Category Archives: random

How much do the little things matter?

You hear a lot of varying opinions on customer service these days. A lot of people that think businesses aren’t delivering enough. ( I also think a lot of customers are starting to feel entitled to a business giving away the farm, when they’re not at fault and it just doesn’t make monetary sense but that’s a whole different post.)

But, what about the little things? The smile when you walk into a business. Your salesguy remembering your name. That extra bit a business does to show you matter. Do they really make a difference?

I was in a car accident just before Christmas. A guy ran a stop sign and plowed right into the side of my car. Took about a month to get it all fixed up and I moved to Winnipeg before it was ready. Last week, when I flew back to Kelowna to get the moving truck loaded, it was my first chance to pick the car up.

The autobody shop knew all about my bouncing between provinces and the time crunch I was under. They’d even had me call the day before I was picking it up, to make sure it was ready for me. But, when they opened the back door to show me the interior work, first thing the sales rep and I notice is all the mud inside. You could tell by the smudges and prints that it had been from the work getting done (and, I knew for sure as I’d just had the car detailed before the accident so it was pretty much sparkling beforehand). He apologizes and says he’ll get his guys on it right away.

Then I notice that my (now) horribly cracked windshield hasn’t been replaced either. He explains that ICBC usually doesn’t cover the windshield if there are any rock chips. Only problem with that explanation (beyond it seeming like BS from the insurance side of things) is we’d had the same conversation the month before. I said I wanted the insurance broker to verify that and, if they still wouldn’t cover it, to replace the windshield at my expense. I’m a bit frustrated, but he says no problem. Bring it in the next day and he’ll replace the windshield and get it detailed at the same time.

Perfect! A little time out of a pretty packed schedule, but great that he can make it happen. I’ll feel safer about driving cross country if I have a clear view out that window.

I get the car in. They have a courtesy driver to run me back home and pick me up when it’s done. (Handy! Customer service bonus points.) Pay for the windshield, friendly chat with the salesguy, get in the car…disapointment. It still hasn’t been detailed.

What do you do? Turn around, walk back in and tell them they forgot to detail the car…again? What’s the autobody equivalent of spitting in your burger? Plus, I was already too busy to fit in getting my windshield replaced and just don’t have any more time to spare. Instead, I drive away. Mildly annoyed that I have a dirty car.

And, THAT is what has stuck with me. Not the amazing job they did with the repairs and how you can’t even tell I was in an accident. Not the incredibly friendly salesman. Not the courtesey driver. Not even the fact that they didn’t change the windshield, which seems like the bigger issue in hindsight. Nope, it was the fact that my car interior didn’t get vacuumed and wiped down.

Sometimes, it is all about the little things.


Why Do People Find it Hard to Believe in a Happy Marriage?

I’m a newlywed. This is a pretty precious stage in a relationship, I admit. We’re stupid, ridiculously happy and in love with each other. We resolve all our problems diplomatically and if one person is annoyed at the other, we tell them why so we can fix it. We actually like spending time in each other’s company; in fact, I’d rather hang out with him than anyone else in the world. We have fun together!

But, to try and tell that to someone who has never experienced what we’re going through…you might have a better chance convincing a non-believer that UFOs are real!

My fella had a girl hit on him this weekend, after she knew he was married, and it kind of stunned him. (The fact that it happened about 10 feet away from me didn’t help.) As a happily besotted man, he just couldn’t get why other people don’t equate marriage with off limits.

The same happened at a Halloween party I was at with a girlfriend though. This dude was trying to pick up both of us and we, pretty politely, told him we were a lost cause since we were happily married. His response was “Oh, so you mean you’ve found some guy who’s willing to agree with whatever you say.”

What do you say to something like that? Explain that, no, I’m in a mutually respectful relationship and that the idea of a man agreeing with everything I say is, actually, incredibly unattractive?? It would be a giant waste of breath. And, heck – he kept on trying after his snide little comment. For some people, married means you’re even more attractive! They like the idea of being the piece on the side, with no fear of commitment.

Are we the hidden minority or are there more of you out there? Do you believe in happy marriages or is it just a temporary delusion on my part?

I love…

I love how happy it makes my dog, Blue, when I feed her her dinner in her Wobbler.

She spends about 15 minutes bunting this thing around the living room, tail ferociously wagging  the whole time, ears up and giant doggy grin plastered on her face.

I don’t do it every day because she knocks into all the furniture, makes a ton of noise…but it’s one of those simple joys in life that make me step back and wonder why I don’t do it more often.

Does love equal a tattoo?

When you get a tattoo, you don’t get it thinking that you can always get it lasered off if it ends up being a bad decision. You get it thinking it will be permanent. A “for life” choice.

Same with marriage. I don’t think anyone goes into love thinking about how or if it’s going to end. You think it’s going to be forever.

But, do you get a tattoo as a symbol of that love? Kat Von D is the most recent celebrity to be outed as getting a tattoo showing her lover…and then breaking up.

I’m always terrified when I hear about people getting names, pictures tattoed on them or even a *shudder* tattoed wedding ring. I don’t know why, but it seems like the ultimate jinx to me! But, at the same time, if you really to believe it’s going to be forever, is there any risk?

Would you, or have you, ever gotten a “love tattoo”?

Garden Porn

I’m so excited!!

