Some Assembly Required Nightmare

OK, so I needed a new desk chair…..the old one was just that – OLD – it didn’t swivel well anymore, wouldn’t roll easily, it was lumpy and not very comfortable anymore and the leather on the arms was worn/torn to the point that all that was left was the foam that I couldn’t stop myself from picking at! It was at least 15 years old…..maybe more…..you know that is like 150 in chair years!!! So, I searched and found a new one I liked on the Office Depot web site and ordered it. It came in like 3 days! I was busy over the weekend, so didn’t think about assembling it until today.

First…..the box was mangled when it got here – one of the spokes on the base was sticking out a hole in the side and the top looked like it had been torn opened and taped back up by a pack of wild gorillas leaving gaps and holes! I was sure there were going to be pieces missing, but surprisingly it was all there and nothing was damaged – all good!

I mentioned needing to assemble a new chair to my brother this afternoon and he offered to come over and help, but…….macho me…….I said, no – I think I can do it – I’ve assembled chairs before – I’ll just call you if I run into trouble! Hindsight, being 20/20 – so they say, I know, now that was an offer I should not have refused! The box and description said that everything I would need is included – no additional tools or materials would be necessary!

I soon found out they failed to mention that I would need to solicit the services of an octopus…..or two……to help me complete the assembly!

I carefully removed all the pieces, checked them off the diagram to ensure I had everything, laid them out in the order of the assembly per the directions I read fully before starting, and got started!

The first caster I pressed into place on the base pinched my finger – OUCH! I was more careful with the other three. First step done with just that minor drama.

I then put the gas cylinder in the base – went in like a charm…..no issues!

Then, I had to screw the adjustment mechanism thingy to the bottom of the chair —- on the last chair I assembled, I did this backwards and had to redo it, so I read the directions and looked at the diagram carefully to not make the same mistake……luckily, this one had a tag that said “front” – something the other one lacked! I carefully placed the mechanism on the bottom of the seat with the tension adjuster facing the front and screwed in all four screws……and, as soon as I finished tightening the last screw I realized they meant the round knob that adjusts the rocking tension…..not the lever that adjusts the height…..and I, despite my care to ensure the contrary, I had it on backwards!!! UGH!!! So, I removed it, turned it, and reinstalled it! No biggie……at least this time I realized it before the rest of the chair was assembled and tilted the wrong way (which is what happened the last time…..and, believe me…..it is MUCH easier to put something together the right way the first time than take it apart and try to put it back together out of order!). So, crisis averted and on I went!

The seat went on the gas cylinder easily and was done in a flash! Confidence restored!

The step where I had to put the arms on, however, is where the whole project started to head south! The directions just say to affix the arms to the sides of the seat with the screws – they do not say that it is virtually impossible for one person with just two hands to hold the arm in place beside a base that is on casters (and in my case, on a wood floor – not carpeting) while inserting and turning a screw with an allen wrench! Even using my feet and knees, I could not keep the chair from running away from me and keep the arm in place and keep the allen wrench and screw from spending more time on the floor than doing their jobs!!! But……I’m a smart lady – I have some mechanical experience and I have three advanced degrees – I should be able to figure this out! And, I did!!! I laid the base on its side and screwed the arms on from what was now the “top”…..problem solved…..arms securely in place!

Putting the back on looked easy on paper……I had to lay it face down on the seat and screw in the first two screws (no more hovering in mid air trying to screw it in place, like the arms) and then carefully pivot it up into place and screw in the last two screws! Piece of cake, right? WRONG!!! What they failed, again, to mention was that octopus that would have been a HUGE help with this step — the WORST and most frustrating step of all! You see, because of the padding on the back and the seat, the holes were several inches from lining up so I could get the screw started! I literally had to compress the cushions, hold the rolling chair still, and screw the screws into holes I couldn’t see using that allen wrench that really prefers to keep jumping out of my hand to the floor than behaving and doing what it is meant to do……all at the same time……with just two hands!!! Images from old comedy routines where it takes three people to sit on and close an over-stuffed suitcase or trunk….except, they didn’t have the added complication of casters on a wood floor!!! I was seriously considering rolling the whole mess out the back door and giving up……but, the old chair – which may have been a mess, but it was fully assembled (by me, by the way) – was no longer available to go back to……it went to the road with the trash yesterday and some lucky pickers snatched it up before the trash guys came today!

