Customer Service Update!

You may remember a few months back when I was complaining about what a pain it was trying to close all of my Mother's accounts after she died. Remember how they didn't actually cancel that one account, just rolled it over to my even more deceased Father, and sent him a shiny new card with a $19,000 limit, even though I told them everyone was dead? I threatened that if a new card showed up for Mom because Daddy was dead, I was going to go ahead and use it to buy a Mini Cooper?
How do we feel about a black one? Are the stripes too much?

Yes, I did indeed get a notification that a new card was on its way to my Mother.(The USPS is good, but I am guessing they aren't going to find her.) I called the card company and eventually got to some inheritance estate department, where Vincent explained that I wasn't actually allowed to buy a Mini with the card, even a slightly used Mini. I called him a meanie and we proceeded to REALLY TRULY HONESTLY close the account. Again. Some more. Probably for sure this time. 

I probably would just get a speeding ticket if I drove a Mini, anyway. I've never gotten a ticket, but something about those stripes makes me think anything is possible, and I tend to do what I want.



I may have mentioned that I am not a people person. I am, however, an animal person. Miss Bella is still my favorite neighbor. (She says "hi".) 

We have been blessed with some pretty interesting neighbors over the years. One of my favorites was from 2 houses ago. We lived in a house that backed up to some state owned forest and part of a horse pasture. Naturally, we adopted the horses and disregarded the 'trespassing on state land punishable by death' signs. I do what I want.  

One day, we walked out to the area between the pasture fence and the woods. The horses spotted us and started heading up the hill. As they got closer, they slowed down, and finally stopped walking. We could tell they wanted to come over, but something was definitely making them nervous. I noticed a huge hole under the fence a couple of feet down from us. Horses aren't known to be great diggers, and our resident gopher tortoise's holes aren't usually large enough to accommodate a human, so I decided it was either loose dogs or possibly a yeti. Since it was 89 degrees out, the yeti was unlikely, and I hadn't heard any dogs, so I decided to look around.  After giving the kids the "sit, stay" command, I headed into the woods.  (Yes, it has been brought to my attention that I am that dumb white girl in the horror movie who gets killed in the first 5 minutes because she has to go investigating the weird noise.) 

I got a about a dozen feet inside the tree line when I heard a noise above me. I looked up and saw a big dark thing. I wandered around the tree and finally discovered the big dark thing had a face. It was a very handsome bear! (A mostly harmless black bear, not a human eating death machine bear.) 

Already well on my way to Mother of the Year, I did what any good parent would do. I sent the kids back to the house...for my camera! They returned with it, and I instructed them to go back inside and hide under the bed, mostly because I thought it would be funny. They went in and made cookies, completely disregarding my orders. Hard to get mad when there are cookies, though.

So, Little Bear and I spent quite a bit of time together. He didn't seem to care too much about me, but I opted to keep my distance. After all, I was in his house and didn't want to be rude. 

A couple of my neighbors thought shooting it was the thing to do, so I called the state biologist and told on them. She said there were in fact 5 bears in our vicinity, and the wooded areas surrounding our little community were perfect for them. I asked if I could shoot anyone who threatened a bear. She said that technically she couldn't stop me (and would actually applaud), but killing someone for threatening a 300 lb bear probably wasn't going to go over well with a jury. I suggested a little kneecapping. (Found out later that a little kneecapping was like being a little pregnant. Do or do not, there is no "little".) 

Anyway, apart from the being the occasional litter bug, the bear mostly just hung out in the woods. He used our side yard as his point of entry, so whenever he took a full trash bag, he usually emptied it out on our lawn. Based on my experiences cleaning up after him, our bear loved grapes and nuts, but hated onions, garlic, and anything with golden arches. We were advised to put our trash out the morning of trash day, but some of my neighbors insisted on doing it the night before. One chap decided to thwart the bear's attempt by wedging his trash between the garage door and the car. He ended up with a dent in his hood shaped like a bear's bottom and trash everywhere. Some people just don't get it. 