I wanted to plant last weekend but my chiropractor told me about some frost warnings so I’m been waiting and letting the plants weather a bit during the day, but taking them in at night. “Money burning a whole in your pocket” has nothing on plants just aching to be planted!

Now, the Wine Chef & I eat a ton of tomatoes. We had one plant last year. NOT ENOUGH!!! This year, I may have gone a little overboard. We have two Sungolds, grape tomatoes, romas, big reds, four heinz and one other kind that I have no idea what they’re called. A whole lot of tomato plants!! I can’t wait.

Loads of zucchini, which is another favourite. Ditto with cucumbers and eggplant. Carrots, spinach, butterleaf lettuce, snap peas and red peppers. The Wine Chef went a little crazy with his hot peppers purchases too, so we have WAY more peppers than we probably need. (Especially since we still have the ones from last year pickling in our fridge!)

We’re trying out some new things this year:

  • Sieglund Potatoes: they have a very soft, papery skin and they taste like butter has already been added when you cook them up. Delicious! I’ve never grown potatoes before and find myself strangely nervous about them.
  • An artichoke, though I didn’t read the part that says it takes 365 to grow. Artichokes for next year?
  • A giant pumpkin; or at least, what has the potential to grow to a giant pumpkin – up to 500 pounds! *lol
  • And, we’re trying out corn! I know it’s super cheap to just buy corn at the store, but there’s a certain joy that comes from saying you grew it yourself.

All the fruit trees are starting to blossom now too, except the cherry tree which, sadly, I think is dead. But, otherwise, the yard is blooming!! It’s going to be a delicious summer 🙂

The Gratitude Project

Gratitude is the intention to count your blessings every day, every minute, while avoiding, whenever possible, the belief that you need or deserve different circumstances.
— Timothy Miller

The Gratitude Project was something started in the hopes that focusing on the good things that surround us would make us happier, reduce our level of stress, and allow us to cope better when difficulties arose.

It’s a very simple theory that, like any theory or idea, has managed to evolve over the last couple years. But, at the heart of it, the simple question is what are the everyday things that you are grateful for?

1. My health. Especially since, between my ability to constantly injure myself and my Crohn’s, I can’t always take it for granted. Even those crappy days remind me how fortunate I am to not have to deal on an everyday basis.

2. My Mom. I know that EVERYOBODY says that, but I really do have the most amazing mother. Ever. Really. My mom kicks your mom and everyone else’s mom’s ass. Sorry about that.

3. My dog, Blue. I really and truly love my dog. There are times I seriously want to kick her ass – like when she raids the fridge – but mostly I realize that I really don’t know what I’d do without her. She’s loving, a cuddle-whore, smart as a whip…the perfect dog. At least, perfect for me. As she gets older, I’m able to appreciate that she won’t be around for too many more years and I am grateful to not only have the time we have yet, but for her health and happiness too.

4. My fella, the Wine Chef. Truly the best thing to ever happen to me. With him, I am not only myself, but happy with who I am too. And, he calms me. I know that sounds really odd, but just being with him gives me a great sense of calmness that I’ve never experienced before. If I was stuck on a deserted island for the rest of my life and had to pick one person to hang out forever, I would pick him.

5. My brains. I’m a smart cookie, I’m very fortunate. I did very well in school, I learn new things quickly. Being brighter than the average bear was something I was proud of when I was younger, but now I realize it was just luck of the draw. I recognize how much easier life has been because of my brain, and I love how it makes me never want to stop learning.

6.  Books. I love reading. Lock me in a room by myself and, so long as I’ve got some books to read, I’m a happy camper.

7. Gardening. I don’t know when I became an old lady, but I am so happy playing out there in my garden. I’m already plotting out what’s going in the garden this year and am ridiculously excited about it!! Now, I just need this weather to improve so I can get planting.

I’m sure there’s more than 7 things that I’m excited for, but these are the ones that jump out at me at first.

What are the everyday things that make you grateful?

How did they make Jelly in the old days?!?

Do you ever have one of those random thoughts that pops into your head and you just HAVE to know the answer to it?

I’ve been trying harder and harder to eat better and eat more locally. My fella and I had mulled over the idea of doing the 100 mile diet for a month; you only eat food grown and produced within 100 miles of where you live. Considering we live in the Okanagan, were EVERYTHING seems to grow, it doesn’t sound too tricky at first light.

Then I start looking through my cupboard, at things like flour – it’s been a while since I saw a wheat field, spices – not a lot of black pepper plants around, and even peanut butter or jelly for my toast!

I make a lot of things “from scratch”, including the jam I make from grapes grown in my yard. Now, I make mine without gelatin, but it did get me thinking about how things were done in the old days.

What did you do as a family in the middle of the Wild West, with no grocery store to go pick up gelatin? Did you boil the horse bones down yourself or was it something that just wasn’t deemed necessary or even useful? How the heck did you buy yeast for your bread? Or did you just go with unleavened flat breads? Or no bread at all?!?

All the things that I consider to be staples: pasta, rice, etc., I wouldn’t be able to eat on a 100 mile diet. But, they aren’t things that are even all that healthy for me. What would I do without those things to use as filler? Would I have to eat more vegetables?? I’m okay with that! More protein? Also, delicious!

Still very interested in the idea of trying the 100 mile diet, but also still working on the logistics. I think it’s definitely doable!! Especially if I do a lot more preserving, like I’m hoping to.

Time to get planning!