But……after some slightly colorful language, a lot of sweat, and some stress that resulted in a little headache……the chair assembly was completed! I ensured all the screws were fully tightened……I didn’t have any parts left over…….all my fingers and limbs are still intact (although I do have a little blood blister from the pinch from step one)….the adjustment mechanism worked to get it to the height I’m comfortable with……the seat is tilted the right way and nothing is backwards…….and the chair is just as comfortable as it claimed and looked on the web site…….success!!! It only took me about 45 minutes to complete – although it seemed like several hours – and that was with a couple interruptions and one “I’m done” trip to sit at the computer to “cool off”!

WHEW!!! I have a GREAT chair and about a 1,200 word blog post to show for my troubles! Now, if I can just remember to remind myself of this experience the next time I think it is a good idea to purchase something that has to be assembled, I’ll be just fine!!! πŸ˜€

My wonderful new chair……may it last me the rest of my life!!!

Until I have something else entertaining to write about…….I wish you all well and hope you never have to hear the words “some assembly required”!

 

March On….

So, we’re winding down…..starting to close out the first quarter of 2018……getting to the last few official days of winter…….wrapping up the days where we need to bundle up in heavy clothing! And, so we March On……on to the month I affectionately like to call “pre-Spring”…….on to thinking seriously about Adventure Season……on to warmer days and sunnier skies!

We’ve been getting a taste of Spring over the course of a few days here and there peppered in over the past couple of weeks. It is really giving me Spring Fever! I took the covers off my Adirondack chairs and moved my patio table set away from the corner, yesterday – just felt like making my deck ready to go out and sit to read whenever a good day presents itself. I cleaned out my cobblestone bird house to get it ready for a new family to move in as soon as they return from their southern winter (well, I need to be honest, here – I “started” and “tried” to clean it out – but, the screws wouldn’t come out of the cover, so I had to get my brother to do it……but, the thought was there and the deed got done). I moved all but one warmer coat from the rack by the door to the coat closet and put my winter boots away. Yes…..I’ve been preparing for the inevitable, although not necessarily imminent, onset of Spring and Summer!

Unfortunately, though……we have a winter storm blowing in tonight! Hopefully the LAST of the heavy, accumulating snow falls with 3-6 inches – depending on where you are and what weather guy you listen to! I’m staying positive, though……I’m reminding everyone who I hear complain about the predicted snow that we WANT to have a storm on the first couple of days of March – we WANT it to come in like a LION so that it will be guaranteed to go out like a LAMB! And, after all, it IS still officially winter and we DO live in Western NY, so what do we expect? We can only hope that it will be the last of the noticable snow falls…….

So, with that said……I’ll leave you with a follow up message and a couple of my favorite Daily Photo Challenge photos taken since my last post:

Country Line Dancing Class – UPDATE: I survived the first two classes! I was right – I am NOT going to leave these sessions as a professional dancer, but I did manage to not break my neck by falling over my two left feet! It was awesome fun and a real workout and I got to spend time with good friends……so, on to the next four weeks!

