Here are the welcome messages from
November 2004

11/10/04 November 10, 2004
11/19/04 November 19, 2004
11/28/04 November 28, 2004

November 10, 2004

If it helps, I started working on this last Tuesday.  I just couldn't get it done.

You should have seen me!  I spent last week and yesterday learning how to mix concrete, build retaining walls, color coat block walls, put a wooden fence on top of a short wall, and much more!

Our friend, the one who helped us build our barn, came to help me build a retaining wall and fence on the side of our house.  We had previously had a shed there which also served as a view blocker to our neighbor's yard.  We took down the shed after we built the barn.  Our neighbor piled trash up in her yard a while back and all the plastic bags she had her household garbage in deteriorated.  It is really disgusting looking.  It's going to get worse because I notice that she must not be paying her trash bill again.  Her dumpster hasn't been dumped in two weeks.  Can you believe that we are not required by the county to have our trash picked up?  Ugh!

My husband ran out of time when football season started and I just couldn't stand it any more.  I had to block that view!  I called our friend to find out when he was available to help.  He and his wife belong to a group that does Wild West skits and they have been getting busier and busier with that.  I was surprised when he said, "How about now?"  

We spent nine hours a day working on building a short retaining wall (there is a drop in elevation from our neighbor's yard to ours) with a wooden fence on top of it.  We also had to build a kind of archway to prop our old fence up because my neighbor (same neighbor) had piled all sorts of wood and other stuff up against the fence posts.  The weight of that stuff began to push our fence over.

I dug a ditch, I learned how to mix cement and how to trowel mortar between blocks, I hauled lumber and mortar, I screwed in fence boards, I learned how to hide ugly fence poles, I learned how to anchor wood to concrete, and I learned much more!  I told our friend that there were a few things I ended up doing that I had pictured myself watching him do!  He just laughed and cracked the whip.  Smiley face winking its eye

I got behind on the shopping and on the laundry and on everything else!  I was too tired by the end of the day that I didn't have much energy left to do anything else.

I tried to work on this Bible study a few times but it just wouldn't come together.  Yesterday I had to go to the grocery store.  We had run out of a bunch of things.  The poor cats!  I ran out of cat food and had to give them Spam bits for lunch!  They weren't happy campers!  So, here I am today!  Yay!

The thought just entered my head about how I was anticipating having extra time when football season started in September.  This Friday is the last game!  What happened??  Who stole my extra time??

Last Friday I had a vacation from fence building, but had a BUNCH of shopping to do.  Saturday I had volunteered to help at a band field show with my friend.  We had to train some parents on how to put together a nice Director's Tent where the visiting bands' staff could sit and eat a nice meal while they chatted about band stuff.  My friend and I went shopping last Thursday night and bought $500 worth of stuff.  I spent another $200+ on Friday while my friend was cooking up food at her house.

When I volunteered to help I didn't know I'd be building a fence the week before or I would not have volunteered!  I sure needed a rest and, instead, I spent 17 hours working on the Director's Tent.  It was supposed to be a lot easier on us than it had when we did it when our kids were in band.  However, we encountered some resistance from the parents at this other school and ended up doing most of the work ourselves instead of having their parents available to do the work.

Crazy!  We volunteer our time and effort (a LOT of time and effort) and are treated shabbily.  We finally did end up with two moms that were very nice and helpful.  I am putting together a little "how to" packet that I will send to them.  Hopefully they were there long enough to observe how to do it because they are on their own from now on!

Last Tuesday a second insurance appraiser came out to look at my son's car.  He inspected the car pretty thoroughly and was pretty firm that my son already got as much money as the car was worth.  We were trying to show him that the tires were worth more than they allowed (brand new tires that cost $500, only 150 miles on them, they gave him $75) and that it wasn't fair to say his '69 VW had an assumed 100,000 more miles on it than the other '69 VW's they were using for comparisons.

He kept telling us how cheap other VW's were to buy and how my son's car definitely had lots of miles on it, yada yada yada...  We kept bringing him up short saying almost all 1969 cars have lots of miles on them, the fact that my son's car is primered doesn't reflect miles driven, and the engine is clean and ran well which indicated the guy that sold it to my son had it rebuilt.

He started to soften up!  He said he would have them give my son back the $100 they deducted for salvage because to haul it away for junk would only net my son $25 or so.  He began saying the mileage really isn't an issue because most older cars have had their speedometers disconnected at one time or another and it was how well the car runs that matters.  So, after a lengthy visit he ended up saying he would also recommend that they give my son some "loss of use" money and that they disregard the assumed extra mileage they placed on my son's car which would probably get the final settlement up to where my son wants it to be.

The guy ended up sympathizing with my son's difficulties in getting this handled and agreed that my son was not trying to be unreasonable.  He said that he would do what he could to make sure my son got enough to enable him to buy another VW that would run as well as the totaled one.  YAY!  Praise God!!