At the end of the day, the horses stopped freaking out and ate the apple slices I had, the bear sort of snored/ snorted, and I went back inside, ate cookies, and texted Mr. Pet Police about getting a real life teddy bear. (He said no. Meanie!) 

This little guy stopped by our yard a couple of weeks before we left the bear house. He was actually adorable. I escorted him (at a safe distance) across the golf course until we met up with a firefighter who offered to walk our friend the rest of the way. He was headed to a pond on the other side of the 7th hole. You know, because gators also do what they want, even when they aren't real big. 


Scout Update

In case you were keeping track, Scout weighed in at a solid 15 lbs this morning. I was putting in my contacts and she hopped on the scale. Convenient.

Still smaller than Brother, but the biggest she has ever been. They have gone through several cat gym/climber/tree things, but Mr. Ugly Cat Tree Hater tends to get a  little twitchy when cat toys get scraggly, especially when they are the last things he sees as he goes to sleep at night.  Anyway, the kids are currently between models, and now get no exercise. (Other than playing with the eleventy-seven toys and running up and down the stairs like maniacs.) Guess I need to get a new climbing gym...

Mr. Ugly Cat Tree Hater likes one that reminds me of an IKEA highchair, has no scratchy bits at all, and is roughly 3 feet tall. At $695 it must be the greatest cat thing of all time. I am pretty sure Jem enjoys the empty La Croix box more than he would that thing.

I am looking at one that is 8 feet tall, 6 feet wide, has eleventy-one ledges and a hammock, all for $119. The description says "Top Quality". Maybe I will keep looking....
Scout on patrol, riding Daddy's shoulder.

We moved an armoire, so it now sits in front and below the landing on the back stairs. I thought that would be the coolest cat spot ever. The front even has an arch that they can hide behind. I kid you not, the only time they use it is when Scout wants to take a shortcut. If Mr. Cat Perch is nearby, she will hop down on it, and wait for him. Then she hops down onto his shoulder and goes on patrol. It is like one of my favorite things.

Scout's Personal Person hates "stuff". He might be allergic if not for his vastly superior genes that prevent such atrocities. (A family joke because Mr. Husband is practically perfect and it sometimes can be a bit annoying.) So, while I was attempting to get out Easter decorations, he was threatening to light them on fire. "Seriously, I can't look at this stuff all day! Can't you put out a few nice things in a little grouping somewhere clear of my field of vision?" This was followed up by "and no dumb baskets!" because I found the bin of Easter baskets. What? Every year the girls need new ones and I usually keep them. It is completely normal. Anyway, I set one of the baskets on the ground and Scout immediately jumped in it. Shocking behavior by a cat, I know. Mr. Fussy had stomped off to his office just as she did it, so I grabbed my phone and took a photo to send to him. His response? "We obviously need to acquire an appropriately sized basket for The Girl. Add it to your list."
You know, because Scout gets what she wants.

My (less than) Super Power

I have a super power. Well, I think I have several, but this one is really powerful lately.

I manage to blurt out inappropriate things at inopportune times.

The other night we had a bad storm and lost power. So, what do you do when the power is out? Play spades by candlelight, of course.

So, Mr. Cardshark was shuffling the deck and out of my mouth came "so, anyone wanna break out the old planchette and see how Mom's doing?" The older child almost fell out of her chair laughing. I didn't mean to say it, but Mom would have thought it was funny, and I am pretty sure she bought the Ouija board as a Halloween present for us one year. (For those new here, Mom is dead.)

We all got the plague, or maybe it was a mild flu. There was much whining and complaining and napping and complaining and whining, but mostly by me. Everyone else just dealt with it. While still not fully recovered from the plague, we went to the store because stupid Amazon still won't deliver frozen stuff. (I love you Amazon, but I also love ice cream!) The smaller child was bugging me about something. I finally snapped (goofy-frustrated, not angry rage monster Mom) and told her that if she didn't stop (whatever it was) I was going to chuck bagels at her and follow it up with really terrible idle threats. She started laughing because she knew bagels wouldn't hurt, I was in no condition to come up with good idle threats, and she was pretty sure I was kidding. The old woman standing across the aisle wasn't. Oops. (Baked goods are a perfectly acceptable weapon, just ask the child. However, we don't hit our children with baked goods or anything else for that matter. At least not intentionally. Unless it sounds like fun. I mean, snowballs don't count, right?)