See you next time I have something wise to share and time to share it!!! πŸ˜€

I’m Going Boot Scootin’

For the next six weeks…..starting tonight…..two good friends and I will meet up each Tuesday evening for some fun……we signed up for Country Line Dancing classes at a local dance studio! Yep…..we’re going boot scootin’ and we’re gonna boogie!!! πŸ˜€ I have not been dancing (other than at my 40th class reunion in 2014) in YEARS!!! I used to love to dance and went dancing practically every weekend, not to mention tap and modern jazz tap lessons I took when I was much, much younger…..hehehe.Β  But, got out of the habit when I got married and settled down. So, I’m grossly out of practice and, I’m sure, way out of touch with the latest dance moves! But, I’m going to give it the old college try and see what happens! Oh, I don’t have any grand ideas that I’ll become an expert —- in fact, I likely won’t remember much of what I learn —- but, I do know that for the next six weeks, I’ll have a TON of fun with two good friends and get some much needed exercise…….I just hope I don’t trip over these two left feet I’ve developed over the years of not dancing regularly!!! LOL Now…..if I could just find that cowboy hat and boots I used to wear all the time……..

And, now……for a few of my favorite Daily Photo Challenge pics taken since my last post:

Catch ya next time…….if I don’t break my neck line dancing! πŸ˜€

Movie Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Today was movie day with a friend. There were a few movies we’ve been thinking about seeing and decided on Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri today! I had high hopes for this one…..good cast line up……good story…….a trailer that grabbed my attention……looked good! Well, I can sum up my response to that in just five words: “You can’t like them all”!

Actually, I do believe this could have been a really good movie – I did like the story and the basic idea behind it – I did like the actors and thought they did a good job in their roles…..but my positive thoughts end there. It was a dark, sad story of depression, racism, good-ole-boy mentality, and all that is bad about some small towns. The bad language was over the top and I thought the movie was just plain depressing and offensive.

That being said…….it actually did the job it apparently intended to do – it sparked some pretty strong emotions in me! And, it portrayed a topic that is messy and not something that can be presented lightly. So, yeah — it was meant to be all those things — it just isn’t the kind of movie I want to see when I go out with a friend for an afternoon matinee!

So – the story is about Mildred, played brilliantly by Francis McDormand, whose daughter, Angela, is brutally raped and murdered on a lonely stretch of road outside of town seven or so months prior to the start of the story. Mildred feels the police have not given her daughter’s case the attention it deserves and can not get past it. Her depression fuels her rage and she decides to rent three billboards on the same stretch of road Angela was murdered on – in the old burma-shave style, they briefly describe the crime and ask why there has been no arrests – challenging them to do their jobs and find the guy who killed her daughter. This sparks major controversy in the town and gets the attention of the local police…..not necessarily in a good way. Woody Harrelson plays Police Chief Willoughby, who she personally names on the billboards – Harrelson does a very good job of showing the turmoil going on in Willoughby’s life both professionally and personally. Then, there is Officer Dixon, played very convincingly by Sam Rockwell – a hateful, racist, ignorant, horrible man that has no business being in the position he’s in. Other characters include Mildred’s son, friends, and ex-husband, other police officers, and more notably, the young man who runs the advertising company that rents the billboards to Mildred.

I felt deeply for Mildred – her life is totally consumed with depression over the loss of her daughter. I also, although not at first, felt sorry for Willoughby. I absolutely hated Officer Dixon – at one point, I was sure we were going to find that HE was the one who killed Angela cause he just seemed like that kind of a guy. I also hated the way these characters treated each other and talked to each other —- even the family relationships —- it was very upsetting!

And, I think the worst part is that it just “ends”…….all of a sudden the screen went black and the credits started to roll and I sat there, threw my hands up, and said “that’s it????”!!!! Totally leave you hanging…….and not in a good anticipation, draw your own conclusion kinda way!!!!

So…….I guess I don’t have to say it, but I rate this one a C…….the only reason it isn’t much less than a C is because it was obviously meant to elicit strong emotions and it definitely did that – I also recognize that the topic is one that could really only be presented in a dark way……and, that’s OK and I still think it could have been a really good movie, if it was done a little differently and put together a little better! My advice — if you really think you want to see this one, save your money and wait for it to come on the small screen! Like I said, you can’t like them all…….

Here’s the official trailer…….

Just Checking In…..