The company apparently assigned a new claims adjuster to his claim as well.  Hopefully she will get the medical bills paid.  The scary part is she just sent him a letter asking him questions about his injuries.  One of them asked him to describe his injuries!  They've had over two months to get all the medical records from the hospital!!  He already described his injuries to her and to the previous adjuster.  Another question asked what was the diagnosis!  So, my son is now a doctor???  Good grief! 

My youngest son and I were supposed to have the trial last week because of the accident he was in (details of the accident are here).  Last month, when our lawyer forgot to tell us the trial had been postponed to November 1st, I wrote him a letter.  In that letter I asked lots of questions about things it seemed he should have been doing.  I wanted to make sure that he wasn't "forgetting" other important things as well.

The start of the letter started out, "First and foremost I want to make sure that you understand that I want to be notified immediately if there are any postponements or changes to the trial date of November 1st. In other words, I wish to be notified within minutes of your hearing of any changes!"  Pretty stupid, isn't it, when you have to tell your lawyer to let you know about something so important?

He told me he would call me the Friday before to fill me in on what was happening and whether our presence was required on Monday.  I ended up calling him at 2:30 in the afternoon on Friday because he hadn't called me.  One of his assistants got on the phone and told me that the trial had been POSTPONED AGAIN!  It isn't until next February!  She said she notified everyone else (I'm not sure who "everyone" else is since Casey's friend, a witness who would need to be at the trial, had never been contacted by them since his deposition.  I was the one who told him that he would probably be required to be there.) and that our lawyer told her he would contact us himself!  He forgot.... for the SECOND TIME!

I talked at length with the woman at his office.  It was hard for me to not say ugly things about our lawyer.  I picked my words carefully.  It sounded like this woman was shocked that this was the second time it happened and that our lawyer was not responding to my requests for information in a timely manner. 

Our lawyer called me a few hours later and asked how things were going!  He didn't apologize at all.  I immediately told him that I was mad at him.  He tried to blame the miscommunication on his office.  His name is F.X. Sean O'Doherty.  I ended up writing a warning about him in my "bad stuff" section at the Clarion Call.

It is things like this that just make me shake my head in wonderment.  Over and over I have experiences like this where someone who is a professional acts like they have never before done what service I am paying them to do.

I have twice taken old clocks to "reputable" clock shops (business been in the family for lots of years, blah blah) and they kept my clocks for years and never repaired them correctly.

I have taken my cameras directly to well-known manufacturers and have had them keep my cameras for longer than they said they would.  One even told me they had to wait until the right parts were sent to them and they weren't allowed to tell the parts manufacturer (a different camera company that made the camera and put this particular manufacturer's name on it) what parts they needed.  They just had to wait until the right parts were randomly sent to them!  WHAT???

Another private camera business disassembled my camera and closed their doors for three months to go on vacation!!

Let's see, what else?  We got new double-paned windows and they tried to put them in so they slid the wrong way, they did a crummy job on the mitered corners, they got mis-matching frames, they replaced a broken one with different color glass, and more.

Oh, it goes on and on.  I'm no longer surprised when things don't happen the way they should.  A friend of mine laughs when I tell her I am going to go get something repaired or when I special order something.  She keeps telling me to take my clocks to a vacuum repair so I get better and faster service.  LOL!  Thank God I have a good sense of humor.  I'll tell you what, I've been learning patience... lots and Lots and LOTS of patience!

Whenever something happens that is totally wrong I usually end up finding out if there is an owner or corporate headquarters or regulatory organization in charge of a particular thing and write them a letter.  Usually, the best I can hope for, is that I will have spared many other people from going through the grief that I have endured.  Sometimes I even get an apology.  Wow! 

So, as you can see, I've been one busy and tired bee!  I hope you will forgive me.  You've been in my mind and on my heart.  Does that help?
Link to the 11/10/04 Bible study.
November 19, 2004

Wow!  I was just re-reading last week's welcome message.  I am sorry for the lengthiness of it!  I was trying to explain what was happening around here and got bogged down in details.

I'll try to have more pleasant weeks so I can share good stuff with you from now on.  Hey, now there's a plan!  No more icky stuff allowed!  No more car accidents!  No more lazy lawyers!  No more building things, no more helping at fund raisers, no more husband coaching football... oops, I think I went too far!  Did I say no more husband or no more coaching?  Eeks, don't tell my husband.

Want to come help me work in my yard?  This week was the first time I've gone out there to really work on my plants in about three months!  Some of my rose bushes had huge suckers!

My neighbor (not the neighbor who has all the trash, the one on the other side) has a bunch of tall evergreens that hang over into our yard and some kind of flowering bush that blocks our view as we back out of our driveway.  He also has ivy that is cracking our driveway.  I trimmed and trimmed and trimmed his stuff, too.  Come to think of it, everything he has planted in the half of his yard by our house is annoying and causes me work. 

His eucalyptus trees drop their oily leaves everywhere all year long.  He has ivy everywhere.  He has oleanders hanging over our fence.  He has two trees in his front yard that are sending up more trees out of their roots along the property line.  The only thing that isn't climbing into our yard is his grass but when he waters his grass his sprinklers shoot about ten feet into our yard.