Jaunty, pre-decapitation
Mr. Halloween has a skeleton dog. It was a resin statue planter of a dog holding a flower pot that he fancied up beautifully as only he could, and now we call it "Jaunty". He lives in our pirate room/pub and is a prized possession in our household. (We're weird) A few years ago, I broke him. I cried for a week, but Mr. Fix-It reattached his head and he is back to his former Jauntiness. During a recent trip to the grocery store, I noticed the Easter decor. There were a couple of rather large but incredibly handsome rabbit statues that I felt might need a good home. One of the children suggested that Mr. Great Pumpkin might not approve because A) Halloween is the only true holiday worth spending money on for decorations, and B) he hates decorations that aren't for Halloween. (He enjoys Christmas stuff, too, I guess.) Then she mentioned that he might "pull a Jaunty" on the rabbit. I said (louder than was probably necessary), "your father is not going to kill the rabbit just because I decapitated his dog!". An old man beside me whipped around. "No, no, we glued it back on!" That didn't help as much as I had hoped. "We're vegetarian, we love animals!" Then we left. Quickly.

I did go back for one of the rabbits, though. He is still in one piece and I don't even think Mr. Picky hates him that much. I will get the other rabbit next time. You know, because I do what I want.

Follow up: So, the rabbits sort of went on sale, and now I have a total of 3. They were lonely and sad and desperate for a home. I do what I can to help the sad and homeless holiday decorations.


I Kill People..sort of.

I killed Abe Vigoda.

I had forgotten I killed him until I brought up some other person out of the blue and the kids shushed me. "Remember Vigoda!" Seriously, for some reason one night I asked if he was still alive. I have never seen The Godfather, but I did watch Barney Miller with my Dad when I was young. We Googled it and he was alive and well. The next morning he was dead. I would like to apologize to his friends and loved ones.

This has happened to me before, too. I know it is coincidence and I don't actually have death mind or psychic powers, but it is weird. I am sure it happens to people all the time. I still feel really, really bad. At least Mr. Vigoda died in his sleep. Paul Walker didn't get as lucky, not that I am claiming responsibility.

If only I would learn to think before I speak, the world might be a safer place.

Also, someone in my family may or may not have offered me a dollar to talk about a certain young troubled singer because he was a punk and made her mad. Naturally, I turned down the offer and gave her a stern talking to once I stopped laughing because I am a horrible human being. ((What was said wasn't funny, but the fact that it came out of my delicate little flower cracked me up.)) The performer in question is still alive as far as I know, but I am not gonna Google it.

Rest in peace, Fish.

It is not my intention to offend or make light of suffering and loss. It is painful for loved ones regardless of who or how. I would never wish death on anyone, even the really bad people who kick puppies. (The obvious solution there is torture.) I cried when I heard about Fish. While I make mean comments on a daily basis about smacking people upside the head for being dumb, I am not actually going to do it...probably.

But I do what I want...

*UPDATE: Crap. After I wrote this, I killed Chuck Berry, and it only took about 3 hours from mention to death.

Six Million Dollar Squirrel Update and Luck

The other day, a guy I know emailed me this:

"I believe in luck."

That would be great, but we were talking about investing for retirement at the time.

Anyway, the Wildlife folks came back and removed the traps. There was nothing in the attic and hadn't been for quite some time. They said the tree guy scared the squirrels away. So, basically, I could have stomped around in the attic and put some wood over the hole and saved myself eleventy million dollars twice. Mr. I Told You So is trying really hard NOT to remind me that he said that six million dollars and 3 months ago, which I appreciate.

Now, back to luck.

Was I unlucky because I "wasted" all that money for nothing?

Or was I lucky because no animals were harmed and a tree crisis was averted?

I am gonna go with:

"I am happy it is over and it was only inconvenient, not devastating, and the tree was splitting, anyway."