So…..how do you slow the world down a little so life doesn’t pass by so quickly? I keep finding myself thinking that “it has been a few days since I’ve posted, I should post something” and I find it has actually been two weeks! UGH! But, I haven’t been sitting on my laurels all this time! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again……when, exactly does this whole concept of retirement that involves sitting in a rocking chair watching the grass grow kick in? Oh, don’t get me wrong – I would HATE that and absolutely don’t want it to be my norm……but, a little bit of it would be nice……or even a nice happy medium where I get to slow down some, but still stay active! I guess I do it to myself – last year, I started the year out by de-stressing my life and refocusing the time I spend on things – I was less involved in things and organizations that didn’t relate back to my core interests and bring me the joy and fulfillment I want out of that sort of thing – I started going to the gym and added more adventures and craft fun to my plans. It worked for a while…….and, then, I started filling in my new found “free” time and by the end of the year, I was juggling my calendar again and starting a new business (that, BTW, was intended to be more of a side hobby….yeah, right – like I ever do anything “on the side”!) and got out of the habit of going to the gym and fell short of my book goal on Goodreads!!!

But…..it’s all good……I’m not complaining…..cause, like I said, I’d really hate it if that rocking chair became my normal! But, as spring and summer (and, therefore Adventure Season) approaches, I really do need to be sure I am not filling that calendar with “too” many things that don’t involve going to the movies, reading a good book, patio sun time, taking photos, smelling the peonies, and, of course, adventures!

Today will be a good day……I am going to the movies with a friend……and, yes, I will make time to do a movie review later today or tomorrow! I’ll devote the day to good conversation, movie enjoyment, popcorn, lunch, and whatever else we want to do that involves just enjoying each other’s company and not thinking of anything else! Then, I’ll take it a day at a time and see what life and the Good Lord has in store for me!

But, first, here are a few of my Daily Photo Challenge photos from the last couple of weeks…..

Wouldn’t you love to know what the topic was that inspired some of these? hehehe

Oh — and, I did a paint and sip night and this is the result: we did a huge mug that I can not wait to use for tea, cocoa, or soup……just one mug, three photos…..and, of course, it is PURPLE!!!! LOL

See you next time…….

It’s Growing On Me…..

I used to have long hair….very long hair…..but, I cut it the summer between my junior and senior years in high school and, aside from a couple attempts at growing it back out, I have pretty much had short hair ever since. Whenever I try to grow it out, it gets to “that length” that totally irritates me and I whack it off! But…..I have been letting it grow and, with the help of my cousin, a wonderful hair stylist, it has now gotten beyond “that length” and I am loving it!!! I have no idea how long I’ll let it grow…..probably not much longer than it is now, but I do want it to get a little longer. We’ll see how long it lasts before I decide to go back to the short cut!

The super long high school years — 1973-74:

Taken in August 2017 – the short style I have had in some variation for many years:

And……most recently over the past month….last photo taken this morning:

Yep — it’s growing on me!!! LOL

Movie Review – Forever My Girl

From the very first time I saw a trailer for this movie, I was hooked! The ads said “If you love Nicholas Sparks, you’ll love this movie! Well, I do love some Nicholas Sparks…..and, I assumed the mention of him in the ads meant that it was one of his books. I was wrong about that – it is actually NOT a Nicholas Sparks book – the author of the book is Heidi McLaughlin. But, I was not wrong in my assumption that it would be a good movie! A true chick-flic, multi tissue, tug-at-your-heartstrings movie! I’ll get right to it…..my criteria for a good movie were all met: I laughed, I cried, I fell in love with the characters, and I left feeling good! There, you go……

So, the story starts right out with the tugging-at-your-heartstrings part in just the first few minutes – eight years ago, small town girl, Josie was getting ready for her wedding. She’s at the church with all her family and friends fussing over her and she looks radiant in her white dress. She’s all excited and happy and ready for the best day of her life! Then…..two of the groomsmen come in and ask to speak with two of the bridesmaids……and her best friend comes back in the room to tell her that her groom-to-be is a no-show……and her world comes crashing in around her! In the next scene, we fast forward to present day and former groom-to-be, Liam Page, is now a big country music star – spoiled, entitled, difficult, and adored by his fans! A tragedy brings him back to his home town and face-to-face with the girl he left at the altar……and her seven-year-old daughter! Now, if you want to know the specifics about what happens in the next hour and forty-five minutes, you’ll have to go see the movie, I’m not a spoiler……but, suffice it to say that there is a lot that Liam has to confront and make amends for and it isn’t just that he left poor Josie at the altar eight years earlier.

