the last house. That goes for many of the things in the house. The fireplace, the heat pump (replaced in our first week here), etc. We expected some of them but some were a surprise.

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  1. I think our memory deletes or just redecorates the bad parts of the past. Making nostalgia feel better than right now. But careful consideration helps us remember the craptastic moments of our daily life in the past being just as bloody annoying as the current blisters.

    I’m glad Gus is being more cooperative. Its so hard to medicate a scared and unwilling cat. Mostly psychological for both human and cat, but it sucks for all involved.

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    • I had a discussion a while back with a friend. We were talking about which decade of life was our favorite. Amazing (to me) I chose the one that included the most painful experiences. There were more happy ones and the painful ones receded in my memory

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  2. Good to hear Gus is feeling better. Guess he knows the uglies you are doing are helping him feel better. My mother would tell me, quite often, to stop wishing my life away. I embroidered a saying a long time ago…”Today is the tomorrow that worried you yesterday. And all is well.” It hangs over the kitchen sink, so I see it every day. I am much better about the worry and wishing, but they still show up once in a while.

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    • Our mothers were wise women. I often wondered if my mom always lived in the moment. One more dose with Gus and we are done! Yay! He didn’t fight this morning. I’m wondering if it stung when the infection was active.

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  3. I can’t remember the last time I was in a Starbucks … definitely pre-pandemic … and all I have to do is hear the word ‘construction’ and my blood pressure goes up. We’ve been in a holding pattern waiting for the landscaper to complete our backyard pool renovation since mid-August. I’ve resigned myself to the fact it will now be next spring – the weather is not our friend right now. But I get very annoyed just thinking about it … not to mention looking at the mess of our yard right now. Delays seem to be the operative word this year when it comes to doing – or getting – anything 🤬

    I hope your kitchen renovation goes MUCH smoother than our backyard has been … although I have to admit that the pool reconstruction work that’s completed looks amazing.

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    • I doubt that it will be smooth. We are still waiting for delivery of a new kitchen window. It goes over the sink so that may throw a monkey wrench in things. Everything else is in. At our last house we added onto our screened porch. Construction started in the the fall around October. It was a three month job scheduled to be completed before the worst of the winter. In the middle they left us to do another (more important they told us) job. Our three month job took over six months. All winter we had construction supplies and debris in our driveway. We have to shovel snow around it. I would never use that company nor recommend them although the finished product was nice.

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      • The biggest inconvenience right now is the fact my kayaks are sitting in the garage where my car should be. I had to move them from the side of the house to make room for the equipment being moved in and out of the backyard. The first day I have to deal with frost on my windshield, my annoyance level will escalate.

        I know this project is going to be delayed until the spring. I wish they would do us the courtesy of acknowledging it instead of continuing to make promises.

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        • Whenever I talk to contractors (especially now) I ask them to be honest so the expectations are realistic. I went around a bit with the kitchen person as the original schedule was October. November here has several hunting seasons and many construction guys hunt. She got back to me and said her crew does not hunt. I’m starting to pack up the kitchen. I don’t want to do the essentials a minute before I have to because it will be annoying. Fingers crossed for us both.

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  4. “Wishing your life away.” Your mom must have had a way with words. That’s an interesting concept. Like you, I wonder sometimes whether at the time I appreciated all the fun and interesting times I’ve had. When we were overseas, I used to write to my parents once a week. That helped to pin things down and imbue them with more significance. It’s hard for all of us to appreciate the moment we’re living in and at the same time concentrate on what we ought to get done an hour from now.

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  5. I am happy for October’s arrival – it’s still warm here though. And raining. Glad to hear that Gus’ ears are showing improvement and the drops soon won’t be needed. I think he “gets” it too and equates nice-feeling ears with the Peep’s drops she puts in. I wrote a letter to the president of the furnace company who sold me my furnace and services it when it shut itself down the first day I turned it on. I lost my cool and said that the circuit board was replaced twice and two other large parts, all free of charge for parts/labor as it’s under warranty – that is until June 2022. I said “what then? I’ve asked to extend my warranty several times – no one gets back with me on this lemon.” President of the company wrote back – they had a tech out Monday and upsized the PVC piping something that is now info they’ve learned since the furnace was manufactured. I was happy to be the loud squeaky wheel that got greased … assuming they did this correctly and there are no more issues!

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    • It’s a shame that you have to squeak to get some grease! At the last house, when we bought our new range it came with a service agreement. Fortunately on the first year checkup, the tech said it was working but there was something he didn’t like about the motherboard. He replaced it. Had it gone bad after the agreement, it was a $600 item. We never had issues again. I like proactive service guys.

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      • We had a problem with our glass-topped range just off warranty. He actually said that it was cheaper to get a new stove rather than pay for the labor to take off the glass top, replace the part and the part was costly. My mom was furious as we’d had our coppertone stove for almost 30 years and she reluctantly got the new stove when the fridge died and they no longer made coppertone appliances.

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        • OMG! Coppertone! That takes me back quite a bit. Coppertone, harvest gold or avocado green! We got rid of my mother’s 30 year old refrigerator in the 80s because it was plain ugly — rounded top, tiny freezer. The new ones don’t last anywhere near that long. Current data says 8 to 10 years tops.

