Saturday, November 27, 2010

Well I still have Money to Spend

You may remember my blog earlier this week about my negative experience while trying to buy a Lego Advent Calendar for the little one. When I wrote the blog I linked it to Chapters/Indigo customer service as I thought they should know.

My expectation from Chapters was nothing. I didn't think they would read the blog and if by chance they did I thought I would get a form email apologizing and promising they would look into it.
What actually happened was surprising and has made me a loyal customer. Might even buy a 'I Reward' card that is how impressed I am with the customer service.

As you know Sean Bonnell commented on the blog asking me to email him. Which I did and we corresponded through email. Thursday evening (as I was getting ready to pick the teenager up from work) my blackberry beeped. As a faithful crackberry addict I checked my email. The email was from Mr. Bonnell informing me that the Lego Advent Calendar I was looking for had just arrived at the Chapters store in my area. I decided to let the teenager wait and went to Chapters. True to his word they had the toy waiting for me at the cash desk and was free of charge to me. (WOW!) The manager also came to me and apologized on behalf of the store. She then also gave me a $25.00 gift card to use for a future time. DOUBLE WOW!!

Chapters/Indigo Thank You for your gift. I was not expecting anything and would of been happy with just being able to get the calender for my ten year old. As I think this is our last year of little girl Christmas.

Of course I was late picking up the teenager when I explained where I was she was also impressed (that is a big compliment Chapters). She then promptly went through the bag and confiscated my gift card.

I have one more note to write to customer service.

Dear Mr. Bonnell,

How do I keep my ten year old daughter ten and not wanting to be 16. And what is the best way to deal with her older sister who is planning on Facebook with her friends the big drunk bash she is going to have when she becomes 'legal'. I have been considering letting her get smashed (bad Mommy) cause I thought while she was passed out it would be a prime time to go through her wallet and try and get my gift card back. What do you think?

Merry Christmas and Happy Shopping All,


Friday, November 26, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) I figured that I had better write something first before tell the ladies that the post was set up! I am on a "staycation" for the next week. I will be Christmas shopping with my mom. We like to take this week and shop, eat and have a good time. It's nice to not have a schedule. We can come and go as we please and let the rest survive! I am looking forward to catching up on my sleep. Ah, sleep, why do we crave you so? (Carolin) I had already typed stuff but what happens to Sunshine is happening to me. It all disappeared. Have fun shopping and spending time with your mom Cathy. (Sunshine) Cathy that sounds like so much fun. Enjoy the week with your mom. What about your sister? Doesn't she usually join you?

Let's see, what else? Our older son has passed his NLS (lifeguard) and his swim instructor course and he has earned a job with the city! Congratulations older son. I think this is one of the greatest jobs for kids his age. We are very proud of him. Our younger son has been invited to audition for the honour band. His audition is this Saturday at 8:35am. (there goes my sleep in!!!) If he makes it he will have to go to practice once a week starting in the new year. From what I understand the band will perform at a concert in the spring. I think this is the only concert. It will be a good experience for him so keep your fingers crossed. (Carolin) The teenager was in the Honour Band in grade nine. It was a lot of driving to Mississauga. And yes there was one concert in the spring. Congratulations and good luck!

Did any of you read Carolin's post about her experience at the local Chapter's store? There is a response from the regional manager. I'm sure Carolin will update us. I will save it for it's own blog. The item that she is looking or does seem pretty cool.

My brother in law got married last week and it was such a beautiful wedding. There were about 80 guests at the wedding. It was very intimate and heart felt. We all had a really good time and I wish the bride and groom much happiness.

Only 15 more work days left until winter break.

Have a great weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I've got money to spend

Every where you turn you hear or read that retailers this year are crying poor. Seems people are not spending like they have in other years. Now every 'expert' has an opinion on why we are not spending our hard earned cash. I of course have my 'expert' opinion on why my cash is staying in my wallet.

Listen Up Retailers. We want to spend our money, we have gifts to buy. We have the cash and and we want to give it to you. But after my experience on Sunday it seems to me you don't want my business or my money.