Alex Roe plays the handsome, moody-looking Liam Page and does an excellent job of going from totally “real-life-clueless” brat to daddy in a series of situations that define his life. Josie is played by Jessica Rothe who brings our love-struck young southern girl into a mature, protective single mother. Another notable character is Pastor Brian – Liam’s father – played by John Benjamin Hickey, who is frequently seen on the small screen in various TV shows. But, the one that totally steals the show is seven-year-old…..going on thirty……Billy! Young actress Abby Ryder Forston is AMAZING as Billy! I was also excited to get to see a glimpse of Travis Tritt as the character “Walt”…..albeit “glimpse” may be an exaggeration – I knew he was in the film and I couldn’t wait to see him (I used to go see him play at the Long Branch – a country music club in Raleigh, NC – and sit on the floor at the foot of the stage whenever he played there – loved him), but his part was very brief and I’m not really sure what it had to do with the story…..it was still great to see him after all these years and he did sing part of a song in his short time on screen!

So…..yeah…..I really enjoyed this movie and highly recommend it for all you romantics out there that just love a good tear-jerker – a great girls-night-out or matinee-and-lunch with the girls kinda movie……and, guys, if you want to win some brownie points, it would be an awesome date-night movie! I rate this one a solid A!!!Β  Β 

Here’s the trailer:

And……my Daily Photo Challenge topic that day was #yum!, so I had the perfect shot to use for it:

“Popcorn!!!”

#yum!

Foggy Monday and More

I love taking photos in and of the fog! So, when our Monday brought a heavy fog to the area and I had to go out to have fasting blood work done for my next routine doctor’s appointment next week, well……I took my camera along and took a drive through Mount Albion Cemetery on my way to Brockport!

I caught a squirrel playing just as he headed up the side of the tree in the center of the photo!

My favorite one!

I used this one for my Daily Photo Challenge (#scenic) – it is my favorite one from above, but with an Instagram filter to bring out the sun a little more than it showed up in the original!

Then, since my blood work was fasting and I hadn’t eaten since supper the night before, I left the lab and went straight to the Chinese Restaurant for lunch……this is my fortune……I really pray this is true!!! πŸ˜€

And…..a few more photos that I particularly liked from the past few days:

I attended an awesome concert at a little Cabaret in Albion on Sunday…..Dave Mancini and Friends – “Jazz Meets Classical”! The bright lights on the stage washed out the faces on all the photos, so I saved this one in B&W to compensate for it……turned out pretty cool!

And, finally……see that little area in front of the wall on the right hand side of the photo? Well, that’s where Megan’s bed is supposed to be and has been for quite some time. The other night, Megan decided she wanted it moved……she dragged it away from the wall, then pushed it to where you see it here, then walked around it several times and made small adjustments to the position, then gave it a few nose butts to secure the location and curled up and got comfortable! Within minutes of taking this photo, she was snoring like a freight train – I guess moving your furniture around takes a lot out of you!!! LOL

Have a wonderful day!

Makes You Wonder….

When you see something left abandoned, broken, a ghost of what was or could be……when you stumble onto something that is no longer loved, cherished, a part of someone’s life……when you find something like this, it makes you wonder…….

