Monday, October 31, 2011

Maggie on Monday

I want to apologize for abandoning M&M Mondays since Millie died. I'm still in the middle of getting settled in my little Lake House. But I'm turning over a new leaf and beginning again. Maggie is still with me & I still take tons of pictures, so I'm going to share some today. [Insert eye roll from Mum. Hahahaha]. Unlike Millie, Maggie doesn't often just go outside & hang out. She goes out when I take her out, mostly. And she comes and joins me when I go and sit out on the front porch.

Her spot on the front porch. Note portable ramp to right. I miss the River House ramp! 


This is her spot on the walk way. Paws draped over. SO CUTE.

"What's this?"
Yoo-hoo, Mags!

Hullo.  Notice eye-dot action.

In the grass.

Another day on the walk way, joined by Tabby Bobcat.

They're really sweet together except when Tabby goes for an food source around Maggie.
Today we had a visit with our new vet, Dr. Trisha Morgan at Claws & Paws. AWESOMEness. I will save that story for next week, but suffice to say, we are well and good. :-)  Now on to my regularly scheduled afternoon.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Few Fall Pix

Am woefully lacking in the blog dept. I never even mentioned I was in the October issue of Reader's Digest. Too late, November is out now. I found out when I went to the Cakewrecks book signing last Friday night in Richmond. Oh yeah, that's another post!  And have abandoned M&M Mondays now that I'm down to only one M.  :-(    I also dismantled the River House labyrinth on Sunday with chiro-sister. Will get caught up. Sometime. In the meantime, a few autumn-yummy-fall-foilage pix from my back yard:

Dogwood tree.

Leaves just starting to be fallish. See the bear? Kidding. That's the stump that Lawmower Paul moved out of the yard. It reminds me of the bears from the River House, & it kinda looks like Maggie from the back with her head tilt. From the office window, it looks like Remi from behind, looking over the lake.  :-) 

Misty morning. 

This is one of my favourite views. 

Back up the path.

I see hearts wherever I go. 

I heart Maggie.  And her eye dots.  :-)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Know Anyone?

My friend Mari is working to find someone to help build a ramp so that this little blind, deaf Jack Russel can stay with her owner. You can read the whole posting here.

Update: I think Mari has found someone  to help with a ramp.  :-)

Adventures in Customer Service

They Had Me at Reply
I've used  1-800-Pet Meds for a while now. I started when I was at the River House & going to the vet was an hour & a half round trip to pick up M&M's Deramaxx. It's been fast, convenient, & saved me time & money. I got an email yesterday from them about some soon-to-expire bonus points. Anyway, they personalized the email with this:  Millie doesn't want you to lose your loyalty credit.

I've never done this on a standard sales email, but I hit reply & wrote:

I doubt there's anyone there to read this, but reading this:

 Millie doesn't want you to lose your loyalty credit.
made me a bit sad. Millie died last month & I miss her very much. Maggie, however, is still with me. We will make an order soon. Thanks, Hali Chambers

They responded within the hour:  Hali, we are very sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved pet,  Millie.  We hope the memories will help you and your family through this difficult time. We have updated our files. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

They followed up with a sweet sympathy email. Who's a customer for life, now? I emailed & told them so.

Going Loco--I mean LOCAL
I know there are a bunch of protests going on about banks. Um, & being the non-activist, political type person, that's about all I know except what Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert tell me. But I do know this: my bank, BB&T starting slapping me with a $20-a-month "maintenance fee" withdrawn from my account. I called & they said it was because I didn't maintain a $4000-a-month balance in my checking account. I said to Eric, the guy I was talking to, "Eric, how many people do you know who maintain a $4000-a-month balance in their checking accounts?"  He said, "This is not about me personally, blah blah blah."   So we ended up switching to a different kind of account where I'm only paying $10 a month.  Oh, thank you, Darth Banker.

The reason I went with BB&T in the first place was that when I moved to the outskirts of Luray, VA 4 years ago, I wanted to have a bank I could keep and not have to switch when I eventually moved. I also liked the convenience of online banking. Since the move to civilization, and the Maintenance Fee Pillaging, I've been looking at other options. I found Central Bank of VA, 4 miles from my house. Local as local gets.The whole experience was like stepping into a game show. Friendly greetings (minus the clapping), & as I was opening my accounts I kept saying things like, "You mean I get free ______, too?"  No "maintenance fees," no hidden costs. My bank gal, Stephanie, was SO NICE.

You know all those businesses who try to convince you they care? You know the ones; with the crappy customer service but the shiny-happy people in all the TV ads. This is not them. People remember you for how you make them feel. As John Morgan says, "Always leave people in a better place than you found them."  As we continue to tippy-tap on our computers & communicate via electronics more than in person, it's nice to treated be as a person.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

At the Beach

Monday, Chiro-sis & I took baby Rowan to VA Beach for the day. We actually went down to go see Braco, the gazing guy. But that's another story for another day. While Ruth was getting her gazing, I took Rowan onto the beach. He was in no rush to get down to the water. So I just watched him as he discovered everything he could about sand.

Like it's fun to roll in.

See?  SO much fun!
Then he found a plastic bottle cap:

Pouring fun.
And of course . . . 

he had to taste it.
Not so tasty, but surprisingly mildish reaction.
We finally made our way closer to the water . . . 

Chiro-sis joins us.
This is the first thing I do whenever I get onto the beach:

An homage to Dave Dobson & the years of beach walks together.

"And then the water retreats & begins to look like a lace table cloth."

Rowan taking over someone's sand castle. 


Then it was time to throw sand.

And get completely drenched.

Mama retrieves him from the ocean.

Time to say goodbye.  :-)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Not a Day of Rest

It's a blogger's cliche: "Sorry I've not posted lately."  Yes, busy. Yes, getting settled into the new house. I'm just a bit . . . unsettled. And not really wanting to write about it all here. I can count on my hand the number of times I've completely slept thru the night since the move. For the most part, it's not Tabby Bobcat or Maggie waking me up. It's my neighbor's barking dog. This morning's bark fest began at 3 a.m. as per usual.  The dog belongs to the neighbor behind me, whom I've never met--but I already think is an IDIOT. This is what I know about this person so far: Outside dog = idiot neighbor. Barking dog at all hours of the night = idiot neighbor. Now you may think that I will be calling him Idiot Neighbor. No, it's Barking Dog Neighbor. The IDIOT.

See? This is why I haven't blogged recently. I don't want it to turn into a bitch fest. Would you like some cheese with that whine? But since I'm on a roll, I've got a 6-hour round trip back to the River House today to get the last load of stuff. On 4 hours sleep. Yay, me. I'll be back when I'm feeling less like this:

And more like  this:

Images from The Graphics Fairy.