I went to Chapters on Sunday to purchase a Lego Advent Calender I saw in the Chapters flyer. The store was busy with customers, and there was was lots of things to look at. Things like $7.00 cookies, $6.00 jelly beans etc. But I couldn't find the Lego Advent Calender. I asked a sales associate and was told it was in the toy department. I asked her to show me because I had already looked and could not find it. She said "if I didn't see it then they didn't have it". I was a little shocked by this and then said I saw it advertised in the flyer and when would they get it in. She told me that, "that flyer is from corporate" . I asked what that meant and she said "it meant they didn't have it and she didn't know when they would get it". She then turned and walked away.

So you see Chapters I wanted to spend my money, I was ready to spend my money, but it seems to me you don't want my money nor my business.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

Well, I see Cathy has been at it again. She doesn't seem to have much to catch up on. Another blank screen. Does she not know we feed off her ramblings. What am I to chatter about now?
(Sunshine) Carolin you are on a roll today, you keep making me laugh out loud.
So Sunshine how is the wedding organizing coming along? My brother in law's wedding is tomorrow. Little Miss Sunshine is one of the flower girls and Miss Teen Sunshine is going to sing a song for the bride and groom. She also has another job according to the message that we got when we arrived home only the message was cut off and we can't seem to reach anyone so we really don't know what they need her to do that is so special.
I am starting to feel the stress of the next two weeks. I have 15 gingerbread houses to put together, cater a dinner for next Thursday night for 50 and then cater another dinner for a Christmas function at the church affiliated with the school (I work at) that's a more formal dinner and is for 30 people. Organize the gingerbread decorating for next Monday night after school. I have 15 teachers coming to decorate them. Make(what do you mean make)? and distribute 300 plus hamburgers for next Friday, decorate (I didn't know that you are a decorator now too). the gym Friday after school. Go to some Christmas play thing with the family that same night. Then get up at the crack of dawn and make a full breakfast for 300 on the Saturday morning. I am once again losing it! I need to spend the Christmas break practising the word NO! Mind you I will do that while shopping, making cookies, and cooking Christmas dinner for 30 of my closest family. :( (what time should we be there)? Is that the Bethlehem breakfast? Can any of the people you hired help you with any of this? I am starting to get the rushed feeling myself. I looked at the calender and realized that every weekend between now and Christmas is booked up! How does this happen. Also, each event I have to prepare something. It doesn't sound hard when you book all of this stuff, however it does start to snowball and I am already having thoughts of wishing it was already done and over with. These are not the thoughts I wish during the Christmas season. I like Christmas and all of it's frills. I have no problem with giving. I just need to remember to give myself some time or I am no good to anyone. Carolin, what is going on? Why are you taking on so much? Remember that Christmas Break is now 20 working days away. That is what keeps me going during all of the chaos at work. Work seems to be filled with so much drama. I work for a real control type personality and she is very particular and can't say a positive word even if she tries unless of coarse it happens to be about herself. She is very good at giving herself compliment after compliment. She does it so often that she is perfect at it. That's funny!
Enough of my whining, how is the dinner plans coming along Cathy got a date yet? The husband is going to be on steady days for the winter so that gives our house a little more flexibility. I am thinking our best choice would be a Friday night. What is good for you ladies? A Friday evening sounds great I just have to pin down Mr Sunshine who I have not seen for a week now. Maybe I will get a chance to talk to him at the wedding tomorrow. Make sure you share a dance together.