On Kent Road in Albion, just barely a stone’s through off the busy Ridge Road, there is such a thing. A house that has long since been left alone….lonely…..abandoned…..sad. A house that no longer protects a family…..no longer provides warmth and shelter and memories. This house…..just a shell, really……with the curtains flying in the breeze, paint no longer clinging to the walls, windows no longer keeping out the elements, makes me wonder……

This house is not like many other abandoned houses you may come across……no…….it is not boarded up or left as it once was. This house is left exposed…..open to all who pass by…….for all to see how sad, lonely, and broken it is inside…..and out. Left to make us wonder……

I first noticed this house in August. I have driven by there many times over the years, but it never caught my eye until that day. When it did become known to me, I had to stop and photograph it. It intrigued me…..spoke to me…..wanted me to know it was there and to remember it……and to wonder……

I have driven by it many times since and always slow down and gaze upon it in an attempt to assure it that it matters enough for me to take a moment in time to acknowledge it is there. And I wonder…….I wonder how it got to the state it is in, today……what it once looked like……who once loved it……who went to the store to pick out those curtains that now just wave to those passing by……what spirits remain to remember what once was. Oh, now, before you think I’m batty – I don’t literally think it is haunted, but as with many old, abandoned things, there is a story to tell embedded in the walls that are just aching to tell it, there is a soul – spirit, if you will – remaining behind trying to keep the memories alive. And, it makes me wonder…….

I drove by last night at dusk and got a whole different perspective. That soul / spirit seemed to be more alive…..the setting sun shining through the open windows, the snow and wind declaring how cold and open it really, truly is……the darkness setting in, but yet, still providing enough light through the openness to be able to imagine the memories…..and to allow us to wonder…….

So, I took yet another photo…..this one more telling than the rest…..so I could share it with you all……and so you could wonder, as well! ❀

And, now, imagine the house is the one singing this song…….

 

Just Some Stuff….

Been a crazy couple of weeks here in my little corner of paradise! We’ve been in a deep freeze, loaded up with snow, a warm up / melt down, more cold, more snow……but, that’s life in Western New York!

My LuLaRoe business is doing good and keeping me busy – busier than I planned on letting it keep me – it was meant to be a side line, something to have some fun with……oh well…..I rarely do anything half hearted! This past Saturday, I had my very first in-home pop-up boutique with a hostess. We did it at my home so I didn’t have to pack up and cart all my inventory to another location – sweet! It was a huge success! I have another one this coming Saturday – this one is at my hostess’s home, so gotta do the packing up and transporting thing….we’ll see how that goes! πŸ˜€

So, since I had the pop-up booked on Saturday and we got a HUGE dumping of snow Friday night, I had an adventurous morning…..One thing I can say without any reservation…..my life is never dull or boring!!! I got up early Saturday morning to clear the 12-18″ of snow out of my driveway and front porch!!! I got it all done and then had to run to the bank, because….you know me…..I forgot to get small bills so I can make change if someone wants to pay cash for their purchases!!! I got to the drive-thru and sent the tube with my 20’s to get the change and the teller got it ready and sent it back……and when the tube arrived, it automatically went right back to them without opening the door so I could get my money!!! WHAT???!!! Seems the “send” button was frozen in the “pushed in” position!!! LOL I offered to just drive around to the other kiosk, but they said the tube didn’t return to them – it was in the pipes “somewhere”! They could send it back to me, but it would just go back to “somewhere” each time……we all laughed and laughed as we watched it go back and forth several times……until my friend, Jodi, who works in the bank, came to the rescue and un-froze the button by pouring some rubbing alcohol on it!!! My hero!!! πŸ˜€Β Life is nothing if not interesting…..and fun!!! And, so my day started……

Yesterday afternoon, I booked my first big adventure of 2018….going on the second annual DC Adventure with my traveling buddy! Can’t wait……we need to plan out what we’ll see and do this time around!