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          • I remember the harvest gold and avocado green too. My grandmother had one of those fridges, really small and rounded at the top. This fridge is a KitchenAid and we got it in 1990, so fingers crossed it does not misbehave.

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  6. Poor Gus. So glad that ordeal is almost over!
    “Simulating warmth” hahahaha. Perfect. I know exactly what you mean. Even some doctors are getting like this: faking and using a canned speech.

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  7. I’m glad Gus’ ears are improving and you actually got the car. Sorry it was such a cluster-tuck. I hope that all our cars last for a few more years. My father once bought a brand-new car with his American Express card and was very proud about it. I guess he was before his time – seems like all the new car sales begin that way these days!

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  8. I am glad Gus’s ears are feeling better and that putting the drops in is easier. I bet he feels happy his ears aren’t bothering him like they were… gotta believe he “gets it.” Kate, I am just going to keep it short on your last paragraph and say that your words are my thoughts. I hadn’t heard “wishing your life away” in the longest time. My Mom was always telling me that so I am thinking I must have been doing just that. I don’t do that now. I’m living your last sentence… I’m trying 🙂 You made me smile.

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  9. So sorry for your experience with the dealership. Our car purchase (March of 2020) wasn’t such a great experience either, and we decidedly did NOT like the saleswoman who sold us the car. We also told the manager, but all that ended up happening is that to this day we continue to get phone calls from the woman wanting to know if we want to buy another car. No and definitely from her!

    We’re ready to call in a new contractor to come look at our kitchen. We visited a neighbor today who had him do her bathrooms. We’re several steps behind you, Kate, but you remain our renovation north star at the moment. 🙂 – Marty

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  10. I hear you on the car shortage. We had to have a ton of work on a 17-year-old car and we debated buying a new one…except there aren’t any to buy! Gonna have to make this one last.

    Now that it’s October it’s finally in the 80s here. I hate it.

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  11. By its very nature, buying a car is a miserable experience. On the plus side, you have a new car and you came through the otherwise fairly unscathed (well except for the having to ask for the refunds). I think to offset that misery, service departments are set up so we forget about the buying experience.

    Glad to hear the handsome and debonair Gus seems to be improving. Administering medication to pets can be such an unpleasant process for both the pet and the upright. Soon enough it’ll be in the rear view mirror. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

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    • As you can imagine I was so pleased when he just let me administer the drops last night and this morning without bolting. ‘cuse me…gotta go knock on wood. I’ve probably jinxed myself. BTW buying a car on-line like you did is a better idea.

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      • Well, I only ‘found’ it online at the dame dealer I’d been working with for a while. I still had to go thru the agony of dealing with the sales dept. but since I’d been working with them for some time it wasn’t quite as horrid as being fresh bait on the lot. They knew what I wanted, what I was willing to pay (after ‘training’ them) and what I would and wouldn’t accept. It was also in May…right before inventories disappeared. I went in a few weeks later to have the windows tinted and the lot looked like a ghost town.

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        • Then your experience was similar. I found mine on line and went to the dealer (and even had to show them that the car was indeed available!). We still did cat and mouse stuff. There were NO cars on the lot when I went there. Nada. Zilch. By this time everything was bought “in transit.”

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          • Argh, so aggravating. The guy I dealt with was the same the whole time snd there wasn’t any cat and mouse stuff. In fact after the initial offer, he upped the trade in value on my car. Almost paid for the highway robbery fir plates by the state. Now that was a story of a completely different experience. 😬 DMV…the great equalizer guaranteed to harangue everyone equally. Throw in COVID just for giggles to make the licensing process something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

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    • I know! I can’t figure out the Starbucks thing at all. It’s cooler in the morning so people don’t drink coffee? In all fairness for August and most of September, when I walked in at 7 a.m. there were mostly foo-foo drinks waiting to be picked up. Who drinks foo-foo pink drinks with clouds of whipped cream at 7 a.m.?

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  12. Sounds like Gus’s ears ARE better – I hope they stay that way (for both of your sakes!). I never used to be an “in the moment” kind of person. I was either looking back and thinking “the good old days” or thinking about some upcoming event for some reason or another. This last birthday got me really TRULY thinking though. I am concentrating on appreciating THE MOMENT – today – now. I like it. I’m appreciating every day more, and feeling grateful to have it. I hope it lasts……

    Hugs, Pam

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  13. That’s great news about Gus. He is either resigned to his fate . . . or (more likely) his ears are feeling better and he’s realizing that you are trying to help him. Either way, YAY!

    Ineptitude = my word of the week. I’ve been “wrestling” with banks (mergers, moving safe deposit boxes, depositing checks), Medicare (for BFF), our health plan, on line accounts, etc. Other than lots of “wasted” time, I think we are “OK” on all fronts.

    Time will tell.
    In the meantime, I’m enjoying a coffee while listening to Shiva Shambo.

    Aah . . . that’s better!

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  14. I’m starting (still in draft mode) about looking at our lives past, present and future. At our ages, we realize that the past has much more history than the future will end up holding. I’ve been making quite a few trips down Memory Lane recently because my past holds many stories. I myself need to get focusing on the present and the joy of it no matter what it is.

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    • We all do that (not the writing part but not focusing on now). There were times that in retrospect were really good times but I didn’t realize at the time. I lived in different states and had some really good experiences that I didn’t realize at the time.

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