How about the Christmas cookie exchange. Do you ladies want to continue our tradition. Please let me know so that I can arrange it. I'm in! I have already picked my cookie recipe. Well actually, my mom was looking through some of her older cookbooks and found a neat "frou frou" cookie recipe.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book Review: The Perfect Christmas

"The Perfect Christmas"
by: Debbie Macomber

(Cathy) This book was our third group read. I must admit I was looking forward to it. I have enjoyed Debbie Macomber's books in the past. It is a very quick read. It only took one hour. It only has 232 pages. I have no reason not to recommend this book, however, I didn't find it to be like her other books. It was such a simple book. I think that's the kindest way to describe it. I like reading books which challenge my brain with character development and plot twists and this book had none of that. I found I knew the story from the first page and as much as I wished for a twist it was not to come. Again, there is nothing really wrong with this book, just a quick simple read. Nothing more, nothing less.
(Carolin)Firstly let me say how much of a LOSER I am. I am the one who picked the book. I too have read many Debbie Macomber's books. I always find the same thing, that they are hard to get into then once you get to know the characters you end up enjoying it. I have read many of her Christmas romances. They are light bits of fluff but I think that is the point of them. They are to entertain and make you feel good.
So last week I noticed that Sunshine had already read her book. So I thought to myself I better get cracking and read it. But I was in the middle of another Macomber Christmas book and wanted to finish that first. So that was done on the weekend and then I noticed I didn't have the book after all, it was still at the library! So I started another Macomber Christmas book. I went to the library on Monday and picked up the book but of course I couldn't start to read it cause I had to finish the other book. So last night after getting Cathy's email I went into panic mood and started to read the book.

Only to discover that I had already read it a few weeks ago!!!! What a loser :( (ha, ha, ha! that's funny. It just goes to show that you're working too hard!!!) (Sunshine) I have had a few good laughs this week but this one topped them all!
So what do you want to discuss? It was as Cathy said, a light read, I found it a bit better than some of her other Christmas plots. Really, you are killing me Carolin. I was so bored. Yes, it was all predictable but I think that is what the reader wants. For a Christmas romance we want light candy that makes us feel good. I think Cathy if you want something more serious then read Patrica Cornwell's The Scarpetta Factor It takes place during the holiday season and there is nothing light and fluffy about it.
I initially enjoyed the premise of the book but it was so predictable that I had to hurry up and read it just to find out that there was no twist at the end. It was very light hearted and considering our busy schedules, I guess it's just what the doctor ordered. I don't think that I would recommend it because quite frankly I would say spend your time on a book that has a little more depth. However, because we are reading our books together, it doesn't really matter what the books are because the fun of it is being a part of the book club and discussing it later, good or bad. I can actually picture the girl's faces and start to anticipate their comments when I read the books so that makes it a fun adventure.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) Yesterday was Remembrance Day. I can remember being afraid of this day when I was young. In grade school we had to watch this black and white movie about WW1. I remember this one part where this young boy was in a trench and a canon blast killed him. It scared me so much I still get the shivers when I think about it. There is so much emotion around Remembrance Day both sad and joyful. I watch the ceremony every year on television and cry every year when the wreath from the "Mothers" is laid down. I look at the faces of the Veteran's and wonder about the thoughts and memories they experience. It's such a powerful day and I'm glad for it each and every year. Saying thank-you just doesn't seem enough, however, if you ask a Veteran what they want to hear, it's a simple: "thank-you" from the heart. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank-you. I remember as a child just being bored on Remembrance Day. I didn't get it and it seemed a zillion miles away. As an adult I find it much more meaningful. Though this year I was busy cooking during the Remembrance Day Chapel. (Sunshine) Remembrance day is always accompanied with a very somber mood. This year was even more so. When I picked Miss Teen Sunshine up from school on Wednesday, she just didn't seem like herself. I asked what had happened and after some gentle coaxing, she told me about how she found out that morning that one of the students had committed suicide. She burst into tears and said that she had spent some of the day in grief counselling sessions. When she got out of the car to go and get her little sister, I burst into tears and cried for the student and even more so for his mother and how she must be feeling since she found out. My heart and love and prayers go out to this boy and his family and friends. The teenager came Wednesday night and told me about this young man. She was upset and said she new him that they were in the same music class the whole time she was in high school. She said he came across as a happy, popular guy. One of the teachers at my school also new him well and was also in shock. I am heartbroken for his family. I haven't heard any details but the whole thing is just devastating.