On New Year’s Day, I went to the movies and saw “The Greatest Showman” with a friend…..WOW…..what a wonderful movie! I love going to the movies on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day…..just seems like a cool thing to do and I always enjoy it…..but…..I’m always struck by how many other people do the same thing! We got in the parking lot of Tinseltown in Gates and it was PACKED!!! And we were at the early bird matinee, which started about 10:00 am!!! Crazy! I didn’t go on Christmas Day this year – the weather wasn’t the greatest and I didn’t feel like going out in it. But, New Year’s Day was better, so we went! Sorry, I didn’t do a movie review – stuff got in the way and I just didn’t get around to it. But, here is a photo I took during one of the final scenes for my Daily Photo Challenge that day:

I also had a revelation yesterday……First, a little background……I have to say that the #s 20, 11, and 9 run through our family! It is odd…..My grandmother was 20 years older than my Mom…..my Mom was 20 years older than me! Then, the 11 and 9 zig zag through siblings and children…….my grandmother was 9 years older than her sister – Betty, who was 11 years older than my Mom (grandma’s daughter)…….my Mom was 9 years older than her brother – Danny, who was 11 years older than me………And, my Uncle Danny had a son who was born when I was 9 years old!!! And, then, yesterday when I was looking up some possible dates for my upcoming DC Adventure, a light came on…..the revelation where I made a connection that I didn’t realize until that moment when it hit me that my grandma and my Mom died the same month exactly 20 years apart – April 3, 1996 and April 10, 2016!!! It got me wondering how careful I will need to be in April 2036……which, now that I see it in writing realize that will also be just shy of what would have been my Mom’s 100th birthday – she was born in July 1936……which must mean……yep – she passed just shy of what would have been HER mother’s 100th birthday – grandma was born in August 1916……so, they were both 79 – just shy of 80 – when they passed!!!

Anyway……I’m rambling…….I just wanted to come on and post some thoughts in an attempt to keep my goal of getting this blog back on track with its original intent and what I used to love about it! But……I also want to keep up with sharing some of my favorite photos, as well, so here are a few I especially like that I have taken recently:

Until next time……I’ll leave you with this quote from the book I am currently reading: “The past is who you are. The future is what you do with that.”

The Conversation

So, as with most years, when I turned the calendar to 2018 I decided to look at some of the things I spend money on that really are a wasted expense on me. Subscriptions I used to enjoy, but don’t really bother with anymore, etc., and start rethinking them and either update or cancel them. Yesterday, I received a renewal notice for my Sirius XM radio subscription in my car. I only subscribe to one of the lowest services – mostly music – with limited stations and only have 6 stations plugged into the channel buttons on my radio. Of those 6, I mostly only listen to 3 or 4 of them and switch between them as I drive. I’ve found that they tend to repeat the same songs a lot – like they are on a 24 hour loop or something, so rarely hear something different. So, I have gotten so I hardly ever even turn the radio on when I’m in the car, anymore! So…..no brainer, here — why continue to spend $150-ish a year for something I find I use on a limited basis and can get for free on my regular local radio stations……yeah, it is commercial free (but, I find when I DO listen to the radio, it tends to be mindless background noise and the commercials just blend in)……yeah, when I go for drives outside the area I don’t have to search for local stations (but, really, it isn’t usually an irritation for me and as often as it may be, is it really worth $150-ish a year?)!

So…..this is one expense I decided to drop. I went online to turn off the auto-renew option so it won’t just continue after my subscription ends in March. I looked all over the site…..found ways to change my service, change the duration of my service, change my credit card info (but not remove it so it can’t be auto charged), etc…..but, no way to actually cancel the service!!! I looked at the renewal notice to see if it had instructions for how to cancel prior to auto-renew and, yes it did…..if you want to actually cancel, you have to call and talk to a physical person! I thought…..yeah, right…..they want the chance to talk me out of canceling!!! But, I did, indeed, want to cancel, so I called!

Here’s how it went…..the conversation is paraphrased, cause I honestly didn’t take it down word-for-word in shorthand (yes, I took shorthand in HS) while it was progressing:

First I had to go through all the automated mumbo jumbo…..which resulted in the robo-person telling me they don’t recognize my information and put me through to a real-person. Of course, I had to hold before said real-person picked up. Once she came on the line, she had a heavy accent I could hardly understand, so there was a lot of “excuse me, could you repeat that?” and “sorry, I didn’t understand what you said”! But, we did, indeed, have a conversation…..albeit a frustrating one!

