I'm leaving tomorrow for the Good Roads Conference in Toronto. I attended once before and wasn't sure that I learned the sort of things I wanted at the time, but it's a great opportunity to network with councillors from other municipalities. The organizers and sponsors provide entertainment in the evenings, but I've packed a bottle of Tequila Rose and some munchies and I'm planning on taking long, hot baths then curling up in bed with a good novel and my seed catalogues - my idea of luxury. I can network enough during the day sessions.
My 10-year old grandson just reminded me not to forget to order watermelon seed. He's very excited about the prospect of growing his favourite fruit. He always grows his own row of carrots, and he loves to help me weed. This year he wants to help me with the seeds I start indoors. I'll have tired eardrums when we're finished, but I wouldn't trade the time I get to spend with him for anything.
I'll order my seed and Jiffy cells as soon as I get back from the conference, drag my trays and indoor greenhouse up from the basement and rearrange my furniture to take advantage of all the light I can get for my seedlings. As soon as the seed arrives, my grandson and I can set about planting. I can hardly wait to see those seedlings begin to pop up.
I haven't been blogging much, because I'm in a terrible mood. I don't even like myself much these days, and the people in Customer Service at Sears like me a whole bunch less.
I ordered a new range on the 30th of December and was told it would be delivered January 14th. (My credit card was debitted immediately on the 30th. Shortly after lunch on the date scheduled for delivery, a Sears rep called to let me know it wouldn't be delivered as promised because it had been sent to the wrong delivery site. Early the following week, I got a recorded message advising me to ensure that my driveway was free of obstructions on January 21st, as the range would be delivered then. On January 20th, I got a call indicating that it would not be delivered the following day as it seemed to have been lost in transit, but someone would call as soon as it was located to set up a new delivery date. No one called, so I began calling both Shipping and Customer Service daily. Each time I had to repeat my name and address and tell a different person the story of my lost range. Now, I never yelled or was impolite to the Customer Service because I've always been of the opinion that you can get more with honey than with vinegar any day. Nevertheless, some of the reps became quite irritated with me. I asked to have the item reordered, but was told that was impossible until a month had passed.
Finally, on January 28th, I was able to convince one of the reps to reorder it for me. The only problem was that they would have to debit my credit card again and refund the original charge. My blood pressure went sky-high. When I indicated that this was unacceptable, the rep contacted her supervisor and arranged to have the range considered prepaid. Considered indeed! By then, Sears had possession of my money for almost a month. Delivery was scheduled for February 4th. Like a gullible fool, I believed it would actually be delivered on that date. On the 3rd, I got a call advising me that the second range had been misdirected, but it would be delivered on the 11th. Having become more than a little mistrustful of Sears' delivery dates, I called shipping on the 10th to confirm. Surprise! It had not arrived at the delivery site and would not be delivered the following day.
I asked to speak with Customer Service and ended up talking to a woman who irritably told me, in essence, that I was being unreasonable and causing further delays by continuing to call. She said that each time a note is added to a customer's file, it goes to the bottom of the pile!! When I asked her why, she responded, "That's the way our queuing system works." So I sent a letter to Head Office, detailing the problem and suggesting that they need to take a hard look at their queuing system (although I believe the woman was fibbing to me and simply didn't want to deal with the problem.)
The next time Sears called, C answered the phone. He was told that the range had been reordered and that it would be shipped directly from the manufacturer in order to ensure it didn't go astray. On the 14th, I received a call advising that the range would be delivered between 7:00 and 5:00 on the 18th. I was supposed to be helping with a fund raiser for our local library on that day, but hoped it would be delivered early enough that I'd still be able to attend. It was snowing and blowing on the 18th, so C shovelled the driveway and walk twice. When it hadn't arrived by 4:00, I called Shipping to determine if it was still on its way. An employee told me that it had been loaded onto the truck and should arrive within the hour. At 5:00, I called shipping once more and was transferred to Customer Service. A very pleasant rep apologized and told me that the shippers had noticed that the door had been damaged and it had not been shipped at all. By then I was too angry to go to the fund raiser.
I promised myself that I'd quit dwelling on the matter and not share my annoyance with anyone else, but here I am venting mess to all my GG friends. I hope you will excuse my frustration and anger and understand why I haven't felt like blogging.
On a happier note, I'm preparing my seed order and looking forward to starting tomatoes, giant pumpkins (for C who wants to try his hand at that), canteloupe, etc. within the next few weeks.
Happy gardening to those of you who live in warmer climates and happy planning to those of you who don't.
Feb 2, 2011 | 8:55 AM PST
We grow an abundance of parsnips on the farm. I found a very simple and very delicious recipe for Parsnip & Lemon Soup in the Toronto Star newspaper recently and whipped some up yesterday. It was a real hit with both C and me. I just posted it in the Cooking and Recipes forum. If you're a parsnip lover, trust me, you won't be disappointed.
Feb 2, 2011 | 5:23 AM PST
Hi, All, from the frozen north. We finally got hit with a major winter storm. The snow accumulations haven't been that extreme, but it's very cold (12 degrees Fahrenheit) and the east wind is causing havoc. Virtually all school buses in southwest and south central Ontario have been cancelled and many schools have been closed for the day. (I can remember the schools in Toronto closing only once in my lifetime, but apparently they're closed today according to the newscast.) Generally, even when the buses don't run, the schools stay open, but not today. Many major highways and most county roads have been proclaimed off-limits. The snowplows have been pulled off the roads in the Wiarton penninsula to the north of us, due to white-out conditions. There is very little traffic on our village roads. I've seen only two vehicles since 6:00 this evening. I was supposed to attend a seminar in a town 15 miles east of here and C was working in the same town. Both of us cancelled. It's not worth risking life and limb in this weather. C will have to go to the farm later to attend to our animals, and that makes me very nervous. I'm trying to convince him to have a neighbour go by in his tractor, but I'm getting a lot of resistance to the idea. I'd like to get some laundry done, but there will be an increased demand for electricity today because so many people haven't left their homes for work, so I guess I'll find something else to keep me busy. The weather is expected to continue till about 7:00 this evening, then things will return to normal.