The rest of the week, was OK. There is still so much drama at work, and I am so tired of dealing with all of it. I just want to go to work and do my job and not get caught up in anything else. I hope that next week will be much better. Drama, Drama, I had one of my two staff give her notice on Friday. I am going to try to wing it with out her, maybe I will be so busy I will lose a bit more weight!

We priced out the cost of knew widows (How much does a good 'widow' go for these days :/)today and they are ultra expensive. We are going to get a few other quotes, but I really can't see how we can even come close to being able to afford such astronomical prices, yet, the windows are all rotted. I had no idea that my parents must have spent so much money on upkeep of our house when we were young.

My bother in law is getting married next week and tonight is the Jack and Jill party. I have never been to one of those before. I wonder what one does at such a party.

Guess what ladies, I got a call from the Brampton Library on Wednesday regarding our book and I picked it up and finished reading it last night. I am ready to report when you are. You finished it!! I haven't even started it. Are we talking about the book 'the perfect Christmas'? I guess I need to get crackin.

Cathy, I just read about your thumb. How many stitches did it take? I am so sorry to know that you got hurt. I hope that you feel better really really soon.

Ladies, is anyone interested in having our annual Christmas cookie exchange? If you are, then please let me know and I will set up a time and date that hopefully works with everyone's schedule. It would be nice if we could do it the week before Christmas when some of us are off (meaning me!)

35 more working days until Christmas break. Are you counting down like I am???

Louise, I hope that everyone is doing well. Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to your middle child and to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month


Act of Remembrance

They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn [sic].
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
We will remember them.

RESPONSE: We will remember them

An excerpt from "For the Fallen"
- Laurence Binyon

Friday, November 5, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) This week did fly by. I started my new shift at work. Well actually, the shift time remains the same, it's the job description that's changed. I'm now working at the customer service counter. I get to serve all sorts of customers in all sorts of moods. Oh joy!!! (Sunshine) Not a bad week, but I was looking forward to having Wednesday off because half of the students were not at school but the day was given to one of the other employees instead. She ended up having a great day off with her husband so it all worked out. I was actually hoping to have it off and go over and help Carolin for the day, Sorry Carolin!!!!!!!

I was speaking with Sunshine this week. She's a busy, busy lady. I wonder if she was successful in finding the girl's dresses. I hope so. All done. It was a little stressful, but very successful. My husband's youngest brother is getting married in two weeks and I was assigned the task to find two matching flower girl dresses and shoes in such a short time. The task is complete. Now my mother in law is altering them. She is so busy with this wedding but she said that she would love to alter them.

Carolin is super busy, pray continually for her and that her business will smooth out soon. My busy-ness is over for now. I did the food for a School conference of just over 400 people. It went well in the sense that I now know I can do it. I was in charge of a snack table (coffee, water, juice, fresh muffins, cookies etc). A private lunch for 70 people and then we were open for business with different hot food specials. The first day was very busy getting everything ready and we got everything done and on time. But, unfortunately we had very little sales. The second day also went well and we had better sales. So it was disappointing that our window sales were not great. But it was encouraging that I was able to coordinate everything and I had all the bases covered. The different food dishes we did sell we got great compliments and now I have a baseline for next year. Great job Carolin, I always knew that you could do it!!!!!!!!!!!!

Louise and I are playing phone tag this week. I hope we hear from her soon and that all is well.
I hope that Louise and her family are doing well.

Hey ladies, I received a call from the library that our next book club book is in. Are we going to read and then review or do you wish to do a weekly breakdown? Carolin chose a great book for us. It's by a proven author, Debbie Macomber. The title is: "The Perfect Christmas." I am looking forward to reading this book. I have already read many of her books and I have enjoyed them all. I have my copy, I forgot that was the book club book. Not to worry, I haven't started to read it. I am in the middle of, "The secret Daughter." Which when I am not falling asleep, I very much enjoy. Hello, where is my copy????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Have a great weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!