Real-Person: “How can I help you, today?”

Me: “I received an auto-renew notice and I’d like to cancel my subscription so it does not renew in March.”

Real-Person: “Certainly, let me pull up your account.”

At which time we went though the exchange of info and she found me in the system…..something the robo-person was not able to do….score one for the real-person!

Real-Person: “I see you have been with us since 2012 and we would hate to lose you as a customer. May I ask why you are canceling your service?”

Me: “I really don’t listen to the radio much in the car anymore and can’t see spending the money on it at this point.”

Real-Person: “I totally understand that, but before we cancel your service, let me tell you that I can offer you more channels for less cost. For xxx channels, instead of xx channels, you will only have to pay $90-ish a year. Is that something you would be interested in?”

Me: “No, thank you. I honestly only listen to the same 3-6 channels anyway and, like I said, rarely do that, anymore. So, getting more for less is not of any value for me.”

Real-Person: “I totally understand that, but I’d hate for you to miss this opportunity, as I can only offer it to you while you are an active customer. Are you sure you want to pass this offer up?”

Me: “Yes, thank you, I just want to cancel.”

Real-Person: “OK, I understand that, but I have one more option for you because we really don’t want to lose you as a long time customer. We can change you to a 6-month plan for only {I forget what she said, but it was a super small amount to extend my current expiration out to 6 months from today}. Maybe by summer you will want to hear music in the car, again. Is that something you may be interested in?”

Me: “No, thank you, I really do just want to cancel.” {By now, she could tell me it is FREE and I’d still want to cancel!!!”}

Real-Person: “I understand, but what about news and current events? I don’t want to see you miss out on that.”

Me: “I never listen to news in the car – I get it for free on TV and internet, so you don’t need to worry about me staying up-to-date.”

After one more attempt to remind me that these offers are only good while I’m an active customer and suggestion that maybe I wait and think about it more, she finally processed my cancellation effective at the end of my current subscription, but did tell me that I can change my mind at any time up to the cancellation date! πŸ˜€

Why do these things have to be so difficult???

On a brighter note……we’re seeing warmer temperatures and some melting going on! YAY! The forecast for this week has some 40s and 50s in it!!! Woo Hoo!!!

And…..this is my favorite Daily Photo Challenge photo from this past week – it was taken in church yesterday morning:

“Sun Through Stained Glass”

#light

And, finally…..a funny:

{insert sinister laugh, here}

Baby, It’s Cold Outside…..

So……Western New York – in fact, the entire east coast – is being hammered with arctic cold temperatures and snow! “Winter Wonderland” is NOT an accurate phrase for what we are experiencing….nope, I think “The Ice Age Returns” or “Arctic Tundra” is more appropriate! Today, the snow seems to have stopped with a little faint flakes blowing around, BUT…..the wind and the super cold temperatures have shut down schools, county offices, stores, and is keeping people inside where it is safe and warm!

For me…..I am staying put…..my driveway needs to be cleared, but I’m not going anywhere and I could get out in an emergency, if I need to, so I am NOT going out for the length of time it will take to clear it…..not today and maybe not tomorrow…..Sunday the temps are predicted to have TWO digits, so it can wait a couple days…..I have bread and milk and heat! hahaha I did go out for just a few minutes to clear a path off the deck and down the back steps for my fur-baby, Megan……she won’t go far – goes out, takes care of business, and comes right back in – but, she needs a safe path to get down the steps to avoid injury – she went out early this morning and was really leery of going down the steps she couldn’t see, so I needed to fix that for her! It was the coldest few minutes of my life! I was bundled up, but parts of my face were exposed and the frigid wind stung my skin so bad!!!

This was my Daily Photo Challenge pic for today…..the topic was “Stacked”!

Not gonna sit out to read any time soon…..

Even the icicles are coated with snow!!!

Megan’s path…….

Stay warm, peeps……I may just hibernate till Spring! πŸ˜€