Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The JCPenney Straw

Ok, I am really upset. I am REALLY upset. With ten children and a busy life, I don't often get to do fun things like redecorate my living room. In fact the last time I bought living room furniture was over ten years ago. I bought Rowe furniture at the time and it held up really well. It is super comfortable and durable, and in the face of great adversity- it withstood the challenge of my entire family. But it is completely worn out now, and we NEEDED new furniture.

So I began poking around and finally found something I really liked online at JC Penney. I placed an order over a month ago and have been waiting ever since then for the new furniture to show up. I have been planning paint colors, and new curtains, and getting generally giddy over the thought of a new looking room. This really meant something to me. Maybe it shouldn't have, but it did. I am a realist.

So, even though there have been numerous problems to be upset about over the last month or so, and even though I have lots of responsibilities to think of, I have been tucking away that little hopeful day in my mind, and trying to make the best of all these other situations. Alas, sometimes its little things that go wrong that make life a whole lot worse- at least for me. Today it was the JC Penney straw that broke this camels back. 

 You see, yesterday was the day the furniture was to ship to the factory. I waited patiently all day for a call to set up delivery. None came. Today I waited again. silence. Finally late this afternoon I searched out my confirmation number and placed a call. I spoke with a lovely girl named Rachelle (I think that was it). She tracked down my information and then politely told me "M'am, you're shipment was placed on back order and won't even get to our factory until the end of August, and from there, they will schedule a 2 week delivery time frame." I asked her why in all of this time ( over a month) no one had bothered calling me? She didn't know. How bout why I couldn't find that on the order tracking information that was on my reciept? Not sure. When did they actualy think I should be notified of this information? Not sure.I told Rachelle that she sounded like a very nice girl, but that I'd like her to cancel my order. This has made me sad. In fact I am beyond sad and gravitating towards angry.

I also mentioned to her that I felt this was the worst customer service I had seen in a loooonnnnggg time, and that I would make sure to tell my family and friends how poor a job was done by JC Penney. So here is that promise to you all. You see, unlike JC Penney, when I promise something to someone- I will actually deliver.

In case you are still wondering about the point of this post:


Friday, July 20, 2012

CSA Take Two

Had to do another CSA post tonight, since its been a good week for veggies around here. Wednesday morning a couple of the boys helped harvest a whole mess of onions to peel and freeze for the rest of the winter in soups and stews. Today was our CSA pick-up day. We had so many green beans I  (Fred) blanched and froze a bunch to use for later. I also noticed a curious little bag of....not-so-sure-what -they-are's?....in with the veggies. So, I asked Christy. I only met Christy recently, but she is one of those people that just seems to know all there is to know about how to grow things, and I deeply admire that trait in any human being.  She told me they were ground cherries, and that if I dried and peeled off the thin papery layer I might be surprised by the flavor.

I am not sure what drew me into these little fruits so quickly, maybe they are just reminiscent of those paper lanterns you hang in your back yard for Summer night parties. Actually, come to think of it, that is exactly it. So I grabbed some kids and had them peel them while I made dinner, and Fred blanched green beans. Once they were finished I threw them into a pan with leftover pineapple chunks, and some oatmeal, brown sugar, and butter crumbled on top.

mini paper lanterns
kitchen helpers

It was yummy! The mild, slightly tart flavor went really well with the pineapple. (And what doesn't combine well with brown sugar and butter honestly?)The real test of course is that the kids are all eating it. Good stuff, especially on a rainy Friday afternoon!

Friday, July 13, 2012


My sister has been visiting this week, and last week we were away on vacation, so sorry for the blog absence! I'll try to post some photos of our time away at some point, but for now we are all missing Bernadette here, and so I'll share a bit of our visit with you. Bernadette IS the funniest person I have ever met on Gods good Earth. She is so quick-witted it is difficult to keep up with her. We don't see a whole lot of each other due to distance, so it was particularly nice to spend time together. When my Mom was visiting a few weeks back, each time my girls came into the room she would remark "They look so like Bernadette!"
Long have family members remarked that Bernadette and I are eerily similar to one another in many ways. It did strike me after spending a week together how clearly genetics play a part in who we are. For instance, if you know me, you might know I am a big fan of my steam mop. I saw it once and decided this was the only way to ever clean anything again. I would probably rescue it during a fire. Monday morning after breakfast I started mopping the kitchen to have Bern ask "Whats that thing?" to which I replied proudly "My steam mop- ever seen one?" Without a moments hesitation she left to go to her car, only to return with an INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH STEAMER! Wahoo! we were both in heaven for a few hours and the bathroom is still sparkling.

 A million little things start to add up after a while and I can see being a sister is special for so many reasons. For me it was like seeing pieces of my heart outside of myself. Matthew whispered to me one evening "Mom, you know all the good stories you told me about your Dad?" to which I answered Um hmmm? "I think Aunt Bernadette's got all those good things in her too!" "Yup, she does", was all I could say though tear filled eyes.
Lo-lo learning to swim
Aside from swimming each day ( and watching Bernadette fake my girls out till they couldn't laugh any harder by trying to put on toddler size floaties) we also managed a pedicure, a few trips for ice cream, a trip to Gettysburg,home made pizza making ( where she threw the pizzas- so badly- that my older boys literally cried laughing) and we watched The Lord of the Rings extended version accompanied by Taco Bell at 11 pm.
pizzas (pre-tossing)
Two of Bernadette daughters Hope and Kendall had a BBQ with us last night and my kids were in cousin heaven with all the attention they received.The house feels much emptier when she is gone. My kids have asked if she'll come back again soon- I hope so.
cousins tea party!
Hope and Kendall were so sweet to the girls