Gramz's Blog

Musings of a crazy quilter

May 2012 - Posts

I spotted an ugly valet at the thrift store yesterday. Since I was riding my bicycle and they wouldn't hold it for me, I hoped it would still be available this morning when I had my car. Lucky for me it was still there.

It really was hideous. The wood tray and legs were in remarkably good condition. Unfortunately, all the shiny brass was discolored and worn and the seat had been badly upholstered with an ugly orange fabric.

I hoped with a little TLC it would provide a spot for my DH to stow all those items that are removed the moment he gets home from work. Hopefully, he will no longer wander from room to room seeking those items. And, I hope, it will prevent me from trailing along behind him picking up those little piles which usually end up in the laundry anyway.

After disassembling and cleaning the individual parts, I determined the wooden parts were in good shape and would require no additional attention. I discovered the bad upholstery job had protected the original faux leather underneath - bonus! So the only things that needed sprucing up were the metal parts.

I bought a can of flat black spray paint and went to work. In a couple of hours I was able to reassemble it.

I think the black metal sets off the wood legs and tray; the colors (if not the style) work well with the mission style furniture I love.

I hope DH likes it enough to use it.

Lying in bed and thinking about getting up to do yard work before the sun gets hot like yesterday, our thoughts were interrupted by a loud and long roll of thunder. We sprang out of bed to get as much work accomplished as is possible before the rain began in earnest. While DH mowed, I cleaned up my mess from yesterday's gardening and weeded the vegetables and herb beds.

As we finished up and large drops began to fall, a neighbor stepped out onto her deck and waved. I smiled and waved back. She cupped her hands around her mouth and shouted, "You should have waited!"

I smiled and responded, "Oh, until it rains?"

"You should have waited to mow!" she yelled.

"Right! Until after the rain!" I smiled at her joke.

"You should have waited until an appropriate time! My bedroom window is right there!" She was pointing at a row of windows.

Oops. My smile died. She wasn't joking. "Oh, I am so sorry!"

Of all the neighbors, even though her house is closest, she was the one I was least worried about waking. Since her "fur-covered razor blades" (to borrow a description about dobermans from "True Lies") are let out each morning around 5:30 and bark at everything, I assumed she would be up and about.

As she turned back into her house I was thinking I will apologize again later today and maybe take over a small gift. At least it took us nearly a year this time to offend a neighbor. That's progress - of a sort.

I joined my quilt guild about one year ago because I wanted to be around real people who share my love of quilting and to learn from sources other than tv, books, and my computer; at that first meeting I showed a couple of projects I had recently completed. Soon after, we bought this fixer-upper house and I had to pack up my quilting "studio" which remained in storage until just a couple of weeks ago. At tonight's guild meeting, I was able to participate in the "show-and-tell" for the first time since my first guild meeting. So exciting!

What crash? You heard that? Um, yeah, that was MY Lowe's cart at the checkout lane grossly overloaded with white melamine shelving and steel supports and brackets which overturned when the cashier picked up the box of brackets to scan them. I am thoroughly humiliated as well as bruised and achy from fighting to keep the cart upright. Further humiliation ensued when the grand total was nearly twice what I had expected and had to put some items back. Is it bedtime yet?

May 1, 2012



Speedy Mart

1175 Broadway

Chesterton, IN 46304


Dear Sir or Madam:


Today around noon I stopped at your gas station. At pump number one I inserted my credit card a couple of times but an error message said to pay inside. I spoke with the cashier, whom I heard describe herself to another customer as the manager, and explained that I needed to fill up my tank. She asked for my credit card, scanned it, tucked it away above her head, and told me to return to sign after I filled up. In utter shock that she put my card away rather than returning it to me, I asked if she was keeping my card. She said I could have it back after I returned to sign for the purchase. I admitted to her I was a little freaked out about leaving my card there. She seemed offended and said I had to leave something to guarantee payment. Since my card had already been scanned, I offered my driver's license instead. I pumped the gas and returned to sign the purchase receipt and to retrieve my license as soon as possible.


I completely understand the need to prevent a drive-off. However, since the card was already scanned I do not understand the need to keep my card or my license to guarantee payment; after all, I have completed thousands of purchases at the pumps with never a signature required. I think my card was scanned twice, and that bothers me.


Having a certain amount of common sense, I have never allowed relatives or even close friends to use my credit card, never mind leaving one with a complete stranger. Needless to say, I will not be stopping at your station again.


I am sorry your manager was so offended by my incredulity, but I was even more offended by her actions.


When I described this experience to a friend, he said it has become common practice for gas stations to send the customer inside as it increases spontaneous sales. I hope he is wrong about that; some days are very busy and it is a huge convenience to be able to pump the gas and continue my other errands without having to lock up the car (and the children, and the dog, and the groceries) to go inside to pay.


I hope you can find another way to deal with other customers with similar situations or, regretfully, you will be losing more business than just mine.