I will leave luck to traffic jams and pennies on the sidewalk, but nowhere near my retirement funds!

Now karma, that is another story....


Customer Service

(For the record, I was able to see the humor in this, which is why I am posting it. It is OK to laugh.)

So, both of my parents are now dead. (yes, yes, sorry for your loss, thanks, moving on) My husband insists a 40 something-year-old is not actually called an orphan, but I figure I can say it if I want. Yeah, we have had some pretty weird conversations. ("Well, she's dead so I can return her Christmas gift!") Maybe I will get into the funny family stuff sometime. There are some whoppers in there, like the time I had to drive Mom to the funeral home to make arrangements for Daddy, but hadn't driven an automatic in forever, so trying to back their car out of the drive, between two columns, was a mess. Her seatbelt worked so she didn't actually go through the windshield, and we laughed/cried the rest of the way there. I took back streets, just to be safe. Never did get used to not having a clutch. That doesn't even touch on the adventure that led me to be driving their car....

So, I am trying to get things sorted out. I called a credit card company and explained the situation. The agent was very nice, and we got it sorted out fairly quickly. She asked if I needed any cards left active, and I said no. She made a note that both card holders were deceased. All in all, it wasn't too bad. A couple of weeks later I got a letter in the mail with a credit card...in my Dad's name. Due to the recent death of the account holder, the account has rolled over to the spouse. I called the company and they were very sorry for my loss, read the notes left regarding both account holders being deceased and said they would shut the account if I was sure we wouldn't be using it. There was a zero balance and $19,000 available. I briefly considered using it to buy Mr. Frugal the cute low-mileage used Mini Cooper I saw him looking at online, but didn't do it. So, they shut the account. We shall see, but if they send Mom a card because Dad is dead, I am buying the dumb car. (The parents would totally approve, too. We are probably lucky Dad never got behind the wheel of one of those go-carts!) 

I cancelled Mom's cable service for the third time. I explained the situation, telling them both Mom and Daddy were dead and the house was vacant and being prepped for sale. (Mostly a true statement, except those last bits. Not selling it and someone is living there, but otherwise 100% true.) We went through the whole song and dance about death certificates and all that, and the woman explained that they left the account open after Mom died so Dad could enjoy the service. He is more dead than Mom is!! "Yes, I can see that in the notes." Fine. Let's really cancel the account now. "The notes show a return label was sent out for the equipment several weeks ago." Yes, that would be when I cancelled the service during the previous call. "So, your Dad is sure he wants to cancel his service?" I would ask him, BUT HE IS STILL DEAD!!! Everyone is dead! The house is empty! There is NO money to pay the bills!! (thought that one might get her attention.) So she closed the account. She did more typing and more closing of the account and more note taking and I really have no idea why this was so difficult. I felt like we had finally reached an understanding when she offered her condolences on the loss of both of my parents. "Losing both parents at the same time must be so difficult." I didn't correct her, even though Dad has been gone for 3 years. Then she said, addressing me by my mother's name, "before we hang up, what if I told you I could get you and your spouse a special discounted rate to continue your service?" I simply declined and hung up. Then I laughed. I laughed a lot. I know it should have made me super sad to have to say my parents were dead eleventy million times, but each time it just got "stupider and stupider" and it was all I could do not to laugh while I was on the phone. What a circus! I know there is a script and certain rules they follow and retaining clients is paramount and all that but could you just pay a little attention? Please! 

A couple of medical bills are still outstanding, so I called the companies and told them that Mom had passed and blah blah blah the estate will pay them blah blah blah... "That's fine, but you should know that if we have to turn this over to a collection agency it could impact your mother's credit score." At least that one caught herself. "Yeah, your Mom probably wouldn't care, would she?" 

It is funny. I find myself getting irritated at people for basically using muscle memory and doing what they do a million times a day because they can't remember that Mom is dead...so I hang up and start to call Mom to tell her how funny it is that they can't remember that she is dead...

Yep...I'm an idiot. But she would have thought all of it was funny.

My parents seriously did what they wanted.