Being a nice neighbor isn't just about how you act, is it?

Yesterday I stopped at the hardware store and bought me some new gardening/work gloves.  My old ones got ruined while I was working with cement the other week.  The fingers are so stiff that I can't grasp them to pull them off my hands.

I wandered around the garden section while I was there and picked up some different color pansies and violas.  I also bought a couple of pretty pots to put them in.  I'm going to replace some of my plain clay pots on the front porch.

The pots I bought didn't have drainage holes in them so I pulled out my handy dandy tool kit with my handy dandy drill.  I drilled and drilled and drilled and made very slow progress.  The bit was screeching so bad I had to go get some cotton balls to stuff in my ears.

My husband came home from work and came out to see who was dying.  He saw what I was doing and went into his drill bits and brought me back a masonry bit.  A masonry bit has a flat, arrow-shaped thing on the tip.  Wow!  Zip zip and it was done!  It didn't make that awful noise, either!

Hmmm... using the right tool for the job.  Sounds like the beginning of a Bible study to me.

Anyway, I am going to put those lovely pots and flowers on my front porch.  I have the urge to put small areas of beauty here and there to give people doses of God's love.  Sounds funny, doesn't it?  Yet that is what He has me doing.

Confession time.  Remember how I was exercising every morning and was focused on getting into some kind of shape other than the shape I was in?  Well, I quit doing my morning exercises while my son was here because things got too hectic.  Then, as you have seen by my welcome messages the past few weeks, things got crazy and I got busy.

Have you noticed that once you lose your momentum in something that you don't particularly like to do in the first place that it is hard to start doing it again?  Yes, I was busy for a while, but could have been exercising this last week.  I could have gone to the garage and done my exercises but I kept telling myself that I had other things to do.  Well, it's true.  I do have lots of other things to do.  It seems I'm always playing catch-up from something.

Anyway, I started doing them again this morning!  Yay!  I was tempted to lessen the number of miles I rode the exercise bike since it has been a while and to lessen the time I spent on the rowing machine, but I didn't!  Double yay!

So, if I don't stop again I'll be in a bikini this summer.

Well, I have clothes to hang and a house to clean today.  Why am I still sitting here?  On to the Bible study!
Link to the 11/19/04 Bible study.
November 28, 2004

I forgot to warn you last week that I would probably not get this updated during the week.  I had a homeowner association board meeting at my house on Tuesday.  Then I had to get ready to host Thanksgiving dinner here on Thursday.

I'm starting to think I have a Thanksgiving tradition of cutting my hand with a knife.  This time I was cutting up honeydew and poked the tip of the knife into my finger.  Ouch, ouch, ouch!

Tonight I am going to my mother's for three days.  I usually just go for a few days but this time I'm spending a longer time.  That way I can get lots done for her.  I told her to make doctor appointments or decide where she wants to go shopping.  I wish I lived closer to her so I could visit her more often.  I don't live real far away, but the traffic between here and there is usually very bad and makes it seem lots farther. 

Well, we have a new adventure going on here.  My youngest son left his car parked in a parking lot while he went to a party with someone else.  His driver window was broken and was open.  Someone stole his car.  When he called the sheriff they said it wasn't stolen, but had been towed because it was blocking the street.  They gave him the phone number of the tow yard but nobody was there because it was Sunday.

Monday, after work, my son went and got his car.  The tow company told him they pulled it off a fire hydrant!  The front end had a huge crease in the middle.  Not stolen??

Since then he has had to convince the sheriff and the Highway Patrol that he didn't do it himself!  The Highway Patrol showed up two nights later at 1:00AM!  They woke us all up!  As soon as this is all over I'm filing a complaint.  We had to get up early and were tired the next day because of them.  They accused my son of lying about the sheriff telling him that the car was not stolen.

Oh what fun!  It's just one thing after the other!  I told my son that God has been trying to get his attention and he better sit down and listen NOW before God pulls out a bigger hammer to bonk him with!

I know it hasn't been very long since I told you this about a different church, but I think we have found a new church home.  We found one that is very close to our house.  I'm hoping that we can stay there.  It hurts so much to not have a church home.

It is very difficult to explain why we have been going to so many different churches lately.  We used to have a church home.  We went there a long time and felt like we would be there forever.  Sad.

As I was reading my morning devotional I found that both the devotional (taken from the teachings of Smith Wigglesworth) and the scripture references in my Bible (The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible) referred to personal opinions about how and why God does what He does. 

I really like my Bible because it has a rather extensive helps section in the back with a pretty good concordance.  I have added all sorts of cross references to the concordance so that I can find things easier without toting around my big concordance.  However, the editor has added lots of notations that contain his personal opinions about what certain scriptures mean and notations about "well-known schools of thought" on what Biblical things mean and why they happened.

I will give you the examples in the Bible study as we, once again, examine the things we have come to believe about God that are not of Him.

Link to the 11/28/04 Bible study.

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